Wednesday, December 31, 2008

book review: The Areas Of My Expertise

#57 The Areas Of My Expertise John Hodgman 2005 * * * * An almanac of lies. Hodgman's professorial tone coupled with his ludicrous, outrageous absurdities is LOL funny. I actually "laughed out loud". Someone else has already compared it to Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes, and I have to agree it is right up there with the craziness. ~ December 31, 2008


See all my book reviews:
http://www.danmanning.com/37.php

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Lie I Would Tell Oprah

I see in the news today that Opera, that gullible TV personality who will interview anyone with a tall tale (in order to add further to the glory of the mountain of gold on which she keeps her lair) has once again fallen for a lie, this time about a fabricated story of love found in the Nazi concentration camps. Herman Rosenblat's memoir will not be published.

Oprah has fallen for lies before. She was fooled by James Frey's alleged memoir "A Million Little Pieces," in September of 2005. She was also fooled by Tom Cruise who professed his love for a WOMAN and jumped up and down on Opera's couch, which as everyone knows, is made from the skin of all those she has stepped on to build her media empire. And I assume that everyone assumes that Tom Cruise loves only himself.

I would like to lie to Oprah as well. Given the opportunity to appear on her show, I am willing to tell her I was born during a high-speed chase after a bank robbery, which my parents only took part in because they were forced to pay ransom to release my mother's parents, who were scientists at Los Alamos Atomic Research Laboratory during the height of the cold war. The government denied my grandparents' existence, so it was impossible to get the police to help gain their release. Forced to rob banks to raise the 1 million dollar ransom, I was delivered in the back of a getaway car by a sympathetic nun who accompanied my parents during these bank heists of 1965-66, acting as a getaway car driver, lookout, and wise confidant during their adventures. (My parents' crime spree inspired Steve Miller to write "Take the Money and Run", one of his better known hits.)

My parents were brutally gunned down in Las Vegas by Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley (both at the time employed secretly by the FBI) after a failed heist at the Bellagio. The nun, able to escape, hid me in an abandoned Japanese internment camp, where I was raised by wolves. That nun would eventually move on to become Phyllis Diller.

The wolves taught me how to play croquette, disarm bombs, seduce women, and whittle. The Wise old Pack Leader taught me to read using a single copy of a 1944 Sears catalog.

At the age of eighteen, as is wolf custom, I was cast out into the wild, where I was taken in by a band of gypsies who toured the nation following bands like Quiet Riot and Ratt. They would take advantage of stoned teenagers by telling their fortunes and selling them mushrooms. It was here that I met and fell in love with the woman who would take my virginity and cast me aside, Jamie Lee Curtis. If you pay close attention, I am an extra in the restaurant scene in the 1988 movie "A Fish Called Wanda".

That is the lie I will tell Oprah. She will believe it, because after years of lounging on mountains of gold bullion, she has been enfeebled. Many of those golden bars are simply lead bars painted to look like gold bars. (Stedman is routinely beaten if her glory does not increase each day.) Exposure to lead has completely destroyed Oprah's incredulity gland, which as everyone knows, is located just to the left of the hippocampus in the medial temporal lobe of the brain.

book review: The Partly Cloudy Patriot

#56 The Partly Cloudy Patriot Sarah Vowel 2002 * * A collection of essay's by Sarah Vowel. I read two of her other books and they were great. This one, not so much. I was underwelmed. ~ December 8, 2008


Read all my book revews here:
http://www.danmanning.com/37.php

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas

Girls got great gifts. I will not list them, so that hobos don't read this at the library and come and rob us. We have lots of snow. My dad told me he golfed today. GOLFED. Whilst I had to dig a path through the backyard so I could get to the firewood. The piles of snow at the end of our driveway make it impossible to see oncoming traffic. Yet my father golfed today. And told me about it. Oh the humanity!

Well, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

book review: Don't Know Much About History

#55 Don't Know Much about History Kenneth C. Davis 2003 * * * A FAQ format covering US history, highlighting some of the events people talk about but usually don't actually know anything about. Very informative. ~ December 23, 2008


Read all my book revews here:
http://www.danmanning.com/37.php

movie review: goodfellas

Goodfellas 1990 * * * This movie was entertaining. Joe Pesci is always good. Not the greatest movie ever made but it was a decent story. Unfortunately, no one was smokin' hot. ~ December 24, 2008


See all my movie reviews here:
http://www.danmanning.com/38.php

Monday, December 22, 2008

movie review: balls of fury

Balls of Fury 2007 * * * I couldn't have had lower expectations for Balls of Fury, the movie about Ping Pong, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was funny, it was a decent story (considering the subject matter) and Maggie Q was smokin' hot. ~ December 22, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day Log, Installment #2

11:20 AM: take two pre-emptive Motrin.

12:41 PM: disconnected from World of Warcraft Server. seen as sign I should do something else.

12:43 PM: caught the dog getting into the cat food.
Scolded same.

12:44 PM: opened can of tuna.

1:53 PM: Finished driveway again. Sun was briefly out, and blue skies. Alex's friend arrives. Dan updates Facebook status.

2:01 PM: disconnected from World of Warcraft server again. It is time to write my bestselling novel.

2:15 PM: made more tea. watched "The Office" with Deb.

2:26 PM: the episode wasn't that good. Deb gets a call from a friend in Virginia.

3:30 PM: Snow day is over. going to bank and then to have a beer.

Snow Day Log, Installment #1

Around 5:30 AM: the phone rings. The automated service from the school tells us that school is cancelled today. We go back to bed.

6:20 AM: Savannah's alarm goes off. Deb goes in and shuts it off. Alex cries because the school Christmas party was scheduled for today.

Around 7:30 AM: I wake up and get out of bed. Deb is working tonight, so she sleeps.

7:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Snowing like batshit outside. I check Facebook and Internets. I update my movie review page. Girls are making paper snowflakes with scissors, paper and glue. Alex asks to borrow Scotch Tape. Alex asks to call her friend "just to talk."

9:03 AM: I fire up gaming computer.

9:06 AM: I put water on to boil.

9:12 AM: hot tea steeping process begins.

9:17 AM: hot tea (splash of milk) realized. I check Facebook again. I Adds all people listed in "people you may know" even though I'm not sure if I know any of them. I have a bad memory.

9:25 AM: I cut two doors in a TigerDirect shipping box for the cat to play in.

9:26 AM: Cat plays in cardboard box.

9:27-9:29 AM: I write one sentence in my new novel.

9:30-9:31 AM: teased cat with cat toy.

9:32 AM: check calendar. Yep, nothing scheduled today.

9:33(?) AM: put on wristwatch. I realize the watch is two minutes behind computer clock. Check time.gov to see which one is correct.

9:34 AM: set wristwatch up two minutes.

9:36 AM: I watch the official clock's website second hand and compare it to my computer clock. Only 4 seconds off. I decide that this is acceptable.

9:38 AM: another paragraph in novel complete.

9:42 AM: checked Facebook, went out to shovel snow.

10:14 AM: helped neighbor get car back into their driveway.

10:16 AM: half-way finished shoveling driveway. Take break.

10:18 AM: fresh cup of tea. Check Facebook.

10:20 AM: checking hits on my website. "grand rapids sledding hills" page has had six hits.

10:25 AM: back outside to shovel more snow.

11:15 AM: finished first dig-out of driveway.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Two Book Reviews I Forgot to Post:

#53 The Wordy Shipmates Sarah Vowel 2008 * * * * Crappy title for a book, but the Puritans were freaks! Not really, but Vowel brings these mixed up folks to life. ~ December 8, 2008
#54 Assasination Vacation Sarah Vowel 2006 * * * * * More Historic Goodness from Violet Incredible. You'd be surprised how many tourist traps are based on Presidential assassinations. Kind of reaches when she tries to get "lofty" but still, an absolute great read. ~ December 8, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Church of the Eternal Dachshunds

Last night I had a vision. (I was SOBER thank you) and this is what was revealed to me. I wrote it in one go on graph paper. Those papers will be retained as historical religious artifacts:

The Seven Eternal Dachshunds reside on the Cul-De-Sac of Eternity, bathed in the Light of The Eternal Summer Saturday Afternoon.

I.

John is the Dachshund of Wisdom and the Keeper of the Fires of Stupidity. He shakes his head at the folly of mankind. His soft brown eyes fill with tears, for he is tasked with preparing the Fires of War, the Fires of the Forest, and the Fires of Air. Only his tears of pity quench enough of the Fires of Stupidity so that mankind is not consumed.

II.

