Monday, March 30, 2009

Wherein Sling gets Totally Pissed!!..and takes it out on the whole world..

Good news for snotty,self-righteous,whiny ass,holier-than-thou,disapproving faced,finger wagging,rude remarks within earshot,oblivious to their own shortcomings,focus the attention on other people because your own life is a facade of shallow pretension,Ooooh-look-it's-all-shiny!...assholes!

Clap your delicate little hands in glee,(being careful not to injure the hand you masturbate with),because as of Wednesday I,and a whole shitload of others will be giving up smoking..

The new law going into effect April 1st will finally make the price of my most horrific of simple pleasures too prohibitive for me to continue to enjoy.

In addition to a 62-cent-per-pack jump in the price of cigarettes, the law will increase the loose tobacco tax from $1.10 per pound to Holy Flyin' Shit! per pound.

I give up.
You win..

Now that I've gotten that little tirade off my chest,..I really do realize that,aside from the health benefits this will mean for myself,the additional taxes will be earmarked for Child Health Care considerations.
..These are good things!

Hmmmm..You know,..when I think about it,I kind of like the idea of all of us pitching in to make this planet a better place for everyone.
Let's brainstorm some other things we might do toward that end,shall we?

How about?..

  • A $6.27 per mile tax on any fossil fuel burning motor vehicle large enough to hold more than 2 people...(The planet has lungs too,you know!).
  • A $4.88 tax for using a credit/debit card for any purchase under $10.00...(The people standing in line behind you will benefit from not having to wait for you to swipe it 6 times,punch in your PIN#,and then try to figure out if you need cash back to purchase that gotta-have latte on the way home)..Speaking of.
  • A $5.35 per ingredient tax on anything you need in that cup of coffee,that isn't actually coffee...(Nobody gives a mad fuck how sophisticated you pretend to be,we just want to grab a cuppa joe,and get to work on time).
  • A $37.00 per minute surcharge on cell phone conversations in public..(I read that cell phones cause brain cancer,and that's bad for the little children..You DO care about the little children,..don't you?).
  • A $1,500.00 tax on the little children...(Two words..OctoMom).
The additional revenues generated by these small sacrifices will go toward helping the homeless,education,and the development of alternative energy sources.

Not only will these new,socially conscious efforts improve the quality of life for each and every living soul on the planet,but they have the added appeal of having absolutely no affect whatsoever on me.

Now,..aren't I all smug and shit.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

The day my Mom invented 'Lunch'..

It's a little known scientific fact,that my Mom invented the 'Big Wheel' tri-cycle.
..Oh yes.
Way back in the middle of the last century,when my legs were long enough to reach the ground,but still too short to reach the pedals on my tri-cycle,Mom solved the problem in a most ingenious fashion;

Step 1) Remove the seat,and front wheel/handlebar assembly from your standard issue trike.
Step 2) Turn the frame upside down.
Step 3) Re-install the front wheel and handlebars.
Step 4) Tie a throw pillow on the frame,creating a custom butt-cushion.

Voila!

Of course,decades later,Mattel stole her idea,mass produced it,and the rest is pedal bike history...Lance Armstrong probably has no idea of the debt he owes to a petite housewife from Texas.

Shortly thereafter,in an equally brilliant flash of,..umm,..brilliance,(don't stop me now,..I'm on a roll),she amazed me yet again by inventing the concept of 'Lunch'..
I remember just like it was yesterday,coming home from Kindergarten one fine afternoon,and hearing her casually remark that lunch was on the table.


..'??????'


'Food?..in the middle of the day??..Lunch you say?'..


This is the greatest idea since Tinker Toys!!


At least,that's my recollection..
The day when a young man's developing cognition bridged the gap between neurons,and in a synaptic flash the world suddenly became a little more predictable.

Imagine my embarrassment when,in my late teens,it became known to me that the whole lunch thing had been around for quite some time before that day,..probably going back as far as 670 B.C. when Hebrew slaves put down their oars in protest,and formed the first labor union.

I'm reminded of these things,because my dear friend Rainey went and did a post wherein she waxes a wee bit homesick.
These days,at least for me,'home' is generally more ethereal,and less tangible.

A destination in my head.




'Homeward Bound'

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You can't buy this in stores..

This is,by far, the easiest post I've ever done,..because I didn't have to bother with all the muss and fuss of having to be creative.
All I had to do was visit everyone on my blogroll,..copy,..and paste.

