By nightflameblue (Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:41:48 AM EST) (all tags)

Babysitting. How about you get low to the ground and I run YOU over asshole? Change to the music channel. Just turn it off. Zip it.

The weekend was a joyous good time.

Started mid Friday with my sister-in-law calling me at work, repeatedly. Mrs. NFB's family has this weird deal about phone conversations where there's always AT LEAST two more calls to verify everything that was just discussed. So, she calls, asks if we can babysit so her and her husband can both work overtime Saturday morning, I say yes. She calls back to make sure I really meant yes. Then she calls back again to make sure I understood how long. Then she called back again to make sure I was gonna be up early enough. Then she called back again. . .

Whatever, got that all resolved.

So, our niece comes over at 6:30. Nothing better than a four year old princess at 6:30 in the morning on a Saturday, when she thinks she should be sleeping in.

But, hey, we got along OK for the most part. Had some giggles and fun. She helped us clean the house and earned herself a dollar by picking up all the puppy toys and putting them away for us. She ate like a horse the entire time she was there. Seriously. Pankcakes, cereal, popcorn, more cereal, candy, more cereal, hot chocolate, and then she started asking for more, but we were going to be going out to lunch so held her back for about fifteen minutes.

Then SIL came and picked her up and ran home to get BIL and they were going to take us out to lunch to thank us for baby sitting.

Then our niece downed two big heaping plates of noodles. I asked her if she had a tapeworm and they said she'd been a little sick and hadn't eaten hardly anything in several days. Well, she made up for it that day. Wow.

Then, leaving the restaurant, the big red-letter event of the weekend. . .


I look around carefully, see no one, start to back out of my parking space. I see the big-ass SUV behind and somewhat to the side of where I'm at throw it into reverse. As I reach to shift back into drive and pull back forward, *SMASH*. Hard enough to move the car.

He pulls back into his spot, I pull back into mine, and sit there for a few seconds, trying to calm myself down before going out there to throttle the guy. The calming down isn't working. Mrs. NFB looks at me worriedly as I slam the car into park, throw open my door, and run out.

She follows, grabbing my coat, trying to hold me back.

See, let me explain something. I've been driving since I was sixteen. I was hit once in my pickup about three years ago or so. Not once was I ever hit by anyone else in any of my other vehicles. I've never hit anyone except for one barely moving tap the first night I had my old Nissan, way back in the early years of High School. And that was a glare-ice incident. I'm just really, really good at avoiding accidents for the most part. When it's possible to avoid it, I avoid it.

I got this new 2007 Saturn Aura XR at the year-end clearance sale sometime in early December I believe. It's due for its first oil-change right now. And I've been hit twice by big-ass SUVs since getting it. My first brand spanking new, really nice car, and ass-fuckers in big-ass SUVs see the god damn thing as a target. People follow me everywhere about two inches off my bumper. And it's not like I'm just barely creeping along to justify it. There's no threat in the rear of this car. It's like there's a target on it.

So, back to the moment.

The guy gets out of his big-ass SUV and walks towards me slowly. I see the look of fear on his face. He stands about chest-high to me. The look of fear calmed me, finally. Though I was still angry enough that throughout our conversation I was just shaking uncontrollably. My writing in the number exchange game was barely readable.

I'm just thankful he wasn't one of those "I'm tougher than you asshole" guys, because there was every chance I was gonna pop somebody in the face if they tried to play it that way.

Mrs. NFB, sensing the danger was over, fled to the car. She doesn't handle stress-situations well.

Usually, I do. Somehow, I made it through this one without even saying what I thought. If you're gonna need a guy to help out with a car-scar, you don't want him thinking you're a raging asshole.

As we assessed our vehicles, we realized that there was one, tiny, barely noticeable divot in the paint on my bumper, and just a little silver paint rubbed off on his. After that hard of a hit, we were both surprised. He said, "damn man, what kind of a car is that that can take a hit like that and not even look scratched bad?"

Holding back the rude commets about how his driving must show him a lot of vehicle dammage, I told him what kind.

"Wow. I should look into one of those."


We exchange info, get everything taken care of, blah, blah, blah, there you go and we're back in the car.

