Tag Archive: cigarettes


About to Blink Out

planned-obsolescence-by-james-provostYes, I have fallen victim again to planned obsolescence. My latest monitor is due to go on the blink. In fact, that is what it is doing, blinking. I’m too scared to switch it off in case it winks out and doesn’t wink on again.

My first LCD monitor winked out at 14 months, just out of the guarantee period. This one is now 15 months old.

At the time the first decided its life’s vocation wasn’t to be an LCD monitor, it couldn’t be repaired. Well, it could have been, had the part been available, but it was only supplied to assembly plants and not the public or repair shops.

Twice now when I have turned off this monitor, it has flashed and blinked at me and finally burst into life after some ten minutes. I feel the car is running on empty.

Yesterday my hard drive ran out of space. I had to do some smart reshuffling of files and then defrag. The defrag took about 12 hours. Result, 29gb of space.

I went to bed early last night, before ten. Clorinha decided it wasn’t sleep time and wanted to bounced around the bed like a Slinky. Which was all very well until she decided that my bare toes were an entertainment centre. Then she slipped, and sunk all 4,170 needle sharp claws into the soft part of my sole.

A growing kitten suspended by one claw embedded in my foot up to my eyeballs with all her weight bearing down is painful in the extreme.

The phantom cat strikes again! If she does that again, she might well be a phantom cat. Don’t worry, she won’t; all was forgiven when she woke me this morning boomping my face.

Oh, wait, she only has four claws… 4,170 is the number of toxic substances in cigarettes. Think about this, if milk has 9,000 +/-, maybe we should take kids off milk and let them smoke…

The centennial lightbulb

The centennial light bulb

Back to this planned obsolescence theme. Did you know that there is an incandescent electric light bulb that was switched on in 1908 and has been, and still is burning continuously? That was when the American manufacturers decided to limit the life of a light bulb to 15,000 hours, at first, which was later reduced to 1,000 hours so they could sell more. So serious was this that it became law for all manufacturers about 1920.

This remains the case today for every product, it is designed to breakdown after so many hours or times used so that you’ll buy a new one. Cars, computers, TVs, washing machines, iPhones, everything. You can’t escape it; everything is designed to ‘have a life’ just out of the guaranteed period, then stop.

Printers, for example, actually have a chip buried in the works and programmed to tell you that your printer is broken and can’t be repaired. It just stops. One smart cookie discovered this fact, found and removed  the chip, and had another five years use. There was NOTHING wrong with the machine.

Cold night last night. Cool day today. We’re expected to have this until Tuesday.

Lunch is a choice between braised or curried sausages, steak or hotdogs. Or I might even steal some of Clorinha’s mincemeat and make a hamburger sandwich. My wine is still in the fridge from last weekend. I didn’t open it when I was struck by the dreaded lurgy. I can see the need to celebrate a return to good health.

Still to blogs to post on. Blogging right along, wine later. Oh, what a wonderful incentive.

Later.

Meanwhile, I present Destructocat… Playing in the window after attempting to destroy my passion fruit vine. (I’ll have to be quicker with the camera next time)

 

Out of Kilter

Black ground beetle

Yes, this week my life has been unbalanced.

So unbalanced that I have just woken from a nap featuring, yes you won’t believe this, the common black ground beetle (Pterostichus melanarius) of my childhood. We used to find these everywhere. As gross as boys tend to be we used to play with them, well armed with the unspoken knowledge that if we played with them the girls wouldn’t bother us.

So unbalanced has been my day, that I have just burnt my last drop of coffee writing about the sodding Pterostichus melanarius, like sucks sometimes.

The dream was about entomology, and in the dream I was insisting that beelteology was more appropriate. Those of you who are regular to this blog will understand I have a passion for English and the associated etymology. Sometimes dreams are just plain weird.

Receiving my filthy lucre

I didn’t post yesterday; yesterday was one of those days that just disappears. It was payday, yes the day when I have to bus to Barra de Tijuca and get my filthy lucre.

It started off well; I left home at 11.15am and waited for a kombi to take me to the bus stop.

No kombi.

I walked to the nearest bus stop which didn’t have the bus I really wanted. Only the slower bus that goes the longer route.

At the bus stop…

No bus.

I waited.

And waited.

And finally a bus came an hour after I had left home.

I finally arrived at the office at 2pm thoroughly ticked off. Stayed for sufficient time to get paid and left. Paid my bills, as evident that they haven’t cut of my net access, nor electricity. And went for a faster-than-usual leisurely sushi lunch.

One would think that was the end of my woes, but one would be wrong.

I walked to the bus stop. Finally a bus came. It was the horrendously expensive air conditioned express one at $12, I could have chosen the one behind at R$2.75, but it was the slower longer routed one and I wanted to pay my rent before the long Easter weekend. The bus filled, and then they started to pick up more standing passengers. This ticked me off because paying R$12 for comfort in a bus that is only authorised for seated passengers meant that the bus was filled which makes the air conditioning, which I also pay for, less effective. I swallowed my gall.

Serra da Grota Funda - Recreio & Barra on the left, Guaratiba & Baia de Septiba on the right

Up over the Grota Funda hills. You can see the road winding over the pass, doesn’t look much from the air, but takes 20 minutes to negotiate. When we got to the other side the bus veered off down the longer route…. and traffic jams.

As a result, my rent remains unpaid. I got home at 6pm after a brief stop at the supermarket.

My brand

I was not to be toyed with. I was like a woman with PMS; even the cat stayed out of my way, and there was no way I was about to start blogging.

The day before this comedy of errors the price of cigarettes went up. The first step in a government plan to stage the price of cigarettes out of the reach of smokers.

The price rose by 25%, a whopping 85 centavos.

I was not impressed.

So this week I am definitely out of sorts.

I have often wondered why Maundy Thursday was called Maundy Thursday…

It should have been called Maudlin Thursday.

The name Maundy comes from an Old English word from the Old French, hence Latin and the phrase, “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”). By which, according to the Gospel of John,  Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.

It is Easter, after all.

Chocolates here in Brazil have risen in price by 8.9% over last year. Explain to me then, why, when all the ingredients have fallen in price. The answer is a simple producers and shopowners are just a pack of greedy bastards here as anywhere else.

I refuse to buy chocolate before Easter and be held to ransom.

Just the same as I refuse to buy Christmas presents before Christmas.

I know, I’m a tightfisted old bastard.

It’s now 1.20pm, I am thinking, lunch.

Later, maybe…

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