Friday, November 28, 2008

Enough Already!

Mom, baseball, apple pie and over-the-top shopping that borders on gladiatorial combat. These are the American way. There is no idea that we as Americans can't take and push way past the limit. And so it is with the desire for a good deal, which has sadly gone way too far. I'm sure you've heard all about the two tragic events that unfolded today. In one, a Wal Mart worker was trampled to death by a surging crowd of people who knocked down the doors in anticipation of the "big deals" they were going to get.

The other big story of Black Friday was the double shooting at the Toys R US in Palm Desert California over some kind of dispute. Three dead on Black Friday, how nice. Maybe it's about time that we all just slow the fuck down and take a breath. Sure we all want to get some hot new toys on the cheep, but it's about time to chill the fuck out. Is that $400 flat screen really that important that you have to push past people, or even walk on top of them to get to it? Never mind the fact that sitting in your car, in front of the door to the place at all hours of the night borders on stalking. Keep in mind we are in the largest economic downturn in 70 years. Put that all together and you have a situation where the people of this country are not only spending themselves into the poor house, but killing one another in the process.

And it's all in the name of the Holiday spirit! God knows you can't just tell someone you love them. You have to quantify that love with a something purchased at a big box store and which was made overseas. God bless the USA...

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And I'm Back!

One thing's for sure, this is a big motherfucking country. That is never more evident then when you have to fly across it in one night, like I did last night, but I'm getting ahead of myself. While my main reason for traveling to Seattle was for work, I also found sometime to see the sights. In fact, one of the people I was in town to see, a 75 year old man, was kind enough to take me to some less often seen Seattle sights. This included the Hiram Chittenden Locks which separate the salt water of Puget Sound from the fresh water of Salmon Bay and Lake Union. While this may sound like a bit of a bore to you, I actually enjoyed it, which says all kinds of things about me.

In addition to the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, the Central Library (pictured above) and the other normal sights, there was one thing I had to see while I was in the area. So, before heading to the airport yesterday I hopped in my rental car and drove down through Tacoma, over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and made my way to Bremerton. My target was the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard which is the penultimate resting place of the ship my father served on in the late 60's, the USS Independence.

The once mighty Indy now sits moored alongside her sisters, The USS Constellation and the USS Ranger, and all three of them are dying a slow death while they await their final fate. My dad always talked very fondly of his time aboard the Indy, and while I was happy to see her once more, I was sad that she is going to either be ripped to pieces for scrap or sunk to form an artificial reef. It had been hoped that she would become a floating museum like my great-uncle's ship, The Intrepid, but no such luck.

After snapping a few photos of Indy and the others, I climbed in the rental and headed to the airport. I don't know what I was thinking traveling in the days leading to Thanksgiving, because the terminal was lousy with homeward heading college students and returning prodigal sons and daughters, all flying home for some turkey and stuffing. My usual travel frustrations were doubled, but all made worth it when my 10 hours of flying and driving lead me back to Inky.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Where's Zamfir When You Need Him?

Last night, after the football game, I was headed back downtown for some post game entertainment. Rather than walk the whole way, I decided to take the monorail to rest my legs. As I bounded down the steps from the station, gazing up at the Space Needle in the late afternoon sun, I became aware of music in the air. Only, this wasn't the rock music that had been playing over the speakers when I had been here earlier to ascend the tower. No, this music was live... and it featured a pan flute.

As I rounded the corner near the tourist trap of a souvenir stand I saw them. As you can see for yourself in my above photo, they were dressed in the native garb of the Peruvian pan flute street band. It's only been a few weeks since I saw the two South Park episodes where the pan flute bands were driven out of the US by a sleeper agent working in the US government to facilitate the over throw of the country by guinea pigs. So, needless to say, my feelings were mixed upon seeing them there, selling their CDs and playing their music.

