So...I won some Incubus concert tickets to USANA Amphitheatre next week. Thanks KBER 101. So yeah, I'll be checking them out. I'll admit, I think I've only heard two or three songs by them...but hey, they're free tickets...and they're an okay band. Other than that, I don't have a whole helluva lotta stuff to mention in my personal life. Believe me, I wish I did...but I don't. Not even any hot & steamy dreams (that are out of the ordinary) to share with ya. My apologies...and I'll be certain to get to work on that.
Last night, I finally gave my dad his Father's Day present and we watched it together, "Gran Torino" starring and directed by Clint Eastwood. Now, this ended up being the PERFECT Father's Day. Why? Because Clint basically plans a composite of my father...and my grandfather...and they even had the same name, Walter. Not only that...but the character traits were eerily similar. Walter has lived in the same house for some 50 years...and like all such places, after being around 50 years the neighborhood has turned into a ghetto. He has a garage full of just about every tool ever made and is a handyman (just like my dad). He is also a Korean War vet who is incredibly bigoted and has very stern and strong feelings about how men & women should act (just like my Grandpa Love, RIP). Walter's wife passes away and his family & neighborhood is worried about how he's going to react. See, he's a bit of a recluse and always involved in fixing things to avoid social contact other than his wife...and so now they're worried that she's not there. Also, Asian families have moved into his neighborhood and though most are good, some are in gangs. Well, his neighbors are good peeps...but the son of the family's cousin tries to get him into his gang...by challenging him to steal Walter's mint condition 1972 Gran Torino...but it doesn't happen. Now the gang is causing trouble next door...and Walt steps in...with a shotgun, "Get off my lawn!!!" Well, of course they see him as a hero now...and he takes the son Tao under his wing a bit (in his own way) and teaches him to be a man...but the violence with the gang gets escalated. Anyway, I liked it a lot. Eastwood makes some great flicks. I also like how they tried to tie in the whole manhood with respect to the car culture, like a real man takes care of his own and doesn't try to make everything all flashy & ridiculously pointless. I don't know, there was a lot of life lessons involved...and it just reminded me a lot of my male role models growing up...so yeah, great flick. I highly recommend it...especially for guys. Girls may not understand. Also, I thought it interesting that I found this article the next day...
Cars & Personalities - The butterfly decals on the front bumper, flowers in the dashboard vase and lime-green paint job only confirmed Dennis Slice's perception of a Volkswagen Beetle parked in a lot at Florida State University. Slice, a shape analysis researcher, said the narrow body, wide-eyed circular headlights, tall windshield and curve of the bug's hood match the facial features of a smiling woman or child. "This is the classic cute car — not dominant, not aggressive," said Slice, an associate professor of scientific computing at FSU. "I don't think anyone could be mean to someone else in a Volkswagen Beetle." (Time for a WWII lesson) Slice and fellow researchers at Austria's Vienna University, where he's a guest professor, are exploring the widely held belief that cars project personalities because they look like human faces when viewed head-on. Cartoonists, for instance, long have drawn anthropomorphic cars with toothy grilles that grinned or frowned and headlights that winked or blinked. The creators of the recent animated film "Cars," though, used windshields for eyes. They were afraid headlight peepers would have given racer Lightning McQueen and other denizens of Radiator Springs a snakelike appearance. Three cars parked near the Beetle offer examples of the opposite end of the personality spectrum. A Mitsubishi Eclipse, Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger each practically ooze testosterone. Their low, wide stances, long hoods, gaping grilles and