Monthly Archives: September 2006

Roadkill report

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Squirrel is the new possum.

Specifically, squirrel tail is the new possum. Evidence of the remainder of the squirrel is lacking. The woods may be filled with pissed-off, tailless rodents. Be on your guard.

Sometimes, spam is fascinating

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Like this piece, which was attached to the bottom of some bogus stock sale email that somehow slipped past my filters:Altogether an ingenious and considerate arrangement through which muchgrist came to the mill. Richard had forgotten that, unless asked for, the original stakeremains. She showed discomfort at the repetition of her phrase. I sometimes feel that if you became a gambler it wouldbe my fault.Mr Kurtlooked up briskly and laughed shortly.Your face is upside down and makes me giddy. She could not have been afraid of caringfor him herself.He urges me to settle you, and says you have the idea of livingin the country.Elinor was not out ofthe scheme, nor was she exactly in it.Ought he to have adignified reply at the end of his tongue? Ill pay in a cheque to your account for the amount and keep the cash.Intellectuallyminded without being profound, she was inclined to be priggish. I need help; I need someone whounderstands.Still hisfather showed no sign of leaving.Miss Mackintyre sat upright in her deck-chair. I dont suppose youve been spoken to like that before. And Ive asked the Ellises and the Francillons, Ada replied.Richard had forgotten that, unless asked for, the original stakeremains.If he could be with other people who were workingit would be different. As he walked slowlytowards the entrance of the rooms the man at the door touched his cap. There was a scrambling sound, and a flash of light-blue emerged on thepath beyond.Mr Kurts eyeswere glued on the table, he had no time to look at his watch.Again the ball rattled over the turning board; this time Mr Kurtwon.Ought he to have adignified reply at the end of his tongue?Theantithesis of their temperaments remained, but its nature stood revealedand defined.He and his father had won again, on their alternatenumber.Evidently he had no misgivings on the subject ofGeorge Ellis. He had often asked himself that question.


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Last night as I was putting her to bed, my delightful 10-year-old stretched herself out on the bed as long as she could, and said:

“I’m looonnnngg and bonyyy and I’m naked!”

Which seem like good things to be.

Biking stories

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Today, I’m out for a ride on my favorite circuit of the year — Colonie Town Park, bike path through Niskayuna to Aqueduct, and back through Vischer’s Ferry on the River Road, followed by a long but surprisingly pleasant uphill from the river back to the park. Done that way, just about 47K, and there are some easy sidetracks to take as well.

So I’m going full out on a beautiful flat and in my rearview I see something I just don’t ever see — another cyclist, gaining on me. Fast. Annoyingly fast. And then this guy, on a nice expensive Cannondale, pulls up right alongside me (while I’m out on my twitch bars, not a real safe position for riding next to someone) and starts up a conversation. Which is fine, though I’m not the chatty type and I am, of course, pissed that he could catch me that easily. So we chat for a bit and then he drops back to wait for his friends, whom I can see coming up in the mirror. A pack of riders, all on top gear, all tanned and shaved and obviously with more miles under their legs than I have. They’re behind me for a while and of course, being a man, I’m pouring it on to keep up my lead. But, they are a pack and a pack can always overtake a single rider, and they decide to make their move just as we get to an uphill. They come by and just about pass me on the way up the hill, fanning out into the road in the way that reminds me why I don’t ride with packs, and as they hit the pitch, two of them shift their gears under pressure and lock up their chains. I couldn’t have been more tickled. I may be less fit, less tan, and less rich, but at least I didn’t make an embarrassing mistake while I was trying to show off my prowess. (Hey, I take my consolation where I can get it.)

Spouse was absolutely tickled to learn something I thought that everyone knew — that motorists often slow down and pace your bike to figure out how fast you’re going. They sit back in your blind spot, right off the back wheel, and creep along with you. If they’re being especially helpful, they shout out your speed to you (which is of course apparent because you have a f’ing computer and don’t really need a pace car spewing fumes to help you out). I do prefer it to when they fling bottles and trash, but I’d really just prefer they go by me. Apparently this was just about the funniest thing she’d heard in ages, right up there with mini-Belzer.

And in Beatles news,

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The fortieth anniversary of one of the most important albums in rock, has come around. In addition, it was the first Beatles album I ever heard, borrowed from the musty collection of the Scotia Public Library. In recognition, Ray Newman has put out a free e-book, Abracadabra! — The Complete History of the Beatles’ Revolver.

Did I mention it’s free? No catches, no registration, no submitting your email, nothing. So that’s worth a look, right?

Fight or flight?

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I mean, whaddaya gonna do when you wake up and the song stuck in your head is The Cowsills’ version of “Hair”? This is not a random occurrence, it was completely caused by Sirius satellite radio’s ’60s Vibrations channel. And I know I should have changed the channel before a song I haven’t even thought about in 20 years became lodged within my skull, but my daughter was in the car and I thought maybe she’d react to it. And she did, a little, but it didn’t turn into a massive discussion of the hippie life or anything like that; she just thought it was odd that anyone would sing about hair. It was. But it was the sixties, man! Hair was everything. Can you imagine? (Hey, at least hippies wore clothes they didn’t have to hold up. I am so sick of looking at the boxer shorts of strangers.)

Some of which set me to thinking about the tragedy of the Cowsills. A family band (first four brothers, then adding Mom and Sis), driven around to gigs by their parents — a very Beach Boys story that came just at the time the rock explosion was occurring and their kind of pop (some call it bubblegum, but I wouldn’t go that far) became very uncool. They had big hits nonetheless (“The Rain, The Park and Other Things” and “Hair” both got to #2). Then their story was developed into “The Partridge Family” — the fictional members of which are far better remembered than any of the Cowsills. The band broke up in ’71, and that was that. The mom, Barbara, died back in 1985. Last year, Barry Cowsill died in Hurricane Katrina, and Billy Cowsill died early this year. Their fans have told much of the story here. And yesterday, it just struck me as strange that this odd little pop unit might best be remembered for covering a bizarre song from the weird musical that brought the revolution to Broadway and turned it into entertainment.

(Meanwhile, Danny Bonaduce, who played Danny Partridge, seems to have failed to get a second season of his brilliant show “Breaking Bonaduce” on VH1, so it’s not like the Partridges are without tragedy, too.)