Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Blue is True. Or... is it Red is Right? Well, the first of the 3 Major Holidays went by without a surfeit of wine, victuals, or woes (of the family sort). Two more holidays to get through while maintaining a sense of decorum and extended family unity! With age (hopefully) comes a seepage of diplomatic tact. Or is it that one's emotional nodes are now just nubs, worn down by the torrent of artery clogging gravy of familial ill will. Another spiteful remark simply falls by the wayside, with minimal harm & damage.
There's an old joke that comes to mind whenever family gatherings loom over the holiday horizon.

Two psychologists are at lunch. They're gnoshing and small-talking about this and that. Family matters come up as a topic.
One asks of the other, "So, how's your mom? Seen her recently?"
Other, uncomfortably replies, "Yeah, I had lunch with her the other day. Things were going boringly well. Then, I has a bit of a Freudian slip."
First, inquires, "How bad?".
Other, replies while slowly stirring her coffee spoon, "I had a piece of bread on my plate. I meant to ask her to pass the butter.
Instead, I said, "You lousy f***ing bitch! You ruined my life!""

Now, the below-the-radar monologue that runs through my mind at family gatherings I've attended does not usually run at this high a voltage. This past Thanksgiving was noteworthy as it was not a "time for healing" as our Prez was thinking our country would be in after Nov. 2nd.
In fact "trench warfare" was more the theme. I won't get into the "How can 59,545,002 People be so Stupid?" thing. As pointed out in other blogs, if these folks were that stupid, how could we, the self-appointed "Not so Stupid" minority not be able to convince or even trick the "Stupid" majority into voting for The Other Guy? Either we weren't bright enough...or they weren't stupid enough. Personally, I view the election, and I'm not just talking about the presidential one, as providing concrete proof that this country is forsaking its international position and opting out for isolationism. As the majority has spoken, we are deaf to the world and its interests. Will this come back and bite us? Oh, you betcha and in a big way. Unfortunately, payback will be long and expensive. And I don't believe we'll be able to buy our way back into a position of global leadership. We're sending an awful lot of money to China; like tumbling dominoes money, influence, and world leadership fall over each other.
Thanksgiving dinner was marked with discussions of "blue" and "red". The carving knife was put away hurriedly; don't want sharp instruments available for such an emotional topic. "Butter" was not being passed. Segues into the potentially safer topic of Christmas only prompted discussion of lighting schemes. Should the house be bordered in red or blue lights? And what about white? Or are the always classy white lights now viewed as anti-Middle America? Perhaps just a nice wreath on the door and we'll save money on electricity this year and forgo the lights. Any folks out there go through a similar pitched battle regarding the same topic?

On the positive side, a cherished aunt from the Old Country was visiting during the holidays and was able to be at one of the Thanksgiving meals we had. My kids especially enjoyed the occassion, as just seeing two hobbit sized cooks (my mom and my aunt) scurrying from kitchen to dining room while carrying out an ongoing conversation in an inscrutable language with each other, with us, and with God knows who else was enough to make this day memorable. In 25 days, Christmas. So, remember to pass the butter. Please.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Mi Casa, su Casa
In this week's New Yorker, George Saunders has a modest proposal in his piece, Flooding the Zone. It's in the spirit of "Acts of Random Kindness", "Christmas Cheer", and "Good Will to All Men". Based on the analysis of the voters in the last election there should not be any problem implementing this, since there are so many morally valued folks out there who believe we should act like Christians (well, maybe not like the Christians of the Crusades days). The only piece of good news that Mr. Saunders left out was the positive effect his plan would have on the domestic air carriers. Say "Bye" to Chapter 11! Say "Hello" to increasing stock prices.
Here's the piece, in it's entirety:

Issue of 2004-12-06
Posted 2004-11-29
I’ve completed the math.

