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Asea, asea, adrift on the wide expanse

5/11/13 08:16 pm

The Bukowski Deadlift.


4/30/13 02:14 pm

Another date with the colonel this weekend. She's pretty, but somewhat of an odd duck. We stepped into a bookstore last time we went out and I pointed to "50 Shades of Gray."

"There you go," I said. "Some light reading back at the base."

"Hmm," she said, with that serious commanding officer voice. "I'm not really into S&M."

I was hoping for some elaboration as to what she WAS into, but none was forthcoming. So I continued: "Oh, is that what it's about? That explains why the audio version is read by Fran Drescher."

4/30/13 10:59 am

Street Sense, the newspaper for and about the homeless, needs a radical makeover. A little more Marxist analysis of the crisis and less religious hokum.

It really bothers me to read one of their "vendor profiles" and come across something like this:

     "When he finds himself coping with the pains of daily life or hurt from the past, he turns to his Bible. He seeks comfort and guidance from God.
     He believes that his life has taken the path it has because of his faith in God.

     “'Let God take you and do what he wanna do with you,' said Phillip."

Such a bourgeois preoccupation with spiritual matters is a hindrance to addressing social inequality. I wish the working class would learn to shed this nonsense. You don't see the ruling class reading the Gospels on the Metro. The Titans of Finance don't carry little prayer pamphlets in their briefcases.

4/24/13 11:20 am

I've known a few of these in my life.


4/22/13 09:53 am

I haven't had internet at home for a while. To be accurate, I've had internet but not access to LiveJournal. I forgot my password and the iPhone LJ app doesn't let you reset. I should rectify this problem soon.

As for news, I just learned that my brother, who owns a company called Professional Rugs, did all the carpet and flooring seen in the movie "Oz the Great and Powerful." My bro's in show business!

4/19/13 09:52 am

These wild-haired Chechnyans look like early 19th century anarchists. And throwing bombs around? Yep. 

4/18/13 02:10 pm

I bought a copy of "Street Sense," the homeless newspaper, this afternoon. My friend is editor-in-chief, so I like to pick it up once in a while. Sometimes I'm perplexed by the submissions, all of which are written by homeless people. Can someone explain this short item for me?

"Perpetuum Mobile"

"Nobody remembers who first talked about the idea of perpetuum mobile (Latinum). [Latin for 'Latin' ...--Oxhead] The English translation is perpetual motion. For a long time people were sure that this was impossible, but today very many people work on this idea. I sent my thoughts to people in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Finland. The best answer came from Norway. I am sure that  this idea will have a very good future."

4/14/13 11:33 am

After watching and listening to the bonded cardinal pair beyond my balcony--the male at one end of a copse, the female at the other end--I am now confident that I understand their language. Here is a translation:

"Are you there?"

"Yes, I'm here."

"Are you there?"

"Yes, I'm here."

"Are you there?"

"Yes, I'm here."

"Are you there? *pause* Are you there? *pause* ARE YOU THERE?"

"Yes, I'm here."

Ad infinitum.

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4/13/13 11:17 am

Well, thought I could run three miles this morning but pooped out at two miles. Still, it's progress. Did I mention that I hate running?

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4/12/13 09:06 pm

I'm at Facebook again, after a six-month sabbatical. Look me up and friend me there (Cosimo Oxhead).

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4/11/13 10:22 am

Me: "Frank, why are we meeting with the Department of Labor on this issue? It's not something we normally care about."

Frank: "First I'll tell you the reason, then I'll tell you the real reason."

That I didn't even blink at that statement is, I suppose, a reflection of the fact that I've been working in Washington too long.

4/10/13 07:09 pm

Today's Nationals-White Sox game is delayed by 15 minutes because the umpires are caught in traffic!

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4/10/13 06:46 pm

I found a folded up piece of construction paper shoved under the door of the common entry to my apartment building this evening. I picked it up and unfolded it. I saw a childish drawing of a little girl with balloons and hearts around her. In a messy 4-year-old (I'm guessing) crayon script was: "I LOVE YOU VICTORIORIA" (sic).

I folded it back up and placed it on the stairs.

