Thursday, December 30, 2004

Charlie Rose
Is a massive tool. And a bore. And not very bright if his rambling, inane questions are an indication. And a lefty suck-up of grotesque proportions.
He might force me to do a "Men Who Set My Teeth On Edge" series.

Recycling a Meme
Earlier I posted the Swanson "Angry Man" dinners. some more menu items have come to light of late. They are, in no particular order:
Peanut Tenders
Consomme, eh?
Chicken Poodle Soup
Patty of foie gras
Trout Salmondine
Back of Lamb
Corn on the gob
Egg Too Young
and for afters:
Listerine Sorbet.


I'm So Jazzed!
On New Year's Eve PBS is going to show an opera (an opera!) about a rodent that punctures things filled with air. It's called "Deflator Mouse." Really.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

New Stuff
More housekeeping on PoW. Added "We Are Butter" to the "looks" section. Should have done that when I posted originally. Better late than never.
Power Line and Eject!Eject!Eject! added to the "links" section. Now that denBeste is no longer blogging (save for his dedicated anime site), there can be no doubt that the best essayist blogger in the b'sphere is Whittle.
And Josh Joplin added to the "listens" sections. Not terribly prolific, Joplin has produced one album that should be heard by everyone. You may not care for it but you should at least listen to "Useful Music" and then decide. Considering you can get it for under $10 on Amazon, it's well worth the risk of a sawbuck. What sold me on it was the song "Camera One." Great melodic hooks - you could hang meat on hooks like these - and an intelligent lyric. In my opinion. Of course. You're always welcome to my opinion.

I am a registered marrow donor. You should be too.
I don't consider myself particularly altruistic but when you read a story like this, you know that by giving a drop of blood it just might lead to saving someone's life. I am an organ donor as well. I have the little symbol on my driver's license and if I ever do get squished by a truck, I hope there are parts that can still be used by someone. I won't be using them. I really won't miss them at that point.
In the meanwhile (the interstices between potential squishing incidents), I stand ready to give replicable body parts to someone who may be dying for lack thereof. Like bone marrow. Here's a cordless drill and a straw. Let's get it done. (OK, maybe not that way!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

You might not want to follow this one. A nipple, pierced (natch!), on the back of a guy's leg.
Hat Tip: Neal Boortz.
A profane takedown of the anti-sacred - Let Christmas
be Christmas!
Hat Tip: Acidman.

First In The Series
Women who set my teeth on edge:
Gwyneth Paltrow. The only reason to watch the movie Se7en is that her head ends up in a box. How this talentless wretch (I said "wretch," not "wench") won an academy award is beyond me. My guess is oral favors to all who voted that year
Christina Aguilera. Not talentless but the very essence of hideous. You couldn't wash the skank off her with Brillo pads and a fire hose. And she started with Disney. The sound you're hearing is Walter Elias himself spinning fast enough to cause cavitation in his liquid nitrogen bath. And I have yet to see a nose piercing that was anything other than grotesque.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Heard on Talk Radio
Today is one of those agonizing desk days. I have managed to let a tide of paper accumulate on my "work" surface to the point where I worried that I might have been the cause of the Asian tsunami. If anyone thinks I'm making light of that horrible and horrifying loss of life, I'm not, really. The devastation is deeply saddening to me. But I was working the "tide" analogy until it broke.
By the way, I have just finished Crichton's "State of Fear" wherein a potentially devastating tsunami is featured. Very strange coincidental juxtaposition. And read the book! Dammit. It's going to make one kick-ass movie too.
The point is I am sitting here mauling the keyboard as part of the process of clearing the deck/desk so that I can move on to other things (what? another load of laundry already? dang. I'm going to have start wearing the same clothes for several days in a row now?) and listening to Roger Hedgecock sitting in for Rush. The primary topic of conversation is, naturally, the tsunami and more generally, the environment. One of the points Hedgecock makes (and is made in "SoF" as well), is that the effect of man on climate is not nearly what the environmental hysterics would have us believe. The system of a planet is simply too large a system for even the cumulative effects of man to make a provable change. Not only that, climate and ecosystems have been changing since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary with no discernable input from cumulative human activity. Yet I digress.
On the air some absolute, complete, total moron called in to describe the earth as a like a geodesic sphere on which the depredations of man - "cutting" roads, building malls and such, are going to "weaken" the crust so much that the pressure within the earth is going to bust out and cause all manner of ungodly problems for us hairless apes who don't know what we're doing. The host made the appropriate point that the deepest human penetrations and all the digging we've done for construction are hardly even scratches on the surface. But what no one raised is one of the basic forces of our physical universe: gravity. The pressure on the surface of the earth is inward, not outward. Sure magma bubbles up in the proper places and spews out of volcanoes but it then (wait for it) falls back to earth as gravity reasserts itself against the transient force of expanding gasses. What a maroon.

Kids, Kids and Then Some
I have to apologize for the belated posting of this because I clipped a couple of articles several days ago and promptly buried the clipping before posting. So I can't tell you what day these were in the paper. First, out of Tennessee, an AP report of Roger and Imogene Gorsuch (both 86) who, over the last 45 years, have fostered 233 children. These wonderful people, who had been married for 20 years when they decided to start taking in children, also had three sons and a daughter together. So they were not a childless couple looking to fill a void in their lives. They were just so open hearted that they ... well, let me quote Mrs. Gorsuch, "Blessed with a comfortable home, adequate income and everything we needed, we had a desire to share this with others less fortunate. ... Whether sick or well, it didn't matter. They were 'ours' already - 13 different cultures, seven sets of twins, physically or developmentally delayed, abused crack babies, profoundly retarded, tiny preemies, or with severe medical problems, all needing tender loving care." One of their daughters said, "It was a good life. We just had more brothers and sisters." Sounds like they reared her right.
This strikes me as yet more proof that theirs was the Greatest Generation. I don't believe this magnanimity of spirit is much in the Baby Boomers. There may be exceptions but Boomers seem (and I am a Boomer boy) much more self-absorbed and interested in having their own appetites sated than in taking care of others. It is a failing of mine so I don't escape the blame I assign to my own generation. Still, read on....
What really brought the Gorsuch's generosity and greatness of spirit into sharp relief was a story out of South Dakota that was printed immediately beside their story. Datelined Sioux Falls, it reported that Francisco Pinto-Gutierrez (22) and Lacota Odette Stonearrow (27) were arrested and charged with child abuse and neglect when their 7-month old son was left in a Kmart parking lot. No gratuitous Kmart jokes please! This couple (I want to say of what they are a couple but I'm trying the self-restraint thing), it seems, argued about who was going to take care of the infant when she took him out of the car and left him in the parking lot with Francisco. She then drove off and Francisco walked away. When they were arrested a 2-year old girl was removed from (and I quote) "Miss Stonearrow's" custody.
What scum. I don't care how difficult their lives are. Two kids, unmarried and willing to leave an infant in a parking lot in winter in South Dakota. Maybe the Gorsuches might be willing to take in just two more kids. God bless them.
This is precisely the sort of story that makes me think judicial sterilization is part of an appropriate sentence.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Happy After Christmas and Pre New Years!
PoW will not be dark during the upcoming week but changes will not be so much in the realm of posting as in doing such things as installing a site meter and looking into making this a blog to which I can post pictures.
Also, I am going to see if I can't pay a professional (you can look it up) to set me up with a signature graphic. I'll do my best to make '05 the best content year ever (not hard -Ed.). Oh shut up Ed.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Eats, Shoots and Leaves
I am reading said book and greatly enjoying it. I was struck, as is my wont, by a line from a Hallmark ad on TV featuring the "Polar Express Santa." The PE Santa says (in the ad) "Remember the magic of Christmas lies in your heart." Which is all well and good. However, if you read the word "lies" as a noun instead of a verb, it rather changes the meaning of the sentiment or, in this case the Santament, rather dramatically. Nez pah?

