Thursday, May 31, 2007
For the life of me I can't figure out why the Alberto Gonzales thing isn't gaining steam.
Scratch that, I think I can. An ineffective Democratic congress and evil doings of the firm Rove, Bush, Cheney, LTD.
Robert Greenwald and ImpeachGonzales are at least keeping up the push, though he's not doing as well as I expected. A week or so ago when I wrote my first post regarding this, they had about 29,000 signatures on the petition to get Alberto outta there. Now they only have about 69,000. Not shabby, but nothing groundbreaking either.
The organization has put together a new video. Even I know that editing is everything. They show Gonzales answering, yet not answering the questions. Maybe he did eventually, but they don't show it and I've never read that he did.
You can sign the petition at the above link, if you so desire.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The war in Iraq has claimed another one: Cindy Sheehan.
War supporters can say all they want about her - so can war detractors. But she put a face on an anti-war movement. Not a celebrity face or a political one. But a human one. A parental one. An american one.
Stating on the Daily Kos that she has failed her fallen son, she is giving up her anti-war protest and heading home. Disillusioned with both the Republicans (duh!) and even the Democrats (hard to argue with that one too) - and that both parties care more about their own political lives than the ones they've sent to fight and die. I hear Cindy Sheehan's cry - especially with the Democrats. She could easily be seen as mobilizing them to win 2006 mid-terms, which it took all of 4.5 mos after starting their term before they fucking folded like a house of cards.
Is it just me, or are there no faces/voices of anti-war? Vietnam had so many. And I'm not talking the famous folks who spoke against that war. I'm talking of the people who became famous for speaking against it. There is no Chicago Seven with Iraq. It's a shame actually.
I always wonder if Bush could have avoided such public scrutiny if he had taken 10 minutes to meet with Cindy Sheehan. Maybe it would have opened up the flood gates for parents of soldiers. But maybe not. If any other parent of a soldier has been vocal about their loss, or the war in general, they haven't made a dent on the national front.
Who is out there who will be so vocal now? Dennis Kucinich? He's got the right attitude. Unfortunately, Cindy Sheehan got more press coverage.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
It's been a coon's age (or 8-9 weeks), but I've finally posted something new to GMR.
The idea actually came from a commentary that Rebecca was drafting. I'm not stealing her idea. Not really. What her writing did was stir up a memory I had not thought of for years...maybe decades.
Some things you want to block from your memory and sometimes we are very successful at it. I didn't even need a therapist to tell me I had repressed memory. There is $300 I've saved.
Though it might not seem funny, part of the story makes me laugh. I think it made Becky laugh when I relayed it to her too. When you read it, I think you'll know it could easily be part of something like Porky's or Not Another Teen Movie.
I promise I'll be better about contributing to GMR.
Like anyone cares - but here is a view of my workstation. Yes, I didn't have a blog post prepared for the day. My bad.
It is the first time in umpteen years I don't have a private office. ...and you know what? It's not that horrible. The entire office is a very open workspace - and at least there are no cubes per se. (you can click on image to make bigger.)
There is enough blockage of partitions for privacy - kind of, but not everything is blocked off by crappy metal, plastic and material.
My desk is usually this cleaned up at end of the week, but it doesn't get a lot messier.
Monday, May 28, 2007
ummm.....I mean grille. Or grill. Or outdoor cookery.
Yes, our Memorial Day weekend, between the showers, thundershowers and threat of rain was spent at Lowe's.
Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining, as I don't usually complain about Lowe's and Homo Depot. Honestly, we were killing time hoping it would clear up....but it never did.
We looked at counters for new bathroom sinks and actually started to discuss bathroom tile. And it didn't end in a knock-down, drag-out fight like our last bathroom renovation. Actually that wasn't a physical fight either, but feelings were invalidated and hurt. Words were left unspoken....for days. A few slaps would have been a welcome change.
Anyhoo...Lowe's really isn't the place we are planning on getting our tile. Just ideas. Germs of ideas, if you will.
We also looked at some patio furniture (it is so hard not type 'Patty O'Furniture). They had nothing. Or more to the point, nothing we liked or wanted.
But they did have grills. From decent prices (what we purchased, and what is pictured at the top of this post) to behemoths that are over $1200!!! For $1200 I could rent Bobby Flay to do my cooking.
We have a grill, but it's on its last legs. Well over a decade old, we thought it was time to swap it out. Almost nothing comes in black anymore. Stainless is the way - as if you really have a choice. You also cannot not get it without the side burner. I'm never making baked beans or soup on my grill. I'm not Bobby Flay (thank you jebus!).
