looking for rugs
Sunday, October 12 2003
When the Bush administration says they're going to launch a PR offensive, they're telling us they're going to get Joseph Goebbles on our ass. Forcing our demoralized troops into signing form letters (or forging their names to them) takes things to a whole new level of easily-uncovered awfulness. The way these bastards go about things, you'd think we lived in a closed society and there was no way to find out about their Orwellian tricks. The internet has changed everything - if I have any optimism left in me I have to believe that one of the great benefits of the internet (in addition to the free and abundant porn and music) is that it's harder to pull off pure propaganda campaigns when the message is strongly at odds with reality. When I heard that the Bush administration planned to take their "You're not hearing all the good news about Iraq!" campaign to the regional media while avoiding the major media, I was a little confused. Weren't the major media the same guys who got us into this pickle with their non-critical coverage of the lead-up to war? Why bypass them? All the right people should be Karl Rove's rolodex! And then I got it. The Bushies are still stuck in an early-80s mindset, thinking that the regional press is run by lesser local talents, people who can be easily snowed with propaganda (such as the aforementioned "form letters from the troops" campaign). What they failed to consider was the amazing efficiency of the internet in exposing these sorts of campaigns for the manipulations they are. Remember, people, Google is your truth detector (for the time being at least). If you see something stiff and formulaic in a letter to the editor, take a key phrase from it, put quotes around it, and do a Google search on it. See how many mouths it has been said to come from.
The problem with the carpet at the top of the stairs in "the map room" (or, more accurately, "the television room") is that this is where the animals are mostly likely to puke when they experience upset stomachs, something they do an awful lot considering they're all tee totalers. The carpet's beige color isn't all that bad when it comes to showing most household dirt, but even so it has begun to pick up some puke stains. Gretchen's proposed solution is to get an area rug to cover this part of the floor. The thinking is that the rug should have a complicated design so it can better conceal any future puke stains. The designs we liked best all appeared to be Gustav Klimt inspired, though they're marketed under the brand "new wave" and their advertising copy makes no mention of their greatest influence. The particular catalog Gretchen tried to order from has already sold out their stocks of these carpets (evidently they're the hottest thing in area rugs and we're coming to it a week too late), so we thought we'd go check out carpets at local stores while we were out today taking care of other errands. Supposedly there are a few furniture stores in the High Falls/Rosendale area that cater to people with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy taste.
Our first stop was at the estate on Hurley Mountain Road, the stately stone house with the four dogs. We took them for the first of their two walks today. Our dogs, Sally and Eleanor, were with us too, of course. Gretchen had also brought some sherry, which we drank out of sake glasses in the courtyard.
Next we dropped in on a mutual client and while Gretchen picked up a massive manuscript, I inspected another computer that was in the process of succumbing to a terrible malicious adware infection, something McAfee (as always, protecting the computer like Americans troops guarding the Iraqi National Museum of Antiquities) was doing nothing to prevent. The computer was in such bad shape that I had to take it with me. According to AdAware, the infection was something called "RemanentBHO" and it couldn't be eliminated. This is the infection which spawns processes having random names, with one always ready to start up should its brother-in-maliciousness be killed. This particular infestation was the creepiest I'd encountered so far, since the named processes didn't actually exist as files anywhere on the computer. (I still don't know where they came from.) In the end, back at home, I had to blow away the Windows folder and rebuild the computer's operating system from scratch, which wasn't too hard since it's only used for AOL and word processing.
We didn't see any area carpets in High Falls or Rosendale that were anywhere near as nice as the Gustav Klimt designs we now had in our minds. Any time we get anywhere near Rosendale, we stop in at the Rosendale Café for tempeh reubens, and today was no exception. Since we had our dogs, we ate outside in the back, though it was clear no one had eaten there in weeks. The grass was unmowed and the chairs had accumulated a half inch of fallen leaves. I moved a table to a narrow avenue of setting sunlight and Gretchen somehow convinced the people inside to serve us outside, though one of the staff was unnecessarily reluctant, saying something about how the back would "take an hour to prep." Hello? It wasn't like we needed them to mow the grass.
On the way home, we stopped at the stone house on Hurley Mountain Road and walked the dogs a second time. Try as I might to think of anything interesting to say about this dog walking, nothing comes to mind.
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