Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jokes Will Be Severely Dealt With

People are starting to make jokes about the Tortschnekkel Today blog.
This will NOT be tolerated. All jokesters will be tolerated only as long as it takes to devise a suitable revenge.
This means you, Joey!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A night in the office

I recently arrived at my office 4 hours early.

I found one of my coworkers asleep on the floor behind desk. In his pajamas. Disheveled.

Do you think he's living at the office?

Is that legal in most jurisdictions?

What should I tell my boss?

What should I tell his wife?

What should I do about the smell? I'm in the next cubicle.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Streets Are Rank With The Smell Of Decay

At first I smelled baked ham. But on my second time out all I detected wafting on the breeze was the odor of decaying meat. A body in downtown? Or just old dumpsters? Rather than investigate, I went inside to breathe the fresh air.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Antibiotic In A Blanket

They taste horrible, those antibiotics. Slinkie won't eat 'em and I'm not comfortable pushing my hand down her throat yet to make her swallow them.

So I wraps each antibiotic tablet in the dregs of a ham I recently cut up (Dregs: chunks of fat, connective tissue, skin, nordic turf, etc) and feeds her them. I give her a couple unsullied dregs first to get her gulping 'em good. Then I throw her the antibiotic in a blanket. It goes down in a gulp. Then maybe one or two more just so she doesn't catch on to refuse the last one because it will taste somehow off. Yes, she's that smart.

World of Warcraft Bots!

I hear tell that WOW doesn't want people using bots to operate their sessions.

I hear tell that the military (the one from the "military/industrial complex") is creating bot soldiers and using WOW somehow to test their training.

Does WOW have the carcajadas to enforce their anti-bot policy when the violator has big bazookas? My breath is abated in anticipation...

I'm So Happy

Oh, so happy
I feel happy
Not crappy

I don't understand it.

Backyard Rabbits

I walk in my yard and I see no rabbits. I see no rabbit tracks. I see no rabbit droppings. "I crowche downe too ye grounde but fynde nor spoore nor scent."

But when I let the dogs out, their first stop is always a scatter of droppings.

I think they watch the yard all day to see where the passing herds of rabbit do their business. Nothing else for them to do. If I was a dog locked behind a fence all day, I'd be bored enough to bark at passing joggers, too.

4915, the Magic Number

Because 4 + 5 = 9 and 9 + 6 = 15!

Nearly A Coma

It was last night. Instead of stopping at a drive-thru or going home for supper I shopped and bought a movie. While I was shopping, blood sugar plummetted. I drove to a restaurant, but I was reeling. Felt like I might pass out. I've never had such a sugar-hit before. Wolfed the meal and in a few minutes I was OK. Since I don't necessarily feel anything until I measure in the 35 m/D range, I must have been quite a lot lower than that. Almost a medical emergency, averted by Coke and fries.

Lesson for the day: Don't break your routine. Ever. It keeps you alive.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cat Update

The carcass has not moved. It begins to swell.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Lost 8 Pounds In 2 Days

Now you can, too.

This amazing weight loss secret is so proverbiant that my wingleton has told me to belare when I let you in on the snoglar.

But I'm going ahead anyway.

I lost 4 pounds between breakfast and lunch. Then I lost 4 more between lunch and dinner.

And that's all there is to it!

[These results are not typical. Your results may vary. Weight loss based on severe dehydration, bloodletting, amputation or firehose diarrhea may have undesirable long term effects.]

{True fact, this blog is an ad-manipulator. I'm watching to see if diet-ads show up.}

My World Goes Black Every 8 Seconds

You probably don't notice that your world goes black every time you blink. If your brain is anything like functional, it has learned to process out these moments of blindness. But not mine.

After a while, it learns to ignore the blacknesses again, but every time I urinate I notice that the lights are flickering. In fact, what I have noticed is that I am blinking. And afterward, the world keeps going black every few seconds for a couple minutes.

Believe it or not.

A Good Day For Scavengers

Not at all to my surprise, the kitten on the road has not been picked up. Now its head is smashed to naught. I wonder why in two days no scavengers have taken it apart. A city without a population of scavengers is doomed to smell hell.

