Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Comments Welcome

Trying to figure out a new scheme for my blog. At first I liked the clean crisp white look, on other blogs at least, but now I think I liked the low-level contrast of that light blue and grey of my last template. Again, comments welcome.

Grey v. Gray? Which spelling do you prefer? I feel like "grey" is more authoritative, and as a physically weak person I naturally feel compelled to use this spelling. But then I feel like "gray" is more artistic, and as an uncreative and always uncool person, I feel myself gravitating towards using the latter. Thoughts?

What the???

Monday, February 27, 2006

No Inflation?? Check these prices

I don't know about you, but the Sun of DiarEASE looks a little constipated to me....

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Services to be held at the Regal Beagle

Whoever you are, where ever you are, I want you to stop and take a moment. The King is gone. Ralph Furley was a legend my friend, and he has moved on....

Don Knotts, RIP

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Thursday evening is here.
Cold Stella Artois in a glass.
Can I call in sick tomorrow??

Come on! You know I would never do that....

Dilbert Is Funny...if you've been to Corporate America

Interesting little article from the Senator. I know that I rarely feel a sense of accomplishment in my job as too many things are requested. I simply cannot finish everything. So it becomes a matter of starting a million projects and finishing only those that are either a). most on fire, or b). actually important. A small and not-so insignificant rule is that everything must be treated like it is important. A necessary, and I don't care how dedicated anyone is, by-product of this environment is that productivity is reduced, imho.

But!! Is that bad? By this flurry of non-sense, are people traded money for their activity through which they are able to put food on their tables, roofs over their heads, clothings on the bodies of their dependants, and most importantly, pay taxes with? Yes. And maybe that's what it's all about.

Last quick note: I'm in first place in the uber-important Yahoo Fantasy Golf league.
-no, not the whole league smart guy, just my tournament within the whole league.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Humility, or Can I Kiss Ass Well Enough?

Today was hard for me. I want to, but something inside me says 'don't blog about work.' During my first appointment, my contact more or less threw me under the bus several times for her own benefit as her new boss was in the meeting. I don't mind once or twice, it comes with the territory, but after a couple of times of picking myself up and dusting myself off, it gets old. My ego starts to peak out of my ear, eyeballing it's next victim. I kept it check today, and although not entirely rare, it's a 50/50 proposition. If I'm to blame, okay, I can take my lumps. If I'm not, and you're just trying to deflect your incompetence, well, you only get a couple of those.

I like to think of myself as being a patient, understanding person. Alas, the opposite is most likely closer to the truth. After a few tries, I grow weary and irritable. It's one thing to say "I don't understand," or "I don't agree," but to just keep repeating that you're not getting what you need while I keep repeating that it is right here, right beneath your nose, just waiting to be put into practice, well, that just gets me going sometimes.

And now to get completely juvenille and fixated on the unimportant: one of the requests of my customer was some data, with certain parameters for around 50 different sets. Not a problem, just tell me what you need, and that is what I will get you. Well today she coudn't stop hammering home how the data set included 4 sets that were not hers. In my meeting I was drooling to let her know that I had cut and pasted the set description from a file she had sent me, and later realized that 4 ofthe sets were incorrect b/c her data had transposed a "4" for a "Y." This was not an error on my part, or my company's. This was her error. Again, tell me what you need, and that is what I will get you. If you ask me to tell you where the phone number 555-1212 rings, and I tell you, please don't accuse me of not helping you b/c I have not told you where 555-2121 rings.

Lesson learned: don't trust that people won't make mistakes.
Lesson already learned:I must trust people to help me or I will spend my life reinventing everything.
Lesson to be learned tomorrow: I so badly want to show this woman up, but I know it's not going to help me or my company in the end.

Do I get paid enough to be this humble? Answer is a "no," which is proceeded by a variation of the 'f' word. But I'm trying b/c afterall, Jesus and Rush said it: The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Liquid's Got the Best Eye Ever!!

How in the world did you notice that? And, no, I'm not going to hype it. I'm the anti-hype.

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.
There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time
It's easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy.

