What's a blog, you ask? It stands for "weblog"
and it's basically an online journal of daily thought.
We'll see how long I can keep this up (as though I don't
have enough to do!)
If you must have a title, I'll go with: The daily
thoughts/rants of a Marine Officer, father, scholar, husband,
marathon runner, Flash cartoonist, computer nerd.
I have a month worth of blogs that I've kept up with while on
vacation and devoid of connectivity for the most part.
you of short attention span, will not read them. If I post them,
you will not take the time to go back and read of my epic adventures.
You just won't. I know you. Stop arguing.
here is what I'm gonna do. I will keep up with them but will
only post two per day starting with the oldest until I catch
up. For you math whizzes, you will see that it will take two
weeks to catch up in this manner.
you detect a tone here, it's because I'm going to be harder
on myself about all aspects of my life which includes you. Sorry
if it bleeds over but it's past due.
come live in the past with me...
of the Day:
"THE BUCK DOESN'T EVEN SLOW
DOWN HERE, So keep on going."
June 30, 2005
Wren Gives Me Another Chance Despite Jackassery On My Part
was 0600 and I had no idea what happened.
I had laid down for a nap at 6:30 last night
so unless my scary math skills fail me,
we’re talking 11 ½ hours of
this cannot go unpunished. Get on the road,
run was nearly orgasmic. When I lived in
the desert, running back in Washington was
memorable because of the oxygen-saturated
air. It was like rocket fuel. Now that I
live in Virginia, the oxygen isn’t
the big deal (it’s pretty green in
Virginia) but the lack of humidity is. I
got up and ran in 55 degree weather devoid
of massive humidity. It was simply intoxicating.
ran about 4 miles and the dryness, the temperature,
and the nostalgia of running in my wife’s
childhood neighborhood (and where she was
living when we met in 1987) made the run
truly enjoyable. I have a marathon on the
10th so I had business to take care of before
I start the taper.
I can complain about one thing it would
be that my in-laws do not have high speed
internet. They have dial up.
I did get an interesting email while I sat
there and watched the gerbil run the wheel.
seems I was a bit of a smartass in my blog
a few years ago. I KNOW! I was just as shocked.
got an email from a David Wren and while
the name didn’t jump out at me at
first, my memory was soon jarred.
get the full story, read these posts
and then come back.
for those of you that are too damn lazy
to go, I’ll indulge your lazy asses
had been looking for a search mechanism
for my site for years. The site was getting
too big to remember where everything was
but I could never find anything that worked
very good until I found a free program that
worked better than I could have expected.
I was so impressed that I set it up, wrote
the company praising them, and wrote a detailed
blog about it (I KNOW, so unlike me).
was hunky dory for years until I discovered
that the search function was not returning
some items I knew for sure were on my site.
I tinkered with it but to no success so
my loyalty evaporated like a plate of Krispy
Kremes backstage on Oprah. I was not content
to just complain about it, I had to go and
tell the company that they can kiss my white
software was from “WrenSoft.”
you getting what I’m serving up here?
I turned to Google and set up a local search
function but that eventually failed also
so I sheepishly turned back to WrenSoft
and went to their site to see if they had
an updated version. They did. For $99.
I’m back to the free version and trying
to tinker with it again. I never get it
to quite work 100% but it was better than
Google’s functionality and infinitely
better than nothing at all so I stuck with
I get this email:
I just came across your blog. In particular the post, "Search Me, I Don't Know!" - Monday, March 21, 2005
The phrase, "WrenSoft can kiss my white ass", caught my eye :-)
I don't think we are prepared to go that far. But we would be prepared to exchange a free copy of the software in exchange for a proper review in your blog.
I think you were using the old creaky V2 release in the past. The current version is V4.1 of the software has almost been re-written since then. It should be easier to use and definitely offers more functions & speed.
have to say, I was embarrassed but the offer
he made me was exciting. I could try out
his new software for free and all I have
to do is review it on my site. Are you kidding?
I would do that anyway and this way, I don’t
have to negotiate between my self-proclaimed
conflict of perfectionism and cheap-assedness.
I have to wait until I get home, obviously.
On the upshot, I have something to look
forward to when I get home!!!!
Advice for Today:
acknowledgments, introductions, and
prefaces of books."
"Landing: A controlled mid-air
collision with a planet."
June 29, 2005
The Lattes And Software Prepped, I'm Coming
Home To Seattle
does 0430 NOT hurt. It’s just the way
I’m built and assume like most of the
human race. Other than triathletes and ultrarunners
who have more discipline than me, this hour
should be spent biting the pillow.
this morning, I had to traverse this great
country of ours with my 13-year-old son. Maybe
I should have used “get to” rather
than “have to” considering I AM
on vacation and all. Yeah, I’m going
with “get to.”
tried hard to get everything ready last night
so all I had to do was fall into the car and
go this morning but since when has that ever
the boy up was not all that difficult since
he was psyched for the trip, seeing his mother
and sister after an entire day’s absence,
and visiting his family for a few weeks. Just
like when I was a kid, this was an adventure
for him he had been looking forward to for
a long time.
Here was my time table: get up at 0430 and
leave by 0515. Get to Eric’s house by
0700 (#@$* D.C. traffic!!!) and get to the
airport by 0730 for a 0900 flight. Seemed
plausible to me.
we left, the first order of business was coffee,
of course. And since I was the one in charge
with no momma to counteract my dictates, I
allowed the boy to partake. Hey, he wanted
coffee!!! So for the first time, and not the
last time in this life, my and my boy stopped
off to get some Joe. And by “Joe”
I mean coffee, you pervs.
so much time in the car, I was free to expound
my thoughts about traffic in general to my
son. He learned a lot of new words.
not really. We talked about a lot of things
and I tried, rather successfully I’ll
point out, to tone down the traffic irritation
thing. We had left plenty of time to get to
where we were going so there was no need for
stress, given or received.
set up was ideal. I have a friend that lives
near the airport so I met him at his house,
we drove to the airport to drop me off, he
takes the car back to his house and stores
it while we’re away, and come picks
me up afterward. This way, I don’t have
to pay $8 per day for three weeks just to
park the Saturn.
a friend watching Buster, I was making out
big time with this whole vacation thing. Other
than the $700 per ticket plane (un)fare. But
other than that….
opportunity that arose was to show my boy
what benefit a frequent traveler can be to
someone, especially a young boy who isn’t
sure about this whole increased security situation
at airports. I explained to him how to get
through security and other than looking at
me like the old man had lost his grape when
I told him to remove his shoes, he came through
with flying colors.
knew Alex was going to be a happy sight to
whoever was assigned the seat next to him.
A small, well-behaved boy who didn’t
have the top 16 layers of fat oozing over
into the next seat. Yeah, he was a gold mine.
was the first time I had flown Frontier and
I was impressed that the seats were huge.
Compared to Southwest’s seatlets, Frontier
was downright luxury. They also had an “entertainment
system” built into the headrest of each
seat in front of you. They offered DirectTV
and movies…. for a price.
always something. In essence, there is a collection
of amenities the airlines can offer and they
have the choice to offer or not offer them.
To charge or not charge for the offerings.
They are all the same amenities but just different
combinations of what you have to pay for.
entertainment, and alcohol are the big ones.
Do they offer a meal? A snack? Peanuts? Do
they charge for headphone use? For movies?
Do they charge $3 for a beer? $5? $7?
is how Frontier does it. No peanuts. A bagel
or a bag of Doritos. $5 for a beer. Free headphones.
$5 to watch all of the DirectTV channels for
the duration of the flight. $5 to watch a
decided that my SuperDad powers should prevail
and get my boy a movie or the DirectTV. Only
$5 to keep the boy entertained for a few hours?
didn’t want to screw this up. Please
don’t screw this up. Simple, right?
Set the channel, swipe the card, agree to
let it charge you $5, off to the races. Please
don’t screw this up…
screwed it up.
no, it wasn’t my fault. I swiped the
card and answered “yes” that I
would agree to accept the charge. It verified
it and we were set.
we went to the Nickelodeon station.
Wait a minute, I paid for this!!! Stewardess!!!
No not you Mr. Tinkerbell, the one with ovaries.
me go tangent for a second.
this guy was not gay, then he had just as
many problems with perception as if he was
a flaming homobot. Fat and metrosexual-looking
in demeanor and glasses (which I had a sneaking
suspicion were only for “the look”).
But the most irritating was the lilting voice
which gave him away as one who bats for the
same team. He would come around with a trashbag
and ask if we had any “presents”
which was his cutesy little term for trash.
With his hands cupped on each other in front
of him, he kept inquiring about the plans
of the couple behind us. At one point, he
asked me “Are we having fun?”
glared at him with a look that very much indicated
he should get his light-loafered and misused
ass away from my general aura of hatred.
giggled. He knew the score.
back to the entertainment.
got the attention of the other stewardess
(they are all stewardesses) and informed her
about my dilemma (no, not about Ass-Pounding
Andy) with Nickelodeon. We came to the determination
that he could use my screen so she swiped
her card through and enabled my DirectTV.
But then she left and it ends up that it had
the same problem.
Sorry Boy, no joy.
to her credit, she came back and since she
could not credit my card, she gave me a card
for a free swipe on my next trip which would
normally be a total rip off except I knew
I could use it on the next leg of this trip
from Denver to Seattle. Then I had to resist
the urge to watch the channels that were available
since both our consoles were active. But I
hadn’t paid for it (actually I had but
I had the free card that I was going to use
on the next leg) so it wasn’t right
into Denver sucked. The ride was bumpy and
the tail of the plane swayed back and forth
which logically convinced me that we were
all going down in a fiery ball of pain, suffering,
and sheer horror. Alex thought it was fun.
