Saturday, January 27, 2007

Interesting Statistics

Hi All!

There is an internet pledge going on encouraging the wobbly wepuplicans to reconsider investing in defeat, just like the liberals.

What is is interesting is the distribution of signers. Minnesota is near the top! What a schizophrenic political state! Land of Liberals indeed?

Here is a link to the chart: PLEDGE STATS


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Last Thing to Go?

Hi All!

Having fairly well emerged from the latest total mind and health trough, I am brimming with enough posting material to require an extra dose of lactulose, which is what the liver-impaired use to flush the ammonia out before it gets to the brain.

Encephalopathy is the medical term for it. I call it light-headed mania. A free and easy high.

My doctor warned that by the time I know I am encephalitic, I really won't know because I will be in a coma. Unlike Global Warming, I believe this one, as there is ample hard science to support it. And I have internet-met a few who have been to that scary place. The good part is that most people come out of it -- for what, well that is a different question. Ya still gots the dying liver and that danged permanent brain damage, so I guess I ain't gonna tempt fate.

Another symptom besides mania and light-headedness is forgetting to take the meds. Excuse me for a moment while I run upstairs and quaff a couple of tablespoons.

Ah, that should hold me.

So as I wait for the syrup to kick in and totally liquefy my frequent stools, I will sneak in a couple of observations.

I shouldn't be alive. Natural Selection, "Evolution" if you will, has weeded out my less hardy ancestors. Wars and such have robbed the gene pool so we only ever live to 100 or so nowadays. Modern medical science has preserved my bacon well past expiration date, and I had a pretty good set of genes to start with -- except that darned addiction gene.

Do I believe in the Theory of Evolution? You bet! Did Darwin come up with it? Seems so. But who came up with Darwin? This is not a post about Intelligent Design, but if anyone could have come up with THAT, well, that'd be God, IMHO.

In ruminating further about why I blog, a topic already discussed heretofore, I must add that it is hard to know oneself and once you do you won't like it.

I've got a big mouth, and by extension, itchy keyboard fingers.

The more I have been told or realized this for myself since, oh, second grade at St. Mark's, the more I realize that I really can't change in this regard.

So be it.

When my ashes are strewn over the lake, I'll bet a wisp of a breeze will gently lift some up ande and form a Cheshire Cat grin sort of eerie halo in the morning mist.

Well, it's a nice thought. For I know, when I go, the brain-mouth collaboration will go last.

OOPS! Gotta "go o o o o ".


One Thing Leads to Another in the Age of Google

Hi All!

If I could go back to childhood--heck, young adulthood--I would never have thunk a lot of things. For instance, I never would have thunk that I'd be sitting next to the furnace in my cozy little "My Space" in my house, listening to Tom Barnard and the KQ Morning Crew on a computer, reading the news on the screen and googling.

Today a study from Padua, Italy was mentioned and Tommy B remarked that Padua was a big Catholic religious deal -- Our Lady of?... no -- but he KNEW he had heard of it from his religious upbringing.

In the old days, the radio guys would have been flooded with correcting phone calls. Nowadays, one, say, me, simply opens a new tab in Firefox and google "Padua." It's getting so that one may as well go straight to Wikipedia because that is where Google usually leads.

In the Wiki article what Tom Barnard had in the back of his head was just what I had. St. Anthony, of course! From Wiki to a Catholic Saints website to bone up on my St. Tony, I happened upon a quote of his to the effect of "Actions speak louder than words."

Hmmm. Cut and paste that old bromide back into Google and learn that the phrase is not credited to the Saint--well, THAT Saint--but St. Francis of Assisi (as in Tarkenton and Wog's middle name) is on record for having said an early version of this truism.

So, back to the blog and delete the Led Zep quote and insert St. Francis:

"Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary."

And people wonder how we goofball bloggers get story ideas!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The State of the Government Schools

Hi All!

Just looking for something to do other than to suffer the State of the Union Address which has already been reported ad nauseum. If I thought our President would pull a surprise and say what needs be said, I might watch. But George is a Bush, after all. Vacillator, conciliator, needing of love and approval and let the psychologists and historians have a field day.

GW has nothing to lose by staying the course, but he has simply lacked the charisma that a great leader needs to convince the governed to do unpleasant things in the long-term interest. Not talk'n just Iraq. Talk'n health care (less). Talk'n magical plants to save us from paying the Arab World for the rope they will hang us with. Eff it. I have lost all confidence in the USA and the buffoons we have put in power.

Now, what was this post about?

Oh yeah. Read and ye shall be rewarded.

I have this on perfectly good authority, but I am so paranoid about revealing my sources that I have to really change the circumstances of the story without losing the gist of it. Or not.

A public school teacher was so annoyed as to inquire of the principal why the American Flag was a half-mast day after day, and can't something be done about it (take it down would be her choice, I'll bet)

When informed of the traditional mourning period for a dead president, she, taken aback, insisted,

"Well, I didn't vote for him."

True story.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

I Sea Green

Hi All!

I had a scary few minutes last Sunday. With snow in the forecast and a build-up of stuff to burn in our fire pit, I thought it timely to make a bonfire of mostly wood and cardboard -- lots of cardboard.

I love making bonfires and this was a doozy. With the cold, frozen ground and trees around and little wind, it was a safe fire. The coming snow provided a greater comfort level. We buried our overhead utility lines years ago or they would have been singed by this baby.

As I was tossing another big box on the conflagration, there was a big, white-hot flare up that almost singed my beard and temporarily blinded me.

