Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bad Call on Katrina

Hi All!

A Mea Maxima Culpa is owed for my cynical post about weather hysteria using Katrina as an example. At the time of writing, it looked like a big nothing as the Media hyperventilated. Later in the day, even the forecasters and media were "admitting" that New Orleans and other gulf coast cities seemed to have been spared.

Even Rush had much sport over the apparent "Big Nothin'" during his show, after I had written same type of thing on this blog.

Then came the night and the next day.

My heart and prayers go out to those whose lives were lost or ruined by the aftershock of the hurricane.

As to the looters, may they rot in hell.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Worse than Bad Weather

Hi All!

In my long and fabled computer-based career I have always prided myself for being frugal while charging my clients full price. Profit margin, some call it, I call it fee for service well earned.

My "MAIN" computer was abolutely state-of-art in 2001 and I got a heckovadeal on her.

She has been naked ever since, for better ventilation, quicker hardware upgrades and for the abject laziness of the owner. The front and side panels are about an inch thick with dust, buried behind the desk.

Our love affair needs to end.

The family has beat this poor computer to death. We have lived with a dozen or so spontaneous reboots and having to constantly refuse Microsoft's offer to send an error report. I guess it's the video socket on the mother board. No, I KNOW that's what it is.

Other than new keyboards from thrift shops every time "someone" ("I didn't do it!") spills pop which is supposedly verboten in the vivinity of the system, but typically ignored, we've transplanted disks and controllers and monitors and printers and networking and "Old Betsy" has rolled with the punches.

As much as she's dragged herself up of the mat, some tough choices need be made.

SOOOO.... I can replace the motherboard at great hassle or just buy a better box and relocate my precious disk drives. $150-300 depending.

What should I do?

Nanosystems is gonna be my first stop, but I'm not gonna rush into this.




Saturday, August 27, 2005

News of Mike Lemay

Hi All!

I was thunderstruck at the severity of Mike's sentence and the unprofessional gloating of his judge.

If you have followed this story you will understand what I am about to quote in context.

Personally, I feel that Mike Lemay has been "done wrong" and the judge has turned two tragedies into two-and-a-half, at least.

Anyway, I guess netiquette might be crossed here, but I wish to quote a letter from Mike's family which was broadcast to their friends and supporters.

To get the prequel to this, you will have to mine the archives. But here goes:

"Thank you all for the concern shown to Mike and all
our family during this summer. This week we've been
notified that Mike will finally be transported to Glen
Mills Schools Facility in Pennsylvania so he can start
completing the terms of his sentence (12-18 months,
with no shorter than 12 months). The time he has
spent this summer at the JDC (Juvenile Detention
Center) in St. Paul will not apply to his sentence.
There also is no "good behavior" deduction of time in
the juvenile system, so we are hopeful he can complete
the program there in 12 months and still stay on track
to start college next year. This has been a difficult
summer for him with most of his day spent in solitary
confinement with only 4 books allowed to him--that's
it, just 4 books...kleenex boxes are considered
"dangerous", so no pencils, paper, music, TV, and
lights out at 9:30 to listen to the hoot 'n hollering
of the adjoining inmates making a racket. He's
learned to tune that out a bit, but has not been able
to get past the frequent flashlight checks the guards
do every hour. Sleep deprivation is very wearing on a
person. He has completed over 200 hours of summer
school so that should complete a few credits on his
list with only about 5 more credits to earn his
diploma--which he will be able to receive from Glen
Mills, not a GED, but a HS diploma. Very important.
During his summer school program he has seen over 400
kids go in/out of the system. He has been by far the
longest kid there, with being there over 70 days in a
facility that is really set up for much shorter. So
please pray hard for Mike's transition to this new
place. He'll be delighted in the gained freedoms but
he still will be around a lot of tough stuff, on his
own. As soon as we know his Unit we'll let you know
where letters can be sent. He would really appreciate
the contact. His words to his friends is full of
caution to their lifestyle, especially as so many are
turning 18 years old: "You don't want to end up in
Adult facilities. Though, a week at JDC probably
would be very good for a lot of his friends. He does
not wish 70 + days on anyone..." A sincere thank-you
to all have been taking care of our family. We are
grateful for such caring people in our lives. Best
regards, "

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Free DVD from Mickey D's Redbox Contraption

Hi All!

