Archive for the ‘Recommended Activities’ Category

Blood Simply

December 13, 2007

This is going to be a rare public service announcement.  Don’t act so shocked.

I would like to urge all three of my readers to donate blood platelets  at your earliest convenience.

Cancer patients, those receiving  organ or marrow transplants,  victims of traumatic  injuries, and patients undergoing open heart surgery require platelet transfusions to survive.

Many of you know someone who has one of the above mentioned medical conditions.  If you have ever wondered how you could help.  This is it.

I try to give platelets once a month.  You are allowed to give up to 24 times a year.  It takes about two hours for the blood to get sucked out of your body, the platelets to get filtered out, and the blood to be put back in.  It’s very similar to what Keith Richards does before getting up in the morning.

They have a DVD library and televisions with headphones set up for you to enjoy while the apheresis  is taking place.  I was planning on a morning of watching The Big Lebowski and my precious bodily fluids draining out, but Sarcastro, Jr. is running a fever.   It’s sick kid duty for me!

Contact the Red Cross and see if you can help them out.

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Wake Up, America!

January 30, 2007

I must unreservedly echo Mack’s sentiments.

There are many reasons why I am unable to watch the other moronic cable news channels. The grinning idiots on the network morning shows are twice as bad. This is reason #689 why I watch Imus.

Build Your Own 1950’s Robot

November 28, 2006

Yes, folks why not build a robot head to do your laundry for you?

This Whirpool Duet Washer and Dryer set usually retails for about $999 for the washer, $849 for the gas dryer, and $200 for the pedestals.  With tax, you are looking at well over two grand for the whole shebang.

I will part with this beautiful combination of both form and function for the low price of $1500 or best offer.

It is energy efficient and will wash an assload of clothes.  Just ask these satisified customers!

Not only will it get your clothes clean, but you can use it to make your own Iron Giant.

 

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The Man Who Sold The World

November 14, 2006

Are any of you not so sharply dressed men out there looking for a suit to wear to your next social engagement, fancy ball or court date?

If so, come on down to Sarcastro’s House of Discount Menswear (a subsidiary of Global Dynamics)!

We’ve got name brand suits for $20!

Sport Coats $10

Dress pants $5–We’ll throw in the pleats, NO CHARGE!

Dress shirts $1

Disclaimer:  All clothing slightly used, and honestly not worn in years. 

So, if your size is somewhere around 34 or 36/30 for pants; 16-16 3/4 for dress shirts; and between 42R and 44R in jacket, get in on the discount action!

At these prices, they better not last long!

Everything Must Go!

November 6, 2006

Much like Tower Records, I’m having a liquidation sale!

Here we have a fine Craftsman style chest of drawers. Also known as Chester Draws. Ten. Count ’em, ten drawers for holding everything from your granny underwear to your naughty unmentionables. Only $200. That’s a cash deal, folks. You bring the cash, you got a deal.

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I’ll even help you load it into your truck. No Charge!

Reply by midnight, and I’ll throw in the candles!

Now here we have a valuable piece of history, folks. This Queen size headboard and footboard are fit for a King and belonged to the storied bed of Sarcastro lore. Yep, THAT bed. Now, there are some collectors out there who would pay top dollar for this piece of Sarcastriana. It can be yours if you act quickly.

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Sadly, the frame is not for sale as it is damaged and no longer suitable for use.

These items match the chest and are, of course, in the Craftsman style.

We are letting it go for the special Internet only price of $100.

Wake the kids and call the neighbors! At these prices, this stuff won’t last long.

Looky here, you can get a whole bedroom set up for 300 American dollars. That’s a hard deal to beat.

Check back in the next few days for our specials on VHS movies, vinyl records and comic books from the 1970’s.

Lifeboat America

November 6, 2006

If it were up to me, Claudia Nunez would get to stay in this country.  She would be assessed a fine and given Temporary Protected Status, like her husband, until the bureaucracy allowed them to apply for permanent residency.  But it ain’t up to me.

