Sunday, February 26, 2006

Name me all the digits of the alphabet, please

That doughnut. And the one there beside it. OK then, that's a short list of my favorite foods. There are, of course others. You do not get as pudgy as I am getting by being picky, and by that I do not mean an aversion to veggies is being picky, or else the whole thinking world would be picky. Just keeping us on the same page.

I have realized today that I have an identity. Thought I had left that far behind me, back in the day when I had an office and my name on the door. Well, turns out I still do sorta have a name on the door, just in significantly smaller letters. I am... drum roll.... Cubicle #PP1509. Thank you, thank you very much. I feel like a Dilbert plotline. Oh yeah.... heh heh heh, he said PP.

OK, time for another real customer quote... this job is gonna be a goldmine:

"OK, William, now it's asking for my six digit account code again. I've just been putting in my dog's name." I am not making this stuff up. And all along I have to keep assuring them that they are doing fine, not like some people who don't do as well as you.


Why you walking on my heart
knowing tears will kill the spark
I've never really been that strong
you saw that in my eyes

My love spread like a crimson stain
just can't believe how much I gave
without a word you waved your hand
and that was your goodbye

Now I'm sitting here and I don't know why
I just can't get you off my mind
it might not hurt to cry
but then again I'm still on fire for you
and smouldering
slowly smouldering

Why'd you turn your back on me
without the common decency
to share what's on your mind
I could never tell those things

I'd pulled my heart out on my sleeve
tattooed for the world to see
you tied it up into a knot
and I tripped upon the strings

Now I'm sitting here and I don't know why
I just can't get you off my mind
it might not hurt to cry
but then again I'm still on fire for you
and smouldering
slowly smouldering

I only want for you
the same as what I want for me
to look into the past
be so proud of what we see
I only wanted you to know
I was always by your side
I guess that you just felt
it was too dangerous a ride

the remnants of the fire
slowly smouldering

I should say that I'm still confused
never seen this side of you
mever saw the shadows
on the dark end of the street

And like the storm clouds blowing up
rolling in across the gulf
the lightning starts to dancing
from the darkest skies I've seen

You just laugh and walk away
suppose there's nothing left to say
I know that words mean nothing
but I'll say 'em anyway

'Cause I held my heart out in my hand
took a stick, and in the sand
I wrote I love you so the tide
could wash it all away

still on fire for you
and smouldering

Pascagoula, MS

I believe in the use of quality hair products, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pandora's (Boom) Box

Here, go create your own radio stations. You know what you like. You know why you like it. It is not for me to judge. You can thank me later, if you wish. --> PANDORA<--

This morning it is thunderstorming something awful. I am not looking forward to the walk to the truck, much less the drive. But what can you do? Big heavy rains turn the yard from yeller to green. And since I worry a lot about my well going dry with all these new yahoos moving into town and needing water, I'll take a thunderstorm gully washer any day.

We finished our group project 2 days early and had it all polished up and looking pretty. I was dang proud of it and I let Ray (a girl with a dude's name) post it. We were all about patting ourselves on the back for a job well done. Then I got up this morning to find I had an overdue assignment. Turns out that Ray posted it where we could all see it, but never formally submitted it to the good doctor. Hmmmm. Well, again, what ya gonna do? I submitted it for the group, told him it had been done for two days and, ummmm, thanks for listening. It is at worst 4 hours late, so if he doesn't give us full credit, he can't possibly dock us much.

Obviously, I've got nothing here. I did write a short poem yesterday, after checking my acedemic schedule:

My schedule

Oh no! I've got math
In the summer

Brandon, FL

Enjoy your Sunday and help me anticipate the fast approaching March Madness

Ribbit, out
Ramblin' Ed


I was going to, in this post, put the final version of Dixie Highway and have the title actually link to the mp3 so you could listen to how bluesy and funky it turned out to be. But, I fear my friend may have discontinued the website. When I go there I cannot get the link to work. And I have a little something in my eye that hurts and scratches and so far I cannot get it out. I am thinking the two things are not related. I am also aware that voodoo exists in the world, so I don't make any sweeping claims or disclaimers.

So now what? I am allotted one good and one fair idea per day and my good one just withered on the vine. I used to have a lot more good ideas, when I was younger, although I suppose when you're younger good ideas and good enough ideas all look about the same to you. You are moving through life at a faster, and far less deliberate clip, so your subtlties and distinctions all get kind of blurry edged at that pace. Still, as I recall it anyway, not having the subtlties and distinctions did make for a less complicated life. Food, fun and smooching would pretty much do it for you and if you could manage all three it made for a memorable weekend.

At that age I was cruising in Southern California and the fact that I was not from there and was different made me miss the main point. And the main point was that what it meant to be in SoCal was that everybody was from somewhere else and everybody was different. We all had the same basic quality and that was: we were different. We all, all meaning all of that were just visiting planet San Diego for a few years, met in the warm, and mostly off center sunshine, had bonfires on the beach, wondered how Mad Dog 20/20 could only be a buck and a half and pack such a wallop, and filled our lives right up to the lip of our cup with the big 3: fun, food and smooching.

