Friday, February 29, 2008

The Road Goes Ever On

Lord of the Rings: Collector’s Edition
It really was written as a single book. The publisher broke it!
Photo source: Amazon
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can
—JRR Tolkien

Suna has a job. She starts Monday at the University of Texas. WOO HOO! Now I need to make sure I have something by the time this contract ends.

Friday’s Feast

Appetizer: Who was the last person you hugged?
Suna, this morning before I left for work. I thought seriously about being late.
Soup: Share a beauty or grooming trick or tip with us.
If you’re on a tight budget, substitute aloe vera gel for conditioner and moose.
Salad: What does the color yellow make you think of?
My mother’s kitchen in the ’70s. It was so yellow, it made me want to puke early in the mornings. I had to wait until I had been up for a while before venturing in there.
Main Course: If you were to make your living as a photographer, what subject would your pictures revolve around?
I don’t think I would want to specialize too much. If you spend too much time thinking about a gnat’s left earlobe, you miss the beauty of the creature and how it interacts with its environment. Landscapes can be breathtaking, but sometimes you need people in them. Portraits can be poignant, but sometimes it’s the setting that makes the portrait.
Dessert: What was the longest book you ever read?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ideopathy

Thanks, Trackgrease. I wish life could have been easier for you, but then you wouldn’t be who you are now. At least, you learned how to fight the ideopaths.
Beneath the complexity and idiopathy of every cancer lies a limited number of “mission critical” events that have propelled the tumour cell and its progeny into uncontrolled expansion and invasion.
—Evan & Vousden (2001)

I take today’s quotation from wordsmith.org’s word of the day. Wordsmith defines idiopathy as “A disease of unknown origin or one having no apparent cause.” From this entry, I looked for the word ideopathy, which I found in use but not on any of my favorite dictionary sites. It makes sense to define ideopathy as an idea or political movement that has become pathological. In this case, it fits the description of cancer that Evan and Vousden provide above.

Which leads to my decision not to vote in the Republican primary this year.

The other day, Suna got a recorded call from John McCain. In the recording, he promised to further the Bush administration’s attacks on the Constitution, fairness, and choice. He vowed to continue the war against science. While I realize McCain was probably trying to appeal to his rabid base, his (hopefully) disingenuous rhetoric convinced me that he is now owned by the ideocrats (read ideopaths) of the far right.

Perhaps Cthulu would be the lesser evil. Besides, he is the heir apparent to the Republican nomination. Voting for him in the primary would accomplish nothing.

That leaves Ron Paul, who has as much chance of being the nominee as I do. Voting for him would also be throwing away my primary vote.

So I am back to my usual course—voting in the Democratic primary—and my original dilemma. I still can’t decide which candidate to vote for. Clinton has the baggage that comes with experience. Obama has the vague optimism that speaks of inexperience. I still have a few days to agonize over this decision.

Grateful Monday

So that is what I am grateful for today. I am grateful that I live in a country where I can agonize over such a decision and speak publicly about that agony without fear of repression or reprisal—at least not yet.

And I want to thank Trackgrease for doing his part to help ensure that I have something here to be grateful for. He served four years in the Army and eight years in the National Guard. The operative word here is served. He was not an officer or a decision maker. He simply did what he could to put his nation’s safety and health above his own.

Let us all do what we can this year to protect and serve our democracy. If nothing else, vote. As Edmund Burke said, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Let this be the year we stop doing nothing.

References:

Gerald I. Evan and Karen H. Vousden (17 May 2001). Proliferation: cell cycle and apoptosis. In Cancer. London: Nature. In Wordsmith.org (13 February 2008).

Wordsmith.org (13 February 2008). A.word.a.day—idiopathy. Available: http://wordsmith.org/words/idiopathy.html

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday’s Feast

Once again, I am posting Friday a few days late. Sigh. Nothing really to say about the actual day.

Appetizer: Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?
Not that I can remember. As a kid, I remember wondering why they were called “practical jokes.” They always seemed so impractical, if not down-right mean.
Soup: What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?
We have a mixed set. I had a set that looked like restaurant shakers, but Suna had pepper grinders, and I found that I liked fresh-ground pepper better. Now the pair that usually sit on the table are a medium-sized pepper grinder and a tiny salt grinder.
Salad: Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?
I’m not thinking that far ahead.
Main Course: What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?
What ever is handy.
Dessert: Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.
Hummingbird pie. Two scoops French Vanilla ice cream on a graham cracker bed. Top with Calluah. I have no idea how it would taste, but it sounds decadent.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Love

It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.
—Czeslaw Milosz

Little things can touch people’s lives. This story of a beautiful (but simple) tribute made me a little misty.

