Monday, October 29, 2012

DON'T KNOW WHY THERE'S NO SUNSHINE IN THE SKY.....

DATELINE: NORTH JERSEY

I do hope all your Blaiserbloguddlians are hunkered down somewhere safe with enough ice in the bathtub to keep the ice cream firm but not so hard that you need to run the scoop under hot water, 'cause in short order, hot water's gonna be really hard for anyone who doesn't have access to fire.

It's perhaps a little late for such advice (although that doesn't seem to stop our various emergency-planning executives), but it won't stop me from presenting my Top Ten List of Storm Prep Fun Facts, Tips, Reminders, and Things I Learned:

NUMBER 14:

Chris Christie is an A-Hole.

"Get the hell off the &#%$ing beach!"
NUMBER 13:

If Chris Christie tells me to evacuate, and I don't, I'm an A-Hole.

NUMBER 12:

Forget gold, and invest in D-Cell Batteries, which have become the rarest metals on the Eastern Seaboard. My bookie knows a guy who can get me tickets to the Stones in London next month, plus airfare, for 16 D-Cells.



NUMBER 11:

Order of Evacuation/Consumption from my refrigerator when the power goes out:

        a) Saturday's Pancake Batter (note: if gas-powered stove goes out, pancakes to be fried on griddle heated by burning back issues of The New Yorker in the kitchen sink.

       b) Whipped Cream, to get the most out of today's coffee, although I am just realizing that when I lose power, my coffee-maker-that-grinds-its-own-damn-beans will not be able to grind any beans. Which is what I have in the house. Coffee Beans. Hello mortar and pestle. (Update: currently out-of-town girlfriend sez: Fool! I told you four times there's ground coffee in the freezer!)

       c) Whole Organic Chicken. If above-mentioned gas-powered oven not functioning, chicken to be grilled over kitchen sink (after pancakes) with heat from burning back issues of Poetry. (much thicker than The New Yorker, and therefor slower burning.

       d) My girlfriend's mini-Cokes. Sorry honey, I know you just saved my sorry ass on coffee, but if there's one thing I cannot abide in a storm, it's drinking warm Coke.

       e) Things Related to the Making of Cocktails

       f) Cheeses

       g) The White Wine Too Nice to Be Cooking Wine

       h) Friday's Leftover Salmon   

       i) The Cooking Wine    

       j) That really yummy Trader Joe's not-quite-cooked bread, to be toasted over the kitchen sink, with a fire fueled by three of my four unopened issues of Gray's Sporting Journal (note to self: remove polybag first, lest plastic fumes bond to baguettes)

       j-prime) Butter. (And why the hell didn't I get bacon?)

       k) Frozen Ground Turkey, which will thaw and get grilled in the kitchen sink over a fire fueled by my Master's Thesis

       l) The Leg and Thigh leftover from Virgil, the Spring Gobbler I shot in May, to be simmered in the stock pot over a fire in the kitchen sink fueled by burning two of my least favorite Chinese Philosophy texts from a class I took in the spring of 1989.

      m) Vegetables. Wait ! no, Sandwich Meats.

      n) Vegetables

NUMBER 10:

     I have the fortune to currently reside in one of the buildings of what can only be called--in Essex County-New-Jersey-terms--an estate (a story for another post). If there's a tree on the property, or those of my neighbors, that's under 65 feet, I haven't seen it yet. The upshot is that if these mothers start getting knocked down, it's basically going to be like when some of the Ents got their asses kicked in The Two Towers.


NUMBER 9:

"They're talking about surges we haven't seen before!" -- Governor Cuomo at 10:45 a.m. Eastern Time. 


"Hey! There's a reeely big storm coming!"

It's possible that Gov. Cuomo is also, from time to time, an A-Hole

NUMBER 8:

If you're also in Sandy's path, and you also have more than two texts from a Chinese Philosophy course you took any time prior to 1992, you, too, will still be able to reliably toast bread.

NUMBER 7:

"Barrier Island," has always sounded to me like a good place not to live. Alternatively, if you're down with making a deal with the climate devil in order to live on the beach, some of your numbers are coming up.

