Thursday, February 27, 2003

A blog for your enjoyment

I dont' rembember how I came across this guy's blog but I found it yesterday and he's entertaining. Not as entertaining as the porno shop guy but who is?

If you have already read my internet cheaters entry this is the link to the user who sells anything he can get his hands on.
Internet cheaters or Man at his most honest

Over the past few years I have been involved with:

1) Ebay
2) Global Combat
3) The Computer Simulated Fantasy Baseball League
4) Various fantasy sports.
6) Online chatting (which I will not discuss because it is almost as depressing as (thank you Onion) online gambling.

What have I encountered in my forays into these internet communities? Easy: human dishonesty and greed at its most blatent.

First ebay. Ebay has been the most innocuous of all these subjects when it comes to dishonesty and greed. At least to me anyway. I have not been ripped off yet but I do know some that have been. Of course the main reason most people are honest on ebay is feedback from other users which is the small piece of genius which, I think, has made it so successful. What does strike me most about ebay is the pettiness of some of the sellers with their "shipping and handling charges." This may sound petty but six bucks to mail a DVD? C'mon, take a chance, you skin flint. How can you justify charging more than and (my favorite) for the item you sell? This is just an underhanded way of having a reserve price without admitting it.

Now we move on to Global Combat and the Computer Simulated Fantasy Baseball League. Global Combatis a Risk-type turn-based game you can access and play through your browser. CSFBL is a baseball game that allows you to draft and manage randomly generated players. Judging from the mesages from emails and message boards the designers of these free! games spend an inordinate amount of their time policing those that use loopholes in the game to cheat. Most of the cheating is done by those that create extra user names to affect the outcomes of the competition. Other users also have to devote time to ferreting out these sneaks. The antics of these cheats remind me of Calvin, from the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes," who would actually work harder at avoiding work than he would if he just did the work.

That brings us to fantasy sports. Fantasy sports, which uses the performace of real players that are drafted by the laity to determine the outcome of competition, not only bring in those who cheat with multiple identities but also brings in those that desire attention. Lots of attention. Oftentimes if someone is not using two usernames to secure the advantage of one of those teams then he will be doing all he can to slow down the procedings through messages and by proposing one-sided trades. Usually this type of individual turns out to be a child or teenager who does not need a computer in his room but rather more one-on-one time with his father.

I have a person bookmarked on whose username is boxofficehits because the feedback he received from other users was so amusing because of his dishonesty. Judging from his feedback he spent most of his weekends buying every videotape he could at flea markets with no concern as to their condition. He would post for sale these hundreds of tapes and mail them off as they sold. About niney percent of his sales were legitimate but those tapes he sold that were defective he chose to ignore the compaints of his customers. The rage expressed by those he boned made for some great reading.

Online chatting? OK, we can go there for a second. How many identities have you had?

I don't know what this says about us as a species but it might have something to do with the world as we see it today. These few examples might just directly explain those of us that drive SUV's while others go hungry, why we are preparing for war without the real reasons being brought forward, why there is such a thing as an entertainment INDUSTRY and why winning is the only thing. This all reminds me of what I read in the first two volumes of History of the English Speaking Peoples by Churchill where those in power proclaimed most of their self serving acts in the name of God and country. Any positive repercussions of their deeds were merely accidental.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Us and the homeless

We have a rule at the library. You have to be using the library's materials or you will be axed to leave. There is a similarity between library employees and the homeless. Both groups desire to appear to be busy enough so as not to be asked to leave.
new fountain

I likes me a fountain. I like interactive fountains. I remember a water fountain at a mall near Camp Pendleton, CA. It had fountains that shot streams of water over your head from one pot to another. It was my first experience with such a fountain and, being a hick, I found it fascinating. There is a similar fountain here in Charlotte at the Transamerica Building. They have a fountain there that has several streams that shoot over a grilled base. This allows you to run through it if you are so brave. I tried it once while I was dating Sparky but we both ended up wet.

All this leads up to the butt plug style fountain (scroll to the bottom) that has been put up in front of the new Bank of America building called the Hearst Tower. Despite its unfortunate appearance to the perverted its design is intriguing. It has lights inside it and the water flows out smoothly from the top and runs down the sides of the fountain. The photo on the right shows the fountain with a little white water. That appears to only have happened as they were testing it. When it runs now the water does come out slowly. The whole concept must be to have the water flow down the sculpture.

More fountains, please.
Howdy, Folks, c'mon in and look around. Don't mind the clutter, we're still getting situated, you know

David told me about this interesting article concerning Europe, Iraq, the Euro and the dollar. I don't even pretend to know anything about economics and currency but this article made some sense to even my little brain. Sometimes I think economies and currency are an elaborate emperor's clothes deal that everyone agreed on at some point thousands of years ago. Anytime anyone gets on television or the radio or writes an article about upcoming economic trends remember, he is faking it.

Library troubles

It seems the library system, which I work for, may have trouble opening up a couple of new branches because there isn't enough dough available from the county to staff the buildings. There are positions opening up by departures and we are having to freeze those positions. All because of a lack of funds. Funny how the city seems to be able to find enough money to build a $300 million stadium for the NBA, a business that can't control it's own costs and insults cities like us that try to stand up to them, yet we can't staff new libraries which, as opposed to pro sports, offer a real service to the less affuent. What will the new NBA team and stadium offer to the working stiff in the Sugar Creek area trying to find a job? Nothing. The library will offer him an opportunity to update his resume, research chances at improving his skills and thereby give him a legitimate chance at improving his lot. I guess the NBA stadium might be willing to allow him to sell beer or peanuts at an hourly rate so what am I complaining about?

I am a professional sports fan but sometimes the colossal waste involved in professional sports, most notably team-based sports, is depressing. Along with the recording industry sports is more dominated by profit, and by profit I mean television profits. Television appears to be well on the way of destroying everything about NASCAR racing I loved.

