Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Thrown out, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Don't fall down in the street, please.

If you do, make sure you crawl back to the gutter.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The sign says it all!

The sign says it all!, originally uploaded by catinlap.

Indeed it does.

"Haze" has to be the worst code word for smog I've ever heard. "Inversion" is just about as bad, but as it doesn't sound pleasant like "haze" and therefore I will deride the usage of "haze" more than "inversion." I give pause to think of the chemical stew that abides in the air at this point. This stew comes from one major source now: the beloved automobile.

Thanks to Catinlap for the excellent photo.

Please move now or just stop driving so damn much.

(I'm doing penance for renting that fucking truck.)

Aspens in winter #4

Aspens in winter #4, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

TheOrris and his truck.

TheOrris and his truck., originally uploaded by catinlap.

Told you.

Merry Xmas! I couldn't aks for more!

"He sees you when your sleeping! He knows when you are on the can!"

(Bonus candy to anyone who gets my obscure reference.)

Cliche Christmas card photo

Cliche Christmas card photo, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Happy ding dang to you all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Promises made does not mean that promises will be kept! or Patience pays off!

I am at a car rental place where, as in classic Seinfeld mode they apparently know how to take a reservation, but they don't know how to keep it. They have to fetch me a car from hither and yon. They say 15 minutes. I'm betting 30.

I rent a car most Christmases since I have no car and visiting family and friends on non-existent holiday transport is impossible. I suppose I should write more about my experiment in refusing to own a car in a car-based culture (and I have occasionally, I suppose) but it seems insufferable to keep doing it. Suffice it to say, I like my choice generally (although it makes dating awkward). Whenever I fill out one of those carbon footprint calculators, my score comes up teensy.

But back to why I am sitting her writing: the kind car rental agents offered me a truck for triple the rate of the car. How nice of them! They are also now pressing the collision damage insurance, which is a load of bollocks in that my credit card covers it all (trust me I've checked several times) with no deductable and no shenanigans.

They are also quite good about pressuring clients to upgrade because of the nasty weather. Oh well: this is how these guys make money, I suppose. Does everything having to do with cars, however, have to be extra sleazy?

A rather dizzying older woman comes in seeking a car. She has no reservation but "needs a car." They are booked up solid. No cars are available. They are closed on Sundays, as well. After she leaves, the gang of agents guffaw at her idiocy.

Now they are offering me hot chocolate and holiday cookies. I refuse, politely, and continue to type. I sense this is because the officemates have started some banter about clueless customers that I assume they engage in when no customers are present. This, of course, is standard office practice, but they momentarily forgot I was present.

Now they are discussing video games. Apparently 2 like the Wii and 2 hate it: "The point of video games is that you don't have to move around."

The guy who offered me hot chocolate and holiday cookies seems to be the boss and he tells one of the men that they need to work on close outs or something like that.

It has grown quiet in the office save for the nervous whistle of one of the agents and the crack of sunflower seeds. I amused suddenly about how much this is like the office. There seems to be a lot of pointless staring at computers and flirtatious telephone conversations with women on the other end of the line.

More customers come in.

It has been 15 minutes.

"You are brave coming up from Arizona to drive in this weather," the representative jokes.

"I know!" The woman has huge rings on wrinkled fingers. She is with a guy who must be her son. He says things like "she needs a small car."

Apparently there have been many accidents this morning and a lot of insurance reservations. There really is not very much snow on the roads. It must have just been bad this morning. The usual topic of discussion in these circumstances is that people forget how to drive in snow. No doubt that is the case, but I'm not going to belabor it here.

Apparently they have lost the keys to a car that was to go out to the women with rings. They are willing to offer her an upgrade to a truck. Funny. For me it was triple the rate. The woman refuses. She doesn't want a large truck. Ah her initial rate is much higher. They ask for patience from the customer. The customer seems most accommodating, but that is because they have offered to bring the car to her.

21 minute ago I sat in this chair. I completed the contract 23 minutes ago.

"Everything is slower because of the weather!" the boss says to someone on the phone. That is a very adept assessment.

It is snowing lightly. My leg is falling asleep.

The representative is dancing around the insurance issue. The woman with the rings is surprisingly adept at seeing through his shenanigans: "But you already insure these cars."

"Yes," he admits "but what about rock dings!" It is an exclamation rather than a question.

My guy is getting nervous, I think, he looks out the blinds.

28 minutes.

This rep is a hard sell. He is trying to scare the woman now about how complicated things are making claims out of state. Now he is boldly lying that they don't push the collision damage. The guy the ring woman is with is in cahoots with the rental car guy. She folds. Score another 75 buckaroos to the company. I'm sure they have some sort of competition going on selling the insurance. No one would work so hard to sell it otherwise.

My bet was 30. It is now 35 minutes.

Wait a minute: something's afoot!

5:28 pm

Hah. So the truck that was going to cost me 3 times as much as I was going to pay for the car was given to me. They called it a free upgrade. Patience pays off: you see. Well that and typing away in their waiting room. Apparently the 35 minute wait was even too much for them because suddenly there was a "glitch" with the car.

