Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Finding My Brontosaurus


  • Do you have 8 to 10 hours of free time everyday?

  • Are you bored of knitting toaster cozies and pants for your dolls?

  • Are you looking to surround yourself with a menagerie of paper playthings?

  • Can you follow a few simple directions?

  • Then you too can experience of the joy of origami!


  • The Japanese art of paper folding has been around for centuries. It was originally a novelty of the Japanese court almost a thousand years ago. It has been past down from generation to generation, as an intricate art form involving patience, skill and technique. You decided to buy a book, bring it home and make a brontosaurus in five minutes.

    So the first thing you need is paper. No, no, no … put it down … it won’t do. This is special “origami” paper were talking about. Thats right! The fibers were harvested from the pulp of the Crested Thonry Neetle in the south of France, by a tribe of devoted monks. The paper is washed four times in the fresh spring of the monastery, and then shipped out to be dried high atop Mt Fuji. The paper is then cut into perfect squares and packaged for sale in America at twelve dollars a pair. Now not only can you not fold this into a brontosaurus, but you can go broke trying.

    I’ve read lots of instructions in my time. I’m a geek, I breathe how-to manuals. I can tar, grep, awk, and compile with the best of them. Origami is different. The instructions were dictated in German, transcribed in Greek, and then translated into English by C students.

    (Actual directions from our origami book)

    • 1.) We begin with the preliminary fold

    • 2.) Fold diagonally in half

    • 3.) Unfold

    • 4.) Repeat (I’m not feeling any progress at this point)

    • 5.) Turn over model then turn clockwise

    • 6.) Fold in half then unfold (six steps in an I still have a flat sheet of paper)

    • 7.) Fold in half, then fold along creases

    • 8.) Squash fold the corners (well of course!)

    • 9.) Repeat

    • 10.) Finish with brontosaurus base

    Great sculptors claim they aren’t creating art; they are just freeing the art from inside its confines. David was lodged in the block of marble; all the master had to do was remove all the bits of marble that weren’t David. I ended up with a six-dollar piece of paper folded in half with 4 squashed corners. If there was a brontosaurus in there he must have been hiding. Oh well you can't succeed at everything.

    I recall one of my mother’s former employers. There was a plague on his desk that summed this feeling up perfectly. “If at first you don’t succeed, then you’re above average.”

    Tuesday, May 30, 2006

    Grand Marshal in the Geriatric Parade

    She’s leading the parade down Sonoma Hwy, a one lane road with no alternatives. We drive at a blazing 30 miles an hour. She’s now blown my schedule, reputation and promises I made to be on site by 11:00. Subsequently I will have to alter my lunch plans since I will be on site for longer than I expected. Her car is a beast of a Lincoln, which begs her to let it drive the way it was intended. The car laments not being picked up by the organized crime family, or at least someone under 75. Its V8 is dying a slow death under the hood of the car for the Grand Marshal of the Geriatric Parade.

    One of the sites for the county is on a stretch of one lane hwy that runs by an adult community. They're all contained out there. They have thier own banks, Bacci ball court, and Golf course. They have some of the best resturants in town. They have mini marts, hair salons and gas stations. For some unnkown reason, the road calls to them.

    Come out… We need you
    “I busy… I’m playing checkers”
    There are people out here driving 60MPH!
    “Let me get my coat.”

    Using your horn is worthless, it’s better to just relax. She can’t hear you, and if she could she wouldn’t care. Foaming at the mouth, banging my head on the head rest, I’ve worn out the horn symbol on my steering wheel by pounding on it.

    “Some young hell raiser, behind me, can’t he read the sign….” She squints, “Something about cows…. I think.”

    All you can do, is relax, turn up the music and enjoy the Parade. Rain or shine she’s there, the Grand Marshal in the Geriatric Parade.

    Monday, May 29, 2006

    Forgetting Coke

    I like Diet Coke, I think. As I was pouring out the Diet Coke in stages, it occurred to me how much work this soda could be. It takes me 5-10 minutes to pour a Diet Coke over a glass of crushed ice. When I can microwave my dinner in 4 minutes, I have to plan to drink pop.

    On the Internet now, there is a rage of adding an entire container of Mentos to a Diet Coke two liter. This will make the Coke explode its entire contents, in a rushing geyser like stream of brown foamy liquid. Its pretty cool to watch, but that seems like a strange thing to drink. I'm not a fan of Diet Coke foam. I overhead someone at work say that you could make the foam go down quickly by sticking your finger in the Coke. If this wasn't odd enough, they actually did it. Now your fingers are covered in sticky Coke and you still have a head of foam that would rival most micro brewed beers. So I decided to put this to the test, at home.

    Poured a nice lot of Diet Coke full on into a glass, foam raised high and threatened to crest the glass. I put in one finger… it foams around it. The foam is receding, but is it my finger that’s causing that? I add a second finger; theoretically this should double my de-foaming power… I still can’t tell. Three, four, this is getting gross, and I’m bored of it. I put my whole hand it, and send foam and Coke flying. THERE! I defiantly have more room for more Coke now. The Greeks would be proud; logic wins another victory, shoving your hand in a Coke glass helps remove foam. I wouldn’t suggest using this at parties.

    Now you have your glass of Diet Coke. More than likely you are not drinking it, “For the Taste of It.” Diet Coke tastes just like it looks, like bubbly brown water. Your drinking it because you’re thirsty and you don’t want to consume 1000+ calories for a sugar soda. This means you care about what others think about you, because you’re regulating your appearance, but with all that carbonation, you’re a self-esteem nightmare. Belching like an under-educated over-zealous sports fanatic probably isn’t your idea of “fitting it.” Being the self-conscience person that you are you try and stifle your burps. Your eyes water and a plume of air escapes from your nose and ears, you cough and choke. You then take a swig of Coke to stop from having a coughing fit and start the cycle all over. Looking good baby!

    Additionally all those cans of Diet Coke contribute to your overall aluminum intake, which scientists tell us might be linked to Alzheimer’s. You’re starting jokes and forgetting the punch lines, people’s names, and where you left your keys. People are convincing you that you owe them money, and that you were brought up by a herd of yaks in the Himalayas. But…

    You look great!

