Monday, March 31, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Picture Policy.

Over the last several days, I've got a few emails asking me for copies of some of my pictures. I thought that was pretty cool, and I have to say, I'm surprised since, in this day and age of the internet, most folks out there are nowhere near that honest. In fact, I've done my fair share of right-click and "save image" maneuvers while bopping around the world, wide weird. But, I'm an immoral, hell-bound bastard.

So, needless to say, to have someone actually ask for a copy just really surprised me --pleasantly. Honestly never thought anyone would be interested in my incessant shutterbug antics.

Anyway, here's the thing, I don't mind if you want to take my pictures and use them. They're on Flickr and they're listed with a Creative Commons license. So, all you need to do to grab a particular photo you see here on this blog is one of two things:

First, right-click on the picture, select "view image," if there's a plus sign in the little magnifying glass, click the picture to get the largest size, right-click again, select "save image," and Bob's your uncle.

OR...

Just click the picture here like you would any old link which will take you to that photo's page on Flickr, and above the picture, you'll see a link saying "All Sizes."

Like this:

Once you click on that, you'll be taken to a page that looks something like this:

There are all sorts of nice, high-quality sizes, free from compression artifacts, for you to choose from. You can just pick a size suitable, click download, and there ya go.

I have to admit; I'm really flattered and overwhelmed at the fact that anyone wants to use my pictures. Honestly, when I bought this nifty camera, that was pretty much the furthest thing from my mind, so the fact that some of you are asking to put them on your journals really means a lot to me. So please, be my guest.

I suppose if I have any requests, it would by to just maybe make a note or whatnots to let people know where the photo came from. I like the exposure (all puns intended). After all, I'm a big attention whore. So, if you'd like to give credit, please do. It's not mandatory (after all, in a practical sense, I have no control over that, and I simply don't have time to scour the internet looking for pictures of mine. Plus, I really don't give a hoot anyway), but if you do, that would be nice.

And, if you'd like, if you do use my pictures in your blogs, let me know so I can check it out. I think it'd be a fun thing to see what kind of context you are using them in.

Finally, if you're crazy and thinking about making prints of the pictures to frame and hang in your broom closets, email me, and I'll email you back the massive (3008x2000px) image if I have one so you can get the best quality. But, I can't make any guarantees. So, you're on your own there.

Anyway, I hope that clears things up.

-DP



--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/31/2008 07:08:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Monday... Picture... You Get It.

Here's today's photo.

Splash

Yeah. It's a little noisy since I was shooting in a heap of darkness. But, I kind of like how the noise brings out a certain gloom in this picture. It gives the water a rocky/metallic quality.

Anyway, this is the birdbath, and as you can see by the choppiness, it was raining pretty good when I snapped this one. Unfortunately, the burst mode on the camera is only capable of 2.5 frames per second. It would have been super cool to see what this would have turned into. But, the next time it rains, I'll see if I can do better.

Okay... Back to my BSG marathon.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/31/2008 03:03:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Patriotism to Nationalism...

Hey look! It's the red, white and blue...

Thin Ice


-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/31/2008 06:42:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] What the....?

Wow.

Something strange woke me up today. And, even crazier, it woke me with a pretty hefty jolt that shook me out of bed, forced me to rub the sleep from my eyes, and wonder "What the hell was that?"

The flashes of light creeping in through the curtains had me thinking, for a moment, that I was perhaps wrong about that whole god thing, but then I realized that the news yesterday had said something crazy about a pretty wicked series of thunderstorms blazing through our area today, and the commotion outside was probably the result of that.

A thunderstorm.

Like the one's you'd find in summer. Only a hell of a lot colder.

Ah well... We're supposed to get one to two inches of rain today (yeah. Rain. Not snow), and we've got all sorts of flood warnings, severe T-storm warnings, and end-times prophecies sprouting up like April daffodils, and it's 36 degrees out and pouring rain. So, considering the temperatures, this rain is more like a threat than anything. After all, two inches of rain translates to who knows how many feet of snow.

Aside from that, it seems like it's going to be yet another very sore day filled with aches, pains and the urge to just bash my brain silly with a bucket of whiskey. However, since there's so much hype surrounding Friday's premier and resumption of their oddly popular hit series on Friday, the SciFi Channel is running Battlestar Galactica marathons every day this week from seven in the morning until five in the afternoon.

So, one thing's clear: I'm skipping the whiskey and gettin' my frakin' geek on!

There may even be popcorn...

Now, from what I've been able to gather, a lot of you out there in the great world-wide-webby world seem to truly dig the pictures I've been snapping and posting, and that makes me bunches of happy. After all, I love taking pictures of things. It's quiet, solitary and it spurs the imagination in ways that writing doesn't. But, they certainly do compliment one another, and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. And, with my arthritic digits, anything that can knock a thousand words off what I'm trying to say is a freakin' gift.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for all the kind words about the pictures. It means a lot to me. And, I'm going to try to snap a few today once I find some small, shiny object that catches my eye. I just wish the weather was a little more conducive to a hike in the woods or a walk on the beach. As it stands, though, I consider this a sort of "pre-season preparation" where I spend time learning the ins and outs of my camera before blasting off thousands of pictures of sunny spring afternoons and warm summer walks (soooo looking forward to that).

On the other hand, I think I may have been taking too many pictures and spending far too much time with my little camera. After all, last night, as I was semi-sleeping, I brushed my hand across my stomach to move a non-existent camera out of the way before rolling over. That's how much that damned thing has been hanging around my neck lately, and that's a little creepy, don't you think?

Of course, it cracked me up once I realized that my camera was actually somewhere else in the house and not in bed with me. And, as I drifted back to sleep, I started wondering if I should find the number for a good therapist.

Anyway, you all have a great and crazy day. I'll try to be back posting pictures and whatnots later today, but I can't make any promises. After all, I've got ten hours of oogling Katee Sackhoff's jiggly bits ahead of me, today, tomorrow, the day after that, so on and so forth until sometime late Friday night.

Oh yes. I'm going to come out of this week a changed man, I think, and I'm not going to get a damned thing done during the day. Next week? Yes. But, this week is a sort of weird vacation, and I'm going to try and enjoy it.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/31/2008 04:45:00 AM

Sunday, March 30, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Sometimes...

Now, today's picture is actually more about the story behind the picture than the actual picture itself. I was dead tired when I took it, but I figured since the sun was rumored to rise today, I should probably grab my camera and head down to the beach to snap a picture.

Unfortunately, the sky was so overcast that the sunrise this morning was nothing but random shades of gray, but I did find this:


As I pulled into the beach parking lot and waited in my Jeep for something to happen (Hey! It was thirty degrees this morning, and I'll be damned if I'm going to hoof it down to the beach in this weather). Beside me was an SUV from which two people, a bag and a blanket emerged and proceeded to brave the cold, biting, brutal wind across the sand to find a suitable spot in which to catch the beginning of the day.

I don't know if this is a hardcore romance or some sort of bizarre suicide pact; however, at some point in this budding little relationship, one of these two said to the other that it would be a good idea to go sit in the sand and watch the sunrise over Lake Michigan... In Wisconsin... In March.

Needless to say, I was actually amazed at the sheer, twisted devotion to romance this couple displayed. I mean, it's one thing to just lay in bed, warm and toasty, while gazing into the eyes of one another on a lazy Sunday morning (maybe even do the crossword puzzle together). But, it's an entirely different sort of love saying "to hell with hypothermia," shedding your jammies and heading into the world to try and catch a bit of sun on a brutally cold, gray, ugly day.