NYC firefighter Bobbie Beddia spoke with artist Rhonda Shearer. He told her that he was very lucky because he was the same age as his birth year, 53. He said it was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Shearer thought it was a unique and clever observation. She suggested that he get with a mathematician to work out a proof. Unfortunately, he was killed fighting a fire later that afternoon.

Shearer decided to pursue the proof in Beddia’s behalf.

A friend hers, physicist Richard Brandt, pointed out that the coincidence of birth year and age can only happen in even years. If you were born in an odd numbered year (say 1975), the sum of the two odd numbers (75+75) is an even number (2050). Suna and I will share this joyous year in 2016.

She contacted a freelance math writer Barry Cipra, who wrote a paper on what he dubbed the Beddian Year. He even and devised a formula to determine which population was larger: those who had attained their Beddian Year or those who had not. It’s not as simple as it sounds. People of different ages share the same Beddian Year. For example, this year is the Beddian Year for people who were born in 1956 and in 2004. There are probably more, but I’m not that good at math. (I lifted these years straight from the article.)

See how good things spread. I never met any of the people in this story, but the way they worked together to honor a friend really made my day. Do something nice for someone. The ripples spread across the pond.

References

Doubletounged.org (19 February 2008). "Biddian year." Available: http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/citations/beddian_year_1/

Widdiecombe, Lizzie (12 November 2007). "A firefighter’s theorem." The New Yorker. Available: http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2007/11/12/071112ta_talk_widdicombe

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Children of the Night

Steppenwolf’s Slow Flux album cover
The source of today’s lyrics and one of the best albums of all time.
Photo source: Amazon.com
Sure must be fun to watch a President run
Just ask the man who owns one
—John Kay

I recently participated in a survey of registered voters who plan to vote in the Republican Primary. Since that is my current plan, I answered in the affirmative. It was a fairly stilted survey. The questions were not as poorly written as some. There was nothing like, “Would you rather be safe by giving up all your rights under the Constitution or help the terrorists rape your family and farm animals while you watch?”

Some of the questions were:

  • Who do you plan to vote for: Ron Paul, John McCain, or Mike Huckabee?
  • I pressed 1 for Paul. As my mom used to say, “As often as this country gets screwed, we need a gynecologist in Washington.” He’s a good man. My family has known him all my life. But I still wouldn’t really vote for him. He’s just a little too whack for me.
  • What is more important to you: the economy or the war on terrorism?
  • Duh! If the economy goes to hell, we can't afford a war on terrorism—as if we needed one. It’s always the economy, stupid.

Only after the survey was over was I informed that the poll was paid for by the McCain organization. I wonder if I would have had the opportunity to answer the other two questions if I had not pressed 1 to say I was going to vote in the Republican primary. Probably not. I wouldn't have mattered then.

That was a little over a week ago. Today, McCain all but has the Republican nomination in hand. The pundits say that if Huckabee wants to be VP, he should bow out of the race sooner, rather than later. But I don’t think he wants to be VP, Romney wants that job. No, Huckabee wants to drive the party platform to the right. So, I apparently don’t need to vote Republican to get my least-evil choice.

But I still don’t really care for either of the remaining Democratic contenders. They both cancel each other out.

And last night, Obama won his ninth straight primary, and the pundits are starting to talk as if he has already been anointed. So, I still don’t know who to vote for in March. Oh, well, it won’t be the first time I’ve made up my mind while looking at the ballot.

Maybe I will vote per the bumper sticker I saw the other day. “Cthulu for President: Why choose the lesser evil?” Probably not.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pet Rock Laser

Beccano shows off his pet laser.
What you don’t know about, don’t knock
I’m in love with my pet rock
… [He] don’t wanna be a big rock star
—[I don’t remember]

Yesterday, Suna and I went to the local HEB to pick up a prescription that they had not been able to fill on Friday for spurious reasons. They apologized for the error, but didn't cover the additional deductible that the oversight caused. When we got home, Suna went to bed and I started working in the back yard, which is sorely in need of some effort after a winter of neglect.

