Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Today's Fishing Trip

Just got back from catfish fishing with my dad and his friend Bruce (below). Bruce is the guy with a master's degree in channel catfish and a PhD in medical entomology. He sure knows his fish and bugs.

The conversations with Bruce and my dad today revolved around maggots that infected livestock prior to the 1960s in the US, pork chops, retirement plans and broken fishing lines caught on submerged logs. It's been a good day and I'm back home before 11:00 AM. How come I can't get any of my friends under the age of 50 to go fishing with me at seven in the morning? What's wrong with this situation?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

We aren't blocking traffic. We ARE traffic.

My friend Nate's funeral was today. Nate was a long time bike messenger in DC so after the ceremony about 30-40 of us rode around town in a big entourage visiting various "Nate spots".

When there are that many bikers together, we take over the road. Cars just can't compete. It was kind of empowering and felt like a real fuck you to American car culture.


Women make this world a wonderful place.

156 10s by Vice Magazine.

Just awe-inspiring.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Spot & Croaker

Spot & Croaker have always been my favorite fish to catch and eat. Whenever I mention these fish, no one has ever heard of them. The reason is simple: there are too many pin-bones that are not palatable to all but the true fish lovers. I've never seen Spot or Croaker on any menu even though I consider only Halibut to be tastier.

Today the Washington Post has an article about Spot and Croaker. It's about time.

When it comes to catching Atlantic croaker and Norfolk spot, two of the most abundant and desirable fish in the Chesapeake Bay, Deale charter boat captains Dick Grimes and Shawn Brumley agree on the fundamentals.

The two Maryland seamen concur that bottom-dwelling croaker and spot are most active at night and will likely bite on shrimp or squid. They believe that July and August are the peak months of the croaker fishing season. They say the best places to drop anchor recently have been at the Gooses, northeast of Calvert Cliffs, an area noted for the mild, pleasant-tasting fish.

Read more ...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

This is one of the strangest neighborhoods I've visited. I went up this past weekend to see some friends.

The stark urban post-industrial landscape of Williamsburg is mostly filthy and hideous. Once you're off the strip of stores on Bedford Avenue, you'll be walking along past some dilapidated fence, covered in rusty barbed wire, stepping over trash, old tires and broken sinks strewn about. Then, on the next block is the quaintest little restaurant/bar/cafe you've ever seen. Just sitting there like a sore dick, out of place.

Another strange thing about Williamsburg is the complete lack of black people. You can walk to the East River in about five blocks so it's definitely "in the city", despite the fact that it's technically across the river from Manhattan. I saw no more than 10 black people the whole time.

I think Williamsburg is the place where art school graduates (I'm not going to use "the H word") go when they don't want to be in the real world and want to continue the college partying and hooking up thing for a little while longer. About 90% of Williamsburg's population are in their 20s. The rest are a few hold-outs, usually old ladies sitting in fold-up chairs on the squalid sidewalks.

The people are nice enough, and the party I went to was fun. It's just odd that the neighborhoods up there have chosen to self-segregate like that. I felt much more comfortable in very unhip DC.

Below is what everyone looks like in Williamsburg, except usually with bedhead hair.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Legend of Leigh Bowery

Holy crap, I just saw that documentary last night.

I can't believe such a person ever existed. He was like the GG Allin of the fashion world. Actually, scratch that. In a way he makes GG seem innocuous.

If you don't know, Leigh Bowery was a mega drag queen who dressed in the most insane costumes that ever existed on earth. A google image search doesn't yield that much but if you have a chance, try it.

Is this what the dreariness of London does to people?

Thursday, July 21, 2005


If I got emails like this every Thursday, I'd be a very happy man indeed.

From my friend Samantha:

----Original Message Follows----
From: Samantha
To: Undisclosed Recipients
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 13:25:02 -0400

Message: holy sexing crap...

The summer's first boy/girl party!

Melanie and I are throwing a huge awesome dance
party! We are gonna party ourselves so hard we're
gonna need new hand towels!
7/23 Saturday night.!
9pm till forever and ever!

you are required to wear something that can get
WET! we will provide all the punch you can
drink... but anything else is up to you (melanie
is cheap!)!
dance with confidence! see my titties!

is you want to request a song.. DO IT!

