Category Archives: personal

Great Job Receipt Checker

Today, I saw a mother and her son steal a box of Honey Nut Cheerios Marion, Illinois Sam’s Club. They walked right out with it.

My dad and I were getting ready to check out when I saw the woman and her late junior high, or early high school son walk through one of the many closed but not roped off checkout lines that are endemic at all “discount department stores” these days. They went to the concession stand at the front of the store and bought a bottle of water and stood there until someone went to leave and was being “checked” by the “receipt guard.” When she was occupied, they walked right past to their car.

The cart was empty except for the Cheerios.

I thought about embarrassing the receipt checker by asking her if she checked every receipt, or perhaps asking to talk to the manager, but I didn’t. It would have embarrassed my dad, and probably got the woman fired from a job that doesn’t even pay above poverty. And for what? Participating in security charade that exists nationwide?

Nah. Fuck The Man™.

Longbranch

My favorite coffee shop in southern Illinois is Longbranch in Carbondale. Well it used to be, or maybe it still is by default. I don’t know. It’s different. It’s a very different place that I fell in love with back in high school. I know I’ve changed in the past 20 years, but my tastes on coffee shops hasn’t.

Basically, what was once a coffee shop or “coffeehouse” as Longbranch puts it, is now a vegetarian cafe. It’s not like Longbranch is doing a bait and switch, it says “vegetarian cafe” right on their sign.

Back on 1993 or 1994 when my friends first started going to Longbranch, it was dark with candles in the tables, a bookcase of tattered paperbacks and board games, a big long table down the middle and cigarette smoke hung I. The air. I felt so grownup and sophisticated going there, talking politics and music with my friends while being surrounded by college students.

Back then the back room was a vintage clothing store. It was always dark and seemed weird and boring and a bit disturbing and pointless, so I never went in there. I still hold those thoughts about used clothing store.

Years later, the clothing store moved into the building directly behind Longbranch and the back room became the quiet smoke free section with table service for the kitchen that served quesadillas and vegetarian pizzas, and hosted open mic nights on a tiny stage. The was a big difference between the front and back rooms. The front kept its smokey and funky mystique, while the back was bright and more subdued.

Eventually, Illinois passed a law banning smoking in all restaurants &endash; which from a public health perspective is for the best &endash; and that hurt the ambiance for me, I was in the minority for thinking that back then, but I still think it. I’m sure the smoking ban changed the clientele. I know many people stayed away from the Longbranch because the didn’t want to brave the smoke to place their order. (It was a bit strange to have the smoking section in the front, but that’s how they rolled back then.)

I think it was in the early aughts when Longbranch remodeled and expanded rand reoriented the bar and expanded the kitchen. They got rid of the last recliner and couch and brought in little metal cafe tables and chairs. I think that’s around the time they started billing themselves as a cafe too. It’s probably better for business, but it’s just not the same.

It’s just not interesting to watch people eat faking’ bacon BLTs, and waiters asking if anyone meeds something. Maybe it’s because I only come back when school is out and so no one is here (Probably. Hopefully.), but this place has no appeal to me anymore except nostalgia for place that is both here and not here.

Oh well. At least Cafe Pergolessi still exists.

BarBot

I’ve been strongly considering making a barbot (a.k.a. a drinkbot), even thought don’t usually drink at home. I haven’t given much thought to its cosmetics, instead I’ve been focusing on mechanics of the bot. I figure, the mechanics will dictate the form, and if one sprinkles enough LEDs on it, can look look fine.

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Space Mobile!

Shortly after Maximilian was born, I decided that he should get a mobile to place over his crib. I knew what theme I wanted. I wanted a space mobile. I looked all over, but couldn’t find any in stores, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to spend 90 bucks on one from Etsy, so I decided to make one myself. Normally, these things are made out felt, but not having a sewing machine, decided make Maximilian’s out of paper.

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Discouraging Voters

Emily Bazelon at Slate has written a short essay lamenting the fact that access to polls has become a partisan issue. In other words, the Republican Party is transparently engaging in widespread voter suppression.

I will never understand why someone would not want to make it as easy as possible to let people vote. There’s something wrong if you’re in politics and you depend on an unengaged electorate.

Mac & Cheese

I will never understand why someone would feel the need pour a can of corn into a perfectly fine pot of mac & cheese.

Commercial Aircraft at Moffett Field

Last week, while driving into work, I saw a rather unusual sight. An AirTran airliner was taxiing at Moffett. It looked like it had just landed. Why was it there? Did NASA buy the aircraft, and it simply wasn’t repainted yet? Was it an emergency landing, and if so, why not just land at Mineta which is just like five minutes further south? Was it some sort of bizzare mistake?

Googling around, I found the flight: AirTran 8141 from Halsey Field San Diego to Moffett. Halsey is NAS North Island, so it was flight from one government airport to another, but still seems a bit unusual for it be a commercial flight.

Princess Leia is a Racist Bitch

So some guy found a bunch of old Starlogs and comes across this piece of information:

April 1979: As for why Chewbacca doesn’t receive a medal at the end of “Star Wars,” this is as good of an explanation as any other.

I think the reason the wook [sic] didn’t get a medal was because Princess Leia simply isn’t that tall. He could have received his after the ceremony.

Chewbacca doesn’t get a medal because Princess Leia isn’t tall enough?

Bull. Shit.

Chewbacca gets screwed over publicly because Princess Leia is a racist / speciesist bitch.

  1. She uses a slur describe Chewbacca.
  2. When trying to think of the most disgusting thing she can think of, she picks wookies. A woman that has been in a trash compactor with a tentacle monster, thinks a person that saved helped save her from execution is grosser.

Who gets medals? The two white guys. The brown guy that convinces Han to go back, the guy that’s shooting the guns on the Millennium Falcon to save that farm boy’s ass, is the one that gets bupkis.

Fuck her.