There are approximately twenty-five million Iraqis in Iraq. There are approximately three hundred million Americans in America. This means that there are approximately twelve Americans for every Iraqi. This means that, if we all go, each American will be responsible for one-twelfth of an Iraqi. An Iraqi family of five will thus be attended by sixty Americans. We will come, this second wave of three hundred million of us, unarmed. We will bring nothing but ourselves. We will simply show up, saying, “What would you like for dinner?” While we cook, our Iraqis can just relax. God knows they have had a terrible couple of years. We will encourage them to sit on their couches, if they still have couches, while we clean up after dinner. We will bring them coffee, tea, dessert, whatever they like. All these months, we have winced from over here, imagining their pain. Once we are there, we will do what we can to say, “We like you, and want the best for you. We’re sorry. This was not what we intended. No matter what it might have looked like to you, we have always wished you well.”

After dinner, our Iraqis will smile, whispering among themselves. “Not so bad, these unarmed ones,” they will say. “That coffee was super.”

Some of you might be wondering: What about the insurgents?

Well, even the most energetic insurgent will have a hard time getting much done, saddled, as he will be, with his twelve designated Americans. Imagine how hard it will be to sneak off with your insurgent friends, much less deploy a roadside bomb, when, every time you move, your twelve Americans leap up and ask if there’s anything you need. Say you are going out to assault a convoy. Good luck! You skulk into the night, and suddenly the three Fitzsimmonses and the four Jacksons and the five elderly Peterkin brothers are walking along with you, asking where you’re headed, wondering if that distinctive style of Iraqi hut has a particular name, asking if there’s anywhere to get a decent cup of decaf, telling an endless story about how hard it was to get a decent cup of decaf in Paris, for God’s sake.

Some might ask: What about provisions? Simple. Each American will bring a thirty-day supply of food from his or her local market. Hams, turkeys, huge roasts of beef, wheels of brie, large jars of Greek olives, bottles of champagne. We will also bring our TVs and our microwaves and our refrigerators, along with generators. We will sit around with our host families, eating ourselves into a pleasant stupor, watching TV, playing board games (we will also bring board games). If anybody gets sick, we will locate a good American doctor in one of the nearby host homes and lavish the sick Iraqi with the finest in American care.

Because, medicine? We brought it. The finest in medical technology? We brought it. Plumbing problem? Please. We are great with plumbing. No power? Don’t make me laugh. American electricians are the finest electricians in the world.

Will it be crowded? It will. A ten-person Iraqi home will overflow with a hundred and twenty Americans. Will it be hot? Iraq is a desert country, and our new homes will, yes, be quite hot and crowded. Plus, as the Iraqis eat our food and watch our TVs they will no doubt become fatter, thus making their homes even more crowded.

But the over-all result will be: No more violence. Nobody killing anybody. We may get cranky, we may get a little bored, an Iraqi may now and then accuse an American of cheating at Risk, but nobody will die. Everyone will be eating and watching TV and struggling to move around and waiting in line for the bathroom, and in this atmosphere all killing will stop.

And once the killing stops we can all begin to discuss democracy.

What is democracy? Is it right for you people? If not, what would you prefer? Is there anything we can do to help? Is there anything we can build, fix, expand? If not, O.K. If so, let us at it. There is no charge—our government is paying. Those suckers have no idea where the money is going, so let’s sock it to them; I don’t care a bit, as long as you get what you need.

Now, a reasonable question is, what will be happening in the completely deserted United States of America at this point?

This is where Phase II of my plan begins.

Once the U.S. has been vacated, the Palestinians will be moved into the Western U.S. and the Israelis will be moved into the Eastern U.S. Between them will roll the mighty Mississippi. Even if they wanted to get to each other and do some killing, sorry, no. Armed U.N. guards will be posted at every bridge.

Besides, the Palestinians will be enjoying San Francisco and Los Angeles and the Grand Canyon, and the Israelis will be having wonderful weekends in Boston and Chicago, seeing Bar Harbor, tooling around Manhattan, whatever they like.

Meanwhile, the Canadians will move into Palestine and Israel, and do a National Makeover. All existing houses will be razed and replaced with beautiful mansions. The mansions will alternate: Jew, Palestinian, Jew, Palestinian. Every house will have a pool and a grill and a sauna, and a new flag hanging in front of it, the flag of a new nation, Plisraelistine.

Phase III involves shipping everyone in Kosovo to Canada while the Canadians are getting Plisraelistine ready. Since there are only around two million Kosovars, it is expected that any remaining tensions will dissipate as the two million Kosovars wander through this vast new land, rarely ever seeing one another, being frightened into a peaceful humility by the occasional wolf or bear.

