Thursday, August 31, 2006

TV Time

OK, I’ll admit it. I love television. I’m not proud or ashamed of this. It is simply a fact.

When I first moved here we had a local family cable provider called Nicoli that was eventually bought out by Charter Communications, a Paul Allen Company. The bill for cable went up every year as did Paul Allen’s philanthropic grants. It's one thing to make a reasonable profit and be generous with the extra funds, but I was getting the feeling that Allen was charging prices that were way over the top so he could make himself look better by giving away tons of money.

Most of the time they just raised the bill without notice, but one year I was warned with letter from Charter that said, “In order to remain competitive we need to increase your cable fee.”

Excuse me! I always thought that in order to remain competitive you should lower your prices. This fee adjustment was a 16% increase. WTF? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 16% pay raise in one year, and this company has some set of balls doing this. I decided to switch to Dish Network, which offers more for fewer dollars. Sure I still get the Independent Film Channel, and all the local stations and HBO and all that, but I also get satellite radio and a bunch of channels I never heard of before, like RFD-TV a channel dedicated to rural living and agricultural shows. They even have live cattle auctions and shows about antique tractors.

OK I know this isn’t for everyone, but hey. Anyone out there ever see Pants Off Dance Off, oh man… What about the Documentary Channel? What about Brinny Maxwell, a transvestite who dose a spin on the Martha Stewart thing. Brinny has been off for a while now, and I can’t even find a reference to him/her on the net anymore.

Anyway, I do enjoy irony. At the time I switched to a dish there was a dish marketing campaign that used the phrase, “Stop feeding the Cable Pig.” I was working out back the day that the cable guy came out to disconnect my cable. I saw his truck and he climbed into the hydraulic basket to ascend the utility pole to switch me off. During the five minutes it took him to do the job this guy let out several really loud deep gut burps and a couple farts that were audible to me over 100 feet away. I realized then that there was indeed the cable pig.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Gone to the Dogs

Other than wanting to share yet another photo of this dog, I feel it is time I address dogs. I am often asked why I am so down on dogs.

Now I have had a few dogs that became the best companions that a human could ever wish for. They do make life interesting, BUT when you rationally think about animals in the house you may question your sentimental side.

It first came to me when visiting a friend with a dog. This dog was doing things like getting up and lapping water out of the toilet, then it would drag its ass across the carpet. Finally it was begging for food all the time. So this dog was a bit disgusting. Then I come home and see that my dog portrayed equally disgusting behavior. So there I was thinking my friend’s dog was disgusting, and I’m sure that when my friends visited me they thought the same about my dog. It’s true, they are disgusting.

The next thing I don’t like is barking. Dogs have amazing hearing, so there is no need for them to announce things so loudly. Why are they trying to tell their fellow dogs for miles around that they need to be aware that we are getting a UPS delivery? I don’t need a dog to tell me that the UPS carrier is here, and I especially don’t need to know that there is a car turning around in my driveway at 3am.

I do my morning ritual of having coffee on the porch every morning and all my new neighbors have large loud dogs. It is getting crowded here in the country. People get tired of all the noise of living in town so they move out here and make noise. I guess to them it’s quieter noise, but not to me. One dog starts barking and then another and soon it is like coyotes baying, but it isn’t quite so musical or haunting. It is just annoying.

So if you let your dog drink out of the toilet before it comes to lick you face, good for you. However, when your dog commands my attention at 120 decibels, to announce that a chip monk just farted; bad for me. So for now, in return I’m down on dogs.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lots of Royalty in the USA

Recently a judge reminded President Bush that he is not a King. I wonder if he was terribly disappointed by this?

Often I hear performers called the King or Queen of something or other. We have had a King of Rock, Pop, Swing, Blues and then there is the Queen of Soul. Let's not forget Prince or The Duke. Further down the food chain we have had The Chairman of the Board, The Boss, and The Godfather of Soul.

Somehow performers get away with these titles, but could you imagine if physicians and attorneys started to address them selves as the King of Convictions or the Queen of the Colonoscopy? How about an accountant known as The Prince of Loop Holes? I'd love to visit with the philosopher, "The Godfather of Atheism."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Little Boxes

I really miss the days when houses were small. Occasionally I get to visit people who live in small houses. When done correctly it seems like a charmed way to live; that is if you can do it without clutter.

A small house can be like the TARDIS (a Doctor Who reference) which is dimensionally transverse, meaning larger on the inside than would appear on the outside.

