Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Entitled Always Shoot Themselves in the Foot

What always destroys the Republican Party is their sense of entitlement. Going on vacation for a month while your plans are all falling apart is so stupid, it's brilliant.

Even though rich, spoiled, lazy men would have you believe otherwise, physics still holds in all earthbound affairs. Nature will not support a lazy idiot who does nothing but ride his bicycle all day. All the plans of such an idiot will not succeed without energy expended with some kind of diligent intelligence (which is obviously a lot to ask, considering this mouth breather of a president). Even though the plans for Middle Eastern domination were ill conceived at inception, with energy and thought, they could have been adjusted for some type of success or at least some movement in the right direction. But entitled people always behave as if they've done quite enough and the lackeys should, by now, fall in and do their bidding. Because, obviously, this is what lackeys were born to do.

Justice is always served when the obtuseness of entitlement is in vogue--
The repercussions should last at least two-hundred more years.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I Just Have One Question About the Iraqi Constition

Why do they get articles 28-34?

Articles 28 to 34 define Iraq as a welfare state in the tradition of Western Europe. The constitution exempts the poor from taxes while guaranteeing universal healthcare and free education at all levels for all Iraqis. It guarantees the right of Iraqis to a clean environment and commits the state to preserving the biological diversity of wildlife.

And we get what? The right to bear arms?

And the fatter we get as a nation, should we really be running around like that?

Okay, so the Iraqi constitution won't fruish. However, I can't believe the Iraqis have a piece of paper that guarantees health, education and a clean environment and all we get are freed slaves and no unusual punishment.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Suicide Engenders the Funny

The daughter of Don Red Barry was at our house on Saturday attending a writer's group party. DRB was a character actor who worked all the time.
Don Red Barry IMDB

He committed suicide in 1980, and his really bright daughter, perhaps overcompensating for what must have been a wretched childhood, had this hilarious dark sense of humor.

She said:

"My husband wants to make and sell a new blow up doll...for sex...of Mary. You know, with the blue veil and everything."

She pointed her two index fingers toward her head.

"And the doll has a name at the top. The title is You Be the First One."

As a parting gift, we gave her our Jesus Action Figure.

Friday, August 26, 2005

When a Sad Mom Wants to See You, Ride Your Bike

When a sad mom wants to see you
Ride your bike.
If your oily plan deceives you
Ride your bike.

When No Iraqi constitution
Makes Civil War the sole solution
Thank greasy Jesus, Absolution,
Ride your bike.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Whatever happened to


Everyone still talks about where they were when the twin towers were destroyed. But does anyone ever talk about Anthrax? Never.

What is your memory of Anthrax?

Mine was quite funny and said a lot more about the Americans I was dealing with than the Anthrax that I knew was never destined for any mailbox I'd ever be near.

I was working for a very rich guy in Pacific Palisades. Guess how he dealt with the Anthrax scare? He had me open ALL his mail.

This was not long after he realized something earth shattering and with a wild-eyed fear said to me, "I guess it doesn't matter how much money you have. You can't guarantee you'll be safe from terrorists." He seemed truly dejected because he could not buy his way into absolute safety.

Having me open his possibly Anthraxed mail was quite insulting, but there was a certain event that was even more down putting that finally forced me to quit working for this entitled American person. It was his new fiancé. She made smoothies for everyone (herself, him and a kid) and at the bottom of the blender was a tiny bit left and she asked me, "Do you want the rest?" And I said, "Sure."
And there they stood...the three rich people with full glasses of smoothie and me with an inch. I decided that day I would quit. And I did.

Anthrax was the tip of the insulting iceberg. But I knew there was no real threat. But bitch, don't diss me with your smoothie.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

August 24, 1980

Today was excellent. I got up extremely late. I sat around, then me, Greg and George doobied in the woods. I fell asleep at George’s house. I came home, ate and visited B at Reinaur’s. I cam home, Holly came over. We went to her house. We went and ate at Ramapo Diner. We came to my house and me, Holly, Greg and Matt Poole went down to the picnic table and drank and had a fire. Welp-the cops came. We took off—but came back (Holly forgot her purse and Greg’s car was there). We had to get in the car. Welp—we were arrested. It was pretty funny. We have to go to court. (Disorderly Conduct). Holly was so cool. The cops were fucks. So, anyway. Matt had to stay ‘cause he’s only 15 and his mom has to pick him up. Me, Greg and Holly went to Reinaur’s and left. Holly had to go home. I love her. It was so great. Right now me and Greg are watching T.V. Today was unreal. It was funny. Goodnight.

