Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Too earlt at the worst gat at National Airport: 35-A

Seriously.  Worst.  

Off to Alabama via Pensacola.  XO!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And this... my just-purchased,  2011 Honda Insight. It's a half hybrid, only has 36,000 miles after three years, gets 40 in the city and better out, got stellar reviews, has a great Carfax, and it only took four hours of sweating in a sweltering dealership and saying the same thing over and over again whilst listening to harrowing Iraqui War stories (we got to see actual scary wounds! ) before the price I started with was agreed to. 

It's a smaller hatchback, but still room for stuff, plus it's 8 years newer than what ive been used to. And frankly, hondas are a little more fun/zoomy than Toyotas.  Cross my fingers it's half as good as R2. 


This is the monstrous double-cab Silverado that was the ONLY vehicle available to rent in Robinsville (?), New Jersey yesterday. It's freaking huge. You can a car like my old one cowering behind it. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

His Final Resting Place

R.I.P. R2D2

What a great little car for nine years. Such a horrible death in the stark, scorching nastiness of the New Jersey Turnpike. 

Thanks for the 190,000 miles, R2. (sniff)

I am perhaps overly sentimental about cars.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Darth Lobster

Here is my friend Robyn on the verge of succumbing to a violent lobster, bent on survival. Her husband did brandish tongs but then fled leaving Robyn -one of the toughest cookies on the planet- to tong Mr. Crazy-ass Lobster to a watery boiling death. Ben and I wept and held each other as the lobster cursed our mothers and perished,  screaming. He was delicious. Note how Robyn resembles Dali with her insanified lobster. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Attack of the Giant Lobster

Here is Robyn dealing with a recalcitrant x-pound lobster.  He fought nobly,  but was simmering gently within a minute.  And was delicious,  I might add.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A driving range is a peaceful place

Glad to hear everything went well.  Call you in a bit. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Great things I forgot about yesterday!

Robyn's insanely cute mom (and Robyn herself who -genetically- is also insanely cute) and most importantly, a delectable lobster roll. Not just insanely cute...delicious! 

Flea marketing and Wii!

Went to a giant mile-long flea market. Both sides of the road and a hundred yards deep on each side.  An impressive collation of crap. My friend Robyn took me. We came last year too.

Then I settled down with her kids so they could kick my ass at Mario Kart.  In typical kid fashion her son, Adam,  said,

"I'm an expert at this! Do you know how to play?" 

"Well, no, I've never used a Wii before." 

"Let's play the hardest level which I'm an expert at!"

Things did not go well for me. But it was hugely fun. This is her daughter Shannon. I finally managed to kill her off with red shells and  regain a vestige of my gaming dignity. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the famous OJ Simpson Bronco chase

Courtesy of Paul Mende (who started the website with me back in 1994 when we were one of the first thousand sites on the web. The whole freaking web.) I managed to dig up these old pics and docs: me with the "People vs. Simpson" files, and Judge Ito's letter of thanks because, bizarrely enough, the Steps did actually entertain the OJ Simpson jury whilst they were sequestered. It was a very bizarre day marked by its notable complete lack of security.  We could have walked in there with all kinds of newspapers and opinions and tape recorders and cameras and no one checked ahead of time.  Weird for the high-profile  "Trial of the Century." Admittedly, the pictures are technically from NINETEEN years ago, as the trial was a year later.  I have seldom seen a more beaten down group of people than the OJ jury.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An actual statue in the Love Field airport in Dallas

I guess everything IS bigger in Texas.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Simplified singable version of Chip -n- Dale

It has been pointed out that the entire story could be much simplified.

The Ballad of Chip -n- Dale

Let me tell you all a story 'bout these chipmunk scamps
They saved a man who was cavin' in to cramps
They saw him a-squattin' and what did those rodents do?
They showed him a place where he safely could poo.

A stall that is, saved his shorts...saved his rental car.

