Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Another stop at the Cafe Wha?

Bush in repsonse to a question concerning the allegations that actions by our government are contributing to worsening human rights in the world: "It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth."

I reckon those emails from FBI agents expressing concerns over the treatment of prisoners in Gitmo were written by America hating FBI agents? How long has the FBI been hiding 'merica hating agents? This is a problem that really should be addressed.

Does he not fucking understand that as the United States we are expected to lead by example? Is he so fucking clueless that he doesn't understand that these statements by Amenesty International should be addressed seriously and not laughed off? That's what drives me crazy about this guy, I never know if he doesn't get it or just doesn't give a fuck.

I guess any prisoner that is released from Gitmo after years of imprisonment that complains about conditions is an America hater? Gosh, I reckon after being held prisoner without access to representation or a lawyer in a concentration camp might make me less fond of George Bush's America. Jesus, what a dick. Like Frasier Crane once axed Cliff the postman, "What color's the sky in your world?" Like Frank Zappa once asked, "Is he kidding?" Again, the sad thing is that fifty percent of the people within the borders of this country are going to hear or read his remarks and go "Uh huh. Yup, America haters."

Disclaimer: Of course not every person in Gitmo is an angel. Some may actually be America haters and may deserve, at some point before they die of old age, to be tried in public.

Apology: It's been a while since I bashed this clown so there is no apology.

Monday, May 30, 2005

My new hobby

What's the last sport you think I might try and play? You got it, golf. I bought a set of clubs the other day and went to a driving range with my friend, Chris B (not the same Chris who is usually called the big loud guy). This last Sunday we played ten holes of golf. We had to quit because of the fading light. Today I went to a driving range and tried to get that damn slice out of my swing. Nothing is more frustrating than hitting the ball well having it turn left like turn one at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

I didn't invest in the clubs lightly. I have been playing for over a year now a game on my Xbox called Links. It's a golf simulator. That's right, it's not a game, it's a simulator. After having the game for a while and really enjoying it and being coached while playing over the internet with Chris I found myself watching chunks of televised golf and understanding what was going on which was scary. Recently I started contemplating buying a driver and going to a driving range. I mentioned this to a salesman at Dicks Sporting Goods and he said, "shit, if you piecemeal a set together you'll end up spending a fortune. You'd be better off buying a set of clubs." I liked the cut of his jib, so I did. My clubs are cheap, they are a starter set which I reckon I'll have to add to if my interest holds.

George Carlin called golf "boring and arrogant" but I'll just call it hard as a motherfucker. You might think it's easy to hit a ball that's just sitting there and make it go where you'd like, but you'd be wrong. Your margin for error is zero. If you don't hit it perfect it's in the trees or the creek or it might just bounce ten yards in front of you and then you swear, a lot. But...but...but..but if you hit it right and it goes where you want it to then it feels real good. It almost feels good in your pants. Almost.

The clubs set me back a bit and I need to get better because golf balls aren't cheap and I can't afford to keep hitting them into the woods. I've been getting fat and lazy recently and maybe they'll help me get outside more.

Friday, May 27, 2005


You know your email address has been found, sold and multiplied when you start getting emails from "banks in Ghana."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I smell insanity plea

Good thing Phil Spector got his personal thing together before appearing for his murder trial. Jesus, he might as well burn a swastika into his forehead and put on a chicken suit.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Webmaster Ed and his furious fingers.

I'm working on the website for my friend Lenny. Right now it's pretty generic and I'm using the templates he and his brother set up when they started the page. I reckon it's not ever going to look like this wonder of the web or this pretty much OK website. Right now I just got it live and running and will worry about aesthetics later.

May god continue to bless George Bush

Amnesty International says US Leads Global Attack on Human Rights.

