Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Stones, the King and My Best Friend

Anyone else find it weird that Ameriquest Mortgage is using the Rolling Stones concert footage in their commercials? I can’t even say why it bugs me. Maybe because the slogan line of the commercial is "Ameriquest, proud sponsor of the American dream," and the Stones are British.

But at least they aren’t creepy like the Burger King commercials… where the king shows up in your bed, outside your window and in your backseat.

That’s just freaky.


Kudos to Bill Frist, senate Republican, for being the latest to break rank with the President on the support of embryonic stem cell research.

In a rebuff to U.S. President George W. Bush and the Christian right, Bill Frist, a leading Senate Republican and potential presidential candidate, announced he would back legislation to increase financing for embryonic stem-cell research.

I’m convinced this is the next big frontier for medicine. After all, I want to be able to one day cure my liver disease.

This quote really got me:

Tom DeLay, the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, said Dr. Frist remains a good man. "He's simply advocating bad policy."

Tsk. What does Tom DeLay know about being a good man?


Inspired by Chris’ post from yesterday, I made a special trip out today for Taco Bell. I took my dog Regis along for the ride… so I ordered some cinnamon twists for him.

The drive-thru guy wasn’t friendly at all… and forgot the twists. All the way home I felt guilty eating in front of him.

Ever try feeding a taco to a dog that wasn’t a Chihuahua?


Friday, July 29, 2005

Mental Mumbo Jumbo

It appears I've risen way too early this morning, 6:30. I'm not sure what woke me, but I think it was the dream about how the entire world had moved into mobile homes. The whole planet, a trailer park. I awoke in a sweat-damp bed, fearful of the dream and it's meaning. What the hell DOES that kind of dream mean?

I'm a firm believer that mobile homes were meant to be parked behind schools and used as extra classrooms. Did you ever have to attend a class in a temporary mobile home classroom? Didn't it make you feel like a leper or something? "Maybe if I stop smelling funny and dropping chunks of skin, I will be allowed back into the building."

And what job could possibly be worse than manager at a trailer park? What horrible vocational wrong-turn must you have made to land this gig?


Packing has been a nightmare. This weekend, I will accomplish little else - and will most likely have dreams of how the entire world has moved into cardboard boxes.

For a meticulous person who has a place for everything, and believes everything should be in it's place, (read: mildly OCD) this period of time has been torturous.

And now it's down to the kitchen. The KITCHEN. Who wants to pack a kitchen, ever?


A friend and I attended the movie The Island last night. Scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 3.5... which is pretty darned good. Lots of action, in fact in terms of intensity, it brought back memories of the movie Saving Private Ryan - remember the scene where they hit the beach? Like, 45 minutes of nothing but edge-of-your-seat viewing. There were a couple of scenes that were pretty intense.

The plot (clones being clandestinely harvested for body parts by an evil doctor - 2 parts science fiction, 3 parts metal crunching action) was a little bit of a stretch from reality, but that's what movies are about. It bugs me when critics complain about the lack of reality in movies. Hey, don't most of us attend movies to excape reality for a while? What's wrong with a little fantasy?

Speaking of fantasy, I have added Scarlet Johannson to my "freebie" list.


The morning is beautiful, the sun is shining through the windows and I have coffee. I'm headed outside to enjoy the yard as much as possible before the move.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ladies and gentlemen - meet the HEALTHY Dave

I've learned through aggressive research that I'm a VERY healthy person. Read on.

IS echinacea truly good for you? Not really, and this new study may even ruin the 'placebo' effect:

Reporting in Wednesday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers said volunteers who took an extract of Echinacea augustifolia and were exposed to a cold virus developed about the same number and severity of colds as those who did not take it.

While many herbs have been proven to be medicinally helpful, it appears echinacea just ain't one of them...

And I DON'T take echinacea. With me so far? My research continued...

Be healthy - get yourself a hooker!

Most of us are aware of the feel-good benefits of sex while we’re engaged in it, but do you also know that there are benefits which carry on after the sweaty bodies have dried and the sweet talk has reverted to sports?

I've never wanted so much to be part of a research project!

No, I'm not copping to utilizing "hired help." But... in the interest of time, let's move on.

After sex, have some beer.

The New England Journal of Medicine has published research papers in recent years attributing health benefits to moderate alcohol consumption.

Still with me here? I consume moderate levels of alcohol! Sometimes really moderate levels... but let's not parse that too forcefully right now. Moving along...

After the night of hookers and beer, take some aspirin.

