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Ephemeral humor

September 24th, 2008 by jomo

Before Life became a photojournal in 1936, it was more like (perhaps) The New Yorker, with articles, poetry and fiction, book reviews, theater calendars, and cartoons. I was looking through some issues from the fall of 1912. It was an election year, with two former presidents, Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive or “Bull Moose”) and W.H. Taft (Republican) running against Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Women’s suffrage was a major issue of the day.

As I leaved through those 96-year-old pages, I didn’t understand some of the cartoons…the captions or situations depicted were either meaningless or unfunny, or both, to me. This morning, glancing at the open New Yorker my wife had left on the table, I saw a cartoon showing two burly prison inmates glowering at each other, while a guard outside their cell reminds them “Inside voices, boys.” Pretty funny…but those words might be a phrase of our age, and might not make any sense at all 96 years from now.

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‘Ware the crunchy butt

September 10th, 2008 by jomo

A couple of weeks ago my heinie was a little “crunchy” (as described by one of my boys at the age of 4 or 5), so I used the old Desitin standby.  Then I wondered about other remedies, so I did a web search on “chapped ass” and followed a couple of the links, much to my regret.  Maybe my firewall was turned off…but almost immediately there was a popup saying, in a suspiciously un-Microsoft manner, that Windows had an urgent security update to install.

I closed the popup, and we were off to the races. It popped back up, repeatedly.  Next I tried Task Mgr, but that couldn’t stop it.  I checked the Firewall, and it was off – had it been off?  I don’t know.  Then I tried a virus scan, but the software locked up part way through, and suggested a restart, which I did, and got blue screen crashes.  An attempt to boot in Protected Mode failed because the keyboard was locked up.  I could hear those hackers somewhere laughing themselves silly – “You wanna know about chapped ass?  WE’ll show you chapped ass!”  So I shut it down.

For some time I had been wanting to install more memory, having hit the limit more than once on big graphics, and I had also been concerned about hard drive space filling up.  So, it was off to Fry’s, where I got 2Gb of memory, and a 150Gb HD.  Back home, I pulled the old HDs and put in the new one, installed XP and my antivirus program (Avast).  Then I put the old boot drive back in as a slave, and ran a virus check on it.  4 bad files were found, which I deleted.    I moved all of my data files from the old disc onto the new disc, and reformatted the old disc.  It will be used as a data disc in another computer.  The old data drive tested clean, so it went back in service.

All in all, it wasn’t too bad.  I was the butt (!) of a malicious joke, but nothing was lost, my main computer is now upgraded, a lot of “yellow, waxy buildup” was discarded, and all of my applications are running happily with new installs.  So I begrudgingly offer thanks to unknown assholes for getting me off of my crunchy butt to do what I had been planning anyway.

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Standoff on the steps

September 7th, 2008 by jomo

Joan Baez was on NPR this morning, promoting a new album, and (of course) an anecdote floated to the surface of my simmering mental Mulligan stew…

Don Hill, a black friend from the Army, was a UT civil rights activist in 1964.  A protest was planned for the steps of the State Capitol, with the media notified.  Coincidentally, Joan Baez was performing in Austin on the same day, and she showed up at the protest to stand in solidarity with her fellow man and sing them a song to buoy their spirits.  Which pissed Don Hill off no end – he felt that she was stealing their thunder, using their protest to sell tickets to her show.

So when the story appeared on LBJ’s TV news (the only station in town then), there was a group of black folks with signs standing in front of the Capitol behind Joan Baez with her guitar, singing a song, while my friend Don Hill, arms folded, stood off to one side with his back adamantly turned to the group.

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The relief

September 4th, 2008 by jomo

The temperature this morning is 69 degrees.  Last night I opened the bedroom windows and turned off the air conditioner for the first time in weeks…such a relief not to hear its muffled roar.  Today’s high temp is forecast to be 95 degrees, so mid-morning the windows will be closed and the air conditioner turned back on.  But we now have evidence that the heat siege that’s Austin’s Summer is easing.

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