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.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Entry for December 29, 2005

My new biggest bitch: General rudeness. Now I know that this is a stretch, but I would like to make a point that this is a social issue in my own community that I find interesting and important. Now I’m not going to go into advanced general manners, such as the ability to balance peas on the back on ones fork, but I would like to shed some light on my general concerns on the everyday social graces that are expected of a civilized society. As I balance my checkbook, I am made to reflect back on all of the people (here I am speaking, mainly, of the service industry) who I had the gracious pleasure of dealing with over the Christmas Holiday. Wait, did I say gracious? I meant gut wrenchingly painful. Is it to much to ask for you to tell the person on the other end of your cell phone to hold for one second so that you can accept my hard earned money so that I can finally go home and wrap yet another Christmas present my wife will inevitable return? Or, why was it necessary to park your Excursion across three handicapped parking spaces so that you could secure that Honey Baked Ham as quick as humanly possible? What on this earth made you think that an attempt to stop people on their way into the bathroom to sign them up for a new credit card was a good idea?!??! Could you please just let me get in the store without hearing your required nine minute personally delivered commercial about how if I “spend more then $20 I can purchase a bathrobe at 25% off; but if I spend more then $30 I can get 39% off of your Select Foot Gel Line AND a free Extreme Ear Hair Extractor; while if I spend more the $85 I get to personally shave the Manager’s head while he gargles month old eggnog”? I get it, I get – please just let me go and learn some common manners. And while you are at it, tell your Manager to go lather his head up.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

On being

Built into our cosmos is the evolutionary process for every species to have an event that dramatically alters or annihilates them from continuation. Since we have become self-aware, the choice of onus falls on us to bring about our own spectacular devastation. We cannot, and will not, progress physically, consciously or evolutionarily until we have beaten ourselves to, or past, obliteration. Having the choice to self destruct or to allow the cosmos to choose for us enables us to not only, possibly, survive, but to advance far past our understanding of our being.

The President Broke the Law

and his reaction to this is essentially, "I did it and so what?" He is the president and he can do whatever he damn well pleases.

Well, the problem will all this is that President Bush has just acknowledged that he has violated the law. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requires that national security wiretaps be authorized by the secretive FISA court. "A person is guilty of an offense," the law reads, "if he intentionally . . . engages in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute".

In addition, many people on the TV and talk radio have been touting the one year exemption provided by the statute as justification for President Bush's actions in spying on American citizens within the country. That, also simply does not wash, since those exemptions specifically excluded using this exemption for spying on American citizens:

The exemption of surveillance without a court order for 1 year applies only under the following circumstances: "....the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that— (A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at— (i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or (ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and (C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801 (h) of this title..."

Actually President Bush appears to be mostly relying upon Attorney General Ascroft's guidelines regarding the application of FISA, not the law itself, for justification. On May 17, 2002, the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court ruled that portions of guidelines issued by Attorney General John Ashcroft on intelligence sharing violated federal law. The court said the policy established by Ashcroft, who cited the Patriot Act for his authority, shortcut the Constitution and FISA by replacing existing surveillance requirements used for criminal prosecution with the more lax FISA requirements.

President Bush has arrogantly and defiantly admitted to violating the law. So why do people insist on defending him in this matter? Is the President above the law?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Moment of Silence

Woman can do anything. They are wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful, caring and effervescent creatures of beauty worthy of more praise then I could ever conger my hands to write. Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium, Cleopatra successfully ruled the Macedonian Dynasty for decades, Betty Crocker created cake that came in a box and Ms. Zippy the Wonder Squirrel who learned how to waterski to entertain people shopping at boat shows.

This is why, as I stood pinned in middle of an endless Christmas line at Target, I wondered exactly how it was that an entire brilliant gender could have accomplished so very little in the grand scheme of human achievement. Surely there was the oppression and the time wasting of raising children - but there had to be some time left to contribute more to humankind. As I stood there pondering this conundrum, the person with the cart in front of me curiously changed to another lane. At once I saw why. In front of me was two incoherently babbling women, talking to each other and yet having two separate conversations all together.

Woman 1: Well. Jimmy can’t wear red because it makes him look Norwegian. And it’s not that there is anything wrong with being Norwegian – it’s just that’s he’s not Norwegian. No. He should be wearing more…

And at the same time

Woman 2: …and that’s why I’ve never been able to eat squash. So instead I’ve learning to like pancakes so that Steve will be able to buy that boat he’s always….

