Final Thoughts of the Night, 2024

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.

June, 2024 240620A lot of a parent's job is to help their child grow into adulthood, balancing off swooping in to save the child and letting the child make mistakes and learn. I think at some point, my parents sort of threw up their hands and said, "Welp, we did our best, now Jo's got to deal with it." 240619When caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies, they start by spinning a cocoon around themselves. While all snuggly in their self-spun blankie, they essentially melt into goo and then the goo reforms into the adult butterfly that eventually emerges from the cocoon. This is a pretty good description of what happens with humans during puberty -- our brains melt into goo and we hope they reform into a beautiful, lovely adult brain. However, we aren't too anxious for the reconstituted brain to actually emerge from its casing. 240618Whenever I eat chex mix, I feel like the hot girl on a dating app. I get to pick and choose what I take and what I leave behind. 240617Order and chaos. Science and Magic. Since Science is the orderly world of reproducible results, Magic must be the chaotic world of irreproducible results. Trying to reproduce the irreproducibility of Magic falls into the realm of Science, and mixing the two can give dangerous, explosive results. 240616When they're upset or scared, such as during beak and nail trimming, the birds get all the crap scared out of them. Except they don't. They seem to have an endless supply of crap stored up for these moments. It's amazing how much crap they can produce. 240615I'm wanting to find a Friend With Benefits, because my tooth is really hurting and I can't afford a dentist myself. 240614The Green Bank Telescope, in West Virginia, is the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope. I think it would be really cool if the controls were set up to be accessible over the internet. Telescope control would become a democratic process; science be damned, the telescope would be used to look at what the majority of people wanted to see. 240613Cars have fairly specific warning lights, not to mention the diagnostic ports you can plug special computers into to get detailed analysis of problems. It would be really nice if our bodies had those warning lights or that diagnostic port. 240612I think aging is the ongoing process of each of our body parts deciding they want to check in with the brain and let the brain know they're still there. Our body parts, being kind of dumb, only know how to communicate using pain. 240611One of the advantages of growing up near Colonial Williamsburg is that I learned a lot about the methodologies used by archaeologists. One of these was that archaeologists like to find middens, which is a fancy word for trash piles, to examine what was used and thrown away. Archaeologists learn a lot about settlements and cultures by digging up the trash. For this reason, whenever we clean out old food from the fridge or the pantry, I have a hankering to start a midden of our very own out behind the house. Future archaeologists -- nay, all future societies -- would thank me. 240610As a kid, I always loved the massive 64-crayon box of Crayolas. So many different shades, so many different colors. A multitude of colors for bringing subtle shading and nuance to my amazing art. Except for one. What on earth was "Burnt Umber"? What could it possibly be used for, and why did Crayola bother to include it in an otherwise magical collection of colors. Then I started playing Dungeons & Dragons, and was introduced to one of its monsters, the Umber Hulk. The Umber Hulk. My artistic life was now complete. 240609One reason why Jurassic Park tolerated the hyper-annoying Dennis Nedry is that he was always the back-up plan if the killer dinosaurs got loose. He'd be slower than everyone else, he'd be a super-sized meal for the dinos, and no one would miss him after he was eaten. 240608Buried deep in the primal psyche of Men is the need to pee off poop stains from the sides of the toilet bowl. Men are honor bound to try to remove poop with our pee. As men age, the strength of men's pee streams grows weaker and weaker. This diminished pee capacity inhibits men's ability to fulfill their primal function. When men can't pee away the poop stains, their feelings of fulfillment and sense of purpose in life grow smaller and smaller until the men are left feeling completely ineffectual and lost. All the bitterness and anger stereotypically displayed by aging men is therefore attributable to the diminished strength of their pee streams. 240607Q: Wny are marsupials always found guilty of crimes?
A: Because they're always brought to a kangaroo court.Stepson of Dumb Joke Week
240606Q: What is a cryptologist's favorite pastry?
