Saturday, June 30, 2007

Call Me Mr. Matchmaker.


    See, this is heartbreaking.  According to my ClusterMap, I have two readers in Australia; however, they are are separated by an entire freakin' continent.  And, it's a big, lonely continent.

    Now, being the nice guy and hopeless romantic that I am, I really want these two kids to get together.  Perhaps they could meet in Coober Pedy and dig for opals or something.  That would bring a smile to my face.  Plus, if these two can make it work in this day and age, my map won't look like a woman's chest as drawn by a talentless eight year old with a dirty mind.

    So, if you two Aussie kids can get together, drop me an email (, and I'll send you a free t-shirt (I've decided to just start giving away my dirty laundry rather than actually put in the effort of washing it).  Love is in the air, ya know? 


Mmmm... Breakfast!

    Neato.  Here's a picture I took this morning with the Summerfest Webcam.  It's a pretty neat internet toy to play with, and at 7:30 in the morning the queue to use the thing consisted of only me.  Yes.  I had total control!  Buwahaha!

    As you can imagine, I was overjoyed to see that they are hard at work this morning stocking the vital necessities for all my festival needs.

    Thank you, beer men!  Thank you all.  I'd buy you breakfast for taking care of my lunch and dinner, but, well...  You know how it goes. 
    Anyway, this camera is located at the South Gate.  It's the usual place where my buddies and I meet up and begin our insanity.  So, if I'm not online and you're wondering where I am, this is where you'll find me.  I'll try not to pick my nose on camera. 


Friday, June 29, 2007

Just Checkin'...


    Now, there's absolutely no reason for writing this tonight.  I was out at Summerfest for a bit earlier today while my DSL was being "activated."  It turns out, lack of internet is an excellent excuse to have a wonderful time.  So, of course, I meandered down to Summerfest for an afternoon of decent music capped off with a couple of cold beers and a nice, happy basket of Crispy Squid with plum sauce.  YUM! 

    Anyway, the picture here is of DeafCat on my guitar amp.  I was having issues posting pictures before, and I just want to see if things are working better now. 
    So, if you please, you're welcome to disregard this entry, but, as always, I am curious what you are all up to this weekend?  Is anyone doing anything fun and rowdy? 


Thursday, June 28, 2007

36 Months of Hot Canoodian Love, eh?

    Ootstandin' eh?  P-Lit in da hizz-hoose!

    As I was shaking the dust from my head this morning by looking at porn reading the blogs in my collection of feeds, I learned that today is everyone's favorite kitten-eating Communist AOL Canada blogger P-Litty's three-year anniversary.

    Now, there should be a parade.  After all, three years is a pretty long time (21 if you're a dog), and for Paul to actually manage to keep things entertaining, enlightening and downright fun for that stretch of time is a pretty impressive achievement.  I'd also be lying if I said that Paul and his blog Aurora Walking Vacation wasn't a huge inspiration to the goings-on here on my own little habitat of wordy madness.  After all, over the past year --and thanks to NAFTA-- I have plagiarized used a lot of AWV content as inspiration for more than just a few entries here.

    So, as you read this, do make it a point to drop by Aurora Walking Vacation to wish Paul a happy anniversary.

    In other news, it would seem that AOL Journals is hopelessly borked beyond comprehension today.  Is anyone else having troubles?

    Ahhh well...  I'm off to The Fest for lunch.  It's sunny, cool and a downright gorgeous day to bum around the lakeshore with some sort of weiss beer in my hand and live music blasting in my head. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For Better or Worse...

    Well, this is a fine how-do-you-do (link):
    PHOENIX — Eighteen days after his wife instructed doctors to disconnect food and water tubes, a Chandler, Ariz. man is sitting up in his hospice bed, giving the thumbs-up sign and communicating with visitors.
    I think his first words were probably something along the lines of: "My wife did WHAT?!?"



    Yes.  Things have been kind of quiet the last couple of days.  We're doing a bit of housekeeping, general maintenance, and upgrading here at the DPoem Media Empire mothership, and hopefully things will be running smoothly once I receive a new router and remove the rusty knife from my guts that the cable company has been using to gouge me. 

    However, on Thursday, I will once again be at Summerfest.  So, I'll try to post, but I can't make any promises.  I may be in jail, or face down in the lake, or stuck in a beer line dying of thirst, or...  well.  Use your imagination. 


Monday, June 25, 2007

Arrrgh! Help Me!

    Okay...  I need a big bit of help here.  I seem to be suffering from a nasty bout of the hiccups, and well...  I need a cure.  They're driving me batty.

    So, do me a favor, dear reader, and scare me.  Terrify me.  Please?

*update*   Thanks for all your scare tactics.  Some of you are pretty damn scary (Emily?  Please don't even joke about Emperor George.  I'm half-thinking that The Dick would rub out Dubya just so he could institute Marshal Law and be president for life.  That really spooks me). 

