Final Thoughts of the Night, 2015

Each night, shortly before going to sleep, I tell my wife a Final Thought. These may be funny, they are sometimes dumb, they may be vaguely story-like, they may be pseudo-philosophical and intelligent-sounding, they may be almost mythic from a spur-of-the-moment mythos. The topics have spanned a wide range of subjects: animals, steampunk, food, technology. Anything that pops into mind is fair game. The full story is at the bottom.

January, 2015 150101Words map out a story on a page. Margins are the wilderness surrounding the territory mapped by the known story. One must take care when writing or drawing in the margins; it's never clear nor sure how marginalia might affect the course of the story, or change the story's map. Further, it is unknown what dangers might be lurking in the wilderness of the margins. 150102Occasionally, I'll post something online and some well-meaning person will like my post so much that they'll respond saying, "This is great! Wayne just won the internet!" Have you seen the internet lately? There's some pretty ooky stuff out there. I appreciate the sentiment, but I don't think I want the responsibility for the entirety of the internet. 150103When I was in high school, I ran a lot of D&D games. I found a great resource to use in planning campaigns, developing mythologies, and adding texture and depth to my games. I turned to the lyrics of songs by my favorite group, Kansas. For a harried DM, the imagery and poetry in Kansas' songs were like miracles out of nowhere. 150104I have heard speculation that we are still in the 7th Day of Creation, and that bad things are still happening because the order/chaos separation is still working its way out. With this in mind, I've come to the conclusion that there really are pockets of chaos still floating around, temporarily bending reality. In addition to whatever big problems these chaos pockets are causing, there's a more localized effect that small chaos pockets inflict on individuals. I think that people aren't really klutzes; I think acts of klutziness occur when people try to do something at the precise moment and place a chaos pocket is bending the rules of physics in unexpected ways. 150105"It's A Wonderful Life" has an interesting sequence of events. George is about to leave Bedford Falls to see the world, but he is forced to stay to work at his father's Building and Loan. He is about to go to college, but he must take over running the B&L and he then gives his college fund to his brother. He is about to go on his honeymoon, but a run on the B&L forces him to cancel his plans and give his honeymoon savings away to keep the B&L afloat. As George is about to commit suicide, angel Clarence comes along and shows him the terrible things that would have happened if George had never lived. He refrains from suicide, staying in his life of bitter disappointments. By extension, the remainder of George's life must be spent in Bedford Falls so that all these terrible things, and more, don't come to pass. He must leave his hopes and dreams abandoned in the past, and continue to have them dashed in the future. This sounds like George is actually in Hell, Clarence is a devil, and this story is really an episode of Twilight Zone. 150106When looking for lodging in the UK, you can find some cottages that provide the not-uncommon cooking and cleaning services, as well as shoe repair, toy construction, and providing fresh milk and baked goods. This high level of service comes from landlords who work hard to stay out of the renters' way, to the point of being virtually invisible. To find these dream lodgings, check the listings for elf-catering cottages. 150107OSX has a bunch of standard applications whose names begin with a lowercase 'i' -- things like iTunes, iPhoto, and iBooks. OSX also has a standard application you can use to mess with the photos on an iOS device; it's called "Image Capture". I was doing some photo management with "Image Capture" and I accidentally hit an undocumented key sequence. The application is now identifying itself as "iMage Capture" and it has unusual commands. These are commands like Find Nearby Mages, Map Mage Locations, Entomb Necromancer, Bind Illusionist, Duck Witch, and Snare Sorcerer. There are lots more esoteric (and interesting-sounding) commands, but truth to tell I'm kind of scared to use it. 150108I suspect that newspapers in Hell consist of nothing but agony columns. 150109Ranger Mary: I saw an owl!
Ranger Bob: Saw what owl?
Ranger Mary: No, it was a barn owl.
Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
150110Lady Godiva was a big fan of undressage.
Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
150111Q: What types of hors d'oeurves does NASA serve?
A: Canapé Canaverals.
Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
150112We had a power outage yesterday. A car hit the power transformer down the street and destroyed it. I got all weepy, thinking of Optimus Prime.
Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
150113Q: What is a pirate's favorite car?
A: The Toyota Yarrrrris.
Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
150114Q: How do you know if you are meditating properly?
A: You test yourself with an Om-meter.
Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
150115I can't figure out how to turn off my alarm clock, especially when I'm mostly asleep. So the alarm wakes up my wife, she turns it off and bonks me in the face to wake me up. She says she's my shnozz alarm.
Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
150116I hate boxing. No matter how much you argue about the fine points of boxing -- the strategy, the tactics, the dancing of boxing -- it's still just two guys pounding on each other until one gives up, passes out, or dies. There's no art, there's just hitting and blood and brain damage. I've wondered why so many TV shows feel compelled to have The Boxing Episode. I always dread these episodes because they're almost always the same -- someone is murdered, there's an up-by-the-bootstraps boxer, there's mafia connections, and the up-by-the-bootstraps boxer shows his integrity and honor by fighting a fair fight. There are enough little differences so the episodes aren't outright plagiarism, but they're pretty much the same. And, there's the obligatory extended fight scenes. I think these episodes aren't so much an exploration of the grey shades of morality and legality of the boxing world, so much as they are laziness on the part of writers who take up vast gobs of screen time with fight scenes. 150117I wonder if Lesser Scaups or Common Loons feel resentful that they are always being reminded of their inferior status and station in life. 150118"Do me a solid." That was slang from my childhood that prefaced a request for a favor. I never knew exactly what "solid" meant in this phrase, but that didn't stop me from using it. I'd completely forgotten about the phrase until recently, when I heard it used on a contemporary cop show. It was a bit of a surprise to hear it again after all these years. I seem to be moving through the three states of matter, but I've never gotten to the "Do me a liquid" stage. Solids, when I was young, and now I'm in the gas phase. However, when I "Do me a gas", it's never by request and it most certainly isn't a favor to anyone. 150119Sports are well-known as peace-time, supposedly civil, replacements for combat and warfare. Every village has their sports team, where the sport in question depends on local interests. Every town or city has many teams, based in neighborhoods and local areas. I think these sports teams actually functioned as rudimentary militias. The teams worked and trained together at a sport, and the teams could later serve in a military capacity in a function related to their sport. The different sports functioned as various sorts of military units. Football teams are the average infantry unit. Rugby teams are the heavy infantry. Polo teams form the cavalry. The Hunt is the catering corps. Croquet teams are the sappers and engineers. This system of covert civilian military training worked very well in the days before modern warfare. 150120Dairy cows and dairy farmers have an udderstanding with each other. 150121A version of Linux developed by North Korea recently leaked to the outside world. It reportedly has lots of security problems, some of which are related to overly permissive file permissions. I wonder if these permission problems are errors or if they're actually intentional. It seems that they'd go along with Communism's basic tenets of "Everything is owned by everyone" and "If you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to fear from us looking at all your files." 150122There are lots of prescription drugs whose instructions require the medicine be taken with food or water. I think this is a missed opportunity on the part of the drug companies. They should require their drugs to be taken with ice cream, or cookies, or whisky, or pizza. People would be falling all over themselves to get those drugs, rather than the inferior drugs that only need food or water. Better yet, the drug companies could work out marketing tie-ins with specific companies to require their drugs be taken with those companies' products -- Ben & Jerry's ice cream, or Berger's cookies, or Laphroaig, or Ledo's pizza. 150123I've been abandoned by my inner child. He thought my sense of humor was too immature. 150124Snow is rain hiding behind a crystalline mask. 150125I like the absolute value function in math. It can take anything and turn it positive. (Yes, anything. If you think there's no such thing as negative zero, then you haven't been reading your computer literature.) Negative ten becomes ten in the capable hands of absolute value. It doesn't even break a sweat at negative five squillion. A quick flexing of its muscles and you've got positive five squillion. If only absolute value could be applied so easily to people and situations. Turn grouchy Mr. Zickerfoos into cheery Mr. Zickerfoos. Turn all the hatred and anger in the world into love and joy. I wish absolute value could be used on real things. 150126I wonder if there are aliens on another planet wondering if I exist. 150127It would be interesting to see a nativity play or passion play done as a melodrama, complete with cheering the heroes, hissing the villains, and other audience participation. 150128When I was a kid, my mother had a recipe for Russian Caravan Tea. This was supposed to be a traditional Russian tea, drunk by Russians, when caravaning. One of the primary ingredients was Tang -- the liquid-sugar mix made famous by NASA and John Glenn. I didn't know that Tang was originally a traditional Russian drink. 150129Putting guests' coats on a bed instead of in a closet is tacit permission for the guests to poke around the bedroom. 150130Roofs are like skin. A roof and a ceiling are same thing, it just depends on which side you're talking about. Outside, it's a roof; inside, it's a ceiling. Skin is like that. You've got the epidermis, which is the roof of the skin, and you've got the dermis, which is the ceiling of the skin. 150131You know you're old if the creaking of your bones is louder than your complaining.

