Monday, November 21, 2016

Splitting hairs

I started writing a pithy post about getting my hair cut on Saturday. Then I realized that, not only was this as mundane as writing about what I had for lunch, but I had already blogged about my hair  several times and I'm all out of entertaining anecdotes about past and present hair cuts.

And even I'm sick of me whining about no one noticing that I got a haircut anyway. You can only play the "feeling invisible" card so many times until people just shake their heads and mutter, "get over it."

Though getting a haircut isn't something that happens that much in your life. Say you get your first haircut when you are two years old and you live maybe to 85. So that's 83 years of getting haircuts. And if you get a hair cut every six weeks, you'll have 719 haircuts in your life. But the haircuts don't really start mattering until you're maybe 11-years old so shave 95 haircuts off the list. And no one pays any attention to your haircuts after the age of say, 45.  So that works out to just about 83 haircuts in your lifetime that really matter.

Kind of puts things in perspective.

Monday, November 14, 2016

It don't matter to me

And it don't matter to me
If your searching brings you back together with me
'Cause there'll always be
An empty room waiting for you
An open heart waiting for you
Time is on my side
'Cause it don't matter to me
 It don't matter to me 
It don't matter to me by Bread (the 1969 band, not a loaf of bread...though a loaf of bread could probably write better lyrics)
Grammatically, it should be "It doesn't matter to me or it does not matter to me" but it was almost the 1970s and the music industry was on the brink of spiraling downward into Disco. So who gave a rip about grammar? And as the old Winston cigarette commercials used to tout, "What do you want, good grammar or good taste?"

But if you are a millennial,  none of this makes a whit of sense anyway.  I, however, was starting to come of age when Bread was casting these mindless lyrics on the waters. I only pulled the last stanza out. The proceeding lyrics were even worse:
And it don't matter to me
If you take up with someone
Who's better than me
 'Cause your happiness is all I want
For you to find peace your piece of mind
When I was twelve years old moping about with endless crushes on girls who I didn't have the nerve to talk to, the song was pretty cool. Now I see it for the moronic bit of pop music that it is. Who in their right mind would tell someone that they would be fine if they found someone better than them? You might as well say, "I'm a loser and you could do way better than me, but want to go steady?"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The badger has landed

"Okay I can forgive the fact that the guy's hair looks like someone created a bad toupee out of a dead badger. Obviously his image people solved that by getting him to wear a ball cap in most of his appearances. And so what if he is a billionaire who claims to know what the common people need. But seriously, listen to the guys idiotic ideas to "'make America great again.'"
--Dizgraceland, The Trump Card, August 2015 

I watched the election returns coming in on Tuesday evening with a growing sense of dread. I won't say I had a premonition that Trump would win, but I didn't have much confidence that he would lose. So it didn't really surprise me. But the rate at which state after state fell to the dark hordes sickened me.

I didn't spend much time on social media yesterday. I took the day off to chaperone my son's field trip to a children's theater version of  The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe. It was actually nice not to be in the center of the hand wringing and shell-shocked reaction of most of the people I know.  For some reason their sense of disbelief annoys me. With all of my railing against Trump, I've just come to the conclusion that what happened was inevitable.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

If this is Tuesday then there must be an election

"This is considered the greatest movement, nobody has ever seen anything like it"
--Donald Trump (Presumably just returning from a bathroom break)
I'd like to say that I'm going to miss disjointed mutterings of Donald Trump, but I seriously doubt if the nut job will go away after his psychotic ego has got the taste of publicity only a presidential campaign can generate. That aside, no, I won't miss Donald Trump's nasty face and vitriol (a big word most of his followers won't understand) being spewed on a daily basis.

I made the mistake yesterday of venturing out of my nice, liberal Twitter stream and following some of the election hashtags. I was stunned at the number of nasty tweets by the deplorables. I shouldn't be surprised. Trump chooses that channel on a regular basis. I supposed it is because none of them can focus on anything beyond 140 characters.

Still it shocks me that the other side has just as much rhetoric criticizing Hillary as we have rhetoric criticizing Trump. The difference is that our rhetoric is accurate and their's is just made out of crap they've cherry picked from their "movement."

