Gray Flannel Dwarf


Merry Xmas everyone, heh.

I’ll pass this on to everyone out there, and it’ll be the closest I get to posting any holiday cheer, probably.

This is a cover I did of U2′s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) for part of an Xmas gift last year.

If the range sounds a touch flat, it’s because I think I was getting a cold, and couldn’t hit the higher notes as well. But it’s not bad, all things considered.

[Baby, please come home.]

cswiii @ 1:46 pm

I suddenly have this this

I suddenly have this this strong need, this feeling that I need to start writing songs and music in earnest. I’ve toyed with it on and off, but now I feel like — I dunno, I feel like all of our musical heroes are disappearing, and we’ve got nothing, nobody who can replace them. Now, by no means am I saying I can surpass the Beatles, or even come close to touching on their brilliance. I’d like to think I have just a little “vision”, at least, though. I’m just saying… the loss of someone like this makes you really realize the vaccuum out there in today’s music.

I don’t want to dwell on that line of thinking — it’d be wrong to turn this tragedy into a soapbox against crap music. But at very least, I feel inspired to play my own music now, and play it well.

cswiii @ 9:56 am

Goodbye, George Harrison. :( I

Goodbye, George Harrison. :(

I never much have listened to the Beatles, but I don’t dislike them, I just never had much exposure to them. But I respect all they did for music, and I do like the vast majority of what volumes I’ve heard. I knew a guy in college once who, when explaining how the Beatles’ music just works — and/or shouldn’t — mathematically. He was nearly in tears, brought on by the beauty of this music.

Britain is a frozen state today. Everything is closed down, flags are flying at half mast.

On the radio today, they were asking if this kind of thing could in the U.S., and tried to figure out who might die that would cause such an upwelling of sorrow. No names fit the bill (at least in their minds). I think that’s because nothing is sacred here, but anyway.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps
(G. Harrison/Beatles)

I look at you all
See the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps

I look at the floor
And I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you.

I look at the world
And I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake
We must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you.

I look at you all
See the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
Look at you all…
Still my guitar gently weeps.

cswiii @ 9:12 am


Counting chickens….

Remember that budget surplus bandied about?

cswiii @ 11:20 am

So, talking with her last

So, talking with her last night, she was joking that she has to learn karate, because if we ever go to China, she’s afraid my “wit and charm” will make all the girls swoon — she has to learn Karate to defend her ‘property’ from the “Asian Girlfriend Alliance”.

I rolled with laughter. TAGA. Teedz’ Asian Girlfriend Alliance. Too funny!

cswiii @ 10:26 am

Heh. I made this comment

Heh. I made this comment in eddiecoyote‘s journal a few minutes ago — the part about Afghanistan, not the cellphone talk. Not two minutes later, I’m reading a CNN article, which tells us…

Two Pashtun tribes — the Norzai and the Achezai — have been talking with the Taliban over the past few days about surrendering control of the town.

The Taliban wants to hand it over to both tribes, but Pakistani officials say neither Pashtun group wants to share power with the other.

Concerns have been raised that with both groups negotiating for control of the town, the losing party might try to gain power through violence.

Like I said — the term “Northern Alliance” is something of a misnomer.

cswiii @ 10:15 am


What is it with this

What is it with this strange new trend of people dropping pennies in to the urinals across the hall?

cswiii @ 1:54 pm


Stuck between calling plans…

I’ve been looking at getting a new cellular plan. I don’t mind the one I have right now; the service has been pretty good, and one of its perks is the free, unlimited nights and weekends. Last month, I only used about 200 of my 400 monthly regular minutes, but I easily used over 1800 minutes during nights and weekends; these will probably increase.

However, recently, I’ve found that I’ve perhaps outgrown my calling area. Or perhaps it’s just that I’ve adapted to it enough that I like to use it on travel. Whatever the case, the fact that I have a local-area cellphone. Now, the local area is pretty large, but it doesn’t help much when I’m travelling — 60c or so, per minute roaming.

