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Latest Humorous T-shirt Slogan:
"You Wish!"
This one has to be taken in context to be appreciated. The girl wearing this belly shirt was maybe 5'0" tall, with a muffin top going on, despite the fact that she was clearly in her third trimester of pregnancy. In addition she was wearing a thong that came up past her low-rise jeans and pushed her muffin top down over the edge to really emphasize the roll. I'm not in perfect shape so I don't expect that others should be, but when you are wearing that shirt, along with the rest of the outfit, you open yourself to scrutiny (and perhaps random looks of horror).

It's fun to hate:
The Soccer Moms who insist that they drive gas-guzzling SUV's for the safety of their children despite the fact that they are 6 times more likely to be in a rollover accident than any other vehicle. It's like beating your child unconscious with the butt of your gun so that he will remain on the floor, thus making him less likely to be hit by a random bullet coming through the front window.

When Shadowtwin reigns supreme:
There will be mandatory, passive birth control required to participate in any form of government assistance. If you can't afford to raise your child on your own we are here to help you, but we must first make sure that your reproductive organs are adequately contained. If you don't like that policy all you have to do is support your kids your damn self!
Vote Shadowtwin!

Wildly inaccurate, yet shockingly precise, predictions based completely on happenstance and arbitrary universal fluctuations.
Your Horoscope:

Sagitarius: 11/22-12/21
A typographical error in your Church's newsletter will lead to you performing sex acts on dozens of anonymous strangers in your pursuit of "oral highground."

Capricorn: 12/22-1/19
The stars did recently tell your wife to "listen to her heart" regarding whether or not she should leave you. The stars did not intend for you to listen to her heart. But once you used that bonesaw on her sternum (not trusting the stethoscope which just responded with a cryptic thumping sound), we're pretty sure she made up her mind anyway.

Aquarius: 1/20-2/18
The stars would like to apologize for stating in their last prophecy, "Be wary of the stranger you meet at beach this weekend. The stars aren't sure why, but they don't trust him." Through a cosmic hiccup, that information was supposed to be released this month. The August prophecy should have read, "A dark and handsome stranger will approach you on the beach, profess his love for you, and sweep you away for a jetset marriage. After which you will lead a long, happy, prosperous, healthy life as the Queen of a small island nation." We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Pisces: 2/19-3/20
Your new stopwatch will allow you to time how long you can hold your breath underwater down to the thousandth of a second. Unfortunately, poor planning will mean that you are not able to actually share the information with anyone.

Aries: 3/21-4/19
Your innovative new device for beauticians to use while giving pedicures can be wildly successful and make you quite wealthy IF you change the name. Trust us, no one is going to buy a "Ped-O-File".

Taurus: 4/20-5/20
Your Mother always told you to wear clean underwear just in case there was an accident and paramadics had to see them. But as you board that plane today, the stars want you to know that you needn't worry about it. The debris field will be more than 8 square miles, making it impossible to find most human remains. Not to mention that the ensuing fire burned so hot that it disintegrated not only all fabric, but most of the thin metals aboard as well.

Gemini: 5/21-6/21
You just had to get that genital piercing, didn't you? The stars tried to warn you not to, but you went ahead and did it anyway... Now all your worst fears will come to bear when, at a campground this weekend, you run afoul of this guy:

Cancer: 6/22-7/22
The less traveled by areas of the Grand Canyon's north rim offer some of the most breathtaking views of this natural wonder. You will soon find out they also include some of the worst footings and none of the handrails. They do, however, provide equally awe-inspiring, terminal velocity impacts.

Leo: 7/23-8/22
The stars heard your pleas, begging for someone who you could share your love with and embrace for the rest of your life. If you are still single, throw your arms around the closest person to you at 3:44pm GMT on Dcember 9th -That'll be the one. Trust us, you won't have time to be picky...

Virgo: 8/23-9/22
The stars have piled up most of your things on the front porch. You can stay at a friend's house, but you aren't coming back home until you admit what you did and apologize. The stars' Mother was right about you... (you must have really pissed them off; the stars were in tears while they told me this)

Libra: 9/23-10/22
The stars have been doing a little thinking and a lot of math. The population of planet earth is roughly 6,796,590,704. That means that roughly 566,382,558 people share each astrological sign. About 18,620,796 have the same birthday. Based on average life expectancy as many as 248,277 people were born on the same day, in the same year, for every zodiac sign. How can one statement possibly predict the future of all of them? Ehh, fuck it. "A full moon while Venus is rising is an omen of good things to come."

Scorpio: 10/23-11/21
They say you never know how you are going to react to a crisis. After a home invasion this weekend you will: You will scream, "Do whatever you want to my wife, but leave me alone!" You will then create a distraction by throwing your newborn at the assailant as you dive through the window to safety. Now you know.

Music lost to history:

Aerosmith - Dream On When I started doing these, I could never have imagined that I would be putting an Aerosmith song here. Since I was born in 1974, this song is well before my generation. It was recorded in 1972 and released in 1983 on Aerosmith's Self-Titled Album, but to read the information on it at Wikipedia most of us would become familiar with it from a re-release in 1976.

Like most of the music being released in the late 60's/early 70's that was pushing the rock-n-roll envelope, Dream On relies heavily on solid composition and and melody. Before the era of the modern effects processor, these bands had no distortion to hide behind (or very little), and synthesized instruments hadn't yet made their way into music. In that way the music always sounds more raw to us today because, quite simply, it was. While it seems laughable to think about today, music like this was so far removed from the bubble-gum pop of the 50's that it still wasn't accepted into the mainstream. As the baby-boomers became the target demographic, the rock-n-roll movement really started to pick up speed, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith clearing the path for the much darker and heavier bands like Black Sabbath.

While I (and most of my generation) are probably far more familiar with the Aerosmith of the late 80's and early 90's, the reason this song makes it onto my MLtH page comes down to one thing: Age. Not necessarily the age of the song; In fact, as I sat down to do the research for this today, I had no idea when it was released, but would have guessed (closely) the mid 70's. Tyler was born March 26, 1948, meaning that this song was written when he was only 24 years old. I'm not sure why, but I have always thought this song was pretty amazing given his age at composition. I suppose it is human nature to wax poetic about the days of yore and the imminent passage of time, but the melody sets a mood that makes you feel it right along with him. As the song nears the end and his lyrics become more more frenzied, you can almost feel the pain (longing?) in his voice. Listen to it with headphones and no distraction sometime, you'll see what I mean.

I wrote a short bit some time ago about Kelly Sweet's cover of this song (see the video on Youtube). While I have since gotten over the initial hatred I felt towards the cover of the song, I still just can't like it. The words are there; she hits the notes; but I just can't hear it in her voice. As if there is somthing very personal about the song and Tyler's deliverance of the lyrics that just can't be duplicated. At least to me.

That said, I have heard Aerosmith doing the song with an orchestra, and it also seems to lack the passion of the original. So perhaps the thing that I like so much about it is the under-produced, raw sound of it, or it may be that I am still hearing it through the ears of that impressionable youth that heard if for the first time in a dusty old Van with my Uncle Art. Either way, it seems it is Lost to History.

Music Lost to History Archive

I Can't Believe it's Not Porn!
WhorePresents.comYep, it's not porn. It's not a site with gifts for sale either, which is probably a good thing since I can't imagine that any woman would be at all flattered to get a gift -no matter how nice- in a box that says "Whore" on it.

