Category Archives: Jaquandor

Coins of the Realm

The state quarters that the US Mint started putting out in 1999 should have been a natural thing for me to collect. I love the history that is told in the order of the release dates, which weas the order in which the states joined the Union. I KNOW a good chunk of the statehood dates. Once won $1000 because I could put these in chronological order: Oklahoma statehood, California statehood, Nebraska statehood.

Yet, for a full decade, I resisted, and I knew why. It was because I used to collect as a child. I knew just about everything there was to know about 20th century coins, from the years people were represented on them (Lincoln-1909; FDR-1946; JFK-1964, but the latter was quite easy). I knew about the penny being made with steel during World War II because copper was needed elsewhere. I knew about the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco mints; in the day, the latter two were marked as D and S, respectively, but the Philly wasn’t marked at all.

Then one day, when I was about 13 or 14, many of my coins disappeared. They were not lost; they were stolen. And I had a pretty good idea who took them, too – the son of friends of my parents from church. But I couldn’t prove it, and my parents were afraid of falsely accusing the boy. Still, no one else outside the family could have had access. I had shown this kid, four or five years my junior, my collection of half dollars to keep him busy while our parents chatted.

The theft just sucked the joy out of coin collecting. Forever.

Well, until this year when my colleagues Mary and Alexis decided, just as the 50-state quarters were all released, to start collecting. Their unbridled joy with the process was contagious, and I found myself wrapped up in the process, especially when Alexis ordered online – we couldn’t find them in stores anymore – the coin holders. Oh, my! It was the same navy blue cover with lighter blue on the inside that I used to keep my coins as a child, published by a company called Whitman. I didn’t remember the brand name, but the look was unmistakable.

First thing I learned in my new hobby: the S coins were only available as proof sets. Second thing was that I had to look carefully to distinguish the P quarters (now marked as such) from the D quarters.

In relatively short order I was able to complete my P set, since the Philly mint distributed its quarters to the banks east of the Mississippi. The D quarters were a bit trickier. Even after my sister, who lives in San Diego, mailed me 19 D quarters as a birthday present, I’m still missing 7 D quarters: PA, MO, AR, TX, WI, WA and HI.

I also have not yet seen any 2009 quarters of either variety; the DC coin is already out, with the Puerto Rico coin due out later this month. I will continue to empty my pockets seeking these elusive coins.

Oh, California statehood took place in 1850, the year after the Gold Rush. I can still recall this map in fifth or sixth grade. States were green and the territories brown; there was a big brown gap north and west of Texas, but California was an oasis of green.
Nebraska statehood. I knew it was after the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854; didn’t specifically remember that it was 1867. Why I remember the Kansas-Nebraska Act, I just don’t know.
Oklahoma was the easiest. From the Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical, I knew it was in 20th century. But it had to be before New Mexico and Arizona in 1912, the latter which I remember because of Barry Goldwater running for President in 1964 and the questions about whether he was a natural-born citizen. Oklahoma statehood turned out to be 1907.

BTW, Jaquandor has started reviewing the coin designs here and here.
Top 5 Worst Coin Investments

How Much Is My Penny Worth?


20 Men I Admire

Here’s a meme that I found on Mr. Frog’s site and then I was tagged by Jaquandor. You’re supposed to name 20 men you admire. So, here I go. But first a couple of things for the participants:

A. Link back to the blog that tagged you.
B. Link back to the originator of this meme, which is The Dino Lounge.
C. Create your own list of 20 men that you admire and post them on your blog.
D. Tag 5 other people to participate in this meme.
E. If you like, please let The Dino Lounge know that you’ve participated in this meme so he can check out your posting and comment on it.

I was going to wait to do the neat photo montage that Mr. Frog and Jaquandor did, but I find that I was too impatient to learn how.

Initially, I was intimidated by the project because I thought it had to be the 20 men I’d admired MOST. How would I winnow THAT?

I also decided to limit the list to Americans of the last 200 years (except Lennon, because it’s my list). Otherwise, we’re talking daVinci, Copernicus…

I’ve actually met four people on this list: Seeger, Serling, Speigelman and Warren.

Muhammad Ali – a big admirer of Jack Johnson, Ali actually won his court case, ultimately.
Bill Cosby – listened to him forever on records; can quote without prompting.

