February 2003 - The Right Stuff
RayzRealm (c) February, 2003

Sunday February 2

I was driving into Boston yesterday morning listening to WBZ am radio when the news broke in to announce that the space shuttle Columbia was 15 minutes late. By the time I parked my car it was pretty clear that something catastrophic had happened. Like a lot of other people a thought flashed through my mind, "what if this was due to an act of terrorism". Hopefully the investigation will reveal that it was due to a mechanical failure and not sabotage.

I remember when the first Mercury flight went up, all the Gemini flights and the first landing on on the moon by Apollo astronauts. I was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia at the time and we all had the day off to watch the first moon landing. It was like some sort of undeclared national holiday. After that landing on the moon seemed like a walk in the park.

I eagerly watched the first launch of the space shuttle. Space shuttle launches quickly became no more out of the ordinary than the hourly Amtrak Boston to New York shuttle, until the Challenger disaster. I was in my office debugging a program when a coworker poked her head in the door. She was crying, "did you hear, the space shuttle blew up shortly after takeoff.". We all went to a conference room where everyone was gathered around aTV monitor; it was OK to cry.

Once again space shuttle launches were as out of the ordinary as driving to the supermarket until yesterday. The disaster was on my mind all day. For once I agree with president Bush, and pray that the shuttle crew are at home and in a peaceful place. I also pray for the families, friends and NASA colleagues of the Columbia crew. Of course Dubya's speeches are probably the work of one of his speech writers.

I was born shortly after WWII, when the nation was in a space frenzy. OK, I had day dreams of being an astronaut as a boy, along with millions of other kids. To ride the shuttle and see our planet from an alien's viewpoint must be one of the biggest thrills imaginable. The people who train for these missions have a passion for exploration and dedication to the common goal. Test pilots and space flight crews are made of "The Right Stuff."

I was watching the news last night before going to bed. The world offered it's condolences, except some comment from Iraq that they were happy it happened; it was God's punishment against the US. This religious crap, "God did it in my name" is getting very old. I hope and pray that the Columbia crew are with God now, together in peace.

Wednesday February 5

I picked up a 90 minute documentary on DVD for $10 about Area51. It's funny that you hardly ever hear about the non existent gummint installation any more. You also hear very little about Osama bin Laden either. Maybe Osama has taken up residence with the aliens at Area51. The documentary was actually pretty interesting, going into a lot of detail about the Las Vegas area, the surrounding towns, how Area51 came into being, how all the folklore got started, the black mailbox, camo dudes, the Little A'Le'Inn. There was also a bonus 60 minutes of "ahem!" actual UFO video footage taken by real people. There was no audio track in the bonus feature, but the shocking, real UFO footage looked like a bunch if middle school kids were having fun with Dad's camcorder. As the film commentator stated, "the more mysterious and secretive a place is, the more people will be drawn to and speculate on what really goes on there." Like Big foot, the Loch Ness monster, crop circles and Elvis sightings, we'll probably never know the truth about Area51, at least not in my lifetime.

I wonder now many UFO sightings are actually of a more terrestrial origin. A few years back my friend Bob was living in the Durham NH area. As I turned off route 95 onto the Spaulding Turnpike on that Saturday morning, I noticed a lot of cars pulled over to the side of the road, not being aware that the Air Force Base (now a trade port) was holding an air show. What I saw almost made me drive off the road. Coming at me at a relatively low altitude was what appeared to be an almost triangular shaped UFO, until it got close enough for me to hear the roar, recognizing it as a stealth fighter jet. At my viewing angle, I was almost convinced that what I was seeing was some sort of alien craft. I pulled off the road to watch the stealth fighter gracefully fly around, letting out a long "whheeewwww!"

