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Posted by james on Oct. 12, 2003

Tonight I've managed to drink a bottle of expired and fermented apple juice and a few fruit filled tarts that smell like bad ham, all without noticing.

When you get down to it, humans are pretty much stupid. You could argue with that, Human, but your arguments would be by default stupid and meaningless.

Dogs and Rollercoasters

Posted by james on Sept. 26, 2003

It's kinda funny, and sometimes I fear I'll stop understanding the whole process. I'm going to work, but I don't have time to make lunch. So I stop by the Mac Donalds which is conveniently placed near the road on my way there (how coincidentally convenient) and exchange two paper dollars and some coins for 2 freshly warmed Mac Chickens (which are the most incredible chicken-flavored sandwiches you can get for a dollar). I go to work where I earn work-dollars, which I don't get until payday. On payday I get electonic-dollars, which I don't even see; they magically wisk themselves away (or so I'm told they will) through the ether and ethernet to my bank, which is a Virtual (capital V) Fort Knox. Then I can go to machines, kiosks, and casier stands and exchange some electronic dollars for paper dollars which I give to the nice people in exchange for pasta and a different tomato sauce (as I'm experimenting right now). I come home and cook the pasta and sauce, combine, and eat since a long day earning dollars makes me hungry. But I have to try to get to bed earlier because I need to get up in a decent time to get to work, where the dollar-earning happens. <img src="../share/goodeats.jpg" border="0" align="right"> Fun happens at home, entertainment, but no dollar-earning. Or even dollar-spending. Tomorrow I'll have to stop by the gas station and use up some credit-dollars, which I'll redeem later with electronic-dollars, so I can receive the gas I need to drive to work every morning (except tuesdays). It's kinda funny, and sometimes I fear I'll stop understanding the whole process.

Tree and Bike

Posted by james on Sept. 12, 2003

<i>There once were two friends who lived near each other. They were Tree and Bike. Tree was tall and brown, with lush green leaves in the spring and summer, and twisting, stretching branches in the winter. Bike was not as tall as tree, but he liked to think of himself as Full-Sized. This is because he was originally a child's bike, and he always prided himself that he was taller than the other bikes his age. Tree was a peaceful tree, slow thinking and slow moving (as all trees are, except for a few in africa that run away at the slightest noise). Tree enjoyed the nights the most, when the nearby cars would return home, and it was all quiet except for the chorus of grasshopers and crickets. Bike, however, loved the noise of the nearby road. Above all, Bike wanted to be fast.

"Look at that! Did you see how fast that car was going?", Bike would say. Tree would groan as only trees can groan (houses can too, but then again... they're made of trees).

"It was going as fast as all the other cars here; too fast," he would say, unimpressed.

"No way!" Bike would retort, nearly slipping off his chain in his effort to look dramatically offended. "He must've been going almost 40 m.p.h.!" (Bike always said "Emm-Pee-Aych", since he had never learned that it was an abreviation)

Tree was never impressed with speed, and couldn't understand People's need for it. They were always trying to go faster, so they could go further away, and spend less time at home. He'd seen it happen; when he was a sapling he could remember people spending hours at home. They would even sit outside (!). Then he saw the cars come, and the people spent less time outside until he could barely tell one People from another People.

Tree and Bike had been friends since Bike had moved to town with his owner. At first Bike had been awed by the majestic and tall Tree, and had listened quietly to his stories. Now, however, Bike simply talked and never listened. On and on he went about how fast the cars were and what new bicycles he'd seen pass by. And constantly he reminded Tree that he was fast.

"Oh yeah," began Bike one day, just as Tree was waking up. "I'm sure I'm as fast as a slow car, and maybe faster than all the bikes in the neighborhood." Tree could never get used to how much Bike wanted to boast about himself, and lately he'd become fed up with it.

"Bike, I'm sure you could not beat even the slowest car," Tree boomed out of frustration. Bike stopped dead in his tracks, wheels ajar in surprise.

"Not even downhill?" Bike said, astonished.

"Not even downhill," Tree answered plainly. Bike made no noise, didn't even swing his chain like he always did. He just sat there in silence, squeezing and unsqueezing his brakes in frustration. "That suites me," thought Tree, and they spent the rest of the day without conversation.

But Bike could not pacify his feelings toward tree. "Who does he think he is??" thought Bike as he leaned on his kickstand. "That old tree has probably never moved in his whole life... what does he know about cars? He's never seen me go really fast, downhill with a fast rider. I would beat a car, for sure!" thought Bike assuredly. But his confidence was shaken; he knew that tree was old and wise (for trees are immensely wise, as everyone who stops to pay attention knows), and in his heart, he feared that Tree might be right. It hurt him to know that Tree thought he was simply not fast. After a night of fuming, the sun started to reach over the buildings across the street and Bike's hurt turned to anger, and finally rage.

"I'll show him," Bike hissed as a barely audible squeek of his tires. With his brakes still partly clenched and his chain taught, Bike edged towards tree, careful not to wake him. Now, trees are very heavy sleepers. It takes them hours to fall asleep in the evening and hours to wake up (in fact, everything trees do take hours), so Bike needn't have worried about waking Tree up. But Bike, being a young bike, did not know this. He crept up to Tree's trunk, and then without hesitating for fear of losing his courage, Bike took one swipe with his back wheel and rolled away as fast as he could. On his own side of the yard (which was really only a few feet away from Tree, as Bike usually slept under Tree's branches), Bike looked back on his work. The cut was there; not too deep, as Bike had been in a hurry, but there on the trunk nonetheless. Immediately Bike felt regret that he'd vandalized his own friend, but he convinced himself that it was deserved, and that Tree would wake up and not even notice, and then he quickly fell asleep.

But Tree had been awake that evening, and had even shaken his leaves in that way trees do at night while they snore, to fool Bike. He had watched Bike's slow approach, had stood still while Bike cut his trunk, and had stayed even stiller when Bike retreated and fell asleep. But Tree was not still inside. For Tree was welling up with anger and rage, that only trees can know (exceptions appropriately made to any readers that have had many of their dear friends and family chopped to peaces with axes and chainsaws while they attempted to run away, as they will know what grief trees have). But you know how slow trees can be. Tree immediately started towards Bike, which is to say that no one (except another tree) would have noticed any difference. But there was a difference, and Tree was moving, very slowly, towards Bike with one thought in mind...</i>

The other day I was sitting in my room, typing on my computer. My desk faces the window, so I can see my driveway (and yard) out of the corner of my eye. All of the sudden, I heard a cracking sound, followed by a WHOOSH and then I noticed some commotion outside. I looked, and I saw my bike, hidden underneath a tarp, and covered by a broken branch. It was a tangled mess, the branch had smashed the bike so hard that it fell to pieces on top of it. I stared for a while, was tempted to laugh, then wondered. I didn't know what to think of it...

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<img src="../share/tree_and_bike.jpg" border="1">

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