Thursday, March 30, 2006

Running on Empty

It turns out that I'm insane.

Well, at the very least, I'm too tired to pay attention to details that I need to pay attention to. Like the fact that I just tried to post this entry in my old, deleted MS training blog from however long ago it was that I started it.

I'm back to somewhat normal now. I promise.

This post is a reminder to myself as well as a teaser to you, my dear readers for the following stories, first about the awesome Mexican place I went on Friday, then how much fun I had heckling a goalie named Goehring on Saturday, and finally, the Desperately Seeking Logan's Dave story from Sunday. That last one is probably my favorite.

More later if I have time.

Monday, March 27, 2006

fuckin' gmail

My gmail account has been basically non-functional all day today. This is really pissing me off, as I have all kinds of work to do for mopundow today, and I can't do it if I can't access my gmail account.

I keep getting messages telling me that things aren't available right now, but that they're working on it.

This has been going on since I got here at 10 am today. Here I am, 8 hours later, and still not able to reliably do anything with my account. I can't even log off, for fuck's sake.

I know. Grumble grumble grr.

I cannot resist

A good music meme. I know. It's just filler, but I'm too busy right now to tell you the story now tentatively titled Desperately Seeking Logan's Dave.

A random music selection meme:
Put your iTunes/Winamp/WMP on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

1. How does the world see me?
Mes Jeunes Annees- Charles Trenet

2. Will I have a happy life?
Palimpsest- Smog

3. What do my friends think of me?
El Scorcho- Weezer

4. Do people secretly lust after me?
I Never Picked Cotton- Johnny Cash

5. How can I make myself happy?
I Know- Beta Band

6. What should I do with my life?
Johnny Appleseed- Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros

7. Will I ever have children?
Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby- Johnny Cash

8. What is some good advice for me?
When You're Next to Me- Mitch and Mickey (from The Mighty Wind soundtrack)

9. How will I be remembered?
Fade to Black- Metallica

10. What's my signature dancing song?
Breaking Bread- Johnny Cash

11. What's my current theme song?
Motorway to Roswell- Pixies

12. What do others think is my current theme song?
The Well- Smog

13. What shall they play at my funeral?
Here Comes the Rain Again- Annie Lennox

14. What type of wo/men do I like?
No Surprises- Radiohead

15. How's my love life?
Broadway- The Clash

Sunday, March 26, 2006

If I had a million roses, part III

Well, the truth is, I have a million roses. Just finished up a few minutes ago. On Friday, I was in the shower and I somehow got to thinking about spirographs. This gave me the idea of making the trajectory of the katamari a little tighter, so before I left for work, I set it up.

It worked like a charm- I had 589K roses Friday Morning. By this morning, I was over 900,000.

So, the mission is accomplished, the payoff was dull, and I'm finshed with that game.

For now.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Why can't I?


This happened last weekend. Where I woke up absurdly early on Saturday morning. Yesterday, however, I wasn't nearly as drained as I was the previous weekend. I hadn't worked nearly as early, I hadn't worked nearly as long, and I certainly didn't aim to have myself in bed by 10:30.

Ah well. Seems fair enough, as I have a meeting that doesn't start for 7 hours to get ready for, followed by the Chicago Bike Show, then the Wolves game, then I'm meeting Red II at the karaoke bar.

Sounds like a full day, doesn't it?

It most certainly is.

Friday, March 24, 2006

We're not in Kansas anymore.

More appropriately, not in Minnesota anymore. My alma mater's radio station, which was once an outlet for my tastes in music, is now streaming. My father, the man who raised me to appreciate Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Country Joe and the Fish, and Black Sabbath, brought this to my attention last night.

I have to say that the station seems to not have changed much since the crazy days of The Blathering Dunderhead Metalhead and Dave Show, that Thursday morning 2-4am slot that was so coveted by, well, nobody. We had fun, though, back in the days when the station's signal barely reached all 53 acres of campus. Hell, in that picture, the signal barely came through, and that was taken in the middle of the campus.

It is fun, however, to listen to what the kids are listening to today. As I told my dad "just like a drunked walk down memory lane."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Over stressed or over stretched?

Life has been interesting lately.

Between work and pub quiz and the bike ride, I'm pretty full up. I knew I was in trouble on Monday when I was sitting at my desk, trying to muddle through callers when I felt a wave of tension flow down from the back of my neck and then reaching my fingertips and toes. By the time I got home, I was almost unable to move, and was walking a little funny. After some time spent stretching and trying to relax as much as possible, then, of course, the addition of a glass or two of wine, I was loosening up.

