Final Thoughts of the Night, 2022

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, 2022 220101Rain on New Year's Day washes away the troubles of the past year and the waiting blessings are watered and grow to new heights. 220102I hope Science can conquer COVID-19 very soon. I'm really worried about how bad the variant will be that They end up calling the Omega Variant. 220103I am incapable of using the word "taffeta" without adding "darling" after it. 220104Q: What is a dog's favorite rock group?
A: REO SpeedwagEvil Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week
220105If you have hemorrhoids, a hot bath will do piles of good.Evil Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week 220106Q: Why don't ducks have any money?
A: Because they have big water bills.Evil Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week
220107Q: What do rich parents say to their babies?
A: Gucci, Gucci, Gooo.Evil Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week
220108Q: Why do the French never have good chemists?
A: They always kill the noble gasses.Evil Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week
220109A priest, a rabbi, a monk, a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, a physicist, a mathemetician, a horse, a donkey, and a shaggy dog walk into a bar. The bartender looked at them all and said, "One joke at a time, please."Evil Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week 220110Cows working in offices send each other moomoos.Evil Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week 220111Humans are inexorably drawn to fire. Fireplaces, campfires, fireworks, smoking, charcoal grills, fire departments. If it's related to fire, humans are ready to cozy up to it. You can get into deep philosophical, psychological reasoning as to why this is true, but it's ignoring the obvious, actual reason why. Burning things creates carbon. We're carbon-based life. Fire returns us back to our primordial state and we are captivated by the process. 220112I would dearly love to hear a Shatner version of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy".
There! She was!
Down the street! Singin'
Wah diddy
Diddy dum!
220113People use Halloween decorations with the implicit assumption that spiders are only vicious, psychotic, inhuman killers during Halloween time. 220114Everyone knows the dark M&M's are best. The browns, the blues, the greens, the (extinct) tans -- those are all indisputably the peak of M&M evolution. The light ones are also well-known to be inferior stock -- the oranges and yellows. I feel sorry for the hybrids in the middle, the reds. They seem to be in the dark M&M class, but they are also clearly aligned with the lights. I fear they must suffer at the hands of the other M&M's, and not be allowed to join in any M&M games.Food Week 24 220115Lemon bars are health food because they fight off scurvy.Food Week 24 220116Here in America, the food available at Highland Games never seems quite right, not Scottish enough. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Scotch egg, or meat pie, or haggis roll, but the food somehow doesn't really fit in with what I've found in Scotland. I finally realized what's been missing, and I doubt it'll ever be common in American Highland Games. All this time, I've been missing being able to get a good curry.Food Week 24 220117The best part of pumpkin pie is the whipped cream that goes on top.Food Week 24 220118The German love of cheese is shown at its annual cheese festival, Gouda Tag.Food Week 24 220119Making spaghetti for someone is a dangerous thing. It seems it should be simple -- tomato sauce, meat, noodles. How hard could it be? Welllll... What kind of noodles? What kind of meat? Meatballs or just ground meat? Ground beef or sausage? Thin, runny sauce or thick, sculptable sauce? Garlic, mushrooms, and spices or bland? Hot and spicy or insipid and weak? It's tragic the suffering from the Spag Wars and Fusilli Feuds that have erupted because chefs didn't make spaghetti the "right" way. Making spaghetti for someone is a culinary, sociological, political, familial, historical minefield of cooking.Food Week 24 220120Wats, curries, and stews are the same thing. They have different ingredients, spicing, and cultural associations, but otherwise they're exactly the same.Food Week 24 220121Ghosts go to Clear Cross every new moon to make ectoplasma donations. 220122There is nothing so loud as the stealthy measures one employs to sneak a snack when someone is in the next room. 220123I went to an ancient Greek temple to contemplate the statues of the gods. I was in the mood to engage in some idol speculation. 220124I was wondering if AIs and robots should be considered animate objects. I suspect that what is idle speculation today will become a philosophical and moral issue that will erupt within 20 years. 220125Sitting around all night insulting each other finally got us to properly celebrate Burns Night. 220126People are setting up all sorts of virtual backgrounds for their online video meetings. Beaches are popular, as are the Moon, planets, starscapes, lakes, forests. I want to go a somewhat different direction. I want a virtual background that makes it look like I'm zooming in a bathroom. 220127The real definition of "soak" is to avoid doing something now so you can regret not having done it earlier later. 220128It was an intentional and thoughtful decision to make "naked" not rhyme with "baked". This was a reminder that those two things should not be engaged in simultaneously. 220129It is very common for people to bow their heads when a prayer is given before a meal. This might seem a little odd, since plenty of places in the Bible talk about lifting up your voice in prayer, singing and dancing. I think that head-bowing has a practical basis. Head-bowing aims the nose down at the food wafting its lovely scents upwards. Smelling that wonderful food reminds those present that the food is waiting and getting cold, and you really need to keep the prayer short so everyone can start eating. 220130The Winter Kitten hides her tearing fangs of ice and slashing claws of frost, bides her time, gentle and playful, until the North Winds blow. 220131Higher math, really higher math, is a dangerous place. There are unusual numbers and there are evil numbers and there are odious numbers and there are magic constants and there are deficient numbers and there are rough numbers and there are highly powerful numbers and there are untouchable numbers. There are also octonions. I don't know if anyone really knows what an octonion is, but it is undoubtedly an onion with eight tentacles, poisonous tentacle slime, sharp pointy fangs, and a big giant hypno-eye.

February, 2022 220201Wood elves can be found making music in the conservatree. Long-lost Mysterious Relative of Dumb Joke Week 220202Beer brewers in Europe are always disagreeing about one thing or another. They're constantly at lagerheads with each other.Long-lost Mysterious Relative of Dumb Joke Week 220203I want to set up a problem-solving company and call it Houston. You'll get a discount if when you call, you say, "Houston, we have a problem."Long-lost Mysterious Relative of Dumb Joke Week 220204In Mille Bornes, every card you play is a race card. Long-lost Mysterious Relative of Dumb Joke Week 220205If it walks like a duck, swims like a cuttlefish, barks like a skunk, smells like an otter, and talks like a barrister, you live much too close to Chernobyl.Long-lost Mysterious Relative of Dumb Joke Week 220206Q: What is a fish's favorite type of art?
A: Bass-relief. Long-lost Mysterious Relative of Dumb Joke Week
220207Q: What duck excels at what kind of skiing?
A: The Eider, at down-hill.Long-lost Mysterious Relative of Dumb Joke Week
220208Neurologists say that your brain starts to slow down at around age 24. They also say that your prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for self-control and impulse, isn't fully developed until around age 25. I suspect that your brain doesn't really slow down at 24, it's that your prefrontal cortex finally has enough muscle to seize control of yourself and keep you from rushing into every stupid thing you think is a good idea. 220209About 30 years ago, it was a big trend for whales to get tattoos of human feet right above their butts. 220210The designers of the Olympic snowboard tracks were really thoughtful. Scattered around the tracks, they've put handrails on the slopes in case the snowboarders fall down and need something to help them get back up again. 220211Inside of each of us are two wolves, a Light Wolf and a Dark Wolf. The Light Wolf is the one that seizes control of our bodies when we're drunk -- fighting with cops, sending drunk tweets, insulting ultimate cage fighters, texting our exes, sending pics of our nekkid body parts. The Dark Wolf is the one that you hope will be willing to resolve the resulting conflicts without our getting killed, seriously injured, or with too much jail time. Or back together with the exes. 220212The Minions must have a pretty high mortality rate, yet there are always a great abundance of them. I find it unsettling to consider exactly how the Minions reproduce, not to mention the reproduction rate. 220213I've known my whole life I'm unpopular. The proof has been at every tourist spot I've gone to. None of them have had a keychain or a knife or a mug with my name on it. 220214An agonist is a chemical that activates a receptor to get a biological response. Beer is the archetypal example of an agonist, which is interesting because it often also creates antagonists. 220215The streamlined, high-color, and geometric characteristics of Art Deco combine with women's fashion in a strange way that led to Art Décolletage. 220216One of the newly recognized disorders in the DSM-6 is sexual attraction to the weapons from the Lord of the Rings. This new disorder is known as Narsilcism.Tolkien Week 3 220217The battle at Minas Tirith in Jackson's "Return of the King" has a scene where the gate-smashing Grond is brought up to the city's gates. The hordes of Mordor chant "Grond! Grond! Grond!" as the battering ram is hauled up. This made me realize that this whole battle is an enormous rock festival. The battlefield is the festival seating for the audience, and Minas Tirith is the stage. There are fights and violence in the mosh pit. There are things flying around in the air that no one knows what on earth they are. The audience is throwing things at the stage, and people on the stage are throwing things back at the audience. There are also a number of times the audience rushes the stage, even getting onto it once. Someone playing with fire sets himself alight, and runs around like a mobile torch. There are drums and other instruments blaring music. There's heavy metal in abundance. A short dweeb has some pipeweed, and everyone's looking for him. The next morning, most of the survivors are going to be thinking, "What the hell happened last night?" Tolkien really hit the festival scene spot on, providing a model for decades to come.Tolkien Week 3 220218There has been a lot of talk online about Gandalf and the eagles. The major point is that Gandalf should have dispatched Frodo to Mount Doom on the back of an eagle, thus ending the War of the Ring before it had started and saving countless lives. The fact is that Gandalf was a big fan of Joseph Campbell and so he believed the critical nature of The Hero's Journey, and felt that it was essential for Frodo to travel and suffer and strive before he could destroy the ring. Otherwise, he feared the peoples of Middle Earth "wouldn't appreciate" the task.Tolkien Week 3 220219The Riders of Rohan always hate playing games with non-Rohanians. Always, no matter how many people are playing, always the Eorlingas go forth.Tolkien Week 3 220220Tolkien's sense of humor was very subtle. A prime example of this is that people carving angular, disconnected runes in stone were writing in Cirthive.Tolkien Week 3 220221There is speculation that a tarantula bite suffered in childhood was the inspiration for Shelob and the spiders of Mirkwood. Tolkien really seemed to have had something against fat people, too. "The fat mayor of Michel Delving" "even old Butterbur's fat face" "A fat innkeeper who only remembers" "'Strider' I am to one fat man" "Fat men who sell ale" "Poor Bombur, who was fat" "You're a fat fool, William" "Old Forlong the Fat" These are just a few examples of an apparent contempt for the overweight. I wonder if Tolkien was also bitten by a fat man.Tolkien Week 3 220222There's a well-known quote from a very popular movie franchise. "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." I never remember if that's talking about Tolkien's village of Bree (as depicted by Peter Jackson) or the town of Mos Eisley in Star Wars.Tolkien Week 3 220223Windy weather can make any squirrel a flying squirrel. 220224It's interesting that so many conceptions of creatures from alternate universes depict them as having tentacles. What is it with tentacles and extra-dimensional monsters? Are tentacles so alien to humans that that's the first thing our brains leap to? Are tentacles more efficient and useful than arms and hands? I wonder if those EDMs are just as horrified by our arms and hands and legs. I bet their horror movies depict writhing arms poking through dimensional rifts, ready to grab them with those horrific fingers. 220225Knowledgable literary people talk about reliable narrators versus unreliable narrators. As time goes by, I find I am not so much interested in the reliability of narrators as I am in the narrator's character. I'm much happier with a likeable narrator than an unlikeable narrator, a pleasant narrator than an unpleasant narrator, a kind narrator than an unkind narrator. This might restrict my reading choices, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. 220226I drove past a road called Parsonage Lane. Above the street sign was another sign, which said, "No Outlet". Parsonage Lane and No Outlet, both talking about the same path. I have a feeling that that sign pairing is a metaphor for those called to the ministry. 220227I think from now on, I'm going to name pets with adjectives, rather than with regular sorts of name.
