Just Another Blog
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Saturday Music

Here's a fun old song for you. Hitting the p2p to clean-up and round-out my Violent Femmes collection.

Friday, March 30, 2007
Crime Wave

It's never good when your city makes the national papers due to a rash of unsolved shootings. At least the national papers do a good job of providing a well-written, concise summary of the issues and incidents.

In addition to all of the shootings, I've got to say that it seems like graffiti has really spiraled out of control in this town too. I don't think there's an untouched block on the bus route from my home to downtown.

At least the weather's nice, but, I guess, that doesn't do much good if people start getting too scared to go outside. Though I further guess that most all of this crime is taking place at night when the weather is much less a factor as to who is out of doors.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My mother arrives in town this afternoon for a stay of a week and a half or so. I told her that based on the time of year she had better bring hat, gloves, and shorts.

I'm already right about the hat and gloves. I was surprised to wake up this morning to about five inches of snow on the ground. It wasn't snowing when I went to bed, and I hadn't even heard that we were supposed to get anything more than some light rain. It's barely freezing outside, but the snow is still coming down pretty hard. It's supposed to be pressing 70° by Sunday, so hopefully I'll turn out to be right about needing shorts as well.

We're at that time of year when the temperatures regularly swing 35° in a day and perhaps as much as 50° in a week. It makes for beautiful days and great sleeping at nights. Living just to the east of the mountains really does wonders for the weather patterns. I'd really like to go spend some time in Calgary or Edmonton to see the similarities.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I happened to catch the second half of the NCAA division II men's basketball championship game yesterday. It featured Barton versus Winona State who was last year's champion, undefeated in 35 games this year, and undefeated in their last 57 consecutive games.

Winona State led by about 10 at half time, and Barton struggled to even the game throughout the half. With 35 seconds left Barton was still down by five. Those last 35 seconds take about 2:20 to watch, but the ending was one of the craziest, greatest endings to a game that I've ever seen. Check it out:


The beautiful and mysterious 6174.


I hadn't shot handguns in a long time before this morning. I think the last time must have been in New York several years ago. I had been down to the skeet range at Cherry Creek just before Christmas, but it'd been a long time otherwise since I'd smelled gunpowder.

This morning I joined a girl from work at the indoor range. She had never fired a gun before and was interested to give it a try. I volunteered to show her the basics. We started out shooting a 9 mm which she quickly decided was too big for her, too powerful. In part, I think she was intimidated by the blasts coming from the aisle next to ours. Two guys were alternating between a big .45 and the monstrous Dessert Eagle .50. It kind of freaked her out.

Next, she tried a .22 Ruger pistol. That was much more to her liking. That gun goes pop, pop, pop more than bang, bang, bang. She was hitting the target with each shot but lacked consistency in her placement.

When it was my turn to shoot, she would often leave the lanes to get away from the noise. It really seemed to shake her. I was happy with the way I was shooting. From the first target location I was grouping my shots pretty well, especially with the 9 mm. At the further distance, all of my shots were landing to the left by about 3 or 4 inches.

It was a fun time all in all. She was glad to have gotten a chance to try shooting, but didn't seem too interested in ever needing to do it again. I, on the other hand, will likely be shooting again some time soon with another acquaintance who has recently expressed an interest and lack of experience.

Friday, March 23, 2007
Another Movie

I also just watched Shortbus. It's not much more than gay porn dressed up as a story about self-discovery and relationships. I made the comment that if you like penises, then you'll probably like this movie, and then I proceeded to lend the movie to my sister.

In five words: Worth it for the auto-fellatio.


I watched The Devil and Daniel Johnston last night. I didn't know much about the guy going in having only heard a few of his songs, read some of his awful poetry out of a book that G had on the shelves for years, and once overheard a discussion between G and his mother about the fellow years ago. I thought that the guy was just some mediocre lyricist and poet that banged on a piano in a basement somewhere. While I think that turned out to be largely right, I didn't really have any idea as to the depths of his troubles.

