June 27, 2005

Totally nutso week

I've ignored my StumbleUpon friends.
I've ignored the blog page.
I've tried to write music to no avail...
In short, this has been just a nasty week for communication and/or creativity.
Thing will get better as I settle into a new reality.
What is a new reality? Is it an episodic representation of what should be happening? Or is really a quantum leap from one plane of existence to another?
For myself, it is both: The gestalt consists of the planetary and societal alignments with me dropping through the planes to wherever I end up...there is little choice in the matter.
Now, if I only knew exactly what I was talking about......

June 17, 2005

waste disposal tip...

Don't ever put sunflower seed shells into the garbage disposal in the sink and turn it on.
The shells swell up due to the moisture content, shred themselves into pulp in the tumultuous blades and then proceed to clog up every pipe under the sink. If my kids were normal and ate the whole seed shell and all, I wouldn't have had this problem. As it is, I will forever just throw them away and not try to grind them out of existence.

My ghost is back....

I have had some weird paranormal experiences in my current residence over the years. But, after the fire, the spirit seems to have gone out of the...er...spirit. I was never sure if it was because there were no people here while the place was being rebuilt or if the smell of burnt wood drove it off or what.
Turns out, I guess, that it was just biding its time.
Tonight I am at the kitchen sink cleaning up a bit (one of my main irritations in life is a cluttered and messy cooking area). While my back was turned to the dining area (not a formal dining room, just an area), I noticed out of my peripheral vision that the light in the room became perceptively more intense. I turned around and the light fixture above the table was on. It is dimmer switch that has to be rotated to function. I know I did not turn it on (4 100 watt bulbs in it - I would have noticed!) and I did detect the additional illumination when it happened.
I can't explain it. The light wasn't on when I went to the kitchen. It got turned on about 5 minutes later. I was home alone. I was 15 feet from the dimmer switch.
How would you interpret this?

June 16, 2005

Oh, god...call me Steve

For those of you who do not know of it, go to Steve, don't eat it before you read the rest of this so you have some context.
We'll wait....
[insert traveling music here]
Dum du da dum...

Oh, you're back? Okay. On with the post.
I get home tonight and find the freezer door slightly ajar. and the appliance itself humming away madly trying desperately to avert a disaster.
All that was really affected, however, was a package of venison cheddar bratwurst. It was thawed completely, being close to the door.
So that pretty much decided what was for dinner. I fought any attempt at ptomaine...cooked them with butter, onions and beer for 2 hours and then grilled them for about an hour to make sure that any traces of toxins were eradicated.
I have a digital camera, and could post a pic of the end result here, but I am more of a humanist than that.
Suffice it to say, I am eating them right now.
The flavour isn't bad, but I expect to be deceased before morning. Those of you who expect to gain some insurance money should be at the solicitor's office before 10. I'll call you if I happen to survive.

June 15, 2005

Poppy paranoia

Looks like I'm going to get that part time job that I mentioned in a post below. In fact, as of yesterday, I have to have a drug test, get the results back, get an employee number from the company and start training.
The drug test is what proved interesting once I got the appointment.
I'm at my real job today and suddenly craved a cup of coffee (not an unusual occurrence). So I popped across the street to one of the many coffee shops dispersed around the downtown district (I think I counted two on every block surrounding the capital building. The only thing missing so far is to have opposing Starbucks across the street from each other, but I am relatively assured that that day is soon forthcoming).
While there, I notice a biaggi that looks awfully tasty in the display case, so I order one of those as well. It was a choice between that and a BlackForest tart, but I thought the plain baked goodness outshone the overly sweetened pastry.
Taking my purchases back to my desk across the street, I was halfway through the bread when I realized that it was covered with poppy seeds. I knew it was seeded; the clerk even asked me if it was okay that it was seeded to which I acquiesced. But all of a sudden, a Seinfeld episode popped into my head (it is frightening how often that happens to me) about drug tests and poppy seeds (for those of you not in the know, various illicit substances are made from the poppy plant - it is for a good reason that the Wicked Witch of the West intones "Poppies will put them to sleep!").
But, since I figured that if there was any truth to it at all I was sunk anyway, I just finished the roll and coffee and headed to the drug testing rendevouz at 12:30.
There is something about urinating into a cup that is unlike any other action a human can partake of. I imagine it is quite a bit more difficult for women and I sympathize, but I was having my own bad time of it. In any event, I was successful other than filling the stupidly small plastic receptacle almost to overflowing (before managing to switch to the larger porcelain bowl underneath me) so that it was next to impossible to carry it out to the waiting technician without sloshing. At that point, I asked about the poppy theory and, while she agreed that such was possible, the potential was from years ago when the tests were a lot less accurate. She estimated that it would take the ingesting of over a pound of poppy seeds to trigger a positive in the tests. Which, if someone ate that kind of quantity, would indicate larger problems (both mentally as well as physically) than passing a drug screening.
Now the only thing holding me up from getting this job is the off chance that there is some residual chemical in laundry soap that will show up due to my continued use of it in my dishwasher. And if that happens, then I will cease to care. I have invested time and trouble into getting this extracurricular position but I'm not at all sure that I will happy with it once I am accepted anyway. But, if I do start working there, think of all the humorous fodder I will have for future blog entries. Now there's a perk I can live with!