In a simlar vein, one of my all-time favorite headlines (I wish I'd saved it) was in the Japan Times back in about 1979. I read the headline as a report of bandits in towns finding hotels to be a prime target. The headline was "Small Town Outlaws Love Hotels." Reasonable interpretation on my part I think. So to explain where I went wrong, I have to tell of a Japanese instituion which was quite prevalent then (and may still be). There are small hotels - and some really big ones in big cities - which cater for lovers who have no other place to consumate their affections. They are called, not surprisingly, "love hotels."
So my story was actually about a small town that banned these inns. I read the verb as a noun and an adjective as a verb. That takes talent. Not only that, I was two paragraphs into the story before I realized my mistake.

Merry Christmas one and all!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

This is Becoming a Sparkly Christmas
Jewelry, jewelry, jewelry! I forgot to give the ladies of We Are Butter notice in my previous post. Gorgeous, gorgeous butterfly jewelry. Atoosa (is there anything you can't do?!) and Ava have made wonderfully wearable art. "Pumpkin" is my favorite. But pick your own.
Maybe it's the season but I'm finding that looking at this glittering beauty is lifting my spirits. Christmas is nice but the weather round about these parts has been crappy. I want to thank those who give me a lift when I'm feeling blahish.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

You Like Jewelry?
They like the fact that you like jewelry.
About to be added to the "looks" section in these last few days before Christmas, a couple of websites for your perusal wherein lovely, sparkly things go for not much of your hard-earned cash. In the DC area, I present you Maria Wasowski's Let Yourself Glow. What do you find there? Let me steal the words:

Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, chokers and gift items made from Czech glass, Austrian crystal, Thai and Balinese silver, gemstones,pearls and many one-of-a-kind vintage beads.

Practical jewelry: ID tags, eyeglass leashes and watch bands.

Pretty. And pretty cool. I like the very concept of "practical jewelry."

And in a smilar vein but a different place, I give you Team Blonde. Though cyberspace is universal, I think the team works out of the Chicago area. Windy city. Brrr. Too much of that was going on around here in the last few days. But them there jewelery pitchers shore do look purdy! (Dialect again? Stop that. -

PoW wishes Maria and Team Blonde a wonderful, successful New Year and may this Christmas be your best ever.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Oh Thank God!
I'm looking for a font that actually drips sarcasm to use for that post head. ... Nope. Some typographer needs to get on the ball. A font called "Sarcasm" that is dripping like that Halloween font I used to have fun with on my old monochrome Mac. But I digress.
Now that uxicidal son of a bitch Scott Peterson is on his way to the thirteen-step drop, Robert Blake (next in the uxicidal procession) starts his trial. The Court TV junkies will not have to suffer withdrawal.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

When I Become a Star!
I'm going to adopt a stage name. In tribute that pretty, pretty man, and in recognition of my enormous size, I'll be going by the name Huge Ackman.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

PoW would Also Like to Take Note
Today is the Natal Anniversary of the better half of the Enigmatic Misanthrope. Happy Birthday and a white stone to mark the day for Missus M!
PoW Welcomes Rachel Lucas Back
Blue-Eyed Infidel is ready to rock'n'roll. We are a better nation for it.
All I Want For Christmas
One of the things I have lost in the season is, thankfully, avarice. I don't want with that ravening, unquenchable desire of youth. There is one thing - an iPod add on - that I would like very much. And if history is any indication, I have told the right people that I want it. But I get more difficult to buy for. Anything I really want, I've usually acquired for myself leaving only high ticket items that I would never ask anyone to get for me. If it matters, this year I could use a new oven, range and a microwave hood for the kitchen to replace the old electric range, over-under ovens that came with the place. But I say that by way of explanation only.
Send me a card. That'll make me happy.

Monday, December 13, 2004

One Of Those Essentially Cool Things
CafePress. I created an image for my company. I've now ordered a mouse pad and coffee mugs. Look for yours in the mail soon.
Tip of the lid to Paul for his gumption to order something which leads me to take action. You rock.

Obey the Pug!
Mannheim Steamroller After All
Despite the lack of response (self pity is so unattractive - Ed.), I went ahead and bid on Christmas In The Aire on eBay. The link is to Amazon since the Big A has more info. It's hard to pass up when the starting bid is $4.00 and with half an hour to go, I'm the only bidder. I may make an early visit to eBay my regular stop for my yearly addition to the Christmas music list.

Also, the newspaper insert "American Profile" magazine had an interesting article on Chip Davis who is the animus deus behind Mannheim Steamroller (which name, for the trivial minded, comes from the classical music term Mannheim crescendo). The most surprising thing is that he was also the man behind the music of CB-radio driven phenom C.W. McCall of "Convoy" fame. As the article says: "Davis' (sic) career began when he wrote advertising jingles for a bread company that starred a fictional truck driver named C.W. McCall."
I congratulate Mr. Davis for transcending his start in the business and producing something of lasting value. Good on you.

