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Okay, but this time, I’m driving

Arrrr…I’ve just spent an hour on the phone to my elderly father trying to talk him through a YouTube search. It’s such a shame…dude was a huge gadget and technology guy back in the day. If the internet had hit him a little earlier in life, he’d have been all over it.

Oh, he’s not senile. He’s doped up and crabby and hears that clock ticking all the time. As in, “consarnit, how many dubyas I got to poke before I git pitchers?”

Between you and me, I bet anything he worked out how to get porn years ago.

Anyhow…this happen to you? Leave the door open, and the next thing you know, the car is full of stray cats.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: February 2, 2012, 11:12 pm

Did this with my mom years back – trying to teach her how to use AOL over the phone . Well, I’d never used AOL which increased the level of difficulty. AND I
had the opposite pron problem though. She kept getting nasty spam, and kept accusing me of having visited pron sites on her computer when I’d visited. Huh…

I always brought my laptop. 😉

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: February 2, 2012, 11:18 pm

The steering wheel is on the wrong side 🙂

Comment from Alice
Time: February 2, 2012, 11:29 pm

Ah, that brings back some memories. My dad was an all-around engineer type (mechanical, chemical, nuclear, structural, civil, materials – he did all of ’em at some point in his career). For years, he’d brag about how his ancient no-name PC running bare-bones DOS was soooo much faster and more efficient than all us young’uns with our fancy laptops and Windows and what not. He did everything to squeeze out the last bit of memory writing code in his beloved Framework until one day things just.stopped.working. There was no way to fix it – parts just wore out and replacements were impossible to find.

I asked him several months after he’d been forced to break down and buy a “new” PC, prebuilt with Windows (3.11 I think) and MS Office how it was working out, and if he’d managed to port over his old programs and whatnot. I swear he came as close to blushing as I’ve ever seen him, when he said it was all working well, only he just hated to admit that just about everything he wrote seemed to run just fine in VBA and damned if it wasn’t a whole lot faster and easier to code new things.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: February 3, 2012, 12:15 am

Ah, but no, QuasiModo – the Mazda is a Jap import…. the steering wheel is on the right side 😉

We didn’t all feel the need to slavishly copy the French!

Comment from JeffS
Time: February 3, 2012, 12:38 am

Isn’t it amazing how the right car will attract pussies?



Comment from Redd
Time: February 3, 2012, 12:39 am

Why don’t you do it for him and send him the links? When he clicks and watches there will be other similar videos in the sidebar. He’ll get the hang of it.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: February 3, 2012, 12:54 am

Ha! That’s no pussy – that’s the wonderful Asbo – our outdoor cat.

Dunno if Her Stoatliness has explained before but ASBO stands for Anti Social Behaviour Order – one of the hated Blair junta’s many lunatic ideas. Young thugs would ‘get an ASBO’ from a court if they’d pissed through someone’s letterbox, shop-lifted, the usual sort of thing.

Of course, it rapidly became a badge of rank among the brats. An ASBO meant you were one of the kewl kids!

Our Asbo is a sneak thief cat, slinking around, nose in the waste bin, almost completely unsocialised…. except that, slowly, slowly, The Weasel has been teaching him that a scratch behind the ears doesn’t automatically lead to being turned into a pair of gloves.

But he still looks at ‘proper’ food in puzzlement. Yesterday I scavenged some chicken portions going cheap (cheep) in a supermarket. Poor Asbo isn’t used to whole portions, still with meat on… it took him a while to work out what to do with it.

But he’s smart. He worked out months ago that if he just watches over the chickens, keeping the foxen away, and doesn’t attack them, he gets treats. So he sits there with this ‘If only!’ look on his face, while Mapp taunts him.

He’s a big, unfixed, tom and a very, very good cat who sings to us when he visits the house for food, several times a day.

And who would so steal that car if only he could work out how to hot-wire it….

