Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

29 November, 2004

Listening to Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow

Night has fallen and we're huddled inside seeking shelter from the cold. I made a hoolie full of beer cheese soup this evening. Aside from lacking a bit of salt it was alright. Stevie commented: "You've outdone yourself." It's only beer cheeese soup. But it was good winter fare. Hot and thick and creamy and full of calories to help put on that layer of blubber to help us keep warm come January.

Through long December nights we talk in words of rain or snow,
while you, through chattering teeth, reply and curse us as you go.
Why not spare a thought this day for those who have no flame
to warm their bones at Christmas time?
Say Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow.

After eating, I set out to pack the gifts for Bravo Company out in Mosul, Iraq. I spent about $120 on them, a pittance considering their predicament, and managed to fit all of it save the granola bars. The box weighs about 20lbs. and is going to cost a fortune to send to Iraq. I just hope that they get it. I had intended to send the boys there some nudie magazines but I found out that such material is prohibited. Not even semi-nudity. Must pay respects to Muslim propriety, I suppose.

Why can't Carleen Wild do something like this? And to round out the prurient content of this post, I gotta say that I love this picture:



In fact, I think all my female readers should submit such photos to me.

I've added a couple things to my to-do list. Firstly, I'd like to do some letterboxing. One of the Madison area clues is written in Latin! I also want to go have Smut-n-Eggs at Bennett's. I've lived here for over 14 years and have never been. I'm sure my list will grow as 2005 draws ever nearer.

I've got some hot chocolate and I'm listening to Black Sabbath. Not Paranoid or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. In fact, there's no Ozzy. No Dio either. Instead, I'm listening to Eternal Idol. It's one of their more inconsequential albums from the late 80s. Tony Martin's vocal are all cock rocky but there's just something catchy about this album and I haven't heard it in years. Brings back all these high school memories...
|| Palmer, 9:46 PM || link || (1) comments | links to this post
Never Could Get the Hang of Mondays

Work is dragging today as am I. I'm still sick. Stuffy/runny nose and sneezing. Otherwise I'm fine.

I e-mailed Meek about his webcasting. He just pointed me to Shoutcast's website so I e-mailed him again to ask if he has a dedicated server and if he just has a cable modem connection or who. I think it'd be a blast to do a webcast but I can't help but wonder if anyone would bother to listen. Well, I guess I'll tackle that issue when I get to it. It looks like I'll actually get to meet a reader tomorrow night. Crystal took me up on an offer of some Floyd shows so we're planning to meet at Mickey's tomorrow night sometime to make the drop-off. Should I dress formally?

I got me a haircut this weekend. Short enough to be manageable yet long enough to help keep me warm. Strangely, I was told that it looked nice today by one of the hotties at Ancora. She must have been playing for a nice tip as I put about as much effort into my hair as George Bush does into elocution lessons. But I figure that, if my coif is the height of unfashion, then at least let my shoes be hip in a retro kinda way. I discovered spats this weekend! I just think they're the bomb and I found a place that sells them! I think I'm going to go for the blue ones. Now all I need to do is find a nice frock coat and then I'll be stylin'.

Happy 30th Birthday Dungeons & Dragons! Yes, I play D&D.

Christ, I just wanna get the fuck out of here and go home where there's nice, soft aloe-laden kleenex waiting for my proboscis. I think I may make some beer cheese soup too as the initial blow to the huge collection of crappy beer that sits in our refrigerator.
|| Palmer, 4:25 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

28 November, 2004

Distracted

This was a profitable weekend. Last night I got to see & hear the Milwaukee Symphony and it was quite good. The opening organ drone of Also Sprach Zarathustra rumbled through the hall making my seat and my body vibrate. The conductor, Carlos somebody-or-other, was really cool. He had long, graying hair that fluttered about as he conducted. And he was very animated. Pointing at sections and waving his arms about like a madman - good stuff!

The Dulcinea accompanied me. She came over in the afternoon and we had lots of sex. We laid around for a while before I made dinner. Relaxing on the couch in our post-prandial hazes, it wasn't long before she had broken down my paltry defenses and had unzipped my pants. Then it was off upstairs where she proceeded to wrap her lips around my manhood before I decided that I wanted to be inside of her. Upon telling her so, she took off her pants and bent over facing away from me. Nothing like some pre-symphonic doggy-style fornication. It continued after we got back. And again this morning. Getting laid four times within, let's see...20 hours. Oh, that's just grand. And I'm horny again tonight.

I'm thinking of giving up on this whole personals thing as it's just not panning out. I mean, take a look at this beautiful womyn who responded to me this evening:



She looks eminently fuckable and, to top things off, she actually sounds like a really wonderful person with lots of things in common with me. The catch? She lives in fucking Iowa. And not just across the border in Dubuque or someplace similar but in Des Moines. Her profile says she's looking for men within 250 miles of Des Moines so I did a Mapquest and found that the distance between us is much closer to 300 miles. Holy fuck, is Des Moines that bereft of guys of suave gentlemanly bearing and derring-do such as your humble narrator? She's 37, never-married, and childless so I suspect that she's getting desperate. That could work to my advantage, I suppose. I have gotten more than a few responses and most of them have been from womyn nowhere near Madison. Why is it that all the womyn that respond to me from the Madison area are fraus that I don't find attractive? I got a response from someone who lives south of Chicago. A womyn in Davenport, Iowa responded. Well, maybe when I move out of Madison I'll have more luck.

Today I went shopping and bought a bunch of stuff to put in a care package for soldiers in Iraq. I'm just such a giving person. This week...this week...I don't know what the hell is going on this week. Let me think. Who knows. I need to open my Outlook calendar...OK. I wanna go see Alexander and Prog is playing at The Klinic on Wednesday. Other than that, the docket is empty. Mayhaps I'll check out that Live Movie Soundtrack thingy at the High Noon tomorrow night. Plus I've got a couple folks to meetup with to give/exchange some music. I found a guy who had the Rev. Horton Heat gig from here in Madison in 2000 that I was at so I'm getting that. Plus I offered some Floyd boots to a fellow Madtown blogger so perhaps she and I will get together for cocktails and make the exchange.

I feel so blah. I'm congested by otherwise feeling unill. My brain is just distracted. Time to think about dinner and perhaps listen to some drama.
|| Palmer, 7:37 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

27 November, 2004

Plans

Tonight I'm off to Milwaukee to see the symphony perform. They'll be doing not only Also Sprach Zarathurstra but also Ligeti's Atmospheres. I've been invited to Chicago next weekend to Bears vs. Vikings game. I dunno if I'm going yet but I probably shall. There's a progressive rock cover band, Grand Parade, playing Saturday. Plus I really, really wanna go see an exhibition on medieval art at the Art Institute.

Poking around, I've decided that I must get my ass to the Taste of Polonia next year. I mean just look at the womyn:



I'm thinking they need the Polish sausage in the natural casing! Speaking of frauleins, I used to work with one who looked exactly like this one:



The resemblance is uncanny.

So I've started finding things that I'm going to resolve to do next year. I absolutely have to got to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never been. And I want to go to the National Sacred Harp Singing Convention despite the fact that I can't sing a note and am an atheist. But Sacred Harp singing is just magnificent! Hopefully I'll be able to catch the film festival here in Madison come spring as I missed last year's due to my dad's death. Plus Terry Gilliam's new flick, The Brothers Grimm comes out. And I start my voluteer work as well. And perhaps I'll actually get my very own webpage up and running. Listening to Meek last night really made me want to do my own streaming radio broadcast. Oh! And I wanna do a show on WORT as well. Must get on that.

Well, I've gotta shower and run to the bank and then get my hair cut by Paul the One-Eyed Conservative barber. After that, I'll have to call The Dulcinea and see if she's up for making the beast with two backs.
|| Palmer, 9:27 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

26 November, 2004

Peter Gabriel Was Ahead of His Time



Haute Couture - 2004




Peter Gabriel - 1975
|| Palmer, 7:46 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

25 November, 2004

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I hope my little letter reaches you, wherever you are. Pete and I talked it over and concluded that you were sent to Limbo. Better than the Ninth Circle, I suppose.

Well, it’s Thanksgiving here – your favorite holiday. There’s a chill in the air and we’re all getting ready for the first snowfall. I’ve decided to spend the day at home alone. I’ve got to work tomorrow so no extended trip was possible and I just felt that it would be a good time to sit around and look at some pictures of you and just remember. It’s something that I haven’t really done since you died. I’m told that everyone grieves in their own way and I guess this is how I do it. I was also inspired by a recent e-mail and phone call. Last week Don e-mailed me. He and Betty fled Florida for California just before the hurricanes hit. Oh, I suppose you don’t know – Florida was hit with a few nasty storms this summer. Don & Betty’s place came through unscathed, thankfully. Anyway, he said that they drove through Natchitoches on their way back home, which naturally brought you to mind. Overall, things were going well down south though he did remark that he missed Suzie a lot more than he thought he would.

That phone call was from your buddy Jerry Jayne in Chicago. Earlier this week, a letter from him arrived. It was addressed to you in Natchitoches. In it he basically said that he was trying to get a hold of you but had been unsuccessful so could the recipient of the letter please help him find you. I felt badly because I would have sworn that I’d left him a voicemail and e-mailed him when I was in Natchitoches right after you died. (He and Judy were traveling.) I didn’t relish the thought of calling him as I remembered how intense and intensely difficult it was to make all of those calls back in March. Talking to Walt and a few other of your IBM buddies was really difficult. It was interesting as each of the conversations seemed to follow the same pattern. Firstly was their initial shock at the news. They’d ask how you died. After that was more shock/disbelief. Inevitably, though they would start reminiscing. Most of them started by saying that they hadn’t seen me since I was a boy and, to my brain’s credit, I at least remembered who these people were. It was a real trip down memory lane for all of us. I remembered those times up at Stone Lake with Walt’s family. How he’d take the boat to a part of the lake and tell me to cast in a particular spot. I always caught something. I didn’t know that you’d known Walt since your days in the Army – nearly 50 years. Man, did he have stories! I heard a couple whoppers about you getting drunk and causing low-level mayhem in Germany together. Plus he told me about Elizabeth. It was weird because I had earlier gone through all of your pictures and slides. While most of them were from trips you and mom took, I found some of a beautiful woman standing in front of a German car. Presumably this was her. Walt said that you two were quite serious. I wonder why you two never married…?