Meanwhile, back in Iraq, we will be saying our goodbyes.

The country, sated and plump, gone soft after months of leisure, will finally be at peace. They will be so glad to be getting rid of us. Suddenly, their houses will feel sprawling and roomy. Suddenly, their country will seem like their country again.

From there, it’s fairly simple. The Plisraelistinians fly home to their beautiful new country. They are so amazed at their excellent houses that all thoughts of fighting disappear. The Canadians return home just as the Kosovars, refreshed from their stay in Canada, inspired by the boundless wheatlands and staggeringly beautiful mountain vistas, relieved at the relative absence of wolves and bears, return home, resolved anew to give peace a chance.

I think it could work. It is only a matter of will, of giving up certain comforts (our homes, any concept of privacy, our jobs, our businesses, etc.). The hardship is great, but so will be the reward: an Iraq where nobody is killing or dying, an Iraq caught up in an ecstasy of normalcy, boredom even—people bickering, committing adultery, gossiping, sleeping in the middle of the day, mouths hanging open, flies flying in.

And then we can all get to work on the Sudan.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Selected Sports Quips
An interesting long weekend, if you count Friday.
1) Ring Magazine announces Fight of the Century at the Palace of Auburn Hills this Friday...oh, sorry, last Friday. Results?
a) NBA - TKO
b) Larry Brown - His national Eeyore and Carpetbagger Tour is now officially scheduled. Quoted after the debalce/mellee on Friday, Mr. Brown, the poster child of United Van Lines Moving, said (and I quote from the NYT), "(after our world championship last year) everybody kind of looked at this city and this franchise in a special way, and now watching TV, it's just such a black eye. I don't know how we can overcome that". You read this here first, the moving vans are already revving up and will be picking up him and his belongings before the end of the year.
NYC is the place for He!
c) Ron Artest - The "Oppressed Tour", highlighting his new rap album will start earlier than originally scheduled.

2) In a related story, Tommy Bowden, Clemson football coach said that the N.B.A. brawl bewtween the Pistons and the Pacers had factored into Saturday's brawl between the Clemson and South Carolina football teams". "They (Clemson football team) sat there and watched that for 24 hours! By no way and means did it justify what happened (at Saturday's football game). It just did." So, stay tuned for the Weather Channel update. This winter's Month Long freeze or Month Long scorch is due to the Pacer-Piston rumble. Other phenomenon attributable to the basketball bout will also be announced shortly.

3) The State department, sensing a national flow of events, is already preparing a strike on Iran as a consequence of the Brawl in the Hall, stating "the American people are incensed by the non-loss of life in Detroit and feel we should show our retribution for this National shame appropriately."

Finally, in another NYT piece from the Sports section regarding the dismissal of the footbal coach at Western Michigan after a 1-10 season, here's Coach Gary Darnell's thoughts, (and I quote):

"As for his future, Darnell said he had drawn motivation (for making it through his dismissal) from watching the wildlife at his lakeside home.
"I think I want to be a duck." Darnell said in a telephone interview yesterday (11/20/04). "You want to know why? A duck goes in the water when he wants and goes on land when he wants. He goes south for the winter and north for the summer. He eats good. He only eats fish and vegetables. I might be a duck for a while. How about that?""

And that sums up the presidential election results for me. I might go North. I might be a Canadian for a while. Quack! Quack!
Oh, wait a minute. They're getting Fox News.
Never mind.

Fairly Unbalanced
My condolences go out to our neighbours up North. You too can now become as open-minded, opinionated, and well thought of as we Yankees are. CRTC approves Fox News for Canada and it won't be long before the Republican National Committee announces it's opening up a field office in downtown Calgary. I can honestly now say, "Oh Canada, I knew yee when you were innocent.."

Google Search Engine Testing! Keep a safe distance away
It's a slow day, here in the Lowest Highest Point State. What with a short week, Thanksgiving coming up, this year's family memories waiting to be made, and mass exoduses turning into mass arrivals all over our beloved land, I'm punking out today with this little entry.