I was happy that I wouldn't be trampled to death by huge guinea pigs, guinea bears, guinea lions or guinea T-rex's but sad that I had to listen to it. I was also sad to see the little pods of tourists crowded around listening, and indeed even buying CD's, which one would assume they would listen to in their Seattle T-Shirt while using their Space Needle salt and pepper shakers. I'm just glad that South Park taught me how badly needed these under appreciated heroes are, because that is all that stopped me from beating them in to a semiconscious state with my shoe.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Redskins over Seahawks


There were times this afternoon at Quest Feild when I thought I wouldn't end up being very happy with the outcome. In the end Clinton Portis put the team on his back and carried the Skins to a 3 point win over a 2-8 team. Yay!

Any win for an east coast team on the west coast is big, and any win for a visiting team in Quest is bigger. That's because those folks are loud, really loud. I don't know if it has anything to do with how the stadium was designed, but it's loud as fuck in there. It could be that the football loving fans of the State of Washington have saved up all their cheering, since they haven't needed to do much of it for the Cougars and the Huskies, but who knows.

What I did think was kind of lame about Quest is their narking policy. They have a 888 number and a texting address sent up where you can turn in your fellow fan if they don't keep it PG rated during the game:


If anyone was wondering what really lead the Skins to the win, it wasn't their need to keep pace with the Cowgirls, or their desire to end their two game losing streak. No, it was their desire to see the very attractive ends of the Girls at Little Darlings, at 7th and Westlake. How do I know that? Because I've taken the time to do a little investigative journalism and I heard it from the horses mouth... I typed horse, right? At any rate, the the girls were all abuzz about how 13 or 14 of the Skins were in on Saturday night to see some... skin.

All in all, I'd give the game experience here in Seattle an A. It's a good stadium, with very good sight lines, and it is filled to the brim with a ton of loud but friendly fans. If you ever get the chance, you should come see your team play here.

***Note: This post originally appeared on the now defunct blog "Inky and the Sports Guys" and has been imported to TGWOOfY for continuity purposes.***
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Travel Log (huh huh huh, I said log)

Greazy Tony: Blogging from 30,000 feet! OK, so maybe not blogging, more like writing in Microsoft word which I’ll later copy and paste into blogger, that Bill Gates is one smart som’bitch. Anywho, I’m somewhere over Nebraska at moment I’m writing this having just finished watching the movie “Flakes”, with the ridiculously hot Zooey Deschannel, on my laptop. Again, god blesses the good folks at Sony and Netflix who along with Steve Jobs’ iPod make these 11 hour travel days bearable.

I’m kind of getting old hat at this jetsetter thing by now. Once this trip is done, I will have taken off and landed 21 separate times in the calendar year 2008 alone. By the time I get back to York from Seattle I will have logged 76.25 hours in the air alone, which adds up to more than 3 days! Not to mention the many other hours spent driving to and from airports, checking in, clearing security and waiting at the gate. It’s impossible to spend this much time traveling and not hit a few snags, but by in large I normally have a pretty smooth run of it.

Part of the reason for that is that I am not a total dipshit, and I am always prepared. I watch with horror as people try to go through security with a 2 liter sized shampoo bottle or a machete sized fingernail clipper. Just where have these people been the last 7 years? Then there are the fuckwits who can’t figure out the Southwest boarding policy, which I think Inky’s year old baby Ween already has on lockdown.

Today, on my Baltimore to Nashville leg, this douchenozzle gets on in the C boarding group with a number of like C-9. He then proceeds to make a stink when the lady sitting in row 9, seat C wouldn’t “get out of his seat.” Even after the stewardess explained the way it works, he still stood by the row with the look of a pissed off 6 year old who doesn’t get to play his Nintendo DS. Oh yeah, we had one of those too.

Luckily for me, I was in a row of three with only one other person even though the flight was 99% filled. I’d love to claim that was my work of genius but I have to give credit for that luxury to the guy who joined me. I sat in the window seat and he took the isle and we were pretty sure no one would want the middle. I’m 6’1’ 275, and this guy made me look tiny. I swore that had to be his name, or Butch, Dutch or some set of initials that ends with a J, As it turns out his name was Albert and he is a machine press operator in Nashville who turned out to be a heck of a nice guy. Unlike most of my trips, I actually told him what I really do for a living and my real name, which I figured I owed him for coming up with the “middle seat deterrent” of two big fat guys sitting together. I wish XL and I had thought of that back in August.

