Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Songs to freeze your ass off to

So, I'm such a genius. I decide with the the mercury barely above freezing, that it would be a good evening to take a walk to the store.

Yes, it's true, I'm not the brightest bulb in the box. That and I'm a helpless, hopeless nicotine addict.

But for most of the winter, I've also been an extremely lazy nicotine addict who drives a few blocks to go to the store and run other miscellaneous errands.

So for some reason, with the temperature somewhere in the mid 30s, I opt to save some fuel, wear and tear on my weary old vehicle and get a little exercise while on the way to pick up a carcinogen to rot my lip and eat away my gums.

Fucking misguided pinhead that I am.

Well, at least the walk, while listening to my iPod, gave me inspiration for a blog post.

I decided that in tribute to my other favorite Fishwrap blog, I would start a periodic feature here. Over at Friday Fishwrap, MJ regularly features what she calls "TGImp3F" or Thank God It's mp3 Friday. She does hers on Fridays (in case you couldn't put that together for yourself) and she posts several music files around some theme. She does a much better job of that than I can or will, but I like the idea. So I'm stealing it. Or part of it.

I love the shuffle feature on my iPod. I like the constant surprise about the next song that comes up. So, I thought I'd share a little insight into me and my mp3 player, by sharing a little 5-song party shuffle of what the next five song in my life will be.

So, without further adieu, here's a taste of a tribute to MJ, except it's Wednesday. If you have a favorite music service, feel free to track down the nutty assortment and load up your mp3 player with these if you like. At the very least, we'll have 5 songs in common.

So, here's the very first Digital Fishwrap shuffle in tribute to MJ and western Oregon's stereotypical winter weather phenomenon -- rain.

Songs about Rain -- Gary Allan
Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 -- Bob Dylan
So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry) -- R.E.M.
Stormy Weather -- Etta James
Rhythm of the Pourin' Rain -- Vince Gill featuring Bekka Bramlett

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dreaming of days gone by

I've always thought I'm not much of a dreamer. When I sleep I mean. For much of my life it has been very rare that I remember any details from dreams when I awaken. In fact I rarely remember if I dreamt anything at all.

There were exceptions of course. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of a dream and on those occasions I would recall snippets from the dream that had awakened me. Or sometimes, in that lightly dozing nap state, where I wasn't even sure if I was waking or sleeping, I would experience a dream-like state.

But lately something has changed. Lately I have been experience some very vivid dissonant dreams filled with characters from my long ago past. I'm not sure what's causing it.

Years ago, when I did dream about people from my high school days, I used to assume it was because I was homesick for Oregon. Well, now I'm back "home" in Oregon, more or less, and have been for some time now. But my dreams are inhabited by people I haven't seen, and have rarely even thought about in many years. It's like dreaming about ghosts almost. While the themes of the dreams are not particularly dark or depressing, I always wake up feeling odd and a bit down.

I like to dream but I haven't really liked these dreams. Perhaps a dream specialist could tell me why.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Quirky or silly?

Does anyone else find it odd that in Oregon there is self-service checkout at the grocery store but there are no self-service gas stations?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Up and limping

I finally got the computer to boot up. It meant reinstalling the system software. Fortunately, I didn't have to reformat the entire drive, so I don't appear to have lost any music or photo files (although the need or an external hard drive and DVD backups is apparent).

I have to reinstall a bunch of software, including iTunes, which is a hassle. I moved the iTunes stuff from my desktop to the laptop once, then my iTunes library got corrupted once, so I had to re-import all the music files into iTunes. Now, I guess I get to do that again.

But, at least it doesn't mean having to re-import all my CDs and the loss of all the music I purchased from iTunes.

So, I'll have lots of setup to do again on the computer, but for the moment I have saved the cost of a repair bill.


I think.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Kill da wabbit

I'm ready to take a hit out on the Energizer Bunny.

The battery powered devices in my life or deserting me. I feel the need to blame someone. So the Pepto-Bismol pink rodent tops the list.

Over the weekend I decided to wear a watch that I don't wear very often. It was a Christmas gift and I like it, but I don't wear it very often. It's got a leather band and is not as easy to put on or take off. So mostly I wear the one I have with the metal band. But for some reason this weekend I was in a leather mood.