But I figured that I’d better call Jerry and be done with it. I did so and it was just like the other conversations. The initial shock followed by asking what happened followed by reminiscing. He talked about you two going to Cubs’ games, amongst other things. Jerry also remarked how smart you were – smarter than most of the field engineers. This was funny to me because it made me see much of myself in you. I ended up doing basically the same job as you and am noted for being the kind of guy who reads philosophy during his lunch hour. Although I’d never met Jerry (at least not that either of us could recall), he seemed like a really nice guy and I was genuinely touched by his concern for you. He said that he was quite worried about you after Joni’s death and I believed him. It also saddened me greatly because all of those memories came streaming back and I began questioning myself. What more could I have done? Why didn’t I do more? That kind of stuff. And a paradox formed in my mind. How was it that I called so many people to tell them of your death yet you died so alone? Why didn’t you move to Florida? You’d have been near Don and Gene. Did you move to Louisiana because of Jean? There was that one alcohol-soaked time after Joni’s death when you said that you were in love with her – did you move down there because of her? When I called her to tell her of your death, she was remarkably…indifferent, for lack of a better word. She said she was sorry for my loss and hung up. Not that I’m judging her harshly because I never met the woman. But it seemed odd to me.

As I said, it was just weird that there were so many people that I had to talk to yet you lived your life in such solitude, rarely venturing away from Eleva to visit anyone. Even before Joni died, you only came to visit me two or three times down here in Madison. I guess I just don’t understand why you had such a desire for the hermetic lifestyle and what you found so repulsive about visiting your son. Jerry said something which really hit me. He told me that you had told him that you felt regret about being estranged from your family. It felt nice to know that you loved me despite it having been near impossible to express to me. You had said something like this about your mom but never about me or Carl. So many questions…I can’t help but wonder why you hated (your word) your father. I wish I could have met the man. Instead all I have are a couple photographs. How is it that you carried your hate to your grave while Gene let it go? And what about grandma? Why the vast distance between you? Misanthropy will always be a mystery to me, I guess.

So what’s been happening in this world, you ask. Well, in May I went up to Eau Claire as Joni’s family was having a reunion out at Fritz and Mo’s. Jeff flew in for the occasion. It was a good time. Don retired on schedule in July and moved down to Florida at the end of the month. Also in July, mom’s uncle Harry died. I went down for the service. Ted Jack is now the patriarch of the family but grandma is still the eldest matriarch and holds all the real power. It really drove home just how time marches on and how things change. The changing of the guard, so to speak. Most of the movers and shakers of the family in my youth are now retiring and us younger folk are just being a bunch of slackers. One nice thing that has resulted from your death is that I’ve begun contact with Guy. He retires next month and will be a civilian once more. Gene & Sally are OK but I guess their house sustained damage from the hurricanes this summer. I really must call them.

More generally, the world is much the same as when you parted it. The debacle in Iraq continues with people on all sides dying everyday. Bush got reelected and the world waits for him to decide which country to invade next. The economy is still shaky and the IT job market still sucks unless you’re a Java programmer.

For my part, I’m working at the state for an indeterminate length of time fixing computers. Life’s been going alright. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately as I’m in Intellectual Mode. I remember as a kid how you’d come home, turn on the television, and sit in front of it reading. You’d take off your tie and undo the top button of your shirt. I recall very vividly one instance you sat there reading Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov. You held the book in one hand and fiddle with you lighter in the other as the smoke from a Carlton 100 Menthol swirled around your head. What else is going on with me?

I am “seeing” a woman but it’s not serious. The sex is great and she’s really nice but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with her or any such thing. You wouldn’t like her. For starters, she’s half black. But she’s fun and makes life less lonely. I don’t know that I’ll ever be married nor if I even want to. I’m in two minds about the matter. Perhaps as a sign of the times, I’ve got a few personal ads up on the Internet. I don’t know where all the interesting single women hang out nowadays. Wherever they are, they’re not at places I frequent. Hence the ads. A couple of them are phrased to indicate that I’m just looking for a fun activity partner while the others are more of an attempt to find someone with whom I can have a serious relationship. While that debate rages in my head, I keep myself busy with friends, books, cooking, etc. You’d be proud – I cooked up a whole mess of food last weekend. Polish food. I’ve been looking into my Polish heritage a bit including the food and music. Hopefully I’ll get around to reading some history soon. I suppose after my Polish phase, I’ll have to do the German thing. I can’t lean too heavily towards mom’s side of the family.

Well, this is all for now. I’ll write again. I hope things aren’t too bad wherever you are. Say hello to Tiresias should you see him.

Love and Thanks,
Tim
|| Palmer, 10:55 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

24 November, 2004

Moody

Considering that I slept a fair amount last night, I'm surprised that I feel this tired. i don't think that I'm really tired - more mental exhaustion. Just going from a mental high yesterday morning to a real low last night seems to have put a whammy of sorts on my grey matter. And listening to Krautrock doesn't help.

Today has been really boring, for the most part. A good number of the cases we're getting relate to programs that I've never heard of and have no idea how to help. Most people are gone today so our usual coterie of resources are gone and the intranet is no help. But I must admit to getting a chuckle from an email that I got this morning which had the subject line: "Violent Death Upgrade to 2.01". Things then turned sour when I read an article about certain Christians protesting outside theaters showing the new film, Kinsey. It occurred to me that this is what we lefties are contending with - it really hit home. People who are willing to march outside a movie theater and protest a piece of fiction but, I'd bet, favor a real-life war based on false pretenses which leads to the death of Americans everyday. A film is an abomination but actual death & destruction is to be condoned. Where are all the Xtians who don't find anyting to protest in Kinsey and who think that people who find people who believe that images of the Virgin Mary appear on grilled cheese sandwiches are morons? Onward Xtian soldiers.

Two more hours to go. I just wanna get the hell outta here. Being the nice guy that I am, I agreed to drive Archie over to a shop to pick up his car. Stevie will be heading to his parents' house tonight sometime. I dunno what Becca's plans are. No doubt she'll be heading up to Portage sometime for the holiday. My plan is to have some of the matzo ball soup that The Dulcinea brought over last night for dinner. Then I'll try to get the oven working again to make those kolacky. Perhaps some reading or some audio theater to whittle away the night.
|| Palmer, 4:33 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

23 November, 2004

More To Be Pitied

It's difficult to write when you're trying to hold back tears and your brain is awash in a million memories and thoughts all set under an umbra of sorrow. But I'm trying.

You see, I received a letter addressed to my father today. I thought it to be another piece of junk mail or perhaps the final gasp of a bill collector. Instead it was from a friend of my dad's who lives in Chicago. I thought that I'd e-mailed him and left a message on his cell phone back in March but it looks as if I was wrong. I was not looking forward to calling him and letting him know that my father had passed away. I'd done enough of that back in March/April. At first I contemplated e-mailing or writing him as the stationery had this info on the letterhead. But no, I couldn't be so impersonal as to do that. There's just something wrong with that - too impersonal. Initially I put it off until The Dulcinea came over a short while ago which caused me to walk by the table on which I had laid the letter. For some reason, I was able to cast aside my procrastination and pick up the phone.

I don't recall ever having met Jerry but my father told me about him. They had both worked at IBM together in Chicago. After telling him who I was, I explained that my dad had died in March. He paused and continued in a voice that betrayed his shock. He composed himself and asked what had happened. I told him and he continued as everyone else did whom I had called this spring: they reminisced. Jerry remarked that my father was a very smart man - smarter than most field engineers at the time. He went on to talk about going to Cubs' games with my father. Then he fast forwarded to the sadness he felt when he saw how my dad had hit rock bottom after my stepmother's death. I listened intently and added my own anecdotes to the conversation but I mostly heard him talk his way out of shock. I didn't mind, though. I'm rather hoping someone will do the same for me when my brain decides it's time to talk about my dad and his death.

The last thing he told me was that my father had expressed regret about having been estranged from my brother and me. Hearing those words moved me very intensely. I felt an odd mixture of comfort and sort of having gotten my revenge. I know, I know - de mortuis nil nisi bonum - but it just happened. It felt good to know that he felt bad about our relationship. Not that I'm proud of having felt that way, but there was nothing I could do.

Fuck. I probably shouldn't have put on "Way Down Watson". Feel the heart strings sinking fast... Yeah, it's about a building and not a person but so it goes.

I've been thinking a lot about my dad recently with Thanksgiving, his favorite holiday, swiftly approaching. I was out in the parking lot at work last week and I found myself staring into the distance pondering what his last thoughts could have been. Did he think about his sons? (How selfish of me.) More likely, "I don't want to die!". I guess I'm still not totally used to him being dead. In some ways I am, but not others. Maybe you never totally get used to it. But I always thought I would be older before I was sitting around reminiscing about the old man.

There's a riot in the head
bygone and soon to be
|| Palmer, 8:40 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

22 November, 2004

Brief Music News

The new Porcupine Tree album is done! According to their website, the album has been recorded, mixed, and mastered. Hopefully they'll return to the states next year on tour as the show of theirs I saw a couple years ago was fucking awesome. One of the best gigs I've ever been to.

In other geeky music news, Yes performed at a tribute concert for former member & producer, Trevor Horn. In addition to playing with Yes, guitarist Steve Howe joined (gasp!) Frankie Goes to Hollywood on "Welcome to the Pleasure Dome". Oh, that's just rich!
|| Palmer, 2:12 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Sex + Food = Good Weekend

This weekend I made my first trek over to Alex Polish American Deli. The selection is small but enough for me to work with. As a bonus, the guy behind the counter gave away samples. Mmmm. So I spent most of Saturday cooking up a Polish feast.