I lost 46 pounds of sweat through my hands.
had a picnic in the Denver airport. Paying
$11 for a couple of crispy strip meals at
KFC, we sat by a big window and chowed while
watching planes take off. It was a great time
with just me and my boy.
second leg of the trip was great because the
boy could watch his TV and it was only 2 ½
hours. But the best part was on the final
approach I looked out and saw what I thought
was Mount Rainier in the distance. It soon
became evident that I was mistaken since we
flew right by the real Rainier a few minutes
though seeing Mount Rainer up close was not
cool enough, there was a bigger treat out
the window. In one shot, I could see Mount
Rainier, Mount Hood, Mount Shasta, and Mount
St. Helens. I made the boy take off his headphones
and showed him, explaining what he was looking
on went the headphones.. <sigh>.
we went right past Rainier (the most awesome
sight, majestic as a mother$%$#%!!!!) I kept
tapping Alex and pointing out the window.
nod, back to Nickelodeon.
WILL APPRECIATE THIS BEAUTY AND ICON FROM
MY CHILDHODD, YOU LITTLE INGRATE!!!!”
that last part was in my head and maybe I
subdued it before it left the confines of
my skull. Maybe.
Landing at SeaTac airport was a little less
dicey than Denver but not much. Damn sliding!!!
But we touched down and I was home once again.
picked us up after it took forever to get
our bags and we headed back to her parents
house. At 6:30 PM local time I decided it
was a good idea to catch a little nap. Just
a little one.
the last thing I remembered for the rest of
the night. I was home. And I was crashed.
the premise. You have to drop someone off at
Baltimore/Washington International Airport.
You live in Fredericksburg. The flight leaves
you have to dive into the teeth of morning D.C.
traffic into the city.
will wait for your cataclysmic horror to subside
before I continue…..
the upside, we had 4 people so we could use
the carpool lane. Unlike HOV lanes from my native
Seattle which only require 2 or more passengers,
the ones in Virginia want 3 people which creates
the slug phenomenon. There are actual “slug
lots” where people wait and perfect strangers
stop in and pick them up. The slug gets a free
ride and the driver gets to use the HOV lane.
This set up would be too left to chance for
my constitution and lack of patience for the
general stupidity of the public at large. But
there are people who consistently use this arrangement
and more power to them.
we got the Pilot loaded and I endured a continuous
flow of instructions from my wife about getting
everything ready for my own trip tomorrow. I
would have to make the final prep to secure
the house for our 3 week absence that included
getting Buster over to a Sir Phil’s house,
adjusting the thermometer of the house, making
sure there was no trash that would rot, and
about 10 million other details that hurt my
head to think about.
made good time and I got them to the airport
successfully. I felt kind of bad just kicking
my wife and daughter to the curb but with heightened
security, I wouldn’t be able to get them
to the gate and she insisted I just drop them
off. So beat it.
home seemed like it took forever. I was tired
but was also trying to finish the 16 hour tape-fest
that I was listening to. I was listening to
John Adams on 21 cassettes and it seems I'd
been listening to it for decades. Don’t
get me wrong, it was good but just a marathon
of listening. And you know I know what that
and I stopped at Denny’s and stuffed ourselves
silly. It was good to spend time alone with
the boy and I really started to see how old
he was getting. At 13, it’s starting to
be like spending time with an adult and I’m
so proud to see this happening. But he still
has knuckleheaded tendancies (don't we all?).
we got home, I was checking email and right
in the middle responding to one, the Internet
went down. Alex informed me that the cable was
also out so after resetting my modem and computer
to no avail, I called crApdelphia and played
the hold game.
was out in my entire area and after checking,
I was told I was the first to report this. No,
I didn’t get some special prize or anything.
Just the knowledge that my whole area would
have been ignorantly down with good old crApdelphia
not doing anything about it. Was I held up as
a hero? No. Nothing. Not even a simple thank
net was down all day so I spent the day getting
a haircut, washing Buster, and watching the
second season of 24. It’s sooooooo
good and I had to get through 8 episodes in
order to return the DVDs to the video store
before we left tomorrow.
quick observation that impressed me. You’ve
seen on TV and in the movies where a character
has a gun pointed to the head of someone and
explains that if they give them the information
they want, they will kill them quick and make
it painless. If not, it will be quite the opposite
of quick and painless. A hell of a choice to
be sure but you’ve seen it.
how many times have you seen them actually kill
them? Think about it, they never give up the
info and get shot as promised. Nor do you see
them get tortured. Usually you hear a gunshot
and you think he pulled the trigger only to
find out that someone else shows up and shoots
the shooter in dramatic flair.
Jack Bauer. He gave this choice to a bad guy
and after the guy spit out the info…
shots into the bad guy.
was like “Holy $h&*&*!!!!!”
I mean, you just never see that and he did it.
Bauer is the coolest.
his daughter, while hot, has to be functionally
retarded. If you watch the show, you know what
I’m talking about.
took old Buster over to Sir Phil’s who,
in his infinite generosity, fed us hamburgers
and fries. I felt kind of bad for the little
knucklehead (Buster, not Sir Phil… although….)
because he had no idea that Sir Phil’s
house was going to be his abode for the next
3 weeks. He and Daisy started romping all over
the place as usual and we pulled the old “trip
to the backyard as we sneak out the front”
routine which Buster’s keen sense of intelligence
never pieced together. This was what made me
feel bad; that we took advantage of his monumental
stupidity. I know the feeling, Buster, I know
my “To Do” list, notice I didn’t
include “packing.” Not that I didn’t
require this little pleasure but just that I
put it off until it was late, I was tired, and
was looking at a few hours of sleep.
I threw just about every pair of underwear,
socks, and shirts into a huge suitcase. I am
a relentless over-packer and it got so bad that
I had to enlist the aid of a second small suitcase.
Carrie will give me no end of shit over this
but I’m allowed two checked bags and dammit,
I’m using them.
0100, I crawled into bed and collapsed. I get
3 ½ hours. Lovely.
Advice for Today:
underestimate the influence of the people
you have allowed into your life."
"I've learned that we are responsible
for what we do, unless we are celebrities."
June 27, 2005
Are You Sitting At Your Desk In Your Underwear,
day before going on vacation is golden. It’s
almost on par with the last day of work. Nobody
can touch you, you don’t have to worry about
starting anything new, and you are on the cusp
of blissful non-responsibility.
morning, I told my Gunny I had only three answers.
3. I don’t care.
I told him not to bother me with deciding which
was the best answer and to just pick one and go
might think he would take advantage of this. You
might expect that I OK’ed a list of things
I would normally never authorize. But this will
not be the case and not because he knows the repercussions
of such advantage-taking would be painful but
because he’s a good man.
I sat in my office, tied up a few loose ends,
and prepared for 3 weeks of being left to my own
shivering, it’s distracting.
Advice for Today:
a friend is in need, help him without his
having to ask."
"I've learned that you shouldn't compare
yourself to others - they are more f*****
up than you think."
June 26, 2005
Said 25? Why Is Everyone Pointing At Someone Else?
don’t ask me how exactly it happened but somewhere
between last night and this morning, I found it
necessary to attempt a 32 mile run. Why? I asked
you not to ask me that. Way to follow directions.
was moody last night and didn’t want to talk
to anyone. My wife found me laying on the bed, deep
in thought and knew that I was going through my
mental long-run-eve acrobatics.
of my problem was the hour at which I had to wake
up. With the skyrocketing heat combined with the
accompanying humidity, I had to be running as the
sun came up. So a 0400 wake up time was in the cards
(I hate those $#%#$%$# cards!) and I also had my
weekly bout with the realization that I once again
forgot something at work so I would have to swing
by there before the run. This was not helping matters
as my cowering, shaking mood-barometer of a dog
the time I got up, got ready, drove to work, and
got to TBS for the run, it was almost exactly 0600.
I had been up two hours before the buttcrack of
dawn and hadn’t run a step. Heavy sigh.
was in my head that I would run to the 8 mile turn-around
and back. Then it occurred to me that I should do
the loop (another 8 miles) and what the hell, reverse
loop. This seemed to be decided before my common
sense had any say in the matter and suddenly, I
was roped into it but I declared that whoever was
responsible for this travesty of a decision would
pay. And pay dearly.
the 1.5 mile mark I was feeling good but then I
saw that the gate to the hinterlands was closed.
I had to make a decision whether to go around the
gate or hang a right and stick to the 8 mile loops.
On the one hand, Christie’s
husband, Brian, who works at TBS had told me they
no longer use the ranges out there on the weekend
but I really didn’t want to be looking over
my shoulder for 16 miles wondering if someone would
come up and inform me just how much of a dumbass
I am. I already know and the thought of some LCPL
reminding me was not all that alluring. The swinging
vote was that I knew I had water stops on the loop
and I could visit my car for supplies every 8 miles.
The bad thing was that I had the opportunity to
succumb to the desire to hop in the car and go the
had one of those “moments”
at about mile 5. No, not one of THOSE or even one
of “those” kind. Come on, give
me credit; it was only mile 5. (Jason, take a look
at your blog last weekend.)
we done? Can I continue?
moment hit me that I was out early running, feeling
good, and it was a beautiful scene that only I was
privy to. The sun was rising making the scattered
clouds light up with an array of colors and everything
was serene. I knew the second I saw it that this
was the reason it was good to be out at this time
in the morning. It was going to be a good run.
first loop went off without a hitch and I clocked
about 1:18. I figured if I can average 1:30 for
each lap, that would be grand so I had just put
a whole 10 minutes into the bank.
2 was another wonderful experience but the heat
and humidity was rising so I was feeling the effects.
Plus, coming into the parking lot, the first thought
of many to come arrived:
home, Jason. You did 16 miles and that was your
original goal. There is only pain out there for
here on out.”
made a convincing argument. Bastard.
out for the third loop, I was stopped at the ½
mile mark by a Corporal in full battle gear.
going to have to turn you around, Sir.”