Until I moved to California I had never been out of the country, dated a girl in a band, been arrested, run away from from a girl with smooching on her mind, seen Hollyweird on a Friday night, seen anything like Ocean Beach on a Saturday night, watched a homeless man kick a Marine's butt on a sidewalk, stayed in a YMCA, suddenly realized I was in a gay hangout, knock the Lost (Plymouth) Horizon out of gear while smooching in a beach parking lot and have me/car/girl all roll into the bay, taken a trip on a train, or written songs like I was starting to write.

California was the best place I have never wanted to live in again. It was vibrant, it was demanding, it kept me broke, it was dangerous, it was sunny and hopeful, and it inspired me on so many levels. Much later, in Japan, I felt the same about one facet of the experience, and that was this: This is not my home. I will eventually move on. But while I am here I may as well roll up my sleeves and jump into it and suck up all the living that I can manage while I am here. Really, it's all about the stories to tell.

What does all this mean to you? Absitivley nothing. My fingers kinda took over there for a minute. So let me tell you this and we can get on with our day. I did see the first San Diego Trolley roll down the track on it way from downtown to the Mexican border at San Ysidro.

Psssst, dude. Wanna buy some ....., out
Ramblin' Ed

Friday, February 24, 2006

Local news and whether

Whether or not you want it, that is. The final installment of the saga that no one cares about. And, as an added bonus, I am proud to announce that the word "talisman" was used on broadcast TV last night. That really doesn't happen all that often. So, by way of anyway, I took some digital photographs yesterday to show you today and supercede tomorrow. Got the bases covered, so let's do this thing.

So I was making a cuban sandwhich, but didn't have a sandwhich press or panini maker. What to do? Call George Forman, that's what. This worked well until the sandwhich settled and the whole thing crashed, shattering my nice ceramic burner covers. The wife reacted by employing extra sarcasm and decibles. Dang!

So what could this be...what could it be? It is a beginning. A beginning of something sweet and wonderful. It is a tiny, baby tangerine beginning to grow in it's mother tree's limb. Womb? No. Limb? You betcha. Anyway, I thought this was kind of interesting, in an embryonic fruit sor of way.

My little corner of the yard that I am preparing as my place of solitude. Cigar tree is nice, but public. Once I install a bench, this will be a place of solitude and personal respite. I like quiet, shady places where I can hide out and be alone. I'm all about the me time and usually find myself to be excellent company. It is also where I mulched the sprinkler in a show of force.

A before picture of the continerized herb garden.

Another before picture, there are no after pictures yet. Patience, weedhopper!

The tree that lost some limbs so that herb garden might have more direct sunlight. The last limb knocked my ladder over and I had to do a monkey boy butt shimmy all the way back down. Again, Dang!

And now, the last chapter of the saga. These are the pieces parts that didn't fit anywhere else, all sort of Frankenstiened together. I often think of two or more lines to turn a phrase for me, but in the normal process I usually pick just one to go with. When the musical part of this songwriting duo asked me to pen multiple versions of this, a request he has made only once before, I was happy to. Anyhow, by way of anyway, here is the last version ye shall gaze upon.

Dixie Highway

In a God forsaken town late
smell of take-out chicken fried steak
Running down this broken line
ain't getting anywhere

Night clerk checks me in and says
Put ya down in 313
And will you need a wake-up call...
or just a place to greive?

Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
and Color TV

Get a cup of coffee
from the dim lit lobby
'neath a neon flashing sign
I stop and say a prayer

God, you know she's out there
running like she just don't care
Make it rain soft slow tonight
so she can feel my tears

And the Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
and Color TV

Whispered that you loved me
like I never felt no sunshine
I'll spit it right back out at you
and let you think I'm buying.

Told you half my secrets
shared you all my stories
sold my soul to make you mine
but that was long ago

'Cause somewhere is the one I'm
wishing that you were tonight
Betting on a sure thing
has always been my style

Falling for the ones who
in matters of affection
consider life a small thing
compared to just one lie

The Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
and Color TV

Dixie Highway...motor keeps turning
Never stop...never gonna stop(repeat & fade)

Highways & heartaches, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, February 23, 2006


SubURBS. Blog blURBS. And herb gardens. Yep, that's one of the things I've been busy with. 2 days after the only freeze temperature of the year, which I'm pretty sure killed the two new fruit trees and a pepper plant, but seemed to tell the bulbs it was time to move into high growth gear, the temps went into the mid-seventies. Three days of that and it's in the eighties. I had been growing seedlings in the garage, and yesterday went and got some big planters and bags of potting soil.

It is my firm belief that herbs are just weeds that you eat, so I don't want them to get too much of a foothold in my yard. In Florida it would be a full time job keeping them under control. Rain and steamy temperatures ensure that things grow 6 inches while you turn your back long enough to get a drink from the hose. I figure by getting big planters and filling them half full I can control the herb spread, as it were. Plus I can put them into the garage next year during the winter. Both weeks of it.

