Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

30 September, 2004

Self-Reproach

I hate having a conscience.

The Dulcinea has been inquisitive as to the state of our relationship, specifically, whether or not monogamy is involved. So I emailed her saying that it wasn’t. For me, at any rate. And now I feel horrible. It’s just that I’m generally a very honest person. You see, I get this from my parents. My mother is honest in the sense of it just being the right thing to do – honesty as the best policy. My father was honest as well but more for the purpose of being blunt and avoiding social niceties. So here I am having told a really sweet woman over the course of a few emails that I basically love jumping her bones but have no intention of letting her very far into the circle of my sympathies. For millennia, men have been doing this with no qualms so why the fuck have I been endowed with this tremendous sense of guilt? Why can’t I do the fuck-and-run thing with no remorse as many have before me and will do so after? Truth be told, I’m a monogamous kinda guy it’s just that I tend to be monogamous with women sequentially.

”The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves.”

Stevie is vaguely dealing with the same issues. He went out on a blind date earlier this week and finds himself only slightly interested in the woman. Should he fuck her without any intention of pursuing a relationship? His situation differs from mine in that his date is a friend of his cousin’s girlfriend and so he could suffer opprobrium from such a course. I’ll let him deal with that. For my part, I feel as if I’m violating the Categorical Imperative and that Kant is shaking his head in disapproval. I’m using The Dulcinea as a means to an end and not as an end in herself. Or am I? Such dilemmas are what I get for having taken so many philosophy courses. Life is, in many ways, so much easier when left unexamined. Since this has come up, I find that I am less attracted to her. The allure of strings-free sex is strong and, now that it appears to be gone, I look to other pastures. This only serves to add to the guilt and telling myself that it’s just how it is and not a conscious decision doesn’t help alleviate it. If it were a conscious choice I could at least see any potential errors in judgment but there aren’t any. My brain just changed. Damn brains.

On a different tact, I landed me a job. I have a brief orientation tomorrow afternoon and then start proper on Monday. Aside from any boost to my ego this may entail by being a more contributing member of society, I am elated that I won’t be tied to a phone! How fucking long has that been? And I’ll get to work downtown where a few friends do so we can lunch together. Another benefit is benefits. It’s been a while since I’ve had insurance so I’ll soon be able to go to the doctor and be told to quit smoking again and to the dentist for a cleaning. A new pair of spectacles wouldn’t be bad either. Best of all, they have tuition reimbursement so I can get all certified or whatever and make them pay for it. We shall see how it goes working at a state agency again.
|| Palmer, 1:31 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

29 September, 2004

Retro-Chic

While I’m not sure what it means, I feel compelled to admit that I’m listening to Phil Collins. I snagged this really pukka soundboard recording from Australia 1985. No, no “Sussudio” for your humble narrator – “Hand in Hand” instead. And I do this while wearing my new Hieronymous Bosch t-shirt. Some folks think they're all retro-cool because they look like they stepped out of That 70s Show - fuck that. I prefer that 15th century retro thing.

I spent part of yesterday evening down at Mother Fool's surfing the Net and watching Doctor Who. (I also saw this supermodel chickie. She must have been 6'5" and 90#. She had a beautiful face but was so thin and curves were so absent that she looked freaky. Do guys really go for womyn who look like they'd snap in half if you tried to fuck them?) I was just in need of some solitude as I'd received an email from The Dulcinea with lines such as:

"You and I do have that thing that is not a thing thing in common, but I like you more than just a person I fuck...But I'm not so keen on the fact that I'm not a part of your life with the exception of our time together."

She and I as a combo are not long of this earth. At least I have some, in her words, "unsure
relationship status sex" to look forward to. ("I'm not done with you yet," she threatened.)

Enough blathering. I've switched to Pavement - April 23, 1994. You've gotta love Steve Malkmus yelling, "I'm not your neighbor!" I must cook up some lunch for Mel as I'm catering today. I'm sure she's had enough of hospital food. Tonight I'm going to see Zatoichi with Lush and Pete or Stevie. If Pete goes, then Stevie will refrain and visee versee.

Recently added to my collection is this Pixies show from 1992 recorded here in Madtown. I'll check it out later. Currently downloading is a collection of outtakes from the Leige and Lief sessions by Fairport Convention. Hopefully these instrumental takes of "Matty Groves" feature some good licks by Dick Thompson.

OK - off to cook!
|| Palmer, 10:26 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

28 September, 2004

The Visitation

I got to the hospital this afternoon only to find that Mel was noticeably absent from her room. Instead I found her bed made and the window sills filled with so many cards that it looked like a Hallmark™ store. And so I took a seat on the floor and played solitaire until she returned. It didn’t take long as she was just out in the hallway with her therapist working on getting up from and back into her wheelchair. I had brought those lemony biscotti with me and I presented them to her. She accepted them with the gleeful abandon of a drunk let loose in a bottle bank. We sat and ate while chatting. Mel’s therapy progresses well, if slowly. It was just heartening to see her dressed in street clothing instead of a hospital gown. Her speech is slightly slurred but, on the whole, she sounds remarkably normal. Her sense of humor was intact as was her appetite.

She’s looking at about 3½ more weeks at the hospital before she can go home. I can only imagine how greatly she desires to be there. Besides perhaps full movement on her left side, I’d say that being home with Miss Regan is the thing she desires most. And so October 22nd is the target date. Dogger and I shall have to coordinate some kind of welcome-home party. For the near term, she can look forward to getting an overnight pass to spend a weekend at home. For the even nearer term, I’m planning on making spaghetti mit Italian sausage either tonight or tomorrow and bringing her some.

Tomorrow also brings my job interview. I am looking forward to it being done. I swear to Christ, if I have to answer any stupid fucking questions such as, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, I an going to go postal. Employers tend to treat employees vastly differently than they did back in the 50s & 60s yet expect us to treat them the same way. We have been reduced to the wholly disposable automatons yet are expected to have incredible loyalty towards our employers.

One side effect of Mel’s stroke is that my attention has been driven away from politics. I'm so fed up with news coverage of the Presidential race being mostly polls. As if I give a flying fuck what "likely voters" think. November can't come soon enough.
|| Palmer, 6:21 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
I've Got A Feeling

Most of my morning was spent down at TH drinking coffee, doing crossword puzzles, and helping out The Caffeinatrix. A woman was there for a spell who, in The Caffeinatrix's words, was "probably the most beautiful woman we've ever had in here." And beautiful she was. Ivory skin contrasting with dark hair...mmm...

I now have some lemony biscotti to bring to Mel when I go visit her in a couple hours. My interview ended up not being changed to this afternoon so I'll have time to futz about. I must call Mia and find a time to meet up with her this evening as well.

My bookmaking class last night was amusing. It had been a long time since I'd been in the Humanities building. I eschewed the elevator and walked up to the 7th floor with a bag containing 2 laptops which grew increasingly heavier as I ascended the stairs. It was a small class and, excepting the bio-chem major, everyone had experience in the paper arts. So there I was without a shred of artistic ability. But I'm proud of myself as I managed to master the pamphlet stitch. I may be able to fix computers but activities involving needles and thread are horrifying to me. I couldn't tie a know to save my life and thusly am at the mercy of others when I lose a button. We also made custom rubber stamps as well as played with paste. My little paste jobbie looked like something Jackson Pollock might due if he had brain damage. Hopefully I can come out of this class with the ability to make some nice low-key thingy. Something not too gaudy - more utilitarian - but uniquely me. I'll leave the art to the professionals. They do it well and I don't. A man's gotta know his limitations.

