i actually called nintendo power

I don’t even feel like writing right now, so apologies if this sucks. Seems like all my people back in the F-L-A made it through the hurricane OK – only to face another one a mere week later. I’m with ya Floridians, I’m with ya.

Sitting here, around 10pm on a Thursday night – the most exciting thing I did tonight being take out the garbage for tomorrow and watch a TiVo’d episode of Reno 911. I just didn’t feel like doing anything, y’know? Put on T. Rex’s greatest hits and I’m groovin’, you don’t have this album? Man, you’re missing some dope, dope stuff y’allz. I mean, take a listen to “I Love to Boogie” or “Children of the Revolution” and tell me you just don’t wanna blare this indulgent 70’s glam out the open windows of your Ford Explorer while driving by the high school. What? Who’s cool!

Speaking of cool, Sharaun and I were in the mall a few weeks ago, and we ended up in a little store called Hot Topic. I mean, I’d been in Hot Topic’s before, you know it if you’ve been there – all employees are required to be goth teens (serious, it’s in the application or something), and they specialize in hot-right-now goods of all kinds. I mean, whatever is the nerd/goth/glam-chic of the minute fills the inventory. In short, it’s an awesome study in alterna-teen pop culture. And, I’m happy to say: according to what trendy-but-aloof teens think is cool right now, I’m the bees knees.

Seeing shelves stocked with shirts like this and this and this and this and this sent me into a near frenzy. So awesome. If they woulda had these back in my day, I woulda worn them while I played ultimate-universe-war with my action figures (you know, like when all of He Man fights all of GI Joe and Star Wars?). Only thing is, back then they wouldn’t have been cool – just nerdy. Who cares though, I left feeling empowered, actually having real memories of the things on those shirts – knowing. I am retro-rad baby, that’s right. I don’t need to pretend; I actually called Nintendo Power, we had Jarts, and I saw Gremlins in a theater. They say trends recycle every fifteen years – so right now I’m about as cool as I was when I was thirteen, which, and I gotta tell ya, was damn cool for thirteen. But for real, the one in the skull-shape of dungeon one in the Legend of Zelda? Oh man, totally off the awesome scale.

Oh, and I saw the FBI released some more info on a favorite case of mine from last year. They’re now calling it the “Collarbomber” case, and they released some of the notes that this pizza deliveryman was supposed to follow in order to remove the collar-bomb locked to his neck, before it detonated. Anyway, I dig stuff like that.

Dave out.

real people think like that

Rambling again...
Been checking prices on fog machines lately, the non-Halloween prices are much cheaper. My little machine does 3500 CFM, but I want something in the 20,000 CFM range. I want so much fog this Halloween that the fire department has to come to make sure the place ain’t burning down.

Busy day yesterday, saw a US civilian get his head sawn off by hooded captors. Not the CNN or Fox News version, but the uncut version. Brutal. How can someone feel so much hate that they can kill an unrelated, innocent human just because of their nationality? I don’t understand that hate, obviously. Hey, I’d be mad about my people being tortured too – but enough to kill the first English-speaking white dude I find? I think not.

Some peoples’ reactions to the whole incident are almost as disturbing. So many references to “turning that whole country into glass.” I say I don’t understand the hate these people must feel, but apparently we have plenty of people here who not only understand it – they return it. Honestly, I know intelligent, rational people who think we need to “nuke” these heathen nations into extinction. Their rationale goes something like “they all hate us anyway, and they’re killing us.” I’ve heard “that’s what we did in Japan, and that ended that war.” Shit people, are you for real? You think annihilating these people is the answer? Genocide, you’re behind that? I’ve got friends who refer to “those people” as a “plague on the world, the vermin of the earth” if you will.