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 3, 2012, 12:54 am

Because I don’t believe he checks his email, Redd. He says he does, but his inbox was just jammed full of junk last I was there.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: February 3, 2012, 1:22 am

Heh. I stopped trying to fix Mom’s PC over the phone. Last time I tried, I wanted to hang myself. I just make the hour drive and do it.

And the digital camera? Forget it. She just keeps buying new memory cards. ‘Storage’ dontchaknow. Though the last visit to Walgreen’s photo counter seemed to have been a success. Hope?

Comment from Mono The Elder
Time: February 3, 2012, 3:23 am

So, Didja get the blue goo rained on you?


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: February 3, 2012, 5:16 am

Hmm, did anyone pick up on James Farentino passing away on Jan 24th? I had no idea….

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: February 3, 2012, 5:54 am

Heh, that’s kind of interesting….

The story of the bean-sidhe began as a fairy woman keening at the death of important personages.[6] In later stories, the appearance of the banshee could foretell death. Banshees were said to appear for particular Irish families, though which families made it onto this list varied depending on who was telling the story. Stories of banshees were also prevalent in the West Highlands of Scotland.[6]

The banshee can appear in a variety of guises. Most often she appears as an ugly, frightening hag, but she can also appear as a stunningly beautiful woman of any age that suits her. In some tales, the figure who first appears to be a “banshee” is later revealed to be the Irish battle goddess, the Morrígan.

Although not always seen, her mourning call is heard, usually at night when someone is about to die and usually around woods. In 1437, King James I of Scotland was approached by an Irish seer or banshee who foretold his murder at the instigation of the Earl of Atholl. There are records of several prophets believed to be incarnate banshees attending the great houses of Ireland and the courts of local Irish kings.

In some parts of Leinster, she is referred to as the bean chaointe (keening woman) whose wail can be so piercing that it shatters glass. In Kerry in the southwest of Ireland, her keen is experienced as a “low, pleasant singing”; in Tyrone in the north, as “the sound of two boards being struck together”; and on Rathlin Island as “a thin, screeching sound somewhere between the wail of a woman and the moan of an owl”.

The banshee may also appear in a variety of other forms, such as that of a hooded crow, stoat, hare and weasel – animals associated in Ireland with witchcraft.


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 3, 2012, 6:27 am

MX 5? Your ASBO has decent taste.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 3, 2012, 11:36 am

Heh. I almost tried to squeeze a post out of the blue goo, Mono. Missed us somehow.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 3, 2012, 12:17 pm

Lumme some Miata, Stark. It’s all I’ve driven since 1994. This is my third.

It’s a ’94, original body shape, straight from Japan. Too bad everything’s on the wrong side.

Comment from Kat
Time: February 3, 2012, 1:48 pm

We have 5 barn cats. Anyone who is not familiar with the place often finds themselves in the rather entertaining position of either a) discovering a feline camped comfortably in the driver’s seat or around the pedals, or b) returning very shortly and swiftly, having been subjected to a cat opera by a very panic ridden kitty who decided to be adventurous and hide somewhere else! lol

Comment from Pupster
Time: February 3, 2012, 2:33 pm

Leave the door open, and the next thing you know, the car is full of stray cats.

If you don’t mark it, it is not yours.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: February 3, 2012, 3:05 pm

The first Mrs. Aurelius and I had a white-and-black cat who used to hang around our apartment in lovely Lafayette, Loozyana. We had a little drive-in shelter — I wouldn’t call it a garage — and this was long ago, so we sometimes left the car windows open. One morning we started to drive out, in fact we were almost at the stop sign on the corner, when Something *moved* in the back seat.

Mr. White-and-Black had hopped into the car and was napping. Even my starting the car and rolling down several feet to the street didn’t wake him right away.

We stopped and let him out. He strolled back up to the yard and was gone, no doubt thinking, “Damn, if I’d just laid low a while longer, I coulda gone places!”

