Archive for March, 2012

Sorrow

Posted on March 28, 2012. Filed under: Memories | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Yeah.  It’s not what I indicated would be the next topic.  I pretty much had “The Merger” composed, but before finalizing it, there was this distraction.  It wasn’t much at first, just a hint of…   something…   like the whisper made by a butterfly’s shadow as it flits along a sunlit wall.  Just that tiny focus of attention was enough, and, through that opening, zephyrs from other-when, laden with yesterday’s treasure, wended their gentle paths through my thoughts. 

Familiar faces, sounds, smells.  Like they were still here. Happy times, and not so happy times.  And, then, I am in front of the reason I avoid this place — that door.  The one that opens without my hand, the one that hides the endless, dark emptiness that all of us fear.  Again, it opened.  again I trembled and shook as it swallowed me, again the tears choked me, and again I silently screamed my useless anger to an unresponsive void.

I’m from a large family.  This month marks the passing of two of us, and next month that of another.  Some years ago, I wrote a poem after the youngest of use became the first to take this voyage.  Following is an excerpt of Pegasus (In Memoriam:  DKD)

Life’s morning, so fresh and bright, softly glowed from her waiting gaze; He knew not how soon the night for her would come and steal her days.

Time.  Memory.  Pain.  Regret.  The measured beat of sorrow’s song.   Time, memory, pain, regret — echoes left by a life now gone.

Sorrow is a concomitant of LIFE; you can’t sneak through without being touched by it.  Like passion, it is fed by mysterious springs from deep within the psyche, suddenly breaking loose and crashing like a storm surge along the beaches of our well-ordered lives.

Words.  We live by them.  But, sometimes, we just cry.

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The Hot Potato Pass

Posted on March 26, 2012. Filed under: History, Humor, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Okay, everybody enjoy those Spam sandwiches while we continue our cruise through historical straits.  Don’t worry about running short on those delicacies, cuz I got a storeroom full of them. 

It’s quite a legacy Gutenberg and his tryst with Pandora left to us.  On the one hand, we have teeming variants of that original pP fungus while, on the other hand, we are tethered to mind control devices that delude us into thinking that other peoples’ thoughts are actually our own.  Sort of a Terran version of the Vulcan mind-meld. 

(I’m still a little miffed with Sydney ’cause I had to scratch my crotch-rot (the word) as a fungal ailment from my Little p Big P post.  She got out there ahead of me with her “firecrotch” bit.   On another note, it is still a mystery how those mountain folk got their hands on that Thor’s Thunder Juice recipe, which — after a few modifications, and more than a few hair-of-the-dog mornings — they dubbed white lightning.)

Back at Olympus (the mountain), we learn that our old friend, Hermes, was a pivotal player in today’s run-amok social intricacies.  At one of their get-to-gathers, the gods thought it would be a ripping good joke to drop a ton of misery and other ill-fortune on all too mortal humanity.  Since guys sort of ran things, it was decided that loosing a clumsy, misfortunate femme-fatale among them would liven things up.  Hermes suggested equipping that body by Zeus with a little box that had a trick lid, sort of like a jack-in-the-box.  The others went for it, and, as the box was passed around, each put in his own little joke:  Ted Koppel, the pox, litigation attorneys, plague, instant messenger, a-bombs, Meet the Press…  Oh, yeah!  Now this was gonna be a hoot.  Hera suggested the name “Susan” but Hermes won the day with his “Pandora” entry.  Hera would have to wait until the 21st Century to see it her way; she hasn’t missed a single episode of Desperate Housewives.

We already found out that Hermes had dumped that big drag — that gopher-of-the-gods thing — onto Mercury.  That gig got old for Mercury, too, and when he saw  a new species of god emerging (that would be a branch of the Great Learned called “experts”) he groaned and then looked around for a suitable patsy…   protegé…  a suitable protegé.  As luck would have it, on one of his courier runs to the Underworld, he passed a back alley where some local drunks were ardently involved in a contest of whose-puddle-has-the-highest-foam.  He started to rush away in disgust when he realized these bozos had Yohan’s recent improvement on the gossip machine, and — in an epiphimous flash — shouted, “THESE are my BOYS!”  And, just like that, the god-like power of the messenger gig was pissed…   er, passed…   passed on to these fresh, wide-eyed…   street drunks?…   who were all caught up in themselves.

Wikipedia thanks me very much for not mentioning them at all this time.

Next up:  The Merger

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Cynicism Redux

Posted on March 25, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, History, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

All hands on deck…   All hands on deck…   All hands on deck!

