Monday, July 27, 2009

This is Depressing...

...the whole Skippy Gates thing, I mean.

Not his predicament, tho. Long ago, in a traffic school class far away, we were advised by the police officer/instructor that the first thing we should do when stopped is "pass the attitude test". This has always made excellent sense to me, mainly because a) said "stopper" can arrest me, and b) he or she has a gun they are allowed to use to do a).

It's a no brainer.

Later in my life, my house was burgled. I came home, and after dealing with the LEOs, I wandered out to the back yard. An officer who was in the supermarket parking lot behind my house saw me, and firmly but politely asked me to come over and show some ID. My ID was in the house, and I told him so, and said that yes, it was my house. We agreed that I would go in and get said ID, and show it to him. I did, and it was all good.

Why would I want to get arrested and/or shot on my own property by someone who was ostensibly trying to protect aid property? For me. Who hadn't personally asked him!

Skippy is an idiot. OK, he's a Harvard Prof, which means he probably has a PhD.

He's still an idiot. If we define "idiot" as one who behaves in such a manner to endanger their own well being and that of those around them, for no apparently good reason.

But that's not what is depressing. I have a friend at work, Mr. T, who, based on his Facebook posts, seems to think that Gates was treated the way he was because he is black. (As is, I might mention, my friend. This is not mentioned trivially...) And yes, my friend voted for the big "o", too (lowercase intentional).

So, in my book, he's 0 for 2 in the brainwashed department. STG, I don't care that our Commander-in-Chief is a person of color. I really don't. On the other hand, I don't trust the skinny little weasel as far as I could throw him. He seems to be evidencing symptoms of what we might call being a "Strawberry Oreo". Black on the outside, Red on the inside.

Anywho, now my friend is on the side of Skippy. Mr T. is a very intelligent young man. But, brainwashed, it appears. (I think he reads Time magazine, the WaPo and HuffPo). He asserted that Skippy was handcuffed inside his house. According to the police report, not so:

So, methinks it boils down to a division along racial lines. Which is truly sad. Because there is obviously a lot of "filtering" going on, still. By that I mean, if a white office arrests a (loud) black man/woman, the officer is obviously "racist". Even though said officer has been picked by his (black) boss to lead the political correctness..., erm, sensitivity training for the precinct. And, you'll notice that this terribly racist officer got Skippy his cane, and then waited until the maintenance guy could get on site and get Skippy's door locked.

What a flaming racist.!!

Of course, on my side of the fence, I'm dealing with my own upbringing, too. I still find myself hearing in my head the crap that I learned from adults around me (not Mom or Grampa G... they would't tolerate insulting words about anyone). So I hear the lie run by, and then tell myself, let's watch and see who this person/these people really are. So then I stop and see what I see. Most times, people are basically decent. I suspect, like me, they want to have a warm, safe place for themselves and their loved ones. And, yeah, there are some jerks out there. I tend to avoid them whenever possible, stand up to them when I need to. But it's all on a case by case basis. The one difference we all have in common is that we're all different.

It seems to me that, given the persistence of knee-jerking, that the heroic and historic efforts of Dr. King and Ms. Parks, to name only two, have been grossly wasted. Sort of like feminism, it all seemed about learning to treat each other with respect. Apparently, we still don't get it.

Now, it appears to be just about scoring racial and political points and getting "mine".


Then, there's this at Power Line

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Back Under the Knife

I spent about an hour or so under the knife, again. New surgeon, new hospital (more, later).

Once again, in pre-op, I found myself thinking of my time with Gramma G. I think what makes that time so special to me is that it was unconditional. I suppose she knew, or at least suspected, that she was dying during my time with her. If so, she never seemed to show me that she was afraid. It seemed to me that she had nothing else to do when she shared her time with me. I'm sure that her dying was a great strain to my mom and Grampa G, so they were, of course, distracted.

After she passed on, my life changed. Grampa G would take off for a few months to spend time with his other children in Arizona and Illinois. When he was gone, I would stay overnight at my best friend's house, and during the summers,stay during the day as well. This was because my mom worked the night shift at the hospital.

Anyway, I know where my "happy place" is. Thanks, Gramma

Friday, June 5, 2009

I hate when this happens...

