Saturday, July 30, 2005

Because I don't feel like thinking right now...

I'm feeling a bit lazy -- nothing new there -- so this is my post... How did you score?

You scored as Severus Snape. Well you're a tricky one aren't you? Nobody quite has you figured out and you'd probably prefer it stayed that way. That said you are a formidable force by anyone's reckoning, but there is certainly more to you than a frosty exterior and a bitter temper.

Severus Snape


Remus Lupin


Albus Dumbledore


Hermione Granger


Sirius Black


Harry Potter


Ginny Weasley


Ron Weasley


Draco Malfoy


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

If I suddnenly disappear...

Something you probably don't want to see on your site log is a visit from the Treasury Department...

27/07/2005 13:03:17 MS Internet Explorer 6 Windows 2000

If you do see it, you probably want to hope that it's just someone randomly traipsing through or that maybe someone you know is doing some work for the government. Just in case, I think I'm going to move to Peru. Nice knowing you guys...

The West and the Midwest...worlds apart

I was talking to my friend Stephanie yesterday and it got me thinking. She grew up around the mountains of Bavaria and now she's living in northern Germany with no mountains in sight. There's a different mentality up north she said. Things are wilder in the mountains. It's the same here in the States...

The road through the Santiam Pass in Oregon takes you briefly above the trees. There are peaks off to the left and to the right -- rocky behemoths wrenching their hulks skyward. The only signs along the road to narrate this majestic journey are several that simply say things like 'Three Fingered Jack' and point to the peak in question.

Here in Wisconsin there are many signs pointing out things. It feels like an attempt to create something interesting out of rolling hills.

Look! It's a hill... a really neat hill... um... and a German guy settled here a long time ago and built a farm... a really neat farm...

You don't get that so much out west.

And say you want to go camping with some friends. When I was in Oregon, that usually meant loading up a Jeep and driving into the Forest, stopping and then walking up a path. If there was no one around, that was where we camped. Here in Wisconsin it means hopping in a car, pulling into a campground, getting an assigned little square of ground and camping there twenty feet from the next group...

Here there is likely to be a sign every half a mile guiding the way to a genuine 100-year-old covered bridge. Out in Oregon someone might tell you how to find some 500-year-old Indian petraglyphs by shimmying along a ledge and around a boulder above the river 30 feet below.

There's nothing wrong with the Midwest really... there's just nothing here to knock your socks off. The spectacular is missing and it shows in the people here. In a way, we all reflect our environment a bit.

I'm not sure where I was going with all this; I guess it's just some things I was noticing...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Go figure...

Last night we had crazy-ass thunderstorms... We got the severe t-storm warning and everything. Then, as I'm watching TV, we got a tornado warning. But instead of it being from the national weather blah blah blah, it was from the police department.

Well, this sucks I'm thinking... I don't have a basement or anything so I guess I'm sort of screwed if I ever get hit by a tornado. So, I go around to open my blinds a bit figuring that if I'm going to get Dorothied, I want to at least see it coming. I looked outside to see my certain doom and found that the weather was actually clearing up.

Another day in paradise. Give me earthquakes any day.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Chris LeDoux

It's strange how some things can effect you. When I used to cover rodeo a few years back, I got into listening to Chris LeDoux. His music tapped into the spirit of the people in the sport and always got me fired up for a weekend of dust, dirt and "cowboy up" calls.

Whether I was cresting the last hill before pulling into Pendleton for the wild times of the Pendleton Round Up, knocking off the last long miles to Yakima for the Circuit Finals, or just rolling up to "The Biggest Little Show in the West" in Sisters... one constant was Chris LeDoux blasting on my stereo. It was always a good feeling when I pulled up to the back gate that served as the competitors' entrance in my battered, once-red Chevy pickup and got a knowing nod from the gate guard when he heard "Hooked On An Eight Second Ride" and caught a glimpse of my PRCA sticker in the window.

It's not only the rough-and-tumble rodeo songs that bring back memories either. Chris LeDoux's sappy songs still make me long for the innocent, yet heartfelt, romance he talks about in them. "Look At You Girl" and "County Fair" still take me back and remind of the way I used to feel back then...