Visitors to Bigboote's Area51 ask me what I think is kept at the imaginary Nevada test site, as if I'm some sort of expert on the subject. I don't know of any good restaurants or cheap hotels with a view of Area51. So here's the straight poop on what the gummint doesn't want you to know is kept at Area51; Elvis, Richard Nixon, The Lindbergh baby, Jimmy Hoffa, Whitey Bulger Osama bin Laden, Adolph Hitler, Big Foot, Loch Ness monster, the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper, all the ships and planes that have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, alien space craft, aliens, working prototypes for a time machine and cold fusion reactor, totally bug free copies of Windows XP, crop circle graffiti artists, missing children and teenage runaways, the missing socks that seem to disappear from clothes dryers around the world, classified tobacco company documents, the recipe for McDonald's secret sauce and an armory full of every smoking gun from the civil war to the present day.

We're now returning to more important issues, going to war with Iraq. What if Saddam suddenly said, "take the friggin oil. Look the only biologically hazardous material I have is some yogurt in my fridge that's gone bad. Install whoever you want as a new Iraqi president. I'm outta here! this is all bullshit. I'm moving to a Florida retirement community to open a tea shop and write my memoirs if anyone's looking for me." NO, I am not saying I think Saddam is a nice guy at all. The guy's a despot, but even if he were to hoist the white flag, the agenda is already set.

Of course Dubya is hell bent on invading Iraq. I was watching one news program talking about the "Shock and Awe" plan of attack, 800 cruise missiles all launched at once. Is this the opposite of "Duck and Cover?" I hope and pray that it doesn't come to that.

There was a great scene from the movie "Apocalypse Now" where the air cavalry was making an early morning run on a Vietnamese village. One copter had speakers blaring Wagner as the helicopters approached in formation like a swarm of locusts descending on a farmer's fields, "I love Wagner, it scares the shit out of the gooks." Will the US allied forces be playing the Clash's "Rock the Casbah" as we launch the initial assault. Hmmm, I've been hearing "Rock the Casbah" played quite a bit lately on one of Boston's classic rock stations.

The TV in the corner of the cafeteria at work was on as I was having lunch today. Colin Powell was presenting Washington's growing case against Saddam Hussein (more appropriately, So Damn Insane). If Saddam is playing a shell game with the UN inspectors, he must have a death wish, and if he's crazy enough to use NBC (not the TV network) weapons, then he's crazier than I thought. For those of you who were never in the military, NBC is short for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical weapons.

We all had to take part in NBC warfare training and drills. I still remember among our many general quarters, fire and man overboard drills, the sound to general quarters, "Nuclear air burst 2500 yards, estimated yield 5 megatons. All hands secure your areas and brace for shock wave!" blared over the ship's public address system

We'd be going about our daily business in the computer lab as the alarm was sounded. The shop chief was running around the lab shouting, "c'mon you meatballs, turn to!" After the drill was over we all had a laugh. If this was a real nuclear attack, we'd either all be done extra crispy, or the aircraft carrier we called home would be shooting the biggest curl that a surfer could imagine in his wildest dreams.

So let's hope (PRAY) that Saddam, as well as anyone else on Washington's "Axis of Evil" shit list comes clean and behaves themselves. I'm really not feeling in the mood for Armageddon today, no matter how much the religious far right is itching for their pet prophetic passages from Revelations to come true. A little suggestion to Bro's Jerry and Pat, as much as I know you love the wrathful "Fire'n'Brimstone" God of the Old testament, take some time to re-read the 4 Gospels of Jesus Christ. Ya know, Jesus, that long hair renegade hippie dude (son'o God) who gravitated toward the underdogs of society, who preached, love, forgiveness, "turning the other cheek", meekness, etc.

Ending today on a lighter note, I made a brief cameo appearance in the chat rooms last night, something I try to avoid. I got a private message from a guy who asked my help with a computer question. Seems he is very new to the wonderful world of computers (less than 2 weeks) and noticed from my personal profile that I'm an old seasoned dinosaur at the craft. He was concerned and asked if there was any danger in what he did. The guy turned off his computer before Windows told him it was safe to do so. I was nice and explained that there was "probably" no harm done, that Windoze is busy closing all open files, programs and making any final registry updates before it says it's safe. If he turns the PC off, he runs the risk of corrupting files.

