Pages

Friday, August 11, 2006

Question of the Day

You're walking for miles and miles in a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, you come upon a whirling death machine that you would only see in a horror movie, blades flying out of the walls, evil little drill bits, evil big drill bits.

What do you do?

Go through this thing and come out the other end newly constituted into a vaguely meat like substance the consistency of hamburger?

Or "cut and run" back down the tunnel, wasting all those miles of claustrophobic tunnel traveling?

A Short Friday Post Before Going to Bed

It's Friday, so I went out for dinner and drinks with my friends. Our strangely accented waitress had an awesome belt buckle and a really cute face, but an odd body. Beautiful slim legs, leading up to a tiny, shapeless ass and an oddly bulging tummy. It wasn't quite a pot belly, but I think it does classify as a buddha. I don't mean to make the girl sound ugly, because she wasn't. Just odd shaped, that's all.

We all thought her accent was South American. Dominican Republic was my guess, but Venezuela and Argentina got votes too. Not only were we all wrong, we were WAY wrong. She was from Bulgaria.

Also tonight, the first preseason Bronco game, starting somewhat inconveniently at 5:30 local time. (The game was in Detroit.) I was working till 6:00, and as fate would have it, Fridays are our busy days. (It's the theater business.) I missed most of the first quarter, even though we had it up on the video wall. Then I was stuck in traffic till I got to the restaurant, which did have TVs. By then, I didn't really care. I never got a good angle on a TV and was distracted by all the socializing.

I guess the Broncos lost, but Jay Cutler kicked some ass. Cutler, if you really haven't been following the Broncos, is our rookie quarterback, picked up first in the draft, possibly the successor to Jake Plummer. I doubt we'll see him much this year, but next? Maybe so...

Earlier at dinner, there was discussion about James "Scotty" Doohan's military career. If you know anything about the guy, you know he served with valor. My friend, an avowed Trekkie (or is it Trekker?), said he was a pilot during WWII. I said I thought he landed on Normandy on D-Day.

Turns out, we were both right.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Slow News Day

"Man, I hate this world now."
-Overheard at work today after a glance at the video wall, where CNN was running the airport debacle all day.

The sad thing is that a similar thought occurred to me as I scanned the headlines of the Washington Post today. I won't provide the links, but I did want to save this image, a screen shot that captures the horror of living in the Age of Terrorism.
A cop, assault rifle in his hands and ready to blaze at the first sign of trouble, as travelers mill around in the back, either delayed or severely inconvenienced. Then the big headline news about the terror plot. (Another one? Sheesh, I always knew Al Qaeda types were stupid, but are they that stupid? Why haven't they figured out as that terrorism is kinda...I don't know...counter-productive to whatever cause they're peddling?)

Then, below that, a story about the major delays at airports, about the ban on all liquids (especially beverages and hair gel, apparently). Better safe than sorry though, right? Wrong. I think it's an overreaction that would be comical if it wasn't so damn serious. For one, with the intelligence we got (terrorists trying to smuggle liquid explosives onto the plane in sports drink containers), couldn't we eliminate things like eye drops, or toothpaste, or grandma's cough medicine?

Surely we don't need to freak out and ban all liquid substances PERIOD. I mean, what are we? Scared?

Um, yeah, we're scared. People are scared of dying (and snakes) on a plane, and the officials are scared of being called ineffective if something bad really did happen. So the overreaction is somewhat understandable, but it's still bullshit.

Here's why. To take our politicians at face value (which I would advise against in all cases, including this one), we're fighting a War on Terror. Our enemy are terrorists whose goal of Islamic rule in their homeland they think can best be accomplished by terrorizing Americans. It's retarded, yeah, but these terrorists are killing people so we have to respond, right?

So we launch a war on Afghanistan, we launch a war on Iraq. We talk tough to Syria and Iran, make a lot of threats and call them a bunch of names. We make sure Israel has no barriers to "defending themselves" by invading Lebanaon. We stay the course.