I wonder why I thought this day was excellent. I mean, I was arrested for goodness’ sake.
Holly was one of my best friends in high school. She was a fantastic musician, blonde, funny and always a good time. She lived across the street from John Pousette-Dart, an almost-was big time musician from the ‘70’s. Now, she teaches voice and piano and speech pathology and has two cute little girls. She lives in the house where she grew up on Route 202 in Suffern, New York, leafy kind of deck house sort of area.

My brother, Greg, and I and George and Matt Poole lived in the Westward of Suffern. Our neighborhood was sandwiched between train tracks and The Ramapo River. It was the kind of place where you made forts in corrugated metal castoffs and for summer fun, you’d steal an old bus tire inner tube and float down the polluted Ramapo.
The picnic table was a green village issued break table for the workers at the city works which was a couple blocks from my house. There was a water treatment plant and a huge shed filled with trucks for street cleaning, salting the roads, etc. The picnic table was right behind this building under a we used to hang out there at night and smoke, have fires, eat pudding. Obviously, we were not supposed to have a fire. So, we were arrested. What I most remember was the cop saying, “You’re lucky we’re not booking you for arson.” And I remember looking at the cop and thinking, “Yeah, right, someone’s going to think that we were trying to burn down this huge metal shed with our tiny fire surrounded by rocks. Asshole.”

Reinaur’s was the truck stop where I was a short order cook during most of my college breaks. B, my girlfriend, worked there. I got her the job. She wore a brown polyester waitress uniform. The truckstop had a Native American motif. The gift shop sold Indian headdresses and silly little leather change purses among the maps and cowboy boots. On the placemats for the restaurant was also the menu (hamburger 65 cents) and there was a reference to “The Lenape Gift and Curio Shop.” I had half an idea how absurd this place was. I loved working there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Being that Life is Finite

Pretending you are someone who you are not or not someone who you are is a sleight of vanity schooled by fear and a complete waste of time. Unless, of course, by doing this costly exercise you are enjoying yourself. But I've never met anyone like that.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Just One More Thing to Worry About

The Iodine Emails

Did you get your Iodine yet?





I don’t know if it is the paranoia, but I am going to get some tomorrow.



Buy me a bag if you’re in the iodine store. (for two---no wait, better, for one—okay okay for two) I’ll reimburse you...



How long after irradiation do you need to take them?

How does one keep the iodine pills from getting irradiated?



I have no idea about how long after....I think, pretty much, you have to start taking them right away...over every day you take them...because there will be radioactive iodine in the air every day after a big bomb.

The iodine pills will not get irradiated.

You know physics...the first waves of gammas, heat, etc., kill who they kill, but then the next damage comes from all the fallout from alpha radiation (Helium isotopes, right?)--- and other unstable large molecules that are bad bad bad for us...

Among them, iodine...but the bad iodine won’t replace the good iodine in the fact, the opposite is true, so that is why you take the good iodine.

Will gamma rays go through the pills? Sure...but if there is a whole lot of gamma around you, you’ll die no need to worry about the pills.

Hopefully, a big bomb would land at LAX, and we could possibly survive. If it lands in downtown LA...forget it. We’re dead.

I bet they drop the bomb right on Beverly which case, we’re dead, too.

So, get your iodine tablets, but be prepared to die.

(I think It’ll actually be a little safer in Jackson Heights)

If anything, our US government would be happy if LA was blown would give them an excuse to nuke the middle East out of existence, AND, they’d be rid of millions of pesky liberals.



I was wondering if they should be in the car and office, or just at home.

Alpha radiation is indeed helium nuclei, beta is electrons, and gamma is high-energry light. If they can irradiate the iodine in your thyroid, why can’t they irradiate the iodine in your pills?



The idea is that the thyroid is taking up iodine all the time, and if there are large radioactive iodine molecules in the air, they will take up residence in your thyroid and give you cancer. But, if the concentration of iodine in your blood stream is high (because you are taking the iodine pills) the thyroid will take up those iodine molecules because they are at a greater concentration and nature always goes for efficiency and so you take up the iodine that is not harmful into your thyroid, avoiding cancer. Thus, the whole reason for the iodine pills. So I’m told.





Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Blog Worth Reading

I would like to promote a new blogger who has a distinct voice and a very sharp grasp on our current political situation.

She is also a very talented emerging artist from one of our Mid-Atlantic states and happens to be the sister of my legally-sanctioned-by-the-state-of-California-domestic-partner (LSSCDP), Adam.

Her latest entry about Darryl, the soldier, is quite sad and profound. Her musings on happiness and the pointed list exposing the hypocrisy of the Republican party with regard to Clinton during wartime in Bosnia are great mind poppers.

So do check it out. And if you forget to save this blog URL in your favorite blogs list, you can always find it by clicking on it under LINKS down on the right side of Open Trench.


Courage is Found in Unlikely Places

Midweek Party with Chrissy

The very Republican Chrissy was here and as we were arguing about the war in Iraq it became clear to me that she had a point. We need to secure the area.

And my counterpoint was: Okay, lie about weapons of M.D. and say whatever you want to try to fool the idiots of this country, but if you are going to lie, get in there and do it right. Turn that Sunni Triangle into a Sunni Crater.

But then, you don't even know what we really want. Maybe we want the Sunnis to take over.

And Chrissy got into the flypaper theory of having our soldiers there draws all the jihadists to them where they can safely blow them away far from our shores. Etc. Etc. Yuck Yuck Oil.

And of course, Dan would have none of it. He saw right through Chrissy's flawed thinking-- No one on earth can even begin to imagine that this whole war effort is going to succeed. And when Dan brought this war up on charges, Chrissy kept staying on message, like right wingers do, saying how we had to be in that area.

I see her point. But from Dan's point, the original logic of the war is wrong and from my point, the execution of the war has failed. And Chrissy thinks this strategy right now is going to work.

But when I told Chrissy that this war was really just about a few rich families, including the Bushes and the Saudi Royals, who are all fighting over the last billions to be made in the oil business before it all ends, she became dumbstruck and it really hit her in her moneyplexus and she said, all high, "That's fascinating. I've never thought about it like that before. Oh yes. Yes. We have to go write this down right now, together, so we don't forget it."

I told her I would remember it and that I'd blog about it later on. And so here I fulfill the promise.

We also got to see Chrissy's tits, and, when Chrissy asked Jeff to get her some water, Jeff refused and so Chrissy decided that she could never live in California and Adam told her that it has nothing to do with the coasts, she's living in a very old century.

Then Chrissy passed out, from all the drugs, and we eventually had to carry her out to the car so she could sleep it off at Sarah's.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

You Just Can't Make this Shit Up: August 17, 1980

Today was cool. I worked from 10AM to 12PM. It was really something. I was so beat. Greg and George and B and Kevin and Helga visited me. After work, me, B, Kevin, and Helga went to B’s house and played quarters and pigged out. Me and B had outrageous sex. It was our 1 year and 2 day anniversary for losing our virginity. Mom and Dad also visited at work. Today was really cool. Goodnight.

Okay, I worked from 10AM until midnight, just to clear up the AM, PM thing. I was working at The Handy Stop...a convenience store. And of course, there was a lot of thieving going on.

Greg is my brother. And George was our best friend who lived down the street. He was really my brother’s best friend, but I always thought he was my best friend, too. They were a year younger than me.

B and Kevin were a year older than me. B was Barbara, my girlfriend. I never called her B. Her family called her that. I just used it as shorthand in the diaries. Kevin had very red hair and freckles and was really tall and big. Football player. He was one of those guys who could be captain of the football team, AND play the lead in Dracula (to my fly eating Renfield). Kevin was studying communications at Ithaca College. Helga was even a year older than Kevin and two years older than me. She was very tall and smart and beautiful and became an engineer, graduating from SUNY Buffalo.

This was the first summer after I graduated high school. Barbara had gone to college but actually quit to come back home because she missed her family and she missed me. So there I was during my senior year of high school and my girlfriend, who was a year older and was so in love with me for odd reasons of her own, really cramped what should have been my wild days. Of course, I continued to date her all the way through my senior year of college, on and off, so I could pretend I was straight. Poor thing, she was so used and I think I pretty much destroyed her life. She eventually made it to the local college and ultimately graduated from The University of Connecticut and became an English teacher. After I completely succumbed to my gayness, she picked up the pieces of her life, married a cop who beat her, divorced him and then married a very sweet guy with an odd speech impediment.

