Posted by: elraymundo at 9:31 am on Wednesday, October 17, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Random, Politics

This is my favorite law in all of Virginiadom:

§ 46.2-842.1. Drivers to give way to certain overtaking vehicles on divided highways.

It shall be unlawful to fail to give way to overtaking traffic when driving a motor vehicle to the left and abreast of another motor vehicle on a divided highway. On audible or light signal, the driver of the overtaken vehicle shall move to the right to allow the overtaking vehicle to pass as soon as the overtaken vehicle can safely do so. A violation of this section shall not be construed as negligence per se in any civil action.

(1989, c. 708, § 46.1-211.1.)

I have two words for the drivers of the nasty old beat-up white Toyota Camry, the shiny new black Ford Explorer and the gleaming red Mitsubishi Eclipse with the black bra on the hood who waddled along in the far left lane on Route 28 this morning:


You are impinging upon my God-given, inalienable right, as guaranteed by Virginia law 46.1-211.1., to drive unobstructed like a bat out of hell with the top down, enjoying the seventy degree Indian summer that the gods of October have given us this year.

I only wish the State of Virginia prosecuted this law with the same vigor it does when passing legislation to deny gays and lesbians their civil rights. Ah, but that’s life in our little redneck paradise for you.

Gunfight at the Tender Thigh Corral

Posted by: elraymundo at 7:37 am on Monday, April 30, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, NFL, Stupid People, News of the Clever

Jeff Watson AI Threat Level: Green - The reader may proceed without danger of reading anything related to American Idol.

- - - - -

Missed the video of George Bush dancing onstage with Africans, banging bongos and making chimp face? Already seen the clip but need something to kickstart your morning? Click here.

Yvette S. once said, “I’ve heard Bush is a great guy, a guy people can relate to, someone they feel like they could hang out with down at the local bar. The problem is I think for President of the United States and Leader of the Free World that we should aim a little higher than ‘good drinking buddy’.”

- - - - -

The NFL draft was this weekend. Minnesota drafted seventh in the first round and picked Adrian Peterson, a running back out of Oklahoma. I think Vikings fans are going to like Mr. Peterson very very much. Watch this (especially the two back-to-back runs starting at 0:52 and then the last two runs in the clip - ZOINKS!) if you want to feel old and slow.

- - - - -

I ran fifteen miles on Sunday, watching the second day of the NFL draft to keep my mind occupied, then mowed the lawn afterwards. I could barely walk to push the mower, not because of muscle soreness or tiredness, but because I’d chafed the sensitive inner bits of my legs. I spent half of Sunday walking around like a bow-legged cowboy getting ready for a shootout at the Tender Thigh Corral. By the feel of things, today will be more of the same.

This would be way cooler if I had some chaps.

Total miles run to date: 203 miles
Longest distance run to date: 15 miles
Upcoming longest distance: 16 miles.
Upcoming miles this week: 32 miles

Amigos de Boosh!

Posted by: elraymundo at 9:11 am on Wednesday, March 7, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, Lotus Blossom, Travel, American Idol, Argentina

Argentine drivers in Buenos Aires use lane markers less as boundaries and more as suggested itineraries for their intended trajectories.

For forty minutes we shot along the freeways leading into Buenos Aires from Ezeiza Airport, rocketing up on the rear bumpers of other cars, tickling their side rearview mirrors, braking and surging and braking again - just enjoying the general madness and chaos that is driving in Buenos Aires. We hurtled past crumbling concrete tenements jammed in and up against each other alongside the freeway, tenements built in the Spanish style with curving lines and arched windows - buildings that actually would have passed for decent with some scrubbing of soot and a coat of paint.

As he weaved in and out of traffic our driver, Señor Jorge Eladio Villa, shouted back to us over his shoulder.

“¿Dónde usted vive?”
“The United States,” I said.
“¿Qué ciudad?”
“Near Washington, DC.”
“OH!” he exclaimed, his eyes dancing in the rearview mirror. “Amigos de BOOSH!”


