Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A different point of view

"It's not easy being green."
-- Kermit the Frog
I will be the first one to admit that I have an unorthodox way of looking at the world. And it may appear to others as a bit self-absorbed as well (or egotistical...or vain). But I am practical about my point of view. It is mine. If I had your point of view, it wouldn't be my point of view.

This is not to say we can't have similar points of view. Though I'm willing to bet the majority of you believe your point of view, even if it is similar to mine, is better. That is human nature.

Although I have a journalism degree, I am not big on current affairs. Perhaps it is because I have a journalism degree that I'm not big on current affairs. After you have seen sausage being made, you aren't likely to run out and order a Kielbasa.

There is a lot of hype about bloggers being the real journalists of our generation. I have to politely say that that is a major load of BULL SHIT (thanks Penn and Teller). If you surf the Web and gather a bunch of "facts" about a subject and then regurgitate it upon your Blog, that is not journalism. That is simply regurgitation or to put it bluntly, "puke."

In theory, journalists present a balanced view of what they are reporting. Purists would not allow their personal opinion to slant what they are reporting. That is also BULL SHIT. It is not possible to avoid a bias when you report something.

So what does this teach us? Look at everything that is reported with a healthy dose of skepticism and compare it to other data you have. Then spout your own opinion, not someone elses. Present it as such.

That being said, the only people who will believe what you have written are other people who share your point of view. It is a rare person who can actually change someone's mind.

This is why I rarely write about current affairs. But in all fairness, what you read here is reality the way I perceive it.

And if that doesn't keep you away, nothing will.

Monday, January 30, 2006

My Monkey, Myself

Okay, if you are new to this blog, none of this is making sense. Perhaps if you are not new to my blog, none of this is making sense. I introduced the Blog world to the Monkey Playing Cymbals back in August of 2004. So if you are the type that needs linear structure to comprehend abberant behaviour go ahead and read that blog.

I don't claim to understand why the Monkey Playing Cymbals is my muse. But I am interested in trying to understand him better. I want to see what makes the little guy tick (other than new batteries). Because I think there is a little bit of the Monkey Playing Cymbals in all of us.

Don't tell him, but I have been hanging out in eBay trying to buy another Monkey Playing Cymbals. I think he is lonely and would benefit from another Monkey Playing Cymbals. Or it could be my obsessive/complusive self trying to start up a new collection. Or the Monkey could be manipulating me to buy more mechanical monkeys. You just never know what a Monkey Playing Cymbals is thinking.

Not that I'm been successful on eBay buying another Monkey Playing Cymbals. Those puppies are expensive. And apparently I'm not the only one trying to acquire a new one.

I suppose I should be content with the one Monkey Playing Cymbals that I have. He is quite a handful anyway. And with the Seahawks going to the Superbowl he has been a little unbearable to be around.

"Wipe that stupid grin off your face," Monkey I say (but not too loud since I work in a cubicle environment). But he just sits there mocking me because I didn't get season tickets this year (I haven't told him about the big screen TV).

Plus, he is supposed to be a muse and he can't even keep his own Blog up to date. Half the time he simply mimics what I do (monkey see, monkey do...). And honestly, I don't really care much for bananas and that's pretty much all he eats.


You know, sometimes I feel like just walking out on him. I mean, I really don't need a Monkey Playing Cymbals to inspire me. He stars in one bad movie and he thinks he is better than me.

When it comes down to it, I think he really needs me, though. And it is nice to be needed.

Sometimes he really does get on my nerves, though.

But then again, don't we all.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mongo and the "Rhapsody in Funk"

Years ago I worked with a man named Tim White. Tim was one of those people you meet in life that you will never forget, because he had lived an unforgettable life. At least he had stories about living an unforgettable life.

Tim had grown up in Washington and one day picked up and caught a tramp freighter to Africa. He lived there for years, walking (yes walking) from one place to another. He walked in and out of Uganda when Idi Amin was in power. At one point Tim claims to have worked with Dian Fossey studying Mountain Gorillas. I wasn't sure whether to believe him or not. Years later I actually found his name mentioned in a book about Fossey. Whether it was the same Tim White or not is a matter of conjecture.

But if you ever met Tim, you would believe he had worked with Mountain Gorillas. He looked like an ape. He had a full beard and shaggy hair and an infectuous ape grin. I nicknamed him Mongo. He accepted the nickname good naturedly as he did everything that came his way. Yes, I believe Tim was the last of the free spirits and very well could have worked in the mountains of Africa communicating with our ape friends.

I haven't seen Tim for years. Last time I ran into him he had got the crap beat out of him while waiting for a bus in Seattle's Central District. All those years drifting around Africa and he'd never got a scratch. But simply standing on the street waiting for a bus in the states and he was attacked. For their trouble, the muggers got a handful of change. For his trouble, Tim got a a couple of cracked ribs and a concussion.

Tim didn't get much sympathy from the police because, as a free spirit, Tim didn't dress much differently than the transients who had beat him up for pocketchange. I remember the beating affected more than his body. Some of the joyful innocence that always shone in his eyes when he smiled was gone after that senseless act of violence.

Anyway, I never forgot about Tim. His amazing ability to experience what most of us only dream about made a lasting impression on me.

I ended up writing a short story about Mongo. It is called Rhapsody in Funk. It has been languishing away in my file cabinet for years until I rediscovered it a couple of days ago. I've spent the weekend transcribing it and have posted it on my Words by T.E. H**** pages. It is a bit long to read online, so if you are really interested (and I'm sure all of you are dying to read yet another unpublished short story), I suggest printing it out.

Anyway, I dedicate it to my friend Tim White. May you always be dancing the dance wherever you are. I'm sure you are still wearing your grandfather's wool jacket. And I hope you are still smiling that simian grin.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The beast in me...or who let the dogs out?

That ain't cheap tactics honey. That's just the beast in me"
--Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock

"You ain't nuthin' but a Hounddog."
--Elvis Presley, Hounddog
They say every dog has his day. And on sunday it will be the beginning of the Chinese Zodiac's Year of the Dog. I was born in the Year of the Dog. That would make this my year. And here is what they say about us Dogs:

"People born n the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest, and inspire other people's confidence because they know how to keep secrets. But Dog People are somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric. They care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. They can be cold emotionally and sometimes distant at parties. They can find fault with many things and are noted for their sharp tongues.Dog people make good leaders. They are compatible with those born in the Years of the Horse, Tiger, and Rabbit."