    Anyway, the cure I turned to for my hiccups was to slam a shot of bitters.  Yes.  I consider it the "nuclear option" in terms of hiccup cures, but it worked.   Man...  That stuff is nasty, and I certainly don't recommend it for the faint of heart or the weak of tummy.  Still, it seems like a sure-fire last resort. 

    Thanks for trying though. 

Irony Can Be Pretty Ironic Sometimes...

    Am I the only one who finds it kind of ironic that the ice cream truck that trundles down my street plays the theme song from Popeye? 

    I mean, spinach is good for you.  Bomb Pops?  Not so much. 


DogCat Gets His Nip On...
    A look to the left...

    Yesterday, I figured I'd take advantage of the pleasant Sunday-morning breeze off the lake by grabbing a cup of fresh coffee and a good book which I've been meaning to get around to reading for several months now.  And, once those two major tasks had been accomplished, I set my sights on the patio where a comfy chair sat in the shade.  It was to be a deliciously silent morning; however, it wasn't long after I'd sat down that my peaceful moment began to unravel.

    It started with DogCat's grumbling.  "Mrrrrrg...  Mrr.  Erg."
    "Hey, Dog." I said as I took a drink of my coffee before returning my attention to my book.
    "Mrrrg."  He said before jingling the collection of various tags that dangled from his collar.
    I hung my hand beside my chair and stuck a lazy finger out to scratch his head.  And, as he is wont to do, he promptly put my finger in his mouth and began to gnaw and cover it full of slobber. 
      Now that summer is here, when it comes to DogCat, I feel as though I am the owner of a roadside drive-thru.  My morning ritual consists of making coffee before opening the curtains to see DogCat sitting on the windowsill.  I proceed to let him in the front door, he runs to the kitchen, I open a can of food and feed him before stepping out the backdoor for a smoke while the coffee-maker does its thing and DogCat has his breakfast.  After the morning smoke, I open the door, DogCat runs out issuing a perfunctory "Mrrrp" on his way, and I proceed to pour a cup of coffee and begin my day.  Some days, that's all I see of him.

    To him, I am just the guy who opens the front door which leads to the kitchen which leads to the back door which leads to FREEDOM!
    A look to the right...

So, in light of the fact that this cat of mine felt kind enough to grace me with an appearance, I figured I'd give him a couple of scratches on his furry little head.  Unfortunately, he wanted something else.  I wanted to read, and he wanted to play.  And, with a cat that large, this could only end one way:  We will play, or I will lose some blood.

     Now, one of the perks of the yard is that I have a veritable forest of catnip growing wild in a corner.  In fact, this year, I have the kind of cash crop that would make a Columbian cat-drug cartel drool.  And, if I am the Pablo Escobar of the world of kitty narcotics, DogCat is my hired muscle whose only real job is to keep the wandering, strung-out, feline junkies from sneaking onto my plantation to swipe bits and pieces of my "merchandise."

      DogCat does a good job, and I, in turn, reward him very well. 

    Anyway, since I was more inclined to do some reading, I decided I'd get up and feed my cat's dependency.  And, as I wandered over to retrieve a hunk of my crop, DogCat found a comfy spot off the patio in the shade of the lilac bushes.  And, as I returned with my haul, he began his usual series of excited chattering and barking as if to say "Dude!  I'm hurtin' here, man.  Gimme what you're holdin'."


    Now, whenever he is confronted with a pile of catnip, DogCat, like every other junkie, goes through a strange ritual where he looks around over his shoulders to make sure there is no Five-O, narcs, or any other cats around to perhaps bogart his precious stash.  DogCat doesn't share his weed.
    After making sure the coast is clear, DogCat proceeds to get his nip on by eating a single leaf.  Then, he will sit for a while as he appraises the quality of the catnip on his gums.  If he's got some bunk weed, he'll just eat the whole stash and go to sleep. 

    On the other hand, if he's got some high quality stuff, he will just pounce on the collection of catnip, roll around, and descend into a world of unrestrained kitty madness.  And, yesterday, I gave him some really good shit, apparently.

                After his requisite quality check, DogCat arose with a bark and walked around behind the lilac bush to get a better eye on his nip.  He crouched down and dug himself into the mulch to stare intently on his weed with his back end shaking.

    He dove forward in a blur with his front paws stretched out before landing and sending mulch and woodchips scattering across the patio from beneath his bush.  After that, it was pretty much a wild and rolling black, white, green smudge of teeth and claws and fur as he devoured his drugs.  If you put a hand in there, you'd probably draw back a bloody stump as he doesn't know the difference and just doesn't care.  That's the one track mind of a junkie, folks. 

    After eating all there is to eat of the stuff, you'd think the fun would be over.  And, DogCat usually gives that impression as the chemicals work their way into his system and his eyes begin to grow heavy.  But, as with most weed-heads, paranoia sets in, and my confused and addled cat will stare at a wood chip for several minutes.  Then, he will reach out a paw and collect the wood chip to put the unruly thing in his mouth.  Perhaps, in his little kitty mind, that wood chip is The Man, and he will gnaw and bat the thing around until it uncontrollably flies out of his reach.  Then, he will sit for a little while before looking around to realize, "Holy crap!  I'm in a friggin' mountain of woodchips!  The Man is everywhere!" 