The grill is for chicken, burgers, steaks, ribs, fish and corn. Men's food!
I know this time of year there are big controversies on gas vs. coals. I don't doubt coals are nice and give the food more Flavor Flav.....but who has that kind of time? Heat them up. Cool them down. Then the clean up. Oy. It also doesn't help that the fear of burning myself while starting that shit would have me at Rally's before I ever fired one up. I'm fine with gas and an auto-start button.
I'm such a grill.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
30 years ago this weekend, Star Wars (episode IV: A New Hope) was released. Then it was just called Star Wars.
The story line wasn't horribly original: damsel in distress. good guys in white. bad guys in black. battle for good and evil in the new frontier. the frontier was the galaxy, not the west. the cowboys were now spacemen. the horses were X-wing fighters.
That being said, it was (and is) still a pretty good movie - despite George Lucas' tinkering with every re-release and the stilted acting (which is leaps and bounds better than the second trilogy).
Blobby fights many things commercial. I think it's why I've never seen ET or Grease. With all the hype that surrounded the original Star Wars release, I fought seeing that too. I actually never viewed it until about a month before The Empire Strikes Back was released. Naturally, the second I saw it, I couldn't wait to see it again, or the upcoming sequel (which truly was the strongest of all six episodes).
A New Hope really was just the start of my sometimes movie geekdom - culminating in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but really it is Raiders of the Lost Ark which probably holds the record for the movie I've viewed the most.....and the majority of those in a theatre. I know every line and every pause. It drives Denton insane.
I'm a Star Wars pseudo-geek. I mean, not as big as say, Jon....but I'm up there. I like it, I know it, but I don't live or die by who shot first in the Cantina scene. I do have a life.
I also have my Darth Tater and my Spud Trooper. But my prized possession is a halogram of Princess Leia bending down to put a disk into R2 telling Obi-Wan, 'you're our only hope'. It doesn't actually talk, but I add in the dialogue when I play with it. It came off a Taco Bell soda cup.
I also enjoy the parodies......the one below is one of my favourites.
Friday, May 25, 2007
or continues, as it were.
Almost 3500 dead soldiers and still the democrats can't get the balls to stand up to their own talk and agenda.
It'd be one thing if they got voted down for war funding without the setting of a deadline, it's another when they don't even vote for it. 86 Democrats supported the war funding bill.
Bush has a fucking 28% approval rating and they are STILL fucking scared of him. I hate the man with a passion, but say this: he gets what he wants. We bend over and seemingly take it dry.
Taking the White House in 2008 is going to be tougher than any of the candidates imagine. What should be a slam-dunk will be either another photo finish election, or a blow-out in favour of the GOP.
How fucking sad is that?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
In a town full of historical and cool architecture, the NBM really stands out. If nothing else, it is red brick (more than 1.5 million of 'em) and not white marble. No small feat in WDC.
Though it is difficult to see (though easier if you click on image to make larger), you might notice the elevators that take you to and from the Judiciary Square Metro station. As I mentioned earlier in the week, both elevator and escalator dump you out right into the middle of the memorial.
Built circa 1885, the building used to house the Pension Bureau. It became the NBM in the 1980s.
The NBM is just as cool inside. A huge lobby with massive columns and a three story or so atrium. It is a perfect place for gatherings and oddly enough, it is the rental of the space that keeps it in the black. It is a great space for one the the umpteen inaugural balls that goes on every four years.
Getting into the museum is free, though donations are accepted. Denton is a museum member, as he is very into architecture, urban geography and city planning. It also contains what is possibly the best museum gift shoppe in DC. I have a cool tie that has the city streets of Rome all over it. They now seemingly have them for most major cities: New York, London, Paris, Munich (mmmm....everyone talk about, Pop Muzik) DC and a few other cities. Ok, I don't really know if they have a tie for Munich....but I cannot pass up a good MTV / 1981 reference.
I had nothing to do with the picture, other than point, click and shoot. No editing or enhancing of the colours has been done.
The blue of the sky, the green of the trees and red building and even the white of building to the left along with the cement in the memorial just works together perfectly. The forces of nature and time made the photo possible. I was just in the right place at the right time.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I know this is just a timing issue, but I almost miss John Ashcroft.
Hey! I said 'almost'!
I mean, he was a scary scary man, but at least you knew where you stood with him.
Not that others haven't called for it, but Robert Greenwald is jonesing for Gonzales' resignation. But aren't we all. As the time of this writing, there have been almost 30,000 signatures to the on-line petition.
