b3ta.com user Larry_Mudd
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This is me.

This is what goes through my mind most of the time.

Recent front page messages:

what do you say?

(Sat 5th Jul 2003, 9:17, More)

no reason

(Wed 2nd Jul 2003, 9:29, More)

Yeah, it's hot.

But stop that, please.
[edit]Thanks, asinus mysticus! [/edit]
(Tue 1st Jul 2003, 3:44, More)

say cheese

(Fri 20th Jun 2003, 1:22, More)

Best answers to questions:

» Awesome Sickies

My favourite...
When I was younger I tended to abuse my sickdays quite a bit. One day, late in the year, I called in at 7:00am to beg off my job at an office equipment dealer with vague complaints of intestinal distress and general offishness.

My usually-tolerant manager (a swell guy, really) told me that a couple of other slackers had already called in that morning and that he absolutely could not spare me as well, and I was going to have to suck it up and come in. He then added, ominously, "...and you'd better really be sick."

Crap! I was in a corner -- I had to go in to work and appear convincingly ill if I wanted to stay out of hot water.

So I took two tabs of blotter LSD, quickly dressed, and rushed out the door. By the time I got to work I was tripping pretty hard, but I did my job to the best of my ability, explained to those that I had to talk to that I was horribly ill and had a splitting headache, and tried to spend as much time as possible on quietly absorbing tasks like filing and setting up new machines.

I had a pleasant enough day, all considered, and in the afternoon when things were mellowing out, my boss (again, the best sort) came over, put his arm around me, and told me that he was really impressed with the effort that I put in despite how obviously sick I was, and let me know that it was appreciated.

--and I got the $200 "Employee of the Month" bonus that month for that little improvisation, too.
(Mon 12th Jun 2006, 19:26, More)

» Lies I told on my CV

Just the man for the job!
Many years ago, I had left my previous job with a sweetheart severance package that included eight months full salary, or half-salary if I should happen to find employment during that time.

(It was so generous because it included a condition that I not take them to the labour board for a blatant violation after they had the union certification that I'd organized overturned through some illegal jiggery-pokery.)

Although I felt obliged to take full advantage of a 2/3 year paid holiday, I was required to demonstrate that I was indeed looking for work. This meant sending out a lot of resumes that had "Please don't hire me, as I am mentally unbalanced!" written fairly large between the lines. I had a lot of fun being creative with them.

I accidentally got called in for an interview though once. "How did it happen? What can they be thinking?" I asked myself. I decided to have fun with the interview portion of the charade as well. I prepared myself with a small amount of a central nervous system stimulant several orders of magnitude more efficacious than caffeine in order to better put off the desired vibe of "skeevy undesirable."

When the interview began, the H.R. drone skipped by everything in my work experience, commented not at all on the numerous deliberate mispellings designed to make me appear as incompetent as humanly possible, or any of the other inappropriate elements that I'd included in the body of the resume. Instead, she skipped to the end. "Under 'Hobbies and Interests,'" she observed, "You have written 'I enjoy repetitive tasks.' What do you mean by that?"

Oh, crap. It was only meant to suggest an IQ in the mid-twenties -- she was reading it as an asset. I bluffed my way through it, saying that doing the same thing over and over put me in a trance-like state that I enjoyed a great deal. "Almost as good as sleeping, which I like better than anything."

On the strength of this, she was prepared to hire me on the spot -- no amount of twitching and fidgeting would dissuade her. I eventually had to call back and explain that I'd accepted a position elsewhere to get my head out of the noose.

I have a feeling that job would not have been the most challenging or stimulating employment one might find.
(Tue 11th Jul 2006, 8:05, More)

» It's not me, it's the drugs talking

Kitties rule.
LSD is great fun. Back around '97 or so, I had a nice little trip prepared. A tape full of unscreened anime and a 100" projector. Whee! I took four or five hits and it came on quite strong before I had the tape queued up. I rewound the tape some random amount and pressed play in the middle of a chaotic scene. Suddenly one wall was taken up by a tentacle-waving eldritch horror breaking up out of the ground. This intrigued my cats, Sacco and Vanzetti, who ran up to the wall, stood on their hind legs, and put their front paws as high up the wall as they could manage, which looked quite reverential. A big-eyed anime character explained: "That's their god!"

In a flash, it was clear to me: We were at the cusp of a new cycle of ages. The god Bast had returned, and Western Civilization was at an end. I was fortunate that I had brought the cats into my home, because my life would be spared in order that I might live in servitude to them. Only lasted a minute, thank god, before I realized I was still holding the remote in my hand and could turn the vengeful god off.

That one I don't really regret that much. The only other apocalyptic trip I had is a bit more regretable.

It wasn't going well. Yeah, end of the world crap triggered by a Negativland tape being eaten when they were going on about a bible verse: "Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the spirit." I'd gotten the 'cid from someone named Chris, which became Very Significant, as did the realization that everyone I lived with had names from the bible. Anyway, the Big Realization was that every thought and every word brings us closer to the End Times. The answer is obvious, right? TALK BACKWARDS! BRILLIANT! So I was trying to communicate to the people I lived with that it was important to talk backwards, like -- while talking backwards. (I was later told that this looked like nothing so much as trying to spit up a hairball.) I was trying to think backwards, too.

At this point, a friend of my roommate's who was visiting from San Francisco, who was a stereotypical older hippie woman, entered the room. She was wearing a tie-dye mumu, of all things, and had big frizzy hair. I never realized she was so beautiful, and made a move to hug her. She looked alarmed, stepped backwards, and said, "Oh no..."

