M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Saturday, July 31, 2004  

Reader Mail Slot, Episode XXVII

I love my readers. Y'all are so helpful after the fact. Like Julie, for instance. Where was she when Trash and Bitter and I were haring aimlessly around the city of Hastings, Minnesota on the Fourth of July, trying to find the best vantage point to watch stuff blow up? Well, she'll tell us where she was:

I'm sure a good half dozen people have emailed you already, but -- for what I'm sure will be many future 4th of July trips to Hastings -- head to the Hastings Country Club golf course on Westview Drive just south of 15th Street. Bring a blanket, lie on a big hill and have the fireworks explode directly above you. (This year, two actually misfired and exploded on the ground. No one lost any limbs so, in the end, it was pretty sweet.)

Awesome! It's always fun when a conflagration is a dome rather than a sphere.

But your confusion was justified. I flew home for the show to surprise my family and damned if there weren't 50 people doing fireworks (big, real ones!) in their backyards. From the country club hill, we could see them all over the place. (Since when are they legal in MN?)

Since the year before last, if I'm not mistaken. Actually, as far as I know, the big ones still aren't legal here. Every once in a while the neighbor kid will light up something that just sits in our shared driveway and sends up a shower of flame and smoke and sparks and noise and ash, and we've never been busted by the gendarmes, so I think they're kosher. I think you're not allowed to have anything very big or anything that flies through the air, just as a basic rule of un-blown-off thumb. I don't know. Since we don't have kids of our own, we don't have much reason to keep recreational explosives in the house.

Sherry offered some help with Trash's computer problem:

If the heatsink is installed on top of the CPU oriented the wrong way, 'backwards' so to speak, the symptoms of which you speak will sooner or later show up. I just had that very problem occur, and no computer repair person caught it. It wasn't until I called a friend in California in ranting despair that I found that out. I took my computer apart myself, turned the heatsink around, and now it works fine--though I have a new hard drive, new OS and trashed all my old files during the computer repair person phase--it was a "virus" according to them, even though no virus detection software found anything.

I responded:

Ooh, I think we'll try that. It sounds easier and cheaper than a new hard drive, which is what Best Buy tells us we need.

Which they had. To which she said:

I don't know about "easier;" it was quite the ordeal to strip the computer down and get the heat sink off the CPU, and it wasn't cheaper, because I'd already spent the money on all the other attempts at solutions (heh). Hope the heat sink is all it is on Trash's computer and not a bad hard drive!

Actually, it's looking like it was neither. Trash's computer came back from the shop a couple weeks ago and it's been working fine ever since (knock on a giant sequoia). I think it was a gremlin that escaped when they opened the case. Which then went home in someone else's computer.

So if you're reading this somewhere in the Twin Cities area, and your computer started shutting itself down for no reason after it came back from Best Buy, you should…

Hell, I don't know what to tell you. I kind of figured your system would crash before you read this far.

Trash's near-death experience fifteen years ago (every word of which was true, for those of you who speculated) prompted one reader to share her own near-death experience from…um…that day.

I would like to thank you for making me laugh at some else's terror on the very day of the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me. Today I heard my cat make the most horrific squealing sound. I ran down the hall from the front den into the kitchen where I found a full grown adult bear. An angry bear that was not happy that my cat was protecting her home. Instinct kicked in and I screamed bloody murder. The bear seriously peed on the floor running out of the back door, where it grabbed its cub. The neighbors came running and of course stopped wayyy short and stared. Very helpful people. Purple hearts all around. The cat had pursued the bear out the door into the yard and a fight was brewing so I threw a 30lb tin of bird seed at the bear followed by a lawn chair then a table then one of the neighbors. (Oh I SHOULD have!) The neighbors? Stood and gaped at the crazy lady fighting the 200lb bear. Think King of the Hill kind of standing around. I managed to drive it away from my little 9 lb cat and grab her and run in the house, which was a mess of course. It took me an hour to clean up after the bear, and the cat is shaken up but fine.

So, some thug from our Martin Luther King Blvd versus a bear? I'll take the bear, thanks.


That was a close one. I hate it when bears kill my readers.

Also, I think Sayer needs to start her own website. There's probably an eager web audience out there for stories from a local neighborhood unarmed bear wrangler. Except we'll all worry about her so much that she'll never be able to stop updating, even if we get posts like:

"Not mauled today."

"Still not dead."

"Posting this from inside my house, and not a bear's colon."

Otherwise we'll always wonder what happened to her. Speaking of which…that e-mail came from her last week and I haven't heard from her since. Yeah, she definitely needs a blog.

Today's best search phrase: "Sexy hazmat suit." I think there's a huge market there just waiting to be tapped. Just because you're in an environment where you need protection from deadly pathogens and toxins doesn't mean you can't show a little hoochie, right?

posted by M. Giant 5:39 PM
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