Drug Addiction

  1. Yesterday I ran out of milk. This is a “can’t happen” in my household because I put milk in my coffee. Without milk there is no coffee, and a day without coffee is like night. When I staggered into the kitchen I realized how screwed I was. I knew I had some chocolate covered espresso beans in the fridge, but that wouldn’t be a complete solution. From experience, I knew that nothing but liquid coffee would do.

    In the carafe was yesterday’s leftover coffee. It was tepid and slightly burnt from going the whole two hours before the heat element switched off. There was about a pint of it. I poured it into a pint beer glass, chugged it (blrughggl), and chased it with two of the beans so that the chocolate would sweeten the acrid taste of room temperature slightly burnt coffee.

    Then I realized it. This was the morning that so many alcoholics had described. Bad liquor with no ice, chased with something else, because without the hair of the dog the DTs would start. With the bitter rancid taste of dead coffee on my lips I started to laugh at myself.

  2. I’m taking Vicodin right now for torticollis and focal dystonia of shoulder muscles. I don’t take painkillers, haven’t since I was 14. I’m always interested in risk, so I read up on the stuff. Obviously one shouldn’t take more than what’s prescribed, and it’s not a long-term solution to anything. And it’s well known that mixing the stuff with alcohol is dangerous.

    Of course this stuff is widely abused because doctors and dentists give it out freely and people share and trade and sell it. And the abuse is sometimes just taking many at once, and sometimes washing it down with alcohol. This is clearly risky behavior because of the synergistic effects and the possible coma/breathing problems/brain damage/death.

    But there’s something else about Vicodin. It’s what used to be called “Tylenol #3,” and it’s a blend of codeine and acetaminophen (Tylenol). It’s recently been noted that Tylenol is a liver toxin in large amounts. For example, people do a suicide gesture with a bottle of the stuff and later feel fine, and then drop dead a week later because their liver has been killed.

    And as you can imagine, Tylenol and alcohol is a very bad mix. Because drunks get a lot of headaches, they sometimes eat handfuls of Tylenol or painkillers that contain it, worsening their liver damage tremendously.

    Since the last 20 years has seen a huge rise in abuse of drugs like Vicodin, particularly mixed with alcohol, one has to wonder: what kind of liver disease wave are we going to see starting in about ten years? Do any of these people know that they’re not only rolling the dice with coma, but destroying their livers so fast that it’s not so much dice as just suicide?

SIdeshow Bob’s Night on the Town

Or: How to get arrested in Costa Mesa, CA:

Unpaid checks, pursuit lead to arrest
Man who failed to register as a sex offender is suspected of walking out on bills at restaurants.

By Kelly Strodl

A brief vehicle pursuit earlier this month led Costa Mesa police to an unregistered sex offender, authorities said Tuesday. The man in the pursuit allegedly neglected to pay his check at two eateries on March 4, police said.

According to police, at 1 p.m. a man left Wingnuts at 2340 Harbor Blvd. driving a 2001 Honda Pilot having allegedly not paid his bill. At 11:45 p.m. that day, employees at Denny’s restaurant at 290 Bristol St. reported a similar scenario of a man leaving without paying the bill, but this time driving a large Dodge passenger van, police said.

Police who saw the van being driven away from the restaurant pursued the vehicle while calling in another unit to determine if a robbery had been committed, Sgt. Matt Grimmond said. After the officers at the Denny’s radioed the ones following the van that the alleged crime concerned an unpaid bill, the pursuing officers took down the vehicle’s license plate information and stopped the chase, Grimmond said.

“This was like a $10 grand slam from Denny’s,” Grimmond said of the unpaid check. “We terminated the pursuit just because pursuits are dangerous, and we’ll catch him later. And we did.”

Both vehicles were registered to Anthony Tabarsi, 41, of Costa Mesa, a convicted sex offender who it seems had failed to register in his new city of residence, police said. In 1998, Tabarsi pleaded guilty to oral copulation with a child under 14, rape and penetration with a foreign object. He served five years in state prison.

At 2:30 a.m. Monday, police received a call about a disturbance at the Q Club & Cafe, at 1525 Mesa Verde Drive. There police found an intoxicated man calling himself King Anthony and challenging everybody to a fight, Grimmond said.

The man was identified as Tabarsi and arrested on suspicion of public drunkenness and failure to register as a sexual offender, Grimmond said. The two alleged thefts are still under investigation, police said.