February, 2015 150201Apian optometry must be a fascinating and frustrating field. Bees have eyes with thousands of facets. How does the optometrist check the individual facets for problems? I wonder how the vision is affected if a few of those facets go bad. How does an apian optometrist provide a bee with corrective lenses just for those bad facets and not for all the others? How do the bee glasses stay in place with all the buzzing around? I would love to see what a bee looks like with its eyes dilated for the eye exam. 150202In the depths of a winter night, the Wind Wolves howl as the Cloud Owls hold court around the moon. 150203If someone enjoys their nightmares, can they truly be called nightmares? 150204The Moon Under the Hill has not far to climb, but it sheds little light. 150205Sometimes I use the Like button as a shorthand way of saying, "Dagnabbit, I can't think of anything witty to say." 150206The Doomsday Clock represents how close we are to a potential global catastrophe. This "clock" is managed and set by a bunch of Atomic Scientists. It's set closer to midnight when Bad Things happen, and it's set farther from midnight when Good Things happen. I think it'd be interesting to have a Late Clock that shows just how far behind I am on various things. When I get further behind, more minutes are added to the clock. When I catch up on things, minutes are subtracted from it. At this point, I think my lateness would be including many hours, even days, and not just minutes. 150207I think it's interesting that the absolute value of something is always positive. When defining the function, it could have been negative or unsigned or some completely new concept. But it isn't, an absolute value is positive. I like this because it shows that everything absolutely has value and worth. 150208I think maybe from age 16 until adulthood people should have a choice to either get a driver's license or get a drinker's license. As you might guess, a driver's license would allow one to drive a car and a drinker's license would allow one to drink alcohol. They'd never get both licenses at the same time. Teens would be able to change from one license to another every month or so, but there would be a definite separation so they wouldn't be doing both at the same time. Each type of license would teach a different type of responsibility, both of which are important for teens to learn on their journey to adulthood. In fact, the forced separation might even subtly train teens to not drive when drunk. 150209Organs and pianos are in a special class of musical instruments all by themselves. This class consists of those instruments that people consider to be tables and so they feel free to pile anything and everything on top of them. Sheet music, eyeglasses, books, beer cans, kitties, candelabras, whisky, pictures frames, bows, other instruments -- they all get piled on top of organs and pianos. People never put things down on top of violins or French horns or triangles or flutes. People don't look at those other instruments and (unfortunately) see furniture. 150210When you wrap your hands around the throat of data and squeeze it mercilessly, information is what oozes out between your fingers. 150211Despite my efforts to shorten it, my To Do's List seems to keep growing larger as I keep adding more and more "To Do's" to it. I've come to the conclusion that I've been thinking in an Englocentric, overly grammatical way. It isn't a To Do's List, it's a Todos List -- a list that will eventually encompass everything. 150212It's a well-known trick that inside-out clothes will hide you from faeries. I wonder how the sartorial-combinatorial math works across different articles of clothing. If you're wearing an inside-out shirt and put an outside-out coat over top of the shirt, would you be invisible to faeries or would they be able to see you? Would you cycle back and forth, flickering in and out of their sight? Would the faeries see a floating coat not being worn by anyone? What about wearing an outside-out shirt under an inside-out coat? I used to have a reversible suit; what would the faeries make of that? 150213In the early US, donkeys weren't used to bring people to court; horses were the preferred means of transport. Horses would carry anyone, with no regards to their character. Donkeys, on the other hand, were ethical and would look deep in a person's soul before carrying them. Donkeys follow the Ten Commandments and would thus refuse to bear false witnesses. 150214One useful purpose of marriage is that it gives people someone to talk to about their various bodily excretions and health issues. 150215I recently acquired a copy of Rimbeak's classic Index of Mythic Archetypes. It's a fascinating, exhaustive catalog of the various archetypes in myths from around the world, categorized, subcategorized, numbered, and classified. I've decided to use the index to write a myth of my own, one which will incorporate a number of elements deep-rooted in many parts of the world. This new myth will resonate to the soul and be an instant classic of timeless mythology.
An H3.2 hero embarks on an A3 adventure. On his travels, he finds that an M21.4.3 monster is ravaging the S2.3 setting and has to be stopped. Along the way, he gets several C4 companions, he finds a T8.2 treasure, and has an SB3 set-back. When he reaches the end of his adventure, he ER1 end result.
150216There's an aspect of growing old that has me rather concerned. I keep reading about the diminishing quality of Elder care. I am worried that when I am old, I will become collateral doddering damage if Cthulhu, Hastur, or the Great Old Ones come to exact their revenge on my Elder God caretakers. 150217I read a novel wherein magic existed in our world, but not many people knew about it. By the end of the book, it was clear that magic would soon become public knowledge. The hero speculated that when it did, people would become more careful about their hair and nail clippings lest other magicians use the detritus against them. This was one of two disadvantages to this book's magic. I think nail clippings might be easy enough to manage, but hair is a different story. Hair is shed much too easily and people would not notice when they lost a bit of arm hair, when an eyelash fell off, or someone surreptitiously cut off a small amount of their hair. I think that it's much more likely that people would shave all their hair off instead of risking that their hair fell into the wrong hands. The other, much worse, disadvantage was that to do magic you had to be very good with calculus. 150218By the Law of Contagion, a person's hair may be used as a connection by which magic may be performed on that person. What is it about a strand of hair that ties it so closely with the person who grew it? There must be something that uniquely identifies it as being from that person. Science provides us with the answer. The hair grower's DNA is in the hair and other cells in the person, and the DNA uniquely identifies that person. Thus, DNA is the essence of magic and identity that is at the basis of our being, the quantum of magic that makes us who we are. 150219Medusa was well-known for her stony glances, in that her gaze would petrify. The stories don't tell that she was surrounded by stone everything -- trees, birds, plants, squirrels -- just that people and dangerous animals were turned to stone. This indicates that it was a conscious effort of will on her part to actually turn something to stone, and therefore she wasn't automatically going to petrify everyone and everything. If she only just petrified hired killers and dangerous animals, perhaps she was actually doing a good service to the world. Perhaps Medusa was actually a very civic-minded woman and she should have been praised and celebrated, rather than condemned and executed by Perseus. 150220The Wicked Witch of the West was always in such a bad mood because she couldn't sit down, kick off her shoes, put on some slippers, and relax with a nice cup of tea. 150221In the movie "The Corpse Bride", the whole idea of a corpse bride seems a very commonplace, well-known phenomenon. Victoria easily recognizes that Emily is a corpse bride. She also tells her parents that Victor has a corpse bride, without having to explain anything. How often have corpse brides come to that town so that corpse brides don't have to be explained? That must be one macabre and bizarre town. 150222Ragnar Loðbrók didn't have to shovel his driveway before taking his longboat out to go raiding. 150223An empty bookshelf is a symbol of dichotomous emotions. On the one hand, an empty bookshelf exudes a brooding loneliness as its bare shelves sit in dejected desolation. On the other hand, an empty bookshelf radiates hope and potential, as it looks forward to the treasures that will fill its shelves. 150224When I was a kid, we always got boxes of bandaids that were a mish-mash of various types of bandages. There were the normal ones that everyone used, and also the slightly smaller ones that would be used when the normal ones were used up. There were also the oddball ones, the ones that were never used, the ones that we had boxes of because no one used them. These were the really tiny bandaids and the small round ones. They just hung around in the box, patiently waiting around for a use that would never come. And then there were the really weird ones, the ones that no one ever used. These were the ones shaped like skate egg cases, or diamonds, or with angles, or some other bizarre shape. I always wondered what those weirdo bandages were used for, and what kind of strange wounds required the mutants. There were also TV adverts for laundry soap that baffled me. In addition to the various stains the soaps would get out, the adverts always talked about getting out blood. I didn't understand why the adverts would specifically mention how good the soaps were at cleaning blood unless there were kids who were always getting injured and bloody. Sure, my friends and I played rough and got hurt, but blood wasn't a common occurance. Not much blood, that is. I considered myself lucky that I didn't have such a dangerous life that I was always getting blood everywhere. I assumed that those soap adverts were for families where the kids were really clumsy or always doing really dangerous or stupid things. This made sense in the wider scheme of things, too. Those bizarro bandaids were intended for those families with really clumsy or dangerous kids. They were the ones always getting injured in weird ways, so they needed those mutant bandaids to handle their multitude of injuries. 150225I have noticed in myself another sign of encroaching old age. I was watching a cop show, and I found an extended car chase to be kind of boring. 150226I decided I wanted a pen-striped suit. Big mistake. I didn't use a permanent marker so the first time I wore it in the rain the stripes ran and now it's just a big mess. 150227NEWSFLASH! In a stunning display of just how far behind the times he is, Wayne Morrison has finally realized that social media have evolved to match the prevalent Culture of Celebrity. The average person cannot afford to employ a competent press agent and therefore must act as their own, hence the posting of even the slightest minutiae. Next up, Wayne Morrison had breakfast! Stay tuned to find out what he had for breakfast, and by the end you'll be shocked and fascinated by the scurrilous, yet intimate, look at how Wayne Morrison used to think "minutiae" was pronounced in his boyhood. 150228Jo's new organ has a stop labelled "Percussion Short". That sounds like an interesting, though noisy, article of clothing. Tambourine on the left side, snare drum on the right side. A pair of tom-toms on the front thighs, a bass drum on the left butt cheek and a crash cymbal on the right. An egg shake where the butt crack would be. Wearing a pair of Percussion Shorts would end up being an aerobic, deafening exercise.

March, 2015 150301Curling is shuffleboard for the hyperactive. 150302Oh, the ice is seductive. Whenever it gets like this -- a thin, firm skin of ice over nice, fluffy snow on gently undulating hills -- the siren song of the ice calls. "Come to me, walk on me, poke holes in me with your staff. My crunching sounds so delicious as you walk along. The feel of you on my skin is a true delight, slick as you slide along on top of me, my skin compressing under your weight. The smell, the taste of my smooth, slick skin is intoxicating. Oh, the beauty as my skin glistens and gleams in the sunlight, as the shadows play along me. We shall travel the winter together." It really is hard to resist the allure of venturing on the ice as it enfolds and overflows all my senses. 150303I wish it was legal to nudge other cars to let them know they're driving too slowly. 150304In the world of teleconferences, the joking "Oh, did I say that out loud?" comment will be replaced by "Oh, is my mute button off?" 150305People online have been getting excited about these creepy looking goblin sharks. Sure they kinda look scary, but they don't look too worrisome. I'm going to get really worried when the Uruk-hai sharks and the troll sharks start showing. 150306The word snowshoes is something of a misnomer. It seems they'd be better named personal foot snow boats. 150307It's probably in bad taste to cheers a friend with Communion cups. 150308You can always tell the people who aren't quick-witted enough to understand puns. They're the ones who say that puns are the lowest form of humor. 150309Crows are such social birds that seeing one lone crow seems wrong. When I see just one crow I start wondering why it's alone, what its story is. Is he the rightful crow prince that was banished by a crow usurper? Is she the last of her tribe, and just what happened to her tribe? Is it Muninn, wondering where Huginn has gotten himself to? Is she the Watch Crow, waiting patiently for the return of the kingbird who will lead the feathered children to their promised ascendency? So many potential stories, enfolding a single, lone crow. 150310When Thunderbird first grasped the Lightning Snakes in his talons, chili peppers rained to the earth. 150311As I was eating pancakes this morning, I realized the maple syrup made me a vampire of trees. 150312Killer whales have come up in the world, gaining more self-respect, style, and suaveness. They're thinking that "killer" sounds kind of thuggish and coarse; maybe a name change might help them gain more respectability and sound cooler. The problem is the whales as a species can't decide between assassin whales, samurai whales, ninja whales, whale knights, ranger whales, or berserker whales. (Though one faction of traditionalists wants just to stay with the tried and true killer whales.) Of course, there are some jokers who can't take anything seriously, and they're pushing to be called penguin whales. 150313I went to Canada recently and I was really disconcerted. After getting through immigration, I found that there were foreigners everywhere. 150314While I was in Canada I had bacon at breakfast. It was nothing like I'd been led to believe -- it was crispy and delicious; it wasn't limp and bland like fried ham. What's going on? Have people been lying to us about Canadian bacon all these years? Has Canada been shipping us their inferior fried ham, all the while hoarding their excellent real bacon for themselves? What other lies about Canada have I been told? 150315For years, I've written the date and time as the year, month, and day followed by the hour, minutes, and seconds. This has the benefit of making date-based computery stuff much easier. Despite this benefit, I have decided to start writing the time before the date, rather than the other way around. This gives the hour, minutes, and seconds followed by the year, month, and day. This means that every day is Pi Day, rather than just once a year. It also means that Grand Pi Day hasn't happened yet this century, but it will happen in 48 years at 3:14:15 9/26/53. 150316Q: What's the most steampunk of birds?
A: The Magpie, the Common Crane, and the King Rail.
(Why are you surprised? Did you think I'd say Gearfalcons? The Jeerfalcons and I will be mocking you for the way you mispronounce the name.)
150317Several days ago, I was in the car and I put on some great driving music. High energy, powerful and steady pulse, great guitars, exciting lyrics -- everything combined to make me want to floor the gas and zoom off down the highway. The problem was that I was driving in a town on streets covered in snow and ice. It's a really bad idea to listen to great driving music while driving on snow and ice. 150318There's an old werewolf saying: "The strength of the bite shows the depth of the feeling." This is one way that I wish parrots didn't idolize werewolves. 150319One of the rites of passage for infants is that on their first birthday they're given a cake to smear on themselves, to fling around, and generally to make a mess with. A sure sign that I wasn't meant to be a parent is that when I see this, my first thought isn't, "Oh that's so cute!", but is instead, "Ack, what a waste of cake!" 150320I employ a Bayesian filter to determine what movies to see. My filter stops me from seeing movies that are homophobic, racist, sexist, and have too many explosions. 150321When someone accidentally inflicts a minor injury on themself, they'll often say that the injury "smarts". This is a strange term to use, especially when the injury is so often a result of doing something stupid. 150322Is it nap time or tea time? I get them confused as they have pretty much the same purpose. 150323Airplane flights are something of a paradox. The planes are filled with people, they're very crowded environments. But with all the noise and headphones and personal entertainment systems and books and laptops, everyone is in their own little world. Airplane flights are solitary, lonely times; filled with people. 150324Musicals often follow a general formula. Things start off pretty good, then they get worse, then they end up better than ever. Les Míserables doesn't follow this formula. Things start off bad, then they get a little better, than they go right down the tubes and end worse than ever before. 150325Work is like kindergarten. You've got to produce a Thing, like writing a proposal, or cooking a meal, or creating a sales presentation, or weeding a garden, or writing some code. This is Work's version of arts and crafts. Then, you've got to give that Thing to your boss or a customer. This is Work's form of show and tell -- albeit a graded form of show and tell. Except the grades at Work are of more consequence than grades in kindergarten. Unfortunately, Work doesn't have a comparable form of nap time or recess; and the closest thing to milk and cookies is coffee, which is just a horrible trade. 150326People who think brussels sprouts are food are the same people who deny climate change. 150327It's strange that Chinese and Japanese characters are acceptable for tattoos yet Arabic script doesn't seem to be. 150328Corn is a strange two-state grain. Its state depends on whether or not there are officers present, which leads to it being either a sensory organ or a horse. (If there are colonels, it's an ear; otherwise it's a cob.) 150329Boiled rice is easy to make and anyone can do it without much problem. Fried rice, on the other hand, takes skill and finesse to get it to come out juuust right. Making fried rice shows you truly care. That's why at weddings, I prefer to throw fried rice rather than boiled rice. 150330Farts are made by the same principle used to play brass instruments -- air passing between vibrating bits of flesh results in sound. Brass players refer to their lip position as their embouchure, so the same thing in farts must be called embasschure. 150331I think more police officers would survive to enjoy their retirement if they would stop announcing the actual day they're retiring. Instead, there should be a random date generator that tells an officer that they are retired only on the date of retirement. The same thing should be used for soldiers and their discharge date.