By this morning the mood had passed and I went back to the old watch. I figured out that something was amiss as I looked at my wrist to see if I was running late only to see that it was 3:40. I blinked my eyes repeatedly, thinking that maybe my eyes weren't quit focusing yet and squinted at my watch. After confirming that yes, that was in fact the position of the hands on the watch and that I hadn't put it on upside down, I just stared at the watch slack jawed.

After the longest moment, I realized the watch had stopped. No biggie. The other watch is still ticking. I know because I checked it like 10 times before I put it on.

So, I switched to the backup watch and went on with my morning routine.

Then I went to check my e-mail.

For some odd reason my laptop wouldn't fully boot. I didn't have time to worry about it, so I gave up and headed to work.

But after spending the better part of my evening after work trying to get the damn laptop to start all the way, I realized it was just not going to happen. Foiled by another batter powered device.

And that's why I think the Energizer Bunny needs to be decapitated, de-drummed and de-furred. Not necessarily in that order.

OK, so I know it's not the damn bunny's fault. But I don't have time for this shit. My old desktop machine takes an eternity to do anything. I can launch an application and walk around the block before it's ready to do anything. With the "new" machine not working at all, that's an improvement.

I don't have the funds for this shit either. A new watch battery and a computer repair were definitely not in the budget. I don't think raiding the penny jar and taking back the cans and bottles for refunds on the deposit will quite cover my financial gap this month.

Fucking machines.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Thanks for sharing

It appears that while I was off in blog retirement, some of my favorite bloggers retired their blogs too.

I'm sorry I wasn't around for their official retirements. And I doubt they will ever find this post, but I wanted to say thanks to Brandon and Kat for keeping me amused, entertained and making me think so many times after reading their pearls of wisdom and angst.

And a special thanks too to Julia, who inspired me to get into this whole blogging thing in the first place.

I hate to do it, but I'm going to retire you all from the 'wrap's roll. It doesn't mean you all aren't missed. It's just one of those sad realities of life. It keeps rolling on, and sadly far too often those who have meant so much to us fade out of our lives.

I'm sorry you are gone. But you are not forgotten.

Thanks for sharing mi bloggie amigos.

I cleanned out a few other dead links from the bloggroll as well. I'm not sure if I have the energy to go hunting for new blog sites I like and will read more or less regularly. Once upon a time I did, whorishly seeking links from other sites in an effort to draw traffic here. I don't think I'll do that now. I've come to realize if I will blog it won't be in an attempt to be popular or some web celebrity. It will be because sometimes I just have some things I want to say, even if I'm saying them to no one at all.

Put a muzzle on that kid

I was reminded today about why I quit shopping at Wal-Mart.

I ventured out today to use a gift card I got for Christmas. The madhouse started in the parking lot. I thought my luck was pretty amazing when I found a parking spot right up near one of the entrance doors.

My shopping goals were modest. I needed some deodorant and through I might check to see if they carry the cologne I use. Beyond that I planned to check out the music and electronics department.

In the massive store, I found my brand of deodorant, but not the specific kind I like. I picked it up anyway. And I did find my cologne, but it was in a locked cabinet. After waiting around and walking around looking for a clerk who might be able to unlock the cabinet, I gave up and moved on.

I didn't see any CDs I wanted or needed. I didn't see much I wanted or needed. The only thing I did see a lot of were people. Lots and lots of people. People with a high number of screaming kids per capita. How in the hell can parents allow their children to scream, cry and throw tantrums when out in public?

I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there. I managed to find a few other things to purchase. I didn't quite use up the entire gift card amount though. There were 17 cents left on the card.

Odds are good that is 17 cents that will never get spent.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A lesson in dying

I heard the news at a Jack In The Box restaurant. It's not the place I would ordinarily expect to get the latest celebrity news and gossip.

A woman sitting on the other side of the restaurant blurted it out. Anna Nicole Smith died.

I turned to look who said it. In an instant I made a judgment. This woman was full of crap. This young woman didn't look like she even knew how to read. Well, maybe there was a bulletin on TV or something or she heard something on the radio. But I remained skeptical.

Never the less, as soon as I got back to my office after lunch I hopped onto my computer to see what I could find. I saw a headline from CNN which said that Anna Nicole had collapsed. And before I could even pull up the story I thought to myself, "see she only got part of the story. Anna Nicole isn't dead. She was just taken to a hospital."