I tip my hat to you, young lovers. If your relationship can survive this, I'm pretty sure it can withstand pretty much everything else life might throw at you.

-DP

Aside from that, and in other news, I'm having a really nasty day in terms of aches and pains, so I probably won't be updating this blog all that much or, quite possibly, at all until tomorrow. Plus, Blogger's running a little goofy. So, it's best to just sit idle, maybe tweak some old pictures, and just let things fix themselves.

In other words, I am going to be a lazy, lazy bastard!


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/30/2008 12:35:00 PM

Saturday, March 29, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Nature Really Does Always Win...

A short time ago, I saw a show --I believe it was on the History Channel-- about what the world would be like once humans were gone, and I was amazed at just the small number of years it would take for our cities to turn into a mostly unrecognizable mass once mankind is gone and subsequently unable to provide the maintenance necessary to keep the big, wide, wild from regaining what we've borrowed.

fence

I like this picture. These are the things which most catch my eye.

Now, this is a shot of the fence around the tennis court in the park near my house. As you can see, the branch that was growing has been cut off, and the tree is gone as well. The thing is, I've walked by this place many times over the years, and I remember the tree that grew into this fence. And, this is just a small chunk of my lifetime which I'm talking about here. In fact, it may be less than ten years that it took for this branch to work its way through the fence.

Of course, none of this is enough to make me want to mow the lawn, but it's interesting nonetheless. After all, once we're gone and the earth has shaken us from its rocky hide, in a ridiculously short time, there's really not going to be all that much to show that we were in fact here thriving like the busy little creatures we were.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/29/2008 03:12:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Today's photo...

This one's a little weird and raises more questions than answers...

Food will work for people.

What happens when cake goes union?

Are they allowed to work the grill?

What kind of insurance does an ice cream cake need, anyway?

See? Questions.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/29/2008 02:10:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] And Now, The News...

It's Saturday, and it appears to be a really slow news day. I suppose that's a good thing. Sure, there are the usual ongoing stories about war, bombs, money, and America's next president, but there are also other things going on.

For example, do you remember the doomsday cult that holed up in a Russian cave to await the end of the world in May?

They're still there.

They spent the entire freakin' winter in a cave in Russia. And, here I was complaining about my own personal hell that is winter in Wisconsin. I hope none of them read this silly blog. I mean, that would be like complaining about a stiff neck to a person who's just had his head cut off.

Then again, I did have to shovel.

Anyway, stay tough you cave-dwelling cultists! I can't tell you how happy I am that the world is going to end in May. My birthday is in June, after all, and here I was all worried and bummed out about turning forty. So, you know, it's just nice that I don't have to shoulder that particular burden anymore.

Aside from that, the damned French are going to create a black hole that will consume the earth. And no. Girard Depardieu doesn't have a new movie coming out. This is actually a major concern for two guys in Hawaii (not far from France or Switzerland at all) who decided to sue to stop the experiments at CERN.

Maybe the cave-dwelling cult people are on to something?

I guess I'd better eat my birthday cake now, eh?

And, finally, George Bush is still trying to fix America's crumbling economy. And, as is the usual course for Dubya, all he's got are soothing words rather than anyone with any actual knowledge around him who could maybe come up with a genuine idea.

Imagine, if you will, driving your spankin' new BMW through the Alabama backwater only to have the engine in your Beemer make a few serious clunks and finally just stop working altogether.

You call the tow truck, you go to the garage, and some slack-jawed, grease-coated oaf named Cletus tells you that he can fix your BMW.

That's pretty much where America stands with George Bush trying to fix the economy.

"It's gonna take 'bout two weeks!"

Oy.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/29/2008 08:33:00 AM

Friday, March 28, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Bonus Picture.

I was kind of put off by the cardinal on the roof picture I posted earlier, so I thought some of you might enjoy this one:

In The Park

The park folks were clearing brush and dead trees, and they lopped the one down which this little branch belongs to. As I was wandering around in the woods with my camera, this thing stood out like a sore thumb as the sun filtering through the forest shone only on this little, mostly-dead, branch to highlight it.

If nothing else, it's got a pretty good tan, don't you think?

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/28/2008 05:36:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It'll Have to Do...

Here's your Daily Picture.

Cardinal

It's not my best. But, I like how the clouds are set up with the blurry cardinal and the peak of my neighbor's crappy roof (He's not a big fan of home maintenance or paint, as you can tell. In fact, if you see pictures from my back yard, sometimes you can catch a glimpse of his garage, and it desperately needs to be painted).

Aside from that, this will have to do as a daily picture. I went out today to take a bunch, but most of them turned out to be kind of shabby. I also took a trip to the lake shore, and I damn near died of exposure it was so damn cold. The wind was charging off the water at a sustained speed of about 40 miles per hour, and though it's about 34 degrees outside, down there it was well below zero with the wind chill.

Seriously, I came home about an hour ago, and my pinky fingers and ear lobes are still burning with the early stages of frostbite. It really is cooler near the lake, people. That's nice in August, but when there's snow on the ground? Not so much.

Anyway, I hope you like the picture in spite of it being a bit of a disaster.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/28/2008 12:17:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Absolutely Disgusting.

How is this not being treated as a homicide?
Parents prayed with ministry founder
He called family night before diabetic girl died

By BILL GLAUBER

bglauber@journalsentinel.com
Posted: March 27, 2008

On the night before 11-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann died of complications from untreated diabetes, her parents did not call a doctor.

Instead, Dale and Leilani Neumann prayed over the telephone Saturday with the founder of a religious Web site named AmericasLastDays.com.
(full story)
(Further Details)
Prayer's been proven, time and time and time again to be completely ineffective. Yet, for some reason, in times of crisis such as this, people still appeal to this barbaric ritual.

I just don't get it.

Did these people pray for Madeline's well being, or were they simply trying to find their own peace of mind as their daughter lay dying from something which is entirely treatable?

A lot of things piss me off, but I don't think anything infuriates me more than these displays of willful ignorance and stupidity, and unlike most of society, I see no reason why these people should be allowed to get away with this crime simply because they sought to invoke whatever sky-fairy around which their religion is built.

Don't get me wrong, I big fan of religious freedom. I think people should have the right to believe as they wish no matter how archaic and barbaric it is. So long as innocent people are not killed as a result of their beliefs, it's all fine and dandy. And, if this young girl was eighteen and not a minor, and if she made this decision on her own, I'm fine with that.

But, she was eleven-years old. She was dependent upon her parents. And, in the end, her well being was ignored, and she was senselessly and needlessly killed by them.

The sad thing is, these people should be jailed. I know if I had children and allowed them to die as a result of this level of neglect, I'd be locked up. But, the Neumanns won't be. They will be allowed to hang onto, and potentially kill their other kids all because someone somewhere thinks that religious beliefs such as these are admirable and good.

I'm glad my parents placed their faith in medical science, as opposed to some superstitious delusion, when I was a child. I'd have never survived.


-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/28/2008 08:16:00 AM

Thursday, March 27, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] March 27th... Photo-time.

I like this one. It's almost black and white with just the slightest hint of color in the bricks of the building (and no. You're not color-blind. It's practically impossible to tell, but there's a smidge of a yellowish-brown).

