Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday somnambulations


No, I'm not really sleepwalking, just dusting out idle thoughts and cobwebs from the gray matter.
  • Driving to work this morning, I noted the area where the tow-plane pilot emergency landed his Cessna 188.  All things considered, I think he did a pretty good job under the circumstances.  The local news has cellphone video from a self-proclaimed YouTuber who recorded the landing.
  • The city by the bay is going to add suicide barriers to keep terminally desperate people from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, at a cost of $76M, and to the dismay of people who believe it will detract from the architectural beauty of the structure.  It's claimed that such barriers have prevented 100% of the suicides attempted where they've been installed. Over 1600 people have taken their final plunge since the bridge's construction; 46 last year.  Families of lost loved ones apparently lobbied for the barrier (and probably the engineering and contracting companies that would oblige its construction).  ""The time of healing can only begin when the steady drip-drip-drip of bodies into the raging waters has stopped," said Dana Barks of Napa, whose son, Donovan, jumped to his death in 2008."
  • It's California, but emblematic of the rot that's taken place in critical thinking across the nation.  While I don't think the barrier will enhance the view any, the aesthetic isn't the reason the plan should be nixed.  Nor, on principle, is the cost - though it's a stronger argument.  Simply put, the idea is stupid.  Sure, a silly net may deter or prevent 100% of would be self-murderers from committing the deed by jumping from the GGB.  But what about the Oakland Bay Bridge, jumping in front of one of Tony Bennett's 'little cable cars', leaping into the Grand Canyon, laying on the tracks of the City of New Orleans, jogging in Detroit - or even the mundane: car, gun, knife, pills, noose?  
  • In my life, I'm not unaware, unfamiliar or unaffected by the pain of suicide.
  • It's a slippery slope if we start putting nets around everything that a person could potentially use to effect their own demise.  There's not enough netting, webbing, and chain link in the world to prevent determined people from doing themselves in.  The folks in San Fran would do well to toss this mental jackoff (would it sound more genteel if I said 'masturbation' - just wondering) idea into the bay.
  • HuffPo's 'Divorce' column has an article titled: 3 Signs Your Wife Will Cheat On You.   "Zoie, 24, who began cheating just seven months into her marriage...36-year-old Kate, who cheated on her husband after five years...Bella, 48, began her affair three years into her marriage...Linda, 51, who divorced after 21 years of marriage but started cheating just six years in..."  Couldn't they just condense the list down to: 1) You're married to her - that's what a wife do, Ron Washington style?
  • The book I finished this week that purported to give advice about how to weather the impending global financial meltdown offers this sage advice, describing the New World Order Central Government: "We will need good and fair-minded leaders who place the interests of the many above the interests of the few. These people may be elected or volunteer.  There might be qualifications they must meet and their tenure might be months, years, decades, or life.  I don't know how all that will look.  But one thing I do know: They will be accountable for all their decisions to the people of the planet and they will be rewarded based on their results, not on expectations."   Now, that there is quite the blueprint for a successful OneWorld - those leaders are by gosh going to be accountable, even if there are no qualifications or tenure limitations.  Sounds well-thought out to me...
  • But it gets better: "I believe we will see at least one individual come forward to lead the group.  I think we will see a charismatic, singular global figure who will lead the world.  That person needs to be willing to stand up and step forward. That person lives today."  OK, dude, don't keep me in suspense.  Who is it?
  • Several paragraphs later, it's clear the author doesn't know.  "We have Mother Teresa.  We have Jesus Christ. We have Buddha.  We have Gandhi."  Oh my stars.  Readers of this blog know I am a Christian, but simply tossing Jesus Christ's name into a paragraph of pseudo-spirituality is an insult to Christianity and intelligence.  I wonder why he didn't just include Sting and Bono, as well?
  • A couple of chapters later, on the issue of health care: "...stop believing everything the doctors say.  Get second opinions for any treatment that will change the quality of life for the patients."  Look, I'm skeptical of the medical industry, but am I supposed to get a second opinion from a non-doctor?
  • By the end of the book, I realized I'd written more lucid term papers in high school, and in possibly one or two of my blogposts.  
  • Well, that latter might be a stretch...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finally, I got some new material

OK, I admit it.  I've been phoning it in lately.  Easy-peasy music vids, a few hit-and-run posts.  But none of my trademark profound, pithy thoughts.  So here goes, as I try to recover my Muse:

  • How great is it that we've nearly made it through June without a 100° day?
  • An advertising banner towplane made an emergency landing not far from my office this afternoon.
  • I finished The Day After the Dollar Crashes last night.  At first I thought it was a good read, talking about the unsustainability of the debt spiral, and giving a fictionalized projection of what a financial meltdown might look like.  But in the last three chapters, the author exposed himself to be an idiot without any real clue as to how to recover from such a crisis.  Lots of utopian, New World Order, new-age pseudo-spiritual mumbo jumbo, but nothing practical.
  • Ironically, a lady asked me late this afternoon what I thought about an impending collapse of the financial system.  She'd been listening to someone on the radio, and maybe even the author of the aforementioned book.
  • I think there is a looming market correction/global financial episode/recalibration in the not distant future.  Exactly what it will look like, I don't have a clue.
  • A man in our office yesterday said he was buying real estate because of the uncertain times.
  • Since I'm not an investment advisor, I didn't challenge the statement.  But, if I were planning for civil unrest and anarchy, real estate wouldn't be my investment vehicle of choice (especially when we're nearing the top of the market), unless it intrinsically had some income producing ability (e.g. farmland, timber, minerals).  When the stuff hits the fan, a desperate government can impose just about any property tax rate it wishes, effectively confiscating the property.
  • My thought is that in a dystopian society, I would only want to own what I could personally defend.
  • I'm not a prepper, but I do have some water and enough long-term food stores that I could get by for a short while.  I wish I had a generator.
  • A book I saw in a resale shop recently:

  •  Since I didn't buy the book, I guess I'd better hope that someone like Chalupa Cabrito is around if I need a wound closed.
  • Middle son got six stitches yesterday, after a dog (of a breed not known as aggressive) bit him, possibly in a separation anxiety attack, at the kennel where he works part-time.
  • Last weekend I awakened from dream in which I'd been spending part of an evening, with a woman - platonically, but not without hopes - and we were walking out to our respective vehicles.  She got on her cellphone, and says to some person "OK, dawg, so do I get a second date?"  I was gonna walk her to her car, but I just turned and went straight to my own.
  • The next morning, my dream involved a girlfriend I had from about seventh grade through my junior year.  We were sort of reminiscing (cue Little River Band), and she says something like "Yeah, I really didn't like you."  That kind of jolted me awake.
  • Wow, striking out two dreams in a row.
  • So, was I the inspiration for all those John Cusack characters: Walter Gibson (The Sure Thing), Lloyd Dobler (Say Anything), Jonathan Trager (Serendipity)?
  • I don't even know how to kickbox.
An instant before Gib realizes Alison hasn't left on the bus.

How iconic is this?

This was from 2001 - he's got a few more miles on him.  I can relate.
  • If I ever crave pain enough that I start dating again, I think it would be cool to use Gib's pickup line: "You know, I've never met anyone like you before. Usually when I meet someone new I feel awkward and shy. But with you it's different. I can talk to you. You know what I'm thinking without my having to explain to you in fancy terms. We speak each other's unspoken language... fluently. I love you."  If she gets the reference and laughs, it'd be a really good sign.  If she doesn't, then she's probably younger than mid-forties - too much of a culture/generation gap.
  • My employees have been harassing me about a woman - about four years my senior - they believe is seeking a relationship.  Yes, there are indications that could be true, but I don't view them as definitive.  While she is attractive, and able to have an intelligent conversation, I'm thinking she's an α-female.  The witty repartee we have in my office would get to be a beat down if it were on a full-time basis.
  • I need someone more laid back, down-to-earth.  Like Sally Field in Murphy's Romance, maybe Amy Madigan's character in Field of Dreams.
  • Yeah, all my movie references are seriously dated.
  • One of my customers informed me yesterday that his [second] wife had moved out this past week.  Not his second wife this week, but the one he's been married to for about 8-9 years. 
  •  Apparently she didn't cotton to his demanding some accountability from her lazy kids.
  • It's not the first time I've seen this happen.
  • Makes me think maybe I'm OK- even better off - to live alone.  It's not like women have been lining up to audition anyway.
  • Here's HuffPo's take on married bliss.  Seriously, HuffPo, do you think any woman really believes #13?  Inconceivable. And I do know what that word means.
  • Since I finished what was supposed to be a 'serious' book, I'm moving on to Graham Nash's autobiography Wild Tales.  But, I've got a Barry Goldwater biography on my office credenza, so as not to get carried away by levity, and to maintain a veneer of gravitas.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Runaway

Not the Del Shannon or Bay.

Heard this today in a store - probably hadn't in 30 years...