Of course money has always dominated professional sports since it is...uh...professional. The Yankees didn't win so many world series because of great management but in spite of it. They always had the biggest bucks. Remember, they basically bought Babe Ruth, they didn't discover and then recruit him. I think what is missing from sports is regionalism. There was a time, on the west coast of this country, when there was a baseball league called the Pacific Coast League. It was not as prominent as the major leagues that dominated the east and midwest but there were players there that had major league talent and attendance was very high. I find on the PCL's official history webpage that they went from being one step above a minor league and one step below a major league due to the advent of television in the fifties. It's interesting how television ruined baseball regionalism which it is now doing to NASCAR.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

All we are saying is...

Here be some photos of peace demonstrations from all over the world.

If given the choice between being a baseball and a softball I would choose softball. More girls play softball.

Is it just me or do we mistake a cat's stubbornness for dignity?

I love milkeshakes but haven't had one in a long time. Why is that?

Did you ever notice how loud an acoustic guitar is when played by a drunk at 12:30 at night? Especially when you are trying to sleep... I think you can legally kill someone for doing that in Texas.

If you look at Thomas Jefferson's signature unclosely it looks like it's signed by "The Jeffersons."

Over the years my hands have accumulated a shocking number of scars.

I have wrinkles around my eyes. I believe they're called crow's feet. I can actually feel them with my fingers. Ewwwww.

I don't have to worry about turning into my Dad. I was adopted.

New York's a go-go and everthing tastes right.

Columbus crossed the Atlantic in a wooden ship the size of large SUV. Were you aware that SUV's have a higher mortality rate than late medieval sailing vessels?

Why does Tweety Bird have such a big head? Maybe that's why Sylvester the cat has never actually consumed Tweety because he can't get that big head down his throat.

I prefer the caucasian Jesus. He looks more like me than those other Jesuses that look like foreigners or the people across town.

I need to do two things: drink less soda and buy a handgun.

I once chopped up and burned some army guys and tried to sell them on ebay. No one bit. It did allow me to use the word "immolation" though.

Before NASCAR races fighter jets will often fly over the track. I think that would be a good way to start your average work day. On Monday five jets could fly over. On Tuesday four...etc etc. Say you have Friday off and you forget and Monday morning only four jets fly over your workplace. What a way to be reminded, eh?!

Why do institutions force you to fill out an application when you apply for a position? You end up just writing what's on your resume already? Might it have something do with personel departments justifying their existence?

Ten never-used Maxim story titles

10) How much is too much? Women and alcohol.
9) Date-rape laws in your state. (credit Walt)
8) Who would Jesus do?
7) How to Drink at work.
6) How to Drink in Church.
5) Cigars, wrap your mouth around a big black one.
4) How to pretend to be a fighter pilot.
3) How to date a lesbian.
2) How to get your girlfriend to date a lesbian.
1) How to meet an 18 year old the moment she turns 18.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Be more pithy? You got it

Why is it the shittier the day the busier the library?

Have you ever noticed that all brands of green tea pretty much taste the same?

Do you think the semi-professional blog world would take me more seriously if I had my own domain name? Would that attract more fans? If I got more fans I could start posting my Amazon wish list. Although the potential of a 35 year old librarian to attract a gift giving public is probably limited to his mother. Oh, to be a 19 year old girl again.

People always ask me what is the first sign of spring in the Carolina Piedmont. To me it's that first spring race NASCAR holds at Rockingham. The race just took place this last weekend and, except for a few cold snaps, the temperature is going to float above fifty from now on and the sky will spend a lot of time in the lovely hue of Carolina blue.

Another sign of spring is the Jesus freaks start turning out with their signs at the corner of Trade and Tryon downtown. I have only seen on so far but they're coming. Oh, yes, they are coming.

Why do people go to Disneyworld? They should pay you to stand in line for a thirty second line.

I wish Larry King would start smoking again. He's old enough. He should start back up like Frank Sinatra did.


"If I have to fight past another group of glitter-painted Japanese tourists giggling at each other and taking pictures in masks, I think I'll kill somebody," scowled 27-year-old Franco Panin, a born and bred Venetian. (from a Yahoo! news article)

Sunday, February 23, 2003

An artist reprimands his fans

I think this is the first time I have ever witnessed such a thing. Jack White of the White Stripes has admonished those that have downloaded the upcoming and yet to be released album by the White Stripes.

I hear tell that at least one person that has an advanced copy of this CD has vowed that he will purchase the album when it is released. Because it's worth paying for.
Hey, lesh drive to the beach and watch the shunrise!

If you lived in the Piedmont area of the Carolinas during your twenties and you never got drunk and drove to Myrtle Beach to watch the sunrise then you have wasted your time here.

I am sitting in some bar in Pineville in the mid-90's with my friend Chris B, a friend of his (we will call him bignose) who later went to law school, his girlfriend and her friend who was in love with Chris. They were all there before I arrived. I must have gotten off of work. I don't recall. Maybe I closed Officemax. I had a drink or two (I must assert that I did not get drunk this night) and we were talking. I had just met the two girls and Bignose that night and I was enjoying their company. We were sitting in one of those theme restaurant bars which was a new experience for me. When I went out at this time in my life I was either going to a place in Pineville called TJ's, a dive on Monroe Rd called Smokey Joe's or to the 13-13 and the Double Door to see bands. Thankfully I had gotten the "clubbing" phase of my life over by this time.

Out of the blue Bignose suggests we drive to the beach. Unanimously we all agree. We polish off whatever drink we have, pile into one of the girlss cars, stop by a convenience store so Chris can grab a twelve pack of cheap-ass beer and hit the road. I don't remember much of the trip down to the beach. It was dark and we did a lot of talking. I remember two incidences clearly. One time Chris had bignose pull over so we could piss. Chris took a long time to finish and bignose drove off a short ways forcing Chris to run after us as we giggled and he swore. At one point we were describing some of our favorite scenes from movies and I tried to recount a scene from a bad comedy and it went over like a lead balloon. I believe one of the girls actually said to the silence in the car, "uhhhh...yeah, whatever." I liked the other three less as we spent more and more time crammed in this car.

We got to the beach an hour or so before the sun rose. We parked next to a hotel right on the beach and waited. I walked around a bit but there wasn't much to see this close to dawn. There were no revelers out and the non-reveling people hadn't started waking up yet. Eventually the sun rose If you have never seen the sun rise out of the ocean you are missing a very spiritual experience. First the world imperceptibly goes from dark to a grayish light and you can start to see the features of those around you. Then the sky goes to purple and then pink and the sun rises from the ocean and the day arrives. What was a very silent and spiritual fifteen minutes is now harsh daylight and five exhausted people are facing a four hour drive back to the big city.

The other four were lucky to have me along. I believe the car belonged to the young lady who had the crush on my friend Chris (let's call her Curly since her hair was). She was driving as we headed out. Bignose, who drove down, was asleep in the backseat with his girlfriend and Chris. I don't recall who was asleep and who passed out but all three were out. Curly drove for about two hours and claimed she was about to pass out. I, who cannot sleep in a car at all, took over and drove the rest of the way. I have to give Curly credit, she was too exhausted to drive but she did stay awake while the others slept so I wouldn't have to do it alone. She either stayed awake for support or maybe to ensure that this guy she just met a few hours earlier in a bar didn't crash her car.

We made it to Charlotte and my brain was fried. I swear I could hear it humming with exhaustion. I don't remember driving home or going to sleep. All I know is we did it and nobody got hurt.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Gaping Maws

What's the origin of the cliche "gaping maw?"

Anyway, I was doing one of those random internet searches which is the work equivalent of sitting at home with a beer watching infomercials and came across this site which features pictures, of all things, the wide open mouths of various sharks and whales. Be sure to check out the picture of the orca, they're the Joker of the sea world.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

My reconnaissance

Kaddy-corner from the 'brary is a fifteen-story tall Holiday Inn. I go over there occasionally to buy a soda during the day. It gets me out of the office and into the elements and helps break up the day. For years I have been walking past the elevators that take guests up to their rooms. Today I decided to check out the view from up there.

I am a sucker for a good view. I love being up high and looking out over god's creation. I remember as a child my first glimpse of a great view was at a place called Deadman's Hill Scenic overlook. You can look out over the Jordan River Valley from hundreds of feet in the air. You can see a picture of the overlook here. Here is another better picture of Deadman's Hill.

A very under rated view is from the house my father currently lives in up in Michigan. He lives on one of the slopes of a large gradual valley with Clam Lake in the center of the valley. You can see a road at teh top of the map called "Steiner." That is the top of the valley. The location of my Dad's house is south of there just off the map on "Crystal Springs Rd." Glaciation has left its mark all over northern Michigan. Basically you are looking across a valley about 2 1/2 miles wide. It's a unique view and I wish I had a good picture of it.

So I entered the elevator at the Holiday Inn. I needed to see how high I could get and look around. That are fifteen floors accessible from this elevator but you can only access floors 10-15 by sliding your room key into a slot. They must have the real nice rooms up there. On the ninth floor I took a gander out each window. One faced west and the other faced east. Each time you get up in the air you get a unique view of your city. I was disappointed by the views offered up by the ninth floor of the Holiday Inn. The east view was the best because it gave me a nice angle looking down College St which gave a good perspective on how it is a series of low rolling hills. Lovely. Each view was partially blocked by the roof below. I guess I will have to try and hit the seventh floor for a less obstructed view.
Let's talk rock and roll, baby

I have heard the greatest rock and roll song of the last five years recently. If I ever meet Jack White from the White Stripes the first thing I will do is thank him for introducing me to Mick Collins. He's in a band called the Dirtbombs and they have a song called "Ode to a Black Man" off their most recent album which is entitled "Ultraglide in Black." I have never heard such a groove before. The band lays down a groove that Primus or the Red Hot Chili Peppers would kill for. They are going to be in Atlanta on March 8th. Where will I be? That's right, at work. Dammit!
Look out Onion, here comes your government

We all know that the Onion is hilarious and inciteful. Now, thanks to your Department of Homeland Security Department we have something that is hilarious and paranoiac.

Again, I beat a dead horse. The real issue is not terrorism but how we are percieved and why...yada yada yada....and we get this stupid shit.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I'm just a fella now, I ain't no different from anyone else no more

Ah, Clint Eastwood as a tired old killer who swore off the drink after meeting a nice lady, sitting around a campfire looking back on regret on his old wickedness as he is traveling to kill some no good cowboys. At least he don't work for the railroad shooting Chinamen like old English Bob.

Wendell is watching Unforgiven right now while I tick away at the computer. I remember when this movie first came out that I was very excited after reading reviews about the film. The buzz was that Clint Eastwood hadn't made a good western (which would have been reason enough to go to the theater) but that he had made a great western. Here it was the 1990's and Clint had revived a dying breed of film and made. I was thrilled. To know me is to know that I enjoy a good western, usually those starring John Wayne as directed by that one-eyed guy.

What I love most about Unforgiven is how it is filmed. I don't know if it's shot all in natural light but it sure looks like natural light is used throughout the movie. The early scenes in which the two no-good cowboys cut up the young whore there is almost no detail to see. It's like the only light in the room is actaully emanating for a few oil lamps and candles just like a room would be lit in them days. One of the weaknesses of Rio Bravo (one of my favorite movies) is the even shadowless lighting that fills the room of the saloon where Dino digs a coin out of a spitoon so he can have ease his alcoholic craving with one more whisky drink. The lighting in Unforgiven is what makes the chilling finale at the billiards hall so otherworldly dramatic.

