Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm still here, in case my .004 readers were wondering!

Yes, I know you've been wondering, and that you've been waiting lo these many months for my next Pulitzer Prize-winning blog post, so here it is -- patience rewarded.

Man am I sooo over winter right now. I can't tell you how badly I want it to be spring already. I cannot stand the cold, or the ice and snow. I don't drive, and I took a bad spill back in December on some black ice while riding my bike to the store, and I messed up my cheek. I still bothers me some, so I think I fractured it or otherwise did some damage.

I tell you that not for sympathy, but to illustrate just how sick I am of this season. I love the freedom of getting out on my bike and riding around. Mind you the local trail here called the "Monon Trail" is getting more dangerous every year to ride on, but being stuck in my apartment is just brutal, and I would ride on the interstate just to get out-of-doors. I lost 15 pounds or so over the summer, and I just know that that has gone to hell now too.

I know at my age, in my late 40's, I shouldn't want time to pass by so quickly, but I do. I look forward to reading this in April or May and having a chuckle as I'm getting ready for a bike ride or a walk to the local tavern. For being out of work for so long, and the almost constant pain that I endure, I'm actually in pretty good spirits. And getting into warm weather will be such a relief. Mind you, I'll still complain when it's boiling hot, but at least the days are long and the birds are singing when it's hot out.

On another front, I've got what some people call a "murse" on the way from Amazon. I really don't care what anyone calls it or what people think, because I simply needed something to carry my stuff in when I'm out and about. To me it's just a bag, and only we Americans have a problem with a man having a bag. Hell, I'd rather people just call it a purse, because what's wrong with that? Nothing if you ask me, but some people are just weird about such things.

This is the one I'm getting:

It was a good price, as those things go, and seemed about the right size. Smaller than a messenger bag (too big for riding), and bigger than what really might deservedly be called a man purse (too small for my water bottle etc). I really wanted to get one that wasn't made of leather because of my aversion to using animal products, and the fact that leather is much harder to care for. If someone gave me one made of leather, I wouldn't toss it or make a fuss, but it's not my preference.

I really wanted to get one that I found that was made of hemp, but it was too expensive and a little too big. I do have some bags from when I went to college back in '05, but none of those are really good for riding around. I use my large backpack for when I go to the store, and believe me, it's not the kind of thing you want riding around on your back and pulling on your neck and shoulders for several hours. Hopefully this bag I have coming won't give me any issues with that, since I do have a couple of vertebrae in my neck that are a bit dodgy. Ha ha, old age sure is a corker, ain't it??

I seemed to have lost one of my favorite wristbands over this winter too. It said "Love Not War". I'm pretty sure it got thrown out with some newspapers. I'm not sure If I want to buy it again or not. It comes from here: Whatever It Takes. I'll probably get it again (and maybe one other as well), but money is tight, and that's a U.K. site, which means it costs about twice as much for me here in the States. I'm going to need to get some new clothes before long, so I have to be careful. My charity giving is small, but I try to help the best I can. I wish I was a better, less selfish person. Oh well.

Oh yeah, I joined my local NPR / CPB radio station too, as a supporting member (the radio side in my case). It was probably foolish considering my financial situation, but after the dust-up about that commentator getting fired, I knew I had to back them up. They are invaluable to me and millions of others, and if public radio and public TV went away, we would be a lesser nation for it. This isn't the place I use for my rants about such things, so that's all I'll say. But I couldn't be prouder to support them.

That's all for this post. Another one is coming shortly about food, tech stuff, and maybe a little music too. Thank you for reading! :o)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pictures from a few bike rides...

I like to take my little camera with me sometimes when I ride my bike and take pictures of anything that catches my eye. I don't know that I'm very good at it, but I usually get some decent pictures. Apparently most wildflowers are yellow. Too bad I don't have a better camera. These were taken over a few days of riding, and then edited a little bit in Photoshop. You can click them to see them at almost their full size. Drop me a line if you want one at the full 1680 width.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Just some pictures. You know, no big whoop

Here I am again, with another post that no one will see or read, let alone comment on. Just some pictures I took on a recent bike ride on the Monon Trail that runs through Indy and points north. I ran them through Photoshop and messed with them a little bit. I like to ride my bike even though it seems as though it doesn't do anything for me other than make me sore. But I may end up homeless and car-less soon, so I'm glad I have it. So blah, blah, blah, blah, blah here are the pictures and all of that. Long live some stuff and whatnot!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The first 10 years of the new milllenium...

