Final Thoughts of the Night, 2021

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, 2021 210101Always clean your toilet on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. That lets you end the old year and start the new year with a nice, clean toilet. If you happen to be one who overindulges in holiday alcohol, then you'll be very happy to find a nice, clean bowl when you find yourself driving the porcelain bus. 210102If part of the Old Testament was made into a TV mini-series, each episode would start with a recap, which would be labelled, "Our Story Shofar". 210103I was sitting on the couch, enjoying our Christmas tree. As I let my eyes glaze over, I saw new constellations in the lights. There's the Squirrel and there's the Mountain. Oh, there's the Aerostat, right near the Hammer and Chisel. This makes me want to map out the Lights of Christmas and find all the new constellations and their stories. 210104I think that in the long run, we're all going to look back at 2020 as a global gap year. 210105There's a hypothesis that human life was created by an advanced civilization. There are those that fear what will happen when that advanced civilization returns to Earth. If that happens, I'm not sure which would be worse, for them to return and be pleased and proud of our progress or for them to return and be embarrassed and mortified by our progress. 210106It's quite unfortunate when our politicians emulate Dorothy's sidekicks, and they don't have a brain, or a heart, or any courage. It's really tragic when our leaders don't have any of the three. 210107When it comes to frogs, it seems that the brighter and more colorful a frog is, the more venomous and deadly it is. It's almost like the really poisonous frogs are daring the world to eat them. 210108Theobald Boehm is the patron saint of pit orchestras. 210109It's been 33 years, but the past five years seem like they covered 25 years alone. Without you, those five years would have been a much harder ordeal, and all the rest of the time wouldn't have been anywhere near as good. 210110The owner of a dessert shop should be called the propietor. 210111The saying "strike while the iron is hot" shows that laundry workers are violent and contentious, or at least that they're labor unionists. 210112I count every anniversary as an accomplishment. I have managed another year not doing anything stupid enough to make Jo want to leave me. 210113Trump's spree of pardons showed his poor planning skills. If he's convicted after his second impeachment, all of his friends will have been released and he'll be all alone and friendless in prison. 210114The government works for us. We are the boss, and this can be easily shown by taxes. We are responsible for giving money to the government, in effect paying them, and we are thus the government's boss. 210115I've got a great idea for a TV show. It'll take place in a bar in Chicago, the bar where all the off-duty cops, firemen, and doctors go. It'll be called Chicago Mead. 210116Every group of women has that one friend that is unsocialized, that was brought up wild. Feral Girl is the one who thinks she can go out to eat with the group and have her meal all to herself, no sharesies. She'll order a dessert not realizing that she's just ordered a dessert for the whole table. Feral Girl thinks her food is her own, and they should be left alone from everyone else's forks. However, the group thinks it's their duty to get Feral Girl properly socialized and the best way to do that is to keep sharing her food. Besides, Feral Girl is the only one who goes to the gym to actually work out, so she's the only one who orders anything that tastes good. 210117Half the time when I go to the kitchen, I end up with existential questions. "Why am I here?" "What did I come here to do?" 210118Whenever I have cereal for breakfast, I put at least three types of cereal in the bowl. I then pretend to be a geologist, reaching various geological strata as I eat. Sometimes I pretend to be an archeologist or a paleontologist by tossing in some rusty nails or old chicken bones. 210119It's a staple of science fiction that uninhabitable planets can be terraformed to turn them into habitable planets very similar to Earth. Climate, tempurature, and atmosphere are some of the planetary characteristics that would likely have to change. It is thought that this process will probably take centuries, and also that it is far beyond our current level of technology. The Earth's climate started changing one or two centuries ago, and the change continues unabated to this day. I really hope that an alien species isn't in the process of terraforming Earth to fit their needs for a new planet. We're doomed if that's the case. 210120For a while now, "Florida Man" has been a point of mockery over the bizarre things done by guys in Florida. Can you imagine the inconceivable turn Florida Man will take now that Trump has moved to Florida? 210121Scabbards are more powerful than swords. Swords are only good for killing. However, a scabbard means that the sword can be put away, that killing isn't necessary. 210122Very little ever changes in the Simpsons. The kids are always the same age, no one grows older, and very, very few events carry forward into future episodes. The beginning of every episode resets the state of the Simpsons' lives, and the lives of the other residents of Springfield. I think I know how this works. The Simpsons and all the other Springfieldians are secondary and tertiary characters in the movie Groundhog Day. Very little changes in that movie, but it's all slowly incremental and only Bill Murray remembers everything that has come before. Every new Simpsons episode is a new day in the life of Bill Murray's Groundhog Day character. 210123Titan's largest sea is named Kraken Mare. When I learned this, I immediately did some mental macaronic translation, which turned the name into Sea of Sea Monsters. That was really cool, and I started wondering what Titan's sea monsters were like. I decided an "official" translation would be nice, so I turned to a multilingual translation program. It said that Kraken Mare was Dutch for Crack Mare. That then got me wondering how extensive the Dutch drug trade is, if it has a specific term for drug mules that are women that carry crack. 210124I'm going to start a very niche genre of music. It will be Norse death metal sea chanties. I call it SkageRrröck. 210125Cooking Tip #237: The first pancake anyone makes is always a mutant. If it isn't, you aren't making them right.Cooking Tips Week 3 210126Cooking Tip #21: When cooking with chocolate chips, no matter how many you use, always pull out more chocolate chips than you actually use. Returning some chocolate chips to the bag is a sign of virtue and restraint, and it's worth a lot when it comes to the karmic nutrition calculations for the food being created.Cooking Tips Week 3 210127Cooking Tip #40: Get a big pot of water and use it to boil a bunch of eggs, a bunch of potatoes, and a chicken or two. The flavors will infuse each other and improve everything. After they're all done, you can use them to make chicken salad casserole, potato salad, and deviled eggs -- the Mayo Trifecta of Southern Church Pot Lucks.Cooking Tips Week 3 210128Cooking Tip #371: Only use red onions when making dark dishes. If the dish is light-colored, then the red onions give an appearance of unappetizing small, dark lumps to the dish.Cooking Tips Week 3 210129Cooking Tip #280: When cooking vegetables, the essential rule is that squishy and limp is better than firm and squeaky.Cooking Tips Week 3 210130Cooking Tip #598: Putting chocolate syrup on manoogies is not an acceptable way to make chicken mole.
(Ed. note: manoogies are chicken nuggets)Cooking Tips Week 3
210131Cooking Tip #519: The existence of dry mustard doesn't imply that wet mustard is alcoholic.Cooking Tips Week 3

February, 2021 210201Saying, "We cater to our clients" is another way of saying you bend to your customers' insane demands. 210202Why do heroes have sidekicks and villains have henchmen? You never hear of a hero having a henchman, or a villain having a sidekick. Kicking is one of those things that heroes and villains do to each other, so it's just sort of a neutral thing. That leaves henching. I think the act of henching must be inherently evil, and that's why only villains have henchmen. 210203For millenia, one of the really nice things about winter has been that mosquitoes migrate south for the cold times. I fully expect that some unforesightful genetic scientist is working even now to crossbreed mosquitoes and minks or polar bears so that we'll have some winter-dwelling mosquitoes. 210204Geologists say that glaciers moved stones and boulders, carved up the landscape, and did all sorts of modification work to the face of the earth. Myths say that giants did that grand-scale landscaping, scarring the earth through fighting and other shenanigans. I think the actual reason intertwines these disparate reasons. A more elegant solution is that glaciers were really frost giants and they rough-sculpted the earth as they migrated over the land. 210205For a while now, loonies have been wearing tin foil hats to protect against government mind control, aliens, and mind reading. These poor, misguided fools have deluded themselves into these bizarre types of headwear. If they had any good sense at all, they'd realize it's tin foil cats that protect against these insidious mind threats. 210206There should be a musical that's a rebuttal to Hamilton. It would be from Aaron Burr's point of view, though nothing much would happen. All of the music would be easy-listening. 210207The "-eatos" suffix can be applied to any food, and turns that food into a snack. Taco-eatos, Pancake-eatos, burger-eatos, lobster-eatos, crab-eatos, pork-eatos, cook-eatos, potat-eatos, asparag-eatos, lard-eatos. It's all in the "-eatos", it's just built-in to the word. 210208Vaccines work because the human immune system is as gullible as anti-vaxxers' brains. 210209Many people spend a lot of time worrying about the clothes they or a loved one will be buried in. Will it be this dress or that one? Will it be this suit or that one? Which tie woul be best? Which shoes? However, fabrics are notoriously short-lived; they rot and fall apart fairly quickly. By the time a future archeologist digs up someone's bones, their clothes will almost certainly be gone. It seems it'd be best to save the time not worrying about this and to let the clothes be used by people who actually need them. 210210My greatest childhood fear was that I'd get sucked into quicksand, and with my head stuck above the surface, killer bees and army ants would show up and attack me. Then the black widows and snakes would arrive. 210211The phrase "Lord of the Rings" is only used twice in the three books of the Lord of the Rings. It isn't explicitly, unequivocally, used to refer to Sauron, it's only implied. Maybe it's not referring to Sauron at all. Maybe the Lord of the Rings is actually whoever is holding the One Ring. That would make Frodo the Lord of the Rings for most of the trilogy, with Sam spending a little time in that rôle, and Gollum coming in a far distant third. During the trilogy, in fact, Sauron never possesses the One Ring, so over the course of the three books he is never the Lord of the Rings. This makes sense because Sauron is, at best, a background presence. He is a nebulous, intangible presence, but he is only very rarely seen presence. Even though he is a looming threat throughout, the books are almost completely taken up with Frodo and Sam's journey to destroy the One Ring. Frodo is the real Lord of the Rings.Tolkien Week 2 210212One name for Elrond's house in Rivendell is The Last Homely House East of the Sea. That name sounds like it's a Middle Earthy version of Stuckey's.Tolkien Week 2 210213Gimli reminds me of Tigger. Gimli thinks that Dwarfs do everything bestest of all.Tolkien Week 2 210214The Rohirrim never say "no"; they only say "nay."Tolkien Week 2 210215The manner of speech used widely in the Lord of the Rings implies that Middle-Earthers all learned to speak from Yoda. Mixed up the sentence order is quite often. Pointy ears, inscrutable expessions, sensitive hearing. Yoda the elves really look like perhaps.Tolkien Week 2 210216The Lord of the Rings isn't very specific as to the One Ring's powers, but it says that the One Ring controls all the other rings of power. This makes the One Ring sound like the master encryption keys that governments want in order to decrypt everyone's encrypted data regardless of how it was encrypted. Both are artifacts of great power that are pure fantasy and are the products of fanciful thinking and imagination.Tolkien Week 2 210217Weathertop (to the tune of Rocky Top)
Wish that I was on ol' Weathertop
The hills that are east of Bree
Ain't no ringwraiths on Weathertop
Ain't no orcs or stone trolls
Once I camped out up on Weathertop
Had second breakfast
Also a third, and then a fourth and fifth
I still dream about that

