Monday, December 15, 2008

punished again by the computer gods

woe, woe, woe is me. despite the latest in virus scan software, we've again been stricken down by the vindictive computer fairies...or as i like to call them, Dellions. we pledged to dutifully back up all of our data to disc since our last crash to avoid the heartache of lost songs and pictures but we procrastinated and are now facing our second rebuild since we got the computer last year. *grumbling*

as i don't have computer access at home, the blogging is gonna be sparse (more so than usual) until we're back up and running.

until such time as i can post again, i'll leave you with my latest idea for an invention. i don't yet have the wherewithal to actually produce this item but when i do, it'll make me a gazillion dollars, i just know it. you ready? it is: edible produce stickers.

i know how infuriating it is to scratch and pick at those tiny stickers (not to mention fishing them from between the blades of a peeler) and my new edible stickers will end that hassle forever! the adhesive currently used to hold those stickers on is already listed as "food grade" so i figure that all we have to do is find a suitable edible sticker material.

think on it....


Thursday, November 20, 2008

back in the game

i've scarcely been able to find a free moment here of late and blogging seems to get pushed to the bottom of the never ending to-do list but i'm back and hope to catch you all up in the coming days on what's been going on.

first, though, i need to purge my "ooh-i'm-gonna-blog-about-that!" coffer that i've been filling over the past couple of weeks. when i'm out and about and see things that strike me as particularly droll and/or blogworthy, i try to snap a quick picture with my phone and i have a few gems that have been begging for display. and away we go...

here in the springs, there is a great little auction house that holds auctions every saturday. previews are the preceding friday and there are often REALLY good deals to be had. one of these days i'll photo and catalog all of our great scores but that will have to wait. now at this auction house, they occasionally have special auctions. sometimes the theme is guns, sometimes cars, sometimes kitschy collectibles. last weekend was dolls. while we were there looking for a bookshelf for the new house, we saw rows and rows of creepy little limp bodies laid out in their cardboard and cellophane coffins being poked, prodded, measured, and admired by equally creepy doll-aficionados. out of the impeccably tended cotton and porcelain stared the eeriest and most haunting doll face i think i've ever seen. i will call her REDRUM:
*shivers* moving on...

months ago while we were looking for a place to live when our lease was over, we looked at a cottage on the west side of the city. it was an old cottage that had been updated nicely but my attention was drawn to the thermostat. this thermostat is a therapists dream! public speaking make you queasy? tight spaces make your skin crawl? talking about emotions with family members make you want to hang yourself with your own intestines? change the dynamics of your comfort zone with a twist!

i've said it before but being a vegan cop on the overnight shift requires lots of planning and if one doesn't pack appropriate food and drink to last the entire night, there's little to be found in the wee hours. some 24 hour grocery stores, 7-11, dunkin donuts, walgreens, and a handful of other convenience stores are the only places where one might find sustenance and, for vegans, the pickin's are less than slim. i usually pack my own ground coffee and organic raw sugar in my thermos and use the hot water at the 7-11 to brew on the spot when my eyelids start drooping. one night this past week while my beverage was steeping, i spotted this "non-dairy creamer." the only caveat is the actual ingredients. i know it's hard to see (camera phones don't have a macro function) but the last line on the ingredient list reads: CONTAINS: MILK. wtf!?

and last but certainly not least....

tonight while we were at a local craft store (which was definitely NOT hobby lobby for obvious reasons) gathering supplies for making our christmas ornaments and gifts (*T&J, y'all are gonna LOVE your homemade decoration!*), i saw this:

that's right, they're knitting needles with battery powered LED lights in the tips! different colors, different sizes, all fun! never again will i rue the fading light whilst knitting. brilliant!

for now, that sufficiently depletes the reservoir of pointless and subjectless pictures i've been saving to share with you three or four loyal readers and may give a tiny glimpse of where i've been and what i've been up to since i last checked in.

be back soon,


Friday, October 24, 2008

love that Family Guy

awesome clip. the back story...stewie, brian, and mort inadvertently use a time machine and end up in WWII Berlin...political commentary ensues.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

frivolous, needless, ridiculous, glorious self-indulgence

the way i see it, there are basically two categories of beer drinker. there are those who drink for flavor and those who drink for alcoholic impact. of course there are impact drinkers who appreciate flavor and flavor drinkers who appreciate a beer's impact, but by and large, the world is thusly divided. i align with the flavor drinkers. although i was born and bred on old milwaukee, my tastes have grown considerably more discriminating. as that is the case, i'm always looking for the perfect blend of malt, hops, flavorings, and alcohol content. it was that search that led me to a heavenly creation from Dogfish Head Brewery they call Punkin Ale.

