Saturday, June 03, 2006

Remembering when ...

OK, I know that this post is gonna date me (not like anyone else will! Hah!), but after reading a remember the '90s post on Kristen's blog and a remember the '80s post over on Robyn's blog, I decided to do a post on the big things that I can remember from when I was growing up.

Warning! If you can remember these things, it's likely that you, too, are as old as most dirt! LOL

• The children's shows I remember don't involve purple dinosaurs, gayish dancing creatures with TVs in their tummies, or blue dogs. Sesame Street was THE shit. It was a big reason I started reading early. That was followed closely by Electric Company, then Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and Captain Kangeroo.

• The ONLY time we could watch cartoons were Saturday mornings. They didn't air after school or at any other time of the day, let alone 24 hours. Once the live-action shows came on, cartoon time was over, followed by Pops taking over the remote control to watch bowling, baseball, football or ABC's Wide World of Sports. Bugs Bunny and his crew reigned supreme — Roadrunner and Coyote toons were my fave. Next in line were the Hanna & Barbera toons — Captain Caveman, Grape Ape, Yogi and Booboo, etc. And let's not forget the Professor and Sherman going back in time, or the Go-Go Gophers, or Speed Buggy (room-a-zoom-zoom, Tink!) and Scooby Doo. Ooh! Tom and Jerry! Hong Kong Fooey. Inch High, Private Eye.

• After the toons were the weird kids shows — Sigmund the Seamonster, HR Puff-n-Stuff, the Bugaloos, Electro Wman and Dyna Girl and the like. Saturday morning television employed a ton of whacked-out, drug-influenced creative types, apparently.

• Fantasy Island. Charlie's Angels. The Dukes of Hazzard. BJ McKay and his best friend the Bear. Real People. That's Incredible. Diff'rent Strokes. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have The Facts of Life. Three's Company. Gunsmoke. Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Walt Disney Presents. Kung-Fu Theater. These were the staples of my television experience.

• Drive-in movie theaters, and open-air theaters. Saw Lady and the Tramp, The Big Bus, Escape from Witch Mountain, The Shaggy D.A. and the like in these venues.

• LP's on vinyl to 8-track tapes to cassette tapes to CDs. Wow. I remember my first stereo — a turntable and two speakers. LOL. My first boombox, because I wasn't specific enough with my mom, was an 8-track player. Making tapes from songs on the radio. The FIRST time a dual-cassette recorder came along so you could record tape-to-tape. How expensive the first Walkmans were. Trying to decide between VHS and Betamax.

• I remember a time before cable television, when there were no remote controls. When I and my siblings were the remote controls on our huge in-wooden-cabinet television. When cable premiered and the "remote" was a box with all these push-in buttons on two levels, connected to the TV by a long-ass cord.

• I remember sneaking out into the living room when MTV launched at midnight. Duhn! Da-dunh! Da-na-na-nuh! Flashing colors, the astronaut on the moon. All videos, all the time, except when the veejays were talking. Yes folks, they used to play music videos on the music video networks. Now THAT's nostalgia!!

• There used to be this type of gas called "regular." Full service was the standard. Some gas stations only sold gas, oil, fan belts, other car items and maps. There were soda machines outside, though — served in glass bottles that you could get 10 cents for when your returned them.

• You used to have to edge your lawn with these scissor-like clippers. No weed-whackers.

• Before there were minivans, large families had station wagons — usually with fake wood applied to the sides and a rack on top for the luggage. Ours had a back-back seat that folded up so you could look where you'd just been. We hated that seat.

• Supermarkets put your groceries into brown paper bags. Ice cream, meat and cans and jars were double-bagged. You could get bubblegum and weird candies if you begged for a nickel or dime or (dare we?) quarter for the machines on the way out.

• Space Invaders revolutionized the world of arcade games. Then it was Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man. Learn the patterns and rule. Galaga. Stargate. It kept getting better. Track & Field. And then ... holy shit ... Dragon's Lair. Wow! The graphics are intense!

