Wednesday, September 10, 2003

My inner child is six years old today

My inner child is six years old!

Look what I can do! I can walk, I can run, I can
read! I like to do stuff, and there's a whole
big world out there to do it in. Just so long
as I can take my blankie and my Mommy and my
three best friends with me, of course.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

I'm really not picking on Howard Dean for any particular reason. It's just that he's making the most news of any of the Democrat candidates. A standout among morons, as it were.

Here's the latest:

"I believe too many people in my party for too long caved in out of fear for high poll ratings, have been terrified by [talk radio host] Rush Limbaugh and all those people, beating up on unions, 'Yes, sir, we are afraid to stand up to the right wing,'" Dean said.

Now I'm no fan of governance by poll, but what he's saying here is that he feels that he knows better than the average American. In other words, "Polls be damned, I know what's right for you". We rule by majority, and he's saying the majority are wrong. And why is Limbaugh so terrifying? Is it because his opinions resonate with a lot of people?

Well at least Howie has cemented the 13-year old internet (DeaN is SoOo KeWl) chatter vote. Maybe he can work on appealing to people with functioning intellects next.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Well, John Geoghan was killed in his jail cell. Geoghan was something of the poster child for pedophile priests. His case was particularly odious (if there are degrees of odiousness in child-molestation), involving almost 150 victims and exposing Bernard Law's practice of sweeping molestation cases under the rug and simply reassigning accused priests to new parishes. Presumably fresh hunting grounds.

I'm of two minds concerning Geoghan's death. Part of me says "Die, asshole", but another part of me would have liked to have seen him spend the next 20 years married to some guy nicknamed "Tripod".

Until the next rant...

Friday, August 22, 2003

Saw something yesterday that struck me. A "Howard Dean in 2004" bumper sticker.

Up until yesterday I thought Howie only appealed to adolescent girls who chatted on the internet using lines like "PeEps, tHaT Is SO KeWl"

Guess he's worked his way up to driving age girls, now.

Not since Al Gore have the Democrats managed to field such a pathetic lot of candidates. Petty, mean little men all.

You can see Howie and the rest at

Thursday, July 31, 2003

This morning's conversation:

Her: Do you want some breakfast?
Me: No thanks, I don't care for anything right now.

Her: Would you like a bagel?
Me: No, thanks

Her: Would you like a biscuit?
Me: No.....Thank you.

Her: Would you like a muffin?
Me: No.

Her: Do you want some coffee?
Me: No, thank you. I told you that I don't care for anything right now.

Her: Well excuse me.....Fine.

IS IT ME??????

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Just a quick entry to illustrate those little lapses of thought that we all have, and that I tend to have with distressing regularly.

The basement is finished. Carpet, drywall, suspended ceiling--all that stuff. The yellow dog sleeps down here, and she frolics about the room regularly.

The boys spent the night down here for the big sleepover. At some point one of the guys broke out a bag of "Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans" and they sampled them. As I was picking up the other night I spotted one of the beans on the floor. In a moment of supreme absence of thought I picked it up and popped it into my mouth. I can tell you what flavor it was. It was Labrador Retriever flavor. Hair and all.

It took a good four fingers of scotch to rid myself of that taste.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Brutal weekend, but I may have discovered the ultimate gadget.

The weekend started at 5:30 Friday morning. Spent the entire day mowing, trimming, raking, cleaning--you name it. Got out of the shower and was buttoning my shirt as the first of the boys arrived for the sleepover birthday party at 6:00 PM. Partied, fed them, kept them busy--hit the rack at 1:30 while they slouched watching Harry Potter. Thought they'd wind down. No such luck. They passed out around dawn. Got them up a few hours later, cooked breakfast and eventually sent them on their way. The rest of the day was a blur, though I do seem to remember cooking chicken for supper.

Sunday was Student Ambassadors. We all gathered at a mall close to the city and the group took a dry run getting on the metro and going down to the harbor. Meanwhile I'm stuck in the mall for three hours. Being somewhat tenuosly housebroken this was not fun. Although I did get an Orange Julius, a real treat since I probably get one every three years or so. Eventually found a Brookstone store. Toys for big boys. Bunch of crap mostly--hammers that unfold to become screwdrivers, that sort of stuff. But the massaging chairs were sort of fun. And there I found what has got to be the ultimate gadget.

