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    Wednesday, November 29, 2006

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Oh Deputy?

    Who says my life isn’t full of Adventure? Well, beside me of course. I did however get locked onto the roof of a bank today in Van Nuys. I first called 411 to get the number of the bank I was on top of, but they connected me to a 818 automated system and there were no live people there, so I then called the Home Office, my home office. I thought if I could get the Project Manager on the line, he could open the spreadsheet of locations and give me the number. He wasn’t there. Next I called the office again to get the front desk, no one was there either. I called four more times and tried four more people I knew, but no one was there. It was roughly 3:00 PM TN time, so I don’t know where they were, but there were not where I needed them to be. Luckily, I eventually saw a Sheriff’s car pull into the lot. As the Deputies neared the building I called down from 50 feet above them and said, “Deputy? Deputy?” The Deputy looked up and the finally looked all of the way up and saw me. “ Could you please tell someone in the Bank that I’m locked on the roof.” “Be glad to,” said the Deputy. Relieved I waited by the door. About ten minutes later the Manger appeared and I walked through the door relived. Support your local Sheriff, I say. Well, maybe not in Knox County, but definitely in Van Nuys. The odd thing is that I’ve now been on approximately 25 roofs out of 85 surveys. Most are trap doors, some are small doors and few are full size doors as the one was today. Not once did I think that if you undid the deadbolts (the sliding kind) and took off the lock, that the door would lock behind you. Now I know. I’m taping the locks from here on out. I have no wish to sit on the roof of a bank any longer than I have to. Truth is I shouldn’t have to worry about these sort of things anyway. Oh Well.

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Rain Carnage

    It’s raining here today. This doesn’t bode well for work productivity. It’s not just difficult, but almost impossible to carry a clipboard and an umbrella while drawing a siteplan. Then of course is the addition later of a measuring tape to measure, carry clipboard, carry umbrella. This is only the third time I’ve seen rain here since I got here on April 1st. The truth is I’m sure it’s drizzled or rained at night a few times more while I was sleeping and then was evaporated by the time I got up, but that’s impossible to tell. What I can say is that people here drive in the rain the way people in Knoxville drive in the snow, even when it isn’t sticking to the road. On a normal morning when I get up and check the California Highway Patrol web site to make sure there aren’t any major wrecks to reek havoc on my drive, there are roughly about 40 incidents listed and include everything from actual collisions to debris in the road. This morning there are already 160. That’s a 400% increase just because of rain. The rain today is more of a British sort. It’s a steady hard drizzle that coats in minutes and is relentless and almost makes you feel like maybe it’ll go away in a bit seeing as how it isn’t a downpour. It however does not go away and does not give up.

    [UPDATE: Oh well, I've removed the breakdown becasue I just figured out I had it set wrong so my region was out of whack. It was fun while it lasted. Nothing like bad assumptions about bad data to start the day off right.]

    Thursday, November 23, 2006

    Giving Thanks

    Roofie the squirrel praying to the benevolent peanut God on the third floor.

    Happy Thanksgiving

    "Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, Many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

    - Edward Winslow, Mourt's Relation

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Thanksgiving pain

    Well, I both broke my tape measure [at the 12" mark, no really it's broken, the metal tape stressed and tore] today and pulled a back muscle [Latissimus Dorsi Muscle, I'd say from the point of discomfort] on my right side this morning, so after one survey I was extremely uncomfortable and came home, although I did stop by Target on the way to get Advil and a new tape measure, therefore I am home and will hopefully get better by Friday so I can finish as many surveys as possible for the week. I wasn't going to work tomorrow anyway, so it seemed a better idea to come home than to painfully survey another two sites and possibly make my back worse. However, sitting as I am in my rickety wooden chair typing this I am probably doing just as much damage.

    So, this has allowed me to lurk about on the net a bit and come-up with a few gems I think people might enjoy. Such as:

    John Rogers over at Kung Fu Monkey, breaks down the John Kerry joke from a stand-up comedian's point of view of why it didn't work.

    Flickr has collected all the metadata from the photos posted on their site and used it to make a digital camera guide.

    The full 1898 "Full Revelations of a Professional Rat Catcher" is availale for free download over at

    The thing that Warren Ellis hates most about our Thanksgiving.

    Saturday, November 18, 2006

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Indian Room

    Lucky Bastards were drinking at 9:00 AM.