Still at the same time

Woman 1: I don’t care how much mascara that she puts on, my mother will always look like a schnauzer…

Both continuing to plow ahead together

Woman 2: …but if Dr. Phil and Oprah DID have a kid, I bet it would be finicky. All I’m saying is that Dr. Phil has a tendency to be…

And then it occurred to me, beyond the extraordinary natural and social causes, the reason that they’ve done so very little to direct human advancement through individual achievements is because most are caught up in a world of neverending discussion. So from a man who is on your side and believes in your abilities to alter humanity in a positive way that as men cannot, please, shut the fuck up.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Entry for December 01, 2005

The only difference between blogging and standing on a street corner preaching like a monk from another world is that on the corner some people are bound to hear you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

When does the Iraqization start?

Vietnamization is the term for President Richard Nixon’s policy in the early 1970s to turn the job of defending South Vietnam back to the South Vietnamese government. The policy was part of a broader plan to reduce and eventually withdraw American troops from the Vietnam War. America did pull out of the war in 1973, but South Vietnam survived on its own only until 1975 at which time it collapsed and was taken over by North Vietnam.

Iraqization is the future term for President George W. Bush policy in 2006 to turn the job of rebuilding Iraq over to an unprepared Iraqi country. The policy will be part of a broader plan to reduce and eventually withdraw Americans troops from the War on Terror in Iraq. Iraq will quickly crumble due to its lack of sustainable economy, underdeveloped government and the War on Terror in Iraq will cause Iraq to become a heavy source for future terrorist cells and recruitment.

Entry for November 29, 2005 (take 2)

There are three types of people in the world. The people who supply the daily operation of tedious tasks, the people who attempt to herd those people into a common direction as to prevent them from eradicating each other completely and those who's sole job it is to advance the species through intellectual and artistic advancements. Which one are you?

Entry for November 29, 2005

It's sad that our country has decided to argue the validity of science itself instead of the theories and principles therein. I don’t know when it happened, but we have turned into a country where the majority would rather cater to the intellectually lazy then attempt to inspire the scientific imagination in all of us.

Va. Gov. grants clemency for condemned man who would have been the 1,000th person executed in the US

My personal, religious and moral beliefs aside, when it comes to the execution of a human by the state I absolutely oppose it. Not because I believe that killing people is wrong, but because I fail to believe that our government is 100% correct at anything. Why anyone would allow the same system that allowed OJ and Michael Jackson to walk free to tell them that they know that the person they are about to kill is absolutely guilty is beyond me. Sure, we all want less psycho killers in the general populous, but trusting the same government that we ridicule, insult and joke about everyday to make the decision about ending another human’s life is not an intelligent choice in any way. This is why I can say, absolutely, that we should not execute people in this country.

Greatest Nerd Pickup Line of All Time:

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics, we may already be making love right now.

Greates English Major Pickup line:

May I end this sentence with a proposition?

My Favorite:

Are you free tonight or is it gonna cost me?

Entry for November 27, 2005

I know when I'm around smarter people I spend the vast majority of my time shutting the fuck up. So when I speak around you people why don't you have the same consideration?

Friday, November 11, 2005

How I lost Duncan

It was August 5th of this year and I had the Mercedes packed down with two TVs, one home theater system complete of matching black boxes and assorted speakers, one fireproof safe, a few suitcases, various unpacked household items and our two panting dogs. We had been sitting in traffic in the Bronx for over an hour because I didn't finish packing for the relocation from Maine to South Carolina until late that morning. I had not realized that the exit that we needed to take to avoid this part of the city actually exited on the left side of the freeway until it was too late. Unfortunately, in some sort of futile attempt to still catch it, I had worked my way all the way over to left before missing it. This had left me stuck in the fast lane and moving at 2 mph as I headed into the Bronx at 5 o'clock on a Friday afternoon.

Lucy had been a lucky find for us when we lived on the island of Grand Cayman. We had decided to get a dog and went to the local shelter to see if any were of adoption quality. Twice we walked by her cage distracted by other yelping, barking, howling dogs before even glancing her way. It wasn't until we heard one little "woof", as if to say, "Ahem, excuse me" that we noticed her sitting at attention next to her door. I walked over, glanced at the number 13 on her cage and then down at her. She panted, looked me in the eyes and then looked at the lock on the gate. I smiled, looked at Kela and we quietly went to get one of the volunteers. A day or so later our new black flat-coated retriever named Lucy was back at our house comfortably lying sideways across a big king sized bed.

