Thursday, March 31, 2005
posted by dave at 9:32 PM in category ramblings

A month ago, I wrote a rambling entry about my ongoing redefinition of myself.

Today, sitting at Rich O's and enjoying what has become my customary after-work beer, I got a glimpse of the person I may become.

I looked at the empty space on the sofa, and I felt my eyes well up. Not with sadness, but with profound optimism.

The empty space was no longer a void left behind by something missing. It had become, at least for today, a placeholder for something yet to come.

I must have looked like a crazy person, with my eyes tearing up and that shit-eating grin on my face.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
posted by dave at 9:24 PM in category daily, weather

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

It's hard to think of things to write when I'm in a good mood.

It's supposed to storm tonight. Maybe that will bring a little interest to my life.

I used to really like stormy weather. I still do I guess. I mean I still look forward to the Spring storm season. I've noticed, however, that since I stopped renting and actually bought a house, I'm no longer quite as excited over the prospect of having a tornado tear down my street.

The dreadicipation over the upcoming weekend is starting to make itself known. Not really suffering from surprisaphobia right now - I'm just not quite comfortable with things as they are. And I feel like things will be changing soon.

Last night, I had a beer that a friend of mine had made - his first homebrewing effort. I liked it okay. There was no carbonation to speak of, and I know that'll disappoint him. It was also very sweet, almost like sweetened iced tea. A hell of a lot better than any first attempt of mine would ever be, that's a safe bet.

Let's see, Friday I'm having my taxes done. I'm expecting a big drop in my refund amount over what it was the last few years. I dropped a couple of percentage points on my mortgage interest when I refinanced last Spring. Hopefully I'll still have enough left to blow in Las Vegas or Orlando over the next couple of months.

Gee, pretty exciting entry, wasn't it?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
posted by dave at 10:03 PM in category daily

Last night I killed seven wasps in my house.

Tonight I've killed four so far.

I hope they're not coming from my attic. I'm afraid that I'll stick my head up there and find a five-foot nest or something.

Then I'll have to move.

posted by dave at 10:00 PM in category daily

One of the more interesting things that MaineGirl and I did the other night was this game she does with her friends. After we'd talked for a couple of hours, we each wrote down twenty questions for the other. We answered each question on a separate piece of paper, then traded answers. We had to try to match our questions with their answers.

Of course, it was all just a way to keep the conversation stimulated. I don't see how it could work if the people playing actually knew each other and ever planned to see them again. The questions asked of me were way too personal.

Anyway, here are my answers, changed slightly to protect privacy. Don't bother asking what the questions were:

1. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: It's like that [transitory period] when you wish you didn't but you do anyway. I know it's stupid, but for now I just have to accept it.

2. Absolutely, right away. And want is the operative word there. It used to be need and that terrified me.

3. No, though I came close once. I showed great willpower. It's just not my place to ask that.

4. I'm actually counting on that. If that's not the case then I've got a whole new set of problems.

5. You know, I really don't. I have to force myself to even picture that situation, and the picture I come up with is not a good one. Sometimes I wish that was what I wanted, because then at least all of this would make sense.

6. I suppose I'd get used to it like I've gotten used to everything else. No choice really.

7. Oh, I wouldn't say that it wouldn't affect me. It would affect the hell out of me. But even that would be better than the alternatives.

8. How about hate? How about pity? How about mockery? How about fear? How about nothingness? I'd say that any of those would be much worse.

9. I think I pretty much forfeited those privileges a long time ago. I don't know for sure but I figure better safe than sorry.

10. If that's the case then I owe yet another apology. I hope it's not the case.

11. Well of course it would. I'm not a robot. Not completely anyway. Not anymore. But not just good. More like bittersweet.

12. I wouldn't be surprised at all. I think I would be if the situation were reversed.

13. Maybe. I guess anything's possible, but that would really surprise me. I've never seen any potential for those kinds of feelings.

14. I think that would crush me.

15. I think because that would be proof of nothingness.

16. Nope. I was going to, when it first started, but I ran out of time.

17. Because then it was the right thing to do, but now I don't think it would solve any problems. Probably just make more.

18. I used to. Now, I'm not so sure.

19. Easy. Exactly where it started. Nothing more, nothing less.

20. I don't, but I can hope, right?

posted by dave at 7:31 AM in category drink

This has been out for a couple of weeks now, and I've had a pint almost every day, so I guess I can go ahead a put up an official review:

NABC Noble Smoker

(draft) A very worthy successor to Cone Smoker. Less bite to the smoke, and much more consistent from glass to glass. Easily one of my all-time favorites.

Of course, it will be going away soon, and with the NABC brewer position up in the air I don't even know if I can count on it coming back. That's why I haven't been drinking anything else at Rich O's lately.

Sunday, March 27, 2005
posted by dave at 4:38 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

Okay, I'm back from my Portland trip.

It was, as I'd expected, a very nice diversion, and a welcome respite from the suprisaphobia I've been experiencing back home. Not once, over the entire weekend, did I find myself jerking my head up to see who had just entered whatever room I occupied.

Portland Snow

The first thing I noticed about Portland was all the snow on the ground. I know they had a pretty substantial storm a couple of weeks ago, but I guess I wasn't expecting there to be between one and two feet covering all of the grassy areas. The photo above is of a snowdrift next to the ramp leading to the rental car desks.

Portland Coast

The weather was beautiful - not a cloud in the sky - for the entire time I was there. It was a little chilly - in the high 40s - during the day but there was not much wind so it was quite nice. Above is my first view of the Atlantic Ocean in several years. I was standing in about a foot of snow when I took this picture. Weird.

Also weird was that all of the dry rocks near the water were just covered with buzzing flies. It was like something out of The Amityville Horror.

Portland Surf

There's just something about the ocean that's always fascinated me. I imagine how the biggest swimming pool, pond, or lake, that I've ever seen would be completely swallowed up by this expanse of water. I imagine how the waves crashing against the rocks could have started halfway around the world. It's just neat. The relative proximity to the ocean is one of the reasons I chose Seattle over Colorado Springs back in 1992 when I was deciding where to move.

Portland Fort

All of these waterfront pictures were taken at a park called Fort Williams or some such. There were a dozen or so of these old structures scattered about. I actually took a lot more pictures but my camera's batteries had given out so they're all dark. I spend about four hours on Friday just exploring the old buildings at this park.

Great Lost Bear Taps

On Friday night I went to The Great Lost Bear, the bar I've heard the most praise about in Portland. I guess I liked it okay. The beer selection was very good, and the layout was something I could see working with a place like Rich O's. I guess my only complaints about the place would be (a) the lack of parking, (b) the crowd, and (c) the food. The latter was greasy and cold - not at all what I was expecting when I ordered seafood in Portland Maine. I guess I should have gone to a real restaurant instead of a bar for dinner.

