Sunday, July 31, 2005
Now, that means more traffic here. Anyone who reads this blog, even passing through on a wee blog jog, I'd really appreciate a comment to make sure they are working. If they aren't working, drop me an email at olddog299 at aol dot com before August 5, please.
The proprietor in his birthday suit, celebrating the start of the Snooze's third year.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
I say ... and you think ... ?
The usual:: breakfast
Mix and match:: K-Mart
Only one:: Doritos
Every endeavor has its risks and rewards. Some, like a pie contest, may bring riches; then again, it may bring abdominal cramps. Much as the radiant bride on her way to the altar thinks of innocuous things to preclude tears, such as what she had that morning for breakfast, the usual toast, coffee and juice. As opposed to the bridesmaids, pregnant as gooses and standing all in a row, wondering why the bride has chosen to feature these hideous dresses from K-Mart (little knowing the bride got a special mix and match deal for screwing the manager).
Here's something I discovered while doing a remedial reading assignment. Little did Marconi and Tesla know, back in the fledgling days of the wireless radio, that advertising would come to dominate the medium of their creation, that 2005 would see the advertising industry reach a mile post of 7 trillions of dollars spent on advertising on radio and television since its inception in 1903. But then again, where would we be without such long lost friends as “his Master's voice,” “where's the beef,” or Jay Leno's famous line for Doritos, “bet you can't eat only one...”
Get your own list of words from that classy chica over at La Luna Niña. You'll be glad you did.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
You Are a Capitalist Republican
Money makes your world go round - and it's no surprise that you always vote your wallet.
You're financially successful (or plan to be), and your agenda is low tax and pro business.
You don't get fired up about abortion... but mention capital gains tax, and you go crazy.
You want government to be as small as possible - and to stay out of the way of business.
Each week, Patrick asks the questions. Each week, I remind you to get your own copy of the questions from his Journal, Patrick's Place. I also remind you to leave a link in his comments section to your answers. You'd think I'd have more confidence in you by now, wouldn't you?
1. What was your favorite childhood movie? When was the last time you saw it?
Old Yeller, last viewed 4 or 5 years ago on cable. Not as good as I remembered it.
2. Who is your worst enemy at the moment? (First names only, please.) Why is that person your enemy?
No one comes to mind as a personal enemy, as opposed to enemies of the state, terrorists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. Another way of looking at it is that my worst enemy at this time is myself, for all the usual reasons.
3. Which one of the following annoys you most when you encounter a new blog?
a. Constant grammatical errors.
b. Constant spelling errors.
c. Contrived "street" language.
d. Too many "nothing happening today" entries.
4. Take this quiz: Which alcoholic drink are you?
Odd. My favorite drink, when I was drinking, was Bourbon on the rocks. Not really a "cocktail"; I'm a wallflower at parties, I'm an old curmudgeon without a heart and can't be trusted as far as you can throw me (eat your Wheaties - I weigh 20 stone).
5. What is the last thing you said to a person face to face? Who was that person?
Goodnight. To my wife.
6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #59 from Debi: When you shower, do you ever think of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, "Psycho?"
No. Sometimes, when I am swimming in the ocean, I think of Jaws.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Blog fuhrer, Johann Sebastien Scalzi offers the following as the requirements for the new millennium, er,Weekend Assignment #70: Books for a Trip "You know, something to keep me from banging my head against the plane wall as I'm bored out of my skull at 36,000 feet above the chilly North Atlantic. I'm open to fiction and non-fiction, and I like to read from all genres. I don't mind something challenging, but this should be a book for enjoyment; I'm not planning to study for a test or anything. Please don't recommend a book that's sold over, say, 5 million copies, because that's waaaay too easy. So no Harry Potters or DaVinci Codes or the Five People You Meet in Heaven or most primary religious texts or stuff like that. You know what I'm talking about, here."
"Extra Credit: If you have any special tips or techniques you used for dealing with long trips, I'd love to hear them."
I do hope that all is well in Scalziland – there's been too few entries devoted to your lovely wife lately. Do give her our best. And isn't Athena sprouting like a weed? She's going to be a heart breaker when she gets older, no doubt about it.
I envy you the time and resources that allow you to go off to Worldcon. Oh, to be young and solvent once again. Back in the day, I did a fair amount of traveling hither and yon (don't screw around in yon, by the way – it's a hanging offense). In addition, many years ago I injured my back, crushing a disk. So sitting still on an airplane or in a train becomes excruciating for me very quickly. Add the prospect of jet lag and a Rembrandt just doesn't appear, you know? So, I used to drink myself into oblivion but these days they throw Johnny from the plane without a parachute if one gives so much as the appearance you are having fun, let alone are actually inebriated. I can't in good conscience recommend that as a proper course of action. Instead, I'll suggest you indulge in a couple of guilty pleasures... Charlaine Harris and Keith Laumer.
It used to be one could wander freely without incurring the enmity of one's fellow passengers. Since the destruction of the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon, moving about on a flight is likely to get one a plastic dinner “spork” up the bum if one isn't careful. Or a stopover in Bangor, Maine, where the police and FBI frog march one's arse off the plane at gunpoint to the cheers of your “fellow passengers.” Neither a pleasant way to spend a vacation. Not the kind of exercise recommended for avoidance of DVT's, either (Deep vein thrombi (thromboses?).
Nowadays, I make a lot of trips to the loo. These are legitimate trips and not just for exercise as I take lots of HCTZ to prevent me from blowing up into a balloon of retained fluid. The only good thing about diuretics is the absence of blockages by kidney stones. While in the head, I do stretches. I lean on bulkheads. I go up to the bulkhead with the magazine racks and do mini-pushoffs to circulate blood to the thoracic region. So I usually request an aisle seat, despite my preference for looking out the window at the fire on the wing after the lightning strike (such pretty colors as the metals burn). That means I fidget even more, trying to find a comfortable position. Drives the others in the row nuts. But, it also means that I can stretch out momentarily into the aisle, I get to legitimately get up and down multiple times to let others in and out and I get easy access to the head because the need WILL arise, unlike the South (heheheh).
