Tuesday, December 30, 2003

We shouldn't be doing this

The other day at work, I ran into our specialty team leader in front of my seafood case. His name is Jeremy and he always calls me "Jefe' (pronounced "hay-fay") and I called him "Ron Jeremy."

He says, " I hear he's got a show now on the WB."

Eric, my ATL says, "Really."

Me: "Well nobody's watching the WB."

Jeremy: I think he plays a judge.

Jim (front end TL): A judge?

Jeremy: He's had the longest career of any man in the industry, since what, the seventies?

Eric: Well, Peter North, but he's also a producer.

Jeremy: That doesn't count.

Jeremy: You know, we shouldn't be having this conversation.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Friday Five

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?


2. What was your biggest disappointment?

Repeatedly getting turned down for better jobs.

3. What do you hope the new year brings?

Peace, a new president, a better career for me.

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?

Run 2000 miles, learn more geek stuff, make more money, play guitar more often.

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

Spend it with friends.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Well, Merry Christmas

A career in retail, not exactly the stuff of Rimbaud or even Blue Oyster Cult (who pioneered the use of umlauts by Rock bands)

I always find myself taking stock this time of year and once again, I find myself falling short of my hopes and dreams. Even my most meager of aspirations has not been met. (Thanks W) Seriously, I often feel as though I am missing something that others take for granted. Like there is a key on their ring which I don't have.

Monday, December 22, 2003

My Life Obsession

I remain frustrated. I mean, I love my job and the company for which I work but I make around half of what I used to make, maybe 60% but nonetheless. I've tried to avail myself of opportunity to advance but have been rebuffed each time for a legitimate reason. I don't really resent the people that get the job but I am beginning to feel like its going to be my lot in life to fail or to stagnate. So I'm frustrated. I don't want to be throwing ice until I'm 50. I want to grow. I want to expand my mind. I want to be home on weekends or at least free. I want a desk job where I'm doing more geek stuff.

I mean, where is my life going? What kind of a career can I hope for?

Friday, December 19, 2003

Friday Five

1. List your five favorite beverages.

Boulevard Pale Ale

Virgil's Root Beer

Spring Water

Odwalla Green Stuff (I don't recall the Name) Superfood

Orange Juice with Soda Water

2. List your five favorite websites.



Google News

Paul's Page


3. List your five favorite snack foods.

Kettle Chips



Tortilla Chips

Mike and Ikes

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.


Trivial Pursuit


5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.




I don't really play many games. I'm afraid of getting addicted.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Things I don't get. Part 1

Brand loyalty - I get buying the same thing all the time because you like it or it meets your needs. I mean, years ago, a friend told me about Scott tissue in the bathroom because it lasts a long time before you have to change the roll.

And I've converted Laurie to it. Fortunately, Costco sells it in like, 30 roll packages, so I can buy about 3 times a year.

I don't understand trumpeting the brand by purchasing and wearing the clothing with the brand logo on it or adding additional logos to your car or something. Like the pissing Calvin on the blue oval for Ford. I drive a 1995 Ford Ranger. It's been reliable; it meets my needs but I haven't made a pledge to Ford Motor Company. In fact, our next vehicle based on an assessment of our needs and the products available was a 2003 Toyota Matrix and I haven't added an additional Toyota logo to the window. They get enough advertising with their name on the damned thing.

I may drive a Chevrolet some day but I don't earn my living from them so I probably won't wear the Chevy bowtie on my person and I can't comprehend doing so. That's just me.

Okay, I'll see if I can get this Squawkbox thing working tomorrow

Father, it's been a week (9 days) since my last blog entry. I've had impure thoughts but not enough energy to get them going.

I've worked early mornings 5 days in a row, 7 out of the last 8. No wonder I'm so f#cking tired.

Chester is recovering nicely. My Prozac (or rather its generic equivalent) has finally arrived. I've failed in my most recent foray into the next echelon of my career and been rejected by my peers as their representative.

So it goes.

Monday, December 08, 2003

See if it's working Now

Like more Americans than actually voted for Bush, I use Prozac (or rather its generic equivalent). Due to the fact that I can't get an appointment with my doctor until January and I am running out. I've got an order in but they can't confirm it with my doctor.

Things could get interesting.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Maybe it'll work now.

I'm trying out this comment thingy.

Chismus LIst

You can talk to me

Thoughts on Monday Morning

It heartens me to see Chester recovering from his knee surgery and I enjoy the short walks we're taking. Gives me time to think. Wanda Brussell once told me she did all her thinking while she washed dishes and when she moved into a house with a dishwasher, that was lost. So, when I take my dogs out by myself, it gives me a chance for reflection. I seem to do my best thinking then. Chester and I walk over to Harrison, about as far as Matt and Kelly Sue's apartment. He is the lord of the neighborhood.

Laurie mentioned a story about Joey Ramone getting a street named after him in NYC. I must go there someday. Whenever I think about Joey, it encourages me. I saw the Ramones back in 1978 at One Block West. I thought I would lose my hearing that night. They set up, it must have been 10 Marshall stacks and block chorded through 30 sub 3 minute songs. The melody came from feedback and overtones and Joey's sour voice.

On his last recording, Don't Worry About Me , Joey opens with "What a Wonderful World" and he sounds like he truly means it, even though he's dying of lymphoma. I hear the kids that work with me talk about punk-rock this and punk-rock that, meaning you've got to dissipate, have to die young, commit suicide, be nihilistic. And here comes Joey, singing about watching Maria Bartiromo on CNBC and living. And Paul Westerberg sings about getting older and smoking cigars. You CAN grow up and still rock and roll. I've got to go listen now.