At the same time, I don’t need nationwide calling, but none of these regional or east coast plans have northeast Tennessee coverage, which would be most handy for me.

Now, AT&T’s nationwide plan looked okay at first, but it’s free weekends — not nights and weekends. I could easily use up 400 minutes at night, alone.

Cingular has what looks like a slightly better plan than mine — same basic local area, plus unlimited n/w, plus free long distance. I’ve heard some not-too-nice words about Cingular though (like “cruddy service’ and “oversubscribed”) Plus, these days I mostly use phonecards for great long distance rates anyway, cards which work essentially anywhere I go.

If someone like AT&T came up with a “pick your five zones” sorta plan, where you could pick several smaller regions instead of just one big “east coast” block, i’d be set.

Oh well.

(For what it’s worth — list me as a referral if you get any of those cards, would ya? ;)

cswiii @ 5:07 pm


The Long Road Home

Drove back home from the Outer Banks today.
:( I love that place.

* Here’s a note for all you crazy travellers: If you’re driving up 95, don’t even try and stop for food in or near Williamsburg, unless you want to go way out of your way. I remember about a year ago, my sister and I were returning home, we followed the signs off of the highway for food in Williamsburg, VA. They lied. The restaurants were nowhere anywhere near the exit, and I don’t think we ever saw more signs to indicate where they might be hiding.

Keeping this in mind, I was getting hungry on the way back, and decided I’d wait until I got past all the Williamsburg exits, and then take the next one.

I took it. “McDonalds 2.6M ->”

“McDonalds ->”
Driving… until I get down into a T intersection that looks suspiciously like it’d become residential driving at any moment.
Giving up and driving back to 95, I see this little sign:

Now Leaving

Now Entering
York Co.

Yep. Trapped again.

I am not sure to whom I should complain, their commerce department, or their transportation department, regarding these $#%@$%^@$ misleading highway signs.

* Saw two other silver Tacomas basically identical to mine (one with the TRD package like mine, one w/out), within about a 1 mile stretch before hitting Richmond. The one girl was boppin’ out, to whatever music was coming out of her cd player. Groovin’ to music, driving a good truck. I had to give her a thumbs-up.

* Later on, traffic From Fredericksburg up to Lorton was about 30 MPH, the majority of the way. Miserable. I cut through Occuquan to take advantage of the cheap gas (94c/gal!) and to avoid any more of that mind-numbing beltway action.

* Last observation: It was kinda surreal, something like a commercial, I guess. I was in the home stretch, about to pull onto Rt 7, waiting at a light. Prior to this, I’d noticed two black Mustangs driving down the road. That was curious enough. But then at the light, the aformentioned Mustangs were there, one beside me and one behind…. and then a third, white Mustang pulled up as well. Really strange.

I’m a little tired now.

cswiii @ 4:14 pm


cookin’ fools

I don’t have cable. The way I look at it, when I turn on the TV on the weekends, I have 5 channels or so, and there is nothing on. When I used to have cable in Fairfax, and prior to that, in Springfield, we had around 100 channels and there was still nothing on, during the weekends.

So if I’m paying $0 for 5 channels containing nothing, why should I pay $40 for 100 channels containing nothing?


Today, we’ve been watching the 12 hour Iron Chef marathon, I’d never seen it before. Despite all its campiness and fluff, it’s fairly cool. Almost worth getting cable, really.

Almost. I’ll probably still exercise restraint.

cswiii @ 9:02 pm

Been watching the dolphins offshore,

Been watching the dolphins offshore, for the past half hour. Probably around 7-9 of them in one pack, maybe 2-3 stragglers elsewhere. They came in quite close to shore.. leaping into the waves out from where I’d try to bodyboard. Leaping quite a lot. It was pretty cool.

