Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Unenthusiastic Exclamations of Delight!

So, today, I read in Ironic Times (required reading of the staff at The Situation) that the word "meh" has entered the dictionary. (and yet my spellchecker still annoys me)

So glad you asked.

This is apparently a word used to describe a lack of interest or enthusiasm for a thing or task.

Yes, folks - the English language has evolved yet again. We've moved from "whatever" to "meh." Not that I mind, it's certainly easier to say: 

"We need to do laundry." "Meh." 
"Bush is still in office." "Meh."

But it does speak of deeper meanings. The word "w00t!" made it in, and I happen to think that's a good thing. Made-up words are finding their way into the actual lexicon of English. Unlike the French, who decided some time ago that not only was creating new words beyond their capacity, but that using other people's words for them ("television," "sexy," etc.) was also bad.

The French don't "watch TV," they "look at the box with lights," or something like that, I guess. At least the Germans (not what one would think of as a country known for it's flexibility of thinking) came up with a cool name for TV: Fernsehen, or far-seeing.

And while we're willing to come up with new names for things we already had names for, we still don't adapt well to change, unless it's something everyone has either done, or seen on das Fernsehen.

Oh, well.

Or in other words, meh...

Monday, November 17, 2008


I'm in college again. And even my College is changing it's name to University. Which is sort of odd, but perhaps I get better props for going to an on-line University than just an on-line College.

Ah, well, a degree in journalism is worth little, but it will be nice to have the alphabet soup after my name. In three or four years. I did relatively well in my math class, while pretty much hating it. A 3.4 for not communicating much with my fellow students, and doing my proofs incorrectly. Hard to know what the prof wants, when you don't get to see them in person. Biology is probably next.

How to dissect a frog via the Internet...

I have lately made contact with old odd friends. John H. (+ Sheila) from Sonoma and Santa Rosa Junior College, hiya! It's interesting to communicate with people who've grown a long way apart from one, but you never know, we may still have the old spark of friendship that existed so long ago. I've gone back once or twice to visit old friends, and it never seems to be the same from the way it was before, but I always have hope. Fortunately, I still have Boegle and her Ler, as well as Lemur and Chickenfeet, and Daubentonia. I miss all of them, and occasionally I get to see them, but it's way too rare.

And I'm jealous that Boegle got to see 007 before me...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Inappropriate Spokesperson Name

One of those things. When discussing a particular aspect of your business that you find distasteful, try to find a spokesperson whose name doesn't immediately make you think of that distasteful issue. In this case, iPhone porn and its proliferation onto the new iPhone 2.0. In an issue of Time magazine (possibly the one on newsstands now), this quote really, well, sticks out:

"Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock says..."

As I said, maybe you could find someone whose name doesn't, well... you know...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Steve Klein

Steve Klein 01
Steve Klein 01,
originally uploaded by wireout.
Finally found a pic of the fellow who owned Lansdale. I have at least one more I'll be posting in the next coupe of days. This wasn't the one I printed for the show.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Little Girl and Dog

Little Girl and Dog
Little Girl and Dog,
originally uploaded by wireout.
Fun, some of the memories jumping out at me. I'd never forgotten this picture, one of my best with humans in it. As you will see from my other pictures, I was usually better with inanimate objects.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lansdale Station

Mark Aaronson
Mark A.,
originally uploaded by wireout.
This guy contacted me after twenty years, so now I'm scanning in and posting every photo I can find from Lansdale Station, and probably all my old photos as well.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Slippery Slopes

The floor is coming to get me...

My friends Boegle and Tyler have told me the story of consulting with their real estate agent before moving to Portlandia. This real estate person suggested that if they want to buy an early craftsman or late Victorian house (of which there are quite a few in Portland), then they should first pick up a nail gun, and drive a few nails through their hands.

This would approximate the pain they would go through in terms of the work needed to bring that house up to anything resembling modern life.

So Saturday, I had my nail gun up and running, and was firing it into the lovely quarter-round I was using to hide the edges of the laminate floor I had just put in, all the while thinking how our contractor had screwed us up with their innovative solution to our problem of bizarre wall-covering laid over mdf (instead of drywall): more drywall on top. Yes, they pretty much matched it against the old moulding, which was simple 1x4s or 1x6s, but jeebus, what was wrong with what we agreed on, which was "strip everything off and start from bare studs?"

Now I have to be creative in terms of putting in new door moulding, and trying not to make the door jambs look a foot thick, and also adding enough embellishment to the floor mouldings, because the old moulding doesn't absorb paint the way that drywall does - there's a distinct difference. Plus you want at least a little arteestical effort. Which we've solved, but will take a good bit of (extra) work to achieve.

One element of fun in all of this is the Muzzle. AKA Georgie Muzzlepuff, the new cat. He has zero sense of his surroundings, so when we play with him, we have to be careful not to direct his play towards anything he might land on after one of his spectacular, devil-may-care leaps while going after the Feather or Lasermouse. It's a not uncommon sight for him to run full speed after the red dot of lasermouse, slamming headfirst into a door. The new floor is a slick as an oily steel plate, and he can't stop himself easily. So when we play with Feather overhead, he runs, jumps, lands on his ass, slides halfway across the floor trying to stop and turn. Pure, 3-Stooges joy.

So anyway, I was looking at my nail gun...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lama Llama Lama

Went to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Saturday. That's what the lady from our local TV station kept calling him. "His Holiness." Said it five or six times in short sentence. While I think the guy is friggin' brilliant, and talks about a lot of important stuff, this woman sounded like the worst kind of fawning idiot. I mean, even he doesn't think he's all that great.

"I don't know."