Daily Reading:
Magazine Man
Shane Nickerson
Wil Wheaton
Hoyazo's Poker Blog

My reading list changes from time to time, and there are many sites that I visit that are not on the list. They are listed in the order that I visit them, enjoy!

Locations of visitors to this page

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? September 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005
It seems that writing is not my greatest skill. I am probably the last person on earth (counting only those who have read my writing) to realize this. I realized it rather suddenly only about ten minutes ago. How could it have taken so long?

When I refer to writing I am not talking about the mundane things like grammar and punctuation, nor the archaic art of penmanship (which I failed constantly all through grade school), but of the actual writing part of it. I can have a story in my head and see it happening in vivid detail, then type out the most bland 20 pages you have ever read when I try to describe it. If I were to tell the story verbally I am sure that I could get it all out there and make other people see the vision that I see, yet writing doesn't seem to condone lines like "Oh yeah, he also had a horn growing out of his left shoulder". In my rush to get the idea down onto paper (monitor) I usually miss a lot of the stuff that made the story seem so great. While it should be possible to just throw down an outline of the ideas with quick notes about what has been omitted, then add to the outline as I try to work it into a story, I simply am not capable of doing it.

I have a file drawer full of short stories (quite literally, there are hundreds of them, alphabetized and everything) that I wrote a long time ago. Out of the hundreds of stories I have there there are about four or five (that I can clearly remember) that I thought had a good enough story, and interesting enough characters to try to make into a workable novel (I also have a couple of novels in that same drawer, they are absolute garbage that I should have destroyed long ago). I began trying to do that with one of the stories a couple of months ago.

I never told anyone that I was doing it, I just started typing. I had my outline pretty well set within a week or two. The characters were interesting, the story was involving, it was all in place. It was probably a month ago that I actually started to write the story itself, and it was going really well, for a while...

No sooner than I had the characters introduced and the plot started to happen, I completely lost my writing ability. I didn't know that at the time though, since that was several weeks ago. I did read what I had written the previous day to get me back into the scene to start writing the next day, but I had never read it from the beginning to where I was currently until tonight. It was absolute shit. 132 pages of absolute shit. I wouldn't have read past the first ten were it not my own work, I have doubts that anyone else would have gotten that far. My first thought was to try to rewrite the sections that didn't seem to 'flow', but the whole damn thing didn't flow. IT. WAS. SHIT. I sighed pretty hard as I deleted the file, a bit harder as I emptied the trash can, possibly less hard as I deleted recently viewed files, then pretty hard again as I realized that I may not be meant to be a writer. I haven't formatted my hard drive yet (what a head ache), so technically I could still get the story back if I wanted to, yet I know I never will. Perhaps I will take another shot at this 'writing' thing in a few more years, by then I might be better?

I really should have listened to the teachers in school when they told me that I would never be a writer. The consensus seemed to be that I could make an excellent Mathematician, just not a writer. Why is it that the one thing I really want to do, the one thing that I would be happy doing, is locked away by my inability to do it? That is actually an easy question to answer: I am really good at math, I really suck at writing.

Self deprecation may not be the best way to drive traffic to my site though, so I must mention that I will probably start to write some more of those Arthur Witles stories now that I realize that it may be the best I can do. Also it is pretty fun to write about him since the stories are short and I do love the little guy.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The days blur by

I know that, many times in the past, I have mentioned that my father died on Christmas Eve in 1990. I have also mentioned that he was only 38 years old when he died. Of course since I was only 16 at the time, 38 seemed older than dirt. I guess it takes you a lot of years to realize that you weren't really an adult when you were 16, it did for me at least.

I remember looking at my dad in the weeks leading up to his death, the death was totally unexpected and doesn't have any actual bearing on my memories. I can remember that, in my sixteen year old eyes, he really looked old. He had the crow's feet around his eyes, lots of gray hair, his skin was becoming leathery, he just looked old to my sixteen year old eyes. 38 is well over the hill to a child of 16.

Now that it is 2005, a full fifteen years after dad died, I am thinking that maybe he wasn't as old as I really thought he was. The fact that I am 31 years old might play into that a bit. Now that I have three decades behind me, I find it pretty tough to think of anyone in their 30's as old. I don't think that anyone else who hits their 30's would have a different opinion on that; 30 seems extremely old when you are a decade away from it. When you hit that 30 year old milestone it doesn't seem so old anymore.

I still look into the mirror and think that I have looked exactly the same since High School, which is an absurd thought. My hair is turning to a magnificent silver color (one at a time), my skin is darker and far dryer than it was back then, my eyes are sinking (ever so slowly) into my skull, my skin knows exactly where to go when I laugh, thus creating lines on my face when I do so. Yes, it seems that 30 something might not be that old at all, also I should give up on the notion that I haven't changed in appearance since High school.

I am reminded of the time when the child of one of our neighbor's, who was mentally retarded, gave me some advice. I had just gotten my first pimple (one of many to come), and thought it was the end of the world. He (the mentally retarded, 20ish guy) said to me, "just wait until you turn 18 and go through puberty". I didn't laugh at him since I knew that he was mentally challenged, but I did question his logic (though not verbally). So, you turn 18 and you instantly have a full beard and pubic hair? That seemed pretty foolish, even to my 13 year old self (of course my grammar school actually taught sex education, if your parents were willing to sign the form).

Puberty is a process that takes years to get through, not like a race where there is only one clear winner. Everyone goes through puberty and it certainly doesn't happen all at once on your 18th birthday. The same is true for the aging process. You don't just wake up one day and look like you are 80, it takes years of trials, failures, successes and losses to get to that age. Every success, every loss, every trial, every failure, will mark you in some way. The mental aspects will better prepare you for the next trial, while the physical aspects will add creases to your skin (laugh lines if you have done well, wrinkles if you haven't). Life, it seems, is a process.

Hidden away, in the back bedroom which we never use, I have a photo with my father in it. The photo shows my father and all of his siblings posing for the camera as a Christmas gift to their mother. Their mother has long since died (and I couldn't make it to her funeral). I believe the picture was taken in about 1989, and every single person in the photo looks young, vibrant and about to tackle the world. None more so than my dad. He looks downright young in that photo. Out of the eight children in that photo, a few went on to tackle the world and become extremely successful, a few went on to become housewives to successful men (some of which have their own careers by now), one had a horrible stroke that made him basically an invalid (since his career was playing the guitar and singing), and then there is my dad, who died far too young.

38 years just doesn't seem like infinity anymore.

When I look at that photo, hidden away in the guest bedroom, and look at my father's face, I now know that he was only just a child when he died. 38 years on this earth is simply not enough time. Whatever evil he did in his life simply doesn't justify him having to be eliminated from the earth at such a young age.

As the days blur by ( sort of like watching your life on camera, yet it is what is happening now) I often think about my dad. I bet the days blurred by for him just as they do for me. The childhood antics are lost to a dresser drawer somewhere, the proof of the antics is eventually traded or lost. The man that I thought was more powerful than THOR is reduced to a rapidly fading memory, a memory which can only be kept alive by the occasional glance at that photo, hidden away in the back bedroom. Eventually that photo will come down and I will be left with nothing but my memories, memories which are 15 years old already and certainly not getting any clearer.

Twenty years from now I doubt that there will be anyone who can remember my father at all. He will fade into the great oblivion. His life will have been no more than a speck on the windshield of time. He, and all of his siblings, will eventually be completely forgotten. While I have the one photo to look at, most others do not.

