Posts from 07/2005
Sydney and Kitty moved to Manassas last night and they're doing fine by all accounts. Booty and Amber are now the sole owners of this house, although they graciously let me stay. As a tribute to fat and fur, here's a collage of cat pictures I painted myself, celebrating five years of Kitty and four months of Sydney (234KB JPG).
In addition, here are some classic Kitty and Sydney moments:
You may scoff at the last one, but by now she knows how to open food containers, trash cans, closets containing food containers, cabinets containing food containers, and cabinets with child locks.
So Anna, Ben, Sydney, and Kitty are all permanently evicted, and Kathy, the basement-squatter, is gone on a cross-country road trip for two weeks. My sister and her husband came here yesterday to fly out of Dulles to Chicago, so my driveway is jam packed with stationary mobiles. Now it's time to think about redoing some of the upstairs rooms (carpet, paint, et cetera) and to start my LTS work in earnest. I'd also like to start composing and practicing trumpet again, since there's no one to bother with repetitious repetition, but I probably won't have the free time to devote to that for a few more months. In the short term, I'm off to Colonial Beach and I'll be back early Sunday morning.
Obligatory beginning of the month note: If you don't visit every day and you missed yesterday's update, it can be found by clicking on June 2005 in the menu to the left.Survival of the posted hamster
Happy 4th of July!
I've posted a few pictures from my time in Colonial Beach on the BU-Photos page. The trip there and back were fairly uneventful with two exceptions: On the way down, I saw a dead man in a truck in the Braddock Road Exit access road. His headlights were on, but he was parked on the shoulder with his door either fully open or torn off. He was sitting upright, his chin resting on his neck and his left hand hanging down out of the truck cab, clutching something red. If he wasn't dead, he was probably resting off one hell of a night, since it was at about 6 AM on Saturday.
On the way home, I saw my first blatant toll-road violator. He had no Smart-Tag in his car and he brazenly plowed through the lane. A blue neon sign lit up saying, "TOLL NOT PAID" and the license plate camera started flashing a couple times per second. His license plate was JGB-7366. I wrote it down because I was right behind him and may end up getting a ticket in the mail. Feel free to cross reference his V.I.N. and deliver pizzas to his house.Flesh-eating aliens were chasing me when I caused fatal car crash
A ton of today's blogs have a page called "100 Things About Me" where the writer describes subtle and not so subtle peculiarities of their life or personality. In an effort to maintain my bandwagoneer membership (which expires soon), I've created a page of my own which you can find in the About section . Regular visitors to this site probably know a lot about what I've done in life, but not so much about who I am. I plowed through about 160 "things" before I ran out of steam, but I'll probably add more as I think of them. I also put a Comments link on that page, so you can dissect the cadaver of my soul at length with other visitors.
Happy Birthday Ada Hettinga!Calling in sick to become a professional wrestler
Being fat is now a matter of National Security. Military officials worry because too many recruits are now too fat to join the services (although they note that "'Large and in charge' makes soldiers look more formidable to the enemy" . Farther down in the article is a chart of weight-loss methods, with 21% of soldiers trying laxatives (apparently forgetting that they're grown adults and not high school rowers in the Lightweight 8 at Stotesbury).
My feeling on the matter is that they should let them all in. Since I don't plan on joining voluntarily, someone's got to be out there fighting for vague, indeterminate causes. Is it really a big deal if the helicopter has to gas up more frequently or uniforms are a little snug? Evidently the military does not read my website, or they would have seen this previously posted news story touting the BENEFITS of having chunk on the front .
Take a Ride on the Spacehype
Apparently the comet-probe collision is a bigger deal than I presumed . CNN calmly proclaims,
Why is it such a big deal? Well, look at what was accomplished:
Based on overwhelming evidence, I have changed my mind. This was "really a key point in our whole lives".
Note: Here is how to make your own commemorative comet photo, free of charge!
1: The rewriting depends upon my hostile takeover of Houghton-Mifflin, which is currently on schedule. This is just a footnote.
