Friday, September 28, 2007

Bush Vs. Zombies

Let the countdown to halloween continue...


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nutty post: An alternative to torture

A few of statements of opinion before I venture this idea.

First - I consider torture to be a heinous act, whether committed by individuals alone, or those acting under institutional provisions. It's up there with the death penalty, as something that cannot be attributed clemency or moral excuse, regardless of context.

Second - I acknowledge that torture is probably highly effective in obtaining information, particularly from resistant targets and in time sensitive situations. Torture has probably saved innocent lives at some point.

Third - I find it incredibly naive to think that torture does not happen under our government and military. Likely it is conducted with some para-institutional guidelines that are difficult to document or use to establish accountability.

With that out of the way, I am wondering if there isn't a better interrogation through chemistry. The experiments with hallucinogens in the middle of the 20th century seem quaint, but I think there is probably a good bit of potential use here. Like torture, I'm sure there is some limited amount of drugging going. I'm suggesting using it in a much more organized and sanctioned way.

This post is prompted by viewing an article on vbs,tv about the use of scopolamine in Bogota. In columbia, the naturally growing drug is used to rob and rape victims - stay with me here... The drug affects the areas of the brain that control free will. The subject becomes completely willing and beyond suggestible to controllable by the administer of the drug. Hence all of the nefarious uses by criminals. But here's why I think it would work well for interrogations.

1. It can be controlled. Torture reeks of emotional hotheadedness. How many captors die at the hands of overzealous interrogators. Unlike torture, the correct amount of a drug can be presribed, and it is abstracted away from the interrogation itself.

2. It isn't psychological torture. Unlike true hallucinogens, this drug doesn't create visions, or instill fear. It simply renders the user completely willing to carry out instructions.

3. It leaves the victim without memory of the event. This is true from what little I've read and watched. The only thing better than extracting this information, would be to extract it without the knowledge of the person you interrogated. This would reduce the ability for enemies to respond to know information had been obtained. it would also open the door for subsequent interrogations over time, if needed.

4. It has no real potential for recreational abuse. Although it can be used like a date-rape drug, there is no personal recreational potential. You wouldn't see this drug pop up into the counter culture the way LSD did.

I know this is a weird post and suggestion, and I'm probably missing something as to why this avenue hasn't been pursued more aggressively. However, used in the right way, it seems like a very effective weapon. If we are going to fight a war on terrorist groups, wouldn't this be an effective method to break down the cell structure of terrorist organizations, member by member? It would also eliminate the need to occupy foreign countries, when we could act with precision to extract what we needed using very modest resources. It would eliminate the need for long-term rendition - we could extract, drug, interrogate, determine guilt, and release. It's pretty extreme, and I wouldn't want to see it used by the police, but the alternative we are facing and exacting on our "enemies" seems even more extreme.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blue Penga

Bassman was vomiting from 2:AM on last night. Now Jade and I feel like shit. Tatum didn't get it yet, but she as a viral ear infection. So we are all feeling pretty sweet.

Of course, we are now the owners of "blue penga". He barfed on his penguin, so I washed it with his bedding. This turned all of penga's white parts a very deep blue. Contrary to my dread, Seabass was delighted, and proclaimed it was magic. Jade wisely abstained from disabusing him of the notion that it was his vomit which turned the penguin blue.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ADIDAKZ: All Day I Dream About Killing Zombies

I'm going to mock this up and try to sell some tee-shirts from one of those custom logo clearing houses. A clear rip from ADIDAS, a similar font treatment will be necessary:

ADIDAKZ - with a picture of a zombie in cross-hairs.

Technical Term: Gut Sweep

Definition: The downward sweeping motion performed to remove crumbs from the torso area of a shirt.

Location: Over a sink, trash can, garage or back porch.

Notes: The gut sweep follows the use of a gut tray. A gut sweep works best with a cotton shirt. Do not perform without shirt as food particles may become smeared on skin or lodged in navel. Do not attempt with a sweater or fleece, as static discharge may occur. This activity is only recommended to be performed without spousal supervision. An accentuation of the gut's natural slope is advised to help minimize the loss of crumbs during transit from couch to the gut sweep location.

Sweet success

I just wrapped up a mailer brochure for my buddy/client with the hangars. They went out yesterday - low and behold, he's already getting calls about the hangar units. It feels good to produce some collateral that gets fast actin tinactin results like that.