Wonkered Redirect

Go to the Free Dictionary by Farlex

Look up WHIPPLETREE (A synonym for whiffletree. Drovers will know whereof I speak.)

You get the article on dogwood.


Monday, November 3, 2008

SCSI Mouse?

How well I still remember the first time I opened a mouse and looked behind the ball.

The rollers both had big gummy rings on them, right where the ball touched them. OBVIOUSLY the gummy ring was there to make the ball adhere better to the roller so that the mouse would track better. Only after I looked at another mouse and discovered much smaller gummy rings did I realize that it was skin oil combined with dust mites and ringworm that builds up as the mousepad sheds!

Now those rings gross me out. I am compelled to scrape them off whenever I feel the slightest irregularity in the rolling of the ball.

I don't know why it doesn't gross me out to TOUCH the goo-rings. It should. That stuff is NASTY!

Cause And Effect... NOT!

A Lesson Straight Out Of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Just because B follows A without any intervening activity, don't presume that A caused B.

The night of the Daylight Saving Time switch my computer shut down. That is, when I checked it in the morning, it had turned itself off. Mysterious. It has never turned itself off before. When I restarted it, the BIOS no longer detected my CD-ROM drive. It was OBVIOUS that something having to do with the Daylight Saving switch had caused the power-down and the loss of the CD-ROM. OBVIOUS.

So I don't check the basics. Whether it's all cabled up correctly. After all I didn't open the case overnight. What could have changed? Instead I try to reset the CMOS (i.e. BIOS). I download and install a NEW bios. I fiddle with it until I'm convinced the drive somehow blew up during the night, so I disable it in the BIOS and leave it at that.

For a while.

But I get to wondering. Maybe I should learn how to swap out the drive. I don't want it broken, because sometimes I want to boot from CD. So I open the case and examine the fixtures and the cabling. Nothing surprising, except that the CD cable is a transparent flat orange plastic ribbon cable instead of the usual multi-wire in gray ribbon cable of the type that is hooked up to the hard drive. Curious, I touch the orange ribbon and THE CONNECTOR POPS OFF OF THE CD-ROM DRIVE! How long it had been cocked to within a hair of coming off, I don't know, but overnight it must have vibrated just enough to become disconnected.

Plugged the connector back in and everything worked fine.

Lesson: Test those untested assumptions, bucko.

Scofflaws Risking Kids

I suppose I should have taken their license number and yodeled up the police.
Stopped at an intersection, I saw in the car ahead a couple with a small kid. Rather than have the kid ride in an approved car seat, they had taught her to ride on the floor under the passenger's legs. Every now and again she would pop her head up and look around and after a bit the mother would get her back on the safety of the floor.
Talk about a law having exactly the opposite of the affect intended. We legislate child seats to protect the kids; we enforce by ticketing when we "see" a child not in a seat; the adults learn to hide the child so as not to be "seen." Makes me wonder how many children are riding in trunks.

Vile as a Gas Station

So I go into the commode-room this morning and the stench is strong as onion aftershave. The urinal wasn't flushed all day Friday and it's been stewing all weekend. VILE. Men are such pigs.

Dead Kittens Aren't Much Fun

Saw a dead kitten in a school zone on the road today. Should it be there when I cross the road the other way on the way back at the end of the day I know that nobody cares about trauma to Bossier children.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


People who start acronyms with letters that start with vowels, but that are not vowels themselves, are asking for trouble.

Today on the commute I saw a billboard: Win A LPD TV

Right. Win A Easy Chair. Trouble, I'm tellin' ya.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Tale Of Too Many Js

Jim James Jim John Josh Joshua Jason John JD Jamie James Jason Joey Jory Jaie Joanna George Gina Gabe 

Who did I Miss?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

They All Start With a Vowel

I just realized this morning that every single Pig-Latin word starts with a vowel.

What an amazing statistical improbability!

My fave PL Phrase for Today:
"Ourfay orescay" (That's 'four score' not 'four cores' - no way to tell except for the z sound of the s in cores.)
Fun to say!

