Monday, February 27, 2006

Jen Ettix

Deb and I were eating lunch at a local eating establishment. Two young guys were seated in the booth behind me. I'm assuming they were college-age kids, because they didn't sound like Arizonans and we were reasonably close to the University. One guy had a voice that you couldn't help but hear, especially being less than two feet away. The first snippet of conversation I heard was a typical teen/twentysomething rant: "I hate it when people don't say if they don't know the answer to something. Just say you don't know if you don't know!" You go in your quest for knowledge and truth, Timmy! Fight the power and all that!

But then, a short time later, I heard a line that made me shake. Not from terror, but with the effort of suppressing riotous laughter. He said:

"I don't understand why, after a couple hundred years, people in California, Arizona, and New Mexico aren't born tan."

A couple hundred years? I know there's a whole controversy as to whether or not intelligent design should be taught in school, but have they completely given up teaching evolution in schools? The whole dominant and recessive gene thing has just gone out the window, leaving kids with the notion that we should be changing as fast as silly putty in the hands of a five year old. I guess the old necessities for human survival (food, shelter, and clothing) aren't being taught anymore either. Poor Timmy. Doesn't know that there's this thing called "inside".

It made me wonder what his parents were like. I have images of his father sitting at home in his recliner, staring intently at the television trying to develop remote-control vision so he can change the channels more effectively. Meanwhile, Timmy's mother is out in the backyard, flapping her arms furiously in order to achieve flight.

The really scary thought? I hope Timmy isn't in Med school.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tagged by Tarragon 2: Electric Boogaloo

Tarragon has tagged me regarding music. My answer surprised me, mainly because I don't listen to music much. Not now. I used to listen to music on my way to work, and then at work. Mainly to keep from screaming. Now that I work at home, my commute time is significantly shorter. If there's a CD in the stereo, it's playing some sort of old time radio show. The Shadow, Lights Out, The Whistler, Dimension X... from the days when people spoke properly and actually knew when to use phrases like "to whom".

So, I'll have to stray from the rules a bit, and instead provide a list of songs of special significance. In no particular order, they are:

Reflections - Shimmyo. Dan is a friend of mine, an amazing artist and musician, and an all-around good guy. He was inspired to write this song when he saw a movie that my friends and I did when we were in college. Its original cut was lame, but I added some fantabulous effects to it on my trusty old mac and it actually looked good. After he wrote the song, I added it as a "soundtrack" and in some key scenes. He also did a remix of it, and my character's voice in the movie was on the track. Neato.

Pants - Corky and the Juice Pigs. Funny. Actually, they're all quite funny. Remember is also funny if you're an R.E.M. fan, and it's funnier if you're not. I'm the Only Gay Eskimo is funny if you're gay or an Eskimo, or even if you're not. When an album is named "Pants", you know it's good.

Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman. Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm 36, not 336. But there's something about this song that makes me wish I could dance. (Not enough to make me actually want to learn to dance, but at least it puts the thought in my head.)

Return to Innocence - Enigma.

Picard's Flute Solo - Jerry Goldsmith. Geek alert! It's the song from "The Inner Light" episode from Star Trek - The Next Generation. I can't find the music, or a sample of it, online. It's just really, really good. If it doesn't take you through a range of emotions while listening to it, you're a machine. (And I don't mean Data.)

To Awake and Avenge the Dead - Thrice. Need to drive somewhere in a hurry, or perhaps rip someone's head off with your bare hands? Maybe both at the same time? Play this song. Play the whole album if you want to go on a spree.

Galaxy Song - Monty Python. Puts everything in perspective, and I think should be played so that everyone can hear it every single day. Not only hear it, but forced to comprehend the lyrics.


That's it. I didn't exactly conform, but then I rarely do. I'm such a rebel.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Last night, I didn't fall asleep until after 6 AM. So I guess, technically, I didn't fall asleep until this morning. The reason I couldn't fall asleep? Tinnitus. For the last few years, I've fallen asleep with the TV on. It (mostly) drowns out the high-pitched whistle that is my constant companion. Last night, though, I couldn't tune it out. If you're curious, set your volume to its normal level and click here and go over to the 12 kHz column on the right, and then down to -33 dB. That's the sound I hear. All the time. All. The. Time. Some have theorized that Vincent Van Gogh had tinnitus, which is why he cut off his ear. If he had it, he wouldn't just cut off one.

My father and my brother are going to use the link above and find out under what sound range their tinnitus falls. ("Tinnitus Falls", coming soon to NBC.)

