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Stricter Idiot Control

Some jackwagon decided to piss me off last night. I have just started working for another news aggregation service, and I was struggling through my first article for them. The article itself wasn’t a struggle, but learning their platform was trying my patience. Not to mention, the article was about Daniel Holtzclaw and I was trying to make sure it didn’t wind up buried as a useless op-ed piece that nobody would read. So take note…go learn about Daniel Holtzclaw. But then, come back and finish reading this. Actually, you know what? I’ll post some links to information about Daniel Holtzclaw at the end of this post. Two birds, one post.

So anyway, I had been battling WordPress on this article, then battling AP Images, then Pixlr. It was not a great night for me, and I just wanted to get it published and go to bed. Finally, I hit publish, minus any tags, and apparently with image issues that my editor hit me with at the crack of dawn this morning. I shut everything down, and stretched out on my bed. My daughter came in to say goodnight and went to her room. And then we were hit with stupidity.
It sounded like something heavy had fallen over in the house. That’s what it sounded like. What it was though, was some idiot shooting into the house. Yes, with a real gun, and real bullets. Causing real big holes. It didn’t even remotely sound like a gunshot. Or several, because according to my neighbors, they heard several. Just a loud crash. Well, now I know what a .45 sounds like when it punches a hole through 2 walls.

My initial reaction was messed up, too. I was seriously pissed because it shredded the blinds and got glass everywhere. I still get pissed looking at the blinds, because it looks trashy.  Like I’ve got a rabid cat, or mad coked out ferret running loose in here. I have neither of those things, by the way. The “holy hell that could have killed someone” reaction didn’t hit for a couple of hours.  It was definitely there by about 2 in the morning, though, when I heard every single noise for a 4 block radius. By 3 a.m. my mind was playing tricks on me and I was hearing crap that wasn’t there. I finally dozed off about 6 this morning, and my alarm went off at 7 so I could get the trash out for pick up.

I’m a strong advocate for the right to bear arms. I’m also a strong advocate of being educated in firearm safety and use. The general consensus is that it was some teenage gangsta-wannabe, who had no idea what he was actually doing. His parents need to be punched in the neck for not educating him, and not keeping up with what kind of crap he’s doing, if that’s the case. In the light of day, it’s a simple matter to be pissed off. Once it gets dark and quiet again, I expect the fear to come. I felt safe in my home before this. I don’t feel safe now, I feel violated. Whoever shot that gun took that from me. Nobody should have to live this way. Stricter gun control will not fix that. We need stricter idiot control. Because that gun wasn’t randomly going down the road shooting; there was an idiot behind it, pulling the trigger. Last time I checked, criminals and idiots don’t pay much attention to the law anyway, so stricter gun control wouldn’t really affect them.

And now, as promised, links to learn about Daniel Holtzclaw;

http://www.holtzclawtrial.com/

Recent Article

http://justicefordanielholtzclaw.com/

http://michellemalkin.com/2016/12/02/exclusive-what-if-the-convicted-serial-rapist-cop-is-innocent/

 

Hot Egg Farts In My Hair, Day 2

Well, after the scary orange-turned funky ombre hair thing, I used One ‘n Only Color Fix on my hair yesterday to try and find a happy medium between scary orange and funky ombre. What I found was tan. It levelled out my hair to a uniform tan. I’ve never seen tan hair before yesterday. It was kind of interesting. It did make the silver grey roots less noticeable. But tan is a hair color for coloring books in kindergarten, so I knew I wasn’t done. The lady at Sally beauty supply told me to do the second treatment, that it could conceivably remove the remaining color. So here I sit, my head wrapped in a plastic bag of ass, trying to get rid of the tan.

A few things to note, if you are trying this yourself. The instructions call for 20 minutes. I left it in for about an hour. And rinsing, dear GOD at the rinsing. I think I rinsed and washed and rinsed again about as long as I left it in my hair. How long do you rinse? Until you can’t feel, or smell the stuff in your hair anymore, plus 20 minutes. I rinsed until my hair squeaked, then I washed in Head and Shoulders shampoo, rinsed until squeaky again, washed with a purple shampoo for tone, rinsed until squeaky again, piled on gobs of conditioner, rinsed until squeaky again, and finally put in a leave-in conditioner. I did not use the third bottle in the box, as I wasn’t sure I had gotten it all out. If you don’t rinse it all out, bottle #3 will re-oxidize your hair color and make it dark again. Or something like that. Anyway, I didn’t use it. I also didn’t even towel dry my hair, as it was very moisture starved by this point. I sat around and dripped for a good 30-45 minutes. And gloried in my tan hair for the rest of the evening.

Today, it’s been in my hair and stinking up my house for 32 minutes so far. I’ll check it in  another half hour and go from there.  Yep, I’m taking the risk so you don’t have to! But I draw the line at pictures or videos, sorry.