NUMBER 6:

There are, however, NO numbers coming up in the casinos of Atlantic City, which appears to be largely under water, rendering Black Jack dealers, street cleaners and street walkers temporarily redundant. If only the storm washed away solely the unwholesome parts of New Jersey. 

"You know something may go down tonight, but it ain’t gonna be jobs, sweetheart."
NUMBER 5:

WNYC's storm coverage has pre-empted the BBC, which usually comes on at 9 a.m., and consequently, I had a moment of clarity: I don't miss those self-satisfied-yet-detached Limey snoots!

NUMBER 4:

A millibar exists as an indirect expression of a minibar. The lower the barometer, the higher the drinking in hotels. That are not in Atlantic City.

NUMBER 3:

If you live in Connecticut, you lose power first.

NUMBER 2:

Talking Voice on WNYC is giving advice on what kind of generator to buy. What Dude neglected to mention is that at this writing, if anyone wants to get their hands on a generator, they'd better be ready to pay with D-Cell batteries.

AND THE NUMBER ONE FRANKEN-SANDY-STORM FUN FACT/TIDBIT/WRINKLED BIT OF FABRIC FROM THE IRONY BOARD:

As a vital service to the community, Blaiserblog is now accepting bets for the over-under on how many hours elapse after we lose power before South Orange yuppies start throwing garbage cans through the windows of Eden Gourmet!!


Thanks for reading, and please remember that even though a Biblically-tempermental tempest is threatening to sweep away the Tri-State as we know it, there are worse things than Chris Christie's refrigerated-food access suffering complete restriction for 4-to-7 days. 


(also, stay tuned for whenever the power gets turned back on, when Blaiserblog will publish a love-letter to World Champion San Francisco Giants' Second Baseman, Marco Scutaro!)


Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Giant Leap for Man...


None of my Facebook loved ones, friends, family, acquaintances or enemies (whom someone once said should be kept close to one) are having birthdays that Facebook knows about today.

Has time stopped, then? How is this 24-hour period different from all others?

Can we ascribe this anomaly to an outside mitigating event?

For instance, is this connected to a crazy Austrian named Felix (whom many thought was Australian) climbing into a spacesuit, floating up 24-plus miles, and falling back to earth? Courtesy of an energy drink?



He broke the sound barrier on the way down. Does anyone know if his sounds have caught up to him?  What's Austrian for "AAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!"? What if he said it in Australian?

During the first part of the descent, he went into an uncontrolled spin somewhere around the 650 mph mark. If he hadn't corrected it, he would have spun faster and faster, until his blood started leaving his body through his eyeballs. Our camera technology is good enough now that we--and anyone with an Internet connection--could watch this spinning Austrian all the way down. We actually saw a grainy image of his body spinning,



and then recovering, with a smooth deployment of his parachute. (i.e. no blood-though-the-eyeballs)



Reminded me of the opening sequence of the Six Million Dollar Man.



 Colonel Steve (not Austrian, or Australian, but Austinian) also hitched a ride to the stratosphere and fell back to earth, in this crazy-ass thing:


It's an M2-F2 real test craft, towed upstairs by a B-52 and designed to feel out how a "lifting body," like a rocket ship might also re-enter/fall to earth. Pretty freakin' fast, as they found out.

And one time--in real life--uncontrollably. "She's breaking up, she's breaking up!" really did happen, on  May 10, 1967, the M2-F2's 16th flight.



Test pilots, both fictional and historical, are tough M2-F2s themselves. The gentleman in the above shot, Lt. Bruce Peterson, who went off course after correcting a nasty "Dutch Roll" and hit the desert floor at 250 mph (about a half-second before his gear had a chance to lock) didn't exactly walk away from it:


But after several surgeries, he went back to work for NASA, albeit flying less dangerous missions. He lost his right eye not from the crash itself, but due to a hospital-borne infection.

But let's "face" it, eyepatches, like test pilots, are the stuff of ultimate badassery in both fact and fiction. Just ask anyone who's ever crossed Snake Plissken,  Rooster Cogburn or Moshe Dyan. Indeed, and to his apparent chagrin, Bruce Peterson's story was the inspiration for "The Six Million Dollar Man." Colonel Austin lost his right eye, right arm and both legs, but, as anyone of a certain age, like any 43-year-old Austral-Asian extreme skydiver knows, "...we can rebuild him!"


