Back to your oar, 41.

Charlton Heston is dead, and all I can do is scroll through the IMDb “quotes” pages from his movies.

Nefretiri: Oh, Moses, Moses, why of all men did I fall in love with a prince of fools?

I always thought Heston’s life was self-parody enough, but I’ll leave the obits to others. Still, could this be true?

In what could have been Heston’s most audacious Jewish role, the FBI recruited the actor amid the 1993 Waco, Texas, standoff involving David Koresh and the Branch Davidians. Heston was to have played the Voice of God to facilitate negotiations with Koresh, however the plan was never used.

XM should have a separate channel called The Government’s Loudspeaker. It would have a short playlist, but a thought-provoking one, consisting entirely of stuff some law enforcement agency thought might get a holed-up desperado to come out with his hands up. The Manuel Noriega dance mix, I seem to recall, ran the gamut from extreme heavy metal to “Baby I’m-a Want You.” That would make for some interesting radio, but no one asked me.

So how was your weekend? I’m starting to dread my own. The basement drains backed up again, and Alan got two flat tires — one on his car, and one on mine. Since mine is due for four new ones, and his was in a sidewall, that’ll have to be replaced, too. Lately I feel as though I’m closing on a house, at that point where every time you turn around someone wants a check for $300. Only this weekend will be more like $600.

Oh, well, you know what they say: Pain means you’re still alive.

And even a few hundred bucks in un-budgeted expenses couldn’t entirely ruin the first nice weekend of the whole damn year. Gentle temperatures, sunshine, the whole works. We dragged our rosemary bushes outside to the deck and told them to fend for themselves, then raked out the detritus of winter, a basically pleasant task, considering the detritus didn’t include any dead birds or anything. Filled five lawn-and-leaf bags, then checked the forecast — freezing temperatures expected by next weekend. Well, screw it. Rosemary has a week to harden up for it, and forecasts change.

Of course I celebrated with a long bike ride. Rode down to Alter Road to scout locations for my upcoming video, imaginatively working-titled: Alter Road. I want more green before I get going on it, but I also wanted to see if there’s any way I could find a reasonably safe route to the newly opened bike paths of downtown. Google Maps’ street view has some gaps, but what I could see of Freud Street wasn’t good:

View Larger Map

(God. Google Maps street view. Signs and wonders and more signs, and more wonders.)

So I chickened out. For now.

But that made me think, well, maybe I could help complete the map, some real ground-level citizen journalism. Send Google some pictures taken on key street corners, eh? I asked my genius how I might do that. He replied:

They’re so precisely geolocated because a special vehicle with multiple cameras pointing in “all” directions moves slowly down a street and they suck up images with super-duper-precise geolocation, metadata aplenty…driven by some coffee sipping slacker (I’ve seen them in Atlanta.)

I want that job. I want it really, really bad.

OK, some sober bloggage: Funeral arrangements for Ashley are complete, and can be found here. Predictably, they contain a note of humor; mourners are encouraged to dress either traditionally or in Saints gear, or a combination of both. Memorials are to the family, left without a provider. You can Paypal ’em here.

With that, I’ve fiddled with Google Maps too long. Time to get to work. And wait for the plumber. Again.

Posted at 10:33 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

18 responses to “Back to your oar, 41.”

  1. virgotex said on April 7, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Heston was to have played the Voice of God to facilitate negotiations with Koresh, however the plan was never used.

    as we say in Texas, “only in Waco”

    too bad, it might have worked.

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  2. Kirk said on April 7, 2008 at 11:43 am

    With a name like Freud Street, who knows what you might run into? Or maybe, up there, it’s pronounced “Frood.”

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  3. Kirk said on April 7, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I know how to spell “there”; for some reason, I can’t edit it.

    Oops, turns out I could edit it after all.

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  4. sue said on April 7, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I use Google Maps Street View to “visit” my children. I’ll pull up a picture of one or the other’s apartment while at work and keep it up so I can see it. Somehow comforting to this mom. Got you beat for a bad weekend, Nancy. I have a sick cat; just sick enough that he might pull through without a lot of nasty invasive intervention. Still, the vet meter is at $800 and running. And yes, my cat is worth it, so let’s not get into that discussion, folks. I don’t shop, collect, restore, race, ride or spend my money on any other expensive hobbies. I have pets and pay vet bills.