A steak pager. Yep. Stick the probe in the meat, put it on the grill and clip the receiver to your belt. When the meat hits temperature, it pages you.

What's next?

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Just a few miscellaneous ravings.

I’ve tried two different methods of sidestepping reality over the last two nights. The first was hitting the rack at 7:00 and the second was getting completely wasted. Of the two, the second is vastly superior in terms of just not giving a damn, but I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea for long-term usage. Flopping on the bed as soon as you get home eliminates the need to deal with people, but it provides way too much time for brooding. Both leave you feeling guilty in the morning, though.

I’m making iced tea in my cubicle by making tea in the lunchroom and dumping ice in it. The Chinese woman in the cubicle across from mine is giving me dirty looks. I don’t think she approves.

Looking at the paper I see that Liberia wants us to intervene in their problems and that Iranian ex-pats are demonstrating in DC, asking us to intervene for regime change in Iran. I guess everyone wants us to solve their problems so they can get back to hating us. I remember that when we went into Haiti, some guy appeared on TV saying it was about time the US intervened in Haiti, why did it take us so long, the whole thing. The guy was Haitian, of course. He was well dressed, articulate, obviously intelligent, and living in DC. This guy couldn’t even stay in his own country and work on its problems, yet he found it perfectly fine to go on TV and excoriate us for not dealing with his country’s problems sooner. To the whole lot I say “Screw you”.

The concept of free speech has gotten quite a workout lately. Lots of misperceptions out there. If Susan Sarandon and the Dixie Chicks say things that people don’t want to hear, people don’t have to listen. Dropping the Dixie Chicks from your playlist doesn’t infringe on their right to free speech. They can still run around and say anything they like. They just won’t make as much money as if they had kept their mouths shut. And that’s their real problem. Now we have Barbara Boxer calling some radio executive a “nazi” for pulling the Dixie Chicks’ songs. Well, no one has ever accused Barbara Boxer of being intelligent, so one isn’t surprised.

Now that the left is running around boo-hooing about their right to free speech, let’s discuss the right to keep and bear arms. Oh, they don’t want to talk about that. They want me to keep my mouth shut. But what about my right to free speech?

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Why does the right thing so often have to be painful?

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Lots of happenings, from the wild to the depressing.

On the wild side I came home the other day to discover than an industrious bird had built a nest in the paper box over the course of the day. Thing is I didn't discover it until I stuck my hand in the box and the bird came exploding out. Don't know which of us was more startled.

On the depressing side, I learned that a girl I dated in high school died the other week. Cancer. Now I haven't seen her in 25 years, it's not that emotional a thing, it's just that this death isn't as abstract as someone I never met. Another young person goes down to cancer and there's a connection, no matter how slight.

This brings me to one of my favorite rants. The people out there just demanding a cure for AIDS, an optional disease if there ever was one, and yet people die of cancers every day for no good reason.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Had a surreal experience on the drive home. Some kid was somehow making bubbles the size of grapefruits and they were blowing out across the road. I drove through a cloud of these bubbles. It was sort of neat in a way. reminded me of a Disney ride or some such.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Well, 12:30 AM and here I sit as usual. It's a very strange, confused way to live. Can't sleep at night, feel like hell in the morning. There's no compelling reason to go to bed. She actually marks down her available nights on the calendar. There were two this week, but she was too tired both nights. The next week is marked off limits on the calendar, then she goes away for another week and a half, to arrive home right in time for another week or so of off-limits. So I'm basically screwed (well, not screwed) for the next month. And she wonders why I don't bother to go upstairs when she does.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

I'm not really sure what just happened. Why it came crashing down out of the blue like that. I only know that running to the bathroom at work and crying isn't going to enhance my reputation as a big, tough former Special Forces guy. Christ. I've gotten over plenty before. I've gotten over a woman or two. But I just can't, can't get over her. It's killing me, but I just can't. Christ. I have to go again.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Baseball and Being a “Nice Guy”

There are a couple of essays here, but I’ll just lay it all down once as a single incoherent jumble of thoughts.

I’m told I’m a “nice guy”. Ok... That and a couple of bucks will get me a cup of coffee. By itself, the only thing being a nice guy has ever gotten me is kicked in the balls.

