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Friday, September 29, 2006

This Is What I Get for Hitting the "Translate This Page" Link

A selection from a page that was originally in German:

First the caption under the photo:

“The number of applications for the theory to the Kauffrau or to the buyer decreased last strongly”: Daniel Alig, apprentice responsible person of the bank Linth with training daughter Sarah Gämperli in the branch Rapperswil.

Next, the first paragraph of the story:

Still Daniel Alig applications for a KV-training place in the coming summer receives. Alig is apprentice responsible person with the bank Linth at the head office in Uznach. Numerous training places are however already assigned for 2006. The district bank received approximately 60 applications in the past months, first in July. Those are clearly less than in the years before; a fact also the different banks determined. To occupy the bank Linth has eight training places, ever two in the four regions Linthgebiet, Zurich lake, Ausserschwyz and Sarganserland. “Past year had we approximately 60 applications alone for the region Linthgebiet”, says Alig. It can only courage-measure reasons for this salient decrease: “On the one hand resuming schools might have been made tasty for the school leaver. On the other hand I can also imagine that the attractiveness of this teachings suffered, because numerous Lehrabgänger finds no more place.” A further reason could be the 2002 imported KV-reform. It should the training enterprises revaluations. In addition, thus of them and the expenditure of the apprentices in the school teaching rose. To the defiance; with the quality of the applications Alig constituted an increase.

You can't make this up.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

News Item

I wasn't planning on publishing anything here today--all my blogging energy will be directed at Shooting Off My Fat Trap, my political blog, which might be pretty busy in coming days--but I heard something on XM this morning that I just had to share. The easiest way to explain it is to quote from this version of the story as it appears on

LATEST: Songwriter PAUL VANCE has blasted reports he's dead, insisting it was an imposter who passed away earlier this month (06SEP06). Vance, best known for co-writing the 1960 novelty song ITSY BITSY TEENIE WEENIE YELLOW POLKA DOT BIKINI, has been inundated with concerned calls after news broke yesterday (27SEP06) that he'd died of lung cancer. However, the irate musician insists the victim, 68-year-old PAUL VAN VALKENBURGH of Ormond Beach, Florida, was an imposter who claimed to have written the hit himself under the name of Paul Vance. The real Vance admits he was astonished to read his obituary in newspapers, and see two of his horses dropped from races yesterday (27SEP06) because people believed he had died. He says, "Do you know what it's like to have grandchildren calling you and say, 'Grandpa, you're still alive?' "This is not a game. I am who I am and I'm proud of who I am. But these phones don't stop with people calling thinking I'm dead." Van Valkenburgh's widow ROSE LEROUX, who claims never to have known her late husband was lying about the song, says, "To have it come out now, I'm kind of devastated. "If this other man says he did it then my husband's a liar, or he's a liar."

There's great story in here somewhere about a lady who finds out that her now-dead husband of 40 years had done nothing but lie to her the entire time. I'm claiming it, although there's nothing to do about it if somebody else beats me to it. I'd just have to write my own version anyway. Changing the names and facts, of course.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yesterday's Why I Like XM Moment

So, I'm driving along yesterday, going to get the boy from school, when what should come on the XM Satellite Radio but Alice's Restaurant. Now there's something you won't hear on Oldies 97.

UPDATE: Alice's Restaurant on XM on Thanksgiving! Check out the post.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Up from Under

My time in the mailroom has ended, as a suitable alternative was found and hired. Such is the lot of the temp: Today's necessity is tomorrow's dross.

But, fear not, I'm doing some bookkeeping for one guy and some research for another, so we should be able to get by for the time being.

On the plus side, I've got more time available for writing. At tleast I hope that's a plus.

In fact, I've posted a piece on Shooting Off My Fat Trap that I'm considering sending to a newspaper in the distant northeast. (Not the Times.--ed.) If anyone wants to, they're welcome to peruse said piece and comment on its suitablility for publication. Don't worry; it's okay to advise that it should be buried out back. Silence, however, will be construed as consent. That's what you call a legal warning.

In other news, I'm preparing to send a proposal for Next in the Series to somebody at the company I just temped at. First, I just have to confirm that I've got the right somebody.

And, finally, wouldn't you just love to see me have a column in some paper or something? I know I would. And not an obituary. Wise guy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Demo CD

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I've been meaning to post about this for the last couple of weeks, but have been too busy being a man-about-town to remember to. The CD is basically finished and the early reviews are encouraging. I did make a small mistake, though. I forgot to record a small bit of song near the end in which the love interests plight their troth. I'll record that in the next few days to make it complete. It will be my first bonus track. Ahh, they grow up so fast.

However, that being said, I'd like to announce that the demo CD for Plant Your Wagon is now available to interested parties. If you'd like one, just let me know, and I'll get one in the mail to you.

Also, I have finished putting the radio script into play format, so if you know any producers who would like to perhaps inflict a world premier on an unsuspecting public just let me know. To the unimaginative, it would be kind of heavy on sets, but, as an admirer of Thornton Wilder, I would actually prefer as simpler production.

Anyway, this is just some proof that there's more to my life than just the mailroom.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Still Underground

The assignment underground continues to hang on, and dwelling in the belly of the beast has had a profound effect on me. When discussing alcoholics and other drug addicts, it has become a commonplace to mention that the person in question has to have bottomed out before redemption can become possible. Well, apparently, the mailroom was a low as I could go without disintegrating, because I am now ready to say the following: "Hi. My name is Len, and I'm addicted to grandiose schemes."

It has been my habit since youth to shoot--however fitfully--for the stars. I have done this because of a combination of self confidence, delusion, and fear of success.

I pledge, henceforth, to renounce this approach and to adopt a new, more practical one.

This does not mean that I am giving up on the radio show. They are going to have to reject me to get rid of me. It just means that, while that pipedream is playing itself out, I am going to concentrate on writing and submitting prose pieces. And not to The New Yorker, either. Not yet. I'll start with smaller, more reasonable outlets. In fact, if anybody knows of a publication that they think would just swoon over my kind of writing, feel free to let me know. Places that pay are preferred, but publishing credits count for something at this point as well.

I've got a number of essays I've culled from this blog that I'm refining and elongating with an eye to publication. The Drayton short story is coming along pretty well, and I figure Ellery Queen magazine isn't too mighty a publication for the likes of me.