When I took a break, Beccano brought me the bag in which the prescription had been packaged. “What does this mean?” he asked pointing to the 36 point type on the bag.

I had to plead ignorance. The bag proclaimed, “Changing your toothbrush every three months can help win the fight against…

“…DIABETES.”

The line break, the larger font, and the bold face were all on the bag.

I handed it back to Beccano and he laughed. “I mean, can you catch diabetes from your toothbrush?”

“Not that I’m aware of,” I shrugged.

“That makes me lawls,” he said and danced off to show Suna the bag.

Grateful Monday

So that brings me to today’s Grateful Monday. I am so grateful to have Beccano as a friend who makes me lawls—that is an extended string of LOLs. He is polite, funny, helpful, and eager to learn.

Last night after dinner, I decided to get some CDs out of a multi-disk player that quit working again. The tray was hopelessly stuck. Beccano and I took to the shop and spent a good half-hour dissecting it, playing with the gears, and identifying the components we could. He kept the “pet laser—that’s better than a pet rock.”

Friday, February 15, 2008

More Than Human

Book Cover from Library Thing
Originally published in 1953, More Than Human was nominated for the 1954 Retro Hugo award in 2004.
Photo Source: Library Thing
You have the most appealing surface I have seen
Bring it over here
Lay it down by me
—Al Stewart

The other night I dreamed that I had a wireless network connection embedded in my brain. It left a big scar on my forehead, but that was necessary. The antenna was a thin, silver wire that followed the scar. Although the scar was jagged and over my right eye, it was not a lightning bolt, avoiding the whole Harry Potter image. And the little silver wire that formed the antenna was kinda cute.

Now I know that is not an original concept:

  • Theodore Sturgeon won a nebula award for More Than Human, a classic story about coming-of-age when you’re part machine. I will always treasure the pure romanticism of “You stimulate my emosensors.”
  • Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline coined the term cyborg in 1960 to refer to a self-regulating hybrid of machines and humans.
  • Then there is the Borg in the Star Trek universe.

Speculative fiction always seems to focus on the negative aspects of any technology. Perhaps it is just that we humans prefer to be scared of anything new or different. Embracing change is difficult, but we must try somehow. If you want to find your inner cyborg, see Cyborg.NameDecoder.com . Mine is shown to the right

Image Source: Cyborg.NameDecoder.com
References
  • Clynes and Kline (1960). Cyborgs and Space. Astronautics.
  • Sturgeon, Theodore (1953). More Than Human. Victor Gollancz.

Friday’s Feast

Appetizer: Name one thing that is unique about you.
With more than 4-billion humans on this planet, I don’t know that anything about me is truly unique. Maybe the combination of traits is unique, but I don’t really think so. I have seen pictures of my doppelganger, and he even had the same kind of bass guitar I do.
Soup: Fill in the blank: My favorite ______ is _______, but I like _______, too.
My favorite music is difficult to play, but I like simple songs, too.
Salad: What type of wood do you have for your home's furnishings?
As many varieties as possible. I even like mixing woods in the same room. I love wood it all its variations.
Main Course: Who do you talk to most often on the phone?
Suna
Dessert: What level of responsibility do you have at your job?
Depends on how you look at it. I am a contractor, so I have absolutely no responsibility. But I act as a consultant. People listen to me and follow my recommendations. With that power comes responsibility, as Spiderman might say.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cosmik Debris

All that glitters is not gold. This golden rock ruined crashed through a family’s roof and landed in their bathroom.
Photo source: National Geographic
Hey there, brother,
Who you jivin’ with that cosmik debris?
—Frank Zappa

Wouldn’t this just make your day? The object in the picture crashed through the roof of a house and landed in the family’s bathroom (National Geographic News, 2007). It would certainly be surprising to reach for the TP and grab this thing. Even though the article said scientists would be able to identify the object by the end of the week, I have not been able to find any information on the results. There is a strong possibility that it is a melted portion of a satellite or other contraption.

And speaking of things from falling out of the sky, one of our spy satellites is coming down (National Geographic News, January 28, 2008). The satellite cannot be controlled as it falls and contains hazardous materials. There is even a good chance that it could it somewhere in the North America (Baldor, 2008). So carry a big umbrella for the next few days.