June 14, 2005

If musicians are so creative...

Then why, oh why, can't most of them come up with a better microphones testing phrase than 'Uh..testing..one..two..three".
This is a pet peeve of mine.
Years back (when I didn't have the responsibility I have now and when I had more energy than I have now) when I would test the mics, I would either sing some lyrics, recite a poem or read the upcoming events from the promo card the venue had laying around on the tables.
I know, 'Testing' gives a good indication of high end with the clipped 'tee' sound and the sibilant 'ess' sound, but the sound guys can certainly get the same levels from G.K. Chesterton's:
See the flying French depart
Like the bees of Bonaparte,
Swarming up with a most venomous vitality.
Over Baden and Bavaria,
And Brighton and Bulgaria,
Thus violating Belgian neutrality.

And rest assured that they will thank you for the change of pace.

June 13, 2005

God does not want me to shop at Wal-mart...

Which is good, since I don't shop there. Except the other night when out trying to find some necessary items. I needed a memory card for my camera and my daughter needed some skirts which she knew they had there. So we went.
Wal-mart is everything in a big box store that I oppose. No matter the PR commercials that are shown about what a wonderful place it is to work, I don't believe it.
Remember the "Buy American" campaign from years ago that Sam kicked off? Guess how many products on the shelves there are made in America anymore? Instead, how many products are produced on the shoulders of human misery (many products are made in China by a bevy of people who make $90 per month!)?
Not that they are alone in this, but they are the largest retailer in the world. If they were a country, their GDP would equal that of Saudi Arabia.
From American Independent Business Alliance (http://www.amiba.net/pressroom/walmart_hitting_wall_8.29.04.html):
"Wal-Mart is more than twice the size of its biggest global competitor, France's Carrefour SA. Blue-chip suppliers such as Procter & Gamble, Mattel Co. and Gillette Co. count on Wal-Mart as their most important customer. They tailor their output to Bentonville's requirements — even to the point, in the case of one music label, of producing a sanitized version of a bestselling CD to earn a place on Wal-Mart's shelves."
Listen: The memory card I purchased measures approximately 3 inches by 2 inches. It was packed in a plastic bubble that measured around 18 inches by 12 inches. Why? I think it was strictly to reduce theft (hard to pocket that). And, lest you think it was the manufacturer on their own, I saw the same card at a competitor in a more normal 4X6 inch package, albeit for $10 USD more. I'm not sure is there is any correlation there, but it fits into my view of this retail behemoth.
When we walked out of the store, there was a huge flash of lightening directly overhead and a subsequent huge boom of thunder which caused many of the store's entering/exiting patrons to jump noticeably.
I turned to my kid and told her, "See? That is god telling me that I am never to shop here again!"
And I will not.