Anyway, the picture above is of about half of the beer taps at the place. There is another row around that corner to the left.

Great Lost Bear Best Seller Board

They had a board up which listed, in order, the best-selling drafts for the previous month. I thought that was a pretty cool idea.

Great Lost Bear Samples

My first beer of the night was a Harpoon Winter Warmer. More on that later. Next I had a sampler tray consisting of five 5oz beers. I took notes on each one:

Sunday River Alt

A decent, but not great, alt beer. Balance favored the hoppy side, especially in the aftertaste. Looked and smelled great, but the taste was a little disappointing.

Allagash Double Ale

Yes, Virginia, there is indeed such a thing as too much malt. This beer just needed something to balance it out. I don't know what it needed. It had nothing but malt. Seven different kinds according to the web page.

Atlantic Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale

I had high hopes for this one. Blueberry flavor in a beer would definitely be something new and unusual for me. This actually ended up being my least favorite beer of the weekend. It tasted to me like an IPA. If there was any berry component to the flavor it was too subtle for me to detect it behind all the damn hops.

Harpoon Smokey Porter

I told the drunk next to me (he had asked) that I predicted that this would be my favorite beer of the night. I was wrong. The smoke was reminiscent of bacon, or perhaps beef jerky. Probably the only smoked beer that I've ever had that I didn't like.

Gritty's Scottish Ale

Creamy and malty. Very good, and I ended up having a second one. The best lacing I've seen in a long time.

My last beer of the night was another Harpoon Winter Warmer. More on that later. Took a cab back to the hotel but I probably didn't need to.

On Saturday, after getting completely lost about a dozen times trying to get to the "Old Port" tourist area of Portland, I gave up and headed West instead. My plan was to drive through New Hampshire and into Vermont. The thing I found out is that even though these states are pretty close geographically to Portland, you just can't get anywhere very quickly. I ended up turning around after about five hours, only having made it into New Hampshire. Vermont will have to wait until another day.

Once back in Portland, having spent a fruitless hour or so trying to find another bar for Saturday night, I just gave up. The streets in Portland are, I believe, nothing more than paved cow paths from the 1500s. They wind around, merging and splitting, changing direction often. It was difficult to go more than a few blocks without getting lost.

Great Lost Bear Crowd

So I ended up back at The Great Lost Bear for Saturday night.

I had another sampler tray, this time with only three beers:

Smuttynose Robust Porter

With a name like Smuttynose, it has to be good, right? Right. A very strong chocolate aroma and flavor. Like the NABC Haggisdaddy Stout it reminded me of, this would probably be good poured over ice cream

Sheepscot Valley Bold Coast Pemaquid Ale

Thick but fairly mild. Not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. I got a little coffee flavor and a little butterscotch. No aftertaste at all.

Geary's Hampshire Special Ale

Smelled and tasted like an Alt, even though it's supposed to be an English Stong Ale. The only non-Altish characteristic was that the aftertaste was quite bitter - too bitter for my tastes.

Great Lost Bear View

So that was the end of my experimenting. I went back to the one truly great beer that I'd encountered. The beer that I found myself calling CoffeeDude about. The beer that actually made the trip worthwhile.

Harpoon Winter Warmer

The web page says cinnamon and nutmeg. I got none of that. What I got was ambrosia. The most unusual beer I've ever had, and it took me a while to pin down what I was experiencing. Copper colored, good lacing, and an actual flower aroma. The flavor was incredibly indescribable, but I'll try anyway. Take a beautiful woman, have her bathe in lilacs and Mr. Bubble. Now perform oral sex on her. That's how good this beer was.

If my work schedule and my vacation pool would have allowed it, I would have extended my stay in Portland just to keep drinking this beer. Hell, I'm already trying to figure out when I can go back next year, when it will be available again. It's brewed in Boston so maybe that city will be my Easter trip next year. I called CoffeeDude Saturday night and asked him to have Harpoon Winter Warmer written on the board at Rich O's for Roger to see.

Anyway, Saturday night there was this girl sitting by herself at the other end of the bar. I heard HotBartender ask her what was wrong, saying she seemed to be in a bad mood. The girl, who I will call MaineGirl, told HotBartender that she was just fine, and that she didn't know why everyone always thinks she's a grouch.

So this girl is apparently my female counterpart in Maine. I ended up talking with her for several hours while we compared tales about how everyone thinks we're so anti-social. MaineGirl, and of course DrunkGuy from Friday night, were the only people I had any actual conversations with all weekend. MaineGirl reminded me of TrainGirl (who is from Maine so I guess that kind of makes sense) and, like TrainGirl, she had no problem at all having a long conversation with someone she'd just met in a bar.

I went back to the hotel at around midnight, slept fairly well, and arrived back home (pouring down rain in Louisville - surprise - not) at about 3:00. VigilanteGirl was in one of her moods, so that made it official. I was back.

The guess the main question (or the Maine question, ha ha) I had before going on this trip was: Would I be able to enjoy my own company without constantly thinking about missing my friends and my established routines? I'd have to say that I did enjoy myself immensely. I think that anytime you return from a trip and wish that you'd had more time that's a pretty good indicator that you enjoyed yourself. I could have spent several more days in Portland.

I will go back again someday.

Friday, March 25, 2005
posted by dave at 6:35 AM in category travel

Leaving for Maine now.

Not taking my laptop, so there will be no updates until I return.


Thursday, March 24, 2005
posted by dave at 12:47 AM in category daily

Spent tonight balancing my checking account in preparation for my Maine trip.

I really need to do it more often. The last time I even bothered was in December, so I had three bank statements and three months of debit card receipts to go through.

Back in my poorer days, I'd live payday to payday, and keeping track of my account was an absolute necessity. These days I know I'm not going to bounce anything so I get lazy.

NotGeorge called me tonight to tell me how exciting it was at Rich O's. I had a hard time caring. I've had a hard time caring about a lot of stuff lately.

I am fairly excited about my trip though. This weekend will not just be a break from my normal life here in Indiana, it will also be a test. A test to see if I can enjoy my own company again.

I have my doubts, but I've been wrong before.

Oh, yeah. I fucking slept for a whopping 2 hours last night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
posted by dave at 12:29 AM in category daily

One of my neighbors mowed his fucking lawn today.

Well, not really his lawn I guess, more like his pasture, but it's still too damn early to be doing that shit.

This is one of the few things about Spring that I dread. Mowing my lawn and the requisite weedeating that follows.

When I get rich again, I'll pay somebody to do this for me.

posted by dave at 12:25 AM in category daily, ramblings

I guess I've been using the wrong word to describe my state.

