Sunday, November 30, 2008

Passing of Time

Most laws, including those of relative physics, nature and the sea do not apply to Inog. Gravity requests voluntary compliance. Thermodynamics avoid him completely.

So, to wish Inog a Happy Birthday is to make unfounded assumptions that Time has, in any way, bent him to its will.

And that, I have to say, is a big assumption.

Still and all, for the rest of us temporal-bound mortals, we can recognize December 1 as his birthday. So, happy birthday to Inog, and for the rest of you, welcome to December...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Little Mishaps

Cilantro was almost mistakenly substituted for parsley in the stuffing, but the blunder was detected and remedied at the very last second.

Apart from that, we had no mishaps. And hopefully, you and your family did not either.

The turkey was juicy. The bread was warm. I had BOTH kinds of cranberry sauce on my plate.

As I sat there, though, having changed shirts for the third time, waiting for the final preparations prior to dining, I watched with bemused wonder as the bread basket slid slowly closer to the low-profile candles in the center of the table.

The buns in the basket were wrapped in linen, and a corner of the cloth draped over the side of the basket.

Closer and closer it slid. I waited and watched, wondering when the flame would erupt. Eventually, it dawned on me that I was not 14 years old, and that fire on the Thanksgiving feast table would probably be bad.

So, I moved the basket.

But not before I quickly recalled that one thanksgiving incident, oh so many years ago...

Recent-reader Lois will recall that lovely holiday spread in her dining room. It was an impressive meal. Good food and good company, all gathered around a long table with a very tasteful fall-colored dry-shrub centerpiece in the middle.

The centerpiece was figuratively aflame with reds and oranges and yellows. All VERY dry. And, perhaps, unwisely flanked by long tapered candles.

I was present with one of Lois's daughters. I sat across from her other daughter's husband. We were both a bit bored.

I'll blame him, I suppose, for starting it, pushing the candle closer and closer, millimeters at a time, charring the outer most fronds. Then it was my turn. Testing to see how hot the dry leaves could get before combusting.

Soon enough, we found out, as slightly-less-than 1/4 of the centerpiece burst into a fire ball. We singed our napkins, spilled water and blackened our hands, but we got the fire out before it spread.

We were heroes.

At least in our minds.

Of course, the table full of disapproving faces told us otherwise.

Tonight though, no fire. No mishaps. Just good food and good company. And TWO kinds of cranberry sauce!

Oh, And, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oregon Thankful

I give rural Oregon a lot of shit for its hillbilly ways. Perhaps, undeservedly so. Perhaps, especially today.

The city of Silverton, Oregon, is essentially a geographical side note. It is a wayside on the way back to Salem from Silver Falls. It is filled with white picket fences, churches and playgrounds. A nice place to drive through, but not an ideal place to live.

Of course, that is my own brand of dismissiveness.

A strange thing happened there recently. The kind folks of quaint Silverton elected themselves a new mayor. A long time resident. A pillar of the community.

Also, a transsexual.

Mayor-elect, Stu Rasmussen, is a man who is apparently on his way to becoming a woman. He dresses as a woman, and seems to have a "nice rack," although the surgical modifications appear to end there.

Silverton surprisingly doesn't seem to mind, and really, as a community, it's their business. Yet, the election has caught the attention of unwanted guests...

Specifically, the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, of "god hates fags" fame, have focused their sights on this tiny Oregon town. Four prolific protesters, including the head hate-monger himself, arrived in Portland this week and wasted no time in protesting Portland's openly-gay mayor-elect, Portland State university and Portland's Swedish Consulate.

Of course, their prime target lay 45 miles to the south...

All four Westboro bigots arrived in Silverton yesterday, bearing signs that read "God Hates You," "Fags Are Beasts," "Your Pastor is a Whore" and "Barack Obama Antichrist."

Tragically, one of the protesters was a child, only further fueling my argument against exposing children to the hateful and destructive brain-washing message of religion... But I digress....

The fearsome foursome, however, did not have the street to themselves. Rather, they were met by, and out-shouted by, nearly 200 counter protesters. Nearly 200 rural Oregonians took time out of their day to confront hate, to protest in the name of love and tolerance, and to defend their own political odd ball from narrow-minded harbingers of idiocy.