UPDATE: $4.00 - got it. As soon as I know the shipping, oh yes! It will be mine.
In Today's News
I present you with an AP report out of Port St. Lucie, Florida:
A woman accused of strangling her neighbor's Rottweiler after it attacked her Yorkshire terrier is under investigation by the State Attorney's Office on a possible animal cruelty charge.
Robin Bush said she grabbed the 130-pound unleashed Rottweiler firmly by its collar Wednesday night because she feared for her life. She said the dog had escaped from its yard, run into her back yard and attacked her 8-pound Yorkie.
But Rebecca Hartley, owner of the Rottweiler named Rox, told police her dog only wanted to play with the Yorkie, named Tandy, which she said was "about the size of one of Rox's chew toys." "My neighbor came running out of her house throwing things at Rox," Hartley said. "I had my dog by the collar, and she grabbed it. She twisted the collar until the dog suffocated, and I had my hand on the dog the whole time trying to calm her down and tell the woman to stop."Hartley told police that Bush also threw a beer bottle at her dog and strangled it while bashing its head against a wall.
Bush said she was fearful because she recently learned she was pregnant and her two young children were just feet away.
"I'm so sick to my stomach over all of this," she said. "I didn't know I was choking the dog. I was just holding it by its collar and trying to keep it away from me, and I was yelling for someone to call 911."Both women said Rox stopped breathing after a few minutes, and Bush tried to perform CPR on the dog but was unsuccessful.
Tandy was being treated for a dozen deep scratches at a local animal hospital Thursday, Bush said.
Police were investigating the statements from both women and other witnesses.
Comment would almost be superfluous. However, how many elements of this story beg for comment? First of all, if you have a bite-sized dog you might expect it to be a snack someday. I can just see it - Tandy with the usual Yorkie bow in the fur between the ears and Rox takes a look and thinks, "Nice presentation. Almost a shame to eat it. But I could use a treat about now." Also, given that her name is Robin Bush, how much grief did this woman have to go through in her life?
I'm impressed that she had the grit to go in and rescue her dog because Rotties, which are actually quite sweet-natured, are incredibly strong and tenacious dogs. Heck, I'm a charter member of the Big man's Club and I'd have severe reseervations about going after a Rottie. But then, if my dog were in the Rottie's mouth, I'd probably do something. Something along the line of a triple tap with a 9mm kurtz. But that's just me. I've seen too many of my animals killed by pack dogs.
Now as for the moron who owns Rox, I don't care if dogs play fight. If my dog is in the mouth of another dog, a dog that outmasses mine by several times, I'm going to see it as an attack, not play. And I applaud Miss Bush for doing what needed to be done to protect Tandy. And she was "trying to calm her dog down." Is there any doubt about why Miss Bush did what she did?
Finally, if the police do anything to her, I hope she sues them for unwarranted prosecution. The Rottweiler was 1) unleashed and 2) came onto her property. Case closed.
I'm sorry Rox had to be killed but better the attacker than the attacked.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Help Me Out Here
I appeal to the vast (are you high? -Ed.) PoW readership for suggestions. I have been listening to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" to get myself in the Christmas mood. And I find that it helps. I want to buy myself another Christmas album and am soliciting suggestions as to what might be best to buy. I have all the late John Fahey's Christmas discs and the aforementioned Trans-Siberian Orchestra disc. I am thinking it might be time to buy a Mannheim Steamroller disc. So, is there a best one to get? Is there some other Christmas disc that I should be considering? Leave me a comment, e-mail me. I'd really like to know what you think.
And Merry Christmas to those I can no longer reach.

UPDATE: It seems the whole stack of Mannheim Steamroller plastic is available at one big old Christmas bolus. That might just be the way to go. But then what do I buy next year? Anyone suggesting Mariah Carey will be terminated with extreme and grotesque prejudice.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Forcing Christmas
In my old family house, there was a bathroom downstairs that had a most remarkable bathing place. It was designed by my late father with Japanese o-furo in mind. It had a tap at a height of about three feet from the floor. It had a showerhead at about seven feet up. And half of the entire room was a tiled area in which to bathe. The exterior wall was one side, the front and back walls were floor to ceiling and the interior wall was about four feet up from the floor inside and about three feet up from the floor of the rest of the room. Tiled steps got us in and out.
We didn't fill that tub too often since it would have taken all the hot water our water heater could produce to fill it even partially but we did sometimes take advantage of all that bathing space. I learned to swim in that pool when I was a wee doggy. But my mother, in later years, put that space to very good use by bringing cut forsythia and dogwood branches in and putting them in jars of water. The heat and steam of showering with the shrubbery would make the cutting bloom out in no time at all. So she could force these blooms without a greenhouse and in the natural course of daily life. Mom knew her plants.
It seems natural, too, in the holiday season to remember those we used to have with us who made Christmas what it was. It hasn't felt like real Christmas for me since my parents passed away. All the family traditions, all the little things that made it really seem like Christmas just don't exist anymore. I still buy presents. I still send cards. I still try to force Christmas like my mother forced those spring blooms. But it doesn't seem to much work. I have the last pictures I took of mom and dad. I was going to use them for their Christmas cards the next year. I don't really look at those pictures though. I can see now the premonitions of cancer that we never saw in mom at the time. I see dad looking pretty fit, all things considered, and hopeful for the planned hip-replacement surgery from which he never awoke.
I have lost something out of Christmas with them. There is little to build enthusiasm on or for. I buy a wreath and even as I'm putting it up I think only of the annoyance of having to take it down again. I buy a small tree that I can set up on a tabletop because my collection of ornaments has been winnowed down to a set that single man can deal with. Nice ornaments but not too many. An old white sheet is wound around the base of the tree to simulate snowy ground and I think back to the old orange cardboard blocks we used to used to build a base around the washtub in which the balled-in-burlap live tree stood. I could point out four trees visible from the kitchen window that had once been in the house as Christmas trees. But it's not my kitchen.
Melancholy is not a good ride into holidays. I should hitch a ride on Santa's sleigh. I should put all the Christmas music I have into an iTunes play list and run it 20 hours a day for the rest of the year. But it would be just too much.
Instead, I will breathe a heavy sigh, work tonight on getting the rest of my Christmas cards ready for mailing tomorrow, look over my presents list and see if there is something I can buy for someone else that will bring some measure of Christmas back to me. Back to my heart, back to my soul. I long for that Christmas shagged with snow, even if we rarely had Christmas snow. I recall a Christmas spent in the middle of the Indian Ocean and remember how little it felt like Christmas. It seems much more like that these days than the tinkling of angel chimes and the resinous smell of pine wood waiting for the fire. I'm not sure Christmas can be forced.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Another Ad
Ross has an ad with a little black girl and a little white boy who may as well be an albino he so white. (dialect - learn it, live it, love it) But damn they cute! Absolutely adorable. Full marks to Ross for finding such tykes.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Still "Lost"
OK, you saved the hobbit. Congratulations. Now where the hell is Mira Furlan?
Ooooh! Goody!
Kim du Toit is audioblogging! Hooray yay!
Movie Dog At Home
I rented "Van Helsing." First, let me just say this - that Hugh Jackman is one pretty, pretty man. Now I can move on to drooling over Kate Beckinsale. The first time my jaw hit the floor about Ms. Beckinsale was the movie "Underworld." You will understand why I'm Movie Dog when I say that what made me, forced me to see that movie was the online trailer which rather seemed to feature her amazing backside in tight leather. Double you oh double you. In "Van Helsing" she is, if possible, even more heart-stopping than she was the year before. First, her hair is the most stunning foam of dark curls, though there is one scene where I couldn't help but wonder how a 19th century babe gets such perfect chestnut highlights. But that would be breaking the mood, wouldn't it?
It's not just hair. She is a flat out beautiful woman. Gorgeous face. Fabulous eyes. And she has one thing that just does it for me. It's what I call fat teeth. Her two front, upper incisors seem just noticably larger than they might be which leads to her upper lip being fuller, dare I say more sensuous. Pat Benatar has the same look. And yes she has a helluva body too. I read somewhere that there's a controversy about her having implants. It was alleged that in some movie it was part of her contract that she couldn't be filmed bent over at a 45 degree angle because the implants would visibly shift. Well, despite the vast amount of action involving her character, the scene where she dances with Dracula, I think, clearly shows that she does have implants.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
So what's the bottom line on the movie? A very good action adventure flick. The CGI on several characters is too obvious but it's one of the things you just accept if you're going to be seeing a movie about vampires and werewolves. A nicely imagined script to tie all the slam-bang together. The motivations of the characters are believable. And that's as much as can be asked for action adventure. If you haven't seen it, definitely worth the rental.

