Thursday, July 31, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] How You Like Them?

First, the photo:


Now, this apple tree actually does crank out some pretty tasty apples. Unfortunately, I don't spray the tree to keep the worms and other bugs out. The tree is just too close to the house, and it's kind of right above the neighbor's screen porch. I suppose, if I wanted to spray, I could just reach out the bedroom window and give it a nice spritzing; however, the thing is, if I sprayed, I'd have a whole hell of a lot of apples, and though these things make ridiculously tasty pies, I don't want to make two hundred ridiculously tasty pies.

I really don't need that many apples.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/31/2008 10:14:00 AM

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

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

Today kind of sucks, and I'm sitting here hoping that my good mood is hiding at the bottom of my coffee mug. I'm working my way there, I guess, but the thing is, the Clone made the coffee, and well... I question his skills.

Anyway, here's a picture for today:


I kind of like how the light and the lines work in this shot. It's kind of trippy when you start looking at the angles and whatnots.

Anyway, I've got to get myself jacked on my mug o' madness. Then, I've got to climb into my buggy and lumber my aching carcass across town to the doc's office for one of those pointless appointments where I pretty much sit around explaining that things could be better, but they could also be a whole hell of a lot worse.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/30/2008 08:50:00 AM

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] We Aim to Answer...

Dawn asks:

What is the story with the fierce looking DeafCat pic on your sidebar?
You must be talking about this picture:


Yesterday, I was puttering around outside, and DeafCat was just sort of tagging along and doing her usual thing of patrolling the yard with her nose. And, as I was contemplating mowing the lawn, I heard this funny hissing sound from behind me.

When I turned to look at the source, I found DeafCat somewhat upset by something.

So, I looked around for another cat, possibly a dog, or even a misplaced stick that might have set her off and started this whole raging little outburst. What I found is that this hunk of shrubbery you see pictured on the right was tremendously offensive to my poor, confused cat.

As you can see, it does need a trim. I've sort of let it go, and perhaps DeafCat was simply voicing her displeasure at my apathetic style of landscaping. The shrub has become an insult to her and her discerning tastes.

Fortunately, after a minute or two of her telling the bush to fuck off in no uncertain terms, she turned and ran to the front door to find safety inside the house. Obviously, she just wanted to make sure that this bush was put in its place, and it's going to think twice now before getting out of line.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/29/2008 11:38:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's Old, But it's New!

Hot damn!

As you can see in my Blogger profile, the Schlitz light is a go, and its cool and delicious light is a beacon of comfort to a hot and thirsty world.

Yay, beer!

Clearly, people want change. In fact, they want change so badly that the brewery can't keep up production of this tasty old beer. And, when I sent the Clone out on a Schlitz run, he had to search high and low, over hill and dale, to find me my delicious beer.

However, he succeeded, and he was rewarded greatly. He was allowed to live another day, and he only had to scrub the black mold off half the walls of the dungeon.

Now, I'm off to rejoice with the drunken villagers.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/29/2008 10:43:00 AM

Monday, July 28, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] DogCat says "Stretch!"

I don't know if I'll ever be able to find the words to fully describe the crushing envy I feel every time I see a cat stretching.


I mean, my cat can even stretch between his toes!

Gyaagh! If I could do that, I wouldn't be half as surly. Nothing beats a damn, good stretch.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/28/2008 02:12:00 PM

Sunday, July 27, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's a bash...

Hey look! I went to a concert.

The Bodeans

Yesterday evening, I heard the unmistakable thump and din of live music carried on the wind through my town. So, I threw my dinner in the oven, put on some shoes, grabbed my camera and headed out into the blue-collar wilderness to see what all the fuss was about.

As it turned out, after a little hoof-work down the street, I managed to find the BoDeans tucked away on a stage somewhere in the tangle of buildings that is the Bucyrus crane-making complex.

Unfortunately, after snapping a whole heap of pictures of the band (which you can find in a Flickr set here), I started to get thirsty. And, considering I had a grueling half-mile walk back to my house, I thought it important to hydrate. So, I went in search of a nice, cold beer to guzzle down.

The thing is, they didn't have any there...

They weren't selling beer...

I started to twitch a little when I realized that the plastic cups that everyone was carrying around were filled with cherry soda and not some delicious beer that would have been perfect after my brutal death march beneath the blazing hot sun of summer.

Now, I could have gone to just about any employee locker to find a six-pack tucked away in dirty work clothes and whatnots, but I decided that would just be too nosy and settled on silently whimpering to myself.

Anyway, after the band had wrapped up, I hoofed it back to my house, took my dinner out of the oven and sat down to eat and pick out some pictures to upload.

So, that was a nice surprise to find on my weekend. I hope your weekend also had some nice surprises.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/27/2008 09:51:00 AM

Friday, July 25, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Toys!

Saturday's picture just makes me want to play...


I just want to reach over there, pick up that dump truck and move it around while muttering: "Brrbrbrbrrbbbrr... reeeeech... beeep! beeep! Brrrrbrbrbrbbrrr... Time for a smoke break, Louey. We love the union."


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/26/2008 12:50:00 AM

Don't Quit Your Day Jobs, Guys.

This just cracked me up.

For those of you reading this on AOL, you can click here to find the funny.

The ending is really the best part.

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/25/2008 01:45:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Drinks at Nine.

Here's an insect getting his drink on.

Drinks at Nine.

He's kind of doing a keg-stand, so you know this bee is a hardcore douchebag who learned how drink in a frat-house basement.

By the way, I have not been able to figure out two things:

First, I don't know why the inside of my birdbaths (there are three in the yard) turn red. My guess is that there's too much iron in the water here in Milwaukee (thankfully, I drink beer instead of water).

Second, the water in this particular birdbath always gets a little "foamy" for some reason. I mean, even if I clean it and scrub out all the red stuff, a short time after filling it, it comes back. So, either someone's peeing in the tub, or... well... I've got beer coming out of my garden hose (which would mean my dreams have finally started to come true).

In other news, this shot was taken with my dandy new lens. It's a Sigma 70-300mm APO number, and it was really cheap, but I think it's a pretty decent little lens. Of course, I'd love to have the Nikon version of this lens with the vibration reduction and all the other bells and whistles, but that hunk of glass was hell and gone outside of my price range.