Ci-Ci, the Besweatered Dachshund of Time checks the clock on the mantle and keeps mankind pinned to the Sweep Hand of The Ages. Ci-Ci has a pink ribbon tied around her neck, while barking the Toll that cuts down the ages. She is the Dachshund of Labor, Work, Growth, Decay and Ultimate Destruction. Ci-Ci is the Destroyer of All. On the second Thursday of every month, Ci-Ci goes to the Pet Boutique of Eternity around three in the afternoon.

III.

Mr. Num-Num is The Dachshund of War. He is the Divider, and he divides mankind into Nations, Creeds, and Sects. His task is the easiest of the Seven Eternal Dachshunds, for Mankind does the rest. Mr. Num-Num lives in the backyard. It is his offal that mankind must collect, lest he step in it on some careless errand. Mr. Num-Num barks in the night, but always in the distance, but Mankind does not recognize him, and instead hears an enemy at the door. Mr. Num-Num scratches at the door and Mankind only hears his enemy, so Mankind readies his weapons. Mr. Num-Num often runs in the street, but he cannot be hit by a car. He always comes back. Mr. Num-Num only eats table scraps.

IV.

Winston Meriwether, The Dachshund of Peace, sits in the shade of the Folding Table at the Lemonade Stand of Ultimate Understanding. The Eternal Summer Saturday Afternoon lulls Winston Meriwether into a doze, while he looks out at the Universe with half-lidded eyes of Eternal Calm. Winston Meriwether does not stir when the Mailman of Ill-Boding rides up on his little bicycle and rings the bell and buys a Dixie-Cup of lemonade, as he has for Ten-Thousand-Billion years. Only those who do not seek can find Winston Meriwether.

V.

Chelsea-Princess II is the Dachshund of Death and the Patron Saint of Second-Person Explanations. Chelsea-Princess II will be there when you die. She sits at the foot of the dying, and right before you go to that final sleep, Chelsea-Princess II reminds you of all wasted time. She whines to go outside just as you are about to die and you let Chelsea-Princess II out and only then, at the moment of your last death-rattle do you notice how nice it is outside, because you are looking at The Eternal Summer Saturday Afternoon. You decide to take Chelsea-Princess II for a walk, and the hot pavement does not burn your feet. You are ten years old again. Summer lasts forever. Only then do you realize that you never walk the dog, the dog walks you. You are planning to just go around the block but you never return.

VI.

Poppy is the Lord of Awkward Silences. Poppy is the Keeper of Unclaimed Farts and Lost Remote Controls. Poppy sits on The Ultimate Throne of Bread Loaf Heels. Poppy's mansion is one thousand miles high, made of spare computer parts and old typewriters. Poppy is the Keeper of Unread Blogs, Coffee Grounds, and Plastic Grocery Bags. The Shadow of Poppy resides silently behind dusty storefront windows in empty "for lease" strip-mall spaces. Poppy is the Lord of Awkward Silences.

VII.

Buster is a mystery. No one, even those counted among the Elect, knows of that which Buster will someday be held in account. Buster shows his teeth and growls at the other Eternal Dachshunds. The only thing the Eternal Dachshunds agree on is Buster is waiting for something. No one knows of what he awaits, but everyone knows the time is nigh upon us.


Please spread the One True Word. . . Thank you and keep clear of Buster.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

generic blog post

Another great holiday weekend. Plenty of turkey. I worked today and yesterday. Good to have work on holiday weekends. Drank too much yesterday. Went to the Hideout and Ken had some mead and he gave me a glass for free, then I switched to wine, then to beer. Bad move. I am such a dumb ass. I had a massive headache and was in bed by nine. I am old.

Today it snowed and we moved firewood under the tree house and into the garage. Got to have dry wood.

I'm working on a science fiction story, a non-fiction historical thing I'm not too sure about, and a PHP database program for a customer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

fire good, mmmkay?

It is 8:50 and I am have already built a fire and I plan on sitting next to the fire for the rest of the day. Last night all the girls were gone (Deb to work, Alex to friend's house, and Savannah babysitting) so I went to the sushi buffet and had the sushi. Sushi good, mmmkay?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

movie review: lawrence of arabia

Lawrence of Arabia 1962 * * * * Movie was really, really long. Peter O'Tool seemed kinda gay. (Not that there's anything wrong with that). There were no women in this movie, so no one was smokin' hot. ~ November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Bitter End Coffee Shop.


I'm sitting in The Bitter End coffee shop waiting for John W. to fix the heater blower in my car. John dropped me off at Ali's, but they have Good Morning America blaring on the TV, and a bunch of the regulars are yacking it up. Can't read the book I brought with me around a lot of yacking. They were a bunch of older republican types, stressing the "Hussein" in the President Elect's name while complaining about how there will be riots in the streets, and someday everyone is going to "wake up" and realize the "old ways" are the best. Somebody get that man a white sheet and a flammable cross. One guy at least spoke up and said he voted for Obama, a redneck looking older gentleman, which completely ruins stereotypical assumptions I was harboring. One lady was smoking at the counter. The breakfast was reasonable and delicious. I had bacon and eggs and coffee and toast, and I wolfed that down and went across the street The Bitter End coffee house, a more high-falutin' fancy shmancy place to sip "fair-trade" coffee and feel liberal and elite.

There were five patrons here when I arrived but the guy who looked like Michael Stipe (from REM) who was at the table across from mine put on his green knit cap, packed up his backpack, books and laptop, and left.

He might have left because some fat guy in a tie (not sure if he is a Mormon, Marxist or Christian) is counseling (?) this other dude and they haven't learned about inside voices. Guy sounds like a douche bag, but I'm not completely annoyed. Yet. Even though I'm fairly certain he is full of shit.

At the table in the middle sit two young college girls. They are both wearing grey hooded sweatshirts. The tall brunette's sweatshirt has a "3" on it, and the word "Kath". I bet her name is Kathy. The blonde says: "someday we should get coffee and put butterscotch schnapps in it or something."

The Guy In the Tie is talking about Jesus and fairness, and how society cares too much about "fairness". He's an MSU fan. "The church is about stragglers." He just used the word "bedazzled" (BTW: the 2000 movie Bedazzled was better than I expected, and Elizabeth Hurley is smoking hot). I've never actually heard anyone use that word and keep a straight face. His fat absolutely certain face is straight. Conclusion: Douche Bag, First Class.

The college girls are just dishing dirt; even through Guy in Tie's high-volume psychobabble, I can just catch the words "boyfriend" and "she said" from their girls' table.

The guy in the tie talks a great deal about "the group" and about "the job of the house church". I think he might be some small-time charismatic cult leader. "If you want to follow me, this is the way I'm going."

Thankfully he just mentioned having to install something and having to leave within a half hour. He has turned his attention to the laptop and has stopped his yammering.

Guy in The Tie loves Mozilla Firefox.

Now I can hear the girls talking, because the loudmouth is hunching down to the laptop screen, and somehow this has made him find his inside voice.

Some of the girls' conversation: " . . . go out to the parking lot and smoke a cigar . . ." (EXPRESSO MACHINE NOISE) " . . . I'm kind of fine with moving to Colorado . . . (PREACHER GUY YAPPING) " . . . no mechanism in my body to digest meat . . ."

A bald guy in a pressed white shirt and blue paisley tie walks in. Businessman. He sits where Michael Stipe was sitting earlier. He reads USA Today.

Guy in The Tie has a buddy who lives in Columbus.

There are twenty-seven framed pictures on the wall opposite me, several prints of famous artwork.

"I saw him on Monday, he died on Thursday," says Guy in The Tie. "His wife died two years later. Their son, at the age of six, was an orphan."

Guy in The Tie is leaving! Praise Jesus!

But now the music (very soft guitar and female vocal) is playing over hidden speakers and I can't hear the college girls talk. I think the blonde knows I'm eavesdropping. She's glanced over here a couple of times.

As he's leaving, Guy in The Tie glances at the book I am reading. I brought "The Tyranny of Oil" but I haven't had a chance to read it, because I'm writing all this down.

The brunette shows the blonde something on her cell phone screen.

Now the sweatshirt college girls are leaving, not a minute after Guy in The Tie. Now what will I write about?

No one is talking. The tables here have wooden chairs with comfortable green cushions.

It's 10:14. Founders Brewery opens in 45 minutes. Do I head there next to wait? It is within walking distance . . . sort of.

The wall opposite me is divided by wood molding into eight vertical rectangular panels. Here are the pictures mounted on the walls from left to right.

