Sunday, August 31, 2003 :::
The Best Acid Trip Ever
Seated on the hood of the first car I pulled up to, probably a Camaro or Mustang, was a guy with a goatee and a black rock and roll concert t-shirt. I took one look at him and he said, "Wanna buy some acid?" Since I had come to that shopping center for that exact purpose, our business was quickly done. Twelve dollars exchanged for four small pieces of paper, printed with colored pictures of Snoopy on his doghouse. It was June 1981, and our senior trip was looking good.
Shortly after graduation, me and a good friend drove three hours north to Mackinac Island. Mackinac is still a nice place, an island in beween the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. You have to take a boat there and no cars allowed on the island. The island has a little village, filled with its famous fudge shops and a really cool fort.
We each did one hit of the acid as soon as we got on the boat. Things started happening and they weren't real linear. A couple highlights: we went into a store to buy cigarettes. We managed that amazingly complex task OK, then the lady at the counter said "Is that all?" We became convinced we could not leave the store until we bought something else, so I grabbed a roll of assorted Lifesavers candy. Later on, we realized it was good I purchased the assorted ones, because we could enjoy the different colored trails the candies left as we sat in the woods and tossed them in the air.
There was a great wax museum called "The Haunted Theatre" that had some great Lovecraftian creatures in it. I think we went through it at least twice. I remember towards the end of the afternoon, sitting on a huge green lawn in front of The Grand Hotel. We were watching a dog frolic on the grass, which was real interesting because there were so many damn air molecules in between us and the dog. We decided that was a good time to split one of the other hits of acid.
Back at our hotel that evening (it took us while to get there, those pine trees whip by the car window really fast even when you're going 20 miles an hour), we popped in our tapes of Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, both de rigueur among our crowd for a trip. We also had a mix tape that contained music by Electric Prunes and Frijid Pink.
We remembered being amazed the music from Electric Ladyland that came out of the right speaker was neon green, while the left speaker spewed forth neon purple wavy lines. Another event of cosmic significance was when the Hendrix song "House Burning Down" was playing, the local news showed some footage of a building on fire. Oh man...that was heavy. I also remember the host of the game show Let's Make a Deal having an eye patch and a parott on his shoulder.
Thats all there's room for today kiddies. I'd do a blog entry called "The Worst Acid Trip Ever" but there weren't any. I still keep in touch with the above-referenced friend. He's doing well and has a had a perfectly normal son. Neither of do that stuff anymore, but we still cherish the memories, and neither of us have listened to those albums quite the same way since.
::: posted by tom at 4:38 PM
Thursday, August 28, 2003 :::
The Crossword Puzzle Man
When I worked in telephone reference, we had lots of regulars. One of our favorites was The Crossword Puzzle Man. Like his name implies, he would call looking for answers for the crossword he was working. He was an older guy, and had a rough, sandpapery voice. He wouldn't even say hello, just bark out his clue. He was pretty impatient too. Once we figured out he was doing the USA Today puzzle, we could go to the web site, set the puzzle on "easy" and right click to get the answers. He thought we were genius, "I need a five-letter word for an ancient Mesopatamian after-dinner drink." No problem.
He didn't care where we got the answers, it was fine with him if we just blurted it out. A few classic exchanges here:
CWPM: "Snoop Doggy Blank"
CWPM: "It has four letters."
Librarian: Its spelled D-o-g-g.
CWPM: "Thank you" (click)
CWPM: "Elvis Presley song, Love Me Blank, five letters."
CWPM: "Thank you, you know everything" (click)
Ed can tell this next one better than I can. I was known to do a crossword or two myself at work. One day the USA Today puzzle was particularly easy, and I did it in about 10 minutes, and then announced "If the Crossword Puzzle Man calls today, he's a fucking idiot." A little while later, Ed saw me hanging the phone up and saying "What a fucking idiot."