Jesus, what a baseball season. Not to mince words (not that I ever do), but damn, our team was wretched. There was individual talent on the team, but it was squandered in the interest of constantly starting and playing guys who just were not up to it. Yesterday, the last freaking game of the year, and the manager admits to me that he starts and plays some of the guys (as opposed to keeping them on the bench and substituting them in for the last inning or so of the game) simply because their fathers give him a hard time if he doesn’t. See? Back to the “nice guy” thing again. I back off and let the manager do his job, and my kid subs all season despite that fact that he’s a far better player than some of the starters.

Then there are stupid fans. The official team whiner got hit by a throw as he slid into third. Rather than gut it out for a couple of seconds and hold onto the bag, he decides to launch into histrionics (as is his wont) and rolls around. Needless to say, the third baseman tagged the base and he was out. Well, one of the mothers (her ex is a pretty cool guy, I think I now know why he’s her “ex”) starts screaming at the umpire. I listened for a few then finally turned and snapped at her that the runner was out, the call was correct. Some guy with her, looked like her father but who knows, yells sat me and tells me to shut up. Told the tough guy if he felt froggy to jump on over. He declined. The tough guys always do.

I’ve gotten way too mellow over the last eight or ten years. Everyone likes me now. They all think that I’m a nice guy. Ten years ago people loved me or hated me. Mostly hated, but at least there was passion one-way or the other. Now I’m just “a nice guy”.

This is hyperbole, of course, but this is what being a “nice guy” amounts to:

“Wow, Jim, you’re such a nice guy. I really like you. Why don’t you come over to my place tonight?……………….That way you can baby-sit my Chihuahua while my boyfriend and I go upstairs and fuck like minks”.

Nice guys truly do finish last.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Just maybe there’s some truth to it.

I was at Little League practice, hanging out with a couple of other fathers (the few that actually show up) and inevitably the talk turned to kids these days. It was maintained, and I agreed, that they just don’t have the heart that we did. They don’t care as much, they don’t play as hard…all that.

But then I had to wonder. Our fathers said the same thing about us, and theirs said it about them. Maybe it’s just perception. Well, right on cue onto the field walks one of the more worthless members of the team and he proceeds to go to the bench and just hang out. He watched for a while, then when one of the guys fouled a ball off the field he retrieved it and picked the stitching out of it for a while. I finally asked if he was going to get on the field with the rest of his team. “No,” he said, “I just had an hour of batting practice and pitching lessons and I’m just too tired”.

Maybe the fathers were right after all.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I used to think that I was capable of being a callous bastard. I've revised that opinion. I'm not so bad after all. I'm getting lessons from a real master now. But look out, I'm a quick learner...

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

The quality of mercy goes untested in the household. Celebrated Memorial Day by transplanting shrubs. "Comeon," I implored "I'm a veteran for Chrissake. A disabled one at that". But my piteous cries touched her heart not at all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

The red-winged blackbirds are moving through now. I've always liked them. I like a splash of color on a black background. Now they remind me of things. Something forever gone. Something I want back but frustratingly, I don't know how to . I don't know whether to sit and watch them or shoot the bastards.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Petty bureaucrats, petty bullshit.

I think "bureaucrat" is about the worst epithet that you can call someone. Almost as bad a "senator" or "President Clinton".

Had to get a Maryland state inspection done on the truck the other day. Turns out the tires are slightly larger than what some deskbound asshole in Annapolis thinks they ought to be. No big deal, I have another set at the house. Told the mechanic I had them. He said I'd have to put them on. I told him I could do that, but I'd switch them right back as soon as I got it home. Did he still need me to put the smaller ones on? "Yep". Moron. So I have to change tires for ten fucking minutes so this asshole can see them. The larger tires don't affect anything. They don't rub, they don't alter the ride height, they don't even affect the speedometer reading according to the bullshit radar sign I have to drive past each morning. Christ. Is it me?

I'm in a fucking mood today.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

I think I'm just too caustic for general consumption. I called in an order to the local deli today after having done so yesterday as well (peer pressure from coworkers). When I got there the guy said "You use the same name every time". I asked him what the fuck he expected.

I think that people don't always believe my last name. It's a bit unusual, although there is an actor with the same name.

Anyway, I get to the deli and end up standing behind two guys in suits. Turns out they're administrative judges. I didn't know there was a courthouse around here. But anyway, one of these guys smells like ten motherfuckers. All I can think is someone like that should have a clue as to basic hygeine.