Dance contest with prizes
and a secret surprizze!
come on come all!

make it happen!

meet bull from night court!

1,196 lb Tiger Shark Caught off Martha's Vineyard

The boat that caught it came back from the tournament 6 minutes late and therefore was disqualified.

Read more here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The more I can be like my father, the better person I'll be.

I'm contantly amazed by my father. Every few months I find out something else about him that's larger than life.

The latest is the story of how he developed and invented an enzyme in the 80s. This enzyme is mixed with hog and chicken feed to assist with digestion and consequently it saves agri-business millions of dollars a year. Another use for Hemicell makes the oil extraction process cleaner for the environment. (The oil thing is very complicated to explain).

When my father originally had the idea for the enzyme in the mid 1980s, his company's board of directors told him that it would be a waste of time and they weren't going to fund it. They told him to focus on other things and give the idea up. But my dad didn't listen to them. He had no staff to help him in the development of the enzyme so sometimes he used student microbiologists and once he even had my brother and I go into the lab to hold test tubes steady during his experiments.

My dad went into work at nights and on weekends for two full years to develop a product that he wasn't being paid to create. Then, some time in about 1988, after presenting the enzyme at a trade show, his company got a big order for it from a major Chicken producer. Then his company's board of director's decided the enzyme might be something they'd pay to manufacture.

My dad no longer works for this company but he told me that in 2005 the enzyme is their biggest-selling product. In fact, they sell about one million dollars worth of the enzyme per MONTH to China alone.

I could never imagine being so inspired with my job as to work at night and on weekends for two years when my boss had specifically told me not to do so.

That's completely mind-boggling.

I can't believe that this stuff goes on.

I know I've mentioned my Physician Assistant friend's blog before, but holy crap this is amazing.

Just a taste:

We then inserted a spreader, and turned the crank. This is like a reverse vice, and the ribs began to open. The gap got wider and wider, until the gap was about 6 inches apart. The ribs then break or become disclocated from the vertebral bodies in the back. It makes the sound like opening a crab. Widening even more, the patient looks like a giant clam.

Of all the activities humans do around you and your city all day, no matter how boring and tedious many people's jobs are, there is someone, somewhere doing this. Blows me away.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Fight With Ernest Hemingway

From MD Magazine:

Ernest Hemingway had rolled into Key West a couple of weeks earlier. After touring the local dives, he settled in at a rough and tumble joint called Sloppy Joe’s. There he held court with a gang he’d brought with him from Europe — a Spanish bullfighter named Miguel, some hot-shot photographer and a handful of other hangers-on.

During one of those nights he took issue with a young fisherman named Marco. Seems the kid, barely in his twenties, made remarks to the effect that he could out-drink anyone in the joint, including any fancy writers who might be on hand. Soon enough the Spaniard came over and in pretty good English invited him over to Hemingway’s table. The old man looked him up and down and said, “What are you drinking, kid?”

Read more ...


I rarely listen to orchestral or "classical" music. I know so little about it that I shouldn't write more than four sentences here.

Having said that, listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture today brought tears to my eyes. The only way to explain that reaction, I think, is that this piece simply is war, just put to music. Not just the fact that there are actual cannons in it, but certain sections have that "things falling apart" feeling mixed with religious chanting that sound so violent and destructive.

The 1812 Overture is hell.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Orange Bitters

I've been searching around today for orange bitters, the old cocktail additive from over 100 years ago that's incredibly hard to find these days. The only place you can find it at an actual walk-in store is Dean & Deluca in Manhattan. Lord.

In 2005, there are only two brands produced: Fee Brother's Orange Bitters and Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6. Just ordered some Regan's. I feel like I'm about to receive something really rare and special. And it was only $2.50!

Here's a gallery of some of the old orange bitters bottles from history. If you find one of these in an antique shop, let me know.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"My seven-word reaction"

My friend had a cleaning lady come to his apartment today. He wrote me an email about it.

----Original Message Follows----
From: Friend # 1
To: Lonnie Bruner
Subject: My seven-word reaction
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 14:35:49 -0400

to having a woman come clean the bejeezus out of my apartment for the past four hours is:

"I could get used to this shit."

