It's all a matter of perspective.

Friday, August 09, 2002

My homemade salsa will give you some funky garlic/onion breath that does not go away. A Cert is no match for it. You can eat some with dinner and still be tasting it at breakfast. I tried to brush it away, but the toothbrush melted.
I have always loved liquor store people. I love the people who run them, the people who own them (usually the same) and the people you run into inside of them. Liquor stores are one of the last strongholds of old school customer service. They learn your name and remember what you like.

It was very disapointing to me to see that Pop-A-Top's (my usual supplier) regular add in the Dem/Gaz this week included a stance against the proposed ballot initiative that would abolish sales tax on food. Here is a good article that first alerted me to the movement.

Pop-A-Top's argument in the advertisement was that the lost revenues will just be made up with increased taxes on other items. While it did not state it in the ad, their obvious, and well founded concern is that the increased taxes would be on cigarettes and booze. This is defeatist and misses the point. Our role should be to get rid of the taxes, then force government to cut to make up for the revenue loss. Go to the state web site and look at the list of Arkansas agencies, departments, boards, comitties, councils, and b'crats. We could cut out enough to make up for the lost revenues from food taxes without even missing what we cut!
Nevada is thinking about passing an amendment to the state's constitution to legalize posession of up to three ounces of pot. I read about this here.

The recent endorsement of the measure by the state's largest police organization, the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs (NCOPS), has provoked a public outcry that may prompt the group to reconsider. But the argument that convinced NCOPS remains sound.

"As a former law enforcement officer," said NCOPS President Andy Anderson, "I know that a simple marijuana arrest [could] take me off the street for several hours and sometimes for over half my shift....We could better spend our time responding to more life-threatening and serious incidents....Passage of Question 9 will ensure that more cops are on the streets to protect our citizens from violent crime and the threat of terrorism."

Thursday, August 08, 2002

I’ve got five gallons of peach must fermenting in my pantry. I am a first time vintner and let me tell you, I could watch that air lock bubble for hours and hours. I can hardly wait for primary fermentation to be over so I can take a sip.

I made some salsa last night in which all of the ingredients came from my yard; all, that is except for the onion and the salt. I used tomatoes and peppers and cilantro and garlic that I grew myself. That made me kinda proud.

Dan wants to know what I want to play at take five jazz, but I don’t know. I want rock! He does too, but he has not said it. And we probably will, even though it is take five jazz, not take five rock. Especially if the mighty Gregg Scott is on drums; he can not help himself but to rock. Dan says he wants to cover some of Otiel’s stuff. That is just fine and dandy with me.

Mrs. J is out of town. The boy is out of town. I am a liberated bachelor for two whole days, but I don’t delight in it. I don’t like to do anything that I can not do while they are around. I don’t want to go out, or even leave my recliner for that matter. I’ve got rehearsal at the church tonight and I tomorrow after work I will go to my mom’s and get the boy, so it is not like I will be overrun with time to kill. Even if I did I would just want to mess with my hobbies at home: my veggie garden, my herbs, my fermenting peaches, my guitars, my Nero Wolfe books, my National Geographic, my Field and Stream. Why would I need to hide any of that? Besides that, I like having these folks around.

Yesterday at lunch, The Boy was up at the table coloring. He made a few scribbles and said, “Look Momma, it’s Wylie!”

Mrs. J. said, “Did you write your name?”

“LA!!” Wylie yelled.

He scribbled again and said, “Dadoe, I wrote Nathan!”

And I said, “Wylie, I did not know that you knew my real name.”

So Mrs. J says, “Wylie, do you know Momma’s real name?”

And he says, “What?”

And she says, “It’s Jerusalem.”

“No it isn’t.” Wylie retorts, “It’s Mrs. J.”

I got up late this morning. I looked at my alarm and it said 8:00 and I was supposed to be at work at 7:30. I had set my alarm, and it had been going off, and I had been hitting snooze, but I had not been waking up. Just like in ninth grade when I would miss the school bus. I could be the world’s heaviest sleeper.

I thought (and my old man always told me) that I would grow out of this. That when I got to be an adult I would magically become a morning person like Pop. I would get up at 4:30 without an alarm and with a smile on my face.

Actually, what he has is more like the knowing smirk of an evil genius.

The old man hits the ground running and nothing pleases him any more than to find a groggy, irritated, non-morning-person to piss off. His eyes gleam and his lips part into that purposefully annoying, snaggle-toothed grin. Then he will say something like, “Good morning this morning! Pretty morning this morning! Can I sing you a good morning wake up song?”

But all of this is the good side of Pop in the morning. The bad stuff happens when he has been entrusted with the task of rousting you. The vile weapons he has in his wake-up arsenal are overwhelming. He keeps a bottle of spray water in the fridge. He has a whistle, lovingly referred to as the screech, which can shatter tempered glass. He has been known to yank the covers off and start belting out a monotone version of “When the Red-Red-Robin Goes Bob-Bob-Bobbing Along.”

But the worst, the absolute most unsettling wake up call that my old man can give to you is when he sneaks into the room, kneels down next to your bunk, gets his nose about three inches from your face, and then just waits there. He stares into your soul in silence, waiting until you are awakened by his menacing presence. To open your eyes and see someone right there, reading your mind . . . it is very unsettling. I’m twenty-six years old with a career and a family and a mortgage and I still fear it.

Hey Tony, give me a link man . . . Allow my readership to grow beyond my best buddy Dan and my Sweet Mrs. J.
Actual Quotes from the dumb redneck who used to sit in the cubicle next to me. Theses are things he actually said to customers with computer or phone problems.