Since everybody loves a good list, here is my list of ten well-built songs (I hesitate to call it a Top Ten list, since there are inevitably other songs that I've forgotten). A well-built song need not be the greatest song in the world, have the deepest message, or even be one of your favourites -- it's just a song that's solid from start to finish. It isn't too long or short, it doesn't get old, it's well-crafted, and it says what it needs to say, maximizing the potential of whatever style it's in. Here are my picks, in roughly chronological order (with Amazon samples):
As you can see, the genres in my list are all over the map. In essence, these are songs that I would leave unchanged if I were ever rewriting music books. Do you have any songs you'd define as "well-built"TM? Disagree? Please share!
Happy Birthday, Doobie!We treated him as if he were hazardous material
Warning: Today's news update links to stories about animals with bad endings. This does not refer to pooping elephants. If you don't like sad animal stories, do not click on the links.
This is not the way you should be putting injured deer out of their misery, even if you are one of Arlington's finest . Unless the deer is possessed by the spirit of Rasputin (in which case you should call a Scientologist for an audit), your best bet is to call up Animal Control.
I'm sure by now everyone's heard the sad story of the dog and the firecracker on Independence Day . I think the most ridiculous aspect of the story is how it happened:
Who does that? "Heads up kids, your Uncle Billy's here!"
Sometimes animals get their revenge though. Here's a story paraphrased from America's Dumbest Criminals by Butler, Ray, and Gregory:
Kerry and David's idea of a good time was to get drunk and drive some thirty miles outside their southwestern city and wreak havoc on whatever innocent desert creatures happened across their path; mainly coyotes. From their new 4x4 Blazer, they would run them down or shoot them, sometimes setting traps for the unsuspecting creatures, ensuring themselves sufficient victims for a day of demented sport. One day, the pair removed a coyote from their trap and taped two sticks of dynamite to its body. Then they lit the fuses and turned the coyote loose.
Scared, confused, and panicked, the coyote ran for about ten feet, then turned and ran straight back at them. Kerry and David ran. The coyote followed. It would rush one way, zig and zag, then chase after the other guy. Finally, the coyote ran for the nearest cover, which was a five by eleven foot shaded area -- right under the new Blazer. The terrible two were now the ones scared, confused, and panicked. They couldn't chase him off. They couldn't drag him out. They couldn't even get near him. In fact, they had to run even faster now...
Kaboom! The two were thirty miles from home, and stranded in the middle of the desert. When they were finally rescued, they were charged with animal cruelty and other violations against nature. And once the truth was out, the insurance company refused to cover the Blazer.
Happiness is rediscovering an unopened box of chocolate eclairs in the freezer. Have a good weekend!
As an added bonus this week, I'll be reposting funny videos from my news archive, one per day through Friday. Because movies are so large, they'll only be up for a couple days each. This should give you plenty of motivation to visit daily (and people who visit every day might also have the chance to be entered into a lottery where the winner has a chance to win a free toaster).
First up is this infomercial for a genuine stainless steel katana: (5MB MPG)
In my fourth year of college ('99 - '00), my favourite Friday nights were the ones where I had nothing to do. I remember jogging home through the nasty cold near midnight, having just spent a few hours sucking it up at the trumpet in the practice rooms. My roommate, Kelley, was gone every weekend perpetuating his Demolay cult through his position as Statemaster Councilor, so things would be pretty quiet. I would cook up a double helping of Ramen noodles in the hot pot for a midnight snack and then settle in at my desk with some music and a book, or maybe converse with my network of clowns online, but mostly I would peoplewatch.