April, 2015 150401I think The Onion should have had a special issue today where all they had was a bunch of actual, real, fact-filled, fact-checked, above-board news stories. 150402All four of the Gospels tell that the night Jesus was betrayed that one of his followers smote the high priest's slave with a sword and cut off his ear. I've always felt sorry for the slave. "I'd rather be home in bed, but I've got to go out to some garden with the high priest for who knows what reason, and I will probably have to carry the snacks and wine this time since Bernie's sick. Then we get there, I'm standing around watching the show, and someone cuts my ear off! Why me?" Indeed, why him? Why the chief priest's slave? Why his ear? And how on earth did someone cut off his ear with a sword, and only cut off his ear? He was being smoted with a big heavy sword. How did the smoter manage to lop off his ear -- and just his ear -- without anything else being damaged? Not the neck, not the shoulder, not the head; just the ear. I bet there are fascinating cultural details or translation issues that would tell lots of interesting aspects to this story, and we're all the poorer for not having them. 150403"No rest for the wicked." That old saying implies the the good are the ones that are getting rest. If there's truth to this, then I must be a pretty wicked person because I feel like it's been so long since I've had any real rest. I hope I'm not very wicked, so I gave that old saying a bit more thought. I think it's really talking about candles and lamps, and the final word is being mispronounced. No rest for the wick'd. It's trying to say that light sources are so important to us that we are putting them to near-constant use, thus they are getting no rest. 150404If you use your fingers to put food on your fork, you're missing the point of the fork. 150405Cheese has become a standard, wonderful topping for casseroles. However, that's not how it started. It was originally used to cover up the finger pokes the cook used to determine if the casserole was hot enough to eat. 150406All my years as a medieval recreationist was time well spent. I am better prepared for watching "A Game of Thrones" than most non-recreationists.
Non-recreationist Bob: Which one is Ned Stark?
Non-recreationist Mary: He's, um, the one with the beard, and a sword, and he's wearing furs. Or something.
Non-recreationist Bob: That's the entire adult male cast.
Thanks to the recreationist training, that conversation goes differently for all us past and present recreationists.
Recreationist Bob: Which one is Ned Stark?
Recreationist Mary: The one with the beard.
Recreationist Bob: I thought that was King Robert.
Recreationist Mary: No, he's the one with the beard.
Recreationist Bob: Cool, thanks.
All that recreationist time allows us to hone in on very fine nuances in how someone says, "The one with the beard" or "The one with the sword" or "The one with the Snorri-twist drop spindle." It makes all the difference in the world.
150407There's a recent literary fad I've been hearing about that I am not at all interested in. This fad is books on tapas. This really sounds messy and like they'd be hard to eat. It would also ruin the books, but at least they'd be high in fiber. 150408I grew up indoctrinated with the knowledge that it was essential to wash all fruits and vegetables before eating them. Who knows what pesticides and other toxic woogies might be sitting on the food, just waiting to suck the life out of you? I've always diligently run water -- cold, not hot! -- over the fruits and vegetables I was about to eat. After years of this unthinking food dousing, I'm wondering what good it actually does. Are pesticides really so water-soluble that skimming some water over them renders the food clean and safe to eat? Maybe running water over fruits and veg is doing more harm than good. Maybe all this vegetable washing is really just getting rid of the delightful top layer of rich flavor from the food. Maybe washing fruit is really just getting rid of the healthiest layer of vitamins. 150409I had a weird and interesting dream. I was a vampire, but I definitely wasn't a traditional vampire nor was this the traditional world of undead monsters. I wasn't affected by daylight. Instead of subsisting on blood, us vampires ate zombie brains. Zombie brains came in small, palm-sized packets shaped like teabags. In addition to providing nourishment, zombie brains had a euphoric, intoxicating effect on vampires. So we'd go get some zombie brains and then sit around hallucinating and stoned. 150410In the sentence, "Bitch, please" I'm not sure which word is the verb. One makes the sentence a polite request for criticism; the other makes it an insulting command. 150411They fly with grace and beauty, Their long wings carrying them with majesty, soaring over the land. It is clear that vultures are just eagles with bad barbers. 150412I love peanut butter cups and M&M's and Snickers. Even more, I really love dark chocolate. Sometimes when I get a Snickers bar or some M&M's or some Reese's, I feel kind of fickle and unfaithful to my true love. 150413If Sisyphus was punished today, he would be forced to reach Inbox Zero each day. He would do so just before the stroke of midnight, only to have his inbox fill up once more. 150414I really don't like weather forecasts. I know the forecasts are predictions, projections based on recent weather, current weather, and physics. I know there are no guarantees. I know there isn't anything definite in what the weatherfolk predict. I do know all this, but knowing does no good. Forecasts of rain or snow feel like promises of good things to come. Forecasts of warm and sunny days ahead feel like threats. I know these are only forecasts and not sure things, but it feels like a broken promise if the rain doesn't come, or a barely avoided punishment if a hot, sunny day is missed. 150415I have devised a means by which the country's monetary problems can be solved. The government should institute a minimum tax rate for men that is proportional to their penis length. Not only that, but everyone's penis-length tax payment would be a matter of public record. Not the basis for the payment, just the payment. Most guys would rather pay a higher tax in order to publicly lie about their length than to pay less and admit to a shorter length. The windfall resulting from overpayments would wipe out the national debt. 150416The internet and texting are reducing our communication skills to the level of cavemen. I've seen enough caveman movies to have a really good understanding of how cavemen communicated -- grammarless grunts, growls, and words without enough vowels. In other words, texting. 150417Quotes from "Ghostbusters" and "Buckaroo Banzai" are always appropriate. 150418In Christian theology, agape refers to God's love for humans and their reciprocal love for God, brotherly love, and charity. It is a lovely happenstance that it is spelled exactly as a different English word, for to be filled with agape once must also have a heart that is agape for all others, and the wider world. 150419Q: What's a bell ringer's favorite food?
A: Peal-and-eat shrimp.
Mother of Dumb Joke Week
150420Q: What do fish drink when they're feeling under the weather?
A: Chumomile tea.
Mother of Dumb Joke Week
150421Q: What is a zombie's favorite washing-up soap?
A: Dawn.
Mother of Dumb Joke Week
150422Q: How do flowers drive their cars?
A: With the petal to the metal.
Mother of Dumb Joke Week
150423There's a comedian who does nothing but tell jokes about people taking pictures of themselves. His whole act is just a long selfie schtick.
Mother of Dumb Joke Week
150424The Macadam Institute is full of road scholars.
Mother of Dumb Joke Week
150425Ireland was originally settled by a religious sect of ancient Egyptians. The settlers consisted entirely of the followers of O'Siris.
Mother of Dumb Joke Week
150426Birdwatchers are quick to question unusual bird sightings. "I'm sorry, stripey-face nuthatches are exceedingly rare in this area and haven't been seen at all in years. Please provide photographic and corroborating eyewitness proof." They claim it's in the interest of accurate, scientific reporting, but I think it comes down to jealousy and bird envy. "How can you have seen six stripey-face nuthatches? I am five miles away from you and I haven't seen any in eight years." 150427I think it'd be really great to have a combination refrigerator and microwave oven. You put something in it that you want cooked in a few hours. The fridge keeps it unspoiled and safe during those intervening hours. The timer goes off, the cold air is exchanged for fresh, and the microwave oven starts zapping the food into a nice tasty meal. There can be no possible downsides to this idea. 150428I'm starting to think that quirkiness and wisecracking are taught in a special class in the schools for lab assistants and forensic scientists. Or maybe they're entrance requirements. 150429When I get email saying that a Facebook friend is inviting me to "like" their page or attend their event, I have this instinctive conviction that I am the direct target of their invitation. I do know about the send-to-all function, that I am one of hundreds that are being targetted, and that I am not being singled out. The feeling is still there that the invitation was sent explicitly to me and the sender is anxiously awaiting my reply. I don't know if this makes me a narcissist or a technidiot. 150430Before becoming a fierce pirate captain, James Hook was an apprentice baker. He decided to leave that profession because he got tired of always being summoned to "hook the dough."