She had set the tone for Duncan, who was herself very excited when we brought him home to her. Lucy had gotten quite lonely with me working long hours and Kela constantly distracted with the last semesters of her second year of medical school. He was a horrible deprived little puppy. I found him when I visited the local shelter in Maine (see Hurricane Ivan story further down in blog to see how Cayman to Maine happened) and thought he was cute. In actuality, I couldn't see much of him at all. Both his sister and he were huddled in the back of one of the pens scared of anything made of atoms. They had been in a shelter in Virginia until it had ran out of money and shipped its dogs anywhere that would take them. Both of them had come from the same litter and had obviously spent almost their whole lives living with large, obnoxious dogs barking all around them.

When I saw them I looked at Duncan and he leaned forward a bit to check me out. From behind me I heard, "Wow, that's the first time I've seen either of them move". A glance backwards at the eager, beaming and dog food laden volunteer told me I was in trouble. It seems that neither of them had eaten in the couple of days that they had been there. Next thing I know I was being led into another number 13 cage to inspect a dog that I was destine to bring home. The next day we had a very frightening puppy frantically searching all three floors of our home in a desperate attempt to hide from the world. Months later a calmer, larger version of that dog was trapped between a TV and Lucy in the back seat of my car on his first real adventure.

Since entering NY the AC had somehow become less effective. I blame the poor air quality of NY for somehow not providing the intake of the car with enough actual oxygen to cool off. So I had the sunroof popped up and all of the windows down about half way. It was sitting there as I flipped through channels while wishing that Kela could have come with me instead of having to stay an extra week for finals when it happened. Something in Duncan's mind sparked and he realized that he needed out of the car, immediately. In the rearview mirror I caught a brilliant golden flash of color as he jumped over Lucy and through the cracked window.

Petrified, I flew open the door of the car and sprang from it into traffic as if I was shot from a gun. Hands up, flailing and madly running after him I ran headlong into traffic. New Yorkers, as pleasant as they are, responded by all stopping and not making a sound as I tried to corral Duncan back into the car. Actually, what really happened is that they all started honking and yelling from their car windows that I had just robbed them of 2 seconds of their life which they could have spent honking and yelling at someone else. Duncan, who had never seen a New Yorker - let alone heard one, headed directly for the side of the road and shot under a small hole in a fence lining the freeway. On my way to the fence I glanced back at the Mercedes, idling in the fast lane with the driver door open and Lucy's head peeping over a TV in the back seat. I hit the fence hard and jumped it coming down on the other side in a role only seen in action movies. As I leaped from my stuntman-like maneuver and headed off in the direction he was running I noticed that I had adopted a line of red liquid that was now following my path. Upon closer inspection I realized that the liquid was blood and it was coming from the chunk of brain like meat now protruding from the palm of my hand. Discouraged, but still at full speed, I continued after him.

It was really only a matter of time before he lost me. He was a nine month old Golden Retriever puppy running for his life and I am an out of shape 29 year old man bleeding and screaming his name like a madman. I vainly circled the block that we had emerged from and flagged down a passing police car. At this point I finally realized that I had lost a bit to much blood. I know this because these are the words that came out of my mouth, as I stood there now covered in blood, to the New York Police Officer, "Excusemesir, I just lost my dog on the freeway where I left my Mercedes and now I'm bleeding on your car have you seen him?" To his credit the officer did not immediately shot me. He did hand me a stack of Duncan Donut napkins and say, in a cool NY cop way, "Nope, but we'll see what we can do." He then drove off probably mumbling about how this part of the Bronx didn't have a crack problem when HE was a kid.

Defeated and loopy I headed back to the still idling car that I had left with our other dog sitting in the fast lane with the driver side door still wide open. This time I crawled through the hole in the fence and just weaved back and forth between stopped cars in traffic until I reached the Mercedes. At this point I took a minute to take stock and call Kela to tell her what had just happened. I'm not quite sure what I said, but I don't think it came off as smoothly as it should have.

Traffic, by some sort of miracle, had started moving and I headed back in the car to circle the block a few more times. Kela called back and told me that she had informed the local Animal Rescue locations, the NYPD, NYFD, several friends in the area and possibly the NY Mets. Beaten and finally very Duncanless I found my way back to the highway and called Kela back. She has relatives in NJ, one of which was a nurse. I informed her to inform them of my condition and ETA.

A few hours later and a couple of wrong turns pulled into her uncle's house only to be taken right back out to the hospital. Again, a couple hours later I was once pulling back into her uncles house, this time 8 stitches and some heavy narcotics richer. I don't know where I slept that night or for how long. All I remember is waking up in the morning, saying some sort of generic gratitude and continued driving to South Carolina.

The next weekend Kela drove down from Maine and walked the area putting up signs and talking to shelters. Before I had left Maine we had gotten him a new collar and an electronic chip located on his back in case we ever lost him. We haven't seen or heard from anyone in over two months and have come to convince ourselves that he was taken in by some old woman who just happens to live in a bad neighborhood in New York and needed a friend.

