Thursday, September 28, 2006
These are the pre-trip factors:
A) I saw King Tut on his US Tour back in something like 5th Grade and was never the same. I remember staring at the mask for something like 45 minutes without moving from the spot.
B) I have had a pen pal in South Africa since 1986 (Liverpool !!!) and would like to visit her and her family.
C) In 1990 I visited my good friend and his family and attended the World Cup in Italy.
D) I have been to the 3 World Cups held in the US over the past dozen years (94 Men, 99 Women, 03 Women).
E) But, my friend has moved away from Cape Town … her family is still there and I have to believe she is likely to pay a visit ….
These are trip potential plans:
A) 10 days in Cape Town, see whoever is playing there. Try and find the houses in the beach paintings my friend sent me in 1992.
B) 3-4 days in Cairo to see the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings, and some other sights …
C) 4-5 days in Italy to visit my good friend and his family.
D) Train ride across Europe with a couple stops possibly at CERN, dinner in Paris, walking the beach at Normandy, and sitting in a pub in London before flying back across the pond.
E) A couple days back East in the US in NYC, DC, Philly, or Boston.
The only question that remains, is do I do this alone …? Will I be seeing someone …? And, why do I keep thinking of that scene near the beginning of “The Constant Gardener”?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
BOOMERANG - Serialized in "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 1996-97
Boomerang: Monday Evening 8/96
Boomerang: After Showering 9/96
Boomerang: Overslept 10/96
Boomerang: In Love 11/96
Boomerang: After Lunch 12/96
Boomerang: Gametime 1/97
Boomerang: After Showering Again 2/97
Boomerang: To Study 4/97
Boomerang: Wednesday Morning 5/97
Boomerang: Overslept Again 6/97
Boomerang: Test 7/97
Boomerang: Snack Time 8/97
Boomerang: Back Home 9/97
To Know "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 8/95
Monday Evening "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 9/95
Vicarious Energy "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 11/95
Curve Balls "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 1/96
"Who's There ?!?" "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 2/96
The Weatherman "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 4/96
Shrill "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 6/96
X-mas Shopping "The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 7/96
Midnight Daydream "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 11/97
The Owl "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 3/98
Eyewitness "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 4/98
Zoo Signs "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 2/99
Hold The Tomato "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 2/00 pp17-18
SIGNIFICANT NON-FICTION / FEATURES / ESSAYS / ETC ...
"The Modern Groom's Guide To The Neurotic Bride"
Part One 4/99 p8 "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
Part Two 5/99 p7 "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
Part Three 6/99 p10 "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
Part Four 7/99 p "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
Part Five 8/99 p8 "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
Part Six 9/99 pp8-9 "The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
- "Of Mice And Little Green Men" 5/95
- "The Long And Winding Road Trip" 6/95
- "The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is ..." 7/95
- "I Can Sure Use A Pair Of Padres Tickets" (Cover Mention)10/95
- "Don't Believe What You Read" (w/cartoon) 5/96
"The Silver Valley Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
- "Trying Out With The Seattle Sounders" 10/99 p11
"The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
- "This Is Why I'll Never Successfully Clean Out My Garage: A Fictionalized Recounting of Possible Real Events"
"The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 11/02 p5
- "The Spin is on the Quick-Quick"
"The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press 9/05 p5
"When I Was Young And ..." ASTRONOMY 12/90 pp14-18 Viewpoints
"Biggest Man On Campus" SPORTS WASHINGTON 10/93 pp22-25
"Big Fun For Big House" PACIFIC NORTHWEST INLANDER 12/10-16/97
"Is This Seat Taken?" MOSCOW-PULLMAN DAILY NEWS 11/21-22/97 Palouse Reader Section p4C
"An Open Letter To God" THE AMBASSADOR pp4-5 (W/Comment & Introduction) 1989
"Sweaty Nipples" 12/92 PANDEMONIUM
"Spikenard" 2/93 PANDEMONIUM
"Daddy Long Legs" 3/93 PANDEMONIUM
CITY HEAT MAGAZINE
2/90 - 2/92
"Editor In Chief" 4/90 - 8/90
CITY HEAT HEATWAVE COLUMNS
Environment 10/90 p15
Noise Ordinances 11/90 p22
Censorship 1/91 p22
Love 2/91 p22
Sinead 4/91 p37
Haircut 5/91 p23
Trading Cards 11/91 p23
FEATURES, ETC ...