The Dulcinea called yesterday wanting to tell me that I seem blue and that she was available if I wanted to talk. I also received an email from her with the following:

"I was thinking about how frustrating I've found it to have such an undefined, and seemingly (perhaps due to my lack of romantic imagination or previous experience) indefinable relationship with you.

I was thinking 'I wish things could be less complicated' - because I
just don't know what I think about things between us. Because sometimes my desire to have a definition is so strong, it overwhelms...

This could be the opportune moment to sever our ties. I'm horrible at this relationshipy stuff. On the one hand, I'm not out to keep her in limbo nor hurt her. But I like the sex. If we were to part ways now, I probably wouldn't get laid for years. So is it fair? Am I now this wretched monster toying with a wonderful woman's feelings? I'm the wrong age for this. Women my age all seem to want committed relationships and children and families but I don't want to be a family man. At least not yet. Hey, if Tony Randall can sire youngins at 77, so can I. In the end, I suppose I owe it to The Dulicinea to respond to the email and let her know exactly how I feel. Ugh. Must step-up the search for a new fraulein.
|| Palmer, 12:08 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Linkage

The expanded hoolie of The Return of the King is set for release. Details can be found here. Also of interest to myself and anyone else who collects bootlegs is this.

Finally, check out this column on the extinction of the fuck buddy.
|| Palmer, 8:26 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

26 September, 2004

Written in the Pavement, Still Askin' For More

Crooked Rain² is getting the extended treatment:

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/news/04-09/24.shtml
|| Palmer, 9:26 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Richness

Oh this is rich. Me? Fashionable? Mia sent me an email yesterday that contained the following:

”Actually, in reality I was smitten with your look (Chuck Taylors and all) and I was being uncharacteristically coy in saying I have forgotten what you looked like.”

This must be the first time any woman has admitted to being smitten with my mode of dress. I’ve been known to wear argyle socks with shorts – that’s how unfashionable I am. Oddly enough, she’s not the first person to comment positively on my choice of footwear. I’ve had total strangers compliment me on my Chuck Taylors. They must think that they’re not made anymore and that I’m some curiously fashionable anachronism.

I made gumbo last night. The Dulcinea came over at about 6:30 for dinner. We were to hit the 9:15 show of You Can’t Be Neutral On a Moving Train - that bio of Howard Zinn but got quickly side-tracked by dinner not being done and the desire to fornicate. And fornicate we did – like 4 times. I give this not as braggadocio but rather it surprises me. There are times when I write here and ponder just how boring my entries are as they seem to be accounts of seeing beautiful women rather than anything of “substance”. And this explains it – I’m a victim of satyriasis.

There was some just gorgeous frauleins at the coop yesterday. The woman who checked me out was just beautiful. She had short hair but…there was just something about her that grabbed my attention. And, no, it was not her cleavage or anything blatant like that as she wore a sweater and a long skirt. I dunno. She just had this air of confidence about her and a certain mysteriousness. Guarded yet not. And to think that I overlooked her when trying to find a checkout aisle. I spotted a shorter yet very cute womyn at one register then this woman said that she could help me. I was sort of disappointed at first but then, as she scanned my things, I was taken with her. As I was leaving, I wished her a good weekend but she said nothing.

More hotties were to be had at the Java Jive Coffee Benefit Hoolie. JimmyD and I were the TH reps. It was cool to meet and chat with owners of other coffee establishments. Then we were approached by some womyn whose name I cannot recall but was proffering biscotti. She presented Downtown with a bad of the lemony ilk. I then inquired as to whether she has the chocolaty kind and she told me to hang on. I did so and she returned a few minutes later with a plate of them. OH my fuck were they tasty! And so I struck up a conversation with the Biscotti Lady. Her hubby works for the software company that did Rune, the name of which I cannot recall. She was really nice and told me in the course of the conversation that she was nursing. So I availed myself of the opportunity to gawk at her tits the rest of the morning. And she knows Heather Skyler, the local author and TH resident – they belong to the same book club.

We were next to EVP, I think the name was, who was represented by a pulchritudinous fraulein. She seemed friendly at first as I enquired about the book she had brought. Its introduction was by Sartre so I asked if it was an existentialist book but it was not. I found out that she’s a philosophy major. When I told her that I was enamored of Kant, she was immediately offended at my puerile tastes. Nietzsche was her game. After that, she pretty much wanted nothing to do with me. Beotch. Then there was the womyn in the striped shirt. The tight striped shirt. The one who bent over slightly while pouring cream in her coffee and nearly had her boobs freed from their restraints. Women shouldn’t be allowed to display so much cleavage. At least don’t bitch when you catch us peeking.

We returned to TH and unloaded the car. The Caffeinatrix has a new hound and her parents were in town for the canine shower. I also found out her birthday was last week. Now I feel bad for not having had the decency of even wishing her a happy one. I suppose it would have helped had I known. I also got the chance to chat with Miss Vicki and do the crossword puzzle with Emily. Miss Vicki remains unemployed but it pondering a potential gig in Cleveland working for a music publisher. Hopefully she’ll find work soon. After the socializing, Downtown and I went to the Cottage Café in hopes of seeing the Botox Lady but it was not to be. Instead we ate hamburgers and shot the shit. We recalled the Java Jive and commented on the breasts of a certain barista who shall remain nameless.

After lunch, I took a brief nap and went to fix a couple computers out in Middleton. One just needed to have Norton Anti-Virus removed so it would boot. The other needed to have oodles of spyware removed so that Windows would function correctly. This left the problem of it not being able to get onto the Internet. The removal of spyware allowed it to at least see the wireless network. Unfortunately it was not able to get an IP addy from the router and instead used Winders Automatic IP Config or whatever that annoying thing is called. (The hoolie where you get a 169.254.x.x IP address.) I didn’t have time to turn it off and try adding the info manually. I suspect that won’t work either as I can’t even ping the router. Fucking computers.

I found out that my grandmother is in the hospital but have no idea why. And so I’ll have to call me mum tomorrow and see what’s up. This may necessitate a trip to Chicago to visit. Also tomorrow I start my bookmaking class. And I wanna visit Mel. And stuff I’m forgetting, no doubt. On a musical note, I’ve got shows by Dick Dale, The Pixies, and Jethro Tull downloading. The Pixies’ gig is from Madison. I’ve downloaded shows by bands I’m not familiar with from Madison as an excuse to attempt to get into them but have failed so far. It helps if you actually listen to their music. I take that back – I did snag an Ani Difranco show and found her music to be grating on the ears. Well, not so much her music as her singing. I give her kudos for her independence and stance on various issues and blah blah blah – I have a gripe with the medium, not the message. So much for adding that to my arsenal of tricks for hitting on chicks at the coop.
|| Palmer, 9:07 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

24 September, 2004

Imagine

"They should have re-mastered Admiral Piett, and had him in a light saber duel with Admiral Ackbar, that would have rocked!:

Such was the reply from my friend upon seeing the changes in the new Star Wars DVDs. Everyone knows Piett is the best character in the whole series followed by Boba Fett and Wedge.

