May 21, 2006

Politeness and Civility

Filed under: Uncategorized — Craig @ 8:48 am

Hi Gang. Craig here from mtpolitics.net just popping in to “toss a turd in the cyber-punchbowl,” as it were.

If’n you didn’t know, I’m from Montana, the 4th largest state in the nation where we actually say stuff like “if’n.” We have a saying out here that, “Minneapolis is Back East and Spokane is the Big City. California is Off-Planet.” In my visits with Jim, I’m thinking that we might consider Jersey to be off-planet, too.

Case in point: In Montana, if you are walking down the street and see someone coming toward you, it is likely that one of you will say, “Mornin’!” as you pass. (Or “Afternoon! or Evenin’! depending upon the time of day, naturally.) The other will reply in kind, with the same greeting; only with the pitch direction inverted. The exception to this rule is if you are in Butte, where the correct greeting is “How she go?”

Jim and I were visiting about this and he remarked that in Jersey, the proper response to “How’s she go?” or “Mornin’!” would be either disembowelment, or a double-tap in the thinking machine.

Earlier this week, I happened to be on the campus of one of our two state universities. I’d just finished lunch and was on my way back to the parking lot and had to cross a street.

I approached the crosswalk and stopped, checking for traffic. Vehicles approaching from both sides stopped to let me and another gentleman pass.

As we crossed the street, he remarked to me that he’d been in Montana for quite a while and was still taken aback at how polite people were. He then went on to talk a little bit about how he’d grown up in a small town in California which had been swallowed into Los Angeles and so on, and people there used to be polite to each other until the people started moving in from the city . . .

I said, “Does it look like I’ve got time to sit around and listen to your fuckin’ life story?”

Sheesh. What an asshole. Couldn’t he see that I’m a busy guy with places to go, people to see and things to do?

May 18, 2006

Chillin’.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:59 pm

bourbon_rocks.bmpEarly tomorrow morning, we will be flying off with some of the Usual Suspects to our regular spot in Florida and what can fairly be described as “Summer Camp for Grown-ups”. After we arrive, one of our first stops will be at the same local liquor store we descend upon each year, and the owner will be giddy as a schoolgirl as we check out with the first installment of our “supplies”.

From there, it will be a visit to Publix (for some incidental edibles and stuff), which for us Yankees is a treat, as we have few supermarkets in Jersey that we like as much as we like Publix. The store employees are always very nice in comparison to the graduates of the Lodi Charm School to which we have become accustomed in Jersey. And, Bonus! Publix sells beer! (Supermarkets are not permitted to sell beer in the Garden State — the Liquor Lobby is POWERFUL).

Then it’s on to where we have our summer abodes, where we will commandeer a shopping cart, fill it with “libations” and on which we will affix our “Jersey Juice Wagon” sign. We will greet old friends from other parts of the country as far-flung as Washington State and the “Great City of Fort Wayne, Indiana”. Good peeps, all. Seeing the same people every year is a bit like a blogmeet, except no one (except Yours Truly) is a blogger. We sip, dip, and catch up. It’s nice.

I am pleased to tell you that I have left keys to the Rest Stop with some primo folks. I fully expect that Eric will leave his tracks here when he returns next week from Scotland. (He deserves a chance to “get even”.) I’ve also left a set of keys with daughter, TJ, who may stop by. Craig and Dogette were also invited to toss a few turds into the cyber-punchbowl. Both of them already have the run of this place (Craig built it), but Craig has lots of Life 101 going on at the moment, and Dogette will still be on hiatus for much of the time I am away. Still, either or both of them may show up to leave a word or two here.

I’d like to thank all of them in advance for minding the store, and I shall return some time around Memorial Day — give or take.

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I do NOT travel with a laptop, and, besides, the whole “wireless” thing makes my hair hurt, so I won’t be checking up on you. So, please play nice while I’m gone.

May 17, 2006

Swell Idea.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:04 pm

It appears that the NSA has extremely sophisticated technology that can sift out and identify suspicious patters of telephone calls from the millions (billions?) of calls placed in the U.S. This could be a tremendous tool for thwarting terrorist plans.

Therefore, it seems perfectly sensible that some Americans are demanding that the program be scrapped and the data destroyed. Why stop there? Perhaps we ought to dismantle the NSA completely? That way, when some of us are blown to smithereens or killed slowly with biological or chemical agents, those who were not targeted can bask in the glow of knowing that their privacy was protected.

May 16, 2006

Defective Wiring.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:25 pm

compass.bmpI believe it is true that some people (perhaps most people) are just not properly wired to do one particular thing or another – and I really do mean “wired” in the sense that their brains are just not configured to perform certain tasks or learn certain things.

For example, I know people who are as tone deaf as a stone.  They cannot tell which of two notes is higher.  Along similar lines, I knew a guy who could play the hell out of the guitar (including things like Santana type licks) but who could not reproduce the notes with his voice.  I have a friend who sometimes reads the mirror image of the hands on a clock, so that instead of saying, “It’s eight o’clock,” he will say, “It’s four o’clock.  I also know a couple people who cannot keep their “lefts” and “rights” straight, no matter how hard they try.

I do believe it is a matter of wiring.

My wiring flaw is that I have absolutely no sense of direction.  As I mentioned once before, I have no sense of where north, south, east, or west is at any given time.  When I was in Austin, I asked, “Which way is north?” and a half dozen fingers pointed in the same direction at the same time.  Obviously, they are properly wired.