I don't have offspring. I've been pretty convinced that I have no desire for offspring. Put aside the fact that I'm getting too aged and infirm to deal with the springing off of hemigenetic clones, the fact that I'm single and will not reproduce outside the honorable institution of wedlock, and the possiblity of my having a child is between slim and none with slim saddling up to leave town.
I don't think much of having children but every now and again I see what the point of it all is. Today's "Bleat" is that case in point. The tales of Gnat Lileks make my heart misty with small joys:
Eventually the car was ready and we walked hand in hand back to the garage. “This is the best day ever Daddy,” she said. I couldn’t argue. You never argue with that, no matter what else happens.
Bless you, child for your moment of pure grace and bless you her daddy for bringing that moment to me. If Jeebus gave me a solid guarantee that I could have such child as this, I would immediately work to ensure it happening.
In the news today are reports of "massive" layoffs at AOL. I am sorry for those who are losing their jobs on the eve of the holiday season, well, in the early morning hours of the holiday season. But I am left to wonder what the advantage of using AOL is. I was once a member of the esteemed service and I kept my account longer than I really used it because "bring your own service" (I logged on via my Erols account and entered AOL via the internet, not vice versa) was available for just a few bucks a month. When the rate for BYOS was raised, I bailed.
I know that AOL develops its own content but is such content really worth the price? I'm not criticizing it because I don't know. I'm asking.
Creative destruction is the watch phrase I suppose.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It Pays to Advertise
Two items in the ad file today.
First, screw ANY product that has someone in an ad say in a faux get-toe voice, "Dass what I'm talkin' bout!" The point at which this phrase became further unuseable was when the squeaky brunette who does the Glad bag ads said it in an ad featuring Sugar Ray Leonard. Oh, Ray. Say it ain't so.
And just in time for the holidays, it is no longer acceptable to use a chorus singing Christmas carol-type songs to pitch any thing. This means you Old Navy.

November In the Rearview
It is with no small degree of sadness that I bid adieu to the Month of Atoosa. I posted a brief review of her wonderful "Night of the Deep Bloom" over on CD Baby. I'll be listening to it still but I'll move on to other music for the Decembral season.
Actually, I have nothing to put in the "longings" section for the moment, sad to say. I recently put two Alison Krauss and Union Station CDs on my Amazon wish list but, given the necessity of buying for others, I have no plans to buy music this month. So "longings' are unrequited this month. I'll see if I can't pull something interesting out of my bloggy doggy butt for the new year.
However, I have added a new link to the "listens" section. "Floor Creak" (clever) is Dave Shifflett's band which seems to have broken up. That's a pity because "Time Goes Rushing By" is a fantastic album. Not to everyone's taste I hasten to say but it still deserves at least as listen from any music aficionado. As Glenn Reynolds posted:
I'M CURRENTLY LISTENING TO A GREAT CD BY FLOOR CREAK, a band featuring Dave Shiflett, best known to most InstaPundit readers for his writing at National Review Online, but a hell of an acoustic guitar player, too. (Dave plays acoustic through a Fender Super Reverb, which is the secret to the Nebraska Guitar Militia's sound, too -- though the Super Reverb used by NGM usually has the tremolo controls set on "11"). Very nice stuff.
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at August 25, 2002 03:21 PM

I'll just add one thing. There is a song on this disc, "Rules of Goodbye," that is not good, not even very good. It is great. Classic of all time great. It is as perfect an expression of the lyrics (which I'm not going to quote because I want you to listen to the song) and there is a guitar riff that is just amazing.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

At the Movies
MovieDog took the afternoon to go see "National Treasure" starring Nicolas Cage playing Nicolas Cage and a bunch of other people playing a bunch of other people including the ever-ominous Sean Bean playing the ever-ominous bad guy. I especially like the part where they sent Sandy Berger in to swipe the Declaration of Independence. That about wraps it up. Goodnight everyone! Oh, don't bother. It's a renter at best.

Friday, December 03, 2004

I DON'T Think So!

You are Lord Byron! Quite the Ladies' man, Byron
wrote during the early 19th century. He was
born with a deformity, and much of his life was
spent with a sense of urgency, trying to suck
up as much life as he could to make up for his
own insecurities. He was a bisexual and died
very young of fever.

Which famous poet are you? (pictures and many outcomes)
brought to you by Quizilla
If Scientists Are So Got Dam Smart
Why can't the genetic engineers take the flesh-eating bacteria and turn it into a fat-eating bacteria?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

America's Newest Darwin Award Nominee
Shamelessly stolen from the Seattle Times and presented here to save you the agony of clicking a link and waiting for a page to load:

Shard of glass kills man as lava lamp explodes

A 24-year-old man who placed a lava lamp on a hot stove top was killed when the lamp exploded and sent a shard of glass into his heart, police said.
"Why on earth he was heating a lava lamp on the stove, we don't know," Kent police spokesman Paul Petersen said yesterday.
Phillip Quinn's parents found his body in his Kent trailer home about 8 p.m. Sunday. They went to check on him after his girlfriend reported that she couldn't get in touch with him.
The King County Medical Examiner's Office estimated the time of death at 2 p.m. Sunday.
After the lamp exploded, Quinn apparently stumbled into his bedroom, where he died, Petersen said.
So is it any surprise that his body was found in a trailer? And isn't this a real-world expression of the old joke: What is the last thing a redneck hears? - "Hey! Look at this!"
Not only that, I firmly believe that my All Purpose Explanation For Anything™ is the best explanantion for what the police spokeman doesn't know: It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

More TV Blather
Readers are well acquainted with my affection for the CSI shows but a re-run promo the other day rather struck me into the "whaaa!" mode again. In the episode a body is discovered in the cement foundation of a single family home. It turns out to be the ex-girlfriend of the man who lives in the house. As he's being arrested it comes to light that the real killer was the man's wife who couldn't stand losing him to the other woman all those years ago. He thought she left him so he ended up marrying the killer and living in the house wherein the killing happened which is why the body was in the foundation.
But. Really big but. I like big buts. No - wait. That's Sir Mix-A-Lot. Nevermind.

