Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

Basic Zippo Stuff

This started when I was digging around online to see at which point lighter flint circumference became standardized. I obsess over stupid things when I least expect it. Why does every one of these lighters, of every possible configuration, dating back at least to my own 1920’s lighter in my collection, use the thickness flints? I mean, countries can barely co-operate enough to share food, so how did that stupid lighter flint thickness end up being the standard?

Yeah, well, I still haven’t found my answer, but while digging around online, I stumbled across a lot of sites that had weird information about Zippos and similar lighters in general. I gotta throw in my two cents, on some of the most basic points that are bothering me.

gallon jug

I’m pretty sure you can use beer for lighter fluid.

1. I like cheap! I like free even better! But one of the boards I came across were how you could save money buying a gallon of this or that to fuel your Zippo. I have to wonder why the hell you would conceivably buy a gallon of anything just to fill your Zippo? There’s always the zombie apocalypse, but beyond that, geez, if all you want is lighter fluid, friggin’ spend the few extra dollars for something specifically designed for your lighter. You don’t need a gallon.

2. Here’s another thing about a non-butane lighters: it’s fuel is flammable and any ignitable liquids evaporate. Almost all of these types of lighters are NOT airtight. Your Zippo will run out of fluid even if you don’t use it. Those zombies come, you’re f*cked, but until then, just keep a little extra lighter fluid around.

3. Okay, did a Zippo ever stop a bullet? Can it? Not if that’s what you planned on. But I can show you plenty of x-rays of people who survived point-blank gunshots to the face because the bullet didn’t penetrate their skull. C’mon…dumb luck is dumb luck. Better to be lucky than use your ninja skills to throw a Zippo in front of a speeding bullet heading right at you. I was saved in a car wreck by my bowling ball, and I’m not planning on lugging it around for protection from random car wrecks. Also, bowling balls are absolutely useless for lighting a pipe.

bug spray

“Skull means…pirate, right?”



4. Gasoline? Lamp oil? Aftershave? WTF is wrong with you? Go buy some lighter fluid. God, if I could come through an Internet connection and just slap the shit out of some idiots, I would. Nail polish! Who the…why would nail polish even occur to you? Augh! Yeah, you think I’m kidding…here’s an exact quote from a message board. “could i posssably use nailpollish remover or bug spray” I was going to use a link there, but I refuse to talk to someone who’s considering using Raid in their Zippo.

What makes a Zippo special is that sound and the brand-name. And a lifetime repair or replace warranty. But that sound…you could be anywhere at anytime and if someone flips open and uses a Zippo, you’re never going to mistake that sound for anything else. Unless you’ve been filling your lighter with bug spray.

Really, basic sense here. You’re buying a Zippo because you want a Zippo. If you were in dire straights for just a lighter, you’d go and buy a cheapo disposable lighter.

So in summary;

Don’t buying a gallon of raw naphtha at the hardware store because it’s cheaper than. If you’re that broke, you can’t afford anything you’d need to light with that lighter.


Generally, a higher mortality rate than cancer.

Don’t immediately think your new Zippo is defective if it runs out of fluid. Unless you’ve used it to protect yourself from bullets.

Don’t go anywhere that your Zippo is your only protection from bullets. If you plan on using it to stop bullets, you need to rethink your life as a whole.

Don’t use anything but lighter fluid. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. If you’re putting nail polish in your lighter, someone probably had to read this aloud to you.

Now you know why canned peas have more complex instructions than “Heat until hot.”

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Still On Admin

Well, since the “doorbell” incident at the end of April, I’m still on Administrative Leave. I know I should be worried, but the truth is, getting a postal employee canned is virtually impossible. I’m not even close to the MSRB (Military Service Review Board) stage.

NAPS logo My NAPS (National Association of Postal Supervisors) rep didn’t even interview me before we went into the II (Investigative Interview).

He went into the II thinking I had been escorted out of the station by postal inspectors (I was not), a Threat Assessment had been done (it wasn’t), and that the video showed me breaking the doorbell (it didn’t), and the proper protocols had been used. This would have been:

1. Notification via certified mail to my postal address on record (nope).
2. Phone notice to my postal phone number on record (nope again).

I’m not sure why I even have NAPS. I didn’t join for more than a decade. The trigger was when I was using my walker at work, and I swear to god, the OIC said, “Uh, I don’t want to get up in your business, but I noticed a disability tag in your car. Are you handicapped?”

