The Fishin’ Hole

In my office, every day at approximately the same time, one of my co-workers starts whistling The Fishin’ Hole, also known as The Andy Griffith Show Theme Song. This is a new development, and a bit strange.

You see, a few years back, I met Barney Fife.

Well…sorta. I met the man who is probably the most effective Barney Fife impersonator in the country. His name is David Browning, and he’s as close to the “official” Barney Fife impersonator there is. Even Mr. Knotts approves…

Browning came out to a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Johnston County to help celebrate its opening. He was funny. Very effective as the bungling lawman. He had the car, the hat, the buggy eyes, the awkward stance…and yes, Virginia, he had the bullet in his pocket. It was a brilliant performance, brilliant enough to make my front page that week. (Sure, it was a slow newsweek. ALL of them were slow newsweeks in Johnston County.) And, frankly, brilliant enough for me to become a fan of the show and a novice trivia buff…(quick, why’d Fife decide he could put an “M.D.” in front of his name?)

Sometimes, I miss Raleigh so damned bad. I miss the incredibly lush quality that the foliage has there. I miss REAL barbecue. I miss being a stone’s throw from Chapel Hill. Hell, I miss Fuquay-Varina, believe it or not. And I really miss it every time I say “hey” to a stranger in this particular metropolitan area just to be walked through like I’m a ghost. So much as open your mouth in some parts of Carolina, and you’ve just shot the next 45 minutes on friendly conversation.

But I can’t ever deny that my spiritual home is D.C. I began the process of adopting this place when I was 13 years old. Visits with Dad showed this generally medium-sized-college-town youngster what the metropolitan life could offer. There’s no decent Thai food in Kent, no expansive art museums where you might actually see a Dali, no public transit. Of course, there’s not much chance that an airplane will end up flying into Brady’s Cafe. I guess a large part of life is picking your dangers. Proximity to the dastardly deeds of terrorists, or, um…boredom? Yep, I think I’ve pretty much made my pick.

But. I really wish they’d stop whistling that.

The Fishin' Hole

In my office, every day at approximately the same time, one of my co-workers starts whistling The Fishin’ Hole, also known as The Andy Griffith Show Theme Song.

You see, a few years back, I met Barney Fife.

Well…sorta. I met the man who is probably the most effective Barney Fife impersonator in the country. His name is David Browning, and he’s as close to the “official” Barney Fife impersonator there is. Even Mr. Knotts approves…

Browning came out to a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Johnston County to help celebrate its opening. He was funny. Very effective as the bungling lawman. He had the car, the hat, the buggy eyes, the awkward stance…and yes, Virginia, he had the bullet in his pocket. It was a brilliant performance, brilliant enough to make my front page that week. (Sure, it was a slow newsweek. ALL of them were slow newsweeks in Johnston County.) And, frankly, brilliant enough for me to become a fan of the show and a novice trivia buff…(quick, why’d Fife decide he could put an “M.D.” in front of his name?)

Sometimes, I miss Raleigh so damned bad. I miss the incredibly lush quality that the foliage has there. I miss REAL barbecue. I miss being a stone’s throw from Chapel Hill. Hell, I miss Fuquay-Varina, believe it or not. And I really miss it every time I say “hey” to a stranger in this particular metropolitan area just to be walked through like I’m a ghost. So much as open your mouth in some parts of Carolina, and you’ve just shot the next 45 minutes on friendly conversation.

But I can’t ever deny that my spiritual home is D.C. I began the process of adopting this place when I was 13 years old. Visits with Dad showed this generally medium-sized-college-town youngster what the metropolitan life could offer. There’s no decent Thai food in Kent, no expansive art museums where you might actually see a Dali, no public transit. Of course, there’s not much chance that an airplane will end up flying into Brady’s Cafè. I guess a large part of life is picking your dangers. Proximity to the dastardly deeds of terrorists, or, um…boredom? Yep, I think I’ve pretty much made my pick.

But, goddammit. I really wish they’d stop whistling that.


Because There Are Children in China Who Can’t Hotsync, That’s Why…
I just bought a Palm M130.


So I was given a URL for a site called “Funky Chickens,” which is touted as a fabulous “how-to” on the fine art of HTML.

It’s so horrible, I’m not even going to link to it.

