28 September 2005

It was just SO far to walk across the kitchen to turn on the light.

Yes, I got really lazy and fed the cats in the dark. With predictable results.

26 September 2005

WWW = Wow Whata Weekend

Cowtown Jamborama

2005 Cowtown Jamborama has come and gone. It came off so much better than I had feared, very well for something "thrown together" at the last minute. Thank you to the organizers and the attendees. I want to extend a personal thank to those people who made it happen behind the scenes, you know who you are, and you are reason it happened so well.

It was 6pm when I finally pulled my carcass out of bed today with an aim on something resembling productivity. I am not too sore, like I was last year, but I am definitely exhausted. I know plenty of people who are sore. Lori said she was sore in places she didn't know she had muscles.

It's one of those times when people say "I had such a great weekend!"
"Oh? what did you do?"
"I can't remember."

I'll be posting some pictures soon.

Some random thoughts:
I entered my first dance contest. There was no pressure on me, since I didn't stand a chance of winning, and that was how it worked out. I danced with three partners, the first was Jenny from Minnesota, who was just wonderful and smiley. Then I got Terry, aka idance, who continues to be one of my favorites, I hope I can quit being so intimidated by dancing with her. I had a third partner too, it wasn't so great. I really focused my dancing for the last month or so with an eye on this competition. I heard feedback from my friends that I have been making progress, and I feel that way too. After the competition, I asked Robin how I did, she said "great", so I asked her how I really did "your moves and footwork were fine, your posture stunk." Now that's a friend :-) I would love to see the Omaha Jitterbugs have a dance contest quarterly, for me it made me improve my dancing, perhaps others would do the same.

I was VERY encouraged this weekend. I keep telling myself various things about how I won't ever be a great dancer, and every time I am proven wrong. My latest one is that I am too old. Well it may be true that I am older than most of the people who were there, but dancing has probably got me in the best "general" shape I have been in since my mid 20's. I weigh more and it's mostly muscle, I have better stamina, I am stronger and more coordinated than I have ever been. Maybe it's time to pony up some cash for some private lessons. (and quit the bad self-talk)

Chicks dig guys who can dance. Gentlemen, especially you younger ones, get a clue, and learn some moves.

Caitlin George, thank you for the dance tip. That being said, you are much more attractive when your mouth is shut, just because you have vocal cords isn't necessarily an open invitation to use them. Perhaps you have good reason to believe that you are one of the finest lindyhoppers in the world, but there is no reason to leave people believing you are one of the biggest jerks in the world. Thank you for visiting Omaha, and thank you for leaving. Big talent doesn't have to be nasty, Christy Vasiliauskas is full of kindness and patience AND talent oozes out her pores. In the future I can tell you that I will fly to Hawaii to ask her something before I'd walk across the room to ask you.

Folks, if you think you get the best moments of an event by being at the beginning and middle, you are mistaken. The best stuff happens at the end. Everyone's guard is down, they are tired and happy, and stuff comes out. The Sunday dance was attended by about 45 people, and by 11:00 we were down to 15 or so, and Peter Loggins started goofing off with some of the other instuctors, and funny funny stuff occurred. My favorite was when Billy put on a latin song, and we dragged Carmen over to him to dance. Peter: "I am from L.A., of course I can dance Latin."... one minute later "...she's showing me up...!" naturally, you have to be there, and some of it may have only been funny because we were so tired. But Peter, Christy, and Mike Faultesek, the instructors who stayed until the last minute of the last event, were gracious, kind, funny, and wonderful to be around (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was the same way).

Thanks again to all those wonderful people who took the time to dance with me.

21 September 2005

What I Learned at the Zoo Today

Random lessons from the zoo...
  1. Don't pretend that you are going to throw a five year into water or she will cry.
  2. If one three year old presses the emergency button in the elevator, the other three year old will do it too at the next available opportunity.
  3. Don't try to pick up a five year old when she is about to jump or you will get smacked in the jaw by the top of her head.
  4. Five little kids pretending to be lions can bring down an adult human.
  5. Don't tell a three year old who didn't want the rest of his lunch that you fed it to the squirrels or he will cry.
  6. Bats are attracted to heat. Rub your hand and they will fly right up to you.
  7. Five kids can run in twelve different directions at THE SAME TIME.
  8. Don't encourage the kids to quack at the ducks... or to hoot at the owls... or any other animal noise at any other animal.
  9. There is a difference between apes and monkeys, I just don't know what it is.
  10. and of course: We all spent $70 on a zoo pass so the kids could run around on rocks, play with fountains, climb on fences, and pretend to ride statues.

