Friday, May 28, 2010

Breaking News!

Tight Pants Ban Takes Effect in Indonesia

You have no idea how many lives this will save.


This day shift stuff, man... I don't know. It's not just sitting back, compiling reports, and watching movies. There's, like, phone calls involved. Ha!

And the traffic! I actually miss the old days of fleet-footed trains and am considering working that back into my commute. I'm not sure it's worth the extra time and money, but I do miss sitting on the train, iPod buds in my ears, nose in a book.

Now some stuff that's caught my eye.

According to the Colorado Independent, Dan Maes, a Republican running for governor of Colorado, "would refuse most all federal cash." But I'm not sure that's what he really said. There might even be a point he's trying to make...

Garrison Keillor, as usual, wishes for the good old days, only this time the good old days of the writing biz.
Call me a pessimist, call me Ishmael, but I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea. We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numerals (U R 2 1derful), blogging like crazy, reading for hours off their little screens, surfing around from Henry James to Jesse James to the epistle of James to pajamas to Obama to Alabama to Alanon to non-sequiturs, sequins, penguins, penal institutions, and it's all free, and you read freely, you're not committed to anything the way you are when you shell out $30 for a book, you're like a hummingbird in an endless meadow of flowers.
Understand, he says this like a bad thing. But, as the young'uns always say, he just doesn't get it.

Book publishing may indeed slide into the sea, at least the business we think of as book publishing, but who cares? There will still be books. Old books lying around, new books to replace the old books, books by people you never heard of, books about subjects you never heard of, books on paper, books on tape, books on e-readers. Some people will make money, some people won't.

It's not really about the money anyway, izzit?

Speaking of books, I'm not sure about this fascination with David Foster Wallace. If you didn't know, the man committed suicide after a 20 year battle with depression, but before he died, he wrote a few books of some note. I've never read anything by him, so I can't pass judgment, but I find all the attention paid to him after his death to be a bit suspect.

Now that he's dead we have to deify him? We have to publish his school thesis now?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Day Back

First day back on the day shift and am I ready? Not really. My "weekend" was exactly 47 hours long, not even two full days, and it was spent sleeping at inappropriate times and, well, mostly sleeping.

I was going to take a "nap" yesterday, but I think six-hour naps aren't really naps at all. Fully dressed, contacts still in, snoring for what turned out to be a good "night's" sleep...right in the middle of the day.

That's not going to be an option today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I've been digging this song by Shaman's Harvest ever since I heard it a couple times on the radio.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This is the CEO of Yahoo getting feisty.

I doubt she meant this for a global audience, but in this day and age, anything you do could be for a global audience.

You could be having a bad hair day and end up on People of Wal-Mart.

Dropping Like Flies

The universe has been unkind to practitioners of metal lately.

Last December, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, Avenged Sevenfold's drummer, was found dead in his house.

Then Pete Steele from Type O Negative died.

Then Ronnie James Dio died of cancer.

And now Paul Gray, Slipknot's bassist, was found dead in an Iowa hotel room.

I never got into Type O Negative (too gothic), wasn't a huge fan of Dio (I'm in the "Ozzy Sabbath" camp), and Slipknot's just not my thing (too junior high for my tastes).

But I don't like this trend. Not one bit.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ghetto Gardening

This was my project this weekend. I've long had plans to turn my entire front yard into a "planting area" and it's slowly coming together. I never had much of a lawn, but now I don't have one at all. The planting area idea is a work in progress, and this little area, roped off from the rest with these cheap tree rings, is just the latest step.

Planted here are some marigolds, some Mexican sunflowers, a pair of lupines, a columbine, some lilies, a trio of hollyhocks, and a Chinese lantern. All of them I started from seed, including the lilies, which I collected in pods from the lilies around the pond at work.
In a couple months, I'll post a pic of the same place and we'll see how it looks then.

Here we are, hardening off all my seedlings. As you can see, I rely on these flats, not only for transport reasons but for watering reasons, as well. Put about an inch of water in each one of the flats every couple days and I'm good.
And now to the Ghetto Garden proper.

