Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sort of Like "I Went to a Fight and a Hockey Game Broke Out"

I was out visiting today, although if pressed, I would give people their mail. I was talking to the mother of the young man who starred in a recent post. Apparently inadvertent eye contact runs in the family. To be fair, she would have had trouble avoiding eye contact since I was like, "I see you in there."
She said that her son wanted the URL of this blog. I was sort of embarrassed. I told her that it was kind of puerile. Then I realized how irritating it was that I know words like puerile (also penultimate) and when I blog, it still is puerile. Wow, there's a post right there. This thing practically writes itself. I was hoping, though, that it wouldn't be so obvious.

Friday, September 28, 2007

More Stories With the Word "Dog" in Them

Part I
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, and maybe they're right. I was too embarrassed to tell you last night, but as I rode up our driveway, I couldn't unclip and once again, I fell right over. Since today I felt a dog motif developing, I thought I 'd have to mention it. They also say things are as easy as falling off a bike, and boy howdy, that's pretty easy.
Part II
A story we tell in our family has my Uncle Art saying to me when I was about three, "You know you love me, David." and me responding, "Then why am I kicking you?"
I have a little dog on my route that barks and barks at me when he's in the house, but he's always been friendly when he's out. Today, he was out on a walk with his owner. He was barking and barking at me, but I walked over to him and said, "You know you love me, Theo." and he jumped up and bit me.
In a way it was a relief. I knew I'd probably get a post out of it.To paraphrase the GEICO gecko, you have no idea the pressure I feel to get these posts out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm Not the First Person to Notice This, But It's True

I'm watching an old (the only kind, as it happens) episode of Naked City. There's a robber running amok killing policemen after killing the people he was robbing. And he's wearing a tie. Criminals back then were just classier.

Just Like the Laffer Curve Doesn't Make You Laugh

When I got my new bike this summer, I spent more time picking out the bell than I did the bike itself. I wanted it to be friendly, but to let people know there was a bike coming up behind them. Tonight as I was riding along the trail, some people didn't move over, but as I passed them, I heard them say "bell curve". Man I know where they'd be on a bell curve.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Bet He Learned His Lesson; I Learned One Too.

An unwary young bicyclist rode by me today, not wearing a helmet. He inadvertently made eye contact and I asked why he wasn't down in Seattle going to school. He told me that he had temporarily left school and gone to work on an oil rig. I gave him my standard lecture about dropping out of school. It's a variation of the whole Road Not Taken thing, you know,
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I showed him the symbol of my servitude the scanner that I must use so I can be tracked and he was horrified. Having shown him the scanner I remembered as I sometimes do, that I had work to do, so I told him that I was sorry; he probably wasn't looking to be lectured by his mailman. He hastened to assuage my concern, "No, I loved hearing your pearls of wisdom. I even used to ride the bus in Seattle so I could get pearls of wisdom from homeless people."
Nice to know how I'm perceived by my customers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who Knew That the Recipe For Healthy Life Involved Grinding Up a Pig's Glands? And Can I Get Seconds?

Karen went to see a new doctor today. She was young and idealistic and spent over an hour listening to and observing Karen. She talked about Karen's constellation of symptoms which really makes them sound prettier than they are.
She seemed to imply that the most disabling, and frankly, most irritating symptoms Karen has might not be specifically caused by her CRPS. Now, Karen has long complained that doctors don't listen to her. This new doctor seemed to imply that if her other doctor's had even looked up from their magazines they might have noticed that although her tests results did barely stay within normal values, she presented clinically as a textbook case of severe hypothyroidism. To illustrate this point she got a textbook and showed us before and after pictures of hypothyroid patients. For years I've said that Karen was a sub-thyroid, but I was just being mean. See, there's a grain of truth in humor.
The life altering medicines she prescribed came to $4.99. It sounds too good to be true that for $5.00 a month we could clear up the symptoms that have made Karen's life (and everyone's * around her) so hard. We'll see.
*The spell check suggests that "everyone's" is wrong and recommends Efrain's. I want to know who Efrain is and what he's doing with my wife.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

If Conrad Hilton Had An Auction For PBS

Can something be true and deep and trite? Some of you have heard me say (over and over) that things become trite because they are repeated so often.
At church today they sang songs with generic melodies; it was hard to tell when one song ended and another began. The verses weren't particularly objectionable, expressing as they did, the laudable goals of surrendering to God and that He was worthy of that surrender. But, they weren't particularly inspiring as such things go, and they were repeated about a million times each. Mentally, I checked out early and often.
And then a skit.
But then, a sermon about how to reach your fellow humans with the good news about Jesus. They even suggested writing down the name of one particular human that you were concerned about.
That was probably a good idea, because if you take the mass of humanity it's hard to care about each of them. Especially the large mass of humanity that was shopping at Fred Meyer's today. I mean, come on, who counts out 87¢ in the express line? Like the bumper sticker says, "Jesus loves you, the rest of us think you're a jerk."
Additional reading:
Here are some lyrics that put a lot of theology into each verse, and they rhyme.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,

My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose went forth, and followed thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine!
Alive in him, my living head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through
Christ my own.