Igniter 3/90 p16
Andy Wood Editorial 4/90 p3
Shotgun Mama 4/90 pp8-9, cover
NAMA Photo 4/90 p11
Forced Entry 5/90 p16 w/photo
Kristen Barry 6/90 pp8,14
Bitter End 7/90 pp4-5, cover
The Young Brians 5/91 p10
Vain, Alice in Chains, Shotgun Mama 2/90 p22
Paul McCartney 5/90 p22
David Bowie 6/90 p16
Blue Oyster Cult 4/91 p33
DOZENS OF RECORD, TAPE, AND CLUB SHOW REVIEWS
"Jogging Scene" p62
"Home Opener" p94
"Untitled Poem '94" p142
WHISPERS FROM WHITMAN COUNTY 1995
"My Dog Killed A Possum Last Night"
THE DAILY EVERGREEN, SUMMER BIO-RHYTHMS 6/11/96 p16
w/photo and story/interview
THE JOURNAL, PHS 1997
"Driving In The Rain" 4/95 pp8-9
"Holding On" 9/97
"The Silver Valley Voice"/ Moonshine Hill Press
"Wednesday August 3, 2005 Just Before Midnight" 12/06 p5
"The Voice"/Moonshine Hill Press
THE DAILY EVERGREEN
8/87 - 12/89 & 6/95 - 10/95
OPINIONS EDITOR Fall 1989 Columnist, Borderline, Features
"Yeltsin Visit Shows Signs Of Change" Editorial Reprinted in "The Indiana Daily Student Fall 1989
"Odd Thoughts, Midnight Ramblings, and Summer Dreams"
Fiction/Poetry INNUENDO ?!? 1989
Poetry/Fiction INNUENDO ?!? 1989
POEMS IN THE "BAD POETRY" SECTION OF "THE VOICE"/"THE SILVER VALLEY VOICE"
"Gone on the 4th of July" "Ruling Our Lives" "4:45AM and Raining" "X-Men ... X-People" 9/96
"New Logic" "I Ain't (Really Very) Superstitious" "Neon Spandex" 11/96
"A Mysterious Fax To George Left On His Chair After Lunch" "B" 12/96
"Seeking The Face Of God" "MLB" "I Wanna Tricorder" "Pens" "Older Now" "Pop" 1/97
"OJ & Mick" "Truth in Advertising" "Colfax" "Sitting In Back" "90210 & Parking" "Freshmen" "What's Good For You" "Spokane Television News" 2/97
"WPVA" "Questions" "Little Green Men" "Survey Says ..." "A Car To Work On" "Movie Evil Bad Guy Speed" 3/97
"A Cooler in Hand" 5/97
"Dasher Proof" "All Rights Reserved" "Weak" 6/97
"The Drop" 7/97
"Rush" "Warning: This Poem May Cause You To Use Your Eyes And Force You To Read - Caution Advised" "Big Blue" "Maybe" 10/97
"Only A Part Of The Picture" "Sorting" 11/97
"Trust No One" "Not Explainable By Reasonable Means" "Rootbeer.Com" 12/97
"Lost & Spaced" "Random Order Thoughts On the Number 2000" "Stop Calling" 1/98
"Define" "Chaotic Systems" 3/98
"Drugs" "Mirror Legal System" "Inconvenient Democracy" 4/98
"Book Rush" "Dim" "Graduation" "Tiny D" "Love Hound and the Snuggle Puppy" "The 4 Food Groups" 5/98
"We Could (And Should Already) Be Living On Mars" 6/98
"Toast" "Referral" "Memory Upgrade" "The Nike Spangled Banner" "Shock" 7/98 p12
"The Big Bad Wolf" "New Product" 8/98 p12
"On The Links" "Get Rich Quick" 9/98
"They Both Basically Suck" "Don't Listen To Campaign Ads" 10/98
"Television Campaign Commercials" "Not A Prayer" "Phone Call" "The Male Christmas Shopping Perspective Is A Lot Like The Male Attitude Toward Sex" 12/98
"My Inner Redneck" "Impeachment" "Rush Hour" 1/99 p10
"200" 2/99 p9
"Hyphen" "This Ain't Rocket Science" "If It Looks Like A Hook Don't Bite It" "From The Vaults Of Innuendo" 6/99 p11
"Crossing" "Untitled" 9/99 p11
"The View From Out In Left Field" "Rhetoric" "Shotgun Prose" 10/99 p10
"At Work" "2 Ties 1 Watch" 2/00 p13
"Go Figure" "There's a Political Statement in There SOMEwhere" "Empty Monarch Vodka Bottle" "Drunken Stupor" "12.31.1999" Winter/06 p4
1978 SPU YOUNG AUTHOR'S CONFERENCE "Teddy's Adventure In Outer Space" Now in Seattle School District Library System
ARTICLES ABOUT JEFF'S WRITING
An article about CITY HEAT w/photo & quotes appeared in The Highline Times 5/23/90 pA-2 (Cover Mention)
An article about poetry w/photo quotes and 3 poems appeared in The Daily Evergreen 6/11/96
An article about WHISPERS FROM WHITMAN COUNTY appeared in The Whitman County Gazzette 11/95
ODDS & ENDS
Nanowrimo participant (02-04) - did not finish once
www.paulsbasement.org - several pieces
shotgunprose.blogspot.com - started Labor Day Weekend 06
Letters in various publications including Soccer America, Seattle P-I, Bone, Cerebus, and Hepcats
www.ironmaiden.com - review of 2000 Tacoma Dome show
4 "Smart Talk" contributions in Seattle P-I Sports Section 1998-99
Participated in published writing survey in UPSTREAM, The Literary Center Quarterly, Summer 1992
"Husky/Cougar Debate" (Cougar) GULaw Bill Of Particulars Nov 1990
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Several months ago I had one of those truly awful mornings where nothing would go right.
- The shower was cold.
- I cut myself shaving.
- I was out of bananas.
- The dog ran off.
- My lunch was made but was left just sitting there on the counter.
- I was running late for work and pulled into the driveway realizing the previous about my lunch.
