Month: June 2001

a work of fiction

Incredible. It’s the last day of June, and Minnesota has failed to pass a tax bill and seven spending bills.1 What this means is that, unless something miraculous happens tomorrow, the state of Minnesota will shut down for the first time in its history.

Incredible. It’s the last day of June, and Minnesota’s legislators managed to pass a tax bill and seven spending bills.2 What this means is that, unless something bizarre happens, I will still have a job when I come back—no interruption in pay will be necessary! And that is good, for I need to get paid to live. And I want to live—I do.

(Incidentally, I won’t be going to work [Monday]. Of course, I’ll be on my way to Columbus, Ohio no matter what happens.)

1 This was all speculation written before the fact. I have no idea whether this prediction will come true or not. [It didn’t.] This idea seems to have been subconsciously inspired by Esquire’s semi-fictional profile of Michael Stipe.

2 I like this version, the real one, better.

my 26th

Today, June 28th, is the birthday of (among others):

  • Mel Brooks
  • John Cusack
  • Gilda Radner
  • Jason L. Gohlke
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Henry VIII of England

A journey into the eerie shadows of coincidence: Rod Serling entered the Twilight Zone, uh, died the exact day I was born—June 28, 1975.

I myself am spending the day in the city of my birth.1

1 “Ah, I see,” you suddenly realize, “all this time mumbo-jumbo is to obscure the dates of his road trip.” [This was all true.]

* * *

Hey, look, a great new Pinkey Suthers yesterday!

faux temporal paradox

Oooh, boy. Mr. Nice dances [and for some reason, I laugh]. Courtesy (?) of memepool.

On a site like this [], the dates on which I update the site tend to lose meaning as time passes. That is, as our distance increases from the creation date of any given entry, so does the relevance of the date that entry was submitted.

What I mean is this: Who cares when any of these entries are created, especially months later? So what’s the difference if I put up some entries I haven’t written yet—now?

never mind

What makes today today? Today is yesterday already.


Spotted on the bumper of a Chevrolet Celebrity in downtown Minneapolis: “Every day of my life forces me to add to the number of people who can kiss my ass.”

I kid you not.

two firsts today:

  1. I donated blood for the first time in my life.
  2. I fainted for the first time in my life.

Fainting is a frightening phenomenon. Right after donating, I felt basically okay. I sat up, stood up, walked about 12 feet, grabbed a bottle of water, a packet of cookies, and a Coke. I sat down and rested my head on the wall behind me. So far, so good.

Seconds later, I completely lost control of my mind and body. A rapid-fire montage of random images and sounds suddenly flashed in front of my eyes, for an indeterminate amount of time, and then gradually resolved themselves into a male nurse. I felt horrendous for the next hour.

Another first I guess you could count would be “first time puking in a Bloodmobile”—though I did use their garbage can.

* * *

Budget update: the state and its employees’ unions have agreed on a settlement for a possible shutdown. Not great news—I’ll have to use vacation to get paid if the shutdown occurs, which looks more and more possible every day. I’ll avoid dealing with the possibility by simply driving far away from here for a week and a half.

* * *

My 26th birthday is next Thursday (yay?). I was getting excited about no longer being eligible to be drafted into the U.S. military, until I looked at the Selective Service web site and found that, over the past five years, the probability of my being drafted has gotten progressively lower. Effectively, I haven’t been draft fodder since the beginning of this year. [Another day, another anti-climactic discovery.]

pirated sites

Hmm, how’d that happen: The web sites of Shasta (soft drink manufacturer) and Furby (crappy toy) bear a strange but undeniable resemblance to each other.

This is not to say they don’t both suck.

[Note from the author nearly sixteen and one half years later: The fact was that they did suck. One way in which they sucked was that they were both built primarily in Flash. That means that they are not preserved at, a site that does not suck and never has.]

* * *

Broadband rocks.

* * *

No real movement yet on a state budget. But I did get an email from the Guv today:

June 20, 2001

Dear State Employee:

Many state employees have contacted me recently to share their concerns about the government shutdown that could occur if the Legislature fails to pass a budget by July 1st. I regret that we have to prepare for a situation that is completely avoidable and understand that this is a stressful time for all.