**at this point you should stop reading, go to your nearest beer/wine/liquor merchant, purchase at least one bottle of this stuff, chill it to a few degrees below room temperature, pour into a draft glass, and savor the sweet, spicy goodness.**

and please forgive my brief tangent but....

(this is my "tangent" font) i can't say enough good things about Dogfish Head brewery and their products. they started small and honest, use organic and natural ingredients when possible, and let their consciousness and ambition spill into their community. they're always pushing to expand their repertoire and they produce great beer...not to mention that they once made a beer called "Golden Shower Imperial Pilsner." click around on their site, you'll be impressed too.

i first had the Punkin in 2002 while living in Frederick, MD and have marked the turning of seasons and the passage of the past 6 years by it's yearly limited production. i've basked lavishly in it's increasingly masterful harmony each year but this year, being 1,767 miles from the brewery in Milton, DE, i'd found it a little hard to come by. enter the savior that is internet commerce.

fortunately, the electronic age has spawned more inspired products than bootleg paris hilton porn and one example of such has come in the form of internet alcohol purveyors. sites like Liquid Solutions, Internet Wines & Spirits, Beer Geek, and Bottle Trek help connect lamenting (or lazy) drinkers with distant or particularly hard to find drinks from all over the world. so i placed an order for my beloved Punkin Ale and some other selections and waited. two weeks later, my package of liquid love arrived.

behold the contents ("the expurgated version") of my package-o-decadence...
yes, i do know how ridiculous it is and yes, i do know that there are many more intelligent ways to spend money but no, that didn't stop me.

for those that are really interested, I can give more detailed reviews of the beverages pictured here and, for my foodie friends, i'd like to point out that the Dogfish Head site offers pairing suggestions with their brew descriptions.

ok, now that i've drafted the first chapter of my autobiography, "the day i knew i was an alcoholic," i'll leave you all to happy surfing and sipping, whatever your libation may be.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

startling but representative, i fear

an anecdote...a charming interaction that left me simultaneously amazed and disgusted.
during a conversation with a secretary at my "office" this morning, i mentioned that my girlfriend was sick and that i was heading to the store to gather ingredients to make some soup to aid her in her recovery. the secretary asked what kind of soup i was going to make and i told her "vietnamese noodle soup" (phô, for those of you in the know). she wrinkled her nose disdainfully and said, "Yuck! That would make me sicker!" I asked her if she'd ever had it or even knew what was in it and, predictably, she said, "No, but I know I wouldn't like it."

i knew very well that there was really no point in arguing but i couldn't help myself. i said, "it's noodles and broth with vegetables and spices. it's not that much different from chicken noodle soup. are you saying you wouldn't like it just because it's vietnamese?" she shook her head and said, "It just sounds gross." at that, i shook my head and said, "that's a pretty intolerant perspective, don't you think?" with nose still crinkled, she quipped, "I dunno.," and shrugged off my challenge lazily. i saw my chance to learn something here and i probed, "you're probably voting for McCain, too, aren't you?" she proudly and emphatically announced with a put-on dignified tone, "Why, yes I am!"

hooray for ignorant people!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

happy world vegetarian day!

today, october 1st, is world vegetarian day and is the annual kickoff of vegetarian awareness month.
i'm not suggesting you all eschew your meat eating ways completely but consider how every meatless meal can help:

- reduce your risk of heart disease, strokes, and cancers
- reduce your risk of exposure to foodborne pathogens
- save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions
- conserve vital and limited freshwater, fertile topsoil, and other natural resources
- preserve irreplaceable ecosystems like rainforests and other wildlife habitats
- decrease greenhouse gases that accelerate global warming
- mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture

i'll spare the lecture, but there are so many good reasons to reduce or stop consuming meat. there are tons of great sources of information out there and i compiled a lot of them in my "unplug yourself: part one" for your edification.

try this month to replace even one meal where you'd normally use meat with a vegetarian meal. get reacquainted with vegetables and perhaps the tons of great faux meats from burgers, to ribs, to meatballs, to "chicken" nuggets, to (i swear it exists), vegetarian haggis. most of these things can be found at your local heath food store and some are surprisingly convincing analogues. try it for a month...consider it an investment in your health.


