Monthly Archives: October 2004


As usual, absolutely zero trick-or-treaters showed up at my house tonight.



There’s a book that I’d never read that sits on my bedroom bookshelf. It was in a box of stuff I got at an auction, and its title is History of the World. It was published in 1887, so I thought it would be a bit of a laugh to read up to the point where history stopped. The volume ends with the capture of Vicksburg during the Civil War. It’s rather interesting to read un-retouched Civil War history published within twenty-two years of its end, as it isn’t AT ALL politically correct.

While the book is cool, what’s cooler is a letter I found stuffed inside. It’s typewritten on Herrlinger Paper Company letterhead and dated May 4, 1928. From Katie Lee to Ruth, the letter talks about coming down from Cincinnati for a visit, asks how everyone is getting on, mentions how expensive it is to travel, tells how everyone is in Cincinnati is holding their new jobs, except for Papa; he’s an unpaid trainee as a crossing watchman. At the bottom, a pencilled-in note says, “I am at work, so I couldn’t write much.”

Man, what perfect evidence that things haven’t changed much since 1928! A woman, at work, using workplace materials, writes to a family member about personal matters. If she’d done this today, she would have just e-mailed her sister On Company Time.

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi – you’re my only hope

You know your Ewan McGregor obsession has gotten out of hand when people turn up with an Obi-Wan Kenobi standee purchased at the Liquor Barn. It certainly is a nice addition to the living room.


Ewan McGregor Public Service Announcement!

Tonight at 10PM EST/9PM Central time on Bravo, Long Way Round begins its six one-hour episode series. The show is about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their motorcycle trek around the world. Even if you care not about motorcycles or scenes of inner Mongolia, the documentary is sure to provide plenty of prime Ewan viewing time.

For those of you in the Detroit, Michigan area, a chance to see Mr. McGregor in Real Life could be yours, provided that you can stomach the traffic jams caused by all the lane closures. I’m sorely tempted to make a road trip, as Detroit is only about 325 miles from my house… and how often is it that Ewan is ever within driving distance of me?? Not often, since that court order, let me tell you.


KIA strolled in to my office and casually asked, “Do you have JoJo’s home phone number?” The paperwork in her hand gave the illusion that the question was work-related, so, like an idiot, I gave her the information.

After she wrote down the number, she said, “I’m going to call her to ask if she’d like to work the phones for the Democrats this weekend, because we really need people to call and make sure everyone gets out to vote.”

Me {thinking that if people don’t know they should go vote BY NOW, a phone call won’t help}: JoJo isn’t registered to vote.

KIA {stunned}: Well…. er… ah… that doesn’t matter. She can still call people. You should SEE the number of registered Republicans we have working for us.

Me: But those people are registered voters.

KIA: Well, every vote counts.

Me: That’s why I think it’s hypocritical to recruit someone who isn’t registered to vote, in order to use them to call registered voters to encourage THEM to do their civic duty. Wouldn’t true grassroots efforts include voter registration of the people calling others?

KIA: …

Me: All power to the people.

KIA: …

Me: Andrew Jackson. Tammany Hall. The New Deal.

KIA: ???

Me: Leonard Peltier.

I’d finally found her breaking point, and she walked out of my office. I hope that’s the absolute LAST political conversation I have with her for the next month or so. Even in the off chance that I agree with her stand on some issue, she is such an extremist that I find myself inexplicably arguing for the opposite side whenever she starts spouting off.


It was quite the raucous party last night at The Trough. Although the restaurant blocked off a room for our use, they couldn’t keep the general buffet patrons from wandering over and sitting in the area, so there was a group of non-related people sitting around the perimeter. Uncle Tommy welcomed them all.

A magician performed for the kids, old family stories made the rounds, feuding people were cordial to each other (for the most part), etc. Then a clown showed up to make balloon animals (I got a mouse) and a giant balloon hat for Uncle Tommy. We all sang Happy Birthday, ate cake, and promised to keep in touch with those around us.


Tonight I’ve been invited to attend a birthday party for Uncle Tommy. The party is being held at The Trough, a large buffet-style restaurant with more food available in one location than should be allowed. Tommy lives in the same county (though not the same town) as I and is involved in his local Volunteer Fire Department. He lives on a horse farm, works hard every day, and eats too many Sausage McMuffins. Even so, today is his 90th birthday.

Tommy is Mr. Capp’s father’s brother. Mr. Capp’s dad had several other brothers and a couple of sisters, though many have passed on. I never knew his dad, because he died when Mr. Capp was eighteen (and I didn’t meet Mr. Capp until he was thirty). It just blows my mind to know that there is at least ONE person in his family who is capable of reaching Old Age without succumbing to heart disease early on.

Party on, Tommy.


It’s time once again for Wednesday Wreck of the Week!

Now that my Zire 71 has returned from Palm Service, I’m able to get back on track with these thrilling photos. As promised, here is a picture of my own car, with damaged inflicted by my own father. It happened while I was staying at my parents’ house. They have a two-car garage and I was parked behind my mother’s car on the right side, so my father, who was parked on the left side, could leave in the morning and no one would have to move cars around.

When I walked out the door, I saw a piece of side molding on the driveway and then noticed that the front quarter panel was pushed in. The sideview mirror was half off and a large tire print sat in the new indentation (made more obvious by the copious amount of dirt cleaned off by the tire mark). Regular stuff, right? But here’s the twist. My father attempted to DENY that he’d hit my car. For hours, he maintained that he hadn’t hit anything. He offered up alternate scenarios like, “Maybe you got hit at the store last night and just didn’t notice” and I countered with, “The driver’s side door won’t open. I think I’d have noticed.” Etc. ad nauseum.

Finally, he agreed that all the evidence pointed towards him, but he NEVER admitted guilt. The closest he came was to say that he’d “cut his wheels back and forth” that morning, and that “maybe” one of the tires “might” have hit my car. I asked why anyone would need to cut anything on a straight reverse out of a garage, but by then, he’d quit talking to me.