There was also what looked kinda like a whale — well, scientifically, it was a whale, but I donno what kind. It was certainly 3+ times larger than the bottlenoses out there, and didn’t surface as often. I studied whales quite a bit as a kid, drew them a lot, etc… I tend to think it was a toothed whale, related to dolphins, rather than a baleen, but I couldn’t tell. If it was a baleen, though, it was probably a humpback — they dwell close to shore, and head to tropical waters for winter — so this one could be migrating. However, it just seems too small. Plus, if there were dolphins around it, they were all probably going after fish, rather than the krill diet typical of baleen whales. I’m uncertain, though, I just couldn’t see enough.

There was someone with a kayak right out there in the middle of it… s/he got the best show of all.

cswiii @ 2:20 pm


Ugh. I ate entirely too

Ugh. I ate entirely too much chop suey tonight, on top of the bowls of chili and monster breakfast. I don’t think I was ever “hungry”, except when I woke up.

However, the highlight of the meal was the fortune cookies. We each got two.

My first fortune:
“There is a prospect of a thrilling time ahead for you.”
Now, that sounds pretty fun, exotic. Do I dare open the next cookie and see what I get?

What I got next had me rolling on the floor, laughing:
“Our first love and last love is… Self-love.”

Now I know that’s not what they meant. But it was pretty damn funny, nonetheless.

cswiii @ 12:31 am


catfish’s recent post about license plates

recent post about license plates reminded me that I wanted to post something about this strange trend I’ve seen as of late. Why is it that people around here who have relatively nice cars, decide they need to be bitchy and complain about them?

* I can’t remember this one so well, because it was awhile back, but I saw a license plate on something… like a nice Accord, or a Camry… the tag said something like “NO BMW”.

* A few months ago, I saw a Ford Probe with the license plate “ITSA POS”

* Finally, in the parking lot a few days ago, I saw a Miata. Similar to the first plate mentioned, it said “NOTAZ3″.


cswiii @ 4:01 pm

* I was going to

* I was going to make this friends-only, but I changed my mind. I don’t care if someone stumbles across this. If someone I know asked me about my current situation, I’d probably express it better here, than if I had to do so orally. *

I’m so completely enamoured by her. Is this too weird, too naive, too soon? She is the same way, moreso, probably. She has more affection for me than she can express, likely more than I can fathom.

And yet, this doesn’t scare me. Rather, this feels so wonderful. I don’t mean, necessarily, the “relationship”, and all that is involved in such — the phone calls, hand-holding, touch of warm skin, or the surprises. I was so empty for so long, teased, ignored for so many years. I’d lost faith in any concept resembling “inner beauty”, because I’d lost all hope that I had any. And now here is this beautiful soul who has complete affection for me. Does anyone realize the amazing, inherent power in this?

Many (most?) guys are turned off from women who cling to them so quickly and strongly. But her affection has filled me up, made me whole. She polishes down those sharp, jagged edges of rough years past. She washes across me, erodes my hard outer shell, that always made me inaccessible to the world. She knows I have faults, and they don’t scare her away. God, I hope my feelings are not a knee-jerk reaction.

I do worry sometimes. Not fear that my affections will scare her off. Not fear that I will wake up one day and suddenly fail to have any desire. No, I fear that I will never be able to reciprocate, ounce for ounce, her affection, which she so justly deserves – and such behaviour would not be for lack of trying. But I mean, based on how much she’s already given, even if I gave all, would it be enough? She deserves so much more!

I found out this weekend that my grandmother knew my grandfather two weeks before he asked her to marry him. They were married 52 years, until he passed away earlier this year. Now, this isn’t WWII. How different are these eras, though? It’s times like these that I wish I was more of a sociologist. Then again, I have had the tendency to analyze things far too much. Maybe it’s good that I can’t and/or don’t.

It is too late to think deep tonight.

Wo ai ni, wo de ai.

cswiii @ 2:44 am

I thought I saw a

I thought I saw a ghost go up the stairs, a minute ago.
However, I think it was just crap on my eyelashes, instead.

cswiii @ 2:41 am


what’s new?