Purgatory is network TV

For some odd reason tonight the TV was on and I for one would like to blame the fact that I was overly generous with a flu I brought it home for dinner a few days ago. So there we were, quietly and sickly sucking down spaghetti and watching Alias when I realized that this might actually be the worst show ever. It’s like they took the cliché ridden bad scripts from all of movies and TV shows that are exactly like this, hung them up on a wall and threw darts at them until they had enough to fill their time slot. This show was so painfully bad that I don’t understand how and why anyone watches this crap. Needless to say, I was merciless to turn the damn thing off because the flu had compassionately decided to let me hurt from my bones out instead of the usual boring nasal cavity on down adventure. It was at this point, unable move, that I began to wonder if the acting and dialog had somehow created a vacuum and sucked all life directly out of the room leaving me unknowingly dead. Unfortunately, this was not true - it was still on and refused to end.

Eventually Kela was able to fight the dark forces of the sickness and find the remote. Now we don’t have cable so our other options were the Apprentice and some show that seemed to consist of nothing but commercials. Frustrated she decided on anything but Alias. Again, there we sat, slightly lower in our couch as before, wishing for death. This show was amazingly just as bad – except it seemed slightly more scripted then the last. The dialog was that of a group of 12 year olds with the vocabulary of 15 year olds wearing nicer cloths. Now I’m not sure if it was just the parade of losers who compete on these type shows, the writers or directors for these shows or the fact that network TV has obvious run out of ideas, but this tired line of unoriginality couldn’t get any worse if they just combined all of these shows into one big nonsensical clusterfuck. Which gave us an idea...


“So then I was like, that was so mine and he just took it.”

“I saw my opportunity and stepped up my game to make sure it stayed ours.”


“We need to go get that before it does any more harm.”

“Ok, I’ll cover your back. Be careful in there.”


“WE’RE HERE WATCHING THE ACTION AT Honda, Toyota, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Hyundai, Peugeot and Schwinn in Saginaw…”


“It's like he wanted us to lose it.”

“I totally had it handled…”



“Grab it and let's go!"




“It was his fault. Everything was perfect until he took over.”

“The plan was bad. There was no way to win with that plan and that is why I lost it.”


“Way to save the day, the world owes you again. If only they could know…”

“Yeah, I just wish I was normal.”




“So then you lost it. So you’re fired.”


“I'm not sure I can handle this job anymore."

"You have choice, besides I think I love you."




Thursday, November 10, 2005

What is wrong with these people?!?!?

It occurred to me today that there really is nothing sadder then watching people attempt to act tough. So here is the thing people: you’re either a bad ass or you not. Wearing camouflage, scowling, throwing up gang signs, pimping out your Honda, wearing labels you couldn’t spell without looking at them and attempting to look larger then you really are is not fooling anyone. Underneath those overpriced shoes, bad haircut and purposely distressed pants is just a person who wants attention. Stop trying to defend your turf, protect your woman/man and show off how rich you are. No one is ever going to think that you are more then your base. This is especially true if you are female. Just because you saw that girl on TV knock out that 6’4” dude with a kick doesn’t mean you can do it. It’s a TV show, it’s not real. You weigh 109lbs and could be knocked out with a flip-flop. Now I do understand that you are a lonely little person, but imagining you’re a real mo-fo is only going to get you hurt somewhere down the road. So please, for the last time, knock it off – you look like a complete tool.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Entry for November 06, 2005

When you look back at the past what do you see?
What do you think of the previous me?
Am I someone you're proud of, someone you know?
Was there patience in watching which way I would grow?

Was it your goal to keep me on track;
To let me grow up and never look back?
Why did you do it? I really don't know.
What made you love me that long ago?

Was it your place that kept you there?
Or was it your heart that made you care?
Can you know before your own?
Before you dare to bring one home?

When I look back at its past what will I see?
Will I see myself to some degree?
Am I allowed to look, is it my place?
Or will I in turn just see your face?

Anagram fun: 'raw fire phony', "ah, winery prof' and 'why afro ripen?'

In a compromise to keep our TV off as much as possible I have conceded two hours a day to both Ellen and Oprah Shows to Kela. So as it was, I was hobbling through Oprah’s show yesterday wondering if it had both always been an hour long and if Einstein ever considered the effect on perceptible relativity on the concept of time using the variable of a mass hoard of constantly screaming women. The topic was on men’s thoughts with guests Jay Leno, Brian McKnight and some sports writer. They were forced to answer some inane questions such as ‘why does my man go to strip clubs and why do they look at online porn’. At the end of the show Oprah and her legion of mindless nodding women all agreed that men were different and slight less evolved then women.