I'm assuming the number will go up since Mr. Greenwald's making the talk show rounds and his viral video is making the internets rounds (see below). I don't know how big of a draw
It's ok...it could be funnier, but you never know.
Gonzales is a dolt and even gives lawyers a bad name. This is not one expects from the Attorney General. Or maybe it is...at least in this administration. But we shouldn't have to put up with this kind of incompetence.
If nothing else, you can sign the petition.
Monday, May 21, 2007
National Police Week. Honest, it wasn't planned - at least on my part.
I emerged from the Judiciary Square Metro station. On one end of the station the exit drops you right into the middle of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. I rode the escalator right out into a sea of hundreds of police officers from everywhere in the United States. They were there to memorialize fallen officers, especially the ones who were killed in the line of duty over the last year. Not surprisingly, I saw more NYPD cops than all others combined.
After looking around and snapping a few pictures, I headed back to my hotel. Outside the building next to my hotel there was a television reporter asking people how bad the ruckus was the night before. No one wanted to talk. I had no idea exactly what they were talking about. But it wasn't long before I understood.
As it turns out, I had to be one of, if not the only, non-law enforcement officer in the entire hotel. Oh sure, it sounds like a fantasy, but there is a reason for that word.....nothing is based in reality, not unlike hunky truck drivers and cable guys. They don't really exist.
Calling Becky regarding where I was in the city (a block from where we had her rehearsal dinner) , I told her about the cops. I can't say I was totally surprised when she immediately broke out into Gang of Four's "I Love a Man in a Uniform".
The reality is that the majority of these cops look like Chief Wiggum and mentally have not progressed past freshmen year keg parties. So yes, they act like Clancy Wiggum too ("bake him away toys"). It wasn't pretty....on any level.
Drunk and disorderly would be the description...or even the charge that would be levied at any of us. It didn't help that on the ground floor of the hotel we (the cops and myself) stayed was an Irish bar. Nothing like feeding the stereotypes....and they ate it all up. Or drank it all up, as the case may be.
Lewd comments to passers-by (I'll assume all women), inappropriate behaviour on most of their parts. And bagpipes. Because you can't have a police memorial service without those g-ddamn fuckin' bagpipes.
So even eight floors up, you'd hear the roar of the police motorcycles that they'd just ride around the block, gunning their engines. The noise of their yelling and the of course, that shrill of that instrument that would wake the dead.
And guess what? No one calls the cops on the cops. Or if they did, the DC police did nothing. But someone videotaped the crowd's behaviour that would get any of us arrested and then had it broadcast on local news. So, now there is an investigation.
I walk out the next morning and they had encased two automobiles in yellow police/Do Not Cross tape (allegedly). I should have taken a pic of that.
When visiting a client, I had mentioned what had gone on - not that it didn't make every news station and the Washington Post. One woman said, 'but that's just how people get at conventions'. But this was no convention for g-d's sake....it was a frickin' memorial.
I kept thinking about the woman in the above picture. Though it doesn't capture it well, she was beside herself and breaking down in tears with her kids by her side. How do you think she took that the same folks who came to memorialize her husband were infantile in their behaviour afterwards (allegedly)?
The next day, the officers on my floor were replaced by 100 or so 8th graders. You couldn't even tell there was a changing of the guard.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Today was the Cleveland Marathon.
I know - why should I care? It's not like I was running. But Morty was....and that's why I care. His 19th marathon, to be exact. How can you not be impressed by that?? One of his friends was running his 106th. That might borderline on twisted, but who am I to judge?
I gave up running the second high school cross country was finished. I never ever ever enjoyed it, but when you're 6'2" and 120 lbs, there are not many sports options open to you. (Un)Fortunately, I'm no longer 120 lbs. Anyway, with a metal plate and nine pins in my right femur, it's not like I could do really well at running anyway. That's really a cop-out since folks who are missing limbs run these things all the time. I never got that runners high or ever felt that it wasn't always work.
It was great having Morty stay with us for the night. I met him downtown to get his gear and met some of his running peeps. The sign-in station was at our convention center, which is sadder than sad, I must say (and you must say like Ed Grimley). The bestest site I took in was the guy coming out of the building as I was going in. With his gear in hand, he stopped to light a cigarette. Ahhh....the 26.2 miles was going to be a breeze for him.
The three of us did nothing special. We just hung out....though Sophie and Tovah were all over him. Uncle Morty is their favourite....and it should be noted that Tovah goes to no non-dad easily. Naturally we carb-loaded Morty up and sent him to bed. I got him up at 5:45 a.m. down to the race in plenty of time. Well, a half-hour before race time.