...the dermatologist and I are playing phone tag. I've gotten 2 "you *really* need to get in touch w/ (the surgeon) and me about the biopsy results" messages from her since yesterday afternoon.

I have a feeling that this isn't good news.

More as it develops.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Air France 447

Dave (at the link in the post title) has the only info on the Air France flight that crashed in the Atlantic that I respect (fwiw).

I just want to know why the pilots didn't/couldn't fly around it or return??

Heeee's heeere....

Damn, it's been a long time. I got an e-mail from a buddy out on the Left Coast, and I thought my reply would make a fairly decent post:

Hey, guy...

It's been one of those days - I got a reply written, but not sent, because I thought I post it to my blog, which I couldn't log into, then I re-booted, and about five hours later, here we are.

So, to recap...

Facebook... I don't get it at all. I've heard from two old classmates, but that's about it. I can count my friends on less than two hands, and that works for me. Interestingly, one of them seems to MIsteress of Pain. We e-mail, and have occasional phone conversations.

Glad to hear that our old boss is no longer a direct threat to you. Proof of the Law of Cesspools: the really big chunks always rise to the top.

200 lbs! Wow!!! Send pictures. I haven't weighed only 200 since late in the last century. Yes, I remember Bob C. Glad to hear he's OK. The Kiddo's mom is getting ready to retire, too. Makes for strange feelings, or perhaps feeling of strangeness. Given my current financial situation, I don't see that in my future anytime soon, tho.

Dating... I'm listed on Match and Chemistry, but I can't get to e-mail and such because dues aren't in my budget. But, yeah, I've been out on a few dates since Christmas. Nothing took tho. Again, given my circumstances, I'm not sure I'm ready to be out there right now, anyway. I'm fortunate that I haven't run into one of those over-exuberant ladies who feel it's their right to hug anyone they choose. I don't think that a self-defense plea would get me out of the charges.

Say "Hi" to your lovely wife and any one else I know out there.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Hello, World...

...again. Bah effing humbug!! has gone Tango Uniform. Did I have backups?

What do you think?? (A: Of course not.)

More, later.

(Bumped to top for continuity...)

I'm in Recovery...

...not, not *that* kind. God bless Google Cache for saving my old posts for me, and Andrew S. for telling all of us how to retrieve them.
Just for completeness, here they are, at least, those I could find.

I Hate It When a Plan...
...goes to hell in a handbasket. (posted 09/17/08)

I send a polite e-mail note to this nice co-worker, telling her that I'd like a chance to get to know her better, along with a link to this blog in the hopes that she'll read it and learn a bit about me.

Then, my e-mail site is unreachable for two days. So I don't know if she's responded or not.


Foo... (posted 09/11/08)

...just to catch up a bit, and whine about where I seem to do my writing lately (such as it is).

Kate's father in law is better, maybe even in remission, so she's a much happier camper.

I seem to get inspired to comment else where ((blog d'elisson, today), so once again I'm pasting the comment I made there, here. His post was about "100 Things You'd Rather Die than Eat". He mentioned abalone (#48), and called it "shoe leather".

My response:

"Abalone? Shoe leather??

First time I had it was at a little roadside diner/gas station hanging on a cliff in Lucia, Ca, out in the middle of B.F. nowhere on Highway 1, south of Monterey. I was 13 14, we were on vacation, and stopped in to get a room for the night and have some dinner. Our waitress was a marine bio student, who suggested the abalone, and then told us that abalone is no way related to oysters or clams (one shell, not two), and what you ate was actually the foot.

Best way to get one is pry it off the rock it is 'standing' on using your ab knife (it has a rule so you know if you've got one that's legal), bring it up, get the meat out of the shell, beat the Bejeezus out of it with a hammer (cf. 'shoe leather'), then dip in flour, salt & pepper & fry in butter. Capers, more melted butter, and white wine (a good Chardonnay, like Grgich) started to play a part in the process as I got older.

It was considered unsporting to use scuba gear when ab hunting - free-diving was the approved method, in about 20 - 30 feet of water.

Haven't seen much of 'em since one of nastier el Nino's in the mid-80's made the water too warm for them to spawn.

