Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Funny things I've seen in the last 24 hours

Graffiti in a bar bathroom: "Tom Daschill eats gypsy babies".

Bumperstickers: "Sucks gas & Hauls ass" next to "Horn broken, watch for finger". (Not funny so much as "Hey redneck, who invited you to the big city today?").

Heavy machinery: I saw a heavy-duty wood chipper. The kind that landscaping companies tow behind their bigass trucks. The model name of this particular chipper seemed to be "The Intimidator". And I thought...who exactly are you intimidating? The trees?

CTRL-V: While browsing a website, my right hand brushed a few keys at once on the right side of my keyboard (most likely Control, shift, left arrow, maybe the wierd Windows Menu key). In the text field (where my cursor was) the word "crapface" appeared. I don't remember typing "crapface" at any point...ever...in my life. And when I did a 'paste' to see what was in my copy/paste buffer, the video card model I had been researching earlier was pasted: "Xtasy 9600".

Monday, November 29, 2004

Sunday, November 28, 2004


I couldn't do it...I couldn't resist that ol' consumer urge. I made the mistake of perusing the "Black Friday" newspaper advertisements late in the day Friday and found a few killer deals that I really wanted to take advantage of.

So what, you may ask, is the price of my soul? I'll tell you:

One 50% off coupon for Michael's Craft stores (seemingly gay, I know...but I needed a mat cutter for photography stuff). Grand savings of $50.

The deals that I saw and missed (and am pissed about) becuase my iron will kept me out of the stores during the *really* good shopping times):

One Doom3 video game $20 (a savings of: $30)
One ATI video card $80 (a savings of: $120!)

The realization that I am, in fact, a sheep isn't nearly as disturbing (or embarassing) as the price at which I am able to justify (to myself) being that sheep.


Friday, November 26, 2004


Today, "Black Friday" as the marketers have dubbed it, I stand before you a man devided. I am torn between my desire to not follow the herd and run out and "spend!, spend!, spend!...buy! buy! buy!" (like the malls and TV commercials and newspaper ads tell me I should) and my desire to score some new stuff cheap.

Sometimes, it's difficult being me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


This is the mentality which makes me fear the next four years.

(As seen on a bigass SUV bumper in VA (no surprise there)).

Nothing says "third-world dictatorship" like shooting a few people you disagree with.

Monday, November 22, 2004


I know it's supposed to be satire, but man, sometimes they just hit things right on the head over at The Onion:

"Nation's Poor Win Election For Nation's Rich"

Sunday, November 21, 2004

8:59pm Sunday

Travel Channel 9:00pm, World Poker Tour: American Chopper vs. Trading Spaces. Most interesting Sunday night TV since the Sopranos and Six Feet Under ended.

11:00pm Sunday

Well, that wasn't nearly as exciting as I had hoped. I wanted something more like "Celebrety Poker Showdown" where the players talk and interact with each other more. In "Poker Tour", the announcers spent the whole time commenting, with very little from the players. Worse yet, the one announcer took every opportunity to call into question the sexual preference of the Trading Spaces host. Constantly remarking about him singing "show tunes in his head" and other "show tunes" related comments. Why didn't he just say "the little fag is going all-in" and be done with it?? Too much of a pussy...guess he had to beat around the bush and imply.

(Note: I have no idea of the sexual preference of the Trading Spaces host guy. But I got annoyed pretty quickly at the Poker Showdown host and his implications (if that's the right word)). Anyway...

Friday, November 19, 2004

One Giant receipt

I went to the grocery store the other day. My local Giant, specifically. I bought 4 items:

-one 12 pack of Caffiene Free Diet Coke
-one bag of Rold Gold pretzil sticks
-two loaves of Home Pride Wheat bread

Upon checking out (in the ultra-cool "Self Checkout" lanes) I was presented with a receipt 25.75 inches in length:

Seriously, is it really necessary to blow that much paper? That's just stupid. If there's one thing I can't stand it's excessive packaging. But right behind that is excessive waste. Guess I gotta write an email to Giant and complain. I told myself that with the reelection of this administration, I'd be more active in my protests. May as well start with my "giant" receipt.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

San Fran musings

I was lucky enough to be in SF at the time of the SF bay area VeloSwap hosted (maybe sponsored) by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. VeloSwap is part bike yard sale, part bike industry showcase, and part bike geek hangout. It was fabulous! Thousands of bits and pieces and parts from brake lever hoods (10 for $1) up to a brand-new Specialized Demo9 downhill bike. Fun for the whole family.

