Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we sing about it all in The Karaoke Lounge. Always some fresh new tidbits of news and commentary to check out and you can post your own knowledge nuggets, too.
KSDK, a TV station in St. Louis, MO, picked the Samurai’s humble dojo as their website of the day for April 5, 2005. Mucho domos, KSDK!
Most folks think of appliance repair as just another one of the technical trades, like a plumber or electrician. And, it’s true, there are those who practice appliance repair as merely a trade. But did you know that appliance repair is actually an ancient martial art, older than Kung Fu, Karate Do, and Tae Kwon Do all put together? Yes, my leetle Grasshoppers, I shi’ite you not. The ancient martial art of appliance repair is called Fixite Do (pronounced “fixi-tay do”). According to archeological records, Fixite Do originated in Lower Slabovia sometime during the Fermentecean era, which began right after the Jurassic era. You may be interested to know that Samurai Appliance Repair Man is a fully trained and certifiable master in the ancient appliance repair martial art of Fixite Do. The picture below is an actual live shot of the Samurai applying his art (click the picture for a larger view):
Life is good. It’s late afternoon on a Friday and another snow storm is kicking up outside– they’re promising a foot this time. But I’m propped up in bed with my semper fi canine hiking partner, Bubba, laying next to me. And I have my newest little buddy, a Mac iBook G4, perched on my lap, surfing the web on a new wireless Verizon DSL Internet connection that consistently zips along.
Our old Adelphia cable connection had been steadily taking a dump for six months. I’ve spent more than 10 hours on the phone, pressing “1” for English and waiting to talk to a cubicle dweller wearing a headset, reading me canned platitudes about how my home network was to blame. On a couple occasions, I broke through to a “Level 2 tech,” the guys “in the know,” only to schedule a service call with Big Foot the Cable Guy who, while polite and housebroken and all, didn’t know beans about how to troubleshoot cable Internet systems so nothing got fixed.
Now, here’s a great lesson in free-market economics. Since Adelphia blows herds of warthogs, the conditions were ripe for an upstart broadband competitor to come along and woo us away. But, while they didn’t have any competition for broadband providers in my area, Adelphia didn’t need to be responsive and could allocate their resources to markets where they competed with other broadband providers.
Enter Verizon Online DSL. Ok, telecom behemoth Verizon isn’t exactly an upstart, but they only recently started offering broadband Internet access in our area. I didn’t need much wooing; I used my backup connection, Netzero dialup, to get to Verizon’s website and sign up for their DSL service. They mailed me the self-install kit which included the DSL modem and, 10 days later, I was surfing smoothly on a solid DSL connection. After surfing on dialup most of the time for the past month, I had forgotten how fast and versatile broadband can be.
And here’s the kicker. At $25/month (with a Freedom calling package, which we already have), Verizon DSL is less than half the price of Adelphia cable Internet. In this crazy, upside-down world of compooters, it ain’t always true that you get what you pay for. Sometimes, you get more when you pay less.
Anyway, back to my perfect life, here in my cozy bed with my iBook and my Bubba, while a winter storm rages outside. I’m surfing, answering email, chatting on Yahoo Messenger (zenzoidman), answering questions in the repair forum, and streaming some great music from the Hearts of Space website. All this occurring simultaneously on a fast, reliable DSL connection. Yeah!
At one point, my youngest reproductive unit came in to visit me and I tried to explain to him what a miracle this all is. He was unimpressed. Unless you grew up in the days where your college freshman FORTRAN programming class was taught using punch cards, you just can’t appreciate how many light years computing has advanced.
Have you ever heard Hearts of Space on public radio? I’ve been a fan of that show since Stephen Hill started it in the early ’80’s. Every week, he plays an hour of ambient music (or “space music”). The best way to describe ambient music is that it’s quiet music for contemplation, writing, or just laying in bed and taking a trip without leaving the farm, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, you can also listen to Hearts of Space on XM channel 77, Audio Visions, every weeknight from 11pm to midnight (Eastern Time). Trouble is, I also like to listen to Rollye James during that time. My bowels were deeply conflicted… until I found out that you can subscribe to Hearts of Space and listen online to their entire streaming archive of shows whenever you want for $20/month. Well, that was a no-brainer– problem solved!