Monday, September 15, 2008

this is a call

better than new clothes, better than a full belly, better than a hammock a fresh perspective...and that's what i'm seeking.
i'm recruiting you all to turn me onto something...a book, a song, a speech, a picture, a movie, an idea...anything that will challenge me to see things differently.

bring it,


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a sad realization and some leftovers

first comes the sad realization regarding my most recent post...

after some review, i very clearly see the "hey-you-kids-get-out-of-my-yardishness" (to borrow a phrase from Rob) of the post and am thoroughly disgusted at how much of a miserable old fart i must have recently become. the kicker is that, despite knowing how much my post makes me come across as the stuck-in-the-past/all-of-today's-music-sounds-the-same-to-me musical curmudgeon, i still hold fast to my beliefs...thus further solidifying my ever increasing distance from "hip." going out immediately to buy orthopedic shoes and pants with elastic waistbands.

and now the leftovers...

sometimes i see things that strike me as funny or peculiar or noteworthy and i somehow record them for later reference here and, for lack of a substantive post based on their own merits, they're leftovers. the first of such is a funny new site i stumbled across which is great for wasting a bit of time. check out to see pictures of people who, as the name would suggest, totally look like someone or something else. if you see a pair who belong on this site, make the correlation and send it in and they'll likely post it. i've compiled some highlights:

continuing with the surplus...i was in blockbuster the other day and happened across these: the one on the right is about a girl who is basically forced into indentured servitude by the police and wields a yo-yo with a martial-arts flair to fight crime and the one on the left...well...what else is there to say?

and my last bit of detritus is a new way i've found to recycle my old media and get media that i want for very cheap. it's called swaptree and the site offers the service of cataloging items that you have and items that you want and then matching the two users to arrange a trade. the only thing you pay is the cost to ship your old stuff to whoever the user is that wants it. the site even provides an interface through which you can print trackable shipping labels if you have a credit card and a printer capable of labels. i know there are other online services of the ilk (please let me know if you know about any of them) but this one is very easy to use and i've had great results so far.

stay tuned for the next collection of castaways from the island of misfit blog ideas.

always looking for future flotsam,


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

as good as it gets

to piggy-back on bullet point #9 of my "music = life" post: "the joy of finding and listening to a long-lost record/cd/tape...," i'd like to wax rhapsodic about recently doing just that. in the process of a little seasonal storage-unit jockeying, i ran across a cache of old cassettes and have spent the past few days bathing myself in the reminiscent joy of some of the best music ever made.

now i know everyone doesn't share my taste in music and that there will be some strong dissent, but it's my contention that mainstream radio was at it's most exciting in the early to mid '90's. while it's true that artists who released major, unquestionably influential albums during the 80's (the cure, REM, violent femmes, the smiths, the pixies, u2, the police, radiohead, sonic youth, etc.) paved the way for bands of the following decades, the speed of musical progress and the envelope-pushing breakthrough artists of the early-mid 90's had not been seen before and has not been touched since.

i was a young teen during that time and developing my own musical appetites and, driven by a lack of money to buy new music on my own, i'd record hours of radio for later consumption. it was one of these tapes that i recently unearthed and when i listen to it, i still feel a little jolt of electrical excitement that i felt back then. in one 90 minute sampling of "104.7 "The Buzz" - Richmond's New Rock Alternative!," (now, tragically, an Urban Gospel station) i'm treated to tracks by the cranberries, folk implosion, lisa loeb, soundgarden, bush, pearl jam, nirvana, stone temple pilots, nine inch nails, and the lemonheads. for real, folks, how much more exciting can mainstream radio get than that?

the 90's also brought us some of the best in hate-the-world-suicide-rock like "bullet with butterfly wings" by the smashing pumpkins. how can you ignore lyrics like "the world is a vampire" and the enduring anthemic line, "despite all my rage, i am still just a rat in a cage":

too juicy a lyric not to include here is another pumpkins gem from the song "zero"

"emptiness is loneliness, and
loneliness is cleanliness, and
cleanliness is godliness, and
god is empty just like me
intoxicated with the madness,
i'm in love with my sadness"

while the radio was bursting with new life, the music video was starting it's rise to ultimate popularity and artists were finding new ways to express their music. enter: (the wonderfully disturbing) "sober" by tool:

brings a tear to the eye. dysfunctional perfection.