I am sure everyone who came to work to visit me came there so they could steal shit. Especially my mother.

As far as playing quarters and pigging out goes. Yeah, we did that.

As far as outrageous sex goes. Sure, why not.

As far as it being our one year and two day anniversary of losing our virginity, yeah, that too. Sweet, really, in a twisted way.

I can only say this: For me, it was probably closer to my six year anniversary of losing my virginity. But that anniversary was the loss of my virginity that dared not speak its name.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

August 16, 1974

I swam at Devils Ditch and I swam at a swimming whole in hillburn. All Sally’s friends came over tonight. They ate everything. Well I’m going to sleep now. Well Goodnight.

At the end of my street where I grew up was the Ramapo River. A bit polluted, but we swam in it anyway. Six blocks south of my street, downriver and over the state line into New Jersey was Devils Ditch, our swimming hole. It was actually a very deep spot in the river and it had a rope swing. I spent many days there with my friends swimming, making fires, even camping.

I can barely remember the swimming hole in Hillburn, a couple miles upstream, though I think it was more of a rocky ledge near a turn in the Ramapo River with a gravel island not far from the river bank. The space between the ledge and the island was the swimming hole. I think I was only ever there this one time. What I most remember about it was the time of day. Early Evening. It was secluded and had a bit of the open nature idyll to it. I remember always feeling embarrassed that I liked the feel of things more than the activity of the event.

Sally is my sister. I have no idea what her friends ate.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Malibu Convergence with T.D.

Sometimes, life throws you big lips and you just have to take them.

So, this afternoon, I was at an intimate party at my friend’s house.
Okay, Malibu Mansion. My friend is real low key and by a stroke of chance she became very wealthy and now lives looking out over the Pacific.

By chance, Taylor Dayne was there. Well, because she is a friend of my friend, which I didn’t know.

This is not so surprising in Los Angeles considering at any party, someone or other anywhere could show up. But what was surprising was, my friend decided that I was going to play the piano and Taylor Dayne was going to sing. This seemed like an okay idea to my friend since I’d been drafted into music provider in the past at her little get togethers to positive effect. But what my friend did not really take into account was that when this went down the last time, it was in a room full of middle aged actors of no great distinction who happened to like Billy Joel. But being optimistic, our hostess pressed Taylor and me into a little musical act.

This was not a great pairing. As Taylor sidled down onto the piano stool next to me, I told her I really didn’t know any music past 1980. I was a little nervous but also a little calm since, really, I actually don’t know Taylor Dayne’s music at all. Between her name and her album covers and my general mood in the Eighties, I was not listening to T.D.

But I had a vague feeling she was kind of rocky, bluesy, whatever. I darted into a song or two that I thought would work and she sort of looked at me like I had no beat. Which I don’t. I’m more of a chords and melody kind of medium to slow ballad guy. I can’t turn the piano into a drum. And Taylor, who you could feel definitely has the music in her in a huge way, was of course, way out of my league.

So after some definite failures at trying things like For All We Know by K. Carpenter, This Masquerade, some Stevie Wonder thing, A Case of You by Joni, all songs Taylor picked among my cutting edge offerings, the magic just wasn’t brewing. As soon as we would start into a song, T.D. didn't catch the vibe and so she'd sort of subtly peter out and let the focus be more on her energetic child. Which was actually pretty sweet. So her kid would take the mike and fool around and the unrealized moments would pass.

But the focus in the room was unwavering if not even a bit tense. People wanted to hear T.D. sing. Our hostess was really behind it. And I was the band. I had no idea when I woke up this morning that this would be going down or else I would have gone out and bought some sheet music to one of her hits, right?

Finally, I directly lobbied for You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman in order to get this thing done. And it worked. She sang pretty much the whole song. T.D. was cool enough to give the little party a taste and to hang in there with me until something got some real life in it. She went hard on the song. She has an ass kicking voice. And I banged out backup.

It was absolutely ridiculous. Yet, Taylor Dayne, in her grizzled, lumpy, earthy middle age, was totally chill, cared more about her kid than herself and was happy to put up with my 1970’s Bass and Plunk chord slamming that is the extent of my virtuosity in order to give away a good little piece of herself for the sake of others. This experience reflects one of the balancing marvels of the social contract within the human condition: Our hostess made everyone happy by making everyone just a little bit miserable.