--John Lennon

Don't Believe the Hype

Why are we always so infatuated with hype? It's everywhere.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Youngest 35 year old I know

Scoja founder and chief architect is 35 today. Can you believe it? His soul is both ancient and reborn every second, or is it twice every second?

Scott - Happy Birthday, man! Make sure you get everything you need/want/desire today and tonight from that little Frenchie of yours.

Have You Been?

jonvarsano.com rocks. Simple as that. I just visited the links section, even though he showed me this today on his Treo while I awaited my egg sandwich at a cafe in Culver City while basking in the 80 degree sunshine, and sure enough......it's there. A link to my blog. I just want to say, Jon, you, my friend, are the BOMB!
Is it still cool to say that someone is 'the bomb?' How about 'tight?' Is that still cool, in the parlance of our times?"


--word carved on a stone on John Rushkin's desk.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Walter Hoving

I don't get it -- do they rent RV's or horses? Or do they rent children on horseback? Or maybe their target market are children with loads of expendable income and no parents, and they're renting the adults on horseback. On another note, the girl in the picture was standing and talking to the gentleman who was filling the tank. I couldn't quite see inside the Recreational Vehicle, so I was not able to tell if she had already made the sandwiches or not. If she had, then she should be commended for next proceeding to come keep her guy company while he fueled up the wagon. If she hadn't.....well, she better uncross her arms quickly and get back to work.

Today I visited the Walter Hoving Home in Pasadena. It's a Christian-based rehab for women. It costs $300/month to stay there. You share a room with another women, and each room has it's own bathroom. You're given chores to do, but aside from that each woman must get up at 5:30 every morning and clean their bathroom. Then they read the Bible for an hour (I think, and if Oprah is reading any of this, it's all fiction as I don't want to be lambasted b/c my memory is incorrect), have breakfast and then go about their day. In the first month you cannot have incoming phone calls from anyone and/or visitors. After a month you can get phone calls from the payphone; there is one per floor. There is no email. You can have visitors come and visit you on Saturday from 1-4 pm and Sunday from 1-3 pm. After 3 months you can leave for small periods of time. You cannot eat cookies or cake after 9 pm. You cannot maintain contact - via phone, letters, or in person visits - with a boyfriend. You cannot be a lesbian. There are designated times that you read and study the Bible. I'm sure there's more, but these are the basics.

I hope that doesn't sound negative. Afterall, this is a Rehab. Most of the women are old, and their faces show a long, weary life. This isn't a last stop per se, but if you can't change here, you're getting pretty close to the point where you live on the streets and just await your demise. I've been to visitor hours twice now and I really enjoy it. You see the women's families; you see their young children coming to visit "Mommy"; you see their parents or siblings bringing them food and a slice of what normalcy is; but what you mainly see is that there are people who care about them. I don't listen in on their conversations, but I don't see a lot of accusing or condemnation. You just see people coming to spend some time with people they care about. And then you see people who don't have visitors as well.

I want to thank the people at the Walter Hoving Home, and similar institutions for the work they do. Sometimes this life is tough, and whether we want to admit it or not, we are all in this together. So it's nice to see people doing something for others.

As for me, when no one was looking I stole some money out of the donations basket.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Scott Adams is the cartoonist who does Dilbert, and he has a blog. I read this today, and thought it was a fairly interesting, and quite possible extremely accurate, point of view:

Q. Do you ever fall into the trap of thinking that because you are a minor celebrity then your opinions are more important than anyone else’s?

A. I think opinions have entertainment value and that’s about it. It’s not as if people change their views because someone made a better argument. And rarely are opinions based on adequate information. So from that perspective, all opinions are equally (un)important.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

At first I thought this was ridiculous, but slowly - as all great ideas come - I realized that this was much bigger than I had first conceptualized. Be sure to check out the photo page. And the Beer Song is mandatory. Sorry to get military in here, but it really is mandatory. And when you think you've got the gist of it, and the song is still going, you must continue on. Trust me on this, it's not a stupid trick where the song never ends. When you're done watching, maybe you have some of the same questions as me. Namely, was that a child petting a dinosaur I saw flash by? And during the let's get drunk and drive (never a good idea) segment, was that a Panda behind the wheel? And then of course we finish with the 1980's free penguin icon.

