Friday, February 29, 2008

Beat Me To It

A while ago I had a Business Idea where unsuspecting recording artists could be suckered into thinking they would get some protection from piracy of their work by a company that's really just interested in taking their money.

Apparently, that idea's already been thought of. How on earth did I think I could come up with a scam to rip people off when there are lawyers who sit around all day and come up with ways to do it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The F Word

Yep. FORTY. Today. Thanks to everyone who said Happy Birthday.

I'm not sure how well I'm taking the whole 40 thing. I really have been thinking about death way too much lately. I've never been much of an existentialist, but the 40 thing has hit me much harder than I thought it would.

As an antidote, I searched for other people who turn 40 this year, and tried to figure out if them being around my age made me feel good or bad. (This is just a list of names that made me feel SOMETHING about how old they are or how my impression of them makes me feel. It's in order of birthdate.)

Cuba Gooding Jr. (Doesn't make me feel too bad, he seems young and filled with energy)
LL Cool J, (Makes me feel pretty old)
Mary Lou Retton (Makes me feel ANCIENT)
Sarah McLachlan (Alright, maybe not that ancient)
Lisa Marie Presley (Back to Ancient)
Gary Coleman (Downright decrepit)
Molly Ringwald (Was she 12 when she was in Breakfast Club?)
Jeri Ryan (Oooh..At least HOT is still possible)
Lisa Loeb (How old is Dweezil Zappa?)
Mark McGrath (ugh)
Kenny Chesney (Oh good lord)
Céline Dion (This one made me put a deposit on a cemetery plot)
Sebastian Bach (This one made me pay it off because I'll need it tomorrow)
Patricia Arquette (Wow, didn't know she did True Romance as an infant.)
Anthony Michael Hall (See Molly Ringwald)
Ashley Judd (Okay, I honestly thought she was older, so this was a bit encouraging)
Timothy McVeigh (Outlived one on the list anyway)
Traci Lords (Maybe I should dig that cemetery plot this weekend)
Tony Hawk (Hey, maybe this 40 thing will hit someone else harder than me!)
Jorja Fox (Not sure about this one)
Barry Sanders (Good lord I'm old)
Jim Norton (And unsuccessful)
Gillian Anderson (This one shocked me. She must have been 20 when X-files started)
Eric Bana (I'm the same age as the Hulk. Wow)
Debra Messing (I thought she was older)
Rachael Ray (I REALLY thought she was older)
Mike Piazza (Finally, an active player. Youth may be possible yet)
Will Smith (Parents just don't understand that getting old only beats the alternative)
James Caviezel (I'm older than Jesus)
Hugh Jackman (And Wolverine!)
Vanilla Ice (Bury me now)
Parker Posey (Love her, but still thought she was older)
Sammy Sosa (maybe I should try HGH)
Owen Wilson (Okay, maybe someone is taking the 40 thing harder than me)
Lucy Liu (It's so hard telling the age of people with different heritage)
Margaret Cho (Except when it's Margaret Cho and you just feel OLD)

I've always insisted that the year I was born was perhaps the worst in the history of America, and not just because I was born in it. Here's a list of Bad things that happened in 1968.

Tet Offensive
My Lai Massacre
This picture was taken
Nixon Elected
RFK Assasinated
MLK Assasinated
Black Panther Salute at Mexico City Olympics
Charlie Chaplin died
John Steinbeck Died
Helen Keller Died
Chicago 8/7
France gets the bomb
Saddam Hussein comes to power
Congress repeals the gold standard

Just to offset, some good things obviously happened. But this is all I could come up with:

Apollo 8 Orbits the moon
Hypertext debuts
The White Album debuts
Civil Rights Act of 1968 is signed

Monday, February 25, 2008

More to Come

I'll continue the Photography story in a bit, I'm delayed by the fact that I want to scan in some old photos from the newspaper days and I need to hop off my lazy ass and get it done so I have some visual accompaniment to go with the stories.

dervish10th But today is my oldest little girl's 10th birthday and I wanted to wish her a happy 10th Bday!

Happy Birthday Dervish!