This experience also suggests: You can be Taylor Dayne, but one day, you may just have to sing along with me.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Aristocracy Does not Live in Silverlake

Last night, due to circumstances beyond our control, a midweek party erupted in Silver Lake. The next thing you know, the subject of the American Aristocracy erupted.

Now, it's interesting that all it takes is Cindy Sheehan sitting outside of Bush's duchy for people to really start getting it on a personal level:

Bush and his greasy pals are oil hungry. And they'll kill whoever is in their way to get what they want.

But then, you start to realize, these Bush people are American aristocracy. Sure, Georgie plays the humble cowboy with the bad diction and the staunch religious swagger, but really, it's all show. The aristocracy, always, has been a bunch of actors. Like the court during the era of Louis XIV, these people dressed up, lied, did whatever it took to get whatever they could.

But after the cobwebs of the midweek party clear, and the sun comes up over Silver Lake and I crawl off the overly tufted divan to my car and drive home in the 6AM traffic on Sunset Boulevard and my fan belt breaks and whips the underside of the chassis but I roll to the curb of my house without incident and say to myself, "Fucking cars, I hate them all," I then start to wonder: Is having an aristocracy really avoidable?

Doesn't every country have one? How many French families really do get to send their intelligent offspring to L'Ecole Nationale d'Administration, (ENA) whose alumni pretty much run the grande nation of egalité?

Do we, all tribes on earth, rely on the aristocracy to do our filthy bidding? Do we allow for a severe pecking order, giving the richest families access to the military so they can go get the stuff that we need to live on? And in return for their services of murder and acquisition, do we perhaps allow them to make (steal) enormous sums of money to further entrench and strengthen their positions in business, so they may continue to maintain a steady bargaining power in the world, which in turn brings to our shores monstrous booty?

And can you blame people who have always had everything for aspiring to squeeze the last billions of dollars they can out of the oil business before they have to actually trudge into some other energy business that scares them, since they don’t know what that business is yet?

To me, the question is not, how could this FUCKING SELFISH IDIOT be our president.

To me, the question is, why do we love the aristocracy and why are we willing to let them lead us blindly? Or, at least, half of us...which is enough, apparently, to get the job done.

Good luck, Cindy Sheehan. The greed and mendacity you face is greater than that which exists in one wretched, exercise obsessed vacationer in Texas.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Let the Sun Shine

My Friend, Dan, has your back. He works for the power company and now this:

News Release


Major New Solar Energy Project Announced By Southern California Edison and Stirling Energy Systems, Inc.

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 9, 2005—Edison International (NYSE:EIX) subsidiary Southern California Edison (SCE), the nation’s leading purchaser of renewable energy, and Stirling Energy Systems today announced an agreement that could result in construction of a massive, 4,500-acre solar generating station in Southern California. When completed, the proposed power station would be the world’s largest solar facility, capable of producing more electricity than all other U.S. solar projects combined.

The 20-year power purchase agreement signed today, which is subject to California Public Utilities Commission approval, calls for development of a 500-megawatt (MW) solar project 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles using innovative Stirling dish technology. The agreement includes an option to expand the project to 850 MW. Initially, Stirling would build a one-MW test facility using 40 of the company’s 37-foot-diameter dish assemblies. Subsequently, a 20,000-dish array would be constructed near Victorville, Calif., during a four-year period.

“At a time of rising fossil-fuel costs and increased concern about greenhouse-gas emissions, the Stirling project would provide enough clean power to serve 278,000 homes for an entire year,” said SCE Chairman John Bryson. “Edison is committed to facilitating development of new, environmentally sensitive, renewable energy technologies to meet the growing demand for electricity here and throughout the U.S.”

Although Stirling dish technology has been successfully tested for 20 years, the SCE-Stirling project represents its first major application in the commercial electricity generation field. Experimental models of the Stirling dish technology have undergone more than 26,000 hours of successful solar operation. A six-dish model Stirling power project is currently operating at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“We are especially pleased about the financial benefits of this agreement for our customers and the state,” said Alan Fohrer, SCE chief executive officer. “The contract requires no state subsidy and provides favorable pricing for ratepayers because tests have shown the Stirling dish technology can produce electricity at significantly lower costs than other solar technologies.”