    From there, he just goes batshit crazy by smacking woodchips and sending them flying pretty much everywhere around the yard.  Then, realizing he is hopelessly outnumbered, he will jolt out from beneath the bush and run straight up my apple tree to perch on a branch before the unripe apples start annoying him. 

     So, yesterday, a day that started off with a wonderful silence, I sat in my comfy chair reading my book and enjoying the cool breeze off the lake as the morning peace and quiet was punctuated by the occasional sound of DogCat barking in the tree and a hard, green apple bouncing off my Weber grill with a deep, surprisingly loud gong that seemed to reverberate well into the afternoon. 

Screw this...


    I just spent half an hour writing a nice, long entry about my cat with all sorts of pretty cool pictures, and AOL decided to "eat" it by spitting out the "Journals not available" screen.  Way to go asshats!

    So, I'm going to say screw it, and I'm thinking AOL can take its journals product and cram it squarely up its dysfunctional backside.  Someday, they may understand the value of having a consistently functional product as opposed to packing it full of mostly-useless features that don't operate as well as the pointy-heads who designed them would imagine.  I don't plan on sticking around for that though.  The only thing AOL seems to do consistently these days is disappoint. 

    If I feel motivated again, maybe I'll try to post it.  Right now, I just don't have the time or the desire.

    So, if you'd like, just imagine laughing over a bunch of pictures of DogCat getting ripped on a pile of catnip.  It was funny. 

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bad Dog!

    Now, this is just plain silly.  LINK!

    My guess is that the dog is more a fan of walking than going for those windy car rides.  Still, though, this story is the source of one of the best quotes ever:

Before the driver dove into the water to hook the car up to his truck, he asked Ewing to hold his dentures.

"My car's in the drink, I've got dentures in my hand and this guy Keith ... goes swimming," Ewing noted.

    What's worse than watching your car go into the "drink?"  Well, not much.  However, I'm going to say that holding the tow-truck driver's teeth while he hooks your car up to be yanked out has got to be up there somewhere.

    I am never going to complain about a bad day again...  I think.



    So, you're getting harassed by a stalker who keeps calling your cell-phone.  However, what happens when the calls keep coming even after you've changed your number, changed your phone, and even turned the phone off? 
    And, of course, the police response in this case is straight out of a Hollywood script.

Friday, June 22, 2007


    Hmm...  Graphics?

    Dawn suggested that I try to incorporate more graphics in my blog, but the thing is, I am really not that big of a fan of those sorts of things.  Granted, some of them can be quite nice and whatnots, but let's face it, I've stumbled upon more than one blog that was so unbearably choked with all sorts of pictures and animations that half the time, the page wouldn't load properly on my poor browser.  Apparently, sometimes Firefox doesn't recognize certain picture formatting in some "About Me" sections, and the pictures, graphics and everything tend to encroach into the actual journals entries.  For example, here's what Dawn's blog looks like on my browser:

    As you can see, it's kind of cluttered as a result of AOL placing such tight tolerances on sizing in the "About Me" section which my browser doesn't recognize. 

    However, if I use the AOL client browser, the "About Me" section on Dawn's blog is expanded to accomodate the size, and everything is fine and dandy. 

    See?  It's all nice and tidy.  But, I like my Firefox browser over the AOL client.  And, the way I've found to get over the cluttering on the page is to read Dawn's blog via the Newsgator feed reader which doesn't display the stuff in the "About Me" section.  And, then when I want to comment, I open the individual entry and it's all good.

    Don't worry, Dawn.  I still love your journal, and it's always a damn fun read.  And, besides, your blog isn't all that cluttered.  However, I have come across some that are so packed with animations, graphics, and hot-linked (e.g. copy and pasting a picture from the web directly into an entry) photos, that the pages do not even load.  And, when they do, looking at the page is a lot like walking the Vegas strip with a headfull of blotter acid.  It's dizzying.

    Of course, none of that really has anything to do with why I personally don't use graphics or animations.  I think sometimes those things can be too much of a distraction.  I'd rather just write and slap in the occasional photo (which reminds me.  I really need to find my camera). 

    Moreover, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I figure if I avoid pictures in my entries, my typing skills will improve.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'm Clean... Kinda.

    This is neat.

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating


    See?  Don't ever accuse me of not thinking of the children.  I'm cleaner than Disney.  Woohoo!  The only thing which gave me a PG rating was my use of the word "zombie."  Bastards! (oops)...  Damn! Ack!  Crap...  %$#&!!!


Sick Day...

    These allergy things are freakin' annoying.  So, I am going to take the day off, slam some Benadryl and see if this itchy nose and itchy, watery eyeballs can clear up.  There's something in my garden that I am allergic to, I think.  I spent the morning yanking weeds, and man!  I am just feeling dreadful.  From now on, I am going to hire a machete wielding madman of Amazonian descent to deal with all my garden trimming needs. 