June 9, 2005

Oh, and the cool thing is

My kid and I have a date tomorrow night to go shopping, go out to eat someplace, discuss the future and just relax.
Since she's met her boyfriend, there is a lot less time to spend together, so this should be very enjoyable. Especially since it will be her last day of high school.
Oh my...am I already feeling the onset of 'empty nest syndrome"?
Nah...at the rate she's going, she won't be moving out until she's thirty. Even if she gets married and has kids, they'll end up living with me. Which will be nice for a while: taking care of the old curmudgeon. But then I won't be able to take it anymore, so I'll move to a more tropical clime where they will have to visit me in order for me to babysit the grandkids.

Traipsing through the past

I'm putting together a collage of photos from the life of my eldest daughter who graduates from high school this weekend.
And it sure is fun to go through them and watch her squirm as I find pics from the years past that show her in what she believes to be an unflattering light.
Trouble is, she is able to watch me in a reciprocal way as I also find 'kodak moments' of myself that should have been buried years ago.
Ah, well.
That is why cameras were invented to begin with: to embarrass those who's images are captured so their descendents can laugh uproariously at hair styles, attire, facial expressions and circumstances.
At least we don't have to sit still for 30 minutes or so for daguerreotypes to be created.

June 7, 2005

A question for all those smarter than me:

What the hell is the difference between isolated thunderstorms and scattered thunderstorms?
The very act of them being scattered would lend itself naturally to them being isolated, no? And vice versa?
Sorry for all the meteorological posts; I am obsessed and thwarted at the same time.
Doesn't that soon lead to complete insanity? I can hear it now:
"What made him snap in the McDonald's parking lot?"
"I hear it was lack of rain."

Oh yeah...

More thunderstorms in the forecast for tonight.
They're just messin' with my head, now, man....
Damn weathermen.


Working in the city has a certain funky charm to it. By this I specifically mean the people that I encounter on a daily basis. I find myself being accosted regularly by people who, until they become aware of me, have been walking down the street engaging in self-conversation.
Now, I don't know if this is because Madison is an old holdout town from the 60's or if it is due to the nature of my long-hair style where they might decide that I'm 'one of them'. But I do seem to get approached more so than, say, your very attorney-esque person who happens to be standing 10 feet away.
Today I had a dude roll up to me cackling with obvious mirth. I assume he then attempted to deliver the storyline that was amusing him so much, but I couldn't understand a thing he said. It was like he had a mouth full of cat litter - a crunchy indecipherable noise with an occasional spitting motion out of the corner of his mouth. I handed him the cigarette I had just lit up, told him I had to cruise and went back into the building. Hey - I figure it pays to be nice to these folk since chances are fairly good that I'll be joining their ranks one day.

June 5, 2005

Damn forecasts

I waited all day for thunderstorms.
None every materialized.
And yet, the WeatherChannel is still forecasting the potential for thunderstorms tonight.
I don't believe them at all anymore.
I either have to move or resign myself to never seeing another great weather upheaval again.
Or maybe it is me....my own internal electrical-magnetic infrastructure (Ha! you thought I was gonna say personality, didn't ya?) is keeping the cumulonimbus at bay and no matter where I move the same thing will happen.
Isn't that just like the typical American? To think the natural order of things is destined by their very presence? At least I have the ability to detect this in myself and can do some mental self-flagellation for some sort of penance.

Gender confusion?

I had the strangest song running through my brain all day today. Whistling it, humming it and even singing it out loud at the most unflattering of times....
I don't even like country music, but the song was "I'm the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A"
Why? I have no idea, but it was increasingly disturbing to me, for obvious reasons.
And then, I happened to look at the t-shirt I was wearing today. It is a very old t-shirt, which only reads: http://www.dealwithit.com
I always assumed that it was just funny since it is about 10 years old which dates back to before the internet was the wide open wasteland that it is today.
But for the first time, I thought I would check and see if that url resolves or not.
It does.
But actually, goes to http://www.gurl.com which is a site for older teenage females and, further, resolves to a page pertaining to dealing with unwanted sexual advances, factoids about the male physical (cough) attributes and other general information that your typical teenage girl might find mildly interesting.
I'm not sure why this would pile up today, but it seemed overly strange to me. After all, I am not the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A., nor am I curious about the rites of passage of your basic garden variety female teenager.
Thanks to whatever superior being exists that I am back to work (and some semblance of normalcy) tomorrow.