Weathertop, you'll always be
Breakfast heaven for me
Good ol' Weathertop
Weathertop, east of Bree
Weathertop, east of Bree
Tolkien Week 2
210218Even though they tried to copy Maryland, the borders of Oklahoma were drawn by people with less imagination than the people who drew Maryland's borders. 210219When I take a picture to show something's size, I always use a fish for the size comparison. That way I can say, "Fish for scale." 210220Whenever I hear about Mumford and Sons, I immediately think of the Amazing Mumford, and I expect to hear them say, "À La Peanut Butter Sandwiches!" 210221For me, the word "spider" is a synonym for "black widow" and "brown recluse." 210222"I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers." This phrase is used so often and without much apparent thought that it's become a trite cliche. It's also rather inspecific and assumed to be supportive. The nature of the comment is more generally useful considering the possible underlying thoughts. "I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers." I'm praying you lose your job. I think the best sex I ever had was with your husband last night. I'm praying a meteor lands on your head. 210223My wife keeps complaining about me buying produce and letting it sit around until it smells horrible. She's highly concerned with the food waste, and just can't appreciate that I'm doing intensive research for future practical jokes. 210224As the years have gone by, it seems They keep inventing new types of weather. I remember Wind Chill first gained popularity when I was a kid. Then about two decades ago, Heat Index jumped into the public awareness. Other new weather types have come along, but the latest is Freezing Fog. Who thought that was a good idea? What's next, Burning Rain? Carnivorous Snow? Why do the Weather Wizards keep doing this insane stuff? Can't they be happy with basic rain and snow and sun? 210225When I was a kid, I couldn't pick up a pen without getting ink all over my hands. This was a problem for several interlocking reasons. First, drawing with pens was much quieter than drawing with pencils. Second, quieter drawing meant I wanted to use a pen for unobtrusive drawing during church services. Third, my mother would yell at me when she saw I had ink all over my hands. So I'd draw with a pen during church services, get ink all over my hands, and my mother would get mad at me for having messy, inky hands. I think this is why I don't want to get a tattoo. 210226A bird previously thought extinct for 170 years was recently discovered alive and well on Borneo. This is very exciting news, and gives some hope that other extinct species might still survive. In particular, this makes me optimistic that some extremely remote island may still hold living dinosaurs. 210227If I ever get a goat or a cow, I'm going to name it Ebeneezer. That way I can sing a nice little song about its pasture: "Here I graze my Ebeneezer..." 210228Goats are intelligent and have an odd sense of humor. When they can manage it, they like to get out of their pens and go loom over the neighbors. Climbing on the house roofs, climbing on the cars, even climbing in the trees. As adorable as they are, goats can be very intimidating, and they're difficult to get rid of. When they're looming over you, there isn't much point trying to get rid of them yourself, you really need to call the professionals. If you've got looming goats, who're you gonna call? Goatbusters.

March, 2021 210301I don't know how time travellers every manage to eat. They have the same basic question to answer that we all do -- where to eat tonight? Time travellers have a more difficult question of when to eat. Not the "Should we eat at 6 or 6:30?" question. Their much more difficult question is to pick the date they want to eat. "I want to go to Golden Wagon tonight." "They closed 30 years ago." "Yeah, but I want to go to Golden Wagon in 1989." "Oh, not then. They got that new chef that year who didn't know a wok from a waffle iron. How 'bout 1987, in March?" Time travellers have an effectively infinite number of choices of where and when to eat. 210302When you tell an authority figure (parent, police, whoever) that, "This isn't what it looks like", does that ever not make the authority figure ten times more suspicious than they would have been otherwise? 210303I think Jo married me so that no matter how loonie she gets, as long as I'm around she'll always be able to say she's got her wits about her. 210304I want to open a pub and name it "Here Be Flagons." 210305When it comes to sharing chocolate with a lover, "sneak" and "share" are two sides to one coin. 210306FB's advertising sucks. It interferes with the social-scrolling and is generally annoying. However, it's recently changed from fashion, drugs, and other things I don't care about to predominantly books. It's still annoying and suckage, but at least it's about books. 210307Comedians make us laugh, but they are really philosophers. The big difference between comedians and philosophers are that comedians sugarcoat their philosophy with humor and alcohol to make it easier for people to listen to philosophy. Also, people pay comedians to have philosophy inflicted on them. Comedian pay might not be exactly financially viable, but it beats philosopher pay. 210308I have a deep, dark secret that weighs heavy on my mind. After I get home from hiking in a national park, I find at least one pebble in my shoes when I take my shoes off. I've got a special jar I put all these pebbles in. I keep that jar in the back of a closet and never show it to anyone. It's illegal to take sticks and rocks from national parks, and I fear that the National Park Police will find out about my jar of park pebbles, and they'll arrest me for a major felony. 210309Due to his extremely short arms, the Tyrannesaurus Rex was mocked in many aspects of life, and never got to join in any dinosaur games. However, he really came into his own and was widely admired once he got to middle school and joined band class, for no one could play maracas like the T. Rex. 210310In Peru, instead of "yo mama" jokes, they tell "yo llama" jokes.Green-Haired Great-Aunt of Dumb Joke Week 210311Q: What was Che Guevara's favorite video game?
A: Dance Dance RevolutionGreen-Haired Great-Aunt of Dumb Joke Week
210312Q: What's a pirate's favorite holiday?
A: New Yarrr's Day.Green-Haired Great-Aunt of Dumb Joke Week
210313A pastor's favorite breakfast is homily grits.Green-Haired Great-Aunt of Dumb Joke Week 210314Q: What is a slug's favorite dessert?
A: Key Slime PieGreen-Haired Great-Aunt of Dumb Joke Week
210315Q: What's a hen's favorite legume?
A: Chick peas.Green-Haired Great-Aunt of Dumb Joke Week
210316A zombie's favorite pastry is a brain muffin.Green-Haired Great-Aunt of Dumb Joke Week 210317Rather than wearing clunky Crocs shoes, I bet God wears actual crocodiles. If anyone could look stylish wearing crocodiles, while keeping them safe and happy, it'd be God. 210318Jo and I were talking about the Hamilton musical yesterday. I kept referring to the Marquis de Lafayette as the Marquis de Sade. That would have made for a rather different show. 210319The Gordian Knot was the Kobayashi Maru of the Ancient World. 210320I've never liked Georgia, and am always happy to talk about Georgia's many faults and problems. I'm always willing to engage in GA-sleighting. 210321Every day you're able to read the obituaries, it's unlikely you are actually in them. 210322Lots of people have talked about how awkward it is to go to shake hands with someone and they're going for a fist bump. You end up with a hand full of fist, and you look like an idiot. I've started doing this and using it to my advantage. If someone puts their hand out to shake my hand, I intentionally put out the fist. They end up feeling extremely awkward and I'm 90% on the way to winning the conversation. 210323Covid is having a lot of effect on society, but it's affecting language in a subtle way. I've noticed that people are forgetting words about clothing and fashion, especially for those things they are no longer wearing as a result of social isolation and working from home. It will be interesting to see if fashion itself has changed once Covid isolation isn't required. 210324I've heard for decades that dental records were of great use in identifying victims in airplane crashes. I've also heard much more recently that this isn't really true. Getting these dental aligners, my dentist now has fantastic scans of my teeth and my dental records are all set for me to be in some pretty bad plane crashes. Except that the dental scans apparently aren't used for that. I'm kind of disappointed my lovely teeth can't be used for this. 210325Given all the negotiations, contracts, and binding spells that necromancers engage in with the dead, the undead, and the infernal, necromancers really should start their training by getting a law degree. 210326Zombies are famous for their relentless, staggering walk. I wonder if that staggering walk is all the cardio exercise that zombies need, or if they should be doing a bit of jogging as well. 210327"You can't miss it.". "... or die trying." "We're almost there." There are certain phrases that should never be used. They are, in effect, magic incantations that summon demons of doom. It should be considered justifiable homicide to kill someone who uses these phrases. 210328I don't think I could ever play organ, it just confuses me too much. Too many keys, too many pedals, too many things happening all at once. As if all that wasn't enough already, the way you get a sound to start is to pull the sound's stop. There's just too much for me to wrap my poor feeble brain around. 210329Whenever I come home from the grocery store, Jo always comes running to help put away the groceries. I tell myself that she's thinking, "What wonders has Wayne, the great hunter, found for us today?" In reality, I expect the thought is more like, "What weird, useless crap did he find to waste money on this time?" 210330I think of myself as fairly boring, and not really much of interest. However, sometimes when a friend introduces me to one of their friends, the FOAF says, "Oh, I've heard all about you!" There's never any further explanation, and it makes me wonder what on earth I've done that's could possibly be so interesting. 210331Mugs represent several stages of brilliance and significant innovation in the history of human advancement. The basic idea of a drinking vessel must have been a huge step forward at that time. Applying heat to shaped clay to create permanent vessels was another major step in human technology, and provided for so many additional tools. Attaching a handle to the side allowed for ease of handling a hot vessel, and let people have hot food and drink without burning their hands. The most recent innovation brought art and text to the vessels, giving a canvas for art, political speech, humor, kitty pictures, anything a mug creator may want to adorn a mug with. It is exciting to think of just what the next innovation might be.