Many of the small houses out there are perfect for one person occupancy. I’m talking about the small one bedroom beach bungalow. They are easy to heat and maintain. You can replace a roof in a day. It’s really simple and one step up from a yurt.

However, in these modern days I find that it is important to have at least two bathrooms, and I find it important that the bedroom be able to accommodate a king size bed. So while I long for the simplicity of a small house, I am trapped in a 3500 sq foot house of my own design because of some stupid creature comforts that I’ve picked up along the way.

This house, like the photo above is a vacuum that can suck the energy out of its occupants and the universe. Someday I will down size. There is a lot to be said for a house where you can look in the front door and see out the back door. A house where the smell of coffee and food cooking fills every room instantly.

Who am I trying to kid? I could never go back to that…I mean everything that happens in the bathroom is instantly broadcast to everyone else in the house. Not being able to sleep keeps everyone else awake as well. No room for two people in the kitchen. No room for a baby grand, not that I’d ever want one, but it’s nice to have room for one. I guess I should live big now. I will be in a little box soon enough.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Drive

I had a speaking engagement in Portland last night. Normally I’m a quiet person who enjoys speaking with my writing, but a couple times a year I am asked to speak, and oddly I don’t mind it. It’s actually fun to have a live audience for a change.

My wife wanted me to use her car because it’s more economical, but I refused. I have to say I love my truck and not because it represents the penis I wish I had or anything like that, but rather this truck has the absolute best sound system I have ever heard. It’s even better than the system I had in my old recording studio.

Besides that my truck has all sorts of instruments in it which I really dig and I get to see the temperature inside and out, and the fuel economy and how many miles I have until I run out of gas and a whole bunch of other stuff.

One more thing is the air conditioning. I can make my truck as cold as a meat locker. Steam comes out of my nostrils when I breathe, no shit… It was in the low 70s when I left the coast and 88 when I hit the Beaverton area. I can’t bear the heat.

I got home just before midnight and now my voice was gone. Not from speaking, but from singing Frank Zappa tunes at the top on my lungs for the two hour trip home. I tell you it is a great sound system in that truck.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Where Are They Now?

Yesterday’s article brought to mind how quickly I get sick of actors. I couldn’t care if Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts ever get a film again. However there are actors that seemed to have dropped off the face of the Earth. They were really good and I’d love to see more of their work.

So what ever happened to Tom Conti? He was in The Blade on the Feather and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (with David Bowie).

What ever happen to Rachael Ward? She was in a Steve Martin film about the detective and in The Good Wife.

What about Tom Hulce? Amadeus…

And what ever happened to David Bowie’s film career? Man who fell to Earth…

What about Buck Henry?

These people were fine actors in some really good projects and I miss them. Yeah, I’m too lazy to do a search on them.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sick Day IV

I am sick of all the stuff that is made of plastic. I am sick of all the car ads on TV along with all the mattress ads, and especially all the Country Wide Home Loan ads. I am sick of all the crappy movies that Hollywood puts out. There must be some good writing going on out there somewhere, but no, they have to remake The Posiden Adventure, and rehash TV shows like Bewitched and keep adding to the Batman collection.

Did you know that they are going to do a remake of Hair Spray? Already!!! Unbelievable!!!

Hollywood, here’s a rule of thumb; your movie is going to suck if the word “man” is in the title and your movie is going to suck if any of your cast was once in Saturday Night Live or SCTV (except Bill Murray and maybe Dan Ackroid).

Also, I’m sick of all the animation. Instead of enslaving computer nerds and Korean animators, hire an actor. Not one that is already successful, I’m sick of all of them, but hire all new people that we haven’t seen before. Hint: they cost less to employ and we like new faces.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Everyone Shout "MOOOOO!"

I spent the day yesterday on a small dairy farm. I walked through all the processes of the daily activity and helped where I could and stood back where I would have hindered.

Cows are such wonderful creatures. Each has a personality and each seems to know its duty on the farm. They knew where to stand and when. They knew which cows were higher and lower in the pecking order. They knew what moves to make to get grain to eat while they were being milked. They knew where to go when milking was finished. This ritual goes on twice a day, every day.

Now to the dairyman and dairywomen; they know their daily routine as well. There are no excuses or reasons to miss a milking. There are no sick days, and rarely can they find anyone able to help on short notice.