However (whew! -Ed.), the body was discovered by a service man of some sort (plumber maybe) who saw finger bones sticking out of the cement wall. Enh? The finger bones were stuck tight in unbroken cement. And they were able to make a cast of the body as was done with the ancient residents who died in the ashes of Vesuvius's eruption. I don't think so. If the fingers were outside of the cement then the flesh of the fingers would have left a gap in the external edge of the wall where all the stinky effluvia of a rotting body would have flowed out. The corpse would have been found long ago. Even if it weren't (e.g. no one lived there until the construction was complete and the stench had gone), the finger bones would not have been locked in place in the cement. They would have been hanging in finger-sized holes.

And Speaking of pre-Thanksgiving
I made a pilgrimage to the lovely hamlet ("mmmmm! HAMlet!" -Homer) of Aldie, Va to pick up my order of three (count 'em - 3!) Candy Apple pies at the Little Apple Pastry Shop. If my plan works as I intend, I will get one good slice of one of the pies and the rest goes to the rumblin' tummies of friends.
Candy Apple pies are caramel apple pies and as pure a slice of delight as we humans are vouchsafed in this world full of pushin and shove. I do have something to be thankful for!

What I Don't Like About Firefox
I have made my affection for non-Internet Explorer browsers known (I'd link to my previous post but I am well into my pre-Thanksgiving lethargy) but I've come to the point where I have to fling some feces in the direction of Firefox. (You're a dog, not a monkey. -Ed.)
Point taken. Moving right along.... Firefox has a really wonderful skin but there are two things that drive me to distraction in actual use. Point the first: something I mentioned before is the lack of a clickable icon in the toolbar to create a new tabbed window. I can right click and select "new tab" but that's one more action than should be necessary. Point the second: searches are entered in a separate text box at the right side of the toolbar. In Mozilla, I just enter my seach string in the address bar, a menu drops down from the address bar which needs but a click to have the search Googled up instanter.
That said, Firefox still kicks IE's ass.
Now if I can just properly download those new Mozilla skins....

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I Actually Heard This One in Manila
A Protestant moved into a very Catholic neighborhood back in the days when meatless Fridays really meant meatless. But the new arrival was an avid backyard griller and sure enough, every Friday evening, he would be out at the grill preparing thick, juicy steaks. Then the smell of those grilling steaks would waft thoughout the neighborhood and just drive the Catholics crazy.
After Mass one Sunday, the congregation discussed what they coul do about it. They couldn't force their non-co-religionist to stop grilling so the logical conclusion was to convert him.
After months and months or serious proselytizing, they actually succeed. The soon-to-former Prostestant is finally joining the Church of Rome! The priest sprinkles him with holy water while intoning, "You were born a Prostestant. You were raised a Protestant. Now you are a Catholic."

A great relief settles on the neighborhood until ... the next Friday night when the delicious smell of steaks once again wafts about from the grill. The Catholics are flummoxed so they rush over to the new guy's yard and see him with a vial of holy water, sprinkling the steaks and intoning, "You were born a calf. You were raised a cow. Now you're a fish!"

I meant to post about the season a while back but let myself get carried away with other things. So now, when I have a dozen things of such weighty import pressing on me that I should be well and truly crushed, I find it necessary to delve into a bit of seasonal musing.
But, for the nonce, just a bit. Today is one of the days Festus rightly calls "Virginia weather:" cool, damp with passed and coming rain, grey upon grey skies, light as diffuse and sourceless as the vapor that makes fog. Miserable in so many ways. But such is the price for the days that are bright and cloudless, air cold with a snappy bite yet warm in sunshine when the air is still. I await those days, precious as they are in a Virginia fall.
To touch cautery to this wound of a day, I will give you one of my favorite poems - Ranier Maria Rilke's "Herbsttag" (Autumn Day) in its orginal form:

Herr: es ist zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren, lass die Winde los.

Befiehl den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gieb innen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süsse in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich kienes mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Kmart Buys Sears
From now on, the hand tools will be brand named "Crapsman."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Another Roadside Attraction
I meant to report on this one a few days ago but I lost my scrap o' notes. Rather than rely on my reportorial skills, I'll just haul out the ol' blockquote:
SUFFOLK, Va. - A load of Georgia peanuts was delivered unexpectedly Thursday to a discriminating fan of the goober.
The 46,000-pound load of peanuts was dumped in J.S. Doughtie's front yard after the trailer they were in slipped off the road and tipped in the soft shoulder, driver Jeff Lanier told police.
Doughtie, 83, said he was working in a shed in his back yard when he realized what had happened. He was told to help himself.
"Oh, I'm going to roast some, make some candy," he said. "I love peanuts, but I do wish these were from Virginia."
What else was going on that day? Glad you asked:
CHILHOWIE, Va. Nov 11, 2004 — Fourteen cars of an 83-car Norfolk Southern train derailed near an industrial park, leaving the area smelling like a brewery Thursday.
About 20,000 gallons of beer leaked from three cars of the Roanoke-bound train, said railway spokesman Robin Chapman.
No one was injured when the cars skipped the tracks about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Chapman said.
Investigating officers said the leak did not contaminate any nearby water sources nor affect any highways.
"Everything was contained away from the creek," said Jack Tolbert Jr. of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Peanuts and beer. Is this a great Commonwealth or what?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Your Superhero Persona
by couplandesque
Your Name
Superhero NameManic-Depressive Man
Super PowerIrresistable Sexuality
EnemyThe Landlord
Mode Of TransportationUnicycle
WeaponBaseball Bat
Quiz created with MemeGen!
I'll Have the Calamari
Forget the knife and fork, just bring me a straw.
Today's Feature: You Finish the Carly Simon Lyric!
First, you must educate yourself as to the latest science news.
Then you update the following Carly Simon lyric:
"I had some dreams they were clouds in ___________"

Thanks for playing. All contestants win the home version of the game.

