the gyrating women of sabado gigante

Went out to lunch the other day for Afghani food (no, not in celebration of the recent election in which the first person to vote was a nineteen year-old woman). I’d never had it before, and it sounded intriguing. That’s one of the things I like about California, it’s so much more diverse than Florida. Sharaun notices it more than I do though, she’s always amazed at how diverse her class makeups are. I know, it’s silly to call it “diverse” based on the cuisine choices – that’s just what kicked off the idea in my head. Well, I’m happy to say that the food at “Taste of Kabul” was yummy. Too bad my $10 lunch probably paid for some terrorist-camp recruit’s standard-issue pipe bomb, or maybe the poppy-seed startup costs for a budding opium venture. And that folks, is good sarcasm.

Anyway, I didn’t intend to write a paragraph about the restaurant and food, I wanted to write about the conversation. Had a really good conversation, covering the two most “taboo” topic you can think of: politics and religion. It’s awesome when you can have intelligent conversation with someone willing to be objective about things. I guess, to a psychologist, that’s probably the equivalent of saying “It’s nice when you can have a conversation with someone who has a similar opinion to yourself.” I mean, you’re naturally going to think of someone who more or less agrees with you on things as someone with their “head on straight,” or “in his right mind.” What’s intelligent and objective to one person could be ignorant and close-minded to the next, that’s the beauty of opinion I suppose. Anyway, it was a good conversation – and good spiced yogurt-covered dumplings too. Those Afghanis may be terrible at making peace, but they’re not too shabby at making lunch. Sarcasm, again, it’s good to close on a laugh.

Yeah, so, I did watch about half of the third debate the other night? it all seems like rehash now though. Kerry’s a liberal, Bush is bad, I get it. I wasn’t too impressed overall, I kind of just want it all to be over now. No more stupid misleading commercials, no more character-attacks, let’s just vote and be done with it. I was, however, disappointed in the way Kerry (and Edwards, for that matter) brought up Cheney’s lesbian daughter. I mean, how thin is that veil? Everyone knows you’re only mentioning his lesbian daughter because you want to make sure every knows he has a lesbian daughter, not for whatever false premise you’re supposedly talking about. “By the way America, and particularly you, Bible Belt: your incumbent republican VP has a Satan-loving lesbo of a daughter. Do you really want a vice-president who’s seed is so accursed by God that he can father such a moral abomination? I think not. Vote Kerry.” Stupid politics.

Ever since upgrading the TiVo to a ludicrous 140hrs of recording time, I decided to re-enable the “TiVo suggestions” feature. TiVo suggestions is a feature that lets the machine record shows it thinks you might like, presumably based on intelligence gathered from what you watch and what you already choose to record. I decided to enable it mostly as an experiment, y’know, to see how intelligent the thing really is. I thought it would be fun to see what kinda stuff it chose to record, perhaps it would even give me some insight into my own mind. But, alas, I think TiVo suggestions is mostly whack.

It’s been on a little over a week now, and man does it record some odd stuff. This morning I woke up and there were two episodes of some Spanish soap opera it had recorded off Univision. What? I mean, other than stopping on Univision for a minute or two while channel-surfing (gyrating women on Sabado Gigante pretty much stop you in your tracks), I’ve never watched a Spanish show in my life. It recorded two hours of infomercials – what in my viewing trends keyed in on that? It does, however, sometimes get it right – with things like I Love Lucy (it sees Andy Griffith and Leave it to Beaver), COPS (duh), Futurama and the Family Guy (probably based on the Simpsons and Aqua Teen “season passes” I have set). Of course, it’s skewed from purely “my” habits because Sharaun also watches TV. So the “suggested” list is rife with MTV “real life” shows and “making the video” and crap like that. Yup. Paragraph over.

Enough, Dave out.

news whore

A woodcut.  No connection whatsoever.
Good night, went crazy and bought blinds for all the windows in the house – hung about 2/3 of them tonight… super simple and really makes the place look a lot better. Sharaun got the results of her MRI back today, a near-complete tear of her ACL – which they say is actually slightly worse than a complete tear for some reason – and a probable meniscus tear as well. Intro paragraph over.