Monday, September 24, 2007

holiday reading and suggestions

Halloween is one of those holidays I don't hate. I actually picked up some reading to celebrate the month, which is my favorite of the year. It's not as special in Colorado - Massachusetts is cool, dry, sunny and exploding in the color of foliage. Anyway, here's what I picked up.

Some H.P. Lovecraft - lurker at the threshold. A really messed up homophobe, but the original master of terror. He helped create the concept of horror that was so fantastical, that it would destroy somebody's mind to behold it.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson. Good vampire fiction is some of the best. Bad vampire is, well, Anne Rice. This one I've started first, and so far its amazing. It takes the basic premise of vampires, as a lone predator in a world of prey, and turns it on its head. The book follows. Richard Neville, who is the last man on earth (as far as he and I know this early on) in a world where everyone else has turned into vampires. It's based very much in the practicality of survival. He is the lone prey in a world of predators. The omega man with Charlton Heston is the most famous adaptation. Will Smith is the lead in a remake coming out very soon - which was all the more reason to read this sooner rather than later.

Son of a Witch - the sequel to Wicked. Not really scary, but witches are involved. Wicked, in case you've been under a rock, is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, told from her point of view. There's a lot of social commentary and good storytelling for adults. The sequel is, as the title would indicate, concerned with her orphaned son.

Halloween reading suggestions

Dracula: The original Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is a true classic of any genre. It's a good time capsule of how women were held in society at the time it was written. The narrative is pieced together from letters, diary entries and news clippings, which made it a pretty experimental piece of work as well.

Salem's Lot: If there are Stephen King doubters out there, read Salem's Lot. I will contend that that book is also a classic. most people who don't like King haven't read much or anything by him. If you read Salem's Lot and still hate him, then he's got nothing for you. Salem's Lot and the Shining are probably his two best works in my opinion.

World War Z: This isn't strictly terror, but Max Brook's vision of future where a zombie outbreak reaches a global pandemic is pretty scary in its attention to detail. It is gripping, told as a series of interconnected interviews with survivors. Brooks uses the tale as a metaphor for a global crisis capable of changing the socioeconomic fortunes of countries around the world. It's well written, and takes itself deadly serious.

As an english major, I spent a lot of time reading books that had prestige value or was supposed to imbue me with some quality in its reading. Halloween is a good time to remember that books can be high art - and fun at the same time. Don't take my suggestions, but take my advice - read a fun book in October (yes I know its still September - just got a little trigger happy I guess.)

On a lighter note...

The 6th hole is the hardest on the course - I figured out the shots that work for me. A full swing with my 5 wood will get me over the lateral hazard to the edge of the first landing zone, without spilling into the gulch. A gripped up 3 quarter swing with my hybrid will get the ball over the gulch and on the green. If I am swinging confidently that day, I will probably want to trust a 5 iron on the 2nd shot, as it will probably stop better once it hits the green. If I'm slicing mid irons at all though - stick with the hybrid.

Rhetorical question that butchers iambic pentameter

To play in, or not to play in?

I went to Highland Meadows yesterday to crank out a quick 9 holes. As is usually the case, it was pretty empty of golfers. That, combined with the fact that my first shot off the tee went in the drink, I decided to make this a practice round. I took some extra balls, and started experimenting with landing targets and club selection. That makes me sound like I know what I am doing, which is not the case. It's a good way to really feel familiar with a course. And I'm lucky that it's empty enough that you can do that, and its the type of course that rewards good ball placement throughout a hole, not just the approach shot.

After a few holes, I noticed a guy about my age, playing with his son riding along in the cart who looked like he was in that 7-10 year old range. They were a few holes back. Slowly, they started to catch up. When I got to the 9th tee box, he was getting to the green on 8.

So I cranked a nice long drive (long for me) off the tee (for Erik's benefit - it was the left side - clear of the trouble, but with that blind second shot). I hit my ball, which catches the green-side bunker (of course). Before I take off to my second shot, I look back to see if I should hustle so this guy can tee up. I guess not, because as soon as I turn around, he's hitting his shot. It flies about 10 yards past me, about 3 yards to the right. Anybody still reading this post who doesn't play, can probably guess that that's not cool.

I push my cart over to the left of the path, to let him play through, and I'm not even looking at the guy - I don't want to see him. He pulls up and and apologies.

"Hey man, I'm sorry about that. I didn't mean to--"

I respond, "okay. Just play though." I don't want to look at this guy any more than I have to.

"Okay. But it's. You're not. I feel like..." He has this desperate look in his eye.

"Please just play through."