Frederick Douglass (pictured) – among other things, an early feminist
W.E.B. duBois
Thomas Edison – for the phonograph alone, I’m thankful
Benjamin Franklin – I’m an almanac guy
Woody Guthrie – spoke of America in a most telling way
Thomas Jefferson – wonderfully conflicted guy
Martin Luther King Jr. – the strength of his Gandhian methodology. His April 1967 sermon against the Vietnam war was one off the most pivotal documents in my life.
John Lennon – when we played the Beatles, I WAS John
Willie Mays – the greatest living baseball player
Bill Moyers – opening the dialogue without being disagreeable
Carl Reiner – performer, writer, producer of a lot of entertainment I enjoyed
Paul Robeson – could pick him just on the voice alone

Jackie Robinson – just because
Pete Seeger – his ability to transform music from many cultures is phenomenal
Rod Serling – telling preachy stories about wrong and right without always being preachy
Dr. Seuss – I always especially loved the books where his characters spoke truth to power, such as Bartholemew and the Oobleck, and Yertle the Turtle
Art Speigelman – I loved his RAW magazine; then he created an even more amazing work
Earl Warren – liberties we take for granted, such as right to counsel and Miranda warnings we can credit (or blame, if you’re of that inclination) the Warren Court

I’m not feeling the need to tag, although if Gordon, Rebecca, Uthaclena, Kelly or anyone else wants to, fine.

"Things you've done" quiz

Jacquandor – he’s back! – augmented by an e-mail from friend Lori

Gone on a blind date. – No. There was a period where a friend of mine was trying to set me up with a woman in her office I didn’t know, but nothing ever came of it.

Skipped school. Senior year to go to an antiwar protest.

Watched someone die. No. At least on two occasions (my great uncle Ed, my father), got there moments later.

Been to Canada. Yes. first time was to Niagara Falls, Ontario when I was about 10.

Been to Mexico. Yes, down the coast south of San Diego in 1987.

Been to Florida – at least twice. In Orlando -OK. Miami – muggy and oppressive.

Been to Africa – no.

Been on a plane – last time was my trip to Chicago. I do it infrequently enough that I forget the rules about the shoes, etc.

Been lost – when I as 4, my parents THOUGHT I was lost. In fact, i knew exactly how to get back. they just didn’t know where I as.

Been on the opposite side the country – yes, California.

Gone to Washington, DC – went there LOTS of times, the first several at antiwar demonstrations, the last time n 1998 when I tried out for JEOPARDY!

Swam in the ocean – the Atlantic for sure; don’t remember swimming in the Pacific.

Broken a bone – a rib in June 2008

Been in a traffic accident – several, actually. The first serious one was when I was 19, spent only a day and a half in the hospital, but six weeks of physical therapy to strengthen my right shoulder.

Cried yourself to sleep – oh, yeah.

Been on TV – my grandfather was a janitor for a local TV station in Binghamton, and I ended up on a kids’ show at least thrice. My church choir used to sing on telethons every year. I was at some taping of some CNN talk show and asked some question. Oh, yeah, and JEOPARDY!

Stole traffic signs – no, actually.

Played cops and robbers – undoubtedly.

Recently colored with crayons – I have a four-year old. Yes.

Paid for a meal with coins only – yes, but it was mostly quarters and it was for under $10.

Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t – are you KIDDING me? A lot, though not so much of late.

Made prank phone calls – no. It never seemed like fun. I have called people I know, though, using funny accents, but that was years ago.

Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere. Yes, in the high school cafeteria.

Caught a snowflake on your tongue – of course.

Danced in the rain – yes.

Written a letter to Santa Claus – and got a reply.

Been kissed under the mistletoe – more than once. The first time, I was 13. Her name was Mary.

Watched the sunrise with someone – yes, but not in a while. More likely to do it while traveling to different timezones. I specifically recall doing so on a pier in Galveston, TX in the mid-1990s.

Blown bubbles – I have, in my desk at work, a bottler of bubbles which I blow if I get upset. It’s really difficult to be upset while you’re blowing bubbles.

Gone ice-skating – I sucked at it as a child. Did it once 11 years ago to woo my now-wife; still sucked at it.

Been skinny dipping outdoors – yes.

Gone to the movies – more often in the past than currently.

Have a nickname – none I respond to.

Body piercings – nope.

Tattoos? no

Other Questions:

1. Favorite drink?

Alcoholic? Well, Long Island iced tea, but I don’t actually drink it any more. Rum and coke. Almost any drink with rum, or tequila. Actually, I don’t drink much of ANYTHING any more. I had one amaretto and eggnog this month.

Non-alcoholic? Mix of orange juice and cranberry juice

2. How much do you love your job?

The thing about my job is that it’s seldom boring. Occasionally quite challenging, but there’s fun in that.

3. Birthplace?

Binghamton, NY.