The word I was using was paranoia. It just doesn't fit. I don't think people are conspiring against me.

Some alternatives I considered were nervousness and anxiousness. Those words don't quite fit either. They, to me at least, imply that there is something specific to be nervous or anxious about. An actor, for example, may get nervous before a performance.

Another contender was jumpy, but that seems to imply a vulnerability to a very broad range of occurrences, mostly resulting in a negative reaction.

I began to suspect that the word to describe me doesn't exist. Tonight I asked a friend of mine from Rich O's, who is a mental health professional, if he could think of anything that would properly label me. Besides asshole. Ha ha.

He couldn't think of a good diagnosis on the phone, but he promised to look into it further and let me know.

For now, lacking a better term, I'm going to go with surprisaphobia.

A bartender asked me today if I'd been in Monday night. I answered "No" but I was thinking "Why? What did I miss? What happened? Why are you asking? Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Tonight, NotGeorge calls me out of the blue to see if I'm going to Rich O's. I never go to Rich O's when I have to work the next day, but I'm thinking "He's never called me before. What's going on that he's trying to get me to come down there for? What would I find there if I went? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Surprisaphobic definitely describes my mood as I drove to the bar. I just wanted to get whatever it was over with. I didn't want to have to wait another night to find out what it was.

It was nothing.

There was nothing unusual about the night at all.

So now I feel silly, but at least I've got a new term to describe myself.

Surprisaphobia: The fear of being surprised.

Monday, March 21, 2005
posted by dave at 11:11 PM in category website

So I've had to completely rebuild my 'blog database.

Unfortuately all of the entry IDs got renumbered.

This means that none of the favorites, and none of the links from one entry to another, will work correctly until I get it all sorted out.

Sucks to be me.

(Update: Problem fixed. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Search sites that have the old entry IDs cached will get caught up eventually I guess.)

posted by dave at 10:36 PM in category dreams

Last Friday this guy at work, who meant no harm at all, stood behind me hacking and coughing while I worked.

He ended up taking the last part of Friday off. I ended up taking all of today off.

I'd say that makes me the winner.

Spent the entire day sleeping on the couch, with all three cats holding a death vigil around me. My dreams were fever-borne and interesting.

The best one involved a classic science fiction theme - time travel. In this particular dream, I was transported back to 1972 where I found myself inhabiting my own 7 year old body.

What I found myself trying to do, without being thrown into the looney bin, was convince my dad of what had happened. Convince him that the pure and innocent son he'd known up until that day had been replaced by a soul much older and more experienced than he was at the time. Shit, Dad was only 31 in 1972.

I didn't have much luck. I repeatedly asked my dad for ideas on how I could prove myself to him. He was an avid reader, so he was at least a little open to the idea, but all he could think of was having me tell him about something that would happen in the future.

I just couldn't think of anything that would be happening soon enough to keep me out of a straight jacket. I knew that Nixon would resign in a couple more years, and I knew that the Reds would win back-to-back World Series championships in '75 and '76, but I needed something sooner.

In 1972 I was a little kid, and even today I can't remember much about what was happening in the world in those days. At least with any kind of detail.

Eventually, because I'd failed to convince him, my dad had no choice but to take me to the looney bin. It was in this old school building in the woods behind my house, and I remember thinking it was pretty odd that I'd never noticed it there before.

(Now is where the dream got strange)

I overheard my shrink talking about my case with some girl. The girl was assuring the doctor that I'd be much better off under her care than I'd be with all the crazies. The girl said fuck a lot - like every other word. The doctor agreed with the girl and told her that she could have custody of me.

She was just the cutest little thing. Maybe five or six, with brown hair and glasses. I suddenly realized (in my dream) that this was the girl that had started my preference for those attributes back when I was a little kid. Never mind that this made no sense because I'd certainly not been institutionalized and ran into this girl the first time I was in 1972.

This girl started walking towards me, smiling. I was just so happy to be getting out of the nuthouse. I was even happier to be leaving with the girl. I knew that all of my life's questions would be answered by this girl whose eyes sparkled even behind her glasses.

She got to me and told me her name.

I knew this girl! Never mind that she wasn't even alive, let alone five or six years old, in 1972. It was her!

She told me that bringing me to 1972 was the only way I could really start over. The only way we could start over.

I told her that was all I wanted. I leaned in to give her a hug for rescuing me. From the looney bin, and from everything else.

You can feel emotions in dreams, and this was a big dramatic moment. The kind of thing they make epic movies about.

My arms closed on emptiness, and I woke up.

Sunday, March 20, 2005
posted by dave at 9:26 PM in category technology, website

I just added a new category for my 'blog entries.

The pictures category can be accessed via the 'blog search form, or if you're lazy you can just click here.

I've also had to make some changes to the underlying software to handle multiple category assignments. I think it's all working correctly, but bugs do have a way of appearing. If you notice anything broken just let me know.

My next (related) task is to go back through all of my old entries and assign multiple categories where needed.

I think I'll also add some more categories. Here are some that come to mind:

  • daily
  • ramblings
  • sanity
  • memories

There will probably be more that reveal themselves as I peruse my old entries.

posted by dave at 6:33 PM in category drink, pictures

Okay, here's a picture of me in October 1965.

Me Like Beer

This is what I looked like back then, at least on the outside. It is also, coincidentally, how I sometimes look on the inside here in 2005.

At least my taste in beer has improved since then.

posted by dave at 9:14 AM in category daily, drink, entertainment

I don't think it would have been that bad.

I mean, I knew it was a bad idea, but it wouldn't have been the end of the world or anything. I wouldn't have said anything that hadn't already been implied (or at least inferred) a zillion times.

I knew it was a bad idea though. Kind of like breaking a taboo. There are some things that you just don't do. No matter how strong, or how persistent, the urge is.

So last night, sitting at Rich O's enjoying my two pints of Noble Smoker, I kept reaching for my phone. I'd take a drink from my beer, take a drag from my cigarette, and reach for my phone. Then sanity would kick in for a second and I'd jerk my hand away from the cursed thing.

This cycle repeated for the entire two hours I was there.

It would have crossed a line, and I've crossed way too many of those already. This one I need to honor. I know this, but as my brain becomes soddened my heart becomes bolder, and I think we all know that my heart cares little for right, or for propriety, or even for common sense.

So here's what I did: I gave my phone to CoffeeDude and asked him to hold on to it until this morning.

Most weekends it's just something I notice and laugh off. This pressure. Last night I found myself doubting my ability to resist the urge to use that phone.

It was a pretty uneasy feeling. Most of the time I'm possessed of fairly strong willpower (except for the smoking thing) but lately it's been tougher and tougher to keep myself reeled in. Last night, I was afraid that the line would break.

