Live-blogging the royal coronation

12:16 am: Per BritBox, we are a mere 15 minutes away from the start of the coronation of Chaz #3.

12:41 am: The people in the stands look like they’re dressed for a sporting event.

12:42 am: This reporter is wearing some bizarre modern (“short”) twist on a hoop skirt.

12:43 am: This next reporter is wearing the brightest green shirt and loudest yellow coat I have ever seen. Glad Brazil has shown up to pay their respects to their new king.

1:01 am: I hope the eunuch choir brings the heat this time.

1:06 am: Even odds on if this guy is hardcore choir-ing, or trying to open every one of his orifaces as hard as he possibly can.


1:12 am: Good news everyone, the missing old man has been found! He’s now busy waving to well-wishers.

1:15 am: Charles and Camilla are en route!

1:16 am: Charles is taking his first scheduled pit stop, having travelled from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace. Just so the distance traveled is clear, the royal rabbi covered this distance on foot.

1:23 am: Toy soldiers have taken off from the palace, marching to the beat of a drum and a dollar’s worth of penny whistles. STEP BY STEP HEART TO HEART LEFT RIGHT LEFT

1:25 am: The crowd is not eating this up. Wowza.

1:26 am: It must be embarrassing to wear a starter Navy helmet (knob on top) instead of the deadly real deal.

1:28 am: Who’s the clown in front of the royal guard dressed in bright yellow and waving around a scepter? This guy’s got to be the British Kefka, right?

1:30 am: The increased cost of living seems most apparent in the royal guard not having enough chinstrap for any of their hats.

1:31 am: The royal marines appear to have taken a wrong turn and are reversing course. How embarrassing!

1:32 am: It has started raining like a motherfucker; the crowd has deployed ponchos. “The wet weather plan is to get wet,” per the color commentary. Thanks, color commentary.

1:36 am: The royal delegate to Epstein Island has arrived. I wonder if this place has a catacombs where his seat is reserved.

1:40 am: Jill Biden has attempted to blend in with the locals by deploying a large bow on top of her head, in lieu of a fabulous hat. Was she successful? …no.

1:43 am: Those tyrannical British bastards! THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT SIT BEHIND SLOVAKIA’S +1!

1:46 am: They’re trying really hard to play up Charles: he’s actually a very accomplished musician! He served in various parts of the military! He’s a Pokemon Master!

1:49 am: This singer looks like she’s emerging from a neon yellow chrysalis. Her dress is straight out of Kyrsten Sinema’s closet. Ugh.

1:52 am: The Surrender Monkey and his tutor have arrived. The commentary just called France the UK’s most important ally, and fuck those guys.

1:53 am: Respect (respect big respect) to the musician taking a huge bong hit mid-song.

1:54 am: I’ve never seen a man with a train before. He’s wearing the hell out of it.

1:56 am: The Royal Jockeys have arrived. It should be a great race today.

1:57 am: It still weirds me out that the anchors have set up an outdoor stage with frickin’ couches in the Buckingham Palace Mall.

2:00 am: Currently playing: Fantasia on Greensleeves. …and now Big Ben rings ominously.

2:04 am: What happened to Britain’s fabulous hat game in the last twelve years? This is just sad.

2:05 am: Kinda jealous of these guys who tie their binky around their neck and call it a cape.

2:07 am: Blue and yellow carpet for Charles and Camilla are a nice little Slava Ukraini nod, or else cause for firing their designer.

2:11 am: I swear I’m not drinking, but this horseman is wielding a sword and has a goddamn mop for a head.

2:14 am: Charles looks like he’s wearing his grandmother’s favorite sweater.

2:16 am: Boris’ hair is as disheveled as ever, and he’s now walking like he’ll become the Penguin.

2:17 am: Liz Truss has now attended this coronation for longer than she served as Prime Minister.

2:21 am: Dead silence as Charles’ carriage departs Buckingham Palace. It’s actually kind of eerie.

2:23 am: FROM EVERY MOUNTAINSIDE LET FREEDOM RING (yes i know i made this joke back in 2011 as well tyvm)

2:26 am: A car seems much more practical than this horse and carriage thing.

2:28 am: One guy lost his horse and is walking (!).