So now I am tooling around in a Ford F150 with four-wheel drive. So much for my carbon footprint being tiny.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Life of Rome's First Emperor

In my various adventures since I last rapped at you, I picked up Anthony Everitt's new biography Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor to fill the time while moving about the country with my tray table in its prostrate and unlocked position. The book is an interesting exploration of Augustus' life and Everitt admits quite frequently that we know little of the man based upon contemporaneous record simply because Augustus was an example of the quintessential autocratic politician: image control was everything and political secrets could make or break an administration. For example, at one point very late in his life Augustus went on a super-secret mission to visit his ne'er-do-well nephew Agrippa Posthumous (whom the princeps had adopted as his own son and would have succeeded him if he would have behaved better). When a senator who accompanied him on the tripped blabbed the top secret news to his wife, the man mysteriously died and his wife wailed at his funeral that she was the cause of his death. The wife, apparently, had told the news to others and it eventually got back to Augustus's politically adept wife Livia. Ultimately Augustus seemed very upset with the senator and removed him from his circle of close friends. As Everitt admits, the senator could have committed suicide (quite a common occurrence in Roman politics) or he could have died (which seems far-fetched to me) of stress at being on the outs with the head dude in charge.

Robert Graves (see I, Claudius) used such stories to portray Livia as power-hungry and manipulative. Everitt, however, dismisses such a portrayal of Livia and uses it more to show that Augustus simply wanted to see for himself the status of his would-be son and determine if he could be rehabilitated. To Everrit, Augustus was engaging in the very thing that got him on the throne in the first place: political sleight of hand and manipulation. Given that Posthumous was killed right after the Emperor's death one could either determine (ala Graves) that Livia and Tiberius had the kid killed simply to clear any possibility of his ascension to imperium. Everitt, however, takes the position that as always, Augustus was scheming himself and knew that his unfortunate progeny was unfit to rule and thus assured Tiberius ascension to the purple.

Everitt does engage in some pretty knowledgeable explication of Roman life and the political scene at the dawn of the millennium, but he seems to make use of speculative narrative to explain away the actions of people whom we have very little historical knowledge. Granted that his conclusions make sense given Augustus' proclivities to control political situations, but like Greenblatt's Will in the World, it often stretches the blend of historical fact and authorial interpretation to the point that the historian's bias, if not sifted out by the careful reader, is presented as historical fact. I must respect Everitt, however, in that unlike Greenblatt he readily admits (quite often) that he is engaging in speculation. Greenblatt does indeed do that too, but oftentimes his own thesis overwhelms the sparse factual evidence.

In all, however, I think I would prefer to read a biography like Will in the World or Augustus rather than some dry events-only text.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Action on the mountain!

Action on the mountain!, originally uploaded by Theorris.

There you go.

I'm outa here. Enjoy blogging silence.

Go bid the cannons shoot!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'll up here. You are down there.

crisp., originally uploaded by catinlap.

And I'll get to Scotland before ye.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wilhelm Action Tree!

Wilhelm Action Tree!, originally uploaded by Theorris.

This year for the Wilhelm Annual Xtreme Xmas Xxtravaganza X-Tree we decided to put the many many many action figures we all have collected to good decorative use. Look closely and you will spy Wilhelm Wookie too. He's up at the top by Jesus and the Rancor. You can make out many of Jesus's pals in the tree throughout including the boxing rabbi, Amish, and Alien.

And yeah, its a live tree. My carbon foot print is small as it is so I don't need your guff. Actually I do feel badly about it, but it was a farmed tree, grown for this purpose. It had its time to absorb our excess carbon. My housemates, however, have never had a live tree before last year and I felt badly for them, so agreed to get a real cut tree. It is nice to be a little primeval, however, and bring the pagan green inside. Our tree, however, is thoroughly religious, in that Jesus, a rabbi, the Amish, Santa, and a skeleton, represent their religions making this a DIVERSETREE.

You know it is the last day of classes when...

  1. You nearly walk out the door with your shirt on inside-out
  2. You then actually check to make sure you are wearing pants.
  3. You wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat having dreamed that you forgot to go to a class for the entire semester and now it is the last day.
  4. You feel that email is a tool of the devil put on earth to enslave us and destroy our will to live.
  5. You realize that your supply of clothes is surprisingly resilient despite lack-of-laundry doing.
  6. You only think in terms of numbered lists.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Speaking of holiday cheer...

The neighbor kitty-corner to the Wilhelm (my un-humble abode) have a pair of those decorative lit-up deer. You know the sort: stick frames formed into the shape of deer and bestrewn with Christmas lights. Well these deer are apparently the object of holiday culture jamming on the part of the neighborhood teens. Twice now in so many days I've witnessed groups of teens--two to rearrange the unsuspecting festive decorations and one to man the getaway car--attempting to rearrange the would-be deer into compromising sexual positions. Each time they have failed, however, due to the vigilance of my geriatric neighbor. I would take a picture of the kids' failure, but I fear my cantankerous neighbor would think I was in on the gag. I also don't really want him shouting at me to stay off his lawn.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sign of the times

Outside my office (at and undisclosed super-secret location) is a bulletin board where I have posted a flier from the Adbuster's folks about "Buy Nothing Christmas." The ad has a picture of Santa who, posed like a Buddha, is levitating above the words "Rise Above It/Buy Nothing Christmas." Personally, I have no intention of buying absolutely nothing, but I thought the folks who are campaigning against our gluttonous society deserved a small amount of space to state their case.
It was interesting, therefore, to hear the following monologue outside my office today:

"Buy Nothing Christmas?! Rise Above It?! What does that mean? ! Are they boycotting Christmas or something?!"