RIAA, 1700

This mode of travelling, which by Englishmen of the present day would be regarded as insufferably slow, seemed to our ancestors wonderfully and indeed alarmingly rapid. In a work published a few months before the death of Charles the Second, the flying coaches are extolled as far superior to any similar vehicles ever known in the world. Their velocity is the subject of special commendation, and is triumphantly contrasted with the sluggish pace of the continental posts. But with boasts like these was mingled the sound of complaint and invective. The interests of large classes had been unfavourably affected by the establishment of the new diligences; and, as usual, many persons were, from mere stupidity and obstinacy, disposed to clamour against the innovation, simply because it was an innovation. It was vehemently argued that this mode of conveyance would be fatal to the breed of horses and to the noble art of horsemanship; that the Thames, which had long been an important nursery of seamen, would cease to be the chief thoroughfare from London up to Windsor and down to Gravesend; that saddlers and spurriers would be ruined by hundreds; that numerous inns, at which mounted travellers had been in the habit of stopping, would be deserted, and would no longer pay any rent; that the new carriages were too hot in summer and too cold in winter; that the passengers were grievously annoyed by invalids and crying children; that the coach sometimes reached the inn so late that it was impossible to get supper, and sometimes started so early that it was impossible to get breakfast. On these grounds it was gravely recommended that no public coach should be permitted to have more than four horses, to start oftener than once a week, or to go more than thirty miles a day. It was hoped that, if this regulation were adopted, all except the sick and the lame would return to the old mode of travelling. Petitions embodying such opinions as these were presented to the King in council from several companies of the City of London, from several provincial towns, and from the justices of several counties. We Smile at these things. It is not impossible that our descendants, when they read the history of the opposition offered by cupidity and prejudice to the improvements of the nineteenth century, may smile in their turn.The History of England from the Accession of James II

I could have told them all this years ago

There is a Yahoo! Discussion Group solely devoted to pissed-off investors in Diedrich Coffee:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/diedrichforum/

The Register ran an article about it today.

I like the fact that the pissed-off investor’s pissed-off introduction refers to Gloria Jean’s as their “best business.” Actually I remember their “best business” and it was kinda different from that. Kiss your cash goodbye, guys. Maybe Starbucks will give you a nickel on your dollar.

Today’s phrase is “unappetizing sexual taxidermist”

So You Want To Be A China Sex Blogger from Maciej Ceglowski tells the story of an expat Brit inin Shanghai whose blog contained the poorly chosen mix of swaggering colonial sex yarns, culturally insensitive jabs at his host country, and loud criticism of an authoritarian government.

It looks as though some combination of internet sleuthing, mob rage, and government is going to give him a pretty bad rebellion in his boxers soon.

Christ, what an asshole.

I’ve had a lot of mean in me lately and I ain’t proud.

Fortunately most of it is theoretical and occurs as military exercises rather than actual attacks. But my snark is at a near all-time high.

Example. My brother is in town, and we were talking about scammers and beggars. I related the story of one local addict, the kind of guy who goes from looking pretty much okay because his family has cleaned him up, through increasingly scruffy, to Gone For A While. He has a hunted look and that near-permanent sunburn of the person who has been outside not by choice. Sometimes he just bums cigs, but he usually does the “out of gas” scam, which is a script I have not seen vary in multiple cities and decades:

“Hey, I feel really dumb, can I ask you a question here? I was at a [bachelor party,picnic,church] and didn’t pay attention and I ran out of gas! I have to get back to [suburb about 20 miles away where no poor people live] tonight and I don’t have my wallet on my. So dumb. Do you have a couple bucks?”

The last time our local guy did this my answer was “This is the third variation on that lie you have told just to me. Did you know that?” He looked surprised and said “Sorry! No, I didn’t.” and left. So that was kind of snarky and unnecessarily mean, since the poor fucker is a drug addict and kind of doomed. I got my button pushed by the lie and was nasty.

My brother told me in response that he’d been taken in by a young woman who worked this scam at the college where he works. There had been some kind of kampus kop alert about scammers so he reported his misadventure to the cops in case it was someone they were looking for, etc etc. The young policewoman who took the report mocked him to no end, basically calling in the other cops to say hey look at the dumb professor who fell for the scam haw haw haw, on and on. He was pretty upset. My response was that he should have replied:

“That’s funny all right. Here’s an even better joke. Did you hear the one about the girl who was so dumb she barely made it out of high school and ended up a third-rate rentacop working for the smart people? It’s FUCKING HILARIOUS!”