Looking For a Landing.

It's snowing again here. On the plus side, however, I really don't think we're going to get the six inches they were forecasting earlier in the week. The minus? Well... It's freakin' snowing... again!

This is just turning into some sort of sick joke. It's sunny and nice during the week. And, when the weekend rolls around, it's a gray, snowy, slushy mess.

Now I know why the Swedish drink so much. I don't want to keep the brain-cells where the memory of this winter is stored.

Bring on the booze!

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/27/2008 02:10:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] China, China.... China!

Goin' for the gold! Woohoo!

Globe

Personally, I think the Olympic Games in China are going to be a complete and total disaster. Already, several athletes have already pulled out as a result of their justifiable reluctance to compete at any level in an environment where the air can not only be seen covering the skyline in a thick sepia haze, but it also has a cloying, biting flavor that stings your throat as though you've walked into an old, smoke-choked Irish pub somewhere in the back alleys of Belfast.

The State, that nebulous, shady authority, in an interest of self-protection, has also been trying to dictate what can and can not be broadcast around the deeply historical, and quite beautiful city of Beijing. Tienanmen Square, for example, has been declared completely off limits, and no network is allowed the luxury of a live, uncensored broadcast from an area which is among the most historical on the planet. Indeed, it's hard to find any other location anywhere which has been so important in shaping the very definition of a city, a nation, and a people than the wide-open spaces of Tienanmen Square.

Then there's Tibet. China's treatment of the Tibet Autonomous Region has been ridiculous and vile and embarrassing. The rhetoric out of Beijing suggests that Tibet is a danger, a hazard, and a threat to the entire nation of China rather than the control and power of a select few.

Will these games be interesting?

Definitely.

However, I think when all is said and done, the games will be overshadowed by a great many tragic things. After all, it's impossible for a nation to look good when so many only have to do so little to make it look bad.

Hopefully, however, I can be wrong. I hope I am.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/27/2008 12:06:00 PM

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Look What I Found...

When the ice melted, I found this pasted on the bottom of my birdbath.

Souvenir of Fall.

Autumn seems so far, far away, like a distant memory, huh?

It's been a long, dreary winter, but this could actually be a good sign.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/26/2008 08:28:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Day. A Picture. Enjoy!

To be honest, I actually took this picture yesterday, and that does defeat the purpose behind this whole notion of a "Daily Picture." But, in my defense, today's a very busy day, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to get out with my camera.

I didn't do it.

Yup. It's a knocked-over fireplug. You'll notice that, unlike the whole Hollywood mythos, it's not spraying a huge geyser of water straight into the air. That's kind of a downer, but it is winter spring after all, and I don't know about you, but that freakin' water has got to be cold.

Now, don't worry too much about the potential for a blazing inferno running unchecked through Southeastern Wisconsin as a result of this dysfunctional hydrant. What you don't see in the picture is the nice, big, empty, open field which, for some reason, this plug protects.

Aside from that, why am I posting all these daily pictures? Well... What better way is there to familiarize myself with this nifty new camera? Plus, it's actually kind of fun, and I'm sure I'll be writing about that just as soon as I get the chance.

Right now, however, I've gotta scoot and get things done. If I don't get back here, have a great day, everyone.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/26/2008 08:45:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Here's a Feel-Good Story.

It's the feel-good story of the week, as far as I'm concerned:

Needing money to help pay for her senior prom, 18-year-old Kelsey Tolliver was selling newspapers on Easter Sunday inside University Hospital.

That's when she got an Easter gift and her prom wishes fulfilled by a stranger.

"Some man walked up to me, smiled, told me Happy Easter and to keep the change," Tolliver said Tuesday.

She looked down and believed the man gave her $4 for the $1.50 Sunday newspaper, an amount she considered "a pretty good tip."

After a moment, though, the bills felt too thick to be just four $1 bills.

She counted it - and lost her breath.

In addition to the smile and Easter greetings, the man had given her $500 in $20 bills and the four $1 bills. (Full Story)
Now that's what I call a good tip.

I've been on both ends of the tipping world. The most I'd ever received was a twenty dollar tip on a $2 bottle of beer. Unfortunately, I really can't remember the most I'd ever given as a tip. I did once leave a tip that was equal to the amount of the check, but I think the check was only around $15. But, the service was just that great.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/26/2008 08:26:00 AM

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I've Still Got It...

Now, not only are geese pretty tasty when cooked correctly, but, apparently, they also seem to enjoy flirting --which is really disturbing.

Geese flirt?

See? That goose is totally winking at me. It must be a Canadian thing, eh?

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/25/2008 04:20:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Let's Try This...

I'm still tinkering with posting pictures. And, it's not that Blogger is fussy or anything; it's just that there are a heap of options, and I like exploiting them.

Mmm...  Kringle.


So, enjoy this picture of turn number 4 of a yummy pecan kringle (the race-track of the pastry world). I didn't realize it until I saw one of these actually being made, but do you have any idea just how much butter they pack into one of these things?

It's madness. It's sweet, delicious, buttery madness...

I think every kringle uses at least a pound and a half of butter, and that's just for the crust.

Anyway, you really shouldn't notice anything different with the pictures unless you click through and wind up on my Flickr page (which, isn't all that great of a place to be, but there could be worse).

Of course, now I'm hungry... Sorry about that, people.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/25/2008 12:58:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Tuesday's Blaze.

Look! It's the sun... Sorta...

This is actually one of those odd, little gizmos which it supposed to spin and create this sort of odd visual-equivalent of a "whoosh" as reflections upon the metal rings radiate outward. It's pretty cool; however, unfortunately, the motor that came with it, although battery powered, actually sounds a heck of a lot like it's driven by a diesel engine taken from an old, retired city bus.

It's noisy. It's much noisier than a sun should be.

Still... It's sunny. And look! The sun even has rosy cheeks.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/25/2008 11:18:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Thoughts and stuff...

Another rough, pain-filled day on this end. It's getting to be a genuine chore trying to chisel my way through this veil of ice that seems to exist between winter and spring. The weather is mostly gray (which, as crazy as it sounds, seems to be something of an improvement from completely gray), the wind is just howling and throwing everything around, and the temperatures --though in the upper thirties-- carry within them the small, icy shards of winter.

It's cold --even though it's not cold.

That's the Midwest, I s'pose.

Now, insofar as I tend to really gripe on about the weather and my sheer hatred of it, there are perks to living in this sub-arctic hell. When the spring does inevitably roll around and arrive on our doorsteps, it's an amazing feeling to catch that first, frost-free breeze while bringing in the morning paper. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's as if the sun just shines a smidge warmer in this part of the world.

Unfortunately, those days still seem a long way off as the forecast temps are supposed to hang in the thirties and forties all week, and today the wind is simply kicking the shit out of just about anyone foolish enough to step outside.

The thing is, now I know why bears hide in their caves and generally roam the woods with a less than sunny disposition. But, you know, those bastards have a lot of fur, and me? Well, I've barely got a pair of socks.

Ah well... I'm just going to hold my breath until the howling wind dies, the gray clouds go away, and spring shows up.

Next week, perhaps...

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/25/2008 09:28:00 AM

Monday, March 24, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Monday's Photo.

