Category Archives: Death

Thank Goodness They Don’t Come in Threes

Today was just an odd day.  Slept in pretty late after a late night last night.  Got an even later start after my upstairs neighbors decided to shut off our water to do some impromptu plumbing work.  So, the day started off rocky, as I had to complain to the upstairs assholes and check with various other neighbors about possible recourse.  I thought I left the worst behind me once I left my cursed building.   Ha!  Not so.

As Swedish Girl and I were driving along the Expressway to Target, we saw a pigeon dart into traffic from an underpass.  At first, we thought it was just an overly aggressive city pigeon, but it flew lower in 60 MPH+ traffic than any other bird I’ve ever seen.  Not only that, but after it passed in front of one car, it dashed back and then we lost sight of it.  But only for a few moments.  The car in front of us slowed down and moved quickly to its right, but to no avail.  We saw the pigeon turn up under its driver’s side wheels.  I’m no fan of pigeons, but to see one commit suicide was pretty sad.

We shrugged it off, in time, and enjoyed our time at Target, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Uno’s, and DSW, only to come upon strike 2.  As we were leaving the second mondo-plaza of the day (and enjoying the glow of a Celtics Game 7 victory), we were the third car in line at a dangerous intersection without lights.  This is the same intersection that I was pulled over once by Officer Beardface for driving too fast right through his half-hearted and half-assed hand signals.  Seargent Beardface chastised me, wagged his finger, and let me go with a warning.  Fitting, since he only logs about 4.5 hours per weekend and each weekend is witness to at least one collision.

The first car ahead of us pulled into traffic, only to be greeted by a visitor (at no less than 20 MPH) into its left fender.  There was a loud noise, the screaching of tires, and two plumes of smoke.  I remain doubtful that Officer Beardface (about 5 years past retirement, with a bright white beard about 0.5-inch longer than I’ve ever been able to grow) would have been able to prevent this collision had he been there.  Probably because he spends half his overtime shift nestled safely in the warm body of his gigantic SUV. 

Anyway, I yanked my wheel to the right and passed the stunned motorist in front of me, as he/she gawked at the accident before him/her.  I might have been the only one of us aware of the rotary just 500 meters ahead of us.  By the time I made the rotary turn and headed back homeward, I was a few football fields away before I saw the flashing blue lights of the law (Officer Beardface, perhaps?) in place to shut down an entire two lanes of Route 1.   I had beer and wine in my vehicle and was more than relieved to be just a few hundred meters from home.  All in all, it was a strange day, complete with bird suicide and a completely preventable two-car collision.  As I hoist this final beer of the weekend to my lips, I’ll give thanks that I made it through alive and in one piece.

Retired

At 8:47 AM Pacific Time this morning, I laid my 500mhz Graphite iMac to rest. It was donated to the aimed to offer low-cost computer training to those in disadvantaged San Francisco Communities.

It had seen many great times and hours invested in The Sims & Diablo II. Not to mention countless Internet sites and assisted in 4 different job changes. This guy was purchased on eBay back in 2001 when I was living on Huntington Ave with Rachel. It survived many upgrades & performance enhancements, but it was finally time to step into the next generation with an Intel Core Mac Processor.

Thanks Graphite iMac. You will be missed.

Snowclone (A phrase must die)

Over the past year I’ve noticed that one phrase in particular has grown out of control. I’ll admit I’ve used it, I enjoyed it, but now it’s time to put it to rest. While the actual phrase itself may vary, it bears the same meaning.

The phrase is:

X is the new Y.

Or more commonly:
X is the new black.

Doing a quick search on , I found the phrase’s origins:

The phrase is commonly attributed to Gloria Vanderbilt, who upon visiting India in the 1960s noted the prevalence of pink in the native garb. She declared that “Pink is the new black”, meaning that the color pink seemed to be the foundation of the attire there, much like black was the base color of most ensembles in New York.

This led me to find out that this specific phrase is also known as a “:”

Snowclone is a neologism used to describe a type of formula-based cliché which uses an old idiom in a new context. The term emphasizes the use of a familiar (and often particular) formula and previous cultural knowledge of the reader to express information about an idea. The idea being discussed is usually contextually different in meaning from the original use of that formula, but can be understood using the same trope as the original formulation.[citation needed]
A common example of a snowclone is “X is the new Y

I don’t quite grasp what this means, and I never intended for this diatribe to become a hodgepodge of technical terms. I just wanted to discuss a cease and desist order for a specific phrase in the English language.

What did it in for me was something I saw on the ‘Today Show’ this past Monday. It was a fluff piece called ’10 is the new 15,’ discussing how girls are starting to act like teenagers at a much younger age. At this point, I thought to myself that there is no end in sight for this phrase, unless it be stopped immediately. Therefore at 8:17 a.m. on Monday, December 10, 2006 December 11, 2006, I officially announced that this phrase has died.

Now let’s all rally around and stop this ridiculous phrase before it spirals out of control, if it’s not too late. Who’s with me?