- MORE -

Page 2 of 2

How It Works

The Stirling dish technology converts thermal energy to electricity by using a mirror array to focus the sun’s rays on the receiver end of a Stirling engine. The internal side of the receiver then heats hydrogen gas which expands. The pressure created by the expanding gas drives a piston, crank shaft, and drive shaft assembly much like those found in internal combustion engines but without igniting the gas. The drive shaft turns a small electricity generator. The entire energy conversion process takes place within a canister the size of an oil barrel. The process requires no water and the engine is emission-free.

Comparison to Other Solar Technologies

Tests conducted by SCE and the Sandia National Laboratories have shown that the Stirling dish technology is almost twice as efficient as other solar technologies. These include parabolic troughs which use the sun’s heat to create steam that drives turbines similar to those found in conventional power plants, and photovoltaic cells which convert sunlight directly into electricity by means of semiconducting materials like those found in computer chips.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sonic Boom


This morning at 5:12, I was awakened by what I assumed was an earthquake. There was a huge noise in my backyard that sounded to me as if a 727's waste tank had fallen from the sky and landed on the grass.

The house shook, including the windows. I got out of bed, walked into the office and wrote down on a pad, "Earthquake, 5:12." I always write things down on pads at all times of day...

I went back to bed a bit shaken. Because earthquakes are kind of upsetting.
When my California sanctioned domestic partner, Adam, got out of bed at about 8:30, I asked him, "Honey, look online. It felt like a 5.2"

Though I sleep like the dead...truly, worms eat me while I sleep...I always wake up for oncoming earthquakes. I have some sort of reptilian medulla thing that alerts my cerebral cortex and I become completely alert.

Adam looked online and told me it was the Discovery landing. The sonic boom was my earthquake.

It must be very intense to be in the space shuttle.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Crawl, Hillary, Crawl to the Middle!


So, she's going to win again, as senator of New York State in 2006. No sweat.

And it does look like she's getting ready for a presidential run in 2008. Seems to me. Maybe 2012? She'll still be young enough.

And she's doing what she has to do. The slog to the middle. Do it, girl. Do it hard.

In this day and age, when the fight over what is Left and what is Right just won't quit, a real Centrist is what is needed. As we all know, the two system party is set up to push things to the middle. And as Hillary rides the wave there, it's impossible to blame her wet ass. The system forces it.

Apparently, Bill Clinton was further to the Right than Dick Nixon.

It's not the people, people, it's the times!

Of course, the Right is already vilifying Hillary as a Leftist wolf in Centrist sheep's clothes.

And Hillary, with that unflappable look in her big eyes, continues to increase her support as she articulates exactly why she takes the positions she takes in this current U.S.A.

I believe she can be our next president. I believe the United States of America is ready for Hillary Clinton, wife of the funnest, most smartest, bestest ex-president we've seen in forever.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Blog Block

It happened.

I have nothing to blog.

I blog anyway.

What do you call a Scottish overweight, needy woman who only hangs out with gay men?

Faggus Haggis

And that, is what I have.

Friday, August 05, 2005

New Yorkers Edit Los Angeles

Like big brothers who want to make sure their younger sibling does not embarrass them, the Los Angeles Times is now being edited by New Yorkers.

The Chicago Tribune, who owns the Los Angeles Times, is perfectly positioned in their corporate headquarters between the two largest cities in the country to promote literary homogeneity.

I loved that the Los Angeles Times was a little more homespun and definitely more sarcastic than The New York Times. It’s what made the Los Angeles Times, in my opinion, a much more enjoyable newspaper. Plus, having a California spin on the news is always more interesting, because, hey, here we are in California. And we Californians take things a little less seriously and we sort of, I don’t know, laugh at things sooner than we get all righteous.

Now that the editors have changed, the tone has gotten more somber. It’s just too bad.

But what’s even worse is the infusion of the same fucking vocabulary words I always have to look up when I’m reading The New Yorker. Don’t get me wrong. I love The New Yorker (and to a lesser extent The New York Times), but I’ve already spent the past year looking up words like hegemony, heuristic, ersatz and pseudonymous. And having a decent memory, I’ve learned the meanings of these words and would be very thankful to never have to see them again.

But there they are in my Los Angeles Times newspaper. Like that young man of yesteryear, must everything, “GO WEST?”

