Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Richard "May I call you "Dick?" Clarke
I have avoided saying anything about this loose cannon on the deck of American politics, especially as you can find pa-LENty about him if you look at the fundamental sites of the blogosphere. But I can't help myself thinking every time I see his glistening dome on television that he must be the bastard offspring of Miss Piggy and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Give them enough EU-rope and they will EU-hang themselves.

Or so I hope.

The spoken Japanese for "France" when written in English comes out "Furansu." I prefer that way. You can't spell it with out a leading "FU."

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Sleeping Crazy in the Full Light of the Moon
There’s bloody little filter in the pane of window glass
that cuts through the wall that looms above the bed
where my dreams are born and live. This pillow,
my head, mattress stressed by unceasing, brilliant
compaction. Every night is too, too often to give
the shallow indentations of hip, shoulder, knee
and ass the release of relaxation that sleep imposes
on all of us.
All of us under a sky, under stars
that cast shadows on cloudless nights and the ocean
of air that stars’ light swims through to us. Cut shares
from the complete mass of humanity, every
segment cut loose both a piece and the whole as well.
Lay out these slices and pound them thin. Let life
entire press like a body on boxed springs until
they slump to cold, viscous clarity. Gather them then
and press them, one by one, into frames and
taking points, press them in to hold one moment clear,
one transparent section of all humanity.
blood in the little filter that cuts through the wall
that looms above my head. When I dream and
surrender such thought as presses me between
the sheets of this waking world, I lose what’s real.
And magnificent possibility alters to random noise
as if the roiling static of black and white on the screen
of an unfocused TV began to organize to words and
phrases, then sentences and stories. Only to collapse
back into the hiss we hear from out universal
Moonlight floods me like a generative tide
though it’s sunlight reflected and chilled. Blue steals
through REM-fluttered lids and infects my blood
with all the blood it streams through. If blue
turned toward red in its rush through pained
humanity, I might rest this night. But it will
not be. Blood will be stirred in blue moonlight.
Dreams will hammer at all the muffled doors
and howl like loosed pack dogs through empty
forests, empty city streets. Until the night runs
its own course and the tide ebbs with advancing
Sunlight flays me and my nerves pulse
in their raw wounds. The blood is my own.
Moonlight leaves me - in the bloody tide
that washes the pulsing nerves - lying crazy.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Extending the franchise
I see that the folks behind the terrific "CSI" shows are putting out another one, to wit - CSI: New York. Luckily for the viewers, they seem to have the superb actor Gary Sinese to lead the cast. How lucky can a forensics junkie (which I didn't know I was until I started watching "CSI: Lost Wages") get?

But it does raise the question of just how far can the franchise be extended. The same thought struck me while I was watching a broadcast of "The Wizard of Oz" last year. When Dorothy's house lands on the Wicked Witch ("home-icide"?), the Munchkin coroner comes up a death certificate and declares "she's not merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead!" Munchkinland seems to have quite the high standards for death reporting. But it does offer the possibility of "CSI: Munchkinland."
Munchkin paramedic: "Sorry boss. She's just merely dead. You don't need to call in the criminalists."

UPDATE: Thanks to Elsie for the correction.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The few, the proud, my readers
I'm wondering if I should post a poem I just wrote. If you'd care to leave a comment on such questions as whether I should post a poem or whether a poem is an appropriate blog post at all, please do. I will accept the will of the majority.

And yes, I realize I haven't been linking worth a damn lately. That will start up again when I get out from under the paperwork of the new home and through some tax returns. Yes, plural.

Hmmm. The italic tag I used above, less the brackets, almost makes me a plain white rapper: emI/em.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

It recently struck me that one of the finest examples of the time value of money is expressed by Popeye's friend Wimpy: "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
Of course he'll be glad to pay because the cost of a hamburger in today's money is worth more than the money, ostensibly the same amount, he'll be paying back on Tuesday.
My advice: Buy him a hamburger but charge him interest.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

How do you say "weasel" in Spanish?
5 backpacks: $100
100 pounds of plastique: $2000
5 cell phones and detonators: $100
Blowing the balls off the Spanish electorate: Priceless

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Devastation of the Blogosphere
InstaPundit is on vacation! Oh no! I feel the fever and chills of InstaWithdrawal starting already....
Mary Matalin on the PoW couch...
Perhaps I should start a regular "On The Couch" feature where I, with the benefit of my massive intellect, keen insight and razor-sharp analytical skills deconstruct the lives of prominent people. Let us now, however, praise prominent people for they are the cud of our ruminant lives. If we did not have "Entertainment Tonight," "People" magazine, "The Today Show" and "Meet The Press," we would have to invent them.