And I bought a new mower with some of my income tax money. You can't not test drive a new mower if you buy one. You just can't. So the grass got mowed yesterday, along with a sprinkler that had somehow burrowed under some leaves. It is now yellow, plastic mulch and serves as a warning to other garden tools that the consequences of disobedience is a good mulching.

I have been knocking out a group project for class which has took quite a bit out of me, but still I expect we will be the standard by which the others are judged. I put quite a LOT of personal effort into it and it was good. I went ahead and let the others polish it up and turn it in, but I did most of the work. Hey, my average is more than twice the class average and I want it to stay that way.

Pepe chased a bicyclist around the perimeter of our yard and then sat there and stared at the direction he had gone, apparently making sure he did not try to come back. He is mostly dog, I am now without a doubt on that point, and was pretty sure that as he ran I could hear him going, "mee-ark, mee-ark, mee-ark*". He's a real piece of work. Yuki just skulked about, capturing and torturing lizards for the sport of it. She is a regular cat.

Sorry that this could not be entertaining. I am enclosing another variation of the Dixie Highway song, this one being the "pineing"** version of it. With the exception of Jn and Red Queen, y'all likely really won't care too much.

* Meeow + Bark = mee-ark
** To pine = to lament the loss of, to miss

Dixie Highway

In a God forsaken town late
Take-out chicken landscape
running flat out thru the southern night,
not getting anywhere

Night clerk hands me off the keys
the run down warmth of 313
Y'all gonna need a wake-up, sir,
or just a little peace?

Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
and Color TV

cup of stale black coffee
from the motel lobby
And 'neath the neon flashing sign
I conjur up this prayer

God, you know she's out there
Think maybe I might just still care
Make it rain real slow tonight
so she can feel my tears

And the Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
and Color TV

Whispered that you loved me
like I'd never felt no sunshine
A simple smile for simple times
and promises I'm buying.

Told you half my secrets
shared you half my stories
saved my soul to hear you laugh
if only for a while

'Cause somewhere is the one I'm
wishing I had here tonight
Longing for what's slipped away
has always been my style

Falling for the ones who
in matters of affection
consider life a small thing
compared to just one lie.

The Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
and Color TV

Dixie Highway...motor keeps turning
Never stop...never gonna stop(repeat & fade)


Take the last train to Clarksville and I'll meet you in the morning, out
Ramblin' Ed

Monday, February 20, 2006

The motel sign say.......

Well, the studying is paying off. 2 A's this week. If I could figure out how to properly use references, from what the professor says, I would be aceing these things. Anyway, seems like a good enough start.

Not much to write about today. The wife went to her first State Fair yesterday and was all excited when I got home. I work right down the street from the fairgrounds and pass it twice a day, but have not had time to go. I'm glad she got to, though. Anyway, the part she liked best? Same as me and you... the midway food!

No transvestcat stories or anything like that. I have a recorded Grey's Anatomy to watch before work.

I wrote 4 versions of this, regular, defiant, pining, and another one that mixed the elements. This was the defiant version:

Dixie Highway

In a God forsaken town late
smell of take-out chicken fried steak
running flat out down these lines,
but ain't getting anywhere

Night boss checks me in and sees
Hmmmmm, put ya down in 313
Hey,do you need a wake-up, man
or just a little sleep?

Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
and free Color TV

Grab a cup of coffee
from the motel lobby
There underneath the flashing sign
I breathe a silent prayer

God, she's hiding out there
And maybe I don't even care
But could you could see it rains tonight,
so she can feel my tears?

And the Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
and free Color TV

She Whispered that she loved me
like I'd never felt no sunshine
I spit that right back at her feet
Don't need no sympathizing

If I spilled my secrets
she'd still never know my story
I'll just run it halfway up the mast
salute it if it flies

'Cause somewhere near is where I'm
thinking she should be tonight
Betting on a sure thing's
a satisfying style

I fall for them who never fail
to complicate affection.
I fall for them who never fail
to bring me only pain.

The Motel sign says:
Dixie Highway
andColor TV

Dixie Highway...motor keeps turning
Dixie Highway...memories burning
Dixie Highway...motor keeps turning
Dixie Highway...memories burning
Never stop...never gonna stop(repeat & fade)

Ramblin' Ed, out

Sunday, February 19, 2006

You're serious? Nice to meet you, I'm Roebuck.

I am not known for being too deadly serious, which I suppose is why I've never been invited to emcee a funeral. I can do serious. I can do sincere. I can do the opening song from Rocky Horror Picture Show, although I cannot manifest as just a set of lips.

I know in my life I have worn paisley polyester shirts, elephant bell pants and platform shoes. During the seventies I actually wore a tight jumpsuit sometimes. I let people think what they will about why I only wore it a few times, but the truth is pretty simple. It wasn't because I protruded in all the wrong places. Nope. It was because, as a dude, I couldn't deal with the total lack of pockets. Men need pockets.

