Thursday, November 30, 2006

I admit, with much trepidation...

...that there are two christmas songs that, I cannot, no matter how hard I try, stay dry eyed and listen to. Whether happy, melancholy, sad, angry, or even utterly pissed, these songs cut through it all and hit me. HARD.

You've got to wait on the second, but here is the first, as I prepare for all of my siblings to come help me decorate my utterly too large tree. I dont even care if you think the songs are cheesy...I sure do.


Did you ever hear the story of the Christmas tree that just didn't want to change the show?
He liked living in the woods and playing with the squirrels
He liked ice cycles and snow
He liked wolves and eagles and grizzly bears
And critters and creatures that crawled
Why bugs were some of his very best friends
Spiders and ants and all
And that's not to say that he ever looked down on the vision of twinkling lights
Or mirrored bubbles and peppermint canes and a thousand of other delights
And he often had dreams of tiny reindeer
And a jolly old man in a tiny red sleigh full of toys and presents and wonderful things
And the story of Christmas day

Oh Alfie believed in Christmas all right
He was full of Christmas cheer
All of each and every day
And all through out the year
To him it was more than a special time
Much more than a special day
It was more than a beautiful story
It was a special kind of way

You see, some folks have never heard a jingle bell ring
And they've never heard of Santa Claus
They've never heard the story of the son of god
That made Alfie pause
Did that mean that they'd never know of peace on earth?
Or the brotherhood of man
Or know how to love
Or know how to give
If they can't, no one can

You see, life, is a very special kind of thing
Not just for a chosen few
But for each and every living, breathing thing
Not just me and you

So in your Christmas prayers this year
Alfie asked me if I'd ask you
Say a prayer for the wind
And the water
And the wood
And those who live there too

It's In Every One Of Us

It's in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes

We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why
It's in every one of us
By and by
It's in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both of your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why
By and by
By and by

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Went fishing

Being that M reminded me I didnt post a follow up to "Gone Fishin", here ya go.

We hit Pawleys about 3pm, which is my preferred time to start catching bait (preferably pinfish, but any fish I can cut up or use live and whole works). Unfortunately, the pins weren't biting, so I had to start throwing the cast net. Caught a few finger mullet in the net, as well as one pinfish. Kept on trying, still nothing. We had some excess shrimp so I made the command decision to go ahead and head to the surf and see what happened.

Once we got to the beach itself, I set about getting my sandspikes and rods set up, get the rigs on the rods, etc. Once everything was set, I cut up one of the finger mullet to bait the 4 rods. Fortunately the little fish that weren't biting in the creeks were in the surf. We caught an abundance of bluefish and whiting, most of which ended up in my freezer to be ground into chum blocks for next summers shark fishing excursions.

After we had several blues in the cooler, I took one and chunked it out to be used on my "heaver" rods. They are termed "heaver's" because they are designed to cast 8 oz of lead plus bait as far as humanly possible (this human can get 150 yards with a good goal is 200). They're 12 feet long and are quite unwieldy until you get used to them. Enough about the rods.

I walked to the end of the jetty and let fly with one good cast, then another. After I walked the rods back down the jetty to the sandspikes, I settled into my chair to await the sound af a clicker screaming at the top of its lungs to come save it from a shark, red drum, stingray, chopper bluefish, or anything else big enough to eat a piece of bait that is 4 inches square.

It didnt take long and the first rod took off. I ran to it and set the hook, but couldnt do anything to turn the fish and watched it peel off 100+ yards of line, placing me in danger of being spooled. (For those of you non-surf fisherman, you use light line - 14-17lb test - in the surf in order to achieve maximum distance...physics of lower diameter line causing less friction = more distance. It was because of this I couldnt fish a very firm drag) I made the command decision to apply enough pressure to either turn the fish, break the line, or end up somewhere between the two. The line parted. Once I reeled it all the way in, my shock leader (24 ft of 50 lb test to withstand the force of 8 and bait being cast) was frayed 4-6 feet back from the knot, which told me I had a shark on and the skin rubbed through the line.

With this new knowledge in mind, I rerigged with steel leaders, recast, and once again settled in to await my quarry. After about 20 minutes, the other rod took off and I got a solid hookset. This fish again took me dangerously close to being spooled. I very carefully increased the drag, as well as chasing the fish parallel to the water in order to gain back line. Roughly 40 minutes later, a mile worth of running up and down the beach and 2 scrambles over a jetty, J had the spotlight on a 5ft sandshark swimming back and forth between the breakers. Another 5 minutes passed as I waited on the right wave to surf him into the beach on, presumably so I wouldnt get wet (it was cold). Finally got the right wave, surfed him in, and I got a closer look. It was a beautiful shark, no scars, and it was tagged! I committed the details of the fish (sex, size, breed) to memory to report to the taggers upon return home, and finally ended up getting soaked up to the knees getting him headed back in the right direction out to sea so I knew he was ok. I would guesstimate his weight between 60-70 lbs. On 15 lb test. :)

I stood there in the surf with the spotlight and watched him until I couldnt see the dorsal anymore. We didnt catch anything else that night, but it was ok. Fall nights on the beach dont get much better than that, unless of course you fall into a run of big red drum.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Consider this a rant.