Back in January of 1997, I finally got to see Chris LeDoux in concert. He played at a small arena in Prineville, Oregon. What better way to see a cowboy rocker than standing in the middle of a rodeo arena. I was with Michelle, a girl that I had dragged away from season tickets for the Portland Symphony straight to the grit of the rodeo world. She loved it, and so did I. The concert didn't disappoint. Chris rocked and crooned and rode a machanical bull on stage while singing... Stepping out into the cold, high-desert air afterwards we were sweaty and smiling. What more can you ask for?

I've been burning CDs to my computer and smiled when I came across my dust-covered Chris LeDoux discs. Just like that, the memories were all there.

Last night, I was talking to a friend and asked him if he liked Chris LeDoux. As we talked, he said that he thought he had heard that Chris LeDoux had died recently. I looked it up on the 'net and found it was true. Chris LeDoux died back in March of this year. I didn't know him, but I welled up with tears anyway. For me, he was a quiet hero, but a hero after all and now I'm sad that he's gone. Where ever you are now... thank you Chris LeDoux.

Have you ever...

Have you ever picked your nose? Admit it, you know you have at least a couple of times. Rare is the man (or woman to be fair) who has never been known to put finger to nostril...

Now that we're agreed that most of us have dug for nuggets at least once or twice, what would it take for you to take it up notch and do it in public? I'm guessing it would probably take a lot of coaxing or perhaps a drunken bet. Am I right?

Anyway, these thoughts and questions paraded through my brain as I observed the guy in the car next to me dig his finger deep into his nose. I watched in wonder, not caring if the light ever changed greeen so deep was my fascination. He pulled said finger out and gave it a glance and then went right back in. It was truly amazing how blissfully unaware this man was... and how dedicated to the task at hand he was.

Alas, I don't know if he was ever rewarded with paydirt because the light changed and I continued on for more exciting adventures at Wal-Mart.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

This made me smile...

I found a cool link on Laura's blog and it made me smile. I figured things that make me smile are numbered considering the direction this country is headed...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Tour de Lance... again

Lance Armstrong is awesome. No really, he's a Texas-sized stud. Barring the world blowing up tonight, he will ride into Paris tomorrow to win his seventh -- uh, that's seventh straight -- Tour de France.

And he's stepping out at the top of his game. How many athletes do that? Not enough, that's for sure...

And he's been dating Sheryl Crow for a long time now.

And his foundation has raised an ass-load of money to fight cancer by selling little yellow wristbands on the Internet... frickin' brilliant!

So, on the off chance that maybe some day Lance Armstrong might be sitting at home Googling his name and end up here*...

Thanks Lance.

You could have given up a long time ago, but you didn't. You could have been a schmuck, but you weren't. You've shown that you can be tough and have class at the same time. And you've done good things with your time in the spotlight and that's pretty cool.

Oh yeah, you also didn't piss me off and date Katie Holmes like that prick Tom Cruise.

*Don't laugh, it could happen.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


***Warning! May contain nudity and adult language.***

Earlier today it rained pretty hard for a bit... it turned out to be about a half an inch by the time the clouds rolled off. This being Wisconsin though, the break was only temporary.

In the late afternoon another chunk o' rain came calling. It dumped. It was pretty neat to look out and see it coming down like a shower. I went outside on my deck and was drenched in a few short moments. It felt good to get rained on. I peeled off my shirt and may or may not have peeled off other items...

I stopped short of dancing around in the downpour like a Pagan worshiping the gods of rain -- this is a family show after all -- but the world was filled with wonder for awhile. The only downside to all this is that if you stand in the rain getting drenched... well, you'll be drenched when you come back in. I dripped across a couple of 1950s Afghan Baluch wool rugs in search of a towel, but I sensed that they didn't mind too much.

Writing this reminds me of a time out in Bend, Oregon when a really dynamic thunderstorm came blasting across the high desert creating a wild lightening display. Usually the cells would stay out east and remain in place for a good amount of time, but this one blew in towards town and sort of split up around the edges of the city. It was amazing... lightning all around but none overhead.

I jumped into my car and drove to Pilot Butte, a big ol' hill in the center of Bend. I knew it would be the perfect place to go to watch because you could drive up to the top and park. When I got there it seemed like half the town had the same idea. It was wild party on top of this big round butte, everyone just watching in wonder and smelling the ozone being blown in the air. The wind kicked up and the storm closed in with a sudden stop of the lightning and the start of a downpour.

