Friday, July 30, 2004
I'm rooting for the crickets..............
Crickets Invade Airport
NICE, France (Reuters) - Millions of crickets have invaded Nice airport in southern France, causing no direct threat to air traffic but attracting birds who could pose a danger, airport officials said.

Frederic Gozlan, head of technical services at the airport, said efforts were under way to clear the crickets who are believed to have flown in from Italy or North Africa.
"The crickets look for and love the sun, but we have to hunt them down before they eat all the grass by the runways," he said, adding that the grass was needed to hold dust and gravel in place when planes land and take off.
"If the insects are not a real danger for the jet engines, what is more serious is that they attract birds who are very dangerous for air traffic."
Airport workers were trying to pulverize the crickets and destroy them with chemicals that would not damage the environment.

Thursday, July 29, 2004
Bug Creek Soap
Ok, so there is a point to this story, so bear with me. 
While I was living in Minnesota, Jeanette and I decided one hot summer night that we were to bored to stay home.  She suggested that since we lived about an hour away from the Wisconsin border, we should jet over and then we could say that was one more state we'd been to.  Well, Wisconsin might be a rip-roaring good time during the day, but a midnight, the sidewalks had been long since rolled up.  And the only cheese we could find was in a gas station's snack section.  Maybe it wasn't a good representation of Wisconsin cheese, because frankly, it sucked.  We drove as far as Eau Claire, got there about three AM.  The only thing interesting was that all the cute little antique shops.  Like antiques shops everywhere, they had a bunch of stuff outside the shop, for lack of space or to draw people in, maybe.  But unlike antique shops anywhere else I've been, they didn't bring it in at night.  This is, incidentally, how the phrase "Wisconsin antiquing at night" came to mean "stealing" in Jeanette and my vernacular.  More bad cheese, a good laugh and the trusting Midwestern mindset, then we were bored again.  So when a guy at a gas station asked where we were headed, we said, "Depends.  How long would it take to get to Canada?".  This guy thought we were a little crazy (you'd think if anyone would understand what boredom does to your psyche, a man working nights at a gas station in rural Wisconsin would, but go figure) then he noticed the CA plates.  Apparently that sorted things out for him, and he sold us a few maps. 
So we headed north.  In the early morning light, a very low level of fog clung to the ground, starting at about knee high, ending at about chin level.  I know this because on a whim we pulled over and ran though a field, twirling and laughing like crazy, sleep deprived, fish out of water Californians that we were.  But we quickly learned that fog is wet.  Very wet.  So we got back in the car, absolutely soaked from knee to chin.   
At dawn, we crossed back into Minnesota at Lake Superior.  It was one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen in my life.  We stopped at Duluth (I love to hear the natives say Duluth, they say it like, 'duh-looooooooth'.) at a Burger King, got some breakfast and headed on.  It's important to note that for our hashbrowns we got a couple of those little wax paper cups with ketchup in them and set them in the cupholders.  So by roughly nine thirty, where whipping down a two lane highway, about an hour away from Canada.  For some unknown reason, the car suddenly begins to swerve, then roll.  We ended up, still strapped in out seats upside down, staring at the shattered windshield and the grass.  The car was upside down, but tilted toward the front hood.  We undid out seat belts, fell to the roof of the car and then crawled out the broken back window.  We had both had some bruises, but other than  that we were fine.  Some truck drivers stopped and thought we were in much worse shape then we were, because we were both streaked with ketchup.  I tried to explain that it just ketchup, and they said that wasn't a funny joke while 'my friend was bleeding!'.  Licking it off my own arm, and wiping a little off Jeanette's shoulder and eating it, just further convinced them that I was a psycho.  Or maybe they reached that conclusion from the CA plates, now angled up on the upside-down car.  Eventually they realized we weren't badly hurt, and left us with the tow-truck driver, walking away, shaking there heads.  The tow truck driver offered to give us a lift to a town he said was a mile back down the highway.  Since apparently taxis are unheard of in rural Minnesota, we agreed, although we sure didn't recall passing a town.  But we learned that in that area, the terms 'town' and 'gas station' are interchangeable.  So that is how we ended up in Cotton, Minnesota.  Which consists of exactly two gas stations (sophisticated!), one diner (the sort of place you see in lifetime channel movies, where you can order a PB&J sandwich, which we did, and a unique little Scandinavian dish called a pastie, which we did not order) and lastly, one little shop, slightly bigger than my cubicle, that sells books and soap.  Jeanette used the truck driver's cell phone (roughly the size of my thigh) to call her husband Sam to come and get us, since there are no payphones in Cotton (too 'big city').  Since we were in for a long wait, we ate our sandwiches slowly, asked for a re-fill on our root beer.  That being done, we had killed about a half an hour.  Even with Sam skipping out little Wisconsin detour, we still had about five and half hours to wait.  No use trying to chat up the locals, they seemed to think we looked like something out of a lifetime channel movie.  Apparently not many girls come through  in tank tops smeared with dried blood/ketchup.   So what to do beside head to the soap store.  Well, those sweet little ladies didn't just offer us soap, they offered us a shower to use it in.   We declined, too much kindness was weirding out our suspicious, worldly minds.  But we bought plenty of soap and some books to read.  When we finally got home to our own showers, we both became absolute devotees of Bug Creek soap.  The lather is rich, the scent are lovely and just strong enough.  Their soap is available on the internet, which is a much easier way to find it than mine and Jeanette's.  I can't say enough good things about their soap.  I especially recommend the Lake Superior Bay, the Northwoods Bay and the Lavender.  Check out their website and if you order, mention Jeanette and Sarah, the car wreck castaways.  Last time I checked, they still remember us.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Walt Whitman
This morning I picked up Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.  I haven't gotten very far, but I'm not sure I would have liked him as a person.  Sure, his 'When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed' is suberb, but he seems like kinda an arrogant jerk when it comes to women.  Some passages to consider:

"A woman waits for me, she contains all, nothing is lacking,
Yet all were lacking if sex were lacking.................
...........I see that they understand me and do not deny me,
I see that they are worthy of me, I will be the robust husband of those women............
...........I am for you, and you are for me, not only for our own sake,
but for others' sake,
Envelop'd in you sleep greater heros and bards,
They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me.
It is I, you women, I make my way,
I am stern, acrid, large, undissuadable, but I love you,
I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you,
I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for these States,
I press with slow rude muscle,
I brace myself effectually, I listen to no entreaties,
I dare not withdraw myself till I deposit what has so long accumulated within me."

Now, I'm no raging feminest or anything, but that kinda taints the book for me.  Thoughts?

Friday, July 23, 2004
15 Second Delay
I am so high on painkillers for my butt.  It makes me feel like I'm fifteen seconds behind everything that is happening.  Like the phone rings, and as a reflex I pick it up and hold it to my ear, but I can't remember what to say.  So I just sit there breathing into the phone, until the person on the other end is like, "Hello?", then I remember and lauch into my spiel.  I  think I'm really creeping people out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
My new favorite poem
If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, "It's beautiful
here by this pond.  I wish
somebody loved me,"
I'd love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,
and ask yourself, "I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond?  It seems like
a perfect place for them."
-Richard Brautigan

Monday, July 19, 2004
I broke my butt.  Well, maybe not.  The doctor said they would have to do a MRI to know and since you treat broken and bruised the same way,  there was really no point.  So she proscribed Ibufrofen, a muscle relaxant called Flexeril and Vicodin.  Someone is going to walk up to my desk and find me asleep on my keyboard. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Barry Manilow
Gotta check out Barry Manilow Fan Club Radio.
(Yes, I like Barry Manilow and I'm not ashamed!)

Thursday, July 08, 2004
C'est Moi!

Check out this virtual church!
The Methodist Church in England put together this cool virtual church. You can pray, listen to others speak, it's cool!

Great news. (Not!)
From the Yahoo newsroom -
A man who reportedly said he wanted to become a serial rapist and murderer was released from an Arkansas jail and may be in San Diego, according to police. James Calk, 26, was released from the Arkansas Department of Corrections last week after serving his entire six-year sentence for aggravated assault. He is not on parole. After his release, Calk boarded a Greyhound bus bound for San Diego. While in prison, Calk wrote letters to his mother describing his intentions and desires to become a serial rapist and murderer like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy, according to police. He described that he wants to see his victims "scream and cry, beg, mourn, and weep and feel pain and agony because that's what turns me on." Arkansas officials tried to commit Calk for mental health reasons, but they were unsuccessful. San Diego Police Lt. Mike Hurley said Calk has no contacts in San Diego and it is unknown why he chose to come to this city. Police surveilled the San Diego Greyhound Bus Depot at the estimated time of his arrival, but Calk was not on the bus. However, the bus had stopped at several cities along the way, including El Cajon and San Ysidro. It is unknown if Calk is in the San Diego area but if he is, investigators should be aware of him, Hurley said. Calk was in the maximum security unit due to his history of violence. Calk is described as a Caucasian with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet 6 inches and weighs 237 pounds.

Mountain Dew and two slices of bread.
So I've finished my healthy breakfast (see above).
Is it a horrific sign of the culture or me personally, that I almost made toast, but then decided I didn't want to wait that long.
Ugly line of thought, shake it off.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Hello All!
So, the other day I saw an ambulance on the side of the road with the hoad up. The EMT was attempting to jump-start it with the defibulator!!!!