Saturday, April 29, 2006

saturday night slights

Heh. "Mission Impossible III" just got its first review.

Heh. So did Bush. Note, please, the difference between that article and this one. I do hope that the free Iraqis had time to watch the show and get a good chuckle or two since most of them are not working at the moment.

"There will be more tough fighting ahead in Iraq and more days of sacrifice and struggle," he [Bush] cautioned. "Yet, the enemies of freedom have suffered a real blow in recent days, and we have taken great strides on the march to victory." Really? What, pray tell, might those great strides be? Another partisan ruling party? The new rumors of partitioning the country into three states which separate the three main ethnic factions?

Love her or hate her, Susan Sarandon has been one of very, very few famous people (um, liberal ones, that is) to stick by her guns since she first strapped them on. Jane Fonda won't even speak out, because she fears she "carries too much baggage from the Vietnam war". For this I applaud Ms. Sarandon.

In the New Yawk Times there is a quick and poorly written editorial about a book recently published, which claims that Saddam's cooperation with the UN concerning weapons inspections actually helped the U.S. solidify its beliefs that Saddam was, in fact, not cooperating. That part I have no problem believing. What isn't written about in this editorial is that the UN inspectors were not kicked out by Saddam prior to our invasion. Rather, they were told to leave by us on the pretext that we were about to start bombing and we couldn't vouch for their safety. They were in Iraq and being given full cooperation by Saddam. No more "escorts", no more written itineraries beforehand. Full and unfettered access. But, if you remember, Bush claimed that they were still being misled and distracted by Saddam and that's why we knew he had WMDs hidden and why he was in violation of various UN sanctions.

As part of its routine Friday night dump (this is the evening which the White House knows is the best time of the weel to issue press statements, because most news agencies are done for the week since no one watches the news on Friday or Saturday and all of it will be old news by Monday) our administration let this SBD out. Now, I don't know that I necessarily have a problem with foreign companies owning American based work. What I find a little disturbing, though, is that (just like the nullified Port Authority deal) this is a British company selling to a Dubai company. What's going on here? Do we own anything anymore? Should we just outsource everything (including the Administration) and take up sportfishing fulltime? I just can't figure this out. I love trade among countries. It's good for competition, which is good for quality, which is good for keeping consumer prices fairly reasonable. But it seems we're no longer trading. We're abdicating. We are watching our job security and our futures being sold off to the highest bidders no matter which country they may live in. So long as it isn't ours. We scream about how migrants and illegal aliens are doing massive damage to medicare and welfare and minimum wages, but we do nothing to stop the outflux of regular jobs to foreign multi-nationals. We claim we don't want them here. They're taking jobs away from decent natural-born Americans. But we sit by and say nothing as our governemnt okays massive selloffs of entire companies and industries to foreign countries. Is it just me or does this balance seem slightly askew?

P.S. Page 54 of GetYourWarOn is up. Some of the sickest comicstrip shit you'll see this side of reality. Check it out, yo.
Plus, the WarNerd is back with a new expose. In case you haven't been reading my posts, he is a native of the 'No and writes for a very unPC Russia-based newszine. Good stuff no matter which side of the fence is rubbin' your crotch the bestest.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Your Kissing Purity Score: 6% Pure

For you, it's all kiss and no talk.

You're in a permanent lip lock.

ah crap.

Two Weeks' Notice

Neil Young's new album is out and he wants all of us to listen to it for free. Go here to check it out.
Chevron Corp.'s first-quarter profit soared 49 percent to $4 billion. Dumbya thinks it's cool. Didn't he claim to be an oilman in the past? Doesn't he still trade Christmas cards with some of them?