4. Favorite vacation spot?

Our honeymoon in Barbados. Got to swim in the Caribbean.

5. Ever eaten just cookies for dinner?

No, but I did eat graham crackers.

6. Favorite pie?

Apple with ice cream. Cherry, blueberry, also with ice cream. Key lime. Oh and here’s an article in defense of pie that I’m totally down with.

Favorite dessert? Cheesecake

Favorite number? 37

7. Favorite holiday? Maundy Thursday/Good Friday. Good melancholy music.

Favorite day of the week? Sunday

8. Favorite food?

Chicken, cooked any number of ways.

9 Favorite smell?

Sausage, bacon, which actually smell better than they taste.

10. How do you relax? Optimally, a massage. Failing that, using my rain stick, rocking it back and forth.

11. How do you see yourself in 10 years?

The mortgage will be paid off. I expect to travel more.



I received my copy of the Hembeck book – don’t say “What Hembeck book? – THE Hembeck book! and devoured it in one sitting.
OK, I jest. In fact, the book comes with a warning NOT to try to read it all at once. Rather, I’ve been concentrating on reading the chapter intros, including the teaser by Fred’s uncle, Stan Lee; I love how he calls Fred Hemby. THEN, I’ll read the actual stories, probably skipping over the FantaCo stuff for now, but coming back to eventually, since I was all very fond of it. I’m named in the acknowledgments; thanks, effendi! there was one page I ran into, though, that filled me with horror – a picture of the X-Men! It was originally on a gold sheet – which I still have, BTW, that I had to pack with every single retail copy of Hembeck 1980, but it was wider than the book, Wotta pain.
Fred notes that the book has been reviewed favorably by Entertainment Weekly!
Lydia had reached her 30 minute max of videos last evening. I turned off the DVD, and the TV just happened to be on ESPN. Ken Griffey, Jr., on the first pitch I saw, became the sixth man in MLB history to hit 600 home runs. Congrats to him, and to Michael Strahan, the NY/NJ Giants’ defensive end who announced his retirement yesterday. Each will be in their respective Halls of Fame eventually.
Skills: I got ’em? From Jaquandor, again, who writes:
“Bill Altreuter points to this list of 75 things every man should be able to do, I guess, in order to be able to really lay claim to true manliness or something. Surprisingly, Bill doesn’t do what bloggers are supposed to do in such cases: reproduce the list, with specific comment on his ability, or lack thereof, to do the things on the list. Well, unto the breach I go!”

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. Sure, sometimes with one word: “listen.”

2. Tell if someone is lying. Most people think they can tell a liar all of the time, and that’s simply not true for most of us.

3. Take a photo. Well, not a fancy one.

4. Score a baseball game. Actually, yes. Something I do with my father-in-law at least a couple times a year,

5. Name a book that matters. Feh. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. But I don’t much like the question.

6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible. Probably do with the Beatles. Also, Paul Simon, but he’s not a group.

7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill. Actually I cook meat anywhere EXCEPT on a grill. I don’t own a grill.

8. Not monopolize the conversation. Quite conscious of this, especially with women; men are more prone to it, in my observation.

9. Write a letter. Used to do it all the time.

10. Buy a suit. I bought two last year. Hate it. Hate it.

11. Swim three different strokes. I only have one, and I don’t know what it is.

12. Show respect without being a suck-up. I believe so.

13. Throw a punch. Well, no.

14. Chop down a tree. I’ve cut a Christmas tree. But I’m reminded of a next door neighbor when I was growing up, who was cutting down a big tree in their yard. My father told them they would hit their house. They told him to shut up and mind his own business. The tree crashed into the roof of their house.

15. Calculate square footage. Sure.

16. Tie a bow tie. No. For the half dozen times I have worn one, learning how to do it was not worth it. That’s why God created clip-ons.

17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well. Never had need.

18. Speak a foreign language. Everybody should be able to do this. I can’t, except for an extremely basic comprehension of French left over from my high school days.

19. Approach a woman out of his league. This “league” thing; eh.

20. Sew a button. I’ve done it. It takes me forever, and I do it badly.

21. Argue with a European without getting xenophobic or insulting soccer. OK.

22. Give a woman an orgasm so that he doesn’t have to ask after it. OK, but oy. Among other things, it assumes heterosexuality.

23. Be loyal. Depends.

24. Know his poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope. Sure.

25. Drive an eightpenny nail into a treated two-by-four without thinking about it. I can drive it, but I’m always thinking about it, or rather, my fingers.

26. Cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat. I haven’t fished since I was a child.

27. Play gin with an old guy. I used to play with my grandfather when I was in high school. The same guy who took me fishing.

