Wednesday, October 31, 2001

"They" (you know...They...they do and say everything) are recommending everyone gets a flu shot this year so we don't spend the winter wondering if we are coming down with anthrax.

Why isn't anyone suggesting we all get an anthrax shot so we can spend all winter wondering if we are coming down with the flu?

New Jersey seems to have gotten rock star status in the anthrax popularity contest. Nice to know a state that is infamous for pollution problems (we have the lion share of Superfund sites) is now associated with a nice, friendly bioterrorist attack instead.

Oddly enough, people from New York are still moving here.

Eatontown is the latest spot where it's shown up...maybe. No longer a place where I may have been once or twice, this is less than 10 miles from home, and a place I spend a fair amount of time in and near. Like being a postal worker needed to be any more stressful than it already was...

The adrenaline rush from checking the mail used to be over the size of the Visa bill or whether or not I blew the phone budget, but the whole fatal disease aspect of things has added a nice little perk-up at the mailbox every day.

No, I am not really freaked out. I am a trifle uncomfortable though.

I am not afraid to fly. I continue to travel to and from Manhattan with impunity. I don't run for rubber gloves or dust masks every time something new is reported on TV. Fuck them.

But there is a sense that whatever is happening is an epic battle of proportions beyond what we are being told. The haves of our country are battling unknown have-nots, and no one is telling the whole story. I don't know that anyone ever will.

Full moon on Halloween...the night when the worlds of the dead and the living are closest together. Let's revel in that fact while each half agrees to stay firmly planted on their own side.

I'm getting sick of hearing bad news.

:::::posted by erratic :: 07-something PM EST linky

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

*grin*
:::::posted by erratic :: 05-something PM EST linky

Saturday, October 27, 2001

I do my daily hotmail check to clean out all the spam. There really isn't anything else that goes to that account anymore, but, just in case, I maintain it anyway.

Once in a while, it's worth it.

Fifteen new messages, fifteen unsolicited ads for crap I never new I didn't want. Free credit, lose weight, meet someone today! Apparently I am broke, fat, and socially inept.

Then the payoff...and this is a direct quote:

++>Attract Men with Bigger Breasts! (6994)

Far be it from me to declare myself an expert on women and what they are looking for, since the few times I have dared to believe I understood them resulted in repeated surprise (good and bad). So, I have learned to only have an inkling of a suspicion of how they tick.

Mostly, that is. But I digress. I am teetering on launching into a topic I do not have the time to discuss at the moment. Perhaps another post.

Anyway, I am pretty sure most women aren't looking for men with bigger breasts. I know that I have never once had a female wistfully suggest that I would be better off with boobs (permanently attached to me, that is). Perhaps I haven't had an open enough relationship to discuss such things, but I don't think so.

Moreover, I can't think of a single man who wanted them for himself. Oh sure, we may make some jokes about never leaving the house if we were endowed with our very own set of double-D's, but the reality of such things is, at best, humiliating.

Think about Bob and his man-boobs in Fight Club. I believe that's pretty close to reality. I don't recall him getting any chicks, either.

As for Marilyn Manson, well, they're not real. I wonder if that affects women the same way as men?

I do know a few males that could use some lift and separate in their top-frontal region, and none of them are what I would be consider babe-magnets. At least, not because of that. I don't know that any of them have ever declared how happy they are with cleavage, either.

Well, not to me they haven't. Maybe there is this immense mens' movement that I am oblivious to?

And yes, I am totally aware that the ad is supposed to convince women that getting men is simply a matter of increasing the size of their *own* mammaries, but the English language is such a tricky beast when it comes to modifiers, is it not?

"Attract Men! Get bigger breasts!" is one of dozens of variants that actually make sense, and while I can honestly say I enjoyed the laugh I got from the initial subject line reading, I am now stuck with the disturbing mental image of Meatloaf sporting a set of headlights and it isn't going away.

I need to sleep sooner or later. Eeesh.

For the record, I did not follow the link, either. I know they log referrers to see if the spamming is working, and I won't give them the satisfaction.

