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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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Monday, August 30, 2010

GodzillaPERS Attacks Sacramento

I thought this was pretty clever.

Although this may be the work of a bunch of idiots with the suckiest website I've seen in years, it provides the best short explanation of one major element of California's fiscal disaster. They failed to mention that 25 years of cutting taxes to corporations and rich individuals while increasing subsidies to the rich and corporations and almost everyone else might have something to do with going broke.

We could recruit Gamron, Mothra and the gang to play the Welfare Monster, the MediCal Monster , the Corporate Subsidy Monster, etc. the list just goes on and on.

As long as State and local Government operates on what I call "Sacramento Compromise" paradigm, these problems will not go away.

The Sacramento Compromise defined:

You want to cut taxes for your priveleged supporters.

I want to provide generous financial subsidies to my constituencies.

Let's do both and let a lobbyist buy us drinks!

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

Friday, August 27, 2010

Frozen Yogurt Is Bad For You

Frozen yogurt joints are popping up all over my part of Sacramento like pimples on Prom night.

I don't like frozen yogurt because it tastes like something fake that died and was buried in a mountain of corn syrup.

Well, it turns out frozen yogurt is dangerous. It can cause broken bones. I alwys knew this stuff is evil.Now we have proof.

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

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Lunch - Sometimes Precious Just Happens

I threw some of this week's refrigerator bean salad on some fresh tomato and cucumber wedges. I sprinkled a salt and herb mixture and drizzled a little wine vinegar on top. This took about a minute to put together.

Who knew it would look so precious?

Also made a sandwich from leftover grilled sirloin with a little feta cheese a some salad greens. It was good but it wasn't pretty like the salad. Actually, since I used the end of a baguette, it looked quite manly in a grinder kind of way.

Yesterday I tried a steak, tomato, cucumber and salad green sandwich. That was way too much slippery stuff in one sandwich. Hence, the salad today.

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

Monday, August 23, 2010

Laughter is Power

If I can't laugh in your revolution, leave me out of it.

A friend sent me this video from prostests realted to California's Proposition 8. This is funny in a sweet way and a well-wasted 3 1/3 minutes that you'll never be able to get back.

I like this and it encourages me.

Picket sign hacking. I love the way these folks use use signs to make the opposing picketers look like even bigger morons than they look like without help. I see that and wonder I think, "Obvious, Brilliant, why didn't I think of that?".

The supporters of proposition 8 (meaning those miserable marital scrooges who say "bah humbug" to toher people getting married) have no sense of humor, and at least those willing to hold signs in support of proposition 8 apparently have no sense. What kind of knob just stands there when his protest becomes what is obviously (that is obvious to anyone except the completely humor impaired) the host upon which a powerful viral campaignis feeding.

In order to comply with Hangininsac's fairness doctrine (stated thusly; The Fair ain't always fair) I present evidence that some protesters opposed to Proposition 8 (in support of universal marriage rights) are pretty dopy.

My favorite was the couple with the matching signs; His/Her snoring is the only threat to our marriage. Ain't that the truth.

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

Sunday Night Football . . . or Shakespeare . . . or Sermon

Last night I gave into temptation. Against my better Judgment watched an NFL Exhibition Game . I couldn't resist watching the Vikings at San Francisco. We watched the first half of the game while we prepared dinner (I BBQed and DW and DMIL boiled some corn I picked up at the farmers market and husked Saturday.

Both DMIL and I wanted to see what the Forty Niners had to show and what's up with Favre.

First the Forty Niners:

Alex Smith looked pretty good in the passing – dominated opening drive that resulted in a TD. Lots of nice short yardage completion. This is encouraging.

After the first drive, the Niners offense spent the evening trying to establish a running game that just wasn't there. I wasn't really surprised, since Gore and Westbrook were both absent, and the backfield was filled with no-names. What was a bit alarming was the San Francisco's offensive line's complete inability to open anything even resembling a hole. SF's tackling was terrible. If Vince Lombardi's mantra that “football is a game of fundamentals, blocking and tackling” still means anything in the NFL, the Niners are in trouble. Again.

This leads in to The Sermon. Reverend Goo Goo Googly Eyes (aka Coach Mike Singletary) was miked during the game so we could hear his little motivational sermons. Google Eye Mike apparently prowls the sideline looking for the players that messed up the last play so he can tell them to try harder next time or go home.