As my father is slowly, and systematically, forgotten about, I am left to wonder how the days blur by so fast. I will suffer the same fate as my father (hopefully some years from now), but I, too, will simply disappear into nothingness. I may be remembered for a few years, a dozen at best, but, eventually, everyone will completely forget that I ever existed.

While it would be quite noble to say that, on my death bed, I wished for world peace, the reality is that on my death bed I would be far more likely to wish/pray that I wasn't going to die.

The days do blur by, try to take note of them as they do. You are never going to get this chance again.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The 40 Year Old Virgin

My wife had a pair of free movie tickets that had to be used by end of September so we went to see a movie today. While we had decided that we were going to watch The Corpse Bride Which is getting far better reviews than I would have expected, it turns out that the free tickets wouldn't get us into that movie since it is still considered a "limited engagement". My second choice was the latest Jodie Foster movie, something to do with an airplane, that would have been nixed anyway since "limited engagement" seems to mean that the tickets will only work on films that are not likely to sell out. I think opening weekend of anything would definitely be out of the question for the purposes of the free movie passes.

As we stood at the window wondering what to do next, since I think we both realized that my second choice wouldn't be available to us either, my wife asked the woman what else was playing around noon. There were lots of films playing, most of which either my wife or myself just absolutely didn't want to see. I offered to pony up the cash to watch the movie we had gone to see in the first place, but the wife insisted that we use the free tickets. So we saw The 40 Year Old Virgin today. Oddly, I had tried to get her to go see this movie last weekend but she didn't want to (she also didn't want to ge see Cry Wolf, which I would like to see), but when free tickets are at stake sacrifices must be made. We had made it to the theatre a half hour before the movie we planned to see started, but since we had to change the movie we were a good forty-five minutes early. That is a boring forty-five minutes.

I hesitate to call anything I write a review so I will simply say that this is what I thought of the film. First off I was pretty grumpy after having to choose a different movie and wait damn near an hour for it to start. I got over that very quickly.

This movie is just so damn funny that you really can't be in a bad mood while you watch it. The very first scene had everyone in the room laughing out loud, myself included, and it just kept going from there. There was a lot of potty humor, which blended nicely with the more romantic side of it to keep it all flowing. There was a point about an hour into it that it just crapped out for twenty minutes or so (the humor left completely and made it seem like a Harlequin novel), other than that it would be pretty hard to complain about anything in it. There are some of the best one-liners I have ever heard, some of the best situational comedy I have ever seen, the characters all had very distinct personalities and, most importantly, the characters seemed very real, albeit a bit stereotyped. I know people who act like the majority of the primary actors, as most probably do, and that just made it even better.

I went into the theatre expecting to see a movie that was all about the sexual mis-encounters of a guy who happened to be 40. I assumed that it would be a bunch of low brow humor that would not be appreciated by the fairer sex, yet, since most of the women in the audience were laughing just as often as the men (often at different jokes) it went well beyond that assumption. The fact that it had an actual story line, not to mention an actual love story, was simply beyond (my) belief. If I had a rating system I would give this one 5 beer cans (the very best) but subtract half of a beer can for the dull part in the middle. Still 4.5 out of 5 beer cans is pretty good.

Now for a few spoilers

The opening scene shows the main character with an erection when he wakes up in the morning. As he reaches the toilet he has to bend further and further until you finally hear the sound of the pee hitting the water in the bowl. That is something that every man can totally identify with, though it likely isn't still happening by the time you are in your forties. When I was a teen I used to take my bath towel into the bedroom with me when I went to bed, not so that I could masturbate though. I just wanted to have something to hold in front of me on my trek to the bathroom the next morning, as my penis seemed to think it was playing a game called "point at the chin".

The condom scene is simply hilarious. The condom is not really a complicated device. In fact I learned how to use one all on my own, because I didn't want to have to start the learning process while in the presence of a naked, horny woman. I don't know how he ended up with a condom on his toe, nor why he covered his entire arm with one, or what the hell he was trying to do when he blew one up before trying to put it on, but that was funny stuff. When the teen boy walks into the room, sees the pile of condom packages, sees the guy pull a condom off of his toe, then says, "Teach me." I nearly split my gut with laughter.

The movie is just damn funny. If you haven't seen it, and you like comedy, you should rush out to see it. Keep in mind there is a lot of nudity (well not really a lot, but it does show a couple of scenes from actual porn movies, but they are fast forwarded through and you only see boobs).

Good, good stuff.


Funny stuff

I go to about once a week to look at the new pictures. No it is not a porn site, though some of the images are definitely not safe for work. I happened upon this photo today, it is the funniest, yet most accurate thing I have seen in a while.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Cheating Death. My favorite game.

It seems to me that there really must be a God or something. I have recounted several stories over the last couple of years where I did something so monumentally stupid that it would and should have been ruled suicide, except I lived (thus proving the existence of God. There has to be someone out there keeping me alive even though I clearly want to die, right? Stupid God and his stupid keeping me alive all the time!). Today is more of the same.

Imagine, if you can, a ladder leaning against a wall (come on imagine it). Now imagine standing on that ladder about ten feet up. Then imagine that while you are facing one wall you have to work on a device that is not only on the left side of the ladder but, also a couple of feet behind you. I would have loved to have leaned the ladder against what I was working on, but I had to pull a portion of the thing out which required that I have at least 8 inches of space between the ladder and the device. Can't get that kind of space when the ladder is actually leaning against what I am trying to pull out. I'll just say that it is always an awkward position to be in (since I do have to remove the same piece several times every year).

So ten feet in the air, reaching a couple of feet behind me with my left arm, turned sideways on the ladder, the damn thing got stuck and I couldn't break it free. I shook at it vigorously with both hands, still ten feet in the air, still on the ladder. I finally got it loose, but it weighed a lot more than it usually does; normally it goes four or five pounds, this time it was at least 35 or 40 pounds. No matter, it was removed. The problem was that while I normally leave the thing on a board near the ladder while I do the repairs, that action requires me to fully extend my left arm and lift it above shoulder level, while holding the heavy piece and actually leaning back, all while on the ladder. I didn't sit down with a pen and paper to do any calculations, but I am pretty sure that the 40 pound weight, leaning back on the ladder, and the fact that my other hand would also not be secured to anything would have likely resulted in me falling. Instead I lowered the thing to the ground, one ladder rung at a time.

The reaper went quickly. In fact the actual repair took far less time than getting to the part that needed repaired in the first place. But I still had to put that damn piece back in...

Now I know that 35 or 40 pounds isn't much of a burden, even as awkward and cumbersome as this one is shaped, but it is damn tough to get the thing up a ladder and back into place when that place is two feet behind you on the left. Also, the thing is over two feet wide and just under three feet tall, and it has to go in bottom first. There is simply no way to do it without letting go of the ladder completely and leaning back a little (which was fine back when the thing only weighed five pounds), which is some scary shit. It turns out that when I try to extend my left arm completely, and try to lift a 40 pound load to above the shoulder, I am just not capable of doing it. The object was resting against the wall (the wall that the ladder was leaning against) which kept me from using my right hand to help move it, since the right arm would have had to go behind the ladder to do so; one arm on each side of the ladder (straddling it) is not going to give me the distance to put the thing in place. So I used a leg instead.

Ten feet in the air, sideways, on a ladder, I used me left leg to try to help me hold the thing up, all the while using my left arm to try to get it two feet behind me (well to my left side at this point since I was actually standing sideways on the ladder). I got the left side to the correct position, but my leg couldn't force the right side of it up, so I had let go of the ladder with my right hand to lift that side. Yeah, ten feet up a ladder, holding a load with my left and right hands, as well as my left leg, while standing sideways on that narrow rung, what could possibly go wrong?

