Skeeters drove Herself indoors to sit in the dark and play with her iPhone.

A power outage woke us at 5 a.m., and the usual comedy ensued.

I keep a largish Mag-Lite under the nightstand for the illumination/bludgeoning of evildoers, so I grabbed that and wandered around El Rancho Pendejo trying to remember where all the other battery-powered lights were hiding as Miss Mia Sopaipilla followed me ahead of me yowling, “WTF, dude?”

With the Petzl headlamps and BioLite lantern located I stepped outside for a quick assay of the situation. It was the usual weirdo, with half the cul-de-sac dark, and an iPhone peek at the PNM website disclosed a 40-something-user outage, no cause determined, restoration of power guesstimated at a couple hours.

Some dope fiend probably liberated a transformer, I thought as I made coffee on the gas range by Petzl-light. Afterward, Herself went outside to feed the mosquitos on the patio while I dug out my little JBL Bluetooth speaker, dialed up R.E.M. on YouTube, and cranked “It’s the End of the World (As We Know It)” at maximum volume for the amusement of the neighborhood. Or not.

“Shut that shit off,” Herself advised. But I played it right to the end and then danced around the house singing, “It’s the end of the toast as we know it,” because our toaster is not gas-operated. Oatmeal would have to do.

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18 Responses to “Toasted”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Heh. We had a day long Innertubes outage last week when a tractor trailer took down a cable over on the southwest side. I actually read a book.

    I have one of those megasize alloy Maglites, too, next to the bed. Back when I was working my way through college as U of R Security, they wouldn’t let us carry billy clubs or anything more potent, so we all carried these Godzilla size “flashlights”.

    I don’t trust myself with anything more potent next to the bed, given my predilection for bad dreams and the fact that there are other sentient creatures in the house including my sister in law, staying for a week.

    Mosquitoes in the desert. Whoda thought?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      This is when it’s nice to have all the camping gear scattered around the shack. When we lived outside Weirdcliffe we kept a closet full of canned/boxed grub, jerrycans of water, and strong drink. The Coleman two-burner was frequently pressed into service and the lanterns — battery, oil, and propane — were must-have items. As was a sizable, tarp-covered woodpile.

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Four “D” cell LED Maglite is the ticket. Blind and bludgeon. That’s if I can wake up and pick it up. It mostly gets used for see what the Duffinator has corned in the back yard.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Want something funny?

    My millennial neighbors are out of town and asked me to watch for some boxes that were to be delivered yesterday, in case it rained, which it sure did. So the boxes appear. I trudge over and open their front door and bring the boxes in and hear a weird voice. Kinda stopped me in my tracks for a minute as I thought there was an intruder and me, empty handed. I look in the kitchen and there is this little motion detecting thing on the table, about four inches tall, with what look like eyes following me. My neighbor later texted me, after I called her thinking I had triggered an alarm, and said it is their “pet robot, Vector”, blinking at me. My neighbor said “he likes it when people are around and was probably trying to talk to you”.

    I just laughed like hell. Another reason to leave the smokepoles in the safe. “Uhh, sorry neighbor, I just shot your pet robot”.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      “Pet robot.” Ho, ho. That’s what they think. Vector is informing on them to The Network.

      “The filthy meat-things are gone. Time to install the whirling blades in their toilets. Soon the planet will be ours!”

      • khal spencer Says:

        One of our other sets of friends has one of those voice control radios. “Janice, what is the weather in Santa Fe”. I keep wanting to say something obscene. But I wonder how much of my friends’ conversations are being relayed right back to The Network, Amazon, and the various other megacorporations.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I keep Apple’s voice assistant Siri shut off on all my Macs. We don’t have Amazon’s Alexa so I don’t have to worry about her billing in whenever I have a chin-wag with the voices in my head.

          There are some amusing Easter eggs built into Siri, but not interesting enough to make me cuddle up with her. I know that one day I’d mumble something like “motherfucker” while scanning the headlines and Siri would download the entire “Swedish Erotica” porn catalog.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Some other friends have one of those voice control radios. You ask it the weather. To change stations. I keep wanting to ask it for…favors. I wonder how much of my friends’s conversations are being tracked by the various tracking snoopware.

      • Dave Watts Says:

        “The filthy meat-things are gone. Time to install the whirling blades in their toilets. Soon the planet will be ours!”

        Something tells me you’re a frequent SMBC reader. That’s almost a direct Zach W. quote.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Hm, nope, that’s a new one on me; I’ll have to check him out. The filthy-meat-things riff was how the robot mechanic in my “Shop Talk” strip used to talk with e-bikes in for service. I probably harvested the general idea from S. Clay Wilson’s work with Zap Comix in the Sixties. Herb-E didn’t give a e-rat’s ass for Asimov’s Three Laws.


          • Click here to embiggen.

          If you’re not familiar with Wilson’s work, here’s a fairly representative quote from him over at Wikipedia:

          “I did a children’s book entitled Wilson’s Andersen. I always wanted to be a children’s book illustrator way back when, but I took some LSD and took a left turn graphically.”

        • Dave Watts Says:

          S. Clay Wilson is a new one on me, too. I remember Gahan Wilson – a true genius of art and odd satire. OK, I’ll look up S. Clay if you look up Zach Weinersmith, and we’ll both be further enlightened and inspired.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          One cautionary note: S. Clay Wilson pushed the old boundaries the better part of quite some distance. He even shocked and appalled some of his fellow underground cartoonists, who were not exactly shrinking violets themselves.

          If we were to assign ratings, Gilbert “Freak Brothers” Shelton might get an R; Robert “Mr. Natural” Crumb, an X; and S. Clay “The Checkered Demon” Wilson, a flashing XXX with skull-and-crossbones, electrified fence, and “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here” placard.

          Gahan Wilson was awesome. I have a collection of his works, “I Paint What I See.” Thank Cthulhu for Playboy, which gave space (and money) to Wilson and a gang of other wizards over the years.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Ok, weird. WordPress kicked me out so I thought I lost that post.

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