If it can be joked about, I do. If it shouldn't be joked about, I do. Then I realize my mistake and apologize, knowing the damage is already done. But I'm a decent enough guy and have never been accused of being mean spirited. So most folks let me slide.

Why do I tell you this? No reason. I intend to write some light hearted stuff today. I mean I'm no Hemmingway, but I could easliy get fat, grow a beard and smoke cigars in a Hemmingway-esque fashion. Eventually, like Hemmingway, I will pass on to the great writers guild in the sky. But mostly the similarities would end with fat and bearded. So yo yo peeps, I press on.

My father was talking to my wife yesterday, which removes any doubt as to wheter or not he is a kind and patient man, and she was telling him about "her baby". Her "baby" is Pepe the Cat. Now, as you recall, Pepe is a dog that is trapped inside a cat's body(which is good for him because it allows him to live inside instead of out). Pepe has a new trick. You dog owners may recognize it, but cat owners may not. It works like this here:

Nong will throw a stick and Pepe will run after it and get it. Then he will bring it back and get into a pull fight with Nong as she tries to take it back. Eventually, being like 50 times his size, she will prevail. She will throw it again ahd he will, as if he a has learned nothing from the previous exchange, go get it again. It is a game I have dubbed "fetch". We used to call it "stick gitting", but it was a rather too hillbilly-ish sounding name.

Now dad, working the dog trapped in a cat's body theme, says that Pepe is a "transvestcat". That is a pretty fair assumption, really, although it does pull up one too many disturbing mental images of Pepe in bright red lipstick staring straight at me. But like I said, it was a pretty good description. It also made me think of another possible label for the dog in a cat's body condition. That is, "feline impersonator". OK, now you know. I will also accept your entry, if you have one.

Jn, to answer your question, I chose the name Ed like I chose to be born in Raleigh. In other words, I was not consulted. I was one of the wee folk, pretty much all about the crying and crapping. Mom and Dad hung the moniker William Edward on me, either to honor or piss off each of their fathers, William (mom's dad) and Edward (dad's dad, or dad squared). Then they called me Eddie. OK, that was cool all the way up to and through high school. But then I started working, having legal documents, banking, etc., etc. and it became a little confusing. Normally I can just say, "My name is William, but I go by Ed".

Where I work now, they solicit feedback from customers, many of them feeble minded. Since the survey is computer generated and goes out automatically, and since it will refer to me as William, and since I am one of only a few that provides outstanding customer service and can expect feedback that will aid in getting pay raises, I just start out with, "Hello. My name is William..."

AI had a great quote in a comment yesterday, so I pull it up to the front:
OH, speaking of weddings...please remind me not to be in a wedding again. Unless it's my own. And then only maybe.

Like a batter on a 3rd strike fast ball, I am outta here.

I-I-I-I-I'm not your stepping stone, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Domo Arigato, peeps

Well, I was gonna get back to you yesterday, but checking my way back machine here, it appears that I didn't. Must apologize and then I... must... move... on.

I will put the emails last in this post because of the self congratulatory tone of them. I have some other stuff to post and I don't want you to miss it because you quit reading today in mid-email. I just have a hunch that I may have enjoyed reading them more than you will.

Here's a sad statement on Bay Area Traffic. President Bush visited the area yesterday and traveled to two area locations by motorcade. Despite the motorcade and Secret Service precautions, morning rush hour was expected to be normal. And by normal, we of course understand, FUBAR.

Yesterday I had to pee. No need for alarm, it happens almost daily. As I was finally able to slip away from the desk and go, I noticed some blood from my nose. Great, my nose was bleeding. While I suppose it could have been that I had my finger jammed way up there trying to grab a little crusty as I walked, I prefer to think that I had to pee so bad it made my nose bleed.

"Never bet your life on someone else's opinion." -Matt Dillon, as he was told by a "madman"
"This is not a time to be busy, it is a time to be useful." - The Coal Miners Daughter

I was thinking about sodbuster's yesterday, and no, even I don't know how something like that just pops into your head as you try to repair software over the phone. But it did. And it allowed me to reach the inescapable conclusion that sodbuster is apretty cool word.

OK, homework is done. Trivial tidbits are posted. Guess it's time for the emails. But first, I just want to say this. I really like being polite and helpful. I guess it shows over the phone. The first guy was from the Bronx, was stuck in his room with an injury that kept him from being mobile, and was mad at the world. When he called he was ready to fight. We worked for an hour and had a successful go of it. So, like I noted yesterday, patience is a strong suit of mine. OK, unless I think we're going to be late for an appointment. Then I get all anal.

Oh, by the way, I scrubbed references to my company's name. Not sure how they would feel, so I err on the side of caution.

