Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And Wagons, HO!

Well, I'm taking down my poll. Truth be told, I'm not happy with the polling capacity of Blogger overall ... as far as I can figure out, you can only put a poll on the whole blog (and make it appear at the top or bottom), and not be part of of individual post. Oh well. You get what you pay for.

The poll I posted, however, seemed to have some unintended consequences. It is gone. I'm not a big fan of pulling stuff that I've put on this blog, but this does seem to have something to do with the rest of my life. So I will say:

1) I regularly drive by the property in question, I have for years, and have thought that was goofy shit from day 1.

2) I researched (though admittedly my research involved the testimony of a single person, but whom I trust without question) the original ownership of the entire property, and nothing in my post was based on later individual development of any particular dwelling. The original title of my post used the word "planned" specifically for this reason.

3) To anyone who may have used my post to fan any flames: Fuck you. Seriously.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Dead Acorn Has The Floor

I made a little more progress yesterday on my never ending kitchen project (though if a timeline is infinite, how does one categorize activity as “progress?” Sure, something has gotten done that wasn’t done the day before, but who’s to say the final goal hasn’t surreptitiously moved even farther out, so that the net result, in terms of percent of project completed, isn’t actually a step backwards?).

In any case, I bought ceramic tile for the floor. During one of my brief, though numerous, daily on-line shopping trips through the aisles of Craigslist a couple of days ago, I stumbled upon an ad for 400 sq. feet of the stuff, for a shockingly low $.50 a tile! “Holy CARP!” I said to myself, taking a moment to chuckle at my verbal dylsexia. “I’d be a fool to sit here talking to myself about my good fortune rather than calling the phone number shown on the monitor! A DAMN fool, in fact!” So I called up, asked if I could take one piece just to make sure the color was okay (though at that price, it would pretty much have to be neon green with the NY Yankees logo etched in it to not be okay), called back that evening, and sealed the deal.

So yesterday, I drove Jane F’Honda (my new/used car, an ’85 Honda Civic, that is, like her namesake, old and smokin’) up the bench to pick the rest of it up. The seller was a woman about 5’4”, maybe 100 lbs., who looked at my ride with a sad shake of her head, climbed into her giant-ass diesel Ford 950 (or something) to move it, and told me to back into the garage to load ‘er up. That tile is dang heavy, and I figured out pretty quickly that it was going to take two trips. The loading got done pretty quickly, though, what with me lifting one and then taking a break while she carried four at once.

She also had a saddle in the garage. I’m not quite sure that that’s relevant, but somehow it seemed important, so I’ve included it here.

I guess I’ve got my weekend project now … ripping out the old floor. That seems like a fairly straightforward task, and shouldn’t take more than an hour, right? And while I haven’t actually done any tiling before, I have read several websites that have had conflicting information, so I’m pretty sure that whatever I end up doing, I’ll be able to put it up here as a “DIY How-To” post, and someone will take it as sound advice.

Finally, if there’s any question about why the hell I feel that this vacuous rambling is deserving of a post in the first place … the anti-inflammatory/muscle relaxant combo that I take for my aching back (after doing something like unloading two thousand lbs of tile) makes me a little loopy until at least noon the next day.

Seriously ... I’m wasted.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maybe If They Called Themselves The BenGUYS Instead Of The BenGALS ...

Overheard on the line of scrimmage during the Idaho State-Oklahoma football game last Saturday:

345 lb Ok. lineman: “We’re gonna fucking crush you. Fuck your Fiesta Bowl.”

238 lb ISU lineman: “Uh, dude, that wasn’t us. That was Boise State. We're Idaho State.”

OK lineman: “I’m gonna shove your fucking face into the turf so you can see what color grass is supposed to be!”

ISU lineman: “Seriously, dude, that’s Boise State … that’s not us.”

ISU lineman (to the teammate next to him): “Is this guy serious? Are they that stupid?”

(ball snaps)

ISU lineman (suddenly 3 yards back from where he was): “Unnnngggh … holy crap.”

OK lineman: “Reparations, blue boy!”

ISU lineman:DUDE! THAT! WASN’T! US! Look! Our uniforms are ORANGE! Plus, I don’t think ‘reparations’ means what you think it means. Maybe ‘Vengeance is OURS!’ or, if you want to go less biblical and more street-cred-y, ‘Payback, BEYOTCHES!’ would work better in this context.