I lived in a dorm shaped like an "H" for the first four years of my college career, and in the fourth year, my room was in the armpit of the H (or crotch, depending on what you'd consider the proper architectural terminology). Because of this, I had a Rear Window view on seven stories of teeming humanity in the opposite leg of the dorm. I could sit there for hours, just watching people come and go, get ready for parties, sleep, have fights, watch TV, or turn out the lights for some amorous amity. I wasn't really interested in the voyeuristic aspect of it -- what amazed me (and still does) is that every single person in that personal theatrical production had their own lives and their own stories. Each person had a timeline of twenty odd years just like I did, and friends and family who also had individual stories, ad naseum. Most of those people I never met, but they're still out there, adding to their stories while completely oblivious to my own.
Today's funny video from my archives is this heartwarming clip about the dog who finds out that his poodle girlfriend is a slut (4MB MPG)
Visitors seem to crawl out of the woodwork whenever I talk about music, so today's post will consist of random whimsies about the music in my mind and on my playlist.
Today's funny video from my archives is a funny commercial. Be warned that there's swearing in the audio, so don't watch it at work unless you're a VIP in a single office (8MB MOV)
Happy Birthday, Uncle John!Study shows, men like naked chicks on the beach
I read a story in the Washington Post a couple days ago that mentioned Herndon's continued efforts to regulate or do away with the sites where day laborers meet for jobs . Herndon and the proposed sites are literally right down the street from me. While I can see where the opponents are coming from, I think I see a few flaws in their logic:
First, does anyone actually go to 7-Eleven anymore? The last time I was inside a 7-Eleven was on a family trip, pestering my dad for The Dark Crystal collectible cards and those rub-on kits where you could rub stickers of He-Man and Orko onto cardboard backdrops. The paucity of visitors probably has more to do with the footlong hot dog which has been travelling on the treadmill grill for over fifteen years like a hamster with a broken spirit. (Incidentally, every store uses the same hot dog -- they FedEx it around so they can be in the Guiness Book under "well-travelled dogs").
It's true that property values will probably go down near any official day laborer site, and it's minimally possible that the day laborers will form into a gang (aptly named MS-6d2) and steal hammers from Home Depot at gunpoint (actually Lowes, since the hammers at Home Depot would be out of stock). But, diseases? Come on.
I asked Jeeves about day laborer diseases, but all he could tell me was that they should wear gloves at the construction site, or else Aspergillus will put blood in their sputum. Google agreed with this prognosis, but added that illegal immigrants have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases. The solution, then, for those worried Herndon residents? Don't have sex outside of 7-Eleven or any other designated day laborer site! Using protection while having sex in a port-a-John will also help to keep your sputum bloodfree.
I also think it's cute that visiting www.washintonpost.com automatically redirects you to the site with the correct spelling.
The next Harry Potter book comes out on Saturday. I'll probably pick it up in hardcover since I just finished rereading Traitor's Knot. The stories are always decently written, though hopefully Rowling's gotten a new editor to trim out the endless pages of "Harry's angry. GRR! Harry likes girls and is confused. This makes Harry angry. GRR!" that plagued the last book.
Today's funny video from my archives is a montage of cute cat moments from America's Funniest Home Videos (2MB WMV)
It was funny enough when Blizzard's World of Warcraft gave you the option of owning pets, including Maine Coon cats, and players discovered that talking about their pets in Chat Channels filtered "Coon" as profanity.
On Tuesday, they quietly changed the name of the cat without announcing it, regardless of the fact that Maine Coon is a real type of cat, and the state cat of Maine. (Maine Coons are giant cats once thought to have been mated with raccoons. Kitty is a Maine Coon). People quickly noticed that their pets had changed and complained. The official Blizzard response included:
The juicy irony of this story is that in an effort to make the kitty less racist, they renamed it Black Tabby.
My site was down for a few hours yesterday morning. Submitting a ticket to tech support led to the discovery that my web host (which, to date, has always seemed like a one man company) has outsourced Tech Support to India.
The Emmy nominations are out, with Lost getting 12, Arrested Development getting 4, and Alias getting 4. I find it amusing that Jennifer Garner really deserved a nomination for her acting in the first three seasons, and she gets one for the season where she phoned in half the episodes and wasn't in the other half (no doubt busy making babies, a.k.a. "suffering back injuries on the set of Elektra", with Ben Affleck).