So anyway, off in one corner of the Cow Palace was an area set up with a bunch of stationary trainers, a bunch of bikes, a laptop, and a bigass screen. Evidently a race was scheduled. A race based on the terrain of a particular trail of Mount Tam (arguabley the birthplace of mountain biking). The participants of the race were just settling onto the bikes as I arrived, and the first person I noticed was Gary Fisher...

...of Fisher Bikes fame (and arguably, one of the "inventors" of mountain biking). I'm a bit of a fanboy, since I ride two Fisher bikes: a 2002ish Sugar 2, and an old 2000 Aquila that I converted into my singlespeed, so needless to say, I was pretty stoked. Also, being the photogeek that I have lately become, I had my trusty 20D on me, so I whip it out and start shoting.

As I look around, I see other "racers" who look familiar. Later, after the show, I find a flyer which lists the race participants as:

Joe Breeze (Breezer Bikes)
Gary Fisher (Fisher Bikes)
Mike Sinyard (Specialized)
Scot Nicol (Ibis Cycles)
Jaquie Phelan
James McClean

I must have fired off 200 shots in the 10 minutes I was standing there (luckily, I wasn't alone...there were plenty of other people taking pix too). Most of my shots were aimed at Fisher, but I did manage to get in a few of the other racers as well. I believe the rider in Specialized gear next to Fisher is Mike Sinyard (founder and current president of Specialized).

I only now realize, while Googling to figure out who these people were, how much history was sitting 10' in front of me. If I'd have known then that everyone there was a pioneer in mountain biking, I'd have spent more time panning my camera around.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A small victory

Old news, but I'm happy to see it. Hopefully the devil we know isn't better than the devil we don't know. Now let's just hope Rumsfeld gets the f*ck out too.

Attorney General John Ashcroft Resigns From Bush Administration

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

It's nice to see that the San Francisco Bay Guardian's secret monitoring device inside my head is still transmitting.

In their November 10th-16th issue, they said:

On November 5th (well before my November 9th-16th trip), I said:

Triumphant return

Man, those vacation weeks fly past. I've already browsed through my work email and personal email. Nice to see there wasn't as much piled up as expected.

Some form of a full write-up to come. I'm too beat to recall everything now. I will say that for whatever reason, people decided it was fun to say things to me out-of-the-blue. We were walking through this town in Marin county (very 'old town' esque...might have been called Tiburon). I was carrying my camera mounted to my tripod over my shoulder, with the girl and a friend of hers when this "normal" looking middle-aged guy walks up to me and says "well, it looks like *somebody* isn't going home with 25 pounds of crabmeat today". Err...what??

Days later, while standing on Haight street (downtown San Fran), waiting for the girl to do some shopping, a guy comes up to me and says "yo dude, you know back there [points over his shoulder] a dog tried to break into a house, and a guy came up and shot it with a 12 gauge. you know what i'm sayin'?". Nope. It's safe to say I have no idea what you're sayin'. Dude.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


Fat Tire Amber Ale. Even bought a pair of pint glasses from Mike's Bikes in San Francisco. These west coast people got it pretty good. Gotta see if I can check a 12 pack or two onto the plane for home.

Monday, November 08, 2004

And like that *poof*, he was gone.

Here endeth the blog for a week. The girl and I are off to San Francisco on a 6:30AM flight Tuesday morning. The things we'll do for cheap tickets, huh?

