Saturday, June 08, 2002

This is SICK.
I am thinking seriously about watching the Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson boxing match on pay-for-view television tonight. It might be a pretty good fight, but I'm more intrugued by the possibility that Tyson finally will nut-up totally and have to be dragged from the ring, strapped into a straightjacket and deposited in a rubber-walled room for the rest of his demented life.

Mike Tyson is not right in the head. When he had trainers and managers who could control him, he was a savage, effective fighter. He won the World Heavyweight Championship and could have been a boxing immortal, but he dropped the people who brought him to the dance, fell under the thrall of that wild-haired pimp Don King and went quickly down the toilet.

Tyson needs someone holding his leash tightly, because he cannot do it by himself. He's proven that fact over and over, and no punishment, from prison to losing his boxing license, seems to matter to him. This man should be fed with a REALLY long-handled spoon, preferably one that can be inserted through steel bars and withdrawn quickly in case of attack. I honestly believe that he is as crazy as a shithouse rat.

I don't believe he deserves another chance to fight professionally, and he certainly doesn't deserve a shot at the Championship. But nobody asked for my input on those questions; so, the raging sociopath gets back in the ring tonight. The fight will make lots of money, not so much because people love a good fight, but because people always pay to watch a circus geek perform. Mike Tyson may box, or he may bite. Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and see the Wild Troglodyte of Boxing!

It's a sad day for boxing that he is allowed to show up at all. If he wins, it will be sickening.

I think I'll watch. Hell, I've paid to watch a circus geek perform before.
During the Clinton administration, I always marvelled at his defenders' ability to call a turd a rose, and maintain a straight face while they did it. They were the drinkers of the purple kool-aid and NOTHING Clinton did could dissuade them from continuing their abject worship of their corrupt god.

They are not alone in calling a turd a rose. Some people do the same thing and even pick WORSE TURDS.
My friend Ed once played linebacker for Eastern Kentucky University and won a Division II National Championship ring while he was there. He also injured his neck, and subsequent surgery left him with a weakness in his right hand, which is odd, considering what a hoss he is through the chest and shoulders. Ed is a large fellow. When he needed someone to drive nails on a fence-hanging project, or perform other right-hand tasks around his mini-farm, he called me. When I needed someone to help move a refrigerator, or wrestle a 400-pound pot-bellied pig off my back porch, I called him.

I am not making up the 400-pound pot-bellied pig. My ex-wife (the bloodless cunt) and I bought our mini-farm from a couple who built another house, now known as "The Governor's Mansion" around the old neighborhood, less than a quarter of a mile away. They moved all their animals to the new home, but the animals never forgot where they once lived. They came to visit their old abode frequently. The occasional runaway goat or stray rooster never bothered me. But the pot-bellied pig did.

"Bacon" was a female pot-bellied pig that resembled an overloaded, warped fifty-five gallon drum on four short pegs. One summer day, she went in heat, dug her way out of her pen, and showed up at my house, looking for love in all the wrong places.

I learned that if you point your finger down the road and yell "Go Home!" to a 400-pound pot-bellied pig, the pig pays no attention whatsoever. It lays on your back deck, grunts contentedly and goes to sleep. I tried to poke at her and get her to move, but she only grunted, then farted at me really loudly, so I stopped poking. I thought the giant fat-bag would get hungry and go back home in a day or so, but Bacon seemed happy to be back at her old homestead. After four days of pig-occupation, I set out to evict that squatter from my land.

The neighborhood posse got together and even recruited a guy wearing a shirt with "Roy" over the front pocket to help. "Roy" was a contractor installing a sprinkler system at the Governor's Mansion that day. I don't believe he really knew what he was getting into.

Bacon was asleep on the deck, as usual. Our game plan was to approach the pig, have one person assigned to grab each leg, then drag the grunting lard-bucket over to the rescue truck, where EVERYONE would help lift Bacon into the bed. That plan went to shit when Bacon saw four people grabbing her legs. She didn't like that. She arose on her pegs and took off running, scattering her grabbers in her wake.

You wouldn't think so, but a 400-pound pot-bellied pig has some elusive moves that would put the best broken-field runner in the NFL to shame when the pig really doesn't want to be caught. We chased that bloated bitch around the yard for at least ten minutes before we finally cornered her. That's when she showed us her tusks. And she had some TUSKS.

Sue, Bacon's owner, assured us that Bacon wouldn't hurt a fly. "She's just scared," Sue said. Well, SO WERE WE, looking at 400 pounds of tusk-baring, hostile, PMS-ridden, bitchy pig. We finally decided that Bacon couldn't kill us all if we attacked in a human wave, so we did, and once Bacon was "hog-tied," she simmered down and returned home peacefully. I don't know if "Roy" received any bonus payment for his intrepid extra-curricular work, but he deserved one.

I don't know how that story sprang from my memory banks. It just DID. I was mentioning my friend Ed, then one thing led to another. What I STARTED OUT to do was share this email Ed sent me:

Is Fishing Better Than Sex?