Last night, I found that I didn't trust myself to do the right thing. Or to not do the wrong thing. Whatever.

After I'd entrusted my phone to CoffeeDude, I went over to another bar. A friend from Rich O's is in a band, and they were playing a gig at this place just around the corner.

I had a good time. The place had Newcastle on tap, and that was a pleasant surprise. Of course I could only have one as I'd already had two pints of the 7.5% Noble Smoker.

Came home a little after 1:00 and dreamed of what might have happened if I'd hung onto my phone.

Saturday, March 19, 2005
posted by dave at 7:40 PM in category entertainment

Today I watched Rock Star and then School of Rock.

Now I'm in the mood for some Rock and Roll!

Probably won't find it at Rich O's though.

Friday, March 18, 2005
posted by dave at 11:14 PM in category hotd

Eliza Dushku.

The guys in Wrong Turn kill everyone else but tie Eliza to a bed.

Eliza Dushku

Can't really say I blame them.

For the Eliza on the bed thing. The killing people thing is really inexcusable.

posted by dave at 6:44 PM in category ramblings

So here's a list of some things I couldn't care less about.

Note that I said couldn't instead of could. People who say I could care less about whatever are idiots - unless they're actually trying to say that they do care about whatever it is.

As with all my lists, this one is not meant to be all-inclusive.

1. Celebrity Trials
O.J. Simpson. Michael Jackson. Robert Blake. I just don't fucking care. I mean, I wish The Juice and Baretta would refrain from murdering people, and I wish that Jacko could resist his urge to suck tiny cocks, but I just don't have the need to be bombarded with news of these trials like the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. I guess I should count the Petersen trial here too. Sure it's sad that a pretty pregnant woman got murdered, but just how does that affect me?
2. The NCAA Tournament
The only televised sport I even remotely give a shit about is professional baseball, and my enthusiasm for even that has waned quite a bit since I left Seattle. Just play the damn games and, in the end, tell us who won. Even then, I still won't care, but when a local team loses I do find it pretty amusing because everybody at work goes into a funk.
3. Paris Hilton
Okay, so she's rich, I get that. And she's got nice tits. Whoopee. There are a zillion other rich women with nice tits out there. Many of them also *gasp* have sex with their boyfriends. What's the big deal with her sex tape, and furthermore, why is she on my TV every time I turn it on?

Those are just the things that popped into my head as I sat down to type this entry. There are countless more. I care about things that affect me and the people I love. I couldn't care less (note: proper usage again) about Martha Stewart getting richer, or about that one chick that just had her feeding tube removed, or about congressional subpoenas issued to steroid-ridden athletes.

I'm just selfish that way.

posted by dave at 5:56 AM in category general

I know, it's a day late for St. Patrick's day.

One day an Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman walked into a pub together. They each bought a pint of Guinness.

Just as they were about to enjoy their creamy beverage, three flies landed in each of their pints, and were stuck in the thick head.

The Englishman pushed his beer away in disgust.

The Scotsman fished the fly out of his beer, and continued drinking it, as if nothing had happened.

The Irishman, too, picked the fly out of his drink, held it out over the beer, and started yelling, "SPIT IT OUT, SPIT IT OUT YOU BASTARD!!!!"

Thursday, March 17, 2005
posted by dave at 9:33 PM in category daily, ramblings

Yesterday my thoughts were all about excuses and justification.

Today they're all about trepidation and apprehension.

I think it's a Thursday thing. The weekend is approaching and, chances are, the weekend is when the shit will hit the fan.

Probably not this weekend, maybe not ever, but that doesn't stop me from obsessing over the horrible possibility each and every week as Friday approaches.

I've got one hurdle left to cross. One potential obstacle standing between me and my goal of being a sane person again.

This scenario is, fortunately, not very likely. I could actually go so far as to call it unlikely. But I still can't stop worrying about it. Obsessing over it.

No matter how much I try, no matter how often I envision myself crossing that barrier, I just don't think I'd be able to do it.

I think I'd turn around and walk the other way.

I think I'd fling shit into the fan.

I've gotten to know myself and my own capabilities (or lack thereof) pretty well over the last several months. I've learned to handle a lot. A lot more than I thought I could. I also discovered some fragility that I didn't know existed.

I'm pretty sure that I couldn't handle this.

This would trip me up. This would shatter my sanity. Like a waiter that drops an overloaded tray of dishes, I'd lose the grip I hold on my own mind, and drop it. Watch it fall and shatter into a million pieces.

If I could see it coming first, before I was forced to try yet doomed to fail, I don't think I'd even try.

I think I'd turn around and walk the other way.

Watch out for flying shit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
posted by dave at 10:41 PM in category daily, ramblings

I guess I do some of my best, or worst, thinking after work, sitting at Rich O's while I drink a beer and wait for my food.

Best because I finally get some time to myself, away from the paperwork and politicking at work. I can start thinking about things that are relevant to my life instead of those things that are only relevant to my job.

Worst because once I let my mind start to wander it jumps on a thought and develops inertia quickly, and getting it to veer away from an uncomfortable subject has become increasingly difficult. If not impossible.

Sometimes I actually long for the crazy days when my mind couldn't hold a single thought for more than a few minutes.

But those days are gone, and my mind will ruminate and ponder and obsess over whatever it wants. And there's not a damn thing I can do about it except let it go and wait for the thought to play itself out.

Case in point: Today at 5:30 I was thinking about justification and excuses. Now it's 10:26 and I'm still thinking about them.

I want justification. I crave it, need it, perhaps even deserve it.

But not that way.

People tell me stuff. Either directly or through hints, they tell me things that they think will dissipate this cloud that they perceive around me. They tell me things that they think will excuse and explain.

They think they're helping me, but what they're actually doing is scaring the shit out of me.

If I have to face one of my darkest fears to justify some of my deepest pains, then no thanks.

Monday, March 14, 2005
posted by dave at 10:51 PM in category ramblings

It's hard to think of something to write when I'm in a good mood.

My moods, like those of most semi-normal people, fluctuate several times a day. From good to bad. From bad to worse. From worse to great.

I know when I'm at my happiest, though. Fives days a week I have moments of ecstasy and relief that I know will go unchallenged until the next day. Until the next time. Sometimes I'll even do it several times in a row, so great is the joy that it brings. I just can't keep my hands off it.

I'm talking, of course, about my snooze button.

Those bonus minutes provide the best sleep of the night for me. They're the best because they are my choice. I take those minutes because I can, not because I have to, or because I need to. I go to bed at night because I have to get up in the morning. I sometimes take a nap after work because I'm just so tired that I need to sleep.