Wow, Singletary is a Football Genius. Tell the players to try harder. What insight! What creativity! Why hasn't anyone thought about that before? Man, this is great. Once the players actually try, we're assured a Super Bowl Victory.

Sarcasm aside, I think a professional sports team needs more than a booster. Especially in the Head Coach position. The players are directly supervised by position coaches who report to the Offensive or Defensive Coordinator who in turn report the the Head Coach. Seriously, I don't think the Head Coach needs to make motivational speeches. The Head Coach needs to figure out how to get the numbers in the W column.

Yeah, yeah, I know, Lombardi used that work ethic thing and he was great. But, let's get real. If Lombardi had produced nothing better than the 8 wins Singletary chalked up last year, he'd be long forgotten.

My message to Mike Singletary

Do whatever it takes to get the numbers in the W column. Spare us the motivational sermons until you prove yourself by delivering the Ws. Do what you tell your players – shut up, get to work, and deliver. Everyone will line up to hear your Protestant Work Ethic sermons the two weeks before you lead your team to the super bowl. You know that because you've been there before. Until that joyous January, please spare us.

The Vikings

Like almost everyone else who doesn't make herculean efforts to tune out the NFL, I was there for the next act in the ongoing NFL Players production of “To Favre or not to Favre”. I like a drama queen in shoulder pads as much as the next guy.

We didn't really see much on the field, where Favre took to the sidelines after three unsuccessful downs ending with a body-slamming sack. The Vikings offensive line showed almost no protection at all. I wish Favre all the luck in the world. With a line like that, he'll need it.

Three downs and out wasn't all we got to see of Favre (as if). Halftime treated us to an absolutely nauseating toady inter view of Hamlet-in-a-Helmet. How many times can you hear Al Michaels akd Farve “How it feels to be such a great guy that you came out of retirements for you teammates who love you so much they can't live without you?” No wonder why Favre needs Prilosec. Who wouldn't after listening to so much reflux-inducing crap.

On the lighter side, Redskin Nation is whining that Favre's deigning to grant a halftime interview saved us from Mike Shanahan. A silver lining, at last.

Since I've taken to foisting Happy Tails cats on people every Sunday morning, I'll miss most of this season's football. I'm not very concerned.

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

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fish Stories, Weirs and Ladders

I had a great fish encounter today. I took an 18 mile bike ride from my place to Jim's Bridge. I am trying to start from home instead of driving the two miles to the nearest trail access. That adds a little more than 4 miles and about 20 or 30 minutes to the ride. When I rack up the bike on the car and drive, it probably takes just 5 or 10 minutes less than riding from home. As long as I can avoid streets with serious bike-crushing traffic, I guess that's OK.

I talked to a guy who was standing astride his bike watching the river flowing under the bridge, I could see a narrow stream of unusually dark and murky water flowing from the upright just under the water-gazer.

I asked him what he was looking at. He pointed out a lot of big chunks of algae,sticks and other river junk floating on the dark stream. He said he thought they must have just cleaned the fish ladder at the Nimbus dam upriver from us. He probably really meant the weir, but that's not a big deal.

He said, “The fish will come soon.” He was absolutely right. I saw several fish swim under the bridge, a few feet below the surface. These were giant fish. They looked like sturgeon to me. Big and ugly. I expect all really big fish to be sturgeon, since the American River Salmon have almost disappeared over the last 10 years. I remember hiking by the river in late spring of 2003 and seeing at least two or three dead spawned salmon every mile. I don't miss that,but their absence seems unnatural.

My erstwhile buddy claimed they were giant bass. He called them “Stry-ped bass” in his unusual Southeast accent. In any event,these fish were huge and looked pretty ugly to me. It was cool watching the fish swim by. They were as big as these monsters. They really were.

Anyway, it was another perfect morning by the American River.

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

Monday, August 16, 2010

Who Knew Chinese Army So Awesome Cool?

Omnipotent Chinese Army Orchestra and Choir play Michael Jackson Tribute soon most dominant Internet meme from most awesome nation's army.

You hear it here first, hokay? I'm not making original posts these days,so this what you get now.