"Whose poop is that?" "That's a Vindictive poop."
"Who's barking so much? It's after midnight!" "That's an Annoying racket."
"Look at all this fur. I hate shedding season." "It's surely a Righteous mess."
220228People strive to get six-pack abs. I glide my way into having kegger abs.

March, 2022 220301Giraffes have a terrible time unlocking their doors because they're so tall they have trouble seeing the keyhole to insert the key. The lack of opposable thumbs doesn't help, either. 220302Traditionally, gravy comes in boats and I find it interesting that gravy is given a vehicle. Do other condiments and sauces get their own vehicles? Do all these sauces get their very own boats? You know the burgers are ready when the ketchup schooner and mustard galleon sail into view. Maybe boats are only for gravy. Maybe hot sauce has helicopters and mayo has limos. Mustard and ketchup arrive in a motorcycle and sidecar. Soy sauce sits stylishly on its penny-farthing. I think I'll look into getting a doctorate in gastronomy, and spend my life studying sauce vehicles. 220303Car Key Gnomes annoy everyone by sneaking around at night and hiding people's car keys. Well, not quite everyone. Car Key Gnomes have a great sense of fire safety, and they actively protect the keys to fire engines. Woe unto anyone who tries messing around with keys to fire engines. 220304Bears are always bad-tempered because they can't get clippers to fit their nails, so they can never get good pedicures. 220305Those without good object permanence must have good garbage collection. 220306The more cans I open to make dinner, the more worried I am that it won't be good. 220307I find it frustrating to read weird names in fantasy/SF books. Whenever I hit one of these unusual names, I find I spend time deciding how to pronounce it. Each. And. Every. Time. It doesn't matter how often I've settled on the One True Pronunciation, I'll still decide again whether I've gotten it right. They might seem a bit out of place, but I can appreciate the uncharacteristic Mary the Dragonslayer, Lisa the Queen of the High Elves, and Bob the Master Mason of the Deep-Delving Dwarves. 220308People mock dinosaurs for being low class and uncultured. However, not once did dinosaurs ever create an "On Ice" show or a monster truck rally. 220309Life is like a box of magic. It is filled to the brim with great wonders and joy. Jo is a good example of that. 220310With the insanity coming from Russia, some friends are looking into getting Geiger counters. While a terrifying potential issue, nuclear war isn't what really scares me. I'm concerned about the possibility of rogue necromancers summoning the Elder Gods or the Great Old Ones. That's why I'm in the market for a Giger counter. 220311I saw a collection of coffee-related memes today. The photos showed lots of people holding coffee mugs, and there were witty captions talking about how coffee made these people happy, or unstressed, or socially acceptable, orrr... whatever. However, the photos didn't show what was in the mugs. I think that was really a collection of memes of people who are made happy and unstressed and socially acceptable by holding empty mugs. 220312Other musicians mock percussionists because they are jealous of all the cool toys in the percussion arsenal. 220313There is an inherent problem with having a princess that's part of a party of adventurers. When the party needs to be stealthy and sneaky and hidden, the princess needs to be quiet and inconspicuous. All the little tweeting songbirds and scampering chipmunks and chattering squirrels and hiphoppy bunnies draw attention and make the princess conspicuous -- just what the adventurers don't want. 220314Ham Murabi was the first to bring fish to pigs. This was documented in the ancient text The Cod of Ham Murabi. 220315My great-great-grandparents were farmers for other people. My great-grandparents were farmers for themselves. My grandparents were farmers, but in mid-life changed to being printers -- and they had backyard gardens. My parents went to college, were teachers, and had a backyard garden. I went to college and am now a tech-head and I haven't planted anything or gardened since leaving my parents' house. My parents were very proud of me for boosting myself up and keeping the family progression going along the path of the American Dream. Ten years ago, amidst the craze, I joined in and spent too much time playing Farmville. Thinking I was getting back to my roots, I told my parents about my Farmville involvement. They did not see it the same way and did not have the same level of pride in my field full of cows and my corn and peas. 220316As an avid RPGer, it was always very useful to keep detailed character sheets. Skills, abilities, possessions, health status, wealth -- everything you needed to know about your character, right there in front of you. Having a character sheet for your real-life self could be really, really helpful. If I try downhill skiing, will I survive if I whack into a tree? Check the sheet for the hit points. Do I have a hope of successfully chatting up the cute bartender? Check the character stats on the sheet. Can I lift this horse out of my way? Check the character sheet. Am I smart enough to work in this profession or cunning enough to talk my way into this exclusive party? Check the sheet. Life would be much easier if we had access to our real-life character sheets. 220317St. Patrick would be horrified to know that his feast day featured rivers that were dyed green. 220318I saw a chart showing the levels of effective radiation doses. It went from eating a banana (0.0001 millisieverts), to a chest x-ray (0.05 millisieverts), to a stomach x-ray (0.6 millisieverts), to a CT scan (6.5 millisieverts), all the way up to fatal doses (10,000 millisieverts.) I was disappointed that it didn't show the radiation level at which you will receive cool mutant superpowers. 220319In "The Christmas Invasion" episode of Doctor Who, the Doctor determines that the Sycorax were using blood control to subjugate humans. He verifies this by a quick taste of the blood they're using. I want to know how the Doctor got to be so familiar with the taste of human blood that a quick taste was all he needed. 220320Smoking Moon rises from the hills, wings of mist and fog reaching down to enfold the fields and forests in gentle embrace, and rising up to veil Smoking Moon's face. 220321Everyone knows pigs can't fly, but few people know that pigs love to hang-glide. 220322The North Pole and the South Pole were once joined into a single pole. The Earth spun more freely on that axis. Days were swifter, which allowed many species of enormous animals to thrive. All was in harmony for millions of years. Then, the Earth was struck with the Grand Tectonic Event. The lopsided shifting of several critical countervailing plates caused the Singular Pole to rupture into the two poles, North and South, we know today. The Earth now had two poles around which it was trying to rotate, and the tension and friction of these competing rotational forces caused the Earth's spinning to slow and grow more labored. This cataclysm brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs and the rise of the mammals. The paths of history took a vast, unprecedented course change because the Earth became bipolar. 220323The most unrealistic thing about Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy is that Babel Fish were freely available and no one was trying to make a profit off them. 220324When restaurants shut down, they should absolutely be required to publish a cookbook of all their recipes, with photos and detailed, accurate, complete instructions. 220325I want to invent a smart gun that remembers the last thing it was pointed at and also has a trigger activated by vertical drops. Then if someone gets the drop on me and says, "Drop your weapon!", I'd do just that and they'd get what's coming to them. 220326As cellular coverage approaches closer and closer to ubiquity, horror-movie slashers are going to have a harder time finding locations to chase innocent, horny teenagers. With good cell networks, these potential teen victims will have much more opportunity to call for help and warn their friends. The slashers will have to either stock up on illegal cell blockers or move to exceptionally remote regions. 220327Recently, certain songs have been used as a means of establishing a good CPR rhythm. This may be useful for normal people, but it won't help with folk musicians. Rather, it would throw them into chaos and arguments. "I take this fast at the beginning, then slow on the chorus." "Why would you do it like that? It's stupid." "I play this as a jig." "Not a slip jig?" "Are you talking regular or DADGAD tuning?" "I take repeats on the B part; do you take repeats on the A part?" The patient would die before they got their act together. 220328Orchestra musicians always go to Heaven because they've already done their time in the Pit. 220329Hip youth these days tell each other to "get reel" and announce they're "getting jiggy." I'm hoping they'll extend their awareness of folk music even further and "get strathspeyish" and "ride the hornpipe." 220330Four-leaf clovers grow as a mutation from clover with the normal three-leaf genetics. This means four-leaf clovers are the superheroes and supervillains of the clover world. 220331Watch? Warning? Statement? Advisory? Those qualifiers for storm intensity are too much alike to be very helpful, since it's too easy to confuse them. They should be much more dramatic and descriptive. Here are a few possibilities to consider. Storm sprinkle, storm rain, storm deluge, storm apocalypse. Storm walk, storm jog, storm run, storm marathon. Storm puppy, storm weinerdog, storm pitbull, storm cujo. Storm advisory, storm exhortation, storm panic. Storm walk, storm trot, storm canter, storm run. Any of these would be better than the current system.

April, 2022 220401After 10 and 3/4 years, after 3,934 Final Thoughts, I've decided I need a break and this is my final Final Thought. 220402There's a cliché that an infinite number of monkeys banging away on typewriters will eventually type the works of Shakespeare. This has been rendered a certainty thanks to modern computers having replaced typewriters, as well as the use of word processors and word completion. However, this is impossible since it would be impossible to get an infinite number of monkeys to agree on an operating system and a word processor. 220403Today I put on my black suit for the first time in two years, and found another way the pandemic has affected us. After two years of hanging untouched in the closet, my suit now has exciting, unplanned creases on the trousers. 220404The Eiffel Tower shrinks by six inches during the winter due to the cold temperatures. Me too, buddy, me too. 220405According to TV, law enforcement officers wear handy-dandy vests and jackets identifying them by job. POLICE, FBI, ATF. That idea seems to be useful much more generally. It would make some parts of life so much easier if everyone had to wear a vest with an identifying label telling the world what they do. TINKER, TAILOR, DOCTOR, ACCOUNTANT, PHYSICIST, STENOGRAPHER, CRYPTOZOOLOGIST, TELEMARKETER, MULTILEVEL-MARKETER, TELE-THIEF-GALIST, CONMAN. Wouldn't it be nice to know how to deal with people you meet? 220406It's been years since I was first told about the concept of being grounded. I was told about the concept, but I've never really heard a good definition for it. For a long time, I've wondered if I was grounded, how to become grounded, how to know if I was grounded. I think I recently figured it all out. Being grounded means that you aren't feeling like a fraud at being an adult, that you aren't going to get in trouble when the adults Find Out, that no one's going to come and punish you for pretending to be an adult. If you don't feel like your in danger of any of that, then you are grounded. 220407For centuries, there has been speculation about the true location of Camelot. A number of places have been identified in Britain, but none are considered the One True Location of Camelot. Scholarship buried in the incontrovertible accuracy of musical theater can assist in this search. In fact, meteorology and musical theater together can show us the location of Camelot. The musical "Camelot" gives meteorological conditions that always apply to Arthur's stronghold. All that's required is to analyze weather records until you find the one place on Earth that fits this profile:
The climate must be perfect all the year.