You might commonly take it for a headache, a fever or for arthritis pain. But aspirin can also help you prevent heart attacks and strokes.

This is all great news. I'm finished with doctors, tests and prescriptions. It appears I'm in tip-top shape. Richard Simmons' got NOTHING on me.

Bartender! Beers, hookers and aspirin for everyone!!

And hold the echinacea.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Don't get me wrong, I'm not about hatin'...

... but I cannot force myself to be sad about this story.

Russian Spammer Beaten To Death

My favorite quote from the article: "The case is being treated as murder though no motive has yet been established."

No MOTIVE? Ha hahahaha! Call me cold or mean, but I can think of a million people who, if assured nobody would find out, would take a few solid swings at a spammer in a dark alley. These people invade privacy to peddle their unwelcome products, most of them offensive or pornographic, and many reaching children. I am so sick of clicking "delete" 100 times an hour I could just... well... not kill a guy, but dang I'm sick of it.

I'm sorry you had to die, sir, I truly am.

But good riddance to your spam.

I'm a bad person. I am positive I'm going straight to hell.

Puff the magic driver...

It's a good thing New Jersey is leading the way at slowly chipping away our liberties. It's a dirty job...

Cigars, pipes and cigarettes would be prohibited for drivers. The bill's sponsor says violators could be fined up to $250, adding it is designed more to improve highway safety than protect health.

Assemblyman John McKeon, a tobacco opponent whose father died of emphysema, is sponsoring the legislation. He cites a AAA-sponsored study on driver distractions which found 32,000 accidents linked to distraction, 1-percent were related to smoking.

These legislators slay me. His father died of emphysema, so he's seeking to change how we drive. That makes perfect sense.

Let me say, I hate when people throw their butts out the car window with little regard to who might be behind them. But if you're going to outlaw smoking and cell phones, you must also do something about food, radios and passengers as well. Point is, leave us alone, huh?

Thanks to Lori for pointing out the story. She just wanted to see me get pissed.

How does my day look?

As I plan my day, it's good I can read between the lines of my horoscope and parse it's rather nebulous message.

As a courtesy to you, the reader, I've included the original and the unscrambled versions.

What my horoscope SAYS:

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) With others, ideas will flow. You want to add a greater sense of security to your life. A discussion with a partner or financial expert could help you make solid choices. Tonight: Take some time off.

What my horoscope MEANS:

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Convene a group of friends to brainstorm about your problems with the little league parental board. You should wait to attend another game until after a couple of anger-management classes and the delivery of your apology letter to the umpire association. Actually, why do you go to the games when you don’t even have a kid playing? Call your accountant to see if you have enough liquid cash to pay for the ump’s bat-removal surgery. Tonight: Don’t spend the evening with the umpire’s wife, as you’ve threatened, just leave her alone.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Confession in Ernest...

This weekend marked the 25th annual Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest at Sloppy Joe's in Key West, FL. A mailman named Bob Doughty, 61 of Deerfield Beach, FL won the contest, he's pictured at left.

Ironically, Richard Hemingway, the 4th son of Ernest, entered the contest last year and didn't even make the finals.

About 10 years ago, I vacationed in Key West and it just happened to coincide with the Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest. I decided to enter, under the mistaken impression it was the Ernest BORGNINE look-alike contest.

This is an actual picture of me directly prior to taking the stage, as I learned I was dressed as the wrong Ernest.

The rest of the week felt like a big Santa Claus impersonator's summer vacation. Jolly looking, bearded guys walking around in speedos. Whoops, gotta go hurl at the memory.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

Finally it's finished!

If your weekend just isn't complete without vomiting, here's your stimuli... the last 10 entries in Dave's 100 Things About Me list. Barf away.

91- The most breathtaking woman I’ve ever seen sat 2 tables away from me at the pool of the Don Cesar Hotel in 1996. She never noticed I was there but I shall never forget her face. I’m such a shallow bastard.

92- I buy pants that are 1 to 2 inches too long in the legs. When I was a kid, we didn’t really have money for new clothes every season, so many times I wore highwater pants. Kids teased me relentlessly, and to this day I don’t like it when my socks show.

93- I love my Mom. A lot.

94- Early in my radio career, the station I worked for was in a cabin in the woods. We had a coon dog named Spud who was the station tick collector and mascot, and we had to burn printer paper from the teletype machine in a fireplace to keep warm… the station had no heat except that which radiated off the transmitter.

95- More about that radio station… despite not being carpenters, my friend/co-worker Ken and I built a new broadcast studio in a back room of the cabin. We built the cabinets, wired it and moved the stuff with the help of one engineer friend, and didn’t take a single damn picture of any of it. How stupid is that?

