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Someone ran across this the other day and was kind enough to slip it into Lisa's inbox. That's a very preggers Mrs TWC interviewing Dean Koontz with Nick Gillespie about a decade ago at Koontz' house in So Cal.
Koontz turned out to be every bit as gracious as you might have imagined and we ended up with a couple of autographed first editions (including Dark Rivers of the Heart).
Governor Schwarzengroper, fresh from having his nose bent and bloodied at the polls, has changed his tune. He's singing that old Temptations song.....more taxes will solve everything. Okay, well, more bonds anyway. But any way you slice it, bonds have to be repaid, with interest, and that means taxes have to be paid....
One positive: If you must tax and spend, going this route (bonds) guarantees the money will be spent on infrastructure instead of being flushed down a nearby rat hole. Lord knows that the infrastructure in Californicate is beyond shabby, top to bottom, Redwoods to the Sierra, Needles to Yreka, Bay Area to LA.
I'm not going to remind you that TWC told you it would all turn out badly because I hate being right about this stuff.
UPDATE: But it's a lovely warm morning with views to the horizon. Just the kind of enticement a certain scrawny high school kid I once knew needed to convince him to opt for the open road instead of rollcall in homeroom all those years ago.
The moon sets this morning before dawn-it was actually still dark.
tip of the glass to Matt Welch, who asks if they have good beaches in Nevada. Well, actually, I think the Rio does.
A week or so ago in Lost Wages, TWC had the opportunity to share some of Christopher Hitchens' second-hand smoke. As is typically the case, Hitchens was urbane and engaging, but I must say that, erudite commentary aside, my favorite Hitchens pronouncement is that Wine Is Red.
Apparently King Tutankhamen was in total agreement with Hitchens and TWC because researchers have discovered that it is pretty likely King Tut drank red wine.
Several clues had led scientists to believe that the wine may have been red: drawings from the time of grapes being pressed into wine were red and purple, for example. But the color of King Tut's wine was impossible to verify until Guasch-Jane invented a process to detect a color compound not found in white wine called syringic acid.
Keith and I found it particularly fascinating that....
Wine bottles from King Tutankhamun's time were labeled with the name of the product, the year of harvest, the source and the vine grower.....but did not include the color of the wine.
The demons that pestered my friend Wayne for many of his 43 years were forever silenced by the massive heart attack that stole his life last Thursday morning.
Those who weren't close to him only saw the eminently likable, gregarious, and quick-witted public personae. Those of us who were more than casually acquainted with him knew of his struggles, but I’m not certain that any of us fully appreciated the turmoil that his inner conflicts inflicted on his daily life.
Wayne’s difficulties were certainly no match for his talents though. He once built us a birdhouse that was painstakingly crafted from junk lumber. It evolved into a complex work of art so exquisitely detailed that it included a mailbox filled with individual hand-made wooden letters with legible postage affixed, and the local Green Sheet. The roof appeared to be slate. The house included a fireplace and each log on the stack of firewood was individually created and hand painted. Inside was real flooring and a framed portrait of a bird hung on the wall.
He built these stone steps at the casa. Picture worth a thousand words and all that.
He was complex, yet a man of simple tastes, at home in his truck or hanging around the garage with the omnipresent Marlboro, just smoking and swapping stories for hours on end. Never once crossing his mind was the earlier promise to Barbara that he’d be home three hours ago. Then the realization followed by a shrug, and an Oh Well, I’m already this late no point in going now.
He was a man with a ready ear for all the tired old stories of the Glory Days and he’d never let on he’d heard each of them a dozen times already, laughing again as if it were really the first time. Or cracking wise--and you giggled like a giddy nine-year old until your stomach ached and you gasped for air, forgetting for just those few moments that you were way too old to laugh that hard.
Wayne dropped in a few weeks ago and we sat out front as the day was dying away, catching up. He talked about this and that and told me about a young black chick at work that had been relentlessly flirting and teasing him for several weeks. He assured me that since he was old and chubby the attention was welcome, not that I am going to do anything about it, Mike, I'm a married man, but I have to admit it's flattering. I guess she got bold and asked him point blank…..Come on Wayne, you ever been with a black woman? Cat quick he came back with Nah, the sheet always scares them off.
He often talked of life and speculated about our place in the cosmos. Occasionally he’d don the tinfoil hat, once crafting a startling and almost-believable tale of how Jim’s death was not an accident after all.
In the end, I keep coming back to this: In a prophetic bit of irony, he frequently scoffed at the concept of middle age, insisting that if you died at age 43 you were middle-aged at 25. And, it startles me just a little that you were ever so right, my friend.