All of which probably goes into the TMI file. But there's a method to my madness. Or a point, at least. I bring trade paperbacks that have print large enough to see without holding the bloody book six inches from my nose, they fit in the pocket of my blazer or jacket, they are too big to be mistaken for a gun bulge because they peek out of the top of the pocket, rather than lurk at the bottom. They are lighter. They cost less, so loss is annoying, not ANNOYING. And I can bring two, if I'm flying more than a few hours away. I read in the loo. I read while standing up, stretching my back and upper hind legs.
The Charlaine Harris oeuvre I prefer is her Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire) series. Wait! Don't go off like that, boy. Listen to your elders just a gol darn minute! This stuff is funny. She builds fun characters and puts them into amusing situations and lets them run amok, more or less than real life, depending on how vibrant your life truly is. Start off with the first in the series Dead Until Dark – you'll have it finished in three hours, four if they interrupt you with a meal (you did remember to only bring packaged goodies in your carry on – candy bars and the like, right?) Pick up the second one, Living Dead In Dallas for the trip back, assuming you aren't so inebriated or so badly hung over that you can't read...
Restless after eating, exercising, stretching and reading? Seen all the movies? Tired of listening to your Ipod and the screams of the two year old three rows back? That hacking cough of the 300 pounder beside you got you worried (probably me hacking up a cancerous lung)? Then it's time to switch from “Coldplay” and “There Be Giants” or whatever crap you've been listening to (just kidding – put down the knife), switch down to the Mozart and Chopin, and crack open Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side.
Eric Flint has compiled a marvelous collection of short stories from Laumer's most prolific period and all of the stories are unaffected by the extreme anger and bitterness that overtook Keith after his stroke in 1971. I think you'll find them just the ticket to awake the wonder within, while easing the aches and pains of one Scotch too many from the night before...
You be good now. Remember you are there for business, not pleasure. And for land's sake, don't get caught!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 26, 2004
A Little Intro ...Welcome to the Daily Snooze -- my new Blogger.com blog. The Daily Snooze has been in existence for about a year over at AOL's Journals community and you can get read the archives there(use the link) to get a feel for who and what I am. This site will be a mirror of the one at AOL for a while before becoming my regular site sometime in the Fall of 2004. I look forward to meeting and greeting this new community and hopefully ending the access problems involved with AOL Journals for non-AOL members.
By the way - conversion to DSL finally occurred in June. AOL discontinuance is imminent. Things often move at a glacial pace in Maine...
Monday, July 25, 2005
Otto has been without electricity and Internet access after a series of severe thunderstorms did their thing on Sunday and early Monday. The questions got posted much later than usual. As always, get your own copy of the questions and leave a link in the comments to your answers over at the Monday Madness site.
1. What kind of storm is the most scarey to you?
Hurricanes tend to scare the bejeebus out of me over most other forms of extreme weather.
2. In your opinion, what is the perfect outdoor temperature?
Actually, it's a range -- 65°F to 75°F (18°-22°C)
3. Would you rather experience thunderstorms or snowstorms?
Snowstorms -- rarely have to deal with lightning during snowstorms.
4. Share a weather-related experience with us...feel free to include pictures!
No pictures, although I posted a photo of a similar incident here. In 1972 I was working as an oiler at Lake Champlain Transportation on the venerable (1928) M.V. Champlain, a car ferry plying the route between Burlington, VT and Rouse's Point, NY (near Ausable Chasm). One afternoon in late August we experienced a line storm accompanied by micro-bursts in the 80 MPH range. The wind and wave noise, coupled with the crashing around of cars on deck made it impossible to use the 1" brass pipe blow tube/intercom. I left the engine room and managed to get across the car deck without being pinned by the thrashing vehicles, then up the stairs to the pilot house to consult with the captain about whistle signals to be used to dock. I no sooner managed to climb the ladder to the pilot house, squeeze in and slam the door shut when we hit a rogue wave on the port quarter, burying the bow into the back of a wave while another tried to sink us by "pooping" i.e. coming in over the stern and flooding the rear of the vessel. The old girl was up to the task -- she popped out of the water like a cork and, because she had so much exposed side, then blew sideways and slammed back down on the water, hard. The violent wrenching motion tossed me from one side of the pilot house to the other, a distance of 12 feet or so, after the momentum wrenched me free of the death grip I'd had on grab bars placed in strategic locations to prevent flying crewmen. I got a cracked rib and a wicked headache from when my head bounced off the pilot house door. Docking was fun, too.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
|You Are an Indie Rocker!|
You are in it for the love of the music...
And you couldn't care less about being signed by a big label.
You're all about loving and supporting music - not commercial success.
You may not have the fame and glory, but you have complete control of your career.
Week 129Words posted 15 hours, 14 minutes ago
I say ... and you think ... ?
- Invasion::of the Body Snatchers
- Boys::will be boys
- Repeatedly::stabbing (wha!?! So I'm a little warped)
- Normal::Who, me?
- Tuxedo::in the attic
- Virgin::Airways (shows you how old I'm getting)
- Cereal::box tops
Get your own copy of the week's word list and post a link to your perturbations at La Luna Niña. That pain between your shoulder blades will just up and disappear when you do...
1. Who was your first best friend? How old were you when you two met? Are you still in regular contact with each other?
A kid up on the farm we lived on was my first best friend. I was 6 and he was 5 when we met. He died in a tractor accident at the age of 18.