The final movie of Old Funny Movie Week is this Nutrigrain commercial, titled "I feel great!". If you don't have a Quicktime movie player, this movie should give you the incentive to go download it (10MB MOV)
There are no spoilers for Book 6 in today's review.
The latest Harry Potter book is surprisingly better than I expected it to be. I found the first three books to be cute but formulaic (Suspiciously evil wizard turns out to be not so bad, but benign friendly wizard was up to no good!!). The fourth and fifth tried too hard to be of epic proportions and ended up as Spellbooks of Oral Diarrhea. Now, with the end in sight and all the pieces falling into place, the sixth book has a much tighter storyline and a pace that doesn't drag along so much.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the first book where the significance of the title isn't really revealed until the end, and it's more of a footnote than an explanation. It's shorter than the previous two books by about one hundred pages, but it's definitely larger than a stick of butter . Harry Potter starts taking responsibility for himself this time around, and spends less time whining and moping. Much less bookspace is given to the trials of being a teenager, a sideplot I always felt was the weakest part of the other books (yes, it's necessary, but I don't think it was ever particularly well-done). The Ron & Hermione tension which has been building for several books now is just annoying, and needs some kind of resolution. If our media can be trusted, kids nowadays are playing Witch Doctor as early as 10 or 12, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for the pair to be sampling each others' concoctions or exploring each others' broom closets at 17. Of course, the fact that the book is aimed at kids means that this will never be worked into the official timeline of the Potterverse.
And yet, the kiddiness factor of this book is much smaller than any previous book. Murders, tortures, zombies, and blood rituals abound, and I bet at least one conservative values group will be outraged at the one page with the word "slut" on it. Rowling isn't afraid to create this dark atmosphere as a natural result of the story to date, and it works very well. This would be a good book to be turned into a movie by the Burton/Elfman/Depp team, except that they would probably overemphasize the "dark yet cute" style rather than just letting it be dark.
Lots of events from previous books are tied together here, although some less successfully than others. Though it's no War of Light & Shadows, Rowling does a pretty decent job of making those connections more than just afterthoughts. The ending is well done, and throws some interesting surprises into the mix for the final book. This time around, I'm actually looking forward to the next one.
Incidentally, I picked mine up for $15 at Costco on Saturday. They had a monstrous end-aisle display stacked higher than I am tall with books (It's pretty easy for something to be taller than I am, but at least I'm bigger than a stick of butter). Crowds were hoarding the books fifteen minutes before the store officially opened, with some soccer moms picking up four and five copies for their broods.
I've added 10 new things to my About Me page , highlighted with red exclamation points. I don't think any of them are major spoilers. In other news, my presentation on How to Read Music is all done, so I'll be starting on Highlights of Western Music tonight.
I'm tired of the registration requests at smh.com.au, so any of their news stories that I post can be viewed with the user/pass: cosmoran/spider. This is identical to the login for the New York Times which I have posted here in the past. Enjoy.A tall frosty glass of Homo Light
Life hasn't been good to NASA since I last reported on their craterization of a comet (see my entry from July 6, 2005). Apparently their P.R. department has decided that instead of performing a successful mission and having a grand news conference upon completion, it's better to Harry-Pottercize the next shuttle mission into hype oblivion (In other news, NASA obtained a temporary injunction against Scaled Composites LLC , who wanted to fly up a day early and spoil the end of space for everyone patiently waiting on the Discovery).
It was heartwarming of CNN to make sure we knew that everyone on the shuttle is going to be a son or daughter, although I'm at a loss as to what else they could be. As usual, AskJeeves was not helpful -- he told me that if parents are planning on taking custody of one kid, it will usually be the son . This is probably good advice, since it's painfully obvious that girls have cooties and never amount to anything (not even the first woman conductor of a major symphony orchestra ). The obvious reasoning behind this byline is that the original copywriter was going to open with one of those obtuse brain teasers about your mother's father's uncle's son, but was fired and replaced by a less seasoned writer.