However, after taking a handful of shots with this new lens, I've come to the conclusion that this lens is the next best thing to the Nikon. And, since none of you were willing to give me the fat wad of smelly money I needed to make up the difference, I had to go with the next best thing.

I hope you're happy. I'm sure you're all going to get a stern memo about that.

Anyway, I'm off to the park to see if I can't put this thing through its paces.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/25/2008 11:13:00 AM

Thursday, July 24, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Getting colorful.

Today's picture is all about the colors...

Going all clowny and stuff.

The colors on this one aren't nearly as aggressive as they were on the shot of a similar flower with the neon-green, Zima-swilling insect (and no. I'm not talking about the New Jersey Guidos). This one's kind of nice and balanced.

Well, I've got to run. It's kind of a suspiciously busy, but wildly beautiful, morning here, and I've got a heap of running to do before I can sit down and stare at the Tour de France while I wait for a new lens to arrive.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/24/2008 09:30:00 AM

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's her job... It's what she does.

Here's DeafCat proudly walking the patio perimeter.

DeafCat on Patrol.

Don't let the cute, fluffy look fool you. She's a lethal guard cat, and if something is foolish enough to wander into the yard --be it a dog, another cat, or a curious leaf-- she will spring into quick action and run up to the intruder to issue a determined hiss before running away.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/23/2008 08:01:00 AM

Monday, July 21, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Dude! The 90's are so OVER!

So, wash off the Polo cologne, throw away the Zima and ditch the freakin' neon, man.

Hello, weird, green bug.

I thought this picture was pretty slick. And, to be perfectly honest, I didn't really do anything drastic in Photoshop. I just fiddled with my usual lighting levels and didn't adjust the colors one bit.

The only thing I have a problem with in this picture is that the weird, neon green insect is just a hair out of focus (its head is a bit blurry). But, I'm more into those weird colors and how my flash just brought them all out.

Now, I'm going to ask you all for a favor. It's just a little favor. In fact, you probably won't even think you're doing anything.

Nonetheless, please do me a favor and tell me what you think of this shot. Be as kind or as harsh and as funny or as serious, as you wish. All I ask is that you be honest. Just critique this shot until I'm either walking funny, or I run away screaming to hide in a damp, dark cave somewhere in West Virginia (somewhere close to the H.K. Shivelmeisterkovski compound because Holly's nice and she would take me to the Waffle House).

Other than that, as you can see, this is yet another late night for me. But, that will be fixed in a matter of minutes.

Anyway, share those criticisms.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/22/2008 12:07:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Fog's Footprints.

Here's today's picture...


I took this the other day after the fog had lifted.

I'd love to write more, but I just can't. My hands are freakin' killing me, and I've decided to give them the day off lest they start a mutiny.

So, have a great one.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/21/2008 10:42:00 AM

Sunday, July 20, 2008

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

Here's your shot for Sunday.


Yes. My goal is to terrify you all. Tremble, people! Tremble in fear!

Actually, this spider's about the size of a peanut, but he's got a mean steak a mile wide. I mean, look at those sharp, nasty, pointy teeth!

Lookit the boones!!!

Run away!


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/20/2008 11:25:00 AM

Saturday, July 19, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Guten Morgen!

Yeah... I'm pretty much just phoning it in these days.


Well, I hope everyone enjoyed my brief flicker as an AOL Guest Editor. It's been a while. In fact, I think the last time I was the guest was way back in the heady days when Jeff was crop dusting the AOL cube farm.

Aside from that, well... Today is a pretty gloomy one. It's just one of those somewhat chilly, gray, drizzling mornings. It's a good day to just stay inside and watch movies, and that is exactly what I plan to do.

In other news, the new air conditioner kick so much ass, I think I may just develop a rather twisted and disturbing relationship with it. So far, it's pulled so much humidity out of the air that I think I could turn my house into a giant RonCo food dehydrator.

I can make jerky.

And banana chips.

And... umm... there's got to be something else I can make. I just can't seem to think of anything since I need a hot, humid cup of coffee.

Well, I'm off. Have a rowdy weekend, folks. Try not to get in any bar fights.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/19/2008 09:46:00 AM

Friday, July 18, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Junkie!

I'm beginning to think DeafCat has developed a bit of a dependency problem with the little sprigs of catnip that grow here and there throughout the yard. When I let her outside, it's usually the first, and only, thing she hits, and when she's done rolling around, she comes back into the house all covered in mulch and dirt to sit in the kitchen and stare at the stove.

Mmm...  Catnip

Ah well.

Aside from that, later today, my AOL Guest Editor thingy goes up, and I picked some pretty spankin' delightful journals to showcase. If you are one of those journalers coming here to thank me for pimpin' your works, don't. I should be the one thanking you. You make this fun. And, fun is, well... fun. I like fun. It makes me avoid work. In fact, I like fun things almost as much as my nip-dependent cat likes her smack.

Anyway, we've got some storms rolling through here today just like every Friday, and I'm kind of feeling their approach in my little digits and big, fat joints. So, this may be the only babble you get from me today. Right now, all I'm planning is to take some pain killers and watch the Tour de France.

So, y'all have a dandy wild Friday. And, as always, please feel free to post your weekend plans in the comments. If any of you are running guns and cigarettes to South American rebels this weekend, could you maybe pick me up some coffee while you're down there?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/18/2008 11:01:00 AM

Thursday, July 17, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Gone Fishin'

Hey! Confucius picked up a DVD, and he's decided to learn how to catch bass!

Confucius Learns to Fish.

I don't think he could have picked a better instructor. Look at how gingerly Chuck holds that rod --even with his ubiquitous, stop-sign-sized wristwatch.

As The Chuck always says "Give a long dead Chinese philosopher a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he'll totally want a second date." Which, I think, Chuck will pay for.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/17/2008 01:14:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Yes. You May Have Another!

Purdy, huh?


Sometimes, life along the lake is pretty pretty...


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/17/2008 10:03:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Good Morning.

Sometimes, sunrises just don't really need a whole heck of a lot of words.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/17/2008 07:51:00 AM

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Random Thought.

Is it wrong that I have a bit of a crush on Flo, the woman in the Progressive Car Insurance ads?

She just seems like a total party animal with her big, tricked-out name tag. I bet she guzzles Jagermeister and sings terrible Karaoke, and doesn't care what other people think.

Man... If there was a Waffle House in Wisconsin, I'd totally take her out on a date.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/17/2008 12:30:00 AM

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

Hi folks.

