6.22.2002

Hey Howdy,
What an awesome day! I spent almost all of it outside and I am so tired and have to hit the hay soon. The South Carolina team lost in the College World Series to Texas, it was a good game but my buddy Tom is still upset. He is also dealing with the problem of his wife not wanting to kiss him! He shaved off his mustache and goatee last night and she won't come near him, it is pretty funny. I had a beard for a while once and decided to shave it all off and even my friends steered clear of me.

Added a new feature last night to my site, the Comments section. Not sure if there is much to comment about on my site, but there it is. The colors are a little garish, but I will try and find something a little easier on the eyes. You should have seen the first version, yowsa!

You know, there is not much better in life than listening to good music on a sunny day. RL Burnsides is on constant rotation at the moment and it is perfect. Well crap, I have to go.

6.21.2002

have you ever noticed that on Star Trek Voyager that Tuvac has his own little cubbie-hole control station like Isaac from the Love Boat? I noticed that the other night before I went to bed and I think it is pretty damn funny. "Tuvac, double gin and tonic, please."

Heading into a gorgeous weekend up here in Olympia. The weather is perfect, the skies are clear and I can hear my BBQ grill whispering to me from the storage shed, "cook it and they will come, cook it and they will come." I have some tasty steaks in the ice box that I am going to thaw out as well as a couple of bags of shrimp that I am going to use on some shish-ka-bobs. MMMMMMM.

BIG, HUGE baseball game tomorrow, South Carolina vs. Texas for the final game of the college world series and yes, Tom is pretty damn excited. He and his dad spent about 30 minutes on the phone today giggling and gloating over the fact that Carolina spanked the stuffing out of Clemson.

Good Grief, won't someone please hire me? I find myself pausing at the "Maintenance Worker needed for 140 unit elder care building" employment ads. ugh.

I am going to do a little investigation this afternoon and track down a commenting system to plug into my blog. I have seen some pretty interesting ones out there and I saw one yesterday that is relatively new but can't seem to find it again. Off on a search now, more later.

jas

6.20.2002

Have been chuckling about this all morning, from my mom:

"When you're swimmin' in a creek, And an eel bites
your cheek, that's a moray!"

I will have to see if I can find the "All the newts that are fit to sprint" groaner somewhere or I might have to take a shot at writing it from memory - it is a true classic of the genre.
Another beautiful day here in Oly, going to be a good day to mow the yard, wooo hoo! Pretty sad when that is exciting news. As I pulled down the driveway this morning, I saw a mamma deer and her baby out hopping and prancing around in the pasture behind my house. It is a shame because the field has recently been staked and marked off for a development or a golf course - maybe both - and the fawn was running up and down these large piles of dirt, the result of a process they use out here to allow the ground to dry out before development starts. He was looking pretty damn cute as he hopped to the top of one pile and looked around, surveying the field. I have always enjoyed living adjacent to this field, there are game trails along the back fence and at night one can hear the coyotes yipping and howling across the field. I am not sure I will enjoy living next to a golf course and/or oversized, earth tone homes. Ugh. Maybe I will help these developers out and 'readjust' their stakes for them and scrawl "Hayduke Lives!" somewhere.

Off to hunt for a job, more later.

Jas


6.19.2002

Got a funny comment on the TagBoard from The Lost One, a resident of the Cincinnati area. What is funny about the Cincinnati history is that I heard all of it during the game last night. There are probably people in Orlando that know more about Olympia than I do though! M's beat the Reds again tonight and I think Lost One is right, I think Lou got his team fired up to kick some butt in Cincy and show up Mr. Griffey. But, I got a feeling we haven't heard the last from Junior, he is too damn good.

Good news on the College World Series, my buddy Tom is a graduate of South Carolina so we had to watch tonight as they beat, and I mean beat up the Clemson Tigers. Ouch. The two teams have played 259 times throughout their history and are great rivals, so it makes it even that much better for Tom. As the tournament is double elimination, the Gamecocks will have to play the Tigers one more time to make it to the Big Game.