• At home, it was Pong that started it all. When the Atari 2600 came out, the earth shook. Eight-bit graphics! Boxy tanks shooting each other in Combat, or pixelated bi-planes. Or, race cars that looked like they were drawn by 8-year-olds.

• In high school, we learned computer programming on state-of-the-art Apple IIe's! If A, Run B. We still had to type out term papers on typewriters. Use carbon paper if you want a duplicate! If you were lucky, your family could afford an ELECTRIC typewriter! Especially one of those with the correction ribbon on the bottom! Research was done on microfiche machines. School films were shown on antique projectors that were sometimes noisier than the audio on the films, which came in metal cannisters. The smart kids got to be AV geeks.

• Anyone else remember when "erasable" pens came out? Or solar calculators? Or the NFL pencils and folders?

• Big Wheels were the bomb. Until the Mean Green Machine came out. Skateboarding and BMX bikes were just becoming popular. My parents wouldn't but me a Redline BMX bike, so I built my own out of scrap parts.

• Coveted toys for boys: G.I. Joes, preferably with kung-fu grip. And the accessories kits were required to get the cool guns and stuff. Army Men were the shit. Green guys were good guys (American). Grey guys were bad guys (Germans). Then you could get British and Japanese Army Men too. The basic Army Men: captain with the .45, stand-up shooting guy, kneeling shooting guy, laying down machine gunner, bayonnet guy, radio guy, mortar guy, bazooka guy, handgrenade guy, flamethrower guy, Jeep driver. If you were lucky, you got deluxe packages that had two-man machine gunner teams, the "follow me" guy. You could get medics with stretchers AND patients. Some even had guys that looked like they were being blown up. You were either a Matchbox kid or a Hot Wheels kid ... if you were into the latter, you could get the orange track to do jumps and loops. Electric football — the premiere NFL version, not the green vs. the red. Electric racetrack — with the little guns to control the speed.

Yikes ... that was a long trip down memory lane ...

Friday, June 02, 2006

just a bit of a ramble ...

On Thursday, we had a day that was mostly rainy. It was cool and overcast for most of the day, and we got that nice tropical rainfall -- mostly nonstop, but never really too hard.

It was nice in that we've been subject to mostly dry, super-sunny, hot-as-hell days for a long time. I know, some complaint to have, huh?

It's a harbinger of the months to come though. In about a month, Guam enters rainy season, which runs from July through December. During that time, we usually get a LOT of rain -- there will be many more days like Thursday ahead. That time period is also Typhoon Season, the time of the year in which we are more likely to get typhoons (hurricanes for those of you on the other side of the world). I'm not looking forward to any of those; we've been spared from that kind of nasty weather in recent years (KNOCK ON FUCKING WOOD!).

But I think many of us are looking forward to more rainy, cool and chilly days.

- • - • - • - • - • - • - • -

I hate it when people use a common phrase and mangle it. It drives me up the wall, especially when you expect that person -- because of their job or their education -- to know better. My Favorite Person would probably call some of the instances me be snobby, but I can't help it, most of the times.

I recently heard a professional sportscaster say that someone had exhibited "kinks in the armor." Ouch. The proper phrase is "chinks in the armor."

I had a few more examples written down somewhere on my desk to use for this part of the post, but the desk is currently in a state of disarray and overall mess, which I need to rectify this weekend. More annoying phrases soon, I'm sure. And yes, I realize there's it's very geeky, anal-retentive thing to do to keep such a list. :P

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Many women in Guam back around when the Spanish came were actually blondes. They used natural means to dye it blondish white. Must have been a striking look — long, lean brown beauties with starkly contrasting hair.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

get your tropical swerve on ...

some new sunset pics up at DZER's Guam Pics

new duds for the DZER ...

I went shopping for clothes the other day. There were two reasons behind this:

1. I needed some more clothing that fits me better. As faithful Diatribe readers (all 7.5 of you) know, the DZER has lost some weight over the past year and change. I'm down a full two pants sizes, necessitating me to put a couple more holes into my belt in order to keep up suddenly loose pants.