96- I did not have sexual relations with that woman… Miss Lewinsky. But I do love dipping cigar tips in cognac before smoking them.

97- I still have scars from the splinters from my first sexual experience, it was on a picnic table in a city park near where I lived as a teen. Isn’t that romantic?

98- A friend of mine, J. D. Phipps, almost had me talked into becoming a Mo. Highway Patrolman when I was younger. I went through the physical and written test and passed. I was a week away from starting the training program when I got a call from a radio station where I had applied and took that job instead.

99- Some of the best book reading time I get is when I take my daughter to Six Flags. She’ll wait an hour in line and I read 6 chapters. If she is really in a riding mood, I can finish all of one book and part of a second one.

100- I HATE lists, so I'm really glad I don't have to bore you with this one anymore.

Friday, July 22, 2005

White flag, anyone?

Courtesy of Steve Mays:

"What if we tell the Islamic terrorists (Sorry, I do think it is a religion thing) we give up. You win."

Link to his column, short and sweet. An interesting perspective.

For all those suffering from the heatwave this weekend...

It will reach 100 degrees, with heat indices of 115 this weekend in St. Louis. Kind of makes me NOT hate Winter so much. Hopefully this picture of my backyard in January will help cool you off.

Johnny Depp? Janie Depp?

The androgenous Charlie in the new movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (dirty minds could interpret this as a porn title) freaks me out. He/she looks unreal, just really weird.

I haven't seen the film yet, (and I probably won't) but from the trailer it just feels like an odd movie. I've heard the part was written to be neither male nor female. If you've seen it, shed some light for me, I could be completely off base.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Incredibly Fascinating Stuff Here *

"Bartucci, 18 at the time of the alleged assault, has said his memories of the events were suppressed until two years ago, when news coverage of child molestation charges against Jackson in California revived them."
I suppose this is all part of being Michael Jackson. And it could be said he's brought all of this on himself, he's a tad eccentric in case you hadn't noticed.

Anytime I see the words "suppressed memories" I become REALLY skeptical. It smells to me like an asshole who wants money he didn't earn from an event that didn't happen. Ah, the American legal system.


"I'm givin' her-r-r all she's got, Cap'n! She won't take much mor-r-r-re of this befor-r-r-re she blows!"

Scotty got beamed up** yesterday at age 91. Dr. McCoy died 6 years ago. Slowly, the stars of Star Trek are "going where no man has gone before."

RIP James Doohan.

I've always been a fan of the show, but never enough to dress up, go to the conventions or collect the videos. I do, however, occasionally get drunk and feel like I've been hit by a phaser set on "stun."


''I am in shock. OMG, I can't believe what I just read. I spent like the last three chapters bawling my eyes out. I'm just in shock, pure utter shock."
A book about 9/11? A pictorial of our Viet Nam war dead? Perhaps a transcript of the trial of Susan Smith, the woman who drowned her own children?

Try the new Harry Potter book.

I've seen the movies, but I haven't read the books. I just don't "get" it, the series doesn't hold quite the level of mystique for me that it clearly does for some.

Bawling your eyes out? C'mon.

* A lie, none of it was particularly fascinating. Sue me.

** Yeah, I said beamed up. I'm a cheesy, predictable bastard who occasionally falls into the 'cliche pit.' Cut a guy some slack, it's not like I earn a living writing this shit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Panties, Porn and Popular Music

What is it with the people at Victoria's Secret?

Sure, they have quality products, but not better than other clothing stores. Sure, it's sexy stuff, but there are plenty of places you can get that. Sure, there is a mystique about it, but why? Because it's a "secret??" Any lingerie department will get the juices flowing.

So what makes VS think they can CHARGE MONEY for their catalogues? And what is it about Americans that make us gladly pay and feel okay about it? The pretention is so thick, you can cut it with an underwire.

I'm not naive, I know a lot of men collect the catalogues for... um... the articles. But whence comes the gall to charge us for the ability to order their product? That IS the function of a catalogue. Assuming the board of directors at VS are women, they must wear GIGANTIC bloomers to cover the HUGE balls it takes to conduct their business in this manner.

And what does society do? Celebrate the Victoria's Secret concept by watching their television specials and buying their product in ever-growing quantities. Jeezus, folks. If you want that kind of television, build a porn collection like mine. If you want those kinds of products, go buy 'em from a company that doesn't charge you for the "privilege" of perusing their products.

I would never... EVER pay for a VS catalogue. Nor will I ever buy another product from a company with that kind of unmitigated gall.

