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Archive for May, 2008

Natives are restless

Brazil’s government this week showed pictures one of its planes recently took of one of the last native tribes untouched by civilization.

I’m a bit skeptical, since the story says the pictures were meant to show that areas of the jungle need preserving. In other words, someone was motivated to have pictures of natives painted red and firing arrows at the plane, like a bad B-movie in which the non-comprehending savages try to kill the plane, which they undoubtedly believe is a giant rumbling bird. 

But, my cynicism aside, if the pictures depict a real native tribe … how AWESOME would it be if they actually shot down the plane? Oh sure, survivors would likely be cooked on a spit and the whole incident would have set civilization back a thousand years. Sometimes that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing.

Then again, that would mean no spell-check, no reality show about men fishing for king crab in the Bering Strait, and no microwave ovens to cook frozen pizzas. And that would truly be tragic.

Posted on Saturday, May 31st, 2008
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Aliens tomorrow

Just when I thought Fox News accusing Rachael Ray of being a terrorist was the most sensible thing I’d ever heard, here comes this Colorado guy who, understandably, wants Denver to form a commission on alien affairs, preparing for the inevitable alien takeover of Denver.

That’s pretty amazing … not that this guy wants a major city to spend money on creating an alien affair commission to deal with the inevitable showdown between us and creatures from beyond. What’s amazing is that Berkeley didn’t think of it first.

Oh, yeah, he’s going to prove the existence of ETs with a video tomorrow. As I suspected, they even blink.

So, in the meantime, I’ll be hoarding canned goods and purchasing water filtration systems. You can never be too careful once the aliens realize we’ve got the goods on them. 

Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2008
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I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a fellow 40-something, father-of-two with a real job and a mortgage and various other adult responsibilities. We went to high school together back in the 1980s and, by extension, several Iron Maiden concerts back when we had no responsibilities but plenty of hair. It went something like this:

Friend: So, dude, we’re all set for Maiden tomorrow night?

Me: &%#@ yeah, dude. We’re $?*$#? there.

Friend: What do you think they’ll open with, dude?

Me:  Dude, I was just watching my “Rock in Rio” DVD this morning and they opened with “Wicker Man.” It was ?*&^%$ awesome. Though the last time they were in Concord, they opened with “Number of the Beast.”

Him: But this tour is all 80s stuff, dude …

Me: Right, dude,  so they wouldn’t open with “Wicker Man.” Maybe “Aces High”?

Him: Whatever. I can’t wait, dude.

Me: Dude … me neither … dude.

We went on to discuss various arrangements for our meeting at the Sleep Train Pavilion tonight, and speculated on the virtues of various musical-producing corporations consolidating this summer (Judas Priest, Heaven and Hell, Motörhead and Testament) in what, we agreed, may be an ideal follow-up opportunity to tonight’s very important meeting. 

I wish I still fit in my 1982 “Number of the Beast” camouflaged-sleeve shirt, or my 1985 “Powerslave” tour shirt, both of which I think I still have.  Sadly, I don’t think I could get either around one of my thighs these days. 

Tonight’s one of those rare times going to a show isn’t for work. If you spot me, please say hello. I’ll be that one guy flying the two-fisted devil’s horns …

Picture of Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris taken by Flickr user Frenkieb under Creative Commons license

Posted on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
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If I did karate …

My colleague Karim alerted me to this amazing video, (I like it so much, I link to it twice) which is supposedly outtakes from a commercial audition. I don’t care where it’s from, it’s pure entertainment satisfaction. It reminds me of what I was like before I made friends with Bruce Lee and became the killing machine I am today.

And, since I did a search for “think you’re tough” on YouTube, I also came up with something else nearly as funny.

Posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2008
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Dumb people at the movies

I went to see the new “Indiana Jones” movie yesterday. It was a fun movie — not as good as the third, certainly not as good as the first, but easily better than the second. Have low expectations and just enjoy seeing these people again. And don’t get all weird about the Tarzan-swinging scene, like some critics. You’re supposed to suspend most of your disbelief.

