Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Process

"Scripto, how do you do it? How do you take a marginally interesting idea and turn it into something almost unreadable?" It isn't easy. The words to make them come out right is hard to sometimes do. In my mind I am a great writer. I am lucid, concise, well reasoned. The narrative flows inexorably and effortlessly towards a well defined conclusion. But all that gets lost somewhere between my brain and my fingers. It's hard to lure the muse back when she left in a huff due to me sitting on my ass watching television for 50 straight years. But I keep plugging away. All the lack of talent in the world can't keep me from not doing what I am incapable of doing. So here's how I do it. It's a little secret I like to call The Process. First I take an idea that I find funny or irritating (or both), say, like, my wife swearing at me on Christmas Eve or Sarah Palin pretending to be my friend. Then I throw words at it until it kinds of sticks to the screen. That is what we authors call "fleshing it out" (a good idea if you are getting paid by the word). Now comes the hard part. Editing. Many times I will go back, reread my post, and discover that it makes no sense whatsoever. Even to me. That's where those handy little fuckers known as punctuation come in. Every blogger has their strengths and weaknesses in this area. Myself, I'm a freakin' genius when it comes to: ', I'm pretty good with: ., not so good with: , but my favorite and the ones I find most handy are these babies here: (). Oftimes (not a word I suggest you use) I'll be meandering (a nice word, don't you think - so peaceful) along, trying to make some point or another, throwing in a comma here or there, when I will think of something somewhat unrelated to the point I'm making (a fragment of a thought or a snotty aside) but I don't want to set it on its own because I'll probably forget it so I wedge it in with these: (). I also use a lot of these: - for the same reason. They are indicators of my unique style and separate me from the other bad bloggers. Proper grammar should not be a consideration. End a sentence with a preposition if you want to. Split infintives, mix declensions; so what, no one hardly cares. It's a LOL world now.
Speaking of style, I've tried a few. Minimalist: Time saver. Lacks development. Dry scientific - borrrrrinnng. So I settled on a style I like to call faux conversationist . Light, breezy, kinda now, kinda Charlie, just the ticket on a hot summer afternoon and a good way to connect me to you. Throw in a bunch of .hyperlinks and a couple of images to distract from the prose and voila!, I be blogging. And you can too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Used to Like Dick

Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words in this post title. I hope it doesn't result in unwanted attention. Hell, who am I kidding? Any attention is welcome. I'm dyin' here. What I meant was that I used to like Dick Cheney. Wait! Don't go! Hear me out. Follow these here thought processes: I didn't so much like Cheney himself as I liked his calm, reasoned manner. It stemmed from his debate performance against the two colorless (and no doubt odorless) Democratic VP candidates. Cheney's well modulated avuncular manner gave me some hope that he could tether Bush to reality if the Republicans were unfortunately elected or re-elected. Maybe keep George from doing something really stupid like accidently sitting on the big red button and launching a nuclear strike on Canada. Little did I know that, underneath Cheney's calm, reasoned avuncularity, lay a bottomless well of incompetence.
I can understand the tough guy stuff from Dick, George and Rummy. George had that whole boola boola thing to live down so he went off to fly fighter jets and maybe tap Laura after a day of manly ranching. Dick was another story given that I'm fairly certain that his doctor told him he was not healthy enough for sexual activity. Given that Viagra was out I imagine the whole process was somewhat difficult for him. His pacemaker beeping wildly as his doughy thighs slap ineffectually against his leather chaps, straining to climax as beads of sweat run down his bald head, thinking of reports of enhanced interrogation ; a tear runs down Lynn's face as she turns her head away, her sobs muffled by the water soaked cloth covering her face, and prepares to accept a dribble of his poisoned seed. I don't even like to think about it. Well, I like to think I don't like to think about it.
But it's not the macho stuff or even the evil as much as the incompetence that gets to me. Now I'm sure there will be entire libraries dedicated to Bush's uncanny propensity to appoint the wrong people to the wrong jobs at the wrong time but since Cheney went to all that trouble to set up a shadow government , mirroring the real government in most executive functions, is it too much to ask that one of them was actually able to govern or maybe even keep a secret? The reaction to Joe Biden spilling the beans about Cheney's secret bunker where he was transfused with the blood of virgins to keep his vitality is symptomatic. Now I'm no terrorist mastermind but given that the neighbors surrounding the Naval Observatory were complaining about the noise and the blurring the image on Google Earth...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sweet Ida