As I’ve commented on a couple times before – I don’t know if it’s just me, or if it’s something conditioned into GenXers, but I have a terribly distrusting nature when it comes to a lot of things – politics and news in particular. It’s just hard for me to take anything at face value when I hear/read it in the news or from a politician’s mouth. Perhaps this has something to do with coming of age at the same the the internet did, when the dissemination of information became almost instantaneous, and the credibility of that information became much more suspect as the digital age simplified forgery and fakery and exaggeration to child’s play. Any person can post any information they want, and reach wider audiences than ever before. Not only this, when it comes to news and politics, I was weaned on things like the Iran Contra hearings – I came to know that people lied, even important people. I came to know that the news was sensationalist, and often pandered to particular “target” audiences. And, after time, I came to see the sometimes subtle partisanship in almost all forms of media and news. Maybe some would say I came to “imagine” these things, that I’m paranoid – but I honestly do have a hard time believing everything the news or Candidate A/B tells me. It seems like everyone lies, or adds a twist to things.

One more thing about me, I’m a news-whore. I am constantly and habitually taking 30sec away from work to point my browser to one of the many news sources I frequent. Unlike my I-don’t-know-where-it-came-from mistrust of media and politics, I can pinpoint exactly how where my fascination with the news started. September 11, from that day I on was refreshing the news webpages at least once every half hour to see what was going on out there. That day I became the addicted news-fiend I am now. However, I have somewhat of a conflict of interests here. Being that I both can’t get enough of, and have a hard time trusting, the news. For this reason, I tend to frequent a lot of varied news sources. I usually start off at CNN, for my dose of semi-sensationalist US-focused stuff. I then bounce around between a smattering of liberal and conservative new sources like IndyMedia and Fox News, before I hit the view-from-the-outside sources like BBCNews. Finally I usually wrap it all up by stopping by some news aggregators like Google’s News page and NPR’s front-page roundup. I figure a quick glance at it all is better than single-sourcing. Whatever. How can I type two paragraphs about where I get the news?

I’m beginning to have serious doubts about my witch project. With things changing so drastically in this late part of the game, I’m wondering if she’ll ever even fly. I’ve all but decided that I’m moving away from the original concept of the witch moving up and down a static line, and I’m now going with an adaptation of the Axworthy ghost “big belt driven loop” system. Not only do I think it’ll look better (I can make the witch fly a constant circuit around the yard, where she’ll cover much more ground and her flight path will be much more realistic), I think it’s engineeringly possible (I made up that word). In fact, if I can get it working, I think an Axworthy-style witch would use the prop to its fullest potential. Now to get it done. I bought some ingredients at the Home Depot today, and have been formulating the “new new” plan. I think it’ll work, but it’s really coming down to the wire. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve been accused of being a little Moore-ish in yesterday’s over-simplification of the “unchecked savages” rationale for war. And, I admit, I did of course inflate the argument by adding little one-liners about “Baptist” church on Sunday and “God-fearing” Americans. The standard premise of the argument is not nearly as ridiculous as I made it sound: that we were bringing some retribution to a nation of people that has too long been permitted to murder, rape, and plunder at will. Adding the notion of ever-righteous, duty-bound world-policing Americans was more for comedy than anything, but also not entirely farce: as I know from experience some people justify it this way. In other words, there is a whole spectrum of degrees to the “making the world a better place” rationale, not just the for right extreme of Democratizin’ and Jesus-lovin’n up that mongrel culture. I’m sure there are people who feel like Iraq’s number simply finally came up on the “you been pullin’ this crap for too long” list, and now they’re getting a bit of well-deserved body-checking.

That’s fine, and less extreme than my original explanation, but I think it still relies on the fact that a whole country, or even a whole culture or religion, is, or has become, “bad.” (Wow, look at all those commas, but I think it’s still grammatically correct, right?) I mean, is not their argument an over-simplification as well? To make a blanket-statement like “that country” or “those people” need to be corrected? All the people in the country? All the people of that religion or race? Really, all of them? Here’s where, I suspect, we’d get into the numbers game. Like the insurance industry, the war industry must have some math they use when talking about “justifiable” non-enemy losses. I mean, to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs… war is a dirty business, right? So maybe the “majority” of the people in that country, race, or religion are bad… and the war machine can “write off” their loss to the greater good. I don’t know. Again I fear I’ve over-simplified. All I wanted to say was, if this is you’re reasoning for the war – I don’t agree but can kinda, looking sideways, see where you’re coming from.

