Friday, September 30, 2005

Ever So Comfortable

When you're single, married couples talk about the great 'comfortable' state that you will one day enjoy with your someday mate.

Such as, Spouse #1 on the toilet, Spouse #2 brushing their teeth.

Cindy and I are not this comfortable, and have no desire to become so. Mmn, no thanks.

But we do enjoy a rousing, fully participatory performance of a modified Leo Sayer tune...

Boobies feel like dancing
(oh yeah!)
Boobies dance the night away!

Boobies feel like dancing
Dancing dancing
Dance the night away!

Boobies feel like dancing dancing ahhh!

(and they really do!)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Anti-Spam: My New Muse and Mistress

Click on the poem to see it full size...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fatal Distraction

I'm a very distracted person. It might be the caffeine, it might be the hyperactivity (I was on Ritalin for years. Ah, the 70's...) or perhaps I have a naturally short attention span.

I like to think that my brain's leapfrog nature is a good thing, that it makes me more creative. I don't know if it's true, but I like the idea.

Of course, what good is being creative when you don't actually finish anything? Discipline does not come easily, though it's better than it once was. For me, discipline is more about being peeved at myself for being such a slacker: "Dammit, enough! You will now do X by Friday."

Distraction can be a good thing in the creative process (if you're not behind the wheel of a car or other unsafe place/activity) since it can allow you to mix different and unrelated trains of thought.

Making a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich: Bread on the paper towel, good. Butter knife at the ready... Ow, my blistered feet hurt! First put the peanut butter on the left slice, lick the knife clean - and now jelly on the - I wonder if peanut butter would be soothing on my blisters? Voila! New home remedy.

Why are you reading this? Shouldn't you be over at CK's Writing Contest, voting? Oh, you've already voted? I'm a shoe-in? Really? Gosh, thanks!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

No Purchase Necessary!

CK, master of the misleadingly named blog Fount of Useless Information, is running a writing contest!

I've entered a submission, as have several others with far more talent than myself.

If you have a few minutes you'd like to while away in a pleasant reading-and-voting fashion, head on over and Read the entries!

And vote!

What's Up, Will?

Shakespeare popped in for a visit last night - (I have a friend with a special Delorean, long story...).

He was delighted to learn that we still read and perform his stuff - I showed him the Complete Works of Him that we keep handy, and he was tickled pink, flipping through.

A couple of things that he said stuck with me:

"This one is Marlowe's, damn it."
"Three of the best ones are missing."

He really perked up when I said "Who's Marlowe?"

He gave me the biggest hug.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Dead Can Dance!

We broke with our tradition of going directly to bed after noon tea-time on Sunday to attend an evening concert at The Hollywood Bowl, where Dead Can Dance performed.

There was a very handy park-n-ride pickup point right near our house, and we caught this bus. It made the trip much more relaxed than it would have been, fighting traffic.

This was our first trip to the Hollywood Bowl, which is a shame since we've lived in the area for about ten years. The complex is a typical Southern California mix of character, function, crowd-flow, and all the typical elements of museum, gift shop, food, beer and wine concessions.

There was a wide variety of demographic groups present - DCD is kinda new-agey, folksy world-music, so we didn't know what to expect. There were everything from kids to retired people, which was cool.

A lot of people around us were sipping champagne from fluted plastic 'glasses', getting their cheese and caviar on. We munched on Fig Newtons and sipped our Coke. From the bottle, like commoners.

We'd packed an assortment of junk foods, soda, and water for the concert, but we were traveling light compared to most patrons. Many people had coolers, pillows, blankets and sitting cushions and full-on three course meals. (Did I mention the Sherpa?)

We were happy with our supplies, but the one thing we were lacking was the sitting cushions. The seating is largely made up of long, unpadded wooden benches, which are nominally comfortable, for the first hour or so. After that first hour, your ass starts to complain loudly and often:

"Hey - this hurts, by the way. Also, Ow. Ow ow ow. How about you stand up for a while? Hey! Ow! Hello?"