Sure lots of things could have gone wrong, but the only thing that did go wrong was that I lost hold of the right side and it started to fall. That shouldn't have been such a bad thing, since my leg was still holding it up and all. Problem was that the thing was no longer touching my leg. That meant that it was going to swing like a pendulum, hit my leg and knock me clean off the ladder (that damn inertia!). Second possibility was that, since it was already in place on the left side, it was going to fall straight back into me and knock me off the ladder (that damn inertia!). I had to stop it from falling, which I did. Unfortunately, since it had just slipped from my hand, and since I was on the ladder, which doesn't lend itself to evasive movement with the legs, I had to stop it with the only thing I had available: My own flesh.

Thankfully all of this happened in a fraction of a second. I say thankfully because that meant it hadn't picked up much momentum yet. All I could do was tense the muscles in my right arm and hope that the jagged, rusted corner didn't cut too deep when it hit. Ouch.

It fell about four inches before I got my arm into it. This is evidenced by the wonderful cut on the inside of my right arm. The cut is only about an inch and a half long, going from barely a scratch at the beginning to fairly deep at the end. It bled like you wouldn't believe. I immediately put alcohol on the wound, that was a rusty piece of metal that cut me after all. It took almost two hours to get the deepest part of the wound to stop bleeding, that was long after the majority of it had scabbed over. I did get the damn piece back where it went though!

Let this be a lesson to me: Quit standing ten feet up on ladders, with no hands and only one foot, turned sideways, lifting 40 pounds, and trying to place it behind you. It is probably bad news.
That was my experience, YMMV.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Jumping The Shark

I guess I am going to have to show my age a bit for the purposes of this post. It is all about Jumping the Shark. I have always assumed that the phrase came from that episode of Happy Days where Fonzie, quite literally, jumps a shark (I think there was more than one shark actually). The miracle of the internet, as well as the endless information at Wikipedia, seem to prove me right.

However, there is a site called (I linked directly to the Happy Days page since they use a horrible frame format that makes it tough to find anything) that has hundreds of people arguing that the show jumped the shark long before the actual shark jumping episode. That got me to thinking...

Do you remember the theme song? I do, but I remember two different theme songs. A quick google search found me a page that has they lyrics to the theme song, both of them actually, you can see that here.

How in the hell can I remember the theme song that plays during the first season when I was actually born that same year? I have never watched it on Nick at Night or any other old re-run station. Did they actually repeat the episodes that often back in the 1970's that I am able to remember both of the theme songs? I don't know, it just seems odd to me that I can remember a theme song that would have only been on the show for less than a year when I would have been less than a year old. In fact it took me a lot of thinking, and the eventual google search, to remember the other theme song, which then came back immediately, come on sing along, "Sunday, Monday. Happy Days. Tuesday, Wednesday. Happy Days. Thursday, Friday. Happy Days. The weekend comes..." But why do I also remember the "one, two, three o clock, four o clock rock...", and remember it more so than the other theme (the other theme being the one that was on the show for the majority of the show's run)?

I am thinking that, no matter how small my little brain was at the time, I thought the show started to slide down the slippery slope to crap long before the Fonz literally jumped over the shark. If I remembered any of the episodes with the theme song that played for about nine years I would probably think differently, but come on. I remember the theme song that was scrapped about the same time as my birth, I remember the episodes that were recorded the year of my birth. I must concur that Happy Days jumped the shark long before the shark jumping episode.

I probably didn't see any episode prior to 1981 or so that was not a re-run, but, in my mind, the ones that have that classic song as the theme are far superior to any of the later ones. That all being said, Happy Days literally jumped the shark, for that we should applaud them. It must have taken a lot of balls to throw away such a lucrative franchise over, arguably, the most implausible plot line in the history of television. If Happy Days hadn't jumped the shark, we might refer to this action as kicking Chrissy.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Truth in advertising

This bitch is pretty specific. Car insurance companies seem to be getting away with the worst false advertising ever, unless you count the "Employee Pricing for Everyone" programs that every car dealer is now using.

I will even get a bit more specific: The company is Allstate. They are running commercial ads that say that you can save ( I forget the exact number ) $300 dollars a year by switching to them. I was intrigued. How can that be true? It took watching the commercial a couple of dozen times before I figured out exactly how they were making that claim; they are flat-out lying.

At the very bottom of the screen, and only when they make the claim of the "average savings", there comes up a little line (and I mean tiny) that says, "Savings claim based on customers who reported saving when switching to Allstate." Okay, that sucks. Where are the real numbers? They can actually claim that the "average savings" was whatever when that only counts the people who saved money? Shouldn't they have to follow that up with another line about how for others they were paying an average of $700 more? At least then you could add up the numbers and do the math yourself.

I am really thinking that their claim might not have been legal. I am thinking that only because the most recent commercial that I saw doesn't say anything about the "average savings", instead it says that "for many, they actually saved money by switching to Allstate." That isn't much better though, who defines many? One is a person, two is a pair, three is a few, so any group of four or more could be many, right? (that would explain how they could save so much money by switching to the highest priced auto insurance in the country though, just take four people who have recently sent their children away to school, knock off the money for that and the fact that they are middle-aged, Boom, big savings.) The claim is clearly false, but big business has never let that stop them from telling mistruths before and it's not likely they are going to start now.

Sometimes I really wish that I could be a religious man (I would pray for it but it doesn't seem to work) just so I could see the lawyers, used car dealers, the majority of the priests, insurance salesmen and about 99.8% of the corporate hierarchy in the U.S. sizzling away in Hell. Of course wishing them harm would be a sin wouldn't it? That is why I am not religious; I want to see them all burn in hell for their deeds, but I don't want to burn in hell for wanting them to burn in hell. Damn it! I just figured out how religion works. It is sort of like high school. You don't have to be the best, or the brightest, or the most attractive, no, you just have to find someone that is worse than you and strive to be better than him/her. Then you really have to believe that since Jimmy just killed a cat down the street, you are one step closer to God. If Father J molests 32 children and God will still have him, and you only molest 31, you are so in!

I think I might have gone a bit off topic there. The point that I was trying to get to, yet never did, is about the legality of the claims car insurance companies make. Whether or not they put enough disclaimers (and if they are "disclaimers", meaning that they are opposite to what they are claiming to be the facts, why do they print it so small?) in the ad to make it legal, it is still not ethical. No one would ever buy a car from someone that they knew was a rip-off artist, but that is what you get when you buy car insurance from any company.

Is it really not possible to make legal and ethical both mean about the same thing? I don't mean that in a What would Jesus do kind of way, I am merely speculating that most people don't like to be ripped off. I guess the whole ethical idea is flawed anyway, since they did mention something pretty similar to that in the bible, it was something about treating others as you would be treated. Hell, honestly now, "treat others as you wish to be treated" could have made up the majority of the U.S. constitution. Many of the amendments are necessary as well since I believe that if you are a human you have the same rights as me, regardless of gender, color, religious affiliation and the such.

Perhaps the constitution could read, simply, "Don't cheat me and you won't get shot." Probably wouldn't take the High Court long to figure out what that meant.

