Buckminster Skeeter: Wanna buy a watch?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Religion's never good enough

Christianity is a complex web of symbolism, moral philosophy, and means to an eternal existence in the presence of an almighty being. It differs dramatically from the other great religions in many ways but it has a similar underlying notion of a single, unifying force of which all things are part. Christianitys fundamental goal is to get the member to believe that the one living God became flesh and sacrificed himself for the ungodliness of mankind, thus saving each believing member from an eternal punishment. Once they believe the doctrine they are instructed to follow a set of guidelines to live in a more godly state - in contradiction to the ungodly moral nature of humankind. Since it's inception there have been countless cults, sects, denominations, heresies, schisms, and fractions which were all derived from differing interpretations of the agreed upon holy doctrines. Apart from some forms of mystic Gnosticism they all believe that this world is real, God created it, we live in it, and we will leave it, spiritually, one day.

Now that I have summed up 2000 years of religious evolution.......

I ran across The Disappearance of the Universe while browsing books in a bookstore today. The author, whose name is not worth remembering, states that during the early '90's he was visited by 2 'ascended masters'. They instructed him on the Secrets of the Universe - mainly that everything he (thus everyone) thought existed did not actually exist. Heaven, God even, was an eternal state of spirituality in which all souls continuously exist only believing that the world we think we live in exists. They told him to write a book and help others come to God by learning to disregard our perceived reality - thus finding true 'love' and 'forgiveness'. In it, these entities instruct him to buy and subscribe to A Course in Miracles which is a pseudo metaphysical teaching written by a couple of psychologists in the 1970's. It's published, and owned, by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Lesson one goes like this:

Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.
Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:
This table does not mean anything.
This chair does not mean anything.
This hand does not mean anything.
This foot does not mean anything.
This foot does not mean anything.
This pen does not mean anything.

This seems like some mild form of brainwashing to me.

The authors go on to say that "means anything" translates to "does not exist".

Once you have accepted that there is no real earth, people, time, etc... You start learning lessons like:

The idea of the death of God is so preposterous that even the insane have difficulty in believing it. For it implies that God was once alive and somehow perished; killed, apparently, by those who did not want Him to survive. Their stronger will could triumph over His, and so eternal life gave way to death. And with the Father died the Son as well.

To deny the worldly embodiment and subsequent death of God completely contradicts standard Christian theology. So why would these so called Christians take up such a belief? You could argue, as I usually do, that the Bible does not have to be taken literally, in all aspects, but could be filled with analogy, parable, allegory, and metaphor - throw in a few other choice English 101 terms. Therefore you could make just about any claim if your argument was good enough. But why would Christians veer so far away from the standard? What is it about the traditional church that turns them so far away? I can understand how some people (like people I know) would discount religion all together based on a change of perception or logic. Why are we always looking deeper for answers? I lead off with a description of Christianity because often times the churches try to make everything so cut and dry. Concepts like heaven, god, spirit, eternity, and sin are so incredibly complex that simple parables and face value documents can't supply the answers. It leaves big gaping holes which , I believe, most Christians spend their whole life trying to fill with meaning. Of course if you asked the pastor at my Southern Baptist church about these things he'd say "The Bible tells it like it is, literally, it means what it means." Why aren't we satisfied with the traditional belief systems? Are they that unbelievable? Any more so than believing that 2 celestial beings plopped down on this guys sofa and relayed to him the secrets of life?

The mere fact that 2 'ghost' disciples of Christ would take bodily form to instruct someone to buy a product and join an earthly group seems so outrageously stupid to me that I was compelled to dwell on it further. I got back to the room and look it up on amazon.com and was surprised (or not, I haven't decided) to find 100's of positive reviews with people claiming that this book, and the Course in Miracles, gave them sort sort of otherwordly intelligence. They actually believe this stuff. Furthermore, it seems that over the years millions of copies of A Course in Miracles have been sold.