I could have been a real stinker and told him the following, "wow you're lucky to be alive. Shutting your PC off before Windows says it's safe to, could result in...."

"Your PC exploding, sending shrapnel all over the room"

"Your PC bursting into flames"

"Your PC emitting a colorless, odorless poison gas that results in paralysis and death in less than 30 seconds."

"Your PC emitting a burst of radiation that can result in bleeding gums, hair loss, nausea, vomiting and death within 24 hours."

"Your PC causing a massive rip in the time-space continuum, ending all life on Earth as we know it."

"Demonic possession of your hard drive and poltergeist infestation of your home."

"The Department of Homeland Security being notified that you are a probable terrorist suspect, and a swat team arriving at your door within an hour."

But I was nice and polite, showing patience to a neophyte in the cult of personal computing.

You know that we're going to war and things are not looking good when one or more of the following products suddenly appear, prominently displayed by the cash registers at your local pharmacy.

Sun block with an SPF of 15,000 fortified with lead that's guaranteed to block 99% of ultra violet and gamma rays

Atropine syringes in family 24 packs.

A fashionable assortment of gas masks and replacement filters.

Iodine tablets in the jumbo 1000 count bottles.

Radiation dosimeter kits.

Anthrax and Smallpox home testing kits.

Body bags in a convenient family pack. (one size fits all)

Guns and ammo.

Copies of "Survival for Dummies - In a Post Apocalyptic World"

Well anyway here's this week's lengthy early edition of articles and stuff from that worldwide cesspool of sin and dis-information, the web.

Friday February 7

The Bigboote's Area51
current terror alert status color is

Predicting New England weather is like predicting when, where and if the terrorists will strike next. The nation is once again at high alert for some sort of mayhem soon. Two days ago the Boston weather report for today was for a dusting to 2 inches in the Boston area and Northern burbs and 2 to 4 inches on the South shore. When I left for work at 5AM today there was already 2 inches in the ground. As the day dragged on the report was updated to 2 to 4 in Boston, 4 to 6 on the South shore, then 6 to 8 in Boston, 8 top 10 on South shore, and at lunch time the report was for 8 to 10 or 12 inches everywhere. My boss told us to leave if we felt like it at noon, so I took him up on his offer. My usual half hour commute home took over 2 hours.

I just got in from shoveling and measured 14 inches of undrifted new snow. There may be another storm coming Sunday and/or Monday; oh joy! I had no plans for this weekend anyway, not that I ever do have plans. I had toyed with the idea of getting into my grass skirt and jumping into a conga line at the Providence Civic Center tomorrow for a change of scenery, but after this storm doubt I'll be venturing very far over the weekend.

Friday February 14

For those of you who participate in the retail and Hallmark holiday of "Valentines Day", happy whatever it is people in love do on this day.

Last Saturday I did manage to get into Boston for a while, then met a Bigboote's Area51 visitor for coffee and dinner later in the day. He had sent me mail and found me interesting so wanted to get together to talk for a while. As close as I live to Everett (another Boston burb) I have never really driven through that town, which is where he lived. We had coffee at a little Italian coffee house that was filled with real Italians, watching sports on TV, playing cards and board games (no yuppies). How refreshing to be in a Starbucks free zone without cell phones toting young urban professionals, and the coffee was much cheaper and better to boot.

A bit later we walked along a strip near his house, which was lined with every sort of genuine ethnic storefront restaurant, none of the overpriced, pretentious, fancy yuppie crap. We both agreed on a Brazilian grille, which was very good, inexpensive, and filled with Brazilians and Portuguese. It reminded me of a lot of some of the places I ate when I visited Rio during my Navy daze.

After dinner I headed back home. He seemed like a pleasant and interesting guy, but I doubt I'll hear from him again. After one dose of me, people never usually return for a second. I don't know what it is but I either freak most people out or make them uncomfortable, and I don't even have to do or say anything. Doug from Chicago was one of the rare individuals who didn't change his address, phone number and name after meeting me.