I was more worried on Tuesday when the same thing happened- but not quite as bad. Of course, on Tuesdays I don't really have time to slow down. The show must go on. Sometime in the afternoon, I started doing shots of Pepto Bismol to try to settle my unhappy stomach, but largely to no avail. Let me also note that the new Cherry flavored Pepto tastes like absolute ass. It would have helped if I would have paid attention at the drugstore.

While I do tend to carry my tension and stress in my shoulders and back (ask anyone who has ever given me a backrub), due to the subsequent gastro-intestional issues, I'm rather sure that I may have had a mild case of the flu, for the first time in years. I almost doubt that, though, as I had not other symptoms. I blame the crappy food I ate on Sunday, followed by more bad eating habits on Monday and Tuesday.

In attempting to get back to normal, or normal for me, I'm on salads and spending at least a couple hours a day just trying to relax. So I made up for not relaxing yesterday with spending the whole night last night relaxing. Now that I'm a day behind on all my little projects, though, I'm a little upset with myself.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wouldn't it be great?

I was cruising around Fark this morning, trying to wake up my brain when I came across this photoshop contest, which included an entry that I know that at least 3 or 4 of my non-Canadian readers will get:

Today's winner is:

I wish this were my call, but here's what went down:

W: "How do you access your e-mail, sir?"
Customer: "With my computer."

That kind of response deserves so much more than was given- so much more than I can imagine. Honestly, I probably would have hung up right then and there.

If I had a million roses, part II

Back in the day, well, about a month ago, I told you all about my misadventures playing a certain PS2 game, We Love Katamari. I had finally reached to the ultimate level of the game- the part where you roll up a million roses.

I'm happy to report that with rather limited time or motivation, I have managed to get my total to 589,820 roses.

I will fully admit to cheating to get to that number. At first, sure, I was all motivated- rolling up a thousand a day would only take me maybe 10 or 20 minutes, so why not just do that? Frankly, friends and neighbors, it is a horrifyingly boring task to try to accomplish. Not to mention that I am not the most patient man, and waiting 100 days, providing that I could spend that amount of time on such a silly thing every day, was just not practical.

So, I cheated. I used the rubber band [elastic] method. What I do, is I get to the Ice Rink level- it randomly assigns levels when you're rolling for the roses, so just be patient. You will get it. Next, I use two smaller rubber bands to hold the analog sticks forward. I use a third, longer rubber band to hold the left stick at a slight angle, so that the path of the katamari is always changing, but only slightly.

I have used this method more than once, and I have to tell you, it is one easy damn way to roll up roses. On Friday night, I got home from work, and, as I told you yesterday, I was avoiding going out. Eventually, I just had to, but the point is, I started up the game and rubber banded my controller and walked away.

I basically left the damn thing running all weekend long. I started out on Friday with something like 330,000 roses, and turned it off Sunday night with 589,820. Not bad for a weekend's worth of not working on it, right?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

ooooooooooooooh ahhhhhhhh!

I just died in your arms tonight.

Friday, as I told you, I was up at the crack of dawn in Greenland so I could pick up a lot more overtime and help out my buddy who didn't really need or want to work a double. Working that long a day after a long workweek, you can imagine I was tired. I got home with the intention of taking a nap then going to my friend A's house for board game night and avoiding crowds.

My nap failed, as I half expected it to do. I'm not a good napper. I just can't do it, even when I was a kid, I wasn't that good at it. I remember spending nap time in kindergarten looking around at my sleeping classmates. My teacher was afraid that I was nonconformist. Turns out she was right. Having failed in my endeavor to rest up, I decided instead to go have drinks at Resi's, where I knew I could have strong beer, friends, and relatively few St. Pat's celebrators. I parked my kiester at a stool and saw R come down "Aventinus?"

"Why yes." I replied as I stood up to give him a hug over the bar. R is a good man, large and friendly. I first met him back when he worked at the Great Beer Palace, but we didn't become friends until he started working at Resi's. The Palace, sadly, closed. We chatted about basketball, women, drinking, and his former co-worker, my friend S. Turns out S got a job up the street at Laschet's, one of the other German places in my neighborhood. After enough Aventinus for me to want to go home, I walked out the door in search of my friend, having heard that he was working that night. I walked in, and instantly remembered why I prefer Resi's. This place is too bright, and the food isn't nearly as good. Not to mention that whoever designed it must have been on some serious drugs, as there is no real rhyme or reason to it.