Aside from the 5AM cab ride and 5 hours in the air, I'm expecting a really great time. A town I've never seen...a coast I've never seen (er...West, that is). I've got plenty of tour guides (the girl once lived there and still has a bunch of friends there), a camera with tons of storage space and 7 days to see the sights. Hopefully we'll be able to play in some of the outdoor meccas there. Mt Tam, arguably the birth place of mountain biking, IIRC, is nearby. I may have to try and rent a bike for a bit just to say I've ridden there (if it's even legal to do that anymore). At the very least we're gonna try to get there and do some hiking and possibly camping.

No idea what kind of internet access I'll have, so I'll have to blog the old fashioned way (paper and pencil) then come back and transcribe it all into this computer thingy.

So, think light thoughts about my plane. I have a pretty good grasp of physics, and I understand *why* they stay up. But that doesn't stop them from scaring the shit outta me. Hopefully my local pharmicist will have something to take the edge off. Nothing like vodka and cranberry at 6am. Mmm mmmmm good.

Oh, and in case any of you psycho stalker types were gonna come crash in my house, or steal my underwear or anything creepy while I'm away, keep in mind that the land mines will be armed, and the 6', under-fed pet alligators will be released to roam free in the house while we're away.
While ego-searching on Google for rant-o-riffic I stumbled across this. Perhaps old news to some, but it was new to me:


Also found the blogs of a few friends there too.
Blood and Gore?

I can't be the only one amused by the fact that our former VP, Al Gore is starting a business with some guy named "Blood", can I? I mean, really, Blood and Gore? Seriously? You guys are pulling our leg, aren't you?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Sore winner

Upon leaving my place today, the girl found a note under her car's windshield wiper:

"Bush won. Ha Ha!"

Nice. Dickhead. Had Kerry won, I'd have been an ass too, but I'd have at least come up with something more creative. I only wish I knew who did it. That way, in 2 or 3 years, I could leave a note on their windshield:

"Your son has been drafted for the war! Ha Ha!"

Or maybe:
"Hope you live a long, healthy life...without healthcare. Ha Ha"

Or even:
"Your kid gets to grow up in a Bladerunner-esque treeless wasteland. Ha Ha!"

Guess we'll have to see who gets the last laugh. My money is on me.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Main Entry: iro·ny
Pronunciation: 'I-r&-nE also 'I(-&)r-nE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -nies
Etymology: Latin ironia, from Greek eirOnia, from eirOn dissembler


FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A man suspected of trying to illegally hook up electrical service died after police shocked him with a stun gun when he was found hiding at an apartment complex, authorities said.




Here's hoping we survive them.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

It's Jesusland!

Just like a theme park! Only less fun.

(I wish I could give credit for the image, but I received it uncredited in an email)
Don't mind me. I'm still pissed off about Tuesday.

So this quote was emailed to me, and it seemed too on-target to be true. So I took it to one of my favorite sites for fact-checking on the internet, Snopes.com. Turns out it's a real quote from Herman Goering, Nazi, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia. Here's the email:

During the Nuremberg Trials, Gustave Gilbert, a psychologist was given access to the prisoners and kept a diary he later published as a book, the Nuremberg Diary. This is an excerpt from a conversation with Herman Goering:


"We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

'Why, of course, the people don't want war,' Goering shrugged. 'Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.'

'There is one difference,' I pointed out. 'In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.'

'Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.'"


And for the "trust but verify" types out there, here's Snopes' page on it:

It's nice to see the old ways still hold true in the 21st century.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


The latest wave of unease started Monday. I felt the end was near. Or, more appropriately, I felt the end was not near. I started to feel that the the Bush/Cheney era in the White House was not on it's last legs. And I was scared.

Then, late in the day Monday, I made up my mind to travel to PA and offer whatever I could to the Kerry election effort. My state (VA) is a loss anyway, always falling to the Republicans. There wasn't really any reason to volunteer here. PA was the closest battleground, and had a lot of electoral votes at stake. I had a connection inside the Kerry camp in the Philadelphia suburbs, so that was my destination.

Tuesday dawns. A timeline.