April, 2021 210401Salsa is spicy gazpacho that's eaten from a communal dish with edible spoons.Food Week 22 210402The two most important uses for lemons are making lemon pies and lemon bars. The next most important use is for giving them to unsuspecting babies to bite. In addition to the great humor value for parents, that is also an important life lesson for the baby.Food Week 22 210403There is a scientific term for specifying the perfect amount of syrup that should go on pancakes. This term is "saturation."Food Week 22 210404As Jo usually does, she wrote a handy-dandy conversion on our new jar of crushed garlic. "1/4 tsp = 1 clove". Except, that isn't how she wrote it. She put in a strategically placed space. "1/4 tsp = 1 c love". Using common recipe abbreviations, this tells me that a quarter teaspoon of crushed garlic is equivalent to one cup of love. I really like this conversion. From now on, I'm going to mentally translate garlic usage into how much love is being put in a recipe.Food Week 22 210405My sister always got mad at me when I bought unfrosted poptarts. She didn't like them and refused to eat them. She never connected the presence of unfrosted poptarts with open containers of icing in the fridge.Food Week 22 210406Bread and pasta are both made from the same ingredients, they just have a slightly different form factor. This means that they can be used interchangeably. Peanut butter and jelly spaghetti. Sandwich Bolognese. Cinnamon rigatoni. Vermicelli toast. Gnocchi croutons. The field of bread/pasta crossover is the future of culinary experimentalism.Food Week 22 210407Any time I've ordered a gorilla cheese sandwich, I've always been unhappy with it. It's always been a mild and melty cheese, which is nice enough, but if I'm in the mood for a gorilla cheese sandwich, I want a gorilla cheese sandwich! I want a powerful cheese that's gonna slap me around if I look at it too long. I want a cheese that beats its chest to assert dominance over me, the mere sandwich consumer. I want a cheese that bites back. Y'know, gorilla cheese.Food Week 22 210408I want to sell a set of novelty teaspoons. Instead of labels saying "1 TSP", "1/2 TSP", or "1/4 TSP", they would have whole notes, half notes or quarter notes. 210409The Wakandan flyers in the Black Panther movie shows that all the UFO sightings over the decades were actually Wakandan flyers. 210410Elementary school: "PE is great! Why can't we have PE all day long?"
Junior high and high school: "Gym sucks. I'd rather sit over here and read."
After graduating high school: "Aaaah! No more gym! I can enjoy life now!"
20 years after high school: My doctor says, "You really need to get exercise. At a minimum, walk 30 minutes 3 times a week."
20 year and 5 seconds after graduating high school: "Ugh."
Now: "I haven't gotten to go hiking in two weeks! I hope there'll be time this weekend."
210411It's amazing how quickly and easily a piece of sheet music can be misplaced or lost. You put it down on the stand and a minute later it's gone. It's almost like the note stems become legs and the music scurries off on its own, or crawls into a pile of other music. I suspect that putting music on paper imbues that paper with the essence of sapient pearwood, so that the paper develops a will of its own. Maybe stacking reams of music on top of other reams of music created The Luggage that's travelling around the Discworld. 210412After a day of tromping around in the muck and the rain, it's amazing how much better you can feel with a fresh, dry pair of socks and underwear. It kinda seems that the one true purpose of socks and underwear is to be textillic mood enhancers. 210413It's one of those Man Secrets that men pee on the poo stains in toilets to try to clean things up. We don't have to do it, but we feel it's our doody. 210414Birds have two teeth, one upper and one lower. 210415Here's another cool product I'd like to make. It'd be spiffy to have a fishing lure with a built-in video camera. You cast your line, and then you can see where the fish are, what kind of fish are down there, and other cool things under the surface. 210416In Spain, the saber is the Sword of Knowledge. 210417Lumberjacks are no good at Trivia Night. The questions always stump them. 210418If Lion is the King of Beasts, then surely Tiger is the Grand Vizier. 210419I am absolutely thrilled that the mini-helicopter has flown on Mars. It's a small, lightweight thing, but it's a huge thing. With this latest accomplishment, not to mention all the probes to the outer planets, NASA has done some amazing things in the last 20 or 30 years. Our lifetime has been an amazing time for advancements in space. 210420When I was a teenager, I learned that young children experience pain as a Schrödinger's Cat kind of event. The child doesn't quite know if they've just been injured so they look to the nearest adult for guidance in determining whether or not something hurts. If the adult is laughing or nonchalant, then the child is not injured and all is well. If the adult comes rushing over and is freaked out, then the child is injured and should scream bloody murder for the next three hours. 210421When I was a teenager, a friend gave me this bit of wisdom about children. When a young child falls over and hurts themself, laugh at them and the child will think they aren't injured. I thought this was great advice, and that's what I did. Up until I realized how malevolent, how psychotic one looks when they laugh at a child getting injured. 210422It's really cool that we have flying squirrels and I hope we have them for years to come. There isn't anything particularly unusual about our woods, so this region probably has flying squirrels all over the place. We'll need to keep an eye out for them when we're hiking. At night, that is, since southern flying squirrels are nocturnal. 210423Since bread is composed of grain and grain is inherent to wood, it naturally follows that wood is a kind of bread and bread is a type of wood. 210424I've seen adverts for make-up that's called vegan make-up. If you're looking for make-up that's vegan, I think you're using it wrong. 210425By the Old Magic, nails are rooted in the soul. Guarding your nail clippings is a vital part of self-defense. This is also why you should only trim the nails on one hand at a time. If someone were to get those clippings, they would only have control of one half your soul, rather than the entire thing. 210426Ravens and crows eat the eyes of the dead. Thus do they gain the wisdom of the newly deceased. That is the bargain they have made with the world. 210427The internet has brought a huge array of services to people. One of these services, unfortunately, has been a forum for stupid and bitter arguments. One such argument I've seen for decades has been the question of who would win in a fight, a bear or a shark. Many dumb rationales have been presented in support of one side or the other. The futility of this argument may be seen by considering a bit of natural history. Bears are widely known for hanging out at rivers and eating fish. Sharks are fish. Fish are not known for eating bears hanging out at rivers. Therefore, it is clear that a bear would win in a fight with a shark. 210428In reading the instructions for a class exercise, I misread "loops" as "hopes" in one sentence. This gave the statement, "Once again, you should not put any hopes into your code." That is a profound, fundamental philosophy of software development. 210429When I hard-boil a bunch of eggs, most are easy to peel, but there are always a couple that are pretty difficult. As I'm peeling a difficult egg, I always hear the Grail Knight say, "He chose poorly." 210430Dogs get a free pass into Heaven; cats have to thumb-wrestle each other

May, 2021 210501I saw a "free shred" event scheduled in my town. I got all excited and got prepared, packed up, and got over for it. It was quite disappointing. There were no guitars in sight. 210502Nessie, Bigfoot, and Chupacabras prefer to be paid in cryptidcurrency. 210503It is important to celebrate the wolves that harvest the grain we use to maake bread, cakes, and cookies. That's why I'm looking forward to the Sheaf and Wolf Festival. 210504In fairy tales, farm-originated magic things are always chickens and beans. It's obvious why chickens are considered magic -- they taste wonderful, the feathers make dandy pillows, and they produce those amazing, versatile, delightful eggs. How could chickens not be magic? But why, of all things, magic beans? It's obvious why it's never magic cucumbers or magic brussels sprouts, but why not magic tomatoes, magic potatoes, or magic lettuce? Why magic beans? I think it must mean that beans are the vegetable equivalent of eggs. They are roughly -- very roughly -- the same shape. Wondrous things can spring from both. They are each the foundation of delightful food. It's no wonder that chickens and beans are the source of magic in fairy tales. 210505I have been very heartened by the response to people getting the Covid vaccination. With all the negativity surrounding vaccinations -- poured out by hateful, irresponsible politicians and "journalists" -- among my social-media friends I have seen nothing but positivity. When someone posts that they've gotten a vaccination, there are cheers and celebrations. Many have been very helpful in providing vaccination information to anyone who asks. It makes me very happy that people have come together to support others that may be close friends or that may be vague acquaintances. The sense of community has been wonderful. 210506Whenever I read the Epic of Gilgamesh, I always am quite fond of Enkidu, Gilgamesh's sidekick. I don't know how the name is supposed to be pronounced, but I think of him as Inka Dinka Doo. Then I picture him as Jimmy Durante and it's like an old friend is taking part in Gilgamesh's epic.Literature Week 8 210507For a children's book, "The Wizard of Oz" has rather a lot of talk about murder, beheadings, and killing.Literature Week 8 210508My theory: GRR Martin floated the end of Game of thrones to the TV show to see how people liked it. Seeing how much people hated it, I'm certain the books (if they're ever written) will end differently.Literature Week 8 210509I want to learn ancient Greek, learn how to do a proper translation, and then translate The Odyssey from ancient Greek into English. This is all because I want to slip in Diplodocus as one of the suitors.Literature Week 8 210510After the way Dorothy dealt with the East and West Witches, not to mention the trail of death and bloodshed she left in her path, I think Glinda would have been only too glad to get Dorothy out of Oz as quickly as possible.Literature Week 8 210511I wonder if the versions of Zelazny's Amber books that I read are as good as the versions that were written in the one true world of Amber.Literature Week 8 210512Several times, people in The Odyssey say, "You didn't walk to Ithaca." This makes sense, given that Ithaca is an island. It kind of seems that Homer hit on the phrase, thought it was cool, and then used it more than he should have. It also seems that some deep and meaningful book should be titled, "Walking to Ithaca." It also seems that Boromir was referencing The Odyssey when he said, "One does not just walk into Mordor."Literature Week 8 210513I like stars, so I interviewed for a job in a planarian. I never knew this before, but apparently there are a lot of flatworms in astronomy. 210514Van Gogh liked to play "Who's Got Your Nose?" with people, up until the unfortunate incident with his clumsy, farsighted cousin. 210515My grandfather was emotionally distant from my father. Nothing Dad did ever made my grandfather happy or impressed him. "Pa, look, I can ride a bike!" "So?" "Pa, I've got the bassoon solo in La Scimmia Della Tempesta!" "Have you seen the dog?" "Pa, I just won the Fields Medal!" "What, are you a farmer now? Don't you get any cow poo in the house." No matter how big or small the achievement, grandpa had no words of encouragement for Dad. This was clearly shown in the song grandpa wrote, "Jimmy Crack Corn". 210516John 4:1 says, "Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John." I have this vision of the Pharisees keeping a big poster board of thermometer charts tracking success metrics for Jesus and John. Years of Vacation Bible School tell me that these charts were made on flannel boards. 210517All it would take to domesticate raccoons would be to teach them about pantries and refrigerators. 210518A new version of Clue has been released, it's Trump Clue. Instead of Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlett, and the other familiar characters, this new version features the rogues' gallery of Trump's henchmen. It's a pretty easy game -- everyone is guilty, they're all guilty everywhere, and so many crimes were committed that any choice of weapon is correct. 210519Grains are used to construct things to put food in our mouths. Wheat is used to make bread, as are barley, rye, and oats. Teff is used to make injera. Rice is used to make, well, rice. All of these things transport food to our mouths. Since iron, aluminum, and many other metals are used to make forks and spoons, which also transport food to our mouths, it inarguably follows that these metals are also grains. 210520The one advantage of getting bald is that it's easier to find the "gifts" left behind when my pet birds sit on my head. 210521I'm almost finished my Cooking Challenge to cook something every day for a whole week. It's gone well -- biscuits, chicken thing, lemongrass soup, fudge. I'm now on my last day and I don't know what I can cook that will fit in the packed fridge. I'm wondering if I can convince myself that going grocery shopping counts as cooking. 210522I'd really like to get something small, like a gerbil, for a pet. Restrictive pet laws here mean that just isn't possible. That's another reason I want to move to Europe and live in Hamsterdam. 210523There is an apparent eschatological conundrum related to the axiom that "All dogs go to Heaven". If this is true, how does it account for the fact that Cerberus is in Hell? What did Cerberus do that was so bad that it overwhelmed his inherent doggy nature and relegated him to Hell? This isn't really a conundrum after all. Cerberus is not in Hell to be punished. Rather, Cerberus is in Hell doing a job, acting as a guard dog. It might not be the best of environments, but working dogs don't get the luxury of choosing where they work. 210524As advanced and civilized as we have otherwise become, our nails are always working to get in fighting shape to protect us. Our nails remember the jungle. 210525Occasionally, I'll find a book that reminds me that one of my expectations of Heaven is that I'll find all the books have had a really good copy editor. 210526Christmas cacti aren't just pretty plants; they were developed as a calendrical measure. While the cactus is blooming, you can leave your Christmas decorations up. Once it stops blooming, the decorations must come down. 210527There's the age-old, archetypal joke starter, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" However, from my experience chickens don't cross the road. They get awfully close, but they never do stray into traffic. Chickens are supposed to be dumber 'n a bag of hammers, but in this respect, chickens seem to be pretty smart. The invalidity of this basic element of humor is making me question the fundamental laws of the universe. 210528The hidden quest of our lives is to gather a collection of funerals to attend. Whoever has the most, wins. 210529The fortune cookies that Carl Orff got always had the most ominous messages and were accompanied by an excellent soundtrack. 210530There's the old fable about Frog giving a ride to Scorpion when crossing a river, only for Scorpion to sting Frog. Frog asks why? with his dying breath, and Scorpion says Frog should have known better since it's in Scorpion's nature. I would like to be like Turtle in this scenario -- be willing and able to help, but still have the defenses to ward off Scorpion's sting. 210531Several cities have started giving a single weekly prize (up to a million dollars in some cases) to a random person who got vaccinated that week. It's really important to get as many people vaccinated as possible, but this is a really bad idea. It's rewarding those inconsiderate loons who have put off getting vaccinated for antisocial, selfish, recalcitrant loopiness. How about rewarding all the medical personnel and first responders who worked so hard during dreadful conditions? How about rewarding the people who were champing at the bit to get vaccinated? Rewarding stupidity is a bad precedent.

