May 2002 - Double Nickels
RayzRealm (c) May ,2002
In the end old age and treachery will win out over youth, beauty and idealism.
Friday May 3
You may be wondering, why the May header of Double Nickels? Well, this month my personal odometer turns over to 55, somewhere between old age and death. My age alone entitles me to one last free dinner of my choice followed by a visit to Dr. Jack's down home euthanasia hut. If you've ever seen "Logan's Run" or read Kurt Vonnegut's "Welcome to the Monkey House" you'll get my drift..
Most people who's paths I cross usually place me at around 10-15 years younger than I am (how sweet or blind of them), but when I look in a mirror, I see an old banged up Edsel, full of squeaks and rattles. When they find out how old I really am, they usually run for the hills, or to call an EMT.
I'm like an old MG I once owned, a real looker on the outside, royal blue with tan leather interior. Getting into that car was like pulling on old faded pair of skin tight Levi's, all fluffed up with rolled up socks. It was a real babe and...ahem, boi magnet. Only I knew, on the inside it should have been sent to the crusher years earlier. It was like C. Montgomery Burns on the inside. Only me and my dwindling checking account knew the truth about this aging money pit of a car.
Even my doctor says that I have the body of a 30 year old. So far I have been lucky in that department. When I wake up in the morning my body reminds me that I am not 30. Each year I quietly genuflect before Father Time, for completing one more full orbit around old Sol. I am becoming more aware of my slowly decaying orbit, and at some time, hopefully I'll burn up quickly.
Although my birthday isn't until later this month, I take a 30" waist, 32" leg Levi 501, could use a new leather bomber jacket, a nice new 2.2 GHZ P4 with about a 100 GIG hard drive, GIG of RAM, 64 MEG video, DVD and CD Burner, high end audio card, nic card and 19 to 21" flat screen monitor. And oh yeah, Moby's new CD, the first 5 seasons of the X-Files and the second season of The Simpsons on DVD. I'll actually settle for just staying employed and keeping my current state of health.
This week has been one giant whirlwind of activity at work. Most all of the server migration is done. Just when I thought my plate was empty, it has been refilled with a10 course meal of new projects; of course all equally hot. During my 20 plus years of whipping up solutions for finance and accounting, I gained a reputation of being the golden goose who always managed to lay golden eggs ahead of schedule. I may not be the sort of person that your average bean counter would be caught dead going out for a drink with (and the feeling is mutual) but they come to me for some quick solution that will win them praise and glory whenever they get in a bind to meet some deadline that was due a month ago. I'll know my goose will be cooked and it will be time to look for something else to kill time with when my mind stops churning out ideas at a few giga-hertz and I stop laying golden eggs on demand. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my work and at times even amaze myself with some of the clever programming tricks I am able to pull off. At the end of a work day, construction workers go home exhausted, knowing they have put in a good day's work filled with aches and pains. When I return home at night I know I have put in a good day's work. My brain hurts and the most demanding thing I'm capable of doing is deciding on TV or reading after dinner.
And now here are a few more articles I have lifted from my weekly zine surfing. The idle rich have too much time on their hands, read about The Gumball 3000 Rally in this article from Salon. I have only been in a Wal-Mart twice and have never bought anything there. From all I have read about the company, they are not the sort of place I want to spend my money. From AlterNet, How Wal-Mart is remaking our world. I found this article from AlterNet rather interesting, Kissing Jesus addresses the low key eroticism of the Catholic faith. And lastly, when I was growing up, dysfunctional families were not discussed. Everyone believed we all lived in "Father Knows Best" families, because we were Americans. Truth is stranger than fiction, Crazy For Dysfunction was in this week's Salon. Another weekend, and all undressed with nowhere to go.