This is the only picture worth keeping that I took today as I spent most of the Monday just sort of moping around feeling kind of rough and grumbly (plus I was waiting on UPS to bring me a lens which they didn't get around to delivering until almost 8:00, and by then it was too damn dark to get out and use it).

Anyway, here's DogCat looking tough and fluffy on the front porch. I'm sure something very fascinating caught his eye at the moment I snapped this picture, but I looked and couldn't find anything. So, who really knows what's going on in that animal's head.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/24/2008 08:33:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Gyaaah!

Man... I'm freakin' aching today. My guess is it probably has something to do with those many hours spent perched, rather uncomfortably, upon a barstool yesterday while munching wings and burgers and many, many beers with my clone.

Don't worry. It's not a hangover. In fact, the head is pretty much the only thing that doesn't hurt at the moment. But, my god! My toes feel like I ran a marathon in trainers about five sizes too small (Yes. I called them trainers. That's for my British friends. Just don't expect me to put any extraneous U's in my words like colour, humour, you, caur, boaut, buouy, or salamandeur).

Aside from that gibberish, I'm just going to be hanging out today watching crappy movies on the SciFi channel while waiting for the UPS dude to deliver me a new lens. Once it gets here, I'll rattle off some more pictures to see how it works. Right now, however, my brain just feels like mush since I've been up since three this freakin' morning.

Enjoy your Mondays!


-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/24/2008 08:07:00 AM

Sunday, March 23, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Your Daily Photo...

Enjoy... And, happy Easter.



-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/23/2008 04:19:00 PM

Saturday, March 22, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Just Checking.


Cool. Here's another drop with the outside of my house, a chunk of a tree, and, most importantly, the sun inside.

Anyway, the only reason for this post was to see how Blogger would handle a crop of 100%.

Carry on citizens...

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/22/2008 01:43:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's Just Mostly Buried.

Kate asks: I thought Milwaukee was buried!????


And, I respond:


I think this qualifies as kinda sorta buried. The thing is, this was all completely clear on Thursday. I think we wound up with about a foot and a half of snow when all was said and done. But, as I said earlier, it's melting quickly. YAY!

Still... It's probably going to be a day or two until I can get to the grill.

Then again, it will be ridiculously easy to hide Easter eggs (if I was going to be doing that sort of thing).

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/22/2008 11:33:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Saturday's Picture.

Rats! I awoke this morning to discover that it was still winter...


Fortunately, there are signs all around that spring is gaining the upper-hand.

However, unfortunately, this bastard drop you see here is probably going to wind up in my basement with one or two million of his closest friends and family. Normally, that sort of thing would bother me, but not this time. Things are thawing, the sun is shining, and a little color is returning to this world. If I have to make-do with a little mop work, so be it.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/22/2008 10:25:00 AM

Friday, March 21, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Yes. I Am Tormenting the Pets.


It's a good thing my pets don't have thumbs or any "conceal and carry" permits.

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/21/2008 08:46:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] LOL!

At least someone gets my jokes...


-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/21/2008 08:32:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] One More Thing...

Ooops... I forgot to share my weekend plans with you. Sorry about that.

You see, on Sunday, I was going to go on an Easter egg hunt. It was supposed to be a whole heap of fun and stuff. Unfortunately, I forgot to swing by Farm and Fleet to get a license. So, you know what that means, right?

Yep. I'll be poaching eggs on Sunday.

HA!

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/21/2008 06:32:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Picture o' the Day.

This is the world I see today, and that's about all I will say about that.

Have a great weekend, folks. Anyone doing anything fun?

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/21/2008 06:02:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Umm... Your Message Was What Again?


Now, I hate to do this, but I'm going to lift this little story directly from PZ Myers himself. It's just too precious and hilarious, and there is absolutely no way I could ever summarize it well enough.

There is a rich, deep kind of irony that must be shared. I'm blogging this from the Apple store in the Mall of America, because I'm too amused to want to wait until I get back to my hotel room.

I went to attend a screening of the creationist propaganda movie, Expelled, a few minutes ago. Well, I tried … but I was Expelled! It was kind of weird — I was standing in line, hadn't even gotten to the point where I had to sign in and show ID, and a policeman pulled me out of line and told me I could not go in. I asked why, of course, and he said that a producer of the film had specifically instructed him that I was not to be allowed to attend. The officer also told me that if I tried to go in, I would be arrested. I assured him that I wasn't going to cause any trouble.

I went back to my family and talked with them for a while, and then the officer came back with a theater manager, and I was told that not only wasn't I allowed in, but I had to leave the premises immediately. Like right that instant.

I complied.

I'm still laughing though. You don't know how hilarious this is. Not only is it the extreme hypocrisy of being expelled from their Expelled movie, but there's another layer of amusement. Deep, belly laugh funny. Yeah, I'd be rolling around on the floor right now, if I weren't so dang dignified.

You see … well, have you ever heard of a sabot? It's a kind of sleeve or lightweight carrier used to surround a piece of munition fired from a gun. It isn't the actually load intended to strike the target, but may even be discarded as it leaves the barrel.

I'm a kind of sabot right now.

They singled me out and evicted me, but they didn't notice my guest. They let him go in escorted by my wife and daughter. I guess they didn't recognize him. My guest was …


Richard Dawkins.

Honestly? I don't even know where to begin. Like an onion, the myriad of ironic layers are just piled upon one another, and the moment one is peeled away, an even more body-rattling level of hilarity is uncovered.

PZ Myers is actually in the Expelled movie, and he's actually thanked in the movie's credits. And still, they refused to allow him entrance to see the film for reasons known only to those behind this ridiculous film's production.

Even funnier is that one of the movie's "messages" deals quite heavily with censorship of those critical of evolution in the academic community, yet, by keeping Dr. Myers out, it's patently clear that those behind this film are guilty of the same level of censorship which this silly movie seeks to expose?

To make things even sillier: PZ Myers is viewed as an undesirable, but Richard freakin' Dawkins isn't?!? He's perhaps the planet's most well-know atheist and one of the most ardent critics of creationism and religion in general. I mean, that's like keeping Hitler out of Heaven, but letting Satan in (Hey! I didn't start it. This film, and Ben Stein, actually try to conflate those teaching evolution with Nazi's).

I don't think I've ever seen a more elegant display of hypocrisy and irony. And they just seem to keep piling more and more boulders upon this pyre of their own gleaming ignorance and dishonesty. Unfortunately, eventually it's going to crumble beneath its own weight as reality always wins in the end.

Regardless of Expelled and however many other movies littered with public figures and celebrities spout the message, creationism is not science, and it never will be. To call it a theory is to force it to undergo a level of scrutiny which it is wholly incapable of withstanding (why do you think astrology isn't taught in school). Appeals to the superstitious or the paranormal in pursuit of an answer or proof is an erroneous and laughable approach to scientific discovery. Moreover, those who endorse or prescribe to such an endeavor, will never accomplish anything more than setting mankind back by continually being an unnecessary obstacle to humanity's intellectual progress. We deserve better than to have an educational system clotted with beliefs which belong in the Dark Ages.

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/21/2008 09:13:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] And Now the Weather...


In college, at some point during my Freshman year, I took a meteorology class because... well... I think someone said I needed it. I'm not sure what I learned, but here's what I know.

It's snowing... again...

I got an "A" in that class, by the way.

Anyway, one of the newspeople here in said that she was really amazed that, as this morning has progressed, the temperature has actually gone down.