Right now, I’m streaming my favorite HOS show through my iBook, Program 332, Deep Forest: A Pygmy/Techno/Rainforest Journey. It’s a unique blend of soothing, traditional vocalizations from Pygmy tribes in Africa with modern techno sounds. I know: it sounds really flaky, maybe even fruity, but you gotta hear it to appreciate it. After you listen to an hour of this music, you feel like you just smoked a mondo spliff of B.C. bud even though you’ve had nothing but coffee.
Mrs. Samurai just told me dinner is ready. Fresh haddock and Greek salad, mmmm. Life is good. Later.
Finally, an opportunity has come along for me to make some serious cash. Johnson Minsa, a banker in Ghana, contacted me personally (he even knew my name!) to help him get some cash out of the country. I just emailed my bank account information to Mr. Minsa and now I’m just waiting for my money train to come in. Ah, yes, I can see it now: sipping margaritas on a pristine beach in Costa Rica, driving a brand new Chevy pickup truck, lounging at the beach house in Malibu, eating Big Macs in gay Paree… oui, oui! I’m tired of scratching out a living repairing appliances: rolling around on scummy kitchen floors reaching through piles of rat turds to change out a valve on a gas range; fishing out putrid rotten mouse carcasses from dishwasher insulation. No more! As soon as that Big Green hits my account, I’m outta here. Later, suckers!
johnson minsa email@example.com wrote:
My name is Mr johnson minsa, an auditor with the Bank
of Ghana. Your contact was secured through the
internet,i am proposing to you a deal that will no
doubt be of great benefit to both of us.
During one of our auditing sessions of banks under our
supervision, i came accross this large sum of
money(USD17.5million) in a dormant account belonging
to a foreigner, who on further enquiries i learnt
died in a plane crash in the United States in
September 2001. This account has remained inactive
since then, as there has not been any claim till date.
With my wealth of experience and contacts in the
banking industry, i am capable of transfering this
funds by Swift into any account of your choice
abroad,and we am willing to share 50 percent of the
total sum transfered.
This transaction will go through the legal system, and
we will ensure that we meet all banking rules and
regulations of Ghana and your country.Please let me
know if this offer is acceptable to you,so we can
proceed without further delay. Awaiting your reply
with great anticipation.
Eric Wojcik wrote:
Just bought a house; have no idea what I’m doing; does that white thing in the closet heat water? What if it’s temperamental? How do I take control, oh Samurai Master?
Message sent from IP: 18.104.22.168
Since you didn’t include a photo of the item in question, I used a proprietary technology developed here at Samurai Labs International to remotely view the contents of your closet. We were able to capture this image. You appear to be in immediate danger; hop on your tricycle and evacuate now!
Samurai Labs International: blurring the line between dreams and reality.
Regardless of whether or not you agreed with Hunter S. Thompson’s unique political opinions and diatribes, that old boy wrote some funny shi’ite! Later on, Gonzo, see you on the other side.
Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of fictional journalism in books like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” fatally shot himself Sunday night at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67.
Thompson is credited with pioneering New Journalism – or, as he dubbed it, “gonzo journalism” – in which the writer made himself an essential component of the story. Much of his earliest work appeared in Rolling Stone magazine.
An acute observer of the decadence and depravity in American life, Thompson also wrote such collections “Generation of Swine” and “Songs of the Doomed.” His first ever novel, “The Rum Diary,” written in 1959, was first published in 1998.
Thompson was a counterculture icon at the height of the Watergate era, and once said Richard Nixon represented “that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character.”
The writer’s compound in Woody Creek, not far from Aspen, was almost as legendary as Thompson. He prized peacocks and weapons; in 2000, he accidentally shot and slightly wounded his assistant, Deborah Fuller, trying to chase a bear off his property.