I would highlight the "and eccentric" comment.

I find it ironic that I was born in the year of the dog. I consider myself more of a cat person. Not that I don't like dogs. The photo at the top of this blog is the first dog I can remember. His name was Lucky. He was shown here as a puppy with my father before I was born. He was full grown by the time I was born.

The first thing he did when mom brought me home from the hospital was bite me. The photo above shows my brother Dan trying to get Lucky to bite me again while my other brother Ted holds me. Lucky ended up going away to live on a farm by the time I was a toddler (at least that is where my mother said he ended up).

I still like dogs. This is a photo of me with my dog Shep. He and I grew up together. Both of us managed to avoid being sent to a farm to live (though my mother threatened this quite this day when I hear Clint Eastwood's "Do you feel Lucky" line I break out in a sweat).

I love animals in general (not in the Biblical let's just cut that little rumor off right here). But I will always be partial towards cats. Cats just have this nasty quality you have to respect. When a cat is pissed at you they know exactly what to do to express it. My ol' orange tabby Cuervo, god rest his soul, expressed himself by spraying. Once he backed up to my Elvis shrine while I was sitting in the recliner watching television and let the King have it. Another time he peed in my VCR. These are not random acts, my friends.

But I digress.

I find the whole Chinese Zodiac versus the other Zodiac kind of confusing. In one I'm a dog and in the other I'm a fish. Not that I'm dissing on either Zodiac. I would just like some clarity on how I'm supposed to act based upon when I was born.

Oh don't give me that free will crap. Do you think I would mow my lawn if free will existed? I think not.

Okay, I'm just yanking your chain. I studied astrology for a few years back in the "New Age" phase. A good astrologer would not emphasize a chart as constraining a person as much as telling them what their options are. For example a dog can either hunt or lie on the porch sleeping. I'm telling you, this dog don't hunt. He is a pointer. He likes to sit in a chair with his feet up and point at life going by on the television.

Don't you just love having thousands of years of astrological knowledge boiled down to "this dog don't hunt?" I can't help it. I'm a simple man born in the Year of the Dog when the sun and the moon were in Pisces. You can't flea from the truth.

Get :(

Happy Dog Year, anyway.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A miracle!

As a preventitive measure to keep me from chewing my toenails, the other night I placed Greek olives on my toes and snapped this photo (mainly because I can). And if I'm lying, I'm dying, but when I downloaded the photos, I could see a face on each of the olives. I'd say this is one for the record books (or at least the National Enquirer).

Strange, yet true?!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Future in the past?

Many years ago, an Astrologer told me that my chart indicated that one of my purposes in life was to be a Social Documentarian. At the time, it sounded a bit too much like a Johovah's Witness for my taste and I ignored the comment (along with the Astrologer's affected mid-Eastern accent since he was an American of Nordic descent).

Now that I am semi-obsessed (in an attention-deficit kind of way) with tracing my roots, I think the Astrologer may have been on to something. I'm fascinated with my family's past and I've taken it upon myself to document it.

When Tess and I were in Boise for Thanksgiving, I raided my mom's photo album collection and brought several back with me. I am slowly but methodically going through the albums and scanning the images to put with names on the family tree I am creating. I've grown to appreciate those old snapshots as the few artifacts remaining of many of my relatives lives.

If you stop to think about it (and I do quite often as I age), very few of us will be remembered for long after we die. I am not being morbid, just practical. Unless you achieve some modicum of fame in your lifetime, you time on this planet will likely pass undocumented. Biographies are rarely written about patent clerks unless they go on to develop a theory of relativity.

Let's face it, even those attempts in history to defy obscurity are frustrated by time. Everyone has heard of the great pyramids in Egypt, but how many of you can name the Pharohs who built any of them.

But I'm trying to change all of that for my family. Or at least I'm trying to change it for the ones I can trace. And as fate would have it, I have the tools to help make that happen. I don't think I could have even attempted documenting things in this fashion even ten years ago. Now I have scanners, the Internet and digital cameras at my fingertips.

In an odd way, I think I'm looking for my own immortality in my family tree. I've convinced myself that by remembering them, I'll be remembered. Or maybe it is just by knowing where I come from, I might have more control of where I will end up.

Or maybe I'm just building a pyramid that Centuries from now someone will look at and say, "Why the hell did someone pile all of these rocks here?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Time (or Tim) in a bottle

My first name is Tim, just Tim and not Timothy. My mother picked it out of a name the baby book at the hospital while she was waiting to in the delivery room. She justified naming me Tim and not Timothy with the simple logic that everyone would call me Tim anyway. So of course I grew up wishing my name was Timothy and not just Tim.

My middle initial is "E." And no, the "E" does not stand for "Elvis." My mother was not an Elvis
fan. Elvis was not having a very good year when I was born anyway. He had been drafted into the army and his mother died. Though I do think I have a cousin who married a man named Elvis. But suffice it to say, my middle name is not Elvis.

Anyway, my legal name is Tim E. *****. I have always used my middle initial because Tim ***** is a pretty common name and I've never liked the idea of being one of many Tim *****'s. So I figure there are fewer Tim E. *****'s. The only problem with being Tim E. ***** is that it is very easy for people keying in information on applications and mailing lists to make a mistake and leave out that space between Tim and "E." When this happens, I become Time *****. It took me weeks one time, after being issued a credit card by BP Oil, to convince them that my name wasn't Time *****.

I don't really have a problem with being called Time. If my mother had been a little more forward thinking and named me Time, it would have presented me with plenty of pick up lines when I was single:




If I was a male escort, my marketing headline would be "IF YOU'VE GOT THE MONEY, HONEY, YOU'VE GOT THE TIME!"

I am going to resist saying anything about DOING HARD TIME or YOUR TIME HAS COME. That would be vulgar.

Now if my mom had really wanted to be clever, she could have named me Thyme. That would have been a little spicy! But growing up in Idaho, it would very likely have got me beat up a great deal in school.

But alas, I am simply Tim. And unfortunately, it is a name that defies greatness. There has never been a president of the United States named Tim (although the first governor of the free state of Ireland was named Tim H*****). Tim isn't formal enough to command the respect a great leader needs. Tim is a diminuative name. It is a Leprechan name. It's okay for country music singers and Irish bartenders, but it lacks the formality people associate with notable achievement. Oh, there was the Tim, the Enchanter from Monty Python's Holy Grail, but I wouldn't consider him an over achiever.