My productivity level has been medium today. I chilled at TH with JimmyD before heading out to the credit union and the Coop to get some staples for the frig and larder. Now I find myself trying to get a hold of The Pollack to see what in the name of Jehovah is up with these .dat files. No luck so far.

I think the guy at Mother Fool's is starting to recognize me. The way he says hello goes beyond the normal customer greeting into the bounds of recognition. I have to admit that I'm jealous of his ink. Same goes for that Sonya hussie. Here I am with one (1) measly tattoo and they get to show off feet of 'em.

I find myself torn about this whole deportation incident involving Cat Stevens or whatever he goes by these days. Does this guy really pose a threat? I mean aside to people of good taste in music? I hate to see this country deporting people because they're Muslims but, then again, his music is for shite so it is perhaps better this way. What flummoxes me is, if he's on a terrorist watch list, how the fuck did he get on the plane in the first place? Those boys at Heathrow seem to have been dozing on the job or were too busy with a game of bowls. "Let the Americans sort it," I guess.

Herr Goss is now director of the CIA. The same guy who admitted on-camera that he's not qualified? That sounds disturbingly like corporate America.

OK, everyone close your eyes. Done? Good. Now, imagine a world in which there's no Britney Spears' marriages.

Imagine there's no Britney,
It's easy if you try,
No Spears to annoy us,
Only real knots to tie

|| Palmer, 2:24 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Star Wars Trilogy Changes

I snagged this from Dynagirl. Here's a site detailing the changes George Lucas made to the Star Wars trilogy for DVD.
|| Palmer, 1:18 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

23 September, 2004

My Ancestors Were Monkeys

How in the name of fuck do you use QuickPAR? I downloaded an episode of Doctor Who (Ghost Light) and one of the files is missing a section. I ran it thinking I knew what in the name of Jehovah I knew what I was doing and it ended up deleting my damaged file. So I must download it again.

I spent the night at Miss Rosie's place in Janesville. I cooked dinner for her and Miss Gina while they provided the cocktails. I wasn't in the mood for drinking much and was, quite honestly, keen on writing, listening to tunes, and just generally being anti-social. But I managed to eek out a pretty good time despite all this.

I received a lovely email from The Pollack tonight. The subject line read something akin to, "I hate fucking computers". He said that he's unable to open .sim and .dat files. Dat files are the html data your email client refuses to show and I've fucking clue as to what .sim files are. A web search revealed that it may have something to do with PowerDVD but I dunno. Well, he's in Cedar Rapids so he'll have to make to with a phone instead of a house call. Then again, those are actually worse that doing it in person because he'll right-click and select some fucked-up option from the context menu and his laptop will implode. Have you noticed that every fucking application adds options to context menus? You can right-click on a piece of shit and 40 programs will offer their services to compress, decompress, edit, open, decode, encode, enqueue, play it - or generate a checksum for it or add it to a playlist or convert it to PDF, print, or email it. Do Linux users have this issue?

I don't wanna brag but my tomato/cucumber salad turned out very well despite the balsamic vinegar being sweet. Does this make me sound like a gastronomic snob? It never ceases to amaze me how a man on the Adkins Diet (ie - Stevie) will buy good ingredients for meals he never prepares. He buys quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for instance, but never dares use them.

Alrighty, so I download the miscreat RAR file, repair it, and decode my video - all without a single right-click, I might add. Then I make the mistake of right-clicking on it to open it with WinDVD and of course it's nowhere to be found in the menu. My installation of Winamp 5 today has made it the default opener of everything excepting text files, which I find extremely annoying. And why in the name of fuck does the new Winamp look leave a 16MB footprint? Sure, I've got a gig of RAM so it's no biggie - what really irritated me was the media library. It has 18 panes and requires Alan Turing to assemble a playlist. Why does the Remove button on the Playlist window have submenus? And the little fucker goes out to the Net without my permission to retrieve information about albums that I already know and in much more detail. I suppose if I installed a firewall again I could remedy this but I'm lazy. I was using Zone Alarm 5.something-or-other but it started putting zeros at the beginning of yEnc encoded messages making them indecipherable to Forte Agent. Plus it blocked searches in DC++. I dare not enable the Windows firewall. My PC doesn't have SP2 so it's a half-baked measure. Although my laptop has SP2 installed and has suffered no ill effects other than potentially fucking up the MDAC components (but I cannot prove this), I find the Security Center to be utterly annoying. So I disabled it.

Fuck - what I meant to bitch about was the fact that the guy who ripped the DVD fucked up the DivX encoding as the commentary track is audible so I can't fucking hear the dialog! Ghostlight is one of my favorite episodes too. You've got this creepy Victorian mansion owned by a Josiah Smith who is having the Reverend Ernest Matthews over to debate evolution. (Their discussion is loosely based on the famous debate on the same topic between Thomas Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce.) And you've also got a Neanderthal for a servant and the maids are freaky and there's something odd in the basement...

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. I was at A Woman's Touch to buy a CD and I was patiently standing in line as the clerk looks around the back of the store for a velvet bag to place this expensive glass dildo a guy in a dress shirt & tie has just purchased. And there's these two hot blondes running around like kids in a candy store. They're checking out vibrator speeds and debating the merits of purple vs. green dildos. The problem here is that they were hot and I was horny. I nearly pitched a tent watching them checking out the vibrators. Sorry, but the scene of beautiful womyn clutching vibrators goes straight from a man's optic nerves to the part of the brain which controls the penis and activates it. Plus the clerks were good-looking as well. The blonde was cute but the one with the long brown hair was fucking gorgeous. While I may have designs on womyn at a benefit for a rape crisis center, not even I would hit on a fraulein who works at a sex positive sexuality resource center toy store joint. It just seems so uncouth.

I have a job interview set for Wednesday. Should be amusing. The recruiter said they'd pay for my A+ tests so that'd save me a couple hundred smackaroos. What else? IBM called this evening which means something is amiss with my father's business. Christ, he's been dead for over 6 months now. Accounts have been dissolved, paperwork shuffled - what in the name of Hades could they want now?
|| Palmer, 11:23 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

22 September, 2004

Oh Captain, My Captain

I just saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It was pretty good in an Indy Jones kinda way - good mindless entertainment. The visuals were awesome - the spectacle of giant robots walking down the streets of New York was really neat. The plot was hackneyed but what could one expect? My only gripe was the dialogue. I kept waiting for the 2 main characters (Paltrow and Law) to have some fun banter but it was very rare. You know, some witty, clever stuff like Walter and Hildy in His Girl Friday but it never approached that.