San Juanino Restaurant and The Debra, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThen Debra, mortified, “Um…no…no no no. No amigos de Bush.”
“No me gusta Boosh,” I reinforced.

Blood-curdling political associations aside, Señor Villa got us into the city safely, although by what repeatedly appeared to be the slimmest of margins, and dropped us off at out hotel in Recoleta, the Park Château Kempinski. Starving, we found an excellent hole-in-the-wall joint called El Sanjuanino and stuffed ourselves with ham and cheese empanadas, - the best we found on the whole trip - San Juanino Restaurant, empanadas and Quilmes beer, Buenos Aires, Argentinatamales and beer. I didn’t care for the tamales much, but then I don’t really care for tamales in general. The empanadas, though, rocked.

We drank Quilmes, the local beer, a pilsner whose only redeeming value was that it was ice cold and it was 89 degrees outside (almost 32 degrees to you Euros) and high humidity. As melodramatic as this sounds, I only drink pilsners under extreme duress. They’re nasty, foul little beers. In fact, pilsners are the Toyota Corollas of beers: meek, harmless and utterly devoid of personality.

But we were in Argentina on a beautiful day strolling the streets of Buenos Aires with three weeks of waterfalls, rainforests and penguins ahead of us. It Statue in Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentinawould take a lot more than a nasty little pilsner to sour the mood.

Up next: Evita Peron and Argentina’s Cemetery to the Stars - Recoleta

- - - - -

P.S. On the American Idol front, it’s an absolute crime that all those poor people in Pompeii had to die horrible, asphyxiating deaths, entombed in volcanic ash when Vesuvius erupted and this useless batch of male contestants is allowed to draw breath. What a pathetic group of singers! It’s a girl’s game to lose at this point.

Virginia Is for Haters

Posted by: elraymundo at 3:38 pm on Thursday, November 9, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, Stupid People

Virginia. Home of George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, a document which outlined the specific rights of the individual and a document which inspired the Bill of Rights, also known as the first ten amendments of the US Constitution.

Virginia. Home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom, a man who once said, regarding the rights of the individual, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.”

Virginia. Home of George Washington. We all know what he did.

Virginia. Home to more Presidents than any other state in the Union; home of the Founding Fathers who built a nation based on tolerance, freedom from persecution (you know, for those Protestant Christians who fled Europe so they could worship without people burning them alive) and the inalienable rights of the individual.

Virginia. Home to a population which, on Tuesday, voted to deny a large number of its citizens (you know, people born and raised here - taxpayers, patriots) their basic fundamental legal and social rights. Rights like healthcare, raising children, owning a home with a white picket fence or enjoying the lifelong and legally recognized companionship of a spouse.

Virginia likes to think of itself as this kind of place:

Virginia Is for Lovers - HA!

The reality is closer to this:

Virginia Is for Haters

Way to go Virginia.

Sumo Wrestlers and Racists

Posted by: elraymundo at 6:30 am on Monday, August 28, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, History, Books & Literature, Stupid People

When I stepped onto the front porch at 4:49 this morning it was already moist and swampy out, like the warm damp spot under the belly flab of a sumo wrestler. Looks like I’m staying indoors today. El Raymundo likes hot humid weather as much as Elvis liked a low-carb diet.

El Raymundo Weatherometer prediction for Monday 8/28/2006: Gross


I just opened and washed a pint of blueberries that I’m going to eat for breakfast. A small snail crawled out and is now making its way across the lid of the container. I guess that’s why you look at what you’re eating before you put it in your mouth, eh?


Of the three books I’m reading right now, one actually gave me a nightmare last night. Here are the three books:

Imperial Reckoning gave me nightmares; the last chapter I read before bed described the torture techniques used by conservative British colonists and settlers to extract information from native Kenyans. The British were fighting to keep their colony in Kenya and used genocide, mass murder, torture and concentration camps to do so. And all this in 1953, only EIGHT YEARS after Hitler’s concentration camps were exposed and the world shouted, “Never again.”