Now, I'm not a newsperson, but I'm pretty sure that temperature drop has something to do with the fact that there's a freakin' billion tons of ice piling up out there. Then again, perhaps she's the kind of woman who puzzles over the operation of an ice-cube? I mean, they really don't come with directions do they? After all, it's not like they've got "add to booze for more fun" printed on them.

Oh well... I also took a psychology class in college, and I think now would probably just be a perfect time to revisit that chapter on denial.

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/21/2008 08:10:00 AM

Thursday, March 20, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] But It's in Cornwall...



I want this house.

It's cheap. There's no lawn to mow. Seems quiet. And, it's got a great view of a quaint English river. In fact, you could probably catch fish from the rooftop.

Then again, I may just put a window in the front and sell chickens all day long.

Mmmm.... English chickens...

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/20/2008 02:57:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] This Will End Well...

Personally, I'm thinking this is simply giving religion far more credit than it deserves.
With a lengthy and violent criminal record to his name, Pachino Hill is going to church.

Hill, 29, of Davenport was sentenced Wednesday by Scott County Associate Judge Christine Dalton to a counseling program offered by Third Missionary Baptist Church. She also ordered him to attend church there eight consecutive Sundays, to pay a fine and be on probation for one year.


If he doesn’t comply, he faces up to two years in prison for eluding and driving while barred. The charges are the result of a police chase from Rock Island to Davenport in October.


“Let’s give it a shot,” Dalton said of the counseling program plan presented to her by Hill’s attorney, Brenda Drew-Peeples, and supported by Rogers Kirk, pastor at Third Missionary. “I’m all about one more chance.”


The counseling program, Drew-Peeples said, is a chance for Hill to gain role models who are responsible men and are contributing to society.


“I believe God has a plan for Pachino Hill’s life, and I believe it’s coming to fruition,” she said.
(Full Story)
It bothers me that people see religion as some sort of bastion of morality. Wife beaters go to church, come home, and promptly continue to beat their wives.

Murderers go to church. Rapists go to church. Car thieves go to church. God's, in fact, quite popular in prison as well.

Why does this witless wonder of a judge believe that a habitual criminal, charged with the attempted murder of a police officer, is somehow, magically, going to change his destructive ways by attending eight Sunday services in a Baptist church?

If anything, it will just give this criminal further justification for his actions.

The troubling thing is that I have friends in the Quad Cities, and now, unless someone more sensible steps in, I have to worry about them as a direct result of this judge's dangerous level of incompetence.

And, before any of you who are champing at the bit to defend this inept judge, put yourselves in the shoes of those who have to live in the Quad Cities knowing full well that this dangerous criminal was allowed to run absolutely free as a direct result of this judge's religious beliefs --beliefs which you may or may not share.

Another thing: I wonder if an atheist would have received this same level of leniency in sentencing from this judge?

Yep. Religion sure is all about morality and community, isn't it? At least, it seems that it is so long as everyone in that community worships the same god as those who enforce the laws. If not, well... You're going to jail.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/20/2008 01:58:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Today's Picture.

Enjoy some vin.

Personally, it's not really my favorite wine. In fact, it's pretty much a mostly lousy wine. Of course, that doesn't mean it's not going to be consumed. But, you know, I don't want you to think I'm going to enjoy it.

Aside from that, I'm probably going to be kind of silent today, and unless something big happens, I'm most likely going to be watching the round-ball, squeaky-shoe tournament (Go Badgers!) and sitting here hurting like a freak. Apparently, there's a huge winter storm plowing into this area, and I'm feeling its approach.

The geeks are forecasting 5 to 7 inches of snow, but I'm hoping it stays in the form of rain. I don't mind shoveling the rain. In fact, I can usually put it off for a few days.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/20/2008 11:00:00 AM

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] For The Raitch!


This is for Rachael who insists I am a Commie because my world is littered with red soap and red tulips.

Please, dear... You should know me by now.

If there's a party out there, I really need to be a part of it. After all, it was pretty much my major in college.

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/19/2008 04:05:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Let there be soap!

Please allow me a moment of miserable domestication...

This is my favorite soap dispenser. I keep it in my kitchen, and it absolutely rocks --as much as a bar of soap can rock at least.

You see... What you start with is a little magnetic coin-sized thing with very pointy teeth. Then, you cram the toothy little bit into a bar of soap and stick it on the little hanger that's shaped inconspicuously like a faucet. However, the best part comes when the soap is all gone. I've had people ask me what that "other" faucet was for, and my prompt response was to tell them that's where the magic vodka comes from.

Now, I think I picked this thing up at Ikea (maybe even the same shopping excursion where I landed a couple of cardboard clocks), but don't hold me to that.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/19/2008 10:45:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Little Hope.


Tomorrow's the first day of spring; so, why not post a picture of a tulip?

I mean, it's springy.

As far as seasons go, I like spring (although, in this part of the world at this time of year, summer is much, much more appreciated). And, though I don't know much about that whole "young man's fancy" thing since I don't seem to have any distinct object of affection (stalker's obsession? Yes. Affection? Not so much), I think I'll probably do my best to do what I can to enjoy the equinox tomorrow by foraging in the forest for grubs and berries to take pictures of. I mean, it's either that, or I just go completely off the rails and wind up in a lithium-induced haze in some institution somewhere, and though that would be a great freakin' vacation, there are things that I need to get done.

Fortunately, tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and forty degrees. To me, that's like Fiji. On the other hand, on Friday it's supposed to snow again. So, I am looking in the yellow pages, but they don't seem to have a section labeled "loony bins."

I guess we'll just have to cross burn that bridge when we come to it.

As for today, it's yet another gray drag of a day in a colorless world. So, I think I'll probably just bury myself in my writing work and just try to make the day whiz by so tomorrow gets here a little quicker.

By the way, Gaz and Phil are getting hitched tomorrow, and I think it's a freakin' great idea getting married on the first day of spring. Of course, I've always figured I'd get married on the last day of planet earth, so, you know, we all have our romantic sides, don't we?

Congratulations, Gaz and Phil. I do wish I could be there, but I'd probably just show up a day late, a dollar short, and drunk as hell since I really seem to be having a rough time keeping track of one day or the next.

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/19/2008 06:59:00 AM

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Ooo... Cool.

This is actually kind of a cool picture, and I figured I'd post this confused mess here.

Earlier today, as things were their usual gray outside, my brother stopped by with a really old 80-200mm Kiron. So, I decided to step out and snap a few pictures of the juniper tree out back (technically, I think it's a shrub, but it's about six feet tall, so I'm calling it a tree).

Anyway, the lens doesn't meter at all on my digital camera, so I had to just sort of guess with shutter and aperture. Nonetheless, I wound up with some sort of odd tilt-shift thing that looks kind of odd. Cool. But odd.

I like it. I'm looking forward to getting out tomorrow to play with this lens a little more.

Aside from that, here's another shot of the juniper from February. It's a little tough to see what's going on from one picture to the next, but maybe it'll help explain stuff.


I find it kind of slick how the background in the first picture is completely eradicated, and the whole thing winds up looking like it's fake. Of course, I suppose I could have framed it better, but cut me some slack. I'm new to this whole shutterbug silliness.

Other than that, no reason for posting this.

Carry on citizens!

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/18/2008 09:53:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] So Long...

Arthur C. Clarke has died.