I also have previously confessed to the strange malady of knowing how to get from point A (my home, for example) to point B, from point A to point C, and from point A to point D, etc. However, without explicit written-for-morons directions, I am utterly incapable of getting from point B to point C without first going back to point A.  And, of course, once I am lost, I am really schnitzled, because of the north, south, east and west thing.

Those days may be over, because yesterday I bought myself one of these babies.

I tried it this morning, and it worked like a charm. It “tells” you where to turn, and even if you screw up, it finds the next best way. And, the best thing is that I don’t have to worry about things like Mr. Template.

Now, with the help of technology, despite my defective wiring, I can go from point “D” to point “B”, and maybe visit point “C” and head back to point “D”, without ever once having to return to “A”.

It’s downright farookin’ remarkable.

Uh-Oh!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:25 pm

Whatever will my Jawja buddies think?


What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

Found it at Lemons and Lollipops.

May 15, 2006

It Figures.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:46 pm

Alligator-close.bmp

Just as I am beginning to think about what stuff to pack for the upcoming week in the Gator State Sunshine State, the alligators have decided to declare open season on peeps.  I’d like to thank the ratfinks my friends and readers who have posted comments and sent me e-mails in order to make sure that I know that alligators have killed three people over the last several days.

You bastards owe me for an industrial-sized bottle of Imodium

I just may have to spend the entire week on a barstool by the pool

ZZZZZAAAAP!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:17 pm

I am not a particularly religious person, but this gives one pause and just seems so right.

Thanks to my frien Brian, the Air Force Vet.

May 14, 2006

Mother’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:58 am

carnation.bmp

Happy Mother’s Day

For me, it’s a day of special memories.

May 13, 2006

School Projects.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:15 pm

Shakespeare.jpgHoosierboy hates school projects, particularly those that require the haggard parent student to create some tangible thing.

I hated school projects too.  I recall being a sophomore in high school in an “accelerated” English class and getting an assignment to “make something” having to do with William Shakespeare.

I had no clue what to do.  I can’t draw worth a shit, and to make matters worse, I let it ride until the night before the project was due.  I decided that I would try to carve a bust of ol’ Willie from a bar of soap.  I got a bath-sized bar of Ivory and a penknife and went to work.  After about an hour of “carving” I ended up with a very small bar of Ivory soap and the realization that sculpture was not in my future.  I have no idea what the hell possessed me to think I could carve anything out of a bar of soap, let alone William Shakespeare’s damned head and shoulders.

I didn’t seek my parents’ help, or even tell them about the project.  They both worked for a living, and I figured that this was my problem and not theirs.  I also didn’t want the lecture about putting the project off until the last minute.  Besides, it always seemed pretty obvious to me when someone’s parents did a “project”, and I assumed it would be equally obvious to the teacher would openly expose the student’s treachery — sort of like getting caught copying stuff from the encyclopedia.

I decided that I would have to show up in class without having done a project.  At first, I was worried about getting a failing grade.  However, that night and the following morning before school I managed to bullshit myself rationalize, “Yo, Jimbo.  Don’t worry.  This assignment was sooooo stupid that nobody will bring anything in, and the teacher will realize the error of her ways”, proving, of course, that the average high school sophomore boy is a dumbshit.

Of course, I was the only sorry ass who did not bring something in.  The kids who could draw (or whose parents could draw) produced all sorts of images of the Bard himself and various characters from his plays.  The clincher came when one of the girls in the class (the proverbial “teacher’s pet” – Miss Whatshername-Brown-Noser) literally unveiled a goddamned model of the Globe Theater made out of a thousand or so popsicle sticks.

“Pure bullshit,” I thought.  “There is noooo way that Whatshername-Brown-Noser made that herself.  Her father is probably a goddamned architect.  The teacher will be on to her scam in a heartbeat.”  I waited for the teacher to pounce.

Wrong.

The teacher swooned over the popsicle stick theater.   It was positively sickening.

Not surprisingly, I got an “F” for the project, and Whatshername-Brown-Noser got an “A+”.

I wanted to ask the teacher why she didn’t give the grade to Whatshername-Brown-Noser’s goddamned father, but I knew that I was in deep enough shit already.

Like I said, I hated school projects. 

Not Everything’s More Expensive.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:09 pm

I happened to be in the supermarket today, and as I was meandering down one of the aisles, I noticed calculators for sale.  They were shrink-wrapped against cardboard and were hanging on hooks muck like sets of six cheap pens.  I took a closer look, and saw that these particular calculators were fancy enough to use for trigonometry.

I checked out the price and was floored by what I saw.  The price was $6.99.  Holy crap!

I remember when I was in college in the sixties, Texas Instruments had launched a personal electronic calculator.  My parents bought me one for my birthday.  It was about six inches long and three inches wide.  The part of the calculator that displayed the numbers (in red) was probably an inch thick.  It could add, subtract, multiply and divide.  That was it.  I recall that it cost my parents something like $70.00, which in today’s dollars would probably something like $140.00.

I suppose that, on some level, I was aware that prices have dropped dramatically on things electronic, but I confess that I had no idea that one could buy a powerful hand-held calculator for seven damned dollars — in a farookin’ supermarket, yet.

Go figure.

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