No. 1

No. 2
To the supervisor at tech support! I would like to bring to your attention the outstanding help I received from William today! I had a problem connecting to (your company)in the last 2 weeks and was actually dreading to make a phone call to fix it. Finally I decided to call today and spend a part of my day off fixing it. Thanks to William it went FAST and ENJOYABLE! I could actually understand him very well which is so different from what Hewlett Packard provides you with their techs from India. Hard to believe, isn't it? I just wanted to share that with you! My case #XXXXXXX 02/14/06. Thanks again.

There are more, but these two were the best. It's a crappy, low paying job, but I still try to help the folks on the other end. Heaven knows, some of them really, really need it.

"Yo, ho ho", the pimp hailed his two employees, out
Ramblin' Ed

Friday, February 17, 2006


Please be patient. I had homework due. This afternoon I'd like to share some comments that customers have sent to my supervisor. They are nice.

Toodles, out
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Pepe as a study in rocketry (and gratuitous cat pictures)

At the end of this post are some cat pictures because I think that the way he crawls up into my wife's arms to sleep is kinda cute. Like a big furry baby, or, as I think is more the case, a dog in a cat's body. But we have covered that before. Anyhoo, if you don't like to see pictures of other people's pets (and honestly, who does?) just stop at the first one. They're not going to get any more interesting as you go. Trust me, I've never lied to you before.

Now, let's tell the tale of near feline rocketry, shall we?
So Pepe had done his bidness in the super clean, ultra efficient, enclosed litter box with the swinging door that I had bought before I realized that I really didn't have the money to buy stuff like that. It's pretty nice for a plastic place to defecate.

So Pepe, as I stated, has done his bidness and managed to also track some litter across the floor, despite the enclosed nature of the defecation palace and the long blade astroturf like mat designed to stop the tracking of litter. Now the wife notices that the cat has either not wiped his butt properly or completely. Either way there are a few of those unsightly klingons.

So she tries, and the emphasis here really should be on the word tried, to hand me a tissue and told me to wipe his butt. Normally, we share household duties (but not doodies, apparently bwah-ha-ha-ha!) to which she received a resounding no. Several times in fact. I am not going to wipe a cat's butt for him and you are welcome to get mad about it. I am content to make sure he don't sit on me and that's about as far as I'm taking it.

So, I look over and she's spraying Bactine on a tissue. Then it hits me. She's going to bactine his butt and he's gonna leave a hole in the living room wall in one of those silhouettes of himself like they do in the cartoons. I stopped her, while looking at Pepe and telling him that I just saved his life. She thought it was more of a cleaner and less of a disinfectant, a mistake you can easily make if you never bother to read a label, and did not know that it stings. When I told her that, and that Pepe would have never trusted her again after that, we had a good laugh.

Another thing that made us laugh was on Dog: The Bounty Hunter. Dog's brother is married to a Samoan. A woman, but still Samoan. Seems every morning he tells his wife I love you, and she smiles, waves, and replies, "Akkai ", which is Samoan for I love you. Until he is working with a Samoan dude and mentions it. The guy laughs at him and says, "Dude, that means 'eat (crap')". Once Nong understood the joke, she thought it was absolutely hilarious.

Best quotes from the Dog himself last night:
"The closer we get to 'em the more we become like robots on a mission from God."


I'm not a regular here. I am irregular, out
Ramblin' Ed

Monday, February 13, 2006

Lipact Tursigs

OK, here's the deal. You wanna make a million or two? Then you find a need and fill it. I think pretty soon you'll all be doing the "I remember him when..." thing, because I just thought up my money maker.

I was driving home, as opposed to those around me who seemed, at best, to be merely aiming their vehicles. I had people on my back bumper, phone in hand. I had SUVs just start to occupy the space and lane I was already in (and then jerk back from whence they had come) with cell phone in hand. I had the woman in front of me, more or less using the lane divider bumps as a sort of real life pinball rail, bouncing from one set to another and then back, and occasionally even abruptly changing lanes to see if maybe she could carom her way home in a lane that moved a little faster. She had her cell in her hand, of course, but also held a smoke in the hand on the wheel. I just shudder to think.

That's when it hit me. Of course! I can make a killing off of those about to do a killing. "How?", you asketh. By manufacturing and marketing Lipact Tursigs, that's how. "Lipact Tursigs??", you query again, like a newbie on a short bus. Yes. Lip Activated Turn Signals. To help allieviate some of the unpleasantness of actually driving properly and signaling your intentions to other drivers. Right now you would have to actually take your phone away from your ear for a full second and a half to signal. That is, of course, outrageous. But with Lipact Tursig, just a twitch of the lips, much akin to the sneer you already routinely use, you can signal left or right and merge into traffic with confidence.

Next topic

I now have the 3rd season of Wonder Woman. They're pretty good for 1979 T&A TV. Call me if you want to come over and watch.

Lastly, if you want to see one BUTT UGLY CAT, click the link. Nothing rude or unkind. Just a very, very ugly feline. You've been told.