Maybe we're too insulated nowadays, but it seems rare to be moved by a simple display of nature. Lucky me, I had one of those moments today.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Poof... it's done

I tried to go slow... but then my inner reader decided to sprint to the finish. I finished yesterday. So, that's another Harry Porter down and just think it will only be another 47 years until the next one...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

You're a wizard 'Arry

All the cute girls in West Bend are reading the new Harry Potter book.

I decided to not fight the ransacking hordes and waited until yesterday to get mine. While I was paying for it, one of the cutest girls in WB bopped into line by me, clutching HP close to her well-formed breast. She presented a comely figure. Thank you world for that small, beautiful moment.

I only put in 100 pages yesterday. Last book I plowed through and it was over too fast. This one I'm forcing myself to savor. It's not easy to do... I so want to plow though.

So, after catching the end of today's Tour de France stage, I'm now ready to head outside to my deck to slurp coffee and do some savoring...

p.s. -- Props to Eileen who claims to be a slow reader, but who bombed through her HP already.

p.p.s -- Am I the only one who finds this to be a weird cultural phenomenon? Half of America reading the same book in a giant readathon?! Definitely odd!

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Don't you hate it when you haven't really been out in the sun as much as usual and you think to yourself, "Self, today we shall sit out, read a bit of our book and get some sun..." You, of course, agree with yourself and proceed to sit outside and read your book. Much to your chagrine it is overcast out. While you know that you are actually catching rays, it doesn't seem like it so you sit out there longer than you should.

I think we all know the end of this story...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ummm... not much here...

A few thoughts...

Wow, it's going to be hot today. Miraculously, I remembered to take out the garbage this morning after forgetting last night even though I reminded myself 40 times. In doing so, I realized that it was already starting to get hot. That was 8 a.m.

If you have a Jeep you are part of a fraternity. If that Jeep is a Cherokee and not a Wrangler, you are part of the group, but in an annoying little sister sort of way. An old, ratty CJ trumps everything, especially if it's dirty. Old CJs are like a cazy uncle who disappears from time to time to search for lost treasures in the jungles of Central America. I have a Cherokee... sigh.

It's a rest day at the Tour de France... whatever shall I do for TV entertainment?

"Have a good night," in Czech sounds a lot like "da brown nuts." I learned that in Green Bay on Friday.

My birthday wish was that I would hear from some old friends. I got my wish and I didn't even have to blow out any candles to get it. It's awesome to hear from old friends...

I got "tagged" a long time ago and I still haven't answered the questions... ooops...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

One letter can make all the difference,,,

"Ow can I hep you pleese?" It's not the voice I was expecting on the line, so I'm thrown for a second.
"Huh?" I say. "Uh yeah, is Eric in."
"Who is theese?"
"I get Eric."
"Thanks," I say, but she's already gone.
I try to remember what the other housekeeper sounded like because I don't think this is the same one. It's still hard to picture Eric with a housekeeper although he's had one for a while. It doesn't seem that long ago that he had his first apartment. It was a traditional crappy first apartment style place in Telucah Lake. It was decorated in early bachelor. I bought him a cheap chair from IKEA because the lawn chair wasn't quite doing the trick. Now he's jet-setting it.
"Hello Shawn. What's up?" It's Eric's wife. Her voice isn't exactly chilly, but it's not warm either.
"What's up? What do you need?" At this point I'm wondering what I interrupted.
"Um, hi.. Is this Erin? This is Eric's friend, Shawn."
"You wanted Eric? She told me... Oh my gosh... I'm sorry hun, I thought it was my ex-husband Shawn. Let me go get Eric..."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I got cake...

Yesterday, I got cake for my birthday. The b-day is actually today, but in keeping with my usual stretching of the standard day into several days, I had cake and stuff at my parents with my brother, his wife, and the nephews there too. I suppose I'll get cake again today and a pseudo party with the same cast of characters, minus the folks...

On the one hand, it's nice to have people around that care and such. But on the other hand... it is my birthday and I really don't feel like spending it doing the obligatory festivities with the family. I put in my time yesterday...

What I would really like on my birthday is to get some calls from old friends that I haven't heard from in a while. Maybe one of them would bear the gift I really want... to be excited about life again. It's been a while since I've gotten excited about much that's going on in my life -- perhaps because not much has been going on in my life. It should be a pleasure to get up in the morning, but it really isn't and hasn't been for a while.