Ultimately this person proves the Buy Nothing Group's parsimonious point: Christmas has been converted wholesale into a commercial holiday where it is not just connoted with buying goods, but is denoted by egregious spending, excluding any other trifling religious significance of a person who called for disciples to give up all their goods and follow him. For the above commentator Christmas is only about buying things. To not buy things means that Christmas itself is being boycotted. Christ himself is not being celebrated. God is being denied. You are, in fact, an evil atheist if won't buy anything at Christmas time.

I guess they don't show the Charlie Brown Christmas Special any more, eh?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I love you, you love me

A victory for satirists everywhere:

"San Francisco - The corporate owners of the popular children's television character Barney the Purple Dinosaur have agreed to withdraw their baseless legal threats against a website publisher who parodied the character and to compensate him for fees expended in defending himself." (EFF: Breaking News)
Yay! Yay! Let's all sing now! Yay!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Local First Utah

Spiff: Local First Utah - Home

Jennifer Napier-Pierce has a interview with Local First Utah's Gavin Noyes, executive director in episode #65 of her podcast Inside Utah. In a related topic, Napier-Pierce also talks to Christi Paulson on the idea of "slow food."


I completely missed the 5th anniversary of Signifying nothing in this format and now I think it wants a divorce.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Three things learned over Thanksgiving Holiday

  1. Don't wash your cell phone and expect it to work again.
  2. There is a cool indicator just inside the battery compartment of a cell phone that indicates that the device has been immersed in liquid (see #1).
  3. It is still necessary to write down phone numbers despite having a cell phone (see #1).

("Arrogance", Cesare Ripa)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tales of Jr. High

The computer woman who reads aloud my blog posts at Talkr has a charming way of saying "muthafucker."

See I got her to say it again. I am so laughing my ass off right now.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Eleven and one!

All yall muthafuckas still talking sheyat about our Jazz better shut the fuck right up now. Why? Down 20 points and pulled out a win in THEIR house, betyotch. That's right. Uh huh.

We watched the game at Murphy's (a step down in bars) on Main Street in good old down town muthafuckin SLC.


(I swear too much.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Did someone say "4 day holiday devoted to gluttony in its various forms?"

D-News Drives Hard in the Lane with an Easy Pronoun Antecedent Play, Shoots under the Basket, and Misses!

"AND FINALLY: A perhaps-telling quote from Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, on injuries: 'Last year, we had so many injuries I think guys prayed they're going to get hurt. That's what happens. The more you play that way the more you get hurt.' ( | Jazz feeling love from national media)
So the Jazz players were praying that they would get hurt or players from other teams were praying that the Jazz players get hurt? What way are they playing? Religiously, complete with prayers? Why, pray tell, is this a telling quotation? (Quote is a verb not at noun, god damn you.)

Thanks once again, crack Deseret News sports editing team for making things crystal clear.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Best song ever (November 2006 edition)

Witness my droogies:
This wrinkle in time, can't give it no credit
I thought about my space and I really got me down
(got me down)
I got me so down, I got me a headache
My heart is crammed in my cranium
And it still knows how to pound
I was counting the rings
And I fell into a sleep
I peeked to see if you were way back when
I was counting the trees
Until a day when there was one
I'd hoped beneath, asleep is where that you had been
(Frank Black, "Headache".)
Go find the song somewhere. I'm begging you. Go find it. Seriously.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Solve this!

JAZZ: Larry H. Miller Renames the Home of the Utah Jazz

Yay! Utah Jazz now represent bringing in high-level nuclear waste into Utah. Yay! Go team! Nuclearize us all!


At least the Jazz won again.

(By the way, EnergySolutions Arena qualifies as the fucking stupidest name ever in support one of the most heinously 1984-esque industries ever.)
A very good stationary store

This must be the most surreal moment in television history. What the hell is up with Steve Allen and the piano?

Wasn't Augustus Gloop Sucked up the Tube by this Point in the Movie?

All that time in Disneyland for Extremely Wealthy Hicks and the only good picture I get was this one. Yeesh. I was really looking forward to taking pictures of Nashville too. Sherman Alexie called the resort hotel we were all staying at "a perfect analogy of America." Next time that you see that your convention is at Opryland, beware: high prices, long lines, recycled air, and shattered dreams.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Inside of the dome

Inside of the dome, originally uploaded by Theorris.

See I told you the hotel is like Logan's Run. This was Carousel. Capricorn fives and sixteens.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Defect in the thermal shell

I hate it here. I'm sleeping in a mall.

It is Logan's Run.

Let me run.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Travel Easy

Travel Easy, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Another week and more travel. I caught these 3 in the Detroit airport last Sunday, I think. I assume he must have been traveling from the Middle East. His girl was absorbed in her People magazine and tried to get him to look at it. He ignored her. Her mother (or perhaps his) looked nervous the entire time. Perhaps all is not well in the relationship.

I fly out again tomorrow morning. Perhaps another relationship tableaux will be in the offing as I travel to the heart of the Middle South.

No, Queequeg! Don't do it!

Oxford University Press blog (yes they have a blog) has something special for Lisa B.:
"On November 14th, 1851 Herman Melville published Moby Dick, the classic tale of Captain Ahab's whale hunt." (OUPblog: This Day in History: Moby Dick is Published)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"I will destroy you!"

"I will destroy you!", originally uploaded by Theorris.

The phrase "shits and giggles" really pisses someone I know off.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Either purposefully or unpurposefully some company has left their wireless completely unprotected here at DTW. I sit in the "Irish Pub" (I assume some sort of marketing sneezitch of Guiness Corp--are they owned by Miller/Busch whoever now?) and have decided I have a moment to type. Yesterday was running solid for me from 5:30 a.m. to midnight (both Mountain time.) Busy is the name for conferences when you take on leadership positions.

