Dec. 2nd, 2008

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Someone over on Askville asked "When was Christ removed from Christmas?". I couldn't resist answering...

Christ was removed from Xmas in a two-step surgical procedure on November 17th, 1952. First, an incision was made along the dorsal seam of the holiday. A set of custom-built expanders were used to keep the incision open. Then, a pair of forceps specially crafted for the occasion by the Business Roundtable were used to extract the Christ (already in a moribund state) from the internal chamber. The process went relatively smoothly, and once complete the incision was closed, surgically stiched, and healed normally. The result was a healthy non-religious commercial holiday, able to serve as a regular stimulant for the American economy.

I'm not sure what was done with the Christ. It might have been disposed of as medical waste...or possibly it was picked up from a dumpster and swallowed by a passing evangelical movement. If so, I'm afraid it metastasized into a cancer of the right wing. In any case, none of the original Christ remains in the now tumor-ridden movement.

Merry Xmas!

I was tempted to make a reference to that Japanese monster movie where a homeless boy, a survivor of Hiroshima I think, found and ate the deathless heart and brain of Frankstein, only to grow into a Godzilla-sized Japanese Frankenstein. But how many people remember that movie? Not many, I'll bet!
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I've been using the same graphic program for at least twelve years now. I've become pretty comfortable with it over time. One nice thing about it is that it doesn't require an elaborate installation procedure. I just copy the files over to the hard drive, click on the executable, and it's ready to go.

Except. Although it worked on my old computer running Windows XP, it won't run on my new computer running XP. The old one was the "Home" edition, and the new one is the "Professional" edition (both of them 32-bit), but I don't see how that could be the problem; I've run the program successfully on other computers with the Professional edition.

The problem was a dll file. I tried copying it and installing it to my new system, but nothing worked. Given that the software was from 1996, it really seemed that I should look for a modern freeware replacement.

The problem was that so many modern graphics programs are so complicated! I don't want to have to spend a lot of time learning a new program, and about all sorts of advanced techniques that I don't need right now. I want a program that will do pretty much what the old program did, without a steep learning curve. I mean, I'm very good at learning new software, but my free time is limited!

So first I tried GIMP. It's open-source, freeware, and came highly recommended. But it turned out to be way more program than I needed. It's more like PhotoShop than my old painting program, and was so complicated that I found myself pretty much stymied when I tried to use it.

Later, I lucked upon It's just what I was looking for! A free, modern, and relatively easy-to-use graphics program that I could work with straight out of the box. It has advanced features, but they're not in my face - I can learn about them later, and in the meantime I can edit my images. And Sebastian can draw pictures. In fact, he drew his first picture with it a few days ago; a picture of Godzilla and Hedorah. I'll see if I can get his permission to post it here tonight.
bobquasit: (Default)
So I went down to get coffee and a cinnamon swirl from the Fresh City in the lobby this morning. I answered the trivia question (it was an easy one) so my coffee was free. As always when I get coffee, I also grabbed some of the free cinnamon pita chips that they have out.

Now, the containers they put out for the pitas are tiny. They're little things no bigger than the palm of my hand. They used to be larger, but that changed about a year ago.

They're so small that it's almost impossible to get a reasonable amount of chips in there. I usually pile them up a little, and then try to throw the container into my pastry bag before the pile topples.

It occurred to me that this was a stupid thing to do. I don't use the containers; I just eat the chips out of the bag. So this time, instead of using the container, I just put some of the pitas directly into the bag with the tongs.

I did not take a lot - really! It was totally a reasonable amount - two tongfuls, which is less than I could have put in a container. But the cashier rushed over and told me, insofar as I could understand her English, that I had to use the containers that were provided - that otherwise, I should pay for one of the pre-packaged bags.

This made me feel as if I'd been stuffing the bag full of chips, which was absolutely not true. It made me feel like a thief. And it really pissed me off and hurt my feelings.

I've always been friendly with that cashier. I always tip her generously, too - whatever change is left from my purchase I dump into her tip jar, and that's more than 20%. That just ended. And I don't think I'll be going back to Fresh City again. The coffee's not that good, and they really made me feel like shit. I can really hold a grudge, so I'd say that Fresh City is going to take a loss on this morning's little exchange.
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Sebastian just called me as they were driving to the dentist; he's scared silly. He had the sad and scared voice that breaks my heart. I tried to cheer him up; I think I succeeded, a bit. He asked if he could take Frisco (his favorite stuffed animal) in with him, and he could.

Teri's going to call me as soon as he's done. We took some photos of him this morning, incidentally, so he could have a record of his broken tooth.


Dec. 2nd, 2008 02:57 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
It's bad.

His tooth has been capped, or something, with composite, but it's much weaker than the natural tooth. He can't bite anything firm like an apple or even a candy bar for the rest of his life. He'll have problems with it for the rest of his life, and will probably end up needing a root canal, crown, veneer, perhaps even a complete replacement.

My heart is broken. And how are we going to keep him from ever eating anything crunchy? They told him he can't even eat cookies or crunchy chicken nuggets!
bobquasit: (Default)
Here's the picture Sebastian drew using of Godzilla battling Hedorah.


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