So now that the cast of our farce has been introduced, we move to the setting, which in this case is a twenty-two year old shuttle named Discovery. Years of studies in the insurance industry have shown that twenty-two year olds crash more frequently than those who are slightly older (NASA's attempt to skew this by buying Discovery a "hands-free device" was aborted when they realized that the shuttle had neither hands, ears, or cell phones). The crash statistic's veracity was proven rather readily when Discovery's window cover "fell off of its own accord" and damaged some heatshield tiles while the craft was just sitting on the ground . NASA was quick to point out that this minor incident would not delay the launch, temporarily ignoring the fact that damaged heatshield tiles were a primary technical cause in the crash of the Columbia. A possessed window cover is just par for the course, and although I have never seen my driver's side window "open of its own accord" on my own Accord, I have seen it not open at all, usually when I've just pulled up to a Chick-Fil-a drive-through speaker. This forces me get out of the car, much like the astronauts who were sitting in the shuttle when it was finally grounded indefinitely:
So in essence, self-detaching covers and damaged tiles which could cause the destruction of the space shuttle are considered minor problems while knowing how much gas you have left is a critical catastrophe. I think that if I were an astronaut in charge, I wouldn't really care about monitoring my fuel levels, because I would expect them to FILL UP THE TANK. If you somehow run out of fuel in space, you may be able to fashion an energy convertor that runs on the international space station's malfunctioning toilet and Chinese pig sperm . Your MacGuyver options diminish dramatically though, when you need to retile the wing of your craft in zero gravity.
Note: In case NASA has now reported me to the Counterterrorism Unit of the FBI, or Professor Richard Berendzen plans to "get up close and personal with me" like his ancestor, I have created this commemorative picture of me being struck by NASA with a force equivalent to five tons of dynamite. Note how I am six times brighter. Enjoy!
Sub-Note: I refactored the Comments section code last night and a few directory names have changed. If you are having trouble getting the Comments popup to appear, please clear your cache and reload the page.Amber shows that a cat-powered space shuttle might be viable (218KB WMV)
The new Dave Matthews CD, Stand Up is a forgettable disappointment. I was a big fan of his original CDs, and I thought that Everyday was pretty successful at being a mainstream crossover, but this newest offering isn't good for anything but "background music for chilling" (Add ocean sounds and you could probably turn it into a fine New Age offering).
The mission statement of the CD seems to be:
There are no hit tracks, and none of the songs are even particularly memorable. "American Baby" is catchy at first, until you realize that there's eighteen refrains for every one verse. All of this could be forgiven if Dave Matthews had his signature voice, but unfortunately he now sounds like an old smoker and his tone has no vitality at all. Sometimes it even sounds like he's struggling to match pitch.
Compounding the hate is the fact that this CD is one of those special enhanced CDs that limits your ability to play it on a computer. Skip it.
The URI! Zone. I buy things so you don't have to.
I stayed home today to pour concrete for the sidewalk which will eventually go around my house. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.Part I: Strong Odors Expose N.Va. House's Secret
Here's a picture of the progress on my walkaround sidewalk. The first slab was laid last October, and the remaining three sections (another fifty bags worth of concrete) will be completed over the next couple weeks, weather permitting.
People who know me know that I don't like making long-term goals. I don't know where I'll be one year from today, what I'll be doing, or who else will be there, and I don't have much interest in guessing. Long term plans never come to fruition as you'd expect them to, meaning you're either met with a pleasant surprise or you find yourself settling for less than you wanted. Having said that, a few short-term goals never hurt anyone. Now that 2005 has peaked its hump, here are my resolutions and ambitions for the remainder of this year:
Whenever I make lists like this, it always puts me in a very restless mood, where I have the urge to do something highly creative or productive. This occurred last night (yes, I cheated and wrote today's update a day early) and I almost got to work immediately on revamping the URI! Zone. Luckily I held back, since I know that the mood will wear off within 24 hours and I'll be left with yet another incomplete effort. Plus, there are other things I should be working on at the moment. I did not do any of these things in the interim though, so my evening was 100% successful at being a failure.