Orange Hair is NOT Amusing

So, among other quirky things about my house you didn’t know, is the fact that the hose pipe in the back yard connects off of my water heater. I don’t know why it does, but it does. There’s a reason I am telling you this. It’s because of the orange hair. Yes, you heard me. Orange hair. ORANGE. Not soft orange, not naturally occurring in nature orange, not attractive orange. ORANGE, like creepy clown in the sewer orange. Are we all on the same page now?

I have grey and silver hair. I have a lot of grey and silver hair. I usually dye it back to my youthful dark brown, but guys, I’ve been dyeing my hair for over 30 years, and I am sick of doing it. Since silver and grey hair is all the rage right now, I figured it would be a good time to embrace my granny hair and escape the dye trap. I wanted to do it yesterday while herself was still in the hospital because to strip color off of your hair is a smelly process. In fact, it smells like egg farts and fireplace matches.  I figured she didn’t need the aromatherapy, so with a plan in place, I left the hospital and headed for the beauty supply, where I picked up a box of maximum strength egg farts Color Oops. I bet you’re trying to figure out what this has to do with the hose pipe, huh? I’m getting to that.

So color lifter in hand, I strip to my unmentionables, and get to work on my mass of hair.  I read the directions three times to make sure I knew what I was doing. I put the stuff in my hair, put the bag on my head, and waited the requisite 20 minutes. As I was stripping out of even my unmentionables, I heard a lawn mower roar to life, but thought nothing of it, as I live in a tidy neighborhood where someone is always mowing their lawn. Rinse hair in warm water for 20 minutes, it said. Then wash it with additional 5 minute rinses for a total of 3 washes and 4 rinses. In warm water. Warm water is apparently pretty damned important. I’m 7 minutes into my first rinse when the water pressure sort of drops. O-kaaaaaay. Roughly 60 seconds later I have zero hot water. None. I stick my head out of my shower long enough to realize it’s my lawn being mowed. Well crap. It’s my friend’s very well-intentioned mother, having my yard done for me. Which includes watering my plants. With the hose pipe out back, the very one connected to my water heater.

I turn off all the cold water, hoping to persevere, and call said friend on my cell. “Tell whoever is out there to turn off the hose,” I screech. “I’m in the shower with color lifter on my hair and I have to have hot water!” Now, to be fair, I’d probably laugh a bit if I was on the receiving end of that call, but I was on the sending end, and I was NOT laughing. To give her credit, she tried. She failed, but she tried. So did I. I made it to the second wash and rinse in thoroughly cold water before just giving up. I step out of the shower, look in the mirror, and start crying. My hair is as orange as it can possibly be.  How can I go out in public like this? It’s like Sun-In gone horribly wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. A fact that provided my friend loads of amusement. The more she laughed the more the tears came. I was a wreck. I was also trapped, as I had no idea who was in my yard and I had open blinds and a towel. I ended up sitting in my closet until they left so I could get dressed.

The good thing about Color Oops is that if you don’t follow the directions to a tee, it doesn’t work. As my hair dried, it oxidized, getting darker as time went by. I ended up with a copper color on top, with a sort of an hombre down to dark brown on the ends. It’s not great, but at least it’s not orange any more. And I am very appreciative of having my yard done. But herself is home now, and so she will be on hose duty tomorrow while I try to do something to fix this. She has my permission to shoot people in the face with a bazooka if they go near the hose pipe until I am done. I’ll just put a clothes pin on her nose to deal with the smell.

AC – The final chapter

I have done loads of work, it seems to me, on this AC unit with the ultimate goal of having cool air flowing over my fevered brow as I write. Whether it is here, or writing copy borderline clickbait, my little office has a huge window that makes it uncomfortably warm. Added to which I have accepted a research assignment that keeps me for long hours in front of a computer screen. Ok, it just gets frigging HOT up in here. So I did all this work, a bit at a time, as I could afford it, to get the AC running. And now I know a fair bit about AC maintenance. All that remained was to put a vacuum on it, and then hopefully load that sucker up with freon.

So my buddy-who-actually-owns-a-vacuum-pump-and-gauges comes over at the beginning of the week. He HAD to come, because when I called to see about renting the vacuum pump and gauges, the guy scared the doggy doo out of me, and had me convinced that if the AC worked, I could make it not work beyond all repair. Which serves me right for listening to a parts jockey at Auto Zone. Oh, and they no longer rent gauges. So, see? He had to come. And he did, with all his AC accoutrements and the big moment is HERE!!!!! I could already feel that cold air circulating through my sweltering house, turning my tiny office into an tiny icebox office…   …   …   …   …   …

Only, not. Have you figured it out, yet? No? Ok, well the anticlimactic ending to the AC repair saga was that it wouldn’t hold a vacuum. If it won’t hold a vacuum, it won’t hold freon. And just like that, my dreams of writing and chill, Netflix and chill, bathing and chill, ANYTHING and chill evaporated into an overheated puff of steam. So maybe by this time next year I will have saved enough money to replace the AC. But for this year, Graceless under fire is melting gracelessly under the heat.

