Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Please sit down.

Saw HD hockey for the first time yesterday. Dude I work with recorded an HD re-broadcast of last season's game 7. I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb here and say that except for the smell of the ice, it was better than being there. You want to see the cuts on the ice? The yellow of last night's bruises? This is the way to go. Trouble is, the fans are in HD, too. Yikes.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Si je puis.

Check this out. Now, I've considered doing the same thing ol' Bats did and go to Scotland in search of my heritage. I know zero about Scottish tradition, but showing up in the town that shares my last name and poking around seems like it might be cool. It also seems a lot like trying to find something to hang my identity hat on, looking for something to associate myself with. I might as well just do some online research -- I'd end up with the same amount of stuff, and it would have just as much relevance to my life and experience.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Alex smash!

After seeing this post on the RT, I decided to go and have the internet tell me just who it thinks I am. Not unlike our pal Garvey, I appear to be Spiderman. Twice. Now this just pisses me right off. I am not a fan of Spidey, not by a long shot. If I wanted a soap opera, I'd read some damn Bronte -- I don't even care which one. I give not one shit about who Peter Parker like-likes.

Along similar lines, I came close to divorce recently. Her Worshipfulness had the audacity to claim that Superman cheated on Lois with Wonder Woman. Despite my insistence that the stuff they put on the covers is usually just a ruse to get you to read the whole thing, that Superman was likely placed under a magic spell, or that the rumor smacks of Mxtlplk, she held her ground. Held her ground and very nearly found herself tossed to the curb. The very idea.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Oh great. The genius minds who managed to take oldest, best story western civilization has created and turn in into a loathsome, trite mess will now be laying their destructive bent towards the one piece of science fiction that holds a faint, flickering candle to Dune (science fiction's supreme masterpiece). There are rumors that they plan on slashing my tires, killing my family, and buying me a dog so they can then shoot it.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Here He makes men.

I still haven't fully recovered from the 2003 collapse of the Old Man of the Mountain, the natural rock formation resembling a human face in profile which was the symbol of my home state of New Hampshire. In my childhood, I envisioned men on ropes clambering reverently over the face, patching up holes and strengthening the weaknesses created by erosion. This job occupied a place in my mind similar to that held by lighthouse keepers, another patently New England office. Imagine being the caretaker and getting the call, the voice on the phone disbelieving and perhaps cracking just a little. You were in charge of keeping that face, the symbol of the patient resolve of the people who carve a life out of the granite, safe from the ravages of time, and now that symbol has fallen, never to be repaired. The thing stood for uncounted millenia, and it fell in my lifetime. You can never go home again, because your home has fallen to pieces.

Also in 2003, the world's first openly gay bishop was elected in NH. This is presumably not related.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I want you to check me as hard as you can.

I'm not sure what city Fight Club is set in, but it's safe to say it doesn't have a decent amateur hockey scene.

Friday, March 18, 2005

You snooze you win.

Ah, the bored joy of a day off. I strongly recommend it. Yes, you're going to end up feeling like you wasted the day screwing around. Yes, there will be emails a-plenty waiting for you Monday morning. Nonetheless, it is still worth it. I also recommend planning days off and vacation ahead of time. Having something to look forward to can apparently make a difference.

I've noticed that "stressed" has become the characteristic by which people define me. Not my close friends (while I'm sure many would not hesitate to call me such, it's not the alpha/omega), but the various acquaintances, family members, and guest stars that fill in the gaps in the warp and woof of my interpersonal fabric. The small talk they offer when forced to talk to me reveals that the only thing they know about me is that I have a stressful job. That roughly translates to "wuss" right?

So what to do about this? Anything? Should I care?

Step 1: more vacation. Screw this coal miner crap.

Step 2: invent an interesting hobby and tell everyone about it. That way, when these poor, kind people are stuck talking to me, they can ask "so, how's the ostrich farm?" or "hey, I saw something on snowmobiles yesterday. You still drag race them?".

I suppose I could actually start an interesting hobby but that don't hardly sound like me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

It's killing me.

