Friday, October 31, 2008


55:10 That's my new shorthand for my age; years:days.

Tonight, pleasant little kids and vapid little beasts will be out wrangling candy from innocents like me who have been brainwashed into feeding them all sorts of noxious poisons that beg the little monsters to become diebetic in front of our very eyes.

A far-away friend, Nicole, not only blogs regularly but she distributes fascinating graphics each week. She finds the graphics as she wanders the web and snags the ones that she finds appealing or compelling or otherwise of particuar interest, then sends them to a group of about 80 friends around the world. Her graphics are very interesting, as is her blog. I've never met her, of course, as she and her husband live in Adelaide Australia, but we have become friends by virtue of the web. The web can be like that.

I've decided I'm going to write a complete, all-encompassing political platform for the party I'd like to have been supporting this election. It may take me some time, but when I'm finished, I'm going to publish it here and will ask readers who find it appealing to broadcast it far and wide. Maybe it's possible to get a message across to the current parties that will: 1) inform them that we understand more than they think; and 2) persuade them to give thought to their policies, versus the affect their policies will have on their chances for election.

I've recently become extremely interested in men's clothing styles from India. In particular, I like (and want) the kurta and pyjama. The kurta is a very loose-fitting, collarless shirt and the pyjama is a style of pants that are tied at the waist and become narrower toward the bottom of the legs. They are perfect for Dallas weather, particularly for lounging around the house. I think. I may try to buy some this weekend or at least understand how they fit and what size would fit my odd bulbous shape. The more I see of Indian fashion, the more I like it; even the more formal stuff, which I tend not to like in any stye.

Tonight is pizza night. It's easy and does not require interrupting the time that must be spent dealing with the sugar addicts this evening. Pizza, sliced jalapeños, and an appropriate mixed drink is just the ticket for this last day of the tenth month of the 2008th year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I wonder whether regular, prolific bloggers have other outlets for their needs to communicate with people. Surely they can't look at their outpouring of thoughts and beliefs and desires as communications? Maybe they do. Maybe I do. Even with my meager and tentative presentations of my opinions, I don't expect people to actually care. But I know I want them to. But I don't expect it. I don't look at it as a birthright. And I don't consider my little posts to be communication, not in the true sense. Communication occurs in two directions. My posts usually occur as silent verbal vanity. That's not communication.

Back to the point. I don't look at my blog posts as communications. They simply serve as a means for me to capture my own mood and opinion and state of mind from time to time. Only when I truly engage with my readers, in blog-based interchange, do I really communicate. And that's rare. That's not to say I don't want my blog to facilitate communications. I do. I just don't hold out much hope.

I'm not ready to write this, am I? I suppose not. Teresa will be disappointed in me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama Infomercial

I just watched the 30-minute Barack Obama infomercial. As much as I hated the idea going in, I thought the program was absolutely brilliant! He addressed many of the issues the Republicans have been railing about, but he did more than that. He painted his philosophies on a canvass that appeals to damn near anyone who is a decent human being.

As much as I'd really like a new breed, a new party, to be on the ballot, Obama really got me tonight. I've already voted for him, but if I hadn't, I'd have done it again after seeing tonight's program.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voting for a World Without Us

Today, I joined the legions of others who are worried about the outcome of the upcoming elections. I voted early and, for the first time and perhaps the only time in my life, I voted a straight party ticket. I pushed the button for straight Democratic party. As it happened, there was one race for which no Democrat was running, so I chose the Libertarian candidate, rather than vote for the Republican or leave it blank. The only other important vote was for a bond election to provide funds to replace the largest and most overcrowded public hospital in the region; I voted in favor of that, too.

While I was at the polling place, one of the candidates drove up in an antique car, the open trunk of which was filled with yard signs extolling her candidacy. I approached her about getting one for my yard; after discussing how my yard is situated on the street, I got two signs, one for the corner (I live on a corner where two streets intersect) and one for the alley behind my house.

Later, I stopped in at a bookstore and wandered around a bit before deciding I wanted to learn whether the softbound version of The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman was available. They had a copy, so I now finally have my own copy of the book and can read it cover to cover, rather than snippet by snippet online, etc. If you don't know of the book, it's a "thought experiment" that examines how long it would take for the earth to return to its natural state if humankind were to disappear. While I've not read all of the book, far from it, I've read enough snippets, have heard enough reviews, and have scanned enough summaries to know it is a fascinating and thought-provoking piece of work. I'm thrilled to have my own copy to read and reread. It was a New York Times bestseller, which is not always a good thing, but I have enough regard for people who would buy such books to think that they would have decried its writing if it weren't very good.

I will take my time reading it, thanks to my miserable eyesight, but will write a little something here once I'm some point after I'm done.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


When I try to capture my thoughts and feelings on my blog, I sometimes fail to be completely open and honest because my few readers might misunderstand what I'm saying. For example, if I mention that I have no truly close friends, the reader might misinterpret that in many ways.

It could be interpreted to mean I am feeling sorry for myself for being alone. It could be interpreted to be an admission that I am someone that nobody can every truly like. Or understand. Or care about. Readers could say my statement offers evidence that I do not share my thoughts or feelings with my wife. God knows how many thousands of other misreadings there might be. So, I sometimes simply keep my private thoughts and feelings and observations private. And then I think, what an utterly stupid and unreasonable thing to do! And I think to myself, no matter how few or how many people read my words here, they are not my audience. I am my audience. At least I am my first and most critical audience. So it's silly of me to care, in most senses, what readers think. I'll try to be more conscious of that fact from here on out.

All of that having been said, I don't have much to say at the moment. I may write more about my day later, but it didn't provide much to write about, at least in the morning. My afternoon exploits may make a good post sometime, but not now.

So, for the moment, I'll sit back and think about some of the emotions and thoughts and attitudes I have been experiencing lately and will make a point of jotting some notes so I can write more later. Later, when I share my innermost secrets. Or, perhaps, share someone else's. Or make something up about the way the woman on the corner feels about the signs in her yard.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hence the Hurry

I expressed to a friend today how Pachelbel's Canon is something remarkable to me. I'm a lyrics guy, a person who is moved by words and their meaning. But Pachelbel did something remarkable with his music (or at least the ways it's currently presented). I can't hear his Canon without welling up with indefinable emotion. Strange, that. I don't know if it's sadness or happiness or just what it is; it's very definitely emotion, though.

I joke about retirement, but I think it's time. I'm too young, by tradition and the clock, but something tells me I better try to do it early or risk losing out on it altogether. So, my energies, such as they are, will be devoted to trying to capture that elusive beast before I'm done.

When I renewed my license recently I signed where I needed to so I could alert the world that I want to give away all the organs for which there are takers. Not yet, you understand, but if I were decapitated in a car wreck or what have you. I don't want to have to deal with all that before I have lived at least 5-10 years in retirements. Hence the hurry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anyone for a Little Crack Music?

The evening of my birthday was spent at home, watching television and eating leftover lox. No bagels; they were finished off the first time through. Just lox. And the remnants of the little bottle of capers. And some slices of purple onion.

A client's monthly meeting was held yesterday evening, which explains why I was left to my own devices to get through the birthday dinner. I left that event to others to handle so I could "celebrate" my birthday. And what a celebration it was. There's still a slab of lox in the refrigerator. No more capers and very little purple onion. And still no bagels.

Tonight was another story, though. I grilled a thick New York strip steak, along with okra, some quartered onion, Mexican squash, and jalapeños. I ate far too much, but what the hell, the night after my 55th birtday comes around rather rarely, so debauchery and excess were in order. A few sips of some excellent pinot noir, followed by some serious bourbon, finished the meal.

I was trying to get my mind off my day. Miserable day. Could have been worse, but not much. I'm happy to be away from the office at the moment. Too bad I have to go back tomorrow and jump into a meeting with yet another client...all the way through Saturday mid-day.

I've done some checking and have decided that, on paper, Port Ludlow, Washington is a very interesting place. So, if I can't have the place I fell in love with, the place on the southern coast of Chile, I might settle for Port Ludlow. Assuming Obama is elected. If not, I'm off to Mexico. Back to Port Ludlow. I like the weather and the views. The only part I find unattractive is the cost of living. But if I persuade Congress I need a bailout to save the country's economy, it may be within reach. If I can' persuade them, or if they've already gone through all the money, I may have to open a wholesale crack shop. I'll need to borrow a few hundred thousand dollars to get going, but I'll pay you back the first chance I get.

By the way, if you haven't listened to it yet, I highly recommend you listen to Plastic Jesus. Just double click Plastic Jesus (first item under the Playlist to the right).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I celebrate birthday number 55 today. Oh boy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Good Time Was Had By Me

Today was what a weekend day should be: relaxed, lazy, yet productive and full of minor accomplishments.

After a late start, the first endeavor involved going to the Dallas Farmers' Market, where we saw this:

Before loading up with sacks of tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, okra, and random other such necessities, a visit to Paul's Sweet Roasted Corn was in order. For just $3, Paul and his folks will sell either roasted ears of corn or, my favorite, large cups filled with corn kernels that have been sliced from the cobs. In addition to the roasted corn kernels, they put huge globs of butter in the cup, along with mayonaisse and/or sour cream. The buyer then decides how to finish out the snack; most people tend to choose lots of chile powder, Mexican hot sauce, lime juice, pepper, and various spices. After the cup full of goodies is stirred and mixed with a plastic spoon, the corn becomes a delightful and energizing snack.

After the snack and a quick dash though the sheds, I had a trunk full of goodies for the coming week.

Then, it was off to Vern's Kitchen for lunch.

The exclusive focus of Vern's Kitchen is soul food. And Vern and her crew serve up some excellent soul food. The offerings include: short ribs cooked until the meat falls off the bone; meat loaf; beef stew; chicken-fried steak; chittlins; chicken and dressing; pepper steaks; and pigs' feet. For "sides," they serve collard greens; black-eyed peas; green beans; yams; and a host of other stuff. We had chicken-fried steak and ribs, with sides including collard greens, green beans, and yams. It was outstanding! The people behind the counter are very friendly and extremely accommodating. While the menu is not what I'd call "heart-healthy," I'd say its good for every other part of me.

The rest of the day was spent on unproductive but interesting exploits. A visit to two "model home remodels" yielded plenty of envy about other people's recent home upgrades, but also plenty of ideas that could be done less expensively, so maybe it was worthwhile. A trip to the grocery store, where no vegetable were purchased, yielded massive stores of meat, including beef in the form of New York strip and lamb in the for of lamb chops.

And now, here I sit, trying to figure out how to have a good time like this every day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Think I'm Turning Japanese: The Vapours

This 1980 one-hit wonder was, and is, bizarre. For some reason, I like it. And here are the lyrics:

I've got your picture of me and you
You wrote "I love you" I wrote "me too"
I sit there staring and there's nothing else to do
Oh it's in color Your hair is brown
Your eyes are hazel And soft as clouds
I often kiss you when there's no one else around

I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of you all round my cell
I want a doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up and turning down
And turning in and turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of them all round my cell
I want the doctor to take a picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up and turning down and turning in and turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark
Everyone around me is a total stranger
Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger
That's why I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
(think so think so think so)
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flights of Fancy

Before I get started: this is the sculpture I mentioned before, the one I saw in front of a small-town bank during last weekend's drive.

There's so much I haven't shared with this blog that I don't know where to start. OK, I won't start. I'll share random snippets of meaningles drivel that matters not a whit to the world. You can stop reading here if you're insistent on relevance or entertainment.

The latest big news is that we got a new client today. Well, it won't be official until January 1, but we got the news today. It's a regional organization that needs professional management. They liked what they saw. Which was our proposal. They've never met me nor anyone on my staff. But they picked us. All I have left to do is get a signed contract and a signed transition plan and schedule. That's "all." Hot damn. We're 9/10 of the way back to where we were before our biggest client cut our fees by a whopping 25%. Of course the fees that are left are in jeopardy. So a partial make-up isn't as oh-my-god-happy as it might otherwise be.

But, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye, as I am wont to say.

In other news, I challenged another current client to behave like adult professonals, which got their attention but did nothing to cement our relationship. I just don't have the patience to deal with these people. I need surrogates who can tolerate arrogance, vanity, pride, and such. I don't do well dealing with hyper-stupidity that is wrapped in unwarranted self-importance. I tend to reach the point of suggesting to certain people that I would be particularly impressed if they would successfully exhibit the ability to drown themselves. Frequently, I catch myself before going all out, but sometimes I just can't stop my mouth from revealing all my brain's not-so-flattering thoughts. This, in no small measure, is the reason I find myself short on clients and income, I suppose.

I reached the decision, very recently, to retire in about three years, when I am 58. The decision was not based on any sort of financial assessment (which would have revealed a more realistic target to be a numeric palindrome...85), but on my estimate of my ability to tolerate bullshit and my estimate of the amount of time remaining in the lifeline of the U.S. Within three years, I estimate, I will have been able to arrange to initiate a productive vegetable garden on my southern estate, something that will be necessary to those of us planning to eat after three years have passed.

My plan, of course, will rely on receiving Social Security when I turn 65, so I would have to survive an additional seven years without SS income. That, of course, is impossible unless I engage in some questionable activities such as felony bank robbery or large-scale fraud. So, for the next three years, I shall embark on an intense effort to plan a failure-proof scheme to secure large sums of unearned money. Inasmuch as I am a very left-leaning liberal, the sources of my funds must be obscenely rich institutions that do harm to the common man. Naturally, my first thoughts are of churches. My initial plan will explore ways in which I can redirect funds from church coffers to me. Of course, I will ensure that I select streams of cash that do not actually do good. I'm thinking more of building funds, set-asides that fund pastor and preacher and priest "salaries" and the like.

I've run out of bad ideas to memorialize on this blog, so I'm going to call it a wrap for the moment. I may be back later tonight. Or it may be a month of Sundays.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

More Synaptic Firings

Yesterday was a day of goofing off, for the most part. After spending a fortune on getting my car's semi-annual wash-the-crap-off-the-aging-paint-and-windshield experience handled, we went for a drive.

We were off to downtown McKinney to visit the antique shops and take a walk in the very nice weather. We had lunch at a pub (fish & chips with a Guiness and shepherd's pie with a Boddington's ale) which was overly filling, but it gave impetus to wander a bit more to walk it off.

The drive back home through dozens of little towns that have now become extensions of Dallas was rewarding. We came across some metal sculpture, in front of a bank, that was appealing; I took a few photos, but I left the damn docking station for the camera at my office, so can't post them.

After a stop at Lowe's to get odds & ends (and use a $10 coupon), we went out again late in the day in search of a pizza place we'd heard about and for which we had a nice coupon (buy one, get one free). The pizza was good, but I'm not sure it was worth the drive. But now we have lots of cold pizza in the refrigerator.

A brother called last night and informed me that he's going to be giving a presentation at the Texas Folklore Society early next year. I'm hoping my calendar is open at the time so I can go see him and support the presentation.

We watched The Negotiator, with Samuel Jackson and Kevin Spacey last night. I think I've seen it before (it was made in 1998). It's not high art, but it was the sort of action video I wanted last night; no need to think, just entertainment.

I've broken my lifelong prohibition against bumper stickers on my car. The Bastard is now sporting a sticker on his rear bumper that says, "No Third Term, Vote Democratic." My neighborhood is filled with yard signs extolling the virtues of a McCain-Palin ticket.

I would fight back with my own Obama-Biden signs, but I simply refuse to pay for the privilege. I'm happy to support the ticket with a donation, but I'll be damned if I'll be forced to buy a sign to show my support. It would be one thing if they said, "make a contribution and we'll give you a yard sign...they're not doing that. They're requiring a PURCHASE of a sign, in addition to any donation you care to make. I'll show that support on my ballot. I think the decision to require supporters to buy signs was a very, very bad one that I hope future campaigns don't repeat.

We're in the final 100 days of the Bush presidency. A truly catastrophic period in American history is coming to an end, but it will be generations before the damage Bush has done can be erased if, indeed, his legacy can ever be righted. He has led this country away from its fundamental principles, wrecked its reputation around the world, single-handedly started wars, spewed vitriolic arrogance toward virtually all of the rest of the world, attempted to introduce a theocracy, and otherwise behaved as the narrow-minded idiot that he is. If the citizens of this country really did have a voice, it would have been heard as we cried out for justice through his impeachment and imprisonment. How in the name of all that is good can we let this man leave office quietly and live out an undeserved life of privilege?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The World

I woke up late, just about 7:00 am, after a night of fitful sleep. And now it's on to a day of trying to make sense of the economy, my business, my relationships, and my life. Another day in the world.

Friday, October 10, 2008


It's never my fault. Regardless of what the calamity, it's never my fault. Someone else is responsible for it. Someone else failed to do something that should have been done, or did something that should not have been done. No matter that my fingerprints are all over the weapon, I am never responsible for the crime.

If not me, then who? Someone convenient, someone who can't or won't push back hard enough to put the whole thing under a spotlight. Someone who, over time, begins to believe that it really isn't my fault. Someone who starts to accept that it's their fault.

It is my fault. It's my fault. And it has to be repaired. There's so much that's been broken, but it all has to be repaired. Someone new has to emerge from my skin. And all that misplaced fault has to be removed, stone by stone, and the damage it has done, the crushing damage, has to be repaired.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I've been a bastard today, a complete bastard. I don't know why I can't seem to be who I want to be. I wouldn't put up with me. Not as a spouse, an employer, an employee, a friend. Something has to change. And that something is me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Unauthorized Autobiography of Sarah Palin

Palin is a psychopath.

Let's don't elect her. Let's dissect her!
Let's see what's there in her tiny mind.
I'll bet it's smelly, and not benign!

She's a danger, there's no question.
Just hearing her talk gives me indigestion.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Few Shots from My Life

My favorite view from my hotel room in Corpus Christi last week.

Another, similar view.

My room had a very nice bed.

I liked the little bar, too, complete with fridge, microwave, and sink.

And here's my new wooden cocoon, my new the dim light of morning.

A Wooden Cocoon

My new desk is in the guestroom, so I can't simply turn around and look through the three large windows into the backyard. But with its hutch and built-in cork message board and my nice modern halogen lamp, it creates a little nest for me, a place I'll soon start to like as a writing retreat. I still need to address the unruly wires strewn all across the desk...speaker wires, USB port wires, mouse wires, camera cradle and its mass of wires, telephone line, etc. Once I've successfully addressed that nastiness, I'll have a smooth desktop, cluttered only by things I want to clutter it with. I will have successfully created a wooden cocoon.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

An Art Festival...or Not

Yesterday was day one of a three-day trade show. By the end of the day, my feet ached, my knees were angry and beligerent, and my commitment to two more days of the same had waned dramatically.

I'm approaching today as though it's an opportunity to gather materials for some of my long-delayed writing projects. I'll make mental notes about the heavily-tatooed screen-printers who use the trade show floor as a canvass to show their body art to the masses. I'll carefully observe the mannerisms of the embroiderers, some of whom wisely show off their work by wearing it on their shirts...and ohers who apparently are not so comfortable (and not so smart) and so hide any evidence of their craft. The sales people who staff the booths of the bigger companies will have a special place in my mental notebook, where I'll keep my observations about people who are present at the show purely and immediately for financial gain. They are the ones who look at everyone on the show floor as a prospect, not for a sale but for providing funds for a new pair of slacks or a new car.

I have to admit it. I'm there primarily because I want my presence to turn into money. It's a nasty acknowledgement. I'd rather not make it. But I've already done it now and I can't take it back.

THe question, of course, is whether any of the reasons I will use to justify my trip to Fort Worth will be sufficient to justify the hassles of traffic and parking during the downtown art festival.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Supremely and Uniquely Unqualified

"Governor Palin is supremely and uniquely unqualified to hold the office to which she aspires."

As much as James Carville can be a horse's ass, he can occasionally articulate clearly and concisely that which others have a hard time communicating.