* A big, juicy worm always gets a fish excited.
* You don't have to eat a fish while it's still flopping around.
* You can take a leak in the bush anytime you want.
* Stroking your rod won't piss off a trout.
* Sipping a beer and scratching your balls is all the foreplay expected of you.
* Anything you stick in a fish's face, it eats.
* A fish will never gag, choke, or come up for air.
* A red snapper won't cry if you call it a flounder.
* You wear rubbers on your feet, not on your dick.
* If you want a bigger pole, you can have a bigger pole.
* A smart fish knows when to keep it's mouth shut.
* It's okay to cook a fish to make it taste good.
* Fish bite for a guy of 60, same as they do for a guy of 20.
* You're never called a jerk when you throw back an ugly fish.
* Fish are real happy when you pick up your gear and go home.
I believe that Gen, The Fairest of the Fair has hit upon a brilliant thought:

"You read about all those terrorists, most of them came here legally, but they hang around on expired visas, some for as long as 10-15 years. Now, compare that to Blockbuster: You're two days late with a video and these people are all over you. Let's put Blockbuster in charge of immigration."

I agree. Just don't think about putting them in charge of the Internal Revenue Service, too. I don't WANT that bureaucracy running like a well-oiled machine. Blockbuster is too proficient at collecting late fees on overdue videos. They would catch that bogus deduction I take every year for my son's non-existent twin brother.

Friday, June 07, 2002

If you've got nothing better to do, check THIS OUT. After visting his page numerous times and finding such, uh..... interesting things, I am convinced that DAVE TEPPER drifts a lot farther out to sea than I do.

That is NOT a a good thing to say about ANYBODY.
The more I ponder the idea of a giant, soon-to-be-bloated "Homeland Security" bureauracy set up to take the place of the half-dozen or so bloated bureaucracies already in charge of homeland security that performed so adroitly before 9/11, the more I want to reach for the Preparation H. I rub the Preparation H into the wrinkled skin around my eyes, so that I appear to be young and stress-free as I assume the position for another BOHICA from the federal government: Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

We know who the enemy is. Islamic terrorists, unemployed Arab males between the ages of 18 and 45, have declared a Jihad against America. But we don't dare PROFILE unemployed Arab males who are likely terrorists. Oh, no. We are a sensitive, non-judgmental society more afraid of being accused of "discrimination," (dictionary definition: "use of good judgment") than protecting the lives of innocent people. Our "leaders" would rather posture over how enlightened they are than actually lead.

Why hasn't President Bush fired people left and right for the sheer incompetence they displayed, now that we know what they knew BEFORE 9/11? Good grief! If I performed MY JOB the way these people DID THEIRS, my company would drop me like a radioactive rock, and I would DESERVE IT!

But I keep forgetting one thing. This is the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT we're talking about. Nobody EVER gets fired for incompetence there. (Otherwise, we wouldn't keep electing the same incumbent assholes to office over and over again) Perpetual fuck-ups receive increased staffing and larger budgets so they can fuck-up on a grander scale next time. When they do, they receive increased staffing and larger budgets so they can... well, you get the picture.

Homeland Security is a great idea, but we're not serious about doing the job. We're willing to build an elaborate Potemkin Village that looks really good, but we don't have the spine to defy political correctness and take the necessary steps to actually secure our homeland. We might offend somebody if we did that. We might get sued.

One of those non-profiled, Islamic J-birds that we don't want to discriminate against is going to have to light off a nuke right under our sensitive, non-judgmental asses before we wake up and realize that nice guys finish last. When that happens, and IT WILL if we don't sober up and find our butts with both hands, we'll get mad and do what we should have been doing all along. Seeing the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapse was not enough. Oh, we made a lot of noise about it, we cleaned up the mess and we honored the heroes of that day. But America took that tragedy in stride and failed to become really pissed off about it. The enemy must do something a LOT WORSE than that to make us truly angry.

They will, if we don't stop them That's what they live for.

We should become angry just thinking about people like that. We should NOT wait for them to prove just how evil they really are before we understand just how evil they really are. If you find a rattlesnake in your bed, do you lay down and go to sleep saying, "He didn't bite me YET?"

That's what we're doing.
I believe I will have plenty of male company around the house tonight. My son has recruited young Jack to spend the night, and they are eagerly anticipating sleeping soundly on the inflatable bed I bought for just these occasions.

Actually, that's a bald-faced lie. I bought the blow-up bed (I call it my Palestinian Bomber now) because I have adult friends who sometimes imbibe heavily and have no business driving home after an evening of my company. So, they are welcome to stay right where they got drunk in the first place, and if the single-wide bed my son occupies when he's here will not accomodate them, I whip out the battery-powered air pump and create a bed on the floor. The Palestinian Bomber has come in handy on several occasions.

The last time the boys wanted to use it, they fell asleep on the uninflated rubber mat and started snoring before I could pump it into a bed. I threw a quilt over their unconscious bodies and they slept like angels. Tonight, they've run across the street to fetch some night clothes and a toothbrush for Jack, and I'll throw them both in the bathtub when they make it back. While they're doing their best to splash all the water out of the tub and all over the bathroom walls, I'll inflate the bed and put the lovely, matching, queen-sized sheets and comforter I bought to fit it, and they'll be set for the night.

And I will have the opportunity to cook a big breakfast in the morning, too!

One thing I really like about having my son and Jack with me every other weekend is a chance to cook again. I am a good cook. Living by myself, however, I usually eat stuff I can throw in the microwave or char quickly on my back-porch propane grill. Cooking for ONE is a difficult task. But give me myself and two hungry young men to feed, and I can have a field day in the kitchen. Tonight, we ate salisbury steak, green beans, home fries, sliced tomatoes (from my garden), cucumber slices (from my garden) and fresh banana peppers (from my garden). The boys washed their lumberjack portions down with milk, while I stayed with the reliable White Zin. Everyone cleaned his plate, too. I done good.

This picture, with the wonderful caption, is worth 1,000 WORDS.
To the concerned ladies who contributed their advice about my "pre-dick-ament," I am happy to say that I reconciled my feelings on the matter. I"M GONNA GET A PUMP-IMPLANT. Then, I'm going to live forever.
Thank you, VODKAPUNDIT. If it's any consolation, you're ALMOST as good looking as I am.
Uh-oh. DAX MONTANA couldn't sleep again last night. As usual, terrible thoughts crawled through the convoluted corridors of his mind:

"B cell batteries...Where are they? There are D's, C's, AA's, AAA's, No B's...What are class B cigarettes? ever see one? or USDA grade B meat? would I want to eat it? A "B" was a good thing when I was in school....Grades and Bra size. I know a "B" movie when I see it."

I think he had a "B" in his bonnet last night.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Since I can't get copy shortcuts to work on her page, you'll need to go read quick, or scroll down the page later to read the tale of the great IRISH BANK ROBBERY Heather has seen fit to post.

I believe she is one sick puppy... and I LIKE THAT in a woman.
Yeah, if I was young and still had dark hair, I would put my picture on my page just like THIS GUY does. When I was his age, I was a lot better looking. Hell! I'm BETTER LOOKING NOW, if you're the kind of woman whose tastes run to silver-haired, mature, artistic types.

If I only had some humility, I would be perfect.
If THE CAPTAIN had been writing this stuff when I was a curious, star-gazing kid, HE would have been my hero instead of Johnny Unitas.
Today was a much better day at work than yesterday, except for one small thing. The weather was just as hot, but the shit-storm of problems finally subsided so that I could spend a lot of time in my office working on maintenance schedules and answering e-mail and voice-mail messages that I ignored yesterday. I have a really GREAT job when things go well. Hell, I have a great job when things go badly, too. It's just a LOT MORE DIFFICULT TO DO when the shit hits the fan.

I slept last night as if I had been hit squarely between the eyes with one of those big wooden hammers that smashed steel armor when wielded by a brawny Scottish warriors in Braveheart, and I felt pretty good this morning. I believe the heat and the stairs and the stress the day before damn near made me an OSHA recordable, on-the-job-injury case. I felt like a melted puddle of candle wax when I finally made my way home yesterday. My butt was chapped, my feet were sore, and my hair had the texture of old hay in a goat-barn from all the sweating I had done under my hard hat. I was worn down to a nubbin'. As much as it pains me to admit it, I just ain't as young as I used to be.

I remember back in my college days, when I read everything I could get my hands on by Kurt Vonnegut, I saw him being interviewed on the Dick Cavett show, right after Vonnegut turned fifty years old. Vonnegut said that his 50th birthday gave him the sense that life was like climbing a fence. At fifty, he knew that he had already climbed it, straddled it, and now was heading down the other side.

I feel that way, too. I turned 50 in February (why does 49 sound "mature" while 50 sounds "old" in my head?) and I'm pretty sure that I won't live to be 100, so I'm heading down the other side of the fence. I just don't know whether I'll climb down, be thrown off, or just decide to jump so I can land on both feet.

The one small thing that happened was the Medical Department at work caught up with me at my desk today. I am overdue for my annual physical and my caretakers in the federal government and OSHA mandate that I receive one every year, whether I want one or not. I DON'T WANT ONE. It was the government-mandated physical I took last March that discovered my slightly high PSA reading, which led me to a urologist, which led me to a prostate biopsy, which led me Mother of All Surgery, which led me to impotence and which leads me now to a Radical Individualist Libertarian opinion on the entire shitty mess: What makes the government think that it's my mama and I'm five years-old? Where does it say in the US Constitution that the federal government has the power to FORCE ME to take a PHYSICAL EXAMINATION that I DON'T WANT, so they can EXAMINE MY RECORDS at their whim?

Oh, all-caring Auntie Sam is simply protecting me from abuse by that evil, nasty, heartless place where I have VOLUNTARILY WORKED FOR 22 YEARS OF MY LIFE! I chose that occupation of my own free will. Meanwhile, I've been a pretty good INVOLUNTARY serf to Auntie Sam during that time, because I've paid a ton of money in taxes to that rapacious bitch that she took without asking. Now, she's making me take a physical for my own good.

But what do I know? I'm just a college-educated, 50 year-old child who works in a chemical plant and supervises the day-to-day operation of an area where 56 people work in a hot, hazardous environment. Obviously, I need Auntie Sam to look after me.

When the urologist sent me that ominous missive telling me that I should immediately reschedule the appointment to see him that I blew off six months after my surgery, I just blew him off again. I could do that. But I can't blow off this company physical without losing my job. The GOVERNMENT won't let me. The physical is MANDATORY.

We'll see.

I really don't believe the state of my health is any of the government's business. As for me, I'm either cured of cancer, or I'm not. Either way, I've gone as far as I'm going to go down the conveyors of the medical sausage factory. I got off at my stop eight months ago, and I'm not getting back on. I'll take that physical when security drags me to medical kicking and screaming all the way.

Or, they can fire me.

I'll piss in a cup for a drug test anytime they want. If OSHA requires my hearing loss to be monitored, I'll take that test, too. I'll even blow into that pass-out lung-tester they have. But they don't get my blood and they don't get to give me a physical. I may be a citizen of this country, but I AM NOT the property of the US Government.

It's MY body, not theirs.