A: Enclair.Stepson of Dumb Joke Week
240605Russia's rulers are buried in czarcophaguses. Also, Russia has a specialist that handles these burials. They have a czarcopha-guy.Stepson of Dumb Joke Week 240604Go to OnlyFins and PrawnHub for your raw fish action, where the shellfish take off all the shells.Stepson of Dumb Joke Week 240603A baby represents the new year because in both cases you're waiting for the balls to drop.Stepson of Dumb Joke Week 240602An illegitimate chef is called a bastered.Stepson of Dumb Joke Week 240601Water Strider is just the bug's colloquial nickname. Its formal name is Aqua Aragorn.Stepson of Dumb Joke Week

May, 2024 240531Experiential Landmarks are wonderful things. "Turn left at the street where Tom's dog saved the baby bunny." Experiential Landmarks bring history alive. "Go down the road where Mary cut down that second pine tree." Experiential Landmarks make navigation a nightmare. "Slow down when you pass the place those three young men got in a knife fight for Mary's hand." Experiential Landmarks add depth and flavor to one's understanding of a place. Having a map of Experiential Landmarks would be a real treasure, but it would be quite difficult to design and create such a map, even if a magic computer was used. But we can dream, we can dream. 240530When I was a kid, whenever we travelled through South Carolina, I always always wanted to stop at the South of the Border tourist trap. We never stopped. My Border longing was unrequited. Now, as an adult, I have no interest in stopping there; it just looks tawdry and seedy. I guess my perspective shifted as I grew up, but I also wonder if I have lost something. 240529In spy books and movies, spies always have an emergency go-bag they can grab when they have to disappear at a second's notice. The go-bag, inevitably small and easy to hide, has the bare essentials required to survive until the next chapter or reel. Having spent lots of time packing for brief trips and excursions, I am baffled as to how those spies manage with a go-bag the size of a piccolo case and not one as big as a tuba. 240528Iron is essential in making hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body. Without the iron, there would be nothing to carry the oxygen in the blood. It is widely known that fae can't touch iron, that it will severely injure them, if not kill them. The only way the fae could have iron in their blood is if they weren't injured or killed by it. How then does their blood work? What in their blood composition carries the oxygen around the fae bodies to keep them alive? I think fae blood is composed of throngs of incredibly tiny micro-fae that are doing this critical work. This task of blood delivery is carried out by hordes of hemogoblins. 240527The newton is the standard unit of force, officially defined by acceleration of kilogram masses, and was named for Isaac Newton. However, the official definition was a retcon to the real definition, which measures the force required to accelerate a fig newton to have the same impact as an apple dropped ten feet onto one's head. 240526I've long wondered just what was the function of the Holy Spirit. I have heard several ideas over the years, but nothing that really made enough sense to stick in mind. Singing the Doxology today, I finally understood. There's the line, "Praise Holy Spirit, Comforter." A comforter is a big fluffy blanket that you wrap around yourself, it keeps you warm and secure, and makes you feel that everything will be okay. The Doxology told me that the Holy Spirit is a big spiritual blanket that wraps around and enfolds you, and keeps you spiritually warm and secure, and helps you feel that everything will be okay. 240525I was ordering something online and I got one of those "Are You A Robot?" things. It stopped me dead in my tracks. Am I a robot? How would I know? I think I'm human, but I've never seen inside myself. Devices can show us our innards, but surely the output or monitors can be jiggered to show us something other than reality. Some quantum philosophers have claimed that our universe is a simulation, so maybe that means I am a robot, an automaton, or at least a little subprocess running on some minor server somewhere. How can I ever answer that question again? 240524Dogs are the common, current-day embodiment of God's grace. 240523Usually, when someone farts in public people will quietly laugh behind their hands and lower the person's Time Until Shun Hour score. It would be kinder and more polite if people would say, "Bless you" or "Gesundtoot" instead, and make people feel more accepted for their bodily symphony. 