But those nine minutes, from 6:36 until 6:45, those are my choice, and I choose to take them. They're proof that, for a while at least, I'm in charge of my own life. Of my own destiny. At least for the next nine minutes.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a snooze button for life? So that when something so horrible, so unbearable happens, and you know you'll have to face it eventually, you can at least put it off for a little while?

It's hard to think of something to write when I'm in a good mood.

Sunday, March 13, 2005
posted by dave at 10:03 PM in category pictures

For my birthday card, Dina found this picture of me from the future.

me in the future

posted by dave at 9:10 PM in category pictures

Today I was digging through all of my picture boxes, looking for one in particular. I didn't find the one I was searching for but I did find some that prove that I used to be a pretty cute kid.

me in 1965

This was taken on my first Mother's Day. Despite what some may think, color film had been invented in 1965. I was just a black & white baby.

me in 1970

Here I was in 1970, apparently having just kacked at my hair with some scissors.

me in 1971

1971. My mom always took me to this evil barber and I always hated it. I think you can see why. Many years later, at my dad's funeral, that same barber had the nerve to try to extort money from me.

me in 1972

Ah, 1972. The Age of Groove may have been coming to an end, but I wasn't going to let it go without a fight. The really neato thing was that I had pants to match this vest. What made it even keener was that my cousins Jeff and Chris had matching outfits. This was the height of my coolness.

me in 1973

This was 1973. The neat thing about this shirt was that it matched everything. I wish I still had one like it.

me in 1975

1975. I kindof look like I might have been hungover here, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't.

me in 1976

The year 1976 was apparently a pretty rough one for me. I obviously used hedge clippers to cut my own hair, and needed a patch on my jacket to remind myself of my own name.

me in 1979

My 8th grade picture from 1979. This was the last decent picture ever taken of me. I remember that shirt. It was one of my all-time favorites. Also, check out the bling around my neck! It was an arrowhead necklace.

posted by dave at 6:20 PM in category daily, ramblings just now when I was sorting my laundry and glanced out the window to see a veritable blizzard.

I certainly wasn't expecting that. I'd figured that the time for snow was in the past.

Still, it's very pretty.

posted by dave at 12:14 PM in category drink, pictures

Whereas on Friday night the Rich O's crowd seemed fairly typical for a busy Friday night, last night's crowd was all Gravity Head.

Standing room only. If you were lucky enough to find a place to stand.

The place had been invaded by a bunch of Daytonese, and they filled every available nook and cranny. It was only through my charm and good looks that I was able to get a spot on the loveseat within an hour after I arrived.

Gravity Head crowd

Daytonese Invasion

Many of the Rich O's regulars were there as well, crammed into whatever spot they could find (and manage to hang on to) and most of us spent the night exchanging empathetic glances.

As for me, I was pretty much in misery. I don't like crowds. I especially don't like crowds of strangers. I should have left but I'd sort of promised NotGeorge that I'd give him a ride home so I was stuck.

To drink, I had a couple of the NABC Noble Smokers and a Delirium Tremens. The Tremens I had to get from a bottle because the Belgian wave of high gravity beers hasn't started yet. This weekend was mostly about the hops and the stouts. I did, however, manage to have small samples of the following:

  • Avery "The Beast" Grand Cru
  • Bell's Batch 6000
  • Great Divide Oaked Yeti Imperial Stout
  • Rogue Old Crustacean Barley Wine

Once the Daytonians had left - there were mumblings about skinny-dipping in the hotel pool - CoffeeDude and NotGeorge joined me in the living room area. By that time I'd switched to Diet Coke, but NotGeorge had just ordered a Bell's Batch 6000 so we sat around for a while. It was actually kind of nice to be able to have a conversation. It'd been way too loud earlier. Our conversation consisted mostly of wondering whether ExoticGirl tasted as good as she looked. Neither of us will ever know.

Fairly late in the evening DooRagGirl came in looking all rastafied, and I gave her my sister's e-mail address.

Left at about 12:30, dropped NotGeorge off at his house, and came home.

Saturday, March 12, 2005
posted by dave at 6:06 PM in category daily, entertainment

Today I went down to our local Caesar's, ostensibly to have a pint of Newcastle, but I knew I'd also do at least a little gambling.

Well I did have my Newcastle, and I also did quite a lot of people watching while I was at it. There are some real freaks in Southern Indiana, and I'm grateful that I'm not one of them.

I'm not, right?

After my beer I went into the casino and, after much searching, finally found a blackjack table with an empty seat. I got $100 worth of chips, vowing that once that was gone I'd be done for the day.

I then proceeded to win forty of the next fifty hands I played. At $10 per hand, and with some blackjacks thrown in, I more than quadrupled my money in about an hour.

I like blackjack, and I certainly like winning, but it can be a very hectic and confusing game sometimes. Yes, I'll admit it. I get confused when I have a 12 or a 13 showing and the dealer's showing crap. I also get confused with an ace sometimes.

So anyway, despite my winning, I was becoming a little overwhelmed with all of the nonstop decisions that had to be made, so I picked up my chips and went to another favorite game - pai gow poker.

It's a relaxing game that usually only requires one or two decisions per minute. There are also a lot more pushes than there are in blackjack, so even if I don't win a hand I have a 66% chance of at least not losing anything.

After about an hour of pai gow poker, the place started getting even more crowded, so I cashed in.

I left with my original $100, plus $513 of the casino's money that I will use to help finance my upcoming trip to Maine.

What was really cool about winning some money, aside of course from it being money was that it was the first time I'd won at our local Caesar's in several years. I normally have pretty good luck in Las Vegas, but the local casino has not been friendly to me since 2001 when I pretty much lived off my winnings for two months.

Oh, yeah. I saw a couple of my sister Dina's friends while I was there. I waved at them and the girl just sheepishly waved back. She had no clue who I was at first, but after a while they came over to my pai gow table and said hello.

posted by dave at 1:52 AM in category drink, pictures, weather

When MisunderstoodGirl annouced that it was "pouring down snow" I thought it was a pretty odd thing to say.

After driving home in the stuff I can't think of a better way to describe it.

I haven't driven through snow this heavy since I experienced some blow-back in Juneau, Alaska, 10 years ago, and that wasn't officially snow at all.

Snow was piling up on my windshield faster than my wipers could take it off.

But anyway, I obviously made it home, and here I sit.

I had pretty much decided that I wasn't going to Rich O's tonight. The dreadicipation (I just coined that word) was giving me an actual anxiety attack. I was freaked out about the Gravity Head (Rich O's strong beer festival) crowds, I was paranoid about the numerous times I'd been quizzed about my plans for the night, I had gotten to the point where I could only imagine the worst possible outcome if I went to the bar.

While I was quietly having a nervous breakdown at home, however, two things happened.