So, two weeks' notice was emailed to the boss at 4:45 this afternoon and I am taking my first full weekend off (not counting the Rogue debacle) since, I think, January. Seriously. What am I going to do? Clean, pack, drink, watch sports on tv, read, sleep, nap, watch movies, visit a coffee shop. How did I manage to get the whole weekend off? i made it known that I was not coming in to the office. Those co-workers who had business to give me did so today in order to help in my quest for temporary peace. I'll tell ya, ever since the staff meeting when the boss outed me on a comment I made in a private conversation the field guys have been cool with me. At first, there was a bit of tension, but I guess they figured out that my problem was not with them.
My lab tech is not happy with me, but that's because he knows I have protected him from the boss. And I got him his raise and paid certification testing. And I'm funny when I'm on the job. And I'm leaving. And I'm now Mr. Cellophane. Chicago fans will get that one. Next weekend I will hopefully get to go East and visit with my parents, brother and brother's family, and sister. The weekend after that I will be preparing for transit Southward, doing the Tattoo You and saying goodbye to a couple of workfriends. If I'm really lucky I'll get to spend a little time with my best buddy from my Seattle days. The Tattoo You trip will be fun. I plan on taking the Bremerton ferry over to Seattle, bussing it to the shop, doing the Deed, walking one block to one of my favorite gin joints (the Reading Gaol) and hoisting a Guinness for old time's sake. maybe that old geezer Richard will still be haunting the premises. He and I were comrades-in-arms when the Crossword was out. When I moved from Seattle back South in 2000 he gave me a pair of homemade birdfeeders as a parting gift. Worst. Birdfeeders. Ever. Looked like someone decapitated the Tin Man and hung the head in effigy. But it was a beautiful sentiment. As was the group blowjob I received from the female barstaff.
Okay, I made that last part up.
They took turns.
Okay, I made that up, too.
But I know they wanted to.
Okayyyyy, they didn't want to.
But only because they were all Lesbians.
I'm a Lesbian.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

SWACK! (Sealed With A CrotchKick)

Insider trading, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?:
Since Racicot left the Montana governor’s office,” Corr writes, “he has been on the Burlington Northern Board of Directors where he receives $60,000 annually for those duties. He has also been paid an unknown amount for lobbying by the corporation.” According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Corr writes: “On August 2, 2005, Marc Racicot bought 10,750 shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe stock. The price was $30.00 a share, $322,500 his total cost. Later that day Racicot sold the same 10,750 shares for $594,797 at $55.33 a share. Which means his total profit for this little quickie was $272,297. Certainly that is nice work for a day or less if you can get it.”
An excellent article on how the Montana governor is taking on BNSF with both barrels over its history of creating toxic waste dumps and poisoning the environment. It's also an indictment of the "robber baron" mentality that scholars would have us believe died out decades ago. Maybe it did. Maybe I'm a cynic. Maybe I'm misconstruing "robber baron" with "opportunistic greedbot oil company".

Speaking of oil and the president (weren't we?) I sure hope this quote from Da Man himself is accurate:
"But then he got ahold of himself. "You just got to recognize there are limits to how much corn can be used for ethanol," he said, standing in front of a bucolic mural. "After all, we got to eat some."

As hard as it is for me to believe that this idiot still has a chance to walk free I am nevertheless continually dumbfounded by his complete lack of a grasp on ethics:
"[Enron CEO Kenneth]Lay obtained more than $70 million in loans from Enron throughout 2001 and repaid most with company stock, even as he encouraged employees to buy more shares...
...However, Lay did tell workers less than three months before Enron filed for bankruptcy protection that he had bought stock when, in fact, he had sold more shares than he bought."

