Thursday, July 15, 2004


There are many, many things that JennySlash and I have in common, from a love of the Monkees, a dislike of slasher films while enjoying the horror/scifi movies from Toho, Hammer Studios and American International, an agreement that George Bush is crud and that Dick Cheney is an evil cyborg, the list goes on and on. But there are some things for which we are polar opposites - our feelings towards Nature's Fireworks being a prime example. This was highlighted last night during our walk in the neighborhood - while I was enjoying some gorgeous cloud-to-cloud stuff away to the south, far enough off that it was primarily lighting up the clouds in between the strikes and us (absolutely beautiful!), I heard her say "I didn't know it was lightning - I think I'm going back in." Oh my goodness...

My love of lightning goes back at least to summer afternoons growing up in Nashville, sitting on lounge chairs with my grandfather in the open doorway of the garage of his house, watching the lightning flashing across the fields behind his place as the rain swept across the backyard. One of those afternoons was the first and only time I ever saw ball lightning as it appeared to roll across the yard towards the electic company substation just behind his lot.

I spent the summer of '77 at Governor's School at Salem College in Winston-Salem, the first three weeks or so being some of the hottest days on record for central Carolina (a lot of them are still records). It broke 100 a number of those days and didn't drop below 78 most nights. And there was no rain. But there were some awesome lightning displays, which a number of us used to enjoy lying on our backs in the parking lot outside the Fine Arts Center (the only really air-conditioned building on campus at the time), watching purple lightning streak across the sky as the clouds built towards the eventual relief of a huge rainstorm.

My last year in high school I discovered that my friend Meredith shared my love of lightning and we always managed to skip class to go stand under the awning connecting the school proper with the gym during those late spring storms that hit in the weeks before graduation when it didn't take much to get our minds off classwork.

I can't really explain my fascination with lightning and thunderstorms. I know I find that rolling thunder sounds comforting and reassuring and that I can feel the building charge of an approaching storm, but instead of making me uncomfortable as it does JennySlash it actually relaxes me to a point that I sleep better during thunderstorms than under any other conditions. I love the crack of really loud thunder from a nearby groundstrike (like we had when visiting Greensboro last Saturday - excellent show!). As much as I love a clear blue sky, I find the cloud patterns of building storms to be majestic and awe-inspiring. I certainly don't relish the damage or destruction that they cause, so this really does seem to be visceral and not cerebral.

Whatever the reasons, my sweetie does not share my enjoyment of them. She will sometimes tell of me going out onto the covered porch of a condo we were renting in Manteo, beers in hand, to watch the big storm rolling through, only to take one sip and fall immediately asleep in the Adirondack chair and missing the whole thing. This story is usually accompanied by that little sad shake of her head that is the international symbol for "that boy just ain't RIGHT!".  Ah well, I suppose it's okay in a relationship that we have things that are our own.


I have no idea what the bloody hell Blogger has done to their post

editing interface, but it has rendered me now almost incapable of

getting my posts to come out looking like they went in. It also

seems to now be crashing Mozilla every time I try to post.

Hopefully they will fix this fast...

New one for your blogrolls...

Read Hulk's Diary or HULK SMASH! A sample:

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Hulk saw movie about bug-man and it was good but needed more smashing.


Thanks to Heidi Macdonald's The Beat for the link!

Litmus tests

I'm thinking that as we're getting into a younger group of candidates for statewide and national offices (like guys my age), we ought to reinstate the "Have you ever taken illegal drugs?" litmus test. Any candidate that is between 40 and 50 and answers "no" is either lying like a big old dawg or lacks the requisite life experience that I expect to see in a major officeholder. Anybody who was in college from around '72 to '84 and claims that they never smoked of the weed or partook of the hash or snorted of the cocaine or ate of the magic mushrooms or dropped of the acid was too damn sheltered to be representative of ME, anyway!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Random Thoughts

Light blogging lately - I actually wrote a bit on my inspiration for running while using the wireless hot spot at the Bean Trader in Meadowmont while JennySlash and her mom were walking at the Wellness Center, but it was basically shite so I saved it as a draft until I could read it again. I did. It's gone now.

The surfing from the hot spot was kinda cool - since I spend all day working from home, I've not had too many occasions to check out any of the hot spots around town. Maybe I'll start a hot spot review. Even Woody's has wireless connectivity now, although I can honestly say that I've never seen anyone in there with a laptop. Syd's (JennySlash's salon-of-choice) just added a hot spot as well, so you can surf while you wait.

Many of you are vaguely aware that I've had this on-going project for the past year or so to rip all (or at least a good bit) of my old vinyl and write them out to audio CDs. Progress has been a bit slow lately due to the photography stuff and the blogging stuff (and work stuff), but I did manage to get the Fine Young Cannibals debut done a few days ago and added a few bonus cuts from The Raw and the Remixed (I never actually bought The Raw and the Cooked). There are lots of cool stories about the formation of the band, like Cox and Steele only finding out that Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger had broken up the English Beat when their accountant called them to settle the books. Or the two of them auditioning [insert large number here] singers before finally pursuing (and landing) the extraordinary Roland Gift. If you only know them from She Drives Me Crazy, you owe it to yourself to find a copy of the self-titled first album, with Johnny Come Home, Couldn't Care More and an absolutely flawless cover of Suspicious Minds. Next up is X's Wild Gift and More Fun in the New World.

Most of you that are from North Carolina are aware of John Edwards' role in the Valerie Lakey case against Sta-Rite. Mr. Sun blogged a bit about Edwards and that case and received a comment purported to be from Ms. Lakey. I like his response to the obvious internal question of whether this was really her or not:
If this is a hoax, it's too subtle to trip my alarms and I'm not yet jaded enough to be that defensive. I'm okay with being a little foolhearted to avoid being completely coldhearted.
I'm with Mr. Sun - if it's a hoax, it's a very well-written (and seemingly well-meaning) hoax but given what JennySlash has heard Valerie's mother say about Edwards, I tend to believe that it was her. It's worth a read (and Mr. Sun is pretty much always worth a read). There's also a nice Michael Duffy piece on Edwards in Time that is still available for free on-line. I found the following bit in reference to his son's death and Edwards' Senate race to be pretty interesting:
Edwards told consultants he would fire - —and then sue - —them if they used Wade's death during the campaign.
The more I find out about this guy, the more I like him.