But what are the terrorists doing? Recruiting more idiots willing to blow themselves, and those around them, to pieces. These 24 suspects arrested in this last imbroligio? Pakistani Brits. The guys who bombed the London subway? Brits. Let's face it, man. Al Qaeda's not relying on goat herders from the Hindu Kush mountains anymore.

And are their tactics working? I hate to say it, but YES. No question about it. They have the United States, England, and Israel shitting bricks right now.

Right now in America, land of the free, home of the brave, you can't get on a plane if you have eye drops or hand sanitizer in your pocket.

Right now in England, you can't ride the subway without worrying, just a little, if today another bomb won't go off.

Right now in Israel, you have to watch the skies for rockets.

The question that all this begs to ask is this: how can we beat them when we already lost?

And the headlines tick on....

33 killed in Iraq blast.

Tanks move into Marjayoun, under heavy fire.


By the way, have you seen President Bush's new tan? It's more of a sunburn really.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More Gardenblogging

Today's tomato crop.It was also requested that I post a wider shot of the garden, so you can take in the whole green splendor. Here it is from one angle, although not sure splendor is what you would call it...yet.

Oh, I have plans, I have plans.Those weeds that grew up after our short "rainy" season a few weeks ago are dead and they don't even know it. Just wait till I get out my hoe.

Here it is from another angle.But what's the plan, Stan? What do I have in mind that I already haven't done?

Here's a diagram:
I've got the flower corner done. The tomato patch is done, although if you noticed in one of the previous pictures, it does need some maintenance on one side. The jalopeno/squash/cucumber patch is done.

But I'm going to build two more garden beds, probably 8'X4' both of them, probably out of the same material, pressure treated lumber. Since these will be free standing and won't have the fence to "lean" on, I'm going to sink some 4X4s in the corners. Then I have to fill them with dirt, which I'll probably have to grade off from the "lawn" area (and supplement with some compost, of course). Then I'm going to lay down some weed barrier and craft a pathway of mulch or rock or pebbles or something. Then I have to actually rehab the lawn area, as there is nothing growing there currently. Then I might even build a fence around the whole enclosure to keep the dogs out.

I got plans, man.

PI Freely

Today at work, I was reading (over the course of several hours, mind you) this incredibly long article from Westword, the local weekly, about private investigators in Colorado, and of course it made me think of my private investigator, Max Beatty.  I was working on “chunk 7” of my book last night, making some much needed progress, and so it was nice to see this come across my radar.

Colorado PIs, if you didn’t know, have no licensing requirements.  I could declare myself a PI right now and start digging into your personal life and it would all be perfectly legal.  In a sense, that’s what my hero Max did.  

He got himself booted from the force and set up shop on his own terms.  License?  What license?

For, as the Cat would say, my millions and millions of nonreaders (and the loyal few) who have been waiting for Chapter 7…er, excuse me, chunk 7, it’s in the works.  My goal is to have something together for the weekend.  

It’s only been a month…

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gardenblogging

Squash madness!!!!One for every day of the week, almost.

Some vine-reddened tomatoes.But that ain't nothing. Check this one out.
My cucumbers runneth over.
But sometimes they grow strange things. This guy became compost today.These muties met their end a few days ago.And finally, my window box. More vinca.

My Monday...er, Tuesday. What day is it again?

Yesterday it was my day off and all I posted was a few lines and a vid?? Not even a t-shirt? Sheesh, man.

While I've been resting on my laurels...er, enjoying my weekend, I haven't been paying attention to the news. Kind of weird for a news junky not to pay attention to the news, but hey, man...I've been busy.

Here's a headline you don't see every day: Conagra cuts the cheese. You don't have to read the whole thing. It's a real stinker.

In the Middle East, shit continues to roll downhill as Israel replaces their top general in Lebanaon and Wolf Blitzer is in casual dress and on the scene, once again. When I saw that flicker on the big video wall at work today, I thought, well good...at least someone in Israel's governement expects more results than 24 hour news footage of bombed out buildings and children in bloody swaddles.