I grabbed him by the throat, disarmed him with my
other hand, and beat him senseless with his own
you believed that last sentence, you are dumber
than I can possibly imagine.
what’s going on?”
now I had a problem; I had to go back another half
mile where I would be REALLY tempted to call it
a day with 17 miles under my belt. If I went around
the other way, I was still looking at the fact that
I just added another mile to this run and at this
point, every step counted.
my altered state, so many crazy scenarios ran through
my head. I could run the loop and then on the last
loop, cut through Application trail again. Or I
could just suck it up and accept that the extra
mile was just that; extra.
back to the parking lot, I really, really, really
wanted to get back in that car. There was A/C in
there. There was Gatorade in ice water.
There was a trip home where I could crash for a
took everything I had to run by. It was pure force
a few decision were starting to be made the further
along I got. At one point, it was that I would run
to the fire station and turn around. Then it was
that I would keep going to Application trail and
cut over. Then it was that I would go as far as
the guards would let me and turn around. But in
the end, it was a survival death slog back to the
parking lot, via the loop. It became evident that
there would be no 4th loop this day.
very important aspects of my preparation for this
run kept me in the game for as long as I was. First,
I hooked my iPod to the straps of my Camelback
so I had it handy on my left shoulder where I could
skip songs at will. I wrapped the headphone cords
such as they were out of the way and the little
setup was ideal.
because I was looping, I didn’t need to carry
any supplies except water. I could tuck away my
savior-Gu and replenish on the pitstops. This allowed
me to leave my waist free of a running bag and the
liberty that created was euphoric.
I brought a washcloth with me and soaked it at every
water stop. With the heat and humidity, a quick
wipe of my face from a cool washcloth was my own
little trip to heaven as often as I wanted it.
this last loop, a car pulled up and stopped beside
me. It had two women in it that I recognized because
I had passed them twice going the opposite way during
FAR are you going?” one asked.
was too tired to explain or elaborate about the
50 and 100 I was also training for. They told me
they were training for the Marine Corps Marathon
and had never run one before. I had remembered they
were walking both times I had seen them (and on
the second time I asked jokingly “Are
you following me?”) and that brought
back the fond memories of the terror I had training
for my first one.
told them about my little detour and asked them
if the other side was open yet. They told me it
was and that meant that I would definitely be completing
this loop. I thanked them and asked them if they
see my curled up in the fetal position later on
the course, if they would so kind as to spit on
it sad that two pretty women stop to talk to me
and all I can think about is the A/C they are sitting
in? That was the lingering thought I had as I continued
after they left. Sad, sad...
end was brutal. It was well into the 90s and the
time no longer mattered. I was just trying to get
to that parking lot and the sun was doing everything
it could to stop me. It was me against the elements
at this point and every step was a challenge.
a final push that looked more like a light jog,
I crossed the line in a whopping 1:55. I didn’t
care. I felt no sense of shame for the time just
as I felt no sense of accomplishment for the 25
miles I had just gone out and done on my own. I
just wanted A/C and a Gatorade.
the time I got home, I had cooled off by the pain
in my legs and feet were front and center. No one
was home so I had to hobble out and get my supplies
into the house in many painful trips.
took a shower that was somewhere near the most ecstatic
feeling a human being can experience and by the
time I was done, Carrie was home and made me a sandwich
and some soup. I think I absorbed it into my body
before it hit my stomach.
thought that the nap I was destined for would be
in the same league as the shower but after about
an hour of near-death sleep, the lactic acid took
over and my legs kept me awake. It didn’t
help that the neighborhood kids were cranking their
music so I heard the thumping bass without the melody
of the song. It was gansta rap anyway so there was
no melody but a lot of information about mother-fuckin’
this and that.
wasn’t until nighttime that I started realizing
the accomplishment. I had almost ran an entire marathon
and I lived to tell about it. Yeah I was sore and
yeah it knocked me out of commission for the rest
of the day but it told me that I was ready for the
Seafair Marathon on July 10th.
me this marathon. I got four hours to kill.
Advice for Today:
your children the pride, satisfaction, and dignity
of doing any job well."
"I'm Hub McCann. I've fought in two world
wars and countless smaller ones on three continents.
I've led thousands of men into battle with
horses and swords, artillery and tanks. I've
seen the headwaters of the Nile and tribes
of natives no white men had ever seen before.
I've won and lost a dozen fortunes, killed
many men, and loved only one woman with a
passion a flea like you could never begin
to understand. That's who I am."
Robert Duvall in Secondhand Lions
June 25, 2005
killed the virus today. If
you’ve been keeping up, you know the battle
has spanned three days and many hours. But I emerged
victorious, chest heaving, holding up my keyboard
and roaring “FREEDOM!!!!!”
(I sometimes have a flair for the dramatic).
ran the monster scan and completed the script by running
HiJack this but the registry entry was not there since
I did a bit of freelance “regedit”-ing.
I started the computer and have not seen hide nor
hair of Aurora or the ABI Network.
hope they die in a syphilitic convulsion chocked full
of slow pain and suffering.
"Don’t run through life so fast that
you forget not only where you’ve
been, but also where you are going."
June 24, 2005
Long Fast Eddie
have to understand, my brother is over 6 feet tall and
over 200 pounds. I was all they had left after creating
him. He is bigger than anyone in our family and towers
over everyone in family pictures.
you get the picture. Big guy. Never been married. Has
get a call at work and he seems upset.
you talked to Mom this week?”
did not sound good. Not much can be good, starting out
had to put Fast Eddie down.”
I said, Chris has no kids so his three cats and one
lab are the only “kids” he has.
Somewhat-Related Joke: A guy is walking on a college
campus and runs into an English professor.
do you know what time it is?”
“You should never end a sentence with a verb.
Do you want to try the question again?”
“OK, do you know what time it is, ASSHOLE?”
you remember, my brother is upset about his cat dying.
It seems old Fast Eddie (named after Edgar Martinez
of the Seattle Mariners) caught himself a little of
the feline leukemia which is what my beloved Sid
succumbed to some years ago. So I knew the shitiness
that he was going through and knew how no one except
other pet-owners would understand why the death of a
pet was so traumatic. Even for a big guy like Chris.
I was a mess when I had to hold Sid while the vet pumped
him full of anesthetic. I was looking into his eyes
which slowly dilated and glazed over right in front
took the day off and made an appointment with the vet,
the same one who charged him $200 to tell Chris that
Fast Eddie had leukemia and possibly a cancerous lump
in his stomach. Chris waved off the stomach test because
the leukemia was endgame anyway. So now it was going
to be another $150 to put the old boy down and ashed
up for Chris’s safekeeping.
cost: $350 for a dead, cancerous cat and a collection
of ashes. Bummer.
assume Puddins and Sam are getting a bit nervous these
“Seems like it’s getting a bit sparse
around here these days, don’t you think Sam?”
“Man my ass smells good.”
Advice for Today:
you see someone sitting alone on a beach, make it
a point to speak to them."
"When you're in love, you're at the mercy
of a stranger."
June 23, 2005
Continues and Giggy Gets Pleathered
you haven’t read yesterday’s
blog, you’d better take a few moments and do
so before proceeding. I’ll wait, sitting here more
than a little pissed off.
at you, mind you. I know you are busy. I know you have
things to do and to be honest, I know that I’ve
been sporadic with blog entries and the ones I have posted
have been a bit long-winded (but you didn’t have
to point that out, really. You know who I’m talking
awoke this morning expecting to see a completed scan screen
on my computer but this little trip to Blissville was
not to be. Here is why.
I ask, would you program something to STOP at the first
sign of trouble and ask the user what they wanted to do?
Granted, you provide an option to apply your first answer
to all future questions but you didn't offer this at the
beginning of the scan.
about the 33% scan complete point, it found something
(duh!) and asked if I wanted to quarantine it. Well, YES,
you dumb bastard. No, I want it to continue to infect
my machine, to disregard the very reason I’m running
the scan. Furthermore, can you stop the scan until I answer
because it’s not like it takes hours and hours while
my computer is virtually inoperative!
had to go to work and since the kids are now out of school,
I didn’t want to tie up the computer all day until
I got home so I had to stop the scan and accept that I
would have to continue this when I got home.
other news of the day was iPod case. I still think I’m
a bit on the dark side of marital bliss because of the
whole iPod purchase so considering
accessories for it is a dicey subject. But ever since
I got it, I’ve felt like I’ve been carrying
around an egg. I needed a case and expressed this to Carrie,
along with my desire to eventually own a power charger,
a car kit, and a docking station (and a shuffle, and an
FM transmitter, and…. maybe I should have stuck
with just the “case” argument.)
went to the exchange but they only had a couple of options.
One was sweet but cost $30. It was a thin aluminum case
with a neoprene lining. I loved it but spending 1/6 the
cost of the iPod was not going to work. Damn Belkin!!!
night, I made my way to the PWT Capitol of the Universe,
WalMart, and viewed their offerings. They had it behind
locked glass (… and why was this, WalMart? You are
weird little people!) and I had to ask Julio who looked
about as happy to help me as he was interested in a home
had exactly what I was looking for and it was only $13
(good old WalMart). It was a leather case, or so it said
on the front. It looked like leather but the back said
two things that made me think otherwise.
Made of vinyl
2. 100% Man-Made Material
little false advertising on the front, don’t you
it protected “Giggy” which I’ve decided
to call it. And it made it so I wasn’t scared silly
to handle it, throw it in my bag, or generally misuse
it (keep it clean, pervs!).
Advice for Today:
than nothing important was ever achieved without someone's
taking a risk."
those who will risk going too far can possibly find
out how far one can go."