All of this while trying to enjoy the concert.

We did enjoy it! DCD is much more my sort of fare than Cindy's, though she enjoyed the introductory act, Nouvelles Vagues more than DCD, I think. They were quirky and coy, and I enjoyed the me me me tug-of-war between the two singers more than the music.

Dead Can Dance is as good as ever - I felt chills run through me during The Wind that Shakes the Barley - Lisa Gerrard's voice is as potent and clear as it ever was.

One big qualification for a quality music group in my book is comparing produced and polished recorded works to live performance. They performed for about two and half hours, counting encore, and sound great live, possibly better than in the studio. Though it's been about ten years since their last tour, they have all the strength and skill they ever had.

I have to wonder if they feel at all uncertain about performing again without a new album. If I were a published writer, and showed up at a book reading only to read from a book I wrote ten years ago, I would feel pretty sheepish. Of course, the crowd didn't seem to mind - I know I didn't.

It was a great concert, and great experience! I never thought Dead Can Dance would tour again, and I never expected to get to see them!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Credi-Bull #1

Credi-Bull, snippets of strange but possibly true items will be an occasionally recurring theme here at EASAS - a news item that might be fact, or might be fiction.

There's a group of teens in Toledo, Spain who have been using chili powder as a controlled substance.

One ended up in the Emergency Room with a severe hemorrhage. Four others are at risk.

It seems they were repeatedly sniffing the chili powder, causing bouts of sneezing that would last an hour or more. Apparently this results in quite a high of euphoria and dancing colors.

Real or Fake? (Check the 'comments' section for the answer)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Credi-Bull Central

Credi-Bull - a news item that might be fact, or might be fiction.

When playing, please avoid definitive answers like "I know this is true, I saw it on the news last night." Instead, couch your vote as a "guess" - this will help ensure that everyone gets an unbiased chance to play!

Click on a link below to read the past stories you may have missed.

Credi-Bull # 14
Was there a Mommy robot named M.A.R.Y. at the 2006 World's Fair and Expo?

Credi-Bull # 13
Is Ubisoft working on a haunted Hotel California game?
Credi-Bull # 12
Does Disney now require its female stars to sign lifetime anti-nudity contracts?

Credi-Bull # 11
Does America's Funniest Home Videos ask for its money back after a member of a winning family dies?

Credi-Bull # 10
Did Paddy Bates invade a derelict sea fort and proclaim himself ruler of Sealand?

Credi-Bull # 9
Is a cult deprogrammer charged with programming college students?
Credi-Bull # 8
Is a Russian Orthodox Church faction is working to canonize "Mad Monk" Rasputin?

Credi-Bull # 7
Have British alchemists developed explosive printer ink?
Credi-Bull # 6
Does Smokey Robinson offer his own line of soulful and delicious food products?

Credi-Bull # 5
Can Sunlight be used to treat some types of congenital blindness?

Credi-Bull # 4
Did the Sci-Fi Channel announce a new series - 'Shakespeare in New York'?

Credi-Bull # 3
Does sleep science data indicate a tie between birth time and optimum waking time?

Credi-Bull # 2
Did a man attempt to rob a bank with a bomb in his mouth?

Credi-Bull # 1
Did a group of teens in Spain use chili powder as a drug?

iHouse: Download Martha Stewart's 'Colonial Comfort 2B' for only $99,999!!

Special 3D printers can build solid, real-life objects from computer-generated designs. These printers have been around for a few years now. They lay down hundreds or thousands of very thin layers, which ultimately add up to the finished model.

One day, we'll have devices like this in our homes, to create small and simple everyday objects. Or not-so small and simple objects.

Clothing would be great, especially if it were recyclable. I can foresee a day when even electronic items could be fabricated at home. I can also imagine the day when it's time to build your new house.