You can talk to me

Friday, November 28, 2003

Friday Five

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not?

Yes, but I hate spending money.

2. What was the last thing you purchased?

I bought a Christmas gift today for my niece and nephews.

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why?

Online, for price. I like comparing the actual cost of something that's basically a commodity.

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it?

Yes, it was based on doing chores.

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing?

Some second rate cup of coffee. Anything in an airport.

You can talk to me

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Good News

I woke up and turned on the radio this morning to the news that that Rev. Al Green has recorded his first secular album in years and the bits I heard sound great.

You can talk to me

Emptying the crap vacuum

Why is it that I can recite entire Monty Python routines that I've seen maybe twice?

Yet I can't manage the Java windowing toolkit.

Or the types and keywords.

Lyrics to songs I don't even like.

But not things I have to do every day.

Jerry Seinfeld routines and bits of shows.

Movie quotes.

We were discussing this phenomenon the other night at my Anne and Joe's (Anne's and Joe's? My brother-in-law and sister-in-law)and Joe introduced to me the theory of the Crap Vacuum. That is, the place in one's brain where the useless stuff goes and resides. Some people have large butts or thinning hair; I have a large crap vacuum, a veritable ShopVac for the small-penis set, The equivalent of a Hummer in vacuum. Some people are equipped with the equivalent of a Dustbuster or one of those gizmos you buy to get dust off your keyboard. For me, pop culture trash, no matter how stupid or insignificant, gets written to memory and saved right away to hard drive.

On our trip to Chicago Thursday night, my tiny little Swiss Army Knife turned up in my backpack. I must have just emptied my pockets into it when I got home. I make it a point to put all my pocket change in the front pocket before I head for the airport, along with my keys, thus simplifying my trip through the metal detectors at the airport. But in my haste to get out the door, I inadvertantly put my tiny little Swiss Army knife in the pocket. The security people looked for about 5 minutes and then found it.


I had the choice of checking my backpack or surrendering it or renting a locker to leave the thing in while we were gone or handing it to my co-conspirator outside the gate area, a person who didn't exist. So I surrendered it. It was imprinted with LewerMark, my former employer. One more piece of them is out of my life. Not that I wish them any ill. I chose to stay there for too long. But, it was a toxic environment for me. So long, Chuck.

You can talk to me

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

What I Really Mean

Two trips halfway across Kansas last week, on behalf of my dog Chester. He was having a knee replacement, actually a TPLO on Tuesday of last week at the KSU vet school. For 10 hours of driving, we saved about $1000. I don't make that much an hour.

You can talk to me

More than a week

I wish I'd do this thing every day. Even as I type this, the fatigue is setting in. Of course, I rose at 5AM, heading off to the store and then to KUMC until 6:30.

Well, duh.

You can talk to me

Friday, November 07, 2003

Friday Five

1. What food do you like that most people hate?

I actually like pate and even Braunschweiger. Grape Nuts, too.

2. What food do you hate that most people love?

I find unscrambled eggs totally repugnant. Thinking of someone dipping into a runny egg yolk simply activates my gag reflex.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you?

Robert Redford, although I am a man, in The Horse Whisperer I found horrific. They had to put the soft focus on him to make you unaware he looked like an old catcher's mitt. It's like a living ad for sunscreen. "This could be you!!!"

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find attractive?

Oddly enough, I think Willie Nelson's appealing.

5. What popular trend baffles you

Most of them, since I don't watch much TV. A few years ago, kids were tucking jeans into their socks. I never figured that one out.

You can talk to me

Safe at Home, so to speak

While I was gone, we had an attempted break-in. The combination of a barking dog and the steel plate under the deadbolt seemed to deter the mother&%^$r. He did destroy the deadbolt so that it couldn't be opened.

So, we're walking the dogs this morning and sitting in front of the apartment buildings owned by absentee slumlords was a crapped out Olds Regency with a large screwdriver/pry bar sitting in the front seat. I called the police. Maybe it's the guy (or gal, to be egalitarian).

You can talk to me

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I'm in Denver today and tomorrow after the flight through hell. I got to the airport around 5:30 AM for a 7:10 flight. All was fine except Christina had a flat tire and had to take a later flight.

As we neared Denver, the pilot warned us that we would have to circle for awhile. Denver had more fog than Frontier policies allowed. Next, we found we were being diverted to Pueblo for refueling.

We sat on the ground, in the plane, from 9:30 to 1:30. No food, no get out and walk around, no nothing. Well, a can of cranberry juice, for me and a couple oranges I had in my pack. A normal 2-hour flight ended up with 7 hours stuck in a tube. ARRRRGGHH.

All that I could really think was that it would have been much more horrible when people didn't have cell phones and wireless internet access.

Anyway, the good news is I'm using RedHat to blog this. Woo-Hoo!!!!

You can talk to me

Friday, October 24, 2003

Friday 5

No Friday Five this week so I'm doing a remedial from October 3.

1. What vehicle do you drive?

1995 Ford Ranger Extended Cab

2. How long have you had it?

Since 1995, but my wife drove it primarily until about a year ago when we got her a Toyota Matrix.

3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle?

RedHat sticker on the back window.