In 1976, Alan Coren wrote a book titled Golfing for Cats. An excerpt from anectodatge.com,

"Famed British humorist Alan Coren was once advised that anyone seeking to draw the attention of the book-buying public should write about cats, golf or Nazis."

An excerpt from Marylaine.com,

"In his intro, (Author Alan) Coren dismisses authors who whine about publishers not promoting their works, when they themselves have made no effort whatsoever to make their work saleable. It took only elementary research for him to learn that the best-selling books were about cats, golf, and Hitler (the cover has a swastika on it). His pieces include a sendup of 1984 which reveals the fundamental fallacy in Orwell's vision of the future: it assumes that the Big Brother state functions with perfect efficiency. Just like the governments we know and love."

A search at Fetchbook.co.uk brings up oogles of googles of Golfing books. Among them is Coren's "Golfing for Cats. So, the advice he received was right! Unfortunately, the book is out of print at this time. So, he hasn't been able to cash in on the internet's Barnum & Bailey "Sucker born every minute" marketing capability.

It's a shame. At this site there are:
Golfing in Jesus' Spirit: An Old Golfer's Amazing Story
By George L. Olson
Golfing With God
By Douglas W Tatro
Slicing, Hooking, and Cooking: Over 300 Delicious Recipes for Golfing Gourmets Who Like Winning on and Off the Course
By Jackie Eddy
Golfing With the Swans
By Tom Hicks
and Alan Coren's book.

It's Christmas purchasing time. You have no clue for certain individuals. Do they like or despise:
1) Nazis ?
2) Cats ?
3) Golfing
4) Swastika cross-stitiching ?
5) Humor ?
6) Short books ?

His book would satisy all these needs. You may even get a bulk discounted price. That is, if the book was still in print.
I have a copy of the book. First Edition. I believe I was one of the 20 folks that actually purchased it state-side. With its red cover and the hugh black swastika on the cover, I did receive quite a few stares at the counter when I plopped it down. It's parked in one of the multitudinous bookshelves scattered throughout my house. It has been read, contrary to the ever-loving wife's opinion. Not as funny as I'd hoped, especially considering Coren wrote for the late and sadly departed English humor magazine, Punch. But this is all beside the point of this blog.

Which is!?!?

To see if having the words "Golfing", "Cats", "Nazis", & "Swastikas" do for this site what they did for Coren's (out of publication) book. Bring it internet traffic.

So, with apologies to my faithful readers, this is a test for the countless miilions of suckers out there in the Web World. Bring me your hits and thanks for your short visits. My apologies to you that my site is just like Coren's book. It has NOTHING to do with Cats, Golfing, Nazis, & Swastikas. But have a Good (American) Thanksgiving anyway.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Only Curly's missing

Moe. Larry. One more.
Boys will be boys, especially after they've received their testoserone shots. I'm not sure if this is an "Entering the Clinton Library shot" or an "Exiting the Clinton Library shot". With the way Dubya's trying to push his way through, I'm assuming it's an exiting shot. Too much time in the library may rub some knowledge on him.

The weekday morning's excitement is usually limited to whether I'll cut myself shaving while I'm showering. You know. Little nick while I'm standing with my back to the showerhead. Trickle of blood washing down the length of the tub... A little "Psycho" shower scene to quicken the morning pulse.
This morning brought an altogether different surprise. The always-impressive daughter got in the car. I dumped my attache in the back seat, jumped in the front seat, started the Camry, and drove off. Well, sort of drove off. The left rear side of the car had a soft tilt to it. Jumped out and went to the rear of the car. Tire was dead. An 8 inch slash right through the sidewall!
I felt violated. If anyone out there has been burgled, you'll know what I mean. The theft of any items is a passing thing; the violation you feel of your home being entered without your permission is a feeling that stays with you for a while. Especially if you live in a city. All those houses/apartments sitting tightly together. Why yours? Our street is a quiet, wooded, friendly little enclave in a city. Vandalism just doesn't occur here. There are quite a few cops and firemen who live in our neighborhood, so a sense of security blankets our 8-10 city blocks.
The always-impressive daughter was watching for my reaction. She loves this neighborhood (see Barrel of Manque for filler info). My reaction would affect her perception of her home and street.So, throwing some Croatian bon mots to the wind, I proceeded to empty the trunk to get out the spare tire (Note to self: After cataloging the books and cd's, organize this trunk! License plates from 1980 need not be kept. Empty oil cans do not an heirloom make). Twelve minutes later, we were back on the road. The always-impressive daughter was...impressed. 12 minutes! And the old man pulled off the quick change without throwing out his back or or weaving a tapestry of curses for all of the neighborhood to hear (Note to self: It's an asset to speak an esoteric language). Delivery to school on time. Arrival to work on time. All in all, good results from bad beginnings.
Now, how to get rid of that sense of violation?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Consistent with his most recent appointments for Cabinet positions vacated enmasse, President Bush has opted to nominate a close and personal friend for one of the remaining posts. Again. In a ceremony consistent with the gravity of the position, the Prez flew in his nominee for Secretary of Agriculture early this morning. He obliged the curious looks of the assembled audience with words, thusly,