The construction company clears the land, builds the foundation, and drives up the behemoth 3D Printer. Like our current printers have separate cartridges for different colors, this house-building printer would have hundreds of different substances available. All the work could be done by the printer.

The framing, the electrical lines, the water pipes, furniture and decor, even functional appliances like a washing machine or a television. Go ahead, tell me it can't be done. But in 60 years, when your great-grandkids are describing how they built their new house, you'll chuckle, nod, and say "Yeah, Etcher was right, that bastard."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Secrets are for Sharing!

Hello Greenville, South Carolina! The highest point in South Carolina, Sassafras Mountain, is nearby in northern part of Greenville County.

(We watched a program this weekend called
Flip That House which filmed in Greenville and we yelled "Hey, we know people there!" It's a very pretty area.


I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist. I assume and hope that there are many things my government has the better judgment not to keep me up-to-date about.

The periodical "How We All Almost Died Last Week When Frank Very Nearly Dropped the Wrong Test Tube" would make for depressing reading. I'd rather not know.

But a friend with inside info described to me recently an interesting factoid about traffic-light sensors.

You know the kind, it's a wire loop under the asphalt - they sense changes in their weak magnetic field - there's either something metal present in the lane, or there's not.

These sensors help optimize the flow of cars - remember in the old days, when traffic-lights were on a timer, and your light would turn red, so the other direction could turn green - but there was no one waiting to go from that direction? Not fun.

It seems the newer sensors being installed in California since February of 2005 have an additional purpose: Specific Vehicle Recognition. It seems that all cars have a unique magnetic signature (even among the same make and model). When you get your car inspected at the DMV, your vehicle's magnetic signature is recorded.

Thereafter, every time you drive over one of these sensors, they know who you are, and comparing time-stamps at each successive intersection, they know how fast you are going.

Speeding tickets for everyone! On Wednesday the ninth, you were going 37 in a 35 zone. That'll be $8.50 per mph over, thank you. (This hasn't started happening yet, but if/when it does, I will not be surprised).

If this means that fugitives can be tracked down quicker, I'm fine with it.

Some people might cry about their privacy being invaded, but if The Man wants to know that I stopped at Krispie Kreme on the way home from work on Tuesday, that's fine with me.

It would also mean that The Man would know that Mr. Bad McDude spends a lot of time trolling around elementary schools. Let's pay him a visit from a polite investigator. Sounds good to me.

This sensor thing is probably BS, but if it's not real, it should be.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Horror!

Hello Perth, Australia! How's tricks? Perth is home to the oldest still-operating mint in Australia.


I'm locked into my own point of view. Logically, I know I'm right, but philosophically, I'm open-minded enough to grudgingly allow that it's up to the individual.

I'm talking about flip-flops. Not sandals, don't misunderstand. At least sandals have some strappy elements that keep them on your feet.

My roommate and I were discussing this weekend the fact that she found the car wash/gas station very slippery, and that they needed to put up a sign. (ahem - notice! water may be wet!)

Me: "Were you wearing your 5-year-old treadless flip-flops?"

Her: "Yeah, so?"

Me: "So maybe you want something with some tread on them. And you know, some toe protection.

Her: (easy breezy covergirl) "I go everywhere in my flip flops."

Me: (horrified) "I know."

She moved into our apartment recently in flip flops. On moving day, her shoe of choice was: floppy non shoes. Me, I'd wear steel toed boots. And do.

Me: "If you slipped and fell at the gas station in your flip-flops, and I was a lawyer, and you came to me wanting to sue Exxon, I'd tell you to get the hell out of my office."

Her: "Hmph."

Trouble is, my nominally logical better half actually AGREED with Flip-Flop Girl.


Perhaps I'm biased against them unfairly... I grew up in cold, rainy, icy, snowy places where a wetsuit would not be unwelcome 7 months out of the year. Perhaps you have to grow up in hot climates, and grow up wearing flip flops.