Couple quick things here: can someone please explain what the gentleman in the upper left-hand corner are doing? And secondly, 'Glaucoma Hymn?' This is the kind of stuff that spawned the "what the...." craze.

Tomorrow I start really kicking ass. No more slackin' off. Tomorrow....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Better Men Than Me

I have this ritual I do every morning. I keep a book of daily readings or meditations by Tolstoy in my car. And everyday just before I get out of the car to go to work, I read that day's entry. When I park, if the radio is playing something I like, I just lower the volume while I read. Today was "Jammin'," by Bob Marley. Now while I love Marley, this has never really been a favorite of mine. But one of the lyrics just came out the song this morning like a brick and stuck me right between the eyeballs. He sang, and I paraphrase, that 'life is worth more than gold.' For a guy coming off the streets of a country living below the poverty line, that is pretty amazing.

Anywho, I'm having some tea right now. Camomile I think. Honey. Spoon. Hot water. Mmmm, good. A couple of years ago I had this really bad sore throat. Felt like someone had taken a cheese grater to the inside. So I got in the habit of constantly drinking hot water, fresh lemon, and honey. And it was damn good! If I was smart I would forego the tea and just go for the HotLemonHoney concoction. For now, I'm happy that I'm drinking tea. Maybe it's a trick as I am easily duped, but it just makes me feel a little bit better to drink it. Still doesn't taste as good a nice cup of coffee, but as my Uncle Tim once told me, "everyday can't be roses."

Today I really enjoyed the intro to this site. I didin't even enter it as I was afraid I'd spend the next 3 hours thoroughly investigating everything inside. Maybe you think "forbidden doughnut" is funny too?

Lastly, if you click on the above left photo it will get bigger. And when it gets bigger you can make out some of the inscribed names. My favorite is BUBBA. Which is yours?

Oops, one more thing. How do either of you link the new font. I'm experimenting with both fonts and font sizes. Leave a comment letting me know which you like better. Today is Courier, while the last couple of days have been Arial.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Put it in the books, Valentine's Day 2006 is done.

Morning: One present, one card.

Evening: Hot spinach salad, bottle of Chardonnay, Shrimp and Scallop Scampi, homemade ice cream (Rocky Road and chocolate chip cookie) sanwich, and Camomille tea w/ honey to close it out. Too bad I'm not a rich bastard as I'd like to keep this lifestyle going. Alas, I'm just a bastard and I have to go to work tomorrow....

But for tonight, I think I have done good, and I am proud. Really, I should bask in this feeling as long as I can for tomorrow it will be ripped from me like a cheap eyebrow hotwax.

Sleep well world, sleep well...

Monday, February 13, 2006

VD Is Upon Us

That's right........tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Per my biological programming, I have once again waited until the last minute to do my part. I've really got to stop doing that. It's bad feng shui for the mind. But I do think that I've done good this year. I should be chore-free for at least a week. We'll see how that goes though. Sometimes it raises the expectations and actually produces the opposite of the intended effect.

Okay, it's official: my gut is way too big for my skinny frame. Starting today I decree less alcohol, less red meat, more fruits and vegetables, exercise thrice per week, what else? Almost forgot, more water!!! How could I possibly almost forget water?? Water is the key here, I think. And less soda. That should be a pretty good assault upon my bulging belly. I can't even call it a beer belly, or beer gut. At least those are cool names that show you've been up to something fun. I rather look like I just play video games and eat donuts all day.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Shop Until I Drop

An email I received from JV:
"Weekend: Finished the remainder of the Armagnac that Blumin left, partaked in the last of the Garfield red hair, and watched “No Direction Home,” Sciorsece (spelling?) documentary about Dylan. Very Good, I highly recommend all of the above."

