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It's time to take this bull by the horns and milk it.

Thoughts and observations of an Enneagram Type 7 INFP Beatles fan. I prefer baths to showers, late nights to early mornings, cats to dogs, and Mary Ann. The perfect blog for all featherless bipeds.

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Thursday, April 29, 2004
 
There's not enough time to live! It's like 1:00 am and I just can't not blog anymore.

While we're talking about writing, let me share my last thing from Richard Lederer's book - and you may have to think about this one for a moment:

'A burro is an ass. A burrow is a hole in the ground. A writer is expected to know the difference.' -- Anonymous

I was talking with The Lady Janet over the weekend, and some complicated stuff came up, and I said something like, 'Hey, well, it's all just snowballs and spiderwebs,' and she said that sounded blog-worthy, so here goes:

Snowballs accumulate the natural results of our actions. Spiderwebs are the causal ties that lead into our current decision processes. Snowballs roll downhill, and spiderwebs snag us into relationships with other events. Spiderwebs constrain snowballs, and snowballs create spiderwebs. Have you got all that?

I was thinking partly about this old Abraham Maslow quote that I love:

'As I tried thinking about these matters it quickly became very clear that pure theory of theories must at once be involved. For instance, what we have here necessarily is a kind of holistic thinking, or organismic thinking, in which everything is related to everything else and in which what we have is not like a chain of links or like a chain of causes and effects, but rather resembles a spider web or geodesic dome in which every part is related to every other part and in which the best way to see everything is to consider the whole darn thing one big unit. Perhaps I'll try this later, but now I think what I'll do is try free association for one point after another.'
-- Abraham Maslow, Eupsychian Management, 1965

Ol' Abe, by the way, was that guy in your Intro to Psych class that talked about the 'hierarchy of needs' and 'self-actualization,' which are valid and important ideas, but he also talked and wrote about a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're not familiar with Mr. Maslow's ideas, I would urge you to strive to become so.

So anyway, and this will seem unrelated, but bear with me... I was listening to the radio this morning on the way in to work (note: not 'into') and they were playing 'So Happy Together', which I now know is by The Turtles. I have not been able to determine when it was written and recorded, but somewhere back around 1968, when I was 6 years old, there was a guy in a studio, and he said, 'I don't want to just sing 'So happy together' over and over again, so how about if the third time I sing, 'How is the weather?' and everybody else there said, 'Man, that's so lame,' but that decision made my day today 36 years in the future, and I've walked around all day thinking, 'So, how is the weather?'

So how's that for snowballs and spiderwebs?


OK, time for some completely unrelated fun stuff!

Writing your name in the snow, er, I mean the copper...click for bigger pic.I've known for some time now that you could 'clean' Revereware with a mixture of salt and lemon juice. But tonight, I accidentally discovered that you could write on tarnished copper with ketchup (note: not Catsup, because in my mind, that's not even a word).

I've tried to write my initials CB on the pot-bottom, and I think I need a little practice, but I love the pompadour on the 'C.' You may also have noticed the cool artwork - in our home preschool last week, Lady Janet had the kids doing spin art in the salad spinner!


What is she thinking?My cat has been with me for over 15 years already, and she's on her last leg. She stopped cleaning herself about a year ago, and she appears to be almost completely deaf and more than a little senile. I think she is also having some kidney problems.

As this picture demonstrates, she loves to drink out of the shower. She's also fond of the fishpond and the watering can that lives out on the front porch. We keep a tall cottage cheese container full of clean water next to her food bowl, so the best theory I've got is that she's satisfying some basic huntress urge when she finds water in strange places.

She was a fierce huntress in her day - she killed a couple of hummingbirds, a pet mouse, and a huge rat, and I've seen her corner a opossum and bat a racoon across the snout.

(You'll note that I consider opossum to begin with a consonant. I understand that this is known as 'aphesis' when it occurs at the beginning of a word, and it's 'more common in regional American dialects than in the more conservative Standard English, which tends to retain in pronunciation anything reflected in spelling.')


What the hell is that thing?We have these amazing bugs around here this time of year.

I don't even know what they are, though I think we may have looked them up last year in a bug book.

Anyway, they look prehistoric, yet ant-like, and I love them in their own peculiar way, or my own peculiar way, or whatever. If you view the big version of the pic, those huge slabs of marble are actually sandstone coasters on the endtable next to my chair.


