1977: First Chuck E Cheese opens!

Flush with all his Atari fortune from Warner Communications buying his successful startup, Nolan Bushnell opened what would become a mainstay of the early Eighties…Chuck E Cheese Pizza Time Theatre. I guess he saw the near future better than others. I was only eight going on nine in 1977, so I wouldn’t have had the foresight he had. Contemporary me could see the plan because the closest thing before Chuck would be Shakey’s since they were the pizza joint with a player piano, prizes for the kids and a few pinball machines. However, Nolan had it flipped around, instead of a restaurant with these extras, he developed an arcade you could eat at. The other brilliant element was how this enterprise was double dipping; he continued to work at Atari until he got the boot in late 1978 while his arcade/pizza places bought Atari cabinet games and collected the revenue they generated. Warner Communications didn’t see the point as they let him buy the rights for a mere $500,000 ($2.3 million today).

I was completely oblivious of such a place until their aggressive expansion plans brought one to my old hometown in 1981. Before it was a gross place for little-kid birthday parties, Chuck was the hangout with tweeners, teens and young adults. Seriously. When it opened, ours had a collection of video games that put the local fave arcade, Aladdin’s Castle, to shame. I first saw Donkey King there too. The place worked harder on its animatronics too. There was the main hall with Chuck and his band plus a smaller room, mainly set aside for the parents/adults to drink their beers to a different animatronic lion made up as Elvis. The ticket-game stuff came years later when the bottom fell out with arcades and home consoles in the mid-Eighties. Anyway, I was an total pain-in-the-ass to my parents on my insistence to eat there at any opportunity. Good thing I grew older and wiser to preferring good pizza.

Despite being part of the majority who disdain the current Chucks, I fondly remember the great times I did have at Springfield’s franchise because after the Big Move, we never went to any in Houston or Indiacrapolis. By the North Dakota and Marquette years, Chucks were passé while my love of playing video games had never ceased. The first time we went, I played the closest thing to D&D around, Venture; it sucked. After some basketball game or speech competition, I remember watching classmates Jimmy V and Vincent S team up to defeat Vanguard, due to all the buttons, it was wisest to have person fly with the other shoot, Defender avoided this flaw. The night I graduated from St. Agnes was the biggest and best time there, well, the most nostalgic. Even more than my 14th birthday later in the Summer.

It would be amazing and cool if an original Chuck E Cheese from the era I described could be restored along with the cabinet games. I know it’s a fool’s errand given how they’ve been subsumed by better successors: Dave & Busters and my local Pinballz.

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My weight got under 260!

Mucca sacra! I can’t believe I didn’t blather about this minor accomplishment sooner, namely immediately after I got off the scale Saturday morning. I’ve lost track since I was this light but I know it’s in the range of years. I wish I could give the credit to exercising because the diet part is iffy, need to stop eating what Jennifer doesn’t finish, invest in composting equipment. Yeah, I figured it was dehydration from being ill on Thursday night and much of Friday. Now the trick is to not put it all back on via snacking and soft drinks, ha!

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Some painting before the new (overdue) furniture arrives

Before

Yesterday, was joint painting day. As in Jennifer and I worked together on putting a couple coats on a master bedroom wall (or three) before the new stuff arrives. Reliving my college summers as a member of the Marquette Paint Crew, except we didn’t wash the walls first, they were pretty clean, nobody smokes! We did have to take down all the cool Elfa shelving used to display my Chucks collection. My brother-in-law Aaron did a great job in 2008, the pieces will be easy to restore when the paint is dries. I remembered quickly why I preferred being a cutter (the person who trims the edges), using a roller, especially on the ceiling gave me back pain within seconds. Jennifer got a little annoyed over the paint getting on the floor and some other objects. It’s latex so it didn’t worry me, the junk turns into a plastic coating which isn’t too difficult to remove. Trust me, compared to the many substances I’ve scrubbed off floors and walls, latex paint doesn’t involve as much elbow grease.

After

The after picture is either a limitation of my iPhone’s camera, the LED-based light bulbs and/or I have the worst eyeballs. We did apply two coats yet I’m not sure why there’s a yellowing effect in the middle of the wall. Somebody said to apply a third coat. I can definitely see a difference between the painted walls and the doors the house came with, they are seriously yellow with age.