So, have any of you ever felt unwanted, ignored, left out to freeze in the freezing cold where it is frozen? Welcome to my world. Though I am still Lab manager in title, I am no longer being consulted on any doings concerning the lab. I spend my days running tests (which is not a bad thing as I derive much joy from this) and waiting for the next decision to be made without my input. Today, my boss walked right past me without even ackowledging me to tell my lab tech that some guys would be coming in to fix the natural gas line to our new oven and what did he think about it. I get my revenge by saving my lunch break for the last hour of the day. And making sure that all tests are finished or taken as far as they can be and still be on time. He looks for weaknesses, I give him none. He attempts to joke with me when we are in front of people, I wait patiently for him to finish and ask if there's anything else he needs. I smile not, I am Le Homme Seriouxe et Professionale. I give my two week notice tomorrow by email at 4:55 PM. Oh yeah. I got a phone call at work today from the former owner of a lab we bought. He gave my name to a competitor that is looking for a Lab Manager. I had to inform him that I was moving. Then, he mentioned a huge month long asphalt job in August and did I think I could take a break from my company and come back up to help him out? 15 minutes later I got a call from the competitor...the owner no less. He didn't even offer an interview. He offered, instead, $50,000 a year, low stress, clerical and client massaging only. In Tacoma. I repeated my basic problem with this to him and got "well, if you change your mind in the next month, just call me. Any time. If I'm not in, tell them who you are and they'll give you my private number". 1 and 1/2 months ago I would have jumped at this. Snapped at it. No question. Not now, unfortunately. But it does tell me that very experienced lab personnel are at an all-time premium. And there's the plain fact: no one but a masochist stays within the lab environment for as long as I have. Lab techs are looked at as performing monkeys. But when one of us sticks it out we become very, very valuable. So, I don't take the offer, but I walk away with a very flattering image of myself. Cool. Nice to know that some people value my abilities. Not my boss, but some people. An hour later, I was asked very seriously by a fellow employee from another office up here what my asking price is to keep me from moving. I couldn't even answer him without laughing. I had to tell him it's not about the money. It's about peace of mind and feeling vital and living somewhere that the arts thrives. And being able to stumble home from the Arts without getting a ticket. I'll take my souvenier with me on may 13th. But when another office is actively seeking to deplete mine of talent it's time for me to go far, far away. My boss may suck, but the bloodletting inter-rivalry warfare that goes on up here is far worse. Plus, my office is only still open for as long as a decent-sized competitor doesn't come chomping along. Sad. The office is run by a man with Small Man's Syndrome and a completely egonormous fear of failure. And his so-called compatriots are just waiting for him to knuckle under. I won't be here for that.
I'll be drinking newcastles at Livingstone's and making a fool of myself at Open Mic.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ohhhh, Jaded Ed. Lookee What I'm About To do Here!

Hmmm. What reason would I have for posting this picture? Jade? Any guesses?

Movin' On

Thanks for the nice words everybody. It seems that I did my grieving when Gramma first collapsed and it was expected that she wouldn't last even as long as she did. Fortunately, she had a chance to regain her senses for a bit and my Aunt Ann had some time in which to talk with her before Gramma faded away.
But enough of that. I think Gramma will forgive me for moving on with my blogging.

Have you heard of these idiots? Evidently, protesting the war isn't enough. These "people" seem to think that protesting at the funerals of slain soldiers is proper etiquette, because (as they put it) the soldiers are fighting for a country that condones homosexuality. I've been aware of this for about a month now. Finally, a governor has passed a law that prevents them from coming any closer than 500 feet of a cemetary funeral. There is also a group of biker vets who station themselves between these freaks and the funeral services in order to deter these slimeballs. Sheesh. Why is it that the radical fundies can't just stay and pull the blinds? Or simply refuse to do business with anyone they don't approve of? Like the crapola headline making over Terri Schiavo and her husband's bid to let her die in peace. Which doctors eventually proved was the right choice once they'd done an autopsy and found that most of her brain was oatmeal. Just like they had said it was all along. Note to self: write note to self about how no one is allowed to circumvent or change personal decisions about how I want to be allowed to die if I ever get to the point that I cannot live without artificial means. But where was I? Oh yes: the morons. God is killing these soldiers, huh? Says who? And why'd God wait so long? There have been Gays in this country since it was founded by our bible-thumping Caucasian ancestors, um, (counting on fingers and toes) a really, really long time ago. Was God saving it all up for one big blow-out KMart special massacre? Or does really care so long as you believe and follow? I wouldn't know. Why do they?

I think we should learn a lesson from some of this. Maybe not all, but definately from the fact that a People can make a difference if it speaks with one voice. While no one People is ever truly without factions and their dissonent demands, great things can happen when communication and cooperation are achieved. Nepal may not stand as is, most likely it won't, but for a moment they can celebrate and bask in the joy of knowing that a loud enough voice can make the mighty quake.

He tried to avoid war with Iraq "diplomatically to the max". Wha...??? And if he had it to do over again, he would. And the Almighty guides his hand in foreign policy. This is the man who helms our ship. This man is a prime example of why some captains were forced to walk the plank. Were he Odysseus he wouldn't have made it past the Sirens. I take that back, he would never have made it past the farewell feast. A forest of arrows would have perforated his heart halfway through his speech. To the max. Jeez, no one even says that anymore. How out of touch can one person be? Not only on the realities of war, foreign policy and running a country, but on street lingo. Is this guy's brain stuck in a formaldahyde jar in some dusty old frat house? Does he think that using the phrase "to the max" makes him sound hip? Or is that the extent of his vocababerry? My goodness. I can't wait to see the presidential library that is created for his notes. It'll make Zoolander's School For Kids Who Can't Read Good seem like the Taj Mahal of literacy.