Saturday May 4
Last night I ran my usual Friday errands; drew $160 from ATM, grocery shopped, stopped at CVS since I was out of shampoo, tooth paste, mouth wash, razors, shave cream and cigarettes, then picked up some fruit and veggies at the farm stand. I got my head shaved at Super Cuts, and got gas on the way home. By the time I was finished I had $70 left, geeesh! What sort of groceries did I buy, nothing special; laundry detergent, bread, milk, OJ, cheese, some baked ham from the deli counter, yogurt, peanut butter, half-and-half, English muffins, soup and a box of Cheerios. Thank goodness I drive a Toyota Corolla 5 speed. I get gas once a week and it is now costing about $13 to fill the tank. It's pretty scary when I take $160 out of the ATM and by next Friday I'll be down to pocket change. My idea of dining out is getting the early bird specials for $10 or less at places like Vinnys, Temple bar or Clerys. All of them have very good food, but I would not venture into dinner during peak time, then prices double. The elderly have the right idea, eat early pay cheap!
I had agreed on Friday to meet a guy I met through a coworker for lunch in Boston. We've met a few times in town for coffee, lunch and just to walk around in Boston. He is yet another IT professional cubicle drone who has gotten chewed up and spat out in the never-ending quest of corporate downsizing. It seems funny, but the profits of the financial greed mill he slaved for are through the roof. I never aspired to be a corporate "suit", but I assume the ultimate goal is to downsize all non executive staff, leaving only the graduates of the "Peter Principal University" earning any sort of income.
It was a truly splendid day, clear sky, warm, with low humidity. We met at Au Bon Pain, then walked through the Back Bay, stopping and here there to window shop. I have been hearing this new single by Moby, "We are all made of stars" on the radio and in record stores, but the album is not out yet. The DJ in my head keeps playing this single, so I picked up an import CD single of it, along with an older Moby CD.
I knew I was going to be in trouble today, since my back has been acting up again. The neuropathy in my feet and the toothache like pain in my lower back caused me to call it quits, bid farewell to Paul and head home shortly after 3PM.
I began working on a test version of an alternative entry page to the Area51 Flight recorder. When I cold not sit up any longer, decided to lay in bed, read more of "Downsize This" and watch 3 episodes of the PBS mini-series where 21st century yuppies try to live like prairie settlers from the 1880's, in period dress, and amenities, no internet, no cell phones and no SUV's.
Sunday May 5
When I woke up my back didn't seem to be bothering me very much. It was too nice a day to stay in, so decided to take a ride into Harvard Square for the day.
As tooled down Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, I was waiting for a light to change. On one side of me was a Mercedes Benz SUV, driven by some nose up debutante on her cell phone. To my right was a scruffy looking biker dude and his old lady on a chopped Harley hog. BBBRMMMM BRRMMM, THUMA THUMPA! BBRRRMM! I could feel every piston stroke of his bike. Ahhh, but what made it a MasterCard Moment (truly priceless) was the look of extreme pain and annoyance on Ms. Entitlement's face. If only I could perform a Vulcan mind meld with her.
"oh why must fate cast me in the path of such cretins"
Anything that causes annoyance, inconvenience and pain to the elite and privileged can't be all bad. If the rest of us get lucky and the super rich and snooty get irritated enough, they'll take all their money and build a huge Mercedes Benz space ship, and move off to another colonize another planet, perhaps Uranus. After they stake their claim of ownership, they can then call it MyAnus.
I found a parking spot in front of Temple Bar, and decided to walk the last 6 blocks into the square. I had totally forgotten that today was "May Fair", a giant block party where the core of Harvard Square is blocked to traffic, and the streets are filled with crafts and ethnic food booths and street bands of every stripe play. Some of the rock, jazz and blues bands that play in Harvard Square can create much better music than almost all of the drivel that the major entertainment/media empires dump on the masses as "Hot 100" hits. The vocals actually were very listenable and did not sound like people with bipolar disorder who forgot to take their meds, or political prisoners being tortured with electricity in a Latin American prison.
I enjoy rock music played in a typical rock ensemble; lead, rhythm and bass guitars, drums, keyboard and maybe a sax for good measure; no drum machines or digitally tampered with human voices.
I stopped and sampled some Indian and Thai food at a couple of booths. It appeared that most of the World was represented at the street fair's booths, but that's Politically Correct Cambridge for you. I held the line with Indian and Thai. Some other booths had goat and eye of newt.
