Monday, December 29, 2014

2015...where work is for the weak

Ah...2015...just like 2007 but without all my readers.  Actually, its more like 2006 when I started this blog and didn't have any readers.

Of course, that's not true either.  Well, it's true I had almost no readers in 2006 but these days I average more reads on my posts than ever, it's just that people are hitting my older posts via Google.  I guess if you hang on long enough, that's what happens.  You become a search database.

Let's see, not much happened to VE in 2014...

Oh, wait, my son moved out leaving us empty-nesters.
Oh, and we sold our 3200sf house
Oh, and we sold practically everything we own and moved into a  984sf apartment
Oh, and we quit our jobs
Oh, and we sold our cars
Oh, and we got a residence Visa to live in the South of Spain
Oh, and we leave Jan 19, 2015!

No phones, no furniture, nothing but my two bikes, a computer, some personal papers and two suitcases!

Just like College...without the massive debt in tuition loans...

So I bid USA farewell.  I bid the 284 days of rain in Portland farewell and say hello to the 320 days of sunshine in the South of Spain.  We'll be living in the town of Almunecar.  Don't worry, you've never been there.  You have to zoom on Google maps at least three or four times to find it.  It's directly South from Granada.  Go until you hit the water!  It doesn't have daytime highs below 54 even in the dead of winter.  Most of the time it is 70-90.  It isn't too humid.  Think Southern California minus the overcrowding, smog, crime, high costs and Mexican food...

Here are some teaser pictures of the town we will be living in:
This is our beach.  Well...not ours personally but within a 2 minute walk...
Here's the town Castle...no, we don't live in it but every town should have a castle!
This is a walkway along the beach so we don't even have to walk on the beach if we don't want to...goes for miles!
We will be living in the "old town".  Since the town is 2800 years old, that is very old!
The avenues in the old town are so narrow only donkeys would fit, no cars.  No, we won't be purchasing a donkey though.  We can walk.

And so, 2015 will be the year VE goes global, speaks Spanish and generally focuses on all things not work related.  Because work is for the weak (okay, so some of you need a roof over your head and food and ridiculous stuff like that...I get it)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas is for...

Once again Christmas is upon us. Let us not forget the meaning of Christmas.


I'll help you break it down.  Let's start letter by letter...


C is for Claus


H is for Ho Ho Ho


R is for Rednecks


I is for Innevitable


S is for Santa


T is for Mr. T


M is for Misinterpretation


A is for American Christmas


S is for Sleigh



And there you have it...C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S....the true meaning of a modern holiday.

Remember...the weird is out there!  Enjoy the holidays...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It is Inevitable...


Oh come on now...we know this will happen somewhere, someplace...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apparently Washington is more "Evergreen" than you thought

Well with Washington state legalizing marijuana, I'd say they are really living up to their state motto...



I just happen to live right across the border in Oregon.  I'm sure if Portland had their way, Oregon would be right behind them.  Nobody works in Portland anyway so what's the issue?

I know Colorado has it legalized too but their already so high what does it really matter?   Besides, how much can you really grow in an environment lacking in oxygen and changing from sunny and 70 to snowing in a matter of a few minutes.



But back to Washington.  We drove over there for a hike not long ago and as we crossed the toll bridge over the Columbia River (yes, we have a large river separating us so that most of the stoners will drown trying to cross and the rest will drive off the side of the bridge trying to get across).

Anyway, as we passed into Washington, I half expected somebody to be greeting us at the border, "Welcome to Washington, here's your doobie..."

Amazingly that didn't happen.  Nor did I find a state-wide shortage of Twinkies or Doritos. The mini-markets weren't standing-line only.  Are you sure pot is legal here?  I don't understand.

The typical chip and snack aisle at a Washington grocery store
But during a visit to the Seattle area for a 200 mile bike ride this summer, I definitely witnessed several cars filled with smoke.  One of them opened their door as I went by and you'd think they installed a fireplace as an option on the car what with the smoke that came billowing out.

