Thursday, September 30, 2004

Leykis 101

Recently someone was extolling the virtues of talk radio host Tom Leykis, and what he calls "Leykis 101" -- instruction for guys (mostly) about life and relationships. Leykis seems to be very popular, especially with 18-25 yr old males and ditzy women (who appear to view him as a sort of alpha male, I guess because he's fairly famous and rich.)

Anyway, this is what I think about Leykis 101:

If you're not going to think for yourself, at least find someone worth listening to. Tom Leykis is a pathetic whining LOSER. Ever notice what kind of ads run on the stations that play his show? I'll tell you -- these are who advertises on his station here in Seattle:
- debt management / credit repair services
- herbs/medicine to increase potency
- bankruptcy lawyers
- career-change schools (“in 3 months, you could be a Database Administrator or Microsoft Network Administrator”)
- crimestoppers (if you have information about this crime, call this #)
- beer ads
- substance abuse clinics
- DUI defense
- penis enlargement
- sex shops / adult bookstores
- laser hair removal
- easy-credit used car lots (“we’ve got in-house financing for outhouse credit”)
- infomercials selling quack medicines to gullible people who think the fake interview is part of a real call-in show
- ads for patently risky, completely un-guaranteed “investments” (as obvious a stupidity tax as one may see)

Not to mention that he’s surrounded by the shallowest, most idiotic and sophomoric programming available, and his callers consistently display complete ignorance about history, politics, geography, literature, human psychology, or their own lives.

What does the above say about his listening audience? Answer: They are LOSERS. Leykis merely exploits the stupidity of a self-selected audience of idiots. Think about it.

three quotes...

"Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend . . . But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century."
Newsweek, 1975

"Scientists concluded -- almost unanimously -- that global warming is real and the time to act is now."
Al Gore, 1992

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

i know it when i see it

We were having an online conversation in which I failed to fall in line with the idea that "pornography is good and happy and healthy." Someone gave me the "how do you identify it?" thing (below). Naturally I have an opinion about it, which I felt the need to discuss at length...

The basic question is: define pornography? Is Bot's painting of "Venus" porn, is M.A.'s "David" porn, is a mother breastfeeding a child, porn? Standards of morality are as individual as fingerprints.

Oh, c'mon, people, it's not that hard. The comment above sounds like “Since some types of human expression are on the boundaries, and since those boundaries can be different for different individuals, it is impossible to create a standard that clearly and unambiguously accounts for every possible case. Therefore, we can’t have a standard about pornography, because not everyone agrees about what it is.”

First of all, regarding fingerprints:
Standards of morality are not unique to every individual – every society has many many agreed-upon norms of behavior that the vast majority support. There are amazing consistencies between and among societies and individuals regarding moral issues and questions (sexual or otherwise).
Nor are moral standards arbitrarily assigned like fingerprints are. We choose what standard(s) to adopt or create.

Second, the fact that there may be many opinions about pornography (or morality) does not mean that all those opinions are equally valid, logical, well-thought-out, or worthy of expression. The idea that everyone’s ideas deserve equal consideration is stupid – one must make some basic assumptions about right and wrong, good and bad.
Example: If your idea of the right way to mow the lawn is to use a power mower, and mine is to use a push-mower, we might have a debate. But if my idea is to tie neighborhood children to stakes in the yard in the hope that they’ll eat the grass, you may rightly consider me a loon and dismiss my lawn-mowing ideas outright.
Similarly, if there are people who want to suggest that the works of Boticelli or Michelangelo or even Rubens are in some way the moral equivalent of Debbie Does Dallas or, they are morons.

Finally: pornographers’ protestations notwithstanding, coming up with a workable standard is not actually that tough. A simple dictionary definition probably accounts for 98% of known cases:
“Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.”
Add the U.S. supreme court’s stuff about “…without redeeming social importance” plus some of the other caveats and embellishments various courts have come up with, and you’ve got something to work with.
Sure, there will be questionable stuff. (Pics of people flashing at Mardi Gras? bikini posters? etc.) But everything in life requires some discretion, some discernment, some intelligence on our part.
What is “mentally retarded” vs “normal”? What is disabled? What’s insane? Should we not have programs for people we classify that way?
How about music vs noise? Not everyone has a device for measuring decibels – does this mean we shouldn’t have city noise ordinances?
What is acceptable business dress? How many face tattoos are too many to work at McDonalds? How many piercings or scarifications move me beyond body enhancement to being a serious nut-job?
How many cats will your grandma get before you stage an intervention? 8? 15? 60?
When is a person *really* an alcoholic? Since it’s sometimes hard to tell, we probably don’t need AA.Okay, I guess I’ve beat that to death – I’m sure you get my point...