But one thing I wasn’t particualrly happy about — besides the idea that Indiana’s father is dead, even though he drank from the Holy Grail in the last movie and is supposed to have eternal life — was, as usual, people in the theater. We can rant on forever about the stupid things people do in movies, like the guy yesterday who actually left his cell phone on, then ANSWERED IT and started talking to somebody during the movie. I also hated the fact that I thought I could avoid kids by going in the middle of a weekday. It was great — barely anyone was there — until right before the movie. Then something like three bus loads of kids on field trips came charging in.

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Posted on Friday, May 23rd, 2008
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Gas prices terrify me

Ho-hum, nothing like going to the gas station to get a little fuel. Hum-dee-dum, just filling my tank and looking around, lots of cars going by, the sun is shining and all is, at the very least, Ok with the world … hum-dee-dum …

Beep-beep. Oh, looks like my tank is full … I’ll just put the nozzle back and be on my merry way … hum-dee …


Oh … 50 dollars. I just spent 50 DOLLARS to fill up my SATURN??!!

That, by the way, is not a Saturn SUV. Nor is it a Saturn big-rig, house boat, RV, or space shuttle. I’m pretty sure Saturn doesn’t make a space shuttle, though maybe they should.

I wonder how long until someone snaps and goes off with a flamethrower at a gas station. I’m definitely not advocating such a course, but it’s inevitable. Keep a sharp eye on your fellow service-station customers. Watch the ones with knotted hair and a crazed look in their eyes.

In the meantime, I’m not driving anywhere I don’t have to. It sucks to be in the service industry this year, with so many people afraid to travel for fear that they’ll go broke. Love hearing those oil company guys up on Capitol Hill, telling us they wish they could lower prices but, gosh darn it, this is just an “up cycle.” I think those guys are the ones who should start watching out for loose cannons with … cannons. Or flamethrowers.

I’m definitely not advocating such a course. I’m just saying …

Picture of gas pump taken by Flickr user rick used under Creative Commons license

Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008
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Life isn’t fair

How can these poor people be charged with being drunk and naked in public, when they were in the woods. Is that really in “public”? And, if so, why don’t we arrest bears?

I’d love to be one of the taxpayers paying for fancy heat-seeking gear to find these two.

Posted on Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
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Automatic Award Winner

If ever a picture deserved to win many, many awards, it’s this one.

So the guy’s covering a high school track meet in Utah, gets a little too close to the action, ends up with a javelin through his leg … and takes pictures of the thing sticking through his leg.


In a related story, I just suffered a horrifying paper cut at my desk, yet was able to bravely finish my workday. Well, after I cried and took a little nap under my desk.

Posted on Monday, May 19th, 2008
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Child Abuse

This is absolutely insane.

Good to see parents with their heads screwed-on straight. Some kid in Detroit sold 17,328 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year, helping to ensure the leader of the Girl Scouts can indeed afford gas for their brand new yacht in these otherwise troubled economic times.

Good God — the mother and (go figure) troop leader was quoted saying, of the street corner they commandeered: “We were always there; we never closed. At one point Jenny got really sick and we did shut down early, and we heard about it the next day.”

From whom — the Girl Scouts, wondering why the well had temporarily dried up?

I love being cornered by aggressive Girl Scouts outside the grocery store during cookie time. They’re worse than pan-handlers … probably because their handlers (parents) are nearby, pushing the cute buttons. It’s awful.

The Detroit kid got to go to Europe for 10 days — which is cool and all. Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts pocket more than $50,000.

What a racket.
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Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2008
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ALERT! End of an era TONIGHT!

A few minutes ago I got a text message from Brooks, the singer and axe-slinger of The Inflatables, alerting me to the fact that tonight will be the band’s last Wednesday-night show at Masse’s in Walnut Creek. They also play on Thursdays, but it’s more of a karaoke thing. So I don’t really know what the hell is going on.

I didn’t get back to him to get details, because that would’ve been the responsible thing to do. And I don’t feel like being responsible any more today — I already drove two kids to school this morning, and one of them had to go to Sacramento. So I’m just going to assume tonight’s it for the Inflatables and Wednesday night at Masse’s. And that’s too bad — I have many fond memories of Wednesdays with overcharging Walnut Creek cab drivers and The Inflatables, one of the greatest cover bands in the history of cover bands.

So I may just have to put my new Wednesday routine of sipping green tea and working on my cure for cancer on hold tonight and head back down for one more round with The Inflatables … only if someone promises to give me a ride home.

Posted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
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