Top 10 Forecasts for 2010 and Beyond From The Futurist Magazine

So, here we are 10 years into the new millennium, and it has been something for me. Like most people, I'm sure, this last year has been up and down for me. I've been unemployed for a while, and yet my doctor and I finally have my chronic headaches under pretty good control where I can now live a normal life, or as normal as I get anyway. I lost my dear uncle to heart disease, and yet my cousin (his daughter) finally seems to be getting her life going, and I managed to find a decent apartment after moving out of his house. I got to reconnect with my brother which was nice, even though he still managed to piss me off in his short stay here before he moved to another city. But that's always been our relationship - I still love him.

I went to my cousin's wedding (which I had to talk myself into at the last minute - I despise weddings) and had a good time and drank lots of beer and ate good food. One other thing that happened to me was my decision to become a vegetarian for reasons of health and conscience. I don't judge anyone who still eats meat, because I was a carnivore for all of my life until recently. But things have changed for me. I just don't feel right eating meat any longer. I'm also trying to eat healthier as well (which is my New Year's resolution - losing weight would be cool too), which means I'm trying to watch what I eat and use organics as much as possible.

I had a pretty interesting year as far as music goes. I saw White Lies after a friend talked me into going to see them (thanks Maggie!) at a small club that they will never play in again, no doubt. I got to the meet the kids from Jared Mees & The Grown Children when they played a small show in Indy and they signed their CDs for me. They're good kids and have potential, I think. The best show I saw all year was probably Margot & the Nuclear So and So's at a local place that used to be a small neighborhood theatre. They're a great live band. The theatre was a dump and smelled, but the show was rockin'. And of course if you read my earlier post about the show with Kate Havnevik and Levi Weaver, you know how much I loved that one. There wasn't a lot of new music from bands I already like, but I know many of them are working on new stuff.

So it was a pretty good year all-in-all. I woke up everyday above ground, so it can always be worse. As Eric Idle sang: "Always look on the bright side of life."

Musically I've changed dramatically over this decade. At the beginning I was a music snob that thought he knew what was good, and pooh-poohed anything that I didn't like. I was contemptuous of anything new or unique, and I never would have listened to the stuff that I listen to now, or gone to the concerts that I've been to in the last few years. There isn't much that I don't listen to now. If I hear something that sounds good or interesting to me, I listen to it, and don't judge it based on some preconceived notion of what's acceptable. And what I don't like, I just say it's not for me, and I leave it at that. If you like it, cool! But I don't find that there's much that I don't like since I've allowed myself to be less demanding and strict.

The last 10 years has been interesting for me to say the least - easily the most eventful decade of my life. In the last 10 years I have lost my mother, grandmother, two uncles and an aunt. I saw my country get attacked and then get involved in two separate wars; watched the Internet struggle to find it's stride and become the indispensable beast that we have today; and celebrated as we elected the first person of color to be our leader. I struggled with my identity the first half or so of the decade, and finally became the vegetarian-liberal-atheist that I am today. I started out this decade as a fundamentalist Christian that voted as a Conservative Republican, listened to gospel and right-wing radio, and hoped that I'd make it to heaven some day. Although I still have some of that person in me, I'm a completely different person. Not that every religious person is like I was; I was a special kind of crazy.

Gone is the credulous person that believed everything he was told, replaced by a skeptic that is more liberal than those I despised in my former life. See what can happen in the span of 10 years? Mind you, there is a small part of me that misses being naive and starry-eyed, but only a very small part. It was a process that did take some time and much seeking, but I never would have predicted that I'd become who I am today. I lost a dear friend because of it (or what I thought was a dear friend), but gained a whole new appreciation for this life and a joy that I can't explain. All of the fear and dread and the self-loathing that marked my old life is now gone and I'm a better person for it. I still have some stuff to work on mind you; I probably drink too much, and I'm still not good at making friends, but it's all just touch up work to me.

I also conquered some demons when I earned a college diploma back in 2005 and graduated as a co-valedictorian (Although I'd still like to get a 4 year degree, and believe me, the valedictorian thing doesn't impress me either.), and even worked as a corrections officer for a few months which I learned from. So even though I don't have many friends, my good looks left me years ago (and thus my attractiveness to the ladies), and I'm deep in debt and being chased by debtors while I can't seem to find a steady, decent paying job, I wouldn't trade what I've learned and experienced these last few years for a great job and perfect family if it meant giving up the person I am today.