Monday, September 27, 2004

Jim Bowie's Letter & Bill Buckner's Legs

I just read an article that Stephen Jay Gould wrote a few yrs ago -- it's fascinating, and it confirms/parallels a few things that I -- in a limited way -- had previously thought about myself. (There's nothing like having someone second your theories to make you feel that person is truly brilliant...)

The basic point of the article is that

...human beings are pattern-seeking, storytelling creatures. These mental propensities ... [lead] us to cram the real and messy complexity of life into simplistic channels of the few preferred ways that human stories "go."
One of the many places you can find the article -- titled "Jim Bowie's Letter & Bill Buckner's Legs" -- is at

i have issues

Recently I was trying to figure out a way to express the withering scorn I have for high school graduations, speeches, senior parties, and high school seniors in general: Their boundless confidence; their vast overestimation of their own achievements, worth, and potential; their stupendous, overwhelming ignorance of history, politics, philosophy, science, geography, psychology (in short, everything, with the exception of pop culture); their total lack of perspective regarding the world and their place in it, or their mini-culture and its relevance; their clueless immaturity and smug self-satisfaction.

Basically, I think I have unresolved anger issues -- instead of being lovingly concerned about these fresh young lives heading into the hard cold world, I just find them annoying.

But I can remember when I was a senior myself – I knew that I knew nothing, and I didn’t understand why everyone was going around congratulating each other as if finishing high school had been such a huge accomplishment, and why the graduation speeches went on and on about how much we’d done in the last 4 years and how the road before us was all awesome and everything. Didn't they know that a certain percentage of us were going to turn out to be total losers, and that the percentage was going to be basically the same as it was for every senior class before us and every one after us?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

quotes for the day

Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
--Sir Winston Churchill

Never vote for the best candidate, vote for the one who will do the least harm.
-- Frank Dane

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
--John Kenneth Galbraith

If you don't know how to do something, you don't know how to do it with a computer.
-- Anonymous

Then I found five dollars...

Had a business trip last week -- spent five days in Detroit. Seattle looks very white to me now.

On Thursday night I was up till about 3am trying to do some tricky data extractions that the client needed by 7:15 the next morning, so by the time I got on the plane Friday evening I was beat. I fell asleep as we took off, and didn't wake up till the wheels hit the runway in Seattle almost 5 hrs later.

I stumbled my way to baggage claim, but couldn't find the right carousel -- none of the Northwest Airlines carousels seemed to be running. I checked the monitor, and next to my flight I saw S7, so I waited by carousel 7 but nothing happened.

I got into a conversation with a Russian kid who was on his way back to Moscow after spending his summer working in Alaska. He said he'd had a wonderful time and had decided he wanted to live in the US. No one is blowing themselves up in the Metro over here, he said. Hopefully it will stay that way...

After he left I wandered around some more, looking for my bags. Eventually I made my way to the Northwest baggage office. The lady there was nice, and explained that their belts were broken, and all Northwest baggage had been sent several carousels away, to another airline's area. It had all been explained over the PA on my flight, she assured me. I said I'd been asleep and had heard nothing -- no one had even made me return my seatback to its full, upright, and most uncomfortable position before we landed.

So then I went to the correct carousel, found my bag still on it, and went home.

The End.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

A new way for me to think about Iraq

For the record: I had grave doubts about the Iraq war. I think even less of it now. I think war is one of the worst things humans do. I don't like GWB. But...

I can't get on board with the USA OUT OF IRAQ position.

In a situation like this, there will always be people who are so anxious to see the invader out of the country that they're willing to temporarily sacrifice the peace, security, and prosperity of the country in order to make them leave.

If 99% of Iraqis felt this way, there would still be a "war" on. I'm not sure at what point it stops being a war and becomes an insurgency, but in this case it was when the army stopped being a functioning entity and GWB declared victory.

Let's define "insurgents" as those Iraqis who still feel that way (ie, USA out at all costs). Everyone else is at least willing to tolerate us until we finish the rebuilding effort.

At what point would we consider the insurgency to represent enough of the population that we should get out of the country?
51%? 25%? 10%? 1%?