Sunday I paid a short visit to Mom, then stopped by to visit Noel and Ellen for the afternoon. I met my new downstairs neighbors Sunday evening, a young professional couple who seem very nice. We have to get along as we have to shuffle cars in the driveway every day. That's the price I pay for living in an old (now desirable neighborhood and town) where the driveways of most of the two family homes are narrow and built for a maximum of 2 cars. Today there are anywhere from 3 to 10 cars attached to most of the 2 and 3 family homes in the area.

I've been seeing a lot of new material posted on some of the "End Times" web sites lately, Raptureready.com is one for example. it sounds like a lot of the born again crowd have their bags packed and are waiting on the platform for that Hallelujah train to rumble through, making it's last stop before Armageddon begins, leaving the rest of us Godless heathens who didn't vote Republican to fend for ourselves during the 7 years of Tribulation.

Since Dubya, Ashcroft, Falwell, Robertson and the Bush Cartel are all right wing born again Christians, God will do a last minute fly by, sweeping Dubya and his cronies to safety just before the swarms of disease infected locusts and scorpions, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, asteroid strikes, tidal waves, nukes, war, gasoline rationing, network TV Summer re-runs and mayhem are visited on mankind.

That figures, Bush will usher us into WWIII, then get immediate executive clemency from God himself just before the fun begins. The United State and free world will be left without leadership, spiritual guidance or adult supervision after America's dream team are evacuated during the Rapture, which may not be all that bad.

This week Washington issued a suggestion to Americans to stock up on water, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, toilet paper, clean underwear, body bags and caskets in response to the elevated security alert. At the same time powers around the world are probably stocking up on weapons of mass destruction as they dig deep holes to hide in. I never thought in my wildest nightmares, I'd be alive to hear the fat lady sing at the end of the last act. Pray that peace, justice and sanity are restored in the world!

Well another week draws to a close, and again, yup, no plans at all. It's been below zero all week with the wind chill, and the forecast for next week calls for scattered snow off and on and temperatures much the same as this week; will Winter EVER end! Check back some time in June.

Last night I made the mistake of tuning in to a new reality show on ABC, who's the biggest hottie in America. I've said it before, but reality shows are like driving by a bad accident, you don't want to look, but can't keep from looking anyway. So now the crew has scoured the country in search of gen-x'ers with what Madison Ave considers perfect bodies and faces, arrogant, full of themselves kids with huge egos, who think the world should genuflect before their mid-sections. I did get a kick out of the crushed looks on some of the contestants faces, after the judges deemed them "not hot". Hot is all relative anyway, it's in the eye of the beholder. The bottom line is age is the great equalizer, today's hotties are tomorrow's "geezers". With us "Baby Boomers" making up a big portion of the population, some network should produce a reality show, "who's the hottest geezer and geezerette" in America.

Our prez is really obsessed with Saddam. Hussein has been living "rent free" in the nation's head ever since Dubya lost interest in Osama. I was talking with some people about the current situation and many were just as confused as I am as to what the real facts are, and how much is spin. I wonder how genuine Osama's latest cassette is. The news talking heads say that it's a sort of last will, claiming that he'll go out in a blaze of glory as a martyr in the belly of the beast (Murca).

This gave me an idea for a parody, based on a twist of the Pepsi Twist commercials...

President Bush steps up to the podium to give a state of the war address to the American people. He's carrying a can of Pepsi.

"My fellow Americans (pulls the tab from the can), this is not a can of Pepsi, it's a bomb"

He reaches behind his head and pulls on a long zipper, "And I'm not your infidel dog president, I'm Osama Bin Laden."

Sorry, but I'm as tense and jittery as many other people in the world are right now, but had to lighten up somehow. Anyway, here is this week's rather plentiful selection of "this'n'that" articles I scavenged from around the web. There's a lot of very good alternative news, views and satire out there in cyber-space. I wonder how long it will be until the Internet is added to the cast of players in the Axis of Evil.

