Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Boys Are Back In Town

Scotty arrived back from his summer vacation in Arkansas this week, and you know what that means. It's Uncle Time!

Justin came over too and it's good to get them together again. Scott didn't exactly jump out of his skin at the sight of the trampoline, but he did do some jumping. Then later, he played Guitar Hero.

Now the boys are winding down, watching some completely inappropriate rated R movie in the living room. Yes, yes, they're only kids, I know. But that's what uncles are for.

And as promised, here's another video of the Tool concert. I wanted to capture some of the stuff that the video wall was playing, but I inadvertently captured the last bit of the show. I think it actually turned out pretty cool.

Computers, man...

Today at work, I prepared two heavy posts and lost them both. They were good ones, too, brilliant screeds touching on subjects as diverse as Warren Jeffs, the fugitive polygamist, Afhganistan's poppy production, and of course, George Bush's latest silly statements on the war. (Basically on that one, Bush says there is no civil war in Iraq right now, and in some ways he's right. Like Axl used to say, what's so civil about war anyway?) But alas, since my work computer SUCKS, this is all you get. Shame, huh?

On another note, in a rarely checked and often spammed e-mail box of mine, I got a random e-mail from a reader named Elizabeth. She writes:
Love your book so far. Great description of the neighborhood & cool plot, characters. My son lives in Poets Row- the Robert Frost in fact- he’s one of those ” itinerant twenty-somethings” still trying to find his way in life. Look forward to reading more.
Elizabeth, if you're still reading, honey, thank you! I don't know how you found me, but I'm glad you did. I am working on Chapter/Chunk 7 and should have it posted (a week or two late) soon.

And you know, maybe it's not as bad as I thought...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Random Ten (3rd Edition)

Joining the Cat, American Idle, Dean, Beth, and Dale, among others, here's another Friday Random Ten.
1) Naughty By Nature - Hip Hop Hurray
2) Chevelle - Family System
3) Everlast - Hot to Death
4) Frida Soundtrack - Still Life
5) DMX - Stop Being Greedy
6) Motley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls
7) Anthrax - Time
8) Clutch - Far Country
9) Everlong - Foo Fighters
10) Eminem - Cleanin Out My Closet
One of these days I'm going to put one of these together with audio and it's going to be awesome!

On another note, today was a good hair day.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Tramp is Here, The Tramp is Here

Two bucks to whoever can pick up what movie I'm quoting in the title...

Hint. It's not a direct quote.

The Concert

Rather than doing a full review of the show, let me just say that Tool is awesome live. Of course, that depends on your definition of awesome, because if you're expecting a high energy set from guys jumping all over the stage, you're just not going to get it. Aside from some weird spinning dance moves that Maynard did, the guys remained pretty much stationary. Maynard didn't even come out on center stage. He spent most of his time, almost all of it in fact, near the drum risers.

However, I say awesome because they sound as good live as they do on record, and that's not always the case. Some bands sound like shit live, but not Tool. Of course, you couldn't tell from this video (which may or may not work on your computer) but that's only because I used my digital camera and it doesn't have the greatest mic.

Also, even though I had to stick it down my pants to smuggle it in, it was really quite useless when capturing any images of the show. This is about as good as it gets.

I did manage to get a few pics of the Stash Chicks here:And the Stash Chicks rocking out:And then me, with a big smile on my face.Was it worth the headache? Hell yeah!

The Headache

Yesterday was hell, and it really shouldn't have been. Trying to get people wrangled together in one spot so money can change hands and tickets can be delivered was a headache, a chore that threatened to ruin my day.

I had an extra ticket for my brother, but because of the circumstances of his life, he had to get permission. Now it's beyond me why it takes five days to get a simple yes or no answer, but I gave him until noon to tell me whether he was going or not. When I talked to him at noon, he still didn't know.

Day of show and he still didn't know. Since time was of the essence, Plan B went into effect and my buddy Lonnie, who had been waiting by the phone to find out whether or not he could go, got the ticket.

New Rule: If you're still a maybe a few hours before show time, you're really a no.

Then my lady friends, the Stash Chicks, had a last minute change of plans. Instead of meeting up with me near the venue, they wanted to hang out with a guy they met on Myspace and then roll down with him. The only problem with that plan was that this guy didn't have their tickets.

My buddy Ian did, and he was with me.

After some tears of frustration and exasperated words, I managed to convince Ginger of the kinks in that plan and she managed to meet up with us before showtime, without the Myspace dude.

The whole endeavor had me thinking of that Lauryn Hill song mentioned over at Bliss and Bile. You know the one, Ex-Factor, with the line that goes:
It could all be so simple, but you'd rather make it hard

New rule. Someone else takes over the herding duties for the next concert.