    Anyway, since I'm being a bum today, I figured now would be a good time to open up the blog for complaints and whatnots. 

    Is there something I'm doing wrong?
    Is the font too small (I have beady eyes, and I think my font resembles my beady-eyedness)?
    Something not quite sitting right with you? 

    Now is the chance to get it off your chest and let me know.  I may actually take it into account and make some changes around here.  Let it go, people.  You'll feel better, and I care.  I really care. 

    And, as an aside to my angry Christian friends out there, rather than emailing me your irrelevant complaints and inane whining, please just grow a backbone and post your drivel on the Gripe Line so everyone else can read your threats and whatnots.  I'm a little too tired to deal with them. 

    Anyway, have a great day, and don't be afraid to scold me.  I know I deserve it. 


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Then Again...

    Perhaps God told him, "Thou shalt go forth and install a drive-thru, Father Fink!  And it will be good!  And the lawd will be pleased.  And there will be much rejoicing."  

Fortunately, no one was killed.   Link

Priest Crashes Into Restaurant, Arrested For DWI

(CBS 42)
SMITHVILLE A Smithville priest is charged with drunk driving after crashing the pickup truck he was driving into a restaurant.

Father Karel Fink, the pastor of St. Paul Parish according to the Diocese of Austin, was arrested Monday night for DWI.

Keep the Kids Stupid...

    Now this pisses me off:  Link

           Threats Force SC Library to Cancel Summer Program
A South Carolina library system has closed down its summer programs for young adults after receiving threats and allegations that it was trying to promote "witchcraft" and "drug use."


    Now the programs are cancelled in the wake of phone and e-mail threats from the community, believed to emanate from a single local Baptist church. The astrology program was labeled as "witchcraft" by callers, while the Zen garden and yoga programs were objected to as "promoting other religions." The t-shirts workshop? "Promotes the hippie culture and drug use," callers said.

    Sometimes I wonder whether or not our nation is out there fighting the "real" terrorists?  After all, if this sort of nonsense is allowed to fester in our own nation, doesn't it make us all a collection of hypocrites asking other nations of the world to stop this stupidity? 
(via BoingBoing)


Cocktail Parties, Cephalopods, and Other Brain Warmers.

    As promised, I will do Em (E-minor?) the common courtesy of responding to her tagging of me as one of the blogs which makes her think.  Apparently, the rules for this meme are pretty simple:  I write about those out there who tickle odd places in this noggin of mine, and they, in turn, follow suit by writing about those out there who make them think.  It's a vicious circle with sharp, nasty, pointy teeth.  Kind of like PacMan.

    Now, fortunately, for me, a lot of these blogs I read are from writers who don't often come around this collection of semi-coherent lunacy I have here on AOL unless they're either considerably liquored up, or "slumming it" for whatever reason; so, I really don't see any of them taking part in this meme at all.  But, I can take solace in the fact that they've got much better things to do like think about ways in which to make me think.

    Anyway, to get on with things, I have to say that this first one tumbles in with a very strange set of coincidences.  It's a blog I've been reading for quite some time, and when I awoke this morning, I hopped online to see that the author of this wonderful collection of incredibly heavy, sometimes-brain shredding, collection of observations was the subject of AOL's John Scalzi's latest Author Interview.   So, it's patently clear that fate stuck its fickle finger into my morning cup of coffee and stirred a bit. 

    Jennifer Ouellette's blog Cocktail Party Physics is always one of my favorite reads.  Sometimes it takes days for me to fully digest all the wonders which her brilliant writing conveys.  She has an outstanding gift for making the most heady of concepts approachable to the everyday reader, and she makes it fun.  And, I've always believed that the easiest way to teach or enlighten is to wipe away the stigma that science is a daunting intellectual pursuit best left to those with thick glasses, genius IQ's, and pocket protectors by yanking the trousers down on these subjects.

    Next up:  A small, smiling curmudgeon who passes his days as a Biology Professor and spends his free time waving his tentacles around wildly at anyone foolish enough to try to force their spiritual beliefs upon him.  Yep.  It's PZ Myers and his blog Pharyngula

    PZ isn't in this blogging game to win any friends from the intellectually fettered folks of the religious community; however, with his constant encouragement for free-thought and the importance he places upon skepticism and critical thinking, PZ is quickly becoming one of the most popular wayside stops on the path to personal enlightenment.  He reminds us that religion is a wholly unnecessary piece of baggage which humanity doesn't need, and that waiting for some personal deity to make the world a better place is as much a waste of one's time as searching for a fart in a bag of rusty nails.  I tend to agree that god is not so much the problem in the world today but religion is, and I think a world without such irrational theistic inconsistencies would be a considerably better place for all.  Religion will be the downfall of America inevitably, and I believe free-thinkers and those who have evolved beyond the need for the irrational fears of religion are the only ones who can save this nation.  Freedom should NEVER be contingent upon a person's chosen faith, and PZ Myers helps keep those with theocratic aims in check by reminding us that religion is, at its very core, an inherently bigoted system of beliefs which strives to curtail the rights of those who do not share those beliefs.  

