July 3rd, 2007
Early sunday morning I was rollin’ large in the Vee-Dub. I had Hall Boulevard practically all to myself. Inside the car, Benny Goodman was Stompin’ at the Savoy. I was on my way to Oregon Decorative Rock to pick up some lava (that’s code for “lava rock” fool) that I would later use to fill in a trench off the side of our patio. In all aspects it was a glossy portrait of middle-class suburban excitement. The kind of morning that requires us all to pick up a little caffeinated Starbucks action to supplement our wild side and buzz buzz buzz.
Having already fully caffeinated earlier in the morning, I has ready for something harder, something just a bit more dangerous and naughty. Dammit, I needed a brain freeze the kind that only a Slurpee could provide! I pulled into the 7-11 pretty much on auto-pilot. Entering the store I briefly spied a poster for the new Simpsons movie on the front door. As I walked back to the Slurpee machine I held an internal debate on the merits of a Simpsons movie. Would I or wouldn’t I go see it? Would it be funny and why is there a poster for the movie on the front door of a 7-11? Whatever. I had finally arrived at my destination the Slurppppp…what? Slushee machine! Just what the fuck’s going on here! I spun around quickly and with my back to the Slushee machine, I assumed the necessary stance that one takes when they’re about to take on a whole hoard of attacking Zombies. But there was no one there. In fact, besides the checkout guy (who was giving me a befuddled look), I was the only one in the store.
I scanned the store slowly, like my man Gil Grissom – let the evidence tell the story. Huge stacks and end caps of Buzz Beer (wait, no, it says Buzz Cola)? Boxes of Krusty’O’s cereal? Lisa Simpson cookies? And lets not forget the Slushee machine? Apparently, my 7-11 had been transformed into the Kwik-E-Mart from the Simpsons! Whoa. Awesome!
Of course the best part were all the new “Simpson” inspired flavors at the Slushee machine – WooHoo! Blue Vanilla anyone? Anyhoo, great promotional idea. I wonder what other locations in Portland could be Simpsonized? Could we have a Moe’s Bar? The Comic Guy Comic Store?
Also: At the Doug Fir tonight I will have Battles in my life. Yes.
June 27th, 2007
Having experimented with solid foods over the last few weeks, I give you the results:
Sweet potato: 5 stars
Squash: 3 stars
Peas: 1 star (actually more like – get that shit away from me – zero stars!)
Rice cereal: 2 stars
Rice cereal spiked with sweet potato: 5 stars!!
June 26th, 2007
Love this photo by d. yee. It was taken over the weekend at a Pool Party concert with Superchunk in NYC. I would love to have seen the show.
June 19th, 2007
The drop box is absolutely brimming with plant matter. It took all weekend. My lower back is petrified and my knees have just informed me they’ve gone on strike for the remainder of June. I’m lucky to be alive really. If someone was to make a safety film about how not to use a ladder, they would have found ample footage starring ME this past weekend.
There’s a fine line between Cirque De Sole and America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Saturday morning before the yard work began, I helped my friend Dirk move an enormous Sun Ra powered vintage Organ out of his grandparent’s old house. His grandfather spent the better part of his life as an powerhouse insurance salesman for State Farm Insurance. He had boxes and boxes of old swag from the company along with sales award trophies he had won along the way. One of things I picked up was this 45 rpm record that State Farm Insurance recorded as part of a campaign to motivate their salesman. The idea was to gear up the sales force so that 1967 would be a breakout year. This whole inspired campaign made selling insurance sexy by empowering the sales team to be “SPECIAL AGENTS”. The Special Agent ‘67 logo is fantastic. On the cover of the record sleeve is a blue and red target with a blue silhouette face. Underneath the graphic is says: “Target: Mr. Big”. I’m not sure what to make of that actually. Target the big accounts?
On the inside flap of the record opposite another spy-mod graphic there is a letter from the father of the Personal Development Industry, Earl Nightingale. Below is the text of that letter:
Dear Special Agent ‘67:
I like to think that you an I are old friends by now. I know that attending your convention this past year was certainly a high point for me. Getting to know the men and women of your great companies left no doubt in my mind as to how you’ve managed to set the records you have.
I like to think, too, that the short messages contained on the enclosed recording will prove to be of some value to you in making 1967 the greatest year of your career to date. You have an unprecedented market in the most affluent society the world has ever known. Now – here’s your opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to this society and, at the same time, contribute substantially to your own affluence.