May, 2015 150501There have been a number of instances lately of people jumping over the White House fence. There are a variety of plans to stop people from doing this, ranging from additional fences to adding barbed wire or spikes on top of the current fence. There's an option that hasn't been considered that would do a huge amount to stop people from jumping the fence. By making the White House grounds be an annex of the National Zoo, tigers could be given the grounds as their habitat. There are quite a few benefits to this plan. It's a large area, well-suited for tigers; the tigers would provide a nice display for tourists; if people persist in jumping the fence, then there'd be a savings in tiger chow. Also, it'd give us huge credibility in the world political arena. What other world leader is bad-ass enough to have tigers roaming around guarding their residence? 150502It has been said that intelligence is what separates animals from man, but I think it's something else entirely. Animals make fart noises from necessity, while man makes fart noises from choice. 150503Migrating to a new computer is a little like emigrating to a new state or country. Things may be similar, but there are also differences. There are slightly different -- or extremely different -- ways of doing things. Things aren't quite where you expect them to be. The language may be the same, but it doesn't necessarily mean what you think. Things will work out in the long run, but they're tough at the start. 150504Why do microwave ovens have a popcorn button? Is popcorn so popular that it needs a whole button dedicated to it? I'd much rather have a tea button, or an ice cream button, or a rice button. Maybe the manufacturers are trying to be extra helpful for pub crawlers. "Hey, buy our oven because we care about you. You come home wasted from a good crawl and you want some munchies. Our oven makes it easy. Toss in a bag of popcorn and hit the popcorn button. No worries about killing the oven or burning the house down. Just a nice, hot bag of fresh-popped popcorn, all set to go have a party with the beer you just drank." Popcorn button is too inspecific. I bet no one has ever even used their popcorn button. 150505There's that old stone soup folktale. It's about a conman getting a community to come together, contributing what they can, sharing responsibility for making a meal for everyone. I didn't quite get that message when I was a kid. Instead of thinking the story was about sharing, I thought it was about using cunning and trickery to get people to do your work for you. 150506Every time I go to the ballet, I seem to keep seeing the same dancers over and over. I think I've got a bad case of Degas-vu. 150507Every year about this time, the oak thread falls from the heavens in a gentle, silent rain. I look to the skies in expectation that the dragons of Pern will come save us from the falling thread.
Literature Week 2
150508As I understand it, cats will bring their owners gifts of the things they've killed. In "The Borrowers", there is a lot of talk about poor Eggletina and the cat. I expect the cat's owners got a rather unexpected surprise when the cat brought them the corpse of a tiny human.
Literature Week 2
150509Herman Melville must have actively hated English teachers. I wonder what teachers did to earn the enmity embodied in "Moby-Dick" and "Billy Budd".
Literature Week 2
150510It would be really cool to have cross-over stories where Bertie Wooster and Jeeves find themselves dealing with Lovecraft's world of eldritch horrors. I can just imagine some of the stories: "Jeeves and the Eldritch Horrors", "Aunt Agatha Straightens Out Azathoth", "Cthulhu Sucks Out Spode's Mind", "Jeeves and Bertie Call on Cthulhu", "Bertie's Pop-up Necronomicon". The possibilities send the imagination soaring over the mountains of madness.
Literature Week 2
150511Grendel got a bad rap. He only went to Heorot for the arm-wrestling competitions. He didn't mean to hurt anyone. Was it his fault that he was so much better than everyone else?
Literature Week 2
150512Gondorria is the STD that afflicted the hosts of man gathered for the final battle against Mordor.
Literature Week 2
150513The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wonderful jaunt around the galaxy. It was a refreshing take on science fiction when it was first unleashed on the world and it was quickly recognized as a classic work. I have realized that it is actually a fairly derivative work, based on another classic work of literature. Hitchhiker's Guide is an updating of Winnie the Pooh. The hapless Arthur Dent was the new Pooh, Zaphod Beeblebrox was the new Tigger, and Marvin the Robot was the new Eor. You could even say that Trillian was standing in for Christopher Robin. Other parallels are obvious and show just how closely the Guide mirrors Pooh.
Literature Week 2
150514I have decided to be afraid of seals. They are black, semi-solid, semi-gelatinous, semi-fluid animals. They romp and play and are so adorable, they easily sneak their way into your heart. This adorableness is the camoflage of a terror Not Of This World. Having watched plenty of The X-Files, I am familiar wih the Black Oil, an alien entity that oozed its way into people's bodies and brains. I think seals are the actual embodiment of Black Oil and they're using their innate adorableness to sneak their way into taking over our bodies and souls. 150515It's remarkable how much better one sounds after doing proper warm-ups. It's downright amazing how much better one sounds with proper warm-ups and 50 bandmates playing along with you. 150516When I was a kid, I loved brown sugar. Whenever my mother made cookies I'd sneak a pinch of brown sugar as a nice little treat. I wondered then why brown sugar wasn't generally used instead of white sugar, since it tasted so much better. No one ever answered my question, so I've been left in the dark ever since. Even now, I still wonder why brown sugar hasn't replaced white sugar. This must be one of the mysteries of the ages. 150517Logic and body terminology work together to show something fascinating. A roof is the outside top of something, while a ceiling is the inside top of something. Our mouths have a roof, but not a ceiling. That means that the roof of the mouth is the outside top of something. Clearly, it is the outside top of the brain's housing. The only way this could be the outside top of the brain's housing is if the brain is oriented such that the roof of the mouth isn't the floor. Therefore, our brains (and, by extension, our heads) are upside down. 150518Many people have long chased the elusive Inbox Zero goal. I've given up on that goal as being unattainable and pretty much impossible. I am now chasing a different goal, one which I fear will be equally elusive -- Browser Tabs Zero. 150519Whenever I give blood or get a shot, the needle-sticker will tell me, "You'll feel a little pinch." I then get skewered with a lance of flaming pain. What the heck kind of tormented lives have these people had if this searing bolt of agony is only a "little pinch"? 150520I need an app that registers when a device starts swooping around and has sudden vertical drops. After a certain number of swoops and drops in a short time, the app starts hassling me to turn the device off and go to sleep. After too many, it shuts the device off itself. 150521As we spread out across the galaxy, colonists are bound to suffer casualties from alien animals and plants that are inimical to humans. I bet some of the initial losses to each colony will be from attempts to find a local plant that can be used to make tea. 150522I had a great idea for a cheesy sitcom. It would be set in the 50's and it would be about a teenage girl with a huge collection of knickknacks. It would be called "Joanie Loves Tchochkes". 150523When I was a kid, I tried writing a piece of music. Other than knowing about notes and such, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Nothing about key signatures, harmonic progressions, chord structures. As I tried to put together a basic melody, I realized it didn't sound good at all. I decided that I could give it a Halloweeny title -- something like Goblin's Dance or Witch's Cauldron -- and then it could sound terrible (from my lack of talent) and it would be okay. 150524It's funny that an uninhabited, moving rocking chair has come to mean two completely different things. It either means someone has just left the room or that there's a ghost in the room. 150525Today being a holiday, last night I set my alarm for later so I could sleep in. Naturally, I woke up before the alarm went off and earlier than normal -- right at 8:03. I read the clock as BOE, and I started to think of Doctor Who and the Face of Boe. It occurred to me that that was the only Doctor Who character whose name would ever appear on a clock. I spent the remaining 57 minutes until my alarm went off in a half-asleep daze, trying to work out if there were any other Doctor Who characters whose names could appear on a clock. In all that time, the only other possibility I came up with was Bob (8:08) and I don't know if there were ever any Bobs on Doctor Who. During that whole hour, I never realized that a 3 wouldn't really work as an 'E' since it was backwards. No other names and the initial one wrong. All that lovely lying-in, holiday-morning sleep lost for naught. 150526For a long time, doctors, musicians, and lawyers have been subject to requests for free help from family, friend, neighbors. "Hey, before we go in for dinner can you take a quick look at this weird growth on my back?" "My paperboy claims he slipped on ice on my sidewalk and hurt his back, but I don't believe him." "Can you play for this benefit I'm hosting? It'll be great exposure for you." Computer professionals are the latest people to be afflicted by such requests. "My computer has gone all wonky. Can you take a look at it? I swear I didn't click on any porn pop-up ads." These quick little requests for help are rarely quick and are invariably not accompanied by the deserved payment for services rendered. It can be awkward and uncomfortable to talk about payment in actual money, regardless of how much time is spent providing assistance and how reasonable it might actually be. Especially if it comes from a family member. Rather than engaging in these uncomfortable, tension-filled discussions about filthy lucre, perhaps there should be a culture-wide understanding for these situations. For every hour of assistance one person provides another, they should be given a cake or a batch of cookies. Or, for those really pesky problems, fudge. 150527When the blu-ray player turns on, it puts up a message about BD-ROM availability. BD-ROM stands for "Blu-ray Disc Read-Only Memory". Every time I see that acronym, though, what immediately springs to mind is "Bondage and Discipline, with the ROMance option". 150528Academic regalia runs the gamut from plain black robes to wildly colorful robes and floppy hats to swords and top hats. If I had a doctorate and was a professor, I'd invent my own regalia and come up with something really cool. Given the goofy regalia that is actually used, no one would ever suspect that I'd invented it myself. I don't know what my regalia would entail -- a kilt? a hat with a long feathery plume? a plaid robe? an enormous multicoloured scarf? a bowtie? a trenchcoat? The possibilities are enormous. I don't know what it would be, but my regalia would definitely have a sword. Or a battle-axe. 150529I'd like to know the process doctors used to determine that you can only give one pint of blood every 56 days. There were two intertwined values to be determined: how much can be given and how often it could be given. I hope it was a conservative start -- an ounce or a gill every month or two -- rather than jumping in at the other extreme with a half gallon every week. I hope they didn't go through too many test subjects before they hit on the magic balance. I also would be interested to hear the interviews with potential volunteers: "You want to do WHAT? Are you insane? How much? How often? Are you a ghoul?" 150530One of the big villains of Star Trek was Khan. His full name was Khan Noonien Singh. This means the title of the second Star Trek movie used his first name, and was the equivalent of it being titled "The Wrath of Bob". 150531There are some who would disagree with the logic behind last night's Final Thought. In particular, they would say that Khan was not his name but instead his title. This is clearly wrong because of how Kirk uses the word. If it was Khan's title, then Kirk would be acknowledging the legitimacy of Khan's position. Kirk would also have been figuratively bending his knee to Khan's authority. Neither of those are things that Kirk would have been willing to do. If Khan was a title, then Kirk would have referred to him as either Noonien or Singh. Noonien has too many syllables and would have been an awkward name to easily use, so Kirk would have called him Singh. Singh is a surname, so the name ordering isn't culturally based. If Kirk had called him by his surname, there would have been a significant change to one of the iconic scenes in that movie. When Kirk expressed the depths of his anger and frustration with Khan, he would have thrown back his head, and with great emotion yelled, "Singh!"

June, 2015 150601So many things in life come down to two questions: how much and how often. Eating, drinking, sleeping, sex, pooping, blood donation, medicine dosage, music volume, playing, working. Whether the question is what's best, what's safe, what's sufficient, or a myriad of other particulars, at heart the question is really asking how much and how often. 150602The TV show "Masters of Sex" is an award-winning show. That must be very gratifying for those who won the awards, and it must make for interesting bragging. "Yeah, I've won awards for being a Master of Sex." 150603When I was a kid, I learned fractions by learning how to divide up a pie into pieces. This method did work for me, but there's a better way. I think fractions should be taught with music notes instead of with pieces of pie. There are all sorts of fraction combinations in music, and they form a logical system of notation for which there are millions of examples. Music gives a useful, practical skill, and knowing how to read music would expand people's talents and brains. Knowing how to divide up pie isn't a useful skill, it's an abstract one at best, that has no real-world uses. There are very few pie fractions that can be easily and clearly demonstrated. No one ever says, "I think I'll cut three-eighths of a pie." People will cut the piece of pie that they want to have and not worry what the fraction is. 150604Birds introduced to an area by humans are considered bad. House sparrows and starlings being brought to North America are prime examples of this. It's okay if birds move into a new area by themselves, but introduction by humans makes the birds malevolent interlopers. I've seen how easily house sparrows and starlings get into places they shouldn't be, such as large stores, malls, and schools. I have no doubt that they could also get onto ships that were about to sail and thus be carried from one place to another. If these birds hadn't been introduced to North America by humans, then they probably would have made their own way in the fullness of time. If house sparrows and starlings had introduced themselves to North America I wonder if they would be viewed with the disdain and contempt with which they are viewed now. 150605In English, nouns and verbs are either singular or plural. Representing nouns and verbs with numbers, a singular can be replaced with 1 and generalizing a little a plural can be replaced with 2 (or some other even number.) For a sentence in American English to be grammatically correct, the noun and verb must add up to an odd number. Therefore, American English is an odd mathematical language. 150606I don't know much about young children, but something tells me that if you're playing a guessing game with a four-year-old, the kid always wins. 150607It appears that I define a robot as something that hates music, is always angry, and wants to kill everyone. 150608One of the Cool New Features of the Apple Watch is that you can use it to send your hunnybunny your heartbeat. You can each share the other's heartbeat, and so keep in close, intimate touch with each other. That sounds all lovey-dovey and adorable, but I don't think I should ever be allowed to do that. I'd do stupid stuff like taking off the Apple Watch during (ahem) romantic moments and say it was because "I didn't want to share my mojo with anyone", or wait until she wasn't wearing her Apple Watch and then comment about how close I felt to her when we shared heartbeats, or slip mine off at the same time I quietly clutch my chest with a pained expression on my face. 150609iTunes keeps track of how often you have played a particular tune, as well as the last time you played it. It would be really cool if clothes could report the same info for the last time you wore something and the number of times it has been worn overall. 150610The James Webb space telescope, to be launched in 2018, is designed to be 100 times more powerful than the Hubble telescope. It's supposed to be able "to see the edge of the observable universe." That goes without saying. If it's the most powerful telescope ever, then whatever it can see is the edge of the observable universe. What's more, each individual can see to the edge of their own observable universe. An individual's edge will be different depending on that individual's eyes and whatever optics they're using. 150611The giant Easter Island heads actually have buried bodies, making them giant Easter Island people. I've seen pictures of some of them being excavated. It looks like that old beach game where you lay down on the beach and someone buries you in sand, usually leaving your head uncovered. The big difference is that that the giant Easter Island people weren't lying down, they were vertical -- standing up. I wonder why they were buried like that. Maybe they were buried by an island mafia as a means of killing them. Leaving them buried and watching while the tide slowly rolled in to submerge them. But the tide never came in. Maybe the giant Easter Island people were in a mud spa, but the mud dried out much quicker than expected. Maybe Easter Island is a sentient creature that feeds on intellectual activity, and the Easter Island people are lures to attract deep-thinking scientists on whose brainwaves Easter Island feeds. Maybe the Easter Island people aren't people at all, just big boulders with really fascinating patterns of erosion and weathering. 150612Having heard the exemplars of the current crop of popular musicians, I am incredibly grateful I grew up in the 70's and 80's. Now you young whippersnappers get off my lawn! 150613A cairn is a pile of rocks that is much more than a pile of rocks. I wonder what it is that makes a cairn a cairn and not merely a pile of rocks. Do you need a certain number of stones in order to have a cairn? Must the pile be a minimum height to be a cairn? Maybe it's a matter of blood -- a certain amount of blood must flow during the cairn construction. Perhaps it isn't a physical trait at all, but it's more a spiritual difference. Maybe it takes no effort to make a pile of rocks, but it takes a certain intent or an act of will during construction in order for a pile of rocks to be a cairn. Or possibly that the cairn must be dedicated to a specific person or cause. 150614The Great Sphinx looks really cool, but have you ever noticed that the head is hilariously too small for its body? 150615I got a tattoo of a Ouija board on my back. Now, whenever someone gives me a hug, I ask them questions that have long, complicated answers, and my hugger's fingers spell out a nice, relaxing massage for me. This would be perfect if it wasn't for the short-term demonic possession my hugger then has to endure. 150616Dave Barry introduced me to the pre-internet (vibrant even now) meme of following an interesting phrase with "That'd be a good name for a band." Things like Pantheon of Discord, Quantum Qrow, Beelzebubblicious, Live Bait, Cooler Full of Tools. And, of course, the ever-popular Free Beer. I think there must be a musical version of Thursday Next's BookWorld, something I call BandWorld. It'd be really cool to go to BandWorld where all these names-without-a-band would actually exist. BandWorld would be a gateway to clubs, bars, arenas, and festivals where all these mythical bands, as well as real bands past and present, would be performing. 150617With the introduction of computers into the librarian's arsenal, the hallowed, old, wooden card catalogs had fallen into disuse. Until, that is, they began to be used in library cemetaries as columbaria. 150618Traditionally, vegetables have been thrown at politicians and other criminals to show contempt. What was thrown to show approval and positive feelings? Did people throw cheese, or maybe fruit. Maybe it was steaks, or better yet, bacon. 150619I have never felt much like an adult. As I've grown ever older, for some reason I have continued to feel like a child. I have realized one thing that contributes to this. As a child, I held flashlights for my father. I passed my father tools as he worked on cars or building things. I thought then that as an adult, I would be the one doing the work and being passed tools and having flashlights held for me. Now that I am nominally an adult, I hold flashlights for my wife. I pass her tools as she works and builds things. I haven't leapt across that particular divide that separates chilhood from adulthood. 150620While Jo spent yesterday cooking, I wandered around the kitchen pretending to help. I was in bare feet since I hadn't bothered to put on shoes or socks. I quickly realized exactly why cooks insist on kitchen staff wearing shoes while cooking. Without shoes on, if you step in spills your feet stick to the floor and it feels pretty gross for a long time after. 150621There are so many books being published now that we are in the midst of an avalanche of literature. It's gotten hard to decide what to read because there are so many possibilities. To ease the task of choosing new things to read, I have decided from now on to buck popular wisdom and I will judge books by their covers. 150622It would be interesting if "The show must go on" was a physical law of nature and not just a cheerleading, morale-building admonition. 150623"I owe you my life" can be dangerous to say to someone from a different planet. 150624I have a Cunning Plan if I ever publish all these Final Thoughts. I could publish the Final Thoughts along with a companion guide explaining all the obscure references and dumb jokes. The Final Thoughts book could sell really cheaply and the illuminating companion could be ten times the price. 150625If your only complaint about a doctor's appointment is that when you're done you find the Dairy Queen hasn't opened yet, then you can probably count it as a successful doctor's appointment. 150626Oven mitts sound like equipment you'd use when throwing an oven around in the back yard. 150627It's easy to blame unrecognized, superficial health issues on bug bites. It can even be kind of comforting. "Huh, what's that greenish bump on my arm? Must be a bug bite of some sort. Eh, it'll go away in a few days." We live in a really convenient part of the world for that. There are some places that it's more like, "Oh crap! You've got a bug bite! Maybe we can get you to a doctor in time before, you know..." 150628Some neanderthals think women don't know anything about cars. If that was really true, how do they explain Kelly Bloobuck? The way people talk about her, she understands cars so well that she can take a quick look at a car's problems and know how much it's worth right away. 150629Squirrel-proof bird feeders use weight-based levers to keep squirrels from getting the bird food. Campers use rope with simple pulleys to hoist food out of the reach of bears. Yet still the animals get the food. We are teaching animals advanced reasoning skills and methods of using simple mechanical devices. With quickly evolving animals on one hand, and robots and AIs on the other, we are setting the stage for our own extinction. Our doom will be complete when we start combining quickly evolving animals with robots and AIs. It'll be a cool doom, but it will be doom nonetheless. 150630While watching "The Empire Strikes Back" I had a revelation of a long-term professional goal, something I have been missing lo these many years. I want to get a job working at Austria Telecom. Then, to show my admiration for the Empire's engineers, I want to have my email address be "at-at@at.at".