It took a few more volleys before he played his ball. He thanked me and I called after for him to have a good one. I was pretty annoyed though. I don't like making people wait behind me, and I would have asked him to play through if he had been waiting during the round. but it just wasn't the case. This was the first hole where the guy had to wait at all, and he played into me. Playing in to somebody is lame. It happens once in a while, if you have a blind first shot, but I was in view the whole time. It's every golfer's responsibility to know how far he hit his driver until optimal circumstances. I usually hit the ball between 200 and 240 yards, but last weekend I hit a near 300 yard drive. If you think you could possibly hit a ball on the screws and even get it close to the group in front of you - you just wait.

It's at my own risk that I play, but its also at my discretion how I react to the play of others. If I had hooked my tee shot on the third hole into somebody's living room window (my worst fear) - they have the right to be cool about it, or to get really pissed and berate me. Same with playing in to someone. I was very cordial with this guy, but I was clearly not pleased. He had this edge in his tone and look in his eye, like I was supposed to "be cool" about it - maybe because his son was there. That's what really annoyed me: an expectation that I would be jovial and dismissive about the event. Maybe on another day, I would have.

Don't apologize until you get the type of pardon you are looking for, and don't passively make faces like I'm overreacting. I never raised my voice, never made any aggressive postures or gestures, or used bad language. Trust me, buddy, I'm a Henne - we hold the patent on overreacting. Just submit your apology, leave it to me how to receive that apology, and go hit your goddamned ball.

shower thoughts

The iCar.

When I first heard this reported a few weeks ago there was some snorting. Oh was there ever some self-aware robust snorting. From the saftey of my (analog) car.

Now I'm thinking this may be the killing blow dealt by apple to the consumer electronics industry. When I saw 50 Cent rocking an iPod in a video on MTV back in 2003 (pre youtube!?) I new that the zeitgeist was just getting warm. From the white headphones to the cottage industry of 3rd party peripherals, the industry understood with painful clarity, how self worth is tied to these little things. While they became ubiquitous, they never lost their luster at the rate of, say a Motorola RAZR. In large part due to where gredit must be given - Apple still adopted planned obsolescence, but supplemented that with genuine and highly strategic feature innovations. There's always some new hotness around the corner, that actually does something new or better (than the previous model).

Flash forward to 2007 and the announcment of iCar plans. Obviously there won't be a unique model, but an iCar trim, and more importantly, an iCar badge. Consider the market for fake auto badges (can't afford an M3 - no problem; just take your basement level 330, and slap an M3 badge and ground effects on it). Consider the marketing tactics around real badges. If all people really wanted was quad zone climate control and a reverse gear activated rear window cam, they wouldn't need the XL badge on their SUV. They don't need it, but they want it. Take it from a guy who covets the material - that is there to impress every other educated consumer who either owns the same model, or investigated it for possible purchase at one time.

So an "iCar" badge on your Jetta GLI? What better way to let people know you have a sick sound system (especially when you don't have anything in your playlist bumping 808s) and a totally integrated smart vehicle that must have the same attention to user interface and ergonomics as any other Apple offering.

As a marketeer, I'm less cycnical about marketing, and more of the mind of "lets see where this hideous cultural trainwreck goes... off the rails, down the embankment, off an overpass, into a school, through yucca mountain... still going... still going..." I applaud the decision, and can't wait to see how big this gets, if only to see the backlash. And besides, its pretty crazy to think you could buy shares of apple stock now, and still make some cash off them in 5 years.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The last to know: volume two

This is from way back in 2002, but since halloween is almost here, I thought I'd bust this puppy out

NSFW - Spiderman body painting

The detail around the balls inspires as much awe as it does concern...

Friday, September 21, 2007

DORF on Golf

Well, my good kemosabe Ken is getting hitched today at the JP, before heading with his new bride to Fiji for 2 weeks. Lucky bastard - I wish I could have had a romantic wedding like that - yuk yuk.

Anyhoo - we played the home course last night. He didn't exactly have the jitters, but he shot a "10" on one hole. That means he could have shot a 17 on it. Since it's his big day, I won't air his dirty golf scores.

I bagged a 44, including one double and a brain melting triple. It's always nice to grab extra strokes like that from from knocking balls into blind spots, and then not being able to find them. If Ihad just bogeyed those two, I would have had myself a nice fat 41. Which is what E-money wound up shooting. The tuned up superquad worked fabulously - with the weighting set for low shots, my ball flight was nice and low. The slice seems to be a thing of the past... for the moment.