In a name sense, I'm kind of screwed. So you can see why I slap the hypenated -Elvis onto my name to add a little bit of potential greatness to my name Karma.

Though as William Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name..." But that was easy for him to say. His name was William, not Will or Will E. Then maybe he would have had to call him self Will-Elvis.

Something to think about anyway.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I guess I'm it

I do not want to make a habit out of being tagged for lists, but since it came from the Michael, I feel a bit flattered and obligated to respond. Here goes:

1. Four jobs I've had:

Library Circulation Clerk
Computer Operator
Freelance Writer
Marketing Manager

2. Four movies I would see over and over again (and have).

Captain Ron
Mystery Train

3. Four places I've lived.

Boise, Idaho
Seattle, Washington
Shoreline, Washington
Edmonds, Washington

4. Four favorite TV shows.

The Office
My Name is Earl

5. Four places I've been on vacation.

St. Barts
Cabo San Lucas

6. Four favorite foods.

Laksa Noodle Soup
Buttered popcorn
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

7. Four places I'd rather be.

St. Barts
A cruise anywhere in Mexico or the Caribbean
A flotation tank

8. Four sites I visit.

Madness, Musings and Melancholy
I Have Two Belly Buttons
Mickey Ripped

9. Four other Bloggers I'd wish this upon.

Monkey Playing Cymbals
Mickey Ripped

10. Four things I'd rather do than answer tags.

Root canal
Chop wood
Floss my teeth
Empty my cat's litter box

Monday, January 23, 2006

All that glitters....

When I was a kid, all of our family vacations until I turned 14 were camping trips. Every year we went to one of three of my father's favorite areas to fish, pitched a tent and spent a week communing with nature. One of the places we ended up most often was the Middlefork of the Boise River. I always knew it simply as Middlefork.

Camping with three kids and a dog wasn't a picnic for my mom. Dad would generally leave with my older brothers early in the morning to fish and leave her to hold down the camp. Although my mom had grown up in the country she didn't really consider pitching a tent and bathing in a river or lake, a vacation. She hated to cook at home on an electric range. Cooking over a campfire on a metal grate with cast iron pots and skillets didn't improve her appreciation for the culinary arts.

Regardless of how my parents felt about the camping trips, as a kid, I was pretty content to spend a day hiking, swiming and sitting around a campfire. But one of my favorite parts of camping was looking up at night at the stars. There is nothing like a night sky in the mountains to showcase how incredible the universe is. I used to lie on my back staring at the Milky Way and think, as only a child can think, about the possibilities of life in the Universe. I'd fantasize about exploring the stars and discovering the secret of life. I'd be a space prospector.

And then the week of camping would be end and we'd be back in Boise and I'd give up on my search for intelligent life.

But now I'm middle aged and I can't help but look at the Internet and blogging as a reflection of that night sky I used to fantasize about. This is the new frontier Captain Kirk used to talk about. I know I'll never explore the real outer space, but I can launch forays through cyberspace.

So sometimes I venture out into the sea of blogs beyond my circle of favorites. I still call it space prospecting. I'm looking for nuggets of value out of the 34 million (give or take a few million) blogs out there. It is a daunting and sometimes hopeless task. Because it is hard to see the cyber forest for the cyber trees.

Ironic, isn't it? Blogs have become the Tribbles of our cyberspace. Oh sure, they are cute and fuzzy, but they breed mindlessly and take up valuable space. Millions and millions of blogs about nothing trodding along the information highway.

I feel like Diogenes trudging through the marketplace in Athens with a lantern looking for an honest blog. Well, not necessarily an honest blog as much as one that doesn't involve some teenager's angst over Biology 101 or a conservative's worship of George W's inane and insane behaviour.

Now before I get comments from my few blogging friends, I am not talking about your blogs. I consider you blogs sancuaries from the mundane and tarnished stars in that vastness of cyberspace. I'm just looking for other signs that there is hope out there. And I'm looking for this tide of crappy blogs to ebb and leave the nuggets on the beach where like minds can discover them.

I want to boldy blog where no man has blogged before!

Or make some money. I'm easy.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

That's what I'm talking about!

Seahawks 34, Panthers 14. Can you dig it? They are headed to Detroit!

I'm going to the bathroom! Woo-hoo!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Leader of the band geeks

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs thru' my instrument
And his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band
--Dan Fogelberg, Leader of the Band

Okay, I am rooting for the Seahawks to beat the Panthers and move on to the Superbowl for the first time in history. But if the truth were told, I was can I put this delicately...athletically inclined. I was a band geek. And even worse, I was a drum major, the leader of the band geeks. So lest any of you think I am a mindless jock advocate because I was once a Seahawks season ticket holder, I decided it was best to come clean and embrace my geek roots.

Before it was deemed not politically correct to do so, Boise High School's mascot was the Brave. And as the drum major, I was Mr. Brave and wore a full headress and buckskin's when we performed.

So, when the jocks would play football or basketball and get oohed and aw'd at, I was on the sidelines dressed like the Boise Brave, directing the band in endless choruses of Fight for Boise or one of our favorite fight songs, Warcry. Of course there was also Peter Gunn, the Lion Sleeps Tonight and the Pink Panther.

I suppose if you are in band, it is better to be the drum major than a bass clarinet player (which I was in concert band). And if you had to be the drum major, it was much cooler to dress in leather than have one of those tall furry hats that made you look like one of the Wicked Witch of the West's body guards in Wizard of Oz.

I was proud to be the drum major. As Lucifer once pointed out, it is better to rule in hell than serve in heaven. If I'd played football, I would have spent most of my time shoved in some linebacker's locker. As it was, I got to have the cutest sophmore girls apply my war paint. And to this day, I have pretty darned good rhythm.

So if any of those Bud light advertising people are looking for the next anti-hero to salute in their next commercials, let's hear it for the band geeks and the lonely guy out front leading them at half time while the jocks were in the locker room snapping each other with towels.

Oh, and I could still direct the Star Spangled Banner if I had to.