June, 2021 210601"Jumping" and "spider" are two words that never belong together. 210602In Beauty and the Beast, Belle treated the bookshop as a library, and never bought anything. The townspeople mocked Belle for reading, among other things, so it seems unlikely they spent much money there. How did the bookshop stay in business? If the only customer was only borrowing the merchandise, then it wasn't a really a bookshop. I think the bookseller was the local mob boss, and the shop's real goods were stolen contraband and money for laundering. 210603In the Beauty and the Beast movie, Belle's father is Maurice. He was a placid, easy-going guy and clearly didn't want to hurt no one. It isn't a big step to conclude that he was not just a smoker, but also a midnight toker. I have a theory that Maurice is really the Space Cowboy that Steve Miller sang about in the song "The Joker". 210604Tonight I made brownies and accidentally put in too much flour. Jo told me the only way to salvage things was to double the recipe and make a bunch more brownies. Technically, it's only making a second brownie since each pan of brownies comes out as a single mondo brownie. You only get brownies when you apply knife to pan o' brownie.
Schrödinger would understand.
210605In the 18th century, the New World raccoon inspired the creation of mascara. Several raccoons were captured in Virginia and brought back to tour the great cities of Europe. High society was impressed by the markings on raccoons, and makeup was developed to emulate their masks -- hence the name mascara. The rings on the tail also were mirrored with buttscara, but the popularity of that didn't last very far into the early 20th century. 210606Growing up a Southern Baptist, I learned there were some things we weren't supposed to do -- no drinking, no dancing, no canoodling... And no cards. Given the prohibition on playing cards, I never understood how so many card-non-carrying Southern Baptists found it acceptable to have a card table. 210607Dr. Shoal gained widespread fame by being the first fish foot doctor. 210608Lin-Manuel Miranda was in line for his Covid vaccination. His arrogant neighbor tried to get him to let the neighbor have his place in line. There was only one response Miranda could possibly give. (I'm not giving away my shot) 210609I am getting really old. Not only do I have a favorite toaster slot, but I have a favorite spatula, and not one but two! favorite serving spoons. As if that isn't bad enough, I also have two serving spoons I hate. 210610It seems that water mains have lots of problems, rupturing and breaking at the drop of a hat. I think a lot of problems would be avoided if They would stop installing water mains and only install water secondaries. You never hear about problems with the secondaries. 210611There's that tired old game "Fuck, Marry, Kill". That's a cliche now and it's just kind of boring to play. I've got a new version that people should play instead: "Eat, Prey, Luff". In this game, you've got to decide which of three people you want to eat for dinner, which person you want to pursue in a "Most Dangerous Game" hunt, and which person you want to go sailing with. 210612Ham radio used to be fairly popular years ago, but the popularity has really dropped in recent decades. It would have remained just as fashionable, if not even more so, if it was actually bacon radio. 210613When we first moved to the country, I realized we'd entered the Land of the Bugs. There were so many bugs, so many different kinds of bugs, than there were in the city. There must have been a jillion new species of bugs, never seen before. Over time, I've gotten used to all the bugs. It's still many more than I'd prefer, but I'm used to them now. Kind of. Looking back, I think there's probably not much difference between the city bugs and the country bugs. The city bugs are probably a bit stealthier than the country bugs, and there are probably more poop-related bugs in the country than the city, but I think there isn't much real difference. Unfortunately, I think this means the whole world is the Land of the Bugs. 210614The "puffing" that happens when you poke them is a clear indicator, using the Principle of Sympathetic Magic, that mushrooms are the lint screens of the natural world -- or that lint screens are domestic mushroom farms. 210615People think of pillow talk as intimate and romantic. I suppose that may be true, but I'd be terrified if my pillow started whispering to me when I was trying to sleep. 210616My security training has made me "aware", or some might say "paranoid." One place this comes is whenever I drive into a city. I'm convinced in 30 minutes at a parking meter, at least 27 people will break into my car to steal stuff. I've wondered about effective security systems that could be installed, but never hit on just the right thing. Low technology tends not to be terribly effective; high technology tends to be too expensive. I think I've hit on a great security system to install in my car. I'm going to keep an old, dingy (but secretly clean) pair of underwear in the glove box. When I get in a city, I'll pull those out and leave 'em sitting on the front seat. It'll disgust potential thieves and they'll leave my car alone. 210617I went to a fortune teller and he did a taro card reading for me. It was okay, but I much prefer readings with yam cards or potato cards. 210618"Agree to disagree" is a polite, defensive way of saying, "You're an idiot both because you're wrong and because you refuse to believe I'm right. You aren't going to change so I don't want to talk to you anymore." 210619The dictionary definition of werewolf is, "(in myth or fiction) a person who changes for periods of time into a wolf". This feels awfully short-sighted or judgmental. What about a real person who changes for periods of time into a wolf? Why aren't they called a werewolf? How does the lexicographer know there are different terms for fictional and real werewolves? Unless the lexicographer themself was a werewolf and is speaking from experience. 210620Just as the Beatitudes are part of the Gospels, the Book of Job should be called the Vicissitudes. 210621I have a fantastic uniform suggestion for Star Fleet. They should go back to those red uniforms they had in "The Wrath of Khan", and put a bunch of gold braid up the chest and down the arms, just like on marching bands. This would restore Star Trek to its rightful place at the heights of cultural respectability and influence. 210622Microwave ovens were invented when a radar scientist had a chocolate bar spontaneously melt while he was working in the lab. This was a very fortuitous accident, and cultures shifted with the introduction of the wondrous microwave oven. What about that scientist though? Did he realize that he was cooking his innards from all those unshielded microwaves zipping around his lab? Did he ever wonder why his coffee mug always had hot coffee? Are his children mutant superheroes? Maybe the scientist is a mutant superhero, with his superpower being to shoot beams from his eyes that melt chocolate. 210623Family planning used to be about figuring out how many children to have when. Life is so complicated now that family planning has become a matter of figuring out how many children to have based on the professions you'll assign to them. At a minimum, you'll need a lawyer and a doctor. A computer tech, a plumber, and an electrician would be good. After that, a wide variety of specializations can be chosen. As far as when these children should be had, you needed them last week and it's already too late. 210624I have quiet ambitions to become a wizard. Unfortunately, the closest I'll ever come is when I wave a spatula around to do magic in the kitchen. 210625I am so weary. I feel like we are never going to get free of the illegitimi trying to carborundum us. I am ready for the waters to come and wash us clean, the winds to blow the chaff away, the fires to melt the dross, the earth to shake the Pillars of Heaven. I am ready for the eagle to rise up and take wing. I am so weary. 210626There are many similarities between woodworking tools and kitchen tools. Saws, hammers, knives, drills, mixers. A particular tool may be designed for a specific purpose, but there's likely a similar tool on the other side of the wall. What is a meat slicer but a circular saw. What is a carpenter's hammer but a food mallet wih claws on the other side. I wonder if the building materials have that sort of similarity and can be exchanged easily. Could you build a bookshelf out of sliced ham, or a couch out of bread? Could a trifle include wood shavings, or a lasagna use sheetrock between layers? There's a wide range of culinary and woodcraft interweavings just waiting for experimentation. 210627I saw a movie about some Canadian cops who were trying to raise a bit of money by moonlighting as strippers. It was called The Full Mounty. 210628Man was not meant to live in outdoors temperatures that you can set your oven to. 210629Children are told to never run with scissors; stabbings, death, and other disastrous things can result. I think this dire warning changes as one grows older. When you're in your teens and twenties, it's probably pretty dangerous to run with rocks because you're likely to be seen as a rioter or a vandal, and the police might get you. Beyond your twenties, it's dangerous to run with paper, because then a lawyer -- worse yet, a government lawyer -- will come after you. The eternal continuum of rock-paper-scissors once again asserts itself, but in this case the cycle starts further down. 210630Lego bricks outnumber humans on the order of 86-1. The human race is doomed when Lego bricks achieve sentience and mobility.