In less than an hour I'm off to The Dulcinea's house for a late-night rendezvous. Hopefully we won't awaken one of her sons who will be home lest he encounter the Primal Scene. I don't want to be responsible for any "issues" the kids may have in later life. He'd sue me to cover his head shrinker bills.
|| Palmer, 9:14 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Son Volt Redux

Midwest-based Son Volt, with songwriter Jay Farrar at the helm, will begin recording their fourth full length album at the end of September. Following a five-year hiatus, with the exception of the April 2004 recording of “Sometimes” for the Alejandro Escovedo tribute album, multi-instrumentalist Dave Boquist, bassist Jim Boquist and drummer Mike Heidorn will reconvene at Farrar’s St. Louis studio. Speaking about the “Sometimes” session, Farrar says: "It felt like we hit the ground running when we recorded Al's song for Por Vida. Five years seemed like five days at that point. It proved that more recording and performing as Son Volt is something that should happen."

As this revered band reconnects, a unique glimpse inside the Son Volt sessions will be offered. Beginning October 1, a webcamera will be placed in the studio to capture a day of pre-production and 16 days of recording. The webcamera can be accessed at www.jayfarrar.net/webcam and will feature streaming photos that refresh every 5 seconds.

Farrar formed Son Volt in 1994 after the dissolution of Uncle Tupelo. With the release of Trace, Straightaways and Wide Swing Tremolo, the band was met with praise by the public and critics alike. From the plain-spoken chorus of “Windfall” to the gritty guitars of “Straightface”, Son Volt has always pushed the boundaries to blend traditional American music forms with poetic imagery and straight-ahead rock.

Son Volt is not currently affiliated with a label and plans to return to the road in early 2005.
|| Palmer, 11:12 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
All Things Geeky

Crank up your RealOne thingy and check out the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio drama! I complete forgot about this until I was reminded this morning. It should be amusing. In the same vein, here's some news on the new Doctor Who series. I'm sure it'll make it's way across the pond eventually.

...OK - I just emailed BBC America imploring them to carry the new series.

I have received multiple confirmations that a few of my t-shirts have been shipped. We have my Miskatonic University Department of Thaumaturgy shirt, one with a picture of Julius Caesar and Latin phrases, a King Crimson tee, and a trio from Think Geek consisting of one with the molecular composition of caffeine, one with the molecular composition of capsacin, and one that says, "No I will not fix your computer". So hopefully by Friday I'll be wearing some new geeky duds.

I must make that salad today. Neither Stevie nor Becca really cook so those tomatoes will just rot away unless I do something with them. And so it's gonna be tomato/cuke salad with mozz. Perhaps I should buy some fresh basil to go in it. Christ, I dunno if we have any balsamic. Damned culinary conundrums! Another thing to do today is make a copy of that Pavement show for Miss Jolene. I should really just whip up a to-do list.

Kewl beans! I found an mp3 of the new Hitchhiker's radio show for download. The bits come to me as I type. I sure wish this Dick Thompson show would finish downloading as I'm keen to listen to it. I see that another person is snagging a Gong show from me. You wouldn't think they'd be so popular. I checked out the file list of the person who's grabbing it and it confirms my worst fears - there are Sammy Hagar boots to be had. Well, there are 7.46 terabytes of stuff to be had at this hub so there's bound to be crap. Ah, I see that a few people are arguing about Miles Davis right now - about whether or not his 70s stuff was any good. Uh oh! Sun Ra got dragged into the mess.
|| Palmer, 9:57 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
The Smell of Coffee in the Morning

It's the wee hours of Wednesday morning and I'm drinking coffee while watching an interview with Cornel West. It's my first exposure to him aside from his visage in The Matrix flicks. I don't know what to make of him. To be sure, I nod in agreement as he opines on issues such as race and corporate power but demur when he brings up religion. I dig his pastiche of "black" patois and academic drawl. However, when it turns to Xtianity, I get worried. It's hard to explain because he isn't approaching anything akin to preaching. I cringe when he claims that the "Christian gospel is really the most powerful source of insight of what it means to be human". Not that the New Testament doesn't have a lot going for it - Jesus was a peacenik, after all, but I must take the role of objicient. I've got this gut feeling that whether you view the Bible as an epic piece of fiction or as a work of a deity bears upon its value as a source of insight on humanity. Either way it furthers our understanding but it seems that a sincere belief that Jesus could really walk on water dilutes the messages. Having the lessons being given to us from on high from some fairy tale figure puts blinders on us and keeps us from looking at the taproot of our humanity - other human beings. Still, I shall have to pick up a book of his.

I spent some time at Mother Fool's tonight watching Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. Before that I was at Ground Zero to meet with other atheists. Most of the anticipated frauleins were no-shows, much to my dismay. Still, I enjoyed the company of those who were there. I got there a bit early and listened to a radio drama until the appointed meeting time. On the adjacent couch sat a pulchritudinous chickie doing her Latin homework. Be still my heart! I was too timid to actually say something to her but she started her shift at 7. And so, as I was leaving, I got a refill for the road and struck up a conversation with her. She must have been bored as she was very attentive to my ramblings.

Alrighty - sleep beckons.
|| Palmer, 1:24 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

21 September, 2004

Procrastinating

I'm having a helluva time downloading this Southern Culture on the Skids show. Is the guy using a dial-up connection or who?

This is amusing - the little atheist gathering tonight looks to be me and 4 frauelins. The potential for me making a complete fool of myself is perilously high. Like red alert high. I've seen one of the attendees there before and she ain't half bad. If they're all hotties, what will I do? I won't know if I should scratch my watch or wind my ass.

I met the Botox Lady at TH this morning. She told me that she's trying to come up with a dinner special named after me. (She and her hubby recently purchased the Cottage Cafe.) On a culinary tangent, Stevie told me that the next-door neighbor came over on Sunday to get more of my jambalaya. Twice, in fact. The shit isn't hard to make, ya know. I spoke with her on Saturday while we were getting coffee and she was surprised or impressed that I had organic coffee and milk and sugar and...Apparently it was very odd for a single guy like myself to have such items in his larder. Just wait til she finds out I've got a scullery maid to do the dishes and mop floors. They're the sine qua non of us 21st century bachelors, doncha know.
|| Palmer, 10:17 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

20 September, 2004

NP: Uncle Tupelo - October 15, 1993

No Luck At All

It's 10:40 at night and I've got a massive caffeine buzz going. For no good reason. I have Seasons of Fear (just how does one format the name of an audio drama?) queued up and a set of headphones awaiting me but I'm not ready for bed quite yet.

I feel bad as I've neglected the book I've been reading - God's Secretaries. And I'm also keen on starting Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. I downloaded what's available but haven't started reading.

No thanks to the grindstone...

I have to write a review of a Cowboy Junkies album which I really don't care for all that much. How could a band that likes Neil Young so much be so incredibly boring? Listening to it is having the adverse effect of making me like Harvest Moon less. I've never had it happen to me before whereby my dislike of one band carried over to another that I enjoy greatly. There must be a scientific term for this phenomenon. "Ennui transposition" perhaps.
|| Palmer, 10:25 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
News You Can't Use

While none of you may give a crap, I am delighted to hear that Porcupine Tree's new album is due in January. I've been into them since 1998 or so meaning that I've been a fan before they signed to a major label. While this means absolutely nothing, it makes me feel good as I'm surrounded by people in this town who pride themselves on enjoying music that virtually no one else listens to and brag about how they listened to so-and-so before they made it big. It's sometimes frustrating to listen to WORT because there are those DJs who think that anything on an indie label must be good. While I grant you that there is something inherently neat and democratic about a few people picking up instruments and just playing, this does not equate to worthwhile music. Well, to each her own.