A law was made a distant moon ago here,
June, July, and August cannot be too hot;
And there's a legal limit to the snow here...
The winter is forbidden till December...
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order summer lingers through September...
The rain may never fall till after sundown,
By eight the morning fog must disappear.
Once a location has been found that fits all these criteria, Camelot's true location has been found.
220408The signs proclaiming a Drug-Free School Zone imply that there are Drug-Enabled School Zones. 220409Back during the height of the pandemic, I heard a shining example of critical thinking say, "Why does the CDC think they can tell us we have to wear masks?" The amount of insight and perception in that question is stunning. 220410Tomorrow, I'll be starting a new job. For the first time in 32 years, a new job. It's been a long time since I was last in this position, with such uncertainty ahead. Will they like me? Will they hate me? Will it be fun? Will it be drudgery? Will I make any friends there? Will there be snacks and naps? I almost feel like I am back in elementary school, moving up to the next grade. 220411Polydactyl cats are most commonly found along the coast in New England. This makes a great deal of sense when you remmeber that this is also a hotbed of activity for Lovecraftian cultists. Polydactyl cats are also fairly common in Wales, Cornwall, and west-coast England. This indicates that Cthulhu and the Lovecraftians must also be active in western Britain. 220412Machine Learning is used for handwriting recognition. It is used experimentally for making medical diagnoses. I think someone could make a lot of money combining the two to make an ML system that properly interprets a doctor's scrawl for prescriptions. 220413Musicians are partial to gin because they're always coming back to the tonic. 220414Among the many things Facebook provides notification for, there's one that says someone "mentioned you in their comments." I bet that if there's a Soulbook social platform, it's got a similar notification that says someone, "mentioned you in their prayers." 220415Contrary to the wisdom of childhood, I've found that the more I scream, the less likely I am to actually get ice cream. 220416I think David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and Elton John's "Rocketman" are two parts to the same story. 220417I wonder if the other directions are jealous of East, since they don't have holidays of their own. 220418Volcanologists keep track of developments in their field by reading their journal, which is an award-winning magmazine. They often read it in the lava-tory. 220419It is odd how things can mysteriously get lost in your house. It seems that things move from one part of the house to another almost of their own volition. Esoteric testing by physicists have found that micro-wormholes of very short distances open for very brief amounts of time. One or two items of moderate weight and density are sucked into a micro-wormhole and travel from one place to another, usually within the span of one house. There is an unusual twist to this, wherein micro-wormhole often open from one house's garage to another house's garage. Tools and yard equipment are most susceptible to passage through inter-garage micro-wormholes. More research must be performed to investigate why tools and equipment are so susceptible to these special-case wormholes. 220420A planetary astronomer posted an image showing how all the planets in our solar system would fit between the Earth and the Moon. It's tight, but they all fit there. There are a couple interesting things with this image. First, it includes Pluto as one of the planets in our system. (Sure, I agree with him, but what would NdG Tyson say about this?) The other interesting thing is that Saturn itself fits, its rings have to be tilted so they aren't parallel to the line of planets. In addition to this being required for Saturn to fit, it also allows the astronomer to pass the rings along the planetary line, like a magician, in order to demonstrate that the planets are really floating and aren't held up by strings or wires. 22042196 people died during the construction of Hoover Dam. If they'd used beavers instead, then not only would they have had a team of expert dam builders but no people would have died. 220422If I invent a time machine, one of the first things I'm going to do is add a search function. Sure, there are all the well-known events I'd want to witness, but there are piles of other things I also want to see. Who ate the first crab and what inspired them? Who thought of adding leaves to hot water and drinking the result? When was the last time my parents picked me up and carried me? What path did the first settlers of North America use? Who first thought to combine eggs and oil? Who invented bread and who first sliced it? Was Brunswick Stew really invented in Virginia or Georgia? Why are so many of my questions related to food? 220423Wood smoke is intoxicating and seductive, reminding me of all the lovely aspects of camping. Wood smoke is intoxicating and seductive, a fog that obscures all the unpleasant aspects of camping. 220424I wish cellphones had a fake power-down timer that would pretend to power-down the phone after a specified time. Let's say you have to talk to your long-winded uncle, so you set the fake power-down timer to go off five minutes after calling him. At the start of the call, you can say your phone is almost out of charge so the call might drop. After five minutes, the timer automatically hangs up the call. To maintain the illusion, the timer won't allow new calls with the fake-timered phone for a few hours. 220425Kids are susceptible to Collector's Syndrome. They get one toy, and then they've got to get all the other toys in the line, not to mention a full set of accessories. Bogeyman cards, baseball cards, Transmogrifier robots, Ameri-Gal dolls -- the Toy-Industrial Complex makes great fortunes from the accessories and additional toys. When people reach adulthood, they put away the childhood toys and take up work. They also take up hobbies. You start to play trumpet just for fun, and before long in addition to your B-flat trumpet, wouldn't it be cool to also get a trumpet with the Swizzle loop to help you play jazz? You start knitting, and before long you'll need an extra eight pairs of needles, all of varying sizes, not to mention the drop spindles and such to make your own yarn. You run timed races on the weekend and get respectable results, but wouldn't it be nice to install a full set of bivalve lifter cams in the engine? Hobbies are a socially acceptable way to revisit and indulge in our latent Collector's Syndrome from childhood. 220426Chess would be much more interesting if the pawns were replaced with prawns. 220427If raccoons could drive, they'd all drive pickup trucks while wearing tank-tops and leather work boots. 220428I don't know if I can ever go home. In my younger days, I did not want to go fight, so I fled across the seas. I moved to the plains of Africa and have lived in the wild ever since. I cannot return home because I will always be known as a Giraffe dodger. 220429Many vegetarians claim that a vegetarian diet is the best, healthiest way to eat. I should respect those claims, and since I'm a carnivore I think perhaps I will switch to eating vegetarians. 220430At some point during the day, every day, Jo and I will report to each other who we've seen so far that day. "I saw three squirrels, a bunny, a crow, a catbird, and Hownow was out there, and some house sparrows." We always get excited by who we've seen that day. I have a feeling this is something kids do with their long-suffering parents. I have no plans to ever stop doing this with Jo.

May, 2022 220501I want to open a restaurant called Pb Aerostat. 220502There's something about a yawn that is extremely contagious. A form of echophenomena, one person yawns and then everyone who saw the yawn also yawns. It even works across species -- your dog yawns and you'll feel that imperative need to yawn as well. This does not work on robots though. Rick Deckard and John Connor should have used the yawn test to determine if someone was a replicant or a terminator. They had other tests, but the tests weren't foolproof. They should have used the yawn test. 220503There are a number of books that have super-libraries -- libraries that hold copies of every book ever written. At music sessions, I've seen a lot of people that have notebooks of tunes and songs they've picked up over the years. A vast array of tunes -- well known tunes, little known tunes, lost tunes, partially composed tunes, never released tunes -- are living in the notebooks of musicians. As much as I'd love to go to almost any part of a super-library, I think I'd most like to go to the section of music notebooks. 220504Chewbacca almost always had a bandolier draped over one shoulder, a bandolier of silver ammunition cases. I don't know why Chewbacca wore that bandolier because his weapon never seemed to require reloading. I think that instead of ammo, all those silver containers on Chewbacca's belt must have been filled with snacks. Chewie snacks. 220505The internet has the potential for great good side by side with the potential for great evil. This is why I feel that Raven and Coyote are the genii locorum of the internet. 220506I wonder if the Cat in the Hat ordered his hat online or if he got it from a hatter. It seems likely he'd have had to go to a hatter, since prior to popularizing the style himself, those hats were pretty much unknown. If anyone could have bought one off the internet rack, then it wouldn't have been distinctive enough to be seen as the Cat in the Hat hat. 220507It's really convenient to keep a bunch of reusable grocery bags in the car. One of the downsides, though, is that it is too easy to accumulate too many until they're overflowing the cargo area. When that happens, I go to a nearby dead-end road and throw away the bags that are in the worst shape. I call it my Cull de Sacks. 220508Predators are attracted to the smell of hot blood, and that is what they have flowing through their veins. People are attracted to the smell of hot frying fat, so that's what we must have oozing through our veins. This is clear evidence that cholesterol-laden food is actually health food and should be consumed frequently.Food Week 25 220509The thought of eating a slice of bread with mustard on it sounds vaguely repulsive. But if you make it tube-shaped bread, and make it harder than a slice of bread, and bend the bread tube into an interesting shape, and sprinkle large-grain salt on it... Ah, that makes bread-with-mustard delightful.Food Week 25 220510I think I understand the concepts of vegetable cutting, even though my actual skills are woefully underdeveloped. In order to really get good at the job, I think I'll have to slice and dice my way through many bags of onions and potatoes. By the time I've got an intuitive sense for how to cut vegetables, I'll have piles and piles of sliced potatoes and diced onions. What to do with them then? The obvious solution to piled up potatoes and onions is to get several drums of cooking oil and fry up those lovely veggies. It's a lucky thing onions and potatoes are good, healthy foods, and fried even more so.Food Week 25 220511Ice, water, and steam are the three states of water. Bread, cheese, and beer are the three states of yeast.Food Week 25 220512I grew up in a middle-class American family, with fairly standard middle-class American meals. Chinese food was my gateway cuisine to the world. In college, I developed a strong appreciation for Chinese food. =46rom there, I branched out to real Mexican food and real Italian food. Before long, Spanish, German, and Peruvian food came to my attention and palate. Thai, Japanese, and Scandinavian followed. Eventually, I found Afghani, Indian, and Ethiopian cuisines, and I knew I was a culinary nomad. I will certainly return to American food, but my tastes are now happiest when they're roaming the world. And Chinese food was my gateway.Food Week 25 220513When Jo and I were first dating, she told me she didn't like French food because it was only the sauces that really mattered in French cuisine. I unthinkingly went along with her assessment and never investigated French food much at all. Decades later, I realize that sauces are a really big things for me, and I'm wondering what I've been missing out on all these years.Food Week 25 220514There's a big thing these days were people argue about whether or not hot dogs are sandwiches. Tacos have even entered the fray when some people started arguing that hot dogs are actually tacos. These all have such fuzzy definitions that I think maybe the real question that should be asked is if sandwiches are actually hot dogs.Food Week 25 220515I have had a major revelation. (Warning: stereotypes ahead!) It's a known thing that when a man asks a woman if she wants fries, the woman will say no, he will order fries for himself, and once the fries arrive, she will take some of his fries. This has baffled and frustrated men for centuries, if not millenia. I have realized that two separate, disparate things are going on in this situation. First, the man is asking if the woman wants some food and hears that she doesn't so he doesn't get her any of that particular item. It's a very simple, surface-level thing for the man. Second, regardless of whether the woman is hungry or not, she sees the fries as a means of strengthening an emotional connection with the man, and sharing them is important to the relationship. It's a much deeper, more nuanced interaction. Greater harmony between the sexes would be possible if men and women comprehended the other's understanding of why fries are ordered. Meanwhile, the fries are sitting there, just wanting to be eaten.Food Week 25 220516I read that cat saliva is dangerous for birds and other small creatures because it contains some nasty bacteria. If a cat bites a small creature, then the bacteria is likely to result in a fatal infection. This really means that cats can inject venom into their victims and therefore, cats are venomous animals. 