Since my inauguration as Governor, I have had the opportunity to see first-hand the good work that each of you do on behalf of the State of Minnesota. Your work contributes to the vitality of our state and helps make Minnesota the best place to live and work. I want to assure you that my commissioners, my staff and I understand the disruption a government shutdown could cause in your life. The Administration has worked tirelessly since the end of the regular legislative session to broker an agreement to prevent a government shutdown. We will continue to pursue a reasonable solution to the issues at the heart of this impasse.

In the meantime, we have created a link on the North Star website ( to provide you with the most recent information on the potential government shutdown. If you have specific questions or comments about the shutdown, please use the contact information provided on the website.

Gee, thanks. That’ll sure cushion the blow if I’m laid off.

Er, yeah, and I’m single now.

bad haiku

Sheesh, what got into me? I’ll tell you later.

Of Montreal was incredible—again, more later.

For those of you who require instant gratification, here’s a site that consists only of user-submitted bad haikus. What a great idea; it’s made for me, really.

I’m commemorating 50 years of computing by getting broadband tomorrow. Yay! Let’s see if it’s worth the expense.

At least I’m not this poor guy. An owner of a small business was assigned a phone number that happened to be listed in the most recent phone book as the post office’s number. He changed it—and got ANOTHER former post office number. Come on. Someone had to have it out for him—the chances of that happening have to be astronomical. He seems to be responding to the second occurrence with resignation—no, no, man! That’s what they want!

bad mood rising, or, “I’m so pedantic”

Cripes, you wait 2 1/2 weeks for this joker [me] to add a humorous and inspired snippet of wit and social commentary, and all you get is fact-checking in a routine news story about baseball? Read the article (or at least the first four paragraphs), and then come back.

Okay, notice anything? I’m really impressed by the sheer incompetence condensed into just one sentence, in the second paragraph:

Ellis Burks followed by hitting a ground ball just past the glove of third baseman Travis Fryman [sic] 1 and Milwaukee manager Phil Garner [sic] 2 replaced Fox with lefthander Ray King.

Most noticeably, it’s a run-on sentence. It also has two incorrect facts that never should have slipped by the writer or the editor, who both theoretically should know something about baseball, or at least have copies of major league rosters handy for fact-checking. But apparently they don’t, and they don’t. Or they don’t care enough to bother, or they’re just drunk all the time. Who really cares, right? I don’t, really; I’m just in a bad mood.

1 The writer meant Tyler Houston, of course. Fryman plays for the Indians.

2 Garner, now the manager of the Detroit Tigers, was at one time manager of the Brewers. He was fired before the 2000 season, though, and replaced by Davey Lopes. Later in the article, Lopes is cited correctly as Milwaukee’s manager but is referred to as “Dave Lopes,” a first [to my knowledge] since he was hired by the Brewers.

* * *

I see a bad mood rising: I mentioned I work for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, right? Well, I might be taking a little unpaid “furlough” [link no longer valid] starting July 1st if the Legislature doesn’t get off their high horses and fund the state for fiscal year ’01-’02. Did I mention there’s no such thing as a furlough? There is a cold, hard reality, though: No appropriations means no funding for web designers—or for most of the 50,000+ “non-essential” state employees.

[Update: It looks like the state and the unions have agreed to let us use up our vacation time if a shutdown happens, at least for the first couple weeks. Gee, great.]

Please forgive my irritation. I thought I’d be safe from the dot-com curse.

Seriously, even if there is a shutdown (which isn’t certain at this point), I doubt it’ll last long. Of course, I doubted it would ever get this far: The legislature is almost a month past their constitutionally-set deadline for ending the regular session.

* * *

While I’m in this bad mood, you know what else I hate? I don’t actually mind, in general, if people pull in front of me in their cars—IF they’re going faster than I am, which isn’t often. <RANT>What I hate is when they pull in front of me and then drive in an extremely pokey fashion.

I also hate ID-required, 21-and-up concerts. They don’t really have those in Wisconsin—many venues sell beer, and they stamp your hand if you’re over 21. Not the best way to keep beer out of underage drinkers’ hands (a pointless battle anyway), but a great way to let people from 18 to 21 (oh, what a frustrating age bracket) see the artists they’d like to see.</RANT>

I’m going to see Of Montreal tonight at the Entry—21+, of course. That should shake this.

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