Lord, I gotta get off this political thing. I’m sorry folks, I don’t know what’s come over me. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this anymore. To change subjects, I’ve been listening lately, almost exclusively, to the new Mono album. Some Japanese band filed on the wordless-loud/quiet-noise that is “post-rock” shelf next to Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, GSYBE, A Silver Mt. Zion, etc. Great background music to have in the cans at work.

If you’ve got time, I found this a fascinating read. If you don’t have time, your own fascination will have to wait. Dave out.

hours and hours of wasted time

Hark!  I am swollen with milk.  Bleed me.
Nice laid-back weekend, once again the witch-project was neglected as I worked mainly on my own computer and upgrading our TiVo. In one of the easiest mods I’ve ever done, Erik and I slapped in an extra 120GB drive and upping the recording capacity from 40hrs to 141rs. Not that I was really using all 40hrs or anything, it just seemed like a fun thing to try. Now I can keep unlimited amounts of old Andy Griffith and Leave it to Beaver, for, something.

Last week I went back and read the transcript of Thursday’s debate, and believe me it resonated much more in writing when I had time to re-read and digest it all. If you missed the debate, or even if you saw it, I’d recommend reading the words in print. Sometimes, when watching it on TV it’s easy, at least for me, to get distracted – and the candidate’s answers end up sounding like random strings of politic-talk. In writing however, it’s much easier, again, for me, to see the point each was trying to make – and the intelligence and speaking skills of each comes through better. Anyway, reading it again drew out the hermit-of-a political commentator in me, but I shall not bore you, or shall I?

If there was a candidate who was pledging to kill babies if elected, but place no restrictions on gun ownership, and a candidate that wanted to heavily restrict gun ownership to small firearms for self-protection but would kill no babies – who would you vote for? It’s an unfair question, I know – but I’m trying to use it to illustrate a point. I just think, for this election, there are some issues that should bear more weight on peoples’ votes than “pet” issues. And I’m not trying to water down any one issue – if it’s important to you it should bear in your choice – but maybe, just perhaps, in the times and age we live in right now, voters may want to make some concessions to their idea of a “perfect” candidate, in order to avoid catastrophe.

There, I’ve said it, and I know the argument is full of holes and not really well-thought-out, but I think maybe, with a stretch, you can see what I’m driving at. Are you fiercely anti-bovine-growth-hormone? Great, glad you’re opinionated? but perhaps, in light of what’s going on in the world today – you’d better serve our country by voting for someone who’s less anti-BGH than you, in the interest of solving bigger, badder problems first. Then, next time around, when we have some peace and aren’t under threat of attack – then, then you can cast your votes based on the candidates’ stances on bovine growth hormones. Does that make sense?

I know, enough about politics right? But they’re just so dang interesting, I mean, but watch this video, and then read the latest over at Drudge’s place – Kerry is a no-good cheater! It’s like a big, terrible soap opera. We can watch the whole terrible, awkward drama unfold a little more this week with the vice debate on Tuesday and the second presidential debate on Friday – both of which are set to record on my newly-hugified TiVo. Bring on the politics.

I don’t even know, I’m not writing anymore. I’m going to bed. Dave out.

what’s the number for green beans?

Don’t tell anyone, but I skipped out on an afternoon “teambuilding” event for work today and came home instead, to “yardbuild” alone. I needed to mow, and wanted to try and give the empire-building crabgrass a little bit of the business. I went mad, a little bit, I think. I mean, I just got so frustrated I started ripping up crabgrass, uprooting the stubborn creeping weed with a trowel, and leaving massive bare spots in my yard in the process. It’s OK, the grass was already dead there. My yard has gone from what was arguably one of the best-looking on the block, to one of the worst-looking. If I were just a tad more vain I’d consider paying to have the whole thing uprooted and re-sodded. But, in the end, it’s just grass… and I realized today that there’s no way to beat the crabs… I pull up a whole colony only to find that it’s sprung to life in another corner of the yard. So, I had a moment of realization, standing there in my patchwork yard, and decided that I can be happy even if I have an ugly lawn. Even if it’s all crabs, it’s still green.

