June 28, 2007

An onion on my belt

I don't have a whole lot of time to post today, which is a shame since there seems to be a lot of little things pushing me over the edge lately (see: traffic cops, graduate advisors, mice, and hand soap), but I thought I should try to post once before I left town this afternoon. TinRoof and I are heading down to Chattanooga for the weekend. Her parents have been in town all week helping her move to Richmond. This weekend we're going to a friend of hers' wedding. Add possessive apostrophes to the list of things that piss me off. Thus even though I'm short on time (I have work to finish before leaving town), I feel the need to attempt to entertain my admittedly dwindling readership. Therefore I shall borrow a tactic from a wise old coot and tell you all a story that doesn't go anywhere... like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah -- the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

June 24, 2007

Google has 2 o's only

Does anyone else hate Google Images? I find it extremely obnoxious. When I am searching for a picture, I don't want to go to the web page the picture can be found on. I want to see only the picture. But Google has that stupid 2 inch bar that shows up at the top of the page. And then if you actually want to see a decent size shot, you either have to scroll through the website below or you have to click again on the thumbnail. Stupid. Just stupid.

I guess there's nothing left to do but provide you all with a picture or two...

TinRoof and I with The Expert and his wife in Chi-town at a Sox game.

Me and Seinfeld's puffy shirt. It's in the freaking Smithsonian.

P.S. I bought the newest Kurt Elling CD this weekend. It is absolutely ridiculous. If you like jazz - go buy it right now.

June 22, 2007

Mmm... beer

Homer no function beer well without.

I don't believe that I've mentioned in the Musings my recent project of brewing my own beer. I'm fairly excited about it but also nervous. It's been fun - in a dorky way - to learn about the brewing process and to watch as the yeast ferments the wort. It's like a science project in which you are encouraged to drink the final product! I'm looking forward to tasting something I've put so much effort and sweat into (figurative sweat). And yet I'm equally nervous. There are all sorts of opportunities for something to have gone wrong during the process, from sanitation to fermentation to carbonation. I just bottled the beer the other night and now must wait a week or two for it to carbonate and characterize. I'm planning to unveil it on the 4th of July. Perhaps it will taste of freedom. I'll be sure to post a picture of the finished product.

June 17, 2007

Gaza matters

I just read this Newsweek article regarding the recent events in the Gaza strip. As you all know, I'm not given to discussing politics or current events on this blog. But I found the article intriguing. Particularly the following:

By insisting on cure-all elections in countries and territories that had no institutions of justice and security, or a politically aware economic middle class, to sustain democracy, the Bush team clearly seems to have overreached.

This is something I have been thinking about for awhile. Especially after seeing the Ted Koppel special on Discovery Channel a few months ago. He poignantly pointed out that regardless of the outcome of things in Iraq, this global "war on terror" is likely to wage on for generations to come. Yet he also shone light on some encouraging work the military is doing in various parts of the world.

Preventing terrorism.

Delivering clean water and food and health care and education to communities that otherwise would have none of these things. These are areas of the world where America is still loved. They are cities and villages where terrorists will have little success breeding recruits. It seems to me that this is the kind of preparation and infrastructure that has to be in place before we can ever hope to "wage" democracy.

I feel kinda vulnerable just now, attempting to weigh in on the political realm. But go ahead, have at me.

June 12, 2007

I'm once again blind

I just returned from the eye "doctor" and my pupils have been dilated so I can barely read what I type. But I just wanted to blog some additional rage over this whole thing. I just paid nearly 100 dollars to someone to tell me that my prescription has in fact not changed in the past year. I tried to pry a decent explanation from her as to why the exam was necessary. She gave no reasonable excuse and then blamed state law. I say the state must be in the pocket of Big Eye-Ball. Still, it was nice of her to blind me (by dilating my pupils) before robbing me.

June 11, 2007

Be The Groove

As promised, here are a couple video clips from the Be The Groove gig I got to participate in while in Chicago last month. Enjoy.

Videos filmed by the lovely and talented TinRoof who graciously acted as a Be The Groove representative that evening. I believe Sameezy put it best when he said, "Dude, your girlfriend is awesome!"

June 07, 2007

Why I hate buy 1 get 1 free

Does anyone else hate it when a product you intend to purchase is buy 1 get 1 free? It drives me nuts. Why on earth can't they just make the product half off? Then I would not be forced to buy two loaves of bread when I only need one (for example). Whenever I come across a b1g1f, I have to spend several minutes deciding whether or not I want the second one.