2. Other than the "Saturday Six," what weekly or daily memes do you play most often? (Please give a link to that journal.)
Unconcious Mutterings, Sunday Brunch, Monday Madness and the Weekend Assignment are the memes I do routinely. The editor I'm using will not let me do a sequence of URL's separated by commas, so scroll down for the links.
3. Which of the following likely has the bigger mess underneath it: your stove, your refrigerator, your couch or your bed? The couch.
4. Take this quiz: How long does MSN think you'll live? Then take this one: How long does Blogthings think you'll live? 57/61
5. Do either or both of these motivate you to make any changes in your lifestyle? No. I expected to be dead 5 years ago. Every extra day I have is a bonus.
6. Name five things you would like to do by December 31, 2005. Read the Harry Potter books, go kayaking, go camping, get our wills in order & get this year's bills paid off.
Get your own questions and leave a link t your answers over at Patrick's Place. You'll be glad you did and Patrick gives Green Stamps®!!!
Saturday, July 23, 2005
A pastor concluded that his church was getting into serious financial troubles.
While checking the church storeroom, he discovered several cartons of new bibles that had never been opened and distributed.
So at his Sunday sermon, he asked for three volunteers from the congregation who would be willing to sell the bibles door-to-door for $10 each to raise the desperately needed money for the church. Peter, Paul, and Louie all raised their hands to volunteer for the task.
The minister knew that Peter and Paul earned their living as salesmen and were likely capable of selling some bibles. But he had serious doubts about Louie who was a local farmer, who had always kept to himself because he was embarrassed by his speech impediment.
Poor Louis stuttered badly. But, not wanting to discourage Louis, the minister decided to let him try anyway.
He sent the three of them away with the back seat of their cars stacked with bibles and asked them to meet with him and report the results of their door-to-door selling efforts the following Sunday.
Eager to find out how successful they were, the minister immediately asked Peter, "Well, Peter, how did you make out selling our bibles last week?"
Proudly handing the reverend an envelope, Peter replied, "Using my sales prowess, I was able to sell 20 bibles, and here's the $200 I collected on behalf of the church."
"Fine job, Peter!" The minister said, vigorously shaking his hand. "You are indeed a fine salesman and the Church is indebted to you."
Turning to Paul, "And Paul, how many bibles did you sell for the church last week?"
Paul, smiling and sticking out his chest, confidently replied, "I am a professional salesman. I sold 28 bibles on behalf of the church, and here's $280 I collected."
The minister responded, "That's absolutely splendid, Paul. You are truly a professional salesman and the church is also indebted to you."
Apprehensively, the minister turned to Louie and said, "And Louie, did you manage to sell any bibles last week?"
Louie silently offered the minister a large envelope. The reverend opened it and counted the contents. "What is this?" the minister exclaimed. "Louie, there's $3200 in here! Are you suggesting that you sold 320 bibles for the church, door to door, in just one week? Louie just nodded.
"That's impossible!" both Peter and Paul said in unison. "We are professional salesmen, yet you claim to have sold 10 times as many bibles as we could." "Yes, this does seem unlikely," the minister agreed. "I think you'd better explain how you managed to accomplish this, Louie."
Louie shrugged. "I-I-I re-re-really do-do-don't kn-kn-know f-f-f-for sh-sh-sh-sure," he stammered.
Impatiently, Peter interrupted. "For crying out loud, Louie, just tell us what you said to them when they answered the door!"
"A-a-a-all I-I-I s-s-said wa-wa-was," Louis replied, "W-w-w-w-would y-y-y-you l-l-l-l-l-like t-t-to b-b-b-buy th-th-th-this b-b-b-b-bible f-f-for t-t-ten b-b-b-bucks -- o-o-o-or -- wo-wo-would yo-you j-j-j-just l-like m-m-me t-t-to st-st-stand h-h-here and r-r-r-r-r-read it t-t-t-to y-y-you??"
With sincere apologies to Broadway:
Music- Burton Lane
Lyrics and Book- Alan Jay LernerOn a clear day
Rise and look around you
And you'll see who you are.
On a clear day
How it will astound you
That the glow of your being outshines ev'ry star.
You'll feel part of ev'ry mountain sea and shore.
You can hear, from far and near,
A world you've never heard before.
And on a clear day...
On that clear day...
You can see forever and ever more!
Yeah -- like a bloody copy of Windoze will ever make me feel that way!
It appears that Senator Orrin Hatch has fallen off the diving board into the deep end of the pool. He has publicly compared Judge John Roberts, Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, to Jesus Christ, putative Son of God.
Don't take my word for it – I got it from the Daily Kos:
“Orrin Hatch compares Roberts to, um, Jesus, and urges the nominee to refuse answers to any questions. No link to the transcript from Hatch's Fox News Channel appearance yesterday:
“I think senators can ask any questions they want. I've said, no matter how dumb the question may be. But the, the nominee doesn't have to answer them and he should not, under the canons of judicial ethics, he should not answer questions on any issue that possibly would come before the Supreme Court. Otherwise, he would be foretelling how he would vote on those issues and then they would hold that against him. So it's a little bit like Biblical Pharisees, you know, who basically are always trying to undermine Jesus Christ, you know, it goes on the same way. If they can catch him in something, they can then criticize -- and the outside groups will go berserk. And that's that what drives the People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. They're against any Republican. We knew that just no matter who it was -- it could be the greatest person in the world, and Roberts is, is that -- they would come out against him.”
Republicans are really afraid of airing Roberts' views on the issues. Really, really, afraid.”
Now, now, we all know that Orrin Hatch has been a loose cannon as a senator and has always been a bottle short of a six pack, what with coming from Utah and all...
