McDonalds has taken its latest step to turn the entire population of the earth into greasy, spherical cattle.

I went to McDonalds yesterday because while most of their flavored, scented foam rubber food products make me ill, there is one item, one single precious item, that I enjoy a great deal, and always have. That item is the Sausage McMuffin With Egg. (Not to be confused with the Sausage McMuffin, which is decidedly not With Egg.) The Sausage McMuffin With Egg consists of a greasy, salty, tangy sausage patty, a slice of American Cheese (processed dairy food gel) and a perfectly round disc of placenta-like egg-matter, sandwiched between two halves of an English Muffin.
These ingredients somehow add up to far more than the sum of their parts, increasing in flavor exponentially as they are combined, increasing and increasing until they reach Ultimate Flavor.

The SMWE is delicious.

Occasionally, in emergency situations where I don't get a chance to eat breakfast at home before I leave for work, I will stop in and get a SMWE. Yesterday I did this, and when I asked for 1 Sausage McMuffin With Egg, the voice on the intercom asked me:

"Just one?"

Well yes of course just one, who could eat two of these greasy beasts?

Then she tells me, "It's cheaper if you buy two."


"How much is two?" I ask.

"Two dollars."

"How much is one?"

"Two twenty."

Goddamm it Mcdonalds what are you trying to pull here? What could your motivation possibly be for making it so that no one in their right mind will ever only buy 1 SMWE, even if they know they aren't going to eat that second one? This goes even beyond the concept of the "2 Apple Pies for 1 Dollar" thing because those are 75cents each, but the SMWE is actually MORE EXPENSIVE to buy one than to buy two.

This seems to indicate that the leadership of McDonalds is not just a bunch of evil corporate types sitting around scheming ways to make more money, they are in fact actually, blatantly evil supervillains scheming ways to actually, literally destroy the world, in active, literal, blatant ways. Apparently they don't care which method works...either everyone will buy 2 and throw one away, causing the whole world to overflow with uneaten, rotting sausage and eggs, spreading stench and disease across the globe, or people actually will start eating the second one, and finally everyone in the world will become morbidly obese and oozing with salty, sausagey sweat.

The madness of this is never enough. Two of everything. Two pies, two SMWEs, they even hit you with their radio commercials in sets of two, bludgeoning you, bludgeoning, bludgeoning...

Here's a little scene from the hit television show "Family Guy" that illustrates what the world might look like when McDonalds is done with it...


Our son, John, graduated from High School on Friday and as he walked across the stage we whooped and hollered. Our cheers were not only for this wonderful accomplishment but for all the challenges that John has faced and conquered. As you can see in the photos, the significance of the day was not lost on John. His face radiated with pride and happiness.
The next day, Saturday, we celebrated Grandson Noah's 3rd birthday with a picnic at the park.

Cars and Fish

This spring I enrolled in three eight week classes through The Academy for Learning in Retirement in Saratoga. The Academy is sponsored by Empire State College and Elder Hostel and is an opportunity for us older students to continue life-long learning. I was able to take two fantastic art classes that introduced me to the world of contemporary art and gave me the opportunity to try my hand at drawing. The instructors were very knowledgable, enthusiastic, and patient. My third class was an opportunity to explore and learn about the exhibits at The Saratoga Automobile Museum. This museum is a wonderful local treasure filled with fine examples of classic automobiles and and auto racing in New York State. The semester concluded with the opportunity to ride in a 1930's Pierce Arrow and a 1951 Allard Race car. Here are some photos.
Last week I achieved one of my retirement goals by going fishing with Poker Bluegill. We have been talking about this for 10 years and I was finally able to take him to my secret Adirondack Lake. We caught 25 pumpkinseeds and 6 bass. It was a beautiful day on the lake with a great friend. Here's Poker Bluegill with his bass.

And here I am with mine. I think mine is bigger!

Beyonce VS. Five Year Old Girl

For your universal amusement, allow me to present, recorded on my cell phone while driving her to to her visit, my 5 year old client Latisha and her extremely tuneful rendition of Beyonce's hit single, "Irreplaceable"....