Not really knowing my ass-bone from a hole in the ground I got nothing intelligent to say about this exciting early primate find. You can access the original paper through the above link and some of the controversy here. The great thing is that the authors of the paper published the research on an open forum that anyone can access. This took some big stones considering all the hits they knew they'd take from the other science guys by teaming up with the History Channel for the big unveiling. I don't blame them. It took a lot of bones to buy that specimen and someone has to pay for the research.
It is a fascinating look at how real science operates, complete with egos aflame, backbiting, and conflict. Just like any other human endeavor. Only better because it eventually arrives at a consensus based on evidence. You can take a couple things away from this find. One; you can see the absurdity of the idea that there is some sort of monolithic Darwinist conspiracy to suppress the truth among biologists. It's obvious the knives are always out and you better have your shit together before you publish. And two; contrast this with the approach taken by the Creation Scientists and Intelligent Design crowd. You can see the reason they don't poke their heads out of their hidey-holes very often. They got nothing.
* Attention bloggers - Urgent Update!: This is not a transitional between humans and mammals. We are mammals. Your mom had tits, didn't she?

Monday, May 18, 2009

The World's Worst Catholic Explains Blood Sacrifice

If the above graphic totally creeps you out - you are an atheist, agnostic or possibly a Jew and you are headed for eternal damnation. If the above graphic moderately creeps you out and you view it as a symbolic representation of the sacrifice Christ made to save us all - you are some sort of Protestant and you also are going to take a nice long dip in the lake of fire. If the above graphic makes you wince a little and you feel that it is an accurate (but too graphic for the kiddies) representation of Christ's blood sacrifice - you are some sort of Cafeteria Catholic and you better take a doggie bag and book your room by the century at the Motel 6th Level in Purgatory because it's going to take a while to burn the heresy out of you. If the above graphic seems like some sort of cartoon fit for Nickelodeon and you are disappointed the image lacks accurate blood splatter patterns and photo-realistic depictions of crucifixion wounds - you are true OG RC so grab your best hair shirt and strap on your cilice and join me as Sister Mary Joseph breaks it down old school for the rest of these clowns:
During the mass the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Real blood and real flesh?
It doesn't look any different.
It is.
It doesn't taste like blood.
It's a miracle. You have to have faith.
Now, be quiet.
Yes, Sister.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Torture - It's What's for Dinner

Real tough guy Jesse calls out pretend tough guy Dick

Party at Dick's house! Bring your suit and boogie water board! Boy, for a guy who was so jealous of his privacy that he fuzzed out the Google Earth view of his house, Dick sure has become quite the social butterfly. It's almost as though he's trying his case in the court of public opinion before he's even charged with anything. Trying to obscure the fact that the two guys in charge when everybody shit their pants on 9/11 weren't named Obama or Clinton. Even George has enough sense to keep his head down.
Pretend for a second that I don't know anything about counter-insurgency, interrogation techniques or the capacity of the human body to endure pain. Here's a couple of reasons why "enhanced interrogation techniques" or "torture" as I like to call it, is a bad idea:
1. It's illegal
2. It's against the law