The weekend is fast approaching. I'm doing Poker Night on Saturday night (I got 2nd place last week) as well as some more concrete work during the day. Tonight I'm going to see the remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory which should be a fun time. I'll post my thoughts either Friday or Monday.
All these big updates almost make me want to start posting things on the weekend again. Almost. Then I look through my archives, see how much my weekend updates sucked, remember that I never got more than 10 visitors per day, and abandon all enthusiasm.Booty freaks out because she has a tail (180KB WMV)
Today is the day of my oft-anticipated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory review, although I'm sure that most of you are just happy that the review will push Friday's Arachnid Sex ads below the fold.
There are generally three majority opinions concerning the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:
A fourth opinion by John Roberts Jr. was recently uncovered, stating that "while I disagree with the status of the movie as a cult classic, it is not my place to overturn a decision which has been thirty years in the making". The URI! Zone has no use for such non-inflammatory opinions, so it will be ignored.
I admit that I've only seen the original movie once, in 2001, and the people who I was watching it with fast forwarded through one of the slow songs that they didn't like. I read the books over and over though, as I am wont to do.
Charlie opened with a standard cache of previews for romantic comedies and kids movies. There's a new claymation movie in the works from Tim Burton, Corpse Bride which looks like it'll be worthwhile, sharing the same style as Nightmare Before Christmas. There's also a feature-length Wallace & Gromit coming out (the claymation precursor to Chicken Run). Finally, don't miss THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED on September 30 (capital letters added to emphasize GREATNESS). It's a movie about golf, and obviously produced by Disney -- only with the magic of the Magic Kingdom could you ever hope to turn any form of non-mini-golf into the GREATEST GAME on Earth. It's a GREAT movie with GREAT skills, and it's gonna do GREAT.
As the real movie began, it was apparent that this was a Tim Burton reinterpretation of the story, and not just a revamp of the old movie. The setting and the cast were perfect, and the little touches were pure Burton. He generally stuck to the story as we know it, but deepened the back story through flashbacks (something that worked more often than it failed in this case). The one disappointment I had was the Elfman score -- the trembling strings and wordless choir arrangements were nothing we haven't heard before, and could have easily been cut wholesale from any earlier Elfman score. It definitely fit the movie, but it seems like he's turning into the John Williams of Burton movies. Ironically, this cookie-cutter score first reared its head as the camera panned over a chocolate-bar stamping machine which was creating hundreds of identical candies. Elfman probably laughed about this all the way to the bank.
The last time Johnny Depp fell this far into his character, it was his cross of Keith Richards and Pepe Le Pew in Pirates of the Caribbean: Yet Another Movie with a Colon in the Title. This time around, he seems to be channeling Michael Jackson, with liberal doses of the stereotypical mad scientist. The result is a little endearing, but mostly creepy -- definitely not someone you'd ask to watch your kids for you. Much of the edge in the movie relies wholly on his excellent performance. However, for me the star of the show was Deep Roy, who played the part of every single Oompa Loompa (Deep Roy was also the guy in the top hat with the snail in The Neverending Story, and some random musical muppet in Return of the Jedi). Even if you hate the rest of the movie, the dance/music numbers starring Roy are worth watching -- both for the technical achievement and the camp factor. Instead of singing the same song four times, Deep Roy dances through four decades of pop music styles, doing the appropriate dance moves for each era.
Finally, Charlie closed with a trip to Chili's where we ordered some nachos. Apparently Chili's picks their nachos fresh off the plant and flies them in from Mexico, as we didn't get them for another forty-five minutes. The server apologized profusely and offered a free dessert in recompense. In fact, the cheesecake was so free ("as free as the wind blows", even) that it took them another half hour to catch it and deliver it to our table. By this point it was after 10:30 and time to go home. This is just a cautionary tale -- your ordering times after watching the movie may vary.