Born July 18, 1937, in Kentucky, Hunter Stocton Thompson served two years in the Air Force, where he was a newspaper sports editor. He later became a proud member of the National Rifle Association and almost was elected sheriff in Aspen in 1970 under the Freak Power Party banner. [read more]
Mary Kay Letourneau plans to marry her former sixth-grade pupil with
whom she had two children, months after her release from prison for
raping him, according to an online bridal registry. Letourneau, 43,
and Vili Fualaau, 22, set a wedding date of April 16, according to
their registry at a department store. Letourneau served 7 1/2 years
on a 1997 conviction for raping Fualaau. [read more]
I’m sure they’ll be absolutely blissful but I just wanted to ensure their continued happiness. So I channelled the spirit of Rumpus to reveal to me what lay in store for them. Rumpus showed me a newspaper article from three years in the future. Here it is:
Mary Kay Letourneau, 46, was found beaten to death on her living room carpet today. Vili Fualaau, 25, her husband, was found kneeling beside the puddle, covered in blood and gently rocking back and forth, holding a bloodied baseball bat. Fualaau was taken into custody and police report that he was unable to speak for several hours. Police report that Fualaau came to his senses enough to make a sworn statement:
“I was, like, rolling a big fatty when she started bitching at me again like she does. I’m not sure what happened next, ‘cuz, like, I saw myself beating her into a hairy, lumpy paste. Next thing I know, the police are taking me away. Like, wassup with that?”
Fualaau was Letourneau’s former sixth-grade pupil. The two began having sexual relations when he was 12 and she was 35. Letourneau served 7 1/2 years
on a 1997 conviction for raping Fualaau. The couple married after Letourneau completed serving her prison term.
A giant asteroid the size of three football pitches will make the closest flyby of Earth in recorded history for an object of its size, scientists said yesterday.
It will pass between the Earth and the Moon and will even come closer than the orbit of many telecommunications satellites, although astronomers insisted that there was little chance of a collision with the massive rock. [read more]
But what if they’re wrong…
Everyday, Samurai Appliance Repair Man helps thousands of people fix their own appliances. Why, here’s a recent testimonial from a satisfied do-it-yourselfer:
|"When my Scrotum Scrubber 2000® broke, I went into a pure, blind panic. The manufacturer, Scrotilia Corporation, was going to charge me $115 for the repair with a turn-around time of more than four weeks! In desperation, I searched the web and found Samurai Appliance Repair Man and, boy, am I ever glad I did! The Samurai helped me diagnose the problem and figure out what part I needed for my Scrotum Scrubber®. I bought the part through an online vendor and was happily scrubbing away in just a few days. Domo arigato, Samurai-san!"
What can the Samurai help you fix today?
As many of my long-time grasshoppers know, the CIA occasionally calls upon the Samurai for special assignments which are particularly dangerous (for example, this assignment I did in Iraq).
I have recently completed yet another covert assignment for The Company; this one involved testing a prototype of an implantable microchip. My assignment was to be the human test subject and to have this protoype implanted into my spine. This was the real reason for the back surgery that I previously told you about. For obvious national security reasons, I was unable to reveal the full nature of the surgery to you at that time.
The Agency has declassified portions of this project and I am now free to tell you about this brilliant technological breakthough. The microchip is called the Appliantology 3000® Total Appliance Awareness Microchip Implant (TAAMI). Its purpose is to provide appliance repair technicians with instant and total access to information on every appliance ever made or that will be made. TAAMI meets or exceeds all of its design objectives. Below is a photograph of the Appliantology 3000® Total Appliance Awareness Microchip Implant:
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much of a windfall TAAMI is for our national security. The successful implantation of TAAMI into every appliance repair technician in America will make our nation invulnerable to all threats, foreign and domestic.
