Archive for July, 2009

Mini me

Friday, July 31st, 2009

It’s been almost nine months since I first got this Dell Mini. Today, I finally seem to have gotten it to work.

So far it’s  the key board that is driving me nuts, it has no internal storage space and it seems to be pretty much useless for anything other than checking scores, writing blog posts and checking e-mail. Everything I expected for $99 and it makes me tickled I didn’t pay more for it.

It;s basically a faster, bigger version of my phone without internal storage and no Windows XP.

But you know what…just for that it’s not a bad little thing for less than a hundred bucks. I mean, I’ll never compose a novel on it or anything. But I can see the possibilities, because it’s a full-size Firefox browser instead of mini browsers on the phone and it’s not much bigger. i can also see it being a twittering powerhouse. I mean, just amazingly easy and convenient to pound out short thoughts.

I’m going to keep waiting, but at least, after nine months, hours on the phone and two trips to Texas, I can say that it’s finally working.

Officially, at the airport three miles away, it’s 4 p.m. and 108 degrees.

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

In my backyard, in the shade, it’s 110. You move and you sweat. We’re kind of going through the worst of it right now. It’s like watching a comet approach earth or something…you know it’s coming and there really is not much you can do about it. It just gets hotter and hotter and hotter.

But, dear folks, this is HOT HOT HOT…like historically hot. We even fried an egg on some concrete so i could win a bet with Big A.

Let’s put it in perspective with how “cool” it got last night…officially in Seattle the coolest we got was 72 degrees. Which beat the old record from the last 138 years by three degrees. It has never stayed above 70 degrees all night in 138 years!!!! In those same 138 years, they have recorded exactly one, ONE, day where it reached 100 degrees!

And, it’s cloudy. So it’s HOT and WET. Lots of fires being struck in the mountains tonight by lightening.

I hate triple-digits hot (ramble warning)

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The cats seem to have the right idea. Get low to the ground and find a spot in the sunk-in living room. Don’t move and just crap out in a random spot that makes you use the least amount of energy possible. You can’t really see it from the picture, but Rabin is typical…she really, like all the cats, found the coolest place in the house and just looked dead all day. The dogs are at the daycare; which seemed the most humane thing for them by far…lots of water to drink and play in and room to work up a sweat.


This is generally how I am surviving. Anyone who has a kid knows exactly what this is and it’s my favorite heat buster ever. People, if you want your kids to have popsicles, these are the ultimate. Pretty muted flavors and generally good for you to make you sweat electrolytes. I pretty much pounded these suckers all morning and when I got home this afternoon. It’s like having emergency heat rations in your fridge.


A couple more days of this.

Hey…here’s two other tricks I heard that worked to beat the heat. Sweat and eat spicey food. It sounds crazy, but as long at you drink lots of fluids and eat well, it works. (Check your pee color just to make sure it’s mostly clear). But sweating, as long as your drinking lots of fluids that have electrolytes, actually does keep you much more comofrtible. Now, the person that told me this also said that you don’t want to drink too much just water and call that hydration. But, anyway, it seems to have worked well for me. Szechuan Hot and Sour soup was my pain of choice. Mmmmm.

So tomorrow, Wednesday,  is literally the hump day of this heat wave. The forecast for my zip code is 106. Then just 101 the next day. And then just 90s after that until next week where it gets back into the 80s.

I have to also give kudos out to my daughter! She golfed for two hours in the brunt of the afternoon heat today. Many other kids just didn’t last 10 minutes or didn’t show up. But she gutted it out, drank lots of Gatoraide, and kept going. I was trying to decide if this was impressive or crazy. I decided extremely impressive because it showed she’s committed to something she started, and as the others started dropping like flies, it showed she is fiercely competitive to keep going. Or she’s just too stubborn, I don’t know. But I think she is learning to like golf all on her own with no daddy coaching. That continues to just be my super-duper hope out of all of this…if she wants to show up and do it in 100-degree heat…I have to bite my lip not bragging too much about how proud I am to her.

But the coolest thing today was that for all the kids that toughed it out? They turned all the sprinklers on at the club! I mean, how cool was that. And these are major league PGA-approved golf course steroid sprinklers. They soaked themselves.  Imagine having the greatest time you ever had playing in the sprinklers moments ever when you were nine years old. Big A was breathless excited afterwards and said they were “like, 10-feet high and 100-feet long.” Cracked me up. She is going to be like 30 years old and still talk about the day all of them got to play in the sprinklers at the club — just fairway after fairway of playing sprinkler golf (or just playing) and not caring because it was 100-freaking degrees outside. That’s how you get kids to enjoy a golf course. Turn the water on and let them be kids.And this was cold lake water. I love it!