Friday night was intentionally mellow and I called The Dulcinea on Saturday morning only to find out that she wasn't wearing any underwear. After showering, I zipped over to her place. As I drove, I couldn't get her pantyless condition out of my head which caused a stiff reaction, if you get my meaning. Once in the door, we hugged and kissed. I then proceeded to gently bite her neck and, before I knew it, we were upstairs on her bed. I was horny, really horny. I stayed hard the whole time my tongue was between her legs. She had a very intense orgasm because she was loud. It was an incredible turn-on. The sex was great and I too had a fantastic orgasm and was loud.

Afterwards, we enjoyed some afterglow but I was anxious to get up and going. Must have been the caffeine. And so we headed out to the deli. As I said above, the selection was on the sparse side but I managed to grab most of what I needed for dinner in addition to tasting samples of various lunch meats. We then headed downtown and stopped first at Mad City Music. I snagged A by Jethro Tull which included the Slipstream DVD. I also grabbed Jay Farrar's new live EP. Then it was on to the Coop to get some onions and a couple last items the deli doesn't stock.

When we got back to my place, we put away the groceries and watched Slipstream. It's a funny relic of the 1980s with it's cheesy cable access special effects that mars the concert footage. There are also staged bits/music videos that are extremely cheesy ut humorous. The big red balloons chasing Ian Anderson are perhaps a tribute to Rovers of The Prisoner, but are also those he tosses out into the audience at the end of Tull concerts. Good music, good fun. But it wasn't enough and made me want to watch the video for "The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles". It is a bit of comic relief in the middle of Tull's A Passion Play album for which they filmed a short movie used at their concerts in 1973. Bassist Jeffrey Hammand-Hammond is narrator and it aslso features ballerinas, Maypole dancing, actors dressed in animal costumes, and a bit of bawdy humor. And more dancing. The Dulcinea really liked it and found Jeffrey to be sexy, oddly enough. We then finally started cooking.

On the menu was bigos (Hunter's Stew), Pieczen Huzarska (Hussar Roast), and kolacky for dessert. Firstly I brought out all of my cast iron cookware and cooked up the venison.



I deviated a bit with the cayenne but I cook everything with a some peppa! Next we busted out some caviar and Polish beer for snacking.



As things cooked, we listened to a Doctor Who drama in the living room. The Dulcinea laid on my chest. I put my hand in her shirt and caressed her breast and ran my fingers down her back. Before long, she removed her bra and pulled up her sweater. Then it was up to my bedroom for more sex. Once again, I went down on her and made her moan and sigh more. I love how she whimpers in between shallow breaths after she comes. It's fulfilling for both of us. She has an orgasm and I get this sense of having done good - like helping an old lady across the street, but better. While the sex was great, she got a bit sore so I masturbated for her. It was a tremendous turn-on for both of us. I love the look of anticipation on her face and her expectant moans. The way she looks at me just drives me crazy. And she is nice enough to lube me up when needed. When I did come, a big smile lit up her face and she blurted out, "Oh!". We laid around for a bit, before I went back downstairs to check on dinner. I removed the roast from the pan and cut it up into thick slices. Then I cut slits and stuffed them with the onion dressing.



The pan needed more liquid so I gave it a good douche of vodka.

Dinner was very, very tasty, if I do say so myself. (I had a picture of the finished product but have no idea where it went.) It was so good, I basically ate myself into a food coma so it was off to bed. Unsurprisingly, I woke up in the middle of night with a hardon. I think I started masturbating or maybe The Dulcinea started stroking me - I can't remember. But whoever grabbed me, I just fell asleep again. But I picked up where I left off in the morning.

We got up and had a little coffee. Then we jumped into the shower and gave each other a good wash. The Dulcinea gave special attention to my naughty bits. Turning the water off, she grabbed my cock and led me out of the shower. After drying off my hair, I bent her over the counter and entered from behind. I like fucking The Dulcinea from behind. The angle and the orientation of her naughty bits conspire to provide the most pleasure for me. Plus it puts me in a good position to slap her ass and see the nice curves of her hips. It didn't take The Dulcinea long to wipe away some of the condensation on the mirror so she could look at herself and see my face as I thrusted. We finished off in my bed.

So the weekend was good. I had lots of sex and ate well. I dropped her off at home around noon and then went to Toad Hill for while and chatted. I spent the rest of Sunday festering, basically. Did some reading and screwed around on my computer. I took today off from work to ostensibly get errands done that I had neglected over the weekend. We'll see how far I get in that endeavor. What I really wanna do now is fuck. I'll have to go somewhere populated by frauleins and do some flirting. I just wanna ogle some curves.
|| Palmer, 11:16 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

19 November, 2004

I Like To Think I'm Broadminded

I've eaten dinner and am listening to Stu Levitan. I feel incredibly lazy. Work was pretty blah. I spent the first 2 hours of my day wiping a user's PC and loading it back up only to have the problem recur. There's just gotta be something fucked up with her profile. Then I spent a lengthy time working on an Acrobat issue but I managed to get it resolved. I didn't see The Fickle One, which was a bit of a downer. I just remembered that I left the big hoolie of cookie dough that I bought from a co-worker's kid in the frig at work. Son of a bitch! No white chocolate-macadamia nut cookies for me this weekend.

My plan for the night is to watch NOW with Bill Moyers. Oooh! Oooh! I went over to the Frontline page and see that the recent Wal-Mart episode is available online. Since I missed the last half, I'll have to check it out. I was going to write that I planned on getting some reading done tonight but I may pass.

Stu uses "For What It's Worth" as bumper music and it occurs to me that there are precious few anti-war songs nowadays. At least very few in the Top 40. Why is that? Another random musical thought: The Louvin Brothers song, "Broadminded", serves as a good summary of the red vs. blue division:

Some people say they gamble now and then for pleasure
And drink a little whiskey just to please a friend
They say it's really nothing, you've got to be broadminded
That word in my Bible is spelled "s-i-n"


It does seem more than a tad hypocritical considering Charlie was a drinker and married four (4) times.

I have a sorry statement to make: I turned down a chance at sex last night. I know, I know - you see a chance, take it. But I violated that cardinal rule. What was I to do? I just felt like being alone. Maybe I just had too much on my mind. Not super-mega important things or important decisions that needed to be made quickly. While they weren't really mundane thoughts, they did occupy my mind. I guess I lapsed into an intellectual frame. I needed to be pensive. I needed to consider what I've been reading and take stock of my immediate position. There was a section in A Deeper Freedom concerning love & relationships that really affected me. It wasn't this big revelation but rather like anamnesis. The ideas weren't new nor ideas with which I disagree. Instead they were views & understandings that I hold but have been ignoring.

Naturally, in a true relationship we discover unknown things about ourselves. In this sense, knowing each other is unlike knowing a stable object in the world. I develop through the relationship; my meaning changes, as does yours. We haev to keep changing our theories of one another, and of our common bond, as we go along. What we discover is indeed alikeness, identity. Aristotle was right: Friendship requires a shared interest in some good. But the differences deepen the relationship and extend its mystery. Do we really seek someone who agrees with us on every point, who is just like us? The odd angles, the distinct point of view, the thoughts we think bright or funny because they are not ours, sheer quirkiness and whimsicality - these interest us. We are looking for yin and yang, a harmony of differences, or, best of all, complementarity.

To find a good relationship, whether of friendship or love, colleagueship or collaboration, you have to accept the fact, humbly and with gratitude, that somebody else is better than you are at many things that you have always tried to do by yourself alone. Complementarity enlarges the competence of both of you. It enlarges the range of meanings, the significance of your lives. YOu are now better at map reading, appreciating Bach, supervising, seeing the ridiculous in certain kinds of solemnity. But how the other person knows all the things that you do not remains a mystery. Again, the odd fact is that you know just about as much about the meaning of the person closest to you as you do about the meaning of the universe.


In a certain sense, I spent part of my time last night wondering why I had stopped seeking complementarity, why I had chosen to stopped seeking to extend the mystery.

The Dulcinea is a wonderful person. But she is primarily a sex partner and secondarily an activity partner. But she's not really a complement, at least not in most ways. For whatever reason, I'm beginning to feel like I need to find a true complement. Am I up for a "real" relationship?

As the robin craves the summer
to hide his smock of red,
I need the pillow of your hair
in which to hide my head.

I'm simple in my sadness,
resourceful in remorse.
Then I'm down straining at the lead
holding on a windward course.

Can I handle one? It's been over two years since I've found myself in one. During that time, I've felt like the narrator above. I need a pillow of hair in which to hide my head but I always find myself straining at the lead going off somewhere else. There's that angel on my shoulder telling me to find my Complement but I still wear those horns and think that there must be tons of womyn my age who are still single, divorced, or otherwise lonely and would put out.

My ambivalence aside, here's some nerdy music news. The local progressive rock cover band, Prog, has landed a regular gig at The Klinic. Every first Wednesday of the month. I might have to take a trek down the the Chicago 'burbs as another prog cover band, Grand Parade will be doing a gig on December 4th.

What else is going on culturally? Ollie Stone's Alexander opens next week. The restored version of The Big Red One is playing in Chicago. Gotta see that. And they'll be showing Dr. Strangelove next week! I may have to trek down to Chitown to see that again.

Either I will now prepare to watch that hoolie on PBS about womyn in Afghanistan or hit the sack. I've got a caffeine buzz yet am dead tired.
|| Palmer, 9:52 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

18 November, 2004

The Fickle One

When I returned from lunch, I noticed a sticky note attached to my copy of Johnny Cash's American III: Solitary Man which read:

Nice choice
- the fickle one

That little harlot.