July, 2021 210701The only marsupial native to Ireland is the O'Possum.Nanny of Dumb Joke Week 210702Pterodactyls are very shy. They don't like anyone to hear their pee.Nanny of Dumb Joke Week 210703Q: What is a miner's favorite cookie?
A: Ore-eo'sNanny of Dumb Joke Week
210704Very few sharks go to church. However, they are diligent followers of schools.Nanny of Dumb Joke Week 210705I love soup so much that when I heat up some, I do a little dance to celebrate. I do the Can-Can.Nanny of Dumb Joke Week 210706Of all of North America, Vikings like New York City best because they like the sacks on Fifth Ave.Nanny of Dumb Joke Week 210707The biggest herd of beef cattle is owned by a guy in Saudi Arabia. He's known as the Protein Sheik.Nanny of Dumb Joke Week 210708When a moocher is stealing your food from the shared fridge at work, you should prepare some special treats for the thief using anchovies, habaneros, and liver. This kind of traditional treat is known as an abuse mooch.Food Week 21 210709Like fruit, the nutrients in bread are in the rind. Or, in bread terminology, the nutrients are in the crust. So the crust is important to eat and not just cut off and throw behind the fridge. This goes for sandwiches, pizzas, bagels, doughnuts, whatever bread you're eating. As you'd expect due to sheer area of breadage, the heels of a loaf of bread are especially packed with bready nutrients. It's a shame that as all the nutrients migrate to the heels, all the bready deliciousness migrates into the center of the loaf.Food Week 21 210710I wish ingredients were generic. I'd like to go to the store and buy a 10-pound box of ingredients. Recipes would say something like, "Put 3 cups of ingredients in a mixing bowl and add a cup of water. Mix well, then add 2 teaspoons of ingredients. Bake for 45 minutes and then your lasagna is ready to eat!" Or, "Bake 5 cups of ingredients in a 13x9 cake pan for 30 minutes. When the cake is cool, spread two cups of ingredients on the top." It would make cooking so much easier.Food Week 21 210711I don't understand condiment makers. It's actually the thought they give to condiment containers I don't understand. You've got mustard and mayonnaise jars, and those jars have enormous openings. Don't have a knife? No problem! Just shove your whole hand in there an scoop some out. Ketchup bottles are the next level -- small openings for something that doesn't flow easily. You often have to end up shaking or whacking the ketchup bottle, which also often leads to splattering ketchup everywhere it isn't supposed to go. Hot sauce is also interesting. Small bottles, small openings. This is the most understandable of the lot. Hot sauce is usually pretty runny, and you get too much on your food you might not be able to eat it. Gotta be careful with hot sauce. Then there's soy sauce. Soy sauce is the oddest of them all. It's got a relatively small opening, but there are almost always flow inhibitors to restrict even further the flow of the soy sauce. Sure, it's a very thin liquid, but what's the big deal with it? It isn't very spicy or anything, so there isn't quite the same problem as with too much hot sauce. Soy sauce is often used in amounts that make the tiny opening unhelpful. It almost seems like condiment makers don't use their own products, so they don't know just how inconvenient the containers are.Food Week 21 210712I'd like to create a line of spices that distill various cuisines down to a single powder. Add a bit of the Indian Spice, and you'd get something that tastes like authentic Indian food. Add a bit of the Malawi Spice or the Romanian Spice, and you'd get something that tastes like authentic Malawian or Romanian food. Add some American Spice, and you'd get something that tastes like food from the US, but not Canada, Brazil, Ecuador or any of the other countries in the Americas. (Though there would be complaints about that name.) The problem is that it is almost certainly absolutely impossible to distill an entire cuisine down into a single, easy-to-use powder. The other problem is that even if you could, it would be a PR nightmare because no one would want to believe their cuisine could be encapsulated in that way.Food Week 21 210713Various grains are referred to as the Staff of Life. I think wheat and rye and oats are pretenders to the title, but rice is the true Staff of Life. Not only is it eaten by more people around the world, but it's got the right shape. If it was enlarged a good bit, it'd be just the right shape to be a staff. Clearly, rice is the Staff of Life.Food Week 21 210714The basic shape of food is the cylinder. So many foods are cylindrical, at least roughly so. Zucchini, corn, rice, hot dogs, bananas, sausages, to name a few, they're all shaped like cylinders. Cows are meat cylinders with legs. Tomatoes, apples, and cheeses are squat cylinders. Pizzas are very squat cylinders. Taco shells are rough, open-topped cylinders that shape other food into cylinders. Food is put in cans, which are themselves cylinders, and the cylinder-nature is imparted back to the food. When food is eaten, it passes through the alimentary canal, the bulk of which is a long tube. All this leads to the inescapable conclusion that the natural state of food is to be a cylinder.Food Week 21 210715The favorite summer activity in Asbury Park is to listen to Springsteen and have some Bruuuuuuce!-skis. 210716"What's your major?" When I went to college, that question was thought to be a suave conversation opener by freshmen. It was almost always inflicted on people they were attracted to. Before long, hopefully, they would learn that it was rather clichéd and they'd quietly stop asking the question. Looking way back through the intervening years, there's a much better question that should have been used. Instead of inquiring about one's major -- which was akin to asking what type of job they were hoping to get -- people should have asked, "What's your minor?" A minor was sometimes related to one's major, but it was much more likely to be related to one's real passions and interests. It would have been a much better way to get to know another person, and to find out what they really had going on deep down. 210717Everyone wants a monitoring system that someone else paid for. 210718Way back in elementary school, teachers were fond of telling me that my shenanigans would be put in my permanent record. This was supposed to inspire -- or terrorize -- me into being a good little robot. In years since, I've learned that the fossil record is really the only long-term, unalterable permanent record. I'm wondering now just how those elementary school teachers got my personal records added to the fossil record. I'm also wondering where those fossils are stored and who is going to care about my misbehavior in 100 million years. 210719Being an adult is to become a professional worrier. It doesn't matter what your job is, you're a professional worrier. Run a business and you worry about what to do to stay -- or become -- profitable. Be an accountant and you worry that the numbers all work out correctly. Do computer security and your every moment is filled with worry. Be a professional musician and you worry about the next job, staying relevant, staying popular. Be a parent and you spend your time worrying about your children, but you don't get paid for it. Cab drivers got to get the fares and hope they're somewhat sane and don't spew in the cab. Jobs are just ways to get paid to worry. 210720The way things have been the past year or four, everyone needs to have a daily bowl of calm chowder. 210721I have a brilliant new invention: a frame that sits on your shoulders and it holds your clothes away from your body. This will keep mosquitoes from being able to bite you. 210722Woolly bears are the larval stage of red pandas. After a bit of time as a caterpillar, the woolly bear crawls into its coccoon, and eventually emerges as a rambunctious red panda. Somehow during the metamorphosis from larva to adult, they move from the Eastern US to the mountains of China. I think instead of a standard cocoon, the metamorphosis process really takes place in a teleportation field. 210723I wonder what the relationship is between Thing from the Addams Family and the Hamburger Helper mascot. Are they siblings? Are they cousins? How do they feel about each other? Do they love or hate each other? Do they even know each other? Why does the Hamburger Helper hand wear clothes but Thing is naked? Why does the Hamburger Helper hand have a face? What does the Hamburger Helper hand eat? What and how does Thing eat? I wonder if they're even the same species. 210724There was a group back in the 80's that a few people loved, but most people thought they really stunk. They were called Durian Durian. 210725Organs are multidimensional gateways. Each organ stop opens a path to a different dimension. Playing notes traverses the paths and brings an aspect of these other dimensions into our own. It is by harmoniously combining organ stops and playing good music, in other words properly combining various extra-dimensional energy profiles, that gates to other dimensions are opened and they can be successfully traversed. 210726Tupperware exists in a symbiotic relationship with humans. We feed it by putting food inside it. The Tupperware consumes some of that food itself, but also preserves some of it for humans to eat. It's reproductive cycle requires interaction with Tupperware it doesn't normally see. This is accomplished by people loaning their Tupperware to their friends and relations; the mixing of two families of Tupperware allows for safe breeding. Thus, the species continues and diversifies, leading humans down the Tupperware-nudged path of evolution. 210727Water polo is the negative incarnation of soccer, even though both sports let you smash your face with a ball. Instead of running on land, the players swim in a pool. They throw the ball with their hands and don't use their feet, instead of kicking the ball with their feet and not using their hands. And instead of faking a foul by falling to the ground and whining, as in soccer, water polo players fake a foul by floating face down in the water and feigning death.Olympics 2021 210728Volleyball is just a multi-player game of titanic ping pong, where the paddles are alive.Olympics 2021 210729The Olympics have five classes of bike sports: road race, mountain bike, BMX racing, BMX freestyle, and track cycling. Even the newest ones are old hat by now. To make them really exciting, I'd like to see those sports done with pennyfarthings. It'd also be interesting to see pennyfarthing versions of other sports, such as dressage, downhill skiing, and trampoline.Olympics 2021 210730For combat-based sports, fencing and archery are too tame and careful. We need to have combat sports that actually feel like combat. We should have melee sports where groups are actually fighting each other. Of course we don't want anyone to get hurt, so the athletes would use padded swords and arrows. This would feel more like what is currently being loosely mimicked.Olympics 2021 210731It'd be cool to have biathlons where the athletes used bows instead of rifles. Longbows would be great, but crossbows would also be pretty cool. Combining archery with equestrian events would be fantastic.Olympics 2021