To me, flip-flops are transitional wet-dry footwear. You wear them at the pool, so you don't abrade your feet, and so your good shoes don't get wet and ruined. Or at the gym, from the locker room bench to the shower and back. Total flip-floppery - about five minutes a day max.

It seems I am alone in my view of flip-flops. I know this is California, but damn, people. I was in an elevator yesterday with a very well dressed guy, expensive dress shirt, slacks, briefcase, and FLIP-FLOPS!

People here wear them everywhere - work, restaurants, the mall, on airplanes, and everywhere in-between. How? Why? You can't walk quietly, you can't walk quickly, and god forbid you should have to run.

Don't they stub their toes? Hurt their heels? Don't their feet get cold? Why, Lord? Why?

Monday, September 19, 2005

All the things she said, runnin' through my head

Hello to our readers in Appleton, Wisconsin - childhood home of Harry Houdini!


(Our readers? Mike, do you have a little friend I should know about?) No, I just thought 'our' sounded better. And - you know, includes all the personalities. (Just how many are there?) Seven, at last count. Most of them are friendly, it's all good.



I had this idea years ago, but it came back to me last night, and I think now is the time to unleash it upon the world.

It's a product, mostly for teens, with the just right mix of appeal - active defiance for the kids and opposition from the parents.

It's a hickey stencil. It's a sticker applied to the skin at the desired location. Your sweetheart then applies the necessary suction. Peel off the stencil sticker, and voila, a temporary tattoo without the ink. The only color would be red, of course...

Although, 'Hickey Stencil' is a pretty dull name. Need to punch it up a bit... Love Tattoo? wait, wait -

Luv Tattoo X!!, YEAH.

Some other names might be better... Crush Medal, Skin Valentine, Flesh Note, Lust Scar, Lick Letter... Hmn, these are all pretty bad names.

Once Luv Tattoos were released, I could expect parental groups to rise up in alarm and give me lots of publicity, news spots, and etc. Yes thank you!

I can foresee kids wearing any conceivable image: their sweetie's initials, band logos, sports logos, political messages, school mascots, leopard spots and yes, curse words. Soon kids can and will be suspended for a week thanks to The EtchCo Luv Tattoo.

I'd be so proud.

Undercover marketing! Cute young things being paid by alcohol and tobacco companies to be seen out in public sporting the newest slogan for their latest designer drugs.

Of course, some kids would overdo and end up with permanent hickey tattoos, and spend the rest of their lives advertising their love for Ol' Dirty Bastard. Possibly cute when you're sixteen, kind of a problem at a job interview, age 35.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Expect the Un-Inspected

Today's shout-out is for the reader-homies in Miami, Florida! I have family in Hollywood, Florida, right next door.


I've invented a new job! It's an 'Expectation Consultant'.

It's a business-to-business service for companies that deal with customers, clients and vendors in person. The Expectation Consultant comes by to view your sales floor or office and creates a report.

We all have expectations when visiting a place of business. What's important is to address the needs of the customers and patrons, and speak to their wants and preconceptions.

A legal firm should be prim but modern, organized but creative. Everything should reinforce credibility and competence.

A television studio's office should be high tech and slick. Flat screen monitors, dynamic color, an artistic collage of their popular characters.

The office of the auto mechanic should be clean and modern, many informative charts listing services and up-to-date prices, perhaps displaying a series of model cars with cutaway views of engines, transmissions, and other components - for decoration and also demonstration purposes.

Hundreds of elements would be considered, from dress code, to color scheme, furniture, software and technology.

If it's 2005, you should not walk by a PC and see 'Windows 98' booting up. If a business is so behind on their operating system, how up to date are they with virus protection and data backup? Security? Yes, one of your applications might require Win98, but if so, make sure the customer does not see it.

Sometimes you need someone else to come through and tell you - hey, these stacks of boxes by the front door look really sloppy, Yes I'd like a bottled water, but not from your fungus-ridden fridge, good grief - these conference room chairs are falling apart, and for god's sake Windex the thousands of fingerprints from the projection screen before you give a PowerPoint presentation to a perspective client who's considering giving you thousands or millions of dollars.