Former National Security Advisor Zibiga-, Znibre-, Zanibr-, um, let's just call him Chipoodle, warns against attacking Iran without some sort of legal reason and without the consent of Congress. He actually--gasp!-says such an attack would be worthy of impeachment. However, Donald the Duck Rumsfeld is now claiming that attacking Afghanistan and Iraq was part of a larger strategy aimed at curbing Iran's "extreme impulses". Really? Hmmm, don't remember that as a justification during the runup to either one. I remember mushroom cloud, WMDs, links to al-quaeda and 9/11, Valerie Plame, male prostitute posing as a White house reporter, porn actress invited by the White House to a Bush fundraiser, secret detention camps, torture, wiretapping, paying off the Press, "you're either with us or against us", two "stolen" elections, massive surpluses turned into even more massive deficits, tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy, record high gas prices. But no Iran. Now, it's Iran. Go figure. This is not to say that Iran wouldn't love to flop a nuke in Israel's or our direction given the chance. But I doubt they would do it for the same reason we haven't done it. Bad PR. Very bad. Plus, they throw one at us, we throw 50 back. It would be a one shot deal for them and any other country within a 25,000 mile cicumference. Which is roughly the size of, oh say, the Earth. As an example. Hypothetically speaking, of course, because there is no way to judge the size of the Earth since it is flat and the center of the Universe. According to NASA's new leader. And Ann Coulter. And Rush Limbaugh. And Sean Hannity. And Bill O'Reilly. And whoever is in charge of the EPA this month. And God according to those who obviously know. And the idiots who want to protest at funerals.
Which brings us full circle (unlike the flat Earth). And it is time for me to stop and get back to Blade II. Man, do I love this movie series. Completely gross, uber-violent and good kinky fun. Plus, it's all true.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Rest In Peace, Gramma

Gramma died yesterday. At 2:15 or 2:20 PM, depending on whose email I want to believe. It's a relief to all of the family, because she no longer recognized anyone and couldn't communicate. She, also, had requested some time ago that, should this situation arise, no feeding tube or "heroic efforts" be administered. So, she seems to have passed peacefully. She was 102 years old.
I think , no, I believe that this will help my family to come back together somewhat. Gramma was very popular with everyone, because she made no bones about unconditional love. She practiced it always. A pat on the hand, a hug for no reason other than a hug sounded like a good idea, a place on the couch to sit next to her, constant interest in what was happening in our lives, simple gifts to simply make us smile.
She came from the old school of matriarchs. Her childhood was one of poverty on a farm, scraping by to make ends meet. I've written about the quilt she gave me two years ago. It was made by her mother entirely from scraps of wornout clothing that the family owned. A Mid-Westerner to the core, she knew how to can preserves and preserve cans. She read her Bible diligently and always found something of interest in the passages she must certainly have memorized. She taught me the love of good raspberry jam. She was scrappy and cantankerous, two traits she passed on to her daughter and then to me.
She was a teacher. She was a homemaker. A mother. A wife. A friend. A disciplinarian. And she was a Lady, always and foremost. Manners were paramount, language proper. Dinner was dinner, supper was supper. A little snack in the afternoon was just biding time.
My strongest memory will remain those mornings when she and granddad visited during the summers and stayed in the guest room. I would run out and have breakfast with them, because she would smother raspberry jam on my toast and they would read from the Good News Bible while I looked at the stick figure pictures.
I will also always remember my summer visit to their house in Prairie Du Sac in Wisconsin. Their house was on the river and we would float on innertubes waiting for a boat to go by and create swells. There was a tree swing we played on, but you had to watch out for the concrete barrier where land met water. And there was a very unfriendly goose that would chase you and bite you if you came too close to it...which we did often (maybe more often that coincidence would warrant). I remember my granddad and I digging for grubs to bait hooks with and the painful feeling of being pinched by one. Nasty little buggers.
And I will remember my Gramma sleeping on the overstuffed chair at Beatty's Books in Seattle and the Beattys taking care to ensure that her nap would not be interrupted while my Mom went crazy wandering their store and looking through their entire huge collection of used books.
And her comment that day, "Your mother and her 'organized' outings...".
My Gramma was 102 years old. Her ashes will be buried next to Granddad's and they will be together again forever. And my Granddad is probably saying, "About darned time...what took you so long?".
Being a Lady, she may just reply, "Oh, shove over and bust out the jam".
April 23, 2006.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thank You For Not Speaking