After the massive pain in the arse that was the "Great Porn Fiasco" of my AOL Journal, I had to make a few tweaks and twiddles and jiggle the wires a bit to hopefully --and I mean hopefully-- get things working as they used to...

So, in order to actually fill a post with something, here's a picture for you to look at.

Mmm...  Team Treats!

I like this sign. I mean, it's nice to feed the Little League kids after putting a righteous smackdown on some upstart band of bat-swingers. It's also good to feed the umpires. A hungry ump is just going to call strikes to get the game over faster. So, well fed, and with a little money on the side, a winning ump is a happy ump.

However, the thing I really like most is the big, bright red THANK YOU! at the end.

It's a little sharp and snarky. It's like, Here's your Snickers bar that you paid for with a buck fifty worth of pennies, THANK YOU!

Really, man... That thank you was written by an angry concession stand worker. They probably were forced to work the movie theater circuit for too long, and instead of a glorious life drizzling a butter flavored oil slick onto popcorn, they grew bitter and mean as a result of customers too hurried to thank them.

Sad. But, I sense hope.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/16/2008 10:17:00 PM

Back.. back... back...


My AOL Journal was deleted yesterday, but it's back today after Vish put a serious smackdown on some toady who made the assumption that my journal was porn. 

Anyway, I need to mend the mobile-blogging thing so that the entries transfer from Blogger over to here, and I'll get to that later today.  Right now, I'm just too busy.  So, you can go here to see the Daily Picture, and there are a few entries with a rundown of what's been going on the past couple of days with regards to this silliness.

Enjoy!  And, I apologize for all the difficulties. 


Monday, July 14, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Picture printing.

I found this site pretty helpful to anyone with a digital camera who wants to print out their pictures.

West Coast Imagine MegaPixel Print Size Chart.

When I first started getting prints for some of my pictures, I was pretty uncertain as to what would be the largest sizes I could get of those taken with my scant six-megapixel camera.

This chart, and the very helpful FAQ you'll find should you follow the link above answers that and more.

Of course, the knock against that chart is that it doesn't take cropping into account (which is actually impossible to take into account since who knows how much of that image you're cropping out?). But, I'm actually surprised at the size I am able to print if I send in a picture where I've not resized or cropped the shot in any way.


Anyway, this is just for prints of 8X10 or larger, but don't worry. I think even the cheapest point and shoot out there should be able to get you excellent 4X6, 5X7 and 8X12 prints without any fuss whatsoever.

Aside from that, if you look closely at that chart, you'll notice how irrelevant the whole megapixel argument really is, and why, for the average shooter, it really doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense to be cramming more and more megapixels into a camera. After all, the average shutterbug is usually going to be printing no larger than 8X10 or 8X12 at most if they print their pictures at all. It's only when you start thinking about poster-sized prints does that resolution really come into play. So, you folks sitting on your old three or four megapixel point and shoot cameras don't have much to be jealous of (I've got a 1.5 mp Olympus lying around here that takes great shots and makes good small prints. It just works very, very slowly).

Now, I don't know about you, but I was always wondering about that.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/14/2008 11:51:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Bye, Lara!

I'm posting this at about 2:00 AM since I'm taking off Monday and will only be doing things like checking email and whatnots since I'll be busy...

Watching the Doctor Who marathon on the Sci-Fi channel and sleeping.

Don't judge me!

Anyway, here's your Monday picture:

Fighting off the Dumpster Divers.

It was a sad day.

After the floods last month, I was cleaning out the basement, and I finally had to get rid of my life-size cutout of Angelina Jolie.

As it turns out, the corner where I stood her up had collected a lot of water, and well... as a result her cardboard feet started to rot, and she started to shrink and tip over like an old lady with osteoporosis.

So, I kicked her to the curb (well, actually the alley), and I stood her up as the garbage collectors took in her delightful, ungarbage-like curves and lingered a little longer than usual on their weekly rounds. If nothing else, maybe they got a kick out of it. I know my neighbors did as they were cruising up and down the alley. I'm glad none of them plowed into the telephone pole as a result of their distractions.

Anyway, you all have a wonderful Monday. I can't promise I'll be back when it's a more sensible hour, but I can't promise I can't.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/14/2008 01:56:00 AM

Sunday, July 13, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Ridin' the Pine.

When I was a Little League ball-player, I spent a lot of time with this view:


Of course, I didn't have that fancy brick wall to look at since in my day it was just a fence. I had to actually, you know, watch the game, and then, on rare occasions, I had to trot out to Right Field to stand around counting blades of grass and stuff.

For what it's worth, we took something called Second Place that year. I have no idea who took First, and I don't know what team took Third. Then again, Who didn't take Third because Who was in First. But, I know We took Second, and maybe that moved What over to Third?

Ach... I could never get the hang of baseball.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/13/2008 10:52:00 AM

Saturday, July 12, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Enter the Dragonfly II: Fists of Fury.

Funny thing.

Yesterday, when I was outside snapping pictures of the latest dragonfly to visit me (I call this one "Hasselhoff"), my reason for being out in the muggy, mosquito-infested, summer swamp that is July in Wisconsin, was actually to just try and get a feel for this old, but wickedly brilliant, macro lens I got not too long ago. But, this dude showed up, landed on a stick, and he was kind enough to pose for me. When I got too close, he'd fly off, but in a few seconds, he was back on the stick.

So, clearly, when doing macro shots of insects, it helps that they're attention whores.

Anyway, due to my style of shooting, not all of the pictures were all that great. In fact, I'd say 90% of the roughly sixty shots I took of this little dude were throw away shots (okay... 98%!). But, several turned out nice and sharp.

However, as I was getting set to toss this one into the trash, it struck my eye. I think it's kind of cool, and I hope you do too.


I'm not really sure why I like it. The blurry leg hanging down is kind of cool. You can see the little claw-like hairs sticking out on his arms and legs, but I think what caught me was the tiny, in focus part of the wing. It's got a cool sort of church-window look to it. Plus, the light is absolutely perfect.

Now, a little more on my style of macro bug photography:

First, one I've got my shutter and aperture all sussed out to the point where I'm happy that things are not too dark or bright, I set the focus to its closest point, and, since I keep my camera set for continuous shooting at about 2.5 or 3 frames per second, I just hold down the shutter button and start taking pictures as I move the camera.