This news is saddening, but if a life is to be measured, it can be seen in the lives touched, and Arthur C. Clarke, as an author, influenced so many it's impossible to measure. Shades of him can be found throughout the Science Fiction community, and perhaps, in the end, that is the best testimonial to what a great person he truly was.

I could go on, but why? All I will say is so many of the dreams inside my head came directly from the works of Arthur C. Clarke, and for that I will always be thankful.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/18/2008 05:30:00 PM

Monday, March 17, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] For the Irish...

I absolutely love this version of "Danny Boy."






That's the way I think I'll be singing it today. After all, this time of year, with my name being Dan and all, it's impossible to escape, and someone will inevitably call or bump into me and start squealing out that tune the best their mock-baritone can produce, and somewhere, right along with me, dogs and cats will be cringing and weeping.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/17/2008 01:31:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Good Morning!

Or, as the Irish say, "F*** You! Let's get pissed."

It's St. Patrick's Day. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem all that fair to have a rip-roarin' holiday filled with green beer and Irish whiskey on a Monday. I mean, Mondays kind of suck, and the last thing people need on St. Pat's Day is yet another reason to drink.

Now, as for my plans, I don't really have any. In fact, I was thinking about making a corned beef with all the accoutrements needed to impress any random, roving Irish reveler who may drunkenly wander into my house after mistaking it for a bar (it happens). Unfortunately, and this is no small secret, this winter has utterly and shamefully kicked my ass from here to... well... someplace where people don't get their asses kicked by the weather (Cleveland? Baltimore? Miami?). So, cooking is pretty much the last thing I want to do today. It's 34 degrees (which actually is quite warm for the freaks in this part of the world), but there's this odd sort of chill in the air. It's the kind of chill you just can't shake off once it gets on you. It's like the funk of perfume and baby powder that can follow you home after a night at the strip clubs.

There's just no escaping it. It's everywhere, and it's maddening.

On the plus side, St. Pat's Day is one of my favorite holidays if, for no other reason, it heralds the inevitable coming spring when the icicles turn into puddles and snowflakes become raindrops and the aches and pains can be erased with a little bit of sunshine.

Well, I suppose it's time to slap my seal of approval on this collection of mad rambling and get started with my Monday. Have a great one!

Happy St. Pat's Day!

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/17/2008 10:05:00 AM

Sunday, March 16, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I wanna go THERE!

Click to embiggen

I was kind of surprised when I pulled this picture out of my camera and looked at it. I didn't do much to it other than crop it to ditch the side of my neighbor's house and boost the contrast a smidge to make the moon show up a little better.

Nonetheless, if you look at the large version, you can actually see a bit of detail. In fact, it's a hell of a lot more detail than I'd expect from a small 18-55mm lens. Of course, it helps that it was freakin' cold again, and the winter sky was nice and painfully clear as a result.

Anyway, I took this at about 4 in the afternoon. And, well. I just wanted to toss this one up here. After all, it's got blue in it. Lots and lots of blue! It's not its usual shade of mind-numbing gray. It's actually a color I can wrap my mind around!

Yay blue!

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/16/2008 10:36:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Tweaked...

Here's a "fixed" version of this obnoxious little flower...


If you click on the picture, it'll take you to a much larger version (1,600x1,064). I sorta like it. It's got whiskers which also happen to catch whatever cat hairs are flying around the house. And, considering that DeafCat has this odd habit of sleeping in front of the vent which blasts out insanely hot air, I suppose it's only a matter of time before this plant begins to look like a cat.

By the way, funny thing about DeafCat and her sleeping in front of the heater: The air coming out of there is really quite hot, and you'd think that sort of thing would disturb her. It doesn't. Even when she gets to the point where I need oven mitts to pick her up, she seems to really enjoy being cooked.

Alright. I'm off to go see if I can catch the sunrise at the end of the street. Enjoy your Sundays people!

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/16/2008 06:29:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Now that's just bad luck, I guess...

I'm sure, by now, you've all heard about the crane collapse in New York which, at the time of my writing this, claimed four lives. And, of course, it's a very sad and tragic story.

However, setting that aside for a moment, you have to stop and wonder about the following:
John PlaGreco, who owns Fu Bar located in the building that was crushed, said he feared one of his employees was dead in the rubble.

"Our bar is done," he said. "The crane crashed the whole building. If I wasn't watching a Yankees game, I would've come to work early and gotten killed."
Yep. The Fu Bar is FUBAR. That's just weird.

Still... Hopefully, though, the number of fatalities as a result of this tragedy will remain where it stands.

Aside from that it's freakin' early, and for some strange reason, I seem to have forgotten how to sleep.

Ugh!

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/16/2008 03:51:00 AM

Saturday, March 15, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Clickity clickity...

Yup. I've been out taking pictures all day in the hopes of trying to suss out the fine little bits of my new camera. Unfortunately, I live in Wisconsin, and currently my world is pretty much a hellish monochrome landscape of various shades of gray, white, and brown. So, outdoor pictures are not too exciting. However, tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, and hopefully I can get out and find something with a little color. Like this:


Oooo... Pretty. It's a little over-exposed, but I wanted to make the little hairs on this blossom leap out a bit. I'm not sure what this plant is called since I'm about as far from a botanist as any one man could be. I just water it every couple of days here and there. Someone called it a "dolphin plant" though, so that may be a clue. I mean, the blooms do look like dolphins before they open up.

Meh...

Aside from that nonsense, how's your weekend going? Is anyone doing anything odd or out of the ordinary?

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/15/2008 09:17:00 PM

Friday, March 14, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] And don't you forget it...

I like this new camera.


For those of you who are curious or care about such things, the camera I picked up is a Nikon D40. I was actually looking for a little more of an upper-end point and shoot, but when I started seeing the prices, I figured this little $500 entry-level DSLR would probably be the way to go. So far, after a day spent blasting off several hundred shots, I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with this little gizmo, and the remarkable little 18-55mm kit lens that came with it.

Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to getting to know this little camera.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/14/2008 07:59:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It really is the hardest part...

I'm just sort of lumbering around, gawking out the windows and doing nothing more than simply waiting on top of waiting. It blows.

Totally.

On the other hand, I really do have to give the folks at Amazon credit for being freakishly, suspiciously quick to ship my order. I mean, I ordered this camera on Wednesday, and I picked the garden-variety shipping. Yesterday, they tossed it into a box (along with a few other goodies), and before I could make heads or tails of it all, this morning, when I answered an obnoxiously ringing phone, I was told that a package was coming sometime between 10 and 4, and my signature was required.

Unfortunately, now I'm scared. I mean, the only reason why they would ship something that fast would be because whatever is in that box is pretty damn dangerous, and they want to get the hell away from it as soon as humanly possible. The thing is, when placing my order, I know I didn't check the box labeled "This order qualifies for five pounds of free Plutonium as well as free Super-Saver Shipping."

Nope. I just picked the six-dollar standard stuff with no free anything --not even gift wrap (though I did think about ordering the thing wrapped for a few seconds, but that would have been weird).

So, what's the rush? Are they just committed to fast service, or is it something much more sinister?

Oh well... I guess I'll just have to wait and see. And, wait... And wait... And, wait some more.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/14/2008 10:50:00 AM

Thursday, March 13, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Ironing...