Besides, what geniuses thought that a poorly worded random email was the best way to convince anyone to buy whatever scam they are pushing? Does anyone really fall for this stuff???

Perhaps they're the biggest boobs of all.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 11-something PM EST linky

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

I am sitting at my desk, printing hi-resolution digital images of my daughter onto extraordinarily expensive photo paper for family and friends. She just turned 6 months old, and she is a total doll, from my highly objective viewpoint.

I am trying to stave off the nagging question of what sort of world she is coming up into.

Yes, there are terrorists. Truth is, there have been all along. None of them have ever gotten so far into our collective psyche, though.

I am beginning to wonder if they've already won.

Yes, the buildings that I wrote about are in ruins. Everyone is freaked out about getting Anthrax with the Visa bill. People are afraid to fly places, travel to certain parts of the world, or generally congregate.

People are willing to give up freedoms if it means more security.

Sorry people, but wrap this party we call America up if the trend started by H.R.3162 continues.

At the time of this writing, however, I am not really sure just what H.R. 3162 says, so I am only going on the reports of the bill. Third hand information distilled down to a sound bite, and buried under a heap of Anthrax articles. Unfortunate events befallen 3 dozen people obscuring an unfortunate event that will befall 250 million. Something stinks.

The text of H.R.3162 has not yet been received from GPO
Bills are generally sent to the Library of Congress from the Government Printing Office a day or two after they are introduced on the floor of the House or Senate. Delays can occur when there are a large number of bills to prepare or when a very large bill has to be printed.

Lovely. So this thing could be signed into law before we see what it actually is? Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that this unavailability isn't an accident?

The AP did run a story or two about it though, so let's see what we can glean from that, eh?

The House approved legislation Wednesday to give police new search powers in response to last month's terrorist attacks, including the ability to secretly search homes, tap phones and track people's use of the Internet.

OK search and seizure, wiretapping, etc. I think that even the most libertarian viewed individuals expected that to go. I can't say I agree with it, but I can't say I am surprised, either...as long as it's temporary and limited to terrorist activities, then so be it.

Oops, it's neither temporary nor limited. Hmmm.

``I expect a pretty overwhelming vote, and that's how it should be,'' Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., said.

It's always good to get the target of an Anthrax attack behind this one, no?

"That could have been YOU, Senators, not the unwashed slobs who pay our salaries."

I want to see if something along those lines (all dressed up in politicalese, of course) was said on the floor (I wonder if the minutes are public on this one?), because the objective debate that is supposed to be taking place on our behalf by our duly elected officials (hold the laughter please) must have been abandoned for a "save our asses" mentality by the Congress members themselves. They're even willing to sacrifice our rights to do it. How noble! This is as close to "let them eat cake" as you are likely to see in the modern world, so be sure to soak it in.

In order to get a deal with the Senate, House leaders dumped the House Judiciary Committee's GOP-Democratic compromise with more civil liberties and privacy provisions for a modified Senate version negotiated with the Justice Department and the White House.

That's right, people; the House Judiciary Committee was overruled because of those annoying civil liberties again. Most likely on the chopping block? The usual suspects, of course: the first, second, fourth, and fifth amendments. Keep an eye out for the sixth and eighth as well. It's a millennium sale, they all must go! No, really...they MUST GO.

Imagine how safe the WTC would have been had the feds been breathing down all our necks for the past twenty years.

Then again, I wonder if it would have even existed?

``This legislation is not perfect, and the process is not one that all will embrace,'' House Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said Tuesday. ``However, these are difficult times. ... This legislation is desperately needed.''

Might as well get this one out there now: ďthis will suck.Ē It will be taken to the Supreme Court, and we will probably be shot down. But damn, people, you want us to look after you, so how about letting us run things for a while? We'll only use the information to hurt the bad guys.

Now, where was that bad guy clause again?

The legislation expands the federal government's power to inspect educational records, wiretap telephones, track e-mails, seize voice mails, and detain immigrants suspected of being terrorists. Critics say it goes too far.