She's getting up there in years, and I know how she feels since my 40th is tomorrow. I'll have a long-winded post about that when the time comes!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

How To Make Iggy Love Your Blog

Just post this picture and he'll swoon!


Photograph by Matt Wright


So little Duggle has his inadequate camera and a contact at the local newspaper.

I took some of my hard earned money from working clean-up at a butcher shop and bought myself a brand new Nikon FE2 and an old scratched up used Nikon 180mm F/2.8 ED lens. Eventually I would add an MD12 motor drive for my "high-school football special" setup. On Friday nights I would go to my assigned high school and shoot the game, returning to the Messenger with a few rolls of film.

My vivid memories of that time are the orange lights of a large darkroom with several people lined up at enlargers. Everybody was smoking, and since the room didn't have a traditional door that opened but instead a revolving door that never let light in or smoke out, the place was filled to the rafters with the musty stench of last week's Marlboros.

Eventually I quit the butcher shop job and upgraded to the camera counter at Montgomery Ward. From there I moved a few stores down in the mall to a Ritz Camera store, all the while feeding my photography habit. I had a good camera, some adequate lenses and a darkroom in my closet at home.

I liked working in the mall, enjoyed my coworkers and felt important when I traveled to different schools to photograph the varied sporting events. I was still in high school, working two jobs and having tons of fun. Things were going great, but a horrible mistake was looming in the future.


(to be continued..)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I got into photography when I was still in high school. I bought a cheap 35mm camera made by Mamiya and a 135mm telephoto lens to go with the normal 50mm lens. My best friend's mom told me that the local newspaper was looking for people to take pictures at high school sporting events. I was already working at a small mom and pop butcher shop but I thought this might be a fun way to spend some time and maybe see my pictures in print.

I met Lauren, a staff photographer for the Messenger, at a nearby high school where a girls soccer game was going on. She looked at my cheap camera equipment and said "that lens isn't long enough or fast enough." But she gave me a couple of rolls of black and white film and I stood on the sidelines and attempted to capture some of the action.

After the game I followed her to the Messenger offices where we developed the film and looked at the negatives on a light table. One of my shots was reasonably in focus and you could actually make out a girl's face in the frame. The shot appeared in the next day's newspaper and I eventually got a check that included $10 for that effort.

I was hooked. This was what I wanted to be when I grew up.

(to be continued..)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


It's generally pretty cold lately here in the plant where I work, mostly because of the construction going on. When there are giant holes in the walls you expect it to be fairly chilly.

The interface for the system that attempts to control the environment is in my workspace, so there are often guys who work for Carrier (the HVAC contractor in charge of that stuff) in the room fiddling with the systems.

One of my coworkers who was all bundled up in his hoodie sweatshirt asked a Carrier guy if he could turn up the heat. The Carrier guy explained that we were basically at the mercy of the outside temperature because of all the holes in the building. So my coworker asked if he could do anything about the outside temperature. The Carrier guy laughed and said his company was working on the problem.

As he stepped out the door he added, "should be ready by July."

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I stole this from Radley over at The Agitator and I thought I'd display it here because I thought it was so funny.


I didn't hotlink the image, I copied it and hosted it via my flickr account. I do sometimes hotlink photos on this blog but it's usually just from traditional news type sources. I try not to steal bandwidth from individuals but I haven't been very vigilant about it.

I don't know if many of the images I put on this site get hotlinked elsewhere with the exception being some of the comics. Most of the time when people reproduce the comics they email me and tell me about it to make sure it's cool. As long as they link back to my site I enjoy it very much.

It is more of a concern when I host actual photos I've taken. I don't want to hear about some Myspace douchebag stealing one of my pictures and using it unattributed as his background. Of course there's nothing I could do about it if someone did. I do want to do some posts about my digital photography experiences so far so it's a growing concern. I'm open to anyone's ideas about the subject.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Poker Comic #180

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Poker Comic presented by Free Poker Money. Some places offer $25 Free Money. Some offer $50 or $75 Free Money. Here you get $100, with No Deposit Required and No Credit Card Required. (New Players Only, Must be 21 or older.)

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Some of these are just funny to me...