As soon as she said it, it clicked. She knew the score. It wasn't just thought and speech that drove time forward -- it was sexual impulses. Every time you got down with a lady, we got a bit closer to the end. Of course!

The answer was clear: REVERSE SEXUAL IMPULSES! I whipped down my trousers, bent over, and demanded of my best friend of over a decade: "Fuck me in the ass! Fuck me in the ass!"

If only I'd remembered to try to say it backwards, I could have avoided a lot of awkwardness.
(Sun 18th Dec 2005, 16:53, More)

» DIY Techno-hacks

Three ancient hacks
(Besides Harlan Ellison, Michael Crichton, and Clive Cussler.)

In the late seventies, the only thing of any use I ever learned from my estranged father was the joy of "mute."

Younger folks may not remember, but the time was that there were no remote controls (unless you counted an external tuner with a long wire attached as a "remote control") and when commercials interrupted the programs, people just endured the mindless jibber-jabber raping them in the ears.

My father's elegant solution to this was to splice a toggle switch located beside his armchair into one of the leads on the TV's speaker. The term "mute button" was unknown at the time -- this was a "Bullshit switch." I modified every livingroom set we had to incorporate a "bullshit switch," right up until the mid-eighties, when IR remotes with mute buttons became ubiquitous. I'm not sure I would let a ten-year old hack a TV today, and back then they had some monster capacitors in them. My mum was pretty relaxed.

Also, in 1986, before residential conference calling was available, and when it was necessary for young nerds to have a separate phone line for BBS, I made Prankenstein. Prankenstein was born from an old answering machine, a guitar amplifier, two phone lines, two massive rotory phones (one of which figures prominently in the next hack,) a bunch of wire, and a common light switch. It was used to simultaneously call take-away places with similar names, connect them together, and then record the confusion as they each thought they were dealing with some drunken or retarded idiot who couldn't quite work out how to place an order. Good times.

The only ancient hack that I'm really proud of is the device I used to compensate for the sad fact that the 300 baud modem I used for my BBS (running on a computer with a 2.5MHZ Z80 CPU and 128kb of RAM) didn't have an "auto answer" feature. I took apart one of those old analog phones (with a ringer mechanism like this, insulated the clapper from the rest of the mechanism, attached a wire to it and then fixed some aluminum foil over it. I attached another wire to the screw that held one of the bells in place, and connected these wires to the black and orange wires on the cable from a busted Atari 2600 joystick, which was plugged into the nine-pin D-SUB port on my computer. The code (BASIC, natch) for my BBS ("Grandfather's Alligator Farm," since you ask,) included a bit to initiate a handshake if the "Fire" button on the joystick was pressed.

These are all from before I turned 16 - most of the twenty-three years that have followed (especially in my professional life) are built on a solid foundation of kludge.
(Fri 21st Aug 2009, 3:26, More)

» Housemates from hell

Filthiest roommate ever.
It's Pat, hands-down.

Pat was the bass player in a friend of mine's reggae band. Pat moved into my house.

Pat was a filthy bastard.

His bedroom was just off the front room, and the front room soon became a no-go area for me and anyone I cared to bring by, due to the fetid odour emanating from Pat's room. No worries, there, lots of room in the rest of the house.

I know it's prosaic, but Pat did not do dishes. Ever. I tried everything to change this -- from the passive-aggressive approach of immediately cleaning up after him in the hope that he would come to appreciate the kitchen always being clean and feel vaguely shitty about having someone else clean up his mess. (This is the approach that reformed me from my formerly slovenly ways.) It didn't work for him, so I switched gears, and stopped doing any of his dishes, which effectively meant abandoning the kitchen altogether.

The most he would ever do was rinse off dishes and utensils as needed -- it didn't bother him that every surface was covered in filthy clutter, or that he was eating off dishes that were usually kept under a layer of composting organic material. When every dish in the house was soiled, he hit upon a solution -- he went to his storage unit and brought home two more boxes of dishes.

But still, this is really not remarkable stuff, is it? We've all seen these.

No, what sets Pat apart is this:

One day I returned from a weekend at my girlfriend's, and Pat informed me that the toilet wasn't working. The unspoken assertion was that it was my toilet, and therefore my responsibility to set it right, even though in spite of its unflushable state he had continued to fill it up as dictated by the ineluctable demands of peristalsis. Let's leave aside the cheek of his refusal to stoop to having a go with the plumber's helper himself, and instead expecting me to look after things after he'd contributed two days' more worth of poop to the problem.

Why was the toilet not working?

The toilet was not working because I had been away at my girlfriend's for a few days, and so had not been there to buy new bog-rolls when the supply had been exhausted. (Pat, of course, would never walk the block-and-a-half to the store and make the two-dollar expenditure required to maintain usual anal hygeine. This is a completely alien thought; banish it utterly from your mind.)

What is such a creature to do in such a situation?

It's obvious: Use coffee filters. (My coffee filters, of course -- this was another consumable item that Pat considered only right and proper that I should supply him with.) He just brought the whole box of 200 right into the bathroom for convenient use, and left them on top of the cistern.

To be fair, I must concede that they were #2 filters.

Pat was looking for a new address after that weekend, I'm afraid. I'm pretty tolerant, but...
(Sat 7th Apr 2007, 23:41, More)
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