Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Exercise cannot be good for you

I biked 40 miles yesterday and it practically killed me. How the hell can people say this is better for you than lounging around the house all day? The latter feels healthier at least.

At one point during the bike-ride I had to stop and cross the street to a gas station and I bought: one honeybun, a full container of Pringles, a package of salted cashews and a bottle of Gatorade. I sat in the grass by the road and stuffed all that shit into my mouth before I could bike the final two miles.

I'm never exercising that much again.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Rolling Thunder, holy crap

Decided to take a dusk-time bicycle ride down to the mall. In case you don't live in DC, this weekend there are thousands of doods "rolling" around on their little bikey-poos in memory of some war or something. They've given it the tough name of "Rolling Thunder".

Peddling through this noisy cluster-fuck of folks in from flyover country, I was struck with an unfamiliar realization: I'm never around scary-ass white people. Never. What is it with DC? Do all DC guys wear light-blue-collared-shirts-tucked-into-khaki-pants-with-a-woven-belt- and-docksiders? My answer---having lived here for almost five years---is a sad, yes, for the most part.

Not to say that I want the fat, old and war-weary (30 years on) to barge into my city all the time, but come on people. Is there not one local white guy that can scare me? Not one?

Hospital Life

I have a friend who's a Physician's Assistant at a DC-area hospital.

Thank god for the rest of us, he's decided to write about his experiences ... finally.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Originally uploaded by lonniebruner.

I just ate a $3.05 home-grilled steak. It was nothing to write a post about but but the bottle on the right was.

What the heck is Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce anyway? you ask. Well, my friend, it's simply the one and only wonderful food product (marmite excluded) England ever produced.

So I'll prove it.

To the left you have your typical latino-market-purchased worchestershire. Ingredients: (translated from Espanol) Water, vinegar, sugar, molasses, salt, spices, hydrogenated vegetable protein, wine ... and then three other things that exsist in less than 2% of the product.

Now, on the other hand, your Lea & Perrins: Vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, anchovies, flavorings, chili peppers, onions, salt, garlic, tamarind extract, cloves, natural flavorings, hydrolysed soy and corn protein.

Never choose another worcestershire than Lea & Perrins ... Oh, did I already say that??

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Dummy Wallet

Originally uploaded by lonniebruner.

My latest idea is to take all those "Your Name Here" promotional credit cards you get in the mail and put them in an old wallet. This way, the next time I'm in the Third World and someone tries to mug me, I'll just hand them this "dummy wallet" and they'll take off running with it.

Only later will they realize that there's only three one-dollar bills and a bunch of worthless pieces of plastic in it.

That's the ultimate fuck-you to a thief, isn't it?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Things I don't have to do ... Thank god.

Here's a list of hassles that I do not have to do. This exercise will help me appreciate my life a little more.

I do not have to ...

- Pay for haircuts

- Mow grass

- Drive to work

- Pay for the Metro

- Get stressed about dying alone

- Pay for my own health insurance

- Own more than one car

- Balance my checkbook on paper

- Cook my own dinner more than three times per week

- Work more than 40 hours per week

- Worry about an asshole boss

- Worry about where my next paycheck will come from

- Wonder if I'll ever have sex again

- Wear a tie to work

- Take my clothes to a laundramat

- Do manual labor for a living

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Catfish Part Deux

I just returned from my catfish fishing trip with dad and his friend, Bruce.

We ended up with a total of five of them, each about one foot to a foot and a half long. We used raw supermarket-bought shrimp as bait which stayed on the hook well. Bruce is exactly the kind of person you'd expect to be out catfish fishing on a Saturday at 7:00 am. He's missing several teeth and has a long bushy white moustache. But god, he really knows his catfish. He told me he did his master's thesis on channel catfish! I'm not kidding. And apparently he has a huge baseball collection in his apartment. He pocketed a few that he found washed up on shore.

Right now I've got two catfish soaking in milk waiting to end up in me belly.

Eighteen Million People

Originally uploaded by lonniebruner.

Just finished reading the latest National Geographic article on the Chesapeake Bay.

It says what I've read a hundred other places. The causes of the Bay's ill state aren't as simple as saying "pollution". I'll try to sum up the causes right here.

1. People. 18 million people live in the Bay's "watershed". The watershed encompasses pretty much all creeks, rivers and streams that eventually flow into the Bay, including Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. The population is set to grow by about one million people every decade.

2. Farming. As most people know, farming run-off is the worst offender. This is how it happens. Farmers put nutrients (fertilizer) on their crops to make them more productive. When it rains, a lot of this flows into waterways and eventually into the Bay. These nutrients---nitrogen and phosphorus---cause algae to bloom in the Bay's waters. This causes two main problems: it blocks sunlight from reaching Bay grasses so they die (a vital source for Bay life, crabs, fish, et al) and when the algae dies bacteria feed on it. This abundant bacteria use up dissolved oxygen in the water so there are huge swaths of the Bay that contain "dead water", water that fish and crabs cannot breathe in so they die.