Saturday February 15

I've been adding a lot of links, especially to the Library page, so did a bit of remodeling, splitting the general political and world affairs links off to a Library Annex page. Area51 visitors still often ask where I find all these sites. It's easy, usually through a Google or other search and from the many blog and zine sites I visit.

The outdoor temperature this morning was minus 5 degrees, but I still decided to bundle up and head into Boston for a while. I spent most of my time wandering around Copley Place and the Prudential Plaza, stopping at Saint Francis Chapel in the Pru complex to pray and meditate for a bit. I ran into a stranger who came up to me "Ahhh friend of Bill", after he noticed the "Boston Roundup 1990" sweatshirt I was wearing under my jacket. It made for a pleasant 2 hour conversational respite from my usual solitude. After we went out separate ways, I didn't feel like hoofing around outside in the cold and was beginning to get hungry. Vinny's has been pretty disappointing the last few times I ate there and felt like trying a new place. Dick's Last Resort is below the Pru complex and had been around for a while, but I'd never dined there. It bills itself as a sleazy, high cholesterol dive serving buckets of grub.

I decided to have a late lunch at Dick's, and was glad I decided to try the place out. I ordered the "Oodles of Noodles" penne pasta with fresh mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, in garlic butter and parmesan. The lunch portion was $6.99 and I'd hate to see the dinner portion because the lunch size was as big as most places serve at dinner and was very good, served with a hot mini loaf of wheat bread. I also got their "wimpy" side salad, which was not wimpy at all. It's a loud non fancy place with long tables, friendly wait staff and classic rock playing in the background. It's too bad I can no longer eat seafood, since they have a lot of tempting sounding dishes with shrimp, scallops, lobster and crab, but they also have pork, chicken, steak, ribs and sandwiches. The menu was also a hoot, a restaurant/dive with a sense of humor. Dick's Last Resort will become a regular refueling stop when I'm in town in the future, good cheap eats that won't break the bank.

As I was driving home in traffic today, a Ford Expedition was next to me in traffic. A young yuppie woman was driving, drinking coffee, talking on her cell phone and freshening up her makeup all at the same time. As traffic began to move she wound up behind me, which didn't make me feel too secure as she almost rear ended me a few times, not looking where she was going. As soon as I could, pulled into the next lane and let her pass; let her be someone else's nightmare. It's a good thing I'm not a cop. I would have pulled her over, slapped the cup of coffee outta her mit, grabbed the cell phone, thrown in on the ground and stomped it to death, then written here a big fat ticket. I still don't get it how all these pretentious people feel the need to be on the phone 24x7; yes we all know how important you are!

Tuesday February 18

"The Blizzard of 2003,. a day that will live in infamy"

Well sigh! I agreed to meet another Area51 abductee town for coffee Sunday. He was also someone who was very anxious to meet me, originally saying he had no plans at all for the day or Monday (Presidents Day). We met at Au Bon Pain, and after about an hour remembered he was meeting friends later in the day (a polite way of him saying, why did I waste my time meeting this bozo). He did end by saying maybe he'd send an e-mail sometime. I'm beginning to feel I don't want to meet anyone else via Bigboote's Area51 or from any other online form of communications, it's all such a waste of time and energy.

Sunday night I watched the 90 minute Simpsons 3 episode special "The 300th episode" FOX kept breaking in with weather alerts for the "killer storm" that was creeping along the East coast. FOX does have a way of dramatizing any event to death, and I was waiting for the blizzard followed by attacks of swarms of killer bees and volcanic eruptions in the wake of the storm.

Monday I didn't do much for the holiday, had breakfast at a diner then returned home to curl up with "Affluenza", making my way through 100 pages. This book should be required reading for every American household. It hits the nail on the head regarding many of America's social ills.