By the time he crossed the finish line 3:40:47 later, I was finally awake up from my morning nap.
Becky's sister-in-law was slated to do the half-marathon, but unfortunately I do not see any finishing time. Morty? Did you trip her?
Friday, May 18, 2007
I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!
These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).
If you look at the above intro which I post to all my 'Record of the Month' selections, I mention that this 'might not even be a good disk'. The Calling would be one of those.
Chapin peaked back in the mid '90s. It pains me to say it, but it's true. Stones in the Road was probably her ultimate disk, though it wasn't the hit-fest that Come On Come On was. Stones provided a balanced scorecard of fun, funny, and introspective tunes. Now she's only about the latter. ....and that just gets dull.
The disk starts off with the title track and it is a lot more promising than anything on her last disk (Between Here and Gone), but after that, the material just slides into what that album was: boring. I've never sat through that disk in one sitting. Nor have I this one. I'm not even going to try at this point.
I have only myself to blame for this. After the last disk, I promised myself I wouldn't blindly just purchase one of her disks. I didn't listen to myself and just got it. Fool me once......you know the rest.
Yes, she tries to be oh-so political on the disk and I admire her trying. In the hands of her former self it may have worked. But for some reason it's not. Her support song to the Dixie Chicks ("On With the Song") just comes across as forced and somewhat lame.
Vocally Chapin is in fine form. Maybe it's the writing, arranging or producing. Maybe it's a combo, but I am just bored to tears with it. Of course, maybe my tastes have changed too.
It is not that she's incapable of good work. Her contributions ("10,000 Miles", "It's Only Love", "Blue Night") on other artist's disks are strong. Maybe she should consider working with those producers to get a fresh slant on her material.
There are other, much better bodies of work she has done: Stones or Shooting Straight in the Dark. I suppose you could check this out - but I wouldn't suggest it unless your No-Doz isn't working.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Some topics I can't even touch. I would use all my allotted space and lose all my patience.
I've seen this 'lounge' around Farragut North for the last few months and it just makes me giggle.
I'd never go to a place like this. Not that I don't need to, but I don't think I'm vain enough to. ...not that there's anything wrong with that. And I guess by 'vain', I mean 'comfortable enough'.
We all know here about my issues with self-esteem and I never would think to take the time or money to spend on keeping up an average appearance. What could they possibly do anyway - not just for me, but for anyone? Is there some hair product to make me suave? I mean that isn't Suave.
No surprise that I haven't even stepped foot into a barber in almost a decade. I do my own hair. Clippers with no attachments. I take it to the skull. I haven't done the shave thing.......yet. I don't know how I'd look as Egghead. Sure, it worked for Vincent Price on Batman, but for Blobby? I'm not convinced.
You don't know this, but I have these bumps on my head. I've always had them. I called them 'bald spots' growing up. Kids in 3rd grade aren't supposed to have 'bald spots'. I don't know what they really are. I guess I should ask my mother, but I'm guessing it is something from birth. Oddly enough, they don't sense touch.
I've told people for years it was from a time when I ran out in front of a car when I was like 4 years old. But that's not true. I mean, I did run out in front of it and get hit, but that's not why I have the bumps/scars/bald spots. As kids can be, I've been told my entire life that "YOU'RE going bald!", even when I wasn't. Yet.
The whole frickin' head is a bald spot anymore. I got over that pretty early. Back in the summer of '84 (ahhh...'Purple Rain'), I was staying in NYC and got my hair 'spiked' at Astor Place Barber. It was the rage at the time and the place to go - and cheap! I'm all about the cheap. Anyhooo....my hair never quite filled in again after that. Not that anyone else would have known it, but I did.
I fretted about this for a year - but was never one to do anything about that...as if a 22 yo could afford Rogaine, which they hadn't even invented yet. There was nothing to do.
At some point I just to the place where I started cutting my hair cut shorter and more often. It looked like I was in charge of my hair loss, which was just screwy. But I love buzzing my hair. You can't screw it up...it is perfect. And I like the way it looks on me. If I was ever embarrassed about going bald, it passed a long time ago.
If you want to be embarrassed, go to the barber and have him ask so everyone can hear: "check your ears? eyebrows? nose?" I was MORTIFIED. ...well, the first time. You get over that too.
I bet none of the guys in Handsomeville have that issue.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Well, as much as a flight to BWI and an Amtrak ride to DC is considered a 'day'. The flights to DC direct were way out of control. Like $400 more than Baltimore, which is 30 minutes away. I do have the company bottom line (and my job) to think of, ya know.
