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Previous Notes

2008

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2007

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2006

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2005

December
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October

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July

June

May

April

March

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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
                    
        May 2008


 

May 29, 2008

Little Jack is dropping in for a visit

Ebony and ivory, live together on the back of Andy… Side by side in my animal’s ass hair, oh Lord, why don’t weee…

Oh, shit… I didn’t realize we were already on the air? How embarrassing. I hope everyone’s having a wonderful Thursday. It’s a beautiful, sunny day here in the Upper Perogie Belt, and I get to go to work in a little while! Yes, I couldn’t be more excited.

Last week they asked for volunteers to work on Thursday night. Usually it’s a day off for us, but the holiday on Monday threw everything into disarray. So, needless to say, I looked at my shoes and kept quiet until the moment passed.

But I was later informed I’m subject to
mandatory volunteerism, and I’ll be working
four to midnight . Put the beer nuts back in the cupboard…

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May 28, 2008

Tastes better than you wish it did

-- The veterinarian couldn't tell us what's wrong with Andy's constantly-bleeding foot. He thinks it's a sore between the pads, that keeps getting aggravated and ripped apart. But, he said, it could also be a couple of other things.

Hell, even I could come up with a diagnosis like that. And I dropped out of the West Virginia State College school of business, on account of half-assery.

But he gave us some antibiotics, charged us $100, and told us Blacklips needs to wear a special "booty" whenever he goes outside, which can be purchased at Petco or PetSmart (or is it PetsMart?). And that ridiculous thing cost $25.

So Andy's going to be walking around wearing one glove like Michael Jackson for the next few weeks. Hey, he's mostly black, but also white, so maybe it's not so inappropriate? I simply don't know.

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May 27, 2008

Review: McDonald's McSkillet Burrito

-- Aren’t you supposed to come out of holiday weekends feeling rested and refreshed? Yeah, that’s what I thought, as well…

I hope everyone had a good one. Ours was kinda jacked-up, but it ended on a high note, at least. Last night we cooked steaks on the grill, had a few Boddington’s, and finally got to relax for a little while.

And a small slice of satisfaction is better than none at all, right?

-- On Saturday I looked out the window at our back yard, and groaned. The grass needed tending-to, and the thought of shoving a vibrating box back and forth across that bitch, at a 45-degree angle, made me sick. I grumbled to Toney about it, and joked that I was going to hire someone to cut it for me.

And to my surprise, she said, “Why don’t you?”

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May 22, 2008

Fencing tournament at the nursing home!

-- A few days ago I heard Toney talking with the older Secret about the teachers he's had so far. They were critiquing them, saying this was a good one, that was a bad one, etc., etc. 

I was impressed. I probably couldn't have come up with any of his teachers' names, except the one from kindergarten. And the only reason I remember her is because she's a full-blown nutcase, and used the term "reamed out" during one of our parent/teacher conferences.

But Toney's incredibly involved, and has total recall of every miniscule event in our kids' lives. And that's all good; our boys have been blessed with an excellent mother.

While considering this, I eventually began thinking of my own teachers. And I realized that a full fifty percent of the ones from grade school were drunks. I'd never really broken it down like that before, and it's pretty shocking, really.

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May 20, 2008

The root of many of our problems

-- I work with a guy who says his father-in-law believes President Bush controls the weather. And he's dead serious about it. In fact, he reportedly makes personal plans based on what the Prez is doing.

A couple of weekends ago he went on some elaborate camping trip, because Bush's daughter was getting married and he knew the weather would be perfect. And it was!

About a month ago he and my co-worker were supposed to put a new roof on a garage. But the father-in-law canceled, because the President was going to be in the Middle East all weekend and he knew it would rain. And it rained!

Supposedly the guy's analysis of Bush's schedule, and how it will "affect the weather," is uncanny. He's almost never wrong, I'm told. And he's starting to make the people around him wonder if there might be something to his crackpot theories.

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May 19, 2008

A man gnawing on a length of timber

-- While we were driving to Cooperstown on Friday, Steve told me about something I find bizarre. He lives south of us, down in the middle of the state, and it's apparently a custom there for kids attending the prom to participate in an event called a "prom walk." Have you heard of this?

I guess the locals line a street near the prom location, many sitting in lawn chairs with coolers by their sides, and the attendees walk slowly through this gauntlet of the catastrophically bored. There's reportedly much discussion about the girls' dresses, the best and worst-dressed couples, etc., etc. It sounds like the Academy Awards, without all the celebrities, charisma, excitement, and style.

And it's not just parents and grandparents who go to these things, it's a huge, much-anticipated social event for the entire town. "Are you going to the prom walk this year?" is something people apparently say to each other, in all seriousness.

Man, I'd refuse to walk that line. I'd either stay home, or sneak in the back door, if I knew I'd be required to participate in a formally organized parade of douchery. It's bad enough to get all trussed up in a rented suit, and sweat straight into horrifying communal sweat-catching fabric. I don't think I could handle being part of a "show" as well.

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May 15, 2008

Handy scorecard for rating wives

-- Last night at work I sat with some kid during our “lunch” break ( 9 pm ), and found out some interesting things about him. He’s twenty, and will be working in my department until his college classes crank back up in late August. And apparently he was once a notorious computer hacker.

He told me he got into it in eighth grade, and eventually earned a name for himself in the shady hacker underground. He says there’s a tight-knit group of these people, who communicate via chat rooms not visible to anyone but the participants themselves.

And, he added, some of them are “scary and crazy,” with giant chips on their shoulders and various axes to grind. Accidentally offend one of them, he said, and your life can become a hell on earth. No matter how smart you happen to be, there are people there who are smarter, he told me. And they can inflict significant pain.