This post has been on a 'stream of consciousness (arguably)' mode for a while now. I remember that I hate car insurance companies so I will end with that. I hate car insurance companies!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Guild Wars! again

I haven't actually played Guild Wars very much since I purchased it, there is no particular reason for that. There were no pressing time/schedule issues that would have kept me from playing it, no ultimatims from the significant other, I just hadn't been playing it much. I am pretty sure that the reason I hadn't been playing it much is that it is one of those games where it takes me a good half an hour to remember my skill keys (for each character) and even longer to figure out what the hell I was supposed to be doing the last time I quit playing. Guild Wars solved that all, damn it.

Guild Wars now has a slick new mission interface that tells you every quest that you have started in any town, listed immediately under a big old town heading. Hard to say you don't know where you need to go when it tells you which town to go to, then goes further to tell you exactly what you have to do once you leave that town. Still, it doesn't tell you exactly how to use your spells/skills, but they are easy enough to figure out during the first few minutes of play each time. Not that you really have to learn how to use them, more that you assign different skills to different hot keys based on your character; It would suck to cast a fireball spell when you meant to cast a heal party spell, if you know what I mean.

My wife has gotten into the game far more than I have. Not to the point that she is getting into some sort of weird cosplay fetish (though that might be cool, come to think of it), but she does love to beat those baddies up. We actually tried to start brand new characters ( a couple of months ago) that would play exclusively together, but that idea all went to shit when neither of us was happy with starting at the bottom when we both had characters that could kill everything on the screen without a thought (her characters more so than mine). Today, however, we finally managed to get the game going.

The game starts out with little quests; Wander just south of the city to find my lost 'x' and bring it back for reward 'y'. There are hundreds of those little quests as you wander through the towns. You don't have to do them but you will end up with better weapons and armor if you do. The game also has 'missions'. The mission is something that is supposed to move you from one zone to the next. You do the missions to open up new quests basically. You really have to do the missions though, cause at some point you will no longer get any experience doing the quests in the previous area. The missions are a good thing.

The missions can also be done solo at lower levels, though they will require a damn good group of people at higher levels. You could do the missions solo at higher levels, but that would require the A.I. of your helpers to be unbelievably high, I.Q. of 32 or so. That might sound low but if you were the programmer, and you tried to think of every stupid move someone might try to make, and then someone tried to make all of those moves -I'll call him Jimmy-, you then have to try to account for the best and worst possible move in any situation. The A.I. can only be so smart. The A.I. in Guild Wars is pretty damn good, but sometimes you end up with your mercenary stuck in a corner beating up the air that he breathes.

I ended up playing a bit of Guild Wars with my wife tonight. My wife's character was 12 levels higher than me, and I had already done the stupid mission in the first place, but it was pretty damn fun to have her playing there with me. Guild Wars is bringing husband and wife together.

Go Guild Wars!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The things people say

I have long believed that the only ones who actually listen to shows like Rush Limbaugh are far removed from me. I don't mean in a partisan sense or simply based on ideology, I mean that I thought that those kinds of people lived in other regions of the U.S., regions far from here. Rush Limbaugh is only the first name that came to mind when I was trying to think of the very conservative radio shows, I am sure there are dozens of other names that I could have thrown out there had I been thinking about it. Not that it really matters for my purposes right now.

Hurricane Katrina was a horrible disaster that destroyed a major city. The same kind of devastation happens overseas fairly frequently but here in the good old us of a it's pretty rare. Turns out that when it does happen we are woefully unprepared. For days before the hurricane actually touched shore it was common knowledge that it was going to be bad. I live in Arizona FFS and I knew it was going to be bad. When it hit, and when they got one of the worst case scenarios, everything went to hell.

Most of the people had already abandoned the city. The elderly, the poor, and the 24 hour convenience store clerks (which kind of fits into the last group) were probably about the only ones who didn't flee. Why didn't they flee? They couldn't. People started offering up shelter for the victims by the thousands after the hurricane, before it though they would have just had to hike out of town and find a vacant lot to sleep in, hoping they could survive the storm in a vacant lot rather than their low-income housing unit. If I had been in that situation I would have hoped that the flood waters didn't make it to my house, the other option seems a bit worse. I really doubt that the majority of the people who didn't flee stayed back because they were stupid or stubborn. Poor probably but not stupid or stubborn.

The negligence of every agency charged with responding to disasters borders on criminal. From the City level all the way to the Federal level. There is simply no reason why it should have taken several days to get buses in there to start moving people out, why Wal-Mart (how I despise them) was the first on the scene with fresh water, water for christ's sake, didn't anyone other than Wal-Mart think that a city many feet deep in sewage and human remains might need fresh water? The response to this catastrophe was horrible at every level, I think that is a fair statement.

Today I overheard a conversation where I work, it was not pleasant. The man, whom I will call Cluelss, was talking to well, hell, I don't know who he was talking to (the other person was behind me). Clueless started spouting some facts about the hurricane relief. "Bush had the National Guard on the borders of Louisiana on Sunday night. When they tried to get into New Orleans on Monday the residents were already shooting at them." Only he didn't say residents, he dropped the N-bomb, thus sealing his fate as being called clueless for my purposes. His racism aside though, does he really believe that? If the National Guard actually got to New Orleans on Monday, and if people started shooting at them, don't you think it would have been pretty big news? The National Guard probably just wouldn't have turned tail and run, it would have been a bloodbath. The only thing I ever heard about guns being fired in the beginnig was regarding people shooting into the air as helicopters hovered overhead, not shooting at them, but claiming the next shot was for the pilot if he didn't land and carry them to safety. I suppose it will be quite some time before we know which of those versions is closer to the truth, but I am pretty sure that his version was spoon fed to him by someone on the far right of the political spectrum.

Clueless went on to say that our esteemed leader was actually in New Orleans on Tuesday (meaning the day after the hurricane hit) offering federal aid to the city. I just went and googled it up and it turns out that Bush didn't actually visit New Orleans until the 12th (yesterday), a full two weeks after the hurricane hit, though in defense of Dubya it only took about a week for him to deliver on the Federal aid that he promised while he was in New Orleans still on vacation, national disasters be damned!

Clueless really believes that Bush did absolutely nothing wrong in this whole ordeal, not a damn thing. Stupid democrats are just trying to tarnish his reputation (as if we have to actually try to do that). Every bit of fault for the slow response is at city or state level. When the federal government tried to help New Orleans and Louisiana would not let them. I find that just as laughable as religion, but he sure seems to believe it. I guess a lot of other people are with him on that logic though, at least 50.1% at the very least. Somehow I doubt that that number is going to stand up after the federal handling of this disaster.

I was brought up thinking that this was supposed to be the United States of America. If the government isn't supposed to respond to a disaster in a particular state then we would just be the States of America. That would mean that the federal government is a really evil, money stealing roughneck (sounds about right anyway). The funny thing is that people from every state in the union are stepping up and sending money and supplies to the ravaged area, some are even offering spare rooms in their own homes to the victims. That is what being United is all about. Common good. Not just common good for campaign contributors.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Staggering down memory lane, again

Think back to the time when you were a very small child, you know the time, back when you thought that your parents had been granted the gift of ultimate wisdom; they knew every little detail about every little thing, or so you thought. It turns out that thunder doesn't have anything to do with God moving his furniture around (if it does I am on a bee line to hell), it is all about atmospheric conditions. Things like the hot/cold fronts clashing against each other, the charged particles in the clouds looking for a surface to release their potential energy, a conveniently placed ground that can make the lightning happen, then, BAM you get the thunder. I doubt I would have been able to wrap my mind around something like that when I was six, but still, "God moving his furniture", what kind of an answer is that (a variant of that is that it is God bowling)?