Now back to an article I'm reading in the Frederick's catalogue...


Borrowing a concept from my friend Chris Cope over at Dancing The Polka With Miss El Cajon...

Last night a friend and I were at a bar watching the baseball game, and on one of the screens they were displaying a music video channel. The mix of music was quite eclectic, and as the evening progressed I began writing down band names. I didn't make these up, I promise.

Dogs Die In Hot Cars
Modest Mouse
Nude-Fangled Fellators
Death Cab For Cutie
VHS or Beta

I should point out that none of these bands had an ounce of discernable talent, any of us could have stood shouting into a microphone and made an equally good impression. I suppose that's why they chose the strange names - to compensate.

We had a small band of guys in high school who played at half-time of basketball games. We called ourselves "The Sucky Band." And we were.


Collin Farrell has a sex tape. And he is trying to keep it from being released to the public.

Is that a story line you find familiar? Good gravy, you famous freaks! If you don't want fans clamoring for video of your untanned, pimpled, humping ass thrusting high into the air as you "get your groove on" in a dark room... DON'T RECORD YOURSELF SCREWING.

And who really cares about Collin Farrell anyway? WILL Farrell in a porn video... now THAT would be funny.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So little time...

Here are ten more items in a continuing list of goals I have yet to accomplish. So refill your coffee cup and wallow with me in my regret.

I've never...

32 – Looked to the sky on a cloudless night and confused the star Betelgeuse with a graphical interpretation of the mating habits of marsupials.

33 – Cracked corn and not cared.

34 – Birthed a fully grown dachshund and named him Jim.

35 – Passed gas as a direct result of a blow to the abdomen administered by a Jesuit fashion footwear designer in Swaziland. Or Laos.

36 – Shrilly crooned an Eagles song in a bathtub full of fudge.

37 – Pounded sand.

38 – Roller skated in a buffalo herd (but I’ve been happy when I had a mind to)

39 – Embellished a story about corrupt Guadeloupean customs agents to a large, sweating angina sufferer while stuffing sausage, and I don't mean metaphorically.

40 – Flirted with a world record for number of shellfish inserted rectally into a cheetah.

41 – Given or received an equine vaccination while humming Welsh folk music through a walkie talkie.

42 - (bonus item) Tripped the light fantastic with Sylvio, a rotund bedouin gunslinger with chronic ass chafing.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Self examination of a pack rat

Why did I keep an empty Visine bottle? Why do I have baby clothes? What purpose does it serve to keep splintered pieces of an old wooden table from forty years ago?

Self-examination is at a new high as I struggle to pack my belongings and move them August 3rd. (closed circuit message to all my local friends - I said AUGUST THIRD, a Wednesday, 8 AM. There will be beer) I spent Sunday afternoon fumbling through stacks of boxes and piles of litter, trying to decide if they serve a purpose.

The table to which I'm referring was made by my Grandfather, from triangular pieces of scrap 2x4 left over from the building of a house in the 60's. The legs have since fallen off, leaving nothing but the scratchy round table top, and I keep lugging it from house to house and sitting it in the dark, damp corner of my basement. I suppose the sentimental value motivates me, although I have two other pieces he made which are far superior and still quite beautiful. I think it's time for the table to... go.

That was hard to say.

I still have boxes of baby clothes, although I have no intention of siring another offspring. They are kept as a memory of my daughter's childhood... but it's not like I pull them out periodically and admire them, they haven't seen daylight in 10 years. Surely saving one favorite outfit as a reminder and taking the rest to Goodwill would be the right thing to do. Yet. The box sits in the basement collecting airborne particulate matter. This will be another tough decision.

I spied a big blue suitcase in the corner, pulled it out and reacquainted myself with it's contents. Inside, among other things, were my Grandparents wedding pictures, some of my Grandmother's old jewelry, newspaper clippings from the 1940's, a photo album of my Grandfather's years in the Army at Pearl Harbor, (yes, he was there on December 7, 1941) and a flag with 48 stars. Lying sprawled on the cold basement floor, I was overcome with emotion going through that old suitcase. After having a good cry, I carefully resealed it for another few years.

Then there are the two "marriage" boxes. Pictures, keepsakes, memorabilia from each failed partnership. I suppose keeping them is a way of telling myself those years weren't a waste. The thought of adding a THIRD box is more depressing than I can tell you, so I'll move on to...

