From the Top Of The Hill

My butt's planted back in Lincoln. The livin' is easy and friends are aplenty. Life is good.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

D Street Hotel, right next door to Drug City

Some of you may know about my former residence in Lincoln, Nebraska. It's a quaint old home that has been welcoming into its hardwood belly the bicycle riff-raff of Lincoln for a good number of years. In exchange for cheap rent and lots of space, the "guests" of the "D Street Hotel" put up with hot summers, drafty winters, semi-functioning toilets and having to live next to a veritable crack house of an apartment building. Well, some excitement happened there recently. Click HERE to read more about it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

No Nazis

I saw this bike in Santa Barbara. I didn't see any white supremacists, so the sticker must be working.

My father visited me over the Thanksgiving weekend. He was here for three days and this is the only photo I took of us together. Sorry you're blurry, Dad.

Figure this one out. When you stand on the Santa Barbara pier and look straight West, you end up looking right back at land. Weird. Kinda like leaving Eppley airport in Omaha, entering Iowa and returning to Nebraska without ever crossing the Missouri.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

What I'm thankful for... skies, light breezes, warm weather and guitar-playing roller-derby wacko-o's.

My dad flew out to spend Thanksgiving with me in California. He got in yesterday and I took him to the Getty Museum. I posted some pictures from there before when my friends Scott and Mark were visiting. Besides sitting on top of a hill and offering a spectacular view of LA, you never know if the exhibit your viewing at the Getty was stolen or not. Today we drove to the Santa Monica pier and rode bicycles to the Venice Beach pier. Walked Venice Beach for a bit to see all the vendors, artists and crazies. It was quite entertaining. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Raider Fan and Sesquimillennial Mileage

I promised a photo from the Raiders game I went to. Here I'm posing with Raider Fett. He stood in front of our section the whole game encouraging the Raider fans to be crazy. Not that they needed much prodding. The massive amounts of very expensive beer they were all consuming seemed to fuel their demonstrative rage they call "fan support". My suspicion is that Mr. Raider Fett was in fact a real bounty hunter. Think about it. If you're hunting for criminals on the lam, what better place to look for them than at an Oakland Raiders game?

The Denver Broncos played (and defeated) the Raiders at the game I attended. Going in I wondered if I would see anyone idiotic enough to wear Denver paraphernalia at a Raiders game. I ended sitting near not one but two such foolish individuals. One guy was rather vocal about his support of the Broncos, even getting into playful but sometimes borderline-violent arguments with the spectators around him. This lasted until a pair of polite, shirtless and heavily tattooed (with Raiders insignias!) gentleman "politely" told the guy to "shut-up or else." The other person was dressed up as John Elway. Not just a jersey but pants AND pads. did I mention he was well into 50's? This guy wasn't very vocal but a HUGE target of verbal abuse. It culminated with some Raider fan giving Mr.Elway a complimentary cup of beer. I'm pretty sure his gift wasn't all ale, and I hope he didn't drink it. When I wasn't being entertained by the zoo of humanity surrounding me I managed to catch a few plays of my first NFL game.

This picture is for my friend Butch, who I bought my car from. Check out what the Brown Turd rolled just recently. I figure for a Volvo the engine should just about be broken in.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Things That Bug Me

Okay, I've got this blog at my disposal and I haven't even been using it as such. That changes today. Here goes a pointless rambling that barely expresses an opinion that no one cares about! Hooray for the internet!

I hate the dental care aisle. Since when did something so simple require so many choices? I remember when you needed a new toothbrush you had two choices: red or blue. Need a tube of toothpaste? Crest or Colgate. Maybe Aqua Fresh if you really liked stripes. Mouthwash? Scope or Listerine. One will get you drunk; the other will make you throw up. Dental floss? Cinnamon or string flavored.

It was simple, quick and easy. Everything cost about the same and everything did the same thing. But not anymore. Let's start with toothbrushes. Let's break them down--bristles on a stick. Simple. Not anymore. Toothbrush technology has taken the simple, unassuming toothbrush into the realm of the over-engineered glitter stick. They have ergonomically shaped handles to fit your hand and rubber traction pads so you don't slip and jam the toothbrush down your throat. They have bristles that protrude in every direction, apparently so you can brush all your teeth simultaneously. Molar reachers, gum stimulators, wear indicators, spinning heads, ultra-sonic vibration. How about something that holds toothpaste and scrubs teeth?

Toothpaste is even worse. How many innovative toothpaste dispensers have been invented over the years? The pump, easy-squeeze stand-up tubes, no-mess tips... and yet the basic tube still exists. In four different sizes. And wasn't there a time that all toothpaste had to do was clean teeth and prevent cavities? Now there's plaque protection, whitening, breath freshening varieties. Just clean my teeth!

Mouthwash? They turned the corner into marketing hell when Listerine made the blue flavor. Listerine is supposed to taste bad and like medicine. That's how you knew it was working. Scope was the good tasting stuff. In fact, it tasted too good. But now Listerine has four flavors. And they all do the same thing!!!

I could keep going, but I think you see my point. If you don't, it breaks down like this. Retail space is limited and generally dental care is given one aisle at your store. Now there are a lot of companies fighting for shelf space, very limited shelf space. The companies that make all this stuff want you to buy their stuff, not their competitors. But if they only have one type of toothpaste, well that doesn't take up much space. So they make eight varieties of toothpaste in three different dispensers in four different sizes. Suddenly the company needs one-third of the aisle just to hold their one product: toothpaste. That's it folks. Marketing for the sake of market share.

Okay, and I'm pissed it takes me ten minutes to find a simple, green toothbrush for under $3.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My good buddy Scott and myself. I traveled up to Oakland this past weekend to party with him and celebrate his birthday. On Sunday we went to the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos football game. Everything I'd ever heard about the "Raider Nation" was true. More pictures from the party and game to come in the next few days.
Whee! Recipe for a party disaster? Take one goofy & slightly inebriated party-goer, a hardwood floor, a throw rug and some knee pads. Mix together and get out of the way. How I didn't break anything or myself is still a wonder.
This type of activity clearly contributed to the above display of party antics. Here you see me testing my theory that plastic cups are merely inhibitors in the beer-to-mouth delivery system.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Quiet Birthday

I spent this last weekend near Phoenix visiting my good friend Mark. It was a wild weekend filled with all sorts of craziness. We sat by the pool. We swam in the pool. We watched football. We played Barrel Full of Monkeys. It was insane!

Seriously, I just wanted to have a relaxing weekend to celebrate my birthday and Mark was glad to have me visit. Thanks for the hospitality, buddy!

I'd post pictures, but I didn't end up taking any. At least not any worth posting. It looks like I'll be headed up to Oakland to attend my friend Scott's birthday party this coming weekend, so I promise to have pictures from that.