    Saturday, May 27, 2006

    Judah Nagler

    Judah Nagler [pictured center] and I went to the same high school. A very small school, I would guess under 500 students in k-12. In high school he was a gifted violinist, a talented drummer, and an excellent emerging bass guitar player. Not to mention talented artist. If he ever gets HUGE I have a Nagler original in my yearbook that might find its way up on e-bay. Anyway he was a couple years younger, but we were both drummers in the school band. Judah could play circles around the rest of us, and I could "mostly" do what was required. Judah has done what we all expected and joined a band. Click on the picture and find out a little bit more about "Velvet Teen"

    Anyway as drummers we spent a lot of time talking and goofing off while the band practiced, tone, pitch, staccatos, and other non-drummer things. I was a moron, and if you note the day you should expect some embarrassing moments.

    One day were bored off our rockers. I start telling jokes, and since everyone in the drum core is laughing I get going. Puns, limericks and anecdotes are flying and I'm exploiting the limit of my humor. So I tell a few ethnic jokes in very bad taste. "How many Jews does it take..."

    Judah kinda of cocks his head, and with is eyes looks a bit puzzled. "Peter... you know... Judah Nagler... it's a Jewish name."

    "I mean you know I'm Jewish, right?"

    Needless to say I was mortified. I try not to tell tasteless jokes like these anymore. As these things go, I put it behind me, and only wake up with a knot in my stomach every once and a while.

    A few months pass. So Judah and I are waiting for the Sebastopol parade to start. We are horsing around on the snares, and then I see a group of clowns that he's watching.

    "So Judah," I start "How would you like to make a living like that...[big o'l grin] what a bunch of dopes!*" {*I don't recall exactly what I said because it's hard to relive this one, but I'm, sure it was cruel and slightly witty.}

    "Peter," Judah gives me the raised eyebrows "That one on the left is my mom."

    Judah had a great sense of humor and never let me forget these things. Every time I would start in on someone or something he would claim relations, or friendship with them, and I would be left stammering.

    Either way I miss him and wish him well.

    Friday, May 26, 2006

    Baby Gates & Socialism

    As I navigate my living room, it is hard to remember that just a few months ago, I wasn’t required to run a steeplechase in order to go to the restroom. Additionally I could open a drawer without unraveling the mysteries of some overcomplicated plastic puzzle. Then of course there are the one thousand ordinary household items, that have become maiming objects of terror.

    Having a baby changes your life. If your not aware of that take a moment and let it sink in. Things you used to take for granted, like leaving the house, will now take 4 hours longer. It’s not just, grab your coat, keys, shoes and go. Now it’s a bit more complicated.

    • Locate the child (the younger the child, the easier)

    • Start to pack their bag

    • Stop them from eating the wet wipes from the package

    • Pack, food, change of clothing (warm clothing, and cooler clothing), toys, pacifier, blanket, wet wipes, changing mat, diapers, forget something… (this part is easy)

    • Stop them from removing all equipment from packed diaper bag

    • Put on your shoes

    • Distract child who keeps uniting your shoe laces. Make faces, tie laces

    • Grab child

    • Forget coat, and diaper bag

    • Lock door, close door

    • Strap child in their car seat

    • Realize your keys are locked in the house, with coat and diaper bag

    • Weep openly till neighbors call police

    So we now have Alexis fenced off like the ravenous animal that she is. Our job is to construct the fences in such a way that she cannot escape. In addition we place pitfalls, like her toys and pacifiers inside the fence to appease her. Her job is simple; go to the edge of her world and bust down the wall. She's like a little revolutionary, and we’re a bunch of fence building socialist. If it were not for the fact that I like to try and beat her at this game I probably would feel bad for her. I've added safety latches to the drawers she used to open, and plastic plug inserts to the electrical sockets. She continues to amaze me though. There is always a reason to freak out. Tonight she somehow got a stray tissue and, in protest to her captivity, tried to eat it. Do we ban tissues like good socialists leaders? Or have the state papers write articles telling her all tissues are evil, and should be avoided. Propaganda campaigns are more difficult when your child can't read.

    My boss was telling me last week about a consultant that would come into your house and for 2-3 hours walk around on his hands and knees. He did this to outline all the potential hazards in your home. I can only imagine being more paranoid than I am. I have a picture in my head of me taking the belt sander to all my cherry furniture, and rounding all the edges, putting foam bumpers on all wall corners, or spraying down the house with disinfectant every hour. No thanks; I'm crazy enough as it is. I'll live with the steeplechase, for now, but when they start walking, I'm buying them each a body bubble.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Magic Eyes

    Some extra fun for a lazy Thursday afternoon...

    If you were breathing in the 90's you remember Magic Eyes! I forgot how cool these were... I found a bunch online and posted them, Click on each to get a larger sized image.

    If you don't remember, look at the picture and let it go out of focus, the trick is it only works when your depth perception isn't focused. You will see a 3D image in the flat picture, the longer you stare the more into focus the "hidden" picture comes. Be the first to post a comment with all the hidden pictures and you get bragging rights.
















    Piece a Cake

    My wallet has been in the evidence room of the Sonoma county sheriffs’ office for the last 8 years. I was pick-pocketed a month before I was married. All I have to do is go down there with a current ID and claim it. I’ve been thinking about doing it for the last 8 years, but I never seem to make it there. I even work for the county, and I drive by this office at least once a month. I could easily stop by and get it. I could probably even send an email to someone and have it inter office mailed to me. More than likely I’ll never get it.
    This is procrastination at its best.

    I find that I always have a reason not to do a thing. Additionally these are usually the simpler tasks. For some reason I’d rather do the hard stuff and put off the easy stuff till later. My favorite line is “Piece a cake. That should take about 5 minutes.” Generally this is a true statement. I just never seem to get around to it. I cannot believe I’m the only one.

    • I’ll wait 3 months between haircuts.
      It’s fine; just gel it…
      more…
      more…
      more…
      hum, I feel sorta slimy.

    • I’ll walk to the gas station after I run out of gas.
      How far into the red is really bad?
      They should have the light get brighter!


    • I only shave once a week.
      This isn’t because I like the sexy stubble look.
      What’s sexy about an unshaven geek?
      Not much my friends!

    • I won't even mention the dentist.
      I'm sure they're all fine in there...

    • But… if my computer is running slow…
      I’ll wipe it.
      Reload the OS.
      install the drivers
      my applications
      and finally restore my data
      Even if it takes all night.