Generally, I like the state that I call home. Today, however, I am openly and enthusiastically proud and thankful to live in the State of Oregon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Six Versus Seven

Pigtails, for most guys, mean one thing: Handles.

They are something to hold on to when the lithe pigtail bearer is bucking and squirming. Better, yet, when combined with a tight white blouse, unbuttoned down to there and a short plaid skirt trimmed with knee high stockings.

But when it comes down to it, it's really about the pigtails.

Which led to a dilemma back in 1977.

See, Princess Leah mostly mucked everything up. We were used to pigtails on the side, or buns on top, but she went all wonky on us. she had big fat brunette buns on the side of her head, where pigtails should have gone. She also flitted around in a sheer white night gown, which revealed only the slightest hint of what lay beneath, even when up to her waist in water down in the trash compactor.

And still, head buns be damned, she was the hottest space babe of the decade, setting the standard for sexy space babes to come.

Although she re-appeared in a slave girl bikini in the 80s, Sigourney Weaver probably took the title for the Reagan years.

And with a due nod to Milla Jovovich's Leeloo, I believe Jeri Ryan's Seven of Nine was the cosmic nymph of the 90s.

And this decade? (Whatever this decade is called..) No doubt the sultry space minx is none other than Tricia Helfer's Cylon, Six.

And then, last week, lying in a sweaty feverish stupor, my meandering mind wandered to the inevitable hypothetical cage match. In one corner, wearing her fuck-me-red party dress and stiletto boots, is Six, insidious infiltrator of the Cylon race.

In the other corner, former Borg and born-again Human, Seven of Nine, wearing a form-fitting, curve-hugging wrinkle-revealing Star Fleet issued unitard.

In this ultimate cat-fight to the finish, who will win? Well, let's take a look.

First, the Ms. Congeniality category is a no-brainer. Six kills babies with her fingers, soldiers with missiles and 99% of the known Human race by fucking her way into the Defense Ministry's mainframe. Seven, while once an ugly Borg-ette, struggles to regain her humanity on a daily basis.

Seven wins easily, but then, for the exact same reasons, Six wins the talent competition.

Swimsuit competition? This is far tougher to call. Six, of course, has a Victoria's Secret body, and model-looks, but Seven is no slouch. Brooding, almost pouting, Seven seethes with sexuality and race track curves. On the margin, I think Six takes this one by a nipple's width.

Intelligence? Seven has been assimilated into a collective and her brain has been turned into a computer. Six, on the other hand IS a computer, but sometimes, not a very bright one. The Cylons, as a whole, have proven to be just intelligent enough, just as much as they need to be. Seven, however, could fix things and shit.

I might be stepping out on a limb here, but I think Seven takes this one.

Finally, though, we come to the only competition that matters, hand-to-hand combat.

Seven has proven to have superior fighting skilz, yet is limited, essentially, to her average human strength. Six, of course, seems to have slightly elevated strength, yet Starbuck was able to spike her.

I think they would be evenly matched, grappling, tearing at each other's flimsy fashion. Buttons would burst, seams would rip, thighs would flex. Hot pale flesh would dampen with sweat. Faces would flush. Breathing would accelerate.

In the end, they might both collapse with exhaustion, skin scraped with scratch marks, bosoms heaving. We could only hope. But who would win?

Six, I suppose, with her super strength and resurrection. But really, after a watching a fight like that, I'd say we all win. We're all winners!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not To Be Morbid

...but we're all gonna die.

Sure, some of us will go sooner than others. But really, the end is near.

The species as a whole is doomed, which may be, for the planet, a good thing.

Anyway, case in point, just a few days ago, this happened:

And yes, that is an actual video taken by a camera mounted in a police car. It was apparently seen over most of Western Canada.

What was it? A meteor. A chunk of space rock that got a little too close.

How big was it?

Good question. Scientists (Canadian scientists, but scientists all the same...) estimate that it was the size of a grapefruit.

Yes, that little breakfast fruit, whose flesh you spoon with a serrated edge... A grapefruit did that.

And what would a larger object do? Well, you can guess. But you better guess quickly, because Apophis, Ganymed and Golevka are coming. But even if they miss, there are more than 1,000 known near-Earth asteroids with a diameter greater than a kilometer.

And that, my friends, is bigger than a grapefruit.

I wonder, is that project you're working on right now, really that important?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Birthdays and a Break.