That my story I stick to it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Enough Eat Pray Love Already

Now, here's a movie I'd pay to see:

Thanks to MeritBadger

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Looking in an Honest Mirror

Maxine Frost provided this illustration that, IMHO showcases the evolution (or de-evolution?) of Grey America better than about anything I've seen lately.

You can see more of Maxine's illustrations on her Crazy for the Composers blog . If you are nice to her, you might someday see your requested composer drawn with insight and a very large head.

You can listen To Maxine's radio show by selecting King FM's "98.1..." Channel from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Pacific Time weekdays (DANGER, WILL ROBINSON, only do this if you think your computer is running well these days). Evergreen seriously uses the "More Tunes Less Talk" approach to radio. The music is pretty varied, so you're likely to hear something you've never heard before.

In addition to hearing some nice music, the King FM Player will test your computer for system stability. I ma not passing this test very well. You've been warned. The player has been making my computer crash today. Time to restart and see what happens.

I first "met" Maxine through the Simple Living Network, when we exchanged a couple of postings or something like that, a little more than a year ago. Our blogs appear to be linked by some dadburned confounded interweb contraption that I don't understand.

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

Addendum- after restarting (remember when we called that rebooting?) everything is fine. I think it was my MacAfee firewall that was giving my computer fist. Once again, I shake my fist at these dadburned confounded newfangled interweb contraptions. Back in my day. . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

American River Bike Ride on a Perfect Day

Today was a perfect morning for a bike ride. When I started out at about 9:30 AM, the sky was clear, humidity was low, and the temperature was about 60 degrees with a very light breeze. It was a perfect morning.

I rode on the Jedediah Smith Trail by the American River for what was about a 13.5mile round trip. I drove to a trail head today, I just didn't feel like putting the extra three miles on streets it takes to get me to the trail without fighting speeding, coffee drinking, texting dimensional transmogrifiers (oops,I meant drivers).On a bike they are dimensional transmogrifiers when they convert a three dimensional cyclist into a tow dimensional cyclist. BTW, I picked up that term from Fat Freddy's Cat in a comic book in the late 1970s.

I took a few snaps of the ride.

This first shot is a typical scene of what you see directly in front of you as you ride on the trail. This landscape is generically known as a riparian forest, because it is a forest along the banks of a river (so, mister smarty pants wikipedia contributor, why not river-ian forest?) Lots of strange oak trees and browned out grass. This would not be a good place to toss out butts.

After a short distance, the trail veers a way form the river into some empty prairie. The land was never built on because it is very prone to flooding. Too bad that reasoning was not enough to stop building in the North Natomas area of Sacramento. Anyway this little bridge is cute.

The next sight is Soil Born Farms, a small organic farm run by hippie gardeners who are slowly figuring out farming. I visited them last Sunday with a group of bicyclists including some bicycle advocates and a local chef. We had a tour. I was really most impressed with two things. First, they use their fallow fields for grazing sheep. I haven't walked among grazing sheep for many years. The sound they make grinding up the grass is unbelievable. The second amazing discovery was in their shop.The sold bacon scones form a local bakery. That's right, I said bacon scones! I had one and it was good. The organic vegetables they had were less impressive,but the potatoes looked excellent and I could see what looks like a great crop of winter squash starting in the field. This could be the place for the Great Pumpkin's Second Coming.

The trail veered closer to the river for a short time. This is a sometimes popular swimming spot at a bend in the river. Unfortunately,it has also proven to be an occasional drowning spot. The American river flows to us from mountains about two miles high and has all sorts of strange little currents. This is not a swimming hole for people who can "almost swim".

The next sight is Rancho Cordova's Hagan Park. This is an ordinary large city park (ball fields, duck pond,etc.) except it has the biggest model railroad I've ever seen. They give free rides to kids on the weekends.

The trail climbs up a placer. Early gold miners formed placers when they re-routed the river and dug all the boulders off the riverbed. The placers still stand when they dumped the rocks that they hoped were sitting on top of all that gold. Most went back home broke.

The trail provides plenty of overlooks of the river. This view is probably similar to what early wagon train folks saw during a lot of their journeys.

This short shaded stretch is one of may favorite parts of this ride.

I use the area around Jim's Bridge as a turning point. It's a nice place to stop for a drink of water. The bridge was built as part of mining operation long ago. This bridge appears to be invisible on the interwebs, so you'll just have to take my word.

I can stop and have a drink of water here, the view to the west is beautiful.

