Archive for October, 2007

Seattle’s Skyline Tonight

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

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From the Seattle Times…I wasn’t there after dark. Very cool.

Kucinich UFO Sighting

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Hey, Shirley McLaine lived about three miles from me for years, and all kinds of crazy shit flies around here. So when a Presidential candidate says he was at her house there and saw a UFO, everyone is going to laugh about it. It’s a nice soundbite, but I also have no problem that someone around here saw somethng they couldn’t figure out.

I mean, geeze, the first official flying saucers were sighted in 1947 over Mt. Rainier.

But I do have to tell one funny story about Shirley McLaine living nearby…other than the fact I once got a hundred bucks for a softball team when we washed her car.

It was some kind of a holiday time, or it was summer, I don’t remember, and I was in the local Safeway deli department, and I saw her, her brother, and a superduper pregnant woman I didn’t recognize fiddle faddling around. But this was the most super gorgeous pregnant woman I had ever seen in Graham. Wowza. A few days later, I read in the newspaper, she had her kid in LA. Annette and Warren’s first. I think that was about 1992.

Anyway, even though it just happened, I have a feeling Dennis Kucinich is going to get reamed over UFO sightings. Don’t be too hard on him.

I’ve seen UFO’s. I’ve also smelled bigfoot. It’s not that crazy.

And he had a great recovery by having Tim Russert point out that 14% of people have seen an unidentified flying object. Which backed his assertion that the number of people who claim to have seen them are about the same as George Bush’s approval rating. Pretty funny line. And he made Russert repeat the percentage three times.

Another travel list…

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

See, I have the road bug. Grrrrrr…

P pointed out that some of the best things on a road trip are the things you never saw coming. The surprises that kind of stop you in your tracks. For instance, did you know that some states have rest stops on the freeway that are actually really interesting history museums that get called rest stops? But I won’t get that micro…here is an off the top top-10 things that have stopped me in my tracks but I didn’t plan it that way…

Winchester House Almost too bizzarre to explain. The widow of the guy that made the guns thought all the ghosts that the guns had killed haunted the house and only construction would make them happy.

Scotty’ Castle I would say this for all of Death Valley in general, too many people never see it. It’s not easy to get to and your vehicle needs to make a special effort to get over the hump in the valley. But the campgrounds are amazing and their are some of the most interesting things, geologically, in the world all within several miles.

Arizona Meteor Hole Picture Crater Lake (hmmm…I probably should have added that to the list) in the middle of the desert. This was a complete surprise to me the first time because, well, I have never heard of this thing and we ended up spending a whole day there rock hounding, reading and taking tours.

Beacon Rock Had to put one Washington thing in here…but I meant it to describe the whole Washington side of the Columbia River. Vineyards, Stonehenge, World Class Art, and fish ladders. Beacon Rock is like a mini Devil’s Tower (bigger than the mashe potatos in Close Encounters, though) and you can corkscrew your way around it to the top.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum Shocking. Just shocking. I was lolligagging on a three day roadtrip between St. Louis and Cleveleand and I pretty much stumbled in here and spent, oh, about eight hours. This place turned a three-day trip into a four-day trip.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute-area Long story, but I burned the breaks out on my 1979 Honda Prelude in the Ozarks because we took some two lane windy road over the mountains and I had about everything I owned packed in and, well, I was a little over weight for two wheel disc brakes for the grade. But it was in the middle of the night when we hit flat land, and we made the decision to, sans bad breaks (pun), drive on the freeway from Fort Smith to as far as we could go until morning. I am not kidding, the best I could do was downshift and grind my transmission and use the emergency brake. Anyway, we made it to Birmingham and while my car was in the shop for 10 hours, I discovered this.

Ottowa Another day-longer spot when I drove the trans-Canadien highway. I can’t say enough how much understanding Canadien history has helped me in business and small talk.

Lincoln Memorial The most famous stop on my tour…but try going at 3 a.m. We were pushing from Atlanta to Boston on a trip and happened through D.C. in the dead of night. My curiosity got the best of me, and I pulled into the city proper just to see it with lights and no traffic. Anyway, I grabbed a parking spot right by the Reflection Pool, and, well, Mr. Lincoln, when you walk up to him with no other souls around, is kind of a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moment — wait, no, that exactly what it is! Amazing!

Austin After making incredible time to San Antonio, we arrived in the middle of the night on a road trip from, I think El Paso. Anyway, instead of mowing on to Houston as was the plan, we figured we had gained a day and we were just going to stop there. But, ALAS! we could find a motel room in the middle of the night that we could justify affording, we were just lost in San Antonio. So we drove to Austin and slept in the car, and it ended up being a two-day stop. (I wish the story was better or I could remember why we took the detour, but I can’t.)

Ensenada Adventure travel!!!! I was in L.A. on a business trip and the guy I was travelling with asked me if I had ever been to Tijuana. Yes, I told him, a couple of times. “Great, let’s hit Baja this weekend!” Hmmmmmmmmm…first, I knew our rental cars didn’t allow us to go to Mexico, and I also new we only had 2.5 days until we had to be back for work, and Cabo was a long way away. “No problem,” he explained, “we’ll rent a local car and head to Ensenada!” I’ll be damned. It was no TJ.

Man, I do need a very long road trip.

FLILF

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

OK…that is funny fron The Daily SHow last night,

Think MILF…and then think Prez politics.

If you don’t get it this far…move on.