From the Wikipedia entry on Senator Hatch:
“He and his family are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” He almost single-handedly caused the rollback of the anti-discrimination provisions of the Fair Housing Act. He was the cause of that tempest in a teapot in 2003 when he suggested “that copyright owners should be able to destroy the computer equipment and information of those suspected of copyright infringement, including file sharing.”
Not surprisingly, he was accused of software piracy in a Wired article entitled “Orrin Hatch, Software Pirate?” shortly thereafter...
So why should he stop being a loony now?
Friday, July 22, 2005
In the growing fear and anger at what more may be to come, apologists or explainers for these young men can expect short shrift. This is not about poverty, deprivation or cultural dislocation of second-generation immigrants. There is plenty of that and it is passive. Iraq is the immediate trigger, but this is about religious delusion.
All religions are prone to it, given the right circumstances. How could those who preach the absolute revealed truth of every word of a primitive book not be prone to insanity?
All the state can do is hold on to secular values. It can encourage the moderate but it must not appease religion. The constitutional absurdity of an established church once seemed an irrelevance, but now it obliges similar privileges to all other faiths. There is still time - it may take a nonreligious leader - to stop this madness and separate the state and its schools from all religion. It won't stop the bombing now but at least it would not encourage continued school segregation for generations to come. And it might clear the air of the clouds of hypocrisy, twisted thinking and circumlocution whenever a politician mentions religion.
Read the article in today's Guardian Unlimited.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
I never thought I'd find myself saying this. It's just so out of character, you know? I'm embarrassed to even admit it. I read the New York Times online on occasion. There, I said it and lightning didn't strike me or my computer dead. Whew!
I was looking for some information and saw a reference to an article in passing on another blog, so I logged in to the NY Times (registration required – it's free). This time, I wanted some background on John G. Roberts, Dubya's nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court of the United States.
So I logged on and immediately found this article detailing the Judge's family, education and work history along with numerous quotes from friends, colleagues and even a foe or two. What surprised me the most was the even-handed reporting. This isn't the strident hatchet job one has come to expect from the NYT. I highly recommend the article to you, even if you consider yourself, as I do, somewhere to the right of Atilla the Hun.
I came away feeling like I can support this man, even though we disagree violently on matters of religion and separation of church and state. If those left-wing liberal lug nuts at the Times are to be believed, he's an old school conservative with none of the neo-con, lunatic fringe religious nut about him. Yes, his Catholic upbringing and demonstrably continuing deeply held faith will (obviously) influence his personal feelings about abortion. Having read this article, I am not convinced that Roe v. Wade will be the litmus test that so many fear or hope it will be for Judge Roberts. I can see him rendering opinions that clash with his personal, deeply held religious views. Not gladly, but with a deeply held respect for the law and our Constitution.
Isn't that all we can ever ask of a nominee to the Supreme Court?
John Scalzi, AOL Blogfather and hot fudge dipstick was overheard to underhandedly mutter: “It's been so argin'-fargin' hot around here recently that I thought a frosty cool Weekend Assignment might help out:
Memoirs From The Ice Cream War
Howdy folks, Jerry Garcia here. No, not the Dead Head. Although, he was a cousin of mine, twice removed. Seems my Aunt Mabel was seeing this Rabbi on the side and...
Oops, getting off the subject of this week's assignment – ice cream flavors I have created. As an internationally known terrorist, er, uh, ice cream raccoon tour, impressive barrio, um, creator, I have had my share of successors, er, successes! Chunky Monkey, Juicy Lucy, Little Richard, Who-put-the-bop-in-the-mop, Chubby Hubby ... well, you get the idea.
But did you hear about my latest creation -- Ben & Jerry's newest flavor is politically incorrect, in a cute, anti-UN kind of way: Strawberry Land Mines – Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream with strawberry nuggets dipped in hot fudge and cashew pieces. It takes off like a native sitting on a Claymore! Heheheh
Rival Breyers came out with Tank Turds, chocolate ice cream with chocolate covered cherries rolled in peanuts. Militant copycat a$$e$!
Not to be outdone here in Maine, Gifford's has countered with Maine Deer Sign: a rich coffee ice cream laced with Heath Bar Candy Bars with thick fudge ripple throughout.
Now, not every new flavor I come up with is a hit. I've had my share of failures. My biggest flop while with Kraft General Food's Sealtest Division was the infamous Sticks 'n' Stones – creamy green tea ice cream with real sticks, (twigs, actually, from Ceylonese green tea plants) and Pop Rocks™ cola-flavored candies. That went over like a turd in a punch bowl on New Year's Eve. Seems that when you freeze Pop Rocks™ they turn as hard as a rock! Chomp down on one and it's a guaranteed trip to the dentist. By the time the lawyers got done with us, the only flavor I could sell the marketplace was Sealtest Fish Sticks – frozen mackerel on a stick intended for walrus trainers above the Arctic Circle to keep their fingers from freezing to the fish!
Well, that's the story of my success as an ice cream saboteur, er, entrepreneur. Keep your stick on the ice and the puck ... where it belongs.
“…when you cry out on the Black Man from Boston, you wake Nicholas Scratch, and he will surely come to call on you.”-Liz Marcs
Senator Santorum, the junior Republican senator from Pennsylvania and 2008 presidential hopeful, is at it again. This time he is calling for the "new evangelization" of the Catholic Church, a la Vatican II. Having seen first hand the atrocities perpetrated around the world by the Catholic Church, it is with a shudder that I contemplate any more active role by the Church in daily affairs of the citizens of this country.
But don't take my paltry word for it. Read Santorum's ridiculous call for the laity to oversee all activities of the Church in America in his July 12 Catholic Online op-ed piece “Fishers of Men.” Then read this literary counterpoint by Liz Marcs in her LiveJournal entry “When You Wake The Black Man from Boston, Nicholas Scratch Will Surely Come To Call.” It's an eye-opener, lyrically phrased.
