Five Things: June 3, 2020

Let’s get to today’s five, shall we?

Hey, did you remember that there’s a presidential campaign going on? Well there is, and seven states and the District of Columbia even had primaries yesterday. Not that you would know it from the front pages of the news sites, I had to dig deep, deeeep into the New York Times site to find all of yesterday’s results. Part of that is that the world’s on fire, and part of that is also that at this point it’s a cakewalk for Biden, who will officially clinch the Democratic nomination next week with the Georgia and West Virginia primaries. But still, it’s very odd to be in an election year where the presidential campagin feels like an afterthought at best.

Hit the road, Steve King: It’s an indication of how weird a year 2020 is that while I had to dig for the delegate counts from last night, the news of US Representative Steve King, Iowa’s notorious racist fucknugget, losing his primary race, was splashed all over the place. And of course, it is delightful news, as King is a loose bag of hate and unearned superiority, shambling about in a vaguely human form. Liberals should enjoy their delightful moment of schadenfreude now, since Randy Feenstra, who won the GOP primary over King (and will likely win the general in November), is unlikely to vote any differently than King has in the House, he’s just probably smart enough not to spout explicitly racist words over a live mic and then be flummoxed why anyone should think that’s a problem. But yes! Enjoy it now! And best of luck to King in his next endeavor, which will probably be as a columnist for the Federalist or something else similarly egregious.

I put on pants today. First time in a month! More or less. The reason for the occasion is that I actually left the house and went into the world, because I had a dental appointment. Turns out I need a crown (which I knew) and I also have a cavity (which I did not know, but I’m honestly not all that surprised about). So I’ll be going back to the dentist’s in a couple of weeks. I will put on pants then, too. Pants between now and then? We will see, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

Bill & Ted congratulate the Class of 2020 at San Dimas High School. This just warms my heart. I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll mention it again: I lived in San Dimas during my high school, in fact right across the street from the water park. I did not go to San Dimas High School, but I still feel mighty pleased that this little town has been immortalized by two of Gen X’s most notable fictional characters. Much of “San Dimas” in the film was filmed elsewhere, but I can say that indeed there is a Circle K there. And strange things were indeed often afoot.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for, the Ant Situation Update: I’ve seen a couple of stragglers, but that’s it, so I’m going to go ahead and declare victory, and also credit Febreeze with the MVP role for totally wiping out the pheromone trails and otherwise sowing fear and confusion in the Formicidal ranks. Mind, they may just be regrouping. But I’ll have the ant traps here today or tomorrow. I’ll be ready for any counterattack (or any attack on my counters). These days we take our wins where we can.

28 thoughts on “Five Things: June 3, 2020

  1. Very, very strange when the presidential campaign is a distant third in the news.

    I was actually hoping that King won the primary, since he likely would have lost the election. I note that he is not just a notorious racist, but also anti-military as well. During the 2013 shutdown, he insisted that the Senate gym be open because he’s “at war here!” This while not paying all the civilian people who actually supported the military at the time – you know, the men and women who were literally at war and being killed while there?

  2. Just a sign of how fucking upside down the world is these days:

    George W Bush, the moron who invaded the wrong country after 9/11, got us involved in two of the longests quagmires we’ve ever been in, establisher of the idea that being “detained” during a war means youre not a prisoner of war, and therefore geneva convention does not apply, founder of torture on an industrial scale, founder of the spy-on-americans on an industrial scale, and too stupid to ever learn how to pronounce noo-coo-ler, came out with a statement about George Floyd that makes him sound like a wise elder statesman compared to Trump.

    What the fudge is happening?

  3. The Formic Invasion has been repelled with mass Formic casualties! We are safe until the next hatch out! Huzzah!

  4. My Formica Log post, from eight years ago:
    Bruce M Campbell
    June 8, 2012 ·
    Amazing discovery this morning. We had an ant colony living in our wireless phone’s base station. Over the last few weeks, we had noticed some really little ants in the kitchen, within a foot or so of the phone dock.

    I lifted the station from the window ledge it has lived on for several years, and saw a pile of surprised ants, suddenly caught in the light as they were moving their larval burdens around. Panic naturally ensued. I yanked the wires from the back of the dock, took it out onto the deck, and shook the unit over the railing. Eleanor Rigby would have been pleased at all of the rice raining down in the yard below.

    Creeped right out, I had to face the idea that the unit would need to be dismantled, investigated, and the acetic squatters eradicated. Pushing thoughts of anthropocentric ethnic cleansing out of my mind, I quickly dismantled the phone base, and was thankfully not nauseated by the sight of masses of creamy white larval bodies and little creamy black-eyed pearl eggs, moved around by attendant workers. Gah!

    Luckily most electronic components can stand a bit of water, as long as those components don’t have any power going into them, including batteries or capacitors that could be shorted by the water. I blasted the casing with water, then canned air, and had to chase ants off the printed circuit board, from inside of the tunnels created by connectors of integrated circuits mounted on the PCB, and from inside of the buttons, crannies and nooks that were left inside the casing by the moulding process.

    Using a can of compressed air and a hair dryer, I got all of the water out, removed any really well-lodged stow-aways, and got everything dry again, all the while thinking of Newt from Cameron’s Aliens. My karma will be completely shot to hell today. But I am also wondering why the phone base? It never gets unplugged, so the power would make it warm. It hasn’t been moved in years, except to clean, so it’s ant-tectonically safe. And just maybe these little ants are attracted to a 2.4GHz radio transceiver…

  5. “Liberals should enjoy their delightful moment of schadenfreude now . . .”

    Because you earned it!

    Good job, Liberals.