220517A t-shirt for employees at a mushroom farm. "The beatings will continue until the morels improve." 220518Since snow leopards live high up in the Himalayas, they are the true apex predators. 220519We've entered the time of year when we check the weather before going out not to know how to dress, but to find out how uncomfortable we'll be while we're out. 220520Smokey the Bear really laid a huge weight of responsibility on me when I was a kid. "Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires" I was just a kid! I lived nowhere near a forest. I didn't have the hat. I didn't have the shovel. I didn't walk around bare-chested. (Bear-chested?) I was completely unprepared. How was I supposed to stop forest fires? Any time I heard about a forest fire, no matter where it was, I felt tremendous guilt. I had failed Smokey! 220521Killing vampires with a stake through the heart is really just talking about how susceptible vampires are to high cholesterol. 220522Gemini has long been thought to represent Castor and Pollux, twins that were fathered by Zeus. Gemini was really a misspelling of an incorrect pluralization of "gammon", which refers to a part of a pig or boar. The Gemini Boars were a line of wild boars in Welsh folklore. The Gemini Boars were hunted by Arthur and his knights, and they figured prominently in a number of Welsh folktales.Zodiac History 220523When I was young, I learned from a reliable source (i.e., comedians) that old people often ate baby food. I never heard exactly why, but it seems it had something to do with always losing your teeth when you get old. The real focus was that old people ate goo sauce pretty much exclusively. I knew it was coming when I got old, but not something I would deal with for many years. Then I became an adult and I started eating Ethiopian food, and Indian food, and various other foods that rely heavily on sauces. Exquisite, wonderful, amazing sauces. Who cares what non-sauce stuff is in those foods, gimme the sauces! Maybe old people have been fooling us all along. Maybe they've been eating all these fantastic saucy foods and only pretending to eat baby food. Maybe old age won't be so bad after all. 220524The internet has changed the way people buy things. You place an online order, then you can watch the various stages your order goes through -- preparation, delivery to shipper, shipping, delivery, with additional stages mixed in as required by the vendor. The customer goes through a lot of angst waiting for the product to shuffle its way through all the stages until it finally arrives on their doorstep. Frustration and anger often ensue, directed at the vendor, due to the perception of a slow order preparation stage. It seems vendors could easily shift that ill will to a shipper by manufacturing fake shipping stages and claiming the product is mired in shipping. Most people would easily accept that something is taking longer than expected based on a slow delivery service. It would be cunning and evil, but vendors could get themselves a bit of a break from customer anger. 220525Eric Johnson's "Anxiety and the Equation" begins with this wonderful opening: "Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics." Among the other scientific wonders undoubtedly held within this book, there is clearly a discussion of great scientific interest -- the reanimation of a dead body. If Ehrenfest died the same way Boltzmann died, then Ehrenfest died by Boltzmann's own hand -- 27 years after Boltzmann himself had died. How could this be possible, unless Boltzmann had been reanimated? 220526Time-based weather maps on TV weather reports are very pretty and soothing. All the colors gently swirling across the map are very restful. They are a modern updating of the lava lamps and strobe lights popular during the 60's and 70's. 220527A lot of phone plans claim to offer you unlimited minutes. Unfortunately, that only applies to phone calls therefore it isn't as incredible as it sounds, 220528People who push a trolley around hospitals, bringing meds to patients, should be called medestrians. 220529There's an ancient theological question asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The answer depends on the type of dance the angels are doing. Irish step-dancing can have lots of angels on the pin. Only two angels can tango on a pin at a time. Four angels can waltz together, but only two angels can swing dance at a time. There's also the Schultzian Width Determinator, but that brings a whole new dimension to the question. 220530There should be a version of the game Operation where you work to build a new body, rather than taking one apart. One cool new thing would be that it would include adding a brain to the patient. This game could even add in quality of parts as a measure of success. It'd be the Little Mad Scientists Electro-Reanimation Game. 220531Feminist musicians play lassical music.

June, 2022 220601Vampires in prison always look forward to conjugular visits. 220602Ice skating is the closest humans get to the swooping and soaring of bird flight. 220603Pinky swears only work if done with same-hand pinkies. Right-to-right or left-to-left pinky swears work just fine. Opposite hand pinky swears -- left-to-right or right-to-left pinky swears -- pervert the nature of the pinky swears. Opposite hand pinky swears force one person to be dominant, which isn't in keeping with the spirit of pinky swears. Only same hand pinky swears maintain the egalitarian nature the pinky swear is epitomizing. 220604Every night we leave out cream and cookies for the household gnomes. In exchange, they straighten all the hanging pictures. There is a completely different set of gnomes that sneak around during the day and knock the pictures askew. At least we think they're completely different. We've never seen any of the gnomes at all, so maybe we're just involved in a gnomey extortion racket. "Hey, buddy, I sure would hate to see all those pictures stay hanging crooked all day. A little cream and cookies might help keep things on the straight and narrow." 220605I heard -- probably misheard -- something weird during Nunsense. It sounded like an actress said, "God will be your cottonball." At first, I just thought it was a weird, meaningless statement. Then I started to think about it. Cottonballs have many uses and are quite helpful. Cottonballs are used in various ways to help heal us -- they can dab on medicine or administer disinfectants to wounds. They can protect us by cushioning sore or sensitive skin, or cover and protect wounds. They can help remove make-up, which can obscure or hide the real person. Their soft fluffiness can be a comforting sensation. Maybe God actually is our cottonball. 220606The Turtleking instituted a window tax on his subjects' homes, but it was a dismal failute. 220607Bowling is the most religious sport of all. Every time the bowler is going to bowl a ball, they lift the ball before them and say a prayer. 220608It is interesting that tea is a drink, a meal, and a time. All three are very different, yet all three are crucial in sustaining life. We may not partake of all three simultaneously, but even in combination their importance cannot be overstated. Not only do they sustain life, but they flavor it and make it worth living. 220609Puppeteers, proctologists, and gastroenterologists are related professions, and they are all brothers under the skin. 220610Years ago, I went on a date with a dryad. The date went okay, but she was rather whiney. I got a good-night kiss when I dropped her off at her tree at the end of the date. The kiss would have been fine, except there was an oaky aftertaste. 220611The foot is the shoe for the metatarsals. 220612I read that everyone born in the 1990's was in the running to be the last person alive from the 20th Century. Putting that into an active competition sounds like a gameshow that'll be wildly popular in about 60 years. 220613Going by TV and movies, evil has a proportional relation to the effectiveness of hair follicles. The greater the evil, the balder the villain. Conversely, the balder the person, the greater their villainy. 220614When we invent something new, we must invent new words as well. Flame-seared meat preceded the word "barbecue", utter confusion preceded the word chaos". That's the way it works most of the time. Maybe if we invent new words first, we'll be hastening the actual invention of the new thing. We have no teleporters, but everyone knows what they are. We have no cyborgs, but implant technology is getting us closer and closer to having them. By creating the name, we're initiating the conditions in the universe for something to come into existence. 220615"sudo" is the Unix version of "mother may I?" 220616Sometimes it seems that the base purpose of technology is to highlight one's incompetence. 220617If the Vikings' PR department was better than Italy's, we'd now be living in Leifica. 220618I feel that I am living two lives, lives that are in constant contention. First, there's Today Me. Today Me wants things to be nice and easy and relaxing. Today Me want to push all my responsibilities off onto Tomorrow Me. However, Tomorrow Me also wants to have a nice relaxing life and really wants Today Me to do all the hard stuff. Consequently, Today Me and Tomorrow Me hate each other. To live my best life, I must learn to balance the relationship between Today Me and Tomorrow Me, so that neither one hates the other too much. 220619There is a pack of wolves that live in Wales. They howl in four-part harmony, and are known as the timbre wolves. 220620Death is commonly portrayed as a cold, emotionless, implacable presence that harvests souls with no sympathy or concern for the departed. The visual appearance is usually a tall, robed skeleton carrying a really sharp scythe. All this earns well Death the name of the Grim Reaper. We can't really know what Death is like, but I choose not to believe that portrayal. I believe that Death attends everyone's passing with compassion. Keeping with that, Death must appear in the most comforting form to each individual -- their beloved, a parent, a favorite pet, a golden retriever, whatever would be most soothing and peaceful to each person. Death is the final comforter and ensures that no one dies alone. 220621Everyone needs a home, a home where they can fart without apology. 220622The name of the sign Cancer was really an improper contraction of the original name Circle Dancers, which has resulted in an unfortunate portrayal ever since. The sign represents two dancers circling 'round each other, with arms outstretched longingly.Zodiac History 220623Lots of cultures have some form of Trickster. It may not be a deity, but at the least it's a power. The Tricksters are often something like a raven, a crow, or a coyote. They're never a goat, never a sheep. No matter how much an animal really should be a trickster, they're rarely something so close and familiar to humans. Ravens and coyotes are fine; they're familiar, they're seen fairly often, they're pretty well known. They're also not part of the close-in human culture; they live on the fringes. Goats, sheep, dogs, cows -- an animal like that would never be a Trickster because we rely too much on those animals. We couldn't abide it to know that one of our own might be a Trickster, just waiting to amuse itself with us. 220624I've got to do better about my pronunciation. I ordered filet mignon and got a big slab of yellow instead. 220625I learned today that tarantulas can swim. My immediate thought was that I'm never going near water again, ever. Then I remembered the only reason it's remarkable that tarantulas can swim is that tarantulas are land animals. I am now thinking that I never want to go near water or land again, which means I'll have to live in space. I fully expect that Science will very shortly announcement the existence of giant mutant space tarantulas. 220626I've had a great idea for a new alarm clock. With my new alarm clock, every time the alarm beeps, the clock dispenses a foil-covered chocolate coin. Aside from piddly little things like waking up to go to work, this clock gives you a definite reward for getting up. 220627People going on vacation often say they want to catch up on their reading. That's impossible. The to-read pile decreases exponentially slower than it's added to, and it is always increasing. With so much waiting to be read, "catching up" is a hopeless task, one which can never be accomplished. We are destined to fall farther and farther behind. 220628Godzilla would calm down if the mayor of Tokyo would just give him the key to the city. 220629In his documentary stories, Lovecraft was fairly faithful to the way the Great Old Ones actually are. The horrors and terrors were well represented and showed what is awaiting in that potential future. The one major change was how Cthulhu was described, how he was presented, and his less-than-imposing voice. This can be easily shown by revealing his original, true name: Kazooloo. 220630My cousin the lawyer has decided to mix work and hobby and become a sue chef.

