Saturday, August 04, 2007

Orange Chicken, Paladin, and Pat McCurdy

So yesterday I finally got together with my friend Greg. Drove across Madison to his warehouse, and only ran into road construction once, and that not where I'd been expecting it.

Greg was finishing out a not too busy day of orders, and afterwards one of his workers produced a dice game called Piccolomino, or Pickomino, or something like that. Dice, only with worms in place of the sixes, and rolling to win tiles with numbers on one end, and one or more worms on the other end, whoever ends up with the most worms on tiles wins. A cool game, inasmuch as I grasped it.

After that on this lazy Friday Greg and I headed into Madison and ended up eating supper at a Chinese restaurant on Regent Street. We got orange chicken and pepper steak, very good, especially the orange chicken, which was rather hot. I also downed two large glasses of iced tea.

Afterwards back to the warehouse, where we farted around watching conspiracy videos on YouTube. General Smedley Butler, habeas corpus, Skull and Bones; but where was Jekyll Island?

Then back into Madison, downtown, and we parked in the Kirsopp Lake Memorial parking ramp, just off State Street. (Well, okay, actually the Lake Street parking ramp, but that's what I've always called it.) Wandered around on the State Street Mall, which had been taking over by some street preacher with gigantic loudspeakers, his flunkies all wearing identical T-shirts, and he was telling some long rambling and interminable story about the time his son broke his favorite picture; immediate point of the story not evident.

After a while Greg's friend Lorene showed up, and the three of us hit a bar called the Blue Velvet, not far off State Street. I think this is the bar that used to be called Jocko's Rocket Ship, which I always assiduously avoided in my student days for reasons which will be evident just from the sound of its name; but the Blue Velvet is now much more like a Blue Velvet, and known chiefly for its martinis. Also lots of blue lighting inside. And we got there early, when the place was almost empty.

I got some lemon & lime martini, and we got off into who had starred as Paladin in Have Gun Will Travel, and after a while Greg remembered it was Richard Boone. This one bartender who had been over at our table talking with us checked it out for us by googling on his iPhone. Sure enough, it was Richard Boone. Then we got off into how the bartender had gotten his iPhone on a visit to New York City, and he declined to stand in line endlessly but just walked into the store the next day instead, and sure enough, everyone had said they'll all be bought out, but there was one iPhone left, and he bought it.

Then back down State Street, by this time the street preacher had decamped from the State Street Mall, and over to Memorial Union on the shores of Lake Mendota, where Pat McCurdy was performing outdoors to a packed crowd. Pat McCurdy is a Wisconsin institution, and if you've never heard what country music as sung by Jamaicans sounds like, you don't know what you're missing. After a while we drifted indoors, into Memorial Union, in search of restrooms, and then in search of Coke or cheese curds or somesuch. Back out to listen to Pat a while longer, and by that time we were about ready to call it a night.

I got in something past midnight, and slept soundly the rest of the night. Greg and I will be going and looking Tuesday to see if we can't get me a cheap second computer (I think this has to do with UW surplus), long as it has Windows XP on it and is able to go online, and mainly dirt cheap, which ought to force's hand in their disinclination to help me with my recurrent DSL problems as they'll no longer have the excuse of "Oh, Linux, we won't touch that with a ten foot pole"; and then either they'll have to fix things, or I can cut free and go with satellite Internet.


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