With the new bedroom set being overdue, the wall painting will progress to the “sides” after we’ve moved the old furniture we’re going to sell on Marketplace, it’s a FeceBook thing Jennifer knows. I can’t wait to put my vast shoe collection back into its proper setting.

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Some seriously lame propaganda I want to rip on

Since Orange Foolius was in Austin yesterday to continue his grift train with the Ron Paul and Joe Rogan morons while getting the residents of Reaganstan to dare visit my “crime-ridden” home, I want to poke fun at this sloppy art. Firstly, I’m guessing it was made by the Incel nephew of the bozo who makes those hilariously awful paintings with Jesus blessing the Draft Dodger. Obviously, this is pretty lazy work too. All four children are copy-and-paste jobs with very freakishly large foreheads. So large, they’d be sterilized by the local Eugenics Board of Gilead. The “Complete Woman” must be taking speed if she has any energy to get through her day with these creepy four rugrats this close together in age. Remember, as per the Right’s Ideal, dad doesn’t have to do shit, it’s all her job. He must be on a brief leave from his commission with the Proud Boys Division rounding up Brown People, Homosexuals and Leftists.

Meanwhile, the poor, poor Victim of Feminism. She’s enjoying white wine with pizza. This is a bad thing? Oh no! Her only friend is a cat! As a feline fan most of my life, again, I can’t find fault with such a choice. The other friend is a sex toy which is taboo…in Amerika, never mind most red-blooded Amerikan men used to have stashes of porno magazines (sometimes, the other kind if you get my drift Roy Cohn) hidden in their sock drawers. Today, you’d hear many Republican men begging their spouses not to search their browser history. Either way, I’d say the “insult” is another double standard. Let’s see, I guess her wardrobe has some faults I’m bewildered by. Ah, the notches about men she has slept with. Double standard strikes twice since St. Reagan raped many a young actresses on the casting couch before Mommy Nancy trapped him by getting pregnant. For the record, I’m not a fan of either sex/gender/orientation sleeping around like it’s Pokemon Go! Feelings get hurt and if you’re not careful, disease gets spread yet I’m not going to shame women who imitate Wilt Chamberlin, it’s their choice. But I will go out on a limb to say the artist is likely an Incel no sane woman would give the time of day, ergo, Feminists love to be whores. Last dig, college debt. Umm, this is a problem for everybody not belonging to the Upper Middle Class or richer. Single women over 22 don’t have a monopoly with the crisis I slogged through for 13 years, and I was lucky.

Now, full disclosure. When I was a younger man, my track record wasn’t immaculate and the road to my more Left-leaning outlook wasn’t overnight. There were times, I could get pissy at women and annoyed. I wasn’t an Incel though since I never thought nor believed anybody owed me sex; in the Eighties, those guys were called rapists. After a while, I learned to just stop caring and remember it wasn’t all about me. Even at my worst, I continued to back issues important to women since fairness is a core value: equal pay, abortion access, voting, etc. I can’t believe in 2022 we’re continuing to have the discussion about how women are paid less for the same damned job, it’s pathetic. Today, it’s a huge obstacle to get Texas’ legislature to make feminine hygiene products tax free. Being a heterosexual man unburdened by nature’s cruelty in how our species reproduces, I’d prefer them to be free so all women could save some dough to spend on other things they want or need, especially given their lower frickin’ pay. Some of you might say, but Maggi, you don’t like women that much. You voted against HRC. You’re critical of Pelosi and Harris. No denying those accusations. I’m not keen on their phony-baloney positions as they line their pockets on par with the shitty men in office. Besides, I’m a stronger supporter of AOC and c’mon, if there’s anyone capable of making all established political sides cringe and whine, it’s her, not the DCCC/DLC goons. Plus all those HRC stormtroopers said some of the nastiest things about Palin and we knew then, we were hating Mrs. “I can see Russia from here” for her stances on the issues, not her sex.

I’ll close with this and it may be bumper sticker wisdom but feminism‘s definition to me was something I once saw at Book People: Feminism is the crazy belief that women are people. I would love to see Oberfürher Tucker Carlson argue his position against it.

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Cambridge has taken over Aggie’s bed!