I have two client site visits but I'm guessing I'll be done by 5p today. ...and I'm not traveling with anyone, so the evening is mine!
What the travel day really does is buy me a day to observe, ponder, draft and post.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!
Since most of my readers are indeed biblical scholars, I'm sure each and everyone of you are familiar with Ezekial 4:9. - " And take to thee wheat and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side: three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof "
Yes, nothing yes 'bread' like lentils, beans and barley. mmmmm....mmmmmm! Or apparently breakfast cereal.
Apparently it was the break Ezekial lived off of for two years (or was it really only 390 days?) while in the desert. But you knew that - having been heavily immersed in your theological studies.
I did love this blogger's take on the product though: Kind of makes you wonder why anyone would ever need to improve on the recipe when it came from the mind of God himself?
This is the he same g-d who told Abraham to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, right? Does he have the best ideas or the time to spend in his test kitchen to come up with a better recipe?
Let us not forget that Ezekiel also saw that wheel (way up in the middle of the air). Always interpreted to be some kind of UFO: This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel.
Maybe the company should have made the children's cereal Ezekiel's 1:17 Fruit Wheels.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I hate being in a physical funk.
Whatever hit me Friday night is somewhat still with me. I have no appetite. Maybe I'll lose 5 lbs over this weekend.
Honestly, I've had applesauce and a peanut butter sammich. I tried more solid food and my stomach just seized up on me. I don't know how to describe it, other than it felt like someone was grabbing and squeezing it as tightly as they could...repeatedly going from top to bottom. None of this has manifested itself into discharges of either kind.....which is almost worse, as I was just waiting for that to happen.
I've also had a constant, but low grade, headache for 3 days now. I have to believe it's due to lack of the electrolytes I need, but the thought of food is unappealing.
My only other symptom is odd, and not new (to me). For years I have periodically gotten skin sensitivities...to the point I cannot stand the feeling of clothes on that portion of my body. It usually hits the right side of my body and the upper extremities (including the head). Sometimes it affects the legs.
This weekend it was the entire upper body - front and back. It seems to have subsided today, but yesterday was hell.
Don't tell me it's the detergent or a reaction to what I'm wearing. I don't have to be wearing anything for this to happen. My doctor, when I finally remembered to tell him during one of my visits, ruled out neuropathy. He 'assumes' it has something to do with a disc in my back. Um......that's comforting. We've never taken it any further since when it's not happening, I tend to forget all about it. I will this time too.
HA! This post was to be about that I wasn't going to post today and just rest. I stand corrected.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Food isn't my thing. I have the six other deadly sins down in one form or another.
Last night we went out for Denton's birthday dinner. Well it was a combo celebratory dinner: his birthday and both of our new jobs. It wasn't the most timely meal, since I've been working for almost 3 mos and him for a month.....plus his birthday was weeks ago.
We went to Morton's. I'd been there once, about a decade ago, for a benefit for the Center for Families & Children. The entire place was rented out for this event - and admittedly, I went for the alcohol. I did everything for the alcohol back then. That they had food was just kind of a bonus. It wasn't sit down food, but waiters with trays taking bits around here and there. But it was an open bar! Note: I had port for my first and last time. I think pure cane sugar would have been less sweet than that stuff. As Eileen Flowers would say: "Awful!"
I know Morton's is supposed to be the end-all, be-all, but honestly we weren't that impressed. The space was fine, the service was too. The food was fair. I couldn't imagine paying full price for it.
Wholesale at Morton's you ask?? Well, not really, but we had.....a.......a........coupon! Go ahead - gasp and horror at the non-exclusive steakhouse mentality that we possess.
For $99 it got each of us a petite filet, a salad, an appetizer, a dessert and then two vegetables to share. Honest to g-d, we could have done with a third of what they brought us. And as Denton pointed out - 'we got the 'girly' portions'. Oh, this doesn't include the huge bread dome (it's the only way I can describe it) that started off the meal.
Seriously, even if one shares, who is eating a 48 oz steak?? It's disgusting.
And the prices! Oy. Without the coupon, our filets would have almost come to $80. Everything is ala carte, so the salad, dessert, appetizers and vegetables would have really set us back....not that I was thrilled at $100 for two.