Friday is Lucky Red's birthday. Happy birthday to you. You'll be 29, right?

Saturday is Dr. B's birthday, and really, he's just lucky to still have hair.

Happy birthday to all.

And with that, I'll be taking a break for one week. I'll be back with more devilish delights next weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Face Recognition

With praise to the blessings of the Internet, I, like you, or most of you, have exponentially multiplied my exposure to porn. But not just porn, smut too. Erotica. Titillation. Prurience.

If it's out there, I have probably seen it, or something like it, for better or for frighteningly worse.

And why look? Well, there are the obvious reasons; the reasons that you are familiar with, but might not want to share. But there are also the not-so-obvious reasons as well.

"Not-so-obvious reasons??" You may ask. "Do tell!"

Well, the fact is, as Mitch may very well tell us, after a great deal of time, pornography can lose its appeal. It can get repetitive. Boring. But then there are little games you can play to keep it interesting.

For me, the most common game is Face Recognition. Looking for faces that you recognize. Looking for that one shy acquaintance that you once knew, prominently gagging on 10 inches of love.

I mean, if there is one thing I've learned, it's that there is A LOT of smut out there, with unthinkable legions of actors, actresses and models. Statistically, I do not think it is possible to live a life in modern America without knowing at least one person who has appeared in Porn.

Perhaps if you live in Utah, but otherwise...

And so I scan. I filter. I search, always keeping an eye toward the possible surprise of finding a friend's dark secret. Sure, it's creepy, but it's my game.

Problem is, I'm getting older, and so is my field of acquaintances. With age comes wrinkles, flab, hair loss. With age, it becomes less and less likely that I will ever discover my hidden friend.

It certainly hasn't happened yet, though I've had to stop and study a few times...

I'll keep looking though.


If you had to describe me in terms of a flavor, what flavor would I be?

I, for instance, might say that I am Margarita flavor, sweet, but a little wicked.

(Originally, I was going to ask what flavor you were, but my narcissistic instinct took over. It's all about me, not you.)

So, what flavor am I?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Maybe It Was the Cough Syrup

"So, how are ya feelin?" I heard, over and over today from a horde of both in-person and electronically-connected well-wishers.

"Different." Has been my repetitive reply. I have spun the Wheel-Of-Symptoms, and I have lost every time. It was one thing, then changed to another, then to another, then to another. Now my body is just pissed off, and has basically clamped down on any further medicinal exhibition.

Still, though, the time off afforded me the chance to catch up on sleep.

Sleep, that is, tinted with fatigue, fever, and over-the-counter cough syrup. Seriously, that shit can fuck you up good.

So, maybe it was the fever, maybe it was the cherry-flavored cocktail of expectorants and decongestants, but I have had the most bizarre gallery of dreams. Now, as some of you know, I tend to dream on the extreme end to begin with, but add a shot or two of Dextromethorphan, and watch out!

I have found myself showering in a public shower stall in the lobby of a doctor's office. I have cavorted with European prostitutes at my grandmother's house, which happened to be on a ship. I have been chased through a 1970's-style dark wood panelled shopping mall, with a dim smoked-glass interior and ridiculously over-sized escalators...

My poor repressed subconscious. It's had a busy week. One thing that it has kept coming back to, however, over and over, is flying. Planes flying, cars flying houses flying... You get the drift.

Most importantly, though, and something that has recurred enough times over my life to be recognized as something of a pattern, is me flying. Just me. And it always starts the same way.

First, I fall. I'm usually walking or running, and I trip or something, and I fall, but I miss the ground. Somehow, I dodge that persistent Newtonian vector, and I miss the ground. Then, I get back to my feet and think, "Oh ya, it's just like in those dreams, although I'm not dreaming now." And I go and do it again.

Once I do it intentionally, I gain some forward momentum and flight control.

Oh, and palm trees, I always end up plying over palm trees...

In the end, I wake up. No flight. Earthbound. Not even any European prostitutes. Yet, still somewhat satisfied.

Oh, and before all of you Junior Freud Scouts run out and grab your dream interpretation books, I'll just tell you, I've got this one figured out. I've observed its occurrence in connection to enough certain life-events to know its root, its trigger and its meaning, but really, thanks for playing along.

Now, I just need to get me some more of that cough syrup.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


So, congratulations are in order. Though, in the interest of anonymity, I will need to be somewhat vague.

