06 September 2008

Next Time, I Swear I'm Not Coming Back

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The leaves turning on the maple tree across the street is making me pine for summer. I hardly got in any hiking this year. One of these days, when my dowsing stick finally hits the underground money stream, I'm going to hike my ass out of here and never come back.

When we went up to Deer Park in Olympic National Park this last time, I almost didn't come back. At one point John and I were sitting on top of Blue Mountain sharing the same fantasy. (You were somewhere downhill, avoiding the altitude.) In this fantasy, we call our wives, tell them to sell all our stuff, and to come meet us up there in the mountains where we belong. We live happily ever after. Cue sunset. Roll credits. (But who delivers the Indian food? You won't survive without Indian food. Or cable. Just sayin'. -Ed.)

That same mad, lycanthropic euphoria bubbles up every time I go into the mountains, the mania that wants me chuck it all and not come back. You know, like Col. Kurtz, but not quite so batshit homicidal crazy and stuff.

When I hiked out to Skoki Lodge in the Banff NP backcountry last year, my inner Amish almost got the upper hand and kept me there for good, too. If it were not for my very sane, very-disinclined-to-bathe-in-ass-freezing-mountain-streams wife, I’d prolly still be there, picking my teeth with a marmot or warming my hands over a blazing hiker.

Speaking of being on top of a mountain, I understand your concern about how I like to hang near the edge of the biggest drop-off I can find. I’m only doing it for therapeutic value. Honestly. I started going up into the mountains to help overcome anxiety. As folks like myself who have an anxiety disorder often do, I was becoming afraid of heights. Anxiety disorders often "morph" to include basic phobias. (The five basic phobias are water, spiders, snakes, heights and small spaces. And, if you're male, that list may include commitment. -
Ed.) While I was educating myself on how to get over anxiety, I found out that the best way to deal with a phobia is through exposure. (Not of one's loins and whatnot, but exposure to the phobia-inducing stimulus.) So I started getting myself up as high as I could reasonably get without standing on the ledge of a building or filling a recliner with helium.

I’m not afraid of heights anymore, that’s for sure. But now it’s kinda like I have to get a little dose of the medicine that cured me every once in a while, lest it wear off. Call it a “booster shot”. At least I’m not doing anything truly goddamn crazy, like mountaineering. Mountaineering is not my bag, and and I’ll tell ya why. There are certain activities I abjure, chief among them:

  • Falling into giant icy crevasses.
  • Eating the dead.
  • Sustaining frostbite injuries. (I've actually done this one before. I frostbit my face in 1984. Parts of it turned all black and fell off. And it fuckin' hurts like you would not believe.)
  • Having a pulmonary embolism for dinner.
  • Wigging out on hypoxia.
  • Pooping in a bag.
  • Starring in a book by Jon Krakauer.

These are all things that you either must do or may wind up doing if mountaineering is your cup of freeze-dried tea. But please don’t confuse me those peak-hopping, ice-axe-wielding bag-shitters. The things that I like aren't usually found where you find alpinists, f'rinstance:

  • Fragrant alpine meadows.
  • Piney pine trees.
  • Surly marmots.
  • Tranquil mountain lakes.
  • Lunch.

In other words, if it's below the tree line, count me in. Likewise, if trees won't live there, why should I go?

The other reason I'm belaboring the distinction is because some hiker recently took a couple-hundred-foot drop and creamed himself into human chip dip on a pile of granite. This was of course covered in the paper which of course means Dad read it which of course means he gave me several stern warnings and admonitions (replete with the appropriate finger-stabbing of the appropriate story column in the local paper) about doing the same to myself. So I had to give him the requisite assurances that Mister Salad Bar Item was (or at least fancied himself to be) mountaineering whereas all I do is hike. I don't even use ropes. Hell, I wouldn't tie myself to something I
liked, let alone some mountain.

Okay, so if I've done nothing more than set the record straight (assuming it needed to be set straight), me = hiker, not mountain climber. Hope that puts you at ease.

Picking up dog turds not as fun as it sounds

Before the monsoon season strikes (I mean strikes and any harder than is has already struck for the past few months of our goddamn soaking wet 58-degree "summer"), I'm trying to get things in and about the yard put away. This includes dog turds which - come to find out - are not as water soluble as you would think. I've been finding chalk-white turd carcasses all over the yard, or "turd bones", if you will. And come to think of it, there's no way our wee little Corgy can produce that many boluses. She must be recruiting help. She's not asking you to chip in, is she? If so, help me out and use a trowel. Or just scratch like a cat.

Hauling rat-pee-covered insulation to the dump not as fun as it sounds

Since I was over at E's house dropping off some stuff that she so graciously offered to store for me, I counter-offered to help haul another load of that rat pee covered insulation and wallboard that you tore out of her basement. I only mention this because I made an interesting discovery while at the transfer station. You know how I keep all those fancy essential oils in my truck so I can mix my own air fresheners? (Yeah, I do, so what? Shut up!) Well bitter almond oil effectively cancels the crushing, mephitic redolence that only a steaming hot garbage dump can produce. Might be a good thing to keep in your lunchbox next time you want to carry along another ptomaine-laced hot dog. Might make it easier to choke down.