This Air Conditioner is Killing Me

Ok, so if you’ve been following along, you are familiar with the saga of the AC repair. This freaking AC is gonna kill me, or I’m going to kill it. One or the other. Where did I leave off? Oh yeah. The contactor. The verdict was that I needed a contactor. Like everything else on this damned unit, it wasn’t the easiest thing to find. I went to Mayer Electrical Supply. Very nice folks, truly, but they didn’t have what I needed. The told me to check over at Grainger, so that’s what I did. Again, very nice helpful people. And again, they didn’t have what I needed. Well SHIT. Another customer told me to go over and try Wittichen Supply. He assured me they would have what I needed. Well, why not? I’m already driving all over Birmingham, so I may as well, right? Wonders never cease, they had it! I was so excited I might have had an orgasm. Maybe. That’s sort of what it felt like, if memory serves. I go tearing home, ready to slap this baby in and finally have central AC. Cold freaking air throughout my house.  By the way, whoever installed this unit needs a foot up their butt. Seriously. The access panel is on the back corner, with about 1 foot of clearance between it, the fence and the house. Who the hell does that?? Asshole.

So contortionist act in full swing, I get the cover off, the old contactor out, and the new one in.  I turn on the disconnect, run inside and turn on the AC. It. Blew. That. Fucking. 3 Amp. Fuse. AGAIN! I fully admit that being a girl, I sat in the floor of the hallway and had a brief but intense girly moment. Every woman out there will understand, I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t hurt, I wasn’t defeated. I was PISSED. I mean seriously, knife throwing, gun toting PISSED OFF. There was no way this thing was going to beat my ass. Wasn’t happening. So I thought about it, and circled back around to the thermostat wire. So, it made perfect sense to just cut it and see what happened.  It worked. There was a click and suddenly air was rushing out the vents, and the fuse wasn’t blowing. Well hell YEAH! It wasn’t cold air, but it was air. To my way of thinking, if the thermostat wasn’t actually hooked up, the AC didn’t know I wanted cold air. I ran down to the neighborhood hardware store, Richardson’s (they don’t have a website or I would link it) and bought 50 feet of 18/2 thermostat wire.  My plan was simple. I’d tie it to the wire I cut inside, then go out to the unit and pull it through and hook it up. Well, of course it didn’t happen that way. I can’t be sure, but I think they must’ve stapled it to the floor joists, or gorilla glued it or something, because it wasn’t pulling. At all. Now I will do a lot in the name of home improvement, but I won’t crawl underneath a house for love or money. Just NOPE. But that’s ok. I had a Plan B.

Back inside I go, to grab that roll of wire. I ran that crap around the corner, behind the sofa, and right out the living room window. I redneckified the hell out of it, but I got both ends of the wire where they needed to be. I’ll worry about looks later. I wired up the thermostat,  turned everything back on, and BAM! It was RUNNING!! Sort of. Guess what?

The compressor is just kind of laying there buzzing like a cheap vibrator. I swear to God. I can’t make this up. I have a sneaking suspicion this unit wasn’t serviced regularly. Ever. So, once the Noah’s Ark type rain clears out later this week, I’ll replace the capacitor. And get my buddy to check the Freon. And go from there. Jeez.

A Transformer Tale

One thing about buying a unique fixer-upper opportunity house is that you get to learn how to fixer-upper stuff you never thought you’d deal with. I’m currently in fixer-upper hell over a lack of air conditioning. And as a side note, the heat doesn’t work either, but it’s May so who cares. So I have fooled with this AC problem off and on  for over a month now, and I think I am finally on the right track. Hopefully. Maybe.

Since neither the heat nor the AC work, after I established power actually getting to the AC, I started thinking I had a faulty thermostat. It’s one of those programmable ones. I hate it, but its supposedly more energy efficient etc. Well, I trace the wiring from the thermostat back to the furnace. There, inside the furnace on the circuit board, I find no red indicator light, and a burned out 3 amp buss fuse. I was thrilled. Could I seriously fix my AC for the cost of a 5 pack of buss fuses?!?! Of course not.

What I did learn though, is that if I put a 3 amp fuse in and press the reset button, the 3 amp immediately blows. However, if I put a 5 amp fuse in, and press the reset button and hold it down, the red light comes on and burns steady with no flashing. if I let the reset button go, the light goes out. For shits and giggles, if I hold the reset and turn on the AC, the 5 amp fuse blows. All this experimentation, along with some help from Google and YouTube led me to this…

IMG_20170510_165334 That’s a furnace transformer which appears to be bad. And filthy. But bad is the part I am worried with. After hauling all over town to get another one, I finally find a universal transformer that should, in theory, work. It doesn’t look the same, though. Not even a little bit.