(fast banjo break by Earl Scruggs)

The Ballad of Chip -n- Dale

Here I am paying homage to my saviors, Chip -n- Dale.  Why at my advanced age do I kneel in public on my graying, doddering knees and fix my blurry vision on the furred spectacles that so many regard as mere afterthoughts to Walt Disney's fantastical birth of characters and technology in the 40s: the minor league World War II era antagonists of the more canonical Pluto and Donald?  The goofy, hopping, chattering placenta of Disney's Golden Age?

I will tell you.

I was a younger man once, in a younger time.  Unlike today, being fat was shameful.  And, unlike today, I wasn't fat. I was a tender slip of a thing: all of 22 years old and 139 pounds soaking wet.  Carol was also a tiny slip of a thing. In other words, exactly like she is today.  We vacationed in Florida once a long, long time ago.  The only two-week vacation of my life, a glorious span spent largely in Daytona, and partially on my hands and knees (but that is a story for another time - reference "I gots to get a present for mah gal!")

However we did do a couple of special things: one, we went to a water park with tubes and slides and the usual stuff that water parks have and had a great day.  So great in fact, that we bought matching super micro shorts that were bright blue with a yellow "WaterBoggan!" logo on them.  I mean really incredibly tiny shorts.  But, as I said, this was a time when men wore tiny shorts and were proud.

I do not mean to insinuate that I ever looked anything like this.  However, if you image search for "men in small shorts" all you get are things like this. And much worse.  Some of those men in the image search don't even have shorts at all, frankly.  Nor do they seem to miss them.  They seem relieved that their immense architectures can wag free in the breeze.  But, truth be told, these are about the size of the shorts I wore regularly in the 70s. I mean even our high school gym shorts were ultra-micro, so that's all we knew. Anyway, imagine skinny young me in these.

Another thing we did was make our very first visit to Disney World.  We drove from the coast to Orlando in our matching WaterBoggan shorts and enjoyed a great, whirlwind day in the Magic Kingdom (this was 1979, before Epcot even opened).  Being touristy, and not knowing if we would ever get back there (ha!) at the close of the day we headed to the Disney Main Street area where the shops and goodies are and loaded up on t-shirts and souvenirs. We grabbed a nice haul of Disneyana and got in one of the seemingly endless, long, meandering checkout lines that grow at the end of the day.

As I was admiring my 'angry Donald' shirt and the rest of our booty, I began to feel an uncomfortable and increasingly distressing sensation.  Some brand of Disney-chow was working its way through my innards and leaving trails of grief in its wake. While amusing at first, things soon progressed to annoying, and --as is the way with these situations-- swiftly moved to URGENT. I pressed my stack of goods into Carol's hands and told her I would be right back.

Ducking out of the line, I glanced around the store to see --as is Disney's custom-- no restroom in sight.  Restrooms are special events in the World, not crammed into mere apothecaries and mercantiles and the like.  I would have to discern the nearest one; no easy feat when cramping in the Magic Kingdom.

And I was cramping.  As my lower abdominal muscles (which I remember fondly, though I haven't had them for years) seized unremittingly, I began to involuntarily lower myself into a crouch.  I knew the WaterBoggan shorts were tiny and insubstantial and could not hold back anything which would lead to public shame.  I crouch-dashed from the Disney store in the frantic hopes of spying either a restroom or a knowledgeable employee.

And of course found neither.  Now in a full-out mobile squat, I looked around frantically to spy any Disney employee at all. NO ONE?!  Until my eye fell upon....

Yes. Chip -n- Dale.

The effervescent chipmunks were the only Disney workers in sight.  They frolicked and gamboled with children and adults as I made a hasty, cramping, crouching approach. As I neared them, they became aware of the fiendishly serious man power-squatting toward them.  I fancied I saw their fake eyes widen with concern. They towered over me, even though small, as I was now in a full Vietnamese gardener's fetal position.  Clutching my stomach, and now sweating profusely with the strain of keeping my foul nether-lid firmly closed, I whispered hoarsely, "Bathroom!"

Here is another Disney fun fact:  the costumed characters are not allowed to speak.  Under any circumstance, apparently. It's a fireable offense.  So the only two people nearby who might help me were forbidden from actually doing so.