I know many appliance technicians reading this have serious concerns about receiving such an implant. Some of you are concerned about civil liberties issues such as privacy; others may be apprehensive about having a device surgically implanted into your spine. Let me assure you that you have nothing to fear on both counts. Privacy in this electronic age is an illusion–Big Brother already knows everything about you.
As for the surgery, ain’t nothing to it. A skilled surgeon implants the chip into the lumbar region of your spine, as shown below:
The procedure only takes about an hour and half and you’re out of the hospital that same day. You’re left with a tiny, permanent lump at the base of your spine which is completely unnoticeable. You can barely see it in the picture below:
But wait, there’s more! The Appliantology 3000® Total Appliance Awareness Microchip Implant is also an integrated communications device. Throw away your cell phone, voice recorder, and all those other gadgets. Since the Appliantology 3000® microchip is uplinked to the global satellite phone system, you can make phone calls to anyone in the world from whereever you are by simply talking! Here’s an example of a voice recording I made today on the implant by simply speaking normally:
The sound quality is a little muffled because the sound has to travel down my spinal canal to reach the microchip at the base of my spine. But still, you can hear the words clearly. Sound quality enhancement is one of the design goals slated for the second generation of TAAMIs.
If you are a currently practicing appliance repair technician, the Department of Homeland Security will be contacting you soon to schedule your implant surgery. In the meantime, I am available to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have regarding the Appliantology 3000® Total Appliance Awareness Microchip Implant. Feel free to post your questions or comments here; email me at samurai AT fixitnow.com; or call me at (603) 526-7129. Remember: we appliance repair technicians are the vanguard defending Truth, Justice, and the Ameedican Way!
the sound on your website is REALLY F*CKING ANNOYING. do YOU like it when websites have really long annoying sounds when you go to them? didnt think so.
Message sent from IP: 22.214.171.124
It’s exactly this kind of constructive criticism that enables us continually to refine the unique user experience we strive to achieve here at Fixitnow.com. Based on this email, we’ve made some modifications to our website’s sound system. Play the clip below to hear the pleasing new sound that will play on each and every page of this website to enhance your user experience:
Louie is overweight, blind, deaf, severely arthritic, and prone to seizures, but he never seems to let that get him down. He’s a sweet dog who belongs to our next door neighbor, Bill, who hasn’t been able to bring himself to put Louie to sleep, although he knows it is time. On Christmas Day, Louie wandered off into the woods behind our house and, despite a search by many of the neighbors, he was not found. After a few days, everyone assumed that Louie had gone off into the woods to die. Bill feared that my kids, who spend a lot of time there, would come across his body at some point. And today, 17 days later, the kids did find Louie — alive!
The Phillips Preserve is about 70 acres of woods that abuts our property. There are hiking trails in it, but this time of year the snow clears away all of the underbrush and you can go just about anywhere you want. Ivey, Stephen, and Sam went out late this morning to take Ouzo for a long walk in the woods and after about 15 minutes of hiking … there was Louie curled up next to a tree! He was thinner and very weak, but otherwise seemed okay. Ivey ran back home and told the Samurai who, of course, could do nothing about it being only 24 hours post-surgery. (I was in town running errands.) So she got a big sled and dragged it back to where the boys waited with Louie. They got Louie onto the sled and took turns dragging him home over hilly terrain. Once here, they covered him with a blanket and gave him food and water.
Bill and his wife were away for the day, so when I got home we loaded Louie in our van and drove him to the vet. They were amazed! They couldn’t believe he had survived so long without food or medication and was in such relatively good shape. Finally, Bill returned home and heard the news. He rushed over to see Louie, then I saw him afterwards. He said Louie was strong enough to walk. Bill’s not an emotional guy, but he told me to tell the kids that he was forever in debt to them, and that they had made an old man happy.
There’s so much that’s amazing about this story. First of all, that Louie survived for so long. Also, that he happened to be in the area that the kids were hiking in so that they would find him.
Many of the neighbors are calling this a miracle and saying the kids are heroes. The kids feel kind of funny about that – they just did what had to be done. Louie is the one who did the hard part.