    The next blog which spins the rusty gears of my imagination comes from the always engaging bon vivant David Byrne.  I suppose this is one of my treasured, little secret reads.  He doesn't update with any frequency, but when my feed collector highlights a new entry, I know I am about to embark on a deeply philosophical and fun journey into the life of a man who seems to notice the very tiny, but incredibly important bits of life. 

    My next favorite is a foody fave.  It can be quite silly, insanely funny, or downright vicious, but one thing is for certain: it reminds us all that eating is one thing, but eating well is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. 

    And that blog is owned and operated by the always insightful Michael Ruhlman.  And, sometimes, the insufferable bastard Tony Bourdain drops in to spew his vitriol upon the pages with the sort of raging glee which makes me realize that if I were sitting at a table anywhere near these two, I'd never be able to eat simply because I'd probably be laughing too damn hard to even breathe.  And, in terms of human survival, eating is important, but breathing is a little more crucial. 

    Anyway, on those occasions where Ruhlman manages to separate himself from the paws of Bourdain, his insights into the world of food and his opinions about a well-fed and happy life are not only well-written, but instantly thought-provoking and wonderful to read. 

    I suppose, this blog is the written equivalent of one of my favorite things, and that is my annoying habit of walking into a restaurant and telling the chef to surprise me with whatever he or she wishes.  Usually, I love what winds up on my table since I've appealed to the passion of the person preparing the food, and their heart and soul permeates whatever is on the plate in front of me.  Ruhlman is the same way.  His passion is damn good eating, and in his words is a desire to escape the convenient plastic processed crap that people eat not so much to enjoy, but to sustain.  He reminds me that, so long as I'm able to breathe, I should always be happy with a good dinner, a great glass of wine and the company of good friends.  Yes.  It takes work, but it's worth it.  It really is.

    As for the Fifth, it's tough.  There are so many blogs out there worth reading, and so many of those make me think, make me smile, make me laugh and make me feel.  So, I'm going to say the whole damn lot of them fall into this place.  All of you who have blogs and journals, the millions and millions of you who put your lives upon the pages of the blogosphere, make me think in one way or another.  Sometimes you're inspiring, sometimes you're infuriating, but the simple fact is, you make me think, and I like that.  So long as you all keep doing what you're doing, and so long as I've got a functional brain, I promise I will keep reading and joining you on this little trip of life. 

    So, don't stop...

(See?  I can pull a Sopranos-esque ending.  nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Time Flies Like the Wind (but Fruit Flies Like Bananas)...


    It seems the day has gotten away from me.  I mean, it's after 9 o'clock at night, and I am feeling really tired. 

    It was a good day, I suppose.  I spent most of it loafing on the couch watching the movie Blue Demon with the Girlfriend/Ex-Girlfriend.  Words simply are not adequate to fully describe how utterly dreadful this movie was.  But, it's got mutant sharks, cliched characters, and umm...  mutant sharks named after the Marx Brothers.  Yes.  Brutal! 

    The thing is, Em tagged me as a blog that makes her think, and I've got to take care of that little meme first thing tomorrow... 

    Yeah.  Me?  I make people think apparently.  I don't know if I make them think in a Physics professor, a criminal-mastermind, or a piece of gum stuck on the bottom of one's shoe sort of way, but it's a nice compliment, and considering Emily's super-cool and nifty, it's clear I've totally got my foot in the door, and it's only a matter of time before she and I shave our heads and run off to live in an ashram.  It happens.  I have that effect on people.

    So, there's absolutely no reason whatsoever for writing this tonight other than to hopefully make people giggle.  Mostly though, I'm just waiting until my tired feeling turns into more of an "Oh my freakin' God!  Do I still have a pulse?" kind of exhaustion. 
    Well...  I'm off to drool at the TV some more.  Hopefully, all of you aren't thinking too much. 

Monday, June 18, 2007


    To those of you who shared your thoughts on tolerance, thanks for weighing in, and not only did you offer up some great thoughts, you also confirmed that I have some pretty damn cool people reading this blog.

    I think Gaz and Terry summed it up best with their comments, but, as if often the case, Cinzano's comments spun my mind in a completely different direction when I found myself thinking that perhaps familiarity could do quite a bit to aid in creating tolerance.  And, let's face it, this world really could stand to stop bickering over silly little things for a good long time. 

    The problem is, there are a great many intolerant people out there who, rather than take the time to learn about what they are hating and why they are hating it, would chose to remain in ignorance for no good reason whatsoever.  And, I've always felt that ignorance leads to assumption and that lack of understanding  subsequently leads to fear and hatred. 

    Anyway, the reason why tolerance is on my mind is the result of an odd story involving a friend of mine who I'll call "Chuck." 

