My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The older I get, the harder I find it to drive. It's not anything to do with the act of driving; it's a trust issue. Specifically, it's the unspoken contract with other drivers. My panic begins in traffic when I realize there are hundreds of them around me driving two ton hunks of metal only inches away while their minds are absorbed in the daily rituals of life. Then, as speed increases, they start coming from all directions at ever increasing speeds, still distracted. This is when my fear truly blossoms. These people around me are idiots, they are the morons who elected our politicians, the imbeciles who can’t pee in a public toilet unless it’s directly on a seat, the deranged individuals who you try to avoid making eye contact with a hundred times a day.

And yet, there they are, within an arm’s reach, piloting death machines, restrained solely by a verbal contract given as a teenager to a faceless government employee to obey strips of paint and some colored lights. The only thing still stopping these suicidal mass murders from fulfilling their kamikaze missions of doom is a vague concern that their insurance may not cover skull fragment removal from their front bumper. One foot to either side and they’ve finally caused the fire-soaked genocidal vehicular pileup that will assure them their place as the right hand of Death himself.

So I try not to think about it, but occasionally it becomes too much. When I get overwhelmed, I pull into an empty parking lot, sit for a minute, and remember that, even though these people have the potential to kill everyone, so do I. Then I pull back out into traffic and await the inevitable.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sneezing Fit After Eating

Do you or a family member have sneezing fits after eating, sometimes, with different types of food, that you can't control? It's called "Snatiation" and it happens because the reflex nerve that trigger sneezing are closer in proximity to the nerves that sense fullness in you than in others. So the more you eat, the more likely you will be to sneeze. Also, if you end your meal with something extra aromatic, (ripe fruit, coffee...) the ups the trigger. The easiest way to combat snatiation is to not eat so damn much and end your meal with something bland. If you feel sneezing coming on, holding a ice firmly against where your gum palate or alveolar ridge (top of your mouth) with your tongue until the feeling subsides (it works best for me when I wiggle the ice around a bit, pressing hard). After a few seconds (or what can seem like minutes) the combination of the pressure on the roof of your mouth and the severity of the ice redirects your brain's reactionary trigger, letting the sneezing subside. With some practice, you can learn to do this subtly at a dinner table with several other guests with no one being the wiser.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Random Access Memories

I drove 250 miles back from Alabama yesterday listening to the much hyped Random Access Memories album by Daft Punk. It’s not my usual style of music, but I had said that in front a friend and he sent me a copy of the disc, so I really had no choice but to listen to it. It is part Ray Lynch’s Deep Breakfast, a bit Ziggy Stardust, and predominately, somehow, 70s future disco funk. A couple of the songs, Give Life Back to Music, Contact, and, especially, Giorgio by Moroder, are extraordinarily fun to drive to. At one point I had the Mercedes well over a 100 traveling in a group of cars who must have all been listening to similarly driving beats. In a market that seems to be made up of nothing but generic teenagers with voices as incredible as they are soulless, crooning about things they don’t understand, to an army of fake social media followers, Random Access Memories was actually quite refreshing. And while I can’t say that I loved the album, I appreciated it for being successfully different and still easily enjoyable.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Entry for May 9, 2013

While trying to get Sebastian ready for school this morning I noted he was singing Christmas songs which quickly led to him asking if he could write a letter to Santa. I explained it's a bit early for that, but he persisted. Eventually I relented, partially because it wasn't worth fighting over and partially because I was curious to see what he would write. So after about ten minutes of writing at the desk in his room, he emerged with a sealed letter, complete with a hand-drawn stamp. I assured him I would mail it and opened it during his morning shower. It said the following:

Dear Santa,

When is your birthday and what do you want?



I'm kinda at a loss as to what to do. I think its nice that he wants to get Santa a present, but I just don't know how to explain to him that all Santa wants is some peace and quiet and a bottle of anejo rum.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Entry for May 5, 2013

This morning Sebastian finally started to understand how compounding advantages is tied to adaptation in regards to evolution. In doing so he had loads of question about how certain things like our eyes evolved. Excitedly, we hurried to YouTube where I remember seeing an excellent video, narrated by David Attenborough, explaining the evolution of the eye as an example of how things slowly change. I was proud that he was making this leap and that I had the resources to help him to further grasp the concept. Except, our internet from Charter Communications was down, again. No problem, fired up the phone on Verizon 4G, only to find an error message saying, “Youtube video not available on mobile device." Wait, the tablet! Nope, still incompatible. Netflix? Hulu? Not there. Reboot everything. Call Charter. Give up on hold. Finally, I attempted to draw pictures and tried to explain it using a book that was way over his head, but he lost interest and asked if he could go do a puzzle instead. So here I am, finally back online, having missed an incredible opportunity to capitalize on a momentary spark of clarity because the evolution of our technology is somewhere in-between Homo sapiens sapiens and a primate at the zoo hurling his own shit at things.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Entry for January 10, 2013

After I spend a lot of time with the boy it takes me some time to slip out of Dad-mode. This morning while I was sitting with Sebastian at Starbucks, trying to get him to sit up straight and not slurp his hot chocolate, the guy seated next to us in his mid-twenties burped. Instinctively, I said, "What do you say?" To which the guy immediately said, "Excuse me. Sorry." I then sat there for a minute mortified I would do that; then realized I must have said my line in such a voice that he didn't even question it. The power of that ability came over me and I immediately decided I should use this new power responsibly to help make the world a more civilized place. After feeling justifiably awesome for my necessary world changing work, it then occurred to me that this is exactly how those old men who stand in malls yelling at kids to pull up their pants get their start. I then sunk back into my chair and sipped my tea, only to hear Sebastian pipe up with, “Dad, don't slouch.” So I guess I may not change the world, but at least the boy will be reasonably well-behaved.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Entry for January 10, 2013

I have finally realized that the same generation that coddled the next generation, blame them for being coddled, and uses it as an excuse to avoid giving power to the next generation, is the same generation insisting on continuing policies that will destroy the earth by the same time that they have to give up power.