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    Friday, September 30, 2005

    Sir Memes A Lot

    I haven't done this in a while, but it's Ipod Shuffle Friday!
    The Last Ten Songs To Play On My iPod
    Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
    The Smiths - How Soon Is Now
    Sublime - Right Back
    Brand New Heavies - Midnight At The Oasis
    Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears
    Hi-Five - She's Playing Hard To Get
    Stevie Wonder - I Wish
    Shaggy - It Wasn't Me
    Eminem (featuring Dido) - Stan
    Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child Of Mine
    Conclusions?  Either my musical tastes are diverse, or I can't make up my mind.
    The smart bet is on the latter. 
    Anyone who cares to leave their list toss 'em in the comments. Me, I've got another story to write.  I'll try something light-hearted for a change, instead of going through the past, darkly.

    Thursday, September 29, 2005


    Hum.  Here's an incomplete list of locations that have actually taken the time to look at my freakin' blog. 
    Libson, Lisboa, Portugal
    Muscavide, Lisboa, Portugal
    Forbes Park, Passay, Phillipines
    Cheltenham, Victoria, Austraila
    Lindfield, New South Wales, Austraila
    Savelborn, Diekirch, Luxemborg
    Sorry, Ottawa and Toronto, you're actually on the same continent that I'm on and you don't count.  Love my northern neighbors, though.
    But it does look like I'm going to have to start doing some posts in Portuguese.  Volte frequentemente, e traga o vinho.

    Organize Thyself - Part Deux

    Remember this post about Backpack?
    Well, naturally, someone has decided to improve the application.  Figures.
    As many of you know Backpack is a great productivity tool. What you might not know is that it can be hacked to do all sorts of neat things.My pal, and all around creative thinking dude, Taylor McKnight, has written up a list of tips and tricks for backpack.

    More love via Lifehacker.
    Geeks of the world, get there and thrive.

    True Life Discussion Heard Today

    Person #1:  I'm just a poor black man from Kansas City with a daughter that I love more than my own life.
    Person #2:  Well, that's inspiring.  You could be a poor black man from Kansas City who sold his daughter to a ridiculously wealthy rare-books dealer who dabbles in the occult.
    Speaking of the occult, here's good news:  A revival of the Night Stalker plays tonight on ABC.
    Man, I loved that show when I was a kid.  Gave me nightmares.  We all know how cool that is.  Now, if they'd bring this show back, then the culmination of my childhood fears would be complete.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    Yes, Gillian's Island - The Movie

    Oh, no.  NO.
    Rob Schneider's in Australia this week and during an interview about the "Deuce Bigalow" sequel by the popular Sunday program, he dropped some interesting talk about a film adaptation of classic sitcom "Gilligan's Island".
    Via Dark Horizons, your one stop location for all things movie.
    I hear Adam Sandler is going to be in it.  Brilliant.  This dark, dark news (and yet another sign of the coming fall of Western Civilization) prompts me to write this:
    Dear Hollywood:
    Do you have any original ideas left?  You're bumming us out.
    The Planet Earth
    P.S.  I hear Clark has some good ideas.  You should give him a call.  Buh bye now.

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    Music, Again

    I'm lifting you up, I'm letting you down,
    I'm dancing 'till dawn, I'm fooling around.
    I'm not giving up, I'm making your love,
    this city's made us crazy and we must get out.
    You know what?
    I'm not even ashamed to say that I like Maroon 5.  Yeah, I'm prepared to take hell for that.  However, that's what we bloggers have to be willing to do.

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    My Not Quite Fiction

    I seem to have a lot a new readers lately.  Let me point you to a few of my more popular autobiographical stories.
    One day, I will figure out how to put categories on my blog and you'll be able to gather specific types of posts from a click, and there will be much rejoicing.  Right now, Blogger doesn't support it.  Darn.