While I'm on the subject of music, I'm elated because I snagged a really pukka Pavement show. It was one of those rare moments when I stumble upon a show I'm really keen on adding to my collection and connect to some übergeek whose has a T1 line at his house. My download speed was around 60kb/sec. I say "his" in this case not to be sexist but realizing that most people with T1 lines running into their homes have penises. Currently a New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars show as well as a Richard Thompson gig from 1996 are downloading. The RT recording is audience-sourced but shows from the You? Me? Us? tour are rare in the places I frequent. I want to be able to crank up some wailing geetar on "Bank Vault in Heaven".

I spent some lucre online today buying t-shirts. It's the worst in me come to the fore. While I'm generally pretty reserved, I do have this attention-loving part inside. I figure, rather than streaking down the avenue, I'd just wear an attention-grabbing t-shirt. If the cover of In the Court of the Crimson King doesn't do the trick, I dunno what will.

I'm supposed to do something tomorrow night but don't know what. Shit, I'll figure it out tomorrow. Wednesday Pete and I are to go to the sinny and see that Sky Captain and blah blah. I'm sure it's quite generic but the novelty aspect of it intrigues me. Sunday I am to be a representative, along with Jimmy Downtown, for Toad Hill at some java thingy that benefits a rape crisis center or another equally worthy cause. I don't mean to sound so blase about the whole affair but I saw something today that irritated me. It was a fund raiser for an organization that did research for cures to diseases of the female body. I'm probably fucking up the group's purpose completely but it gets my point across. Exactly how many groups do we need to look for a cure to cancer? Don't get me wrong, I'm no belittling the search for a cure - my father, stepmother, and aunt all had cancer. But how productive is it to have a separate group researching a cure for cancer of each bit of the body? Do these folks share info? There's a bunch of folks wanting my money to find a cure for breast cancer. Another for ovarian cancer. Prostate cancer, kidney cancer, finger cancer, eyelid cancer - ad infinitum. Cancer doesn't discriminate by gender - why should the folks looking to defeat it? They're all good causes so how the fuck is someone supposed to figure out which one to give money to? Why can't they pool their resources and come up with a few groups? Maybe I'm just too cynical.

Anyway, I'll be able to feed my caffeine addiction and hit on some frauleins. Or would that be in poor taste? I'm not gonna force myself on a womyn but, if there's a nice piece of ass from Ground Zero there, I'm certainly gonna wanna trade notes on the best beans.

There's a new fraulein at TH - Sonya or Sonia or something and she's got some nice ink. I dunno what it is but the older I get, the more I dig illustrated chickies. She seems like a nice lass and puts up with me when I'm there so she's got that going for her. There's a new hottie up at SG with a country ton of ink on her skin. Not only does she have an ass so fine it'd make your eyes water, but her right cheek has this viney illustration on it. I hate to come off as some misogynist here by talking about womyn as objects of my desire but I can't help it. It feels like May as I'm frisky nearly all the time. I almost rear-ended a couple cars last week because I was checking out some chick's ass. There was one gal in particular that caught my and Marv's attention as we were driving to the hospital to see Mel. When she walked, she shook like a willow tree - she had this skirt on sans underwear. This issue is on my mind because The Dulcinea mentioned the dreaded B word this weekend - "boyfriend". I dodged the issue in only the most highly unskilled way. Right now I don't want to be anybody's boyfriend. Except maybe Uma Thurman's. But that's besides the point. Right now I claim committed commitmentphobe status. This even surprises me a bit. I'm 32 and single. But I don't have any desire to settle down, get married, and have youngins. I thought this attitude would have taken a fatal blow after what happened to Mel. Having a loving and dedicated spouse in my gravest time of need sounds pretty goddamned neat to me. But I didn't budge. Not that it firmed up what I already felt either, mind you. I was not inculcated with any fear of losing a wife and thusly retreating further from the idea of commitment. Hell, I saw that shit when my stepmom died a few years ago - nothing new to me.

There was something else I wanted to address with my stultiloquence but cannot recall what the hell it is. Maybe it had to do with the impending election as various politicos were in town last week. But maybe not.
|| Palmer, 10:21 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
I'm A Footnote

I meet my mum for lunch in a couple hours as she'll be swinging back through town on her way back to Chicago. I've got to find out Mel's new room in Meriter as she's being transferred as I speak. A customer called so I've gotta call him back. And, in general, I've gotta sort my schedule out. Now that the cruise has been pushed back to late October, I'll be able to go to the Marillion show in Chicago on the 2nd. It would also behoove me to snag a ticket for the MSO's performance of Beethoven's 9th. That's coming up quickly and there's nothing like a bit of the old Ludwig van!

I see that the Isthmus published my letter to the editor. Of course it was truncated thereby removing all of my sarcasm. It was a short letter yet they saw fit to include only a couple sentences whereas everyone else was given many more words. Go figure. One of the few times I actually engage in brevity and I'm reduced even further. My editor emailed me last week and asked if it was me that was quoted in the new Allan Moore book. I had no idea so I asked her for the quote and she sent it. Sure enough it had the words of your humble narrator. I now exist in the print world as a footnote! Allan Moore is a professor of music in some capacity at some university in the UK. He has written a slim volume about Jethro Tull's Aqualung album and he quoted from my essay on Tull. I think I can lay claim to the title of Madison's Authority on Jethro Tull. Not a particularly glamorous title, I grant you, but, hey, I'll take what I can get.

In a more botanical vein, our garden is for shite. It looks as if I'll be doing precious little canning this fall. Just a handful of tomatoes so far. AND NO HOT PEPPERS! Now that's enough to piss off the Pope. Instead I've decided to make some sauerkraut. I was out at Pete's parents' place yesterday to sort out Sharon's computer and borrowed a bucket from Bill for this purpose. A jaunt to the Coop for a case of cabbage will be next. Invite a couple people over for some beer and grating and in a couple months we'll be in like Flynn.

On a geeky note, the new version of Firefox is, as Darth Vader might say, impressive. I haven't had a chance to give its RSS capabilities a spin but must say that it handles plug-ins like a fucking charm. Inversely, Windows Media Player 10 is a mixed bag. While minimizing to its own toolbar hasn't (yet) caused a fault in explorer.exe like 9 did, it is blatantly annoying to have a normal playlists and a Now Playing playlist. Intuitively you'd add files to a normal playlist and let 'er rip. But they don't appear in the Now Playing list so you've really gotta fuck around to sort the track order and whatnot. So I've reverted back to Winamp. I'm tempted to upgrade to 5 but have this sneaking suspicion that its footprint is gonna be huge and that there will be all sorts of built-in features that I don't want doing things I don't want them to. And I don't know if my Shorten, Ape, and Flac plug-ins will work.

Weekend: Spent some time at Miss Rosie's yesterday. We ate, drank, and caught part of the debacle that was the Packer game. Got the gossip on The Pollack too. Apparently Mr. Z had to bail his ass out yet again lest the bank foreclose on his house. And he hasn't paid child support in a few months. I've no idea what he does with his geld.