The foster kittens are growing and growing as expected. Now they’ve evolved to the “full-of-hell mode,” running everywhere, constantly ambushing anything moving and wrestling each other to the floor. When it gets too rough, you hear the squealing of pain or maybe kittens know how to bluff. Cambridge decided to claim Agamemnon’s cot he likes to sleep in while being my office manager. She just hopped in, did the cute look and eventually zonked out in five minutes for a 20-minute nap to recharge her hell-raising batteries or demand food. We’re getting pretty close to the time they’re ready for real homes. For the five adults who live here permanently, they’re all in unison and saying, “about time!”

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Another great take on how NFTs will pan out, like crypto!

NFT and Crypto Bullshit were a frequent unwanted guest and topic at the most recent SXSW. Throw in the Toxic Bro’ Culture which goes alongside such con games and it made a pyramid scam so huge, the founders of Amway and every ancient Egyptian dynasty had a boner! The best experts are the honest ones who tell you two things: invest in what you understand and if they can’t get their heads around the trend while explaining it into plain English, don’t bother. Meanwhile, there’s only two types involved in this scam, true believers too blind to see the disaster and those con artists I mocked earlier. Guess which one is Elon Musk. He comes from a long line of grifters who screwed thousands to get rich. Here’s more food for thought, even though the show got dull quickly, no survivors on The Walking Dead (or any Post Apocalyptic world) take in some assclown lugging around a portable hooked up to a solar panel filled with valuable BitCoin. It would be hilarious to see something along those lines happen in an encounter. I’m hoping the survivors feed the assclown to the zombies since their stupidity and greed helped create the mess they’re in!

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Allergies are a nightmare this Summer

This morning I woke up and my head felt as if the insides were scrambled by the hand mixer I bought earlier this year. It would be nice to use that appliance again but I think one of the floor installation clods stole it; small wonder why I will never work with their boss nor Floor & Decor again.

It’s frustrating too. Back in the Midwest, I was invincible compared to my mother who suffered about every August. It only took about a decade or so to develop what the locals call “cedar fever.” Sometimes I wonder if it’s Climate Change getting even with us moronic humans. Of course, being a human, I do have to be reminded how it’s not all about us! So the day got spent mostly lying in misery, going in/out of sleep with some odd nightmares. I guess I was a little sick if I experienced those. Now I’m a tad dehydrated and need to pull it together because we’re going to see the new Doctor Strange flick.

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1942: SS Virginia sunk in Mississippi River by Germans

Rather odd how this little incident is often never mentioned in our History text books. It demonstrates how unprepared and vulnerable the US was on the Gulf Coast. To be fair, the headline didn’t have enough space to state it happened at the mouth of our famous river by a U-Boat, but it was still pretty damned close to New Orleans. We’re very lucky the German Navy didn’t stick around to create more chaos since they were poking around what’s known as Cancer Ally, aka a stretch of oil refineries running along Louisiana’s southern coast. I have a feeling it was there in some capacity as car culture took over Amerika by the Roaring Twenties.

Why the U-Boat moved on to stupidly attack Brazilian shipping, I’m guessing only the higher-ups in their navy could explain. The Germans sank a series of vessels in Brazil’s own waters and they were a neutral country, probably leaning toward sympathetic before this due to Germany training much of South America’s bureaucracies in the 19th Century; it’s why former Nazis were often found hiding there. Anyway, the U-Boat’s assaults were enough to make Brazil the only Latin/South American country to declare war on the Nazis and join the Allies. They contributed an expeditionary force under US command that saw fighting in Italy.

This whole unusual WWII incident fueled at least two Hollywood flicks by the Seventies. The sinking of the Virginia points to the underrated 1941, a hilarious ensemble comedy Spielberg released in late 1979; believe me, I John Belushi was the Boomers’ Adam Sandler, overrated, vulgar and not funny. I always read the premise to 1941 was based upon a Japanese sub poking around the coast of LA after Pearl Harbor. Meanwhile, we have an actual event involving harm to the US via the Nazis, we can always build another Ferris Wheel. The second and probably stronger inspiration was the mediocre Thriller Victory starring Michael Caine, Stallone and Pélé. Not only was it a desperate attempt to get Americans to like soccer, I’m confident it was part of Pélé’s attempt to break into Hollywood. If you’re not familiar with Victory, here’s a synopsis. The Nazis decide to host a soccer game with their national team playing against a collection of skilled POWs. Meanwhile, the POWs use this opportunity to escape. It’s complete fiction as they choose an American to be their goalie when we all know there’s at least a hundred Europeans a million times more skilled than a shrimp from Hell’s Kitchen. I always thought casting Pélé was wedged in but now knowing Brazil did have skin in the game, it’s not implausible.