But, really, none of those were the worst of it. No. I would have to say the worst of it was in the moments just AFTER I realized that my lunch was sitting on the counter since I can buy a school lunch for only a couple bucks. See, in the time I spent chasing my favorite little white fluffy doggie Dasher around to get my hands around her scrawny little neck I never completed one fairly important aspect of professional dress. I looked down and realized that although I was wearing a nice button up shirt and slacks, I was also wearing my big crimson Wazzu bedroom slippers that I had slipped into to chase after Dasher with when she decided to become the mighty, might squirrel hunter she has always aspired to be.
There was no time to turn around. So, I went in ...
... the secretary didn't say anything ...
... and it was third period before any students noticed.
This morning, not hungover (but clearly happy the Cougs trounced Stanford yesterday on the road- GO COUGS!), I caught myself on the stairs getting ready to run grocery shopping wearing the slippers ... so I went in and changed.
At least this time they would have matched the sweatshirt I was wearing ....
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Computers are literal, very literal. They are precise, very precise. Most people are not literal or precise, very not literal and very not precise. It’s our fault when things don’t work, not the computer. Close enough is not good enough ….
I can no longer reasonably list myself as a blonde on my driver’s license.
I have still never read Lord of the Rings. Azul, stop it. I can feel your squinchy faced glare right now ….
When George W. Bush says he wants unity, he really is telling people to shut up and give him his way. He has long since proven to be incapable of reflection and compromise.
We now know what it would have been like if something would have happened to George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle had become president.
Making sure your vote won’t count is a truly stupid protest.
potential ad for Matchmaker/CDS, Inc. *
Attention Microsoft Millionaires and others with something called disposable income …
- are you an indie movie fan?
- Do you have 50-100k to invest in an indie movie project?
- Please check out movies like Clerks, Slacker, The Brothers McMullen, the Blair Witch Project, etc … and see how an indie film can do the festival circuit and lead to something ….
Writer/director has project needing funds. Will utilize local haunts and actors. Project is a romantic comedy of sorts.
* Matchmaker is a project I have been working on for some time about a dating service of sorts for celebrities.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
My memory gets me in trouble sometimes. As I drive around places and see things I can visualize and remember virtual details from all around me like they had just happened. It helps me win games like Trivial Pursuit, but it also leads to me needing to sift through the mists of memory to figure out why I know someone from somewhere or something. Very often, I will remember something the next day, as what I was thinking about will have had the time to run in the background enough to find the obscure instance I needed to remember.
When I started working graveyard at Safeco, we would play games at night in between calls in order to get everyone into the same area and keep us sharp and focused. No big deal, just a good distraction to pass the time. One of the games was Trivial Pursuit. One of the night crew would smoke everyone collectively at the game. I played him one night and we split some games. He is a very bright guy so it was fun for me to really think before I guessed.
Well, recently I had one of those “where do I know her from?” moments at a restaurant during a going away party for a dear friend moving to the Republic of Texas. I knew that I knew our waitress from somewhere, but I couldn’t place it.
The usual sequence of questions processes:
- Did she have an account when I was a teller a few years ago?
- Did I sub a class she was in? (which horrifies me to think that)
- Was she at another restaurant?
- Do I know her as the friend of a friend or something like that?
I try and let it go. After all, it was a fun evening at a cool club trying to channel Miami Vice. I was with good friends having a very good vodka martini and there were beautiful women to dance with.
The next morning I am listening to a radio college football preview for my Wazzu Cougs when it dawns on me. I know her from a Seattle bar. Yes, a radio program about the Cougs upcoming football season triggered this memory.
The degrees of separation are as follows:
- Cougar foot ball preview
- I want to go to the Apple Cup
- The Apple Cup is in Pullman this year
- The last time the Apple Cup was in Pullman I watched the first half at Jillians and the second half at the bar in question
- The bartenders wear very skimpy outfits very often with chaps
- I remember watching her dance and serve shots in chaps
So, I go to the nearest computer, surf the web to the site, look over the photos and in the first album picture 26, she is the one on the right. I email this information to my soon to be a Texan friend and buddy who so wisely recommended the Ketel One Martini the night before. The response is quick. The soon to be a Texan comments on my memory. I explain the whole sequence of events and the whole chaps thing. I explain, this is why I win at Trivial Pursuit.
I have never …
1 – done the Puyallup … it always is right when school starts, I would have soccer, and we went to the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe in August every year instead …
2 – actually resided within the city limits of Seattle … I only actually even lived in King County from mid 92 to mid 94 …. But I was born inside the city limits …
3 – climbed Mt. Rainier … hiked trails in the region, never climbed the mountain, still want to …
4 – STP … other sports events have taken over … one day I will ride this race …
5 – been to the 5th Avenue Theatre … and this includes all the years I worked at the Columbia Center, and my general preference for live anything over taped or televised anything …
6 – caught a fly ball or foul ball at an M’s game … I have been to many games, have gone to BP on many occasions, and still have never got a ball
7 – the Point Defiance Zoo … I have a non-reciprocal membership to Woodland Park …
8 – toured a battleship or carrier or sub during Seafair …
9 – been on a boat going through the Ballard Locks …
10 – worked for Microsoft … of the companies that are generally thought of as signature companies for this region; Microsoft, Safeco, Starbucks, Boeing, Nordstrom, and others, the only one I have ever worked for is Safeco …
11 – thrown a fish at the Pike Place Market … and I cannot count how many times I have been there, even buying fish …
12 – a Seahawks game at Qwest Field … I have been to dozens of events due to Sounders season tickets, Cougar football, Manchester United, Real Madrid, etc … but not an actual Seahawks game ….
