Posted by: David | January 21, 2008

Achieve Life!

Spinning and watching tube this fine Martin Luther King Day morning. I can spin for a whole hour as I don’t need to get to work till noon. So I watched CNBC for a change of pace. The programming this morning was not about the Civil Rights Day holiday. Nossir. Saw the last half of a 1 hour piece on McDonalds and the first half of a 1 hour piece on Levi Strauss. Both pieces were pretty interesting to me, as I’ve purchased plenty of product from both of these corporations. Even the commercials were interesting to my over-oxygenated brain cell. Cell-zzzzzz. Brain cells! I do have more than one. I think.

Watching a full hour of CNBC from 7:20 – 8:20 was good training for me as a consumer of life. Most of the commercials were for investment brokerage firms. Scott Glenn’s voice narrated one for which the firm name (icon=giant bull) didn’t stick, but the slogan did: “True wealth isn’t just about money, it’s about achieving life“. Stupid, stupid me. I thought life was to be lived, not achieved. There is some achievement sure, on the day of your birth. And yer ma achieved getting you outa her that day. But after that it’s just the rickety roller coaster. Life, that is. Good luck. Course I’m stupid, as I already said, and an underachiever as well. To boot. Somebody stop me …

img_1675.jpg img_1674.jpg
Look what I found at the dump (transfer station) Sunday.

Yesterday(Sunday) was pretty peaceful. Had our typical bacon eggs and toast breakfast with the previously mentioned fancy bacon. Got down to crossword puzzle (she) and web browsing (me) and put off going to the dump an hour or 2. Around noon Oliver and I went finally went and transfer station was deserted. Only one other dumper and the attendant lady. Maybe I should go at that time instead of 10 sharp as I usually do, which is when it opens. Maybe the people of Bradford tend to do their dumping early as possible on Sunday, cause it’s usually pretty busy, with 2 lines of cars. I don’t know. Anyways, I found, on the “recycling” table, a large plastic bowl and the candle pictured above. Didja like the way I said “anyways”?

While down in the basement watching Syriana (current Netflix rental) I lit the Virgin of Guadalupe candle. It had a very long, thin, waxy wick which lit right up and blackened the glass. After about 20 or 30 minutes, while George Clooney was being tortured, it pretty much went out. That movie was damn confusing lemme tell ya. All I got from it was the foreboding atmospherics of how hopeless these last decades of fighting over the petroleum are going to be. Maybe that was the idea.

Yup, that’s some pretty gloomy stuff there, dad.

The above picture was NOT posed. That’s how peaceful a day Sunday January 20, 2008 was at my house. Dogmatic One and The Cat almost never lay together like this. Usually Oliver “controls” the cat by growling at her and chasing her up onto various chairs, especially at transitional moments, where someone is getting let in, let out, fed, or people are coming or going from the house. Or maybe it was the lighting of the candle.

[Stephen Cobert voice] Movin’ on …


Camera-kitty’s wanderings about Katzenstraße. See vermomter’s comments below.


  1. Sounds like a lovely Sunday, what with the bacon and that fantastic candle find! The Virgin of Guadalupe smiled upon you, and allowed you to spin for an entire hour this morning.

    By the way, I’m jealous of your spinning. I want to spin! Wendy suggested that I look for one on freecycle, and I put the word out, but no luck yet. I’m still searching! In the meantime, I’m just twirling around in circles in my living room.

  2. Thanks moonbeam, it really was a nice Sunday!

    And you know that is so weird! A friend at work just told me today about freecycle! Exercise equipment is frequently jettisoned for many reasons. Keep your eyes peeled for such castoffs from flagging New Year’s resolutioneers in Feb and March.

    The way I got my spinning bike was through the fitness center at the college where I work. They bought a whole bunch of new spinning bikes and mothballed or sold the old ones. I got one for $50, put about $75 worth of new parts into it, and it was well worth it. It’s a very heavy duty unit intended for extensive daily use by many people. It’s very quiet, with a belt driven flywheel and an adjustable tensioner. I see this model advertised on the web, refurbished, for about $400-700. So maybe look to your health clubs or colleges in Dayton with fitness centers on their campuses. Or something like that … I started out with a freebie that came from the dump, but it was terrible. Though it was better than nothing.

  3. It does sound like a lovely day. I saw that same show about Levi’s a couple of weeks ago. It was really interesting, especially when you see them trying to buy back their jeans from the 1800s on eBay.

    I love your candle. They sell them in the supermarket here for $1, and I try to keep them in stock all around my house. I have the Virgen De Guadalupe, but my favorite is the stigmata one. I go around and light them all at night, and my kids said it was very creepy, like what they imagine it must be like to be locked inside a Catholic church at night. So that’s good, I’ve done my job.

    Oliver and the cat look like they were discussing something when you caught them. They had the same look on their faces as the people on Survivor when the camera catches them talking about who to vote off.

  4. But not only does the candle not stay lit, it has no smell, my wife has observed. Your kids were right, and thank GOD they were never locked in a Catholic church overnight. Good job Wendy.