Today when I came home from work (at noon, bwahaha!), I was kinda hungry and I started rummaging through the house for food. Well, the kitchen at least. Threw away a loaf of moldy bread that had been out since before this weekend’s Oregon trip, looked at the bleak offerings from the fridge, and moved onto the pantry. Upon opening the pantry, I was greeted with the strangest site:


A wall of labeless cans glaring out at me. What the heck is this? I picked up a can or two to see what in the world was going on, but was even more dumbfounded when I noticed that each can seemed to be hand-numbered in permanent marker. I checked a few more, and they all had numbers written on the bottom in marker. Now, under normal circumstances I would’ve found this whole thing to be extremely odd. However, living with a teacher, you get used to strange things being left around. I figured that it must be some project Sharaun was working on for her class, maybe some kind of recognition or memory thing… I dunno. The thought of a “list” somwhere that matched each numbered can to a description of its contents made me laugh a little – but I soon forgot about the cans after a nice tuna sandwhich (tuna from a pouch, no can needed) and half an hour of Cops.

Match 'em up.

Later, Sharaun called on her way home from school and asked me to check some ingredients for our planned dinner. When I went to the pantry, the cans reminded me to ask her about what kind of “project” they were for. Turns out, she had no idea what I was talking about. In quick order, I deduced that we had been hoodwinked. Someone practical-joked us, and now all our cans were labeless and their contents a mystery. What’s worse, Sharaun needed some chicken broth and green beans for dinner. Luckily, she’s familiar enough with the chicken broth cans to pick them out – but our jokester had even thought of that. Any can with identifying info on the top or bottom had been blacked out with marker… ingenious.

Oh, whodunnit? Well, if the engineer-sevens (y’know, those Euro-techy sevens with a little horizontal line in them?) weren’t enough of a tipoff – the fact that I loaned my housekey to Pat this weekend while we were in Oregon sealed the deal. Really, you think you’re doing a nice thing by letting friends mooch off your ESPN GamePlan… sheesh.

Tonight I got a mail from my pops, in response to my entry yesterday – or more correctly, in response to my thoughts on Ollie North’s letter to Kerry. Here’s what he had to say:

Hi David, I read your blog today and I would like to offer you my view as a Viet Nam veteran of what I think of the war as I look back after 30 years. Thirty years ago I was on the flight deck of the USS Coral Sea helping my ordinance buddies load napalm and 500lbs bombs. We lost many fine young men (two of them were my squadron’s commanding officers) who flew off the flight deck and never returned. These were men who I worked with, talked to, and met their wives and children on R&R. David if the war had not started when I was on the Coral Sea I would have went to Canada or Sweden after I found out what the United States was doing in Viet Nam.

I read Oliver North’s letter and I can’t understand his position. He says, ” Worst of all, John, you then accused me — and all of us who served in Vietnam — of committing terrible crimes and atrocities.” This statement is blatantly false, a lie if you will. John Kerry never accused everyone who served in Viet Nam of committing terrible crimes and atrocities. He stated the facts and some who wanted the war to continue don’t like the fact that atrocities were committed by US troops. Take a look at this and make up your own mind,

If you, like Ollie North, can support this method of fighting a war, and justify it, then vote for Bush. If you don’t believe, as I don’t, that there is any justification for My-Lai or the murder of innocent civilians, vote for Kerry. Love you, your Paw.

And then, followed up 15min later with this:

Hi David, I was just looking at this letter I wrote you and I noticed it was 40 years ago, not 30, that I was in the Gulf of Tonkin helping give the people of South Viet Nam freedom and democracy. I was 24 years old, the same age as your brother John who is probably going to be going to Iraq to fight another war to give the people of Iraq freedom and democracy. I have never contributed to a political campaign before David, but I have sent a contribution to the Kerry campaign as I feel this is probably the most important election in my life. Love you, your Paw.