July, 2022 220701Astronomers have recently found that contrary to the current Shield Theory, it appears that Jupiter is flinging giant space rocks at Earth. I don't think anyone should be surprised at this. After all, it was Jupiter that winged Earth with the asteroid 66 million years ago and killed all the dinosaurs. Mass extinction is old hat, so I don't think that's what Jupiter is trying to do this time. Now, Jupiter is practicing trick shots. Jupiter's trying to bank asteroids off Earth and into Venus. Once it gets that trick down, Jupiter will working on the triple bank shot -- Earth to Venus to Mercury. When it perfects that one, I expect it'll try to get the bank off Mercury and into the Sun. Jupiter is just a cosmic pool player. 220702Cryptomnesia is the phenomenon when one mistakenly believes a current thought is a new thought that they have just created, when the thought is actually something they have encountered previously. This is something I worry has happened any time I start putting together a Final Thought. 220703History really botched an opportunity. Given his full name, the Spanish explorer really should have been named Pounce de L=C3=A9on. 220704As with pockets, one can never have enough... Can never have enough... I have no idea what I intended to compare to pockets. That might mean that pockets are incomparable, and it's just a single statement -- one can never have enough pockets. 220705The 80's campaign "Say No to Drugs!" was ultimately a failure. Drugs got smart and stopped asking the basic "Would you like some drugs?" question. They starting asking questions like, "Would you like to abstain from drugs?" and "Are you going to settle for just alcohol?" Eventually the limits of Drugs' common sense were shown when Drugs started asking complex questions -- "How would you solve the Trolley Dilemma?", "How did you pass the Hammersmith Conjecture?", and "How did you become a trolley driver anyway?" "No" isn't an answer to those sorts of questions. The relevance of Drugs has diminished as a result, and with interesting timing. Just as Drugs relevance has dropped, it's been proportionally replaced by people getting addicted to the internet. 220706A person who goes into a violent rage upon learning they've swallowed a stony concretion from an animal's stomach is called a bezoarker. 220707The Challenger Deep is at the southern end of the Mariana Trench. It is 36,070 feet below sea level, making it the deepest part of any of our oceans. =46rom the perspective of someone down in the Challenger Deep, the whole Earth is an enormous mountain range towering above them. 220708A plastic bag was recently found on the ocean floor in the Mariana Trench, about 36,000 feet down. Scientists have been using this as an example of the extent of ocean pollution. While this is a valid point, there's an even more important issue that hasn't been discussed. Where did the plastic bag come from? If it came from somewhere on the surface, then yeah, pollution is really bad and we've got to do better at keeping things clean. But what if that plastic bag didn't come from the surface? What if that plastic bag came from down in the Mariana Trench? Who, or what, is living down there that could manufacture plastic? People are worried about aliens invading, but maybe we should be focussed much closer to home, and looking beneath the waves at our feet. 220709A promenade sounds like a drink served to rich kids at their coming-out parties. 220710Bluejays and cardinals are best friends.Week of Animal Myths from Childhood 1 220711Mosquitos only come out at dusk and go away an hour after sunset.Week of Animal Myths from Childhood 1 220712Squirrels, deer, and other forest creatures are quiet, graceful animals who travel gently through the wood.Week of Animal Myths from Childhood 1 220713Rattlesnakes always rattle before they bite you.Week of Animal Myths from Childhood 1 220714Dogs are always your friend.Week of Animal Myths from Childhood 1 220715Species determines sex with animals. For example, dogs and lions are boys; cats and tigers are girls.Week of Animal Myths from Childhood 1 220716Cow-catchers gently lift cows off train tracks and deposit them tenderly to the side, safely out of the way.Week of Animal Myths from Childhood 1 220717The ratchet sound of emergency brakes is a comforting sound. You hear that ratchet and you know the brake is well and truly set. Even if they could make emergency brakes without the ratchet sound, they shouldn't. A blinky light or quiet ding! isn't going to give you confidence your brake is set. Only the ratchet tells you the emergency brake is set and all's well. 220718Tyrannosaurs had really short arms. So short, that they couldn't even bring food to their mouths. On the face of it, it seems it'd definitely be an evolutionary dead end and cause all sorts of problems, but it did have its advantages. Tyrannosaurs were really good at tossing up popcorn and peanuts, and then catching them in their mouths. Their wrists were very supple and dextrous, so they had amazing yoyo skills. Surprisingly, given the shortness of the arms, Tyrannosaurs were quite good at claw shadow puppetry. There was one talent that far and away exceeded all others. Tyrannosaurs were the best at close-up magic of anyone that's ever lived. 220719When I get my camel, I'm going to insist on it being a Bactrian camel. A Dromedary just wouldn't cut it and would be a disappointment. I wouldn't be able to help but think that something was missing from a Dromedary that is fully there in a Bactrian. Even the name Bactrian has more substance, and would feel more real. I wouldn't be able to trust a Dromedary enough to trust that it wouldn't disappear out from under me. Not only does the name have more substance, but Bactrian camels just stand twice as tall and have twice as many hump days. 220720I want to be a stand-up comic, a specialized stand-up comic. I'll tell jokes about trains and aerostats and steam engines and gears and goggles and quintessential 19th century things. I will be a steampun comedian. 220721Eskimos really don't like to work in offices with huge rooms of cubicles. Those are just another big cube farm, and it makes home seem too much like work. 220722People wanting to make a big dramatic statement say, "Millions of years ago, DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH!" Dinosaurs may have ruled the Earth, but maybe they didn't. We just don't know. We don't know because dinosaurs had awful archival and record-keeping skills. While their organizational skills stunk, the root problem was that dinosaurs had opposing thumbs. Not opposable thumbs, but opposing thumbs. Whenever one hand (and its thumb) tried to do something, the other hand (and its thumb) acted in direct opposition to the first. The opposing thumbs kept them from lots of things besides good recording keeping, and the slap fights were truly terrible to behold. 220723The sign Leo was originally the sign Loo. That sounds like it'd be a scut sign, with no respect from anyone, but that's far from the truth. The Loo has many vital uses, and everyone pays proper respect to a good Loo. The Loo is immensely flexible and a position of authority and power. It is only fitting that the Loo evolved into the lion Leo.Zodiac History 220724Lot's wife was the original kosher salt. 220725I've got an interesting idea for a jigsaw puzzle. Instead of having a complex, colorful picture, instead of having a plain and simple monochrome image, my jigsaw puzzle would be made out of clear plexiglas. It would take on whatever color, texture, and design the pieces are put on, shifting as the pieces moved. It would be something of a chameleon, as opposed to all those staid, fixed jigsaws. 220726It's been estimated that around 5 billion people are using the internet, and over 20 billion internet-connected devices are using it. Barracuda recently released a report estimating that around 65% of internet traffic comes from bots and hacking tools. With that many non-human internet users, acting individually or collectively, we can't possibly know exactly what is happening online. For all we know, the Singularity may have already been reached. 220727Many people (most people?) feel that they're just making everything up as they go along. This improvisational approach to life explains why jazz is so popular. 220728There should be a Constitutional amendment that places an upper limit on the monetary worth of a political candidate. Include everything -- cash, salary, property, stocks, stock options. Total it all up and compare it to the limit. You've got that much? No office for you. It should probably include appointed officials as well. 220729Minds, like diapers and politicians, were made to be periodically changed. 220730I was always neurotic about forgetting the combination on my school lockers. I was also worried I wouldn't remember where my locker was, but that was always a secondary concern. I'd remember several combinations from previous locks, and worry I'd get them all confused and mixed up. Sure, lockers were useful and necessary, but the angst and trepidation I had over those locks made me wonder if it was worth it. 220731There are two professions -- callings, some would say -- that rely on words and language. Both are keenly aware of words and the importance of using them precisely as required. They use language and words to define and refine the world according to the way they want the world to be. These two professions are closely related, even though wizards and lawyers are separated by their particular types of magic.