Sounds like a pretty good weekend to me. What'd I do? Oh............endless/mindless shopping. What'd we buy? Curtains I think. I'm not really sure because I'm on leave for putting whatever we bought up till next weekend. All I know is that I have re-confirmed that I don't really dig shopping. Ever. I like to know what it is I want to buy, where they sell it, go to that store, locate my targets, find someone who can sell me my goods, and then get out of there. Cruising around just looking at stuff doesn't do it for me. I'd rather be at home making sure I have enough toilet paper stocked in the bathroom, or something of a non-trivial nature like that.

Gina sent me this for when I'm bored and need to act like a 13 year-old.

Just as a follow-up item, this weekend I did not:
  1. wash my car
  2. shine my shoes
  3. buy shoelaces
  4. relax and prepare for the insanity that awaits me on Monday
  5. run a couple of miles
  6. buy a new coffee table (although the marathon search this weekend has at least narrowed it down to a winner, and all we need to do is order that sucker)
  7. buy a new rug

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Where's my Michelob?

Today I split a pitcher of Boddington's Cream Ale with Gina at this British pub in Old Town Pasadena. We're mid-February and I wore a short sleeve shirt all day. Doesn't get too much better really. We sat outside in their patio which is in this alley one block off of Colorado. I can't remember the name of the place, but I'll ask the better half and see if she remembers it.

Some things I really have to do tomorrow:
  1. Wash my car
  2. Shine my shoes
  3. Buy soap
  4. Buy shoelaces
  5. Relax and prepare for the insanity that awaits me on Monday
Some things I don't necessarily have to do, but would like to do:
  1. Read the paper and drink coffee
  2. Run a couple of miles
  3. Get a new coffee table
  4. Get a new rug for the living room
So as you can see, I've got a pretty busy Sunday planned.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hero Culture

Just my opinion, but were the Grammy's about as boring as anything can get? I miss all these shows so I'm not sure if I'm close to correct here, or it's just me. I will say that I usually like the Oscars. I like seeing all the stars, and seeing the looks on their faces when they're trying to pretend that they like somebody. And, it's only once a year.

But back to the Grammy's. I remember watching the MTV music awards in college and really liking those shows. But that was over ten years ago, so I'm left wondering if I'm just not cool anymore and I'm just not understanding what is cool and fashionable right now. I mean, I just found out about blogging, for chissakes! But this is what is so cool about blogging: I don't think I've ever written or spoken the word "chrissakes" before. Now I can, pretty cool, huh?

I was impressed with Kelly Clarkson. I also never really watched "Idol," so I only knew her name as it became more popular that Mohammed (even though he's back in the news apparently). That girl can sing.

Other impressions: Bono needs to get over himself. The Edge, despite the fact that it's hard to respect him when he keeps showing up on these All Time Greatest Guitarist lists, seems to be a pretty cool guy. What else did I see before I almost decided to clean the bathroom? Oh yeah, Chris Martin. Bingo! Nice skipping Chris. Extreme Gene would blow you away in a skipoff!! I think Chris is a talented song writer, has a good voice, and maybe this is me being out of touch again........but is he/Coldplay anything special? He acts like he's on par with Jesus, Aristotle, Michael Jordan, and Oppenheimer. Music as it has existed for over 2,000 years has had so many better talents that go unnoticed, and if we met them on the street we'd think they were just ordinary people. Oh well.....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Photo Blog?

What's this blog all about anyway? My friend Tovar refers to it as my "rant page," or something to that affect. But it's not just a vehicle for my ranting. Ideally, it would be some sort of journal because I want to keep a journal, but I really just hate writing by hand. Short notes are fine, but anything beyond that, and I just get bored.....and then fade to a halt. Mysteriously I actually enjoy typing. Anyhow, a journal? But can I really be totally honest on here like a journal is supposed to be? I think not.

Maybe I'll start putting more pictures into my Flickr account, and start leaning towards a photo blog. I frequent a few great photo sites, but it can be overwhelming at times - especially so since going digital. If anyone actually reads this, and has any comments, please either email them to me or post them.

For today, I'll pretend this a blog dedicated to photography.