Overall, I would recommend seeing this movie, regardless of your feelings on the original. It's strong enough to stand on its own as an entirely separate entity, and there's plenty of bones thrown to old viewers.
My web host has been having some serious issues recently, slowing down connections and making my site time out quite frequently. They plan on upgrading their servers over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, please try back later if the site seems to be unresponsive. Sorry for the inconvenience.UPDATE: Peeping tom in the outhouse was just looking for a lost ring, and happened to be wearing waders.
My trip to the dentist yesterday was uneventful and exactly like every other trip in my dental repertoire (although they did locate the Mickey Mouse pendant I lost in my nose at age 15). The visit began with dirty looks and voodoo curses when I explained how long it had been since my last
confession cleaning, and the orderly donned her thickest "we're going to find a dead muskrat behind his left molar" latex gloves.
After a quick round of X-Rays, she returned to the room with the dire news that my upper wisdom teeth were coming in sideways and threatening to crush my upper front teeth like an origami bird in a trash compactor. My quick thinking at the forefront, I pointed out that the X-Rays were upside down since my upper wisdom teeth were actually already grown, and hanging off the ends like blue bells in Scotland (see X-Ray above). She quickly realized that the other orderly had inverted the slides, and ran out of the room, returning soon after with dire warnings that my lower wisdom teeth were coming in sideways and threatening to crush my lower front teeth like a sumo wrestler in a hen house.
Normally this would alarm me, but I've lived with my teeth for a pretty long time now, and we have a reasonably honest relationship with each other. Icebergs have moved faster than my teeth in the past ten years. My former dentist, Dr. Lasky, thought it best to leave the wisdom teeth in until they started causing problems, since taking them out might drastically shift my trumpet embouchure for no health gain. I mentioned this yesterday and their diagnosis shifted to point out that there were cavities back there. Then I pressed a little further, to find that actually it was just that cavities were likely to appear there without proper care.
Based on this information, I have created a playbook describing what the evil sideways wisdom teeth plan to do to bring about destruction in my mouth:
The next step in the dental procedure was a pamphlet, titled "Everyone Needs Fluoride!", which I was supposed to read immediately. The pamphlet, no relation to the classic book, "Everybody Poops!", was five pages of "the dangers of not getting enough fluoride", followed by an advertisement for the pharmaceutical company that made the pamphlet. Not surprisingly, this was followed by an offer for an extra dose of fluoride ($30, not covered by insurance) which I declined. The cleaning was quick and painless although someone really needs to invent two things: dental tools that don't sound like power tools, and tastier cleaning solution. I left with a fridge magnet, a toothbrush, a referral to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth removal, compliments about my unnaturally straight teeth, and an admonishment to come back in six months instead of six years.
What do you, the dear reader, think? Should I get my wisdom teeth extracted this year? In order to get a second opinion from a licensed professional, I consulted with my local oral surgeon at the McDonald's on Sterling Boulevard. He prescribed a 10 piece Chicken McNugget meal, and I have to say that it was quite tasty. That's my kind of oral surgery.Buzzi she said she'd been given no explanation. "I think I'm going to pass out," she said.
The Internet is a scary place -- I must be a magnet for Twilight-Zone connections and illicit coincidences, because they're piling up like fish heads on a poor man's smack. In Monday's update, I posted about an old friend in college whose away message was a line from the original Oompa Loompa song. Within eight hours of posting that she had rediscovered my page and sent me an email, after having vanished without a trace for over two years. She's now living in Houston with her husband, possibly moving to Spain in the Fall. It was good to be able to fill in some blanks, and we were able to reconcile past dramas, melo- and otherwise. Tragically for the nosy, past dramas do not get aired in news updates here, as this is a faux-blog rather than a real blog (a topic I plan to write about later in the week, and most likely tomorrow, since I like my syndicated "Friday Fragments" column).