I am expecting a brownout in the house at any moment. I have the washing machine, the dryer, the dishwasher, the Bose Wave Stereo and this computer all working at the same time. I'll power up the vacuum cleaner, too, before I go to bed tonight. Whoever is watching the energy grid for this part of Effingham County had better be on his toes this evening. "Scottie! I need MORE POWER!" (throw in some of that really cheesy Alexander Courage suspense music from the original TREK) "Captain, she can't take much more of THIS!" (more cheesy music) "Scotty, I said MORE POWER!" (Scotty shakes his head resignedly) Aye, Captain." I hope the Southern Company knows how that scene is played.

I have my son this weekend, and I don't want him walking in here to see a place that resembles a buffalo wallow. I want it somewhat neat and clean, so that HE can turn it into a buffalo wallow while he's here.

He LOOKS a lot more like his mother than he does me, which is probably a good thing, because the bloodless cunt is a very attractive woman. But he has my Scots-Irish green eyes, my sense of humor and my way of thinking about the house we live in. It's a HOME, not a showplace. Messy is okay, as long as you don't cross all the way over into filthy. The home should appear LIVED IN, not pristine. And cleaning house is a rotten chore you put off until just before the mess crosses the line into filthy. As long as you don't have vermin scuttling everywhere, unpleasant smells wafting from the bathroom and the kitchen sink, and maggots teeming out of the garbage can to climb the kitchen walls, you're not filthy, so if you clean house BEFORE YOU REACH THAT CONDITION, everything is okay. That's what I do, and I haven't had a vermin, stench or maggot episode yet.

I'm a regular Martha Stewart kind of guy.

This information mysteriously appeared on my e-mail overnight:

How To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
2. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
3. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "in"
4. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sexual favors."
5. Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy." (hell, Muslim extremists DO that)
6. Ask people what sex they are. Laugh hysterically after they answer.
7. When the money comes out the ATM, scream "I won!", "I won!" "3rd time this week!!!!!"
8. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "run for your lives, they're loose!!"
9. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
10. Tell your children over dinner. "due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

I have an operator who works for me, and he never misses a shift, he's always on time and he works his ever-loving ass off. His attitude toward his job is excellent, and he tries his very best every day. He would stick his head in a fire if I asked him to.

I am going to be forced to fire him, probably sooner rather than later, because he has NO CLUE about what he is doing on his job.

I wish I could remember the title of the western movie where one character warns another that "a man's got to know his limitations." That's sage advice. Hell, I know MY LIMITATIONS (both of them) and I'm a better man for it. Some people never get a handle on that concept.

Everybody who works with this guy likes him. But the only reason he's held on to his job as long as he has is because other people go out of their way to do their jobs AND PART OF HIS to keep him out of trouble. When problems strike and his boat is sinking, they bail him out. That's good, because every supervisor wants his crew to work as a team; but, it's bad because the time will come when his saviors have problems of their own and don't have time to help him out of a jam. He'll lose his job when that happens.

The man does not know his limitations. He BELIEVES that he knows what he is doing, even after he screws up the same simple stuff over and over again, and even as the paperwork necessary to fire him starts to pile up in a personnel file. He doesn't see what's coming. That's because he's dumb as a box of rocks. That's the real reason he can't run his job.

I've tried to talk to him, but my words don't penetrate. He could take a demotion to a less...well, "wisdom-intensive" job... and probably retire from the place with a great work record and 30-plus years of service. But he finds that idea insulting and refuses to even consider it. That's his choice.

I believe it's the wrong one, but I've done all I can to persuade him differently. I will end up firing him, because he does not know his limitations. He is being paid to do a job. If he can't do it, we shouldn't be paying him. I'll feel badly when I fire him, because I really don't want to do that. But I will.

You see, I am paid to do a job, and if I CAN'T DO IT, they shouldn't be paying ME.
I'm beginning to feel a little better about my garden. I believe my farmer friend was wrong about the Mother Nature yeast infection. My problem is nothing more than soil that needs everything but sand added to it. Plants require nutrients, and my ground is very nutrient-deficient.

I live in a crackerbox house in a subdivision called "Hampton Creek." I have no creek nearby, only a bone-dry drainage canal that separates the back of my property from that of my neighbor. A water-witch with a dowsing rod would have his forked stick jump up and poke him right in the eye if he searched for water in "Hampton Creek." Lizards and scorpions live there, not frogs.

I also abide on "High Point Drive," which is an appropriate name for my street. The neighborhood squats atop one of the more formidable sandhills in Effingham County, and we have some formidable sandhills around here. My ex-brother-and-sister-in-law were married in the Sand Hill Baptist Church on Sand Hill Road, less than a mile from Sand Hill Elementary School. I have much more sand here than they did there.

I fertilized before I planted my garden, and I have fertilized a few times since. But when you start with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT SAND, it takes A LOT of fertilizer to keep the vegetables growing. I put about 15 pounds of 10-10-10 out after I wrote that mournful blog predicting the death of my garden, I watered it in well, and I see the difference already. I now have hope that I will reap a fairly good crop.

I may have waited too late for the squash, but that's okay. I have a dozen people at work offering me squash every day. As one wag put it, "If you see ANYBODY around here buying squash in the grocery store this time of year, pity them, because THEY'VE GOT NO FRIENDS." Hell, I gave away most of the meager squash I grew. But the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, corn and okra I will eat myself. And I picked a mess of cucumbers, peppers and okra today.

I've still got a green thumb. I just have shitty ground to plant in. It'll be MUCH BETTER next year.

Blogging will be light this evening and my tired buns will be in bed early tonight. By the time I got to work this morning and found myself in the middle of a complete shit-storm of problems, I definitely regretted staying up so late. The heat index was around 105 degrees, I was outside in the middle of it most of the day, and I feel absolutely drained. I drank about five gallons of water and still produced urine the consistency of used motor oil every time I went to the bathroom.