**** recently deleted items that might have made the cut in the past include taking a seaplane, going to McCaw Hall or Benaroya Hall, and salsa dancing at the Century Ballroom …..
I do have to generally agree with the Sports Guy in that the Hall of Fame (HOF) voting process is just about as screwed up as the All Star Game voting process in most leagues is.
Sportswriters deciding awards and the HOF bugs me, as it takes away a portion of presumed journalistic objectivity and makes them a party to the process of what is news and how the sports they cover actually function. Plus, sportswriters are just as biased as fans, players, and retired veterans committees. The only redeeming quality is that sportswriters follow the games much closer than most fans, veterans, and even players can.
Hall of Fame issues:
1 – Staying on the ballot for years and years and suddenly making it. No. One time only. None of this 3rd ballot crap. A player is retired, he can’t do anything to change things when retired. The whole first ballot status has made it silly. It is just sportswriters inserting themselves into the story to add status to when a player is enshrined. If a player didn’t get in last year there is no valid reason for voting this year. Some years there will be huge classes and some years there will be small classes.
2 – Good players but not great players. Jay Buhner is not a Cooperstown HOF player. He was an important piece of the Seattle Mariners for a long time and brought credibility to a franchise. But, that is what franchise halls and rings of honor and retired numbers are for. I met him once and he is a great guy, had great power, an amazing arm, and should see his jersey number retired in Seattle. Putting him in Cooperstown would be an overstatement of his career and like putting Joe Dumars in the hoops hall.
3 – My soccer HOF rant. The indoor guys have been given the shaft. No Steve Zungul. No Tatu. Where is Stan Stamenkovic or Branko Segota? It is the soccer equivalent to the DH argument or the closer argument for baseball HOF voters. Put the top and most elite of this group into the hall and be done with it and then any future guys have to live up to that bar to get in. Edgar Martinez is the greatest DH ever. Put him in to acknowledge that aspect of greatness and then if a player isn’t that good or a voter never wants to vote in a DH again it can be pointed out that Edgar is the bar. In soccer, vote in Zungul, Tatu, and Stamenkovic and be done with it. Fernando Clavijo was recently inducted, but his career includes the 1994 World Cup and coaching. Preki will get in not just for the indoor but for the MLS play, national team play, as well as his run in Tacoma in the 80s. I mean, the soccer hall has been updating and adding the NASL non-Americans who contributed to the game. They have started with the women from the 91 and 99 team as they retire. The 90 and 94 Men’s players are rolling in. The MLS guys are getting their due. It is time for the soccer hall to admit indoor soccer happened and was important to soccer for a while and put in these guys. www.soccerhall.org
A comment like “commuting on 405 is herder than it should be” is not exactly original. One does not have to burn the midnight oil to come up with such a thought. All one must do is commute on 405 for a couple of days and it becomes clear. One should not commute on 405 unless it is essential to the survival of democracy.
Well, for 6 weeks I have been commuting on 405. I took a temp assignment until school started and it went well on the professional end, the people I worked with were a great group, but I would need to move before taking a permanent job with them. Clearly, this does not meet the “save the free world” threshold. In and of itself, this is no big deal. I got through the commuting as best I could and moved on. But there is something that happens that merits a comment, some ranting, and an open letter. Hence the following story which will function as an open letter of sorts.
Dear Metro Bus Driver on Route 342:
A man gets to the park and ride. He is a good five minutes early. Buses are never early, and since we are not telling a story of Mussolini’s Italy where everything ran on time or the drivers were shot, he feels safe. His stop is actually across the street from the park and ride and he and many other riders park on one side and get dropped off later that day on the parking side of the street. He walks to the corner and waits to cross. He waits. He sees his bus one light down. He sees the bus stop at the stop down the street. He sees the bus approaching. His light has still not changed. He has been standing at the corner of 73rd Avenue and Bothell Way for almost five minutes. He waves at the bus driver who appears to see him as the bus approaches. The light finally turns yellow, but the bus runs the light at it turns red. He still doesn’t get to cross due to a green turn arrow. The riders on the other side load onto the bus. The green arrow turns red and the walk signal finally comes, almost 6 minutes of waiting. The bus pulls away as he steps into the street to cross. The man swears loudly. The smoking hot espresso stand girls nearby look up. Drivers at the red life chuckle at the man.
Perhaps he can take the next bus? No. The next bus is not for half and hour. The man must rush to his car and drive to the next park and ride up the line. His morning has just become much more frantic than necessary and the bus driver knew he was coming. It happens two more times over the coming weeks. The man learns that arriving early for a bus that is late does not matter when one is in needs of crossing a very, very busy street that has a light that lasts longer than the fame of reality television stars.
Later that day the man must remember to get off at the correct stop, but does not, and ends up having to ride more than one bus to get back to the correct park and ride. The man swears again, not at the heavens this time, but at the ghost of Mussolini.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Back when I was a sophomore and junior in high school I had this really good science teacher. For two years I took chemistry from him and his class was one of the best I had at good ol' Merry Mountlake.
