Archive for January, 2007

Chernobyl, Vermont

A local yahoo from around here has put together an impressive display of photos he shot inside the Chernobyl “exclusion zone” — proximal to the doomed reactor, where radiation levels remain too high for human safety for any amount of time — combined with pictures of the eerily similar landscape here in Windham County, Vermont (smack in the Vermont Yankee evacuation zone).

bread.jpg

Freaky shit. Much respect to the yahoo. Please check it.

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Shit Happens

A’right. I don’t know why precisely but I feel compelled to clear this up:

With rarest exceptions, I am neither “sweet” nor “mushy.”

My previous post was perceived that way by some readers. Which interests me, because it wasn’t intended to be. It was intended to be what it was — a story about a dude who got lured from the bar by his grown daughter with a pitcher of beer that he was too drunk to drink. Kind of like a greyhound dog gets lured by a fake rabbit around the racetrack.

Couple quick points: 1. The drunk dude in question is a friend. Moreover, at least 50% of what I write on this blog — this post for example — gets written in his bar. So I bear him no ill will and even owe him a little nicety. 2. Shit — it happens to the best of us.

But by no means does that conjure any feeling from me resembling “mushy” or “sweet.” While I didn’t intentionally disparage I sure didn’t think it a precisely flattering tale…

So. Who cares? Me.

Because I want to gauge how well my feelings are conveyed by what I write. Of particular interest to me are the characters I wish to develop — most of whom are also my friends.

That’s a peculiar challenge, writing about friends who will read what I write. And who will be read about by friends who know them as well as me at least. My friend from the previous post was a pretty easy hit for me because we’re not particularly close. And his personality is pronounced, well known and easy to get across.

But something went awry. Things will. I’m left to wonder if the “sweet & mushy” angle came across because I’m usually so downright ornery — is this a relativistic thing?

Granted I didn’t have one specifically mean thing to say about the drunk dude. I wouldn’t normally about friends I’ll soon see walking down the street.

The point was to tell a funny story, experiment a little & try to nail down a character. On the basis of the comments I’ve received — & I massively appreciate them all — I have work to do on the character thing.

Hey: if you can’t put up with the occasional imperfection…I suggest hanging around some other speedWay!!

Beer Go Up

Ray wears a T-shirt that says Beer Is The Reason I Get Up Each Afternoon. That’s because Ray makes the beer at Mcneil’s Brewery. Ray enjoys the beer he makes at his brewery. So much that he long ago hired other folks to actually brew the beer — so he can better concentrate on enjoyment.

The man is a drunkard. But not a fool.

Ray is divorced with grown children. He takes milk thistle for his liver and rides his ten speed bicycle to stay trim. Ray plays cello — sometimes with a jazz band. Sometimes with a symphony. An admirably fair employer; On my first day working for him, years ago, he said “Mike E: I don’t mind if you drink on the job. As a matter of fact I encourage it!” He fired me, of course, but only after I didn’t show up to work for 3 weeks.

One time Ray’s daughter suggested that he had drank more than plenty already. Ray was very, very drunk that day. But — as evidenced by his prodigious swigs from a fresh-poured 4-pint ale pitcher — he disagreed.

Ray thought in fact he had yet to drink quite nearly enough.

An age-old struggle ensued: between a drunk and the daughter who wanted him to hang his beer-pitcher up & call it an afternoon.

Going for the daughter was the fact that he didn’t have far to go: Ray built himself an apartment right upstairs from his bar. Going for the drunk was the fact that he is far too large for his daughter to carry.

“Dad.” Said daughter. “It’s time to go home.”

Drunk said “But I am home!!”

“No dad.” Daughter corrected him. “All the way home.”

“Close enough!” Drunk slurred.

“Not for me.” Daughter insisted.

“Yeah — but who the hell are you?” The drunk asked.

She answered. “I’m your daughter.”

“No you’re not!”

“Am so.”

“Prove it!”

“No.”

“Well but.” Ray looked bewildered for a long moment. Until he remembered. “You don’t have to prove anything to me! Do you?”

“Nope.”

“Because you’re my daughter.”

“Exactly.”

He put down the pitcher. Dejected. The drunk knew he was beat.

“I have to go home now.” Said he.

“You have to go home now.” Said she.

Everyone in the crowd who gathered to watch nodded their heads in agreement.

Ray threw his head down and wrapped his arms in a giant bear hug around the bar. Like a protester fearlessly hugs — and often chains their self to — a soon to be felled redwood tree.

“I’m not going.” He defiantly cried. “You can’t make me!!”

His daughter reached toward him. Ray gripped the bar with all his might. But her hands passed straight over him. Ray gritted his teeth for the Showdown that never came. He assumed his daughter would forcibly ply him loose from the bar. Instead she skillfully un-plied his mind.

She grabbed the half-full beer pitcher. Ray opened his eyes. She raised the pitcher up in front of her own eyes, slowly. Ray followed the beer pitcher droopingly, first with his eyes, then he raised his head from the bar, stood wobbly, stared hypnotically deep into the beer. And held his hands out to Receive it.

She stepped back. Ray stepped forward. Beer steps back. Ray step forward. Beer step. Ray step. Beer go Ray go. Beer go up stairs.

Ray go up stairs!