"This important Cabinet position can only be filled by someone willing to get his nose dirty, while keeping all four feet on the ground. I have a lot of trust in our future Secretary Spot. I feel the American people will be well served under his capable service; Secretary Spot has a strong sense of doody. And, it doesn't hurt that I can keep this Secretary under a short leash."

Mr. Bush chuckled and then leaned down and exchanged sloppy kisses with the nominee. There was much of the hand-clapping and the barking as President Bush left the podium. In the spirit of the moment, he then assisted the new nominee in his morning bowel movement,with the honor guard following closely behind, ready and armed with pooper scoopers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Driving Tips
To: Anyone driving in/through New Jersey in the next month or so
Dates: Thanksgiving through New Year's
Subject: Entering and escaping the dreaded NJ traffic circles

Helpful hints are offered at The Glory of Carniola. Who'd a thunk it? Advice on driving in Jersey from halfway around the world. Print it our and follow it to a "T" to minimize the psychic damage that these traffic control oddities cause.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Review Jag
Nick Hornby's Songbook came out early last year. It was published by those internet rascals @ McSweeney's, which means there was quality and surprise within the book. You can re-read..well, I can re-read Songbook multiple times and still marvel at his method of reviewing songs that stuck with him. If you buy the hardback version, you get a cd with some (but not all, drat!) of the songs that he writes about in the book. The reviews have minimal connection with the album from which they were culled. Some of the songs he chose to write about may be a surprise; they were not exactly critic's favorites. What brought so much enjoyment to reading (and re-reading) the book was the totally subjective way Hornby went about it. There were no apologies as to his choices or his reasons for picking them. These songs were important to him at various stages in his life. They meant more to him than the singers or songwriters perhaps intended...but isn't that usually the case with that lifesong you have bouncing around in your head?

There are even quirky illustrations from Canadian artist Marcel Dzama included (just to make sure the book passes muster with the CRTC)

With the cd and the book, you can escape to that special room in your house and be taken away on short or long trips. There are riffs on 31 songs. You can wallow in them all at once or just a soupcon a day.

What brought this book back to mind were daily visits to WhiskyPrajer. For the past 15 days, he has been drib 'n drabbing his own personal Top Ten Chuckle-Head songs. Letting out his opinions slowly, giving you time to mull over his choices and add a comment or two. Like Hornby, he was not reviewing the songs based on some critical artistic standard. Rather, the key concept was (in his words)based on listening to , "the music from the glory of my adolescence and young adulthood – punk, heavy metal, grunge – and the one thought that keeps recurring is, “Some of this stuff sure could stand an injection of humor.”.

So, if you don't want to fork over $26 for a Hornby, take a trip over to WhiskyPrajer. You may be persuaded that this kind of reviewing style is interesting. You may be tempted to add Songbook to your Wish List. You may be doing the right thing for your soul.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

In Charge (temporarily)
Usually, Scrappleface is scorching (hilarously) the Democrats and anyone else he sees as daring to critise the uber party. Well, now that the election is over, he's been forced to eat his own. Here, he jolts Dubya in a style The Onion would be proud of.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Sound of one blog written
Kenneth Rexroth, listening to our conversations, said: "You don't know how to talk to each other, you just exchange monologues." He hit upon a trait of Central Europeans (not only Poles?). But we are aware of it and it makes us uneasy, for the personal line and the tribal line intersects here. Me? Or the civilizations in which I was raised?"

from "Road-side Dog" by Czeslaw Milosz (Noble prize winner in Literature)

Are these blogs just monologues? Especially if there are no comments (hint, hint)? And if they are monologues AND there is no audience, then aren't these blog entries merely acts of verbal masturbation? And, if that's the case, I'm sure I'm committing some level of sin, at least according to the Catholic Venial-to-Mortal Sin scale. What contrition should I be carrying out?