240522Fungus and microbes and other organisms are very opportunistic. They move in and start eating our food before we do. Applied heat is the way we tell these organisms to back off and give us our food back. 240521Science should also get busy on finding out why self-righteous doinks sometimes can't appreciate the kind things that their angels do for them. 240520I am curious as to when the 5-Second Rule starts its countdown. Do the five seconds start when the food hits the floor? Or maybe it's when the food stops moving and comes to rest. It seems less likely, but maybe the five-second timer starts when the potential consumer starts moving to retrieve the food. As with any good scientific inquiry, these questions give rise to further questions. Does the timer stop when the food is lifted off the floor? Maybe the timer stops when the retriever blows the germs off it. Do different contaminants require different amounts of time or breath strength in order to be blown off the retrieved food? Do other species have different time limits? I suspect dogs have a 5-Day Rule. There are so many questions about the 5-Second Rule, and we humans are eagerly awaiting answers. Science really should get busy on these. 240519I want to hold a Miralax party. Everyone takes a good dose of Miralax and the person who lasts the longest is the winner. However, I think maybe I won't hold this party at my home. 240518A lot of the personal maintenance and grooming tasks we have would be much easier if we could detach a body part, perform the task, and then reattach the body part. Since we aren't modular like that, we must rely on other people to help us with these tasks. This is a hidden purpose of our design. It helps us build and strengthen social connections, which helps to get these personal maintenance tasks handled. Without the social connections, the tasks aren't easily done, or performed well. With the social connections, we all function better both personally and as a society -- all because we don't have modular, detachable body parts. 240517Lightsabers are cool, but it's rather wimpy how they are started. You flip a switch and bam! the lightsaber is on and ready to go. There's nothing skillful or adept about that. No dramatic tension at all. Just flip the switch, the lightsaber comes on, and you can defend yourself and slaughter your enemies like a true Jedi. What They should have done is fit the lightsabers with lawnmower pull cords. Great skill and virtuosity would be required to get a lightsaber working. Instant dramatic tension! Will Luke be able to get his lightsaber running before Darth Vader skewers him? Will Vader be able to get his lightsaber running before the blaster shots start raining down on him? Pull cords would have deepened the emotional impact and excitement that Star Wars brought its audience. 250516One wonders, as one does, how the word "duck" came to be used to tell someone to bend forward and lower their head. After all, it's primary use is for those wonderful waterfowl. It makes perfect sense though. If someone shouts "Duck!" at you, then you instinctively look around hoping to see an adorable duck. This unnecessary looking around is a result of Modern Man's separation from nature. Back when we were more connected with nature, shouting "Duck!" at someone would cause the instinctive reaction for the person to bend over to pet the adorable duck that was at their feet. (I think ducks were more widespread then, and not just at lakes and ponds.) If some dangerous object was whizzing towards someone's head, then the best way to get them to get out of the way was to shout "Duck!" so the person would stoop to pet the duck, which in this case wasn't actually there. It might have been a disappointment not to pet an adorable duck, but at least the person would be able to be disappointed, rather than having to cope with a head split open by a thrown axe. Due to the modern lack of duck abundance along with our disconnection from nature, when someone shouts "Duck!", people aren't instinctively reaching down to pet the duck at their feet, but will instead obliviously look around saying, "Duck? There's a duck? Where's a duck?" and then the axe will hit them in the head and ducks will avoid them forevermore. 