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My Big Red Couch

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Jamie found this. It's aweseome. gVisit. "Track visitors to your website using Google Maps." Run. RUN!!!/a>

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I have been teaching motorcycle safety for 6 or 7 years now, I'm not sure exactly how long it has been. I have always thought I was pretty good, but now I wonder.

Sunday, 3 short days ago, demonstrating the last exercise of the day in the afternoon I crashed in the swerve box. I am such a good "bad example." I don't feel good about my crash but I can learn from it. A crash is a series of factors that accumulate.

What factors did I accumulate?

It was shortly after 4pm on a Sunday after teaching since Friday night.
Factor #1 - Fatigue.
It was misting, not really raining but not dry either.
Factor #2 - Slick surface. The range is beat up; bumps, tar snakes, old paint, new paint and paint that has been burnt off.
Factor #3 - Poor quality surface. I was riding a dual-sport. They handle well but have a high center of gravity. I think I was going too fast.
Factor #4 - Speed.
I am good at teaching Really, I am.
Factor #5 - Pride.

And all I have to show for it is busted up pride and this tidy bit of road rash. Posted by Picasa

And I'm not teaching ever again (this year).

Same great wound, now in vivid color. Thanks to Jamie for snapping this with my camera (because she just couldn't stand the crappity photo I took in the bathroom mirror this morning). Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 26, 2005

If television is a babysitter...

So true. So true.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Heavy Sigh

There are too many books that I want to read, yet I want to write one (or a dozen) and that takes me down the path that wonders how many people would read or would only want to read what I have writen, which leads me to ask who would read what I wrote anyway?

But then there's you and (here's the sucker punch)... you're already reading what I've written (doh!)

Sorry. It's the Ouzo connecting the dots; not me.

I was touched by His Noodly Appendage (not me, somebody else was)

Need a new religion? Try Pastafarianism! That's just the Wiki. The real religion is over HERE!

159, 28897

So, those numbers probably don't make much sense (think of it as a secret message) but that's what I feel just like after spending quality time on the roof in the rain pulling out the remaining bits of shingles that the wind didn't take off the roof in the ginormous wind storm on Monday. I had patched the roof on Saturday and figured there would be plenty of warm days left for the adhesive on the backside of the shingles to heat up and adhere to the shingles beneath. It rained Sunday. The wind blew Monday. The wind blew so hard Monday that it knocked the PeeVee off it's blocks out in the street (it wasn't hurt, merely scared). I got bitched at about the roof yesterday so today I went up.

Other than the rain it was a nice time with the Stellar's Jays (I brought the peanuts, they sang along).

As for the numbers, Blog of a Bookslut posted a link to Wordcount which is a lovely experiment that ranks word useage.

So, having shingled the roof and found a witty way to bitch about it I feel like an (charades; two words) 159, 28897.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Knock Knock

Genevieve: Knock Knock, Dad.
Me: Knock, Knock
Genevieve: Who's there, Dad?
Me: Who's there?
Genevieve: Who's there, Dad?
Me: Genevieve!
Genevieve: No, Dad!
Me: Genevieve, who?
Genevieve: No, Dad, no!
Me: Genevieve you!
Genevieve: I mean it!

She says the funniest stuff.

Three of my favorite blogs talk about kids. MetroDad blogs nearly exclusively about his nearly one year old peanut. Jessica at Spidercamp works in childcare and she sees things that I could never begin to describe. Steve at The Sneeze writes about all manner of inanity but he also shares his 5 year old's jokes which are hilarious (if you're a 5 year old). To the three of you, thank you for sharing. For everybody else, go read their blogs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


It is difficult to get any work done with guests arriving every few minutes. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Flap

He had never considered anything other than flight. Sure there was hopping but flight got you places. He could not hop after prey. That would be ridiculous.

His wings could flap. His wings could flutter. His wings did everything but hop. His wings could take him from the mountains to the sea. His wings could take him over trees, over streams, over houses, over lakes. His wings. His.

Seeing the man wandering his yard with a shiny thing in his hands made him consider walking vs. flight. He had not thought this before. The man could walk. The man could bend. The man could pick things up on the ground. All He could do was fly and hop. He had no need for walking. He had flight.

So focused. Posted by Picasa


More ramblings that go with a picture or versvica. While Jamie was at the doctor’s (lower case “d”) office with Madeleine I sat on the back deck with camera in hand while Genevieve played in the pea gravel below. I got a bunch of snaps of the Teds and I hope this will inspire a little more creative writing.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Flora Communicata

He thought the nasturtiums on the back deck had just spoken to him. Had they? They were plants. Their sentience was not in question. Plants do not speak. Plants do not have vocal chords. Plants do not ask you to perform household chores on a sunny Sunday morning. Plants do not use manners.

