Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Six Degrees of Separation

The last few days have been hot and cold, and fast and slow. The duality is striking, no?

First and foremost, I've spent way too little time keeping this space populated and I've let the weeds and the grass get way too overgrown, so -- launch hackneyed apology -- I feel badly for letting you, the reader, wilt without some measure of irritating, opinionated bullshit observation (at least penned by yours truly).

However, with work deadlines, the flaccid Presidential race, winter's random but rapid approach and the incoming Halloween holiday -- not to mention far too much time spent interacting with friends via Facebook -- and my time here is next-to-none. Fortunately or otherwise, there seems to be some measure of entertainment before and after visitors reach this site, so I'm not exactly losing sleep over my absence, mind you, but there is lots to say and I do feel badly not having been the one to be saying it.

Now, in no particular order, I'm still pretty much aligned with Obama. I've gotten some material via e-mail -- both from friends and from strangers -- suggesting everything from Obama is a muslim, a communist, hates America and hates Israel. Truthfully, I don't believe any of them. I think he's probably the right guy for the job at this point in time. I'm not getting an "Obama '08" tattoo, as I'm not a "believer." Personally, I know and have seen far too much with regard to American Presidential politics to be "inspired." It's not that I'm jaded; it's just that no candidate seems to be blowing my skirt up, and even if Ross Perot, Ralph Nader and the zombie corpse of Abraham Lincoln opted to get their names on the final ballot for November 4th, I'm pretty sure I'd still vote for Obama, and I'd still have an overwhelming sense of "Meh" as a result.

Neither here nor there, part of this political malaise is the country is inching towards recession. Because we're a buy-now, pay-later nation, when we can't buy now and pay later -- ie during times like these -- we need to find ways other than spending to occupy our collective thirty-second attention span. Unfortunately, the reality is that we're going to have some tough times ahead, but if I'm reading the situation right, we should be in good shape by March. And by good shape I mean we'll have forgotten that the entire world economy is in a clogged-up toilet with no plunger in sight.

Another aspect of this overall malaise is the onset of winter; it's technically fall, but -- as per usual, it seems -- the temps went from low 70's to low 50's in about a ten-day span. I'm digging a new barn jacket I got from Land's End, but other'n that, I still wish we had some high 50's/low 60's in between sweaty post-summer September and Freeze-Your-Balls-Off Pre-Winter. Then again, even I don't have any say with respect to the weather; ask Willard Scott, although don't come crying to me when he doesn't have a clue and only wants to talk about Welch's jams and jellies.

Further down the line, my home/desktop PC is slowly unraveling like Margot Kidder from the late 90's, except my PC hasn't upped and vanished, only to appear a few days later, toothless and haggard, in some shrubbery in the middle-class suburbs. However, having said all that, much like if I were casting a film I'd skip Margot's name in the audition checklist, I do need to get a replacement for the home PC stat. And as I've been considering for some time, it's pretty much now or never -- meaning I'm going to be building a new PC from scratch. That means I need to nab me a case, a motherboard, a graphics card, an audio board, hard drives, DVD-ROM drives, memory, a Pentium, some thermal compound (basically high-end silly putty) and a variety of miscellaneous other goodies.

Problem is, if I buy one wrong thing or make one small mistake, the entire thing -- literally -- could blow up in my face. Oh, goodie. And what's worse, to keep the currently unbuilt PC cool means I'll need a power supply of about 750 watts. Put into perspective, that's about a third of what most hair dryers consume; the difference, of course, is that most modern hair dryers are operated each day for about ten or so minutes. My PC is operating 24-7, pretty much all the time. No wonder I pay more to Con Ed then most people's monthly car payment.

I suppose there's more in the tank, but I've got shitloads to address tonight and my mind is quickly finding the other items on my indelibly incomplete to-do list, but one of those items which I intend to keep checked more often is to keep coming back here and harassing and/or assaulting the sensibilities of you, the reader, and anyone else who happens to stumble upon these pages and stays for the pretty colors.

One final note: the more I watch the swill being broadcast on The Food Network -- with Alton Brown's stuff being the obvious exception -- the more I was impressed by a Tony Bourdain Travel Channel special called "At The Table." It was, essentially, an hour of Tony eating dinner and asking/answering questions with four guests, including Bill Bruford (author and world traveler) and Ted Allen (formerly of Queer Eye, currently of The Food Network).

Great show -- go find it and spend the forty or so minutes watching it. If you stay awake and want to see it again, that means you're a foodie. If you fall asleep or lose interest, get thee to a McDonald's and make sure you get an XL vanilla shake to wash down all that carbo-mattic goodness (and the after-dinner mint, aka 1000mg of Lipitor).

Ciao fer now.


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