Saturday, March 31, 2007

Long Time Reader

I have avoided posting pictures on this blog. If you were to multiply the extra 15 seconds or so it would take to load, times the average numbers of readers I have, valuable quarter minutes would be wasted each time I look at my blog. Then I had the idea of posting pictures on Flickr and linking to them. That way people could look at the pictures or not; their choice. To that end, I took my camera with me today. Now, all winter I have been practically stepping over moose and under eagles to deliver the mail, but, today, nothing Big Wild Life, at all.
Long time readers, insert self-deprecating remark here about lack of readers, will remember that I started this blog to tell a story about a bike ride I took last spring, along the bike trail and into Kincaid Park where I promptly got lost.I told the story over and over, and by the time I got around to writing about it, I was pretty bored with it. Hours into the ride, after being hopelessly lost, seeing a bear and a porcupine, pushing my bike straight north through the woods for seemingly ever because I knew eventually I would hit a road, hitting a road and having to ride miles more to the north to get back on the trail, getting my coat caught in my chain and covered with grease, I took this picture. Right after that, the wind blew my bike over and broke my headlamp. So, exhausted, I slowly pedaled home, covered in grease, with a nose running from the cold looking like a vagrant as I pedaled through the throngs of preppy people covered in Spandex and money using the trails that night.

Friday, March 30, 2007

White Collar Dog, She's a Rich, Um Girl

I was planning on writing about a dog on my route that was too proud to chase a stick, but even though it was going to give me a chance to use the word "atlatl" I sort of lost interest. It happens.
I was talking to a friend today about aging joints. I had never even thought of replacing Splenda with granulated Advil.
I got Slipstreamz recently. They're speakers for bike helmets that allow you to hear your iPod, but still hear traffic noise for safety. I can't always hear Big Ideas (a podcast about big ideas; sometimes they're great, and sometimes it's like "Hey, what's the big idea?") but I can usually hear music, and of course cars honking if they have to slow down for two seconds to avoid killing a bicyclist. They call it honking, but really it's more like bleating, "Four wheels good, two wheels bad."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Odds and Ends

Of course we all want the smallest government possible, but we do need some government, right? We band together to do things we can't do alone like insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Somehow we have to pay for all this, and for a while it's been by an income tax. Now it seems to me that collecting the tax is a quintessentially government function. Quintessential, that's five times regular essential. So why has the government agreed to not process e-filed returns and allow Intuit and H&R Block the right to charge citizens to file their tax returns?
Write your congressman.
We've had some people walking around the PO lately with clipboards. Apparently some of the carriers have been acting like four year olds. This is a problem because they want to treat us like three year olds.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Old Joke: Greta Garbo dreamed she was eating a bag of grass seed. She woke up and said, "I vant to be a lawn."

I read about a woman recently with the unbearably cute habit of giving names to days. For example, Thursday becomes Friday Eve. I haven't gone quite that far, but, inspired, I've started giving Tuesday a prefix: Is it only?
What with one thing (thin full coverage mailer from a chain store new to Anchorage) and another (thin election mail [which brings up another thing, coming up is the fourth election we've had in Anchorage in the last year. We really need to find something else to do when the Aces are playing away games.]) it wasn't the best day ever at the PO. Now, I'm as compassionate as the next guy (although, I've met the next guy and I didn't like him) so I asked my supervisor today if he'd come to his senses. I wasn't surprised when he said, "No," and we had to follow PO work rules even though they know that their rules make it take longer to deliver the mail. It makes me want to take yams, my new favorite food, and artificial sweetener, move into the desert and, like Garbo, live a life of Splenda isolation.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sartre(ing) Over Again

We agreed that Sartre said that "Hell is other people" I bet he was at the movies when that idea came to him. And it's not just that they talk, although that's pretty infuriating, but that they laugh inappropriately. I suppose our sensibilities are corrupted by the conventions of sit-coms and summer movies, but every third line in a serious movie isn't followed by a rim shot and a guffaw, at least it shouldn't be. Home Alone may have been a pretty dumb movie to watch, but it's fast becoming my ideal of where and how to watch movies.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I Thought It Was Just Laziness and Cowardice, or How a Cartoon Set Me Free

Apparently it was more than laziness or cowardice, or even gender that kept me out of Smith College, at least according to my interpretation of a cartoon I just saw. I think it's too late for me (and of course, I would think that) but you young malleable bright people take heed.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Is It Mult-Tasking If You Aren't Doing Any Tasks In The First Place?

A man told me recently that he almost never turns his computer on anymore. "It's just a complete time waster." I thought he might be right, maybe I'm wasting time when I'm online, but then I realized that's just not true. I always have the TV on at the same time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Just Spineless

Oh, and another thing, our spineless legislature is spending who knows how much money for an advisory vote. What are we advising them about? Whether or not we should have another election about benefits for same sex couples. So we're not voting about that, we're voting about voting about that.

In Like a Lion

Admittedly, this is Alaska, so snow on the first day of spring isn't at all unusual, but the Anchorage Daily News reports that frost has gone so deep this year that fire hydrants are popping out of the ground. That is unusual. And a little unsettling. Hydrants are normally our friends, not projectiles. It's starting to look like this winter won't end until a lion and four English children show up.
The Municipality's snowplows were going through my route today, plowing up the ice on the streets and depositing angular chunks onto the sidewalks. One of the walkers in the neighborhood complained about how difficult the walking had become as a consequence. I agreed with her, "I don't want to sound like a raving nut," I began, but I don't think she believed me because of all the spittle and bulging eyes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Finally, Spring Has Arrived

on the calendar.