Screw laser distance readers and GPS for yardage - what I want is those special blue blockers I saw at Dicks. One the box, they made it look like your ball increased in contrast ten thousand percent.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The last to know: volume one

I'm going to start labeling bits like this "the last to know". These are youtube and video clips that have been seen just about everywhere, but I'm posting here in case you are "the last to know."

Here's a delightful little lunatic who is moved to great lengths based on his strong support of Britney Spears. Apparently, our media outlets have their heads so far up their arses that "YouTube Sensation™" Chris Crocker now has a reality show deal in the works. If all you need for a show is to cry under a blanket - I should be a network CEO by now. Or at least getting cameos on Entourage. Come on, we all want to meet the guy from whom Turtles buys his weed; you know I'd be perfect.

Good golfing blog

the sand trap

Covers media, some equipment reviews, and golf talk. Pretty much my dream blog. These are guys who like golf as much a me, bu from their bios, are much better at it.

The Messenger

Reminder for writing project:

The Emperor's messenger must deliver his bidding in foreign lands. Essentially, each trip is like a suicide mission that he must talk himself out of. Blackly comical short stories, sometimes intertwining. I'm thinking something from Roald Dahl. It would be funny to introduce the emperor late in the stories, and make him half insane, or otherwise the most dangerous audience for our protagonist.

Got the idea from the guy who gets kicked down the well in the beginning of 300. I didn't watch much more past that scene yet, but that guy's story seems more interesting than the meat head who did the kicking.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My 3-Wood

I'm trying to embrace the fairway woods. I'm not long off the tee, so my only hope to ever bird, or just stay in contention for pars, is to start making up some of that distance on the fairway. Unfortunately the old cleveland launcher 3-wood I was using was pretty dead at impact.

I found a used demo model TaylorMade 3-wood - I'm a discount scavenger who could care less if the bottom of the club is scuffed before I scuff it on the first swing on the range. The same spring action I feel with the TaylorMade hybrid and Superquad was evidenced here - the ball flies off the face like its trying to get away. The sound is also inspiring - think a sledgehammer pounding in a railroad spike. I'm excited to go out tomorrow evening and give it the business on the course.

The season is starting to wind down - I can see the darkness at the end of the tunnel. I should be able to continue to get 9 holes in once a week for a while, but it'll be cutting it closer and closer. What I need to do is make buddies with the club pro - and try to start getting shooed on before 3 (the limitation of the twilight pass). The other option will be to make nice nice with the range, and focus on practice until weather puts a stop to that. Well, I should have at least a month and a half until I have to start making the tough decisions.

Spreadsheet explosion

I wound up spending the day trying to manually correct some screwy spreadsheet data. I got not skills with the macros, so it was about 6 hours of cutting and pasting. Basically, the data was sitting in the wrong rows, and the addressees (it was a mailing list) was first name last, and the entire name was in one cell. It was that or eat 90 bucks an hour to have the mail handler do it. Call me cheap, frustrated and tired. That type of repetitive activity that requires concentration really saps me, and now I'm exhausted, but can't sleep. The dangerous level of diet coke I've been consuming as of late certainly doesn't help.

I have started thinking that for local businesses, any mailing list I help build, I ought to save to do my own drop to at some point. Since this one is for pilots it should be pretty good - since its an affluent bunch with some disposable income.


Seriously, WTF OJ!? He's an easy target, but come on, you've got to be kidding me.

It's nice to read the Goldman has popped up again like a karmic whack a mole to demand that any of the goods deemed valuable must be turned over as part of the wrongful death settlement.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Golf Time Capsule

2 awesome shots on Saturday at Mariana.

12th hole - two bad the first chip ran of the green, but the second chip nailed the bottom of the pin, and the ball dropped inches from the cup for bogie.

13th hole - this slightly uphill drive was clocked at over 300 yards in the cart's GPS. That's more than 70 yards farther than my average good drive. The drive sounded different and the trajectory was very low. I don't expect that to be repeated. but pretty awesome golf stuff to have happened that day.


Finally figured out my Superquad Driver. There are 4 screws that are used to alter distribution of the weight to affect hight and spin imparted to the ball. I thought it was adjusting the relative weight of each. Ther's not documentation online or anything like that. I FINALLY figured out that two of the screws are weighted, and two are not. By choosing which two of the four cavities hold weighted screws and which don't control it - there's no adjusting the weight or center of gravity of each. I guess my days of fixing bikes drew in some personal bias.

