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2007

September
August
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June

May

April

March

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January

2006

December
November
October
 
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June

May

April

March

February

January

2005

December
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October

September

August

July

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May

April

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January


You don't understand. I'm a mysterious loner, not lonely.

2004

December
November
October

September

August
July

June

May

April

March

February

January


A bowl of corn, motherfuckers!

2003

December
November
October

September

August

July
June
May

April

March

February
January


Is that man-ass I smell?

2002

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


I'm loaded with tumors darling, and I don't even know it.

2001

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2000

December
November
October

The View From Down Here
                     
  October 2007

 


October 31, 2007

Rocking it urban incognito

-- Toney isn’t working today, and she’s given me a deadline for completion of this update. We have some things to do this afternoon, and it’s all gonna start at Red Robin. Oh yeah. The Secrets don’t like that place for some reason, so we can only go when they’re in school. Like today.

So… if this one’s a little more disjointed and crappy than usual, it’s only because Hamburger Zero Hour is approaching, and I’m preparing to unlatch my jaw.

Pass the grease dauber.

-- Today’s Halloween, in case you didn’t know, and once again I’m going as a cynical, snarky suburbanite with a mixed drink in his hand. It’s my favorite disguise! 

Of course, I’m still on high-alert for an animal skeleton costume, with no luck so far. Oh, there’s plenty of human skeletal remains costumes available for purchase, but not a single donkey skeleton, or cow skeleton, or anything of the sort. Wotta rip-off. I just want to dress up as a fully-decomposed head of livestock, or something. Is that so unusual?

Continue reading here  


October 30, 2007

Number of inhabitants per doctor

-- I’m sure most of you are aware of this by now, but Blitz Krieg didn’t make it through his ordeal; he reportedly passed away on Sunday evening. I only knew him through our websites, via email, etc., but it’s clear he was a smart, funny, and decent guy. This news makes me almost literally sick. I offer sincere condolences to his family and friends, and don’t really know what else to say… Here, again, is the link to his journal.

-- On Sunday I did as I was told, and called a telephone number printed on a piece of paper that arrived in our mailbox, to find out if I was required to report for jury duty the following morning. Toney had been through this several times, and when she called the mystery number a recording always told her she didn’t need to show up.

So, that’s what I was expecting. But it’s not what I got. No, my recording was a bitch. She ordered me there, in slightly threatening tones, and insinuated I’d better be on time. 

I had flashbacks of the One O’clock Ballbuster.

I didn’t care for the pre-recorded attitude, and was irritated by the disruption this would surely bring to my life of half-assery. I mean, I’d probably have to wriggle into fancy-pants, and everything… What a pain in the exit ramp.

Continue reading here  


October 29, 2007

Always straight, never curved

-- Believe it or not, I’ve been ordered to downtown Scranton this morning, to dole out a little Surf Report justice. I don’t have the summons right in front of me, but I believe that’s literally what it says, Surf Report justice.

Remember how I was excited about the prospect of serving on a jury, and all that happy crapola? Well, now that I’m one step closer, excited isn’t the word I’d use. Irritated might be closer to the truth. And grrrrr would probably fit in there somewhere, as well. Is grrrrr a word?

In any case, I’m going to do my duty, show up with a Dean Koontz novel, and sit in the corner waiting for something to happen. As required by law. Hopefully all will be back to normal by tomorrow.

Luckily for me and for you, I’ve got TWO new columns today from guys we haven’t heard from in a while. I think you’re going to enjoy them.

But before we get to that, I have a bit of bad news. One of our own, Surf Reporter Blitz Krieg, is in the hospital and not doing very well. Brenda made me aware of the situation last night, and here’s part of her note:

Just a heads up here. One of your regular posters, "Blitz Krieg", is critically ill. It’s the freakiest thing, he had a small eye injury, no big deal. But then he caught that staph infection that everyone is talking about. The infection has raged out of control and they had to remove his eye. Now things don't sound very good at all.

This is a link to Blitz’s journal (he’s now going by the name Dr. Syn), and you can read the posts describing this terrifying turn of events, starting on October 9. His wife is now updating the site. Please feel free to leave words of encouragement for her, Blitz, and their daughter and son. Maybe together we can will a positive outcome, and better days.

Now I’m going to turn TheWVSR over to the able hands of lakrfool, and our old friend Chris, AKA The Angry White Guy.

And I’ll be back as soon as possible.


October 26. 2007

Chapter sixteen: yard eclairs

-- I have to call in on Sunday, to see if I’m required to report for jury duty the following morning. It’s exciting! The only time I’ve ever been summoned, was for Los Angeles County – after we’d already moved to Scranton . So this could be a new experience for me.

But I have a feeling they’re going to tell me to forget about it. Toney’s been through this several times, and when she calls the number they almost always pull the plug on the deal. 