August, 2021 210801The coolest of the gymnastics events is the uneven parallel bars. It would be lots more interesting if it was the uneven perpendicular bars.Olympics 2021 210802The pommel horse scissor move looks like a really enthusiastic version of the flossing dance.Olympics 2021 210803In the equestrian events, the human athletes work directly with horses to accomplish marvelous things. The riders don't do it alone, and so the horses should get medals too. If it's really only the riders and their abilities, and not the horses, then it shouldn't matter what horse the rider uses. In that case, the riders should be assigned a horse at random and the riders' talents and abilities will make them win or lose. If the horse matters, then the horse should also get a medal when it wins.Olympics 2021 210804Volleyball is a modified version of the childrens' game "The Floor is Lava." Beach Volleyball is the adult version of "The Floor is Lava."Olympics 2021 210805The next big trend in Olympic sports is going to be combining existing sports. Some of these will be good; some will be not so good. Equestrian fencing -- good; equestrian boxing -- not so good. Marathon shot put -- weird, but good; shot put volleyball -- not good. Javelin fencing -- more like long-distance poking, but good; javelin and pole vault -- not good. Sure there will be some growing pains, but the oddball combinations will be worth it in the end.Olympics 2021 210806A sport becomes a success only when the champions start to come from countries other than the one that originated the sport.Olympics 2021 210807Olympic organizers should get more creative when planning events. In particular, the equestrian events have been horse-based for far too long. The equestrian events should use animals associated with the host countries. USA-hosted games could have grizzly-based events. Olympics hosted in some parts of Africa could use ostriches. Equestrians could ride crocodiles in games in Egypt, Australia, and a few other places. India, China, and Siberia can have riders mounted on tigers. Wolves in North America and Russia, elephants in India and parts of Africa. These are just examples; surely Olympics committees can come up with other great ideas.Olympics 2021 210808When the Asgardians founded New Asgard in Norway, Thor wanted to compete in the hammer toss event in the Olympics. He never did, though, because the official rules wouldn't allow to bring his own hammer.Olympics 2021 210809The Olympics Closing Ceremonies should be an Olympic event. Throughout the Olympics, different countries would present their plan for the Closing Ceremonies. As with the other sports, the plans would be judged on a set of incomprehensible rules until a final winner was selected. In addition to the Gold Medal in Closing Ceremonies, the winning team's plan would be implemented and presented as the actual Closing Ceremonies of that year's Olympics.Olympics 2021 210810A priest's stole acts as sacred suspenders, supporting and uplifting the priest's spiritual trousers. It also gives the priest something to hook their thumbs behind when speaking, thus imparting a folksy authority to their words. 210811Life was extremely unpleasant in the ancient world. People couldn't poop without answering a riddle because their anus was controlled by their sphinx-ter. 210812I want to set up a rotisserie league for musicians. Players would choose members for a band and then score points based on how the various music awards go. The game wouldn't determine the best band, but rather the most popular and most marketable band. 210813For the perpetually late, distance is measured in time. 210814It seems a strange coincidence that all the Olympic silver medals this year were won by people from Earth and that all the COVID-19 victims were also from Earth. It's even more curious that all those silver medals were awarded after COVID-19 hit. I think something strange is going on. 210815A flash mob is a sudden gathering of people in a public place to perform a piece of music, drama, or other artistic expression. The forces of Nature have their own version of flash mobs that revolve around precipitation, and tend towards expressions of force and raw power. Nature's flash mobs manifest as flash floods. 210816The shirts and pants at clothing stores get excited on big sales days. They're just like puppies at a pet shop, jumping around and wagging their tails in excitement and anticipation, hoping that someone will come and give them a forever home. 210817Each of us is the Hero of our own story, but most of us want to be the Hero of everyone else's story too. 210818We will never know in whose stories we are the Hero.
We will never know in whose stories we are the Villain.
210819When two road lanes are merging, they shouldn't merge left or merge right. That just allows self-entitled pricks to avoid the merge until the last moment and make things difficult for everyone else. If people would merge to the center, then pricks would have a much more difficult time trying to bypass everyone. Seeding the shoulders with caltrops would then help for an even, more orderly and efficient merge. 210820On the drive to Maine, we passed Albertus Magnus College. Magnus is the Latin word for great or large. So this means that there is actually a Fat Albert College. 210821The Hammer Toss is one of the favorite athletic games at Highland Games, but the toolbox has so many more opportunities that are being overlooked. Screwdriver darts are my own specialty. The shoulder wrench and the crescent wrench-arang have their fans, but have fallen a bit in popularity. Socket boxing is challenging, but too violent for my tastes. The drill press makes for a unique form of weightlifting. Scottish ingenuity combined with Scots' aptitude for engineering has come through with impressive feats of athleticism. 210822It takes a mighty big chickadee to make a crow look small.Bird Week 4 210823Swiss owls sing, "Yodel-ey-hi-who-who-whooo."Bird Week 4 210824Catbirds and baboons both have red butts. This shared feature is indicative of a deep, evolutionary connection. Therefore, the catbird/baboon crimson-posterior conjunction is the intersection between mammals and avians.Bird Week 4 210825Goshawks are so beautiful that any time I see one I can't help but say, "Gosh!"Bird Week 4 210826The most cautious bird of all is the cassowary.Bird Week 4 210827When geese are confused, they fly around all confused and look like they're a big cloud of birds. When geese know where they're going and what they're doing, they fly in a nice, tidy formation. People say the geese are flying in a V formation. Even though one side is always longer than the other, people say it's a V. This is, in fact, incorrect. Geese are trying to let everyone know everything's okay, so they're really flying around in a check-mark formation.Bird Week 4 210828In the snow, every sparrow is a white-crowned sparrow.Bird Week 4 210829I think that electronic devices must have Age Determination chips. These chips determine the age of the user and then present interfaces and functionality for different age groups. It seems that the overriding rule used by Age Determination chips is that the older the user, the more difficult the interface and lower functionality. What other explanation could there be? 210830We're living in a goat renaissance. So many people are getting pet goats that it won't be long before goats surpass cats as a favorite pet in America. It'll take longer, of course, but dogs had better watch their tails or goats might even surpass them as the most favored pets. 210831There are some who believe that a new universe is created as a result of a single decision. For example, when you choose chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla, a new universe is created. When you choose to have only a single cup of coffee instead of a second cup, a new universe is created. An infinitude of universes have been, are, and will be created as a result of the various choices we make. However, matter can't be created, it can only be used or transformed. When a new universe is created, where does that new universe's matter come from?

September, 2021 210901Fist bumps are knuckle cheerses. 210902I wonder if wolves look at modern, domesticated dogs and want to eat them from embarassment for what they've become, or if the wolves look at modern, domesticated dogs with envy for the regular meals, comfy homes, and rubber bones. 210903Grandfather clocks are perpetual motion machines. The gears turn, the weights fall, the bells toll, the clock chimes. The falling of the weights keeps the clock in motion. It is only when the weights drop all the way to the bottom that the machine comes to a halt. By diligent management of the weights, the clock stays engaged, thus becoming one of the fabled perpetual motion machines. 210904Occasionally, I'll wear my shirt inside-out to see if Jo has been replaced by a fairy yet. 210905There is a primal human instinct that forces us to clack tongs together a few times whenever we pick up a set. Barbecue tongs, ice tongs, candy tongs, it doesn't matter -- people just have to clack them together. Androids, synthetic humans, and AIs do not have this instinct at all; for them, tongs are just a convenient tool. This tong-clack instinct is so strong that it could have been used in Bladerunner as an unbeatable test to determine if someone was human or android, replacing the Voight-Kampff test for replicants. 210906Weddings end when the couple says, "I do." Marriages end when someone says, "I'm done." 210907Jobs were developed so we could all have free, untrained psychotherapy. We go to work and tell all our problems to our cow-orkers. They listen and offer well-meaning, often bad, advice. We are not paid to do our jobs; we do that for free. Rather, we are paid to act as untrained psychotherapists for our cow-orkers. We must restrain ourselves from overindulging in receiving therapy and we must be willing to provide our cow-orkers with their share of therapy. 210908Canine detectives are always looking for leads. 210909You're likely to be disappointed if you think HGTV stands for "Hitchhiker's Guide TV". 210910When the dulcimer speaks, the mountains listen. 210911I hope my wages are never garnished because I don't like parsley. 210912"Fun-sized" and "snack size" are advertising code for "unsatisfying." 210913The patience of cows is like the dreams of a glacier. 210914Who would have guessed that being laid off from a job was such a complicated process?s So many decisions to make, so many things to do. I gotta admit, though, that after the months and months of uncertainties, I've been sleeping a lot better since the lay-off decision was finalized. 210915Death is usually portrayed as carrying a scythe, which is used to harvest souls. There are some situations where a scythe is just the right tool, times that large-scale harvesting is required, but in many others a scythe is wildly impractical. When gathering a single soul, something like a dagger would be a more appropriate tool. Even better, a paring knife or a scalpel would provide a much greater level of precision than a scythe. Maybe the scythe is the tool of choice as a way of giving people a sporting chance. If you can avoid the swinging of a large, unwieldy scythe then you get another chance at a bit more life. 210916For quite a while I could never remember if it was spelled "experiment" or "expirement". Eventually, I hit on a great mnemonic. "If you aren't careful, you could expire from your expirement." This great mental trick stood me in great stead for many years. Until, that is, I realized it was wrong. It isn't "expirement" at all. I learned that I must peer at my experiments to make sure they're right.Word Week 6 210917"Supposititious" sounds like it's a rectally administered placebo.Word Week 6 210918The singular of "sheep" is also "sheep". The singular of "sheep" should be "shoop".Word Week 6 210919It's funny what the addition or deletion of one little, silent letter can do. For instance, you have "en masse", which is talking about something being done as a group. Remove one little letter and you have "en mass", which is something that happens during a Catholic worship service.Word Week 6 210920Is the term "asshat" a combination of "ass hat" or "as shat"? I think "ass hat" is referring to the person, but "as shat" is referring to their words.Word Week 6 210921A demense is a manor or estate, a place a ruler would live. Demented means crazy, and comes from Latin demens which means out of one's mind. The tie between these two words' roots clearly indicate that rulers are inherently insane.Word Week 6 210922There's a difference of opinion about the pronunciation of the word "ginormous." I think it should be pronounced "gIHnormous". The rest of the world thinks it should be pronounced "gEYEnormous". I am willing to concede the pronunciation, but only if my pronunciation can be used to describe something that looks big-and-vast because you've been drinking lots of alcohol.Word Week 6 210923A reciprocating saw is one that cuts you as much as you use it to cut wood. 210924The problem with being anal-retentive is that when I die my sphincter will relax and Jo will see that all this time I've been completely full of shit. 210925Bloodletting was a method of healing that has been in use for thousands of years. A variety of ailments were treated by it, in addition to a variety of reasons why it was considered a valid treatment. Despite the wide variety of cultures that have used bloodletting, there's a common denominator that ties them all together. Healing by bloodletting was used as a mask of propriety by vampires in order to have a socially acceptable means of obtaining food. 210926Necessity is the mother of evil.
Love of money is the root of all invention.
210927Dad has provided us with newspapers for the bird cages for years, and they stack up so we're usually seeing papers from months ago. There has been an unexpected benefit of Dad moving in wih us. Now that Dad is living in our house, we're getting current events to look at as we clean the cages. It's nice to not be living months in the past as we have been. 210928People who insist on calling milk "breast milk" are being disingenuous. All milk is breast milk. They just don't want to identify it by species. 210929When people ask where I live, I usually say I live in northern Maryland. I've decided from now on I'm going to say I live in North Maryland. I expect it'll confuse people who are only aware of Maryland as a single state. If I can get enough people to do this, we'll have people thinking there's a North Maryland and a Maryland, a split state just like the Dakotas, the Virginias, and the Carolinas. 210930Raymond Burr won the duel with Alexander Hamilton, killing him with a single shot. However, Hamilton got off his own shot and hit Burr in the spine. This is why Raymond Burr was in the wheelchair when he played in Ironside.

