Friday, August 02, 2002

Don't get me wrong, I love it here in Hawaii. I gotta admit, though, sometimes I really miss Gotham City and all the good times I had there. So you can see how I really got a kick out of both Batman and Robin taking the time to call and see how I was doing in the last couple weeks.

BRRRRIIINNNGGGG!!! Well, will you speak of the devil, there's the phone again. I wonder who it could be?


Hello, Alfred?

Ms. Gordon!

Yeah, hi Alfred, uh how are you?

Oh I'm OK young lady, but how are YOU doing? Robin told me some disturbing things.

Oh. Well. Robin's a little liar, Alfred, you know that. Like, remember when Egghead was hiding at Farmer John's, and he said he was gonna go around back and find another entrance? He went to go play video games at 7-11 Alfred, I can prove it you know.

Well, Barbara, that's all in the past. The thing to talk about now is what you are doing. Is it true what I hear about you being on ice?

Alfred, the only ice I'm using is for my vodka tonic. Gawd that little punk. When I get through with him… Like he doesn't have his own problems, have you seen the gut on that little turd lately?

So it's not true?

Of course not!! I'm a respectable crime-fighter!! But shit, it's such an embarrassment being associated with Batman now, I had to change my name!

Really? And what are you called now?

Check it out: Ratgirl!!! Pretty scary huh? I figured if a Bat scares people, think what a rat will strike into those villains' hearts!!!

Um… I guess so. But Barbara, there's a certain amount of disgust associated with Rats, isn't there?

Ah hell no, Alfred. Rats are cool. In fact, when I was staying over at my friend's place downtown a couple weeks ago, the rats over there seemed really nice, they brought me cheese, told me stories, all kinds of stuff. My favorite one's name was Popo.

Uh, really.

Oh yeah, that and the beetles. They're assholes, though.

Have you told your father, the Commissioner about this?

Oh, hell no. He wouldn't understand. You're the only one that understands, Alfred. And you're not here anymore. There's no one to trust anymore, just Popo. He's the only one besides you that really understands. Besides, Daddy is fuzz! He's the cops! I can't tell him I'm secretly Ratgirl!! I'm already wanted, because Ratgirl, uh…

Barbara, what happened, tell me.

Well, my first case as Ratgirl kind of went down hill after I stopped these jewelry store burglars. I took them all out, and stopped the crime, but the jewelry was never recovered. Now they think I took it! Which, uh, of course, I mean, I don't have any jewelry, I pawned all of mine.

Barbara, please, get help.

Alfred, do you think you could send me some money?

For what?

Uh, for books, I'm going to school.

What kind of school?

Uh, college, you know, I'm gonna study astrology.

Don't you mean astronomy?

Oh yeah that.

I gotta go Batgirl.


Oh, yeah. Sorry, but I really must be going. The bridge club will be here in five minutes and the turkey needs basting.

Well screw you then!

Ms. Gordon, really...


hello? oh dear...

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Maui Day 4

Well, well, well, my little munchkins, you probably thought that I would just blow off finishing my Maui story, but I am a firm believer in finishing what I start, and I've actually been getting some positive feedback on my little running travelogue, so, here you go.

For those that haven't read the first three THRILLING and WILD and OUTRAGEOUS editions of the Pennyworth Maui trip, well, I could send you searching through the archives, but I am much too gracious a host for that, so here you go:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Ok, now where was I, oh yeah day 4. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, there was some crazy lady with a butcher knife screaming at me about vive la revolucion, oh, wait, that was the French revolution.

Maui. That's the ticket. OK let me turn on my super memory…..

Well day 4, which was Saturday, 4th of July weekend, was probably our mellowest day. You know how every trip there's that one day where you sleep in, kind of take it easy, and see what happens. That was day 4. So after wandering around Lahaina for a little while in the morning, we hopped in the temporary pennyworth-mobile and headed towards Kihei. Our plan was to just drive south down the coast that runs along the southwest side of the island until the road ended and see what we bumped into.

After about twenty minutes, we were at the junction where the highway from Lahaina hits the highway heading over towards Kihei. Here they have one of those 76 gas stations slash Carl's Jr. setups. Now you may have heard me rant in this space before about my disturbance at the trend of combining different franchises into one spot, like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. That one bothers me. For some reason however, I like the 76/Carls Jr. matchup. Call me crazy but gas and burgers sounds right to me. Especially the Bacon Western Cheeseburger, so I rounded up one of those puppies with some onion rings, some fried zucchini for Mrs. P, filled up the Kia (damn that thing SIPS gas, super economical) and we were on the road again, just like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid, except we weren't running from the law, and we were a married couple, and, uh, I don't know, leave me alone, I'm rambling alright??