That isn’t to say that I approve of a policy of blanket amnesty for illegal aliens.  I don’t.  Our immigration system is broken.  You don’t wind up with twelve million people here illegally and get to make the claim that we have a sensible immigration policy.

The more time I spend thinking about this issue and the more calls for the deportation of Ms. Nunez I read, I come to the inescapable conclusion that this isn’t really about the rule of law.  It is about little brown invaders who don’t speak the language.   It is about people scared of being overrun by foreign fucks who will bring their third world shithole customs to our civilized City on the Hill.

I’m as bigoted and prejudiced as the next guy with a sheet and a flaming cross.  I don’t believe that hate is taught.  I believe that we all are genetically encoded with a healthy amount of xenophobia.  Thanks to communication and learning about other cultures, both hallmarks of civilization, we are able to overcome that.  Personally, I judge individuals as individuals.  One persons sins or sainthood is not an indicator of the virtues or vices of their race, creed, color or national origin.  Although, the opposite is not true.  Groups are to be treated according to their stereotypes until proven otherwise.  Blacks don’t tip.  Asians can’t drive.  The French can’t fight.  Hillbillies from Kentucky are inbred.  You get the picture.

Given that, even I am appalled that every objection I have read to Claudia remaining in this country reeks of the view that Hispanic immigrants are a subhuman menace.  Again, no one involved in this case has yet to argue that all illegal immigrants, including the various Asians and Eastern Europeans who intentionally over stay their visas should all be given blanket amnesty.  The people involved in this case are asking for a seat in Lifeboat America for Claudia Nunez.

Many of those who have opposition to Claudia staying in this country are convinced that since she broke the law, she must be punished.  No question there.  Is sending her back to the tender mercies of Malva Salvatrucha the proper application of justice in this case?  Overstaying ones visa is a civil infraction, not a criminal one.  Is the argument that sending her to be raped and murdered will send a strong message to the rest of the Hispanic community that we mean business?  Most civil infractions are handled by the application of a fine.  Why not this case.

Other objections go from "How do we know she won’t kill someone behind the wheel?"  to "They are taking our jobs!"  I get that there have been several high profile cases where an immigrant got loaded and killed some innocent people while driving.  But to lay that on the feet of ALL Hispanic immigrants is tantamount to saying that we should lock up all the Jew Lawyers and Black Heisman Trophy winners because they might kill their wives. 

As far as taking away jobs from native-born Americans, which jobs are we talking about?  Claudia Nunez worked in a restaurant in Cool Springs. If you check the want ads today, there are hundreds of restaurants in the Middle Tennessee area with "Help Wanted" signs up.  There is no shortage of restaurant jobs in this town. 

I’m not interested in saving every illegal immigrant from deportation.  But, a decent hard working  person like Claudia Nunez deserves a break.  We can dicker about the larger issues some other time.  Right now, I think Claudia is doomed to go back to El Salvador.  Though even the ICE spokesperson thinks it is a bogus charge, Claudia is guilty of Being Brown during an Election Year.  Like I said in the earlier post, if she were Irish, would we even be having this discussion?

Do what you can.  Visit the Save Claudia website.  Sign the petition.

We have room in the boat for one more. 

Things We Forgot From The Third Grade

September 6, 2006

Here’s a story about The Boys, that demands a wider audience.

Last night was Open House for 8’s third grade class.  More accurately, it was for the parents.  Among the things that I learned, apart from how every Church of Christ person in Nashville knows someone who knows every other Church of Christ person in Nashville, was:

*Teachers don’t like it when you point out that the wall they have labeled as East is really North and the wall they have labeled as North is really West.  Apparently school cutbacks got rid of compasses and senses of humor.

*If you want to hold an effective Parent’s Open House, you may want to unlock the doors to the school so that the parents can get in.

