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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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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Godzilla's Big Adventure

A participant in The Simple Living Network discussion group made this UTube video. Note, she lives in Wisconsin. With all apologies to George Tekai/ Ensign Sulu, it's amazing what a change of soundtrack can add to a story.

While we're on the subject, This short Japanese documentary takes a more serious look at the impact of monsters on one woman's day-to-day life in Japan. I can't say exactly why this struck me as funny. I am impressd how the Japanese carry this burden so well.

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

Monday, March 24, 2008

Other Peoples’ Problems Part II

The Public has demanded that I share the defense attorney’s story about the medieval archer. I omitted this parable because it didn’t make much sense, and I still can’t figure out the point the defense attorney was trying to make. Possibly it was a muffled cry fro help.

The parable, in short, is about an archer renowned for his excellent skills. He fires an arrow into the air, and it lands on a bull’s eye drawn in the ground. It’s a bull’s eye every time! Eventually one free thinker investigates and figures out that the archer draws the target after the arrow lands. This made absolutely no sense in relation to the trial, since the blood alcohol rules were defined in law long before the defendant was charged. I suspect the defense attorney was speaking to his personal frustration in handling a case where all the evidence points toward conviction. Maybe he was jealous of the Assistant DA, who, in addition to looking like the Barbie D.A. Doll, had a much easier job.

That’s some other guy’s pathetic story and, to may last day, I am not sticking to it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Other Peoples’ Trials, Other People’s Troubles

It’s been said that on definition of comedy is Other Peoples’ Troubles. A jury duty assignment this week allowed me to test the theory, and I found that Other Peoples’ Troubles can be pretty boring. I was one of two alternate jurors in a DUI case. I have no idea why the defendant plead innocent and relied on an attorney from the Public Defender’s Office to explain to us the jury how his client was sober 45 minutes before maintaining a blood alcohol level above 0.10% over a period of three hours. Especially when it was painfully obvious that this guy was lit like a lamp when he was caught driving. I didn’t hang around for the sentencing, since I had seen enough of the courthouse by that time. I suspect the penalty was harsh.

Anyway, as an alternate juror, the trial, from every perspective imaginable, was definitely in the category of Other Peoples’ Problems. I wasn’t facing penalties, I was pretty sure I would not be given the burden of weighing evidence to determine guilt or innocence, and the jury takes no part in sentencing. Therefore, my role was more or less to answer some questions during the jury selection process, be invisible during the trial, watch and listen during testimony, take notes, and hang around the courthouse while the jury deliberated.

I attempt to make every new experience an opportunity from learning, even when the knowledge comes in the form of a negative object lesson. Here’s what I learned. Note number (4) may actually be useful.

(1) If you intend to drive while drinking, keep your car in good repair in general. More specifically, do not stop your car in a traffic lane on a busy highway bridge and have your engine start on fire. It is very difficult to be inconspicuous in this situation.
(2) If you have a cell phone, and your vehicle is on fire, call 911. Watching your vehicle burn and not calling in can raise suspicion. Other drivers will call within minutes. You will be found out anyway.
(3) When a law enforcement officer asks you if you have recently been drinking, do not, I repeat do not, tell the officer that you had three gins, but you waited about a half hour before driving, so everything is OK. The law enforcement community probably doesn’t buy into your theories of prospective sobriety.
(4) When the officer asks you to perform field sobriety tests (straight line walking, balancing and all that business), advise the officer that you have disabilities. This will detract from the credibility of any derogatory test results, and the law enforcement community lives in fear of ADA related Civil Rights Lawsuits. You will not have another chance to try this rationalization. This probably won’t help if you subsequently flunk a blood alcohol test, but why not go for the longshot?
(5) Do not stumble against a wall when you are asked to stand on one foot.
(6) Do not allow your attorney to tell a story about a mediaeval archer as the closing statement.

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

Friday, March 14, 2008

The NeoConsumer (Neocon) Strategy Revealed

No one respects the great contribution we Americans make in this world. At least up to now. Thanks goodness, Barbara Ehrenreich is finally willing to speak the truth. Her latest column trumpets our intrepid heroism in providing America’s contribution to the world’s wellbeing.

No one but Barbara appreciates all the work we have done over the last 30 years. Late night and weekends at the malls, every day of every week going the extra mile to assure our fellow humans in sweatshops have somewhere to send the stuff they make. Without our help, they would have run out of room to put the stuff they make years ago.

Our quiet and consistent consumer heroism has gone unheralded until recently, when, out of collective exhaustion, we stopped buying everyone else’s stuff. Let’s see those brilliant Chinese pick up the slack. The problem here is that they would have to start paying workers above slave wages to have enough consumers to buy much. Not allowed in the Workers’ Socialist Paradise.

Let’s see the oil rich Middle East nations pick up the slack. I guess that would require two major cultural changes (1) some wealth would have to be spread beyond the richest 20 people in each country, and (2) how many burkas can one woman wear in a week? Maybe they could start wearing them in colors.