First, RealTrainGirl contacted me and promised to be my rock if the Gravity Head crowd started to get to me.

Second, if you think I'm going to write about what was second you're wrong. Let's just say that my full Moon theory has been blown to bits.

So I ended up braving Rich O's, getting there at about 10:00.

Gravity Head Crowd

The place was pretty damned crowded, though it wasn't as bad as I'd feared. I'd had the good timing to arrive when the island was unoccupied so I grabbed a seat and RealTrainGirl and MisunderstoodGirl joined me.

To drink, all I had was a couple pints of NABC's new Noble Smoker. I really like it, and I didn't feel at all like experimenting with any other beer. Not tonight anyway.

We ended up staying until 12:30 or so. RealTrainGirl once again impressed me with her ability to drink. MisunderstoodGirl did not emanate a "fuck you asshole" vibe, so that was good.

I had a good night. Much better than it would have been if I'd shut myself in a closet and sucked my thumb at home, as was my original plan.

Oh, yeah. RealTrainGirl told me a little bit of gossip that I found intriguing, and she also agreed with me that a certain dipshit must have been lying to me when he told me that TrainGirl didn't remember me. I of course knew that already, but it was nice to have a second opinion.

Thursday, March 10, 2005
posted by dave at 12:52 PM in category ramblings

1. Asking a question, then arguing with the answer.

This list is not meant to be all-inclusive.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005
posted by dave at 11:23 PM in category daily, ramblings

Lately people keep asking me what my plans are.

What am I doing Saturday? Will I be at Rich O's Friday?

Here's a little secret: I have no plans.

What I have are impulses. Some idea or opportunity presents itself, and I go with it. I get invited to a concert to hear a band I never heard of, and I go. I hear about a cool bar in Maine, so I buy plane tickets. I sit in Las Vegas and realize that Death Valley is only a few hours away, so I rent a car. I just go and do it.

I also have habits. I do things because they're what I've done before. They're what I've become accustomed to doing.

Every now and then, however, an inkling or a desire or even a habit will turn into a plan. It will turn into a plan because I just had to go and tell someone about it.

This causes two problems with me.

First, it's just a lot of pressure, knowing a day or a week in advance what I'll be doing. What I have to be doing, because I planned it. I tell people that I'll be in a certain place at a certain time and, by God, I better be there. To do otherwise would be irresponsible.

The second problem with telling people my plans is that, once I tell them, they'll know about them. They can then begin to scheme and plot, because they know my plans.

This happened last month when, on the Monday before my birthday, my sister called me up to "casually" ask what my plans were for Saturday night. Her fiancé ";just happened" to be going out of town and so she "just wondered" if I'd be going to Rich O's.

All kinds of alarms started going off in my head, for I know my sister, and I was pretty sure that she wasn't going to let my 40th birthday go by without some fanfare.

These paranoid feelings were pretty much confirmed when, that Friday, she called me again to see what time I planned to be at Rich O's Saturday night.

As it turned out, the celebration my sister put together was suitably muted and not at all the circus I'd been fearing.

So the first problem with plans is pressure, and the second, in my case, is paranoia.

The paranoia I felt yesterday when a bartender at Rich O's asked me if I'd be there Friday night. He'd never bothered to ask my plans before.

That paranoia doubled when today another bartender asked me the same question. "Are you coming in Friday, Dave?"

What the fuck?

Here's another secret: I don't like surprises.

The good surprises (like the aforementioned birthday observance) mean you have to be all giddy and shit and act like you're having a heart attack and just generally be a jolly fellow while congratulating everyone on how surprised you are.

Secret number three: I'm not a jolly fellow.

And the bad surprises, well they're a different thing altogether, aren't they? Those are the surprises that nobody wants to tell you about. They don't want to tell you but they sure as shit want to be there when you do find out.

The third kind of surprise is neither good nor bad, at least on paper. Nobody knows exactly what will happen, but it's sure to be interesting and dramatic.

I do, and have, paid good money to avoid that kind of surprise. The only thing worse than having to deal with the unexpected is having to deal with it unexpectedly.

So now I'm sitting here paranoid, for no good reason whatsoever, simply because at least two people know my plans for Friday night.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005
posted by dave at 10:58 PM in category entertainment

First, I want to say that I generally fast-forward through the judges comments, then make my notes. Once I've written my own opinions I go back and see what the judges thought.

Having said that, I did not agree with the judges on a few performances tonight.

Amanda: Hot. Too damn perky though. Sang a stupid song. (60 points)

Janay: The perfect song for her voice. I really liked it. (80 points)

Carrie: Yay Pisces! Cute tonight. She sang quite well but now I'm wondering if she can sing anything that's not country. (80 points)

Vonzell: There's that stupid name again. Sang one of my least favorite songs but did a good job. Best I've heard from her yet. (80 points)

Nadia: Great performance, pretty good singing. I can't believe that she's actually growing on me. (75 points)

Lindsey: Sexy as hell. I found it hard to stay objective. She mesmerized me tonight. (85 points)

Mikalah: Sang with her "nose voice" and I think she's got a cold. Pretty lousy performance. (55 points)

Jessica: She just irritated me tonight, but I guess it could have just been residual irritation left over from Mikalah's honking. (65 points)

I still think it's time for Janay to leave, and I wish Vonzell would take her stupid name and go as well.

posted by dave at 12:12 PM in category general

2 packs chili-flavored ramen noodles
1 can Skyline chili (other canned chili tastes lke dog food, and is not watery enough)
1 handful of finely shredded cheddar cheese

Boil enough water to cook the noodles. Use a pot.

While waiting for the water to boil, mix the two flavor packets from the ramen noodles in a bowl with the skyline chili.

Nuke the chili mixture for a minute.

I usually break the ramen noodle bricks in half at this point.

Once the water is boiling, cook the noodles. Stir them up so they debrickify. Don't use your finger to stir.

Once the noodles are done, drain them though a collander and dump them on a plate. Or use the pot again if you're really lazy.

Dump the chili mixture on the noodles.

Sprinkle the cheese on top of the other stuff.


You can use other flavor ramen noodles. The Skyline chili is bland enough to be suitable as baby food, so it really shouldn't clash with whatever flavor ramen noodles you choose. You might want to rethink the cheese selction though. Parmesan goes well with mushroom-flavored noodles. American goes well with shrimp-flavored.

Monday, March 7, 2005
posted by dave at 8:37 PM in category ramblings

My brain is holding its breath.

The feelings of paranoia, anticipation, of impending something are nearing a crescendo, and I am having a hard time keeping a thought in my head long enough to

posted by dave at 8:31 PM in category messaging

Got an anonymous message this morning with a link to a story on a newspaper web site.

The article was about where LaptopGirl lives now.