I mean, you know you’re in the wrong place when the site comes up and is using one of those “cute” little Javascripts that makes a particular phrase trail your mousepointer as you move it about the site. Then, you start to explore this warehouse of Web design information and discover that the purpose of this site seems to be to shamelessly promote the use of the most annoying and least reliable HTML tags ever invented. ONENTRY popups, MARQUEE…oy, I was suprised not to see an entire section dedicated to “BLINK.” Geez…

At the same Bat-time…there is actually some cool stuff on the ol’ Internet box. And…by the by…It seems that New York City is self-medicating…is anyone as shocked at this story as I am, he asked sardonically?

Posted in Uncategorized

Buried in Paper

A bit for you today regarding how my mind works, as if you might find this topic fascinating…

As I have slightly lamented in this particular column, I have recently moved from a Nice, Big, Windowed Office into a less nice, smaller, windowless office. As I have said, I must say again: I am pleased as hell to have an office at all, or, for that matter, to even have a job and the wits with which to perform it reasonably well.

::kicking dirt:: I still miss my damned window, though.

Anyway. When I was in my bigger office, and after I inherited the additional responsibilities as Webmaster for my organization, I had to do some detective work, which meant I had to spend some time cleaning out the office belonging to the previous Webmaster. (I didn’t ogle anything personal, bro’. Don’t fuss.)

Now, personally, I’m not sure how this lad ever got anything done. He was buried in paper. Piles of it, reams of it, acres of it, everywhere could find it, there was paper. I think he had the entire Webmonkey Cold Fusion tutorial printed out twice (it’s several hundred pages long). So, I pitched about half of it, kept the receipts and some of the stuff that looked like it would contain vital information, and I dumped those papers onto an empty tabletop in my nice, roomy office. As I had time, I would sort through the mess of papers, pull out the 5 percent of what was worth keeping, and recycle the rest. Despite my best efforts, deadlines were my real priority, and I didn’t mitigate but perhaps a third of the pile.

Of course…in my new office, there’s no tabletop. No room for one.

So all that pile of stuff that I haven’t gone through, it’s on the floor in front of my desk.

Oh, I could put this pile in the drawer of the filing credenza. There’s enough room there, and it would remove this unsightly mess.

If I do that, though, what will be my incentive to actually clean the mess up? If it’s out of sight, it will be out of mind, and it will continue to be an unmanageable stack of obsolete paper. If I leave it where it is now, and I get enough “tsk tsk” noises clucked at me, I will have a grand incentive to actually send pounds and pounds of this useless paper packing.

Do I think too hard?

Marketing Push Just Beginning For Rukeyser

By Serge Colonblow

(ABP)–Don’t feel bad for Louis Rukeyser.

As it turns out, when Rukeyser was told to step out on his long-running television show, “Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser,” he stepped onto a veritable money truck.

CNBC knew a good thing when they saw it–the cable network immediately snapped up the popular finance guru for a show of his own, on cable, with a few rules of its own. The show will not be commercially supported but will be underwritten, as was Rukeyser’s PBS program.

“I insisted on this,” said Rukeyser. “These days many, if not most, of my viewers do have access to cable, but many do not. They have been…extremely loyal to the program, and I wanted to make sure it was available to them.”

Rukeyser denied inside rumors that the show was originally to have been titled “Rukeyser’s Bitchin’ Budweiser Financial Hour”; nor would he acknowledge the rumor that producers had been negotiating with former “Happy Days” star Erin Moran to appear on the show, possibly actually wearing money.

He was jubilant, however, about the Louis Rukeyser action figures.

“Check this out!” said Rukeyser. “He’s got a cape!”

Expect also a Saturday morning cartoon series, merchandising tie-ins with Burger King, and a hot dog fryer bearing the Rukeyser name.

The Office

My senior year in college, I worked as in intern in Washington, D.C. No, not one of those kinds of internships. I spent two days a week at a little media group that tended to work with leftish non-profits, or not-for-profits, or whatever you call ’em. When I worked there, I formed one notion of what I wanted to achieve after college: A job in Washington, D.C., an office with a big window, and a reasonably comfortable life. I was essentially shooting for a job as a newsletter editor and a nice place to live in Northern Virginia.

You know what? For awhile, I had all of that. Today, though, I lost the office.

I now reside from nine to five in a smaller, danker office without a window. And…um…well, there’s this STENCH…

Yes, friends, life just keeps getting better and better. And better. (‘Sokay, ya’ll. I got my eyes on the prize. I’ll get there someday.)