Met a former work buddy tonight and her sister for dinner at an interesting place in downtown Oly. When I first moved here, the building the restaurant is in was a bank building: a real beauty of late 70's - early 80's architecture, a more-or-less round building with an upper mezzanine that housed cubicles for the bankers. The lower floor was all open with tellers at their cubbies along the back wall. The bank moved out several years ago and an alternative dance club/bar, Thekla, moved in from its previous location. What is funny about Thekla is the different names folks called it, some would pronounce it The Claw, others would say The K. L. A. They always had good music and it is where the gold-chain-wearing, tricked-out-Acura crowd would hang most nights, but on other nights, they gave swing dance lessons and the place really hopped. Well, Thekla sold out and the place is now a very nice eatery called The Limelight. Very good food, an interesting menu and decent micro-brews on tap and a well-stocked bar. They fenced off an area on the sidewalk and furnished it as an outdoor patio which is where we sat this evening and enjoyed the crowds of folks attending the art films in the adjacent Olympia Theater.

As I mentioned, Thekla was an alternative dance club/bar and I have a very funny story from years ago about the place. When I was working at Snohomish County one year, I signed up for a week-long class that was given at the local office of the software company here in Oly. At the same time, my bro was chugging his way across the country in a frozen-toileted Amtrak train (another very good story) so I picked him up at the main Amtrak Station in Seattle and brought him with me to Oly to just hang out and take a break and enjoy the scenery as it was his first time in Washington State. God, this is so funny I can hardly type while I am thinking about it.... So, we make it to Oly, get a hotel and some food and settle in. The next morning, I head to the class and my brother hangs out in downtown Oly and that evening we decide to walk around downtown and see if anything interesting is going on. Oly has a ton of great little bars so we took our time and had a beer here or there as we wandered around. Now, I have to set the stage for all of this: I am just a big ol' good ol' boy in my truck, blue-jeans, cowboy boots, just a standard, run-of-the-mill midwestern guy who had recently moved out here myself at the time. My bro is about the same, we grew up out in the country, worked on farms, hauled our share of hay and cleaned more than our fair share of horse stalls. So, there we are, walking around Oly, having a couple of beers at the 4th Ave Tav, check out the Cigar Room at the Spar, and as we are walking down the sidewalk, we see a sign for a place called Thekla. At this time, Thekla was in a smaller building across the street and around the corner from where it would eventually move to. So, we saunter in, hitching up our jeans and take a look around. The walls are painted red, the bar is red, there is a fellow with spiked-blue hair, multiple piercing and tattoos behind the bar and the place is empty except for a couple of guys sitting at a table. We order a couple of beers from blue-hair-tattoo-pierced guy and that is when the the two guys at the other table start making out. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it was pretty damn funny as my brother and I swilled our beers down and high-tailed it out of there. That was pretty exciting for two midwestern boys.

Olympia is a town full of interesting folks as I have learned over the years that I have lived here. It is the State Capitol so there is the usual mix of lobbyists, politicians and politi-junkies just about everywhere you look. The Governor, although a Democrat, seems to be a nice enough fellow and I run into his wife every now and then when I am grocery shopping. Now, add into the mix a huge group of free-living Evergreen State College folks and it gets really good around here. I love the mix of people here and the different versions of lives that go on around me. I am not the "ohmygoshwouldyalookatthosetwoguyskissing!" type anymore although I usually don't put myself in places where I will usually see two guys kissing, not that there is anything wrong with that. The mix of cultures, the physical beauty of the place, the mountains, the ocean just a short drive a way, the looming presence of Mt. Rainier, the local micro-brews, the smell of Mud Bay, it is all sooo good.

Ok, M's hopefully will finish off the Reds tomorrow evening and I will be pulling for Tom's South Carolina team too. Oh boy, today is/was my grandparent's 59th wedding anniversary and I have been telling myself all week to remember to give them a call and I forgot, damnit. 59 years, damn. I give them a call tomorrow and grovel for forgiveness.

Jas

6.18.2002

Oy!
Just finished watching the Mariners put it to the Cincinnati Reds, quite the spanking I must say. Learned some interesting things about Cincy that I had not known before: the oldest professional baseball club in America, the Red Stockings, are from Cincinnati - founded in 1869!! Also, Cincinnati is called the Queen City because it's founders thought it was going to be a major metropolitan area. Also, when Horace Greeley said the immortal words, "Go West Young Man", he was talking about Cincinnati!! It was once the edge of the frontier, hard to believe.

Ok, enough of the history lesson. Oh, one more thing, not history related, but the Reds' web address was posted behind home plate and if you look at it long enough, it says: www.cincinna tireds.com, get it? The Cincinna Tireds. Ok, I am busting myself up and no one else is laughing, moving on...

Strange bit of weather here today, it is more typical of Spring time I guess, rain, huge clouds, then open patches of the most blue-blue sky I have seen in a long time.