relatively narrow headlights give each of these sporty models a look that's consistent with the facial features of an adult male, Slice said. Each projects a mature, dominant, aggressive and powerful personality. "This is a car that's ready to take care of business. You don't want to mess with this car." Slice and his Vienna colleagues hope their work one day may help designers determine what parts of a car, such as the headlights, grille or windshield, they can change to project traits that make cars more appealing to different kinds of customers. They're taking the emerging field of shape analysis, or morphometrics, in a new direction. Most other applications have been biological or medical. For example, researchers are trying to determine if bone shapes can be used to help identify the age, gender and race of unknown human remains and how variations in facial features affect the fit and function of respirators. The idea of seeing faces in inanimate objects is part of a survival instinct that goes back to prehistoric times, Slice said. Facial features offering clues about a person's sex, age, emotions and intentions helped early humans "know whether the guy that just stepped out of the bushes is going to take your head back for a trophy or invite you to lunch," Slice said...assuming that lunch and/or brunch was a big thing for Cro-Magnon man. Those identifications are so important that people also tend to see faces even where they don't exist. "If you get it wrong and you see a face in a cloud or a stone or a mountain or some burnt toast (Elvis or the Virgin Mary?) then you might be frightened a little bit, but it's no real cost to you. But if you should ever miss a face and that person wants your head, then that's a serious omission." Slice said future research may look at whether cars' personalities relate to drivers' habits and interactions. "Possibilities are if you see an aggressive car in your rear view mirror you may be more like to pull over and yield to it. By the same token, if you see a submissive or more immature car trying to get into traffic you may be more likely to yield to it and help the innocent little car get into traffic." Another question is whether drivers have the same personalities as their cars. Slice got a bit of anecdotal evidence in the parking lot from Gwen Oliver, a custodial supervisor at Florida State, after telling her that her black Eclipse is dominant, aggressive, powerful and "ready to take care of business." "I am. Everything you said, I'm like that," Oliver told him after she briskly walked over to see why he was interested in her car. "I'm aggressive, I'm straightforward and I'm outgoing and I believe in getting the job done." Interesting...
So what does your car say about you? Do you drive a Mustang (possibly with personalized plates) and are ready to take care of business? Is your side view mirror held on with Hope & duct tape? Do your bumper stickers demonstrate your values, beliefs or sense of humor? Have you put sweat, blood & tears into restoring your 1969 Pontiac Lemans, given it a name like Baby and then realize that you can't afford to drive it around because it's a bad-ass, gas guzzler and you're tired of elderly gentleman coming up and asking you about your car every time that you stop at a gas station and no women are interested because...well who the hell knows? Or perhaps you drive a 1988 Buick Park Avenue a.k.a. a Granny Car because it's spacious, comfortable and you enjoy a bit of style...and it was a gift from your step-great-grandfather who gave it to you because he knew that you would appreciate it & take care of it? I'm sure there are stories associate with all of your cars...and I would LOVE to hear them. Please take a moment to share your story in my Comments sections. I would greatly appreciate it. Go ahead. I'll wait.
(This is where you tell me the story about your vehicle...or what you think your vehicle says about you. I will not continue until your finished, so please take your time)
That's a great story. Thank you for sharing. I had no idea it meant that much to you. Where was I? Oh yeah, rambling gibberish with fairly obvious sexually frustrated undertones.
Amsterdam Update - Over the years, I have reported and occasionally commented on once of my favorite cities that I have never been to...Amsterdam. During that time, we have seen a reduction in the Red Light District and growth towards a more family-friendly appeal in the tourism trade...but now, I'm proud to say that the city has taken further steps to preserve some of its heritage. Amsterdam city council is turning its attention to a pressing problem for one of the city's key business sectors -- banking and credit for prostitutes who can't get accounts from mainstream institutions. The city's red light district is famed the world over for its women in tiny windows and even tinier clothing, but despite the trade being legal, many banks shy away from taking the ladies on as customers (and I have no idea why). As part of the city's "Project 1012" to remake the De Wallen neighborhood, which includes the sex district, the city council has been asked to find a way to help bordello owners and sex workers gain more access to banks. "Up until now, it's been very difficult for people in the sex industry to get credit with the banks. For them it is a hazard that they can not get regular credit or help or mortgages or anything from a regular bank." The council is expected to come to some sort of conclusion within the next two months on what it might do to help the industry. It will not, however, establish or sponsor a "sex bank" as reported by a local paper. "It's more that we're going to investigate and talk with bankers and try to set up a system in which they can get a loan or credit," the spokesman said. He added the city wants to ensure that prostitution is a "bona fide" industry, and that the "entrepreneurs" who ply the local trade need access to regular bank credit for legitimacy. Over the long term, under Project 1012 (named for the area's postcode...so no need for you to Google the internet for some perverse sex act by the same name too) the city plans to restrict prostitution to a few tightly controlled areas. It has already bought a number of buildings that formerly housed red light windows and converted them into art galleries or housing. So who wants to go to Amsterdam with me? Anyone? I really want to get over there and check out the city's culture...not just the Red Light District...but the Anne Frank House...and the many art museums like Rijks & Stedelijk and the works of Van Gogh...and take a ride down the canals...and go see the tulip fields of Aalsmeer...and visit the Alkmaar Cheese Market...and see where Heinekens are made...and do a clog dance on the cobblestone streets...and take part in the culture of symphony or opera or some dramatic play...and if time permits, maybe get some coffee and stimulate the economy as well as my Netherlands. So yeah, WHO'S COMING WITH ME??? (Besides the young lady who just got a new credit account thanks to Project 1012)
Some People Just Don't Get Funny - A 21-year-old woman faces felony charges after allegedly prank-calling her 69-year-old grandmother 45 times in one day, threatening to kill her. The woman faces five felony counts including harassment. A criminal complaint said she told police she was "bored" and "wanted to have some fun." The woman and a 20-year-old friend, also facing charges, allegedly called the older woman on February 5th and said "I'm gonna kill you," "You're going to die" and "I'm watching you." Police officers answered some calls for the grandmother and heard a female caller make threats. The criminal complaint said the suspect told investigators she wanted to scare her grandmother but didn't want her dead. She said she knew it was wrong but not illegal. Okay, a few things here. First off, it happened back in early February...and the police are just getting to doing something about it now...but we'll skip that. Secondly, have we really reached that point of boredom...where even the dumbest of us think "You know what'll give me some instant gratification? I'm gonna call up Granny and threaten to kill her. No wait, she'll recognize my voice. You do it." "Okay! What's her number?" Not only that...but to do it FORTY-FIVE TIMES before you get bored of it (or she took the phone off the hook). You know, there's a reason that your grandparents are cranky...and it's probably your fault. Sorry to say it...but if they are cranky...ask them why. Nine times out of ten, it's gonna be because they think all the young whipper snappers out there are idiots...and the tenth time will be because they don't like their neighbors. So yeah, some people just don't understand pranks...and should stay away from it all together. We shall call them, April Fools. Please just keep it to April 1st so that we can easily identify you and only have to put up with you one day out of the year. As for you great pranksters out there, keep 'em coming.
It's Tuesday, so you know what that means...
Fortune Cookie of the Day - "You are Kind & Trustworthy by Nature...in bed" - It's true. It's absolutely true. As mentioned yesterday, you could even sign your soul over to me...and I wouldn't use it for my army of the undead. I would just try to get a cheap laugh from making you think so. And when it comes to "in bed", I always Love Tender...unless it's requested otherwise...and even then, I'm trustworthy with restraints and a cat o' nine tails.
That'll do it for today. I hope that you enjoyed today's episode. I usually type up most of this gibberish while at work...and we're always busy...so please forgive any grammatical errors or things that don't really make sense (besides those that may be intentionally nonsensical). Please let me know if you'd be interested in going to the Incubus concert. You rock. Speaking of which, Happy Anniversary to the Wingmans!!! Can't believe it's already been two years. You guys are the best friends that a fool like me could ever hope have...and I greatly appreciate you...and I hope that you know this. Anyway, allow to wipe these tears away. Have a great day everybody!!!