OK, I won't bore you with my lustful heart. Instead, I'll bore you with something else. I spent lunch at Ancora doing the NYT crossword puzzle which, being a Thursday, was rather difficult. I am always a better puzzler with a cohort and The Caffeinatrix was unavailable so I didn't finish. However, I kept The Arts section so I may get back to it. Whatever happens, there looks to be an interesting article about the release of Leonard Bernstein's show for CBS about classical music.

I read today about the violence in The Netherlands in the wake of Theo Van Gogh's murder. (And murder is putting it lightly.) Bombs were set off at Muslim schools and mosques. A lot of the controversey stems from van Gogh's film, Submission. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet but I hope to soon.

Here's another example of stupidty. Delana Davies of Spurger, TX complained about a cross-dressing day at the local high school which has been going on for years. All of the sudden Ms. Davies see, "having boys dress like girls is part of an effort to push a homosexual agenda in public schools." I must wonder if Ms. Davies can define "homosexual agenda". She worried, "If it's OK to dress like a girl today, then why is it not OK in the future?" I've heard others use the phrase "homosexual agenda" and they strictly avoid actually saying what it means. The people whom I've met that fear a "homosexual agenda" seem to be under the misguided notion that all homosexuals think exactly the same way and are in contant contact with one another using cell phones and e-mail plotting some devious plan to do something or other. Christ, I think it's a law in England that men must dress as womyn at some point in their lives. Fucking ignorant, reactionary, homophobic shitbags.

Me? Reactionary?
|| Palmer, 4:23 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Descartes, I Squish You!

I keep forgetting to send my bootleg trade list to this guy from Italy who e-mailed me his. He's got some neat stuff. There's this Art Ensemble of Chicago gig from 1972 which caught my attention as well as a soundboard Gentle Giant gig from 1973. "Knots" and "Advent of Panurge" live are really powerful, at least the versions I've heard. Must remember to get that list to him tonight.

Last night The Pollack mentioned that he wanted to do a PollackFest on the weekend of December 18th. PollackFest is when we get together and make pierogi and drink a lot of bourbon. This reminded me that I still haven't been out to the Polish deli on Monroe. This weekend, this weekend. I don't have any plans for the weekend since Marv will be busy so we won't be gaming. I think I should get my arse in gear and do some things Polish. I'll rent a Poilsh flick, get some Polish food, and listen to Polish music. Just try and immerse myself in the culture for a day. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be difficult to find Polish films around here but at least I know there'll always be some Krystof Kieslowski to be had. And perhaps I can buy a Penderecki CD or something.

A little while ago, I went upstairs to the Office of Legal Council to work on someone's computer. So I walk in the door only to find a couple womyn dressed in togas sitting at their desks. Unfortunately the hot young blonde didn't follow the lead of the older womyn and remove her shirt for the costume. But it did allow me the opportunity to put my 8 years of Latin to use - I greeted them with, "Salve amici", which is Latin for "Hello friends".

I heard a rumor out in the parking lot that several people in my bureau were given pink slips today. It is, of course, unverified but I don't find it at all difficult to believe that the axe is dropping. Jimmy Doyle wants to save money and so many groups are being merged with the DOA. Everyone's worst fears seem to be coming true.

If anyone is keen on a quickie Western philosophy lesson, check out Squashed Philosophers.

I'm off to lunch...
|| Palmer, 11:57 AM || link || (1) comments | links to this post
She's A Lady, She's Got Time

Ye gods, am I horny! I'm bound to offend someone today. I ran into Miss Jolene at CZ and she had this tight black shirt on and I stared at her breasts and...and...

Last night went alright at The Pollack's. Although I got there later than I had anticipated, he was yet home so I had to let the hounds out and feed them. Buddy is not a problem but that fucking Pesto is just a bitch. Yapping and jumping and ramming her wet snout into my nuts - and, to make matters worse, she continues to eat her own feces. I just don't understand what The Pollack sees in that dog. Anyway, I let loose the dogs and went to the liquor cabinet. He wasn't lying when he said that he had multiple flavors. There was the usual Ten High but there were also 3 highly tasty and highly expensive varieties to be had. Firstly, was one whose smooooove taste and bright finish I was already quite familiar with, Basil Hayden. Secondly, there was the first of two elixirs that were unknown to my palate, 1792 Ridgemont Reserve. Lastly there was a bottle of Blanton's.

To begin the proceedings, I poured a Ten High and sour for myself and threw a glass with ice in the freezer for when The Pollack finally arrived. He did and he was bitching about his boss who called after about 5 minutes. No wonder The Pollack was pissed off - the guys calls and takes up 20 minutes of his time to basically say that he is going to e-mail a list. That's why they invented e-mail, so you wouldn't have to call someone. Especially after they've left the office.

So while they talked shop, I proceeded to fix up The Pollack's laptop. Firstly, I setup his e-mail signature which I had created while I was here at work yesterday. Then I set his dial-up connection to never disconnect because of inactivity. Then I figured out why he can't burn CDs: he doesn't have a CD burner, just a DVD-ROM. I didn't think they actually put optical drives in computers anymore that didn't burn CDs. Next up I looked at a few Word files that wouldn't open. These were documents that I had recovered from his old laptop that had been deleted. Word 2003 couldn't recover/repair them so I instructed him to open them in Notepad and copy any text over to a new Word doc. The last problem he had was that Outlook Express wasn't printing correctly. It was using extremely small margins and was not starting the text at the margin but rather at the edge of the paper. He said that Word prints fine, however. I installed the newest print driver from Canon's site but this didn't help. After tinkering around, I discovered that the problem was with Internet Exploder's Page Setup. OE gets its Page Setup info from IE, as they're tightly integrated, and IE had miniscule margins. The real problem was that IE would not accept changes to the margins. I'd change them and hit OK only to go back in there and find that they'd reverted to their original settings. I was ready to tell him to just fucking use Firefox but he's a creature of habit. I've spent the past couple years getting his computer abilities to where he now has to call me for assistance only infrequently and the switch could upset his routine and cause me more work. I found the registry keys for these settings this morning so now I have to create a batch file to enter the settings because I don't want his ass poking around the registry. That will cause trouble and I will have to bail him out of it.

I'm looking forward to lunch as, not only will I be away from my desk and my glaucoma-inducing monitor, but I'll be able to continue my current read, A Deeper Freedom. It's quite good. I just love how Anderson draws on so many ideas, so many philosophies, taking bits from them all to make a new whole. He'll draw on Locke, Alasdair MacIntyre, Plate, Aristotle, etc. for material as well as show how various aspects of their philosophies are deficient. Right now, he's getting to Pragmatism/Pragmatacism and his own personal hero, Charles Peirce. This kind of thing is what made his class so incredibly interesting in college. He woud take an idea employed by a modern author and go back to ancient Greece and discuss the origins of the idea. Then he'd move up through the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment and, finally, to modern times describing all the while how the idea was used and modified by various people in their own times and places. Absolutely fascinating!

I'm about halfway through the book. What he's done to this point is discuss shades of liberalism (and I mean "liberalism" in the classical sense) and brought up elements in our humanity that are not accounted for by the various incarnations. Exempli gratia, pure classical liberalism (Anderson refers to it as "skeptical liberalism") is predicated on the idea of imperfect knowledge. We can never know what is best for anyone so thusly each person should be free to follow their own life path and discover what is best for herself. But Anderson counters by appealing to a broad sense of human nature that is inclusive of telos, or, simply, a goal. Skeptical liberalism works hand-in-hand with pure utilitarianism and says that we humans are just out to maximize pleasure and minimize pain - these are our goals. But Anderson finds other goals towards which life is directed. When I left off yesterday, he had brought up love as well as the old Christian ideas of vocation. The concept of vocation here basically means that your job, your work is an extension of you, embodying your morals, your personality, etc. and is not just a means to survive.

I know that I am by no means doing justice to the book. Go read it for yourself.

Although my coffee cup is nearly depleted, I'm still not completely awake. I've put on Project Infinity by Man...or Astro-Man? to help get fired up but it's had only a minor effect so far.
|| Palmer, 9:55 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

17 November, 2004

The Dystopia is Nigh

It seems almost a horrible joke on consumers but it may happen to you. The Senate is looking pass legislation which makes it illegal for people to fast forward through commercials. Here's an article from Wired on the issue. The relevant section:

"...under the proposed language, viewers would not be allowed to use software or devices to skip commericals or promotional announcements 'that would otherwise be performed or displayed before, during or after the performance of the motion picture,' like the previews on a DVD."

Of course, you can always zip past gratuitous violence and sex. But you must see the advertising!
|| Palmer, 2:36 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Hmmm...?

I was at a user's PC earlier fixing it while he was out of the office. There was a notepad next to his monitor which had a list of items at the top that read:

gas mask
room freshener
            in
powder ^ envelope

Damn lawyers and their cryptic lists!
|| Palmer, 1:45 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Said She Was A Barista

I've been listening to a lot of Jethro Tull the past couple days. Mostly A Passion Play but now I've got that Grammy™ winning heavy metal Crest of Knave playing.

Today is going slowly. Very slowly, in fact. We've gotten the queue under control and now I find myself putting off wiping a user's PC until later. I've got the god disc right here ready to go but am just not in the mood to deal with a user mano el mano. Tonight I am off to Edgerton to fuck with The Pollack's laptop and have some bourbon. When I spoke with him yesterday, he boasted of having four tasty flavors. Woodford Reserve and Basil Hayden among them.

I didn't do a whole fuck of a lot last night. Ate dinner and got my shit organized before watching Frontline's piece on Wal-Mart and falling asleep on the couch. I've started backing up one of my hard drives as it was down to 11GB. Plenty of space but, as it has 80GB of capacity, I tend to burn through space. So I'm going to clear it off a bit and keep only stuff I plan on watching/listening to in the near future.

Last night I watched the first half of Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos, starring Colin Baker. While I was putting away laundry, I listened to a Doctor Who radio drama in which he starred. Unsurprisingly, I had a dream which involved meeting him at a Doctor Who convention which took place at an old mansion. It was pretty funky but, unfortunately, I can't really remember much of it.