The "junk drawer." Or should I say drawers. Full of things I thought I would need, the most puzzling item was an empty Visine bottle. I guess perhaps I fantasized I could fill it with something else and use it again. Fifty pens, twelve tweezers and other personal grooming devices, receipts, batteries, paper clips, change, a live marmoset (just seeing if you were paying attention), four kinds of tape, remote controls, FIVE old cell phones, a garage door opener I thought I'd lost...

Wow, I can't believe how much shit I've accumulated. This has been a real eye-opener.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I'm not nearly the worst example, some people are addicted to collecting "things." In fact, I know a lady who drives from yard sale to garage sale to rummage sale, buying crap she doesn't need and storing it in space she doesn't have. It's not enough for her to collect her own stuff, she collects other people's junk too.

So ENOUGH of the pack-rat syndrome, I'm turning over a new leaf. I believe I will rent one of those dumpsters, park it in the driveway for a week and purge. If I haven't used it in the past five years, it GOES. I can likely reduce the overall mass of my worldly possessions by half.

Anyone need a legless wooden table?

Saturday, July 16, 2005


You'd think I'd learn.

Last night, the St. Louis Cardinals hosted the Houston Astros, and the game was tied 2-2 after 9 innings... just some GREAT baseball. I watched until the top of the 13th inning, when Houston scored a run to break the tie and set them up for the win. It was after midnight.

So I turned off the television.

And missed an Albert Pujols walk-off homer in the bottom of the 13th inning to score 2 runs and win the game.

You'd think I'd learn.

Friday, July 15, 2005

A Real Dumbass

I spent 22 years of my life in radio, (I started when I was 13) and the past 5 years in the voice over business. Radio has been very good to me, it's a fantastic business.

Sometimes, however, you encounter people employed in radio who make you question the future of things.

Enter Thug Radio.

Earlier this week, I ranted a bit about hip-hop/rap music and it's distasteful lyrics and subject matter. A couple of days later, the morning show (pictured left) on 100.3 FM here in St. Louis completely affirmed my thoughts on the format, the listeners and the ignorance.

The show in question did a bit on how to hurt or disarm a cop. They discussed with listeners how to take away their radios so they couldn't call for backup.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as sensitive as anyone to the plight of the brothers against "the man," but come on. This is so far over the line, especially on public airwaves, I am completely embarrassed. This is what the genre considers "entertainment."

The timing of the event was particularly offensive because an officer was killed here just last week, shot by a thug point blank.

The DJs have been suspended as of this morning. In my opinion, that is not enough. It's time to fire the guys who made the decision that this was good morning show subject matter.

And those who were listening and found it funny should do some quick self-examination. The hip-hop/rap genre has gotten out of hand, lost civility... and thereby lost the opportunity to be heard.

Dave's Friday Photo

I click around on blogs and see pictures of people's offices and work spaces... so I figured I'd post this. It's the Dave Morris Voice Overs recording studio. It's been modified a little, but this is a photo of the main engineer's position.

On the honor system

If this applies to you, you are expected to print it off and fill in your name. Post it for a period of at least one hour today, somewhere in a high profile location. If there is any question as to whether it applies to you, here are a couple of guidelines:

If you're the boss of someone and you've given them any assignment this week SIMPLY because you didn't feel like doing it, print it. If you drifted into another lane while driving because you were talking on a cell phone or eating a taco, print it. If your spouse is disgusted with you for any reason... uh, wait. There probably isn't enough ink in the world. Never mind that last one. Anyway, you get the picture.

Yes, I've already printed one. Yes, it's posted. Yes... I'm a Jackass.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Dave Facts, part VIII

Get a bucket, but leave the syrup of ipecac in the drawer, you won't need it. Here's yet another boring installment of "Things About Dave!"

81- I once rebuilt a carburetor on my 1972 Gran Torino. It was an interesting project and my first venture into self-service garage work. When my Grandpa died, I lost the confidence to do any more of it.

82- Speaking of my Grandpa, there has never been a greater man born.

83- I have been married 3 times. THREE. Don’t freaking judge me.

84- Between HBO’s SIX FEET UNDER, THE SOPRANOS and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, I have no use for network TV. Except for HOUSE, CSI, DAILY SHOW, BOSTON LEGAL and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. But I’m really not all that into TV.

85- If I could get away with eating Chinese food once a day, I would. Except for the explosive impact it would have on my digestive system, there are no drawbacks to that diet for me.

86- I have whitewater rafted down the Arkansas River in Colorado with a buddy. We did the “big boy” rapids and I’m fairly sure it was the most thrilling thing I’ve ever done. I nearly shat myself, and DID piss into the raft at one time, but it simply mingled with the piss of the other 7 guys in the raft so nobody could tell it was mine.