I dunno, way too much. Thursday the 15th, I saw an unbelievable Bob Dylan show. What a setlist. Amazing. And now, I have seen the two acts I wanted to see before they die, BB King and Bob Dylan — both this year.

Next morning, I commenced the trip that, at its completion, will become the shiny new tacoma’s longest trip yet. Made it to the Raleigh suburbs in about 5 hours…. wonderful weather, just unbelieveable. Non-stop trip…. unless you count the stop-and-go traffic I was in for 30 minutes, and about 5 miles, as I got stuck behind a truck carrying a house, down the two-lane NC Route 42. I am not talking one of these modular houses. No, his house, taken up off its foundation and moved, presumably to another section of open land down the road. Weird.

Hit the bar that night with family, met up with an old friend of mine. Knew him in HS, and roomed with him a while back in fairfax,… he’d moved to Raleigh, so he and his wife came out to Fuquay to toss back a few beers.

Got back in relatively late — around 1.30, which left me a little drunk and utterly tired, after no more than 5 hours of sleep, either of the previous two nights and the long drive.

I woke up the next morning, fairly groggy. We got on the road around 10.30, en route to the Outer Banks, took our time, relaxed, and got here at 4.00, Saturday afternoon.

Since then, it’s been a lot of drinking, a lot of eating, with a few things in between, like watching the Leonid meteors and soaking my sore bones in the hot tub. I’ve still got a week more of this to do ;). Everytime I come down here, I get the itchin’ to buy a beach condo.

Anyway, time to crash for the evening. Later.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 12:40 am


LJ needs alpha layers!

Insomnia struck. I will be seeing Dylan tomorrow. I should be asleep, getting much-needed sleep right now. But I’m not, ugh. In any case.. while looking at my friends list, I noticed a plethora of polls that people have put up. I couldn’t take it anymore… those shiny, yummy looking poll result bars look pretty ugly against my black background.

Thus, I took the images and made these. They’re not perfect, but they’re a whole lot better, in my opinion. In each example, the first bar is the original art. The second is my mod, using alpha layers in the GIF. What do you think? To whom do I need to recommend these changes?

By the way – do not attempt to paste a series of tables like this into LJ. it gets allllll screwed up, and I spent too long trying to figure out why. (hint: parser adds BRs)

– Current

– Mine

cswiii @ 2:35 am


The Old Navy woman, Carrie

The Old Navy woman, Carrie Donovan, died.

What will happen to Magic?

On a somewhat related, yet random note, has anyone else seen all these Target commercials on TV? They all seem something like a cross between the flashy, fashionable Gap spots, and the quirky, goofy Old Navy spots.

And isn’t Old Navy owned by Gap? Hmm… I wonder if they have the same ad agency.

cswiii @ 5:03 pm


I went to the doctor’s

I went to the doctor’s today, to find out some stuff regarding my back ache and the fall I had, several days back. They insist on weighing you everytime.

Last time I went, a few mo. ago, I was 169. Since then, I’d been hitting the gym hardcore, until my fall. In that time, I’ve gotten a bit of pudge, since I haven’t been able to bike or anything.

On the scale today, I was 175.. ugh! She tells me, “You should be around 150,” as she read right off of her chart. That made me feel like crap, even though I know I’m far from bloating out of control… I, thus, felt a bit better when I told her, “Well, yeah, but that’s for normal build, I go to the gym.” She responded with, “Yeah. You don’t look overweight or anything.”

Phew :P

For someone who was a skinny 135 as a freshman in college, I don’t want to imagine being overweightfat.

Luckily, the doc said I could probably start doing some low impact cardio again, like stationary bike, etc. Goddamn that will feel good.

cswiii @ 2:43 pm

Could you do it, with

Could you do it, with this kinda intense pressure?
Nevermind all the eyes on you… X-D

Then again, it might be fun to perpetually have “sex” and “eating bamboo” as the only priorities on one’s To-Do list.

cswiii @ 11:00 am
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