This article that G had linked to a while back on the generation gap as it relates to social networking sites and youthful disclosures or exhibitionism on the internet spent a bit of time wondering what it will be like when the current batch of children grow up only to have their entire lives documented on Flickr, YouTube, and their personal blogs. Interestingly, the Daniel Johnston story shows that this sort of full life documentation has already been going on for years. What made the documentary so great was that Johnston has been recording or producing his thoughts and conversations on tape and video along with his music since he was a kid. There's a very complete set of original source material to allow us to watch his evolution, or his slipping away as it may be, over the course of three decades.

There's no doubt that the guy is seriously handicapped by his psychological condition. I think the cries of genius are far too generous. His drawings seem better to me than his music, but a large portion of his drawings seem rather crude (in an unrefined, not offensive, sort of way). From his own mouth his lyrics are little more than stuttering babel, though I do admit that in the right hands some of the songs are quite good. His level of musical and singing ability just can't rise to meet the words even when the words are well crafted.

The movie was extremely well put together and I felt like I got a very good history of how he went from nobody to MTV to the mental hospital and back to the basement of his parents' home. It's an interesting look at mental illness although it spends very little time talking about the illness itself and only focuses on the manifestations.

Bree does a little thing called five word movie reviews. I'd sum this one up as: Crazy guy sings, paints, fades.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Hung Jury

The Hung Jury was a lesbian bar in DC that you entered through an alley. I was only ever there a couple of times, and I was invariably already hammered by the time I had the guts to try and make it in. It wasn't my kind of place because it was more of a dance hall. I was more into drinking bars and live shows. For the socially awkward who lack skills on the wooden slats, a dance hall is no fun trip.

More recently, I served on a hung jury. There were four defendants, two boys and two girls, charged with ten offenses including sexual assault, child sexual assault, and menacing. The four defendants were 10, 12, and 14 years-old. The victim is 6. Her involved brother is 9. The defendants are the cousins to the victim staying in the house as guests.

We found both of the girls not guilty as either actors or complicitors on the counts of sexual abuse and child sexual abuse. We also found the 10 year-old boy not guilty of menacing.

On the other five counts which charged sexual abuse and child sexual abuse and another count of child sexual abuse against the two male defendants aged 14 and 10, we were a hung jury. It is a surprisingly disappointing process to be a part of. It is deeply unsatisfying to go through four and a half days of trial only to be unable to reach a decision due to the obstinance of a single juror (who in my opinion failed to properly use the required legal definition of "reasonable doubt" as was instructed and who I suspect misrepresented his background during the early questionnaire/voir dire process in a way that later proved relevant and detrimental to the deliberations).

I had a chance to share my thoughts with the attorneys for the DA's office afterwards. I get the impression that the are likely to re-try the two male defendants. That will likely be up to the father of the victims as it may depend on his willingness to again bring them to court for testimony and cross-examination.

She's six.

I hope they retry the two boys. I thought they were guilty.

Monday, March 12, 2007
Caught a Case

Seems I've caught me a case of jury duty. It took from 8:30 this morning until 8:15 tonight for the State of Colorado to decide that I'd be ok as a juror, but it looks good that I won't have to work this week. It's a good thing I put in time both Saturday and Sunday at the office. Oh, it's not that I'm all super-dedicated or anything. Rather, I blew off a bit of work for so ridiculously long that it turned into a monstrous, steaming heap that I just had to get through. People were starting to notice. It felt great on Sunday afternoon to no longer be freaking out that my inattention might actually cause some sort of negative repercussions. A week of jury duty will seem like a vacation due in large part to the lack of ability to surf the internet. I made it three-quarters of a way through a fresh book today, and I'm tempted to stay up and read the rest of it. The book's a bit dull and dry (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets), and I am fricking exhausted, so I think I'll just have a beer and go to bed instead.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Cold Sores

Cold sores suck. I get one every year or two, and I am just getting over one now. I hate 'em. They're gross; they're ugly, and they hurt.