::: posted by tom at 9:40 PM
Wednesday, August 27, 2003 :::
Tell Them Today
I had to be at work at 10 AM today and was running late about 20 minutes before the hour when my phone rang. I answered and it was a guy from work, the first thing out of my mouth was, "How did you know I'm gonna be late?" He then informed me our boss and the head of the department had died at his desk late yesterday afternoon of an apparent heart attack. Some staff members found him lying on the floor and tried CPR, etc. The paramedics said nothing would have done any good.
He was a good, easygoing boss, and he stuck up for us. He was funnier than hell and very quick-witted. One of my first days at work someone was showing me the phones and he walked by and said "And if you answer it correctly it will discharge a large food pellet." That cracked me up then and it still cracks me up.
I'm really grateful I was up to date with him and there was nothing I'd been meaning to tell him or anything.
This is just another example of how you never know when it might be the last time you see someone. I'm not going to get maudlin or moralistic, but if there's something you need to tell someone, tell them today.
::: posted by tom at 12:42 PM
Tuesday, August 26, 2003 :::
Hey! Lets Join A Club!
The fall semester is in full swing. Campus is crawling with lost freshman and returning upperclassmen greeting each other with calls of "Dude / Girl how was your summer?" A lot of campus organizations have booths set up this week in the brickyard. I noticed the Sailing Club had a sailboat set up. Of course the Campus Crusade for Christ was in evidence, but no crazy brickyard preachers yet. Unfortunately, the Statistics Club was not represented, nor the Wolfgang Co-Ed A Capella. God knows I would have been all over the National Agricultural Marketing Association or the Air & Waste Management Association if they had been set up.
I don't see a club listing for "People Who Listen to NPR Every Night Because They Can't Afford Cable" or "People Who Had Their Collegiate Dreams Smashed to Dust by a Lousy Economy." So I don't think I'll be joining any clubs. Oh wait, there is a club for that last group, its called "Everybody" and they meet at the bar.
::: posted by tom at 12:28 PM
Monday, August 25, 2003 :::
The Ballad of Blind Melon Washington
He ambled into our lives and hearts one day with the mud of the Mississippi delta clinging to his well traveled feet . At first glance, he appeared to be an ordinary Ursus americanus and another in a long line of Elvis Presley imitators, but he soon became a blues icon. He quickly lost his Elvis voice. When he lost his sunglasses, we, his small group of acolytes, realized he was blind. With an assist from Okinawa Ed he began smoking. The later loss of a leg and his general disheveled appearance gave rise to the notion he had paid his dues and his accension into blues martyrdom, under the moniker "Blind Melon Washington," began.
Alas, Blind Melon was born to ramble, and he soon left. What began as a six-week engagement to entertain the troops in Kuwait, became a permanent gig. Blind Melon was spotted riding on an Abrams tank as part of the spearhead of the 7th Armored Calvary as they descended on Baghdad like the long-denied curse of a bayou hoodoo man.
With his USO entertaiment pass long out of date, the Pentagon interned him as an unlawful combatant. Blind Melon is currently at an undisclosed location. He was heard to remark as he was being led away, "When I sold my soul to devil at the crossroads, they told me I'd pay in the next life, not this one."
Blind Melon Washington may be out of our sight, but he is always with us, because he'll be all around in the dark - he'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, he'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, he'll be there. He'll be there in the way guys yell when they're mad. He'll be there in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they built - he'll be there, too.
Translation if you're not when of the four people reading this who worked in Telephone Reference:
We had a succession of stuffed animals in tel ref. One was a stuffed bear with a guitar that sang "Hound Dog" when you squeezed him. He quicky lost his voice. Someone tore his sunglass off and we realized he had no eyes. Ed drilled a hole in his mouth and stuck a cigarette in it. Somehow he lost a leg. We started calling him Blind Melon Washington. One guy we worked with had to go to Kuwait to fullfill his Army reserve obligation. He took the bear with him and said the other guys liked him so much he left him there, end of story.
::: posted by tom at 10:49 AM
Saturday, August 23, 2003 :::
The Morning After
Anyone who knows me very well, knows I could hand in a solid "A" paper or exam, and then sit there the next day thinking, "That sucked, I'm doomed, I'm gonna flunk out, etc, etc..."