June 22, 2005
happened again. I got an uber-virus on my computer and I’m
not very happy about it. I truly wish I could meet with
the author of this virus or any virus author so I could
proceed to beat the holy living shit out of them. Then pound
them until they are pink mush. And then beat them some more.
And then form their geletous refuse into the shape of a
human again and start all over.
you can tell, I’m not too happy about all of this.
happened when I innocently tried to look up some lyrics.
I know that these days, Googling for song lyrics is pretty
much just pulling up a list of spyware/virus sites. I had
gone through this before so to try to head this off, I scrolled
down a few pages in the hopes that I could get past the
big ones and try to catch the lessor infected sites.
second I hit the link, I knew I was infected. Pop-ups were
coming fast and furious and my blocker was knocking them
down as fast as they appeared. But then the tell-tale sign
that I was infected came when my start-up monitor and another
protection program came up and ask if I wanted to allow
a certain executable. The good news was that it caught it
but the bad news, I knew, was that it would continue to
ask me over and over, in effect, screwing up my computer.
knew I was screwed and while I knew I would get rid of it,
the deep, aching feeling hit that I was going to spend too
much time (defined as more than 5 seconds) undoing what
some shitbag programming jackass did to me. So the steaming
first reaction is to run Ad Aware. After updating it and
running it, it caught the normal 15 trillion problems but
I knew deep down inside that it would not fix this. I then
ran Spybot Search and Destroy. Same result. I restarted
my computer and still got infection warnings. Crap!!!
then went to my Windows/system32 folder and sorted the files
by date. I found a couple of .exe and .dll files that I
tried to erase. Sure enough, they didn’t want to go
away which meant they were in use and not for anything good,
next thing to do was to start my computer in safe mode (gets
the computer basically up but doesn’t load all the
extra crap, some of which is the infected files). I went
and erased the suspected .exe and .dll files. I ran both
Ad Aware and Spybot S&D again (both of which take forever
on my monstrous hard drives). I started the computer over
response was not very proper. It rhymed with “suck.”
I knew I’d have to go to the next level of extermination:
behavior was that I was getting pop up ads. How this happens
I don’t know. I have a router with a firewall. I have
a startup monitor. I have a watchdog program. I have Symantec
Antivirus that I update and scan every night. I have Google
Popup blocker. I keep updated and run Ad Aware And Spybot
was a very advanced program to get through all those defenses.
And while I could have seen it as a worthy opponent, I didn’t.
I saw it as an intrusion and a source of forced time waste.
noted that the title bar of the pop up ads I was being served,
there was something that said “Aurora –
a part of the ABI Network.” OK, I knew who to
bomb. Just kidding… where to start.
found out that “ABI” stands for “A
Better Network” and it was a company who supposedly
served ads to people who want them. Come on guys, NO ONE
wants these ads and especially when they are snuck onto
your computer without a way to get them off without drastic
found a message board that talked about it and gave a few
links to places I could go to get it removed. In particular,
I found a script that had particular instructions to remove
it and while I find it reassuring that this Trojan Horse
I had stumbled on was well known, it was a new, rather nasty
little bastard and it would cost me some time to rid myself
is what it basically had me do: download two free programs
(one really free and one that was a trial version). Start
in safe mode and run the first one. Then run the second
one. Then run Hijack This and get rid of a registry entry.
Seemed simple enough, huh?
then you have not been a long-time Jason-Blog reader.
ran the first one which when unzipped created two files,
one of which I was supposed to run but neither of which
were named what the instructions told me they should be
named. So I took a guess and not much happened, which was
what it said would happen. Bad instructions, guys. You don’t
tell someone that “nothing will happen”
when you perform a step right because if they screwed it
up (as I’m known to do from time to time to time to
time…) then there is no difference in what happens
if you do it right or wrong.
then started the second program which was nothing more than
a scan of my system much like Ad Aware. The problem was
that my hard drive is huge and it wanted to run a scan on
my backup drive, too. So with this set in motion, I went
to do other things while hours passed.
it finally decided I had had enough, it got done and I ran
HiJack This, as asked. I found the registry entry and killed
this point, I was supposed to start the computer in regular
mode and everything was supposed to be hunky dory. And you
know I just can’t let that happen so for S&G,
I ran HiJack This again to see what would happen. As expected,
there was no slimy bastard commie shitbag entries from spyware
and I was happy. Had I effectively killed this cockroach
of a program in one afternoon?
(or maybe just to get the thrill one more time of seeing
a clean scan), I ran HiJack This one more time.
of me says I should have left good enough alone. The other
part of me says that it’s better I found out since
not knowing wouldn’t change the fact. A third side
says that he likes strawberries and that he wanders if his
fist can fit into his mouth. We tend to ignore that side
but he takes over when in long meetings.
ok, maybe I screwed up the first step by picking the wrong
file to run. So I went back and ran both of them. Many times.
There, you bastard, did I run the right program THIS time?
<yes, that’s both huffy and pissy>
was getting late so the idea was just to set it into motion
and go to bed, secure in the knowledge that I would wake
up blissful and once again, fully scanned. Wow, now that
sounds both dirty and scary.
fell asleep mumbling. It bore a striking resemblance to
this once again:
you don’t go after what you want, you’ll
never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer
is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re
always in the same place."
June 21, 2005
Took A crApple
was the day. I leaped to the other side (or at least threw
a toe over) and I can never claim never to have delved.
was iPod day.
started when Carrie told me that the FedEx man had left a
note on the door.
WERE YOU NOT HOME, WOMAN?
tone did not help matters.
thought, if I get home, maybe I can get to the FedEx station
and get it tonight. I must have it tonight. I must I must
I must or the Universe will explode into countless shards
of misery and pain.
got home and looked at the notice. No phone number. It told
me to pick it up before 5:00 but didn’t even give an
address. Bastards! Who gives a notice to pick something up
and doesn’t give THE ADDRESS?!!!
looked it up on the net but was having a hard time finding
the correct place. I was sweating, actually sweating, because
I could hear the clock ticking. Tick, tock, tick, friggin’
was looking it up in the phonebook but ran into the same troubles
as I did. We simply could not do something as simple as find
the address to pick it up. And the clock kept going. And I
dog cowered and the stress floating in the house.
messages. Pressing numbers to get to next menu.
7 if you want to decapitate the inventor of automated menus.
I found it and Mapquested the address (yes, in my freak out,
I went back to Mapquest
in a moment of weakness).
I was off.. squealing (tires, not my mouth).
had to deal with Route 3. Then I-95. Then Warrenton exit.
pulled into the parking lot at 4:46. I stopped, calmly wiped
the sweat from my brow, and walked in with my ticket.
good, you’re still open.”
“It’s only 4:45, you have plenty of time.” With a plastic smile “Yes, I just wanted to
“Here you are.”
disappeared in the back and inside, I’m still all aflutter.
Why? My mp3 player dreams are about to be answered.
was gone too long. Where is she? DAMMIT!!! She should be back
we go, sign here, please.”
had no idea I was qualifiedly insane at that moment.
box seemed too small. It looked tiny. I knew the iPod mini
was, well, mini, but this was miniscule.
the way back home, I tried to open the box at stop lights.
It didn’t work. They could send plutonium on these packages.
I thought I’d need an acetylene torch when I got home.
you get it?”
said it in a way that created the widest gap between the internal
strife and the outward tone ever created by a human being.
cleared the papers off the couch and put the box on it, like
I was Indiana
Jones replacing the gold monkey head with a bag of sand.
it up, I realized how small this thing really is. And how
cheap crApple got in thinning out the accessories in order
to drop the price. (Yes, I’m going to continue to dump
on crApple even though I love my iPod. Deal with the hypocrisy!).
has not docking station. To charge it up, you plug it into
a USB port but you cannot listen to music while you do this
and I’m convinced they do this purposely so you will
by the accessories to charge and play at the same time.
crApple, very cheesy.
earbuds were the first to go to the Drawer of Forgotten
Electronic Accessories. Yeah, they are iconic but I don’t
need white earbuds to tell the world I’m in the iPod
club. Hell, I’ll just tap them on the shoulder and shove
it in their face with a smug look of my own. Cuz dat’s
the way I roll. (sorry, I thug-channeled for a sec there).
also came with a white crApple sticker. I’m thinking
about pasting it on my toilet lid.
loaded up iTunes which I knew was just another digital music
program. Everyone talks about it as though it’s some
kind of new concept but it’s just crApple’s version
of WinAmp or Media Player. I’ve never had much success
with any of these programs, the two I mentioned being the
exception but not without a few minor issues. So I wasn’t
all that optimistic that I would get all chubby about this
messing around with it, I worked out how to use it and as
I predicted, it was a moderate success with a few irritating
idiosyncrasies (which ironically is how I would describe myself).
I spent the evening loading up 924 songs. How did I go about
this? Well, one of the irritating things about iTunes, and
to be fair, a lot of these media organizers, it does not let
you filter by the way you have it organized on your computer.
In other words, I can’t access it by my file structure
I put my songs in on my computer. I have to use their filtering
methods and it ends up I had to go song by song… with
over 2000 songs!!!
other MP3 player I’ve had (other than the Rio
debacle), I’ve had to be very choosy in what songs
I pick and for space considerations, I would down-sample them
to fit more on the limited space I had.
here was my plan: I will just slap any song I find remotely
appealing on there and at the end, just shave off ones I can
afford to lose until I can fit them onto the player. And since
I was working with 4 gigabytes, I didn’t have to down-sample
which saved a lot of time and made me feel good that I was
getting full quality.
take much, folks.
I was getting to the end of my “slapping,” I had
I going to run out of room?”
“Am I gonna get stopped cold at the R’s?”
“Hey, these just may all fit!”