So, the anger slowly went away. I told Mrs. NFB that if we ever come into some massive pile of money to not let me buy some really expensive car, because I feel sick about my really new somewhat nice car being banged up. I'd hate to think what I would feel when some jackass in an SUV runs into my eighty grand sports car.

But, the anger came back when talking with mom. Leave it to ma to make a bad situation worse.

She pops off with something about when she's driving her husbands big-ass SUV she can't see cars as low to the ground as mine at all. Now, I've asked multiple times why he needs a big-ass SUV. She repeatedly says he needs it for "all his stuff." He's an insurance salesman. "All his stuff" is two briefcases and a laptop. A suitcase if it's an overnight trip. You could fit that shit in a compact. But, that's not this conversation.

So, I ask, "Why do people need to drive vehicles that are four thousand miles tall?"

"I don't know? Maybe you should start driving your pickup again?"

"Yeah, that's a good idea. Let's piss twenty-five grand down our leg so we can have a nice vehicle sit in the driveway while we drive our old, barely functional piece of crap."

"I just know that driving a bigger vehicle is safer!"

"How is driving a vehicle that's so tall you can't see other vehicles SAFER?"

"Well, you wouldn't have been hit if you were in a bigger vehicle!"

"Mom, stop it."

"I'm just saying, you should really have a bigger. . ."

"Stop, or I hang up."

"It's not safe driving. . ."

"Goodbye mom."


I'm sorry. My car would not be 2007 Car of the Year if it wasn't safe. And driving a bigger vehicle isn't safer. You want to be safer? Drive a vehicle appropriate for your uses. Going to the grocery store? Drive a car that has a nice size trunk. Carrying two briefcases and a suitcase? Again, a car with a nice size trunk, or hell, a back seat. Running a rescue operation in the middle of the desert? OK, maybe an SUV.

I'm fucking sick of being bounced off of by SUV drivers because they claim they can't see me. You don't need to be the biggest son-of-a-bitch on the road to be safe. Your not safe. You're just more of a menace to everyone else.

If mom wouldn't have turned this into a chance to lecture me, the anger probably would have went away by now. But no, rant and rave crazy woman. Tell me how stupid I am for driving a respectable car while you storm around town in your huge monster truck.

The next time she complains about gas prices, there's going to be a war.

I refuse to cave on this point. I will not buy a huge vehicle just to defend myself against huge vehicles. Fuck you. Pay attention to your driving and drive a vehicle you're capable of handling or stay the fuck off the road.


More cheerily now.

I bought a pro-level compressor/limiter plug-in for Logic this weekend because, honestly, I hate the way the built-in compressor colors the sound. The one negative is that as a channel comes to life that has the compressor put on it, it clicks.

So, I took all my crossfade points and built in automation to go from dead silence up to whatever level I need on the sliders. Took the poppy intro bits and turned them into glistening silence.

Then I got really drunk and entertained myself by playing the song and watching the sliders move on their own. That was awesome.

This week I look to spend more time writing another song, and less time fucking with mixing. Because I'm about to shift it all into creation mode. w00tz and shit.

Had a moment to show AFKS the first tune, the one I showed you guys last week. His comment? "That main riff is probably OK. Don't much like the rest of it."

Thanks for your support.


So, Mrs. NFB lectures me about staying up to late. Then she sits up watching TV in bed until eleven and feels like shit the next day.

I asked her why she did that.

"TV in the bedroom is bad. Especially a good TV. Because I want to watch it. Because it's there. And I stay up too late watching it."

"Just turn it off."


The pups are not amused. In fact, they've taken to leaving the bedroom and going to sleep out in the living room because they're sick of the TV being on after their normal bedtime.

Mrs. NFB has lost her early-sleeping buddies. She likes to go to bed at eight o'clock, and the pups with her. That's changed now.

But TV is one of those addictions that doesn't count as an addiction. It's not a problem and she can stop anytime she wants. Or at least, that's what she tells me. Right before launching into a huge "DANCING WITH THE STARS STARTS NEXT WEEK AND BIG BROTHER IS ON AND SURVIVOR IS ON AND IT'S GONNA BE AWESOME!" rant.

But hey, until she starts taking her tiredness out on me, I don't care. She's happy, or so she claims. Good enough.


Zippy's mission this morning was to take care of a system in the receiving area that's got a chassis fan not working, and therefore won't boot up. BB assigns Zippy to take care of the problem right when he gets here. Here's the basic run-down of how that's going.