***************************
Allan: "I sifted the rat poison out of your oatmeal", chimed Fancy as she held up my flour sifter," it's safe now!"..

Citymouse: Life is to short to be bitter or to hold in you feeling or to be unhappy. Could you imagine living ever day saying should have would have could have? I can't.

Lorraine: The first leg of the flight was already a success upon boarding. I was assigned a middle seat and was worried because I was one of the last to board. It was with great relief that I discovered myself seated between 2 women who were both contained within the province of their own seats, if you know what I mean.

JP: But mostly I think I just want to play with all the cool kids, because I've come to realize that's really what it was all about anyway. And as far as what I want to be when I grow up, I've also come to realize that not everybody was meant to be something. Some people were just meant not to grow up at all.
That's where I fit in.

Random Thinker: Robins are a reliable sign that spring is here. When the leaves turn colors and the geese fly south you know that it's fall. I hate to be the one to break it to MSN Money but there will be no unmistakable harbinger of our rebound.

Yellowdog Granny: Oh...and one bit of funny news...guess who got a jury summons? Yup me. I think that's hysterical..You know they must be at the bottom of the pile if all they could come up with is me..I hope it's something good..

Rosemary: ...OK, so my sense of humor is a bit odd.

Middle Child: I wish I had known about this when mum was alive and suffering. She was a lovely and funny mum and had more compassion in her little finger than many have in their whole body.

Monica: One kid was like "You talked about blah blip and blap but you left out anything about goo gob and boo."
"Yes" She stared.
He continued "So... did you want to say anything about it?"
"No, that's why I left it out.

Citizen of the world: Nothing like sitting outside with ice cream to make you feel like you are on the way to summer.

More Cowbell: Are we the only country in the world that doesn't recognize it as just football? OK, never mind, that's another rant. I'll call it soccer so everyone will know what the hell I'm talking about, and so I won't look like a pissy, purse-lipped grammar-control-freak pain in the ass. Even though I pretty much am.

Parenthetically Speaking: REMEMBER -- SOME PEOPLE ARE ALIVE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHOOT THEM.

Poodle and Dog Blog: Dog training, like human teaching, is an art. And like human teachers, dog trainers are different in their personalities and approaches. As long as there are good results, there are different ways to achieve them.

Booda Baby: And then the amazement happened. Friends - unreminded, uncoaxed,uninvited because it was, by design, just family - remembered me.

Pitted Windshields: HHM to CS:
Hi C how was your day?
Long pause....
CS: A kid threw up on me. Stomach flu going around dear.
End of conversation.

Tater: The theme for last month was definitely chocolate, and these campaigns were for two different companies. Style was not dictated by me, but rather by the art directors. Interesting to note the differences. The down shots are missing the copy in the left top third, which is why there is an apparent hole there. Twas intentional, so as not to interfere with their tag lines.

Doralong: Would that not tell you that you are beyond fucked up? But that’s just my opinion. Perhaps I’m being unduly harsh, I can be like that, I can be a judgmental bitch that way.

Mom: My daughter is out of town for a few days. I spent one night with her kids and helped with the carpooling for a day. These grandchildren of mine are wonderful, well behaved, delightful people. I cherish every minute with them. I am used to living with one quiet man. My daughter's household is full of people and wonderful chaos.

Speck: I had another very strange dream this morning that went on forever. Stay with me here. Get a cuppa Joe and get comfortable, this is gonna take a while.

Willym: Listening to her singing Vissi d'arte (I lived for art alone.) makes me think that if this was what a second string soprano sounded like then, how come we can't find a first string soprano that good today?

Sageweb: There must have been 60 secret service agents standing on the tarmac in their black suit waiting for Air Force One to land. It was in the 80’s yesterday so I am sure they were all sweaty and gross. If I were the president, I would have warm weather uniforms for the secret service. Tan pants and Hawaiian shirts, yes dorky but, comfy.

Billy Pilgrim: even with high expectations, i love you sons of bitches.

Lost in color: Life continues to be a challenge...

Danny: well, being mr. popular...like i am prone to be...yes, i know! i can hear your eyes rolling into the back of your heads...

Miss Healthypants: I HATE mashed potatoes. I can eat french fries and even baked potatoes (with the appropriate dousing of sour cream), but the mushy texture of mashed potatoes makes me want to vomit. And as a matter of fact, when I was very little and my Dad tried to make me eat mashed potatoes, that’s just what I did.