Of course, I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning hashing and rehashing yesterday's job interview, and the more I think about it, the worse it gets. There was one question I know I really screwed up.
Most of the job interviews I have had in the last 10 years where internal ones at the library I used to work at. While I think I did really well on some of them (with 7 years of hindsight, that is), for most of those interviews there was an unspoken undercurrent of "We already know who is getting this job and its not you." Or, in some cases, "Its your turn to get this job unless you really screw this up." With this interview I had no idea about any of this, although I would guess the first choice.
One thing about this interview that came at me out of left field, was they sounded like they expected you to already know how to do the stuff. The first two questions were: "If someone wanted to see if their relative had fought in the American Revolution, what are three sources you would look in?," and, "If someone wanted the original charter for the town of whatever, where would you look?" I actually think I handled those OK. I guess maybe those are the type of questions they ask when the job title has a "2" after it instead of a "1".
I saw a friend of mine last night who asked how the interview went. I answered, "The more I think about it, the worse it gets." He laughed and said, "So don't think about it." Smartass.
I found out from various sources they got 46 applications, human resources sent 20 to the hiring supervisor, and they're interviewing about 14 of those people. So I am happy I made it this far.
Ah well, I did the best I could at the time. I'll probably have more interviews with this agency and the future and I'll feel a lot better prepared now.
Three Albums I'd Want With Me on the Desert Island
Truth, Jeff Beck.
A Hard Day's Night (original british version), The Beatles.
Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan.
::: posted by tom at 12:13 PM
Friday, August 22, 2003 :::
Thank God For Tel Ref
I had a job interview this afternoon for what I think would be a pretty decent job at the state archives. I think it went OK, but there is a lot of competition. Two of the three interviewers were former professors.
It was the first real job interview I've had in awhile and I was amazed how much I drew on my experience working in Telephone Reference. They asked for lots of examples of how I dealt with difficult co-workers and patrons, and that job was chock full of such problems.
I gave it my best shot, there some other jobs down there open / opening up I should have a good shot at too. I'm anxious to get back at the government trough on a full time basis.
::: posted by tom at 2:55 PM
Thursday, August 21, 2003 :::
Big-Ass Quote of the Day
I've blogged before about how much I enjoy the writing of Robert McCammon. I've recently started rereading his book Boy's Life. I'm just relishing the hell out of it. Sometimes he gets a little carried away with the adjectives and trying for a Ray Bradbury-ish poetic quality, but when I'm in the right mood, I can really sink my teeth into it. Here's a quote from it, the narrator is describing his little southern town and giving you a taste of whats to come in the book:
"We had a dark queen who was one hundred and six years old. We had a gunfighter who saved the live of Wyatt Earp at the O.K. Corral. We had a monster in the river, and a secret in the lake. We had a ghost that haunted the road behind the wheel of a black dragster with flames on the hood. We had a Gabriel and a Lucifer, and a rebel that rose from the dead. We had an alien invader, a boy with a perfect arm, and we had a dinosaur loose on Merchants Street.
It was a magic place."
I said this was Big-Ass Quote of the Day, here's another, the little kid describing his bedroom:
"The shelves go on for miles and miles. My collection of marbles gleams in a mason jar. My dried cicada waits to sing again the summer. My Duncan yo-yo that whistles except the string is broken and Dad's got to fix it. My little book of cloth suit samples I got from Mr. Parlowe at the Stagg Shop For Men. I use those pieces of cloth as carpet inside my airplane models, along with seats cut from cardboard. My silver bullet, forged by the Lone Ranger for a werewolf hunter. My Civil War button that fell from a butternut uniform when the storm swept Shiloh. My rubber knife for stalking killer crocodiles in the bathtub. My Canadian coins, smooth as the northern plains. I am rich beyond measure."
No ideas tonight, as you might guess. Come back soon and I'll be talking about this, or this, or probably this.
::: posted by tom at 9:42 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2003 :::
Lust Love and Romance at KFC
When I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, at night there was mainly myself and one other chicken cook with a rotating cast of third chicken cooks. The other guy was a movie-star-lookin guy with a big chin, Bruce Campbell reminds me of him.