    The Day That Changed Everything

    No, I'm not talking about 9/11.
    Think about this: if you distilled your life down to it's most basic parts, down to quite simple moments in time, could you come up with a single moment that your whole life changed?
    I can.  It happened this way.
    1991.  I was living in Phoenix.  It was very, very hot that year.  Not as hot as the previous year, but still HOT.  I recall that one day that I actually fried an egg on the sidewalk.
    I was working as a sales associate for a major appliance rental center who I choose not to name.  Basically, what sales associate meant was "Repo Man".  It was NOT a fun job, by any stretch of the imagination.  However, it was close to my apartment, and it was my very first job out of college, so I figured that I would stick with it for a while.
    So, on an extremely plain and regular Tuesday afternoon, I was driving the work truck to a location to go pick up a renter's VCR.  From what I recalled, this particular person hadn't made a payment on the VCR for three weeks.  Three weeks was like a magic number for my boss back then; three weeks late, either they pay or we would pick up our rental merchandise.  So off I went.
    When I got to person's house, I knocked on the door.  Mr So and So, I said, I'm here to pick up the VCR.
    The guy came to the door looking surly.  I knew that look and really wanted no part of it.  In my friendliest, but most professional voice, I asked him if he was aware that his payments on the VCR were three weeks late.
    Yes, he replied, looking me directly in the eye.
    I then explained that I'd have to pick up the VCR unless he intended to pay on it.  I was starting to feel a bit nervous, even though I had done this exact thing before.  I asked him where the VCR was at this time, because I need to pick it up.  "Ok," he responded, "I'll get it."
    He left the room, and returned with VCR in hand. 
    I thanked him, and told him to stop by the store if he wanted it back, then turned my back.  Then I heard an audible *click*.  Uh oh.
    When I turned back around, there was a gun to my head.
    Let me attempt to describe the feeling conveyed by being in a strange person's house looking at a gun.  First of all, you are quite aware that the encounter can go, uh, poorly.  My life most certainly did NOT flash before my eyes, which is a feeling that I now find a touch strange.  The experience actually was quite similar to the feeling one gets when they have veered off a two lane highway, heading straight for a semi-dense forest, then finding yourself doing a 720 across the highway doing 65 mph in the middle of the night during a full moon in the middle of Central Texas, nowhere close to a populated town that possibly could send someone to save your butt before the car explodes. 
    We're talking pee-scared here.
    But, since I'm talking to you now, I can tell you this: I talked this gentleman out of shooting me.  And he gave me $50 to pay for his back rent.
    This encounter, however, gave me the courage to:
    1.  Get back into my truck and drive to my place of employment.
    2.  Drop off the $50, my store keys, and resign.
    3.  Go home, call my landlord and break my lease.
    4.  Call a friend in Washington D.C., tell her that I would be there in two weeks, and that I hoped that she had room.
    That was the day that changed everything.  I left Phoenix and was in Washington by September.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    Montage A Google

    This is pretty cool.  I can use a few cool things in my life right now.
    Speaking of life, let me take this opportunity to speak to all of my East Texas friends (I went to school for a while in San Antonio, home El Mirador, and the best damn Tortilla Soup on the face of the planet):
    Uh, leave now.  Thanks.

    Lovely Rita, Meter Maid

    Well, this should be good.  Not really.
    MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Authorities in Texas and along the storm-shattered coast of Louisiana braced Wednesday for Hurricane Rita, as the powerful Category 4 storm picked up strength in the Gulf of Mexico.
    Via CNN.
    Oh, well, might as well get ready for the Supervolcano at Yellowstone to explode.  In case you were wondering, we have been forsaken.  You want the weekend (Friday/Saturday) plot?
    1.  Gasoline price gouging.
    2.  More looting in Texas, Louisana, anywere on the Gulf Coast.
    3.  Inflation, again, in energy prices.
    4.  Who knows what the hell else?!

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005


    Sigh.  Well, last night was certainly not one of greatest sleeping nights ever.  Why?  Regrets.  So, time to make a list.  These are the biggies:
    My greatest regrets?
    1.  Ever starting smoking.  Good Lord, what a mistake.  I hope that I can quit before I have a heart attack.
    2.  Not attending Cornell University when I had the chance.
    3.  Law school.  30k completely and totally wasted.
    Interestingly, I don't regret the way that the whole ex thing turned out.  She taught me a lot, actually.  I would have preferred that it worked, but some things are not to be, I suppose.  Being the parent of a half-time child is quite easily one of the most difficult things that I've ever done.  I caught myself calling the ex this morning to tell her that the baby got me up at like 5 in the morning this morning, and almost immediately I wished that I hadn't called.  But I was tired and grumpy and wanted to complain to someone.  She seemed available.
    I suppose the thing to say here is this:  try your best to live your life with as few regrets as possible, because one day, week, month, or year, you won't be able to sleep, and regrets will be the reason.

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    Short Fiction Time.

                                                                               - Tales From the Darkside
    One of my boyz (let's call him ringloss) has been keeping me on my posting toes by sending me this short story that isn't in any way disturbing at all.
    You'll love the ending.  I did.  But I've got a window seat already.  Ask me where to.  Heh.
    Speaking of which, I'll be sending another piece of my wonderfully colorful autobiographical stories soon for your perusal.  You know that you love them.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Another Week, Another Google Story

    Tonight Google will announce (well, the embargo is tonight at 9 pm PST) that it is launching blog search, in two flavors, one for, and another as a beta at (not yet up, but will be soon...).

    I spoke with Google about this, more soon, wanted to get this up in a timely manner...(too the service has yet to be pushed live....)