And now the show...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Coors Lite Concert Series

Oh, did I mention I'm going to the Tool concert tomorrow?

My Little Runaway

Here's one instance where writing for a blog is better than writing for a paying establishment, like a newspaper or magazine. I'm the boss. I'm the editor. And I'm not being paid to do anything.

So if I want to ignore the sordid tale of John Mark Karr, I can! I've no one to scoop and no editor breathing down my neck for more, more, more! I'm free to write about my garden and the fun of traffic jams.

Why are notorious people always referred to by their middle name, anyway? John Wayne Gacy, Henry Lee Lucas, George Walker Bush? Alright, that's a cheap shot, but still I wonder.

I wonder.


Ah, home. Today was a hell day on the roads of Denver. On the way to work, some asshole cut me off. Actually that's too kind. He tried to run me off the road, and he would have succeeded if I hadn't slammed on the brakes and swerved onto the shoulder.

Then driving home, I got stuck in one of those unexplainable traffic jams. You know the type, bumper to bumper stop and go traffic for miles, so bad you say to yourself, "Great, there's an accident up ahead" but then out of nowhere, for no explainable reason the road clears. No accident, no debris, nothing. One minute you're staring at someone's brake lights, the next you're staring at empty road. The cause? Someone's being stupid.

Many years ago, I was at a funeral talking to my cousin John, the one that just got married, and when I asked him what he'd been up to, he told me he'd been going to school. For what? I asked. "Traffic design" is what I thought he said. I nodded and then went into a whole litany of stupid roads or traffic traps in the city, places that needed to be redesigned for sure. He looked at me kind of funny, then he goes, "I said, graphic design."

Maybe I'm the one who should have went into traffic design.

And now the news...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, has challenged the President of the United States to a debate. Can you imagine the battle of wits that would ensue in that one? This would be bigger than the Rumble in the Jungle. Hell, this is bigger than Axis versus Allies.

Two intellectual heavyweights like George Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad verbally jousting over the important issues of the day. I can imagine how that one would go. Straw men would get up and dance, names would be called, feelings would get hurt, and everyone watching would immediately lose 10 IQ points.

Doesn't Iran realize that we're Americans? We don't debate. We send in the Marines and "pepper" your cities with smart bombs.

Debate? I bet ole George got a chuckle when he heard that one. "In your dreams, pal," would have probably been the exact quote. That would mean that Ahmadinejad and Bush have an actual conversation, you know, man to man. (President to President?) It's just not going to happen. Not on TV, not on the phone, not through the mail, not even on IM.

Can you imagine President Bush sitting down at his desk, some Oval Office stationary in front of him, and actually writing the words, "Dear Mahmoud?" Didn't think so.

Now I know he's busy plotting World War III and the destruction of the Jews, but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also a blogger, and as a blogger, it might also be possible that he spends a great deal of time reading other people's blogs, maybe even mine.

So if you reading, Mahmoud, let me clue you in on a little secret, okay. We don't want your debate, and though it sounds nice and lofty, we live in America, home of Hollywood, Broadway, and Las Vegas. We know a show when we see one. The only way we would watch your debate is if Kevin Federline opened the show with a dance number and Paris Hilton closed it out with a traditional Muslim strip tease. I mean, have to consider most of us just finished a hard day at work. The last thing we want to do is think about important world issues.

As for debating Bush, dude -mind if I call you dude?- why not challenge him to an arm wrestling competition? Or a marathon bike ride? Meet him on his territory. A debate? My dog could beat Bush in a debate, man. Give the man a chance!

Plus, Mahdude, you have to consider this: George Bush is a politician, and in America, politicians only care about one thing: elections. What are you going to accomplish by talking to him? Believe it or not, he hates the Democrats more than the Iranians so you're better off just keeping quiet. You know, go back home and get those WWIII plans worked out.

Cuz you're gonna need em. Ever hear of the Bush doctrine?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Gardenblogging

While most normal people were working today, I had the day off, and spent quite a bit of it outside, getting myself dirty. I wanted to do some maintenance on the ghetto garden and boy, what a job that was. I'm ceding the corner to the dogs, moving all the pots out of there. Some I'll proudly display out front, others I've moved to the patio. The deciding factor wasn't the damn squirrels or my dumb dogs going after them all the time. It was this massive tomato plant.This thing is almost as tall as me and won't stop growing. It's already got some tomatoes, but it better start producing to justify the space.

Also notice it's planted in one of the tires. Everything, and I mean everything, that's planted in those tires is thriving. Tire gardening turned out to be a great idea.