The Dulcinea came over Monday night, ostensibly to retrieve a book she had left at my house, but it ended up being a booty call. Come Tuesday, I was left wanting more. On my way home from work, I saw Miss Jolene at a gas station. I'd invest more energy into getting into her pants if someone hadn't described her to me as a "cold fish". I also neglected to call Miss Tomah. Tomorrow, I guess. Not that I know her pants will be any easier to get into but the odds seem better. I met a nice-looking womyn here at work yesterday who was also quite pleasant. Of course she had a ring. And I found myself in an elevator with Miss Sarah who just had to be with someone else on a trek up to the tenth floor. I was so engaged in speaking with her that I missed my floor. Well, luckily lunch is almost here so I can send sideways glances at baristas.

I read something scary yesterday in the FFRF newsletter. It had a newspaper report on a Christian man who shot and killed another guy solely because he was an atheist. Included were a couple quotes from the murderer which both were along the lines of, "I had to kill him because he was Satan." Almost makes me think twice about wearing my Friendly Neighborhood Atheist sweatshirt in public.
|| Palmer, 11:39 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
News: The Bad and Stupid

According to a Japanese study, your computer's monitor can help you go blind. Oh, that just doesn't bode well for me.

In a stupider vein, someone had bid $22,000 on what they see as a likeness of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich. Why is every "image" of a womyn on sandwich thought to be Mary herself? Why couldn't it be Cleopatra or Doris Day or just some womyn of no fame whatsoever? I mean, billions of them have populated this planet over the years.
|| Palmer, 7:57 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

16 November, 2004

H2x2

A little geeky gaming news. Halo 2 has finally been released for the XBox. Also, Half-Life 2 sees the light of day after years of development and setbacks.
|| Palmer, 10:32 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

15 November, 2004

A Weekend Well-Spent

For being a Monday, the morning is going alright. I've got me some tunes playing and work is slow which gives me the opportunity to take care of a few personal matters. My Madison Area Literacy council registration material is ready to mail. I replied to Miss Tomah who had e-mailed me Saturday. She was kind enough to include her phone number. So it seems as if I have passed the first test. I must be harmless enough, apparently. I'll ring her tonight or tomorrow.

My weekend was a lot of fun. It began with Miss Pamela's arrival early Saturday afternoon. When I opened the door and saw here there, I noticed she was clutching a 6-pack of Capital Autumnal Fire. Mmmm...Soon enough we headed out for State Street. Our first stop was Stillwaters where we ate lunch. I suspect it was the attraction of Long Island iced teas that lured into the joint. We ate, drank, and shot the shit. I sat facing a window and, at one point, a vaguely familiar gentleman stood out on the sidewalk looking at me and waving. He popped in and we traded pleasantries. I felt a bit bad as I didn't fully recollect who he was until after he'd left. While I can't remember his name (Doug?), he was one of the guys on the ADS team at American Family. He is a fairly typical geek and all-around nice person. I knew that he was my kinda guy when he boasted one day that he co-wrote the rules for a group here in town that does recreations of battles from The Lord of the Rings.

From Stillwaters, it was off to Mimosa so Miss Pamela could buy a singing bowl. A singing bowl is a bowl that you hold in your hand and rub the outside rim with a pestle-like hoolie. If you do it correctly, the bowl will resonate and emit a distinctive hum. It's pretty neat. I tried to make a few of the bowls hum but was able to only get one to actually sing. I hadn't been to Mimosa's new digs before and was unhappy because I didn't see any cats wandering around like at the old location. That and there seemed to be less books. The store is smaller now so I guess some sacrifices had to be made. After Pam blew lots of money, we headed to the Plaza for a beer. There was a small crowd there watching the Baders get their asses stomped. We drank and chatted some more before heading off to A Woman's Touch. Pam was like a kid in a candy store as she perused the lingerie and vibrators. I must admit, I got a bit randy looking over the various panties, garters, etc. She spent a lot of time carefully considering the selection of pleasure-inducing toys. It seemed unfair that womyn were given a vast array of toys from which to choose while I counted considerably less that were specifically designed for we men. Only two, in fact. Ah well, like Tiresias said about the enjoyment of sex, "Of ten parts a man enjoys one only, but a woman enjoys the full ten parts in her heart." We also spent some time looking over the various books there. I have a paucity of erotic fiction & photography books in my collection and I should really bolster it but I'm too picky. Pam really likes Eric Kroll but, after giving a couple of his books there a once-over, I found his stuff to be hit or miss. Still, I'll look into his work further.

After Pam had spent enough money there, we went down the street to Mickey's. We drank and talked more. Having just been at a sex-positive toy store, it was unsurprising that we should talk about it. While Pam didn't complain for hours or anything but she has some desires that remain unfulfilled. One of the problems is that her hubby takes 2 or 3 anti-depressant medications which have adverse effects on his libido. Considering that she's such a beautiful, passionate womyn, it seems a great shame and I hate to have a good friend with such a cloud hanging over her head. I'm getting laid frequently and having fun and that puts me in the frame of mind that everyone should be having lots and lots of great sex, especially those close to me. And so, when I heard her tale, it just struck a nerve, so to speak. Hopefully they can get things worked out so that both of them find fulfillment.

As the beer flowed and conversation went on, she told me that a couple of her friends find themselves in marriages that are going less than optimally. I'd met these two womyn before so Pam's comments seemed to hit me a bit harder than if they had been complete & total strangers. The comment that really stuck in my mind was how they both loved their husbands but didn't want to touch or be touched by them. I got the impression that they loved their husbands but were no longer in love with them. How terrible. (And they have children.) I had to wonder how many couples find themselves in that kind of situation. I dated a womyn for a 2+ years and we had a terrible sex life. I think I masturbated about a million times more than we made love. (And she dumped me. Oh, the irony.) So I am familiar with the intense frustration that a poor sex life instills within someone and the strain it puts on a relationship. Being a man, I felt that I was being denied my God-given right, namely to have sex whenever I cared to. Selfish? You betcha. But who claims that the libido is rational and/or egalitarian? Aside from the lack of physical pleasure, it also denied me a certain amount of emotional intimacy and that effect snowballed until we were virtually strangers living together. On top of this, it made me question myself: does she not find me attractive any longer? am I that unskilled a lover? am I a horrible person? It was just one big terrible mess from which we could never untangle ourselves. At least we weren't married so separating was a lot easier than had we been married with children for several years.

Part of my fascination with this topic lies in the fact that this kind of stuff has been in the back of my brain for a while. It goes back months to when I was reading articles by Andrea Dworkin, et al and arguing with a reader about gender. More recently, I've read about the upcoming film, Kinsey, as well as that story of the two men here who turned themselves in after murdering 2 or 3 people. One of those people is the former girlfriend of one of the killers. She fled from him to Nebraska and the pair drove down there and kidnapped her. Plus the Scott Peterson case has been on the news a lot. Add in a hefty dose of Steven Pinker & evolutionary psychology and you can see why human nature, gender roles, and relationships have been on my mind.

There are times when I go out for a square here at work that I encounter a gaggle of womyn in the smoking area all chatting away. Often times I overhear their conversation and often times it's about their husbands. Sometimes I get the impression that they've all succeeded in marrying the most uncaring, selfish men on the planet. An exaggeration it may be but there are times when I wonder why some of these womyn are still married to these guys. It makes me wonder sometimes. What is happening behind all the facades of smiles that I see everyday. Well, enough pondering for now.

Miss Pamela and I returned to my place and checked out some erotica on the Net and listened to some tunes with Autumnal Fire in hand. After she left, I went over to The Dulcinea's. The second I walked in the door, she began taking off her clothes. So the second I had my shoes off, I removed my clothes. We started off on the couch and made it to a chair before going to her bed. I awoke during the antelucan hours of Sunday morning and started humping her leg. It wasn't long before I was on top of and inside of her. We laid around in bed for a while before I decided to leave. It's not that I really wanted to go but I was keen on getting out of there before her songs awoke. Just as I was putting on my shoes, one of them came downstairs. He just looked at me. And I at him until I bid him good morning. He said nothing. He'd seen me before at TH and suspected something but I was outed. Not that it's really a big deal but I don't want to add any more confusion to his life. His biological father lives far away, his mom and stepfather are divorcing and now there's my vague presence in his life.

Upon getting home, I found Stevie running vinegar through the coffeemaker. Something was wrong with it and he decided that a cleaning was in order. When that had finished, he made a pot of lukewarm coffee-flavored water. We let it sit for a while longer so that the heating element could get up to temp and then tried again - same thing. With my cup of black liquid, I watched some BookTV. A womyn by the name of Nancy Pearcy gave an anti-humanism spiel at Christian bookstore in promotion of her tome, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its
Cultural Captivity
. While giving her criticisms, she bandied the term "religious truth" about quite a bit but never defined it. She just assumed that everyone could see it or, at least, her version of it. It seems to me that there are all kinds of "religious truths" out their competing with one another. When she complained that intelligent design explanations were neglected in the schools, I wished that I could reach into the TV and slap her. The reason they're not taught is that they're not science! And she mischaracterized various statements by folks such as Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennett. Instead of appreciating their awe and amazement of the human predicament, she took their statements to mean that they deny the existence of the soul and that their minds are left without and adequate replacement. After a while, I decided that what my hangover needed was grease. So I zipped over to the Jenifer Street Market and bought some bread and breakfast sausage. A large, fat-laden breakfast gave way to a nap. Which, in turn, gave way to me going over to Dogger's to play D&D. It was a hoot because Pete got all pissed off because we refused to just rush into a month plus journey in stealth. With all these questions about the white dragon supposedly tracking us, he wanted to go find its lair and set a trap. Just the 5 of us. It sounded like a death sentence to me. Cut ourselves off from people for weeks? How could we keep abreast of developments? And so Marv led us on to the next part of the adventure in which we encountered a nasty troll thingy. So we finally kill it only to explore the cave a bit more and find a couple umber hulks and an ilithid. THAT is going to suck. Someone in our party to going to die or, at the very least, have some brain matter sucked out by that ilithid.