If you have forgotten the tale behind the references, swing by and read an online copy of the Steven Vincent Benet short story “The Devil and Danial Webster,” just to trigger your synapses.
via Pammy's Lollygaggin
Following the disaster in London . . .
East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of
Emergency ( ICE )" campaign with the support of Falklands war hero,
The idea is that you store the word " I C E " in your mobile phone
address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would
want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency".
In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able
to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact
them. It's so simple that everyone can do it.
Please will you also email this to everybody in your address book, it
won't take too many 'forwards' before everybody will know about this. It
really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest.
For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I just took the wife to work. She's managed to let her driver's license run out over a technicality involving names and social security numbers. So I drove her to work on three hours of sleep. I'll be the first to admit I was grumpy. But only a mile from the house found my pleasant, albeit scorchingly hot, jaunt to town rendered into a "slow boat to China" agonal trek. All because of a phreaking Prius.
It was a dark, smoke gray. The windows were tinted. License plate is a vanity which reads "PRRRRR." Spoiler on the rear deck (as if!) blocks any chance of a view through the windshield of oncoming traffic. And the car is all over the road. First off to the side with the tires on the gravel verge and then kissing the center line with a 14 yard Mack Truck coming on. At the stop sign, it just sits. Hole after hole in traffic ignored. My blood pressure climbs higher and higher. One minute, two, then three minutes of sitting behind this car. Finally I start to back up to go around it and it takes off into an available hole. I follow.
More meaningless meandering. I climb onto the rear bumper and angrily flash my lights as the Prius does 30 in a 50. It pulls to the right two feet with a steady stream of traffic coming at us in the opposite lane. Not enough room to pass. I seethe.
No luck at the light - we get stuck behind this offensive unguent offal. Green brings an amazing 2mph start up the hill, climaxing at 25. When it goes to four lanes and the Prius pulls to the left hand lane and sits at 25 I lose it and pass on the right. My wife turns and looks and gives me what I had feared was the reality after all.
"It's a little old lady who has coke bottle bottom glasses and too short to see over the wheel, so it's adjusted so she can look between the wheel and the high dash. Smoking a cigarette and talking on a cell phone."
I gotta start carrying a shotgun when I drive during peak hours...
Pharyngula said it all:
(via The Apostropher)"
Monday, July 18, 2005
1. Mal asks... What is the last thing you do at night?
Generally, I walk the dog, lock up, lights out, and then climb into bed, apply my CPAP interface and nod off.
2. Wil asks... Where were you when the lights went out?
I was on a pay phone, chatting up a young lady in hopes of getting into her pants. Four hours later (on one quarter) we'd had about all the heavy breathing either of us could stand...
3. Andrea asks... What's on your refrigerator?
Magnets, photos, coupons, shopping lists and GP Art*. GP Art= Grandparents Art, pictures by the the grand nuisances for Whoppie and Pops, don'tcha know...
4. Jenny asks... What is your ideal vacation spot?
My ideal vacation spot is a beach with plenty of cool shade at the bar, loose women and no last names. It isn't my wife's idea of an ideal vacation spot...
5. Kia asks... What's the sexiest language in the world?
The language of the Sho in the Kalahari desert. All those clicks, pops, and glottal stops really get you goin, don't they?
6. Zeno asks... Have you ever made a wish on a shooting star and had that wish come true?
7. Bunnykissd asks... We're more than halfway through the year now; how are you doing with your New Year's resolutions?
What revolutions? We don't need no steenkin revolutions aroun here ... Oh. Nevermind.
Get your own copy of this week's questions and post a link to your answers over at Monday Madness.
Literature encourages tolerance - bigots and fanatics seldom have any use for the arts, because they're so preoccupied with their beliefs and actions that they can't see them also as possibilities. - Northrop Frye, writer(1912-1991)
I say ... and you think ... ?
My soul:: Aretha Franklin
Rockstar:: Mick Jagger
Terrify:: Al Queda
Knock me off my feet:: BB King
Get your own list of words each week and leave a link to your answers at La Luna Niña.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Found this over at Paul Little's Aurora Walking Vacation. He'd stolen it from Skatje.
1. Take the lyrics to a favorite song.
2. Go to Google Language Tools, tranlate the lyrics into German, then from German to French, and finally from French back into English.
3. Post the results verbatim.
4. Invite friends to guess the song based on the interesting new lyrics.
Where all the flowers did disappear to be enough the time which occurs where all has goings flowers? Long time one is enough time, when it had had all goings flowers? Did the girls each one when choose it it always learn? When they will always learn? Where did they go all the girls? To be enough the time which occurs where has all the young people goings girls? Long time one is enough time, when all the young people had had goings girls? Taken to the Husbands each one when they always learn? When they will always learn? Where did they go all the young men? To be enough the time which occurs where has all the gone young men? Long time one is enough time, when it had had all the gone young men? Gone for the soldiers of each one when they apprennenttoujours? When they will always learn? Where did they go all the soldiers? To be enough the time which occurs where all has gone soldiers? Long time one is enough time, when it had had all the gone soldiers? Gone with the cemeteries of each one when they apprennenttoujours? When they will always learn? Where all the cemeteries did disappear? To be enough the time which occurs where all has gone cemeteries? Long time one is enough time, when it had had any gone cemeteries? Does each one place the adjustment with the flowers when always learns to us? When will we always learn?
Saturday, July 16, 2005
No, French fries don't count...
Alrighty, then. Something French I appreciate. Hmmm. I was going to say Chopin until I discovered upon checking his biographical entry at Wikipedia that he was actually a transplanted Pole. Tricky fellows, the Polszka.