    So my car’s registration was due in December, and we paid it. All I need to do is take 2 hours out of my weekend to get a smog check; I don't need a reservation, and I don't even have to fill out a form. The smog shop will send my results to the DMV over the Internet, and then the DMV will mail me my registration sticker automatically. I can totally do this... wait...2 hours! On a Saturday?! Who has that kind of time? We have to drive down, drop off the car... Oh heck, I'll just stay at home and spend that time on something more tedious and less productive, like re-bundling all the cables behind my computer into perfect order, or maybe I'll just type up my blog.

    "Piece a cake" ...

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Into the Mists

    As is customary in all great adventures, this one started with a journey. I knew not entirely what awaited me, but the camera of my mind was loaded and I would be capable of plenty of snapshots. I was going to take a daring trek. I was to travel to the "Ballpark." My traveling companions were quite familiar with the terrain, and would assist me as much as possible. For the first leg of our journey I would ride in hospitable surroundings, a posh Mercury. Here my mates and I chatted and readied ourselves, as we ventured into the mists. AT&T Park in San Francisco.

    Sitting on a jetting peninsula in the cold waters of the north, as millions had done before us, we arrived at the park. Ping was responsible for the expedition and was able to barter passage into the mightly fortress. Once inside my survival instincts kicked in. Our guide on the inside, The Storekeeper, deftly maneuvered the crowds and located our dwelling for the next 5 hours. A choice location by which to study the locals and their customs.

    Ando and I were off for the second necessity of survival, nourishment. The local food supply leaves little to complain about, pork in abundance, pizza, and the crème de la crème, garlic fries. This last item coupled with fermented beverage was the local’s way of securing what little territory they were able to occupy. As was the custom, one buys pork, garlic fries, and beer. The beer is then slashed on your feet, pants, and shirt as you return to your chair. It is acceptable to holler and beat others as long as they bear your markings.

    Being an outsider, I proceeded at once to the local mercantile and purchase an overpriced itchy headpiece. The choice of colors was limited. I noticed even though a number of different marking were worn around the ring, I could only purchase one. I have to say it turned out to be a wise choice. I was able to walk amongst them unnoticed. With the smell of garlic fries and sausage on my breath, my camouflage was complete.


    As titans battled for supremacy in the center of our arena, the locals observed their own customs. Our job, besides watching the battle unfold, was to respond to a large glowing billboard that bombarded up with commands, "Stand", "Make Noise", "Louder", "Smile", "Stretch", and so forth. No one seemed to find these instruction odd, and I followed with the group. Additionally we were required to quarrel with each other, beating our chests, and waving our arms. At this point I could only watch. The dance was quite complex, and the language needed to be scary, loud, or witty to win support from your clan. Some were skilled; others were removed due to poor performances.

    All in all it was 5 or 6 hours well spent. We all stood in unison when the board went out. We followed its lead once again, and also departed. My throat was horse, my odor horrific, but my spirits were high. I hated to leave those Ballplayers in the Mists.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Apologies

    My apologies, I have been attending to the sick the last few days. It seems the sick like having me around so much, they have shared. I now mingle with the diseased bodies at the Brown abode. I promise to post tomorrow.

    Saturday, May 20, 2006

    Cat Trees & Bamboo

    I have an idea, how about I make Saturday "Embarrassing Moments" day? I have enough for the foreseeable future. The only choice is, which one do I tell you...
    Story Circa: 2001
    Patricia and I spend all night building a cat tree for our first born, Tucker. This was made out of 4 - 1 inch thick plywood rounds screwed into 2 - 4x4's with 12 - 4 inch decking screws. Needless to say it was the most solidly build cat tree that ever was. Two nights later we get into a fight. I'm so mad at the end I look around for something to kick. I wind up with everything in me and attempt to remove the top of this 2 foot diameter plywood round with nothing but sheer bluster and a payless sneaker. I easily broke my toe. I can't say that I heard it crack, but that might have been due to the fact that Patricia was now laughing, and I was sobbing... at least the fight was over. Something would have to be done about my foot.

    Two years later I go to the doctor about this foot. This foot that I can barely put a shoe on without grunting or pounding my legs or chest. This foot that has been the bane of my life for the past two years. This foot that I was terrified to let any doctor touch. So I go to the doctor to have some work done. I'll spare you the details; I would prefer you made it through this post. Needless to say the toe was grim.

    So the doctor explains to me all the steps he's going to take. I don't know what it is about doctors, but they are always willing to explain your pain, or pain you will have in detail. So he takes about 5 minutes explaining the pain and how I should drink heavily or bring a stick to gnaw on. So I say;

    "Like bamboo under the fingernails, eh doc?" I smile. It's at this moment when the fact that he's Japanese comes into real focus.

    "What is that suppose to mean?" He is quite upset.

    "Body...this is the Brain... he's done it again...
    "We know... triggering the uncontrollable heat and blotchy skin...all systems go"
    "Mouth, can you muster anything?"
    "I'll see what comes out...engaging mouth"

    "Uh...I mean... never mind..."

    He walked out, and someone else did the procedure.

    Friday, May 19, 2006

    Sentimental Journey

    Walking thru the crosswalk at half speed, in tan knee highs, with blue hair spun up into a sphere, too much lipstick on an overly wrinkled face, with a cane, shoal, and large brown purse. It's hard for me to imagine her rebelling against her parents.

    What they must have though when they learned she was swinging instead of waltzing. She was listening to Benny Goodman and not a more "classic" sound. She now lives in a world where classics are from the 70's, oldies from the 50's, and her music is so old it's called a standard. No one remembers that her parents might have said "I don't want you to play your wild music in here!" while waving a Jimmy Dorsey album cover under her nose.

    I feel a strange sense of loss as I see the passing of this generation. I understand that this 90 year old woman was in a pre-war world II atmosphere in high school. Jazz was old news, Big Band was wild, and Swing was emerging, and no one knew what a Stratocaster was, or cared if someone else got voted off an island.

    When you went out you dressed up. Even to go and get ice cream, you wore a suit, or dress, and it didn't matter if it was August. I'm not even sure I could imagine wearing a wool suit in summer, and sitting at the diner, smoking my cigar, and then coughing up $.15 for the meal. It sounds like a joke, but she lived it. And now here she is.