There were two girls that worked the front counter. Cute Blond Drug Addict Girl, and Rich Jewish Chick From Bloomfield Hills. Don't ask me how, but somehow Movie Star Guy hooked up with Drug Addict and I ended up with Rich Jewish Chick. I think my first "date" was with Rich Jewish Chick. I was sixteen and had a drivers license, but for some reason my parents gave me a ride to her house. I brought some Van Halen and KansasJourneyStyx albums. We listened to those and watched Happy Days. The four of also used to go sit on some railroad tracks from which you could see the screen at the Oak Drive-In.
An H. Salt Fish and Chips store resided in the same building as the KFC. There were two other girls that worked there: Cute Little Cheerleader Girl and Heavy Metal Drug Addict Girl. In this case, Movie Star Guy ended up dating Cheerleader Girl, and I dated the Heavy Metal Drug Addict Girl. (Of course this was after the romances with two KFC girls were over). This made more sense than the first combination, and the earth gratefully settled back on its axis.
::: posted by tom at 2:08 PM
Tuesday, August 19, 2003 :::
Early to Bed and Early to Rise
For some reason, when I mash the snooze button on my alarm clock, sometimes I set the clock ahead one hour.
I didn't get to sleep until late last night and knew it was going to be rough getting up this morning. After mashing said snooze button a couple times I looked at the clock and in panic I saw it said 7:40 AM (I should be at work at 8:00 AM). I took a frantic shower and flew out the door with a Coke in my hand. As I drove along, I was thinking "Gee whiz, its pretty dark out. Golly, there's no traffic, look at all these parking places."
I think you can guess the rest of the story...
::: posted by tom at 8:41 PM
Did You Know Department
Did you know, if your rubber snake falls off the back of the chair onto the floor, and you step on it with your bare feet in the dark, it will scare the shit out of you.
::: posted by tom at 11:04 AM
Monday, August 18, 2003 :::
There Is No Cannibalism in the British Navy: or, People Eating Weird Things
I like reading true books about people in tense situations such as being stuck in the arctic, drifting in the ocean in a small boat, or in a P.O.W. camp. No holocaust or Japanese P.O.W. camp books for me though, thats a little too tense. People stuck in these situations have to eat some strange things (sharks, snakes, each other). Here is a selection of people eating weird things from my collection of books about people in tense situations:
At breakfast each had a piece of seal or half a penguin breast. Luncheon consisted of one biscuit on three days a week, nut-food on Thursday, bits of blubber from which most of the oil had been extracted for lamps, on two days a week, and nothing on the remaining day. Supper was almost invariably seal and penguin, cut up very finely and fried with a little seal-blubber.
South, by Ernest Shackleton
We now first commenced to satisfy the immediate cravings of nature from the heart, which we eagerly devoured, and then eat sparingly of a few pieces of flesh; after which, we hung up the remainder, cut in thin strips about the boat, to dry in the sun: we made a fire and roasted some of it, to serve us during the next day. In this manner did we dispose of our fellow-sufferer.
Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex, by Owen Chase.
In a room of hut 112 half a dozen cooks were mixing �fudge,� the concentrated escape food. It was the recipe of David Lubbock, a naval type, and was a compound of sugar, cocoa, Bemax, condensed milk, raisins, oats, glucose, margarine, chocolate, and dried biscuits. The beaten mixture looked like old glue � Lubbock had worked it out that one four-ounce tin held enough calories to last a man two days. The difficulty was getting it down past the ribs, where it tended to stick tenaciously.
The Great Escape, by Paul Brickhill.
I found a definition for �hunger� when I was sent on a rare errand without a guard to take an empty pan to the cookhouse, and as I was walking through the main hall I saw a single grain of rice on a cell doorstep. I went over and picked it up and ate it.
The Railway Man, by Eric Lomax.