I recently finished the Pulitzer Prize winning history of FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt’s life on the home front during WWII, No Ordinary Time, and was struck by how racist and intolerant America was at that time. I also noticed that every time there was an objection to integration of races, equal treatment of women, tolerance of Jews, fair wages/hours and opportunity for laborers or ethical treatment of American citizens of Japanese descent that it was the conservative element which objected.

With that in mind, I am unable to determine why conservatives maintain support unless it’s to serve as the political voice for bigots, racists, the intolerant, and Big Business. If you’re none of those things (a bigot, a racist, etc) then why would you ever vote for the people who are?

Take this person for example, the schoolbus driver in Coushatta, Louisiana who a few days back assigned seats in the front of the bus for the white kids while the “nine [black] children were assigned to two seats in the back of the bus, and the older ones had to hold the smaller ones in their laps.” Hello? Didn’t we move past this fifty years ago?

I don’t know if that bus driver voted in the last election, but I’ll lay you 20-1 odds if he/she did that they voted for the conservatives.

Lord Cheney of the Sith

Posted by: elraymundo at 8:13 am on Friday, July 14, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, Stupid People, Jokes

Q: What’s the difference between the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the war in Iraq?

A: One outlines the manipulation of a corrupt and complacent democracy into a manufactured war to facilitate the rise to power of a malevolent, oppressive, downright evil force …

… and the other has light sabers.

I can’t take credit for that one - but this fellow can.


This morning I wondered, “If George Lucas decided to make a Star Wars movie out of the current Bush Regime, which administration members would play each role?” I think I have three of them nailed down, but I’m open to suggestions.

Emperor Palpatine - This has got to be Karl Rove, right?

Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith - Cheney. Gotta be. Wasn’t Vader’s armor made by Halliburton?

Jar-Jar Binks - Dubya. “Yes sah, Mee-sa’ll be glad to start illegal unprovoka war without Congressional declaration, level foreign cities an’ villages, blow the legs off Jawas, an’ take the goodwill of entire planet an’ flush it down the toilet. Hooray for Maxi-Big Oil! Oh, an’ does this mean Gungans forget that Jabba bin Laden remains at large-a an’ that my fath-a’s company sold him his blast-as?”

R..k and R..l H..chie K..

Posted by: elraymundo at 1:36 am on Friday, May 5, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Random, Politics

Svenja came to America from Germany as an au pair who didn’t like children. We met in a Bennigan’s restaurant in Springfield – she was blowing cigarette smoke into a Marlboro wrapper and pushing the smoke out through a hole she’d burned in the plastic – and we became friends. One day we went to a video store to rent a movie and Svenja asked what was in the screened off area toward the back of the store. I told her that was where the porno was. She wanted to take a look, so we walked to the back of the store.

A sign hung near the entrance that said, “You must be eighteen years of age to enter this section of the store.” Lining the walls were six-foot tall shelves jam-packed with hundreds of plain brown videocassette boxes. On the spine of each box was a piece of tape with a handwritten number on it, for example 612 or 916 or 703. The original box covers had been flattened and put into plastic sleeves and fitted into in large binders which rested on podiums set in the center of the floor. Each box cover was tagged with a number that corresponded to one of the brown cases on the shelves. There were two binders in the store and that day there was a man hunched over each, silently flipping pages, searching for that perfect piece of erotica to get him through the night.

Eventually one of the men found something intriguing and walked to a shelf, scanned the numbered boxes, and then took his selection from the wall. Svenja opened the recently abandoned binder and flipped disinterestedly through several glossy pages of naked people engaged in all manner of gymnastics. Then she shut the book and wandered out of the porn room and into the Horror section. Among the horror flicks she picked up one box after another and looked at them, each box plastered with gruesome over-saturated images of severed heads, dismembered corpses, reanimated corpses, and women being stabbed, chopped up, and chainsawed.