I turned on the news, and for a change the weather was the leading story on every station, "no escape, possible record breaking snowfall expected." I called my boss at home and he told me that I'd probably be better off to take a personal day off. He wasn't planning on coming into the office, and didn't feel too many would venture in, depending on how bad the storm was.

I wasn't planning on watching the Michael Jackson expose but did watch the Dateline special about Jackson. I have to agree that his two albums "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" (both of which I have) were his absolute best works and it seems that professionally and mentally he's gone downhill. If anything, I feel bad for Michael, a small child trapped in a middle age man's body

I have never personally seen any rock performer who could pump out one "blockbuster" album after another. Even the Stones and Beatles got boring after a while. I feel that Thriller and Off the Wall are timeless pop masterpieces. Another much less well known group produced what I still feel is one of the best LP's of the 80's, Bronchi Beat's "Age of Consent" Jimmy Somerville's vocals are searing as well as moving, and the album covered a number of musical styles. I still listen to Age of Consent to this day and it still sounds fresh to these ears. When it was released there was some controversy, since the album has a gay theme, and I remembered that some record stores would not stock it when it came out around 1984.

I was up this morning at my usual 4:45AM, put coffee on and surfed the web. I looked out the window, but could not see any of the cars in the driveway. There was also a neck high 3 foot wide wall of snow at the end of the driveway from the many passes snow plows made during the night. At 8AM I suited up and headed outside, stepping into crotch high snow. I could see that clearing this mess out would be an all morning affair. Shortly after I began shoveling my downstairs neighbors joined me. The roofs of our cars were all that protruded from the drifted snow.

A total stranger worked his way up the sidewalk behind a snow blower. Smiling and motioning us away he cleared the sidewalk, lower driveway, then attached the chest high wall of snow, which he cleared most of away, then bidded us a good day and moved on, "who was that masked good Samaritan?"

We had pretty much cleared everything out by 10AM. I drove to a convenience store to pick up milk and cigs, then took a ride around town to assess the damage as I listened to WBZ radio, AM 1030. Today's blizzard of 2003 broke the snowfall record in Boston set by the Blizzard of 78, over 27 inches of snow fell during the past 24 hours and 2 to 4 more are expected tonight. What made the Blizzard of 78 a record holder was it's absolute ferocity, plus the fact it hung around for a few days.

I dropped by to visit Paul's family for a while. His sister was in the process of cooking a mountain of pancakes and invited me to join them. I spent the rest of the morning and part of this afternoon chatting with his folks.

Aarrrrggg! New England. It's been zero or below for the past few weeks; now they're predicting possible temperatures in the high 40's by the weekend and heavy rain. That's another thing that has sucked about this Winter, almost every single weekend has been stormy or too cold to go outside at all. We may be needing life boats and gondolas by next week.

Friday February 21

The temperature during the past 3 days has been in the high 40's, YAHOO! We're in foe heavy rain this weekend, then back into the deep freeze next week.

I had a real live date last week, that I didn't mention in the Flight Recorder, the first one I have had since the last pass of Haley's Comet. It was via a long forgotten personal ad I placed online over a year ago. From her e-mails I was told I seemed, witty, intelligent, honest and a "hottie" to boot. My ad contained a tasteful swimsuit pic in Speedo's, no mention of sex, lots of witty irreverent crap, vitals, interests and a link to Bigboote's Area51. We talked on the phone and she seemed very eager to meet for dinner. Well we met for coffee and after an hour she remembered that she had forgotten to floss the cat, rotate the tires on her house trailer, or some equally suspicious sounding excuse, considering her calendar was as empty as mine before we met.

Yesterday I decided to call to say I enjoyed our meeting and was wondering if she was free for a movie or dinner soon. She feigned a bout of amnesia, "who? I don't remember meeting you" until the dim bulb came on, "OH YOU! well uhhhh, why did you call? I didn't find you attractive in the least, actually I found you downright ugly, and weird to boot. We have nothing in common, and you're not my type at all. Please don't call again <CLICK>

I was crushed! I will never feel comfortable now applying for a contestant spot on America's Hotties Hottie TV show. I never put much faith in e-mail order brides, friends or social opportunities anyway. The bottom line was the date was a total disaster for me, and I'll update my resume for entry into a monastery.