28. Play go fish with a kid. I have.

29. Understand quantum physics well enough that he can accept that a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped. ‘Fraid not.

30. Feign interest. I used to be better at it.

31. Make a bed. I can do this. I never actually do this, but I can, which I guess is the important thing. Bed-making has never struck me as being a terribly useful or important thing.

32. Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick. Sure – it’s yummy.

33. Hit a jump shot in pool. I did it once; it was an accident.

34. Dress a wound. I’ve done it.

35. Jump-start a car (without any drama). Change a flat tire (safely). Change the oil (once). I’ve done them all successfully, but so long ago that I’m not sure I could replicate.

36. Make three different bets at a craps table. Never played.

37. Shuffle a deck of cards. Actually quite good at it.

38. Tell a joke. No, I suck at it. I can say funny things, but I can’t even REMEMBER jokes.

39. Know when to split his cards in blackjack. I’ll just check here; even before looking at that, I knew you always split 8s, but I didn’t know why.

40. Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear. I have.

41. Speak to a waiter so he will hear. I have.

42. Talk to a dog so it will hear. I have, but not very often.

43. Install: a disposal, an electronic thermostat, or a lighting fixture without asking for help. Well, a light bulb.

44. Ask for help. Absolutely.

45. Break another man’s grip on his wrist. Hasn’t come up.

46. Tell a woman’s dress size. If women’s dress sizes were standardized, maybe this would be useful.

47. Recite one poem from memory. “There once was a girl from Cape Cod…”

48. Remove a stain. I have.

49. Say no. Sometimes, more now that before.

50. Fry an egg sunny-side up. Yes.

51. Build a campfire. Another skill everybody should have, probably.

52. Step into a job no one wants to do. Happens a lot.

53. Sometimes, kick some ass. Define.

54. Break up a fight. Have done this.

55. Point to the north at any time. Sometimes, not always.

56. Create a play-list in which ten seemingly random songs provide a secret message to one person. Have done.

57. Explain what a light-year is. I can do this.

58. Avoid boredom. I’m almost never bored, left to my own devices.

59. Write a thank-you note. I can, but don’t do enough.

60. Be brand loyal to at least one product. There must be one; it’s not coming to me.

61. Cook bacon. Yes.

62. Hold a baby. Yes, but not until Carol was pregnant.

63. Deliver a eulogy. Yes.

64. Know that Christopher Columbus was a son of a bitch. Sure.

65-67. Thro
w a baseball over-hand with some snap. Throw a football with a tight spiral. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably. I used to; I have by accident; I suck at basketball.

68. Find his way out of the woods if lost. Have done it.

69. Tie a knot. Have.

70. Shake hands. It IS skill. Yes.

71. Iron a shirt. Can. Don’t like to.

72. Stock an emergency bag for the car. Yup.

73. Caress a woman’s neck. Oh, yes. And speak the language of love! (Not French, either.)

74. Know some birds – But only ornithologically.

75. Negotiate a better price. I hate haggling. I’ve done it, but was more of “I just won’t pay that much” and the dealer started the offering me a deal.


100 Things That Bug Me

Not only do I show my lack of imagination by doing another meme, I cop it from guy I copped it from LAST week. I even stole some of his answers, in italics, as well as some of the answers of the person HE swiped the meme from; those answers are marked with **.

It’s one hundred things that bug me, annoy me, or fill me with rage, no particular order, except I didn’t move Jaquandor’s responses.

1. The notion that we need a whole new format for home video already. DVD is fine!

2. “Common courtesy” gone uncommon. “Excuse me”, “please”, “thank you”.

3. People who seem to be oblivious to how much space they take up in a limited area, such as a supermarket aisle, with the cart and the person positioned so no one can pass from either direction.

4. “Right on red” means stop, yield, go.

5. People driving with cell phones. It’s not that it’s illegal in NYS that bothers me; it’s the fact that almost everyone who has almost hit me going right on red had a cellphone in his or her hand.

6. Bicyclists who bike badly, riding on the wrong side of the street, or wildly on the sidewalk, barely missing pedestrians. Makes it harder for the responsible bicyclists.

7. The Religious Wrong, I mean Right, for too many reasons.

8. Poor signage, especially accompanied by a snippy sales clerk who doesn’t know why one can’t magically discern where the bathroom is.

9. Disgusting public bathrooms.

10. Cigarette butts. On the very first earth day, I picked up over 1000 cigarette butts from my high school lawn, and they’ve been the bane of my existence ever since.