11287559

A mailing list I’m on recently mentioned the notion of priests abdicating their vows of celibacy in light of the most recent charges of child abuse in the Catholic church. I responded:

I for one would hate to see the Catholic church do away with its celibacy rule. The simple fact of the matter is that the Catholic church needs dysfunction and foolishness to surive. For centuries, the Catholics made a career of finding fault with other peoples and cultures and working hard to assimilate, to purge, and to achieve political power, criticizing other religions as superstitious cults while grasping with white knuckles the notion that they were actually eating the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, castigating polytheists while praying to Mary, Jesus, Joseph, and anybody but the Man herself, and widely spreading the completely unhealthy philisophical view that humans are essentially sinful creatures in constant need of redemption and forgiveness. Vatican II may have allowed services to be held in English, but it didn’t reform the church’s twisted and bizarrely firm stance on birth control, a stance which does nothing to reconcile itself with the church’s even firmer stance on abortion, nor did it help to stop the church from lording over the rest of the world with an attitude toward human sexuality that is infantile and destructive. The douchebag sentiment at work here is the one that says that abstaining from fucking is a great way to become more effectively plugged in to the forming and nuturing forces of the universe. I have a suspicion that for centuries the creator has been giggling at them and wondering when they’d catch on to the fact that She put those tingly bits there for a reason, and that caging that energy is about as holy as kicking up your bare feet on a pew back during Easter service and letting a thundering fart rattle the wooden seat.

One thing that hasn’t come out of all of this yet: These latest events convince me that it’s high time for some American religious institution to extend a forgiving hand to the Rev. Sinead O’Connor for creaming the Pope on Saturday Night Live some years ago. This is, after all, precisely what she was bellering about, and while her method of protest was bizarre at best, it turns out that she was absolutely right. Let’s have a ceremony in New York City to affirm this woman’s priesthood in the church and a marketing push to welcome her back into the fickle fold of the American music industry.

The Corruption of the American O’Reilly

Last night, Fox Television aired a one-hour Bill Reilly diatribe called The Corruption of the American Child. I have a few thoughts.

Does anyone else find it ironic that this television show aired on Fox, which is presently warping the minds of young adolescent men with a show about a man who has 15 women at once vying for his hand in marriage? (It doesn’t work this way, boys. If you can find one wonderful woman to pursue you with such an intent, you’re a damned fortunate man.)

Does anyone else find it inappropriate that a show moralizing about the horrors of mass media provided hundreds of visual references to what O’Reilly considers to be the worst of it?

Did anyone else cringe when Opie and Anthony appeared as guests?* Had O’Reilly wanted a real debate, he would have gotten the real McCoy.

Generally, I disagree with O’Reilly’s hypothesis. Violence isn’t just rampant in our fictional media, it exists in our news media because it exists in our world. In these post 9/11 days, and in days when violence in Israel doesn’t even take a holiday for Pesach, it seems naive to crusade against the Insane Clown Posse. And the problem is not the appearance of sex in the media, it is American unhealthy Puritanical attitudes toward human sexuality in general. The fact that we’re supposed to avert our eyes contributes to the obsessive and sometimes destructive horniness of American culture. Besides, to chastise Hollywood like this is to do so in a vacuum—American mass media still produces a lot that is appropriate and healthy for children.

I have to say, though, I loved having the opportunity to throw rotten tomatoes at the ACLU lawyer, who took the bizarre and extreme position that a national group is entitled by the First Amendment to espouse sex with children. Wow, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

It was an interesting little show, but being a tiny cog in the machine of media, I will always cringe a little when the accusations come at us. It’s easy to blame the media for our social ills and far more difficult to examine the social, governmental, and economic causes. It has always been thus and shall always be.

*I am not a fan of Opie and Anthony. From what I know of these two, they have distilled only the most prurient aspects of the Howard Stern Radio Show for their own use. Casual listeners should not place Howard in the same class as these two morons.

A Boy And His Degas

Meanwhile, in the “Kids Say the Darndest Things” file: A conversation between my father and his six-year-old son, my little brother, about a recent trip to an art museum.

Little Brother: Dad, the girls laughed at the sculptures.

Dad: They did, Willie? Why did they do that?

Little Brother: They just have no respect for art!

    In Other News
  • Do you need an afdb?