Of course it doesn't take a PhBS in Philosophy to point out that if nothing I perceive to exist actually exists (as the book claims) then much of the book is contradictory: The 2 saints could not have been biblical disciples of Christ since the bible would not exist; The authors reality, which doesn't exist, wouldn't produce a book in my reality, which doesn't exist either; Telling me to take a course which doesn't exist makes no sense; etc...

I'm not sure which I find more interesting - God/religion or our need for a concept of God/religion and the lengths we will go to to devise one.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

There's always another answer

I've about finished the book Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner . It's a very entertaining and enlightening read. I won't bore you with a dazzling description as you can get a better one at amazon.com or the likes.

Here's one of my favorite parts.

A young sociologist was tasked by his professors to go into the projects and do a survey. Some sort of black, low income study. The professor had designed a 10 question, multiple choice poll.

The first question was this:

How do you feel about being black and poor?
A) Very bad
B) Bad
C) Neither Bad nor good
D) Good
E) Very good

The young sociologist ventured into an abandoned building populated by gang members. After spending 24 hours talking with many of them he decided he had to alter the answer choices. It now went like this:

How do you feel about being black and poor?
A) Very bad
B) Bad
C) Neither bad not good
D) Good
E) Very Good
F) "Fuck You!"

I don't know why I find this so funny. Well, I guess I do actually. The book is filled with blogable topics - many of them considerably "deep" and deserving of discussion.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The hotel takes the high road

I found a card - I hadn't noticed in my previous 3 stays - in the bathroom of the hotel.

it reads:

"Dear Guest, Due to the popularity of our Guest Room items, our Housekeeping Department now offers these items for sale.

Bath Towels - $10.00
Hand Towels - $4.00
Face Cloths - $2.00
Blankets - $35.00

Each Guest Room attendant is responsible for maintaining the Guest Room items. Should you decide to take the articles from your room, instead of obtaining them from the Executive Housekeeper, we will assume you approve a corresponding charge to your account.

Thank You"

This is the soft way of saying "WE KNOW YOUR STEALING OUR SHIT - AND WE'LL CHARGE YOU". Why not just leave a friendly reminder to NOT REMOVE ANY HOTEL PROPERTY? These towels are sub par, at best. No one, I say No one, will approach the 'executive housekeeper' and make a request to purchase these things. They know that. So why try to sugar coat it. Just tell me not to steal your shit.

I've taken my share of hotel items over the years. And not just the free stuff - shampoos, lotions, soaps, hairnets (always take 'em, never use 'em), and any other item that looks like it is disposable. I've even commandeered towels from time to time when I was single and broke. But who would have the balls to take a blanket off the bed? Surely housekeeping would catch that I would think. At one hotel I used to stay at on a regular basis I used to always take a few hangers. They were nice - wood, sturdy - good stuff. They caught on eventually and switch to hangers with little tiny hooks which complimented their new, small diameter hanger bars. But never a blanket.

This is the 4th room I've had here and I've noticed that every room has the same 3 pictures on the walls. One is a depiction of an English fox hunt. One is an American version, circa 1800's. One is a nice print of a 1600 era map of the North Eastern coast of the US. Just for shits and giggles I've been considering finding similar prints (on eBay) of the fox hunt scene. Maybe doctor it up a little - give one guy horns, another guys balls showing, a three legged dog, someone shooting a bird - nothing real obvious, but noticeable if you really look. I could make the switch every time I stay here (which will be often over the next few months). It's not hard to take a print out and re-frame another. I could get maybe 10 Bucky prints in this hotel. I wonder if anybody would notice?

The French - a continuing peeve

I'm no scholar of international politics but I can't help but be annoyed by the French - once again. The current thorn is the whole "youth rioting" taking place over there. If anyone can shed some light on this for me please do so. Here's the situation as I see it.