Critics always say that, don't they? Of course, maybe these critics have seen the bill, I don't know. But I am pretty sure the critics are saying, "You are out of your fucking tree on this one, Big Brother." The AP might not carry that quote verbatim, though, so perhaps the "too far" paraphrase is the best that can be done.

Think about everything you do, though. Your house, your phone, your computer. Itís all fair game. It was before, too, although it couldnít be used against you if it wasnít acquired the right way. It would seem that nagging little stipulation is gone, now.

It may hit a snag in the Senate, with Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, and Gordon Smith, a Republican, threatening to block final approval.

Oh, this is good, wait for this one....

The two senators want to use the anti-terrorism bill to fix a law that prevents federal prosecutors from using certain investigative techniques labeled ``deceit.'' Such techniques are allowed by federal law but banned under ethics rules enforced by state bar associations.

There is a legal technique called "deceit." Lawyers think it is unethical. When was the last time you knew of a lawyer that had a bad conscience on something questionable??? I think it is safe to say that anything a group of attorneys think is "over the line" is most probably WAY over the line, but this bill might be held up until this annoying ethics problem is cleared up. It's a two-for-one! Rights and ethics, watch them go!

OK, maybe I am a little paranoid. I hope I am a lot paranoid. I don't believe I am. I hope the Supreme Court hasn't taken leave of its senses yet, because I see some serious Constitutional interpretation coming up for the next session.

We've been set up, we as a nation. We were told that a long struggle was to ensue, with casualties, and sacrifices to be made.

In other words, there will be no end to this. This isnít a bill to catch some bad guys, this is to change the governments role in managing our country, forever.

We've been told that we will smoke the terrorists out. We've been given lots of cool sound bites about the large hammer the United States can wield against any threat.

We were not told that it would be used against its own citizens.

This bill looks a lot like the hammer. I can't see it any other way.

I dare you all to appear as anything but a nail.
:::::posted by erratic :: 10-something PM EST linky

Sunday, October 21, 2001

Manhattan - Part II

My errand didn't take as long as I anticipated. Time to try and catch an earlier ferry out. Hop on the subway and run downtown, although I am unsure which stops are still running and which aren't. The 3 train stops at 14th street, so I change over to the 1. Chambers St. stop comes up, and I am surprised that it's open. I am almost as surprised that I am walking off the train. I didn't plan on being here today, but now I am, and I have to go see for myself.

Chambers is blocked off on one side, all the way to Broadway. I look around, confused, since the only landmark that I've ever used to get my bearings down here is missing. I walk west on Chambers a couple of blocks, and see a small group of people standing, staring. I turn to my left, and there it is.

The foreground is a row of barricades covered with flowers and sheets and quilts with thoughts and remembrances written on them. The background is several blocks away, and just as surreal here as it is on TV. Black and charred, the smoke is still rising. I stare for a couple of moments, then make a quick phone call, leaving a message that I am here, staring at it. It is more for later confirmation that this is actually happening. I am trying to assimilate it, finally, after weeks of denial. I am staring at the remains of the World Trade Center, holding the ticket stub for the observation deck from August 18th.

It's not sinking in. Shit.

I dutifully grab my camera and snap a couple of pictures. I want to compare it to shots of the towers themselves, a pointless effort since I never took any of the towers, only from them. There are certain elements of permanence in my mind, so the thought that they'd never be there anymore was too unthinkable to snap a photo for posterity. This, on the other hand, will disappear.

I have already missed the earlier ferry, so time to make the last one for several hours. I heard something about closing the harbor for god-knows-what, and this is the wrong side of the river to be on while that happens.

I walk east towards Broadway.

Pier 11 is not too far from the South Street Seaport. When I worked down here, I used to run out and eat lunch at Pier 17 occasionally, so I know the way, even without the towers. I decide to check out as much of the old neighborhood as I can.

I hit Broadway and turn right. Walking past people wearing all kinds of breathing filtration apparatus, I begin to wonder just what I am breathing right now. About that time I noticed the smell.