It looks like this.

Screenshot_20170510-212837

But I had already bought it, so I figured I would try it. Keep in mind here that my fixer-upper tools are very, very limited. Like I have a couple of screwdrivers,2 different size hammers, a broken pair of bull nose pliers, a pair of needle nose pliers, and a razor knife I currently can’t find, limited. But by God, I was FIXING this AC, period.

Yeah.

My first bad moment was realizing the furnace is NOT labeled in my breaker box. The entire left side of the breaker box is all labeled, “lights and outlets,” with no mention of which room or anything else. The right side is labeled, but none said furnace. Since my furnace isn’t working, I couldn’t just flip breakers until I found the one for the furnace, so my only other option was to just flip them all off. My hallway gets extremely dark without any lights on. And for all the naysayers that think fans just circulate hot air, trust me when I tell you the temperature went up 10 degrees while all those fans were off.

There I sat, cross legged in the floor of a very dark, very hot hallway. I had a tiny little flashlight, my assortment of screwdrivers, and a paring knife. Why did I have a paring knife, you ask? Because the stupid terminal ends didn’t match up so I had to put new ones on, which meant removing the old ones and stripping the insulation down for the new ones. Which led to my second bad moment.

Don’t ask me how, but I managed to stab myself on the inside of my left knee. Not horribly bad or anything, but enough that the alcohol prep I used to clean it lit me up. Playing it smart after that, I put the paring knife on the floor next to me. Where I promptly managed to jab it in the side of my right foot. Again, not bad, but by then I was hot, sweaty, cranky, and in no mood for paring knife shenanigans. So I picked up the knife in a fit of temper and threw it down the hall into the living room.

IMG_20170511_073826

It may be hard to tell from the picture, but it stuck in the floor. I was not amused. I was even less amused when I realized that I still needed it for one more wire. I have what can only be called a colorful vocabulary. And now my neighbors, and people up to 3 blocks away know it.

I finally got the “universal transformer” wired up, turned on all the breakers again, hit the reset button and…nothing. Even less than before. At least the indicator light would come on as long as I held the reset button before. I couldn’t even get that to happen. By now I am soaked in sweat, most likely smelling like a herd of dead goats, and cursing like a sailor. Added to that, I realize I have no terminal connectors that match the ones I originally cut off. Of I go to the car parts place about 5 minutes from my house. I am now the proud owner of 101 terminal connectors and a pair of wire cutter/stripper/crimper things.

Off go the breakers, out comes the new transformer, and in goes the old transformer. I still have no AC, but I am convinced I am on the right track, and with the right transformer, I shall smell like dead goats no more.

Full Moon Traffic Syndrome

Since I already warned you that I would blog about anything and everything, I feel no remorse for this particular post. I hate downtown traffic. I mean I REALLY hate it. The only thing worse than downtown traffic is downtown traffic during any time near a full moon. People lose all reason. It’s actually kind of scary.

I had to run to the bank. This should have been a short hop. There and back in less than 30 minutes. Only it wasn’t. the idiocy started before I even left my neighborhood. Being in the downtown area, we have public transit. A whole heaping helluva lotta public transit. Well, a bus was blocking a whole street, including 2 intersections, while he chatted with someone at the bus stop. It took a good five minutes for him to wrap up his conversation, move his big ole bus butt and let me out. Off I go to the bank. It takes me 6 turns or so to get to the bank, because it sits on a one way road, and naturally my approach is ALWAYS the wrong way. In those 6 turns, I got cut off 4 times, forced out of my lane twice, flipped off by 2 different drivers and a pedestrian, and wound up running a red light to keep from getting killed by another bus that had stopping issues. I was a nervous wreck by the time I got there. I still had to make the trip back home.

Thankfully, I didn’t almost die on the way back, Instead I sat in gridlock. For absolutely no reason. There was no wreck, there was no active road construction, there was no stalled vehicles, nothing. What there was, was a sign stating that there was ongoing road construction on a road that intersects the road I was on. For some reason, this locked everything up tighter than Dick’s hatband. I was hot, cranky, and very thirsty. I was afraid to pull off at a gas station to get a drink, lest I lose my place in the gridlock line.  First world problems, amIright?

I did finally get by the gridlock, hit the first gas station I saw (which was pretty sketchy looking, to be honest) and bought a vitamin water. And then I finally made it home. This wasn’t even rush hour, or when school lets out. This is standard middle of the damn day traffic. So, yep, I hate traffic downtown, and I thank you for letting me gripe about it. Oh and lest you think this was some major metro area, yeah, no. It’s downtown Birmingham. As in Alabama. Seriously.