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LeBarge

I am now the proud owner of a simply huge 1984 Buick LeSabre, which, with the inspiration from my friend, Erick, I have christened LeBarge. The car, a gift from my grandmother, costs over $1600 for me to insure per year with nothing but the basic coverage for New York State. My license is clean and my driving record is almost so, but none of that information matters, since I was given this rate before my records were looked up. This is the basic going rate for a new customer. My Volkswagon, which I still owe someone money for, was junked after the right front axle fell off. Right into the road. This caused no injury or property damage, so I was pretty damned lucky there, and the new LeBarge, as noted, was a gift, so all in all I made out on the change. And now, 38 people can ride with me in American-style comfort, in my 4-gallons-to-the-mile Buick. And, ha! my trunk is bigger than your pitiful SUV. I’m thinking of painting LeBarge metallic-purple or orange. Then maybe I’ll get a large feathered hat to wear while driving. Those bouncy suspension-thingies that I see on all those urban music videos are also on the list. You can’t stop me. Issa free country, innit?

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Another Temporary Delay

A couple of months ago, I found myself unable to keep up with my site, and warned everyone that they probably wouldn’t hear from me, via email, for a couple of weeks, but Jenn & Brian were able to keep me on the ’Net for most of April and May. Now, however, I’m modemless again, and will probably only be able to read and respond to email (and update my site) once a week. If yer emailing me, wondering why I’m not responding, this is the reason. I’ll be back online soon. Promise.

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A token of thanks

Lord, I was born a rambling man. And to that end, today is my last day over Brian & Jennifer’s house. With little or no benefit for themselves, they took me in and helped me out when I needed it the most. My sincerest thanks and appreciation goes out to them for taking in strays, and, since they’re getting married next week, I wish them all the luck and love that they can use.

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This time, we know the threat is vague

Does this make sense?

In my opinion, prospects of a future attack against the United States is almost certain, [Vice President Dick Cheney] said on NBC’s Meet the Press. We don’t know if it’s going to be tomorrow or next week or next year. He added that it was not a matter of if, but when….
A government official said [18 May 02] that the volume and pattern of suspected al Qaeda communications were similar to those of messages intercepted in the months before the September 11 terrorist attacks.

When compared to this?

Cheney rejected criticism that the Bush administration and federal agencies had reports foreshadowing the September 11 attacks but failed to act on them….
There were warnings over a period of months about the possibility of an attack at home, Cheney said, but it was impossible to warn the public effectively without specific information.

Doesn’t the new warning contradict the line that our government didn’t now something was up last time? We know that al Qaeda operatives are gearing up for something by the amount of traffic, similar to the boost before 11 Sep 01. Cheney said that it would have been useless to warn us about vague attacks last year, because You can also sustain an alert for only so long. But that is exactly what these new warnings are, timeless alerts for vague attacks. Useless. And more likely than not, a very weak attempt by our government to deflect the attention from the failure of our intelligence and security agencies towards the fallacious idea that we’re on top of those damned Arabs, this time for sure. The above quotes were taken from this CNN.com article.

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Politically Incorrect

I hate to be so paranoid. But when a Bushie gets into office, a year later they cancel the one show that would actually be brave enough to have critics of the regime say uncomfortable things on network television. Apparently, when Bill Maher could target a Clinton presidency, Disney had no problem letting him eviscerate those that deserve it. Maher is intelligent, cynical, and skeptical, all things that we need in a talking head. I still have hope, since Dennis Miller is still on the air, but, of course, even he was dropped by Disney after the bizarre experiment with him and Monday Night Football. Will Time Warner, owner of HBO, decide that Miller is out of touch with the teeming masses that watch cable? Eventually, yes, but I am hopeful that it won’t be for another three years. My advice to Bill Maher: Get an Internet soap box. It works well for Michael Moore. Currently, billmaher.com is hijacked by some Jesus-freaks, which is ironic, since Maher himself is pretty much an outspoken atheist. Do they believe that anyone who enjoys Maher’s biting wit will stumble here and hear the Word of God, repent, and deny this world? Good luck. And politicallyincorrect.com has been claimed by a naive domain-name prospector, hoping for some untold millions when Disney desperately begs for the name. Ooops! Sorry chowder-head! The show’s been cancelled, you’ve been wasting your time. I offer my site to you, Bill. It isn’t much, but it occupies just as much Internet real estate as ABC, Disney, and TryJesus.com. When I finally reopen Lounge, it sure would be nice to have a star of your magnitude on the inside, no offense to Thom. I can’t pay you anything, but you can keep 50% of the profits from the CafePress T-shirts we’ll sell. And I promise never to censor you for saying things that need to be said.

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How to play guitar

When I asked Rich(e)rich how to play the guitar this was his advice: first step- pick up the guitar
then get a pick
Play!
And what do you know? It works!

