Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Polar Bear Shot Down Over Front Range

It was February 1991 and I was riding my bike the four blocks or so to work on a frosty morning about 9:30AM. I was riding my touring bike in the snow because I'm an idiot, and as I looked to the west and began taking in the beauty of the Front Range covered in fresh snow, I saw something. Something moving. In the sky. It looked like a polar bear with a sign on it's side. A polar bear was slowly drifting north in the distance against the backdrop of the scenic foothills. I slid into the parking lot at work and approached the morning smokers, and asked them what they thought of the floating object. "It looks like a polar bear" they said in a deadpan, disinterested tone, and stepped on their butts and went inside.

Now maybe I wired differently than most, but wouldn't a floating giant polar bear migrating north on a cold Colorado morning get you to raise your goddamned voice above flatline? Nothing. Not a sausage from these goddamned people. I went inside and watching from the top floor as the thing drifted away toward Boulder.

The following day the Rocky Mountain News had a story about a polar bear being "shot down" in the north 'burbs. Huh? Yes, that's right. It was a fucking polar bear after all. Apparently February is "frozen food month" (why? I've no idea), and a local Sam's Club was advertising this momentus event with a giant nylon hot air or helium filled deal shaped and colored like a polar bear, like those Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade things that are tended by a dozen handlers with ropes. The polar bear had broken free and was at the whim of the prevailing breezes. True to form, a cop on the north side of town observed the "shoot first and ask questions later" policy that serves them so well, and brought down the beast with repeated applications of buckshot.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ugly Money

Only slightly related to the last post (moving from the ugly worship of money to the actual ugliness of money), I highlight what I believe to be the best looking US currency ever circulated. Not that the bar has ever been high or anything (like the whole color spectrum need not have existed). I'm still of the opinion that the US has consistently had the ugliest money in the world. You can review all the historical paper notes circulated since the time of the colonies [here]. If you think there is a better looking note in that archive, I'm willing to debate the matter.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Why It Is That We Care More About Dogs Than People

Because people fucking suck. Has there ever been a dog that would only love the wealthy? Has any dog ever thought "With dew claws like these, I can get whatever I want"? You know this is very alarming- the trophy wife/gold digger/high priced whore implications highlight what the fuck is wrong with our brains in this culture. I have said many times before that I am the LAST guy to be giving financial advice, having had a hard time with finances in the past, and still I don't respect money. No, more than that- I don't worship money like so many do. It's vulgar (in a bad way) and shameful. I'm not Mother Teresa here- I'm not tithing, or giving alms to the poor and playing the holier-than-thou card. I don't do anything with money. I pay some bills (well, Schmoopie does) and put it out of my mind. I pay attention to other things. Like my family. I cannot express how grateful I am that I met and brainwashed Schmoopie before I began making money. I can actually respect a proper prostitute- that's a known and honest transaction, but these people at seekingmillionaire.com are the lowest of the low.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Hippy Factor 5

According to this thingy, I'm more "Ghandi" than Ghandi... That can't be right, can it? I mean, I'm the LAST guy that'll go on a hunger strike, but damn- it's there all charted out and scientific looking. And Internet tests never lie, right? If this is true, Hammer may have to stop speaking with me. I'm already fouling things all up for him and his world view by being such a Liberal and wearing Wrangler jeans. In any event, I found it more or less sound in that Kucinich and Gravel are the nearest candidates to my views. Gravel is my horse in this race, primarily because he's authentic and has "walked the walk" all along viz the Pentagon Papers, and the insanely long filibuster to stop the draft (but Kucinich's wife is a total betty- I mean DAMN! Let's hear it for the little nerdy guy getting the good supermodel lovin'). However, that being said, if Gravel doesn't make the cut but Kucinich does, I'll go with Kucinich. If neither of them get the nomination, I'm writing in Gravel. I'm so damned sick and tired of voting for asshole shithead fucknuts. I voted for Nader in 2000 because I thought it was important to vote FOR someone. That beget Bush. Then I voted for Kerry in 2004 because I thought it was important to vote AGAINST someone. Fuckall difference it made. I'm voting write in and Independent (save for Gravel or Kucinich) from here on out.