Behind the bar, there was a woman I recognized, but no S. I ordered a quarter Steigl (ordering beers in quarters is the norm in this bar, and I recognize why- their beer gets warm quicker than in most bars. Someone should look into that.) I walked to the end of the bar so I could scope out the place and see if I knew anyone else. Clomping up the stairs was S, all dressed up in black pants and a white shirt. I don't like bars where they make you wear fancy clothes to bartend- bartending is a messy job. He was carrying bottles of vodka, so I let him put them down before shaking his hand. "I'll give you $5 if you bartend with your pants down," I greeted him. He declined to do so, so I increased the tip to $20. He still refused, based on the fact that he wanted to keep this job. Apparently, that shit don't fly over at Laschet's.

I finished my beer with S's roommate K, and headed home. My exhaustion was finally shutting me down. I walked home, pondering if I should stop in for another drink somewhere. I headed home. I had just realized, after 5 drinks, that I hadn't eaten since lunch. I got home, made some food and poured a glass of wine. I put in a DVD, and the next thing I knew, it was midnight. I had fallen asleep, fortunately after I had finished eating. I went to bed and the last thing I remember was my cat jumping up on the bed and cuddling up to me.

Here's the shitty part of all this: I don't sleep much, and rarely, if ever, will I sleep more than 6 or 7 hours in a row. At 4:37, I opened my eyes and took a gander at my clock (I have a clock with extra-large numbers on it, so I can see it without my glasses) and thought hm. This kinda sucks. I should sleep later. I tried everything, and finally gave up at 5. I was awake, and there was no going back.

The problem then became, what do I do with my time? It is too cold out to go bike riding, especially at 5 am in March, so that's out. I can't ride my trainer, because that's too loud, and despite my half of the apartment building being uninhabited, save for myself and my roommate, it's still cruel to her to do that. I snuck into the dining room/office and got on my computer. If I were quiet enough, I could play a game or two until I could safely and considerately make noise. I made up a grocery list, worked on some bike ride stuff, and played CIV4 for a few hours, until I got bored and fed up and frustrated. I poked around at some pub quiz research, I tried to get interested in my local election, which is today, but decided I had a hard time liking any of the candidates. I decided to try to watch TV, and that didn't work.

I was bored, terribly bored. It was almost the afternoon, and I had no motivation to clean my desperately messy apartment, no motivation to go grocery shopping, and less energy than I expected. I finally, after quite a bit of procrastination, went to the grocery store. I knew I had a busy evening planned, and laundry to do, so it was the lesser of two evils- laundry could wait for the morning. After spending almost the entire day avoiding any and all of my responsibilities- save for moving my mountain bike to the basement of our building, I had accomplished very little. I was somehow proud of that.

Finally, my dinner plans with my friend A, which were planted in our heads some 2 1/2 weeks ago, for going for margaritas and Mexican food, were finally coming to be. I was very excited, as she's been dating a wonderful new man for a few months, and we haven't been able to hang out since her birthday party. When she picked me up, I noticed something was sitting in her back seat- and I tried to ignore it. We drove off in search of the appropriate place, and we talked.

"Did you see what's in the back?"

"I sure did. I was going to comment, but I thought I'd let you open up that part of the conversation."

"Fair enough."

"So, I take it, things are that serious, huh?"


"Good for you honey. I'm very happy. He's a good man and I like him a lot."

I'm avoiding telling you what's in the back, and I'm not mentioning that I really, really do like her new beau. Quite the guy, and he and I have a lot in common. She's done very well for herself, and I'm glad she's so happy. In the back seat, by the way, is a child's carseat. Her new beau is divorcing and has a toddler.

We, after trying 3 other places, finally find a place that has a wait less than an hour. We parked ourselves at the bar next to some particularly drunk college-age kids, one of which actually fell down whilst drinking. This was funny, but only because she managed to not spill on either of us. We caught up- and then got into the serious stuff. She thinks my life needs a little more direction (and she's right), she wanted to know what happened with this woman and with that woman. She wants me to settle down, too, but in a good way. She promises to find someone I'll like, but won't set me up "with any of [my] crazy-ass friends." We've been down that path a couple times before- with mixed results.

This conversation, mixed with the absolutely outstanding margaritas, remind me that I've been avoiding a lot of the dating I could easily be doing. In vino veritas and all that. I decide that at the party we're going to after dinner, I will get my flirt on, and that my night will not end without digits.

We head to the party, at a friend's apartment. They're both moving in with their boyfriend or fiance, so they are saying a proper farewell to a very, very cool place. I scoped the party- lots and lots of very attractive people having smart conversations, basically, my ideal environment. After my preliminary scan, I do my deeper check (read: looking for rings) and quickly discover that other than the 3 women I already know, two of which are already taken, every woman at the party has either a husband or fiance. I chat around to confirm my observations, and I was rather disappointed.