For all you damn kids out there, with your iPods and your hula hoops, here's some free advice: turn the damn things down. My 12 kHz hell is courtesy of loud music as a youth. Stuff I don't even listen to any longer. Bear that in mind, and get the hell off of my lawn!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Desert Vue

Thanks to Trée we've been drooling over the possibilities contained within a nifty little program called Vue. Now, we know the magic that is Vue 5 Infinite. Holy. Cow. Leaves Bryce 5 in the dust, that's for sure!

So... thanks for feeding our addiction, Trée! Deb and I will be spending the next few days/weeks going "Oh cool! Look what this can do!" (Good thing we each have a computer!)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mystickal's "Valentine's Day Contest"

Stephanie at Mystical Incense & More has another writing contest up. The theme for this one is love, and for those of you who think I'm too heartless, I give you the following:

The Mother and Father of Life took the body of a baby and fed it Kindness, Knowledge, Love, Hope, Sensitivity, Creativity, Caring, and Strength. They showed their creation to all of the gods, and said that it outshone all the gods had done.

The gods, enraged, took the child and fed it Hate, Rage, Anger, Fear, Forgetfulness, Illness, Intolerance, and Pain. Then they hid the child's Kindness, Hope, Caring, and Love deep within his heart.

The Mother and Father of Life took back the child and raised it with all their skills into a man; a man who let Anger and Fear hide all else in him so that he existed, but he did not Live.

On a journey far from home, the man met a woman who defied the gods and used her own heart to unlock his and reveal what was hidden within it.

When his heart opened, the world grew brighter. Their unlocked hearts burned with a light that was greater than the power of any man or god:

Love.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Home

We're back! Gators are nice to visit, but give me my coyotes and rattlesnakes! (And single-digit humidity.) No problems whatsoever with the trip, though I'd still like to ask any airline moguls who may be reading this to seriously consider a separate airline for families traveling with children. Non-breeders and adults would pay extra to fly if they knew that they wouldn't be stuck in a tin can for 5 hours with a screaming 2 year old and her precocious brother while mommy tries to reason with them. (Yeah, reason with a 2 year old. Perhaps a lengthy discussion about Camus would keep her quiet? Or some light reading from the Upanishads?) Hell, let them fly in the luggage compartment. If pets have to go there, so do kids under 12. Unless they're heavily sedated. Nothing peels the skin off my head more than the sound of a screeching kid. I guess that noise is supposed to awaken some sort of parental response in people at some primal level. Leap to the aid of the younglings or whatever. Makes me want to put them in the plane's sidecar. (Shh... don't tell them there isn't one.) I sure as hell don't want to save them from whatever is making them make that noise. Nothing like a really loud sound to draw the predators in close to the bite-sized kidnugget.

One odd thing... in checking the logs for the site, I discovered that I had a visitor from NASA. This particular person did an MSN search for "squeaking chest", and found my site. I don't really want to know why someone from NASA is searching for that, and it hurts my head to think of the possibilities.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wish I Had One Of These

We've been in Florida since February began. I've learned that I can still slip back into "East Coast" mode when the situation warrants. Case in point: we were just finishing with the nice car rental lady, when a 50-something woman in a neck brace came up behind us. Not waiting in line behind us, as the line was well behind us. The woman wanted to be next, dammit, and wasn't going to wait to be called. (Strike one in my book.) We finished, and were gathering our luggage to head for the car. Neck brace woman walked up to the counter, without being called or even motioned to by the woman who was still putting away our paperwork. (Strike two.) Neck brace woman stopped moving her bulk between us and the only available exit to our rental car. (Strike three. Here comes the venom.) Rudeness makes me angry. When I get angry, I get Tourettes. The following words came out of my mouth: "Yeah, why don't you stand there? If you don't get the f*ck out of my way, you're going to need more than a neck brace."

Neck brace woman backed up.

I was taught to be nice and polite. I'll hold open doors, say "please" and "thank you", respect my elders, all that kind of good stuff. I will not tolerate rude, unthinking behavior. I've seen too much of it, and my tolerance for it is over. If you don't think twice about being an idiot, I won't think twice about knocking you down and rolling my luggage over your face. I'll probably laugh, too. A lot.

In other news, we went on an airboat ride in the Everglades. That's where I took the picture of the nifty alligator. (Plus some other pics, which Deb will probably put up when we get home.) He was only 6 or 7 feet long. I say "only" because that's what the guide said. I think that's big enough, thank you. We learned that the Everglades are not swamp land, but are in fact a river. The slowest-moving river in the world at a whopping 2 MPW. (Miles Per Week) Pretty nifty.

We'll be back in AZ tomorrow. The FL trip has been fine, but we miss our mountains and 0% humidity.

Finally, today marks the oldest I've ever been at a whopping 36. The downward slide to 40 continues unabated.