Friday, November 19, 2004

National Ammo Day
Go see Kim. Today is the day to buy your 100 rounds of ammunition. Or tomorrow. Just do it this week. And I did something I don't do often enough: donated a sawbuck to the BANG (Buy A New Gun) Fund on Kim's blog.
One of my favorite African Americans he is.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Gut Wrenching
I finally watched "The Magdalene Sisters" (link below). Brutal. I have no direct knowledge but I think, though it is fiction, it is based on facts. It is a movie of sufficient power and anguish that it could easily lead to very strong anti-Catholic feelings. It brought me as close to wanting to punch a nun as anything in my life with the possible exception of Algebra II at Duke. ... Don't ask.
It's tough but I do recommend it. It's the story of Irish girls in the 1960s who were thought to be at risk of sexual activity or who had conceived out of wedlock. They were sent to work in the laundries of the Magdalene Asylums where they were
treated as galley slaves. There is a particular difficult scene where one old woman who had spent her entire life in the laundries is abed, dying, talking with one of the leading girls about how she didn't want to go to the hospital but wanted to stay with the nuns. The girl then leans close and tells the dying woman that the nuns didn't care about her, they just wanted her for work so she should do them a favor and just die. As I said, brutal. But it had the ring of truth.
Joni Mitchell has a song on her "Turbulent Indigo" album about the "Magdalene Laundries." Damn good song on a damn good disc.
The Things You Find When You're Not Looking
April Winchell. Daughter of ventriloquist Paul, voice talent, radio dee double e jay ay wye. Click the "multimedia" link on her site and see the most amazing collection of MP3s in the known universe. "Stairway to Gilligan's Island." ABBA in German. X-rays of things found in ... a place where only a proctoscope should go in. I haven't had so many laughs in such a short space of time in a while. She's cute too. I mean - it doesn't hurt, right?
I Don't do the Aquarium Thing
But this is dead cool. Not quite cool enough to make me set up a tank, but dangerously close thereto. I'd probably want something insane like having it run up the stairs and spiral around the living room.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Heroes of Ia Drang
Power Line has a report on the reunion of the American heroes fought the "the first real battle of Vietnam." Really fought. Not like the Poodle.
It was my great honor to work with Joe Galloway who wrote "We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young" with General Hal Moore. In fact, it was my honor to have worked on the special issue of US News & World Report featuring that great book. To add to the honor I have had in connection with that work, I was able to meet Gen. Moore and he was a gentleman of the highest order. If you've seen the movie, Mel Gibson's portrayal of then Lt. Col. Moore is amazing and, to the best of my personal knowledge (limited though it is) quite true. We who did not go to Vietnam are so remarkably blessed to have had good, honorable, courageous men go and fight for freedom that we should wake every day with their praise in our hearts.
Just as we should wake every day and say a parayer for the good, honorable, courageous men who are today fighting for freedom in the Middle East. Some times the game is worth the candle.

And Another Thing...
I was listening to Billy Joel's "River of Dreams" disc the other day and his song "Blonde Over Blue" sort of stuck in my craw. My craw oftens gets stuck with things. But I digress. Why do blue-eyed blondes get so much notice? Yes, I've seen beautiful blue-eyed blondes but I've seen some really spectacular brown-eyed blondes about whom you never hear somone rhapsodizing. Not only that, a woman from my college years (OK - year: she was a senior in my freshman year) was a blue-eyed brunette and she was quite possibly the single most breath-taking woman I have ever personally met. And yes, she was a cheerleader. What's surprising was that she was as nice as could be to this goofy freshman on whom she didn't need to spend a moment of attention. Go figure.
What? More TV?
Yep. I am severely digging the new ABC show "Lost." And tonight's episode just cemented my loyalty by casting the amazing Mira Furlan as the mysterious French woman. How does a Croatian play French so well? Maybe I just don't have a good enough ear for an accent.
For those of you not so Sci-Fi obsessed, Mira Furlan's Minbari Ambassador Delenn was one of the prime reasons to watch J. Michael Straczynski's "
Babylon 5." Never has a bald woman with a bone crest on her head looked so scrumptious.

"Desperate Housewives"
I've not watched this alleged show for the same reason I don't read "lad" magazines - I prefer honest porn to this softcore, fake, bullshitty porn that masquerades as a television show. But the thought strikes me, as it did earlier with "Fear Factor," that the name is just wrong. This show is just "Sex In The Suburbs" without the real skin that "Sex In The City" could show.
Jeebus. Just hire Kim Catrall and be done with it why doncha!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A Moment of Pure Grace
I went to Blockbuster this evening. If there's anything more mundane, more quotidian in modern America, I'd be hard pressed to figure what it is (buying gas? eating lunch? -Ed.). I pull into a parking space and as I'm getting out of my car - with my bad hip, this is not a quick action I assure you - a sweet, big, electric blue pick'em'up truck pulls into a space near mine. And as I start my slow, halting progress toward the door, the woman who drove the truck passes me and says "Hi." This is unusual. Modern America teaches us, especially women methinks, to be circumspect around strangers. But being charitable and cautious, I said something on the order of "That's a nice truck." To which she replies, "I love my truck!" And I say "I don't doubt that for a second."
Strange. An actual conversation in the agora between strangers. Keeping in mind, for those who've never had the pleasure of meeting me (I figure somebody I don't know must read this), I am not such a specimen that I would be hit on by women previously unknown to me. Anyway, I figured it was a pleasant moment and continued toward the door. Rounding the corner of the building, the woman with whom I spoke was holding the door for me. And she was quite a lovely brunette. I thanked her for holding the door and picked up my pace as best I could. She said that she thought people moved too fast these days anyway. I said I was doing my part to keep the average down. Now, I'm really off balance. This stranger would have to be the sweetest person I've had the pleasure of meeting in public for .. well, since I can't remember when.
So into the vid racks I go. Shrek 2 (what a fantastic movie - 5 stars in the Movie Dog food bowl) and, on a whim, The Magdalene Sisters. As I am picking up the latter, my mystery woman picks up whatever it was she was looking for in VHS, saying to me, "Not everyone has DVD." And I say, "But you will." And we both head to the checkout. She is held up as her account has been 'put on hold' for some reason neither she nor the counter guy knew. It seems something done at another branch was the problem and they couldn't access such information at the branch we were in.
I'm usually a pretty patient line-waiter though if somebody is wasting time, I will do a slow burn. In this case, I'm thinking I'll wait here for this lovely lady as long as she wants to deal with this problem. Still, as if on cue, she turns to me and apologizes for making me wait. Oh, I assure you! It's not a problem.
Counter guy calls manager chick who looks at the situation as displayed on the checkout screen, approves the transaction and moves to another register to check me out. Thank you, manager chick. As I'm passing this new paragon of feminity (full disclosure - she did say to the counter guy that the problem might be something "he" did - sigh!), she asks what I'm renting, I tell her and she seems, well, delighted. A foreign flick and an animated neo-classic. Heck, even I'm thinking I must be a nice guy. I pay and then walk out the door immediately behind her, and again she holds it open for me. And we talk all the way (make that "all the way" since it was a very short walk) to the cars and for the life of me I couldn't tell you what we said. But I had some grocery coupons in my car that I wasn't planning to use so asked her if she wanted them. She said yes, I gave them to her. She asked me what my the vanity plate on my car meant and I gave her the 2 cent explanation. Taking the coupons she said "Bless you!" I said, "God bless you!" She told me her name. I told her mine. We shook hands. She got in her beautiful blue truck. I scrunched into my Outback and knew that if I were to remain sane, I'd best just forget her name and hold this amazing moment in memory.
So I did. And now I've blogged it.