4. What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle?

Where my wife chiseled around the door after an ice storm.

5. If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now?

Probably a Honda Element or Toyota Prius. I think Mini Coopers are cool,too.

You can talk to me

Thursday, October 23, 2003

This is a crime against the state

This is the meaning of life.

I'm sitting here struggling with setting up my new linux box to run on the wireless network. Thanks to some help from people at KCLUG, I've found the proper drivers and I'm working at getting them to work on this other box as I type this on my notebook. I should go run or walk my dogs but I just feel like I'm so close I hate to give up now.

You can talk to me

Monday, October 20, 2003

'Nother Well Considered Rant

Kenny asked me the other day if I'd heard of the espresso tax in Seattle which I honestly didn't remember hearing about before.

I said, "Does it include lattes, too?"

"No," he continued, humorlessly, "It's on all coffee drinks and its to pay for preschool for early childhood education in the inner city."

"I'm against it, then, " I responded, "sounds like a bad idea. Why should coffee drinkers be taxed specially?"

"It's just a dime, " he said.

"Still a bad idea, simple economics tells you if you increase the price, you reduce sales."

His gorge arose as he told me that, or asked me, "You have to agree that early childhood education for innercity kids is important."

Important, yes. Essential, no. I know it takes a village and all that and I believe it. I just resent having to take responsibility for someone else's kids just because I want a cup of coffee. It appears that they tax specific items in Seattle for other areas but what the hey. I'm not sure I'm in favor of those either.

I haven't been demonstrated that this is a necessity or that it'll be properly used by the city. I've seen the Kansas City Missouri school district. I was taxed 1% of my salary for awhile until the runaway judge was corralled. Billions went to pay for improvements in facilities that have not resulted in better integrated schools, higher achievements, better graduation rates. Fencing teams, olympic size swimming pools, all kinds of stuff that was nice for the schools but hardly essential or perhaps even necessary. Nothing like spending someone else's money, my dad says.

So, I'm cynical,too. Not one dime from me for your ideas until you can demonstrate something worthwhile.

You can talk to me

Saturday, October 18, 2003

The Triumph Continues

As I sit here listening to the Fish Fry with my wife out of town, I'm installing RedHat 9.0., currently on Disc 3. Gosh, this is too easy. Other than one copy of Disc 2 getting funky on me, it has gone flawlessly.

The Jayhawks won, KState won and Missouri lost to Oklahoma. I finished listening to The Liars Club by Mary Karr and came to the realization that the Liars in the title were her parents or more specifically, her mother and not specifically the men with whom her father hung out.

Anyway, I missed Sasha and Kyle and ran by myself at Wyandotte County Lake Park for about 8 miles.

You can talk to me

Friday, October 17, 2003

Friday Five

1. Name five things in your refrigerator.

Soy Milk, Bosco, Milk, Orange Juice, Kinky Friedman Salsa

2. Name five things in your freezer.

Steaks, Sambazon Acai (some kind of Latin American Fruit), Bananas (for smoothies), Ice Cream, Chicken

3. Name five things under your kitchen sink.

Trash can, Dishwasher soap, Zep orange spray, sponges, scrubbies

4. Name five things around your computer.

Squeezie balls, CD's, books, radio, unopened package for KVM switch, kleenexs.

5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet.

Tom's of Maine toothpaste, floss, shave cream, Crest toothpaste, Sudafed (generic), Ibuprofen.

You can talk to me

A Triumph of Sorts

After working from 5:00 AM yesterday until almost 2:00 PM, I finally got over to Eric's and we built my computer on which I will install RedHat 9.0. I've downloaded the ISO's and am in the process of burning them to CD. The dream machine will come to be.


You can talk to me

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Excess Drama

One of my newer team members is in a constant state of crisis. Everyone he comes into contact with is getting an earful of how miserable he is, which manages to make everyone else more miserable. The shifts he works, the money he's paid, and the leadership of the department all suck.

"You can't imagine how much I hate this department."

JUST QUIT, then. You're doing nobody any favors by hanging around here and griping all the time. You took this job, accepted the pay that was offered, understood the shifts that you'd be working and met the people you were going to work among.

Just get out.

You can talk to me

Excess Drama

You can talk to me

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Give Me a Break

Honestly, I love my job. Not the part where I get home around 11 PM. Not the part when I get up at 4 AM to be there at 5 AM. Not the part where I put my hand on my chin and it smells like fish. Not the days before payday when I'm worried about bouncing checks. But I do love the people there and the way I can make things happen.

But I realized today that it has been over a year since my last real vacation. Sure I went to Gnomedex last July for 3 days in Des Moines and I had a great time. But I need to get away from here, from my phone, from the clock.

I need a vacation.

You can talk to me

Monday, October 13, 2003

The Week Begins

Today, my box of Kleenex is my closest companion. My head, including my brain seems to be filled with snot. I did manage to go to work yesterday and run 10 miles in the morning. It's starting to go away. I slept until 8 this morning but I have to work 2 until 10 tonight again and tomorrow.

Astrid and Duke may each be getting a new home. Astrid with someone in Lawrence, who is coming to pick her up this afternoon.

Duke, more intriguingly, is being tried out by Gina, a local yoga instructor and pet psychic. Don't know why that intrigues me so much.

Chiefs won yesterday.

You can talk to me

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Oh, My Weekend

I worked at 6AM so that Laurie and I could go to Doolittle Farms for a show by the Two High String Band. Then I got up to run with Dr. V. at 6:30, came home, took a nap and went to work from 2:00PM until 10:00PM. I need a rest.