Anywhosits since I don't write about my professional existence here, I feel I am breaching some confidence: even if it is with myself. I suppose Dr. Write might think my unwillingness to blog about my professional existence here as somehow unwholesome--or at least too compartmentalized. I prefer, however, to keep the job and all it entails mostly in its little cage in the attic--or is it the other way round? Anyway the professional commitments allow me to travel a lot so that, naturally, intrudes upon my personal life.

A guy right next to me just swilled a Tanqueray and something. Pre-flight jitters?

The best thing about this trip was a poetry slam last night led by local poet (and poetic impresario) Jeff Kass. I am not much on poetry slams as I think they are cliquish and generally ripe with the disaffected who feel they have a right to whine in quasi-poetry about anything and everything, but these kids were generally interesting to listen to--even the kid who had a poem about getting caught beating off--simply because he explained he wanted to get up in front of a crowd and recite about the most uncomfortable thing he could think of.

Now next to me is a teenager with a gold card trying to order a bloody mary and a beer. "Do you have some ID to show me?" the bartender asks. She is jaded and has a spider tattoo on her arm. The teenager runs off.

After the poetry event my professional friends and I headed off to an Ethiopian restaurant where we ate communally. Ethiopian food is more like Inidan than I expected.

So here I sit, working on my second New Castle, and now I think I've sort of become a barfly. A blogging barfly with my stuff strewn around the bar. It seems uncomfortable even for an airport. Security makes me come to the airport early, so I have a while to wait.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

blue light special

blue light special, originally uploaded by Theorris.

I'm out of here for a couple of days. My Microtel, however, supposedly has wireless access, so expect an update from Ann Arbor. Maybe. If I feel like it. If I see anything interesting. Yeah, I can hear you now: "Some blue light special this is!"

Aren't they all that way? I mean you get over to the flashing podium in Big K and it turns out the blue light special is tighty whiteys.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Adventures in voting

  1. Walk past the polling station with its American flag posted in a planter to another set of doors thinking they would not have put the voting booths in the Catholic church's sanctuary.
  2. Enter those doors, look around and realize you have the wrong place.
  3. Turn around and spot several people leaving the other doors you passed up and realize your mistake.
  4. Walk back to the flag, look around and note the "Vote hear!" sign on the wall by the other doors.
  5. Enter the doors, spot more signs that lead past the sanctuary to a set of stairs leading to the church's basement.
  6. Follow the signs down, turn left at the bottom of the stairs and spot the election judges processing fellow citizens to conduct their suffrage.
  7. Wait patiently for a few people to be signed in.
  8. State your name clearly and somewhat loudly so the geriatric poll worker hears you.
  9. Wait for her to find your name.
  10. Sign your name upside down opposite your name.
  11. Take a yellow card and step to the next poll worker who takes your card and says "I will clear out a voting card for you."
  12. Wait while the poll worker takes a device that looks like a calculator, slides the electronic voting card and punches a few numbers.
  13. Take the card from the election worker who indicates you the short line of voters directly across the hall.
  14. Think about taking pictures while waiting politely in line with your cell phone but decide against it.
  15. Wait for 2 minutes for a electronic polling station to clear and then saunter over to the machine.
  16. Insert your card into the machine and here it click.
  17. Watch as the card ejects and the screen reads "card cleared."
  18. Insert the card in twice more with each time having the card eject and the screen read the same.
  19. Walk back to the poll worker who gave you the card, avoiding the guy who eagerly wants to take the card away from you (that's his job) and state in a clear loud voice "It says the card is cleared."
  20. Listen to the poll worker say "oh my" as if it has never happened before.
  21. Watch the worker re-insert his card into the calculator-like device and ask you what number was on the yellow card you handed him.
  22. State "Which one? The precinct number or the number one?
  23. Listen to him state "the number one" and then take the card back from him eying the blue card with Utah's state seal and a microchip doohickey in a familiar brass contact plate cover goob.
  24. Return to the same Diebold polling station and reinsert the card.
  25. Vote.
  26. Conclude the voting by carefully reviewing your selections and then pressing the "Print Ballot" virtual button.
  27. Review the printed ballot scrolling through the right-hand side of the voting device to ensure all your votes are correct.
  28. Complete voting by selecting the appropriate screen item and remove the voting card from the device.
  29. Turn in the card to the previously mentioned eager poll worker.
  30. Eye the "I voted stickers."
  31. Don't request one and leave the polling place.
  32. Walk home thinking of various ways the system might be compromised or scandolously corrupt politicians might coerce the system if they actually gave you some sort of receipt for voting.
  33. Wonder if those "I voted!" sticker could be used by scandalously corrupt politicians in trade for booze for dipsomaniacs who are getting election-day DTs.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Four and O

103 to 101 my droogies. 

Want to take bets on when the Jazz don't make it over 100?  

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happy valley tour?

Hmm: the Starlight Mints are going to be in Provo at Velour on the 8th. Are they worth a trip into the land of extreme happiness?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ode fragment for Swamp Crotch AZ

The Jazz did show up
As young as they are
And proceeded to wipe
The floor of poor Phoenix
As old as they are
Nash Nash the gnashing
of the Teeth

One O eight.
Down fifteen at one point
And then back to win
What do you know?