Congrats to Uno, the first ever Beagle to be selected as "Best in Show" at the Westminster Dog Show. It seems to me that there's been an historical prejudice against hound dogs in the judging, especially vs Beagles. Dervish and I are very pleased to see a Snoopy dog finally make it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Go Uno!

unoUno is the first Beagle ever to make the final day of the Westminster Dog Show. The first time ever a Beagle has a chance to win "Best in Show."

For Beagle lovers like me it's a big deal. I'll be watching the final tonight with my beagle Dervish (probably asleep, give her a break she turns nine next week) next to me.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Writing vs. Blogging

I am not a writer. I used to be a writer. I was paid to write. I was trained to write. I went to college and learned to write. I studied a style book and learned how to write correctly. I did poorly at first. I improved. I became acceptable, even prolific. I could write at great length about nearly any subject and maintain at least a passable amount of interest, at least as much as the subject deserved.

But now I am not a writer. Sure I blurt out some thoughts once in a while, but that doesn't make me a "writer." It makes me a "blogger." I just try to get the ideas down. I don't generally think about style farther than maybe checking my parallel structure, syntax and spelling. Maybe. Sometimes.

There are actually writers out there blogging. Some very good writers also blog. Just because you blog doesn't mean you're not a writer, and JUST BECAUSE YOU BLOG DOESN'T MEAN YOU ARE A WRITER EITHER.

It is an insult to some of the "real" writers out there that some of you are calling yourself writers.

Seriously. I've been reading some GODAWFUL SHIT out there from some folks that think they can write. It seems like they are writing like they imagine writing should be. All full of clichés, horrible metaphors, retarded similes and run-on sentences. I guess they think their style is "conversational." It's actually "horseshit." It's phony.

Stop pretending to be something you're not. It's great that you have a place to express your feelings and opinions, and it's wonderful that you get to regale us with the sordid details of your past. But stop getting such a big head and calling yourself a writer. You're just a blogger.

Like me.

P.S. Lesson One: Less commas. More periods. Even that could improve almost everyone's writing by a thousand percent. Read your posts. If every single sentence has a comma in it you're guilty of comma abuse. Commas separate distinct ideas. They're not just a pause. Now go.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Poker Comic #179

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Poker Comic presented by Free Poker Money. Some places offer $25 Free Money. Some offer $50 or $75 Free Money. Here you get $100, with No Deposit Required and No Credit Card Required. (New Players Only, Must be 21 or older.)

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Go McCain!

Suddenly I'm a BIG fan of Republican Front-Runner, Senator John McCain of Arizona. Why?

Because all the ultra-right super (neo?) conservatives hate him. The Hannitys, The Limbaughs, the O'Reillys....they can't STAND him. They have been EXTREMELY vocal about how much they despise him. They even use the dirtiest word in their vocabulary to describe him. They call him "liberal."

And yet John McCain is leading the GOP primaries by a long shot, and will almost certainly carry the Republican flag in the upcoming presidential race. The Loudmouth Conservative Media Idiots are telling everyone not to pick McCain, and it doesn't matter, McCain is still winning.

Just to repeat, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THEY SAY. THEY DO NOT MATTER. It turns out their opinions are ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS. They have been completely marginalized, if their opinions counted for anything at any time. They have NO INFLUENCE. They probably never did.

It's wonderful having a perfect example about how little effect these big mouths actually have.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Bowl Commercial

Am I the only poker player out there who watched the Coke commercial with James Carville and Bill Frist and had fantasies of Carville JAMMING THAT COKE BOTTLE INTO BILL FRIST'S EYE SOCKET UNTIL HIS BRAINS SPILLED OUT THE BACK OF HIS SKULL?

Just me? Oh.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Public Service Announcement


For all you Pats fans.

Suicide Hotline.

I could feel it coming in the fourth quarter. When the Pats defensive back missed that interception that was right in his hands. When Eli broke loose on the sure sack to complete a 30+ yard pass. Only Boston sports teams can come that close to winning and then find a way to lose. Boston teams don't just lose when it's close. They lose when THEY SHOULD WIN. They manage to find a way to Buckner it.