I watched the new Twilight Zone on UPN on Wednesday and really liked what they had done on updating two classic episodes from the original series. I really liked the remake of "The Monsters are due on Maple Street", but instead of aliens messing with the heads of the neighbors in a residential area, it was a military operation to see how the average American hood would react to domestic acts of terrorism.

Yesterday I borrowed "The Bourne Identity", starring Matt Damon from the cafe at work. I enjoy spook and James Bond type flicks a lot. Bourne was a really good high energy movie where Damon is a programmed CIA assassin, who botched a hit on a Third World despot, and has lost his memory. The movie is one of those "everyone's trying to 86 the hero including the CIA" as he dodges around Europe with a woman he met on the run. Boy meets girl, girl reluctantly joins boy on the run, boy's memory gradually returns, etc. I think I'll watch it again this weekend.

Driving home from work today I had to stop at the bank in Lexington (pretentious upscale town) and passed a house with a Jag, Benz, mammoth SUV, and two matching Hummers in the driveway, an easy quarter million bucks worth of gas guzzling iron on display, "we are important! our cars are worth more than the GDP of the banana republic you came from." All they needed was a landing strip and private jet parked by the house to complete the image of importance. Just the day I forgot to take my shoulder mounted rocket launcher to work, "WHHOOOOSHH! BABOOM!" the need for an additional 25,000 barrels of oil per year has been eliminated!

While standing in the supermarket checkout line today I caught up on all the "real" news in the tabloids, "Jesus's face seen in space shuttle explosion, reveals date of apocalypse", "Alien UFO abductions at an all time high", "Michael Jackson....blah, blah, blah, Jacko, blah, blah, blah."

As usual, no plans since Bob and Warren left the area. I may just catch the water shuttle to the Providence Civic Center tomorrow and try to squeeze into a conga line. Here is this week's, "straight from the horse's mouth, God awful Gospel truth" news items gathered up from that terrorist cesspit, the Internet.

Sunday February 23

I did fly the hovercraft down to Providence to do the Conga, Rumba, Samba and whatever other dances I could squeeze in at the Civic Center. I'm begining to doubt if I want to take any more trips there, even though it offers a temporary perv....Uhh I mean diversion from reality. Everyone I asked to dance agreed but not before they powdered their noses, or some other reality altering preparation. I opted out in all cases, my dance card did not get stamped once; well a few times, but just for a few practice steps. I don't deal well with dancing stoners.

The ride home was slow, due to the torrential downpour, which continued through the night and most most of today. If this were snow, we'd be needing sled dog teams to get around by now.

Since it was a miserable day, it was a good day to clench my teeth, take 10 deep breaths and visit mama. She's still in a lot of pain, but only acts up when I'm there alone. If an aunt, cousin of one of her friends is there, she's all sweetness and light, or at least neutral. Once I'm alone with her, all she talks about is wanting to die, the pain, what a cesspool the world is, beseeching God to end the world (Bush, Ashcroft, and all the other world religious extremists are working overtime to make her dream come true). After an hour I was crawling on all fours, so it was time to leave. I had called Noel and Ellen before leaving the house, and remembered to bring along the big shopping bag full of movies and CD's I didn't want any more for their town library's Spring book fair. I'd rather donate the media than sell it to a used record and movie store, so I can bet a buck for each tape of CD, then have them turn around and sell them for $7 to $12.

We talked about aging parents, politics, movies and books over coffee until they had to leave to visit Noel's mom in the nursing home. I took the back roads through Carlisle, Bedford (Beffa) and Lexington (all towns that pretentious yuppies have fully colonized), stopping at Mario's for dinner. Mario's is a very reasonably priced (strange for Lexington) noisy storefront Italian eatery that's always usually packed around feeding time. Lasagna with meat sauce, garden salad and large Pepsi were around $10.

