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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Global Warming? Yes Please!

So when I got off work this morning and stepped outside I was greeted with a blast of arctic freeze-the-goo-in-my-nut-sac air and let me tell ya, it kind of pissed me off. I am sick to death of the cold. Sick of it!

You know I thought I'd live in Colorado my entire life. But now...now I'm not so sure. Here it is, May 3rd and it's cold as fuck! The forecast?
Today: A FREEZE WARNING continues for the metro area and almost all of eastern Colorado through 9 a.m. Most neighborhoods have experienced a hard freeze this morning with low temperatures in the middle 20s!
WTF?

I'm not asking for 90 degree weather, but is it too much to ask for above-freezing temperatures in May??? At this point, I don't care if it's raining or cloudy or what, just as long as it's not cold. Go away, Cold! And don't come back until at least Halloween.

YAWN

It's 6:30 in the morning. I've been up all night. I'm tired. I'm bored. I drank so much coffee that I have to run to the bathroom every fifteen minutes.

Pity party at my house tonight. I'll provide the cake and ice cream if you BYOB.

The Limits of Psychoanalysis

E.J. Dionne asks:
"Do white right-wing preachers have it easier than black left-wing preachers? Is there a double standard?"
Um, yeah!

But I think it has more to do with politics than race. Wright's biggest crime isn't that he holds controversial views --Who doesn't?-- it's that his controversial views are the wrong kind. (No, no, no, Wright. It's not the American government who spread AIDS. It's the gays! At least that's what the late Jerry Falwell claimed.)

At any rate, I've been unable to get worked up about Jeremiah Wright and frankly I think the guy is getting way too much attention. I don't believe he's all that relevant to the issues we're facing: economic troubles, war, Republicans selling our country piece by piece to the highest foreign bidder.

I also don't believe that his critics are all that sincere in their condemnation of him. It's a big problem in the right-wing, this "sincerity gap." In short, many wingers don't say what they mean, and they don't mean what they say.

If they say they're "pro-family" that usually means they're "anti-gay." If you're wondering why we invaded Iraq for WMD but aren't leaving until we have permanent bases, it's because Right-wingers don't say what they mean and they don't mean what they say.

They say that Rev. Wright is important because of the insights he provides into Obama's psyche, but they mean that Wright is important because he could be used as the cement necklace that pulls Obama down below the waves.

You gotta hand it to the wingers. They're pretty reliable in their dishonesty.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Survey Says

A new poll from the UK confirms...

Ladies Love Cool James:
Although more women seem to be settling down in their thirties or later, those polled thought 25 was the "perfect age" to get married, preferably to a man who earns £25,000 or more.

They would most like to marry a man called James, but Daniel, Dan or Danny, Ben, Matt, Mark, Chris, Jack, David, Josh and John or Jonny also made it into the top ten.

New Schedule

Ah, Friday.

The start of the weekend. Unfortunately for me, it's also the start of my new schedule. Yep, I'm back on the night shift, 10PM to 8AM. Friday through Monday.

Sigh....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gas Station Coffee

I wish I knew what Hillary was thinking when she was trying to operate this coffee machine.

I kind of feel bad for her.

Mmmmm...No, I don't feel bad for her.

More Local Crime

A new report from the Aurora Police indicates that only 2.64% of crime in the city is gang-related.

Judging from the APD's response on Monday, I bet garbage-related crimes are at least twice that...

Priorities

It's too bad Royal Brown didn't go on his crime spree on Monday. He might have got away.

The Aurora PD were a little too busy with garbage enforcement to deal with, you know, dangerous criminals.

Fucking cops...

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Good Ole 4-0 Sweep

A disappointing end to a promising season.

Hardened Criminal

Cops can really ruin your day.

Say you're a selfish, lazy prick with some trash. Say you take it to an alley not far from your house and chuck it in the nearest dumpster. Say the manager sees you and says, "Hey, you can't do that!" and you look at him and say, "No speakee ingles."

Say as you're driving away he gets your license plate number.

What do you think is going to happen when the cops come knocking on your door?

If you answered, Your truck is going to be towed out of your driveway and you're going to get charged with theft, then you're pretty close to what happened to me today.

I don't proclaim my innocence. I did violate another man's Dumpster, which I guess is a crappy thing to do. (I will say though that it's happened to me, and now I have tire gardens.) I expect some ebb in the karma flow, I suppose, but I certainly didn't expect to be literally pinched. My truck got towed because it was "used in the commission of a crime" and I was slapped with a theft charge* which I now have to fight in court.

What can I say? Lesson learned.

I do find it strange, however, that the Aurora police devoted such resources to a case of dumping trash. "Slow day?" I asked one of the officers as they made sure I didn't flip out as my truck was carted off.

"Yeah, actually it is," he said, smug in his petty application of power. No shit. A guy dumps some trash in the wrong Dumpster and three squad cars come out to investigate.

I'm lucky they didn't arrest me.