    Her Grandchildren forcing her to use email, so they can communicate, because, "no one uses the phone, Grandma." She saw the invention of the seatbelt, freeway and satellite. I've never lived in a world without the microwave oven, and she might have heated her iron on the stove. She finally gets a handle the VCR and some upstart has to invent digital recorders, or the Internet, or wireless telephones.

    When my kids grow up, the elderly will be my parent’s generation. From Ed Sullivan, and Civil rights, to Hendrix and Tie-Die. What will they think? Certainly they will have a much different impression of what it means to be older. Tattoos and ponytails at the convalescence home, can you imagine? I can image trying to explain things to my great granddaughter. "Calling you at home in New Berlin, the lunar colony, feels odd to me." Of course this won't make sense to her, it will just be her world. And maybe she'll ask me with a furrowed brow, "What was it like great Grandpa, when people used to type on keyboards, and what is a Blog for?"

    "Who remembers dear, who remembers?"

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    They're Made Out of Meat

    I'm posting this mid-day because I already have a post for tomorrow. This is for a 5 minute Thursday laugh. I found this in my files... One of the best tongue-and-cheek "Sci-Fi" shortstories, I've ever read.

    THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT
    by Terry Bisson

    "They're made out of meat."
    "Meat?"
    "Meat. They're made out of meat."
    "Meat?"
    "There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."
    "That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"
    "They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."
    "So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."
    "They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."
    "That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."
    "I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."
    "Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."
    "Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"
    "Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."
    "Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."
    "No brain?"
    "Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."
    "So ... what does the thinking?"
    "You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."
    "Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"
    "Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"
    "... You're serious then. They're made out of meat."
    "Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."
    "... So what does this meat have in mind?"
    "First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."
    "We're supposed to talk to meat."
    "That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."
    "They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
    "Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."
    "I thought you just told me they used radio."
    "They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."
    "...Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"
    "Officially or unofficially?"
    "Both."
    "Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."
    "I was hoping you would say that."
    "It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"
    "I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"
    "Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."
    "So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."
    "That's it."
    "Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"
    "They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."
    "A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."
    "And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."
    "Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"
    "Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."
    "They always come around."
    "And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."
    the end

    Urban Commando

    Dressed in camouflage with a rake slung over my shoulder, I have an ammo belt full of fertilizer pellets. My boots have spikes for proper lawn aeration, and a mean spit shine. Hanging loosely in my left hand an industrial size weed n' feed spray. The lines are draw; I'm ready for urban combat. There can be only one "best lawn" on the block.

    When I go to mow the lawn I pull out all the paraphernalia. The gas mower starts the performance, followed by the electric weed whacker/edger, then the hedger, and sometimes I get to pullout the sawsall for large over hanging branches. Follow up with a simple fertilizer spreader and then I take a bow, and put away my toys. All in all the shows runs under 40 minutes or so. Others come out for their shows but none are quite as engaging.

    Many contenders have cut out early, the house down the street with the brown lawn and the "Starfleet Academy Graduate" and "Ferengi School of Business" stickers on his car, gets outside even less than I do. We also have a handful of "rock lawns" who also narrow the competition. I had been a clear victor for many months, with a nice lawn and well trimmed edges. The rains have changed all that.

    The whole street looks as green as the emerald isle. Suddenly everyone is competing, and I refuse to go down without a fight. I'm one of the youngest on the block and I have something to prove. By spending the most money my lawn is STILL not as green as my neighbor's who spends 4 minutes a week in total maintenance. He doesn't even have a hopper on his mower! I'm now on a strict schedule of fertilizer, water, and agonizing. I find there is always time for the latter.

    I believe the community is cheering for my neighbor. I'm finding subtle hints that my poll numbers are down. The old lady with "Paul" the pug dog makes frequent "stops" on my lawn. I've found numerous "Payday" wrappers in my foliage. If that weren't enough someone has spread weeds in my lawn. You laugh but I swear they're against me. So I come home last week and the lawn looks "good" but there is a second lawn of "wheat weeds" three times as high as my normal lawn. I swear it wasn't there two days ago.

    Can someone explain why we work so hard cultivating grass when weeds grow without any trouble at all? Surely some scientist somewhere can be spared from the gene mapping program to spend a week or so making a grass-like weed. No more maintenance, no more hassle, just mow once a month, and it chokes out its own competition.

    Until then its time for a trip to the hardware store. I will buy more gizmos for the show and see if I can garner support back from my base. With any luck, summer will take its toll on the upstarts and, I'll soon be sporting my "best lawn on the block" badge again.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Double Corkscrew with a Twist

    Summertime is closing in fast. To me that means a few things are on the horizon. First, I have to come up with new excuses this year not to wear shorts, and secondly, it’s roller-coaster season. That’s right it’s time for gut wrenching, cookie tossing, stomach knotting joy. This is the time when you separate the boasters from the bawlers.


    I have a rule; I’ll ride any roller-coaster that can not be assembled overnight. If it’s put together with more bobby pins and hope than welds, or run by a man with less teeth than toes I’ll watch from the ground. Otherwise I’m on it! I love a good coaster,I believe my father instilled this love in me. There are few things as memorable as riding Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain backwards! I plan to pass this along to my daughters.

    When my first born arrived, we found out she would have to undergo major heart surgery at six months. After a grueling three weeks at UCSF, she was released. We then had a follow up meeting with her cardiologist, who explained that they closed up two holes in her heart, formed a new value, and sealed up a duct that should have closed after birth. When he asked if we had any questions, I paused, then,
    “Uh, Doc,” I asked
    “Yes?”
    “Will she be able to ride a roller-coaster?”
    It seemed very important at the time. Anyway he said yes. Ever since she has been in training. You can’t enter into these things lightly. Alexis gets tossed, hurled, spun, and generally shook up, and she loves it! If this works as well as I hope I’ll have to write a manual on the proper upbringing for coaster-crazed kids. Needless to say she doesn't meet the hight requirement yet, but when she does...

    With the right company, and techniques even a boring coaster can be fun, though I would recommend going for the ones where people look the most ill on the departing ramp. These are the quality coasters.

    Here are some tips for maximum coaster enjoyment


  • Seating-
    Sit in the front row for the view,
    or the back for the speed.
    All other seats are a waste.

