Lifeline

I have the best Readers on the Internet, bar none.  That’s not sucking up, that’s a statement of fact.

When I put out my call for help last week, I had no idea what the response would be, mostly because everyone’s having pretty much the same kind of trouble I am, and let’s be honest, this blog is pretty thin gruel as a platform on which to base an appeal.

This is not a blog which offers legal advice, or medical advice, or even soft stuff which feeds the soul like movie reviews or stuff like that.  All you get for your visit is, well, all the stuff you see if you hit the “page back” buttons at the bottom:  guns, women, anger, commentary, vitriol and the occasional review of stuff I like that others may not be aware of, e.g. Dutch metal, an unknown artist or some obscure gun.

What I was not prepared for was the generosity and the breadth of your response to my appeal, which has been, in a word, astonishing.  Just so you know, you’ve basically kept the wolf from the door by enabling me to pay some large and unexpected costs, most especially a massive medical bill for New Wife, and a couple more of similar magnitude.  Were I still Ubering, I could have taken care of most of that just by working longer hours (as I have in the past), but with the Uber business drying up completely, that was no longer an option.

Instead, I can breathe freely for the next few weeks until the insanity is over and I can get back to work again.  And if all goes well, when the self-isolation and lockdowns go away and life can creep back to normal, New Wife can finally get a job so we can actually start saving.

We can but hope.

So on behalf of both Angie and myself, please accept our humblest and most grateful thanks.  Whether by small Patreon contributions or by larger single amounts, you my Readers have taken untold stress out of our life.

In return, while I’m still self-isolating (not splendidly, by the way — how ironic is that title now?) I promise to continue this blog with even greater zeal than I have before.  One Reader used these words (paraphrased, lest he be embarrassed):  “When your old website went dark before, I missed it badly — and if I can help it, that’s never going to happen again.”  Others said similar wonderful things, and all I can say is that you made New Wife cry, because she doesn’t know you like I do and was completely blindsided.

And using my isolation to good effect:  in a couple of weeks’ time, I will have completed a long-promised but creatively-blocked novel, which I will put on sale through Kindle so that everyone reading this can get one, for about the price of a lottery ticket.

It’s often said that “Words cannot express my gratitude” and that’s very true, but I’ve nevertheless tried to do so here, and I hope I’ve succeeded.

Thank you all, and bless every one of you for your generosity, kind words and support.

More Doubles

In a long-ago post (worth a read, BTW) I bemoaned the fact that my age-addled brain is having difficulty telling people apart.  Now there’s a new one:

Left:  Oz actor Hugh Jackman, and right:  Brit actor Richard Armitage.  I was watching The Stranger*  on Netflix the other night, and when Armitage first appeared onscreen I thought that Jackman had given up X-Men and was getting into Brit TV roles.


*Kim’s ranking:  5 out of 10 because the plot has more gaping holes than the 10pm dockside shift during Fleet Week.

Not-So-Splendid Isolation

Sorry to start the day on a downer, folks, but this Chinese virus [cf. POTUS]  is screwing with my life, bigly.

With no travel going on and people working more and more from home, my Uber income has fallen off the cliff.  From a seven-hour workday net (after expenses) income of around $20/hour, the past few days have seen it fall to nearly zero.  I mean zip, zilch, nada:  two hours’ waiting between calls, on a good day, and those trips are all short ones — nurses to and from hospitals, etc.

I’m not the only one, of course.  The Son&Heir, who’s the F&B manager at a large restaurant, told me yesterday that their hourly staff (waiters and hosts) are having their hours cut by 80%, and layoffs may follow in about a week’s time — and I have to think that other similar establishments are faring even worse, as his place does significant home- and office delivery sales.

