16 July 2007

13:54 Of Fame Left

WARNING - MAY BE FRIGHTENING TO CHILDREN: My visage has been digitally
de-hanced to include wobbly jowls, extra eye baggage, and lemur-length fingers.
Oh, and my hair has been replaced by a digital overlay of JFK's famous 1961 atomic blast resistant pompadour.


It has finally happened. There is a clip of me gibbering away like a disembodied clown head on YouTube. It is surely a sign of our Internet-infused times when a person's visage can dribble onto the Web and into the eyeballs of tens of persons without them having to lift a single greasy finger out of the Cheeto bag.

How the hell did this happen? Well I'll tell you. I was one of the test subjects for something that's actually really cool (and might be cooler still were it not for my face being on it) called Interview Studio. It's like Monster on Bovine Growth Hormone. Posting your resume on the Web is now passe. You must now back up your claims with video clips and scientifically sound skill and personality test results. The profile that Interview Studio creates for you is so thorough and lifelike that you might want to email an exam glove to your prospective employer along with a link to your profile.

In all seriousness, I'd much rather use a tool like this than go through the cornea-chafing process known as resume reading. Last time I had to hire someone, I had to read something like 100 resumes. (100 resumes = 1 shitload. -Ed.) Being a fan of the cinema, I'd've much rather sat down with a bag of popcorn, dimmed the lights, and let Interview Studio roll while I occasionally lobbed half-chewed Hot Tamales(tm) at my monitor. What more relaxing way could there be to screen candidates? Boo resume reading! Yay Interview Studio!

But enough about me and more about my latest invention: The Shiva Pile.

I am become Shiva, the destroyer of shrubs.
The bones of mine enemy (foreground) lay
at my feet while I brandish the tools of their

As you know I have a yard now, and as you also know I have been waging a (losing) battle with the shrubs and various other flora 'round about the Gunn estate. Last weekend, I waged a bloody campaign against a camellia bush that was threatening to eat my house. No, seriously, the sumbitch had got to be about 20 feet tall while I wasn't looking, and had almost completely blocked all sunlight from coming through my living room window. With every implement of destruction at my command, I hacked it down to a humble 4 feet. However, this also meant that I was left with a ponderous stack of leaves and branches that I would have to bribe either the city or an itinerant pack of beavers to destroy for me. Being the cheap-ass with a scientific bent that I am, I decided that I was going to devise away to rot the whole pile down to mulch without paying a cent to either the city or the beavers. Here's what I did: I got some landscaping fabric and some Stump-B-Gone (or whatever the shit they call that noxious powder that will supposedly rot tree stumps down to oatmeal). I made a neat pile of all the camellia detritus, soaked it with the hose, and generously dosed it with the Stump-B-Gone powder. (NOTE: Stump-B-Gone powder does not feel good in your eyes or nose. Do not use it in a high wind or a slight breeze. -Ed.) So of course a stout summer breeze sprang up and shot a handful of the powder into my eyes and nose, much to my chagrin. Undeterred, I covered the whole schmear with the landscape fabric, pinned the edges to the earth, heaved the remaining camellia branches on top to help hold it in place, and took a moment to marvel at my handiwork. In this fashion, I effectively created the conditions of the underside of a rotting log. Hopefully this will cause all that crap to compost into a dark and handsome mulch in the next six months or so. Then I will uncover it and spread the remains under my lilac bushes as a horrific gardyloo to all the other shrubs in the yard, lest they conspire to eat my house as well. I think that fear is an excellent gardening tactic.

Wired for sound. The little dealio on the right is not a pushbutton switch. It's
actually the depression era's answer to the InterWeb.

And one last thing - I found the coolest thing in my living room. No, not my wife, silly! There's some sort of outlet on the wall that I've been wondering about for the longest time. It looks like one of those old-fashioned push button light switches. Problem is that it's too far down on the wall (about six inches above the baseboard) and it's right next to an outlet. So last weekend I let my curiosity run away with me and I attacked it with a screwdriver. Pulling it away from the wall, I discovered two things. One is that the original tenant of this house had horrible taste in wallpaper. It was some kind of crazy black and silver "gothic" pinstripe, no doubt inspired by the gangsterwear of the era. Second is that subsequent tenants were lazy bastards and didn't even bother to pull the wallpaper from behind the plate to paint the walls. And then I discovered a third. Third is that there were two braided copper wires trailing from the back of this thing and going up the inside of the wall between the studs - not horizontally or down between the floor joists. And all of a sudden it occurred to me that what I was looking at was antenna wire. This little dealio I found was where you plugged in your floor console radio's antenna wire. This was the 1930s equivalent of having your house wired for Internet. If I can get my grubbies on a decently restored floor console radio of the era, I just might try reviving that antenna plug. How bitchen would that be? Maybe there are some radio shows from the 1930s still living inside my walls somewhere.

Crap. Gotta go to work. More later.