  • Act Scared-
    Pretend like your scared after they click you in.
    If your good you can milk this one all the way up the first ramp.
    I’m not sure why this is so entertaining but most people on roller-coasters are either sadistic or masochistic. Go figure!

  • Scream –
    Like your four years old and lost your mommy,
    Like you found dog poop in you bed.
    Like you might Die!
    This is one of the few times this is socially acceptable behavior, it’s fun, and essential for the overall coaster experience

  • Hands Up –
    Once you’ve hit free fall never, ever, under any circumstances, hold on to the handrail! Your hands should be straight up, or pumping in the “Bring It On” fashion.

  • Don’t buy the picture from the free fall. –
    Or you’ll never willingly let yourself look like that again.

  • Stay away from Hot Dogs or Nachos, or anything you don't think will go well with your outfit.

  • Have fun!
  • Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    Ode to a Salesman



    Mr. Smiling Salesman
    Why do you follow me?
    I told you I’m “just looking”
    And didn’t bring money

    Mr. Smiling Salesman
    How are your teeth so white?
    Do you brush them twice a day?
    Or soak them every night?

    Mr. Smiling Salesman
    Are you not listening?
    I don’t care where your fan belt goes
    Or if the engine’s glistening.

    Mr. Smiling Salesman
    Your style I can admire
    With shoes so white and shiny
    Though you have kicked five tires

    Mr. Smiling Salesman
    The devil wants your soul
    You traded for your tan line
    And name on the seller’s pole

    Mr. Smiling Salesman
    Please don’t testify
    I’ve seen all that I need to see
    I can’t hear one more lie

    Mr. Smiling Salesman
    You make my baby cry
    We just came here to look at cars
    But you have talked till nigh

    -Peter Brown 2006

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Benadryl & Coffee

    I’ve decided that if I had the ability to change one thing in history, I would make Luther Burbank a banker. Allergy season is in full swing. I can no long sustain life on my own. I’m at symbiosis with a small pink pill, and a lovely brown liquid. This means that if I do not take the pink pill daily, I will die a horrible death, caused by sneezing my head off my shoulders. If I do take the pink pill, and not the brown liquid, I will sleep. This will cause me to miss my life, and work. This will result in no money, and no means to buy the pink pills, and eventually aforementioned embarrassing death. For the most part I can live with this solution.

    Luther Burbank was a horticulturist. He is credited for the introduction of over 800 plants including hundreds of ornamental flowers. His plant species are all over Santa Rosa. I believe he was a sadist. I have no evidence except for the fact that thousands of people in Sonoma County suffer daily because of this man.

    When I moved up here from Los Angeles area, it seemed so serene. No smog to speak of and little traffic. I could breathe. Then came spring. I went to the allergist, who proceeded to scratch my arms about 60 times. Each scratch left a different pollen or grass sample under my skin. About 40 of the scratched areas became bumps. This means I’m allergic to roughly 2/3’s of Santa Rosas plant life. Well, there certainly had to be a solution to this problem, right? I remember my grandmother once told me, grow up and become an allergist, or a podiatrist. “Peter,” she smiled “Your patients never have emergencies, and they never get better.” She was right on the money.

    So every year I spend in abject misery, in a hermetically sealed room, hiding from the daisies and crape myrtles.

    What can be done? Benadryl has been my only answer. Benadryl is sweet nectar from heaven. I love Benadryl commercials, always showing happy people outside playing, or driving in a convertible. What they don’t tell you, is after you take a Benadryl, your really only ready for one thing; Sleeping. You never knew you could fall asleep slumped over your lawnmower, or halfway between bites at your local Denny’s. Often referred to as the nurse’s sleeping pill, Benadryl means your unfit to walk, talk, eat, and most of all drive. My eyes are no longer closed shut, due to red, swollen discomfort, but instead weighted closed by the eyelid lead that is Benadryl.

    What can be done? Coffee is the answer. Drink 17 cups of coffee a day to counteract the effects of one Benadryl. You can now walk, talk, eat, and drive. Not that anyone would want to walk, talk, eat or drive anywhere with you. Your awake, but at what cost? You’re a nervous wreck and you can’t concentrate on any subject for longer than 30 seconds. Additionally you will need to be within 7 seconds of a restroom for the next 5 months.

    Sonoma County – Paradise, especially if you’re an allergist, pharmacist, or barista.

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    Eternity at Borders

    I was debating whether I should do this or not, and I’ve decided to lay it on the line. I have more embarrassing moments than anyone I’ve met. I will be sharing these with you every once in a while. I urge you to learn from the experience, and if nothing else, feel better about your own moments.

    Since this is the first one I’ll start off with a small one and work up. This just happened at the Borders in Santa Rosa this last week. I go in looking to purchase Star Trek. I’m always a little shy about buying Star Trek. It's not that I’m ashamed of liking it, but socially it’s sort of a fopah. Either way it puts me on edge slightly which means my odds for doing something stupid have just jumped exponentially.

    So I put down my Star Trek Anthology that is the size of a briefcase on the checkout desk. Smile sheepishly, and respond in the affirmative to questions about my successful search for goods in the store.I’m already on edge now, and clerk says,

    “Star Trek eh…?” which means “so you’re a dork, eh?”
    “yep”, I say
    To which she responds “I-I-I understand.”

    I’m already uncomfortable, and now she’s advertising to the whole line that I’m on a quest for nerd viewing utopia. I understand! In other words "we all have issues we have to overcome." So instead of saying any of this, I get nervous, down to my shoes. I then do something I cannot explain. I threw my head back and I laughed.

    I laughed like Steve Martin was performing live behind the counter. I laughed like someone was tickling me. It was a room shaking belly laugh. I guffawed.

    “s-s-s—sorry… I-I-I-I have a studder...”

    I almost died. I wish I had. I wanted my heart to stop beating and have someone drag me out on a stretcher. No such luck. The next two minutes passed like hours. I’m not sure if I will ever go back to Borders.

    Speaking of laughing, you should have heard my wife when I told her about this. She's so sympathetic. All she could do, beside laugh, was thank her lucky stars she wasn't there when it happened.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Sushi

    Definition:
    Sushi – Grab it out of the water, wait till it’s no longer breathing, and then eat it.