I have this project I've had in my mind for several months now. It revolves around getting photos of my family members and framing them. The general idea is to get each family member in a solo shot. All in black and white, but this isn't a rule. And I'd like to take each person and get many shots, so I can end up with each photo of each member being entirely unique and different.

For example, Family Member A is a shot of just their nose and one ear, Family Member B from directly above their head with him/her looking up, etc. Just get a bunch of random and different shots of everyone, then select one per family member, and frame it. Then display them all on a wall. I got this idea from Beverly, and I think it's a really great idea.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The histogram for this photo basically said it was overexposed. Ha! Just goes to show what a computer knows. I think this photo is kinda rad.

I still need blog help. I did ask once before, and one lady was kind enough to offer some support. But her advice was to learn HTML, and while that was sound counsel, I need a little more than that. I need an advanced-intermediate blogger to take me under their wing. I have questions. If that might be you, please let me know.

JB sent me this from Sharkle today, and it made me laugh. Will it make you laugh? I don't know, why don't you click it, find out, and let me know what happened?

I got a Supercut today, and as always.......it is looking super. What I love about Supercuts aside from the fact that they call themselves "Supercuts" just like Superman called himself "Superman," is the wacky staff. In tonight's episode, my stylist's mouth was, oh about the same height as my ear - and for that matter, I guess both ear's - and she was having this really boring yet thankfully loud conversation with another of the Scissor Masters across the salon regarding her new cellphone. Apparently, and I quote, "it's a shitty phone, so I'm sending it back." I don't really mind this sort of bravado, because I'm a realist and so I love the reality of it. What I didn't really need was that I wasn't sure whether I was hearing the words via the normal vibrations in the air, or via some new method by which my ear was able to render the moisture of her breath.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Lil Help?

One of these days I'm going to start drinking more tea, and less coffee.
One of these days I'll never eat at McDonald's again.
One of these days I'll realize, comprehend, and accept that things both good and bad will just happen in my life.

Today I know that I should be happy for I have my health, great friends that provide me with an infinite supply of warmth and fun, and the most wonderful woman to walk this Earth.
I love my wife, and because she is here for me, I know that things will be just fine, if I only allow them to be.

"Perception is the birth of meaning."
--a sticker I saw plastered to the side of table

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The State of Disco in 2006

Superbowl is today. It's funny how if you don't turn into the buzz, it seems just like any ordinary day. But in a couple of hours, I will undoubetdly catch sight and sound of a TV tuned into the Superbowl, and I'm pretty sure everything that comes out of that television will be aimed at making it seem like today is the greatest day ever. I guess they call it hoopla?

I'm just excited to attend Varsano's historic Superbowl Party.

Last night we enjoyed some Armagnac compliments of SCOJA, then headed straight into the Twilight Zone. We had dinner in downtown Culver City at this italian restaurant called San Gennaro (I think?). Our waitress was young, and Italian (again, I think?), and really wasn't too sure what in the hell she was doing. But she was cheery and after the initial wait period at the table which rivalled some of my better DMV experiences, she did just fine. Supposedly, and I still don't believe this part, this restuarant has $12 bottels of wine. JV ordered an Ironstone cabernet off the list, and the waitress returned with an Iron House, or Iron Horse. Upon realizing the error, she dashed off only to return with 4 bottles in her clutches, none of which were an Ironstone cabernet or I'd ever even heard of. I think we settled into a bottle of Barefoot Merlot - which I have actually seen in the stores but have never thought of purchasing. We decided on our next bottle based upon our waitress' recommendation. I think it went something like this:

"This one is good, but some people like this one too. This other one, in the cabernet which we don't have, is really good. It won a prize."

Pure genius, my friends. "It won a prize." What type of prize? Therein lies her masterful sales technique. Anyway, bottle opened, bottle poured, wine drunk.

Back to the crooner, who was good, but sort of seemed like he was just an actor. He talked like he was in the rat pack, or knew mobsters in the 1950's New York. So he was singing all these Dean Martin/Frank Sinatra tunes, and people were actually dancing! It was pretty refreshing. Most were ancient, with perfectly coifed hair, but there were some young cats too. Gina and I hit the floor for about 1/2 of a song, and I dropped about 3 seconds worth of Robot on the old timers.

