Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Latest Addition to the Fleet

I bought a truck in Ashland a coupla weeks ago. Princess Kiko christened it with a bottle of Asahi as I loosened the e-brake and wallowed out on to I-5 for the drive home.

It's a 1997 Tacoma 4x4 2.7L 4cyl extended-cab at 108K with a bedliner, shell, and Yakima rack. I'd been looking for a long time and missed several deals ... but the timing was right for this one. Despite being a 10-year old truck it's still newer than the other two vehicles. I think I qualify as a genuine collector at this point.

Sooo ... anyone interested in a '96 Accord wagon with 185K and plenty of body damage? It looks like it's taken a few IEDs on the chin. I already miss it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Year 2006, Reviewed Via Gas Receipts

I am a gas-receipt packrat. Upon receipt (har!) they are immediately stuffed in to the arm-rest compartments in both Zippy and the wagon. Periodically I have to clean them out when they get in the way of searching my tape collection. That's right, I still listen to tapes. And yes, I'm still bitter about the whole move to CDs, which suck.

Anyway, what better way to sum up the year than to list the towns listed on those receipts? There was some other stuff (started grad school, painted house, got my teeth cleaned for the first time in ten years) but my happiest times were behind the wheel or out in the desert. Zippy saw two or three "Big West" trips while the wagon spent most of its time in Oregon's high desert. There should be more receipts but multiple riders paid for gas and I think I cleaned out the wagon armrest in spring.

Bellingham, Wa. (2 receipts)
Central & eastern Oregon (11): Lakeview, Silver Lake, Burns/Hines, Bend/Sisters, Crescent, Ontario

Orange, Calif. (1)
East Wenatchee, Wa. (1)
I-5 in Oregon (8): Ashland, Canyonville, Roseburg, Cottage Grove, Albany, Woodburn, Aurora

Utah (5): Snowville, Wellington, Carbon, Moab
Willows, Calif. (2)
Alpine, Texas (2)

Deming, N.M. (1)
Newport, Ore. (1)
Cuyumunge, N.M. (1)

Buckeye, Ariz. (1)
Eugene, Ore. (18)

Couple my wanderlust with a short memory and you get me wondering "where the hell is East Wenatchee in Washington and why I was there in May?" Hopefully 2007 is equally varied.

Monday, January 15, 2007

BOOK, EGG, DOG, CAT, BAG, oh give up

For fans of Penny Arcade ...

Drop whatever you're doing right now and check this shit out. Oh my holy fucking shit. I literally haven't laughed this hard since ... man, I don't know when. My cheeks are seriously wet with tears. BRILLIANT. I mean WOW.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Second Chances

In preparation for school, I've been cleaning out my house and going through old paperwork, taxes, bills, letters, car repair receipts, maps, parking tickets, you-name-it. And while sifting through all the crap (boxes and boxes of crap, stacks of crap, piles of crap, crap-mounds, The National Archives of Crap) I've been ruminating on "second chances". If you haven't noticed, I am a particularly unforgiving person and have trouble reconciling my charcater judgements with the idea of second chances. So with that in mind I stumbled across an old birthday email from Dad I'd printed out. It's a timely reminder that I am the epitome of a second chance.
Happy Birthday Warren.

I remember well your arrival. It was really exhilerating. Some day you'll know the feeling.....it can't be matched.....unless you include the "cliff-hanger" category of "college graduation".

I also remember the hours following your arrival. I think it was the first time in my life that I had to face the fact that I couldn't do anything to affect the situation....I could only wait. No matter of effort on my part would have any impact. I'm not a good "waiter"......I was even less so then.

I remember sitting in the hall that night across from where you were. The hall had equipment and stuff. The clutter irritated me. It was after hours, and visitors weren't supposed to be there. They knew why I was there, but they all ignored me. That was better for all concerned I'm sure.

Earlier the Doctor had convinced me that time would determine your fate......they had no means to influence the outcome.

The heart beat was off the charts. It was such a high number....I don't remember what. I just couldn't imagine it continuing like that. Surely it would slow down, but it wouldn't. That thing was going full throttle.

Your poor Mother was so distressed......and I know [I] wasn't helpful in comforting her. They gave her medicine to sleep.

I still hate that color of green the Air Force had on those walls. I'm pretty sure they had changed the color by the time you swallowed the screw. By that time, the hospital had also adopted the new policy of taking each kids pants when showed up at the emergency room.

You need to remember that upon entry to this world, you were given a 2nd chance......make the most of it. You've got the talent and the skills.

Cheers, Dad

What a great guy. Here's a message from someone who nearly witnessed his newborn son's death 25 years ago and he can still keep it in perspective: do good, try hard, be your best, keep the big picture in mind. My aetheism isn't so restrictive that I can't say I am truly blessed. I was granted a second chance.

Yeah, we all deserve them. Everyone. But don't fuck them up when they come along.