*The nicest elementary school in the most beautiful setting is doomed once they start slapping up subdivisions on every piece of available land surrounding it.  Rutherford County needs to decide real quick how many more housing developments they really need.  If the classes are full now, how full will they be in five years when you have a couple thousand more people living within a half mile of the school?

*Lastly, when the Zombie Apocalypse comes and we have to rebuild society with only a fraction of the population left, I will institute the following rules, that the third graders currently abide by, as the foundation of the new legal system:

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Keep your hands to yourself.

Respect others feelings.

Listen.

Follow directions.

Do your best.

Be responsible. 

Oh, and kill all zombies.

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Family Guy

August 12, 2006

If you wander around the new nicely appointed A. A. Birch Courthouse these days, you will see a lot of hustle and bustle.  Several TV remote trucks are stationed outside.  Court TV has a little set up over at the jail, with the courthouse serving as their backdrop. 

The media hasn’t bivouac’d around the courthouse for my benefit.  They are there to cover the Perry March trial.  I saw March’s former in-laws and his attorneys going through security.  Onlookers acted like Pope Mel or one of the American Idol losers were walking in the building.  Audible gasps and "Omigod!  Look!  That’s Mr. Levine!" murmured through the crowd of star-struck yokels.

Not to stray too far from the point, but it did remind me of how fucked up our national priorities are.  We celebrate those who have done nothing of value, while ignoring those who deserve celebration.  Why should some shyster lawyer, or some wife-killing Napoleon, or the wife’s litigiously grief stricken parents be better known in this town than, say, Byron Motley or Joe Snow.  This same line of reasoning was brought up by Denis Leary the other night on Rescue Me.  He asked a bar full of morons why they could name five contestants from last year’s American Idol, but can’t name one firefighter that died in The World Trade Center.

That rant belongs in another post for another time.  It has nothing to do with why I went to the courthouse.  As another aside, I spent about an hour listening to plea bargains, judgements of "not guilty by reason of insanity", and appeals in police shoot-out cases.  Good stuff, unless you have the attention span on an eight year old.  Then, it’s as boring as church.

No, the reason I was there was to get married by a judge friend.  I’ve made an honest woman out of Sugar Momma, and now have two stepsons to show for it.  The happy couple will be honeymooning on a couch in West Nashville watching the Perry March trial and episodes of The Wire on HBO.

The Play’s The Thing…

July 23, 2006

…Or How LL Cool J Died For My Sins.

Friday night I went with B and her peeps (which I’m led to believe means something like entourage or coterie) to see faith/doubt at the Darkhorse Theater.  I’ll get to that in a moment.

Saturday morning, I left early for Cookeville.  There was a Little League tourney there, and a certain eight-year old demanded the presence of my dog, and by extension, me.  As I went to the bathroom one last time before heading out (because the dog would have mocked me for not going before we left), something in the back of my head said, "That toilet is going to run all weekend."

Most of the tournament was cancelled due to the wet weather.  We had to cool our heels all day at the spacious Cookeville Holidome waiting for an update on the condition of the fields.  The games wound up cancelled until Sunday.  As I woke up this morning, I said, "I had the weirdest dream.  I dreamt that the toilet wouldn’t stop running and I’m trying to explain to my ex-wife why."  I’m sure she showed up in the dream because she got married yesterday.  I’m almost positive she was wearing a wedding dress while I  explained the inner workings of the toilet in the dream.  But that’s not really important.

I got home today after a crushing loss to the other eight-year olds and the boring hour plus drive from Cookeville around noon.   I walk into my house and wouldn’t you know, the goddamn toilet is still running. 

Here’s where it ties into the play.  If you read that story, and your explanation has something to do with a deity or invisible best friend sending me signs that my water bill was going to be high this month, you may want to check out faith/doubt.  If you read that story and thought, "Sarcastro must have subconsciously known that the flapper isn’t sitting on the flush valve seat, probably because the chain coming off the float rod isn’t the proper length.  He knows the sound that the tank makes when filling, and it must have struck a chord that this sound wasn’t right.  His attention was fixed on getting on the road and the tournament. That little toilet clue started blinking red in the back of his brain for the next 24 hours until he got home and realized what he was trying to tell himself.", you still should check the play out.

