Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Uncongenial To Witches and Devils

"Once upon a time, according to tradition, there lived a German peasant whose wife was a witch, and the Devil invited them both to supper one fine evening. All the dishes lacked seasoning, and the peasant, in spite of his wife's remonstrances, kept asking for salt; and when after a while it was brought, he remarked with fervor, 'Thank God, here is salt at last,' whereupon the whole scene vanished."

Here's some salt to protect you this Halloween.

Story from Sacred Text.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Creepers are Weiners

(This entry may offend some. If you're the sensative type, skip this entry. If you read it anyway, no whining.)

When you're driving and stopping at a stop light there are always creepers. Those people who stop 20 feet away from the line or the person in front of them and then as the light continues to be red they slowly creep forward and stop. Then creep some more and stop.

This absolutely drives me nuts. So, to amuse myself when a creeper is near I have come up with a multipart theory.

A. Creepers were never taught how to stop at the desired location.

B. Creepers are too stupid to learn this skill.

C. Creepers think that by creeping forward the light will actually take less time therefore defying all logic.


D. Creepers are weiners. (No, I do not mean the ones weinerschniztle sells.)

I am hopeful that most creepers fall under category A, but I have my doubts about this since they see people who don't creep around them, and if they had a desire to learn they would do so.

B, in a fit of frustration I might think that this is true, but I have hope that people aren't really this dumb.

C, for creepers in this class, all I have to say is: Creeping has never, and will never make the light go faster. Just because you're creeping at the time the light changes does not mean the light changed because of you. It is simply the law of averages. If you scratched your butt at the light, eventually the light will change, but not because you scratched your butt.

D, Creepers are weiners who creep and look in their rear view mirror because they have a juvenile sense of humor (a.k.a. brain damage from sniffing glue) and think it is funny to watch people behind them also creep forward.

I say boycott creeping. If you are behind a creeper, you have my sympathy, but I do suggest a solution. Just don't do it. There is no law that says because the person in front of you creeps, that you have to follow.

And that grand canyon sized gap growing between your car and theirs, is usually less than 20 feet. When you press the gas pedal it will take only one second to cover that distance. Don't become a victim of a creeper.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Night Photography With a Twist

Last night I head out to take some pictures and I end up in the heart of a run down looking town. There are some cool old buildings, orange streetlamps, and back alleys, all of it perfect for a photo op.

I park on the side of the road and take a look around for a second before getting out. This place is abandoned. I haven't seen another car for ten minutes which raises my patented Dange'O'Meter to caution, but not high enough to get back in the car and leave.

As I'm standing out in the cold gathering up my camera gear this couple walks by and asks for a smoke. Unfortunately for them, I don't smoke, and apologize for my lack of tubularized tobacco. So while we're talking I give them the once over.

The woman's wearing Levi's with several holes in them not put there by the fashion industry and carrying a white crocheted blanket trying to keep warm. She's about 24 years old, looks a little like Morgan Webb from Xplay, but you can tell she hasn't lived the good life.

The guy's also wearing worn jeans and a dark blue hoody with holes in it. He appears to be a year or two older than her. Both of them are a long walk away from better times, so I feel sympathy for them.

They walk off looking for better cigarette hunting grounds and I start taking pictures. While clicking the shutter, I'm thinking that I should have given them some money, but I get distracted when the fuzz pull out of a back alley and stop to watch me as I stand in the center of the road to grab a shot. I don't think standing in the middle of the road is illegal, but you never know.

You would think police presence would drop the dial on the Dange'O'Meter but it has the opposite effect and clicks up to paranoid. It starts me thinking that if the authorities have to be around to keep the peace maybe this place wasn't so peaceful at one in the morning.

About this time, the couple comes wandering back down the sidewalk, and my conscience kicks in. I ask if they found a smoke. They had. We start talking a little about how times are hard and about photography, the whole time the cops are parked down the street watching.

I ask them if they need some money and they both protest, but their eyes are saying they haven't eaten anything but Ramen noodles in a long time, so I hand them a twenty hoping the long arm of the law isn't thinking they just got lucky and witnessed a drug deal. The couple thank me, and I say no problem. I've been in bad spots myself and know how some extra cash can make a difference.

About this time a tough guy comes out of a stairway from an apartment above a store right behind us. I notice the police are no longer lurking about, and the Dange'O'Meter is telling me it's time to pack it in.

So I put away my gear and say goodbye to the couple and drive home, grateful to get out of there before anything serious could go down and hoping the photos will turn out.

Ghost Town Graffiti

False advertising.
Sorry folks, been out of fuel for decades.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Laundry So Foul

A couple of days ago, I grabbed all of my work clothes and threw them in the washer and then watched some TV and went to bed. In the morning I realized that I'd forgotten to dry them and hurriedly put them in the dryer hoping I wouldn't be late to work.