    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Nothing new

    I’d like to say that something interesting is happening here, but unless surveying banks has suddenly become interesting, I’m afraid I cannot. Since no movement has occurred on any of my stuff, nothing will for now. The TV and Movie industry basically shuts down from Thanksgiving through after the New Year. How exactly they accomplish what they do before that is a bit confusing. There are just too many Holidays for them to keep focus I guess. So, for now it’s just the banks. You never know, maybe after a little rest and relaxation, someone will pick-up something of mine and read it, assuming they haven’t used it for a Yule Log before then.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    RIP: Volodymyr Palanyuk

    Jack Palance (February 18, 1919– November 10, 2006)

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Hart to Hart

    Don't say I'm not outgoing. OK, so I'm not, but Andrea and Ernie were as the crime fighting duo of Hart to Hart. You know, Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. Yes, it was after the boat incident, just ask Christopher Walken. See my dear, you've made the blog again. How special do you feel? Sorry Ernie, I was talking to Andrea. Although I have to say that's some nice plastic hair you've got going. Your eyebrows remind me of Jude Law from "A.I.". Me, I didn't dress up. I never do on Halloween, because serial killers look just like you and I.

    Sad really

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    SO FAR

    So Far, I've surveyed 52 sites, which includes 2 refusals and I've taken 5639 photos. It's about 25% below what I thought I could do, because they've been larger than I thought and it's definitely been hotter that I thought it would be. Heading into Compton tomorrow. No one out here wants to roll with me, so I'll be going alone. Peace Dog.

    Monday, November 06, 2006


    Post that you voted in the comments. I don't care who you voted for, just let me know that you did. Long live democracy, or at least what passes for it here in the US.

    Report vote-machine problems to 1-866-OUR-VOTE
    If you experience any irregularities in voting today, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, the hotline for the National Campaign for Fair Elections. EFF lawyers and many others are standing by across the country to take legal action to remove malfunctioning voting machines, keep polls open, etc.

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Stranger in a strange land

    Quote of the day

    There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
    - Oscar Wilde

    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Prayer Changes Things

    Casting Spells

    My nephew Cooper casts a spell on you. Now you have to do what I say. He also proves that it isn't just the wand, but a combination of facial contortions and left hand jiggery pokery that really give the thing its power.

    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    Quote of the day

    An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do.
    - Dylan Thomas

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    No Idea

    I have no idea why I wrote this last night before going to bed.

    Normally when I hit a new town the first thing I do is find a place to sleep and the second is find a place to drink, so I can. Tonight wasn’t going to be like that and I could smell it. To be specific, when I left the motel room all I could smell was flesh. Flesh charred so black there was no doubting it was done. The smell clung to my nose hairs and lingered long after I had my first shot of whiskey. The odd thing was that I seemed to be the only person bothered by it.

    People talk, they can’t help it, it’s what we do to make sure that our life is actually that and not some demented pig dream we never wake from. But no one had mentioned the smell yet and I was starting to think maybe I was going crazy. When the bartender brought me my third shot, I opened my mouth to ask him about it. Before I even had time to force air into my larynx, the bartender held my eyes solid in a steel trap of a gaze and shook his head, “No”. He held my eyes a moment longer waiting to see if I got it, and I did. I haven’t lasted this long by running naked into thorn bushes, if you know what I mean.

    The third shot went down like battery acid, so I could only assume that he’d made sure to poor me a shot of bar mat run-off to punctuate his point. The next time I ordered I got a beer and watched it go from tap to glass. He brought it over and let me know it was on him. I dropped a few dollars tip out of politeness and sat there hoping it’d relieve the burn in my throat.

    Back at the motel I passed out dreaming of barbeque.

    The sun was like a cruel God blinding me for my own good. It punched through the cheap curtains of the room and it didn’t much matter which way I rolled, it made my eyelids seem transparent and rebellious to their purpose. When I finally relented and rolled over, the clock on the bedside table laughed 7:00 AM. I coughed up some mucus and swallowed it for breakfast then rolled out and up and tried to stand. As usual, the band in my head kicked in and made me sit back down as the thunderclouds rolled across my eyes.

    At first I thought I smelled bacon coming across the lot from the Diner, but then I realized it was the same smell from the night before. The smell of bacon turned to charred human flesh in a instant and I almost puked, but not before I felt hungry. Something was wrong in this town and I was pretty sure it was the kind of wrong that not only got people like me killed, but possibly eaten too.

    No man can fight hunger for long, even if they are disgusted by their surroundings. The human has an amazing ability to choose what they suppress and for me that was a desire to find out what was really happening here. First things first; shower, cigarette, drink and breakfast. Not necessarily in that order.

    Breakfast is for me something of an anathema. I get it, the body is a furnace and you have to feed the fire, but I’ve never figured out why someone can’t just combine a multi-vitamin with beer.


    It begins! Or at least it does for those of you who have spare time.

    National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

    Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

    Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

    Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.