I hope it was a good start to the millennium for you, and that you are looking forward to the rest of the century with me. I have hope that we are advancing and becoming a better species, and that the next decadal report you read from me, if I'm so lucky to still be here, will be about how far we've come and grown. And lastly, I hope the next 10 years will be the best years of your life - with many more to come.

Oh lord! Who the hell farted in here??

From, just in case you were wondering or wanted to laugh.

What is a fart and why does it smell?
What is a fart and why does it smell?

Ever pull someone's finger and hear a weird noise come out of his or her butt?

Ever sit in a tub of water and see bubbles come out of your hiney?

This strange noise and vibrating sensation that came from your butt is most likely caused by a fart.

A fart is a combination of gases (nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, methane, and hydrogen sulfide) that travels from a person's stomach to their anus. When a person swallows too much air or eats foods that the human digestive system cannot digest easily gas becomes trapped in his/her stomach. The only way for this excess gas to exit the body is through the anus.

The gas that makes your farts stink is the hydrogen sulfide gas. This gas contains sulfur which causes farts to have a smelly odor. The more sulfur rich your diet, the more your farts will stink. Some foods that cause really smelly farts include: beans, cabbage, cheese, soda, and eggs.

A scientific name for a fart is flatus or flatulence.

The word fart is just one of many different terms used to describe the release of gasses from the human body. Other popular names for farts or farting include: gassers, stinkers, air biscuits, bombers, barking spiders, rotten eggs, and wet ones. You can pass gas, break wind, blast, beef, poof, rip one, let one fly, step on a duck, and cut the cheese.

Farts can be stinky, wet, loud, or silent but deadly. Pee-eeew!!!

Did you know?

  • On the average, a healthy person farts 16 times a day.
  • Hey guys, don't be fooled by girls who tell you that they never fart. Everyone farts, including girls. In fact, females fart just as much as males.
  • Many animals fart too. Cats, dogs, and cows. Elephants fart the most.
  • People fart the most in their sleep.
  • Farts that contain a large amount of methane & hydrogen can be flammable.
Friday, December 25, 2009

Is your silent night being ruined by jingle bells? You take 'em to court!

Well, I guess we can put away the Christmas music for another year. Let me just say this, they do play songs over and over again until you've had more than enough, but I know that radio stations don't really have a choice. But, there are three guys that should not be singing Christmas songs - ever. There may be more but these are the ones that I heard this year.

- Bruce Springsteen
- Neil Diamond
- Bono

These guys are great for singing sincere, weighty songs about poverty and love gone bad, but lighthearted Christmas songs just aren't their thing. I've never been so scared of Santa Claus in my life! If I was a kid, I think I'd be scared to death that if I pout or cry, Santa Claus will sneak up on me and snap my neck, judging by the way these guys sing. I don't remember who sang what, but I know that no matter which one they sang, they made it sound like the most serious thing that they have ever given thought to!

I didn't know if I was supposed to feel the Christmas spirit, or organize a protest against Jack Frost for nipping at peoples noses. You know, I never thought before about how creepy it would be to think that jolly old St. Nick knew when I was awake, and that he sees me when I'm sleeping. Shit, what else does he watch me doing? Man if Christmas was as serious as they made it sound, it would be the only holiday I dreaded!


So what do you think Santa does for the next 11+ months now that his big day is over? Here's some possibilities for the next year, I think.

- He takes voice lessons to work on his "Ho Ho Ho" disguised as Chuck Sualcatnas.

- Promoter for the UFC. You try being around those damn happy elves all year without wanting to see some violence.

- Point man for the "Ban Soy Milk" campaign.

- Sends his elves out on "special" missions to the competing toy companies.

- He spends much of the time exploring his "identity" with Hanukkah Harry.

- Research fellow for CERN. Hey, Santa has a brain, he's not all about sleigh bells and magic. And besides, he'd kill to travel at light speed.

- MLB umpire.

- He tries to design a better back support for his sleigh, because after 24 hours, his back is killing him!

- Holds his annual meeting with religious leaders to remind them why people love him so much and them not so much.

- Plays the horses at Pimlico. Shh...don't tell the reindeer.

- Works on a better formula of reindeer feed, because well, you know.