Meanwhile Hezbollah keeps shooting their rockets. And Bush is on vacation. (Don't blink or you'll miss the books the president won't be reading this summer.)

I wish I was on vacation.

This morning when I got up, I groaned because I had to go to work. WORK! Ah, man! You're kidding me? That's today? NO WAY, man. I'm going back to bed.

But alas, I dragged myself into the office, did some work, took some calls, made some calls, fixed some shit, and when I left I felt alright. Till I remembered I have to do it all over again tomorrow.

I got spoiled this summer. Spoiled, I tell you! One thought that keeps occurring to me is that I have to figure out a way to arrange my life so that I don't have to hold a job. The big FI: financially independent. If only for a little while more.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Double Backflip

Here's a great sports moment that will give you chills, if you're the type to get chills from greats sports moments.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sucker Punch

Driving home tonight, in the flow of traffic on the highway, I got behind a drunk driver.  It was obvious by the way he was swerving all over the road that he was going to end up killing himself or someone else before the end of his journey.  I managed to get around him, scared shitless that he was going to swerve right into me, and left him in the dust.  The last I saw of him, he was riding up on the shoulder, ready to plow into a ditch.

I called the cops.  

When I got home, I watched Deadwood.  God himself couldn’t produce a better show.

My favorite moment was when a jailed Hearst flunky was getting lippy in his jail cell.  Charlie Utter saunters up to him, says “C’mere a second.”  He approaches the cell like he’s going to chew the guy out, but instead sucker punches him on the chin.

That was among the many sucker punches on the show.  Merrick, the newspaperman, got beat around by the guy Utter socked.  Then Johnny got socked by Al for figuring out the message Wu was trying to deliver.  Johnny doesn’t possess a tenth of Al’s wiles, and I suspect Al may have resented the fact that he flashed on it first.

Only three episodes left.  I’m going to miss Al when he’s gone.

HBO is awesome.  The other night I caught a repeat of Rome.  It was the “Caesar goes to Egypt” episode, and it was great reliving the adventures of Vorenus and Pullo, as well as the machinations of power and sexual drama between Caesar and his people.  I can’t wait till this one comes out on DVD.  It’s like a big 12 hour movie.

Comfort for the Emotionally Wounded

A friend of mine got dumped the other day, and though my recent stretch of singlehood was inspired by getting dumped, I don't have much to say to her that can't be said better by Ben Harper in a pair of songs that helped me get through the tough times.

The first one, Walk Away, is perhaps the best advice I've ever heard when it comes to soiled relationships.
It's so hard to do, but so easy to say
Sometimes, sometimes you just have to walk away

That becomes more operative if you've been dumped because there's not really much you can do about that one. The decision was made without your approval or input and you're left there to just deal with it. So what do you do?

You can only walk away.

The second song provides comfort on those lonely days, even though the song is quite depressing. Called Another Lonely Day, it revels unapologeticaly in the sadness that comes from having your heart broken. You can hear the sorrow in Harper's voice and it sounds just like the sorrow in your own.

And sometimes I think it helps to just revel in it.

The Battlefield Strewn With Blood

Here's a story about a landscaper who dug up some old bones, not an uncommon occurrence but interesting nonetheless. The last paragraph is what struck me though.
The area has been inhabited off and on by humans for thousands of years. The bones were discovered about a mile from the Kaplan-Hoover Bison Bonebed, where archaeologists in 1997 unearthed thousands of bones from bisons that were thought to be slaughtered in a single day about 3,000 years ago.
That's like gasoline to the fire of my imagination. Slaughtered how? By who? And three thousand years ago, that's a long time. Jesus hadn't even come around for the first time yet.

I imagine, of course, that scene from Dances With Wolves, the great buffalo hunt. But there's a few significant differences that you have to take into account. Three thousand years ago they didn't have rifles, nor did they have the horse. So they herded them up and slaughtered them in assembly line fashion? Or was it a great battle, fought by hundreds of people, thousands of arrows and axes and spears and knives against a raging herd of snorting edible beasts?

Either way, that was a bloody day, I'm sure.