So, Mrs. G & T works in a particular field here in this particular state. As part of that job, she belongs to a professional organization, and served for a long time on, or with, its board of directors. Within the field, she has taught and trained many practitioners, and has even drafted changes to the law regarding this particular field.

Today, then, at the organization's yearly state-wide conference, Mrs. G&T was presented with an award of excellence for her achievements in that field. So, congratulations to Mrs. G&T, we are all very proud of you.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Three Hours I'll Never Get Back

Most of you know, I've been home sick for the last two days, and will likely be home, on the boss's orders, Friday as well.

Lying peacefully on the sofa eases the discomfort and nausea. It's only when I stand up, or move, when things get unpleasant.

So, prone on the sofa, I have remained for the better part of two days, alone with my vitamin C, Ibuprofen and the TV. It's been a long time since I had this much opportunity to watch daytime television, and let me tell you, it sucks ass.

Big dirty ass.

And so I flip flip flip, across the spectrum of entertainment, around the Horn, and back again. Every now and then something catches my eye: the the final Senate tallies, the Girls Next Door, Jesus TV...

But really, there is nothing worth watching this early in the day.

And so, it must have been around noon today, having had a small lunch, I collapsed back onto the sofa and flipped some more. It may have been BET, or possibly VH1, I don't really know, but the familiar blue and gold uniforms caught my attention.

No, I had never actually sat and watched the entire movie from beginning to end, but yes, I'd seen most of it in disjointed pieces. This time, it appeared to be near the beginning, and so I lingered.

Mind you, I never actually committed to watching the goddamned thing. I was aware of just how bad it was. And yet....

OK, so I lingered. I did flip away, but somehow, found my way back again and again. Being daytime television, as it was, the television station had made many ill-advised cuts to cram as much advertising into the film as possible. So much so, that a 90 minute flick easily filled three hours of my day.

Three Hours!

And it wasn't even a good movie! It's all preposterous cliches: coming of age, learning lessons, rivals become friends, the hero is flawed, blah blah blah...

And somehow, I cannot flip past this flick without stopping. And now three hours of my day are gone.

The movie, since you are now wondering, is called "Drum Line," and it is all about southern-style marching bands battling to the finish for justice and honor, or something, with super-sonic drumsticks and ostentatious choreography. Really, I could not be any further out of the demographic for this film.

Sigh... So, here is the big finale scene:

You know, as long as I am going to waste another half day in front of the TV on Friday, I might as well just put on a three-hour movie, and watch Lagaan...

Lagaan - Ghanan Ghanan

Thank For Putting Up With All of the Politics...

Thanks to Dave for sharing...


Thanks to Valdez for this.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One of These Things is Not Like The Other

I am sick at home today, but a received a surprising email from Dr. B.

I thought I'd share it with you.

Click on it to see the bigger version.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


In Richmond, on a warm June day, the new President of the new nation walked soberly down the street.

He was a tall man. Thin, with a narrow brown beard. He had risen to office on a wave of political passion. His tiny nation was at war and the future was uncertain.

The man walked on, away from the new Capitol Building, where he had just taken the oath of office. This was 1861. The man was Jefferson Davis and he had just become the President of the Confederate States of America.

Though bearing a striking resemblance, he was now at war with another young President, Abraham Lincoln.

The Civil War was about many many things, and I will resist the historical urge to name them here. However, all of these un-enumerated issues, in one way or another, always trailed back to the slavery of Africans.

That was a long time ago.

Richmond, Virginia, was the capitol of the Confederacy, the spiritual center of the Grand Old South. It was the last political bastion against emancipation. So vital was it, that the great General Robert E. Lee named his massive army: "The Army of Northern Virginia."

Richmond remained, after the war, the capitol of the State of Virginia. It has seen, particularly in the last 60 years, tremendous change.

Tonight, as the numbers fell into predictable color-coded categories, as swing states swung either red, or mostly blue, I watched with interest as Virginia votes were counted.

It was too-close to call for much of the night. The winners and losers would be named with or without it. And yet I waited, scanning the channels, surfing the wire sources, playing with CNN's cool on-line map.

It may have been NPR. Maybe CNN. I'm not sure. But after much counting and delay, the call was made. Old Virginia, led by Richmond, the capitol of the Old South, had elected a man with African blood to be President of the Union.