I am in the photo to the right in the middle from The Mouse That Roared, a school play I was in during this time, and the other photo is me today at the dojang (oddly enough my hair is now the same color it was in that earlier photo).
Well ... the other night I was at my taekwondo dojang when I overheard a few of the high school age students talking about their science class at the end of the first week of school. Many of these kids go to my alma mater.
So, I asked, "Do you have Mr. Comeau?"
"Yes," they responded.
Given that my high school class has offspring old enough to be in high school (or in a few cases college), and given that staying at one job for a long time as a teacher even with tenure is pretty impressive (and rare) in its own way, and given the chance that these kids at the taekwondo dojang would have that one teacher many moons later, it seems statistically improbable to me to have ever happened.
I don't really have a joke here, it's just an observation.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
My mother always asks for, and I generally never actually provide her with, a wish list for the holiday season. This year I have decided to cooperate. In the past I provided lists and then got nothing on the list since then it wouldn’t be a surprise. However, it is time to trust the process. Still, my expectations are slight.
Evening Star Lace Up Boots (Black, with a low heel for dancing)
A countertop wine rack and carafe
Linen button up white shirts (16 ½ x 34/35)
Glasses (martini and scotch) and a shaker
A countertop fryer
Picture frames (square and triangle, not 8x10, etc…)
Stones or Who or Alice in Chains or Queensryche tickets (Jacob asked me to go to the Stones and it brought a tear to my eye, “That’s my boy!” validating my playing of Exile On Main Street as lullaby music to him as an infant)
Liverpool home match jersey
Top shelf booze (like Ketel One or 12 year old Bourbon) or good wine (like Tsillan Chardonnay). I don’t drink much, but you got to have some on hand to entertain with, and this year I learned that chardonnay goes well with Spam.
A three part stand up partition (like an old closet door for separating the dining area from the living room just a little bit)
Black wool blazer (size 43)
Cardigan (double breasted, navy, with a heavy collar)
The Sounders in MLS
More than I deserve, but a darn good list.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Late last Fall, or so, the idea of starting a microbrew came up in conversation at work. I had seen an ad for a cask-aged beer. I actually had not heard of them before so I did a little research. It was darn near impossible to find this highly touted cask-aged brew. I purchased a different label instead and gave it a shot. It was totally unlike anything I was used to. It also dawned on me that this was a niche market that could be tapped. Over the past several months I have researched all sorts of aspects of this possible business. Janet, bless her little entrepreneurial heart even found out the name I wanted was available. The end result of this research is Jefferson’s Brewery, which currently still only exists in theory.
Jefferson’s Brewery would produce three beer products at the start; I am looking at a light ale, two month aged ale, and two years aged ale.
- The light ale would be the cash flow product, in kegs and bottles.
- The two months ale would be the prime product, targeted for bottling in cases only.
- The two years ale would be the signature product, coming out twice a year. The two years ale would also serve as the product that would be used two times per year for an open house / tasting function at the brewery.
In the short-term I would like to utilize a facility in the South Snohomish County area. I have scouted some locations and think there are several good possibilities. Going to Woodinville would be good in many ways since there are other facilities for beer, wine, and coffee out that way, but it would be nice to carve out a little space. Eventually, having a permanent facility with public access would be ideal.
With a little luck, some venture capital, and a lot more luck, it might actually happen.
Monday, September 11, 2006
No. You don't have to call me Jefferson.
It is a Safeco nickname generated by putting my first and last names together and slicing out the middle stuff. Oddly enough, it stuck. And even though I have purged myself of Safeco, more or less, the single name thingie has stayed.
It started out as a joke, as in Jefferson being a one name entity like a Brazillian soccer player. They have Pele, Ronaldo, Kaka, Cafu, Fred, and the like and I am Jefferson.
I hope that answers the question.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Where the other teams I have coached the records and the scores are there for public consumption and review, these girls are playing to be with friends and have fun, and to be watched and cheered by their families and friends. To just focus on the basic concepts of the game; get back on D, spread out to not run into your own player with the ball, kick it wide so the other team doesn't get it in front of the goal, and to go to goal whenever possible, was a remarkable experience.
I enjoyed just cheering for them, telling them how it was great when they made a pass to a teammate. They did win 13-6 and my daughter scored four goals ...
Friday, September 08, 2006
Not to get nostalgic about Downtown Bellevue, but there used to be record stores there and now there don't seem to be any. Tower Records on NE 8th had the Queensryche signing I went to. There were record stores inside Bellevue Square, and there was another pretty good record store just outside the mall. Not so anymore. I only note this because I went to buy a cd at lunch on Tuesday and couldn't, because I couldn't find a record store anywhere there used to be one. What kind of a mall doesn't have a record store? (More on this subject in my upcoming Iron Maiden posting.)
I am watching a tv show the other night and there was an ad for a judge claiming to want to be the sort of judge that would not legislate from the bench. He was slamming the "liberal" opponent. Right. Conservatives want judicial activism just as much as liberals do, they just call it something else and have convinced themselves that it is something different. It's not. It never was. It never will be. They just don't want to say it.