The cart with all the cuts of beef came around...along with one very live lobster. I know I mentioned the other week that I don't care that food has a face, but I do now. Especially when his/her beady little eyes are looking right at you begging 'please, please, please, I am begging you, for g-d's sake do NOT order me'. Naturally the waitress picks him/her up and says, 'we split it down the middle....' I just turned away. She put Larry/Lurleen Lobster back down where he/she just stared at me as the waitress went through the fresh fish choices.
I don't even like lobster and I swear I was ready to purchase him just to throw him in a bathtub.
As it turns out, we both took home most of our filets, one of the vegetables and our desserts and we were both over-stuffed. I guess it was ok to try once, but I don't see us going back...ever. If there is a price to pay for this, it came last night: I was up ill almost all night long.
If there is one reason to go back, it was our busboy. Swarthy and just the slightest bit surly. I think the word 'hirsute' also came up. I said to Denton, 'if he does even something slightly interesting, he's making it into the blog!'. ...and there he is.
Friday, May 11, 2007
The fog rolled in off the lake.
Actually it seemed to pummel. One would say it came from nowhere, but this isn’t intelligent design, there was a rationale for it all. It was so quick and all encompassing, ‘roll’ just seems so gentle – and yet it is that too.
Heavy fog is something you don’t see normally in this town. I can count on one hand how many times you’d see it from our house. It’s nothing I ever saw from my former 3rd floor office a few miles from downtown.
But here on the 25th floor, and two blocks from a Great Lake, it is quite eerie (though, maybe that should be Erie). The air being warmer than normal isn’t co-mingling with the coolness of the lake water, hence the fog. At least that is my perception. Who am I, Jim Cantore?
When the fog is this heavy, it’s like being blind. Maybe my senses are heightened, but the sirens I wrote about weeks ago seem to be more abundant today. I’m more aware of them. Maybe they aren’t, but the lack of being able to look down at the firehouse and seeing the hook and ladders racing down the street makes me notice them all the more. The wail is just continual. Or maybe there were just a plethora of accidents due to the lack of visibility.
I also hear the trains. Many many trains. Normally they don’t toot their horn (wow, that sounds gay), but I’m hearing them….and not seeing them. The trains that run through town are numerous and often I catch their movement from the corner of my eye during some of their runs.
When I see these locomotives and the cars they pull, I am always reminded of the time years ago, when we were in the process buying our first house. We were looking in Lakewood due to its gay-friendly nature and affordability. (I should say where we live is gay-friendly also, but has a higher per-capita of the lesbian population vs. Lakewood’s gay male influx). Anyhoo…train tracks ran right through any Lakewood neighborhood we could afford. Not near-by, but right through. And with the merger of CSX and some other entity, there were 49 (!!) different trains per day that would use the tracks.
I was fascinated by trains as a child, I mean, not as much as I was with planes. And Denton’s family worked the railroad (all the live long day), but this is not how I wanted to live.
The fog shrouds us most of the day, like a state of confusion. Every now and again, there are pockets of clear sky and lucidity.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Yes - Gonzales is testifying again. Yes - 11 republicans told Shrub they have no confidence in him. Yes - fires, floods, droughts, tornadoes head all the weather reports. And of course, there is always American Idle (and no, that's not a typo).
The more interesting news seems to get buried.
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) -- Prosecutors issued arrest warrants Tuesday for eight former prison employees accused of abusing inmates, including forcing some to clean toilets with their tongues.
The eight were among 13 prison employees who had already been fired from the 605-inmate medium and minimum security wards at the Hendry Correctional Institution in the Everglades.
The previous warden and an assistant warden resigned, and three others were reassigned after an inmate was beaten and choked by guards in March.
State prisons chief Jim McDonough said the warrants include charges of battery and failing to report inmate abuse against former guards William Thiessen, Phillip Barger and Randy Hazen, Gabriel Cotilla, Kevin Filipowicz, Ruben Ibarra and Stephen Whitney. Fired guard James Brown was charged with grand theft.
Some inmates were given choices of eating their food off the floor or providing sexual favors to guards, McDonough said.
"We had cases where inmates were compelled under threat of force to clean a commode with their tongues," McDonough said. "These were improper, illegal heinous and despicable acts and it was done apparently in an organized and conspiratorial fashion."Though the toilet licking would definitely put it in the fetish category - the rest is nothing more than your typical
It reminds me of a story when Morty rented and 'watched' Men In Uniform. I asked him for the plot lines. His review was priceless: "first there were men in uniforms....and then they weren't". He never mentioned if there was urinal licking.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Maybe it's just a big game of Tic-Tac-Toe or someting. Except for the reflecton of the overhead office light - I liked the picture.