I've got a pretty good idea where the focus point is, so I kind of wobble in and out around that point.

Obviously, it's not a very efficient form of shooting, but this isn't film, and deleting the twenty or thirty (FINE! fifty or sixty) bad shots is easy.

Now, for you point and shooters out there, it can be a little easier for you. Just set your camera to macro mode and get in there and take the shot. The thing is, your head might get in the way, and it might be seriously awkward leaning in.

To fix this, while your camera is in macro mode, zoom the lens all the way to its maximum, and then hold your hand in front of the lens to see how close it can be in order to be in focus. Then, stop looking through the evil view finder and look at that relationship between your hand and lens to get a good idea of the distance (it's usually an inch or two).

Got it?


Now you've got a pretty decent idea of what your camera's minimum focusing distance actually looks like. So, now, when you are walking down the street with your camera in your pocket and you stumble upon a bug, you can get a bit of a jump on him by putting your camera in the same position without having to use the viewfinder.

It's easier and a little nicer than knocking him on his head to keep him steady. Besides, it's best to save the blunt-force trauma technique for pictures of kids, grandparents and some pets.

I kid... I kid...

The pro's use Roofies, I think.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/12/2008 02:26:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] BOOM! Headshot!

I like my macro lens. However, I need to warn you that, although kind of fascinating, today's picture is pretty creepy, gross, icky and yucky.

Still... Way cool.

BOOM!  Headshot!

I had another dragonfly drop in yesterday, and, like John Wilkes Booth, I managed to sneak up behind him and get a shot of the back of this bug's head.

What? Too soon?

Bu the way, did you know that John Wilkes Booth is distant relation of Blogfather John Scalzi? Serious. I read that on the internets.

The thing is, I had no idea what it was I'd find when taking the shot, but man... That's really freaky gross.

I like the hairy shoulders, though. They remind me of a little Italian guy I met once who was dressed in a grease-stained wife-beater and selling grappa out of a barrel (for future reference, don't buy cheap grappa out of a barrel from a man with hairy shoulders. Both you and the Auto-Strada restroom attendants will thank me).

As for the little yellow spots on the back of his head, I'm going to say that those lower ones and the one in the middle up top are his brake lights/blinkers, and the smaller spots are his little reverse lights. I mean, it's got to be tough flying that rig around.

What do you think?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/12/2008 12:31:00 PM

Friday, July 11, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Slow down!

Gads! This day is just ripping by. I mean, I can even hear the little threads in the fabric of space and time being stretched and snapped.

Oh... Wait.

Sorry, that's just the ice-maker in the fridge.

Anyway, here's today's picture for all you folks out there who like those things:


Now, technically, this isn't a ladybug. It's one of those exotic orange things from Japan that bite and (this is really gross) they eat their own!!!

This little bastard was climbing around on the trumpet vine growing out back, and that place is pretty busy when it comes to bug action. The bees really like it. Flies and ants do too. And, well, I guess the Japanese bugs that eat their own!!! also like hanging around.

The place must be like a TGI-Fridays' or something.

Personally, I hate the thing.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/11/2008 10:56:00 AM

Thursday, July 10, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Bullseye!

A short time ago, we had a freakish little storm come racing through here. It didn't drop a lot of rain. The temperature didn't sink all that much. And, all it all, even though the warning was for a severe thunderstorm, it was really more about the wind than anything.

And boy! Was it every windy.

I stood in the doorway watching the lightning and the rain and the patio furniture as it got swept off to Oz (Hope you enjoy the rocker you ungrateful, little Munchkins!). And, whenever some insanely strong gust kicked up, I could actually feel the air getting sucked straight out of my lungs.

Big time windy!

Nonetheless, it was nice. And, when it was all over, I went outside to snap some quick pictures of wet things, blown over things, Toto's crap as he dropped a load of ballast before being swept off to see the Wizard.

The thing is, as I was standing outside, a wind-aided mosquito (and they are terrible this year thanks to the floods) flew at roughly the speed of sound, proboscis-first, straight into my forehead, right between the eyes, and buried his needle nose through my immeasurably thick skull and into my brain, I think.

Everything just itches.

So, I was either gang-raped by a rather large and very thirsty swarm, or that little bastard bit my brain and shorted something out.

Oh yeah. there's also a pretty good lump on my forehead.

Anyway, with the way this summer is going, it's clear it's going to be a bloodbath, and if you or anyone you know might be heading into the great outdoors, you might want to invest in a little full-body kevlar.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/10/2008 08:19:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Dear World: Sorry Again.

There's nothing I can say. As an American citizen, I am embarrassed, humiliated and disgraced by the actions of the obviously disturbed human being who I am forced to call my president. The man has no class. No manners or taste. He has no concept of right or wrong. He has no conscience. He's nothing more than a petty, little sociopath, and I wish someone, somewhere, would slap the ever-living shit out of this damaged man who is nothing short of the most boorish, arrogant, dimwitted and dangerous leader of any developed nation anywhere.

Seriously, people. Get a load of this:

President George Bush: 'Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter'
By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor and Urmee Khan
Last Updated: 7:52AM BST 10/07/2008

George Bush surprised world leaders with a joke about his poor record on the environment as he left the G8 summit in Japan.

The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.


One official who witnessed the extraordinary scene said afterwards: "Everyone was very surprised that he was making a joke about America's record on pollution."

Mr Bush also faced criticism at the summit after Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, was described in the White House press pack given to journalists as one of the "most controversial leaders in the history of a country known for government corruption and vice".

The White House apologised for what it called "sloppy work" and said an official had simply lifted the characterisation from the internet without reading it.
(Full Story)

There's no amount of begging anyone can do in order to earn the forgiveness of the world for this man's actions and the actions of his administration. As a nation, we are all to blame. And those in both houses should carry the black mark of their inaction when their time for reelection comes up. They've allowed this clueless monstrosity of a president to continue far too long.

I don't care who you are, or to what inane political party you believe you are eternally hitched, the fact remains that George Bush has utterly destroyed our nation's standing in the world.

It's pathetic that, as a nation, we Americans can sit here and watch this disaster continue in the hopes of hiding our shame and disgrace until January when this idiot is replaced by someone hopefully a little more intelligent and considerably less embarrassing and corrupt.

This man --this pathetic, chattering, uneducated, little man-- has sucked the joy, the pride, and the meaning out of being an American. Whatever good which we as a people had, George Bush has stripped that away with his own bungling arrogance and ineptitude.