The French have a remarkably liberal government. Remarkably! Years ago they put in place a piece of legislature to protect 'worker rights'. It goes like this: If you wish to fire someone, for any reason, you have to endure much expense, waiting periods, and go through many levels of bureaucracy to do so. I can see how this, in theory, would 'protect' some innocent laymen from getting the axe for unfair reasons - thus protecting some sort of liberal rights. But in doing so it has had a backlash which has effected the younger generation. Young people, even in this country, are somewhat of an unknown when you hire them. They have no solid work history, experience, or evolved skill set or work ethic. Most business people know this. French companies have therefore steered away from hiring young people to protect their (businesses) own interest and avoid long mediation and expense. It resulted in a whopping 23+% unemployment rate for people between the ages of 16 and 25 (give or take).

So we have a problem - right!?

The French government, recognizing this problem, are working on another piece of legislation that would end (or at least severely limit) the previous laws as described above. Makes sense, right!? Help out the young ones. Make it easier for them to get jobs. Right!?

Now the youth are raging in the streets at the possibility of losing this legal cushion which would make it nearly impossible to be canned - the same cushion that maintains an incredibly high unemployment rate.

I don't get it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Deal or No Deal

Have you seen this new game show? Howie Mandel has found work again - this time as the show host. He takes every chance he can get to fire off a pre-planned one liner. He's sporting the bald look now - it's not nearly as good as the latex glove chicken head thing he used to do when he was all coked up in the '80's.

What I like about the show is the girls, of course. The show is a virtual cleavage festival with 24 hot chicks showing their goods throughout the show. That alone is worth my time.

But what I really like is how it showcases the decision making process of corporate America in business transactions.

It works like this. There are 26 cases, held by the cleavage girls, on the floor. The contestant picks one to be theirs. The case is placed next to the contestant. The values in the cases range from $.01 to $1,000,000. So their case could be any value. The contestant picks a few cases and the values are revealed and subsequently eliminated from the possibility of being in the contestants case (of course). The "business man" sits in the dark in a booth behind the stage. He calls down and makes the contestant an offer to buy their case. The contestant can take the offer or keep picking cases to eliminate. Best case scenario is they pick all the cases and eliminate all values except $1,000,000 - thus winning $1,000,000. The business man is obviously using a program of sorts to calculate the odds of the case value and make the 'safest' offer to pay out the least amount of money. If you enjoy the statistical aspects of profit/loss calculation it is a very interesting show. The contestants, however, almost never take the deal hoping to win the largest remaining values - thus showcasing the greedy nature of people. It's fun. I like to try and guess what the offer will be to see if my business instincts are keen.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Alcohol Abuse Anyone?

Last night during dinner I opened up the fridge to grab a cold Michelob Light. The twelve pack had only one bottle remaining. I said to my wife "What happened to all these beers?". She said "You drank them all". I said "I don't remember drinking all these beers." She says "That's what happens when you drink them all."
She was joking of course. What I meant was it seems like only a few days ago that she bought the 12 pack while grocery shopping. Since I rarely drink more than 2 or 3 beers in one sitting I just couldn't recall going through that many in a few days. She joking mentioned that I may be an alcoholic - which I am not (this is not merely first stage 'denial' either). I decided to take a look at what classifies a person as an 'alcoholic'. We all think we know an alcoholic or two but according to Helpguide.org they may just be 'Alcohol Abusers'.

Helpguide.org has this to say (bold comments are Buckys points):
Alcohol abuse is a pattern otherwise known as "problem drinking." The behavioral warning signs of alcohol abuse are:

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol frequently (The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has established two drinks per day for men and one drink a day for women as the limits to safe drinking) . Thank you NIAA for allowing me 2 drinks per day. Really. I know several people who, if I told them I had 2 drinks per day, would think I was a raging alcoholic. 2 per day is nice. I'll try to stick to that. But what exactly is "excessive"? Do they mean more than 2 drinks? Surely 3 or 4 wouldn't be deemed "excessive". And how frequent is "frequently"? Every other day? Once per week? Can I down 15 beers at once every 2 weeks and not be abusing alcohol? I think this needs clarification.

