Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In Memoriam

It's hard to believe it's already been a whole year since Rob Smith died. They say time heals all wounds but this one has been slow to mend for me. I still think of him often and miss him every day. He was really one of a kind.

I still haven't deleted his email address or even the bookmark to Acidman from my favorites, even though I don't go over there much anymore. I still can't bring myself to erase his small presence in my world. One that I had always hoped would grow bigger. I'd had often imagined that some day we would have become the best of friends.

I didn't know him then, but I wish I had. He loved music and was a fine musician.

And I didn't meet him when I had the chance. I didn't go to the blogmeets and I turned down his invitations to visit the Crackerbox, although I was softening on the idea and was making plans to do so when he died.

I have to work today so I don't have time to write a long heartfelt post, nor to check out the rest of the blogs that are likely to take notice, but if click on the Rumblers blogroll on the sidebar, I expect there will be some others marking the occassion. Bring your kleenex. I'm sure there will be some real tearjerkers in there.

Monday, June 25, 2007

View from the deck

Sorry, my dears. I know I've neglected you shamelessly. I have no excuse and I actually have a lot to say, I just never seem to get here and I'm back to work right now but I will return -- promise.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh baby

I've been meaning to post these photos for a week now. I actually left the house last week and went to John Edwards birthday party. Yeah, the guy who's running for president. Me and 600 of his closest friends paid fifteen bucks for the privilege.
I blogged about it, along with political commentary and more photos, here, here and here but I saved the baby shots for you, my dear remaining readers, because I know you would appreciate them the most.

I loved this little family. The picture doesn't really do them justice. The big sister was just gorgeous as well but I missed the shot where she was also looking at me through the tree.

This little tyke was clearly looking for the exit. But he was well behaved during the speech. I was amazed really that there was little kid noise. There were a lot of babies at this gig and the place was silent when Edwards spoke.

I don't know what mom was looking for here but I couldn't resist getting a shot of this little sweetie anyway. What a cutie.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Dad's Day to all you fathers out there, with a special shout out to Michael Stickings who just joined the fatherhood yesterday with the birth of his daughter.

This is picture of me and my Dad. I figure, judging by the lack of hair, that I'm about 18 months old in this shot. I don't have a scanner so the quality isn't that great, since it's a photo of a photo but I was thrilled when my mom sent me this one. It's the only photo I have of the two of us from my childhood since all my photos were stolen when I was robbed in Atlanta some years ago.

I won't be seeing him today since we're too many miles apart but I'll be holding him close in my heart, just as I treasure my memories even as far back as this. I have surprisingly vivid memories of this place - our first home. My Dad was so much my hero then, and now. I can remember going to the corner store with him to get the Sunday papers, a tradition we continued long into my pre-teen years. I remember driving in his truck while he made his rounds, either at his worksites and sometimes to visit his workers at home. It's funny, I mostly remember my mother sleeping in those years. It was always my Dad who took me out. He was my whole world and I felt like the center of his universe.

He still makes me feel that way. I never feel safer or more cherished than I do when I'm with him. He's just an ordinary guy really, but he's the best man I've ever known in my entire life. Of all the fathers I could have drawn in the lottery of life, I feel very lucky to have the best Dad ever.

I love you Daddy. Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cannabis is good for you

Thanks to Tits McGee for pointing me to this story.
The chemicals that give marijuana its mood-altering kick might also be an option for treating skin allergies, according to a study done in mice.

The compounds, called cannabinoids, have been credited with everything from stimulating the growth of new neurons to easing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Although they are best known for spicing up marijuana, the body also produces cannabinoids, which are thought to play a part in learning and in communications between the immune system and the nervous system. Now, researchers have shown that cannabinoids can relieve some of the swollen, itchy agony of allergic skin reactions in mice.

The prohibitionists keep telling you there's no medical in this plant when in reality, cannabis is one of the most beneficial herbs on the planet. If the pharma corps had figured out how to make money on it, with so many medical uses, it would have legalized long ago. Maybe this research will be the one that tips the scales. It seems to me that the pharmas could get a lock on making skin cream.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lazy days of summer

Having given up a couple of days off to help out, it was a long week and thanks to a bad case of the stomach icks, I didn't get here again much this week, but later late than never, no? This is a shot of last night's sunset as seen from my deck. As you can see the buildings are far enough apart that even though this is a big complex, you still have a sense of privacy. At that distance, you don't really see into people's windows.

The pool is between the two building in the shot. I've been spending more time there this weekend and actually spent about 45 minutes in the water yesterday since after a couple of days in the high 90s, the water was finally acceptably warm. I'm feeling it today though. I used some muscles I forgot I had in all that swimming.