For a while now, I've been curious about this whole Botox fad. In fact, I am so curious that I'm thinking, in the interest of making myself a wiser person, I should go, get poked, and watch those wrinkles magically disappear as the nerves and whatnots behind those dings and dents become either inflamed or completely crippled as a result of a very selective and precise neurotoxin poisoning.

Unfortunately, I really don't feel comfortable having my face numbed to the point where I'm as capable of expressing human emotion as your garden-variety houseplant. In fact, when I'm angry, my face is supposed to get wrinkled, and that's a very good thing. It keeps people from saying stupid things to me (usually). For example, if I'm scowling and furious with snow piling up on my head, if it wasn't for the wrinkles, someone would inevitably come up to me and say "Hey! How about all this snow, huh?"

Trust me on this, people. A wrinkled face keeps me out of prison. After all, there's a damn good reason why rabid animals get all frothy at the mouth, and if they didn't, we'd really have some serious problems.

So, what to Botox if not my face?

Now, insofar as it would be pretty wild having my manly bits Botoxed, I think that would lead to a great many accidents as a result of a serious breakdown in communication between that brain and the one atop my shoulders. So, it's best to just leave things looking like a wrinkled old bag of plums, I guess.

So, that leaves two spots: My feet and my hands.

The feet would be kind of fun since I could walk around barefoot with the tootsies of a Geisha. They would be cute, delicate and fragile looking. I'd imagine that people would either want to avoid them (which is good), or stomp on them just to see if they really would shatter (which is bad).

And, that's the problem. There's just too much uncertainty in having one's feet Botoxed. So, that leaves the hands...

And, here is where Botox really, truly earns its keep. In fact, I think it would be absolutely worth all the trouble and hassle if only to just have my hands Botoxed and then go to a palm reader just to see that look upon her face as she tries to come to terms with what she's seeing.
"Your lifeline!"
"What about it?"
"You don't have one."
"Are you saying I don't have a life?"

Now, that would be my kind of fun. Botox the paws and go rattle some psychic's head.

Unfortunately, palm reading is a dying scam art. If only we'd had this miracle drug ages ago just for the giggles it would create.

Ah well... I guess I can always Botox the elbows if all else fails.

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/13/2008 12:05:00 PM

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Umm... Ooops?

Hi folks. Sorry I've been gone all day today. I really do hope no one got any work done in my absence. Remember: You don't need me to keep you from working. For example, you know that gum stuck to the bottom of your desk? Yeah. Run your hand under there to find it.

You didn't put there, did you?

Do you know who did?

Neither do I, but I'm pretty sure you could waste an entire afternoon trying to figure it out.

Anyway, the reason why I was gone was because I was shopping all day.

Shopping... All Day... Like a girl.

Actually, I was just shopping for cameras, but it did require I put on pants and leave the house for a few hours as I trundled my carcass to the store to actually look at the camera I was planning to buy.

Then, after pawing up the store display, I zoomed home, hopped online, and loaded up some odd virtual shopping cart with various goodies. Yay!

Now, I'm not going to tell you what I bought until it gets here and is in my grubby mitts. But, as I always am when it comes to new gizmos and whatnots, I'm freakin' giddy and from now until the UPS dude is banging on my door, I'm going to be all twitchy and tweaked and watching all those wonderful shots pass me by.

Aside from that, it's now time for bed.

G'night people! I hope your Wednesday was a wild one. See ya tomorrow.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/12/2008 09:35:00 PM

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Silly GOP...

It's another reasonably busy day on this end, but there was something that bounced across my mind a little earlier as I was plunking my way through the news. So, I figured I'd take a moment to share it with you.

Now, hypocrisy in our politicians is pretty much part and parcel of their jobs these days, but rarely in American politics has it been so beamingly obvious as it is with the current scandal buzzing around New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer, and his proclivity for prostitutes.

Personally, I really don't care, and I believe his infidelities are nothing more than a matter which belongs solely to him and his family. Granted, I think Spitzer's pretty much a sleaze for cheating on his wife in such a way as this, but it doesn't really matter one damn bit. Then again, since Spitzer is a Democrat, obviously the Republicans are caterwauling and bleating and gurgling out the usual nonsense about how it's some sort of moral imperative that Spitzer be removed from office in light of his incessant hooker wrangling.

Oddly enough, however, in this nation of such divided and partisan bullshit, it seems the GOP is really not even all that concerned about their own hypocrisy and the fact that one of their own, Senator David Vitter, also was a pretty active member in the hooker industry, and they gave that twisted, "Family Values" political turd a standing ovation when, in the press, he begged for forgiveness from his family, his party, and, oh yeah, his constituents.

So, Republicans, riddle me this: Why is it perfectly acceptable for Senator Vitter to go out banging whores, but when a Democratic Governor does so, it's a horrible sin and he must be impeached at the very least?

Could it be that you've all become so wrapped up in your own petty partisan nonsense that you don't realize what a bunch of squawking, childish hypocrites you've become?

The thing is, if Spitzer's impeached or required to step down, then, by your own metric, we must also expect David Vitter to step down as well. After all, it makes no sense holding one politician to a particular set of standards while holding another politician to an entirely different set, don't you think?

Personally, I couldn't care less about either of these men's sexual antics. They are the ones who have to face their families knowing full well that they have violated whatever vows and oaths they took so as to protect that family. It simply doesn't concern me. Let their constituents deal with this nonsense.

What does concern me, however, is the ridiculous, humiliating, embarrassing hypocrisy which our juvenile political members inflict upon this country and force us to live beneath. If they could grow the fuck up and comport themselves in a manner befitting that of the statesmen expected of their position rather than act like the dirt-stained, blubbering children they are, America may actually move in a direction toward making this nation better. Instead, we now suffer beneath the constant moral judgments of ridiculously petty legislators who aren't qualified to run a lemonade stand much less a country.

Nonetheless, I am awfully curious as to why the actions of Eliot Spitzer should be punished, but the actions of David Vitter should not. Aside from party affiliation, why are they to be treated differently?

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/11/2008 02:42:00 PM

Monday, March 10, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's the brain that's funny...


Bizarre...

A short time ago, I sat down to do some continuing work on a book I've been writing, and well... the second my eyes hit the beaming monitor to see the annoying cursor blinking endlessly into oblivion, my brain just utterly clamped down, and I knew that even trying to describe something as common as a wet noodle was going to be absolutely impossible.

I don't know why this struggle seems to have shown up, and I figure babbling here may help bust through this shell of my own creative apprehensions, but I don't know. I'm just not in the mood. I'm completely uninspired. In fact, it's not entirely unlike someone spent the last several hours slapping me in the face with a cold, wet sponge every time I tried to chatter out a single, freakin' sentence.

Yup. My brain is like a rusty old truck with a bad clutch lurching its way down a road of thick mud...

Enough of the similes. It's getting old like... Abe Vigoda.

Gyaaagh!

I think a lot of my problems are the simple fact that, even though I bitch about the weather every... damn... day, I do think that this winter has just sucked the last bit of patience right out of me. In other words, a good mood is a rare thing, and I just want a warm day in which to recharge the batteries that power those parts of my brain that are prone to wander in odd, and sometimes creative, directions.

Don't worry, folks. If this post isn't making any sense, I think that's the point.

I think babbling can be fun. Then again, I may be close to the point of chiseling out some sort of twisted, maniacal, rambling manifesto whose nuttiness is right up there with Time Cube, Tom Cruise, the Unibomber, or Creationism.