5:00am - Alarm goes off. That sucked.
5:15am - Out the door (I'd showered the night before as not to be entirely gross to my fellow volunteers).
5:30am - In line at my local polling location. 5th person in line.
6:00am - Doors open. I'm in. I'm the first vote cast at my location (the first 4 people in line were older/slower, so they were easier to shove out of the way when it was time to make my move. Only kiddng. They did take extra time signing in and figuring out the electronic voting machines.
6:04am - Back in my truck, headed north.
6:25am - Hit the DC beltway.
6:44am - Make it to 95N.
7:04am - Pass the big "Balimore" smokestack in Charm City.
7:57am - Ahh, Deleware.
8:18am - PA.
8:36am - Media, PA. I'm here.
9:30am - At this point, it gets pretty busy. [* see detail below]
7:43pm - Done. Head for home.
9:58pm - Home.
2:18am Wednesday - Bed.

*...Basically, I first went to the main Kerry HQ in Media PA. I was handed a map and was pointed in the general direction of the Media, PA Theater, where the volunteers were being coordinated. Maybe a mile from the HQ. I arrived at the staging area, got a quick orientation (with a bunch of other volunteers) got paired up with an older local guy and a couple of young Georgetown Law students also in PA to help, got our assignment packet, grabbed some road food (graciously provided by the Kerry organizers) and hit the road. Basically, we were the foot soldiers. Each team of volunteers was assigned a neighborhood, we were given voter registration records and told to knock on every registered democrat's door and ask if they'd had a chance to go vote yet. If yes, thank them and mark them as "voted" on the lists. If no, ask when they thought they might vote, and ask them if they needed a ride or anything else. Once we had covered our entire neighborhood (checking off all the houses we hit), we return to home base and trade data in for a new packet, then hit the streets again.

I managed to outlast three partners: Granville, Bok and Stephen (what is it with these PA names???), not counting the Georgetown Law kids, and make a total of 4 or 5 neighborhood runs throught the day. The last run was completed in total darkness at 7:00pm, using a flashlight to read our map and find house numbers.

After the final run, we went back to the Theater and found pizza waiting for us. Sweet. Food! That's exactly what I needed for the 2.5 hour trip home. Gobble down some grub and get back in the truck, headed southbound. I wish I could have hung out with the other volunteers in the Theater watching the results come in, but after an extremely long day, all I wanted was to get home and crash out.

For the first 30-45 minutes of the drive home, I listened to whatever NPR station I could pick up and tried to keep up with the incoming results. The initial numbers were sounding good, and that managed to get my hopes up. After I found myself trying to do electoral-vote math in my head while driving (and wandering all over the highway in the process) I decided I would let things settle as I drove home and worry about the returns later. I threw in a CD and set the cruise control.

I finally arrived home around 10 (after breaking all my election-night plans to go out with friends) and immediately switched on the TV. Uh oh. The results were pouring in fast and furious at this point, and a lot of states on their pretty map were colored an annoying shade of red. My heart sank, and continued to stay sunk for a long time.

There was one shining moment of sheer happyness that almost brought me to tears. When CNN predicted that PA, and it's 21 electoral votes would go to Kerry, I felt like I had just hit the lottery. I took it personally. He won the state that I went out and fought for. Man, that was a good feeling. I really feel like I played a hands-on part in trying to remove Bush from office. Of course, it's now clear that we had won the battle, yet lost the war. But I'm inspired. Inspired to fight against this right-wing psuedo-moral christian who's got 4 more years to impose his creepy values on me.


One last thing before I go. I would like to thank the two rednecks in the car next to me at the stop light on Sunday. They pulled up, and passenger-redneck sits up in the window of the car (Dukes of Hazard-stly) and starts yelling to a group of Kerry supporters on a streetcorner: "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck John Kerry! If we give John Kerry the election, we lose our fucking country. Fuck John Kerry! Fuck you!". I thougth briefly about getting out and clubbing him with my Mag light. Then thought better of it (now I think I should have gone with my first instinct). That was the catalyst. I really wish our efforts could have saved this country from mongoloids like them, but I guess the idiots have to want to be saved.

On the plus side, all the bands I like have 4 more years of great material to work with.