Fortunately for me, I had one more party on my dance card, and that was most fortunately at a bar I knew there would be singles at and karaoke. I walked in, and was greeted by two friends, including the birthday girl, who I bought a shot for. Before I even ordered the shot, the bartender had already poured me a Guinness. I like that in a bartender. I drank my toast, drank another shot with the bartender, and put in my songs. I was feeling a little creative, and put in a standard (Every Rose), a DYC song (myself and two friends form this "band" and do songs together at least 3 times a night, as the C in the equation is the KJ), and Draggin' the Line.

Every Rose is called first, so I dazzle the crowd with my version. I have a talk with the birthday girl, and my eyes look over her shoulder at one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen. Tall, attractive, and blonde. Wait a second, I think to myself- when was the last time I even went on a date with a blonde woman? I do a self-audit of my dating life. In my nearly two decades of dating and relationships, I have dated a grand total of two blondes. The first was the first girl I ever used the L word with, back in 1989. The second, a set-up by a friend with her roommate- a short-lived generally bad relationship when I was 22. My friend notices my attention sway and tells me she knows the girl and that she is single.

This is very good news to me. The bad news for me, as it were, was that my friend C had been flirting with her all night, and already gotten her phone number. While I sometimes fail in my convictions to observe the single code, I was determined to do right by my friend. After all, he was kind enough to do the same for me a year earlier, so I was returning the favor. Besides, the night was young, and the crowd was full of beautiful women.

DYC was called up, and due to some inspiration, we decided not to do Burning Down the House, which we have almost always screwed up. We instead did that horrible Tubthumping song about the whiskey drink, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Ok, let me level with you. I had the idea, because I wanted to do the Homer Simpson version of the song:
I take a whiskey drink
I take a chocolate drink
And when I take a leak
I use the kitchen sink

Personally, one of my favorite Simpsons moment, sadly only a few folks got it. I also wound up doing the "oh Danny boy" part of the song in falsetto. It was funny, and we had a good time being dorks.

After we finished, a woman approached me. "I liked your Homer Simpson. That was funny."


"You did an amazing falsetto, too."

"Thanks again!" I slyly checked, as is my habit, for a tell-tale ring.

Thunderbirds, my friends, were go.

We chatted about singing. She mentioned that she enjoyed Every Rose earlier. I told her she should hear me do Johnny Cash. She melted a little. I told her I would try to get one in before the close of the evening's karaoke. I walked, cash in hand to my friend, the KJ.

"What'll it take for me to finish with a Cash song. You pick it."

"I've only got two left, and I've already got you slated for Draggin'."

I went back to her, told her about the time constraints and that if she was interested, I knew a couple other places to do karaoke during the week, if she wanted to hang out. She said she couldn't, but she was going to be back at the same bar next Saturday. "So Dutch, can I get your number?"

I should mention that I very rarely use my real name, especially when I'm in a place that only takes a first name. Dave is just too commonplace. The result of which is that I have so many nicknames in the different circles I travel, I have to actually remember more names. I enjoy the challenge, though, and within this circle of friends, I am called Dutch, after my lovely bowling shirt I picked up in Toronto. A shirt, that I just happened to be wearing that night.

"Last up tonight, thanks to everyone who came out, let me bring up Kiss Me I'm Dutch!"

I got up to the stage, still hoping that he'd switch out Draggin' for Cash, but when I heard the first few bass notes of Draggin' the Line, I knew I had to finish with it. "You sang that wonderfully" she said as I returned to the table. I offered to buy her a drink, so we moved to the bar. We drank. I paid my tab. I looked around, and the blonde had left, but without my friend C. He walked up to me, "I'm starving, are you hungry?"

"Yeah. Wanna get some tacos?" I heard myself say it, even though I had eaten some steak fajitas just a few hours earlier. Red II, as she will be known as for the time being, wasn't up for tacos. Suddenly I found myself less likely to want to go, largely because I made the horrible realization that I had been awake for 22 hours. Suddenly it was very much time for bed. We all parted ways, and I got home later, much, much later than anticipated.

Much to my surprise, I woke up Sunday morning with a bang, and about 3 hours before I should have. Pissed at myself for staying out so late, I started doing laundry and wishing I had been a whole lot nicer to my body the night before. It was time for some horizontal couch action. I drifted in and out of watching the talk news shows, wishing I was still sleeping, and doing laundry. Eventually, I fed myself and felt better. I managed to get new CD rom's for my wonderful new burner, so friends beware, I will be sending you music soon.