2:28 am: Holy smokes, look at all that horse shit! 250 horses are serious business!

2:28 am: Yes, this means that guy is walking through a minefield of horse shit. He… didn’t make it.

2:35 am: “Camilla, do you think this carriage is too much?” “No, let’s add more gold!”

2:36 am: Do they have any sort of airflow in that little box? That’s gotta be a gilded oven. A humid gilded oven.

2:39 am: It’s Harry! And Eugenie! And BEA-TA-RICHE! WHY HAVE YOU LEFT ME

2:44 am: Harry transplanted hair from the top of his head to his face. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton; let’s see if it pays off for him.

2:49 am: The royal carriage overshot its stop and had to back up. (Horses! Backing up!) You don’t need to feel so bad about your Densha de Go performances now, Andy.

2:50 am: Harry is here, but William and Kate are still MIA. Who’s the good son now, Dad?!!

2:53 am: The procession has begun, with what appears to be Gryffindor leading the way.

2:55 am: This organ music is befitting of a funeral.

2:56 am: A purple hat is making its way down the aisle!

2:57 am: “That lady has a bitch-ass sword! Look at that bitch-ass sword!”

2:58 am: If I ever become king of anything, you all better give me something better than a rod and orb.


3:04 am: No hot pink seats either, should I become king of anything. Pretty much do the opposite of everything they’re doing here, okay?

3:05 am: As part of truly ascending to the throne, Charles must now determine which purple hat is the true purple hat.

3:07 am: Wrap this thing up already, archbishop; it’s starting to drag. Marry Charles and the purple hat, and let people move on to the open bar.

3:09 am: I don’t speak Welsh, so I assume this guy is singing the Welsh version of Bohemian Rhapsody.

3:10 am: “A lady of the Order of the Thistle”? I didn’t realize this was Redwall.

3:11 am: They keep saying “King Charles, your undoubted king.” This whole thing reeks.

3:12 am: “The Order of the Garter”? They’re pulling my leg now, right?

3:16 am: Charles obviously didn’t do his homework and now has to read his responses. Still, must be nice to have a guy whose sole job is to hold a cheatsheet and point out where the answers are.

3:20 am: Charles may openly pray for peace, but that table full of swords in front of him says otherwise.

3:20 am: Seriously, what is up with all those swords???


3:26 am: please

3:26 am: I just realized that there are 24 more minutes before the hat and Charles meet. I don’t think I can make this.

3:27 am: This Prime Minister’s lisp is something else.

3:29 am: “This hallelujah is in two parts,” says the commentator. My despair level rises.

3:29 am: The upside downside of not drinking through this is that I haven’t had to visit the restroom anywhere near as often.

3:33 am: !!! The second Alleluia (adopting the spelling used on-screen) is actually good! It’s been a glass of water in hell.

3:38 am: still in hell. out of water.

3:41 am: i wonder what’s new on mastodon

3:43 am: I really need Ultros and Setzer to interrupt this opera choir scene.

3:45 am: Privacy screens being erected! Charles is about to get his prostate exam live on state TV! What a score for such an exam!

3:48 am: The commentator telling us what is being said privately to Charles behind that screen feels like someone lip reading the end to Lost in Translation.

3:50 am: They really should have paid to have David Attenborough narrate this. This isn’t so far removed from a nature documentary.

3:54 am: “Take this totally awesome sword but do boring shit with it. Amen.”

3:55 am: Wait, WTF? The Lord President of the Council (<–serious title) redeems this totally awesome sword for a pittance?

3:56 am: Bracelets of wisdom? Too bad that they set this tradition in stone before the Triforce was created.

3:58 am: that orb is still dumb as fuck. No wonder Final Fantasy switched to crystals.

4:00 am: OH MY GOD THEY’RE STILL GIFTING HIM SHIT. This one’s like a Royal Barbecue Mitt.

4:00 am: He was supposed to put the goddamn hat on at high noon. WHY IS IT NOT ON HIS HEAD


4:03 am: But really, don’t make me carry useless crap in both hands before you put the crown on my head. It’s a terrible look!

4:05 am: Selling the sword for 120 pence or whatever was the worst transaction out of an entire ceremony of bad transactions.