Time for a tasteless commercial plug.

From now until September 17, you can save a buck and get a free new-release DVD rental of one of those crappy movies I just carped about in another post.

Just use the promotional code: KUETTE

I stand to win fabulous prizes and I've never won anything in my life so perhaps I'm due.

Speaking of spending $0.00, make sure you return the DVD by 11:00pm next night and avoid falling prey to the $1 Value Menu temptations.


Welcome Pilgrims!

Hi All!

My great friend Mitch was kind enough to link to my protester snaps on his bigtime blog.

It's a great opportunity to introduce new readers to my humble blogabode and it has caught me in a creative dearth.

Oh, I've got reams of scratch paper with fantastic ideas for entries, but they pile up like leaves in the fall and are seldom revisited until those infrequent desk-clearings at which point I generally ask myself what the heck I was thinking about, or worse, can't read my own fevered scratchings as my mind raced ahead of the pen.

In my inebriate days of old, I did the same thing. Only difference is that NOW my mind races faster and the notes spill out more PROFUSELY!

I haven't developed the discipline (or found the right balance of medication) to sit still and write these stories up proper.

I guess I just felt that I owed the new readers an explanation for not having done any good entries in awhile.

Please mine the archives. There is some good material in there. It also, for me, is a lasting record of my decline and fall, and my work to salvage the incredible support and good fortune that have kept me around, if not for some higher purpose, than only to enjoy my life surrounded with love, support and forgiveness.


More on Bumper Stickers

Hi All!

Just finished watching the 1966 classic, "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming." Amazing how much movie making quality has fallen as the technology has improved. Highly recommend you get down to Blockbuster and check it out.

It still slays me to see how many cars are still running around with Kerry bumper stickers. Maybe they were made with some super glue backing making them impossible to remove. I wish...

These paint damaging "statements" are often joined by stickers asking what Wellstone would do, demanding that government stay out of the bedroom and such like humourless sloganeering.

An oldy but goody that one still sees is "Mean People Suck." Five will getcha ten that there is a Kerry sticker on the same rickety old Datsun.

It was with an evil satisfaaction that I saw a very redneck-looking old pick-em-up today with Bush, NRA, God Bless America, etc. stickers on the tailgate...and this one: "Mean People Suck. Nice People Swallow."

Not sure what it means but it must by funny, 'cos only we conservatives have a decent sense of humour... ;-)


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Humans Resembling Their Pets

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Funny Search on Google

Hi All!

Quickly, I just had to post this. Heard on song called "Car Problems" by Adam Ant on the Current yesterday.

Car buff that I am, I need to get a copy of that song.

So I google it and find all sorts of writing about how "adamant" you are about your "car problems."

What A Hoot!

Happy 80th, Godfather Dick!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Goofing Off At Work

Hi All!

I screwed up my courage and ventured forth to deepest Minneapolis in order to see if I am really the Trivia Pro that I think I am.

Keegan's Pub has a 25 question, write down your answer and you will be graded Oral Quiz.

I found the place OK but was soon reminded of one of the reasons I don't like Minneapolis. The scarce street parking is metered until 10:00pm! And they DO ticket, as I observed my parking neighbors with the flashing red expiration light on their meter and a nice, official slip of paper under the wiper blade.

I know that local bloggers are known to attend this weekly event, but my first walk through of the place produced no familiar faces, except for a guy I mistook for King Banyan as I breezily asked, "Where IS everybody?" "Huh?" I soon realized that short of the beard and glasses, this guy was much taller and fatter and uglier than the King.

So I got a cranberry juice and a test sheet and pencil and set out solo (most players form teams) to see what this type of trivia is all about.

The main topic was North Dakota. I just about broke my pencil in half when I heard that, but gave it a game shot. After 13 questions, there is an intermission so I walked around again and chanced upon a few familiar faces, one of which belonged to my blogging mentor, Mitch, who is not only incredible at trivia, but who hales from North Dakota!