You have been warned.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kiss me, I'm Dave

I can trace my lineage pretty far back- very far, in my opinion. One of the many, many branches of my family tree touches down in Ireland AKA the Emerald Isle. Of course, the many, many branches also touch on Scotland, England, France, Germany, and Holland. I should also mention that there's a little Native American dashed into the Dave recipe, too. I imagine that's where I get my internationally famous eyebrows from.

Today is, as I'm sure you all know, St. Patrick's Day. The Chicago River is green today, although I have not seen it yet, as I took a cab at 4:30 to work this morning so that I could relieve our afternoon guy who was working a double. While I may be, amongst several other things, Irish, one thing I am most certainly not is Catholic. So, instead of answering over and over the question that is always asked of a beer-swilling, kilt-wearing, sketch-drinking man: what are you doing for St. Patrick's day?

The answer is nothing.

I avoid going out on certain holidays: Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve. Those are the big-drinking holidays that everyone seems to love, and I cannot be troubled with amateurs. Well, that, and I would certainly look like a hyprocrite if I refuse to celebrate Valentine's day because of my anti-catholic sentiments and not follow through with St. Pat's, right?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

You know you've really made it in life when...

Howie Mandel copies your look.

Myself, in a picture from 2004:

Howie Mandel, in a Deal or No Deal promo shot:

Fitter, happier, more productive...

...not drinking too much, regular exercise at the gym

Yesterday started the one-month countdown to regular training rides with my cycling team, so that we can be all geared up for the MS Ride in June. It also started the "get your ass to the gym and lose the 10 pounds your doctor told you to lose back in September, you jackass" routine for me. I have to admit, I've been avoiding starting that routine, half out of laziness, half out of the realization that these are the changes that I've known I've had to make since we found out I have high cholesterol. If there is a third half to that puzzle, it probably has to do with my failing left knee, which will undoubtedly require surgery again soon.

Very soon.

So, I've started a brand-spanking-new health kick. We'll see how long it lasts. My money is on June 26th.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Because I'm too tired to do much else, it's high time for some memes:

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Your Personality Profile

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

This one I found over at All Things Jen(nifer):

My Personal Dna Report

And lastly:
In a Past Life...

You Were: A Kind Priest.

Where You Lived: Scotland.

How You Died: Suicide.


We had the biggest crowd we have ever had at pub quiz last night.

Fortunately for me, I can anticipate such things and I have an incredibly understanding and cool boss. Once we got the first round started, I surveyed the room. Lots and lots of people looked back at me. I got anxious. I knew I would be cleaning and doing other helper jobs very late into the night. I also correctly guessed that I would be drinking rather late.

During round 3, the match round, I snuck out the front door and called my boss. "[boss], it's Dave."

"Why aren't you coming to work tomorrow?" My boss is no dummy. He knows what's what.

"Actually I am coming to work tomorrow, but I'd appreciate it if I could come in an hour later."

"Busy night at pub quiz?"


"Don't worry about it. I'll see you at 8. How many people do you have there?"

I wasn't sure, honestly. We didn't have an accurate headcount until round 6. I estimated 65, and was only off by 3. Not a bad guess. Not bad at all. We finished a little late, which was to be expected, and I started making my game show host rounds. Old faces and a couple new faced adorned my crowd last night, and I wanted to make sure I got to chat with everyone. Chat away I did. I might have, knock on wood, recruited another rider for my MS Ride team. I'm very excited about that.

Back to last night, though. The owner, my friend and new hockey fan S came in and pretended to be from the Fire Department. "Sir, you're over the legal occupancy limit for this room." It is rather hard for him to do impressions, as his brogue is a dead giveaway. We don't have a lot of Scottish fire marshals in Chicago.

One of my less frequent but definite favorite quizzers came up to me afterwards. "Soon, you're going to need a bigger pub!" I laughed and told him I'd let him know if and when that happened. I love my quizzers. Good people, every one.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Setting the record straight

Last night I posted something about finding my soulmate, and joked (read: joked) that my ideal woman would go on that second most crappy of reality shows, Fear Factor*.

Nah. That isn't even slightly true.

While I am not really afraid of much, I am not a fan of ingesting food that wasn't really meant to be ingested. I will admit to being afraid of heights, but not while in a vehicle. The idea came out of the movie I watched as well as the reisling I drank to offset my rather spicy meal.

What's funny to me is that usually, I can't get women to take me seriously. Now I make a joke and everyone thinks I'm serious.

