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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Why we have a Second Amendment

Like it wasn't bad enough that I was paying $3.31 for every scabby gallon of gas tonight; but the only place in reach, before the fumes I'd been running on exhausted, was a feching Shell station.

Now: I don't know about your neck of the woods, but way out here, where nary a second may be suffered to pass without a pitch, all the Shell pumps have been fitted with TV's; and from the instant you pull out the handle 'till you're pulling away in your car, you are assaulted with commercials. Audibly, and visually: you can't even turn away, because it reflects off your car window.

If you are really unfortunate, they'll throw in a snatch of NBC@the_pump "comedy", as though the smell of the gas was not emetic enough. Me? I have to swear, to curse it loudly and roundly. "Shut the f*ck up!", or "I don't f*ckin care - shut the f*ck up and die!" Words to that effect.

That the price of a gallon has jumped 50 cents this past week is hardly news - not here at least. It happens this time every year, some excuse or other. The favorites are "trouble at a refinery" or "problems changing to summer formula". This year's "trouble" is in Texas - some refinery in Texas - Texas - is closed for "unexpected" maintenance, so all the gas in California has to be sent there blah blah blah. Most years they have some kind of fire or explosion around this time - seriously - so I suppose some bugger losing their toolbox in Texas counts as an improvement. Sheesh - refinery accidents in Scotland are a huge deal, happen once in twenty years or so. Here it seems sometimes they're Best Practises.

Shitty day all told, and I'm crabbit as mince. Lost another disk drive last night - apparently the 120GB drive with Windows on it. I had taken the precaution of buying a data recovery package some time ago, against this possibility, but discovered today that the f*cking thing does not run on its own off CD, but needs f*cking Windows to be up and running first. And this from a program suite that promises to keep me safe from "catastrophic" system failure. Clearly they never looked the word up in a dictionary.

Kinda sorta have the system up again, but not really. It's running at about 1 instruction per second, as opposed to the 2.3 billion instructions per second it is supposed to run at; and those instructions it does run are crap ones. Haven't been able to repair the disk yet - though once Windows is up (via a Windows disk) it appears that everything is where it is supposed to be, not lost at all. But it won't boot on its own, and I've just HAD IT. A pox on all their plooks!

To think those smarm-fisted Apple-v-Windows commercials had almost succeeded in eliciting my sympathies for Microsoft-the-Underdog - something utterly unthinkable in this household - to think that smug-pussed little tit with his wooly-liberal pullover and so-cool designer jeans had made me cheer for the gormless suited creeps; to think I'd almost let that happen?

What a magnificent feat of advertising. Apple Computers: cool like Sprockets.

And while we're on the subject, I know I'm old and slow and always the last fart in the bell jar, so this is probably ancient history to the rest of you, but I noticed yesterday that those ubiquitous Flash commercials that magic pixies post on blogsites, if you hover and right-click, some of them offer to switch on your microphone and webcam for you and direct their output into the commercial. Just in case, you know, you want to say "Thanks" or something. The fact that they ask is irrelevant: for clearly they don't need to - they could just switch them on for you, on-the-fly, and just kind of spy. The EULA probably says this, too, but in words no english speaker would ever understand. It reminded me, rightly or wrongly, of a BBC adaptation of "1984" I watched as a kid; where the TV in your sitting room had its own Eye-of-Kit that scanned to-and-fro across the screen. Spooky, eh?

A pox and a plague and a pile of puss on all their putrid ponytails: I'm off to bed. No pictures for you!






[Now that I've said it out loud, I can't find any of those "spy"commercials. Bugger - but they were there. Promise!]

3 Comments:

Blogger DarkoV said...

We have that Shell/TV thing out here in the East, except's it's Fox News that they broadcast on the pump tv's instead of NBC, which is much more enjoyable as we all know Fox News is to news as Fantasy Island is to fantasy.

12:39 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

Oh, and here was me feeling sorry for myself... rather the patronizing mediocrity of NBC than the evil of FoxNews.

You have my condolences.

2:51 PM  
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