The milk truck comes once a day, and that’s where the funding comes to keep the whole thing going. They take samples of your milk back to the milk lab to test butterfat content, more butterfat = more money. They test the milk for anti-biotics and to make sure the milk doesn’t contain any rBST hormones. If they detect anything wrong with your milk, you have to pay for the entire load that your milk spoiled. That’s around $6,000.

The thing that surprised me most was the amount of shit cows put out while they are being milked. The farm I was on is a small operation which milks fewer than 20 cows in three batches. I easily spent over an hour with a hose and squeegee cleaning the deck and the pit when it was all over. Fortunately the building was designed correctly with gutters that lead to manure tanks. And in that sort of business shit happens. I just wasn’t prepared for the volume.

So the next time you enjoy a dairy product, ice cream, milk, yogurt, cheese…please give a thought to the dairy men and women, who don’t get a day off even if they don’t feel well, and keep their milking parlors sanitized with all the muck that comes out of those animals. Think of the plant that processes the raw milk and tests it to ensure that a healthy product reaches your lips.

Most of all, the next time you drive by a dairy farm, roll down the window and shout “MOOOO!” to thank the girls in the field for their part in the process.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Moods of Music

Music is a lot like the theater. As with the theater there are heroes and villains. OK here’s a test. I’ll throw out the name of a musician and you shout back if they are a hero or a villain.

Woody Guthrie (hero)

John Lennon (hero)

Yoko Ono (villain) (If you think hero, That’s not what you said 20 years ago.)

Johnny Cash (hero)

Courtney Love (villain)( If you think hero remember she is the grunge version of Yoko Ono)

Paul Simon(villain) (if you say Hero, “Oh so it’s OK" to perform in South Africa during the Apartide eh?)

Jackson Brown (eh) who cares, they were only allegations, but lets call him a villain anyway.(He allegedly beat up Daryl Hannah)

OK, OK I’ll stop getting personal here. Let’s do this. What sort of theater or theatrical type do you associate with each type of music? See if you agree with me.

Italian Operas…Mob movies.

Depressing classical music…War movies.

Banjo music…getting sexually abused while on a canoeing trip.

Klezmer music…a Woody Allen film.

60’s and 70’s rock…Vietnam War movies.

80's and 90's music...any stupid film with Ben Stiller or Meg Ryan.

Monday, August 21, 2006


So you want to get rid of all the illegals in the United States, but please realize that’s not all that has to be done if we go in that direction. Let me set this up so we can see all the layers to this problem.

OK, so tomorrow all the boarders are shut down, and anyone illegally here gets deported. The farmers are in crisis, because they lost all the people who are going to harvest their crops. So in order to attract and all American workforce they will have to raise the farm wages to well above what the minimum wage is today. Let’s face it; most American kids are way too soft to deal with an agricultural life style these days. Do you think inner city kids will venture into the hinter lands for work?

So we raise the wages to attract people to work, but with these wage increases we need to charge a lot more for our produce, so a head of lettuce is now in the $7 range, as is a gallon of milk. A nice tomato will run you around $3 and change.

Supermarkets continue selling produce grown in South America which cost far less than what we are now paying, and American produce rots in warehouses. Not only do family farms go under, but so do corporate farms. Any nation that can not feed itself is doomed, so the only way out for us is to ban all food imports unless the item can not be grown here in sufficient quantities, like coffee, cocoa and tea.

Also, this would be a good time to mention that the USDA is trying to end agricultural subsidies. So we all get used to buying milk for $10 a gallon, and a $4 apple is a great deal. We are now feeding ourselves, but no outside countries are buying our food because now they can’t afford it. Without exports our economy suffers and we are making no progress on the trade deficit because without our Ag products, there is very little other trade going on. We don’t exactly have a lot of industry any more that makes products that sell over seas. China, Japan and Korea took that task off our hands.

So a knee jerk reaction in a mid-term election year may cause a lot of dominos to fall. You may want to dust off your self-sufficiency books that you have stored in the bomb shelter you built for Y2K. This time you may really need them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Question

I know, I don't write this blog on Sundays, but I have been doing so for the last few weeks, but I figured that Sunday is a good day to write about the question no one seems to have an answer for, and yes I'm prepared for the hate mail to follow.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

I ask you only to look at it from a different angle. What if I were to tell you that a chicken is one eggs way of making more eggs? Does this solve the question?