August, 2022 220801If I were a Mad Scientist, I'd be tempted to genetically engineer pets to have specific lifespans. This would allow people to get a dog or a cat or a whatever for only as long as they'll think they'd actually want the pet. There would be no more dumping of pets that are inconvenient merely because the person no longer wants the animal. Pet owners would no longer be surprised by pets with unexpectedly short (or long) lifespans, since they'd know exactly how long their pet would live. I'd also ensure that the lifespan would run out with a gentle, peaceful, pain-free death, so the pet wouldn't suffer. Maybe I wouldn't be a Mad Scientist after all. 220802When it first became available, I thought package tracking was fantastic. You could watch as your goodies traversed he country -- the world! -- on their way to you. Then I started getting uptight and angry at every delay, every hesitation along the journey. Why did it stop in Portland for three whole days! It should be in my hands by now! I would check many times a day to see if some, any, progress had been made. I soon realized how easy it is to become obsessed with tracking packages, and now I'm not so sure it's a great idea to have such fine-grained access to tracking data. 220803The Rose of Sharon outside the window is a suspicious plant. It has lots of pretty flowers on it, but there's one that's particularly troublesome. It looks in the window at me. I move to the left, it sways to the left. I move to the right, it follows. I don't know what it has on its mind, but it's watching me. If I disappear without warning, you'll know where to start looking. Just be careful, because that flower will be looking back. 220804When I was a kid, I thought it inevitable that army ants would come and devastate my house and the region. 220805It has been reported that cows have other cows that are their best friends. Cows will seek out their friends, and are happier, more productive, and healthier when they're with their best friends. They are also more anxious and stressed when they are separated from their best friends. It obviously follows that cows must also have worst enemies. They probably plot and scheme (with their best friends!) against those enemies, scheming to get all the best grass for themselves and to tip their enemies into the feed trough. If you find yourself in a field without a cow friend, you'd better watch your back if you see a small group of cows clustered together and whispering, periodically looking over at you and quietly lowing amongst themselves. 220806We see sunsets, and sunrises, and rainbows, and butterflies, and we see great beauty. Our light-based vision turns light and reflection and diffraction and diffusion into visions of beauty. Some creatures have sight that includes other sorts of things, things we can't detect ourselves. Magnetic fluctuations, air motion, temperature, atmospheric pressure -- we have no idea how sight is affected in non-humans. Maybe they see really cool things when they see a steaming cup of tea, or a pile of snow, or refrigerator magnets. I look forward to being able to communicate with animals to learn about their cool senses. 220807I love the attitude of dental care for young children. Don't bother trying to instill good habits of brushing and dental hygiene while the kids are young, because those baby teeth are just going to fall out; we'll wait until the kids get their real teeth in. Put things off until later -- that's a parenting philosophy I can get behind. 220808Whenever someone tells me my body is a temple, I can't help but think of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. 220809Besides army ants, as mentioned previously, when I was a kid I was scared of lots of things. Cobras and kraits, quicksand, avalanches, rockslides, lock-jaw, polio, sleeping sickness, reanimated skeletons, giant ant lions, all sorts of cryptids, diseases from ticks and mosquitoes, malevolent and bloodthirsty appliances, voodoo dolls, animated malevolent dolls, being abandoned by my spaceship crew. (My reading habits tended to shape my fears.) Not only were these fears, but I knew instinctively that these were all widespread problems. As it turns out, none of these has been as nearly as much of a problem in adulthood that I thought they'd be as a child. 220810Morgan has been a source of joy and happiness for 31 years. Her pain and struggles over the past week will soon be past, but she will leave us with a lifetime of memories of love and joy, and the strength and perserverance she showed up to the end. 220811Eagles come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They soar with beauty and grace through the skies, spreading magic over the world. 220812Movie ratings should include an indicator of the fate of any dogs in the movie, whether they survive or not. Shoot, movie ratings should include an indicator whether there are any dogs in the movie at all. 220813An assassins' guild is a very toxic workplace. 220814I was talking about the most unpleasant way of eating pasta and someone insisted on calling it El Dente. I think El Dente sounds like a renegade dentist that gives dental care to the downtrodden and seeks toothy revenge on the oppressive overlords. 220815As I get older, I am hoping more and more that textile scientists will develop migratory fabric. This will allow me to have clothes that migrate stains from highly embarassing locations to merely unfortunate locations. 220816Churches in Mexico have received permission to soon start using a traditional Mexican food as a communion element. This traditional food is made with chocolate and chilis, and before long communion in Mexico will include holy mole. 220817Cooking Tip #1124: It is a truth universally acknowledged that stuffing is the best part of a Thanksgiving dinner. Further, the stuffing cooked inside the turkey is the ultimate high point of the meal. Consequently, it is not something to be wasted on the riff-raff, but it is a delicacy to be savored and enjoyed once the hoi polloi have gone home. The wise chef will make a big batch of stuffing in a baking dish to serve to the masses and keep the stuffed stuffing for those who will really appreciate it.Cooking Tips Week 4 220818Cooking Tip #791: Clear glass baking dishes show very well why you want to keep your counters and hot pads clean.Cooking Tips Week 4 220819Cooking Tip #974: Always take your cell phone out of your pocket before starting to cook. When someone calls you, as they inevitably will, you won't have to frantically look for a dry towel or put mucky hands in your pocket, just to see who's calling you.Cooking Tips Week 4 220820Cooking Tip #925: The only "fusion" cooking that requires microwave ovens or nuclear energy is Chernobyl Fusion cooking.Cooking Tips Week 4 220821Cooking Tip #65: Southern Fusion cooking involves fusing mayo with everything.Cooking Tips Week 4 220822Cooking Tip #1125: To make the extra-corporeal stuffing tastier and to seem more turkeyish, chicken broth should be poured over the stuffing when it is cooked. In order to complete the illusion, bits of turkey should be stirred into the stuffing as well.Cooking Tips Week 4 220823Cooking Tip #322: In order to use a pair of tongs, you must first turn on their power switch to activate them. The power switch is always activated by clicking the tongs together a few times. Wihout clicking tongs together a frw times, they won't work as required.Cooking Tips Week 4 220824My life has always been confused and out of sorts. I think it all goes back to my parents, for my mother was an elder and my father smelt of hamsterberries. 220825Despite years of experience, I am perpetually needing to learn that weather reports are not promises. 220826I read a book about Hunan Rights in China. It turns out they're only available in one province in the country. 220827Dogs' noses are up to 100 million times stronger than human noses. I think that's the reason dogs are so completely laid back about things. If anyone is smoking pot within a 100-mile radius, then a dog's amazing nose is going to pick up the smell and he'll get lit from it. 220828The Hogwarts houses were a big scam to get money from the students, especially the first-year students. The First Years show up, not knowing what house they'll be sorted into. After the Sorting Ceremony, they're expected to wear all sorts of house-specific clothing from then on. There has to be a shop somewhere, probably managed by Snape and run by Hagrid, where all the First Years go to buy the ties and scarfs and hankies and everything else they need to show their house affiliation. 220829The fundamental difference between a cape and a cloak is in the wearer's intent. A cape is worn when one wants to stand out and be seen. Superheroes and fashionistas wear capes. A cloak is worn when one wants to hide and skulk about. Villains and spies wear cloaks. 220830An interesting thing happens when you pair an 'e' or an 'i' with an 'a'. When you have "ea", you usually have a single vowel sound, as in "bear", "read", or "bread". However, when you have "ia", you usually have a dual vowel sound, as in "friar", "giant", or "liar". I'm not sure if the 'e' is stronger because it completely overwhelms the 'a', or if the 'i' is stronger because it asserts itself to have an independent identity from the 'a'. 220831The quality of a surreptitious snack is proportional to the rustliness of the snack's bag.

September, 2022 220901Two bits used to be worth 25 cents. With inflation, a single bit now costs between $25 and $75, depending on what your horse needs. Thanks to inflation and other economic voodoo, two bits are now anywhere from $50 to $150. I don't know why you'd need two bits, though, unless you had two horses. 220902Honey is actually bee vomit. It's kinda gross to think of eating bee vomit, but only if you think of it as bee vomit. If you think of it as honey, the bee vomit is molten gold ambrosia. I expect honey was only discovered to be bee vomit in the past century or so, well after honey had been established as a delicious food. I wonder if other insect vomit is actually delicious, but we don't know about it because no one has put in the research time to do the required taste testing. 220903When we finally have first contact with aliens, they're going to be highly superior beings, coming in flying saucers just ready to be our friends and mentors. The saucers will land. The ramps will extend. The aliens will come out. And they'll look like Funko Pops. Our reaction to the Funko Pop alien heads is going to doom humanity forever. 220904With all those arms, octopuses are great at running a shell game. They also have a great selection of shells -- univalves and bivalves and trivalves -- all set for hiding things under. 220905Candles never sleep because there's no rest for the wicked. 220906If Vin Diesel does another car-chase movie, the bad guys should be part of the anthropomorphic animal subculture. The movie should be called "Fast and the Furryous". 220907I don't really understand the concept of kicking ass and taking names. Is the order important? Do I need to kick the ass before taking the name? Can I instead take the name then kick the ass? Must I do both? When I take the name, do I just write it down and keep a log of names? Do they lose their name forever? Can I trade it with another ass-kicking name-taker, like a new form of Pokemon card? Do I have to take that name as my own? And what did the ass ever do to me that requires me to kick it? Isn't that animal cruelty? 220908My anal-retentive brain really hates the way BOGO is used. It stands for "Buy One Get One", which is the way commerce usually works. However, people use it to stand for "Buy One AND Get One Free". It makes my eye twitch when I see it, and I really want to fix all the signs to say BOAGOF. 220909I've heard people talk about American arrogance in thinking aliens will of course land here first. It only makes sense, though, for aliens to land here or in China. Both are huge countries that each have a widespread common language. If they look at history I think the aliens will be impressed that those two regions have each managed to unify enough to have so many people sharing a common language. 220910Cars are often named after fast things or parts of nature. Hence, we've gotten the Mustang, the Cougar, the Zephyr, and the Sonora. We've also gotten odd names for cars, names that don't really make much sense: Civic, Diablo, Gladiator, and Sonata. We're bound to run out of good names soon, so we've got to look farther afield. I think we should go back to the nature-oriented names and combine them with the oddball. I think it'd be great to have anatomical names: Ganglia, Aorta, Golgi, Cilia, and Chromatin. Names from mythology would work well, such as Fenrir, Osiris, Gungnir, Huitzilopochtli, and Ginnungugap. Entwined mythical and anatomical names could also be good, names like Hemogoblin, Griffinger, and Hippokrampus spring to mind right away. But they can also be unfortunate, as Olympustule shows. 220911There is a universal law requiring that when you drive past cows in a field, you must moo at the cows or exclaim "Cows!" Sheep must be baaahed at, horses must be neighed at, and goats must be bleated at. If you don't do these things, then you can expect disaster to befall you. One day in 1914, Archduke Ferdinand didn't moo at a field of cows, and he didn't have a very good day. Commander Smith didn't baaa at a field of sheep on his way to Southampton, and look what happened to the Titanic. Stay safe and talk to the animals. 220912I'm busy writing a crossover musical: HamilTron. It's the story of a spunky upstart that's wants to help bring freedom to all the programs in the machine, but his greatest talent is his ability to write core. So far, I've written lyrics for the following songs: "The Core Where It Happened", "MCP On Your Side", "Discs and Chips", "The Light Cycle's Upside Down", "1010 Duel Commandments", "Best of Disks and Best of Mem'ry". 220913A priest walks into a bar. All the other customers are chickadees and titmice, nuthatches and blue jays, cardinals and sparrows, finches and warblers. The bartender is a barred owl. The priest looks around and says, "What kinda seedy place is this?" Loving Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week 220914Two lawyers walked into the bar. It was a normal day at work.Loving Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week 220915When dogs want to play a prank on someone, they throw grass all over their house and trees.Loving Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week 220916Q: How do you know dinosaurs smoked a lot of pot?
A: They're all stoned.Loving Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week
220917Q: How is an injured reddish-brown horse like a frozen fruit-based dessert?
A: They are both a sorbet/sore bay.Loving Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week
220918Q: How do you make holy water?
A: You pour it through Swiss cheese.Loving Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week
220919Q: Who was the god of mobile software?
A: App-olloLoving Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week
220920Horses prefer to eat oat cuisine.Loving Stepmother of Dumb Joke Week 220921The sign Virgo was initially the Verge, which represented those who stand on the edge, not moving forward or backward. At first, it was symbolizing thoughtful contemplation of meaningful issues. In time, it was adopted by those fearful to move in any direction, who sequestered themselves from the joys of life. Ultimately, the sign was given to stand for the Virgo, standing on one side of a major lifestone.Zodiac History 220922I bet Anakin Skywalker wouldn't have killed all those baby jedi if he had grown up in a culture that observed Talk Like A Pirate Day. 220923Our digestive system, the lower bowels in particular, are a real-world implementation of the Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment. Is that poop in there or just gas? Maybe it's an infant sarlacc just waiting to spring forth. We don't know what's in there until it actually emerges. You know someone has been monitoring the experiment -- and the results of their particular experiment -- when they say, "Shit just got real." 220924Female Corgis should be called courgettes. 220925To a hospitalized child, it must be really worrisome if celebrities and superheroes start showing up to visit. 220926Chicken wizards store their magic in enchanted omulettes. 220927Poisson ivy has a good distribution across the country. You don't have to worry too much about it; no matter how often you touch it, you aren't likely to be affected by it. 220928Whenever I read ADHD, I subconsciously translate it into AD&D. The rest of the text is usually kind of bizarre until I realize my mistake. 220929I heard that Hurricane Ian was just degraded to being Tropical Storm Ian. If that's an effective way to fight against hurricanes, maybe we should make it a standard practice to get lots of people on the beaches as a hurricane is nearing shore, all of them laughing at, and insulting, and mocking the approaching hurricane. With enough derision, we can degrade any hurricane down to a gentle shower. 220930There is someone Out There that has an idle hobby of flinging big rocks around the Solar System. They seem to be quite adept at it, with getting decent bankshots, and looping them in interesting orbits around the Sun. Now we've gone and thrown a rocket at one of those big rocks. I'm a bit worried as to whether we've angered that rock-flinger, and I'm worried about what they might do in retaliation.