Such a day almost makes me believe in Global Warming, except for the fact that we set no record high temperatures. The record high for this area on this day was set in the 1920s and it still stands. That hottest of days occurred when THERE WAS NO AIR CONDITIONING. So, I'm not going to complain too loudly because I don't want to sound like a spoiled, lily-livered wimp. But I AM tired.

I checked a local TV station's WEATHER PAGE and found an interesting poll, especially after the fry-the-brain-in-your-skull scorcher days we've had lately. Most people in the "Coastal Empire" of Savannah and Surrounding Counties don't think much of Global Warming.

WTOC Online Poll

Many observations indicate that the earth is slowly warming. What do you think is the main cause for this global warming?
Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far.

All natural environmental events 17%

All due to man's release of carbon dioxide: 16%

Both CO2 and natural events 47%

There is no global warming occurring 20%

67% of people answering that poll don't believe the central thesis behind the idiotic Koyoto Treaty, and they ALL live where IT'S REALLY HOT! If President Bush doesn't fire several people at the EPA for releasing that dumbass report on climate change, he deserves to be a one-term president.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

I am up way past my bedtime, and I'm probably going to regret that fact in the morning. But this is one of those nights when I walked into my bedroom, laid down in the bed and jumped up as if a cattle prod had been stuck to my ass. I am NOT sleepy and I do not want to lay there tossing and turning the way I usually do. Screw that. I have something on my mind.

I've noticed a distinct change in the way I write on this site over the past month. When I started, almost six months ago, I didn't know how to link anything, so I simply wrote essays. Once Scott taught me how to do a link, I started putting lots of those in here. Then, on February 10, 2002, I was linked by Samizdada AND Instapundit for the same screed I wrote about Enron and politicians. For a while, I thought I had hit the big time. I advertised my extensive reading of the news and current events by linking to a story and pontificating about it over and over. Pretty soon, I was doing more linking than thinking, and I had totally lost track of what this page was supposed to be. I was trolling for the big boys to come find me again.

I'm through with that. This is a web diary. If I find interesting links, I'll throw 'em in here, but that's secondary to the main purpose of this site. I am halfway (almost) through something Mark Twain said most people can never do. He said: everybody starts a journal once in life, but very few people keep it for more than a month. Almost nobody has the discipline to do it for a year.

Well, I do.

So, instead of linking to the news, or even to linking to sites such as THIS SEXY ONE, I'm going to write more about MY LIFE and what happened to ME TODAY, such as arriving today at Checkpoint Charlie (the front gate at work, where I arrive every morning at the same time, where I know every guard by first name, and where they have to check me out to ensure that I have not been transformed into a militant Islamic terrorist overnight. Well, ususally they don't check me. I'm just bitching.) and BEING STOPPED BY THE SECURITY GUARD. She gave me a valuable public-service announcement.

"Rob, there's a BIG ALLIGATOR trapped in the car wash. Be careful if you go over there." I told her I had no intention of going to the car wash at 6:00 AM, and she waved me into the parking lot.

I must have been one of the few employees who made it through the gate today who DIDN'T go look at the alligator trapped in the car wash. If the gator had been driving a CAR through there, I would have gone to see that. Most gators don't drive, especially if we're talking a stick-shift.

But I've seen plenty of gators before. This one was large (at least all the rubber-necks who went to look told me so), but gators ALL look big to me. It's just something about all those teeth.

I believe Animal Control personnel came to get it sometime this morning. The critter was gone when I got off today. After spending the night trapped in a car wash, It was probably the cleanest gator they ever caught.

Well, I'll be damned! I got home from work today, checked ole' GUT RUMBLES and discovered that I crossed the 5,000 hit mark sometime since I went there last night. I believe COP 3 is expecting a party to celebrate this momentous occasion, which I WILL THROW if he brings COPS #1 through #5 with him.

For those out of this very personal loop, I will explain. Sometime back around 1988, me, Rick, Donnie, my brother and a guy I didn't know named John (he could play drums) got together in a garage out on Isle of Hope and started a rock-and-roll band. I wanted to call the band "GUT RUMBLES," but those humorless bastards voted me down. They shot down "Cooter Gap," too, but I always was saving that name for a bluegrass band, so I didn't mind rejection over that. But the band not wanting to be known as "GUT RUMBLES" gave me free rights to the name for this blog, so everything worked out okay.

We remained The Unnamed Garage Band for a few months, while we went from sounding like cats mating in the middle of the night, to doing a few songs pretty good, to becoming pretty doggone tight. I played bass guitar and threw in harmony vocals when the bass parts weren't too intricate. I learned quickly that I COULD NOT play bass runs and sing at the same time. My right-brain/left-brain stuff became all tangled up when complicated bass parts and vocals were necessary together. I could not do both simultaneously, which gave me total admiration for Paul McCartney, who can.

We played our first concert at an oyster roast on Isle of Hope. The host invited all the neighbors to come, and all but one of them did. The one that didn't called the cops in the middle of our first set. The police officer who responded to the call, very politely, told us to turn down the volume. We did. He was back within one hour, after another complaint from the same anal-retentive, anti-smoking, anti-fun, proto-Puritian shitbird who complained the first time.

He explained on his second visit that he would have to bring the CHATHAM COUNTY NOISE OFFICER with him if he were called to the party again. He left, and FIVE MUSICIANS WHO WERE DRINKING BEER began to ponder the concept of a "noise officer." We wondered what one looked like. We wondered what one did for a living. We decided we wanted to meet one. We turned our amps up and started to play.