Work has been brutal....in a good kind of way. But I've had no time to draft any entries per se. I need to. I want to. I just haven't gotten around to it. I'll get back on track. I promise.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Our master bath looks like something like a dressing room from the set of Dynasty. The old jacuzzi tub that had to be from the first models off the line. The dark green marble floor (and walls) all with the 'gold package' detailing make me shudder in horror. The large mirror with the big globe lights that run down either side of it, is like something Linda Evans or Joan Collins would have used....all worn-down, old-looking, dated and plain tired, just like those two hags.
The tub doesn't drain easily and it actually leaks through the living room ceiling from time to time. I don't think it's really been used in over a year. We're just using the guest bath for the washing of our twig and berries.
So we had an architect, who specializes in houses of our era, come over to look at the space. He's assessing the master bath, the smallish closet that backs up against it and what is truly the dressing room (which once was probably a bedroom or nursery).
Our initial thought is to lose the smallish closet and make the bathroom bigger. We'll lose the tub and just have a large walk-in shower. Also add double sinks. We'll want to do something with the dressing room so that it can easily be re-converted back into a bedroom whenever (if ever) we want to put the house on the market.
Unlike the old house and its 'master' bath, we will not be doing the renovation ourselves. As fun as that was (not), who has got the time? Well considering that small room took us 10 months to complete, I am not sure we had the time then either. But to be fair, we took it down to nothing, did all the demo (where I got my 2 hernias!), electric, plumbing, wall and fixtures. We only left the tiling and and glass installation to the professionals.
Ahhhhh.....picking out floor and shower tile!!!! Let the divorce proceedings begin!
Monday, May 07, 2007
I've been awake since about 3:00 a.m. I had a frickin' dream about waiting for a dental procedure of unknown origin and could not go back to sleep.
Do you know who else should be awake? George Bush.
Honestly, how does this man sleep at night?
If I have a big, or even medium project, at work that is troublesome (or dental dreams), it can keep me awake most of the night. It is not that I need or want to be liked so much, but I do want to do a good job. I want to do what is right for my boss or the client.
The way I see it, the boss or client here are the American people. Not Bushie's cronies. Not the middle east (who don't really want us there anyway).
But yes, W has a hit an all-time low in the polls regarding how people who think he is doing a good job. According to Newsweek, Shrub's approval rating is 28%!!!! ...and this is poll was taken after his veto of last week's congressional try at war funding and a forced exit strategy.
If there is any doubt that the U.S. folks want out of Iraq and/or at least want a frickin' plan or time table, I think this would be it. If people really thought he was on the right track, these poll times are pretty indicative of current thought.
And though I cannot remember the source, I saw a poll last Friday (5/4/07) that said 71% of military families want the troops out of Iraq. I would think that 100% would, since they have a family member there - but a lot of those folks still believe that 9/11 was tied to Saddam and that there were/are WMDs....so 71% is still pretty fuckin' high for that population.
If Bush were the CEO of a company......any company....an only 28% of his shareholders liked the job he was doing, he'd be out on his fucking ass.
I think presidents should get annual performance reviews - not just once every four years!
...then maybe we could all sleep.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
You know how movie theatres rotate ads and trivia on the screens before the previews even start? Years ago while waiting for some movie at the Drexel, in Columbus, to begin, an ad for CATCO appeared - Live Theatre: It Won't Kill You.
My immediate and audible response was: 'oh yeah? tell that to Abraham Lincoln!'.
It got chuckles from people sitting around me, but not my friend Todd or his dim-bulb date.
Last night we went to go see Lincolnesque. It was an ok play at best that revolves around a congressional speechwriter and his brother who thinks he is Abraham Lincoln. Hilarity is supposed to, but doesn't, ensue. Not really. Not that you would know it from the cackling woman behind me. I guess it had potential, but it never hit its marks.
The play certainly tried to tie modern day politics to Civil War era and does so with all the subtlety of a freight train in the second act.
The worst part of the evening happened before the play started and involved having to sit in our seats listening to the Capitol Steps being played through the p.a. system. Is it just me who thinks they are the bastard step-children of Mark Russell? They are just never as funny as they (and the cackling woman behind me) think they are.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Ok...more like Andrew Andrew Andrew
Two consecutive days of Andrew. Crimeny - this is turning out to be all about Andrew. ...but that's ok, because he is a great guy. Honestly, he is one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet and how he got mixed up with the likes of us is anyone's guess.
Andrew is also a great blogger, writer and sometimes radio correspondent. In his free time he also treats sick patients. Obviously, he is a complete slacker! NOT. (yes, say like Borat.)