2. I need to do laundry ... and now I don't have to for a few more days. Yes, folks, it's true -- I'm THAT fucking lazy! LOL

Here are some shirts I bought at Kmart, perfect for both the office and the golf course. The shirts, also, are two sizes smaller than what I was wearing a year and change ago.
Now I've never really had problems getting shirts on island; there are a few stores that offer larger sizes. Pants, on the other hand, have always been a problem -- no place sold pants in my size (yes, THAT big).

But now that I'm svelte -- well, as svelte as, says, a major appliance can be LOL -- I have some more options. Here are the new pants.
From left, business-casual black slacks, business-casual tan slacks, and deep indigo-blue jeans.

The shirts were on sale — normally $17.99, I got them for $12 each. Yay!

The pants were not on sale, and big men's clothes are usually NOT cheap. Black slacks, $44.95. Tan slacks, $49.95. Jeans, $49.95.

Total for mini shopping spree: $180.85.

Also not too bad. I used to order most of my clothing from online, usually Sears Big & Tall. I'd usually just place one big order a year, unless there was a sale, which usually meant at least $700, and all of it charged. Which helped lead to my whopping personal debt. These days, I'm a strictly cash man.

If you made it through this boring-ass post ... good for you! You've earned 5 DZER points!

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Ancient Chamorros didn't wear pants. Or shirts.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

he's the DZER in disguise ...

OK ... yesterday I said that I planned to use my powers for good rather than evil.

But I just had one of THOSE days, for a variety of reasons. Fucking bleah™.

So, instead of using my vast store of semi-miraculous powers for the good of the earth and its people, I have decided to do a 180 and embrace all that is evil about the DZER.

And trust me folks ... that is a LOT of evil to go around.

I'm about to burst on fire from the amount of sheer wickedness and unadulterated debauchery that lives inside this rather large frame. I am beyond mischevious and into malevolent. I am ready to rampage and wreak unholy devastation. Tremble with fear over that which is EVIL DZER.

Don't believe it? Just check out the early HNT from Guam:


To find out more about Half-Nekkid Thursday,
check out the link, baby:

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• The Chamorro word for "evil spirit" is "ná ma'a'ñao."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Things to do this week ...

• Mail out packages.

• Pay cell phone bill, cable bill, rent.

• Do laundry ... all five loads. Bleah.

• Go shopping for some new clothes — a few pairs of pants, a few new shirts.

• Replace driver's side tail light, passenger's side headlight.

• Clean out truck cab.

• Use my powers for good instead of evil.

• Stop global warming.

• Catch up on e-mail.

• Buy a winning lottery ticket.

• Play a bunch of Neverwinter Nights with My Favorite Person.

• Balance the federal budget for fiscal 2007.

• Save at least two endangered species.

• Get off my ass to reorganize the living room.

• Resume separating all my stuff into what I need, what I need to sell, what I need to throw away.

• Create a clone of myself to do most of the boring chores listed above.

• Become a bit more creative in posting to my blog so I don't have to put up weak shit like things to to this week.

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• The only mammal indigenous to Guam is the Marianas fruit bat, which is called "fanihi" in Chamorro.

Monday, May 29, 2006


the bad thing about three-day weekends is everyone seems to be sleeping in ... or out of the house doing something. too many people in blogland only seem to be online from their workplace, so three-day weekends there means empty and lonely over here.


guess I'll go do some chores and shit for an hour or two and hope someone wakes up to keep me company.

a very Hughes influence ...

For most folks of my generation (I was born in 1969), many of the movies that marked our teen years were made by one man -- John Hughes. He was the king of teen romantic-comedies, and comedies in general. Hughes was the mastermind behind the so-called “Brat Pack.”

His name not ringing any bells? Howzabout some of his movies:

“Mr. Mom” — Michael Keaton was much funnier as the goofball guy than Batman.

• The “Vacation” series — Still some of the funniest movies EVER. Chevy Chase was brilliant … yes, THAT Chevy Chase … and Beverly D’Angelo was D’Bomb. Heh.

“Sixteen Candles” — She gave her panties to a geek!

“Weird Science” — Memorable mostly for an insanely hot Kelly LeBrock. There’s no way I could count the number of times she filled my fantasies. Oh, and a young Bill Paxton as Chet.