Either way, it feels good to shave 3° of loft of my driver. It doesn't sound like much, but it does keep the ball lower - I tend to sky my drives.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Home Course

This is Highland Meadows, the course where I got the twilight pass. This picture is of the 1st hole green from behind the hole (the tee box is off in the distance, and second hole across the street behind me). That tree is pretty, but its one of maybe 12 on the whole course. It looks a little apocolyptic in the background, but the course itself is beautiful. I don't know how they stay in business - nobody is ever there. It's pretty sweet playing with nobody in front or behind. If I camera up, I'll start taking some more pics. The Q ain't cutting it. There are some crazy canyons you have to land across, and some cool views.

It'll be nice to keep playing this course - being forced to focus on the target, and not the hazard you have to get over, will go a long way towards better playing. The subcounscious can really make you foul a shot out there, but the more you face it, the less it get's too you. And that's something you can bring to any course and any obstacle, be it a bunker, hazard or trees. It's all about the target. Working these visually indimidating hazards is helping that one sink in.

It's ironic, because a golf swing is so complex, you get bogged down in the mechanics. It would be like throwing darts, and spending all of you time focusing on your wrist angle and release, and never really looking at the dart board. Of course, you aren't going to close out 15's when you are looking at your fingers. Sure, you have to look at the ball in golf, but your body can swing out to the target line.

As for this hole, its a par 5 (I like it when courses start with a par 5) with a lot of water, but it is not a super long hole. I haven't birdied yet, but a strong drive can eaily put you in contention for birdie - and for long hitters and guys with solid long iron skills - possibly eagle. It's nice for a shmoe like me to kick things off with a par. The green is shaped almost like a horseshoe, with a lot of slope back towards the water.

Shootout at the OK Corral and Saloon

Snapped this at Mariana Butte (shot a 98 - with two triple bogeys on the last two holes - vomit)

I beg your pardon? So you can't bring your own booze to the golf course - no suprise there.

But wait, what's this at the bottom of the sign? Survivors? They are expecting hostile resistance to course marshall law enforcement? Do they bury the dead, or let them float away in the Big Thomspon river?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Series: Fort Collins is Woefully Bereft of...

... a hot pretzel cart in old town

A chauvinist generalization

I've noticed that I more often than not, find women who drive pick-up trucks to be mildly attractive. However - there is one major exception. If that truck has a sticker referring to how trucks are "toys" that are for "girls" and not "boys", the woman driving the truck is usually someone I find to be extremely unattractive to the point of being repellent. It's nice that I'm so scorching dead sexy that I feel comfortable commenting on other people's appearances, but there it is anyway.

LOL... this picture I found makes me think about the chasm between the idiomatic definition of "bad ass" and a more literal translation. In the latter case, I don't think that I'd like be known for having an ass that's bad or somehow otherwise not fully functioning. "Oh, that Giuseppe... he's a good guy, but he's got one of those asses that is bad." Somewhere along the line excessive cellulite or anal leakage got mixed up with toughness and grit. I suspect John Wayne was involved.

Building Models

I've been designing packaging for a client, as part of a (very) gradual rebranding process. I had the distinct pleasure of building a live model of the prototype box. It's probably only about 70% there design-wise, but you can see the direction its going in. It's always fun to ditch the mouse and pixels and break out an exacto knife and spray mount. What you can't see is how ridiculously fragile the box is. Also - as much as I anticpated it, the shock of seeing carefully selected pantone swatches get mutilated by an RGB printer is never an easy thing to digest.

It's hard to make out Erik's awesome test photo of the water filter on the front of the box. Erik's got skillz with the camera - so if you want any glamour shots done - he's your man...

Good times, bad times

Good times? Shot an 89 last night - first time I ever broke 90.

Bad times? I ran up the stairs when I got home, and folded my ankle like a crepe.

Ain't we lucky we got 'em - good times.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's always sunny in my blog

"It's always sunny in philadelphia" premiered their season tonight with two new episodes. Anyone with mariginal curiosity who lacks 100% clarity about where I am coming needs to watch this show. There is no humor more savory or delectable than emotional bankrupcy. Tivo that shit... Seacrest out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So you're mad the iphone's price dropped?

Guys - it's a phone, not an iPod. What did you expect? I've been the early adopter before, and you get whatever you signed up for, and a lot more.