240515When dwarves go on vacation, they always bring home the cool rocks they find. When elves go on vacation, they try to bring home the cool trees they find. The airlines and the TSA don't allow the trees onto airplanes -- citing weight, size, and security restrictions -- so elves must leave their cool trees behind. This leaves elves feeling angry and resentful, thus ruining the relaxed feeling they had from a nice vacation. Since dwarves aren't prevented from bringing their rocks home, they are happy and content at the end of their vacations. This is the real source of the antipathy elves feel towards dwarves. 240514Fool 'em once, shame on me. Fool 'em twice, shame on them. Fool 'em three times, send 'em a contract and get 'em to start paying you. 240513I think when I hit the age of 75, I'm going to change my name to Dad. When strangers are dealing with me, they'll have to call me Dad. That name will make them think kindly towards me, be more willing to help me, and give me the benefit of the doubt in my senescent dotage. 240512Many people love the smell of fresh-cut grass. They look forward to their lawn maintenance, and the wholesome smell they get. However, research has shown that the smell from fresh-cut is the grass screaming in terror and desperately trying to warn other grass of the danger. So, whenever people revel in that heady smell of fresh-cut grass, they are revelling in the pain and despair of the grass. 240511I don't know if I'm really as funny as I think I am, but I amuse myself and I amuse Jo, and I think that's what really matters. 240510There is a fine line between being clever and witty, and being an asshole. I must remember that the line grows thinner as one ages. 240509I'd love to see a version of Star Wars where Mr. Bean played Luke Skywalker. 240508When I was young, we thought it was illegal to tie a hangman's noose. 13 wraps made the hangman's noose. We lived very dangerously by trying to tie a noose just far enough so it wasn't illegal, but still a recognizable noose. We didn't know the crossover point from questionable to illegal, but we tried, we tried. 240507The times you most need caffeine are the times you're most unable to prepare it. 240506I'm sure it's a good indicator of my terrible business sense, but whenever I'm performing and someone whips out a camera to film me without permission, I always get a strong urge to mess up my playing. 240505It's kind of creepy the way people walk around the festival cradling those big bags of popcorn like babies. 240504Two haiku from the Sheep and Wool Festival.
 Sheep sitting in pens
placidly chewing their cud
blank looks on faces.
 Fest people walk past
placidly eating fest food
blank looks on faces.
240503For 50 years, I have had no problems opening or closing jars. A quick twist of the wrist one way and a jar comes open. A quick twist the other way and a jar closes. I was a jar master. Recently though, my mastery of jar closing has been faltering. I get the lid on a jar, give it a quick twist, and it hangs up. It isn't on quite right, so it doesn't get the nice closure that I've been used to for decades. Sometimes it takes me three or four attempts before the lid suddenly snugs home. I am a bit disconcerted at the difficulties I've been having with jars. Going from jar master to jar bungler makes me wonder if I have slid into an alternate, almost parallel universe, one wherein I not did attain jar masterdom. I must be alert and see if any other commonplace thing, such as lace on jars, has suddenly become as difficult as jars. 240502I've always wondered at the use of the "Royal We". Some say that sovereigns use the Royal We since they are, in effect, speaking for their country and not just for themselves. I think that was a justification that was only developed because King Vanya the 4th insisted his seven schnitzelhounds be included in all meetings, and he consulted them for every policy decision. As more and more monarchs took up the practice of speaking in the Royal We, the speaking-for-the-country justification was the only way that common people could be convinced their rulers weren't complete chowderheads. Modern medicine has provided a better insight into physiology, which has led to a better rationale for using the Royal We. Sovereign rulers, even down to the commonest of the common people, can use the Royal We because they are speaking for themselves and the 100 trillion microbial cells of gut flora everyone hosts. 240501I wonder where bed bugs lived before beds were invented, and what the bed bugs were called then.