I started to wonder now that maybe it's good that George the Fuck got his second term. Maybe eight years of his ineptitude after eight years of Clinton's moral ambiguity will guarantee we might one day get another president in the office with some substance.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Various stuff

Saturday night Chris, Wendell and I went over to my neighbor's pad to watch the
All-Star race. My favorite driver, Mark Martin won. I was ecstatic. I was hoping he would get a win during his last season. He's got one, now get a couple more, Mark. Since he has been one of NASCAR's great drivers it would only be appropriate if he went out with a season that would be included in any conversation of "best last seasons ever."


I committed a party faux pas that night though. My neighbor Scott has a table in his living room that has hinges on and I hit my feet on his table a lot and bounce the section with the hinge up and down. This last Saturday Scott set a full beer on the hinged part of his table. I hit it and his beer went over and soaked some of his photographs, a good chunk of the table and his new carpet. He took it pretty hard, I'm still not sure if he was as crushed as he seemed or messing with me or both.


Tonight after work I am going to help a friend tweak his webpage. Yeah, you know it: How badly does someone need help with a webpage if they get assistance from me? The ship is sinking, the band is playing, all the lifeboats have left half full and the poor people are sucking cold sea water.


I went to Dick's Sporting Goods a couple of days ago to buy a new pump for my bicycle. I bought a foot pump for a little under $20 took it home and it didn't work. I took a good look at it then and realized it was junk. It was plastic and rickety and pretty much worthless. I don't know why I didn't notice how substandard it was when I had it in my hand at the store. Good news though, the good pump I have at home that I thought was broken started working right after the new one crapped out. I returned the new one to Dick's today and all is well. I still need to get my back brakes on my bike adjusted though. I don't know why I can't get it right myself.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Softball sharks

Late in my Marine Corps career while stationed at Camp Pendleton I developed a friendship with a big guy who enjoyed playing softball. He was one of those corn fed crewcut-wearing offensive lineman looking guys who spent half his at bats crushing softballs served up on the slow pitch platter over the fences. I think we first started talking because he drove the same old style of Chevy pickup truck that my step-dad owned. His favorite after work pasttime was to drive out to a park in the town of San Clemente and hang out at the softball fields. He would monitor games and wait and see if a team was short a player and volunteer his services. I went along with him and it was a good way to get to play softball with civilians.

The first night I accompanied him to the park I hopped onto a team consisting of a bunch of guys who worked security at a local hotel. I played real well and they invited me back the next week (that was always the goal: perform well and get invited back). Since rosters are supposed to be set before the season started they told me that if anyone asked I should give them a name they chose from the roster. I played with the team for a couple of months and contributed to a pretty good season and it was nice to make a few friends outside of the Marines for a change.

This was right near the end of my enlistment and the manager of the team actually tried to convince me to stay in California after I got out of the Marines and work at the hotel. He said he could get me a job in security if I wanted and I could continue playing on the team. They were a fun tight knit group of fellas and I considered it. I was dating a Filipina bartender at the time who offered to let me live with her. Here was a chance at a place to live with a gorgeous and nice woman and gainful employment in southern California. I've always wondered just how different my life would be right now if I had taken those two offers instead of joining my mom and dad in Charlotte. Knowing me I probably would have left after two months anyway and be right where I am right now.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Nerd Fest '05

Last night I went to a midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie with Billy and a new friend/coworker, Beth. It was the first time I had done such a thing and it was a lot of fun. We arrived at the Stonecrest Regal cinema around 10:15 and stood around gawking at a few folks in costume and just chatted between ourselves and a few people around us. The highlight of the evening was the five teenage boys dressed up as George Lucas. Each of them was wearing a red and black flannel shirt and a pair of cutoff jeans and called each other George all night. They were killing me. At one point they even called for a "George huddle" and gathered together like a football team calling a play. I was pissed I didn't bring my camera.