I sat in Au Bon Pain's sidewalk cafe and had a bucket of iced coffee after nibbling. Such a beautiful day, just vegging out and watching the mass of humanity push, shove and honk their way around the square. I saw an "OMIGOD" Ford Expedition SUV drive by with monster truck tires and a blower sticking up from under the hood, which made a racket as it crawled along in traffic. Saints preserve us! supercharged nitro funny yuppie trucks, now I've seen everything. The outlaw bikers on Harley's I can easily take, yuppie spawn in soup'd up Land Titanics is another matter.
I stopped by Harvard Bookstore to browse and picked up a copy of "Everything You Know Is Wrong", The Disinformation Guide to Secrets and Lies. I read the first book from Disinfo, "You Are Being Lied to" and enjoyed it a lot. You can also visit their web site, Disinfo.com. Doug, if you're out there reading this, you'd enjoy this book and web site. I also wanted to pick up a copy of "The Simpsons and Philosophy - The D'OH of Homer", but I have spent enough for this weekend.
I would have liked to spend the entire day in the square, but my back and legs began acting up again. I will close this log for today, but before I go, here's a link to the "Not Quite Ready for Prime Time"journals parallel universe, Area51 Blogs. Good, night, sleep tight and don't let the Republicans bite.
Tuesday May 7
I figured I'd jot a few lines down before my usual Friday and Weekend rants. I found a few interesting links and articles during my early (around 6AM) daily online news runs. A coworker sent me this very funny Shockwave Flash animation about the Al Qaeda. Submitted for your entertainment is the Al Qaeda Recruiting Manual. You need Flash to view this.
Online spam companies and their programmers should have their fingernails yanked out with rusty gas pliers. This article from Salon, Pop-up Ad Campaign From Hell was an eye opener. I found this last one while browsing daily posts from Drudge.com. Of all things, Bible believing Christians for the Legalization of Pot! I already have a link to this site on the Area51 Infirmary page, and saw it mentioned on one of the alternative news sites. It's still worth noting here. HIV/AIDS drugs may be far more harmful than HIV itself, which I'm sure the PC crowd will scream to high Heaven to have squelched. The Alive and Well site carries a lot of alternative information regarding HIV and it's treatment.
I'm in the process of digging up old half backed rough drafts for ideas I had for books. If depression or indifference don't get me first, hopefully one of these three e-books will see the light of day.
Friday May 10
Once in a while, buried among all the spam e-mails promising me a bigger penis, bank account, pecs or bigger hair, I get a real personal mail message. Usually it's an eagerly awaited nugget from Doug in Thailand, but this past week I received two e-mails from total strangers, telling me they happened upon my web site and found themselves visiting it again and again. They also said that after reading some of my rants, they felt as if I was reading their minds.With around 6-7 billion people on the planet, there's bound to be one or two as twisted as I am. Doug was one of those one in a billion that I hit it off with immediately. One problem is that most all of these folks live on one of the moons of Jupiter or some distant star system. Why can't someone who wants to meet me live less than a tank of gas away? I'm glad that a handful of folks are amused, entertained and enlightened by my little rest stop on the Infobahn.
Here are a couple of articles I marked during the week. I found this one on the Spleen, I Am The Cancer That's Killing Our Cities. The cancer in this case is the rampant yuppyfication that is pricing the majority of mere mortals out of existence.
Thank goodness I weaned myself from the brief infatuation I had with that harlot of the internet, Chat Rooms. I swear, no matter what subject, the denizens always steer the topic toward penis, booby, butt and pec size, how many weeks without food they can go in non-stop fucking marathons, how many orgasms they are capable of, and of course everyone in chat rooms have buff, gym toned bodies and are 30 or under. I will drop in once in a while for a maximum (that's all I can stand) of about 10 minutes, grit my teeth and log out. Geeeezzzzzuuusss people, get a life, get a blow-up doll, rent some pornos or call the Samaritans. I found this article on the "One Brick Short" site, The Atomic Chat Room. After reading it, I just had to place a link to it here. Warren, I hope you're reading this.
Saturday May 11
I'm in house cleaning mode at the moment, weeding out books, CD's, video's, excess electronic gadgetry and chatzkah that I know I'll never use again. My late close friend and partner in crime Paul was a pack rat, and after he dyed, I invited his family to come over for a feeding frenzy of picking through the excess material stuff that filled our apartment.