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Messed up my beard

If you’ve seen me around Austin for the last several days, yes, I do look like Colonel Sanders and that wasn’t on purpose. Earlier in the week, I was reining in the boundaries of my beard…D’oh! I overshot the borderline for the right side of my face. Not sure what you call it, hold on, nope, nothing on the Internet for a geographic layout. It wouldn’t call it my chin line, how about my cheek line. Either way, blech! The only way to solve this while maintaining symmetry is to return to the old Klingon Van Dyke I had in my Twenties, which is copied all too often by Mills, Hipsters and people incapable of independent thought. OK, on the latter, I had to make the cheap shot since I had one in the Nineties before it was cool.

Fear not, I’m working on growing everything back to what I’ve strived to maintain since I went back to having a beard in 2007. The upside is this gives another “event” to watch in my long-term, stop-motion beard-growing movie I’m making for my friends’ children, starting from November 1, 2021 when all I had was my Weird Al ‘stache.

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Farewell iPod: 2001 to 2022

I think the number one reason for the iPod’s demise is the rise of streaming and improved cellular/wireless availability. Jennifer has some kind of unlimited plan which enables her to play a music service through her phone constantly. Throw in smart phones having this capability, especially iPhones, since day one, having a dedicated MP3 player is redundant to the majority.

The iPod’s evolution was pretty cool to watch too. It began as a five-gigabyte, portable hard drive you had to be somewhat cautious with due to its internal moving parts. There were many skeptics, including myself, because the competition used solid-state storage to avoid the downside of motion/dropping and USB communication to transfer data. The price was another factor. Four hundred bucks was a lot in 2001. Sure, you could carry around 1000 Pop songs versus the others (about an hour) yet this successor to Sony’s Walkman appeared to be another high-end, high-prestige Apple gizmo. Slowly, the iPod gained traction. First the price came down and then the communication switched from FireWire to USB. The next big boost was the iTunes Music Store circa 2003. Again, not an original idea from Apple, just successful in solving what the predecessors failed to do…giving people a smoother, more intuitive interface. Plus Jobs seemed to have won an argument with the Music Industry, people will pay for music if it’s reasonable and easy-to-use. Within a few years, the iPod started making the transition to solid-state storage as the manufacturing costs came down. Eventually it settled on the final design of the iPod Touch we’ve seen for the last decade as the iPhone overtook it probably by the iPhone 5 models.

Others tried to compete but they all were short-lived and failed. Dell and HP resold them as accessories to their PCs. VW cars came with them for a brief time. The most hilarious attempt to dethrone the iPod was Microsoft’s Zune. The color choice of brown proved to me that nobody in Marketing really thought it through and good luck finding one that functioned at a retail store. Seems the sales people were more interested in selling iPods. The dislike was so great, I remember reading about a guy who made protective iPod cases with dead Zunes because they were unlikely to be stolen. Obviously brown was the one in highest demand.

Farewell iPod via your final descendent, the iPod Touch. I know I’ll be holding on to one for as long as I can to use in my car. Austin might be the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World but its radio stations don’t agree given how awful they are. If I’m on a short drive, I will toggle between KUT (NPR), KMFA (Classical) and KUTX (Whatever) yet I have to grit my teeth with UT’s offerings, especially during the semi-annual begathons or the DJ plays something lacking much merit in my opinion: Nick Cave, 99% of all (c)Rap or when they choose a song played to death on the commercial stations. Thankfully, my iPod Touch with hundreds of things I’m learning via Podcasts or auditioning for future KMAG mixes keeps me sane in the car.

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Check out my new LED-enhanced dice!

Chupacabracon (number eight) has come and gone. At least it was in person this year after a couple went down the crapper, I just can’t do the virtual thing. It’s too close to being on par with playing a computer game and those are the worst; the majority are uncivil little, pimply-faced goons. With Chupacabracon, I had a great time! I learned how to play a boardgame involving dinosaurs duking it out in an arena. I landed the last ticket to Robin’s annual Savage Worlds scenario; this year, her adventure had us players portray different band members from a made-up European country vying in this year’s Eurovision song competition. I closed out with another Savage Worlds one-shot run by my cousin’s friend. We were the goofy, non-powered, wannabe superheroes from Mystery Men which is also an underrated movie.