4:06 am: why are they still talking? This yellow carpet area behind Charles, unused, remains the Chekhov’s Gun of this coronation.

4:09 am: When I was a young, my parents took me to an evening play in Ashland based on Cyrano de Bergerac. I was too young to appreciate it, and it was too late in the day, so I eventually curled up in my seat and took a nap… immediately prior to a scene that involved copious canon fire. I wound up sobbing quietly, but the canon fire covered for me pretty well.

I miss Cyrano.

4:13 am: “May the King live forever” seems a bit… optimistic.

4:15 am: THERE’S A CORONATION OF THE QUEEN??????????? 😫

4:23 am: Image after image of attendees experiencing True Regret while the purple hats are put back into storage. Charles wore his crown for maybe 17 minutes.

4:25 am: what have i done to deserve this

4:26 am: i will only give thanks when this godforsaken service ends

4:28 am: it is a mystery why this coronation hasn’t cured my insomnia; it seems to have done so for at least half the attending audience

4:30 am: presentations given by people reading off of a page continue to be unimpressive

4:32 am: even the tall candles are leaving this scene

4:33 am: so this is what ultimate despair feels like

4:40 am: i’m crying

there’s no canon fire to cover for me this time

4:46 am: i’m going to go back in time and murder everyone who wrote all these goddamn hymns

how many more can there be?

don’t answer that

4:54 am: my hand-selected coronation musical selections would include ke$ha (timber) and fifth harmony (work from home). oh, and dragula ofc

4:55 am: everyone’s ready to leave. you can feel it in the air

the archbishop of canterbury needs to pee real bad, based on his swaying

4:57 am: bad news everyone, charles is still carrying his pondering orb

5:04 am: There’s something different… something EVEN MORE GOLDEN… about Charles’ new ride home. I thought the previous coach was gaudy, but this takes the cake.

5:06 am: These bells aren’t ringing all that harmoniously; they’re far less “joyous” sounding than I would have expected.

5:09 am: As they keep ringing, the bells sound more and more like the sound of madness.

5:11 am: The streets are still literally full of horse shit. It’s really something, given that this mile-long parade is just getting started.

5:19 am: I cringed when I saw people have to march directly through poo. Maybe it’s just a personal hang-up, but that’s really killing this parade for me.

5:31 am: This service was cut down by an hour and twenty minutes?! Frickin’ heck.

5:50 am: Now the various armed services are gathered on the palace grass. All they need is a boombox to hold over their collective head.

5:54 am: The boombox brought Charles out to the balcony; he listened to their three cheers for the king, and now Charles has retreated. …I think I should take a cue from Charles at this point.

5:56 am: It is so light outside my window. (oh no) I’m going to pay for this a thousand times over, aren’t I?

EPILOGUE: Now that I’ve had a few hours of sleep, what was up with the post-parade military cheer segment? You had some caller straight out of Ren & Stimpy (CHIN… STRAPS… OFF!!!!!!!!), and Charles looking listless during the entire proceeding. I probably looked the same; was it past his bedtime, too?

The opera house scene in Final Fantasy VI was a way more effective use of a balcony.

Final verdict? Adults LARPing in centuries-old regalia doesn’t really impress. British Halloween kinda sucks.

also wtf they had checkov’s swords everywhere and… absolutely nothing? no swashbuckling? no turkish revenge on the archbishop of canterbury for wasting everyone’s time? writing was a bit shit.

A corner office

Thanks to office politics (two supervisors who both want an office), boss edicts (supervisors should be out on the floor with the office staff), and manager preferences (for the smaller of our two offices), on Friday I moved from my cubicle into the large corner office at work. I now have two windows that give me a lovely view of the parking lot—it’s a one-story building—and the strange people that pass by.

I like to refer to this scenario as the “split baby” outcome of King Solomon.

My first job was to clean out all the crap that had been left behind by the previous occupant. That included:

  • Four Ikea-branded loops of metal (later determined to be bookends that need to be screwed into the desk)
  • Two three-inch-thick books of US Zip Codes from 1996
  • A black box marked “Recognition” containing feminine hygiene products and an untouched New York Times crossword book

My new office has no real storage, outside of an endless sea of desk (upon which my tiny computer is now adrift) and two little office drawer/filing cabinets. One of the two cabinets was locked, however, with the key long gone. This inspired my first foray into the dark arts… and in under ten minutes, including tool creation time, I had access to my full storage space. The contents of the locked drawer?

