Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This comment made my day.

You gotta wonder about fully grown adults that use multiple exclamation points at the end of sentences. I just got this comment on an old post of mine that lifted my spirits:
I love our sailboat and enjoy every single day that we get out and feel the wind!!! Taking care of her is part of the fun though!! I enjoy making the varnish shine but thats just me!! Im the same way at home always wanting things to look appealing. It doesnt cost much to spit shine something...and no one should own a boat unless they know how to maintain her themselves... (my opinion)
When my husband and I are out sailing, whether for a day or a couple of months, we seem to get along so well which I think happens because we are both doing what we love!!
Who cares how much someones boat cost or how big it is.. what matters is how much they sail her and how much they enjoy her. The wind is FREE!!!!!
Happy sailing
S/V NuTrix
I clicked through and found that the woman on the right -- "caribbeansailingchik" -- wrote that comment:

Can't you just hear the Jimmy Buffet resonating from this image?

Dear caribbeansailingchik:

If more people had your enthusiasm, the world would be a lot less depressing. Thank you, and happy new year. To you, here's a nice sailor's quote:

"You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea. It goes, that's all."
-- Bernard Moitessier

Friday, December 26, 2008

I Don't Sled Like I Used To.

While sledding on Christmas day, I decided to launch off an ice-packed jump that the kids had built. I was wearing my sunglasses so when I wrecked -- falling from four feet in the air -- my left eye smacked into the ice and the lens shattered onto it. Luckily, my eye was closed and it only caused my eyelid to get bloodied.

Man, I used to do those sledding jumps as a kid with no problem. Now I'm an uncoordinated fool.

And if I recall, I'm also bad with motorcycles -- as some of my old friends will attest ...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Only Foolish Hoi Polloi Still Believe Kennedy Was Killed By Conspiracy

JFK was not killed by more than Lee Harvey Oswald. I'm confident enough of that fact to call anyone who still believes he was killed by conspiracy a bit of a half-wit.

I've now visited the car where the murder took place and the neighborhood where this tragedy happened in Dallas. Just because I've visited these two places doesn't mean I'm smarter than Americans who still believe a conspiracy killed Kennedy, but it does mean that they've been duped by shit like Oliver Stone movies.

Above, I'm standing next to the car in which our president, John F. Kennedy, was killed by a loser whose only talent was being a good shot. This is at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan where I went today.

This is the most inspected murder in world history. From the Warren Commission onward, the investigation of the death of John Kennedy consumed over three decades of our time and money. Millions upon millions of documents have been released and still -- still -- anyone who has seriously reviewed the evidence finds that only Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy. What a tragic event -- only made worse by idiots who, for whatever motivation, have succeeded in making many folks in this country into cynics who think their government is composed of mustache-twisting villains who tie women to train tracks (so to speak).

Granted, there are bad people in government, but JFK conspiracism is a unique American cancer that doesn't want to die.

Until all you fools go out and get over these assassination fantasies, we're doomed to be an electorate of fearful cynics. Figure the truth out yourself because I'm giving you nothing more than pictures and blanketing opinions.

Oh, Merry Christmas. I love you guys.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cities Where I Slept in 2008

(One night or more spent in each):

Atlanta, Georgia

Hamburg, Germany
Brodla, Poland (near Krakow)
Munich, Germany

Warsaw, North Carolina
St. Paul, Minnesota
Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia

Jakarta, Indonesia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Norfolk, Virginia
Ewell, Maryland (
Smith Island)

State College, Pennsylvania
Troy, Michigan
Lake Ann, Michigan
Salt Lake City, Utah
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Houston, Texas

Salisbury, Maryland
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Chicago, Illinois

Durham, North Carolina

Huntsville, Alabama
Troy, Michigan

(2007 cities here).

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Winter and I am Fishless

"It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming."
-- John Steinbeck

I am sad to announce that I was not able to catch a December striped bass this year. I pitted my mind and my limited fishing skills against this massive wild beast, and lost. LOST.

I upgraded my fishing equipment with quality Penn reels I bought off my dad's neighbor. I went to Bass Pro Shops and bought parachute lures, and built a tandem rig with 24-ounce weights to troll deep. And all I got was a lost rig from snagging it on the bottom and name-calling from the local fisherman.

And look what the lucky guys on the Bay were catching this season! (pulled from a message board) -->

And now I have no more opportunities to catch one; the season ends on 12/31 and I depart for Michigan in two days.

Until April, I am fishless. Am I whining? You bet I am.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I got a call from Tehran today.

I export a certified organic fertilizer and today I got a call from a businessman in Iran wanting to buy my product. I had to politely tell him "no can do."

A few weeks ago, I had a meeting with the US Commerce Department and I asked if there was any way I could do business in Iran. The representative told me that there was absolutely no way, and that even if I sent product literature to Iran, I could be brought up on "criminal charges." Wow. Backed slowly away from that one.

As I was talking to this Iranian fellow on the phone today across oceans and political turmoil, I was wondering if the CIA or FBI was monitoring my phone call. They'd be doing their jobs if they were, and I'm not gonna turn into some crybaby civil libertarian about it. Shit, I have nothing to hide; I told the guy about my meeting with the Commerce Department and that although I wish I could sell some product to him, US law prevents it. End of story.

It's a shame that because of the idiocy of governments, I can't sell something to this perfectly honest businessman in Iran. Oh well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Finally Saw GWAR; It Was Exactly As I Expected

I've nearly stopped going to see live bands because they're mostly boring as hell to watch. I mean, how many nerdy white guys with guitars can a person watch sing about their feelings?

Any show I decide to attend lately must REALLY entertain me. That's how I found myself in the audience of a GWAR concert last night.

In case you haven't paid attention to the hard rock genre since 1985, GWAR is a band of drama geeks who perform generic heavy metal music dressed like monsters from the game World of Warcraft. This is what a typical concert looks like:

The show last night included the lead singer ripping a fake baby in half and blood spewing out into the audience. In addition, various politicians like John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were all gruesomely dismembered, with 50-foot streams of blood and green fluid spraying into the audience from their body parts and stumps.

What's most amazing about this spectacle is not what actually occurs, but that this band has been doing nearly the same act for 25 years. Certainly they don't make any money off album sales. They're known for their live show -- not actual music.

Throughout the show I had a permanent smile on my face, but even though it's entertaining, my saturation point for live music is about 50 minutes. I didn't stick around for the encore, but the pure fun silliness was worth the $20 ticket, and worth doing at least once in your life.

(Photo credit).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Right of Passage: I Got Called "Faggot" by Some Chesapeake 'Necks

Ha! I got called a faggot and a "gay sailor" over the VHF radio today by some fishing rednecks. Hey, I ain't offended; actually, we all had a laugh onboard about it.

Here's my advice for any sailor who fishes the Chesapeake and monitors VHF channel 68 (fisherman's channel): be poised with a snappy comeback if you inform a passing boat that you're in a sailing vessel because it'll take less than a second for the faggot comments to start flying. Your response will be effective if it mentions sex with the offending 'neck's mother.

I left DC at 6am and fought some of the biggest swells I've seen in 8 years of sailing the Bay. Throughout this slamming off the wave crests, I was towing two poles trying to catch beastly rockfish. It was too rough and windy to have the headsail out -- only had the reefed main keeping us moving. I was passing a fishing vessel towing a ridiculous number of lines -- maybe 15 rods! -- so I hailed him over the VHF to see if he was catching any. I said I was the green sailboat off his port side. He didn't answer, but immediately another voice came over the radio saying in a lispy, exaggerated gay-sounding accent, "Couplea gay sthailors ..." NICE. I was ready on the queue and responded, "Your mom didn't think I was gay last night."


There's always some rivalry between people doing similar sports: kayakers vs. canoers; free-climbers vs. top-ropers; skiiers vs. snowboarders; spelunkers vs. cave-divers; Army vs. Navy -- shit, there's probably even a rivalry between babies who suck their thumbs and those that use pacifiers.

But who's the real tough guy on the water while fishing? Some 'neck from rural Maryland who spends $300 for a day's gas dragging around $5,000 dollars worth of equipment -- nearly double the cost of my entire boat -- from the comfort of his heated cabin? How much skill does it take to drive a stinkpot while towing lines? Oh, that's right, it's called a throttle and it goes two ways: forward and backward. Wow, that must be hard to learn.