Closest approximation you can get to the Real Deal that I've seen is fried Calimari steaks (not the breaded, deep-fried appetizer rings). Cooked properly (it's easy), they are as tasty and tender as the real thing can/should be. Used to have them a T.J.'s, but I haven't been in there much since I moved back here to MD, so I dunno.

I do miss me some good ab.

So, to the list of 100 (like hizownself, I bolded those things I have eaten.):

100. Venison - My uncle's venison sausage was great. My friend's cutlets, not so much.

99. Nettle tea - Nope.

98. Huevos rancheros - Oh, si. Mucho mas. You can't not eat them in SoCal.

97. Steak tartare - Not officially, tho I have nibbled at steak trimmings before BBQ-ing the steaks

96. Crocodile - Nope. Alligator, tho, at the Crazy Cajun's on NASA One Road in Clearlake, Tx.

95. Black pudding - No.

94. Cheese fondue - Yup. Done. Check it off the list.

93. Carp - Nope.

92. Borscht - No. A cultural oversight.

91. Baba ghanoush - Elisson can have all of my share of eggplant.

90. Calamari - see above

89. Pho - no.

88. PB&J sandwich - Catholic kid. Friday lunch. 'Nuff said. Still one of my favorite snacks. 'J' of choice is apricot jam or orange marmalade.

87. Aloo gobi -Maybe. Have eaten Indian (with a 'dot') in San Francisco (India House) and in Woking, Great Britain, and in local SoCal places. Others ordered, but it sounds like a distinct possibility.

86. Hot dog from a street cart - yup. Don't remember where, tho...

85. Époisses - non.

84. Black truffle - non.

83. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - yup. My mom used to like it as opposed to 'real' wine. Cough syrup, but not bad in small doses. Manaschewitz (sp??) mostly.

82. Steamed pork buns - off the trolley cart in Chinatown, downtown L.A.

81. Pistachio ice cream - well, yeah. Curry's & McFarlane's were the two places in my yout. ("Hurry to Curry's in your neighborhood!")

80. Heirloom tomatoes - don't think so. Another cultural oversight.

79. Fresh wild berries - My 'Raspberry Aunt' lived in a house with a lot that backed up to the Mississippi, in Port Byron Il. The was a raspberry patch, and since we always visited in the summer, she always had berries. Blackberries on the trail from the motel down to the Eel River in NorCal. Pick 'em from the bushes as you walked down.

78. Foie gras - oui.

77. Rice and beans - And beans & rice. The staple in East L.A. and Costa Rica

76. Brawn, or head cheese - uh, no.

75. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - nope.

74. Dulce de leche - Si. Que bueno!!!

73. Oysters - Oh, yeah. Raw on the half-shell, and a' la Rockefeller. Best Saturday afternoon of my life was spent at the oyster bar at The Fish Tale ( version 1.0) with my tall honey, eating Oysters Rockefeller (and Clams Casino), drinking Anchor Steam Beer, and solving all the world's problems at the same time.

72. Baklava - yup!

71. Bagna cauda - what Elisson said: "Contains garlic, anchovies, and olive oil. What’s not to love? Just haven’t gotten to it yet."

70. Wasabi peas - Hai!!

69. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - Used to be a cool little place in the Park (Disneyland for the uninitiated) buy the Columbia dock that sold this delicacy.

68. Salted lassi - they killed Lassie!?!

67. Sauerkraut - My tall honey taught me to rinse, rinse, rinse the sauerkraut before cooking, to un-bitter it.

66. Root beer float - Did you even have to ask?

65. Cognac with a fat cigar - Indeedy-do. Last time I clearly remember was at the Long Bar in the Chicago Hyatt.

64. Clotted cream tea - qua??

63. Vodka jelly/Jell-O shot - Vodka is just rubbing alcohol to me. I'm a gin man, and I'm not about to put good gin in jello.

