Monday, February 27, 2006

Another one (I'm not gonna call it a "meme")

My ex was...
Not the one I really wanted.

Maybe I should...
Write a real blog entry instead of doing another one of these. Two in a row is pretty lame.

I love...
Women.

I don't understand...
Why people believe the hype.

I lost...
My religion.

People would say that I don't...
Look very approachable.

Love is...
Saying you're sorry.

Somewhere, someone is...
Practicing, and when he meets you, he will beat you. (I used to have a t-shirt that said that.)

I will always...
Love You.

I never want to...
Be like other people are/Don't wanna own a key/Don't wanna wash my car.

I think the current President is…
Incompetent.

When I woke up in the morning...
I went back to sleep.

The world is full of...
Oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, titanium, hydrogen, and phosphorus.

My past is full of incredibly...
My past is wholly credible.

I get annoyed when...
People talk to me.

Parties are for...
Avoiding.

I wish...
If I say it, it won't come true.

My dog...
Up and died, she up and died, after 20 years I still grieve. (Not really.)

My cats...
Curl up by the fire/And sleep for awhile/It's the grooviest thing/It's the perfect dream. (I don't actually have any cats, but if I did, they'd be Love Cats.)

Kisses are the worst when...
Eyes are open and mouths are closed.

Tomorrow I'm going to...
Work.

I really want...
Something else.

I have low tolerance for people who...
Think they have all the answers. I'm the one with all the answers. Listen to me.

If I had a million dollars...
I'd buy a nice house.

In the middle of the night...
I sleep.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A question thing deal

1. If you could build a second house anywhere, where would it be?
Kujukuri Beach

2. What are your favorite articles of clothing?
Hoodies, t-shirts, shorts, sweats, jeans. Not necessarily all at the same time.

3. The last CDs you bought?
The last CD I acquired is "Mott the Hoople: Greatest Hits."

4. What time do you wake up in the morning?
6:00-ish

5. What is your favorite kitchen appliance?
People have favorite kitchen appliances?

6. If you could play an instrument, what would it be?
Electric guitar

7. Favorite color?
Blue

8. Which vehicle do you prefer, sports car, motorcycle, or SUV?
I'd kind of like a motorcycle.

9. Do you believe in the afterlife?
I guess so

10. Favorite children's book?
_Where the Wild Things Are_

11. What is your favorite season?
Summer

12. If you have a tattoo, what is it?
None

13. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Invisibility. With my clothes on.

14. Can you juggle?
No

15. One person/people from your past you wish you could go back and talk to?
Nobody

16. What is under your bed?
Stuff

17. What is your favorite day?
Saturday

18. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?
Depends on my mood

19. From the people who normally read your blog, who is the most likely to respond first?
Sheila (I read your blog every day, btw)

20. On which blog did you find this meme?
In this thread

21. What is your favorite flower?
I don't have any particular preference

23. What is your favorite meal?
Any well-prepared meal eaten with people whose company I enjoy

24. Describe your PJs.
Sweatpants or shorts and a sweatshirt or t-shirt

25. What is your favorite breakfast?
I usually eat granola. About once a year I like a complete English breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, rolls, etc. Any more than once a year and my arteries clog and I die.

26. Do you like your job?
It's ok

27. What is your dream job?
Jessica Alba's kept man

28. What age do you plan to retire?
Never

29. Where did you meet your spouse or significant other?
Church

30. Something you would like to do that you have never done before.
Skydive

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Schadenfreude

scha·den·freu·de (shäd′n-froi´də) noun

Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

[German : Schaden, damage (from Middle High German schade, from Old High German scado) + Freude, joy (from Middle High German vreude, from Old High German frewida, from frō, happy).] -- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition

Photos and text from the L.A. Times:

Before
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After
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A red Ferrari Enzo — one of only 400 ever made and worth more than $1 million — broke apart Tuesday when it crested a hill on Pacific Coast Highway going 120 mph and slammed into a power pole.

[The] demolished car had been owned by a Swedish millionaire….

Sheriff's investigators identified him as 44-year-old Stefan Eriksson, a Bel-Air resident. Officials are trying to determine whether he is the noted Swedish game designer whose firm, perhaps not surprisingly, was involved with car-racing themed video games.

Authorities said Eriksson said he was a passenger in the Ferrari, which he said was being driven by a German acquaintance he knew only as Dietrich.

One witness told deputies that the Ferrari appeared to be racing with a Mercedes-Benz SLR northbound along the coastal highway when the accident occurred about 6 a.m. west of Decker Road.

"It took out the pole, and part of the car went another 600 feet," Sheriff's Sgt. Philip Brooks said. "There were 1,200 feet of debris out there."

Eriksson told authorities that "Dietrich" ran up a hill toward the canyon road and disappeared. Brooks said detectives are far from convinced they have the whole story.

Eriksson "had a .09 blood-alcohol level, but if he's a passenger, that's OK," Brooks said. "But he had a bloody lip, and only the air bag on the driver's side had blood on it. The passenger-side air bag did not. My Scooby-Doo detectives are looking closely into that.