Post Secret

Post Secret is a blog where people have revealed their secrets on postcards. It will suck your time away. Here's the story of it:

In November, 2004 the author started collecting secrets to be displayed at an art exhibit. She invited people from the subway, art galleries and book stores to write their secrets on postcards and then mail them to her. The "Post Secret Project" had two requirements: the Post Secret had to be true and had to be a secret that had never been shared with another person. The blog is the result of it all.

And my wife doesn't understand when I say I want to move away ...

Ran across a blog post from a San Franciscan who recently visited DC.

Reading it, I either had the "so true, so true" feeling or the "why the fuck do I live here?" feeling. Here're some choice bits:

"I spent over $30 one night on tapas and out of hunger ventured to try an equally overpriced “veggie” hot dog at a movie theater."

"All in all, DC is no place to enjoy food. Just getting by will cost you a limb and you won’t feel very nourished for what you get in return."

"Everyone works at government, military, tourism or service jobs. So you will be confronted with a wall of men in formal suits ready to trample you as they march down the street."

"You won’t really see anyone in jeans and a t-shirt or thankfully, hipster attire. Unless of course they're homeless or a tourist. Both seemed to be scorned at equally by the locals."

"No one says hi and everyone stares at you with a bad look. Maybe the humidity has melted the kindness in their souls down to little pools of butter?"

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Why should I be upset about Karl Rove?

Someone needs to explain to me why I need to care about this Karl Rove thing. Every time I read the scandal I get so bored that I can't get past the second paragraph. I got an email today that there's a protest at the White House today. Come on people, should we really be protesting this? Let me just sum up some other presidential scandals in comparison:

- Ulysses S. Grant: Conspired with whiskey distillers to defaud the government of tax revenues on the sale of whiskey.

- Warren Harding: Transferred responsibility for naval oil reserve lands to the Department of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior went on to exploit those rights for his own gain. In 1922 he secretly granted exclusive rights to the Teapot Dome reserve in Wyoming to the Mammoth Oil Company in exchange for cash and no interest "loans."

- Richard Nixon: Watergate ('nuff said). Also, don't forget he bombed Cambodia, killing perhaps a million people. This, against Congress's will.

- Ronald Reagan: Iran-Contra. Traded arms for hostages. WTF?

- George W. Bush: Karl Rove, the president's senior advisor and chief political strategist, revealed the name of Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, who was an undercover CIA agent.

Lighten up, people. In terms of presidential scandals it just sounds so "Bush League".

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

One in 100 Adults is Asexual


Grizzy Bear Catfish

Holy crap! The Mekong River has some insane fish in it.

Read about the recently-caught record catfish.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Orgy of Unicorns

This is the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Post Article About Nate

Today there's an article in The Post about my recently-deceased friend, Nate:

In the bedroom of a condominium just south of Logan Circle in Northwest Washington, an old racing bike lies twisted on a sofa behind a collage of pictures propped on an easel. For many years, the bike belonged to Nathan Osborn, who until March rode it on the city's streets, weaving through traffic, picking up and delivering packages like a modern-day Pony Express cowboy.

Osborn, who went by Nate, was a bike messenger with Dynamex, a transportation services firm, which moved its local office from the District to Arlington in January 2004. For most of the past year, Osborn's Mondays began at 5 a.m. with an eight-mile trek to Dynamex's warehouse in Arlington's Virginia Square neighborhood.

Read More ...

Sunday, July 10, 2005


I ate so much bacon this weekend camping out in the woods that I think I felt my blood slowing down. It was flavored with maple syrup, too. Mmmmm ...

Friday, July 08, 2005

This month's best "Do" from Vice Magazine

Tiny shorts and little legs stuffed into big leather boots puts girls on a Country-and-Western pedestal that says, "I'm frail and delicate enough to always make you horny" BUT "I am also prepared to defend you and kick the shit out of anyone that disparages you in any way." When you see girls like this you lean over to your friend and say, "Wife."

This month Vice Magazine has a "Rainy Day" issue.

Whatever the hell that means ...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I've been oppressed

Today was the second time in months that I've had something thrown at me while biking.