What we got here is an OFFICIAL COMPLAINT from a (gasp!) bona fide reader.  She is Mary**** @ some college.  Mary****, who found the RSS and Comments feeds before I did, checked “follow future comments,” an action she now deeply regrets.  Seems she is now innundated with multiple emails of the same comment.  She wishes to “unfollow” them, but, I don’t know how that is done.  Thus, this appeal to blog spammers.  (I know this doesn’t help you, Mary****, but, I have over 300 such comments to winnow through and delete, all arriving in the last two weeks.)

Geeze, people, didn’t you see my post where I said I’m highly skeptical of everything?  For example:  There is a recent television ad about quitting something-or-other, and the happy convalescent brags, “I quit something-or-other in just 2 weeks on this program.”  The Program Voice cheerfully chimes in and says, “Yes!  We’ll send you a free 30-day supply just so you can try our successful program.  If you like your results, we’ll sell you more of this stuff.”  See, right there, doubts creep in.  Look at the time-line:  2 weeks after starting that free program, I am cured of my malady.  I now have 2-weeks’ worth of free snake oil left.  The seller has given me a month’s supply, and I’m not going to buy any more because I am cured.   How is the seller going to make money to pay for that television ad?  Surely, the advertiser is not lying about quick results.

Look, all you virtual stowaways, I read that book on blogging for money tips.  I know about back-links.  I know you can do them manually, as in an honest reply to WHAT YOU ACTUALLY READ, or you can get a plug-in to your blog to mass produce “relevant comments” to other blogs.  It’s okay, I mean a few of them sounded genuine, but, I got wise when I read the identical comment three times in succession with only slightly different URLs.  Also, thanking ME for the USEFUL information in the OMG postings was another give away:  those two postings contain NO information, useful or otherwise.  I know, because I WROTE THEM.  Please, for mine and Mary****’s sakes, take your comment blaster and set it to SEMI automatic.  And, take aim before you fire so your comment sorta matches the “awesome” posting your spam machine detected. 

Can’t hurt either to set your timer to about 100 seconds before your “new post” detector detects a new post.  Really, it’s just another clue to spamming when, 45 seconds after I hit “publish” my smart phone alerts me to an e-mail that Yo-Yo Spin liked my post and thought it was awesome.  (I hope there is no one out there calling him-/herself “Yo-Yo Spin.“) 

Next up:  To Be Announced (That’s not the subject, just a note that I haven’t decided yet.)

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How A Little P Became A Big P

Posted on March 24, 2012. Filed under: History, Humor, language, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

No!  Definitely NOT a physiology class.  More of a chemistry thing.  Previously, we left Yohan (as his buds called him) nursing a world-class hang over, possibly resulting from a bad guilt trip over his soon-to-be-realized ripple effect on global societies.  Or, maybe, from a cheap wine called Thor’s Thunder Juice – 100% Natural.  Can’t corroborate that because history, like expensive PC software today, does suffer considerable “corruption” of its records.  Unlike software (a planned obsolescence product) you cannot buy an upgrade of historical data because — like the software license disclaimer states no one is taking responsibility for lost data.

Judging from the long-term nausea engendered by printing on demand, I have to conclude that Yohan took time out from his copy of Victoria’s Secret (the cookbook) for a late-night assignation with a mysterious vixen called Dora, only to find out later when he clumsily knocked her “jewelry” box off the bed stand that her full name was Pandora, of Greek descent.  Thunder Juice or no, Yohan got down on the floor with her and they both groped around trying to get those little squirmers back into the box.  Yohan did notice that one of the escaped critters seem to blow him a kiss as it disappeared from view.  He described it later as having button-like studs all over it and a little window displaying the letters “xoxo” (there is but one brief account of this in a moldy, later edition of Victoria’s Secret (the cookbook) under “Letters to the Chef).  Yeah.  That’s my story, and…

Now, about the pP thing.  Back then, it was guys that made the world go around.  And, always with guys, size is important.  In the printing business, I’m sure those inkers were very keen on owning the biggest press available, and, over at the local watering hole that catered to printers, et alia, the boast “my press is bigger than your press” got a lot of laughs.  Rapid printing meant that you could get away from printing slow-changing text books and those old and tired authoritarian government edicts and actually blab about something in almost real-time.  These new blabbers called themselves reporters, an obvious ploy to redecorate the term gossip-monger.  Vying to get the best gossip,,,   story...    to the public first, caused an epidemic of swollen egos floating their pride in lots of suds at the local pub.  But, the competition did not end with the longest belch; out back, at the walled trench that passed for a public rest room, the contestants lined up to see whose puddle had the biggest head of foam on it.  The prize:  the winner could now truthfully boast, “My pee is bigger than your pee!”