Here's some more, with a link to a quick summary of the prophetic verses alluded to in the entire song.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This Space Formerly Occupied by One of the Worst Posts Ever.

That's not to say I've got really high hopes for this one either. We've been enjoying (that's right, you heard me, enjoying) crisp clear weather. Hmm, see in the former post, that phrase led into something stupid, but here, it doesn't go anywhere at all.
In spite of what you just read, I thought it might go somewhere, but I've been typing and deleting for a while now, wait, Karen just came in on a Viagra commercial and started talking about priapism. I told her that her parents told me that one of their friends that died of cancer had that. She couldn't believe they'd say that, "How did that come up?"
Too risqué? Sorry.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Six Degrees of Separation

After the last post, there was some talk that I normally don't get confused with Mike Dukakis, but rather with Christopher Lowell. To illustrate this, Sarah began sending out that picture of him. I was talking to her on the phone, and explaining how I don't do that with my hands, but as I described what I do do with my hands I realized that's exactly what I do.
At the State Fair, a stranger told me I looked exactly like Miguel Ferrer. I patiently explained (waving my hands a little) that no, I look like Christopher Lowell. She said, "I don't know who that is, but you look like the boss on Crossing Jordan."
While we were talking, Sarah and I went to the same site, and sure enough, I do look a little like Miguel Ferrer. I think the common denominator is that we're three bald men with beards. Since Rosemary Clooney was Miguel Ferrer's mother, and using the six degrees methodology, I'm practically George Clooney. I can sort of see the resemblance now myself.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Today, Giddy Not Witty

At one point today, I said right out loud, "I'm glad to be alive, and, I'm happy to live in Alaska." I know, it's as if someone has hijacked the blog, but that's not it. Today we drove down the Seward Highway to the perfectly named Hope Highway where we parked. We asked a tourist from a bus to take our picture so you could be jealous of us. From left to right are a bunch of people you probably don't know. I'm not smiling in this picture because I've learned that for some reason, when I wear a bike helmet and smile I look like the illegitimate spawn of Mike Dukakis and Alfred E. Neuman. The road runs down the other side of Turnagain Arm from where I rode with the Fed-Ex team a couple of weeks ago to the small town of Hope. Here's a shot of me looking back across Turnagain Arm. Well, obviously I'm not looking across Turnagain Arm, but the shot is. To summarize here, the weather was cool and clear, the scenery was breathtaking, the other riders were excellent company and the length and topography of the route made for physical exertion that was demanding but oh, so rewarding. Seriously, who is typing this, Endorphin Boy?
The day had gotten off to a somewhat inauspicious start. The cat woke me up at 4am and it seemingly took forever to fall back asleep. When I did, I dreamed that I forgotten stuff and had to go back over and over eventually missing the ride altogether. Luckily dreams go by opposites almost. In real life, I made a weight watchers-friendly lunch and snack. I was sort of disappointed to realize that I left it home. I made the best of a bad situation; I had a bacon cheeseburger instead.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Another Bonus Post

I'm sitting here watching Meerkat Manor and a commercial for Crest White Strips came on. They said that your time is precious; use it wisely. Now that's just mean.

Random Thoughts in Search of a Post

The future has let me down again. Besides the no flying cars, the promise of easily accessible information has proven to be a hoax. Right here I was going to type (and in fact, I still am) "This morning 'the sky rolled back like a scroll' to reveal snow on the mountains."
I was going to add a link to the lyrics of the song "Are You Ready" in case you didn't get the reference to a song on an album that's been out of print, or whatever vinyl albums are out of when they're not available, since the early 70's but, alas, it was not to be. I could find a track listing, and even the album art, which brought back a lot of memories from about 1973. Ugly clothes played a large part in these memories, but as I typed that I realized I met Karen on my birthday in 1973, so that was fun, although I bet I was wearing something ugly.
I heard the phrase, "Alas, it was not to be." about 40 years ago when an Israeli diplomat was speaking in Anchorage. She said that they had paid for planes from France, and expected delivery, "But alas, it was not to be." I don't know why, but the phrase stuck in my mind and I've been saying it ever since. A lot. I used to say, "What better sauce than a good appetite?" until my friend Bob, who introduced me to Karen in the paragraph above, threatened me if I didn't stop.
To paraphrase Jack Handy, would we be so quick to kill time if it screamed? Maybe, if it always screamed for no good reason. I mention this because my supervisor told me they wouldn't need my help after I finished my route. I started the day, then, with time on my hands. By the end of the day, I had killed so much time that I felt like I had blood on my hands.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Don't Forget to Change the Date on Your Checks

Happy New Year
Can you believe it's 5768 already? Where does the time go?
I had really hoped for a little better post today, but all of my energies have been spent getting to Level 31 in a game called Eight Letters in Search of a Word. I've tried to make it up to you by making some letters bigger and bluer.
Moments after typing that, I went back to the game only to discover that while I was gone it had reset to zero. You might think that would inspire a post, but no, apparently not.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Can Self-Fulfilling Prophecies Be Wrong?

