The Hooker and Computer Problems

January 30, 2010

So, 6 days ago I went out for Chinese food with a bunch of people from work. A bunch of Chinese people (more on that in a moment.) Anyway, the restaurant is called Hidden Dragon, and that’s half accurate – I couldn’t find it. I went straight past it (I thought it would be on the left and it was actually on the right) and drove into Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti is the sort of place where you could easily believe unemployment in Michigan is 15% or whatever.

So, I pull into a McDonald’s to call my buddy and found out where the restaurant was. I exit, and I drive down the street, and at the intersection, there’s no stop sign or traffic light. I’m trying to figure out what’s going on, and this woman moseys up to me. I had my window down cause it was hot. She’s giving me a funny look, but I’m still trying to figure out what the deal with the road is, and she says “Want to give me a ride?” I ask her where she’s going, and she says it doesn’t matter. Which confuses me, because, if it doesn’t matter, how’s she going to get there? Then I realize that she’s, ah, so to speak, not one of the unemployed. I say “no thank you” once I realize that. Apparently I’m very polite to hookers. She then asks me for a smoke, which I tell her I don’t have.

When I do that, her entire demeanor changes. She says “Do you realize you’re on a one-way street, sir?” Her voice was totally different, and the way she said ‘sir’ is the way they say ‘sir’ at the post office when you ask something dumb but they still have to be nice to you. 

Anyway, the conclusion I came to is that I was propositioned by an undercover cop posing as a hooker in Ypsilanti. On the other hand, my father proposed that Comrade Zhang, the guy that thought it so funny I’m from America, was actually asking me where in America I’m from. “Where are you from?” “America.” “No kidding, you ass. Where in America?” That sort of thing. I’m not 100% sure I buy this theory, but it’s more or less sound. So who knows what on earth was really going on.

The important point about getting Chinese food with genuine Chinese people is that the food was authentic. By which I mean insane. There was a beef-and-tripe dish crusted in some sort of pepper that made the inside of my mouth go totally numb. There was a beef and hot peppers dish, a rabbit and hot peppers dish, and a hot pepper and hot peppers dish. There were also some sorts of soup that tasted like they melted down the sun and put it in a bowl. It was amazing, and I want to go again. A thousand times.

Totally unrelated: my computer is kaput, and I can’t figure out how to format the drive. Window’s doesn’t load, so I’m looking for that shortcut that lets me get to the command prompt so I can just drop some format c:\ and start over. Any help? Anyone?

EDIT: I should mention that I told the hooker story to my friend, and she claims that it’s clear evidence that I am a paranoid delusional, and the woman was just a regular hooker and not a police officer. But the hooker looked exactly like a hooker ought to! Too much so, in fact. Thus, it must have been a disguise.


Sausage

January 25, 2010

I have a meat grinder that I used for sausage making. I also make my own ground meat for Chili, hamburgers, spaghetti sauce, and so on.

I’d always heard that you should put your meat in the freezer before hand to make it easier to grind. I was always afraid frozen meat would be too hard, and would wreck my grinder. So I always semi froze it, and got messy results.

I was wrong! Freeze that business solid! I ground some frozen pork for spaghetti sauce on saturday, and it came out superb.


Beers

January 23, 2010

I’ve had myself some beers here in Michigan. Here, there’s a bottle deposit – so if I go turn them in at the grocery store, I get a dime back for each one. It’s awesome. I rattle into town with a garbage bag full of pabst canisters. It’s not like people don’t stare or anything.

Anyway. My father recommended a beer called Shiner Bock about a half of a year ago. I tried it and thought, meh, it’s okay. Nothing special. Three or four months ago, I got a six pack of it here, and it’s amazing. I don’t know what was wrong with that first one. It’s delicious. I would happily roll around in a bathtub full of it. I would drink it on a train. I would drink it on a plane.

I didn’t know, until yesterday, that Shiner Bock makes another beer. It’s a schwarzbier (or however one spells it): a german style black beer. It is, if anything, even better. There are holes in my shoes because my socks were knocked off. Additionally, there’s a belgian ale called Duchess de Bourgogne which is sweet and tasty, but more of an appetizer than the meal itself.

Anyway. I am considering making some tater tots and buffalo sauce. And, perhaps, lying down on the floor and singing obscene songs.


Old Textbooks

January 22, 2010

So, every weekend I go to the thrift stores here in town. There’s a Salvation Army Regimental Headquarters, which is extremely nice, and a “recycling and reuse center” which looks like a daisy cutter landed on it. Anyway, at the Recycling Center, they have books. A couple of weeks ago I saw a textbook on radio engineering that belong at one point to “PFC Ned Flanders.” Last weekend, they got a whole crop of new engineering textbooks.

All of the books had the name of the same guy, a professor of electrical engineering, in the cover. So I assume he died and his family dumped all his books at the thrift store. I bought a dozen of them. Three books on thermodynamics written before the first world war, a couple of chemistry books from the 1930s, and some mechanics books.

I love them.

I love them, because I’m not really all that smart. I’m a hard worker, and that’s not the same. But these books were written at a time when concepts that we now think are easy were extremely difficult. As a consequence, the books go very slowly, assumnig you know nothing, and they are very thorough. It’s fantastic. I’ve already learned a huge amount of thermodynamics, because the book is willing to hold my stupid ass hand and walk me through it. The first chapter in the theoretical chemistry book I got is called “The Atom: Fact or Fiction?”

Score!


Where are you from?

January 21, 2010

So. I work in a civil engineering department, but I’m a materials engineer. So I go wandering far and abroad to find the equipment that I’m used to. I find a Raman Spectrometer on the central campus, and I make contact with Comrade Zhang, the researcher who runs it. He tells me he’ll take a couple of spectra for me, but in a week the lab is going to be remodeled, so it’s a one shot deal. I can come back in september when the construction is done.

So I go down there, and I use it, and it’s… I mean, it’s a spectrometer. It’s only so much fun to watch. But, I get my data, and we leave. We’re waiting for the elevator, and Comrade Zhang turns to me and asks me where I’m from. I say, here, America, I’m an American. Where do you think I’m from?

And he laughs.

And he laughs.

And he laughs like I laughed when that moroccan guy told me the word in arabic for ‘breasts’ was ‘al titties.’ Hysterical laughter bubbling up from the very bottom of his soul. I ask him why he thought I wasn’t an American, and he laughs harder. He manages to get himself under control for a second and blurts out NOT HERE! and continues laughing. We get out of the elevator, and the last thing I see of Comrade Zhang is him, laughing, wiping tears from his eyes, wandering down the hall.

What the… what?


Computer = Over? Virus = Very Yes?

January 13, 2010

It’s been a weird week. Monday, I had to drop some samples off at the geology lab. Here’s a quick trivia fact: there is not a single campus map anywhere in the heart of U of M’s central campus. To find the lab, I had to ask a number of people, at least one of whom intentionally steered me in the wrong direction. Perhaps she somehow knew of my disdain for her keffiyah. (Note: I disdain hipsters in keffiyahs, not keffiyahs in general.)

Regardless. On the way there I began to feel woozy and lightheaded. So I stopped in a building and asked a janitor where the bathroom was. From his point of view, the encounter went something like this: I ask him where the bathroom is. He points, and I hurry off. He then hears a sound not unlike the sound a rusty tractor trailor would make trying to start in subzero temperatures. Then, he sees me stumbling down the hall, as though a man born anew, with a shock of white hair and wild eyes.

Not to be too gruesome, but I guess what I’m trying to say is I haven’t been feeling well.

I returned to my apartment, and decided to finally get all up on getting the police reports from my accident. First of all: they’re $28 apiece. My report covers only being hit; there’s like four others that cover the dude stealing the car, the car crashing, the car hitting me, etc. Also, the PPD reports are available only is bitmaps. If you’re not up on technology, neither am I, but a bitmap is the crudest, worst possible image file. I don’t expect tiffs, but hell, drop some jpegs on a citizen.

Oh. And I should mention. When I tried to save the second of the reports, my computer thought about it, then turned blue, then turned off. And now it doesn’t turn on. It loads up all the way, and as soon as the mouse cursor and little hourglass appears, it turns blue for a second and restarts. I swear, I had better be able to somehow retrieve my Fallout saves. I’m like 90 hours into that game. There’s no way I’m going to restart. At least I’ll be able to reload steam and try to keep Half Life 2 from exploding on me.

What am I doing wrong? Why are computers less stable than the ladies?


The Worst thing that has ever happened to me, ever

January 9, 2010

Let’s face it: they sell exotic delicacies at the asian supermarket. And wasabi-coated peanuts are an excellent snack while you’re drinking beer. But I have to tell you: when relaxing for the night and having yourself some beer and wasabi peanuts, it is incredibly important that you do not touch your genitals. Not even for a quick scratch. This sensation is entirely new to me, and entirely unpleasant.