An office can slowly deteriorate over a period of years, and the people working there might not have the perspective to recognize the issues. In the end, it's all common-sense information, but many people seem more than willing to pay for common sense. An Expectation Consultant is not exactly a new thing, but a different twist on Interior Designer.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Victimize Us! A Car Billboard

A shout-out to our readers in da Bronx, New York! How's it going? Nice to have ya's!


Family pride is a great thing. If you're one of those gregarious, social, outgoing families that just LOVE to entertain, attend sporting events and church, volunteer at the homeless shelter, way to go.

Seriously, you guys rock. Everyone should be like you. What you're doing, that's what truly civilized people do. It's what I should be doing. I've always wanted to volunteer and help adults learn to read. Never got around to it.

Family pride! It's a beautiful thing, but it can lead to problems if you're too gullible, like so:

I'm sure you're all seen such cute stick-figure families, little custom decals applied to the back window of your friendly neighborhood mini-van or SUV.

We warn our children about strangers and smoking and drinking and drugs and a million other things. We want them to be safe. Allow me to clue you in: placing a billboard announcing your names to the world undermines your safety. The stick figures are cute, but leave off the names!

This scenario takes place with the wife, but a scam of misused information could just as easily occur with any of the family members...

Imagine you are Mary Anderson, wife to Bob and Mom to Brad and Lisa. The minivan is parked in the driveway. You're in the kitchen, tapping a questionably-ripe cantaloupe just so, listening for that just-right-sound that says "I'm Nummy!"

The house phone rings.

Mary: "Hello."

Woman's voice: "Mrs. Anderson? This is Mrs. Connors - I'm calling from Eastwood Elementary School. Brad and Lisa are not in class today, and we wondered if they will ill."

Mary: "What? No, I dropped them off myself."

Woman's voice: "Perhaps they decided to play hooky today?"

The doorbell rings.

Mary: "I have to go, thank you for calling."

Mary opens the door.

A crisp man dressed in a business suit waits on the stoop.

Man: "Mrs. Anderson?"

"Er - yes?" Mary stammers.

"I'm John Marconi. We need to talk about your husband, Bob."

"Bob? What is it?" Mary asks, alarmed.

"He has, shall we say, got himself into some trouble with my associates."


"Bob has been spending beyond his means at our poker games. He owes us five thousand dollars. He claims he can't pay."

"What? Bob doesn't even know how to play poker!"

John smiles grimly. "We agree." He clears his throat. "As we have been waiting for our money for three months, the time has come for action."

Mary's eyes go wide and a horrible ding! goes off in her head.

"Brad and Lisa!"

"I'm afraid so, Mrs. Anderson."

"Where are they?"

"They're safe, for now. You and I have one hour to collect the five thousand dollars. How much do you have in the bank? The remainder will have to come out of your house - computer, HDTV, anything of value."

"I've got to call Bob."

"You won't call anyone, if you want your children returned safely. Let's go."

In reality, Brad and Lisa are safely at school, and Bob has never played poker in his life. Don't make it easy for people to victimize you - it's already easy enough.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Yes Virginia, there IS a Snuggle Bear

As consumers and users of products, we're jaded. We dismiss the wild claims of advertising. Everything is NEW and AMAZING high tech magic. Yeah, sure...

Instead, everything works decently, and most products function about as well as their competitors. Tide works about as well as Cheer. Soap is soap, one sponge is fairly the same as another sponge. (Unless you're talking about
Mr. Clean Magic Wall Erasers, which are freaking amazing).

I ignore instruction labels for the most part, and follow my own judgement regarding quantity. I can't remember the last time I actually followed the instructions on a microwave dinner -

Do they actually expect me to cook on 50% power for nine minutes, stir the creamed corn, and then 78% power for another nine minutes? Come on now. Four minutes on high, and all is well.