    I wonder what those stupid pets were discussing! When I came up the stairs and saw them I completely ignored them so they’d stay put whilst I grabbed the camera. So maybe they’re saying “OK douchebag’s gonna take our picture again for his lame-ass blog!” I bet they like being on the internet!

  5. The cat was the one talking: “Whatever, Oliver, it’s just that I feel strongly we vote HIM off first. For one thing, we really need her skills with food, not to mention the fact she smells better. He’s got some thing going with that bicycle, and afterwards he smells weird …” and then you walked in.

  6. Oh OK, I SMELL WEIRD! Let’s not forget who brings home the BACON! Vote me off and there will be nothing but DRY FOOD. Yes cat. Yes dog. KIBBLE FOREVER.

    And water.

  7. Hey Dave…Here is a job for The Dogmatic One and/or That Small Cat-Like Being depicted above. Seeing as how they got themselves all rested up over the long weekend and all. The results by the German kitteh aren’t bad, considering this shootist lacks opposable thumbs and therefore cannot focus or manage a light meter. Such limitations notwithstanding, I really do think it’s about time the 4-footeds started pulling their weight around their families. I mean to speak to my own about this shortly.

  8. Whoops. Typo in the URL above. Go see the results here.

  9. Those adorable cuddly Germans and their super-amazing work ethic, what will they think of next? Now they’ve got their cats working! Seriously, though, it’s an interesting concept. Didn’t David Letterman used to put a camera on his dog back in the day?

  10. YES! That kitty cam is awesome! Thanks vermonter!

    Indeed the Germans know no limits! They cannot help themselves! Only the Japanese surpass them. And both of these peoples were lovingly firebombed by us, the free and the brave. What a world we live in! Amen.

  11. OMG, it gets better: She has tagged a GoogleEarth map so that you can see where exactly some of the shots were taken.

  12. I think the cat is beautiful, and I love the idea, but I’m having a problem getting the actual “video” the cat is filming. Vermonter, Are you able to see the video? Is there something I’m not clicking?

  13. No shprekinzee deutsch?? The Google map interface is a little clunky and I didn’t find any videos either, but I was able to zoom in and see that our cameracat has a pretty good-sized territory!

    We want the live GPS-synched catcam with updates every 15 seconds!

  14. @Wendy: I didn’t find any video; where did you see it? I find a gallery of little stills, in varying degrees of focus :o) At various heights. Some with great stands of grass blades obscuring. But I think my favorites are those depicting a large human leaning in with a treat. His shadowy sillhouette is distorted slightly by the camera lens toward egg-shaped, he’s pursed up his lips and he looks…well…a little pervy, actually. I didn’t realize we looked so wicked-uncle-ernie when we are just trying to be nice to them.

  15. vermonter I think Wendy was saying that she didn’t find any videos, which I didn’t either. And looking back at the comments, it looks like you never mentioned video, but our YouTube conditioning makes us always expect it!

    I grabbed a screenshot and added it to the end of this post. It’s as close as I could zoom in and gives a good idea of kitty’s perambulations. Isn’t a riot that kitty lives on Katzenstraße??


  16. Hey, we could all try this at home!

  17. Okay, Dave’s right, I did assume there was video. For some reason I thought the cat was taking video as well. Sorry if anybody’s gone searching high and low for this fictional cat footage. I should just be happy the cat is sharing its photos with us leave it at that. 🙂

  18. I meant to say that I love the photos the cat took of his friend, when the two of them were just hanging out and checking out the birdfeeder, etc. Seriously, I loved it. I can’t get the smile off my face.

  19. The candle looks like a Spanish anisette, Monja Quina or similar, sold all over and even generations ago in Europe. Women took it to help them give birth.

    I much prefer the American dollar bill with its holy triangle, but at this moment it is still cheaper to light one of those candles.

  20. And the candle will burn a HELL of a lot longer!

  21. Depending. The Germans collected their pay at one time with that same […] that you used to collect the horse […]. I imagine that they used a shovel to pay for bread.

    See? Call that polyglot! No way to find the missing words, because I cannot remember them in -any- language. I looked for “pushbarrel”, and “handbarrel”, “barril” and “barrow”, and still nothing comes up. Now, if I could find yesterday’s text about your wife’s pony and your daughter’s horse?

    At that time (or so I was told) the value of a bill was equal to its intrinsic value as paper. “Intrinsic”! Happy = found just the right word without even looking.

  22. Yeah, I remember the black & white newsreel footage of the poor hyper-inflated Germans pushing the [wheelbarrow] loads of worthless Deustschmarks to the store to buy a loaf of bread. Paper money HAS no intrinsic value, except as art IMHO.

  23. Paper money’s intrinsic value would be what is paid for the pound or kilo by the paper-recycling factory. When I was little, all schoolchildren had to collect paper to pay for the annual school trip.

    Paper money truly has no value. One could not even use it as toilet paper. Soon the leaves on the trees will be worth more than 50 Euro notes.

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