Right now the scene is playing where the sheriff, Little Bill, is disarming English Bob. I don't recall ever seeing a scene where the tension of a face off between two truly dangerous men is so perfectly portrayed. Uh oh, Little Bill is kicking the shit out of Bob. Time to go watch.

Monday, February 17, 2003

No material

I scan other blogs on occasion. I use a link called Next Blog that links randomly to other blogs. A high percentage of time the writer usually starts out with "I ain't got nuthin' to write about today, I just don't know what to write. I guess I'll just give some shouts out to my peeps." The writer will then list his or her friends and relate how much he and she loves her or his friends. So I'd like to give much props to Captain Kangaroo. I watched him a lot as a child and the antics of Mr. Moose have a lot to do with how I interact with others today.

I actually have a Captain Kangaroo story. Back in the winter of 1990 I was a young marine. I was stationed in Twenty-Nine Palms, CA (hellhole) and was learning how to be a radio operator (waste of time). The school closed for the Christmas holiday and I went back home to northern Michigan for a week or two.

The day I left to head back to the school (the night before I almost went AWOL, the only time I ever came close to doing that, the communcations school was that bad but that is another story) my family took me to the local airport. After saying my goodbyes and moving out to get on the airplane out of town I passed Captain Kangaroo. I know he has a real name but, to me, he's the captain. We could dwell on the interesting coincidence as this figure from my childhood passed me in an airport as he arrived in my hometown as I was leaving for Twenty-Nine Palms and then Okinawa. If I ever write a book I will have to include a similar passage. What struck was what the good captain was asking the man who was obviously a local representative hired to get this guy to his hotel. The captain said as he walked past me "I hope they didnt lose my luggage. I'm always afraid that they'll lose my luggage." I remember thinking that this is Captain Kangaroo, television star, beloved my hundreds and he's concerned about his luggage? Doesn't he know how small the town is in which he is arriving? They only way his luggage could disappear in this airport that services a town of ten thousand is if someone stole it? Who would ever steal Captain Kangaroo's luggage? Who would want to?

Once I got all that shoved out of my head I had to consider another aspect of this encounter: just what in the hell was Captain Kangaroo doing in Traverse City, MI? Was he in for a motivaitional speaking gig? A vacation? Appearing to children? A sold-out arena tour? What?!

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Don't mind us, we don't matter

They are fucking everywhere

Ok, so after breakfast today, angry boy and I, stop by a convenience store at the corner of South and Tryon to buy some sody pop. Sitting on the middle of the counter is a flat computer screen showing music videos and commercials. Appalled, I comment to the cashier that soon there will be TV's everywhere. She says to me, "I just wish we could change the channel." As Al Franken once said about some right wing wacko who once claimed he had more guns than he needed but less than he wanted, she and I are two very different people.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Hey, I made it onto TV!!!

I went to the peace/anti-war/anti-Bush rally today at Marshall Park in Charlotte. There were several hundred people in attendance. According to the local news coverage it was the biggest crowd yet in Charlotte since the protests had started back in January. There were some very clever signs in the audience. I had two favorites. First was sgin carried by a nice lady. It was a sign with pictures cut from magazines of hawkish leaders and she had written "asses of evil" on the sign. The second sign was carried by a young man wearing a bandana over his face. His sign read "Fuck Bush's War."

WBTV had a short story on their six o'clock news. I saw myself standing in the background greeting James as he was walking up. I think I am onscreen for about 7 1/2 seconds. Almost long enough for an officially scored bull ride.

We left before the event concluded. There were a lot of speakers. A lot of speakers. Too many speakers. After almost two hours I couldn't take it anymore. New speakers started repeating what earlier speakers has said. All of it worthwile but my back was starting to hurt so I had to go.

I was especially appreciative of the representative of the Nation of Islam. He invited everyone to join his group in viewing a live "via satellite" speech by Farrakhan. He neglected to mention, while he was speaking, that they are requesting a ten dollar donation at the door. I have to say I love those suits and bow ties the men from Nation of Islam wear. There is never any mistaking who these guys are. I'm not sure who's uniforms I like more, theirs or the outfits the Mormon missionaries wear.

I was impressed by the many different people that came to the rally. There were people of all colors, kids, their parents, teens, thirty somethings, old hippies, nuns, muslims, baptists, two affectionate middle-aged lesbians, librarians and two cops on scooters.

It was a very positive event and my first peace rally. Do you think anyone was listening?

Friday, February 14, 2003

You've just been polled

I'm not much for following polls unless they strongly support an opinion I have. Check out the results of the current poll at CNN.
A very short one-act play

The Bad Son and the Really Bad Son

The scene: A large suburban home somewhere near you. A large living room is stage left. A staircase is in the middle and runs up towards the back. To the right of the staircase is the parents’ room. The entrance to the parents’ room is behind the staircase.
At the top of the staircase is a small landing that separates two bedrooms to the right and left.


Sparky, 11 year old son
Billy, 9 year old son


Two boys run from behind the steps into the living and up the steps. Each runs into his own room, slamming the door. Mom and Dad are arguing in their room.

Dad: I need you to go into Billy’s room and search for the missing .22 caliber bullets.

Mom: Why do you need me to do that? You can do it just as well. Besides you left your hunting jacket on the couch, not me.

Dad: I just got done doing all the yelling just a minute ago. It’ll be too confrontational if I go up there right now. It’s gotta be you.

Mom: All I’m saying is you had the heavy hand just now and you expect me to go up there and smooth things over.

Dad: No, I need you to go up there see if Billy has those bullets.

Mom: I still don’t see why you think Billy did it.

Dad: Did I accuse him when I had both of them here just now?

Mom: No, but if I go in his room he’ll know we suspect him over Sparky.