Spring Forward Fall on your Back

Today is the last day of winter, and to celebrate, I fell on the ice. Twice. The second time, I was able to break my fall, if not my elbow, by bouncing off the bumper of a truck.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I Laughed Until Paint Came Out of My Nose

Yesterday I painted the bathroom. I bought an airless sprayer to use in the airless bathroom. The manual said not to use it below grade or where there was no ventilation, but aside from the suffocating sense of suffocating, no problem.

Worlds Enough and Time

Surprised? I know, I thought the link would go to Amazon, too, but it turns out I wrote about the poem the title refers to once before.

Those words came to me when a relative sent me a picture of a far off galaxy. Call me a hick, but I think there's plenty to see right here in the good old Milky Way before we go gallivanting off to other galaxies.
Those words, it turns out, are a misquotation from a pretty racy poem written by Andrew Marvell in the 17th century, a guy who was thinking with his quill if you get my drift.
It has seemed lately that it would take the heat from thousands of suns to ever get it to warm up here, in this coldest March in 50 years, or maybe ever. Today the wind had died down, and by this afternoon under clear blue skies, I began to entertain thoughts of spring. After checking the forecast, though, I'm beginning to think that the thoughts of spring I was entertaining were laughing at me, not with me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Broken Record Update

Jackie Purcell said tonight that it will warm up in April.
Karen and I got the tile tonight. We used one of our other scripts; we found something we liked, but couldn't afford, and bought it anyway.
In case you care, a record was broken tonight when for the first time the winner of the Yukon Quest won the Iditarod in the same year.

Like a Broken Record, If Anyone Still Knows What That Means

Here's a transcript of what was going through my mind today, "Oh, oh, oh, it's cold. Ouch. Bad word." Repeated endlessly.
It was cold and windy today. I've said that before, haven't I? Okay, it's still cold and windy. I know it's Alaska, but honestly, even my tongue is chapped. And it's supposed to get to -10 tonight with wind chills to -30 tomorrow morning.
In a few minutes Karen and I are going to go pick out some tile for the bathroom. I imagine we'll follow our usual script. We'll get whatever Karen wants, and then I'll sulk about it for a few years, and then we'll replace it with something that Karen wants, and then I'll sulk....

Friday, March 09, 2007

Laps, Wishing I Still Had One

On our recent vacation I tried to stay active, sometimes making four complete circuits of the buffet, often with extra laps to the dessert table. Even so, today on my first day back at work, my legs felt like rubber. And not the good kind like Bouncing Boy or the Elongated Man, either.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

This Will Be Really Fun If You Like Listening to People Complain

We got back to Anchorage late Tuesday night. Still cold, but apparently not as cold as it's been so we're supposed to be grateful, but we're not. While we were gone, a jar fell out of a cupboard and destroyed our glass cooktop. We could be pleased about getting a new cooktop, but, again, we're not. Our desktop Mac froze up while we were gone. It may have been because off and on,the contractor was turning the power on and off. I was able to start it up from the bootable back-up (ha ha, who guessed I had a bootable back-up?) and run Disk Utility but it still wouldn't start from the hard drive. I went to the Mac store to buy Disk Warrior or Tech Tool, but they told me that I could save the $100. by doing an Archive and Restore, or something like that. That way all my settings would be saved. I guess they were, but like in a vault; a completely inaccessible vault. The computer works, but every now and then, like a stroke victim, a simple task eludes it.

Karen and I
have been shopping for the bathroom remodeling project. It's going about as well as you might expect when a passive-aggressive and a color blind person try and pick out paint and tile.
Tomorrow I go back to work and back on Weight Watchers. I'm looking forward to the diet, but waddling around in the cold, not so much.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Finally, Finally, a Chance to Use a Big Word

So, here we are on our penultimate day of vacation and finally, finally, we find the warm weather we left Anchorage for. Last night we stayed in Flagstaff. Since we were there last week, it had stopped snowing, but the altitude is now seven thousand feet above sea level. Carrying the suitcases in left me panting. Or maybe my pants left me gasping. I have told people I'm a recovering glutton, but heavy (very heavy) emphasis on glutton this week.
We spent the day today in Sedona. It's odd really that a community that is so focused on crystals, vortexes and the freeing of the human spirit could charge $41.00 for lunch for two.
Now we're in Phoenix. Blue skies smiling lovingly down, warm air caressing our cheeks, palm trees dancing in the breeze and waving goodbye. Tomorrow, back to Anchorage.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Only in Albuquerque

...or any other city in America. Yesterday we only did things that you could do anywhere. We did go to a Petroglyph Visitor Center that was closing when we got there, so I'm not sure how to count that.
In an hour or so, though, we're supposed to take the longest tram ride in America to the top of Sandia Mountain, then a museum visit.
On Sunday we're going to give Flagstaff one more chance, spending the night before visiting Sedona on Monday and then proceeding to Phoenix. Tuesday evening we go home where it is still unbelievably cold. By the way, driving across the Southwest I realized that the Roadrunner cartoons are extraordinarily accurate, but they don't give a sense of the scale. There are hundreds of miles capable of supporting Wile E. and his relatives.