20 September 2005

A Keeper

I found a keeper! Her name is Lori, and she is wonderful. She likes me too, which may say something about her judgement ;-)

Here we are on September 16:

Lori & Eric

13 September 2005


Yes, fellow swing dancers, we have a lot of fun. However, you should be aware of when the camera is pointed at you.

edit - Removed link

Don't let this happen to you!

edit - Due to circumstances well within my control, I have taken down the video. Contrary to what you might have heard no one actually threatened me with bodily harm, they did way worse than that... they said "please".

05 September 2005

Arrh! Four Stupid Pirates!

Four stupid pirates had lunch today at Imperial Palace. It was Backleader, Popeye (who loves his spinach), Heave-Ho, and Swervy. But who is who?

03 September 2005

Obligatory Katrina Posting

Here is a tough one. What to blog about that doesn't include a rant about gas prices... NOTHING, it's not possible! Tuesday went into work and as I passed the Cal's Express, it was $2.54/gal, when I came home it was $2.75/gal at the same place, and 24 hours later, $2.99/gal. For the maimpairedred, that is a 17.7% increase in 36 hours, or an annualized increase of 4307%. I paid $3.199/gal today. $37.27 to fill up.

Okay, so there is my little fuel complaint. Here is what is really pissing me off.

I have personally understood that this was going to happen in New Orleans for at least ten years. In fact, this type of disaster is/was much more predictable than "the big one" shaking L.A. to the ground. This was not a maybe, but a certainty, and every year that went by, New Orleans subsided a little more, the ocean level rose a little more, and more precious storm surge land in-between New Orleans and the ocean disappeared. That this happened cannot be a shock to anyone who pays attention to hurricanes, geology, hydrology, or a freaking newspaper. So why A) did so many people stay? (more on this in a second) and why B) are rescue efforts looking like so much buffoonery? Especially B!!!

Okay, so A, why did so many people stay? Well the common story that has always been said about emptying New Orleans for a hurricane is that you can't get everyone out, there are so few roads out, and you have such short notice. Bull! If authorities can empty a concert/sports facility of 10,000 people in 90 minutes using a two lane road. I'm betting you $20 that they can figure out how to empty out a million people across I-10 and various other major and minor roads in a day and a half. I don't even need to solve this problem, people smarter than me can do that. Part of the problem is poor, elderly, or disabled people who cannot drive themselves out of town... I have another $20 that those people can ALL be planned for also. How to get them out, where to keep them until they can safely return. I'm not going to run and holler racism as already has been done. The color that matters here is green, not white or black. Planning, preparing, and executing cost money, not a popular thing amongst the wealthy, and what do they care if poor people die? They will be safely in Dallas in a hotel figuring out how to get extra money out of the insurance companies.

And B. FEMA chief Michael Brown has got to be a cross bred 2nd & 1st cousin of somebody high in the government, cause the man is a moron. I don't even know where to begin. I am reading on CNN.com for at least two days about people at the convention center in New Orleans. Friday morning Brown comes out with the statement "We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need." Hey genius, read an f***ing paper or web site... people died in horrible conditions who would not have because of your incompetence. Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco would do well to not point the fingers at the feds despite Brown's obvious stupidity. They failed to plan also. For once I'm not getting on President Bush's case, his biggest mistake in this is trusting that Brown had a clue... and it seems obvious that when he did figure it out, he sent in the army. Lt Gen Honore seems to understand what he is supposed to be doing there and is getting it done, something the political appointees and elected officials could not even come close to do. He is also demonstrating how easy it is to be a hero in situations like this, and not another moronic politician. Pay attention politicians, you could learn something from this officer and gentleman.

As for New Orleans itself. I'm sorry, I am not for rebuilding it, at least in its current location. Below see level in hurricane country is no where to be, and old man river would be best left to it's own devices in that area of the country. You cadikesld dykes, walls, and levees, but they won't stop subsidence, and New Orleans is just going to keep sinking. I'm glad I got to visit there. I hope they find a way to rescue some of the more important buildings and flavor of the town, but there isn't a point in building another disaster waiting to happen.