Friday, August 17, 2007

I Crack Myself Up

So, recently I'd read Wil Wheaton's two part story of meeting William Shatner (part I and part II) on presumably a bad day or something (don't worry, it's a good story, well told, and has a good ending), and then also was listening to Henry Rollins interview MP3 where he told the story of working with Ben Folds, and Adrian Belew on Shatner's new album (which, amazingly, is worth a listen) and that is a complete crack up. Rollins does a pretty good Shatner impression, and the cast of characters is so peculiar that the tale can't help but be told, and Rollins is a damned fine storyteller.

So anyway, I had a Shatner Convergence (I should trademark that) and for whatever reason thought of the Robert Burns poem Tam O'Shanter (and the REALLY scummy hotel in Las Vegas of the same name where I used to stay during Comdex in the late 90's). It was a short jump to "Tam O'Shatner" and that cracked me up. I mean phonetically, "shat" all by itself is funny. Isn't that the past tense of "shit"? "A bear shat in the woods" sounds valid to my ear. I checked the availability of tamoshatner.com, and it was free, so having been too slow to get my all-time-favorite-domain-name, buckchow.com (don't bother- it's just links and bullshit), I grabbed tamoshatner.com and setup Google to use it for a blog and gmail, so effectively it's a free deal (except for the $9 domain registration fee).

I don't know what I'm going to do with it exactly, but it amuses me. I need to set it up to autoplay an MP3 file of Kirk shouting "Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" Maybe I can photoshop a Tam O'Shanter hat on Shatner? The possibilities are nearly endless...


Thursday, August 16, 2007


This is your economy on Dubya. Sorry to all the investors who are suffering through this one. I am trying to learn more about this strange world, and have been thinking that the only sensible thing to do right now is to buy precious metals, such as gold, but then I see gold is down a bit too. Not like the 10% the Dow has lost in the past couple weeks, but still- it's inconsistent with my understanding. I think the attempted bailout/stabilization efforts from the Fed and other central banks may have something to do with it, but at the same time- what was the total dollar numbers injected last week? I'd heard $168 Billion from the Fed alone, and then other sources on top of that. That money is gone AND the Dow is down 10%. Also interesting to note is the consistent bleed of value. If the market drops enough, trading is halted (I think it's 500 points from the Dow, but I don't know for sure). If I'm right on that, this means that if this loss were accelerated just a little, the market would have closed twice, and been threatening a third shutdown.

Yeah, and if a frog had wings... I know. I don't expect that we're anywhere near the bottom of this slide.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Public Service Announcement (#44?)

Point #1 - For the males out there, unless you play baseball in south Chicago, white socks are NOT the answer. Seriously. If you use the kind that don't rise above the ankle, you MAY be excused. You don't need the Queer Guys for this one- it's a simple enough thing. I don't know what color(s) to not wear after Labor Day, or what it means to be an "Autumn", but this is a matter we should all be able to handle. Get other colors.

Point #2 - For the straight males and gay females, type "white socks" (but without the quotation marks) in the Google image search and turn off the SafeSearch, and enjoy. Who knew that would lead to naughty things? This is the top hit, and she's not even wearing white socks! I approve anyway.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Not Dead- Just Rebuilding

So, the folks at Apple unleashed a new iMac model, and for various reasons that I'd bet most of you don't care about, I decided I should have one. Now, I already had an iMac that was just over a year old, so I listed that on the local Craigslist (what DON'T I love about Craigslist?) and sold it, then boogied to the Apple store for the new hotness. It's lovely and fantastic, and I'm now needing to copy all my crap back and reconfigure stuff.

Weep not for me, for I am in geek Nirvana...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing

Warning- this is an especially long post. You may want to print it so that you can take it to the toilet.

As I mentioned previously, Saturday night I went out with an old buddy "T". It was the first time in nearly 4 years that I'd laid eyes on the man, and it was good to see him in person, even though we've kept more or less in touch via email and IM. I met T in Colorado many years ago, where we worked for an IT consulting company- I was the networking/hardware guy and he was the developer. The two business owners were mostly sales and bookkeepers (in theory), so really all of the burdens related to actual billable work [read: "ethical, legitimate billable work'] fell on our shoulders.