The population of Iraq is something like 25 million people, of which maybe 7 million are males between the age of 15-64.
If 1% of Iraq's population wanted us gone at all costs (ie, if 99% of the people didn't necessarily like us, but were content to let us stay there until we finished rebuilding), that would mean that the insurgency comprised 70,000 fighters (1% of 7 million).

And maybe it does. But if the number's that big, shouldn't we be seeing more bloodshed than we're seeing now? (If the insurgency was 10% of the population, that would mean almost 3/4 million fighters ready to blow stuff up and kidnap people. It seems fairly clear that it's not.)

And if 10% were the right number (ie, 90% of the people would rather have us stay for now), would that mean what is best for Iraq would be for us to withdraw? I feel we have a moral obligation to Iraq to fix what we started. What percent of the population has to want us gone for us to accept their word for it and withdraw, leaving them with damaged infrastructure, no established gov't, and most likely civil war? I suspect that if we weren't there, they'd be killing each other in far greater numbers than they are right now.

My impression is that
a) millions of Iraqis don't like us (big surprise)
b) but the VAST majority know that the war -- regrettable as it was, and whether they liked Saddam or not -- is water under the bridge. They are content to reap the benefits of the "occupation" rather than kick us out. They know we are providing what little stability there is in the region.

I think the insurgency looks (to us) like a far larger % of the population than it is, because their actions are what's on our headlines every day. Everything they do is worldwide news. Our media don't report things like:
- In Baghdad today, two schools were re-opened, and a new sewage treatment plant came online.
- In Mosul today -- a city of X million people -- nothing happened.
- In dozens of cities around the country, American patrols encountered no resistance, and enjoyed peaceful contact with thousands of citizens.

All we see is people getting beheaded and stuff blowing up. And granted, that's horrible. But it's not the full picture. And it's (IMO) too narrow a view to base policy on.

I believe there are over 50,000 fatalities in the US every year from car accidents. That works out to an average of somethign like 140 bloody deaths every single day. (We'll leave out the merely injured, just as the media seems to cover only fatalities in Iraq and doesn't spend much time on non-fatal casualties.) If the media covered car accidents the same way they do the insurgency, we'd be screaming for safer cars, or the withdrawal of all Americans from our own Interstates.

I talked last month with a Nat'l Guardsman home on 2-wk furlough. He said he's surprised at the news here -- that they have their issues, but the vast majority of Iraqis he deals with don't hate them. They're either glad Saddam's gone (read: the war didn't cost them family members or their home), or they like the stuff the US does: delivering water, supplies, building stuff.

According to him, the guardsmen now have to take cultural training, 99% of the time they don't bang down doors any more, they meet with elders in each city/village, they are well-received. There definitely *are* enemy combatants, but the fighting is mostly limited to a few hotspots -- the majority of the country is running more smoothly every day, and in his area it feels like many people like them and the insurgents are a tiny fraction of the population.

This is a kid from a white upper middle class family. He's not overly educated or sensitive about racial/cultural issues. But he speaks respectfully about the Iraqi people, and he seems fairly realistic and level-headed about the situation. Naturally his view wouldn't be complete, but it seems like a view that receives fairly small play in the national media. Mostly when we hear "Some good things are happening in Iraq", it seems like it comes out as a quote from conservative pundits or lawmakers, and is dismissed as right-wing rhetoric.

Or that's how it seems to me, anyway.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

dog nights

Dogsitting for a friend. Their dog doesn't get along with our cat, so the cat's locked in the garage with his food and his litter box.

Late at night, I'm working at my computer, the dog starts looking at me and whining, prancing, running to the door and whirling around, jumping up and down, etc.

I figure pooping is imminent. I take her out. It is raining. I am cold. She does NOTHING except wander around eating grass.

I take her back in, she starts up the prancing routine again. I figure she's just bored, and ignore her. She wanders away, begins to gag, and finally, barfs up the grass she ate onto the carpet (two separate piles). The way she was carrying on with the heaving, I expected at least a dead woodchuck, but anyway, it was just grass and spit and stomach stuff.

So I clean it up, and decide that if she (a) might poop, and (b) is puking, I need to put her in the garage for the night. This is a complicated Farmer-goose-fox-corn routine, involving the use of the downstairs bathroom as a holding area, transferring of various food dishes and animal beds, not letting the pets see/smell each other, synchronization of which pet is locked up where, retrieving whichever pet is wandering the house at any given time, etc.

