Saturday, November 27, 2010

Carousel of Cash!

See, since every other compartment is unused, if you are out of coin rollers --like I still am-- you can use the little door to shift the coins in a filled bay to one of the vacant ones, then refill the 'official' coin bay. That way, instead of just holding one roll of each kind of coin... holds two!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Complete Lack O' Traffic Jam

Ok, wide awake, song learned, all better. Weird drive home. Every time I passed a shopping area, there was a huge traffic jam - at midnight and two and three a.m. The Prime Outlets around Gaffney had a mile-long backup in both directions. Naturally, I didn't get a picture of any of that.

And then, conversely, there was a stretch of almost an hour where I drove at 80mph without seeing a single other vehicle. It was the stretch about a half an hour either side of the VA-NC border and it was creepy: no street lights, no cars...after a while I began to suffer the delusion that it wasn't really an interstate highway, it was a private road that someone had mocked up to look like a highway - some weird, demented movie set I'd unwittingly stumbled upon. I started scrutinizing the road-signs for evidence of fakeness. As it got later, I started finding some...

Here's video I took during that stretch. This is all I saw for an hour. I almost wept when I finally happened upon a tractor-trailer flatbed groaning up a hill with a load of gyp-lap.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Two weeks ago in Dayton

Sloth and the press of travel kept my posts to a minimum throughout that period, plus Jon and I were busy doing all kinds of things. Like, for instance, going to an actual local wrestling palace and watching ambitious young Ohio grapplers and evil fight promoters doing their best Hulk Hogan imitations.

 Take this guy, for instance.  He was the local Good Guy Hero wrestler, one Dave Crist. He strutted in, mohawk waving girlishly, the entire crowd cheering, waving signs, and --in some cases-- weeping at his goodness and prowess. Jon --an old wrestling hand-- noted the goings-on and declared the Hero was being set up to lose. Moreover, Jon had already decided that we were going to root loudly for the opposition, since no one else was. He likes to stir up trouble.  I'm glad I'm not that way.

This guy could not believe that there were people there rooting against him.  This is his smack-talking response to Jon telling him he was about to get his ass kicked and thrown out of the ring like a big, whiny baby.

And this is him getting his ass kicked...

...and this is him getting thrown out of the ring like a big, whiny baby.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This has taken 8 years

The 12-inch tall apothecary jar I bought in '02 is finally too full of silver change to close up.  I'm sure I will spend an exciting afternoon counting it at some point to discover I have about $47.35 in usable change, two Susan B. Anthony dollars, and a half-corroded subway token.  I don't even want to go into the giant orange juice jar full of pennies...

Friday, November 19, 2010

If you ever are offered the opportunity to stay at the storied, exclusive Nassau Club at Princeton University...

A storied, historic room at the NC. If you're wondering where the charm is, it's in the same place the TV, working phone, heat, thermostat, insulation, space, quiet, absence of gusting drafts, repaired walls, pleasant scent, and general air of upkeep isn't. It's a closet where you can change into your suit jacket that you'll get kicked out of the dining area without. It's the saddest excuse for elitism I've ever seen. Apparently, the Ivy League feels 'cleaning' is somewhat lowbrow. Or perhaps the dust bunnies have historic import: actual discarded skin cells from Aaron Burr or Donald Rumsfeld or other famous Princetonians may still adhere to the uncleaned walls and carpets.  I found it difficult to be awed by this notion. Disturbed?  Yes. Sickened? Most definitely. But awed? No.
...decline immediately. Respectfully, if you must. But firmly. Very firmly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

High Profile locality

With too many empty late-night hotel hours under my belt, I have become familiar --as have so many insomniacal  people-- with the various and sundry Crime Networks that dot the cable landscape. One of them in particular, the I.D. Channel, seems to have a peculiar fascination with.....

Yes. Spartanburg.  Sleepy little Spartanburg, 280,000 souls, most of which seem to be hoodlums, jackanapes, abductors, drunken assaulters, rapists, stalkers, grave-defilers, child procurers, bear-baiters, crooks, thieves, liars, murderers and scofflaws.  Or cops. Or both.

Now, you would think all of these photos were taken from the same program. But you'd be wrong. Two of them are, I think. But Spartanburg and its minions feature far more prominently on the televised law enforcement landscape than they do in any other, broader social context.

Which one would naturally assume is because: a) the Spartanburg Sheriff's Department, besieged as they apparently are by miscreants of every description, have entered into a cozy financial relationship with the I.D. channel and that access skews the national perception of Spartansburg's relative criminality; or b) the county really is a den of dimwitted thieves and murderous, brawling poopheads. Or both.

After a few shows you sort of get to know the officers as individuals...

....and are cheered by seeing them pop up again on another show, chasing some new lowlife rat-bastard Spartanburgian scum.  And almost always in front of this same clump of trees. That must be his press clump.

Hmmm. Now that I look closer, it seems to actually be a different clump of trees in each appearance. Still, he seems curiously fixated on an arboreal-based interview backdrop.

 I suspect the fame of the county is growing. Soon people will come from miles around to be arrested there. And if I get hauled in on the drive down for Thanksgiving, why, it'll seem almost like coming home...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another picture I forgot to put up

Wes and Bobbi Jo. I knew I took this picture, but somehow it ended up in my folder of Capitol Steps pics.  Glancing in there, I knew something was wrong immediately: none of the Steps are this good looking.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Things I forgot to put up: Jon and the Top of a Famous Person's Head

My attempts to be surreptitious only lead to photographic disaster. Here we see Jon -ever stoic- on the right.  On the left we see the top of the head of one Jim Mora, a former NFL head coach, father of a current NFL coach, and a man universally renown for his rant that mainly utilized one word: "Playoffs?!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Justice in Topeka, KS

Me hanging with Bill Kurtis, narrator of 'Ron Burgundy: Anchor Man', and host of numerous A & E shows, including Justice Files. He introduced us tonight. We're big fans of each other. But he's way richer.