    As my father-in-law is fond of saying, fish is the only food that gets less expensive after you cook it. I love raw fish wrapped in seaweed sitting on a happy bed of rice. Throw in a little green horseradish and your set. You can even skip the rice and seaweed in a pinch.

    It was in the theater, while watching the last “Lord of the Rings” that I realized; I love sushi. Picture the scene, Gollum: he’s nasty, he’s pasty, he’s wrinkled, he’s dirty, he's sinister. He reaches into the clear pool, pulls out a wriggling fish, bangs it on a rock, and takes a huge bite. The theater seats let out a collective burst of disapproval, and all I can think is, “Man that fish looks fresh!” This isn’t a natural tendency, it’s a conditioned response.

    I recall the first time I tried sushi. I was appalled, first and foremost by the fact that it was raw, and second that I had to chase after the plate as it raced around the bar on boats in a mini canal. I picked up a roll, opened my mouth, and my brain kicked it. My brain, realizing that I was almost lost, and that my hands and mouth were consipring to murder it's host, tried to reason with me.

    Wait, you can’t eat that!
    Why?
    It’s RAW you fool! People die … are you still listening?

    I wasn’t. I tried it. I hated it. Next I recieved the real shock. It was an expensive habit. Not only do they not cook it, and give you minuscule portions, but in its raw, diminutive state, it’s worth more than platinum. I kept trying, till I could eat it. Then I started to want it. This took five visits or so, and then I introduced my wife to sushi.

    Consider Gollum again at the pond with the fish. This was Patricia. She even finished off her wasabi pile. I don’t have time to relay the story of a friend who mistook the wasabi pile for avocado, and ate it in one bite. Imagine putting the buisness end of 220 volt electricial cord in your mouth. Yeah it's like that. Anyway, we are now avid sushi junkies, held back only by the constraints of our pocket books. I wonder how I ever felt fear at the consumption of the morsels.

    We had sushi for dinner last night. I never get to the end of a sushi meal and think,"What am I going to do with all these leftovers?" I do have to say, there is a certain phantom pain the next day, like when a good friend walks out of your life. Sigh...maybe I’ll find a stray $50 on the side of the road and have a piece or two for lunch.

    I leave with the ultimate sushi accessory. Sushi flash drives, technology meets good taste.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Jerk!

    People ask me, they say "Peter why are you so mean?" "Why do you lash out at things you don’t understand?" I always say the same thing, you have to go all the way back my brief college career for that. I was in math class and I picked up the only math that I understand abused=amused. I can’t say I understand all the intricacies of this complex formula, but it works. (I feel like I’m pitching the salad shooter on late night TV)

    “Jane, You just put in whole cucumbers, push the button and out come sliced cucumbers”
    “But Rick, where did the whole ones go?” she turns to the audience and looks puzzled
    “Jane, just Press It and Love it!”

    So I was in remedial math, because I’m incapable of performing math. I try, but it’s not easy for me. I have to say that failing math 101a is a humbling experience. Anyway, my teacher was gifted at math, but inept socially. He launched into these long stories that he passed off as amusing. I only did what we all wanted to. I when to Kinkos an had some cards made up.

    So Mr. Math Man is teaching fractions to a class of morons. He explains that the math community didn’t always use fractions. So these Mesopotamians where on a boat together and one brought up using ,a part of a number, or fraction as solution to this math problem.
    “And they threw him overboard. So remember class if your ever on a boat with Mesopotamians, don’t talk about fractions.”
    As you can image from your own reaction this flopped. BTW if your laughing, you might want to re think your own social interactions.

    I raised my hand.
    “yes, smiling student too stupid for me to recall your name,”
    “I wanted to give you a card,” I quipped.

    He read it aloud:

    The Humor Counseling Center
    Punch lines flat? Just plain not Funny?
    Need a humor tune-up?
    We’re here to help. Supportive staff. Free counseling.
    1-800-HUMOR-4-U



    Anyway it was a hit, and so was I. I had an instant reputation in class and since I was already a “D” student, there was no real downside. I still carry the cards around, though I don’t give them out as much as I used to.
    No I’ve never called the number. I don’t want to find out it's something dull like an mylar balloon shop.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Review - The Sebastopol Zoo

    The Sebastopol Zoo is a must see. There are new adventures of sight and sound around every corner. I recommend this for anyone who is looking for an exciting way to spend a weekend. It is one of the last nature preserves in California that allows you to interact with the exhibits. Overall I give it four Birkenstocks.

    Attractions
  • The Walking Tour- I had been on the drive through at top speed tour of the Sebastopol Zoo before. Today I had the opportunity to take the walking tour. This was a thrill. The Sebastopol natives are a simple folk, generally friendly and mostly amiable. Keep your eyes open and your cameras ready.

  • Buy and Plant – Today on the tour I was stopped by a group of people selling plotted flowers. You buy the flowers and then are required to plant them in beds along the sidewalk. Additionally they kept the pots. This is Sebastopol at its best.

  • Lennon Murder Truth (www.lennonmurdertruth.com)– If your lucky enough to see this van it will be the highlight of your visit. I had no idea that John Lennon was shot by Stephen King.

  • Art- The Sebastopol Zoo is awash with art. Like this piece found at the community gardens, it leaves me speechless.


  • Food
  • Sit Down Dinning- The natives here enjoy a wide varitey of food. There are 5 Thai resturants and one vegetarian eatery.

  • Fast Food- Sebastopol used to be home to my favorite burger joint "SO-SO'S." Sadly the natives discovered that hamburger trasnlasted from German means dead cow. Business dropped off like the grand canyon, and they were forced to close.

  • Free Zones
  • Nuclear Free- If you didn’t know Sebastopol is a nuclear free zone. So respect their customs and leave your radioactive isotopes at home.

  • Drug Free- Sebastopol has several areas within the village were signs are posted, that clearly read “Drug Free Zone.” If you brought you drugs to Sebastopol, please avoid these areas, or the local constabulary might have to write you a ticket.

  • Tips
  • Parking - If you do as I did and park inside the village, be sure to bring a neutral car. My car is a pickup, covered in dirt. It has no political markings, which is a must if your bent is to the right side of the isle. Either way expect a number of flyer's on your car when your done with your tour. This is one of the many idiosyncrasies of the natives, its polite to take them with you and pretend like you will read them.