the 90's ushered in a new kind of music and a new breed of musicians that seemed edgier, angrier, and less pretentious than the drivel that floods the mainstream airwaves these days. until alternative rises again to dominate the fm frequencies, satellite radio and my homemade archives will have to keep the tunes flowing.

other very honorable mentions i'd hate not to be represented here: pavement, rancid, third eye blind, hole, live, oasis, alice in chains, jane's addiction, collective soul, weezer, rage against the machine, and tons of others!

still rockin' out,


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

when it's in your bones

if you don't regularly equate music with life then this post probably won't resonate quite as strongly as with those of you who do but, whatever the depth of your relationship with music, it's universally undeniable that notes, chords, harmonies, and melodies enrich our lives in ways *few other things can.

i'd like to take a minute just to celebrate some of the experiences that i'm sure every true music-lover can relate to:

- sitting in your car after reaching destination to catch the end of a song on the radio
- deeply lamenting the warbly death of a favorite cassette
- spending hours carefully assembling the perfect mixed tape (or cd)
- listening to the carefully assembled tape that someone mixed just for you
- reveling in the staticky radio frequency battle station have when you're driving out of the range of one and entering the range of the other
- buying a back-up copy of a favorite or rare cd/record (just in case)
- hearing a song that you're sure must have been written for you and only you
- listening through headphones and devouring the intricacies you miss (fingers sliding down strings, coughs, inadvertently deadened notes, laughs) with more diffuse speakers
- the joy of finding and listening to a long-lost record/cd/tape and intuitively knowing exactly what song comes next
- the music making you cry
- hearing new music for the first time
- the extreme joy of finding the long-lost selection you though was gone forever
- putting obscure sound clips (like snippits from german language tutorial cd's or lines from movie scores/soundtracks) on mixes
- hearing a song and remembering precisely every detail of a place/time/person/thing you experienced when that song was playing
- learning the REAL lyrics and realizing what a dolt you've been for years :-)
- knowing the whole album. every word. every note. every breath. every pause. every crackle. everything.
- pulling over or slowing down because your radio reception is fading and you know you'll be in a dead spot soon but you REALLY want to hear the song
- singing along...loudly (if you can't sing well, sing loud!)
- waiting for days with a blank tape in the recorder waiting to hear the first notes of a song so you can sprint to the stereo and hit the record button
- finding a great used CD
- the arrival of a long awaited album
- traveling much longer to get to a show than the show actually lasted
- learning a new tune/lick/riff/technique
- being caught obliviously ROCKING OUT in your car by another motorist and the awkward smile that follows
- being in awe of a performer's killer abilities
- lusting after an instrument you can't yet afford
- hearing a cover version and fucking HATING it
- hearing a cover and loving it
- "discovering" a life-changing band or song

and the mother of them all....


(my belief...and trust me, it's been sorely tested, is that any live music is better than no live least they're trying)

those are just a few of the MANY reasons why music = life and are things we music-lovers share across time and space. if you also agree that music = life, please share some of the other experiences that you believe all of us music slaves share.

in the meantime,

~thorns is rocking out thoroughly!

*the PG version of the "few other things" noted above: freshly ground almond butter, campfires, and my grandmother's fried apples and biscuits