But as you can see, the garden is getting a bit crowded. This bed has jalopenos, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers. Any one of them could use a bed of its own, and next year, they just might get it.I also removed the rickety clothesline someone installed. Rarely used, it was an eyesore as well as an impediment to my yard. There was some really weird feng shui where they put it. If I ever need another on, I can string it up somewhere else, no problem. For now, make way, make way!I have a trampoline coming. Yes, believe it or not, in addition to a massive barn-like shed, a "mother-in-law apartment," and a gazebo, not to mention the growing (in area, as well as spirit) garden, I'm adding a trampoline.

I don't really need one, didn't even really want one. But my Aunt (in spitit, as well as the nonexistant rules of gay marriage) is getting of her trampoline, which actually was the trampoline in my backyard growing up. It's been in the family all this time, and I'm more than happy to maintain the tradition.

But, there's always a but, space is limited. I can't put it anywhere near the low hanging powerlines that give my house juice. I don't want to put it on the lawn that I've been rehabilitating since I bought the place, but I'm afraid that's where it will be. Right here, where the hammock is now.I'm sad to lose the hammock, but I remember some wonderful summers laying out on the tramp with a book. It's like a king sized hammock. And my nephew will love it, I'm sure.

One last thing, after planting some Green Mountain Boxwood bushes around the "ghosthouse," I noticed an explosion of weeds in the surroudning rocks. Some I pulled, and some I realized were zinnias. I couldn't pull the zinnias, so I let them grow, but I wondered how the hell they got there. Then I remembered that last year I had my potted zinnias in that same spot.

These guys are their children.

Wal-Mart Sucks

I've blogged positively about Wal-Mart in the past, and I'm certainly not one of those guys who condemns the company as evil, like so many lefties who demand better healthcare and better wages for Wal-Mart employees, less politicking when it comes to their music sales and pharmacies, better enviromental policies with their draining lakes to extend parking lots. The list goes on.

It's not that they're bad criticisms, but they ignore the positive benefits of Wal-Mart. I won't go into them here, because yesterday when I went to my local Wal-Mart to pick up a few sundries, I had an awful experience.

And it's not Wal-Mart, the company, the great evil behemoth, that contributed to it. It was this particular Wal-Mart, the new one at Stapleton, that did it. The place was crawling with people, for one, and crowds bug me. Not all the time, mind you, but there are times when a crowd resembles less a collection of people and more a herd of chud-chewing cows, wide-eyed and delirious.

On my list of things to get, dog food, sugar, and bacon. Three small things that I could have got at Safeway or King Soopers, but I specifically went to Wal-Mart because:

1) They have the cheapest dog food, and perhaps I'm a horrible dog owner, but price rather than taste or nutritional value is the main deciding factor when it comes to me buying dogfood. I love my dogs, but they'll eat anything, grass, shit, dead birds, and I'm having a hard time convincing myself they need boutique dog food that costs three times as much as the reconstituted animal guts in Wal-Mart's store brand. Their diet is supplemented with a healthy dose of table scraps and doggy bags, so they're not lacking anything nutritionally.

2) Wal-Mart, and they're not the only store that carries this, has this microwavable bacon that is $2.24 for 16 slices. Thirty seconds in the microwave and I have delicious slices of bacon for breakfast or to put on a BLT or to crumble on top of a salad. I stock up on this stuff, it's so good. And cheap too. If you go to the store and find out they have no more microwaveable's because I cleaned them out!

3) Wal-Mart, at least this Wal-Mart, also has a pretty good home and garden section, and I wanted to see what they had in the way of pitchforks and garden hos. I need a pitchfork, preferrably a big one with a good handle, for turning my compost heap. The ho, well, that's an optional luxury as I currently have one that works just fine. I just want a longer one, that's all, one that isn't going to force me to bend over and put such undue strain on the slippery discs in my back.

Alas, I made it through the garden section yesterday, found absolutely no pitchforks, not even the small ones I've spied before, no hos, not even short ones that I couldn't use anyway. But I did find a nice flat shovel for a reasonable price, which is one implement I don't have and one that I do have some use for.

But before entering the store, I neglected to grab a cart. I figured, I would find one abandoned somewhere within the garden section, but nope. Not a one. No biggy, I told myself. I would go to the front of the store and get one there. I'd have to double back for the dog food, but what's a little walking.

So I walked through the store, carrying my shovel, through this amazing crowd of post-church revelers, to the front. I leaned the shovel on the ice machine, so as not to seem like I was trying to steal it, and walked out to the atrium where the carts should be.

And there were no carts. None. Not just for me, but for any of the other customers streaming in through the doors.

I knew I would have to stand in line for a long time, what with the crowd and this Wal-Mart's tendency to have only have four lines open at any one time, and to top it off, I'd have to chase after a cart in the parking lot somewhere.

So I said, fuck it and left. I didn't need that shovel that badly.

But I do still need dog food, sugar, and bacon, but I think I'll get that at Target.