This NASA image make it look like we have a metal shell encircling our planet.
Photo source: National Geographic

And we have created a lot of this space litter since Sputnik. There are thousands of pieces of space junk in orbit around the planet. A NASA image makes it look almost like Earth has a metal atmosphere. Only 5% of the objects orbiting the planet are natural (Sullivan, 2008). At least 17,000 artificial objects have reentered the atmosphere in the last 50 years (Baldor, 2008).

Luckily, the bureaucrats have the situation under control Ten space agencies, including the European Space Agency and NASA, joined forces to create the Inter-agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (http://www.iadc-online.org/).

I didn’t intend for this entry to turn into a rant, but the stars are aligning (or at least the space trash is). Cthulu will soon start throwing rocks at us.


References

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bold Marauder

If you think my views are extreme, check out the source of this lovely illustration.
And we will dress in helmet and sword, and dip our tongues in slaughter
And we will sing a warrior’s song and lift the praise of murder
And Christ will be our darling and fear will be our name
—Richard Farina

I came across the following quote at wordsmith.org while reading the Word of the Day posting.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed—and hence clamorous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
—H.L. Mencken

Makes you wonder how Mencken knew what GWB would be doing 50 years after he died. Maybe Nostradamus was right when he said, “The more it changes, the more it stays the same.”

So that begs the question: Who are the real terrorists?

I think there are many correct answers. The Bush Administration is correct when they label people who want to cause harm or death to innocents with that moniker. They are wholly incorrect when they label anyone who disagrees with them as a terrorist. The United States was founded on the right of citizens to disagree with the government. The Second Amendment was not designed to protect citizens against foreign invaders. It was designed to protect citizens against their own government. The Founding Fathers had first-had experience with a terrorist government.

I am sad to say that we are growing painfully close to knowing the type of government our Founding Fathers knew. We have now have a government based on lies and fear. We need to find out if there is still anything left of our democracy after two stolen elections. The only way to know is if the Bush Administration hands over power to the opposition after a free and fair election.

I hope Stephanie is right, and this is the Dawning of a New Day. But I’m not that optimistic. I think McCain is a good man with good intentions, but can he tame the fascist wing of his party? I’m not confident that he can. All I know is that if the Republicans stay in power this year, the terrorists win. Maybe not the ones with fuzzy beards, but the ones who have raped the Constitution for six years now—the ones who hold power and pull the puppet’s strings.

God help us if Huckabee wins. No one else will.

On the lighter side: We Must All Do Our Part To Preserve This Climate of Fear

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Karn Evil 9

Image
When I showed Beccano this ELP cover, he thought it looked like a painting by the artist who designed Alien. Of course, he knew the guy’s name.
Photo source: Amazon.com
Welcome back, my friend, to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Step inside
Step inside
—Emmerson, Lake, Sinfield

I am such a scofflaw. Suna tagged me for another meme! She also tagged all the people I know who blog. So rather than getting hung in and endless loop, the buck stops here. If you have not already been tagged by someone else, consider yourself tagged for this one.

Rules:
  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Random Facts
  1. Ever since I discovered them, I have preferred Rotosound roundwound bass strings.
  2. When I was twenty, my favorite singers were Linda Ronstadt, Greg Lake, and Maddy Prior.
  3. I have always hated my hair. It is so curly and fine that given the slightest excuse it ties itself into knife knots.
  4. I once stood 5’ 11.75” tall. Now I stand 5’ 11” even.
  5. My best friend ordered my jazz bass but couldn’t pay for it when it came in. He kept asking me when I would sell it back to him until he died. I will never sell that guitar.
  6. I still think ELP are the best musicians ever, even though they have gotten old and boring.
  7. Dogs like me, even if people don’t. That’s OK. I generally like dogs better than most people, too.

27 June 2008 Update: Of course Beccano was correct in his assertion that the cover of Brain Salad Surger was done by HR Geiger.

Monday, February 11, 2008

If You’re Waitin’ on Me

I am getting better organized. Scary, huh?
Tryin’ to make a dovetail joint fit tight
If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right
—Steve Forbert

Over the last year, I have been alternating between piling stuff in the shop/garage and organizing it. I hit a milestone this weekend. Sunday was the first day that I had all my tools organized on the pegboard system that I expanded to include another wall. Turning the work bench (barely seen) 90° made that wall accessible and added a lot of usable space to work in.

