My Political Ire

So, I can’t say I’m hugely political, but I can’t help thinking that the country is going wrong. It depresses me in that I feel so disenfranchised that I can’t make a difference. It’s as if we’ve become a country of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations. Every now and then at work I read a little news and it gets me all fired up. I came across the “Case for Impeachment” today and was really impressed by several points in it. I think this specific paragraph sums up a lot of what I feel:

We have before us in the White House a thief who steals the country’s good name and reputation for his private interest and personal use; a liar who seeks to instill in the American people a state of fear; a televangelist who engages the United States in a never-ending crusade against all the world’s evil, a wastrel who squanders a vast sum of the nation’s wealth on what turns out to be a recruiting drive certain to multiply the host of our enemies. In a word, a criminal—known to be armed and shown to be dangerous. Under the three-strike rule available to the courts in California, judges sentence people to life in jail for having stolen from Wal-Mart a set of golf clubs or a child’s tricycle. Who then calls strikes on President Bush, and how many more does he get before being sent down on waivers to one of the Texas Prison Leagues?

Bat Attack

So I’m sitting out on the porch enjoying the evening just now when I feel a slap on the side of my face. Instantly I knew what was up and kind of froze so I wouldn’t squish the little fella. I looked down and saw a little bat hanging off the front of my shirt. He must have flown out of the bat house hanging from the eaves next door and headed for a bug that was circling my porch light. I’m not sure how he ended up smacking into me, but he hit me right in the ear and his wing hit right about my eyebrow. I pulled out my shirt tight and he was a chubby little thing just hanging on to my shirt, so I gave him a little lauch with my shirt and he flew out into the night. I just wish I’d thought of taking a picture of him with my phone first.

Ankle Shmankle

fishtank.JPG      I decided to take Thursday and Friday off work for a four-day weekend and thought I’d get out a bit and try to get over the miserable last couple of weeks I’ve had.
     I went to lunch with Jack and after we came back to my house I showed him the fishtank I brought home from work on saturday. I’d had it at work for a couple years, ever since Stickboy brought it back after it made the rounds of his family. The tank has a long history. It started out as an advertisment in a Chinese take out place for Oceans realm, a pet store owned by, my brother and me. It’s changed hands several times, ruining a tv in an apartment below it along the way. I had (and have, when you really think about it) nowhere to put it, so I took it to work. Only I didn’t like maintianing it at work and it got to be a real drag to have around. Kirk fixed it up really nice on saturday and filled it with fish. He mostly got South American Cichlids and some tiger barbs as dither fish, and I still had 2 Marleri, 1 Lelupi and a pictus cat from work. oscars.JPG
     After we had taken in the fish we went and took a quick look at my metal cutting bandsaw that I’d been having trouble setting up. Jack quickly spotted the loose set screw that was keeping the blade from turning efficiently and now I’m on my way to being able to finish the kayak rack for my truck… assuming I can get the gumption to work on it more. As we were heading back out I told Jack he ought to see the 4 Kentucky Coffee Trees I’m getting set up to play Bonsai, I purposefully stepped off the deck’s 2 foot drop to the ground, but somehow my toes got the instruction to roll over and play dead on the way down. I fell forward and knew I’d crunched my ankle really bad. Now that I think about it, it has been a year without crutches, and I only get one of them in a row, so after a $75 worthless visit to the emergency room I know I have a sprained ankle. I’d already had Jack pull the crutches out of the basement before we went, so I was pretty much set up. I should have had him get my old air splint so I would have had everything I needed. I guess I ought to know that unless it’s a compound fracture I should just bag going to the hospital to save me the money, because unless it’s a compound fracture it really doesn’t make a difference. I say this because of the last part of the radiologists comment:

… No significant tibiotalar joint effusion is present however anterior soft tissue swelling is apparent as well. A bone island is noted in the posterior aspect of the calcaneus.

     So I have a broken off hunk of bone in my OTHER ankle now too. They don’t know when it happened and were puzzled that I wasn’t aware of the break. I told them the only other time I was aware of breaking my left ankle it was, I believe, a tiny crack down inside one of the tarcels.

ankle.JPG

     Anyway, I’m down for a few days and then have the long rehabilitation to get it working right again. I guess I’ll be lucky to get the Kayak out before autumn.

William Gibson throws a morsel to the dogs

Hopefully William Gibson is close to finishing his book, because I’m really waiting on the next one. I have no idea what it’s really about, but he’s been offering tidbits on his blog from time to time, and I really liked this slice of the excerpt I found today:

“A nation,” he heard himself say, “consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual’s morals are situational, that individual is without morals. If a nation’s laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn’t a nation.”

I read things like this and find a measure of solace to think I’m not the only one out in the world thinking these types of thoughts. Although, it does leave me wondering why, if other people can see these things, how come it seems the world revolves on an axis of stupidity.

Icebox is dead.

I just shut down the last brain in icebox for the last time. The data has all been moved off and it’s ready for organ donation.
At least you made it to summer, baby.
Mark it. 8:20 a.m.