I got to the end, I was flabbergasted. I picked the last song
and the little indicator said I have 4 MB left. Out of all
that random choices, 924 choices, it came down to having room
for ONE MORE SONG.
you see how unlikely that is?
getting geek-shivers just thinking about it right now.
know, I know, you have to go but one more thing or I’ll
forget to tell you.
interface is cool. I will step out of my deep, unjustified,
disproportionate hatred for crApple to offer a little praise.
those of you that don’t know, the interface for iPod
is a circle with flush buttons sensitive to touch. So to scroll
(not WID SCROLL BUTT-ONS…) you just run a finger around
IS SO COOL!
when it’s playing, you do the same to raise or lower
the volume. It’s very Star Trektacular and
for a guy like me (dork), I like that.
maybe the best feature so far is the one that instigated the
whole iPod craze for me. My old player’s random function
was about as random as the Natural Numbers (shout out to all
ya’ll geekoids). But the “Shuffle Songs”
function on the iPod does the job. It shuffles them like Paris
Hilton’s date options.
think this is going to be the start of a beautiful relationship.
And remember the quote from the king in Braveheart?
only thing wrong with Scotland is that it’s full of
the only thing I’ve found wrong with crApple’s
iPod is that it’s made my crApple.
is the sticker that says "Don't steal music."
If you won't make overall inferior computers.
got it personalized. Came free. So that means I cannot
eBay it down the line and if someone steals it, it just
serves to tell them who they juiced.
is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many
rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write
June 19, 2005
Can't All Be Epic
do you have to have bad runs? Because they make the good runs
that much better. Or so says some optimistic assbag who has
never had a bad running day in his miserable life.
are the chances I had a less-than stellar run today?
fact, I had not had a good run in awhile and have been skipping
the long weekend runs. So what made me think I could just go
out and have a 16 miler out of the blue and rainbows and butterflies
come streaming outta my ass?
Let me know when you find out.
got ready and made it out to the course after stopping by work.
I had tried to bring home everything I needed from work but
discovered yesterday that I accidentally left my running shoes
at my office. So I had to make a pitstop there which didn't
contribute positively to my mood. In fact, it heaped a bit more
piss to the ever-increasing "off" pile I was building.
second punt into the stands was when I discovered, at the start
line, that I comepltely forgot Gu. No, not just didn't bring
enough, not "brought the wrong kind", no, friends,
just plain completely forgot it altogether. It's not like I've
been doing this for years or anythnig. How could I be doing
all this for so long and forget the fuel that gets me through
these long runs? Again, inform me when you find out.
fleetingthought occured to me that maybe I can get through this
run I'm not mentally or physically ready for without Gu on this
sweltering, muggy morning.
I was laughing on the inside too so yuck it up.
was going as well as can be expected until about mile 5 when
it suddenly hit me that this really sucks. I was not ready.
I was having a bad day. It happens.
revised plan was to just do one lap: eight miles.
that got changed to take the shortcut through Application Trail
(basically cutting a line straight through the middle of the
loop). The trail was the one we would be forced to march from
TBS to the rifle range every day for a week (one of the worst
at TBS) and I hadn't been on the trail since. So I thought it
would be a sort of memory lane trip.
don't remember so many kamikaze bugs. But I accepted
it as the penance being paid for flaking on the run. I even
had to walk portions of it and when I came out the other side,
I wasn't where I thought I should be. Somehow, I missed a cut-off
and ended up on the road leading to the camp.
I got back to my car, I decided that was enough. I got it, God,
message received. A short run and I could get home and surpise
my family who is used to me being gone for the entire morning,
returning tired, sweaty, and pissy.
was still pissy. I was not tired. I was not sore. But I was
not too happy about it all, either.
Advice for Today:
respect for police officers and firefighters."
view of the economy could be summed up in a few short
phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate
it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
June 18, 2005
iDie Is iCast
week I posted about iPod lust. Today,
it came to a head and I broke.
into consideration the cost, the need, my current economic situation,
and the cost/benefit analysis, I wrote all that on a piece of
paper, studied it, crumpled it up, threw it away, and went online
to order a brand spanking new iPod mini.
opted for the 4 GB model because not only was the price acceptable
but the 6 MB model was wholly unjustifiable (for now). Too much
money for only 50% more room when I could get 1000 songs on
the 4 GB model without even down-sampling. Anyway, I was only
allowed to go this far into my insanity cave.
first thing I tried was to go to eBay (and I’m noticing
that a lot of things these days have a lower case first letter
and an upper case second letter? wHat’s uP wIth tHat?)
and looked through the Buy It Now offerings. I no longer
actually bid on anything because I hate getting juiced at the
end by some last second bidding bastard.
were a LOT of iPods on sale. I mean, A LOT! And many of them
were “NEW, STILL IN THE ORIGINAL PACKAGING!”
For some reason, I got real snobbish and distrustful about all
these resellers. Maybe it was the whole RIO
Karma fiasco or maybe I’m just becoming very discriminating
when it comes to electronics. Or I’m an ass. I dunno,
over the many choices, I finally realized that it really wasn’t
not getting it? Come on, don’t be an idiot.
worth going through a reseller. Why? Because once you added
in shipping and insurance, it was only a few bucks less than
ordering it through crApple itself. They were $199 with free
shipping and engraving.
I went for it. Come hither, iPod. Come meet your new daddy.
now we play the waiting game; a game I’m not very adept
at playing. Much like Charile Brown who sent the red-headed
girl a valentine, I waited by the mailbox while the order was
still in my virtual mailbox to crApple.
maybe I should download iTunes and get it set up on my computer
(don’t be a pitiful geek, Jason, come on!!!)
anyone get the meaning of my blog post title yesterday?
Advice for Today:
vegetables from truck farmers who advertise with hand-lettered
has been said that politics is the second oldest profession.
I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance
to the first."
June 17, 2005
had the humbling experience of trying to create a resume for
the classes I want to teach online. Humbling because the template
I used was from a doctor. Here is what I wrote:
First of all, it's probably a bad idea for a guy like me to
try to meld a DOCTOR's resume to my qualifications. Let's
just say it was a humbling experience and I hope they don't
laugh at me. I think my teeth bucked trying to come up with
acceptable stuff to put in there.
I'm sending you my attempt at doing the CV. I'd really appreciate
some help in this.
The only thing I have published is a couple of stories about
marathon running and Marine Corps anecdotes. Nothing academic
except my theses from my BA and MA (and I'm not sure that
counts as "Published.")
I'd like to talk to you about this and the resume tomorrow
if you have the time.
Some random questions:
I have a ton of MCIs from back in my enlisted days. Any use
putting that in there? I was also a Quality Assurance Inspector
back in my avionics days.
Will I be asked "What do you want to teach?" I ask
this because I'm not sure and my answer would be "Whatever
you want me to teach." As you had pointed out, I am "officially"
qualified to teach anything that deals with my master's degree.
I have a course listing on all the classes I took. My strong
suites are math, writing, grammar, and web-page design. But
I don't have much (OK, any) teaching background in any of
these (unless going over math homework with my kids count
but I assume that would look silly on the resume). I would
love to teach a basic math course or anything introductory
on the categories I mentioned, and willing to teach anything
that had to do with ITM with the understanding that it would
have to be intro. I could get up to speed in no time but I
don't know how they would feel about trusting me in that capacity.
Advice for Today:
drivers from out of state a little extra room on the road."
laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about
anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake
me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting."
June 16, 2005
Say It's Your Birthday...
is my wife's (unintelligible mumbling...)th birthday. You will
notice that my daughter's birthday was
a few days ago and this is how it is around the Grose household.
Also with Father's Day coming up. It's a potpourri of gift-giving.
A veritable free-for-all!!!
got her a card which is more than my two ingrates I call kids
got her. OK, maybe that was my bust and yeah, maybe they did
make Power Point presentations for her. But where's the gifts
you little... oops, yeah, me again.
took her to linner (or is it dunch?) Whatever it was, it was
at about 3:00 in the afternoon and it was her choice. She chose
the steakhouse where I had the club but that was offset by the
56 tons of shelled peanuts I ate and the humongous beer-a-tron
I downed. Hey, the peanuts made me thirsty!
also got her a gift certificate for a spa. So there you have
it, who's the thoughtless one, now? Take that, kids! What did
you get her?
I keep forgetting!!!
Advice for Today:
ask a woman when the baby is due unless you know for sure
that she's pregnant."
nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this
earth is a government program."
June 15, 2005
state... the state... the state is on fire, we don't need Virginia,
let the mother... nature is a curious thing. One day it's
perfectly cool and the next, my skin is melting off my bones.
what happened today when I tried to go out to run and discovered
that yes indeed, humans can melt.
I lived in Yuma for many years and yes, I also lived in 29 Palms
California for a few years and yes, I served for 7 ½
months in the Arabian desert but this was different. It was
H U M I D. Like to an insane degree.
is humidity so bad? (stand by for a quick lesson). The body
gets hot and to cool itself, it sweats. And all sweat is is
water seeping out of your pores. It gets on your skin and then
evaporates, taking with it the heat it took to evaporate. So
the effect is.. coolness.
in order for the sweat to evaporate, the outside air must be
able to absorb the evaporation (going from a less dry area to
a more dry area, trying to create equilibrium). When the humidity
kicks up, the water has no place to go and isn't all that interested
in jumping into the air which already has water in it.
it sits there and you feel all sticky. The body says "hey,
wait a minute. I poured water out up there and I still feel
hot as Satan's balls. Why, I'll just dump more water. You need
it for the vital organs? Bah! Send it to the skin!"
body can be a dumb-ass sometimes.
Advice for Today:
when guessing an adult's age or weight."
we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then
we will be a nation gone under."