I get to work a little late anyway, and sit at my desk and notice , Mary, who sits at the desk next to me, is running late as well. So I start working and after a few minutes I notice this stench coming from somewhere. The first place I check is the round file, suspecting some one's lunch from the day before is in there moldering, but the maintenance guy did his job and the only smell is a fresh plastic bag.

At this point, Mary comes in and I stop my search to say hi to her and then get back to work. Minutes later I notice the stench again and start looking around for the culprit. I want to ask Mary if she smells anything but I don't want her to think I'm talking about her, so I don't.

After sniffing around a bit, I realize the smell is following me, then I realize that it is me. It's my clothes! I knew I should have rewashed them!

So now, I start worrying, wondering if Mary can smell me. She's only a few feet away. She has to smell me. She's probably just being polite.

Maybe I should go home and change. But I washed all my work clothes, and that would take at least two hours to wash and dry everything again. Should I go home? Should I stay? Can Mary smell me?

Then She blows her nose. A spark goes off in my head.

"So, uh... do you have a cold or something?" I ask, trying to be nonchalant.

"Yeah, I can't breathe." Mary says.

"So, uh... you can't smell anything?" I ask.

"No, I can't smell anything." she says.

"Oh that sucks!" I reply.

Now if only I couldn't smell anything.

(Names have been changed to protect the guilty.)

Oh yeah, and my clothes did keep their date that night with the washer and dryer.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Forger vs. Gleaner

The idea is that people fall into one or the other categories.

Forgers like to come up with the big ideas and and then press on to new things not spending time to tweak it into perfection. If they are mining a hill for jewels they blow a hole in the ground grab all the big jewels and then move on to make another hole. They have the attitude of "I did it, it's done, now what's next?"

Whereas a gleaner like to sift through the ruble looking for the smallest jewel after all the big ones have been removed. They are happy to do the same thing over and over, finding new small ways to make it better and more efficient. They have the attitude of "Hey that was great, but I bet if I just changed this little thing it would be better. Let's do that again!"

I read about this theory, years ago, in Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson and its been sitting in the back of my mind for a while.

I've come to the conclusion that for the most part I'm a forger but I have a little gleaner in me. Basically I like to learn new things and can even do the same job for a while but if something new to learn or do doesn't come along, I become really depressed and frustrated and begin to look for a way out.

I wonder which category the majority of people would fall into?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pumpkin Face

Sunday, October 22, 2006

People + Dogs = Weird

I'm looking out my window and I see a minivan pull up and stop on the side of the road. A woman and small dog get out. The dog's on a leash and pulls the woman over to some grass to piss. Then two girls on bikes ride up and the dog tries to run over to them, the woman is clearly annoyed but goes with the dog anyway.

Then the dog starts jumping around going from girl to girl tangling its leash around the woman who keeps spinning and twisting to untangle herself. Finally after several minutes of this, she drags the dog back to the minivan where her husband is waiting in the drivers seat watching. She coaxes the dog into the van and it promptly sits on the husband's lap between him and the steering wheel. She gets in and they drive off.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fall Colors in the Canyon

Fall is my favorite time of year.
It's the time of contrasts when the whole earth puts on a show.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Minty Upchuck

I am not fond of mint. I can't pinpoint it exactly but there's something about its overpowering sharpness that I just can't stand.

Years ago I went on a quest to find a toothpaste that didn't have some form of mint in it. I went to supermarkets, department stores, ethnic stores and health stores, and I finally found a toothpaste I can take. I use Tom's of Maine fennel toothpaste, yes I know it sounds weird, but it gives your mouth the same fresh feeling without the burning of your gums.

Another thing I can't stand about mint is that everyone who chews mint gum thinks that their breath doesn't stink anymore. Well, your wrong. All the mint does is make your breath smell like your last meal mixed with saliva and mint.

And is it just me or does it seem that some people who chew mint gum start to breathe more heavily? Maybe I'm sensitive to it, but if you're chewing mint gum take it out before you talk. While you're speaking the only thing I can think about is your teeth mashing this stiff sticky substance together slowly mixing your spit into it to extract a flavor that makes me nauseous.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Danger! Art Ahead!

I see art in everything. A new car, rusting bolts sticking out of a concrete overpass, the movements of a body while dancing, all of it is art.

Defining art is like sticking our head in a bucket of rattlesnakes and guessing which one will strike first, even when you're right, you're wrong. But I will take the plunge and say everything is art. Everything a person can hear, see, smell, touch, taste, or sense is art. This can lead us to some pretty weird places (and gross places) but somewhere along the way it is art.

Now beauty on the other hand is a whole different ballpark. I will stick to art and hope beauty hitches a ride.