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Random thoughts

of thought
Ironic to call a post "Random thoughts" when pretty much all my thoughts are random. This is why I've adopted Twitter as my channel of choices because I can view hundreds of random posts a day and fire off random comments at random strangers who have a random chance at ever randomly reading them.

But, of course, I digress.

I watched the 10th inning of the World Series last night. It was the first time I've ever watched any of a World Series because I'm not much of a baseball fan. Oh, I've attended a few Seattle Mariners games, but I basically just go for the food and the hat trick game on the Jumbotron. But I have to admit it was pretty exciting watching the last inning of the World Series and watch a team that hasn't won a World Series in more than a hundred years finally pull one out.

But in the scheme of things, what does it really matter?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I think I've become a Tweetler

Tweetler is a word I've made up for a person who heckles what other people (mainly news organizations) tweet on Twitter. I suppose it could be Twittler, too. Regardless, it is what I've become.

I never used to really get Twitter. It was because I used to think of it as another Facebook where you could only post status reports in 140 characters or less. But I finally figured out that it isn't like Facebook at all. For one, no one I know follows me on Twitter. And I don't really follow any one I know.And Twitter is more political than Facebook (or than Facebook is supposed to be).

When I figured that out, I when on naive campaign to get followers using this free site that got people to follow other people if they in turn followed that person. I ended up with more than a 1000 followers but I also ended up following more than 1000 people. And the problem was none of the people following me really gave a rip about anything I post (mainly links to my blog posts). And I didn't give a rip about what most of them were posting about.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A jump to the left

(Narrator) It's just a jump to the left.
 (Guests) And then a step to the right.
 (Narrator) With your hand on your hips.
 (Guests) You bring your knees in tight.
 But it's the pelvic thrust.
They really drive you insane.
Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.
--Time Warp, Rocky Horror Picture Show 
I actually started this blog post before the "You can't fix stupid...II" post. But as I got into it, it morphed into yet another rant about Trump and his Trumpiots. So I changed the title and posted it as as another you can't fix stupid post. But I'd already Photoshopped my head onto the Rocky Horror Picture Show narrator's body and hated to waste it. So I will once again try writing a post and avoid slipping into politics.

 Though one could construe that "a jump to the left" is a political metaphor. But since I am already leaning that direction, it wouldn't be far to jump. If it was going to be a political metaphor for me, it would be "a jump to the right" and if I did that, I might as well jump off a cliff because there is no way I'm following my older brothers down the conservative right path.

But I digress.

Monday, October 10, 2016

You can't fix stupid...II

I have fallen into the trap of reading article after article about the current Presidential election and the scab picking analysis of why people support Donald Trump. And it boils down to the hypothesis that they are acting out against the status quo by supporting a candidate who flips a finger at every established system on the books. They in turn are giving the finger to the mainstream media, the intellectual elite, the established party system and every other thing that they feel makes them feel inferior.

The irony to me is the similarity to Trump supporters and the bullies who used to harass me growing up for getting good grades. They would compensate for being stupid by taking it out on me on the playground. They would feel superior and powerful for awhile, but they would always be stupid. I on the other hand learned to avoid being around stupid people as much as possible. But if I was forced to be around stupid people, I learned to hide that fact that I was smarter than them.

It is one of the reasons I try not to shop at Walmart.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Photographic memory

"Long ago it must be, I have a photograph 
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you"
--Bookends, "Simon and Garfunkel"
I have always been fascinating by photographs. I would flip through the photo albums my mom kept in her cedar hope chest. Or I'd sort through boxes of photos my grandmother had. At the time all of the photographs were black and white.

My mother had an old Kodak camera that she'd bring out for holidays, birthdays and vacations. It was the type where you'd flip up the top and hold the camera chest level and look down into a viewfinder that displayed a murky mirror image of what the lens was seeing. It was strictly black and white. And the photos always seemed blurry and off center.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Where are you when we need you Harold Camping?