Hmm… I don’t even really have much to add or comment. I respect my dad’s opinion a lot, even if he can’t remember how many years ago he was in Vietnam… I mean, he is getting old and all. Thanks for the notes pop.

Lastly, I finally got a Gmail invite… so I now have an account. Yeah, so, I wasn’t really on the bleeding edge this time – but that’s cool. Now I just need to figure out who gets my invites.

Dave out.


Open me.
I’m gonna try my best to not let this week’s travel keep me from writing, but if there’s nothing going on worth writing about then I don’t mind skipping a day. I think that could be a potential pitfall actually, forcing myself to write every day regardless of whether or not there’s something to write about. Because Thursday I leave early for Houston, I’m attempting this Wednesday double-up to get myself ahead on the days. I’ll spend Friday once again up in front of customers, wearing my best “I know what I’m talking about” face. Pull some ill-fitting khakis over my ass, tuck in a nice blue dress shirt, brush my hair and fill my breast pocket with business cards. The portrait of a corporate slave, bowing and scraping for a paycheck and some stock options. Why couldn’t I have been a cowboy or rock star?

I’m sitting in a hotel in Houston, belly full of beer, steak, garlic-mashed potatoes, and some kinda Jack Daniels ice cream. Business travel is at least nice for the meals. The flight wasn’t bad, and I got a lot done this morning before leaving. Y’know those ultra-productive days where everything seems to fall into place? When you’re able to get everything that you wanted to done and more? I love those days. Tomorrow it’s back to work, but for now I can sit here and watch W address the RNC. Then I guess Kerry is gonna talk in Ohio, it’s a fun-filled night for politicos.

Last night the Killers at the Boardwalk was a good show. As usual, the tiny Boardwalk was packed wall-to-wall with the cream of Sacramento’s emo-youth. Tousled, jet-black haired, lanky youngsters with dark thick-rimmed glasses and untucked concert tees. Doing their best to wear their angst and societal aloofness on their sleeves for all to see. Girls decked in once-again-cool 1985 makeup and hairstyles, with plenty of pink and poof. And me, a guy in his late twenties. A guy wearing jean shorts bought as Sams, Reef flip-flops, and a red and blue striped preppie shirt, untucked. With a brown corduroy Nike hat covering my thinning hair, I realize I’m fast becoming the outsider at these shows – and I like it. I wanna be that old guy my friends I and I saw at the Ween concert back in 1994, the one we laughed at because he wasn’t wearing what we were wearing and looked so out of place. The one who just didn’t care and came out to hear some good tunes. What am I talking about?

I’m not writing anymore, Dave out.

wayne presents

Moses brought them down from a mountain.
Sometimes water sounds and tastes infinitely better to me than soda, like right now – I’m drinking water and it “tastes” great. Intro paragraph over.

Tonight I mowed my sickly lawn with tender-loving care. I edged her, used the blower to clean her of stray cut grass, fertilizered her, weed-controlled her, and all around pampered her. But that’s not what’s important about this story – the important part is the soundtrack I chose for the task. A few days ago I downloaded an album by a group called The Horns of Happiness, simply because I liked their name (alliteration does a whole heck of a lot for me for some reason). Occasionally I’ll do this, grab an album on name alone, and usually it’s a bust. Like they say, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover (as illustrated beautifully by the turds contained within the kickass album covers of Molly Hatchet). Anyway, the album was perfect for our oddly Fall-like weather this week. Some strange hodge-podge of disjointed tunes, sometimes reminding me of anything from the Microphones to Neutral Milk Hotel to Sufjan. Anyway, it’s quickly climbing the charts in my head, gunning for number one with some animal drive? yeah. The music was good, and the lawn’s already showing signs of improvement. Whew! What a relief.

Speaking of our unseasonably Fallish weather of late, bending my mind more and more to thoughts of Halloween. If I haven’t said it before, I freakin’ love Halloween. Ever since I was a kid and my brother and I used a pair of my dad’s old slacks and one of his old flannels to make a mask-covered basketball-headed dummy which we then ritualistically covered in 99? fake blood from Kmart and hung from the basketball goal above the garage. I will repeat, Halloween is awesome. This year will be our second annual Halloween party, and I swear I’m fated to finish the backyard the day before or something. I just want it done y’all, I just want it done.