Evilganome: According to Bertha, aside from the Brown's there is also a branch of the family called Stewart. She of course claims these are the royal Stewart's. Other than the fact that Bonnie Prince Charlie was another hopeless and useless drunk, I have no reason to believe that this portion of the family was ever anything more than a group of drunken sheep thieves, who managed to get themselves deported to Canada by supporting Charles Stewart's claim, rather than actual descendants of the Stewart dynasty.

Mimi’s Pa: I have my own spin on a Larry King interview.
Larry King with Jesus as a guest.
"So Jesus. Welcome to the show".
"Thank you Larry. It's good to be here."
"So. I hear you used to be a carpenter. What was that like? Do you miss it?"..
****************************

The whole thing took all of 15 minutes,and I got treated to more humor,insight,and pathos than a body has a right to expect from a year's subscription to,..well,..some kind of world renowned literary thing that world renowned literary types might subscribe to.
(Did I just end a sentence with a preposition?..Screw 'em)..

It's Wednesday,..and life is happy as a pig in poo in Sling's Domain.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When I grow up,I wanna be a bureaucrat..

My good friend Bobbi over at 'Experience Works' has been on the job!
I haven't reported too much about the process of getting ensconced in the system,because there is a holy-flyin'-shit-ton of paperwork,and interweb correspondence involved.

Finally,and on this very morning,I took a pleasant twenty minute bike ride over the historic Green Bridge,..



..that crosses the mighty Feather River,..



..and filled out the remaining forms that have secured me a job with the O-Town Housing Authority.
I'll be helping to maintain the buildings and landscapes owned by the county.

Now,..here's the deal.
It's only part-time..18 hours a week.
If you subtract the 9,and carry the 12,you'll decipher that that amounts to 18 more hours than I'm currently working each week.
I'll still be free to seek out something of a more permanent nature,while stretching out those unemployment bennies for a tad longer.
Also,although the job is cast in bronze at this point,I may not start for a week or so.
The above mentioned paper work has to make its way to Bobbi's supervisor for final rubber stamping,and then back down the chain of command.
Once I do start,I'll work six hours beginning at 7:00 AM on Mondays,Tuesdays,and Wednesdays..
I anticipate really enjoying the outside work this time of year.

..They will provide transportation to and from job sites.
All I have to do is pedal my happy ass to work each morning or,in case of inclement weather,..I can always take the bus.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

What to do with half a Guitar..

I wrote this song for my Grand daughter Erin,some time ago.
I wanted it to be simple,and reminiscent of those tinkling little tunes one might find while riding a gaily painted critter on your typically transient Summer's Merry-Go-Round.

..It's somewhat harder than it looks.

I've used an open 'G' tuning,..capo up two frets,..and kept my finger picks limited to the 'B','G',and 'A' strings..(You can't strum these chords..Trust me.)

video

'Calliope'

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Friday, March 20, 2009

A few things..

Today is the first day of Spring!
I didn't take this picture,but I'm posting it for two reasons.------->

a) It's a delightful little bit o' nature's whimsy,and..

2) It makes me feel Springtime fresh.

I did,however,take this picture on this very Spring morning,while walking along the mighty Feather River,not a heffer's step from the homestead.


..I think it would make a lovely painting.


In addition to the life affirming aspects of the top half of the world renewing it's self yet again,I take no small amount of pleasure from the rare opportunity to use the phrase 'Vernal Equinox'.
..It just sounds all Druidic and stuff. (adds 'Druidic' to list of fun words to say).

As an added bonus!..Young Newt turned seven years old yesterday.
We celebrated with great amounts of yellow cake,and the traditional unveiling of the latest technological advance in weapons of mass destruction.



*****In totally unrelated news!*****

It's Friday Jukebox video time!

In a move as rare as the vernal equinox,I've taken a cautious step into the 21st century with today's musical offering..Something I'm normally loathe to do.
In this case I'm glad I accidentally wandered into this charming little pub,where I became thoroughly enamored of Miss Lisa Hannigan.

video

'I don't know'

Have a great weekend kids!..

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Got Yer Bonus Check Right HERE..

I've thought about this whole AIG mess.

While I can't for the life of me fathom how anyone of good conscience would be able to accept 'Bonus' money for perpetrating a disgraceful financial debacle of this magnitude,I do understand that a contract is a contract,and we are obliged to live up to our end.