I have a very vague memory of asking how they made crayons. While I can't remember for sure who gave which response, I am pretty sure that Mom was the one that tried to explain to me about the gathering of wax, adding of the coloring and so forth. The other response that I got (which I am pretty sure was from dad) was that they just take the nubs of crayons, sort them into bins of same colored crayons, melt them down, then make new crayons. Neither answer really made much sense to me at the time, of course I was pretty young. Looking back I am left only to wonder how, if the latter theory is true, did they make the very first crayon?

My parents had the ability to fabricate very elaborate lies. Example 1: Santa Claus, turns out he was never real at all. Example 2: The Easter Bunny, totally fabricated. Example 3: The Tooth Fairy, my parents didn't even bother to have us put the teeth under our pillows, we just left them in a glass near the kitchen sink; The tooth fairy had a lot of ground to cover, you see, and it was easier to just leave them there, or something (I don't remember either parent explaining why we had to leave our teeth by the kitchen sink while all the other kids put them other their pillows, but I do have a pretty selective memory). Example 4: God. While the jury is still out on whether or not this guy really exists, I am pretty sure that he is yet another example of how my parents fabricated so many beings to keep us in line. After all, if God was so good then why didn't the parents go to church with us kids?

By the time my parents divorced I was pretty sure that all of those characters weren't real. Slowly, one by one, my Mom admitted that they were made up. All except God, that is. To this day I don't know that I have ever gotten a straight answer out of Mom about God, though at this point I have already made a decision so it's not like it would matter. Note to Christians: if you want your children to truly believe in god try to stay away from feeding them crap about the tooth fairy, Easter bunny and Santa Claus, then switch right at the end to say that you made the rest of the people up, but that GOD is real. Children may have small minds, but they remember the lies you feed them.

I have gone way, way off topic here. Well, way off the intended topic at the very least. So, moving on.

Those same parents aren't without faults, but I am not going to go into that. I do want to go into some of the weird phrases that they, my parents, used though. One of my all time favorites has to be "get up and sit down". Has there ever been a phrase uttered that is more of a dichotomy (not counting rap songs)? So I am expected to stand for an undetermined amount of time, then sit back down again? That must take some all-knowing parenting skills to use effectively, but what if I stand to late, or sit too soon? There is no goal there. What if I sit at the correct time, yet miss the getting up period by a fraction of a second? We need goals people, goals. We might be little now but eventually you will be in the old people place, how, then, will you react when I say "get up and sit down"? Work with me here!

I am getting closer to what I was wanting to bitch about, if you don't like the fact that it has taken so long then why don't you just "get up and sit down"?! Guess I told you.

So when I was in the 9th grade, Dad caught me and Dan smoking again. Dad had trained us from birth to be smokers; it was party entertainment to show us off to his friends while smoking, long before we ever hit our fifth birthdays (thanks dad). I haven't quite been smoking since I was in the womb, but I am pretty damn close (thanks dad). When we got caught that time I got pretty irritated. First, because he was searching our room, second, because he got really pissed about me smoking, third, because he took my damn cigarettes. My allowance at the time was like a couple of bucks; it took my allowance, Dan's allowance, and the buck a day, that dad gave me, that I didn't pay for lunch (it was a buck a day for lunch at the time, in that school) to buy the damn cigarettes in the first place. Yeah, that pissed me off.

The best/funniest part of the whole ordeal was when dad was giving us the speech about how disappointed he was in us. One of the things that he said was "I better never catch you doing this again." While I never said it, I was thinking exactly the same thing: Never let him catch us doing this again. To be honest, I was pretty pissed that he caught us that time, I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that he didn't actually catch me doing it again (as per his request). Well everything short of just not doing it anymore; he threw down a challenge and I ran with it.

He never actually caught either myself or my brother smoking again, but he died only a year or two later. He knew that I was still smoking though; He asked me to pick him up a pack of cigarettes on the way home from town, then told me that he knew which gas station would sell them to you as long as you were in a car. He knew, but he never caught me.

The absolute worst moment in my entire life was on Christmas day in 1990. My father died on Christmas eve in 1990, so you do the math. I doubt I will ever be able to talk about that. Maybe I will try to call my mom right now and see if she has a sympathetic ear...

Tune in tomorrow for more fascinating, useless information.


Stupid shoe stores

On our way out of Phoenix last Sunday we stopped by a shoe store to buy my birthday gift, my birthday is actually the 12th of July but I just never got around to getting the shoes until then. I had the same problem as I always do, it turns out that the major shoe companies think that everyone has really narrow feet, I do not. Thus most of the shoes just didn't fit.

The problem I have with finding shoes really doesn't have much to do with the width though. You can pick up just about any pair of New Balance shoes and they will fit pretty well, if not New Balance seems to sell far more extra wide shoes than any other company. The problem that I have is that the only color I can wear is black, and the shoe needs to be made out of leather (or a faux version of it). I can't wear suede or just the normal canvas like fabric because the blood that I drip on my shoes soaks through them, and that is really really gross.

I tried just wearing a pair of those solid black work boots some years ago, they fit my criteria perfectly. The only problem with them is that I am not just standing around hacking apart animal carcass all the time, I also have to be able to bend at the ankles when I am trying to stock product in the coolers and the such, those black boots don't allow for much flexibility at the ankle (well none at all). So sneakers it has to be.

This time we went to a DSW shoe warehouse which had thousands of shoes on display, unfortunately there were only about three of them that met my color and material requirements. Of those three there was only one that had my size in a wide, it is a Reebok low top. It is a fairly comfortable shoe, I don't have any complaints about the shoe itself, yet I do wonder why I can't find anything in a mid to high top that meets the stated criteria. The two colors that go with everything are white and black. For some reason you just can't find a men's athletic shoe that is solid white or solid black, what the hell is up with that? Did someone just eventually realize that if they sold black athletic shoes men would wear them to formal occasions rather than buy a pair of formal shoes? Seriously, why don't they just have solid black or white?

I was able to find shoes in my size that met all the criteria so I guess I shouldn't bitch, but I just have to. The low tops usually slip on the back of my ankles and lead to blisters. I guess that is better than my other option, which was usually to buy shoes about three sizes too big so that my wide ass feet could fit into them. If I was just looking for the cheapest shoe in the store I could understand them not having what I was looking for, but I am talking about looking for any shoe, price be damned. Oddly, as I think about it, I could probably find all sorts of solid black shoes made out of faux leather at Payless Shoe Source, but they would last about a week with the punishment they would be subjected to.

I guess I better quit bitching about shoes, lest you think I have some sort of weird fetish (of course I do have some weird fetishes, none of them involve shoes though; none of them really involve any sort of clothing come to think about it). Stupid shoe stores and their stupid no solid black shoes policy.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Back from vacation

As the title should imply I have made it back from vacation. In one piece no less. I had a lot of fun throwing away my money this year, but that is a story for a different time.

When we arrived at the hotel last Sunday I started to type a post into my wife's laptop. I actually typed out a total of three posts while we were up there, all in the first two days, after which I decided that I should really just disconnect and enjoy the vacation. I will probably get the wife to email me the .txt file that I saved those posts in just to see if there was anything noteworthy written in them, somehow I doubt that that is the case. If there is anything good in them, expect it to follow within the next couple of days.

