I must wish my boy Alfred congratulations on a big victory today. A pity that it comes at the expense of a Big 10 team and the school of a couple of bloggers I have just recently started reading. Sometimes life is a balancing act, I suppose.

Speaking of new bloggers, I love it when people call bullshit on me, or call me on a bluff, or an error or whatever. It keeps me honest. Not that I'm gived to hyperbole or anything, no no no.

Happy weekend everyone, and let's all hope that Anna can pull off the big win tomorrow. Can you imagine what Tony would put together if that happened?

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My elementary school had urinals in the boy’s bathroom that extended up from the floor about 3.5 feet. If for some reason you have never seen a urinal like this, it’s usually set against the wall, and the bottom is actually set into the ground, so that the bottom of the urinal is about 3-4 inches lower than the ground.

Why am I interested in this, you ask?

A few nights ago I was patronizing the facilities at a certain neighborhood bar when I realized that those three urinals in the boy’s bathroom next to Miss Mann’s classroom are the first tinklers that I strongly remember.

You always remember your first time.

But my reverie of trips to the john past suddenly turned sour when I remembered my very first encounter with these giant porcelain gods.

I was a small child. An extremely small child. For the first year and a half after having me, my parents were rather concerned that I was a dwarf. Then my head started growing, so they calmed down. And my body started catching up with my head a few years later. But I was still quite short. The first year I played basketball, the coach actual had to lift me up so I could shoot the ball, because my arms were not strong enough to get the ball high enough to go in the basket.

So place yourself in my shoes now and imagine how you would feel on your first day of kindergarten, already knowing that if you have an issue in the bathroom, you cannot scream out “MOM!” and the whole thing will improve. I’m gearing myself up to go and be a big boy, remembering that I don’t have to drop my pants all the way to my ankles to succeed in my mission. Deep breath. I push open the door.

And there he was. Goliath the Urinal, menacing in his porcelain resplendence.

He towered above me, whispering to me with such forcefulness that I nearly turned ran out the door, “Come on kid, give me your best shot. Let’s see what you got.” Never mind the fact that I wasn’t even sure I could reach the flush lever on top of Goliath to signal the end of a successful trip to the bathroom; how the hell was I supposed to concentrate and pee into something I could easily stand inside? This thing could have been a porcelain sarcophagus for all I knew. I was a little freaked. And by this time, I really had to go.

And that’s when fate intervened in the form of second grade menace Clayton Jeffries. In time I grew to fear him for his dodgeball prowess, but on this day, he was on par with the angels. I might have had a little accident that day but for him.

So with new confidence, I stepped up and slew Goliath. And a year later, when I could finally reach the flush lever, my domination over him became complete, and he served me well for five more years.

But to this day, I still prefer wall mounted urinals.

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Damn Blogger ate half of my last post and won't let my fix it. Ignore what's below.

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”ahhhhhhhhhhh”My elementary school had urinals in the boy’s bathroom that extended up from the floor about 3.5 feet. If for some reason you have never seen a urinal like this, it’s usually set against the wall, and the bottom is actually set into the ground, so that the bottom of the urinal is about 3-4 inches lower than the ground.

Why am I interested in this, you ask?

A few nights ago I was patronizing the facilities at a certain neighborhood bar when I realized that those three urinals in the boy’s bathroom next to Miss Mann’s classroom are the first tinklers that I strongly remember.

You always remember your first time.

But my reverie of trips to the john past suddenly turned sour when I remembered my very first encounter with these giant porcelain gods.

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Excuse gentlemen, but have you seen... er, sorry to intrude.

It's no problem at all. We're just taking a break from the board meeting.

I see. So uh, how's it going?

Not too bad at all. James over there was just suggesting that we go to Spearmint Rhino after the meeting.

While you guys are peeing?


In a piss cabin?


While you're all peeing at the same time?

Why not?

Seems a little weird to me.

Actually, these johns on the sidewalk were one of the big reasons I decided to take this job. If you're tall enough, you can have a conversation with the guy directly across from you.

While you're taking a leak? What's so great about it?

It's polite to look people in the eye while you're conversing with them.

You said it Bruce.

Hell yeah. I hate those guys who look at the ground when they're talking. And the worst is when you have a conversation with a guy in the can and he's boring a hole in the wall in front of him with his eyes. It's just rude.

But, it's kind of weird, isn't it?


Talking to someone while you're taking care of business?