One of the networks was showing the 9/11 documentary filmed by the two brothers that were on site that day that had been working with a local fire company. The footage contains some raw language and the Bush FCC was threatening to fine the network repeatedly for not beeping it. On a radio newscast there was a man making the argument that children could be watching, so of course it should be edited for content (censored). The network was planning to put a disclaimer about the language up for the public. In a piece as powerful as this documentary, which I have seen previously, the language is hardly the point. The Bush FCC is using 9/11 as yet another opportunity to legislate morality. How about this? Talk to your kids. I would have spoken to mine, let them know that the language in this is because people are under stress, and that they needed to understand that this is not language they should use or they would normally here. Know what? Most kids are smart enough to understand context. Kids are amazing. Instead of assuming kids are unable to handle some strong language, yet somehow able to handle the visuals of people jumping 110 stories in the same context. It has become exasperating how "children may be watching" is used as an excuse for so many things politically, and the same people who are doing so seem to have no respect for the kids they are trying to protect.
The other day I stood in the supply room looking for paper clips. After literally several minutes of frustrated searching, I realized not everything labeld "Staples" were staples ...
It was 315Am a few weeks ago. The bathroom door thunked, the light in the bathroom went on, I heard the some of someone using the toilet. Ever wake up totally disoriented, not knowing the day, time of day, or where you are? Had one of those moments. I got up, was reaching for my Louisville Slugger, conveniently propped next to the bathroom door. "Who's there?" "It's me, Jacob!" I apologize, completely disoriented and missing that the kids were over when I woke up. Poor kid probably had a hard time with the target after that. At least the Grinch upstairs didn't wake up, because if she had there would have been a note on my door or call tot he landlord (again). This time I would have actually been home and had done something, as opposed to the time she called the landlord for me being loud when I was working nights ...
I see car wrecks on the freeway. Like everyone else I turn and look. But, lately I have been trying not to. I have got to wean the Safeco out of me. Where most people look and maybe think about fault or injuries, I think, I hope they have adequate limits. I just can't look any more.
the fanboy in me ... with my AC MIlan flag and the lovely and talented Christina Scabbia http://www.emptyspiral.net/modules.php?set_albumName=album15&id=20060824scabbia2_001&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php
and most of the rest of the band http://www.emptyspiral.net/modules.php?set_albumName=album15&id=20060824flag1_001&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php
(more on this in the upcoming Ozzfest story)
I gave Tiger catnip for the first time. He stood on his hind legs just smelling it. I rubbed some on the new scratching post Papa made and he loved that scracthing post. He hugged it and purred and well, has been channeling Tommy Chong ever since ...
Monday, September 04, 2006
"You Can’t Ask A Woman Her Name If You’ve Been Dancing With Her For 4 Months"
There are rules, and then there are “rules”.
Sports have them. Male/female relationships have them. The workplace has them. They are often referred to as the “unwritten rules”, or something to that effect.
Well, a dance floor has them, too.
It doesn’t matter if it is salsa, hip hop, ballroom, or country, there are rules and there are “rules” one must accommodate. “Rules” come in many forms. Often, they can be thought of as “house rules” specific to one location. It can take a long time to learn all of these rules. Too often, the only real way to learn them is to break them and be surprised by doing something wrong that you didn’t know was wrong. It can all be very confusing.
For instance, there are a couple of different country places I dance at and the “rules” at the two places are very, very different. One place has a huge floor and dancers go very quickly like they are in a NASCAR race. Stopping and doing moves in mid-stride will only get you smacked into, glared at, and told to move to the middle or inside track. Fair enough. The place with the small dance floor generally requires that dancers stop and do moves, even on the outside track, and even though dancers are trying to go with the path of dance they simply have to accept that they need to stop and do something else. These are obvious, simple to follow, and easy to learn rules and “rules”.
However, even if many of the rules and “rules” are obvious and simple, other rules and “rules” are not so simple. Some of these come down to matters of etiquette and tact, others to trial and error. It is easy to brush off a small error, not so simple to brush off a big one.
Fake it. Don’t know the steps? Just go out there and have fun. Know a little bit? Then do what you know. Screw up a step? Fake it and get a move on. You can fake your way out of a lot of things on the dance floor.
Do not bring a drink onto a dance floor. This seems obvious. It may even be posted. But sure enough, there are plenty of morons out there that just don’t get it and do it anyways. These are the same people who use a left turn signal to turn right while talking on their phones. Spillage equals slick or sticky spots that can cause serious problems that the spiller probably won’t be around to have to deal with.
Bring a spare shirt. In a country bar men and women can both wear black tees, jeans, and boots and look equally masculine or feminine without anyone thinking androgyny. But, in many places it can get very hot and sweaty out there. A woman needs to place her left hand on the shoulder of the man and when that shirt is soaked, they simply don’t want to. I bring an extra black tee, and on breaks will often just go and change it out at my vehicle. It is simply nice to do, and keeps the women from thinking that I am a sweaty pig. It would be very easy to develop the reputation for being gross. I don’t want that particular reputation.
Speaking of reputations. Women, it is okay to just say no to a dance request. No stories are necessary. Most guys will get over it in a hurry. Don’t tell a man you are sitting out or something and then accept the next invite 15 seconds later. The guy will see that you are dancing. You will then develop a very unfavorable reputation. I see this, I won’t ask you again. If you just say no because you are waiting to dance with someone else, a polite no is good enough. A big boy can handle it. Men. Spending too much time dancing with the new girl is polite, but it makes you look like a vulture. As a regular, that can go bad in a hurry.