Time to play...."Who's More Sheepish?!"

I would have to say Midnight wins hands down.  While I do look sheepish, I am trying far too hard to be cute for the sheepishness to have its full effect. Midnight is full-blown sheepish, though.  Not to mention quite dubious about the whole affair.  Question: if Midnight is sheepish, does that make her a b-a-a-a-a-a-a-d dog?  (Rim shot) Thank you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Action Movie past....

When I cruised through Laurel and put up the little tour a while back I left out one major component: Shane's Sandwich Shop.  It's still there.

The menu hasn't changed much, if at all. The actual menu SIGN hasn't changed at all. The two-inch-thick bullet-proof clear plastic hold-up shield is gone, so maybe Laurel is doing better these days.  I couldn't bring myself to order a steak/egg/mushroom/cheese/and onion sub, but they were clearly still available.  This is the site of a traumatic incident from the past, a criminal assault by one Ricky Dean Meadows, drunken Redskin fan (and yet another reason I can never -in my heart- root for the Redskins).

Let us set the scene: the night is January 30, 1983. The date is significant to most people as the night the Washington Redskins won their first Super Bowl: the classic final run of John Riggins searing his legend into everyone's skulls and sealing his Hall of Fame selection. It is significant to fewer people as the night that 'Brigadoon' at Toby's Theatre closed. The cast party had ended, the personal belongings had been packed out of the dressing rooms, Mom and I had gathered up Katie from the babysitter's. It was 46 days after her 1st birthday. We decided to stop at Shane's for a sub on the way home. 

I walked into Shane's to order.  A drunken Redskins fan, the aforementioned Ricky Dean Meadows, is loudly and triumphantly ordering random items off the menu. The clerk/chef, a skinny, teen-aged, bespectacled nerdy sort, was trying to cope with what was obviously a lout in the throes of a drunken, brutish, tribal desire for the rapine and pillage that SHOULD come after any victory. If you're of a certain mindset, that is. After yelling triumphantly, then berating the nerd, then forgetting what he ordered and ordering a whole 'nother bunch of random stuff, the Superfan got bored and ambled outside, his various food orders already forgotten.  The clerk and I both looked relieved and he settled down to take care of my rather more pedestrian needs. Then his eyes got huge and he gestured behind me: "That guy just hit your car," he said.  Then all this happened:

(The numbered dotted paths refer to the motion of RDM's vehicle)

As I left Shane's I saw that Ricky had backed out of his parking spot (A) and (1) smashed into the front right fender of The Captain, our 1974 red Pontiac Formula Firebird, parked at (B).

Just like The Captain

As I exited Shane's, Mom was exiting The Captain, opening her passenger side door and standing up. Kate was in a car seat in the back.  At some point Ricky realized his car was plowing through another vehicle and that --being completely wasted-- exchanging insurance information would only lead to trouble. Besides, he didn't have insurance.  He put his car into forward gear, peeled around all widdershins and lit off down the parking lot (2) with me pursuing on foot, yelling his license plate number at him so he'd know sneaking off really wasn't an option.  Clearly he heard, for --as he neared the exit shared with the bowling alley-- he suddenly reversed direction (3) and accelerated back toward The Captain (4). I also reversed direction and headed back to the car, probably still yelling, although I have no idea what.  Mom had emerged and gone towards the front of The Captain, near the right front fender. The passenger door was still ajar, right next to Mom. Kate remained quiet in the backseat, contemplating the appealing glowiness of Shane's tempting signs.

Ricky hit the back of The Captain, perfectly perpendicular, right on the rear driver's side panel.  He then kept gunning it and (5) pushed the turned-off, in-parking-gear, emergency-braked Firebird 180 degrees until it was facing the opposite direction.  Mom had to back away at top speed to keep from being run over by her own car. Her legs were bruised from the open door trying to pin her as she backed away in a circle.  Ricky then (for the second time) carefully extricated his vehicle from ours, and (6) set off back toward the bowling alley exit. I managed to snag his driver's side door handle as he passed, and he dragged me down the parking lot as I furiously screeched at him and futilely tried to break his window with the soft cast I had on my remaining available hand.

And then every policeman in the world came out of everywhere and surrounded him at (C).

Dad, you need to get these

They're like super-chocolate graham crackers. When Aussies aren't drunkenly punching 'roos or crushing Foster's cans with their bare armpits or pensively chewing on nails, they're chewing on these. Good on ya!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Welcome to the City of Moraine

Yes, that is the welcome sign to the city. And the next pictures are from the same short stretch of 'welcoming' roadway. I feel as though I'm glowing just from driving through the area. It's definitely the Capitol Steps E/M tour this year.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Yo, dawg

"Yo-yo, all y'all homies need to check the flea market/gun show/wrestling emporium in Dayton. Shiznit is the bozizzle."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Detroit Metro Airport

Much like a pack of diarrhetic hounds, the Capitol Steps leave quite a mess on the sidewalk.

Keswick Theatre, Glenside, PA

Elaina on a darkened stage.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

At least one of the local congressional candidates seems to be big on defense.