You're driving downtown Seattle.
You come to an intersection.
The light is green.
On the left corner is an attractive woman.
On the right corner, a midget.
You have only seconds to decide before you drive past them.
Which do you stare at??

Last time I faced this Quandry, it was a choice between an Attractive Woman on the left and a Black Guy on the right. Seems like an obvious choice, but this was back when I lived in small town Mt. Vernon, where both are equally rare.

Think about this Quandry and bring me your results on Monday. If there are any mathematical equations, please show your work.

Stolen Wallet!

So, I got to rifle through someone's wallet today. It was a fascinating experience. See, I went to a store called Wal-Mart to buy a blow-dryer because I realized that a blow-dryer is the best possible hair drying situation for me, now that my hair is all long and shaggy like some kind of badass indie rock horse. Isn't it cool how horses actually have hair? I mean all animals have fur, of course (although some, such as reptiles, choose to shave it) but horses actually have HAIR, like they have their fur, and then on their heads they have hair, like a human being. And it's always all swoopy and sexy, like they just came out of Paul Mitchel's "The Experience" lifestyle salon. No wonder girls love horses so much. Anyway, back to the topic at hand--

I went to Wal-Mart to buy a blow dryer, because I figured it was the only place I could get a complex electro-mechanical device for less than 10$, and because I couldn't think of any local, mom&pop blow-dryer shoppes that I should be supporting.

So, I buy my blow dryer, in a rather homoerotic shade of teal, and go back to my car. On the hood of my car, there's a big fat wallet. My first thought is that somebody hit my car, and rather than leave a phone number or insurance info, they left their whole wallet. But that didn't make any sense. So I pick up the wallet and start rifling through it for information and/or money.

No money in it, but there's is a wrist-load of cards. (Since "assload" doesn't really make sense as a unit of measure, I've decided to start just arbitrarily choosing random body parts when I need to say there's a "---load" of something. Be informed.) What can we understand of this man, Mr. Wayne Hawkins, from his card collection? He has 3 debit cards. 1 Macys card. He has 1 Spencer's card, and one Hot Topic card. Yes, he shops at Hot Topic and Spencer's Gift and Novelty Shop often enough to warrant a store credit card. And most frightening of all, Wayne has Fifteen espresso stand punch cards, all from different stands. This guy must drink like a mother effer. No wonder he dropped his wallet on the hood of my car, I'm surprised he can even walk straight.

So, I found his drivers license (oh yeah, that's how I knew he's Wayne Hawkins...or maybe I just knew? Hm.) which had his address on it. So, since I am a good, honest citizen, and since I was hoping for something interesting and story-worthy to come of it, I drove to the guy's house and gave him the wallet. He accepted it. He said thanks. I left.
What a waste of time.

Toilet Seat Covers VS. Me

You know those paper toilet seat covers that you put down over a toilet seat to protect you from the pubic hairs, STDs, and urine-puddles of strangers? They're usually called "Shieldor" or something similarly Lord-of-the-Rings-y, and they are dispensed from a dispenser above the toilet. These things are a great sanitation item, but here's what bugs me about them. The hole in the middle is not cut out, it's just slightly perforated. So if you just put the shield down and go, you will find your poo creeping back up to you like a persistent ex girlfriend. You have to punch the hole out yourself, by holding onto one end and carefully ripping each perforation point. And after you've torn it free, you can't just let the piece hang either, because it will reach down into the water, absorb water-weight, and then pull the whole shield down into the water just as you're sitting down, resulting in a buttfull of pubic hairs, STDs, and the urine of strangers. (The Urine of Strangers...sounds like maybe a good indie film title...) So you have to rip that flap off yourself too.

So the question on my mind is, why? Why do they have to leave it perforated? Can't they just cut it out in their factory and send it that way? I'm sure it would increase the cost of Shieldor toilet shields enormously to have the hole already punched out. I dream of one day being successful attend establishments...that have toilet shields...that have the hole already punched out. That's know you've...arrived.



Welcome to

Some you may have noticed something recently. The website has been broke. And by broke, I mean broken. And by broken, I mean it don't work. And by don't, I mean doesn't. You get the idea. The website was "down", as they say on the Internet. Tech diffs. That's Abbrev for "techincal difficulties". It was "down" for several days, in fact, the worst catastrophe in Burning Building history, besides Hurricane Katrina and that time where I didn't update for like 3 weeks.

