:Chloroform in Print
I want to go to the top of a really tall building, take a leak, finish, zip up, and then have my pee hit the ground. I want my entire pee to be airborne. Man I love beer.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Why I love Idaho, part 17
Cheez-It Plant To Move To Rupert
read the full story, such as it is, at Local News 8 dot com

Also! Link sent by an actual Idaho resident:
First Drink of the Day
I have searched and searched but can not seem to find Monkey Beer at the local shops. Damned shame, that.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Nothing says "Manly" like a sweat-stained khaki ascot
I've had the idea for years, but finally found a like-minded group of sickos to make it happen. Last Saturday, a small group gathered to watch the Chuck Heston Dystopic 70's Science Fiction Trifecta: The Omega Man, Soylent Green, and Planet of the Apes. We watched them in this order, which coincidentally happened to also be the order of quality.

The Omega Man, while undeniably awesome, is not a very good movie (much as it pains me to admit.) Many of the scenes are so awesome they nearly made the DVD player explode, but they are spaced out between long stretches of boring filler, tiresome pseudo-religious pontificating by Matthias, and poor pacing. Bonus points for the edgy-for-the-times Hawt Interracial Sexxx between Rosalind Cash and Heston, even if we don't get to see it happen. Actually I'm thankful for that nod to propriety. I did recognize the morning-after scene where the camera lingers on Cash as she sits topless on the bed, ambient light from the window highlighting her spectacular Afro, from more than one black velvet painting. We take inspiration where we can find it.

Soylent Green, I was surprised to discover, is actually a pretty decent movie - well paced, devoid of filler, and competently directed and acted throughout. (I'd seen it before, but quite some time ago.) Something I noticed on this viewing is that although it takes place in a world beset by massive overcrowding, most of the scenes only have a few people in them, and freqently take place in nearly empty surroundings. I suppose this is intended to create an unsettling juxtaposition - are we, the viewers, supposed to contemplate how a completely human-dominated environment alienates and isolates us? - or did they just not have enough budget to hire more extras? A question for the ages.

There is little to be said about POTA that hasn't already been said elsewhere. It's simply the most fantastic movie ever made, managing to be simultaneously lodged firmly in the 70's (actually '68, but polyester culture and fashion had already taken hold at that point), yet still timeless and universal. And fascinatingly creepy. My one great regret is that I never got the chance to see it on the big screen without knowing the ending in advance. (When I first saw it as a kid, I didn't completely understand the significance of the final scene, although I do remember being awed and a little scared by it.) Also, my favorite Heston line from the movie isn't one of the famous, spectacularly hammy outbursts that everyone knows and loves, i.e. "Get your stinking paws off...", "You maniacs!" etc. etc.). Instead, it's the casually arrogant pronouncement upon sizing up the primitive sub-human tribe in the beginning of the movie:
"If this is the best they've got, we'll be running this place in a week."

They just don't make Americans like Chuck these days.

Monday, November 06, 2006
Election Day Just Ain't Quite the Same When You Vote By Mail
Voted tonight. Felt pretty good. The choices were all easy.

It was difficult to keep myself from using "Cap'n Jack Sparrow" as a write-in candidate to every uncontested county race. Luckily I was able to keep my head.

It is strange, though, voting from home in the comfort of your den. I'd imagine it makes drunken voting quite a bit more likely, for starters. I miss the ritual of going to the local elementary school in the dark after work, pouring down rain most years - practically a monsoon today - and standing in line with a bunch of strangers, shuffling forward to meet the elderly keepers of the vote, who were clearly born into the role. Ah, a little place I liked to call America. You can almost feel it, can't you?

Still can't bring myself to mail it. I'm going to drop it off at the Auditor's office tomorrow. Somehow it doesn't seem right to be delivering votes directly to the Auditor. In different times they only got called in to investigate mistakes after the fact. Different time. I guess.

Thursday, September 28, 2006
Mouse-Off 2006
NOTE: My wife made me remove most of this story because she doesn't want people to know that mice sometimes get in our trailer. Sorry honey it won't happen again.

Recently at work, I competed in a "who has the most disgusting mouse story" contest. I admit that the winner's mouse story is more disgusting than any single mouse story of mine. But I can offer depth of coverage:

One day while cleaning the living room, [REDACTED] Not content to confine themselves to the [REDACTED] I did not start a fire inside the trailer [REDACTED].
We decided that the best way to avoid problems in the future was to not clean the house anymore.