Uncle Tupelo does a good version of "Orange Blossom Special".

What else? We had our neighborhood block shindig Saturday. We've got some amusing neighbors. Everyone was quite friendly. This Greg character is a hoot too with all his play-by-play of the Badger game. The Dulcinea came over but felt quite uncomfortable so she hid most of the time. So I joined her. We engaged in some naughtiness and eventually went back to her place to check out her new bed again. (I had been there in the afternoon to drop off a desk.) And we gave most of her new toys a go as well...
|| Palmer, 8:53 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

17 September, 2004

Are You Ready?

If all goes well, I'll be having some fun tonight. I stopped in at A Woman's Touch this evening and bought some toys for my Dulcinea. She got a new bed yesterday...with a headboard. So I got us this super starter kit thingy with a couple bonds to keeps her hands restrained, a blindfold so she can't see me punishing her with this leather slapping hoolie, and a feather for when her punishment ends. Oooh! And there's a cockring in here as part of the deal too! I was sorely tempted to buy her the remote-controlled butterfly vibrator but restrained myself. Maybe next time. But I did snag some nipple cuffs for her as well as a family-sized bottle of her favorite lube. 10 o'clock cannot come soon enough...

Since Mad City Music is next door, I bought a couple Uncle Tupelo albums - No Depression and March 16-20, 1992. They're remastered with bonus tracks so I now have all of their albums in such form. I've been jonsing to hear "Atomic Power" somethin' fierce.

My mom was here yesterday and she brought me some fresh Polish sausage. So I'm gonna grill me some of dat! Tomorrow is our party for the neighborhood and I'm making jambalaya. Unfortunately I'm gonna have to make it wussy style as I'm sure the folks around here would balk at my preferred level of hotness. A bunch of girly men.

I just checked in at SG and saw some pics from a get together of various SGers from Milwaukee, including Mistress Pamela. She was doing some serious face-sucking with another chickie. I wonder if Bill approved. Methinks that fraulein is bound for some sapphic adventures soon.

Mel's condition continues to improve. She's being booted over to Meriter to begin physical therapy on Monday. Apparently their PT program is top of the line. It's a long row to hoe but it'll be more than worth it in the end.

OK - back to dinner.
|| Palmer, 5:38 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

14 September, 2004

Fuzzy Blurry

I hate hospitals. Not that St. Mary's doesn't ply the healing trade well, but, whereas our ancestors knew the stench of death to be that of rotting flesh, we modern apes know it to be the smell of antiseptics. The past few days are a blur. Fuzzy memories of Mel lying in bed, a waiting room with empty cups strewn everywhere, and periodic walks out to the parking ramp for cancer-inducing stress relief. Mel and Dogger's families were here over the weekend and a few remain still. Mel's mom refuses to sleep anywhere but at the hospital and doesn't leave until Thursday.

Mel herself has improved dramatically since Thursday despite the inability of these latter-day Hippocrates to actually figure out what caused the stroke. (The current theory is that a bit of that cartoid artery, the name of which I can't remember, ripped and caused blockage.) Neither CAT scan nor MRI could determine exactly what constricted the flow of blood.

Her brain swelling has receded and she was allowed to eat a couple days ago. She amazed the physical therapist yesterday when she moved her leg and arm on her left side which was the side affected. Pete, Dogger, Marv, and I had her laughing Sunday night as we proceeded to goof around in her room. It was 10 at night and we were surprised that the nurses didn't kick us out. We laughed ourselves out to the parking lot for a smoke which prompted a nurse whose shift had ended to comment that people aren't usually in laughing mode there. Hey, when there's a funny story about eating goat meat to be told, no stroke is gonna stand in our way. Yesterday Mel was again very lucid and her speech was noticeably less slurred. She was fired up to watch the Packer game at dinner though she slept through it. My heart strings were tugged hard last night as Miss Regan slept on Mel's chest. Mother and daughter sleeping, though one with tubes connected. There's just something very beautiful in the most basic sense about the scene of a mother and child like that. It strikes that chord that is hard-wired inside each one of us.

As we were all readying to leave, Dogger asked if I wanted to head back to his place for a beer. Although I was keen on going to bed, I went as this meant that Dogger needed company. This was a good sign. So I drove over while Marv went with Heidi, a friend of Mel's who was in town from Milwaukee. We grabbed cocktails and sat out on the deck and chatted until 1. Luckily I had catered dinner that night because my gin & tonic was a stiffy. Since Mel is Polish, I made a bunch of pierogi and grilled some kielbasa. While I don't want to go off on a rant of Milleresque proportions, I do need to express just how much it pisses me off that it's nearly impossible to find fresh Polish sausage in this town. I think Woodman's occasionally has some Usinger's but that is a rarity. So rare, in fact, I've never seen it and only know of it through others. Euro Foods in Middleton closed so I'm stuck going to either Milwaukee or Chicago for the stuff. Pre-cooked doesn't cut it. And what the fuck is wrong with people - Cajun bratwurst? What the fuck is that heinous Frankstein of the culinary world? Make andouille or don't. But please refrain from such atrocities. Methinks we Slavs are an oppressed minority here.

OK - got that out of my system. What's next? Today. I must send out some resumes. And that video about The Crusades awaits me at the library. The Dulcinea emailed me her little recollection of our rendezvous last week and asked if her account matched mine. I replied as the Pope is reputed to have: it is as it was.

As we both got comfortable in the awkward position, I reached my hand back and found his cock. I love to have him in my hand or in my mouth, it is so fun to feel him respond to my touch, to hear him. I pulled and stroked him and he licked, hands grabbing my ass, HARD. I came after what had to have been only a few minutes, it was big and came on in wave after wave. I like those kinds...

I remember that quite vividly but it seems like ages ago. I've not gotten laid in 5 days - outrageous!

I watched the new Exorcist flick and The Day After Tomorrow - horrible movies each. While it was cool to see Los Angeles and New York destroyed, the plot of TDAT was so hackneyed that I stopped paying attention and just tuned in when something was going to be destroyed. The Exorcist was just typical horror fare. I am looking forward to see Paul Schrader's version because Renny Harlin's is crap. Stellan Skarsgård rocks but it's all sudden loud noises and precious little character development. How the hell did Vittorio Storaro get stuck with it? You've got the DP of The Conformist paired with the director of Cliffhanger - what gives? Still, it looks awesome.

Alright, I've got enough caffeine in my veins now to go and do stuff without hurting anyone.
|| Palmer, 10:27 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

10 September, 2004

Avuncular Abilities Needed

I found out a little while ago that Mel suffered a "major stroke" yesterday night. Here's what Dan told me:

"They are uncertain where the clot really is. It is very unusual to have a young woman with this problem so they are tentative on some treatments and a course of action. Mel's stepmom used the words 'deterioration' and 'permanent vegatative state' during my conversation. Mel is awake now, but slips in and out of sleep (not consciousness I was told). She may start getting worse in the next day or so and that is that. She may eventually recover, but only after massive rehabilitation--it all depends on where the clot is."