Friday, August 22, 2008

a beginning

although it was never so technically labeled when i was growing up in rural virginia, hiking has always been my therapeutic modality of choice. walking, hiking, trekking, or exploring, as i thought of it as a child, has always reached me on simultaneously visceral and ethereal planes. the way i've come to relate to the outdoors and the sustenance i derive from that interaction surpasses the romanticized and often farcical notion of "communing with nature" and is more an opportunity to reflect on and be intimate with things and processes much bigger than me.
when i'm gazing out at a mountain vista, listening to waves lap a shoreline, or watching a forest's arms close around me, i look on the moment like a snapshot. at first i see a fixed and fleeting point in time, a picture of a state of being. then, that photograph dissolves and i begin to take in the thousands of smaller and more complex photographs that contribute to the bigger picture. it's when i see the WHOLE scene in front of me and then realize that that scene is ALWAYS taking place that i am strangely and strongly grounded and contemporaneously uprooted.
i feel so small because that scene, that process, is going to happen with or without me...but i'm at the same time magnified because i'm IN the scene NOW...i'm a PART of it...i'm part of the perpetual, the unstoppable. it's in those swirling moments of synchronous significance and insignificance that my head clears and my own doors to myself open and i can truly reflect.
this week, my meditative hiking practice evolved to a new level as i hiked for longer, higher, and harder than ever before. this past wednesday, we hiked pike's peak. pike's peak is america's most visited mountain and second in the world only to mt. fuji in japan. we made our ascent via the barr trail, a 12.6 mile hiking trail from the base (6,600 feet) to the summit at 14,110 feet. our arduous journey began at 3:30 a.m. and we hiked for roughly seven hours before finally reaching the summit. as we made our way up the nearly 13 mile trail, there were definitely spasms of frantic dehydrated delirium but also were there plenty of moments of clarity where we could be alone with our thoughts...a hike to be remembered to be sure.
it's epic (at least epic at this stage of our hikerhood) treks like this that challenge us and bolster our ambition to eventually get back to the east coast to do the 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail. the history and mystical allure of the Trail, the opportunity to test one's fortitude, and the chance to be part of something so personal yet so universal has long made the AT an aspiration of ours. in the pursuit of that dream, we've chosen to look on our pikes peak ascent as a commencement....our training has begun.


Friday, August 1, 2008

public transportation be damned

with the price of gas at record highs, more and more people are turning to greyhound for their long distance transportation needs....not me....and, as this news report indicates, here's why:

that's a BIG wtf!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

to my out, proud, grammatically challenged friend

i'm not quite a social butterfly so i've only made a few friends here in colorado. an even fewer number of them have risen to a level which ranks having their number stored in my phone. this is only important because i recently got a text message from a number that was NOT in my familiar contact list and that i've never seen before. the message seemed heartfelt and was of such interest that i thought you all should know exactly what my anonymous text-friend shared with me:

"your important to me, so i wanted you to be the first to know. i'm a lesbian, always have been."

and with mystery texter vanished like a feathered dandelion frond in the wind. i'm honored that my clandestine friend thinks so highly of me and would confide such a deeply personal revelation...via text.

thank you, mystery friend. thank you.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

frosty thought

"One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."


Sunday, July 13, 2008

what to do, what to do

i have a dillema and i'm hoping y'all can help me decide what to do. this past week, we went to a local farmers market in search of some locally produced fruits and vegetables. tangent --> as i'll explain in a future post (unplug yourself: part two), it's important to buy locally. buying locally supports the small farmer, contributes to the regional economy, and cuts down on the amount of fossil fuels consumed during the production/transportation of whatever it is you purchase. digressing...anyway....

i was desperately searching for local peaches and found them at only one of the few dozen booths that crowded the weekly market in woodland park, co. as i stood in line waiting my turn, i heard the proprietor (which i use very loosely here) haggling with a gentleman in front of me. the man asked the vendor very politely how many apricots constitute a "basket" and then asked the price. the man was in his 80's, dressed in a plaid button-down shirt, flat-brimmed cap, and navy blue work pants, and he gave the impression that he perhaps once grew his own produce but has now been reduced to scouring local markets for his 'taters-n-greens.

the vendor, a teenage female clad in a sloppy t-shirt with her slick hair pulled back into an angry knot on the back of her head, told him how many peaches he'd be getting for 5 dollars. the man asked if she'd be willing to take 3 dollars since the apricots were small and the girl indignantly told him that they had the only local apricots at the market so she COULD charge whatever she wanted and that he was lucky it was only 5 dollars. the man was clearly taken aback and stood silent for a moment while the teen moved down the line to insult other customers. another buyer came to his aid and bargained for $3.50, the girl countered with $4.00 after making some other smart-ass comment, and the deal was made.

i was shocked at the disrespect and decided that i didn't need peaches enough to patronize that irreverent bitch so we left with the fresh tomatoes and onions we'd gotten from another booth and moseyed on down the road. several days later, at a weekly market in old colorado city, we again went in search of peaches. i scanned the booths and finally saw a "Colorado Peaches!" sign and got in line for my first fresh peaches of the year. i'd stood there for several seconds and then realized that the vendor was the same girl from woodland park. i begrudgingly bought my peaches and, though they are decent peaches, i feel a tinge of burning hatred every time i eat one.

the dilemma:
do i continue to give money to people who are obviously missing the spirit of local markethood in my quest to do the green thing (and satisfy my need for peaches) or do i stand up for courtesy, compassion, and just-plain-decency and spend my peach allowance at a chain store for produce that more than likely is not locally raised?