Drinking when it is dangerous (such as driving). Let me be clear on this - Drinking while Driving is not dangerous. Being Drunk while driving is dangerous. So I don't see why I should be branded as 'abusing alcohol' just because I'm sipping on a cold one on the way home from work. Of course I can understand the 'law' side if it - they don't know how many you've had or will have. But are you abusing it by having a few sips in the car?

Frequent excessive drinking. Is this not the exact same thing as above - "drinking excessive amounts of alcohol frequently"? I think someone ran out of things to label as alcohol abusive so they tried to toss in a duplicate.

Interpersonal difficulties with family, friends, or co-workers. I know plenty of complete assholes who do not drink. They have difficulties with family, friends, and co-workers. I know some alcohol abusers who are the most laid-back people I know. No problems with anyone. I don't buy this description of an 'abuser'.

Legal problems related to drinking. What kind of legal problems? Other than DUIs I would bet that most people who are in legal trouble have major character flaws unrelated to alcohol - such as violent temperaments, thievery, etc... So, other than DUIs what legal problems are directly related to drinking. Open container? Public Intox? You can have none of the previously described 'warning signs' and yet still get pinched for either of these if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I guess I'm just a little defensive about drinking some booze. I can exhibit self-control and moderation. Sure, sometimes I get completely shitty but not often. But I understand some people's need to label everything and turn it into a 'science'. The word 'Abuse' is just too general for me. You can 'abuse' anything if you use it more than someone else thinks you should. I think many people abuse make-up, perfume, funny ties, and the English language. I don't see focus groups or laws pertaining to this stuff.

Alcoholism, on the other hand, is a nasty disease and I won't dare make light of it. They say to ask yourself these questions - if you answer yes to more than one you are likely an alcoholic:

Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? No. In fact I have many times remarked that my drinking frequency is not meeting my needs.

Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? No. People annoy me for almost every conceivable reason except this one.

Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? No. Sometime I feel guilty for the people, I mean 'things', I do while drinking but never for the act of drinking.

Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover? No. I prefer Bong Hits.

Thank God. I am safe from the clutches of Alcoholism for now.

What seems really strange to me is that we label Alcoholism as a 'disease'. Being a Miserable Fucking Prick could be a disease. Or a Slutty Hose Hound. The recommended treatments for this 'disease' are counseling, support groups, psychotherapy, goal setting, motivational training, and various other physiological hand holding. There are a few drugs out there that will curb your cravings but nothing that you can take on a 5 day regimen to kick the habit. Too bad. It would make life so easy for all those affected. The reason why there is no pill or drug for this is because alcoholism is a Mental Disorder - as defined by the professionals. I probably have several Mental Disorders but they seem to work with me instead of against me.

The effect of alcohol on the brain is a wonderful thing. Mankind has known this since the dawn of civilization. I wonder if their were 'alcoholics' back then. And ,if so, did people label them as such. The Bible makes several references to 'drunks' and abusers. In my opinion it never says "Do Not Drink, Ever!" It merely says "Don't be an Alcoholic, they are evil". I guess the writers didn't see these folks as addicts or diseased - just sinful. How dare you be hooked on a chemical substance. You shall burn in hell. Yet Jesus, while attending a wedding, miracle'd wine into "six water pots of stone set there after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece" - Hey now, that's 180 gallons (23,040 ounces) of booze. A serving of wine is 5 ounces. That's 4,608 servings. How many people were at this wedding? Villages back then weren't more than a couple hundred people, at the most. Even the modern day villages in Galilee rarely top out at more than a couple thousand. So why did The Christ whip up so much booze. Why not? If I could do that a party would follow me around like a shadow. ROCK ON JESUS!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Amish Furniture

While driving back from out of town last week I took notice of a billboard advertising Amish Furniture. It's really nothing new as there are many furniture and knick knack stores who sell Amish furniture. Take a look online, you'll see hundreds of sites selling the stuff. I started wondering about the Amish. It seems to me that the stereotypical Amish use no electricity, motorized devices, or otherwise 'advanced technology' (developed after the 1800's). So this is old world craftsmanship producing a hand made, long lasting piece of furniture. Sounds great! By the way, I applaud the Amish for their success in furniture making. It's great for a religion to have a product that it is known for other than it's doctrine.