Panel #1: A small Victorian era corset on a headless, armless torso mannequin. Something is written in French in brown stylized type on a crème colored background; picture of black cat captioned "Tournee Chat Noir de Rodolphhe Salis; restaurant scene in pastels with a man seated at a table, feet up on a chair, reading a book. A woman seen from behind in a little black dress is standing before the man's table.

Panel #2: Victorian era women seated across a table in an outdoor café, titled "Confidences"; 1920s café scene, flapper looking shyly down standing next to a man in a tuxedo who is looking at her, captioned "Les Halles 1937, Frank Horvat; black and white sketch of woman walking a poodle; black and white photo of gargoyle facing to the right.

Panel #3: Woman in light blue dress (hemline at the knee) seen from behind looking out at a body of water, shoreline in distance and cloudy sky above; print of Edward Hopper's 1942 painting "Night Hawks" (that night café scene? was redone with Marylyn Monroe, Elvis, Bogart and James Dean).

Panel #4: Street scene around 1900 in pastel, young couple face to face under umbrella, Model Ts parked on street titled "Springtime in Paris"; black and white photo of gargoyle, facing left; plaster sculpture of ear.

Panel #5: M.C. Escher Black and white pencil/charcoal sketch of eye; Poster of seven horses' rear ends in a stable, titled "Board of Directors" by Jenness Cortez; BW photo of passenger plane flying over Manhattan titled "Flying over Manhattan, New York 1946".

Panel #6: BW photograph of two 1920s flappers sitting at a small round table at an outdoor café; color portrait of two dark-haired women in evening dresses at a table indoors. Candelabra with lit red candles, women leaning toward one another across the table, resting their elbows on the white tablecloth. One woman drinks from a wineglass while the other turns to her right, thinking. Titled "Sunday eleven o'clock by Ramon Lombarte; M.C. Escher 1952 print "Puddle", a puddle with water reflecting trees, footprints around puddle; the "periodic table of sweatshirts".

Panel #7: Stylized painting of several 1930s partygoers crammed into an elevator. Short butler in foreground with flutes of champagne on a tray looks on in trepidation; BW sketch portrait of skull smoking a cigarette; M.C. Escher sketch of hands sketching each other from a piece of paper; stylized picture of two women, ostrich feather theme.

And that is a list of all the pictures on the wall opposite my table at the Bitter End coffee shop.

Now there are only three patrons here, all college students studying quietly by themselves: a stack of books, a backpack, and a laptop for each.

John just called. My car is done.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

generic blog post

Things are breaking this week, but I got a handle on it. Tuesday: Internet connection down. Troubleshot for an hour, but it was Comcast. Wednesday: Alex's saxophone dropped a paddle. Fixed with itty-bitty screwdriver. Wednesday: Heater blower in my car no workie. Troubleshot no joy, until I closed the hood and it came on. Brushes are bad on blower motor. Luckily one of my customers is a auto shop, so I can get it done for trade. Nice. Those blowers aren't cheap.

Yesterday I finished a short story (only 3k words) about a guy who is going to axe murder his wife. No worries, there's a twist at the end. It's a good ending and it ISN'T science fiction, horror or fantasy. I'm slowly making my way to the mundane. Oh, how I will spruce it up with all sorts of wacky words.

Today: Fixed one laptop at an old-folks home, picked up another that is hella-infected. The customer actually gave his credit card to the makers of Anti-Virus 2009, the spyware hit that's sweeping the nation. His credit card alerted him that someone was "buying drugs" with his credit card on the other side of the world.

Don't give your credit card out to things that pop up on your screen uninvited. Please.

I put Barack Obama on my junk-sender's list. The campaign is over. Stop asking me for money! I'm sure Joe Biden, Michelle Obama Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic are next. Damn. The campaign is over! Free at last! Free at last! The friggin' campaign is over. Now I'm going to ignore all politics and watch every episode of Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Voyager and every episode of TJ Hooker or something.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My connection is down! Make haste!

Yesterday my internet connection went down. It had been flaky for a few days. I have Comcast, as does my next-door neighbor. So I walk over and ask him if his connection is down, but his connection is up. We're on the same network segment so I know it has something to do with my cabling or modem.

So I take the splitters out of the mix and connect the modem directly to the cable coming off the street, still nothing. The "send" light flashes, the "online" light is out. I call Comcast and they tell me they are getting no signal on their end from my modem, and there are no reported outages. I try it with and without the splitter and get a different result each time on either side of the splitter. The modem is six years old. So I go out and get another cable modem. They aren't cheap. I plug that in, same thing.

Then my neighbor calls. His connection is down, as is his neighbor on the other side, who also has Comcast. Wish I had known that sooner. He says they won't be out until 2 PM Tuesday.

I call Comcast back and lo and behold; there are five people on our street with no connection. The truck was there within the hour and the connection was back up (with the old modem) about half an hour later.

(I wanted to go out to the Comcast guy and say, "Don't you realize Wrath of The Lich King comes out Thursday? Hurry! Make haste!") *

No big disaster because I've been wanting to get a spare cable modem to troubleshoot customers' connection issues anyway, so no loss.

Troubleshooting these things is a lot more fun when I'm getting paid for it. I love the Internets.

* I would never actually say "make haste".

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

travelling or traveling?

There are two ways to spell the word "traveling".

"Travelling is the accepted way to spell it in Australia. The things you learn writing a story about axe murdering.

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

Finally. Finally. Finally.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

VOTE!

All these really pretty famous people say so:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grand Rapids Marathon


Today I ran the Grand Rapids Marathon. It took me 5 hours and 3 minutes. My legs hurt, but I did it. BTW, that's 26.2 miles of awesomeness.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Babies + Drill = WRONG!



At recent Republican rallies, they have been chanting "Drill baby drill!". Sarah Palin even mentioned it during the debate. Babies and drills do not mix. Babies should not be allowed to operate any power tools, and drills are probably one of the most dangerous power tools a baby could operate. Why do the Republicans hate babies? It is obvious what would happen if a baby got hold of a power drill. Besides the risk of serious damage to property, the baby could get hurt! The sound alone would probably scare the baby and make it cry.

Or do the Republicans actually want to drill babies? This is even worse. And they claim to respect life. Bullshit. What kind of sick agenda do the Republicans have if all they want to do is drill holes in defenseless babies? That is just un-American.

We have to stop these sick bastards. Vote Obama on November 4th, and lets stop these sick Republican bastards from hurting the babies.

Saturday: This is what happened

Golfed with Brian at Indian trails. Tom set up the golf outing. Also present: Mike, Joe, Nikki, Courtney, Samantha, Chris and a bunch of other couple of other people I didn't know. Brian and I went off first, and we golfed horribly. We got a fifty in best-ball scramble.

We sat in lawn chairs and had a couple beers and waited on everyone else to finish. They took forever.

After that we went to BW3s. I had an Irish beer, can't remember what it is called, on the recommendation of Alyssa, the blond waitress with very straight, very white teeth. Oh yeah, and I had a combo platter of ribs, boneless chicken wings, and fries.

Then I dropped off a machine at an apartment that smelled like pot. The Lexmark printer wouldn't connect. Outside, the guy was welding on the frame of a car.

Then I went to Founders and had two beers. It was Harvest Festival.

Deb called and told me to come home. On the way back I saw somebody run up on the curb and blow out their tire.

Dropped the girls to the movie "City of Ember". Deb and I had dinner at a Japanese Sushi restaurant across the street.

Saw a guy put his keys in his gas cap and go to lunch with his family. I put a note in there that said, "Why do you put your keys here?"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fun Fact!

The first sentence of the Declaration of Independence is 71 words long:
"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

PSA: don't shoot yourself!

Okay, this is setting a bad precedent. There was a story in the news about a 90 year old lady who was getting evicted. Sad enough. She goes and shoots herself. Even worse.

But here's the worse part of all: Fannie Mae erased her mortgage. What does that tell all the desperate, possibly unstable, end-of-the-rope people getting foreclosed on and evicted? "Shoot yourself, you'll get out of your mortgage."

I predict more of these "You'll never take me alive" stories. You can't get give people ideas like this.

Oh yeah, didn't MY friggin' tax money go to bail out Fannie Mae? I don't recall them asking me if this lady could get off the hook. I mean, no wonder they're going under, being all soft-hearted just because some old bag shoots herself. <--(I'm only kidding! Jeez)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

i am awesome

i ran 21 miles today. I can FEEL the awesomeness in my legs. That is, they hurt like hell.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

generic blog post, with apocolyptic twist

Had a single call today, an old woman with an old PC that needed a reformat. The PC was so old I couldn't locate the ancient drivers for the ancient modem (she uses {GASP} dial up), so I chucked the entire thing and gave her a less old gateway for the same price as a reformat. (with XP vs. the evil windows ME).