Off Road Walker

“Nope, I just use this baby for swampin’.”

Ever had one of those moments where you’re so dumbfounded that you’re rendered speechless? I’m one of the snarkiest people you’ll ever meet, but c’mon… I looked down at my walker, and then looked back at him. Much later, I thought of all the retorts I could’ve shot back.

“No, my walker and wheelchair are fashion accessories.”
“Actually this is pet walker. I call him Wheelie.”

Man, you can imagine all the comebacks I could’ve used but wow! I grant you, it probably one of the dumbest OIC’s I ever worked with, but still. He used to send District emails with horrible grammar and spelling. We supes used to send them to each other because they were hilarious. And a year later, he lost all of the Amazon business once he became the postmaster of Bellevue, and he got caught with thousands of delayed packages just sitting in his station.

Anyway, at that point, I realized that upper upper management’s collective IQ had decreased to where joining a “union” was desperately necessary. If you can’t figure out that handicap license plates and the guy using a walker or wheelchair is handicapped, then your operating on such a low level, you probably have to work to remember to breathe, eat, and all the other functions used in our lower brain stems to control bodily needs.

So, where was I? Oh, yeah…belonging to NAPS is as effective as someone breaking into your house, and while you don’t really own a gun, you yell “I have a gun!” It’s like, “Don’t fuck with me! I have NAPS!

In case you didn’t know or understand, after my first week off, all my Admin Leave has been paid. Which means the PO is picking up the tab while I watch DVD’s, catch up on my reading, and get household projects done that I’ve been putting off for years.

Stamp with monkey on tricycleThe PO doesn’t get revenue from your taxes, just your postage; so your taxes aren’t paying for me kicking back and putting my feet up. Just that stamp on your envelope.

And I’m not alone. The PO does stuff like this for thousands of people every year. It’s not like they’re on welfare or drawing unemployment. The PO is just happy getting people like me out of their hair by paying them to stay home and eventually not getting fired.

It’s this kind of management strategy is why the PO is bleeding money like a stuck pig.

Now please excuse me. I’m going to go watch some anime while getting paid $28.17 an hour and dicking around all day.

Good lord…the USPS is doomed.

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Stroke Me

You are WAY too young to remember that, but it was a Billy Squire song from when I was in high school, and dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Anyway, yeesh, I thought I’d blabber more about the TIA I had. That’s a transient ischemic attack. Fancy name for a mini-stroke; a stroke that lasts from anywhere from 5 minutes or less.

I was by myself in a closed post office, and I remember just suddenly getting sleepy out of nowhere, then right behind it getting really, really tired, then next thing I knew, I was on the floor. Just like that. No warning, nothing. Just BAM!

Explosion by cyderak
Tia by JackDSRS

BAM! Not pictured; small, blue,
furry Marvel copyrighted character.


My cell phone slid out of my shirt pocket about three feet in front of me, and I couldn’t move my arms or legs, and it set off my peripheral neuropathy, so my pain receptors were lighting up like Christmas trees, and I thought, mind you, that I wasn’t dying, but, “Shit, this is how I’m going to die. It’s going to friggin’ hurt like hell, I’m not going to be able to move, and I’m going to be staring at my effin’ cell phone just out of my damn reach.”When I could wiggle my fingers, it took my 45 minutes to drag myself to my cell phone, and another 15 minutes to dial 911. Then, I kid you not, an hour for the EMT’s to come from literally from the hospital ACROSS THE STREET. Don’t have a stroke in Auburn, Washington. Just sayin’.

During my lovely three day stay, one of my worries was that I was going to get kicked out of the deviantART Anime-Catgirls group because of non-participation. I also had two projects in the works I had promised I was going to finish, and I couldn’t even hold a cup of water, much less type.


the cat sleeps tonight... by Giorgiacosplay
Totally worth surviving a stroke.


I got back to work after a week, and was hassled about calling in sick, which came as no surprise, so I had my documentation all ready. It’s just the nature of being a grownup and working for a bumbling government bureaucracy.So, got my brain magnetized again. I’m planning on making a portrait of one of my MRI images for my desk just to disturb people. I’m fine. I was lucky. The TIA hit the area already damaged by my existing genetic disease (SCA), so it’s not even noticeable, and I’ve got a disturbing amount of brain cells to spare.


The Madman\'s Brain! by JackDSRS
Despite all of your suspicions, there’s still a brain in there.