missing my grandpa's peaches,

Monday, July 7, 2008

am i missing something here?

wtf? i don't get it. help me understand.

the directions in the picture are a little blurry so i'll help you out:

1. pour instant beans into serving bowl
2. add boiling water and stir briefly (see Instant Bean/Water Ratio chart below)
3. Cover 5 minutes, stir and serve.

i would like to point out that the above steps for the preparation of the instant refried beans forgot to mention sub-steps:

2(a). boil water
2(b). read a chart and,
2(c). apply rational mathematical equations

2(b) and (c), incidentally, are both deal-breakers for me...i just don't need instant powdered refried beans that badly.
man...if only someone could come up with a product that's more "instant" than those "instant" refried beans...eureka!...ah yes...that's more like it. here are the instructions for this product:
1. open can.

archimedes would be proud.


Friday, June 27, 2008

i knew i was more there's proof!

after countless hours poring over scientific journals [READ: numbly scanning blogs], i've found the proof that i always knew was out there which substantiates my belief that i'm more evolved than most.

neurophysiologist katherine rankin at the university of california, SF, has recently discovered that sarcasm plays an important part in human social interaction. like we didn't already know that. according to the good doctor, those who can't readily discern sarcasm appear to have less functional/evolved parahippocampal gyrus regions in their right brain. that cortex of the brain not only controls certain memory recall functions and visual recollections, but registers social contexts. she notes that people with dementia, or head injuries in that area, often lose the ability to pick up on sarcasm, and so they don’t respond in a socially appropriate ways. (which makes me wonder if damn near ALL of my relatives weren't dropped on their heads as children).

we use sarcasm to form alliances with people with whom we are socially compatible and to pick out "enemies" who, to simplify, may represent a threat to our personal advancement. it is this mastery of "social intelligence" (which encompasses humor, conversational ability, friend/foe recognition, and sarcasm), anthropologists say, that has allowed the human race to thrive and evolve. (and i thought it was TV that brought us this far)



Thursday, June 26, 2008

who knew?

in my endeavor to buy locally as much as possible, i was discriminatingly scouring the bins at my local whole foods and discovered a new (to me) vegetable! these peculiar green tentacles were produced at a farm about half an hour south of here and are called garlic scapes. the scape is the green flower stem that the garlic bulb shoots skyward as it matures. these shoots are delicate and pliable and will curl into the little tendrils you see here. i promptly googled them and discovered lots of recipes and other facts about them. though i haven't eaten them yet, the literature i've found suggests they have a crispy texture similar to asparagus with a mild garlic flavor without the acrid garlic bite. i gather that they are most readily found at local farmers markets and whole/natural/organic food stores. if you're inclined to find scapes or discover other new and unusual local produce, check HERE to find a local farmers market or a farm near you.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

unplug yourself: part one

**disclaimer: if you've never seen any of the Matrix movies, you'll be a bit out of the loop but i think you'll be ok.**

the Matrix movies tell the story of a future in which the reality perceived by humans is actually a simulated reality created by sentient machines in order to pacify and subdue the human population so that those sentient machines can harness the energy from human body heat and neural activity for their own sustenance.

enter...the Meatrix! the founders of Sustainable Table, an organization dedicated to the furtherance of sustainable food sources, created a series of spoof videos whose aim is to educate people about the perils of factory farming. the analogy is genius.

i don't preach and i don't judge others for what they eat but i feel like i'm being remiss if i don't do my part to at least expose others (all 4 of you that read this blog) to the atrocities being committed to fulfill the nation's demand for meat, eggs, and dairy. i'll spare you the blood and guts (the facts are readily available if you want them) but animals are grossly mistreated and sanitation standards are blatantly disregarded in the name of speed and profit. these shortcuts have meant increases in the occurrence of disease in both the animals and the humans that consume the byproducts and more artificial compounds like hormones and antibiotics being added [READ: injected] to increase productivity.

i'm not saying that you should stop eating meat. that's a big choice to make and requires a commitment for one's own reasons. what i am saying is that you should be cognizant of where your meat/eggs/dairy comes from and how it was treated before reaching your grocery cart.