The last time I cleaned house was around 1985 and 1990, two periods that I call "the great purge". This was when I downsized my material dead weight by about 90%. In July of 1985 I was told I had 2-3 years to live at best, so decided to dump the Bigboote legacy at the Salvation Army collection center, in the trash, off any convenient bridge, selling the rest.When Paul and I decided to move in together, I was living (in his words) a monk's existence. He admitted to envying my austere lifestyle, but I told him there was nothing to envy, I had just decided to travel light. I don't own property, have very few friends, and since Paul's passing, can count the number of sentient carbon based life forms that have entered my living space on one hand, so there is little need to keep a lot of stuff around.
I have the essentials, a comfy platform bed, 3 comfy chairs, my desk, computer and office stuff, 27" Sony TV, VCR, DVD, aging but high quality audio system. Then there's my books, CD's and video library, and the usual baggage; kitchen stuff, clothes, pictures, etc. I have a 34 year old Nikkormat FTN and lenses that I have not used in close to 6 years, so decided to try and sell them.
I left the house earlier than usual today, about 8AM to stop at a camera shop in Harvard Square, camera bag in hand. The appraiser looked over my equipment and made me an offer of $100, which was fine with me. They deal on new and used cameras and I have a hunch they'll get $300-400 for the lot. The appraiser told me the camera looked like it was hardly ever used. I assured her, it saw a lot of heavy usage during it's first 20 years. I had purchased it new while I was in the Navy, while on leave in Tokyo, Japan. I told the woman I had not taken a single picture in over 5 years, so felt no need to hang onto my old camera any longer. I left the camera shop with s little spending money, feeling a bit lighter.
The weather today was absolutely marvelous, a good day for wandering aimlessly in Boston. After a leisurely bucket of iced coffee and scone at Au Bon Pain, walked over to the Fenway and laid out in the sun under the Vietnam War Memorial. A few weeks ago there was no sign of vegetation, but today the reeds that dominate the Fens, are almost waist high already.
The Fenway reeds have long sheltered a lot of illicit activity, gay sex, straight sex, drugs, homeless loitering, but are most notorious for the naughty carnal activities that take place year round. The gardens and reeds have also been where numerous muggings and murders have taken place over the years. I lived in the Fenway neighborhood for a year back in 1981, when it was dominated by gays, blacks and students. I remember a dozen or more murders of alleged homosexuals in the hood that Summer. Today there is still a visible gay presence, and there are definitely a zillion college kids, but yuppies have moved in like a plague of locusts...."oooooh Biff, how desirable."
While I was sunning an acquaintance stopped to chat. I used to know him from my dance hall daze, when we both shared a love of (not quite ready for the top 40 unwashed masses) high energy import singles. He still spins on occasion but said that the music today is totally abysmal; it all sounds the same, totally synthetic and too fast to dance to. We talked for a while, and he also began talking about his increased awareness that everyone has been replaced by "pod people" as he called them; angry, pissed off, apathetic, dumb as stumps, naive and drugged out. He then said he's been having this strong feeling lately that we're in for something very big, and soon. I asked what he thought might be coming our way, "I don't know, but it's not good, more attacks, nuclear or civil war." I thought to myself, 'hmmm, him too.'
After he left, I got up and walked back toward Mass Ave. You can tell that Spring has sprung, the bush bunnies are out in abundance, scurrying around in the thickening undergrowth. And the tribally tattooed and buff boys are once again taking their gym pumped nipples out for an airing. Yes Summer is coming to Boston.
The well washed, coifed and primped human masses were crammed along Newbury Street today, most on their cell phones (Omigod! the pod people), all with blank or pouty faces. All of the trendy sidewalk cafes were full. Then I realized where I'd seen masses of people who looked like this, in the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". I was almost waiting for someone to stand up and point an accusing finger at me and let out a blood curdling shriek, such as Donald Sutherland did at the of Bodysnatchers.
I was surprised that Vinnys was not packed, although there were no empty tables in the sidewalk cafe part of the restaurant. After lunch, walked through the Back Bay and over to the South End, where all the cafes along the trendy stretch of Tremont were also filled to overflowing. My feet and back were beginning to act up so it was time to head back to the ranch. What should a lonely old wart covered hermit do on a Saturday night? Maybe I'll pull out my copy of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and watch it again.