July, 2015 150701AT-ATs look like giant walking toasters. Replace the blasters with butter and jam dispensers, and you can keep your Roombas and Scoobas; gimme an AT-AT -- Autonomous Travelling Automatic Toaster. 150702Sarah Manning and her clones must be musicians because they're always worried about what's happening with the monitors. 150703Plank's Constant: No matter where it's done or how stiff the body is kept, it always looks dumb. 150704I tried out for the football team in high school, but I didn't last long. I started as a fullback, quickly moved to tackle, took one big hit and was then only good for a hunchback. 150705Whenever people say they play DADGAD guitar it always sounds like they're cussing at their instrument. 150706The Grand Nutritional Triangle consists of carbs, fats, and proteins. You've got to have a nice balance of the three to stay healthy. If you're low on carbs, it's easy to hit the balance; just get some chocolate syrup or jelly. It's easy to balance out if you're low on fats; just get a spoonful of butter or Crisco. You're out of luck, though, if you're low on proteins. Someone needs to sell squeeze-tubes of pureed protein to help out with this. "Need a quick protein hit? Get Billy's Beef Slurry and you'll be rarin' to go. Billy's Curry Chicken Slurry and you'll be crowing in the morning."
Food Week 3
150707Shepherds Pie sounds like a recipe from "To Serve Man". It would be right up there with Shoemakers Cobbler, Tart Tart Tart, and Jarred Masons.
Food Week 3
150708The Five-Second Rule is a scientifically established rule that allows you to pick up food from the floor and eat it -- as long as it's done within five seconds of it having hit the floor. That limit is five seconds long because it takes two seconds for germs to realize there's food sitting there, one second for the germs to leap onto the food, and then two seconds of scrabbling around until the germs can actually grab hold of the food and infect it. If you can pick up the food before that crucial sixth second, the germs won't have been able to get a firm grasp on the food, they'll fall off, and the food is still safe to eat. I wonder if that's a hard and fast time limit though. Wet food is stickier than dry food. I wonder if germs can grab wet food faster than they can grab dry food. So maybe it's five seconds for dry food and four seconds for wet food. Or maybe six seconds for dry food and five seconds for wet food. Someone should commit some Science to find out about this.
Food Week 3
150709God gave us fire so we don't have to suffer through the taste of raw vegetables.
Food Week 3
150710It is not a good idea to dip your hands in jalapeño water and then rub your eyes.
Food Week 3
150711As icing is the point of cake, dressing is the point of salad.
Food Week 3
150712Proteins in snake venom make it poisonous. I've read that peanut proteins are what cause deadly peanut allergies. This tells me that protein is deadly and it's trying to kill us. A nutritionist once told me that foods can be grouped into proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Since protein is trying to kill you, you're left with eating fats and carbohydrates. 150713As a Computer Security Professional, I am often amused and frustrated by the system design and lack of security used on computers in movies and TV shows. There are so many stupid things done with movie computers that would never be done in the real world. Of course, the plots rely on those stupid TV computers and the plots would fall apart if the computers were designed in a sane manner. I laugh at and mock the movie computers; no one would ever design a real computer or network to have such Swiss-cheese security. Then I remember problems with real-world computers and real-world networks, and I wonder if movies and TV shows are actually documentaries. 150714Forks are a relatively modern invention that take the place of our hands in transporting food to our mouths. They were given their common form in a brilliant move of magical thinking. Forks are miniature hands. The tines stand in as fingers, the tines join at the "palm" of the fork, and thus a representational hand is created. 150715Doves always make a whirring noise when they take off to fly away. I've wondered for a while whether the whirring noise was from their wing feathers or if that was their take-off coo. As it turns out, it's neither. Doves have jet-assisted take-off and that's the noise of their jet engines. 150716Steampunk Cosplay is very popular these days. People dress up in clothes they feel epitomized the styles, mannerisms, and social classes of Victorian England. A Victorian England that was rather more exciting than our own. There are lots of goggles and gears and corsets and airships and parasols and giant guns, and even some steam-driven robots and mechanical horses and gas masks. It's a fascinating mixture of historical and modern and upper class and lower class and science and fantasy. I wonder if a similar fad will spring forth in another 150 years where people in the late 22nd century start cosplaying the fashions and cultures of the early 21st century. If so, what will be the big things they focus on as critical to the proper look and feel? What will they get right? What will they get wrong, but we would have loved to have had? And what will they get horribly wrong? 150717It's been fun watching "Gargoyles". After all these years, it holds up pretty well. I am a bit confused by one thing thing, though. As powerful and massive as the gargoyles are, why do they always walk around on their tippy-toes? 150718In Jurassic Park, the power generator station was at the far end of the compound from the operations center. Within the generator station, the main power controls were down a flight of stairs and at the far end. If it ever so happened that all the power went out to the park, and fences were no longer electrified, and gate controls no longer worked, then someone would have to go alllll the way across the compound, climb dowwwwn a dark flight of stairs, walk down a loooong dark spooky tunnel, just to get to the power switches. Then you have to pump up a primer just to start the generator. Then you have to flip a bunch of individual switches. Who would come up with such an immensely stupid design? For a park like that, there should be one big, green, easily accessible button that starts everything. And it should be in the main building, not hidden off somewhere. Easy and accessible beats hard and velociraptory every time. 150719Why is it called the Vitruvean Man when it's clearly an arachnid? 150720I wonder how aware family curses are of their own potential demise. If a curse runs in a family -- for instance, the first child will die of a monkey attack upon their 20th birthday -- will the curse still strike if the target is the last of the family line? Will it skip a generation so that the curse may continue living? Will the curse cause additional children to be born? Are family curses a part of an earlier time when people had as many children as possible? Is the ultimate purpose of a family curse to eliminate the family or is the purpose to prolong a family's suffering? 150721Whenever I open a new jar of peanut butter, I am impressed by the ultra-smooth surface of the pristine, untouched peanut butter. I have an idea how They get it so smooth, but I imagine something different. I imagine that there's a cunning and skillful device devoted to providing elegant, smooth surfaces to peanut butter jars. I then marvel at the ingenuity required to develop such a magnificent device. 150722The sign on the front of the TARDIS says, "FREE For Use of PUBLIC". I want to take the Doctor at his word and use his TARDIS. Now if only he'd keep to his end of the deal and bring the TARDIS here to me. 150723It seems like sportscasters secretly wish they were stand-up comedians. 150724I watched a video called "How to Get Women to Obese Over You". I thought it'd be great, and help extend my natural coolness so women would move from infatuation to obsession for me. Oh, that was wrong and a huge mistake. It wasn't a vid about obsession, it was a vid about overeating. It showed how my attempts at suaveness, charm, and witty banter were driving women to extended binge eating in the effort to drive all thoughts of my patheticness from their heads. Worst of all is that the vid was about me. It wasn't a general "idiot guys are idiots" vid, it was a "this guy is an idiot". 150725I have a question about baseball-based laws. The baseball rule is that you strike out if you get three strikes. If all along it had been five strikes, I wonder if the laws would have been "5 strikes and you're out" for felonies. 150726Stomach growling is like thunder of the digestive system. I wonder if there's complementary, metaphorical lightning to go along with the thunder. 150727Thor has been a hero of mine since I was young. Protector of the weak, fighter of evil, drinker of deep draughts, feaster above all feasters, bearer of great tools. Thor always had much to commend himself as a hero. However, when people mention thunder and lightning, I always think first of David Bowie. 150728The slow clap seems like it's squeezing every last grudging, resentful bit of acknowledgment from the slow~clapper. 150729If you only had one blues song in your repertoire, wouldn't that technically make you a blue singer? 150730When the ark came to rest after The Flood, Noah first released a raven in order to find if the waters had receded enough. This raven flew around until the waters had receded, but it never returned to Noah. I wonder why it never returned. Did something happen to the raven? Was it fed up with Noah and didn't want to put up with the ark any more? What made the raven decide to strike off on its own? 150731One man's profound is another man's profane.