To this I agree and disagree. Plus, this is simplified misunderstanding should shame any sexually aware woman who can actually think without being blinded by the constant and blatant male bashing on this show. So let’s handle this one accusation at a time. First of all, yes men go to strip clubs (I don’t, but I understand why) and watch porn. But that is how men are sexually stimulated. Women, generally, are stimulated by thoughts and feelings associated with sex. This is why, according to a recent study, 53% of all mass market paperback fiction sales are romance novels. They not only outsell all other genres but outsell all others combined. Was that mentioned? No. Why? Because that doesn’t fit into the standard Oprah mold. Oprah does nothing to ever try to make women better individuals (prettier occasionally). They do this while, unless it’s a male celebrity attempting to sell something, continuously lowering the bar for men by always portraying them in the worst possible light. All Oprah shows can be narrowed down into four categories:

1. Something some men are doing is evil

2. You CAN look prettier!

3. This celebrity has a movie/book/album coming out

4. See, someone else has a crappier life then you and they picked themselves back up. You could do the same!

For those of you wanting to argue with this (I mean the females who are reading this) I offer the following chart from the previous month of October:

Date Aired Show Title Matching Category

10/31/05 Have You Let Yourself Go? 2

10/28/05 George Clooney's Big Buzz and the World Series Champs! 3

10/27/05 Oprah Presents Another $100,000 Reward 1

10/26/05 The Man Who Kept Oprah Awake At Night: A Million Little Pieces 3

10/25/05 A Hilarious Surprise for Michael Jordan 3

10/24/05 9/11 Widow Stuck in Her Grief 4

10/21/05 Her Husband Tried to Kill Her Three Times 1

10/20/05 Gay for 30 Days 4

10/19/05 The Number One Killer of Women Revealed 1

10/18/05 A Pro Football Player's Secret Shame 4

10/17/05 8 Women Oprah Wants You to Know 3

10/14/05 Jay Leno Introduces Us to Amazing Kids 3

10/13/05 Oprah's Bad Hair Day! 2

10/12/05 Oprah Special Report: Inside the Lives of America's Poor 4

10/11/05 The Oprah Show Captures Accused Child Molesters 1

10/10/05 O the Buzz: Reese Witherspoon, Ricky Martin and Nate's Big News! 3

10/7/05 Uma Thurman on Love, Marriage and Men 3

10/6/05 Are You a Racist? With the Cast of Crash 3

10/5/05 Sarah Jessica Parker, Orlando Bloom & Matthew Fox Reveal Their Favorite Places 3

10/4/05 Kidnapped by a Pedophile: The Shasta Groene Story 1

10/3/05 How Faith Hill Changed One Woman's Life Forever 3

Now understanding that we all occasionally need some mindless distraction, I have no problem with the mindless National Enquirer or Cosmo type crap (Categories 2, 3 and 4). What bothers me is the constant and backhanded degradation of men on her show (Category 1). Only the worst of men is ever represented and any positive real men are either celebrities selling something or backed by a ‘strong and courageous’ woman. As if no man could ever be a strong good person on his own.

Oprah isn’t the only one who does this. Most sitcoms on TV feature a big, dumb, overweight man supported by an intelligent, attractive, rational woman. As a man who is fairly proud of his ability to be intelligent, dependable and loving I do not feel that this TV version is accurate in any way. It is intentionally distorted as such because it has become the acceptable norm to bash males. This was originally condoned to compensate for decades of repression at the hands of white men. But those days have come and past. Neither my generation nor my parent’s generation had anything to do with that history – yet we still accept the punishment from generations we never knew. So I ask you, is it not hypocritical for women to continue this practice of degrading men because the current trend is to pretend that they are less evolved then they are? Do we all not see the future repercussions of such actions? What intelligent human would want to go through that gender reversal of power again and again? What would you think of a person who has to demean others in order to make themselves feel better?


PS I DO like the Ellen show

PPS The anagram is of 'Oprah Winfrey'

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Entry for November 02, 2005

Do you ever wonder if we are living in some other future galaxy’s singularity?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Generation Sucks

Everyday when I walk by a picture poised in the center of the mantel, over a fireplace that is never lit, and I hear it speak to me. Everyday I hear it calling and I cannot, dare not, answer. Everyday I wish to live up to the face I see looking back and everyday I fail. He stands in the snow, pride on his shoulders and courage radiating from somewhere deep inside his soul. He is pure energy pushing off of the canvas in every direction. Fighting the 80 years of still cellulose to build a better life for me and still I do nothing. I wish to prove myself to history, to my country, to my parents and most of all to my Grandfather. But I cannot. Not because for lack of want – but for lack of cause. And for this, everyday, I fail him.