The flight from Nashville to Seattle is only about 70% full, and I intended on using yet another travel plan to be sure I had, at the very least, an empty middle seat. This one is the “big guy with a sleeve of tattoos in a short sleeve shirt” which was going swimmingly until the old people who were holding our flight up came on board and showed a surprising lack of predigest when they plopped down right next to me. I guess I should have snarled at them or something, since a facial expressions can really get a message across. I found that out about four minutes later when, after looking over my shoulder at all the rows in the back that only had one person in them I considered making a move.

I guess I looked pissed, not that Frank and Ethel noticed, but the stewardess did, and said to the ancient couple that if they’d like a row to themselves she’d be happy to ask two of the people in the back who had their own row if they could pair up. The moved back, an just before take off the attendant came back and put her hand on my shoulder and said “enjoy the extra room; I just didn’t think it was fare that you should have to be the only person on the flight dealing with a full row.” Short of a neck rub, a bed to lay in and/or a blow job it was about the nicest thing a member of the flight crew could ever do for a person.

So here I am, all alone in my row, drink and snacks on the tray table next to me, lap top in front of me, and my iPod blasting the song “Hey Ma” by James into my ears, but with miles to go before I sleep.

P.S. I don't ever want to be on a plane that long ever again, unless it is taking me to Hawaii or Australia! By the time I landed, got my car, drove to the hotel and checked in it was midnight back on the east coast. Plus, I haven't had a bite to eat (excepting the snacks on the second flight) since I had lunch with Inky before noon.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

What the Fuck?

Ok, sure, we weren't expecting a snow storm today. And sure, the Department of Transportation probably wasn't ready for it, but come the fuck on. It took me twice as long to drive home from work tonight because stupid ass motherfuckers don't know how to drive when it's icy. There were tons of accidents tonight, and traffic was an unimaginable. It was nothing but lines of cars as far as the eye could see on each main road. Car after car of people queued up and all because someone in a SUV thinks they're indestructible and they try to do 75 on an ice rink.

Forget planes flying into towers and dirty bombs. If al-Qaeda wants to bring America to it's knees all it needs is a water truck in winter. Just drive up and down America's highways and coat the road in water, then let it freeze. Life as we know it would grind to a halt. We'd surrender to Bin Laden and all be speaking Arabic.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

What to Do In the Pacific Northwest?

My work will be taking me to the Emerald City of Seattle in the next few days, and while I have pretty full few days, i hate to go to a city I've never been to before and miss out. So, what should I do in Seattle? I'm staying a few blocks from the Space Needle so I'll be sure to check that out. I'm sure I'll also jump on the monorail and see Westlake Center and the Experience Music Project, but those are obvious. I'm looking for local flair.

I should get a good amount of local color when I go see my Washington Redskins take on the hometown Seahawks on Sunday evening, but a football game is the same just about anywhere. I want to know about little record shops, non-chain eateries and cool markets. So if you have been to Seattle and you have sugestions, let me know. If not, I'll do some exploring and get back to you with what I think is hot. One thing's for sure, thanks to Pepperidge Farms, I won't be coming home with 20 packs of Tim Tams from the Aussie shops there, like I thought I would have to.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

If You Believe it, It Can Happen

I've never been one of those people that believes in "the power of positive thinking", "the guiding hand of the universe" or karma, but I might have to change my mind. Little did I know that since Inky and I returned from Australia the heros at Pepperidge Farm were hard at working bringing one of our favorite Aussie treats stateside. That's right people: the Tim Tam is now on sale in America. It was just about a week ago that Hugh Jackmann gave a pack of cookies to everyone in Oprah's audience, and now, here they are on the shelves of Target. (I'm sure that Jackmann's giveaway and the American debut of the Tim Tam happening at around the same time are pure coincidence)

In the end, I don't care how or why it has happened, just that it is reality. Sadly, the Cookies are only on Target's shelves until March, as a trial to see if Pepperidge Farm wants to keep delivering them in the future. So each of you have to go out and buy them by the arm fulls this holiday season. Stuff every stocking with them, take them and leave them in the break room at work, and hoard them as if they will be our new currency once the economy collapses.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mother Fuckin' Hell Fuck Yeah!