August, 2015 150801I think ghosts need a certain amount of ghosty energy to manifest. I also think that there's only a certain amount of this ghosty energy available in a particular place at any time. If there are many ghosts in one place, then they have to fight each other for the chance to use the energy. This fighting makes the ghosts angry and upset, which is why ghost seem so cranky and unpleasant and unhappy and haunty when they manifest. 150802With a really good joke, there's a brief moment between the end of the joke and the start of the laughter. If that moment of silence doesn't occur at all, then the joke was too obvious and wasn't as good as it could have been. If the silence is too long, then the joke was too obscure and takes too much effort to understand. But if you hit it not too long, not too short... Ah, that's what you're looking for. That brief, perfect moment in time is precious and makes it all worthwhile. 15080320 years ago, publishers missed an opportunity. This was a time when people were just starting to think about electronic books, but they really hadn't gained much popularity at all. If publishers had been able to read the writing on the wall, they should have laced book glue with coke or crack. This would have caused people to get addicted to reading physical books rather than getting hooked on e-books. 150804Back when I sang in a madrigals choir, I thought madrigals were great because it felt like in every piece I sang, my part was the melody. 150805I keep a crowbar in my car in case I have a flat tire. Once the crows have helped me fix the flat, I'll mix them a drink to show my appreciation for their help. 150806Teen angst comes from a growth spurt in the musculature, which strangles the brain. Once the rest of the body growth catches up with the musculature, a new brain grows to replace the old one. The teen then has a decent chance of becoming a reasonable person. 150807When I first started these Thoughts, I would write each night's Thought shortly before giving it to Jo. One a night, every night. Eventually, I wrote one or two in advance to help during vacations, but I still wrote most on the night they were given. Things change, as they do, and my inherent laziness asserted itself. Now I like to have five or six Thoughts stored up in advance. That gives me almost a week of prepped Thoughts and my inherent laziness can take control and let me coast for days at a time. Once those are used up, there's a flurry of activity to build up more so I can coast again for a while. Panic and lazy, panic and lazy -- ah, the sweet, sweet circle of life. 150808Software demos are far more than the name implies. A software demo must be simple enough to capture the attention of a bored conference attendee, yet still convey the essence of the work that's being demonstrated. Blinking lights, pretty colors, and active displays help with this. However, unless tedious actions are taken -- displaying code, querying databases, listing files -- the demo viewer isn't going to have a clue what actually happened. They're also not going to really know whether the demonstrated code is truly doing what is claimed or whether it's a rigged, deceptive, swindling bundle of lies. Software demos require an amazing amount of trust. Software demos are a matter of faith. 150809The size of our dry-pack backpack is measured in liters. This seems strange because a liter is a liquid measure and the special purpose of that backpack is to keep things dry. 150810Buh-bum, buh-bum, buh-bum. The heartbeat is a primal sound. Things that mimic a heartbeat are almost as primal, and we are viscerally attracted to them.
Duh-duh-duh-duh-dum, duh-duh, duh-duh. Duh-duh-duh-duh-dum, duh-duh, duh-duh. The blues mimic the heartbeat in a way that grabs your attention by the balls and doesn't let go. That's why so many people have a deep, instinctual connection to the blues, regardless of their musical background and upbringing.
150811The problem with exercise training isn't that it's tiring, sweaty, hot, and exhausting. The problem with exercise training is that it's mindnumbingly boring. 150812I wonder what roadrunners were called back before there were roads. I wonder what coyotes did back before 1883, which is the year the Acme Company was founded. 150813There's a piece of country-folk wisdom that says, "The apple don't fall far from the tree." This seems rather obvious to me; how could apples fall far from the tree? Then I realized that I was looking at it wrong. I think it's saying that apples don't fall far from the tree, but other fruits do. I'd expect all fruit to be directly subject to gravity and that all fruit would therefore fall close to the tree. However, the country-folk wisdom is saying that it's only apples that do so. That must mean that other trees will whip their fruit at you as sure as they're standing there. That piece of country-folk wisdom is a warning, it's cautioning people against getting very close to fruit trees that aren't apple trees. I had always assumed that fruit orchards were safe, friendly places to be, but now I'm scared to get anywhere near one. 150814It used to be that the milkman would make his morning rounds and deliver fresh milk hither and yon. You would know it's morning and all was well with the world because you knew the milkman had come and fresh milk was waiting on the doorstep. As time passed and supermarkets became widespread, the milkman has slowly been phased out and we no longer have that daily reminder of the new day and the rightness of the world. The loss of the milkman has resulted in a separation from nature, from the cycles and seasons of the year. This separation is the root of all that is wrong with the world. 150815Whenever I think about Carl Sagan's book Broca's Brain, I always want to make it about killer whales. 150816Modern drug names combine all kinds of weird syllables and the drugs end up sounding like they were named by mashing a bunch of keyboard keys all at once. Pharmaceutical companies need to take a hint from car companies. Rather than giving their drugs stupid names like Zyxoril, Xyzzy, Wilquortin, or Mibzifilqin, drugs should be named things like Panther, Stallion, Athena, Capricorn, and Pteranodon. These names make just as much sense as the meaningless names, but they're infinitely cooler. 150817"Is that still a thing?" I've heard that phrase used to talk about vampires, bacon, TV shows, cuisines, and a wide variety of other things. That phrase, though, is a cunning insult in several sneaky ways. There are a few pieces to the phrase: the speaker, the target, and the thing under discussion, and it's used when the target says something about the thing. That phrase implies the speaker's superiority, even suggesting a tired, smug, world-weariness. It implies that the thing was a fad, one which smart or sophisticated people ignored. By extension, the speaker was one of those that ignored the fad of the thing. The phrase also implies that the fad for the thing has been dead for a while. All these imply that the target is not smart or sophisticated, the target is susceptible to dumb popular-culture fads, and that the target is out-of-touch because they're still showing interest in the thing. It is a sneaky, evil way to insult someone. 150818I was laying in bed this morning, half asleep and avoiding getting up. Somehow, I recalled that Tivo had thoughtfully decided to record "Zack and Miri Make a Porno". Except that I kept thinking of it as "Zack and Miri Make a Pyro". That sounds like it'd be a really cool sequel. 150819Alarm clocks should have better controls over their snooze alarms. They should have pressure-sensitive snooze buttons. The more vehemently the button is pushed, the longer the time before the alarm goes off again. Or, maybe the clocks should have microphones and they should respond to the moans and groans of the sleepers. The more whining and groaning the clock hears, the longer it lets the sleepers sleep. They should also have an "I-meant-to-hit-snooze-not-the-off-button" button, not to mention an "I-don't-feel-like-setting-the-full-alarm-just-give-me-the-snooze-time" button. 150820There's an old curse -- "A murrain on you!" -- which is calling down a plague upon the curse's target. I keep wanting to confuse the words "murrain" and "moraine". A murrain (a plague) and a moraine (debris deposited by a glacier) are rather different. However, I can see that successfully cursing someone with "A moraine on you!" might be a very effective curse if a glacier sprang out of nowhere and suddenly dumped a huge pile of debris on them. 150821The one advantage I see to growing old is that we'll both end up with white hair. This means that I'll stop automatically being blamed for all the hair left lying around the house. 150822I want to start a company called Morlocks Mining Co. 150823Thanks to the Doppler effect, blue is the new red. Or red is the new blue, depending on which way you're going. 150824It'd be cool to rent an 18-wheeler and have someone drive me and some friends around a highway. We'd stand on top of the trailer, acting out sword fights and martial arts fights for the amusement of the other drivers. If only there was some way to be sure we wouldn't fall off and die. 150825It'd be interesting if Salvador Dali thought he was a photorealist. 150826In a concert band, the percussion section has a wide variety of instruments -- drums, gongs, chimes, blocks, whistles, anvils. All sorts of things. At band rehearsal tonight, I realized that a percussion section actually functions as a single instrument composed of many smaller pieces, not a bunch of separate instruments the way I'm used to thinking of it. 150827When someone says, "Someday you'll thank me for this" you're almost guaranteed they're trying to distract you from the fact that they're about to do something unpleasant to you. 150828Ever since I was a kid, I have enjoyed untying knots. I always liked pulling on this bit here, pushing that bit over there, trying to make sense and unravel a complex knot. Whether or not I was successful with a particular knot, I enjoyed the attempt. I think this may have helped in my work with computers. Debugging code, unravelling a tricky logic problem, designing a new piece of software. There are ravelled threads and obscured pathways and unexpected intricacies interwoven in code. Knots and software aren't quite the same, but they have strong similarities. 150829Albuquerque sounds a lot like the fascinating Scots Gaelic phrase "Scotland of Hen." 150830If I'm ever in a plane that's going to crash, I'll grab my seat cushion flotation device regardless of whether we're over water or land. It might not be much, but it'll give me a little bit of chest protection during the actual crash. 150831It seems that the length of a lay-over is inversely proportional to how close you are to an airplane's exit.

September, 2015 150901Trick candles are impossible. There's no way in physics that fire can perpetually stop and start the way it does in trick candles. Therefore, these candles must work by some form of magic. I think there must be a tiny fire elemental hidden inside the wick of each trick candle. The tiny fire elemental keeps restarting the flame when it is blown out. You'd think the fire elementals would find it annoying, but since their raison d'être is to light fires, I doubt they mind too much. 150902The word "ineffable" sounds like you're trying to keep from cussing.
Word Week 2
150903Gráinne O'Malley was the well-known Irish pirate queen. She was famed as a brilliant leader, relentless in battle, and a fierce warrior. That last bit of reknown gave rise to the name for the powerful, pounding headaches some people get. Those suffering a migraine would says that "My gráinne is battling away in my head."
Word Week 2
150904The word "loom" has a long and honorable history. It comes from the Latin word "lumen", which means "light". A weaver's loom got its name because weavers were once teachers and holders of deep wisdom about a vast range of topics. Those in power didn't want this dangerous knowledge to spread among the peasantry. Except where required for passing on trades, teaching and enlightenment and instruction were banned. Weavers felt their calling as teachers to be an honorable, respectable, and important calling, so they had to do their teaching quietly and in private. Their workshops became their secret schools, and their looms became the center of knowledge. Students would sit at their feet, listening to their teachers, while the weavers taught and wove cloth. The weavers brought enlightenment to the people, and the loom got its name.
Word Week 2
150905I don't think it's a coincidence that the words "cooking" and "choking" are only separated by a single letter.
Word Week 2
150906According to OxfordDictionaries.com, "mansplain" is a recently coined word that means, "(Of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing." Women, understandably and reasonably find mansplaining to be incredibly annoying and frustrating. What women don't realize (I'll explain condescendingly) is that men want to explain things to everyone, not just women. They don't explain things to each and every other man out there due to a subconscious fear that other men are more likely than women to act on their annoyance in a violent and aggressive manner.
Word Week 2
150907Word syllabification provides a good indication of how a word should be pronounced. This isn't always the case, as can be shown by "wardrobe." My dictionary says its syllables are "ward" and "robe", but that it should be pronounced "war-drobe".
Word Week 2
150908There are many instances in English where letters are silent. It is exceedingly rare, however, for a single letter to provide multiple sounds in a word. The only one I can think of that does this is the 't' in "eighth".
Word Week 2
150909I have long been entranced by road signs warning about the crossings of various animals. Cows, deer, horses, elk, moose, ducks -- whatever the animal, I really like those signs. Those signs are usually accompanied by distances for which the warning is valid. "Cows, next quarter mile." "Deer, next 12 miles." Occasionally, the animal signs do not have the accompanying distance. I used to think those signs were intended as nice pieces of art, put up by kind-hearted communities. "Having a bad day? Here's a nice picture of a moose to cheer you up." "Look at this dressage horse; isn't he fancy?" I've come to realize that these signs aren't art, they're general warnings about untrustworthy animals. "Beware cows! All the time!" "Elk are lurking, don't trust them!" "Deer can leap! And they want your brains!" 150910For me, cliff trails have an interesting magnetic balance. On one hand, the cliff edge (with its attendant long drop) has a strong attraction that wants me up at the very edge, if not further beyond. On the other, the mountainside has a strong attraction that wants me hugging the rock face very tightly. So far, these two magnetic forces have stayed nicely in balance and I remain alive.
So far.
150911Freddie Mercury was the reincarnation of Mozart. 150912I wonder if it's a good thing to be remembered through the ages. If you are, that sets you up to be an unwilling, unknowing participant in someone's historical fiction or time-travel story. You'll have no control in how you are presented in such works. While your great deeds may be properly immortalized, this also sets you up to be unfairly maligned -- or even unfairly celebrated -- down through the ages. 150913We got these great hiking clothes whose advertisements all say they "wick away sweat!" But they never say where the sweat is wicked to. Is all that sweat dumped into your shoes? Is it sent into an alternate dimension? Is the sweat gathered in a reservoir and then sprayed out into the air? These clothes purport to be great wonders, but they could really be antisocial garments of horror. 150914I once read a story about the first Faster-Than-Light starship. It was built with windows, which only showed a grey void during FTL flight. This was a problem since the crew kept dropping out of FTL so they could be assured the universe was still there. I kind of feel that way with my noise-cancelling earphones during air travel. They help a great deal, but they're not perfect and so a lot of noise remains. I have to periodically turn them off to assure myself they're still working. 150915Q: Who do the French call to handle problems with sexism and certain grammar issues?
A: The gendermes.
Father of Dumb Joke Week
150916I put a capon on my guitar to change the key, but all it did was make the guitar start playing on its own at sunrise.
Father of Dumb Joke Week
150917Back when I was studying anthropology, I thought about specializing in bog bodies. I decided against it when I saw how disgusting public restrooms actually are.
Father of Dumb Joke Week
150918Q: What kind of spider comes in installments?
A: A tranche-ula.
Father of Dumb Joke Week
150919Q: What insects can be used to determine if someone is a virgin?
A: Any bug in the order Hymenoptera.
Father of Dumb Joke Week
150920I hate change. However, I love big bills.
Father of Dumb Joke Week
150921Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: He saw the elephant coming and he owed the duck money.
Father of Dumb Joke Week
150921Q: Why did the duck cross the road?
A: Because the elephant was tired of putting out fires and wanted to get a drink at the pub.
Father of Dumb Joke Week
150922Vacations are like nutrition. It's okay to do a few junk-food, tourist-trap thingies as long as you do good, nutritional things as well. Balance is key. 150923What happens to illiterate people who receive those chain letters that claim "You must forward this letter to 10 people or be DOOOOMED"? If they can't read the letter, can the curse be invoked? It seems they should be safe from the curse, since they can't read it. This probably depends on the chain letter's curse, and the strength of the curse's inherent sense of fair play. 150924TV police shows are often advertised as having plots that are "ripped from the headlines." If that were actually true, you'd think the newspapers would sue for copyright infringement. 150925Whenever we record another album, we'll need a new band photo for the liner notes. I had a great idea for a photo to use. Lots of bands have a band photo where the band are surrounded by a big pile of instruments, all the instruments the band members play. Instead of surrounding ourselves with our instruments, we should surround ourselves with a bunch of chunks of wood or logs that are roughly shaped like the pieces of our instruments. And a sheep. 150926Airports are not for the timid and faint of heart. 150927I am too paranoid to have a motorcycle. Not because I'm afraid of the danger involved in riding a bike, though that is a concern. The problem is that a motorcycle can be picked up and tossed in the back of a pickup truck without much trouble, and I'd always be worrying about it being stolen. There aren't many people who could toss a car into the back of a pickup, so I don't have to worry too much about losing a car that way. 150928I fear that the tablet-computer industry is trying to kill people who read in bed. They keep making tablets thinner and thinner, with narrower edges. This leaves us bed-readers lying in bed, holding over our heads high-tech guillotines. Personal electronic digital guillotines. Poised above our heads and necks, waiting for that moment of fatigue-induced carelessness when the tablet-guillotine can slip out of our hands, plummeting to separate head from neck and thus fulfill its Franco-cranial destiny. And since tablets come equipped with cameras, you know they're eager to take selfies with their victims. 150929Overhead luggage bins in airplanes are an exercise in faith that strength of arms and repeated pushing can overcome physics and topology. 150930Guys have an innate, unquenchable need to measure their penises. Even if they never share that measurement, that need to measure is always burning deep within. The need to measure persists even after the measurement has been made. After all, you never know when you might get a sudden one- or two-inch growth spurt. There is no undeniable evidence of this, but I'm sure that penis measurement and comparison stretches back into the distant, prehistoric time of the cavemen. If Tyrannosaurus Rex didn't have such short arms (there's another measurement there), then I'm sure the T. Rexes would have been measuring and comparing their penises. Throughout human history, this need to measure extended to other things, which is why the statistician is the unsung hero of all sports. The Golden Ratio is built upon measurements and comparing measurements. So many branches of learning and activity have the Golden Ratio at their heart -- such as architecture, art, music, mathematics -- that it is hard to conceive of a world without the Golden Ratio and other forms of measurement. It follows, therefore, that the foundations of civilization are built on penis measurement.