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More death and destruction

It seems as though we highlight the negative things in these “Today in History” events.. but I guess those are typically the most memorable and the most reported. So, in a meme to Cool Jesus, I give you.. This Day in History.

Today is Thursday, May 11, the 131st day of 2006. There are 234 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Twenty-five years ago, on May 11, 1981, legendary reggae artist Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital at age 36.

On this date:

  • In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor.
  • In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.
  • In 1904, surrealist artist Salvador Dali was born in Figueras, Spain.
  • In 1910, Glacier National Park in Montana was established.
  • In 1943, during World War II, U.S. forces landed on the Aleutian island of Attu, which was held by the Japanese; the Americans took the island 19 days later.
  • In 1944, Allied forces launched a major offensive against German lines in Italy.
  • In 1946, the first CARE packages arrived in Europe, at Le Havre, France.
  • In 1949, Israel was admitted to the United Nations as the world body’s 59th member.
  • In 1973, charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the “Pentagon Papers” case were dismissed by Judge William M. Byrne, who cited government misconduct.
  • In 1985, 55 people died when a flash fire swept a jam-packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England.
  • Ten years ago: An Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.

    Five years ago: Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed Timothy McVeigh’s execution from May 16 to June 11 because of FBI mishandling of documents. A jury in Pittsburgh sentenced Richard Baumhammers to death for killing five people in a racially motivated shooting rampage. Miss Puerto Rico Denise Quinones August was crowned Miss Universe. Douglas Adams, author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” died in Santa Barbara, Calif., at age 49.

    One year ago: Shouting “Death to America!” more than 1,000 demonstrators rioted and threw stones at a U.S. military convoy in Afghanistan, as protests spread over a Newsweek report that interrogators had desecrated Islam’s holy book at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. (Newsweek later apologized for what it termed errors in the article.) Actor Macaulay Culkin took the stand at Michael Jackson’s trial to denounce the molestation allegations against the pop star as “absolutely ridiculous.”

    Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Mort Sahl is 79. Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 65. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo is 54. Actress Frances Fisher is 54. Actor Boyd Gaines is 53. Country musician Mark Herndon (Alabama) is 51. Actress Martha Quinn is 47. Actress Natasha Richardson is 43. Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) is 43. Actor Coby Bell is 31. Weblog Author Brandon Seils is 28. Actor Austin O’Brien is 26. Actor Jonathan Jackson is 24.

    Thought for Today: “No idea is so antiquated that it was not once modern. No idea is so modern that it will not someday be antiquated.” — Ellen Glasgow, American author (1874-1945).

A day of death and destruction

Yes, today is my birthday.  My final year to be able to call myself a twentysomething.  Anyway, I picked a real winner of a day to enter this world.  What’s with all the death and destruction???  Once again, this is courtesy of the Associated Press by way of boston.com.  Check out what happened on the day of my birth, in 1977 – perhaps the most frightening event of them all.

Today in history – May 2

By The Associated Press

 

Today’s Highlight in History:

 

On May 2, 1945, the Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.

 

In 1519, artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France.

 

In 1863, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Va.; he died eight days later.

 

In 1957, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, the controversial Republican senator from Wisconsin, died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

 

In 1960, convicted sex offender and best-selling author Caryl Chessman was executed at San Quentin Prison in California.

 

In 1972, after serving 48 years as head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.

 

In 1977, Jenna Von Oy (“Six” of Blossom sit-com fame) was born.

 

In 2001, a landslide destroyed a nine-story apartment building in China, killing at least 79 people.

 

In 2005, Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter died at age 63. 

Are you coming back or not?

I’m a conspiracy theorist.  Tell me about a conspiracy and I’ll believe it.  Our own U.S. government assassinated JFK for botching the Bay of Pigs Invasion you say?  I’m on board.  Chuck Barris was a CIA operative/assassin who used his The Gong Show hosting gig as the perfect cover you say?  You bet.  Again, our very own U.S. government gave Bob Marley cancer (or some other cancer-resembling, ultra lethal, quick-acting disease) because he was stirring up “too much” black pride and backed the “wrong” Jamaican prime minister candidate?  I read you loud and clear.

So, it only stands to reason that I am also keeping my eyes open for Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison.  Heck, they’re probably playing Texas Hold ‘Em down in Uraguay right now.  Chances are they probably died in the 1970s, but I’m holding out hope.  Both talked about faking their deaths so they could escape the harsh glare of the media and their fans and go back to living a more normal life.  Since they talked about it and had the money to execute it, what if they actually did it? 

Just once I want one of these stories to be true.  Can you imagine how the world would be turned upside-down and inside-out upon the announcement that Elvis was back from the “dead?”  Or if Jim Morrison returned to LA, pushed Ian Astbury out of the way and started recording with The Doors again?  Am I asking too much for something like this to happen just once?   Maybe Elvis and Jim are just waiting for a grand re-entry, to be televised on Maury, along with living recluses JD Salinger and Harper Lee.  Hey, that would be enough to get me to buy a TiVo.