Feb 262008

Looking for two words. I’ve read them recently, but didn’t commit them to memory, or even blackberry.

  1. The word for when computers take over the world. Or at least, become more advanced than humans and we have that battle with them, which we should lose.
  2. The word for the movement to remove humans from Earth right now. It’s the ultimate “green” move and there’s a book and possibly a cult about it.


Jul 092007

I think Kurt Angle used to wrestle under the guise of some dude who wanted to censor some of the other wrestlers on the WWF – but I’m too lazy to find that kind of imagery right now. I miss Rikishi for that matter.

Anyway – the subject came up last week while a friend was telling a story. They wanted to write about it, but, because of the readership, they felt that it was not a story that could be shared. Too many details that could cause harm.

I thought about many a story that I’ve not typed here for the same reasons. Friends, family, co-workers. There are different subsets I want to share various stories with, but I don’t have that kind of control here, writing. It is like I need that postcard secret outlet, except designed for long stories that don’t fit on a postcard. With the ability to notify a subset of people I know who might find the news funny or interesting or juicy.

But that doesn’t seem to exist and so I’m forced to spread my questionable news/gossip through more traditional channels. Sometimes that gets me down.

Oh well.

You know what else gets me down – reading Marley and Me. Not because the book is particularly down, but because of expectations. Others read it and laugh and cry. I read it and keep wondering – when am I going to laugh and cry? And nothing happens. I’m a rock. I don’t want to be – just am. I seek out emotional experiences and come up empty.

So then I cried.

Actually, I did laugh out loud at one point near the end of the book. But I can’t find the section again, and most of the end of the book [SPOILER alert…though not really a surprise…] is about the end of the dog’s life so I’m wondering what was really worth laughing about there. Another not so good sign of things for me.

Reading the book made me think that I could have written the same thing. If not better. If only I was a writer. But I too spent the first few nights with my arm hanging off the bed into a cardboard box so a little dog would feel some new master comforts. And we’ve got some crazy dog stories with Chapo losing his eye, or going through obedience courses and trying to get over his small dog complex. And I can describe how owning a dog bleeds into family and parenthood too. Though it does make me worry about the day Chapo will be gone. He should be around for another 10 years. That’s a lot of time. A lot of Sal life too…uh – all of it. It is going to be ugly.

Reading the book made me miss my old dog a bit – he was big and crazy and out of control and required a shovel to clean up after. But only a bit. The good stories only go so far in matching up with the bad stories. I’ll send a copy of the book do my father who ended up caring for Spike and who now has a of black lab and a huge poodle. He had another black lab too earlier, but he passed early.

I feel with my 7 pound dog who isn’t a terror, I feel like I’ve learned my lesson and moved on and reading about others stuck without the lesson, who even want to go through the lesson again – just didn’t do it for me.

It is strange though, how my father will probably like the book and will laugh and cry while reading it. And how, like the author’s family, he runs his life by their walking schedule, always keeping his dogs in mind while making plans. This is the same guy that had trouble getting to my soccer practice and such when I was growing up.

So then I cried.

Random side note for the day: I thought up another reason I’m leaning towards one kid. I’ve spent all my name-juice on coming up with Sal. If we have another and it’s a boy (I hear there’s a 50/50 chance of that!) then I’ll need to come up with another name and I’m just not feeling it right now. Maybe that’ll change. But maybe not…

And finally, just in case you’re reading lady, while your dog escaped last week, it got out of the neighborhood, bit some dude that was trying to help, and ran onto the freeway, running against traffic, forcing the CHP to get involved! Crazy huh? But you’re not supposed to know any of that.

Apr 022007

…tracking Sal’s words. I thought about it a bit yesterday, what it meant that she’s done tracking how many words Sal can communicate. I’ll say communicate, cause some of it is sign language and some if it is phonetically very different and some of it – well – some animals are just sounds still instead of the name of the animal. I don’t know if he can say horse, but he can neigh like a madman.

Anyway, I figure it is a good thing – that he’s going through his language explosion and it is too hard to keep up with his new knowledge. He’s out paced us. It is a good point to be at, but a little tragic too. His domain is expanding – probably going to reach outside the realm of innocence soon too.

“Oh man!” from Dora the Explorer comes out often. As does lots of different permutations. “choc-o-late” is a chant he’ll make walking around the house occasionally. “airplane” surprised me the other day. Mostly with how well he pronounced it – usually the new words take me a while to understand.

That seems to be the biggest adjustment I’ve gotta make – being open to him having new words. I can’t try and map his ideas onto a small set of words/concepts anymore – he’s gonna challenge me and my imagination. In recognition and in meaning.

I’m looking forward to it.

Strangest side effect? I’ve seen this kid start to develop language from nothing – and I somehow figure the dog, who was more advanced than the kid at the start of things – to have developed the same language skills as well. I dunno why – sort of just language by association I guess – but I find myself asking the dog more questions and being a little surprised when I get no answer but a lick or a wag.

Jan 262007

So last night, one thing lead to another and two people were faced with the possibility that they had heard a common phrase and had completely misunderstood it.

At the end of G.I. Joe cartoons, there would be a little PSA type message. Some kid would be doing something and a G.I. Joe character would come along and give them some advice. It would conclude with the line “Knowing is half the battle“.

One way of interpreting this message was that G.I. Joe was reminding its audience that this knowledge wasn’t enough to win the battle, but one must act on this knowledge as well. Remembering and follow through are key to win the battle.

Another interpretation is that G.I. Joe has helped you get halfway through the battle. That before the PSA, you were a lost cause. But now, after being exposed to their educational PSA, you are much further along. In fact, halfway through the battle.

Both sides were shocked that there was another interpretation – as they had grown up seeing only their interpretation of the tagline.