    Chuck's a nifty guy.  He's unbelievably smart, and he's one of the nicest people I've ever met.  He's got a good career, a great apartment in the city, and good family with whom he's remained close over the years through any number of typical family struggles.  He's a patient guy, and he's also gay. 

    The only perceptible difficulties in life for my friend Chuck come from his brother's wife --a very Christian woman I'll call "Marge"-- who has all but exiled Chuck from his brother's life based solely on the fact that Chuck is attracted to men.

    In my dealings with Marge, she's always been incredibly kind and an all-around wonderful human being toward me.  In fact, she's shown probably more patience and tolerance for me and my antics than I'm sure I really deserved.  I mean, let's face it, sometimes my actions could be proof that God doesn't exist since I'm pretty damn certain he'd have struck me down a long time ago. 

    However, this isn't about me.  It's about my buddy Chuck who, though I have no idea how, can actually sit there and suffer this relentless display of hypocrisy and this sort of "conditional tolerance" and shrug off the actions and animosity of his sister-in-law with the sort of apathy one uses to shrug off a rainy day or a piece of burned toast.  And, he does so without uttering a single bad word about her.  I don't know how he does it, but he's always amazed me at how he is able to show more tolerance than a woman whose beliefs are based upon a religion that's supposed to promote tolerance. 

    Now, as Cinzano pointed out, maybe there's hope for Chuck and his sister-in-law.  It's been several years since she's been a part of their family, and perhaps if they spend more time together, they might accept one another as a result of simply understanding one another better. 

    Who knows, huh?


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Something to Think About...

    It's Father's Day here on planet earth.  So, to all you father's out there, I hope you manage to enjoy the day in the best of ways possible. 

    Anyway, I'm probably going to be out doing what I can to see that my own father doesn't do a damn thing today other than lounge around, but I figured before I run off, I wanted to get your thoughts on the following:


I'm curious to know what that word means to you.  So, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section, and I'll post my own thoughts (and why this word is on my mind), either later today or tomorrow. 

    So, have a great day!


Saturday, June 16, 2007


    Ladies and gentlemen, here's a transcript of selected phone calls from this morning:

    "Hey!  Let's go play some golf."
    "Hey!  It's freakin' ninety degrees out and pretty damn muggy.  I'd rather just sit in a bar and watch the U.S. Open."

    Ten minutes later, the phone rings:

    "Hey!  Let's go sit in a bar and watch the U.S. Open."


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Unconditional Air.

    Ahh...  Yes.  It's another delightful day here in the Land of Cheese.  The weather is destined to be hot and humid today, and since the wind is belching out of the west, this is one of those rare occasions where the phrase "cooler near the lake" is  nothing but a meaningless collection of words.  So, it's finally time to flick the little switch on the thermostat from "heat" to "cool" and put my archaic AC unit through its paces.  It struggles so.

    For some reason, I am reminded of my great aunt who, during her lifetime, could never quite grasp the concept of air-conditioning.  To her, though it was a nice thing to have on a hot summer day, it was also a potential silent killer.  Many times, I've walked into her house to find myself asking, "Why are your windows open when the AC is running?"
    "I'll be damned if I'm going to let that little gizmo suck all the air out of the house," she would say with a wild wave of her arms.   "I don't want to suffocate."

    And that's the way it was.  The only window that was even close to closed in her house was the window holding the pale-green General Electric air-conditioner tightly in place.  The window beside it, and pretty much every other window in her house save for the one in her bathroom that she'd nailed shut to keep the immigrants out, was wide open letting in the hot city wind of summer.  If things got too hot in the house, the only option was to hang your head over the poor, struggling, overworked appliance that sat churning out cold air while begging for this madness to end.
    And, there I stood with my face plastered to the sad little machine to the point that I would spend the rest of the day with the letters "GE" imprinted in reverse on my forehead. 

    Those were some weird summers. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Zombie Wagon!

    Since it's Blog Like it's the End of the World day, I figured I'd share with you all the wonderful picture I received from my twin brother on our birthday last week. 

    Now, as you can see, my family is not quite right to begin with, and I'm pretty certain when the undead horde starts wandering the streets, I'm thinking my siblings and I will finally fit right in.  This is a good thing for me, but it doesn't exactly bode well for all you normal people out there.  My family eats a lot, and well, you've got brains.  We like your brains.  We like your tasty  wonderful brains.

    Anyway, I'll try to write more later as soon as I get used to this whole undead thing going on.  It takes a lot out of a guy, ya know?  But, a bit of advice to all you other zombies out there:  Wear a helmet for pete's sake.  Head trauma is bad. 

-Undead DP


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ooo... Timeless!

    Here's a video of Dubya getting mobbed during his visit to Albania.  The funny thing is, if you pay attention to his left wrist at about 52 seconds into the clip, you'll notice that someone in the crowd stole our president's watch. 

    That's kind of funny.  Fortunately, he has people around him to help him with things like telling time and whatnots.  So, another global crisis has been averted. 