buy local and/or organic as frequently as you can. ask questions about where your groceries come from. use the eat well guide to find sustainable food sources in your area. oh...and if at all possible, don't patronize fast food restaurants. they are the most heinous offenders when it comes to fueling "the Meatrix." do it for yourself too...the "food" they produce is terrible for you. eating that shit'll catch up with you. in short, be responsible for what you put in your body.

although i am an unparalleled fount of knowledge, check your library for books, magazines, and movies about sustainable food, the food industry, and green issues in general. some resources that have really opened my eyes:
Slaughterhouse - Gail Eisnitz
Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser (also a movie for those who don't want to read)
Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating - Erik Marcus
The Food Revolution - John Robbins
Skinny Bitch - Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

i'm not advocating that you all go out and become long-haired, tree-hugging, hemp-necklaced vegans. i just urge you to look past the blinders and refuse to buy into the Meatrix. educate yourself, dig a little deeper, and invest in your health instead.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

math worse than mine

as those that know me are well aware, i was absent the day they taught math. numbers just don't work inside my head. i don't like math, i don't do well with math, and as long as i can continue to make words work for me, i'll continue to be arithmetically challenged. last night, however, my computational prowess soared as i found someone worse at math than me.
i encountered a man who had committed a minor violation for which my discretion could be used in whether to enforce by citation or exercise my jedi-mind-trick "this never happened" powers. as we conversed, the man begged me to be merciful and pleaded, "c'mon man, don't give me a ticket....i just got out of jail on the 38th of last month."

with math like that, i think he deserved the break :-)


Monday, June 9, 2008

a free coffin, a moose, and the vagina couch

we've spoken before about the instances of "circumstantial voyeurism" when, by some serendipitous alignment of forces, we're allowed a glimpse into someone else's life. my buddy just put me onto an unlikely catalog of these wonderful portals...the BEST OF!
i use craigslist fairly regularly and i'm frankly surprised that i've never noticed this awesome feature of the site. see, with every posted ad on craigslist, there's a way to flag that post as miscategorized, prohibited, spam, or best of craigslist. i knew about the flags for the other stuff but the best of craigslist option is new to me....and it's freakin' fantastic!

i'm sure some of these ads are contrived but i'm also sure that some are completely legit. either way, they bear frittering away at least a little bit of time that could be better spent doing something productive. some of my favorites are the chattanooga ladies man, kissing lessons, a husband's terms, the exhibitionist's apology, the vagina couch, and one person's box of precious memories.

you won't be sorry :-)


Saturday, June 7, 2008

channeling chaucer

i'd said to myself that i was going to try to steer clear of using the people and situations i encounter at work as fodder for my blog but sometimes it's just too much to resist. *smiling incredulously and shaking head side to side*

you see, recently, i had the pleasure of meeting a former presidential candidate. while checking a park area in a local canyon, i saw a vehicle parked just ahead of me on the side of the road (in violation of park regulations). as i pulled in behind the vehicle, this is what i saw: (camera phone picture)

now i took psychology 101 in college so i'm pretty good at cluing in on classic attention-seeking behavior so i felt like it was the responsible thing to do to indulge this apparent holy man and see if there was perhaps some divine reason he was parked alone in a park at 2 in the morning. the encounter that ensued can only be described as deeply uplifting. *smiling incredulously and shaking head side to side again*

just so you get a full idea of what i observed, i searched the internet for others who have been blessed by a similar experience and here are some other angles of our reverend's political pot-mobile. (click the pictures for close-ups)

i politely informed our man of god...sorry...God...that he was in violation of park reg's and he apologized. i then gingerly asked him to tell me about the message he was trying to spread via his car/billboard. the good reverend told me that he'd been a write-in presidential candidate in 2004 and was encouraging people to help his campaign now in 2008. he also informed me that the election process is biased towards the rich and THAT was the reason his campaign had lost strength in 2004 and cost him the presidency. this becomes an infintely funnier concept when you watch his video. in the brief conversation we had, he told me that he didn't have any marijuana with him but said, "If one will look at the medical facts, one will find that there are many blessings associated with the plant." who can argue?

i wished our reverend well, sent him on his way, and promptly googled him to learn more. as it turns out, he was (at least partially) telling the truth. he apparently has a cult following, a website, a video, and, of course, a myspace page. go ahead, check them out....i'll wait....

if chaucer was writing his canterbury tales for 2008, i'm sure the parson's tale would be pretty much a verbatim transcription of this.

again...who can argue? *smiles and shakes head incredulously*