I used to think that pegboard systems were for really anal people, especially the ones who outline every tool so that they’ll know where it hangs. I have learned just how convenient these systems can be. But I have not started outlining my tools…yet.

Grateful Monday

So, this week I am grateful for the last year. There have been ups and downs, but I can’t remember a time when there was less strife in my life. So, I am grateful for a good life with a kindhearted family.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Princess Olivia

The literati in their cellars
Perform semantic tarantellas
I wish I did it half as well as them
—Al Stewart

You would think that between the Associated Press editors and the editors at the Austin American Statesman someone would know the difference between affect and effect. Well, you’d be wrong. I came across this gem in an online article about Angelina Jolie Visiting Baghdad:

“What happens in Iraq and how Iraq settles in the years to come is going to effect the entire Middle East,” she added. “And a big part of what it’s going to effect, how it settles, is how these people are returned and settled into their homes and their community and brought back together and whether they can live together and what their communities look like.”

You know Jollie didn’t say, “And a big part of what it’s going to EEEEfect…” or even, “And a big part of what it’s going to effect—and I mean the one that starts with an E…” At least they are consistent.

Friday’s Feast

Friday’s Feast is off line the week, so I thought I would follow Sam’s lead and come up with my own five questions. Here they are:

Appetizer: Can you read a newspaper or book without editing it?
Obviously not.
Soup: Which grammatical error irks you the most?
Using the wrong homophone. English is chocked full of them, and people in general don’t seem to get that not using the correct one completely changes (or destroys) the meaning of your sentence. I wood never do that.
Salad: If you were given the choice of reverse-reincarnation, which historical figure would you choose to “come back” as?
Main Course: If your doctor told you that you had to give up one of your favorite foods or die, what would be hardest for you to sacrifice?
Caffeine. Even though I have determined that drinking regular coffee has a detrimental effect on my blood pressure, I can’t give it up completely. Instead, I have switched to decaf, as if I didn’t know that decaf coffee often contains as much caffeine as regular—not to mention a lot more nasty chemicals. I even allowed myself a diet cola last night, and they simply don’t make a diet decaffeinated cola.
Dessert: In the state or province where you live, where would you least want to spend two weeks?
My home town. I never really belonged there. I don’t fit in. I don’t like chemicals in the air and the imminent threat of explosions.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mother Freedom

This photo actually has nothing to do with what I’m writing about, except that it’s a protest. And I like the sentiment.
Hey, tomorrow
Now don’t go away
’Cause freedom
Just might come your way
—David Gates[?]

In an apparent admission that the Constitution is still in effect, the City of Georgetown (Texas) is considering legalizing spontaneous protests (Lorez, 2008). On 8 January, a group of citizens gathered on the sidewalk to protest a measure being considered by the city council. The protesters were threatened with arrest because the did not have a permit. Current law requires the protesters to apply 30 days before the event, which means that the protesters would have had to apply for a permit to protest a proposed ordinance before they knew when it would be considered.

The Texas Civil Rights Project—not everyone in Texas is a Republican—sued the city. They have also sued Georgetown over a requirement that people addressing the meeting give a week’s notice if they aren’t going to talk about something on the official agenda.

Grateful Monday

And that brings us to this week’s Grateful Monday. Even with the way the Republicans are continuing to erode the Constitution, I am glad that I still live in a society where at least some people are willing to stand up to them instead of cowering under their torrent of fear mongering. I hope that I can find the opportunity and the backbone to do more in this regard than I have done heretofore.


Lorenz, Andrea (January 26, 2008). City may change protest law: Officials considering allowing demonstrations without permits after civil rights group sues. Austin American Statesman. Available.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

[Not] Woodstock

No large photo available yet.
Not everyone at the party was UU. Some were musicians. But everybody had a good time.
Photo by: Suna
Well I came upon a Child of God
He was walkin’ along the road
When I asked him where are you going
This he told me
—Joni Mitchell

Today got off to a good start.

  • A warm shower to ease the aching muscles from yesterday’s woodworking activities
  • A few moments to relax and check the weather and my friends’ blogs
  • Leaning back in my desk chair to watch the squirrels play and mate in the big oak outside the study window
  • Then off to church and choir, where we sang “I Am But a Small Voice,” a song I really enjoyed and sang fairly well

But the real fun was the Super Bowl party. There were a lot of people we knew from church gathered to watch the game. I have never seen a bunch of Unitarians so passionate about anything. Of course, it helped that this was probably the best Super Bowl I have ever seen. Everybody was on their feet for the last minute of the game, which seemed to last a half hour.