In an effort to reconcile the letter of the law,with the spirit of the law,..I've decided we should just bite the bullet,and pay them exactly what they've earned.


..I can live with that.

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Celtic Music and Irish Girls are like Air and Guinness..

Breathe them in,drink them up,..get drunk and dance!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

video

'At the Ceili'

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

This is a test of the emergency Blogcast system..

'RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!..I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS,.BUT I'M REALLY SCARED!'..

Weekends are my favorite time for catching up on the vast cornucopia of educational programming available on my beloved DirecTV.
The History Channel,National Geographic,Discovery,and The Science Channel provide an all-you-can-eat buffet of technological esoterica enough to satiate the most ravenous of informational appetites.

I've recently processed all the up-to-the-minute data gleaned from the years of studious efforts put forth by the single minded scholars whose ambition it is to understand such things,and have reached this inescapable conclusion.

We are all doomed!

If Yellowstone Park doesn't erupt in an apocalyptic fury,or the San Andreas fault doesn't haul my ass out to the Bering Sea,or some Island whose name I can't remember right now doesn't slide into the Atlantic Ocean,and precipitate a flood of Biblical proportions,..then surely we'll find ourselves dead in the sights of some errant asteroid the size of freakin' Texas!
..That's assuming the Sun doesn't decide to fizzle out in a blaze of glory,taking the entire solar system with it.

'It's not a question of if,..but when!',..as the narrator is so fond of reminding us.

I've considered just leaving my television tuned to The Learning Channel in an effort to distract myself from the inevitable demise of our species,but I gotta tell ya,..I'm deathly afraid of midgets..

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Today is Bob's birthday..

Bob was a whole lotta things.
  • He was a thick-necked German.
  • He was a child of the Great Depression.
  • He was scrupulously honest.
  • He was a decorated veteran of WWII.
  • He was a brilliant mathematician.
  • He was a mean drunk.
  • He was a dedicated worker..From the time he started working at 16,until he retired,he didn't miss a single day's work..Not one.single.day.
  • He was absolutely the worst joke teller that ever lived.
  • He was my Dad.
He died about twelve years ago,more or less..I don't keep track of such things.
Had he lived,he would have been 86 years old this very day.

Happy Birthday,you cranky old bastard!

video

'My Dad'

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The answer to this afternoon's puzzle?..

My dear friend Yellowdog Granny wins the grand prize of 8 free embryonic transplants for correctly guessing the identity of our mystery neighbor!

No,.. its not Angelina Jolie!
..By any stretch of the imagination.

Speaking of 'stretch'..The neighborhood around Darling Daughter's homestead is all abuzz with the impending arrival of 'Octomom' Nadya Suleman,whose superpower would appear to be the ability to crank out little humans in numbers rivaling that of your average litter of German Shepherd puppies.

In true entrepreneurial spirit,Nadya has parlayed her fifteen minutes of infamy into enough hard cash to place a sizable down payment on a home worth in excess of half a million dollars,just a stone's throw from her mother's house,which is now unfortunately under foreclosure.

Oh sure,..she's unemployed,unskilled,and crazy as a shithouse rat,..but she does have the love and support of fourteen freakin' children to help her through the difficult times ahead.

Plus!,..this gives Daughter and me much to gossip about in the coming months.
..I love that stuff!

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Breaking News!..

Right on the heels of my 'Degree of seperation' post of Friday last,I just recieved an e-mail from my Darling Daughter,who manages an apartment complex in La Habra.

Follows,an excerpt..

'Last night while the news was showing live the old owners moving out, there were helicopters literally directly above my head. So I e-mailed my boss since they know all and any real estate being sold.He e-mailed me back saying yes, it was (*****'s) new house.It is the neighborhood right next to me!(or directly behind me) I was trying to get the address to google it,but can't find it anywhere on the net.I have noticed people parked in front of my house for hours with cameras and computers.When I finally asked someone 'What the hell?' he just said he was investigating something, nothing to do with my property.Being that the grocery store is walking distance from me, I'm assuming we will be shopping at the same grocery store.I'm sure I will see them this weekend when they move-in,because they will probably drive right past my house.I have also seen channel 7 news vans cruisin by.
Love you!'
..

More as the story develops..

*UPDATE E-MAIL FROM DARLING DAUGHTER:
'Drove by the house...so much media, I asked a paparazzo to take my pic, but he didn't find that too amusing.'
..That's my girl!