You can talk to me

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Yet another pointless rant

It's Tuesday night. I'm lost in Austin. Here at the Marriott Renaissance, I'm with the Team Member Awareness Group for my employer, the leading natural grocery chain in the United States.

The thing I hate most about business travel is that I've tended to be places where you might as well be anywhere. I've rarely gotten a sense of place when I travel on business and I missed the chance to go to Sixth Street. I just hope I'll get another trip to Austin in sometime.

This is such a great group of people. Committed, passionate, funny, diverse. No Blue Suits.

you can say anything

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Just about a Perfect Day

I got up this morning at 6 and checked my email. The usual array of spam. I went downstairs and made coffee and headed to Lawrence, Kansas for the Sand Rat Run. Put on Another Live by Todd Rundgren's Utopia and cranked the stereo in the truck, reliving the best parts of my high school years as I went down I-70.

I got to Lawrence and met up with the crew: Bad Ben, Sasha, Jim G. and his daughter and Janice. Tried for a pre-race constitutional but failed. Didn't realize I was wearing my singlet backwards.

Anyway, I started slowly, chatting with Ben as we leisurely cranked out 8:30 miles for the first 3 until we got to the levy and out of the singletrack for awhile. I hit it hard from there on out, picking off people and just simply running and thinking of nothing but running. There is something so wonderful about just picking your feet up and down, concentrating, throwing your shoulders into the turns, absolutely being nowhere except in the run, alone in the woods with the river below on a perfect sunny day. I passed runner after runner. It's really what racing is all about, pitting yourself against everyone else.

I finished last out of 4 in my age group, 34th overall. Checking the results tonight , I see that the person I passed on the final stretch of pavement was John Rinkenbaugh, brother of my former fiance'. Small world.

We hung out at the finish. None of us won anything save the lovely Laura Cheek. If I ever hoped for hardware, it would be at the Sand Rat Run, where the trophies are squeaky rubber rats spray painted bronze, silver or gold. My life might well be complete when I win a rat.

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Friday, October 03, 2003


Rush Limbaugh may not be obese but he is still a Big Fat Idiot. And when I read about Bill O'Reilly denouncing those who called for Rush's resignation as "smear merchants", I had to laugh. Haven't we had at least 30 odd years of that from Rush and his compadres? At least since 1987 when the networks no longer had to operate under "Equal Time" or the fairness doctrine.

To me, Barbara Bush resembles a pitbull (even as a young woman, she was, to put it diplomatically, plain) but I never heard a liberal commentator mention that. But Rush held up a picture of Chelsea Clinton on his television show, calling her the "White House dog".

Anyway, I doubt this will begin a paradigm shift. The Right is far too well funded for them to enter the dustbin of history.

Ah well. Life goes on.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Caddyshack Redux

As he often is, Bill Murray is the best thing in this movie. I'm really excited to see Lost in Translation.

This is my Friday since I don't have to report to work tomorrow. I do have to go to UMKC to serve as a teaching patient, tomorrow but that's not a big deal. After 13 plus years of dealing with insurance agents, having my prostate examined by amateurs is a day at the beach.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I'm Free

Not really, but I don't have to get up at 5 AM tomorrow. "It's time to make the doughnuts." I'm closing the store after 4 days in a row of openings, which I've learned to like. But it's too much to expect the rest of the world to live on your schedule. So I go to bed at my usual time and then get up at like 4:45 and get to work around 6 AM. It's fun in a way. I work like crazy to get the case full of fish, cranking out the tunes and the store opens as I'm still doing stuff.

So I don't open again this week and next week I'm going down to Austin for TMAG summit on Tuesday and Wednesday. Things are good.

And I'm introducing Laurie to Caddyshack tonight. Actually, I've never seen it in it entirety, either.

And just as write this, I get a call from the UMKC School of Nursing needing me to come in on my day off for teaching patient exams. 15 exams at $25 a pop. Woo Hoo!!! It's not huge money but it's money.

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Saturday, September 27, 2003

"MY F^$#IN' BABY!!!!"

I went for a run with Tasha (my black lab mix) a few weeks back and was at the corner of "Emmanuel Cleaver II Boulevard" (I still think of it as 47th Street) and Oak, stopped. I was looking down or something when I heard the clunk of metal on metal. There was an old 244 Volvo sitting there, in the center lane, bearing into the right lane like the driver was about to turn right with a mid 70's GM 2 door in the right lane grazing it. A couple was in the OldsmoBuick with a baby in one of those carriers that you put them on the floor in, not the kind recommended for a car seat. At least that's the way it appeared to my childless eyes. The baby slid forward in between the bucket seats.

The woman on the passenger side just screamed, "My Baby!!!".


She got out of the car.


She stomped toward the other car.


I went behind both cars with Tasha and got the hell out of there.

It seems to me it you care about "MY FUCKIN' BABY!!!!" then you spend the money on a proper car seat and have "MY FUCKIN' BABY!!!!" properly fastened in place. And if you're angry at anyone about "MY FUCKIN' BABY!!!!", it should be the guy driving the car who didn't notice the car stopped. Just my 2 cents and maybe I'm overvaluing it.

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Friday, September 26, 2003

Inside Gretchen's Head :: I know you ain't touchin' my mannequin!

She mentions the Geo Metro which I mistakenly thought she and Chris drive. I should have known.