I finally turned on the AC for the first time as well, which I'm happy to report works really well. I was freezing in 20 minutes and had to go out on the deck to warm up. I'm still learning how to regulate the thermostat. There's a lot of buttons and settings and the slider to set the temp is a challenge for the vision impaired.

Meanwhile, the old lady downstairs has taken to making her phone calls outside and being somewhat deaf, she speaks really loudly. She's been talking for three days about her eye drops and a wedding that she felt guilty about not attending. The good news is they forgive her for sending her regrets so I guess she'll be able to show up at church today after all without causing a major scandal.

I'm also pleased to tell you I found a convenience store that I feel comfortable giving my trade to. There's two of them within easy striking distance but the first time I went to both, the cashiers were so rude that I was driving the three miles back to my old store, where they were nice to me.

I've discovered however, the night clerk at one of the nearby places is really pleasant, jovial even. He's a real native son. Sixty two years old and he attributes his youthful vigor to hard work and good eatin'. Buttermilk, corn bread and fresh 'maters in the summer are the secret, he tells me. I like him already.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Rudy Guiliani on drugs

You know I usually keep the politics off this blog, but this relevant to the war on some drugs. In case you needed a reason not to vote for Rudy, besides the fact that he's a wanna-be authorian who has no problem with illegal domestic surveillance, and thinks it's just great to have a president who is accountable to no one, he just made his position on medical marijuana public.

No way, no how is he willing to allow sick people a choice to use a natural remedy to relieve their pain. When asked on the campaign trail if he supported the right of cancer patients to use the plant, he said no - let the terminally ill eat chemical poisons instead.

Fire and Lightning

I haven't been posting here because I've been tied up on the poliblogs. I lost a whole day and a half after a throw-away post at Newshoggers ended up creating a firestorm on the inter-tubes. Word up folks. Don't ever mention the 25 year age difference between Fred Thompson and his wife unless you want half the world calling you a nasty bitch.

Meanwhile, we've been having thunderstorms here for a couple of days and I've discovered another to love about the Mcpartment. I adore thunderstorms and this is a great place to watch the lightning.

A couple of nights when the first one hit, I was sitting on the deck when I first saw the first flash. It was that point in the evening where the sky is just turning into a pale slate color and on the deck side, the smoky gray clouds were splayed out like brush strokes in a water color painting. There was one white cloud directly ahead, perched on top the building across the way like a big puffy mushroom cap. The lightning was periodically lighting up only that cloud. You could see the forks rolling across the top of it and no thunder. I've never seen anything like it.

As it got darker, lightning started to flash from behind my building. I thought at first it was just a street light flickering because no thunder followed it. Eventually I went out on the side landing to investigate and what a show.

You get a 180 view of the sky from that deck and the lightning was awesome. Huge forks and fireballs were flashing all around us and even overhead but there was no rain. It felt like being inside a glass dome in outer space.

I stood there for a hour watching nature's fireworks until finally the thunder caught up with the storm and the rain came down.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Let the circle, be unbroken...

This will probably sound silly but one of the things I really love about the Mcpartment is that I can walk around in circles. The way it's set up with two doors into the bathroom, I always have a choice on which route to take into the kitchen. It gives the sense of having more space somehow and when I'm suffering from writer's block, walking around in circles with an occassional stop at the deck to watch the world go by, helps me think.

Come to think of it, in the course of my adult life, I've lived in at least two dozen different places and the ones that had that circular traffic pattern were always the ones I liked the best. I wonder if that's why they used to call me a dizzy blond in my youth.

La Dolce Vita

Posting has been weak here because I've been spending too much time at the pool. I've been trying to get out there every day for my five minutes of swimming aerobics and after lolling in the lounge chairs to warm up after the cold water and watching the teenagers flirt for an hour or so, I'm so muy tranquillo that I feel like I'm on vacation and don't do any more blogging.

I suppose I'll get over that eventually as I get more inured to Mcpartment life but in the meantime, here's a funny drug war link I meant to post yesterday. I don't know why these European countries are so fond of doing these studies. This one reminds me of the one done in England where they found traces of cocaine and other drugs in the Thames.

This time Italy weighs in on air quality in Rome. I loved the lede on this story.
Scientists have discovered particles of cocaine and marijuana, as well as caffeine and tobacco, in the air of Italy’s capital, they said on Thursday.

The concentration of drugs was heaviest in the air around Rome’s Sapienza university, though the National Research Council’s Dr. Angelo Cecinato warned against drawing conclusions about students’ recreational habits.
Like anyone needs a study to draw conclusions about college students' recreational habits?

I imagine if they had included more substances, they would have found traces of pasta, pizza and chocolate in the air too and at concentrations of only 0.1 nanograms (1 nanogram is one billionth of a gram) per cubic meter at its height during winter months, I don't think anyone is in danger of getting high on the air in Rome - at least not from coke.

[Title stolen from Michael J.W. Stickings]