11. People who pass me on the road while I’m riding the bike, then make a quick right turn so I can nearly plow into the passenger-side door.

12. Yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks just isn’t SOP in Albany, NY.

13. New CDs or LPs that skip.

14. When I buy a favorite food item…and then forget about it until it’s gone moldy and nasty. That bugs me.

15. Plastic “clamshell” packaging. Not only is it environmentally unfriendly, but it’s a strain to open.

16. The largest Wal-Mart in the company is in Albany County, NY.

17. Movie trailers that give away too much.

18. The current President of the United States.

19. The current Congress that, until recently, showed few cojones in dealing with the POTUS.

20. That there is almost certainly enough food and medicine in the world, but that distribution and money allow so many to die of hunger and treatable diseases.

21. The Supreme Court’s recent decision on the death penalty.

22. The number of people released on DNA evidence after sometimes decades in prison, 17 of them in Dallas County, TX alone. I should be happy they were finally exonerated, but their lives are all but ruined.

23. Drunk drivers.

24. Most canned vegetables.

25. Marshmallow Peeps. Oh, how horrible.

26. Those smokers hanging outside their buildings forcing me to run through.

27. Redesigned web sites that are more difficult to use than it used to be. NYS DOT, this means YOU.

28. John McCain. He’s no more a “straight-talker” than anyone else, he thinks that the problems the world faces right now are to maintain the same policies from the previous eight years that enabled, exacerbated, or outright created those problems, and it strikes me as odd that people whose distaste for Hillary Clinton includes the notion that she’s essentially been running for President since 2000 don’t notice that McCain’s been at it even longer.

29. Revisionist history.

30. Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part 1. A bunch of pissing jokes.

31. Dirty movie theaters, especially sticky floors.

32. The international conspiracy to get people to buy the same thing more than once; e.g., releasing individual seasons of a TV show, THEN the box set with “extras”.

33. Global warming and our seeming inability to do anything about it.

34. People who are upset with something a person does, but they don’t tell that person. Almost inevitably, it leads to a larger confrontation later.

35. One-party rule. Does not matter which party.

36. Oh, and thanks a lot, you Homeland Security nitwits, for making it more annoying for us to go to Canada. I’m sure that tons of stuff that would have been blown up by terrorists otherwise is still standing because you’re all vigilantly giving people like me the skunk-eye when we try to come home.

37. Continuing with that theme, thanks a lot, you Homeland Security nitwits, for making flying even more of a complete pain in the ass than it already is, because there [will] be some flying in my future at some point.

38. Political pundits and talk show show hosts who seem to think if they can talk louder and/or more frequently than the other person, they are somehow factually correct. A special award to Nancy Grace, who does it even when no one else on the set.

**39. People who act like a bad movie adaptation of a book or comic or TV show or something somehow destroys the original.

**40. Guys who give me a weak handshake.

41. All those prescription drug ads that are driving up the cost of medicine.

**42. People who are excessively proud of themselves for not owning a TV.

**43. Internet scammers, credit card skimmers, identity thieves, and other people I have to take extra security measures for.

44. People who insist that having my daughter attend public school in Albany is tantamount to child abuse.

45. People who complain about someone’s harmless (at worse) or useful (at best) mission that they don’t get and complain that he should be doing something else. Example: a guy goes around correcting signs that have bad grammar and a bunch of folks say, “Get a life!” That IS his life; why does it bug you so?

46. Bad grammar.

47. People who think that the mere act of saying the words “Excuse me” confers upon them the right to just barrel through wherever they happen to be, without waiting for response or acknowledgment or for the people in front of them to just plain move.

**48. Internet “celebrities.”

49. Waiters/waitresses who just don’t listen.

50. People who ask for “honest feedback” but don’t really want it.

51. The elevators in my office building that close, then open again for no reason, then close again, making a whiny noise.

52. People who call at work who launch into what they want without even identifying themselves.

53. My armoire. I never asked for it, but we got it when the child was born. I like putting my socks and underwear in drawers, not this monstrosity that doesn’t keep them in right.

54. “Permanent press” shirts that aren’t permanent press.

55. I hate it when I’m leaving the house with my backpack, come back to the house to get something I forgot, then lock the door, leaving the backpack inside.

56. Paper cuts.

57. Mail-in rebates.

58. Loud cell phone calls on public conveyances.

59. Sunburn. Especially now.

60. People who don’t curb their dogs, the results of which show up on my lawn, my shoes…

61. Most meetings, especially the top down ones, where they say, “Does anyone have anything else to say?” Of course they don’t; the leadership’s droned on for 90 minutes, and your fellow minions just want to get out of there.