Dad: Billy's been getting into a lot of trouble lately. Besides, if Sparky took the rounds out of my jacket and if we, I mean, if you go into Billy’s room then Sparky won’t be able to stand it and will confess.

Mom: And if Billy has the bullets?

Dad: You’ll find them.

(Mom and Dad head towards the living room)

Mom: Fine, I’ll go up there and search his room but I don’t like it. I feel like yo are ordering me around. We’re equal partners here, you know.

Dad: Hey, who brings more cash into the partnership, anyway?

Mom: Who took a part-time job so that she could spend more time with the goddamn kids? Who’s at the office 60 hours a week?

Dad: I need to be at the office so I can pay for that SUV and afford to put fuel in the big bastard.

Mom (gets in his face, lowers her voice): I didn’t want to buy that “big bastard,” you dolt. I wanted a minivan.

Dad: Hey, if you think I’m going to drink and drive in a minivan, you’re crazy.

Mom (stares at her husband incredulously for a few seconds): Alright, I’m going up.

Dad: If you run into trouble, holler and I’ll bail you out.

Mom (moving towards the stairs): Don’t worry, John Wayne, I signal if there’s danger. (gets to the top of the stairs and taps on Billy’s room, which is on the right, by the way. There is no response to her tapping so she does it again.)

Mom: Billy, it’s your mother. Can I come in? I want to talk to you.

Billy (voice muffled by the door): Go away! Leave me alone!

Dad (yelling from the living room): Don’t talk to your mother like that, boy. If I have to intervene you’ll be goddamn good and sorry. (Mom waves franticly at her bonehead husband, trying to shut him up.)

Mom (turns back to her son’s door, speaks softly): Honey, I’m coming in, I just want to talk and look around, OK. (She enters the room, disappears for a moment and then sends Billy to stand out in the hall.)

As she shuts the door we see the older son, Sparky, who has been listening to all this through his door, open his door and look down at his father.

Sparky: I don’t know why you guys are worried about Billy (points at his brother). All he gots are some .22 bullets. I got some 30.06 bullets from some kids at Sunday school.

Dad: Shut your goddamn mouth and get back in your room.

Sparky (screaming): You don’t love me!! (slams the door and gives his father the finger through his walls and floor)

Dad (to himself): Little bastard.

(Mom exists Billy’s room, scoots her son back into his room, shuts the door and comes down the steps and stands in front of dad.)

Dad: Well?

Mom: I didn’t find any bullets in the boy’s room.

Dad: He’s hiding, I know he’s got them. We need to ground them.

Mom: Didn’t you hear me? I didn’t find your bullets in his room. He may not have them?

Dad: Was he cooperative?

Mom: He wasn’t uncooperative…

Dad: I knew it, he wasn’t helpful. He’s got the bullets. He’s grounded. No TV for two weeks.

Mom: Two weeks? Jesus Christ! Do you have any idea how long two weeks is to a child?

Dad: Listen, baby, I wear the pants around here, alright? What I say goes no matter if it makes sense or not. Two weeks, no TV!

Mom: I don’t agree with that. I think that is a too extreme.

Dad: To extreme?! Listen here, woman. We may be partners but I am in charge. You will do as I say and like it. I bailed you out of that first rotten marriage you were in. If it wasn’t for me letting you blow me at the company picnic you’d still be in that rotten marriage getting slapped around. All I do is yell. You got it made so you better just shape up…

(Mom kicks him in the balls, he hits the ground hard. Sparky steps out of his room and shoots mom in the stomach with a 30.06 rifle that is almost as big as he is. Billy rushes out of his room and throws a handful of objects in Sparky’s face.

Sparky: Ah, you’re not supposed to throw bullets!

(The tossed .22 bullets disorient Sparky and he fall over the banister. He lies still on the floor. Billy attempts to lift the rifle and it throws off his balance and he tumbles down the stairs. His face erupts in a fountain of blood-colored blood.)

Dad (lifting himself painfully from the floor): If you people had just done what I told you to do…things would have turned out OK.

Funny shit

Neal Pollack has been on a fucking roll recently. He killed me today. He also has a nice musing on absorbing so much propaganda that he is starting to get a little paranoid even though he knows better. That's scary, when the aware start to get paranoid how delusional have the weak and susceptible become?
Presidents and god

A good column from the Washington Post.
Mr. Ebert

A perfect example of great writing in a review format.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Speak, man, before you hurt yourself!!!!!

I love phone calls like these, "yeah, uh, I need, er, I want. Uuuuuuh. Wait a second. (To person in other room) Hey, what did we need from the library? Oh yeah. (Now back to me) Uh, yeah, listen, I need information about...this is the right place for information, right? (I reply with an affirmative) Ok, good, uh, listen. There was something back before there was this other thing and I needed to know who invented that first thing I talked about. (I ask which thing) Uuuuuuuuhhhhhh. (turns back to person in other room) Can you come here and talk to the library, he don't understand what I mean. (another person comes on the line, return to the top for that conversation)
Giving Back

I'd like to thank all of you guys that have come to my blog looking for information on Alla Kliouka. You usually don't stay very long, according to the site that keeps my stats, but each hit counts and we are greedy for hits, they are precious to us. Here is the picture you are looking for. Hey, here's another one!
Duct tape, plastic wrap, paranoia and 24 hour 'news'


Threatening our allies, bringing up the 'we pulled your ass out of the fire in WWII' argument

Oh, god, save us from the fucking idiots! Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhaaaaahhhhhhhaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

How am I supposed to kidnap someone if I can't get duct tape at Lowe's?

I need to think about something else, this shit is driving me crazy.

