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Showing posts from 2003

This Christmas, I Smoked A Cigar

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Christmas 2003 I got a double-fistful of Cuban cigars from my aunt. It was the most amazingly 'out of left field' gift that season! What a hoot! That alone was worth it.

So now I'm thinking..."today's a slow day, New Year's Eve is tomorrow...what would it be like?" I haven't smoked anything in 24 years. Last week I'd followed a guy smoking a joint on the street. But that was it.

Erring on the side of caution, I saw off an inch from the tip of one of these beauties [fake or real Cohibas, they have a very sweet aroma], and put it in a pipe. I'm sitting out on the balcony, and light up. Blue smoke! euphoria! This is great! I'm in love!

This eternal state lasts 15 minutes. Then I feel my chest constrict. My head is lightened considerably. I sink backwards. I feel an ominous rumbling in my lower depths. I stand up with effort. I am off-plumb by 10 degrees. Stumbling in to the can, I drop trou and unsteadily release the Chocolate Hostage. I sit the…

Evolution of Leadership In Iraq

Saddam is in the bag. The insurrection continues with no let up. The Bush Administration is deluded in this process. Iraqis hated Saddam. And now that he’s gone, they hate the Americans more. This is not what Bush & Co had in mind, and it certainly riles Paul Bremer, the erstwhile caretaker. All this was not “supposed to happen” Why?

Leadership is undergoing rapid evolutionary change. For the first time in thirty years Iraqis have decentralized decision-making opportunities. Sunni, Shia, nationalist, Baathist—everybody is on the move. People are making direct decisions without oversight, or approval from a distant centralized source. Motive and weaponry intersect neatly in a wide-open gun-culture that would make the NRA proud. Some will be caught and killed, no doubt for their own good, if the Coalition is to be believed. Along the way they are sharpening their game. The knowledge-base will increase.

Coalition appointees like Chalabi have been sidelined, and they are uneasy. They k…

New Menace From Above

New Menace From Above

Yesterday, a new aerial menace was unleashed above the Los Angeles
basin--I took my first flying lesson. This was a birthday gift--a Three Hour Tour; 1 hr of ground and 2 hrs in the air.

We were going up in the single-engine Cessna 172 high-wing 4-seater, N107AF. And that's what came back. I am not making this up--Mary Pat rode along and saw the white knuckles of Dover herself.

My flight instructor was a genial steely-nerved nice-guy named Lewis.

First I got a clue at the dials I was going to be making friends with. Then we went over basic aeronautical theory, Bernoulli Effect and so forth. That effect sometimes requires a bag, but not today. It was clear and calm.

Then we went outside and did the entire methodical preflight; wagging the ailerons and rudder, optically testing the fuel for clarity [he declined my offer to hold a zippo up to it], checked the tires, removed the cotter pin from the yoke, and so forth. Oh yeah, also disconnected the tie-downs from the …

Misty Mountain Double-Donger: Ontario & Cucamonga Barking Duck Expedition

Misty Mountain Double-Donger: Ontario & Cucamonga Barking Duck Expedition

DATELINE: SEPT 14, 2003
ICE HOUSE CANYON, CA

"Morning had broken, like it does for infidels" as once was sung by Cat "Jihaadi" Stevens hung in the air like a cheap coat. This uplifting canticle set the tone for the Late Season Ontario & Cucamonga Barking Duck Expedition. The mandate of the expedition was clear: to seek out and destroy new worlds of understanding in the rugged and vertically-challenged peaks above the Ontario Mills Mall and Jail-Bait Recreation Zone.

The Crack Team was assembled in the gathering light: Dr Casino Bingo, Mr Trail Safety, and "Micah White" [not his real name]. It was to be a lightning strike, an unsupported scientific enquiry into the lives of the secretive and reclusive San Gabriel Barking Duck.

The Expedition would insert at Ice House Canyon, make a rapid upward foray up the [Roy] Chapman [Andrews] Trail to Ice House Saddle. Pausing "to whiz n…

Joshua Tree VisionKwest 3.2

JT 3.2
Joshua Tree VisionKwest 3.2
.69 CEUs

PRE-REQUISITE: Basic Knowledge of VisionKwest Study Materials.
ESSENTIAL READING LIST: Shakira, Heidi Klum, Saul Alinsky, Maxim.
FACULTY: C Bingo & D Poker

Become as One with the Indifferent Vastness of the Sonoran/Colorado Desert Interface as you accompany Professors Casino Bingo & Draw Poker on a select scenic running tour of the Joshua Tree Nat Park.

Seminar begins at Boy Scout Trail and ends up at Split Rock. Landmarks encountered along the way include but are not limited to Cap Rock, Geology Tour Road, chubby boy Scout Leaders, sweating German tourists, Pine City, Queen Mine, corpulent RV drivers, Dildo's Cave, and sweating poodles running in circles around parking lots.

Runner expected to provide own pickle-brine and chorizo.

1 mtg: Sat Mar 22, 0700.

=======SECTION CLOSED=======

My hands shook as I read the course description. Where was mention of awards, prize money, permits and short-course PRs???? I hadn't been this nervous sin…

Lies, Damnable Lies

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Lies, Damnable Lies
A sultry whisper in my ear. “Finishing a marathon is like pie…warm Apple Pie…” It was Denise Richards. I began to sweat. I looked at my wristband.

WWSD. What Would Satan Do? I was stuck for an answer. I smelled brimstone. A deep laugh boiled up beneath me.

“Silly wabbit…Carboplex! Carboplex!…Remember last summer at band camp!”

Dark laughter fading away. It takes a brain to laugh and a train to cry.

A sound like a gunshot. The relentless Music-Box Dancer replay of “Chariots of Fire” Swirling issues of JoggerzWhirld blinded me. Recipes for low-fat smoothies and better 10k splits blighted my vision! I was trapped in a crowd of 50,000 gerbils wearing bibs and ChampionChips! I fell down. I was being trampled! Denise Richards was laughing at my incompetence… again! I tried to get up and she faded away in the crowd that swirled around her, as I woke up with a jolt.

I was not running the XX LA Marathon. Praise Gawd.

I lit a Kool 100 to settle my frazzled nerves, put on my fuzzy …