Frank Zappa's Tape Deck A.OK, here is the last thing, and then I'll let you go.

I own one of Frank Zappa's old tape decks. It's not a big deal really, but it is kinda cool.

See, when FZ died awhile back, they put a bunch of his real junk stuff up for sale on a website called 'Joe's Garage Sale' (a play, you see, on his, what, quintuple album masterpiece 'Joe's Garage'). I got this old beauty for $75 dollars American. I had a friend back in high school named Rick Glick (no, really) and he had one just like this. It doesn't work anymore, but it was OK when I bought it. There actually was a Cassette B in the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen (UMRK), and I wish now I'd bought it at the time so I'd have the set. Heck, maybe it's still there! (Believe it or not, FZ passed on December 4, 1993 - 11 years ago!) Wow.


When I first started blogging, I used to worry a lot about what to write. Now I just worry about when to stop.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004
 
Dumb ol' controls.
I hardly ever print, but when I do, about half the time my job doesn't come out.

I'm the IT guy here, so I understand all about printservers and queues and all that, and when I walk over to that stupid printer, I look at these unlabeled lights and buttons and I feel like I want to do something. But I'm pretty sure they're just there so you feel like you can do something, because all that ever happens is that I push that big button right there on the corner that looks like it's saying "Come on, push me. No really, I can help." and all it does is spit out a test page with a picture of the printer on it.

I'm not trusting that button anymore.

Stupid HP2100 Printer


Friday, April 23, 2004
 

Le meme est morte, vive le meme.

Pardon my French. With any luck, this will make more sense in a few seconds...

There's a meme going around right now that involves listing the 5th sentence on the 23rd page of the book that's nearest you. Most people, like me, will choose instead the book they're actually reading. See, it gives us a chance to say something like, "Right now I'm reading A Man of My Words by Richard Lederer, and the sentence is: 'While Simone and I were courting, we invited friends to go out with us for dinner and they insisted on going "Dutch treat.'"

Sorry, but that already seems completely uninteresting, even to me. Part of the game is that you're supposed to include the rules, but I refuse to do it. The meme dies here, people.


But I am excited about reading the book, so let me quote something worthwhile. He opens with this joke:

The other day I went to the bookstore to buy a dictionary. The clerk showed me a really cheap one. I couldn't find the words to thank her.

His chapter on slang has gotten me inspired, so here are a few new terms I'd like to coin right here and now:

Bush-wacky
As in 'That's one of the Bush-wackiest things I think G-dubbya's ever said!'
whacked-up
Euphemism for f**ked-up, opposite of 'whack.' Example: 'That sh**'s not whack, it's whacked-up.'
no-fo' shizzle
Not for sure. Opposite of mo-fo' shizzle, which means really really shizzle. Usage: Yeah, like he's da bomb... no-fo shizzle!

Reading a book on English also got me thinking about something I say and think all the time that's kind of odd.

Instead of saying, 'I've been meaning to do that,' somewhere in my youth or childhood I picked up the expression, 'I've been gonna do that for a long time now.' I said that to my friend Clare when I was about 19 years old, and she said, 'I've been gonna???' like I was crazy, but I love that sense that you have a history of having meant to do it, as opposed to just simply meaning to do it.

Anyway, I have a huge list of 'I've been gonnas' and they spring out at me wherever I look.


One last thing. What is the deal with this Alan Greenspan? Every time that man opens his mouth, I lose a bunch of money. It doesn't seem to matter what he says - whether the rate goes up or down, whether unemployment improves or get worse, whichever way the consumer price index goes, I lose money.

So will somebody please tell Mr. Greenspan to shut the hell up?


Tuesday, April 20, 2004

 
Asparagus Pee Links


 
The Quotable Asparagus Pee

Here's the problem with house cleaning:

Not only does Nature abhor a vacuum, but she seems to have something against a clean horizontal surface.


Thursday, April 15, 2004
 
As a blogger, or at least as someone who plays one on TV, I read a lot of blogs. Now, as it's eating up more and more of my life, I'm trying to figure out what I want to accomplish with my blog, and what I want to be aware of on other blogs.

Early on, I picked up on a meme. It comes in handy when I'm trying to describe to a newbie what blogging is all about, and what it said was that there are basically two types of bloggers, Linkers and Thinkers.

Over the last year or so, I've certainly tried to be both, but I'm starting to realize that there is also a third type (By the way, there truly are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't).

This third type is what I'm going to christen the "Free Spirits."

These folks sometimes link and they sometimes think, but often they just write honestly about what's going on in their lives, draw a cartoon, tell a story, show you a picture, or post a song, and damn the torpedos, full-speed ahead.

I like that! You never know before you go there what the heck you're going to see, and novelty rocks!

Therefore, it is my intention to herewith institute the Carnival of Asparagus Pee, wherein I will select blog entries of note from my current blog-trolling and present them for public consumption. Here we go...

First, I'd like to congratulate Brian Lewandowski for a hilarious series of rants on product quality and corporate mission statements that is nominally about Domino's Pizza. It reminds me of a direct marketing seminar I was at night before last where they quoted the guy from the leading online marketer of wines as saying something like, "We are in business to provide absolutely the best customer service in the world, and it just so happens that we serve it in a glass of grape juice."

Then we've got Drunk Bastard, who's trying to do everything all at once.

Here are a couple of local sites, from the Sacramento Blogger Meetup (to my knowledge, we've never met), and the Sacramento 25 (sort of): Motel Mag. the "website for people made mostly of water," and Flourish's web shit kollektiv (sic), (and her related) Blog (if you go, please let Madeline know that Asparagus Pee guy sent you.)

But the ultimate Free Spririt continues to be The O to the Bee to the S to the Gee. I suppose that might be biased, but show me someone else who would say, "I think I need to eat more art." and I'll read them in a heartbeat.

I think I should also recognize the person who commented on my next most recent post, because I actually did enjoy her Curvature Blog.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004
 
Very briefly today, the thought crossed my mind, "My life sucks." Then I realized that wasn't true at all, so I revised it a bit to a quote I'm pretty happy with: "My life doesn't suck, but it sure keeps trying to!"


Monday, April 12, 2004
 
Here is why I read Orange Blossum Smut Girl's blog - it's stuff like this:

I am so alive and so tired.

I enjoy the present tense. I wish more journals used present tense. We are I am he is. Everything is was was was. He was here. We are going to go there tomorrow. NOW NOW NOW!


Thursday, April 08, 2004
 
Well, gosh, I thought I was writing something to try to explain to myself how I feel in my mid-life crisis, or tell my wife what was going on in my head or something, but it got pretty weird pretty fast, and it's not very personal, so I've decided to share it. Turn away.

Whatís On My Mind

Iím looking for some way to let you know whatís going on in here.

It is my only intention to type freely. I have little idea what Iím about to write. I do know that I want to express some things that Iím feeling and thinking about lately. Here we goÖ

Iíve toyed with the idea of doing a sort of ďhereís what I think about moment by moment as I go through my day, from the moment I first wake up until I go to bed,Ē and I think that could make for a really powerful presentation of my stream of consciousness.

Iíve also toyed with the idea of just typing a true stream of consciousness, but right now, that feels almost like what Iím doing!

Iíve also also toyed with doing a running, fictional, allegorical narrative.

Iíve also also also toyed with the idea of doing a topical outline and just saying, in effect, ďhereís what Iím thinking right now about pets in the household.Ē

What do you think? Hey, hereís an ideaÖ letís try a little of each!

Waking Up:

Itís 2:30 am. I donít feel so hot. What time did I go to bed???

Oh, thatís just the cat. Should I feed her? What time is it? Oh, yeah, rightÖ 2:30. I donít think thatís a good time to feed a cat. Sure donít want to train her to expect that!

OK. (Clears throat.) Do I need to pee? No. (Thank God!)

Ösounds of snoringÖ

Itís 4:30 am. I donít feel so hot. I think I went to bed around 1:15?

Oh, thatís just the cat again. Should I feed her? What time is it? Oh, yeah, rightÖ4:30. Thinks angrily: Think again, ďfurball.Ē (I typically put this into mental quotes now because of that Berenstain Bears episode where they pretend itís a dirty word.)

Ösounds of snoringÖ

(Boy, this gets boring pretty quickly. Letís try device #2Ö)

True Stream of Consciousness:

Iím typing. No, wait, I need to pretend Iím in the past or something. Still typing. Iím clever.

Return.

