THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: January 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

On Long Ago(s) and Far Away(s) - Part 1

So once upon a time I was eight years old.

And on the very same day that they handed out those little pills that you could chew on and it would make your teeth and gums red where there was plaque, a photographer came and took the picture reproduced below of my third grade class in Panama City, Florida. There was a fair amount of plaque in my mouth that day, but as you can see if you can figure out which kid is me which you ought to be able to from these clues, I was not in the least bit embarrassed about it.

At least I wasn't embarrassed about it until we all got our copies of this picture back a few weeks after it was taken.

But this isn't a post about my noticeably deficient oral hygiene during the fall of 1980. Although my oral hygiene is certainly noticeably deficient. And although this picture was taken during the fall of 1980.

This is a post about grade school best friends. And my best friend from when my family lived in Panama City is in this picture. He was in my class. His name is Billy. I loved him. We did all kinds of stuff together, my memory tells me. We went fishing. We rode our bikes around. We chased our dogs. We read books. We went around the neighborhood in the morning on trash day and scavenged for treasures. My family's house was on the edge of this swamp with homemade dirt biking trails and puddles and woods and less than a mile from the runway of some local airport and we were eight year old boys.

There was always something to do.

But we moved to Iowa during the summer between fifth grade and sixth grade. And Billy and I lost touch.

Now fast forward to last week, more than twenty-five years later -- just skip right past the invention of Google even though it's a darn important part of the story. I was talking to my four year old daughter and she was asking me to tell her about when I was a little boy. She was asking me, bless her adorable little heart, how I met my friends back when I was a little boy. I have no idea how it came up.

Well, I remembered Billy's name, looked him up on the Google scraper that I use (that way Google doesn't get my cookies), immediately found a website about him and sent him an email. He answered my daughter's question -- How do you meet people when you're under 10? -- with what must be the truth:

"You just do, I guess. It's before
you have any reasons not to."

Thus began a glorious email exchange of wonderful reunioning which I hope and trust will continue here in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. And all of which prompted me to dig around in my old photos to find not only the above class picture but also the image of triumph reproduced below.

This image captures perfectly my best friend Billy the conqueror in the hours immediately after he subdued a true monster of the deep - a largemouth bass weighing in excess of one pound (seriously).

And, to my amusement, it looks like I'm wearing the same shirt in both pictures.

Friday, January 12, 2007



Dude. All that time huffing ass at the back of the peloton and grinding it out in criterium after criterium have paid off.

Not only is his plumber's crack now completely hairless (the result of the questionable union of a jumpsuit with a wooden crotch guard, a narrow wedge of rock-hard plastic/rubber for a seat, and the friction and sweat of the countless hours in the saddle), but he has graduated, very recently, to a Cat 3 Road cyclist.

Although I couldn't find anything to explain what this means to laypersons on the internet, it is a Very Big Deal. And I will continue to accept this as a true statement even though I couldn't find anything to explain with this means to laypersons on the internet.

So give a ...



... to the The Velvet Fog.

Way to go, Phineas.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

On Expectations of Prospective Grandeur - Part 1

So have you heard of this television program SuperNanny?

It's about a nanny who is super.

I was thinking about this program earlier today when we were struggling with developing a discipline routine for our youngest daughter during mealtimes. The SuperNanny has clear guidelines for addressing these sorts of issues, and both my wife and I are super fans of the SuperNanny and super fans of addressing these sorts of issues. But we are challenged a bit in being consistent and successful at maintaining decorum and focus while we're eating.

But the good news for us, and the good news for everyone, according to the SuperNanny, is that whenever you finally get around to following her guidelines; whenever you actually implement her recommendations; whenever your commitment to the theory manifests itself in you actual behavior, your children's conduct will measurably improve.

So I figure, if that's inevitable if we just do the right thing as parents, what's the rush?

We'll get there eventually.

For now it's just too taxing ...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

On the End of an Era - Part 2

Following up on the announcement of my recent sale of the Golden Beauty, we traded in my wife's 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport (with a spoiler - totally rad) on December 30. For a 2003 Honda Pilot remarkably like that pictured below.

Now, for the first time in our lives as car owners, neither of us are driving a vehicle that is more than five years old. I go out the parking lot, I can't find my car. I look in the mirror, I don't even recognize myself. I recently changed my middle name to "Huxley."

In other more important news, the new ride is named Pilot, but it doesn't have a compass.

What cruel irony.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

On Platonic Inspiration - Part 1

Why doesn't this post on Wikipedia pay homage to the Matrix, which obviously inspired that old philosopher to come up with his bizarre story about people wanting to resist being awakened from the dream world that had been pulled over their eyes?

Dodge this.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

On Ack .. Punctuating the Positive - Part 1

So I've been sending scads of emails lately. Literally scads. And not one of them was spam. Though plenty of them were worthless. A pattern I've seen developing in these emails is abundant use of semi-colons; I hadn't really focused on this particular punctuation tool in the past but I'm discovering that I really like it; the interesting thing about it is that you can string together a fairly long sentence with judicious (and probably grammatically incorrect) application of the semi-colon.

I'm just using those babies (semi-colons) all over the place.

All this reminds me that if you want to read a book with some extremely long parentheticals in it, read Something Happened by Joseph Heller. I'm remembering a part of the story now and am horrified about it. But I'd nevertheless recommend it. Especially if you like the exploration of daily minutiae (sp?). Which fans of Seinfeld claim to. Of course Seinfeld presents its analysis in morsels. The book is damn long. In fact I think I can almost safely say that some of the parentheticals in the book required longer to read than a single episode of Seinfeld required to view (from the DVDs, because with the commercials the episodes are longer).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

On Lighter Fare - Part 1

It is time to pull out the ole' Mail Bag here at Garrett's Randomly Titled Blog. Today's featured article is a gem of a paragraph from a true professional. Brilliant syntax and imagery.

Poetry 101, you've got nothing on this guy.


  • Oh its receding, much to my chagrin. So I just keep growing it. I've not had a real cut in about a year, year and a half. I look like Uncle Rico from Napolean Dynamite. It looks ridiculous in the morning, sticking up 2-3 inches off my dome. One of the Tampax Mafia here said it looked like Something About Mary last week. No fun having bitches sweat my fro and my ice 24/7.

Monday, January 01, 2007

On Some Scary Shit - Part 1

"Where people often get lost is on this very point,'' he said after a moment of thought. "Real faith, you see, leads us to deeper reflection and not -- not ever -- to the thing we as humans so very much want."

And what is that?

"Easy certainty."

That's a line attributed to a man named Jim Wallis in a startling Ron Suskind article published in the New York Times that was written a couple of weeks before the 2004 presidential election.

I found a link to it in this article called Retreat From Empiricism which I read tonight.

I'd been thinking about this sort of thing in preparing for my next article about the Iraq War where I'm planning to present links to articles written by the same folks I mentioned below, letting you folks know what those guys are saying and recommending today.

Of course all that time and energy to be spent by me in putting it all together and by you in reading through the articles if you choose to do so is all seeming enormously irrelevant after I just finished reading those two articles linked above here.

The gist of it -- and I would definitely encourage both of you to read those articles -- is this:

  • President Bush does not engage in deep, thoughtful analysis before making decisions about complex issues. Not even close. President Bush relies on instinct. And on what God tells him to do.

I consider that some scary shit.