62. Gumbo - Crazy Cajun, and some home-made efforts. Sweep the kitchen floor & put in in the pot.

61. Oxtail - no, but I saw a great recipe on Blaine's Low-Carb kitchen for ox shins.

60. Curried goat - no.

59. Whole insects - Not on purpose, no.

58. Phaal - Wasn't that some alien god on the original Star Trek?

57. Goat’s milk - cheese, yes (my daughter and I called "peanut-butter cheese", because of the flavor). Liquid, no.

56. Single malt whisky - say "Ach!" Glenlivet, Gelnfiddich and a host of others. McClallan is my favorite. Islay is my favorite of the three 'flavors' (highland, lowland, islay).

55. Fugu - I'm not that much of a gambler.

54. Chicken tikka masala - Don't think so.

53. Eel - Both unagi and anago

52. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - Yup. Check it off the list. Done. Winchell's, but not apparently back here.

51. Sea urchin - Hai!.

50. Prickly pear No, Senor.

49. Umeboshi - Yup. Checked off the list.

48. Abalone - See above.

47. Paneer - Maybe, as part of what someone else ordered for me.

46. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - Single parent, working two jobs, on a night out with the Kiddo? You bet.

45. Spaetzle - Nah.

44. Dirty gin martini - No. See my comments in jello shots, above. Winston Churchill martini - look at the vermouth whilst pouring the gin. Any questions??

43. Beer above 8% ABV - Grolsh and others in Europe.

42. Poutine - Ewww. Perfectly good waste of french fries.

41. Carob chips - No. Carob is generally OK, but contrary to that the wheat-germ and tofu set will tell you, it is NOT ANYTHING like chocolate, and therefore NOT "just as good". Feh.

40. S’mores - 'chyah!!"

39. Sweetbreads - It's not bread, it's animal guts. No

38. Kaolin - No.

37. Currywurst - No.

36. Durian - No.

35. Frogs’ legs - Yeah. Breaks the rule that everything tastes more or less like chicken. Well, OK, fishy chicken in this case.

34. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - Churros at the old Pumpkin Festival in Calabasas, Ca, the others at Knott's Berry Farm and elsewhere

33. Haggis - No. Just, no.

32. Fried plantain - yup.

31. Chitterlings, or andouillette - don't think so.

30. Gazpacho - Oh, si!!

29. Caviar and blini - Caviar, yes, but not blini. Carr's water crackers are the substrate of choice.

28. Louche absinthe - No, but it's on my list.

27. Gjetost, or brunost - Wass ist das??

26. Roadkill - Not knowingly...

25. Baijiu - no.

24. Hostess Fruit Pie - Sure! Gooey, fruit-like food substance!!

23. Snails - Excellent substrate for Garlic & Butter. Also had them once in a blue cheese sauce, encased in a pastry 'box'.

22. Lapsang souchong - Mom drank tea like I drink coffee. Good stuff.

21. Bellini - no.

20. Tom yum - Liquid heaven, chicken or shrimp.

19. Eggs Benedict - Absolutely!

18. Pocky - Hia, dozo!!

17. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant - sadly, no.

16. Kobe beef - no.

15. Hare - Rabbit, yes, but hare, no.

14. Goulash - yeah, but again, I don't remember where.

13. Flowers - Rose petals in the salad.

12. Horse - Nope.

11. Criollo - Que??

10. Spam - Yeah. Cheapo college camping trips.

9. Soft shell crab - Oh, yes, please!

8. Rose harissa - no.

7. Catfish - ...used to catch 'em and clean 'em with my uncle. He had a line out in the Mississippi, and run it twice a day in his little row boat with the putt-putt engine on it. Used cake laundry soap or Velveeta for bait. (They dissolve slowly, and make a scent trail back upriver to the hooks.)

6. Mole poblano - si.

5. Bagel and lox - Oy! And loxanbagles.

4. Lobster Thermidor - Bugs should be cooked simply, and the served with other wonderful foods like artichoke or asparagus w/ hollandaise sauce, and something decadently chocolate for dessert. No.

3. Polenta - Si.

2. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee - Yup.

1. Snake - no.

My 'zeroth' item - Thai BBQ Red Duck Curry - Light years better than the Tom Yum, and I seriously loves me some Tom Yum. The Thai folks do wild and wonderful things with duck.

Zeroth -1 item - Ama ebi - raw giant shrimp sushi. The heads are removed, then deep fried in Tempura batter. Looks gross (no, really!) but are better than Utz potato chips!