Pills? Only two ibuprofen? Surely three will be better. I'm in pain, here. Two pills. Come on.

I had a laundry disaster last night, and it's my own fault.

Partly I blame the various companies, who release one bland and homogeneous product after another. I'd been lulled into thinking that the products I was dealing with were weak, watery substances that required no respect.

It was the fabric softener what done it.

Since we don't have a washer and dryer in our apartment, I don't wash my gym clothes every day. I go 5 times a week, and I have 5 separate gym outfits. Once used, I store them in vacuum sealed bags until laundry day.

We went out of town, and some of these bags had been sitting around for two weeks by the time I opened them up last night to be washed. The funk of death and malevolent bacterium issued forth from the bags like a peeved djinn.

Cindy ran in from two rooms away, a bawdy WTF on her lips, concerned that I was covertly and thoroughly gangrenous.

"Not me, it's the clothes." In Biblical times, they would have burned them in a funeral pyre, exorcised the ashes, and been done with it. Not me, I have technology, bitches!

When I put my gym clothes in the washer, I plopped in a couple of Downy Balls, which release fabric softener during the rinse cycle.

Softener to me always seemed only about fragrance. Sure, it's called 'softener', but my clothes don't feel especially soft. Since my clothes were extra funky, they could use some extra fragrance. I overfilled the Downy Balls.

And for good measure, I poured about a cup of softener into the wash, on top of the soap, for each washer. April Fresh, baby!

Wait thirty minutes... Open washers... Despair.

You see, Softener... REALLY DOES soften. The one pair of high tech socks I'd bought at REI practically dissolved, shedding little brackish chunks all over the clothes. One new workout shirt was frayed and ragged. One once-blue shirt was now purple. Another shirt had a weird tye-dyed appearance, a wide streak bleached of its color.

I threw the stuff in the dryer. It came out the softest I've ever felt any fabric in my life. Working out this morning, I was like "Damn, these clothes are soft." Egyptian Cotton, puh-lease and as-if. We've overdosed on April Freshness, and the rest of our short life will be hot hot hot.

Mmmn, nice. Aww yeah baby, Daddy likes.

Drying myself this morning with one of the towels, I enjoyed the experience more than is probably legal. Those scenes of people on XTC, where they enjoy tactile experiences far too much - it was like that. The towel was fucking soft. The towel was high on life.

Its lifespan has probably been halved, but let me tell you, this morning THAT TOWEL LIVED. And I have four more just like it. I will require a vault and a team of eunuchs to guard them.

Moral of the story: Follow the directions. These bland everyday products are actually pretty strong stuff.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Woulda Worked on Neo, too.

I'll be teaching a course this Fall, Humanities 2117, or
ROTJ: How Vader and the Emperor Fucked Up.

It's all about the approach.

In Return of the Jedi, Luke turns himself in to Empire forces because he's still not very good at shielding his mind from the enemy, and doesn't want to jeopardize the mission.

Vader delivers Luke to the Emperor, a frail, undead looking dude sitting on a throne in a cold empty room. Probably smells of Ben Gay, Old Spice, and fermented urine.

Emperor: "Hey, how about you be Evil with us?"

Luke: "Nah."

Emperor: "I'll kill your friends. Come on, be Evil."

Luke: "Nah."

You can see that the Emperor's approach was doomed from the start. Unlike the manipulation of Anakin over years, they find Luke one day and just start poking him with the 'Evil' stick.

Emperor: (whining) Commme Onnn! Be EEEvil!

Luke: (like, as if) "Um, no."

Cause, you know, killing your pals and becoming shriveled and undead (or hey, have most of your pieces replaced with bionic components) chilling alone in a cold dark smelly room is not very enticing.

Let's see what happens if the approach is adjusted. Let's romance Luke into appreciating The Dark Side.