Obviously, I couldn’t avoid a little shopping and above is the coolest thing I scored. These dice have little LEDs built in that blink whenever rolled. They’re rechargeable too! The trick is getting the correct die face with the contacts on to the contacts in the case; lining it up with the eight and ten siders is on par with solving a difficult puzzle. Then you plug in the USB-C to A cable into a powered source. The next generation of these should be programmable, namely in having an option to only light up when you roll the highest number or a one with each die. This would definitely make a natural 20 on the d20 even more exciting!

Now to get either my in-person campaign rebooted or my Plan B, being the villain-of-the-week for my friend Mark B’s games. You can count on me to be utilizing these!

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RIP George Perez

I hope the world gives me a break for a while on all these damned obits I’ve been writing as another great in comic books passed Friday. Sadly, George’s passing was a matter of when since he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer a while ago. He chose to finish out with a good quality of life instead of gambling on more time via the crappy means our modern medicine.

George has a greater and more personal connection for me. Although I never got to meet him and very bummed about that, he was one of the most instrumental artist-writers behind me permanent return to comics when I was a teenager. We all read and “follow” comic books loosely when we’re little kids but the majority of us lack the attention, income and discipline to keep going with them as a permanent hobby. Numerous other things pull us away: video games, television, sports and/or hobbies requiring more focus (music, karate, art, etc.). Thanks to him, his writing-plotting partner Marv Wolfman and Marvel’s wunderkind Chris Claremont, I returned to the nerdy fold through my friends Jon and Mike via their nice collections of X-Men and Teen Titans.

Before I bore you a bit about my hagiography involving him, I’ll cut to the chase on why this wonderful man was important to American Pop Culture. Firstly, he and Marv created the Teen Titan characters Raven, Cyborg and Starfire in 1980. Today we all know them as the silly pizza-eating, bickering and somewhat self-absorbed stars of Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network. I’m confident they also made a couple of the frequent enemies originally from the Fearsome Five: Mammoth, Shimmer (who is now Jinx), Psimon and Gizmo. Their bumbling leader Dr. Light already existed years ago as an enemy of the JLA. Secondly, when DC Comics undertook its initial and biggest (unfortunately, they never stopped) shakeup to their superhero universe, George revised Wonder Woman into the character many know today. He modernized Diana, ditched the secret identity as she became a public figure and updated the story after the publisher had stayed within the guidelines established by her original creator Dr. William Moulton-Marsh. The first movie has most of his elements. The second, weaker movie, scaled stuff back to play on the Eighties nostalgia.

Back to why he mattered to me personally.

You all know, I was more of a D&D gamer in the Eighties and to me, one shortcoming I believe many gamers have manifests in their mindset with superheroes/comics. Or at least with my follow Gen Xers. Most of us were fans of the X-Men as the Eighties were their pinnacle. Ergo, their powers’ origins or natures, their overall storyline, etc. tend to “make sense” and traditional characters are “stupid” or “lame.” The X-Men were practically a modern-day, super-powered Fellowship of the Ring as per a gaming group of heroes. This often made this crowd, Marvel fans. The one exception of DC I loved was the Wolfman-Perez run of The New Teen Titans, circa 1980-84. The first Teen Titans debuted in the Sixties to cash in on the JLA‘s success, marketed as a junior JLA starring all the JLA’s sidekicks: Robin, Wonder Girl, Speedy (Green Arrow), Aqualad and Kid Flash. The title fumbled through Silver Age with uneven success and had a few others join/leave: Hawk, Dove, Golden Eagle (Hawkman), a Soviet Hero (the first Starfire but changed to Red Star later), Bumblebee, Harlequin (not Harley Quinn, and not really the Joker’s kid), Flamebird and the Herald. Its most embarrassing issue became one of the animated Teen Titans’ (Cartoon Network 2003-06) best episodes; when they fight the Mad Mod. To give you some context, the Teen Titans were fighting a UK villain who was a Mod some years after the fad ended. Today it would be equal to the Teen Titans fighting a bad guy who excels at planking or is based upon a jerk from Jersey Shore.