We met the "noise officer" shortly thereafter, along with the same policeman who had been invited to come to the party after he got off work THREE TIMES now. I believe the cop really wanted to come, but he had a job to do, no matter how unpleasant he found it. The "noise officer" was a bald-headed, bureaucrat-looking nimrod with a cheesy-looking decibel-meter in his hand, and he had clocked us officially over the sound-limit, whatever the hell that was, all the way at the end of the driveway where we were playing. We were busted.

The policeman explained politely that if we fired up our music and got another complaint, we would all go to jail for the night for violating local excess noise ordinances and the homeowner would be issued a citation that carried a stiff fine. The homeowner was yelling, "FINE ME! IT'S WORTH IT! DAMN GOOD PARTY! DAMN GOOD BAND!" He had been into the beer pretty heavily himself by then. So had we, but not heavily enough to want to spend the night in jail. We packed up our instruments and our amps and stopped playing for the night.

But we came away from that party with a name for the band. CALL THE COPS! is a fairly well-known, kick-ass band around Savannah now. I don't play with them anymore, but I WAS one of the founding fathers. I was there when the band earned its name. I was there when we met the noise officer.

So, when you read a "comment" by anybody who identifies himself as "Cop #", it's one of my ex-bandmates. Pay them no attention. They're still not right in the head.

If I have learned anything during the past year (actually, it been only eight months, but who's counting?), I now know, with absolute certainty, who my true friends are. My true friends are the ones who know well that I am not perfect, and they don't expect me to be. They know my faults better than anyone else and still choose to be my friend. They can provide a lengthy laundry list of times I've screwed up, showed my behind, and made them angry. Still, they'll be the first ones to ride to my rescue when I need them, then the first ones to tell me what an asshole I was to get myself into a position where I needed them in the first place. That's what good friends do, and anybody who has two or three people like that in life is a fortunate individual. I have five.

You know who you are. Does this sound familiar?

Juanita also added:
"Your real friends have the courage to stand up for you when you're right -- and stand up to you when you're wrong. Be very thankful that none of your real friends are cowards."

Cowards can never be real friends in my opinion. I could be wrong, but I believe the lady BEHIND THE MASK agrees with me. Go read her site and see what YOU think.

Monday, June 03, 2002

Why not?

I stole this from Siso, who stole it from somebody else:

1. Who or where do you go to when you need help for web-related problems?
That mercinary little shit Scott, who is 15 years-old and knows more about computers and web-stuff than I EVER will

2. There is a big mess of gossip going on in some Blogs out there due to revelations about a very popular Blogger. I got very caught up in reading all the links to links about it until I stopped myself realizing it was none of my buisiness. Do you ever get caught up in gossip, either speading it or listening to it? How does it make you feel? Or have you ever been the subject of gossip?
I must confess that all that blog-gossip was about ME. Yes, it WAS your business, and you should read MORE about it on MY SITE, because my blog is ABOUT ME. I don't have time for gossip because, in all modesty, I'm too occupied with self-promotion.

3. In a relationship, when your other takes a dig at you (read: a fight), do you go for the jugular and get "in their face" or try to peacefully smooth things out and have a calm discussion?
I am more likely to drive you crazy in a Vulcan mode, going totally logical. I will puncture your every emotional outburst with a serene, intelligent counterpoint until you either give up or choke me to death. Of course, if I've been drinking a lot, I'll do like John Goodman's character did in The Big Lewbowski and just bite your fucking ear off.

4. A friend once told me "You can tell when someone is bored with what you are saying to them when they reply with 'That's interesting.'" And I have found this to be pretty dang true. How do you know when someone has lost interest in what you are saying?
Huh? Somebody LOSE INTEREST in what I'M SAYING? Get outta here!

5. Ever get jealous of the popularity other Blogs?
HELL, YES! Just read the description of my blog. That "ceaseless quest for adoration" is REAL. I WANT AS MANY HITS AS GLENN REYNOLDS GETS. No, that's not true. I WANT MORE!!!!!

6. What is your favorite dirty word? (those who don't curse can pick your favorite happy word)
I have a blog about this topic somewhere in my archives, but I'm not going to look for it now. I once took a course in linguistics where a guest lecturer explained, in very educated, linguistic-oriented language, why some dirty words are better than others. I was assigned to write a 300-word analysis about what I had learned that day. I did an intellectual comparision between "fuck" and "shit." Shit won, and it's still my favorite dirty word to this day.

7. (the continuing story...) OK, we are definitely doing that again. But seeing as it is nearly 6am now, how about breakfast? Anywhere you'd like to go or should we fix our own? What do you like? Or is there something else we need to do first?
If one of us is sober enough to drive, let's hit the Waffle House on Highway 17. A true Lumberjack breakfast is available, and at 6:00 AM everybody in there will be as drunk as we are, except the cook and the waitresses, and we could probably corrupt one of them. The church crowd won't get there until we're long gone. Otherwise, I have some frozen Jimmy Dean sausage, egg and cheese muffins that aren't half-bad with a Bloody Mary, and all we've got to do is throw 'em in the microwave. You don't even have to PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON for that, you sexy wench, you. I vote for the muffins. Speaking of muffins... c'mere, you!

God. I am SO rotten...

I am happy to announce that DAX MONTANA is feeling much better after trying a tried-and-true, Kentucky-mountain home-remedy. Dax, I don't give those family secrets away to just anybody. But was pretty sure that you would know what a "finger" of likker was.