Man, sometimes I get super sick of people sending e-mails around without checking them out online first for accuracy. I have a family member who is very religious, and therefore very republican and very pro-Bush. Being so republican means that this person is also vehemently anti-democrat and anti-Kerry. What bugs me is how these anti-Kerry pro-Bush mails seem to circulate like wildfire among these “churchy” e-mail “clubs.” Like a right-wing party line, these retired-couples-cum-internet-surfers dutifully forward any piece of tearjerking, awe-inspiring, mushy God-crap that lands in their inbox along down the line to the next person who needs a “virtual hug” from the Lord. Now, I know I’m on the edge of offending people here – and I don’t mean to. You’re more than welcome to need a virtual hug from the Lord, heck maybe even I do, but that’s not my point.

It’s the political mails that really get me – mostly because these donation-plate-stuffing senior citizens just blindly believe whatever trash washes up on their AOL accounts’ shores and proceed to propagate said nonsense to those of us who actually bother to “fact check” the cyber-missives. Without so much as a thought on the accuracy of whatever the internet rumour-mill churned out last, they jot their insightful comments on top of the long line of those before them and proceed to add another column of carats to the left margin of an already unreadable body of mis-tabbed and oddly-spaced text. “I think this is disgusting, shame on us if we elect these men,” reads a comment in the 15th attachment I had to open on the way to the original e-mail which is still another 10 nested “envelopes” down.

And hey, I’m not even that guy who says anything negative about the dems or Kerry is necessarily wrong. Maybe, somewhere out there, there’s a mail about Kerry/Edwards that’s fact-based and worth distributing. But most of this stuff is ridiculous. Where does it say in the Bible that you’re duty-bound to God to forward this rubbish? Thou shalt be staunch republican, may thou never neglect thy duty to forward any e-mail which let’s thy distribution list know thy as such. I mean, you think Edwards flips people off as he runs? Think Kerry’s wife really runs overseas sweatshops? Or maybe that he’s voted to kill every defense weapons bill since ’88? They’re all crap folks, all crap.

To be fair, there’s no shortage of the same going around about Bush – and the tree-huggers can be just as bad about forwarding mails painting him as the grandest fool of an evil-dictator ever to grace the earth? so I suppose it goes both ways.

And to all my relatives, if you’re reading this, I love you dearly.

Time to go check e-mail and get ready for bed. Oh yeah, here’s a picture I drew last week in Taiwan while a co-worker was doing his portion of our presentation. It was the 8th or 9th time we’d given the same presentation to customers, and I guess I was just getting bored. Enjoy.

G’nite all, Dave out.

problem #1: ignorant people

GIS for bleeding heart?
I know, it’s been a few days. Well, get used to it. I don’t plan to write much all next week when I’m away on holiday. I’ll try and drop a few entries on ya, but I’m not making any promises. I guess I’ve just been kinda bummed lately with this whole CIU thing… a visit to the allergist this week confirmed that I won’t be able to go on our planned rafting trip next weekend, which meant I had to cancel those reservations. Even crappier, since I didn’t find out until pretty close to the event, they’d only refund me 75% of what we paid in – which effectively means that this “disease” screwed a bunch of people out of $40 each. So, not only was I feeling bad for not being able to make the trip, I felt worse for hitting people in their pocketbooks because of it.

So I did what I do when I’m down, I took a morning off work and used it to work in the yard. I was at the Home Depot by 6:30am and swingin’ a pick by 7am. It’s amazing how much you can get done before noon when you don’t wait until 10am to get started. Got all of zone two sprinklers done, and covered. Just having a flat, un-trenched backyard makes things look so much better – even if it is still all dirt. I formed up the patio, and seeing the outline visually really helps the imagination – you can almost see what it’ll look like when it’s done. Also got five yards of decomposed granite (the base for the pavers-based porch) and 3 yards of cedar mulch for the slope above the retaining wall. After putting just a little mulch on that slope, it makes a big difference? this thing is actually starting to look like a backyard. I’m going to change subjects now, mixing in some of the half-written things I had for the days I skipped this week.

