We’re all morons.

Well, blame me for pissing off my sister so much that she didn’t post. I was so mad at my brother-in-law for blowing off my parents for dinner that I called my sister and told her he’s a loser. She kept saying, “Just let it go,” which is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Well, she ended up hanging up on me.

According to Dr. Harris (Dr. Papa Harris, M.D., the patriarch of the Harris clan whose daughters include Almost-Dr. Russian Literature Alice Harris, Not-Doctor-but-NPR-famous Emily Harris, and Dr. Paleogeologist Sara Harris) there are those who are connected by blood and a sort of centripedal force, and then there are the in-laws. AND THEN THERE ARE THE IN-LAWS. (He also said that we, he and I, are not very empathetic because we are handsome devils and cannot understand the shortcomings of others. HAHAHAHA)

Well, anyway, I don’t think big-mouthedness and short-temperedness are limited to me and my sister. According to my cousin, her kid (who is about to graduate from the Tokyo Institute of Technology) didn’t get into the graduate school he was applying for and his friends all asked him, “OK, so what did you say to annoy the interviewers?” He denied saying anything untoward in his interviews, but his friends said, “No, we know you. You said SOMETHING.” And I thought the family resemblance was the only thing we had in common.

My sister is a large pain in the ass.

Actually, it isn’t just her, that Peter dude is on my list as well.

I had to get home early today so I could FedEx Mariko her new cell phone. She bought a pair on the family plan, one for her and one for Peter. She got a Razr, very same phone that I’ve wanted and that everyone but me is getting.

Then I tried to fix her dumb Dell laptop. Buy a Mac, I said, but does she listen? I wasted close to an hour on Dell’s web site only to get a useless email suggestion back. Get a new power adapter they said. Well, in my question I said I JUST GOT A NEW POWER ADAPTER. I called Dell support only to encounter a stupid voice recognition system that had me enter a 10-digit number several times only to decide to HANG UP ON ME. I gave up.

Then, when I was about to eat dinner, Mariko sent me a fax that needed Peter’s signature. Actually, it was an eight page fax that needed his signature on each page. Since the dude goes to sleep at 9PM and I have obligations until 9 or 10PM for the next couple of days, I had to delay eating to get the papers printed and signed. One of the pages was legal size so that meant I had to head back to Kinko’s to print it out. I got up to the Harrises in time to get Peter to sign it and off he was to bed. Off I was to eat dinner.

Oh, and I spent a lot of time getting the web server working, staying up until 1AM last night and then working on it early this morning. Come to think of it, Mariko’s friends are a large pain in my ass, too.

Yeah, yeah, supereggplant.com was down.

So sometimes you get these emails that say, “XXX has YYY vulnerability” and you have to scramble to see if you can update that program. And sometimes fixing that program breaks other things and you start getting emails from your sister’s friends saying, “SUPEREGGPLANT IS DOWN, FIX IT NOW.” I was up late last night trying to fix it before giving up to get some sleep so I wouldn’t be a zombie at work. Well, it’s kind of working now.

Multiple options lead to inaction.

So today I only did two things: made an appointment for the Pella window people to come see me and had my friend the structural engineer come by. I went to the Pella window showroom with my brother-in-law Peter and after we looked at several models of windows, signed me up for an on-site inspection, and drove off, Peter tells me, “I don’t like Pella windows.” You think he could have told me that before I went through most of the rigamarole. The only oddness I see is that they have a 10Y/20Y warantee on the windows instead of lifetime.

I also had a structural engineer look at our foundation and the facade at the front of the house. He wasn’t too worried about the settling of the foundation but had some ideas for the facade. I think he wanted to put in screw-in earth anchors at the corners and some form of shelf bracing along the faces. I should have drawings later this week. Thuy also has experience in structural engineering and is close to her certification or licensure or whatever they call it and she thinks I should either leave the facade alone or pour a full foundation for it.

So, really, this is why I never do anything. As soon as I start with something complicated and/or expensive, all sorts of people who know more about it than I do come out and tell me what to do. And most of the time, none of them agree.

(And some people wonder why I don’t date…)

Feeling much better.

OK, so I think I just need to stay off of “Find-me-a-rich-successful-husband-now-dot-com” better known as match.com. Of course all the dating sites are a bit addictive and I even went back and looked at an old account I had on fastcupid.com. I still don’t match up to anyone, but at least I don’t feel as insecure looking at the”alternative” sites. Mostly I feel like I’m way too boring, wich is not as bad as feeling way to unsuccessful. My experience with the alternative sites are like the said on The Closer, “What is it with you white people and whips?”

In any case, I actually emailed my highest rated “match” on okcupid and she didn’t reply. I suppose if it were that easy, nobody’d be on these dating sites very long. Now if I can only get eHarmony.com to quit emailing me ads all the time. I way to non-Xtian to want to use eHarmony.

Why I’m not posting today.

OK, I figured it out. Today I read a bunch of women’s profiles on a couple of online dating sites and I realized that I don’t know one guy who fits any of those profile. Oh, I’m sure they must exist somewhere and I know some guys who meet the physical requirements, but those guys are going out with each other, if you know what I mean.

I’ve also spent the past couple of days filling out all sorts of surveys on okcupid. What I found out is that I’m quite boring, good at spelling, and not as smart as I thought. Well, not smart according to the tests people publish (and let me tell you, some of those people couldn’t spell properly even if their lives depended on it.)

So where does that leave me? Where does that leave any of my single friends?