Carolina Blue

While standing at the bus stop today talking to the guy whose there every Thursday afternoon just like me I couldn't help but look up at the sky. Carolina blue, it was. The sky here is one of the first things you notice when you move to the Carolinas. It's probably the same shade as it is elsewhere in the world but it just seems to have a uniqueness to it that I can't describe. The blue feels to me like a magical pastel color that draws your eye unlike any other sky. That's what saddens me the most about the summer in this town, the Carolina blue is impeded by the Charlotte smog.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Make no Mistake, we will prevail

I have mended my ways of thinking and feeling and believing about this impending struggle. Earlier I changed my mind for a bit because I thought going to war was inevitable because of the natural war-like nature of the human animal. We either want to fuck it or kill it. Either way, we want to eat it. So I might as well quit bitching and get on the war wagon and find some way to profit from it like a true American. I could sell "camel fucker" t-shirts or American flags or both at a roadside stand. I guess the only way a private citizen could make any real scratch from this war would be to sell arms to Iraq but I don't have the connections for that kind of enterprise. Not long after I became anti-war again when I realized, as Bill Hicks said many times, that it is time for us to evolve and maybe by avoiding this needless conflict we can move forward as a species to the next step.

Now the reason I have come into the war camp this time is due to the quote I posted yesterday in my blog about the strength of a nation depends directly on its wealth. Now I understand. This isn't about proper moral decisions or the evolution of our species this is about power and survival. Right or wrong can't enter into this discussion of Iraq. The real question is if we take control of Iraq will we become stronger as a nation? Of course we will. Whether or not it makes the lives of average Americans more dangerous or the lives of the average Iraqi shorter is not a consideration we can allow. We will become stronger and our existence will be assured for a while longer. What did I learn once? Oh yeah, an institution lives only to continue its existence, this war will do that for us. Our wealth will grow and with it our strength.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Not enough linking pages in the world

We all need to practice our HTML. I decided to make myself a personal links page. Please take a gander at it. If you like what you see and you would like me to make a webpage for your band, book club or swing club go ahead and email me. Prices are negotiable. I'll do it for free if you let me sleep with your wife.

The page is definately in its infancy. Some pages have many more links than others. It's a work in progress just like your digestive system.
What you're fighting for, men

This is for my many readers that are currently serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. This series of photos is a poignant reminder of what you are fighting for. Go get 'em boys!
Bedlam in telref

Today we got to use our new phones! We received our new phones yesterday. They are cordless and we have headphones to hook up to them. Hands free telreffing! Magic. We were so excited today that we almost opened up the phones early but cooler heads prevailed and we waited until 9. Not only do we get to go 'hands free' the phones have several different rings we can choose from. I use the one that sounds like a steel drum riff and Walt's sounds like the beginning music for Donkey Kong and Edith's sounds like a songbird. Feels like were on a Caribbean cruise back here. These next few weeks will be known as the salad days in telref.
When Shouting Deaf Man calls now I should be able to lay down and take a nap with these headphones.

A couple of Churchill Quotes

"The power of any government depends ultimately on its finances."

On Richard I: "His life was one magnificent parade, which, when ended, left only an empty plain."

Monday, February 10, 2003

Watch out when you're walkin'

As you are strolling down the sidewalk do you ever get behind someone who's style of walking is completely incompatible with yours? Their style of walking isn't necessarily 'funny' or 'odd' but if you are behind that person the combination of your style of walking and theirs is enough to make you think you are falling over. That happened to me at lunch. Scared the shit out of me. I thought my equilibrium had deserted me for a second.
Ed's Amazing Journey

Saturday I dropped by work this weekend to do stuff. I can't tell you what, it's a secret. I coudn't do what I had come to do because something I had seen wasn't what I wanted and I didn't bring the correct disc anway so I couldn't have done completely what I needed to do after all if I hadn't misread what I had. Something like that. So I went downstairs, checked out a CD and then left.

I was walking down to the bus station to head back home and I saw my bus leave as I was walking up. Since it was Saturday I had a half hour to kill before the next bus left. For the hell of it I decided to walk down the bus route for a while and wait by a stop around the time the next bus was due to arrive. It was a gorgeous cool Carolina winter day so I was up for a walk anyway. After a few minutes of hoofing it I decided to see how far I could go before I got tired or bored. I got tired and bored around the same time. I made it as far as the Holy Trinity Middle School on Park Rd.

Things I noticed on my walk:

Over passes are scary.
I know there are a lot of people in this town yet neighborhoods feel like ghost towns.
There are still downed branches from the ice storm all over the damn place.
Lots of homes have cracked paint around their winows.
Most homes with high wooden fences have shitty backyards.
If there is a hole in your fence that is low enough your dog will stick his head through and watch traffic.
When you walk a long distance, first you feet hurt, then they go numb. (I knew that but it had been a while since I had walked so far)
There are a few really cool houses for rent on Tremont east of South Blvd.
The first album by the Clash is a fucking masterpiece.
It's best to stay on roads you know because making a wrong turn when you are on foot is depressing.
Always carry spare batteries for you portable CD player.
They sell batteries at the Bi-Lo on Park Rd.

Here's map of a reccomended car route of the journey I took. The path ends in front of the school I stopped at.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Joyful Read

I mentioned before that I was reading a biography of the first Queen Elizabeth of England after seeing the movie for a second time. Well, I put that sucker away. It was over my head. I don't have enough background knowledge to really appreciate what the author was saying.

What better way to resolve the situation? Easy, pick up the first volume of Winston Churchill's 'History of the English Speaking Peoples.' Sure was a lot of killing going on back in the old days. The more things change...

I was reading the first volume of his books about the second world war a few months ago until I left my personal copy on the bus. If you know me long enough you will notice a theme that runs through my life: I lose stuff all the time. That's why I don't wear a watch on my wrist, I keep a timepiece in my backpack. Every time I delve into Churchill I am always amazed by his command of the language. You can't read one of his books without having a dictionary nearby. He had the ability to go deep into the meaning of a word. He can also use a word in a way that requires the reader to read a unique meaning into a word depending on the context in which it is used. I guess all great writing does that but it's always a revelation to me when someone does it well. He can do with one word that others several words seperated by dashes. Is there a term for that practice. Anyone know?