The movie: Not great, not horrible. Cool action scenes, laughable dialogue. Pretty much what I expected.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Gurgle gurgle

Ever wanted to see an aerial photo of an aircraft carrier sinking? Who hasn't? This is the USS Saratoga after being roughed up in the Baker test at the Bikini Atoll.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Some redneck after the race

As you know I went to Darlington last weekend. After the race we came across the following drunken redneck. I swear that this is not me.
Bang your noggin

I was showing Wendell internet radio on the program WinMX and I've been bouncing around to the different channels and, wow, there is some crazy-ass heavy metal out there. I just bought some new speakers today with a cheap little subwoofer and you can't beat speed metal with a subwoofer, baby.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Another point for Mr. Card

A book showed up on hold for me here at work last week. It's by a German writer named Andreas Eschbach and it's called "The Carpet Makers." When I saw it on my desk I had no idea why I had put this book on hold. Then I saw the foreword. It was written by Orson Scott Card. Aha! I thought, it's all coming together. Ever since Card recommended "Wildseed" by Octavia Butler in his book "How to Write Fantasy and Science Fiction" I have been inclined to view his book recommendations as reliable. (By the way he mentioned Butler's novel in his book because he considered it to have one of the best openings of any SF book he had read.) I must have read on Card's webpage that he had written the foreword for the book and placed it on hold a while back.

This book starts out describing a planet whose whole society is based on the creating of hair carpets. A single carpet is the life work of a carpet maker. A carpet is assembled by hand and the hair that makes up a carpet comes from the heads of a carpet maker's wives and daughters. Caravans come through town annually and huge prices are paid for carpets. The caravans take the carpets to a spaceport which then transports the carpets to palace of the emperor. It turns out that this planet-wide society created by Eschbach is just the beginning of the story. It starts on this backward medieval planet recovering from a deluge and spans out to encompass a mystery surrounding a fallen imperial emperor and the revenge of his predecessor. It seems that Eschbach asked himself this question when he started the book: What could someone do with unlimited power and wealth if his desire for revenge was also unbounded? Heck, it even shows how culture is arbitrary and how what you believe to the core of your soul to be real can be as false as believing that a man lives in the sky and watches over you. This book is a great example of how great science fiction is far more than hairy-assed wookies and laser guns. Great SF, like all great fiction is about us. I think Octavia Butler said that once.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Ed goes to Darlington

Saturday was a full day. I didn't write about the race yesterday because I was exhausted. I left from home about 9:45 on Saturday morning and left Chris' place north of Lancaster, SC about 10:15. It was a pretty easy drive and we got to the track a little after 12:30. I was concerned about race traffic since traffic around Lowe's Motor Speedway outside of Charlotte can be a freaking nightmare. Turns out that Darlington is a breeze. From our campsite we monitored traffic and it looked to us that we could have left a couple of hours later and still not had traffic to concern ourselves with. Still, we were happy to get there early so we could hang out, relax, eat, chat and have a some brewskies. Camping was a concern also. I called a few days before the race to check on caming at some place called Camp Darlington. It costs $50 to camp there and it was sold out. When we got to the track coming down 151 I pulled into the first parking lot I saw that had tents in it. Handed a fella $25 and we set up and had a lot of room around us. The Darlington Raceway's website gives you no information at all concerning camping around the track but we did find someone's personal website that claimed there is plenty of camping to be had. He was right and we were better off where we were, I think. There were no shows but we were only staying overnight and could shower at home the next day. They had porta johns which is all that really matters.

Here's what our camping area looked like.

My little car didn't quite fit in with all the SUV's and pickups that everyone seemed to arrive but it got us there and provided a good windbreak for my tent since I forgot to bring the stakes.

This is Chris chillin' like Bob Dylan at the campsite.

After a few hours of chilling and listening to a little music on my rockin' car stereo we decided to join these two guys at the campsite next to ours for a trip to the souvenir stands. Our neighbors for the day were from Alabama. One was drunk when we got there but his buddy was merely buzzed. The mostly sober one knew a lot about racing and he was fun to talk to. I was hoping we would meet some people like them. I have tried to think of what it's like to be at a NASCAR race and in some ways it strangely similar to a Grateful Dead show. Everyone gets along well. There is little or no tension among fans. There is a lot of good natured ribbing between people wearing the colors of drivers that are rivals but nothing ugyly (at least between strangers.) I guess like a Grateful Dead show it's a culture more than an event. When we made it over to the souvenir stands, the crowd was huge. There were three rows of souvenir trucks and each row was jammed with race fans dropping a buttload of money for t-shirts and hats that seemed to hover right around $25 each.