Ah well. I hope that clears it up.

* Unless, of course, I get to drive a car in some wild way I haven't previously done, the aforementioned blindfolded while she gives me directions would be a blast.

Happy Pi Day

As I left for work this morning, I took a look at my handy-dandy icon to see what the temperature was.



I thought fondly about why I moved to Chicago, and why I stay. Because you can never tell what's going to happen here. Saturday afternoon, I spent an hour or so biking on the lakefront, into a rather strong headwind, only to turn around and zip back north. All told, I got in about 18 miles and felt great, being outside in my shorts and a short-sleeve jersey.

Today, however, I was wearing a winter coat and a warm hat.

I'm not complaining- I love it here. I love the wind and getting a cold every spring as the weather fluctuates like some kind of insane yo-yo. I like that, the challenge of it. Besides, back in the day, when I lived in St. Paul, 30 degrees in March was a heat wave. Perhaps that's where my family went wrong- before that we had always lived in climates like Chicago, then we went there and froze our collective asses off.

I don't think anything really beat the "winter" I spent in Brooklyn. That was a cake walk. Then again, I never had a nor'easter come through and bury the city. I've heard of those, but never been through one. I would, of course, counter with the blizzard of 1982, when it snowed two feet on my father's birthday.

My father's birthday, friends and neighbors, is April 14th.

Sorry for the weather-inspired and boring post. A caller just asked me how the weather was, which annoyed me, so I wrote a post about the weather.

I'm quirky like that, ya know.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Possible Loves

I just finished watching a brilliant movie. I call it brilliant because it got me to thinking.

I like that in a movie.

The movie in question is Amores Possiveis, a Portuguese movie about a man who meets his true love in college, but when he finally gets the nerves to ask her out, she stands him up. The movie shows the "what ifs" of their relationship.

I'm a big fan of thinking about the what ifs.

I'm not going to recant the movie, that's not my job. I will say this: I used to think that I should find a woman who liked hockey, or cycling, or cooking, or karaoke, or Kurt Vonnegut, or punk rock, or Star Trek, or who understood that my mind flies from topic to topic seemingly without reason, and I can be engrossed in particle physics one second, then Latin poetry the next. Perhaps I have some strange form of adult ADD. I wouldn't put it past me.

Maybe the ideal woman for me speaks 4 languages, and we only have half of one in common, it could happen. Maybe she's got green eyes, maybe she's got blue eyes, maybe she's got grey eyes.

It doesn't matter at all. You know what I'm really looking for in life, who I really want to spend my life with?

I'll tell you.

In a second...

I'm looking for a girl who I can take on Couples Fear Factor. Isn't that what it really boils down to? I want a girl who I can hold upside down, whilst blindfolded, over a vat of cow intestines while we're supposed to grab a certain number of flags from some Plexiglas structure which is strapped to a moving semi with electric eels being thrown at us. That's the girl for me.

After all, love is blind, and love means never having to say "sorry I dropped you into a vat of cow intestines while I was blindfolded and we were retrieving flags from some Plexiglas structure attached to a moving semi while having electric eels thrown at us, honey."

This could be a profound, ground-breaking vin-dit for me. Or the glass of riesling I had with my dinner tonight, which turned quickly into the bottle of riesling I had with my dinner tonight, could be doing the talking.

I'll let history be the judge of that.

Time for a cup of tea, methinks, then straight to bed.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Something I need to build before I die...

Earlier this week, before all the excrement so successfully found the way to the air conditioning, I came across this link on fark, and just had to imagine where, and with what time, I could build a project as cool as the one pictured. I would love to spend a winter in a basement just putting that design together. Somehow, I think that might be a part of my retirement package.

Anyways, today was another hell day in this week from hell, which seems to be the general consensus amongst my nearest and dearest. I am welcoming this weekend with open arms and a big smile, c'mon in and set a spell, y'hear? Can I get you a drink?

Today, here in Chicago there was a protest against the new Immigration bill. I had a whole rant about this ready to go, about how my country is turning more and more tyrannical by, seemingly, the hour, but I'm too tired. I've had enough of this week and just want to go see my friend's band tonight and have a couple cold beers and wake up tomorrow for the warmest day of 2006, well, at least, thus far. The photo is courtesy of a friend of a friend who happens to work in the East Loop. I got to watch the marchers pass by my office building, actually. It was quite nice to see so many people exercising their rights. I hope the W saw that and realizes that the bill is wrong.

More on that when I have the energy to make it sound good.

Is it me you're looking for?