I've written in these pages before about my fascination with Steve Austin, astronauts and space exploration. I had the Steve doll and the ship that converted into a bionic operating bed, so that I could again and again re-enact saving someone from horrendous injuries.


Fortunately for Felix, no one had to pump Red Bull into his veins in an attempt to bring him back from the abyss. He landed safely -- on his feet even -- after hitting some 800 mph on the way down. Oddly, he had no sensation of falling that fast, nor of any sonic boom when he passed the sound barrier. Turns out he was too busy keeping his blood inside his eyeballs.

That's all for a rambling post today--all in all, just another day in the life.

Thanks for reading, and please remember that just because it's not any of my friends' known birthdays today, it doesn't mean it's not a great time to call your Mom or your Dad or your dog, or to turn to your co-worker, or the guy starching your shirts or sorting your recyclables and tell them, "Hey -- I'm really glad your blood's all still behind your eyeballs!"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A JURY OF ONE'S PEERS



scroll down for updates!!

Place of alleged jury duty? Newark, New Jersey

Time? Now

Intent? Execution of Democracy.

Objective Log:  (All times Ante Meridiem)

7:45 Insertion of smaller Blaiser into hostile Middle School Walking Territory Achieved, after driving onto the sidewalk to soften up the defenses.

8:05 Blinding sun during east-bound drive results in the regrettable loss of life for three unidentified small mammals. Recommend dusting for prints.

8:09 Within the perimeter of directed destination. Instructions on parking, however? Not discernible from my point of origin. Filing warrant to request wire-tap on Superior Court’s coffee-break room for intel.

8:12 Multiple court houses in same area, in which it is a misdemeanor, while driving, to turn left. Under Blaiser’s Rules of Engagement, I take the first lot within a 2-block radius.  Getting any closer will tie me up until lunch.

8:13 Vehicle abandoned with foreign national “parking attendant.” Weighing asset potential.

8:14 First Security Checkpoint. Make it through with credit cards undetected.

8:14:05 Wrong Building.

8:15 uphill sprint to on-time rendez-vous point: Correct Court House (submit on-call password in comment section below for exact GPS location).  Link-up team must not have made it out of Teterboro. Assumed private-jet traffic jam on tarmac.  No contractors for back-up; will have to go it alone today. Adjust pens and pencils accordingly.

8:15:45 Second Security Checkpoint: Second irradiation of leftover pastitsio lunch. Have gone with the Greek food as a red herring to both prosecution and defense.

8:15:53 Line to check-in counter winds baaaaaaaack through a poorly lit hallway. On-time arrival has placed me in 132nd place.

8:17 Line moving impressively fast. Blood sample submitted in exchange for wireless access.

8:20 Surveillance of fellow “jurors” reveals much about their character, as revealed by shoe choice.  A man three people in front of me clearly is a judicial moron—from the looks of it, he though the Sicilian Defense meant it was ok for him to wear Camo shorts and leather flip-flops.

8:25 Credentials scanned and foreign-national parking stub inspected. Great amusement when interrogator is asked if only the court parking lot tickets can be validated.

8:25:05 Democracy has cost me at least $15 in parking today.

Sidebar: Anyone in Essex County who tells you that the first day includes free parking is clearly committing fraud. Researching Citizen Arrest Procedure. Considering extraditing self to Park Slope, Brooklyn, for tomorrow. Collateral damage: Girlfriend ecstatic; ex-wife homicidal.

9:13 a disembodied voice informs our holding cell that video indoctrination will commence. Relying on A Clockwork Orange-inspired training to countermand subliminal manipulation.

Filed from Superior Court Holding Tank, 9:15 a.m.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Second Filing:

9:20 Video plays. A palpable sense of serenity floats up from most of my peers. A smiling woman tells us that voir dire is French for "say the truth." This is when the respective lawyers in a case choose the jury. Most of us will be excused during the voir dire  phase. She also says there are various ways one can be dismissed, and not to take it personally if we're kicked out by a lawyer with no reason given. Both sides can do that, but there are limits on how often, like when tennis players have three chances per set to challenge the ruling of the line judges, or in the case of Serena Williams, to stab them.