We'll leave it at that.

"Hatch Toy Only Available to High Powered Lobbyists"

Ashdown Action Figure!

Best political advertisement ever. Ever.


(I am absolutely not kidding. It is brilliant.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I think it is because of the new ball

I've only got one thing to write to summarize the Jazz's walloping of Houston last night: "107 freaking points. 107 freaking points."

OK that was two things, but since it is repetition it can count as one. I don't recall the last time the Jazz broke a hundred (although I'm sure they did it some time last year) but they haven't done it with such ease and adept play since 2 B.S.M. (Before Stockton-to-Malone). Boozer took it to the basket with authority. Miles held a solid outside. Williams showed he can lead a team. Fisher saved their asses when the team began a classic Jazz out-of-control spin in the 4th and brought them back to the afore-mentioned 107 freaking points. The only disappointment was Kirilenko, but his contribution really wasn't needed anyway because Yao was about as about as big a cry baby flat foot as Ostertag ever was last night.

See this is what you get when you let your players play rather than trying to coach them to death. This is also what you get when you pull things together and listen to your coach (something I saw Fisher doing intently which is so very different from how the last minute Jazz huddles of recent years have been.) They certainly weren't the dead, flat-footed Jazz of last season. Sloan even looked like he cared again. (And I am more than willing to give the guy a big break since his wife died the summer before last season.) Now that Sloan is remarried he seems like he is back into it. Maybe he is willing to accept change.

Crazy first-game-inspired prediction: Jazz make the second round of the play offs.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Do you like my hat?

Do you like my hat?, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Happy Halloween every bloody!


Fortune, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Is that really a fortune? Come on, fortunes are supposed to tell you something about the future, right, not some inane statement about personality traits.

Wow, I guess I just proved that fortune wrong.

Into the night

Favorite, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Oh Shadow!

Oh Shadow!, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Wine grapes
Pinot noir/Cabernet sauvignon

19th Century British Novelists
George Elliott/Anthony Trollope

20th Century British Novelists
D.H. Lawrence/Iris Murdoch

20th Century Poets
T.S. Elliot/Theodore Roethke


Mojito/Standard Martini

Distillations of philosophies
"Be all you can be"/"Know thyself"

Alcoholic authors
F. Scott Fitzgerald/Dorothy Parker

70's Album Rockers
Pink Floyd/Yes

Ronald Reagan/Jimmy Carter



Stravinsky Musical Compositions
Rite of Spring /L'Histoire du Soldat

20th Century Minimalist Composers
Phillip Glass/Steve Reich

Nixon in China/Girl from the Golden West


Renaissance Despots
Henry VIII/Cosimo D'Medici

Fraternal Organizations

Jazz Basketball
Andrei Kirilinko/Devon Williams

Basketball Coaches
Phil Jackson/Don Nelson

SLC Intersections
9th & 9th/21st 11th

Walkable Communities
The Avenues/Sugarhouse


SLC Coffee Houses
Roasting Company/That one in the Avenues



Shopping bags



Film media
Digital/Super 8

Breakfast foods

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


It is snowing.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hieronymous Bosch yam fritter things with black cod

A non-blogger and Dr. Write

A non-blogger and Dr. Write, originally uploaded by Theorris.


Middlebrow, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Counterintuitive, Hightouch, and other non-blogging types

Assertively Unhip & The Biker

Assertively Unhip & The Biker, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Your grandpa's Chevy!

Your grandpa's Chevy!, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Ready to roll, beyotches!

In case of Emergency, Malibu!

In case of Emergency, Malibu!, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Boy this rental car really does make me feel like I'm cruising down the Coastal Highway. Ah the plush plastic interior.

Why do you think GM put the emergency flasher button so close to the name plate? Note how the 80s-computerific lettering leans into the wind.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My mountain home

In Utah you get about 3 weeks of the year where you can actually wear a light jacket and not freeze your ass off or (on the other end of the specturm) burn it up:  1.5 weeks in the spring and 1.5 weeks in the fall.

It is twenty-seven-freaking-degrees outside my people.  Twenty-seven-freaking-degrees.

Man it is great.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

See what happens when you don't teach literature in school?

This dude has obviously never read Kafka's "A Hunger Artist:"
A bearded and hollow-cheeked Agasi Vartanyan finished what he said was his 50th day without food, climbing out of plastic cube on the banks of the Neva River outside of St Petersburg - and promptly berating reporters.

"I feel offended because my efforts did not attract much attention,' the 46-year-old said. 'Only local media wrote about it." (IOL: Skinny man claims new world record)

Soon they will find his cage seemingly empty, and bury him straw and all. Everyone has forgotten the hunger artist. They will replace him with a leopard which "furnished almost to the bursting point with all that it needed, seemed to carry freedom around with it too; somewhere in his jaws it seemed to lurk; and the joy of life streamed with such ardent passion from his throat that for the onlookers it was not easy to stand the shock of it" (Kafka, "A Hunger Artist"). They will stand it and never want to move away.

(Spotted on BoingBoing.)

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Outcasts, originally uploaded by Theorris.

This shit is all gone.

How the fuck did I end up with "My Lady's House Plants" anyway? I remember the 70s crap and Return of the Native is a spare copy (sadly that paper back was a remnant of high school) and 2001 is another double copy. There are some religious texts that I have no idea why I have hung on to and some pretty stupid yard sale grabs being thrown out. My sadest desertion, however, has to be the operation manual for Stephen Wolfram's Mathematica. It was given to me by some very good friends back in the day and I recall have quite a time actually enjoying mathematics for once in my life playing with the program. (It is at the very bottom of the stack on the right.)

