Friday, May 15, 2009

Nice Bones, Nicer Taxes, Nicest Season

The TV show ‘Bones’ has really grown on me since I started watching it in reruns. When it debuted I never tuned in because I didn’t care for pre-premier ad campaign. I thought it was just another twist on the cop drama. To an extent it is. This time, they put an anthropologist and other research scientists in place of your run of the mill forensic pathologists. The writing is clever, the plot twists are quirky and the characters are all odd balls without being weird. I came to like ‘Law and Order’ after first watching reruns. But where Law and Order intentionally avoids very much character development outside the precinct and courthouse, Bones gives vivid portraits of this group of people professionally and personally. Bones doesn’t take itself too seriously either. Sometimes it can be the story that stretches credulity, sometimes it’s the technology and sometimes it’s the IQ of some of the characters. I’ve got to say this too, the title character Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist hence the ‘Bones’ nickname, played by Emily DeSchanel, and her co-worker/best friend Angela Montenegro played by Michela Conlin are the easiest women to look at on the small screen.

I was surprised to learn today that Russia has a flat-tax system in place for collecting government revenue. Amazing that a nation that has only been “free” for less than twenty years, and is having real problems defining their version of democracy and market capitalism, managed to get this issue exactly right. I haven’t actually seen it but I’d bet the entire Russian tax code could be written on one of Sheryl Crow’s single sheets of TP. So why, after 223 years of practice is the American tax code nine or ten inches thick?

Spring is here, and as sure as fall follows winter, summer will arrive soon. Summer brings a lot of nice stuff with it. Water sports, cook-outs and outdoor stuff in general, the Fourth of July, football training camp and the thing that makes it all possible, the warmer weather. This is why I don’t like summer very much. I prefer the cool weather of autumn most of all and I can even enjoy the biting cold of mid-February in the northeast. But the heat itself isn’t what bothers me about well, the heat. It is the effect of the heat on the everyday disposition of most folks that turns me off. From June to September people are just way more easily pissed off and hyper-prickly. And it’s because they can’t get out of the heat. Let’s face it, when you start to get hot and sweaty you start stripping off. If you wind up naked and are still uncomfortable hey you’re stuck. I’m talking about the outdoors, not escaping into an air-conditioned Wal-Mart. Uncomfortable people are not much fun to be around. Less courteous, less cheerful and way more impatient. Ever notice how pleasant life seems when the leaves turn? Sleeping with the window open is rest at its restful best. And when you get cold, there is always another layer to throw on. Hell, Alaskans have all kinds of fun outdoors all the way through the winter because there are clothes that can keep a person comfortable – including the lovely Governor Palin. People are nicer the cooler the temperature. What’s more fun? Sitting with your person in front of an air conditioner trying to stop schvitzing, or curling up together in front of a glowing fire? Summertime? Something else that has a reputation that bears small resemblance to reality.

Should marijuana be legalized? I used to be firmly in the ‘no’ camp. Even when I smoked daily for a long time. I believed – no still believe – that it is a gateway drug. Not in the sense that a pothead will crave a greater high and seek out and find the chemicals. That happens a lot less than folks are led to believe. Pot is a gateway drug because being illegal; it puts even the casual user in contact with dealers who are willing and indeed hoping to get the pothead to try coke, crack or any other thing available to increase the dealer’s profit. But, if pot were legal and could be bought in a liquor store, or grown legally for personal use, lots of potheads would never drive to the local stop-and-cop street corner, or ever see the inside of a crack house. Potheads are mellow, like to avoid not create hassles, especially hassles like getting out of the recliner, and will only travel as far as the refrigerator, in an emergency the closest diner. Potheads are certainly never violent, over indulging just leads to nodding off to sleep, not vomiting or life threatening OD’s and smoking it is no more addicting than smoking cigarettes. Less I’d wager. I stopped smoking when I moved to a place where I didn’t know anyone who smoked, didn’t know where the street connections were and wasn’t willing to go on safari. There were no withdrawal symptoms physical or psychological. So now I’m a supporter of legalization, and I’m saving my money for when the day comes. To buy stock in Twinkies and Frito-Lay.


DemBones said...

I love Bones. I don't miss an episode. Quirky is exactly the right description. Zack's story ark has been my favorite. But I disagree about making marijuana legal. People have enough was to get messed up you don't have to make it easier for them. Did NORML pay you for writing that?

Jerry in Jacksonville said...

Summer -long days, swimming, fresher fruit, a cold beer in the shade, bikinis, double headers, outdoor concets

Winter -grey skies, shovling snow, dangerous driving, no watermelon, hockey, stuck inside

Need I go on

Daryl said...

Marijuana is not not harmful. It definitely damages short tem memory. Do you really think letiing your kids see you with a joint in your hand is the same thing as them seeing you with a beer? A>>hole!

SQT said...

Jeez Daryl, you must be a lib-troll. Immediately resorting to name calling because you disagree with someone is not a strategy. Offer some links that back up your point. Blanket statements and name-calling aren't going to cut it.

Auguste Ballz said...

Daryl, you don't happen to have a brother named Larry and another brother named Daryl do you? FYI, I am a tobacco smoker and would not encourage my kids or anyone else to follow my example, I would in fact discourage it.

When my girls come to the age of 'exploration' and start asking me about what I did at their age, I pray they will be sharp enough to be able to hear the truth of my exploits without feeling they have license to do the same. Few teenagers are this aware, but I'll tailor my rules and advice to how they actually are.

For future reference, anger and disagreement can be well expressed without cussin'. Hear what I'm saying?

'manda said...

First, let me just say, I did not agree with Zack's story arc. Having him become a murderer was (with the risk of sounding like Spock) not logical. I admit I am enjoying the merry-go-round of interns, but I still miss Zack.

Second, when one remembers their history lessons, prohibition to be exact, the legalization of marijuana seems to be a good idea. Crime would go down, and control would go up. The worry of buying weed laced with something unsavory would no longer be a factor, because the person you were buying it from wouldn't be a criminal. Plus the amount of money to be made from taxes on weed would fix this country's deficit. Food for thought right? Now where are those Twinkies? I got the munchies.

Auguste Ballz said...

@'manda -I agree with most of what you say about pot except the part about taxes. Pot is in fact a weed. It will grow in most places quite easily. Without much care or need for any equipment to process the grown plant. No distilling equip. needed. If legalization ever comes, it will surely come without restrictions about growing for personal consumption. So if the govt. tries to tax pot, like it does tobacco or alcohol, folks will grow their own, and the expected tax revenue will go up in smoke. - pun intended.

SQT said...

When my brother was a teenager he managed to cultivate a pot plant in our backyard. I think he chickened-out on growing it too big (wisely) but it wasn't hard for him to grow.

Auguste Ballz said...

Summer of junior year in college. I was giving my car the full wash-wax-interior treatment, in my parents driveway. Nobody called it detailing then. After putting the vacuum away, I noticed I'd forgotten to do the footwell on the driver's side. Grabbed a dustpan and small brush, and just swept it. I casually tossed the dustpan contents into the rosebed the folks has along the driveway.

About a month later my Dad says to me "Come over here, I wanto to show you something." And pulls me over to the roses. "What the that?' he says. Looking down I see, maybe 3 inches tall with about 5 leaves, the healthiest little cannabis sprout ever. My Dad never believed my claim of innocence or my suggestion of arbitrary airborne seeding, or that I was not so stupid as to plant pot in the rosebed facing the street.

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