Back in the press club, this spore group that would propagate like fungus to become reporters, paparazzi, columnists, anchor persons, journalists, bleah, bleah, bleah, came to a common conclusion:  they were BIG in every way.  Big printers, big egos, big pee, big mouths.  It was inevitable that one of them would see the word press and subconsciously realize that “since my pee is bigger than Ed’s pee, the p in my press ought to be bigger than the p in his press.”  So, whenever you see the phrase “The Press,” you are not seeing a claim to elite status, but a brash boast that the touter has come out on top in an ancient, drunken male ritual called a pissing contest.

Next up:  An update on my cynicism

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Meet The Press

Posted on March 22, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, History, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Not the pompous, condescending one;  rather, the simple mechanical device that put thoughts down on paper or another medium so that multiple copies of an idea could be stored, distributed, then re-read later as originally conceived.  And, introduced the plititicians’ catch-phrases “I was misquoted” and “That was taken out of context.”

It was a grand improvement over the quill and ink pot by increasing copy output enormously while, at the same time, cutting down on between-scroll coffee breaks.  These were required to east the pain of scriber’s cramps, a special problem in the full-page, hand-drawn illustration department.  There were probably other occupational hazards associated with scribing, such as annoying calluses and author-itis.  Production moved at a snail’s pace in those writing rooms.

Enter Johannes Gutenberg, a German of the Holy Roman Empire.  He grew up in a time (mid 1400’s) when the brew screw (a.k.a., the wine-press) was a top-of-the-line techno device and the buzz on the grape-vine was that the printing press was a spin-off from that basic schematic.  Gutenberg grooved to the tune, and — half way through a Saturday night keg and totally engrossed in his Victoria’s Secret book (a cook book of little known culinary tips) — he envisioned letters swimming around in his snoop and thought, “Wow!  If I just move this “p” and that “n” around, I could be using a “spoon” to eat this stuff.”  That thought was punctuated by the sound of his head thudding against the hay-strewn floor as he slipped into an alcoholic stupor.

Sunlight can be cruel, especially when you peep through red-rimmed eyelids to expose blood-shot eyeballs, all to the music of Thor’s hammer richocheting around the inside of your skull.  But, our hero was a metal worker and innovator, enamored (if only a little) with the printing business.  To his credit, he held tight to the snoop-spoon revealed in his wine quest.  His sobered-up version made for the quick and accurate mass-production of moving metal type.  So, to summarize:  Gutenberg got hammered, humankind’s social path got forked, and, not so coincidentally, so did humankind.

Gutenberg’s hammer (pun intended) thundered through the printing industry of the times, and echoes even today as we “lol, omg, u2, bff, xoxo and :)” through that red light back there.  Information, regardless of its source, veracity, or pertinence, is almost instantly available to anyone — and there is the rub.  (Hamlet probably hasn’t slept well since I started hacking at this web log.)

Oh, crap!  A note from Wikipedia We don’t know where you are finding this information, but if you are going to put our name down as source, at least use some of our information.  Fair enough;  the time period and his name are correct and wine press is spelled correctly.  Kudos to Wikipedia.

Next:  How a little “p” became a big “P”

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Pismire: Getting The Handles Right

Posted on March 19, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pismire is the archaic term for ant.  Pronounce it any way you like and make it yours.  I like it because of its origin.  Ants utilize formic acid as an agent of defense or as a means of disabling a potential meal.  The greater the number of ants nesting in a given area, the stronger the odor of the acid, which, incidentally, is the same as urine.  Breaking the word down, mire is an old term for ant, and pis meant the same as our familiar term piss.  Put ’em together and you literally get…

Piss ant, a designation we use disparagingly to mean insignificant, obnoxious, ubiquitous, troublesome, vexing abundant, irksome…   I could go on, and probably will later, but, let’s stop there for now.

PAU.  Acronym for Piss Ant University.  There just seems to be a special place that turns out hordes of aspirants to obnoxity (might be a made-up term), people whose sworn duty in life seems to be to just piss you off.

PU.  By enunciation, that could refer to the malodorous presence of these critters, but it’s a new acronym I’ll use for pismire ubiquity.  Feel free to think “P-U” whenever you see it.

Ubiquity, by the way, means, “They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere.”  I’m not talking down to you on this term, it’s just that I heard it a number of times before I was curious enough to look it up.  When talking about the prevalence of something, ubiquitous just doesn’t jump off the tip of your tongue.  Be thankful  this term has yet to be used as frequently, and as inappropriately, as passion.