    Via the Boing.
    Apparently, it's live now.  As you might imagine, I'm extremely, EXTREMELY interested in how well that thing works.  I tried googling for my blog, and didn't find it right away.  Again, that address is:


    Geek Update - OpenOffice

    Again, it's my personal responsibility to keep you, the reader, in the mix of all things geek.
    With that in mind, I bring you (should pop to the download page, unless my html is that bad):
    Try try.  Likey likey.  Free free.
    Other good things, from their website:
 Version 1 was the first product to deliver the benefits of open-source software to mass-market users, delivering essential everyday software tools completely free of charge. Translated into over 30 languages, available on all major computing platforms (Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X X11, GNU/Linux, Solaris), Version 1 is now in use by tens of millions of delighted users worldwide.

    With Version 2, it gets even better:

    • the first office suite to use the new OASIS OpenDocument format, the future-proof international standard for office software
    • easier to install, with a whole new look and feel, matched to the type of computer in use
    • more intuitive, more easy to use than ever, with a host of new usability features
    • introducing a major new component, Base: an easy-to-use database manager with a fully integrated database
    • more compatible with other software packages – now understands even obscure and rarely used features in major competitors

    But the licence is still the same: you may download Version 2 completely free of any licence fees, use it for any purpose– private, educational, government and public administration, commercial – and pass on copies free of charge to family, friends, students, employees, etc.

    How can you pass that up?
    As soon as I get my freakin' computer fixed, I'm downloading.  I think that either old Betsy is about to either break completely or I need a new video card and some freakin' RAM.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    No Wonder They're In Last Place.

    Wait.  I just caught this.  Is it even possible that "Scrubs" is NOT on the NBC new fall schedule?
    Is this some kind of a joke?!  That was one of the most reliably funny shows on television.
    Course, why should I care?  I can watch this.
    Or this.
    Or this.
    Or, maybe I'll read a book and drink a beer instead.

    Science Fiction Cliches - The Master List

    My oh, my, how I've been waiting for this.
    Those of us who have read or seen a lot of science fiction have seen certain story elements pop up over and over and over. Some of these elements were actually pretty good ideas, and when handled well make for a pretty entertaining story, but have become hackneyed from overuse by the unimaginative. Others came into being through the deliberate effort to avoid another cliché. Still other ideas were lame from the get-go, and should have been dismissed from the author's thinking. 
    Clichés are not in themselves necessarily bad, but their overuse shows that the writer has forgotten what separates the strong tale from the hollow: "the human heart in conflict with itself," as Faulkner said. Where there is this conflict, the tale stands; where the conflict is absent, the tale falls flat, and in neither case does it matter how many ships get blown up. 
    The sophisticated reader (one who reads more than just SF) will note that some of these clichés are not found solely in SF, but in other genres as well, and of course the lampooning of cliches is a time-honored part of good comedy.
    Snagged via Fark.
    Notice, they have a specific category icon for those cliches that Star Trek has been guilty of.  Ain't that grand? 
    Lord, I am a geek. So with that in mind, I'll link to this: Klingon Fairy Tales. Jus' cause I haven't linked them in a while. Show good writers some love.


    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Instalink Love

    So I gots me this homegirl,
    I don't know her well,
    but I know it takes some kinda of guts
    to jump into this Hell.
    Sending some instalink love out to daughteire, whose got this blog which is presently detailing for the world her 10 day fast.  That's 10 days.  Lord.  I know she can write, that's for sure, and I know she supports FSM, which is all good.  Check out her blog.  I'm permlinking it today.  She's on day 8.