So then I thought about others and Erik Satie came to mind, as did the artists Cassatt, Monet, Manet and George Sands. Hmm, say I to meself, “I appreciate the Impressionists.”
''The Luncheon on the Grass''
oil on canvas, 208 × 265.5 cm
Now, explaining why is more problematical. Perhaps it's the thousands of dabs of paint that make up an image. The gentle, subtle shading, the play of light and shadow between dabs. Perhaps it was the audacity to take on the Establishment. I don't know that I can pin point why I like The Impressionists. I just do.
Of course, there's other things I appreciate about France. Even though it was a joint Franco-Anglais project, I loved the Concorde as flown byAir France. They had the most beautiful men and women on their crews. Far superior to British Airways crews – we used to get them both here and the crews tended to hang out in one of my favorite watering holes back in the day. Not to put too fine of a point on the matter, I love young French women. Bridgette Bardot. Oh my! Catherine Deneuve.
I loved the movie, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, when I was becoming a teen – it was the first subtitled film I ever saw and the fact it's “dialogue” is sung ... well, I was blown away.
There's a lot about the French and France I appreciate. There's a lot I don't. And so it goes...
Saturday Six - Episode 66
Patrick has done it again. Here's the questions and there's my answers. You can play along, too. Just click on the link up there. Easy, huh?
1. What is the last thing you either camped out or got up unusually early to be able to buy?
I never have. However, I have worked in retail and been required to crawl out of bed at 4 AM in order for crazy folks to start shopping at 5:30 AM the day after Thanksgiving! Damn fools...
2. If you had to give up one of the following for a full year, which would be the easiest to do without? Which would be the most difficult to give up?
a) Your personal vehicle <<< Most Difficult to give up ( I'm too old and too fat to try to bicycle twelve miles (round trip) for groceries. Not to mention the one lung, the triple bypass and the asthma I already deal with.)
b) Your Telephone (both cellular and land line)
c) The Internet
d) Meat (all of it: Beef, Poultry, Pork and Seafood)
e) Television <<<>
3. How many items (include all bottles, boxes and containers) are in your medicine cabinet? 37 Which is the last one you used? Tweezers – I had a splinter in my foot on Friday evening.
4. What is the first source you go to for news of any kind when you wake up?
It's a toss-up between NPR and CNN Headline News. These days, it's easy to flip on the TV. When I worked, I avoided turning on the TV before work as I'd get sucked into the local news, so I relied on the radio in the bathroom as I got ready for work, then in the car during the commute.
How much do you trust that particular source? I trust NPR more than I do CNN – there isn't as much pressure to get the story out there without doing fact-checking at NPR. The most dishonest of the network tv news sources is Fox, lately followed by CBS, sad to say. It used to be that I could listen to the BBC radio news and I found their coverage of international issues to be the best on shortwave. Now I just read the International Herald Tribune online if I want coverage of foreign news. Ultimately, I trust no one to provide the whole story.
5. Take the Quiz: What do the letters of your name stand for?
O=Overwhelming, L=Lazy, D=Dignified, D=Dysfunctional, O=Overwhelming, G=Gorgeous, according to the quiz. I'll let you, Gentle Reader, determine for yourself just how “gorgeous” I am
6. What is your favorite color and why? If you have a journal or journals, is this color the primary one on those journals? If not, why not?
Blue. I'm not sure why, exactly. It just is the most pleasing to my eye. It is the accent color on my AOL journal while gray is the predominant color on the Blogger version. But I like lots of other colors besides blue.Have a great weekend!
Friday, July 15, 2005
What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
Not a good idea to give out middle names these days ... I can't stand the ridicule when people learn it is Aloysius. Oops! I often wish I had a more, shall we say, plebian middle moniker. Harry, Ralph, or perhaps, Herod.
If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?
Le soup course will be a cold tomato bisque, made with creme freiche and organic pom d' terre's as the thickeners on a bed of Roma corduroy Dried tomato Chips, served a la carte in the Basque Bernaise style...
What is your least favorite chore, and why?
Washing dishes... because I am the cook and I've already spent more than enough time in the kitchen preparing the meal.
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?
Hurricanes -- I can remember looking out over the Delaware River Valley overlooking the New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ area in 1955. We were in the middle of moving. All that could be seen was the roofs of buildings and water. Trees the size of semis were careening down the river to batter the bridge, torn from the saturated soil by the winds that had accompanied the storm. Thousands were temporarily homeless and, because we were moving and I was feeling as uprooted as those oaks and chestnuts I'd seen, I have always associated hurricanes with catastrophic loss and chaos.
Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
I'm at my desk in the office/library/computer room/sock-drying room. I can see all of the things implied by that appellation, including lines of socks hanging near the ceiling where they were placed to dry. Books flank me on either side on floor-to-ceiling shelves, perhaps a thousand in this room alone. I see a space that the ladies on that TV show that attacks clutter would throw up their hands in total disgust over and walk off the set. Of course, the main attraction for me in here is the machines that make it possible to be here in cyberspace. Computers, cables, phones, wireless routers and DSL gateways, modems and CD's and the other paraphernalia that fill the space of a computer geek since the first S-100 CP/M based personal computers arrived on the scene in the early eighties at La Casa dementia.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Monday, July 11, 2005
1. What book are you currently reading? (from dawn)
The two principal reads right now are Ursula K. Lequin’s The Telling and Elizabeth Bear’s space soap opera Change of Command.
2. Have you ever experienced the loss of a pet? How did you deal with it? Would you get a new pet, and why? (from peanutbutterfly)
PBF, I’m past the half century mark and I’ve had dogs and cats most of my life, trained and competed in show rings, obedience trials and Schutzhund and bred German Shepherd Dogs for ten years (a losing proposition unless you’re rich) -- so yes, I have seen many four-legged friends come and go over the years. You resign yourself to the fact they live their lives at a much faster pace than humans do. When they die or are killed, you grieve as you would for the loss of any loved one, then you go on with life, for life will go on without you. Of course, once the active grieving is done, it is time to allow a new fast life friend into your life. Life without animal companions is unthinkable, that’s why.