Each generation has fought out this countries evolution through pain, love, hate, anger, joy and loss. They have put society’s human advancement at the forefront of their lives, each playing their given role and have made this country and world a better place. Simply look at the preceding hundred years leading up to my birth: WWI, Roaring Twenties, Great Depression/New Deal, WWII, Cold War, Civil Rights, Watergate and Vietnam.

And since then? 9-11. For a brief moment this single horrible event brought the country once again under the banner of solidarity for the greater good. Unfortunately, it was quickly squandered by an administration who exploited our ability to work in unison for their own greedy agenda. Some of the dumber in our society bought it, a few still do. I believe that our moment, our one chance, my chance, to make a difference was carelessly wasted and I/We will may never get another.

Now I would never wish for another Vietnam or to remove any freedoms from any class of people. But what I long for, what my generation so desperately needs is to feel is meaning. Beyond the time where your age is counted in months there is no great feeling of accomplishment in small steps. There is no reward for slight advances in abilities – these are commonplace, boring and expected. Surely, any culture left in peace and relative prosperity will grow. Progression has never been a cause for joy. Evolution is merely habitual.

Tonight, as I do every night, I will walk back again past him and he will beam at me and ask what I’ve done. Again I will tell him nothing. Again I will fail him and again I, my generation, will fail to find significance.

Infotainment You Can Trust

First the basics:

Infotainment or soft news, refers to a general type of news media broadcast program which either provides a combination of current events news and entertainment programming, or an entertainment program structured in a news format. The term "infotainment" is a combination of information and entertainment. People in the infotainment business may be called "infotainers" or "media personalities."

Infotainment generally refers to the segments of programming which overall consist of both "hard news" segments and interviews, along with celebrity interviews and human drama stories. Critics have claimed the combination of the two aspects is a conflict of interest by corporate news outlets —focusing on marketing, not journalism. The term "infotainment" thus may be a pejorative among those who hold professional journalistic values in esteem.

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

My gripe:

Now I take personal responsibility for this and please know that I’m doing my best to fix the situation as fast as possible. I’m sorry for any inconvenience that this has caused.

The issue I have today is that I’ve somehow let the news and entertainment switch places. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. One night I went to sleep having watched the hourly nightly news talking about the economy, war and the weather. When I woke up the next morning there were forty seven news channels running 24 hour live coverage a day.

Actually, I think it started with cable TV and CNN and has gone down hill since. When CNN started they had about 4 hours of material each day that ran on a loop over and over until another big story came out. As you can imagine, this was a big hit. At anytime during the day you could flip to it and see what was happening in the world while you were off living life. A couple minutes later you were caught up on everything and could go back to your life knowing you were informed. Life was good.

Then, one morning, an ex-football player decided to take a drive on the freeway after killing his wife and all hell broke loose. Immediately there were forty six other news channels that were running 24 hour live coverage of every little nuance and detail of the trial and the entire circus that went with it. Overnight people who were entertainment journalists turned into real journalists. Life was weird.

When the trail finally ended the channels decided that even though they were lacking the actual news to fill 24 hours they were going to try it anyway. Life was rough.

It took the stations a while to realize that there is only about 4 hours of news in the world on an average day to report on. So in came stories that weren’t suitable for anyone to watch and that kept people kind of interested for awhile. Then the beautiful, vapid people arrived to report that news. Another little increase occurred. Another brainstorm later he news stations realized that if they started leaning one political way or another they were bound to attract people who loved and loathed their slant. And finally, stories were made up, blown out of proportion and news that wasn’t somehow now was. Life was sad.

Now we stuck with too many news channels loaded with people who are unqualified to read, let alone report, telling us about things no one cares about in a biased way for ratings while looking stern and attractive.

So if it’s not the bleached airhead telling you about a country she couldn’t find on a pastel colored map; or the tall always pissed conservative guy telling you why, for the 4356 day in a row, he is outraged at THOSE people; or maybe it’s the average intelligence news correspondent clearly attempting to talk and interview people 50 point higher in IQ then they are; maybe you just tuned in to here the extreme views of some belligerent media whore go absolutely unquestioned by a news personality who is already reading ahead to the next story involving a some other belligerent media whore.

Voila, infotainment.

This is why I no longer watch the news. I’m not sure this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they choose to lump freedom of the press as the top of the most import set of laws in this country. As a matter of fact, I think that if they were to have seen how our media has devolved they would have abandoned the whole right of speaking in public all together.