From my heart and from my hand
Why don't people understand
My intentions ... Oooh, weird ...
Weird science!!

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — Gotta be one of my all-time faves. The parade scene was brilliant.

“Planes, Trains & Automobiles” – Steve Martin and John Candy. Need I say more?

“Uncle Buck” — Another one of my all-time favorite flicks. Picturing John Candy making giant pancakes still cracks me up.

• The remake of “Miracle on 34th Street” — the original is one of my favorite movies ever (I have a lot of those, don’t I? LOL), but the remake did a good job with it. Plus I love Elizabeth Perkins (totally under-rated dream babe!).

“Home Alone” — Hard to top the physical comedy of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern trying to get “that kid.”

and, of course …

“The Breakfast Club” — the protoypical high-school stereotypes all forced to spend a Saturday detention together in the library. There was the jock, the geek, the badboy, the popular chick and the weird chick. Together, they all learn they aren't so very different from each other ... aww. LOL

This post was mostly inspired by the death of a key character in the movie — Paul Gleason, who played hard-ass Principal Richard Vernor. He died of a rare form of asbestos-related cancer at the age of 67.

“Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.”

Farewell, Principal Vernor. You will be missed.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Poker? I didn't even touch her ...

Some people have lists of things they want to do before they die. Some are grandiose, and probably unrealistic. Others are simple and relatively easy to accomplish. They may want to skydive. Or visit Tibet. Maybe hike the Grand Canyon. Or have a three-way. Whatever.

Some of these people actually have a physical list. They keep it somewhere and check off each of the things on the list as they are accomplished.

I have a list, kind of; it changes from time to time. It's not written down anywhere, although, as you can probably tell by the gist of this post, it soon will be ... or, at least the current, flexible quasi-list.

• I want to play poker professionally. Yep, no real job other than cards. Obviously, I want to be good at it, or it won't last long. Morever though, I really want to play in the main event's World Series of Poker and make the final table. I've been watching reruns of previous World Series of Poker on ESPN Classic this last week; I suppose that's fueled the fire of this dream a bit more. Also, a guy from here I used to play poker with on a regular basis was a top qualifier in an online tournament, which resulted in him being flown from his current home, in Hawaii, to the Bahamas for a $1-million-to-the-winner poker tournament. He won that, which not only made him rich, but the company that hosted the tournament is buying his spot in the World Series of Poker ($10,000 buy-in). I wish him luck, and hope to see him on TV, even if he doesn't win it, but I wish even more I was in it instead of him. LOL

• I want to write the next great American novel. Actually, I'd settle for just getting off my lazy ass to write A novel. Maybe a high fantasy book; I've had a basic plot and character development for a while ... I just need to fine-tune things and get to writing. Or maybe even a tawdry semi-porn romance novel.

• I'd love to be a feature columnist, syndicated in hundreds of newspapers.

• I'd like to lose a lot more weight and get much more fit and healthy. Work in progress.

• I want to smoke again. OK ... this is probably never going to happen, but maybe if I get healthy and fit enough? LOL

• I would like to get married someday. I'm one of the few of my friends who have never been married and/or divorced. Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to join the club sometime ... either club, though to join the latter, I need to join the former first.

• I'd like to try my hand (mouth?) at stand-up comedy ... just to see if I'm really as funny as I think I am.

• I want to hit a huge lottery jackpot. Actually, I'll settle for a somewhat small lottery jackpot (even JUST $2 million or so). I want to be able to not have to work, even if it's just for a few years.

• I want to hit a hole-in-one. Just once. Well, more than once, but I'll settle for the one time. ;)

Not too bad of a list, I think. Some are very doable. Some are far-fetched. But that's how any dream list of accomplishments should be, I think.

Oh ... and this doesn't list ALL of the things on my list ... though it's a good portion of them. Because some dreams shouldn't be voice, or written, lest they never come true ...

Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• In October, a team of Japanese and U.S. researchers got an unmanned probe got within several feet of -- with videotape to prove it -- a violent underwater eruption in the Pacific Ocean ... just about 60 miles north of Guam.