    Free Couch

    Yesterday, my friend ringloss over at jaXed asked me a question that had an immediate impact that makes me want to tell you a little story.  It was:
    "Hey... do you want two free couches?"
    Now, I haven't accepted yet, and I might not.  But as I told him, I have a soft spot in my heart for a free couch.  Here is why.
    Many years ago, I was still a relatively young buck just making his way in Capitol Hill.  That's Denver, not DC.  Honestly, I was a little dejected.  I was living in a studio apartment at the time, and quite recently, my brother had moved into my studio and I had returned from my very first vision quest in Arizona (and a successful vision quest it was, too, as I actually and honestly saved my first life.  But that's a story for another time).
    But, anyway, I was working in what was honestly a dead-end job for a company that I truly detested.  I was poor.  I was taking buses everywhere I went, and I was...blah.  It sucked.  So, I was arriving home from work, and I was thinking about how my poor brother was, at that time, sleeping on this completely uncomfortable couch that I had in my lil' hovel.  Let's say that I was just not happy.  Then, as I walked through the alley to the studio apartment that I STILL couldn't afford, I saw something. 
    It was a couch.  Just sitting there, outside the back entrance to my apartment building.  The couch looked... well, it looked clean.  I saw no rips, or tears on my preliminary inspection.  No place to hide drugs, no cat hairs, no anything.  It was just a decent looking couch.  And it had a sign on it.  The sign said:
    That was it.  Just like that.
    I went upstairs and walked in the door and said.  "Hm.  Hey, (insert bro's name here), there's a couch out back with sign on it that says, 'FREE COUCH'."
    "FREE COUCH?" he replied.  "Let's go look at it."
    So we went.  It was a fine couch.  We took it and moved it into my apartment.
    As it turns out, that one couch was the most comfortable couch in my home.  Great for the sleepin'.  And that couch followed us for three different apartments.  No matter where we went, and who we lived with, that was always the MOST comfortable couch in the house.  It saw me through two girlfriends and a sordid affair.  I won't even discuss the dates and others who sat, laid down, or slept on that couch.  I came to love the couch.
    After having the couch for damn near six years, I had to move from another apartment, and I couldn't take the couch.
    I was heartbroken.
    When my friend and I were taking the couch out back of my basement apartment, he asked,"Hey, just want to throw this in the dumpster?"
    No, I said.  I went back into my apartment and grabbed a Sharpie and a piece of notebook paper.  On that notebook paper, I wrote:
    Gently I taped that paper to my favorite couch, and we gingerly sat that couch next to the apartment building.  Then we left for an hour, because I was beside myself.
    When we returned, the couch was gone.
    I had paid it back, and that made me happier than I could have believed possible, at least, for that moment.  Not paid it forward, as I doubt that giving away a couch qualified as something big and important enough.  I suppose it was possible.
    So, needless to say, I am soft, very soft, on the Free Couch. 
    Thank you, Humanity, at least for another week.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005


    Interesting.  Groups of people in New Orleans are forming tribes to survive.

    When Tryphonas showed up at Johnny White's [bar] with his left ear split in two, Joseph Bellomy - a customer pressed into service as a bartender - put a wooden spoon between Tryphonas' teeth and used a needle and thread to sew it up. Military medics who later looked at Bellomy's handiwork decided to simply bandage the ear. "That's my savior," Tryphonas said, raising his beer in salute to the former Air Force medical assistant.

    A few blocks away, a dozen people in three houses got together and divided the labor. One group went to the Mississippi River to haul water, one cooked, one washed the dishes. "We're the tribe of 12," 76-year-old Carolyn Krack said as she sat on the sidewalk with a cup of coffee, a packet of cigarettes and a box of pralines.

    This link courtesy of the Boing.
    What a great time to post this link on tribes.  Thank Ethan Watters for this one, supposedly in his book, but I can't confirm this, only support his words..

    This bond is clearest in times of trouble. After
    earthquakes (or the recent terrorist strikes), my
    no different from what I'd feel for my  family.
    Once I identified this in my own life, I began to
    see tribes everywhere I looked: a house of
    ex-sorority women in Philadelphia, a team of
    ultimate-frisbee players in Boston and groups of
    musicians in Austin, Texas.  Cities, I've come to
    believe, aren't emotional wastelands where
    fragile individuals with arrested development
    mope around self-indulgently searching for  true
    love. There are rich landscapes filled with urban tribes.

     I personally am a member of a few tribes that saved my behind right after I split with the ex.  Thank you Deb, and thank you, guys. 


    Today, I think that I'll do a post about anger.  It's necessary.
    What would make me angry?
    1.  New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama. 
    I have, er, HAD family in Louisana and Mississippi.  Now, I simply, well, don't, from the looks of it.  The Louisana contigent got out and are now here in Denver, staying with my sister-in-law.  I offered assistance.  Fortunately, they have plenty of other family here, since my lil' apartment can't support a family of five.  Grrr. 
    Now, for Mississippi, I hear from my mother that they all made it out.  Where, I'm not sure.  Grrrr.
    2.  Fatherhood with a split family.  The ex is driving me crazy.  There is going to be a protracted court battle over my daughter, it looks like.  After asking around, I wasn't able to find an attorney, which at the time I thought might be ok, since legal fees will bankrupt me, which would finish the job that my ex has already started.  Grrrrrrr.  Worse, the constant arguing, screaming and crying have brought me mentally to my knees.  I'm sleeping five minutes a night.  Yes, I typed that right.  FIVE.  That's been going on for about a week and a half now.  Naturally, this is not good for ANY aspect of my life.  Sickness and depression have been a result.  Grrrrrrrrrr.
    Fortunately for me, my parents have showed up to help out.   I have found an attorney, it looks like.  But it's amazing how stressful this is.  I've taken steps.  Maybe I'll post later about how I have made, hopefully, a permanent comeback. 
    In the meantime, I'll just pose this question:  What would happen if Metallica had Gallagher as a lead singer? 

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