Will I wake up tomorrow and have to face the prolix terror of penumbra, apostasy and supererogation? And must I look up desultory just one more time before I die? And the dreaded spavined! It has something to do with a horse hock. I’ve read that word about twenty times this year in The New Yorker. I hate it for its overuse and now, I fear, it will end up in the Home Section of my Los Angeles Times.

It seems to me there is some awful editor king somewhere in midtown Manhattan who has a very large vocabulary, but a limited one, nevertheless. And this king, not happy to only lord it over The New York Times and The New Yorker, has aggressively acquired our little duchy of the Los Angeles Times. I would like, very much, for him to be deposed before I have to put up with riparian, demotic, exegesis, sui generis or fustian fluttering in my face while I try to read my cool, snarky L.A. Times and drink my morning herbal tea in peace.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Evolution of a Bipedal Slime

George Bush's belief in intelligent design can be nothing more than wishful thinking.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

My Birthday August 3, 1974

My birthday

Well here I am at the house we’re renting for our vacation. It’s a nice house. It wasn’t bad weather and my diving mask works good. I didn’t try out my mit yet. I didn’t tell anyone this but this vacation sucks the moose. I wish I could have a vacation where you go to amusement parks, see different attractions, etc. But all we do when we come here is sit around and go swimming. I really do appreciate my mom and dad’s concern for me and everything. I left my pants in my locker at the clubhouse cause I was swimming. It had $4.00 in it and someone took it and replaced it with a penny. Boy was I mad. Daddy gave me $3.00 after that to make up for it. I appreciate it a lot.

We owned property in the Poconos...and we were building a house on it at the time. So we rented for the weekend in order to be able to have a vacation weekend. I remember it was actually a nice house, very close to the clubhouse.

I did not admit something in this diary entry. When I discovered that my $4.00 was stolen (birthday money from the day before), I got so upset that I started crying and couldn’t stop. I also remember my father being embarrassed that I was being such a crybaby. And, I remember when he only gave me $3.00 that it was sort of weird. Somehow, I think by withholding a dollar he was teaching me a lesson, like, I had to have a little pain to remember to not leave money in my pockets in an unlocked locker.

Obviously, too, the penny I found in my pocket was probably my penny. I cannot imagine someone taking $4.00 and then replacing it with a penny.

I remember, too, that I never liked the Poconos again after this experience. I felt that if there was a nice clubhouse, and it was actually quite nice with an indoor pool and a huge fireplace and ski lifts right outside, well, if such a nice place existed, they should not let bad kids in who would steal your money. I already had enough with bad kids. I didn’t need to deal with them at our vacation home, too. I knew I was leaving the money in my pocket when we went swimming, but I assumed it was safe because of where we were.

Also, I remember I only bought a mit because I was supposed to. It was actually blue. Remember when they made baseball mits in colors? I think I used the thing in summer camp because I had to. It was a silly mit but I was always proud to wear it. I was giving the signal to the world, “I only have this mit because I’m a boy and I have to have one. But I picked a cobalt blue one, so there.”

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Are You a Libertarian?

My sister-in-law directed me to this very simple sight that will help you determine if you are a Libertarian. (Thanks Rebecca) Apparently, though I wish I was one, I am not a Libertarian. I scored 80% on personal issues and 40% on economic issues for Liberal. This makes me a Liberal. On the graphed chart, I am close to Moderate. Hillary in 2008? Sure!

Take the forty-five second quiz:

Libertarian Quiz

Monday, August 01, 2005

Dan at the Power Company and Other Dead Things

My friend Dan works at the power company and he sent me the article below.

It's a thrill to know that farmers are thinking about their waste. And interestingly, they are doing it on their own gas. No need for regulation. I guess a time comes when people are willing to change. Especially when energy and money are involved.

Perhaps I need to finally admit to being a Libertarian. I didn't want to be one, but I seem to be moving in that direction. People balk at regulation. Good ideas may really and truly follow if Libertarianism reigned.

The first thing I would do in a Libertarian society is to build an electricity generating incinerator for dead bodies. Why waste all these good dead bodies putting them in the ground or cremating them with nothing positive to gain from their slow or very fast decay? Why not a nice slow, steady burning of the dead so that we may have a net increase in kilo wattage?

The Cow Gas article from Dan at the Power Company:

Farmers get charge out of cow manure | Methane is converted into
electrical power

Anne Krueger
© 2005 San Diego Union Tribune Publishing Company. Provided by ProQuest
Information and Learning. All Rights Reserved.