Go Seahawks!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Blue Friday


I'm sure you'll all be happy to hear that I'm over this whole "positive" attitude thing. After all, I gave it almost 24-hours. But what the hey. I do appreciate all of the random comments and the fact that no one tried to dissuade me of the impression that I am an asshole and that no one likes me.

But enough about me. It is Blue Friday here in Seattle and everyone who is anyone is a Seahawks fan (including the Monkey Playing Cymbals) as the hometown team prepares to take on the Carolina Panthers on the way to the Superbowl.

I have been a Seahawks season ticket holder for several years. Unfortunately, this season, their dream season, is not one of them. But I will be at the game in spirit. Actually, I will be on my nice, comfy easy chair in front of my big screen TV watching it as god intended, in high definition.
Oh sure, I won't be paying $40 to park a mile from the stadium and work my way through countless drunken tailgaiters to get to the gate for the body cavity search to get into the park. And no, I won't be paying $8.50 for a light beer that I would have to wait in line for 15 minutes at the men's room to get rid of. And no one will be puking on my shoes when the Seahawks score their first touchdown, but all of those great moments of actually being at the game will be in my heart.

I will also have the memories of preseason as I toured the stadium as a Seahawk sponsor. I was one of the few to actually get a tour of the locker room and I'm proud to say I was able to pose for this photo next to star runningback Shaun Alexander's locker and a pair of his shorts (and no, I didn't touch them...the lockerroom manager made sure of that).

Yes, I was near greatness that day. And now, as the Seahawks march to the Superbowl, I am behind them "one hunerd and fify-two percent".

Stick it to the Panthers, boys! Go Seahawks!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Talking smack...


This is positively some really hot sauce.

I remembered...


It's "never forget how great you really are." That's what Martin the barfly told me. It's really quite positive. But it's not a very positive thing that I couldn't remember it, though. Which is another bummer about getting older and older every day.

But on the ass front (which is a backassward kind of phrase), it has been pointed out to me that I forgot silly ass in my list of ass-related adjectives. And I left out fat ass. Which led me to think of some lame ass excuses because I didn't want to get my ass in a sling.

By the way, the definition of ass (other than the obvious venacular connotation) is: A four-footed, hoofed mammal related to the horse, but smaller, with longer ears and a shorter mane, shorter hair on the tail, and a dark stripe along the back. A jackass is the term for a male mule. And the difference between a jackass and a donkey is that the ass is wild and the donkey is domesticated. This will be very useful information if someone tells you to stop riding their ass.

Don't get me started on what a horse's ass is.

I've got it!


I thought of something positive. It was what Martin, that barfly in St. Thomas told me: Never forget...never forget...something...

Shoot. I'll get back to you.

A positive thought....


I don't chew my toenails. I really want to, though.

Darn. Sorry. I'll be back.

Nuthin but blue skys

Sometimes I catch myself being a tad negative. Occasionally it turns up in my writing. I know I can be, should I phrase this....acerbic, caustic, mordant or just downright nasty. I used to think it was part of my charm. Then it dawned on me that perhaps that is why many people, including my own family, think I am an asshole.

Not that being an asshole is totally wrong. At least it is not totally wrong if you know you are being an asshole. The current president of the United States is oblivious to the fact. Of course, if I was to split hairs, I'd say he is more of a dumbass than an asshole.

Odd that we have various distinctions when it comes to such things. You can be an asshole, a dumbass, a smartass or just a plain old ass. You can also simply act asinine which I suppose is different than being a "real" asshole.

We also have various collogquial sayings such as, "That boy doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground," or "he couldn't find his ass with two hands." And let's not forget the standard, "you can kiss my ass."

But I digress.

I try to be positive. But let's face it. How interesting is positive? When was the last time you saw a positive standup comedian? What's funny about optimism? Not that I would compare myself to a standup comedian. I spend most of my day sitting.

Damn, I'm digressing again.

Let's see, where was I. Oh...being positive. Okay. Every day and every way, I'm getting better and better. I'm also getting older and older and taking lots of pills to stem the aging process. Wait...stop...positive. I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. Actually very few people like me. Tess does, but there is that wedding vow thing. My cat Bailey likes me. But she gets free food and I'm the one who empties the litter box....POSITIVE...let's see, a Neutron walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender say, "No charge." No, that's not positive either and I think I resolved not to tell any more "walks into a bar jokes."

I'm going to just sit here until I think of something positive to say.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blogging hard, or hardly blogging?

"You think I made your life hell? Take a look around this dump. You're just a tourist with a typewriter, Barton, I live here."
--Charlie from the movie Barton Fink
That is my favorite line from Barton Fink. John Goodman says it to John Turturro at a pinnacle moment near the end of the film as the hotel they are staying in burns around them. John Turturro plays Barton Fink, an artistic writer sucked into Hollywood scriptwriting. John Goodman plays Charlie, a traveling salesman and serial killer who inhabits the hotel room next to Fink. It's a Coen brothers film and either you like them or you don't. I love them.

I always thought the quote pretty much described writers who write without actually having lived. And it describes a great deal of working press. They are tourists with typewriters (or computers) popping in to capture a soundbite and then toodle off living the subject of their article or new story to flounder about in whatever living drama they are mired in.

That's where I think blogging is different. Most of us who blog on a regular basis actually live what we write about. I think of my blog as a "work" in progress (or I suppose you could call it a piece of work...many have called me that). Though I really don't think of it as work. I enjoy doing it. And I don't spend a great deal of time (obviously) thinking about intriquing topics. Sometimes all I need for inspiration is a fleeting thought or a random digital image.

Notice I didn't say a work of art. I don't claim to produce great literature with deep meaning. If you want to dissect something, I'd suggest a fetal pig or a rat. I don't spend a lot of time creating hidden metaphors or symbolic subjects. What I write is what you get. And you get what you pay for.

I worked with a guy years ago at the Boise Public Library named Kelly McFadden. Kelly was several years older than I was but we were both circulation clerks dilagently checking books out and in to feed the general public's thirst for knowledge. Kelly was also a talented (if unpublished) writer. I asked him once why he was working there. He looked up at me, smiled and said, "I'm just gathering data, Tim, just gathering data."

So to my 34 million fellow bloggers out there, I urge you to heed Kelly's words of wisdom as you work in your day jobs that pass the time between blog entries. Just consider it fodder for the blog mill.