"Maybe the 'driver' had a friend who picked him up. Maybe he thumbed a ride," the sergeant added. "Maybe he was a ghost."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Zillowmania

Zillow is my new favorite website. Based on public records, it lets you look up the estimated value of almost every house in the United States. In most cases, it will tell you when the house was built, how many square feet it is, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has, and so on. In many cases, it has the sales history of the house as well. Its ostensible purpose is to help people buy and sell real estate, but what it's really good for is looking up your friends' houses.

There's something deliciously voyeuristic about it all. Today, for example, I learned that the house I visited for a church committee meeting has three bedrooms, one and a half baths, and an area of 2,031 square feet. It's worth about $286,490.

My daughter M went to her friend's house on Monday. Their house was built in 1971. It has three bedrooms, two baths, and 2,067 square feet of area. It's worth about $300,272. Their property tax bill for 2005 is $3,148. The house where my daughter T and my son often visit their friends is worth about $331,885. They bought it for $321,000. The people they bought it from paid $288,400 for it in 2002.

It's also fun to look up your own house. The place my family rented when I was four years old is now worth $1,116,189! On the other hand, the first house my parents bought, for around $18,000 in 1967, is now worth $552,191, while the one we moved to from there is worth $656,693. The house my Mom owns now is "only" worth around $347,065, even though it's a little bigger than the other two. She's out of the big city now.

My house? It's worth about $126,200. I like to keep things simple.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Dude, where's my car repair shop? (part 2)

Part 1 is here.

I did the usual things to make sure Franz was really gone. I looked up his phone number. I called directory assistance. I looked up his business license on the internet and found out it was overdue for renewal. I looked up the replacement company, Sleazy Used Cars R Us (not their real name). They've been there since November. Since I got Franz's last name off the business license, I tried to find his home number: no listing. He's really gone.

So I had to find a new mechanic, before my left wheel fell off or the clickety-clickety-clickety turned into KA-BOOM! or something. The problem was to find somebody who's competent, honest, cheap, and will take same-day appointments.

My first choice was Rick's place. That's where we used to go before we went to Franz. They did good work, and we knew we could trust them because Rick the service manager was my kids' karate teacher, so obviously he wouldn't rip us off. Not only that, we could usually get a same-day appointment, at least to look at the car, if not to fix it. The problem was, they're kind of expensive.

That's why we stopped going there. When our Honda needed a new timing belt, my wife wanted me to call a bunch of places and try the cheapest one. I said why bother, since we already have a place that's good and honest? (And that has nothing to do with me hating change.) She said let's find a place that's good, honest, and cheap. I said that's unlikely. She said you won't know unless you try. I said, OK, OK, I'll call. (Sheesh.) So I called around, and Franz was the cheapest, so I let him change our timing belt, and he turned out to be good, honest, and cheap. So we kept going to him for like four years before he disappeared.

So anyway, I wanted to go back to Rick's, because we know he's good and honest. (Plus, even though it's a change, it's a change back, so it's kind of not really a change.) But my wife said I should call around again. I said it wouldn't work this time, because we don't know what's wrong. With something specific like a timing belt, you can see how much they charge to fix it, if they try to add a bunch of charges, what their attitude is like, and so on. When you don't know what's wrong, you have no way of knowing if they're ripping you off or what. They could just make up the most expensive thing they can think of, and how would we know the difference? We wouldn't. So let's just go back to Rick's.

But my wife said, well, then let's just ask all our friends where they go. I couldn't figure out a good argument against that I mean, that sounded reasonable, so we did. We came up with several options. Of course, we could go to the dealer. The plus side is that they know how to fix Dodges and they're probably pretty honest. The minus side is that they're expensive and hard to get appointments with. Then there was another place that we had a pretty good impression of, but a friend said that she took her car there and they charged her $100 just to look at it and then said they couldn't fix it. We hate bad attitudes like that, so they were out. Then there was a place that a lot of people said was great, but they only do European and Asian cars, the effete snobs, so they were out too. Maybe we could take the Honda there sometime, but I'd rather just go to one place anyway. It's bad enough trying to find one mechanic, much less two.

There were a couple of other places that people were happy with, but they're expensive and hard to get appointments with. And several people said that if we already know an honest place, we should just go there. I agreed. (And that has nothing to do with hating change.)

So my wife was almost convinced I mean, Rick's was looking like the best solution, but then my wife said that her Japanese friend said that her Colombian friend's husband's Mexican friend fixes cars. Yeah, that's what I thought too. Um… what? It turns out that this guy is some sort of car whiz or something, and in his spare time fixes people's cars. Or something. And maybe he speaks English. Or not. And maybe he has professional experience. Or not. And maybe he has a full set of tools. Or not. For some reason, my wife finds that kind of mechanic appealing. I don't. Can we please just go to Rick's? We can. I was happy.