Today is my Friday and it is Valentine's Day. I got chocolate from the wife. In Japan, women give men chocolate on Valentine's Day. It's nice, and I suppose kind of like when you're short of funds so you stop by a gay bar to let somebody else buy you a few drinks, except without the risk of ending up in the backseat of a pink Caddillac. (Ed note: As I typed that I realized that I shold ought to point out that I have never actually done that, but in theory it SHOULD work.)

Hidey Ho, neighbor, out
Ramblin' Ed

You're a mo-ron for $500, please Alex

I probably shouldn't work at a help desk. I mean, I can handle the little old ladies or the youngin's that don't quite understand computers. But when I spend 15 minutes trying to get a dude to recognize, then click on, the doggone start menu, what I really want to do is ask if I can work instead with whoever helped him dial the phone. or this scenario:

I don't have that
Yes, you do. It's as soon as you open START
I don't have it
Yeah, you do, just read from the top
It's not there.
Sure it is. Just read me the commands
Nope. I'm looking and it's not there.
Did you open START
And do you see commands
Ummm ...I'm not good with computers
I understand. But you see words, right
Yes, I can read
How 'bout you read me what you see
Look, I understand that you want.... Oh, there it is. What now?

OK, 8 hours of that. Some of it makes me laugh and some of it makes me do the thumb and forefinger as a semi-automatic pistol that I'm using to bust a cap in my skull motion.. repeatedly.

Yesterday, I had a guy get pissed off and hang up on me. And I was thinking, that was probably all for the best. He was mad because I kept interrupting his rambling to say things like, "OK, I understand. You want me to help you fix (insert latest computer malady he has been rambling on about)." He accused me of just wanting to paraphrase him. Finally, when I said that sir, I can't help you fix anything if you will not tell me what you want fixed, he cursed me and hung up. I'm filing the paperwork with the company to get that 15 minutes of my life back.

I know, my life is weird. This job, while amusing at times, bites, and just so you know, I could go on ad finitum like this. I merely choose to spare you.

Proud to be an Okie from Muskogee, out
Ramblin' Ed

(I've never really been to Oklahoma, by the way)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

...SHOCKED I tell ya....

Politicians kill me. They look me in the eye and say, "I think you're kinda stupid." I didn't find the article again this morning, even though I searched for it mightily,but will paraphrase and that should suffice for our purposes here.

A female Republican recently linked to that Abramahhoff lobbyist fella and accused of pulling some strings to get some land released, sold, rezoned or something so one of Abramahoffs clients could get on with some development or another, was shocked...SHOCKED I tell ya.... to find out about it. See, it seems some of her "staff" must have been deling in political patronage, and doing it all completely without her knowledge. She was mushroom city on this one. Translation: I think you're kinda stupid.

You know what they got in Western PA that we don't got here? I mean besides folks that steal your windshield wipers. Basements. I know other folks got them too, but I don't know other folks and I choose to speak of what I know. And from basements, come great beers. Come again? Yep, there's a story.

Twas a nice day in the burg of Carnegie, PA. If you don't know where that is, just say Pittsburgh. I was staying at a house with a cop's daughter, and being as how Mr. Chief of Police was home too, and she was fixing to marry my best friend (why I was in town) and she was an only child who was completely and utterly not my type in any way, shape or form, well, let's just say she wasn't getting no trouble out of me.

The Pittsburgh area has some giant hills and beautiful views of the city and the three riveers and the city again. They also have a lot of train monuments, but I am unaware of why. The picture above is of said friend and one of those beautiful scenic views. But that's enough about hills. And views.

The basement beer. I was sitting in the kitchen and Mr. V (and I could not spell nor pronounce this difficult Polish name if I wanted to, which I don't here) and I were talking. Him with gusto and me less so. I wasn't sure why he was so energetic and I was still young enough in this life that talking to a cop at length didn't seem like a good idea. Note: I have settled down a lot since than. And the statute of limitations has kicked in on a lot, too.

So Mr. V asks if I'd like a beer. Since what I really wanted to do was just get the heck out of there, I said, "Sure." He opened the fridge, reached in, paused, bent over giving me full view of flabby cop butt in Dockers (friends don't let friends wear Dockers), and commenced to rummaging around. Finally he emerged, smiled wanly and said, "I must be out up here. I'll get one from the basement."

Which he did. Brought it back up to me. And the bottle was cool to the touch, I'm no thermometer, but it felt like 50-52 degrees. Not cold, cool. Not sure what crossed my mind, really, besides, "Dang, I'm in here with a cop", but for some reason I decided to just drink it as it was. Fact #1: It was a Stroh's. Fact #2: I removed the lid. Easily.

That basement cool Stroh's, pulled straight from the bottle was the second best beer I ever tasted. It was sweet and mellow and kinda moseyed down your gullett with nary a sharp edge to it. I was impressed. In fact, it was the best single beer I ever drank in my life until about 10 years ago, on a 90+ degree day in Kuala Lumpur, when a smooth as silk Tiger draft topped it. I was talking to a Nepalese girl, too, which one hardly ever does.

Yep. Good old basements.

Some facts on Japanese whaling, which you may have seen in your paper.