87- I was an “only child” until I was 32. When I found my Dad, I learned he had a daughter who is my half-sister Kimberly. She lives in San Diego with three great kids and I hardly ever get to see them. My fault.

88- I enjoy going to the movie theater alone. Not many people do, but I actually like it. Although it gives me nobody to blame the farting on.

89- I speak fluent French, and not the foreign language kind. I have to be careful around my kids, lest I provide a bad example. I try to keep the goddamn curse words to a minimum in my writing though. Sometimes I fail. Son of a bitch.

90- I have large collections of ball caps and cigar lighters. Neither intentionally, actually. I buy cigar lighters compulsively almost every time I buy cigars. As for ball caps, I just seem to have a lot of them, like two big boxes full, mostly freebies. And yet I hardly ever wear them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Up, up and away...

It's a proud day for all of us and NASA, as the shuttle Discovery is poised to fly again, years after the break-up of the Columbia on re-entry. This is, perhaps, the most high-tech piece of machinery ever built by mankind...

Except, come on. Look at the "high tech" involved in the liftoff:

Bolt catchers - They are baskets stuck to the side of the vehicle. That catch exploding bolts. Which attach the external tank. The bolts explode when it's time to jettison the tank.

Are there no other options? Clamps with hydraulic actuators, perhaps? A latch of some kind? Exploding bolts and baskets to catch 'em is all we could come up with?? Shoot, might as well use Krazy Glue.

Starter sparks - the way the tons of liquid fuel and solid fuel boosters are lit. They look like sparklers we use on Independence Day.

Yes, big sparklers. Is there no other way to light these things? Might as well get one of those big clicker buttons like we have on gas grills. "Stan, put some elbow grease on that button, dammit - it's time for liftoff!" Or maybe a Bic lighter, they work flawlessly every time.

Crap shooter - once the craft is aloft, they shoot the astronauts' poop out a hole in the side of the vehicle.

Space hockey. Intergallactic caca. Orbital excrement. Come on, even my grandparents' RV had a better procedure for evacuating feces. Although, at least the shuttle doesn't need an exhaust fan.

Oven tiles - Upon re-entry, the shuttle is protected from burning to a crisp... by big tiles. Glued to the bottom of the craft. GLUED. And these tiles are light, almost like styrofoam. Our astronauts will return to solid ground using technology only slightly more advanced than packing peanuts.

Basically, these brave people are riding atop a "controlled" explosion which propels them skyward, will spend 12 days with ALMOST all the comforts of a Winnebago, and get back to Earth using puffy tiles that simply outlast the intense friction of our (ironically) life-giving atmosphere.

And yet it's the top of the line, most advanced piece of machinery on (or off) Earth. It is the latest advance toward the future of human beings in space.

Our future is in the cosmos - if we're to exist as a species, we'll have to go "out there."

So, Godspeed to the astronauts. Let's light the fuse, step back and watch the magic.

Ride the light, guys!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stark Roving Mad

Here's a joke: How can you tell when a politician is willing to put American security and lives at risk, ruin careers and disassemble families for political gain?

Answer: when he's breathing.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Can you hear me now?

It irks me that the city of New York turned off cellular service in the 4 major tunnels for fear of cell phone-activated bombs.

Don't get me wrong, when I see a jagoff swerving, slamming on his brakes and generally being a bad driver because he's busy trying to convey the subtlties of his last game of Golden Tee on a cell phone, I want to throttle the hell out of him and confiscate the freaking thing. But when we begin cutting our own liberties to keep terrorists at bay, it's throwing the baby out with the bath water.

As much as I hate to use this phrase, we're letting the terrorists win. Americans are changing their way of life out of fear - lending creedence to the term "terrorist." These people love taking us out of our comfort zone.

Let's face it, if they really want to blow up a bomb in one of the tunnels, they will just fill a car with explosives and do the deed. Not one of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 chickened out and surrendered, they're more than willing to die.

Speaking of 9/11, (toss in Lockerbie and any other airplane bombing in history) the reason they choose airplanes is the extra level of fear involved. People are already generally uncomfortable when their feet are off the ground, so it's a chance to exploit it even further.

When over-protective goofballs start shutting off cell service in tunnels, overdoing the security in airports and otherwise causing undue stress on our lifestyle, nobody but the terrorists win.