Would you prefer that I just ignore you?

While I'm peeing?


I don't think it would bother me at all. I'm in there to answer nature's call, not challenge you to billiards for the next round.

Too late. Joe's already got that one.

I'm going to kick your ass this time Bruce. 8-ball, corner pocket. Boom!

So this is common?

Look kid, just because we're holding our dicks on the sidewalk and discharging waste products from our bodies doesn't mean that we cannot act like normal human beings. Right Lance?

Hold on, my cell phone's ringing. Hi Honey.

Give me a break. I thought talking on the cell phone in the stall was bad enough.

Hey kid, there's a reason we all have two hands.

I'm getting out of here.

Why the hurry?

I have more pictures of urinals to look at.

Take it easy!

See you next time!


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I'm in search of a picture of a full-length urinal for a very important blog effort, but I'm not finding any success. If you're bored and want to look for one and tell me where I can find it, that would be great (must be one of those full length, like 4" high ones...).

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You'd think I had sex with a supermodel last night or something with how happy I woke up this morning, even though I was dead tired and played a little drum beat on my snooze button. (I didn't actually have sex with a supermodel last night - that's tonight's diversion.)

Why? I think I just had a really nice evening last night and was still riding the high this morning.

My fellow library night watchmen and I kicked off the famed Beer League Darts competition last night. My cohorts and I, the Duff All-Stars, won our first match last night. I'm not a stellar darts player, but I was thinking I had snagged a number of great watchmen teammates, because they were talking all about strategy for doubling in and out on 301 and all sorts of things. Me, I just go up there and chuck the pointy things at the board. But in the big rubber match, with our team needed to hit three bulls-eyes to take the game, I toed the line and painted the center of the board twice of my first turn and then closed the game the next turn and we celebrated with a round of Berghoff's.

Later that night I had a few more beers with my married friends (it seems that everyone I know now is married, engaged or seriously dating. Kind of takes all the pressure off of me. I'm that character in the movie who always shows up at the party with no date, after everyone has been debated which girl I was going to bring. And I closed the evening off with a great conversation that was completely unexpected and ended up keeping me out of my bed for far longer than I had intended, but such is the way of things.

But I'm tired today. Damn I'm tired. And my body aches all over.

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I linked to this page earlier today, showing pictures British storekeepers had put up today informing their customers of a moment of silence. If you haven't looked at it, go there now. If you have seen it, go back. Read the comments. All 200 of them. I had to leave one that shows up about 12:27 of 9/12 on the site.

And thanks to Tony, who directed more people to the Briton's fantastic site than I ever could have. It needs to be seen.

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Today I will simply be posting good things I have read, because I don't want to talk about it myself anymore. And even though I mentioned earlier that we need to move on and not dwell on this date too much, I think we can successfully move on by remembering the positives that have come out of the last year. That will be today's focus.

This is why Tony Pierce is my hero.

If you ever wondered if the English have any bad blood left with the US, look at this.

Ken Layne puts up my other favorite post of the day so far. I'm still a Californian at heart, though I've been away from LA for over 5 years now, and the gut reactions he talks about as similar to an earthquake ring true. Not only that, he makes great points about the importance of blogs in how we have all grown in the last year.

Probably more to come after my next class.

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I remember what happened a year ago tomorrow. I remember exactly how the day started, where it started, and how it progressed, pretty much right up to the point where I had to get up from watching the TV to run to 7-11 to get a Coke. And the rest of the day gets fuzzy after that.

I will remember tomorrow as well, because I expect when I wake up, I will see that the Hose Monster Blog has gone over 1,000 hits. Again, I note that most of the blogs that I read garner that much readership every hour, but still, it's a special number. I'll keep the 2002 version of tomorrow as a special day, because even though this blog is really for my purposes only, and I enjoy it for what it is and not for how many people read it, I do nonetheless greatly enjoy sharing arguments, stories and fiction with all of you, and I am extremely flattered that many of you come here day after to day to check in with me. Thanks everyone for your comments, email, suggestions and guidance.

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I must take a moment and be extremely male.

Tony put up a great picture of the Daisy Princess today. She looks stunning - look at those eyes. I'd copy it here, but frankly, my site is not cool enough to have something like that on it.

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Question for all of you:

Given the common argument that confidence is attractive (and I agree), would you rather date someone who was very socially confident but lacked a lot of personal confidence in their mind, personality and future, or would you rather date someone with not as socially confident, but fully believed in his or her future and was happy with the person he or she was?