So we start driving through Kihei and it's a pretty cool area, nice beaches all the way down the road, Kihei is a pretty good size city, lots of strip malls and restaurants. We stopped at one pretty nice beach and walked around for a while. As we were walking, all these trucks start driving down the road. One after another after another, big rig trucks, must have been 100 at least pass by, and they were honking, and people were waving, it was a like a truck parade. So like a little kid I go up to the road and start pumping my arms so they'll pull the horn, and of course they do. Loved that when I was a kid on long road trips, once you were sick of the alphabet game (finding the letters on road signs or cars from A-Z) you could always entertain yourself by getting the truckers to honk at you.

Anyway so that was kind of trippy. I wonder if the truckers union was striking? Or if it was Maui trucker day or what. Never did figure that out. So whatever. We keep driving, more awesome beaches, stopped for some ice cream, kept on cruising down the road, stopping here and there to take in the scenery. The road down this coast is basically one long beach, so there's plenty of places to stop and just jump in the water and cool off and hang out.

After a little while we were getting into Wailea, which is a resort district past Kihei. We stopped at one beach around here which was really chill, and went for a dip and hung out for a while. It was hot as hell this day I remember, so we got back on the road.

So after cruising through Wailea, we kept heading south and found a turn-out for Makena beach. There was a lot of people in the parking lot, so we stopped to check it out. Beautiful spot. It's called Big Beach, and we didn't figure out until later why. It's a huge beach, with a killer view of Kahoolawe. Kahoolawe is a very small Hawaiian island that until recently was used by the military as target practice for all their bombs and other weapons of destruction. The environmentalists are now working on cleaning it up, which means going out there and sniffing out all the bombs that may or may not have gone off already. Anyway, killer view from this beach. Really crowded, lots of hippies, burnouts, tourists, locals, all kinds of people, cool scene. So as I mentioned, we found later it's called Big Beach because if you hike over this ridge that's on the far right side of the beach, there's another, little beach, over there. I saw people hiking up there, but I was too lazy and tired and chilled out to bother with it. But later we saw a postcard with the other little beach, and it looks kind of cool.

So back on the road. There didn't seem to be much more, but we kept going, and pretty soon, we were driving through the lava flow. Even though the big island of Hawaii is the only island with current volcanic activity, Maui was the most recent one before that, so there is a large section of the south part of the island that is covered by the dried lava. I mean, technically, the whole island is old lava, but this is just more recent, and hasn't broken down into fertile soil and all that good stuff yet. So we drove through the old lave flow until the road totally went to shit, and there's a little rocky beach at the end of the paved road, where we chilled out and took in the view and that was about it.

Then it was back in the car for the drive back up the coast. We stopped at a few beaches we hadn't hit on the way down. Did a little more swimming and splashing, and then headed back to Lahaina for a chilled out evening.

Next: Day 5 - Upcountry Maui and the flight home

Very busy morning here at the skunkworks. Busy is good, but by its nature, it is busy. For example, Sam Malone at Cheers wants a lot of people to come in his bar, cause then he makes a lot of money. But if 500 merchant marines walk through the doors all at once, it's a very hectic atmosphere, there's beer flying everywhere, Norm is getting squeezed out of his favorite chair, Cliff is getting flustered, and it's just too much posse.

That's a little how I feel right now, too much posse. Busy is good, busier I get, the more paper lines my plaid parachute pants, but this kind of busy is like having a closeout special on miller lite on the 4th of July. Duck down dog, it's gettin hairy.

Anyway, that's all I have time for right now, blog, just enough for a pet, a stroke, a kind word. Now buzz off I got shit to do.

Bumpin on the new phat Panasonic system: Tom Petty, Full Moon Fever, but I skipped Free Fallin, too played out.


Wednesday, July 31, 2002

The Clippers made a trade, and despite some sentimental feelings, I think it was a good one.

Andre Miller (pictured) is a damn good point guard. Fast, distributes the ball well, isn't usually concerned with his numbers and flashy plays (both of which he is capable of putting up) and is a winner. The only problem is the last time he's had a chance to really win was in college at Utah. The guy's been stranded in Cleveland for the last few years. You may remember him as the scrappy Utah point guard who somehow willed the Utes to the NCAA championship game only to get stomped by (Kentucky? I think so.) Anyway, I know they lost. But the miracle of a WAC team getting to that final game was not lost on anyone, and this was the year after Keith Van Horn left for the pros. Rick Majerus is a good coach, big belly and wacky sweaters and all that, but he ain't that good. Andre Miller willed that team, along with some fine play from their big men, to that final game.

Anyway, I'm rambling. This guy is good. Which leads to what they had to give up for him. Darius Miles. The straight-out-of-high-school phenom that could jump out of the gym, threw down thunderous dunks, started the whole two fists on the forehead thing after a big play last year, which I LOVED. Now he's gone.