Zeroth -2 - Velveeta - Pasteurized, processed cheese-like food substance (and fish bait!)

On Kate and Dying

posted 08/05/08
Venomous Kate is going thru an impossibly black time right now. The story is here.

I thought I'd re-post my comment to my blog. More later.


The only words I could use to explain to people my experience when my mom died were "bone crushing". But I can't imagine the weight you are carrying with all you have described here. Quadruple tough.

Seek solace and support for yourself with friends and loved ones who aren't directly involved. They will help re-charge your batteries and help strengthen you. Take time now to begin grieving for the dying and for yourself, that is, your losses.

The hardest part for you may be finding it in yourself to give them permission to go. You may actually have to tell the that it's OK. I had to. It was actually easy, given mom's condition. It was also freeing, not only for her, but for me as well.

You will be all right. You are all right. Even in the black, bone-crushing numbness, put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Love your family, love yourself. You can do this, and you will.

My love and prayers are with you...

I'm glad I left when I did...

posted 07/30/08
LOS ANGELES (AP) - City officials are putting South Los Angeles on a diet.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in an impoverished swath of the city with a proliferation of such eateries and above average rates of obesity. goes on. The kicker? This last bit:
Rebeca Torres, a South Los Angeles mother of four, said she would welcome more dining choices, even if she had to pay a little more.
"They should have better things for children," she said. "This fast food really fattens them up."
Honey, there's a room in the place you live. It's called a "kitchen". You can go in there and do something called "cooking". You can make anything you want, any time you want. Including "better things" for your children.
I wonder what's next? Liquor stores? The sale of cigarettes? Real eggs, butter, or for that matter, any non non-dairy? Beef? Pastry?
I fear this will become rampant should we elect the media's choice for president.

Deburring, Part Deux...

posted 07/29/08
Met with the surgeon this morning. I'm healing up nicely, and, even better, he got everything that needed to be got.

I admitted that I wasn't surprised when he told me he expected to see me again. He mentioned that the incidence of skin cancers has risen during his practice from 1 in 100,000 to 19 in 100,000.

I wonder if mine will be counted in those stats, since I'm from the Left Coast, and not a local.

Olde Foode d'Elisson

posted 07/29/08
Elisson has a bit up about Olde Foode (his box of Strawberry Jello from the Nixon Administration. Really!). I no longer have mine, but it was disturbing when I did. On one of my many trips to the surf back during my high school days, I was walking along the beach, minding my own business (for a change). As I walked, my toe hit something harder than sand. I looked down, and what should I see, but a gray "tin" can.

For those of you not familiar with the term, a tin can was not made of tin, but of steel. Beer, for instance, used to come in 12 ounce tin cans. You needed a can opener (a.k.a. "church key") to open them. No pull tops. Five-year olds couldn't crush them. Heck, most adults couldn't crush them, with one hand or two.

Anywho, this gray can was been property of the U.S. Coast Guard. It was a can of Water, Drinking, per MIL-SPEC cited on the side of the can. I kept it thru the early 70's as a curiosity, the same way I kept the truck suspension spring I found in about 30 feet of water off Palos Verdes on my ocean check dive.

And they're both gone, disposed of, properly or otherwise.

I never had the slightest inclination to open that. Even if my life depended on it.

I know what 'sour' water smells like.

Besides, there was no "Best Used-By" date on it.


( ... )

posted 07/26/08
I don't have anything profound to say.

But I wish someone had tried this:

The pic just kills me.

The Deburring...

posted 07/11/08
Tough day, and it's barely 1:30 PM. I spent three hours this morning "under the knife" at the nearby medical center, getting some of the results of my youthful, tanned beach-god days removed. Whilst awake. But under appropriate locals.

As usual in these things, I had plenty of time to sit around waiting, and thus plenty of time to contemplate my navel. Intellectually, I wasn't worried. I told a co-worker the other day that I thought this would be much less unpleasant that a root canal. And I was right. But emotionally, I knew I was scared. And that somehow brought me to what must be my definitive "happy place", one that I hadn't remembered or connected with emotionally in a long, long time.