The legality of waterboarding should have raised some flags in the Bush Administration considering that we prosecuted not only Japanese soldiers after WWII but our own guys in Vietnam for the same practice. Then there are the practical problems. How do you know that the intelligence gained is accurate? Take this guy(please). A little outsourced Egyptian torture and we got all the information that we needed on those WMD's in Iraq to make Gen. Powell look like a total retard in front of the whole UN. How do you corroborate the information? Torture everyone until some sort of pattern develops? Seems kind of unwieldy. Maybe our torturers are better. Maybe they all got 2 year degrees in Enhanced Interrogation Techniques from ITT Tech and only produce actionable intelligence.
The primary motivation for the right wing in this country is fear. Fear of Islam, fear of sex, fear of drugs, fear of Mexicans, fear of socialism, fear of flying, fear of dying, fear of termites, fear of their pipes busting, fear of homos. In short, they are all a bunch of pussies. There is no bad situation that can't be made worse by the right wing overreacting. Dumb motherfuckers (and I include all the dumb motherfuckers in the FAA from 1965 on) should have reinforced the cockpit doors and ordered pilots to stay in the cabin and fly the plane and we wouldn't be shuffling around the airport in our socks.
The pro-torture guys like to go on the talk shows and make up some sort of ticking bomb scenarios like: " Suppose a terrorist planted a pocket nuke in your baby's day care and only he had the code for the detonator and you captured him would you dip his balls in boiling oil to get him to give you the code? Huh? Would ya?". OK, maybe one ball, but that's as far as I'll go. C'mon. Is any of this stuff likely enough to base policy on? The Bush admininstration didn't see the initial threat coming and so now everything or everyone looks like a ticking time bomb.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cars I Have Known (and sometimes loved) Part 1

Before I die I thought I'd better post a list of vehicles I have owned in order to have this information cycle uselessly and eternally in the intertubes. I don't know why, it just seems like the right thing to do. In more or less chronological order:
63 Plymouth Valiant - push button trans, no floor, caught fire on the way to see the Dead. Bummer.

62 Ford F1something or other - well worth the $125 - many cold mornings knocking ice out of the filter bowl, though.

53 Chevy Sedan Delivery - custom, 283 auto, road sign orange, got me, the old lady, two dogs, a cat, a goat and all our stuff from Ohio to Seattle. All the while towing her Volvo P544.

56 Plymouth Belvedere - another $35 Plymouth. No reverse - had to do a lot of deep thinking about parking.

49 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pick up - built like a tank. In fact, I think it was built out of tanks. Plywood camper on the back. Took me from Seattle to San Luis Obispo and served as a mobile home backed up to a cliff looking out over the Pacific. Eat your big fat hearts out, rich people. Abandoned in California prior to the Great Migration back north. One of life's big regrets.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Baby

Three kids and four grandkids later - still smokin' hot

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My BFF Jesus

I got a text from Jesus today. I knew it was from Jesus because he knew I didn't have the time to forward the message. That guy, I don't know how he does it. Anyway, I think he's lonely so give him a jingle. Here's the number: (717) 521-3191.

Here's the message:
"I bet you don't have time to do this; but jesus gave his life for you, send this to ten people and see what happens in five minutes"

Sunday, May 03, 2009

This One's Gonna Hurt

Text of my $4,000.00 conversation ($444.44 a word):
"Maybe we should check the black one out?

Friday we bought a 2006 Ford (Motto: We're not bankrupt yet) Freestyle. Bitchin' ride, for a station wagon. Not the base model SE. That would be the one I had done all the research on. We were on our way in the office to buy the SE when I spotted the black Limited in the lot and, like an idiot, asked the salesman to open it up so we could have a look. Brenda melted at the idea of heated leather seats and I liked the backup alarms. The kids are breeding like rabbits. I couldn't tell you how many grandkids we have now but I know I'd feel bad if I backed over one. Like I did my wife's dog when we were dating. I was backing the 72' LeSabre out when we heard a thump and a yelp and my wife started getting all hysterical on the passenger side. I said "It'll be alright - don't panic", put the car in drive and pulled forward a little bit. These was another thump and another yelp. The dog didn't die. Actually didn't even get hurt, just kind of smooshed down in the mud with a tire track on him so Brenda found the whole thing hysterically funny. That will follow me to the end of my days.
So we drive the Limited around and by the time we get back and park it everybody knows I'm buying this car. The salesman, my wife, my grandaughter. Even me. Traded in two cars on this one. A 97 Mercury Villager (140k) and a 97 Subaru Outback Sport (165k). I got 2k for these, I was hoping for 3k so I squawked a little to keep up appearances but folded up like wet tissue paper in short order. What could I do? Everytime I looked over I was getting that "I want this car - don't screw this up" look. Ah well. Still substantially below book when all was said and done, even with the extended warranty. Maybe my wife will quit emailing me real estate ads for awhile. I'd hate to be paying on something where the terms extend beyond my life expectancy.