Today has been alright. Work is pretty slow. I spent my lunch over at Ancora doing the NYT crossword puzzle since I had forgotten my current read at home. As I was sitting there pondering a clue, the interminably cute blonde approached said hello and that she didn't see me come in the store. It was nice to have a hottie be so friendly. So I enlisted her in doing the puzzle. She got a clue before returning to work. April wandered over as well and lent a hand. Eventually I finished the puzzle in between ogling the blonde's ass. Mmm...And now I'm waiting for this day to fucking end. Two guys here left early because they felt for shite and everyone else is pissed off and frustrated about the impending rollouts this week with the first starting in about 3 hours. I got to see the fickle Ms. Sarah but she was too busy for me to hit on her.
|| Palmer, 2:12 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

12 November, 2004

Science Reporting

Here's an interesting article on media coverage of science.
|| Palmer, 8:50 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Secession Is Looking Better and Better

"Of all the theories in all the world that are taught in Cobb County classrooms, only evolution is disclaimed."

Do we need another Sherman to march on the South?
|| Palmer, 3:41 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Apemen

The "anonymous" author of Imperial Hubris has resigned from the CIA so he can go public. I guess this wouldn't be a particularly big whoop were it not for the fact that he is claiming that Osama bin Laden "...now has religious approval to use a nuclear device against Americans." Swell. Just swell. An interview with him is going to be on 60 minutes Sunday. Check out the blurb at the CBS website.

If there were an terrorist attack of the nuclear flavor, could blue states blame the red ones for having re-elected our version of Urban II? Will the Jerry Falwells of the land once again point to various groups and say to them that they helped it happen?

Thank the gods for religion, that elephant standing in the middle of the room. As if we human animals need excuses beyond greed, jealousy, etc. to inflict harm upon each other. But no. We have this wonderful faith in an imaginary supernatural being which becomes a potent buttress in the justification of hate. Religion feeds the fire of irrational hatred. Even Tridentine Transubstantiationists are not immune to the plague and they have this deity that asked his followers to be nice to one another.

I don't feel safe in this world no more
and I don't want to die in a nuclear war
|| Palmer, 2:56 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Culture High & Low

I see that a new album by The (Truncated) Who is on tap. Tentatively titled WHO2, it looks to be released next year. From Pete Tonwshend's online diary:

"WHO2 will not be a concept album. That is, in itself, a concept for me. Roger and I meet in mid December to play what we have written. If we move ahead from there, we may have a CD ready to release in the spring. My working-title for the project - ‘Who2’ - is only partly tongue-in-cheek. If the recording works out we will tour with the usual band in the first half of 2005.

While not the most exciting prospect ever, I thought the two new Who songs on that best-of collection were good, especially "Old Red Wine". Now, I grant you that The Who haven't been the same since Keith Moon died but they managed some great songs dudring the 80s. Now that Entwhistle is gone, the sound will be even more different but good music can result nonetheless as "Old Red Wine" has proven. We'll see. I can always ask Luke for the lowdown on it when it's released.

In other dinosaur rockers news, Jethro Tull will be performing Aqualung in its entirety for XM Radio - more here. Apparently the station has a show in which old duffs come into the studio and play a classic album of theirs. Should be amusing. It'll no doubt be available for download shortly after its broadcast as was the case with Procupine Tree's session there.

Yesterday's mail brought paperwork from the Madison Area Literacy Council. I wrote asking for information about becoming a volunteer tutor. I had thought about giving it a go several months ago but never followed through for reasons lost to me. My mother used to work for Literacy Volunteers of America, my father was a voracious reader when I was a kid, and I love to read & want to make a difference of some kind so it seems a natural fit. What really motivated me was the horrid results of the election which inspired me to do something that seemed even remotely productive and reading that a fellow blogger was volunteering sealed the deal. Unfortunately, the next set of training sessions aren't until February. But it'll roll around soon enough.

Last night Marv, Pete, Christopher, and I went to see Copenhagen at the Overture thingy and I thought it was really great. It concerns the 1941 meeting of physicists Werner Heisenberg and Neils Bohr at Bohr's home in Copenhagen. At the time, Denmark was under Nazi occupation and Heisenberg lived in Germany. The two were close friends in the 20s but the war threw a spanner in the works. The play concerns physics, friendship, and people dealing with the intense pressures of war. The overarching concept is Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle - not only as it relates to science but also to human relationships. (More info is to be found here.)

The actors were a bit shaky at the start but soon found their grooves. I liked that it was staged in the round. A spare set consisting only of 3 chairs and a round stage seemed quite appropriate. Characters could walk around the perimeter like an electron around a nucleus. Some comic relief from Bohr helped balance some intense moments from Heisenberg and Bohr's wife, Margarethe.

I'm excited as Miss Pamela is going to be visiting from the good land of Milwaukee. We'll end up at Mimosa and then cruise around. I need to do some shopping and want to hit the Polish deli on Monroe but am afraid of Badger fans toppling my car and snagging my goods as Miss Pamela and I flee. And so tomorrow should be a fun-filled day of good food, sex toys, singing bowls, and, no doubt, beer.
|| Palmer, 11:54 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

11 November, 2004

Something Froody from the State of Denmark

"Me needsa more sleep," said Jar Jar Binks to the technical services guy whose eyelids felt the tug of gravity more than they normally do.

Today is just dragging due to lack of sleep. But I had fun. As I indicated before, the whooping cough scare had no basis in virological fact. How much more ironic could it have gotten? Catching an airborne pathogen at the Department of Health - classic. But I went to see Jay Farrar last night at Luther's Blues.

I met The Dulcinea at Steep'n'Brew on University Ave. after work. We chatted over espresso and jasmine tea before succumbing to our hungers. We decided to head across the street to Sa-Bai Thong. As we waited for a break in traffic, she said that she couldn't get "Damn Shame" out of her head so I started singing about pad thai to the melody.

Sprinkle peanuts on the noodles
mmmmm, mmmm
mmmm, mmmmmm
Pad thai, pad thai

It was a mellow but good show. I'd really like to see him with a full band as I missed his trek through town last year when he had Canyon with him. "Damn Shame" is a great tune and Jay and Mark Spencer rocked. There was a short jam in the middle where Jay put down his guitar and picked up a harmonica. They played a new song but the title was never given. The refrain had a line like, "...and I'm thinking of Woody Guthrie". "Barstow" was really great and it was nice to hear a couple numbers from Wide Swing Tremelo too. The set closed with "Tear-Stained Eye", a favorite of mine. It was a stark version - just Jay, his guitar, and a harmonica. As I was singing along, I had a flashback to April when I was driving home from Louisiana after my father's death.

Ste. Genevieve can hold back the water
but saints don't bother with a tear-stained eye

I remembered driving by the exit for the town of Ste. Genevieve and the song coming into my head. Tears welled in my eyes then just as they did last night. I guess I'm just a sensitive eighties kinda guy.

As The Dulcinea and I were walking to our cars in Lot 20, she asked, "So do you wanna go somewhere and have sex?" Sure, why not. So we went back to her place. The sweet bottom grass had been mowed but I grazed nonetheless. I haven't done a study ala Masters & Johnson on this but it seems to be me that the scent of the Golden Lotus is usually sweetest immediately following menses. Why this should be is beyond my meager knowledge but I take advantage of it when possible. The aroma drives me into a musth-like state in which I have better erections - like a natural Viagra. I could smell her fragrance in whatever position we found ourselves. We finally got to sleep sometime or other. Around 5:30 I awoke to find her hand on my stiffness. Wavering in and out of consciousness, I soon found her on top of me. Just as we got into a good rhtyhm, the fucking alarm clock went off. It was funny to watch The Dulcinea scramble to turn it off while keeping me inside of her.

Man! I just wanna get the fuck out of here and see Copenhagen. I finished reading the latest issue of Bitch magazine today but my comments will have to wait til later. I've got a country ton of stuff just waiting for me at the library. Polish history, Polish folk music - tomorrow. Have I mentioned that I've been inspired to become a volunteer? Perhaps the relevant paperwork will arrive today. How fucking long could it take for it to arrive? I mean, it is being mailed from right here in town.

OK - almost time to bust outta Dodge and off to meet Marv.
|| Palmer, 4:46 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

10 November, 2004

No News Is Good News

Where the hell was I? Something about vernacular. Well, that can wait til later.

No news is good news, apparently. Ed hasn't heard from the clinic on the whooping cough which is the desired situation if the results are negative. And so I'm planning on seeing Jay Farrar tonight and Copenhagen tomorrow.

I spent my lunch hour at Ancora supping coffee and reading Bitch, a feminist magazine I picked up at the Willy Street Co-op. It's fairly amusing and has some interesting bits in it but I cringed when I read a letter to the editor that said something to the effect of how men (& womyn) must learn that beauty on the outside comes from beauty on the inside. Or some similarly stupid thing. They are two separate things that are indeed linked. Yet they are distinct - for we men, at least.

Miss Pamela e-mailed me today saying that she might be in town Saturday so she can go to Mimosa and snag a Tibetan singing bowl. Hopefully I'll be around to meet up with her and cruise around State Street and beyond. We may head over to A Woman's Touch so she can check out dildos while I look at the, um, sheaths, I guess. Or whatever you call 'em.

For any Wilco fans, here's their new song, "Just A Kid" from the Sponge Bob soundtrack.