Really liked that last one. No one knows what Iím typing or talking about, but what the fuck do I care anyway? Insects. Of course, I donít really feel that way, but Iím typing whatever the hell comes into my head, and BOOM!, there you have it. I donít recommend this. (technique) (or overusing parenthetical statements [I started to type ďparenthesesĒ {I dug correcting my plural of parentheses to have the Ďesí on the endÖ GOD IíM SMART!}])

Boy, that goes quickly, but Iím sure itís a lot more boring to read.

(And Iíve really enjoyed doing italics in reverse and nested parentheses to make all that syntax work.)

Fictional Allegory:

Once upon a time, there was a little boy whose parents told him he could do whatever he wanted with his life.

The boy loved and trusted his parents, and up to that point, heíd gotten pretty much everything heíd ever wanted, so the boy believed it.

He decided that he would be a scientist, an astronaut, a philosopher, an author, an artist, a photographer, a composer, a chef, a mechanic, a poet, a programmer, a gardener, a father, and a lover all rolled into one. (This turned out to be too much work, so he became an alcoholic.)

(Díoh! That damned stream of consciousness is creeping back in. Gonna have to watch that!)

Topical/Hierarchical:

1.The Hot Tub.

a) I really like having a working hot tub.
b) It has a leak.
c) I have the part.
d) I need to install the part.
e) If it doesnít leak, we need to make time for family hot tubbing.
f) If it still leaks, then what?
g) Iíd love to build a solar heating panel on the roof of the garage.
h) Either that or go to 220V or gas. (Is it worth it?)

2. The Garden

a) I like dirt.
b) I like compost.
c) I like seeds.
d) I love plants.
e) I love flowers
f) Gardens are a lot of work.
g) Our garden doesnít perform very well.
h) I want fresh tomatoes and peppers and onions and cilantro for salsa.
i) I eat a lot of salsa.
j) I like salsa.
k) The garden space conflicts with the vision for the new play structure.

Etc., etc., etc., ad infinitumÖ God! Is life really this boring?


Tuesday, April 06, 2004
 
Yeah, right.You can lead a horse to water, but you know, once he's there, watching a horse drink water isn't really all that exciting.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll always smell like fish.

It's really important to stop and smell the roses. Otherwise, someone might come up to you at any time and ask you how the roses smell, and you'd just say, "Huh?"

If I ever meet a bear in the woods, I think I'll just play dead. That way, if he starts to maul me, I probably won't even feel it.

In the unlikely event that you experience a loss of cabin pressure, I sure hope I'm not sitting next to you.

A penny saved is a penny earned, but a penny earned is like a penny that you didn't have before you earned it, and a penny saved really isn't like that at all.


 
I want to thank J-Walk for reminding me to blog about Daylight Saving Time (without an 's'). As an adamant non-morning-person, it's hard to get up an hour earlier for a few days, but I can't imagine anything better than an extra hour of evening daylight. I mean, what the heck is the point of shorting me an hour in the winter when the morning is still cold, dark, and uninviting? If it were up to me, I'd adjust things weekly to maintain an 8:00 PM sunset and vary the work schedule accordingly.


Monday, April 05, 2004
 
But then again, I could be wrong...For some reason, it really bugs me the way airlines want to charge me for beers and headphones, but 'exact change is appreciated.' Of course, as The Lady Janet pointed out to me when I brought it up last week on the plane, I could solve this problem very easily. Since I know I'm going to drink a beer, I just need to carry some small bills.

So sometimes I go buy something like a cup of coffee just to break a $20, but sometimes I forget, and it just seems kind of silly and arbitrary to me that they charge $5 for a can of MGD that cost about 20¢ more retail than the soda pop they're serving for free, when my family paid like $800 bucks to sit there, and then they add insult to injury by asking, 'Don't you have anything smaller?' when I obviously don't, like it's somehow my fault that ATMs spit out yuppy bucks in $20 increments.

I've had the same gripe with my doctor's office. If everyone who walks in has a $10 or a $15 copay, you ought to start the day with a big stack of fives, and on the flight where Delta charged $2 for a pair of headphones and $4 for a beer, they must know they're playing Crazy Eights. How hard could it possibly be to figure out what cash drawer you need for a typical flight instead of getting on the blowhorn and asking if any passengers have change for a twenty? I mean, come on, I wouldn't sell lemonade from a stand on the sidewalk without a few dollars in the till.

Of course, there's another elegant solution that comes to mind. I could just hold out the $20 bill and say, 'I'll have 5 beers please.'




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