Good dancers need to help the newer and less experienced dancers. It doesn’t mean you have to dance the whole night with a newbie, but there was a time when you did not know the difference between steps. It’s just polite. Besides, there is something really nice about someone asking you to help them, that is when you know that you are doing something right. Or even better yet, to have someone recommend you to help out, that is nice. Even if the person you have been asked to help out clearly has little chance of learning anything and you find yourself wondering how they don’t fall down more it is essential to be nice. Thank them at the end of the dance and move on.
Be careful with eye contact. Eye contact while dancing is nice and can be helpful to take a new partners mind off of the steps so that they just dance. But, it can also lead to the wrong impression. For many people eye contact equals flirting. For others, lack of eye contact means that they are flirting because eye contact gives them away. It goes both ways, there simply is not a rhyme or reason to it, and it must be treated on a case by case basis. I learned that once I was able to look up and talk with the partner it meant that I was doing well. Got me in trouble a few times, but so be it. Would women really rather I stare straight down and enjoy that view from close up instead? I thought not.
The other weird thing is that dancing with regulars creates a unique type of relationship. There are the dancers you only know in the context of dancing. Picture it. A man asks a woman to dance. They dance a couple songs and can move reasonably well together. They politely introduce themselves, but other than dancing, they really don’t get to know each other. Over a period of time, they see each other at the same place regularly. They say hi, maybe make a smidge of small talk, but mostly, they just dance a few songs together each time they see each other. Over a period of months they find that they look forward to the dances, but nothing else happens in the relationship. Then, one of them has a friend come along and during the course of the evening he mentions about how it really looked good when you danced with that one girl. Which girl? The one in the white shirt. Which girl in the white shirt? The brunette in the white shirt. Which brunette in the white shirt? And then it hits you, you don’t remember her name. It has been months, at least four, and at that point it becomes a point of honor and tact. How do you find out her name? It is possibly going to hurt her feelings. You don’t want that, she might stop dancing with you. So, you dance with her again and try and figure out how to find out her name. After the song you want to introduce her to your friend but you know you can’t. It would be awkward or like something in a Seinfeld episode.
You cannot ask a woman her name if you have been dancing with her regularly for several months.
You can’t just fake your way out of that one.
The 2K5 article
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Calls to clear up this error were not getting me anywhere. A few weeks passed and I needed to do something. I wrote this letter.
March 3, 2006 To Whom It May Concern:
I recently became aware of a problem with my social security number on the Washington State Patrol WATCH. It appears that a woman named Mariam has been arrested and booked at least twice in Yakima County and my social security number was used, possibly just in error. However, error or not, this is proving to be a problem for me.
Over the past few months I have returned to teaching; this winter as a substitute, and this spring I am applying for permanent teaching positions. The Snohomish School District ran my SSN and found the problem and was nice enough to let me know about it. As I continue to apply for jobs I have to let each district or private school know about the problem.
I made some phone calls when I first found out about the problem. The Yakima County Sheriff's office was very friendly and apologetic. I am going to send them a copy of this letter to request that if this person is arrested again that they do not simply transfer the previous information and prolong my problem. From speaking to Yakima County I expect this to happen as they seemed to understand.
However, my contact with the WSP was not as useful. I was informed that since this is part of the record, even in error, that it is simply the way it is. That is not okay. The WSP is providing incorrect information to future employers, information that if not looked into could prevent me from gainful employment in my chosen field. If the service the WSP is providing was done by a private company, I am certain that they would be expected to make certain that all the information was current, correct, and accurate, and that if it was not and caused me problems that I would have recourse against them. The WSP is apparently not held to the same standard and will continue to knowingly provide incorrect information. There is a disclaimer on the screen when the report is run, but that hardly is a solution. The database is either accurate or it is useless.
I am requesting that the WSP WATCH system update its records to correctly reflect my SSN, or to at the least flag it to let future employers know that there might be errors in the system. It would be simpler to just correct the problem and make certain that the database accurately reflects what it is supposed to. Also, I have to do all of the work. The WSP needs to have a mechanism in place to make certain its database is accurate or it simply should not have one.
It is entirely possible and likely that this problem is simply an error and not ID theft. However, I feel the need to make certain creditors are aware of the possible problem with my SSN. Again, it is up to me to do the work.
A copy of this letter will be sent to the Yakima County Sheriff, Yakima Police, Washington State Patrol, the Governor's Office, my creditors, school districts, the WSU Career Center for entry into my placement file, and to whomever else it needs to go to. All of the time and expense in correcting this error is mine. In the event a bench warrant is ever issued against this person and the records are wrong I will keep a copy of this letter with my vehicle registration to prevent any misunderstandings.
Mistakes happen. However, the WSP system is amplifying the mistake by choosing to allow it to remain inaccurate.
Not long after this letter I started to get some action; a call from a WSP executive (who told me the governor's office called the WSP) advising me that there in fact were ways to correct this, a call from Yakima County Sheriff's office letting me know they were fixing it, and both written and email correspondence from various to let me know that it was being taken care of and should have been in the first place.
I did in fact CC this letter to a variety of sources. The three credit bureaus worked with me to get this on file and in the process I cleaned up and made certain my credit report is now accurate, including getting two accounts closed I thought were long closed to make certain my ex and I did not have anything lingering together on the credit reports. It would not have been fair to her to have this bite her because two old accounts were still open and my credit report has this problem.