SISO, I believe I gave the same recipe to YOU when you were feeling puny a few weeks ago, and you never mustered the nerve to try it. Yeah, it's probably just as well...

Probably would have made you FART!
THIS STORY would have been unbelievable a mere twenty years ago. What's not to believe about it now? Hell, this kind of crap is EXPECTED today.

When I read Dostoyevski's The Brothers Karamozov in college, I was offended by the philosophy of young Dimitri, who gave his love freely to everyone equally, because he loved EVERYBODY, regardless of whether they deserved it or not. I argued in class that Dimitri's love was absolutely worthless, because HE put no value upon it. He gave it away like alms. Much debate raged in the class about that, but I never changed my mind. I also never was told to shut up and get with the "Dimitri as Selfless Hero" program, either.

We're attempting to do the same Dimitrism with such a quaint notion as RESPECT today. We're attempting to teach our young people to be "sensitive" and respect all things equally, regardless of worth. Let us hope fervently that the brainwashers in charge never accomplish that mission. Some ideas, some people and some ways of living your life are flat-out BETTER THAN OTHERS! That is a fact. A good education is supposed to expose you to a lot of different ideas, teach you to judge the good from the bad and find the best way to live your own life, knowing full well what you believe and why you believe it. That's not happening.

When young people are taught to respect everything, no matter how undeserving of respect it may be, they end up respecting nothing.

Respect is earned, the same as love. When you respect something or someone, a feeling of appreciation and no small measure of awe serves as the foundation for your feelings. Just like love.

You respect courage, honesty, dedication, hard work and consistency. If you respect cowardice, perfidy, laziness, sloth and lying, you don't know the meaning of respect. Your "respect" is worthless. It has no value to you, and therefore no value to anyone you give it to, because you give it to EVERYBODY.

Our educational system is trying its best to raise a generation to think that way.

Twenty years ago, anyone who thought so little of themselves to give what should be their most precious gifts away so cheaply to anyone, anytime, anywhere was called a "whore." And anyone who behaves that way today still deserves the title.

When Bush seemed to lose track of the War on Terrorism, I was patient, saying "he's still better than Al Gore." When he imposed steel tarriffs, I let him slide, saying, "that's politics, and he's still better than Al Gore." Then, he signed a Ted Kennedy education bill that did nothing but throw more money down a federal rathole, signed a campaign finance reform bill that is absolutely disgusting, and signed that obscene porkfest of a Farm Bill, too. I said, "he's really starting to suck as a President, but he's STILL better than Al Gore."

Now, Bush pulls THIS FUCKING STUNT, and everything suddenly is clear to me. He is NOT better than Al Gore.

He IS Al Gore.
I'm getting worried about my garden. I just picked some squash and a couple of peppers, and I'll have several cucumbers ready by tomorrow. But one of my tomato plants has wilted like those witch's feet sticking out from under the house in The Wizard of Oz when the ruby slippers were removed, the squash are looking puny, and one of the bell peppers I picked is about the size of a golf ball, and it's fully ripened. My corn doesn't look so good, either. About half of it is fine, but the other half is turning yellow on the bottom and developing brown leaves. I have one banana pepper plant that was fine yesterday, and now appears to be a death's door. I'm still worried about the okra, too.

I've never had this problem before. If I stick it in the ground, it grows. That's just a fact of nature, because it's ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY.

Now, a guy at work who farms pretty seriously says that I may have "nematodes", or "leaf-wilt bacteria" in my soil. I told him that he couldn't possibly be correct, because MY SOIL has nothing but SAND in it. He described the symptoms of this kind of yeast-infection Mother Nature sometimes develops in her fertile loins, and my garden has every one of them. I believe the only sure-fire solution is to drop a neutron bomb in my back yard, kill everything out there, and start over again next year.

But I'll give it a few more days before I put my finger on the button...

Sunday, June 02, 2002

I just saw "American Hot Wax" on HBO (yeah, one of the few times I watch TV) and I really enjoyed the movie. I was a little kid tying towels around my neck and attempting to fly off my front porch in Harlan County, Kentucky when Alan Freed was king of the DJs, so I never knew about him in his prime, but I grew up listening to rock and roll music.

My mother and father were kids themselves when they sired me. That's one of the strange realizations that dawned on me as I grew older. My parents were 23 years old when I was born. When I was 23, I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground. I suspect that THEY DIDN'T EITHER, but being 23, they THOUGHT THEY DID, the same as I did at that age. It all worked out OK in the long run.

When MY PARENTS were only slightly older than MY DAUGHTER, they had parties at our house in the coal mining camp where we lived. They would shove all the furniture back against the walls to make a dance floor in the living room, then play Elvis Presley, The Everley Brothers, The Coasters and all the top rockers of the day on a 45-RPM turntable that could hold about 50 single records. (This was 1957, folks) They invited the neighbors over and everybody danced, drank beer and had a fine time while we young'uns were supposed to stay out of their way. We did, too, being the well-disciplined young'uns we were.

But I always listened to the music. And I liked it. I knew even then, as a five year-old hillbilly boy from a coal-mining camp in Harlan County, Kentucky that I wanted to play music myself, to find some kind of instrument that I could conjure sound from. It was in my blood even then.

My father could never carry a tune in a bucket if I poured it in there first. He was probably the most non-musical person I've met in my life. He did buy me a $19 Sears and Roebuck Silvertone guitar, with heavy-gauge Black Diamond strings for Christmas one year, and that's the first guitar I learned to play.