She also sent me an email full of exclamation points for the next URI! Zone, so there will be more exclamation points than you could possibly imagine for all you punctuation lovers, come August 1 (the effective date when the URI! Zone begins its tenth year of existence). This should excite! many people to no end, including Florida-Mike! There won't be any major differences to the site, although you will be able to link directly to news posts or arbitrary pages and photos. Google will be able to add my news updates to their search engine, and Molly the Mouseover Llama will return as the site mascot.
The first extended thunderstorm of the summer barreled over my house yesterday morning, scattering the feline nativity scene on my bedspread like duckpins. Of course, both cats came out of hiding around 5 AM for the daily ritual of Wake & Eat (I wake, they eat). This usual involves Booty sharpening her claws on the underside of my boxspring, while Amber knocks things off my dresser, one artifact at a time, then pats me on the elbow continuously while meowing. Sometimes, when it's still too early, I'll fake them out by moving towards the kitchen, then juke backwards and shut the bedroom door with them outside. It's like a quarterback sneak, except there's no quarterback and the sneak is more of a feint, so I guess it's more like a feint.Booty demonstrates the Feint (85KB WMV)
Booty has picked up the habit of eating newspaper, so if I don't feed her quickly enough, she'll demolish things like the cartoons on my fridge. Sometimes I think it would be nice to own the automatic pet feeder that Dr. Emmett Brown invented in Back to the Future. It would not require 1.21 Jigawatts of electricity, because, seriously, no one has that much energy in the morning, not even a machine.
If the weather cooperates, I'll be staying home tomorrow to fulfill the manifest destiny of my sidewalk, which will gain another forty bags of concrete or so. My evening should be an action-packed, fun-filled roller coaster as well.Why cats don't like sugar
There are five major types of online writing that you might come across in your netly sojourns:
1) The Documentary
An itemized account of everything that happened in someone's day. Generally drops lots of names, irrelevant details about where they went and what they bought. Occasionally describes an honestly interesting event, but the general mundaneness of it all makes it more interesting for the people you already know rather than strangers.
2) The Emotional Barometer
An in-the-moment capture of how someone is truly feeling, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with no punches pulled. Might be depressing or might be uplifting, but is always very honest. Too much of this kind of writing by young adults may lead to teen-poetry, the sixth type of online writing which has been banned in most developing countries.
3) The Lazy Linker
Generally a well-meaning writer who has lost interest in saying anything worthwhile and just posts links with one or two sentences of description. Much like visiting CNN.com except you only get one story a day.
4) The Daily Column
A thought-out, edited, and published glimpse at someone's insight on the news of the day, often with humour and embellishment for interest's sake. More interesting than a Documentary, but runs the risk off being very sterile and impersonal when compared to a Barometer.
5) The Teenage Halfass
An initial attempt at creating a webpage which is subsequently forgotten but never removed.
Generally, a blog will contain a healthy mix of Documentary and Barometer, with sporadic spurts of Lazy-Linker on those days when there's just nothing to say. Deteriorating blogs increase the percentage of Documentary and Lazy-Linker, eventually becoming totally Links, and then totally Halfass. This is the reason why I don't think my news updates are a true blog. My daily updates started out as pure Documentary when I moved to Florida, with the random Lazy-Linker tossed in, and is now mostly a Daily Column. I now think much more about what I plan on writing, and then refine it so it's hopefully worth reading. I have never written a Barometer update, and what you read here is definitely not as spontaneous as a real blog, but for me, this is fine.
I do like me a good blog though -- I envy the people who have the wherewithal to go balls out with their heart on their sleeves in front of friends, strangers, and stalkers. I don't think I could write a worthwhile blog myself, being way too private of a person to write about "the good stuff". I'm getting a little better, as you can see by my Things About Me page (10 new things today!), but overall you'll have to content yourself with piecing the BU puzzle together based on the surface reflections I post every day.
What do you think?Falling debris is okay when it hits a bird instead of the shuttle
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