I need to start carrying around a notepad or something, maybe dig out my pda cuz I always have these great ideas to write about during the day and then I sit back down here and I can't recall a damn thing. They were important topics, I swear! Speaking of weird topics, I had two very very strange dreams this morning and both of them have me sitting here with my eyebrows knitted trying to figure them out.

Ok, more stuff: Much to the relief of Dad and Buster the Dog and Millie the Cat, Mom should be back from her Wool Market trip to Colorado. I am eager to hear her stories because she knows some interesting folk that attend those shows and invariably, she meets more and more of them each year. Mom, when you get rested and re-settled, drop me a note and fill me in!

Have been putting off the job search for today, need to do that for a few hours before I hit the hay. One more thing, Tom's South Carolina Gamecocks won their College World Series game today and play their arch enemies from Clemson tomorrow. It is always much more enjoyable to watch a college ballgame with someone who attended that school. I know, who cares. Off to search for a job... :-)

Jas

Mornin'
James Lileks is one of my heroes. Please take a minute or two and go check out his Daily Bleat for June 17. It is so comforting to know that I am not the only one who feels this way about his dog!

It is early out here on the West Coast. Woke up at 5:30 this morning and decided to hop online and see what everyone is up to. Not too many new essays or articles out there yet but I will keep checking. My mom is due back from her yearly trek to Estes Park Colorado and hawking her books and other items at the Wool Market. I look forward to hearing more about her journey with her old friend and getting emails out the wazoo with great photos attached. I mentioned the friend she traveled with, well, they have been buds forever and it is quite amazing to think of mom and her friend as high school kids zipping around Lee's Summit MO back in the late 50's and early 60's. They just had their 40 year high school reunion and I hear they had a great time. I am looking forward to hearing about that too!

My 20 year reunion is coming up next year and it has got me feeling very old. 20 years. sheesh. It seems like it was just yesterday and lord knows I feel like I haven't accomplished much since then. I know friends from high school who are GRANDPARENTS now! Holy Crap! I cannot even fathom what that would be like. I reckon I will make the journey back home and see what everyone is up to, see who made their fortunes, see if the cool people are still cool, see if the girls I adored are still adorable. It is funny how those folks will always be 17 in my mind's eye. Firemen, lawyers, salesmen, nurses, moms, dads, even an astronaut, they will always be the same kids I knew and I will be the same kid they knew too, which isn't that bad.

Did I mention that I actually stayed up and watched some of the Mexico - US World Cup game the other night? It was actually one of the better games I have seen, and I found myself shifting side to side in my chair with the action. I still like baseball better though, always.

Spent some time on the phone with a new friend last night I met blogging. What a great talk we had and what an amazing person she is. I am really looking forward to hearing more from her, her take on life and living and, well, just all of it, is so refreshing and honest and pure and I am so glad that she is in my life now. I am a very very lucky man. I am glad she noticed me.

Gonna cruise the news now, see what's happenin' out there in the world. More later, hopefully. I know I said that yesterday and ended up not writing very much, but I will do some more today. :-)

J

6.17.2002

Alrighty.
Finally getting a chance to sit down and do a bit of writing. I am still concerned that I applied for a job from the Evil Empire, but in all fairness, I use most of their products so I shouldn't be fretting too much.
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I had some really nice notes from folks who read my entry yesterday about lessons I learned from my dad, so thank you, I appreciate the comments.
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Have you ever had one of those days where nothing can go wrong? I am talking a full blown Zippa dee do dah, everything going my way kind of day, and that is what I am right in the middle of. I need to go play with Sage a little bit but I will be back in a while and post some more thoughts.

Just applied for job in Dallas Texas by accident, gonna be one of those days. Maybe they are hiring in Ohio.......
I just applied for a job with Microsoft, not quite sure how I feel about that.....I need to take a shower now.

Gonna write a whole bunch more later, got lots to talk about today.

6.16.2002

Ahh, baseball on the AM radio, cold beer close at hand and I am gonna do some blogging!

I had several things on my mind that I wanted to write about today and I think I am going to ramble for a bit before I get started on the 'official blogging'.

What a difference in the weather! Just a few days ago it was 95 degrees, blue skies, sunny, and very warm for this area for this time of the year. Today, it is about 55 degrees, cloudy, cool with a few drops of rain here and there. Did you see the article yesterday that average temperatures in Alaksa have risen 7 degrees over the past 30 years? That is a huge change over that time period. It will be a very tension-filled summer for those folks up there with all of the dead spruce. And in Colorado, they caught a Forest Service employee who has admitted to starting the gigantic fire in Colorado by accident. 15 years in prison and $500k in fines. Yikes. It is about time to bring back Smokey Bear in all of his glory.