How refreshing to hear that from the mouth of one of the most revered people of our time. After he had spoken (for what seemed like a very short amount of time), he allowed for three questions to be asked from thousands submitted. The first one concerned how we c an possibly get our leaders to finally turn away from war as a political policy to something more like diplomacy. He said something to the effect of. "That sounds like very serious question, coming from a very serious place. Truthfully, I don't know."

You don't know?!? How can YOU of all people, not have that one figured out yet?

He followed it up. "I had an idea, back in the 1980s, that perhaps what was needed was for the leaders of all of the superpowers to go on vacation together with their families. And not to talk business! Just have a good time, relax."
There you go! Simple, brilliant, and of course, never gonna happen, but still...

He did speak about nuclear arms at one point in his talk, and made a couple of profound suggestions. First off, he acknowledged that at one point, maybe we needed nuclear arms so as to prevent other bad guys from using them; but now, we just don't need them any more. He suggested that one way to begin was to disarm ourselves internally. To react to violence or conflict with the first thought being, "how do I deal with this situation non-violently?"

Golly. Where has my mind been?

I started writing this post before I left on the business trip mentioned in my previous post, and here I am, back after a week, I can look back on this day with a hazy fondness. I've been reading a book by Pema Chodron (there are umlauts and I'm not sure they'll work here), who is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk (technically a Nun, but who's counting?), and it's all about leaning into the point, or embracing chaos.

In other words, when you are in pain, or in fear, that is when you are at your most authentic. That is when the outside world is exposing you to yourself. So, instead of trying to hide from the fear, embrace it, revel in it... just deal.

This will be a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

That Old Technology Trip

Sunday - 5 am - SeaTac Airport

The boss sits next to me, texting. I feel like a Luddite, or a corporate Kerouac, writing in my tiny journal. I'm (obviously) not as good a writer as Mr. Kerouac, but I am on the road to Chicago.

I have brought three books to read. One is a book on Buddhist philosophy about embracing chaos and pain (how perfect is that?), another is a book of humorous essays, and the third is a book is by a famous novelist in conversation with a famous film editor.

I am beyond tired. Last night was a flurry of activity after a day of relative goofing off. I began Saturday by roto-rootering the sewer, as the shower wasn't draining the way it's supposed to. During my shower I realized that it hadn't helped. So I sent some drano down the drain, and it appears to have finally worked.

We're about to board the plane, which seems to be somewhat empty.


The plane is "full," but not full next to me. I sit with an empty seat between me and the young lady who looks minutes out of college.

I snoozed, I think. Woke up a few times to various forms of turbulence until I couldn't (or didn't need to) sleep anymore,

Read stuff.


Hotel has a TV in the bathroom, which turns on automatically when you turn on the lights, but with just enough delay that you might already be sitting down when someone starts talking to you from outta nowhere.

Really only bad when the person talking to you is a sports announcer.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

And for another thing...

Whatever happened to our two local weekly rags publishing movie times in the back section? My wife and I were out after our Banya experience (and having had a little lunch at the local Whole Paycheck), and I picked up a copy of The Stranger. The only movie times I could find in the whole issue were an ad for the independent movie chain.

While I understand that the entire hip world of Seattle has cute little PDAs or iPhones or whateverthehell kind of cell-phone/pager/browser/blender gizmos, I f**king don't.

I do understand that print space is costly. But won't the theaters pay you for informing the public about what times their movies are playing at? If not, why not? And better still, when did this change?

The movie we went to see was In Bruges, with Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. Bloody as all getout. Much more somber tone than the trailer suggested. I kind of liked it, but RG (besides having to hide her eyes for quite a bit of the movie near the end) found the plot a bit too contrived and not nearly as funny as hoped for. I, on the other hand, liked the extreme twistedness of the whole thing, as well as the rather shocking aspect of Where Things Went Wrong. The film ended with me, grinning a nasty grin. Not perfect, and I sure wouldn't pay full price (as we did); but the visuals are worth seeing on the big screen - the scenes in Bruges itself, not all the blood.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Relaxed to near death

Thanks to Boegle mentioning the death of a hot-tub spa-type place in her neighborhood, RambunctiousGrl got it into her head that we had to try the local schvitz-place, AKA Banya 5.

We now expect to be going there twice a month.

First off, it's a Russian/Turkish bath. So there's the HOT room. the HOT STEAM room, the C-C-COLD p-p-pool, the (I'll stop doing the funny embellishments now) cold shower, the salt pool, and the hot tub. Which is just a hot tub.

The hot room (parilka) is supposed to be running around 200-210 degrees fahrenheit and low humidity. There was a fella there who kept dragging the poor front-of-house girls back to show them that the humidity was hovering around a constant 50%, which means that actual overheating doesn't happen.

Coulda fooled me.

So you spend about ten minutes in the heat, and then drop into the cold pool. Jump right out, sit for a minute, and then go back into the heat. Your basic sauna, right? Well, not quite.

I had a sauna growing up. Thought it was goofy. Now that I'm an adult, I f**king want one of my own!

However, if you have your own sauna, you won't get to see the contingent of the Russian Mafia having a nice sweat right in front of you. Old guys with big white bellies (with zero self-image issues) lying right on the hot boards of the sauna's top tier, while they whack each other with towels in order to increase the heat, and boost their circulation. Also in evidence were the young bulls, with the complicated tattoos that look like they might have happened in prison, but who knows, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. All of the traditional guys were wearing funny little felt hats (chapka) which supposedly keep your head from overheating too much.

Russian Smurfs.

Anyway, best way to begin the day once breakfast has been consumed, and I imagine if one has a nasty hangover it works really well. Specially if you get that shot of vodka in your system before you go to the baths.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Permenent slackerdom

As further proof of my inability to write anything down unless actively prodded by a sharp stick, I give you today's entry:


No really, that's it. There's no movie. It's just the internet equivalent of dead air.