I called her and told her she was getting a hell of a deal, which she was, but I did a good thing today, because resurrecting that rickety old PC with Windows ME on it would have been a crime against humanity.

Otherwise, I played WoW, worked on my latest Sci-Fi masterpiece, and stayed out of the bar. Oh yeah, and I listened to the World of Finance crumble as the Congre$$ failed to pass the bail-out plan. How much Raman Noodles can I pack into our storage room? And what's the best firearm for home defense? This sh!t is getting scary.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If we were really a Christian nation . . .

If we were REALLY a Christian nation, or if all these "Christians" would read their friggin' bible, we wouldn't be in this credit crisis on the brink of a depression:

“He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you will be the tail. So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you” (Deuteronomy 28:44-45).

Psalm 37:21, The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives.”

Proverbs 22: 26-27
Be not you one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

The only biblical way to borrow:*

Probably the most misunderstood financial principle in God's Word is His prohibition against surety (Proverbs 22:26-27 above). Surety is assuming an obligation to pay indebtedness without a sure way to pay it. Non-collateralized loans and cosigning are examples of surety.

Surety means that we presume on the future. If everything goes as expected, we should be able to pay the money back. But, if something goes wrong and we are not able to repay, then we are left with a debt.

It is only when collateral has been placed as security against the loan that is equal in value to the loan that we can avoid surety. If we are unable to pay the loan back, the creditor can repossess and sell the collateral, which will satisfy the total amount of the loan.

The Bible cautions against any type of loan that is not totally collateralized. If Christians would observe this one caution associated with borrowing, the most they could lose would be the security they had pledged against the loan.

* everything from this point was lifted completely from (http://www.crown.org/LIBRARY/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=683)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

apocalypse now

I have listened to the collapse of the Financial World on my radio as if listening to the demise of some alien world via long-distance radio transmissions. Mortgage backed securities, short selling, bundling, FHA, FNMA, collateralized debt obligations and distressed assets. They boosted the "public debt limit" to 11.3 trillion dollars. Is that even a real number? Couldn't we just put all this bad debt into the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and make it go away?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Dan Manning math theory behind the why years seem shorter as you grow older:

Examples: When A baby turns 1, it has experienced 100% of its life in that one year. That one year is 100% of the baby's life. When that baby turns 2, a year is 50% of its life. Time now seems to be moving twice as fast. When that child turns ten, a year is only one-tenth of the total time experience.

So time actually does start to fly by.

Tomorrow, 1 year will be 1/42nd of my entire life up to this point. That's only 2.38% of the entire time I've been alive so far. The years do seem to go faster.

So as you get older, and every year seems to be getting shorter, mathematically speaking, each year is a smaller portion of your entire life experience up to that point.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Infinite Jest: a really, really long book I gave up on @ pg. 36 out of 1079

I TRIED reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, but I guess I'm too stOOpid. The sentences, in my humble opinion, were train-wrecks. The paragraphs went on for pages. By page 36 (out of 1079) I had no idea what the going on.

Here is a book where the author doesn't seem to want to get to the point.

Not sure if it is on purpose or if he's was long-winded by nature (or if he was high on acid the entire time). Don't get me wrong, the guy was a friggin' genius. Reading two pages of this book makes that clear. But reading two pages of this monster can also put you in a coma, not from boredom, but from word-overload. How about some white-space? Maybe this is the wrong book to pick up first, but I am not wading into this morass; I'll never get out again.

But his write-up, "Consider the Lobster" for "Gourmet" magazine is excellent.

I did get one awesome quote (there are many, many more in the book I'm sure): "unpleasant-fact specialist" referring to someone who is a downer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

helpful hint:

If you need a machine to help with breathing for you or a family member, don't wait for a hurricane to buy a generator. Jesus Christ people.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

movie review: spider-man 3

spider - man 3 2007 * * Who put this friggin' soap opera in the middle of my Spiderman movie? This thing sucked ass. Thank gawd Kirsten Dunst and Bryce Dallas Howard were both was smokin' hot. ~ 09.10.08


See all my movie reviews

rainbow sprinkler conspiracy



again found at zefrank.com

Sunday, September 07, 2008

book review: A Death in The Family

#52 A Death in The Family James Agee 2007 * * * * * Pulitzer Prize-winning multiple point of view study in faith, death, family and plain unbelievable writing. ~ September 1, 2008

genric blog post, weekend wrap-up

Shot guns and canoed yesterday for Justin's bachelor pre-party. Today, dropped off a laptop, picked up a desktop for repair, and watched the Lions lose in their season opener to Atlanta. Bought a Wii-Fit, and I'm sore. That thing is a serious worker-outer. Then again, I'm old and out of shape.

I have gas. Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

chrome web browser

works pretty good . . . but where'd my advertisement blocker? Firefox has adblock plus, and I'm used to not seeing these f*cking ads all over the place.

golf league complete


this glove is finished!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

clean


Cleaned pool, hoping to sell it to a friend of mine. I hate taking care of pools now. I will never fulfill my dream of being a Cabana boy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

quote

I reject your reality, and substitute my own! -- mythbusters

Thursday, August 28, 2008

who calls at this ungodly hour?

12:09 AM.

So I'm sitting at my desk working on a fantastic piece of fiction, a stunning literary achievement just waiting to happen, when, at exactly midnight, my friggin' cell phone starts ringing.

It's a business line really, and I look at the little screen and it says RESTRICTED. Restricted? WTF does that mean anyway? Why do they even allow that shit? So it rings and rings, and I let it ring and ring because there's no way in hell I'm going to pick up a RESTRICTED call at midnight. Who knows what whack-job is on the other end? Why would anyone use a RESTRICTED number, unless they are up to no good. It was EXACTLY midnight. Who was calling me? A mass murderer?

"I’m in your house."

A crazy ex-girlfriend?

"I had your love-child! He's twenty-one and he wants to meet you!"

or

"This is the NSA, what the hell are you up to?"

So I let it ring. And it stops ringing, missed call. No voicemail.

Then, at 12:02, it rings again! Oh my GOD!

"This is Elvis, I need your help on a very important mission. President Nixon specified you by name . . ."

Who calls at this ungodly hour? Charles Mansion? Does he get phone privileges?

Then again, maybe someone was just having wicked-bad computer problems.

Monday, August 25, 2008

camping trip: what happened

We camped at Duke Creek campgrounds. There was much relaxation and fire. We played ladderball and tossed a football. There was hiking. There were full-scale, operational gallows. A dam was built. I did nothing for four days. Sunflower seeds were consumed. No electronics were taken. Soduku puzzles were solved. A beach chair was occupied. Tents were put together, used and taken down again. A good time was had by all. And now I am back.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

tie-dye night at the hideout


a good time was had by all

Sunday, August 17, 2008

our front tree3


uh, a picture of the tree in front of our house

Thursday, August 14, 2008

garfield minus garfield

if you haven't checked it out before, it is worth a look:

http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Can't wait for GeekAid!

Everyone within the sound of this blog should come to GeekAid! details are here and I guarantee a good time will be had by all. Music, beer, and a relaxed small-town atmosphere. Check out the bands this August 16th

GeekAid 2008
Saturday, August 16th, 12pm – 8pm
Riverside Park, Grand Rapids, MI

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

book review: How Fiction Works

#51 How Fiction Works James Wood 2008 * * * * Finally, someone explains quoted speech, indirect speech, and free indirect speech! Hooray! ~ August 12, 2008

see all my book reviews

Thursday, August 07, 2008

movie review: the dark knight

batman: the dark knight 2008 * * * * Lots of action, whatever. The only bright spot in this otherwise ho-hum action movie is Heath Ledger. Oh, why did this actor have to go and get himself killed after this BRILLIANT performance? His bad-guy performance ranks right up there with Jack Nicholson's immortal mad-man in "The Shining". Every time The Joker appeared the movie was great, but when he was gone, it was just average. Oh, and Maggie Gyllenhaal is smokin' hot.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday: This is What Happened . . .

I had no calls today, but that's not such a big deal because I looked and even on weeks when I don't work Monday, I still make more than I deserve, because what I do isn't actually "work" so to speak, it's more like an artistic expression of my technological awesomeness.

Yesterday I helped Brian and Cory put together a swing set at Brian's house. It went great. It wasn't too hot out and we actually put the thing together, and it works! It is a pretty impressive achievement considering all three of us work with computers.