I think complaining about the 100 gift certificate Apple is giving back to those customers is a lot like staring a gift horse in the mouth, and then belting said horse with an uppercut. Nice knockout, but it doesn't do anything to pick the horse up off the floor. You laid into Apple, but when's the last time Motorola sent you a 100 gift certificate because you bought a KRAZR IV two days before a 250% price drop?

Hip Hop on September 11

So 50 Cent and Kanye had this well publisized pseudo-beef about who was going to sell more albums on their release date - Sept 11.

I can safely say, as a dedicated listener of hip-hop; it doesn't matter who won the soundscan, we lost. Both albums pretty much suck. 50 Dent is basically a wind-up thug capo, and Kanye is the most talented whiner in hip-hop. And that's saying a lot.

Also, the watered down beef is okay - at least nobody gets hurt when its some fake-ass A&R BS. Still, capitalizing on 9/11 is pretty low, especially from Kanye "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" West. Sorry, 'Ye, but "if you gotta take shots like that, then you gotta take shots like that".

Somewhere I see puppet masters Jay-Z and Dr. Dre counting piles of money...

A "sticky" situation

Seabass wanted to know why things are sticky. Since I spent most of high school chemistry trying to figure out how to make my chair lean as far back as possible without falling over, I have no idea.

Apparently it has to do with electrical charges at the molecular level or "an asymmetrical distribution of charge of opposite sign". Dipoles to dipoles. Huh? Is this like molecular or atomic magnetism. Probably not, because none of the articles I read every mentioned molecular or atomic magnetism.

Then there is more chemical based bonds between an adhesive and substrate. These leads you down a quantum electrodynamics rabbit hole. Shit. That's not really helping either. I read a book on quantum physics. It was a hoot, but it felt like science fiction by the end. How am I supposed to divine from this why glue sticks more as it dries?

Okay - BASF's site has an okay answer. Things that are flush stick together well (like two wet microwavable food containers that get accidentally pushed together in the dish rack - I hate separating those things). Glue helps fill the gaps between both objects. I guess I get that. It's similar to suction. But why do flush things stick together? Jelly and peanut butter both fill the gaps in porous peanut butter, but jelly, which seems like it would fill those better, doesn't make bread stick as well peanut butter. There's the old frustration setting in. Unfortunately for me, I can smash, throw or scream at scientific laws. Fortunate for those laws, though.

As Forrest Gump once said "I'm not a smart man". Of course, he followed that statement with something profound - I got nothing though. How do I explain to a 4 year old why some things are sticky, and how "sticky" works.

I can't hardly wait for my friend who majored in materials engineering to give me a sarcastically complicated answer. Don't worry Shadrack - if my head goes all scanners on me and explodes, I'll make sure to post it on Youtube.

And I know the two things you are thinking you're thinking.

One: No, I'm not baked.

Two: Yes, the lame post title was consciously made in an effort to advance the cause of shitty blog post titles everywhere.

Make em say "ugh, nah nah nah nah"

Petraeus went before a series of presidential hopefuls yesterday. If you were a senator and running for president, you were asking questions. I heard the highlights on NPR, and it made me sick. I had more of a problem with the democrats (yes I'm a dem), but I think that's partly because there were more of them there.

There was so much stumping going on, it was clear that their ears and minds were shut, and were just thinking about A:how to use information the event to further their campaign, and B: Use the event itself to further their campaign. Now I'm against the war as much as the next guy (actually in Colorado, it would be MORE than the next guy), but this was just mindless antiwar platitudes. I think the lowest point of what I heard was Obama sniping at Biden for taking up too much time on the mic. Since Biden was heading up the committee, I think he's entitled to more time. he also has a longer term vested interest, since he's been working on a solution to this situation since way before he threw his pres hat in the ring. Hillary was using some fancy footwork, but in the end it sounded more like the closing statement of a litigator.

i feel like campaigning presents a conflict of interest, and these guys should be recused from this type of high profile shenanigans. The other thing I'm noticing, is the more I hear of Obama, the less I like the guy. He puts on a good show, and says the right stuff when it comes to platitudes, but i remember a republican governor of Texas who had a similar skill set. Obama is pushing back on criticisms to his pro-hope rhetoric. The problem isn't an upbeat message (I like John Edwards who uses a lot of hope in his messaging); my problem is that its rhetoric.

