Sunday, February 19, 2006

Delaware Senator Vows Not to be Taken Alive

On the MSN homepage tonight I read this headline:

Biden: I won't be taken alive

I have always found Senator Biden outspoken and often controversial, and the headline was provocative enough to cause me to pause in my task of voting on-line for "America's Funniest Home Videos" and read the story associated with the headline above.

Obviously, he is referring to Republicans, right?

Imagine my disappointment in clicking on the link and finding the headline: "Bin Laden vows never to be captured alive."

Not as provocative a story as I anticipated, but one heck of an editorial oversight!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rant, Part Two

I am reproducing below the follow-up fax to my dry cleaners, which I fired off after discovering that my pants situation had deteriorated since the day before:

16 February, 2006

***** Cleaners
Seattle, WA
FAX: 206-555-5555

Dear Clumsy Cleaners,

Upon rising this A.M. I experienced a tinge of annoyance at the lack of a reply to my fax transmission dated 15 February concerning what I thought at the time was an ingenious “old switcheroo” ploy undertaken by you with a pair of my khaki cotton Dockers.

Imagine, then, that annoyance burning into anger this morning as I discovered that you, my fine ***** Cleaners, have all of my cotton Dockers! Every last pair, except the ones I was wearing yesterday.

After getting up this morning I kept trying on my pants, newly arrived and bagged from your sterile establishment, and each pair of pants I pulled on came up to mid-shin height. None dangled inconspicuously around my ankles as my pants usually do.

To wit:


How can this possibly happen in our free society?

Please, I want to put on my pants again. Let’s end this little game of yours and move on with our lives.

Please contact me at the number below. Also, please expect me to arrive at your shop this afternoon at approximately 6 o’clock to collect my pants. I will not release the dress slacks until I have assurances from your people that my cotton Dockers have come to no harm.

With growing annoyance,

My name and cell phone number

Rant, Part One

I am re-printing below the fax sent to my dry cleaners yesterday, to which there was no reply.

I have respected their privacy by removing their company name and fax number.

15 February, 2006

***** Cleaners
Seattle, WA
FAX: 206-555-5555

Dear Clever Cleaners,

I was putting on my khaki pants this morning, straight out of the ***** Cleaners wrapper (you know, the plastic you dry cleaner people put over clean clothes that Dateline NBC says suffocates little animals) and I noticed that the cuffs were at mid-shin. Strange – they were never like this before. Previously they hung nicely at ankle-level.

Then I thought, those sneaky nut-cakes over at *****! They raised my cuffs. Believe me, I was amused and not at all upset that you people had a laugh at my expense. If you could only have been there, watching me staring perplexed at my high-water pants. Ha!

Then, quite remarkably, I noticed that your cleaning process had greatly improved the quality of the material in my pants. Oh how that cotton glimmered! They were shorter, yes, but they sure as heck were a lot nicer. Way to go, *****!

But further inspection revealed that these were dress slacks, probably in the $70 range, and not the khaki cotton Dockers I got at J.C. Penney on sale for $28.

Thus my conclusion:

You people have my pants!

To be fair, I also have your pants. Or someone’s pants. But the fact remains – you people have my pants, and I must hold my ground and refuse to turn over the high-waters until I get my khaki cotton Dockers back. I will describe them: they are khaki cotton Dockers, cuffs on the legs which hang at ankle length, small gray-colored lint ball in right pocket.

Please let me know if you have found my pants. I would like to wear them again. You may contact me at the number below.


My name and cell phone number

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Quote from a Famous Person

"Do you think Coca Cola should still advertise? Don't you think everyone has heard of this product?"

Ted L. Nancy

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Window into the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest -- there is no other place like it. I have been living here nearly eight years, and I never grow weary of the magnificence nature displays in this region. I have never gotten used to seeing the Goliath that is Mount Rainier reaching 14,410 feet above the earth and into the heavens toward its Creator. The Pacific Northwest, a region of water, mountains and sleeping volcanoes, is truly beautiful.