OK lineman: “You know, I think you’re right. I should know that, too, as I just finished a term paper on the potential repercussions of acknowledgement by the Turks of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. I hope I didn’t tarnish the game by allowing such a lapse in lexical judgement. It’s just that I’m distracted by the fact that you used all those trick plays to beat us.”

ISU lineman (to himself): “Sweet Jeebus, I’ve never missed Pocatello more.”

ISU lineman (to OK lineman): “Wait’ll you see the Globe Of Death.”

In the end, bad officiating (ISU lost all five official reviews in the first half … home cookin’ much?) allowed the Sooners to squeak by, 64-0. The true essence of the game, however, is symbolized by Oklahoma’s inability to penetrate the Bengals’ defense on the opening drive, where they failed to score on 1st-and-one at the goal line. Moral victory, baby.

Moral victory.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Them Propane Tanks Ain't Gonna Blow ThemSELVES Up!

I’ve been something of a camping wuss this year. A (hypothetical) reader could replace the phrase “this year” with “this life” and not really diminish the veracity of that statement. In fact, one could delete both “camping” and “this year” and still have a generally accurate statement about me. Wholesale lifelong wussiness notwithstanding, however, if we focus solely on camping and consider a shorter term comparison (i.e., 2009 vs. 2008), then this year, indeed, has been one of relative wussocity.

One time? That’s all I could muster up? Why, I might as well turn in my L.L. Bean card! It certainly appears that my spring purchase of six cases of bear repellant, while admirably optimistic, may have been made in haste. Not to worry, though … that stuff can provide hours of entertainment at holiday parties:

Smokin' hot 6'2" slightly tipsy blonde: Hey Dead Acoooooorrrrrnnnn ... look who's under the mistletoe ... (erotically running her tongue across her upper teeth and growling seductively)

Dead Acorn (leaning in ever-so-slowly with just a hint of a suggestive half-smile, then blasting her in the face with bear spray moments before the impending kiss): HAHAHA WOO MERRY CHRISTMAS!! HAHA!

SH62STB (running blindly around the room smashing into walls): AAAGGHHH!!! IT BURNS!!! AAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!

I guess there’s a bit of time left before the more valid excuse of “Are you out of your fucking mind? It’s fucking FREEZING!” replaces mere wussitude as my primary reason for not heading into the woods. Maybe explicitly stating the goal of going camping on Oct. 2nd will light a fire under my ass to actually go, well, light a fire next to my ass (I have a process by which I determine my minimum allowed proximity to a fire based in large part on number of beers consumed. The actual formula is a bit beyond the scope of this post, but suffice it to say that I haven’t caught fire in some time). On the other hand, to think of posting said goal on this blog as “explicitly stating” it seems to fall into that realm of the “tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it” philosophical thingy. (By the way, the answer is "yes." Yes, it does make a sound, since sound is merely a vibration propagating through some medium. There’s no perception of that sound if there’s no one there to hear it. It’s kind of a stupid question. Damn philosophers.)

We’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll even take the hell-hound, though I’ll probably get busted for hunting without a license when she brings down a wolf (I'm sure there's another charge for the more likely scenario in which she befriends one and insists that we bring it home so that she can have a playmate). If I end up not going, though, I’m getting a label maker and changing all my propane equipment from Coleman to Colewuss.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just Take A Fall, Kid ...

Ah, sweet Autumn, and the joys it brings. The uncertainty as to how cold it can get before one's new used car won’t start. The very real and horrific possibility of a goddamned Yankees/goddamned Dodgers World Series. The now pre-dawn ride to work combined with the awareness that the greenbelt will soon be covered with slick, wet, fallen leaves, upon which a front tire will slide sideways as smoothly as an egg on Teflon*, leaving one whimpering in pain on the cold, hard asphalt, bleeding and aching in the dark; alone, so very alone …

Boy, some people just ain’t happy ‘less they’re bitchin’ …

* This has been another installment in my long-running series, "World's Worst Analogies."

Friday, September 4, 2009

In It To Win It

I had a chance to speak with U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick (R D, ID-1) a couple of weeks ago at a house-party fundraiser. While it was a relatively small group and an informal atmosphere, I knew that I wouldn’t have much time to converse, so I weighed my options with regard to topics carefully. The viability of wind turbines in Idaho? Nah, that’s more of a 2nd District issue. Construction of a new nuclear plant in SW Idaho? Nope … I occasionally lean toward the “nucular” after a beer or two, and, well, this wasn’t exactly a dry fundraiser.