The wind was steady but not particularly strong. It was from the west, however, and now being roughly east of "ground zero", the smell of burning plastic and sour "I don't want to even think about what that could be" hits me. This is something TV doesn't explain well.

I need to make this ferry.

As I walk down Broadway, the typical crowds are very thin here. People are working, and some are looking around, but the most noticeable people are those who are absent. It will be a long time before downtown is back to normal. I reach Fulton.

I start to turn left onto Fulton, heading towards the fish market. Something seems really wrong though. I cannot put my finger on it, but there is something very odd (aside from the police at every corner wearing dust masks and the emergency trucks scattered about.)

It's the sun... it's sunny here. It's not supposed to be sunny on this spot. I turn around.

Like a scene from Planet of the Apes, here it is, unexpectedly. A block away and undeniable, the burned out shell of the WTC is sitting right in front of me. I half expect to hear some dramatic opera score in the background, because this is the first moment it has ever really hit me. I didn't see it coming.

The fucking thing is gone. There are 6000 dead people in there. I probably was acquainted with some of them (although I still haven't heard). The twin towers are lying in a smoldering heap right in front of my eyes, and I will never go there again. No one will. All the memories of the daily, mundane trek though the path station, taking the subways, lunch at Fine and Shapiro...they are now irreplaceable treasures. I ate at Windows on the World, drank at the bar next to the path station, bought hats for my whole company in the mall, met up with friends and associates in the lobby.

It's all gone. It's all under that mess. I feel the air sucking out of my chest, like I have been sucker-punched.

It's a grave now.

I pay my respects, in the form of thinking about all that my personal life had revolved around that place, and bidding farewell to the steel and glass of the structure. I think about all the people who didn't know they were meeting their fate just by getting to work on time, and hope that the universe is seeing them through wherever they are journeying to now.

I am suddenly taking this very personally as an American. No matter how ludicrous our country can be, this does not happen here.

Not without consequences.

I snap another picture, which I later find doesn't come out, and is just as well since the visual sense of this place is too one dimensional for any true conveyance of its impact. I walk quickly towards the piers.

I make it uneventfully to Pier 11 with 15 minutes to spare. I am glad I went to look, after all. I am glad that I saw what I saw. I am glad I got away from it too. It's pretty overwhelming, and I don't know how I would do becoming ambivalent towards the wreckage by passing it every day.

As the ferry pulls in, I notice the nearby barge where some debris is being loaded for disposal at Fresh Kills. I can't get very far away from it after all.

I think I already knew that.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 08-something PM EST linky

Saturday, October 20, 2001

Manhattan - Part I

I awoke with a start to the sound of my alarm.

It isn't a pleasant sound. Then again, it's not supposed to be. The electronic "beep beep beep" has long been ineffective on me...I learned how to sleep through it...so put the radio between stations, crank up the volume as loud as it goes, and I'm not sleeping through that.

At least, not most of the time.

Barely had enough time to get ready and leave, which is how it needs to be on those early days, and out the door.

Never taken the ferry before, although I have heard good things about it. It is a large part of the reason I moved to this town...insofar as work goes. Granted that decision was made on September 2nd, but Manhattan is bound to pop up on the radar screen for work sooner or later.

There is an insane line here, and I am suddenly nervous about making this boat. All I know about it so far is that it is expensive, and there is a long line due to a cut schedule while one of the boats is out of service.

I made it with room to spare.

Settling in for the 45 minute ride, I look over some last minute notes, pretending I need to read them. They were written 6 hours ago, so it's rather silly to think I forgot about anything in my sleep. Even I don't have wild enough dreams for that...most of the time.

I haven't gone back since September 11. Should be good to get this first trip out of the way. I'm not even nervous, really.

A warm trickle in my nose tells otherwise. Years ago I was on this rather nasty medication that had the highly pleasant side effect of frequent bloody noses. The upside to that is that I can now tell when one is starting almost immediately, even though I haven't had one in at least a year, maybe more. I am guessing my blood pressure just shot up. I must be stressed after all. Damn.

Head back, breathe breathe breathe. A later assessment shows no visible signs of the capillary trauma that silently occurred.