Then right before I'm about to go to sleep, I realize the cat doesn't have access to his litter box. It's filthy on the bottom and I don't want to bring it into the house, so i did the old National-League-double-substitution deal again, and brought the dog back in.

In the morning I went to the garage to take the garbage can out to the street and found that the Poop Fairy had visited during the short time the dog was in the garage.

But not on the concrete, where it would be easy to clean up, of course. She had to do her thing on the new piece of remnant carpet we just put in the garage under the weight bench.

Then we were out of carpet cleaner. Also it made me late for work. Also there was a guy in a big van blocking the fast lane for about 10 minutes, with about 30 cars backed up behind as he played Blue Angels with the car next to him.

Now I'm just ranting. That will be all at this time.

quotes for the day

"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila."
- Mitch Radcliff

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
-Bertrand Russell

If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started.
- Jack Handey (?)

maybe this is interesting

My little brother, who lives in California, went to Florida to meet/visit his girlfriend's parents/family. When I asked him how his trip went, he sent me an email about it.
Note: FWIW, his apparent shallow self-interest is a sham. Despite his efforts to appear as a selfish cynic, he's actually a really warm and nice person...

It's monday morning, and I'm still in Florida, attempting to maintain the whole gracious-guest image.

As if this wasn't a great enough strain in itself, the men's college basketball championship game is also monday and it comes but once a year. And where am I? Caught in the middle, as usual. So like I
said, it's monday morning and I'm sitting at the Nelson kitchen table, perusing the sports page and enjoying my flapjacks and milk. I look over the tv listings, scan for the tip-off time, and locate it with little difficulty: 9:18 pm.

Many other things happened after that, like when I got up from the table and got some more milk, and then again when I urinated post-meal, followed by a brief but thorough face-washing--however, in the interest of time, I will cut right to the heart of things.

It's monday evening, and I've managed to secure a couples' night out with Debi, her brother and his wife, at Chili's Bar and Grill. In this manner, I will be able to feign interest in spending quality time with various portions of the family and still watch the game. The initial phase of Operation Watch-The-Final plays out nicely. We gain access to our table, (and 3 tv's) at approximately quarter after the hour. I casually sit down, making idle chit chat while stealing furtive glances at the monitors. It is then that I notice the first problem. No pre-game interviews are occurring, no highlights from earlier games in the tournament, nothing. Just a fat Marlins pitcher warming up on all 3 screens. At this point, I get nervous. My mouth
seems a little dry, and that empty feeling creeps into my stomach. "What has gone wrong?", I think. "Did I not plan this operation with the utmost precision, taking into account the most minute detail?"

No, you did not, Rick. You MORON!!

Now if you're like me (and I sense that you are), you've spent roughly 20 years automatically subtracting 3 hours from nationally televised sporting events, because nationally televised sporting events in the newspaper are most often listed by eastern time. "Looks like the game's at 6:18", I think to myself.

Wrong again! You're already ON east coast time, you don't need to complete any complex mathematical formulas to derive the event's start time! You just look at the time in the paper and then watch it at that time! Simple, right? Not for me.

And such was the story of the ball game. I'll get 'em next time, though. I'm gonna look at my computer and first see what time zone I'm in, and then I will look in the paper!

You must rise early to pull one over on me, that's all I'm saying about THAT.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


I don't know if this Hinckley is the same guy that's the president of the LDS church, but either way I liked the quote...

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are often more dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time rail journey...Delays, side tracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas, and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have a ride."
Gordon B Hinckley

the way we were

I have decided that people can be counted on to be irrational, and usually in very predictable ways.

important questions

What, besides vengeance and havoc, is ever wreaked?

baseball and drugs

"Let no one accuse baseball of not being tough on drugs. During his baseball career, Steve Howe was given 7 lifetime suspensions."

- Bill Ferraro, baseball fan

Monday, September 20, 2004

Howz it goin' Chief?

Recently a few people I know were complaining that they were seriously bugged if someone called them "Guy", "Hon", "Sport", "Sweetie", etc. Luckily I was there -- since I Know What Is Best For Everyone -- and I decided this:

There are lots of ways people mess with us. For purposes of discussion, it might be useful to break them down into levels or degrees. I have (ahem) a modest example here:
Level 5: Torture, rape, pillage, murder.
Level 4: Mugging, assault, stalking, destruction of property.
Level 3: Threats, insults, trash talk.
Level 2: Subtle social putdowns, intentional rudeness masquerading as courtesy.
Level 1: Being called Buddy, Guy, Pal, Chum, Chief, Hon, Sweetie by well-meaning but clueless people.