Death, but as a good thing

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics: that no energy is created in the universe and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all of your energy, every vibration, every BTU of heat, every weave of every particle that was her beloved child, remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid the energy of the cosmos you gave as good as you got. And at some point you would hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your broken hearted spouse in their pew and tell them that all the photons that have ever bounced off your face; all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile; by the touch of your hair; hundred of trillions of particles that have raced off you like children have had their waves forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that other photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes. That those photons collected within her created constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever. And the physicist will remind the congregation how much of all of our energy is given off as heat (there may be a few people fanning themselves with their program as he says it). And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here as part of all that we are even as we who morn continue the heat of our own lives. And you will want the physicist to explain to those who loved you they need not have faith, indeed should not have faith – let them know that they can measure, that scientists can measure, precisely, the conservation of energy and have found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You will hope that your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound, and be comforted to know that your energy is still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy not a bit of you is gone – you’re just less orderly. Amen.

Winds of Change

Let me preface this by saying that I don't care what you think. Now that we have that out of the way we can continue:

At time I was the director of technology for a company that owned most of the grocery stores, radio stations and imports/exports on the island of Grand Cayman. The average house was built 10 feet above sea level when Hurricane Ivan rolled ashore with 200mph winds, a 30 foot storm surge and constant string of small tornadoes scattered throughout the two days it had ownership of the island. The real hell is the months afterwords. This is my account of the storm itself in hours as it fell through my brain. I have excluded the months after the storm because most of you would no longer speak to me as one sane person speaks to another they believe to be sane.

September 9th, 2004

1300 - Just called Kela to tell her that I’m leaving work. She’s invited two classmates to our home because they’ve closed the dorms. Don’t care, just want to leave the station after I do my last report on when and how fast it will make landfall.

1400 – Last one here, finishing last copy of backups. Leaving one in safe, taking one with me and putting one in a ziplock at another location. Evacuated work on bosses command via cell. Insisted all of us wrap our computers in trash bags in case the roof comes off. Dumbass.

1500 – Arrived home to find three nervous, excited people and one stupid dog. Dog obviously the only one with any sense. Decided to watch movie.

1600 – Power cut to the house. Van driving around with loudspeaker told us to leave. Loading the car with idiots and stupid. Don’t know where to go – headed back to work.

1630 – Back at work with group. Checking updates to storm online – it has strengthened. Going back on air to tell people that their god hates them.

1700 – Boss leaves own safe house to make sure all computers at work are covered. Thanked me for telling masses their f*cked and sends me out the door. He obviously doesn’t want to come back to dead bodies and spitefully uncovered computers.

1730 – Called friends down the street who haven’t been evacuated. They’re all drunk, have their elderly parents in town, kid hopped up on sugar and two dogs running crazy in carnal anticipation. This should be fun.

1800 – Two cases of beer and a couple hotdogs turned out to not last as long as we had hoped. Storm coming ashore, driving home to get supplies.

1830 – Arrived home, again, this time to waves crashing over pool and onto back deck. Decide to hurry.

1900 – Driving back to friends with reasonable amount of supplies. Small, unconscious three cylinder Suzuki Alto gains self realization to waves crashing over street, trees falling in path and finds 200 horsepower.

2000 – Arrive at friends, again, everyone already drunk – thank god.

2100 – Storm arrives fully and knows that we f*cked his sister and didn’t call.

2200 – Decided to wake everyone when water comes through front door. Everyone hurries to abandon food for essential electronics equipment in mad dash upstairs.

2205 – Reality sets in, we missed the DVD player. Everyone takes it personally.

2230 – Hunger sets in, forced to drink Jamaican Beer

2300 – Water slowly rising fast to first floor ceiling. Decided it was a good time to take a nap.

September 10th, 2004

600 – Woke to sounds of waves hitting the inside of the house, went outside on porch to pee.

605 – More Jamaican beer as I watch the waves slowly break on the second floor landing. God this beer sucks.

1000 – Realize that storm is not going anywhere and water is slowly deeper. Talked with friend about having to crawl onto the roof with 150mph winds. Talked about letting dogs in go into the raging current to fend for themselves. Talked about maybe having to abandoned friends parents to save the next generation. Tricked Kela into calling parents one last time to tell them we’re having fun. Potential goodbyes are worse then the real one.

1100 – Prepare final plan with male of friends family. Wait for seemingly inevitable.

1800 – Water has stopped at second floor. Can see very little left of surrounding homes around us from porch. Wanted to cry but everyone else beat me to it.

September 11th, 2004

200 – Nothing has changed. Going to bed.

600 – Wake and see that nothing has been missed.

1200 – Water has receded. Storm has passed. Wading out to see who else is still alive.