I'll admit it. I am a huge, unrepentant Star Trek fan and I always have been. While all my other friends growing up were way more into Star Wars, I have always been a Trek devotee. That's not to say that I am in any way a Trekker or Trekkie, but I do love the moves and TV shows, and it's been far too long since we've had a new instalment. That changes May 8, 2009. I'm so there, I'm already in line. (if you aren't digging the quality of this embedded video, or if it's been pulled off youtube, here is the link to the movie's website.)
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Song Spotlight: Anna is a Stool Pigeon


One of the things I love most about music is it's ability to tell a story. These storeys can be tales of love and loss, or of deep seeded desire. They can be epic tales of huge things done by otherwise unlikely people, or horrifying tales of despicable things perpetrated against the possibly innocent. No one does these types of songs better than Bob Dylan, and sadly, few, if any, try to write them in this day and age. That's why I haven't been able to stop listening to Tom Gabel's new song "Anna is a Stool Pigeon" which tells the tale of Eric McDavid, a left wing fanatic who was brought down by an FBI informant codenamed Anna.

From all I've read, I would have to think that Eric and his band of anarchists were well on their way to doing something that would have landed them in jail all on their own. However, the FBI decided to speed up the process by sending in this Anna, a 20 year old bent on bringing down some hippies. I don't support the methods that ultra left-wing groups use to make their points, but I sure don't support the kind of overreaching that has the FBI send a cute little girl in to fund, supply and all but lead one of the aforementioned groups. It's entrapment pure and simple, and it goes against everything the ultra right-wingers who led this charge say they stand for.

But that's all for you to sort out in your own mind and make your own decisions about. Tom Gabel did his part by writing the song, to get the story out there just like Dylan did with "Hurricane" or Paul Kelly did with "From Little Things, Big Things Grow." Here are the lyrics:

Eric, Ren and Jensen were activists
Heads loaded with theory, their hearts are filled with passion
Shared the same left wing politics
Liked the same music, they were part of the protest movement
Now, Anna presented herself as a feminist
Studied the way they talked and dressed
Fashioned herself an anarchist
Eric fell in love with Anna at the meeting of the CrimethInc. conference
He didn't know it but Anna was an FBI informant

Eric fell in love with an FBI informant
Shared his dreams of revolution
Now he's sitting in solitary confinement
Be careful what you think
Be careful what you say
It might be used against you in court one day
Well Anna thinks she's a hawk
She's just a fucking snitch

The headlines called them the believers
Comparisons were made to a terrorist organization
Well Anna had the car, Anna paid the rent
Anna helped find the recipe to make the explosives
She encouraged her friends to follow through with their plans
They were gonna build a bomb and blow up the Nimbus Dam
Their conversations were being recorded
They didn't know it but Anna was an FBI informant

Eric fell in love with an FBI informant
Shared his dreams of revolution
Now he's sitting in solitary confinement
Be careful what you think
Be careful what you say
It might be used against you in court one day
Well Anna thinks she's a hawk
She's just a fucking snitch

Black suburbans and AR-15 rifles
Agents made their arrests in a K-Mart parking lot
Caught with the supplies for the bomb in hand
The three were charged with conspiracy against the government
Ren and Jensen traded testimony in exchange for leniency
Eric was sentenced to twenty years in the penitentiary
Eric, Ren and Jensen were activists
They didn't know it but Anna was an FBI informant

Eric fell in love with an FBI informant
Shared his dreams of revolution
Now he's sitting in solitary confinement
Be careful what you think
Be careful what you say
It might be used against you in court one day
Well Anna thinks she's a hawk
She's just a fucking snitch
_

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yuck. I'll Have the Crab Juice!