After the accident, mom took me with her to Illinois so she could heal up at her mom and dad's place. I don't know the exact events that took place after that, but my earliest memories are of grandpa and grandma G. living with us in L.A. They apparently moved to California to stay with us and help care for me. I don't know if grandma G's breast cancer was a factor in that move, but I do remember knowing that she had it. And I remember the huge machine that was used for her radiation therapy, and visiting her in the hospital.

What I remembered today was what I did and how I felt when I was little-little. Grandma G spent most of her time in bed, and I would crawl in with her and we would talk. Looking back, that was the happiest, safest place I've ever been in my entire life. It puts the the crazy babysitter and the psychotic nuns into a sharp relief, which I'm willing to bet put the cap on my preference for going it alone.

I guess that warmth and safety is the experience I've been looking to re-create all these years.


No Good Deed Goes Un-punished...

posted 07/10/08 in
I was minding my own business today while I was at the Office, when I got a call on my cell phone. It was some poor schmuck who was asserting that a) he had lost his wallet, and b) that I had called him to let him know I had said wallet. The only problems were that a) I hadn't found a wallet, or b) called anyone saying that I had.

When I relayed this information to the Poor Schmuck, it didn' t register. He proceeded to cuss me out, in terms of wanting his f'ing wallet, and I and damned well better give it to him.

I hung up.

He called back again and re-iterated that he wanted his f'ing wallet, and that I could keep the money, but he wanted something else that was in it. I admit that my hearing is a bit problematic, so I didn't really catch the noun describing what it was he wanted back, but since I didn't have the f'ing wallet, it was pretty much irrelevant. When he got abusive again, I hung up again.

And that was, it seems, the end of it.

But, I gotta wonder... what the hell was he thinking? If, as he said, I has found his wallet and called him, why would he be so abusive at the get go of the "conversation"? I mean, had the tables been turned, I would have inquired politely if a), the person I was talking to indeed had my wallet, and b) if so, how could I arrange to pick it up? And then, if I had gotten a wrong number, politely apologize. This clown was abusive from the get-go, demanding that I return his f'ing wallet, and ignoring anything I had to say about not having said wallet or having called him about said wallet that I didn't have.

Think about it. He claimed that I called him, saying that I'd found his wallet. The conversation started out with the vociferous demand that I had better give him his wallet, or else. WTF? Many years ago, I had my wallet lifted at an amusement park. We managed to stay and have our fun, then go home. About the time we got home, the phone rang. It was a pizza parlor not very far from the park. They said they'd found my wallet, and that I could pick it up. I knew at that point that someone had lifted my wallet in the arcade at the park, and dumped it at he pizza parlor. Did I get abusive with them? No. I thanked them, and told them I'd be down in about an hour. They gave me the wallet, sans the cash I'd had in it, and we were done. No invective, no hassle.

What a maroon.

A Little More Substance...

posted 07/06/08
Hello, World.

As you may have noticed, I've been away from any substantial posting for almost a year. After that August post, things changed with alarming rapidity. Shortly after that post, I got a phone call in response to an resume' I'd sent to a technical school near Baltimore, Maryland. The Dean wanted to know if I could teach Linux, and would I be interested in doing that at her campus. I said yes and yes, and a couple of phone calls and a phone interview later, I was flying back on Labor Day weekend for my little fifteen minute teaching demo. I got thru it OK, and was given an offer to start the Monday after Labor Day. I found an apartment, flew home, and started packing. The movers showed up Wednesday evening, and I was on a plane to Baltimore on Thursday morning, to attend staff orientation on Friday and begin teaching on Monday. My things arrived the following Saturday, and my daughter flew back the weekend after, bringing Suzu, Dakota, Baxter and Nadia.

My life follows the rhythm of the twelve week terms at school. Being full time, I teach six classes each term. In my first term, I taught intro to operating systems, intro to Linux, and Linux Administration, two classes of each. Since them, I've added intro to Windows XP, network standards and protocols, and engineering drafting to my academic repertoire.

I flew out to California in January to appear at the bankruptcy hearing. That went smoothly, considering that I forgot to bring my Social Security card with me. I had to go to the Social Security office and and get a letter stating that my number was assigned to someone with my name so the case could proceed. Financially, I'm slowly digging out from under the back taxes I owe for the business, and for what I borrowed from friends and family to either try to stay afloat last year of for help in getting back here and getting settled.