By the Seventies, Teen Titans continued to have issues pop up sporadically and this was before the big two learned to cash in on constantly starting over with “first issues.” Back then, unless they officially announced a title as cancelled, a book could disappear for a couple years and then return with the issue number picking up from where they left off. As was the case with Teen Titans #58 in 1978 declaring it the finale after roughly 18 years. Roughly two years later, Marv Wolfman paired up with George to create DC’s answer to the Uncanny X-Men in popularity, The New Teen Titans. Right from issue one, they did it! Alongside the three new characters they created, they brought back core members Robin, Wonder Girl (new outfit) and Kid Flash. The biggest surprise addition was Changeling (formerly Beast Boy) from The Doom Patrol. These Titans were based in the real city of New York, they initially tangled with the aliens who had enslaved Starfire, fought HIVE (a secret organization from Superman comics), employer of long-term enemy Deathstroke the Terminator (aka Slade), confronted Raven’s father, Demon Lord Trigon and eventually faced the cult led by Brother Blood. It concluded with one of the greatest, long-term story arcs in superhero history…”The Judas Contract.” DC has tried to retell it twice through animation but both failed due to the nature of their medium. It worked best as a comic because when Terra joined the Titans, she was a legit member for almost a year before the reveal showing her as a spy planted by Deathstroke to kill the Titans; George and Marv also pushed the envelope by illustrating how Terra was also his mistress, still gross to find out that a 40-year-old villain was OK having sex with a 15-year-old girl. Nobody ever saw the plot twist coming! Superhero teams always have a rotation of characters leaving and joining, everyone figured Terra was the inevitable replacement for Kid Flash (he was secretly “dying” whenever he used his superspeed abilities) and I think everyone wanted Changeling to have a girlfriend.

The book’s success, in my opinion, was instrumental to the rise of dedicated comic stores, better quality paper/printing and changing the ad-to-story ratio with real-world ads; no more sea monkeys, x-ray specs or 100 army men for 99 cents!

Other titles George was involved with before his DC heyday: The Avengers, The Fanstatic Four and various things. While working on The New Teen Titans he chipped in on JLA, Batman and the Outsiders, Crisis on Infinite Earths and Superman. He had a falling out with DC by 1991 over his War of the Gods arc for Wonder Woman and returned to Marvel to do The Infinity Gauntlet which we all know through the recent wave of Marvel movies. He had a reconciliation later with DC by 1996 to contribute on Wonder Woman again and did much more outside the big two, the Jurassic Park adaptation for Topps. Even for gamers, he illustrated the iconic cover to the RPG Champions’ Fourth Edition rulebook, the first hardback and probably their best version. I was at the GenCon debut in 1989 and owned a copy even though I still find the ED/PD rule dumb.

Thank you for everything George! Not only were you an incredible illustrator, writer and inker. Your storytelling helped me live the cliché, “You grow up Marvel but you graduate to DC as an adult.” You aided the medium gain greater acceptance with larger audiences. There were numerous stories about you being such a wonderful person too; kind, generous, encouraging to others, an all around great. May your name live on with the legends: Kirby, Eisner, Giordano, Infantino, Adams, Swan, Barks, Rogers and Wrightson.

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Cuddle puddle on the couch!

The fosters may not have grown noticeably in the physical department but in the kitten or personality areas, they are now all over the house. They go from zero to 60 back to zero in a matter of minutes, aka awake to running/chasing everywhere and back to collapsing into a spontaneous nap wherever they can. This morning I caught them nursing and cuddling with their mother on our couch. I love the squishy look one of the gray girls is giving as her sister and brother put on the squeeze. Tux (or as I’ve nicknamed him, Aggie’s mini-me) is racing up the couch to get my attention.

They’ve progressed to eating solid food so it might be time for London (the mama) to leave. With our first fostering attempt, the mother, Roxy, stuck around much longer and then became a foster failure (she lives with Cheyenne and Mason). Roxy got along with Jennifer’s pride. London…well, she’s an asshole. There’s being protective of the babies yet none of our adult cats really feel threatened enough to harm the quartet. This mama takes no chances. Despite being a mere three pounds, she aggressively charges and screams at Metztli, Agamemnon and Nubby. Isis and Vegas hide. The dynamics have been disturbed too much via the piss and crap we’re finding where it shouldn’t be. Sadly, this was rarely an issue until London. I fear it’s for the best and I worry she’ll have some difficulty being adopted. The majority of people want a kitten, few (like me) pursue an adult cat who also wants a home and be loved. I think London will mellow out once the maternal hormones have worked their way out of her system, allowing her to be a typical selfish house cat.