June 14, 2005
So Glad We Had This Time, Together....
had a great time this week but like all good things, it had
to come to an end. My wife's brother and family are leaving
today and it saddens me.
been great having them here and I will miss them all. I'm their
favorite uncle, you know.
flight left out of Reagan at 0800 so we decided that the best
plan was to have me drive them there and then just backtrack
to work, rather than Carrie driving them all the way up and
having to come all the way back. But what this required was
a 0500 departure time from the Grose homestead.
early hour stung a bit but not as bad as for Scott, Kristine,
and the two little ones and they were in for a long day of traveling
across the country. Me, all I had to do was make it back to
work and start my day.
least I got to use the HOV lanes but had never used them to
get to the airport and didn't know which exit to take, until
I saw it sail on by.
yeah, I backtracked and found my way back but it was just the
thought of getting lost again. Grrrrrr!
have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's
would have looked like if Moses had run them through
the U.S. Congress."
June 11, 2005
Man On The Planet
folks, it's over. Last night Iron Mike once again and maybe
for the final time, got his ass handed to him by a no name slug
who found Mike to be even less pitiful than himself.
ago, I remember "hearing" about the Tyson fights but
since I never had the means to pay to "see" them,
all I could do is marvel at the highlight films. And granted,
back then he was one bad mamba-jamba. You've seen the footage;
fools being knocked out cold before they even hit the mat, collapsing
all gangly and ugly as their lifeless bodies crumpled. Tyson
was a wrecking machine to be feared and praised for his raw
now... oh, Mike. It is sad, really, to see. And I think the
best summation of his troubles is the poll I saw on the Sports
Illustrated webpage. It went something like this:
Tyson ceased to be "Iron Mike" once he ...
married Robin Givens
2. lost to Buster Douglass
3. did three years in jail
4. bit off Holyfield's ear
5. lost to Kevin McBride
bad they didn't have "all the above."
Advice for Today:
notes of encouragement to military personnel and college
the four wars in my lifetime none came about because
the U.S. was too strong."
June 10, 2005
don't exactly know how it happened. I just got sucked in and
before I knew it, I was all entangled. I thought I was in control
but it became increasingly evident that it had powers over me
I could not resist.
I'm not talking about run of the mill bibliophilic tendencies.
I've known for years that I've been there. I'm talking about
books about books.
lists of books you should read. Tips on getting the most out
of books. Strategies to approach your reading in order to benefit
started when I ran across a book called The Little Guide
To Your Well-Read Life. I really enjoyed the book and it
gave some good advice. But it had lists of other books which
in turn had lists. Do you see how insidious this gets?
I knew it, I ordered these four books.
Books by David Denby Book Lust by Nancy Pearl The Lifetime Reading Plan (3rd Edition) by Clicton
Fadiman Good Reading: A Guide For Serious Readers (23rd Edition)
by Arthur Waldhorn, Olga S. Weber, & Arthur Zeiger
trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're
ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't
June 9, 2005
don't know if I mentioned this before but my brother sent me
some CDs. I watched the entire first season of 24 and
now I'm watching Arrested Development. I know this
seems like an odd choice but my brother said it was the funniest
show on TV, so much so that he bought the first season and now
insists I watch it so we have something to howl at when we talk
on the phone.
he crack-dealered me. I watched the first DVD and of course,
fell in love with the show, laughing out loud at times. It really
is a funny show.
be hard-pressed to pick out a favorite character. While Portia
de Whateverhername is gets points for looks, I'm not a big blond
guy but her husband on the show, while hideous, might have a
shot as the funniest character. The consummate idiot loser who
isn't aware of the fact.
then I went to open the second DVD case and...wha.... It was
had given me a taste and now I was stuck. I had to get another
hit but I didn't want to watch the other episodes because I
wanted to watch it in order. So I called him up, properly chastised
my older brother, and made him promise to send it right away.
Advice for Today:
you are not going to use a discount coupon, leave it on
the shelf with the product for someone else to use."
most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm
from the government and I'm here to help."
June 8, 2005
night, my brother-in-law paid a little visit to Best Buy
and Circuit City. You see, he's visiting and his job
is putting in high-end audio and video equipment into rich people's
houses. So he knows his stuff and I've been waiting a long time
for him to come and visit so that he can help me put a decent
system in. And to see my niece and nephew, of course. I'm their
favorite uncle you know.
why did I wait? Because for the last two Christmases, my wife
and I have wanted to get a surround sound system but each time
we went, we were faced with a wall of choices ranging from the
very cheap to the "oh my God, you have to be kidding
me" price range.
a system with Scott was a little different. I knew he knew.
It's his job. He's "that guy" that I know who knows
about these things. And I know I know more about the intricacies
of nuclear fission than audio so I had a firm grasp of who to
turn to for this.
looked at everything and was not too impressed. He fiddled,
he faddled, and I looked on knowingly. "Hmmmm, I tend
to agree. Good show, old man!" (in a faux British
accent for some unknown reason.)
much do you want to spend?"
dunno," came my educated answer.
he let forth a string of explanations that made my gallbladder
hurt to which I mustered my highly evolved grey matter and stated,
want sound. Surround. Good sound. You make happen."
my detailed requirements now explained, he indicated that none
of these were very good and we should go to Circuit City.
The tough part we were having was that I didn't want a DVD player
with it. Just the sound system. And I definitely didn't want
the 5 DVD changer.
does this exist? Does anyone really NEED to load 5 DVDs at once?
A CD changer, I understand. You just let the music play and
you can even go random. But a DVD? You really want me to believe
that you are going to sit through 10 straight hours of movies
and that you can't be inconvenienced to take the DVD out and
put in a new one? It might be the only exercise you get, other
than getting more snacks , you lazy bastards!
also, does that piss me off? These are questions that may never
there, we found a great system that was about $500. When we
asked Pimply Face High School "Associate" Kid if they
had any in stock, he, of course, didn't know. When I gave him
the "well, go forth and check, young stallion!"
look, he was off to the warehouse.
don't want to go into the technical details, mainly because
I would make a complete fool of myself, but the gist of it is
this. The display model was one iteration back from what they
had in stock. The new one was a 7.1 Surround Sound System as
opposed to the measly 6.1 Surround Sound System on display.
I COULDN'T get the 6.1 if I knew the 7.1 was in existence, now
tentatively asked how much the new and improved system cost.
because I'm a complete idiot, I had to spew forth with...
can you add a speaker and it be newer and yet have the same
answer was foreseeable and oddly familiar.
Scott's request, I played my "ASS" card and made them
bring me out the other box (they only had two in stock) which
required a big cart. The one he brought out looked damaged (cardboard
mangled on one side).
with the system, I apparently needed a bunch of cables. Do you
know how much cables cost? Somewhere in the "too much"
range. But I was in for a penny, in for a pound at this point
and it was pretty far away from the penny zone. But I needed
this, a bit of that, a few of those, and a smattering of these
thingamajigs. All tolled, it was creeping toward $700.
didn't exactly tell Carrie how much I was going to spend, mostly
because I didn't know myself. So when I got home, I decided
to play it this way:
much did you think I was going to spend, Honey?"
a worried look, she said, "About $300. Why?! How much?"
I'm waiting for my balls to drop back down....
hooked up the tangle of wires in the back and not only did he
fix the surround sound and tune it up for me, he also re-routed
the cables to give HD-quality to my DVDs. When he was done,
we sat and watched most of The Incredibles, mesmerized
by the sound and picture quality. I now have a movie theater
we played the THX exploding globe thing and turned
it way up, I almost gave old Buster a heart attack. Poor thing
jumped out of his skin and then barked his fool head off.
my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose."
June 7, 2005
and his family traveled all the way from Seattle to visit us
in Virginia. They took the redeye flight, flew all night, and
showed up early this morning. Wow, quite a trip for a couple
with a 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. I bet I would
have handled it with grace and patience. (stop laughing!)
of course, am known as their favorite uncle and I have no qualms
about announcing this fact every chance I get which happens
to be about every hour on the hour. I mean how can I not? Look
at these two!!!
also happened to be the night that my own little girl had her
last chorus concert of the year. She's been joyfully going in
early to school to practice chorus during the weeks and actually
enjoys all the singing so that fact, along with the whole "good
father" role, I made plans to sit with a Prozac smile on
my face through a bunch of grade-schoolers singing.
was a very dangerous situation because Scott,
my brother-in-law, and I have a very bad track record together.
We tend to crack each other up at the most inopportune times
so are often kept apart at important social functions. This
is a good thing but did not occur for this occasion.
first sign that things were going to go less than perfect was
the list of songs on the handout we got on the way in. There
were two pages of them and I was stunned that they were going
to perform so many. This would take hours and I don't know if
my Prozac smile would hold up that long.
all of it was singing, I discovered. It was also a concert for
the band so they had some singing, a buttload of band offerings,
and some more singing at the end. This, I suppose, was to keep
the parents of the singers in place until the bloody end. Nicely
played, chorus/band teacher, nicely played.
singing wasn't too bad and everything was fine until they introduced
the band with a transition that only little kids can manage.
When all the kids were in place, the teacher started up with
a flair, holding his conductor's stick (whatever you call it)
and started his gyrations with gusto.
reaction was simply horrid.