He has two entries in the 2007 Jewish & Israeli Blog Awards.
I'd have you all vote for his pieces on his Best Religious Jewish Post or his Best Left Wing Post - but you're all semi-intelligent folks who can make up your own minds. You should read all the entries to choose yourself. Oh that won't make his wife happy with me, but it is a burden I will have to bear (or is it bare?).
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Whoa Whoa Whoa On the Internet Radio
Andrew brought something to my attention that he'd like to share. He doesn't have access to the dozens of people who visit here. Apparently there are still dozens of folks who listen to internet radio. I used to be one of them...but with my new job, that's all kind of fallen away. But no reason others shouldn't still enjoy it. So I'm posting an email that he sent to me:
I thought I'd campaign a bit to save something I really love - independent radio stations that broadcast over the internet.
Right now I'm listening to the WHRB 60-hour Brahms orgy. Where
else but over the internet?
The Copyright Royalty Board has imposed these heavy and somewhat
irrational royalty requirements on internet radio providers.
They need to pay royalties to performers (regular commercial
radio stations only pay royalties to composers). Now they've
jacked up the fees so high that most of the small, independent
stations will almost certainly need to shut down their web
This will likely shut down services like Pandora, too, for those
of you who are fans.
There should be some sort of link attached to this, to write to
your congressman in support of a bill that would overturn the
Copyright Royalty Board decision. I hope you will. Please also
forward this to anyone you think might be interested.
If you want more info, here are a few links.
Net Radio Royalty Appeal. Internet Radio Equality Act. MYDD story. DMW Media.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Seriously, this is really not too far from the truth. Granted I can't speak for all bloggers (Rebecca!). When I wasn't working, I'd have entries written for days....or would at least have time for re-writing and editing or sometimes just scrapping the entire post.
When something happened or I had a cool dream or thought of something off the wall or memorable, the first thing that started to cross my mind was 'can I / should I blog this?'
I think a firing squad would be hard for traditional blogging. I think a videocast would be a better medium.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
No - not 35, but a 35. ...and not in waist inches. Well you know - actually, I pretty much am at that.
Anyhoo...Becky was giving us a Dr. Phil quiz. Yes, that Dr. Phil. (ok, I know the pic isn't Dr. Phil - but you never see him and Jeffrey Tambor in the same place!) The one who makes Laura Schlessinger look like a legitamate psychologist. The one who gives Fraiser Krane and Bob Hartley more credibility.
Dr. Phil's Test: Here you go. Try this!
Below is Dr. Phil's test. ( scored 55; he did this test on Oprah - she got a 38.) Some folks pay a lot of money to find this stuff out!
Read on, this is very interesting!
Don't be overly sensitive! The following is pretty accurate and it only takes 2 minutes. Take this test for yourself and send it to your friends.
The person who sent it placed their score in the e-mail subject box. Please do the same before forwarding to your friends (send it back to the person who sent it to you.) Don't peek, but begin the test as you scroll down and answer.
Answers are for who you are now...... not who you were in the past. Have pen or pencil and paper ready. This is a real test given by the Human Relations Dept. at many of the major corporations today. It helps them get better insight concerning their employees and prospective employees. It's only 10 Simple questions, so...grab a pencil and paper, keeping track of your letter answers to each question.
Make sure to change the subject of the e-mail to read YOUR total. When you are finished, forward this to friends/family, and also send it to the person who sent this to you. Make sure to put YOUR score in the subject box.
1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon ∧ early evening
c) late at night
2. You usually walk. .
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly
3. When talking to people you..
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair
4. When relaxing, you sit with..
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you
5. When something really amuses you, you react with...
a) big appreciated laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud one
c) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile
6. When you go to a party or social gathering you..
a) make a loud entranc e so everyone notices you
b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed
7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes
8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) Red or orange
c) yellow or light blue
e) dark blue or purple
g) brown or gray
9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to
sleep you are..
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers
10. You often dream that you are...
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant
1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1
Now add up the total number of points.
OVER 60 POINTS : Others see you as someone they should "handle with care."
You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.
51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome; someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.
41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.
31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.
21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you
as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.
UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions & who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you're boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.
Becky couldn't believe that I'm 'modest'. Of course, that's all relative. I'm a frickin' wallflower.
Naturally this is all bullshit. If Dr. Phil is a 55 and 'people enjoy being in your company', then I am so modest, I will inherit the earth! And the reality is - I never get over anything!
Yes, take this if you dare......and as Rebecca had said, 'just for yuks'.