So I start on Mary Matalin. A friend, who shall go nameless save in the Book of Life, recently expressed puzzlement to me about why a staunch Republican like MM would ever marry some one like Carville. I believe there is a perfecftly understandable explanation.

I read, some time ago a Washington Post Magazine article about Lee Atwater which was printed after of his passing from a rather gruesome bout with cancer. Leaving aside his dying fear of God which made him turn on much of which he accomplished in his life, what struck me was the portrait of his aide Mary Matalin trying to monopolize his time and push his wife away. The conclusion I reached was simple: Matalin was in love with Atwater. Not just loved. Was in love with. And then he died.

Well, before too much time passed, there was Carville. Carville is nothing but Lee Atwater without cancer and dressed in a press-acceptable Demcratic garb. And for MM, it hardly mattered. Here he was again, Lee Atwater reborn in a bald-pated Cajun. Is there any question, then, why she would have married him? I don't think so.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

America Held Hostage
Day 926 of PBS Pledge Week.
I now know more about Blenko (or "Bwenko" to hear the current company head say it) Handcraft glass than I EVER wanted to. What's up for the next round of pledge week? A grain-by-grain tour of the pile of sand that will be used to make glass in the furnaces of the Blenko glass works!

If there were any kind of cosmic justice in the world, there would be something to balance off PBS Pledge Year. Such as: "I was watching the Home Shopping Channel the other day .... It was pledge week so they kept interrupting the shows with quality dramas from the BBC."

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Next month
I've already decided the longings listing will be for one CD that went to live in a different state one day when the Commonwealth of Virginia granted my petition and one disc which I never owned on CD but still have on vinyl. Paul Simon's "Graceland" and Pete Townshend's "Empty Glass."
Rough boys indeed.
The winter of dis content
Dis content being dat dere ain't much fer de moment.
Accounting test this morning meant a late night revising and a crappy night's sleep to follow. I'm going to bed now.
Oh, I'm pretty sure I crushed the test to a grade of dust that can be classified as weaponized. I know I missed something, I just don't know what it is I missed. But with the extra credit (for turning in homework), I may be in line for a grade over 100. But I'll settle for anything over 95.
I may not know my debits and credits but I sure know my extra credits. Dag nabbit.

Monday, March 15, 2004

I finally realized that I have gobs of crapola in and around my desk that I can throw out onto the internet, rather like a monkey flinging its own ... do I really mean to say ... yep, the more I think about the analogy, the more apt it seems.
Here's a shot at the Letterman-esque Top Ten List I hacked together some while back:

The Top Ten Swanson "Angry Man Dinners"

10. Broccoli and Quiche Quiche
9. Boiled T-Bone Steak
8. Lithuanian Bacon Sandwich
7. Tuna Salad on a Bed of Dolphin
6. Lentil Ka-Bobs
5. Tater Tot Helper
4. Ripped-Out Liver and Onions
3. Chicken-Fried Tofu
2. Spit Pea Soup
and the number one "Angry Man Dinner" is...
1. Beef Unwellington

Sunday, March 14, 2004

My very own private radio station
I love iTunes. Love it love it love it. It's the kind of program I could take home to meet my parents because they would be happy I found such a wonderful companion for all those hours I would otherwise waste.

I love my iPod too but really, the iPod and iTunes are part and parcel of the same thing. To continue the analogy, it's like I married iTunes and got an iPod in the bargain. I never thought polygamy would be this much fun. Or maybe it's like marrying a bisexual woman who brings additional parties to the party. As it were. The analogy ends here!

The real point of declaring my love for iTunes is a follow up to the random 10 post below. My playback setting is permanently on "Shuffle" so I get to be surprised by music that pops up. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy after Hootie and the Blowfish after Sadao Watanabe. And speaking of Watanabe - how cool is it that the Gracenote CDDB downloads his name in kanji to iTunes and the iPod displays the kanji as well! I severely dig that.