I was walking to the train yesterday afternoon, in quite a bit of a huff after a particularly brain-frying day, which even included a customer asking me what his area code was. As I walked past the Sears Tower, I saw, across the street, a pink object sitting on the electrical box of a traffic light. My attention was so drawn to the object I couldn't look away- I needed to find out what it was. I trained my eyes and saw that it was definitely mitten shaped. I thought to myself "how could Maria's mitten have made it all the way to Chicago?"

I crossed the street, and each step brought me closer to the truth. Would it be Maria's long-lost mitten? Was I going to be the hero of the hour? Was that really a mitten? Wait, did I just walk past my ex-girlfriend?

The answers to all of those questions was no. The mitten was a glove, and not nearly as ornate and pretty as Maria's, hence my hero of the hour status was now defunct. No, that wasn't my ex walking down the street, but it was someone I know- I wish I had stopped to chat, too.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Shades of Happy Gilmore

Bosco posted a link to the video of Tampa Bay's Artyukhin hitting another Maple Leaf Antoine Vermette over the head with his own helmet.

Not the prettiest hockey highlight you'll ever see, but definitely one of the more amusing.

Expanding on Pascal's Wager

I read a rather entertaining post from God is for Suckers! the other day about Pascal's Wager. Basically, Pascal says that it is best to believe in god because if you don't and there is a god, well, you've angered that god, and probably condemned yourself to some horrible torture. I don't want to overstate what was already written in the post, but there's something about this that I've been doing for years.

Back in the day, when I moved back to Chicago from NYC, I was unemployed. I was up particularly late watching science programs and drinking beer, two of my favorite activities, when I started watching a program about the cosmos. What most folks don't really realize is that there's a lot of room in the universe. We're just one little tiny planet circling a small yellow star in the an arm of a rather ordinary galaxy which contains probably 100,000,000,000 stars in it. If that doesn't drive home the point, scientists believe that there are about 140,000,000,000 galaxies in the universe. That's a whole lot of stars out there.

As I'm watching this particular program, I get a idea somewhat like Pascal's Wager. What if, in the universe, there are other planets with intelligent life, and what if, on those planets those intelligent beings have developed religions (say about 5 a piece) and they all think that they're right, just like our religions tend to do around here.

Ok, Mr. Pascal, Mr. Mathematician-turned-Theologist, let's have some fun. According to A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, scientists figure that there are 10 billion trillion planets out there. For those of you who like the dramatic effect of it, here's what that looks like:
That's a pretty damn huge number, no matter where you're from. Anyways, I learned, if you call it that, that one in 43,000 planets has intelligent life (This comes from the first season of Star Trek: Enterprise, for those who think I'm just pulling that number out of my ass, in reality, there is no study to confirm or deny these things, so let's just call this an unconfirmed assumption.). So, if we do some math, we'll see that, according to the combination of these two numbers, that there are supposedly 232,558,139,534,883,721 planets in our universe that have intelligent life on them.

Next, let's assume that on those 232 quadrillion and change planets, that those beings have developed say 4 major religions (personally, I think this number is rather low, considering how many different religions have been developed throughout human history). Let's also assume that there is some all-knowing, all-wise, all-seeing superbeing out there that created everything, and that somewhere in the universe, someone has build a religion around this superbeing. If you work out this little bit of math, you'll find that the odds of actually choosing the "one, true religion" are one in 930,232,558,139,534,884.

Let me put that into perspective. If you take a penny and etch an X on both sides of it, then put that one penny into a bag containing that many pennies, the bag would be slightly larger than three earths (slightly larger meaning about 9% larger, which turns out to be 97,488,000,000 cubic kilometers). That's a big bag o' pennies, friends and neighbors.

So, Mr. Pascal, Mr. Mathematician-turned-Theologist, I'll stick with my slightly militant atheism. The odds just don't favor anyone. I'll also heed the advice that I learned at the end of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life:
Well, it's nothing very special. Uh, try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations. And, finally, here are some completely gratuitous pictures of penises to annoy the censors and to hopefully spark some sort of controversy, which, it seems, is the only way, these days, to get the jaded, video-sated public off their fucking arses and back in the sodding cinema. Family entertainment? Bollocks. What they want is filth: people doing things to each other with chainsaws during tupperware parties, babysitters being stabbed with knitting needles by gay presidential candidates, vigilante groups strangling chickens, armed bands of theatre critics exterminating mutant goats. Where's the fun in pictures? Oh, well, there we are. Here's the theme music. Goodnight.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Good times, bad times

You know I've had my share.

This weekend was a fast, crazy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants cavalcade of fun. Then again, any time that you become an instant multi-thousandaire from a bonus, well, times are bound be be happier for you, right?