I ran today, after a week off. I took the week off in order to drink beer and play World of Warcraft and do personal hygiene deprivation experiments. That and I vacuumed the pool five days in a row and it grows algae faster than I can vacuum it out. I don't understand "PH" and all this other alchemy mumbo-jumbo. I took chemistry at community college and got a D! This is the last year for the pool because it is a pain in my ass and I don't want to take care of it anymore. The city pool is free. I'll take the kids there.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

generic blog post

I had a lot of work this week. Monday I dropped a machine off at the Landscaping place with the anti-abortion signs all over it. Then I set up an old laptop for somebody who had a machine fail on them. Later in the week I set up a brand new MAC for that same business. Then I had an emergency at an insurance place: UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. That’s a Blue Screen of Death at FULL POWER! Of course, I fixed it. I made an attempt, and failed, to clone the Hard Drive against future failures, but it wouldn't clone. I can clone every hard-drive in my house, but not the paying customers. So we reviewed her back-up strategy bla bla bla. But yesterday, yesterday was the Crème de la Crème of workdays. I worked all day, spreading my technological awesomeness from Greenville to Downtown GR to Jenison. My awesomeness knew no bounds, and I didn't finish work until NINE AT NITE! That's way past my bedtime.

Today I renewed my World of Warcraft subscription, and I will never let it lapse. I love that game! Why should I deny myself this simple pleasure, when all of humanity seems to be on the precipice of destruction? (I'm exaggerating on purpose.)

feel the awesomeness of Savannah's chalk art


is it not fantastic?

Self? Really?


I have to pump my own gas? When did this start? Oh, about thirty years ago? Hm . . . do they really need this sign?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Waiting for the Bank To Open #2

I'm back at the bank again. It is 9:25 and my car is the only one in the parking lot. A blue jeep with white rims and a black top just pulled through to use the ATM machine. The parking lot entrance is blocked off by orange cones on the North side of the street.

A guy in a white button-down shirt and blue jeans pulled up in a little gold colored car. He gets out and walks right up to the doors and tries to open them. They're locked.

"Come on!" He exclaims. "What the heck, it's nine-thirty!"

(It's nine-twenty-eight.)

All in a huff, Mr. Impatient gets back into his car and turns it around so it is pointing nose-out. He waits, staring straight ahead across Plainfield.

There is no one waiting at the door. I'm right up next to the closest handicapped parking spot.

It is partly cloudy and humid.

Now Mr. Impatient has his driver's door open.

On each side of the front entrance stands a tall blue "Handicapped" sign. The parking spaces in front of these signs are painted blue. There is a section with six diagonal blue lines drawn between these two parking spots, about half the width of a regular parking spot.

A black guy driving a silver Chrysler with a dented rear quarter-panel pulls in quickly and gets out. He's wearing red basketball shorts and a green and white checkered shirt. He walks right up to the doors and goes inside. Mr. Impatient and I didn't see the stealthy bank employee unlock the doors.

Mr. Impatient, seeing this, gets out mumbling and talking to himself. He has been denied First Place.

A middle-aged guy in a maroon McDonald's uniform carrying a blue deposit bag walks in.

I have to go in!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

today a salesman tried to sell us some water filtration system. We sat politely while he conjured many amazing tricks to show us how bad our water is, and how badly we need a water filtration system. Of course we both knew there was no way we were going to spend a fortune on that tom-foolery, but the science experiment entertained the girls, and how often can you get a magician/chemist to put on a show in your home for free?

We told him in no uncertain terms that we "couldn't afford squat" and that there was "no way" we were signing up for anything. That's what Deb told them on the phone before they sent the guy down, but they didn't listen. That's what happens when you enter a sweepstakes to win a new washer and dryer at the movie theatre.

Waiting for the Bank To Open

I'm sitting in my car in the bank parking lot waiting for the bank to open. There's a woman in a gray Toyota waiting a few parking spaces over. She has the passenger door open to let in the breeze. She has three small kids with her. They fidget.

It is overcast and breezy.

Now a bulldog looking woman wearing a golf visor driving a new cream colored Cadillac pulls in. She leans on her elbow, which she rests on the door unrolled window.

Here is a red van.

They’ve recently built a new Meijer supermarket next to the old one, which has since been torn down. A large backhoe is parked about half a block away behind the chain link fence of the "deconstruction site."

The woman in the nurse's uniform gets out of the red van at the far end of the parking lot. She is pale, has gangly Ichabod Crane features. She has dark curly hair in an awful haircut that makes it look like she's wearing an old-style football helmet. Not content to wait in her vehicle, she stands by the door. She will be first! She is the scout! She will be the signal for the rest of us.

Let her stand out in the sun. We'll sit back and listen to the radio in our cars until the doors open.

She is joined by a gray-haired man in a beige shirt that has blue flowers stitched along the bottom seam of the shirt. He wears green shorts and probably sandals, but I can't see his feet because of the short bushes that surround the bank.

The bank is brick, with four Romanesque classic columns.

Now SUVs and pickups arrive. The woman with the kids is out of her car. The doors are open! I have to go!

I'm standing in line inside the bank.

The lady with the kids had a "tramp stamp" on her back, right above the waistband of her Capri pants. It is a pointy figure drawn with thin red lines, two elongated diamonds point out. She has three sons, between ten and six. The youngest one says "Alert! Alert!" before the oldest puts him in a full nelson, then picks him up and pretends to do a back-breaker over his knee, but he is very careful not to hurt his little brother.

"Let go of me, poop!"

"You're a poop."

A fat guy in a cowboy hat stands too close behind me in line.

The guy in the beige shirt, it turns out, is wearing sneakers.

Everyone is talking about last week's storm that closed the bank branch on the 3rd of July.

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July parade in our neighborhood

finally. a day without Internets is like a day without sunshine.

It's 3:44 AM, and I still have no Internets. The cable modem now has three green lights, a shining beacon of hope in my hour of most desperate need.

Why do I love America? Because we have broadband Internet access. This is the country of Bill Gates, ARPANET, Cisco Systems, Google, Blizzard Entertainment, and Hollywood. This is the country of Professional Wrestling, American Idol, The Right to Bear Arms and Super Sweet Sixteen.

We invented the TASER, SCUBA and GITMO. We the American People have brought the world the Automobile, "404 Page Not Found" and the ever enduring sitcoms "Seinfeld" and "Who's The Boss?".

We beat Hitler and we made Conan governor of "Kali-Four-Ya."

To this day, D.B. Cooper, Elvis, Hunter S. Thompson and Jimmie Hoffa run covert operations for the FBI. They report directly to Jesus Christ himself, who in turn reports to the preserved head of J. Edgar Hoover.

We are the country of Starbucks, the Atomic Bomb, and Thomas Jefferson and Britney Spears. We are Henry Ford and Jeffrey Dhamer.

We gave the world Microsoft Word and the Taco Bell Dog. We invented Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, Applebee's and Chili's.

While America is not perfect, even if she is on the brink of either a devastating depression or discovering of a cure for cancer, she is my country and I love her. God bless America, and God, please restore my connection to the Internets, because I can't very well post this awesomeness to my blog without it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

EMERGENCY POST FROM INTERNET-READY COFFEE-SHOP. INTERNET DOWN! SEND HELP!

The Internet AND the cable is out. My life is a shambles! Luckily I got a call about a PC that needs to be redone. I also got a call about a laptop that had a screen "going in and out". I've had many such calls, and each one has been something expensive, either a motherboard or a screen. This usually makes the customer decide to "just get a new one" which is usually a good idea because the laptop they have in the first place is usually ancient.

But not today. In each case I have hoped, to no avail, that the problem was a "loose connection". That has never been the case, until today. It was actually a loose connection. I took the laptop apart right there and reseated the connector near the hinge. That has never happened before.

I want to go get a beer, but I know it is only because I'm bored. No Internet, no World of Warcraft, no cable TV. I'm dying here. It's like living in the seventies. What I need to do is either take a nap or work on my novel. Or I could lie down AND work on my novel. That would probably be the best plan of all.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

generic blog post

I heard a couple of interesting things on the radio today while dropping off a PC. Did you know that a C5 Galaxy, the Air Force's biggest transport plane, gets a whopping 0.07 miles per gallon? Look carefully at that number. For those of you (including myself) who went to public school, that's not seven-tenths of a mile per gallon, but seven-one-hundredths. Awesome.

The other thing I heard on the radio was that a smoking ban in Amsterdam means that in the coffee shops, they will no longer be able to mix tobacco with their pot, but will have to smoke it "pure". This is a new and brave world we live in.

I made 70 in World of Warcraft, which doesn't mean anything, but I gotta say it because it's just a goofy thing I've been "working" on for a long time, and now that I've "achieved" this "accomplishment" it has left me underwelmed. I suppose I can start writing again.