The snake lay eventually on my sack a yard or two away from the dying fire. We squatted round it but nobody seemed in a hurry to start carving it up. We looked at one another. Kolemonos spoke. �I am bloody hungry.� He reached forward. We all went for it at the same time. Paluchowicz, the man without teeth, stretched his hand out to me for the knife. We ate. It was not long before the snake was reduced to a skeleton. The flesh was close-packed and filling. I had thought the taste might be powerful, even noxious. It was in fact mild, almost tasteless. It had no odour. I was faintly reminded of boiled, unseasoned fish. �I wish I had thought of snakes earlier,� said Mister Smith.
The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz.
After getting the raw liver down, I looked into the shark�s stomach. There were two herring there, one whole and one bitten in two at about the center of the body. I have never in my life tasted better fish than that was. The herring must have been worked a little already by the shark�s digestive juices, for it tasted as if it had been cooked. This was a royal banquet. We ate all the other organs that appeared at all edible, which was everything the we could chew into condition for swallowing.
The Raft, by Robert Trumbull.
::: posted by tom at 1:16 PM
Saturday, August 16, 2003 :::
Too Hideous For Publication
Due to a huge public outcry (1 email), I've decided to post "Closed by the Health Department." What the hell, no one reads this thing on a weekend.
If you have a weak stomach, read no further.
The restuarant I worked at was closed by the health department because there were mouse droppings up on the ceiling tiles. I got the job of taking down the ceiling tiles and brushing them off with a little wisk broom. I got to wear a mask.
I took one ceiling tile down, and a cloud of insulation tumbled down in my face, temporarily blinding me.
One of the H. Salt Fish and Chips girls started screaming which really freaked me out because I couldn't see yet.
Once I got my eyes cleared, I saw there was a mouse nest in the insulation, and the little pink baby mice had fallen onto the floor. (This is the nasty part) and several of them had busted open because of the fall.
I ended up going into the back parking lot and puking. That must have looked great. There was a sign on the front door that said "Closed Due To Equipment Malfunction." All the furniture from the kitchen was pulled out into the back parking lot and was being frantically scrubbed by everyone, and as a bonus, a chicken cook puking in the parking lot.
Posting about these old jobs has churned up a bunch of memories. Coming next week, the Crazy Cyclops Chicken Cook and Love and Romance at KFC.
Last Listened To:
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars Live, David Bowie.
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, by Mark Lewisohn.
::: posted by tom at 11:21 AM
Thursday, August 14, 2003 :::
Student Loan Boondoggle, Part 1 of Probably Many
I'm going to have to start paying off my student loans in a couple of months, so I started yesterday to make some phone calls to see what I need to do. When I looked at the paperwork, I realized at least one of the loans had been sold by the original lender to some other company.
I called that other company and they said they had only one of my two loans. They said to call the Department of Education to find out who had the other one. I called them and they said both the loans were with the original bank. I called the original bank and they said they were both with the other company they had sold them to. We got in a conference call, and this time when we talked to the other company they said they had both the loans. Ten minutes before they had only one.
I can tell this is going to be a blast. You'll be able to tell when I start paying them off because I'll probably put a Paypal button on this blog somewhere.
Shout: the Beatles in Their Generation, by Philip Norman.
::: posted by tom at 2:31 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2003 :::
Safe Return Doubtful
In addition to getting excited about N.C. Wyeth and Marx Playsets, I also like to read about crazy British guys exploring the North and South poles. For lack of anything to do right now, here's an ad Ernest Shackleton ran in 1913 to recruit people for his trans-Antarctic expedition. This ad brought over 1000 responses:
"Men wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success."
::: posted by tom at 3:52 PM
Tuesday, August 12, 2003 :::
That computer worm is raising havoc here at work. The IT folks sent out an email telling us how to fix our screwed up computers. That's nice, if I could read the email...
Closed By the Health Department
I know I promised "Closed by the Health Department" as part of my ongoing series about my former job at Kentucky Fried Chicken. After thinking about it last night, I just can't do it. The story is too horrifying and disgusting. The screaming, the guts, the horror, the horror... It had nothing to do with the food or its preparation. Don't worry, you can eat there as safely as you can at any other fast food restaurant.