October, 2015 151001If vampires can't see their reflections, how are they able to stay so snazzily coiffed and attired? I think that's the purpose for having minions, so that vampires will always have hair stylists and dressers. 151002I joined the percussion section of a concert band because the instrumentation sounded really cool. It wasn't quite what I'd hoped. It turns out the concert bands use a different sort of glock than I thought. 151003Historians talk about humans domesticating animals. They usually are talking about goats, cows, sheep, pigs, and dogs. If I was a dog and I heard this sort of talk, I'd look at what humans do to the other guys and I'd start to get real worried. 151004Birthday cake is a symbol of our mortality, and not due to the ever-increasing number of candles. A birthday cake is celebrating one's life. It starts off a complete cake, so full of promise and unknown possibilities. It could taste wonderful, it could taste boring, it could be mediocre. It could be filled with chocolate, it could be filled with orange-lime zest. As you cut the cake and start to eat it, the possibilities slowly reveal themselves. Piece after piece, the cake resembles the promise and possibilities from the start, but there are variations and subtle differences with each different piece that can bring additional delight or disappointment. As you progress through the first half of the cake, the possibilities and fulfillment of the cake satisfy and enrich your life. Once you hit the halfway point, though, you start to get a subtle sense of unease. You're really enjoying the cake, and you're not going to stop eating it. Oh no, it's delicious and, one might say, addictive. But after you get halfway through the cake, you see the approach of the end. You can see that final piece of cake is definitely on its way. You might start slicing the cake thinner and thinner, but you know that final piece is coming. When it finally arrives, you savor each bite, each lick of icing. And then when that final piece of cake is eaten at last, you can look back on the delights of a cake well eaten. 151005There's a farm in the country that dogs go to when they get old. They sit in front of the fire in the evenings, they chase rabbits all day, they get steak and woofie treats whenever they want them. It's a beautiful, lovely place that deserving dogs -- all dogs, in other words -- get as their reward. That farm is also the hell where bad rabbits go. 151006Editing is clearly an art because it takes a creativity, practiced eye for nuance, style, and technique, and lots of training. Also, it's done with colored pencils. 151007On the copyright page of one of The Oatmeal books, there's a notice that schools can get bulk discounts if they buy lots of copies of the book. I think that's a great idea! I think that public school systems across the country -- nay, the world -- should buy huge quantities of The Oatmeal books and give one to every high school student in each system. There would be more reading and the students would end up better educated as a result. 151008If you put some sharks in a jacuzzi, a musical will erupt as soon as the jets start. 151009A newscaster was talking about a local athlete who is hoping to be in next year's Olympics in rio. Does this mean all the Olympics events are going to be taking place in a river? That makes sense for the swimming, diving, and water events, but what about the others? Horses are already used to water polo, but what about the gymnasts? Are they going to do the sticky-twirly thing and the uneven parallel bars in rivers? Springboard might be interesting in (over?) a river, but river baseball is going to be weird. And since this is in South America, how are the river piranhas going to factor in to the events? 151010There was supposed to be a sequel to "Shaun of the Dead". At the end of "Shaun", zombie-ism has just started to be accepted. This is shown by Shaun keeping his zombified friend Ed in his garden shed. In the proposed sequel, the zombies have become so accepted that they've become a new form of pet and the movie deals with the resulting changes in society. This sequel was dropped for obvious reasons because it was to be named "Walking the Dead". 151011X-rays of skulls of very young children are kind of horrific. Most parts of the skulls look normal -- orbitals, jaws, skull sections -- they all look okay. Then you see the teeth. They have teeth all over the place. There are the ones in the jaws that are used to chew food and bite people. Then there are great piles of teeth stowed all over the place in the skull. There must be hundreds of spare teeth squirreled away for later use. I'm wondering what happens to that storage space once the teeth migrate down into position in the mouth. It seems that space should be available for storage, maybe letting people keep snacks or valuables safe until they're needed. 151012After watching that bird-intelligence show, I was impressed by all the cool things the birds did. I also was very impressed by the experiments devised by the scientists and how they determined various aspects of intelligence. I started to wonder about the scientists and what they were doing. I've concluded that aliens have been testing scientists to discover if humans have any intelligence. The aliens have subtly introduced the idea that maybe animals are intelligent, and they're trying to determine the level of human intelligence by evaluating the animal-intelligence experiments devised by the scientists. 151013The Taco Bell dog has written a tell-all autobiography that describes her scandal-filled life in Hollywood. It's called "I, Chihuahua". 151014Wandering around the drugstore, I saw a bunch of mystifying potions and lotions and salves and things. I don't know what these mystery medicines do, but I do know one thing. Caladryl, Cetaphil, Stridex, Acthrel, Aldomet, Mestinon, Gardasil -- these all sound like characters from Lord of the Rings. 151015I've been seeing Beethoven's name written as "Ludwig v. Beethoven". That looks like he's going to be in a boxing match with himself. 151016I have a friend who's such an overachiever that he wouldn't settle for having bipolar disorder, he has tripolar disorder. 151017Why does it seem like so much performance art starts with the thought, "I wanna do something weird in public while naked"? 151018Why are black boxes black? You'd think that they'd be painted lots of colors, with stripes and polka dots and flashing lights, so they'd be really easy to find. 151019If Monty Python had done a film version of Lord of the Rings, I wonder what Shadowfax's coconuts would have been like. And the sound of the Rohirrim coming to save the day at Helm's Deep -- the coconut thunder would have been awe-inspiring. 151020In Greek mythology, Hades became the ruler of the underworld after the Titans and Giants were defeated by the Olympian gods. Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades drew lots for their respective domains. Poseidon got the seas, Zeus got the sky, and Hades got the underworld. It is widely thought that Hades got the worst deal, but I think maybe he actually got the best of the domains. Zeus and Poseidon got the places of life -- their domains are filled with life and light, which is wonderful. However, life is fleeting. In time, everything dies and ends up in the underworld. With everyone coming to the realm of the dead, Hades is forever able to talk with the shades of the dead. The great thinkers, philosophers, and comedians are always available for tea and a chat. There are always new folks arriving, so there is always more to learn and experience. In the long term, Hades was destined to have the most interesting reign. 151021We watched a documentary last weekend, called "Fellowship of the Ring". There was one part where Gandalf and a big flaming monster fall off a bridge. Seeing as this was a documentary, I realized that the screen-time dedicated to the fall would allow me to calculate the distance they actually fell. This was likely to be a rough calculation, but even a rough calculation would be interesting. Gandalf's on-screen fall lasted a little over a minute -- 71 seconds to be a bit more precise. Going by a formula found online and ignoring wind resistance, I found that Gandalf fell 0.5 * 32.2 * (71^2) feet. This works out to 81160 feet, or 15.37 miles. =46rom the Bridge of Khazad Dum, Gandalf and the Balrog fell about 15 miles. That's almost three times the height of Mount Everest. I bet they were going kinda fast when they hit that pool of water at the end of their fall. 151022A Master of Divinity degree sounds nice, but I'd rather be a Master of Fudge. A general Master of Chocolate would be even better. 151023Entertainment Math Formula #57: Sister Act + Orphan Black = Sestra Act 151024Lilies are commonly associated with funerals. Frog lilies show that frogs are Death's assistants. The croaking of frogs helps guide passing souls on their way to their next destination. 151025Q: Where do ghosts like to live?
A: In the BOOOnies!
Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather of Dumb Joke Week
151026Q: What is a ghost's favorite form of logic?
A: BOOOlean!
Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather of Dumb Joke Week
151027Q: What do Australian ghosts play with?
A: BOOOmerangs!
Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather of Dumb Joke Week
151028Q: What is a ghost's favorite movie?
A: Das BOOOt!
Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather of Dumb Joke Week
151029Q: What is the scariest ruminant of all?
A: The cariBOOO!
Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather of Dumb Joke Week
151030Q: What is a ghost's favorite part of a woman's body?
A: Her mind.
Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather of Dumb Joke Week
151031Q: What are ghost librarians' favorite things?
A: Card catalogues, and BOOOks!
Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather of Dumb Joke Week