If I have any natural-born musical talent, I get it from my mama's side of the family, where almost everybody plays some kind of instrument, except for my Uncle Virgil, who only plays the fool. (Heh, Heh. That's for the DROP CAN trick, Virgil... I forgive, but I NEVER forget) My mama taught me how to play "G," "C" and "D" chords on the guitar, and I quickly discovered that you can play A LOT of songs with that simple knowledge. I bought a Mel Bay How-To book shortly thereafter, learned some different chords, then started hanging around guitar players a lot better than I was to study their techniques. Before long, I became semi-proficient on the instrument.

I played in several bands in ensuing years, and I ended up with "THE FABULOUS SMITH BROTHERS," which featured me and, you guessed it, MY BROTHER as a harmony-singing, guitar-playing duo. We did well together during college. We parted musical ways when I dropped out of grad school and he went on to become a scum-sucking lawyer.

When I left the Henry W. Grady graduate School of Journalism at the University of Georgia in 1976, I wrote advertising copy for a while, but quickly discovered that I could make a lot more money playing guitar in the bars as a single act. I didn't have to split the paycheck with anybody, and I met very interesting people every night, many of whom were female. I decided to conduct a scientific study of sex, drugs and music for five years. The results are in: I LOVED IT!

But I eventually became burnt-out and got myself a straight job. The stage life is a hoot, but it takes a lot out of you. Anyone who has never done it night after night probably cannot understand, but I KNOW WELL why so many entertainers become tangled up in drugs and screwed-up behavior. You're supposed to be in a great mood every time you step on stage. If you're not in a good mood, once you've been in the bars for a while, you know somebody who can fix that problem. One phone call and help is on the way.

I remember Roy, Luther, Delaney and a few others from those days. They're all dead now. They never became burnt-out. They just burned up.

I have a straight job now, and I still play music because I enjoy doing that. I wouldn't trade the memories of my bar days for anything, but I really don't want to go back there any more. I'm 50 years old and a stolid old fogey. I believe I'll quit while I'm ahead.

Besides, I still look better than Keith Richards.
I work with some people who absolutely HATE their jobs. I have a DAUGHTER who seems to hate her job, too, except for the few times she lets her guard down and confesses to having some fun at work. I don't understand people who hate what they do for a living, but still keep doing it. I did that once, but I didn't do it for long. I work to live; I don't live to work.

My job drives me crazy sometimes (of course, that's a short trip for me) but I like the challenge, I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I often receive when things go well, and I have never feared the responsibility that comes with the turf. In fact, I believe my life would be pretty empty without it. I like playing with fire. I am a natural gambler, an iconoclast and an eccentric-orbit kind of guy. Those qualities help make me pretty good at what I do. Although I hate the consultant-sounding term, I think outside the box. I am proficient at catching things on the first bounce and adapting to the situation at hand. I am the absolute opposite of a bureaucrat.

If I didn't enjoy what I do, I would have quit a long time ago. Some of the people I hear pissing and moaning about how much they hate their jobs have been there longer than I have, and I've been there 22 years. Why would anyone do that to themselves? As my friend JB HIS OWNSELF says, "Life ain't square." No, it ain't, but it's not a complete shit sandwich that you have to gnaw every day. You can throw THAT sandwich down and walk away any time you wish. If you choose not to, then stop bitching about it. Shut up and gnaw. That's YOUR choice.

I had a point I was intending to make when I began this rant, but now I have forgotten what it was. I didn't sleep much last night and my neurons are not firing across those synapses as precisely as they should be doing. Hell, I left the fooking sprinkler running all night long in my front yard, and I haven't gone outside to turn it off YET.

I may go do that right now.

Does anyone know why BLOGGER continues to eat my archives with the appetite of a shark? I have to go back and republish them about once a week. Am I doing something wrong?
Tha...THUM...Tha...THUM...da-na, da-na, da-na-da-na-da-na! SHARK ATTACK!

A 24 year-old "lifelong surfer" (just read THAT phrase again and imagine the mentality of the reporter who wrote it. At 24, nobody is a "lifelong" ANYTHING) got himself purreed by one of the Cuisinarts of the Sea off the coast of California yesterday, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. He's going to live, which is good, but this story is going to scare the crap out of a lot of people, which is bad.

The oceans of this world are huge, salty and full of all manner of wildlife, some of which are sharks. Whenever one of the BILLIONS of people who swim in the ocean every year is attacked by a shark, the story makes the DRUDGE REPORT and most major newspapers across the nation. These same news-hounds never mention the number of people drowned by riptides, stung by jellyfish, lacerated by oyster shells, bitten by crabs, skinned alive by washing into barnacle-encrusted jettys, sunburned to the third degree, and poisoned by eating too much beach food washed down with sandy beer. THAT'S not NEWS. Lots of people get fucked-up as a worm at the beach.

Let somebody win the salt water lottery and hit that gazillion-to-one shark attack, and we have MAJOR HEADLINES.

I have lived most of my life around the sea. I have swam in it, fished in it, surfed the waves, skied atop it, boated upon it and damned near drowned my own fool self in it more than once, and I have NEVER been attacked by a shark. I have seen them in the water. I have caught them while fishing for something else. Sure enough, they are out there. But you're more likely to be bitten by a poisonous snake on dry land than you are to ever experience a shark attack.

I blame all this shit on Peter Benchley and Steven Spielberg. Those two scared the nation to death with a book and a movie. Now, reporters are attempting to do the same thing, with a lot less imagination. You know what I think about it?

SURF'S UP! Let's hit the water!