Yet the nasturtiums on the back deck had asked, “Please, stop the whining of the refrigerator.” Hadn’t they?

They may talk but they can't go far. Posted by Picasa


I had tried to find a picture to write about, then I tried to edit a picture I had taken so I could write about it, then I got distracted by my Bloglines feeds. Stop Smiling magazine recently interviewed Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train) and they purported “touching on everything from haunted Indian burial grounds to sentient plantlife” so I had to write about the nasturtiums and what they have been telling me.

Don’t neglect the blog (I know you’re out there; I will hunt you down).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Return of Turkey Bacon

At breakfast on day one of the training I just attended in Minneapolis there was turkey bacon. Turkey bacon? What is turkey bacon, you ask? I don’t know. That’s why the return of turkey bacon is so disturbing.

Turkey bacon looks like real bacon. There are reddish brown parts and whitish tan parts, just like real old fashioned pork bacon. But then, turkey bacon is so much more. Turkey bacon, this turkey bacon anyway, has the consistency of hard rubber. Essentially it is a thin strip of bacon shaped and colored rubber. Think Beggin’ Strips just like Rover eats for treats.

I love bacon. I love crispy pork bacon. I love the way taunting a Jew with a piece of bacon makes them scurry like a vampire looking for darkness (I am not ashamed to exploit stereotypes; my apologies to all the vampires reading this). I love a nice crispy nearly burnt piece of bacon that has had so much of the moisture sucked out of it that it dissolves in your mouth. Mmmmmmm bacon.

Turkey bacon, however, is none of that. It looks like bacon. It even kind of smells like, well no, it has no smell. No smell that I can remember. But it looks so much like bacon. I guess this is a similar concept to eating soap that smells delicious or tanning oil (not that I have done either. Often).

The Hyatt Regency did a great job with the variety and quality of the food they provided at the conference but the turkey bacon… How could they. The only other down side Hyatt's food was the barely identifiable desert products but that is a dissertation for another time.

So the hypothesis, although I don’t think any of us considered it, was that turkey bacon came and went and we had seen the last of it. Not so.

I was one of the first in the feed line. I am reasonably polite and have been going late or at least taking my time to get in line but I had no snack this morning so when they said eat I went running. Running is a little off as a description. I definitely neither took my time nor waited for everyone else.

The had the chafing dishes with hinged dome lids so every time you opened one the food, unless there was red sauce dripping down the front of the pan, was almost always a surprise, if not a mystery (which reminds me, there were an awful lot of breaded baked substances that might have been fish or might have been chicken; I tended to stay away; again an exploration for some other time). So this final meal was turning into Let’s Make a Deal.

Behind dome number one? Ta da! Steaming water. Maybe they hadn’t put everything out yet. Behind dome number two? TURKEY BACON! Turkey bacon: the bane of my existence this trip.

But it was so seductive. It looks JUST LIKE BACON (do I sound a little obsessed with bacon?) and the look of bacon is so seductive that I could smell the nonexistent pork bacon smell. The memory of the smell got my mouth to watering. On the one hand I had tried the turkey bacon the other day and it was about as appetizing as the tongue of a multipurpose running shoe (not that I have eaten one but I can imagine). On the other hand it just looked and mentally smelled like bacon and by then I was nearly drooling.

Well, what will it hurt? I took a few slices. I will be brave and I will eat this turkey bacon by God. So I did. I picked up my first piece and, well, it just wasn’t as crispy as it looked. It looked like it should have just snapped but it bent. So I tore it in half. Food that is not bread or cheese should not tear. I put it in my mouth. It was the same. Damn you turkey bacon. Damn you.

And then it dawned on me. As I sat there with a rubbery piece of bacon colored turkey in my mouth, my taste buds completely disgusted with me, my mouth drying faster than a dead body shriveling in the desert, this turkey bacon is recycled. This is the turkey bacon from the other morning. The turkey bacon, beyond being a non-breast cancer discussion, was pretty much a turn off for everybody. This must be the turkey bacon from then. Food recycling.

I wonder at the nutritional summary, sans cooking. Posted by Picasa

Turkey bacon is wrong. If you do not believe me go out and buy yourself a sheet. You can always hang on to it and use it as a gasket if you don’t like it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Thought for today

As seen scrawled on a marble bench in a public area at the South end of Nicollette Mall, Minneapolis, MN. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hey Baby

I took this with Jamie's D70 and her 70-300 lens. I was about 6 feet from him/her as it was perched on the corner of our roof just above the back deck. Jamie swears it's a baby. Posted by Picasa

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