All this chopping and stabbing got Svenja thinking.

She went to the checkout counter and got the clerk’s attention. The clerk set down a stack of 3×5 notecards she was filing and looked up.

“I have a question,” said Svenja.

“Ok,” said the clerk.

“Why do you have to be eighteen years old and go to a special section of the store in order to watch a sex movie, but any child can look at pictures of chopped up people in the Horror section?”

Obviously not a philosopher, the clerk shrugged and asked Svenja if she was going to rent a movie. Svenja told her no and the clerk went back to filing 3×5 index cards. We left the store without a movie and as we crossed the parking lot Svenja said to me, “This country makes no sense.”

I tell this story because as I drove to Wegman’s with La Raymunda for our weekly grocery binge I heard the local classic rock radio station censor the Rick Derringer song “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”. Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo!

“You’ve GOT to be kidding me” I said to La Raymunda. “That song’s been knocking around the air waves unmolested since 1973!” The irony is that the censored lyric doesn’t actually say what people think it says, so Clear Channel, which owns the local classic rock radio station, is not really censoring a naughty lyric at all, but instead is censoring people’s mistaken idea of what the lyric says. Way to go, Clear Channel!

I suppose it’s the FCC that’s got everybody’s knickers in a twist. As I said, this is a song that has been broadcast as-recorded for over thirty years. At this juncture, what’s the point of censoring it? After thirty years, I’m sure Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo has served its insidious purpose to turn Americans into depraved sex addicts.

To take things one step further, is our government so out of touch that it feels it must safeguard the moral turpitude of our nation by blipping a lyric that doesn’t even say what people think it says? All the while blowing people up in foreign countries and turning a blind eye to horrific genocides in Burundi and the Sudan and the continuing catastrophe in our own backyard down in New Orleans? While I’m not saying that children should ogle “Nympho Cheerleaders, Volume VI”, does it make sense that kids have easy access to the slasher flicks? This confuses me; the Great National Moral seems to be: Sex bad! Violence good! Don’t screw it if you can kill it!

And that takes me back to crossing the parking lot outside the video store with Svenja. She’s right, you know: This country makes no sense.

Jeff Watson Doesn’t Have Gas

Posted by: elraymundo at 9:33 pm on Thursday, April 27, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, Jokes, Friends

Gas Prices in Sterling

Jeff Watson commented on the current price of gas thusly:

Jeff Watson: “The price of gas the day Clinton left the White House (Jan. 2001) was $1.54.”

Me: “How much is $1.54 now? Inflation is what, about 3% per year?”

JW: “The White House says there is no inflation.”

Me: “The inflation rate from JAN 2001 to APR 2006 was 3.36%. So $1.54 is roughly $1.59 in 2006 dollars.”

JW: “Hey America, electing 2 oilmen to the White House was dumb!”

Me: “TWICE!”

JW: “Once. Gore won in 2000.”

Me: “Ah, yes. Correct.”

Jeff also found this great clip of a surprise guest at a recent White House Easter event.

Dubya Knows His Numbers!

Posted by: elraymundo at 5:03 pm on Monday, November 7, 2005
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, Stupid People, Jokes, Friends

Dumb Bush

From Tamsen:

Donald Rumsfeld is giving President Bush his daily briefing on Iraq.

He concludes by saying: “Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.”

“OH, NO!” the president exclaims. “That’s terrible!”

His staff, stunned at this display of emotion, watches nervously as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, President Bush looks up and asks, “How many is a brazillion?”

Jeff Watson Unleashed!

Posted by: elraymundo at 1:19 pm on Monday, November 7, 2005
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, Friends

Jeff Watson sent me this quote after reading Mike Mirenzi’s comments 11/5/2005 on the (growing lack of) separation of Church and State, specifically this quote from Mike: “Other countries elect intellectuals with zero charisma into positions of political power, why can’t we?”

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

- H.L. Mencken

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