Holidays

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Wednesday is Halloween and Friday is my BD.

But it got me thinking about how much one means to me and how little the other does.

With a seven-year-old I can get worked up for Halloween…my BD is a take or leave it feeling. I mean, I like the good wishes of my birthday from people, but they pale against a kid spending a week getting ready for Halloween with parties and decorating and generally acting like Martha Stewart to put candy packs together with her mom.

So here are my three tiers of holidays that even blink on my calendar to where I stop and really reflect about them:

Holidays that make you have a moment of reflection

Fourth of July

Memorial Day

Thanksgiving

Christmas

New Year’s Eve

Holidays that you know are coming and enjoy

Halloween 

Labor Day

MLK Day

Anytime off from school in a month that ends in an ‘R’

Nice, but not more than a howdy doo

Easter

St. Patrick’s Day

Birthdays that don’t end in 0 or 16 or 18 or 21.

Patriot’s Day (I still take it off for the Marathon and Sox game)

Valentine’s Day

I’m missing some, I’m sure , in all three categories, but that’s my run off the top of my head.

My point, maybe, is that Halloween has always been more fun to me than my birthday.

BOO!

The Accidental Cableist

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

I had to fix a fence, a dog crate, and a license plate that fell off the front of my truck.

I am giddy with what I discovered…er, rediscovered.

 Cable ties.

You know, those things that go click click click and generally bundle electrical witing and stuff together. Well, they come in all sizes, from rating of 15 pounds to 75 pounds. But that is shock weight…not what they can hold if you just let them be, which is about twice their rating. They come in different lengths and there are indoor/outdoor versions that are special for UV rays and moisture.

So I bought a mixed bucket of 500 in various sizes for 10 bucks. Then I paid 30 dollars for 500 14-inch, 75-pound, indoor/outdoor Incredible Hulks.

Wow. Everyone should immediately go to Home Depot and buy at least the bucket of 500 assorted sizes. The littlest ones are great to bundle cords and the biggest ones will completely hold a chainlink fence together. Tonight, in fact, I fixed a wooden fence where the dogs go with a screen and used the big guns looped together to secure it. It’s not pretty from the inside of the fence, but it looks fine on the outside.

(SIDE STORY: My big dogs know “The Board.” In a whole stupid fence, they know exactly which board to knock their hard heads through like Super Dog and barge out into the rest of the world. It’s just to the right of a water spout and it is a little rotten, but they just ram it like a bull; one blow and it’s an entire neighborhood until I blow the whistle or they get run over. Honestly, it would make no difference which board their 100 pounds went after at full speed, this was just the first weakest link they found years ago, and they’re not stupid, other than the fact they could pull the same thing on about any other board with the same results. Hunting dogs. One purpose and all that. But it’s like the boy and the dike…I’ve got this leak stopped, and now the “fun” is going to be feeling around for the next weak spot. (More than a short note, sorry.) But this is what working dogs do when left completely to their own vices and curiosities…it’s as though they are playing Scarbble or Boggle or something and taking random stuff and making sense of it. Hence the broken crates. They don’t really want out when they are in it, they want to prance in for one of us and show that they are The Bird Dog of Alcatraz at the moment. “Reward me because I beat you!” It’s all a pain in the ass but actually pretty funny.)

Anyway, these cable ties are pretty cool. I stuck some in my computer bag to zip up cables and stuff on the fly, I put some of the big ones in the car in case I had to secure a load on top, and I scattered them around in general to replace rubber bands and wire ties.

Great $40 investment for 1000 of these things.

Funny stuff…goodtimes

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Pilar and I were watching one of those VH1 “remember the 70s”-type shows and the year was 1977.

And lo and behold, a fellow classmate (“comedian/actress”) of ours popped up talking about pop culture from 1977.

She was in Pilar’s class, and we have the Emersonian to prove it, but she was commenting on things from that year like she was 18 then. She might have been five. Maybe six years old. We had a hoot over this, because we both know exactly that it’s the same person who graduated in 1994. And she was no older than anyone else.

That would be like me discussing the pop significance on early Fleetwood Mac as though I was holding a lighter at a concert.

It was pretty funny.

Red Sox Nation!!!!

Monday, October 29th, 2007

As a former season ticket holder and someone who lived two blocks away for years…cool beans!

I was most shocked that it looked like Rockies fans were as happy as any Red Sox fans would be. They hung around, saluted their own team, and then saluted the Sox. It was a pretty classy act. “We lost, we love our team, but the better team won and I am going to enjoy the hell out of the fact this is a World Series game in my hometown.”

How many Pittsburgh or Kansas City or, even Mets, fans were doing the bob internally with those fans. You just don’t know when you are going to be back.

Anyway, Nation, rejoice and enjoy (you, too Mile High Fans).

There once was this kid named ARod

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Alex Rodriguez is getting ready to make more money than the baseball gods are suppose to print…again.

But if the rumors are true, I have to offer two cents worth of a memory.

Just after the Mariners lost Game 6 of the 1995 ALCS, fom my seat, I watched a 19-year-old kid putting his arm around a crying Joey Cora in the dugout. No sappy TV stuff, I just remember watching that moment. He hadn’t really played a lick in those playoffs, but I was stunned that a kid, basically a year out of high school, was consoling a veteran.

He was ours, in Seattle, for a while.

The Joy of…

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

I admit it, I watch cooking shows.

And I may have said this before…but the music as they play with their meat and doughs is awefully porn sounding.