Monday, June 11, 2007

I've Got Your Toothache Right Here!

    I got a kick out of this when I saw it on BoingBoing

    So, give it up for Tessa and her pink ukulele as she brings a little pre-school angst to a Julie Andrews classic (and, stick around until the end of this 30-second clip to witness Tessa unleash an amazing shred-fest of a ukulele solo.  Kid's got mad skillz, yo!).

    Rock on, Tessa!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mission Impossible...

    Cinzano gets to have a love affair with Cleopatra (hawt!), and what do I get? 

Dan will be haunted by...

Jim Morrison

They want to give you the mission of clearing their name of any wrong doing.
'Whose ghost will come back to haunt you?' at

    How is this fair?  Do you have any idea how hard hard it will be to "clear" Jim Morrison's name?  Jeeze... 


Mmm... Ice Cream!

    Now, since this is a "family blog" (that is, of course, if your family is the sort of group that likes to play with sharp objects that sometimes explode) I would be remiss if I didn't mention this  ultra-simple, wicked cool way to make some ice-cream in a jiffy. 

    And, for all you parents out there too lazy or frazzled to click the above link, here's the recipe and instructions for ice-cream in a bag:
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milk or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons Rock salt
  • 1 pint-size Ziploc plastic bag
  • 1 gallon-size Ziploc plastic bag
  • Ice cubes
How To Make It
  1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
  2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
  3. Place the small bag inside the large one and seal again carefully.
  4. Shake until mixture is ice cream, about 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe off top of small bag, then open carefully and enjoy!
    I actually whipped up some of this earlier this morning.  For some reason, I wanted ice-cream for breakfast, and it actually worked out really well.  I used half-and-half, and it was nice and smooth and yummy. 

    Anyway, get out there and surprise your kids with your crazy mad MacGuyver ice-cream making skills (or just make some for breakfast).  And, for other tips and tricks, BoingBoing has been updating the post where I found this idea. 


Friday, June 8, 2007

Just a Little Babble...

    The last week, or so, I've been doing my darnedest to get all caught up on emails and whatnots, and I think I am actually starting to make some headway.  If you've emailed me, and I've not responded, well...  Sorry.  But, to those of you who were kind enough to send me birthday wishes, thank you for that. 

    Anyway, yesterday, I spent a lot of time dealing with a small cabal of Bible-thumping fundamentalist Christians who apparently took a great deal of offense over a post from last week (some even demanded I take down the link to the Christian Domestic Discipline website.  Yeah.  Like I'm going to get right on that).  Personally, I don't rightly give a hoot if they're "offended" or not. 

    In those emails, however, there was a consistent, and very troubling sentiment.  And, that was the sheer and amazing glee these pseudo-Christians took in the notion that they would be dancing in Heaven at the fact that I would be wailing in eternal misery in some sort of lake of fire somewhere.  And, even more troubling, when I pointed out their rank hypocrisy, they all pretty much believed that so long as I am some sort of worthless sinner in this supposedly "Christian" nation, they could say whatever they wanted, regardless of whether or not their god liked it. 

    It's madness, really.  But, it gets old fast.
    Nonetheless, after all the cudgeling, and all the irrelevant chest-thumping of these ridiculous folks, I am just left to wonder whether or not people truly comprehend the levels of hatred espoused in their religions.  I mean, even those beliefs which claim to be so wonderfully peaceful have an agenda --believe as me or suffer.  And, sometimes, that gets perverted into a belief that states "believe as me.  Be a dick like me.  Be afraid like me.  Or, suffer." 
    I don't know.  Perhaps this upswell in hate-filled religious rhetoric comes as a direct result of how our nation's citizens live in a constant state of fear, and religions are generally powered by fear.  It saturates our every day, and fear inevitably morphs into irrational hatred.  And, in a nation which is growing dumber each and every day, it's so much easier to hate than it is to learn and understand, isn't it?

    Personally, I feel sorry for religions which have been hijacked and perverted by these extremists.  But, I also do think that it's a very good thing in that it demonstrates to our society the hazards of life beneath the evil iron boot of a theocratic regime.  Unfortunately, America is stupid, and we are a nation of gullible fools.  And, I don't believe we will see what we've lost until it's too late to get it back without a tremendous struggle. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Here Kitty!

    Here's a treat I got from BoingBoing.

    A guy rigs a camera onto his cat and takes pictures of his daily adventures.  It's actually a pretty weird and entertaining perspective, and some of those pictures are quite stunning. 

    So, check it out, click the "tour" and enjoy a day in the life of a German cat. 

    DogCat definitely needs one of these, methinks. 


Where I Am...

    Thanks to Cinzano, apparently, I am lost. 

Was last seen trying to do the macarena
'What will you last be seen doing?' at

    That's complete madness, though.  Yes.  It's true I can't do the Macarena.  However, if you ever see me "trying" to do the Macarena, please do me a favor and remove the taser from my pants as it would appear it has gone off, and I am flailing wildly as a result.  In fact, it may even sound like I'm trying to sing the damn lyrics to that horrible song, but I'm pretty sure that's just me trying to scream for help as my fillings arc across my tongue. 