Perhaps we could have our Government purchase all of China’s industrial output, put it all in airplanes every day, and drop the stuff on Iran. I see three distinctive advantages of this NeoConsumer (i. e., neocon) strategy;

(1) We would finally have a post 1970 rationale for having an air force. Seriously, has anyone won a war by leveraging superior air power since Israel did it in 1967? Anyway, portable missile technology sucked in 1967. We need to keep these military folks busy so they don’t kill thousands of people, which is not a proven way to make friends.
(2) If some of the stuff we drop doesn’t break on impact, we can probably get some economists to theorize how this glut of consumer goods will sink the Iranian economy. That ain’t the sound of big screen TVs bouncing off your roof, that’s the sound of freedom on the march.
(3) We could saturation bomb President Ahmadinejad’s house with Paris Hilton CDs. Why not?

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

Friday, March 07, 2008

Public Service Announcement - Attention Single Men

Don't do what this guy did. For Heaven's sake, think of the innocent masses! - Watch more free videos

I repeat - do not volunteer to make an ass of yourself. Life will present many opportunities on its own, without your consent.

This scene (and I mean scene) happened at Huston Rockets game on 2/14. My favorite dramatic moments;

(1) The pathos of a jilted guy being comforted by a team mascot.
(2) The woman's slowly evolving visible anger.
(3) The jilted guy managed to find a beer before he crawled out of the arena.
(4) The announcers trying to find something to say.

Another shadenfreude opportunity!

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

Flying Possums Everywhere!

Here’s an excerpt from a very rarely read portion of The Book of Exodus.

And God didst sayeth to Pharaoh, the plague of Frogs hath doth serveth onlyeth to hardeneth thine heart.

Pharaoh didst retort in a mosteth glibbeth manner, I heareth speech in the tongueth of the great pharaoh James from the cold foggy isles, whose language will existeth not for millennia.

God didst sayeth in response, behold another miracle. Shaketh thou like a leaf and speweth thine guts in the presenth my power.

Upeth yours,said Pharoah.

In his anger and haste God broughteth upon the Nation of Egypt Plague 9(b), flying possums. The Egyptians found the flying possums to be delicious when roasted upon a stick, and werest not impressed in the least. Pharoah assembled his nation and in their witness, didst say that God waseth a big wuss, his plagues werest cowardly and he asketh God to bringeth them on.

You’ve heard the rest.

Why this sudden obsession with flying possums?, you may ask.

I fear that flying possums have been visited upon our nation, or at least my back yard. Yesterday contractors from the Electric Company came to trim our redwoods below the power lines. In true Semper Verens style, the redwoods grow about 5 feet every year.

While I was out chatting with the foreman, One of the guys up in the trees yelled cuidado debaillo (phonetic for look out below. Note I can’t spell in Spanish, deal with it). Jumping back, I expected to dodge a large branch , however, we were treated to the sight of a flying possum accelerating in our general direction. Sometimes I wish I was one of those freaks who videos their whole life. It was a sight. The possum landed about 15 feet from the tree and 5 feet from us, stopped for about 30 seconds, looked around and shuffled away. I think old pogo was having a bad day.

The lesson I learned is that possums are funnier than rats. One of our lovely rats flying towards me would not have struck me as funny. I am a non repentant specist.

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

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Truth About The Conspiracy

Finally someone is willing to tell the truth about the Catholic Church. After years of simply not getting it, now it all makes sense to me.

This absolutely slayed me.

That's my (OK really some British guy's) story and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Empty Vessel

Meanderings of a mind with vacancies. . .

Yup, the empty vessel. A symbol of the state of mind that East and South Asian inspired meditators want to attain. Looking at the blog lately, sometimes it feels like I have accidentally attained that state of mind myself. As I sit with the computer, great ideas simply do not fly out of the fingers. Not to worry, I can feel something welling up as I type this, at this very moment. Pray to all the universal forces of good that I am not channeling the recently departed William F. Buckley. However, I could live with channeling his language skills, provided I don’t get the British Public School accent in the bargain. No I don’t think it is a dead editor’s voice, so I will allow myself to continue. . .

I am trying in my addled little brain to decide if I can identify an observable difference between the symptoms of mild depression and Nirvana, Samadhi, or some other religiously sanctioned enlightened state or dead musician. As I recall, both usually involve celibacy and not doing much else either. So, if I observe these behaviors in a friend or acquaintance, what conclusion do I come to? What do I do about it? Do I send them to the Doctor or to Nepal? Maybe I should just take them out for pizza and beer. That goes well with every mood.

Now back to the mundane.

We are seeing our first installment of spring continue. I took a 15 mile bike ride Friday. T-shirt weather. I rode on the American River trail from near our place out to Jim’s Bridge. I couldn’t good pictures of the areas where I rode, but this guy’s video can give you an idea of what some parts of the trail are like, if you happen to be a really wobbly bike rider. I find some humor in the video, especially the several near spills. Anyway, it's some guy in a beard riding on the bike trail. Viewing this video will provide you with a Being John Malkovich experience. This is not a precise virtual experience, since everything is a lot greener in the spring. Nature works backwards here, where every fall the vegetation comes to life until it dies in the late spring. Go figure.

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

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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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