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Tokyo achieved!

I’m pretty behind on achieving this destination as I slacked in February thanks to the Floor Stooges, recuperated a tad in March, then repeated the slacking in April for reasons I cannot remember as being valid. For May I’m really pushing myself harder. With the Challenges app, I broke up my team of friends/family into their own Texas Team (Jeremy, Anje and Kathy) versus me with a new friend (Jake) I made recently who is a fellow Warrior, Hilltopper or Golden Eagle, that’s right, a Marquetter! So the May exercise challenge is the Texas grads (SMU, A&M and UT) versus os Marquette Yankees. Sure it’s two versus three but that just makes Jake and me work harder. To be fair, I’ve tried and tried to recruit José or Nelson to no avail. José just doesn’t give a crap even though his dog walking would help out immensely and Nelson gave his Apple Watch to his oldest child, who doesn’t answer my calls. Luckily, Jake’s into kickboxing as a workout and I’m trying harder to get the Planet Fitness timing down to make it to work on schedule. Thankfully, my rotational team let me go back to an 8:30 AM start time. It’s great to be treated as an adult at my career for the first time in over 20 years.

Today it paid off! I arrived at Tokyo and boy do they have a pretty cool flag. I would’ve never thought the Japanese would go with purple for their most famous and populous city. Hell I don’t even think purple is in their design sense. Good for them. It makes their flag much more interesting than the Europeans lazily imitating each other or American cities reusing the same old boring colors with slogans in Latin nobody understands.

My next destination on the agenda is a city has remained controversial since 1949, Beijing or when I was growing up, Peking. I barely remember when the name change from the Cantonese dialect to Mandarin happened. It is over 7100 miles from my house and the progression will be easier than Tokyo. The bigger concern is making up the mileage I lost in February and April. The overall objective for 2022 is to complete 3652.4 miles or roughly around 10 miles/day. I’m down by roughly 200 today (~20 days). Even if I pull off 16/day, I keep “losing four” so it’s going to be a while until I achieve parity. I’m guessing June and I think I might tie or beat my 73-day streak which would be July.

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I think I got my $15K’s worth

To give you a better idea of its scale, this puppy is bigger than either front-loading washer or dryer and I think most people know how large those things are. It’s almost taller than Jennifer’s daughter and Cheyenne is unusually short; sometimes she’s mistaken for a young teenager, could save her some money going to the movies while keeping her off roller coasters.

The AC company sent three really nice guys to install it today. It took them only an hour longer than the other team claimed and I’m alright with that, the outcome has been fan-tas-tic! Well, ask me again when I have to make the first payment in 90 days despite a $350 rebate from the manufacturer (Lennox). The trio did a helluva’ job. They wisely took down the fence behind the unit to bring it in instead of my stupid idea, bring it around through the backyard. It’s why they’re the experts and I shut up, just pay the bill! The only difficulty was corralling all the cats who were prone to running out the door and containing them in the master bedroom with Jennifer to keep the peace…so, four dumb kittens and four adults who hate each other. Vegas and Isis chose to cower in a corner behind or within the cat tower.

I’m still toying with the new app on my iPhone to train the system to schedule accordingly. With my employer soon ordering me to campus three days a week and probably given how employment Amerika is evolving into indentured servitude, inevitably every weekday, I need to find out how to get the system to cut back when nobody human is present. Cats actually can handle slightly higher temperatures better than humans since they’re originally from the arid parts of North Africa. We’ve already been impressed with how much nicer the house feels tonight. Next up will be if it makes a dent in the electric bill as promised. It should be efficient. The specifications say it can cool or heat three tons in cubic space. Not sure if the area is based upon a ton of liquid hydrogen, oxygen, water or some substance I don’t think about. Either way, it’s more than than enough for a house that’s a mere (by Amerikan standards) 1340 square feet (125 square meters).

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