Coming Soon: "Cyclops on the Rampage: the Insane Daytime Chicken Cook."
Meanwhile, some Quotes of the Day:
The other guy said, "I don't give a good goddamn if he did, the crook. He had it coming to him on the stuff he's pulled."
"I'll say he had," said the other guy, and tore the bunch of tickets in two.
And George Gardner looked at me to see if I'd heard and I had all right and he said, "Don't you listen to what those bums said, Joe. Your old man was one swell guy."
But I don't know. Seems like when they get started the don't leave a guy nothing.
--- Ernest Hemingway, "My Old Man," 1925.
Zelli's was closed, the bleak and sinister cheap hotels surrounding it were dark; up in the Rue Blanche there was more light and a local, colloquial French crowd. The Poet's Cave had disappeared, but the two great mouths of the Cafe of Heaven and the Cafe of Hell still yawned -- even devoured as we watched, the meager contents of a tourist bus -- a German, a Japanese, and an American couple who glanced at him with frightened eyes.
--- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Babylon Revisited," 1931.
::: posted by tom at 1:28 PM
Monday, August 11, 2003 :::
Fast Food Horror Part 1: or, The Plague Gods Ride Again
Recently I did posts on The First Job I Ever Had and The Best Job I Ever Had. I'm not sure what the worst job I ever had was, but my stint at Kentucky Fried Chicken is a strong contender.
I was 16 when I worked there, this was the job before the gas station job. In the parlance of the business, I was known as a "chicken cook."
There was nothing inherently wrong with the food, or the way we prepared it. It was just a hot, dirty, and smelly job. My parents made me change out of my work clothes in the garage and the car I was driving at the time reeked of fried chicken. I've since met other people who have worked there and their parents wouldn't let them come in the house either.
I worked there over a year and never once got seriously hurt or sick, which is a miracle. At one time, the two other night cooks came down with salmonella. I'll never know how I avoided that particular malady with all the raw chicken I was slinging around.
Another time one of the other chicken cooks got terribly burned on one arm in an accident involving hot grease and a valve he stupidly left open.
All of this was nothing, in future posts we'll go further into the chicken heart of darkness.
Coming Soon: "Closed by the Health Department" and "Cyclops on the Rampage: the Insane Daytime Chicken Cook."
::: posted by tom at 12:21 PM
Sunday, August 10, 2003 :::
A Trip to the Country
Friday and Saturday found me in the wilds of Union County, North Carolina. I enjoyed the hospitality of, and got to see Castle Engelbretz.
Saturday night was movie night with Michael, James, Smartin, and Big Ed. You had to have a blog and a penis to attend. Ed has promised some photographic evidence (of our attendance, not our penises) on his blog.
Michael picked up lots of marital tips from Jake La Motta via the film we watched, Raging Bull.
Smartin brought a huge-ass sandwich ring for which I have to thank him again. I took aboout 1/3 of it home and that will keep me fed for a couple days.
Current Favorite Bob Dylan Lines:
Be careful not to touch the wall,
there's a brand new coat of paint,
I'm glad to see you're still alive,
You're lookin' like a saint.
--- Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
::: posted by tom at 4:39 PM
Friday, August 08, 2003 :::
Dead Children Joke
I noticed today the headline on the Charlotte Observer was "The Children Who Shouldn't Have Died." (Some story about overworked social workers.) That headline made me wonder, who are the children who should have died?
::: posted by tom at 10:59 PM
See You In Hell
We've all seen the little signboards in front of churches with the detachable letters that have sometimes witty, sometimes inspirational messages.
I saw one today on NC 49 on the Charlotte side of Asheboro:
"Stop, drop and roll won't help you when you're in hell."
Thats nice, scare me to go to your damn church.
Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, by Tom Shales and James Miller.
::: posted by tom at 10:56 PM
Thursday, August 07, 2003 :::
Right Arm Slightly Mashed: or, I've Been Working on the Railroad
Today I was at the archives going through annual reports of railroad companies from the 1880's looking for reports about a specific company I'm getting paid to research. I found a few job related things. As always, I found some slightly bizarre and sick stuff.