I've got a slew of things on hold for me at the library but it looks like I won't have time to pick them up until Friday. More on that later. I'm outta here and off to meet The Dulcinea for pre-show coffee and such.
|| Palmer, 4:48 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
License to Ill

Last night I finished reading The Story of English. It was a great read in many respects. Firstly there was the sheer novelty of discovering the origins of many a word. The word "swag", which is something of hip term nowadays as near as I can tell, originated in Australia, for instance. Secondly, there was the history lesson involved. Anglii, Saxons, Jutes, Normans, etc. invading England. Then you have the resulting mix interacting with the Scots, Welsh, and Irish. Zoom ahead in history to the English Empire and you've got English being spread to India and the Americas. They send prisoners to New South Wales and Australian develops. Although the book doesn't go into great depth, it did address some cultural concerns. English continues to pervade the globe as the lingua franca of business, trade, and science yet people in many countries use it as for just that while speaking a native tongue at home and in casual conversation. For some people, English is seen as an intrusion. Yet others view it as a path out of poverty and a step onto the road of modernization. I really had to laugh at some of the quotes from cultural elites throughout the ages who have bemoaned that the general populace doesn't speak Standard or "correct" English. There are quotes from various members of the House of Lords as well as folks like William Safire. Rather than seeing language as an organic entity which is used by people to suit their needs and something that grows and evolves, they castigate the lower classes for remaining ignorant of the "proper" way to speak English. Fucking conservatives. They're probably Xtians too.

I really want to find the TV series on DVD and watch it as I had a blast reading various dialects, such as patois, and trying to understand them, trying to relate them to the Standard English that I use. I wish I had the book here to quote something but, alas, I do not.

One of the many tangents my mind went off on while reading the book was to think about the flavor of English that I speak. I'm reasonably well-spoken in Standard English yet, especially in college, I've had conversations that people who weren't my friends wouldn't understand completely. This isn't because we'd developed our dialect or any such thing but rather because we used an incredible amount of slang and colloquialisms.

Like many young folk, we quoted (and continue to) the many films, songs, and TV shows like Stanley kubrick's films so lines from 2001 and Full Metal Jacket were common. Plus we picked up some Nadsat from A Clockwork Orange. The Simpsons has always been a favorite. Monty Python and a whole host of English TV shows provided fodder for our linguistic exploits. Sometimes quoting wasn't even needed - just an accent or some change of voice.

But we also adopted or came up with our own words and phrases. For example, instead of exclaiming, "Shit!", we started using "Daily!" Originally it referred to something that went wrong on a quotidian basis but it evenutally we started to use it as a general expression of frustration. "Hoolie" is another one. I got it from a former roommate, Wally, who got it from a friend of his in Oconomowoc. It's a synonym for "thingamajig" or "whatchamcallit".

Christ! A co-worker who'd been out ill for a few days came back today. There's a chance he had the whooping cough. Although he's not infectious, he may have been in that stage last week when he was here so I may have been exposed to it. Fuck! I don't wanna have to go to a doctor as I have no insurance and I don't want to be quarantined. There's the Jay Farrar show tonight and then Copenhagen tomorrow. God dammit! The guy is expecting the results of a test today so I hope to find out soon. Since I may not go to the Jay Farrar show tonight, I've put in Stone, Steel & Bright Lights. "Fool King's Crown" is a-rockin'! I must remember to head over to Mad City Music to see if they have a copy of that Live EP.
|| Palmer, 2:20 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

09 November, 2004

The Blue and the Red

I started to write an entry yesterday but didn't get very far by the end of the workday so I 86'd it. I also meant to compose something when I got home yesterday but didn't have the time as Lush called me over to his house to watch Kill Bill 2. Wendy and Hannah were both up north so it was just us. We chatted a bit about our dismay over Dubya's re-election. It's funny how most every conversation I have had with friends the past week has included at least some recognition of our apprehension over this matter. In fact, shortly after Lush called, the phone rang again and I found Andy, a friend from a fellow blue state, on the other end. While he had ostensibly called for some computer help, the conversation predictably drifted towards the election. While I don't lay claim to the following being of Gallop quality, a number of friends who reside in big cites, including Oakland, Milwaukee, and Chicago, have expressed deep anger with the folks in red states. These people have advanced the same argument, however legitimate: it is people in big cities, i.e. - in blue states, that are the targets of terrorism yet it is the folks in red states who dictate how cities will be protected and the "war on terrorism" is to be executed. On top of this, a small sampling of folks in England gave their opinion:

"Every single person I spoke to - English, Danish, Germans, Greeks, Italians, Chinese, Indians, Africans - every single one of them (and I work in an international community) are shocked, angry, dismayed and sickened.

Every one of them."


Oh, that just ain't good. I am hoping that the Dubya junta can be contained for a couple years until the midterms. I'm not sure how many Senate seats will be up for grabs but we lefties had better damn well do our best to ensure the Dems control it come 2007. Whilst I have a lot to say regarding about last weeks tragedy, I'm going to save that for later when my mind is in a more ordered frame.

For those with an insatiable appetite for the political, I recommend this site. Now, I will instead bore you with lust.

CZ has been my morning destination the past 2 days for go juice. J is looking mighty fine. It's a shame that she'll be moving come next spring. Hey, I know that I'll never get into her pants but chatting with her for a few minutes in the still dark morning makes things brighter.

Since BJ came in late this morning and is spending the afternoon over at DOA, Miss Sarah has been coming to me for print outs. And, lemme tell ya, I have been flirting heavily. In fact, I may have sexually harrassed her about half an hour ago. Hey, she asked for me to entertain her. So I related to her the etymological things I'd learned at lunch and told her that, when she got to my desk, I had been listening to the song, "Poontang Little, Poontang Small". (Well, that's the kind of stuff John Lomax came up with when he recorded at prisons.) She laughed but I am hoping she isn't taking offense.

It's such a pleasure to have a beautiful blonde come to your desk every hour. This morning, as we waited for the printer to spew out a couple jobs, I managed to peek into her blouse. The bit between two button had puckered allowing a nice view. Oh, my brothers, it was glorious. I viddied part of one of her groodies. Nary a hint of bra to be found - just a bulge of nice pale skin. And now onto matters less pruriently inclined.

Don't forget: Firefox 1.0 was released today. Go make the swtich if you haven't already.

If, like me, you engage in P2P file sharing on occasion, you might find this article interesting. An interesting tidbit:

"According to an internal study done by one of the majors, between two-thirds and three-quarters of the drop in sales in America had nothing to do with internet piracy. No-one knows how much weight to assign to each of the other explanations: rising physical CD piracy, shrinking retail space, competition from other media, and the quality of the music itself. But creativity doubtless plays an important part."

Doubtless.
|| Palmer, 3:25 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

07 November, 2004

Bloody Xtians!

Why do they want to stunt the education of kids? Are dipshits from red states moving here? From the AP:

GRANTSBURG, Wis. - The city's school board has revised its science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism, prompting an outcry from more than 300 educators who urged that the decision be reversed.

School board members believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum "should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory," said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin.

Last month, when the board examined its science curriculum, language was added calling for "various models/theories" of origin to be incorporated.

The decision provoked more than 300 biology and religious studies faculty members to write a letter last week urging the Grantsburg board to reverse the policy. It follows a letter sent previously by 43 deans at Wisconsin public universities.

"Insisting that teachers teach alternative theories of origin in biology classes takes time away from real learning, confuses some students and is a misuse of limited class time and public funds," said Don Waller, a botanist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wisconsin law mandates that evolution be taught, but school districts are free to create their own curricular standards, said Joe Donovan, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Instruction.

There have been scattered efforts around the nation for other school boards to adopt similar measures. Last month the Dover Area School Board in Pennsylvania voted to require the teaching of alternative theories to evolution, including "intelligent design" — the idea that life is too complex to have developed without a creator.

The state education board in Kansas was heavily criticized in 1999 when it deleted most references to evolution. The decision was reversed in 2001.

In March, the Ohio Board of Education narrowly approved a lesson plan that some critics contended opens the door to teaching creationism.
|| Palmer, 1:10 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

06 November, 2004

Reminder

This coming Tuesday, November 9, Firefox 1.0 will be released.
|| Palmer, 3:30 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

05 November, 2004

Follow the Chocolate-Covered Road

From the AP:

GROVELAND, N.Y. -- Part of a highway in the Finger Lakes region of western New York State is open again after a chocolate-covered mishap.

Northbound lanes of a highway south of Rochester were closed for five hours last night after a tanker truck crashed and spilled 45,000 pounds of liquid chocolate. State police say there were no serious injuries in the crash.

Troopers say the truck driver swerved to avoid a deer. The truck, from M & M Mars in Elizabethtown, Pa., rolled over and the tanker split, spilling its load.

A road grader had to be brought in to scrape up the chocolate, which also covered a bridge and a car on another road below. The fire chief said it smelled like a Hershey bar -- but no nuts.
|| Palmer, 4:19 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Adventures in Downloading

I sent an overly long e-mail to Miss Tomah this morning. I just felt long-winded, I guess.

Fecal matter! I totally forgot to ask for her phone #. Oh well. Later. Anyway, work is dead. Most of the department is out ill or otherwise not inclined to be here. This situation must be the case in other areas as we are getting virtually no problem tickets coming in at all. Everyone takes Friday off, apparently. This being the case, I'm bored shitless. I brought some CDs today and am currently listening to Songs From the Wood by Jethro Tull. Earlier I had on Deep River of Song: Black Appalachia. The song "Poontang Little, Poontang Small" never fails to amuse. Unfortunately, I haven't seen Miss Sarah around here today. Can't say I blame her. Being one of very tiny minority of young women who are not overweight, she must have all the guys ogling and hitting on her. Obviously she doesn't need some dork like me doing the same.

This morning started off well. I got a good night's sleep and stopped at Toad Hill for some java. I found that Ronaldo was there so I got to chat with him and The Caffeinatrix. As I was leaving, Moose walked in and I spent a short while shooting the bull with him. On my way to work, I listened to Air America's Morning Sedition program. Making the fatal mistake of paying attention to Mark Crispin Miller's rant while parallel parking meant that my car was to have some paint scraped off of it. Luckily it was near the area where there was already paint missing so I didn't feel so bad.