Snare Drum Kid was workin' the skins like a rock star,
to the point that it drowned out almost everything. This would
have been the lesser of two horrors but instead, the only thing
it DIDN'T drown out was the clarinets.
a wounded hippo giving birth to a fully grown T-Rex... out its
about what it sounded like. God bless their little hearts, they
were trying but somehow, each kid found a slightly different
key until every key was found except the right one.
was about here that Scott and I completely lost it. I could
not look over at him because I knew it was coming but that didn't
stop my peripheral vision. It was just a matter of time and
that time had come: we both started shaking all over, unsuccessfully
trying to hide our deep-seated laughter at the atrocious sounds
emanating all around us.
course, this attracted derisive stares from everyone, not the
least of which was our respective wives. But if you could have
heard what was going on, what travesty of sound was being perpetrated....
really kind of felt sorry for the teacher. I mean he's been
working with these kids all year and while I don't expect a
symphonic performance from 1st year, grade school kids, I had
to believe that it had to hurt to hear a year's worth of work
come down to the sound of a bus full of instruments falling
down a cliff.
assume a stiff shot of vodka that night was on the menu.
ignore the yesterdays of war in your study of today
Douglas Southall Freeman, Historian
June 5, 2005
Home, Listening To A Good Book
was a good day of driving. That’s sounds strange coming
from me because driving is not my favorite way to spend a day
but the weather was great, the scenery
was beautiful, and I didn’t have anywhere to be other
than getting home. That’s the kind of lack of pressure
that I can handle.
is gorgeous once you lift the veil of darkness and subtract
the fog and rain. I found myself appreciating the wide-open
roads and the spectacular sights.
body was not all that adverse to sitting and relaxing all day
either. You might falsely believe that being cramped up in a
car all day after a marathon would suck but the repair process
is happy to have you sit still as long as you stop every once
in awhile to stretch the legs and move the pooling lactic acid
around your system. And drink lots of water. And not run. That's
also had John Adams to keep me company. How could this be, you
ask? Books on tape, baby.
first starting this while going to college as a result of hours
of commuting time each day. I listened
to quite a few and picked the habit back up last year when I
first got to Virginia. But then I started reading on the train
and since Truckasaurus has no tape deck, I couldn’t even
listen to anything on the way to the station.
we got the Pilot, I was
driving the Saturn to the train and therefore could listen to
books on tape again. I have a stack (that I constantly have
to keep renewing because I can’t get through my selection
in the allotted two weeks) of them that I listen to and the
latest is John Adams.
learning some interesting things like he was the first Vice-President
and the second President. That his son was also a President
(John Quincy Adams) and that he suffered from self-doubt.
is a lot more to talk about with 16 hours on 21 cassettes but
I won’t put you through that. I’ll just say that
I feel like I’m learning a lot and it’s a way to
squeeze in more books in a lifetime while making the hours on
the road go by less stressful and more quickly.
into it. You can get them free at the library.
Advice for Today:
your handshake be as binding as a signed contract."
read about all these terrorists — most of them
came here legally, but they hung around on these expired
visas, some for as long as 10 -15 years. Now, compare
that to Blockbuster; you are two days late with a video
and those people are all over you. Let's put Blockbuster
in charge of immigration."
June 4, 2005
every single marathon I've run, it started with an alarm. It's
always early, too early. But I had an extra little bonus to
contend with on this auspicious day: I had all of about 4 ½
hours of sleep.
those of you that know me, you will understand. Go ahead, get
the gasps out of the way.
folks, I like sleep like Oprah likes applause. I just can't
ever seem to get enough so 4 ½ hours to me is like a
catnap before a marathon. After driving for too many hours last
night. I know, not ideal.
along the miracle trolley, I shouldn't have even woke up then.
I set two alarms just in case, one being the hotel clock and
one being my watch. I SET the motel clock but I didn't exactly
TURN ON the hotel clock alarm. Yes, I went through the trouble
of setting the hour and minute of the alarm, made sure it was
on AM and that (by this time) the current time was correctly
AM, and then brilliantly set it down without the least bit of
thought to actually turn the alarm on.
is why you go for two alarms: to head off wholesale assheadedness.
in the recesses of my mind was a beeping... far off... almost
is something beeping? Oh, if it's my watch, why didn't the
motel alarm go off? SHIT!"
had taken the time to get everything ready like I always do
so all I had to do was stumble toward the shower, fall into
my clothes, and get out the door. All this was accomplished
with minimal effort, culminating in my eating the last slice
of cold pizza for a good luck gluttony-fest. Hey, I needed the
I despise "Continental Breakfasts." Why? Now this
is really silly but it is because it's free. For some reason
I think that it has to cost something to be worth something.
Irrational, I know, but nevertheless, that's the way I'm wired.
today, it was OK because I could down a little cup of yogurt
(didn't HAVE to mix it becaue it was pre-mixed), a banana, and
a small cup of coffee for the hopefully, uh, evacuation effects
before the race. Remember, people, I downed an entire medium
pizza in the last 8 hours and in some state, it was still in
drove to the high school where they were bussing us to the start
line. This way, we would be "running back" to where
we started, or ended. You know what I mean.
got on the bus and it was obviously for little kids so my knees
were crammed into the seat in front of me. The only thing that
interrupted my normal standoffishness of having my headphones
on was a volunteer coming on the bus and welcoming us to the
race. He also warned us to keep all arms, legs, and other body
parts inside the bus at all times and that last year, someone
had thrown out a water bottle. This caused the local police
to pull the bus over and the race was delayed by a half hour.
you imagine how embarrassing that would be for the offender?
And how much of an ass do you have to be to pull a school bus
over, especially knowing that this marathon was the biggest
thing that happens in the place all year. It's not like the
cop didn't know. Yeah, yeah, public safety, yadda yadda. I don't
want to hear it, Chris.
got to another school in Galeton where we offloaded and headed
to the bathrooms. Grown men waiting not-so-patiently in line
for the crapper. It was quite a sight and more than a little
pressure when you occupied one of the two stalls. Never had
my natural functions been under such scrutiny because it was
a regular stall. Something about actually being able to see
the person's feet and knowing when he sat, stood up, etc. caused
the kind of pressure you didn't want and that didn't exist with
the normal run-of-the-mill port-a-potties.
great thing about this race was that they had a lot of Gu.
I am a Gu guy and train with the stuff without fail.
So when they announced that there would be Gu at miles
5, 10, 15, and 20, I was thrilled. Five mile increments was
exactly what I trained with so it was ideal. Plus, they had
water stations every mile. Let me restate that: EVERY MILE!!!!
Oh, this was just plain being spoiled.
milled around trying not to be nervous and trying to shut off
the voice that was telling me I had not trained enough for this
race. The weather was overcast and cool. All signs pointed toward
a good race and I was more relaxed that I had been at the start
line in a long time. The Voice was turned off and I was ready
was going fine for the first 8 miles. I was clocking some good
speeds and nothing was bothering me when I came up to another
runner. The field was pretty spread out, not because of my speed
but because of the number of people running it so coming up
to another runner was a mini-event.
said something to me and I felt obligated to take out my earphones
to see what she said and I was really glad I did.
9 miles to go!"
miles? Was this lady crazy?
miles until what?"
it goes downhill."
scratches record and then silence.)
mean to tell me that this road goes uphill for 17 miles?"
but then the last 8 are downhill."
like a full body massage 10 minutes after the time of death.
guess this is what they meant by "Conquer the Mountain."
I gotta start reading the fine print before I sign up for these
she scooted ahead of me when I ducked into the bathroom at mile
10, I was glad that she had told me the layout of the course.
She also gave me a little nugget of intel that I was very grateful
for: the last mile of the 17 mile ascent was very steep. OK,
I had my mental map and now all I had to do was execute. (Maybe
I should use a different term there.)
that the course would go uphill up to mile 17 somehow made it
better. I can't imagine what would be going through my mind
if I hadn't known. Probably something both vulgar and nearly
unintelligible, I'm sure. But this didn't mean it wasn't devoid
hit the halfway point at 1:53 which was way faster than a sub-4
hour finish time. That got me excited because I started thinking
that yeah, I'd slow down due to the distance but at the same
time, it would be downhill and if I could clock that kind of
pace going uphill, then going downhill I should at least be
able to match that. It was one of the few moments I let myself
think about time and pace. The rest of the time was just concentrating
on keeping a rhythm, relaxing, and trying not to crap my running
17th mile was no joke. What I didn't know is that at the top,
there was a ski resort so you do the mental image. I felt like
I was a cripple walking up a flight of stairs. It was just pitiful.
got to the top and if I would have had anything left to celebrate
with, I would have hooped and hollered. As it was, I kind of
just grunted and whimpered.
promised, the road snaked downhill and my legs suddenly came
back to life. In fact, they got really excited about the whole
situation and I found myself falling down the mountain at an
incredible pace. With my toes slamming to the front of my shoes,
I must have been doing 7 minute miles. It was just so easy and
after 17 miles of uphill drudgery, the body just kind of took
over and said "You know what? We're going to run for
the second time, I started doing math. I didn't say I was doing
it well, but I was doing it. After a few attempts (a fact that
I find depressing) I came up with the calculation that I would
only have to do 9-minute miles to crack 4 hours.
I put it out of my mind. Just run, Jason, for God's sake, JUST
memories run together but at some point I felt like pushing
it to stay up with the pace. At another point I told myself
to just run and let the time take care of itself, I'd make it.
Then it would turn to a conviction that I would not make it,
that I would burn out. Then it would start over.
turning point came when it leveled out and I hit a small (now
HUGE) uphill. Breaking my rule for the third time, I calculated
that I would have to clock 8 minute miles for the last hour.
I think that's what did it.
I was engulfed by the Wall. I slowed way down and started taking
unscheduled walking breaks. Dammit!!!
know what caused this and how to fix it. I always said that
the first 20 miles are run with your legs and the last 6 are
with your heart but let me update that assessment: the last
6 miles also have a lot to do with brute strength. I think the
first 20 miles have a lot to do with long training runs but
the last 6 have to do with weight training; the raw strength
in the muscle that it takes to push through those last 6 miles.
Combined with the heart to extract that strength is the "heart"
it takes but if you didn't make the investment (as I didn't)
to get into the gym and boost up that raw strength, well, you'd
end up where I was at.
only got better when I accepted that I was not going to break
4 hours. Like all marathons, I found myself in the company of
others that were fighting similar battles. We urged each other
to get to the finish line and that it was almost over but your
concentration swayed between their plight and your internal
last mile was... the last mile. I've put it many ways but usually
fall into the category of "I can die at the end"
and "this shit has got to get over like real quick."