The crowd goes wild.

Beer is the reason.

a little something..

…To say thank you!! To all ya’ll who hang around here on open container speedWay.

I want you to have my Crack Dealer’s pager number:

213.1132

Why?

Click for Audio Clue.

~!~

Hillary’s B.S. Exploration Committee

Is it just me — or does Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she has formed a “Presidential Exploratory Committee” seem a touch disingenuous? Even a little contrived.

Huh. Like, Hillary Clinton is officially thinking about running for president. No shit??

Really!

Wikipedia says:

Candidates use an exploratory committee as not only a transitional phase for their bookkeeping but as an extra claim on media attention. Some of the most skillful handlers like to leak word that their candidate is testing the waters, then leak word that he or she is thinking about forming an exploratory committee. Additional “news” can be made when the same candidate actually forms such a committee and registers with the Federal Election Commission. Yet a fourth round of attention may be generated when the word exploratory gets dropped from the committee filing.

Barak Obama also recently announced formation of a committee to explore his own presidential ambitions. I buy that, somewhat, on the basis of a possibility that Obama may yet not run for president — dependent on what transpires between now & the first televised debate in April.

Senator Obama wants to run. Everyone wants Obama to run. Barak Obama may win & that’d be awesome dudes. But he is scared. He should be; Obama is a presidential campaign trail amateur. Hillary Clinton — his presumed chief rival — is a very unique kind of Pro.

Who, if taken at her word, has of late been bit by the whim to explore her viability as an ’08 conteder.

Forget that her first run on the US Senate, 6 years back, was that exploration’s literal inception. Forget for now that Hillary enjoyed front-runner status in the ‘08 race before John Kerry even conceded his loss in ’04. Remember what Hunter S. Thompson once pointed out:

“A man on the scent of the White House is rarely rational.”

And bear in mind that Hillary Rodham Clinton was keenly & irreversibly & deservedly on the White House scent back in the day when America’s Vice President attended DC-area Grateful Dead gigs. Before America “was ready” for wildly popular women & black male presidential candidates. Before Barak Obama made his first run on the Illinois state assembly.

Of the Democrats, she has wanted it longest. No doubt.

Remember when First Lady Hillary was publicly accused, in the early 90’s, of wearing the pants in the Clinton family? The media suggested she maybe wielded more presidential powers than the duly elected president. To hazard a guess: that’s when Hillary first laid her own designs on the presidency.

She’s one smart cookie. A cosmic rule-breaker superbly poised to be our next Commander in Chief; potentially the most dangerous woman in Planet Earth’s history.

So why launch her bid with some lumpy bull about an Exploratory Committee?

Not for the free publicity. Contrary; her non-committal stance is designed precisely to avoid media scrutiny. To temporarily dodge the question: What has Senator Clinton done for America lately?

Last thing I remember was her go-ahead to unleash a truly frightful catastrophe on the most volatile region of an already perilously war-whipped world. She voted to use force to topple Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. For it she remains unapologetic. Perhaps not wanting to appear like a girly-girl & a sissy.

At all costs not wanting to alienate any pro-war Republicans who may swing their votes her way.

But now that the race for her party’s nomination is heatedly on Mrs. Clinton by appearances has taken steps to secure a few votes from her own compadres.

Very recently the senator conceded that — had she known then what she knows now — she would’ve voted the other way.

Well no shit Sherlock.

I mean…ya would‘ve? What a gigantic relief!

Know what? A yes vote for War was the dumbest vote ever cast by any US lawmaker. And that Says Something. But who the fuck cares? The question is now how do we deal with it?

Let’s talk about how to bring the right end to the war in Iraq and to restore respect for America around the world.
>>Hillary Clinton 1.20.07

Ah? Yes. As I suspected. Mrs. Clinton turns now to her party’s freshly empowered senate majority for salvation:

Clinton said [her proposed] legislation would establish conditions for the U.S. government, such as certifying that the Iraqi government had disarmed the sectarian militias and made constitutional changes to ensure rights for all ethnic minorities, as well as requiring participating in diplomatic activities with Iraq’s neighbors.

If those conditions are not met, the legislation would require a congressional resolution authorizing the mission in Iraq.

>>Washington Post 1.17.07

Hmm. Disarm the sectarian militias. End the civil war? WAY — sounds like a plan! Require diplomatic activities with Iraq’s neighbors…Like, Iran & Syria? Well. No harm I suppose in a little chit-chat with the terrorists. If it’ll help spare the human species from the embarrassment of self-extermination!

One question though: How will Iraq’s government disarm those militias? And…will we really talk to Syria & Iran — is that what Hillary means? I can’t tell. But to hazard a guess: these things won’t happen. Clinton’s proposed legislation will accomplish no progress on the ground in the war zone. Because it’s designed not to bring peace but to give Hillary Clinton a way to change her 2002 yes vote for War into one more befitting the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runner.

If those conditions are not met — ie disarmament of sectarian militias, diplomacy with Iran & Syria…the really impossible ones — The legislation would require a [new] congressional resolution authorizing war in Iraq.

Just in time, perhaps, for the leadoff primary contests in the ’08 election season?

chief alien chimp

It’s now past the point where one could possibly care about that grey alien chimp of a president. Signing off from Planet Earth.