The photograph was taken by my wife near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington, back in November, and communicates to me a quiet dignity that is representative to this part of the country. When I leave this corner of the fruited plain, and I will some day, images like this one will stay with me for a long, long time.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Seahawks: Super Bowl XL Runners-Up

I don’t think too many people are in a state of shock and surprise around here, although the disappointment is palpable. Our underdog Seattle Seahawks were bested in Super Bowl XL by the Pittsburgh Steelers. And although the result is disappointing, we are happy just to have made it to the big game. After all, the Seahawks are the NFC champions, and that is a first.

The score was 21 to 10.

So much for Tuesday’s ticker-tape parade.

But I am proud of the home team. They had a phenomenal season and Holmgren did take them as far as the big game.

There is always next year…

I can say I enjoyed Harrison Ford's Dr. Seuss pre-game commentary.

Sunday Morning News Roundup

  • Muslims are rioting in the streets. I know this is nothing new, but this time it’s because of some cartoons. I’ve gotten tired of Doonesbury, but there’s no point in my doing anything about it. This development cannot be good news for the likes of Bill Amend and Cathy Guisewite.
  • Somebody is burning Christian churches in Alabama, yet parishioners continue to worship and have vowed to stay together and rebuild. Thus far, Baptists are behaving with restraint and nobility and no rioting has occurred.
  • Rest in peace, Coretta Scott King.
  • Super Bowl XII kicks off today in Hunt Valley, MD. The Super Bowl of Electric Football means that not only are people still playing electric football, but they are playing championship Electric Football. For younger readers, Electric Football was introduced before video games. It featured a metal field with tiny players that moved around when the board was turned on. The board hummed so loudly it sounded like a utility transformer about to explode.
  • Rest in peace, Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis.
  • The Darwin Awards is now a film. Is anybody else out there saying, “Huh?”

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The 12th Man

The Seattle Seahawks are on their way to Superbowl XL. Most Seattleites are cautious. We are not at all adept at winning national championships, and are unsure how to act. It does not happen very often here.

The Supersonics did it during the 1978-79 season, bringing the NBA title to the Emerald City. Some of my friends were not even born then. Twenty-five years later, the 2004 Seattle Storm won the WNBA championship. But that was off a lot of people’s radar. The WNBA just does not get the respect that it deserves.

Oh, and how can I forget that Seattle won the Stanley Cup? That's right, the Stanley Cup. Bet you did not know that. That was in 1917. The Seattle Metrolpolitans. They are no longer around.

Today a couple of friends and I walked down to Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle for a rally in support of the Seahawks. There were about a thousand people in the street to watch Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and King County Executive Ron Sims unfurl the 12th Man Flag over the plaza. A few friends from the Storm and Sonics were on hand to wish the Hawks good luck. There were no Seahawks on hand. They are all in Detroit, getting ready for the game.

I hope the Seahawks, or maybe owner Paul Allen, heard us cheering today. It’s 2,387 miles from Seattle to Detroit. That's a long way. But Seahawks fans are a loud bunch. I think we did okay.

Go Hawks!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Living Across from the Pantages

I went back to my old neighborhood the other day for haircut and was reminded how much things have changed since I abandoned the city for the suburbs. Nothing ever stays the same, and I certainly don’t expect things to remain as I remember them. But with every change l observe in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood I feel that much more disconnected from my past. My recent past.

After my haircuit I took a walk and noticed that no less than four large, old houses near my old building on Harvard Avenue had been razed and fashionable new apartment buildings erected in their place.

I also discovered that on the corner across from my old building a magnificent old home characterized by sweeping steps cascading off the covered porch to the sidewalk had been lovingly and meticulously restored. I was pleased to see the grand old home looking so fine, and I stopped for a moment to admire it.

I had walked by that old house hundreds of times and had not a clue of its historical significance. A placard recently placed in front of the home tells us that it is the Pantages House, built in 1907.

Pantages, if you do not recognize the name, was a vaudevillian who built many theaters, many of which are still around today in cities like Minneapolis, Toronto, Kansas City, Tacoma, San Diego and of course the famous Pantages Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles.

So inasmuch as I am saddened to see so many changes in the old neighborhood, I am more than pleased to see such a unique old house saved from disorder and disrepair.