Archive for September, 2008

e-mail update (see below)

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Not too bad, just a little bad. But the message when we talked was good. I was mostly wrong that it was very bad.

I would look like a fool even more to try more of an explanation.

But don’t do that to somebody.

So it reminded me of a story…

An oldie but a goodie. Can I remember it right?

This guy is going on vacation and leaves his most precious possession with a neighbor and leaves very specific instructions. He leaves his cat.

“If anything happens to Whiskers, I’ll be heartbroken.”

So on the second day of vacation, the neighbor calls and says Whiskers is acting kind of funny. But the 10th day of a two-week vacation, the neighbor calls and gives a very long story about how Whiskers went crazy and ran out on the street and got killed by a car.

The man is stunned.

“Don’t you know how to break bad news like that. First you say that Whiskers was hunting mice. And when he was hunting mice he followed them up the drain pipe from the roof.”

The man is tearful, but he continues explaining that you don’t just tell somebody 3,000 miles away his cat is dead but you need to have a good story.

“Whiskers probably followed the mice all the way to the roof. Where he was on top and slipped injuring himself.”

<I am making this joke shorter>

“Whiskers falles off the roof. The you call and say that my cat was on the roof. You explain it was a nasty fall. You tell me after a few more days that Whiskers held on for dear lfe. Then you explain to be how everything humanly possible was done to save Whiskers, but Whiskers is dead because he fell of the roof.”

A couple of days go by and the guy is just gettng over the fact he will never see Whiskers again. He’s in London and the phone rings.

“Dude, I don’t know how to say this…so I will cut to the chase…but  your mom is on the roof.”






.Butchered, I know. But I’ll see you at the Flamingo in the spring…

Can’t sleep and feeling melancholy

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

We are having a bad night here. P is sick from something, Big A is just awake suddenly and I am feeling fine but I can’t sleep.

Stress seems to be a theme.

So I type…

Letterman’s tribute to Newman was awesome.

Everyone who owns a dog should pay so much for it that they don’t mistreat it.

Daughters are really hard in 2008.

Old friends that were really friends become new friends with just a phone call.

I should never have a private pilots license.

I hate airports because I know too much about them and there are too many people.

Cats can be trained.

Just thoughts off the top of my head that required me to boot up the computer, but now I am tired, so it served its purpose.

BTW…Cara’s blog at right should be clicked on for her amazing having a baby experience and good writing describing it.

Now I am tired enough to sleep…

I watch baseball waaaaay too closely so I would bore you to death

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

The Tigers were either intentionally or unintentially tipping the pitches they were throwing to the White Sox yesterday.

The White Sox had to win to make a one-game playoff today.

But it was shady. And I only bring it up because they showed the grand slam again and it was a slider that hung a little, but you don’t drop your bat and raise your hands on an off-speed pitch like that normally.

“Shady” is nothing in baseball. My hunch is that the elbow was dropping…blablahblah

What’s funny is that I thought it was starting to get thrown for a curve when Freddy Garcia of the Tigers who is married Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen’s second cousin, went out hurt after holding up the “good game,” but I was sitting there thinking it didn’t smell right. Then a guy hits a home run like it was fed via an IV tube to him.

Now, here is part of this I will bore you with, actually. All the guy had to know was it was going to be off speed. It could of just been great coaching/managing by the White Sox that the Tigers were tipping pitches. Probably the case. That’s good shady.

See…I’ll just leave it at that (but, snark, Garcia getting hurt added to the fact it didn’t smell right).

Speaking of which…maybe I found my fourth career. I’m kidding, but I’m not. I really know baseball well. Like sick well in a way that would make you look at me like I was crazy, but admire it like the person that can sing an obscure song at a Bruce Springsteen concert or something.

I could coach this thing pretty well, but it would be at a higher level than little league. I watched a couple of high school games last spring and fiddled with the idea.

But it is sick how I look at a baseball game.

Any more details and you would go to sleep.