So, my point: if your life is so great that all you have to worry about is Level 1 offenses, then be grateful and move on ahead. Life is short, then you're dead -- don't worry, be happy.

poem by Edward Rowland Sill

The Fool's Prayer

The royal feast was done; the King
Sought out some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

"No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin: but Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

"'Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
'Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

"These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

"The ill-timed truth we might have kept
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say
Who knows how grandly it had rung?

"Our faults no tenderness should ask,
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The king, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
"Be merciful to me, a fool!"

~Edward Rowland Sill

OK, this is long

We had a cat named Kitty-witz (I guess he was Jewish). This happened...

Kitty-witz's latest trick -- which fits in perfectly with his general pattern of stupidity -- is getting stuck in trees. He is an excellent climber, but only in the UP direction; this week we have had to retrieve him twice. (Note: I am a human, at a not-as-agile-as-I-used-to-be-36-yrs-old and 210 lbs. He is a 4 lb cat with tree-climbing genes and claws and everything. What is his confounded problem?)
The first time, he got stuck in a medium-sized fir tree, fairly climbable and not that high. Hannah (that's the wife) spied him on a branch mewing plaintively and looking pitiful and bewildered.
As previously mentioned, he is not that bright, so a confused look is fairly normal for him, but this time he appeared even more perplexed than usual.
Anyway, to make a long story short (too late), I clumb the tree, stuck him in a pillowcase, and climbed down. All was well, wife and kids were grateful, kitty was safe.
Then last night he did it again, this time in a tree with no branches lower than about 20 feet. He didn’t come in for the night, and Samantha (the daughter) got us out of bed about 11pm to say she had just heard Kitty-witz outside. Once again Hannah found him clinging clumsily to a small branch and appearing completely baffled about how he had gotten there.
After trying to lure him down, we tied a tall ladder partway up the tree, I climbed up, and tried to get him to jump into a box held up under his branch. It was not a big leap, but he wasn’t having any.
During this time, Mommy and Samantha offered questions and commentary:
“What are you trying to do, Daddy?”
“Do you think we should just call the fire department?”
“Daddy, don’t hurt him!”
“Can you reach him? It looks like he’s right there. Are you sure you can’t reach him?”
“Watch out. Don’t fall.”
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing? Maybe we should just call
the fire department.”
“Don’t scare him.”
“Aw, poor Kitty-witz. It’s starting to rain and he’s out here all cold and everything.”

Rattling a bag of treats failed to move him; choice words had no effect. Attempts to knock him off the branch into the box also failed, but they were fairly satisfying to make.
Eventually I lashed another small stepladder onto the top of the big ladder and tried again. Still couldn’t reach, so I rigged a safety line around my waist -- like the people who climb telephone poles, except that I was shirtless and barefoot and wearing baggy PJ bottoms -- and I shinnied up the last two feet until I could grab Kitty-witz by the scruff of the neck and pull him off the tree.
As soon as his claws were pulled loose from the bark, he stuck them into me, which I thought an ungrateful position to take.

I should make a brief confession here. Whereas:
- we were getting ready to be on a houseboat for several days in August (Hannah's family reunion); and
- we wanted to try a little water-skiing or other sun-sport-type-activity; and
- we live in the Pacific Northwest, where “sun-breaks” is an actual term used by weather forecasters; and
- consequently we were all whiter than chalk,
I thought it would be a good idea to spend a few minutes on the cancer couch before we left. Long story short, I fell asleep in the tanning booth and got a spectacular burn all over.
Kitty-witz rode down with his claws hooked into my sunburned chest, until a short way from the bottom where I pried him loose and attempted to hand him down and behind myself to Hannah. He pulled out little chunks of bright pink flesh all the way down my body, finally attaching all four claws to my rear end.
As Hannah and Sam laughed themselves silly, I held on to the ladders and Hannah pulled Kitty-witz down the rest of the way with his claws hooked in my pajama bottoms, pulling them down to my thighs and exposing my entire sunburned butt to the world.

The girls laughed for a long time.
I put the ladders away and went to bed.
Tomorrow I’m going to buy a dog. The End.


When my little brother graduated from high school, our other brother wrote him this email...