I popped into our local convenience store to pick up some milk last night, and I made a common mistake. Our supermarket and the convenience chain both use different cap colors to differentiate between types of milk, and I accidentally grabbed skim milk, and boy... does that stuff suck. I think I'd rather drink rancid yak piss before I ever put that garbage in my mouth again.

It is so thin that it doesn't even look like milk, let alone taste the same. Even 2% tastes a bit milky, but Skim tastes an awful lot like I would imagine a shot of milk in a glass of cold water would taste. I find it offensive in every way that one can find a thing offensive. If we hadn't phased out that retarded threat level color scale, I'd say that we should replace the top, most dangerous threat with very light white. I'm pretty sure there are starving people in Africa that would spit this crap out, and then use it to water their crop.

I have no other, more salient point here, other than to say: I am down right offended by the existence of skim milk. Just knowing that there are parents giving this to their kids all over the world makes me sad, in a way that only the words "President Palin" could replicate. In fact, I now decree that the term "skim milk" shall now be used whenever refereeing to something as the cheep knockoff version of something good. I used to use GoBots as my go to term for a low quality substitute, but now: Skim milk.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Told You So

Never let it be said that the Greazy one doesn't know his stuff. Yesterday I watched an hour and a half of TV that had many TGWOOfY themes running through it. First up was Oprah, and before you even start, I had a good reason to watch. The whole show was focused on Baz Luhrmann's upcoming movie: "Australia" which hits theaters on Thanksgiving. The main actors in the movie are Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman but the star of the movie is the wild, and untamed Aussie outback.

I am certainly not the only person who's ever been the the Outback and blogged about how amazing it is, but that wasn't the only connection the the show yesterday. Jackman apparently wasn't content with driving the women in the audience crazy with the scene from the movie where he pours a tub of water over his shirtless body. No, he took it a step further... by bringing Tim Tams... for the whole audience. I've gone on and on about the genius that is the Tim Tam, and I've even got my best friend hooked, but now they have the Oprah bump. I would have to think that they are now going to start showing up everywhere, and I don't know how to feel about that. I'm going to Seattle in a few weeks, and I would hate it if there was a run on the Aussie bars and markets in the Emerald City before I get there. If I come home Tim Tamless, Oprah and Hugh have earned my wrath.

Later in the evening, Inky and I watched one of our favorite shows: How I Met Your Mother, and once again there was a Greazyesque theme. Last May, I declared that from that point on, the Friday before Mother's and Father's day would be known as "Not-a-Mother's" and "Not-a-Father's day" and in doing so, I set forth some tough, but fair rules for there observance. Low and behold, last night Barney starts his own Not-a-father's day! I'm not accusing the HIMYM team of stealing from me or anything, since I know there are like 11 people who look at this blog, all I'm saying is: Great minds think alike.

That's right, Me, Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. We're all the same. The only thing that separates us is: fame, looks, money, advantage, opportunity, money, rock hard abs, world wide acclaim and money.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

CNN is Wrong Again.

I am far too busy to be bothered with reading whole articles on websites these days, so I am forced to draw an inference from the title and just go with it. It's not like I don't have reason to skip reading the article, because the socialist-liberal media just seams to get it wrong most of the time. What they report so often flies in the face of what we know to be true.

Their most recent transgression is this headline on CNN.com that says "Bush popularity rating is lowest in history" which most of us in the know can tell you just isn't true. I'm not saying that bush is as popular as it was in the 70's, because that's not so, but there has been a resurgence in bush in the last few years. It was at an all time low starting around 2001 or so, when you just didn't see it anymore, but as with all trends, people will try to be different, and so it ends up reversing itself.

Whereas three or four years ago you would have been hard pressed to find one wisp of pubic hair in an adult magazine or movie, let alone in person at a strip club, now there is a glut. Things got so fake, and standardized in the mid '00's that every girl was shaved, with 8 or 9 tattoos and big, fake tits. Now, there is a move back to what can best be described as natural. Mostly gone are the tat's and fake ta-tas while bush is back.