02 September 2008

Truck Sex On Satellite: Privacy in the post-InterWebs age

Exciting New Google Maps feature! You can now use Google Maps to find
all the placeswhere middle-aged men are trying to talk their long-suffering
wives into having sex with them in the cabs of their trucks.*

"A less appetizing Google feature has never been introduced." -CNET Reviews



Teresa and I were driving over to Lowe's yesterday in my bitchen new truck when a great idea struck me.

"Hey honey, instead of going to Lowe's, how 'bout we go have sex somewhere right now - just find somewhere shady to park and knock off a chunk right here in the cab of the truck."

You can probably already guess by knowing Teresa that the idea was less-than-enthusiastically received. I counter-pointed that the features of the 2008 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab (with Sport Package) would surely accommodate almost any position that a man of my noble dimensions and a woman of her diminutive stature could dream up. She said yeah, you go ahead and keep dreaming, Mr. Tetris.

Undaunted, I pressed on by pointing out that not only do the front seats fully recline, I had proven on more than one occasion that the jump seats afforded me more than enough room to nap (albeit in the cannonball position). And for the truly adventurous and outdoorsy, the suicide doors could be utilized to create a veritable -

"No," she said.

"Why?" I said.

She explained that here in the Age of the InterWebs that some damn satellite would whiz by and snap our picture, and there we'd be
in flagrante delicto on Google Maps. She has a point, but I shan't be deterred. Besides, I am already on a quest to be the most privacy-compromised individual on the InterWebs.

Not like I haven't had my privacy compromised already. I have. My identity has already been stolen once. Back in nineteen-ought-ninety-two, I received a very politely-worded warrant in the mail from the Silverdale County Sheriff asking me to turn myself in for felony forgery. I called them up, said what the f, they said you wrote a bad check for $400, I said joke's on you, I don't have a checking account, they said so sorry to bother you - our bad, but keep the warrant as our lovely parting gift to you; but then that kinda shit kept happening until February '98 when I had to have my name and my birth certificate and my SSN card changed, and then my credit was completely dicked until about two or three years ago - true story.

But I figure in this day and age of Facebook and MySpace and Twitter and what the hell all else, the only defense you have of your privacy is to put so much information out there about yourself that eventually people will be hard pressed to figure out what's fact, what's rumor, and what's legend - you know, kinda like it is with Bigfoot, the chupacabra, and Britney Spears.

Some people might say, "Hey, isn't that called obfuscation and inveiglement?" To which I reply, "Only if you're smart and use big words". I have my own name for this tactic, and I call it "Hornswoggling the InterWebs".

So far I'm on a pretty good pace to accomplish my goal. Last time I vanity-Googled, damn near all the results on the first page were me - the real me. Oh wait - there was some English novelist who had a character named Thaddeus Gunn, a name she undoubtedly stole from me, Thaddeus Gunn.

Of course I ran this whole "hornswoggling" idea past my wife if only as a transparent last-ditch ruse to get some truck sex. She usually supports all my crazy notions, but not this time. She was steadfast in her refusal.

"And how does us - as you so eloquently put it - "slamming ham" in the cab of your truck figure in to all of this?"

She had me there.

"It'd be fun."


"C'mon. You know what rhymes with truck?"

"Yes. You're out of luck."

She said that the real danger was not really in getting snapped by a satellite or in footage of us "in progress" winding up on YouTube. That was a foregone conclusion. The world is rife with electronic eyes in the 21st century. The real danger that once the footage was posted, we'd be arrested for boring the crap out of everyone on the planet. She said that there's a good reason why you don't see porn videos with titles like "Middle-Aged Married Couple Having Consensual Sex In A Mid-Life Crisis Truck".

I suddenly lost the urge.

Seahawks place me on injured reserve list

The Seahawks made a fan-cap saving move this weekend when they placed me on injured reserve. Seems I pulled that plantar fascia thingamadeal in the bottom of my foot as I was running up the stairs to my seat in row II (as in "aye aye") in the 300 level of Qwest Field. I was quoted as saying, "Shit that hurts!" The Seahawks dispatched the Raiders 23-16 in preseason action. In response to the 'Hawks victory, I was also quoted as saying, "Whooooooooo!" and "Go Haaaaaaaawwwks!"

The Indescribable Oomph - Part 2

The search for the Best Goddamn Copywriter In The Whole Wide World continues. As it turns out, the phenomenally well-written "Look At This Fuckin' Product" series of print ads is not written by one, nor two, nor three different copywriters, but is the product of a distributed cognitive system comprised of a lot of people everywhere. (Or more precisely, all over hell and gone. -Ed.)

The latest opus from this Unstoppable Mass-Mind of Advertising has been channeled through its humble servant eon. Observe his omnipotent flex-action on life-giving fluids: