Tag Archives: it’s more fun to compute

Please welcome…a Tarantula

We have a family of spiders living in some ambiguous part of the car. Sometimes they crawl out from behind a visor or across the dashboard. Then we freak out and wave our hands in the air, while yelling “Ahhhh! Ahhh Ahhh!” This does make driving more difficult. Finally, the non-driver scrounges up a piece of paper or an atlas page from a less popular state (like Alabama or Arkansas) and squooshes the brute. This is no small undertaking because these are big fleshy gangly white spiders. They bear a passing resemblance to Dr. Phil.

Today I was wondering how cold it has to get before they die of exposure. I said “I’m going to ask a spiderologist.” Mr. H said “I’M BRIAN FELLOWS.”

So I turned to my old friend the internet. It seems that the organs of spiders just swim around in hemolymph, which is their sorry excuse for blood. They survive during the winter by burrowing for warmth and lowering their metabolic rate. That’s what I’m doing right now. Except my strategy involves a bottle of wine and a plate of pasta and a duvet rather than leaf mold.

We had one more parasitic encounter before we even made it into the house. The downstairs neighbors waylaid us and asked us to look at their computah because they took it to Best Buy after they got it from their brotha, and they put the bits and the bytes in it, but they can’t get on the internet because Comcast says they don’t have enough bits, but they left them a CD, and then they had to call Microsoft, and that cost thuhty dollahs, can you believe it, but they still aren’t on the internet, not the high speed one, and they need a Windows 98 disc because they can’t download the explorer, and their friend Sheryl had a look, and she is so good with computahs, but she couldn’t figure it out eitha, and could we just take a look?

Of course someone at work already basically asked me that same question today, so I was able to answer in no uncertain terms “Find where it says ‘Attachment’ in the menu bar of your email program, then choose ‘Save.'”

Here’s some pictures of spider bites. There are more vile pictures in the lower left nav if you are so inclined.


The river is too deep to ford

In the midst of some spectacular life upheaval and alternating bouts of work-related wrath and ennui, I’ve decided to regress. Well, first I tried making a chicken pot pie with a dill buttermilk biscuit crust. It turned out to be utterly sublime, and we ate it for 3 days. But now it’s gone, and I am cold and alone, and my pants don’t fit quite right.

Anyhoo, to the time machine. In 7th grade, I had a sorry excuse for a computer class where we were all forced to type for five or ten minutes. Once we all mastered the cut n’ paste commands, there was nothing else to learn in the computing universe of 1989, so we’d play Oregon Trail.

One day there was a mass suicide on the trail, so copies of Where in the World/Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego were trotted out. The person who solved the most cases in the period won a soda. Sometimes it was a Coke, sometimes it was a Dr. Pepper. I won every single time by virtue of having a basic grasp on history and geography and realizing when I’d already played a case. It was fun the first few times, and then I started giving away the soda to the dumber kids because I felt bad. I’d even screw up on purpose and drag things out intentionally, but what could I do, they were a bunch of baboons.

Oh, and that Chicken Pot Pie recipe is from the Bon Appetit Best Recipes of 2001 cookbook. And I’ll let you in on a secret, I don’t boil a whole chicken, just 4 boneless, skinless breasts. Much easier. Also: when they say “flour your work surface” for biscuit time, they so aren’t kidding. I also served it with a riesling, your mileage may vary.


Well, I swan

This morning Mr. H shellacked my quaint old Carrie Bradshaw PowerBook with a slick coating of Panther.

“They’re going to run out of cat names soon, huh?” I said. “Jaguar, Panther, what else is ferocious? Puma?”

“Um…Tiger?” said Mr. H. “They already used Puma. I think the next one’s going to be Tiger. And then they could do…what’s that one that’s like a mountain lion but out west?”

Cougar-Mellencamp, dear. I guess there’s always Cheetah and Lion. I would hate to think Apple would have to stoop to something like Tabby or Ocelot.

I hope they go with a solid regimen of dog names for the next incarnation. Dingo, Hyena, Chihuahua, Melvin, Goblin. Or dinosaurs. I’m always partial to the velociraptor.

Then I logged into iChat and found that my usual icon was magically replaced with a pink lipstick smooch on a white background. They did it for me, all for me! How did they know? So I went to the Lisa Frank site for old times’ sake. Yup, still scary.

But even the dastardly Ms. Frank could not have orchestrated the wedding I went to yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I like the happy couple. But I would have fired the DJ on the spot. The guests were each forced to take out a dollar, hand it to their “table captain,” and pass the wad around the table to music. Then the lucky soul left holding it was impelled to dance around the table, passing it to the person in front of them when the music stopped. Finally, the ordeal ended, and the “captain” was awarded the centerpiece (which involved a pumpkin), and all the captains descended en masse to the head table to shove the dollar bills down the bride’s top.