Now I ask you which came first, God or Man? Who invented whom?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fridays in Astoria

While driving through Astoria on Friday evening I was surprised to see the flag wavers in the 8th street, Marine triangle. As I turned the corner I saw that the anti war people were still at the Post office. Damn, I thought, these folks are committed. It’s been how many years now and still these people come every Friday to express their opinion.

It was then that I realized that this may continue for years. Not only because we will probably occupy the Middle East for generations to come, but neither side is going to blink. If the flag wavers leave it is a default win for the Peace People. If the Peace People leave the flag wavers win.

There is a good chance that your great grand children will be able to go down town on a Friday; honk their horn at those who they support and flip off the group they don’t.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Why United Way Sucks

I have been asked why the United Way is on my evil list in an earlier post. Also another blogger said she was going to write about the United Way a couple weeks ago, and asked me to share my opinion when she did write it. It hasn’t shown up on her blog and I’m tired of waiting for it so here are my ideas on the institution.

I stated then that the United Way still support the Boy Scouts after the Scouts disclosed their discrimination policies. I also think that charging 14% for their administrative fee is way too high for what they actually do.

Here are some other problems. They are a charity monopoly. In many big business, County, City and State offices they have an annual drive. Someone who has been a bad employee and needs to be punished gets asked to become the Chair or the Team Leader for the United Way in their organization. Now this person on company time, uses company stationary and company email to send messages to all the employees. Note, none of the 14% indirect funds that United Way collects is used for this, company funds or tax payer funds are used. No other fund raisers are granted this privilege of total access, all expense paid by the business who is collecting money for them.

So do you think that 14% is what it takes to have a goal sign in Warrenton and a glossy flier they put out? Would you be willing to pay 14% interest on anything? If not than why do you support the United Way?

Is it because it is automatically deducted and you think they support worthy causes? Why you lazy bastard! Send a check every pay day to your favorite cause. Pick 12 and every month send one out. If you don’t have the discipline, write out all the checks in the beginning of the year, stick them in your bill pile or on the fridge and send one off every month. If you don’t support twelve causes, pick six, or three, or two, or one. In the end that extra 14% will benefit something real rather than a tote board and a glossy flier.

Also your payroll clerk will thank you for not making their job any more difficult than it already is.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Look Inside Blues, Jazz and Folk

Music is a funny thing. A lot of people have silly notions about music. I once heard someone say that Eric Clapton was by far the best Blues musician ever. Now wait a minute. Maybe he is a crafty guitar technician but besides that he is a choir boy. Does anyone think that Clapton has ever suffered? Yea he was addicted to heroine and his kid jumped out of a window, but he has all his teeth and lots of money. How can you have the blues when you can pay to fix any problem that may arise. Your girlfriend leaves you…you buy another one. You find yourself hitting the bottle too much, you go to a private rehab clinic. People who have millions of dollars don’t qualify to have the blues. They are exempt from the blues.

Does anyone really believe that BB King has the blues? Another choir boy…

I have the blues…so if anyone wants to share a million in research grant funds with me I’ll show you how quickly the blues will go away.

Jazz people are one step away from the blues. I once knew a sax player who was living on the street with his sax. He told me that he was finally living the Jazz life. He killed himself two weeks later. See, he could have played the blues and become a cross over hit. He could have made a million.

Jazz people strive to be cool, but sometimes Jazz people can really be cold. I knew another sax player who had a message on his answering machine the day Miles Davis died. The message was, “hey man, Miles is dead. It looks like you move up a notch.”

OK, I’ll take this one step further. Folk music is next on my list. Do you know why folk music is so bad?

It’s because it is written by the people.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Comedy is a lot like poetry. Most comedy is supposed to be funny but it isn’t. Poetry is supposed to be good as well, and I have to take issue with that. If Poetry was so good don’t you think there would be a lot of rich and famous poets walking around? Ginsberg is dead. Brautigan is dead. Who is left? Leonard Cohen and Maya Angelo. Let’s not forget Charles Manson.

Do you know that there are poetry competitions? Out there tonight in America, poetry competitions!

Do we really need poetry competitions in this world? Isn’t this right up there with snail racing and cow pie bingo. Why would a poet need to compete? And what about the poets who don’t win? Do poets have coaches and trainers? And if you win a poetry competition, what’s next? Is there a poetry Super Bowl? Is there some sort of pinnacle of world class poetry that we need to know about? Do winning poets get to wear a ring or a tacky green blazer? Do they get trophies and endorsement deals?