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4/10/13 01:36 pm

My boss, Richard, forwarded a draft of my white paper on the importance of health care preventative measures to the vice president in Chicago, who responded, "This is great stuff."

It's the little things that make me happy.

4/9/13 05:06 pm

I guess I should be grateful that my building is getting all new air cooling units this week, but wow is it uncomfortable here. Tomorrow should be worse as temperatures approach 90 degrees. My office is the worst, as it is the only one that faces south and gets the full blast of Helios all day. I sent the following email to the rest of the staff:

I'm not saying it's hot in my office but...

…I’m going to convert it to an Ojibwe sweat lodge.

Purification ceremonies will be ongoing tomorrow, so just drop in.

(Bring your own sage bundles and buffalo robes.)

4/8/13 02:26 pm

Did I mention that Nanette is an Army colonel? I'm waiting for her to order me to drop and give her 20. (I'll ask, "Twenty what?")

4/8/13 01:33 pm

Today we mourn the loss of a paragon of virtue, a steadfast believer in the goodness of humanity, a woman of iron fortitude who knew how to look in a bikini or in Mickey Mouse ears. No, not Margaret Thatcher. I'm talking about Annette Funicello, possa riposare in pace.

4/7/13 09:53 pm

A pack of ferocious dogs!

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4/7/13 10:13 am

Alright. OK. I've got a dinner date with a beautiful woman tonight and I'm nervous.

Her Match.com cognomen is LadyMaverick or some such. Oh my God, I'm going out with Sarah Palin!

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4/5/13 04:25 pm

Well, I did purchase the new Kindle. I was attracted by three features: it's smaller than my keyboard Kindle (blurry cell photo below); it has a glow screen; it tells me how soon I'll finish with a chapter, based on my reading speed.


4/5/13 02:23 pm

I learned recently that it is perfectly OK to kiss a nun as long as you don't get into the habit.

4/2/13 02:51 pm

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4/2/13 02:45 pm

Me, overcome at Poe's grave.

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4/2/13 12:45 pm

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4/1/13 09:13 am

Ambition defined.

I've read many good things about this novel. I'm familiar with Murakama, so I'm ready.

Quite a hefty tome, yet.

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4/1/13 08:07 am

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3/31/13 05:30 pm

Hung out downtown today, Grover Park, Dupont Circle, etc. bought the girls shirts.

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3/31/13 09:19 am

Happy Eostre (Astarte) Day! This day of Spring is when we celebrate the fertility of the Earth and the rebirth of Nature.

I understand the agricultural god Jesus's rebirth is celebrated on this day, too. Well, OK. There's room for all myths.

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3/30/13 04:08 pm

Mel, chillin'. (Caught in the act of taking a "duck face" self portrait.)

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3/29/13 04:27 pm

I heard something on the news about a guy arrested for being a "cereal groper." I love my Cheerios, but that's weird.

In other pervy news, the new Pope yesterday was seen washing and kissing women's feet.

3/29/13 03:38 pm

OK, here is the word of the week: penetralia.

I came across this beauty while reading William Gaddis's "The Recognitions." (Which so far is turning out to be a fantastic novel.)

pl. n.

1. The innermost parts of a building, especially the sanctuary of a temple.

I'm going to put this word on a sign on the door of my windowless bathroom. (Currently, the bathroom is known as the Sanctum sanctorum, which my kids have wilfully corrupted into "stanktum stanktorum".)

3/29/13 09:39 am

I'm not at all happy with Match.com. It is overrun by phishy con artists trying to lure me into I don't know what. Not to sound like Groucho Marx, who was suspicious of any country club that would have him as a member, but why would a 30-year-old hottie in Miami be writing to me?

Here's an IM I just got from one such "woman":

"hi i saw your picture and it looks pretty awesome..could you be interesting in chatting?"

I responded:

"Sorry, I'm preparing for my appearance before a bankruptcy judge. I don't have time right now."

3/27/13 06:18 pm

Hanging out on the balcony after work, communing with all the feathered creatures who flutter in the copse behind my apartment. Needless to say, today is not a running day.