  • Technology - You want to remember as you walk the streets of this simple village that the people are not accustom to technology. Hide your cell phones and pagers.

  • Apparel- Mostly anything goes, but if you really want to "fit in" the key is sandals, sandals, sandals. The hand knit shoulder satchel, and "Peace Means You" logo can't hurt.


  • Either way enjoy the Sights and Sounds of the Sebastopol Zoo!

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    Party Geek

    I have arrived at nerd zen, referred to fondly as “geeking out.”

    ”I’m sitting here in my office at work. I have two computers on my desk, one running Linux, with dual flat panel monitors, The other running Windows 2000, also with a flat panel. I’m installing Linux on a new server at my feet. The laptop is hooked up scanning for wireless connections. The warm hum of technology is like an inviting blanket of security. I feel the gentle glow of monitor radiation effecting me, I cannot stop smiling. At this moment I realize that I’m completely unfit to blend with normal society.

    Most geeks are introverts and don’t talk much. I’m not. I love to talk, even if I don’t have a clue what to say. I remember a recent scene at the grocery store.

    “Hey did you watch Nascar last night?” The well adjusted clerk asks.
    “Naw... who was playing?” I respond. My wife lets out a groan and I realize this isn’t correct. “I mean... Are you a gear head?” I try and bluff him.
    “Never mind... you want paper or plastic?”
    “I was kidding, I love Nascar, Im a huge Bonds fan!”

    At parties I’m a nerd in hiding. That is no small feat. It’s like try to hide and elephant up your sleeve. Most folks don't willing invite geeks to parties. If someone finds out you brought a nerd to the party, you better have brought an extra bag of chips, or more soda to compensate. We have an unnatural attraction to your household electronics, we lock you into dull conversations, or make you feel bad as we contemplate our feet, in the corner, without any punch.

    For the geeks, here are a few party pointers I’ve picked up.



  • Don't Panic

  • Use your real name, not your web handle

  • Stand up straight

  • Don’t talk to your PDA

  • Always have some excuse for your behavior
    I just had a benadryl
    I didn't get any sleep
    I forgot to save my level 50 barbarian last night before the computer crashed.
    Either way, be prepared.


  • When someone says:
    “So what have you been up to?”Talk about movies, horses or taxicabs.Talk about hammers, canoes or coffee. Just don’t explain how you hooked up your new PCI Express video card last night and ran a polygon test, this never gets the awe and reverence you would expect.

  • “What did you think of the game?” - This means you have once again missed out on a sporting event. Now is the time to panic. When it comes to sports I have no good defensive posture. Smile and look uncomfortable, maybe they’ll go away.

  • Just remember have fun, and try not to be yourself.
  • Monday, May 08, 2006

    Goodyear

    I was at a friend’s house this weekend, sipping on a foamy root beer and chewing the fat. I was unaware that not more than 3 rooms away was an object that would keep me awake all night thinking of conquest, pride and redemption. The object was a Goodyear tire.

    Matt Smith, pictured right. Matt, who is usually all smiles, invited a number of us over to his place for a BBQ. It was a get together to say hey to a couple of guys that were back visiting from St Paul MN. I enjoyed seeing both Tom and Jory, and all my old co-workers, but this post isn't about them. I knew I couldn't stay long and was thinking about heading home after about and hour and a half, when I noticed Matt was missing. I then heard Matt's wife say he's in the garage with showing off his tire. Hum... Okay, I'll bite. So I get directions to the spot, and then I see it. The Goodyear.

    This tire was a huge black rubber Goodyear tire, pieces missing from a couple of spots along the side. This tire was 750lbs. This tire screamed "you want a piece of me?" This tire was a dominating force in a two car garage. This tire was all man. Four people, including Matt, were all stating at it. So I asked "what's with the tire?" I said this with reverence, because a tire that big, doesn't sit in a nice garage for no reason. "I flip it" said Matt. Hummm, seems odd.

    Turns out Matt is now competing in regional Strong Man Contests . He placed 7th in his first competition and is gearing up for his second.


    "So has anyone flipped it yet?" I ask.

    "Karsten McMinn did."

    "No Way."

    Karsten is a geek, albeit a geek in good shape, but not a Matt. Being a geek has expunged alot of my manly urges, but the sheer drive of competition is still quite strong. I swat down next the tire; get a good grip on the rubber, and L-I-F-T. The tire moves a half an inch and I drop it. The tire then stuck out its rubber tongue and belittled my, manhood, lineage, and overall appearance. I was humiliated, embarrassed and my legs hurt.

    "Peter," smirks Matt "You can't dead lift it" (Thanks Matt, I got that much) "You have to push it up."

    Okay so here's the deal. You push against this mammoth with your chest; your legs cocked back at an angle and up goes the tire. Once you have it near 45 degrees, you put your knee under it and give it the final heave. By now were all taking turns, and no one is having any more luck than I did. Matt does his demonstration half a dozen times, to inspire us and bring out our "Call of the Wild" like urges.

    I go in for a second attempt. This time trying Matt's method. I'm much more successful. I get it to about 34 degrees or so, and then...

    Keep in mind this is a BIG TIRE. I'm in a coat, and insecure. I'm suppressing my desire to yell, or grunt, which is my normal channeling source.

    ... I try to move my knee up, and the tire slips. It falls down with a solid “I told you so" thud. Inertia sends me forward. I fall into the tire. My head and hands inside the beast, my legs are flailing outside of it. I feel like a gigantic shrimp tempura roll. I take a deep whiff of defeating rubber, and then hoist myself upright. I've lost to the Goodyear.

    As I was driving home to my wife and daughters, I was thinking about the tire. As I slept I dreamed about the tire. Anyone know where I can get a 750lb tire I can show up?

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Horrors of the Hallway

    There are few places in life as uncomfortable as the hallway. I understand pain, I've had five broken bones bad enough to cast. Four on my left arm and one on my right. I've been abused by the denstist. I've even done unreal harm to myself for no good reason at all. (I wonder why I never see these things comming?) There are cuts, scars and bruises on my person at any given time.

    I want you to understand the difference between pain and discomfort. Pain is having a popcorn kernel husk lodged in you teeth for 2 days while you destory your mouth with industrial grade ultencils. Pain is a screaming child, no coffee, and no advil, and a blaring headache. Pain is sleeping in the wilderness for a week on a foam mat 1 inch thick, without electronics or clean restrooms, and calling it a vaction. Pain is a Jane Fonda movie, Ted Kennedy speech, or a Spice Girls album.

