Mar 16

At One With Nature, Sort Of

Today Beachy is with me. Nothing like trying to keep an eight-year-old busy for an entire weekend without going bankrupt. The fact she lives in the 2T and Boise has so much more to do exacerbates the issue.

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She also has a pretty hardcore YouTube habit, thus the late post today.

Fortunately the last few days have been relatively nice outside. That opened up my options a bit. It was a pleasant enough day to go to the zoo, a relatively cheap and time-consuming activity. Frankly I’ve had my fill of child-friendly indoor diversions such as Pojo’s for the time being. Beachy considers herself an expert on those claw crane games, exploiting every opportunity to practice her craft. I still have a big bowl of hard candy she won something like six months ago. The Pyramid Brothers like to play with said candies. Here at the Command Center, finding a pack of Smarties behind the toilet at two in the morning is a rather common occurrence.

Beachy insisted we use sunscreen before going out. This struck me as a bit bizarre as it was 59 and partly cloudy in Boise today, hardly sunburn weather. I went ahead and got some. We’re going to need it when the Command Center’s HOA opens the pool.

More often than not, my experience is a visit to the zoo is little more than a two-hour walk past a series of empty artificial habitats, the alleged animals always sleeping in the back or whatever. Today was more successful than that. The animals were out more than usual, although most were fast asleep. A good thing for second graders, not so much for fans of blog snark. Sorry ’bout that.

There’s a carousel at the zoo, and Dippin’ Dots. Oh yes. No trip to Zoo Boise is complete without those damn Dippin’ Dots.

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Truth be told, a pretty good use for liquid nitrogen.

We proceeded with the obligatory carousel ride. As Beachy is finally over the height requirement, I observed from the sidelines. There are distinct advantages to having a older, taller kid at the zoo. No stroller required, and they don’t ask to be lifted up as much.

While Beachy was on the carousel I got strafed by a Canada Goose. Trust me, you don’t need to pay $11.25 to get up close to these things in Boise. They’re everywhere. My craptacular camera phone wasn’t able to get a decent shot of the perpetrator, so here’s a boring-ass Wikipedia image instead.

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You should see what they do to the Idaho State Capitol.

The highlight of the zoo is undoubtedly the African Plains Exhibit, set in a meticulously and accurately re-created Maasai village. Yup, it’s straight outta Tanzania, baby.

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Totally.

Anyway, the lions are always a hit and there are always plenty of monkeys about. The giraffes appeared to be hidden for some time. How the hell do you hide a giraffe? We finally found them before we got out of there, with the Dippin’ Dots of course.

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Did I mention how authentic this place is?

We were done with the zoo. My ankle was done, period. Headed to the car I was strafed again, this time by a seagull. You don’t need to pay to see those here either, especially this time of year. Thanks to my phone … aw, screw it.

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Here’s the boring-ass Wikipedia image. *sigh*

Mar 09

Messing With Spammers

As mentioned yesterday, I discovered a potential for pure comic gold upon receiving an unsolicited come-on at a dating site I’m still (unfortunately) signed up with. Time to have some fun. My response was simple enough. I thanked “her” for the message and asked “her” what her favorite places in Boise were.

Here was the reply:

Hey there, you sent me an email a lil bit ago and I have to say… mmmmmmmm, sounds very tempting!

I’m currently single and ready for some fun. I’m not really looking for any commitment, if we hit it off great, but really I just need someone to satify (sic) me, it’s been too long. So, you ready to hook up? I’m open to most anything safe and sane!

When my girlfriends found out I was posting online, they showed me this other website that is way better, and there is not nearly as many fake people on it. I still use my old profile, but I like for guys to come check me out here: (web site redacted) I’m gr8tits2play on there. This site is great, you can search for me so there is no messing around. Plus I have a couple friends on here to (sic), and we like to have fun together every once in a while 🙂

Anyway, signup there, and contact me through that profile so I know you are serious. I know it’s asking a little, but it helps sift out all the fakies and wierdos (sic) and makes me feel better. The type of men that will go the extra mile are the men I want anyway, and I like to think I’m worth it!!