Friday, November 12, 2004


A friend sent this site, Sorry Everybody. There are 238 galleries (and counting) of photos. Each gallery has about 5 pictures each. Multiply the 238 by 5 and hhmmm, that's about 1,200 pix. Since we have about 1,506 days left of the Bush presidency, there are enough pictures to look at each day to get you through 80% of the administration. Good company for the 4 years ahead. Take a peek and maybe even contribute a photo of your own and/or some $$$$.

***Note: Phot contribs continue. Site is up to 267 galleries***

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Daily Hits
After revving up the PC, filling the tankard with morning fuel, re-adjusting the chair (depending if I'm feeling shorter or taller that day), and adjusting the sound volume on the inserted cd, there are blog sites that I try ot hit before staring my work day. They fall into the broad category of informative, ruminative, and hilarious. They cross over political borders (now so carefully demarcated) or don't even touch that oh-so-touchy topic. Not all of the bloggers listed post daily and not every day brings a bon mot. But, overall, they do the trick for me; my day begins with a kick-start.
Here's my Fav Five, well, make that Eight (in no particular order):
The son's life perspective
Whisky Prajer
Outer Life
The Note
Scrapple Face
Easily Distracted
2 Blowhards
Logan's Lurch

Most are probably familiar to you, hopefully there are ones here that you'll enjoy as much as I do. The links these sites provide are also worht exploring.

Coming Back
From Alien Travel Guide, the following information is provided:
"The pack rat has a very peculiar habit. This small rodent will store up found objects, particularly if they are shiny. Moreover, a found object will almost always be replaced by another object. There is a story of a busy pack rat at a miners camp. A pack rat stole shiny, yet worthless objects from a cabin and left gold nuggets in their place! These little scavengers are approximately 1.5 ft in length, half that length being tail. Pack rats have small eyes, large ears and a blunt muzzle, as they are members of the vole family. Certain species of pack rat build large homes of sticks or cactuses. These homes have several rooms: rooms for sleeping, rooms for storing food and, of course, several rooms to pack away their found treasures. There are 22 species of pack rat found in British Columbia, south to Nicaragua."

The Holidays are upon us! How'd I know? No, not the Thanksgiving/Christmas tv ads. No, not the school fund-raising activities involving wrapping paper @ $25/sq. ft. It's the twinkle in my ever-lovin' wife's eye. The right eye. The mal occhia. It's time to de-clutter, or, purge, as she so eloquently puts it. The detritus of the year has been accumulating, along with the previous year's throwoutables that I've successfully squirelled away in our old house's secret nooks and crannies. Our small (but cute, as my daughter insists I add on when I discuss the dimunitive dimensions) home is groaning with possessions of intermittent usage. I thought we'd attained our apex of plentitude when the kids were young and their toys reproduced whilst we slept. But, as they say, the toys don't go away; they just get bigger. So, the wave has not crested. It's a rising tsunami and our house is in its path.

The wife, being on constant vigil for changes affecting the home, had seen the ripple back in January and had already started her calculations regarding the affect of the incoming flotsam. I, being of Old World stock (well, actually, of the New Europe stock,as Donald Rumsfield so tactfully pointed out a few years (and worlds) ago), sense the goods arriving by the rising of warmth and comfort into our house. Books? CD's? Magazines? Newspapers? They are all worthy insulating material that serve double-duty as sources of enlightment and entertainment.
What's the problem with that?
Yes, it does make it difficult to maneuver about the residence. Yes, it's easy to trip, especially late at night when visiting the kitchen for a glass of water. But isn't that what quaintness is all about? I won't even go into the chubby herd of dustbunnies cropping up with each new arrival of stuff. Sure, it's not the Scandanavian look. But, hell, YOU know what the alcoholism and suicide rates are in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden!?! There's no space for booze in our house, thanks to the life-affirming presence of books and cd's. Killing myself? Yeah, I guess I can heave myself from the pile of New York Times stacked in the corner and land on the floor way way way down below. But, I think the stack of John Coltrane or Bill Charlap or, even, Galactic cd's will break my fall. I'll just pick out the shards of plastic from the damaged cd cases and wallow in my lucky and much cluttered life.