Wisdom Seekers

From Witches Abroad:
It’s a strange thing about determined seekers-after-wisdom that, no matter where they happen to be, they’ll always seek that wisdom which is a long way off. Wisdom is one of the few things that looks bigger the further away it is.*
* Hence, for example, the Way of Mrs Cosmopolite, very popular among young people who live in the hidden valleys above the snowline in the high Ramtops. Disdaining the utterances of their own saffron-clad, prayer-wheel-spinning elders, they occasionally travel all the way to No. 3 Quirm Street in flat and foggy Ankh-Morpork, to seek wisdom at the feet of Mrs Marietta Cosmopolite, a seamstress. No-one knows the reason for this apart from the aforesaid attractiveness of distant wisdom, since they can’t understand a word she says or, more usually, screams at them. Many a bald young monk returns to his high fastness to meditate on the strange mantra vouchsafed to him, such as ‘Push off you!’ and ‘If I see one more of you little orange devils peering in at me he’ll feel the edge of my hand, all right?’ and ‘Why are you buggers all coming round here staring at my feet?’ They have even developed a special branch of martial arts based on their experiences, where they shout incomprehensibly at one another and then hit their opponent with a broom.

The walls come tumbling down

rooflessSo yesterday morning I wake up to a call from Chuck saying his work plans had fallen through and he wanted to know if I wanted to knock down my garage. It was a couple weeks earlier than expected but welcome, so we got right to it. Moving all the garbage out of the garage and into the backyard took far less time than I had expected. I had hoped to have moved the Hallman’s swingset, trampoline and other stuff I’ve been holding for them while they redo their yard so I could keep my junk off to one side and allow for construction area in the back. I’d also hoped to mow the lawn, but you can’t put off good help when the help can come. I’m sure Chuck would have helped me organize and get ready, but I just jump into things a lot.
roofless And speaking of jumping into things, we found out quite soon that the celing had an odd build. Every roof joist had it’s own set of boards nailed between the joists, so there was constant joint across every joist the whole width of the roof. Which explains why it was falling apart, but it made it really easy to knock down. Chuck pretty much just knocked out the crossbars on the celing and then jumped on the roof till it caved in. One of the reasons the roof was falling apart is it had several layers of shingels on it, but the layers weren’t consistant across it. Some places had many layers, then it would drop off to just one. walls downI hadn’t noticed that a strip of the tar paper shingle roll had blown off two winters ago till I tried to discover where all the black wet junk on the floor of the garage was coming from last spring. Turns out the east side of the garage (which I never see) had lost a roll in a big wind storm or something and I had gone at least part of the winter with just tar paper to cover the boards. I didn’t decide what to do before the first snow fell last october or november, so I just covered the east side of the roof with visquine. Now that I have the refi money in hand I’m going to build a little workshop so I can take the welding and some of the other fabrication tools out of my basement. Maybe then I’ll spend a little more time working on fun stuff and less time moving tools to make room to make fun stuff.

Gastro-Disastro

slurpee So I’m on my way to play European Boardgames at a friends house, and I pick up a blue Raspberry slurpee for the evening, disdaining the usual cola products. Now, I’m not sure how things are done in your corner of the world, but here when we get slurpees we tap the cup a few times on the counter after filling to disgorge some of the air pockets from filling and top ‘er off. I only mention this, not only because this little ritual baffled a Bostonite, but it also lends to the story. I noticed that the semi-solid beverage did not settle in any appreciable fashion and little room for topping off was procured. I shrugged it off as just one of those things, and proceeded to the checkout counter.
Now I diverge here to mention the patron in front of me was a beeeeutiful woman in a fairly snazzy red dress and was worth the second glance. Unfortunately, upon that second glance I noticed she was wearing one brightly colored knee-sock with the other leg bare. Upon further inspection the supposed hosiery turned out to be an ankle-to-knee tatoo of some beach scene, or acid-induced cloud flight, or something. Tatoos cause me to lose interest in the fairer sex fairly quickly when they distract from a good scanning. It’s like taking a refreshing drink of a beverage, only to be jolted by an astringent aftertaste.
Which brings me back to the matter at hand. As I sat contemplating that magnificent dress with a texture that looked like three inches of soft crimson butter, I took a pull on my slurpee. “That’s odd”, I thought. Tastes a bit funny. But things do from time to time, and I moved up to the counter as the tatoo sauntered off. I caught the eye of the ubiquitous middle-eastern clerk who seemed stunned, almost to the point of speechlessness by the woman in red. But this was understandable, as from his vantage point he was not hindered by the distracting ink. Seeing what I took for a bit of embarassment at the overt distraction present on his face, I smiled, rolled my eyes a bit, and nodded my appreciation.
As I drove out of the lot and took another cool draught of the slurpee I started to formulate a theory as to the odd aftertaste. It seemed to strike some chord back from my past. Through the haze of the years a memory floated back of sitting in an emergency room as a nurse scrubbed out the inside of my bottom lip with a toothbrush. It seems back in my Junior year of highschool I had slepwalked out of my mothers van on the way home from work at about 25 mph. I’d landed on my head and done a fair job of removing all the skin from one side of my face. In the emergency room the nurse cleaned the asphalt out my wounds, including the one in my mouth with a toothbrush and…
Soap!
There was soap in my slurpee, which was now about 3 inches from the top of the dome! Upon reflection I realized that the lack of compaction in my slurpee preparation ritual was probably due to surface tension in the soap in the slurpee. So here it is about 66 hours later and I’m still having problems, um… processing… solid food. Not that I’ve been that hungry. I did propose late tuesday that in the reversal of the Dawn ads from my youth that maybe a really greasy meal, say 4 strips of baccon and eggs, might help rid my system of the offending material. They said on the ad that the soap would, “..break up the grease, Actually surround it..” and finally I’d hoped the bacon grease would take the soap out of my way.
Such are the things I think when blood sugar gets low.

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