2020/11/18 – Smokey – Who knows

So I was tooling around online today at about 2:00, having just finished the dishes, the laundry, and my big bowl of chili lunch (no hot dogs), setting up my development tools for a day of coding and the music in the kitchen stopped, the UPS started screaming.

Ah well. Power’s out. Grabbed my jacket, my laptop bag, stuffed my pockets with knives and such, grabbed my glasses, hitched up the horse and buggy and headed into town to sit at the cigar lounge. This was tomorrow’s plan. But no plan survives contact with the enemy.

So I get here, drop my laptop down at my table (I have a table and a seat pretty much wherever I go.) I hit the humidor and picked up 4 cigars and two Diet Dr. Peppers. It’s more than I’ll smoke in one sitting. But I’m trying to build up my reserves and I don’t mind paying these guys the brick & mortar premium on good sticks. The Diet Dr. Pepper is a nice happy medium between cola and something fruity that goes great with cigars. In a perfect world I think maybe a good Diet Root Beer would be best. But they don’t have that. It’s not much of a concession.

I set up the power cable, got my bits and bobs in place (glasses, headphones, phone, microfiber cloth for the screen and my glasses,) moved the ash tray to it’s final position (as a southpaw it’s always in the wrong place) and got to work.

Logging in to the damned electric company website (after two failed password attempts and an initial delve into the wrong password file) I saw what I pretty much expected:

Service terminated due to lack of payment.


The great thing about having everying being automatically paid is that you don’t have to think about shit like this, which is my Achilles’ heel. It’s never a money issue (anymore) but I can NOT keep on top of shit like that. Before this weird age of man I was constantly worrying about (among everything else) what was paid and what wasn’t. When this or that was due. It felt like a damned near full time job just to stay on top of my fucking utilities. Now I can take all the bills and just stick them in a box for never.

The biggest problem with having everything being automatically paid is that when your primary debit card expires, things just…stop. I thought I’d had everything under control. But without any other notification, there wasn’t really any way to tell. Yeah yeah I should have a fucking checklist.

So I updated the damned thing, checked “$35 reconnection fee” (which I read as “$35 stupid tax”) and hit “Pay Now.”

Now I know the power’s back on at the house. God only knows what the clocks are gonna say when I get home. But what kind of geek would I be if I had accurate clocks?

But I’m here. So blathering into a word processor over a couple great cigars seems like the thing to do.

Had a funny little interlude yesterday I probably should’ve folded into yesterday’s post.

I’d been dragging my ass on changing the address on my driver’s license and the registration of the truck. So I got all my ducks together and made a couple calls yesterday to plan on doing all of that today.

But by the time I was done with that it was only about 2:30 so I figured “fuck it. I can probably bang that out.”

I went to the emissions inspection station (which is a drive-through thing down here in Tennessee, like a jiffy-lube. They do it in 2 minutes and it costs $9. Fine.)

The guy made me stand outside the building (rather than just stay in my truck) presumably because I wasn’t wearing a mask.

I asked for directions to the County Clerk’s office and it was about 2 miles away, right past the Walmart.

Realizing that if anyplace was gonna be strict about the mask mandate it was going to be the county clerk’s office I stopped in to walmart and picked up a few $1.97 bandanas. I keep my hair up in them in the workshop anyway so I can always use a couple more.
That way if I was actually forced…I could wear one.

GPS had me drive around in a circle twice before I figured out it was lying to me. I pulled in to the right building the third time around, realizing what was going on, and went to walk in to the building.
A woman stopped me…

“s’cuse me. I gotta take your temperature.”

“O…kay” I said, making as if I was gonna pull down my pants. Got a laugh out of her as she aimed some laser thing at my head.
I started to walk in.

“Excuse me sir?”


“Do you have a mask?”

I pulled out one of my new bandanas, snapped the tag off of it and held it up.

“Okay good. Go ahead.”

I put it back in my pocket and walked in.

She made a vowel movement of some kind as I walked in.

Nobody in the building gave me a second glance.

The whole exchange ended up taking about 4 minutes, with smalltalk.
I walked out past her, my documentation in tow, smiled and winked as I walked by.

She just shook her head and chuckled a bit.

Still have a perfect record.

Don’t wear the masks kids. They’re more of a lie than the cake.