“Hey!” I said to myself. “What about this whole ‘health care reform’ thingy? Seems like I’ve seen something on the news about that!”

At this point, the goings on were in the back yard, and I was in the front yard talking to the EMDAMOTLA and another friend who happens to be doing a bit of work for Minnick. Well, he came walking out front, chatting amicably with some folks, and I asked if he had a moment for a question. I’m telling you, Marion Jones had NOTHING on the speed at which those two sprinted to the backyard.

Anyway, the conversation went something like this*:

Dead Acorn: I was wondering if you could explain your opposition to a public option for health insurance, when it would provide some much needed competition to the private health care industry, which, by its very profit-driven nature, finds it advantageous to deny as many claims as possible?

Walt Minnick: (obviously noting that I was wearing cycling cleats and standing a few feet away from my bike) Well, it’s something like a bike shop, where there is healthy competition between private businesses …

At this point, my thoughts were “What the FUCK? Am I talking to Pat Paulson here, with his 'two cows' theories?"**

DA: I find that a bit insulting and condescending for you to compare the health care industry to a bike shop. I agree that it’s great that when I need a new tire I can shop around. But health care is something that deals in large part with extremely low probability, yet extremely catastrophic incidents. This is exactly the type of thing that should be treated as a society. Plus, in many, if not most, areas, the health insurance industry is essentially monopolistic.

Walt Minnick: Well, I disagree with that …

At this point, his aide/driver/handler had, with remarkable deftness, even for a young healthy-looking guy, approached and informed me that the Congressman needed to leave.

I did ask Minnick about where he stood on portability, denial based on preexisting conditions, and recission, and he did answer favorably, to his credit. (“Favorably” in this case means you’re not a total dick and want to deny someone cancer treatment because they went to a dermatologist for acne once and didn’t report it.)

His a/d/h took my email address and told me that he’d send me a message explaining Minnick’s stance. I haven’t received anything, so I guess that makes him … disingenuous. Yeah, I’ll go with disingenuous.

To the point:

It is with a “meh – no one else is going to step up” attitude great pleasure that I announce my candidacy for the Democratic Party Nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives (ID-1).

There is the obvious issue that I don’t actually live in District 1, but I think I’ve heard that that is not actually a requirement in Idaho. If it is, I may to crash on someone’s couch on the west side of Boise for a bit. In any case, I’ll need someone with election law experience on the campaign. I’ll also certainly need additional attorneys as well, including at least one trial-experienced defense attorney. And if someone knows about all the rules for getting on the ballot, let me know in comments. Do I have to legally change my name to get The Dead Acorn on the ballot, like Pro Life did? The Dead Acorn isn’t really a political statement, so maybe it’ll fly. Also, I should probably actually register as a Democrat.

On the issues:

Fiscal/Budget: I believe in Fiscally Appropriate and Responsible Taxation and Spending. Yes, I’ll be running on FARTS. Minnick, like all others who preach that “when you personally are low on money, you stop spending, right?”, does not understand macroeconomics. Neither do I, but I do know that there’s a difference between that and the microeconomics that affect our day-to-day lives. I will not say “I will not raise taxes,” because I want to see the marginal tax rate bumped back up to the levels of the 1950s, that wonderful time to which conservatives yearn to return. Oh, I’ll take ‘em back, alright. 70% on anything over 10 million, minimum. Plus, I’ll try to explain what “marginal tax rate” means, and why a progressive income tax is a good and moral thing.

Health Care: Single payer, bitches. I will never say that The United States Has The Best Health Care System In The World until it does. I look forward to the debates, during which I will get to say “ummm … by what metrics, Walt?”

Environment: I kind of dig the environment. Well, I occasionally dig the environment in front of my house to get rid of weeds (okay, rarely). But I like having a coolo place like Idaho to hunt/fish/camp/bike and all that. That’s fairly non-controversial, I imagine. But no gold-mining up above the Boise River, ‘kay? I would also like to encourage people to do stupid things that could lead to bodily harm to express their views:

Above: Obviously over-served at Alive After Five. Thanks to The Beanery for having a spare sheet of blank paper and some tape.

Let’s see, what else?

Oh yeah … beer in all the drinking fountains!

* Subject matter is pretty accurate, but this ain't no transcript. I'm pretty sure I used the words "condescending", "insulting", and "catastrophic", though. Without slurring.

** If you get this reference, you're too old to be reading this stupid blog. You should be out enjoying the twilight of your life.