October, 2021 211001It can be really interesting talking to someone who argues both sides of an issue -- swirling around through shades of meaning and context, folding in history and philosophy, insulting and praising the very same thing -- when you yourself had no idea an argument was even taking place. 211002The Wild Hunt is a pack of ghostly hounds that run across the sky, chasing down people selected by the hunt leader. The Mild Hunt is a pack of ghostly cats that lie around the sky, basking on clouds, wondering why the hounds of the Wild Hunt always make such a fuss. 211003I really would like to get a copy of the teacher's edition for Life so I could peek at the answers and know what the heck is going on. 211004Words We Need 7: snubble, biogua, bergibble, oblitheous, erk, pastability, fronky, infenvtipn, dizzle, basjub 211005As I struggle with putting together a decent resume, I've got to remember that this is just the first step in the process and not the end goal. 211006Sometimes you shake the Pillars of Heaven; sometimes the Pillars of Heaven shake you. 211007Mosquitoes have a bad implementation. People wouldn't mind mosquitoes at all if mosquito bites didn't itch. Oh, and the malaria. The malaria is kind of a bummer. 211008The most uncomfortable part of the birthday celebration is when people sing "Happy Birthday" to you. You've got a scrummy cake in front of you. The candles are lit. The ice cream is starting to melt. Then you have to wait for people to sing the song. Where do you look? Do you look at the people? They don't want that. Do you stare at the candles and the cake? Then you're ignoring the singers. Do you look at the big pile of presents? Then you just look greedy. The only time in history it wasn't uncomfortable for the birthday person was when Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday" to JFK. He focussed on her while she sang, rather than anything else. Marilyn Monroe should sing "Happy Birthday" to everyone on their birthday. Who on Earth wouldn't focus on Marilyn Monroe, instead of the cake and candles and presents, when she sang "Happy Birthday"? Especially now, since she's been dead for decades. 211009Taxes and utility bills are the subscription fees we pay to live in a civilized society. 211010I think I've got bowel problems. Given the poor sense of timing my bowels have, I don't think I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome; I'm pretty sure I have Inconsiderate Bowel Syndrome. 211011It seems that every clock pendulum has a very slightly different period than any other clock pendulum. Two pendulums might synchronize for a very brief time, but they will start to shift away from each other before very much time passes at all. This is quite fortunate. If pendulums start synchronizing and stay synchronized, then the stress on the space-time continuum will tear the universe apart. 211012It seems that every clock pendulum has a very slightly different period than any other clock pendulum. Two pendulums might synchronize for a very brief time, but they will start to shift away from each other before very much time passes at all. This is a very dangerous situation. If the world's pendulums stay unsynchronized for a great length of time, then the stress of the growing harmonic divergence on the space-time continuum will tear the universe apart. 211013It is the nature of a list to never be complete. 211014As poets write better and better poetry, their hopes rise that they'll be called up to the prose. 211015Onanarchy is a state of society in which the government is run by complete wankers. 211016Watched pot doesn't smoke itself. 211017The way Jo charmed the bearded dragon and lulled it to sleep makes me think she has a bright future ahead as a dragon tamer. 211018Judging by its highways, South Carolina hates the world. 211019I am very impressed with the Virginia highway department. All through the mountains, there are special ramps for runaway trucks. Runaway trucks are welcome on these ramps, no matter what. The runaway trucks can get a nice hot meal, a cool and refreshing drink, they can get some sleep, they can call home -- no pressure, no demands, no requirements. Virginia is looking out for runaway trucks, helping however they need, and maybe eventually helping them reunite with their families. 211020People mock the Cats movie, but imagine how weird it would have been if instead of cats, T.S. Eliot had had a thing for lobsters. 211021I'd like to register a complaint with the universe for having parents be so fragile. 211022It's been said that your body is a temple. If that's true, I feel like my body is the temple from the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark -- it's a ruin, it's got traps and snares all over the place, it fires poison arrows at itself, and if the one good thing in it is touched a giant rock appears to wreak rampant destruction. 211023I recently learned that tetanus is not inherent to rusty nails, or any other sort of rusty metal. I feel I owe an apology to all those poor, innocent, rusty nails I've been maligning all these years. 211024The grass is always greener when it's watered with the blood of your enemies. 211025As much as I'd like to live in Scotland, I'm glad I live in America at Halloween. I may not be keen on pumpkin spice this and pumpkin spice that, but pumpkin spice is infinitely superior to turnip spice.Halloween 2021 211026In "Something Wicked This Way Comes", the Autumn People would come to town periodically, bring out the worst in some people, recruit new blood, and then disappear for years. In modern times, the Autumn People come to town, open up a Spirit Halloween, sell sketchy merchandise, and then disappear for a year.Halloween 2021 211027The Donner Party got lost and met their fate while looking for the Organ Trail.Halloween 2021 211028I think the candy companies are missing an opportunity and need to expand out from the single candy vegetable they already make, beloved by all though it may be. It's time to look past candy corn and start making candy brocc, candy lettuce, candy asparagus, candy brussels sprouts, and candy carrots. A really daring candy company could even try candy cod.Halloween 2021 211029Q: Where are ghosts at their sexiest?
A: In the BOO-doir.Halloween 2021
211030Dracula and other vampires have a sexy, mysterious vibe that make them compelling and nigh irresistible. It is an odd thing for soulless, human-shaped mosquitoes to have. I recently learned that after mosquitoes finish sucking a person's blood, they urinate on their donor. I wonder if vampires would be just as alluring and seductive if they peed on their victims.Halloween 2021 211031This year, I'm going to give trick-or-treaters karma apples. These are special apples that only taste as good as the eater deserves.Halloween 2021

November, 2021 211101In "Foundation and Earth", two characters are discussing why they're going to a planet's capital city. One of them says, "It's bound to be the intellectual center of the planet." I wonder if Asimov laughed as much when he wrote that as I did when I read it. 211102I used to get really paranoid when I'd make a joke and my therapist would quietly write something down. Eventually, I realized she's an amateur comedienne and she was stealing my material. 211103The Pole Rat lives at the South Pole, working ceaselessly to keep the world spinning smoothly on its axis. 211104If we could hear the internal monologues of our friends and loved ones, we probably wouldn't have any friends and loved ones. 211105I always wished to be an alchemist, but instead I became a baker. I'm not sure my wish didn't come true after all. 211106As I always say about archery, don't try it 'til you've nocked it. 211107Whenever one reads a book, a new universe is created that encompasses that reader's experience with the book. If a chapter is skipped, then those events just didn't happen in that universe. If a reader playfully changes a character's name, then the name is changed in that universe. If a reader is unhappy with unpleasant events in a book, they might make themselves feel better by just stopping reading, but that dooms the characters to never have resolution, recovery, or healing from those unpleasant events. For the sake of the characters in your own private universe of that book, not to mention that universe itself, you should always finish a book or series once you've started. 211108I'd like to see a new Indiana Jones-type hero become popular, but one with a modern slant. Instead of being an archeologist that plundered cultural sites, the new one would be a burglar that breaks into the homes of rich collectors and steals back cultural artifacts in order to re-patriate them to the people they really belong to. 211109When I was a kid, we used to have raindrop races. Everyone picked a raindrop and we'd see which one rolled down the car window fastest. If you were lucky, your raindrop would combine with others and get extra weight and help it win. Those extra raindrops were like getting a healing potion or a power pellet or a super mushroom, and turned your raindrop into a super raindrop. That might have been like a video game, but at least there were no gorillas or monsters waiting to pounce on our raindrops. 211110When trying to determine the likelihood of something happening, why are people only concerned with the defecatory habits of bears? Why not other woodland creatures? How 'bout deer or raccoons -- how sure are we that they shit in the woods? What about bigfoot or chupacabras? Are they forest-poopers or field-poopers? We need to know before these important questions before we start answering critical questions with the scatalogical tendencies of wildlife. 211111Also, there are other questions. No one ever asks about what type of bear is under consideration. A black bear or a grizzly bear, you can be pretty sure the answer is "yes." If you talk to a Svalbardian, they're likely to answer "no" to the basic question. Is the type of forest important? Does it have to be a good old oak or pine forest, or can it be a maple or walnut or cypress forest? Pandas, both red and large, live in bamboo forests, so do people care about their defecatory habits? I never realized that a simple little aphorism was so deeply problematic. 211112These days, people have Tinder and Grindr and dating sites to help them find a mate of choice. Back in the good old days, princes and princesses had to rely on evil witches and wizards and dragons and monsters in order to get a date. Rustic cottages, inaccessible towers, and secluded caves were the venue of choice, and the evil captors weren't so much evil as they were providers of an essential matrimonial matching service. 211113If you could train a chimp to knit, I wonder if would prefer to knit sweaters or banana cozies. 211114The well-known, traditional origin story of the marathon has Pheidippides running 26 miles to deliver news of the Greek victory over Persia at the Battle of Marathon. And then he died. Modern marathon runners get all snooty because they're doing just as good a job as Pheidippides without dying. However, the lesser-known part of his story is that just prior to this 26-mile run, Pheidippides ran 150 miles in two days, then made the return run. So, in five days Pheidippides ran 326 miles. I won't acknowledge the snoot until a modern marathoner runs half Pheidippides' total in five days. 211115The Harry Potter books had a decent good vs. evil line through the whole series. Unfortunately, it was fairly simplistic and the two sides were pretty cut and dried. Some ambiguity in the series would have made it more interesting. Dolores Umbridge is a good example. She wasn't a Death Eater herself, though she seemed like she should have been. Her part of the story would have been very compelling if Voldemort thought Umbridge was a horrible person he wanted nothing to do with. A few things like that would have been very thought-provoking. 211116I'm internalizing this Deep Learning more than I expected. I plopped a handful of M&Ms on the table; while the colors were mixed up, there were large groupings of the colors as well. I immediately started thinking of the classification graph and the algorithm to sort the M&Ms by color. 211117There are a couple of local farms that do consumer-level product delivery. In the interests of science, I've placed orders with one farm for a chicken and with another farm for a dozen eggs. I'm hoping to put the age-old question to rest, once and for all. 211118A lunar eclipse is just the Earth's way of drawing attention away from the Moon and keeping it from getting uppity. 211119Everyone needs a set of LEDs installed in their forehead. Since these LEDs would show the level of intelligence a person is currently operating with, they'd be a very convenient barometer for when to talk to someone and what to talk to them about. Also, I'd like this because it might keep people from bothering me in the mornings. 211120If history and science fiction have taught me anything, it's that for humanity to pull together, we've got to find something we can all hate together. 211121For a while after Dad moved in with us, it seemed he was treading lightly, trying to find just how he fit in. (Understandable, given the nightmare circumstances of his previous living situation.) I realized that he was feeling that this was now his home when he got some of my chocolate chip cookies -- without asking permission. We hadn't been trying to withhold any cookies from him, but that small sign with those cookies was a critical milestone. 211122I love our sloped bed, but it is a bit of a pain to always end up a foot or two down the mattress by morning. I want a bed with slow hotdog rollers that will keep me up at the top of the bed, rather than making my nightly migration down to the bottom. 211123A skyrmish is a food fight using Icelandic yogurt.Food Week 23 211124Potato salad is a great balanced meal. It has protein, carbs, and fat, the three essential building blocks of nutrition. Other things people add -- such as pickles, celery, green pepper, and boiled egg -- serve to fortify the nutritional goodness that is potato salad.Food Week 23 211125There is a significant number of people who think sweet potatoes are an essential part of a Thanksgiving dinner. I certainly have childhood memories of the sweet potato-and-marshmallow casserole being served every year. I hated the sweet potatoes, but I loved the gooey marshmallows. Eventually I stopped even bothering with the whole thing all together. In recent years, Jo has found a recipe for an excellent sweet potato casserole. There are no marshmallows, but there are still sweet potatoes, as well as a wonderful brown sugar and pecan topping. The sweet potatoes in this new casserole are not bad, but the topping is fantastic. Maybe the whole reason sweet potatoes were created was to provide a vegetable vector for conveying tasty toppings to one's mouth.Food Week 23 211126I want to hold a convention where people eat tentacled, multi-legged, bat-winged things. It'll be called the Nomnomicon.Food Week 23 211127Cake is a vector for icing.Food Week 23 211129People think the purpose of hors d'oeuvres is to have a little food to stimulate the appetite; this is not true. The real purpose of hors d'oeuvres is to fill up your guests' tummies so they don't eat all the great food you'll be serving for dinner, thus leaving you with lots of scrummy leftovers.Food Week 23 211130Volcano eruptions are gender-reveal parties for the gods.

