Wikipedia is Evil

I’m the kind of kid who used to read the encyclopedia (a 1957 edition of the World Book that my grandmother bought when my mother was in high school, and my mother still owns it) for fun.

For people like me, WikiPedia is a bad, BAD thing.

Tonight I started by looking up information on steam trains.

Three hours later, I realized that I’d somehow done enough “open in new tab” sidetrack browsing that I was now reading about spy satellites, B-52 bombers, and the SR-71 spy plane.

Surrealism at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru

Last night, we were up late and decided to go through a local McDonalds for some breakfast on our way home.

As we pulled into the drive-thru, a guy in a black Impala was giving his order, with a lady in a tan Honda or Toyota behind him. The first car finished their order, and the lady in the tan car pulled up to the speaker.

We then watched and heard this:

Speaker: “Welcome to McDonalds, can I take your order?”
Lady: (highly agitated) “You know WHAT? That guy in front of me was driving as slow as possible. I’ve been waiting in line forever, burning gas money, after I drove all the way out here. Are you still serving lunch?”
Speaker: “No ma’am, I’ll be happy to take your breakfast order.”
Lady: “YOUVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! My clock says 4:17 and breakfast doesn’t start till 4:30”
Speaker: “Ma’am, your clock is wrong, our clock here says 4:48.”
Lady: “No, my clock is right! It’s not time to serve breakfast yet.”
Speaker: “Ma’am, I’ll be happy to take your breakfast order right now, we’re not serving lunch at this time.”
Lady: “THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I drove all the way out here, waited in line, and now you’re not serving
lunch, and Jack-In-The-Box is closed.”
Speaker: “We’ll be happy to take your breakfast order.”
Lady: “Are you going to pay for my gas money too, that I burned coming out here?”
Speaker: “No Ma’am, we don’t do that.”
Lady: “This is such a crock of shit.”

She angrily drove off, while Amy and I sat there gaping at her.

What kind of person argues with McDonalds about their breakfast hours, and complains about having to drive “all the way” to one? There’s more than a hundred and fifty McDonalds locations in the Houston area; four of those were within a two mile radius of this store. It’s not like they’re going to suddenly start making the lunch menu because someone’s clock is set differently.

The ironic thing? A Jack-In-The-Box exactly two miles down the road is open 24 hours, and they serve all of their menu all the time.

Living in a free country was nice while it lasted.

On Tuesday, October 17th, the President will sign the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law.

This bill:

* re-establishes President Bush’s military tribunals, which were rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional
* legalizes U.S. war crimes committed before December 30, 2005
* disallows any person harmed by the U.S., in violation of the Geneva Conventions, from filing a claim in U.S. court
* strips legal residents of the U.S. of their right to challenge their detention in court if they’re accused of being “enemy combatants”
* abolishes the right of Guantanamo detainees to challenge their detention, which in effect pre-judges all of them as guilty
* approves the “CIA program” that allows waterboarding and other forms of torture
* names any individual, including citizens, as an “unlawful enemy combatant” if they provide “material support” to those engaged in hostilities against the U.S.

It was nice living in a free country, while it lasted. Now, you can’t even criticize the Vice-President without getting arrested.

Braaaaaiiinnnsssss!

I’ve long been a fan of zombie books. I’ve read all four of David Wellington‘s “Monster” novels, as well as the four “Infected” novels by David Moody along with anything else I can get my hands on.

Based on a recommendation, I recently picked up “World War Z” by Max Brooks (son of Mel).

Hands down, this is one of the best “zombie” books I’ve ever read. I can’t put it down (I’ll finish it tonight, for sure) and am looking forward to the movie version coming out in 2008.

I’m not cut out to be a plumber.

Apparently the P-trap that I bought, the nuts and compression fittings that came with it, and the old “waste pipe” and nut on it were all crap. When I assembled everything, there were leaks where the nuts and compression fittings held things together. We gave up and called someone who does this for a living.

The plumber cut most of the waste pipe off, and replaced everything between the bottom of the sink tailpipe and the stub of waste pipe with a new PVC P-trap, pipe, and compression fittings/nuts.

Without the “late night emergency” charge, it would have only cost us $138. Not a bad price, really – we’ll give them a call (during normal hours) next time we need something done.

If you need good 24-hour plumbing service in Houston, give 911 Plumbing a call.

At least the plumber said I did an excellent job on the sink tailpipe. 😎

Plumbing Adventures

I went to go remove the P-trap under the “blue bathroom” sink, to clear
out a clog and fix a slow drain. In the process of unscrewing the nut
(which appeared to be original ’57), it disintegrated.

“Oh well, I’ll just need to go pick up another P-trap and parts.”

The sink tailpiece virtually dropped into my hands, and about 10 more
minutes of work got the nut loose that held the other end of the
P-trap into the pipe that goes into the drain system.

When that final nut came loose, the trap fell into the sawed-off Home
Depot bucket I had sitting under the sink, giving me a splashed face
full of nasty sink water. Ick.

Turns out the clog was a little past the P-trap in the drain pipe.

We went to Lowes, 30 minutes before closing, where we picked up:

– Shop Vac (Amy’s idea: “suck it out”)
– Accessories for the shop vac
– P-trap and new nuts
– Short metal drain snake
– Strap wrenches (the $15 adjustable pipe wrench I had was shit)
– Hair strainer trap thing for the sink drain

her: “Do you think we need another long piece that goes to the sink?”
me: “Nah, I think its just fricton fit, it fell out when I undid the
trap” <--- BRILLIANT WORDS HERE Got home. We'd gotten the right trap (we took the old one with us to compare), but as it turns out.. The sink tailpiece is (well, was) threaded. What had happened was the threads on the pipe were so corroded and rusted, they just disintegrated. The only thing that had been holding the sink tailpipe in was friction and force from the P-trap. By the time we discovered this, it's 7:30pm. No Home Depot or Lowes stores within 30 minutes drive time close later than 8pm. There are no other open hardware stores in the area that I know of. All I need is an 1.25"x8" threaded sink tailpiece pipe. This is annoying. By the way, her Shop Vac idea for getting out the monster pipe clog worked.