If a poet fell in the forest and no one was around to hear it, would anyone care?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I spent the morning yesterday rounding up sheep at a friends ranch. It was shearing time for the flock of 70, though there may have been more. Sheep move just enough to make them hard to count.

The shearer was an Aussie, and if you think that Americans are good about sharing insults, you’ve never been insulted by someone from the Land of Down Under. The target for him was my knot tying abilities, of which I have none. On a good day I can do a square knot and maybe tie my shoes, which is why I almost always wear sandals or muck boots. In the summer I do wear garden clogs as well.

The funny thing about sheep is that they seem to have one mind. They all want to be in the same place at the same time, so if you are the only obstacle in their way, no problem. We had them penned up in a barn. I was holding an unattached gate and they suddenly thought it would be better for them to go to my side of the gate. Sheep were strong arming the gate, some were jumping over it. It was not pretty, but with some more help we were able to get them back to where they belonged. This time we lashed several gates together with bailing twine and tied them to posts in the barn.

The shearer went through the 70 sheep in a little over two hours. The final animal to be sheared was an alpaca. This required ropes and two come-alongs to hold him down and stretch him out. I tried to assist, but when the shearer saw my knot tying ability he asked if I was trying to get him killed. I confessed that I even had a hard time with trash bag twist ties, and the next ten minutes we were entertained by his folksy Down Under whit about me being a failed Boy Scout. When I admitted never having interest in being a scout, I opened the door to all sorts of other insults. It was probably the high light of his day. I know if I were him, it would have been the high light of my day.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Why Here?

I often get asked from friends around the country, why it is I chose to move here on the coast? For those of you who are from elsewhere, and for those of you who may need to be reminded of the good things here, here is a list of things that make this area stand out.

1. We are minutes from the ocean.
2. There are no major bug problems here, I have yet to see a screened in porch.
3. There are no poisonous snakes here.
4. There are no poisonus plants here (poison ivy, oak, sumac.)
5. When it's 90 degrees in the rest of the country, it is 65 here.
6. When it is below 0 in the rest of the country it is 45 here.
7. In a two hour drive you can go skiing, even in the summer.
8. We rarely ever get any rain from the 5th of July until late October.
9. There is a lot of water and most houses in Astoria have water views.
10 Drive 2 miles out of Astoria and you are in the country.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Sunday Bonus (And I'm Not Even Pissed Off)

As a bit of a post script to yesterday’s article, it isn't always the joke that is funny. Sometimes the premise of the joke is enough to carry the whole thing. Example: "Two nuns and a duck walk into a bar..." The imagery is enough to convey laughter. "A priest, a minister and a rabbi are together in a boat..." It's a good set up for cultural dynamics.
Half of the jokes on hears are based on these two premises.

Sometimes jokes rely totally on the punch line. There was one joke that was going around when I was in 5th grade. I don't remember the joke, but the punch line was someone shouting, "It's a bald headed mouse!" The story was almost unnecessary. Just shouting "A bald headed mouse" would have been sufficient to make people laugh.

This also makes one realize that in comedy there joke tellers, story tellers, and those who expose irony. I am a big fan of irony. It is probably the most complex branch of comedy. Look around and I’m sure you’ll see some every day.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Tragedy of Comedy

Comedy or tragedy, which do you prefer? I’d rather laugh myself, but actors are in this spot light they'd rather make people cry. As having been only a temporary god of the spotlight, there is more gratification for me when I see people crying in the audience. Making people laugh is much easier. I can make a silly face and some of you will laugh. I can fall down and some of you will laugh. But do you have any idea of what I have to do to make you cry? Let’s not go there.

There are many sacrifices one must make to make you laugh. First I must do something endangerous to myself, or I have to make myself out to be a fool, or I need to make someone else the fool. If that doesn’t work I will need to be very cleaver or talk about one of my obsessions.

The biggest sacrifice a comic will make is their death. Comics never die in a happy way, but often in an ironic way.

Lenny Bruce died on a bathroom floor from a heroin overdose.

Andy Kauffman, a heart attack at a young age.

Sam Kennison killed by a drunk driver in a high speed car crash.

John Belushi killed by a speed ball.

Chris Farley exploded one day.

Freddie Prince shot himself in the head.

We can only hope Billy Crystal, Whoopie Goldberg and Robin Williams find creative ways of checking out as well.

Though their lives are tragic, those gods of the comedy spotlight seem to get a special blessing. Here’s the deal,… comics only need to be funny for one year of their career. After that year they can say anything and people will laugh because these comedy gods are supposed to be funny.