* They have on hand inventories of 2,704 tons of whale meat in warehouses. So, they intend to kill 1,530 more whales this year.
* Tokyo needs to establish reliable data on whale populations and habits, data they say can only be gleaned by killing them. (The population is dwindling partly because of their habit of running into harpoons... almost said harpons, which is a different thing completely.)
*No one really wants to buy the meat to eat because it is tough, pungent, and tastes horrible.
* Because the meat sucks, the government published a phamplet, DELICIOUS WHALES, where they ask, "Is it OK to eat whale meat?" and answer with, "Of course it is."

I'm not taking a position one way or the other. On the one hand, whaling seems unnecessary, given that people have to be tricked into eating it. On the other hand, whales could learn to swim faster when they see a boat. It's a real pickle, for sure.

POME follows:

Always Cheats on Me

I wish I was a pirate sailing the ocean
killing and plundering and living free.
I'd drink Caymen rum and fly my Jolly Roger
and grow a beard down to my knees.

I wish I was a dangerous boy like James Dean
Everybody'd know I'm misunderstood.
Wearing my t-shirts with the sleeves cut off
and dark sunglasses too.

But I'm no one that you would notice
if you passed me out on a city street.
Yet underneath these simple clothes
a wandering heart does beat.

I wish I had me a real reputation
as a modern day Don Juan.
I'd love 'em and leave 'em crying for more
but I'd sure as hell move on.

I wish that I had me a car from the fifties
chopped and lowered and painted black.
Low and mean, I'd chase the horizon
and I never would come back.

But I'm no one that you would notice
if you passed me out on a city street.
Yet underneath these simple clothes
a wandering heart does beat.

I wish I could be a man for all seasons
a shoulder to lean on, you know.
Everyone say, "What a strong man he is
with emotions that don't ever show".

I wish I could pull out this wandering heart
and hold it up for you to see.
I'd tell you it only beats for you
but it always cheats on me.

Pascagoula, MS

With my mind on my money and my money on my mind, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Working through the pane

Like Murf, who, by the way, is posting so much now that I can hardly keep up reading it, much less try to match it (and she wasn't sure she had anything to say if she started a blog, as I remember it), I have been dabbling in windows. Unlike Murf, my story is not peppered with morons and shysters. At least not yet. That I know of.

My windows here suck. They are thin and leaky and forty something years old. And I can't lock half of them because the locks are broke. Broke off, that is. I shut the garage, lock the doors and count on the neighborhood's old bats, I mean the neighborhood watch to keep my windows safe.

Not no more. I got me some brand, spanking new, double pane, double hung, hurricane proof (well, up to 140 mph anyway) windows. You can smack the glass with a crowbar. You'll piss it off. You'll spiderweb it. You'll cost me some serious money to replace it. But you won't break it or get in through it. So let the boy cat get a running start on it like he did the old ones. Now it's his head that'll flex, not the window.

So, after I decided to get nice windows, called the man over and we spent nearly 5 hours talking/pondering/'splaining, and made the decision to do the whole house at once, we got to talking price. I will say this: I thought he was joking. It was the price of the Pontiac Solstice that I want.
I looked him in the eye and told him, "I believe in the quality, I believe in the strong guarantee, and I believe all of the assets to "investing" in these windows. But you gotta make this number (pointing to price) smaller. I simply cannot pay that, whether I want to or not." Fast forward through haggling and more 'splaining, and we got to a (more) fair and (slightly more) reasonable price and payment plan. The original asking price was in excess of $14,000 for 10 windows, by the way.

In another note, I overheard a young lady where I work explaining to a customer something about their software was bleeding. Surely I must have missed something important in the conversation.

Taxes done. Homework assignments done. (Note to self: Apparently in college, waiting until the night before assignment is due is not going to work long term.) Cat washed. Chicken marinated, grilled and passed throughout the neighborhood to deserving neighbors. They know who they are. They're the ones who remember to return the plate. Rule #1: Keep our plate and get yourself removed from the food distribution list. Some of your blogs read. My blog, such as it is, written. Time to dress for work.

And we laughed to ourselves at the men and the ladies
who never concieved us as billion dollar babies, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Butt kicking

Had a friend kick me in the butt today about my lackidasical posting schedule. I'm sure I needed it. I have been justifying it in my head that y'all mostly don't post daily either, but really, I figure that they're boring enough posts when I do have something to say. I can hardly imagine how excruciating it would be for you guys if I posted even when, as they say, I got nuthin'.

But, if someone takes the time to order up a butt kicking on me, I must at least be courteous enough to, while not exactly leap into action, at least mosey into action. Here goes.

Oh, by the way, for the record, said friend got an ear full of venting from me for their trouble. Hey, that's why friends are there.

This is true. While I do not really consider myself to be trailer trash, and yes, I will actually refer to myself that way occasionally, I have lived in a trashy trailer. In the big city of Seffner, Florida. Back when Seffner was equal parts cows, orange groves, rednecks and their dogs. And trailer parks.