3. Suburbanization. This causes about 30 to 40% of the nitrogen runoff. When you turn a forest into a strip mall or a wetland into a subdivision or Wal-Mart it creates unabsorbing, flat sufaces. Forests and wetlands act like sponges, soaking up nitrogen and preventing it from flowing directly into the Bay. Since more and more people are driving everywhere because they're living further and further out, all this car exhaust---which contains nitrogen---gets rained back down. Instead of being filtered by forests, which are now gone, it lands on pavement and quickly drains into the nearest creek or river and into the Bay adding to the effect that farming causes.

And you know what? There is no way to stop all of this. Nothing we can do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


My dad invited me to go catfish fishing with him and one of his retired biologist friends this weekend.

The plan is I'll bike a couple of miles to the Potomac river at 6:00 AM this Saturday and we'll proceed to haul in 20-pound catish until about 10:30 AM.

I can't think of a better way to start my weekend.

More later ...

Jarmusch Goes Mainstream

The creator of my favorite movie has finally gone mainstream, thank god. This had better be an improvement from his last pretentious disaster of a film, Coffee and Cigarettes. Completely painful to watch. I didn't even finish it.

I just wish John Lurie would do another "Fishing with John" series. I'll never forget Jarmusch's words in that one: "Why am I here? ... Why am I here? "

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Whiskey May Have Anti-Cancer Benefit

This is just too important to ignore. Too bad the cheapest bottle of single malt scotch starts at $35. But totally worth it.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Man's Retreat

Hung out with one of my female friends last night at a bar.

She introduced me to someone we ran into and proceeded to tell the dude about a "man's retreat" that I'm organizing. 'Til then, I'd never heard it referred to as such.

I guess it might be a man's retreat ... Really, it's a four-day bender that includes some sailing and lacks any women. Is that what a man's retreat is?

Thank god for my gender. No wonder we rule the earth and live longer. Don't we?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

having the flu and with nothing else to do

I read a book about John Dos Passos and according to
the book once radical-communist
John ended up in the Hollywood Hills living off investments
and reading the
Wall Street Journal

this seems to happen all too often.

what hardly ever happens is
a man going from being a young conservative to becoming an
old wild-ass radical

young conservatives always seem to become old
it's a kind of lifelong mental vapor-lock.

but when a young radical ends up an
old radical
the critics
and the conservatives
treat him as if he escaped from a mental

such is our politics and you can have it

keep it.

sail it up your



I wasn't alive during the American war in Vietnam but everything I've ever read about it seems like complete bullshit. Left, right center or backwards, the below-quoted author is the only thing that's every been published truthfully about that war. It probably won't take long to guess who wrote it.


Every book that comes out, every article that comes out, talks about how -- while it may have been a "mistake" or an "unwise effort" -- the United States was defending South Vietnam from North Vietnamese aggression. And they portray those who opposed the war as apologists for North Vietnam. That's standard to say.

The purpose is obvious: to obscure the fact that the United States did attack South Vietnam and the major war was fought against South Vietnam. The real invasion of South Vietnam which was directed largely against the rural society began directly in 1962 after many years of working through mercenaries and client groups. And that fact simply does not exist in official American history. There Is no such event in American history as the attack on South Vietnam. That's gone. Of course, It Is a part of real history. But it's not a part of official history.

And most of us who were opposed to the war, especially in the early 60's -- the war we were opposed to was the war on South Vietnam which destroyed South Vietnam's rural society. The South was devastated. But now anyone who opposed this atrocity is regarded as having defended North Vietnam. And that's part of the effort to present the war as if it were a war between South Vietnam and North Vietnam with the United States helping the South. Of course it's fabrication. But it's "official truth" now.

First of all, let's make absolutely certain that was the fact: that the U.S. directed the war against South Vietnam. There was a political settlement In 1954. But :n the late 50's the United States organized an internal repression South Vietnam, not using its troops. but using the local apparatus it was constructing. This was a very significant and very effective campaign of violence and terrorism against the Vietminh -- which was the communist-led nationalist force that fought the French. And the Vietminh at that time was adhering to the Geneva Accords, hoping that the political settlement would work out in South Vietnam. [The Geneva Accords of 1954 temporarily divided Northern and Southern Vietnam with the ultimate aim of reunification through elections. -- editor's note]

And so, not only were they not conducting any terrorism, but in fact, they were not even responding to the violence against them. It reached the point where by 1959 the Vietminh leadership -- the communist party leadership -- was being decimated. Cadres were being murdered extensively. Finally in May of 1959 there was an authorization to use violence in self-defense, after years of murder, with thousands of people killed in this campaign organized by the United States. As soon as they began to use violence in self-defense, the whole Saigon government apparatus fell apart at once because it was an apparatus based on nothing but a monopoly of violence. And once it lost that monopoly of violence it was finished. And that's what led the United States to move in. There were no North Vietnamese around.