In a simplified view, the real danger out there isn’t Iraq or Al Qaeda or Muslims or terrorists – it’s ignorant people. I don’t care what color or religion or nationality you are, if you’re ignorant enough to abide such hate – you’re the enemy. The only problem with this logic is, some people are brainwashed and purposely kept in ignorance by a select few, so these few can exploit the masses. If, from day one, you’re taught to believe that it’s noble and heroic to kill the Zionist infidels – you’re gonna try and bag as many Zionist infidels as possible. Regardless of these brainwashed-masses’ culpability for their ingrained beliefs – ignorance still plays a role the way they get to such a state. Right? Is it too much to think that intelligence will cause people to question things that just don’t seem right? If your mullah or grand dragon or prophet is telling you to kill people because he says so, will not the smart man ask “why?” Too optimistic?

Because, I want to believe that people can “know” right from wrong, on a very base level. If you’re ignorant enough to think that nuking the whole middle east is the solution to our problems, you’re no different than the paranoid white-pride southerner who blames the Jews for his failed business ventures. And if you’d be proud to push the red button and blast them all yourself, you’re no better than those assholes who crashed planes into our buildings. I can’t believe real people think like that anyway, it blows me away.

Well anyway, once again I’ve failed to communicate what I wanted to say. But this is what I’m posting, so at least I tried. Dave out.

i bet i was passing killers

Some kinda watchgroup is gonna have problems with this one...
The other day I was driving around, looking at all the people in their cars and on the street, thinking about them. I wonder how many of those people have killed someone? I know it’s a morbid thought, but surely there’s a percentage there. Whether or not they killed someone in service of their country or police force or something, or they accidentally killed someone through negligence, of even if they are a good ol’ fashioned murderer – I bet I was passing killers on the road.

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of “collective statistics,” for lack of a better word. I mean, I’d drive down the river road in high school, peering into the picture windows of the houses lining the road. Seeing pictures hung on the walls and families watching TV, thinking about how each of those families, each person, has just as many, if not more, memories and experiences as I do. Think of all those memories and anecdotes and stories and emotions. I always thought that if you could somehow harness all that into a central repository – how cool it would be to just browse through it. Kind of voyeuristic I guess.

Subject change, ready?

Man, the more I listen to this new Of Montreal album, the more it gets bombs. Total 60’s brit-psych, so syrupy with harmonies and strings and dings and funky whimsical melodies. Sickening really, but really good. The Pitchfork reviewer calls it California psych-pop, wrong – it definitely mimics UK psych more than any west coast US stuff.

That was a long paragraph. So this weekend I got for real and dropped the dosh on the sprinkler ingredients: pipes, joints, risers, sprinkler heads, etc. Totaling out at $250 for most of the materials for the backyard irrigation (sans the drip system for the retaining wall slope and the will I/won’t I drainage materials), not a bad amount. Anyway, Ben helped me go buy the ~600ft of PVC and whatnot on Sunday – and then Sharaun helped me hook it all up. By 5pm on Sunday we had “zone one” complete and tested with sprinklers and all. It was really cool to see the little sprinkler heads pop up and start watering the Martian landscape that is my backyard. The rest of the job should go pretty quickly, and I anticipate being done with sprinklers (burying them and all) by this weekend. It’s a big step in terms of progress, because as soon as the sprinklers are in and I’ve taken care of the yard drainage (either with drains or just proper sloping, haven’t decided) – the next step is sod! That’s right, we can finally have something green in the backyard! I’m still working towards the July deadline, trying to be done in time for Sharaun’s folks’ visit.

The weather lately has been awesome, the kind of days that tend to draw me outside, that make it increasingly hard to concentrate on all things work. Well, at least work where the work’s happening indoors, trapped inside four cramped cubicle walls. Work where I’m outside in the sun, hunched over a ditch fitting two pipes together while Forever Changes blares out the windows, however, these days scream at me to do that work. A blue sky with no clouds on the way to work seems to make my brakin’ foot resist that turn and want to just keep on driving. Maybe pick up Sharaun and head to Yosemite for some camping or hiking. Stupid weather, so tempting. It’s like God’s communicating to me, just urging me to stick it to the man and call in sick or take vacation. Hey, who am I to argue with God?