Imagine a scarier version of this

Nevertheless, they sprang into Disney action.  Leapfrogging each other, they hopped and skipped, pointing the way to go.  With an animated desperation mirroring my own, they led me through the crowd, around an obscure corner to --bless their chipmunk souls-- a men's room.  I scooted in and courtesy of the two high-energy rodents did not have to burn my WaterBoggan shorts later that evening.

So that is why I am beholden to Chip -n- Dale.  Long may they wave.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Darth Mickey

Friday, May 9, 2014

Not to mention, giant fake artichokes

A farewell to the Monterey Marriott

Marriotts are odious places, reflective of their humorless, skinflint Mormon overlords: men who put up pictures of themselves in vainglorious popinjay business regalia everywhere on their properties.  They are the Oprah of hotel owners.  This Marriott is in a pretty place,  at least. 

Though I do like the clever 'turn on the shower without soaking yourself' porthole they cut in the shower glass.

Waterside in Monterey

Nice place. Almost painfully upscale. Good seafood. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Livermore, CA

Hawthorne Suites. Really nice, with reasonable eating places and stores in easy walking distance. We have 2.5 days here. Most of the Capitol Steps,  naturally,  hate this as there is no high-end, bullshitty crap they can bitch about. 

This really is a lovely hotel in a beautiful place

Pasadena is almost ludicrously pleasant and appealing. Even the wrong side of the tracks is festooned with flower trellises. I know; I walked there by mistake. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

My first or second favorite hotel in the country

The Westin Pasadena, formerly the Doubletree. Missed one year here since 1993. Nice joint, near nice stuff. This is Pasadena's City Hall out my window. Hot here.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The rains are causing th ed people in Occoquan to fret

As you can almost see, the water is creeping into people's homes. Thank God we live on top of the hill. Also, I just realized the water is receding,  so they probably did get flooded.  :(

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Driving back to Seattle from Yakima, we are forced to stop and murder a leprechaun

Little bastard wouldn't give up his gold, though. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Beluga Point, Alaska

This where you watch whales when it's whale-watching time.  Except,  guess what it's not: whale-watching time.  Still gorgeous though! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

And NOW we made it to Alaska

A part of SeaTac I've never seen

I like ode to nuclear power. Now on to Anchorage.  My poor ass!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cherry Blossom week!

Probably awful pictures,  but I was driving at the time. 

Landing on the Moon

I have heard this audio a million times, but this is a really nice multi-paned presentation of how the moon landing actually occurred.   I love that you can track Neil Armstrong's heart rate over the course of the landing. I also love this pic of him after coming in from his first stroll on the moon, cause, seriously, how do you think you'd feel if you were THE FIRST MAN ON THE F'N MOON!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ok, what is the date again?

You can kinda tell in this picture that it is sleeting sideways. The bud-festooned trees must be so confused. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Erica and Kate, grunge style

C is getting pretty good with the photo manipulation. 

Beauties and the Beast...!

Carol made this groovy shot. Fun times. I'm really pulling for Erica to come to Georgetown,  she is tons of fun to chat with. I would know SO much about cockroaches if she were here.  And yes: fat.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Last show of seven in Bristol, PA...

...I may have mentioned how we enjoy entertaining Corey Harris on stage before.  he is a charming, easygoing, handsome fellow, and the audience never fails to enjoy his befuddlement and inability to maintain character in the face of ridiculous stimuli.  To whit:  all week long I have been preparing him to expect a giant mustache at this last show.  My mustache in one of the bits  --initially a modest, if macho, Burt-Reynolds-as-the-Bandit kind of a thing-- had been subtly growing all week long, progressing to what seemed the obvious peak: a huge, bushy, Sam Elliott kind of a thing.

What he did not expect was a mustache 5 times that size: a gigantic construct that required fishing line and gaffer's tape to secure to my poor, inadequate face.  This photo --courtesy of Bari-- captures the exact moment of Corey glimpsing the ludicrous giant mustache and collapsing into a useless unresponsive heap within his costume.  I can't deny it: that felt pretty good.