February 3rd, 2004

abstract butterfly

Heated by power plants

As the weekend weather promises cold and rain, I focus on the ways to nonetheless have a fishing trip with my young nephews. Actually, some of my best days fishing were spent in the rain. As teens, my brother and I would fish at our grandfather's small pond, standing in the rain. During a month-long sojourn in Kentucky for a trial we didn't win, years ago, I sat in the rain in a small rented boat on Kentucky Derby day at an obscure little state park lake, hauling up bream and crappie as I got progressively more soggy, and having the time of my life.

Some lakes in Texas are heated by power plants, so I should be able to find a place where the water is warm enough to fish without having to drop the line down to 60 feet, where fish go when it is cold.

I've been down since Sunday noon, when a depression set in
over something as small as realizing that after a long wait to be seated and a wait to eat, my afternoon would be nearly over. It's continued in this vein into today, as each little thing--an LJ deletion, a work stress, a bit of loneliness,magnifies into something more palpable than it really is. I like that I was very productive yesterday at work, even though I was down.

I'll use work like a power plant on a lake, keeping the water warm until conditions warm up again.
abstract butterfly

turn on, tune in, rock on, then rant

Tonight my new Johnson mini-amp arrived in the mail. I won this on eBay after being pointed to the waning moments of its auction by girl_in_a_cage. I got it at auction minimum by being the only bidder. It's smaller than a breadbox--a compact, battery-operated gizmo that puts out a solid four watts of raw, metallic power. Best of all, it was much less expensive than a "real" amp. It will be the foundation for my personal "highway 61 revisited" (or, for purists, my personal "bringing it all back home").

I hooked up my electric kazoo and began to hum. Guess what? An amplified kazoo sounds just like a non-amplified kazoo, with more attitude. An oomph. Four watts of oomph. Once the kazoo goes electric, everything changes. Now I'll borrow a friend's flanger and wah-wah pedal, and go to town--to a big town. "Smoke on the Water", by the way, is much easier to hum/play than Aaron Copeland's "Hoedown". I haven't tried the autoharp with the amp yet, but I'm already experiencing great fun, which is the whole point.

Just after Law and Order: Special Victims Unit did an excellent plot about child slavery in New York, the local news reported on the sad case of a local retired professor in Fort Worth who was kidnapped and apparently murdered.
They caught two people driving her car in Oklahoma City, some four hours from here. Now the authorities have been led to a body in the Arbuckle Mountains.

I don't believe in the death penalty, but these two folks who apparently kidnapped and killed that woman make me so angry. Their "grand haul", for which they took a human life? Stealing some money from her ATM, making a call on her phone card, and stealing her car. Idiots. I don't know why, but even their stupidity offends me. Driving her car after they killed her? That's a genius strategy. Heartless, murdering idiots. It makes my blood boil. I get so irritated that in this day and age when we can photograph Mars people still do such moronic, violent things. I'm sure I'll get my compassion back--my Leopold/Loeb explanations why we are all at heart to blame in this society. But right now I just rage about this.

The primaries today place Kerry solidly in the lead, with John Edwards placing well in second. I like Edwards, and I'm pleased that Kerry is running a much stronger campaign.
The talking heads wrote Kerry off when he fired his initial campaign manager. Now that decision looks like an act of genius. Poor Mr. Dean seemed to lose momentum altogether. I suppose that the former Governor of Vermont had to win New Hampshire to stay viable. I don't mind Kerry, but I think that I prefer Edwards. I suppose I've become an economic centrist in my old age. But I do play a mean kazoo.