That's either pot smoke or they purchased the wood stove option on the car

Now I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.  Frankly, the wifey-poo and I take walks in Portland nightly and there is so much pot smell coming from one particular corner nightly that we think they're burning it as incense!  


Monday, October 20, 2014

This and That

Okay, so the wifey-poo had this professional license for 15 years and didn't really need it but kept it "just in case"...because...well, you know, job security is about as reliable as a 10-day weather forecast these days.  So she FINALLY didn't renew it.  Apparently, they were quite "put out" because she received this back...


Do you think it is just me or are they a little miffed?  I didn't know they made stamps (or fonts) that big.  What they are really saying with this is from the old Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie..."I fart in your general direction"

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So then we were walking through Whole Foods the other day (which my mother calls "Whole Paycheck"...but hey...unprocessed foods apparently cost more than chemical-laden fake foods so there you go).  Anyway, I couldn't help but notice their pies:


"Forest Berry" pie?  Really?  This pie should cost like $100 because I've hiked through a lot of forests and I don't see a lot of berries growing in them.  If this weren't just a marketing ploy it would take a LOT of effort to harvest enough "forest berries" to make a pie...

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And finally, the gnomes have been trying to convince me that it would be quite funny to steal all of the rich home's security warning signs from their yards and then put them ALL on the lawn of the neighborhood dumpy-looking house. Sure, Mr. Rich House, nobody will break into your security-enabled home...but did you protect that warning sign?  Noooope....

Sure, the house is protected...but what if I steal your precious security sign?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Creepy Tourism

Hey now...with Halloween just around the corner I thought, what can I do this year to scare the crap out of myself?  Normally I just tune in to world affairs to do that but I thought I'd combine my love of travel with a novel money-making scheme.

Theme'd tours are all the rage and I love to travel and with Halloween here, how about a creep-you-out world tour of abandoned amusement parks.  Seriously...these places are just creepy and you'd be surprised how many failed ones there are.  Take a virtual tour...


Go ahead...venture on in to "Paul's" mouth...
Yeah...the ghosts don't drive very well...

Not what I want to run into on a cold dreary day just at dusk...
This is where I let you venture on...all-by-yourself...
Go ahead...have a LOT of Fun in this funhouse...
No telling what you're gonna find as you head up the hill...
Palace or last resting place?  Go on in and see...
I could hire people to hide in these and scare you but the ghosts probably handle that fine
After you...
This is where I leave you blindfolded and alone counting to 100...
I'd say "Fool" Zone would be more appropriate now
Sit on down...we'll put on "The Shining" or "The Ring" and you can watch by yourself as it gets dark
Everbody loves abandoned abused over-sized clown heads
Dare you to sit down and see if the ride starts up on it's own...
Any fortune told from here can't be good...
Go right on in, order up...
Hey, if you wait awhile, the ghost coaster will arrive...
Hide and seek time...come find me...
Okay, and if you enjoyed that one, I'll be working on another world tour of creepy abandoned hospitals and insane asylums... 

Take a soak and relax...
Rumor has it Hitler was treated at this facility during WWI...bonus...
And finally, if that just isn't enough scare for you...you'll get invited to a special location.  The mysterious island of creepy hanging dolls that nobody seems to know who put them there or why but rumor has it the eyes follow you.





Wednesday, October 08, 2014

I'm sure all the Vampires are Happy about our "Blood Moon"

Okay, this is topical and we'll all forget about it next week when the next "squirrel" diverts our ADD attention to some other shiny object...

Apparently we have a "blood moon" right now.  Other than mammals, I don't associate "blood" with anything else.  I don't have blood cell phones, my lawn doesn't have blood grass, I don't hike in the forest among blood trees.  So what is up with blood oranges?  And now blood moons?  Perhaps the current Ebola crisis has spread further than we realized?


When I was a kid we had full moons, no moons and every iteration in between.  But all of a sudden, this generation feels the need to dramatize every simple nuance of things.  Now we have "super" moons and "blood" moons.