Stop #1 is the pier downtown. Not getting off here, so I allow most of the boat to empty out, and I relax a bit. Next stop, midtown.

I get off the boat and decide to walk, since I am early. Zigzagging across town, things look mostly normal, except for all the flags everywhere. They weren't here before.

Every other building smells like chlorine bleach on cement, a very distinctive smell, to say the least. It's as if the whole of Manhattan is repeatedly washing it's hands trying to get clean, and failing. The psyche here is way different. The aggressiveness and go-getter attitude is more of a novelty now; most of the people here are determined just to be here, and pay way more attention to their surroundings than before.

I see a homeless person, and actually feel somewhat relieved. Something familiar.

As I approach midtown, the bustle returns. Not as strong as usual, but enough to feel fairly comfortable about being here.

I am determined, too.
:::::posted by
erratic :: 11-something PM EST linky

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

If youíre one of those people who are liberal with the body talc in the morning, now is probably a great time to lay off it. Shutting down 8 square blocks every time you shed a bit of your personal application would probably make you lots of enemies, and could land you in jail.

If you happen to receive an email coated in a powdery substance, DON'T OPEN IT. Just in case.

If I hear one more news idiot talk about the Anthrax virus, I am going to scream. Double points for the Einsteins that mention antibiotics as treatment for the virus.

Triple points for those who talk about how rare the Anthrax virus is. Being a bacterium, the viral form of the disease should be downright exotic. Especially the one that responds to antibiotics.

I originally thought that the band Anthrax was behind these attacks, since I imagine there is a resurgence of sales of their albums, but they are bummed and seem to be contemplating a name change to "Basket of Puppies" or something, so perhaps that theory is shot to hell.

I still think they got a sales boost.

The spammers kicked into high gear recently, pushing Cipro and penicillin for outrageous prices. 60 days of penicillin for only $260, huh? Thanks, but I can get it for $16.75 at the pharmacy, and that's without insurance.

Gotta love America. We're rich and scared. Time to cash in.

Of course with the WTC and subsequent Anthrax scares everywhere, and all the while the bombings continue unabated, I've tried to take a sane view of the world. Yeah, you heard it here first. Amazing, huh?

I'm happy to report it's not there.

But there is one observation about the USA that Iíve made. We're not the best, brightest, or even richest nation in the world. We are probably the strongest, depending on your definition of the term, but that still isn't what sets us apart from the rest of the world.

We have the biggest balls.

No, not beach balls or anything like that. Chutzpah. Gall. Nerve.

We drop food in a country we then bomb. While it is supposed to show the people we are bombing that we care about them, I think they believe we're trying to lure them out of their hiding places.

No matter what your perspective, it's still pretty brazen.

We don't really care what others think about what we're doing, either. Oh sure, there's lots of butt kissing and arm twisting on the geopolitical front, but if it all went bad, would our course of action change?

Nope. Only the flight paths. Maybe some targets.

So we are merrily spiraling on our way, blowing up enough sand to extract the pound of flesh we so richly want to deserve, and have only gathered a coalition together to share the credit for whatever happens down the road. Shared credit is much easier to swallow than pointed blame.

Not that we would care either way. Hell, we're the only country to have ever used a nuke on someone else. Think about that.

Balls. Big and Brass.

Don't you forget it. It's not the button; it's the finger that pushes it.

We're giving the world another demonstration of us using our collective finger.

Yeah, figuratively too.
:::::posted by erratic :: 10-something PM EST linky

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Lots of stuff going on. Gag order in effect, though...attorney's orders. Well, guidelines is more like it. Regardless, it's been in effect for a while, but rather than go completely silent, I'll stuff a rag in my mouth and let it fly:

Mmmf, mmmf mmf...mf mmmf mmmmf mmmmf mf mmmmf mmf...mmmf mmmf mmmf mmmmf mf mmfmf.