Sunday May 12
Today is Mother's Day, or to quote my late friend Paul, "just another Hallmark holiday, and another reason for retailers to make more money." My mother insisted that I NOT get her anything at all. We all know that this is a codified way of saying, "you little ingrate, you had better surprise me with something special on my day." When my sister was alive she once said that one of these years she would not get mom anything, then just see who would be in the dog house for the following year. I sometimes wonder if when women get pregnant, they attend secret training sessions on instilling guilt and shame in their offspring.
I stopped at a garden shop and picked up a hanging plant to bring with me today. One year I bought her a beautiful miniature Banzai tree, her response, "oooh isn't that different, so pretty." When I visited her a few weeks later the tree appeared as if it had been at ground zero during nuclear tests or was sprayed with agent orange. It's pretty difficult to kill a Banzai, especially in less than a month, but mom did it. Anyway, since than I either get her a disposable plant for her balcony or sugar free chocolates.
I try not to get her mushy, sentimental mother's day cards with pictures of angels, Jesus, kittens or puppies. The sentiment has never been there for me. I did find a funny and irreverent card, "Dinosaur Moms". Junior is about to put a caveman in his mouth. Mom looming over him, "Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been." Junior replies, "in a cave, Mom." Mom gets the last word, "Don't get smart with me!" This just about sums up most of my interactions with mom on one little card. SO to all you "mothers" out there, Happy Mother's Day.
Friday May 17
I've been very busy at work and equally depressed and feeling blase in my personal life. As I said in an earlier journal, at times as insane as work can get, it keeps me sane, or at least keeps my brain running at 90% capacity.
I also got a couple of hot fire drill projects pretty much wrapped up (at least for now), using some slick SQL programming. As an old programming mentor told me 15 years ago, once you get proficient in 1-2 languages, learning new ones will fall into place after the initial pain of the learning curve.
Since it's introduction I was a Netscape devotee. I've reassessed my opinion and now think it's a piece of caca. The code I'm writing works well on Opera, and almost perfectly on Explorer, but on Netscape it craps out, or at best acts flaky. At home I use Netscape almost exclusively for surfing some web sites, as it loads pages 5-10 times faster than Explorer, but almost always manages to crash, and I find myself waiting an extra ....seconds for Explorer to load the same pages.
I don't know why so many people are in a state of shock over the news that the gummint may have known that 9-11 was in our future. I have never trusted politicians or other people in high and mighty places to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I still have a deep feeling that we're in for something big and unpleasant here in America.
While the entire 9-11 event put me in a state of shock, I'm not surprised that something like this didn't happen sooner. The US stands for everything that's best and worst in society. Since the Reagan greed soaked 80's, the rich have waged and all out war on the rest of us rent poor working stiffs, it was only a matter of time until someone, somewhere struck back in whatever twisted way they felt would make a statement.
I would not want to be in the shoes of gummint officials who have to make threat assessments public. I can't begin to imagine the incalculable volumes of data that intelligence agencies have to sift through that pour in from various channels. What constitutes a real and reliable threat and what is rumor, hearsay and misinformation supplied by the terrorist players as a smoke screen. It's enough to keep one awake at night.
And now for this week's hand picked articles from around the web. From Salon comes, The Dating Meat Market, or meating your match in high tech times. With all the witch hunting going on in the church, Salon had this article, A Priest On His Knees, sorry if anyone finds this offending. And from Shut Up I'm Talking, the last article for today, Snake Oil for a bit of voodoo economics.
Sunday May 19
Yesterday was a bit strange. I called Bob Friday night and he was not planning to do anything, so I drove up to visit him in Pelham, NH. When I Left my apartment it was around 60 degrees and had been pouring all night. As I crossed Route 128 the temperature began to drop fast and according to the outside thermometer in my car it was not 40 degrees. The rain quickly changed to heavy snow. On May 18th it is snowing!!! When I reached Bob's the temperature was hovering around 36-37.
We sat over coffee discussing programming, then headed over to the Mall. My mother's birthday is coming up soon, so I wanted to get her a new radio to replace the one I gave her back in 1979, that finally crapped out. It didn't have to be anything fancy, since all she listens to is AM talk show radio shows.