I’m going to be disappointed if that happens, I really am. I want to go through an entire trial. Not a lengthy one, mind you. But I’d like to live through the process from start to finish. Is that nuts?

Of course, even if they call me in, I’ll never survive jury selection. God knows I wouldn’t want somebody like me sitting in judgment of me. Ya know? Hell, I might try to send someone to the gas chamber because they blink too much, or wear a pinkie ring, or some such infraction.

I mean, I can only take so much.

Continue reading here  


October 25, 2007

Chapter thirteen: fecal fondue

-- I made my very first iTunes purchase earlier in the week, and I’m excited about it. Yes, I know it’s 2007. What of it?

There’s an article in the new Rolling Stone, you see, about how music labels are beginning to make out-of-print albums available as digital downloads. It’s a cash cow for them, because there’s almost no monetary investment. They own the rights to the music already, and don’t have to do any manufacturing, or warehousing, or handling of product. It’s just pure profit, and plenty of people enjoy pure profit.

I liked the idea for a different reason, and logged onto the iTunes store prepared to go on an Easter egg hunt. I carry around a mental Rolodex of rare CDs I’m always looking for (doesn’t everyone?), and gave that search box a workout.

Yeah, but I didn’t find much. Maybe it’s still too early in the game? I don’t know, but I had to go pretty deep into my list before I came across an actual out-of-print CD that I wanted, available at iTunes. It was 2x4 by Guadalcanal Diary, and was priced at $14.99. And I didn’t want it that much.

Continue reading here  


October 24, 2007

Another deer hunter with a DUI

-- Toney and I wandered into a store on Saturday, a joint I’d never previously set foot in. It’s one of those places some folks insist on describing as “funky.” Which goes a long way to explaining why I’d never been there before...

Up front was a newsstand filled with Communist periodicals, and pretentiously elevated café tables surrounded by assholes wearing half-glasses way out on the ends of their noses, sipping cups of tea without ever utilizing the little handle loops.

I made a cursory glance into that section of the store, and found myself doing a classic double-take. Because, in addition to the tweed pseudo-intellectuals sitting way up high, there were two women laid-out flat on chaise lounges. 

Both were covered by down comforters, pulled all the way up to their chins. And seated at the bottom of each, was another woman – rubbing oils into and kneading the feet of the chicks beneath the blankets.

WTF? What kind of coffee shop is this?! That sort of thing almost never happens at Denny’s.

Continue reading here  


October 23, 2007

Oh, and he's going to judge us?

-- Yesterday turned out to be a real cluster-copulation, and I apologize for the lack of an update; I was, as they say, otherwise occupied. But I’m back in the Husky-Man saddle today, so let’s get right to it. Shall we?

-- For the second time in two weeks I laughed so hard during the opening minutes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Sunday night, I had tears streaming down my face. I think it might very well be the funniest show on television.

Last week’s episode featured a bowling ball-shaped woman who lived with her family in a house that recently played host to a flood, a fire, and “looting.” (These were reportedly unrelated incidents.) Yes, it was a complete shithole, with dirty clothes all over the place, in great piles that nearly reached the framed paintings of jungle cats hanging on the walls.

When that hollerin’ bullhorn man showed up on their front lawn, and started hollerin’ into a bullhorn, the woman’s kids came blasting forth. One skinny teenaged girl exploded through the screen door, and went airborne off the porch. Her pipe cleaner legs were turning circles in the air, like she was racing an invisible bicycle.

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October 19, 2007

Our third ever caption contest!

-- When I was fifteen or so, my Dad bought me an electric razor. This, of course, embarrassed me, because it was an acknowledgment of things I didn’t want to talk about. Especially with my parents. You know, like hair growing in new places...   

As mentioned before, I believe I came very close to dying of puberty, and was horrified enough with the daily developments, the almost wholesale betrayal of my body. I didn’t need people walking up and handing me electric “grooming” devices. I really didn’t. 

I’m sure I cycled through the full spectrum of red-based colors that day, mumbled a weak thanks down the neck of my heat transfer
Styx shirt, and got the hell out of there.

Continue reading here  


October 17, 2007

Yaaaaaaaay... team!

-- Speaking of lunch… why do kids always want to go to McDonald’s? 

Sometimes I’m put in charge of providing an evening meal for the Secrets, and always think: Hmmm, I guess I could make a nice salad, grill some chicken breasts, and maybe cook up a little rice and a vegetable as a side… 

Then I come to my senses and say, “Pick a restaurant, somewhere cheap.”

And whenever I add somewhere cheap, which is code for fast food, they always want to go to McDonald’s. Every single time. What’s that place’s hold over children? What’s the attraction? My kids are too old for Happy Meals, and that kind of bullshit, they just seem to genuinely like the food. And I don’t understand it.