Sundee morning update: Just about done with the whole library. The outcast pile has grown considerably.

Amusing things you find while organizing your library or your host at 19


So am I intellectually skeptical of the rather awkwardly seated discussion, or just pining for the cute blonde girl I had a crush on who has the book we were discussing so elaborately displayed on her desk? (Note: I was not in the second class, but you Utah alumni will recognize OSH in all its 80's glory!)

I think I still have that shirt, by the way. My hair was 20 years before its time too.

Schoedinger and Sartre sittin' on shelf, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.....

Because I was so pissed off at not being able to find a book the other week, I have started on the Great Library Reorganization of 2006. I have chosen the most arbitrary of organization systems: alphabetization by author's last name. I would prefer a more esoteric system (such as by subject matter) but screw that, I'm going for arbitrary order in my booky universe. Some of the shelf pairings are amusing. I will amuse you with them when I get the gumption. (I'm only bout a 1/8th way through the library, I think.)

I've also diligently been entering the books into the librarything goobersmack.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

"Dance my moneky! Dance!"

"Dance my moneky! Dance!", originally uploaded by Theorris.

I doubt that Snowbird was intending for people to think the organ grinder had hired a little person to do the dancing.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Transaction(s)

New Beck (The Information): 3 listens so far. (And another fantuckingtastic Beckian website and album design that lets you make your own via stickers that come with the CD. Man what a life it must be in Beck Inc. town.)
New The Decemberists (The Crane Wife): 5 listens so far (And a rather status quo website and album design, save the cool stickers I picked up at Orion's 4 weeks ago, and man what a life it must be in The Decemberists Inc. right now).

Is a review in order?

Three observations:
  1. Are they antiwar?
  2. What is the influence of Yes on The Decemberists? Why does Beck eschew album rock influences?
  3. Will there be a remix?

For some reason I'm listening to Wilco Summerteeth at the moment. Perhaps it is a pallet cleanser.

[The land of lost notes] Note 37: Pick

Found sometime in July at 2300 East 2200 South, SLC, UT.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Instructions for voters

I just received the Utah Voter Information Pamphlet. On page 63 you can find instructions on how to operate the new voting machines. The pamphlet has amusing screen shots: Jack Nicholson as "Commisioner of" something and Lucille Ball as Minister of Comic Relief. Toni Morrison (the author) is also listed. I might note that the voter is shown casting her ballot for Jack.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

As leaves to trees

Quite so
But even the leaves
Have time to grow
Flush against hot
Summer wind
And then yellow
And then die
Crinkled on hard

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Taxicab love

Taxicab love

You said our love was like a bus on route
But the bus driver suffered a heart attack
And now we're careening out of control
About to slam into a Geo Metro
Driven by Death himself--black clad,
Chalky white grin from ear to ear
(If he had ears beneath that itchy
Cool cowl) but death has no ears to hear
The screams of helpless passengers
Or eyes to see that he is driving
Straight into the out-of-control city
Bus of our love

Your analogy made me sad
Because I'd paid full fare
But you got on with your
Student pass

I brace myself for impact
But you’ve already popped
The emergency escape hatch
And bailed, shoulder rolling
To safety

I knew we should
Have just taken a cab.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Best chorus of the past summer

over and over and over and over and over
like a monkey with a miniature cymbal
the joy of repetition really is in you
under and under and under and under and under
the smell of repetition really is on you
and when i feel this way i really am with you
(Hotchip, "Over and Over")

Super cool. You should hear the song.

Lager Lager Lager Shouting Mega White Thing Mega Mega White Thing

Did Trainspotting really come out 10 years ago?

Did I really just nod off in front of my computer?

Shouting Shouting Shouting
Mega Mega White Thing
Come on Come on Come on

Sunday, October 01, 2006

On King Darius and the Art of the Boast

King Darius of Persia had the following text inscribed on his tomb:
This indeed my capability: that my body is strong. As a fighter of battles I am a good fighter of battles. When ever with my judgment in a place I determine whether I behold or do not behold an enemy, both with understanding and with judgment, then I think prior to panic, when I see an enemy as when I do not see one.

I am skilled both in hands and in feet. As a horseman, I am a good horseman. As a bowman, I am a good bowman, both on foot and on horseback. As a spearman, I am a good spearman, both on foot and on horseback.

These skills that Ahuramazda set down upon me, and which I am strong enough to bear, by the will of Ahuramazda, what was done by me, with these skills I did, which Ahuramazda set down upon me.

O man, vigorously make you known of what sort I am, and of what sort my skillfulnesses, and of what sort my superiority. Let not that seem false to you, which has been heard by your ears. Listen to what is said to you.

O man, let that not be made to seem false to you, which has been done by me. That do you behold, which has been inscribed. Let not the laws be disobeyed by you. Let not anyone be untrained in obedience. [The last line is unintelligible]" (Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions: DNb)
And such boasts have a long history in human (particularly male) behavior in which one attempts to intimidate through words either one's friends or one's enemies. I am thinking, in particular, of the great boast that Twain recorded in Life on the Mississippi where the braggart goes on and on about how good he is and, particularly, what a good boaster he is. This brag, of course, is highly relevant to modern-day rap in that many times the rapper goes on and on about what skills he or she has at rapping.