On the other hand, I'm not nearly paranoid enough to unload a heap of insignificant fears upon the population. Sure, there are things that are out there trying to "get" me. For example, the girlfriend/ex-girlfriend comes to mind. However, most are harmless.

I suppose you could consider this to be a really stupid form of free writing. It's not entirely free in that I do have a tendency to over-censor my words to the point where most scribblings wind up to be utter gibberish. But, then again, tucked away somewhere inside this collection of mad rambling is a word, a phrase, or a sentence which I will read at some point in the future; I will think about it; then I will concoct a story around it.

To coin a phrase: This is how I brain, baby!

It's either this, or I go and stick my head in the oven like Sylvia Plath. Sure, my oven's electric, and I'd probably only wind up catching a nifty tan, but the end result isn't important.

Well, time to wrap this up and get back to my torture. My only request is that you remind yourselves that laughing is important.

So, avoid Dane Cook.

Peace out my crazy friends!

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/10/2008 01:03:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Waiting to thaw.

Let's see...

It's a balmy twenty-seven degrees here this morning, the sun is shining, and for the first time since November, the wind isn't howling and banging against the sides of the house in an attempt to introduce itself to me.

"Hi. I'm Wind." I figure it would say as the wall comes crumbling down and my eyes are blown dry and glued into place.
"Hello Wind. You're a little cold. Do you think you could maybe go away or something?" I figure I would say.
"Nope. You and me are going to be pals until June! BFF's and everything!"

Nonetheless, there's no wind today, so I can keep that little conversation tucked inside my gray matter for another day. Hopefully, I'll never have to use it.

Unfortunately, twenty-seven is still a bit chilly, but it's being reported that the temperature is supposed to climb into the thirties sometime today, and, even better, tomorrow should be in the freakin' forties! So, if nothing else, I think this can be seen as a sign that the worst is over and this thing called "spring" is on its way. Woohoo!

In other news, the clone, or my twin, is coming home from San Diego sometime tonight, and I'm pretty sure the first thing I will do is make the sun-soaked bastard walk home from the freakin' airport rather than have to sit in the car listening to him rattle on about how sunny and warm it was in Southern California.

Then again, I do have a Jeep, and I guess I could take the top down and the doors off and really watch him suffer on the road home since I'm sure he didn't pack a hat.

Aside from that, I do have a bit of a heap of other writing to do on this somewhat less-than-lucid Monday. Daylight Savings Time just blows the hell out of my perception of things. It's annoying, and it's a concept whose time has long since come and gone. You'd think a simple hour wouldn't make that much of a difference, but it's just enough to be a needle in my internal clockwork screwing everything all to hell.

So, that said, I hope your Monday is a wild one. I'll try to be back later. Right now, however, before I do anything, I think I really just need to go stand in front of the window and let the sun shine on my frosty toes.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/10/2008 10:03:00 AM

Sunday, March 9, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] And, she's off!

Aww... Here's a cool story about a racing pooch taking a victory lap after being caught in a moment of nostalgia.
A RETIRED greyhound disrupted a professional soccer game in England when the floodlights and crowd noise brought back memories of her racing days.

Fool's Mile escaped from owner Jane Holland and ran four circuits of the pitch, halting play between Blackpool Reserves and Burnley Reserves and prompting a standing ovation from spectators.

Holland said the five-year-old greyhound with 11 wins to her name appeared to be reliving her glory days.

"It was as if all her old instincts had come back," Holland told Britain's The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

"We were nearby and when she heard the crowd she was off."
(Story)
Woof!

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/09/2008 09:31:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Just Futzin' Around.

I'm just tinkering with picture layouts, and I wanted to see how the Flickr link works as opposed to uploading it to Blogger.

What do you kids think? How's the layout on your end? Is it swallowing the page? Any overlaps? Does it fit?


Yes. That's still my chewed up window moulding.

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/09/2008 01:56:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's UnAmerican!

Hi there. I'm wasting a bit of time at the moment watching this odd thing called "Arena Football."

Now, it's been around for a while, and from what I understand, it's got a pretty large fan-following. To me, it looks a little crazy, and I think it's only a matter of time before one of these fans catches a linebacker in their face.

Still, it looks like fun.

However, it also looks suspiciously Canadian.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/09/2008 12:24:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I May Need to Paint...


What you see here is my backdoor window frame showcasing the result of many days' worth of DogCat's demands to be let out.

In other words, he does little kitty chin-ups on this poor portal, and though it's kind of rare to find him doing such things these days, in his youth, it was a pretty common sight to see him dangling from the door, wailing through the window begging to be released into the wild of the backyard.

Anyway, that's a summer project, I guess. And, I suppose the good news is that I can sand that out. Fortunately, he's good to furniture, and that's a really great thing since, with his monster-cat claws, he could probably turn the sofa into a pile of kindling and shredded fabric in a matter of psycho-kitty minutes.

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/09/2008 10:31:00 AM

Saturday, March 8, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] For Your Easter.

If I remember right, Easter is coming up pretty quickly, so here's a little something to get you in the mood.


Yep. It's a "Peep show."

-DP


--

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/08/2008 10:50:00 AM

Friday, March 7, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Weird.... With a Little Crazy.

As I was eating a healthy breakfast of Mike and Ike's, I was perusing some story on AOL about the Grand Canyon being older than what was previously believed, and, like an idiot, I stumbled into the comments section to see what people were saying. After all, for some reason, the Grand Canyon is a pretty contentious thing in the eternal battle between science and religion. For example, science says that the canyon was carved out over millions and millions of years as a result of river water. Religion says it took about a month and a half a couple of thousand years ago.

Personally, I'm with science on this one.

However, one of the comments really rattled my head. As I read it, I developed a spastic twitch as I felt like I had clam chowder seeping from my ears. I... I just couldn't process it. I needed help. Read for yourselves (and this is an actual comment. I am not making this up).
[He or she] wanted to know why we have appendix and why we have so much trouble with our spines, and why do we have a "tail" bone? Well, why do books have appendix?

We have trouble with our spines because we sit in front of computers all day, and tail bone?. It is not a tail bone, that name came from man. Our tail bone is a solid peice of bone which is attached to the low back which is attached to the thoracic which is attached to the cervical which is attached to the head. Use your brain people, all creation has tail bones and spines. If we don't treat them right they don't work right. Oh, by the way, has man ever created blood that is the sustainer of life? Never will either.

Now, I had to do a bit of editing here for coherence. It wasn't much. I just added a carriage return to separate the crazy (the bold bit) from the mindless (the not so bold bit).

The scary thing is that, to this person, this whole argument makes a hell of a lot of sense. It's what they were taught, and to them, it is the absolute truth. And, though I don't have any problem with he or she believing this insanity, the thing that really bothers me is that they will one day grow up, have children, and do what they can to try and teach this crazy to their kids.

Nonetheless, one thing is certain: I really do need to stay away from the comment section in the AOL News stories. It's like a shiny, happy parade in Crazy Town, and it makes the head spin.

Anyway, if anyone like to counter the above argument, please feel free to do so in the comments. Just remember one thing: Bring your crazy! And, bring it all, people.

For what it's worth, I think if I ever come down with appendicitis, I'm going to throw every book in my house away and save myself having to go through that annoying surgery.

-DP

--
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 3/07/2008 10:18:00 AM