Coming up in July, Sharaun and I will have been married for four years. I know that’s not very long compared to some, but dang man. That’s a long time! Considering we’ve been dating since 10th grade (way back yonder in 1994), it’s kinda crazy. Even way back in high school we used to joke about getting married, and now we’re for really married and far from what was then “home.” Funny to think about, but I’m glad things went down the way they did.

In middle school there was this kid with a prosthetic leg. The sad thing was, on top of the cool-detriment that having a fake leg alone brings – this kid was a total nerd. I mean, being one-legged is enough of a uphill popularity battle, but this kid was facing the Everest of uncool with no hopes of ever reaching the summit. Now, I know, it’s not nice to make fun of people, especially people with physical handicaps – but there’s no law (aside from what you squares call “morals”) against recounting hilarious stories about said people.

Story #1: The one-legged kid (OLK), had a huge crush on Kyle’s sister (yeah, the same sister who I’m proud to call my “first love”). One day I was walking with her up to the office, it was during class so there was no one in the hall. OLK must have been going to the office too, and he was walking in front of us. In what must have been an effort to look cool in front of his crush, he did a spin-move to try and open the door to the office. He spun around and used his fake leg to “kick” the door open. The door did open, but in the process of spinning or kicking, his fake leg came off. The door snapped back closed, suspending the detached limb mid-fall to the floor. OLK stood there in shock for a minute, then opened the door and retrieved the leg. He was refitting it as, stifling guffaws, we turned the other way pretending we weren’t headed for the office at all.

Story #2: Gym class. OLK would wear sweats all the time instead of shorts. One day we were inside the gym, and several of us were using the big integrated weight machine. It had all sorts of equipment bundled into one beast of a machine, including an inclined sit-up board. The guys in the class loved to set the inclined board at its steepest and have sit-up contests to see who was the coolest. This day, however, no one was using the board. OLK jacked it up to the steepest setting, and climbed on, hooking his sneakers under the pads at the top and laying down. After a few sit-ups, I guess his fake leg came “unhooked,” and his other foot slipped under the weight of his whole body on the incline. Now, remember, he was wearing sweats – so imagine the resulting scene. One “foot” and “leg” are still hooked at the top, but are detached at the knee. The other leg ha slipped from the top and with nothing to hold him, OLK is sliding down the incline. So to the observer, we see one leg seemingly “stretching” as the rest of the kid slides down the ramp. Some girl screamed, and one actually puked. We laughed for days.

Story #3: The cool thing to do after school was to steal candy from the convenience store on the way home. The pilfering was so bad, in fact, that the store was forced to implement a “two students at a time” policy in an attempt to curb their losses. I guess OLK wanted to get in on the fun, but for some reason decided to one-up everyone else by stealing a lot more candy than we were accustomed to. His modus operandi? Why, fill his fake leg with candy, of course. In the end, OLK got caught, and we all watched as the cops made him remove his fake leg to reveal a pirate’s booty of sweets.

OK, I’m done. I got nothing left. Sorry for the dumb and exploitive stories. Dave out.

ok… but… where does the water go?

see what I'm saying?!
I remember when I was a kid, I dunno, let’s say 4th grade or so – my parents and I having the (now-infamous) “Niagra Falls Discussion.” I think I remember it so vividly because it was so supremely frustrating to me, and to this day I can’t understand why my mom and pop couldn’t help me out with it. Lemme set the scene: I was a curious child, prone to asking crazy questions. I had always seen pictures of Niagra Falls, but had never been there. In every picture I’d seen, the falls were always shown as this massive half-circle waterfall with tons of water gushing over the edge. I’d even seen flyby’s on TV where a helicopter or plane would follow the semicircular edge of the falls taking footage. I was always totally impressed with it, but a question began to nag me.