There are all kinds of good things happening out in the blog world: folks getting married, blog parties, new iBooks, new poetry, clever essays, essays written from special places deep in the heart and the soul. Once again, I feel very fortunate to have read these stories of life and love, of hope and promise. Sometimes I wish I was more clever when I wrote these entries, but, hey, I am working on it.

The M's are getting beat, the usually stoic and dependable Jamie Moyer got beat up for 5 runs before Lou pulled him. Good news though: Edgar is back with the team and has pinch-hit twice in the last two games. That is a big relief for myself and others who think that Edgar is an integral part of the team and one of the good guys in baseball.

I was going to ramble on about politeness and self esteem today, but I was getting off on a separate track and I want to try and keep my blog entries as concise and clear as possible. I tend to take off rambling and next thing you know, I am about 15 subjects away from where I started! I decided to change the subject a little and talk about Father's Day.

Where do I start this? Good grief. The earliest memories I have of my father go back to when I was about 3 or 4 and it amazes me to think that he was younger than I am now when I was a little tyke tearing around the house! I have a hard enough time just taking care of myself and my dog and keeping an even keel! The best memories I have are the times in my life when I learned lessons from my father. Scout Camp, summer of 1976, the year of the Bicentennial. I think I wrote about this earlier but I will lay it out again. I was an early starter in grade school so I was 10 when I attended my first scout camp in Osceola Missouri. I had all kinds of big plans, taking way too many merit badges at the same time, trying to over-achieve and keep up with some of the older scouts. They had a rule at camp that you had to have the Swimming badge before you could take the Life Saving course and somehow, maybe based on my earlier swimming experience or the fact that I was a big kid for my age, they let me take both courses at the same time. They usually made you spread the two courses out over two summer sessions. Well, I was about to learn the most important lesson of my life and not in the swimming pool.

Camp was 10 days long and you could take the Swimming course in the first 5 days and then take the Life Saving course the last 5 days if they thought you could handle it. I cruised through the Swimming easily and was prepared to take on the Life Saving class. I had no idea how hard it would be to 'rescue' a 15 or 16 year old counselor and a couple of times, I really feared for my safety. I got so frustrated during the second day that I quit, I gave up and I was walking the mile or so hike back to our camp site through the woods in my squishing tennis shoes. Somehow, and this is one of those things that you wonder about your whole life, Dad was walking from camp to the pool and he saw me and I was just a mess. I was pissed off, scared and embarrassed. I could not do what I needed to do to earn that badge and I told him I was giving up. In my minds eye, I can see us talking from a distance: the sun high in the sky, trees blowing in the wind casting shadows on us as we sat on a large boulder along the trail from camp to the pool. What he told me then and I remember even to this day is that giving up is the easy way out. Did I feel like I had given my best? Had I worked my hardest? He said that I could head back to camp if I thought that I had tried hard enough and I knew that I hadn't. I remember being frustrated and shedding tears and heading back to that pool. I remember jumping back in and going through the process of using the proper rescue method on one of the instructors and using the hair under his armpit to pull him back in. He didn't resist much. Another exercise required the swimmer to jump into the pool with shoes, socks, jeans, a t-shirt and a long-sleeved shirt. To make the badge, you had to remove your shoes and socks, get the jeans off, tie the legs together and using your hands, splash water in the waist opening of the jeans to fill the legs up with air. Then the legs of the pants were then wrapped around you under your arms to keep you afloat. I did all of that and made the badge. Reach, throw, row and go, that was the mantra of the Life Guard. That was also the same year I attempted the mile swim and I remember very clearly that my dad walked along the edge of the pool as I completed those 80 freaking laps around that small pool.

That was 26 years ago this summer and the lessons I have learned from my dad have stayed with me over the years. When things look the darkest, when things look so bad that it is almost laughable, I remember those words he told me: Did I try my best? Did I work my hardest? If I can look back and honestly say those things, I am ok. There is always regret for things that I couldn't do or things that I failed at, of course, but I have always tried my hardest and it is because of that talk on that trail with my dad and the love that he showed me that summer day. I am a very lucky man.

Ok, my eyes are getting kind of wet for some damn reason. I am going to watch the rest of the ball game and may come back later and post.

Happy Father's Day Dad. I love you.
Happy Father's Day!

Need coffee and need to call my old man. Will write more later.

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