Mf mmmf mmmf mmmmf mmmf mf mmmf mmmmf, mmf mmmf mmfmmfmfmmf mmmf mf mmmf mfmmfmmf mmf mmmmf mmmf mmmmf mmf mmfmfmf mmf mf mmff mmf mmfmmf mf mfmmf mf mmfmmfmf mmmf mmmf mmmf mmf mmmf...mmf mmmf mmmf mf mmmf.

mmf.

Mf Mfmmf mmf mf mmf mmff mmmf mf mmmf mmmf mmf mmfmmff...mmf mf mmf mfmmfmmfmf mmmfmmmf mf mmf mmfmmfmf. Mmf mmmf mf mmmmf mmmf mmmf mmmmf mmf mmmmf mf mmf mmf mmfmf mmf mmfmf mf mf? Mmf mmf mmfmmmf mf mmmmf mmmf...

Mf mmmf mmf mf mmmf mmmmf mmfmmf mmfmf...mf mmfmmfmmfmf mmfmmfmmfmf mmmf mf mmmfmmmf mmfmmmf :-D Mmmf mmf mmf mmmmf mmmf mf mmf mmmf mmf mf mmf mmfmmfff mf mmfmmf mmmmf mmmf mf mf mmfmmf mmmf mmmf mmf mmmfmmmf mmmf mmf mmmf mmmf mmmf mf mf mf-mmmf mmmf mmf mmmf.

Mmmmf mmmff mfmmf mmmmf mmf mf mmf mmmf mmfmmf mmmmff mf mf mmmf mmmmf mmfmmfmmf, mf mf mmmf mf mf mmfmmmf mmmf mmmf mf mmmf mmmf mmf, mmf mmf mf mmmf mmmmf mmf mmmf mf mf mmfmmf mfmmf mmmf mmf. Mff mmf mf mmfmmfmf mmmmf mf mmmmf mmf mff mmf mf mmfmmf mmmmf.

Mf mmmf, mmmf mfmmmf.


Mf mmmf mmmf mmf mf mmfmf mf mmmf mf mmfmmf mf mmmmf mmmmf mmf MMF mmmf...Mf mmfff mf mmfmmf mmfmmf mfmf mmf mmfmmf mf mf mffmmf mmmmf mmf, mmf mfmf mf mf mmmf mmfmmf mmf mf mmf mmf mf mmf mmfmmf mmmmf mf mfff mmmmf mf. Mfmmmfmmmf, Mf mf mfmmmff mmmfmmmf mmf mmmf mmfmmf mf mmfmmf, mmf mmfmmf mmmf mf mmf mmf mmf mmf mmmf mmmf mmf. Mf mmmf mmmf mf mmmf mmf mfmf mmf mmmfmmf mmf mmmf mmf mmfmf.

Mf mmmmf, mmf mmmfmfmf mmfmf mmmf mf mmmf mmmf.

Mf mmmf, mmf mmmf.

:-P

MMf mmmf mfmmmfmfmf mmmf mfmmf mf mmf mf mmmf mmf mmfmmmf mf mmf mmfmfmmf. Mmf mmff mf mfmmfmmmff mmfmmmf mmmf mmf mmmf mmfmmmf mmmf, mmfmmfmmff mmmf, mmfmmfmf mmmf, mmmmfmfmf mmmf, mmf mmff mmmf. Mf mmf mmmf mf mmf mmf mmmmf mf mmf mmf mmfmf mmf mmfmf mf mmf mmmf mf mmf. Mmf mmmmf mf mmmf mmmf mmmmf mmf mf mmmf, mmmmf mf mf mmfmmfmmff mmmf mmmmf, mmmmf mf mmmf mmfmf mmf mmmmfmmf mf mmmf mmf mmffmmfmf mmmmf mf mmf, mf mmfmmfff mmfmmmfmf mfmmfmmmmf mmmf mf mmmfmf mf mfmmf mf mmffmmff.