9:25 The fake jurors in the jury indoctrination video are dressed better than 90% of my fellow practitioners of civic awareness.

9:30 The video instructs us not to listen to discussions in the hallways, lest our impartiality be contaminated with….. information.

9:32 Not for nothing, but our orientation video is  already up to the judge’s instructions to the jury prior to deliberations. By this time in any Laws & Order franchises, the M.E. has barely even cut into the stiff.

9:34 Video automatically re-starts. Tactic of repetitive indoctrination in action. Two “jurors” flee the room, clearly moles. Disembodied voice instructs people in other room to stay seated. Captain has not turned off seatbelt lights. No one but me seems to notice.

9:35 Actual announcement from actual person. Actual person walks out and yells to confederate: “He’s still got it running!!! It’s still on!!!.” An error detected. Note to self to exploit later, when possible. Perhaps a bribe for extra bathroom time. Will weigh options.

9:38 Orientation nearly complete. Again with the parking ticket validation – they’re just taunting me at this point.

9:40 We will apparently be mailed checks from Trenton. Not sure what they think they're buying. Certainly not parking.

9:41 If we're out in the main jury holding area, lunch will be from 12--1:30 and then we're done at 4. If we're in a courtroom, some judges apparently go to.... gasp.... 4:30. I may need to apply for a job here.

9:43 There's free coffee and tea, we're told, no doubt laced with fluoride. They’re after my precious bodily fluids. George C. Scott had it right.

9:45 We're free to stretch our legs and move about the cabin.....

9:45:07 Line for fluoridated coffee and tea now 45 peers deep. I take a cough drop to preserve my strength. 

10:20 The first wave of jurors are announced over the PA. There are about 30 of them. We all wonder if they'll ever return. I decide to infiltrate free coffee and tea area and canvas for intel. May also secure use of "rental locker" for the pastistio, except that it costs a quarter that then gets refunded later. Sounds Socialist.

MORE TO COME....

10: 45 --- Caught a case in round three -- off I go, but not before weakening substantially to free coffee. Into courtroom now where laptop certain to be confiscated...!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11:45 We took 40 minutes to answer (get walked-through) a 17-question questionaire. Also found a friendly in the bailiff, who allowed me to keep my ......wait a minute, of course he wanted me to keep it -- ensures the fluoridation.

Given a 20-minute break, I sussed out the Cafeteria and had a massive pancake and some bacon, special order, 'cause they had closed the grill. May have found ally in the grill guy. Will make Cafeteria primary escape route, or at least have lunch there. Acquired plastic ware for the pastitsio.

Cannot, of course, disclose anything about the case, other than it's criminal. And it's criminal that none of my peers had the initiative to seek out the pancakes. Without backup, cramming calories seemed the logical choice.

Fluoridated coffee not taking effect yet.

We're back on time, but the court isn't ready. Judge must have gone for two pancakes.

MORE TO COME....!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(All times henceforth are Post Meridiem)

1:30 ---- And, mere moments after that last post, I, along with 20 others, were excused from the case and sent back to Peer Holding. Peer Holding told us to take lunch for the next 90 minutes -- and this after having just finished our 20-minute break to assuage the exhaustion from completing the 17-question question-thingy. This jury duty thing is starting to resemble certain work calls I've been a party to...


1:34 ---- and I took lunch, thank you very much, and updated no blogs until now. Know why? Because I'm my own damn Blaiser. There were serious Facebook threads to attend to--on issues like who gets to call whom terrorists, and why Anderson Cooper can't stop making the story about him.

1:36 --- "Free" coffee appears to mean "until it's gone," here in the judicial catacombs of Newark, New Jersey. Fair and balanced enough. The cafeteria has reasonable prices and friendly help (and an express lane to the parking deck, where an operative might make, shall we say, a purposeful retreat).  Also observed the defendant and his attorney from the case that bounced me, and have decided beyond a reasonable doubt that although the brother dresses better than I do, he's GUILTY, GUILTY GUILTY!