My co-workers are an interesting and friendly group. I've been given the nickname of "Cook", because I made some chocolate chip and oatmeal butterscotch chip cookies for Christmas. (I made some weapons-grade fudge topped brownies for the 4th of July). The school is an interesting place to teach, for a number of reasons. I'll write about that later tho. I just want to paint the broad brushstrokes or now.


Yo soy un "Geek"

Take the Sci fi sounds quiz I received 71 credits on
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz
How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
Take the Sci-Fi Movie Quiz canon s5 is

My story, part 1...

Update: I'm joining Venomous Kate's "Bite Me" linkfest with this entry, so here's a link back to her.

Somewhere on the previous blog, I promised a story about what happened to me. Jeff's powerful piece (see the previous post) has put me in a mind to tell some of it.

I was over at my daughter's mom's house the other evening (we've been friends for too long to the "ex-" label), and she started picking my brains about our past and my past. For whatever reasons, she doesn't remember much, and I do. So, I recited the list of places we live and when, from Brynhurst to Santa Monica. I filled her in on Dave and his wife, and Tom and George, and what I didn't know about Ed.

We got to talking about mom, too. Carole reminded me that she had passed on Carole's birthday. She told me that she had the experience of visiting with mom that night. I told her that I had had a similar experience a few days later. We remembered telling mom that Carole was pregnant, and that we were going to get married. I remember mom's first reaction - did we have a doctor? Not surprising, since she had been an OB nurse for over 30 years. In fact, she had been on the team that delivered me and my twin brother.

Which brings us to the story of how she became "mom".
I’m told that my mother and father met at a USO. I have the impression that she picked him up. But I think it was some mutual friends that actually got them together. Dad served in the Pacific during the war. Gladys lived in Los Angeles, where, I’m told, she worked at MGM as Louis B Mayer’s secretary, managing his racing stables, among other things. She belonged to an organization (whose name I probably have wrong) called the Christian Business and Professional Women’s Association. And that is where she met Martha. They apparently became friends, and Gladys introduced Martha to dad. Martha was an OB nurse at St. Vincent’s, at Third and Alvarado in L.A.
Gladys and dad married in 1948, on February 8, if I have it right. Two years and one week later, Lane and I were born.
It could have gone better.
Gladys had preeclampsia. says this about pre-eclampsia:
“Preeclampsia is more common in a woman's first pregnancy and in women whose mothers or sisters had preeclampsia. The risk of preeclampsia is higher in women carrying multiple babies, in teenage mothers and in women older than age 40. Other women at risk include those who had high blood pressure or kidney disease before they became pregnant. The cause of preeclampsia isn't known.”
Gladys had won the trifecta. Thirty-eight, first pregnancy, and twins.
Neither she, nor Lane, nor I could clot. In a time bomb I received after her sister passed, I found out that she had been able to hold the both of us, with dad there. But she died the next day. As did Lane. Me, I lived, but was in an oxygen tent for a month.
From what I understand, Martha began to help dad take care of me after he was able to bring me home. I guess that one thing sort of led to another, and she was living with him. Soooo, they decided to get married. In Montana, at my grandparents’ 50th wedding celebration – they were renewing their vows, and dad and Martha got married at the same time.
And then, a couple of days later, on the way to Illinois to see Martha’s parents, while Martha was driving, the car blew a tire and rolled, killing dad, and injuring mom and me.
So, the short version is, she legally adopted me, and raised me, pretty much by herself. Her parents lived with us until they passed, Grandma in ’54 or ’55, Gramps in ’61. Mom never remarried, although she told me that there was one person she was interested in. I thought I had an idea, but now I’m not so sure.
Needless to say, this whole thing left some interesting crimps in my psyche. I can’t seem to keep an intimate relationship going. I have fewer close friends than fingers on one hand. I’ve learned how to give, but not accept. I am rock-sold certain that everyone leaves, whether they walk out or are carried out. Everyone leaves. It’s just a matter of time. And it’s not necessarily personal, and it’s definitely unavoidable.
So, why this today? Simple answer is “Jeff”. I’ve been hemming and hawing for years about putting this, and much more, down somewhere for the Kiddo, and I’ve never done anything about it. So, Jeff, you kicked my butt to get going on this. And you kicked it because I absolutely love your writing, and selfishly want to keep reading it for as long as you or I live.
Hang in there. I have some idea what it’s like for you, and I have no idea. My life is in the tank – bankruptcy, dead business, lost relationship (surprise!!), lost house, under-employed so that I don’t know how I’m going to make ends meet after we separate. I know about watching myself self-destruct, while “me” is screaming “Noooooo!” when my mouth is saying “Oh, OK!”. I’m pretty sure I’m not BPD (according to the MedMan), but I am, apparently, somewhat fucked up. (There goes the site’s ‘G’ rating).
So, Jeff, you have someone on the Left Coast who cares about you.
What can I do?