I sold another story to a magazine. My story "Pegged" about magical pegboard games that can control other people's lives has sold to Tales of the Talisman magazine. The lucrative payment I received (I'm joking here, it's nothing) has convinced me to redouble my efforts in writing a bestseller, because short stories don't pay shit.

Friday, June 27, 2008

onion ring smiles


Yes, onion rings are delicious!

Oh Andy


I didn't know this shirt existed until I went into McDonald's across from the bank and had some breakfast.

A giant Andy Griffith shirt. Awesome

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

book review: I Am America (And So Can You!)

#50 I Am America (And So Can You!) Stephen Colbert 2007 * * * * * This is the funniest thing I've read in years. I was crying from laughing so hard. Not since Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes have I laughed this hard. ~ June 17, 2008

Why does God hate Iowa?

Why does God hate Iowa? Is it their incessant church-going? All the praying? The All-Americanism? Why does God hate Iowa? Why has he sent his mighty flood to destroy them? What have they done to deserve God's mighty wrath?

What message is Our Lord sending us? Why does he spare Utah, with its crazy polygamy sects and its salty, salty lake? Shouldn't he smite Utah?

What is it that God hates about the down-home, middle-class values found in Iowa?

Why does God hate Iowa? Is turning corn into ethanol some sort of abomination? Does God hate overalls? Or has the idol worship of John Deer tractors finally aroused God's mighty wrath?

Is it the surly, sexual undertones of today's modern Country Music with its exaltation of alcohol-fueled honky-tonk sexual congress with relative strangers?

Why does God hate Iowa? Why?

Monday, June 16, 2008

generic blog post posted on Monday

I haven't written anything in awhile. Friday I dropped Deb and the girls off at the campsite with Deb's friend Amy. I had to come back and take care of the dog. Of course, I immediately went to the bar and got smashed. I really have to stop doing that.

I wasn't as hung-over Saturday morning as I deserved, so I drove out to the camp-grounds and stayed all day and overnight and had a great time. Took Alex, Savannah and Sidney kayaking in the little lake they have there. The place is surrounded by camp sites, some of them with huge mobile home like campers with permanent picket fences around them, and the people stay there six months out of the year pretty cheap. It would be a nice way to live.

I swiped Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy from the club-house there at the campsite.

Since Sunday was Father's Day, I lounged around the campsite all morning and did nothing while the women-folk served me breakfast. That's the way it ought to be.

It was very relaxing, and we came home yesterday. I ended up running 11 miles, but I had set out to do 14.

Today at a building downtown I connected an air-conditioning control system with the Internets and allowed remote access for the company that runs the system. I talked someone out of getting their laptop fixed because the money they would have spent would have been enough to buy a new one. I'm still getting paid to transfer the files and such.

I'm reading I Am America, and So Can You! by Stephen Colbert. I was laughing so hard, Alex thought I was crying in bed. Which I wasn't. I was laughing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Book Review: Four Great Russian Short Novels

#49 Four Great Russian Short Novels Dell Publishing 1959 * * * Actually, I only read three of them. First Love, by Ivan Turgenev, 1860; The Gambler, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1866 and Master And Man, by Leo Tolstoy, 1895. After three Russian novels, I was sick of Russian Novels. Of the three, The Gambler was the best. It was funny. Weird how people lived off each other, giving each other "allowances" and "stipends" and paying for each other's hotel bills. ~ June 10, 2008

see all my book reviews

Friday, June 06, 2008

my site rocks!

according to alexa.com, danmanning.com is #19,1260,792 in Internet traffic! That's 0.000002132982% of all Internet traffic! Rock on!

Friday, May 30, 2008

book review: Of Mice and Men

#48 Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck 1937 * * * * * Too many critics have already said too many great things about this fantastic book. I almost cried. This is a masterpiece. ~ May 30, 2008

see all my book reviews

book review: Murder On The Orient Express

#47 Murder On The Orient Express Agatha Christie 1934 * * * * A murder on a snowbound train. The murderer is on the train. Hercule Poirot must figure it out. Come for the mystery, stay for the dated stereotypes! ~ May 29, 2008


see all my book reviews

Thursday, May 29, 2008

generic blog post

Yesterday I ran 10.77 miles. My legs hurt this morning. Today I cleaned out my car. I finished a laptop reformat and picked up a PC in Greenville. I told an old lady her machine was caput because the motherboard's capacitors were popped, leaking juice, and pretty much blown out.

I finished reading Murder on the Orient Express (Christie, 1934) and started reading Of Mice and Men. Pretty slow day. Got some writing done. Had some oyster stew. Got a little, very little writing done. Meh, another day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

generic blog post

My World of Warcraft subscription expired today, two days earlier than I thought it would. My personal nightmare is over. That game is so friggin' addictin'. I will not play again until the first snows fall in Grand Rapids, and judging from the f*cked up weather we've been having lately, that could be any day now. But probably not till fall.

Now maybe I can get some writing done.

Did some postcards, cleaned my office, and took 8 computers to Goodwill. Golfed poorly this evening, but had a good time. I'm reading Murder on the Orient Express and it's pretty good.

Monday, May 26, 2008

book review: The Dead Zone

#46 The Dead Zone Stephen King 1979 * * * * Stephen King wrote good stuff earlier in his career, and this is an example of the good stuff. The Dead Zone is tightly written, with none of the sappy long-windedness of King's later works. He tells a good story and gets to the point telling it. ~ May 25, 2008


for more book reviews, please visit my book review page

Saturday, May 24, 2008

funny ha ha

weekend troubleshooting report

Today I have my coffee. Deb came home from work this morning with the dreaded and mysterious "check engine" light. I checked the engine, and yes, it was still there. Having exhausted everything I know about new engines, I took it to Valvoline Instant Oil Change, where they checked and topped off all the fluids, put the computer thing-a-ma-jig on it to read the codes, and cleared it out. The code was for "gasoline evaporation" or some such nonsense, they said sometimes if the gas-cap isn't on it can cause it. I've never heard of such a thing, but they cleared the light out and it didn't come back on. How much did they charge? NOTHING! Friggin' Awesome.

I have a laptop to fix. I used Microsoft's "Windows Memory Diagnostics" program, a program you can burn to CD to check for memory errors, and yes, it found an error.

All this before 9:30 AM.

Maybe I should bathe . . . naw . . .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Necklacing": Oh humanity, is there no end to the elaborate ways you find to kill each other?

~
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) -- More than 40 people have been killed and 28,000 made homeless in anti-immigrant violence that has rocked the nation during the past week, authorities say.

Hundreds of people were also arrested as burning, looting and violence flared in townships in the city's poorest areas.

The country has also seen a disturbing throwback to the 1980s apartheid-era lynching tactic of "necklacing," which was widely used in the townships at the time.

Used on suspected informants, the "necklace" is a car tire, filled with petrol, put around the person's neck and set alight.

South Africa's army has been patrolling riot-hit townships to restore calm as the country counts the cost of the xenophobic attacks.

damn!



that's f*cked up right there. Taliban almost shot this kid's head off. found pic at nytimes.com. happened near near Garmser, Afghanistan. the Marine was unhurt.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

book review: The Graduate

#45 The Graduate Charles Webb 1963 * * * * * Any book I can read in one day has to be good. I'm a slow reader. Heavy in the dialog, but there was so much said in what wasn't said. Almost no description of characters or background. Just dialog. Awesome. ~ May 16, 2008


see all my book reviews

Thursday, May 15, 2008

book review: Conan of Cimmeria

#44 Conan of Cimmeria Robert E. Howard; L. Sprague De Camp; Lin Carter 1969 * * * * Book Review, Conan of Cimmeria: Why should I review this book when it speaks for itself? Here's a single sentence on page 91 that sums it all up: "The fighting madness of his race was upon him, and with a red mist of unreasoning fury wavering before his blazing eyes, he cleft skulls, smashed breasts, severed limbs, ripped out entrails, and littered the deck like a shambles with ghastly a ghastly harvest of brains and blood." What more could you possibly ask for? The Conan series I'm reading now is a collection of short stories published between the late '30s and as late as 1968, some of them posthumously by L. Sprague de Camp. ~ May 15, 2008


see all my book reviews

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hey FEMA, take good notes!

I hope FEMA is taking notes on how the Chinese are handling the earthquake aftermath. Our disaster response during the Katrina hurricane was so ass-backwards compared to how the Chinese are handling the earthquake.