Then the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam was formed. And its founding program called for the neutralization of South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. And it's very striking that the National Liberation Front was the only group that ever called for the independence of South Vietnam. The so-called South Vietnamese government (GVN) did not, but rather, claimed to be the government of all Vietnam. The National Liberation Front was the only South Vietnamese group that ever talked about South Vietnamese independence. They called for the neutralization of South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as a kind of neutral block, working toward some type of integration of the South with North Vietnam ultimately.

Now that proposal in 1962 caused panic in American ruling circles. From 1962 to 1965 the US was dedicated to try to prevent the independence of South Vietnam, the reason was of course that Kennedy and Johnson knew that if any political solution was permitted In the south, the National Liberation Front would effectively come to power, so strong was its political support in comparison with the political support of the so-called South Vietnamese government.

And In fact Kennedy and later Johnson tried to block every attempt at neutralization, every attempt at political settlement. This Is all documented. There's just no doubt about It. I mean, it's wiped out of history, but the documentation is just unquestionable -- in the internal government sources and everywhere else.

And so there's just no question that the United States was trying desperately to prevent the independence of South Vietnam and to prevent a political settlement inside South Vietnam. And in tact It went to war precisely to prevent that. It finally bombed the North in 1965 with the purpose of trying to get the North to use its influence to call off the insurgency In the South. There were no North Vietnamese troops In South Vietnam then as far as anybody knew. And they anticipated of course when they began bombing the North from South Vietnamese bases that it would bring North Vietnamese troops into the South. And then it became possible to pretend it was aggression from the North. It was ludicrous. but that's what they claimed.

Well, why did they do it! Why was the United States so afraid of an independent South Vietnam; Well, I think the reason again is pretty clear from the internal government documents. Precisely what they were afraid of was that the "takeover" of South Vietnam by nationalist forces would not be brutal. They feared it would be conciliatory and that there would be successful social and economic development -- and that the whole region might work!

This was clearly a nationalist movement -- and in fact a radical nationalist movement which would separate Vietnam from the American orbit. It would not allow Vietnam to become another Philippines. It would trade with the United States but it would not be an American semi-colony.

And suppose it worked! Suppose the country could separate itself from the American dominated global system and carry out a successful social and economic development. Then that is very dangerous because then it could be a model to other movements and groups in neighboring countries. And gradually there could be an erosion from within by indigenous forces of American domination of the region. So this was no small thing. It was assumed that the key to the problem was preventing any successful national movement from carrying out serious social and economic development inside Indochina. So the United States had to destroy it through a process which would become the war against South Vietnam. And, it should be pointed out that on a lower level we were doing the same things in Laos and Cambodia.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Originally uploaded by lonniebruner.

"Genius" is an abused term. Most people who are called geniuses can hardly be considered such. With that disclaimer, I'd like to point out someone who really was a genius. His name was Nathanael Herreshoff and he was the designer of the above boat, The Rowdy (1916).

And hey, The Rowdy's for sale on ebay if you've got $975,000.00 to spare.

Here's Nathanael Herreshoff's resume in brief:

1) Designed and built five winning America's Cup yachts ( Vigilant - 1893, Defender - 1895, Columbia - 1899, Columbia - 1901, Reliance - 1903, Resolute - 1920. He sailed them as well, earning a reputation as a most proficient and skilled helmsman. Additionally, he built the winning cup yachts Enterprise - 1930, and Rainbow - 1934 (designed by Starling Burgess). In short, every winning America's Cup Yacht from 1893 to 1934 was built by Herreshoff!

2) Designed well over 2000 craft and produced more than 18,000 drawings. Between 1890 and 1938, the number of yachts he designed that won the Astor Cup, Puritan Cup and Kings Cup outnumbered the winning yachts by all the other yacht designers combined. An almost unbelievable accomplishment!

(3) Built the first torpedo boats for the United States Navy.

(4) Invented the streamline-shaped bulk and fin keels.

(5) Developed the overhangs on sailing yachts to allow longer lines and greater stability.

(6) Developed the first light steam engine and fast torpedo boats.

(7) Developed nearly all of the methods of constructing light wooden hulls.

(8) Invented the crosscut sail with cloths running at right angles to the leech.

(9) Designed more types of steam engines than anyone else.

(10) Developed light hollow steel spars combined with scientific rigging.

(11) Developed the flat stern form of steam yachts capable of being driven at high speed/length ratios.

(12) Designed the first folding propeller.

(13) Designed below deck winches.

(14) Developed the method of splicing rope to wire.

(15) Received the first U.S. Patent on catamaran sailboats.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Right Wing Stuff

This is good for a laugh ... or some ironic purchases at least.

Right wingers have got the "we-love-freedom" propaganda down pat, now how about the "taking-ourselves-less-seriously" thing? And I thought "liberals" (whatever that means) were bad on this front ...

"We'll make them do their jobs better."

I can't think of anything unique to say about this article.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Web Counter
Web Counters