Ok. Back to work.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Had to go to the local nature park on Sunday for a meeting. Some sort of Earth Day celebration was going on. Lots of sandals, beards to hide weak chins, tie-dyed shirts, Volvos--that sort of stuff. I took immense pleasure in roaring past them in the Redneckmobile. Gunned it a few times as I went past just to entertain them.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Well, spring marches on. I think I particularly like spring. I like watching the earth awaken from its winter slumber.

The serviceberries have bloomed and are now dropping their petals in white showers. Right on cue, the dogwoods and redbuds have stepped in to take up as the serviceberries fade.

The mayapples have appeared in their dense stands, looking like little umbrellas for woodland fairies. The wild violets have appeared and soon firepink and trillium will be along. Purple nettle is showing in the yet to be plowed fields as well.

Even the skunk cabbage has its virtues, appearing lush and green in low, wet spots.

More and more birds have appeared. I have yet to waken to the shouting of a house finch, but that’s not far off.

The bumblebees have appeared in great force this year and appear larger than in the past. As usual they bumble about (hence the name?) and make a minor nuisance of themselves as one tries to work around them. Less to my liking, the first hornets appeared yesterday. They like the front of the house where the brick absorbs the morning sun and radiates heat throughout the day. Unfortunately they often view my presence as threatening, resulting in a bit of drama and some of my more interesting vocabulary.

Other flying things have appeared, benign but annoying. Little unseen things that light long enough to make you scratch, then dart off to light on another spot.

The days grow longer and I grow more and more restless at work, taking time out to walk to the front and gaze out the windows for a few moments. I need a trip to the cabin. Soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Hell, I was going to write something tonight, but I'm just not in the mood. Had an ok day. Didn't even have a fight with the wife, mostly because she worked the better part of the day. Just too many defeats and disappointments lately. Fuck it.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Well, the 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade made a combat jump into Iraq. This whole thing has been making me half crazy, and now this. Sitting here, knowing I'm too old and broken to participate, is very difficult.

War provides a strange dichotomy for soldiers. Contrary to popular belief, soldiers are not war mongers. We simply constitute the cadre of the willing. Those who know that a nation must posses an armed force and are willing to serve in that force. But soldiers don't crave war for the simple reason that it is the soldier who suffers in war, not the politicians.

But yet, it remains without a doubt an exciting adventure. By and large if you join the Army to become a paratrooper, you're not one who is content to watch others get their adrenaline rushes. You crave it as well.

And there's the frustration of training for years to do a job and never actually doing it. Soldiers want to apply their skills. This probably seems a bit odd, but therein is another sort of dichotomy. Soldiers don't enjoy the thought of killing, but yet yearn for the rush of achieving victory. You actually intellectually separate the idea of defeating an enemy from the thought of actually killing other humans. And when it comes down to cooly selecting and killing an individual enemy soldier, somehow the mind is able to isolate that which is done as a matter of duty and allow you to do that, even though you would never countenance the idea of killing another person off of the battlefield.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Independent of its official date, spring has arrived.

Though I rue the passing of winter-I genuinely like winter and snow-spring brings with it its own joys. It is a time of awakening and renewal. The first bits of green begin to push up through the earth. The firs display bright green tips on their branches, indicating new growth. The scars left by winter begin to even out and disappear (the potholes are, of course, a different matter).

Spring is the beauty of fresh life emerging from the ground and the promise of summer coming. Soon insects will begin to emerge, scuttling through the forest litter on their frenetic missions, trout will begin snapping at caddis larvae (and hopefully my lures as well) and birds will begin serenading us in the morning. The ground will begin to warm up, emitting its dank odor of dirt and decaying leaves. Buds will burst into flower, attracting insects to transport their pollen from plant to plant, ensuring another generation. The dogwoods and redbuds will splash the still leafless landscape with white and magenta.

Soon enough we segue into summer, with its long days and warm evenings. Days spent drifting on the lake in the canoe, the red dust of the baseball field and the smoke of barbecues. Sweet white corn and fresh local cantaloupes. But that’s for another, later day.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

I've made up my mind. I'm going to find the sorry bastard who developed PowerPoint and bash his skull in with a computer projector. Now any moron can develop a computer presentation. And I mean moron. Wow, better living through technology. If I have to go to one more meeting where some sorry shit flashes slides on the wall and then reads them to me, someone's going to get hurt.