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Restating the obvious

I’ve just decided to become annoyed with a very common human fallibility. It is, on the grand scale, quite harmless, but I think it proves how stubborn we tend to be in the face of contradictory evidence. Here is what the condition breaks down to: Person 1: Is that “A”? Person 2: No, it is “B.” Person 1: Oh, ’cause I thought it was “A.” Person 2: Yep, I can see how you can make that mistake. But, no, it is “B.” Person 1: Because it looks just like “A.” And when I saw it, I was sure it was “A.” …and so on. Now Person 1 is obviously just trying to make a point about how she confused “A” with “B,” but the problem is that Person 2 isn’t arguing the point. He agrees that “A” could easily be confused with “B.” He is just letting Person 1 know that “B” is in fact “B.” That’s it. No scolding or name-calling. No accusations. And yet, Person 1 desperately needs either to convince Person 2 that “B” should be destroyed /mocked/changed because it looks/sounds/tastes/whatever just like “A,” or she desperately needs to keep talking, since taking in the new information is harder work than rehashing the same concept over and over again. Yes, Person 2 really should say, yes, I understand that you thought “A” was “B.” But it isn’t, so get over it. You don’t need to convince me of your confusion. So I’ve decided to let this bother me. Be warned. If you ever play the part of Person 1 and I am fallen into the role of Person 2, what I will say is, “I know what you thought!!! But it isn’t! Get over it! You don’t need to convince me that you were confused!” Or is that painfully obvious?

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French Fries Cause Cancer

Ah, as if life weren’t difficult enough, now the simple pleasure of eating fattening, starchy French fries is put to the task. As this article shows, there is a potentially carcinogenic chemical created as starchy food gets cooked at high heat. Luckily, what the article doesn’t mention is that the anti-carcinogenic qualities of tomatoes are increased as they are cooked and processed. So always eat ketchup with your fries. Nature provides.

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An ounce of lead is worth a pound of cure

The War on Drug claims another innocent victim. According to this article, from Newsday, (Click to read in new window. Warning: pop-up ads.), a 20 year-old man was killed, by accident, during a raid that recovered “eight ounces to a pound” of marijuana. The accident occurred when one elite police officer tripped over a tree root into another officer holding a semi-automatic pointed towards the victim.

The article continues with the police claiming that the victim did not lay down on the ground with arms outstretched, as police instructed. Can we safely assume that the officer would still be pointing his gun at the victim even after he was on the ground? If so, then the feeble attempts to spin this as the victim’s fault are not only groundless, but they are purposefully misleading. No weapons or drugs were found on the victim afterwards. He was merely an casualty of unfortunate circumstance.

Eight ounces to one pound of pot. Eight elite Emergency Service officers. One clumsy accident. One innocent victim.

Lest anyone think that I am bashing the cops, I am not. I do not blame the police, in this particular case. It is the insanely dangerous and stupid laws that are in place that create these types of all too typical situations. Now I can no longer claim in good faith that pot never killed anybody. When lawmakers assume we are all criminals, then anyone can pay the ultimate price for so-called justice.

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Red Skies and Flawed Logic

There is a kind of mysterious fun to not be up on current events whilst being in the midst of them. I imagine that many people go through life not really aware of the events around them, and yesterday, I was one of those people. Towards the afternoon, the distinct odor of burning wood wafted into the building where I was working. It was strong enough to warrant a check on my part around the grounds of the building, but ubiquitous enough not to give me an idea on the general direction of the source. So after a few minutes, I determined that wherever and whatever the source of the burning was, it didn’t put anything in my vicinity in danger.

I left work at about 8:30 in the evening. I’ve been quite tired, because, as previously noted in this blog, I’m totally off in my sleeping patterns, so the hazy, blurry red moon I attributed to my tired eyes, rather than a natural phenomenon. The thick layer of particulates on my car, I attributed to pollen that must be coming from the blossoming tree that I parked under. It was so thick that I couldn’t see out my windshield without washing it first.

Yeah, sometimes I’m not too quick.

Finally, I was driving home and a major road way was blocked off. Still nothing is coming together in my head, and I curse my bad luck as I make an alternate route to Erick and Michele’s house. When I get there, I ask them to turn on the local traffic station to see what the trouble was on the parkway. Turns out that brush fires were so bad in the area that there was no visibility on the Sunken Meadow, and it had been closed for much of the day. Brush fires?

Hmm…, I thought to myself, that would explain the lingering smell, the red sky, and the thick layer of non-pollinated soot on my car. Combine that with all the snippets of stories I’ve heard about the brush fires we’ve had on the island, because of the dry conditions and sudden heat wave, and my steel-trap mind puts it all together.

Still and all, while always being in areas that would suffer from the occasional major fire, I’ve never actually been within five miles of a hot zone. These were always things that happened on the East End, while living on the island, or things that happened on the West Coast, when living in Florida. My prejudice was in assuming that it the brush fires must have been further away, surely not in my suburbia. It did make for a eerily beautiful sky, and despite it’s power to obfuscate, it helped clear my mind.