But when the new page loaded, there was an update headline that confirmed the former Playboy playmate was dead.

I'm not a big celebrity gossip follower and I've never been a fan of Anna Nicole Smith's but I like to think I stay pretty well attuned to current events. But I learned something today. I learned that sometimes I judge to quickly the reliably of an information source based on superficial appearances. And I learned that you can get more at a Jack In the Box than burgers and fries.

I'm sorry for judging you young lady.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Good dream leaves a bad feeling

I've felt a bit off all day. The day got off to a weird start.

I've always had a hell of a time falling asleep. As a kid, I would go to bed and spend hours playing out elaborate scenarios in my head.

Going to sleep has never been easy. But once I'm asleep, I sleep the sleep of the dead. On weekends if I want to get up before, oh, say noon, I have to set an alarm, no matter what time I go to bed. On weekdays I set three alarms every morning, and still have to be careful I don't hit the snooze button so long that I don't make it to work until lunch. If there is ever a fire in the early morning hours I'm ash.

But this morning I woke up a couple hours before my first alarm was set to ring. I was in the throws of a dream. A sex dream.

The odd thing is that rather than it being arousing, it was disconcerting. I don't know what it was about the dream that put me off, but I was freaked out, not turned on.

Wasn't I supposed to be turned on? And why wasn't I? It is a feeling that left me empty and out of sorts. That's a feeling I haven't been able to shake all day. It's sort of like the feeling waking up after a bad one-night stand and realizing what, and who, you just did.

Now, it's time for bed again and I'm tired and still out of sorts.

Maybe all will look, and feel, better in the morning.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I'm the creative type, so bite me

I read a story today that I think I need to keep to show to any to any and all future bosses.

The story is from the Houston Chronicle, but I read it on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Web site. The article, by L. M. Sixel says the following:

The next time you go to work in a bad mood, don't worry. It could be a sign
you're on the way to solving a problem.

Recent research shows it could be the grumpy workers who are actually a
company's most creative problem-solvers, said Jing Zhou, associate professor of
management at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice

I sure with a had access to that research a few years ago when I had a boss who was busting by balls all the time. I could have told him, "according to research from Rice University, I'm not a contrarian. I'm just a creative problem solver."

I don't know if I'm a grumpy employee by nature or not, but I can tell you that I related to the finding from this study. I am rarely just cheerful or completely contented at work. And I tend to propose a lot of new ideas, changes and systemic alterations. I don't think it's a coincidence that unimaginative or incompetent bosses tend to make me cranky.

But a difficult employee? Not me. I'm just analytical and a detail oriented. And I've got the True Colors assessment (green) and Myers-Briggs results (NT-Intuition-Thinking) to prove it.

That and I can tend to be a grouch. On friend and former supervisor used to refer to me as a curmudgeon. I took that as a compliment.

Monday, February 05, 2007

More popular without me

The neighborhood has become more popular since I moved out.

This is the first new post I've made on this site since the end of August. To be honest I really haven't been around at all. I quit coming to the site at all until the other day when I decided to upgrade to the Blogger.

I hadn't looked at the blog stats in ages. So when I decided to check them out tonight I was stunned to find that since I quit making new posts the site traffic has exploded.

It's a bit disconcerting to realized the ol' Fishwrapper has been a lot more popular since I haven't been around. There have been no new posts to draw visitors. Many of the blogs that are linked to here, which used to link back, have dropped their links.

Once upon a time I used to do all sort things to try to attract visitors, but mostly to no avail. The things I thought would draw visitors didn't. The posts crafted with care fell flat and some of the things that were raw, and ragged or off the cuff that I thought no one would care about got the most response.

It is obvious I never been a star of the blogosphere. And after lots of reflection I came to terms with that realization. I never started blogging to be popular anyway. It was a personal release. It gave me a creative outlet at a time when nothing much made sense in my life.

I stopped because I didn't feel like I could be myself here anymore.

But I've missed it.

I don't know if I'm back for good or not. But this is one new post. And it doesn't link to a picture of heart-shaped nipples, which seems to be the primary reason people have been coming here lately.

It's just me. Whatever that means. Sharing a word or two now and again. Now. Again.

The End Debt Daily