I called Pete and he knew about it. I also called Dogger. I can't tell you just how nervous I was. How do you approach someone whose wife is facing mortal health problems in the hospital? Even someone you've known for nearly 17 years? I got the answering machine and left a message. It rang only once before picking up so either he just wants to be alone, which is quite understandable, or he's at the hospital. I'm going to try and find out which hospital she's at - Pete gets off from work at 4 and we wanna go visit her, if possible, this evening.

I keep thinking about Regan. She's only 8 months old and it looks like she might lose her mother. At the very least, have a mother who is helpless and needs to be taken care of as much as she. The thought that Mel would be in a vegetative state horrifies me. Dogger would have a daughter and a wife to take care of. I know how hard it was for my dad to nurse Joni after she fell ill. A year and a half of being a nurse - feeding, bathing, etc. It drove him crazy. I feel so helpless. I'd like to help out but can't, at the moment. But I have this feeling that my duties as Regan's uncle are going to become much larger soon.
|| Palmer, 12:02 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

09 September, 2004

And Now For Something Completely Different

I watched a documentary about Monty Python today as well as half of that Ken Burns' thingy about Tom Jefferson. For such an interesting topic, it was pretty boring. Maybe it was my state of mind - I dunno. But I got tired to looking at shots of the empty rooms at Monticello while someone narrated. Burns is so fucking generic. I can't help it if I watch documentaries and keep asking myself how Errol Morris would have done it. I'm hoping that Burnsies' ditty on the history of jazz is better.

I'm listening to some songs from a Phil Collins bootleg from 1985 in Dallas. Now, for as horrible as his recent albums have been, he still has some great tunes to his credit. And I will always submit that Face Value is a killer album. In fact, I'm listening to a song from it right now - "Hand in Hand". That pseudo-suite on side A is, perhaps, his brightest moment as a solo artist. You start with the maudlin "The Roof is Leaking" with a lonely banjo and ragged voice. This segues into "Droned" which is percussion and, well, droning. Then add a little vocal improvising. Finally, the listener gets to "Hand in Hand", an instrumental. It's melancholy in parts and tentatively uplifting in others. Face Value closes with a great cover of "Tomorrow Never Knows" by The Beatles. Probably the first and only time psychedelia was to come from the Genesis camp.

Much to do. Still 3 CDs to review, a book to finish, DVDs to watch. Pete and I are going to see BR549 tomorrow night. Then I'm going out to dinner with him and his family Saturday in belated celebration of his birthday.

Fall is coming. Must get comforter out of closet...
|| Palmer, 10:12 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Me, a Sex God?

I received this from The Dulcinea:

I'm wondering some things...

I'd love for you to think about these questions and answer them after you've thought about them.

What is your favourite way to be touched? How do you like your cock stroked, your balls played with, your feet tickled?

What kinds of licking, sucking and kissing feel best on your naughty bits? What kinds do you not enjoy?

What kinds of play/interaction do you wish we did more of?

Do you have specific sexual fantasies you've thought about sharing with me, but haven't? If so, why haven't you? Would you be interested in hearing mine?

What makes you feel sexiest when we are together? Not most turned on necessarily, but most like a sex god?

Anything else you can think of?

I'd love to talk with you about this, but I'm also interested in reading your thoughts...

We traded several emails - revealing all of them. While I shan't get into great detail here, I must say that the future of my sex life looked bright. The I received this today:

I'm going home right now for an early lunch. I'll be there by 10:50. You should come and **** *** ** me!

And so I did.

I drove like a maniac on the way over because my penis was seething with sexual energy. I started to get hard as soon as I walked in the door. It was very weird to go to her house for the first time. Her husband had recently moved out and her kids were at school/day care. Had it been an hour later, it would have been afternoon delight but, as it was, we settled for late morning delight. It vaguely passed through my mind that,despite their ongoing divorce proceedings, I was The Other Man, that I was in another man's home fucking his wife. There was a slight chance that her hubby might have stopped by to mow the lawn but his presence never materialized. What did materialize, however, was me rogering her roundly. It was very intense - the Werewolf was back. The Dulcinea came up with that term:

"And the hungry look in his eyes, as if he could tear through my flesh at any moment. That look, 'the werewolf look' as I call it, is both really scary and pretend scary."

And she had this to say about today:

"You were very intense today, the werewolf eyes in full effect. I liked knowing that you were so turned on...For some reason I was shy about telling you that your cock looked and felt HUGE today. Oh my god. When you first slid inside me it was so hard and was filling me so much, I was in heaven. I swear, it has been growing..."

In my reply to her query above about feeling most like a sex god, I replied, "...I've never considered myself to be great in bed..." In turn, she wrote: "You are though, I can't believe you don't think so. Not even a little? Like, 'I'm Proficient', or 'I do okay by the ladies'? Or are you just being humble? You are a great lover, by the way."

Just call me Priapus.
|| Palmer, 8:29 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

07 September, 2004

Another Seal Broken

If it isn't telling enough that Russia is reeling from mulitiple terrorist attacks, more Marines die everyday in Iraq, and there are people in this country that would actually vote for Dubya (who are not rich), surely the arrival of the End of Days is presaged by the fact that Robert Wyatt is mentioned in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. And he's given a positive word to boot. Granted, it was in reference to his appearance on Bjork's new album, but still...

Today was a slow day. My productivity was limited to running a couple errands. But I swear that I'll do better tomorrow. I stopped in at CZ and chatted with Miss Jolene. We came to an agreement whereby we'd meet at TH on Thursday afternoon and I'd show her how to burn CDs. So I'll have to find my copy of Nero.

Stevie and I are watching a documentary about Waco. Just how far away are non-Branch Davidian religious folk from that kinda shit? Quite far, I hope. But it scares me to read that bit from the new book on the Bushy family, The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty. It says, "George sees this as a religious war. He doesn't have a p.c. view of this war. His view of this is that they are trying to kill the Christians. And we as the Christians will strike back with more force and more ferocity than they will ever know." Just how far is Dubya from being a Jim Jones or a David Koresh? It's like The Crusades all over again. Not that I have great sympathy for Islam, mind you. I watched part of an interview with Bernard Lewis, a scholar of Islam and author of many books. He said that Islam is a tolerant religion and Jews, Xtians, and Muslims did live together pretty peacefully in the medieval world of the Middle Ages. But, he gave the caveat that Islam is tolerant of other Abrahamic religions, ie - Judaism and Xtianity. Thusly, tolerance of godless heathens like myself are not to be tolerated. Granted, mileage varies, but it's cold comfort. I think I'll have to check out Terry Jones' series on The Crusades from the library.

My Tiger Cruise has been pushed back until late October. A bummer as it conflicts with the FFRF convention. But so it goes - you can't do much about the schedule of a carrier group.