The scary and useful thing about this stumping around the war is that its an important issue, and one that seems to bring out everybody's true colors. IMO, we have a responsibility to stop the hemorrhaging we caused, while weaning the Iraqi government of our collective teat. Few candidates are talking about a phased withdrawal aim at meeting both goals - its just one or the other. It also shifts incrementally, almost directly proportional to the latest SitRep and corresponding public opinion. Opinion dips, speak more harshly. Opinion rises, tame the rhetoric. I know you guys are running for president, but it's a war - how nuanced and changing does your opinion have to be on it? Pick a stance and stick with it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11

In other news - happy birthday mom!

September 11

Well, its official. At least in Colorado, September 11th officially had joined the ranks of Pearl Harbor day. I had my annual good cry in the car, away from everybody else, but I'm not going batty for a day like I used to. I guess that's a good thing.

I don't really want to say too much else about it. It isn't because I don't care, but I don't like to pollute 9/11 by talking about it on 9/11. Give the day its due, and pontificate on the 12th.

Only when there are no witnesses

Last Sunday, after my ceiling fan fiasco, I went out solo to Highland Meadows to play 9. I wound up shooting a 44. Incidentally, while i'm waiting for the USGA to grind out my official handicap, I posted scores and course/slope ratings to calculate a simulated handicap, which was 18.5. We'll see what the official number is that gets spit out. Thank Crom that I squirreled away all of my old score cards from this summer, all the way back into May.

In other golf news (sorry guys, this stuff really is for my own future edification), I started putting more wedges into my bag. I have been of the proponent that until you unstand the dynamics of one wedge (pitching wedge not included) that you should use one wedge. That had been a low bounce 54° wedge. I put a 54° sand wedge, and a 60° back in my bag. (The psychotic 64° wedge is still sitting in my backup bag). I feel more comfortable pitching and chipping, and am using the pitching wedge more. I'm also starting to pick out a landing spot, and understanding how much each club makes the ball roll. That, combined with a better sense of how the topography of the green will shape that roll, is definitely part of what got me that 44 score. Just call me huevos rancheros, because there was a whole lotta of spicy scrambling going on.

What really counts

It's been said that it's the thought that counts. More accurately, it's the thought and a gift receipt that count.

Getting the crap scared out of me

Thank Odin the Kids were asleep for nap time when this happened. I'm kicking back, horizontal style on the couch last sunday, taking in Tiger Woods in all his unstoppable glory. The ceiling fan fell to the floor, shattering the light fixture and sounding like a gun shot. I proceeded to scream like a little girl. I don't feel sexist in making that claim as even Seabass can't hold a candle to Tay's sonic disruptions... Anyway, if you saw me, you would have seen those Aquaman-style soundwaves emanating from my voice box as I recoiled on the couch.

I was pissed off the rest of the day. I was pissed because I had no one to be pissed at. The home inspector, maybe, but I think it would have been pushing it for him to inspect the structural integrity of every fixture in the house. It was just scary, and I should feel relieved that nobody was hurt, instead of mad that somebody could have been hurt. Of course, I don't swing that way, so I was all bent out of shape.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bassman makes progress on the range

Ironic... I'm blogging this because Seabass was being so naughty I had to leave the kitchen table.

Earlier today, we went over to highland meadows. He's been getting pretty good with putting (although less and less concerned with the holes). I thought I'd take him over to the driving range which we rarely do.

I had him focus on two things. One: Put the clubface directly behind the ball as the first thing you do to get ready. Two: Keep your eye on the ball the whole time. He actually made clean contact on the first swing about half the time, and got some balls airborne - about 10 yards.

He did so good, in fact, we dropped off his clubs to get fitted. Nothing scientific, but they are chopping about 3 inches off of each, so he does have to slap shot them so much.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Score for handicap

9 holes - Highland Meadows
First two holes back to back pars
Two triple bogeys.
Three shots to get out of last hole greenside bunker.

About the Kanzeon Sutra

The Kanzeon Sutra in the sidebar is is my favorite of all sutras. (The Karma Sutra is overrated.) If it's the only Sutra you know, then now its your favorite sutra.

It's meant to be recited in a low guttural chant. I have it up there so I remember to recite it once a day. I may get around to recording it, so that others can hear the flow.

I remember sitting in Newton with a larger Sangha, and they really weren't into it. They were kind of singing it/saying it. On top of the beautiful expression of devotion, it sounds really kickass. Often times, for American Buddhists, you are meant to lose yourself in the sounds, rather than focus on the literal meaning. Similar to Latin chanting in Catholicism I suppose. It is also good practice for the breath, which is at the core of Zen meditation. In the end, always return to the breath. Each recitation of the sutra should be recited slowly, but in a single breath, if possible without strain.