I've been trying very, very hard not to like this song. It's just not working. Now, from my standpoint you have two choices when it comes to contemporary rock bands that might be gay and definitely wear makeup: wacko art students Franz Ferdinand or Las Vegas wusses The Killers. The main difference between these two bands is that Franz Ferdinand is good. Imagine my embarrassment and surprise, then, when I find myself declaring to other motorists that I'm Mr. Brightside.

We get it.

I move we censor bagpipes. Like touchdown celebrations, the use of the once understandable, even appropriate, piping had become uncontained, unbridled in its fervor. I refer in particular to the sound of bagpipes being used in cinema and television as the theme for the beautiful-warlike-melancholy-male. It is as if the instrument can only play mournful war ballads.

The sound is now used as a convenient way to elicit the aforementioned Braveheart emotion. Why bother writing decent dialogue or presenting moving imagery when Hamish McHamish can set his bag to "archetype" and bring on the tears for a lot less capital?

The problem is that this doesn't work. Despite the best efforts of the entertainment industry, we haven't yet become Pavloved enough to paint ourselves blue every time some red-haired cannibal breathes into a Hoover. So stop it. Enough already. Save it for something actually Scottish.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Has those family shares well-protected.

You know what happened before The Great Escape? Blur hung out with a bunch of rich people, and it really pissed them off.


I've started a new blog for my GT4 pics.

In name alone.

Ok, Spring. Let's get with the program here. Tell Jack Frost he's had enough fun at our expense and make with the decent weather. It's not that I'm a big outdoors guy, like I'm waiting to get back to jetskiing or anything like that. I'm just ready to retire the snowbrush.

I sat down and mapped out my calendar of time off the other day. All these Universal Orlando "take back your vacation" commercials must be getting to me.

And that's all I've got for you today.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Before picking up GT4, I asked Her Worshipfulness a rhetorical question: Just who do they think is going to take pictures of their digital cars and share them with people? Her reply: "People like you, Alex. People just like you."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Carlsberg Years

Can anyone explain to me why Bode Miller was the USA Today cover story today? I mean aside from the fact that USA Today sucks.

Now, I'm a fan of competitive skiing. Any time it appears on my TV, my remote can be found lying on the floor behind my shortly after. One might think that watching people ski the exact same run over and over, missing each other's times by imperceptible fractions of seconds, would be boring. Not to this guy. Imagine my surprise when I see Bode Miller on the front page. Cool, right? But... skiing? That's the big news today? Aren't we engaged in two different wars?

Monday, March 07, 2005

I watched Snatch last night, too.

Well, I was going to post about the fact that Oliver Wood is played by a guy named Biggerstaff, but Garv saved you all.

1. which cartoon character from our youth are you most similar to, and which would you prefer to be most like?

Most similar to: First base, Bugs Bunny. Now, I know that probably sounds self-important, picking major character like that, but here's the deal. My smart-ass attitude gets me in trouble and I have a propensity for getting lost.

Want to be: Tigra. Mental powers, can teleport, has awesome bolo thing, and banging Cheetara. Ho!!!

2. let's say you write the next "great american novel". who would you most like to write glowing reviews for the dust jacket?

The concept of the great American novel is a complicated one, worthy of its own post, so I'll answer the question you asked. Elizabeth Cook, author of Achilles. Her book is as close to perfect as I can imagine, and I can imagine quite a bit.

3. what's your favorite curse word? (okay, that is a james lipton one, but it's still a good question.)

I like me some 'hell', certainly, but I'd have to say 'Jesus'. Gets the freaks all riled up.

4. a genie appears but can only grant three food wishes. what are your perfect breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus?

Breakfast: pancakes w/ real maple syrup, bacon. OJ, coffee.

Lunch: bread, olives, cheese. Coca-cola.

Dinner: Spaghetti and meat sauce. Salad. Bread. Wine.

5. what is one thing about you that you have never admitted on B A Start?

My last name.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Start training now.