The article mentioned LaptopGirl!

And it even quoted her a couple of times!

There was nothing about what a creepy asshole she thinks I am, so that was good.

There were, on the other hand, no pictures at all, so that was bad.

Thanks for the link, anonymous internet person!

Sunday, March 6, 2005
posted by dave at 12:17 PM in category daily, drink

Last night I told NotGeorge that I really needed to look up my horoscope. It didn't say what I expected:

The more you do to participate in group activities, the better. An opportunity to make personal changes should be taken advantage of. Don't let anyone cost you money.

This is what it should have said:

Last night, your sleep was interrupted by thunder. Similarly, your good mood of the afternoon will be broken by a series of evening encounters that may leave you wishing you'd just stayed in bed. Hang in there, Pisces, for the approaching calm will provide time to reflect, and you will realize that those who appreciate you far outnumber those who mistreat you.

Last night, I had to deal with three bitches before I could even have my first beer. The first, I ignored. The second, I walked away from. The third, well the third I reflected her bitchiness right back at her until she left in a huff. Never to return I hope.

Don't talk shit about my friends when (a) you know nothing about them and (b) they're not around to defend themselves.

Anyway, by the time I ordered my first beer, a Piraat, I was in a pretty shitty mood. NotGeorge showed up and kept asking me stupid questions for which I had no answers, and I pretty much told him as much. He threatened to "jack slap" me if I didn't snap out of it.

We were standing in the annex area and we stayed there until the couple in the living room area left. Neither of us had wanted to interrupt the guy's valiant efforts to get whatever he was hoping for. Don't know if he was successful but the two of them did leave together.

At about this time I had myself an NABC Community Dark.

So NotGeorge and I went to the living room area and sat with OddlyFamiliarGirl and talked for quite a while. At one point it was revealed that OddlyFamilarGirl knew my sister Neisha, a fact that I eventually confirmed by calling my sister and finding out when she'd graduated.

The coincidences piled up even higher when DooRagGirl came in and it turned out that she was OddlyFamiliarGirl's sister, and that she also knew my sister from school.

Oh yeah, there was this professor dude there too, but the circle was broken when it turned out that he didn't remember my other sister's ex-husband James, despite being at IUS at the same time.

Anyway, at one point I had a bottle of Alaskan Smoked Porter, which was quite yummy, then I had a couple glasses of Diet Coke while we all waited for the evening to come to a close.

I would have liked to have talked with DooRagGirl some more, as she was looking as beautiful as ever and I've always thought she was an interesting conversation partner, but TheProfessor pretty much monopolized her time.

Saturday, March 5, 2005
posted by dave at 5:27 PM in category drink, entertainment

Got to Rich O's fairly late last night, and was able to grab a seat on the loveseat pretty much right away.

I talked with TallLady while I had a bottle of t Ij Ijnde Jaars (yes, that seems to be the actual name), a beer recently recommended by Roger in his 'blog. I liked it a lot. Here's my review:

t Ij Ijnde Jaars

(bottle) Reminded me of a winter seasonal. Lots of fruit that I cannot quite define (cranberries? plums?). Thick and strong, yet refreshing at the same time. I really wish I could drink more than one.

After a while TallLady and I moved to the island to talk with CoffeeDude and I had one of these:

Avery New World Porter.

(draft) A fairly mild porter that smelled and tasted of baker's chocolate. No bitterness or coffee taste that I could detect, and I think that's a good thing.

Also, I was talking about how impressed I was that these two girls in the living room area had managed to drink an entire bottle of mead between them, and the bartender, cleaning up their mess, found a second empty bottle! An entire bottle of mead for each of those girls goes beyond impressive and ends up somewhere near insane.

Once I left Rich O's I went to where my uncle and cousin are doing karaoke again. At least they're doing it on Fridays until business picks up more.

A pretty tame night.

posted by dave at 5:13 PM in category ramblings

Every time I go to Rich O's, I get asked the same questions.

My answers are always the same.

No, I haven't. I don't know. I haven't heard.

How the fuck did I get appointed as the expert? Why do people assume that I'm in the know?

I know nothing, and all these questions just serve to remind me that I know nothing.

And I have a feeling that I'll be the last to know.

Thursday, March 3, 2005
posted by dave at 8:47 PM in category ramblings

It's been a really long time, and I'm sure I've forgotten a lot, but I once read the book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard.

What I remember most about the book, aside from the ubiquitous anti-abortion theme, was the idea that whatever was bothering you could basically be erased, or at least made impotent, by replaying it over and over in your head.

A parent dies suddenly? Relive the moment you found out - sights, smells, sounds, everything you can come up with - and keep doing it until the shock that was born when it happened has been replaced by something else. Something less intense.

I'm not talking about the kind of shock that happens when you're startled or surprised. The kind where you exclaim, "Oh! My goodness!" and your heart maybe beats a little faster for a while. I'm talking about the shock to your soul that happens when something so bad happens that your mind just won't accept it all at once. It gets shoved down deep, and sometimes it stays there for years. Nagging at you. Whispering at you.

Now I don't agree with a lot of what I remember from that book, but this part I do agree with: The saying is Time heals all wounds but I think what really happens is that we relive and obsess over the bad events, even if we do it subconsciously - and eventually we've relived them so often that our mind is able to accept them.

The worst thing that ever happened to me, at least up to the time I read the book, was the death of my first real girlfriend. It was both sudden and drawn-out at the same time. One night, she swallowed a bunch of pills and then she took three months to die.

It was several years later, just after my divorce, when I read the book, and I found myself trying some of the exercises described in it. What I found, or at least what I think I found, was that what was killing me inside wasn't losing my wife and my stepson, it was losing Jackie all those years earlier. All of the guilt and uselessness I'd felt through all those hospital visits - they were still with me. Dragging me down and holding me back. I was unable to work harder at my marriage because I already felt like a failure.

I was able, finally, to free myself of those demons. Not by trying to control them and keep them underground, but by giving them free reign, by letting those memories replay in my head and my heart over and over until they had lost the ability to affect me.

This was a lesson I learned in my twenties that I really wish I'd have remembered into my thirties. It really would have been handy.

I feel like I'm beginning to ramble here, so I'll go ahead and get to the point I wanted to make.

I believe that the same thing works for stuff that hasn't happened yet.

As I sit here typing this, in early March 2005, I'm a little worried about the future.

In fact, there are two scenarios that I've found myself worrying about:

If you thought I was going to list them here you were wrong.

Either of these events, were they to occur, would simply devastate me. Luckily they're mutually-exclusive, so I don't have to worry about them both happening at the same time, but I still find myself dreading their possibility. I find myself imagining what I'd say, what I'd do, if things went completely to shit.

