March 8, 2005

backwashed thoughts and you made me talk



* Alaska man leaves his sprinkler on and result becomes a major tourist attraction. excerpt:

"Reeves began work on the tower in October when he set up a sprinkler system and pumped water through it. He guesses the tower will be 160 to 180 feet tall and weigh an estimated 80,000 tons by April, when he plans to turn off the water to the sprinklers."

* Krugman:

"Above all, of course, at a time when ever-fewer workers can count on pensions from their employers, the current administration wants to phase out Social Security.

"The bankruptcy bill fits right into this picture. When everything else goes wrong, Americans can still get a measure of relief by filing for bankruptcy - and rising insecurity means that they are forced to do this more often than in the past. But Congress is now poised to make bankruptcy law harsher, too.

"Warren Buffett recently made headlines by saying America is more likely to turn into a 'sharecroppers' society' than an 'ownership society.' But I think the right term is a 'debt peonage' society - after the system, prevalent in the post-Civil War South, in which debtors were forced to work for their creditors. The bankruptcy bill won't get us back to those bad old days all by itself, but it's a significant step in that direction.

"And any senator who votes for the bill should be ashamed."

* Slice, everyone's favorite pizza site remembers Hunter S. Thompson. excerpt:

"Not quite satisfied with our visit, we headed to the Woody Creek Tavern (right), a small, shacklike bar. We pulled into the parking lot and knew right away that we were going to have a fucked-up experience: Parked out front was a red Chevy convertible, an early '70s model. It was a replica of the Red Shark, one of the vehicles Thompson rented and trashed during his masterpiece saga, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

"I can't remember the exact circumstances anymore. For some reason, my buddy 'Jackknife' went into the bar a full five minutes before E-Rock did. Maybe I was rearranging the luggage in the trunk. Who knows. Jackknife walked back out into the parking lot, stark white with a terrified look in his eye, like he had just watched one of his pet cats get raped and impaled in front of him.

"'He's here,' Jackknife wheezed. 'It'’s him.'

"He was sitting at a corner table when we walked in with some guys who looked like Hell’s Angel–type bikers. E-Rock was petrified. We sat down at a table in the middle of the room, and I tried to eavesdrop on what Thompson was saying. Anyone who has heard him speak knows that he was terribly hard to understand. I think I comprehended the words 'Las Vegas' at some point, but my memory could be deceiving me.

"Then this guy, who was obviously drunk, walked up to Thompson's table and said, 'Hey, Hunter. I was you for Halloween.'

"'Halloween?'

"The poor guy asked for his autograph, and one of the biker guys said, with a menacing tone, 'Stay away. He doesn’t want to be bothered.'"

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