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Whew... Crazy!


    Sorry I've not posted the last couple of days.  It's been crazy here with a family crisis that is so damn annoying that I just want to grab a bottle of Scotch, and watch twenty straight hours of Charles in Charge.
    Yes, people.  There's a certain sort of safety in Scotch and the shininess of Scott Baio.  If nothing else, I know that no matter how trying my life may seem, at least I am not babysitting two teenage swimsuit models with raging hormones. 

    Fortunately, the crisis has abated silently and happily, and I'm thinking tomorrow I should have a pretty damn decent birthday.  The clock will tick, and I will slide into the ripe old age of thirty-nine with a smile on my face.  As for you all, well, you can get a pool going on how long it will take me to update my age in my "About Me" section.  I'd get in on some of that action, but that wouldn't be fair, ya know?

    Oh, it's also my friend "Luv-Biscuit" Jenn's birthday, and as much as I'd love to ring her up and go out to see how long it takes for the Chicago Bar-Owners' Association to call the National Guard on us, I've got to stay in and be reasonably well-behaved. 

    Anyway, I don't know if I'll be on my computer updating this thing tomorrow or not.  So far, the only birthday plan I have is to wake up and lay in the grass of the backyard with my morning coffee to see if I can spot the ever-elusive Bunny Cloud.  I'll try to take a picture if I see one. 


Sunday, June 3, 2007

I Hope The Great and Powerful Oz Likes His Steak Medium Rare...

    Well, now this could get interesting.

    We've got some wicked storms rolling through, and there are tornado warnings popping up here and there.  And, of course, I have Fireball, my trusty charcoal grill, going, and I'm getting set to toss on a potato to bake, followed by a nice, thick rib-eye (yum). 

    So, let's see; should I choose personal safety, or a really damn good dinner? 

    I think I'm going to go with the dinner so long as there's no grapefruit sized hail or anything. 

*update*   Well, odd thing...  I tossed the potato on as all sorts of lightning and thunder blasted everything.  So, I ducked inside, cowered a bit, listened to the barking of Mother Nature, and then the sun came out.  So, there was a load of thunder rattling everything with the sun shining, and when I went outside, the storm was mostly off to the east (it seemed like it was five feet away), and it was out over the lake.  It was pretty cool. 

    Oh.  By the way, the steak was awesome.  I put a nice "healthy" wedge of herb-chive butter on top of the steak, smothered the whole thing with some sauteed crimini mushrooms with a sort of butter-sherry sauce, made a potato the size of a softball with sour cream, butter and more chives, some carrots (also with butter and, yes, chives) and an ice-cold beer without chives or butter.  And, now, I am slowly fading into some sort of massive butter-saturated food coma. 

    Yep.  I think I am going to need to do a sit-up tomorrow or something.   Oy!

Sunday Miscellany

    I've learned to love Sundays. 

    Today, the weather is hanging on the fringe of what could be considered pleasant.  The temperatures are warm, but the sky is overcast and demonstrating the myriad shades of gray Nature has at her disposal.  I think it was William Gibson, in his book Neuromancer, who summed it up best when he wrote: "The sky was the color of a television tuned to a dead channel."  At least, I think that was the book.  It's been a damn long time since I read it, and since it's Sunday, I am just too lazy to go and search.  But, regardless, that's what the sky looks like this morning, and for some odd reason, I find myself wanting to abandon my coffee and replace it with a bucket of nice, hot tea.  You see, it's warm, the windows are open, and it's actually quite nice, but I'll be damned if it doesn't just look like a winter sky out there. 

    Right now, I am struggling with a hunk of short fiction I'm working on.  The funny thing is, I love writing, and it's actually turning out to be quite a fun story to tell, but I just don't want to do it right now.  As a result, I keep finding walls and reasons to keep me from writing it.  But, all my dishes are clean, all my laundry's done, the floors are mopped, the grass is cut, the cats are fed, the fridge is stocked, and I really have run out of excuses other than the fact that it's Sunday, and I just want to be one with my furniture and do nothing more challenging than push the occasional button my remote. 

    It's Sunday, man.  I want to be LAZY!  And, I think I will be.  But, if something comes up, I'll let you know. 

    Anyway, I've got to wrap this up and get to doing nothing.  I hope you all had a wonderful, wild weekend.  Did any of you out there do anything crazy? 


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Fun With Kids...

    Yep.  It's Saturday.

    There's really not much going on here.  My brother (#5) is dropping in with his wife and kids to shake things up, and I'm certain I'll be saying things like "no..  no...  Put that down.  That cat has sharp claws and he really doesn't like having his head sat upon."

    Eventually, I am sure I'll just give in and fill their little hands with paper-clips and point them toward all the wonderful electrical outlets in the house as we play a little game I like to call "circuit-breaker roulette."