After eating I walked around Lexington center in the rain, paying homage to the Minuteman's cosmic butt. When Doug visited from Chicago we made a trip to Lexington and he got to see the tush of one of our early freedom fighters.

When my friend Paul was alive, every time we drove by the commons, he always made remarks about the bronze statue that stands guard, "awww c'mon a fag had to have sculpted the minuteman." I asked why he thought that was the case, "just look at the attention paid to catching the contour of his tush and body. Michaelangelo was gay you know!" Well he had a point there. When I was in the Navy, there was a lot of semi-erotic male art in Greece and Italy. I forget if it was Greece or Italy (Italy I think) where one of the coins had a picture of a very muscular naked male figure with the most perfect bum. Hmmm, makes one wonder!

I stopped at the Booksmith to browse before returning home. Both Time and Newsweek have feature articles on the effect of fear and stress on the human body, in our post 9-11 world. Everyone is subconsciously in a "level orange" mental state of uneasiness. The big drug companies must love this, it's good for business! Here's an Area51 conspiracy theory, 9-11 was brought about by all the pharmaceutical, alcohol and tobacco companies petitioning the secret gummint to create some disaster that would drive the masses to seek some form of chemically induced escape and therefore increase consumption and revenues.

Another desolate weekend ended. Since Bob and Warren left the area, my phone does not ring at all. At times I wonder why I even have a phone, but for now that's how I access the Internet. Much colder weather returns tonight for the week, and they're already predicting another possible major storm for next weekend. Now I know there's some sort of conspiracy, weekend after weekend after weekend, it rains, snows or is too cold for man or beast to venture outside.

Friday February 28

The world situation is getting wackier by the minute, "general get those nuclear tipped birds in the air, mankind has gone way beyond it's sell by date."

I watched "Dead Zone", based on the Stephen King novel this week. Don't ask me why, but the Greg Stilson character, played by Martin Sheen reminded me of our current commander in thief. I also watched "Doctor Strangelove" and "The President's Analyst" to help get me in the mood for all this black comedy, which has become reality.

Saddam has challenged Dubya to a debate. Sorry, but I just had visions of them being on "Family Feud" or "Judge Judy"

I watched "Dirty Bomb" on PBS's Nova Wednesday night. It was interesting, but I wonder about the wisdom of showing the show. It was like a "Making Dirty Bombs for Dummies" How To video; where to get nuclear material that is not closely guarded and where to place them to induce the biggest fear factor, etc. This was like one news program I watched shortly after 9-11, which discussed what would have happened if terrorists had set off a fire or explosion at certain locations.

I can see it now, Omar and Akbar, two terrorists are sitting in a cave arguing

Omar "Akbar, what's on American TV tonight?"

Akbar "Oooh PBS is showing Dirty Bomb on Nova"

Omar "This time remember to put a tape in the VCR so we can tape it for later showing at training camp"

Akbar "I did tape the last American news program that showed how to make chemical weapons from common household products."

Omar "But you taped over it, with that infidel American program, America's Funniest Home Videos."

Akbar "But Saddam ordered me to tape Funniest Home Videos or else he'd gouge my eyes out, and I forgot to put a new tape in the VCR."

Omar "Saddam ENJOYS, America's Funniest Home Videos!!"

Akbar "Yes he loves watching people falling off roofs, getting hit in the crotch with baseballs, slamming into trees, and falling into toilets; seeing people get hurt, almost as much as the American's who watch it every week. Saddam also enjoys watching Fear Factor. It gives him new ideas for torturing prisoners"

Omar "Don't forget to set the timer to record Saturday Night Live and MAD TV this weekend. I want to see what the Americans are saying about us."

Here's this week's empty artillery shell full of news items and such the Area51 inspection team found hidden around the web. This concludes the February 2003 Flight Recorder.

Shalom, Ray