One of my sisters gets them, but my other sister and my brother do not. That's (allegedly) because my father never kissed them.

This one came on suddenly after the Oscars, two weekends back. It was a small, painful, little dot on the bottom, right-side of my lip: where I always get them. I had the feeling, the hope, the same hope that I always get, that it was an in-grown hair and not a cold sore.

So I tried to pop it.

I knew right away from the way that the pain felt, as I always do, that it was a cold sore and not an in-grown hair. But, reveling in the pain, I decided to press ahead and try harder to pop - to expunge from my face - that nasty, little sore that, deep-down, I just knew wasn't going to pop no matter how hard I pinched.

And of course it didn't work. The next morning, the sore was a little more well-defined, a little bit bigger, and most clearly a cold sore. I took to the Google to find a home remedy to outshine, or even work in combination with, my other option: the last remnants of an 8-year old tube of Zovirax handed down to me by my father, as surely as the cold sore itself.

The internet had lots of seemingly good ideas for treatment. Only later would I realize and consider that I ended up taking nearly all of my advice from a single message board on a single site about which I knew nothing other than its ranking in the returns for the Google query "cold sore home remedy."

Two recommended solutions, I had on hand. First, I tried hydrogen peroxide [HO]. When applied, the HO seemed like it might be doing something. It bubbled along the rim of the sore, and, more tellingly, it stung. It wasn't bad, though. Pretty much the same feeling as using it to clean out a small abrasion. But two days of repeated treatments only left the sore larger and more raw. Things seemed to be getting worse, not better; it was time to try something new.

The other recommended treatment that I had on hand was bleach. Did I just mention something about, "more raw?" As if I had chemically-tenderized my face for a chemical-cooking to follow?



Painful. -- Ridiculously painful.

Painful in a way that made you think about how much pain you could take and still stay standing upright. Surely, this was working!

But, man!, the pain! I'm pretty sure that next Monday we're going to see Jack Bauer make the Russian envoy talk by scuffing the gentleman's lower lip with a cheese grater and then dabbing bleach onto the open wounds. It's called The Clorox Treatment, and the guy will be begging for mercy in moments. I'm predicting he will reveal to Jack what the intended targets are for the drones - Chicago and St. Louis, maybe. In any case, I have no doubt that applying bleach to open wounds on the lips and face of a detainee is an effective way to get them to tell you what it is that you want to know.

But...after two and a half days of repetitive bleach treatments, my cold sore wasn't any better.

When the bleach didn't work, I gave up. I took a night off from any palliatives, and the next night I again avoided any salves and just drank well. The next morning my sore was more relieved than from any other treatment. I quickly and scientifically concluded that the elemental gold present in the Goldschlager liqueur that I had been drinking at a temperature approaching absolute zero must be the propulsion behind my improvement.

Of course! Shiny metals are the arch-enemy of cold sores. Mitch Hedberg taught us that shiny-and-more-noticeable is the first step in cold sore healing. Bling, sore, bling!

But, sadly, three nights of repeated Goldschlager treatments only improved the condition marginally. By this point, it seemed that time was the only thing making a marked difference. So I decided that I might as well polish off the last remnants of that tube of Zovirax from my father. That's what I've used that last two days, and it seems to have done no worse nor no better than any of the other remedies I've been experimenting with.

I just can't quite figure out how to tame these herpes.

Nope, not gonna end it like that.

It seems like time may be the best healer when it comes to cold sores. I'm glad to be done with this round.

Monday, March 05, 2007
Rings and Things

The heartiest of congratulations to Graeme and Megan. I hear too that my little sister has been out shopping for rings with her beau. It sounds like their engagement is imminent. What is it with the Harrington girls and rocket scientists?

Me, on the other hand, I'm back to being utterly unattached. All's well that ends well.

They Said

A couple of good quotes of the day floating around out there today.

Iggy said, "Nihilism is best done by professionals."

President Lincoln said, "I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant and warm-blooded to fall into this vice."