Why is that, I wonder?

I think it's mostly me. I'm getting older and that's not the best, but I don't think that's the main reason for my ennui. Mostly I'm just bored. I haven't done much to challenge myself and I'm not getting much of a challenge from work so that leaves an excitement gap for sure. I don't like where I'm at either. That's certainly more of a reason than getting older.

I don't know... I suppose there are a lot of contributing factors, but maybe the biggest is that I'm restless. I've been in Wisconsin for three years and I feel like I lost ground. Instead of going forward, I've gone back and that's not a direction that generates much excitement.

So, there it is... I need a new direction. That was easy.

In the mean time, I shall merrily eat my cake with the nephews, trudge off to work and wake up again tomorrow.

P.S. -- While I'm waiting for my new direction to arrive, I will gladly accept the gift of nubile nymphs to share my cake with...

P.P.S. -- Happy Birthday to Eileen who got old this week too...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Things you might see at a Laundromat...

If you haven't been to a Laundromat* lately, you oughta go and spin a load of clothes just for the adventure. There's one by my house and today I took the trek down and out to a whole other world -- one that I've blithely driven by nearly every day for a year.

After walking in through the two doors with the cracked glass and noting that the second had its metal kick plate torn off, you might expect this to be a fetid dump but you would be wrong. The place was clean, if nothing else.

The magazine selection was sorely lacking. All I could find were coupon sections with half the coupons gone, a couple of Watchtowers and a couple of freakish magazines. Ah, before you start picturing fetish and porn at the local Laundro -- cue the bowwww chicka boww boww music -- let me explain that there was no porn to be found. Yes, I looked.

The mags in question were far more dirty than any porn. The first one had a lovely photo of the White House on it and a headline for a story inside about how the Lord is with the righteous which is why He was smiting those wicked towel heads. It didn't actually say 'smiting' or 'towelheads' on the cover, but I kid you not about the Lord being with the righteous in this war. Holy crap do I want to go smite the ass that published this crap. The second one was even worse, but it didn't have a pretty picture on the cover just a big 'God Bless America!', a cross and some smaller headlines...

The other thing you might find is a big -- and I do mean big -- black woman. The black part has little to do with the story, it's just to show you I'm observant and don't miss too much... Anyway, this woman was pushing 300 if she was pushing 100. Did I say big? Yeah, well that might be understating it.

Anyway, I feared for her life because it's been hot lately and it can't be that easy carrying around all that extra weight. Then, as if to prove my worries true, she takes a big slug of some diet soda -- bless her heart -- and proceeds to have a coughing, choking fit. Now I'm really getting a bit worried because my Heimlich skills may not be up to snuff and I'm thinking -- damn my blackheart -- that I don't know if I can get my arms all the way around her to do the maneuver if it comes to it. Anyway, the anti-climax is that some of that diet sodie pop went down the wrong tube... She was fine.

During my stay in Wonderland,** I also saw a sketchy old man that you might not trust with your kids if you were going on appearances. He wasn't doing any laundry, but apparently he forgot a butt in the ashtray. After he dug through it, it was obvious that there were several that were in pretty good shape. And you thought the butt fairy*** only cleaned out those ashtrays at night. Silly you...

Then there was the slow guy. He had the look and actions of someone that they used to call slow. I'll be nice and say he was challenged... He also had a better car than me, which doesn't always say much since me car sort of sucks. In this case though, the guy's car was pretty nice.

Come to think of it, the big black lady had a better car than me too... And so did the other fat lady (she was only about 180-200 so I didn't mention her earlier) who showed up when I was finishing my fine folding job... At least the sketchy butt fairy didn't have a better car than me. He was walking though so it's possible he had a sweet ride at home... That would suck.


*Yes Laundromat people, I know that Laundromat is a trademarked name and I should be using the term laundry mat or laundermat... but I don't give a rat's ass so I will improperly use your trademarked term all I want.
**To Lewis Carroll, I hope you don't mind me comparing a Laundromat to your Wonderland, but it truly was a whacked out place. Also, I know you're dead and all but I thought it would be polite to mention that I meant no offense...
***Cigarette butts you pervs.