So I was sitting in my lone chair in my modestly furnished, and by modest I mean nothing, trailer. I was listening to one of the following, but cannot recollect exactly which: Commander Cody, Bob Dylan, Dire Straits or The Outlaws. I loved to watch TV but at the time I could not afford one. I kept the hull of one in the living room but it did not work. If someone wanted to watch it I pretended that I disdained the "idiot box". I didn't want folks to think I was poor, but I think trashy trailer... no furniture... no heat all kinda gave me away anyhow.

So I was sitting and listening to one of said four albums when I hear Pop ... Pop Pop.... Pop. I look out of my window and there are these two stereotypical rednecks (skinny white boys, scraggly hair, shirtless, etc) running around and around a parked van popping rounds off at each other. For some reason, this neither surprised me nor concerned me, although I did move away from the window and that wall.

I went and watched them from my laundry room window, which would have been a near impossible angle to hit me from accidentally, athough there was line of sight. They continued to run and shout and fire at each other with appalling inaccuracy. Finally, tired, frustrated or both they stopped and commenced to both emptying the rest of their rounds into the poor van itself.

This was rural Hillsborough County in the 1970s. This was my life as I knew it. I didn't look at anything as danger. Everything was an adventure. This is the same trailer where I woke up one morning with a cow under my window mooing and a lumberjack stomping around on my roof. As it turns out, it was really just a peacock stomping around up there. Those are actually some pretty heavy birds. And, since I slept nude back then (several embarrassing incidents, including this one, have cured me of that) I did find myself somewhat naked in the front yard looking up at my roof and cursing a nonexistent lumberjack that fine morning. Todd's mom nodded as she drove off to work, but didn't stop to chat.

See? No mystery as to why this area is fertile ground for filming episodes of COPS.

Muttering and stuttering on out
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Just plain rude

I am all for free speech and have more than once defended someone's right to think any ol' way that they see fit to think, invoking only the "your right to swing stops at the end of my nose" theory. I think I have been fairly consistent in my applications of said theory.

But some things are just plain rude and, more likely than not, offend the majority of those who come in contact with it. They are things best left mutterd indoors, away from innocent bystanders, in the dark, dank recesses of wherever it is that people like this go to find comfort and solitude from the daily grind.

What these things should not be is on bumper stickers, where any passerby might innocently glance upon them and have their morning walk ruined, or perhaps even their whole future morning walk routine ruined for them. Like I said, some things are just plain rude and are the type of thing that, if you go for such things, you should have to seek out. Not something you should stumble upon accidentially.

The offending bumper sticker: GO ARMY - BEAT NAVY. Seriously, what was the dude thinking???

Today is Tuesday. TGIT. T-git. T-git-er-dun. Actually, I'm not real fond of that git er done thing. Anyway, your Tuesday is my Friday. Got paid my help desk wages yesterday, paltry as they were. So, as they say, I have a pocket full of cash and a pretty girl and it's Friday night. That means one thing. Yep, we'll stay in and watch Fear Factor.

But Wednesday I'm taking her into Tampa for some poking around and then, and this is the real reason I want to venture into the big(ger) city, I'm taking her to a place called Thai Sweet Basil for some supposedly very authentic pad prik khing and duck curry. And, if she is not too much a p.i.t.a. all day, and in my experience, pretty girls got that p.i.t.a. thing down pat, probably because pretty is pretty portable and she can take it on down the road to someone else who will put up with her if you should get too voiceferous about her annoyingness, I'll stop by Krispy Kreme on the way home. mmmm... Krispy Kreme. Fastest way on earth to get fat, but man oh man, they sure taste good doing it.

For sheer songwriting prowess, really listen closely to Bob Dylan's TANGLED UP IN BLUE. I am still awed every time I hear it. Really.

Don't forget, Monday nights at 10 PM on A&E. Roller Girls. Chronicles the lives of the Texas Roller Derby on down there in Austin. Mighty good stuff. There, shameless plug is now out of the way.

Ramblin' Ed hint for the day: Try to work the word kaliedescope into conversation today. It'll make you sound spontaneous. Unless it's an all male conversation centering around sports, girls, or... well, I guess there really isn't anything else. If it's one of them man-talks don't try it. You'll just sound fruity.

For them that missed this before it disappeared:

Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water and make it drink.

When the boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up - he's pushing the Earth down.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

Chuck Norris does not get frostbite. Chuck Norris bites frost.

There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist. (My Favorite)

Chuck Norris is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.

There is no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold, so he turned the sun up.

Chuck Norris doesn't wear a watch. He decides what time it is.

Chuck Norris gave Mona Lisa that smile.

Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

Remember the Soviet Union? They decided to quit after watching a Delta Force marathon on Satellite TV.

Ian Spector's Random Chuck Norris Fact Generator: chuck/

Be free. Prosper.

Me, I'm still on the road
Headed for another joint
We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point of view
Tangled up in blue, out
Ramblin' Ed