December, 2021 211201It is commonly thought that Vikings had wings and horns on their helmets. This is a popular misconception, due largely to opera costumes and comic books. In reality, Viking helmets had thighs, breasts, hocks, and briskets. Slightly less intimidating than wings and horns, perhaps, but certainly more perplexing to the Vikings' enemies. 211202In ancient Egypt, "No Nut November" made for one very long day. 211203People are worried about the Yellowstone Supervolcano, and how it's going to spew boatloads of lava over North America. I am not worried at all about that, I'll be able to survive no problem. I spent years in training as a child, and I'm a master at "The Floor Is Lava". 211204Whenever I give Jo a bit of esoteric information just as she's off to brush her teeth, she has a clue of what that night's Thought is about. 211205I have been fighting sexist stereotypes for years. For example, I have taken it upon myself to fight against one particular stereotype, so I am the one in our marriage who is always late when we're getting ready to leave. 211206Numbers are rarely used to start a sentence, which is why their lowercase form is the most commonly known. However, if you do need to start a sentence with a number, you really should use the uppercase version. ! should always use proper grammar. 211207There are questions I have with Star Trek IV. Why was the space cigar, having come from so far away, content with having one brief chat with the whales and then leaving? What could the whales have said so quickly to explain the utter silence prior to the whales' arrival? How did the whales themselves feel about being the only whales in the now-silent oceans? Did anyone follow the space cigar home to find out anything about it? All these unanswered, interesting, questions yet they follow ST-IV with The Final Frontier? 211208Everyone waxes rhapsodic about the joys of parachute days in elementary school. The floating and fluttering parachute billowing and blossoming in the air. The good thing about rainy days was that P.E. class was in the cafeteria, and that inevitably meant parachute. (Or folk dancing, but it seems no one looked forward to that.) My P.E. teacher must have been deficient because parachute days were quite rare. I only ever had one parachute day. One. Just. One. I suffered a deprived and disadvantaged childhood. (I also only ever had one folk dancing day, which now I regret more than the lack of parachute days.) 211209"Que Sera, Sera" is a mother telling her kid, "How the hell should I know? Now leave me alone." 211210When individual socks disappear, people say the Sock Gnomes have claimed another sock. Single shoes appear on the side of the road, but we are left without explanation. I think there are only Footwear Gnomes, and they steal socks and leave behind shoe changelings. 211211The Five-Second Rule was a joint effort of bacteria, germs, and amoebas. By diligently working together and combining their tiny, rudimentary brain cells, they invented the Five-Second Rule and somehow transmitted it to humans, thus ensuring forevermore a food-borne vector for all manner of illnesses and diseases. 211212I'll know when I've gotten psychic powers when other cars get out of my way without me having to yell at them or honk my horn. 211213I trust Jo's butt enough to put my napkin on her chair. 211214Slanty fonts have taught me that Italy must have very strong winds. 211215A fortune cookie's fortune applies to the person who reads it, not the one who cracks open the cookie or the person to whom the cookie belongs. 211216I thought about setting up a swear jar, but I couldn't find anyone to fill it with money so I could take out a dollar every time I swear. 211217I wanted to go fly a kite, but it kept biting my fingers when I tried to attach the string to its feet. 211218DVD and Blu-ray players are elaborate mechanisms for shuffling discs into the wrong cases. 211219No matter how bad things get, no matter incompetent I feel, I can take comfort in the fact that I am skilled at cleaning dryer lint screens. 211220Two of Santa's reindeer never were much help around the Pole. Donner stood around in a stormy mood, while Kibitzen only stood around giving useless advice.Christmas Week 2021 211221Applied plate tectonics happen every Boxing Day when Uncle Ivor starts reaching to mooch from other people's plates.Christmas Week 2021 211222The Miracle of Christmas ensures that all the Christmas tree ornaments that are musical instruments are all tuned to each other. This allows them to play perfectly in pitch during their midnight, lights-out jam sessions.Christmas Week 2021 211223It is undeniable that Santa is a man of incredible fortitude and strength, and has untold abilities. I wanted to learn a little bit about just one of those abilities -- how much milk Santa drinks each Christmas Eve. According to the 12/20/2019 Washington Post, Santa has to visit almost 396 million houses each year. Assuming only one quarter of those households is kind enough to leave him the traditional milk and cookies, 99 million glasses of milk would be left for him. I'm rounding up to 100 million glasses to simplify the math. If we assume an 8 ounce glass of milk, that ends up being 800 million ounces, or 6,250,000 gallons. Each Christmas Eve, Santa drinks 6,250,000 gallons of milk, which works out to 10,300,000,000 calories -- and that doesn't include the cookies. Santa must have a bladder and digestive system of inconceivable capacities. Just out of curiosity, I also learned that a cow can produce around 6 gallons of milk a day, so 1,041,667 cows are required to produce the milk needed for Santa's Christmas Eve binge.Christmas Week 2021 211224I really like playing Christmas Eve gigs in small towns. By the time we leave the church, everyone has gone home, the streets are empty, and there's usually a very nice bite to the air. If we're really lucky, there's a little snow on the ground. There's something magical about the empty streets, the cold air, and the town Christmas decorations that's just different on Christmas Eve. I can't describe it, other than to say that it's magic.Christmas Week 2021 211225I wonder if poor families encouraged their children to misbehave and be bad. Santa would then put coal in the bad children's stockings, and their families could burn it to keep warm. Coal in the stockings would become a reward, and Santa might thus be encouraging children to embark on a life of crime.Christmas Week 2021 211226I wonder why Santa started insisting on stockings in particular being hung by the chimney with care. Why not gloves or stocking caps? Those are both kind of small for holding gifts. Opera gloves would give a nice, long length, but they don't have a great diameter. A pair of pants has a good length and a nice diameter, but they're open at the bottom and Santa's gifts would drop into the hearth. Stockings may be a weird choice, but it's the most practical one Santa could have made.Christmas Week 2021 211227"It's a Wonderful Life" introduced to popular culture the proverb "Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings." For some reason, the movie doesn't include the proverb "Every time a glass ornament hits the floor, a cat gets its horns."Christmas Week 2021 211228Judging by calls made to doctors' offices, the primary activity of the reception staff is changing the menu options on the automated phone system. 211229Bathrooms are low-tech time machines. You go in for a couple minutes and when you come out, there's no telling how much time has passed. Minutes? Hours? Weeks? There's no way to ever know. I think Rip Van Winkle just went in for his morning constitutional and got involved in reading the paper. I think the TARDIS was actually a Gallifreyan outhouse. 211230When I was a kid at school and those times all the lights went off, all the kids screamed. Except me. I thought I was really grown up and mature, when I kept my cool and didn't scream. I think maybe I didn't fully understand what it meant to be a kid. 211231In ages past, dark fae would feed on the low-grade despair that people carried around. The fae began to savor this sustenance, and came to depend on it. Over time, the fae learned to cultivate this in humans in order to have a steady supply of dashed hopes and wishes. I choose not to provide this nourishment to the fae, to deny them this meal of me, which is why I don't make New Year's resolutions.

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 -- rather, not 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:

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