I knew the game was up, so I tore up my pathetic answer sheet and watched the pros.

It only took about 10 minutes to get to Keegans from my house. It took an hour to get back.

Took a wrong turn on Broadway and ended up in Robbinsdale. I don't recall ever having visited Robbinsdale before. Fascinating trip, though. Found a couple of new White Castle locations. What a City!

Left a window partway open and some stupid kids broke into the car. Lost a cell phone, but the idiots couldn't get the stereo out, although they did their best to ruin it. Little did they know that it was just laying there in it's opening, as I don't have the hardware to mount it properly. Could have pulled it right out, whole. Feel violated, though.

Saw the Transplant Team and had interviews and blood tests. Scheduled an ecg and a colonoscopy for next month.

Without having the blood results, Dr. Lake observed that I am looking well, tanned but not jaundiced at all, good vitals and nothing too alarming felt in the abdomen.

Mom is vacationing this week before school starts, so it's just me, the kids and dogs. What is a responsible parent to do?

Hmmm. I am about to take #2 and two of his buddies to the Curtiss A. Rolling Stones Tribute in Uptown (see...I'm not so scared of mean old Minneapolis).

Gotta go.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Working Vacation from Blogging

Hi All!

Sorry for the dearth of material.

Have not been feeling well, mentally, spiritually and physically. I need to do some work to pull things together.

I have a day of tests coming up tomorrow at the U Transplant Center. Have really needed to practice Health Realization technique to deal with the apprehension. HR tells me that I can do nothing to guarantee what will happen tomorrow or ever in the future.

I have fallen a bit out of practice of the HR prinicpal of living in the moment and the powerful technique of "thought recognition." To that end, I have added another support group to my weekly routine, a strictly HR-based meeting. Went to my first one Wednesday night and it was very helpful. A great group, I could tell right away.

Still go to weekly group therapy for mentally ill addicts. Excellent help, but eventually I will run out of 6-week extensions and need to rely on other methods of treatment.

My life has been nothing if not complex of late -- more so than usual, which is plenty complex enough, thank you very much.

I just haven't felt like blogging or even reading my email. I was becoming pretty manic, what with going to the Turf, singing karaoke and playing trivia. At some point last week I just mentally crashed and started laying in bed with no ambition to do anything. This after hearing that I was "in crisis." I didn't see it that way right away, but the truth of it has sunk in.

It is very hard to decide how much of my soul to pour out here, and this is about as far as I'll go, I think. I have plenty of safe places to share my shit without letting the World in on it.

I have always wondered what would happen if I ever became a public figure again. What in my volumes of words floating around in cyberspace could come back to bite me?

I try to write with candor and sincerity. I hope that comes through.

Signing off for now. I may blog tomorrow. I may blog next week. I WILL blog again!


Thursday, August 04, 2005

I Do Karaoke

Hi All!

Frankly, I have hit a bit of a rough patch lately and haven't felt much like posting.

The outcome for Mike Lemay has been determined, and should be appealed if possible. I don't see the point of sending him to a Philly detention center. He would meet just as many bad guys ready to turn him into God-knows-what sort of hardcase if he were to be sent to Red Wing, but at least he would get to see his folks and friends quite a bit more often.

The judge's snide, sarcastic remarks about Mike, such as Mike unable to participate in "Student Council Lock-in", whatever the hell that means (obviously the "hip" old jurist meant "Senior Lock-in" - cripes, there was no such thing in MY day -- I think we called it, "Lets Drag a Few Kegs way back into Crosby Where the Cops are Too Lazy to Go and Have the Best Senior Blowout Ever" -- but times have changed).

I was urged by the family on advice of their legal counsel and their own instincts to keep my yap shut so as not to "piss off" the judge. I guess the "honorable" Micheal DeCourcy didn't need my input to issue a "pissed off" verdict. Could as insignificant a pesky little gnat like Wog have made things worse? I dunno, but will always wonder. Gotta "do stuff" in life. If your intentions are good, you will likely end up doing better than nothing and much better than worse.