The other two players involved in the trade were just thrown in their for cap space issues, I'm assuming, but the clips got the better on that too it looks like. Picked up Bryant Stith and gave up Harold Jamison (who? precisely.) Not that Bryant Stith is going to strike fear in anyone's hearts, but he can play decent d and put up a few points here and there.

So overall good trade. Bummed about Miles leaving, he was a lot of fun, but Andre Miller is a real deal point guard, which the clips need. Plus his contract is up after this year, so he'll be playing his ass off to get the big bucks in free agency.

OK enough clipper talk.

Have I mentioned enough times how frikken good the new DJ Shadow album is? Buy it. Or have your friend burn it for you, which I did. He even threw on some songs off of Shadow's collabo record with Cut Chemist, and it is the shiznit. Sorry I didn't buy it Shadow, but my friend did, vinyl, the English Import edition, so I didn't like pirate it or anything, and I'm doing serious promo for you right? right.

I'm bumping it on my brand spankin new PHAT Panasonic mini-system. The Philips was starting to skip all over the place, so I had to return it, which leads to another story, entitled:

The Pimp get Pimped, and likes it!
Joey goes Yugo shopping and picks up a new Caddie


Kool Keith as Mr. Bojangles
Slick Rick as the wily sales person
and a cameo by Mr. T as the angry Mail-Man

So it went like this, my frikken philips mini-system was fuckin up big-time. And I look at the calendar yesterday and sure enough, it's 31 days since I bought it, and of course, the return policy is for 30 days. So I call up Circuit City and plead my case, telling them basically that I'm a lactose intolerant quadroplegic, and that the skipping is causing my pacemaker to lose rythm and could they please make an exception. They say, alright, we'll make an exception, but you better be pretty fucked up looking when you get here.

Gyeah, I am the pimp, right?

So I gather up the stereo and cruise to the store. Return the thang, no problemo, then go check out what I can replace it with. The Phillips I had was the last one, the display unit, that's why I got it so cheap (and why it was fukked up too probably) so I can't just replace it with the same thing. So I ask the sales guy, what's the best little system for around x amount dollars? "Oh you gotta hear this one." Long story short, I heard it, it was the shit, it ruined me for every other system in the frikken store, and it was about a hundred bucks more than the last one I bought, and I fell hook line and sinker. I was even telling the guy as he processed the order, "Dude, you just worked me, I thought I was the pimp, and now, it's like, I'm working the streets for you man." And he winked at me and suddenly he was wearing a leopard skin coat with a flamingo skin liner and a giant sombrero with bells hanging from the brim.

"Get out there and get my money BITCH" he screamed.

I ran away, picked up my PHAT panasonic system, and with a smile on my face, went home.

It was worth it, it sounds super good.

OK - all I've done is blah blah blah blah, and I've got shit to do so laters.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

We've got a little running joke here at the office, and every once in a while, it generates big laughs.

If you answer phones in an office, you've probably encountered the "phone bandits" that call every so often, trying to get you to switch your long distance services. Just as often as not, these people are shameless charlatans, getting you to switch to some fly-by-night dummy company, and taking some kind of commission cut on the switch. Then you've got to call your phone company and switch every thing back over.

Anyway. To fuck with these people, as well as anyone else selling something or wanting money for the policeman's ball, or whatever, we developed a little system. We'd say "Oh, you have to talk to Pat regarding that." Now here's the trick. Pat doesn't exist. We came up with the name from that old SNL skit with the "Pat" that no one could tell if it was a man or woman. This led to our fucking with people a little more. They'd call and say "Can I speak to Pat?" to which we'd answer, as always, "Oh, Pat's not here right now." To which they'd say, "Do you know when he'll be back?" At this point we'd act annoyed with a hint of outrage, and say "SHE will not be back until tomorrow, dumbass!" (We wouldn't say dumbass, but at that point, it was kind of implied.) This would usually shame them into not calling for a couple days.

The joke, like any other good thing, has been refined and developed as time has gone by. Last year I pushed the envelope and added a last name to our imaginary friend Pat. This last name is McGroin. Say it to yourself a couple times. Funny, right? but not immediately apparent if you're not looking for it.

So now we get calls with people asking to talk to Pat McGroin. And this morning, I landed a nice fish and toyed with it on the line for a little while It went something like this: (Keep in mind, my boss was standing in my office cracking up the whole conversation.)

"Hello, Pat McGroin please."

"Oh, Mr. McGroin isn't here right now."

"Oh, well, do you know when he'll be back?"

"Well, Mr. McGroin's schedule is very hectic, you never know with him, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day. You never know what will pop up with Mr. McGroin."

"Oh, uh, well is there anyone else there that is authorized to make decisions regarding your long distance service?"

"Oh no, Mr. McGroin handles that exclusively, and he gets very upset if someone else tries to get involved. This office is not a nice place to be if that happens. He's apt to explode!"