I think I shocked my brother. I certainly shocked myself! Maybe I need to take up punching clowns or something.

Washington, DC: 1861

By invitation of a well-known official, I visited the Navy-Yard yesterday, and witnessed the trial of some newly-invented rifled cannon. The trial was of short duration, and the jury brought in a verdict of “innocent of any intent to kill.”

The first gun tried was similar to those used in the Revolution, except that it had a larger touch-hole, and the carriage was painted green, instead of blue. This novel and ingenious weapon was pointed at a target about sixty yards distant. It didn’t hit it, and as nobody saw any ball, there was much perplexity expressed. A midshipman did say that he thought the ball must have run out of the touch-hole when they loaded up, for which he was instantly expelled from the service. After a long search without finding the ball, there was some thought of summoning the Naval Retiring Board to decide on the matter, when somebody happened to look into the mouth of the cannon, and discovered that the ball hadn’t gone out at all. The inventor said this would happen sometimes, especially if you didn’t put a brick over the touch-hole when you fired the gun. The, Government was so pleased with this explanation, that it ordered forty of the guns on the spot, at two hundred thousand dollars apiece. The guns to be furnished as soon as the war is over.

The next weapon tried was Jink’s double back-action revolving cannon for ferry-boats. It consists of a heavy bronze tube, revolving on a pivot, with both ends open, and a touch-hole in the middle. While one gunner puts a load in at one end, another puts in a load at the other end, and one touch-hole serves for both. Upon applying the match, the gun is whirled swiftly round on a pivot, and both balls fly out in circles, causing great slaughter on both sides. This terrible engine was aimed at the target with great accuracy; but as the gunner has a large family dependent. on him for support, he refused to apply the match. The Government was satisfied without firing, and ordered six of the guns at a million of dollars apiece. The guns to be furnished in time for our next war.

The last weapon subjected to trial was a mountain howitzer of a new pattern. The inventor explained that its great advantage was, that it required no powder. In battle it is placed on the top of a high mountain, and a ball slipped loosely into it. As the enemy passes the foot of the mountain, the gunner in charge tips over the howitzer, and the ball rolls down the side of the mountain into the midst of the doomed foe. The range of this terrible weapon depends greatly on the height of the mountain and the distance to its base. The Government ordered forty of these mountain howitzers at a hundred thousand dollars apiece, to be planted on the first mountains discovered in the enemy’s country.

These are great times for gunsmiths, my boy; and if you find any old cannon around the junk-shops, just send them along.

There is much sensation in nautical circles arising from the immoral conduct of the rebel privateers; but public feeling has been somewhat easier since the invention of a craft for capturing the pirates, by an ingenious Connecticut chap. Yesterday he exhibited a small model of it at a cabinet meeting, and explained it thus:

“You will perceive,” says he to the President, “that the machine itself will only be four times the size of the Great Eastern, and need not cost over a few millions of dollars. I have only got to discover one thing before I can make it perfect. You will observe that it has a steam-engine on board. This engine works a pair of immense iron clamps, which are let, down into the water from the extreme end of a very lengthy horizontal spar. Upon approaching the pirate, the captain orders the engineer to put on steam. Instantly the clamps descend from the end of the spar and clutch the privateer athwartships. Then the engine is reversed, the privateer is lifted bodily out of the water, the spar swings around over the deck, and the pirate ship is let down into the hold by the run. Then shut your hatches, and you have ship and pirates safe and sound.”

The President’s gothic features lighted up beautifully at the words of the great inventor; but in a moment they assumed an expression of doubt, and says he:

“But how are you going to manage, if the privateer fires upon you while you are doing this?”

“My dear sir,” says the inventor, “I told you I had only one thing to discover before I could make the machine perfect, and that’s it.”

So you see, my boy, there’s a prospect of our doing something on the ocean next century, and there’s only one thing in the way of our taking in pirates by the cargo.

Last evening a new brigadier-general, aged ninety-four years, made a speech to Regiment Five, Mackerel Brigade, and then furnished each man with a lead-pencil. He said that, as the Government was disappointed about receiving some provisions it had ordered for the troops, those pencils were intended to enable them to draw their rations as usual; I got a very big pencil, my boy, and have lived on a sheet of paper ever since.

Yours, pensively,

ORPHEUS C. KERR.