Monday, May 28, 2007

Are Humans Really This Stupid?

Took my daughter (The Skating Gnu?) to the local ice rink for her weekend hockey practice.

Found this little gem posted proudly on the door. Not the outside door, the one at the ice itself.

Honestly, if you need a sign for something this intuitively obvious, you have absolutely no business being out in public unrestrained, unmedicated, unmuzzled or without proper adult supervision.

Which means you're most likely on state welfare and breeding out of control.

A little Social Darwinism here, please? Or at least some chlorine for the gene pool?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Love My Wife...

...she makes me laugh. More accurately, I've learned to push her buttons solely for the entertainment value. Slowly, she's learning when I do this.

Cue "24" ticking-bomb sound...

The following happened tonight between 6:47pm and 7:06pm

Mrs. Larriken (The Talking Gnu? I didn't say that...) and I are sitting on the couch, hungry, each waiting for the other to get up, so the one can say, "Fix me a little sup'm-sup'm while you're up, dear." I lost. Dammit, I'm hungry.

The Missus: "Dear, will you fix me a scrambled egg sammich, please? On toast."
Me: "Yes dear. One or two eggs?"
TM: "Two please. I love you."
Me: "I love me too, thanks for noticing. You want one or two sammiches?"
TM: (with warning look from aforementioned snide retort) "Two."
Me: "Salt?"
TM: "Nah."
Me: "Pepper?"
TM: "Nah."
Me: "Cheese?"
TM: "No..."
Me: "Bacon?"
TM: "No."
Me: "Mayo?"
TM: No. Just plain."

(pause, sound of pans rattling in the kitchen...)

Me: "Hot Sauce?"
TM: "What!?"
Me: "Hot sauce. Want hot sauce on your eggs?"
TM: "No, just two plain egg sammiches."
Me: "Okay."

(pause, cooking sounds...)

Me: "Sure you don't want hot sauce? I can make it mild..."
TM: "No, *dear*. No hot sauce."

(pause, toast pops out of toaster...)

Me: "Want me to mix your hot sauce with mayo, make a Southwestern sauce out of it?"
TM: (through gritted teeth) "No. No hot sauce. just two plain egg sammiches. On. Toast."

(pause, finished cooking...)

Me: "Okay, sweetie, here's your two egg sammiches, on toast with mild hot sauce, just like you ordered."
TM: "Oh for the love of - ARRRRRGHHHHHH!" (stomps off)

Friends, if you happen to see me running across the lawn in a zig-zag fashion, you'll know she's found the keys to the gun safe...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Snakes and Arrows

"Hi, my name is Larriken, and I am a Rush fan."

(unison) "Hi Larriken."

A good friend of mine was amazed at how openly I admit that I like the band. He says most people who like Rush don't like to say it out loud. Like it's some sort of shameful secret. Come on folks! This is one of the all-time classic hard rock bands that never got old! Thing I like about Rush is every few albums or so, they try something different. Blues-based hard rock to progressive conceptual albums, then radio-friendly tunes, to hard-grinding jam sessions.

Their latest is Snakes and Arrows. I was really looking forward to this release since their last release, Vapor Trails, was, in my opinion, one of their strongest albums in a long time. Whereas Vapor Trails was consistently heavy - a great follow-up to Test for Echo - Snakes and Arrows jigs back and forth from alternative blues to modern/progressive rock. Kinda hard to classify, which is what I've come to expect from Rush. That's why they never get old. This album pulls from a lot of old Rush combinations; in a way, it's a retrospective of their evolution as musicians.

It's a good combination overall. Although not a particularly strong follow-on to Vapor Trails, if you consider it freestanding, it works well. Lifeson's instrumental tracks are awesome to listen to on the road. Lee's vocals are still among the best in the industry - indeed a "far cry" from the old Rolling Stone insult he endured at the beginning of his career. There are some weak tracks, and occasionally the lyric writing gets a little too far out there - Neal Peart has been doing a lot of soul searching in recent years due to personal tragedies. His songwriting is more introspective nowadays, but sometimes gets carried away. Still, there are more than a couple strong rockers on this album that I'll be adding to my "Best of..." list. Overall, I'd give Snakes and Arrows 7 out of ten.

I know you are out there, you closet Rush fans. It's okay. We accept you.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Have the Coolest Uncle!

No, really! He is. Uncle Clyde has been to Antarctica. He has the hat to prove it. The frostbite went away. He's been all around the world, actually, to remote locations like Bali, China, and such. It's his job: he designs and installs weather systems. His coffee mug has a periodic table on it. He has a cabin in the Northern California mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the distance. He and my Aunt Suzie are both licensed ham radio operators. How friggin' cool is that?

He's also a pilot, and lemme tell ya, he can tell you flying stories that'll keep you glued to your seat for hours on end. He taught Aunt Suzie how to fly.

Yeah. My Uncle Clyde is the coolest uncle in the world. He can kick your uncle's ass for sure.

Check it out, he's breeding his own Air Force:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Marshmallow fight!!

Special thanks to BlueJeanGirl for sending some marshmallows my way...

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Greetings and Salutations!

Yep. Yet another personal blog has sprung forth upon the digital highway, just waiting to get squashed like a Texas Armadillo by a speeding truckload of Spam. So why did I do it? Peer pressure? Nah. I'm too old and ornery for that. And therein lies your first clue, dear readers...

Someone told me not to. So, NYAA!

Who am I? Just your average, ordinary, everyday guy, really. Regrets? I've had a few. But just as many good times, too. I've done extraordinary things as well as extraordinarily stupid things. If you haven't, then you haven't lived, my friend. The stupid things I've done, I usually do only once. Twice if I've been drinking. Thrice if it was fun. But I digress...

I won't go into some self-pretentious soliloquy about who I am and all my good and bad points. Not all at once, at least. After all, this is just the introduction.

I'll occasionally post musings about things that happen along the way, maybe a good story or two. I've always liked spinning yarns. Sometimes it's the extra flourishes a good storyteller adds to the tale that makes it magical for the listener. As a kid I always loved campfire tales. A good storyteller is worth his weight in gold, especially in this modern, sterile age of prepackaged pap and pablum, with cardboard characters, contrived plots, cliche dialogue and just overall craptacular inattention to the true magic of storytelling. No. Take me back to the good old days of tall tales, Just-So Stories, and ghost stories around the bonfire.

And don't forget the marshmallows, dammit!!