Anyway, like I said, I ain't pissed. I'm just sayin' -- you dish it, I'll dish back.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Been Working on the MGA

My friend Dan is back from Ghana and we've been working on his smooth-looking British sports car -- a red 1960 MGA convertible. I'm borrowing it in May to store in my garage and keep the motor in functioning order while he's working at the US embassy in Rome for a few years.

The thought of driving this car in spring will get me through the dreaded winter months. This is the car that Elvis drove in the movie Blue Hawaii. This is the model of which only 101,081 were built (MGA wiki link). And god damn, this is the car that only costs $140 per year to insure.

Dan and I have been working on it for the past few weeks -- getting the brakes in working order, etc. It got me thinking about how people these days rarely work on cars. Shouldn't everyone have basic engineering skills and a general understanding of how mechanical things function? Even ladies? Isn't that important?

I had experiences as a kid that helped me with this. First, my mom used to give me and my brother old appliances like blenders and sewing machines to spend the day dissasembling -- just to keep her brats busy. Second, my friend Colin's grandma gave him her junk '60s Oldsmobile for us to "soup up" however we pleased --- meaning we spent an entire summer getting gunky black with grease stripping the engine to a bare steel block, but we never got the motivation to figure how to put the damn thing back together.

Taking mechanical stuff apart is a good learning experience. If you haven't taken an engine apart, how can you properly explain how an internal combustion engine works? That's something online diagrams can never do.

So far, Dan and I have replaced one rear brake cylindar. Man, I love the smell of the inner corners of a 48-year-old car. The work is fairly simple, other than the fact that all the nuts and bolts are neither metric or American system; it's some weird third way that the British designed.

Once we get the brakes working and the DMV stuff sorted out, man, I can't wait to get a pair of cheap aviator goggles at the Army surplus store and a thin, white scarp and drive up to Germantown to visit Jason. Hell, I might even unbolt that tiny windshield and just let the bugs die while flying into my face at 50 miles per hour; this car is just that awesome. Check it OUT:

God damn, Spring is gonna be good for ole Lonnie Bruner. Yea, that's right, I referred to myself in the third person. Driving a convertible MGA gives one license to do that.

My Acting Debut

My friend and neighbor is a TV producer and she needed an extra so I volunteered. Watch the guy in line in the second scene in the black shirt. That's me:

I'm pretty impressed by myself -- having never acted on TV in my entire life. How do you like that jump back when the guy spills coffee on himself? Like De Niro.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Me with Hair During the '80s

My old friend and commenter Chris pointed out that even though I made fun of men who fuss over styling their hair in a recent post, I used to have a "pretty cool highlighted flock-o-seagulls cut back in the day." Well, Chris has dug up an old photo of me (center) back in my skateboarding days in the 1980s with that hair:

Come on, my hair isn't full of "creams and sprays and crap" in this picture!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Repeal Day Celebration: Official First Party of December

I'm attending a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition on Friday and if you want to come, but tickets here. I'd love to see you. And don't forget to bring a toast -- or multiple toasts (Derek, making a toast at right -->).

I'd like to think I had a hand in starting this tradition of celebrating December 5th as a drinking holiday -- the day in 1933 when Congress ditched the ban on alcohol.

Back in 2006, Derek and I started Washington DC's first official Repeal Day celebration at Martin's Tavern in Georgetown -- DC's oldest bar, founded in 1933. Blurry, drunken pictures of that event are here.

And now, Repeal Day is a national celebration, thanks in part to people like Jeffrey Morgenthaler -- the Oregon bartender who is now an online celebrity and ardent supporter of making it a national holiday. He'll be there Friday.

It's no secret that I like to drink, and drinkers need celebrations to keep their hobby moving forward. Plus, there's nothing else to celebrate in December except the birth of Baby Jesus, so let's do it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I often forget that it's common for men to style their hair.

I started going bald at age 16 and have been shaving my head since 1993 -- for 15 years. Since then, I've only paid for a haircut once during a three-week stint in Thailand when the heat and humidity were making my beard itchy as hell.

I don't think about hair much and forget that many men actually spend time in front of the mirror mussing and pushing their hair in place with help from creams and sprays and crap.

How strange this is. To do all that extra work must get tedious -- like being required to take an additional poop every day.

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

Web Counter
Web Counters