Comment from David Gillies
Time: February 3, 2012, 3:35 pm

So did the DVLA finally relent and give you a licence? I hope you rocket around the Home Counties yelling, “poop poop!” out of the window.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 3, 2012, 8:21 pm

Oh, no, David Gillies. It did not. And now two years have passed and I have to take the theory test again before I can take another practical.

A sore point, as you might imagine.

Comment from enter sandman, nothing to see here
Time: February 4, 2012, 1:03 am

Please explain the process of gaining you drivers license in Limey land amongst the soccer hooligans and the like. Barn cats included in the hooligans aforementioned.

Thankee muchly.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: February 4, 2012, 1:22 am

Pupster: “If you don’t mark it, it is not yours.”

And now, the wisdom of Cat, from Red Dwarf:


Comment from Oh Hell
Time: February 4, 2012, 1:59 am

I left the window in the pickup open. Not only did the cat leave hair all over the seat, he ate my tacos.

Comment from enter sandman, nothing to see here
Time: February 4, 2012, 2:45 am

Dont feel bad…my sister’s evil cat has taken to climbing onto my recliner to be friendly. I am not all that friendly with the shedding critter but it has taken a shine to my chair with me in it. Miss my old dog, a chow. Long story there.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: February 4, 2012, 3:05 pm

A bit OT…just a different critter. Some years ago, my hunting partner and I were walking a tributary of the Little Thompson river, jump shooting ducks. Early on we both connected and took two green winged teal. We placed them in the bed of the pick up to cool down. Didn’t think much about the barn owl we spooked as we wandered back down to the creek bed. When we returned empty handed (not because there weren’t ducks, we just didn’t shoot well!) We found our ducks had been eviscerated and the breasts neatly, almost surgically removed…. That ol’ owl must have thought we set up a cafeteria line for him.

Cats — The wife unit had a black cat when I first met her. Pushkin was his name. He used to sit in front of blank walls, staring at them, plaintively yowling…. dunno, but I always thought he was looking for a gateway into another dimension. And no, there were no mice or rats in the house.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: February 7, 2012, 8:31 pm

So, is that an upgrade, Dame Stoat?

If you still lived in Tennessee, the wagon would be full of possums and coons.

The cats are to be directly credited with my skyrocketing archery costs. THWACK!!!

Comment from Nieta de Bob
Time: February 9, 2012, 11:34 pm

the DVLA is the Driving, Vehicle & Licensing Authority and they set the rules and regulations for the road. If you want a UK license you need to take a theory test. This test consists of two parts: the first being a 50 question multiple choice exam out of which you must get 43 questions correct in order to pass. This also includes a situation from which you then answer several questions based off of it. You have 57 minutes to take this portion so you are encouraged to go back and double check your answers. The second portion is what’s known as the Hazard test. You are given 14 clips and in them are certain hazard and you need to mark these hazards as they occur. If you mark it too soon then you get 0/5 points. The trick is marking the hazard just as it is about to develop. There are 5 points per vid and you have to get at least 62/77 correct… something like that. If you fail any portion of the exam then you fail the entire test and have to spend an additional £31 for a new one.

You then take practical test, but only after you pass the theory test. You have 2 years after passing the theory to pass the practical, if you do not then you will have to take the theory test all over again. You can take the practical as many times as you need to pass it in that 2 year period… at £62 a pop.

Until you have passed your practical you can only drive so long as someone 21+ with a full UK DL of at least 3 years is in the car with you. And you have to have L plates (a white square with a red L on it) on the car as well. It’s a bit embarrassing when you’ve been driving for ages already. And by a full UK DL they mean manual transmission. And they do make a difference between manual and automatics. If you have a DL for a manual you can drive an automatic, if you have an automatic DL then you have to take a test to drive a manual.

I was lucky to have passed the theory on my first time… that’s not very common. And I have my practical on the 15th so I am a bit worried about that one. The funny thing is, with a CA DL I am legal to drive in the UK even w/o L plates on the car.

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