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  5. Danny said on April 7, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I can’t call it a “bad weekend” because it was for our next door neighbor, a single mom from Panama with three kids and an out-of-state, deadbeat ex-hubsband. She has trouble making ends meet and we try to fill that gap because we love them and think that God puts people in our lives for a reason. As long as there is breath in me and means at hand, I will not let children go hungry and homeless.

    But like both of you, it was unexpected and expensive.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on April 7, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Sue–we had cats when I was a kid and no doubt some of those vet bills were high. Mom used to say she didn’t drink, smoke or gamble so her indulgences were pets and buying records. And much pleasure was had from both!

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  7. Kirk said on April 7, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Sue, hope the cat’s OK. We picked up our dog at the vet hospital Saturday. He seems to be bouncing back from surgery for bladder stones. Quite expensive, but worth it to us.

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  8. LAMary said on April 7, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Albert the cat cost about 2600. two years ago. He had a blocked urethra or something. He’s a swell cat, but I feel he owes me.

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  9. Kirk said on April 7, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    That’s what our dog had.

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  10. sue said on April 7, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Julie, your mom has it right. If you can do it, kids and pets just go together. Thanks for your concern, Kirk, and right back at ya. I know cats get bladder crystals, stones and blockages, but I didn’t know it was a problem with dogs. I assume you now get to buy a prescription diet that your dog will hate forever. LAMary, a friend of mine has a cat that also pulled through that dangerous condition, and he is named Al too, only his Al name stands for Ass Licker. My cat is doing about the same. We still don’t know what’s going on or if he’s going to make it. I’ll let you know one way or the other.

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  11. Harl Delos said on April 7, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    the cat cost about 2600. two years ago.

    As a farm boy, I hear $2600, and I think, “Oh, my god, how much per pound is that?”

    Then I think about Marie. It’d be $20/pound for her; German Shepards weigh considerably more than most cats.

    And then I wonder what I’d do. It’s not a question of whether she’s worth $2600 to me. It’s a question of whether, if it takes $2600 to fix, would I be prolonging her life, or prolonging her death?

    I wondered the same thing about my grandmother, in her final years. She kept having operation after operation for her cancer, and she never seemed to get well before they told she needed another one. I don’t mind the cost of the medical care, but sheesh, she suffered so much.

    She wanted so much to attend my niece’s wedding. It was her first great-grandchild to wed. A couple of weeks before then, they told her that she wouldn’t be strong enough to go, and she had better not make plans she couldn’t keep. That did it. She gave up struggling, and died two days later.

    I’m so sorry your cat was so sick. I hope she’s enjoying life now. Marie is starting to really get down on cats; she repeatedly will approach cats in a friendly manner, only to get her nose clawed. But she always tries to be friends first.

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  12. Dexter said on April 7, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    My cat died March 18, 2007, of Wal*Mart brand “Special Kitty” wet food packs. He was 15, but the vet said he died from the same thing thousands of pets died from last year. Odd, isn’t it, how that dropped out of the news cycle?

    I just returned from a 12 mile bike ride. Yesterday I had the old Schwinn 10 speed out, today I rode the Specialized cross-bike. A great evening for cycling. For luck, I found a quarter. I stopped and picked it up. I won’t stop for dimes…but a quarter, if I am just cruising anyway….what the hell. Once I found $37 frozen into the ice in a parking lot. I dug it out…I have found four billfolds over the years, one had been stuffed with cash; it was my friend’s, and he had left it lying on the change machine. He had just been paid in cash for a cabinet job and that billfold had a few thousand in it. He bought me a jug of bourbon and two cases of beer.
    Yard uglies? Here’s one for the books:
    Three days ago my Jack Russell started sniffing at a strange thing…it was a white rat, flattened, in my yard. It was the kind they feed huge snakes, I think. How the poor thing ended up in my yard is a mystery, and I am leaving it at that.