The First Annual Buffalo Winter Driving Skills Competition

Day 1: Parking
  • Parallel park a 1992 Buick Century between two SUV's on the side of the road that should have been plowed before the sides switched but wasn't. Points awarded for time, proximity to curb, and lack of vehicle damage.
  • Park a sedan in an unplowed driveway between two houses. Demerits for hitting either house or not pulling far enough up.
  • Park on the road in such a way that a passing plow will not hit you, but a woman in heels can get out of the passenger side door without sliding under the vehicle. (Woman to be provided by event manager.)
  • Elmwood Village, 5 am. No one has shoveled. Find a spot that isn't in front of someone's driveway.

Day 2: Time trials
  • Drive down Main Street from Delevan to Allen in under ten minutes. Automatic disqualification if driver hits a pothole or if the "Low Trac" idiot light comes on at any time. Good luck.
  • The 33 from the198 to Genesee. Without windshield wiper fluid.

Day 3: Special events
  • You have a fifteen minute drive and a cold car. Find the balance between interior temperature and visibility due to the fog level of the windshield. Judged by an anemic woman with no gloves who hasn't had lunch.
  • Navigate Gates Circle safely. The circle will be filled with cars driven by people on cellphones, the elderly, and people who only brushed the snow off the driver's side windshield.
  • Take a left out of Panos at 1pm on Saturday. Points awarded for least number of people dead.

No four wheel / all wheel drive vehicles allowed. Extra points distributed based on amount of rust on your vehicle -- 1 point per event per square inch. Three extra points per event if you compete with your girlfriend in the car.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

On antibiotics

God damn it.

The first day with some sun and I'm stuck inside, waiting for Mr. Fix-It to swing down and check out the water dripping from the window in the bathroom.

When stepping outside is synonymous with brutal cold and frustrating driving, the scope of potential activities narrow dramatically. One would think this would cause an up-swing in the world of blogs, but no. We're all starting to crack, and our blogs reflect it. My day-to-post ratio has dropped substantially, even with last weekend's marathon. Over at webshite, Greg is happy to let us know he's got nothing going on. At outgrabes, boredom is tune of the day. Swish is on sabbatical, and DHKA (while not a blog) has been silent since the cold began.

And here it is, a sunny day with melting snow and the promise of a decent drive, and I'm doing the same thing I've done for weeks. Sit inside and screw around.

Side-note: Water damage follows me around. My childhood home, my college dormroom, my two previous apartments, and now my current living sitcheeation. I think water's out to get me.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Under direct order

I have government issues. I come from a town where we voted by raising our hands in town meeting and state in which there are no taxes and no services. I now live in a state where they make laws as if the goal of human existence was to cover all the paper in the world with esoterica. If the current year was 1995, I'd say I experienced culture shock, but the proliferation of the internet has made any accepted turn of phrase passe in nano-seconds, and I wouldn't want to lose my credibility.

Here's the problem. I don't trust the government, and I don't trust the people. For example, I'm not a big fan of the jury system, since it takes people who don't necessarily know anything about the law and puts them in charge of implementing it. I also don't think the judge should make all of the decisions, since people have biases and mortgages.

Let's talk about public school curricula. (No, wait! Keep reading! I promise, it won't be too bad. If you get bored, just think about how 'curricula' reminds you of Bunnicula.) Who should decide whether or not to teach about evolution? Now, the federal govt coming down and telling the town and city govts what to do gets my blood warm, but my guess is that the number of school districts that want not to / do not teach evolution is getting up there, and this needs to be stopped by people who have brains.

This is my pain. I don't trust big central govt not to exploit the hell out of everything and I don't trust the citizens to make educated decisions.

So what do I do about it? Like any self-respecting American under 37, I blog about it. Completely ineffectual, but it does feel so very, very good. I mean, to the untrained eye it's almost like I'm writing a respectable article about a pressing issue, when in fact I'm vaguely bitching about whatever's on my mind without being restrained by having to have a good point or any recommendations. No editor needed, I'll publish whatever the fuck I want, thank you. This format rocks.