62. A
whole bunch of people, including Paris Hilton and Perez Hilton, whose purpose in life is beyond me.

63. Most movie cliches that Roger Ebert has pointed out, e.g., you can just tell from the music that the buddy of the lead character is going to die.or be seriously hurt.

64. People who complain about the “war on Christmas”. Don’t worry; Christmas has won.

65. People who can’t take a compliment well.

66. Trying to find a parking space around Washington Park in Albany when an event (Tulip Festival, Corporate Challenge run) takes place there.

67. Lewis Black did a piece on this on the Emmys – the tease for another show DURING the show you are watching. Do you want me to watch the show I’m watching NOW or not.

68. People in cars that make right turns from an extreme left lane. (Atlanta, at least in 1995, was notorious for this, as is Boston every time I’ve been there.)

69. Not enough places offer free WiFi.

70. When the price of something doesn’t include some obvious things. You get a quote for getting a tire changed for $50, but then there is a disposal fee, balancing fee,
etc. and ends up costing $90.

71. Businesses that charge sales tax on items that don’t require sales tax.

72. My old phone bill. I never DID understand what the heck half those charges were, and it turned out to be far more expensive than the original quote.

73. People who boast about how stupid they are.

74. Open casket funerals.

75. Yard work. Just because I mow the lawn twice a week – and I have to, if I don’t want to borrow a power mower – doesn’t mean I like it.

76. Wet socks.

77. Insert my usual rant about people who refuse to use their local library here. Reading! For free! Why wouldn’t you do this?!

78. Corporate officers who make 200 times the average worker and the business isn’t even making money.

79. Micromanagers.

80. Haggling.

81. People who play the one-up game. They always have to be busier, more tired, and more stressed than you are.

82. People who think what they see on TV must be true and accurate, even when they are watching FOX News.

83. Bill O’Reilly.

84. Littering, especially when the garbage can is FIVE FEET AWAY.

85. Iceberg lettuce. Why do we still cultivate this stuff? It serves no useful purpose whatsoever. It’s not particularly vitamin-filled, it’s lacking in flavor, it’s just plain icky.

86. People who honk in traffic. OK for the toot to wake up the driver asleep at the wheel, but the laying on of the horn just aggravates the other drivers, making me (on the bike) VERY nervous.

87. Countries that still insist on whaling.

88. Non-instinctive Internet shopping carts. And they wonder why they have so many abandoned carts?

89. Most automated phone systems.

90. Allergy season.

91. Forwarded e-mails that direct me to send it on to three, five, ten people. Sorry, I’ve already deleted it.

92. Misplacing my glasses, mostly because I need my glasses to FIND my glasses.

93. Waking up in the morning, stumbling to the kitchen, turning on the light… – and only then discovering that I’d never put the previous night’s leftovers away. Even when food was a lot cheaper than it is now, I hated having to throw out half a tuna noodle casserole because I forgot to put the thing in the fridge.

94. Sports programming that offer unrealistic running times. The World Series games in three hours, including a 30-minute pregame? Dream on. The Masters golf tournament always ends past 7 pm ET, as do the 4 pm ET NFL games.

95. Bullies.

96. People who tell me my life’s an empty void without some technology (blackberry, iPhone). Maybe it is; I’ll let you know if I get one (an iPhone, not a life.)

97. Government entities who were designed to protect the people but end up helping the entities they were supposed to be regulating (FCC, FDA: guilty as charged).

98. Wine snobs.

99. Forgetting the good dreams.

100. My ability to be drawn to the negative.

OK, so there are one hundred things that annoy me. No tagging, here. If you’re inclined, have at it. ROG

Jaquandor's Too Many Lists

Before that, though, I need to note a couple things

1. This Steve Bissette article, the part after Christian matchmaking, where he talks about FantaCo and its publications Gore Shriek and Smilin’ Ed.

2. The passing of Sydney Pollack, who not only directed Tootsie, one of my favorite films, but was one of those hyphenates as well known for his acting as his directing. He was a quite good actor, even in some mot so good scripts.

Jaquandor went quiz crazy. I’m answering the ones I feel like answering, having answered similar questions too recently .

Feet size: 10, although that can vacillate a bit depending on the brand of shoe in question.

Age you act: Thirty-seven. That was, in some ways, my favorite age.

Where you want to live: Don’t know, but living in upstate New York, given the rest of the country’s propensities towards fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes, as good as anywhere. And when global warming really kicks in, it’ll be as warm here in 20 years as it is in Virginia now.

Favorite Saying: “That’s doable.” Actually that’s fallen into disuse of late, for some reason.