So what happened? Why did it break? Well, it went something like this:

http://www.#$<error>&l t;/b>www..http://dns.DNS..setting/ "<htm l><computer h4x0rxs>="http ://<error>))<>((
=website="broke"></a>http://" </working> <not
work> </a> </b></br>

Can you believe it?

But the good news is, all is fixed now, and all is well, and I'd like to tell you about a very uncomfortable conversation I recently had with one of my clients. (I supervise visits between foster kids and their bio parents.)

So, every Monday and Tuesday I take these two kids to the Seattle Center park, where we have the visit with mom, let's call her Geraldine. Geraldine is no beauty queen, she's plain faced, dumpily dressed, and substantially overweight. One day, she shows up looking a little better than usual. Her hair is "done"--all long and wavy--and she's wearing makeup. I'm curious, but I don't ask questions.

Later, she mentions that she has to leave a little early because she has a "photoshoot". She's doing some "modeling".

"Oh, cool," I say. "For like a catalog or something?"

She smiles a little. "Something like that. I'm not really sure."

I stare at her a moment, then keep walking. Soooo....nice weather today....

I want to believe....I want to believe....Target....Lane Bryant....something...

But no. At the next visit, she tells me how her boyfriend is not speaking to her because he's mad at her. I just nod and say nothing, but she's compelled to explain.

"He's mad because I wouldn't give him any of the money I made from the photoshoot. I did some amateur photos for this magazine. Have you heard of a magazine called Plumpers?"

Oh God.

No, Geraldine. I have never heard of that magazine. Nor do I wish to. But thank you. Thank you for sharing with me the most intimate details of your life. Can you please take your developmentally delayed children over to the other side of the fountain so I can return to this copy of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Issue #23 I'm reading, and possibly scrub my brain out with soap?


Top 9 Things You Do Not Want to Find In Your Poo

9. Ice Pick
8. Compacted rodent bones, Fur
7. Your own teeth
6. Teeth of others
5. Legos
4. Legolas
3. Tiny Stegosaurus
2. Full-sized Stegosaurus
1. God

Top 4 Things You DO Want to Find In Your Poo

4. Money
3. Cash
2. Dollars
1. Cents

The great thing about Pea Coats is that they make it not such a big deal when you walk around all day with your fly open. I think that's why they're called Pea Coats, actually.

Remembering those who serve!

I am dismayed to see that Paris Hilton and Bob Barker are front page news and coverage of the war in Iraq is on page four. This video is a poignant reminder of the cost of war and those who pay that cost. Click Here.

By the Waters

As I grieve this week for Margaret, Fred, and Ray I am reminded that they were each baptized children of God.
We give you thanks, O God, that through water and the Holy Spirit you give your daughters and sons new birth, cleanse them from sin, and raise them to eternal life. (from Evangelical Lutheran Worship book).
Kyle Matthews has written a beautiful song about baptism titled, Been Through The Water.
Listen by clicking here.

This HEAT!

I feel like I'm trekking through the Sahara desert on a camel, and all my Saharan porters are like, "It's hot today, innit?"

I feel like I'm in a sauna but where i've suddenly decided I really don't want to be in a sauna.

I feel like I just played an exhausting sweaty overtime game of basketball, and instead of walking into the locker room I accidentally walked into a sauna.

I feel like I just played a football game and I'm all sweaty, and when I walk out of the stadium suddenly I'm in the Sahara desert.

I feel like I'm sitting in an oven, and it's preheating to 425 degrees but it's only at 80 degrees so far, which is still pretty hot.

I feel like Joan of Arc, but in an alternate history where they didn't burn her at the stake they just made her sit in a really hot apartment on an 80 degree day.

I feel like a piece of metal in a smelting furnace being melted down, but I'm also being melted down to be made into another smelting furnace.

Damn, it's HOT today. Geez. Damn.


Here are some pics from our recent trip to Montreal to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. In order, they are; a street in Old Montreal, Angels atop the "Sailor's Chapel", the Grand Chapiteau where we enjoyed Cirqu Du Soliel, and inside the Basilica.