I just can't apologize for this son of a bitch anymore. American's shouldn't have to. But, this man-child represents us as a people, and the fact is, when he acts like this, it is a harsh reflection upon us all, and we should be horribly, hopelessly ashamed of this inhuman, incompetent, arrogant waste of skin we call the President of the United States.

What kind of adult says the things George Bush does? Who in their right mind would act like this idiot and not expect to get the shit kicked out of them?

This is just getting sickening.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/10/2008 01:10:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Hey! Look Who's Back!

Hi there!

Confucius and his Blackberry.

Yep. That's Confucius.

A while back, he asked me how he could go about becoming hyperconnected so as to reach a larger audience with his cute, little aphorisms. Apparently, he misunderstood when I mentioned that, in order to enter the digital age, it helps to have a Blackberry stuck to your head 24/7.

Unfortunately, something must've gotten lost in the translation.

Then again, wait until Buddha hears about this. He's a bit of a bully, and I think there's going to be one bad ass philosophical wedgie in someone's future. In fact, Confucius might just wind up with a permanent stutter.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/10/2008 09:04:00 AM

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

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

You hung around these past one-hundred and twenty-two years, and I, for one, am damned saddened and sorry to see you go.

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/09/2008 07:41:00 PM

Enter the Dragonfly.

Ooo... Look.

At Rest.

I think this dragonfly played guitar for the Scorpions back in the 80's.

And that means one thing... This bug will rock you like a hurricane!

And no. I still haven't any idea how it is they manage to fly with those wings. I mean, it's kind of like driving a car made out of Kleenex.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/09/2008 07:14:00 AM

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Catholic Crackers.

You know, it's funny. People sometimes ask me why I'm not religious, and up until now, my answers were usually a reasonably polite statement somewhere along the lines of "If I'm going to worship something, I need proof that it actually exists. Otherwise, I've got better and more productive things to do with my time."

For the most part, that's been pretty good at giving them the answer they need.

However, all that's changed, and I have a much more valid reason for avoiding religion.
Student Who Took Religious Icon Getting Death Threats
Last Edited: Monday, 07 Jul 2008, 11:38 PM EDT
Created: Monday, 07 Jul 2008, 11:36 PM EDT
By Cheryl Getuiza

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35, Orlando) --A UCF student claims he’s getting death threats for messing with something sacred.

Webster Cook says he smuggled a Eucharist, a small bread wafer that to Catholics symbolic of the Body of Christ after a priest blesses it, out of mass, didn’t eat it as he was supposed to do, but instead walked with it.

Catholics worldwide became furious.
Yep. The kind, godly folks are issuing death threats because this college kid pocketed a communion wafer. A wafer. A cracker! A tasteless, flat, unleavened mass of dried, crusty flour.

It boggles the mind.

So, now, when someone asks me why I'm not religious, I think I will just flatly tell them that I have absolutely no desire to become so bat-shit insane that I'd issue a fatwa for something so insignificant as not eating a cracker.

For example, I hardly would want to wind up like this crazed loon:
"It is hurtful," said Father Migeul [sic] Gonzalez with the Diocese. "Imagine if they kidnapped somebody and you make a plea for that individual to please return that loved one to the family."


Gonzalez said intentionally abusing the Eucharist is classified as a mortal sin in the Catholic church, the most severe possible.

If it's not returned, the community of faith will have to ask for forgiveness."We have to make acts of reparation," Gonzalez said. "The whole community is going to turn to prayer. We'll ask the Lord for pardon, forgiveness, peace, not only for the whole community affected by it, but also for [Cook], we offer prayers for him as well.
It's a cracker. Get over yourselves. How is it possible to kidnap a freakin' cracker? I mean, you can buy boxes and boxes of them.

Perhaps the funniest thing I've encountered in all of this is the demand that I respect their religion, and you really have to stop and ask yourselves, not so much why, but how could anyone ever respect something so petty, so small, so childish and so horribly insane?

Seriously. If your delusions are so crippling that you believe you are justified in issuing death threats against your fellow human being for reasons so comically insignificant as stealing a cracker, how far do you believe you are from blowing up newspaper buildings for printing a cartoon that offends you?

I respect people. And, in the past, I've tried to respect all religions, but I think religion is quickly destroying the world. It's turning man against man, and countless people are dying every single day as a result of religion. There are just too many wars. So, in light of that, the last thing anyone should do is respect something which is so malignant to humanity as a species. For the sake of the generations which will inevitably follow us, all these mixed up, divisive beliefs built around the foolish, elitist notion of eternal entitlement should be marginalized so humanity can regain its common sense and reason. After all, threatening someone's life for stealing a cracker is not what anyone would consider reasonable. And, if it is reasonable to you, then I truly do pity you.

So, from now on, I think this story, and others like it, will most likely provide all I need so as to answer those who question and scold me for not blindly following something which can so easily be used to foster violence and hatred.

It may be a little more dangerous, but at least I'm not going to be beating peopleup for really silly reasons.


P.S. PZ Myers wrote a delightful and very entertaining piece on this, and it is well worth the read.

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/09/2008 12:28:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Oooo... Sassy!

Now, I think I see what Georgia O'Keeffe was getting at.


Every once in a while, a shot comes out of my camera that just makes me stop and say wow. This was one of those times, and I figured I'd share it with you.

The funny thing is, this was taken with natural light on a lens that's almost as old as me. I spent next to no time figuring out the exposure, and I really did nothing more than focus and click, and this is pretty much how it came out of the camera. Granted, there was a little fine tuning as a result of making the conversion to JPEG from RAW. However, those alterations were so small, they're almost non-existent.

If anything, I'd like to have been standing a little farther back to get a little more of the flower in there so an outside border or edge could be better defined. But, as it stands, I'm really just digging this one, and I think it might be my best shot so far.

Anyway, I hope you all like it, and I hope I haven't bored you all to tears with my babble.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/08/2008 09:19:00 PM

Monday, July 7, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] That's a Frosty Fire.

Yeah. I know. It's midnight, and I'm posting on the blog. I wanted to get a jump on Tuesday by posting your Daily Photo at this ungodly hour. So, for those of you living in Pacific Time and the oft-overlooked Mountain Time, no peeking.

Here ya go:

Is your first name Jack?

I've got to admit, that's a pretty damn good name for a fireman. Unfortunately, I don't know if his name is Jack or not. I didn't think to ask, and well... he was kind of busy.

Earlier today, I was sitting in the living room reading a bit when I heard the rather loud and sickening crunch of car-on-car violence. When I looked out, I noticed that someone had plowed her new Buick into my neighbor's ancient minivan. So, I called the cops and went out to check on the woman in the Buick.

At first, she seemed a little unhinged and panicked as she fumbled with a bottle of pills. There was a lot of confused squealing as she tried to answer my questions, and though I didn't smell any alcohol, I thought this woman was either drunk or over-medicated. And, when she threw her car into reverse and tried to untangle her Buick from my neighbor's van, I told her to turn the engine off and remain as still as possible.

As she remained in her car committed to doing nothing more challenging than rocking back and forth and mumbling, the first emergency vehicle to come blaring down the street in a flash of lights and screaming sirens was an ambulance. He parked in front of the woman's car.

Then another ambulance arrived and parked in front of the first ambulance.

After that, the police showed up in a convoy of four cars and two big SUV's.

One more ambulance managed to join the party by sneaking in at the other end of the street.

And, finally, just as I thought we were approaching a laughable level of emergency vehicle overkill, a big, honking firetruck worked its way through the gauntlet of police and EMT vehicles to come to rest right beside my now trembling Jeep.

If I had an ABBA CD playing, my street would have been an instant disco with all those flashing lights.

Nonetheless, in a matter of seconds, they had the woman removed from her car (the door had been crumpled shut), and they put her in one of the many ambulances. Then, it was about an hour's worth of well-coordinated conversations about baseball, weekend plans, and what have you between the EMTs, police and firemen. If someone had a frisbee, I'm pretty sure we'd have wound up with a wild, disco block-party on this hot and muggy Monday afternoon.

Here's Frost again.Crazy.

As it turns out, the woman driver had what one officer called a diabetic episode. And, though I'm still not 100% sure I buy that, something was definitely wrong with the woman. And, other than her confused and panicked state, she had no injuries, and came away from the crash considerably better than her car. And, in retrospect, we, including my neighbor and his wife, were all pretty relieved that she hit his car (which he was going to be replacing), and not any of the random children playing on the sidewalks up and down my neighborhood.

Now, those of you who know me are probably sitting there thinking, Of course it had to be a Buick.

I still firmly believe that somewhere in the computer brain of all Buicks built since 2000, there is a rather tidy algorithm that states quite plainly: Car Must Kill Dan.

I don't know why, but whenever I'm out on the road, if there is a car flying out of nowhere intent on blowing a red light and plowing straight into my driver's side door, chances are, it will be a Buick. In fact, I could probably be walking down a street in some muddy, dark, Romanian backwater village where they've probably never heard of the automobile, and when an explosion mysteriously disrupts the idle silence of that bucolic Eastern Bloc town, it's going to be a car bomb, and it's going to be a Buick.

Seriously, folks. It doesn't even have to be on the road. Don't be surprised if you read about some sort of freak accident where a Buick fell from the sky, and you know I'm going to be in the center of it.

Buicks are out to get me. Fortunately, I know that if it happens in my town, there should be no shortage of emergency vehicles.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/08/2008 12:10:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Quick! Light the Oster-Signal!

If you write about Adorama, she will leap from the shadows of the world-wide webby, and she will lend a hand to the struggling, downtrodden masses yearning for camera equipment.

Her name is Helen Oster, and she's pretty much everywhere (she's willing to help you even if you're using dial-up).

Anyway, last night, I put in my order for the lens you see pictured here (It's the Sigma 70-300mm DL M DG OMGWTFBBQ lens). It's nothing fancy. In fact, as far as lenses go, it's actually really, really cheap. But, I read the reviews, saw some sample shots, and I figured that it was a pretty irresistable deal. Once the lens gets here, I'll post some test shots to see how it works. But, for less than $200, I'm not expecting miracles.

Anyway, last night, I placed the order for the lens. Then, I placed another order with Adorama because, being the moron that I am, I forgot to pick up a UV filter to fit this lens (but, that's not a big deal. I'm dumb, and because of that, I should pay the extra shipping).

The thing is, I awoke this morning to find that my lens is on backorder (so is my filter, but I knew that going in).

Normally, for most people, that sort of thing wouldn't be such a big deal, but I'm one of those foot-stomping consumers who will collapse onto the floor into a blubbering, wailing tantrum when unexpected delays such as these pop up.

I mean, what if they forget about me? What if, in all that time, paperwork gets confused and they send me a pair of headphones instead? How long should I wait before I call the National Guard? What if the world should explode, and I'm not there to get a shot of it because I need my lens?!?

These things happen!

On the other hand, I know that the second I post this, Helen Oster will pop in, leave a comment, and dispell whatever tortured chaotic thoughts I may have. She's just cool that way, and she's one of the biggest reasons why Adorama keeps getting my business.

Then again, if, say, for some crazy reason (that I'm achipper, smiling dude, for instace) she decided to use her powers for evil and send me a Sigma 70-300mm APO M DG lens in place of this one, well... I may even be inclined to name my first born, boy or girl, after her.


P.S. Actually, I have been wrestling with picking up the APO version. It's a hundred bucks more, but when I checked the test results of both lenses, the differences between the two didn't seem to make me want to buy the more expensive one without first trying out the el-cheapo.

Gyaagh! I'll put my best brain cell to work on it.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/07/2008 11:59:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Sick... Sicky, sick sick! SICK!

Hi y'all.

I hate to say it, but something is seriously kicking my ass today. First, I'm just a mangled mess of arthritic aches and pains thanks to some weird weather plowing its way through my corner of this wedge of cheddar. On top of that, I think either an allergy or a summer cold has decided to settle into the center of my face, and I feel as though someone smacked me square on the nose with a mud brick that's been wrapped in a sweat-soaked gym towel.

Oh well... It's Monday.

Anyway, here's a picture for you to take in:

Death from Above!

So, anyone want to take a step into the confused mind of DeafCat here by telling me what she's thinking as she remains perched upon the bookcase here?

Clearly, something is on her mind.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/07/2008 11:48:00 AM

Sunday, July 6, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Meanwhile... In Cardiff.

I'm just going to pitch this one up onto the walls of this blog to let let you kids contemplate it.


Now, technically, it's not in Cardiff. And, clearly, due to the lack of prostitutes, this isn't Liverpool either. But, in my mind, this is what they look like.

The fact is, this is the power plant they're building just south of where I live, and as the days and months pass by, this structure becomes more and more ominous. Currently, it's taken on the sort of qualities one would associate with some sort of palace of horrors, and I personally think they should put some speakers on top of the spooky place and broadcast a few sounds of torture, terror and ABBA. If nothing else, it would keep people off the beach.

Aside from that, I wish I'd had my camera and photographic ambitions years and years ago when the old power plant north of my house was around. That place was just this crazy, old, coal-fired monstrosity that seemed to hang on the lakeshore cloaked in an almost constant fog. It was built by Germans, and it was as close to indestructible as anything could ever be. In fact, when they brought out the wrecking ball and swung it into one of the walls of the building, that big hunk of steel just bounced right off with a dull thud.

After that, it sat for six more months while people tried to figure out how to go about tearing the old beast down. Eventually, with explosives, it came down and condos went up and all traces of the terrifying Lake Michigan shoreline were replaced by these little bits of metropolitan domesticity.

Ah well... Power plants are fascinating things to take pictures of, I guess. And, this shiny new one they're building may be functional and more efficient, but it's not going to look anywhere near as spooky cool as the old ones dotting the landscape.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/06/2008 11:03:00 AM

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

It's bath day, people!

Bath time.

I like that the little dude's got some serious Elvis-hair goin' on.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/06/2008 10:20:00 AM

Saturday, July 5, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I've Got My Eye on You, DC!

Sex laws are always good for a laugh. And, in this list of ten WTF? US Sex Laws, it's hard picking a favorite. But, due to recent events and political scandals, I'm going to pick Washington DC in this list. Their whacky law states:
Engaging in any sexual position other than missionary is illegal in Washington, DC.
Imagine how our government would grind to a halt if this law was enforced.

Still... Florida? WTF?!? Porcupines? Are you kidding me?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/05/2008 08:35:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Way Cooler Than That Parker Kid.

Oh, you itsy-bitsy little spider...


I wish you'd stop looking at me like that.

Hey! Do you notice the silhouette of the web?

Yeah. Although compositionally cliché, this picture turned out to be pretty freakin' wiggy slick, huh?

Hope you enjoy!


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/05/2008 12:44:00 PM

Friday, July 4, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Meme Madness!

I promised Dawn I'd do this meme, and though I'm not that big of a fan of such things, this one seems like a fun thing to do. Please feel free to steal it if you wish.

  1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.

  2. "Silence," she whispered as she found a pale blue vein and plunged the needle and the heroin into his system.

  3. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can, what do you touch or are you nearest to touching?

  4. A strangely purple box of Kleenex.

  5. What is the last thing you watched on TV?

  6. CSI:Miami (Still watching it actually.)

  7. Without looking, guess what time it is?

  8. Tuesday!

  9. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

  10. 11:49 PM Central Standard Time.

  11. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

  12. David Caruso and fireworks.

  13. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?

  14. I was in the park a short time ago watching the fireworks.

  15. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?

  16. Ummm... I don't know. It was either email or porn.

  17. What are you wearing right now?

  18. Shorts and a t-shirt.

  19. Did you dream last night?

  20. Yes. Everyone dreams. But, I don't remember it. I just remember waking up and wanting steak really badly.

  21. When did you last laugh?

  22. Somewhere around question #8.

  23. What is on the walls of the room you are in?

  24. The usual things. Some white pine paneling (real wood, even), some pictures, art, whips, chains, some raw meat and a telephone.

  25. Seen anything weird lately?

  26. Nope. But, I have a weird definition of what is and isn't weird.

  27. What do you think of this quiz?

  28. It's not entirely unlike getting slugged in the face by a very nice old woman.

  29. What is the last film you saw?

  30. In Bruges. (Sorta. I only watched a bit of it, and I've got to finish it up later).

  31. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, where would you live?

  32. Paul's house.

  33. Tell me something about you that few people know.

  34. I'm damn good with a chef's knife. And, I could probably fly a spaceship if I had to.

  35. If you could eat only one food all the time what would it be?

  36. Beer.

  37. Do you like to dance?

  38. Nope. I hate dancing.

  39. George Bush. First thought:

  40. Inhuman, cock-sucking, worthless, fucking war criminal. America is so much better than him, and we should hold him accountable for his crimes.

  41. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was your first thought?

  42. Shaving would be nice.

  43. When is the next time you will have sex?

  44. Payday.

  45. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say 'Duck'?

  46. Pan-seared Foie gras.

  47. Favorite planet?

  48. Pluto, dammit!

  49. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list or caller id?

  50. A wrong number.

  51. What is your favorite ring on your cell phone?

  52. "From my heart and from my hands, why can't people understand my intentions." Oingo Boingo's Weird Science.

  53. What did you last eat?

  54. I nice, thick, grilled rib eye steak with a baked potato and roasted asparagus with lemon butter (I was too lazy to make Hollandaise).

  55. What were you doing 20 minutes ago?

  56. Formatting the page for this meme. You'll notice the dandy numbering I've managed to set up. It's soothing to my OCD.

  57. Name the brand of shoes you’re currently wearing?

  58. Dan's Brand. They're so comfortable, it's almost as if I'm not wearing shoes. They're transparent too.

  59. Bright or Dark Room?

  60. Dark. I look damn good in the dark.

  61. What do you think about paparazzi - evil or just doing their jobs?

  62. I think they are nothing more than a product of our creation. For some reason, we've got this bizarre obsession with celebrities that goes beyond the work they do and it requires a nearly constant invasion into the lives they lead. Personally, I think celebrities should just be left alone to go about their lives like any other normal person, and if they want the attention, let them get a vapid reality show like Gene Simmons, Denise Richards, or whoever.

  63. If you’re in a room with two beds,which one would you choose?

  64. The other one. It's always the other one.

  65. What were you doing at midnight last night?

  66. Writing.

  67. What was the last email you read about?

  68. It was on, and it was about an email that's being passed around about some basketball player's wife not letting a woman doctor save his life while he was choiking on a chicken bone.

    It was a hoax.

  69. How do you like your eggs?

  70. Currently, I like them unfertilized. I'm not ready to be a dad.

  71. What’s a phrase that you say a lot?

  72. "Aside from that."

    I'm working on getting that out of my public communication rotation, but it's not easy since it's a pretty nifty transitional phrase.

  73. Who told you he/she loved you last?

  74. Some woman named Christine.

  75. Last furry thing you touched?

  76. DogCat. He's currently cowering/sleeping beside me since the fireworks really freak the poor, little furball out.

  77. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?

  78. Lots.

  79. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?

  80. I actually found a camera a couple of days ago that has a roll of film in it, and I've not used that camera in about a decade. So, it should be pretty interesting to see just what the hell is on there.

  81. Favorite age you have been so far?

  82. Forty. It means I'm still somehow among the living.

  83. Your worst enemy?

  84. My skin.

  85. What is your current desktop picture?

  86. This one:

    I actually like it a lot on my desktop. It's kind of soothing. If you'd like, go ahead and make it your desktop.

  87. What was the last thing you said to someone?

  88. I found the Swiss cheese!

  89. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly which would it be?

  90. I think with a million bucks, I could easily get a pilot's license.

  91. Last time you vomited?

  92. February. I had the flu.

  93. The last song you listened to?

  94. "Walking on Sunshine" from Katrina and the Waves (it was in a Macy's commercial a few seconds ago.

  95. Did you ever get a trophy? If yes, what for?

  96. Yup. I've got a bunch. Some are from skiing. I've got a bowling trophy. I've got a pool trophy. I've got a trophy from the Pinewood Derby. I've also got several plaques and whatnots.

  97. If you could punch 1 person in the face, who would it be?

  98. George Bush. I'd like to see just what kind of "cowboy" that petulant little wannabe really is.

  99. What is the closest object to your left foot?

  100. My right foot.

Well, that was fun. Hope you enjoyed it.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/04/2008 11:03:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Independence Part Deux.

Here ya go...

Old Glory.

So, what's everyone's plans today?

Hopefully, you're not all plopping down to slide around the internets since I know there are much better things to be doing.

Anyway, since I'll be gone most of the day, I figured I'd leave you with a semi-open comment thread for you folks to debate which is better:

Small Town Fourth of July celebrations?

Or, Big City celebrations?

Personally, I have the luxury of having near immediate access to both since, just up the street, Milwaukee does have its Big City parties and excitement, and my odd, little town of South Milwaukee is the sort of swinging blue-collar hellhole that remains eternally locked in the mid-Twentieth Century (seriously. There are houses in my town that still use rotary dial phones hard-wired into the wall).

Anyway, I'll let you kids debate. I'm off to blow things up.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

And, to my non-American readers, Happy Friday! What are you doing today? I give you permission to celebrate right along with me.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/04/2008 10:42:00 AM

Thursday, July 3, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] The Woo-ship, LOLipop.

Now, to continue that whole Lawsonomy silliness, I thought I'd post this.

Woo-ship One!

Yes. I am getting silly.

It's too bad Lawson wasn't a part of the Scientology scam. This would totally make a kick-ass pan-galactic surfboard for Xenu. Or, Tom Cruise.

Anyway, originally, I was just going to extract the words and have them scroll across the sky like the beginning of Star Wars, but that was way, way, way more work than I wanted to try on this, the beginning of my holiday weekend.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/03/2008 02:53:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Poppies!

I was playing with my Photoshop, and found this one to be a little neat.


It's a poppy, and I like how, with just a little tweaking, I managed to get a nice, smoky, opium-den background. I didn't change any of the colors. I fiddled with the lights and darks and used a layer mask to erase the changes to the poppy so it would stand out a little better.

What do you think?

Does this sleeping Poppy pop?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/03/2008 02:32:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Independence.

Before I begin my latest collection of stream of consciousness rattling, here's a picture to absorb:

Kind of tattered.

America has become such a strange place.

I don't know what this flag means to me anymore. I know what I would like it to mean, and I know what it has meant in the past. But, the actions of this country at the hands of a corrupt and greedy few have changed the meaning of this flag from one of hope, of freedom, and the potential of a better life beneath its colors, to something that should be feared for the manic, violent and unpredictable people it represents.

I can't imagine what people in the far parts of the world think and feel when they see our flag. I don't want to imagine it. To think what America has become, and how our bloodlust and ignorance divides us, I am ashamed. After all, how is it possible to love something which tries so hard to be feared?

I was born here. I was raised here. I can toss these thoughts of torture and fear into the back of my mind and, like a beaten and battered spouse, I can pretend to be proud of my country and its actions when I step into public. But, those bruises can only be hidden for so long, can't they? And, when someone asks what happened, my country will turn me into a liar.

I am not proud to be an American, and I most certainly won't be until we do the right and honest and just thing.

Those who hurt us should indeed pay. Those who did not? Well... Sadly, it's far too late for that, isn't it?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/03/2008 11:17:00 AM

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Big Old Jet Airliner...

For today's picture, I'm going to show you the airplane factory at the end of my street:


Naah... Not the greatest of shots, but I kind of like this building. It was built by a complete woo-spewing crackpot named Alfred Lawson. Still, aside from his odd religious-economic-baseball-playing proclivities, the guy was, in fact, a pioneer in the field of aircraft travel. So, depending on which end of the check-in line you're standing, you can either thank or curse the goofy man.

We used to play here when we were kids, and the abandoned building, still housing a few old Depression-era machines, was occupied by the homeless town drunk we affectionately called "Tooth" because, well... he only had one. Unfortunately, all the airplanes were gone by the time we got there; otherwise, I'm pretty certain my childhood could have been considerably more tragic after piloting a stolen airliner straight into Lake Michigan at the other end of the street.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/02/2008 01:01:00 PM

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Boom Dee Yadda!

Here's a crawly thing for you...

I Love the Whole World...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is your garden variety orb weaver. But, I'm not exactly an entomologist. Sure, bugs are fascinating little things, but I'm not about to go out and study them that closely. I just like looking at them, and that's about all I need to know.

Now, I like this little dude. He (I'm assuming it's a he by default, but again... not an entomologist), is just sort of lurking on my trumpet vine. He picked a pretty smart spot since that thing is a freakin' shopping mall in terms of insect traffic, and I imagine in a few weeks, that spider will be fat and happy.

I just hope he doesn't leap out on me when I'm walking past his little hiding spot while taking out the garbage.

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 7/01/2008 11:55:00 AM