November, 2015 151101Quaker oats are oats that refuse to be used in dwarf bread. 151102In hopes of staving off Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I've started wearing this gauntlet-like brace on my right hand. Despite the sense of strength and power this gauntlet imparts, I feel cheated. I've read enough comic books and seen enough superhero movies to know that when you get something like this gauntlet, it should come equipped with super strength, or lasers, or repulsor rays -- something to help you fight the forces of evil. This brace has none of that; it's merely generic and commonplace cloth, padding, velcro, and shape-giving plastics. 151103The "Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddly Do" song makes me think that Ned Flanders used to sing for Manfred Mann. 151104In the original Banana Splits show, Fleegle had to be brought in as a last-minute replacement because one of the original cast members, Smeagol, kept biting the craft services staff. 151105By convention, anarchy is represented by the circle-A logo. It seems a little strange that anarchists have standardized upon this one image as their representative symbol. 151106One of the purposes of Natural-Language Processing (NLP) is to be able to computationally examine writing and understand what is meant. I think NLP can be applied to other fields to create a new field of research. This new field is multi-disciplinary, at the least combining NLP, literature, history, sociology, and statistical analysis. I will call this field Computational Literature. This research will involve examining the vast amount of writing that has been happening on computers and online over the past 10-30 years. It will explore a wide variety of questions. For example, why this computer-based literary explosion happened, how it was facilitated by the technology, what was good computer-based literature, what was bad literature, the standards for writing, how the standards changed over time, how the standards differed by region or genre, different genres that developed, and the rise and fall of genre popularity. Much of this research will require software to examine the zettabytes and yottabytes of data that will be posted on the internet (and whatever medium follows it.) For all I know, this research has already started. 151107It seems wrong for a secular piece of music to use temple blocks. 151108Brownian Motion was originally used to describe the social relationships of squirrels. 151109It has long been said that centuries ago, cats were worshipped as gods. This is not what the original research found and it is a mistake resulting from an historian's dyslexia. He originally wrote, "cats were worshipped as dogs." This proves that -- even millenia ago -- people knew the truth that dogs are superior to cats. 151110Why do people in the Lord of the Rings movies wear armor? The armor seems fairly useless in a fight, so why burden yourself with it? 151111When a stoplight turns yellow, people drive faster. The red-shift effect makes yellow lights look green and red lights look yellow, so people should be forgiven when they run a red light. 151112I can eat bacon 'til the cows come home. 151113I saw an advert for a new anti-insomnia drug. It's beyond me how anyone could manage to sleep after taking that drug and having heard all the potential side effects. 151114It has been said that it is the silence between the notes that makes the music. At this morning's gig, it was not silence but sleep that lived between the notes. 151115A girl came over and watched a movie, then we cooked some hamburgers. It was a nice evening, but not quite what I expected. The internet led me to believe there'd be more sexyfuntimes if I invited a girl over for Netflix and grill.
Week of Chill
151116My house is destroyed and I'm never trusting the internet again. No matter what anyone online tells you, take it from me, it's a really bad idea to invite someone over for Netflix and gorilla.
Week of Chill
151117A friend of mine is an excellent soprano. I guess she doesn't really like movies because she slapped me when I asked if she wanted to come over for Netflix and trill.
Week of Chill
151118A girl called me up to come over for Netflix and chill. I was suspicious so said I was busy and couldn't go over. I know she doesn't get Netflix -- what's she trying to pull?
Week of Chill
151119I had the most expensive night of my life when I invited a lawyer friend over. Apparently, an hourly rate goes along with an invitation to Netflix and will.
Week of Chill
151120I invited a girl over for Netflix and chill, but she turned me down. She wanted a quiet night at home with her cucumber -- she was craving Netflix and dill.
Week of Chill
151121I went over to a girl's house for Hulu and chill. All evening, we just sat around confused and bemused, wondering what was supposed to happen. Eventually I just went home.
Week of Chill
151122There have been some excellent TV versions made of Discworld novels. Their version of the Luggage is quite well done. However, I'd really like to see them have the Luggage moving around by have it use MC Hammer's "Hammer Dance". 151123Folklorists, sociologists, and psychologists have long established that fairy tales were used to teach morals and life lessons. There weren't really trolls under the bridge, there weren't really goblins in the woods. It's just that the fast river currents were dangerous for children to play in, and if a child got lost in the woods then hypothermia and starvation were real threats. While this morals/life lessons theory is true, the theory was actually developed to mask the real dangers. People should have been warned about the folklorists, sociologists, and psychologists that lived under bridges and in the woods. They were the real threats that people needed to beware of. 151124I wonder if these Final Thoughts are really my subverted subconscious desires to be a stand-up comedian. Am I wishing I could be up on stage, basking in the laughter of an adoring audience? Do I want to be travelling the country, the world, performing in comedy clubs every night? Could I stand the world-devouring depression when I learn that I'm not as funny as I think I am? It's so much easier and safer to not have to worry about that stuff, just to come up with one new funny or insightful thing to tell you every night. The pay isn't as good, but the job sure is easier. 151125Someone told me recently that she knows she's drunk when she starts making faces at herself in the mirror while washing her hands. It must be a sad life to live, if you've got to be drunk to start making faces at yourself in the mirror. 151126I like to watch the finch-class birds at the feeders outside my window. They're very cute little birds. They all have nice, straight, pointy beaks. As much as I like these birds, they can be rather troubling. Sometimes they see me watching them and then they slowly scrape their beaks along the sides of a branch or feeder perch. It looks like they're sharpening their beaks while they watch me through the window. This is particularly disconcerting on Thanksgiving. 151127I've hit the point of no return with tea. I'm needing to think about a software design, I go get a cup of tea. I'm baffled by a computer problem, I go get a cup of tea. I'm wanting to kill time while a long process runs, I go get a cup of tea. I can't think of what I want or need to do next, I go get a cup of tea. I'm spinning my mental wheels, I go get a cup of tea. Tea has become the default action if I'm not knowing what to do next, or even if I am knowing what to do. I wonder if Red Cross will let me give blood anymore. 151128I've given up on being on time. Now I aim for not being last. 151129As a kid, I couldn't understand how people talked about cake. They would talk about the type of a cake based on what the cake was, rather than the type of icing it had. By their reckoning, a chocolate cake could have mint icing, but it was a chocolate cake if the cake itself was chocolate. This baffled me because anyone with any amount of sense knew that the icing was the critical element of cake. A chocolate cake has chocolate icing, a vanilla cake has vanilla icing. It doesn't matter if it's a chocolate cake, a white cake, an angel food cake, a butter cake, or a bear-fat cake. If it has chocolate icing, it's a chocolate cake; if it has vanilla icing, it's a vanilla cake. You see the icing, not the cake; the visible element determines the cake's type. It's so simple, how could people not comprehend that? As an adult, I have come to realize that people just don't understand the world. 151130Whenever you hear an authority figure say, "This isn't a competition", you can be certain that everyone else thinks it is a competition.

December, 2015 151201I find it both fitting and amusing that the word for unreadable handwriting is griffonage. 151202Sterling Holloway was a voice actor that did voices for a number of beloved Disney characters. One of his best known voices was Winnie the Pooh. It's interesting that the same person voiced both gentle Pooh and the seductive, psychotic Kaa the Snake. 151203Do-It-Yourself science kits are great for helping kids learn about science and explore the world. There's a wide range of such kits, from electronics to chemistry to geology. I had an idea for a DIY science kit that, in retrospect, probably isn't such a good idea after all. My idea was for a DIY intoxication and breathalyzer kit. 151204Pipers, by nature, are exhibitionists. 151205Group plurals in English are kind of weird. In US English, a group (such as a company or a committee) is treated as a singular entity and is given the singular verb. In UK English, a group is treated as a collection of individuals. So, US English would say, "The committee has..." while UK English would say, "The committee have..." This is counter-intuitive. It is widely thought that the US mentality is on the individual, more so than most other countries. So it would make more sense for US English to use group plurals as does UK English, or perhaps even swapping the two methods. 151206When the Galactic Diaspora is well under way, each colony will reach a point where it is decently established and not struggling to survive. At that point, the colony can turn to human essentials that aren't critical to immediate survival. This includes things like music and art. I think that colonists will want a connection to humanity's home, and one of these connections will be the desire for their own copies of the great works of music and art from Earth. Music can be performed locally, once instruments and musicians are on site. Art, however, is different. There can be photos, digital scans, and 3D models, but they aren't the same. I think an industry will arise of official, authorized art counterfeits that will be spread throughout the human demesnes. 151207At my family reunion, Jo fired up the grill and I threw some shrimp on the Barbie. That was a mistake, it made my little niece cry because she didn't want a stinky doll. 151208As the sun was setting, I looked out at the treetops. I wasn't expecting to see much, other than silhouettes of trees against the darkening sky. To my delight, I saw a lone squirrel running amongst the trees, leaping from branch to branch, climbing up a trunk here, down a trunk there to another branch, all as he quietly travelled the heights on his arboreal highway. I was reminded of others who travel such pathways -- Daredevil, Spiderman, Batman, roaming along the dark city heights in their personal quests for justice, redemption, vengeance. I cast that solitary squirrel in the role of hero, working as a force for good in the wilds of the forest. 151209Back in the dark ages, when I was young, temperatures were taken with thick glass thermometers. It took three minutes, and you had to keep that thing nice and still under your tongue, no talking, no whining, no squirming around. You couldn't clamp down on it with your teeth, lest you bite it in half and get a mouth full of glass. (That was always my fear.) In retrospect, I bet the thermometers could have been thinner, thus taking much less time to measure your temperature, and the whole reason for thick glass thermometers was to give parents and doctors and nurses three minutes of blessed relief. 151210When an assassin strangles someone, they cut off the blood flow through the garroted artery. 151211For the first few months, babies are like footballs. They're similar in size, you carry both in the crook of your arm, you don't want to drop them, laterals are best avoided, and it's mostly bad to kick either one. 151212It is unclear what makes a Time Lord a Time Lord. I have a theory that regardless of their other powers, a Time Lord always lives in violation of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. 151213Krampusnacht is the night that Krampus emerges from his cave. If he sees his shadow from the light of the moon, we'll have to endure another six weeks of bad Christmas music. 151214I am an excellent air guitar player, truly a master. I'm looking to expand the instruments I play. I'm wondering whether I should turn my focus to fire guitar, water guitar, or earth guitar. 151215Avogadro's real constant is that he hates being asked if he likes guacamole. 151216For decades, movie theaters have shown previews of coming movies prior to showing the feature film. I think live theater should do the same thing. They could have a few actors come out prior to the main show and do a scene from the next show or sing a few songs from an upcoming musical. It'd be good advertising and get people excited for the shows to come. 151217Dave Barry once made the wise observation that children like dinosaurs because they're bigger and louder than Mom and Dad, and dinosaurs could take either Mom or Dad in a fight. I think there's a lot of truth to that, but I think there's something more. I think that to children, dinosaurs represent all the scary things in the world. Anything a child fears or doesn't understand, it's all wrapped up in dinosaurs. Sharp, pointy teeth; long, slicey claws, enormous bodies. Big, scary dinosaurs. And they are only on TV or in movies. Dinosaurs aren't alive anywhere, so as scary as they are they're controllable, they're safe. Dinosaurs let children get hold of their fears and face them down. Dinosaurs help children conquer their fears and tame the shadowy uncertainties of life. 151218Deer must be very smart because their brains are so active they erupt out of their skulls to form external brain extensions. 151219I love to eat vegetarian. Um, cows and chickens and pigs are vegetarians right? 151220Today the mountains weep in sorrow while they also sing for joy, as they welcome home one of their own. 151221It's interesting how palak and saag, both dishes from India, can work in so many of our own cultural sayings and music. "Palak is thicker than saag." "I grew palak. I served palak. And saag, you are no palak." "I've seen saag and I've seen palak. I've seen saagy days that I thought would never end." "Palak and some saag (neer neh neer neh neer.)" 151222I had an idea for a product that would have been brilliant if I'd thought of it months ago, in time for production last week. Underwear that has "The Light Side" printed on the front and "The Dark Side" printed on the back. 151223As we approach Christmas with the thermometer reaching 69F degrees, I now understand what the 'F' really stands for. 151224One of the Doctor's friends was an expert string player. He had promised to recite a traditional poem, accompanied on his instrument, for all his neighbors. The Ood owed an oud Ood ode to the 'ood. 151225I think whenever you're given a complimentary bag of peanuts, you should also be given a complementary bag of chocolate. 151225I don't understand why Santa would give coal to the bad children. The kids I've known who deserved coal would use their coal as weapons, or as tools for vandalism. 151225I'd love to write a Scottish/Klezmer fusion tune. I'd call it the Highland Dreidel Song. 151225If dogs are like Santa, then cats are like Krampus. 151225Franz Gruber wrote "Silent Night". Hans Gruber was a terrorist in "Die Hard". "Die Hard" takes place at Christmas, and is hardly silent. Coincidence or major holiday conspiracy? 151226The final chase scene in Monsters Inc. is the most inventive, fascinating example of Whitehall Farce that's ever been filmed. 151227It seems like all the dinosaur names I learned and loved when I was a child have been changed. F'rinstance, Brontosaurs and Velociraptors have been replaced with Apatosaurs and Deinonychuses. It almost seems like mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex is the one dinosaur that has kept its old, beloved name. I have a feeling the paleontologists are afraid of angering Tyrannosaurs, even all these bajillion years after extinction, for fear that the Tyrannosaurs will spring back to life and eat all the impudent paleontologists. 151228I've heard it said that the desire for a flying car -- as in, "Where's my flying car?" -- is a metaphor for all the cool tech we've been promised by science fiction. That may be, but I also will say with heartfelt conviction, WHERE'S MY FLYING CAR??? 151229I've heard that some spooky TLA agencies in the government are providing a service wherein you can drop off old batteries for recycling. This sounds like a good, environment-conscious service that's being provided. It's being provided for the employees of the agencies, so it is probably benign. However, these are spooky TLAs. They specialize in extracting data in wildly unexpected ways. I wonder if they've figured out how to read a device's data by examining the battery that used to be attached to that device. Maybe this good, helpful, environment-conscious service is merely a ploy to get real-world batteries for testing. Or perhaps they're even trying to sneakily monitor the actions of their employees for loyalty and "correct thinking." 151230My weird brother had plastic surgery. He had detached earlobes, and he wanted to have that fixed so he had them attached. To each other. 151231I wonder why people cheers drinks and food. Does cheersing food and drinks invoke better food and drink? Is it a summoning for better conversation? Maybe the shock of whacking things together ends up improving those things. I wonder what non-food things would also be improved by whacking them together.




Final Thoughts of the Night -- The Full Story

I started writing these after talking with my wife about the last words one might say to their loved ones before dying. Rather than leaving to chance the possibility that I might die in my sleep and maybe having said something dopey to her, I decided to ensure that one of the last things I say to her each night is something dopey.

Thus, I undertook the "Final Thought of the Night" project. Each night, shortly before going to sleep, I tell her a Final Thought. These may be funny, they are likely to be stupid; they may be vaguely story-like; they may be pseudo-philosophical and intelligent-sounding; they may be almost mythic from a spur-of-the-moment mythos.

The topics have spanned a wide range of subjects: animals, steampunk, food, bodily secretions. Anything that pops into mind is fair game. Animals are a big focus because it's so easy to say something about animals. I hope I'm not repeating anything, but I am making absolutely no effort to ensure that repeats don't happen. If you see the same idea multiple times, that might mean it's something I think about more than other things.

More final thoughts are available here:




Copyright 2015 by Wayne Morrison. All Rights Reserved.
tewok@storm-monkeys.com