Looking east reminds me why I escape to the bike trail in the first place. The wide and but-ugly suburban Sunrise Boulevard. Sunrise Blvd Connects two of the less attractive Sacramento suburbs, Rancho Cordova (aka Repo Forclosure) and Citrus Heights (aka Syphilis Blights). There is some hope looking east form Jim's Bridge. You can see a great pedestrian bridge about one half mile up the river, in the more fashionable (at least in their own eyes) feral chicken-filled suburb of Fair Oaks.

Since I was making great time, I stopped to enjoy some wild blackberries.I call them The Sacramento Treat. They are way better than Rice-A-Roni. Take that, all you San Francisco snobs out there!

You might notice a blurry light brown object in the background of this picture. Turns out that or something near it was the rear end of a rattlesnake. I didn't notice it until it sounded off while my hand was reaching in for the ripe black berries under the red ones. I decided to leave that bush alone for a while.

Near the end of the return trip, I stopped to enjoy this scene, straight out of a Western Romance.

This was an hour and a half well spent.

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

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Margaret Mead of Flight Delays

This great article in Slate gives an anthropologist's view of what you can see anywhere there's a flight delay. This would even be funnier if it wasn't true.

A short excerpt,describing a couple of the tribal functions you might encounter:

"Prosecutorial Flight Ninja

Knows more than the gate agents. Berates them because they've been lying for hours about how long the flight will be delayed. He holds up an iPhone with notification from the Web site that the flight has already been canceled.

See Here Now! Man
A cousin of the fellow in the introduction of this story. He believes that the mechanical problem, personnel issue, or weather will be improved if he loudly proclaims his place in the universe."

This is a great read, and it would even be funnier if it wasn't true.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Airline Boogie

I am working out a trip to Wisconsin for October. I can't quite settle on choosing a flight, since the all the flights are inconvenient. It's impossible to get from here to there without either dealing with a a 6:45 AM departure time in Sacramento or an arrival after 11:00 PM on one end or the other. I'll figure out something. Later. I'll just whinge for a while in the meantime. That tactic may pay off, it looks like fares dropped about $40 since yesterday.

All this talk about the joys of flying in what passes for our Modern Country made me think of Prague's Franz Kafka Airport. One of the best Onion News Network features ever. This is exactly what air travel feels like to me.

Prague's Franz Kafka International Named World's Most Alienating Airport

While we're on the subject, Mexicana Airlines just announced immediate suspension of its 11 Weekly Flights to Sacramento International Airport. That means there are now no international flights. Although these flights have been going to Mexico for only eight years, the local authorities have always called this airport "Sacramento International Airport". In the days before these once-in-a-while commuter jet flights to Mexico, the airport was known to local as "Sacramento Intergalactic Airport". Now, once again, we can use that awesome name with pride.

While we're on the subject of flight, we went to the Star Trek Exhibition at the McClellan (ex-air base) air and Space Museum. The exhibition was pretty fun, but no pictures were allowed.

The rest of the museum was the typical airbase museum, with a big lot full of old airplanes and bomb casings.

I posed for some people doing best Major Kong Pose I could.It probably looked something like this.

They didn't have any big nuke bomb casings, The nastiest most explodingest thing I found to ride was what looked like a two or three ton napalm bomb casing.

That was a disappointment, since according to the EPA, cleanup work in 2000 unearthed "one (1) 20-gallon drum, excavation of 480 cubic yards of soil, and laboratory wastes. Contents of one drum were labeled as containing plutonium."
Man, I wish I could have had my picture taken next to that.

Anyway, I will try to follow up and get the bomb picture.

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

Monday, August 02, 2010

I Am More powerful Than Clowns and Old Men

I am glad to report that I have finally succeeded in taking down both Col Sanders and Ronald McDonald. Sanders was much harder to kill. I also saved Pamela Anderson from her almost certain fate of becoming "part of an unhappy meal" .

I am talking about two insanely retro Mario Brothers- style games offered by PETA, McCruelty and Kentucky Fried Cruelty. I just get a kick out of these, the way they combine sick humor and earnestness. A few segments of the game poke fun at the Mario Brothers as well as some of PETA's stranger animal issues. These games haven't caused me to turn away from meat.

I added banners for the games at the bottom of the blog. Enjoy

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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