1:40 -- in the "computer lounge" where I have decided, in a sense of fluoridated solidarity, to serenade my peers with my Baroque Magique iTunes channel. It will help to neutralize the highly annoying clicks and beeps coming from my next-cube-neighbor's electronic device.

1:44 Some guy in the next row is snoring. Or has succumbed to some kind of juris coma. Cell phone lady continues a litany of noise-making that has expanded into a bag of chips, and an extremely loud scarf. If the Bach proves an insufficient counter-measure, I'm considering an incursion.


______________________________________________________________________

1:58 -- I narrowly avoid having my name called for the first wave of apres-dejeuner administrative fodder jurors. My ever-considerate neighbor is now folding the cellophane bag that contained the bag of chips slowly..... I realize that Grandpa's money clip, which has a very, very small blade, somehow snuck its way into my narrow-wale chords for a joyride and made it past security.  It occurs to me that I  could be making better use of my time--and the court's--by opening a large stack of mail.

2:17 -- High point of the afternoon thus far -- our judicial handlers just got on the horn, on behalf of a peer, and solicited change for a $20. Five of us responded within seconds. Has to be the pre-arranged signal they told me about in Langley. In the next five minutes, if we are not all Facebook friends, I'll know I've been made and will have to initialize Beta protocol, or in its unclassified name, "Go To The Bathroom."

3:03 -- just noticed the wall clock here is stuck permanently at 10:41:47.  How long have I been here? A day? A week? Must research these numbers as they relate to "Lost."

3:03:45 -- Especially since one of the guys in my courtroom group looked suspiciously like John Locke, sans knife.

3:27     EMANCIPATION!!!!! Doneski. And a small wistful feeling --- after all, if I were one of the accused, I'd want me for a juror......

I'm a little suspicious, but I'm heading out. Definitely watching "Lost" tonight. If no one hears from me in about 45 minutes, please accost all foreign-national parking attendants you may encounter with the following code words:

El bailff no lleva los pantalones!!!!!

Thanks for reading, and as always, please remember that in the event of an emergency, your attorney, located under your seat, may be used as a personal flotation device.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spring this Springing Game

This blog has now become nothing more than a dusty paperback in the deep stacks of the reference Internet—you  know,  where you aren't allowed to take an URL past the swinging doors? Wouldn't that be cool? Swinging doors? I think I'll put some on my next apartment. Is that OK, Babe?


Here's what you need to know about my Spring: 


1. An open notice applicable to the male turkeys in north-central Pa.: I'm not such a bad shot that you can survive a point-blank miss, run away 25 yards and then WALK BACK TOWARD ME to see if, no really, I might conceivably be a randy hen, and not a guy in camo with 2 oz. of #4 shot in a 3" mag. 12 gauge. (Beyond full freakin' choke.... shotgunners, you know what I'm talking about here....)


I suppose this also means that when turkey-calling, I no longer sound like a poultry-ized Roseanne Barr. I'm certainly no Angelina Jolie yet, of course... maybe my purrs, putts and yelps are more along the lines of a 10th-grade Hillary Swank: 




You remember her? The fascinating, pansexual older girl who could either allow you to steal Second or just as easily pound the crap out of you?  Truth be told, the young jake who found his death at the end of my scatter gun was definitely an 8th grader in terms of turkey. True Story. He's on ice now and the kid and I are due to eat him in mere moments. Maybe for Fathers' Day. I'll let you know how he tastes, but hell, everything's good draped in bacon, right?


2. For your consideration: The 2012 Red Sox. Never before has it been so enjoyable to watch one's team struggling in the cellar of the division. At this writing, we're tied for Fourth (again) but have (again) dropped below .500 in the W–L column.


But why is this even ok, Blaiser, never mind "fun," you ask? With so many of our alleged A-List guys on the DL, it's opened the door to a great crop of callups.  I give you Will Middlebrooks at Third, and a disappearing act, starring The Other Guy, in the Outfield, including Daniel Nava, Ryan Sweeney, Scott Podsednik, possibly Ryan Kalish again (would be his first time back in The Show since 2010), and maybe even the concessions guy who works the Green Monster stands, who hit .300 in high school and whose legs are fly-ball worthy after logging 8,500 miles a season hawking hot dogs. Don't think for a moment that he's not ready to vault over the wall and repel down into Left if any one of these guys goes down. 