On the other hand, my kids had sort of given up on karate -- they hadn't been to class for months -- so it would be a little awkward talking to Rick. But I could get through that OK. So I called him, and took the car in (same-day appointment). The clickety-clickety-clickety was coming from the lash adjusters. Changing the oil and the filter fixed that. The grrrreeewwwo was coming from the strut or something. It's just worn, but there's no danger of failure or anything, so if I don't mind the noise and the bumpy ride there's no hurry to fix it. See what I mean? They found the problem and didn't try to build it up into some big thing.

And I start karate lessons next week.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

I love you.

Suicide

I saw this on PostSecret a few weeks ago. I don't know who the author is. The person who sent it in said only that her high school teacher wrote it. But it's probably the truest thing I've ever seen written about suicide.

Fuck the poets of the past, my friends.
There are no beautiful suicides.
Just cold corpses with shit in their pants,
And the end of the gifts.

Friday, February 10, 2006

How do they know?

One of the things I like best about the internet is that I get lots of e-mail from strangers. They seem to know a lot about me.

For example, Gosha15 e-mailed to invite me to "Live in the world of harmony and punctuality with Replica Classic watches." He admonished me, "Don't lose y0ur chance of buying Rep1ica Cl@ssic watch. Don't let your neighbor be fir$t. Do you have any troubles w1th keeping to the $cheduled time? Repl1ca C1as$1c watches can help you." Apparently, Gosha15 is not only a copyright infringer, he's pretty l337, in a f1n@nc1al $ort of w@y. E-mail like that certainly makes one think, though. Merely by getting a fake watch, I could not only stop my neighbor from being first, I could keep to the scheduled time and live in the world of harmony and punctuality. Those are some of my fondest ambitions.

A couple of days later, Qalmdqsgdjy provided further encouragement: "No matter if your watch's brand is real, what really matters is the way you wear it." I suppose there's something to be said for that. Moreover, I can "Wear Replica Classic watches with fool confidence." That's the sort of confidence I've always longed for. And these aren't cheap knockoffs, they're "Del1ghts0me replica watche$ from famous brand$." I was almost convinced. But Qalmdqsgdjy went on to say, "You can't afford a real R0lex watch." What? Oh. Um. Jeez, way to rub it in, Q. At that point, I deleted the e-mail and slunk away from my computer in shame.

Not one to give up easily, on February 9, Dan Prichard wrote me, "If you are still thinking of your Christmas presents, Replica Classic watches will make the best Christmas present for anyone." Gee, Dan, you're a little late. But, Dan said, "Your friend will always be your friend if you give him a Replica Classic watch." I don't know, Dan, although I'm sure a Replica Classic watch would be a del1ghts0me Christmas present, I prefer to give my Christmas gifts a little earlier. You know, like in January.

My e-mail correspondents not only want me to be fashionable, they're also very concerned about my sex life.

Ipswmdekrm informed me that "She thinks you are perfect and a wonderful choice for her." I wasn't quite sure who "she" is, but then Ipswmdekrm asked me, "Do you want your girlfriend back?" so apparently I lost a girlfriend. (Although if she thinks I'm so great, how did I lose her?) But not to worry: "With our Viagra Soft Tabs you will make her yours forever." That sounds good, but I guess "forever" is only a relatively long time: "With our Soft Viagra tabs this pleasure can last up to 4 hours." Or maybe it only seems like forever. "It's been four hours. Are you ever gonna finish?"

T-money was very direct. He ordered me to "Create your offspring with Spermamax." Do what now? "When you cum with Spermamax, your bed looks like a little island drowning in the ocean of your sperm." O… K… . I'm gonna stop reading and hit the delete button now [shudder].

Katri told me that "@dvanced Gain Pro Penis Enlargement Pills is the only thing you need to gain your dream size. Advanced Gain Pro can enlarge your dick so much that you won't be scared of ruler anymore." Katri needs a grammar-correction pill.

Luckily, Pnastas was there to follow up in case I was worried about the suitability of the pills: "Advanced Gain Pro Penis Enlargement Pills work for you regardless of your age, medical condition or penis size."
It must have taken a long time to develop such a good pill.
"We have worked for many years to combine the best penis enlargement pill."
I see, so you didn't just develop it, you combined it. But I'm a little leery of buying pills over the internet. I don't know if I should trust you.
"Trust us, we have overcome our expectations. [We never expected anyone would be stupid enough to believe this. Boy, were we ever wrong!]"

Meanwhile, Etjltwdgbbc somehow knew just what I'm lo0k1ng for.
"Lo0k1ng for someth1ng mag1c and mysterious that can help you attract women's attention."
Why, yes, I am. What do I need?
"Ultra Allure Pheromones is what you need."
They is?
"Do you want to be the king of the party?"
Who wouldn't? I'd probably have settled just for being the life of the party, but king? Wow!
"Ultra Allure Pheromones guarantees you women's attention."
Everywhere I go, women will be saying "What is that smell?"

It's amazing how strangers on the internet can know just what I'm thinking about and send me advertising that targets my specific needs. They must have very sophisticated computer programs to do that.