Favorite Ice Cream: When I went to Ben & Jerry’s for free ice cream last month, I asked for rum raisin; they had none. Have they discontinued it?

Favorite Alcoholic Drink: Any rum drink.

When Do You Go To Sleep: Generally between 9:30 and 10 pm, except on Thursday night, when it’s between 11 pm and midnight.

Most Embarrassing Moment: Too hard to narrow down.

Stupidest Person You Know: I’m a snob. I tend to avoid stupid people.

Funniest Person You Know: Probably Tim, though most of his comments are groan-worthy.

Favorite Food: Chicken, I suppose.

Favorite Song: Impossible to determine, but I’ll be working on that very topic soon.

Wedding song: “At Last” by Etta James, for cause.

Pets: Only stuffed.

5 years from now? I used to have to do that years ago, and there was almost never a correlation between the aspirational and the actual, so I don’t bother.

10 years from now? Or, conversely, if I looked back 10 years would I said, “Now is what I thought it’d be”? No.

Have You Ever…?

Done Drugs: Even inhaled.

Run Away From Home: Briefly.

Hit A Girl: No.

Lied: Anyone who says they didn’t is probably a liar.

Stolen Anything: Not in a long, long time.

Broken A Bone: No.

Cheated On A Test: Answered before, yes, 9th grade bio.

Gotten Drunk: A few times in my 20s, but not in at least a decade.

Fell asleep in the shower/bath: No.

Gone to Church: Yes, on most Sundays.

Never slept during a night: The last all-nighter was in 1981, when a bunch of my grade school friends all got together.

Ever been on a motorcycle or motorbike: Yes. Didn’t like it.

Been to a camp: Every summer for about a decade growing up. Didn’t like it.

Sat in a restaurant w/o ordering: Probably not.

Seen someone die: Nope, I missed that fine honor by about an hour on two different occasions (my great uncle, my father).

Gone a week w/out shaving: A heck of a lot longer than that.

Didn’t wash your hair for a week: Probably in February 1975.

Broken something valuable: Possibly.

Thought you were in love: Or at least open to persuasion.

Streaked the streets: Interesting question.

Screamed at someone for no reason: well, not for NO reason. The reason may not have had anything to do with that person.

Said I love you and meant it: Why, yes.

Been hurt by a guy/girl you loved: Oh, God, yes.

Stayed up till 4 am on the phone: If so, it was so long ago I can’t recall.

Pulled a prank: Mostly surprise birthday parties.

Which Is Better…?

1. Coke Or Pepsi: I suppose Pepsi, though both are probably poison.

2. Cats Or Dogs: Cats.

3. DVDs or VHS: DVDs because you can get to a section easier.

4. Deaf Or Blind: I suppose blind, because I’d miss music and the sound of my daughter’s voice.

5. Pools Or Hot Tubs: Neither.

6. Television Or Radio: TV

7. CDs Or mp3: CDs, still.

8. Apples or oranges: Apples – macs.

9. Strawberries or Blueberries: I prefer blueberries, but eat more strawberries.

10. Gold or silver: Gold.

11. Vanilla or chocolate: Vanilla, a choice that traumatized me in the 6th grade.

12. Video or Movie: Movie.

13. Park or Beach: Park.

14. Hot or Cold weather: Hot.

15. Sunset or Sunrise: Sunset.

When is the Last Time You…?

1. Took a shower: Yesterday morning.

2. Cried: Yesterday, listening to music.

3. Watched a Disney movie: Some years ago, unless you count Pixar, in which case it was three months ago.

4. Given/gotten a hug: From the daughter last night.

5. Been to the movies: Sunday.

6. Danced: I dance a lot. In my office chair, especially.

7. Did a survey like this: Last week.

What Is…?

1. Your Fondest Memory Of This Year: the ships at Jamestown.

2. Your Most Prized Possession: my signed copy of Abbey Road.

3. The Thing That Makes You The Happiest: having someone be excited about info I’ve shared with them.

4. Your Favorite Food For Breakfast: pancakes with real maple syrup.

5. Your Favorite Food For Dinner: lasagna.

6. Your Favorite Slow Song: “Slow Song” by Joe Jackson.

7. Your Ideal BF/GF: Smart, more sensible than I am.

What Do You Feel About…?

1. Bill Clinton: I never got how great his Presidency was supposed to have been. Much better than his successor though. He’s really annoyed me during his wife’s campaign for POTUS. And though he didn’t come up with it, HATED that First Black President moniker.