So turn the cell service back on. For chrissake, there are people who need to discuss important things - like the untimely demise of 3/4 length sleeves among today's savvy, envogue fashion designers.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Oil and Water

Dennis steams toward Florida as a category 4 storm, promising more destruction, even as some just begin repairing the damage of Ivan. It makes you wonder how many people will leave the area permanently. Pensacola seems to be right in the path of the storm just like last time. Wow.

An idiot on Fox News Channel right now is interviewing the chief of police of Mobile, Alabama... and he keeps pronouncing it "MOH-bull." As in moveable. Idiot.

Anyway, good luck to those in the path. It's making landfall during the daylight, so we'll see some spectacular coverage, I'm sure. If the anchors can learn to pronounce simple town names.


"The gathering storm over China's unsolicited $18.5 billion bid for a U.S. oil company is the latest evidence that China has become the meta-issue of U.S. economic policy."

China is becoming a tremendous financial power in the world, and this is just another way they are slowly chipping away at American competitiveness in the world market. Trade deficits have never been higher and it is becoming worrysome.

Not enough to make me stop eating sweet 'n sour chicken, but still worried.


Friday, July 08, 2005

Gangsta is duh shit, yo

Between Notorious B.I.G. and L'il Kim, there are a few (dead AND alive) hip hop artists making the news this week.

L'il Kim will spend a year in jail for perjury, and the family of B.I.G. continues to struggle to be compensated for his unsolved murder. (oh come on, anyone who would run a label called "Death Row Records" is BOUND to be your guy)

If I didn't so deeply hate hip-hop, rap and gangsta I would be disappointed in myself. This "musical" genre is, in my opinion, and with only a few exceptions, completely worthless. Which, I suppose, explains the popularity of it among today's youth.

I remember being severely castigated by my parents for listening to Zeppelin, Foreigner, Steve Miller Band, Billy Idol and Wang Chung. (hey, how did that one get in there?) Their parents gave them fits about Elvis and James Brown. Each generation of music paints a picture of it's body of fans, and the songs seek to find answers to the issues of those people.

I just don't see rap and hip-hop as a progression along those lines. I see it as angry poetry disguised as music, designed to keep it's consumers angry and obsessed with sex. (wow, don't I sound like a prude?) To me, it's not breaking any new ground, just churning up that which has already been slashed and burned. It doesn't help me understand the plight of today's youth, it makes me wonder why people so willingly support a genre of music which glorifies such violence, and whose artists regularly "pop" each other...

The fact that the music is generally "enjoyed" at a high decibel level and pushing the limits of a pair of 16" 1000-watt woofers, it would appear the listener is trying to be noticed. I guess the vehicular "bling" would be another clue, I saw $1000 spinner rims and expensive paint job on an 81 Ford Fairmont the other day.

Well, here's a piece of advice... if you want to be noticed, put on an old Flock of Seagulls CD.

Then you'll be noticed. And, you will likely know real anger.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

For London

Fingers, Prostates and Explosions (get your mind out of that dirty gutter)

Watching the coverage of the London bombings, it now appears there were 4 separate bombings at one time. The "experts" being interviewed on television are saying it took a great amount of planning, coordination and skill to accomplish it.

I'm sick of hearing props to these slimy assholes. All it took to accomplish this morning's bombing is 4 bombs, 4 synchronized watches and 4 demented, closed-minded, blinded-by-crazy-faith dickweeds who wish the world would remain in the dark ages and convert to Islam.

So hey news organizations... please stop reporting how technically and organizationally savvy these people are. Unfortunately, it didn't take that much effort.


Another finger in the food? I read for the first time a story of how an Applebee's food preparation employee lost a finger while making salad, and how that finger was later discovered by a customer who was eating the salad.

Is it me, or does it seem very simple to just throw away any salad that was nearby anytime a person loses a finger?

When someone wacks off their own phalange, TOSS THE SALAD! Damn people.


Green tea prevents prostate cancer? Cool, although the story doesn't appear to indicate whether you should drink the tea or use it as an enema.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Over the weekend, among other busy activities, we sold the house.

When I was younger, I didn’t have the “chops” to buy a house. I didn’t know if I would be in one place long enough… I didn’t have the money… I had no backbone.

A few years ago (when I was about 35) I finally took the plunge and bought the first real house I’ve ever owned. A small-ish place, about 1500 square feet, three bedrooms, ranch-style with partially finished basement. About 170 grand. And it took both my wife and I to pay for it… that’s usually the case with first houses.

So when I learned that the buyer of our home was single, it was a little bit of a shock. Then, when it learned it was a woman, it was more of a shock because this house has a lot of maintenance requirements. (I know that sounds sexist, sorry) Then, when I learned it was her first house, I realized what a slow start I got in life.