Why America is the Greatest Nation in the World
Five words: the fattest poor people, ever.
I just haven't had a post in me for the last week. I'm hoping, however, that today I can start turning the few things I've noted into something of interest here on PoW.
It's not writer's block - it's more like existential fatigue. I don't recall any week where I've been less productive. Unless it was the time I was hospitalized with a leg infection.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I Channel Culture Club
Coma, coma, coma, coma, coma chameleon
The time has come for you to go-oh-oh

Arafat. Just die already. Miserable terrorist scum.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Yet Another Monent of Pure Cruelty
Caught a moment of the WB's broadcast of "LoTR" this eve. At one point Saruman says to his Uruk Hai, "You will taste man flesh!" It made me wonder if he were actually speaking to the Uruk Gay.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Dust in the Attic
I used to watch "Star Trek: Voyager" pretty regularly. Call me what you will, I tended to like the actors and actresses on the show (with the exception of Kate "Captain Janeway" Mulgrew who left no scenery unchewed). But every now and then something just stuck in my craw. I'm not one of those "physics of Star Trek" types or an obsessive fan boy (though I admire the casting of both Jennifer "Kes" Lien and the delectable Jeri Ryan who has already made a cameo appearance on PoW a while back). I'm just troubled by the bunnies of dust that a few stupid details have left in the old cerebral attic.
First instance: There is no way I could recall in which episode this happened since only 96.58742% of the episodes dealt with Voyager being under attack by either superior alien technology, superior alien species or aliens in superior number. So here's Voyager (the coolest ship in the entire franchise, BTW) getting pounded by somealiens at somealien planet and Janeway backs away from the planet saying "We need to regroup!" Regroup?! Is there something about the fact that Voyager is a lone Federation ship beyond the known galaxy that she forgot? Regroup?! With whom???
Secondly: This was a specific episode which I'm not going to bother to look up because it's against my religion (I'm devoutly lazy). Which also means I'm not going to remember how it all came about so let me set up the end of the show - Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres are in spacesuits, floating in space and running out of air. They are put there to be in a position where they finally declare their love for each other, which is nice. And, of course, Voyager arrives in the nick'o'time as they are just about to run out of oxygen. So what does Janeway say to these two people, adrift in space, gasping for life? "Prepare to beam aboard." What the...? "Prepare" to beam aboard? What are they going to do to prepare? Evacuate the waste containers? Shake off the cosmic dust? Jebus! Just beam them aboard, save their lives and shut up about it.
I see from my rant that my complaints about the show are entirely directed to stupid things the writers put in the mouth of Captain Janeway. Not worth the waste of a neuron gap-jumping electron, really. Perhaps by blogging this I will have swept that particular dust out of the cranium.

Ah weekend - time to stretch out, relax and do the chores I wasn't able to get around to during the week. (sigh) I'll be posting later about autumn and big wind. But you won't miss nothin' if you don't check back until Monday morning or so.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Prior Restraint
Just a note to the crowd (I think you ... oh, never mind! -Ed.), there will be little to no posting for the next couple of days due to demands on my time. I hope to have another bloggasm this weekend. Please check back later.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"Dallas" - It's Baaaaack!
I never really watched "Dallas," even the 'Who Shot J.R.' episode. But saw on the toob a day or so ago that CBS (ptui!) is doing a reunion show. What strikes me is the two female leads. Linda Gray is now 62 and she looks great - pretty and sexy still. I'd bet she'll look terrific in another 10 years if how she looks now is any indication. And Victoria Principal, who is one of those beautiful actresses who just never "did it" for me, looks like she's hardly aged at all. Though her picture at IMDB (click the link) is just awful. That aside, I offer my grudging admiration for her graceful ascent of years.
Maybe there was something in water at Southfork.

As in "winner." Again.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Ante Vote
That's "ante" as in "before." Since I last voted, I moved. As I was getting my driver's license address changed, the nice lady behind the counter (love that semi-punk moussed crop cut babe!) asked if I wanted to register to vote. Realizing that I could crush two avians with a single igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic nugget, I said, "Sure."
So it took until this morning for me to realize that I never got a new voter card. Where do I vote? A dilemma of knuckle-chewing dimensions. First step: the intraweb thing. My county has a list of polling places for my district online. Mapquest, mapquest, mapquest. I am nonplussed. None of these places seems evidently mine. Oh my! Here's a phone number! Ring, ring, ring, muzak, wait, "your call is important to us," muzak, "hello...."
Such a nice lady and I'm sure she's answering phones like a madwoman. It turns out no change was sent in so I still vote at my previous location. I'm going to try for about 9:30. By that time the commuters will have gone and the stay-at-home moms will be doing the post-breakfast routine. The lines should be down. "Should be" I say.

UPDATE: More essential brilliance from the ol' BlogDog. Walked into the elementary school polling place, walked up to the HO desk (watch it! it was the desk serving last names in the H to O range), showed me operator's permit and strolled over to the little desk thingy, picked up the pen, slashed at the page - Bush, Wolf, administrative matters, no money for bonds - slid the paper into the slot and strolled on my merry way. Tra La La! I voted.
And Another Thing...
Since I've been blithering about TV, shouldn't "Fear Factor," under truth in advertising, be called "Implants on Parade?"

Monday, November 01, 2004

Monday Night Football
The Jets just intercepted the ball after going up 34 to 7. There was more dolphin in my last tuna sandwich than on the field in Giants Stadium.
Sometimes I Have Ideas
And sometimes I should really, really, really just keep my mouth shut. In the first category, I think it would make a good sketch on Saturday Night Live to have an "Antiques Roadshow" parody. Specifically, the latest incarnation of "AR" featues strangely ovalized host Lara Spencer (you would perfer Chris Jussel again perhaps? -Ed.). It made me think, what if Antiques Roadshow were hosted by Lara "Tomb Raider" Croft? Every item that's featured would turn out to be a relic of some ancient who used it to alter time or turn base metal into gold or give the wearer ultimate power and she would then be obliged to kill the owner and deliver the relic to the proper authorities.
And the final payoff would be that the last object presented would be something hideously dangerous (an Aztec nuclear bomb) and she just lets that one go.
As far as the second category goes - I keep having the idea of the latest tape of Osama Bin Ladin as a new release at Blockbuster.
"Is this available on DVD?"
"Of course. You can get it as a two-disc, special edition, director's cut with outtakes, a 'making of' featurette and a commentary track from Ken Burns."
This, as an idea, is only marginally better, and not nearly as funny, as the idea for a "Naziopoly" board game. ... Don't ask.

CSI: Miami Again
For all my pissing and moaning about losing Rory Cochrane from CSI: Miami, I see in puke news that he actually wanted to leave the show so he wouldn't get trapped in a role rut. That's pretty nervy. As much as I wish he were still on the show, I can more easily accept his untimely departure. I just hope CBS (ptui!) gives him more work. Another high class drama series would be nice.
Sick With Laughter
I am an invertebrate fan of Achewood - absolutely spineless in fits of helpless laughter. At some point I'll add it to the sidebar but (how many times have I said this?) check out the link. If it's your very first read, it won't seem all that funny. But once you've read the "comic strip" for a while, you will find yourself a fan. Look under a rock, there, you've found him!
I want to go into explanations of the characters that inhabit Achewood but I can't possibly do them justice. Just read it. Read back issues because once you get the characters, you'll be prostrate with laughter at things that would be just downright weird on first view. Chris Onstad's use of language is a joy to behold. I have added the adjective "hella" to my vocabulary solely on the basis of its use in Achewood.