It keeps me going.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Golden Globes

I don't normally watch award programs, but Monday night was a slow night on satellite and we'd already watched our DVD of the March of Penquins. So I found myself cooking dinner while watching the pre-awards show special about stars arriving and making and entrance on the red carpet. I discovered that Johnny Depp perfected his Stepford Wife-like Willa Wonka voice while playing Barbies with his daughter. Still I did not turn away.

I must admit that I don't know who the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are or why they qualify to give out awards. But I suppose their opinions are probably just about as good as polling people as they walk out of a Wal-Mart. Except the Wal-Mart crowd probably wouldn't have voted for anyone who had a funny accent (who would have thought that Johnathon Rhys-Meyers, the actor who played Elvis in the latest mini-series and won best actor in a mini-series was Irish).

To be honest with you, I spent most the Golden Globe Awards playing with my Gameboy. I did cheer when Steve Carell won best actor in a television musical or comedy for the Office. I also watched with mild bemusement while Clint Eastwood handed out the best drama award for a movie to Brokeback Mountain, a story about gay cowboys. I'll bet that made his day.

I do agree with the critics. This Grecian urn look for evening gowns has got to stop and Mariah Carey needs to lay off the linquine. Oh, and I think Harrison Ford was hitting the sauce a bit too much when he made his presentation. And whoever wrote the catchy opening song for the Golden Globes is a very sick person.

So, that's my view of the Golden Globe Awards. I can't wait for the Oscars. Good night and good luck.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Light my fire

Tess and I stayed at the Eagles Landing Hotel in Rochester, Washington on Saturday night. The Eagles Landing Hotel is located adjacent to the Luck Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington. This is the primary reason I did not write any new blog entries this weekend.

And why did we stay at the the Eagles Landing Hotel in Rochester, Washington, you ask? Because it was there. We were in Olympia helping Tess' mother move into a new apartment and Rochester is just a few miles south.

Now before you go all judemental on me for staying at a hotel near a casino out in the boonies, I want to point out that I have discovered you can stay in some pretty nice hotel rooms at a decent rate at casino hotels in the boonies. We stayed in a suite for about the price you'd pay for a standard room at a Holiday Inn and I can tell you it was a pretty sweet suite. That is a photo of the fireplace in the room at the top of this entry.

What I hadn't counted on when I booked the hotel was that the Chippendale's were playing that night at the casino showroom. Okay here is a math formula for you: Small town + Chippendales divided by many women fixated on 80s fashions with very big hair = surreal experience.

Apparently many of these women had come to show and make a night of it. First they got all hopped up on sugar at the buffet, strolled through the casino, got the adrenalain flowing at the nickel slots and then knocked back a few Bud lites at the show. Mix that with all of the steroid induced beefcake they were exposed to and it was getting pretty ugly in that casino after the show. Rochester, Washington was just not ready for all of that excitement.

I made the mistake of passing through the casino after the show on my way to the gift shop to buy a cork screw for the bottle of wine we had back in the room (the gift shop clerk told me she had never actually seen anyone buy one before, just to give you an idea of the average clientele there). I was standing there waiting for the clerk to put the plastic souvenier cork screw in a bag when the show let out. I've survived Seattle's WTO riots, earthquakes and grunge, but I saw my life pass before my eyes when the all-female audience burst out of the showroom with lust-glazed eyes and slack jaws. One would have thought I wouldn't be able to make it back to Tess and the suite, but I was able to fight my way through the hungry crowds with the cork screw. I had to do some quick talking to explain all of the dollar bills sticking out of my jeans, however.

Just for the record, Tess declined my offer to buy her a ticket to see the Chippendales. She said something about not buying the beef when she could get the bull for free from me. But even though we didn't go to the show, we did encounter three of the Chippendales down in the continental breakfast room the next day scarfing down waffles and danishes. I tried to get Tess to go over and offer them a dollar bill to show their stuff, but she declined.

Regardless, Tess did stick Mr. Lucky Eagle for a hundred bucks on a nickel slot, so all and all, I'd chock the stay there as a success.

Friday, January 13, 2006

You can't kill me, I'm already dead!

Whatever the history of Friday the 13th(the day, not the movie) is, it will now be forever tied to Friday the 13th (the movie, not the day). I remember seeing the original movie back in 1980. It kind of set the standard for that genre of slasher films with psycho killers that couldn't be killed. Though I think John Carpenter's original 1978 film, Halloween was a better film and Michael Meyers was a better defined character.

But this is Friday the 13th, after all. And Jason rules on Friday the 13th (the day and the movie). Which leads me to my latest bit of brain flatulence. I think Jason is one heck of a role model for perseverance.

I always thought the cool thing about Jason was that you could just about do anything to him and he'd pop right back up and keep on going like the terminator or the Eveready Bunny. He is kind of the Timex watches of movie monsters (takes a licking and keep on ticking).

Doesn't this teach us something (other than the importance of pretty good safety gear)? Yes, of course it does. If you are already dead, no one can kill you. Heck, Charlie Manson figured that one out.

I think it is pretty darned inspirational. I mean, Jason drowned as a child and came back. He was burned, stabbed shot, blown up and he continues to make movies. Even Dirty Harry doesn't have that kind of a track record.

So on this rainy Friday the 13th, I just want you to pause and reflect on the bad things in your life and then consider Jason's basically shitty luck. If he can hang in there after being killed so many times, so can you. Just a thought.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Forgive me my trespasses

Signs, signs, everywhere the signs.
Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?

--Five Man Electrical Band
I don't like signs. Nothing makes me want to be a contrarian more than a stupid sign telling me not to do something.

Oh, I'll "obey" stop signs and other practical traffic signs. But as a general rule, I do whatever a sign tells me not to.

Homemade signs are the worst. They reek of control freak.

I have to confess, that, in my younger days, I was guilty of creating a few useless signs. It started when I worked in the Boise Public Library. I was maybe 18-years old and working in the circulation department as a clerk. This essentially translated to robot who checks book in and out all day with shifts at the dreaded window where we issued library cards.

That's where my homemade signs came in. I got sick of people asking me what they needed to do to get a library card (essentially fill out an application and show some form of current identification). So, I made the assumption that people wishing to apply for a library card could read and would therefore benefit from a sign explaining how to get one.

It was one of those life lessons that nudged me out of youthful optimism and into the adult pessimistic view that there is really no hope for humanity. I carefully stenciled a posterboard sign with very detailed instruction on how to fill out an application and what forms of identification were acceptable.