You are king. You did it. You were strong. You were man of oak. You poured out your heart. Your strong heart of oak. You bring to mind the old Iroquois legend of the Oak Tree:

The Oak Tree
(Iroquois Legend)

Once there was a strong oak tree that lived by a stream. Every day the little forest animals would gather to drink of the stream and rest under the shade of the strong oak tree. The tree was strong. The tree was by a stream. The tree was made of oak. Strong oak. One day, the tree thought, “When is something going to happen in my legend? So far, this is the most pointless legend of all.”

The tree called his agent. “I better start seeing some action soon, or this whole deal is OFF!” cried the tree. The agent worked fast. He called all the little forest animals together. Together they all ran to the tree and began to quote passages from James Fenimore Cooper novels. The tree was so overwhelmed by the boredom of his legend that he fell over and crushed all the little forest animals. The agent escaped but some bark from the tree got into his eye, and he didn’t go to the doctor and he went blind.

Moral: It’s all fun and games until someone loses the match they were going to burn a James Fenimore Cooper novel with.

What does this have to do with me graduating, you ask?
I’m glad you asked that question. The answer is complicated, but it has to do with trees, and being like a tree. Also with being “oaken”. The little forest animals are little parts of speech. The stream is the fount of knowledge. The agent is Leigh Steinberg. The James Fenimore Cooper novels are The Deerslayer and The Last of the Mohicans. The bark is a gerbil. The agent’s eye is a bit of cheese. The blindness is justice.

So, good job.



The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.
-Paul Valery, poet and philosopher (1871-1945)

Everything is about me

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

How small must your mind be if all you talk about is yourself? Three posts and I've worn out the "I" on my keyboard. And I'm neither an idea nor an event. I vow to do better.
(Right after this post, which also contains more than its recommended daily allotment of I's...)

bad movies i've never heard of

I came upon this by accident on google. I have never even heard of the movie, but I liked it because I also think Keanu Reeves has the acting ability and facial expression range of tuna...
Anyway, I found these reviews to be like peanuts -- once you start eating them, you cant' stop. If you like peanuts, that is. Which I don't. But perhaps that info distracts from the power of the metaphor, so please forget I brought it up. And I only actually read two reviews anyway, so maybe I've overstated their peanut-like aspects as well, compounding my error. I am unworthy. My point is that the other review I read ended with the following paragraph:
The film was written and directed by Gary Preisler, upon whom I wish nothing but ill for all the rest of his days, and may they be long and filled with torment. By the 30-minute mark, I was praying for the sweet release of death, or at least a sudden and violent attack of diarrhea, so I'd have an excuse to leave the theater. I had to stay, of course, because I was reviewing it. You are under no such obligation. In fact, you don't even have to show up in the first place. See that you don't.
For the whole review (ie, if you have no actual life), see:

Sunday, September 19, 2004

20 things about me

1. 6’ 1”. Was 230 lbs, now 200.
2. I love language, words, accents. Speak good Spanish, basic Russian. Wish I could afford to re-tool and become a professional linguist of some kind.
3. Skipped first grade. Didn't reach puberty until about 16. In my HS yearbook photos, I look 12. Did not date until college.
4. One of my regrets: left a Dear Jane letter on the door of my GF’s apartment. (It’s a long story, but when it’s all said and done I was a jackass.)
5. At 21, went out with a 16-yr-old. (I thot she was 17, and I was emotionally 17 myself, but when it’s all said and done … still a jackass.)
6. I ran a marathon.
7. In my immediate family, haven’t yet had any of the Big D’s (Death, Divorce, Disease).
8. My grandmother sent my daughter a job chart for Christmas.
9. My wife is a talented artist.
10. I can sleep anywhere.
11. I have had excellent health my whole life.
12. My professional goal is to work 4 days a week, and spend the 5th doing charity work with my kids.
13. My son is dyslexic.
14. I had two years of guitar lessons at age 11-13, and have played essentially that same two years of material ever since.
15. I love my family more than I love hockey.
16. But the gap is not as wide as it should be.
17. My wife is very attractive and very fit; my looks are average.
18. I liked liver as a kid, but not any more.
19. My grandfather was a member of the Nazi party.
20. In case anyone’s interested, my pickup truck is for sale: 96 Ranger 4X2, 96K miles, excellent condition. Camper shell, bedliner, snow tires included.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Initial post

Am I fascinating yet?