LAKESIDE -- Tons of cow manure won't be going to waste at the Van Ommering

The family farm is the fifth in California -- and the first in San Diego
County -- to make use of a technology that converts the gases produced by
cow manure into electricity. Rob and Dave Van Ommering, two brothers who
operate the dairy, began running the equipment in March and say their most
recent electric bill was half the usual amount.

The $900,000 system, known as an anaerobic plug-flow digester, was
financed in part by a $244,000 state grant and a $150,000 federal grant.
Representatives from the state dairy industry and government agencies plan
to attend an unveiling at the Van Ommering dairy tomorrow.

Spurred by economics and environmental concerns, California is at the
forefront of building the devices that turn poop into power.

"If we can ever develop a market for this power, instead of having it go
up in the atmosphere, we can have the farmer get paid for the energy he's
producing," said Mark Marsh, who heads the nonprofit corporation
administering the state grants. "This would electrify a lot of homes in

Fourteen dairies in California have received a total of $6 million in
grants to build the methane digesters. Only nine dairy farms outside the
state have them now, Marsh said.

With 500 cows at their Lakeside dairy, the Van Ommerings have plenty of
raw material for their digester. Each cow produces about 80 pounds of
waste each day, or almost 15 tons a year.

The manure is carted to a concrete-lined, 130-foot-long holding tank
covered with a polyethylene tarp. It stews for about 30 days while
bacteria creates a gas that is funneled to a generator producing more than
100 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power more than 100 homes.

Dave Van Ommering said a key to the operation is ensuring the manure is
maintained at about 100 degrees, the optimum temperature for the bacteria.
It puts a whole new spin on those California milk commercials featuring
happy cows.

"Instead of happy cows, we have happy microbes," he said, quickly adding
that his bovines are also contented.

The Van Ommerings are the second generation to run the Lakeside dairy;
their parents started the farm after emigrating from Holland 45 years ago.
It's one of seven dairies in San Diego County.

The process of getting the digester built took longer and cost more than
the Van Ommerings anticipated when their grant from the California Energy
Commission was accepted in December 2001.

Dave Van Ommering said he was interested in building a digester because he
felt dairy farmers will be facing increased environmental regulations.
Methane gas, created when manure decomposes, is a greenhouse gas that
affects the Earth's temperature and climate system.

Van Ommering said he started thinking about methane emissions after
hearing that scientists at the University of California Davis were
studying the amount of the gas produced by cows through belching and
flatulence -- "the front end and the back end" of the animal.

The digester seemed to offer an answer to some of those environmental
concerns. In addition to generating electricity, manure that goes through
a digester is less smelly and has fewer weed seeds, making it a more
desirable fertilizer.

"We knew that we had to change our operations," Van Ommering said.

The Van Ommerings had hoped to have the digester operating by September
2002 and had expected it to cost about $480,000. It took 2 1/2 years to
obtain county approval of their application. By then, the costs of
construction materials had risen, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars
to their expenses.

The energy produced by the methane digester is subtracted from the amount
of power the dairy purchases from San Diego Gas & Electric Co. The dairy
and the seven houses on the Van Ommerings' 200 acres consume about 80
kilowatt-hours of electricity, Rob Van Ommering said.

He estimated that the electricity savings will result in the digester
paying for itself within 15 years.

SDG&E is not required to pay for any excess electricity produced by the
digester beyond the needs of the dairy. That's a sore point for Marsh, who said California utilities fought legislative efforts to require that they
pay retail rates for the power.

"The utility gets the additional power for nothing," he said.

Anne Krueger: (619) 593-4962;

Cow gas for electricity. Dead bodies for electricity. Banana peels for electricity. Whatever it takes to get the FUCK out of that greasy mess called The Middle East.

Note to Dan: Thanks for the article. And, I only used the title for this entry because it sounded funny.


Scroll down a bit for those who have seen it.

Even though you just had to know that Nate was going down once they announced this was the last season, it was still so surprising when he dropped dead. When my grandmother had cancer, I knew she was going to die. It's never the same when they're dead as compared to the knowing it's coming, even a fictitious character on television.

The future:

Will David and Keith raise Maya?

Will Brenda have another miscarriage and then kill herself?

Will Clair end up an office drone?

What a show.