Monday, March 30, 2009

I Love Seattle...

Absolutely nothing- say it again!

Oh, and this is from last year, but the Groucho's of Spring have returned for 2009...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What'd You Do Today?

I fell down at Snoqualmie Falls. I'm Mr. Mud Butt.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I Don't Watch Television, Or Go South

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of... Stupidity?

This is just so damned sad. If they told me this was satire, I would think them genius.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Farty Planes, OR One Plane Town- The Dirty Old Man Chronicles

So, I flew one of those out to Walla Walla last week, and returned later the same day. I may be at a loss to describe the finer points of the trip. The data center I went out to audit was suitable to the very limited needs I had, so that stuff can proceed, but it was all the other shit I saw that messed with my noodle. I also was reminded that I'm settling into the "old" part of "dirty old man" pretty quickly. Apparently now that I'm old, fat, and broken down in addition to the long-standing funny looking, young college girls don't seem to have any hesitation in bending over in front of me, or adjusting themselves in ways that might cause erections.

The "airport" there is bustling Walla Walla best resembles a largish highway rest stop in the midwest. Sterile, empty, uninspiring, with racks of local brochures detailing local events and "attractions". The Muzak was intolerable. There is one "gate" with a baggage carousel that appears to never have been used. There was once a restaurant there, but it's closed due to economic challenges. There is a morning flight and an afternoon flight. That's it. One airline. Two security screeners from the institute of brilliance, the TSA. I had to rent a car for $75 for the hour I needed it (Hertz- what a value. They try harder to fuck you over, and it shows) because there are no cabs in town.

Walla Walla would no doubt still be totally unheard of and underdeveloped were it not for the burgeoning wine industry. So, into the sleepy little town, pour a lot of money, and throw in some wine snobs, and shake. It was 20F and I saw a guy wearing several shirts, and two coats, a hat, and nylon shorts. I saw another older guy, fully bundled up, riding a bike but his hands weren't on the handlebars exactly- his palms kind of were resting on the grips, because in his hands were two Barbie dolls. For real.

Oh, and the plane(s)? On one, I couldn't stand up fully. The seats were narrower too- my book was wider than the tray table. Thankfully the flight was not fully sold, so I didn't have anyone next to me and could put one butt cheek on each seat on both flights. Having never before flown in a turboprop, I was surprised that one was so quiet and one was so... farty. I also had never boarded a plane without a jetway, which is fine, but I was surprised by the spartan method by which the boarding and luggage were handled. People with luggage, after shlepping them down several flights of stairs and through a maze of service vehicles on the tarmac at Sea-Tac were asked to place them on a big porters cart. From there someone would stow them. Then, after getting out of the plane, the people just stood around on the tarmac waiting for someone to bring by a cart with the luggage. It's just weird to see people get out of a plane and then stand right beside the plane.

The fun part? On the flight out, a lady with helmet hair sits in front of me and says to the other helmet haired lady opposite her "I always throw up on these little planes", and the guy sitting in front of her kinda freaked out. He ended up moving to a different seat. Who could blame him? There should be a "vomit" section in airplanes. Near as I could tell, she didn't throw up.

Dumb Pitiful Victims, and the Christian Bankers Who Love/Hate Them, On The Next Disco-Tent (check your local listings)

You know what is the key difference between this financial crevasse and the FIRST Republican-delivered Depression? It's us. In the '30's people gave a shit about each other- even strangers, and being down and out was awful but it didn't equate to being an awful person.

Fast forward 80 or so years, and we've taken the "me" to the extreme. Someone got evicted? Fuck 'em! Not my problem. They probably brought it on themselves, anyway. Zero compassion. This change is brought to you almost exclusively by the Rush Limbaugh followers of the world, and the Ayn Randian Objectivists. That so many of these people would call themselves Christian would give me a hernia from laughing, were the circumstances not so dire. Fucking pretentious money-worshipping, self-centered, arrogant, unimaginative idiots that look down on ME for not being so mentally disabled as to believe in any Gods.

Being without any faith, I am not obliged under any theocratic or philosophical code to do anything for anybody, and I largely have contempt for my fellow man, and EVEN STILL I seem to be more compassionate than the masses. Have a look at this, and then I'll make the next point:

Nice to see MSNBC right there willing to broadcast the upset people for profit, by the way. You know- because there is no way this story could've been told WITHOUT demeaning people, right?

But that wasn't my second point. Still on the subject of how WE have changed, when you see this video the other point I'm intending to make becomes clearer. We are weaker of spirit than in the '30's. Yes, losing your place and being homeless is awful. It's sad, and I wish it weren't happening, but crying about it doesn't help. At minimum, don't let yourself be filmed by the goddamned TV news people crying about your lot in life- keep private things private and maintain your fucking dignity.

Here's another radical thought- not everyone SHOULD be able to own a house. Yeah, I said it. If you are making something in spitting distance of minimum wage, you have no business buying a house. In fact, I'll take that one step further- maybe you shouldn't own a car. You should have what you can afford. End of story. I ride the bus to work everyday and it's fine. Come along with me and learn to save your damned money. Get a bike. Something-anything, but stay within your means.

The world is a big and competitive place, and if you are going to compete you need to not be lazy about yourself as a commodity. No matter who is in the Oval Office, shitty "fuck the little guy" laws like NAFTA and CAFTA will come along and pit you (or more abstractly- the value of your work/labor units) against the world market. If you are grown and are working some menial job that pays for shit, you should not expect things like big screen TV's and SUV's. If you want those things, learn how to make or do something that people want which nets you more than minimum wage.

And to the people who bought houses thinking that the value could never drop- what're you? Fucking nuts? Have you NEVER read a history book? Pickled Jesus on ice, what made you think that? I nearly had a thrombo back in Colorado where I paid $165,000 for a house and thought I was getting the shaft, but I didn't get any second mortgage, HELOC, or other crafty bullshit that the financiers dreamed up in an opium den, and was thankfully able to sell at a breakeven even after the values went down. The people out here in Seattle are WAY into crack apparently, because the average house out here is STILL $380,000. Guess what? I'm not buying. No way in hell the materials and labor costs of a house are that high. Fuck that noise. I'll rent forever, because I don't believe I'm OWED the financial bullshit that could get me to own a home.

If you are one of the "victims" of the housing crisis, I'm very sorry. Get an apartment and get back together. Be assured that everyone makes mistakes and all this shit will pass. I won't give you pity, and I likely won't give you a hand out. You may not be ready for what I am prepared to do. I will treat you as an adult.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Walla Walla Won't You?

I'm flying on a propeller aircraft tomorrow to Walla Walla. Who do you suppose I'll get stuck next to?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Fuck Those High Tech Japanese Toilets- Give Me Power!

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Still, this has nothing on the crappers at my office- they'll take your damned arm off.