Somehow Whoopie Goldberg got into this club without being funny for a year. We’re still waiting!!!


Charles M Schultz, the writer of the comic strip Peanuts who died a couple years ago; not one of his strips has been funny for the last 25 years. They still run them in some paper today. Check it out for yourself. Please join me in a group , "Huh?"

Had Bob Hope done anything funny since the movies he made in the 50’s?

Carrot Top?!? WTF???

Don’t get me started on Jerry Lewis. At least he looks funny and even more so as he ages.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Public House

I was very glad to see in yesterdays Astorian that Jack Harris and Chris Nimlowill are making good progress with getting their new brew pub going in Astoria.

Though I haven’t tasted Chris’s work, I am very familiar with Jack’s brewing. He was the brewer at Bills in Cannon Beach who is not afraid to produce the uncommon, like spruce bud beer. So needless to say it will be good to have Jack working locally again since I refuse to go to Cannon Beach any more.

Strange thing about pubs in the US, though they try to get that European feeling they just don’t do it. Why? Singing… In Europe you find people singing in the pubs. These are not professional entertainers or Karaoke singers. These are people who use the pub as a living room since their homes are small and not set up for socializing. The pub is where everyone gets together as a community to share ideas, sing songs and play games. It is not the utilitarian waterhole that most US pubs are or have become.

If anyone can create a pub that is above the US concept of what a pub should be, Jack and Chris will be the ones to do it. Good luck guys!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I set up a forum for this blog. The link to it can be found on the right side of this page under "links."

I'm not interested in tracking visitors, so use it or don't, it's up to you. I just wantd to give people a place to vent since the other local forum now requires identification.

Feel free to make up a name and give a bogus email address if you are asked to do so.

It's a pretty cool forum; you can post photos, too if you like.

Once there click on the general board and then you will see the messages that are there now. I can set up sub boards if there is a need for them in the future, like just for discussion on Astoria or for Dried Salmon matters.

Here's another link Astoria Rust Forum

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Stuck Stickers

Now do you think that anyone cares that your child is an honor student? We don’t care, and you are embarrassing you kid, so scrub that damn thing off.

Do you really think we care what college you went to? We don’t care, besides if you have to advertise that you went to college you have an inferiority complex that states, “I may appear common but I’m educated.”

How about an “Easy Does It” sticker? This tells the world that you are in a 12-step program and that you have a friend named Bill W. Do I need to know this about you? If you have a problem, keep it to yourself or get a therapist. I don’t want to know about it.

How about an “Art Saves Lives” sticker? It did wonders for VanGogh, didn’t it?

I could go on for hours on this topic, but I’ll spare you. I’ll leave this topic to the stand-up comics. Just do me one favor, keep it to yourself.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Communication Breakdown

I want to talk about communication. Humans spend on average 70% of their waking hours communicating. You would think that men and women would be better at communicating if we spend 70% of our awake-time communicating.

Now here is the problem; women on average speak 24,000 words per day and on average men speak only 12,000 words per day.

What the hell are the women yammering on about? Next, what is it that men aren’t aren't yammering about?

When I first heard of these numbers I became very suspicious of quiet women. I became even more suspicious of talkative men. There is something unsettling about a talkative man. I expect women to be verbose, but men who talk non-stop wear me out. SHUT UP ALREADY! BE A MAN AND STOP TALKING FOR CHRIST SAKES!

Maybe the problem between men and women is that there is too much communication. Maybe if we all shut up a little more there would be less misunderstandings between men and women.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Unbalanced Advantage

I recently found myself looking through a couple year old local publication called the Dried Salmon County Resource Guide for Human Services. In this publication I found that there are 58 churches in Dried Salmon County. There are 22 churches in Astoria. So I went to the phone book and I looked something up in the yellow pages. There are only 12 taverns in the county and only 6 taverns in Astoria. Something isn’t right with these numbers. A possible compromise is in the photo above.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Fair Farewell

Once again the Dried Salmon County Fair has come to a close. This year I went every day except one. I was not an exhibitor or a volunteer, simply a visitor and a supporter.

I came from a county that didn’t have a County Fair. There were no kids in FFA or 4-H. There was no livestock other than very expensive horses that made money for their owners and keepers. So when it’s Fair time I get to go there and carve out a chunk and place it in the area where there is a void in my childhood.