Hit me up!… Soon!

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“gr8tits2play” heh heh heh m heh heh heh m (ad infinitum)
Image credit: Evan P. Cordes

Now this is an old trick often seen on Craigslist: promise prurient adventures and get some poor sap to visit your web site. Doing so is the electronic equivalent of swan diving into a cesspool of anthrax and syphilis. Viruses, trojans, malware, the lot. So, um, yeah. That’s not happening.

The next step is to determine exactly where the e-mail came from. WHOIS and IP lookups after this first e-mail proved inconclusive, so I responded the new e-mail with my POP address to get a better read on the IP, only to get this:

“mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded”

Doh. Well, let’s try the first e-mail again. I replied with this:

Anyway, before I start clickety-clicking on strange links let me tell you a bit about myself. I enjoy Aquaman comics in the original Linear A, 16th Century Danish Dadaist cinema, Tabasco-spiked bologna, and Zoroastrian polka. In my free time I mentor recovering Christian coprophiliacs and provide vocational training for chicken sexers.

I’m particularly interested to know if you have current information on the whereabouts of Subhas Chandra Bose, Engelbert Humperdinck (either one), or Erik Estrada’s teeth.

This elicited … the exact same response. Word for word. Nothing left to do but report their silly asses to their ISP now. I was hoping for so much more too. Like the time I totally caught these idiots e-mailing me from Vietnam:

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“Tạm biệt đồng chí” roughly translates to “goodbye comrade.”

If you know what you’re doing, it’s so easy to call bullshit on these people. How desperate must one be to actually fall for this?

By the way, I love the opportunity to use (sic).

Mar 04

A Tale of Two Wesleys

In 2002 when I lived in Las Vegas I had a chance to see Wesley Willis. At the time I figured, meh, I could see him later. Well, I was mistaken. Willis died suddenly at age 40 in August 2003.

If you’re not familiar with Wesley Willis, you should be. He was a Chicago-based proprietor of awesome. Willis was responsible for some of the most inspired stream of consciousness observations of all time. He imparted them with the help of a cheesy keyboard too. He wasn’t a musician as much as he was a modern-day Muse. Sheer freakin’ genius.

NSFW, but still bloody brilliant.

By coincidence my first name is Wesley too. I’ve just gone by my middle name, Lane, my whole life.

Wesley Willis was schizophrenic. That was common knowledge among his fanbase. Indeed, some have accused his handlers of exploiting him as a result.

You know what? I call bullshit. I just happen to be severely bipolar. Nevertheless, I’m a published author, a former candidate for Congress and – if I may be so bold – a damn good writer in spite of it all. Indeed, perhaps BECAUSE of it all. I’m also a member of Mensa (albeit one who hasn’t paid dues recently). I use this blog to express my stream of consciousness in much the same way Willis did with his music. SB in many ways is my therapy.

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Being a bit off seems to be a prerequisite for good art.

By the way, as much as I respect Willis I don’t like being called Wesley myself. Please call me Lane, or at least something else. It’s all much appreciated.

Rock over Boise. Rock on Chicago. Franz, the good bread!™

Feb 25

In Concert With Indifference

I understand the Oscars were last night. Yippee skip. Did Gilbert Gottfried win anything this year? How about Penn and Teller?

Behold, unheralded geniuses.

Yes, I don’t give a rat’s ass about movies. Hell, I only recently bought a DVD player because my daughter wouldn’t quit bugging me about it. I don’t watch a lot of TV either. If I didn’t like my cable modem so much I probably would have dumped that bill a long time ago.

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Too much “ghost hunting” crap. Not enough Rik Mayall.

That leaves music. I have a large collection of 20-year-old scratched CDs I’ve been slowly converting to corrupted MP3 files. I hosted a live music show on public access in Pocatello in the mid 90s. Recently I picked up an electric bass. Left-handed, of course. More on my bass skills (or lack thereof) in a later post.

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Need an on-air bathroom break? Look no further than “The Gates of Delirium.”