  1. Spend twenty-five minutes surfing the web and chatting with his wife online.
  2. Spend ten minutes asking BB questions about the chassis fan that's out.
  3. Spend another twenty minutes surfing the web and chatting with his wife online.
  4. Finally go out to look at that system.
  5. Bring that system back to his desk.
  6. Spend another ten minutes surfing the web and chatting with his wife.
  7. Ask BB if we have any power supplies for these systems. Because that'll obviously fix that chassis fan.
  8. Replace power supply.
  9. Try to boot up the system. Let it sit error-code beeping for about ten minutes while he chats with his wife and surfs the web.
  10. Turn off the system and go look for another power supply. Because when that didn't fix it, it's obviously because that power supply is bad too.
  11. Give up on looking for another power supply and go back to surfing the web and chatting with his wife.

Not that I'm above surfing the web *COUGH*. But hey, if there's something that needs fixing, I fix it first.

Case in point, my first job this morning was a missing section from our online catalog search. Found the missing section, updated it to correct the error (an 'o' instead of a '0'), and got it up and running before doing anything else. So why it's taking him so long to just go grab a chassis fan from one of the junker systems we have upstairs I don't understand.

BB and myself believe Zipster will try to turn this into a week long project. We have faith that he may even be able to stretch it into two weeks. In the meantime, the dock boys are pissed that they're missing one of their two systems.

Way to go Zippy!

Enough. I've got a finger-nail clipping idiot to destroy. Clipping nails at work is a capital offense. Outs.

< Some days I don't feel like being the neighborly sort | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
ATTENTION BIG ASS SUV DRIVING MORONS! | 43 comments (43 topical, 0 hidden)
Zippy update. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:18:30 AM EST
He went and grabbed a completely different, much older system out of the storage room, swapped the hard-drive and DVD ROM and and is currently booting up the older system with the newer system's hard-drive and DVD installed. Instead of just replacing the faulty fan.

This is the point where he takes a five minute job and stretches it into two weeks. Ever moved a Windows drive from one system to another? EXPLOSIONS!

This may be one of the most awesome things he's ever done.

Suggest to him by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:30:55 AM EST
That it may be an 'OS level conflict' and that he should try installing Windows ME on it, since 'it has fan redundancy for high traffic family use'.

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

[ Parent ]
Another update. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:50:40 AM EST
Swapping video cards now. After attempting to boot in the old system with the newer system's harddrive. Oh, and then, when that didn't work, attempting to put the old system back together.

This is turning into one entertaining little ditty.

[ Parent ]
SUV by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:27:37 AM EST
Imagine being on a bike.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
Been there, done that. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:33:44 AM EST
Gotten the long-term injuries to prove it.

[ Parent ]
People by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:53:45 AM EST
I go ballistic when I hear the "but SUVs are safer!" argument because while they may be slightly safer for the people inside them (though even that's arguable) they are far more dangerous for everyone else. Worse, people buy them because they have kids, yet whole the kid may be slightly safer inside them, your chance of accidentally running over your own kid increases dramatically. The number of squished children has risen dramatically since the SUV craze started.

It is also my impression that the people who tend to buy them are those that are less confident of their driving abilities. Usually with good reason.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
I hate government mandates. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 3) #9 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:01:25 AM EST
But I seriously believe SUVs above a certain weight should be a different license and that people getting that license should have to pass a driving and parking test with them that STRESSES control to the breaking point.

It'll never happen, but it needs to.

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:59:52 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky

[ Parent ]
Efficiency I'll give you by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:09:07 AM EST
The other two, I don't see.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
unexpectantly silent by garlic (2.00 / 0) #16 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:06:56 AM EST
could be a pedestrian danger, assuming the driver is also not looking out.

[ Parent ]
maybe by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:39:26 AM EST
I saw a scare store on that on the local news station but have seen no stats that bear it out. Given the number of pedestrians wearing iPods, I suspect the silence is meaningless, especially in your average modern city, where the ambient noise drowns out most passenger cars.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I'm looking for vehicle recommendations by garlic (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:06:00 AM EST
that are of higher efficiency, all weather, and can preferrably carry 4 comfortably.