The reason why I don't mind our struggles this year is A) I'm a Red Sox fan and 2) it's been great watching these guys get their chances and make the most of them. They have Gelled As A Team—in a way I think the pampered star guys seldom do.  Sadly, they're starting to visit the DL as well, apprently trying to emulate big brothers Jacoby Ellsbury, Cody Ross and the $20 million non-entity Carl Crawford, who apparently refuses to suit up until he wins a blue ribbon with his latest needle-point/whittling project. Oh, and he has a bridge to sell you. Leads from Fenway, directly across the Charles River, and ends at the front door of the Old Folks Home For Retired 30-year-old Baseball Players Who Scored Unimaginable Money And Were Never Heard From Again. Apparently he played 130 games last year (worst batting average of his 10-year career), but I think it was a league-wide hallucination. Either that, or he's still working for Joe Maddon and conducting Tampa Bay espionage behind enemy lines.


Who needs him when we have the bright future of this guy? 




This is the smile of a guy who didn't even make Spring Training camp and yet still found himself facing the reigning AL MVP (Verlander) in the lead-off spot come late May. Later in the day, with the bases loaded and two outs, he worked a 3-2 count and then smacked a 99-mph scorcher for a bases-clearing double. Red Sox go on to win. Call me foolish, but in my book of Zany Optimism TM that at-bat is worth a week of losses.


Plus, there was a rare Matsuzaka sighting the other day; the strange thing is that instead of hanging around the bullpen in a hoodie, Brother Daisuke was actually facing opposing hitters in an actual game of Actual Major League Baseball. When he surfaces for air on the hill, it's a little like Nessie has come to pitch (genus: D. Kayesis Irregularis). I'm working on a Master's thesis that examines his ERA when using a black glove, a red glove or a tan glove. You can check it out, and finding a pattern is the stuff of scholars.... Whatever. He's the most humble Major Leaguer I know (having had lunch with most of them), and so I'm going on record that if he'd like to date my sister, that'd be ok with me. 






3. Back in March, this blog turned 3; uncoincidentally, Mr. Spock turned 81. I somehow missed that in the last posting, which hit the Internets in the late Cetaceous Period... you all are dears for staying with me... Funny thing about Lenny: Did you know his photography career led to this?


Said photo is, without question, full of Awesome on ...... illogical levels.

That's all I got for today. If you're anything like me, well then your Spring also has included one part Wild Turkey, three parts baseball, one part Star Trek. If you added crushed ice and a micro-splash of Angostura bitters to that mélange, you'd have a pretty damn fine cocktail. 

Thanks for reading. And please remember that even though John Edwards may have been acquitted for being the most massive douche-nozzle ever, it doesn't mean you'd want him running your Scout Troop. 







Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fools Rush In......

I love a good April Fool's joke. The best are just close enough to being real that their creation takes smarts, nuance and imagination.


But this year, Reality Bites. Why create hoaxes, when sometimes all we have to do is look around us and disbelieve what we see. Here's a randomly assembled Top 5 of things that are real:


# 5 -- Prince is a Jehovah's Witness.

I don't know when or where he's pulled door-to-door duty, but I really hope one day I walk out on the porch to find him handing out purple, lace-fringed Watchtower pamphlets. I'd tell him I've always loved his music, but that he shouldn't give Wendy and Lisa--or any gay folks--a hard time; why doesn't his God love all members of the Revolution?


#4 -- Dakkochan Dolls

In the summer of 1960, it was all the rage among schoolgirls and young women in Japan to clamp a caricatured black baby to their arms as they went about their everyday activities. Just weird. Apparently the manufacturer finally caved to criticism and created the must-have (blatantly racist) accessory in other colors with less outrageous features. Pretty sure they all winked, though.



#3 -- Dick Van Dyke pops the question to granddaughter-aged make-up artist.

 All-around perfect gentleman Bert from "Mary Poppins" must have had more than the luck of a chimney sweep to span the 46 years between him and new wife Arlene Silver, who applied his makeup for the SAG Awards some years back, and then applied for a marriage license in February. But Hey! As long as they're happy.