I think you can see where this is going. I'd sit there at a computer terminal at the application window and people would approach. They'd look up at the sign and then lean in to me and ask, "How can I get a library card?" I'd lean out of the window and point at the sign and then hand them an application. In most cases they'd stare at the instructions on the sign in perplexed silence like a baboon that had been handed a jar with a lid on it that had an orange in it. Then they'd lean in the window and ask me again, "How can I get a library card?"

So I developed this theory: Signs are stupid because people are stupid.

I know this is a gross generalization, but it saves time having to judge things on a case by case basis. And the laws of probability will eventually support my theory anyway.

The end result of my disillusionment with signs was that I began to distain and ignore them myself. Part of it is out of a desire to torture the people who created them the way I was tortured at the Boise Public Library. So if I go to a restaurant that has a sign that says, CASH ONLY, NO CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS, I just have to ask, "Do you take checks?"

One of my favorite pasttimes is to go into a dollar store and repeatedly ask the clerks how much an item costs. It is also kind of fun to go to a McDonalds and ask how much each item on the dollar menu costs. I'll also repeatedly punch the button on an elevator with an OUT OF ORDER sign on it. I love to go through the 15 items or less line at a grocery line with a cart filled to the brim with items. And god help any place that puts a sign on a toilet that says DO NOT FLUSH.

I'm not alone in doing these things. I see it all the time. I'm unfortunately, usually the person behind such people in a line at a McDonalds or a grocery store.

So what it all boils down to is that people ignore signs. Even the religious nuts standing on the corner asking the lord to give them a sign wouldn't read it if he/she did.

I guess it is just a sign of our times.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Seven words to remember

About ten years ago I had booked a Windjammer Barefoot Cruise on the Flying Cloud in the British Virgin Islands. It was my second Windjammer Cruise (the first was on the Polynesia cruising the French West Indies).

I hooked up with a friend of mine, Bill, from Chicago in the Miami Airport and we flew to St. Thomas where we were going to transfer to a ferry to Tortola, BVI to meet the Flying Cloud. We had time to kill in St. Thomas, but had to hang around the ferry terminal area, so we walked into an open air bar at a nearby hotel.

We sat down at the bar and ordered a couple of Red Stripes to begin winding down from the long plane ride and get into the spirit of the upcoming cruise. That's when we met Martin.

Martin was sitting at the bar looking thirsty in that way people who have been down on their luck for a few years look. The bartender ignored him as she sat our beers down in front of us. He glared at her for a few seconds and slid over next to Bill and I.

"Tourists," he said. It was less of a question than a declaration.

"How could you tell," I asked, half hoping Martin wouldn't ask me for money.

"Everyone in St. Thomas is a tourist," Martin replied. "Buy me a beer."

Again, it was more of a declaration than a question. I motioned for the bartender and she reluctantly came over.

"A beer for...?"

"Martin, she knows me." Martin stuck out a hand. He fixed each of us with a probing stare as he shook hands. For a barfly, Martin had amazingly piercing blue eyes. He also had one of those handshakes that make you wince.

It wasn't until the bartender slammed Martin's beer on the bar that he broke off eye contact with me. I was relieved. He had the look of a man whose drinking was measured in days, not hours and he had the air of someone who had a short fuse that was easily lit if he thought he was being humored and not listened to.

It struck me after a few minutes, that Martin looked strikingly like Ernest Hemingway. He looked to be in his mid- to late 50s. He was tanned, had white hair (topped with a baseball cap) and a white beard. It seemed appropriate to be in a bar in the Caribbean with a Hemingway lookalike.

As the beer took the edge off Martin's aggitation, he became more talkative. Turns out he had lived in St. Thomas for about 15 years. According to Martin, he had once been a successful stock broker in Atlanta. One day he had simply sailed off in his sail boat to the Caribbean, apparently leaving behind a wife and kids.

"They don't talk to me anymore," Martin said with a shrug.

Can't imagine why, I thought. As if reading my mind, Martin fixed me with his hard stare.

"Do you know how to handle yourself in a bar fight?" he asked. I looked at Bill and we both hoped we wouldn't have to demonstrate our abilities. Martin didn't wait for an answer. He hopped up from his stool and got into a fighter's stance.

"You put your shoulder into it as you throw your fist. It puts the entire weight of your body behind the punch. Throw the first punch and you knock the fight out of the other guy."

Bill and I nodded. Martin smiled.

"I like you two. I'm going to share my secret with you." Martin hopped back on to his bar stool and leaned toward us conspiratorily. He looked over his shoulder and then back at us as he whispered.

"There are seven words you should always remember. Seven words to live your life by. " he said. "These seven words have got me through all of the bad times." Bill and I nodded.

"Don't shake your heads like you know," he hissed. Bill and I stared back at him.

"Do you want to know what those words are?" he asked, staring intently back and forth between us.

"Yes," I stammered, hoping he wasn't going to hop off the stool and continue his bar fight lesson.

Martin extended both of his hands in fists and began counting off the words as he said them,"Never...Forget...How...Great...You...Really...Are."

Bill and I just stared at him in silence.

"Repeat after me," Martin instructed. "Never...Forget...How...Great...You...Really...Are." We repeated the words. Martin smiled and nodded with satisfaction. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a battered old wallet. "I've got a list here of people on the island that the CIA have had killed."

Bill elbowed me.

"We've got to catch the ferry to Tortola." I threw some cash on the bar and Bill and I grabbed our bags.

"Tourists," Martin said as we walked out the door.

Bill and I laughed about the whole scene as we boarded the ferry. Later during the cruise, we shared the secret Martin had let us in on with fellow cruisers over beers and tequila. We all got a kick out of it and it became the running joke during the cruise.

Funny thing, although I don't remember much of the cruise (other than it rained a great deal), I have always remembered what Martin confided in me over a beer in a small bar in St. Thomas. The more I've thought about it, the more I've come to believe that Martin actually was on to something. Because despite how low you may get and how much you've been through, there is something you really need to depend upon to get by. And it isn't what others thing of you. It's how you perceive yourself. So....


Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy belated birthday, Elvis!

One of the things I hate about getting old is forgetting things. Yesterday was Elvis' birthday and I forgot the whole thing.