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Monday, March 09, 2009

You're not the boss of me!..




...Damn Outlet!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Brought to you by a degree of separation..

Many neighborhoods have them,I suppose.
Those curiously bedraggled folks that you notice,from time to time,wandering the streets in solitary fashion.
You probably don't know them in the sense that they are 'friends',but they have established themselves as being harmlessly familiar enough,so that you might sometimes wave,and exchange the occasional nod of recognition.

One such character was known to us teenagers that routinely hung out in our garage on Spreckles Lane,in Redondo Beach,California.
We didn't spend a whole lot of time speculating about him,but it was clear to all of us that he was a junkie.
Lets just say that my older brother had been addicted to heroin long enough for me to recognize the symptoms.

There was a day when,while fussing about the front yard with my mom,she noticed him across the street and casually remarked,..'That's Chet Baker'.

'You know him??'

'He used to be a famous trumpet player'..

video

'But not for me'

Chet was,in fact, a bona fide Jazz icon.
His melancholy brass delivery and smoldering voice made him,along with Charlie 'Bird' Parker with whom he often toured, stars of the emerging 'Be-Bop' genre of the 1950's.
He became best associated with his signature song,'My Funny Valentine'.

He made a brief comeback attempt in the 80's,but drug addiction is a faithless friend.
Chet died in 1988,having fallen from a hotel window in Amsterdam while under the influence of heroin,and cocaine.

I just figured,given our tenuous connection,that I'd tender some recognition to him here,in Sling's Domain.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Don't say I didn't warn you!..

Some of you may recall that way back in November of last year,I issued a public service announcement warning my readers against those nefarious scoundrels that were using the historic election of Barack Obama to peddle their so-called 'Commemorative Coins'..
Well,I hope you lent a mindful ear at that time,because Monday night this video aired on 'The Colbert Report'..

video

This disturbing revelation confirms something that I've suspected for quite a while now,and I'm sure the ramifications are painfully obvious to everyone.

Yep,..that rat-bastard Steven Colbert is stealing my blogs!..

Mr. Colbert,and the folks over at that network monolith 'Comedy Central' don't know how lucky they are that I'm not in a position to pursue legal action in this matter,due to my ongoing battle with a previous literary injustice,..or I'd be on 'em faster than Rush Limbaugh running after an ice-cream truck!

..I just don't have the energy or resources to engage in lengthy litigations with Steve,and that pusillanimous prick Dr. Phil at the same time..

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Monday, March 02, 2009

It's a jungle out there..

I've received countless e-mails of late (3) asking me how the quest for gainful employment is going.
While pickin's remain slim,trust that I'm on top of all my viable opportunities as they arise,keeping my ear to the ground,and applying for each and every opening that might bear fruit.

I'm also in touch with Bobbi over at Experience Works several times a week,and have finally completed a battery of tests designed to evaluate my strengths in an ever competitive job market.
These tests are taken on their website,consist of 40-60 questions in each category,and are timed...They even give you a handy countdown clock in the corner so,..you know,..no pressure.

I'm feelin' pretty good about my scores,so I've copied and pastied them here for your shopping convenience.

Skill
Status
Essential Entry-level Workplace and Computer Skills - Quick Test
98%
Essential Customer Service Skills
97%
Essential Retail and Service Skills - Quick Test
98%
Essential Transferable Skills for Trades - Quick Test
100%
Essential Math Skills
97%
Essential Time Management Skills
97%
Essential Telephone Skills
95%
Essential Medical Office Skills
90%
Essential Reasoning Skills
97%
Essential Reading and Comprehension Skills
100%
Essential Interpersonal and Teamwork Skills
100%
Workplace Computer Skills
82%
Interpersonal Communication
92%
Customer Service Fundamentals
85%
Essential Computer Skills
100%
Essential Medical Office Skills - Quick Test
96%
Professional Workplace Readiness Assessment
90%

My favorite was the 'Essential Reasoning Skills' test,wherein they give you diabolically crafted scenarios to ponder in an attempt to divine exactly how it is your mind works.
..good luck with that.

Example:
If one car is going uphill at 60 miles an hour,and one car is going downhill at 60 miles an hour,how many shingles are on a dog's house?..

a) 13,..because camels don't like ice-cream.

b) All of the above.

..I'm pretty sure I nailed that one.

Bobbi reviewed these results,and asked me what line of work I was most interested in.
I told her I wanted her job.