A Valuable Lesson…

drowned rat

drowned ratToday I learned a valuable lesson.

When setting up your spiffy new pool filter, and arranging to fill it with DE powered the first time, when the instructions tell you to “attach your waste hose to the waste port of the filter, set filter to “Rinse” and turn on pump” there’s one little trick.

Make sure you SECURELY attach the waste hose to the waste port. Don’t just slide it on there all snug and say “That’ll hold”. Because when they say “RINSE” what they mean is “14 thousand gallons of water trying to ESCAPE FOR FREEDOM OUT THE WASTE PORT.” What the instructions should really say is “Attach waste hose to waste port, and BOLT THAT FUCKER ON TIGHT, get a wrench, a blowtorch, whatever it takes, but make sure it’s not going anywhere!”.

They way our pump/filter and power outlet are arranged, when you flip the switch for the power, you have to, in effect, turn your back on the filter itself. I unrolled the hose, slid it over the waste port, loaded the skimmer with the appropriate amount of DE, turned my back to the filter, flipped the switch, and BOOM. My ass end was suddenly assaulted with the force of a 1.5HP pump pushing massive amounts of water. The damn thing would have knocked me over, had it not been for our fence. I quickly shut the power off, but the damage was done, soaked from head to toe on my ass end, I was looking a bit like our friend over there, only I wasn’t in a sink at the time. 🙁

I’m sure it would have made for a really funny photo opportunity had the wife been here to witness it / snap evidence, Thankfully she was not. However the neighbors who were out playing with the children in their pool were not so amused when the big fat man slaving away in the sun suddenly shouted out “FUCKING SON OF A BITCH!” for the entire neighborhood to hear. (Hey, what can I say, My anus was suddenly attacked by a inch and a half diameter ravening stream of _COLD_ water, what else was going to say “Oh, please, may I have another?”).

At any rate, the filter is now charged, and happily circulating. The pool hath been shocked, dosed with algaecide, and looking *good*. The only thing left for tomorrow is to install the ladder, load up mister rubber ducky (Your so fine), drop the solar ball in the skimmer, and rock and roll.


Cha cha changes…

LtBatWineFirst off, a belated welcome to the one and only Starslayer (pictured here on the left, tasty alcoholic beverage in hand) who will be gracing our site with his sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, but always thought provoking writing stylings. I had meant to introduce him prior to his arrival here, but what can I say, I’m useless like that. It only took me what, six months to actually get him an account here at LtB after he expressed an interest in contributing.

Secondly, my own personal career situation could be drastically changing over the upcoming weeks, possibly as early as next week. I’m tired of watching idiotic management types make decisions about things that they don’t understand, and making the lives of those of us who have to actually do the work hell in the process. No more. I guess it boils down to “I’m tired of working for morons!”, so it’s time to make a change to something better. If anyone knows of someone who is in dire need of some mad network-fu skills, let me know. In the meantime I’ve got a plan of my own I’m going to be working towards full steam… something that’s been simmering quietly in the background for what, 5 years now, but that I’ve been too gun shy to really put in motion. What can I say.. Idiot decision-making by others can be a great motivator to light a fire under one’s ass. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Also, I’m informed that invitations for the (soon to be) world renowned 4th of July extravaganza at “Casa del hombre gordo y del polluelo flaco” have gone out. Yes, we’re having another one. Yes, the pool shall be ready (should be up this weekend if everything stays according to plan). Yes, there will be food, booze, music, and fun.

Happy Mothers Day!

To all the Mothers out there, Happy Mothers Day!

If you’re not a mom, and you’d like to become one, contact me. We can work something out. 🙂

A Blog Simulcast

Plans for tonight…


pelogoRunnin for your life, by the knife
Runnin from your wife yipes
You shouldve stuck with home
Your mind to blow your dome
It was you that chose your due
You built a maze you cant get through
I tried to help you all I can
Now I cant do nuttin for you man

Public Enemy.. in concert… Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and Professor Griff… Aawwwwww yeah.

Details from the show tomorrow, hopefully.


spidey sense

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain.spidey sense
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil?

Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?

Cold comfort for change?