Now aside from the rhetorical aspects of the brag(boast) to indimidate others, I am also interested in when such bragging is condoned and not condoned. Ultimately everyone expects a basketball or football player to boast about his skills both on the court or field as a sort of rhetorical intimidation or distraction tactic. If that player, however, boasts out of the playing context they are considered "big headed" or so completely self-centered that they become the brunt of jokes (witness Karl Malone in parody on Comedy Central for example.) Out of their playing context, athletes are expected to be humble and self-effacing and great champions of team effort. (Now ultimately this can be a racial issue in that often times white players are seen as humble, but athletes of color are seen as self-centered and uppity. I will not, however, be engaging in a discussion of the racist aspects of humility today. I think, nevertheless it is important to considered social values and how they play out between the races.) Larry Bird and Michael Jordan are good examples of this pairing: both were stars on the court and didn't seem to lack attitude about their work while on the court. Nevertheless, when they came off the court they adopted the humble hero motif and declaimed team effort and rarely boasted about their copious skills on the court.

Similarly, one is expected to brag(boast) on a vitae but at the same time showing a sure amount of defference in a job interview. These indicate, of course, an amount of social control on individuals to keep them from breaking out a socially prescribed role. Not all people, in other words, get to be king, and only the king can brag with impunity.

Ultimately this does seem to be the case today, but leaders are expected to be humble (to an extent.) I think, however, that not much really has changed. Darius, for example, is being humble in that he indicates that all of this is thanks to Ahuramazda, much like a modern-day political leader ascribes things to God and asks for God's blessings (acting like some sort of Pontifex Maximus of official republican pan-theism.) Nevertheless, Darius makes sure that you know it is his skill that has made him great (thanks to Ahuramazda). Skill proves Darius. In other words he can kick your ass from here to next week (if he has to). Why can he do this? He has the skills, man. Thanks Ahuramazda! (Praise Jesus! for our modern context.) Darius, like the Jesus-prasing athlete, singer, film-maker, actor, artists, politician whatever is favored by a god and has a right to brag about it. See it is a weird sort of humility that is being displayed in this bragging.

So bragging is really about being humble when you pair it up with a feint at a deity? Hmm. Humility is about social conformity? Hmm.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Grazing ruling a blow to fat cats

Salt Lake Tribune - Grazing ruling a blow to counties:
"'It'll be interesting to see what happens if there is no longer state money,' he said. 'I can't see these ranchers spending their own money, but I've been wrong before.' "
Of course they won't spend their own money; they like to use collective land (that is, BLM/Forest Service land for uber uber uber cheap fees) and collective money (that is, state tax dollars) as if it is all their own and only theirs. Funny how these conservative folks love welfare when it is about their own welfare, isn't it?

I also enjoyed the specious "these wilderness people only want to protect their precious hiking trails from the unsightly presence of cows" argument some where in the piece. Do you think they really believe that argument?

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Fun with Macs, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Door, originally uploaded by Theorris.


Oog, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

You can have your free speech as long as you stand in a place where no one can hear you | Taylorsville settles in animal rights suit:
"The suit was filed after the city and Mayor Russ Wall relegated UARC members to a city-created 'free speech zone' during the city's 'Taylorsville Dayzz' celebration last July. Activists said they were handing out pamphlets and talking to patrons about animal cruelty in the food industry when they were told by city officials they must stand in the 'free speech zone' near a parking lot and away from the events and crowd traffic."
And now Taylorsville has to dole out $15K for their strident desire that no one be upset at their interestingly spelled craptastic kitsch festival. Why didn't they just go for "Taylorzzville" too? That would violate all bounds of free speech, I should think.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

To the tough kid with that drawn look

Too much beer
Not enough pussy
And a nagging at his mind
That he is not and never will be

So he slumps there,
Holding his breath every
Once in a while
To see what it is

To imagine the blackness
He'd stare up at without
Knowing or maybe knowing
Until his eyes rot
In their sockets

At least it would be quiet
No heart pounding because
Of too many cigarettes
No bratty kid wailing in
The backroom

No thought
No nothing

As the bus pulls up he
Scratches out his cigarette
On the concrete and sticks
The unconsumed portion
In his front pocket

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Belt buckle art

Belt buckle art, originally uploaded by Theorris.

My artist friend Kali makes belt buckles and whatnot. This one is 8 penny nails and a washer. It turned out great.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hightouch Gourmanderie

The inimitable Hightouch Megastore is throwing a dinner party this evening. I don't know why, but it seems appropriate to write about it. I don't normally write about such social gatherings. It might be because I am eager to see the remnants of her erstwhile meadow (forceably destroyed by the West Jordanarian Garden Uniformity Polizei. I also wish to meet her rambunctious dog and the less-rambunctious dog she rescued some months ago. Oh yes and I want to see the bamboo floor in the study. Hightouch also seems to be quite the cook, so I look forward to eating well. Perhaps a $30 lemon pie is in order?

I don't think I will take my camera as that seems too intrusive.

I've purchased both white and red wines for the occasion. I suppose getting a chardonay and a cabernet sauvignon is a bit pedestrian, but I've come to like them again. One review called the cab "uninteresting." We'll see.