T was wrapping up his dual Masters degrees in International Business and... What the hell was the other one? Poly Sci? That may have been his Bachelors. In any event, T is a whippin' smart doobie, and it was fun to get into poorly informed (my role) arguments with him, many times just to "push buttons". And he is built like a brick shithouse- and I mean that in the positive sense. Seriously, I rarely literally look up to people, and I think T has about an inch on me in height, but where I'm a bloated sack of lard, he's friggin solid. Were he not possessing of a basically friendly disposition, he'd scare the ever-loving shit out of people.

So we both moved on and he left Denver first to go do some consulting deal in Seattle, and has been in one Fortune 500 company or another ever since. It's a weird industry in that (at a high level) he is basically expediting and enforcing the various policies/initiatives/processes that are desired by the CxO's. Whatever. It's a living. That's the beginning of the point I'm making. And rest assured, there is a funny part of this tale to be told (yes, it's not all geek talk).

Seems ol' T has had an epiphany in many respects lately and has acted upon them in what appears to be a healthy and rewarding way. He quit the job here and will be moving back to Colorado (!) to work in a place I won't name, but it involves world-class athletes. (As an aside, he said among the other perks will be being able to work out in the presence of these athletes, to which I'm thinking that's an ego killer, like shagging away on one end of a couch or something while a porn star is upstaging you on the other- but I digress...)

So, before he leaves me yet again (subtle, whiny guilt trip, no?), we decided to go grab a beer/scotch. He's sold both of his cars in advance of moving (yes, really) and so he slummed it over to my place in.. wait for it... a rented town car service. Ohferchrissakes. So I decided to take him down to an Irish Pub on the Alki beach stretch called the Celtic Swell. Now, the more worldly among you (especially Judith) might laugh at the premise of an Irish Pub in Seattle, but the core appeal isn't the pretense that this place is somehow authentic, but rather the appeal is that it is #1) a bar, and #2) overlooking the water. I took him down a road that is very forested and scenic, to the shore where we crawled along looking for a place to park. The sun was setting and reflecting upon the water in the usual Kodak-moment manner, and imagine my surprise to hear T say "Dude!" and "Whoa" and such. Turns out he's never seen the Seattle skyline over the water (from the West Seattle side), never taken a ferry, never gone up in the Space Needle, or really done anything in this town, including making a local friend. Now, lest you think I'm on a high horse here, I've been here 10 months and have made one proper friend, who promptly fled the country to go become a rabbi (do you capitalize the R in rabbi? Is that a proper noun?) in Germany. I have however done other things.

So I'm surprised at how little T has done here, and his basically negative view of the town is starting to make a little more sense. He allows as how I was trying to make him feel badly about leaving by showing him all this cool stuff, and there may be the germ of truth there, but more I want to at least have him understand what it is about the town that I find so appealing- you know, lest he continue to think I'm off my rocker (hey- no comments from the peanut gallery!).

So we get to the Swell and have a seat at a 2-top high table that is parallel to the bar. That is to say, the people at the bar have their backs to us. Pretty soon, two women arrive and occupy the nearest bar seats to us and I wouldn't have really even noticed were it not for the arrival scene. One of them is bent way over the bar doing God knows what, and the other one starts to spank the bent one. T is talking at that point I'm pretty sure, but I have no idea what he's saying. Blah blah blah. They sit down and the show is over and we keep talking about economic survival, the water table in South America, and whatever else.

Fast forward 30 minutes or so. I'm alternating sitting on the barstool and standing when by back dictates, and either out of courtesy or for similar reasons T is following suit. At the moment we stand, the spanked one spins around and in a really loud voice (no small feat, given the ambient noise level) says to T:

"Did you just pick your nose?"

T is caught flat footed (well, as I was too). He had in fact done that scratch/rub/not-quite-pick movement where you'd use your thumb to give observers the impression that you were not in fact diggin' for gold. He confusedly replied:

"Uhh, kinda. I did this [repeats gesture]"

Then a really big guy at the bar two seats down loudly chimes in:

"I used to work at a saw mill. It made my boogers taste (taste!) like cedar"

I'm having a deer-in-the-headlights moment trying to take this all in. Paging Rod Serling....

Then, the spanked one says "And did you flick [a/the] booger?"

T says "Umm, I dunno- maybe" [for the record- no booger was present or flicked]

Spanked then says "I think you flicked a booger over here and it hit me in the hair!"

I'm having no idea where this is going, and I'm wondering if a fight between T, I and the cedar booger contingency is being sought, when finally the intention is revealed.

Spanked says "I think you owe me a drink for that!"

Ahh, I see. It's a come on for a drink, and with all the booger talk I'd failed to recognize the batted eyes and drunk girl come hither gesturing. I'm well out of circulation with what in the hell single people do these days, and I don't know local protocols, so this was all very peculiar to me. T bought Spanked a drink and politely brushed her off- he's a happily married guy, an we returned to talking.

Important background note: Years ago at a sit down restaurant in Colorado, T and I went to lunch at a place in a swanky business district, and sat in a booth. Behind my back was a gaggle of women who were probably secretaries (yes that's right- fuck this "assistant" nomenclature bullshit- the job is called Secretary). They got up and shuffled past us to leave and one of their number slipped a napkin in front of T with all sorts of writing on it, about her name and what T could do with/to her, etc. and lots of "x's" and "o's" and hearts. Fuckin' A! Damn man. T demonstrably has mojo. Things like that have never, NEVER, happened to me. Now, don't get me wrong- I've got nothing to complain about in term of the outcome of my love life, but damn- what I called dating is now called stalking. It was a rough uphill slog of trying to interfere with biologically accommodating young ladies, and dealing with that look of horror once I explained to them what I was hoping to do to them. It is only that Schmoopie likes being shocked and offended that I ever coerced her into giving me the time of day, and from that point forward I wore her down until she agreed to marry me. Then there is T, who has secretaries making lunchtime overtures. I'm jealous and at the same time, he's my hero. Incidentally, he tossed the napkin- he was seriously involved with his (now) wife, and is an honorable doobie like that.

So, we sit back at the bar table, and he says:

"Dude, that's just like..."

and both of us said in unison:

"the napkin!"

Fucker. Mojo and then some. I mean seriously- picks his nose (but not really) and gets women approaching him. I could've worn clothes made of money and couldn't get females to look at me without sneering (or laughing). No, not really- but it felt like that. I'm not really interesting in buying strange women drinks, or doing anything untoward that would ever upset Schmoopie, but purely from an ego stroking point of view, it'd be a hell of a boost. So here is T with all of whatever the ladies are craving being again genial but dismissive, and Spank moves on to other fellows, and I'm seeing a trend. I mention to him that he's indeed a fortunate sort, and he tells me that "it only happens when I'm with you".

So, I'm led to believe that I'm his Wonder Twin power source. Bullshit. It may be true that when seen adjacent to me he looks all the more appealing, in the same way Kareem Abdul Jabbar looks taller when standing next to Gary Coleman.

In any event, it was a funny thing, and I'm going to miss T again. I guess in 4 years we'll go get a drink again or something and women will be fawning over him when it happens. Sometimes rituals are important. Secondarily, what am I doing that is driving people out of town? I mean, I shower frequently, and censor my vile thoughts and profane language an awful lot. Damn...

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Updates, But Not Here

I've added a new page to the "family pictures page" and the newest installment is here . I had a great night Saturday night catching up with an old Colorado buddy who (for a few more days) lives in Seattle. He's got a fancy new job in Colorado Springs, so he'll be heading back that way. Sucks complete ass, as he was the only friend in the area, but I'm happy for him, and the new gig sounds beyond cool.

So today I slept way in and got up and played some catch with Z. in the front yard as the Blue Angels flew by in various formations from time to time (the were performing over Lake Washington, which isn't exactly in the neighborhood, but then, those things don't appear to turn on a dime).

After the show, we piled in the truck with Daisy the dog, and went to Vashon Island (one of our fave's) and farted about at Robinson Point. Both ways we were accompanied by about 80 Moped riders apparently from "Seattle Mopeds"- a mini biker gang. Noise and smoke loom large in their legend. The Mopeds were pretty old looking, but two riders that I saw were dressed in shiny lemay (lamé?) fabric like superheroes.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Things I Think About.... (Be Glad You Aren't Me)

How do blind people know when they are done wiping?