And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Something has sent my spidey sense a tingling this week, I haven’t as of yet put my finger on exactly what is causing it, but there is something definitely afoot in the merry old land of Oz. Some people would discount my mad future prediction skills as “nonsensical rubbish” and claim that my feelings of inbound ill have been completely off kilter for the last few years. But this one is different… it’s not that precise feeling of “deja vu” that sometimes hits and make me go “Whoa, somethings coming”.. (I will freely admit, my mad deja-vu skills have been shit the last 5 years or so)…

This feeling is completely different, not a specific time, place, or discussion triggers it, this is just a general, overall feeling that something is going down with me unawares, something I’m not going to like when it rears it’s head and says “booya!”; this is a feeling I hate with a passion, mainly because when something would trigger said feeling in the past, I would write it off as ridiculous, and then later live to regret that decision when said shit storm jumped up, screamed “booya!”, punched me in the face, and ran off with my wallet and car keys as I lay on the ground going “what.. the… FUCK?”… metaphorically speaking of course.

So you see, due to past shit storms, I’m a bit leery of simply going “uh huh, whatevah” when the spidey sense goes a tingling.. after all, I like my car, and I really don’t want to have to buy new one, but if it’s going to get stolen on me, I at least want to be prepared to ride the bus to work for a few days… (jesus, this metaphorical thing is getting way out of hand…)

So the way I figure it, either my psyche is permanently damaged from past shit storms and is prompting my subconscious to make shit up, causing this entire feeling to be bogus, in which case nothing bad will pop up, my car keys are safe in my pocket, and life is going to be just fine. Or, alternatively, my spidey sense is on target, and some day soon the shit storm will roll into town, punch me in the face, take my wallet and keys, and I’ll be riding the bus to work while my subconscious goes “I told you so mutherfucker… No, don’t listen to me, you NEVER LISTEN TO ME, SEE WHERE IT GETS YOU? HA HA, LOOK AT FAT MAN ON THE BUS.. EAT A COCK!” (My subconscious can be a spiteful little prick when he wants, apparently)

The problem of course is, even if the feeling is valid, there’s not a whole lot I can really do about it. I mean, if the shit storm is a coming, there’s nothing I can do about it anyway, it’s not in my hands, I don’t control the weather, and I’m not even entirely sure it’s coming, so it’s not like I can just board up the windows and get the hell out of dodge to spend the weekend someplace else… too much to lose if I’m wrong and there is no storm. So all I can do really, is sit back and wait to see if this feeling is on target or not… and keep looking over my shoulder, of course, knowing for sure if it’s coming can make it easier to roll with the punches.

Feeling a funk

After all the jacks are in their boxes and the clowns have all gone to bed
You can hear happiness staggering on down the street, footprints dressed in red
and the wind whispers mary

A broom is drearily sweeping up the broken pieces of yesterdays life
Somewhere a queen is weeping somewhere a king has no wife
And the wind it cries mary

The traffic lights they turn of blue tomorrow
And shine their emptiness down on my bed
The tiny island sails downstream cause the life that lived is is dead
And the wind screams mary

Will the wind ever remember the names it has blown in the past
And with this crutch its old age and its wisdom
It whispers no this will be the last
And the wind cries mary

Not sure exactly where the funk is originating, or whats causing it.. I just feel it, clouding around my mind and edging in to spread its funkatude on every aspect of my day. It’s just there. Wish I knew how to shake it off, but that’s not easy when I don’t know exactly whats causing it in the first place. ~shrug~ Maybe over this long holiday weekend I can work it out, or maybe it’ll just go away on it’s own. It does that sometimes, the funk, it’ll creep in from wherever it comes from, hang out inside my head for a few days, then wander off in search of some other venue I guess… the problem is, for those few days, it drives me nuts as I try to figure out whats causing it and get rid of it.

Vote. Vote. Vote.

Reminder: Failure to vote today means you forfeit any right to complain, whine, bitch or moan about anything related to this country, it’s politics, or the scumbags who run the joint during the next two years, at which time you can either vote, or continue to forfeit your god-given right to complain, whine, bitch and moan.

In short. Go vote. Seriously.

Have a boatload of real update material I’ve been sitting on, so I guess I need to get my ass in gear and actually do that… maybe later today.. right now I’m too busy catching up on South Park episodes I missed online. woowho.