I have to keep [REDACTED] One of the mice [REDACTED] I was so affected by the [REDACTED] shed a little sensitive tear as [REDACTED] the heel of my work boot.

When I was farming, voles (i.e. field mice) were a livelihood-threatening problem in the blueberry fields. Since the farm was organic, I did my weeding with a high-powered weed whacker, which regularly scared up the root-destroying little beggars. On occasion I'd nick one with the line and then invite one of the dogs to finish it off, but mostly I just chased after and either stomped or kicked them to death. (It is surprisingly challenging - and entertaining - to chase after and successfully punt a fleeing rodent while wearing a weed whacker.) [DOESN'T TALK ABOUT THE HOUSE BUT REFLECTS POORLY ON CHARACTER - OK TO USE]

This is not even mentioning stuff like [REDACTED] too bad I don't have a feud going with the neighbors.

Oh, and the "winner"? Here is her story:
I found a dead mouse on my bedroom floor. I was casually looking at it when I noticed that it appeared to be defecating despite the fact that it was dead as the proverbial dormouse, whatever the hell that is. Upon closer inspection, my sympathy turned to absolute HORROR when I realized that it wasn't poop, it was a very large beetle-looking parasite that was crawling out of this poor dead mouse, apparently abandoning ship after killing the damn thing. The beetle-looking thing then proceeded to crawl around the floor for a little while before locating and climbing back inside the mouse again to complete its dastardly mission, whatever that was.
I get the shudders just thinking about it, or about what might have happened had I not witnessed this and removed the infested carcass from the house. What might have emerged next? A family of about 1,000 beetle-like parasites looking for a warm, fuzzy home, like in my cat? What if my cat had actually eaten the mouse? Are there more of these in the house? So many questions.
I love games like this where there is really no winner, only carnage.

Also, a pre-emptive message [REDACTED] my trailer (SINGLE WIDES IN THE HIZZOUSE!) [REDACTED], along with other impolite behavior. They're also nature's original renewable resource - no matter how many you slaughter, you're not even denting the population.
To sum up: [REDACTED], go suck it.

Friday, September 22, 2006
I have a few Questinos
As anyone who has to write frequently (emails included) for their job can attest, when there is typing there are typos. It's well known that people tend to make the same typos repeatedly, like a faulty linguistic fingerprint. Most of these are just a pain in the ass, but occasionally they're entertaining.

I type pretty quickly, so I tend to make transposition errors on a regular basis, especially at the end of words. My favorite is when I try to type "questions" but end up transposing the 'o' and 'n' so it comes out "questinos." This is, of course, the preferred spelling in Spanish-speaking countries.

I'm thinking about creating an autocorrect entry that translates the rest of the sentence into Spanglish instead of just correcting the spelling. So if I accidentally write "Please let me know if you have any questinos," it will instead display "?Cuanto cuesta sus questinos?" I think this would clear up a lot of confusion.

Monday, June 12, 2006
I share a birthday with Machiavelli. As near as I can tell, the only other thing I share with the creepy uncle of modern politics is an innate ability to, shall we say, get away with things. Given the volume of illicit / immoral / mischievous activities I'm typically involved in, the number of times I've been caught in the act is surprisingly few. The following incidents are the exceptions to the rule.

One summer in college, I worked for a large professional landscaping outfit, along with my friends The Blazer and Vasky. (Luckily for the company, we were not placed together on the same crew.) This was most definitely a job whose main function was to illustrate exactly why you were attending college - i.e. so you didn't get stuck doing shitty work with a bunch of dumbass motherfuckers for the rest of your life.

They didn't get much worse than my crew 'leader,' Jim, who I would describe as functionally retarded if the comparison wasn't so insulting to the handicapable population at large. To add to his monumental stupidity, Jim was a lazy asshole who labored under the misconception that his crew was somehow unaware that he cherry-picked all the easy jobs and left the shit work to us.

Needless to say, the combination of having to spend 40 hours a week with Jim, completely non-challenging work, and ready access to weed via several ex- (or soon-to-be-) con coworkers meant that I was pretty much perpetually stoned on the job. The one good point about having a moron like Jim as my supervisor was that concealing my drug use required almost no effort whatsoever. Then again, had I been on a different crew I could have done so openly, but whatever.

[All this is just an aside to set up the story. Well, that and an opportunity to slag on Jim, which is probably bad manners since he is undoubtedly still doing the same kind of work for the same kind of pay, more than 10 years later. Then again, I worked with plenty of other guys in the same situation who managed not to be assholes, so there you go.]