[ Parent ]
honda civic by joh3n (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:14:36 AM EST
with all weathers comes damned close.

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

[ Parent ]
hybrid or gas? by garlic (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:36:13 AM EST
I saw at the car show this year that the hybrid version was very similar in efficiency to the prius. Didn't seem particularly better though.

[ Parent ]
Civic by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:44:29 AM EST
I researched a fair amount when I bought my Prius. The Civic is very much comparable in most ways. (Mileage, size, dependability.) The Prius seemed a bit more cohesively designed, though.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
yeah by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #24 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:10:52 PM EST
the prius has a lower coefficient of drag.

When my wife and I were researching the costs/advantages, we almost went with the prius but opted for the gas powered Civic, since the cost over time was about the same (or to the advantage of the Civic) when you balanced fuel vs upfront costs.

The one place where the Civic sealed the deal though was when I tested it on the highway and tried a  quick speedup to simulate say going around a semi.  Civic wins on acceleration, hands down.

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

[ Parent ]
Ural with a sidecar by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #21 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:46:07 AM EST
though Subaru's are really nice, too.

[ Parent ]
not easy to find. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:46:37 PM EST
My gf suggested the best way to get her to go on long bike trips would be one of these, but the only time I ever see them is at the annual bike show. They do seem pretty sweet though. A little on the pricey end -- for that price I could get a Harley.

[ Parent ]
We're supposed to have a dealer near us by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #37 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:01:20 PM EST
I've never driven out there to look at them. Cycle world reviewed them a few issues back, they're happiest at 55 and under, which makes it hard to commute with them.

[ Parent ]
Sure by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:48:20 AM EST
I want one of those. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #23 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:56:46 AM EST
So long as there's only one set of pedals. There's no way I'll ever get anyone else to want to pedal along, but at least I could take the family on my bike rides then.

[ Parent ]
It's hard to tell from the picture by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #25 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:57:46 PM EST
but, clearly, the back seat passengers don't pedal. I can't see the front. But surely, Fred, you'd be able to get Barney to help pedal to the Sacred Order of the Water Buffalo meetings.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
Our park has two of them to rent. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #26 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:01:23 PM EST
One of them has all four passengers with the ability to pedal, and one has only the front two passengers with the ability to pedal, the rear passengers being passive riders.

There's also a version with either two or four passive seats with a single, central seat in front with the only set of pedals. That'd likely be the one I'd end up with.

[ Parent ]
I don't think that by garlic (2.00 / 0) #33 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:49:46 PM EST
protects me from the cold very well. With 4 wheels, and low speed it might do better than my motorcycle on the ice.

[ Parent ]
You'll be pedaling by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #34 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:03:24 PM EST
besides by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:16:57 AM EST
When everyone is driving SUVs, what do you have to drive to be safer? A tank?

[ Parent ]
Parking is easier too by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #41 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 11:26:54 PM EST
In a Sherman tank! (SFW).

[ Parent ]
On the flip side.. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #28 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:03:43 PM EST
It gives me the chance to become giddy with delight whenever I hear stories about an SUV rolling and killing everyone inside.

Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
Like this? by LinDze (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:49:11 PM EST
Attention Guitar Playing Dudes. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:46:53 AM EST
Lileks on guitar stuff:

Then I saw it. Again. I’d seen it before, but it was gone the next time. Here it was again. Well If you save up your Best Buy gift cards and store credit and wait for a day when your decision to wander back to the musical instrument section coincides magically with an unannounced sale, what do you get? Or rather, what might you buy, after performing an elaborate series of justifications?

This. The reissued Seafoam Stratocaster. Complete with pre-aged plastic knobs.

We’re very happy together, thank you. I showed it to (G)Nat, expecting a WOW, DAD; she made a face. "It’s kinda ugly," she said.

You are not my child.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Not a huge strat fan. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:49:14 AM EST
But I dig that color. The bridge looks nasty though.

I'd heard Best Buy was starting to put a real musical instruments section together. Pretty cool idea for those who are handy enough to do their own instrument setups. Unfortunately, that's probably not the type of person that's going to buy an instrument at Best Buy.