We do know that certain parts of the brain control physical functions, but there’s many documented cases of functions being rerouted through other areas of the brain, and of course, individuals adapting and overcoming their disabilities. I think those few of us on dA who are combat military vets know all about “adapt and overcome,” eh?And…there is no truth in terms that one side of the brain controls the type of thinker you are: logical or creative. What can impact you is mental illness. Fighting with my bipolar illness has been more of a struggle than this physical stuff in terms of creativity. I can be unmedicated, extremely and wildly creative, but suicidal; or medicated, stabile, functional, rational and a nice human to be with, but as creative as a brick. That, my friends, is the real fight in terms of maybe something more applicable to art and creativity.

Anyway, back to whatever: Jack. Stroke. Survived. Not fun.

First test comes back. I’m malnourished. What? Okay, so I’ve lost 60 lbs. in about a year and I have no appetite while this stupid disease whittles away at me. Now I have to drink protein drinks for breakfast, eat lunch, which I usually do, and force myself to eat a dinner.

Weight Loss by JackDSRS

Oh, c’mon! Exaggerate much?


Quit smoking my pipe. I said, “Well, you can take that off the table right now.” The doc and my wife started squawking and I said, “One, there’s no empirical evidence that pipe smoking contributes to a stroke, especially compared to cigarette smoking. Two, it decreases stress, which decreases blood pressure. My blood pressure is insanely low. Three, cigarette smokers do not have card carrying clubs with lounges and pins. They huddle in anti-social clusters, shivering in the cold, hoping their bosses don’t see them. Four, pipe smokers have their own international holiday. Five, pipe smokers have competitive slow smoking championships. Six, the three pipe smokers in my family lived into their 90’s.” Hey, I’m already dying from a genetic illness. You are not messing with my pipe.

PipeClubLogoSmall by JackDSRS

Does that say Seattle Cigarette Stinkers?
Clearly it does not.

Not sure why I’m sharing, other than strokes suck, I survived, once you have one you’ll probably have another, and I refuse to die until I make it to Sakuracon, for which I already paid. I refuse to miss girls in cosplay, and hitting my credit limit on manga, anime, figurines, and posters that I have absolutely no room to put up but looked really cool in the booth. I’ll be in a wheelchair this year, so my secret goal is to convince young ladies I’m harmless and innocent, and get them to sit in my lap so a friend can take pictures. Moohahaha…

Leetle Girl by JackDSRS
No, really, sit on my lap. I’m in a wheelchair.
Perfectly harmless…

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Main Site – Brood met

Urgh. The software died a horrible death, although this blog survived.

I’m going to have to completely start from scratch. I had tweaked and insanely customized the main site, so it became pretty much impossible to do a one-click upgrade with each new release, so now I may go to something more generic.

In any case, maybe with the new year, it’s a sign that I need a new start and I new simpler direction. I originally wanted to set up something more social and a little side business, but I’ve found that the Dutch and Dutch-Indonesians are more scattered in America’s Pacific Northwest, and the Dutch here are a hell of a lot less welcoming than they are in the Midwest.

In Michigan, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a Nederlander or an Indo (consider Holland, Michigan). Here, it’s mostly Asians and Norwegians. There’s a few little stores about every 100 miles apart, but the mountain ranges, bodies of water, and political correctness make it difficult to find unique cultural communities. They can’t even make a Chinatown. It’s just a “International District.”

So, I’ll be starting Brood met Kass, not this blog, from scratch. Maybe try a new Unix CMS (for you HTML geeks). Something more generic for easier upgrading.

Meanwhile, well kids, I’m off to work. Have an awesome Christmas or whatever the heck you celebrate.

I hope Black Pete stuffs you into a bag, by the way, you rats that hacked my credit cards this year.

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One Down

My father died last Saturday. My friend John in Indiana was kind enough to send me a link to his obit.Heinrich Paul Huster

My previous posts about my family history prompted a lot of distant “lost” family members to contact me to tell me something along the lines of “Hey, I’m related to you, I found you! Tell me what’s going on with your dad/mom/family!”

I was pretty short in my answers if I answered at all, mostly because I didn’t want to say anything specific about them until the time was right. Now that my father has passed away, I want to tell you about him.

I haven’t talked to my family in about 15-20 years. The reason is my parents.

My parents were monsters. I was beaten and terrorized until I escaped home.

My left eye is lower than my right eye because my left orbital socket was broken and was never healed right.