This turned into a ramble with photos…

It’s now turning towards evening and I need to lock the cats up and start preparing for the bad temps tomorrow. I noticed the temperature is now 99 degrees in the shade at 7 p.m. The house is at 88 inside my family room. I’ll just open everything possible in about two hours and get cross breezes to get cross breezes of those just to get what warmed up today out of the house. And then I’ll be up around 5 a.m. to do the same thing to get all the cool air back inside. And then we’ll wait and see how bad it’s gonna be.

But you know, I’ve lived here 3/4 of my entire life and that’s the first time I can ever remember it being 100+ for three consecutive days? My body was not born and bred for this AT ALL. 

How hot is it?

Monday, July 27th, 2009

It’s so hot…my roasted garlic just needed olive oil…and it’s still planted.

There has only been one day in recorded Seattle history of 100 degrees, and it looks like we might break that in back-to-back-to-back attempts. Probably not, but you get the idea.

But I was thinking about this today…I have lived in various places where it gets hotter, and I have been in much hotter weather, but why does it see like when it gets hot around here ITS SUPER FREAKING YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME HOT AND MY BODY CAN’T STAND IT?

This is not a native thing to Puget Soundians, I’ve witnessed it with visitors. They can’t figure out how a 90-degree day feels like hell just opened a closet door around here.

I have a theory. We steam. We don’t have high humidity, at least how the National Weather Service measures it, but we have so much winter moisture built up in our green trees, lakes and unpaved stuff, we’re a slow boil from the broiler above. All of that moisture literally bakes out. But airports and paved places where they measure this stuff “officially” never really get this…I mean, where does all the moisture in my lawn and trees go when the mabient temp is 100 degrees?

This is a secret theory I’ve had for years…when it’s hot around here, I mean sun blazing you have to BE KIDDINGA ME HOT, with no clouds, it’s just purely mother nature crapping up every ounce of moisture she can find. but it only happens at below about 10 feet over the ground. No weather ballooon is measuring it. Even my house is sweating, and I mean that seriously. My humidity in my house is 92%…I am waiting for a lightening strike in my family room’s cathedral ceiling. But outside, it’s a nice 34%. Until you go in my garden, and it’s 77%…you see the trend…it’s all sweating.

That’s why our 90-100 degrees around here makes you debate in your head over if black or white car interiors are cooler because you have watched Lawrence of Arabia one too many times.

…it’s so hot, my but dripped condensation while I sat on the toilet — and I was wearing pants while soaking my feet in the tub.

She doesn’t know she is outflanked

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Jay Leno and Michael Jackson were drag racing a few months ago. Leno won it by the hair of his chinny chin chin, and Jackson lost it by a nose.

(I’ll be here all week.)


Big A wants a very particular cell phone that she doesn’t realize is the botphone a parent of a nine-year-old can only dream of three years ago. I will not only be able to monitor almost everything she does with it, I will be able to tell where she’s doing it from in realtime. It’s the ultimate parent spy gizmo for the year to this point. And she has no idea it posseses such secretly cool functions that only I can access. It’s like a prisoner ankle bracelet that she’s excited about wearing. I figure, i can get about two years out of this before her friends or others start pointing these small details out, and then I figure I have about two more years before she is so on to me, that phone is not acceptible.

So, I figure, it’s about a two to four-year window I’ve got her completely and totally under my thumb.

All the cliches are true. Daddies of little girls are just meniacal about stuff like this. Obssessive, maybe. How long can I keep her world in my world enough that I can still play God?

But the beauty is the ol’ frog in a slow boil. She isn’t even realizing I’m doing it. I mean, I’ll loosen the grip when the time is right…and I already told her that if she treatest the phone correctly for six months, I’ll add restricted internet access…I’m not nutso, she just has to “prove it” for me one step in a time.

Go, ahead, try to steal this joke

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, apparently gave him a very powerful sedative called propofol. This stuff is so powerful, even being off by one cc can be the difference between sleep and death.

Apparently, Dr. Murray missed his dosage by a nose.

(Cue Ed and Doc…)

Final thoughts for a while on Sarah Palin

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

I still think that stepping down as governor of Alaska while committing to nothing was absolutely brilliant. Her own state party doesn’t like her, she has creds to cash in on the book writing and rubber chicken speeches, and it’s far enough from 2012, it’s hard to say what’s going to happen.

I mean, from a purely methodically-smart point of view, it was brilliant. She looked at two options for the next couple of years and stole, er, chose, the best option.