*mmff*

Mmf mmmfmmmf mf Mfmmf, Mmfff mmf Mmmfmf mmf mfmmf mmf mmmf mmfmmfmf mmmfmf mf mmf mfmfmmmf mmmmf mmf, mf mmmmf, mf mmf mf mf mf mmfmmmfmf. Mmf mmf mf mmmf mmmf mmmf mmmf mmf mf mf mmmf mmmf mmf mmfmmf mmfmmf mf mmfmmmf, mf mmmf.

Mmf, mmfmf mmf mf mmmf mmf. Mmfmf mmmf mf mmmf mf mf.

p.s.-it's fucking cold...and raining.
:::::posted by erratic :: 10-something PM EST linky

Saturday, October 13, 2001

If you like caramel as much as I do, I think you, too, will find that the Caramel "Dulce De Leche" Shake at McDonalds is a thoroughly disgusting experience. It turns out that the greatest flavorings in the world can't make crap taste better.

Ah well...

I haven't been out bowling in AGES. I used to be pretty good at it, although it is a wholly silly sport. I haven't figured out why beer drinking is mandatory, either, but I know it is. It's one of those instinctive things.

Anyway, so I'm off soon to try my luck. I needed to get out anyway...funny how that thought was enough for something to turn up. All I had to do is answer the phone.

Today is an odd day, and that's all I am going to say about it. *Hugs* go out where they are needed.

I don't know any skinheads, and I'm not one either, but Camper Van Beethoven had the right idea:

Everyday I get up and pray to ?John?
And he increases the number of clocks by exactly one
Everybody's coming home for lunch these days
Last night there were skinheads on my lawn

Take the skinheads bowling, take them bowling.
Take the skinheads bowling, take them bowling.
(mp3 - 1.2 MB...it's crappy quality but this isn't a song you listen to for the sound)

See you later.
:::::posted by erratic :: 04-something PM EST linky

Thursday, October 11, 2001

I seem to be missing a week. Has anyone seen it? It was right here a moment ago...at least, I thought so.

Rush Limbaugh is going deaf. Seems that old adage about "use it or lose it" holds true. I guess he should have listened once in a while. When asked about the impending hearing loss that the radio host is facing, Rush reportedly said, "Huh?"

So here we are exactly one month after the bemused incredulity of the first plane hit became shocked anger when the second plane hit. I can't say that I am terribly upset about the nastiness we are involved with in Afghanistan, but it's not out of any sense of justice on my part. It's just nice to kick some ass, even if it's against such an unworthy opponent. We're not exactly locked in a mortal struggle with an evil empire here. We're combating box cutters with Tomahawk missiles and Laser Guided bombs.

Make no mistake that the attacks against America were about the USA being a world bully, and that our military response is a confirmation of that fact. We don't refute being a bully, we regret we haven't been flexing our muscles enough of late.

That's not really the point though. The struggle that bothers me is on our home turf.

If I had one piece of advice for everyone reading this, it would be to invest every spare penny you can scrounge in security companies...you know...the ones who make CCD cameras and metal detectors and computer programs that recognize faces on a screen. You'll make a killing.

Then, take all your profits and sign them straight over to the ACLU.

Granted, I don't really like the ACLU very much, but I have to say that I am more comfortable disliking their existence than if they didn't exist at all. The USA is getting very nutty right now, and sometimes you have to sully yourself with extremism just to keep things a little sane.

I heard a consultant from Kroll Associates actually say with a straight face that putting cities under total surveillance of closed circuit cameras, ala London in the UK, is not an infringement of the right to privacy that it seems.

Not that he isn't a valid independent contributor on this fact...because he isn't. But the general consensus from those who are poised to make a truckload of cash on the recent security crackdowns on the movements of our own citizens are meeting little resistance from the masses who are too afraid to not be "safe", or at least too afraid of being labeled unpatriotic.

The White House has established the Office of Homeland Security, which, when I hear it mentioned, sounds way too much like the House Un-American Activities committee. Pretty soon people will be called upon to explain just why they have been living their lives the way they do, even though no laws have been broken.

In fact, I am quite sure that this is happening already.