Helpful household tip...

Late last night, after strategically placing the last couple of dirty dishes in the dishwasher, I realized that I had no dishwasher soap.
This was not good, since I knew I would need some of the items to be clean today and I certainly did not want to unload the thing and wash 'em by hand.
Knowing that regular dish soap would probably make a huge spewing bubble mess all over the kitchen if I tried that, I cast around for another alternative.
Laundry soap. Yeah.
About the same consistency as dishwasher soap. Contains bleach alternative for those nasty tomato based stains on the plastic wear. Worth a try, right?
My daughter raised an eyebrow at me as I came back from the laundry room with the jug in hand.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm trying laundry soap in the dishwasher. It will probably cause a cascade of soap bubbles to pile up all over the kitchen floor."
This caught her interest and she quickly ordered me to "Do It!".

And you know what? It worked. In fact, the glassware has less water-spot residue than usual. Things look to be as clean as always. The only thing missing is that 'fresh lemon scent' but I can live without that. I'm drinking coffee out of a mug that came out of the batch and there doesn't seem to be any lingering chemical taste. I suppose I'll know soon once I keel over, but in the meantime I'm tagging this one as a success.

June 3, 2005

Funny line...

Okay, one of the perks of my main job is that I can sometimes get the distaff of books that are sent in for review.
And, for the most part, they are eminently enjoyable. For instance, 'Dogs of Babel', one of my favorites novels ever, came from that discarded collective.
Currently, I'm reading 'Bangkok Tattoo' by John Burdett which is, so far, quite excellent.
And I just ran across a line: one of the characters was talking about G.W.Bush and she says, "...he has to divide the world into good and evil because he can only count up to two."
I had to stop reading since I was sitting out on the deck laughing out loud bothering the neighbors.

Okay, so I had some beers and it probably seemed funnier than it really is, but really.....

Don't call me sir!

A friend of my daughter stopped over tonight with her - one I had never met before. He seemed nice, but rather nervous. Which was strange, since there is no relationship between them (her boyfriend would murderize him if there were!) so there was no reason for any kind of trepidation.
When they left, he called "Nice to meet you, sir!"
I had to holler after them to "Don't call me sir!"
And then I wondered about that.
Formerly, men who reached my age accepted the moniker of 'sir' with grace and dignity. Like they had finally grown into the respectful salute this implies.
So why do I (and, I assume, most males of my generation) find some problem with being addressed as such?
It has to be part of the generation we grew up in: be young, don't be part of the 'establishment', etc.
I think I have to get over this, but at least some of the younger folk still adhere to the time respected norms. Good job, Adam...it is me that has a problem, here.


In other events, I had an interview today for the part time position I posted about earlier.
One word: grueling.
And, to be accepted, I have to go through at least a second interview, plus the urine test plus any other things they think up along the way to deter me from working there. I had to call Scee Elle immediately afterwards and do a primal scream in her ear just to get over it. Sorry about that, Scee, but it seemed necessary at the time!
It must be a good company, since they make it so difficult to get in there. So, I may have a new career looming far away from the world of computers, networks and whiny users! Whoo-Hoo!

June 2, 2005

That naudi audi...

So, the '88 Audi 5000S has been starting a lot better lately.
But methinks it has taken its new role a mite overly seriously.
Got home today, turned the key off and nothing happened.
I know - you'd expect to turn the key on and have nothing happen, but this was the polar opposite.
An interesting dilemma to be sitting in your driveway and not be able to shut the automobile off.
So now it looks like I'll have to get several toggle switches and engage the ignition in a keyless fashion. At the rate this is going, I'll eventually have toggle switches stuck through anyplace that has room on the dash since I expect most of the electronics in the steering column to start dying soon. Blinker? Toggle. Wipers? Toggle.
The damn thing will look like a fighter jet. And still won't run right.
I know what you're saying: "why don't you just get a new car?"
'Cause it's personal now. I will not be thwarted by an inanimate rolling turd!