I suppose I should lower my own standards, but that would mean I’d be disinterested soon enough. I’m not a guy who can fool anyone, and I’m not a guy who can lie. I even have a hard time compromising most times. So I think I’ll get off this failed dating kick and go back to surfing the web for ham radio-type stuff.

Oh, and by the way, I was at the ham radio meeting today and, as the treasurer, I wrote checks for about a thousand dollars. If only that were enough to make me feel fulfilled. 🙂

So today I have mostly nothing.

It was a good day to watch the women walking around Portland, and I saw my first live Lotus Elise, but otherwise it was just like yesterday. My brother-in-law came by to borrow my laptop and I headed to the gym again. Sorry for the dull day!

Remembering all my failures.

So, I guess my cycle is home, work, home, work, gym, repeat. Today was one of the gym days and one of the women there gave me this look. So, imagine she was the most popular girl in high school and I walked up to her wearing a Star Trek uniform. It was a combination of horror, disgust, and anger. It was BEAUTIFUL. I haven’t seen that look in years. I think you grow out of the situations that would lead to the look. I’d see it when I tried to talk to women at MIT. I’d get the look from the rich girls when I was growing up.

I mean, this woman was probably 30 and I thought, “You want me to get your boyfriend to come over here and punch me in the face? Would that make you feel better?” Yeesh.

Oh, and since Carolyn asked the kind of conversations I have with women at the gym: today I talked to the OHSU postdoc about her boss and how we could scheme to keep him on his vacation, one with an instructor about how we didn’t like the car detailers we went to and what they forgot to do with our cars, and one about the guys at the gym. (The one about the guys at the gym included how the woman got some free tickets to a sporting event from a cute guy and how she wanted to repay his kindness.) Anyway, they’re real conversations about nothing in particular. Just the way I like it.

Good luck Tommy!

One of the guys who works down at my local McMenamins pub just retired. Well, I guess he’s just going on to bigger and better things, so it’s not so much a retirement, and he could be back. In any case, it’s a Monday night and I’ve had 3 pints and a shot of whiskey. Oh, and a champagne toast as well. In any case, I’m teetering on the edge of coherence and so I can’t say too much more.

I will say that I’m fairly sure that car detailers are all a bit sketchy. I went to Autobella in Portland and as soon as I got there I found out that they misquoted the price and they forgot to mention they only took cash or checks. That’s not really “detail oriented.” They also left splatter marks on my steering wheel and on my radio cover and also left my plastic rear window looking like crap. Oh, and the car was still quite wet when I went to pick it up. I’m not sure how long it will be before the trunk dries out. From what I understand, this is much better than other detailers in town.

Another exciting day.

In Oregon, we have a bottle bill, maybe the first in the country, where you pay a nickel deposit on most every soft drink bottle, and they give it back to you. They have these machines that take your bottle or can one at a time, spin it around so it can read the bar code, crush it, and count it. Rejected cans are returned to you undamaged. At the end it spits out a receipt. The worst part about the machines is that some incompetent industrial engineer appears to have designed it. I’ve had cans scanned and crushed without getting a credit. It’s MY FIVE CENTS after all. Anyway, the real story is that my dad goes through a lot of Coke and never takes the cans back. I finally got around to going to Safeway and got back $14.95. That’s 299 cans of his Coke cans I had to stick in the machine, one at a time!

The rest of the day I spent trying to wreck the house. I started ripping the trim off of my window so I can measure the opening. Sounds like a new Pella window is going to cost me two large.

I also had to climb under the house to move some visqueen around. Her e I am modelling my new coveralls. 🙂 At least those only cost me $20.

Yet more uncompleted tower work.

Anyone who has been keeping even the slightest track of my weekends knows that a lot of my Saturdays are spent fixing crap at my friend Greg’s house. And then, after that, I fleece dinner out of him. Today I was up his tower, cutting off old guy wires we’d left up and taping the cables that go to the antenna. The last thing we need to do is to put connectors on one final cable, but Greg’s so lazy that he couldn’t find a wrench and a hacksaw. Heck, it’s his antenna. Another day, perhaps.

Instead of going to the normal restaurant in St. Helens (where I keep getting carded) we went to a place on the Multnomah Channel where the menu was limited and there’s no air conditioning! We sat outside at the only table available for anyone with a kid. Guess who got to sit in the direct sun? I really don’t like eating outside because it’s usually too windy, bug-infested, and bright. The heat kind of put me off my feed, but I had an odd Brazilian ham/overcooked beef/sausage and bean thing . I suppose it was OK, but surely not up to the food at the Klondike. Eh, it was a free dinner, and with friends.

I made a mistake.

OK, so dudes do read this thing. In fact, I should have known that since I counted Jr. Slab as one of the four or five people reading this thing.

So, I wrote a check for TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS TODAY. At one point I wrote a larger check for THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS, but at least at that time it was for a car for ME, not a house for my stupid sister. OK, so it’s not my money (it’s my mom’s) and my sister promises to pay us back. I wasn’t so sure about the house, but our friend Jason likes it and he’s a contractor. It doesn’t have a garage, and it has a few too many stairs to get into it for an old person (IT WILL BE HARD FOR MY DAD TO VISIT) but I suppose it’s an OK house. I’d have to see the inside to make sure.

So, there’s a woman from San Francisco flirting with me. She won’t tell me too much about herself. Even after I used my smoothest line on her, asking if she had any personal photographs, the kind where she’s shooting milk out her nose.

Hmm. Maybe I need to work on that.