Anyway, one day after work The Blazer and I had plans to do something or other, but first we stopped at my folks' place so I could grab a change of clothes. One of us had just purchased a fresh sack after a bit of a dry spell, and the temptation to sample the wares ASAP proved impossible to fight so we drove around passing the pipe for a while. (A bit ironic since I lived within walking distance.)

When we arrived at my folks' place, I was dismayed to see both of them were already home from work. I had been stoned around my parents many times, but not usually so freshly baked, and I expect I probably didn't have any eyedrops handy that day either. Oh well, into the breach.

My mother is a bit of the nosy, suspicious type, which is a nice way of saying that in a different time and place she would have made a fantastic SS officer. Growing up, her sisters called her "The Accountant," as she could always be counted upon to notice any and all transgressions. As an adult, she chose the profession of junior high secretary, chiefly because of the amount of community information it put at her disposal. In her spare time, she monitors a police scanner, just to keep her skills sharp. I am not making any of this up.

To be honest, she is largely responsible for my abilities in sneakery - there's nothing like the knowledge that you're under constant and (mostly) warrantless surveillance to spur the development of evasive tactics regarding one's private life. My habits were no secret, but neither were they discussed; like many middle class parents, mine preferred to pretend they didn't know what they knew, and I usually confined my activities to off-hours, so there was an uneasy truce in that regard.

Today was that rare exception. The Blazer and I entered the house with the idea of getting out as soon as possible. Of course, Mom wanted to talk for a few minutes, and I did a pretty good job of playing it casual for a while. But when I got into the fridge to get a glass of lemonade, suddenly there she was, peering suspiciously at me over the top of the door and asking some kind of pointed question that I could not evade.

I turned to answer, and our eyes met. Instantly, hers narrowed with scandalized German disapproval as she noticed my glazed, bloodshot stare. I could practically watch the lights go on, connecting the various clues (bloodshot eyes, evasive behavior, rooting about in the fridge). Not a word was said - it didn't need to be. We both knew I was busted.

There was a tense, uncomfortable pause, then she turned quickly to train her beady-eyed scrutiny on The Blazer, who fidgeted in his seat uncomfortably and pretended to be preoccupied by something else. It was clear the gig was up. There would be no jury trial - we had been tried and convicted already.

We managed to make our escape shortly thereafter, but the damage had been done. For years afterward, every time The Blazer's name came up Mom would scowl and mutter something disapproving about his character. The irony is that every one of my friends, save one, was up to exactly the same shenanigans, but he got singled out as The Bad Influence simply because he'd been caught in flagrante delicto.*

The truth, of course, is that the wrong person was being fingered as The Bad Influence, which brings me to the other incident. It did not involve being caught in the act, exactly, and I must admit I'm rather proud of it in a way. My friend Dave's mom shares some similarities with my own mother, especially the sharp wit and keen bullshit detector, but without the pinched Teutonic overtones. We've always gotten along rather well - I suspect the naughtiness of other children is more charming when it's not your kid. But that doesn't mean she has blinders on.

One summer - it might have even been the same summer - she confronted Dave.

"I know you've been doing pot," she informed him.

"How'd you find out?" Dave asked, abandoning any pretense of innocence.

"I smelled it on your clothes," she said.

"Yeah, OK," he shrugged, knowing that it wasn't a big deal with her. "So?"

"Who have you been doing it with?" she asked.

"I'm not going to tell you that," he said. There was a pause.

"Well, if I had a guess," she said, "I'd guess it was Jake Brake."

It's good to know you have a reputation, especially a Bad one.

* Etymology: Medieval Latin, literally, while the crime is blazing. How very appropriate.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006
"Honey, we need to go to the emergency room"
News story this weekend about a bear mauling in Homer, Alaska. The maulee, Mike Mungoven, was a great interview:
  • "I really think the bear actually showed quite a bit of kindness in the way she mauled me," Mungoven said.

  • After hearing the bear disappear into the woods, Mungoven said he called after his dogs several times. "They were at the road, waiting for me to come out of the woods," he said. "They were just sitting there like, 'OK, when you're done playing with the bear, we'll be right here waiting for you.'"

  • "It's not the first time I've walked in the door and said, 'Honey, we need to go to the emergency room,'" he said.

I have to admit I kind of identify with the last quote.


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