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I am proud to say that I am a fan of one of Page 2's worst college football teams ever. Only two spots away from taking the top spot. A special honor.

I blogged yesterday about talking about September 11. I wasn't going to do tributes, or talk too much about lost innocence or anything else that any of us can catch on Wednesday. Tony and Alfred both make good points on the matter. We shouldn't let it go, but dwelling might not be the best answer either. And speaking personally, I had a terrible stretch of days at this time last year, and while I am currently having ups and downs, I'm doing a lot better than I was a year ago. And I'm not going to dwell on last year either. It happened. I'm past it. I developed a little more character and thickened my skin a touch then, and here I am a year later, the better for it. And that's that.

So this week will be more of the same mundane crap. I'd love to talk about it more, but I have to go looking for cheap airfare to DC now.

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Maybe I should blog drunk more often. I would have never guessed that my last post would have generated as much interest and good tips as it has. I love it when people leave me comments.

Louisiana left a couple of interesting comments regarding using musical instruments as a bridge to picking up women, claiming that guitar players have an advantage in picking up ladies. I told her that I play guitar, and for the most part it has not afforded me any great advantages. (Some of the stuff I tell you about myself in this blog is true, but much of it is pure fiction. For the record part, the guitar part is absolutely true.) She says I'm simply looking in the wrong places.

This raises something of a quandary in my head: I have known a number of girls who see performers in bars or whatever and immediately find them attractive and go out of their way to meet them. And I don't blame them. Musical talent is very sexy, both in women and men. But I think it works differently if someone does not see you actually playing. My performing is mostly restricted to the darkness of my bedroom before I go to bed at night. And I think if I were to try and bring up in conversation with a girl in a bar the fact that I play guitar, or whatever other "sexy thing" you want to throw it, it would just look like I am trying too hard.

Of course, this assumes I can initiate conversation in bars with girls, which I usually don't, because I always think that before I even say my name, they'll just think I am trying to get into their pants. And maybe I am months down the line or whatever. But the thought of someone coming up to me with that express interest makes me think I would never want to talk to them, so why, in the reversal of roles, would they want to talk to me? Maybe it's a confidence issue, but I tend to think of myself as a pretty confident person. Oh well - to tell the truth, I'm really not all that concerned about finding a girl. I'm like Robby in that I think about girls and sex a lot, but at this point, it's just a daydream, because I'm not getting any, and in all honesty, I have much greater things occupying my thoughts these days.

But getting back to the guitar thing: I think a lot of guys honestly do own one and try to learn it because of the rumor that girls go for guys who play. And if it is in fact true, why not? Personally, I started playing because I wanted to be the next incarnation of Kurt Cobain, but without all the drugs and happiness problems. I have kept playing because I find some catharsis in doing so. I play for myself only, to relax, and for the occasional privilege of watching someone else floor me with their talent. (I finally got the chance to play for a friend of mine who enjoys singing this summer. Just a beautifully smooth and sultry voice tucked away in raw form in this little body trying to get out. It was terrific, and that hour was worth the calluses on my fingers later that night.)

But maybe I should just start carrying my guitar around and see what happens. Could be an interesting experiement. Hell, I already carry thirty pounds of crap with me everywhere I go. My back will hardly be able to tell the difference.

Changing veins, we're obviously nearing the September 11, and I think many of us who keep a blog have been wondering what to do about that in the last few days. Moxie is the first person I have seen to broach the topic in her blog. So far this year I have spent a lot of time remembering how the three weeks surrounding that date (before and after) constituted the most difficult and trying period of my adult life. That September 11 coincided with this period obviously served to exacerbate the difficulties I was already experiencing. I'm sure I will write about that in the next few days, as I remember how I managed to survive on the strength of one person, who basically carried me through a very dark period of my life and set me down in what would become the longest sustained happiness I can remember.

But at some point I might have to give in to the temptation to talk about the meaning of September 11. In the wealth of reactions I have heard on the matter in the last year, in the conspiracy theories and the anger directed against our government, in the undeserved hatred directed against Arabs living in this country, and in the jingoism and actual and deserved patriotism that day spurred, something undefined still sits out there in me. I believe, in some strange and probably terrible way, that September 11 was a good thing for all of us. I'll think about articulating that later. In the meantime, I'm going to relax, have a beer and play my guitar.

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