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May 14, 2008

42.9 cents per gallon in 1971

-- I work with a woman who apparently believes everybody knows who she knows. Are you familiar with this office type? She tells a lot of stories featuring "Keith" and "Nicole" and "Jimmy," and I have no idea who these people are. Her kids?  Her husband? You got me.

A few days ago she mentioned Keith, and I said, "Now who is he again?" And she said, "
My Keith."

What does this mean??

-- On Friday evening I was enlisted to make a salad to go with dinner, and I used it as an opportunity to drink beer. Yes, you read that correctly… I hollered upstairs to Toney, "Hey, if I'm gonna be chopping, I'm having a Sam Adams. Want one?"

See how I do that? Any deviation from the norm is an excuse for beer. And, now that I think about it, so is the norm itself. So I went down to the basement fridge, and brought us up two bottles of Summer Ale. And I commenced to making one of my world famous garden salads.

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May 13, 2008

The only kind of seafood I'll eat

-- I was sitting in Wendy's a few days ago, enjoying a #1 with cheese, no pickles, and a Coke, when a gang of rambunctious Brazilians came in.

I assume it was a large family traveling together, but what do I know about it, really? There were five or six adults, a couple in their forties, the rest younger. With them was a half-dozen or so kids, all under the age of six. And the kids were running wild without even
a hint of parental supervision.

But whatever. Children rampaging through a place of business isn't exactly a novelty anymore... I continued working on my lunch and flipping through the copy of
Rolling Stone I'd brought along, so as not to look like a serial killer (ironically enough).

And the next thing I know there's a little girl sitting across from me in the boof – eating my fries.

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May 12, 2008

Franchise opportunities available!

-- Last week I received an email from Netflix saying they'd sent me a copy of I Am Legend, and the next day something called P.S. I Love You arrived. What the hell's P.S. I Love You? I didn't know, and still don't. I'm a very busy man; I don't have time for jibber-jabber.

I went to the website and
I Am Legend was still at the top of my queue. But they were asking me to review it, since they'd just received the movie back from me(?!). What in the pop 'n' lock crap?

I was totally confused. They mailed it to me, but I received something else, and it's set to ship next, even though they already sent one, and I returned it, which I didn't. The whole thing made my brain hurt.

I clicked over to the customer service section of the site, expecting to be asked to compose an email explaining my problem, which would be promptly answered in 3 to 4 weeks. But I was given an actual telephone number, under which was written, "Current wait time: less than 1 minute."

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May 8, 2008

Not Just Another Bus Station Bench

-- I was flipping through my England notes earlier today (I'm dying to go back already…), and noticed a few stray stories I didn't tell in the big honkin' London extravaganza. So, I'm going to tell them to you now.

Hopefully enough time has passed that you're not all groaning in unison right now… I worry about England
fatigue, and turning into a travel-bore. Nobody likes a travel-bore.

Anyway, when we were touring the Churchill Cabinet Rooms, the youngest Secret had to find a pee-catcher. I asked a guy at the ticket counter where the "washroom" was located, and he halfheartedly pointed in a general direction.

We found it, and there were international symbols on the door apparently indicating it could be used only by water-headed men, titless women in hoop skirts, and/or sexless beings strapped to wheelchairs and staring straight ahead.

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May 6, 2008

See the details of Dwight's Chart

-- On Saturday we came home and there was a sheet of paper taped to our front door. It was from one of those outfits that douse your lawn in a cocktail of chemicals, to keep it forest-green and free of weeds, for an irresponsible amount of money every month.

Supposedly they’d taken the liberty of performing a “jr. analysis” of our lawn, and told us we have a problem with dandelions. Jr. analysis? That seemed like odd phrasing. But then I realized they must do the same thing for a fee, and have to differentiate between the two somehow. You know, so the suckers won’t feel bad.

Anyway, I looked at our lawn and didn’t see a single dandelion. What were they talking about? Is this thing pre-printed for every house in the neighborhood? I didn’t know, and didn’t really care. I wadded up the sheet and threw it in the trash.

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May 5, 2008

Sweetening the deal with crab meat

-- Last week I was perusing the massive Surf Report music library, in search of something I hadn’t played in a while. I finally settled on Wilco’s second album, Being There. And it sounded amazing.

The thing was in heavy rotation when it was originally released, and is one of my favorite Wilco albums, but I probably hadn’t heard it in a year. I’ve been preoccupied with their latest release, which is also great.

I was caught off-guard by the impact of hearing
Being There
last week. I mean, it’s not as if it’s unfamiliar to me. But I couldn’t stop listening to it, and talking about it to the family. Who, you know, couldn’t give even half a shit.

This event touched off a full-on frenzy. On Saturday I removed all music from my iPod, and replaced it with the entire Wilco catalog, including the live album and a bunch of bootlegged demos. Heck, I even included the freaky radio broadcast that inspired the title of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

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May 2, 2008

Color-coded rubberized wine handles

-- Today I had lunch at Wendy’s where I polished off a #1 with cheese, no pickles, and a Coke. And while I was standing at the condiment bar, collecting all necessary lunching equipment, this conversation took place between me and a woman cleaning tables in the dining room:

Wendy’s employee: Well, hello Joe!
Me: Hey there, how ya doing?
Wendy’s employee: Oh, can’t complain, can’t complain. How are those girls?
Me: Doing well. They’re growing up fast.
Wendy’s employee: Ha! You don’t need to tell me about it. My two are already up and out of the house.
Me: Amazing, isn’t it? 
Wendy’s employee: It sure is. …Well, I don’t want to hold up your lunch. Tell Linda I said hi.
Me: I’ll certainly do it. Take care.

Never saw her before in my life.

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