The door to the throne room opens, and a warm and fragrant breeze wafts by. Luke is greeted at the door by two very sexy girls in floral print sarongs, and they take him arm-in-arm into the room.

They smell amazing, by the way.

They compliment his lightsaber. "Will you teach me how sometime, tee hee?"

The room is well-lit, built of a rosy marble adorned with bright banners. Children scamper and play in a nearby fountain that sprays up from the floor at entertaining intervals. A cheerful looking old man improvises brilliantly with a guitar.

We find the Emperor (call me Marty) in a striped pavilion tent, sitting on cushions on the floor. The girls begin to massage Luke as a third girl offers him a pita and some hummus.

The Emperor is an athletic man in his fifties, wearing a t-shirt and khaki shorts. He takes a long draw from a water pipe and lets it out in a long exhalation. He passes the pipe to Vader, who pops the helmet off to reveal a stunning woman in her 40's.

Luke: "Mom?"

Vader: "Hi Dear. Take a hit of this shit, it's amazing."

Luke is already feeling the contact buzz just being in the room.

Marty: "Now Luke, we need to talk. The Empire does a lot of good. Schools. Medicine. Women driving landspeeders. We abolished slavery on Tatooine. We're progressive. We're getting a bad rap. We need your help to turn that around."

I think this approach is a lot more likely to be effective. Romance your way in.

The US has a lot to learn about this.

US: (whining) Commme Onnn! Be Democratic!

Monday, September 12, 2005


Busy working, of all things.

I'll post later - I haven't forgotten you!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Dancin, Woo! Dancin, Woo! Dance the night away!

I haven't listened to Dead Can Dance for a while, but I discovered this morning that they will be performing at The Hollywood Bowl on Sept 25, and I was very happy.

I'm no more current with music than I am with TV shows - (I have one more DVD to watch and I'm done with 24 Season 1) so it's rare when a group I enjoy actually tours.

I usually discover a group that recently broke up or crashed their private plane into a mountain. Dead Can Dance had stopped touring as a group to work solo projects.

Dead Can Dance makes beautiful music and an odd mixture of lyrics. Some of the lyrics are in English, and the rest is - how to say it - 'Emotica', I suppose. It's more 'sounds' than words.

What's interesting to me is that the sounds are the same every time the song is performed. They're not just skatting random sounds, they're performing in their own personal languages.

The fact that I can't understand these languages might make me enjoy a song more - there's no rhyme-scheme for me to pick apart, no double-entendre's to mull and consider, it's as if the voice component is simply another instrument for them.

I wonder if a similar approach could be used in writing. Short of using sounds, perhaps descriptions of the ping received from each line of the story...

Attention grabbing intro. Cleverly redirected - the first line didn't mean quite what you thought. Enticed to read on.

Obscure reference to a rare literary work. Smug satisfaction as you realize you are one of the few people to 'get' that reference. Respect for writer goes up a smidgen, half for the reference, and half because it feels like a pat on the back for you.

Unexpected emotional revelation about childhood trauma. You identify with the writer, and acknowledge how hard such admissions are. Never told anyone. Suffering.

Deep exhalation. Knowing pain. The taste of truth is rare and right and welcome and you feel justified in your own sorrow.

Sanguine, maudlin. Joke! Hilarious ray of light! The warming bite of Scotch. Sorry. Sad. Sad.

Sad. Frustration. Long-burning guilt and outrage. Motivation, Need. Proud-doubt. Vengeance. Loneliness.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

When Names Become Verbs


The blank screen and taunting cursor... Um. Taunt me.

Unlike bicycling, it seems - you can forget how to blog. Yep, it's been almost a week since my last real post, those little short ones don't count.

I'm toying with blog concepts, and nothing seems worthy. What I have forgotten is the fact that no topic is unworthy, it's all just babbling.

(Speaking for my own blog, of course - not yours).