They just showed the corpse of an 8-year old girls from Waco. The cyanide from the gas made her muscles contort so that her body curled backwards. I had no idea that cyanide contracts muscles like that - so forcefully that it breaks bones. While I felt horrible for that girl, my mind almost immediately jumped to World War I. Here's a list of gases and who used them in the Great War:

benzyl bromide - German, tearing, first used 1915

bromacetone - Both sides, tearing/fatal in concentration, first used 1916

carbonyl chloride (phosgene) - both sides, asphyxiant, fatal with delayed action, first used 1915

chlorine - both sides, asphyxiant, fatal in concentration, first used in 1915, cylinder release only

chloromethyl chloroformate - both sides, tearing, first used in 1915, artillery shell

chloropircin - both sides, tearing, first used in 1916, artillery shell (green cross I)

cyanogen (cyanide) compounds - allies/Austria, asphyxiant, fatal in concentration, first used in 1916, artillery shell

dichlormethylether - German, tearing, first used 1918, artillery shell

dibrommethylethylketone - German, tearing, fatal in concentration, first used in 1916

dichloroethylsulphide (mustard gas) - both sides, blistering, artillery shell (yellow cross)

diphenylchloroarsine - German, asphyxiant, fatal in concentration, (dust - could not be filtered), first used in 1917, artillery shell (blue cross)

diphenylcyonoarsine - German, more powerful replacement for blue cross, first used in 1918

ethyldichloroarsine - German, less powerful replacement for blue cross, first used in 1918, artillery shell (yellow cross I, green cross III)

ethyl iodoacetate - British, tearing, first used in 1916

monobrommethylethylketone - German, more powerful replacement for bromacetone, first used 1916

trichloromethylchloroformate (diphosgene) - both sides, asphyxiant, fatal with delayed action, first used 1916

xylyl bromide - German, tearing, first used 1915

If it wasn't bad enough having bullets being shot at you, there's this mist creeping towards you that will make your skin carbuncular, your lungs dissolve, and make hyrochloric acid condense on your eyeballs. Isn't there a quote by Orson Welles' Harry Lime in The Third Man about the Germans? Something about them being a bunch of barbarians who should be wiped out...?
|| Palmer, 9:43 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

06 September, 2004

Objectivity Is A Very Spurious Idea

Back on the dole. My contract ended Friday so it’s back to sending out resumes and getting rejection letters. I don’t feel too bad, though. Tomorrow is, for all intents and purposes, my first day of unemployment so I can forestall any shame until then.

Much to my surprise, I received and Excellence in Writing Award from my editor for my review of the latest Willard Grant Conspiracy album. Apparently she really dug my Grant Wood analogy. It proved inspiring and I was able to write up a couple more reviews yesterday. I was really impressed with Zar’s Tusind Tanker. I don’t know squat about Danish folk music or understand the language but I really liked the album nonetheless. Next up is a Cowboy Junkies CD. I really don’t care for the Junkies but I volunteered to review in a vain attempt to get into their music.

Speaking of music, I’m downloading some interesting shows. In addition to the usual coterie of much-maligned progressive rock stuff, I’ve also got me Dick Dale and Southern Culture on the Skids gigs on their way. I also picked up Uncle Tupelo’s Still Feel Gone last week. I’ve gotten into this habit (good or bad: you decide) of going to Mad City Music and then stopping in at A Woman’s Touch. Buy some new tunes and then some condoms. I think one clerk smirked when she saw that I had a copy of Jethro Tull’s Stormwatch a couple weeks ago. However, the UT album elicited some nice comments from the woman behind the counter last week. Is it beyond the bounds of propriety to hit on the employees of a sex-positive store?

Pete has moved out and now the basement is all mine. I’ve got my computer setup and I brought some books down here as well. The map of Middle Earth that Ronaldo gave me is being framed and will hung on an as of yet undetermined wall to let those who venture into the basement know that they’ve entered my geeky realm. This will leave me with some more space in my bedroom when I get around to removing the empty desk and bookshelf. I’ll probably drag my dresser from its hiding spot in the closet and perhaps hang a couple of these 19th century Japanese wood block print thingies I have. My inabilities as an interior decorator are only eclipsed by that as a nuclear particle physicist. I’ve been threatening to buy window coverings for my bedroom for 2 years now but have never followed through.

Being a computer technician, the Internet and all things computer-related have an intrinsic novelty value for me. I’ve kept abreast of the progress of the next iteration of Windoze called Longhorn. (You may have heard that WinFS was dropped from it.) I download little utilities that I use perhaps once a year and even some I’ve never used. But that’s how it goes. A routine part of my life is encountering people who either don’t know much about computers or dislike them or both. My mom is a classic technophobe though she is getting better. I’ve met some people who have never been on the Internet and fail to see what all the hubbub is. And I understand their view. Exactly how much will going to McDonald’s web site enrich your life? Online banking is a convenience but certainly not a necessity. But I recently found something wonderful on the Net. Two sites which are not only interesting, they are proving themselves to almost be a necessity in this sound byte age. Only in the past few days have I discovered the wonders that are c-span.org and booktv.org. There are dozens and dozens of shows archived at these two sites that can be watched online. I’m watching a 3-hour interview with Howard Zinn right now. In addition to lefties as himself, there’s also shows with conservative guests like William F. Buckley, Jr. I tried watching one with Harold Bloom but he was getting over heart(?) surgery and I just couldn’t take his babbling. A real shame. In addition to speeches and interviews with authors at BookTV, C-Span’s site is brimming with speeches and Congressional hearings and more interviews. One can read a few quotes or see a couple excerpts from a hearing on the news but here you can watch the whole hearing. All the context for the quotes is there. You can see the vitriol in a Congressman’s eyes as he grills John Ashcroft. And you can see the calmness with which Ashcroft engages in circumlocution. Just fantastic stuff.

Another spot to check out is PBS.org. Some episodes of Frontline and NOW with Bill Moyers are there for viewing over the Net. And if you wanna record any of these things, here’s a couple handy programs for you. So when you wanna take a break from porn, there’s some stuff for you to check out.

My Dulcinea left a little while ago. Her hubby has moved out and she’s left to make a home again. Not only in the sense of getting some new furniture but also in creating a home without a father living there. I don’t envy the position she’s in. But she is an incredibly strong woman and I know she and her sons will pull through. I have tremendous respect for her and her ability to get through all the shit she’s had to deal with in the past couple years. Although I don’t find any great emotional bonds between her and me, I am happy to give her all the sex she wants.

I’m debating about what to do today. I’m contemplating going to Best But or some equivalent to get a CD player for my bedroom. I’ve got an amp and speakers but want to be able to listen to the radio. Not only has it been ages since I’ve listened to WORT outside of the confines of my car but Air America will be on our airwaves tomorrow, methinks. In addition, I want to be able to listen to music from my collections as well as audio dramas and audiobooks. I’m also contemplating heading over to Toad Hill and doing some reading. I’m in the middle of God’s Secretaries. It’s about the making of the King James Bible. Very interesting story. And a bit harrowing too. The parallels between King James & his Secretary of State Robert Cecil are eerily similar to Dubya and Cheney. A rather ineffectual leader with a strong subordinate really calling the shots. Plus the Gunpowder Plot and 9/11 come across as being brethren. That should be a quick read. Then I can get back into Naomi Klein’s No Logo. I hope she doesn’t mind too much that I snagged it from the Net. While the book is interesting, her desire to couch nearly everything in catchy terms and to use as many hip analogies as possible makes things tedious at times.

I suppose I should do some shopping too. Methinks it’s gonna be curry for dinner tonight. Perhaps I’d better not if I intend to go see Dream Theater.
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