But the game has to be played. The dance has to be danced. Negotiations with the ever-loving wife get hot 'n heavy. The Teamsters and General Motors talks? That's just cafe clatter in comparison.
Volume displacement.
Paper expansion through moisture absorption.
Sunlight and its demeliorative effects on stock paper.
CD jewel boxes v. plastic sleeves.
These are all points of give and take. Late night sessions have our street's residents suspecting a neighborhood cabal planning an upheaval of life as they know it.
Compromise is reached. Boxes of forgettables are place don the curb for pick-up. Multiple trips to the recylcing stations reduce the weight our poor little (but cute!) house has to bear. I could swear the house is 2-3 feet taller now. We're ready for the holidays (and next year's accumulations)

In my next life, I'm coming back as a pack rat. I've been practicing for a long time....

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Blues & Blahs
Just some pointers to Hendrik Herrzberg's commentary and James Surowiecki's piece in the current issue (11/15/04) of The New Yorker.

Surowiecki mentions that voters who used "The Economy" as their lightning rod voted 4 to 1 (yep, that's FOUR to ONE) for Kerry.
So, "It's the ECONOMY, stupid" obviously was not the successful war cry at this year's election. But, for the stupids out there, Mr. Bush will be leaving a nice surprise.
Quoting Mr.Surowiecki,
"By advocating greater freedom and independence, while failing to explain or account for the greater risk, Bush is setting Americans up for an unpleasant surprise. If his plans are implemented, a lot of people are going to end up a lot poorer in their old age than they otherwise would have been. (A lot of people will end up a lot richer, too.) The result would be Social Security without the security part. Freedom of choice is a beautiful thing. But the Bush plan is asking you to swap an insurance policy for a lottery ticket."

Ah, yes. Electing Mr. Bush. The vote that just keeps on "giving".

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Retro out of necessity
Temporary step backwards. My template was hosed due to a Blogger server error. Hopefully a new look to return. Until then, this industrial strength look.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Hail 49-ers!! The Prez salutes us. You've all probably seen this elsewhere, so please excuse my piling on. At Mama Musings you can see our president, giving his acceptance speech to the hearing impaired. Or, maybe, that's his acceptance speech to the 49-ers (That's us, the minority 49% prez voters). Who says he wasn't glib? The only thing that's missing is the KY jelly.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

If Voting for Kerry was Wrong, I don't want to be Right
Wednesday was a looper of a day. There was an overwhelming sense of ennui (a feeling Bush voters are immune to since it sounds French). Not necessarily a crushing feeling. More of a sense of displacement. Do I really live in a country that voted in George Bush by a majority? What am I doing here? And, most importantly, who are my fellow citizens?
I am lost.
What did I miss that caused this to happen? As NPR's All Things Considered opined this morning, perhaps it was all due to the proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage bantered about in early summer. Did Karl Rove, Son of Satan, come up with another rabbit-out-of-the-hat election time trick that hoodwinked the reading 'n thinking public? While the Democrats were pushing GOTV, thinking this movement will get out the Kerry-leaning voters, the Republicans were cleverly tying together anti-gay marriage with their candidate. Folks who haven't voted in years were coming out in droves to beat down the gay marriage initiative, while also casting a vote for Bush. You've got to give Rove credit for another bit of evil ingenuity.

Family Values = Anti-Gay Marriage = Vote for Bush.

Simple formula that worked and a formula that did not require BUsh to really take any hard stance. If there was another ballot regarding Inter Species Marriage (say...your dog and a significant other), I don't think those votes would be so one-sided in the negative as the Anti-Gay Marriage proposal voting results were.