Update: the dinner was very good and the wine was interesting. One dog is rambunctious and the other dog sedate. The bamboo floor stretches through the entire living room hall etc. No 30 dollar lemon pie, but an elaborate chocalote thing that has some fancy frenchy name.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Omelet for the masses

It is all poetic hash
A buffet of lines
Ham frying on the grill

Monday, September 04, 2006

Why don't we sing this song all together: potatos

Totalitarians really love motley metaphors, macerated in trope, hyperbole, and the mundane:

1) super man
2) sun
3) leader
4) life

But of course Lenin was dead when the film was made.
Filleted by chef Stalin and served to the people: Zharkoye for the starving.

Long ago the sun had set: his brain ruptured in what would be the death throes of his revolution's sunrise.

I told you they love the remixed mix-up metaphor, so why shouldn't I?

And the masses, they eat it all up.
They lick their plates clean:

A) potatos
B) mindlessness
C) sunshine

Love equals mindless devotion as the buried tuber loves the sun.

Or are they eaten? Flesh picked from their bones by the Party?

Maybe I don't understand because I'm not a totalitarian matre d' or a dirt farmer or a canibalistic star sending out rays to be thoughtlessly absorbed and converted, eventually, historically, emphatically to vodka or maybe it is because I am not a potato?

Stick boys

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dali film director
Dali stabbing artwork

Insert comment here

Insert comment here, originally uploaded by catinlap.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Three musical groups I thought about this morning but this morning was not for thinking

1) Badly Draw Boy
2) Sigur Ros
3) Detroit Cobras

I'm not sure how they fit into a omelet-enhanced morning of a lingering headache, but they do:

1) The sun is caught on the louver blinds like in a film noir.
2) The hot pepper from the south forty was particularly hot.
3) A picture of an old girlfriend is nestled underneath the wires by my computer.

Those are the links in numeric order.

And now it is this, out of the somewhere between me and the text splayed on the screen:

And then they drove me to an Albertson's outside of Boise
And took me into a back room.
And they said the wanted to balance my checkbook;
and they said they wanted to organize my receipts
and itemize my expenses
and that I had the key
to a saftey deposit box,
with treasury bonds and the key
to another safety deposit box
where I'd stashed away
the only pewter pocket watch
that ever belonged to
Joseph Smith's Great-Great Uncle's
Brother-in-law. (Fiery Furnaces, Bitter Tea, "Oh Sweet Woods.")
"This fair child of mine should sum my old account."

And now Bjork comes on the stereo.

I'm going to go lie down before I go out and think of Iceland.

And ice.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Jenn and Cue

Jenn and Cue, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hip! Hip! Hooray! for Expensive Things!

Expensive homes saved! Hooray!
Nearly two dozen very expensive homes were threatened by the fire which came within a few yards of some structures. But all homes were saved and there were no injuries as of early afternoon. ( | Firefighters continue to battle blaze)*
Expensive parking garage for Capitol Hill a good thing! Hooray!
Most Utahns want a new state Capitol parking garage, which is now under construction despite an effort to put it on hold at least temporarily. ( | 54% want parking garage)
Expensive mines don't have to clean up after themselves! Horray! (That would be just too expensive!)**
A reclamation project of Pacific Mine in American Fork Canyon may have just made cleanup operations*** across the country a whole lot easier. ( | Loophole eases mine cleanup)
Expensive gondola boondogles deserve protection from freedom of speech! Hooray!
Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey has asked two groups of residents to stop distributing and to remove lawn signs about a proposal to build a gondola and mountain resort in the city. ( | Mayor wants 'divisive" gondola signs gone)
*Theorris Boonasty does not favor anyone's house burning down, save, perhaps, David Byrne who is just asking for it with his seminal Talking Heads song "Burning Down the House." T. Boonasty was amused, however, that the D-News fetishized the value the homes in question with such a prominent sentence. Can we say it in unison with a hyper-trilled R? VERRRRRRRRRRRRY EXPENSIVE.

**How many dummy "environmental corporations" are now going to be created by erstwhile mining companies in order to never have to clean up their Love Canals?

***Translated from the Des-Newsese: "sorta-maybe-kinda-cleanup."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Excellent back-to-school idea

Salt Lake Tribune - U. of Idaho center is aimed at helping students go green:
"A new environmental center at the University of Idaho is aimed at giving the more than 12,000 students returning to campus this week new ideas on how to keep from being too much of a burden on planet Earth.
The student-run University of Idaho Sustainability Center, now hiring its five-person staff, is the result of lobbying by students last year for an $85,000 share of school fees and tuition. "

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Send me your vacation stories gone wrong. Vacation Macaque will surely have something to say about it.

Fox News has the story (oy.) (I found this on The Deseret Spectacle, by the way.)

Thanks to Golden puppy, webgo, Goldenboy7, and interrobong from for the images used above.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hasta luego

Hasta luego, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Muddy Creek: Happy Couple

Muddy Creek: Happy Couple, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Monday, July 31, 2006


John and Kendra, originally uploaded by Theorris.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Solomon's Seal?

Solomon's Seal?, originally uploaded by Theorris.

I'm not sure if this really is solomon's seal or not. In any case the flower heads are great.

Sugarloaf and Pine Grove

Sugarloaf and Pine Grove, originally uploaded by Theorris.

You can see the meadow between the pines, looking up towards Sugarloaf mountain.


Uncertain, originally uploaded by Theorris.

I can't remember this plant's name. It is something like jackass flower (I'm not kidding.) My old girlfriend Mary told me what it was.


Lupins, originally uploaded by Theorris.

The lupins were in full bloom.

Lupins and unknown

Lupins and unknown, originally uploaded by Theorris.

I was sitting on this cool outcropping of granite.