I even decided to join everyone else around there and have my picture taken in front of the trailer selling the products of my favorite driver, Mark Martin. I even spent $25 for a cool black t-shirt with his face on it. It went well with my black hat that has a number six on it. I was stylin' when I went to the race later that night.

We went back to our campsite after a little bit. I washed my face, brushed my hair, changed out of my sweaty clothes and into a pair of jeans and my new Mark Martin t-shirt and we trudged over to the track. For some reason we went to wrong seats. We thought we were down by the fence on the front stretch. Turns out we were on the next level in much better seats. If the race hadn't been sold out and people hadn't showed up looking for their seats which we were in we may have never known. I was kinda sad we had to leave because there was a nice family in front of us. Mom and her youngest daughter decked out in Mark Martin gear also and we were chatting and bonding. The little girl was adorable. She had a stuffed toy that had a Mark Martin shirt on it and she showed it to me shyly since we were on the same team. Very cute.
Here's a shot of the mother and daughter.

Before we left and went up to our glorious good seats I took a shot of the Darlington front stretch crowd bathed in the warm setting sun.

We got to our actual seats just a few minutes before the race started. They started the cars right after we left the cheap seats. The parade laps were just starting as we were getting situated so we missed nothing of the race. The race itself was great. I won't go into much detail. I paid attention to Mark Martin almost all night long and really enjoyed his performance. It's fun to be at a race when your favorite driver is running in the top ten for most of the night. The race started right as the sun was setting behind the turn 4 grandstands and once the sun went below the horizon we had this view.

4 1/2 hours after the green flag dropped Mark Martin finished fourth behind his teammate, Greg Biffle, who won the race. He did a burnout right in front of us and the crowd loved it.

When we got back to the campsite we pigged out on cold fried chicken we had brought with us and we each had a barbecue sammich we bought from a vendor on the way back from the track. After we got situated the redneck family on the other side of our campsite got back and decided to have an alcohol fueled domestic squabble. I guess it wasn't really a squabble. This round beastly drunk woman and at some point during the race decided that her pot-bellied loud mouthed husband had spent too much time talking to other women in the grandstands. First she started out crying, then stumbling into the middle of the field yelling obscenities and then moved over to where near her shitfaced husband was and screamed such poetic musings as "you're a goddamn fucking liar, you motherfucker" and "you're a fucking goddamn liar, you fucker" and "I'm only the goddamn mother of your fucking children, you goddamn lying piece of shit mother fucker." All of this, of course, took place in front of their children who ranged from about 7 to 15 years old. The stinking drunk husband (who when they first started drinking before the race told his son "no matter how drunk I get be sure you remember where the campsite is," something every little boy dreams of hearing from his father.) decided the best way to handle his raging was wife was to laugh at her. That approach didn't seem to quiet her none. You might even say that it made her angrier and prolonged the fight. Eventually she wore down, passed out or died of alcohol poisoning, I can't say for sure which. It went on for almost an hour and it was kinda funny but not really funny but there wasn't anything I could do so I just sat there and watched.

Shortly after the show ended I went in the tent and crashed and Chris sat with the boys from Alabama at their campfire and talked racing. I think were going back next year.
Satan lives

Here at home we have some spywarey/virus/tentacle of Satan the Prince of Lies embedded in our computer. Well, technically it belongs to my roommate but I did buy the CD burner for it so I'll call it ours. Wendell bought a new version of Norton Antivirus which did clear a bunch of shit out. I downloaded Hijack and got some more stuff off yet we can't get rid of this whore of the Dark One called Aurora. I've looked up Aurora and saw some messages about it on a few message boards and it looks like one of those things that will take few hours of studying and implementation to get rid of. Honestly, I'd rather have you give me a good punch in the stomach than spend three hours getting rid of a friggin' virus but no simple solution has reared its head yet. Bastards. Nothing annoys me more than a piece of spyware that pops up an andvertisement for anti-spyware applications. Jesus, I can hear the programmers laughter from here.

