Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Dingo Days of Summer

I'm still trying to develop an Aussie swagger to go with my new sun bonnet, but the effort has been vitiated by my saying things like vitiate. I've said quotidian so many time of late that it's become an everyday thing.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What Did She Say? Just a Minute, and Then Another Minute, and Another Minute,

So, the other day, when I was styling down the street with the Aussie swagger of, I don't know, say, Kanga, I was sort of snickering to myself about the way Sarah misspoke recently. She said that as long as we lived in Alaska she could come up here for interminable trips, when she obviously meant innumerable trips.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I wore my new Aussie Sun Hat to deliver mail today. I figured it would give me an air of rugged Aussie panache like Russell Crowe, or Quigley down under. I'm afraid the effect was more like a margarine ad, or as one customer helpfully pointed out, a raisin box.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Health Care in Lake Woebegone

Congressman John Boehner said yesterday that if you like the Postal Service you'll like government run health care. Ouch. On the other hand, Congressman Rangel says the plan is to give everyone more than a fair shake.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Everything's Bigger in Alaska

I inadvertently walked by a mirror this morning, oh, the horror. It seems I may have developed one of those muffin top things. If so, it's like from a Costco muffin. Mmm, Costco muffins, I could go for a few a of those right now.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You Love The Red Sox, But Have They Ever Loved You Back?

I started to take what turned out to be an interminable Wired Magazine survey. Before I gave up, I had to give them some personal information such as the year I was born. Apparently according to Wired, I'm just too old to really matter since my year of birth was included in the "or before" tab.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Just Like Johnny B. Goode

I have had a couple of bicycle mishaps lately, but now I'm making the transition from the ridiculously dangerous to the merely ridiculous. I've been going for short rides after work. Even though Wayne, at WeBikeAlaska always says to never venture out on a bike without a spare tube and a pump, I've been thinking "I don't have to worry, because these are really short rides." Of course most accidents happen close to home (when I told my neighbor she should wear a helmet because most accidents happen close to home, she said we should live in a better neighborhood).
Yesterday in the Russian Jack Park, near Boniface, I heard a sound, "just like ringing a bell."
It turns out that's the sound made by a latex tube exploding. According to Google Maps
I carried my bike about 1.7 miles home.
Today, though, we rode to the top of Crooked Tree Street, which, again, according to Google Maps is 800 feet above sea level. That isn't that impressive, but half those 800 feet seem to come in the last 800 feet.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Hires and Amnesiacs

We got a lecture the other day about productivity. I'm sure it would have been more effective if she had been talking to new hires or Tom Hanks.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The morning started well. I looked at the clock, it said 6:09 which would be the same if you spun it 180 degrees. I pictured it spinning lazily away and thought what a good time that would be to get up, but the spinning made me drowsy, so I dozed back off. I have my reasons for being sleepy, I guess, what with the sun blaring through the windows all night. In Greenland, suicides go up in the summer. The speculation is that people are just exhausted from lack of sleep. Living without darkness isn't all skittles and beer you know. There's also midnight golf.
As is so often the case nowadays, there was approximately no mail today. I suppose summer and the recession are partly to blame, but I think they're just accelerating trends as people move their communications away from paper and into electrons. I had time on my hands to chat as I went down the street. "My, you're early," I heard. I told people about the mail volumes. "We need more people to write letters. Go ahead, I can wait."
A slow day gave me time to ruminate. As they would almost have to, my thoughts turned to cud. I wonder if it tastes good to cows. I can't brush after every meal; I'd hate to have to eat after every meal, although if you look at my waistline, it looks like that's exactly what I do.
On the way back to the post office this afternoon, there were some kids standing in the middle of the street advertising a car wash, to support the Hemlock Society, I suppose.

By the way, if you're not sick of myself, check out Grammar Girl episode number 172.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I spent half the day wearing my bluetooth before I realized I didn't have my phone with me. I expected to have a clever thought about that, but no, it turns out I'm the kind of guy who wears a bluetooth headset without a phone.

Monday, June 08, 2009

"He's a Menace!"

The other day, one of my customers was out killing dandelions. I asked him if he didn't admire them for being plucky little survivors. Unfortunately, all people hear is the part about plucking. I bet Albert Schweitzer didn't have that kind of problem.
Also, I bet when he was trying to save the world, he didn't cause so many problems. Yesterday was the Anchorage Tour de Cure to raise money for diabetes research. I had signed up to ride the 100K route. At the starting point, the man said to gather around, so I gathered myself over there, and then stood around waiting for something to happen. Meanwhile, everyone else in the parking lot kept getting ready. The man said, "Go," and they went. I still had to pump up my tires, put on my shoes, and everything else you do to get ready to "Go!" By the time I "Went!" I was all alone in the parking lot with the sound of crickets playing in my head.
It was a beautiful day for a ride, or a run, or walk with a stroller or dogs, and the trails were busy. I was bustling along, but at about mile 27 I came around a corner doing about 20 miles per hour when I plowed right into a runner, lifting him off his feet and throwing him into the bushes I slammed into the asphalt, cracking my helmet. A lot of other things happened, and then the runner and I were alone again waiting for an ambulance to come and get him. Although I was wearing spandex bike shorts, it looked like I was wearing a pair of pulsating pants on my legs because of all the mosquitoes. It also looked like I had tied a wool sweater around my head. Luckily the mosquitoes were sucking up all the blood that might otherwise have attracted the two bears that had been reported near there. A lot of people went by while we waited, including two members of my so-called team. They asked if I was okay. I said I was because that's what guys say. As they rode away, I heard one say, "Was that David?" (there might have been a question because of the blue sweater). The other guy said, "Yeah, but he said he's okay."
The ambulance finally showed up, driving right down the trail. They had their flashing lights on. I guess they weren't sure if an enormous vehicle on a bike trail would draw enough attention. They put the runner in the back to assess him out of mosquito range. One of the EMT's asked if I was okay. I told him I wasn't sure. I'd hit my head and I had a headache. He said that they'd look at me next, and then they drove away.
I decided my Tour was finished, and started to ride back to Eagle River, 27 miles away. A few minutes later, a friend (my hero, Rich) called to see how the ride was going. I told him, and he met me and drove me back to get my car.
I called around trying to find out how the runner was, but HIPAA and human cussedness kept me from finding out. I did leave my name and phone number with the fire department who said they'd give it to the hospital, to give to him, but he hasn't called yet.
As usual, I'm fine, but Rich's friend's first comment when she heard about my accident was, "He's a menace."
I'm starting to think maybe she's right. I enjoy biking, but is it really fair to everybody else for me to keep on, leaving a wake of broken glass and ribs? I don't know.

Friday, June 05, 2009

"Just What You Want to Be, You'll Be In The End"~ Justin Hayward

Some people say that biology is destiny. I don't know if that's true, although I guess I'm more likely to eat a cow, than a cow is to eat me. Stratfor's take on the world is that geography is destiny. They seem to know what they're talking about, so even though I know astrology is fake, I still think it's possible to be born under a bad sign, like one that says "Welcome to Somalia"

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Smiling Faces

My supervisor says I don't smile enough. I don't want to be like the Dutch Muslims that rioted because a cartoonist said they were violent, but I'm still irritated when she says it.
I heard on the radio the other day that one of my customers won a prestigious national award. I bet he's feeling all superior like he's a better math teacher than the rest of us.