Some of the annual reports had lists of accidents on the railroad. One in particular from 1886, whoever filled out the reports sure did like the word "mashed." People had their "right arm mashed, braking both bones," also "foot mashed," and "right arm slightly mashed." Somone else had their "foot badly mashed" and one unlucky soul had their "end of index finger mashed off."
On December 19, 1887, an unfortunate tramp "was on a gondola loaded with logs, stealing a ride, and the logs shifted, catching his head. Head mashed, killed him."
Last Listened To:
Led Zeppelin, The BBC Sessions.
::: posted by tom at 1:34 PM
Wednesday, August 06, 2003 :::
Someone visited this page recently by searching Google for the phrase "dog colostomy."
Quote of the Day:
No; there are no more sunny continents -- no more islands of the blest -- hidden under the far horizon, tempting the dreamer over the undiscovered sea; nothing but these weird and tragic shores, those cliffs of everlasting ice and mainlands of frozen snow, which have never produced anything to us but a late and sad discovery of the depths of human heroism, patience, and bravery, such as imagination could scarcely dream of.
--- Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, November 1855.
::: posted by tom at 9:37 PM
Tuesday, August 05, 2003 :::
Inspector Baboon of the Yard
You can find sound files of Baboon wahooing here. I heard a show about this on WUNC last night and for some reason I was fascinated by it. If you listen, it really sounds like the baboons are saying "wahoo." Like most stuff wild animals do, this concerns either eating or reproduction, in this case reproduction. The more emphasis the male baboon puts on "-hoo" syllable in "wahoo" indicates their prowess as a mate, food gatherer, and whatever else is important to girl baboons. You can check out the difference between the Scott Baio baboons and the Don Knotts baboons at the link titled: "Baboons, high and low rating."
Maybe I have a stray homosexual baboon gene lurking deep in my DNA somewhere and thats why I responded to these noises. I'm sure its deep, very deep, only half a gene at most. I can't believe I just wrote the words "Maybe I have a stray homosexual baboon gene."
Last Listened To:
Discipline, by King Crimson
N.C. Wyeth: A Biography, by David Michaelis.
::: posted by tom at 12:13 PM
Monday, August 04, 2003 :::
The Best Job I Ever Had
Last week I did a post about The First Job I Ever Had, this is about The Best Job I Ever Had.
When I was in the 11th grade, this would have been about 1979 and 1980, I pumped gas for about a year. This was when self-serve stations combined with convenience stores were really starting to boom and we were one of the few places that still pumped the gas for you. The prices were the cheapest in town so we were always busy. We sold nothing but gas and oil and only took cash.
Another guy and I would work evenings alone after the owners and everyone had left. There was a doberman pinscher named Duke that lived at the station. At night he was locked in the office half of the building which we couldn't get into. We would toss french fries under the door for him. He barked a lot and we were scared of him, but I'm not sure how fierce the pooch really was.
One interesting feature of that place was people pulled in trying to sell us everything. I mean everything, except sex. Considering we were a bunch of 16 and 17 year old boys with huge wads of cash on us, its probably just as well. I particularly remember one guy that had a car stereo with the wires still hanging out the back where he had torn it from a dashboard. He had the sniffles and seemed real itchy and practically begged us to buy it.
The only downside to the job was the weather. Winters got pretty cold in Michigan, so to survive we had to do this. Summers could get pretty hot too, but a little bit of this would take the edge off. Some days in the spring and fall were so pretty, a little bit of this would make the day even prettier. Sometimes it was so slow, only this would relieve the boredom. When it was really busy, we couldn't find the time for any of this. .
Of course these memories are filtered through the haze of time, I'm sure I complained about it and there were days I didn't want to go to work. But it sure seemed fun looking at it now.
Last Listened To:
The Jam, The Jam at the BBC.
American Empire: Victorious Opposition, by Harry Turtledove, 2003.
::: posted by tom at 12:54 PM