What’s her other choice? Not cashing in on where she’s at in her career and being stuck with the fact Alaska has budget problems of its own that she is responsible for at the end of the day. Ummmm, no thanks…first plane out of Dodge, please.

People are going to keep thinking she is something “special” for R’s or something (I am am still amazed by this…I have followed her as poltical sport since she was a mayor…she is hillarious).

(In fact, the moment she was named a VP running mate there were about 200,000 of us that just plainly spit beer out of our noses laughing over the “McCain really is senile” obsurdity of it.)

But she is pretty damn crafty. Notice I didn’t say smart or well-spoken or anything. She is like the girl you go on a date with in high school and accidently get pregnant in the back seat of a car parked in the woods. You really don’t want to go to the prom with her, you have no interest in a longterm relationship, but I mean, you got laid, so she puts out, now you just have to be careful to trust  her not to really screw things up. But you also know she is smarter than your average bear.

“Good Lord, I’ve heard about this…cat juggling!”

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

So the other day I was at the AM-PM getting breakfast and someone in line in front of me said, “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.”

And there were two us standing there and I said, “Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.” The other guy said, at the exact same time, “Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop drinking.”

We were all having a giggle about it.

But it got me thinking…what a stupid movie to have three of us all quoting instantaneously in the check out line at a gas station.

I’ve had this happen before with Caddyshack, The Jerk, Star Wars and The Brady Bunch at various places, and just to name a few. Where someone says something and more than one person breaks out in a version of the rest of the line to other complete strangers

My favorite one was Friday when I was getting the old contacts on my new cell phone after a bunch of errant attempts on my part. The guy at the store did it pretty quickly and I said, “How’d you do that?”

He shot back, and I quote exactly, “Don’t know. First time.”

And then he paused.

“Much to learn Daniel-san.”

I about laughed out a lung right then and there. The best I could do as a come back fast was “No bad student, only bad teacher.” Which by this point had us both laughing and some 18-year-old kid looking at us like we were both mad.

But I can’t figure out why this cultural-seeming phenomenon is happening (seemingly) more lately. And it’s like a specific age group of 35-50, that just can rattle off lines from movies from the 70s, 80s and 90s like they are so ingrained in their psyche, they have a compulsion to finish each other sentences about it, or continue the joke, to whatever complete stranger is standing nearby and gets the joke with them quickly.

Another funny one was a couple weeks ago were a guy walked up to the McDonald’s counter in front of me and asked for “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”

The kid behind the counter looked perplexed. The guy next to him said, “Have you had your break today? He wants a Big Mac.”

And five of us just thought this was funny.

I mean, if I were to say to you, “I’m just a looper,” you’d know right? Because “I got that goin’ for me.”

So here’s my short theory…it’s completely an old-school generational-thing. We all grew up with vidotape and HBO and we just watched everything in the arsenal over and over and over and over. Older people might get that for certain movies that were on networks at certain times of the year, and younger people have SO MUCh information they just immediately move on from one thing to the next. We got caught in the perfect storm. There is a hidden generation out there, that people haven’t really put their finger on as it gets into its 40s. (I know, I’ve read all the theories, but I think they are missing something…there is this little tiny wedge generation that exists.)

Or I live in a town full of movie geeks and that’s why movie stars buy houses here. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

“The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that’s all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.”

Good taste she’s got

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

So I was watching a documentary and a famous female celebrity was talking on about something. But I was particularly amazed by her art collection that was “the set.” There were obviously a couple of early Chihuly’s, but also some prints and/or engravings that were little Picassos and Rembrandts. But she also had some pretty cool looking late 1970/early 1980s NYC art that I know. But this is what got me the most…

One of her pieces of glass is a very specific piece from a very specific year of a very specific school. It’s not worth much — it’s kind of throwaway kids stuff to people that collect glass (I don’t, but I’ve read the books). But it just sort of floored me that it was there in the background. Is this the beauty of digital TV and the *pause button or what!?!?!? I can’t even tell you what the interview was about.

I spent more time with it paused looking at the art and books collections than the interview actually lasted. There is clearly an old abbreviated OED on the shelf, a couple of art books, some interesting looking history books, and what looks like Nancy Drew books (hard to make out but their yellow spines are all in a line).

The point of the post is that I find this kind of stuff imminently more fascinating than whatever the hell she was talking about. It probably says more about her, too. But the knick knacks we all have around on shelves, and how we decorate our homes and apartments, really says something about what we what or where we’ve been or where we are now.


It’s just too good to pass up…

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

“So the mayor, a state legislator and a rabbi meet in a bar on Washington Street in Hoboken.”