Will I use it?
You might not. It could just go to waste.
Then again, it's "free" isn't it? I'd be a sucker if I left it here.
Not if you're just going to throw it away, you consumer whore.

My internal monologue is kinda mean.

June 05, 2007

Wake the - expletive deleted - up!

Since TinRoof is off in Italy with a friend, my evenings have been a bit quiet. So tonight I've decided to finally blog about our camping trip. I figure this way I won't be distracted by blogging whilst at work tomorrow.

Our caravan left Friday night from CVille around 7pm. The crew consisted of TR and I, Marina, Rojas and his roommates and ex-roommates. (Rojas is a friend from NU days - as well as former roommate of mine). The drive was supposed to take 2 and a half hours and bring us into West Virginia. All was going smoothly until shortly after we crossed the state line. About 5 or 10 miles into WV, we came upon a backup. As most people's cars were already turned off, we decided to stretch our legs and to investigate what the hold up was. The rumor going around was that a forest fire was blocking the road ahead. I'm still not sure that I buy this, but who knows. And yet, it was also impossible to tell how far the backup stretched as it was wound around the mountains. We decided to trek down and attempt to gain a visual. But on the way we ran into someone returning from a similar journey who advised we turn back as he'd walked at least a mile with no end to the backup in sight.

Finally we decide to turn the caravan around and attempt another route into WV. TinRoof, being a transportation guru, charted our course and our car led the charge. After heading East and crossing back into VA, then South for a bit, we once again drove West towards WV. A few miles from the border, the road began to narrow. Eventually the centerline ceased to exist. All the while the roadside vegetation grew taller and wilder. The road began to ascend up and around a mountain. Although I was admittedly nervous, I remained calm(ish). That is, until the road reduced to a single lane. Yet we pressed on. TinRoof remained confident the road would lead us to WV. Instead, it led us somewhere none of us expected. To a dead end at the top of a mountain. Not just any mountain either. We later discovered this was Reddish Knob. The 2nd highest peak in Virginia. Bear in mind it was around 11:30 at this point. So we did as you might expect. We set up camp.

After a cozy few hours by the fire, the collective decided to turn in. The sky was beautiful and the air was wonderfully cool so sleep came quickly. Unfortunately it was not meant to last. Not long after 5am we were awakened by the sound of a pickup driving up the mountain. After reaching the roundabout, its driver performed a few donuts. I assumed they too had gotten lost or perhaps were just coming up to quietly watch the sunrise. My assumption was shattered by thundering country music and the piercing screeches of several drunken teenage girls.

Woooooo hooooooo!
Wake the f*** up, mother-f***ers!!

I kid you not. Suddenly our entire campsite was awake. Well, except for Sam who inexplicably slept... nay, snored... through the entire ordeal. Now I must admit, the hick, er, gentleman's sound system was actually quite impressive. Terribly loud and crystal clear. And yet as song after song bellowed from the enormous truck (they never let a song play for more than a minute or two), I began plotting these youngsters' demise. The last straw was when they played Cotton-Eye Joe. If somehow it turns out that I have been wrong regarding my choice of religion, I imagine I will find Cotton Eye Joe playing in Hell for all eternity. However as I suggested to some of the other gents that we confront these fools, I was reminded of one key fact I'd forgotten. We were just miles from West Virginia, and these kids are drunk and blasting country music. It doesn't take a rocket scientist (which I am) to figure they probably have guns. So we decided to let them be. Thankfully for us, it was not too much later that they departed. According to one of the girls, she had to be home before 6am because "my daddy wakes up at 6".

In the morning we were greeted with a breathtaking 360 view. We enjoyed our breakfast and I unleashed some of my mad camping skills by introducing biscuits on a stick. (You cook biscuits over the fire on a 5/8th inch dowel rod. Then the biscuit shell is of perfect size to fit a campfire sausage into.) Finally, we packed up and made our way to Seneca Rocks, WV (via the original route which was now clear). The rest of the weekend was much more ideal. We climbed, swam, played catch, roasted anything that was edible, and whittled. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

TinRoof and I atop Reddish Knob. Not a bad view behind us considering we stumbled on it by accident.
Seneca Rocks. We hiked to the very top.

A couple of us checking out the peak.
The Rojas and I at the observation deck atop Seneca Rocks.