Piss’ant-ism is a condition that is endemic to many segments of our social infrastructure;  neither Orkin, Terminix nor any other exterminator can rid us of these pests.  The afflicted really seem to think they are pursuing relevant matters and issues that must be fixed for the rest of us (ala VICKI of the Will Smith movie, I Robot?) whether we want it fixed or not.   It is, after all, for our own good…

Or, as my cynicism assures me, for the financial good of the piss ants, who pursue their chosen shticks with the fervor of religious zealots in the premeditated intent of making a buck off us compliant sheep, who frequently confuse the skulking jackal with the shepherd.  (Ooooo, I finally did it — a one sentence paragraph.)

Next up:  Meet the press

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The Missing Bookend

Posted on March 18, 2012. Filed under: Humor, Memories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

What kid doesn’t want a horse?  How many kids actually get a horse?  It’s not like you can keep them in the house or apartment, ’cause paper training is — to borrow a term from the canine scene — a real bitch.  Forget newspapers.  Think snow shovel.  While the aroma of those scoopings may be several degrees “more pleasant” than that of traditional carnivorous pets, I’m betting that, for tedium, sheer quantity trumps malodorous every time.  There are probably other disadvantages to keeping a 16-hand ungulate tethered to your bed post, but, I forget what they are right now.

The virtual horsey, though, is a staple of childhood.  It gets staked out in that place where every child spends most of its time, that realm of fantasy called imagination.  No snow shovels required there.  Those guys neither eat nor (in the words of televisions’s detective Adrian Monk) un-eat.  All they do is carry the child’s imagination into one adventure after another without the baggage of troublesome chores.

From my childhood, I recall a set of bookends that were cast in metal into the shape of a saddled horse nibbling grass from around its front feet.  Not the best pose for riding into adventure, but, it was workable.  With index- and middle finger astraddle the saddle,  the free hand took that steed in a gallop into all sorts of action.  Yes, indeed, I did get that horse my child-side always wanted.

But there was a rift between fantasy and reality.  My valiant steed had but a single chore to do, and, that was to keep my parents’ books arranged neatly on the shelf.   Going out to play with me left that single chore undone, and, those books sorta got in a state of disarry.  When adventure time was done, I had to straighten those books and slip that bookend back into place so that order and neatness reigned again.  And, I wouldn’t get grounded.

Flash forward a couple of decades (eh, maybe more), and look back at that bookshelf in both a state of order and a state of disarray.  Two bookends equaled order and neatness; one bookend, however, had order near it, but, the farther out you went from it, apparent order became blurred in a heap.  And, I thought…

Life is what happens between two bookends, birth and death.  The longer I travel the road of LIFE, more and more “books” are left behind me.  At some point, the disarray of NOW sort of props up the books behind me so that I can see childhood, teens, military service, whatever, as clean-cut accounts of my journey.  But, the muck of the recent past and the uncertainty inherent in NOW lends an air of disorder to my present path, and, that breeds angst, frustration, hope, satisfaction…??   Hey!  That’s LIFE, isn’t it?  And, my life only has one bookend…

Now, where’s that bottle?  Got the glass.  Ah, there it is!  A red wine from Georgia (the country, not the state).  Pour it into the glass…  Okay!  A toast to that missing bookend:  “May your playtime last a long, long time.  Don’t take it personal, but, that chaotic bookshelf looks just fine without you.”

Next up:  Pismire

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Agenda: 50-50 Foresight

Posted on March 17, 2012. Filed under: Humor, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Procrastination.  That’s a word.  It means, “Not now.  Maybe later.”  But, you already knew that.

It also means I should have started working on this post 3 hours ago, but, I got side-tracked surfing for a white wolf sculpture;  no luck yet.  So, I guess I had better hop to it if I don’t want to delay this next post yet another day.

My itches are many.  While it’s true that I’m crabby, it’s not crabs causing that chronic itch; it’s those obnoxious pismires.  Those things are everywhere, in horde-like numbers.  And, socially, they smell bad.  Possibly, it is mainstream media that has caused the harshest rashes I’ve had to endure (heretofore) meekly over the years, so guess who gets to go first in my commentaries?  Whoa!  You came up with that real quick.  And, they (the media) said you were slow and couldn’t even think for yourself.

Anticipated direction of my scratching is thus:  Media, experts, litigators (yeah, lawyers yucca-pa-tooie)…   Beyond that, it’ll be itches of opportunity.  All of it, you understand, out of a sense of community service and not out of festering spite, resentment, or any #%*@! thing like that.