What's next?  Square moons?  Are scientists going to tell us that every 179,000 years the moon morphs into a square?  I don't know...


Now if I saw THIS...then it might be a "Super" moon...
Still, that orangy-red color of the moon at moon rise and moon set are pretty spectacular to look at.  I'm sure there will be several million digital pictures taken and left sitting in some computer folder or cloud-based photo storage for all eternity (or until you forget to back up your hard drive and it goes out and you reassess your life as a result and abandon all technology going forward and live as a monk in inner China...but that might be a minority of people).

Come on, do you need more proof that this blood moon is attacking our cities?
Some people tend to get a bit wacky during full moons...what are they like during super moons?  And how about blood moons?  Do we see more zombies during this time?  Do vampires rest easy during a blood moon because they feel satiated?  Do werewolves get worse during a super moon or a blood moon?

I think since we're already down the road of sensationalism, we might as well go all the way...how about:

- Black Hole nights where it's extra-ordinarily dark, not just dark.  What if it is so dark we cannot see the stars?  Then we could start selling special flashlights and headlights to handle such a phenomenon.

- Faucet rain where it isn't just a drop, it's like having a thick continuous stream of water dumping down on you.  That would sell a lot of houseboats...

- Self-aware plants. Sort of like Treebeard in Lord of the Rings, the plants suddenly are not happy with their situation and start rebelling against us.  Right out of a B-rate 1950s movie!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New and Improved

I know, I know.  You looked at the title of this post and probably thought I did something great with this blog, right?  Like have it dispense $20 bills every time you read the letter "a" in my post.  Good feature, I know, but alas, I've redirected your $20 into my fruity rum drink fund instead.


Feel free to cut this bill out of your monitor screen...
And that's the trouble with "new and improved", isn't it?  I'm always skeptical of that phrase when I see it on products.  Do you think Kool-Aide put "new and improved" when they were forced to remove "cyclamates"?  I remember their packages when I was a kid said proudly, "Now with cyclamates!" like they'd discovered some miracle lost ingredient that made their powered sugar so much more enjoyable...right.

The debilitating effects of kool-aid cyclamates revealed....
Some things truly are new and improved though.  Cell phones have definitely improved.  We've come a long way from the "Get Smart" shoe-sized phones in the 1980s that cost nearly $2,000.  I no longer need an alarm clock; they're obsolete.  I just use my phone.  I no longer need a land line.  Obsolete.  I don't need a calendar from my insurance salesman.  I don't need to go crazy trying to remember who was in that movie I just saw.  I whip out the smart phone and off to IMDB I go.  My brain doesn't need to store that trivial stuff anymore.

Act now and we'll send you a second phone to use as a door stop or boat anchor...
Then again, there's a down size to that new and improved too.  People are so plugged in to their phones they don't even look around while they are walking.  These days if there is a murder or accident, there's not going to be any witnesses.  They were all too preoccupied cheating at Scramble With Friends.  They're not going to hear anything either because they've got their entire musical library on their phones and have ear buds on preventing them from experiencing anything around them.

I could bring back streaking as a fad...but who would notice?
I like movies.  I have over 800 of them.  But what a pain to own such a large library.  Back when they were VHS tapes I'd have to have an entire wall to hold them all and all the rewinding would take away hours over time.  Then DVDs. Still, 800 DVDs takes up a huge bookshelf.  I quickly got rid of the covers and put them in albums.  While very compact, even those are heavy and I was always having to refile and resort them to add new movies in alphabetically.  These days?  They are all digital on two tiny external drives that I can take anywhere.  I must have over a thousand movies on them. The only trouble is that for whatever reason, movies with subtitles don't show the subtitles.  Yes, new and improved, but with a catch...

Yeah...not very mobile
Bottom line, the term "new and improved" is really just an oxy-moron because of the reality of how can something be both new AND improved in the first place.  Either it is new....or it is improved.  You can't fool me, you advertisers...