Monday, July 31, 2006

Outage, brah.

Clipstone Street was shut down by the man.
Clipstone Street was pissed, and was out for revenge.
Clipstone Street was gonna show the man....
And then CS couldn't do nuttin' but 'cept the reality that it's hard living independent of the man.

.....Or the DSL was on the fritz. It started acting funny about a month ago. I'd come in to sit down at the computer, and the DSL would be over in the corner sweating bullets and trying to do it's best Robin Williams impersonation (from the good years, aka Mork and Mindy era). I struggled through it; resetting the modem every 8 minutes, continually rebooting the computer, etc. Finally.......just silence.

So it was the modem. Dead at age 2. What a waste. That modem showed so much promise. I had it's room decorated with Ivy League College memorabilia and posters of current sport stars not under grand jury indictments and/or drug/prostitute/DUI/business scandal allegations. And it's dead. Well, out with the old and in with the new.

I've also started putting all my music into iTunes. Not really sure why, just riding this wave of freedom, man. Know what I mean? Also realized I was telling people that I weighed 180 lbs., when in actuality I have crept to 190. To be honest, 190 would be cool if I was thicker, alas I am not. But I'm not dieting, I'm just going to start eating healthier for the health of it. Did that sound dirty?

The new mode is water, water, water, less dairy, less meat, less processed food, more fruit and vegetables, a teeny, tiny bit less alcohol.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sweltering Entertainment

Currently listening to Thom Yorke's latest solo release. So far, so good. Also loaded my new Jimmy Luxury purchase into the CD-RW drive on my computer to listen to whilst I hide from the abominable heat in the near blackness of the office with the ceiling fan on high....and of course my computer doesn't want to recognize the drive (a small problem I've been having for about 3 weeks now).

"No problem," I thought to myself, "I'll take it out and pop it in the DVD-ROM drive"...........except the computer very shrewdly will on no condition actually open a drive that doesn't exist. Duh! So the CD is stuck inside.

This afternoon we rented "King Kong," "Shop Girl," and "Syriana." I'll post some mini-reviews later. Earlier this afternoon, the wife and I tortured ourselves through "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Good movie, but waaaaaay too long in a hot, stuffy apartment. We took turns standing directly in front of the fan to cool off, and we both took cold showers immediately after it was over.

Last weekend we watched "Match Point," "Gummo," and "Pride and Prejudice." MP was better than I thought it would be, but certainly not very Allen-esque. Gummo was just weird, and I didn't understand any of it. The imagery and music of a few scenes was really cool, but other than that I was unsatisfied. P & gotta hand it to Eyre, she's a funny girl.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Great Quote, Boring Story

Talk about being ill-prepared v. Defense lawyer histrionics.

"They don't even have enough to indict a ham sandwich, much less Barry Bonds," said the slugger's lawyer, Michael Rains.

I mean, I've seen quite a few ham sandwiches in my day, even eaten a couple, but I don't really remember ever seeing one defend itself. So if they don't even have enough to indict a ham sandwich, then I guess they don't really have much, now do they? Or....maybe this attorney has been listening to too many of those stupid Taco Bell commercials. You know, they ones where a Crispy Gordita Supreme tries to board a flight or some such nonsense.

Here it comes....quietly, but surely...

The market's up, the market's down. Who are we kidding? Moderate inflation is good, recessions are a necessary part of the cycle. But what we are seeing is more than moderate inflation. Wages are stagnant, the rich are getting richer, the poor....well, can't really get any poorer, so they're still...poor, but you get my point. I just can't grasp why the USA is in such enormous debt? How is that good?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another day, more death....

From what little I've read, the animosity between the Jews and the Arabs is pretty old. I think the feud goes back to, like, Jesus times....or something.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Construction Update

Click on the pic if it's hard to see, but the hole in the ground where I suppose the parking garage will go is now complete. This hole in the Earth represents where 4 separate apartments buildings used to be. The old housings didn't extend down into the dirt though, this is the handiwork of gigantic diesel powered shovels and many large trucks hauling away the dirt. The hole is now smoothed out and is about 10 feet deep. This process seems to have taken about 2-3 weeks.

I took this shot to illustrate how close to the construction some people are. These poor folks must be hating life right now. I know a lot of them don't work 9-5, so this new schedule of machine and crashing metal must hurt like the unwanted and most unwelcomed hangover.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Heat

It's 8:31 a.m. and it's just plain hot in the apartment. But you know my resolve is stronger than steel, and so I'm still enjoying a nice, hot cup of morning coffee.

We've been gone the past 4 or 5 weekends, so I'm now just learning something somewhat dreadful that my neighbors most certainly are already aware of: the construction crew comes on the weekend too. For some reason I thought they only came Monday through Friday; I thought they only tortured everyone next to the development site on the weekdays, and that doesn't affect me as I have to drive off to be tortured by my employer on those days.