The End of an AC

The end of that old AC unit came yesterday. Even with chain lube and WD-40 slathered all over the fan the bearings finally froze up good and for all. Perfect timing. Today's high will be 60 degrees F.

So out come the scissors and I lops off the power cord. I give the window a little lift and - clunk - the AC falls off the house.

I'll pick it up after the rain clears.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Seeing the Pacific

I can rememember the first time I saw the Pacific ocean.
I was 3 or 4.
I saw an island. And I said to myself. "A lake you can see the other side. The ocean you can't."
A four-year-old's understanding...

Friday, October 3, 2008

HPC 2008 RTM!

That's the straight dope from Microsoft. It would have been nice if somewhere in the news release they had mentioned what the acronyms mean.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sometimes A Cut-Endian

Funny. When it comes to Subway, I'm a cut-endian! Also, if I cut my own sandwich, I start on the cut. There seems to be quite a variety of rules involved in where I take the first bite.

If I fold, I start on the fold, but only on the round end. Which makes me a Folded Round-Endian as well.

And I seem to be a Top-Uppian, too. If it's on a bun, I never hardly ever turn the bun top to the bottom before biting.

Neither Fight Nor Flight

Peter and I were walking home to the parking lot after work last night. We waited at an intersection for the traffic to clear or the light to change. I was watching the wrong light and in my perennial drowsiness got my signals crossed somehow, starting across the street while traffic was still coming down the road at something like 80 feet per second. I saw a pickup truck bearing down on me, with the likely result of pancakedom, so I picked up my feet and ran the rest of the way across the street, avoiding collission.

But no adrenalin flowed.

Now, why would anyone have a close call and not trigger a fight or flight response? It doesn't make sense, unless the adrenal glands are shot or the little thingummy in the brain that is supposed to trigger them is kittywonker.

Mebbe I'll ask the doctor.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Frederate THIS

From a chat session today...

THEY: Who/what is Channel Frederator?

ME: Somehow affiliated with Nickelodon Network, they are an animation clearinghouse. Many of the best young upstarts in animation - and not just computer-animation - submit their work for weekly podcast publication. Usually as entertaining as I can stand. Sometimes disturbing. Occasionally boring or too cute to bear.

The Coming Employsion

I look forward to recessions because they are followed by employment explosions, or as I call them, employsions. You get the best of all possible worlds - a long, agonizing period of unemployment... then a brief window of opportunity to get a low-paying job doing something you hate that you're not properly qualified to do. And then your VPN quits on you and you're isolated like a bear on a drifting floe.

I'm A Round-Endian

Today I discovered that I am, though I don't want to be one, a round-endian. I want to be a square-endian. I would much prefer to be one. After I get a round-end start I proceed with the squarest sharpest parts rather than continuing with the round parts. But I find myself fighting a desire to start on the square end because it's easier. Instead, contrary to my inclination, I always start at the round end because it is proper.

Who would have thought eating a sandwich could be so complicated?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There Is No Cause For Alarm

Our fire lighting just came on and the stairwell fans started up. Building security assures us there is no reason to be alarmed.

Tomato Soup Is Horrible

I went down to the restaurant which shall be nameless and ordered their lunch special, Tomato Basil Soup.

It's horrible. Tastes like tomatos with basil. A bowl of meatless spaghetti sauce. Putting crackers in it didn't help a bit.

Ah well. I knew I didn't like tomato soup. But it's the special! How could I resist?

A Little Vomit Goes A Long Way

I was brushing Twitch this weekend. He doesn't much like it. After 5 minutes he threw up on my lap. "How to train your master in 1 easy step."

I think he has very sensitive skin.

No wait. It wasn't Twitch. Twitch has been dead 14 years. HIS hair would come out in clumps. It was Spike.