"Oh, uh, I see, well, do you know what long distance carrier you currently have?"

"Mr. McGroin won't even tell us, he's very secretive about it. He's like a dog with a bone."

"I see, well, I guess I'll try later."

"ok, have a nice day."


Good times.

So I wake up, kiss my wife good morning, stumble to the bathroom, pee (with amazing accuracy accounting for time of day and mind state), and I start thinking, "Hey, I'm pretty awake, I'm doing good, I'm kicking ass, this day is mine." Then it happens. I look in the mirror to survey the damage, and there he is.

That little Columbian guy, and his mule. I couldn't see the mule, or donkey, or ass, or burro, or whatever the fuck that thing is, but I knew it was there, laughing at me, it's horsey teeth gnashing back and forth, slobbering, eyes cross-eyed and staring at some unknown, unseeable, guiding force.

The little Columbian guy was standing behind me, in the shower, holding a plaid thermos, a sickening grin spread across his whiskered face. "Morning java, senor, recuerdas, amigo."

yes... master... I.... will.... obey....

Next thing I knew, I was eating cheerios, sucking down sume OJ, and yes, swigging the Thai Mocha Kings Coffe that your mama warned you about. And it was delicious, and I'm not ashamed, and I'm still a good person, and I always clean behind my ears, and... and...

Well denial is more than a river in Egypt, but the early bird does catch the worm, and well, you know what they say about two in the hand, so, I decided fuk it.

Just so you know:

The new DJ Shadow album is the best record of the year so far. Each listen I go a little deeper into my consciousness and find a nugget of wisdom. Then I take it out into the yard, bury it, and maybe in six months, I'll have a garden of knowledge. GYEAH.

Y Tu' Mama Tambien is the best movie of the year so far. If you haven't seen it, get off your ass. Maybe it came out last year but I saw it this year so deal with it. If you need some form of American validation, ie cold hard cash box office factor, the director of this flick has been tabbed to helm the 3rd Harry Potter movie, which is basically like getting asked to milk the golden goose and keep some coins for yourself there, buddy. So stuff that in your abacus mr. beancounter. Another amazing movie from south of the border is Amores Perros, which you must rent cuz it rules. There is a quiet revolution in Mexico, and luckily it doesn't involve guns or knives but is based on film cameras and gaffers and grips and best boys and all those other things you see when you sit all the way through the film credits at the end of the movie, which I always do.

The weather here in the islands has been so fukn hot and muggy and sticky and wet it feels like fukn Alabama. I'm waiting for Skeeter and Marilou to come callin with a batch of rabbit stew or some shit. Supposed to clear up today, but we'll see. My wooden leg can usually tell how that's gonna go, and it's telling me humidity factor 12.

Well, seems like a skunk tail cut stuck in the thresher, so ol mr. Pennyworth has to put on his full body galvanized rubber suit and go swimming in some radioactive waste and fish that bastard out.

till next time...

Monday, July 29, 2002

Chilling out, listening to Maiden, and just diggin' on all the good vibes in bloggerville.

First I get a shout out Friday from my good friend hoaloha, an island girl stranded out in la la land with my main homey aquaman, lord of ruby sattelite system, where beats are brewed and views askewed.

Then, this morning I find out I guest-blogged on Tony Pierce, which had my 2-way blowing up with the likes of Slick Rick, Snoop Dogg, and Devin the Dude calling to say congrats. I let Slick Rick know sorry about the deportation dude, that sucks.

Then I see some very kind words from my compadre Hosemonster aka the modern day renaissance man.

Then the ever-freekin Meesh, from her throne of diamond encrusted argentinian kitchen tile, gives me props on her site and makes my head swell to gargantuan proportions.

Then it happened, I was brought back down to earth while reading Moxie, which linked to Carson Daly's new blog, and that frikken top 40 casey kasem wannabe jacked my blog design!! This means war Daly, you're going down disco king!!!

Balance grasshopper, balance is what keeps a ninja in touch with his chi

that and his nunchuks sensei. hai.

Well put me in a dress and call me Suzy, I was given quite an honor this weekend.

This is what it must feel like being Carrot Top and Jay Leno calls up asking if you'd guest host the tonight show. Or being Manute Bol, and Shaq wants to know if you'd hold down the center spot on the Lakers for him for a game or two. Your humble host was a guest-blogger over at tony pierce yesterday! I am credited as my alter ego, kool keith, but that's little old me. Thanks Tony for the pub and the traffic!!

So check out my major label debut. It's a little ditty about my buddy Rion Dark.

I'll be back later to check on you kids, so no drawing on the walls or pouring syrup on the dog.

peace out

Alfred Pennyworth aka Kool Keith aka C-Dog aka the ultrablogger