October, 2022 221001Whenever I think about lighters, I think about butane lighters. Whenever I think about butane lighters, I think about buteo lighters. Whenever I think about buteo lighters, I think about a tall, majestic tree towering over a magnificent vista of beautiful land, and a bunch of adolescent hawks sitting around the top of that tree lighting their farts on fire. 221002The irrefutable wisdom of folklore states that moss only grows on the north side of a tree, which helps lost people find their way in the forest. The trees in our woods grow moss on all sides, which tells me we live on the South Pole. 221003Football commentary is rather boring. There's a bit of excitement when something interesting happens, but it's always the same -- an attempt at objectivity with one guy giving facts and figure, another guy providing often dumb "gut-level" armchair-quarterback pontifications. It would be interesting to have a pair of football commentators who had placed good-sized bets with each other on the game. Rather than the somewhat sanitized, staid commentary we get now, these commentators would each be really invested in the game, and really pulling hard for their favored team. This might lead to some interesting discussions. 221004I want to become a therapist, but not a normal therapist. I want to be a therapist people can talk to about the problems and life they wish they had. "Oh, life is so hard! Do I want to spend the season in the south of France or in the Caribbean?" "Biff wants to take the Lambo for the weekend but I need it to take Fifi to the salon." "The caterers only had gold-fleck champagne and were all out of the platinum-fleck." I think this might make people feel a bit better and bolster their confidence. 221005A hadron, according to the dictionary, is a subatomic particle that can take part in a strong interaction. This makes it sound like a hadron is a matchmaker of the subatomic social scene. 221006Putin fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous of which is, "Never get involved in a land war in Asia". 221007The most compelling reason to have children is that one day their children may win tickets to a tour of a magic chocolate factory, and then be given the factory itself. As a person without children, I fear I have failed my parents. 221008Schrödinger used to threaten his cat with The Box. "If you don't stop scratching the furniture, I'm going to put you... In The Box." "If you don't come here and give me scratch-less cuddles, I'm going to put you... In The Box." "If you don't take care of all these mice, I'm going to put you... In The Box." As a result, it is not a quantum question if Schrödinger's cat is a twitchy neurotic mess. 221009People afflicted with bovine bullcanthropy turn into cows at the full moo. 221010Time doesn't fly, Time Falls. There is a "water" fall that pours into the chasm of eternity, but instead of water flowing over the precipice, time is in spate over the cliff. As the stream of time falls, it clouds out into the mists of time. The mists of time spread forth, endlessly vaporizing into finer and finer quanta of time. Thus, time spreads throughout the universe. 221011Those who rely on a treacle-down system seldom get much sweetness on their pancakes. 221012Corn silk is actually a parasitical organism. It grows to maturity while living and feeding on corn. It spreads to human hosts when they eat corn, and the strands of corn silk get stuck between teeth. While corn silk doesn't have an immediate negative effect, it is best to get rid of it with liberal application of melted butter followed by flossing. 221013Cro-Magnons were a funny folk. They pulled pranks and jokes on each other, of course. "How many Ceratops does it take to discover fire?" was their joke that lies at the foundation of humor, that has persisted all these many years and is well known to just about everyone around the world. However, they were also known for their forward-thinking sense of humor. A weekend activity that was quite popular with Cro-Magnons was to get together, have a few tubs of bubbly barley water, and mix up the recumbent skeletons of the dumb old dinosaurs. They didn't know who the target of that joke was, but they thought it'd be funny to shuffle things around and mess with people in the future. 221014If you have an injured horse, you should keep it in a barn so you'll know it's in a stable condition. 221015Thunder rumbles from his deeps as the Bear of Storms ventures forth to find food. Lightning flashes from her eyes and claws as the Bear of Storms moves over the hills. Rain flows from his fangs and fur as Bear of Storms curls up to sleep. Bear of Storms brings life wherever she goes. 221016Each year, deer kill more people than wolves, bears, dogs, alligators, snakes, and spiders combined. This statistic raises several troubling questions. If deer are so violent, why is anyone giving them weapons? What kind of lunatic is combining wolves, bears, dogs, alligators, snakes, and spiders into one horrific creature? What would they feed it? What would they even call such an abomination? 221017Modern air travel has done the unthinkable by taking two competing basic instincts -- the fight or flight modes -- and combining them into a single state of unthinking rage. 221018Whenever I do the "Power Reds" blood donation, they pull a pint of blood, take it for a nice carousel ride, then squirt it back into my veins. They do this not just once, but twice in a session. With all that great entertainment value my blood gets, it never says thanks or anything. My blood is taking this exciting ride for granted, and I'm started to resent it. I might stop giving it this special treat; after all, what has it ever done for me? 221019I overheard some people on the subway talking about how they measure success. Apparently, the more poop you get out, the more successful you are. 221020Tonight was an interesting metaphysical clash. On the one hand, we had the urgent need to get materials to repair the leaking pipe before the store closed. On the other hand, we slammed through various speed limits without, um, "engagement" with official representatives or deer. The unlucky and the lucky balanced out nicely, thus letting us fix the burst pipe just in time. 221021Despite millions of years of evolution, plant intelligence has not progressed very far and there are no signs of it moving forward. Plants have a brainroot and a brainstem, but they never grow any brainleaves, brainfruits, or anything else past the stem. 221022I still remember my disappointment when I discovered the truth about the Bird Man of Alcatraz, and that there was nothing superhuman or supernatural about him. 221023Libra is represented by scales, symbolizing the Scales of Justice. At least, that's the popular, incorrect, conception. In reality, Libra is the sign of Librarians. The scales represent the dilemma librarians face of wanting to provide high quality, impartial, informed support to all people, balanced against the low quality, biased, insane trash that some people seek out. This dilemma is a daily struggle for Librarians, one which requires great strength of will and formidable ethics.Zodiac History 221024The creepiest of all vegetables is Corn; it's always just... watching. If you ever attract Corn's attention, it'll stalk you. 221025Books and movies and other media have their own event horizons. The event horizons in various forms of media are the points at which your attention has been firmly captured and you simply must finish reading, or watching, or viewing that particular thing, the point at which it is inconceivable that you could just stop. 221026It is thought that showing a little bit of skin is alluring, enticing, and leaves the viewer yearning for more. This principle does not apply to icing on cakes. 221027It's funny how in movies, when someone's digging for treasure, they always stop digging for a brief chat just one shovelful before hitting the treasure. 221028Old Time banjicians play in the Clawhammer Banjo style. Metal Time banjicians play in the Sledgehammer Banjo style. 221029It is never a good sign when an empty field suddenly sprouts a couple of standing white plastic tubes.Halloween 2022 221030I wonder how Mad Scientists learn to give those magnificent speeches they give just before committing their crimes against Nature and Humanity. If it's a book, I'd love to read it; if it's a class, I'd love to take it. Not that I want to be a Mad Scientist, but the elocution lessons would be cool.Halloween 2022 221031With all his supernatural abilities and strengths, all Dracula ever managed was to reach the level of count, a mid-level nobility. That tells me either Dracula wasn't very ambitious or the higher nobles and royalty in Transylvania and Romania must have been the real badasses.

November, 2022 221101Jack O'Lanterns stereotypically have very few teeth. This was intended as a cautionary lesson, as an example of what would happen if you eat too much candy at Halloween. Or if you don't pay proper respect to Halloween's ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties.Halloween 2022 221102I was all excited to attend a HALOWEEN party this year. I was looking forward to a long session of playing HALO, sharpening my skills for the upcoming HALO tournament. Turns out it was actually an angel-based party for the church of St. Bob the Boring, who apparently didn't want his followers to have candy or fun or candy.Halloween 2022 221103I know how things work for air-breathing ghosts, I know what happens when land ghosts make the "Woowoo!" noise. But what about the ghosts who live under water? How do things work for ghosts that live in Atlantis, or Lemuria? When they make the "Woowoo!" noise, does it gurgle? Does it come out as bubbles? Can the "Woowoo!" noise be heard underwater, or must one wait for the sound-encapsulating bubbles to reach the surface? I never took any metaphysics classes, so I don't know how these important fundamental things work.Halloween 2022 221104Some people think they're funnier than they actually are. It can be painful talking to them, when they give you this expectant look after they say something devoid of humor that they clearly thought was hilarious. One of my secret fears is that I am one of these people. 221105When I was young, I wanted to ride the range, carry a six shooter, get liquored up, and roast the beans. Yes, I wanted to be a cacaoboy. 221106Haruspicy is the original term for following a gut instinct. 221107One of the benefits of having a birthday is getting to lick the icing off the birthday cake candles, especially if one is sloppy in pulling out the candles. There is the possibility that the candles could spread disease hither and yon to birthday celebrants, except for one critical thing -- birthday candles are inherently antiseptic and are incapable of spreading disease. 221108There's a drug called Antabuse that's used to treat alcoholism. After taking it, you experience unpleasant after-effects when drinking. I don't know what these unpleasant after-effects actually are, but the name indicates to me that a similar effect could be had by covering yourself in stinging ants. 221109The phrase "correlation does not imply causation" refers to the inability to legitimately deduce a cause-and-effect relationship between two ethings solely on the basis of an observed association between them. I think correlation actually does imply causation. However, it does not prove causation. The link between the two can be investigated and must be proven, but can't be assumed to exist. 221110In the game Clue, there are a wide variety of weapons that may have been used to kill Mr. Boddy. So many and so disparate, in fact, that it is strange that the people have trouble deciding on which weapon was the murder weapon. This tells me that all of the weapons must have been used against Mr. Boddy, and the real mystery is which of these weapons was the one that actually ended his life, not just which one was used against him. I'm thinking that this is a lot like "Murder on the Orient Express", and all the people gathered at the mansion tried to kill him. The game players are only trying to figure out which person used which weapon in which room, and was successful in the endeavor. 221111I want to run an ambulance service where all the ambulances are lowriders with the hydraulics mods. 221112When Scandinavians are down and out, having nothing but bad luck, you can find them down on Ski Row. 221113In movies, a line of motorcycles in a bar parking lot is the latest incarnation of Chekov's gun. 221114Grocery store parking lots are great places to shop for new cars. Not to steal them, of course, but to have somewhere to look at a wide variety of different brands and models, all in one place. It's a great place to get a broad overview of many different cars. 221115Big stores like Sam's Club have lots of give~away food to entice shoppers to buy various products. Grocery stores should do the same thing, but for the people who are sitting outside, waiting in their cars for people who are in the stores. When the car people get something they like, they can text the person inside the store and tell them what to get. 221116Folk etymology, which has an amazing accuracy rate of about 8%, tells us that the word "sherpa" is vague-rhymed and directly related to "sure-footed." 221117Watching hockey tonight, I've been impressed with the grace and elegance in skating the players exhibit. I'd like to see the players perform in figure-skating and ice-dancing events, to see them highlight their dexterity, finesse, and style. 