Okay, I know what you are thinking. He's dead, so he probably didn't notice.

Not the point. Here I've taken on half of the man's name (without being married) and I can't even acknowledge his birthday.

On the bright side, this may help deflate the impression that I am a rabid Elvis fan. In fact, my first blog entry back in August 2004 was entitled: I am not a rabid Elvis fan. Go ahead and read it, I'll wait......

Done?. Now you are probably thinking, "Methinks the man doth protest too much." But it's true. Okay, I know I have boxes of Elvis memorabilia in my garage squeezing out our ability to park larger vehicles in there. Let's just consider those misguided investments similar to my purchase of InfoSpace stock.

And I know I have a pretty extensive library of books about Elvis including the biography of his Uncle Vester Presley and Vester's autograph on a 45 rpm recording of Graceland by Paul Simon. This proves nothing (other than OCD when it comes to eBay purchases).

I don't look like Elvis. I don't sing like Elvis. I don't do massive amounts of drugs like Elvis and I don't particularily relate to Elvis. But, I think I understand him

I also shamelessly hung my coat tails on his star when trying to define a niche for me on my own little corner of the Web. Yes I admit taking advantage of Elvis' fame. Of course, I have to get in line with everyone else who pitched their tent in his entourage.

Sad thing is, associating myself with the King of Rock and Roll hasn't really worked. To many, it brands me as a whackjob. To Elvis fans, I am evil for messing with the memory of the King. So chock it all up to the same misguided choices that convinced me it was a good idea to buy seven velvet Elvis paintings.

I'm not bitter, however. Inside, I know the truth. Tim-Elvis is his own, individual self. And dog gone, I'm smart enough, and creative enough to make it on my own without relying on the massive number of searches done for Elvis on a daily basis via Google.

But it would be too much of a hassle to eliminate the Elvis from Tim-Elvis as this point.

And to answer the question I've been asked most: No, I have never been to Graceland.

TCB and happy birthday Elvis.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Still not dead: the countdown continues

I suppose it isn't the most positive reinforcement in the world to suggest counting off the days I'm not dead as opposed to the days I'm still alive. Or is there any difference. Guess it's one of those glass is half full versus half empty things.

Regardless, I'm sure most of you (and I use the royal you, here) have been on pins and needles wondering if my truck fit into the garage. Well, I have a one word answer: barely. The geniuses who built this house assumed that that most people would be driving Cooper Mini's or golf carts. It's not as if I drive a monster truck. It's a Nissan Frontier. As it is, I have just about about 8 inches clearance in front of the truck once it's in the garage. Good thing I'm on a diet.

Let's see, what else happened today. Oh, I bought some new games for my Gameboy. These are classic games like Centipede, Ms. Pacman, Galaga, Battlezone. These are games I can understand. It's not like my Playstation 2. Most of those games require dexterity and the ability to look for hidden things. I personally have no patience for any game that is more complicated than simply shooting everything that moves.

Not that I condone violence, just violent video games.

But seriously, I'm not used to these two day weekends. Good thing next weekend is Martin Luther King's birthday and we get another three day one.

In the meantime, life goes blog entry at a time.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

You may see dead people, but I'm not dead, yet

True to my word, I'm adding my daily blog entry to reassure all of my blog world friends that I'm still fat and sassy and blogging along, singing a song.

It has been a full day for me. I finally arranged enough crap in our three-car garage so that I could actually put Tess' car in it. Tomorrow we may actually be able to get my truck in the garage as well.

Do not yawn. This was a major accomplishment.

I've never had a garage before. They converted the garage into a family room in the last house I lived in and I parked my car outside in the driveway for 18 years. Between the birds and the rain induced moss, I forgot what color the car was (see my blog entry, Rain Reigns from three days ago for clarification on why this would be). I used to take it to the car dealer for an oil change just so they would pressure clean it.

Even after all of the day's activities, I find time to log on and write in my blog. It's become kind of like brushing my teeth (and every bit as fascinating). And I'm feeling pretty damned smug and superior about the whole thing.

Well, not really. I do not blog consistently to set an example or make any one feel guilty. If it appears that way, please just chase that errant thought from your head and admire instead my pure intent.

As they say in Canada (at least in the French speaking parts) I wish you adeu (and a three and a four...hahahahah....)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Okay, a man walks into a blog...

No, I'm not going to run another series of "a man walks into a bar" jokes (though I thought they were kind of funny myself). But I do think that blogging should be essentially fun. And I've been sensing lately that some of my fellow bloggers are stressing out about maintaining a blog, writing in a blog or responding to blog comments.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: What you write in your blog should be to please yourself, not others. That's what it is all about. I come to my blog to escape critics, not please them. So what if someone disagrees with you? Healthy debate is good for the soul. And if someone really pisses you off, just delete their comment. Passive agressive, yes, but it's your blog.

Oh, sometimes I catch myself wondering how people will react to some of my opinions. And of course it's nice if someone agrees with you or enjoys something you've said or created. But for every person that likes what you like, you can bet there will be another one who things you are whacked out of your gourd.

I think we worry too much about comments. I read lots of other blogs. And I may like them, but I don't always have something to say. I think it's okay if you want to read someone's blog without commenting on what they said. Do you write a letter about every magazine article you read?

This is not to say I don't like comments. It is nice to know there are people out there actually reading your stuff. And for the longest time, when day after day I would look at my blog entries and see the "O" comments sign I felt like I was a loon sitting on a bus talking to himself.

That's okay, too. Sitting on a bus talking to yourself is a good way to guarantee you will get your own seat.

But I digress.

Here's what I am proposing. Everyone with a blog who reads this should experiment with writing in their blog every day. It doesn't have to be profound or entertaining. It could be something as simple as, "I'm not dead yet." At the very least it will tell all of your friends that you are still breathing. And if you want to respond to comments but are at a loss for words, simply write, "I see dead people."

It's just a thought.

Passing the torch

I'm tired of toying with spammers. I used to respond to the Nigerian lawyers telling me one of my countrymen had died and left an unclaimed fortune or to the Dubai merchants dying of cancer looking for someone to give away their remaining millions charity. I developed a few lively e-mail chains until the idiots figured out I was yanking their chains. It was fun for awhile, but time consuming.