April, 2024 240430Millennia ago, buffalo were scrawny, small, bovine weaklings. Over the centuries, natural selection caused them to evolve into the much stronger, much more powerful bison they are today. As they grew stronger, their name also changed to reflect their new form and they went from being called feebalos to buff-alos. 240429Words We Need 10: hottic, ppp, smook, ficklicity, scromelet, octurbal, probalgy, squirmels, nowever, spiced up a sneeze 240428I hope I never, ever, ever have to use this criterion, but I've realized I will never marry a woman that doesn't know "The Monster Mash". 240427When I was young, I read a book with a character noted for his intelligence because he read without moving his lips. I took this as a universal indicator of intelligence, so I strove from then onwards to never move my lips when I read. 240426I was overjoyed when I found how good my bagpipe was sounding once more. Once I stopped playing it, I was dancing around the house with excitement and joy. This was a learning experience for me. It would behoove me to restrict myself to waltzing and contra dancing. Other than those, my dancing is so clunky and awkward that I should not be dancing. 240425After years of struggling with playing pipes, I finally got around to replacing my chanter reed. It was like I was playing a whole different instrument. The chanter sounded good and it was easy to get going. After a bit of prodding, the drone reeds had stopped double-toning and were nice and steady. I could easily play six times as long as I had just a few short weeks ago. I wasn't fighting the pipe any more, and it wasn't fighting me. We were working together and were making beau... making music together. I taught the pipe a definitive lesson in just who was boss. The pipe is still the boss, but at least it lets me collaborate with it. 240424The Muses orchestrated the events leading up to the Trojan War, as well as the related events that arose from it. In addition to the war itself, so much epic poetry, so many plays, and so much history followed from it, and in some cases preceded it. Odysseus' wanderings, Agamemnon's nightmare family, plays and poetry by Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes. Even now, thousands of years later, new fiction, new translations, new poems of these events are being written. The original works are still the inspiration for new art. The Muses masterfully ensured their continued survival throughout the millennia by nudging Eris to play a prank with a golden apple.Literature Week 9 240423When Sauron created the rings of power, he was really just trying to create a recipe for the perfect onion ring.Literature Week 9 240422Lovecraft would be horrified, terrified even, to see how widely and openly accepted Cthulhu has become.Literature Week 9 240421The primary inspiration behind Milton's "Paradise Lost" was that someone stole his red stapler.Literature Week 9 240420I've read all the Dune books multiple times, I've seen all the various movie versions of "Dune", but I'm still not sure if the Spice is berbere, garam masala, or cumin.Literature Week 9 240419The Harry Potter stories would have been rather different, and perhaps a bit more interesting, if Harry had been put in Slytherin.Literature Week 9 240418The Spanish word for "fuck" is spelled j-o-d-o-r, and it's pronounced "hodor". In Game of Thrones, Hodor didn't get his name because he was being told to "Hold the Door"; he got the name because everyone was in critical danger of death and they were all saying "fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck". Since Spanish is spoken north of The Wall, it came out as "jodor jodor jodor jodor jodor".Literature Week 9 240417"Shadow of Your Smile" is a nice, sad, romantic song. One thing bothers me about this song, though. For a smile to cast a shadow, it must be formed by a really large mouth. As in horse-mouth-on-a-mouse sized mouth. 240416It will never not be astounding to see a bird come plummeting from a tremendous height until to pull up at the last instant and settle gently, gracefully on the ground. 240415The Ides of March are the people stabbing the government. The Ides of April are the government stabbing the people right back. 240414Every night on the news, so mnay stories are accompanied by video that is decorated with yellow police tape. It kind of makes you wonder if the manufacturers of yellow police tape have anything to do with periodic crime surges. 240413The first rule Dad was given was, "Don't do anything dumb or dangerous." That is great advice for everyone, and I wish it was given to people everywhere. And that everyone followed it. 240412I did a modified cover version of "My Sharona" for the Mexican radio market, but it didn't go over too well. Apparently, people in that market aren't too fond of a song called "La Llorona". 240411Light in a dark room brings great comfort and solace. However, light leaking under a closed closet door in a dark room is really, really creepy. 240310The Nautilus evolved to its current form about 400 million years ago. At that point, it decided it had reached its perfect physical form and therefore it would focus on inner development. It has spent the last 400 million years working on crafts, taking language classes, and trying to master quantum physics and painting watercolors. 240409Noah built the ark out of wood, so despite contentions otherwise, I doubt he was really the world's first ark-welder. 240408Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: It didn't. Chickens are smart enough to know that busy roads are dangerous and shouldn't be crossed without an exceedingly compelling reason.