Only morbidly obese people seem to drive those things and Ford Aspires. I often see them and think why don't just they just wrap some tin foil around their asses and get on a skateboard.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

I'm so proud of my wife

She's been working on this.

Mike Hendricks Column

PLUS the story by Christine Vendel showing a small photo of Toni

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Things to do today

    Cut the Grass

    Replace the mirror on my truck

    Contact Nate Rodgers to play at the store tomorrow night

    Book a park in Lenexa for the store party

    Read Sandman, A Game of You

    Vacuum the house

    See if I have all the parts I need for the Mini-itx I'm trying to get built

    Sort clothes

    Clean up the Kramer Strat Copy(ZX200) to sell to Luigi

    Work on my action plan for the Specialty ATL

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kellysue.com: red as a cherry

I don't know how to react to this one.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Tiara, Teeth, Tits

So, the other night I was at my appointed post in the Seafood Case and the Associate Store Team Leader came by, waving.

I remarked on her parade wave, like she was Queen Elizabeth or something.

"It's Tiara, Teeth, Tits, " she told me.

Knowing that she had grown up in Texas, I asked if she'd been in beauty pageants as a teenager.

"No, I just knew a lot of Drag Queens."

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Friday, September 19, 2003

Public Displays of Opinion

When I park my truck at work, I walk by everyone's car and notice the bumper stickers.

"It's Socialism, Stupid"

"Laws off my body"

something about Faeries



of course, plenty of Grateful Dead stickers

and my RedHat.

What really impressed me the other day was the box of Midol sitting on someone's dashboard, ripped open. On a trip to the Boundary Waters back when I was in high school, we came upon a campsite that had bears visit. My strongest memory of that day is the bottle of Squeeze Parkay shredded by the bears. That's what the Midol box looked like. I wish I knew who this person is so that I can avoid her on those days.

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Just for the Record

I don't understand playing the national anthem before sporting events. Is there something inherently patriotic about athletics? Are sports fans prone to forgetting in what country they are located?

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I am a patriot

And I love my county

Because my country is all I know

I want to be with my family

The people who understand me

I've got nowhere else to go


And I ain't no communist

And I ain't no capitalist

And I ain't no socialist

And I ain't no imperialist

And I ain't no democrat

And I ain't no republican

I only know one party

And it is freedom

I am, I am, I am

I am a patriot

And I love my country

Because my county is all I know

And the river opens for the righteous

And the river opens for the righteous

And the river opens for the righteous


And the river opens for the righteous...

- Steven Van Zandt

Thursday, September 18, 2003

A Triumph

If it sounds as though, from my last post, that my day sucked, I have unintentionally misled you.

I was to be at work at 5:00 AM today, early, I know but that's life in retail. I can live with that.

I set my alarm for 4:00 AM and went to bed. I woke up and looked over at the clock out of the corner of my eye. Thinking it read 6:30, I momentarily panicked, or tried to consider whether this was one of those bad dreams. I decided to put on my spectacles and check what the correct time was and face my day, such as it was. It was 3:30 AM. The surge of adrenaline had gotten me awake, somewhat.

I got to work before 5:00 and Eric already had put in 75% of the ice. I set the shellfish and cooked set for the day when I heard the call for Team Leaders from Christina. It was time.

During our team build last month, we had such a good time cooking together that I wanted to bring that to the whole store team, so I suggested we do "Ready, Set, Cook" for a store meeting. Those of us that were sitting around watching the rest of the team leaders cook began brainstorming on how to make that happen. We kept it a secret and planned it as a way to involve everyone in the store and make it a contest. Christina did a ton of legwork, chasing down prizes and tradeouts with other merchants along Metcalf.

6:30 came and the team members came trudging in, expecting another desultory meeting ("What's happening in grocery, Mike?"). They got rounded up into teams and set to shopping and prepping food, working in groups of people unfamiliar to them and coming up with some great breakfast entrees.

I rode that high through my work day and about halfway into my commute home. I got home and took an hour nap.

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In which I receive the bad news

The mailbox bore yet another rejection notice today. "We will keep your resume on file." In the meantime, don't make any major purchases, like a container of milk larger than a quart.

Nonetheless, I have somewhere to go every day and something to do and health insurance, not on COBRA. I could be working at Sprint and have my job sent to India, after I train my replacement. On it goes.

On another note, Mark Lidman, mentioned to me that he read my story about him in this setting. If you're reading me now, Mark, hello.

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Monday, September 15, 2003

WWWD (What world Warren do?)

On a live show I've got on CD somewhere, Jay Bennett & Edward Burch pose the "What world Warren do?" question and then proceed to do a great rendition of "Gorilla, you're a desperado".

What world Warren do? Like John Wayne in "The Shootist", he went out with his boots on, working until the end on The Wind, which has received great reviews. I picked Life'll Kill Ya up a couple years ago and enjoyed it immensely but it was the early Asylum era work that got me, that woke me up. About the same time that punk was coming around, there was Warren. The plate with the pistol. "That's fucked up, " said Darryl Parker, seeing on my dorm room wall. "Politely Berserk" was the headline in the ad.

You didn't have to lose your edge just because you could read, just because you studied with Stravinsky. You could be educated and still rail against the world. But you could love Ross MacDonald novels, you could nearly kill yourself with Stoli and still find yourself. You could take Linda Rondstadt's royalties, hang with the Eagles and still be punk. You could live until the end came. You didn't have to be Sid Vicious. You could grow up and be productive, hang out with David Letterman, joke about Jackson Browne and still be a wild man. On Sentimental Hygiene, Neil Young played one of his trademark solos. Those things still inspire me today.