  6. I’m moving to Pomona in a couple of weeks, and I’m tickled that I’ll be so close to San Dimas. I smile every time I see it on the map. Thanks, Bill and Ted!

  7. Oh, I hadn’t heard about the San Dimas high school graduation greetings from Bill and Ted. That really is delightful. Amazing how a small investment of time can make a whole lotta people happy.

    Febreze vs the Ants: If this didn’t work, I was going to suggest cayenne pepper. It may not purge all the ants but you have the satisfaction of hearing all these tiny sneezes.

  8. Ants suck, and I have the same problem every year. Hint: Lock everything sweet and/or starchy very tight, or put them in the fridge, because those little fuckers can get everywhere, including seemingly sealed containers. Also, use orange spray anywhere you see a trail, and just fight an aggressive offensive fight this time of year. Eventually, they will give up and you can get back to normal.

    Also, this “pants” thing mystifies me. I never wore them in the first place.

  9. That’s so very excellent. I was San Dimas class of 83″ myself. Time flies. Also, I deeply appreciate your insights, observations and musings over the years John.

  10. I just spent waaaay too long in hospital, so I’m wearing pants every chance I get, even when I don’t need to – it helps me feel adult and in control again (even if neither is really true). Plus we’re heading into winter here, so I think it’s cold, even if most of you would laugh at me.

    I hope your ants are done – I recently removed a decorative lantern near my front door for some repair work and found it was the capstone of a massive nest – they took it as a declaration of war, I think.

  11. “he’s just probably smart enough not to spout explicitly racist words over a live mic and then be flummoxed why anyone should think that’s a problem. ”
    I think this is a good thing so I will enjoy it.
    I don’t doubt he’s as rotten as King, but having someone in elected office wonder why white supremacy is a bad thing then get re-elected tells people that this bullshit is now acceptable. King losing nudges the Overton Window in a better direction.

  12. Okay, if you’re not wearing pants, what are you wearing (if anything)?

    (Me, I haven’t worn pants since the beginning of December 2016. Of course, I no longer pretend to be a guy.)

    Obl. off-topic comment: I discovered that in the UK, “pants” means underpants.

  13. W wasn’t a very good President (understatement), but he did actually have some decency and humanity. Unfortunately, when your selection process (and certainly the GOP’s selection process) for officeholders seems to actively discourage those things, you get…what we have now, I guess. I should consider myself lucky they also forgot competence as a selection criterion.

  14. Yesterday’s and today’s things bring to mind not one, but two pieces of Heinlein doggerel.

    That hilariously debased caricature of ecclesia militans – the Fosterites.

    “Onward Foster’s children/Smash apart your foes!/Faith our shield and honor/Strike them down by rows!”

    Pants. At least one of Valentine Michael Smith’s followers considered them superfluous.

    “Ardent is our lovely Dawn/Ben grokked that in her glance;/She shops for dresses every morn/But NEVER shops for pants!”

  15. The Steve King situation looks pretty standard deep-GOP-territory stuff to those of us who live in Michele Bachmann’s former district, now in the care of Republican Tom Emmer, who votes the same line but is smarter (not that high a bar) and more competent and civil as a representative (actually a relief) and thus tougher to unseat, especially in a district that gathers every Republican-leaning exurban community along a long stretch of the Mississippi.

  16. I went to the dentist yesterday as well and it was odd. Temp check, masks, wait in the parking lot. At least I got out of the house. Pants? Yeah I wore some too.

  17. My husband has been working from home for 2 and a half months and just yesterday realized that he van wear shorts and sandals while he’s on conference calls. I’m now encouraging him to consider leaving off the long-sleeve shirt and tie.

  18. I hope your crown experience is as easy as mine was. My dentist had gotten a new set of equipment in the week before (during the lockdown) and had his staff trained remotely. They scanned my mouth with a scanner-on-a-stick, showed me the cracked tooth, ground down the top to leave a base for the crown, scanned again. He popped on a virtual crown on the screen, edited it to cover a gap between the teeth and adjust the bite, and sent me with the assistant to watch the crown being milled in the back of the office. I got to watch a computerized milling machine cut away excess from a chunk of purple ceramic to make the new crown, which only took about 15 minutes. They then told me to go to lunch while they put the crown in a kiln; it turned it from purple to the natural color of my teeth in 30 minutes. I got back from lunch early, and they took me back, removed the temp they’d sent me to lunch with, glued in the new crown, and I was gone in less than 15 minutes. Total time, less than three hours. No making molds and waiting for weeks for a finished product that then had to be adjusted.

  19. Bruce, I had the same thing happen to me and my phone about 10 years ago. But I was so grossed out that I just unplugged my phone and threw it into our apartment dumpster.

    And I once opened my garage freezer to find it invaded by ants! What on earth they were doing there I have no idea, but found hundreds of dead ants.

  20. King will probably become some “acting” person in Trump’s cabinet. Just sayin’.

    And Bill and Ted always remind me of San Dimas and the water park. Grew up in Covina and used to walk those hills before the water park and before Puddingstone became Frank G. Bonelli Regional County Park. But then, I’m old(er). And no Circle K when I was around, that I know of.

    Been wearing pants for some time. It’s a familial requirement since I was one of two people walking the dogs in public, and now that I’m back at work, the guys at the front door would probably not let me in if I weren’t wearing pants.

    So far, just ants moving into our shed – again. Dammit! Who knew the bastards would eat plywood?

  21. It is worth noting that King was not defeated because of his racism. The GOP deliberately avoided bringing that up. He was defeated because losing all his committee seats, especially on the Agriculture Committee, made him ineffective. Racism is still OK. Just keep your mouth shut about it and mutter things like “All Lives Matter.” Then go blast some of those lives out of your way for a photo op.

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