The call upon the government to explain why suspected terrorists were allowed to take flying lessons in Florida should be a wake up call to us all: suspected anything in this country is meaningless. You lose no liberties until you are convicted of a crime, and that is difficult to do without hard evidence. Suspects can take flying lessons. They're allowed. They should be. Hindsight has us feeling a little stupid, but once again, the lesson comes through loud and clear: the world isn't safe.

Any world that is wouldn't be worth living in.

So what freedom will you give up to be safe?

Cos I won't give up a fucking one. Sorry. Even if it kills me.
:::::posted by erratic :: 01-something PM EST linky

Thursday, October 4, 2001

So, once upon a time, when I was young and impressionable (versus old and impressionable now) I owned a Camaro. It was my first car. I was 17. It was Candy-apple Red with a black pleather interior, and a complete piece of crap.

I loved that car.

In mid-summer MCMLXXXIX I spent just under $3000 that I didn't have on a car that would ultimately cost more than twice that, and strand me in interesting places on several occasions. The car just didn't like me very much.

Then again, three days after acquiring it, a raised sidewalk suddenly appeared in the middle of a parking lot I was busy zooming across to impress a girl. Ka-thunk. Oops.

I never did hear from her again. Hmm.

Of course, as luck would have it, a couple of people I worked with at the time were in the parking lot that night. And I do here from them occasionally. They still talk about it...apparently from an outside observer's point of view, the whole episode was funny as hell.

I suppose I'd agree if it happened to anyone else. Heh.

The car had a small engine. It had problems on top of problems. The A/C caused it to stall. The cruise didn't work. The radio sucked. It leaked oil. It had electrical problems.

I (personally) replaced the motor only to have the new one self-destruct mere weeks after the warranty expired.

I fell in love in that car. Lived in it. Played in it. Fought in, on, and over it. It was the center of my life when possessions were hard to come by. My car and computer where all that I really had back then, and both were pretty important.

It stranded me on my way to college for the first time, on the Southern State Parkway, with everything I owned still inside. While hitchhiking past the stripped down carcasses of other cars to the nearest phone, I began to suspect that the car had it out for me.

I wonder why I was so sorry to see it go?

I sold it for scrap.

Anyway, I was inspired to buy a nice, boring, reliable Mazda after that, which ran for 10 years and never broke down once. So much for flashy.

I heard that Chevy is killing off the car, and I can't say that I am surprised. The decline of the "muscle car market" shouldn't have had much effect on sales, though, since I never considered it a muscle car. While I could be way off target there on the marketing lingo, a 'Vette or Viper it ain't.

I wonder what the new accessory to a classic trailer park will be since the Trans-Camaro is not going to be possible anymore?

My predictable Cancer sentamentality means I have a memento from the beast, named "Bitch" after the stranding. A single wheel-cap sits proudly on my dresser, as a reminder of an age that I miss and am relieved is gone all at once. The Camaro of 2002 is nothing like my 1982 POS, even if the name is the same, but I am a little sad, once again, to see it go...even if I can't figure out why that is...again.

Miss ya girl...
:::::posted by erratic :: 12-something AM EST linky

Wednesday, October 3, 2001

It was such a crappy day yesterday that I never got to write anything here.

Well...sort of.

It was a crappy morning...it started a little too late into a cold and rainy morning and a traffic snarl of epic proportions. The evening was clear, with a sky of azure and gold, and had I left work before the sun set, I would have gotten a picture of it.

Had I not been so tired and passed out on the couch, I would have posted.

Blame it on the weather.

It was nice today though...and it is threatening to be the same tomorrow. No 67.2 mile drive in the morning, so I am almost giddy with the prospect of sleep...which is actually better than sleeping, because you can enjoy it on a conscious level.

Well, I can.

Lots of things to talk about, lots of things to say...all kinds of weirdness going on in my head, which is a good place for it to be (versus, say, out in the world where it can bother people).

I'm sure it won't last too long. I don't believe I've cornered the market just yet.

Late to the game award: They're killing the Camaro. I need to talk about this.

Tomorrow though. I'm tired.
:::::posted by erratic :: 12-something AM EST linky


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© John McCabe, 2000
so be nice, 'k?