At the close of the Fair there is the livestock auction, where the FFA and 4-H kids get to sell their market animals and reap the rewards of their hard work. A Fair Board member told me that the auction here raises more money than any Fair auction in the state of Oregon.

Oddly and unfortunately this works the same as a reality show where there are winners and losers who get kicked out of the running. If you have a recognizable name you get the big bucks, but if you are unknown there is a good chance you will lose money on the deal. There wasn’t a poor looking steer in the lot. All had excellent confirmation and they were all far above the garbage one would see on a feed lot, yet the popular kids with well known family names were pulling in $5 per pound, while the unknown kids were lucky when they got $1.10 per pound. It generally cost all entrants close to $1.50 per pound to custom raise their beef, so some kids didn’t even break even. While the popular kids were ending up with $6,000 for their steer and the unknowns were getting $1,300 for theirs.

I wish there was a way to change this to a blind auction where the confirmation of the animal would command the price, and announce the owners name after the bidding closed.

For those who didn't get the price they expected, try going organic and then you can sell on the open marked for five times what it cost you. Just an idea for you...

Oh well, it’s on to the State Fair next. By the way, the Decemberists are doing a concert at the State Fair, very cool!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

From the Mail Bag

Quite a few readers of this blog prefer to send me an email message rather than post a comment. That'’s cool. I generally try to respond to both. I do get more questions in email, where in the blog comments I get comments.

You stated that you don'’t normally write on Sunday. How Come?
Do you think it'’s easy to come up with this shit every day? I love writing but I have to go to bed sooner or later. And yes I do write my stuff the night before posting. Sometimes I'’ll even pop out a few articles a night, and they are in the bank for when I draw a blank or when am too lazy to write something. I like to sleep on it before committing to an article, unless I get really pissed about something like "“Lars is a Racist."”

How come you only post once a day?
I don'’t have a staff, and this blog isn'’t my entire life. Sometimes I do post more than once a day, but that is only when I am pissed.

Would you like to hear how the Lord has changed my life?
This question should never be asked of me. Save your breath and devote your time to your missionary work where you can screw up more cultures on earth. But be aware, I'’m going to write about it.

What is your problem with Wal*Mart?
What rock are you living under? Get your head out of Paul Harvey'’s ass. When Wal*Mart becomes a monopoly in your community you will feel pain.

Why is your writing so bitchy?
As I answered one comment on the blog, "I am tourtured."”

I got a lot of mail over yesterdays post:
I see you'’ve been removed from the Daily 750 blog roll. Short honeymoon wasn'’t it?

Personally, I thought it was odd for me to end up there in the first place. I guess she was so distracted by me pointing a stick at her political opponent that she overlooked reading my archives. This is why I only have one blog on my blog roll. I'’ve read every word and comment there. I haven'’t listed any local blogs either and that is because I haven'’t taken the time to read them from the beginning to the end. I wouldn't want to guide my readers to places I haven't been.

Where did you come up with your info for the post?
Actually, at the County Fair. It was red hat day, and I was listening to a couple red hatters talking about Don and Marilyn leaving for Colorado next week and their awful experience. I asked a couple of questions, made a few calls, saw the Astorian and wham bam... So it'’s not just me thinking and experiencing this stuff in this County. There is an entire thing going on out there. As for my journalistic credibility, this is a blog not the friggin Washington Post. If you don'’t like what I write, don'’t come back. Maybe what I write is all bullshit, and maybe it is all true and maybe it is somewhere between like true bullshit.

Do you read other local Blogs?
Usually only when one of the local bloggers posts a comment here, I'’ll swing over to see what they are up to. I'’ve never met any of them face to face. They are for the most part pretty deep end news/politics blogs. These dudes are passionate, and they seem to know what they are talking about. I have a short attention span so that deep end political stuff bores me pretty quickly. It's kind of like the regulars who hang around in a barber shop. They all have their comments, and you can pretty much bet what they are going to say, and you go back for another haircut two months later and they are still talking about the same stuff.

OK, that all the mail for this week.

Friday, August 04, 2006

An Apology

As a citizen and taxpayer here in Dried Salmon County I want to be first to go public and say I’m sorry on behalf of those who have been hired and elected into office, who obviously are unable to apologize when they screw up.

This apology goes out to Don Schreiner and his lovely wife Marilyn who will be leaving our community next week to begin their unintended early retirement.

Don was the leader of the County Health and Human Services Department. Don worked quietly but he accomplished a lot during his career. He was the cornerstone and foundation under the Coastal Family Health Center, a clinic that was created to treat those who cannot afford healthcare.