[ Parent ]
Once I got rear ended... by 606 (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:09:15 AM EST
I drive a Ford Focus which I really like because it's small and zippy and has a lot of control. One day I was coming off a highway-type road towards an intersection but traffic was backed up right to the edge of the exit so I was like "whooaaaaa" and had to do the sudden stop thing. Stopped about a half foot from the car in front of me and I'm like "phew" when I look in my rear view and see the big-ass SUV barreling down on me.

There's no feeling quite like when you realize a vehicle is not going stop in time.


We got off the road and into a nearby parking lot to exchange info. The woman who was driving the behemoth comes out all shaking and such and she says "oh my, I promise I'll go get my brakes checked."

And I'm thinking "fuck you, bitch, your brakes are working perfectly fine but no commercial brake is going to stop your blinged out piece of shit multi-ton Ford Excursion in the same distance I can stop my Focus. It's basic fucking physics."

But I was glad that all the chromey shit at the front of her SUV had fallen off and shattered as it was all made of spray-painted plastic. That was good to see. My rear bumper was pretty much fine.

imagine dancing banana here

That sounds similar to my first one. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:30:10 AM EST
Nice icy roads, the guy in the bigass SUV was right on my bumper at the fastest speed I thought was safe for the conditions, around 45 on the highway. Guy in front of my starts spinning, so I slow carefully, get stopped just in time to not hit him, relax and forget the big-ass SUV is behind me and *BAM*. If he'd been following even a remotely safe distance, he may have gotten stopped. That is, if he weren't a brake-locker.

People don't get that you can't just *STOP* those big things. It's really almost like driving a commercial truck in some cases. I feel nervous as hell when one of my parents asks me to drive their vehicle. I just don't feel comfortable with it. And this coming from a guy who used to hall twenty-ton loads of silage around for a living.

[ Parent ]
I used to drive a Honda CRX by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #27 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:03:40 PM EST
Best car I've ever driven, I think, in terms of handling and gas mileage. I was hit at least 3 different times, and the excuse was always "I didn't see your little car!" Once, a gigantic redneck pick-up truck backed over the top of my hood as I laid on the horn (fortunately, my car was low enough that it only took the paint off; unfortunately, I was driving without insurance at the time, so I just took a $300 check instead of calling the cops).
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
Those CRXs are nice machines too. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:06:07 PM EST
It just makes me sick when some giant truck hits a sane sized car.

[ Parent ]
So, you were both in motion, eh? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 1) #30 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:35:46 PM EST
Guess that puts you both on the blame line.

Also, as long as you're avoiding reality, I'd like to mention that your eagerness toward violence over damage to a thing is quite telling.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

(Comment Deleted) by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #38 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:45:01 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by nightflameblue

[ Parent ]
I was not in motion. . . by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #39 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:47:09 PM EST
and was in fact trying to get back into drive to pull back into my spot before he hit me.

Methinks someone's a little defensive.  Reading comprehension is pretty hard these days.

[ Parent ]
Oh! by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #40 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:08:17 PM EST
So you managed to stop a fraction of a second before he did? You won the lottery!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Hardly. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #42 Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 02:34:10 AM EST
But you're welcome to believe what you wish.

[ Parent ]
A Nice Morning Drive by houser2112 (4.00 / 1) #43 Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 03:00:52 AM EST
This gives me an excuse to proselytize Rush:
A Nice Morning Drive.

Women and TV by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #44 Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 03:08:11 AM EST
Every woman I've dated has been the type of person to turn on the TV as soon as she gets home.  Mrs. Houser2112 even keeps the damn thing on when she's reading.  I can understand playing some music softly while reading, but TV is way too distracting for me.  I only turn on the TV if I know there's something I want to watch, or if I just can't find anything else to do to kill time.  I've tried to get her to not turn the TV on in the bedroom, but I've given up that fight.

*DING*DING*DING* by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #45 Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 04:02:27 AM EST
It was a long-fought battle to convert Mrs. NFB from TV-on reading time to music-on reading time. I understand that their minds can multi-task somewhat better and therefore the TV doesn't distract them from reading. In my home at least, there's an absolute NEED for background noise when reading for her. I could go either way, though I've always been a fan of music while reading. For me, if the TV is on, I'm likely to end up watching it whether I like the show or not. Took a long time for her to get that.

[ Parent ]
ATTENTION BIG ASS SUV DRIVING MORONS! | 43 comments (43 topical, 0 hidden)