To get home from work I take 9th Street and F up to 9th and U Street. If you've never walked or biked up that route, I'll just say that there aren't any manicured lawns or Starbucks through there; I've seens dudes sipping 40s at 9:30 in the morning. There's a lot of blight and ruin on 9th Street, and when I'm biking home I always pass gaggles of teenagers.

About a month and a half ago I passed a group of teenaged boys who threw a real estate guide at me. It hit my bike and went skidding past. I looked back and the kids were running in the opposite direction. I just blew it off.

Then today, I bike past a teenager and his girlfriend, and a half-full bottle of water hits my bike and skids across the street. I look back and the girlfriend is cackling as the kid flips me the bird.

Can you imagine if I threw shit at black kids who passed through my neighborhood? WTF?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Fannypack's New Album

Holy crap, I cannot stop listening to this. The only reason I got it in the first place was because I read an article in the Village Voice. The article says something about how Fannypack's music is like a genre in and of itself. I'd have to agree. I think I'd classify it as snot-nosed-double-dutch music. It's sort of like Peaches, if she were from Brooklyn.

Here's the Amazon link to the new album where you can hear songs. Click on Track 3 (Seven One Eight).

Little Plastic Cups of Urine

I went to my doctor's office for the first time today. Now I know what it feels like to be a minority. I was the only 30-something white dude sitting for three hours amongst tens and tens of pregnant latina women. Most were from Central America from what I could gather.

I was seated in front of the bathroom door and watched woman after woman come out the door precariously carrying little plastic cups of their urine. I assume it has something to do with having a baby. Who knows.

My god, it's an entirely different world five blocks east of my apartment. My "doctor's office" is really a clinic for pregnant women from south of the border. And this place was huge and bustling! When you call, the receptionists answer in Spanish and can hardly speak English at all. I filled out the form and the woman said, "You're American?". Uh, yea, and here's another surprise: I have insurance, too. Both of these phenomena seemed unique to the girl.

Where the hell do I live? What are these people's stories? How the hell did they get here? All I know is that they're having babies.

I love this country.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

More on the Gibson (not my guitar)

This is a revision to my previous martini post. I've discovered the Gibson and I've made it my own.

Here's the best way to enjoy cold gin in a faggy glass:

- Pour a miniscule bit of Cointreau into a cocktail glass. Swirl it around, and then pour it into the sink.

- Spear two McSweet cocktail onions with a pick. Let them soak in their brine while you work on the next steps.

- Pour 1/2 ounce of dry vermouth into the shaker.

- Fill shaker with ice.

- Pour dry gin into the shaker until it's even with the ice.

- Shake, but not too vigorously. Too many ice chips means that you shook it too hard.

- Put the speared cocktail onions into the glass and pour the gin over them.

This could be the best 4.5 ounces of hard liquor you'll ever consume.

Dundalk Parade

I went to the Dundalk, Maryland 4th of July parade yesterday. In case you don't know, Dundalk is a Baltimore suburb built around unloading containers from freight ships. It's also the kind of place where you'd expect to find this guy.

This Care Bear was completely filthly. They probably hadn't washed this costume since the 1984 parade.

My friend Chris felt bad for the Care Bear so he walked out into the middle of the parade and gave it a hug. He said the person inside was mumbling something incoherently and that the costume smelled like shit.

A local punk band decided to be in the parade for some reason. I guess Independence Day is punk enough ... They're all standing on the back of a flatbed truck.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Limping Around

I injured my foot while enforcing some "street justice" about a week and a half ago and I'm still limping around everywhere. I'm always looking down and feeling it, expecting it to be purple and swollen but it never is. But why does it continue to hurt? If it was broken, wouldn't it be swollen and look obviously messed up?

Maybe I should go to the doctor ...


Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy birthday to this blog

Yes, I know it's lame to announce this, but this blog has been around for one full year. Today, July 1st, is its anniversary.

Ok, so I took some time off from August 2004 to October 2004, but nevermind. It's been here nonetheless. In remembrance of my first post from July 1st 2004, here's the first paragraph from a recent story about fishing:

What would summer be without a day out on the water stalking stripers, soaking in the sun and doing a little seal-sighting and lighthouse-viewing on the side? Add a cold beer and a capable captain and you’re guaranteed a happy memory, if not a keeper or two ...
Read more ...

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