2. Love at First Sight: I suppose it’s possible. Never happened to me.

3. Abortion: Legal, safe and rare.

4. Smoking: If I get on an elevator with someone who had been smoking recently, I practically pass out.

5. Death: Even more inevitable than taxes.

6. Rap: I LOVED early rap, but when it got all misogynistic and all, it lost me.

7. Marilyn Manson: I never think of Marilyn Manson.

8. Premarital Sex: What two consenting adults do is none of my concern.

9. Suicide: NOT painless, especially for the survivors.


Baby Boomer Hits

When I have the worst sinus headache ever and can’t breathe through either nostril because of allergies, I’m reduced to using the e-mails from one of my sisters. But before that, one Sentential Link that struck me:

[Gram] Parsons is such a cutie in those old pics, that it almost makes you wonder what he’d look like had he lived. Would he have the rugged, survived-the-hard-life handsomeness of Kris Kristofferson?
Or the perennial hit-by-several-speeding-trains-simultaneously, lucky-to-be-alive-and-upright look of Keith Richards?

It was fun being a baby boomer . . . until now. Some of the artists of the
60’s are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers:

They include:

Herman’s Hermits — Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Walker.

Ringo Starr — I Get By With a Little Help From Depends.

The Bee Gees — How Can You Mend a Broken Hip?

Bobby Darin — Splish, Splash, I Was Havin’ a Flash.

Roberta Flack — The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face.

Johnny Nash — I Can’t See Clearly Now !

Paul Simon — Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver

The Commodores — Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom.

Marvin Gaye — Heard I need the Grape Nuts.

Procol Harem — A Whiter Shade of Hair!

Leo Sayer— You Make Me Feel Like Napping.

The Temptations — Papa’s Got a Kidney Stone.

Abba — Denture Queen !

Tony Orlando — Knock 3 Times On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall.

Helen Reddy — I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore !

Leslie Gore — It’s My Procedure, and I’ll Cry If I Want To!

And everyone’s favorite:

Willie Nelson — On the Commode Again

A Fun Little Quiz

Copped from Kelly, and, coincidentally, Jaquandor, but they worked off different lists. I started with Kelly’s, then added Jaquandor’s, or, occasionally, not.

1. Go to (don’t sign in)
2. Type in your answer to the question in the “search” box
3. Use only the first page
4. Copy the html and paste for the answer.

What is your name?

What is your Relationship Status?

What is your favorite color?

What kind of car do you want?
Don't Care

What band/artist are you listening to?

What is your favorite movie?
Annie Hall

What is your favorite Disney Princess?
toy story 2

What is your favorite TV show?

Where did/do you go to school?
New Paltz

Where is your dream vacation?

Name an alcoholic Beverage:
Coke & Rum

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What is your favorite type of shoe?
chuck taylor

What is your favorite song?
Drive My Car

What is your favorite dessert?
carrot cake

What is your favorite letter?
What do you love most in life?

What are you most afraid of?
What annoys you the most? (What, no pictures of “theological arrogance”?)

What’s your favorite animal?
the cats

How old are you?

What one word describes you?

The 123 Meme

From Jaquandor, again.

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Well, I happened to be in the public library so I went to the nearest shelf, which happens to have been the 7-day loan fiction, i.e. recent popular fiction, and got Street Love: A Triple Crown Anthology (2007). From The Fink, by Quentin Carter:
Not bionic. Not super. Just lil ole Shania Freeman.

Eh, try again. Nikki Turner presents Street Chronicles: Tales from da Hood (2006). From the story 360 by The Ghost:
The two agents walked out the door. They’d gotten what they wanted. Cojack’s mother kissed him on the cheek, sat down with him for a while, then headed home to get some rest.”

Well, that was better. One more time: The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrahams(2007):
My interest today, however, was in only one daughter, and from what I had seen, she was hardly defenseless.
The Marquis’s palace was an enormous brown stone edifice with three curved balconies and many large windows surrounded by decorative columns. Two guards stood by the door, and over their clothes they wore the sleeveless blue tunic that bore the Marquis’s coat of arms, with a castle and lion embroidered in gold.

OK, consider yourselves tagged if you haven’t posted in the past 33 days.

Graphic meme

From Tosy and/or Cosh from a couple months back; I did it, then promptly misplaced it.

1. The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

Shina is a Japanese model I had never heard of.

2. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact. – Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 – 1980)

3. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

You then take the pic and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your pic. And so we get:

Johnny B. asked for art requests. So I suggested he draw Fred Hembeck. See the results.
Jaquandor asked for questions, and questions he got from me, profound and profane. He answers them here and here and here (1st question), with even more to come.