Friday night I went to my friend O'Boomhauer's surprise birthday party armed with a bottle of Jameson and a shitload of cash in my pocket. We rocked that party hard, and I headed home knowing that I would definitely have a hangover in the morning, not because of the volume I consumed, but because I consumed such a variety of forms of alcohol. I ate some food when I got home to stave this off, but to no avail. Before I did retire, I sent my brother an early morning "welcome to the club" e-mail, as he has finally turned 30. That's us in the picture, on my first day of school back in the 70's. Happy birthday, little brother.

Saturday morning, I checked my balance, and headed out on a $1000 spending spree. My largest purchase was a new computer- I finally retired my previous HP machine, which was running on duct tape and good intentions. My new toy has all kinds of hard drive space, and so much memory I'm having a hard time keeping up with the damn thing.

My plans for that night involved a birthday party for my dear friend A, and the last thing I bought on my spending spree was a bottle of Effen Vodka for her. Unless, of course, you count the rounds of drinks I bought for my friends. They were very happy for me to have this financial windfall, and needless to say, I don't forget my friends. After much debating over whether or not to go dancing that night (I was unwilling to go to SmartBar, as it just isn't a Dave kind of place. Besides, when I want to go dancing, I'll do a nice waltz or a two-step or something.

Sunday I went to see Good Night and Good Luck with Jen, a fun and entertaining movie that includes one of my favorite exchanges I've ever seen in a movie:
Edward R. Murrow: We'll split the advertising, Fred and I. He just won't have any presents for his kids at Christmas.
Sig Mickelson: He's a Jew.
Edward R. Murrow: Well don't tell him that. He loves Christmas.
I loved this movie- it was funny, witty, and had a lot of interesting cinematography- I highly recommend it.

If it weren't for some gastrointestinal issues I was having, we were going to go for drinks and dinner. I opted out and spent some time with my buddy, Mr. Pepto Bismol.

Yesterday was not one of my more stellar days at work followed by a trip to my local Target for a new microfaluwka- which is Polish for microwave, FYI. Some $120 later, I had all kinds of new stuff for myself and a huge bag of IAMS for Mia. I started laundry. My brother called when I was hanging up shirts and told me about Kirby Puckett.

I don't want to say much about this, as he was one of the few people on this list, the list of people in my lifetime that I have idolized and emulated to the point of calling them heroes. I promise, however, to say goodbye in my own way.

Rest in peace.

Friday, March 03, 2006

It's raining money.

Back a few months ago, when my company was being purchased by the very same company we were in the process of buying, there was a big meeting where they assured us that we were going to retain our jobs for at least a while. At some point during this extremely long speech, there was a bonus mentioned. At the time, I figured I wouldn't be here in another couple weeks, so I didn't pay much attention.

Well, today, friends and neighbors, that check was handed to me.

I can't really complain- I'm basically getting a month's base salary as a signing bonus.

Not a bad way to start my weekend.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Positive feedback?

We've got this tool at work where we're able to control computers remotely. This program is the staple of each and every tech support desk, and I usually use it several times a day. Just yesterday, I used it to help someone learn how to use a scroll bar.

I wish I were kidding.

Normally, by the time I've decided to use this tool, I'm pretty steamed. Normally, I wind up doing something so mundane it actually hurts me to have to use it, but use it I do, and to excess.

What I've just found out is that there is a feedback prompt at the end of the session. Customers have been leaving comments about me, and I didn't even know it! What I really didn't expect is that customers are leaving me positive comments. "Dave was terrific, give him a large raise... Dave is my hero!" "Dave is outstanding. I have always gotten the help I needed when I dealt with him... I will probably take more programming classes because I was so impresed with his proefssionalism."*

I'm sure you're asking yourself what I'm asking myself: What? I was nice enough to a customer for them to leave me a smiley face? Dave was nice enough to two people? What? There's more than that? Is Dave losing his Angriest Man in Chicago Title?

I'm flat-out amazed. My jaw is resting on my desk. I must have sailed under a happy-happy star that day, 'cuz believe me, I even sense the snotty anger in my voice when I talk on the phone to our customers. Some days I wonder why and how I still have a job.

*I left in the spelling errors- I spend enough of my days fixing other people's mistakes to do it on my own blog.


I've been doing so much this week that I just let blogging slide. Plus, I've been worrying a lot about my friends, specifically Joey, whose father died Monday. Joey is one of the greatest men I have ever met. It logically follows that his dad was a great man, and he was. He will certainly be missed.

More later.