I was reading this morning about how the Katrina refugees are basically being held captive - yes, for their safety and others, but damn - and the horrible things that went on in the Superdome, I shudder to think that I might be in the same situation some day. No matter where you live, a natural disaster can come along and wipe you out.

The immense scope of the disaster means that our standard rescue and processing ability is snafu'ed, and knowing what I now know, I might well avoid being rescued and processed if it means I'd be separated from my loved ones and all of us shipped off to different states, and my kids raped on their way to the bathroom.

I don't blame any specific people or groups for our unpreparedness - it seems to require a horrible incident to justify the immense budgets that FEMA and other orginizations would need to cope with a disaster on this scale, in a timely manner.

A year ago, I started stockpiling some survival gear, a little bit at a time, and then forgot about it half way through. Survival gear is expensive! It takes up a lot of room, and you rarely or never will use it, if you're lucky.

We'll be moving to Hurricane Alley next year, which doesn't sound appealing, but we'll be leaving Earthquake Land behind, and as Cindy is so fond of reminding me, "At least you have warning for a hurricane".

I will definitely use this most recent disaster as a kick in the butt to get our survival stash up to date. Inflatable raft included.

Gotta remember the anti-rescue camouflage as part of the kit.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fun Trip!

Usually we don't do anything special over a holiday weekend (or any weekend - Friday nights are all about laundry), but this Labor Day we did the 1940's cliche road trip, Niagara Falls.

It was grand and huge and amazing, and we had a four hour road trip with the family from Ohio which passed peacefully, and with lots of tasty snackage.

Still pictures can't do The Falls justice, but I'll post a couple soon.

Friday, September 02, 2005


In foot traffic, naked people have the right of way.

People rarely use the word 'onus' in a conversation, and when they do it sounds odd.

Water almost never tastes like nothing.

The letter 'a' can act as a (casual) contraction. You can say - "it's going to be hard..." and - "it's gonna be hard..." But not "it's going be hard..."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Change My Pitch Up, Bling My Pod Up

We're flying to Ohio to visit my folks this weekend, which means another exciting aircraft adventure for me and The Missus.

And there will be no
Song this time, much to our chagrin. We're actually bemoaning the lack of Song like we have never bemoaned before. Song rocks the casbah, which we've rambled on about at length after past flights.

Since we're not social with strangers, interaction is a large portion of travel stress. We're not folks who strike up conversations with the people around us, unfortunate though that is.

The whole 'sitting in a cramped chair for hours' theme also grates.

I'm still waiting for the day when we'll sleep in little coffin-like booths during a flight, as seen in
The Fifth Element.

Until then, how about Mike's Travel Pods? If you traveled often, you would own one, and if you traveled rarely, you could rent.

Let's say we own one - A Travel Pod would essentially be an air-conditioned cargo carrier with a very comfortable interior. A bed-like sitting/sleeping surface with nominal essentials: first aid supplies, emergency water, food, air, and parachute.

The fun add-ons would only be limited by how much bling you could afford to have installed in your Travel Pod. DVD Player, video game consoles, PCs, fridge, mini bar, the list is endless.

It's time for a trip: You would call Go Go Travel Podz and they would show up at your house, pick up your Travel Pod with you (perhaps napping?) inside. They take your Pod to the airport. You don't mess with traffic, you don't deal with people and their attitudes.

Your baggage to be checked waits in a mini pod of its own, stowed in the nether regions of the main pod. Robot grabbers process your Travel Pod, grabbing your checked baggage and routing it to your plane.

Your Travel Pod is scanned for security purposes and once cleared is loaded onto the aircraft by other robot handlers - no standing in line. You're watching a DVD and IMing your mother about the weather in Topeka.

Once you arrive at your destination city, you can be delivered to your hotel while still in your Pod, or the airport can store it, clean it and restock the minibar for you during your visit.

There's no reason that Travel Pods should be limited to airplanes. The idea would also work for trains or even cargo trucks.

Can someone get to work on this concept and have it fully implemented by Friday? Yes please, thank you.