I promise, my final first debate comment

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I am transcribing my notes from the debate to save them in Microsoft Notes on the archive hard drive and one quote got me thinking “I’ve been to Afghanistan, I know the security needs. … I know how to heal the wounds of war.”

Is that the same as saying, “I’ve been to China, I know the economic needs…I know how fix a flat bicycle tire”?

Art Lesson

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I met a man last week that blew me away with his drawings. We talked about art for two and a half hours. He was probably about 75 years old, but he looked older. I knew who he was, and I know his western work with charcoal.

He gave me an idea that I could almost write a book about: “Art is just finding ways to fool people into balancing the unbalanced for pleasure with a name.”

That’s the quote I wrote in my notes (I’m a bother at taking notes on napkins, so what he really said may not be what I heard exactly from his lips, but might just be the way I wrote down as my take…think of it as not jotting notes as a reporter, but me trying to get philosophical gist down). His point was that color, size, form, materials, etc aren’t balanced until the artist gives them balance for enjoyment and names the enjoyment. He was trying to give his opinion of why I needed to name more of my pieces. He’s right.

But here is the coolest thing. This guy really liked the stuff I showed him in my wallet and asked if he could have them.

Blew me away.

I was flattered and I said yes. Of course. About four little doodles P had helped me reproduce to wallet size, no biggie.  

So, then I asked if I could have one of his little doodles.

“Hell, no. Not unless you give me three hundred dollars. I’m am artist, you think I’m just going to give it away?”


He winked, got up and left, but also said I could call him anytime.

He was playing me in a way I will never forget to make that last point. It was 150 minutes of a setup to put the capper on that once you name it, it ain’t free if someone else wants it.


Sunday, September 28th, 2008

I got the hot seat treatment today buying some beer and three cucumbers.

I went to a local store and that was all I needed. We are doing fondue and I thought a cucumber salad would go well with it. Anyway, I get my stuff and the cashier asks for my idea. I thought that was kind of funny, he cared about what I thought until he repeated it. He wanted my ID. But I had my keys and my money and my wallet all stuffed in different pockets. Lots of fumbling and I showed the kid my license. He rings up everything and then another guy in a managers vest stops me before I go out the door and asks if I am sure I am old enough to buy the beer. I said, “Do you want me to drive home and produce and 1987 high school yearbook or something?” He didn’t think that was funny.

Then I am almost to my car and a rental cop shows up and asks me for two pieces of picture ID. Now I am getting seriously ticked. So I ask him, very nicely, why a guy scared of pushing 40 is getting the third degree over beer and cucumbers.

“Because, people underage usually buy weird stuff like that.”

So the security guy, to make a long story short, looks at my idea, er, ID,  looks at my other ID and and says, “Any relation to the garbage people?” AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaarrrgh.

He tried to make a joke and lighten things up, but I was incredulous now; like, not a happy camper. Three ID checks and I wasn’t even to my car.

Big A though made it all better when I got home and was ranting about this to P and she was listening.

“Daddy…you look 26.”

Maybe there was a brightside to it all after all. I mean, I do have youngish-looking blue eyes.

Ever get an e-mail that you just don’t like and avoid?

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Of course you do. I got one today that I’m a little nervous about knowing why it was sent knowing that they know that I know it is bad news. So I have decided to ignore it until a weekday. I mean, if I don’t act like I saw it, it hasn’t happened yet, right? Freakin’ internet. Of course I don’t know exactly what it is about, but it won’t be good. Much better to park it in the reality of my brain until a work day.

But e-mail is hard when it’s not good news and you know it. Work, career, life, kids…but how do you know it. That’s the creepy part. I just know it and I am an airhead…this person giving this short of a message tells me that he wants to tell me something man-o-man-o (or however you spell it). It might not even be death, destruction or cats and dogs living together, but I know it has nothing to do with anything other than telling me something is wrong from a family standpoint for him. (Not my family, but his.)

I hate the vibe, but I’ll still wait until Monday.


Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Just a quick note on Paul Newman…I got to meet him a couple of times because I was lucky enough to know a little about cars and the SCCA.

Can I just be blunt…? OK, I will be blunt. If you don’t want to read it don’t scroll down
















This guy was one fucking good race car drive and gentleman. He was nasty in how he raced and he was blunt in how he talked about racing — he wanted to kick your ass so bad you could almost taste it when it came to racing, but he was the first guy that would spend a little time saying hello. I feel honored to have met him around cars and some charities he supported involving cars. That is the only way I knew him really (well, all the movie stuff from before I was born aside).

In fact when Big A woke me up yesterday and said “the car guy” had died, it took me a moment to realize she meant the Hudson Hornet in “Cars” and the car guy. I was taken by the fact that I think Big A will forever think of him as that Hudson. And I think Paul Newman knew it when he made THAT movie. We will all have all his other 60 movies, but he wanted to be a car guy. And that is a side of him I really got lucky to see first hand.

Another story was when he had won the GTO class at Daytona in, I think, 1995 on his 70th birthday. I sat at a lunch very few years later with someone who raced against him in that and some other racers and he said, “How can that old color blind fucker with the perfect chin race like he wants it mashed on a dashboard while still making me like him?” I swear that is almost an exact quote. And Wally (yeah, that one) from the NHRA leaned in (he was like 90 years old) and said, “Because he is not normal.” 

He was just a car guy.

Booksale Epilogue

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Ummm…we cleaned up at the 3 p.m. bag sale. You buy bags for $2 and we bought four and were in and out in 10 minutes. It wasn’t until Big A and I got home and started looking at it, we realized we had some super good stuff. P and I were actually saying that it seemed kind of criminal. We probably got 200 pounds of good books in that time. Now, when I say good, I mean that fits all of our various libraries. We each have different sections we build on…Big A’s latest is Presidential history and she got so many total scores I could weep. I went after bird books with plates in them and landscapes with plates in them. Bingo. P went after trade paperbacks of famous authors. I also grabbed a first-edition “Lolita” (well, it’s the 1958 first American edition not the 1955 French edition or the 1956 Russian edition, but it even touts on the cover page that it’s the first English edition published in the United States) which I am not suppose to talk about…but it survived to the bag sale! So we tallied it all up for fun, and we spent about $26 today and have about 500 books, or something like that. But not just any books…books that fit into the library very well. In fact, it’s 11 p.m. and Big A is still reading a commemorative book made about Eisenhower for the Kennedy inauguration (if you’re from Tacoma, you would know exactly who’s name is inscribed in it).

But I want to talk about our little library a little further…we now have so many titles we need to start getting serious about finding them a good home and organizing them. P pointed this out that we have whole sections that have books some die hards would love to find on certain topics. They aren’t worth any money…it’s just that we have them. (Who goes and buys every single ornithology book there? Hello. Which was a classic example of how to be a predator at a booksale today…find all of the 19th century bird books in the hunting section.)

So I am making my first official 2009 resolution…by the end of the year we will have the books sorted out in a library system. No clue how to do this, but we will do it as a family project. They will get bar codes and the works so we can loan them out.

Or maybe they will just all sit in boxes until I think of a better resolution for 2009…I’m not sure.


Sunday, September 28th, 2008

I admit, I especially liked the opening skit because I thought of the line, “I would like to phone a friend” when I was watching the actual Palin-Couric interview. Of course that doesn’t take brain surgery, but I have it in my notes. I was waiting for either John Stewart or SNL to use it because it was so obvious…so I was tickled that the old guard gave it a nice set up and I have to admit I didn’t think of the “lifeline” quote to set it up when I was watching the real interview live…I was picturing it more like Palin people explaining all the people she could call to phone a friend and trying to make sure she had all the phone numbers correct and then calling the wrong person…little too complicated for a skit, but this is the stuff I guess you think of when watching a train wreck in slow motion.