Kanzeon is the Buddha of compassion. In my best moments, I recognize Kanzeon.

Here's the translation:

One with the Buddha,
Directly Buddha,
Indirectly Buddha.
One with Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.
Joyful, pure, eternal being!
Morning mind, Kanzeon.
Evening mind, Kanzeon.
Mind of this moment, Kanzeon.
There is nothing but this.

The Buddha is the one who is enlightened - you know, the guy with the gut. The Dharma is the truth of the enlightenment and the teachings of the Buddha. The Sangha is a meeting of people who have realized the existence of the path towards enlightenment, and are committed to the practice of following the path, through right living and meditation. While they have a totally different context, they are connected inexorably, similar to Catholicism's holy trinity.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Script treatment pitch

Emilio Estevez and Carl Weathers play Lt. Willem Sparks and Emmit Stronghold, two cops on the brink of retirement. Terrorists steal a nuclear warhead under the leadership of Scott Baio, returning to the big screen with an edgy middle eastern character that plays against type as an irrational, violence-crazed lunatic. and are planning on planting in LA. Not in my backyard! Carl and Emilio, at each other's throats, but always getting each other's backs, race to stop the terrorists, while thwarting bureaucracy of the well meaning Feds. Here's a taste...


The jewelry counter shatters in gunfire, pelting the crouching policemen with diamonds and broken glass. The pull their heads and pistols in tightly, before Lt. Stronghold pops up and lays down some return fire.

Stronghold: "Man, I'm getting too old for --"

Sparks: cutting in "Don't say it, Emmit. Don't even say it."

Stronghold confrontationally: "Don't say what, Will?"

Sparks: "Don't tell me you're too old for this shit. Don't say it!"

Stronghold softly:"Nah, Will. I wasn't gonna say that, brutha. You letting the heat of the moment cloud your mind, man."

Sparks a little gunshy: "Okay. Okay. My bad, brutha. What were you going to say?"


Sparks cringes before hopping up and dispatching two low level terrorist thugs, with expert marksmanship. The room is silence, gunsmoke rising and the room a glittering pile of glass shards mixed with priceless gems. Sparks pounds his chest, as if he forgets he is still holding a 45.

Sparks: "Emmit, I told you, goddammit! Don't ever talk about my mother!"


With 96 pages with the same crisp dialog, and crafted action sequences with big budget effects in mind, I just don't see how this could fail...

Good article on wedges

if you are into honing your short game, here's some good info on wedges. Some of it's 101, but if anybody is not totally keyed in on the importance of bounce - here's a good starting place. Five Good Questions About Wedges.

rube goldberg

Wednesday is the wife's Nia night. Typically things run pretty smoothly. Tonight? Not so much.

First, a little context on my 2 year old, Taytay. The flavor of her terrible twos is that of taunting court jester - whereas my 4 year old son was more of an angry tyrant at that age. So anything you tell her not do, will only result in her shrieking and giggling with glee as she does it anyway.

Sooooo... I'm giving the kids a bath. Tay loves to drink bath water. If you take away all toys and potential ladles, she'll cup her hands. Must really like that blend of soap, urine and fecal remnants that are the primary nutrients in a shared tub. Wow, I want to vomit just thinking of that. Ironic I should choose those words...

Tay winds vomits after I get her out and dressed in a fresh pair of peejays. All over herself and the rug at the top of the stairs. I change her, and then myself. I instruct Seabass not to step into the vomit, and nimbly toe-stepping, launches right into it. Great - I swoop him up. Tay is already negotiating the stairs, so I carry the bassman down in my arms, planning on planting him in the sink. I'm at the bottom of the stairs when bam! - wah! Taytay stumbles on the stairs. She doesn't fall far, but I freak, and plant the boy on the rug, vomity foot and all. Tay is freaking hard. I plant her on the couch, and finally get the boy's foot in the sink, then scrub the rug spots. Ugh. Fortunately for me the commotion left them both pretty exhausted, and usually when Tay gets hurt is when Bass gets the most compassionate.

Welcome to the Pseudointellectualist

This is the first post of the personal blog of Giuseppe Jonathan Jones, ESQ, AKA the Pseudointellectualist. Sure, its not my real name, but what do you want that for? Most of the people coming here will be familiar with my old blog, which is in the process of being shut down due to familial cyber-stalking.

If I'm ambitious enough - I'll move over my old posts, since it represents a pretty prolific boatload of bullshittery.