Maybe we can just call the Chinese for the relief effort for our next disaster, because our Federal Government can't find its own ass with a flashlight.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

lightning at volcano

The Gods are Angry!

Monday, May 12, 2008

nature is awesome


found at http://www.dvorak.org/blog/

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

something I heard on the radio

The lead guitarist for Queen, that's right, the super-rock group from a million years ago, is now an astrophysicist. I kid you not.

Here's the Article

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Please, please please: After I'm gone, turn my skull into a bong. Please.

Wow.


(From the Houston Chronicle)

Two men and a juvenile are accused of digging up a corpse, decapitating the body and using the head to smoke marijuana, according to court documents.

Matthew Gonzalez and Kevin Jones have been charged with the misdemeanor offense of abuse of a corpse, said Scott Durfee, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorneys Office.

According to documents filed in the case, Gonzalez, Jones and an unnamed juvenile on March 15 went to an Humble cemetery, dug up a man's grave, left with the head and turned it into a "bong."

Gonzalez told authorities about the incident Wednesday, and showed officers the defaced grave, including a 4-foot hole. Because of a heavy rain, officers were unable to determine whether the casket or the body had been disturbed.


Now those are some serious pot-heads.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

dashboard stormtrooper


This guy stands on my dashboard. I am a nerd.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

intelligent design results (fig 5.)


intelligent design results (fig 5.)

I AM IRON MAN!

iron man 2008 * * * * * Fuckin' A. Movie was fantastic. Robert Downey Jr. was his usual smart-ass self. The story was good and the effects were extra-special. Jeff Bridges plays a great bad guy. Gwyneth Paltrow and Leslie Bibb are both smokin' hot. ~ 05.03.08


see all my movie reviews at http://www.danmanning.com/38.php

Friday, May 02, 2008

Save the planet, or save my ass?

So I decided to save a little gas money by taking my bike to the bank to make deposits instead of taking my car. I'm happy to do a little to conserve energy, and I by no means think we have a rat's-chance in hell to "save" the planet, but I'll ride my bike on short errands just to save money for ME. But the problem is, the fuck-tards driving around Plainfield Avenue are trying to kill me. These inbred, mouth-breathing, legally blind idiots do not see people on bicycles. I'm not sure I'm ready to end up in a wheelchair to save a couple of bucks in gas money.

Credit card site still down

I can't believe the BALLS the credit card company has. Their site has been down all morning? Yeah right. They know everybody got their government checks and are trying to pay off their credit cards, so what does the credit card company do? They down their own site, hoping we'll all spend that cash before we can pay off our Credit Cards. Fucking bastards.

The Eagle has landed! The Eagle has landed!

Yes, I got my government check today, and boy am I stimulated. Take that Credit Cards! We didn't have MUCH credit card debt, but just enough to be a pain in the ass. Not anymore. Goodbye government check, it was nice knowing you for your brief stay in my bank account. Goodbye Credit Card debt, my old, shifty friend. Go slink away and never return!

Funny thing, my credit card's website is down this morning, just when we all got our Government Cheese Checks. Coincidence? I think not! Is it down due to traffic, or did the Credit Card Company take it down themselves, hoping we'd all spend our Government Welfare Checks on something else? Hmmmm. . . I want a Congressional Hearing on this!

Monday, April 28, 2008

generic blog post

Yesterday I did nothing. Played WoW, wrote a little, but otherwise wasted the day. My office chair finally collapsed and I have two folding chairs in here now.

It's friggin' cold out.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

intelligent design results (fig 4.)


intelligent design results (fig 4.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

results of intelligent design (fig 3)


results of intelligent design (fig 3)

results of intelligent design (fig 2)


results of intelligent design (fig2)

Friday, April 25, 2008

results of intelligent design (fig 1)


results of intelligent design. (fig 1)

Now that's service

I know a lot of people aren't happy with Comcast. I'm not a fan-boy but listen to this: This morning my Internet connection went down at about 8:30. Fifteen minutes later, a Comcast truck showed up. I went out and asked him if he was there for the Internet connection. He said he was. It is 8:55, and my Internet is up.

I know their response time isn't always that fast, but today, at least, I have to give them some credit. Today at least, the response time was pretty damn good.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

generic blog post

Today I had all the aches and pains of having the flu, but without the nausea and diarrhea. Weird. All my joints ache and I have a low-grade headache, but nothing else. Half-flu. Better than full blown flu I suppose.

I only had one service call. Somebody's print spooler wasn't cooperating. I'm lucky I didn't wreck the car, because I was a little bleary driving.

mspaint.exe #2

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

farewell to all

I pen this missive from what may be my deathbed, but it is at least my sickbed. Death, that old hooded acquaintance, is just down the road, having a smoke and glancing down the street occasionally, looking at his watch. Where does he get a wristband small enough?

You see, I have been stricken by a horrible ailment. The flu. I want everyone to know my suffering because I am a sissy-boy drama queen when I am ill. Let others suffer in dignified silence, but not me.

Oh no, anyone but me.

Love one another. Cherish each day, no, each moment as if it might be your last, because tragically I now know first hand how fragile life is, like a snowflake melting on the smiling cheek of a little child.

Forgive one another! Call your parents. Hug your children. Buy that DVD box set. Dream big.

A wise man once said, in a now long forgotten Marty Feldman classic, "Life is as brief as a butterfly's fart."

Truer words were never spoken.

Don't weep for me world, when I have returned to the earth, and my bones are picked clean, remember me for the good times, for that's all we can do.

mspaint.exe #1

Government Stimulous Package already Stimulating me.

Oh, that sweet, sweet Eagle is going to shit some gub-mint money my way. I'm already spending a little more freely, already thinking things are looking up now that the gub-mint is finally looking out for my welfare by sending me a check. It's fantastic that the government is sending us all checks, looking out for our welfare. It's too bad there wasn't a more nimble name for the check. "financial stimulus package check" is just so cumbersome. What would be another way to describe a check that is meant to look out for our financial welfare? What is the word I'm looking for? I mean, I'm thankful the government is giving us a check because it is concerned for our welfare. Well, whatever the word is, its a good thing the entire nation needs a check to improve its welfare. What is it? What kind of check? What's the word I'm looking for?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

oh, this makes me so friggin' proud . . .

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

"In the seventh inning fans all get up and sing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game,' and they're already there. It's really a stupid thing to say and I don't know who made 'em sing it. Why would somebody that's there get up and sing take me out to the ball game? The first person to do it must have been a moron." - Pitcher Larry Anderson

generic blog post

Inventory the trunk, make postcards, played Wow. What a relaxing afternoon. Worked this morning, did some website update work for a company downtown. I should hit the driving range.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

two awesome ideas for corporate america:

idea #1, for Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream:
Introduce a flavor named "Chuck Norris"
idea #2 for Biggby Coffee:
Print the frequency card on the cardboard sleeve so people don't use a new one every time. duh.
Am I not wise and powerful?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The hidden shame of polygamy . . .

Forget the underage girls, the multiple wives and the cultist lifestyle. The real crime committed by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the practice of dressing their women-folk in those butt-ugly dresses. Damn, give them a burka so they can hide their faces in shame. Shame from wearing those crappy dresses. I'm a guy, I don't know much about fashion, but those dresses suck ass.

Friday, April 18, 2008

pope visits U.S.


The Pope visits the US and this happens:
(NYT)At 4:36 a.m. Central daylight time, a quake of magnitude 5.2 (revised from an initial 5.4) struck the southeastern part of the state, centered five miles from Bellmont, a tiny farm town close to the Wabash River, which marks the border with Indiana.
coincidence? I think not.

Stupid Internal Microsoft Vista SP1 Video - Leaked!

omfg this is friggin' stupid . . .

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

i had to look in the back of the book

really dumb sentence:

From the New York Times, no less. The story is about the level of noise in Cairo, Egypt. The sentence is:
While noise is never cited as a reason for the spasms of violence, it is a silent enemy that makes the pressures of life that much harder to cope with, people on the streets here said.
"Silent"? Really? Silent noise huh? Brilliant.

from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/14/world/middleeast/14cairo.html?hp

Sunday, April 13, 2008

ha ha ha ha ha i hope you starve you fncking bastard!

WASHINGTON - Alberto R. Gonzales, like many others recently unemployed, has discovered how difficult it can be to find a new job. Mr. Gonzales, the former attorney general, who was forced to resign last year, has been unable to interest law firms in adding his name to their roster, Washington lawyers and his associates said in recent interviews.