  • The cash box that’s been missing for the last year
  • A large quantity of gold stars (used to thank and/or recognize staff)

I’m torn by this move, to be honest. The tiny amount of socialization I got in my old spot is now gone, as is the occasional serendipity of my overhearing people talking about something that I broke and/or can help with. On the other hand, closing a door when I need to think will be nice… as will knowing what season it is (or what the weather is!) when I’ve been working all day.

Kids these days

I danced with Chris, ex-president of the ballroom dance club, this evening. She’s working towards becoming a teacher, and is currently helping out in a kindergarten classroom.

Some of those kindergarteners were drawing fan-art for Five Nights at Freddy’s, and one bit her hard enough to break skin when she took away their drawings.

The biting, enh. But Five Nights at Freddy’s?

Post-apocalyptic office

My office had the mother of all power outages yesterday around 5:20 pm, just as I was thinking about packing up and heading home. The power continuously flickered for a good thirty seconds straight (!); it took me at least ten of those seconds to figure out what the devil was going on and finally pull the power cord out of the back of my computer, after watching it try to boot multiple times in a row.

When the power stabilized, half of our lights were out, and another bunch were flickering wildly. Our egress lights (i.e. the bulbs you see on either side of those “Exit” signs) were on, which I think is the first time I’ve ever seen them in action. At least two computers were beeping loudly and repeatedly; the one I was able to echolocate had a red power light instead of its usual blue, and defaulted to beeping at me when I tried to boot it. The air conditioning units on the roof struggled to turn on, eventually gave up, and then struggled again to turn on. A coworker’s fan, which had been running at the time, now lazily spun its blades. (As in “stick your finger in there without risking injury” lazily).

A loud, constant electrical vibration and hum emanated from the back maintenance room. The smell of failing florescent lighting—an acrid, burning electrical stench—started to fill the rear of the office.

Attempts to contact people who might actually know something (e.g. maintenance numbers) ensued, all while that electrical hum—the clear and present danger of the moment—continued unabated. We finally got a hold of the fourth person we tried, our old boss, and he kindly came in to try and figure out what was wrong.

There are at least five circuit breaker boxes in the maintenance room. Two of them are marked “OUT OF SERVICE”, and the others have helpful labels such as “deep fryer.” (There is no deep fryer. The place was a Kinko’s previously. I do vaguely recall my dad telling stories about how that building used to be a grocery store, though, back when he was a kid.) After isolating the humming box, Old Boss somehow managed to find a breaker that shared the same label—”Roof Cell”—and threw it.

Finally, silence.

While Old Boss fiddled with the other circuits, resetting them for the halibut, the power cut out for real.

I made my way to the server room to shut down the machines nicely, while the others packed up and headed out. The servers had already lost power, though, despite being on a UPC big enough to store a body or two in. Figuring I had done what I could do, I went home as well.

I decided to go to sleep “early” that evening, and so was getting ready to go to bed just after midnight. While brushing my teeth, I wondered if I had turned the office’s overhead lights—the ones that had been giving off an electrical burning smell—off. I cussed.

I had not. Somehow, though, the place was in fine shape. All the lights were working; the various foul smells were dissipating; the servers were on; the machine that wouldn’t boot earlier now was well-behaved. One copier broke, but that’s nothing compared to what I thought we were facing.

Favorite “To Your Good Health” paragraph of 2016 (so far)

Marin found this gem in a followup on a column on breast biopsies:

One woman suggested I have a large needle placed in the scrotum to see if it caused me more than “discomfort.” That wasn’t very nice. [END COLUMN]

Best Amazon Question of 2015

The Pencil Grip: Would these help my 4 year old, he holds his pencil like he’s Goin to stab someone?

Boring answers, though.


A wild ASAP Deadline appeared! in the Tall Grass at work today, which meant I was going to be staying at the office later than usual. At 5:00 pm, the last of my coworkers warned me (just prior to leaving) that the budget pizza joint a couple doors down was throwing some sort of block party with a live band, and that there was a decent group of sketchy-looking bikers already gathering in the parking lot.