Then I started thinking - There sure is a lot of "Amish" furniture for sale in this country. There must be millions of Amish men lined up somewhere cranking out Adirondack Chairs and picnic tables. So I did a little research.

There are approximately 190,000 Amish in this country. That's it. Not a lot.
The Amish have several 'branches' - some are more progressive (worldly) than others. The largest are Swartzengruber, Old Order, Andy Weaver, and New Order Amish. I think it'd be really cool to have a branch of religion named after you - Andy Weaver Amish!!!. I haven't had time to research Mr. Weaver yet but I bet it's a fascinating story. I don't know if I could get used to describing myself as Andy Weaver Amish. Buckminster Skeeter Amish - has a nice ring to it.

Anyway, the Swartzengruber are the most conservative and the New Order are the most progressive. The New Order, although only a small percent of the total Amish, partake in pneumatics tools, skidders, and many kinds of machinery which can make production easier. They still shy away from your day to day electricity, cars, etc...

According to Mark Nordstrom at BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY the Amish have, in recent years, been entrepreneurial. Although farming still provides the majority of the income for the Old World Amish, only about 1/3 of New Order Amish make their living from crops. Many have branched out to provide services to theirs and other Amish communities while some have reached out to non-Amish consumers.

It is my guess that it is a very small portion of these New Order Amish who have built factories to mass produce Amish Furniture. I see no other way that a few thousand Amish men (when you take 190,000 population and subtract out females, children (7 per family average) , and farming men) could produce the numbers of Amish furniture hitting the market. Before, I would see a piece of Amish furniture and imagine Eli and Jebadiah working a hand planer over the raw oak. Their calloused hands guiding the hand tools which have been in their families for generations. Now when I see one I will think of a full scale, semi-modernized factory complete with machinery and advanced production technology.

I hope I am wrong. I hope there is not a handful of men exploiting the respectable image of the Amish. Then again, they are Amish. I guess it's not really an outright lie.

I'm reminded of a quote by the hilarious Dave Atell. "I love making fun of the Amish. You know why? Because they're never gonna find out."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Waning Philosophical

I have developed ten theories today

Theory I
The propensity of mankind to have dualistic religion is a reflection of mans struggle with the dualism of mind and matter.

Theory II

The mind (metaphysical) does not exist. It is merely the product of mass electrical conduction.

Theory III

Electrical Conduction requires energy- which can neither be created nor destroyed and exists only as a capacity.

Theory IV

The ‘capacity to do work’ (i.e. energy) transcends all matter and space yet maintains omnipresence.

Theory V

The ability for a non-material entity to exist omnipresently and yet not exist in perception hides another layer of reality inconceivable to mankind.

Theory VI

Several layers of reality unknown to man exist- simultaneously independently and conjunctively.

Theory VII

If a layer could be manipulated to exist either independently or conjunctively at will, an entity could choose when to exist in another reality and when to not.

Theory VIII

Such an entity interacting with human beings would appear godlike or alien.

Theory IX

Godlike entities frequent, in various forms of matter and energy, the reality mankind shares

Theory X

Owing to the crude state of sporting undergarments, Civil War soldiers frequently had chaffed balls. The North had better access to textile mills and imports whereby they acquired fresh underwear more frequently than the South. Hence the outcome.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Toilet Paper

Seeing as how this is my 8th day (of the last 10) in a hotel room it's time to address toilet paper. My a-hole is starting to get disgruntled with this cheap, gritty, industrial version of sanitary paper. I started looking on the web for a scale of toilet paper grades so I could label this anal scourge. Based on the information provided by paperontheweb.com I have decided it is an industrial, course, bleached paperboard of approximately 140 g/m2. I went from there to a site informing me of the history of toilet paper.