Jeff has a hell of a post up...

...just go read it. And read some of his other stuff while you're there.

Then contact him, if you feel so moved.

Note that, since I originally wrote this and the subsequent move to the new digs here, Jeff has shut down Shape of Days.
I hope he's OK.

A small fugue...

I find it interesting the the word "fugue" can mean a style of musical composition that essentially involves variations and re-visitations on a theme (think Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #3), as well as meaning a brain fart. OK, something more akin to a stroke, but work with me here.

Can a fugue induce a fugue? And which way do I mean it?? Music to brain fart, or brain fart to music???

BTFOM. I dunno.

(I used to live in a world of "TLAs" - Three Letter Acronyms. Sometimes, of FLAs - Four (or Five) Letter Acronyms. If you can figure out the "BTFOM", you'll win a cookie.)

So, the theme for my fugue today is the best and worst of times, at the same time. Financially, I'm in the tank. The MoP (that's "Mistress of Pain", for those of you who haven't migrated from the old blog) is sticking with me thru the worst time in my life. Which, if you knew my relationship history, is the weirdest damned thing that's ever happened to me. really. And, tomorrow is our anniversary.

It's our fourth. We met on the interwebby thingie, passed e-mail and made phone calls for a couple of weeks, and then decided we'd risk meeting each other in what is sometimes referred to as "meat space". We met at a local deli, and drinks and dinner. Afterwards, we decided to drive down to the beach and take a walk. (Yes, for those of you who've done the interwebby dating thing in SoCal, it *IS* a cliche', but what the heck?) What endeared her to me immediately was that she had brought her foundling mini-Schnauzer, Smittey, along on the date. So we took him for a walk along the Newport peninsula.

She hugged and then kissed me good night on the first date. Did I mention, she was the one who picked me out of the dating line-up, not the other way around? Yeah, it's all her fault. It doesn't seem like too long after, she said that she loved me. Now, I was fairly fresh out of my last (read 4th) marriage, and impulsive (as it seemed) was a little off-putting, to say the least. And we moved in together less than five months later. And have been living together uninterruptedly since then (absent a few business trips, or a couple of solo trips to see family). New World's record for me - over 3 1/2 years without a separation.

I'm beginning to suspect that this one will work out.

Tomorrw, ginnatonix and a Reuben at Jerry's! Woo-hoo!!

Interesting Job Listing

Being in the job market, I get listings from several job sites every day.

DICE has this one today:

Sexurity Risk Specialist
COMPANY: Sapphire Technologies
LOCATION: El Segundo, CA

I don't remember El Segundo as being high on the sexurity risk scale, but then I wasn't paying too much attention to that when I was there.


You Are an Alien

You're so strange, people occasionally wonder if you're from another world.
You don't try to be different, but you see most things from a very unique, very offbeat perspective.
Brilliant to the point of genius, you definitely have some advanced intelligence going on.
No matter what circles you travel in, you always feel like a stranger. And it's a feeling you've learned to like.

Your greatest power: Your superhuman brain

Your greatest weakness: Your lack of empathy - you just don't get humans

You play well with: Zombies

Hola, Mundo!

Well, foo!

It seems that has gone 'titsup' ( as the Brits might say), along with what little I've written there. I discovered this when I went to post today.

So, now I've set up here, and will get to the post I wanted to do in a bit, once I have this whole thing set up to my liking.