Since I am nothing if not a vigilant reporter, I observed the trend with my own eyes a few week ago. I had some time to kill, and so I stopped into a gentleman's club. I was shocked to find that 100% of the dancers were sporting full bush! Since then I have become aware of Sasha Grey, who is a burgeoning adult star, who also favors the natural look.

It just goes to show you that things change at a breakneck pace in this country, and that the media just can't be counted on to get it right!

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Friday, November 07, 2008

The Bathroom Sink Makes You Look Foolish

Yes, I am posting once again about something bathroom related, and yes, I am doing so one day after musing about the greatness of our nation upon electing Barack Obama. Sue me. I'm a multifaceted guy who has a lot on his mind. Just like my last men's room related post, this is about situations that are not what they seam, but can lead to embarrassment. Unlike the last one, this is about a situation you can't just walk away from. At least, not without leaving your pants behind, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

When a guy needs to take a leak, we have one of the top 10 greatest inventions of all time to use in order to expedite the process: the urinal. If you chose to step up to this thirsty pee receptacle all you need to do is: unbuckle, unzip, withdraw, aim (kind of), pee, shake and then replace, rezip, and rebuckle. It really couldn't be easier, and it saves the horror of sitting on the seat while thinking about all the other things that have touched it. Face it ladies, you know that you're jealous.

All that said, there are major drawbacks to urinal based pissing. First, there is the unspoken code of the spacer-urinal, which calls upon men to leave one open piss pot between them, kind of like bro-seats at the movie theater. It's one of the million little ways that men will try and prove that they are not gay each and every day. The second issue to be considered during upright tinkling is inadvertent cock spotting, and, it's natural defences. These are the upward gaze, the maximum ten degree head turn and the back away. The first two speak for themselves, but the last is a maneuver where you take two steps backward from the urinal, as to avoid pivoting in place, which of course could lead to cock spotting.

The last issue to be considered at a urinal is splash back. Sometimes when you pee, you do so with such magnificent force that physics insists that some of your waste will bounce so forcefully off the porcelain that it will be able to cover the distance back to your person, or in layman's terms: you get piss on yourself. Then you have to walk around with little stains on your pants that shout to the world: Hey world, this guy is such a fuckwit he can't even keep from peeing on himself.

One tactic to avoid this outcome is to piss on an angle by aiming down and to one of the sides. This should ensure that the splashback doesn't come directly back at you, but it's not 100% effective. Another defence is to flush while you go, which causes the pee to be pulled down with the rushing water. This was a much more plausible game plan back in the day, when each toilet used about 80 gallons of water on each flush. It's a green world now which has lead to low-flow toilets, and this just doesn't work as well as it once did.

Which brings me to my last point... finally. Many "green" bathrooms feature a sink that rations the water out for you, by making you wave your hand under a sensor or press a button. The problem with these is you never know how much water will come out, or with what force, and this can lead to the worst situation of all: false pee spots. It's one thing if you actually inadvertently pee on yourself, and you have to deal with repercussions. It is a whole other thing, however, to turn a sink on, only to get blasted in the crotch with water that will masquerade as piss to anyone who sees you.

When you walk past someone, you try and shield the spot with your hand, but that only serves to make you look like you are grabbing at your junk. That my fly for 6 year olds, but it is frowned upon for 32 year old men who work on a college campus. The only other option would be to hit people with a preemptive strike, a Bush Doctrine if you will, and say "that's not pee by the way. It's water from the sink that splashed up on me when I was washing my hands. See, I'm not a disgusting pig, I wash my hands after I pee, and this it what happens, it makes you look like a disgusting pig..." or something like that.

In the end, the ultimate solution is either A) sit down to pee or B) install a plastic shield, not unlike the sneeze guard on a salad bar to protect us. I'm talking about a guard along the edge of the counter at the sink you understand, to stop the water. I'm not saying that there should be some sort of plastic shield at the urinal itself to protect from splashback. I'm not proposing a gloryhole type set up where you would poke yourself through a hole in the plastic... which would allow you to go with reckless abandon... and no concern for pressure, aim or dripping... wait a second... I think I'm on to something here!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

R.O.I.