Here's my big bed, also a work in progress, but already teeming with onions, spinach, and lettuce. (Lots of spinach.) I've planted some peppers, beans, and squash. Unlike last year, I'm not growing any corn. It takes up too much space and the damn squirrels got to it before I did.

A columbine!
Some more flats sitting on the bench I made last year from pieces of my broken fence. Yeah, the ones in the foreground look a little weak. That's what spares are for. In the background, you can see my chives blossoming.
A sea of johnny jump ups. They say these are perennials, but I don't know...I think they're just really vigorous seeders.
They've taken over the corner already. All this stuff is either perennials I already established or annuals that reseeded themselves over the winter. I expect to replace a lot of this with other stuff, but for'll do.
Speaking of you think this mint will stay in this tire? I hope so. There are all kinds of other herbs living here. The mint should try to be a good neighbor.
And finally, some peas. That green blur? It's the stake I hope the peas grow on. We'll see...


Heavy metal fans know that the legendary thrash metal bands known as the Big Four (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax) are playing the festivals in Europe this summer. It's the first time all four bands have shared the same stage and if you float in the musical seas that I do, it's a big fucking deal.

And so it is with great pleasure that I discovered that the company I work for will be bringing the Big Four to theaters for a one-night only LIVE event.

Buy your tickets now.

(And no, this is not a paid endorsement. What do I look like, Tiger Woods?)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

That's My Sarah

I love unedited Sarah Palin quotes. They're so scattered and dumb. Check it:
"One thing we can learn in this lesson that I have learned and Rand Paul is learning now is don't assume that you can engage in a hypothetical discussion about constitutional impacts with a reporter or a media personality who has an agenda, who may be prejudiced before they even get into the interview in regards to what your answer may be," Palin said. "You know, they are looking for the gotcha moment. And that evidently appears to be what they did with Rand Paul, and I'm thankful he clarified his answer about his support for the Civil Rights Act."
I'm actually a bit sympathetic to her. It must suck to to have those brights lights on you and the camera and all those people looking at you, expecting you to say something smart and interesting...and to go blank.

Her thoughts don't form in her head and then get unleashed through her mouth. They just come spilling out like Legos dumped from a bucket, a string of buzz words and notes on her palm. She gets the order wrong sometimes and has to go back, revising as she goes.

She might have meant to say, "One lesson we can learn," but it comes out "One thing we can learn in this lesson." And so on.

That's why her sentences are paragraphs. They're padded up with euphemisms, filled with mindless repetition, and capped off with odd humorless non sequiturs. From a writerly perspective, it's all a bit amusing.

Just Jokes

I live in a mostly Hispanic city. It's not so bad. The lavanderia is right down the street, next to the panaderia and fruiteria actually. There's also a carniceria and a peliqueria across the street.

None of these places have a "No Gringos" sign. Thank you, Civil Rights Act.

Barking at the Moon

Not to be all Rand Paul all the time, but via Kevin Drum I see that Rand Paul also has issues with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Not "there are too many handicapped spaces" issues, but "businesses shouldn't have to build elevators" issues.

Paul said:
[M]y understanding is that small business owners were often forced to put in elevators, and I think you ought to at least be given a choice. Can you provide an opportunity without maybe having to pay for an elevator?
The problem...
[W]e searched far and wide for a single instance in which a private employer was successfully sued under the ADA for failing to provide an elevator, or was compelled by a lawsuit to do so, and we came up empty. We searched the case law, contacted ADA experts -- both proponents and opponents of the law -- the Justice Department, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Not one of them knew of any case involving the government-ordered installation of an elevator. It looks like Rand Paul is either peddling a myth or spinning some vanishingly small number of elevator installations we've yet to hear of into an epidemic big-government overreach.
Now I get that Paul is just being a principled libertarian here, with his opposition to both the ADA and Civil Rights Acts being rooted in the abstract idea that the government sucks, but it seems like he is driven to represent a constituency of zero.

It's nice that he's willing to stick up for businesses overburdened by the ADA or the CRA, but it would be better if those businesses actually existed.