Oh, Chris and I had a great time at Darlington yesterday. I took some photos and will relate my experience and share some pictures tomorrow or later.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Big Day Tomorrow

Those of you that know me are aware that I am a casual NASCAR fan. I have a few tracks where I will sit in front of the tube and watch a full race at. Tracks like Bristol, Charlotte, Richmond, the deceased Rockingham and Darlington. I have lamented the passing of Rockingham and was alarmed when Darlington lost a race leaving it with one. Earlier this year I went down to Rockingham for the last pole day there and tomorrow I am going with Chris to the night race at Darlington. I have decided to put my money where my mouth is. Money is right, those tickets were expensive.

Around one I am going to hit the hay and try to fall asleep. Tomorrow feels a little like Christmas and, as a lifelong insomniacor, I'm sure I'll get back up and rail at the gods and demand for once they grant me sleep.

I'm taking my digital camera, of course, and I hope to come away with some cool pictures. I hope to get a few of some good rural NASCAR debauchery. I'm sure it's out there. I hope I won't have to stoop to creating it myself.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Milestone Again

Last night Chris, Wendell, Melanie and I met up at the Milestone to see David Childers and Deke Dickerson. Again, I gotta say that I love having the Milestone open again. Last night was the first time Melanie had seen Childers and Dickerson and it was the first time Chris had seen Deke. Melanie loved both bands and so did Chris. I'm always happy when I talk friends into seeing bands and they end up loving them. The four of us had a blast. I hope Melanie has sufficiently informed her beau Jeremy about the great rock and roll he missed last night.

Childers opened for Deke and he played one of the most intense sets I have ever seen him play. With Childers you can pretty much always say that. I've never seen him go through the motions while onstage. He is a local treasure and a lot of people were there to see him as well as the headliner.

The last time I saw Deke Dickerson was about three years ago at the Double Door in front of a handful of people. Last night, thankfully, he had a nice crowd that was very enthusiastic. There was a super drunk guy there last night that seems to follow Deke around the country and he kept going up onstage. Instead of getting mad Deke made him part of show and let him play an unplugged bass guitar for the last half hour of the show. I'm still not sure if the drunk bastard knew his bass was unplugged or not. If he knew he didn't care and pouned on that thing like he was part of the band. I saw quite a few people that I see at really good shows last night. It's getting to the point where we know each other and chat between sets. It's nice, almost like a small community of music lovers.

David Childers

Deke Dickerson

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Nostaligia and rock

Sunday night the new kid at work invited me to join her and her beau at the Milestone club to see a few bands. I had been meaning to check out the reopened Milestone for a while now and I finally had a good reason to go.

I am happy to report that the Milestone is still a glorious dump with graffiti all over the walls, a barebones bar and a six-inch-high stage. I was surprised to feel nostalgiac. I was never a regular at the Milestone except for the couple of years when Penny Craver ran the place but it felt good that a club like this is now open once again. It's just the perfect place to see music and they seem to be bringing in a very eclectic line up of acts. It's not just a punk club. Heck, this Thursday Deke Dickerson and David Childers will be playing on the same night night. Either artist would be enough of a reason to go. In fact I saw Tom "Mookie" Brill as I was leaving Sunday and asked him if he was going to be there this Thursday to see Deke. Tom said "Deke's going to be here? Aw shit, I'm gonna be in Memphis on Thursday."

I hope to see someone out there I know. Hopefully you.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I'm your ice cream man, stop me if I'm passin' by

I heard this story on NPR the other day and it killed me. I wish I had thought of that when I was in high school.