Yesterday, as I was pulling out of my driveway with J I noticed 2 police officers walking down my street. We stopped, rolled down the window, and inquired if there was something wrong and if there was anything we could do to help. The officer replied by asking if J was indeed JC. She replied yes, and the officer asked her to put the vehicle in park and turn off the vehicle.

At this point I was well aware something was amiss. After confirming her identity, the officer informed her there was a bench warrant for her arrest due to not appearing in court for a traffic ticket.

J in disbelief explained to the officer she had gone to court for the ticket, not once, but twice. The officer who wrote the ticket called off sick the first date, and then rescheduled the second date (which had been written in red on her ticket by the clerk of court) without notifying her. On the second court date, the judge dismissed the ticket stating "I dont feel it necessary to waste anymore of your time" presumably referring to the officer not showing up nor notfiying her by mail of the second rescheduling.

The officer in our driveway then called into the station and asked if there were any notations on the bench warrant which there weren't. He asked us to step out of the vehicle, and explained to J that she could come down to the station, pay the reduced fine (for the dismissed ticket) and see the clerk of court monday morning to see if she would be required to pay the full amount. She asked several times why this was happening, and why she had to pay for a ticket that was dismissed. The officer stated that the ticket had not been dismissed, she had not shown up for court, and they were simply "doing their job."

At this point I went into the house to get my phone to notify her parents and call mine for advice. When I came back outside, I see her standing there shaking and sobbing, IN HANDCUFFS. She was cuffed while I was inside, as well as in front of the nosy neighbors on our street who were now outside watching. She asked to sit down, and one of the officers was going to make her sit on the ground until the other officer said she could sit in the back of the van we had been driving. Fortunately our roommate had some cash, and I got that from him before they paraded her down the street to one of the THREE squad cars parked there.

I proceeded to follow them to the station, at which point they took her back to talk to some desk jockey. She was informed at this point she would have to come in the following morning to talk to the clerk of court about the remainder of the fine, she would have to make sure her license had not been suspended, and that this would most likely be in her record. All I could do was watch through a window as these officers treated her like she was totally guilty and was doing nothing but lying to them. They let her go with a receipt and a copy of the bench warrant.

We went to talk to the clerk of court this morning. She wasnt even going to see J until her assistant was given the rundown of the situation. Once we finally got her out there, she pulled the same "you're guilty" act until J insisted she check the court docket for the second rescheduled date, and sure enough, in bright blue ink, it read "J C, Traffic Ticket, (officer name), DISMISSED.

The clerk's face blanched. She immediately began backpedaling and explaining how to get a refund of the fine paid the day before, how they would make sure her license was not suspended, etc, how they would make sure it was all reversed. At this point I couldnt keep my mouth shut, and asked how they planned on reversing being stopped in our driveway, handcuffed, and paraded down the street to a squadcar, over a ticket that was dismissed and noted in the docket as so. The clerk offered her "deepest heartfelt apologies." RIGHT.

For the record, J was not even guilty of the traffic ticket. I was in the car with her when she got pulled.


1/2 day work missed for first court date (because officer couldnt be bothered to show)
1/2 day work missed for second court date (because officer still cant be bothered)
1/2 day work missed to see clerk of court today (because of someone not paying attention while entering the judges notes in the computer)
1/2 day work missed to go to court wednesday in order to get a refund (same as above)

2 days of her work is worth more than simply paying a ticket for something she didnt do.

She will lose more money than she will get back for the refund because of the missed work for that.

She would have lost less money, in either case, had she been guilty. Instead, she will lose more than the ticket was worth, has been arrested, handcuffed, and paraded down the street to be placed in a squad car because she chose to pursue her innocence.

I am virtually certain there will be no internal reprimand for the individual who didnt transcribe the notes properly, and there is no way for us to force the issue due to the cost that would involve.

It doesnt pay to be innocent.