My favorite sound byte from the party: New York had failed to execute on a play. Zappafan yelled at the TV, “You’re a Child of God. Act like it!”

Prime Minister turned to Second Minister and said, “I think we’ve got some material for a future sermon here.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Imbolc

Brigid and Her Sheep
Photo Source: Sacred Source
In a glass
Of scryer’s black
Visions of life
Bring full impact

Too bad I couldn’t post this when I wrote it, but that would have given away the surprise. This is what I wrote on the day I ordered the statue:

I found a way to buy this lovely statue of Brigid and her sheep for Suna for Imbolc. Well, once I learned that my contract was extended, I decided to buy it in spite of finances. I even upgraded the shipping to make sure it gets here on time. I am sure it will cheer Suna up.

I even know where I want to put it. We have a lovely mirror stand at one end of the upstairs hall. It currently contains a small wooden water pitcher and a couple of wooden eggs. A small oval mirror adorns the back. I think Brigid and her sheep would be very comfortable there. We’ll see how it looks and what Suna thinks once the statue arrives.

With the Catholicization of Ireland, many of the locals who embraced Christianity could not turn their backs on their old goddess. The Church canonized the goddess, or at least a nun named for her. St. Brigid retains most of the attributes—healing, smithcraft, and animal husbandry—and holy places of the goddess. An eternal flame that was once tended by 12 priestesses is now watched over by nuns. Suna has even been to St. Brigid’s well.

I was right. Suna loved the statue. She immediately gave it a place of honor in the media room where we can see it all the time. It even participated in our Imbolc ritual.

Ritual

Suna had a great idea for a simple ritual. After welcoming the Guardians and consecrating the new wand Beccano got for Yule, we each lit a candle to symbolize some spark we wanted to ignite in our lives. Then we drew three Tarot cards: the spark, what we need to do to nurture it, and the final outcome (more of this in the Tarot blog). It was a simple thing, but we all felt better afterward.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Tumblin’ Dice

TubaBoy bought these dice attenuator knobs for his bass. They are packaged in pairs. Unfortunately, he has three attenuators.
Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry
Can’t you see the time flashing by?
Honey, got no money
I’m all sixes and sevens and nines
—Mic Jagger & Keith Richards

Not much today, just the normal stuff of life. Work was good enough. After work, we went to buy TubaBoy a new set of strings for his bass. He likes flatwound strings, like the ones that came on it. Even though I have never really cared for them—counterintuitively, they are more likely to give me blisters than the roundwound strings I prefer—they make sense on a fretless.

We ate Asian food and went home. A few of his friends came over to play Rock Band. It was strange how their cacophony merged with Beccano’s practicing to create an almost-soothing background noise, especially when it almost sounded like they were playing together.

Friday’s Feast

Appetizer: What is your favorite kind of cereal?
I like oatmeal, especially in the winter. I ate so much of it as a kid that I couldn't stand to eat it for years. A few years ago, I rediscovered it. Oatmeal makes a great, low-calorie lunch.
Soup: When was the last time you purchased something for your home, what was it, and in which room did it go?
A statue of Brigid and her sheep. It lives in the media room.
Salad: What is the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen?
This is a tough question. Even the commercials that are funny get overplayed so much that I end up not liking them and never wanting to see them again. So, I guess I have never seen a commercial that was funny enough to bear repetition. And some that try to be funny are just irritating. I will never buy Cheetos again after their commercial encouraging vandalism. You know the one where the "offended" moron acts out by putting Cheetos in a dryer full of white clothes. Disgusting. Are you listening, Madison Ave?
Main Course: Make up a name for a company by using a spice and an animal (example: Cinnamon Monkey).
Cummin Stag
Dessert: Fill in the blank: I haven’t ______ since ______.
I haven’t eaten since breakfast. Not really up to speed—I know, but I’m hungry right now. And I just realized I forgot my lunch. So I will have to get “real food” from the crapateria instead of eating a Slimfast bar. A tuna wrap sounds tasty, though.

Super Bowl Update

Some of the new Super Bowl ads were really funny, at least the first time around. Madison Avenue posted many of them on You Tube. Let’s see how well they stand the test of repetition.