    These things hurt you.

    The hallway is not pain. The hallway is a monster without claws, but with a better weapon, humiliation. It's in the hallway when we see our true self-esteem. I can stand up in front of a room full of people and perform, or pontificate, but I'm completely powerless to walk to the restroom, or go to vending machine, without acting like a ninny.

    I find myself stumped by a nicety like "how are you?" Do I lie and say I'm fine? Do I smile, should I stop? What if we get into a long conversation about something, and can't remember their name? Will they be offended if I just kept walking? Around town I try to walk with my head up, and survey the world, I try to be aware of my surrounding. In the hallway I'm a lumbering idoit who gets to doors to quickly to hold it open for whoever is behind me. But if I don't I look rude, and there I am holding the door as they walk by. "What are you doing Peter?"..."I was just standing here getting uncomfortable... yourself?"

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    5th of May



    As it was last year at this time, it is once again the 5th of May. What does that mean? It means, it's a good time to eat Mexican food and hate myself in the morning. There is something about Mexican food that makes me weak. I think the fact that the ingredients are so few, if you like them you like Mexican food. Tortillas, meat, cheese (so far so good!) throw in peppers, avocados, and tomatoes. (yes I know there are others, but that would be a food post... I'm not doing a food post) I don't see how you can go wrong. I do remember one 5th of May, we couldn't find a parking spot at any Mexican restaurant in town. So we had Chinese. Very odd, but we had the place to ourselves! Chinese food doesn't taste right somehow when you hanker for a nice tomale, chips, and salsa.

    So what is the importance of the 5th of May? I always presumed it was a Mexican Independence Day. Possibly because of the syntax; 4th of July, 5th of May. I mean who says 31st of October, or 25th of December? Or "first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox" no..you say "Easter!"

    The 5th of May isn't the day that Mexico won their independence. Mexico declared independence from Spain in September of 1810. Turns out the French army decided to come into Mexico 50 years later, in the 1860's and establish a nation under Napoleon III. The idea was to check the US so it didn't grow too powerful. (you do have to credit the man for his foresight) Anyway the Mexicans seemed ripe for the picking, considering the battle proven French Army. The French Army advanced in 1862, with aims to take the capital city. With heart, valor and some luck from an arrogant opponent, on the 5th of May the Mexican army defeated the French in the Battle of Puebla. The French did eventualy overpower the Mexicans, but the 5th of May did a lot to strengthen their resolve and send a message that Mexico would defend itself. In addition this defeat kept Napoleon III from supplying the Confederate army for another year. The Union army defeated the Confederate 14 months later at Gettysburg, which amounted to the end of the war.


    Union forces then brought arms to the Mexican army. They now had the will and the means to expel the French. As you can see this is as much and American holiday as a Mexican one. In fact it is celebrated mostly by Mexicans in America.

    I don't have any objections to the celebration. That being said, I believe that folks could do their part to calm things down. We have mini riots on the 5th of May every year, and it doesn't make any sense. We can all celebrate, and be responsible, instead of being afriad of going outside.

    It would do us all good to remember that Mexico used to be able to stand on it's own, and should be able to again. Anyway... I think I'm having Mexican food tonight, or maybe we'll just get a hot dog and watch some Zorro episodes.

    And now that you know... let me leave you with this alternative History.

    There are many stories related to the sinking of the "Titanic." Some have just come to light due to the success of the recent movie.

    For example, most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellman's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. The "Titanic" was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after New York City.

    The Mexican people were eagerly awaiting delivery and were disconsolate at the loss. So much so that they declared a national day of mourning which they still observe today. It is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Brian Regan

    You've probably arrived today looking for a post about the "boycott" on May 1st. We'll your not going to get it! If you haven't come to expect the unexpected it's not my problem. I will say this though, I did some shopping yesterday and was surprised at the difference in the amount of people. I'm not sure if it effected the economy, but it did effect me, the place wasn't half as crowded as normal. It felt like 1989 in Santa Rosa. Anyway, if you boycotted, I hope you accomplished whatever you were striving for. Either way, I'm not going to talk about it, my blood pressure isn't ready for a political post.

    Brian Regan is coming to town. If this news doesn't spark a warmth of joy in your heart, then you are uninformed. Well gentle reader, let me enlighten you. Brian Regan is not a stilt walking uncle sam impersonator. Brian Regan is not a St. Bernard juggling fire-eater. Brian Regan is not a banjo strumming Kingston Trio member. Brian Regan is not a yodeling tap dancer, or a watermelon smashing fruitcake. Brian Regan is not an MIT professor who will pontificate over the possibility of nanite technology. Brian Regan is not a jazz musician playing on a herd of tuned sheep... I have to admit that last one would be worth buying tickets to. Brian Regan is simply the funniest man alive. "Wow Peter, Id rather see the stilt walker" you say, or "Why am I still reading this?"

    Please press on.

    Brain Regan was introduced to us by a friend. A friend who in high school won the title of "Will most likely end up driving a mac truck quoting lines from cheap comedians" Shrug... sometimes your classmates now more about you than you think. Anyway After watching the video "I Walked on the Moon" I was hooked. It was what I imagine drug addiction to be like, dry mouth and an uncontrollable urge to have more. My supplier lent me the movie, the CD, and even willingly entertained with a few choice re-enactments. We showed the video and CD to everyone we knew, all the time saying "the first one is free." We recited the lines to any relevant situation. (There is one degree of separation to Brian Regan in the Brown house) Our friends are hooked, my co-workers are Regan Zombies, and still we press on, hoping for more. More is coming.

    Brian Regan is coming to our town. he will arrive in Santa Rosa on August 11th and put us all in stitches, give us some new material. The only issue is, the date isn't on his tour list. I'm plagued with worries that I bought $70 worth of tickets for a Brian Regan who will perform his engaging one man show "Me and My Bearded Shepard". Anyway I have to just shake it off, soon it will be August 12th and after a few day I'll get that dry mouthed obsession for a little dose of something new.

    Clicking on Brian's pic will take you to his media page... Try the "Consession Standup - Dounut" bit.