3. Is anyone in your family in the armed services? (from teresa)
Not at the present time. The last one to serve honorably was my stepson, Matt. He was a CPO in the Navy until a medical condition forced his retirement.
4. If you have or have had a girlfriend/boyfriend, did you tell your parents about her/him without them prying for the information? (from shady88)
It was a standing rule in my house - I know where you are going and who you will be with, at all times, or you don’t get to go out, kiddo. Lie or neglect to tell the whole truth and privileges, such as phones, TV, computer access, cars, jobs, etc. are withheld.
I lived by the same rules when I was young and it didn’t kill me, either. End of story.
5. What was your favorite childhood pet and tell me a few things about it. (from beth)
My first dog was an Irish Space Cadet (i.e. Irish Setter) named Red. He ran with the wind, talked to the birds, chased bunnies and cars and tires were his downfall.
6. Have you ever been in love? (from seren)
Several times. Each one was a wonder and a delight. I’m just sorry that I wasn’t up to the task, most of the time.
7. What's your favorite activity? (from robyn)
Making love with a sensitive, sophisticated woman. They’re so much more demonstrative than men...LMAO
Have a great week.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Sunday, July 10, 2005
I say ... and you think ... ?
- Ballet::Swan Lake
- Resumé::fired again
- Phenom:stupid git
- Interruption::coitus interruptus
- Not enough::time
Erica, the mistress and chief bottle washer
for The Sunday Brunch, was overheard to
utter the following:
"Health food makes me sick." -Calvin Trillin
1) What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
2) How many times per week do you eat fast food?
Once or twice a week
3) Describe your favorite fast food meal.
An Arby's Beef 'n' Cheddar, curly fries, unsweetened
ice tea ( I gotta get me those little robots that take
sweetening outta the tea! ), and, if I am being naughty,
a cherry turnover.
4) Do you always Super-Size your meal?
5) What is your least favorite fast food restaurant?
Have a good weekend!
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Each week he sucks me in with the illusion of meaning. Each week, I succumb. Sad, ain't it?
Get your own copy of this week's questions and leave a link to your answers in the comments thread. Non-AOL users may comment via AIM.
Try to resist – I'll bet you can't do just one, Jay...
1. How many mirrors are there in your home? If you could go for the rest of your life without ever looking in a mirror (but still know that you hadn't missed a button or that your hair was disarrayed, etc.) would you?
Somewhere around 7 mirrors, by my count. None larger than the vanity mirror in the bathroom. And I'd gladly do without a mirror the remainder of my life -- I'm ugly enough that I spend as little time as possible in front of the looking glass as it is.
2. What online abbreviation annoys you the most and why?
3. What do you hate the most in this world?
4. You decide to go to your next high school reunion. What do you anticipate would be the thing most people said about you behind your back?
My next reunion, if there is one, would be in 2008. It would be my 40th high school reunion and it is highly unlikely I'd attend. But if I did, the muttering would probably go something like this...
“Boy, has he gotten fat!”
“Yes he has, and what's with the pony tail? Ridiculous on a old phart nearly in his 60's!”
5. You learn that because of some galactic mix up in fate itself, you must restart your life tomorrow in a new place. You will emerge as a person with a unique past and won't seem out of the ordinary to those in the new place. You will retain the experiences and memories of your past, but the people you are closest to will believe that you are dead and gone and you would be prohibited from contacting them. Where would you go and why?
New Zealand. North Island. Work on a sheep station, up near Cape Palliser. Because the folks all speak (a form of) English, the climate is moderate without slighting the seasons, and it is similar to Maine but way too far away to be contacting anyone. As an employee of a sheep station, my income would be sufficient to sustain life, but insufficient to give into temptation to return to the former life I lead.
6. What are you most passionate about in this moment of your life and why?
Survival – because my continued survival and yours is continually threatened by outside forces which you have little to no control over.
...this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.
Amir Taheri explains in his London Times column in a clear fashion the whys and the wherefores of the terrorist cowards responsible for yesterday's bombings in London. Read it and learn the truth.
via Neptunus Lex
Friday, July 08, 2005
Weekend Assignment #67: Bad Movie Marathon! Share your favorite
bad film of all time. Tell us why you love it so.
Extra Credit: Your favorite quote from the aforementioned film.
Maybe it was the poor heating in the freezing cold theater. Maybe it was the fact I had never played the game. Maybe it's the bilious taste of despair the next morning when I discovered my checkbook missing (I'd loaned my coat to my date).
Nah ...Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is a piece of dog turd wrapped in aluminum foil and passed off as hashish to an unsuspecting, indiscriminant viewing public. That they actually funded a sequel is mind-boggling.
The following inanity is indicative of the dearth of quality:
Shao Kahn: The Earth was created in six days; so too shall it be destroyed; and on the seventh day, mankind will rest... in peace!
It was the last time that young lady got to pick the movie...
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Tomorrow’s news today: the advance transcript of Bush’s address to the nation on his nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor’s successor
My fellow Americans.
As you know, I have the honor and the privilege of nominating the next Justice of the Supreme Court. And as you know, I believe America deserves a good Justice, a wise Justice, a Justice who will interpret the Constitution faithfully. In making my decision, I have looked deep into my heart, and I have sought the counsel of wonder-working Providence. I appear before you tonight to share that decision with you.