240407A lot of people think that Pilates is a great exercise program for getting and maintaining health, but I'm not going to risk it. I'm very suspicious of exercises that are developed and sponsored by the guy that sent Jesus to be executed. 240406I'm glad none of our parrots learned any swears or cusses. It might have been briefly funny if they had, but how to explain to our parents how the birds had learned such fowl language? 240405I didn't know I liked calla lilies until Jo bought several to plant. As pretty as they are, the name is kind if odd. It sounds like calla lilies have a phone line for flowers to chat. 240404Most species of butterflies are happy to share gardens and fields with other butterflies. They might have to queue up a bit at the flowers, but everyone takes their fair share in friendly spirits. However, the Manitoban Razorwing species doesn't coexist well with other butterflies, or even each other. They even go so far as to attack others with the sharp edges of their wings. These are anti-social butterflies. 240403There was a total eclipse in my area when I was 7. I heard all the warnings about looking at the sun, and I took them very seriously. So much so that I was terrified to even get the tiniest glimpse of the sun during the eclipse. I survived, but I've always wondered if the eclipse burned out some hidden, subtle part of my brain that I just don't rebibbalistiragle ahyut. 240402The human spine and pelvis, when joined together and stripped of the icky wet stuff, look like a bony horseshoe crab or some other sort of prehistoric sea creature. It makes me wonder how something like that got inside us in the first place. Maybe that's how we started, and just slowly accreted blobs of flesh until we turned into what we are. 240401There are regular food products and there are organic food products. The organic versions are purportedly better than the non-organic versions. At the very least, the organic foods are more expensive. I want to jump into this organic fad, but I don't have the talent, knowledge, or patience to sell food, so I'm going to be selling something else. I'm planning to start selling organic paper products, made from real free-range trees.

March, 2024 240331When I was a kid, I learned that sharks couldn't stop swimming or they'd drown. As with so many pieces of child kowledge, that isn't quite true. Sharks can stop swimming and not drown. However, their remoras get itchy and cross if they don't have water running over them, so they'll tickle the sharks if the sharks stop swimming. That compels the sharks to just always keep swimming which is why sharks are always cross and cantankerous. 240330Astrophysicists have the Three Body Problem as an unsolvable question of orbital mechanics. They have nothing on the Three Mind Problem my therapist has with me. 240329Napkins are nothing more than dinner diapers. 240328Growing up, as I did, in the shadow of the Chesapeake Bay, I had a skewed idea of what a bay horse actually was. For your edification, a horse is a bay horse if it has a particular coloring. Bay horses don't live on or in a bay, they don't go swimming a lot, and most disappointingly they can't run on top of the water on a bay. 240327Cold welding is the process whereby putting pieces of the same kind of metal together in space, they will be permanently fused together. In time, this will undoubtedly be used as a weapon, but it could also make for some interesting pranks. 240326I saw an advert for TurbotAx and I thought they're violent enough already, should we really be giving them weapons? 240325There is a philosophical question of whether a tree falling in the forest makes a sound if there's no one there to hear it. If you believe in the omnipresence of God, then there's always someone in the forest to hear the trees fall, so there is always a sound of falling timber. 240324Dirt represents potential. A patch of dirt could be a family's garden of beans, or a bunch of azalea bushes. A patch of dirt could lift up a forest of enormous oaks, or a grove of lemon trees, or an orchard of almonds. A patch of dirt can hold a small village, a huge city, a first home of newlyweds. The possibilities are innumerable for how a patch of dirt can be used. Once it is planted, once a building is started, once it becomes more than just a patch of dirt, the possibilities narrow considerably. When it's just dirt, just ground, well, the potential and possibilities are endless. 240323Parents should dedicate part of a wall to their child's art. Paint the wall white, put a nice frame around that section, and let the kid draw on it as much as they want. It might keep the kid from drawing on other parts of the wall and it will make the child feel important that their own art is welcomed and highlighted by the parents. 