So, I suggested to my good friend Gunter that he take up the torch. His English is just about as bad as theirs. So Gunter has begun corresponding with the spammers. The sad thing is, he actually believes they are going to give him cash or a job selling oil. Gunter is a few leder's short of a hosen, if you catch my drift (or a few yodels short of a ley-hee-who).

Anyway, if you enjoy spammers being frustrated, check out Gunter's blog at

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Rain reigns

"If the rain comes they run and hide their heads.
They might as well be dead,
If the rain comes, if the rain comes.
When the sun shines they slip into the shade,
And sip their lemonade,
When the sun shines, when the sun shines.
Rain, I don't mind,
Shine, the weather's fine.
I can show you that when it starts to rain,
Everything's the same,
I can show you, I can show you.
Rain, I don't mind,
Shine, the weather's fine.
Can you hear me that when it rains and shines,
It's just a state of mind,
Can you hear me, can you hear me?"

-- Rain; The Beatles

I've lived in Seattle for 25 years now and I'm not sick of the rain. I'm just sick of people talking about it. Complaining about the rain in Seattle is like an Eskimo bemoaning the snow. It's pointless.

Oh, I could give you the Chamber of Commerce line about it really not raining as much as they say it does in Seattle. I could cite statistics about the average rainfall in Florida or Hawaii. But when it comes down to it, it does rain alot here. Or at least it is gray a great deal of the time and pouting about rain.

In a melancholy kind of way, I like that (which is a good thing since I live here). I've never had my colors done, but I can bet you dollars to Krispy Kremes that I'm a Winter. My favorite colors are gray, black and subdued blue. I prefer the dark to the light. I'd rather watch a horror flick than a comedy and, as some of you know, I was Edgar Allan Poe in a former life. Plus I am a double Pisces.

I don't use an umbrella. I think any true Seattleite despises them as props for tourists. What's the point of an umbrella? If you don't leave it on the bus, it will collapse from the wind. And you can't see where you are going when you use an umbrella.

I have yet to have anyone explain to me why it is so terrible to walk in the rain and get your head wet. These same people will stand in a shower for 30 minutes and then run shrieking when a drop of rain hits them. And don't clothes get wet when you wash them, too?

There is no logic to phobias.

I like thunder and lightening, too. Despite what Queen sang, I don't find it very frightening. I find it exciting. I loved it as a kid growing up in Idaho. I didn't need an explanation for it, either. I didn't care whether it was dwarves bowling in heaven or hot air masses cooling quickly. I just liked it. I remember one time jumping in the back of my brother's old pickup truck and driving out into the desert around Boise to chase the lightening. It was as alive as any other creature on earth.

I don't feel the same way about snow. It's cold, it's wet and it's too bright. Plus people in Seattle can't drive worth crap in it. Snow always makes me feel trapped.

Why the essay on rain? Because it's pouring rain in Seattle. It has been off and on for a couple of weeks. And I walked back in the rain after getting a haircut downtown this afternoon. I got a kick out all of the people under umbrellas scuttling about like crabs from corner to corner while I sloshed along in pure and soppy pleasure.

I like the rain.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My year in review

Television does it. The newspapers do it. So why can't I? I'm going to recap some of the highlights of my year gleaned from a year of blogging. Now, I'm not saying these were the best of my blogs, just some of the highlights.

January, 5, 2005: A modest proposal

I wrote: "Tom Robbins once wrote, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." And, it's never too late to find your soulmate. I proposed to mine on our Christmas cruise and she accepted. I consider myself a lucky person. We plan to get married this spring."

February 2, 2005: Raising the bar!

I announced to the world my new high score on Brickbreaker, the game on my Blackberry: "...last night on the bus ride home, I was in the zone, baby! My new high score is ...get this...7,050!"

February 22, 2005:Fear and loathing no more...

Hunter S. Thompson, 1937-2005.

March 10, 2005: Got beads?

I was on a business trip in New Orleans and added to my bead collection. Little did I know that the Big Easy would be hit my a devastating hurricane and flood just months later.

April 3, 2005: Nice day for a Web wedding

Tess and I got married aboard the Diamond Princess at sea enroute to Mexico. The entire ceremony was Webcast. I wrote, "Okay, so the Webcast of our wedding lasted maybe nine minutes and looked like a surveillance tape from a 7-11. But you have to admit it was a unique idea. So what if my mother thought the candle sticks in the image were Tess. She got to see our wedding. "

The honeymoon in Mexico was a hoot.

April 19, 2005: There's no point in being pointless

A new pope was elected and I try to understand it all.

May 12, 2005: The Rolling Stones are gathering moss

The Rolling Stones announced yet another final reunion tour.

May 31, 2005: Elvis drove a truck

I should not have. Tess and I rented a monster truck to move her worldly possessions into my house. It was not pretty.

June 7, 2005: Quoth the Raven

I announced to the world my theory that I am Edgar Allan Poe reincarnated. The national news media ignored the revelation.

June 18, 2005: Peanuts

I wrote a Father's Day tribute to my father: Eugene Arthur Healy

June 21, 2005: Finishing a beginning

I finished chopping up two fallen trees into one damn big pile of firewood. This will only be important to a few select people who have been reading my blog for some time.

July 8, 2005: Useless things

I compiled my list of things the world would be better off without.

July 20, 2005: This is not my beautiful house

I sold my house.

July 22, 2005: the Bunny's Lair

I revealed that the ghost of Haceta Head Lighthouse is a bunny.

August 1, 2005: Pan-do-mania

The critics panned this one.

August 16, 2005: Amarikan Gothic

Owning a home is the Amarikan dream.

September 14, 2005: A Tale of Two Cities

I visit Salt Lake City and Reno in the same week. What was I thinking?

September 16, 2005: I've discovered the meaning of life

This had nothing to do with my trip to Salt Lake City.

October 25, 2005: Spambo III

I reengaged in my battle with the spammers.

October 28, 2005: I ain't afraid of no ghost

My attempt at lifting spirits.

November 21, 2005: 1963

A five-year old's memory of the Kennedy assassination.

November 28, 2005: Trains, Planes and Automobiles

The Thanksgiving prediction that pissed off my family.

Dec. 1, 2005: Blue, blue, blue Christmas

Rocking around the Elvis tree.

December 29, 2005: Tim-Elvis speaks

A miracle of technology.

So, there we have 2005 in a nut shell. Or there we have 2005 from a nut. It's all in your point of view.