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‘Buy a Gun and Stay Out of Jail’

posted at 12:01 pm
on May. 22, 2000

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I pulled up to get a sandwich at Subway the other day. I got out of my car.  Glancing over at the vehicle next to me, I noticed a book in the back seat.  Looking a little closer revealed the title: “Buy a Gun and Stay Out of Jail.”

I kid you not.

I was a little nervous going into the sandwich shop, wondering if I would meet Mr. Not-Locked-Up Gun-toter.

Later, on the drive into work, I was even more disturbed by the idea that someone had written a book about this, and sold it to a publisher who thought there was a market for it.  Hmmm.

* * * *

You may have heard, pre-Love Bug virus news, about a kid in Canada who was arrested in connection with attacks on CNN’s web server and others.  The media said the boy, whose online handle was “Mafiaboy,” could not be identified by name under Canadian law protecting minors.  I wonder if you could argue that identifying him as Mafiaboy is not more destructive to his privacy and more potentially stigmatizing than identifying him as “David MacDonald” or whoever he turns out to be.  Is a person’s digital identity, their name in a world where they might spend more time than they do in school, worthy of notice and protection?  And is there no overlap between the Mafiaboy persona and the real-life one?  How many people do you know as well by their online handle as their real-world one. Geo, Byrne, Hermit, Nep, Fouts, Jackal, Spike, Spolay, Mutley.  Something worth thinking about.

* * * *

I spent the weekend in Cambria and Arroyo Grande, two nice little towns in Central California.  It was an anniversary weekend escape with Susie.  We had a great time, and were computer free for days.  That was my fault—we’d brought along Susie’s laptop in order to watch DVDs on it, and I wanted to fix a small bug that resulted in the keyboard freezing up whenever the computer was put to sleep and then woken.  Funny thing is, after I made a few little changes, the darned thing wouldn’t boot up anymore.  So no movies.  On the other hand, we did have about 12 books between us, so we weren’t at a loss for entertainment.

On the way out of town, we stopped at our favorite pre-road trip store: Iliad books (it’s not a Greek bookstore, but it is located beside Odyssey Video).

The weather was nice, the bed and breakfast was cute, if a little clock-filled (57, according to the owner, who turned them all off at night so as not to drive guests cuckoo.) (I apologize for that joke.)

On the way back into town, we stopped at the Oxnard Strawberry festival, a huge gathering of people organized for the purpose of entertaining children for an afternoon and giving adults a sunburn and a chance to buy expensive food served in dubious sanitary conditions.

No, the actual purpose is to find some way to use up the 1,000,000,000,000 ripe strawberries that are ready to be harvested in Oxnard in May.  I’ve been trying my best to help out by eating strawberry pies from the restaurant across the street from work, but apparently there’s still lots of berries left, because they were bringing fruit in by the truckload to this festival.  One of the most popular booths was the “Make Your Own Strawberry Shortcake.” For $3.50, you were given a bowl into which you could put cake, sweet blended strawberries, cool whip and large ripe whole strawberries.  It was amazing.

* * * *

Other recent places I’ve been: Disneyland, Big Bear, work.

* * * *

In other news, the Variety web site launches today, Cannes ends, and I go from publishing 3 simultaneous sites back to one.  Whew.

Of course, things are still progressing at breakneck speeds, including hiring, and training of new hires.

* * * *

Susie started teaching a summer course on Thursday.

* * * *

I’ve been volunteering at a local Scout troop.  It’s a different can of worms, a U.S. Boy Scout group, but it’s fun.  I feel a little odd but I’m sure that’ll pass as I get to know the kids and the other leaders.  It’s been hard with my demanding (and noon-10p.m.) work schedule, but I’m really wanted to give back something to Scouts, because I got so much from it when I was growing up.

* * * *

We bought a DVD player.  It’s silver.  It came with 6 surround speaks, but we have them all at the front of the room, so things sound a little weird.

* * * *

My high school reunion is coming up soon.  I’ll have lots of good dirt from that, I’m sure.



 
 

 

Previous entry:
Happy Cinco de Mayo

Next entry:
Feeling All Grown Up

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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