I was wondering if Johnny Cash ever sang a Warren Zevon song. "Accidentally Like A Martyr" or "Empty Handed Heart" would have sounded great in JC's rumbling voice. Listening to Transverse City on the drive to work today, he was still good at that point, but just seemed unfocused or uncertain of himself, trying new things.

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Sunday, September 14, 2003

And everytime I feel it slipping away

Finally got to go see American Splendor this afternoon. Worthy, tour-de-force, in cinema. I've been interested in Harvey Pekar since seeing him on Letterman in the 80's. Some of the things he says about everyday life being fascinating are coming to fruition in Blogging.

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2 Hours on the trail with Bad Ben and Kyle. Totally coated in mud at the end. You have to go through the middle of the puddles or you just tear up the trails too much. Anyway, we saw 3 kinds of fauna, deer, box turtle and crayfish.

On another front, I finally got the RAM off eBay that I need fo the Mini-ITX project. I'll get this thing up and running if it kills me.

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When we visited Nashville a couple years back, we briefly visited Hatch Show Print and I bought a poster of Johnny Cash, which today hangs in my den over my sofa. I sometimes sit and meditate under Johnny's picture. When I got the Unchained album, it spent more time on my CD player than most other things I've bought.

Friday morning, I woke up and saw on the Yahoo! news that Johnny Cash had died. I made coffee and walked around the block with Chester, came back to the kitchen and reached into the cabinet for a cup. There was a plain white cup on the top shelf which I reached for and found it was the Sun Records cup that we bought on our trip down south. Laurie and I rode our bicycles all over downtown Memphis that day. Never have I felt a placemore hallowed than I did visiting Sun Studios. When you imagine that Elvis made those great records there and Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee and Howlin' Wolf (where Chester got his name). But Johnny Cash has been there my whole life, the music from my parents radio station that I really loved. I remember hearing "What is Truth" on the radio when I was, geez, 10 years old or something, during the Vietnam War. Maybe that's what gave me the courage to be a 12-year-old McGovern supporter and what's made me the bleeding heart liberal I am now.

Years later, going through one of my periodic "catching up on Bob Dylan" phases, I picked up the Nashville Skyline album (yes, on vinyl) and there was Johnny, playing and singing with Dylan, in his best voice, on "Girl From The North Country".

There was something about the man that made him rise above the material he sang. Songs like "Solitary Man" or "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which are great songs but have been played so much that their weight , their gravitas has been lost and would be lame or campy in lesser hands. And the newer songs, like "Rusty Cage" or "Hurt", he fully inhabits them and brings that gravitas to them and transforms them from the vain cries of some disaffected youngster to the songs of a man who has experienced real loss.

On my personal Mount Rushmore, I imagine Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, the ones who seem to exemplify what it means to be a man in America, to have experienced hurt and loss and to continue holding your head up, to keep hoping.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

What I'm not getting from eBay

is RAM. I'm trying to build the mini-ITX system and I've got the case, power supply and the WD 120 Gig Hard Drive but I keep getting outbid on the RAM. Being my father's son, I hate to pay full retail but what are you going to do? I'm sure that it'll be more pain and suffering than it's worth to get second rate RAM.

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Oooh, So Close

First of all, thanks to Cheyenne who linked to me in her blog. "I'm just a little chunk of coal, but I'm going to be a diamond someday!"

Anyway, it's been a fun day behind the fish counter and at the Ho Fu.

Kenny came back from his long weekend away and he's not living in a tent somewhere.

He came into work last Thursday and was asking Chris and I if we knew where he could pitch a tent in the woods and ride his bike to work. Apparently, he and Gayle had split up for awhile. In Overland Park, Kansas, the most provincial of suburbs, where nothing goes on! The cops wouldn't let him get a night's sleep outside before putting him in jail for vagrancy!

"Kenny, " I told him, "you guys have a baby." I'm certain when he starts talking like that, she gets nervous. Anyone who's ever seen Wild Kingdom knows what happens when Jim gets between a mother and her cubs. "Jim is getting mauled."

In other news, we worked out the little tailgating football cards I'd dreamed up to build weekend sales at the store. I took pictures of team members in football poses so we could highlight items that would make good tailgating fare. We even made football cards of each of them.

Finally, I interviewed for the Associate Team Leader position. I thought it went really well and I really was able to convey some of the passion I have for working there but Eric, who's taken on a great deal more in terms of operations, got it. Good for him. We've got a great next quarter coming around the bend.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Thoughts from First Friday

I wonder if art students, at least those from KCAI, have a competition going to see who can wear the least desirable item of clothing. My winner from last friday night went to the guy in the short-billed trucker cap with a pompom where the button should have been.

Secondly, does this fair city intend to stifle every bit of vitality that springs up. By cracking down on outside drinking in the gallery neighborhood, they seem to have made that point. To say nothing of the pinheads from South Hyde Park who are fighting the skate park. People who have been victims of bigotry and oppression should not become bigots and oppressors in response. Just my .02.

Renewing the vows

I should do and must do this daily. Anyway, I doubt that anyone is reading this anyway.