On the light side, is a container — at 50% capacity —  half empty or half full?  What is the sound of one hand clapping?  If a tree falls in the forest…  SID (Ship’s Inane Digresser) said he has a few thoughts along those lines.

And, since I will have more than a few of them, I should include a page devoted to acronyms and abbreviations.  I’ll work on that.

That RSS feed thingy.  Yeah, IWOT.

New Year’s Resolution:  Figure out how to respond to comments.  It seems impolite not to.

Next up:  Bookends

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Agenda: 20-20 Hindsight

Posted on March 15, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Getting my feet wet in this little pond (bloggery for penury) has been a bit of fun, even though the first month was spent trying to find a new laptop.  I needed a bit more oomph than my cheapo pc’s 250 mega-hertz processor speed.  Got that (2.2 giga-hertz) and, instead of a 5-minute response time, my mail now loads in a couple of seconds (I know, for some of you that’s way too slow, but, I’m still blown away by the speed of those new Model T Fords — topping out in excess of 25 mph).  But, as I then found out, speed isn’t everything.

Old flame burning in my eyes.  Ten years working with Windows XP.  I was just learning a lot of the hidden tricks to find my way around in that thing.  No way I was going to spend 100+ dollars on a book that moves with the tempo of “Hi, kids…  its…   a…   won-der-ful…   day…   in…   the…   neigh-bor-hod…” when I needed answers NOW.  XP and I were just becoming an item.  Microsoft’s new pain…   I mean pane…   Windows 7, seems to be the (immediate?) future.  I hope it lasts longer than that “Vista” mistake.

New language, new keyboard, and — yep, new problems.  What are all of these keys and symbols on this hp keyboard?  I’m a touch typist, and, I just have no feel for “home” on those keys.  One neat feature, I thought, was the “blog” template in the word processor.  I used it for my first posting, hit publish, and, there for the world to see, was what looked like textual scrambled eggs.  Real quick, I learned about the “trash” option on the WordPress “edit” screen.  My adaptive response has been to type the posting out in XP then copy it via that confusing hp keyboard (because of the faster processor speed which allows me to make mistakes faster) directly onto the WordPress Write a Post work sheet.  Thus, the missing words, letters, and misspells you may be encountering in the final posts.  I’ll fix those later.

Then, there is the WordPress Dashboard.  So many options, so much ignorance (the one thing in all this that I can truly call “mine”).  Back-linking to some of the comments I have received has shown me how others utilize the blog construct, such as more pages.  Working on implementing that now.    …and I really do apologize for those two “OMG” posts.  It wasn’t really my fault;  back-linking made me do it!  (Just say the word, Sydney, and I’ll remove that reference to you — or trash the whole post, if that’s what you want, but, it’s not like more than 6 persons saw it.)

Mysteries, they’re all around us.  The one I am currently trying to fathom is this:  how in the world have you commenters and subscribers even found this blog to read?  I figured this would just be classroom homework (i.e., my shake-down cruise) for a month or so until I found the lever to sound my fog horn — I know there has to be one here somewhere (what is this RSS thingy, anyway?).  There are more things here, methinks, than Horatio ever dreamed.  (That’s just an off-hand remark to demonstrate that I have refinement — of sorts.   Horatio…   from Hamlet…  anything?)

Next up:  Agenda:  Looking Forward

 

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Oh… My… G– (conclusion)

Posted on March 13, 2012. Filed under: General Interest, Humor, Nezza at Hella | Tags: , , , , , , |

DVD update:  The Dean is nursing a hang-over..  no, that’s a hang nail…   bandaged over, caused – he says – by jet lag or the DTs…   oh, I see.  DST.  Any way, he says it wasn’t his fault.  SID and that Smart Dude are piecing things together over Dude’s smart phone since The Dean’s phone is sort of on the fritz.

SID:  Here’s the link that will get you there — nezza@hella Sydney.  That sideways picture that caused the Cap’n to revert to adolescent aggression is on the author’s profile blurb.  But check the post “My ego is bigger than yours.”  That picture…  yeah, that one right there in the blue thingamabob…  even in the dark the Cap’n managed to scroll to that one.  Hmm!  Hmm!  Hmm!  Smart Dude:  What does that mean, “Hmm.  Hmm.  Hmm”?  SID:  “Wow”  Smart Dude:  Heard that.

We will leave them with their fantasies.  But, honest, TheDean01 will resume regular updates soon.  Hmmm!?  I wonder what all that fuss was about?  Let me just take a small peek over Smart Dude’s shoulder, here, and……………….. Oh…   My…   G–

Next up:  Ship’s itinerary – a quick review.

Thanks, again, Nezza.  I hope I have neither offended nor embarrassed you.

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