I bought the last one at Radio Shack, so figured that would be a good place to look for a similar one. From 1971 to 1975 I worked part time at the Radio Shack store in Lowell, Mass. I got into a discussion with the manager and assistant manager about how much Radio Shack has changed since I worked there. Today they mostly sell other manufacturer's products. I used to make some pretty good money (sure beat the minimum wage sales pay) doing repairs in the store, plus got along very well with the store manager. We used to go out for Chinese food and beers after work on a regular basis.
The assistant manager asked when I worked for the store, replying from 1971 to 1975 in the Lowell store. He replied, "hey so did I". I told him I was only working part time as I was in college at Lowell Tech. He replied, "wow, so was I." This was pretty weird, we both worked for Radio Shack and attended the same college at the same time, and could barely remember one another. We both realized that we had worked different schedules, so any meetings we had were merely in passing.
After we chatted some more, I picked up a radio that looked almost exactly like the one I bought Mom over 20 years ago, but this one was about 1/3 the price of the old one. That being done, neither Bob not I felt like hanging out in the mall, so drove over to the supermarket because Bob had not done any food shopping.
The weather was clearing up and the temps had climbed back in the low 50's, still cool for this time in May. We cooked steaks on the grille, mixed veggies in garlic and angel hair pasta, then spent the evening in the usual meandering conversation until I had to head for home at 10PM.
Mad TV had a great skit about SUV driving soccer mom's. They certainly hit the nail on the head. Buffy had hit a pedestrian and dragged her 3 miles. Cop is questioning yuppie princess and woman she ran over is apologizing, "it was all my fault. She couldn't help it officer, she was talking on her cell phone while driving, so how could she see me waving my arms frantically. At the end of the skit soccer mom looks at the other woman, "I hope you're happy, you made me late for my Yoga class." Just about sums it up!
This morning I took a ride into Boston to walk around for the day. The bush bunnies were hopping around in the Fenway, despite all the mud and puddles, the Rod Slobs were playing at Fenway Park, the yuppies were on their cell phones and driving their Trendias through the streets, Vice President Cheney was on the news warning us that the terrorists "will" attack the US again and God was in his Heaven; just another day in Paradise.
I picked up a copy of the new Moby album, "18", at Newbury Comics, then took a leisurely stroll along Satan's promenade, watching all the pretentious and self important, college kids and Goth street kids mingle. As I passed Starbucks, saw a scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting (if he were alive today anyway). Seated at a cafe table were two turned up nosed young professionals, he and she sitting across from one another, each on their cell phones, while both typed away at separate notebook computers in front of their latte's.
After a late lunch at Clerys, I'm back here at the ranch. Another quiet night, play my new CD, read some more from "Everything You Know Is Wrong" and catch the season finale of the Simpsons.
At least this week the 30 plus e-mail spams I receive are not promising a larger and more potent penis. This week's crop is aimed at playing on insecurities about being bulbously FAT or having an imperfect blemished complexion. "Lost that "unsightly" fat now! with this totally safe and natural formula, blah blah, yadda, yadda. Sorry you e-mail spammer slimes, fat is one of the few tings I have never had to worry about, nor an undersized John Thomas, so will you sleazeballs please loop all that crappola mail back on yourselves and choke to death.
Monday May 20
I laid back and relaxed to listen to Moby's new album. I liked it a lot; it's unusual and hard to categorize, but I would group it in my library along with Zero 7's, "Simple Things", Moodswings, "Mood Food" and One AD. If you're interested visit Moby's Web Site.
I had not intended to watch the season finale's on FOX last night, but got a real hoot out of the Simpsons season finale, and since it was time shifted to an earlier slot, the X-Files two hour "Series" finale. After 9 years of following the series I wanted to see if Chris Carter would finally bring closure to a lot of the X-Files mythology. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have aged (or matured) slightly since the X-Files began back in 1993. They both looked like kids when the series opened.