Getting older and taking more of an interest in politics must go hand in hand. Am I supposed to have this much hesitation and distrust of all news sources and politicians? I honestly don’t think I am. Were early Americans so leery? I mean, I have a hard time taking anything as 100%. What do I mean? I mean that whenever a politician or pundit speaks, I automatically assume that at least some of what they say is “spin” or pure crap. Where did this doubt-factor get built in to my thought processes? It’s the same kind of doubt that I have with auto mechanics, thinking that at best they can utter half-truths only. When it comes to politics, I have this built in notion that I have to take whatever I hear with a grain of salt. Everyone, from learned people I know and like, to analysts on Capitol Hill, has their agenda… where can a brother go for the straight dope? Not the Post, not Fox, not CNN?

Right now I’m listening to the new Interpol album, and I gotta say it’s outstanding. I needed to be weaned off the Killers, and I think this may be just the album to do it. My mind is in other places though, calculating volumes of rock and sand and mulch for the backyard, drifting hive-less down a river during my upcoming week off, or thinking back on my weekend on the range (I can still smell the campfire smell on my sneakers, and it’s awesome).

So, to it then. The weekend was outstanding. And like all things that I enjoy immensely, I’ll probably never write a proper entry about it. Suffice it to say (sufficed to say?) that we had a blast, playing cowboy in the high-desert under the shadows of the Sierras. It was relaxing, cathartic, and perfectly timed. Now I’m back in the working-world and once again feeling the pull of Summer, baiting me with every cloudless sunny day, taunting me. I can make it through these next two days and onto my vacation, I know I can.

In other news, today is my fourth wedding anniversary. I’ve been married for four years, been in CA for four years? it’s simply flown by. Four years ago today I was in a small church in Cocoa, Florida, getting married to someone I’d already been with for nearly eight years. Four years ago tomorrow we were arriving at our bed and breakfast in Martha’s Vineyard. I’m old.

Last night I checked my e-mail at home and found a forwarded letter waiting for me. It was from Sharaun’s grandmother, a woman who I love dearly – but also a staunch conservative who often sends Bush-loving, Kerry-hating missives that are making the rounds (you’ve seen the one about Kerry’s houses and that stupid ketchup rumour, I’m sure). I’m not going to get into politics, why quibble over the lesser of two evils – but this letter was a little different. It was a forwarded letter that was supposedly originally written by a father to his sons, regarding the war and terrorism and whatnot. It was long, but it caught my interest and I read the whole thing. For the sake of background, here’s a webized version of what I’m talking about (which is good because it doesn’t have the one-million carats and typos that come from a grandmother-forwarded e-mail). As a disclaimer, I have no idea what that site is about – it was just the first Google return for “muslim terrorists love dad letter.”

Now to the letter, it’s well-written, but some of the lines that I love are: “Why were we attacked? Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms.” Yeah? Seems a bit classist and elitist to me. I mean, perhaps envy played a role – but I think the real reason lies in these peoples’ belief that our country is so immoral that they are commanded by God to destroy us. Not only that, but they feel that we attacked first. Read Osama’s letter, he tells us why they attack us. Anyway, there is some decent text in the letter, the portion addressing speaking to all Muslims being bad and Hitler’s Germany, etc. But for the most part it takes on a bit of a “conspiracy theory” vibe, talking about France eventually “fading” to the Muslims. I’m not sure, but is this guy trying to justify genocide here? What does the war in Iraq have to do with Muslim terrorists? Are all Iraqis Muslim terrorists?

Problem number one: ignorant people. Problem number two: the belief in divine justification for certain deeds. Either of these problems by themselves can be deadly, but the combination of the two is most certainly. When you have a person or group or persons who believe that they are called by God to do something, and that a) if they don’t do it they will be held accountable by said God, and b) that because it’s done in God’s name and at his command, it is beyond reproach or examination, you’re against a wall. There’s no arguing with it, there’s no logic that you can apply, there’s nothing. Whatever, I’m not defending terrorists… at least that’s not what I intended to do here. Hate me because California is turning me liberal, I guess.

I have nothing more, but I’m sure my logic above is all flawed? so tell me about it. Dave out.