Friday, February 07, 2003


I went to the grocery store a short while ago. I hiked on down to the Harris Teeter express and got some supplies for the damn cats and also for my breakfast. I bought some bread and...syrup. Yum, yum. Tomorrow, for the first time in several years, I am going to make French toast, dadgummit. The anticipation is tremendous. Man has not had such an expectation since June 6th, 1944: D-Day. Tomorrow around nine it will be F-Day. French Toast Day.
A good week at work?

I feel that I had a good productive week at work this last week. This frightens me because every time I feel like this something bad happens. I am sure there is something I either did wrong or didn't do that will come back to haunt me Monday. I am sure I will oversleep Monday morning and my boss will be waiting for me by my desk angry because I messed something up the previous week and was late to hear about it.

A question from Spain

A very old and good friend of mine lives in Valencia, Spain. He is an English instructor and I think he is now a coordinator of some sort at the school. That sounds bad but I can never figure out what someone really does at work when they tell me.

He wrote me an email message which I received and responded to a few minutes ago. It was a letter that he sent to several of his friends and family that live here in the states. His quetion was what was the general opinion of Americans toward the potential slaugher in Iraq. I refuse to call it a war because as Bill Hicks said about the Gulf War, "a war is when two armies are fighting." My response to him was that it seems to me that most people don't really give a shit about the upcoming conflict. The general attitude seems to be that it can happen just as long as it doesn't inconvenience us too much. Let's keep them gas prices down and keep the fresh fruit coming during the winter.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Possible Rhetoric Shortage

I have noticed all these statements President Bush has made about the need for Iraq to disarm immediately that he is going to have to start getting more creative with his language or he is going to start repeating himself and that will really bore the American public. I would reccomend using Spanish phrases like on Sportscenter. They sometimes use 'En fuego' instead of 'on fire.'

He could get up before the people and say, "Saddam, deponer las armas!" It'll add some flair to his speeches.
You may call it obsession

I call it appreciation of Amy Acuff.

Wow, another new picture! Two in one day. A new record.

Did I say two new pictures in one day? Hell, make it three.
Holy Mary, Mother of God

This is fucking priceless. Check out the requirements for seeing the Vigin Mary. You know, I noticed that outside my apartment there is a grove of trees and when the wind is blowing and you cover one eye while standing on your fucking head you can see an image that looks eerily like Santa Clause taking it up the pooper. Come on, all you pilgrims, come see the glory.

My comments yesterday may have been taken as a direct indictment of the motives of the current administration. OK, they were. But let me make one thing perfectly clear, I don't harbor any particular resentment for a republican administration. I am not a Democrat, I don't despise Republicans just because of who they is. Allow me to quote Bill Hicks, "all governments are liars and murderers." Replacing this administration with a Democratic one would not make me happy. The change has to be cultural and that ain't going to happen in my lifetime.

With that said maybe we should just go ahead and go to war. Who really cares what the motives are. let's just find some way to get the people fired up, slaughter a few hundred thousand "enemy combatants." I get it now, it's our nature. We can't not go to war. We have to fight or we'll explode or become apathetic and boring. We'll lose our creative drive. This administration is unfortunate to live in the information age. Bush can't do something similar to what FDR did with the Japanese oil supply to force their hand. He maneouvers inside a glass bubble. His machinations won't wait thirty years to surface.

We need to live in a world that is a Marty Robbins song. Where Mexican maids love outlaw cowboys who die gloriously and bloodlessly for their women is dusty west Texas streets. The alamo is a song and a battle cry and those that died there did so without regret while focusing on their place in history, becoming symbols and they lose their lives. Cowboy troubadors lament their demise with an old six string around a dying fire while the walking food things mew contentedly under a sky blanketed with stars. What the hell, I'll join this fantasy world. Hitch up them ponies and head on over there. I'll stay behind and sings the songs of your heroism.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

These are revelations?

So our secretary of state goes in front of the United Nations and shows evidence that Iraq is deceptive and dangerous. Duh. They've been that for a long-ass time. That still does not detract from the fact that Bush wants to go to war. That's all this really boils down to. For whatever reason, this administration desires to go to Iraq and kill people. They can drum up whatever reason they want to make an impotent Iraq appear dangerous but they ain't fooling me. They just want to kill.

You gotta love the rhetoric that gets used by the president. He tries to create an atmosphere of tension and give us the feeling that we are threatened. He talks up this intangible ideal of the "strength of the American people." This Rooseveltian and Churchillian language is empty unless there is a real danger from a prospective foe. A fight to keep gas prices low is not enough to fire up the American fighting spirit. The real danger is from staging a war is an unstable part of the world. What are you going to do if a war starts, print of propaganda posters that say "loose lips raise prices at the pump?" "Support our hegemony?" "You ain't seen nothin' yet?"

Maybe all these guys that desire to go into Iraq and finish what was started in the Gulf War would feel better if they each could kill one or two Iraqi's. Perhaps Saddam could ship over about 100 convicted murderers or rapists and those in the administration with an unfulfilled desire to take life could execute a prisoner or two. Those particularly hawkish can have two and those just curious about the senstation only get one. The form of death can be up to the executioner. He can poison, shoot, stab or push his prisoner off a cliff. Whatever gets him off. Just as long as someone barely in his twenties doesn't have to go overseas and put his ass on the line.