What's the worst that could happen?

That's what I imagine. The worst. That's what runs through my head whenever I relax too much. Whenever I catch myself imagining the good that's when the bad possibilities rush through my mind and snap me out of my contentedness.

Now, I've never really been much of a worrier. For a long time I was, after all, invincible. Why would I waste time worrying about that which would simply bounce off my impenetrable shield?

Lately, however, my safety is not assured. I have vulnerabilities. I have my own Kryptonite, and I do find myself worrying about it. Worrying about having my own sanity and my own happiness so out of my control. It's like I'm jumping out of a plane, and I'm not sure I trust the person who packed my parachute.

I think it's getting better, though. And that's the point I wanted to make with this rambling excuse for writing.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

My imagining of these horrible scenarios, as annoying as it is, is actually preparing my mind for their occurance. I know this because there used to be three things that I worried about, but one of them has been castrated. It could happen right now and I'd be able to accept it. I wouldn't fucking like it very much, but it wouldn't be the worst that could happen. I ran it though my head so many times that I actually got a little bored with it.

One down, two to go.

At some point, maybe tomorrow, maybe years from now, the time will come when either (a) one of my worst fears will actually come true, or (b) the danger will pass. If one of my dreaded imaginings comes to pass I hope I'll be ready.

I think I will be. If the worst happens, I may not land gracefully, but I think I can avoid a complete crash.

And if the worst doesn't happen? If something good actually comes from all this?

I don't know how I'd prepare for that. Or if it's even possible.

posted by dave at 2:11 PM in category travel, work

Today I scheduled myself a couple of trips for work-related conferences.

The first one is in Las Vegas in May, and I'm going to take a couple of days of vacation so I can finally visit the Grand Canyon.

The second trip, in June, is in Orlando. That will be cool because I've never been to Florida. I wish Orlando was closer to water though.

posted by dave at 5:59 AM in category ramblings

I think that the independent auditing firms are purposely hiring attractive people just to throw us off guard while they interrogate us about our security practices.

Not that I'm complaining.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005
posted by dave at 6:11 AM in category technology, website

Just a couple of small changes to the site that I want to make public. Very boring stuff.

First of all, I've recently been slammed by some searchbots that are retrieving, then ignoring, my robots.txt file. This file specifically states files and folders that I don't want indexed by 'bots. I make these areas off-limts for bandwidth reasons, or for simple site functionality purposes.

For example, I don't want 'bots bumping up any 'blog entries - those are for actual people who like the entries.

I also don't want 'bots searching the raw 'blog files themselves, and I don't want them downloading all of my movies files.

Well I've become sick of 'bots ignoring these rules, so I've decided to block them completely. This was done with an easy addition to my .htaccess file:

order allow,deny
deny from
deny from
deny from
allow from all

As I see new 'bots ignoring my simple robots.txt file I'll block their asses as well.

(Just after I posted this entry I got slammed by another asshole, so his address is now blocked as well.)

Another thing that's been bugging me lately is that I've been getting what's called referer spam. This is when assholes modify their browser to change where they appear to be coming from. Many people, for privacy reasons, will simply change this value to a blank or something. But these assholes are replacing the real referer value with a URL to a site they're hawking.

My .htaccess file can deal with these people as well:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^.*viagra.*$
RewriteRule .* [R=301,L]

In the example of above I send anyone with the string viagra in their referer to a site that I'm hoping will get them fired if they hit it at work.

On a completely unrelated note, I've changed my site search function to just go to Google. My own home-made search script wasn't working correctly and I just haven't found the time to debug it. This change was for the site search only - the 'blog search is still home-grown.

And finally, I'm beginning to contemplate another site redesign. If I actually decide to do this then V5.00 will feature a cleaner design and will make even more use of CSS.

posted by dave at 5:17 AM in category drink

Tuesday after work I was waiting for my calzone to cook and had a Goose Island Honker's Ale. I really liked it, and it was definitely a good beer to have on an empty stomach. Here's my review:

(draft) A great beer for starting out an evening, yet interesting enough to make an entire session out of it. Smooth and malty. The little bite at the finish makes it tastes like it should have a higher ABV.

I also had the priviledge of sampling a glass of NABC's new Noble Smoker smoked ale. This is I think slated to be the replacement for their Cone Smoker.

I liked this new stuff at least as much as I liked the old stuff. The smoke was much more subdued than I'd been expecting. Ditto for the hoppy bitterness.

Overall a nice beer with a little smoke and pretty well balanced. Reminded me a lot of Spezial Smoked Lager except with a little bit more smoke. I'm looking forward to its official debut as Gravity Head kicks off next weekend.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005
posted by dave at 10:14 PM in category entertainment

It looks like I won't be reviewing the men-only performances because the lack of boobage keeps me from even watching.

Anyway, here's what I thought of tonight's ladies.

Aloha: Stupid stupid name. Took off 10 points for the stupid name, and another 5 for the stupid flower. Sang okay though. (50 points)

Lindsey: Hot as hell. Sang some stupid rockabilly country song. She should sing songs that play up her hotness rather then detract from it. (70 points)

Jessica: Hauntingly good peformance. Wow. (85 points)

Mikalah: I would have loved this performance more in the 1940s. Pretty good though. (80 points)

Celena: OMG OMG OMG She's hot. Did a mediocre performance of a boring song. (70 points)

Nadia: About a zillionth as pretty and talented as she seems to think. Was going to score 60 but took off extra points for those horrible final 10 seconds. (55 points)

Amanda: Spankably hot. Pretty good performance. (76 points)

Jamay: I still really like her voice. Not as nervous this week but still seemed forced. (68 points)

Carrie: Hot. Sounded just like last week. Good but Common. (72 points)

Vonzell: I hate that artifically low voice some of the women do because they think it's sexy. Also took off 10 penalty points for having a stupid name. (59 points)

Overall, I suppose that Carrie has been the most consistent, but I think she's actually been a little too consistent. The performances just blend together.

It's time for Aloha and either Janay or Vonzell to leave my TV now.

Man, that Celena is hot.

posted by dave at 1:18 AM in category peril

The dawn light snakes its way into his refuge, and he opens his eyes to the new day that he thought he'd never see. It is gone, but the deep gashes covering his body tell him that this was no dream - no terrible nightmare from which he has mercifully awakened. Cautiously, carefully, he picks himself up off the ground, pries himself loose from the sticky grasp of his own coagulating blood. The pain is nearly overwhelming, but he does not cry out. He emerges from his hiding place and warily surveys his surroundings.

He is alone, and, to his astonishment, he is no longer afraid.

mysterious gray box mysterious blue box mysterious red box mysterious green box mysterious gold box

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pissing on the inside
remembering dad

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