Twitch was a 95 pound shepherd-collie. Very long flowing hair. Spike is a 75 pound purebred shepherd. Reasonably short hair.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Never Chat Any More

I would tell people I'd chat and chat, but in fact, I've been saving my keystrokes for this blog. So quit bugging me to chat.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chain Lube Saves The WD-40

So, OK, I was watching Diff'rent Strokes and suddenly my AC starts squealing again. WD-40 only lasts a short while. It's great for loosening something, but it's the Fargle Blork as a permanent lubricant. So I took my can of chain lube (Did I mention I drive a motorcycle?) and sprayed it where I had sprayed the WD. The fan started right back up. Now I have to figure out how to clean chain-lube out of the cooling vanes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

WD-40 Saves the Day

Yesterday, I spent the day home sick in bed. Oh, boo hoo. That's not what this is about.

Although it is getting to be fall around here, I ran the window unit during the heat of the day. It's a little Whirlpool that drives 5000 BTU of glorious coolness into the room. I bought it around 1995, and it has run full-cycle most summers since. That's a lot of fan time. So it's little wonder that yesterday while I was sleeping the squirrel-cage began making a terrible squalling noise, akin to the sound of a rabbit being eaten alive. It woke me up, carnsarn it.

To troubleshoot, I turned it off then back on. The squalling noise was gone. Because the fan wasn't turning at all any more. I reached into the unit and tried turning it by hand, observing that it was jammed good. I could turn it, but it took some oomph.

So, conjecturing that the squealing was from a dry bearing in the fan motor, I sprayed WD-40 through the cooling vanes into the area where I reckoned the center of the fan was hubbed. A fair guess -- most fans are driven by a motor at their center.

After about ten minutes of spraying, turning by hand, and trying the power switch, the fan loosened up.

Will it last one more summer? Will I post about it again? Will anyone read this or care? Well, maybe the dogs will care. They didn't like the squealing any more than I did.

Where O Where Did Midi Mapper Go?

Today while I was Rhapsodying Santana's Black Magic Woman Peter challenged me to find it performed on harpsichord. Not one to balk at a challenge, I did a quick Google search but only found more Santana and some garbage links.

But I remembered back in the mid 90s that I used to reassign the instruments in midi files - I just didn't remember how I had done it. A little more googling reminded me that I had used the Windows 3 program Midi Mapper. But that program hasn't been available since Windows 95!

MIDI Eddie (Found it at does the trick, though. Provides a nice studio-style control panel for repurposing the instruments and the mix.

Ahh, the satisfaction of rising to a challenge! Nyaah, Peter!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For crine outloud. It's broken. Deal with it.

My buddy sends me his hard drive, OK? And asks "Say, this baby cronked on me. Can you get my data back?" And I tells him "No can do." And he's happy. Silly boy. He lost three months' work.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Biker At Heart

Today is the first cool day since spring in these parts, so I rode my Kawasaki KLR250 to work. Braced by a chilly 58-degree ride on the freeway I got to the office feeling ever so energized.

But my feelings were hurt, oh so hurt, when Peter asked "Did you ride that little bike?"

Size doesn't matter. It's all about getting the feeling of taking a rocket-ride.

Does make me wonder, though... How does the Rocketeer stay warm?

77 Months Ill And Counting

Today is exactly 77 months since the day I took ill.

I have been seeing doctors regularly - some would say frequently - since tax day 2002 in the hope that they might be able to diagnose me. To date, they have discovered a dozen or so serious conditions, none of which is in any way related to what I have complained of.

This year I endured about $17,000 in diagnostic tests. I live half my life attached to a machine to help me breathe, take a half-dozen prescription drugs and get twice the rest of the average American.

It is an indictment of 21st century medication that I remain undiagnosed and am sicker today than when it all started.

I am not Vanda Tortschnekkel

OK. Let's be clear about this right from the start. My name is not Vanda Tortschnekkel. That is a made-up name. I searched to be sure there wasn't a Vanda Tortschnekkel I might be impersonating, and there isn't, so I guess it's OK for me to represent myself as Vanda Tortschnekkel. But I am not Vanda Tortschnekkel. Just want to be absolutely clear about that. Anything I write and sign as Vanda Tortschnekkel is in fact written by a particular person who is actually someone other than Vanda Tortschnekkel.