1230 – Roads are gone, homes are gone, cars and trucks have been tosses around like scraps of paper, all low lying areas are still underwater, walking to work to see if the radio station and grocery store remain. There are people everywhere who look like they’ve crawled from hell back up through the earths crust. Why aren’t the dead lying bloated in the pools with the rest of life’s remains? Where is the pain when you need to feel it?

1300 – Nothing left of the station. Roof came down, my office is missing. Someone has neatly removed the roof from next door and left stacks of paper completely untouched. Grocery store across the street being looted by machete wielding Jamaicans. Reinforcements of other employees arrive to watch same Jamaicans selling freshly squeezed and stolen orange juice for $10 a ½ gallon. They decided to take business elsewhere as more start arriving on foot.

1400 – Catch ride in direction of home – hope it’s there when we arrive.

1430 – Pass downtown in back of Jeep with dog and wife. Some buildings are standing, some are missing, some look as if they never were built.

1445 – Stopped in heavy traffic on road parallel to beach, forced to bail and walk. Find out road is now perpendicular to beach. Hike in deep sand towards home. It doesn’t hurt as bad I as I thought it would to loose hope.

1600 – Walk down driveway, neighbor’s roof hanging from trees. House remains standing, roof missing, stench unbelievable. House not that bad – all furniture ruined, linens stained with the past, crack running from floor to roof separates the two new different gradients of house.

1700 – Sit on wet bed with dog, wife and despair. Nothing left to do.

1800 – Decide to go on with life, not happy about the choice. Spend night sleeping on floor in 90 degree heat. Somehow lack the liquid in my body to cry.

September 12th, 2004

800 – Walk back to town, find one of the companies inland grocery stores still standing and other employees cleaning. Pull out backups and drain water out of computers. Salvage 4 out of 20. Lines are forming outside, there is very little food in the store. People look impulsive. There is only essentials for half of them.

1000 – Heavily armed police arrive quickly for an island without any guns or reasonable transport. They take up arms at the main doors and lines for limited rations begin.

1200 – Fix satellite feed and regain internet access and voice over ip phones. Call around to inform people that we lived. Doors open, people push, gun fired, warehouse truck with complete warehouse arrives as reinforcements, push of people felt in everyone's stomach.

1400 – More shots fired. Tell boss to put wife on plane immediately. Find out runway closed. Chartered flights to start tomorrow. Vague threats tossed back and forth, I win. Decided to work, nothing else to do.

September 13th, 2004

1000 – Put Kela on a plane. She cried enough for both of us. I go back to work.

September 14th, 2004

Move into coworkers house. Sleep on floor in garage with dog and other people. Learn to sh*t in a bag, bathe in the ocean and swing a knife.

September 15th, 2004

Borrow car someone carelessly left keys in. Pack remains of house in car, drive back to new garage home and store remaining crap in locked closet in nondescript boxes. Ditch car down street, keep keys. Call wife.

September 16th until December 3rd

Spend every night on concrete floor with dog, sh*t in a bag, eat whatever we can steal from store, bathe in ocean, walk to work, wish for death.

December 4th

Arrived in Maine. Met wife. Wait until she went to sleep and slept on floor.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

October 11, 2005

It's been brought my attention that I haven't really posted any personal current events. So here goes:

Last night I went to the Anderson Chili Cook-off. And personally, I believe that this event should have stopped by Homeland Security.

Now I'm not trying to be mean here, so I'm just going to say that the chili wasn't quite up to par. This was more comparable to a bent can chili from the Dollar Store or somewhere in-between Stuff Alpo Wouldn't Put in a Can and Is That Before or After? brand chili.

I know, I know - you are thinking, "Brian you were probably the only one there who has ever placed in an International Chili Society sanctioned event. You’re just spoiled." Well to that I say screw you. This crap was.. .. well .. .. .crap.

The city limited the teams comprising local restaurants. There were about 12 chili (and at this point I’m using that term loosely) teams competing and only one of them was even palatable.

The good news is that it only costs 3 bucks and you can bring your own beer as long as it is hidden in a Starbucks cup and sipped only occasionally when no one is looking.

Overall I think the event was quite cute. They had a full mariachi band that did an excellent job at both The Lion Sleeps Tonight and The Devil Went Down to Georgia (which if you’ve never it heard sung by a mariachi band, you really have never lived). But more importantly, it was a block from our house. I really can’t tell you how important it is to be this close to home after this type of event.

Anyway, it was fun and there is talk of maybe next year lifting the rule forcing all of the chili to be gray. Now if you'll please excuse me - I feel I need to go gargle with penicillin.