Had a job interview last Thursday, which was promising, more promising than anything since the Chimp-in-Charge was selected. Maybe, I'll get out from behind the fish counter.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

One Shining Moment

For a little bit of time tonight, I had the G4 and the old Mac networked and sharing files. I could access the files and programs on the G4 from the old Mac and Laurie could access the files and programs on the old Mac from the G4.

It fell apart when I tried to print a document from the G4 off the old LaserWriter NTR connected to the old Mac (G3 hotrodded from a 9500). No go. When I made it so that happened, so that I could print, the network connection broke down.

But for one brief moment, there was a network and file sharing connection between the 2 machines. It was a beautiful thing.

Tomorrow, the RedHat 7.0 machine gets hooked into the NetGear router. This network shall be my servant and I shall be its master. Worship me!!!!
Friday Five

1. How much time do you spend online each day?

Too much, if the truth be known. About 3-5 hours per day, actually.

2. What is your browser homepage set to?

My Yahoo!! That still gives me links to everything else I want to check.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?


4. Where was your first webpage located?


5. How long have you had your current website?

Since March, IIRC

Monday, August 18, 2003

Stands With A Fist

Finally found a picture of myself at Gnomedex, evidence that I was there.

But what is the deal with me? Fists!!! My mother mentioned, years ago, that I always have my fists balled up in family pictures. She was going through a book of pictures and pointed them out.

"Fist. Fist. Fist.", she said, "here's another one."

I don't do this intentionally. I mean, what do you do with your hands while you're dancing?
Monday Morning Rock

I'm sore this morning and it's hot. I'm not sure whether it's opening two mornings in a row and throwing hundreds of pounds of ice into the case a couple mornings in a row or it's due to the bike ride last night or just working on the computer at Laurie's desk but the deltoids are killing me. I believe I'll rest today until it's time to work this afternoon.

Had the weirdest damn dream this morning after I woke up at 5AM and finally got back to sleep. Think that I was going to some sort of job interview and was parking my truck. I drove up an entrance ramp into the parking garage and it turned out to be a stairway. Fortunately, the people got out of my way and no one was harmed.

I walked around the building, looking for the office I was supposed to visit but no avail. There was a theater or auditorium of some sort with a restaurant in the back. I looked for someone at the tables and suddenly the servers started dancing wildly.

Then I couldn't find my truck anywhere and I woke up.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Keep on keepin' on

Interesting night last night. I was forgotten at the close of business last night and left in the store as it was locked up. Only because Christina was still in the parking lot, talking to Susan through the window of their cars and they saw me jumping up and down and waving was I able to get out the door without setting off the alarms.

Am I too quiet, too reserved? It consistently aggravates me when Laurie tells me something I told her 3 weeks before because she read it in the paper or heard it from someone else. I refer to this as the "Popcorn Guy" syndrome.

You see, my friend Mark Lidman, was meeting his wife at the Royals game one night a few years back. He told her, upon arrival, "I heard on the way over here that Ewing Kauffman (founder of Marion Laboratories and owner of the Royals) died."

His wife didn't believe him so she asked a passing popcorn vendor, "Did Mr K. die?"

"Oh yes, it was on the news."

"So she believes the Popcorn guy and not me," he finishes the story.

That's married life, folks.

Email me if you have any questions.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Meanwhile, I'm still thinking...

My deepest desire is to live in a place with:

  1. mountains to hike with Laurie and our dogs

  2. An REI store to get stuff to go to the mountains and hike with

    Laurie and our dogs

  3. An Ikea store to get stuff to come home to after I'm done hiking

    in the mountains with Laurie and our dogs

  4. much more remunerative employment

  5. high speed internet access

  6. quality mass transit

  7. Art Houses

  8. Cross country skiing in the winter

This would likely mean Denver. Of course, this would mean giving up

football fandom since I could never be a Broncos fan. It's like when

people convert for marriage. Could one ever sincerely be Catholic after

a lifetime of Judaism? "I don't know. I guess that was all crap before."

So goes it.  I'm working on the Mini-ITX situation. Looks like

each of the 2 free boards I won at Gnomedex are going to cost me about

$300 to build the computers to go with them and that's without

monitors, keyboards, OS or mice. After reading about the mini-itx built

into an Ikea breadbox, I'm choosing this

for my case. I have my friend Glenn, the finest scavenger of the Swap and Shops I know, searching

for an old toaster body for the other one. I mean something from the

1950's or 60's, something from the streamline era. I'll definitely run

some Linux distro on one or both of them. I'm thinking Gentoo just because it sounds

intriguing from the folks at the KCLUG

message board and I could always stand to learn more Linux stuff.

After Gnomedex, I don't think of Microsoft as harshly as I used to do.

I loved seeing the things they're doing with XP and Windows Media.

(probably should insert some links there but what the hey!)

Anyway, it occurs to me that perhaps someone might well be reading this

but I don't know because I haven't got comments set up yet. So, if

you're reading this, email me

and we'll get something going. I need to find more that I can blog

about. I'm always thinking of stuff when I'm running, or walking

Chester or cleaning up at work but not when I'm at the computer.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Another Day away from the Office

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

We went to a wedding this weekend in Jeff City. Our friends' daughter Susan Murphy, was getting married. It always makes me consider my marriage when I hear a man of the cloth pontificate about marriage. It's one thing to feel a comiitment to someone and profess that in your heart but when you have to stand before your friends and family, it really comes down on you, not in a bad way, but that you feel the enormity of the commitment and of what you're doing.