I had lunch with an account rep from my contracting firm as well as the other contractors here. The long-promised hiring of us sub-contractors has been delayed due to the company's acquisition of another company. And so benefits remain a dream. Count me among the however many millions of people Kerry kept saying had no health insurance. The rep said that our contract here was still set to run through March which runs counter to the conversation I overheard here that indicated we'd be let go shortly after New Year's once all the employees vacations were over. What a wonderful prospect: ringing in the new year by losing my job.

Yesterday evening I put in motion the downloading of several items. One of them is the The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations. These are the mysterious broadcasts of numbers and/or words that are repeated, presumably for the benefit of agents of espionage by their taskmasters. Examples of these are to be found at the end of "Poor Places" by Wilco with the womyn repeating, "yankee...hotel...foxtrot" and at the end of "Even Less" by Porcupine Tree where a disembodied female voice repeats a series of numbers. I suppose I downloaded it more out of novelty than anything else but I may find a use for a track or two in a mix CD someday down the line.

Another ditty is the first CD of The Caedmon Poetry Collection: A Century of Poets Reading Their Work. Hopefully someone will post the second and third CDs but especially the third as it features T.S. Eliot reading "The Wasteland". I don't know whether he reads it in its entirety or not. If not, hopefully The Fire Sermon is included as I think it's fucking awesome. I also set it to snag a slew of Doctor Who related tidbits. No audio dramas, just compilations of the incidental music used in them and interviews with the actors and writers. One of them is a DVD about Paul McGann, who plays the seventh Doctor. Oh, I am also trying to snag the first episode of the Remembrance of the Daleks DVD. The rest of the downloads consist of TTC lectures, mostly philosophy. I'm such a hoarder.

Not too long ago I snagged Great Speeches of the 20th Century. It's really interesting to listen to famous words by their speakers as opposed to merely reading them on the pages of a book or website. Real primary source stuff! Ooh! I see there's a volume 2 out now!
|| Palmer, 3:52 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Revenge of the Sith Teaser

A teaser for the final installment of the Star Wars series has been released. Go here for info and links to sites. This site has the trailer for download. For anyone unable to see it, here's the blow-by-blow:

00:07 - 20th Century Fox Logo
00:09 - Lucasfilm Logo
00:14 - "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."
00:19 - Luke Skywalker in ANH walks out to view the binary sunset on Tatooine.
00:23 - Obi-Wan Kenobi in ANH speaks to Luke about the Jedi.
00:26 - Qui-Gon Jinn in TPM brandishes his saber before the final duel with Darth Maul.
00:27 - Shot from AOTC of the Clonetroopers walking into the transport.
00:29 - Shot from AOTC of the Clonetroopers at the end of the movie with transports lifting off in the background.
00:23 - First Revenge of the Sith shot of Obi-Wan and Anakin with their backs toward the camera, walking up to a window during the day.
00:36 - AOTC shot of Anakin looking evil just before the Tusken slaughter.
00:38 - AOTC shot of Anakin riding the Swoop on Tatooine.
00:41 - ANH Obi-Wan continues his voice-over.
00:42 - Second Revenge of the Sith shot. A hooded Anakin turns to the camera with red and yellow eyes much like Darth Maul's.
00:50 - Shot of erupting volcanoes on Mustafar.
00:56 - Geonosians ride giant beetles in a Mustafar lava field.
00:58 - Black screen with Darth Sidious saying "Lord Vader?" followed by Vader's "Yes Master?" and Sidious' "Riiiiise".
01:04 - Darth Vader, strapped to a table, begins to rise.
01:05 - A hooded Obi-Wan looks up. He is in a darkly lit area with sunlight seen in the background. This is possibly a location on Utapau.
01:06 - Palpatine turns to look at the camera.
01:07 - Vader continues to rise.
01:08 - R2D2 on the Tantive IV.
01:08 - C3PO on the Tantive IV.
01:09 - Padme turns to look at Obi-Wan with a terrified look on her face.
01:09 - Mace Windu raises his saber above his head. This shot is inside Palpatine's office.
01:10 - Vader continues to rise.
01:11 - Chewbacca and Tarfful.
01:12 - Yoda, in Palpatine's doorway, opens his cloak to reveal his saber.
01:13 - Vader finishes his rise and locks into frame.
01:17 - Two starfighters speed past the camera during the Battle of Coruscant.
01:18 - Anakin kisses Padme.
01:19 - Yoda, in Palpatine's office, pulls out his ignited saber and points with it.
01:19 - A starfighter in the Battle of Coruscant speeds along the hull of a capitol ship towards the camera.
01:20 - Mace Windu fights against a red lightsaber in Palpatine's office.
01:20 - A large Wookiee army cheers on the Kashyyyk beach. Republic walkers and troop transports can be seen in the background.
01:21 - Tion Meddon snarls at Obi-Wan.
01:22 - Flaming capitol ship heads into Coruscant with a fire ship spraying water on it.
01:22 - A very angry Anakin does an overhead slash with his saber.
01:23 - R2D2 in a grimy area.
01:24 - Padme, with a ANH Leia haircut, hugs Anakin.
01:24 - A small Naboo cruiser flies away from Mustafar.
01:25 - Obi-Wan and Anakin, both with blue sabers, fight on Mustafar as lava erupts around them.
01:26 - Capitol ships fire on each other above Coruscant.
01:27 - Anakin grab's Obi-Wan's neck with his robotic arm.
01:27 - A "Tri-fighter" flies toward the camera during the Battle of Coruscant.
01:28 - Obi-Wan held near the ground by Anakin.
01:29 - Anakin holds Obi-Wan's saber arm as he continues to force him to the ground.
01:30 - A starship hanger door slams shut.
01:30 - A very angry Darth Sidious swings his red lightsaber at something possibly small and close to the ground.
01:31 - A large explosion on a capitol ship above Coruscant.
01:36 - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith logo.
|| Palmer, 10:34 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

04 November, 2004

Considering Artificial Body Parts

Quality vs. quantity
|| Palmer, 8:46 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
The Trifecta

Here's three links to various articles relating to Tuesday's tragedy:

Firstly, a survey showing that Bushites are either delusional or wear impenetrable blinders.

Secondly, statistics that belie the notion of the stern morality of red states.

Finally, we have Greg Palast's conclusion that Kerry won.

What a tragedy. Shrinks are probably seeing a sharp rise in customers as lefties flock to them. Spirits were high. Witness The Dulcinea's comment: "When I got my ballot and went to the booth to fill it out, I got all teary. Later I told the kids that I was so anxious to vote because I was hoping we could change the government..."
|| Palmer, 6:13 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Too Old to Rock'n'Roll?

Although I was disappointed with the interview falling through, I was pleased to have been able to meet Andy and have hung around backstage. Going into the theater, I held the door open for some college age hippie types. It was nice to see some younger folks going to a Tull show as it seems that the audiences are usually made up of middle aged nostaligia seekers. I weaved through throngs of people and found my seat. The interior of the Overture Center was nice enough and the theater itself was pleasant, if a bit spartan. I had hoped for more decoration but it was not to be. Still, I could look forward to the acoustics. I was in the middle of a row, squeezed in tight by aging Baby Boomers who had no intention of activity beyond applauding. As the show went on, it was readily apparent that there was an abundance of wives who were dragged to the show by their husbands or who refused to let them go without them. The woman next to me displayed absolutely no interest whatsoever in the concert as she sat there with her arms folded for most of it. Why waste $50 like that? With such lethargic concert goers on all sides, I felt uncomfortable. If I were to have stood up and shook my booty, I would have been yelled at to sit down because I was blocking someone's view. Not that there was room to move anyway but it's the thought that counts.

Tull's performance was qutie good. The show started with "Life's A Long Song" which elicited much applause from the appreciative folks. After it died down, Ian congratulated us on our "new" president. As you can imagine, this drew a thunder of boos. He then commented that the new prez looked curiously like the old one. The boos were even louder. Later in the show, drummer Doane Perry, who is American, told the audience that he was grumpy because of the election result.

But the was not political. I was pleased that they did "Jack-in-the-Green". Not only is it a great song, but I have Jack tattooed on my skin. The tour was touted as a chance to see & hear songs rarely or never performed live and so they played "Slipstream", from Aqualung. Although it was neat to hear it, a song from the latter category, it's a very short and fairly insignificant piece in the Tull catalog. They did, however, follow it up with "Mother Goose", a song rarely played live until recently. Both Andy Giddings and Martin Barre added recorder which was a neat touch. The first (and acoustic) set ended with an energized "Bouree".

The electric set was fun but the setlist proved disappointing. Ian's comments at Tull's website indicated that "Hymn 43", a song not performed since 1971, was to be in the mix. Unfortunately, it was not to be last night. It was also unfortunate that they relied so heavily on material from Aqualung. They performed it almost in its entirety. Only "Hymn 43" and "Up to Me" were missed. Granted, most of the crowd enjoyed this but they probably rarely venture beyond that horrid radio format, classic rock. Still, I enjoyed the dynamics of "My God" as well as the flute soloing in the middle. And "Locomotive Breath" is always fun. I could do without hearing "Aqualung" ever again, though. The highlight of the electric set for me was "Farm on the Freeway". It's just a great hard rock song with lots of loud guitar and flute. I hadn't seen that tune live since 1989 so it was a real treat for me.

The performance was good but the crowd was a real downer for me, at least those sitting in my immediate area. There were a handful of times when the crowd showed some genuine enthusiasm. And, at one point, a womyn yelled, "Hey sexy knickers!" But it was sad that it wasn't until the encore - "Locomotive Breath" - that people got out of their seats and only briefly at that. Next time I hope to sit somewhere a bit more spacious when I see them.

On a technical note, the set was not plagued with technical problem as was Monday's show in Iowa. And the sounds in Overture Hall was really good. I rued not bringing my recorder with me as it would have made a nice recording. I wasn't checked for devices and the people around me were so staid that there would have been little crowd noise.

Anyway, I went home both frustrated and satisfied.
|| Palmer, 6:07 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post