I feared for my sanity (programming with unwanted loud ambient music isn’t really enjoyable), but was fortunate enough to finish up prior to the party really getting going.

Later this evening I was at a west coast swing dance, and was describing my brush with “almost having to murder a band and a bunch of bikers” to Jacki. Her first question was what I would do with the bodies. (I hadn’t thought things out that far.) She then suggested that I use the budget pizza joint to sell mystery-meat pizzas to hungry college students.

Holy. crap.

Ten years

Ten years ago today I released the first version of a program I wrote for my office. I remember going into work that Saturday morning (I didn’t have remote desktop access back then) to fix some last-minute bugs—and I remember leaving for PDX and Japan later that same day. That the thing actually worked while I was gone remains a modern-day miracle to me, given my n00bish programming skills and lack of anything resembling testing.

That program has defined my job for the last decade—and it all came out of a desire to find some reason to use my last shot at an educational discount for database software. (I never did actually buy that copy of FileMaker.)

Mr. Roboto

Marcus occasionally uses his West Coast Swing technique class to expose us to other types of dance, and last week was one of those occasions. So instead of working on connection or stretch or rolling our feet, we learned a short, simple contemporary dance routine.

The theme? Robots learning to love.

Turns out there’s an uncanny valley for robots, too.

Heart-stopping excitement

Just over five weeks ago I happened to wander home early from work one day. While drooling in front of the internet, as I do, I got a call from my dad: Can you take me to immediate care? I think I have an irregular heartbeat.

Dad is a retired doctor, and doesn’t tend to bother worrying about health issues that aren’t worth worrying about. (If you were to ask my sister or me, he doesn’t worry about some things that he should worry about.)

Immediate Care didn’t seem to take Dad’s concern seriously, and—blaming that their imaging department was going to be closing in the next hour—brushed him off to the Emergency Room. The ER was similarly laid-back, and took their time collecting all of his information. The nurses and ER doctor seemed amused, almost, as Dad described a heaviness hanging around his head during these periods where he couldn’t find his pulse. He also described how he was lying down to take a nap, and then woke up because he felt like he was about to pass out. (Passing out, of course, is your body’s way of making you lie down.)

Amused or not, at least they did listen, and hooked him up to an EKG. Within a minute of being hooked up, the machine blared an alarm: Dad’s heart had stopped. And then, a handful of missed beats later, it started back up again.

I’ve never seen an ER staff switch so quickly from let’s listen to this guy and his theory which is obviously wrong to holy shit this guy is going to drop on us at any moment.

Protip: doctors think that, if your heart stops beating for any length of time, you will pass out. Period. If you haven’t passed out, then your heart hasn’t stopped beating.

Dad got shock paddle stickers stuck on him in a hurry. I’ve never seen him protest anything (in the “oh nonononono” sense) as much as those stickers—later I learned that those things are supposed to hurt like a mother. (I had no idea! Though that does kinda make sense…)

Once the ER was sure that they were as prepared to keep Dad alive as they could be, the gears of the hospitalization process were engaged: we waited a whole lot. (My sister, mom, and aunt got called at this point, too, and arrived before much had happened.)

There’s a whole lot of waiting in a hospital. So damn much waiting. Dad’s heart stopped more times that I could count while we sat in the ER, though he never did lose consciousness.

After meeting with a cardiologist, Dad got a temporary pacemaker placed that evening. (Keep in mind that they put leads down a vein in your neck, into your heart, to do this; Dad had no complaints about that, unlike the shock paddles.) White lines on the EKG monitor denoted when the temporary pacemaker triggered, and you could see his heart stopping ever-more-frequently as the evening progressed.

The permanent pacemaker came the next morning. Dad went home a few days later, and has been (knock on wood) fine ever since.

Only in retrospect did Dad or I ever consider the possibility that he might die. (Marin and Mom weren’t quite as dense.) Part of that is a credit to the ER staff; though it was painfully obvious when they got serious, they never did anything to incite any amount of panic.

Still, this is way too soon for any health emergencies. Watching your parents fall apart is the worst.

powered by wordpress