I, of course, don’t have any of that kind of thing to fall back on.  New Wife had her residence application finally (!!!!) approved and got her temporary green card;  not that it helps, though, because she works in — ta-da!!!! — elementary schools, and guess who’s not hiring at the moment because Chinese virus?  At best,she’ll be hired in July for the new school year, but until then…

Frankly, nobody is hiring at the moment, of course, so even if I was able to, I can’t find any kind of full-time work.  (I’m kicking myself for not getting my trucker’s license many years ago — supermarkets in the area are experiencing supply bottlenecks because of a driver shortage.  That’s why there’s no bogroll in the stores.)

So I’m doing what I swore never to do again, and asking for financial assistance from you, O My Long-Suffering Readers.  Without that, our modest savings will be drained and we face financial ruin within two or three months.  (Forget indulgences like takeout food or trips to Boomershoot;  we’re talking rent, car payments and utilities here.)

I know that everyone is suffering at the moment in one way or another;  but if you can see your way to helping us out over the next couple of months until sanity returns to our world, all contributions will be most gratefully received.  You can contribute a small amount monthly via Patreon (over on the right-hand side of the page under Links), or with one-time amounts through PayPal or by check to the sooper-seekrit mailing address.

I hate to have to do this, but I have no other alternative.

Getting Taller

As some comedian once said, the principle behind Daylight Savings Time is the same as the belief that you can get taller by cutting off your head and then standing on it.

[pause to let that visual dissipate]

Let me tell you why I hate this bloody nonsense with a passion.

  1. We have, in our little abode, well over a dozen clocks which do not self-adjust like laptops or smartphones do (I like and collect clocks).  This means that twice a year I have to prowl around the house like a hyena seeking a dead zebra, rooting out clocks and changing the damn hour hand or else pushing buttons on electric alarm clocks etc.  “Pain in the ass” barely begins to cover it.  And somehow, I always manage to miss one, which causes me aggravation later (could be a week later) when I discover the omission.
  2. Because we are an international family, with friends and family scattered all over the globe, I have had to resort to stern measures to keep up with this situation, ergo a wall decoration in the living room:

I think you can see the problem, can’t you?  The U.S. and the U.K. change their times on different dates, South Africa only uses one time (gawd knows how much they’d fuck up changing clocks and times… they operate on “African time” as it is), and as for Australia it’s even worse:  some states observe DST while others choose not to.

As I am a man of advanced age, little brain and severe deficiency in patience, I think you’ll get where I’m going with this.

I’m always reminded of the classic exchange from Cheech & Chong:

“Hey, hippie… wanna buy a watch?”
“Uuuhhhhh… no, man;  I’m not into time.”

Wish I could be that way.

Meanwhile In Texas

I confess to being a tad parochial when I see headlines like this:

‘Oil price war,’ coronavirus could drive gas prices below $2 gallon

I’ve been paying around $1.85 for over a month — and below $2 since early January.  As much as I hope the lower prices won’t blow the fracking industry up, I’m enjoying the benefits of a lower cost of business — so gawd knows how the trucking industry must feel about it.

I note, however, that the godless airline industry — ever quick to raise prices when the gas price spikes — have not yet reduced their fares.  Pricks.

Not Much To See Here

Last Saturday, while doing some routine maintenance on Ye Olde Lappe Toppe, I somehow managed to delete almost all my bookmarks.  This means I’ve lost my map to the Internet (which isn’t too much hassle) as well as the shortcuts to every single bit of research I’ve ever done since the world / Internet was young (which is a huge hassle).

The only saving grace (if it can be called that) is that my critical links (banking, rent, taxes etc.) were in a different bookmark folder and were spared destruction.

Fuck.

As such, I’ll be trying to rebuild my online heritage, so to speak, over the next week or two, and thus may take even longer than usual to respond to emails and such than normal. Please bear with me in my Tyme of Troubles:

…and keep sending those entries in for the ULD Rifle.

Also, no chiding me for failing to back up the Bookmarks file — easy in MS Windows (which I haven’t used in about three years), NOT so easy using Chrome, as it turns out.

There are times when I’m so fucking stupid…

[exit, punching self in face]