The section of Los Angeles that I live in features mostly older apartments, most likely from the 40's. Across the alley behind my apartment building, someone/some company bought 4 apartment buildings all next to each other, tore them down, and is now building something new. Will it be creative and great? Most likely not, and most likely some chic new condos. What a waste.

So right now the bulldozers are going full steam. It's pretty amazing really, I wish I could record it and put up an audio link.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Leche de Starbuck

We ran out of milk on Tuesday. Today is Friday. I don't really miss, or need milk, except in this very small physical amount, which in turn is a very large psychological amount: I need a splash for my morning coffee. Here at Clipstone St. HQ we like to brew our own coffee. The wife likes it black, but I like mine with milk. So on Wednesday, with no milk in the fridge, the wife was not really taken off course. I on the other hand was.

So today marks the 3rd morning in a row that I have taken my coffee in my mug, and stopped at Starbucks to use a little of their milk.

What's with people who don't like Starbucks? They're always there for me. Always. And sometimes, twice in one block. Still waiting for the grand opening of the Starbucks that is inside of another Starbucks.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Playboy Mansion

Yeah, I've been there. It's no big deal really. Sure, I saw Hef - and he was wearing pajamas. I saw the pool, went inside the Grotto, took a picture of myself w/ Rick of Tonic Bar laying on our backs on a bed looking directly into the mirrored ceiling.

We were with a group of dudes and we had 3 Playmates escorting us around, answering questions, trying not be too obvious about how bored they were. We had hors d'euvres and cocktails. Bill Maher was there with two more-than-likely hookers, who each had at least 6 inches of height on him.

We were asked not to actually get into the pool, but of course some jackass dove in, and swam about looking for attention. I think he received a few seconds of a non-descript stare from everyone in attendance, and then everyone moved their attention back to their conversations. All except me of course. I was in awe of his lack of self-consciousness, or general stupidity. I was also worried that I'd never be invited back. And you know what..........?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

40 Year Old Virgin

I almost made it that far....only to be stricken down by a woman's charms....

Monday, July 10, 2006

Gimme Some Bonbons, Some JuJu Fruits....

Currently reading "Don't Know Much About History," by Kenneth C. Davis. I'm only 32 pages into this one, but I'm realizing that when I have nothing to blog about, I can cooly steal someone else's writing.....ha.

Tonight I found this passage funny:

"After a twenty-five-day trek through the dense rain forests of Central America, Vasco Nunez de Balboa crosses the Isthmus of Panama and sights the Pacific Ocean for the first time. He names it Mar del Sur (Southern Sea) and believes it to be part of the Indian Ocean. Political rivals later accuse Balboa of treason, and he is beheaded in a public square along with four of his followers. Their remains are thrown to the vultures."

What is funny about that, you ask? Well, the part about the vultures made me laugh first. It's not enough to behead them, and to behead them in public with all the crazy, smelly ignoramuses throwing rotting fruit and spitting on you while most certainly shouting all sorts of profanity. Nope, they could do better. They took the lifeless, and newly headless bodies and flung them to the vultures. Medeiveal people were cool.

Secondly though, I wondered if Rocky Balboa was descended from Vasco. And if so, was he aware of this travesty and mockery of his blood? Further, would these people have gotten away with trying to behead Rocko? Comments welcome as always....

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ken Lay, Enron, and TSGitR

So I finish TSGitR, and what happens next? Ken Lay dies of a reported heart attack. Wow. Spooky, huh?

I'm definitely on the side of all the ex-Enron employees, and then anyone else who experienced loss due to investing in the company, but I do feel bad for Ken (a little). Here is this man who works his whole life, then sets the auto-pilot to 'cruise control' to live out the rest of his days on this Earth as some sort of business legend, with millions of dollars in his pocket. Then he becomes the public face of the second-largest, yet possibly most well-known bankruptcy in history. Then he is indicted and convicted of all kinds of felony crimes. And then he dies of an alleged heart attack. Talk about going out in poor fashion. And from reading the book, I don't think it was intentional. And so I think during the aftermath, and right up until his final moments, I think he must have felt a million times worse than all of my moments of despair and self-loathing put together. I wouldn't consider trading my life for his, even for a split second.

All those guys -- minus Cliff Baxter (who killed himself) -- that will serve time, will someday get out and have all this cash. But what's it all for? If I was Andy or Lea Fastow, I would have trouble making eye contact with anyone ever again.

I found this on his personal website:

Most of all, my family and I believe that God is in control and, indeed, He does work all things for good for those who love the Lord. And we love our Lord.

I guess God decided it was time for Kenny-boy to come home...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth!

I really didn't want to say anything, but 3 road trips in the last 6 weeks, and I can't hold it in any longer.

On the highway, the left lanes are for faster moving traffic. The right lanes are for slower moving traffic.

Anyhow, I'm back from Phoenix. It was 115 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. I had a few drinks, a few cigars in the pool, and.....the really big news...........I finished The Smartest Guys in the Room. Now I can finally rent the movie.