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  13. Dave said on April 7, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    We spent $302 on our eight-year-old Bichon Frise, Desi, today, for an EKG and x-rays to learn she has a significantly enlarged heart. She’s on medication, if she were human, she could have new heart valves, think of that cost. The doctor says she’s not in the condition where we should worry, yet, but who knows in another year. We thought we’d have Desi for a long time and maybe we will.

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  14. joodyb said on April 7, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    We try to be philosophical about vet bills; just have to live life one day at a time. though we are 2 dogs rich today, i still smart from the decision to put my darling Pearl down 3 years ago. i know in the mr. spock way that it was right. still.

    even healthy pets aren’t free. ken’s first round this spring – just the basics – came in at $246. he still has to be neutered. and then it’s jax’s turn.
    buying powerball tickets, of course.
    good luck sue and dave. dexter, that makes me so mad. rest assured people are still rallying that cry. as we now know, it wasn’t just a pet-food problem.

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  15. nancy said on April 7, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    My FW neighbor’s family had been the contracted animal-control officers in their rural county for years. She could catch a wild raccoon like it was a sleepy puppy. But even she balked at her grandfather’s technique for neutering his barn cats, no vet needed — he kept an old overcoat in the barn with one sleeve stitched shut. He’d catch the cat, stick it head-first down the sleeve, and then quickly do the deed before releasing the cat to do its own post-op care.

    I’ve had a few vets tell me confidentially that neutering is one of the simplest procedures they do, and that anyone with a minimal understanding of the anatomy could easily do it at home. (Not that you should try this, Judy.)

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  16. Kafkaz said on April 8, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Well. Quite a day. Various repair people keeping me company all week, as well. I should just put a stack of money on the front step and leave it at that. To top off all of this joy, a draft that just made its way to my desktop was about 85% swiped from me–totally unattributed, but of course. So! Plagiarism. That’s where I came in. Odd, though, in this setting. This one took me by surprise, in some ways, but also reinforced my very low opinion of the swiper, who would about die, I think, if she knew that she’d plagiarized me, here–her “source” material (my original, in other words) was passed along to her by still another person, who knew her to be entirely clueless about this particular area. What she copied? My, “here are some of the key things your clueless person will need to get up to speed about in a big hurry” note to her boss (which he specifically requested from me). He sent that to her as advice from him, and she copied and pasted away, with nary an alteration. He then posted the result back to me. LOL. Sigh. I need to raise my consulting fees. A lot. (More for the stack on the step, doncha know.)

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  17. Dexter said on April 8, 2008 at 2:06 am

    Here’ more stuff on Max Mosely, head of Grand Prix racing…he apparently likes to cavort with hookers in London dungeons and abuse girls dressed up like Holocaust prisoners.
    Of course he likes to have his ass flogged, too, before performing acts with the loverly ladies.

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 8, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Borrowed from “The Writer’s Almanac” today, Apr. 8, apropos of the clientele of this corner tavern:

    “It’s the birthday of the journalist Seymour Hersh, born in Chicago, Illinois (1937). He majored in history at the University of Chicago and then went to law school for a year, but he was expelled for poor grades. He worked at a drug store for a while before a friend told him about the Chicago City News Bureau.

    One of the first major stories he covered was about a house that had burned down in an inner-city neighborhood. He arrived on the scene and all the members of the family had been wrapped in tarps and arranged by size. He said, “I had this little image; like daddy bear, mama bear, and little baby bears. It was a horrific, amazing sight.” When he called in the story, his editor asked him if the deceased were black or white. When he responded that they were black, his editor told him to just keep it to one short paragraph in the paper.

    It was Seymour Hersh who broke the story that American soldiers had massacred an entire village in Vietnam, killing all the men, women, and children. He followed up on it and broke the story of what is now known as the My Lai massacre and went on to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on the subject, My Lai : A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath (1970).

    Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, Hersh has been writing articles for The New Yorker on the U.S. government’s response, Middle Eastern politics, and the war.”

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