Anyone who knows me, or reads this blog would know that I was very happy man at 11:00 on Tuesday night. Barack Obama's win caused a swelling of pride in me that I can scarcely remember. No Olympic moment can compare with the true sense of patriotism that can be engendered when your country does something truly impressive. Don't get me wrong, I always cheer on our athletes at the Olympics, and I can get caught up in the "there's no way that Chinese girl is 16, and our gymnasts got jobbed" kind of patriotism, but this is just different.

Two days ago, our country did something singularly and spectacularly unique in the world. Namely, we practiced what we preach. We proved once and for all, that the United States of America is a place where anything can happen to anyone. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have a net worth less than some secretaries at Microsoft, and yet they worked hard and rose to lead their nation. Obama, who you may have noticed is black, and has a 'funny name', has become the leader of a nation who just a few decades earlier wouldn't have let him drink out of the same drinking fountain as me.

Don't fool yourself America, this couldn't happen anywhere else in the world without it happening here first. England, France, Germany or any of the other EU nations can think what they will of how young a culture we are, but on this, we have already passed them by. Canada and Australia, who are our fellow settler societies, are years away from being lead by a person of color, under any circumstance. What makes our situation all the better, is that we didn't just pick a black President to do so, we picked an eminently qualified man, who just happened to be black.

Most polls say that the vast majority of the youth vote went to Obama, and that among that group, his race was not a factor. On the heals of living live where their favorite actors, musicians and athletes are black, most young people don't even think about it in those terms, and race has become a secondary issue in their minds. While there are still plenty of vile, undereducated and small minded people in this land who will never see past Obama's race (or Biden's Irish Catholic roots) the future of this country just wants some one who can take a reasoned, rational approach to a problem, and who can have an open, honest and eloquent dialog with the world he leads. In Obama, we have all that and more.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Do Your Thing America!

I'm not the first one to say it, and I won't be the last, but, if you don't vote today you have no right to bitch about our country. And I mean that in all form, be it taxes, the war, the economy or any number of social issues. I won't say that the only way to be American is to vote for the candidate that I support, because I would never suppose to be the authority on which party is more American, which, sadly, isn't a point of view shared by one of the political parties this year. That said, there hasn't been an election this important since the era of the Apollo missions. So get off your lazy ass and vote! So let it be blogged, so let it be done!

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sign of the Apocalypse?

The photo you see here is a Golden Orb Weaver spider eating a Chestnut-breasted Mannikin... which is a type of bird. That's right, this is a spider, eating a bird. This kind of reminds me of the scene from Ghost Busters where the team is trying to describe to the Mayor what is in the offing around them:

Peter: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean biblical?
Ray: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Peter: Exactly
Ray: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Egon: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston: The dead rising from the grave!
Peter: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

I'm not sure, but, I think the next line would have been: "spiders eating birds". Its just not a natural progression of things, birds are supposed to eat spiders. I like my steak medium/well, my strippers with natural tits and my Chordates above my arthropods on the food chain. Is that too fucking much to ask? It's hard to think about living in a world where spiders can eat birds, but not too hard to figure out where this paradoxical story comes from... that's right, Australia.

Just west of Cairns Queensland, where Inky and I vacationed a few years ago, an old man with a camera happened upon the sight of this giant spider trapping, paralyzing and gnawing on this bird. Against all odds Les Martin didn't pass out from fear. Nor did he run away, or sit rocking in a corner while crying, as many of us might have. Instead he calmly went about snapping photos of the ungodly act, which have traveled around the world to herald the arrival of the apocalypse.

All I could think about when Inky showed me the link to this story in the Geelong Newspaper, was: thank god that wasn't us. Inky relies on me to to the lion share of the bug killing around our place, and honestly don't know what I would do if confronted with a Golden Orb-weaver. This isn't the type of bug you can get rid of with a few paper towels. You'd have to believe that a sword and shield would be more called for, and perhaps six or seven pairs of shoes. But, those Aussies are tougher then we are, as I've said before, and I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't some kids pet by the end of the week.

Just for fun, here's a way more horrifying shot of the feeding: