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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Today's Intelligence Briefing

Overheard at the White House portico:

"knock knock"

"who's there"


"Osama who?"

"No wonder you can't catch me, dumbass"

Kathleen, She's the Tops

You're the top! You're the Coliseum.

You're the top! You're the Louver Museum.

You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss You're a Bendel bonnet, A Shakespeare's sonnet,

You're Mickey Mouse. You're the Nile, You're the Tower of Pisa, You're the smile on the Mona Lisa

I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,

But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top!

(Photo taken at summit of Mt Judah)

(Lyrics stolen from Cole Porter, but you probably have already figured that out)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Natureboy Appears

I finally figured out an easy way to post photos. This photo was taken a few years back on the way up mount St Helena near Napa CA. The two giant trees on either side of me are found in lots of redwood groves around California. They are not giant redwoods, just what passes for normal redwoods. I think the coastal redwoods are more attractive than than the giant redwoods, which are have diameters of about 20 or 30 feet at the base. These girly-man coastal redwoods ate only about 100 feet tall.

The climb up Mt St Helena was a great day hike. As I am feeling better, I hope we'll take more trips like tha this year.

Old Memories and Nekkid Tuckpointing

We visited relatives in Madison last week. My niece lives in Nottingham Cooperative, which is a really cheap and comfortable place to live if you don’t mind the living like a filthy hippie. In 1981, I lived in a similar cooperative house in called Trafalmador. I became involved in the Madison Community Cooperative Board and Finance Committee, so I was aware of some activities in other cooperative houses.

When I first saw my Niece, I mentioned I remembered her house for an incident involving a building inspector’s small fine for naked tuckpointing (i. e., tuckpointing applied by naked coop members). As I was told at the time, the inspector arrived to look at the roof, saw a couple of naked guys working on the roof, and decided to write a citation since he didn’t want to deal with naked men. That seemed fair to me at the time.

The 23 year old niece lighted up like a searchlight. “You were around for the naked tuckpointing!?”, she said. “Everyone talks about that, but no one knows if it really happened.” I was a celebrity for the moment.

The next day, we walked to Nottingham to pick up the Niece for lunch (calm down, we didn’t eat her, we took her to a restaurant). She gave us a tour of the house. A few members were around at midday. Word had already gotten around that I was around at the time of the legendary naked tuckpointing incident. A few members asked, “is he the guy?”. I handled my new found fame with the most grace I could come up with.

The house was pretty dark, dank and dirty. Pretty much similar to what I remember from Tralfalmador, except by now about 25 years more dirt has accumulated.

Now that we are back in Sacramento, I’ll need to leave my local fame behind me, and settle back into my modest, mild-mannered self.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Downing Street Memo Viral Marketing Performance Enhancement

How many hits do think this title will get?

Anyway, back to the ranch

At about 4:00 AM Saturday, we leave to visit relatives and old friends in Madison, WI. If we have any slow moments, and my sister lets me use her computer, I may make a post or 2 from vacation. However, I am not sure of the value of posting from my sister’s home, since she is my only regular reader. (1) Damn, that’s pathetic for a married guy, and (2) I suck at promotion.

Summer school started at work this week. I have fewer students in the summer. Almost few enough to get me thinking about finding a real job. We are using a new system to assign practice, evaluation and homework problems for the students. Our administrative person hasn’t torn out her hair yet; so far so good. The system is weirdly rigid for dealing with young kids. For example, the system doesn’t allow teachers to cancel homework assignments kids don’t complete. Imagine that, a kid missing a homework assignment. The best part of work is I have one student who plays saxophone and enjoys it! Finally I get a reed player.


I figure that someone will have found a work-around for this by the time I get back from vacation.

It’s been raining most of today. That never happens here in June. The temperature never went above 70 degrees.


Recorder playing is progressing faster than I had thought it would at this point. Of course, I won’t bring it on vacation, so how much ability I lose over the week will be a good indicator of how much I have really learned so far.

We’ll pack our stuff tonight, Once Kathleen gets home. Since we have to get up so early on Saturday, I already have all the ironing done.

To be fair, I will return to the title subject. In a universe that is moral at all, lies eventually surface. There is no closet that doesn’t open sometime, and if you eat, eventually, there’s the poop.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Whirligig Caper, and my Life as it is

A strange night in Sacramento, it rained nearly all last night, which almost never happens in June. In addition to the rain, some very tacky whirligigs miraculously fell on our lawn as. I suspect that means are neighbors described in a recent entry must’ve got into the sauce last night. I think within a few days, I’ll take them down (the whirligigs, not the neighbors), and save them for a good retaliation opportunity. Maybe I’ll run across a cheap glow-in-the-dark plastic Mary shrine or something like that.

Kathleen has had a backache this week and is staying home from work. I feel somewhat guilty about this (that’s a surprise, I know). But really, I feel like her sore back is partially driven by all the stress she’s carried for the last few years from all my health issues, and becoming the chief breadwinner. I am thankful that my life has at least prepared me to be good at and willing to do cleaning and cooking, or else who knows what.

Summer sessions start next week at work, and I already have four classes lined up. The students do not yet know that I will generate 2 hours per week homework for each student. Nor do they know that the parents have signed contracts promising to force, beg cajole, etc. the kids to do their homework. I can’t wait to spring this on them. The little taters will now only have time for about 90 hours of TV each week.

Next week we’ll get our act together for our trip to Wisconsin. More or less throwing clothes into bags and stockpiling drugs. Also making plans to see lots of people. The trip should be a blast. I really enjoyed the last time I visited, even though Kathleen was not able to join me. Both my sister and my parents have membership cards that allow us to buy beer at the Union. My underlying mission in this trio is to be careful what I eat (mostly how much) so I avoid any sleepless nights. I tend to follow those nights with grumpy old-fart days.

Speaking of sleepless nights, at Kathleen’s prompting, I have been reading Proust and enjoying it a lot. I think I previously avoided Proust out of fear of all the boring and pretentious literary criticism surrounding the work. I even liked the 20 or so pages about turning over in bed.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

About Me

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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