Next we hit the Culver Hotel for one after dinner drink. Nice atmosphere, but only one bartender trying to service about 40 people. Oops, almost forgot the anciano who was on the dessert wine/cheese cart. Nice guy, dressed well, cool Euro accent, but again.....if I found out it was his first night, I wouldn't have been surprised.

Then it was back to Varsano Villa West, for a little more armagnac and a couple of laughs in 'the office.' I love 'the office.' Secluded, comfortable, music, refrigarator, couch/bed. What else could a man need? A toilet perhaps, but sometimes it's nice to not have everything you desire.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Whoever sent me this pic, and you know who you are, titled it "gnargnar." 2 of these 3 guys are certainly gnar, so maybe the title should have been "gnargnarungnar," but maybe that's just too long.

I still need help understanding why it is so common in LA for drivers to hold up lanes of traffic while attempting to make a left turn over a double-yellow line?

Completely unrelated, GW is asking for a defense budget of $439B. Without making a comment or criticism either for or against military spending, I'm just a little curious why we need to spend that much? This animation makes an interesting point regarding how much do we need to spend? I recall studying Ben & Jerry's in a high school Economics class (way back in 1987) and learning that these two hippies had set up their company so that the highest paid employee was never paid more than 5 times what the lowest paid employee was paid. I thought that was pretty cool; of course I was 17 and had no real expenses.

Exxon posted a $10.7B profit for the 4th quarter. I'm still not sure how our cost went up as their costs {allegedly} went up, and yet they posted record gains? I know, this is old news, just thought about it again this morning.

Speaking of energy, I have an idea for a cleaner, cheaper fuel source. At my house, and undoubtedly others as well, we have this constant stream of recycling. I'm referring of course to the flood of junk mail that hits my mailbox daily, and is emptied into a bin that is emptied into another bin for the city to collect and recylce. If we could only find a way to harness this kinetic energy....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Same Bat Time

When there's trouble in my town, the batlight that calls out for help looks a little different than Gotham's.

And yes, Tovar, I'm drinking another scrumptious glass of Sutter Home as I type this.
And, Gary, wow. 5? I just exited the restroom after SS Steamar's second sailing for today, and I'm not as comfortable as I'd like to be.
And, Apple lovers, my CD-RW is not working. Won't open manually, and isn't recognized in the hardware profile either. I've rebooted 2 times now. I might have to put a call into SCOJA.
And, Barn.........good one, who is that Barn-guy anyway?

In honor of GW's State of the Union and the heating up of the political b.s. season, I offer up this interesting article that obviously doesn't only apply to politics, but really illuminates how we might relate to our world in general.

Additionally, I liked this article regarding the situation that is facing our Middle Class. Honestly, I would have thought that we'd become too accustomed to living above our means. Apparently not though....

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Rexall is King!

Seriously, in the spirit of all that is good in this world, I'm not sure there is a better store. I buy my underwear there. I just got home from there, pickd up a can of shaving cream, 10 razors, a 4 oz. serving of Anti-perspirant/deodorant, and....AND two bottles of wine for a grand total of $18. Top that, I dare you. You can also buy milk there, get your prescriptions filled, photos developed, and tonight they had a poker table for sale. Not for sale via a a sign in the window, or on some top shelf in the back. No. This little guy was set up, right in the middle of the store, with chairs surrounding it and everything. Had I been in tip top condition tonight, I would have surely headed to the aisle that sells the wine opener and returned to the table to sit and enjoy some Cabernet while reflecting upon my good fortune.

As for the wine, sure it's Sutter Home, but it's $3.50 per bottle. It's not like I purchased it to be opened on my 10 year wedding anniversary. So, settle down you.

Continuing on, my Rexall is on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Blvds. If you're familiar with the area, I think you understand the nice combination of all walks of life that I get to encounter. If you're not, then....shit, sorry.