* Stealing Dumpster space??

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Anasazi Reading

In anticipation of the Anasazi our of the Southwest (aka my vacation), I've been soaking up as much information about the subject as possible. Architectural studies, archaeological studies, personal travelogues, histories of the sites, profiles of the Europeans who "discovered" them, you name it.

Here's a few:

Mesa Verde National Park: Shadows of the Centuries by Duane A. Smith

Yes, this book is about Mesa Verde, but no, it's not about the Anasazi. Smith is less interested in Mesa Verde as the home of prehistoric Indians and more concerned with the history of the site as a National Park. If you're interested in a behind-the-scenes look at National Park administration, by all means, read this book. But if you're interested in the Anasazi, the homes they built in the cliffs, or the region...skip it.



Chaco Handbook: An Encyclopedia Guide by R. Gwinn Vivian

This book is written in an encyclopedic style, offering brief descriptions of nearly every facet of (known) Anasazi culture and archeology. Organized alphabetically, it's an easy reference to thumb through when you need to know what a sipapu is. With that said, it's not the kind of book you sit down and read. Reference material only.



House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest by Craig Childs

I'm still reading this one, and at 512 pages, I might actually have the pleasure of reading this one at Chaco Canyon a couple weeks from now. More personal narrative than history book, it's interesting and absorbing, but I can't escape the feeling that it's slightly overwritten. If that's the worst thing I can say, then it's not so bad. I suspect this book might actually make a decent companion during my trip.



In Search of the Old Ones by David Roberts

I read this one last year in anticipation of the planned but aborted 07 expedition, and I guess this is the one that germinated the idea. It's a personal story in the vein of House of Rain but with less literary fluff. Fascinating and informative and probably the book I'd recommend to people with a passing interest in the pre-history of the Four Corners region. Informative enough to learn something, but doesn't require a massive investment in time.



Ancient Ruins of the Southwest: An Archaeological Guide by David Grant Noble

This book takes a more expansive view of "ancient ruins," devoting sections to Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon but also including many of the thousands of Native American ruins still preserved in the deserts of the Southwest, some of them little known or studied. It gives you a sense of the impressive scope of Anasazi culture, which thrived in the inhospitable deserts of AZ, UT, CO, and NM.



People of Chaco by Kendrick Frazier

So far, this has been one of the more useful books I've gotten about the subject. From the title, you can see that it's not about the architecture or the archaeologists who first studied the Anasazi sites. It's about the people who lived there and how they survived. And as fascinated as I am about their dwellings and the things that they left behind, how they lived is really the tractor beam pulling me down south.



But this list is missing one book that is of particular interest to me. That would be Man Corn: Cannibalism and Violence in the Prehistoric American Southwest by Christy Turner III. It's a controversial book that draws a controversial conclusion about a controversial subject: Anasazi cannibalism.

It's a fact that at least some of the Anasazi were cannibals. It's not known if this was a normal custom in their culture or an aberration that arose because of hunger or warfare. Human bones have been found with evidence of cannibalism and as recently as five years ago, a human coprolite (which is basically a petrified turd) was found with human Myoglobins in it, indicating that whoever had taken that particular dump had, in fact, consumed and digested human flesh shortly before hand.

From the Amazon description:
Turner has uncovered what he considers to be incontrovertible evidence of human sacrifice and cannibalism in a part of the world once thought to have been free of such horrors: the American Southwest. There, Turner maintains, thousands of burned and broken human bones, sometimes buried en masse, have been uncovered, most in sites ranging from a thousand to a few hundred years old. In one such site, the Arizona village of Awatovi, dozens of suspected witches were massacred by their fellow Hopis; in another, the great mountaintop city of Mesa Verde, Colorado, several pits containing the remains of cannibalized murder victims have been excavated. Turner suggests that the great Anasazi city of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, may have been a center of violent ritual and cannibalism, which helps explain why modern Indian residents of the region shun it as a place of bad medicine.
I've read enough about the Anasazi to accept the possibility of cannibalism, but I don't buy Turner's hypothesis.

I won't go into the reasons now, but I will say that "modern Indian residents" don't shun Chaco Canyon as "a place of bad medicine." They might say that to white men, but the truth is that Chaco Canyon is the Garden of Eden to many tribes of the area. It is the place where their ancestors arrived in this world from the last one and they consider it to be sacred, not cursed.

I still want to read the book, though, if only to pick it apart its theories. Unfortunately, it's $65.00 on Amazon ($44 used) and well, I can't justify spending $65.00 on a single book, even one that stokes my curiosity.

But if I find it in the Chaco Canyon giftshop for a more reasonable price....I'm snagging it.

Re-Design

As you can see, I redesigned the blog. Okay, so I didn't re-design it so much as remove all design from it. Hopefully it doesn't suck now. I might try and pretty it up a bit, but I think I'll stick with the black on white look.

It's classic, and classic never goes out of style.