The Day After
Happy November to the PoW readers! Yesterday was not only Halloween but also the running of the 29th Marine Corps Marathon. I am, in the words of Winston Churchill a flying buttress of the Potomac Runners running group - I support it from outside (versus a "pillar" of the group, you see). The training schedule of PR is built around preparing runners to run the MCM and the last great act of the group is the massive production of a water stop on the marathon course (in this case at mile 25, stop #13 if you care to look at the course map).
This is the fourth year I've been involved with the water stop support and I can say with full confidence that this was the most elaborate, sumptuous event put on by Potomac Runners since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. I arrived with a camp stove, a charcoal grill, a peck of apples from my favorite local orchard (Moutoux Orchard in Vienna, Va. - no web presence as far as I can tell) and load of food and T shirts that I picked up from the spiritual and temporal leader of the group. The nearly 100 Potomac Runners who voluteered to set up the station and hand water to the runners also brought a range of food and drink that little short of spectacular. There were fast-food breakfast sandwiches in the morning (and by morning I mean we started setting up at about 6:45), fruit, bagels, specialty breads (thank you Great Harvest!), peanut butter, cream cheese, and, do I need to go further? We cranked up the camp stove to have hot water for packeted drinks (hot chocolate, spiced cider) and coffee.
As the volunteers arrived we handed out their Marine Corps Marathon volunteer T shirts, new long-sleeved Potomac Runners Ts and sweatshirts. The volunteers wore their PR shirts for the race so the runners would know who was behind their final water stop. 'Struth: it pays to advertise. Also, let me just say a word about the MCM shirts: too cool. Every running event has a T shirt for the runners which has the name of the race and logo on the front and a host of sponsors on the back. These shirts can range from the bland and boring to really nicely designed. What sets the MCM shirts apart is that the front logo is embroidery. Elegant. The shirts have historically have the word "Volunteer" embroidered under the logo but this year they say "Semper Fi." Damn right.
At this point it must be made manifest to anyone not living in the DC area that yesterday was incredibly hot. I wore nothing but a short-sleeved shirt from the moment I set foot outside the house at 5:15. And it was, at that point, cool but not uncomfortable. Which further means that the temperatures reached the mid-70s during the day. And that is hellish on the runners. Four years ago the pre-dawn temperatures were somewhere in the low-50s and the volunteers were huddled around the camp stove when they came in. As much as it was a beautifdul autumn day - it was very much so - it was brutal for someone running 26 miles. I salute the guts and grit of the runners! But the volunteers were well prepared to put forth the name of Potomac Runners had they to wear the sweats or the T shirt. I think the guy who runs this outfit is kind of clever.
Around 11am we fired up the charcoal grills and began cooking hot dogs, sausage, turkey burgers and hamburgers for the Marines, the volunteers and any other support staff who came by (a couple of bike-borne EMS techs made an appearance in the early afternoon). Even though I was behind during one real "lunch rush" period, I think people got pretty much what they wanted and no one was turned away. Of course there was also an elaborate spread of cold cuts for those who preferred a sandwich to a burger or a dog. Despite working two grills pretty hard, I didn't singe off all the hair on my forearms (the mark of a real grill master is hairless forearms, doncha know!).
It was a blast. But now, the day after, I feel like a wrung-out washrag. I crumpled upon my return home last evening and slept like a piece of felled timber. My first order of business today was to suck down some advil and take a nice, long hot shower. Done and done. And now you know about it too. Happy November to all and to all a good Election Day (as long as you vote Bush of course).
UPDATE: My bad. Those are hoodies, not sweats. And darn nice ones at that.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Compare and Contrast #2
Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman. You have two hours. Anyone found still writing after the command "Pencils down" will viewed with a sneer.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

New On The Sidebar
Sharp eyes will notice the new section "looks" on the sidebar which is intended to feature art. The links were (very briefly) in the "links" section but I thought that since the other links are to blogs, it would make more sense to separate the art links.
Art is kryptonite to my descriptive powers so I won't go into effusive praise of PoW's first two artists. But please click the links. Two more different artists would be difficult to find in the same place but two more talented artists would be even more difficult to find anywhere. Full disclosure requires that I admit to knowing both of these artists for many years. I've even sat for a portrait by Irving. And, if I lived in Florida, there is no way I would not have one of Mary's gloriously imaginative pieces on my wall. As it is, I want one of her canvases but given what I already have, her work would likely start arguments with the other art. And probably win most of them.
Also, the "longings" section will be dedicated to a wonderful artist of another type for the month of November: Atoosa. She was one of the artists at the IC Benefit of which I blogged earlier. I haven't posted of her yet as I wasn't quite sure what to say. I'm now in possession of a couple of her CDs (and eagerly anticipating the arrival of her next) to which I've been listening obsessively. I love this woman. Her music is sweet, tough, personal and just a huge damn delight. Keep in mind that I do tend to rather like folk music. What really impresses me, and it's what I have enormous problems with, is her ability to lay her heart open in her music. That ability to make art out of vulnerability is, to me, both amazing and a little frightening. She's good at it. No - great at it.
It doesn't hurt that she is a gorgeous woman as well - eyes as deep as wells, a spill of raven ringlets and the face of a pre-Raphaelite angel out of Asia Minor. I'll stop gushing over her just to say that there has never been a woman in the "longings" section more deserving of the section title. Go. Listen. Thank me later.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Data Day Thing
Brent Spiner is going to appear on the New Star Trek franchise "Enterprise." I think somebody out there is going to have the steamin' undies.
I'm Above Average!
I just heard on the radio machine that over the last 40 years "the average American has gained 25 pounds."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

We'll Always Have Paris
I was considering the infelicitously named Paris Hilton the other day as I was listening to the puke news (entertainment report). The thought did strike - wouldn't she have been more accurately named "Bangkok Hilton?"

Monday, October 25, 2004

Good News For Honorary Pug of War Marshall
Marshall, although born with the dubious distinction of being a Labrador retriever ("I say Lovey! Bring me a Labrador, will you?" -Thurston Howell III), gets honorary Pug of War status after surviving a house fire by getting CPR from a couple of firefighters. CPR. As in mouth-to-snout resuscitation. But one paw down to the ingracious comment of rescuer Jason Poole who said "The only reget I have is I still have dog breath." (Don't elide the next line: "But I'd do it again in a minute." -Ed.) Marshall, I hate to tell you this but you've got human breath. Have an Alpo mint.