Of note is that the first mass produced version didn't appear until the 1300's. How did it take human beings so long to invent a clean, comfortable way to wipe an ass? Why wasn't that on the top of someone's priority list during the previous 5,ooo years of civilization.

Here's some highlights from toiletpaperworld.com:

"*China…AD 1391 - The Bureau of Imperial Supplies began producing 720,000 sheets of toilet paper a year, each sheet measuring two feet by three feet. For use by the Emperors. "

Now I have no advanced mathematicall degree, but by my calculations a single Emperor will take about 520 shits per year. If he uses 1 sheets per squat he'd average about 520 sheets per year. So why produce 720,000? The Emperors entire extended family could partake and still not make a dent in the supply. 2 feet by 3 feet!? How do you wipe your ass with 6 square feet of paper? I've never fully understood chinamen.

"*USA…1857 - New Yorker Joseph C. Gayetty produced the first packaged bathroom tissue in the United States in 1857. The Gayetty Firm from New Jersey produced the first toilet paper named "The Therapeutic Paper". It contained an abundance of aloe, a curative addition. The company sold it in packs of 500 sheets for fifty cents, and Joseph Gayetty had his name printed on each sheet! "

Great. Enterprising man. Ahead of his time in lotion additives. But why have your name on a piece of paper destined to be covered in shit. I don't want my name covered in shit - mud, on occasion- but not shit.

"*USA…1890 - The Scott Paper Company is the first company to manufacture tissue on a roll, specifically for the use of toilet paper."

The brothers E. Irvin and Clarence Scott are responsible for all the toilet paper in the world being on a roll. I did a few dry runs and determined that when using a roll most people will use two hands in the process. It's usually needed to hold the roll as you tear off the sheets. Of course, you can try the quick tug but that usually ends up streaming paper out when you don't get a clean tear. If there was a mechanism that dispensed single sheets, maybe 6in X 6in, you'd need only one hand and wouldn't have to touch the roll that someone else, with a shitty hand, may have soiled. Luckily there is a facial tissue dispenser on the side of the bathroom vanity here in the hotel. I've recently begun using it instead of the roll and I gotta teyah ya, it sure is convenient.

Oh, and thank your maker we didn't adopt the Roman way - wealthy Romans used wool and rosewater and sponges soaked in salt water at the end of a stick. How'd you like to look down and see that in a public stall?

Monday, March 06, 2006

"People called Romanes they go the house"

For hours now I have been a fan of Ancient Roman History and the writings of Titus Livy.

While searching an online bookstore the picture on The Early History of Rome (Penguin Group, 2002) jumped out at me. I starred at it for several minutes - and not because it has a semi naked man, mind you. It's the sheer absurdity of the image.

First off I refuse to believe that any civilization which can smelt iron and weave intricate fabrics would have it's soldiers swinging pork during battle. And I don't buy a surprise attack excuse - The enemy busts in on me while I'm naked I don't pick up a sword, I run. I run so far away. Think about fighting, with swords, arrows, fire, and rocks naked. Screw that. And if this is not meant to be an accurate representation of the battle garb, why is he naked? Did an artists 1600 years later sit down to paint a famous battle scene and think to himself "I think I'll make this guy naked." Why would someone do that? This seems very wrong to me.

The mythological history of the founding of Rome throws me off too. It goes like this: God Mars screws Vestal Virgin. She has twins, Romulus and Remus. King orders them to die in the Tiber River. They were placed in a basket, it washes up on shore. A wolf suckles them until a shepherd finds them and takes them in. They grow up, defeat ruling party, and start a new city. Romulus slays Remus and takes the throne for himself, hence 'Rome'.