Had it not been corrected the next step was to go to the media. I imagine it would have made a great story; the background checks are either accurate or utterly useless, and a teacher returning to the profession getting hosed by administrative errors would have been a great headline. Fortunately, it did not come to that.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Red Dawn: a 2006 review
By Jeff Lageson
This article was written for the 2nd annual Paulsbasement.org BBQ and mixer 7-29-06 and read from handwritten notes by the author
We were all tasked as part of our invitations to this shindig to read/write something in the spirit of Paul’s Basement. I emailed Jason a joke idea that we should form the “Greater Snohomish County Multiplex Preservation Society” to see if we could get Lynnwood to keep the Grand’s sign up. Which we could do, but I was afraid Lynnwood might actually respond and I did not want to end up in the Enterprise for that. So, that is not my idea for reading tonight.
I almost had to grab something old to read, but decided I really needed to produce something new and hopefully original for reading. Cutting it close, I finally came up with the idea at 9:10PM on Thursday night driving home from tae kwon do class. It was time for me to watch and review the movie Red Dawn.
Yes, 1984’s Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and others. Due to circumstances alluded to in my sole previous contribution to paulsbasement.org I have never seen the movie, and it is all Rafael’s fault. Now, I know Rafael is not here tonight to defend himself, but since we are all old friends here, let’s just talk behind his back here for a moment.
It’s 1984; Reagan was mostly still in control of his faculties, the Cold War was raging, Gorbachev was still a year or more away from power, and movies blaming the Soviets for everything were starting to make big bucks at the box office. Rafael and I headed to catch a movie at the then still five screen Grand and he suggested the movie Red Dawn. For some reason none of the other movies were interesting and as we pull in I ask, “So, what is this about?” or something to that affect, and Rafael responds with something along the lines of, “The Cubans invade Colorado”.
Matinee price or not, the answer was no. I cannot remember for certain who was driving, but I did not go to see the movie at that point. Rafael did see the film, but was basically pissy about it for quite some time. Years passed. I think I saw five minutes of the beginning once on TV and changed the channel. Months later, the next year later or so, and Rafael feeling I “owe him one” drives to another movie. While driving in to the U District he tells me we are going to see something call “Amadeus”.
“What is this about?” I ask.
“Mozart.” He replies.
Well, we’re at the Guild 45th at this point so I’m kind of stuck. So I get all pissy this time and say “fine” and go in.
Okay ... Amadeus was a great film. It hooked me on small theatre films and basically opened up a whole new world for me. Thanks, Rafael.
So, in my life there have only been a few movies I have not seen on principle, or at least not finished on principle. There are plenty of movies I haven’t seen because of taste related issues, but principle is a whole ‘nother issue. First, The Wizard of Oz. The movie scared me as a child on TV and I never watched it straight through until my son got it on video and I decided it was downright pathetic that I was in my thirties and had never watched The Wizard of Oz. Plus, I had just read the book “Wicked” and figured it would be a good time. Second is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I also freaked out as a child about it, but have still never watched it. And number three is Red Dawn, for the afore-mentioned reasons.
So, I went to Hollywood Video, plunked down $2.71 to rent it on DVD, and at 10PM Thursday July 27, 2006 I finally sat down and screened Red Dawn. My review follows.
To sum up: I am really glad I did not see this movie on the big screen.
My movie rating system is based upon two scales; how good the movie is in general, and the type of screening. For instance, my scale is much harder on a movie I waited for, paid full price for, and screened on opening day, than for say, a rental I screen at home. For example, Star Wars Episode One sucked. About halfway through I thought it sucked, and realized right then and there that Lucas should never have made the prequels. Numbers two and three proved me right. He directed the actress right out of Natalie Portman, who showed us in V For Vendetta what we should have seen from Amidala. It was like her performance in V was to show Lucas, “Dude, I can act!”
I am much, much easier on matinees or rentals or library movies accordingly. I will basically just say, “should have waited for the video”, or “I wish I had seen that on the big screen”.
Twenty two years later it is a good thing I rented Red Dawn, because I would not have been happy. It is a decent film. It gives us the first Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze tandem, and if not for the additional messages the filmmakers crammed in as a back story I imagine I would like the movie better because it actually is a pretty good low budget action film.
But, they blame the environmentalists for disarming Europe. They blame illegal immigrants for opening the border, like there is a wall there. They blame gun records for how the KGB rounds up people. And clearly, if we didn’t support the Contras the Sandinistas and the Cubans would get an army large enough to invade.
So, yes in fact, the Cubans invaded Colorado.
Our satellites of the mid 80’s didn’t notice them storming through Mexico, or notice the massive Siberian to Alaska and through Canada troop movements.
Jennifer Grey’s permanent is still perfect after a winter of warfare.
Patrick Swayze is supposed to be a quarterback, but when we see a football picture he is wearing the number 89.
The dude who played Superfly is the head of the occupying force.
Mr. Hanby always talked about “the willing suspension of disbelief”. And so, when I put that in mind, and let the little things stop bugging me, I found myself entertained. The Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey chemistry was obvious.
Amadeus just kicked its butt though.
Rafael, I was right to hold my ground.