Alberto R. Gonzales

He has, through friends, put out inquiries, they said, and has not found any takers. What makes Mr. Gonzales’s case extraordinary is that former attorneys general, the government’s chief lawyer, are typically highly sought.

awesome sentence

Found this awesome sentence in a movie review at slate.com
A good 20 minutes of screen time are devoted solely to convincing us of this character's douchebagdom.
link

Friday, April 11, 2008

The week of breathtaking piles of fncked-up bullshit.

Deb got a flat tire on the van. The Internets were blinking in and out. Had to fix a leak in the roof. Just now Deb's computer wouldn't start, but then started. Left turn signal on Taurus didn't work, then mysteriously started working. Guy wrote me a 500 dollar bad check and now he's in Florida and won't return my friggin calls. That's okay, I know where his office is. GodDammit.

Monday, April 07, 2008

160 miles of awesomeness

Yesterday I dug a rotten old tree root out of the ground with an axe. I burned an old wooden swing-set the girls outgrew last year. I drank Coronas and sat in the sun. I worked on a short story I'm going to send out. I played World of Warcraft. I puttered around the house.

Today I had SIX stops. I spread technological goodness all over the city, from Grand Haven on Ada to Kalamazoo Avenue to Rockford. 160 miles of awesomeness without even leaving "town".

The van had a flat tire, had to take the tire in for repairs. My internet connection was off and on all day.

I ran 4 miles.

All in all, a pretty sweet day. And the basketball tourney final is tonight. woot I say. woot.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

movie review: imperium: agustus

Imperium: augustus 2003 * This unwatchable piece of shit was a made-for-tv movie. I thought it might be okay cause Peter O'Toole was the main character. He used to be a great actor, but now he's a quivering sack of withered flesh. I rented it with my monthly free rental from Blockbuster, which is a good thing, because the acting was so bad I never found out if anyone was smokin' hot. ~ 01.12.07

Monday, March 31, 2008

Parental Controls for 41 Year old Man . . .

Today I had to put parental controls on my own World of Warcraft account to keep myself from playing it constantly. Not sure if it will work or not, but so far I've stayed off it.

Returned 1 machine, picked another one up and fixed a network due to sweet, sweet spring lightning, the very act of God that puts money in my pocket. Go Nature!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

creepy virtual woman

CUBOCC

creepy virtual woman follows mouse. damn.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday: The day of Easter Bla Bla

The sky is clear, but the air is cold. And that cold air busted me up when I tried to run today. Friggin' winter, go away already. It hangs around like a visitor that has overstayed its welcome. Deb was in Flint Friday and Saturday. We held the fort down reasonably well. Today she got home. It's Easter, so we went out to eat at Johnny Carino's. I had spaghetti.

I finished reading On Writing, by Stephen King. Damn good book. It gave clear advice from a guy who has made a boat-load of money writing books.

I bought a new machine for work. I'm starting to get SATA drives, and my 400MHZ Gateway with the IDE controllers can't cut the mustard. I have a converter that works half the time but the transfer rate is for shit and it takes forever to rescue a client's first season of "Desperate Housewives" iTunes files. So I got a new machine.

My March Madness bracket is in the can already, but as of this writing, Brian is on top by three points.

I keep telling myself, spring warm-up is just around the corner, but I'm starting to have my doubts.

I'm still working on my newest bestseller. I'm 90 typewritten pages in and counting.

Rush's "The Fountain of Lamneth" from "Caress of Steel" is a mere 19:58 minutes of geeky fantasy-rock goofiness, but it is still pretty good. I got the iTunes on shuffle.

Well, if you've read this far, I've got to give you credit for hanging in there. This is a hefty blog post, and I appreciate you reading this last sentence.

Oh yeah, Billy Thorp's "Children of the Sun" just came on. I must stop typing now and commence air-guitar. There is nothing more pathetic than a 41 year old man doing air-guitar in his tiny office.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

take this test. it's really quick

take this test. found at http://www.dvorak.org/blog/

world of warcraft . . . not going to get you laid . . .

Thanks mark for the link to this image.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I am at the hockey game with dan, don, and matt.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

generic blog post

Today (Saturday) The girls had volleyball games in the morning. I bought some food at the grocery store. Took the girls to a Griffins Hockey game. They lost 2-1 to the Lake Erie Monsters. Then I played World of Warcraft.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gov. Elliot Spitzer busted for high-priced prostitute

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

His nickname was "Mr. Clean". Why do the wives of these assholes stand by them while they make their public apology? Why? It's stupid. Why doesn't her DIVORCE LAWYER stand next to him?

The Credit Crunch

If we were really a Chri$tian nation, and we're obviously not, we wouldn't have a credit crunch. Oh America, you nation of Chri$tians, are you really following your bible? I think not:
Exodus 22:25
New American Standard Bible
"If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest.
King James Bible
If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.
Leviticus 25:36
Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.

Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God; that your brother may live among you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

monday bla bla

I went to the Hideout for the first time in a long time Saturday and somebody brought in a Johnny Quest DVD. Now I know why they don't show "Johnny Quest" anymore. The bad-guys were all Asian stereotypes and their skin was actually colored YELLOW. There voices were done by obvious non-Asians doing horrible fake Asian accents. There was lots of gun violence.

A debate in the bar had to do with a bad-guy named "Dr. Foo" and his collar had an insignia that looked exactly like one of the on some tattoo one of the Foo-Fighters has, the lead singer. So we decided, without any evidence whatsoever, that that was the origin of the name "Foo Fighters" and we would start that rumor whether it was true or not.

Today ran 4 miles. Marathon training . . . commence! I had a call to day from Ravenna, MI. Nice to get out in the country once in awhile. Thanks Mark for the referral

And congrats to Bonnie and Mark, they had a baby girl.

Last night I put up a shelf in Alex's room, and it went smoother than would be expected, cause I am no handyman.

In politics: Hillary and Barack should stop flirting and just combine tickets already. Just flip a coin to see who is prez and vice-prez.

Brian sent me a link to an awesome procrastination flow chart.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

much bla bla about stuff

The sun is out and I thought, "Today I start training for the marathon". I located my stylish tracksuit my mother-in-law bought me a few years ago, and then I checked the weather channel to see the temperature: 14 miserable degrees (F). Dammit!

Yesterday I dropped checked my cell phone from an altitude of 4 feet. Grand Rapids is 610 feet above sea level, and the check surface was hard tile. I am pleased to report that my Samsung SCH-a870 cell phone passed with flying colors, bouncing approximately 1 foot in the air with an amazing spin rate while I exclaimed "SHIT!" and caught it before the second bounce. Cell phone checks 4.0 after drop check. In short, my phone was on the washer and I knocked it off and it fell.

I Heard some good reviews about a movie "Paranoid Park" on the radio.

Had lunch with a few friends at The Beltline Bar, which amazingly, is not on the Beltline. They make a mean burrito, aptly named "The Famous" and I was scoring some legendary farts later that afternoon.

Doom and gloom in the economic front. Jobs are more scarce, gasoline has hit record highs, and the dollar is sucking ass vs every other currency on the planet.

I've heard a lot of economic experts trying to say whether or not we are in a recession. Let me, Dan Manning, put the question to rest.

Yes, we are in a recession Here is the research to back up my claim:
If you have to ask if you're in a recession, you're in a recession.
OK? Everybody clear now?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Blog Post I Posted Thursday

I've been playing way too much World of Warcraft. I haven't been writing. At all. Last night Don and I went to see the Griffins play the Toronto Marlies. They won 5-3. After that we stopped in to Hopcat to have a beer. There were people there in very flamboyant pirate hats. That was cool.

At work, a law office was flooded when a pipe burst. A tax preparation office was riddled with spyware. An outlook PST file was corrupt. I did some minor web development. Spyware is making a big comeback. I had to go to my old employer because a contractor there can't get the IT guys to help him with anything. I went into the murky depths of the cubicle farm and was so glad I was no longer a cubicle dweller.

I am going to enter a chess tournament April 5th. I played against the Xbox and realized I suck at chess. Reading chess books is not the same as playing chess.

It's running season again. As spring approaches, I get out my running shoes and let them sit in plain sight for about a week, then I will consider running.

When I went to VA for Jim's retirement, he had this great booze at his house: PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur. God-damn, that's some tasty booze. It will give you a headache.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

youtube searchables:

funny stuff to search on youtube:

"benny lava"
"italian spiderman"
"sarah silverman singing"

Friday, February 29, 2008

In Virginia

I am in Virginia for Jim's retirement. There is no snow here and it is warm. Watching tv and drinking coffee with Superman, who is pantless Recording a podcast. According to the weatherman, it is snowing back in Michigan.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

About Me

My photo
I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com

this is my website:
danmanning.com

Get my books!

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