Four days until Halloween, Halloween…

Halloween Silver Shamrock

Halloween Silver ShamrockSo, here we are once again, just mere days from the fun that is Halloween. Things around the house are in full gear, as this year we are throwing a bestest damn Halloween party in town… (atleast, I’m hoping it turns out as such). Preparations are in full swing:

  • Ghoulish skeletons lurking in strange places? Check.
  • Incredibly in depth music mix ready for bumping and thumping? Check.
  • More booze then you can shake a pitchfork at? Oh yeah, Check.
  • 90% of lightbulbs in the house replaced with the never out of style Blacklight? Check. (And a petition to be filled with the lady of the house to leave these bad boys in year round, wooowho!)

Oh yeah. It’s a party. Get your freak on.

Fun with AOL Search Data

So a week or so ago somebody at AOL made a big old snafu and released the search logs for over 20 million search queries from like 600,000 AOL users who were searching from March to June of this year.

This has, obviously, sparked some privacy concerns, etc, etc. But for me, it was just something else to tinker with. The very night I heard about this I downloaded said data dump and started loading it into a mySQL database I have running on a testbox linux machine that I use for all manner of ‘tinkering with toys’ type stuff when I find something I want to play with.

This by itself took a little while, as the search data for over half a million users over a couple months adds up pretty quick. The download was right around 500megs, but after uncompressing everything I found myself staring at a buttload of data to import into mySQL…

Then I realized that in order to do some of the things I had in mind, I might need to siphon off some data into other tables. For instance, I’m not that interested in what any particular person was searching for, but I’m extremely interested in little things like WHAT they searched for, and what websites they ultimately ended up at.

So I created a keywords table, simple, just had a list of all the actual searches (only listed in this table once, regardless of how many times it was actually searched), and a counter that showed how many times said search was performed. (Yes, I could have gleaned the same type of data using SQL queries on the original table, but do you have any idea how long it takes to scan an entire table of 36MILLION searches to do that kind of simple add up on the fly? By taking the time to do ALL the math at once, I saved myself much more time down the road.

While one quickly hacked php script was doing the build of my custom keyword table, I threw together another table, same concept, but for URLs that were clicked on, how often they were clicked on, and whereabouts they were in the search results when they were clicked on. A 2nd php hack was run to do the math and compute all those up for me.

So while all this was running (a process that took the better part of 20 hours on the itty bitty little pentium-733 box with a single slow IDE drive and 512megs of RAM that serves as my ‘testy box’) I was telling the wife about it, and I guess my “woowho” factor was showing throught, because she looked at me a minute and said:

“Okay, so, um, exactly what are you going to do with all this stuff when it’s done whatever it is it’s doing?”

And that’s when I realized… I really hadn’t planned on doing ANYTHING with it as of yet. Sure, I could do like everyone else and their brother and throw a php interface around it and slap it up on the web for anyone who wants to go digging through it.. but that’s been done a dozen times already, but people with much faster hardware to spare then I have at my disposal, so why bother?

So anyway, I’m not entirely sure *what* I’m going to do with the data.. (I have had a couple of small ideas, but they’re just research for other projects that Im working on).. but I can atleast rest easy, because once and for all, I have confirmed that the average internet user is as big of an idiot as I thought they were… I present to you, the top 12 searches from the AOL search database:

mysql> select keyword,cnt from keywords order by cnt desc limit 12;
| keyword              | cnt    |
| google               | 332192 |
| ebay                 | 139207 |
| yahoo                | 130538 |
| yahoo.com            |  97518 |
| mapquest             |  88279 |
| google.com           |  79991 |
| myspace.com          |  77211 |
| myspace              |  74365 |
| www.yahoo.com        |  43038 |
| www.google.com       |  42597 |
| internet             |  39622 |
| http                 |  30125 |

Why does this prove to me everyone on the web is an idiot? Because you don’t have to search for “google” to get to google people, you just type GOOGLE into the little address bar at the top of your screen.. the same goes for everything almost else on this list.

A search engine is for when you don’t know the name of a site you’re looking for.. or even on what site you may find what your looking for…. when your looking “h0t animal butt-secks” you put that into a search.. if you’re trying to bring up “buttsecks.com”, you just put that in the address bar and be done with it… ~shrug~

and dont even get me started on the number of people searching for “http” or “internet”…. wtf.