Despite that, I haven’t made it to very many concerts. Let’s see, I saw fIREHOSE at the Crazy Horse in Boise in 1993. Um, there were a some opening acts I checked out: Cooler Kids (meh), Elkland (decent) and Mr. Big (no comment). As a matter of fact, there’s only one band I’ve seen in concert more than once.

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I may very well be Erasure’s straightest fan.
Image credit: Andrew Hurley

The best concert I ever went to was way the hell back in May 1992. I turned south, journeying into the dark, forbidding lands of Salt Lake City to see Rush on their Roll the Bones tour. Ever since then I’ve vowed to see them at least one more time before they retire. Given that all three of them are around 60 now, the clock is ticking.

As I write this I’m waiting for tickets to go on sale for a late July show at the unfortunately-named Sleep Country Amphitheater in the Vancouver, Washington, area. I chose that venue over Salt Lake City because (1) my sister, brother-in-law and twin nieces live in Portland and (2) screw Salt Lake City. I’m hoping my daughter wants to come. She likes Rush, but I’ve been accused of overplaying Clockwork Angels in her presence.

But it’s so good, y’all.

I’ve been told I need to get out more, preferably without knocking myself out in the process. I quite agree. So I’ve been checking out other events as a result. Another one of my longtime favorites, They Might Be Giants, is playing at the Egyptian Theatre in June. I’ve been following these guys since high school. Unfortunately the show is not all all ages. Despite the fact TMBG has made several children’s albums, no one under 14 is admitted (a rather arbitrary cutoff in my humble opinion), which means I can’t take my daughter to see them. I’m not sure I want to go alone either.

Does this mean I should re-open my dating site profiles? Feh. I’m not ready to pull the trigger on something that drastic.

Feb 18

Thoughts on the Drive Home

Today is Presidents’ Day in the United States. Plenty of great sales of the “stack ’em deeper and sell ’em cheaper” variety. That’s what ‘Merika is all about.

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“Now with one-third less arsenic!”

Since I can’t spend the day punking banks by writing checks on dry ice, I suppose I’ll tell y’all about my weekend. Yesterday evening I drove home after a couple days visiting my daughter. The Command Center in Boise is about two hours away from the 2T. It’s a drive I’ve taken all my life. It’s also … how do I put this … desolate as all hell. When driven alone it gives one a lot of time to think.

Yesterday was a clear, crisp Sunday, very much like those I spent in the 2T as a boy. A typical Sunday in those days involved watching whatever PGA Tour event was on TV. To this day golf is the only sport Dad really gives a damn about. At tournament’s end I would resume the rigorous intellectual training which dominated my childhood.

The cultural significance of Hee Haw cannot be understated.

Those days are long gone. Yesterday was spent listening to a mix of Rush and the Cocteau Twins before the CD player in the staff car got too hot. Afterwards I had the radio on the local NPR station, although I understand 89.9 in Boise is not bad either. I’ll have to check it out.

Saturday I went to the movies with my daughter. We went to see Escape from Planet Earth, one of those Pixar-esque animated films. It was a cute enough movie. I’m sure we’ll get it on DVD once it comes out. I just wish I could have seen the end of it. Apparently Magic Valley Cinema 13 has never heard of an uninterruptible power supply. Also apparently they’re not aware every time some tanked-up idjut galoot crashes his 1992 Mercury Tracer into a power pole that parts of the 2T suddenly return to the 14th Century. At least we got free movie tickets out of it.

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But now that I think about it, perhaps the 14th Century in the 2T wasn’t that bad.

In spite of it all my daughter said the weekend was a win. That’s good enough for me.

That night I got a text from Myrtle saying she didn’t want to date anymore. The sorrow I felt was about the same as being told my $1 off coupon at Jack in the Box was no good anymore. For one, this is not the first time this has happened. For another, I wasn’t particularly emotionally involved in the first place. I guess that makes me single again, so… heeey sexy ladies!

scowl

Ada County Style!

By the way, does anyone else have a problem with overheating car CD players? It annoys the shit out of me.