This year's election results cannot be taken as anything but polarizing. The verborrhea regarding coming together or healing the wounds? That sounds like compromise. I truly don't believe the 51% - 49% groups will be thinking of compromise or compassion, in the long run.

Domination and control will be the order of the day.

The sky is darkening.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

...and the Winner is..!!
Frank Infante of the Independent Party of Delaware easily (2.9% to 0.4%) defeated himself, representing the Libertarian Party of Delaware. In a concession speech to Mr. Infante, presented in the men's room of Bull Dozers Saloon (campaign headquarters of both parties gubernatorial nominees), he looked himself in the eye and stated, "The better man won tonight, but I'll be seeing you in four years!". Applause, or was that flatulence, was heard from the audience in the stalls. Mr. Infante, of the Independent PArty, accepted his foe's defeat, patted himself on the shoulder, checked out his hair in the mirror, and stormed out the bathroom yelling, "Now, let's party!.
There was supposedly much upheaval of chairs and much of the beverages, mainly of the alcoholic type, was quaffed. The EZ-sign out front of the bar looked pretty good, considering how many times it was hit by the departing patrons, as the campaign party and its funds poured out onto Glenwood Avenue in Smyrna, DE.

See you in four years, Frank! Hopefully.

GOVERNOR'S RACE in Delaware Final Results


RUTH ANN MINNER 185,531 votes 50 . 9 %

WILLIAM SWAIN LEE 166,991 votes 45 . 8 %

FRANK INFANTE 10,752 votes 2 . 9 %

FRANK INFANTE 1,450 votes 0 . 4 %

About that other race, well... candles are still being burned in hopes of a miracle in Ohio. For on the spot reporting there, go to
Logan's Lurch or to DelaWHo? DelaWhat? DelaWhere?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Checking it out
This site is bookmarked. It's at the top of the bookmarks. It'll be hit hot and heavy during the day. www.marginalrevolution.com is now also bookmarked and will be consulted in case I feel I'm leaving my senses. The latter site comes as a reference from The Cranky Professor. Is the sound of one hand clapping the same as the sound of all lawyers in silence? Here's hoping for a quiet din and an early call

Done Deal and now....
...it's time to burn candles...multiple candles...and hope that the God of Thought (is that Pensitivoros?) has visited the Undecided last night in their sleep. Me? Came early to the polling station at one of the local churches. About 20 of us in line. Gorgeous morning. A little nippy, but the sun was shining. No one speaking. Perhaps feeling the enormity of this particular election? Perhaps not enough of a caffeine punch in their cup? Line moved at a continuous clip. Got out in 15 minutes. Folks that had come just at seven or shortly after were now looking to be finished in 45 minutes or more. The line was at least 200 folks long. A good indication.
I'm at work now. Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi is on the cd player, hoping this soundtrack is that of the departing administration. Haven't yet figured out what cd should be playing if there's a regime change. It's like naming your baby before she/he is born. Don't want to jinx the positive! Here's hoping for a different world, come early tomorrow morning.

Speaking of different worlds, what are other countries concerned with on this day? Taking a gander northwards, polling in Edmonton, Alberta is not so much concerned about the choice between Kerry and Bush, but rather the more pressing issue of bar capacity, and I'm not referring to the number of lawyers allowed to practice in one province. At www.canada.com, specifically the Edmonton site, it's noted that bars on Whyte Ave. ("Whyte" being the Canadian spelling of "Blanco") seem to have a reputation for filling up their patrons with assorted brews resulting in said drinkers consequently purging themselves on residential lawns in the general area. Not really white of them, eh? Certainly not the fertilizer those homeowners were hoping for.

Hopefully, as the election results start pouring in, we will not be forced into brotherhood with our fellow Edmontonians and alos be purging ourselves in sadness at the results. The only expectoration I hope to be conducting is the phlegm of the last 4 years.

Go Oilers!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Which of these?
For those folks undecided between chuck and filet mignon, some sites to visit , perchance to believe.

New Yorker's endorsement

The Nation's List of 100

William Bryk chimes in

Mr Barlow bellows to the masses

Mr Frank Rich (NYT) makes it easy for you

And then comes tomorrow. Tuesday, November 2nd. Not sure if I should be buying champagne or an enema. Sounds asa if we'll all be sitting on one throne or another.

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