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Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, July 21, 2004  

Humpblog (7/21/04)

The "check engine" light on my car came on a few weeks ago. I was ready to be all self-sufficient and diagnose the problem myself. I figured I'd take a few minutes and "pull the codes." Let me explain that phrase for those of my readers who are even less mechanically inclined than myself.

When the check engine light goes on, that’s when a savvy driver says, "Hey, I think it's trying to tell me something." But what? That's where pulling the trouble codes comes in. Pulling the codes is a procedure whereby you basically say to your car's computer, "What's wrong, girl?" And then the check engine light blinks on and off in a kind of Morse code that tells you that your carburetor's fallen down a well or your alternator is in the path of a forest fire or whatever the hell.

Sadly, the procedure for pulling codes is not something that the authors of my Saturn Owner's Manual saw fit to include, never mind the codes themselves. So I called my dad, who suggested I tighten the gas cap.

Thanks, Dad! Problem solved. The light hasn't come on since. Tarzan need no silly engine codes! Tarzan tighten gas cap!

This morning I started my car. The check engine light still doesn't come on. But the dome light was blinking on and off regularly. All by itself, at half-second intervals. It kept doing it even after I turned it off.

What the hell is that about? Even my Owner's Manual was like, "Shit, don't look at me" on the subject.

After a minute or so, it stopped. But listen, any other Saturn owners whose dome lights flashed off and on by themselves at about 9:00 Central Time? Drop me an e-mail, because if this is a signal for some kind of alien invasion we should probably know about it.

* * *

So it seems that 24 is dropping all of its regular cast members except Kiefer next season. I already knew this from the spoiler thread at Television Without Pity (one drawback of being a moderator is that one tends to get spoiled). In fact, on Sunday night I had a dream that even Kiefer had left the series, and had been replaced by another former co-star of Alex Winter's whose distinctive first name began with a K. A few posters on TWoP's 24 boards might even go so far as to call that a nightmare.

I think it was because I'd just watched Matrix Revolutions that night. I'd tell you more about the dream, but I figure that if you want to be told a pointless, meandering story in which Keanu mopes around and which has a negligible plot and no discernible ending…well, see previous sentence.

* * *

Just got back from the Kieran's Pub Quiz. As some readers may recall, our team won last month, so this time we got to come home with little trophies engraved with our team name: 3rd Place Dick. G.Grod was never a fan of the name, but even he had to admit that seeing it professionally engraved on a metal plate lends it a certain air of legitimacy.

Alas, only three member's of last month's winning team (us, in case you're really not paying attention) were there to claim their trophies tonight: myself, Linda, and G. Grod. Trash had some work thing, and Zen Viking is in Vermont or some such, so we brought in Pub Quiz virgin DragonAttack, who I must say did an excellent job of filling in for two people.

Even so, it was clear early on that a repeat victory was way out of our reach. We started out in the bottom half of the field, and drifted around in the middle for most of the rest of the quiz, right up to round five, which saw us in eighth place out of twenty.

Which was why we were as surprised as anyone when we won the thing again. We'd chosen the final round—the music round—as our "joker round" which is the round where a team's score is doubled. Correctly answering nine and a half questions that round (we choked on the title of that country song by the Rolling Stones) was enough to vault us into the lead—"Out of nowhere," as the quizmaster aptly put it.

So now we have a streak going. Now we’re a dynasty. Now we're one of those teams whose names the other teams whisper to each other in astonishment when they hear they're ahead of us. Now we’re one of those teams with more than one trophy.

We should have known. You get three Damn Hell Ass Kings on a trivia team, and everyone else is in for a spanking, as a number of Seattleites learned a couple of years ago.

And I can't help thinking that the team name doesn't hurt either.

* * *

Today's best search phrase: "My cat peed on me." Well, I did ask for it. The hit, I mean. Not the peeing.

posted by M. Giant 9:19 PM 0 comments


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