Vacation was awesome! If you have never been to Laughlin, just imagine Las Vegas on a river; There are numerous boat tours ( a couple of which we went on) and a much less seedy atmosphere than Vegas, and you can walk on the beach! Not the beach of the Hotel we stayed in though. Well, technically you could walk on that beach, if you were brave enough, the wife tried it for a couple of minutes and then gave up. Turns out that the smoking $19 room rate doesn't give you the best of beaches to walk on. Who knew?

Laughlin is also built as a casino town. What that means to you and me is that when you look over to the next casino, then consider walking there, it is actually something you can do. While in Vegas we made the mistake of trying to walk from one casino to the next, it seemed like it was so close. Fifteen minutes later, with sore legs and a sunburn, we made it to the next casino; Laughlin has the casinos built much closer together. There were only two casinos that we actually got in the car to drive to, and that could attributed more to us being lazy than the length of the walk. The 'captain' on the boat tour said that the rest of the water's edge had all been bought for further casino development, which is likely true, but they offer shuttles from the current ends of the strip for four bucks (boat shuttles by the way, try getting that in Vegas).

Beyond that, Laughlin is very similar to Vegas. They try to pump as much alcohol as possible into you to keep you throwing money into the machines; They have cheap, cheap, really cheap food; The majority of the casinos are owned by the same corporations that own the casinos in Vegas; The casino with the best (or cheapest) buffet is usually the busiest one. Also, there are a lot more old people in Laughlin than in Vegas, I don't know if that is by design, but there were certainly a lot of people I met there that should have been coffin fillers years and years ago...

The one major advantage that Laughlin has (currently) is the lack of porn and prostitution advertising. The porn and prostitution smut that you see everywhere in Vegas is just not there. That was a really nice bonus. I don't suppose that means that there is any less prostitution, but it does mean that you don't really have to see it so much. That is good all around.

Just in case I haven't yet mentioned the river, I am going to talk about that for a bit.

They have little boats that go casino to casino along the river; they have boats that do tours of the river; they have day tours that go all the way down to the London Bridge. The prices on them go from slightly outrageous all the way to flat-out, you've got to be fucking kidding me. I doubt that the flat-out you've got to be fucking kidding me is worth the money, but I am pretty cynical, as such I never paid to go on it. I did get the chance to go on a couple of the boats though, just not that one.

The rides on the boats were pretty cool, well worth the price of admission, if you ever find yourself in Laughlin you should certainly do it; Not only is it a pretty sweet ride, but it will also keep you out of the casino for a couple of hours, and that is worth its weight in gold.

This vacation, as opposed to all other vacations that I can think of, I didn't put a single thing on a credit card. Well, I suppose that I did book the room on a credit card, but after that it was cash for everything. I lost far more money than I care to admit, but it was actual cash, no debt resulted from the vacation to Laughlin. It was good times.

More to follow?

Sunday, September 04, 2005


I think that the Gogos may have said it best: "vacation is all I ever wanted, vacation is how to get away..." while the aforementioned band did go on to say other things, I like the sentiment of that particular verse. It is, unfortunately, pretty hard to pull off.

As I sit here now it is 12:34 AM according to the clock at the bottom right of my screen, and we only just started, and finished, packing for vacation. My "official" last minute at work was at 8 PM tonight, but I can never assume that I won't be callled back for various reasons long after that. It took me about four hours of waiting for the call from work (which thankfully never came) to actually start packing my bags. I think that I might actually be on vacation tomorrow...I may be somewhere that is away from here, sweet!

I will be on vacation in Laughlin this year; Laughlin is basically Las Vegas without the advertising, not to mention a bit closer to home. I hope they have the same buffet prices as Vegas though, else the 19 dollar room rate might not seem quite as good.

I am so amped up about vacation that I doubt I will get a wink of sleep tonight. I just want to get in the car and go. I am desperate to spend some time away from work, anywhere. I still fear that I might get that call about something else that is broken and I will have to go back to work. I wish that my wife was not so tired from spending her whole Friday and Saturday cleaning up the house, then we could go right now!

We only started to select clothes for the vacation at about 11:30, and we are now done. A few vacations under your belt can certainly help you to find the correct clothes, but, a good rule of thumb is that you aren't going to wear pants if you don't have to. If you have no pants in the suitcase, you aren't going to wear any. Pretty sound logic, and also pretty good advice. You know that you aren't going to wear the pants, why throw them into the suitcase?

This year my wife made it a point to make sure that I had a pair of shorts for swimming purposes, I guess she heard my cries the last few years about not having a swimsuit when she wanted to go swimming. Now I might actually have to be at, near, around or otherwise in the presence of a swimming pool...Then I might have to actually get in!

For all of the wonderful things my wife does for me it is hard to fault her for anything. Yet, when she wants me to be in swim trunks, thus showing off the fact that I am trying to hide the planet "Nepture" within my stomach... That is pretty harsh... I never ask her to put on a bikini and parade around a bunch of 20 something observers, I doubt she would get a negative comment though; Along with her slightly larger stature, she got an attitude to match. You really don't want to piss her off...Trust me...

Anyway, the vacation... It really started about five hours ago for me, it doesn't seem like much of a vacation yet. Once Ray gets here, in the morning, I guess I will finally concede that it is time to leave work behind for a few days.

Thing is that you never can...At least I can't...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Blood on blood

This post has been a long time coming. When I started this whole blog thing I figured that I would start diving back into memories from my youth, and while the memories from my youth are grand, they simply aren't the Blood on Blood memories of High school. What could possibly iconify that Blood on Blood attitude more so than a post to explain the logic behind it? Well, nothing, that is why I sit here typing.

I was a grade behind my brother when this alliance started to form. It was Dan, Dave and Steve that made up the core of this little group, while I was the little tag along that no one gave even half a shit about. As the High School years went on (actually I think it was after Dan's first year of High School while living with dad), Dan moved away to live with my mom in Arizona. That left Dave, Steve and me to tear the whole state a new one, boy god how we tried.

I am probably not really proud of some of the stuff that we did, but I had a hand in it either way. I might have cared that I was with the girl that I thought would be my wife, yet I didn't let that have any effect on our nightly prowl. We were closer than brothers, and as such we chose the old Bon Jovi song Blood on Blood as an anthem (it is the first song on the list you get there if you happen to click through).

I haven't heard from Dave or Steve in a lot of years now. I guess that is sort of the way it goes when you are children (basically) talking about the life you will lead later. No one really knows where their life is going to go, mere speculation does not a doctor make. We have all gone our own ways to live separate lives, which is good, there must be something after high school, right?

Yet, as I sit here thinking, I can remember only one of the very last lines from that damned Bon Jovi song. It says, "Through the years and miles between us, it's been a long and lonely ride, but if I got that call in the dead of the night, I'd be right by your side... Like blood on blood."

I don't really know what happened to Dave Tolleson and Steve Fausnaugh, but I do know that I really would like to. We were, after all, like blood on blood.

That is all.


Vacation is nigh

As I alluded to recently, I will be out of town for vacation starting Sunday. I had previously thought that having the blogger script would allow me to actually make more frequent posts while away, but it is starting to look a lot less likely than I had hoped. The hotel that I am going to be staying in has a fee of $1 for any toll free number dialed, and since I am now on dsl at home I don't think I can use the msn dial-up numbers any more. Let me call and check. I'll be right back...

