Sunday, November 10, 2013

Picky, picky

I have a five pound cast aluminum pick mattock with a long fiberglass handle.  It has been exceptionally useful for digging in the hard, rocky, tree-root-filled clay hereabouts, and reduces a small slope to a pile of dirt satisfyingly quickly.  I have told my wife and daughter, if you think somebody's sneaking around in the house late at nicht and I'm not here, run and get the pick mattock (the Vice President's advice to his wife here is poor: anybody who's going to run from a homeowner with a shotgun, is going to be deterred forever from malfeasance by a somebody swinging a heavy matttock.  I know I would be.)

So, I can't wield the thing without thinking, man, I'd hate to be on the receiving end of this.  Even as I dig a hole, I suffer the kind of horrible visions of chopping my toes off by accident, that most people have when handling chainsaws.

I worry that these thoughts indicate that I am a bad person.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Anglophiles: the lowest form of North American life.

It's news to me that actual Americans do this bestial thing.

What we need is legislation saying that anyone who thinks this is "sport" can be let loose inside a nice big electrified fence, and we'll set a pack of wolves on him. The fence will have rounded corners, of course; we're not barbarians.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sheep and goats

So, we just watched a movie called "Goats."  It wasn't, I'm afraid, terribly good, except I suppose that we probably should cheer now whenever nobody in a movie has superpowers, so there's that. 

But I guess it may have been very good in that I'm thinking about it hours later.  The issue is that the main character lives with his New-Age-y flake mom and her boarder, "Goat Man," who spends his days hiking in the desert with a couple of goats and growing weed, and who has been largely responsible for the kid's development via those two hobbies.  And the kid goes off to an East Coast males-only prep school -- students all white far as I can tell -- of the Phillips Exeter sort.  Reconnects with his estranged father, a businessman out of Princeton, summers at Telluride, the whole white-bread success thing.  Gets into running and academics, learns to appreciate the pudgy roommate who wants to got to Yale, grows somewhat out of the lost-in-the-Southwest stoner vibe.  The potential love interest is a girl with a crazy/wild lifestyle but a hidden mind-of-gold, sneaks into the library to read the Great Books, and the protagonist flirts with her but ends up deciding to keep away, probably sees -- like his father would -- the danger of her unsettled/crazy lifestyle and choices: she is not his social equal.  I mean, OK, he keeps a foot in both cultures, but it's about a kid becoming a Harvard Latin scholar or the like.

So, OK, another coming-of-age thing.  But in an odd mold.  The pattern is typically the young guy from the Establishment breaks out into the wild side -- think "Risky Business" as the archetype, even maybe "Rushmore" -- and this thing goes 100% the other direction.  I suppose at one time the "Goats" progression would've been more the norm -- think "Great Expectations" or even "Huckleberry Finn."  So I don't have a lot that's profound to say about it but I've been trying to think about how it became expected that the coming-of-age story goes away from authority.  Or maybe it usually doesn't and it's just more subtle: the hero matures into society but it isn't as overtly joining the Elite.  But I still think this blows against a wind where the hero is supposed to break loose of the strictures of societal expectations (OK, yes, he is doing that from the perspective of the society he comes from, but you get what I mean: we don't usually figure it this way). 

Man, I wish it had been a better movie though, there's something there that someone smarter than me could've worked with.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Another fallen hero

I think Carl Prine is one of the bravest, most honest voices on military issues out there, even when I don't agree with him.  Few people will call BS on great reporters like Tom Ricks or Rajiv Chandrasekaran so casually, and still get the better of the argument.  Nobody else seems so willing to name names instead of bitching vaguely about "the generals" or "the leadership."  He's honest and funny and seems to have spent a lot of his career doing the kind of feel-good local journalism that keeps the field working.  And his heroism in combat shines through in Owen West's new book.

So watching him lose the battle with brain injury so publicly, breaks my heart.  I hope he still turns it around somehow.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lizard music

I'm sure "Benedict Cumberbatch" is a hell of a talented and nice guy.  But, damn, his name makes me want to buy an iguana so I could name it that.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Invisible mind

So I'm in a line, I'm waiting for my name to be called, there's a huge TV on with no sound and it's showing an ad for a new Colgate tooth whitening product, with pictures of smiling people with white teeth and big big splashes of whiter-than-white paint.  OK.  The product's name?  "Optic White." 
     WTF?  Are we completely illiterate now?  Who the hell greenlighted that?  Was it lurking in his subconscious?

Friday, January 20, 2012

But back to SUBSTANCE

Hey, what I miss most of 2011: Paul Motian and Sam Rivers.  Two HUGE losses.