Good luck on the special assignment
Warmest personal regards,
June 15th, 2007
I’ve been sitting here trying to concoct a magnificent fairy tale of an excuse for my blogging silence. In my head, this blockbuster narrative would have started with rum-soaked, moody pirates in candy cane stripped thigh highs who time travel on unicorns the color of mint. They’ve chosen to lay siege to Portland using old analog synthesizers that they’ve managed to rig up to shoot colored laser beams when played. The music they play is Wagnerian in scope but the sound is shrill and violent, like two raccoons fighting. And that’s just the beginning folks! I think somewhere in the story our family is forced to go into hiding with a rag-tag band of rebels. Of course, the rebels deny me access to the internet for fear of giving our position away to the pirates. We communicate only through trained carrier pigeons.
It would have made a heckofa story. In contrast, my real excuse is pretty lame only in that there really is no excuse. Oh sure, I could prattle on about how baby Jack has completely turned our lives upside down. I could even pretend that I’ve just been too sleep deprived to post anything with teeth (or gums). You’d probably actually buy that one, wouldn’t you? But it’s just not the case. Not even close. If I really start to dig for an answer all I can come up with is that blogging has fallen a few notches on the list of daily priorities.
It’s a shame really, especially with the new kid living in our home. There’s so much content wrapped up in that little child that I should be posting up here on an hourly basis. Alas, it just hasn’t happened.
But don’t count me out of the game yet. I definitely want to get back to this with renewed energy. But I won’t make any grandiose promises I can’t keep. Let’s just say we’re evolving and see where that takes us (hopefully more than one damn post a month!)
I’m most excited right now about a 20-yard drop box that just moments ago was delivered into our driveway. It sits empty with possibility and anticipation. This past month has brought many landscaping projects to the Skelton household. And by landscaping I mean yard demolition. I’ve felled enough Holly trees in the last couple of weeks that I wouldn’t be surprised to find a member of Earth First! chained to a tree in my backyard the next time I’m out there. All the contents of my deforestation are currently piled into a large twisted mountain in the backyard. I’m literally feverish with excitement about moving that mountain into that drop box. It’s almost impossible for me to sit here and work today knowing those two opposing forces lie in wait for me and my sturdy wheel-barrel. This is top priority!
April 11th, 2007
Even my 12-week old son doesn’t believe me when I tell him that the guy on the right, the one who plays guitar for The Police, is actually a year older than the wrinkle farmer pictured on the left. Amazing.
April 3rd, 2007
I’m really digging the new iTunes screen saver that uses the iTunes music library album art to build a wall of visual goodness. Brilliant stuff. I know a ton of folks who bemoan the jump from analog to digital music. From time to time, I myself speak like an old curmudgeon about vinyl vs. CD or MP3. But the new visualization UI of iTunes is intensely gratifying and addictive for the simple fact that they’ve changed the way I browse for albums from spine to cover. My whole life I’ve optimized the storage of physical albums and CD’s by stacking them in horizontal rows (I’ve become real familiar with the intricacies of spine art, especially if things aren’t alphabetized right). So this is indeed a whole new way of seeing one’s collection–everyone facing forward, smiling, and competing for your attention. Long lost friends pop-up and you remember them all over again. The serendipity is wonderful.
I should also give huge props to iConcertCal 1.2 while I’m boasting about iTunes. More brilliance. It monitors your iTunes Library and makes a personalized Concert Calendar for your city. There’s a whole slew of bands I might have missed had this little app not entered my life.
March 23rd, 2007
What do you see when you look at this image? I can’t make out a damn thing. To my eyes it looks like crappy track lighting that I should be updating. Oh, there’s a heating vent and smoke alarm there too. This is what my son sees when he’s lying on his back on the downstairs ottoman, and for him it’s the greatest spectacle on earth. Seriously, he will stare up at this arrangement for hours, laughing and smiling like he’s watching a particularly funny episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I just don’t see the humorous element in this image. It doesn’t move. It doesn’t make sounds. It’s completely devoid of color. And yet, he’ll actually get grumpy if you take him away from staring at this scene. When he finally learns to talk, I’m going to have a few questions for him.
March 5th, 2007
The folks at Baby Einstein need to seriously rethink the electronic baby “music” that bleats out of their toys. We have his one play-tent thing that features a musical star that blinks lights and such. The music absolutely terrifies my kid. He hates it. It takes about one bar of a tune to turn my child from a fun loving baby into a pint-sized King Ghidorah. If I had my way all the baby toys would come equipped with a Dub selector, which would play bass heavy riddims to rock and sooth the boy. There should also be a microphone connector and echoplex box that would allow fathers across de nation to toast up their babies.
The misses reported this morning that the boy uttered his first words sometime last night. I’m skeptical (the science isn’t totally accurate) but according to her his first words were . . . Al Gore. Where he picked that up I have no idea. But I’ll go on record here and say that if Al Gore does end up running and winning the White House in 2008, then I’ll be getting Nostradamus Jack an agent right quick.
Today I’m feeling nostalgic for the Mold-A-Rama machines they used to have at the Como Zoo in Saint Paul.