DISCLAIMER: I am well aware this is fairly harshly written and accusatory, and its supposed to be. There are good administrative/police departments out there. At this point though, I dont see how it pays to be innocent when someones clerical error can have these results.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gone Fishin'

I'm about to head down to Pawley's Island, SC to throw a line in some saltwater. Hopefully the results will be better than the last trip, which reached its frenzied peak as I sprinted down the beach chasing my nicest surf rod/reel (paid far too much for it) as my intended prey on the other end laughed its ass off and just kept on truckin. Only 3 things out there typically could do that, as it was sitting in a firmly sunk sand spike - Shark, Ray, or Red Drum. Hopefully it was the last of the 3 options, and there are a few more waiting on my return. More probably it was a shark, being that this spot produced my biggest from the surf, a 6 footer of the sand variety. Either way, I'm out 450.00 of replacement value and I want some revenge!!! Watch out fishes, I'm a-comin' and I'm pissed off ;)

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Ubiquitous "50 Things"

I figure any random individuals who happen to wander to this blog as opposed to any of the other million-and-one out there may want to know something about the author. For those of you I dont get to see as much as I would like, or havent seen in years, consider this the "Cliff's Notes"

1 - I am indeed 30, and I am indeed in College.

2 - I have been signed to a major record label (Universal Records, may you burn in hell).

3 - The aforementioned signing to a major is precisely why I am back in college.

4 - I have been a music ed major, a computer science major, a media arts audio major, and am currently graphic design.

5 - I get much better grades now that I am older.

6 - I am deathly afraid of spiders, but I will stop my truck to move a snake out of the road.

7 - Speaking of my truck, the total worth of my fishing gear happens to be greater than its worth.

8 - I consistently catch catfish bigger than most 5 year olds.

9 - I do not consistently catch anything in saltwater.

10 - I am equally comfortable running my yap in a tackle shop, hanging out at Dragon Con, running ProTools in a studio, or laying down pwnage at a LAN party.

11 - Normality, Complacency, and Settling scare the fuck out of me.

12 - I'm a computer geek. I even bought a dremel just to mod my case. Yes, it does have lights on the inside just to look cool.

13 - My computer can kick your computers ass.

14 - My best friend has 4 legs and is named Nemo.

15 - Even though Jen likes to think so, he is not named after a cute little clownfish. I named him for the captain of the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

16 - I have a tendency to worry too much about what other people may think of me.

17 - I firmly believe Charles Schultz and Theodore Geisel are some of the greatest philosophers the world has ever seen.

18 - I am more likely to cry at the end of a kids movie or anime than I am at any other genre.

19 - I am a part-time Alzheimer's caregiver.

20 - Alzheimer's and its effect on my family furthered my dislike of the Bush administration for limiting stem cell research. Let him come take care of my grandmother for a week.

21 - Do not mistake my dislike of Bush for being a Democrat. If I had to vote on a party line, it would be the eternally flawed Libertarian. I vote on the issues.

22 - Cookie cutter people offend me on a level I cannot begin to describe.

23 - I am a musical snob.

24 - OK, so I'm a literary snob too.

25 - I am coming to the end of the worst fishing season ever. I'm also considering writing a book of the same title.

26 - I am addicted to the computer game Dark Age of Camelot.

27 - I feel I have lived more in 30 years than most people ever will.

28 - Life is easy. Living is hard.

29 - I have been called a walking dictionary. Its actually just a defense mechanism.

30 - I am terribly uncomfortable around children. I'm afraid I'll screw something up and break them.

31 - I have never been overseas, but that will be remedied in the spring for a friends wedding in Denmark.

32 - My stepfather has been more of a father to me than my biological father ever will.

33 - I'm not happy with my weight, but I cannot for the life of me force myself to do anything about it.

34 - Very few people that have come through my life will ever be considered more than an acquaintance...those of you that are truly my friends, thank you.

35 - I have been an alcoholic.

36 - There is nothing in the world like walking onstage to people yelling your name or your song titles. NOTHING.

37 - Being tall is an asset...people see me as more of a threat than I could ever conceivably be.

38 - I have been with my better half for 12 years. No I'm not married. But I will be sooner as opposed to later. She rocks for putting up with me this long and being there when it all fell apart.

39 - I am not terribly good at writing when I am happy/content. Maybe this blog will fix that.

40 - My most valued possessions in the world are my memories.

41 - Do or do not. There is no try.

42 - I carry around a suitcase of unspoken mind.

43 - 50 things about myself is harder than I thought it would be.

44 - Sometimes I sits and thinks. Other times I just sits.

45 - I probably own more toys than most kids. Have fun with that psychologists.

46 - I have 4 siblings. I wouldnt trade them for anything, even when I want to kill them. I'd hate for someone else to have the satisfaction.

47 - I'm terrible at staying in touch with people.

48 - I think too much.

49 - I tend toward situational ethics, and I really, really, dont like that about myself.

50 - I'm now done with this list. I'm going to bed.