#2 -- The Mantis Orchid

This insect is so gorgeous and, let's face it, hot, it can climb into a flower and basically pretend to be its sex organ. When an aroused butterfly flutters in, to lap up some of the good stuff, WHAMMO! Naked lunch. No wonder the French call it
 la petite mort


And #1!     (and I'm still not convinced this isn't an expertly pulled-off hoax)  
THE PYGMY HIPPO!

What's cuter than miniature Hippopotamidaes munching on your azaleas? Check out the FAQs at the Smithsonian. My favorite question tops the list:

1. Are pygmy hippos friendly?

Hope everyone's having a fun-filled Sunday. Thanks for reading. And remember, just because your bike may be named for an insect featured in this post, it doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful where you flutter.




Thursday, March 15, 2012

The ides of March, Venus and Jupiter in convergence, and my colonoscopy


In a feat of unbridled rhetoric, Blaiser will now attempt to juggle all three titular ideas of this post, without dropping anything, for the next few minutes.

Et tu, brother? Ever been stabbed in the back before? Me, too, but fortunately not with an actual dagger, only with the blunted intentions of confused, scared people who have forgotten--or perhaps never learned--how to promulgate kindness.

I have, however, been recently "stabbed" with an exploratory scope, recently, and highly recommend it: You put on a gown, someone shoves a tube into your arm, and then you take a nice nap while somebody else (also in a gown, so you know, you're equals, except that he doesn't have a tube shoved up anything) takes a close look where the sun don't shine. In my case, I woke up to the good news that all was clear on the nether front, and went home with some nice photos of my bungy. Kinda like going to Disney for the afternoon, and about as expensive... (with my [pardon the analogy] crap-ass insurance, I'm figuring it'll cost about $1500, or the amount of money that the Goldman Sachs chief makes every 21.74 minutes, all day, every day)

People who make great gobs of money from such procedures tell us that a huge amount of deaths from colo-rectal cancer would be prevented if more screenings were done in middle age. So, if you take the cynical 15-20% off the top, that's still a lot of preventable deaths. Ergo, Blaiser recommends paying someone to go have a look if you're over 50, and pretty much NOW if you have any history of colon cancer in your family, and you were old enough to stay up and watch Hill Street Blues

Please note that this is neither a confirmation, nor a denial, of any proximity "Blaiser" might share with "middle age."

For a good sense of perspective on age, take a look outside tonight at the rare convergence of Venus and Jupiter.

There's some pretty cool stuff up there, and if you're like me (which you are--we are all cousins on this planet), it's often both comforting and terrifying to remember that we really have no freaking idea about a lot of this stuff. Although it can be fun to theorize. We are here for a shutter's-snap length of time, and then, as Vonnegut would say, our "peephole," is closed. Sometimes by a bunch of knife-wielding Senators. And other times more metaphorically by a bunch of Bible-wielding Senators...

Ray Charles' peephole only opened on the inside, but more way poured out of it than our regular beer. When he hit the road, Jack, it was a good bit harder to get around than your daily commute. So chill. And listen to something wonderful* while you read the rest of the post.



When Roy Scheider made his commute to Jupiter in The Year We Make Contact, he took a nice nap too, although he did not, I think, wake up to some nice photos of his bungy.

But he did A) talk about baseball with John Lithgow and Bob Balaban; 2) flirt with Helen Mirren; and Gamma) interact with a partially human, partially alien intelligence that used to be Keir Dullea, who told him to get the hell out of Dodge before "Something Wonderful" happened, namely Jupiter getting gobbled up by monoliths and igniting into a small star, and PS stay the hell away from Europa, you human pig-dogs. Now THAT was a hell of a day.

Thanks for reading, and please try to bear in mind that even though Rick Santorum favors the sweater vest, it doesn't mean his warmth is capable of making it past the orbit of his immediate family, and therefore means his chances of igniting into a small star are much smaller than yours. Vote accordingly. And for god's sake, Stay the Hell Away from Europa!!!

* If someone who neither confirms nor denies middle age can use the word "phresh" in a sentence and you can still keep a straight face, then check out these guys. I did!