We could use the same strategy for those officials who want us to drill for oil in northern Alaska. You can give each of these characters a quart of oil and a square yard of turf that is planted in a wooden box. The official can then pour the oil into the box and watch the grass die over a period of a few days. He'll get the same rush of destrucion he can get from unleashing the oil companies on virgin land.
In order to deal in this game, got to make the queen disappear

Last week I sat and watched the movie Elizabeth for the second time. I enjoy a good period piece movie occasionally. I've noticed from the little bit of the book I have read that the movie takes great liberties with the life of the queen. Knowing this has not reduced my appreciation of the film since it really is impossible to know the true nature of a person that has lived so long ago events and characters were adjusted to portray one possible Elizabeth.

This movie is especially fun to watch because the costuming is fantastic. It also has some nice palace intrigue.
And Cate Blanchett makes me weak in the knees. I used to get her and Gwyneth Paltrow confused but I got them figured out now.

Seeing the movie caused me to want to learn more about Elizabeth I. I am currently reading a biography about her by Wallace MacCaffrey. I think I am in a bit over my head with this book. My knowledge of English history before Churchill is spotty at best and this is one of those biographies that assumes you know everything about the time period except the subject of the book. I need to find one that covers the times as well as the queen, I reckon.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

True Sailing is Dead

I saw a review of recent show by the Doors in the new Rolling Stone. My initially shock and soon gave way to righteous contempt after I saw the ticket prices for their upcoming show at the Universal Amphitheater in Hell A are $40-$125. I would only go see these guys if they were performing instrumental versions of their songs for ten bucks in a club. Would you want to see Crazy Horse playing Neil Young songs with Eddie Vedder singing? Of course not. Would you go see Crazy Horse play new original songs in a club? I would. Heck they wouldn't even have to be originals, I'd go see them play blues standards. Why can't the Doors do something like that?

Telephone Reference Department Felled by Mystery Ailment

That is a headline I am afraid we will see in the local paper someday. Today I had to rifle through a stack of boxes that had recently been donated. I had to seperate the chaff from the sellable items. Some of the books were very old and moldy. Some even had holes marking the passage of bookworms. These nasty books were mixed in with some very nice new fiction and cook books. I am afraid someday that when I am sorting these old, dusty, moldy and generally nasty books that I am going to disturb the spore of some disease that has been long thought erradicated. I will develop symptoms that will go unrecognized by current medical knowledge. I will then spread this dread disease to my co-workers in telref and we will all die in agony within days of each other. Either that will happen or my sinuses will flair up. Both are very bad.

Monday, February 03, 2003

More than just stench

Today I wandered into the second floor men's bathroom. There was the usual layer of funk that permeates the room all day. Sitting on the small ledge between the two sinks were a few 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper. They were print outs that someone had made at one of the internet computers located nearby. The sheet sitting on top of the small stack of papers had some text written in hand with one of the library's golf pencils. It was a poem about being homeless. I cocked my head to the side and read it. It wasn't bad. The writer was mostly making the point that while average folks were going home to their families he (the writer) was looking for a place to "lay his head" for the evening. I was tempted to grab the papers and transcribe the text here. I went back a short while ago and the poem and accompanying papers were gone. They may be in the garbage in the bathroom but I ain't checking.
It's a bus not a godamn go-kart, you sumbitch!

My bus driver this morning was a friendly cuss. He cheerfully responed to my 'good morning' as I got on and even gave me a friendly wave as I got off. In between these two congenialities he turned into the Tasmanian Devil in driving gloves. He had two speeds during my commute: full and stop. He would brake at the last moment at bus stops. He bounced off the curb during the tight s-turn at the intersection of Park and Park. My lower back is still tender from the potholes on the bridge over I-277 that he hit dead on at full speed. That sumbitch. I was tempted to say "See ya later, Earnhardt" when I got off the bus but it's hard to be witty when your internal organs are shifting back into their proper positions.

Teen slut and hard cock haiku

I get the same kinda vibe when Barbara here at work reads us her junk mail but this guy has taken the subject headings of his spam email and made haiku poetry out of it. I don't usually link to a stranger's blog but what the hell. Even strangers need hits.

What the fuck is going on here?

Is this animal cruelty or just stupid?

Sunday, February 02, 2003

It's in a loop and we can't stop it!

Yesterday after I got home from work I turned on the television to get an idea of how the news networks were covering the shuttle accident. No new information about the tragedy was forthcoming. I didn't really expect any but I had to check. I do have to say the CNN's coverage was the most tasteless. They were broadcasting in a split screen with varous "experts" and "reporters" yakking away about nothing on the left side while the other side was showing video of the acccident from every angle possible. I didn't mind that too much because I hadn't seen the footage and I was naturally curious. What was disturbing about CNN's coverage was the need of the female anchor, when talking to a field reporter in Texas, to mention the possibility of falling debris and "body parts." Where did that come from? 30 seconds later she did it again. It was pure conjecture on her part. There had been no mention yet of the discovery of human remains but this dolt was pressing the issue on the possibility of the there being a flurry of human remains over east Texas. Right before I took my after-work nap I saw some live footage of a couple of hundred people gathered around a cordonned off parking lot that contained a car-door-sized piece of shuttle debris. I was waiting for someone to grab it and holler Follow the Gourd! No follow the shoe! No follow this blackened piece of debris!

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Space Shuttle

On this day when seven astronauts perished my first informant managed to confuse me. We have a librarian here named Shaara. Martin came in and said "the shuttle is missing." I heard "Shaara is missing." I had a mental image of our co-worker fleeing the building. I wondered, how could Shaara be missing? If she's not in the building woudn't someone have seen her leave? If she wasn't seen leaving the building and she is missing why is Martin back here telling us when he should probably be calling security? It turns out his news was more serious than a missing co-worker. We lost seven more astronauts. Exploration is a dangerous profession.

Of course if these people died due to possible neglect then what do we do? There's risk and then there is danger.
God bless Jimmy Carter

The last honest man to ever hold the presidency had this to say about the intentions of the current corporate lackey to hold the office. Maybe two hundred years from now that will be Carter's entry in the history books: The last decent human being to ever hold the office of the President of the United States.