"I Ain’t never heard of that error message before.”
“You done gone and forgot to deselect it. That’ll take care of that message right there.”
"You cain’t do it that way, I just set here and tried.”
“Ain’t there a movie called that, 'A bunch to do about Nothin’”
“Hold on thar’. My Fangars ain’t wantin to work that fast.”
“Well, My computer just went tits up.”
“That phone could ring an infintesimal number of times.”

To a user that complained they could not connect to the network he said, "Well join the club!"

Actual text copied from a trouble ticket that he typed up and emailed to our phone company (They sent it right back for translation.)
“Callers can not the person answering the phone for about a second or two the number is 18006224472 aden 21384”

I love New Orleans. Being an animal lover, one of my favorite places to go in The Big Easy is the Aquarium of the Americas. I sure am glad that I was not there yesterday when a platform collapsed and dumped a bunch of tourists in the the shark tank!
To continue my tradition of highlighting all breast feeding stories, I would like to call your attention to this one about a lady who was forced by airport security at JFK to drink her own breast milk.

"August 8, 2002 -- A Long Island mother is fuming that JFK Airport security guards forced her to drink her own breast milk in front of other passengers before boarding a flight - to prove she wasn't carrying any dangerous fluid to wreak havoc."

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Dan and I (and possibly the mighty Gregg Scott) will be performing at Take Five Jazz in September. He has billed us as "The Nathaniel Greer Trio" which is his revenge for my once naming a band "The Daniel Schoultz Quartet." I had to write up a short description/bio for the festival poster. This is sadly, quite accurate:

Nathaniel Greer (guitar) and Daniel Schoultz (bass) have been playing music together for over ten years in dozens of settings. Their genera-hopping adventures have taken them from Rockabilly to Jazz, from Bluegrass to performing a thirty minute improvisation while two visual artists painted in synchronization on a large canvas. Together they have traveled the globe: from Shreveport to Eureka Springs, and from Arkadelphia to Memphis!
So Jonah wanted to know what was the ugliest state, and he suggested it might be Louisiana. Well Rod got offended and mentioned how beautiful north Louisiana is. He also mentioned east Texas as particularly lovely. I feel obliged to point out that both of those places look exactly like all of Arkansas that lies east of Crowley's Ridge. Even though we are backwards, poor, overtaxed, and under-educated; at least we have some pretty country to enjoy!

By the way, my nomination is definitely Oklahoma, where beautiful Arkie hills transform to flat and ugly at the state line.
Dan called this Pulpit to my attention. It makes me want to buy some EBay stock (except that I don't even have the money for some chicken stock.) I think that for the most part, he is right. It is a great example of how efficiently a free market can work when it is allowed to be free. I think EBay’s success rests on its self-regulation and lack of Government regulation. If it were to fail, it would be because nosy, money grubbing bureaucrats starting tinkering. Here’s to the Internet being a permanently tax free zone!
Pistol Fires at Event for Rep. Barr

An antique .38-caliber pistol accidentally discharged as it was being handled by Rep. Bob Barr during a reception in his honor. The bullet hit a glass door, and no one was hurt.

Georgia lobbyist Bruce Widener said Tuesday that he had removed the magazine from his 1908 Colt but did not clear the chamber before handing the weapon to Barr, a board member of the National Rifle Association.

Widener said "one of us hit the trigger" just as he gave Barr the gun during Friday's reception at Widener's home.

"Nobody was in any danger. We were handling it safely, except that it was loaded," said Widener, an independent lobbyist. "I am thankful Bob was careful to always keep the weapon pointed in a safe direction."

Took the boy to a travs game last night. It was a great game, with tons of offense. Even though our heroes lost 11-8 after Tulsa came up with a three run top half of the ninth, I think everyone, and aspecially Wylie, had a great time.

Then I find out this morning that we just missed the opportunity to heckle John Rocker. He is on the DL and will be doing rehab with the Tulsa team next week.
NBC appears to have bribed a kidnapping victim into doing an interview. The price, $80 worth of pants.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

The next time your momma tells you that the people you hang out with will influence you, (the leaven leavens the lump, is what my folk would say) Remember the case of Joe Leiberman. He went from being the only Dem with the guts to criticize Slick Willie, to this. The downfall obviously started when he got into bed with the Gorebot, but the thing that struck me first was when Leiberman decided to campaign on the sabbath, yet still talked about what a principled, devout Jew he was. He strikes me as more of a principled, devout used car salesman.

Happy Birthday Wylie!!

The boy is two today.

Monday, August 05, 2002

Mark Goldblatt on the status of racism in America.

"The phenomenon of perceptual differences translating into actual disparities leads us, at last, to a meaningful distinction between the rhetoric of racism, which is increasingly easy to deploy, and the reality of racism, which is increasingly difficult to find.

What is racism, rhetorically?

It's a reflexive, irrational, all-encompassing alibi for black failure derived from a hyper-sensitivity to racially disparate outcomes; it is also, more familiarly-with few exceptions — whatever a black person says it is.

What is racism in reality?

It's the false belief that the intellectual, moral, or spiritual potentials of individual human beings are limited by the geographic origins of their distant ancestors; it is also any action predicated on that belief.

Only when the rhetoric of racism ceases to be confused with the reality of racism, and only when the likes of Jackson, Sharpton, and the NAACP are met with ridicule, contempt, and deep heartfelt yawns, can an honest, rather than Clintonian, dialogue on race begin."
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This article by Rod Dreher is the saddest thing I have ever read. I have nothing else to say about it.