Anyway, it was a really nice day. I wish that we'd known our friends would be bringing their bikes and we could have taken ours for a short ride on the Katy Trail. We wandered around the Capitol Building viewing busts of noteworthy Missourian's, such as Walt Disney, Scott Joplin, Walter Cronkite, George Washington Carver, Sacajawea, Ewing Kauffman, and Stan Musial. It was also interesting to note that my state once had a governor by the name of No comments:

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Nostalgia means "Return to Pain"

For some reason, I've been into music from my high school years. Maybe, it was when Half.com came up with Todd Rundgren's Utopia and I bought it. It's exactly the right length that I can listen to each side (or what used to be a "side") back and forth on my commute to work.

Maybe it was picking up the Kinky Friedman novels and getting into his music. Laurie had been interested in him, for his animal rescue work and I had long known about his old songs like "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in Bed."

Or maybe it was the Cheap Trick cd, I picked up in Des Moines. I went for a run while I was at Gnomedex, early in the morning. I'll bet that I was the only person doing that. Anyway, I ran by this record store and saw a Ramones poster in the window that I had to have. So, on the break for dinner, I took a walk from the hotel and one can't just go in to the store and pick up a poster without looking at everything else. So I found a copy of Cheap Trick's Music for Hangovers. Thinking it was the highlights from their early records, which I loved, I picked it up and listened to it on the way home. Somewhat apropos, as the free, as in free beer, beer from the Google party had given me the "Beechwood Headache" as Anheuser Busch products are prone to do.

After all that, the other day, I get an e-mail from the coordinator of my high school reunion, 25th to be exact.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

It's morning and I'm completing the Track Club newsletter, trying to get the roster to fit on 2 pages. When I get the website up and running I will post it up there. Then, I'm going to run with the 2 foster dogs. I'll post the link for them later. Gotta go sell fish this afternoon. Such is the rockstar life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Ran 12 miles tonight at the Wednesday Night Run and all the food, not a lot of it, was gone when I got there. I had a Fat Tire and some chips and a couple cookies. Was a great night for running, though and I'm not too unhappy, just tired. Loving this D-Link Air Plus card, too. Wore my Google gimme cap that I got at Gnomedex to run in and told the story of my wonderful voyage to nerdville. That's all. Going to bed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I have managed to get my laptop/notebook online. I was so stoked by the wireless access at Gnomedex that I put one in at the house. It's a Netgear and it worked flawlessly. Just went by office depot and bought the one with the best rebate. I didn't even have to put in the CD.

Now, I'll be able to post every day. Lots going on. No cat news, though.
Just got back, or got back 2 days ago from Gnomedex. Who did I meet? Cheyenne, Solonor, Sunidesus, R. Josh Quarles, Chris and Gretchen, Steve Crabbe and his lovely wife Melanie (who tried to steal my miniboard that I won in a drawing) Lori, Phil (my roommate), KB, Tom Bridge, and many more that I can't yet remember. Great experience for me! I've always had this picture of myself as a really shy person but I'm managing to make some bold moves lately.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

OMG, has it really been three weeks. I'm never gonna make it as a blogger. I'm working hard at getting the household computers networked so I can do this not via dial-up and more frequently. I also need to mail my job dialogue into work.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Another week has passed since my last post.

One might ask, (one might, but since I don't have comments properly set up, one might not know if another one is asking) where the name of this blog came from.

There used to be a radio commercial, where a guy was selling something and it was one of those "too-good-to-be-true" deals. Another guy chimed in, "Hey I didn't just fall off the turnip truck".

It has been a code word in my family for some stupid person. Like our Turnip-in-Chief.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Thanks for sharing

So I'm working the other day. A customer asked me where our halibut came from.

"Alaska," I respond.

"I'm afraid of fish from polluted waters."

"Well, Alaska has the cleanest ocean waters on earth, I'm told." adding "Despite the oil spills."

"They've found dioxin in the sperm of polar bears."

"Well......" (moves to attend to hopefully ringing phone)

What possesses him to share this tidbit of information with me. I suppose someone could know this in the normal course of life, particularly someone who shops at a natural foods store and follows EarthFirst type things. It's just that scenario it conjures up in my mind.

Scientist, in white labcoat, hands test tube to assistant, "Beaker, go get a sperm sample from Gentle Ben out there."

Mercifully, I will let the picture fade to black there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Laurie has made it home. Actually she's been back since the day of my last post. She's bearing my cold now.

It definitely sucks being sick. What's worse, perhaps, is being around a sick person.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Meeting this morning at the store. Things keep getting better. Halibut is now in season. We'll make some money this week maybe.

Maybe I should backtrack a little. Nope, I 'm gonna go lie down.

Here I go again. I'm fighting a cold and feel like I'm drowning in snot. Going to bed before I have to go to work.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Well, here I go. It's a start to something. I've been looking at these things for months now and thinking maybe I should get on the bandwagon before it gets away from me. I'm here at home tonight listening to the basketball game (Kansas vs. Texas Tech).

My wife, Laurie, is off cross-country skiing in Winter Park and I'm playing on the computer. I tend to stay up too late when she's away, reading or watching TV or something besides getting to sleep. I don't know if it's because she draws me into bed when she's home (that sounds strange) or I just don't want to face sleeping alone.

Anyway, a normal Monday at the store. Working in retail, I've lost any sense (guess I could end the sentence right there.) of the weekly cycle.