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3/27/13 03:00 pm


3/26/13 01:36 pm

I just changed my journal's font to courier type. Ah, now I feel like I.F. Stone, banging out my reports on an old Underwood.

3/26/13 09:27 am

 I thought I was being original and funny by referring to the "Tao Jones average" yesterday. This morning I Googled the phrase, thinking that perhaps one or two people have used it before. I got back 115,000 pages. Jesus Christ, there really IS nothing new under the sun, as your Bible says.

3/25/13 03:29 pm

“Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion — and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion… while truth again reverts to a new minority.”

--Soren Kierkegaard

3/25/13 12:41 pm

I think Jayson Werth is going to have an edge in stealing bases this season. He can tag up with the tip of his beard and still be six feet off first.


3/25/13 10:19 am

3/24/13 03:41 pm

Dropped Bex off at school today. We took in the Maryland-Wake Forest ball game.

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3/23/13 05:51 pm

Today started with bodacious crab cake sandwiches at Stoney's and got better. Bex and I went to Flag Pond to hint for fossils. She found a shark tooth. All I found were fossilized coral and scallop shells. I suck at fossil hunting.

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3/23/13 08:13 am

I'm trying to sleep in this morning but Helios isn't having it. I can close the blinds but he'll find a way in.

"Get up, mortal! You're burning daylight!"

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3/21/13 09:51 am

Why I like Giant's self-checkout lanes: the automated voice assistant refers to your produce by name. I think this is funny, because it almost sounds like an insult. I actually started to laugh when the woman in front of me was sternly instructed to, "Move your pink lady apples to the belt."

Yeah, toots, move your pink lady apples!

Anyway, here's a photo I took when I was in an Arlington bar last weekend:


3/20/13 08:52 pm

Strong wind
Strong wind
Many are dead
Tonight it could be you

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3/19/13 03:48 pm

Concurrent with my running program (I really do hate running) I've trimmed back on my calorie intake. I've also cut sweets out of my diet. It's a tough row for me to hoe, given that I have a HUGE sweet tooth.

Last night I dreamed I ate 20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. So, yeah, that's where my head is lately. (Even trenton22's fruit & nut log looks good to me.)

3/19/13 11:19 am

My Jewish ex-wife converted to Methodism when she married her new husband. Melanie, my youngest now goes to a Methodist church. This doesn't bother me much. But what does bother me is that Melanie now repudiates her Jewish heritage. The other day at lunch I talked about her ancestors. I said that through my side she's mostly German, English and Irish, and through her mother's side she's mostly Polish and Jewish, to which she exclaimed, "I'm not Jewish. Stop saying that."

I think she's confused about the difference between racial heritage and simple religious belief. I can proudly say I'm mostly of Irish descent without calling myself Catholic, and it's the same principle for her and her Jewishness, but she wasn't having it.

I wrote to my ex to express my dismay at this and she wrote back, "Don't discuss religion with Mel.  You stress her out.  It's really not your concern."

Oh, OK.

3/18/13 05:26 pm

I thought I'd go for a maximum bench press Saturday and did 250 lbs. This was after I had already done three sets (at 180, 190 and 200 lbs.). I suspect my true maximum weight is higher, but I'm afraid to try. At my age a rotator cuff injury could take a year to heal.

3/18/13 11:41 am

In some eastern mythologies, finding a dead crow in your path was good luck.

Lucky me.


3/17/13 09:06 pm

I put up another journal tonight. Here's my collection, going back to, oh, 2005 I think. I like to skim through them sometimes.

Here are some random pages:

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3/17/13 08:25 pm

I went to the mall with Melanie yesterday so she could take back a shirt. We sat on a bench afterward, just to people watch. A man walked by with his tiny daughter toddling next to him. He thought she was adorable, let me tell you.

Me (leaning toward Mel, whispering): "How far do you think I could kick that baby?"

Melanie: "Running start?"

Me: "Say...three long strides."

Melanie: "Thirty feet. More if you manage to clear the guardrail."

I don't think I could kick a baby anywhere NEAR 30 feet, but it warmed my heart to know how much Melanie respected my athletic abilities.

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