The show did answer some of my lingering questions, but it was obvious Carter has left the saga open to one or more movies. Overall it was well worth watching for me. I had long suspected that Fox Mulder was really Smoking Man's son (shades of Star Wars), and is CSM really dead this time, even through we saw him get incinerated. And what about Scully's miracle baby, which was given up for adoption, and the mind reading child prodigy?
I was recently questioned on a subject I have always dreaded and that has haunted me since I was 5 years old, a couple of quirks and tics I have. I knew exactly what the subject was going to be when someone took me aside to ask me a question. It has long been one reason I remain aloof and standoffish in crowds. Yes, I have some minor (or major) flaws, in an age of zero tolerance of imperfection. That's all I'll say here, but it bears mentioning. Each time the topic arises, I retreat further and further back into my cave. At times I feel very defective, but then everyone has their defects, and I admit to being full of software bugs.
Wednesday May 22
Things have been busy, as well as weird at work, but then in these trying times everything is getting a bit weird. Life is getting like a rerun of Dr. Strangelove. I'm feeling more and more that Dubya and his band or merry men will get us into a bout of nuclear fisticuffs with someone. It was bad enough I grew up during the 50's through 60's when duck-and-cover drills were as regular an occurrence as suicide bombings in Israel. At least I have a lot of prior conditioning and training for kissing my ass good-bye in case of surprise nuclear attack
I got a long e-mail from Doug in Thailand today, which I replied to after reading through it twice. If I were independently wealthy, retired or able to be on disability, I'd probably be getting my mug shot taken for a passport quicker than you can say, "Afghan Pipeline".
I found a couple of interesting articles this week, which I will list here. I found the Serendipity site while surfing an alternative news zine. It has lots of interesting material on Geopolitics, Drugs, Sex, Religion and much more. Speaking of sex, Salon had a thought provoking piece, The Ultimate Weapon. This sex scandal thing is getting way out of hand and I have always suspected that some, if not many of the claims by alleged victims are untrue. Lastly for this hump day from Alternet comes Doomsday Mongering talks about the doomsday, nuclear hysteria that's all the rage today. Remember what Bert the Turtle always said, "Duck, and cover, Duck, and cover"
Thursday May 23
Yeah, I made it, today I turned "55", despite what the experts told me back in 1985, that I would buy the farm in 2-3 years max! Expert opinions change like the weather, each one claiming to come from the mouth of God himself, or a horse's rear end. I took them at face value, so never planned for my retirement until about 7-8 years ago. If I lost my job tomorrow or became fully disabled, I could live off my life savings for a year or two, provided my diet consisted of Little Friskies, Saltines and peanut butter, and I was willing to recycle toilet paper. Of course before the Reagan Voodoo economic era of "greed is good", my paltry life savings "could" have carried me a lot further. Here I sit today with no Condo, no BMW and no MBA.
Of course "experts" come in many styles, and it was not that long ago that certain industry gurus proclaimed that the personal computer would never be a serious computing tool, 1 MEG RAM chips were right out of Star Wars and semiconductor lithography could never cross the 1 micron threshold. We now commonly have desktop machines that make the "super computers" of the 70's looks like Commodore 64's.
Today we have military and political x-perts who claim that from now until Jesus returns on his white horse, two six-guns blasting, we will be engaged in an eternal war on terror. If world leaders piss each other off bad enough, and exchange enough weapons of mass destruction, the most terrible war mankind (or what's left of it) will be fighting in the future will be with large rocks and pointed sticks.
There seems to be a growing number of people who ask, "why in these times are SUV's and their Titanic full size sedan cousins more popular than ever". Alternet had this (to me anyway) interesting article, Size Does Matter, and this time we're not talking about penis, pectoral or boob dimensions.
In closing my B'Day entry, here's one for all you X-Philes and conspiracy buffs. I spent some time last night exploring Serendipity site I mentioned in the May 22 entry. There are a lot of thought provoking (or just plain X-Files fun) articles in there. Well everyone can breathe easy, nothing is anyone's fault and we are just all pawns of alien tinkering, The Gods Of Eden is worth a read, heh heh! Well it's time to live it up. I'll splurge on my birthday and enjoy a can of 9 Lives "Gourmet" meat byproduct medley, with a little candle inserted in it.
Flip the May Flight Recorder tape over, continued on Side (B)