I need to post about radio and finding new music but I'll have to run it through the mental rotisserie and baste it in thought sauce before I start mashing keys.
Make it so.
I have decided that I am never wrong. I'm just waiting for the rest of the universe to come around to my point of view.
Sometimes it's a really long wait.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Transient hardware problems
In this case, mouse madness. I sit at my desk in the early am for a round of blog surfing and collection of my mail from the last day and suddenly the scroll wheel on my optical mouse is ... not ... responding ... to ... my ... finger. (Speak those words in a faux robot voice if you please!)

Of course my first thought is "Crap. Do I need to buy a new mouse?" My second thought is to unplug the wee beastie and plug it in again. Nothing. No change. Then inspiration strikes like a frying pan to the noggin. It's an optical mouse and with the low-angle early morning sun, the mouse is sitting in a pool of intense sunlight that it is streaming in nearly sideways. The optical reader on the scroll wheel can't read the scrolling since it's being overwhelmed by the sunlight.

Move the mouse. Problem solved.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I couldn't have said it better
Myself. (Scroll to the second letter)

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

"New" music
If you'll cast your ocular orbs over to the right you'll see a new sections devoted to my music purchases. "Longings" will updated monthly as I adhere to my self-imposed discipline of buying two new CDs a month. Not that the CDs are new in the absolute sense of the word but as NBC admonished: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you." The discs are re-runs but they'll probably be music that's been around for a while for which I haven't laid out the beans.

The month of March features Alison Krauss. She of the crystal-clear voice so pure it'll break your heart even when she sings of good times. She doesn't have a lot of power in her voice but it just doesn't matter. She's a superb fiddler and, well, a vocalist whose singing is like a drink from a mountain stream. The fact that she's backed up, or surrounded by, or plays with, or however it is to be put Union Station is just an amazing bonus. Superb musicians in their own right and, of course, the band includes Dan Tyminski who did a star turn with the vocals for "Man of Constant Sorrow" on the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Though not on my soon-to-buy list, Claire Lynch is very much in the same vein. Her backup band, The Front Porch String Band, is just simply note perfect. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Life imitates art
Low art perhaps but art nonetheless.
Many years and several ages of man ago, I saw Woody Allen's Sleeper and thought it quite amusing. Tres droll. But there was a scene that stuck with me.

Woody's character was being awakened from his frozen state and the conspirators are discussing just who it is they're awakening. He was, it seems, the owner of a health food store called something idiotic like "The Happy Carrot" where all sorts of organic and macrobiotic foods were sold. After hearing this, one of the scientsts, with a slightly amazed expression, asks, "Didn't they know about fried foods?"

Given the popularity of low carb diets, it seems Woody was ahead of his time. Atkins is so Cugat.
I thought about it
But I just couldn't call myself the InstaPugnit.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

The glossy and delectable IML8
I am indebted to the web for such things as horking up wonderful people on the barren shore of the desert island that is my life. (Boo hoo! Ed.) Here are links that I wouldn't have ever found had I not been sent them:
What did you want to know about tanukis? and here's a print I'm buying as soon as I stop spending absurd amounts of money on my new place. I think it will go nicely with my whimsical "sushi kitties" print that was a gift from another glossy and delectable one everso many years ago. When I ever get around to upgrading myself with blogger, I'll post a picture of the sushi kitties. Whimsical. Yeah. Whimsical.

Sorry for the lack of posting lately but between working more hours, watching that best of all televised sports (do I have to say?: college basketball), and dealing with my impending home purchase, I've had a bit of time suckage going on. Cheerio, wot wot! More blather in the near future.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

He sings! He dances!
Well, it's pretty unlikely that he dances. But John Kerry does sing about his approach to any spending for national defense.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

More dogs
Pugs, pugs and more pugs. There's a reason the Little Turk is the only dog with a motto: Multum in parvo (which, if memory doesn't betray, means something like "A lot of dog in a small space"). They are a lot of dog in a small space. Well, I'm seeing a lot of pugs in the small space of my television machine box.

Verizon has a an ad for its DSL service slamming Comcast (on the basis of cost and lack of equipment provided) in which a guy is on the phone checking with each service as his pug roams the room and jumps up on the couch when he sits down. Then Comcast responded with an ad that is well nigh identical (they may have even gotten the same actor and pug, certainly they got the same set) except the focus is on the higher bandwidth of a cable modem. Needless to say, the actor in each ad chooses a different service.

Who cares? (Umm, Verizon, I really do care! I love my DSL service. kissy kissy!) I get to see more pugs on the tube. And don't that just make life a little more pleasant?