Just to let you know, I had a hard time expurgating the previous paragraph. I am terrified of judges -- more so than the cops that send you to them. Self-Exalted Egomaniacs, with few exceptions, and that is not a view that I just dreamed up. Ask any lawyer. Not ALL of them are judge wannabes, but it takes Self-Exalted Egomaniacs to pass such judgement.

To the topic:

My sainted wife agreed to accompany me on my recently established Thursday night habit of going to our local BW2 for karaoke.

I'm good at it, in my own mind, and I really don't care if others agree, kind of like how I feel about blogging. What I lack in singing and following lyrics capabilities I try to make up for in semi-unbridled enthusiasm.

I DID get a comeuppance last week at a "real" karaoke event at the Blue Fox, but it's boring to me to watch pro after pro equal or surpass the original performance. I like to hear drunks and amateurs, which is more of what you get at BW2, present company falling somewhere in between amateur and pretty good, but never drunk.

I was lucky tonight. It was a good crowd but a shy one. Many of the "regulars" had not shown up yet, and as we were early, I got great stage time during the two hours we were there.

Here is my set list. Almost eclectic enough for 89.3, The Current -- for all it's faults, it's the only music station left on FM, IMHO.

"Maybelline" by Chuck Berry
"All Day and All of the Night" by The Kinks
"You Got It" by Roy Orbison
"Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen

The latter two contained lyrics that took my totally by surprise and left me adrift, but I am fairly good at improvising and somehow managed to not look as totally at sea as I was (Laura might disagree but she is my toughest audience).

Oh yes. I went over to St Kates to see if I could buy a scalper's ticket to the Elvis Costello show. $55/$65 was the pre-Ticket Bastard price, so I figure the paying customers had $70-$90 invested in their ducats.

Hey, the guy is fantastic, but I would only pay that much to see a private Kinks Reunion show at Paisley Park with Prince as the opening act with free booze and pot.

Well, it felt good to write and I am working on rustling up the stray cattle of my behavior so that, come October 3, I will celebrate a new, personal holiday which I haven't named yet, but am thinking of "New Life Day" or "Second Wind Day" or "Still Alive Day" or "God Forgives, Society Don't Day". I hate all of them and welcome submissions.

Not sure where to go with the blog. The traffic is pathetic. I mostly feel like it doesn't matter and that I am at least trying to do something which keeps my fingers out of my nose.

Perhaps I might pull something other than lint out of my belly button that might just be worth reading by somebody, someday.

I have shopped the idea of creating a couple of separate blogs for different kinds of writing, but have met with lukewarm response from fellow bloggers.

One that I am pretty well close to doing is "WogUnhinged" where I can post my really "out there" stuff that will read to some as being drug or alcohol induced, but really just be weird stuff I think about.

Well, some of the "older" material might have been WUI, like my A+ English paper from college that was entitled, "I Can't Think of a Good Topic and This is Due Tomorrow so I am Going to Drink Blatz and Listen to Led Zeppelin and Describe the Experience as the Music Gets Louder and I get Drunker." Prof Hague said it was about the best, most honest thing I ever graded. Oh, and I typed it up on the old Royal and the grammer, spelling and simple mis-typing got progressively worse as the piece unfolded. Kind of gave the finished mess an extra "edge."

Topics would be (and I write this to remind myself if nothing else) "Black Helicopters? No, White Pontiacs!"; "The Clorox Cap that Rolled and Rolled"; ""Preview" Dreams that Came True"; "Warped, Sadistic Things I Have Done or Thought About Doing to Innocent Wild Creatures"; and the one I have pretty much written out already in my head and will definitely post here or somewhere, an "Onion"esqe piece of absurd, black humor loosely based on fact, called, "Why Do Lesbians Hate Me?"

Ok, that felt good.

Maybe I'm back in the saddle, maybe not. I've got a huge week coming up, culminating in a very important appointment with the Transplant Team.

Have a care for yourselves, OK? And, if so inclined, send out a good thought for me to your Higher Power. TIA.