When Harold Camping, serial predictor of the end of the world, died in 1993, I lost a great deal of blog material. The pompous, bible-thumping windbag was the poster child for self-righteousness. And even after wrongly predicting the rapture three times, he still managed to reel in followers to his religious right. He was a champion huckster.

Now who does that remind me of? Why Trump and his basket of deplorables, that's who!  I imagine Harold and his cronies would have been right there in the basket suggesting that Trump was finally going to fulfill the prophecy and bring about the end of the world.

This time he may have been right.

I have never seen the country so polarized before. It's like something out of Stephan King's end of the world novel, The Stand.  Trump is the Dark Man rallying the haters around his dark tower in Las Vegas. And they are all crawling out from under the rocks they've been hiding under, gibbering like idiots at his jibba jabba.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The parting

Parting: the action of leaving or being separated from someone. "they exchanged a few words on parting" synonyms: farewell, leave-taking, goodbye, adieu, departure; valediction "an emotional parting" separation, breakup, split, divorce, rift, estrangement "they kept their parting quiet"
This is the year of my 40th high school reunion.  It took place in Boise in kind of two-parts. One gathering happened in the summer and the other last weekend. I didn't attend either.

One of the reasons was simply logistics. Neither time was really practical for me to take a trip to Boise. The other was a hybrid of philosophical and vindictive protest. Basically I was never invited.

By way of background, I did attend my ten and twenty-year high school reunions. Neither experience was overly pleasant. The ten-year reunion was very organized scheduled over a series of days. The initial gathering was at the Idaho State Prison (a historic building no longer used as a prison, but an ironic choice for a high school reunion). The event was so traumatic, I wrote a short story about it.

Basically, ten-years was not enough time to overcome all of the residual insecurities from the actual high school years. By the end of the reunion everyone had pretty much been relegated to the groups they'd been pigeonholed into back then. I left feeling every bit the ignored band geek that gone unnoticed by all but a few of my friends in the three years I'd gone to high school.

The 20-year reunion was less organized. And 20 years had begun to take its toll on how people looked. In retrospect everyone was about 38 years old. But I recall many had lost hair and ballooned to the extent that you couldn't recognize them unless you saw a photo of their 18-year old selves (including me).

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Happy camper?

I think I've mentioned that vacation growing up meant camping. I was 16 before I stayed in a motel. Up until then it was two weeks sleeping in a tent in either McCall, Idaho at campgrounds near Payette Lake, in the Stanley Basin of Idaho near Redfish Lake, or at campgrounds near the Middle Fork of the Boise River. 

That is a photograph of me camping. I am wearing the hat. Based on the date the photo was processed, I was about 2 1/2 years old.  That is my brother Dan standing next to the tent without a shirt. Neither of us look like that these days (and trust me you wouldn't want to see Dan without a shirt now). I believe that photo was taken in McCall, Idaho. I remember the rock.

Camping is a lot less work when you are a kid. The cabin tent you see in the photograph was pitched using a complicated system of poles, stakes, ropes and swearing that my father was responsible. It was a behemoth of a tent constructed of heavy canvas that absorbed the heat. We slept in the tent on air mattresses and old army cots. It was quite roomy.

I think this was from a camping trip when I was four and a half or five 
(that's me in the foreground looking overly happy.  My father on the other hand 
looks as happy as I do when I camp these days. Now I know why.

My mother didn't like to camp. It just made the thing she hated the most -- cooking -- even more of a chore. While my father took my older brothers fishing in whatever body of water was closest, I remained in camp with my mother as she combated dirt, dirty camp dishes, and mosquitoes. Then she would settle back on a camp stool and read Christian Science periodicals while threw pine needles into the perpetual camp fire to entertain myself until my father and brothers returned and we could go swimming in ice cold waters fed by mountain streams.

The campfire was the most consistent and comforting thing about camping. It was the primary source of heat for cooking, light for reading and warmth when the sun went down. We'd sit around it in a circle after dinner roasting marshmallows and listening to my parents tell stories about their youth. Occasionally we'd spot an owl in the trees looking for field mice or chipmunks. Then there was the nightly march to the outhouse before retiring to the tent for the night.