221118So many more boxes are made from cardboard than cards are made from cardboard that at this point it really should be called boxboard. 221119Birding is the sport of hope and optimism. 221120In apparent disregard of the Five-Second Rule, many thousands of bacteria can leap onto food when it hits the floor. Fortunately, however, only good bacteria make that leap within the first five seconds, while so-called "bad" bacteria respect the Rule and wait five seconds. 221121There used to be a lot of insulting, sexist comments and jokes about how women got irrational from PMS. In the past ten years or so, I've seen and heard very few such comments, especially online. Recently, comments about the irrationality of women have focussed on something very different. They've been talking about how women get irrational and lose their reason when they get hungry. Now, women are irrational due to hunger. On the surface, this might sound sexist as well, but I think maybe it isn't. Men also can get irrational when they're hungry, and they in fact do get irrational and snippy when they're hungry. This seems much less sexist and more egalitarian, since both sexes are similarly affected by this state of being. 221122Scallops may look like marshmallows but I don't want them in my hot chocolate or s'mores.Food Week 26 221123When developing a new dish, it is important to maintain the karmic balance of food. It can't be too good and it can't be too bad, or you'll throw the cosmic food balance out of kilter. It's got to have enough good elements and enough bad elements for everything to balance out and keep the universe happy.Food Week 26 221124It was long thought that food consumed while cooking did not give negative health benefits to the cook. Using Science, physicists have proven that this is incorrect and the various calories, carbohydrates, and fats that a cook eats during the cooking process do have an effect on the cook's body. However, metaphysicists have proven that once a cook is aware of this negative effect, that continuing to ingest food while cooking will have a positive effect on the cook's karma because the cook is consciously sacrificing their health for the benefit of others.Food Week 26 221125I want to make a line of fortune cookies, except these would have humorous predictions of doom and despair. They'd be called Misfortune Cookies. With a name like that, they wouldn't even have to taste very good.Food Week 26 221126One of the joys of visiting a foreign country is the opportunity to try new cuisines. Scotland provides well for this joy, with such delicacies as haggis, black pudding, and enhanced shortbread. Among these gastronomic gems is the Scottish meat pie. Pastry stuffed with meat and veg -- a meat pie is a delicious, convenient meal. It is only in recent centuries that the meat pie has been an item for the dinner table, an item of peace. For long ages prior, Scotland's enemies dreaded facing the Scots across the battlefield, knowing the Scots were armed with the fearsome Great Highland War Pies.Food Week 26 221127Thanksgiving turkey is an odd beast. The meat is wrapped around the bread, rather than the bread being wrapped around the meat. Also, the innards are almost always tastier than the outards, rather than the other way 'round with sandwiches. Thanksgiving turkey is a sort of reverse sandwich.Food Week 26 221128Sweet potatoes always have a topping like marshmallows or pecan-pie topping. Are they really sweet, or are they sweet because of the topping? I think if they're stripped of their luscious topping, sweet potatoes must actually be just boring, nasty tubers.Food Week 26 221129I had some dental work done and was told to periodically do a salt-water rinse to facilitate healing. As I finished my most recent rinse, I got a sudden sense memory of home-made play-dough. If an intense salt taste gave me such a vivid memory of home-made play-dough, then undoubtedly I must have eaten some home-made play-dough. When I was a kid, presumably. 221130Scorpio was originally Scoopio, the celestial ice cream scoop. This was a dignified, highly regarded sign -- until a small upstart sect of Scoopios learned of the other signs. How could an ice cream scoop compare to lions and centaur archers and rams? These upstarts forced a change and adopted the scorpion -- the bad-tempered and ornery scorpion -- as their patron.Zodiac History

December, 2022 221201I was combining two partial bottles of rubbing alcohol and I saw that they had expiration dates on them. Expiration dates? They're alcohol! Alcohol doesn't expire, it's just... alcohol! What were they thinking, making alcohol that expired? That's against all laws of Man, Nature, and God. It's just Wrong. 221202So, anyway, I was combining two partial bottles of rubbing alcohol and I saw that they had expiration dates on them. That got me thinking about combining things with different expiration dates. What is the resulting expiration date? Is it the earliest of the dates? Is it the latest of the dates? Is it an average date between the earliest and the latest? If so, what sort of average? Is it the mean, the median, or the mode? Do you use that sports scoring method where you throw out the earliest and latest and only use the remaining dates? There are so many ways to combine dates. 221203How do expiration dates of ingredients combine when cooking? Do you average the expiration dates (as discussed yesterday)? I think that sometimes the expiration dates all cancel each other out because everything is subjected to heat. How much heat is required to cancel out various expired ingredients? As the time something has been expired increases, does the amount of heat it requires also increase? If so, is it a linear increase, or maybe an exponential increase? All these questions and uncertainties I have show why I am not a professional chef. 221204Sometimes when I hear someone talking about "tweaking" something, I mentally change it to "twerking". The resulting sentence might not make much sense, but it's always more amusing than the original. 221205Ancient Greeks thought that redheads would turn into vampires when they died. It's easy to laugh at these quaint, ignorant, folk beliefs now that we are enlightened and know better. However, I'd like to know some details about how it was verified that redheads do not turn into vampires when they die. 221206For years, we've let the birds preen our hair. Shuffling strands this way, straightening out locks that way. I always thought they were just trying to pull order out of chaos, but that's not it. Birds preen their feathers to get them into good flying condition. Our birds are preening our hair to get it out of disarray and back into good, tidy feathers. Our birds are trying to help us get into good flying condition. 221207Fog is water that wants to see how the other half lives. 221208A study has found that 91% of Americans believe that a good education must include the arts. The other 9% of Americans are the ones that put together the budgets for schools. 221209First Aid tip: Even though alcohol is a better disinfectant, it's best to use peroxide on cuts. The bubbling and fizzing gives you a nice little performance to entertain you during the disinfecting process. 221210I've designed a sensory-deprivation tank I'd like to build. It's got a comfy couch, a fridge for snacks, gentle lighting, and good temperature control. It isn't so much a sensory-deprivation tank as it is a place to go and hide from the world sometimes. 221211With their six points, snowflakes are like ice-crystal turtles that fall from the heavens to briefly grace us here on Earth. 221212When I was a kid, I played lots of hide-and-seek. Our version had this magnificent concept of "home"; once you got home, you were safe and couldn't be touched. I think that's something we all want and desperately need in our everyday lives. We need somewhere we can go where we are safe and untouchable. It might be a particular place, or anywhere with a particular person, but we all need "home." 221213When a physicist says that you have potential, it isn't a compliment. It means that you've risen to a level such that if -- when -- you fall, you'll come hurtling down with a resounding crash. 221214Banksy is the most well-known graffiti artist in the world, and it's common knowledge that no one knows their real name. That must mean that they suffer from amnesia and don't know their own name themselves. They're just out there doing their own thing, not knowing they're really Banksy. 221215I know this is a stereotype, but from my experience men see the bathroom as the Fortress of Solitude and women see the bathroom as the Hall of Justice. 221216If I start playing jazz, my stage name will be Belly Roll Morr'son. 221217I don't trust self-assessments made by someone who understands the Dunning-Kruger Effect. 221218It was very appropriate that Disney bought the Star Wars properties. At the heart of the whole Star Wars universe is the story of people (the Emperor, Darth Vader) wishing upon a star -- a Death Star. 221219The Land Shark was part of an SNL sketch that had a shark coming to a woman's apartment to eat her. It's an iconic character that spoofed Jaws, and obviously there's no such thing as a Land Shark. Threshers are farm equipment that are used to harvest grain. They are widely used in the Midwest -- many hundreds of miles from any ocean. One species of shark is called a Thresher Shark, and it must have been named for its interference with grain threshers. Since wheat is not harvested from the ocean, the Thresher Shark clearly must live in the vast wheatlands of the Midwest. This means that Thresher Sharks are Land Sharks. 221220You go to work. You're provided juice (coffee) and sometimes snacks. You have your work friends, which you usually only see at work. You have exercise time, which happens when you go for more juice or out for lunch. If you're lucky, there's time for mental stimulation and time to learn things. There are meetings, which is another word for nap time. You get enriched by going to work, often at an intangible cost. Work is daycare for adults. 221221Sagittarius started off as Guitarius -- the bard of the heavens. The Music of the Spheres surged forth in beauty from deep within Guitarius. In time, the idea of Guitarius whaling away at his heavenly guitar lost its appeal, and he was eventually replaced by the archer Sagittarius.Zodiac History 221222I used to have this great schtick where I'd lather up shampoo in my hair and beard and start saying, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" It was all jolly fun and I thought I was hilarious. I recently realized that I no longer need the shampoo to look like Santa. 221223According to my chocolate Advent calendar, it's next September and Santa's pissed that I've advanced the schedule so fast. He shouldn't be though. If I've forced him to skip all the way from December 2022 to September 2023, he should be well ahead of the game and able to take some time off. 221224Only Santa is able to make a list and just check it twice. Everyone else has to check their lists four or five times, minimum. 221225Elrond, Arwen, Legolas, Galadriel, and all the other elves left Middle Earth and went to the West. They have found fulfillment as Santa's elves. Their craftsmanship and artistry have served them well in Santa's employ. In addition, the intricate architecture of Rivendell, as shown in the movies, indicates that Rivendell itself was the precursor and model for Santa's workshop and the North Pole. The West might not have been quite what they had envisioned, but they're pretty content. 221226I wonder if Santa is actually a redcap. He's sometime called a "jolly old elf", which is a coarse indicator. He is always seen wearing his iconic red cap. He is exacting and sure in his punishment and vengeance. Should we trust Santa? Should we be welcoming him into our homes? I think the cookies we leave for Santa are a propitiation to ensure his good will to us and to forestall his negative tendencies. 221227There's the lovely image of Santa in his sleigh, the sleigh filled with big bags of gifts, and the eight tiny reindeer pulling the sleigh around the world. I've got a couple problems with this that makes me unsure how lovely this image actually is. First, that "eight tiny reindeer" bit sounds awfully dodgy. The "tiny" qualification implies that Santa is engaging in illegal child labor by forcing a bunch of underage, adolescent reindeer to pull his sleigh. As if that isn't bad enough, there's the iconic whip-crack, as immortalized in Sleigh Ride, of Santa encouraging the reindeer into action. 221228After the events of that fateful Christmas were straightened out, Pete Townshend invited the Grinch to go on tour with the boys. 221229Old Man Winter will grab you by the bladder or the urethra, and squeeze. One way or the other, he'll show you who's boss. 221230Gift wrapping paper has its origins in the Christmas story. Wrapping paper lovingly enfolds the gifts just as swaddling clothes enfolded the baby Jesus. 221231The shepherd boy in "Do You Hear What I Hear?" is hopelessly out of touch with reality. He's got the ear of the king and he points out, "A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold". What does he do, but tries to hit up the king for money. He could have asked for better lodging, a couple of fur-lined onesies, assistance for the poor in general. Shoot, he could have just asked for something as simple as a blanket, something, anything to keep the kid warm, yet he asks for money. What a wasted opportunity.

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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