When I first sought the office of the Presidency, I promised to be a uniter, not a divider. Since then, I have made every effort to unite this nation by purging it of Democrats. Together with my trusted aides and advisors, I have worked tirelessly to impugn the patriotism and question the integrity of anyone who’s voiced even the most timid criticism of my conduct as President. It hasn’t mattered whether my critics are decorated Vietnam vets, undercover intelligence agents, middle-aged elementary-school teachers, or Democratic Senators with weapon-grade anthrax in their mail—my administration and I have reached out across America to slime and to slander them. We’ve undertaken a great work in this great nation, and I know that many of you have dedicated yourselves to that work.
But a still greater work lies before us. The next Justice of the Supreme Court will very likely determine the direction of the Court for another generation, shaping our laws and our lives throughout the land. And I have decided that this is not a time to play games with the American people or score cheap political points. It is a time, instead, to heal the wounds I have inflicted, and repair some of the damage I have wrought.
Some of you may remember that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor put me in this office, by concurring with the Court’s argument that my Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the laws would be violated by a statewide recount of votes in Florida. For that decision, I will be forever grateful to Justice O’Connor. But I have never managed to shake the sense that there is a cloud over my Presidency, a taint of illegitimacy that touches everything I do and say. In the past, I’ve tried to compensate for that sense of illegitimacy by stocking my administration with cronies and sycophants, and by ensuring that whenever I appear in public I am surrounded by fanatical supporters who have signed written pledges and chanted oaths of fealty to me. I’ve even tried literally to buy a sense of legitimacy, by paying journalists directly to promote my policies and repeat my words as their own.
But I know I can’t get away with this kind of thing forever. My fellow Americans, under my blustering façade—yes, I’m familiar with the word “façade”—I am tormented by remorse and self-doubt. I know I’ve run the country into the ground financially, and though my friends and I will make out like bandits, just as we did with Arbusto and Harken, I know it’ll take you all at least another fifty years to clamber out of the hole I’ve dug for you. I know also that I’ve helped to make America a dirtier, more toxic place to live, and that I’ve treated our land, water, and air as if they were the private reserves of my oil buddies. I honestly don’t know any other way to govern. And as for Iraq, I confess to you tonight that I haven’t got the faintest clue what’s really going on in Iraq. I just hope that someone bails me out of that one, too.
Friends, neighbors, fellow citizens, I don’t want to be remembered as a man who used the office of the Presidency like some two-bit, tinhorn generalissimo. I want to be remembered as a good man who made some bad decisions early on, but who eventually saw the error of his ways and tried to walk in the light, with the help of Almighty God. I want to be remembered as a man who chose the path of righteousness, who moved to check the rabid political extremists of his own party and to advance the cause of social justice in America. I want my legacy to be a proud and honorable one, and I want my Presidency itself to be born again. And for that reason, my fellow Americans, I am nominating Lani Guinier to the Supreme Court of the United States.
May God bless you, and may God bless America.via Pharyngula
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
The Associated Press
NEW YORK July 5, 2005 — Martha Stewart says in a new interview that her nickname in prison was M. Diddy, that house arrest is "hideous" and that her prosecution was about bringing her down "to scare other people."
Monday, July 04, 2005
Otto, in a fit of pique, is heard to utter: "Here's this week's fill in the blanks..... Thanks to each and every one of you for playing my meme! =) "
1. I have the hardest time _opening up to strangers_.
2. As soon as I can afford it, I'm buying a _new kayak, assuming my butt bone ever heals_.
3. I should probably eat more _empty calories_.
4. When _Autumn_ comes around, it always brings back wonderful memories.
5. I remember my favorite childhood toy; it was a _small stuffed dog_.
6. If I had to describe my computer desk in one word, it would have to be _"disaster"_.
7. I could only wish the person running this meme would ask more questions about _life, liberty, and the pursuit of pleasure_.
8. If I had to come up with one question to add to a future 'Monday Madness' it would be... _"Where were you when the lights went out?"_.
Get a copy of the questions, sign up for the email notifier and leave a link to your answers here.
To Our Troops:
It's a tough job you are doing well, defending "Ideals" in a foreign land against very real foes who wish you dead. While I know a few of you won't make it home alive and more will leave a part of themselves behind, your selfless service is inspiring for those at home, even for those who don't support the politics of why you are there in the first place. Come home safe and sound to your loved ones as soon as you can -- they miss you terribly.
Take a moment this weekend and send a message of support to the troops. Regardless of how you feel about the U.S.A.'s presence in Iraq, the men and women serving this country have earned the right to your support. It isn't difficult to do - just go to the America Supports You web site and click on the Send A Message graphic at the top center of the page. You and the troops will be glad you did.
So, who is guarding the Constitution? Who stands against the ignorance of the populace? Who assures that tomorrow, inside the U.S.A., your right to express your opinion in whatever legal manner you choose is upheld in the face of those who would see you silenced, your banners and words destroyed? Is it the multifarious, interlocking local, state and federal law enforcement establishment? Who protects you from a Congress hellbent on fleecing the pockets of the many to line the coffers of the rich few? Who protects your right to worship your deity in the fashion you choose at home and in your churches, mosques and synagogues? Who protects society's institutions from the predations of Religious Zealots who would force their ideas upon our children in their schools, upon our judges in their courts and upon the populace at home, at work and in public? Is it the Reverands and Pastors and other self-appointed "Men of Gawd"? Or perhaps you are deluded into thinking that the politicos have your best intersts at heart? Is it President George W. Bush, V-P Cheney, or their advisors, the Donald Rumsfelds and Karl Roves and the RNC? Or perhaps it's the Democrats, the liberals, the Senators Kerry, Clinton and Kennedy of the world?
I don't think so. It's the Military and the US Supreme Court that are protecting those freedoms and institutions cited above. What very strange bedfellows they make. And now, the infidels have the keys to the vault. It gives a whole new meaning to "May you live in interesting times."