- Sells the formula for Rudolph's red nose to North Korea - nobody knows him over there.

- Goes on "Pimp My Ride", because anyone would get tired of the same old design after that many centuries.

- He spends his weekends getting his drink on, because he knows no matter what, those little bastards will just want more next year.

- He spends millions annually defending himself in court against accusations that he spies on little kids.

- Keeps putting off God by telling him: "Oh yeah, we're sure working on making Christmas more about baby Jesus."

- Searches the world for a better brand of thermal underwear.

- Finally gets around to asking the elves for a sleigh with a roof.

- Constantly reminds the reindeer about the glue factory that the last group of reindeer that complained about his weight are now an "essential ingredient" in.

- Keeps writing his memoirs, which is now up to 840,000 pages. His publisher is getting impatient.

- Constantly prays for the sweet embrace of death.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Speaking of aardvarks, here's a list of some of my favorite animals in no particular order...

Yes the Aardvark. I mean just look at it. It looks too cool with those big ears and long nose, and if not for being hunted, it would have the greatest life. Plus they have the funniest name, hands down. (AARDVARK!) They remind me of a dog too. And you know, they really should have their own theme song when they walk.


The Tree Sloth. What's not to love about this slow moving old feller? I don't know, maybe these guys and gals have the best life.


The Panda Bear. It's not possible to not love Pandas. If I didn't think It would rip my face off, I would love to give one a hug like this guy.


The mighty Crocodile. They're badass and don't take no shit from nobody. Plus they're a living dinosaur.


The industrious Beaver. How exactly do they make their homes and dams? Beats me, but I'd put them up against any human in a contest to make them. Plus they're just so damn cute. Btw, I'm still not sure why a woman's hoo-hah is is called a beaver.


The Otter (river or sea). Even cuter than any beaver, otters just seem so frickin' lovable to me. Plus the way they eat is amazing to watch


The Platypus. It's an evolutionary masterpiece of confusion. I think it has survived for so long because predators don't know what the hell to make of it. Look at it, ha ha, I mean it's just so, ha ha, just so funny looking, HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! I want one for Christmas!


Dolphins and Whales. I think dolphins are actually whales, aren't they? Well, they both have holes - you know... BLOWHOLES! I think they're both very intelligent - and maybe even sentient; and the dumb ones are less stupid than our dumb ones. I'd say it's a close contest anyway. I'm not sure which is dumber, beaching yourself, or driving your car into an obvious flood and thinking that your car will magically make it through.


The ubiquitous squirrel. I always stop to watch when one of them is scampering up and down a tree. Plus I still feel bad that a ran one over with my car a few years ago. :(


The Orangutan. They're just so hard to resist. Yeah some of the big males can be a little imposing, but to me it's not just about cuteness, but about how similar they seem to us. For me, of all the primates they are the most human like.


The Porcupine. Well, I wouldn't exactly say they're cuddly, but they are something to behold.


The Sea Lion and the Seal. Who doesn't love them and their intelligence? I'd rather not see them doing tricks for our enjoyment, but that's another subject.


The majestic Elephant. I just find them mesmerizing to watch; you can certainly see that there is something going on behind their eyes besides instinct.


The Whale Shark. Okay I know it's a fish (the biggest fish that exists), but it's still an animal, and a beautiful and graceful one.


The Great White Shark. All sharks are cool, and a joy to watch - from a safe vantage point. This is not the view that you want to see in person.


The Kangaroo. I'm pretty sure this animal was brought here by aliens. It would be a hard man that didn't find them a fascinating creature. Just look at those ears! :D


The Thompson Gazelle. A beautiful creature, and it can jump like a super ball.


The Bovine family. In particular, the Cow and the Buffalo. I just think they're noble animals. If not for them, who knows, we might not have civilization. As a vegetarian I can't see the point in using them as meat anymore, but I certainly acknowledge that there was a time when they were lifesavers, and I don't judge people that still eat them - I might not be here if people didn't use them in the past. And of course cows are just funny. ;o)


The Jellyfish. Despite what people might think of them, you can't deny the sometimes breathtaking beauty of these animals.


The mighty Tiger. They're just awesome animals. I like all the big cats, but these are especially magnificent in my eyes.


And of course the good old House Cat and Dog. Who can deny them their place in our hearts??


So that's it. Lot's of animals, I know. I pretty much like them all, and there are more I could add. But these are the ones that hold my attention more than any others for various reasons.