Is one right? More correct than the other? Or do we all, as individuals, find within the G.I. Joe messages, what we each really need to hear?

Jan 142007

That’s the best I can do so far.

Wired has a little bit on 6 word stories. They collected some from various authors.

I’ll steal/share them:

  • William Shatner: Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
  • Eileen Gunn: Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
  • David Brin: Vacuum collision. Orbits diverge. Farewell, love.
  • Joss Whedon: Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
  • Stan Lee: Automobile warranty expires. So does engine.
  • Alan Moore: machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
  • Gregory Maguire: From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
  • Margaret Atwood: Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
  • Rudy Rucker: His penis snapped off; he’s pregnant!
  • Frank Miller: With bloody hands, I say goodbye.
  • Charles Stross: Internet “Wakes up?” Ridicu – No Carrier.
  • Steven Meretzky: Wasted day. Wasted life. Dessert please.
  • Ronald D. Moore: “Cellar?” “Gate to uh…hell, actually.”
  • Vernor Vinge: Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
  • Bruce Sterling: It cost too much staying human.
  • James Patrick Kelly: We kissed. She melted. More please.
  • Rockne S. O’Bannon: It’s be hind you! Hurry before it
  • Stephen Baxter: I’m your future child. Don’t cry.
  • Michael Moorcock: 1940: Young Hitler! Such a cantor!
  • Richard Powers: Lie detector eyeglasses perfected. Civilization collapses.
  • Neil Gaiman: I’m dead. I’ve missed you. Kiss…?
  • Orson Scott Card: The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
  • Kevin Smith: Kirby had never eaten toes before.
  • Howard Waldrop: Rained, rained, rained, and never stopped.
  • Ben Bova: To save humankind, he died again.
  • Ken MacLeod: We went solar; sun went nova.
  • Paul Di Filippo: Husband, transgenic mistress; wife: “You cow!”
  • Howard Chaykin: I couldn’t believe she’d shoot me.
  • Stephen R. Donaldson: Don’t marry her. Buy a house.
  • Mark Millar: Broken heart, 45, WLTM disabled man.
  • Harry Harrison: TIME MACHINE REACHES FUTURE!!! … nobody there…
  • Neal Stephenson: Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
  • Ursula K. LeGuin: Easy. Just touch the match to

What’s yours?

May 052006

What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than to be in Hawaii?  Maui Tacos is having a sale tomorrow – 5 island fish tacos for 5 bucks. Hard to pass that one up…maybe. Jury is still out on tonight’s dinner.  It is an odd situation, where we’re in a real nice resort because Catherine’s parents are nice enough to set us up with them, but yet, we don’t quite fit in. After spending $75 on lunch, we decided to get out of the resort land and get a more reasonable dinner – Maui Tacos!

Hung out at the pool today with Sal and his floating whale. The pool was a little chilly (overcast day, occasional storms) and Catherine’s offended that this place doesn’t heat their pools. But you get used to it really quickly. Salvador actually was the biggest man about the whole thing. Didn’t even flinch. And he doesn’t make a fuss (like some others I’m traveling with) about all my welts from paintball either (about 7 – the biggest one is on my chest in a location that Salvador is quite good at finding which came from an unknown shooter, the 2nd biggest on my back from EJ and the one shot I’m glad that didn’t create a welt was from Banjoman who shot me in the groin). I think paintball would be several times more fun if we had good goggles. The guns were plenty fine. The goggles ruined the experience for me. I think I’ve said that about something else, but don’t remember what. Vision is kind of important for these things.

Anyway – the plane ride out here was miserable for me. My knee got a bit more swelling from the cabin pressure or something, like mother in front of me who liked to keep on reclining the chair into my knee, then sitting up, then reclining back into my knee. Kink in my neck. Some chairs I just don’t fit in right. I tried to figure out how many cubic feet each seat is, so I could say how little space there was, but then I realized that I’d need to figure out how many cubic feet of meat I actually am, and that wasn’t going to lead anywhere good. So I just tried to sleep it off.

Salvador had other plans. The ride was the worst ride in recent memory for me. And I did even get to sleep for most of it (Catherine did a great job with Salvador.) But now that it is over and I’ve had a Kea Lani Cocktail to relieve the aches, it really does come down to the fact that it is all worth it – just because we’ll get to spend almost a week with Catherine’s parents. That cliche warning about how no one ever said “I wish I spent more time at work” on their deathbed gets to me every now and then. Because Salvador’s growing so freaking fast. Well, changing so freaking fast, if not growing.

Banjoman and I were chatting yesterday, about the soft sigh that the boys will give and then they’ll rest their head on you for a moment. It is probably the proudest moment for me as a father so far (yeah, even better than watching him steal binkies from other kids…but it’s close). Just because I interpret it as the moment when he trusts me enough to rest with me. He used to goto sleep, but now, most of the time, he’ll pop up and crawl up my face and grab my glasses.  Still, that moment of rest, contentment, safety, whatever – that moment together is bliss. My sister got Salvador to fall asleep in her arms for the first time in a while a few weeks back and I could recognize the pleasure in that. But as Sal grows, he’ll get less comfortable – physically first – just won’t fit in our arms – then, most likely emotionally. Keeping that comfort and trust will be a constant challenge and endeavor that isn’t very thrilling to look forward to.

So yeah,we’re incredibly fortunate to get to spend this kind of time together (they’re really just coming to see Salvador – we’re just lucky to be along for the ride) to help maintain and strengthen those bonds.  So fortunate, that 5 hours of being trapped in area that I’ll just say isn’t even double my own area…is a small price to pay when everything’s accounted for.

Emphatic mahalo.

And if it’s your birthday today, happy birthday. I just checked your burrito horoscope and it reads “Today is a good day for a burrito” – enjoy!