See, in my head, since the only image I knew of the falls was an arc with water pouring over – I for some reason got the impression that the entire falls must be a complete circle. I mean, in my mind – Niagra Falls was a large “cup” in the earth with water constantly pouring into it… like a crater or something. I just never considered anything else. My question? Why didn’t it “fill up?” So one day I posed my question to the folks: “Hey folks… why doesn’t Niagra Falls ever fill up?” I can see now how absurd it must have sounded, but holy crap. We went around and around on this for over an hour. I went so far as to get out paper and draw them what I was asking… with a huge circle representing my concept of Niagra Falls, and arrows showing water rushing in from all 360?. Their initial answer was that “there’s a river at the bottom.” Fine, I thought: “So there’s an underground river that takes the water away?” “What do you mean ‘underground?'” my day would say. This went on and on, and I can remember being so frustrated that they did not understand what I was asking.

Looking back, I place the blame entirely on my parents. I mean, I was drawing a circle for pete’s sake, calling it a “cup” and “crater,” and asking why it doesn’t fill up – how hard would it have been to figure out that I was mistakenly thinking of it as a closed hole? I wonder if they were just messing with me the whole time? Even to this day, whenever I struggle to understand something they’re talking about, one of them inevitably says “Is this going to be like the Niagra Falls thing David?” Punk parents, screwin’ with a little kid’s head. When I explained to them many years later why I was confused, they acted all like they didn’t know I thought the thing was a crater… punk parents. (Not really guys, I love ya. Punks.)

Last night was the Beulah / John Vanderslice show in SF. We had six people going, so we borrowed a larger vehicle from Anthony’s sister. The night started like most other SF concert outings: a stop in Davis at the House of Chang for some eats, and the commute to the Bay for the show. Anthony was driving on the way there, so we didn’t get the least bit lost. After the show, however, he wisely (considering his narcolpetic tendencies) let me ferry us home. At which point I immediately, and confidently, got us lost trying to leave the city. I somehow ended up on the 101 towards San Jose. After making a u-turn on Caeser Chavez Blvd. NE #1c, we hit the Bay Bridge and were on our way to Krispy Kreme and home.

As for the show, it rocked pretty hard. We had great timing, getting there about 15min before Vanderslice took the stage. When we walked in, Ben spotted him milling around in the crowd – checking out how his cd’s were selling and whatnot. He played for about 40min, and sounded excellent. I was impressed with the harmonies and sound quality, plus the tunes were catchy as all Hell. Ben and Ant each bought a cd. Beulah came on around 10:30 or so. They sounded really good, even though Miles was coming off a case of food poisoning. They played a pretty mixed set, material wise – pulling from all four albums. By the time they finished their marathon set, it was 12:30 and the crowd was duly pleased. I really enjoyed ’em, they rocked, they sounded good, and they were really interactive and fun. Worth the $15 and more.

Yesterday I caught myself reading nearly the entire 138 page Prosecutor’s Summary of the Evidence from the Green River Killer case. Sorry, I’m fascinated by crime, serial killers in particular. Yeah, I’m a forensics show nut, and frequent crimelibrary.com. Whatever, step off. Anyway, it’s some really interesting reading, although at times disgusting, I was totally enthralled.

In keeping with the spirit of sharing old love letters, here’s one from late 8th grade. Found it the other night while digging around for pictures for the Astro story I posted yesterday. Reading it now, I’m totally thinking I coulda got some play back then. Jeez, it’s pretty embarrassing to read, so I tried to pixelate a name or two. Beware: contains coarse language!

Holy crap that’s painful. See all those song lyrics and crap? I was a Beatles nut way back then, and I guess so was she (no, it wasn’t Sharaun). Anyway, I have some good memories of them days… and that kinda brought ’em back.

OK, this thing is turning into a blog of Beulah-concert proportions… Dave out!