Sure, it isn’t as short an answer, but it is more probable.

The other reviews of faith/doubt have been mostly positive.  I must concur.  My impression of it was mostly positive.  Nothing gets me out of the house to see lee-gita-mitt thee-ater like hearing people onstage saying the words that came out of my brain.   I’m a narcissist like that.

I was concerned that the play would come off like a bunch of Unitarians putting on Godspell.  There are definitely some parts that might make that comparison come to mind.  There are one or two moments that really flirt with the edge of cheesiness.  Dressing up the Host as a shaman/savior-type comes to mind.  I really wish he would have burst into Mama Said Knock You Out, to lighten the mood.

The one scene that really needs to go, is The Deity Game.  It doesn’t work and comes off like one of the "B" sketches on Saturday Night Live that come on after Weekend Update.  It makes the entire piece lose focus and turns out a little too jokey.  Only by the time the play gets to Epiphanies, does it regain the focus of the earlier part of the play.  There are one or two other Guffman moments, but nothing that ruins the play overall.

Here’s a litmus test, if you think that the phrase "honor all paths and recognize the sacredness in every journey" is meaningless crap, then this play isn’t for you.  Or maybe it is.  I think it is a meaningless crap aphorism and still liked the play.

Yes, that probably wasn’t very nice to be critical of the play and I will go to Hell for it.  Sartre got it wrong, though.  Hell isn’t necessarily other people.  Hell is the other people at the Cookeville Golden Corral.

 

Kill Two Birds With One Stoner

February 5, 2006

Saturday I spent part of the day at the Appalachian Animal Clinic, observing and helping my brother walk with the animals, talk with the animals, grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals.

He was already wearing his lead apron and told me to throw one on.  Ostensibly,  so our mother won’t bitch about not having grandchildren.   I helped him x-ray a few dogs who were in for various maladies.  That alone was worth the price of admission.  Then, he brought out the hawk.

A Red Shouldered Hawk  had been brought in with a broken wing.  We laid it on the x-ray table and zapped it with some rads.  That’s x-ray lingo, by the way.  Upon developing the picture, it was clear that not only was the wing broken in two places, and could not be re-set, but the hawk had been shot.  The bullet had passed through part of the wing and exited through the top of the shoulder.  Fragments of lead showed up in the picture near the two breaks.  Nothing realistic could have been done to save this bird.  It was a beautiful creature.  From the angle bullet trajectory, where it struck the hawk, and what I remember from watching JFK, the hawk was sitting, or perching as the bird people like to say, on a tree limb or telephone pole when it was shot.  The scumbag who shot this hawk should be crucified on a telephone pole and the local children be allowed to pelt him with chicken shit.

Stu went and got a syringe of Fatal Plus, and we injected the hawk at  the base of the head.  He was dead by the time the syringe was extracted.   He closed his eyes and stopped breathing immediately.  The hawk, that is, not Stuart.

Next, Stu brought out a Barred Owl.   This owl had been hit by a car.  There is a big problem in the North Georgia Mountains when raptors swoop down into four lanes of traffic while trying to catch prey.  In the Owl Vs. Mini-Van scenario, the owl usually loses.  This owl’s left wing had been snapped nearly off.  I somewhat assisted Stu as he [this part of the narrative has been censored, due to the insistence of the Department of Natural Resources in euthanizing these animals, rather than trying to save them.]  The owl was either put to sleep or will live happily ever after, depending on who is reading this.

Overall, my impressions of the staff at the animal hospital, and in one dumb bastard who works there in particular are extremely positive.   The skill and care demonstrated by the aforementioned dumb bastard impressed the hell out of me.   If I ever get shot or hit by a car, I want him holding the syringe of FatalPlus.