When I backed away, I was amazed that the fire had turned completely bright sea-green. My first assumption was that the ink used on a box was burning that color, but it didn't make sense that the whole fire was perfectly green. I turned toward the house and all the lit windows were green. I looked across the yard to my neighbors houses which all had green windows.

I went inside the garage and the florescent lights were green as was everything else. Another weird thought occurred to me -- what if I can't enjoy my new HDTV? Disbelief started morphing to mild panic, as it had been a minute or two and the natural colors had not returned.

Soon it seemed to be getting better so I went back outside. The fire and lights in the windows were as green as ever.

It took about 10 minutes to get my sight working properly again and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Tried to google the phenomenon but have found nothing about it -- the flash must have short circuited the color receptors in my eyes, except for green.



And no, I wasn't on acid!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why Wog Blogs -- The Big Disclaimer

Hi All!

Sometimes I feel like I am making a big ass of myself to the world -- and there are those who would enthusiastically agree.

So I have it of a mind to explain why I participate in the blogosphere.

I'm not in it for anything more than a vent for my emotions and a try at writing which I've been told since grade school that I am good at.

One could say that blogging is the free and easy way to "get published" for all would be writers, self-aggrandizers, poseurs, promoters, egomaniacs, insecures, the sane and the wacky. Just to name a few.

Me, Wog? I just enjoy writing stuff down. Over the many years I never had the discipline to put pen to paper or word processor to printer.

Blogging is so darned easy.

I don't blog for praise or pity (although unsought, these things feel good sometimes).

I try to write as fearlessly and thoughtlessly as possible. Maybe a big publisher will notice my turn of phrase. Perhaps I can luck out with a news flash and be an instapundit or a powerliner or a kos. If that happens, wonderful! Will it? A million to one. Do I care? Not a whit.

As I sample other blogs I am struck by how crappy most blogs are and once in awhile allow myself to fret over the incredible traffic some of these get. Write it and they will come? No, there must be some other reason crap gets read. My crap is as good as most. Yet I preach to a small congregation (and I REALLY appreciate it).

Before I start contradicting myself, let me get sort of back to my nebulous point. I have been told all my life that I can write. I don't believe it. But here all you mentors go -- I am writing. And whether it is shit or gold, I am marking my territory by pissing on the hydrant of the internet.

Blogging is one of the ways I am keeping alive. It is a hedged bet, assuming that I will assume room temperature sooner than later. At least I wrote something down.

OK, this was a LiveBlog session and I am not going to re-read it.

I have recently found that if I save things as drafts, I never finish them and publish them.

Like Jackie Gleason, I prefer to do my show live.


Monday, January 15, 2007

A Dark Time

Hi All!

Sorry for the lag in posting -- not that I lack for ample material. I've written a great plenty, but wisely kept it in draft form until I can revisit the material after this little cloud passes. It's just that I have hit a rough patch and need to pull myself back up again, like I always do.

No major disasters, just a total overload of little things that have avalanched in my own, simple mind.

Some of the troubles will go away, some never will. At least I can control how my brain deals with them, and at the moment the only optimism is that I recognize the need to put things back in perspective and restore my sunny attitude.

Don't worry, as Ahnold has famously said, "I vill be beck!"


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Falling Up or Falling Down?

Hi All!

With that good question, I commence another year of crying out in the wilderness in cyberspace.

I worked hard at getting some traction for wogsblog this year, including shameless promotion. Despite a blip or two, no more than 20-40 a per day even spend 0:00 minutes reading my stuff (as you might know, I can track such things) and have found that some of the longest visits have been from persons who are upset by what I write.

Comments are few and far between, and seldom inspiring, or even maddening, for that matter.

I am more determined than ever to keep writing and getting better at it for as long as I can. Even if wogsblog continues to be an atom in the universe of blogs, at least I am getting the therapeutic benefit of thinking and writing things down, any few words of which connect with someone and make this a "legacy."

On the recent demise of the great actor Peter Boyle, I tried to find a place to rent a 1970 movie he starred in called "Joe."

What made me remember that very harsh movie were various contacts with the "new public" in the inner cities of St Paul and Minneapolis this week, related to trying to get my kid's license re-instated.

As un-PC as this is, a decent native Minnesotan could not but be at least a bit miffed, if not totally pissed off to enter a license exam station and face a 3-hour line of Somalis. If you don't believe me, if you think I am showing some sort of "racist stripes" that I truly have fought to resist since grade school, just go to Midway Center on University and Snelling and peek in the door. I think I'll go back and bring a camera.

There is a very long and even more aggravating plot to this. Suffice it for now to say that we gave up waiting for the test and tried again at a new test center in Minneapolis at the World Market, and it was much more efficient, albeit 99.9% immigrant and Alex proceeded to whip carelessly and confidently through the test and fail at 69%.

I gotta quit here. There is so much more to this story, which started when Alex drove a moped without sunglasses. The nightmare continues, and it ain't about the test, it's about insurance.

Well, "Joe" is not stocked around here, but I was able to rent my second choice, "Falling Down" with Michael Douglas as a recently fired professional whose day went from bad to worse.

Perverse that I want to watch something like "Joe" or "Falling Down"? No, I consider it a safety valve -- let the actors act out what you would fantasize doing yourself.

More to this wacky weekend. My blogger friend Mitch (thousands of hits/day so I am not even gonna tell you to check out likes to tantalize with hints at momentous events in his personal life without ever spilling the beans.

Having learned from the Master, I will only say that from Thursday to Today (Saturday) much has been falling down.

At least I can say that something fell up. I saw the transplant doctor and I am back in the evaluation system, having effed-up my first go at it over a year ago.

I am still drawing breath and mostly upbeat. The tests start in earnest come April. I WILL make it to that appointment.