So I pulled my bootstraps up and started clocking a pace that
was not only acceptable anywhere in the race but rather impressive
at this point. I passed about 3 people in that last mile because
I was almost at a dead sprint, not exactly knowing where the
end was because they wound the end around the downtown area
and I didn't know if the next corner was the final stretch or
not. I only had to deal with two false finish lines until I
saw the real one and sprinted across in 4:07:11, the second
best marathon finishing out of now 12 attempts. Like all finishes,
I felt a combination of emotion and relief. I did it. Again.
Finishing what only 1/10 of 1% of humans ever accomplish.
around like Bambi on ice, I got my tiny medal and went over
to the snack table. Downing another water, some fruit, a Gatorade,
and one bite of bagel (which was like bubble gum in my dehydrated
mouth) I hung around the area for a little bit waiting for them
to post the times. Knowing I wasn't going to be getting any
kind of award other than the one I got, I decided to make my
way back to the hotel room.
know that completing a marathon is its own reward but there
is something inherently depressing about not having anyone there
for you when you finish. I returned to the room where I had
left a few hours before and the only differences was that I
was shredded and the bed was made. Other than that...
took a shower and decided that sleep was in order. For three
hours, I tossed, turned, sweat, and repeated. At least I didn't
cramp but I woke up soaking wet and decided another shower was
in order before I went to dinner.
was my thought process: I would be too tired and worn out to
attempt an 8 hour drive after the marathon so I will stay in
town that night and maybe meet up with other marathoners and
we could all tell our stories over a celebration dinner somewhere.
had blown the whole "making plans" with anyone because
of my pre-marathon stodginess and post-marathon haste to get
back to the room and sleep. "Oh well" I thought
"Maybe I'll run into someone out in town."
is where I had seriously miscalculated on two points. First,
that the other marathoners would be staying in town after the
marathon. Second, that there would be a place for marathoners
to gather, eat, share, celebrate, etc. In my idealized view,
I would find a place replete with happy post-marathoners celebrating
the day's events, welcoming me with open arms and eager to hear
everyone left. And by "everyone" I mean EVERYONE.
I think some of the locals were not even around and by my estimates,
there likely wasn't more than a few hundred of those on their
best day. I might have been the only marathoner still in the
area and that's no exaggeration.
top of that, the place was seriously lacking in any restaurants.
I went up and down the only road in town and other than McDonalds
(which represented the ONLY major chain), everything else was
maybe Galeton, 26 miles away, has something plus this would
give me the chance to see the course I ran today. So I drove
all the way back and much like Coudersport, there was no restaurants.
I headed back and finally settled on a tavern about ¼
mile from my hotel. I was so hungry by this point that I was
willing to eat a horse steak. With worm fries.
into the "café" I realized it was really just
a bar and in fact, a bar that had been created by knocking down
the walls of 3 or 4 hotel rooms. There was only one table full
of people who not only had NOT run the marathon, but were the
kind of people who would ask how long the marathon was. And
why I'd want to run it.
bellied up to the bar and after a minute, the one waitress/bartender
who was smoking a cigarette with the cook at the other end of
the bar when I entered, came over and asked me what I would
room full of lactic-acid suffering post-marathoners, please."
I ordered a beer and a T-bone steak and she told me that it
would be awhile because the big table had already ordered. Great,
I'd just sit there and read the book I brought, sipped my beer,
and waited to be fed. Moo.
I was done I got on the deserted street once again and headed
back to my room where I continued to read my book until I had
the brilliant idea that a McFlurry would be the greatest thing
in the entire world.
again, I got on the deserted streets and headed toward the Golden
Arches. I couldn't decide between M&Ms or Oreo but my conundrum
was solved when the high school kid informed me that all they
had was small so that enabled me to get both. I know, but I
was in a celebratory mood with all the craziness going on around
me, I just kind of lost my sense.
there any more pitiful sight than me sitting in a hotel room
alone with two McFlurrys reading a book and trying to ignore
the fact that my body was severely pissed off at me?
that's the thought that was racing through my head, too.
Advice for Today:
handout materials after your presentation, never before."
is it one careless match can start a forest fire,
but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?"
June 3, 2005
best laid plans ... get totally screwed 15 ways to Sunday.
plan was: get out of work early and get on the road to Pennsylvania,
which was a good plan until I got snagged for a meeting at
1:00 PM. The revised plan was to get on the road by 3:00 PM
and then get in by 10:00 PM. Even that had high suck-potential.
the meeting started late and went long. Why? Because it was
a meeting of course, complicated further by being on a Friday
afternoon. So of course it started late and ran long. Why
got out of there in a hurry, stopped by the store to get the
requisite travel snacks, also known as “just about anything
my gut desired” but of which I am too embarrassed to
list here in the blog. Let’s just say the collection
would not show up on any serious marathoner’s race-eve
first (of many) snags I ran into was Friday night Washington
DC traffic. How should I describe this…. hmmmm…
how about “heinous”? I really thought that since
I was going the opposite way of rush hour traffic, I could
sail right through. I didn’t even get to dog-paddle.
This cost me about an hour and my mood flip-flopped many times,
normally when I would think about how late I was going to
get into town and how few hours I was going to have to sleep
prior to this little marathon thing. No big deal, just 4 straight
hours of running. Bah!
figured that I needed to eat on the road and the normal choice
was some sort of pasta. Have you ever tried to get pasta on
the road? Not existent or not pretty, take your pick. Then
it hit me: pizza. It has all the carbs, all the protein, cheese,
and all the fat disgusting grease one could hanker for. Plus,
it’s easily edible on the road while driving. Could
there be anything more perfect? (That's a rhetorical question
so for all you pervs out there, stop it!)
there is never a pizza joint anywhere near when you really
need one. I finally found a “Rocky’s Pizzeria”
way back in the woods somewhere and ordered me up a 14 inch
pie with beef. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it seemed
like a tall order for the local pizza joint employees in the
general Pennsylvania area. Despite it being a PIZZA-themed
restaurant, it took them about an hour to put together one
for me and I was not amused.
you are keeping track, we are now at an hour past step-off
time, an hour in traffic, and an hour to get a pizza. Things
were shaping up beautifully.
is an art to eating pizza while driving. I mean I deserve
some kind of award or something because I was giving a stellar
performance, swerving only a few times and only once hearing
the reverberations of my tires running over the warning grates
on the side of the road. Stellar. And considering the open
box with the A/C vents pointing at it (to cool it fast and
prevent soldering the inside of my mouth) was steaming up
the windows, I think "spectacular" wouldn't be an
exxageration in this case. Maybe even "epic"!
was ticking away and I was starting to get worried. By the
time it got dark, I was entering the serious hills of Pennsylvania
and the road started winding up, down, and around what I assume
to be some areas I really didn’t want to go off road
for fear of careening to my death. Then the fog started in
and I had the mother of all driving conditions: tired, dark,
foggy mountain roads. Let’s just throw a bit of rain
in the mix just to complete the mood.
30 miles per hour when you can’t see 20 feet in front
of you through the dark woods was fun. A veritable barrel
of laughs. At one point I thought I might have made a wrong
turn so I stopped. Getting out of the car to make a, um, personal
pitstop, I got a little spooked. I realized I was way, way,
WAY out in the middle of the woods so of course I heard things
going bump in the night and looking back at the car, I realized
that the headlights were giving off the absolute only light.
I was in complete darkness except for my little magic life
support system in the form of a Saturn. Wow, what a shitty
fog and roads cost me another hour so at about 1230, I rolled
into Coudersport (from a direction I had not expected, having
abandoned the Yahoo! Maps directions and depending on the
road signs by this point.). Keeping with my usual mode, I
had to go see where I’d be going to in the morning so
after checking into my room, I drove the few miles I would
take in just a few hours to get to the start line. Well, not
the start line but actually the finish line. We would meet
at the finish line and they would bus us to the start where
we would run back.
0100, I was in bed, having laid out all my clothes so all
I would have to do was to hop up, dress, and get out the door.
the usual night before the marathon but not altogether a strange
one. They are all filled with stress, I had just never pushed
the arrival time this close where it would dust most of the
sleep I would need. Good thing I’d have adrenaline to
carry me through in the morning.
Advice for Today:
a red umbrella. It's easier to find among all the black
ones, and it adds a little color to rainy days."
is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have
come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance
to the first."
June 1, 2005
Off It Neal!!!
Armstrong is all pissed off because his barber sold some of
his hair clippings for $3000. When I first read this, yeah,
it was unsat. I mean, come on, how cheesy is selling someone's
cut hair, not to mention how scary is it that someone would
then I got to thinking. Neal's being an ass. Not about the hair
thing, about the whole celebrity thing. He rarely grants interviews
and shuns any fame he gets for what he did. I agree that some
people shamelessly hang on to their celebrity and use it for
all it's worth, and then some.
he was the first freakin' man on the moon!!! Of all the billions
and billions of people that have ever existed, he was the FIRST
to set foot n a foreign body. And if you are that person, I'm
sorry but you are going to be famous and known for all time.
When you accepted the mission, you should have taken into account
that you would forever be enshrined in the human consciousness
as one of the most famous people who ever lived. It's human
took the mission. And now he denies the public their hero.
really pisses me off. Step up, Neal. The public deserves their
hero and opportunity to see a piece of living EARTH history.
No other generation will be able to say they shook the hand
of the first human being that ever walked on the moon and it's
almost tragic to think that so many people were denied just
because you refused to grant them such a magnificent gift.
Advice for Today:
the extra money for the best seats at a play or concert."