Christopher Hitchens penned the now uber-popular Thank You For Smoking movie (and I don't even know if it's come out yet). Chris is not a personal friend of mine and for good reason. Back in '92 when I was but a young pup living in Seattle, he walked into a regular beer stop of mine at First and Stewart. This stop was home to a good number of pensioners who lived above the stop. It was became home to a good number of Hollywood types who knew this stop from previous movie shoots. On Sundays I would wander down and settle in with the New York Times Sunday Crossword and a handful of pints of stout. I would normally spend three or four hours there puzzling and drinking. During the week I might stop by the stop for one or two. Like I said, occasionally a "celebrity" there. Which was actually damn annoying (with the exception of Jeff Bridges) to someone like me who "wants to be left alone" but still "wants to gawk like a gopher". I was warned away from even making eye contact in the bar's very long mirror with Sean Penn. He was at the end when I walked in, sitting at the bar with a stout in front of him and staring off into space. I winked at the bartender and, when she came over, I ordered my first pint and asked her if he was who I thought he was. She didn't even respond vocally, just shook her head and warned me with her eyes. 'nuff said. I left him alone and did my crossword.
So, what is it about the term "crossword"? The good ones only intelligent people finish. And when I say intelligent I mean snob. Many of us work the puzzle in order to challenge our braincells over in the English department. A few of us finish them. A few of us finish them in no time at all. The fastest I've finished a New York Times Sunday Crossword puzzle is 1 hour, 47 minutes. It's, also, the only time I've finished a New York Times Sunday Crossword puzzle without help from the other crosswordflies. Another good pub where I could find my type of drinker was near 65th and Third. A block up from Slave To The Needle (where I had my photos fleshed). Now, that was a bunch of convivial cheaters. No one would help another if there was the chance of not finishing first. Eventually, though, stubborness would give way to desperation and answers would be paid for with beer. Mind you, this was Sunday and during the lull from 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM.
But I was talking about Chris Hutchins and the Virginia Inn. And how I stood there with my date (the, was she hot and aggressive) talking to Kiefer Sutherland about his almost dad who lived upstairs. Kiefer didn't know this and was surprised. Hell, so was I. When Bridges was asked by his table full of buds and "dates" where Kiefer was, he replied "Probably getting rolled in some alley by now". I saw Kiefer with a bottle of Tums sticking out of his denim jacket breast pocket at 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon, looking very disheveled. I was impressed. I knew right then that I liked him no matter who he had slept with and I never would. Julia Roberts, for crying out loud. Winona Ryder, for Pete's sake. So far as I knew, no Sandra Bullock. That is why he lives to this day. I'd go after Jesse James, but did you know the fucker has a posse? And they rob banks and shit? Hell, I'd do him for a piece of that action. And his car kicks the absolute crankoil out of mine? Like the baboon bachelor male, I wait my time to infiltrate and subvert. In the meantime I nosh on the perfectly shaped banana. Hi, APJ.
Right. So, Christopher walks in and asks for a table by the window. no one is sitting at either of the window tables. He also asks that no one smoke while he's there. If a clearer sign could be given to light up I wouldn't know what it is. So, we all smoked. There were a couple of people who didn't smoke, but lit up for that one. Hutchins took it with good grace and lit up himself. The immolation was already underway, though. So, we made fun of the waitress instead. We got many anecdotes dropped by Chris himself. Most were selfcongratulatory. Most were funny.
And, so, when his one book that I thought was funny, comes out as a movie I wonder if the film industry can do it justice. I hope so.
By the way, I never once saw Cameron Crowe hanging out in or snooping on the Virginia Inn. And I was a regular there during part of that time. I remember when they shot a scene or two there. And I remember when it became a no-smoking fern bar in the aftermath of the movie's success and the pensioners no longer went there to while away the hours. Pity.