Again, this will sound sexist, but it’s hard to imagine a single female home buyer paying over 500 grand for THEIR FIRST HOME. How did I get left off of the gravy train?!? It’s taken me 25 years to get to where I am.

It is things like these that keep me humble.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

War, Wimps, Wack-jobs, Wusses and Waste

Oooh... Ahhh...

Okay, so I didn't post a lot over the holiday weekend, but I had the best of intentions. I didn't spend much time at home, several friends had barbecues and parties, and I felt it was my DUTY to NOT let these people down. I did my duty with honor and dignity. Read: I never once puked.

I wonder how much money went up in amazing, colorful smoke this weekend. Not that I'm against it, but it is probably a figure that would boggle the mind. I have a friend whose subdivision collects around $50,000 from its residents every year for a display. That's ONE subdivision in ONE town. The city in which they live also sponsors a display that I'd estimate spends upwards of $100,000 each year, and that's a small town.

Don't misinterpret, I love me some fireworks. I "ooooh" and "ahhh" with the rest of them, while the fiscally aware side of me cringes each time I hear BOOM.

But there is something ancient and ancestral about explosions and bright flashes of light. Just neater 'n shit.

And Happy Birthday America.


I reflected over the holiday about freedom, democracy and the human spirit. I also read news stories that made me wonder why there are humans on Earth who don't long for their own freedom.

"The airstrike came Friday in Kunar province, which borders Pakistan, the same area where a U.S. transport helicopter was downed late last month, killing 16 troops in the deadliest single blow to American forces since they ousted the Taliban in 2001."

The rekindling of unrest and insurgency in Afghanistan worries me.

The basic tool with which armies win wars is not a piece of equipment... it's fear. Fear motivates every surrender. Unfortunately, the people we're fighting don't experience fear. They are convinced, lock stock and barrel, on an idea that they are doing Allah's will, and a reward is waiting on the other side. There never seems to be a shortage of people who are willing to strap on C-5 and press their own button.

They produce fear in others, yet don't appear to experience it themselves. Troubling.


This story made me laugh. Chirac getting his teet in a political ringer just feels so... right.

"French President Jacques Chirac cracked jokes to Russian and German leaders about bad British food and mad cow disease, a Paris daily said on Monday, in comments that could further strain Anglo-French relations."
The French have no room to talk about anyone, anywhere. Oui the people wish you'd just shut your tarte-hole, Jacques.


The creator of the "Sasser" virus, a German 19-year-old, goes on trial this week for his actions. He released the virus in hopes of gaining fame as a computer programmer. I'd say "mission accomplished."

"Five suspected accomplices — including the informant — also are under investigation, but Jaschan "is the big fish," prosecutor Helmut Trentmann said before the trial."
Throw. The. Book. At. Him.


Well... maybe THIS explains all the whining.

"Men are supposed to be wimps who won't suffer in silence and take to their beds at the first sign of illness. They could never, or so women tell them, deal with giving birth. Not so, say researchers, who claim men actually cope with pain better than women because they do not get so emotional about it."

Another myth, busted! I think I will just shut up now and let all this soak in.


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Drought, Judges, Luther, Protection and a Pelican

I'm catching up on yard work while I'm off, mulching and trimming back dead stuff. We haven't had rain in St. Louis for weeks and everything is brown. It takes daily watering to keep anything alive, not to mention green.


Looks like TWO supreme court justices will need replacing soon, as Sandra Day O'Connor announces her retirement. It's already apparent that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist will be stepping down, so this leaves a huge hole in the court... and guarantees that the next month or two will be hand-wringers. George W. Bush needs to be careful with his choices.


Luther Vandross is dead after a stroke severely damaged his body a couple of years ago. That's what stress will do to you... so you might take a cue from Luther and slow down a little. I find that alcohol relaxes me. Besides, liver disease is an easier death than stroke.


"President George W. Bush has stressed the need for greater press freedom in Russia, the Middle East and Asia, but the message from U.S. prosecutors and courts is being heard more clearly in repressive corners of the world."

This sucks. As a journalist, it should be legal to protect your sources. Some of the biggest news stories and scandals have been uncovered through the use of secret sources such as "Deep Throat." Now, a precident is being set that threatens to stifle information and, ultimately, allow bad people to continue operating.


I snapped this photo while on vacation in Florida, at a marina in Destin. I love the way it came out with the sepia filter and it's getting printed and framed. Just figured I'd share.


Happy 4th of July, I hope you have a relaxing weekend!