OK, So I Should Have Posted This One

Thanks to Mrs G&T for finding this one...

Monday, November 03, 2008

November 4. 2008

We have waited a long time.

We have dreamed of this day, trying to imagine what it would be like to get what we most wanted.

It is a day of Control.

It is a day of intelligence.

It is the end of Kaos.

Unless you have lived under a cone of silence for the last 40 years, you know exactly what I am talking about. The long-awaited Tuesday is finally here.

It is finally time for the release....

The release of Get Smart, available November 4 on DVD!!

Join Steve Carrell, the Rock and Alan Arken on a madcap magical adventure through the zany world of espionage and assassination! This was my favorite television show as a child, and it has been a long time coming. Sure, I never actually saw this move-version, but I'm certain it was good...


What's the matter?

What did you think I was going to write about??

One Day More

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Nut

Well, almost the nut, anyway.

Would that be the demi-nut? Maybe the quazi-nut?

I'm not sure. What I do know is, there was only one card that could beat me.

The Nut-hand, as it were, in Poker, is the best possible hand you can have, given the cards that are in play. Sometimes, when the board is very bad, the nut can be very small. Or, when there is a whole family of face cards on the board, it can be very large.

The deal came, and I had a King and a three, both hearts. The pot was small, and the minimum bet was a dollar. So, I limped in, and waited for the flop.

The flop came with three consecutive middle cards, giving someone a possible straight. Not me, mind you. However, two of the flop cards were hearts, giving me a Flush draw.

Now generally, it is my personal rule not to chase Straights or Flushes, but this time, no one chased me out, and it was cheap to stay in. Then, the fourth card, the Turn card, came, making an obvious Straight draw on the board. Betting continued to be light. It cost me next to nothing to call, so I stuck around for the river, and my 1-in-4 chance of a heart.

The river came, and it was the Queen of Hearts. The Queen extended the range for those who were chasing the straight. For me though, it made my flush.

Some folks saw the flush draw and abandoned their Straights, but not everyone...

I knew what my hole-cards were. I didn't have to re-check them. I didn't play with them. I didn't touch them. I looked at the board and calculated. I knew a Straight-Flush was out of the question. Four-of-a-Kind was not possible, nor even was a Full House.

No, the Nut was a Flush, and the Nut-Flush was an Ace-High, which I did not have. I had a King-high Flush. The second highest possible hand. There was only one card in the entire deck that could beat me, the Ace-of-Hearts, and it would have to have another heart in the hole with it to matter...

I began to calculate the odds of one of the other players holding both the Ace-of-Hearts AND a another heart. That was like 52-to-1 times 4-to-1 minus the cards in play plus the burn cards, but what about the folded cards... and... uh... aw, fuckit, I wasn't smart enough to work out those calculations.

I made the decision that I had the effective nut.

Then, I watched those who had made their relative Straights confidently bet, raise and re-raise. The bet made its way around the big table to the shadowy corner where I sat. I would not go all-in, not wanting to chase away other people's money. Still, I wanted to bet for value and suck my opponents dry.

They were all so smug in their Straights and possible smaller Flushes. They were blind to the Nut. They could not comprehend it. And so, I bet. Large.

I stared at the mound of chips in the middle. I looked at no one.

I heard the friendly man to my left (who had a large Straight) confidently call my enormous bet. I heard the woman at the end of the table (who had a small flush) call as well.

And then there was silence.

There was a brief moment of pure satisfaction. Like catching two fish on one hook. Like watching your favorite team hit the tie-breaking homerun at the bottom of the ninth. Like the moment the girl you want to kiss smiles and leans-in for it.

It is the instant of pre-victory, adreneline and expectation, and time stood still for just the briefest of seconds...

...and then we rolled the cards.

Sure, I contemplated the statistical impropbabilty of an Ace-high flush sucking me out, but the odds-gods smiled on me. The Ace was no where to be found.

And then, the warm glow of victory.

And I wonder, will Obama feel that Tuesday night? Will it be five minutes before the polls close on the west coast? Will he be within grasp by the time the clocks strike 8 in the Pacific Time Zone? He holds the Nut in California, Oregon and Washington.

Will it be a sense of terror mixed with exhileration? Confidnece? Silence? Will he close his eyes and ride the current in to history? Maybe. I probably will.