Okay, back. Well it turns out that the people at qwest aren't really sure whether or not I will be able to access the msn network through dial-up. Two people said I should be able to, one person said that I wouldn't be able to. Now to answer the question of why I spoke to three people in the first place. I thought that they were overcharging me for the dsl service, which they told me would be 39.99, but which I am getting charged 44.99 for. There is a credit on the bill to knock it back down to the 39.99, but they charge for taxes and the such from the 44.99 price, therefore I pay almost fifty bucks for it after all discounts and taxes. I was fine with that, now I know, and "knowing is half the battle".

The lady on the phone, however, suggested that I sign up for an uber offer which is supposed to be only for new customers; 19.99 a month 1.5 dsl for an entire year! I jumped on that shit. Thus I was transferred to another person to ask the question about dial-up when you have a dsl account. Of course at this point I really don't care. If I do have to pay a buck every time I access the internet while I am on vacation, it is certainly not going to cost me the $240 dollars that I am saving by initially calling up to ask the question. One of the few times I have actually ended up happy after talking to a customer service rep.

Anyway, the posts may not be very frequent, if at all, while I am on vacation. I don't trust the hotel policy, I don't trust my wife's laptop very much and, given what happened last year while I was on vacation, I don't really trust the tiny little wires that run through the hotel either. I will just have to test the waters once we get there.

BTW this post has that name in particular to be a juxtaposition to the post about the apocalypse. All things are relative after all.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

That's our Bush

Bush finally responds to the disaster in Louisiana. I don't know exactly where I copied these lines from, fair use laws be damned!

Bush returned to the White House on Wednesday, two days early from a monthlong Texas vacation, to oversee relief efforts. Bush dismissed criticism that he didn't return sooner as political sniping

Yeah it was probably just democrats trying to make him look bad, not that he needs any help.

"I hope people don't play politics at this time of a natural disaster the likes of which this country has never seen," he said.

Respectfully, Mr. Bush, that would be Way more believable had you not just done it yourself. With you avoiding it altogether for the week that it was coming, not caring for the first several days, then only coming home when you saw that it really was pretty bad...That is playing politics, mostly because you said that no one should be playing politics once you decided to come back. Everyone in the country, except you, seemed to know that it was going to be pretty catastrophic, now you dare to talk about playing politics?!!

On the return flight to the White House, Bush viewed the damage as Air Force One descended to below 3,000 feet over the hardest-hit areas, including New Orleans.
"The devastation I saw was very emotional. It is so devastating it is hard to describe it," Bush said, adding that he observed flooded neighborhoods in New Orleans and "entire communities obliterated in Mississippi."

So it's all good. The leader of the country viewed it, briefly, from 3,000 feet...Many days too late...It's all good!

Perhaps he needed to get a slightly closer look of the situation, you know, see the carnage, smell the stench of death flowing (well stagnating, as there is nowhere for the water to go) through the water... Something tells me that a 3,000 foot "fly by" didn't really put him in mind of the actual situation. Bodies floating in a stagnant pool; people killing each other for a place on a bus out of there... It is bad. Bush actually said, on record, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." The truth is that everyone on earth, except him, thought that the levees would break. It is not Bush's fault that they did fail, but it is entirely his fault that it took three or four days to make a plan of action once they did.

If you truly worship a god, Mr. Bush, please ask him to give you advice and advanced warning about events that might cost thousands of people's lives. At the very least, find a god that wants you to help those in need (you know, the ones that are actually dying as a result of a hurricane while you are on vacation).

The longer Dubya is in charge, the more people that die because of his negligence, the longer it will be before anyone who is even slightly liberal votes republican. Do you have a death toll in mind, Mr. President?


The Apocalypse is nigh

I suppose that I am a bit of a jackass, based solely on the title of this post. The world has been going to hell-in-a-handbasket for at least a couple of years (which I attribute directly to Dubya). Thing is that the weather patterns really are starting to look like my fuzzy memories from reading about the apocalypse. I mean with the tsunami's overseas, then New Orleans turning into the biggest cesspool in recorded history, we may not have much time left.

If you happen to believe in any GOD, you really must be thinking that that GOD is really mad at us. If there actually is a God (or Gods) I guess I could see why. We have taken a beautiful planet and raped it. Invented chemicals that it can not break down; changed the course of many rivers to meet our own ends; placed lakes where they were never meant to be. Yes, if God created earth, people created earth 2.0 customized, which was good for a while.

Whether you believe in evolution, creationism or intelligent design, you must concede that the earth has been around for, at the very least, 3,000 years or so (what is the time frame for creationism by the way, I am far removed from my Christian roots). The earth went merrily about its daily business until pretty recently, probably the turn of the 20th century, then the shit started to hit the fan.

If there is a God, I am pretty sure that he never envisioned the day that mankind would start to screw around with the random rocks and chemicals that he left in the earth. Beyond that, I doubt that he would have ever thought that we would figure out how to create new elements from them that cannot decompose/degrade to start anew. If there is a God, he is obviously didn't know that some of the chemicals we would manufacture would destroy the atmosphere that he spent so much time creating (though, in the King James version of the Holy Bible, he actually only spent one day on the Heavens and the earth, so not a lot of time). Still, we have found a way to destroy it. If there is a God, I guess now would be a pretty damn likely time for the apocalypse.

That all being said, I think it is just an odd coincidence that New Orleans has been turned into the largest, nastiest, bathtub on earth, so soon after the horrible tsunami's overseas. Coincidences don't have to have a divine meaning and, I, for one, think it is just that: coincidence.

Yet I ramble on...

The absolute worst thing about disaster is that it brings out both the best and worst in people. In times of tragedy there are two decidedly different attitudes: Help those in need, or, every man for himself. This is the truth in every tragedy that comes immediately to mind; For every man that offers his help to a stranger, there is someone that will lie, cheat or steal to make sure he survives.

It is extremely difficult to fault people who are involved in the tragedy for some types of looting; The stores are obviously closed, where do you get your diabetes medication? Considering that your house is now non-existent, and there is no one there to sell you the medicine, and you will die without it, how wrong is that, really? Of course stealing things like firearms, ammunition, electronic devices, etc. That is probably wrong. The news reports are never quite that specific though, they do tell the story when people raid electronic stores, or when firearms are looted, but what about the "looting" that is stealing medication for sick friends or family members? What about stealing pillows and blankets for people to sleep on while they wait for someone to come and help them? What about raiding the local supermarkets for canned food, as they watch the dead float by them?

I read a story today that said that another problem, possibly exclusive to the New Orleans disaster, is rape. Now don't get me wrong, I have been pretty hard up a few times (pun intended) but I don't think I would be able to rape other victims of the same tragedy (though put into that position who knows). It has to take some pretty weird logic to be thinking with "Little (add name)" when it is entirely possible that you may die. Come to think of it that is pretty sound logic; one more before I die... Not that I condone that sort of thing, just that as I typed it it seemed odd.

Of course, as usual, that one went way off course. The sentence where I said that "tragedy brings out the best and worst of people" was not meant towards any of the victims of the New Orleans disaster. I was going to go into details on the fraudulent "non profit" organizations that spring up after any tragedy. Though I don't believe in a God, I hope those that try to profit through the suffering of others get their just due in this life (hopefully), failing that there is always the prospect of HELL, or being born again as a mistreated cat. All of which seem a bit too good for those that would try to scam people who just want to try to help out a little after such a tragedy.

The only organization that I would trust with my money for any donations is The Red Cross. They have been around a really long time, they do a lot of good, and they don't telemarket. Also, if you have it in you, I am sure that there is going to be a huge need for blood (pun intended). The blood is free to give, the money comes out of your checkbook. Either way, I bet they will appreciate it.


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