I have physical scars that I’ll carry to my grave.

Spinocerebellar AtaxiaWhen I started getting MRI’s for my SCA (Spinocerebellar Ataxia), one of the things that showed up in the scans were scarring in the brain from childhood head traumas. The SCA is a death sentence. The scarring is a contributor.

Here’s some other highlights from my childhood:

Once, I didn’t want to finish my dinner. My father threw my food onto the floor and forced me to eat it off of the floor on my hands and knees.

He’d purposely would beat me black and blue from my neck down so the bruises wouldn’t show up where teachers would notice.

I remember being dragged out of hiding from under the couch for my beatings, and can still feel the carpet under my fingernails as I clawed at it, screaming for help.

I’d be locked in the closet or the bathroom with the lights out, and if I turned on the lights, I’d get dragged out, beat senseless, and thrown back on. I’d lay on the tile floor and sob. I remember the cold tile floor on my face.

I was thrown off the roof for being scared of heights.

I had a guitar broken over my head for not wanting to practice.

I was slapped, punched, and whipped sometimes when it seemed totally at random.

I lived in terror when my mother would say, “Just wait until your father gets home.”

Bowie KnifeHe tried to stab me once with a 10″ Bowie knife. For those on the metric system, that’s 25.4 cm.

He’d beat our dogs half to death for barking too much or otherwise acting like, well, dogs.

I was beaten to an inch of my life for asking for a toy in a store once.

My father may have been the gun, but my mother was the trigger. If I’d in anyway upset her, she’d be the one to set my father on me. She’d tell me I was a “stupid oak,” an idiot.

I was beat with a rug beater, a vacuum cleaner hose, a yardstick. Nice broad things upside the head so they also wouldn’t leave clear marks.

I have hearing loss in one ear because of one slap that knocked me off my feet.

She warned me that if I told ANYONE about what was happening at home, they’d be taken away by the police and I’d have to go live in a foster home.

She said since my sister was retarded, I’d have to stay home and take care of her for the rest of my life. For those of you reading this, get a life if the word “retarded” offends you. That’s what it was called then, that’s what I’ll repeat to you now.

And those are just a few highlights.

My aunts knew about what was happening, and when I would call and ask them to rescue me, they’d downplay it, and tell things would get better or that I was making a big deal out of nothing (paraphrasing).

A few weeks ago, one of my aunts Trojan Horse’d me. I got a greeting card from a name I didn’t immediately recognize. It said on the front, “An armful of happy thoughts…” On the inside it says, “I’m sorry these are not happy thoughts,” and proceeds to tell me the status of my father, and the card has printed inside, “…picked just for you.” Man, is that massive Dutch passive aggressive guilt tripping, or what.

I was thinking suicidal thoughts by the time I was 8. I tried killing myself 3 times. I never had kids, and didn’t even have pets until recently, because I was convinced I’d abuse them. I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror, even to shave. I have a permanent form of PTSD that’s pending for the DSM-V called Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD Dissociative Subtype. My self-esteem is for shit.

I’m on marriage #4, and I finally got it right because I married a total stranger and didn’t end up with the usual dysfunctional relationship patterned after my life history.

I’ve finally got help in 1999, and my life has turned around, but if someone back home is waiting for me to reconnect with them, don’t hold your breath. You’re dead to me.

I tell people I was raised by wolves, and I’ve been helping volunteering to help others like me since I was diagnosed as part of my penance for the things I’ve done as a result of the fucking evil you’ve raised.

Adult Survivor of Child AbuseIf you’re from my direct family in Fort Wayne, never try to contact me again. Ever. You’re just a nightmare that I occasionally wake up from literally screaming. I wish I had gone to a foster family, even a chain of bad ones.

Grandpa John and Grandma Rose were the only ones I will ever miss, and I loved them with all of my heart. I wish I had gotten to know my grandparents from the other side of my family.

I’m sorry for anyone distant relatives who have just found me because of my blog. I’ve locked down my Facebook profile just to keep those same kind of relatives from finding me, because that old life is too hard to explain.

I don’t know how to wrap this up other than to say that if you grew up like I did, and are waiting for your parents to apologize, or want to reconnect with them and it’s just not happening, maybe it’s time for you to move on.

Break ties and look forward. Your life starts here. Get help. Your life doesn’t have to be without hope and you don’t need to be stuck in a mess of depression, fear, and violence. My heart goes out to you, and I offer you what strength and hope I can.

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