I heard a song today that said that
"Smilers never lose and
Frowners never win"
It was so preposterous that it made me smile.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bonus Post

Apparently as the polar ice cap melts because of climate change caused by burning fossil fuels, nations are racing to drill for oil in locations previously inaccessible because of the ice. To me this is the same as sending diabetics to work in a cane field so they can inject syrup.


If I understand it (a phrase that in this blog is always followed by the disclaimer, "and I don't") excelsior is a word coined by those wacky neologists of the 18th century, at least when it is used as an exclamation.
It sprang unbidden from my lips Saturday afternoon when, at last the hot water heater was finally installed. It took much longer than it should have mostly because the attempt to save time by not replacing the faucet meant doing everything twice including going to Home Depot for the ferrules. It also took a little extra time to find out which part was leaking when I had Karen turn it on, because down where I was, the water came out with the force of a fire hose and then bounced off all the obstacles under the sink, which were mostly my face and glasses, obscuring the source, which unsurprisingly was the the part I had taken apart since I wasn't replacing the faucet and put back together, sort of, when I was.
One thing I realized while I was laying half in and half out of the cabinet for two days is that Pilates is for weaklings and mama's boys. If you want to really feel the burn, lose the soft girly ball and balance your arched back across a wooden right angle. Water dripping down your arm and into your eyes and armpits can enhance the process in a way that has been declared legal but aggressive by the Justice Department.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Quotes I Started Writing Down While Watching Mozart and the Whale

You're missing my point. No I'm not, I just never know what to say.
sad but credible
primes are hot
she said a lot of beautiful things, the fact that she didn't mean them only makes them nicer
Are you trying to get yourself killed? Maybe later.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Later That Same Day, Carpe Noctem

I decided to change the faucet after all. I did it in a trice, with a hacksaw.
It didn't seem to make much difference. The stalactites continue to descend. Or ascend, whichever it is, they're making it hard to put things away. Tomorrow morning I'm going to start again, after I have a cold cup of coffee.

Caveat Lector, That Is, I've Found a Web Site Full of Latin Phrases

I've spent most of this morning spelunking under the kitchen sink. Our instant hot water heater failed recently, and I've been working on replacing it. To save time, I'm only replacing the tank, and not the faucet. I should say in the attempt to save time because, of course, there are always complications. I had two compression nuts in the basement. I have no idea where they came from, or what happened to the first one I brought upstairs this morning. I also don't know why I would have bought them (if I even did, and they didn't come with the house) without the little thingy they compress against. I went to Home Depot. To be clear here, I don't really know the difference between copper, plastic or even Will ferrules. I chose copper for $1.13, but I think an assortment of various types; copper, plastic, wood, mithril, mist might have been better. We can be pretty sure that copper was wrong. So, another trip to Home Depot, another trip into the dripping cavern and so on ad nauseum. In the meantime, I have discovered, or as I think more likely, caused, a new leak from the hot water line to the faucet. This is a lot of bother to shave 45 seconds off the time it takes to make instant coffee

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

2 Random

On the other screen, I just started a crossword puzzle. The first word fit, but just barely.

I had a pleasant thought today; it's getting less and less likely that any diagnosis I receive from here on out is going to include the phrase "early onset".

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Almost Killed With Kindness.

Today I did ride with the FedEx team from Indian to the lodge at Alyeska. It was about 35 miles round trip on a trail along Turnagain Arm*. They were very welcoming. It turns out that being better armed isn't as big a deal as being better legged, or maybe better biked. As I was flying up a hill, one of the other riders caught up with me and said, "I couldn't figure out how you could hit it so hard with that bike, but then I saw your legs." I wish that hadn't been the exact moment that I began to faint. I was wearing two layers so I pulled over and took off one t-shirt, splashed some water over my head and waited for it to pass. While it passed, pretty much everybody else on the trail did too. After that, though, the pressure was off, and I had a lovely ride, and I didn't finish quite last, so a grand day all around.
And then, Karen made a 2001, A Space Odyssey reference. Talking about Blue Cross's denial of her prescription, she said, "It's like dealing with HAL." After all these years she can still surprise me.

*I didn't take this picture, but this is right where we were riding.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

September 1st, It's Not Exactly Christmas Is It?

Today was a gray letter day so I came home and took a nap. I actually fell asleep which isn't always that easy. You can't just will yourself to sleep no matter how fiercely you try. Here's a corollary for you; no matter how much you want your child to fall asleep, you can't yell a lullaby.

Tomorrow there is a training ride for the FedEx team that is riding the MS Ride next weekend. I may go along and show them what USPS riders are made of. I hope they don't laugh. I bet they don't. I was just looking at a web site that purports to have the top 10 rejected slogans for USPS. Number 3 was, "Better armed than FedEx.