Unfortunately, Don had two employees who screwed up. It is impossible to know what your employees are doing at all times, but this reflected poorly on him. But then the District Attorneys office decided to investigate Don; they found nothing. They investigated him again; placed him on administrative leave and still found nothing. He may have been investigated even a few more times yet nothing was ever found to link him to the screw up in the HHS department. Being investigated as often as Don was over this case virtually took away any chance of his leadership ever being respected again. Don saw this and decided to retire rather than keep his department running under a cloud.

I can see that once the DAs office locks on to you it’s like trying to knock a bulldog off a meat wagon. They don’t quit until they end your career, ruin your name and leave you in debt from legal fees. Yes, I know you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but not here. It’s easier to say just enough to impeach your character and leak the story to the Daily Astorian. That’s how they get rid of you and save money while doing it. This, by the way, is not the only time this has happened here…

So Don and Marilyn, as a citizen I apologize to you and thank you for all you have done here in our community. I hope your retirement years are rich and full.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ooh, Yeah!

Now I’m not putting down Country Music, except for just about any Country Music produced since, lets say 1985 (too much electric garbage.) I have a vast collection of a lot of the good old stuff, yes Patsy, Bob Willis, Hank Sr. and Jerry Jeff, too. So I’m not writing this as an anti Country piece here.

Now when you watch an old Western, of if you are at the fair and you are watching a horse show, slip on a pair of headphones and play some Bob Marley. You will quickly realize that Ragge is the music of the horse.

Ooh, yeah! All right!
We're jammin':
I wanna jam it wid you.
We're jammin', jammin',
And I hope you like jammin', too.

There is something more musically sympathetic with the hoof beats with Ragge than with Country Music. Flying lead change, no problem, that back beat is still there. Dressage? Again, no problem.

Forget Country, forget Vivaldi for you classical fans. Horses deserve the songs of the Rasta Man. See you at the Fair. Ooh, yeah! We’re jammin.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Blog Fun

Other than reader comments, one of the fun things about having a blog is having a visit counter that gives stats and data. The counter that I employ tells me where people are visiting from, how often they enter the blog, but the funniest thing is it shows the key word Google search that brings some folks to this Blog.

Here’s some interesting stuff: There are a lot of folks searching Google for my heart-throb weather reporter, Julia Radlick from KATU. I did an article on her a while ago, (she is so cute). Anyway, lots of folks looking for Julia information end up here.

There are a lot of people searching the Sunday Market. It’s all good, except for all the dogs.

Lots of folks from Salt Lake land here because of my Polygamy article. Imagine that.

Oddly there are a lot of people searching the name Chester Trabuco. This tells me that either he has a stalker or he is spending way too much time Googling his own name.

I’m also surprised by the return visitors that seem to check in every day from Seattle, Portland, Allentown PA, Gig Harbor, and let me not forget all the wonderful visitors from the Great White North, G-Day up there, eh?

Hey, if it is Fredrik who is checking in from Belgium, please email me. The address can be found in my profile.

This Blog also get a lot of traffic from the other local Blogs that have found this site noteworthy enough to provide a link to it. Thanks bloggers, I’ll buy you a beer if we ever meet. I’ve lived in this area for nearly 20 years now and I am constantly surprised by how many people I still have not met. How about a Bloggers Summit…yeah right…too easy to round up the dissidents.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Country Life

Frank Lloyd Wright once said that if you want to live in the country, go where it looks like you want to live and then drive another 10 miles further. I wish I had heard this advice when I moved here years ago.

When I first moved here my property was bordered by only three neighbors. There are now seven, with more sub-divisions possible there is room for another ten or so if the present property owners keep slicing and selling.

There is now an improved road with a double stripped line in the center and fog lines on the side. With the new pavement, higher speeds are now the norm for the traffic. There will soon be a “Slow Down Asshole!” sign by my driveway.

Human voices can now be heard, and everyone who moves to the country seems to have the need to have at least one yapping dog. The only joy I have is when these dogs first discover the wonders of a high voltage electric fence.

I recently went for a bike ride for a mile in each direction of my house and counted all the houses that have been built since I purchased my house nearly 20 years ago. There are forty-nine new houses with several more on the way.

All of this came to mind while partaking in the daily ritual of drinking morning coffee on the porch. I heard the phone ring so I got up to answer it, but soon discovered I was hearing a neighbor’s phone ringing.