I can forgive the whole 'god Mars' thing as he could represent any high powered, high profile figure. The 'basket in the river' thing and 'brother slaying brother' thing is familiar. It's not uncommon for several ancient history's to have common stories probably stemming from a single, actual event in antiquity. It's the whole suckling on a wolf bit that gets me. Why was it necessary to take an otherwise believable legend and completely tar it with such farce. Why a wolf? Why suckle? In Disney's The Jungle Book, Mowgli was raised by wolves. They didn't stick a wolf tit in his mouth. They brought him fruits. Seems logical. Tarzan was raised by apes. No ape milk in this story. But no, let's let Romulus and Remus suck a canine gland. Sick bastards.

Here's something else I don't understand. They had extensive metallurgy skills. Their weaponry, jewelry, armor, and knick knacks were of high quality minerals. Why is it that they didn't use this knowledge for structural engineering. You can make an iron or steel sword, make some rebar. Make a house frame. I bet it's a lot faster than quarrying, transporting, chiseling, and erecting marble. Block by block. What was wrong with these Romans? How did they rise with such inaptitude?
I guess I'll retire my zeal for Roman antiquity and pursue more gratifying civil studies.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Overruled Again

I am somehow quickly losing control of the decision making for our family. After my defeat in the dog naming issue I find myself at the edge of losing once again. This time it's how to landscape the front yard since we just had 3 trees cut down. After they ground the stump they left the mulch piled up over the stump position (I'll move it later to some beds). This looks sort of like 3 raised platforms in our yard.

Here's my proposal:

Statues. Big ones, maybe 15 feet tall. One of John Cleese doing the "Ministry of Silly Walks" pose. Cast iron or perhaps bronze. One of Robert E. Lee. One of NikolaTesla. The yard would be a virtual tribute to my heroes, a shrine of sorts - not that they would be 'graven images', just a respectful display to remind my neighbors of the brilliance and contribution of these men.

Somehow she can't see the art and humor in it.

I lose again - it'll be flower beds and stone walkways.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A song for Dr. Metal

I tried sending this to Dr. metal but it wouldn't go through.

Please click the link:

Air Instruments

I have recently aknowledged my exceptional air instrument skills. It comes from 23 years of continual excercise and fine tuning. I believe if everyone played air instruments going out in public would be much more entertaining than it already is. In effort to promote this art form I have formed the AIPA - Air Instrument Players Association. You can start your own local chapter by sending me a non-refundable cash fee of $750. You will receive a chapter start-up kit which includes the following:

5 AIPA embroidered hoodies
5 AIPA logo window stickers
5 copies each of our instructional videos- Fundamentals of Air Instruments, guitar, bass and drums.; and Intermediate Air Instruments, form variation, style, and body language.
5 copies of our book Play Air! It's Free.

excerpt from Chapter 1: Introduction to the art of Air playing
"It is generally considered acceptable to air play the guitar (any variety), bass, banjo, mandolin, or drums. Various horns are o.k. in the right setting. Piano, harp, and accordian should be avoided at all cost unless you are at a fundraiser for certain liberal rights groups."

Much thanks to Carl Willow for sending us a how to guide on his signature move - the lip curl, chicken head, low slung knee bass.
' The preferable music for lcchlskb is in the vain of Black Sabbath, Van Halen, various old school rap, or blues rock. A slow to mid paced bass line involving a good bit of repetition is perfect. The lcchlskb works best when seated as the knee is presented so that the right hand (for right handed players) lays with the finger tips in the middle of the knee. The right arm should be parallel to the leg, about 3-4 inches above. Prop your right hand up with your thumb, leaving the the index and middle finger free to pluck. When plucking, dig a little into the knee so that there is a slight thump with each stroke. Hold the left arm with your elbow pointing more or less straight forward. The arm should bend 90 degrees at the elbow and the hand should be pointing back towards your left ear. While plucking with your right hand, alternate lowering your left hand fingers as if holding down a string on a fret. Your lips will have a half pucker, half 'trying to smell your upper lip' position. Move your head forward and backwards in a chicken pecking motion. '

Join us next week as we explore the subtle dynamics of air guitar soloing.