Oh, I have no major problem with McDonald’s. I mean, it beats the crap out of Burger King. Burger Kings are always brown and dingy, and populated by people (on both sides of the counter) who have very likely appeared on the Smoking Gun. At least you don’t usually fear a liver-stabbing at a McDonald’s, and their fries are good.

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October 16, 2007

What the hell is a Hermes?

-- The other day I was thinking about the pre-microwave era, and what we used to eat for lunch back then. A lot of sandwiches, I guess. But what about when we wanted something hot?

As mentioned before, I’ve never lived in a house with a toaster oven. So I was basically confined to the stovetop, or the full-blown oven. And mister, that’s almost like real cooking… 

I remember lots of terrible frozen pizzas. Back when I was a youngling there was no DiGiorno, or anything fancy like that. No, these things were about three for a dollar, and tasted like corrugated fiberboard. It was literally just something to drop down your neck, and keep your stomach busy for a while.

And there was some sort of “meat product” called Steak-Ums, which was frozen “beef” in the style of
Philadelphia cheesesteak. Steak-Ums always looked good on TV commercials, and in my imagination, but was disappointing in real life. I experimented with the stuff for a while, and it just never lived up to its potential. It was like eating cheese-smothered shoe-tongues.

Continue reading here  


October 15, 2007

OK, ready? ...Holy crap!

-- I played nine holes of golf on Saturday. No, seriously; I’m not joking.

The younger Secret is interested in it for some reason, so we bought him a cheap set of clubs a couple of months back, and Toney signed him up for kiddie klasses at a local course. I also bought a driver at a flea market (which turned out to be a lady’s driver – I think it’s a Sandra Bullock model), and we’ve been to the driving range a few times.

But, as these things usually go, he needs more, more, more. He’s been working on Toney, telling her he wants to play real golf on a real course with his Dad. And at that point there was nothing left to do...

So on Saturday morning I called a place not too far from here, and asked them how busy they were. The woman said the season is basically over, and there were only three people currently on the course. 

Sounded good to me! My biggest concern, you see, was getting out there and having a group of fancy-ass tucked- shirt assholes breathing down our necks the whole time, with their $10,000 sets of clubs and constantly beeping PDAs. “The season is basically over” was music to my ears.

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October 12, 2007

A slight miscalculation

-- I knew a guy in Atlanta who was really into bowling. Oh, he wasn’t just an enthusiastic member of a team, who looked forward to Tuesday league night, and that sort of thing. No, I mean he was really into it.

In fact, you know those racks they have in bowling alleys, to hold the balls? The ones that generally line the wood paneled walls? Well, he had one in his van. The thing was always loaded up, and was customized so the balls couldn’t escape while he drove. 

At any given moment, he might be riding around the Atlanta
metro area with 25 professional-grade bowling balls in his vehicle. And those were just the ones in current rotation... He had lots more at home.

I mean, this guy loved bowling like the Chinese love lead.

Continue reading here  


October 10, 2007

I'm not comfortable being 15th

-- Yesterday evening a semi-hellacious thunderstorm rolled through here, and once all the flashing and banging was over, it felt like the temperature had fallen a full twenty degrees. Man, I love that… It’s been way too hot for far too long; a person can’t even dream of Bourbon Season in that kind of weather. 

But according to this, the high on Friday is only going to be 56. And that’s more like it; that’ll feel almost like seal-crackin’ time.

-- I mentioned yesterday that I was craving a club sandwich. I can’t explain it, I can only report the facts… So after I finished with the update, and did a few low-grade household chores, I went to a nearby diner and took a seat at the counter.

In the past I’d had what I remembered as an especially good club sandwich at this place, and was looking forward to fully submitting to another one. I told the almost-unfriendly waitress what I wanted, and relaxed while the cook stacked it up.

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October 9, 2007

Four-year degree preferred

-- During my entire Dunbar Elementary/Jr. High School/High School career I never owned a backpack. In fact, I don’t think anybody did. I’m sure I’d remember mocking them if such a person had existed… 

So how’d we make it through?

‘Cause backpacks are oh-so-important to kids nowadays. Both Secrets have had several since they started kindergarten, and as far as I know they’ve all been
Land’s End , or LL Bean, or one of those fancy-ass deals. Always, I think, with their initials sewn into them. I mean, seriously…

In case you couldn’t guess, Toney takes care of all that. I just bitch about the price. And I also question why it seems like we’re always buying the things, especially since the ones she chooses are supposed to be of the highest quality, etc. Why so many backpacks?! We’ve got backpacks coming out our buttcracks.

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October 8, 2007

Temporary & intermittent highwaters

-- Do teenagers still attend midnight movies? It’s a question I cannot answer. I’m out of the loop, since I have no teenagers and never listen to the radio anymore. But I suspect it’s a thing of the past, a 1980s throwback, like the Pink Floyd laser spectacular and Freshen-Up gum. Am I wrong?

The most famous of all
midnight movies, of course, is the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I saw that steaming pile at least twice, once in the middle of full-on theater anarchy, then again after they’d clamped-down on all the fun. And believe me, it’s only bearable if you can throw shit.

We watched it in one of the old free-standing, now long-gone, theaters in Charleston
. The Kearse, or the Capitol, or the Plaza; one of those three. And the first time we went vendors were actually selling throwables in the lobby. You could buy bags of rice, and stacks of toast, and other stuff I can’t now remember.

Being newbies we walked right past these people, and entered the theater itself. And it was an incredible sight to behold. The movie hadn’t even started yet, and people were standing on chairs, and hurling stuff at each other. I thought I saw an armrest sail across the room, in a high, lazy arc.

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October 5, 2007

S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. Night!

-- I’m enjoying the new Bruce Springsteen CD. It’s full of great songs, has the classic feel, and is just about everything a fan could hope for. 

The challenge, however, is to stay away from interviews with Bruce, and any press coverage beyond reviews of the album itself. Because it’s all politics now, and doom and gloom, and conspiracy theories, and kookism… And I can’t have that. 

He’s like some guy in a McDonald’s at this point, full of rage and willing to tell anyone about it. And if nobody will listen, well, he’ll just speak truth to ketchup packets.

So I’m trying to appreciate the stuff that made me a Springsteen fan in the first place, and ignore everything else. Sure, it’s hard work. But it’s worth it, I think. At least in this case.

What’ll be harder to take is when President Hillary is sworn-in, and continues many of the same things Bush has been doing. Then suddenly it’ll all be justified in the minds of great political scientists like Bruce Springsteen. Somehow it will become a necessary evil, and evidence of a strong leader making difficult choices during trying times.

But I guess we’ll cross that E Street Bridge when we get to it...

Continue reading here  


October 4, 2007

An urgent message from Batman

-- How come nobody worries about the sun going out? I don’t believe that idea gets its due, I really don’t. It seems like everybody in the world is worrying about something. Except, of course, the people who have a reason to worry… those folks seem to be just as happy as shit. 

No, it’s the affluent and secure who invent things to wring their hands about. You know, like Americans and Canadians and Europeans. When times are good we get extra-creative and come up with stuff like Restless Leg Syndrome, and begin slathering our children in a thick coat of mayonnaise before allowing them to go outside for a vigorous fifteen minute session of adult-supervised non-competitive roll dodgeball.

And we’re always hearing (usually at Fark) about strange little beady-eyed freaks with hilarious irrational fears, men who are terrified to leave their houses because they’re convinced they’ll be attacked by a gang of lesbian dwarves, and that sort of thing.

But nobody ever talks about the sun going out, I never even hear it mentioned. And I believe it’s high time we change all that.

Because it could happen, you know.

Continue reading here 

  


October 3, 2007

Iran air attack underway!!

-- Sorry this one’s even later than normal, but I was having “opportunities” with my computer this morning. The mysterious error message I received when I turned the bastard on was the first opportunity, and when it began moving slower than a fat woman in the sandwich spread aisle of Wal-Mart, that was the second one. Grrrr…

I ran a Spybot scan, and it found several scary things, then struggled to “fix” them. I was instructed to reboot on multiple occasions, and it’s still not quite right. I think I might’ve picked up the malicious Tayback virus.

So I’m typing this at the library, while a big honkin’ AVG full-system scan is underway on my home machine. 

Just so you know… there’s a baby making continuous uhhhh-uh noises to my left, a college-age hair gel hipster sitting behind me swigging bottled water and breathing straight through his nostrils, and somebody stapling at the front desk like they’re entered in a winner-takes-all stapling contest.

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October 1, 2007

Worst Chuck E. Cheese ever

-- What did you do this weekend? Anything fun? 

We went to two soccer games on Saturday, during one of which the youngest Secret kicked a powerful goal, I let out some kind of involuntary wild-Indian yell, and received dirty looks from the parents of the goalie.

Following the older Secret’s game everyone was invited to “follow the trail through the woods” (WTF??) and have lunch at the house of one his teammates. Man, I can’t tell you how much I wanted to skip that particular social obligation, but Toney insisted we go. It will look bad if we don’t, she said.

So we walked through the woods, and immediately I thought I could feel a tick preparing to get down to some crack-snackin’. Apparently it was just my imagination though, because I did a quick sweep and it was all-clear.

When we came out of the trees we were in these peoples’ back yard, and they had quite a spread waiting for us. Various chips and dips, and hotdogs, and a big cooler full of sodas… They’d invested some money in that deal, and I wondered what drives a person to do such a thing. It would never cross my mind, in 10,000 years.

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