240322A person's home is the place they can scratch their butt and pick their nose without worrying if someone will See. 240321My dominant hand is a bully, and it beats up my submissive hand. 240320When you see cows grazing or just sitting out in a field, it's easy to think patronizingly about how bland and stupid cows are. That quiet exterior masks a deep internal life. Humans are highly stressed, often unhappy, and spiritually floundering. Cows are placid, well-grounded, and on a completely different spiritual plane. Beyond this, the major difference between Humans and Cows is that cows don't have opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs distract and confuse the spirit. The root of spiritual enlightenment all comes down to a lack or presence of opposable thumbs. 240319If you want to depress a microbiologist, tell them that an important part of life is to dream big. 240317Left-handed people have long been looked on with great suspicion and distrust. It has been thought that this distrust was bigotry based on lefties being an extreme minority, but there's another possibility that makes logical sense. Handshakes derived from meeting a potential enemy, and showing that the weapon hand held no weapon. That works well if everyone holds their weapon in the same hand. However, lefties hold their weapon in the other hand, so the handshake does not accomplish its purpose. How can you possibly trust someone who holds their weapon in the wrong hand, and how can you trust their handhake? 240316Above-ground pools are usually round, but there's no reason they can't be other shapes. A long, narrow oval is possible, especially if you're wanting one for swimming laps. If you're getting a long, narrow, above-ground pool, then it would be really cool if you could get it shaped like a Viking longboat. 240315You may not be able to change the past, but you can at least change the pasta water. 240314I had a lovely visit to Hawaii. At least, it was lovely until towards the end. Let me just say that you should be careful not to mix up the word "cojones" for the word "kahuna". 240313Every so often, I hear a deep, ominous sound emanating from the depths. A rumbling growl, a single reverberating boom from the subterranean gloom. A quiet roar that trembles the ground beneath my feet. This unfathomable sonority can only mean one thing. Jo has delved deep and brought forth another container of ice cream from the basement freezer. 240312When I was a kid, my friends and I were convinced that if you poke at your belly button too much, it'll come unravelled and everything would come leaking out. Obviously, that's not true. If you poke at your belly button too much, then you'll disturb the micro-blackhole that seals things up, and you'll be sucked into an alternate dimension while being turned inside out all at the same time. 240311People talk about having Opposite Day, where everything that's said has to be interpreted as the opposite of what's actually said. People who use Sine Language also have opposite day, but they call it Cosine Day. 240310An ejector seat is like Chekov's rifle. If a movie car has an ejector seat, you can be pretty sure it's going to be used, with a 93.7% chance for comedic effect. If it has a big red button, then it's an absolute certainty that button's gonna be pushed. 240309I am planning to rework Lovecraft's writings, putting them into the context and culture of birds. I am going to start with the classic "Caw of Crowthulhu". 240308For decades, one of the big questions in quantum mechanics remained unanswered. Why did Schrödinger choose cats to put in his murder box? He could have chosen something really repellent, like skanky rats or vipers or nazis, but he didn't. He chose cats. I have realized why he made this choice. Cats were easy to get hold of, and Schrödinger wanted to have an experiment that everyone could try at home. 240307Eructations come in two types, flavors, if you will. There are the piddly little burps, that are just small expellations of gas. And then there are belches. The deep, full-body movement of internal gas. These tectonic discharges come from such depths, encompassing all the body, bringing such satisfaction and relief, that they must be the sound, the voice of the soul. 240306People in many cultures look to spirit animals as guides throughout their lives. I wonder if spirit animals have spirit guides of their own. If so, what form do they take? Are their spirit guides other animals? Maybe in their cosmology, they look to spirit plants for guidance. 240305"Quiche" is the fancy French word that translates to "egg pie". 240304Monsters are always trying to get us, and they have identified our cars as a major point of vulnerability. The monsters come in two types. One lurks outside of a car and leaps on its victim as they get into or out of their car. The other type slithers into a car and grabs its victim once they are "safe" inside their car. A person's philosophy of car doors indicates where they think the monsters are. Some feel that car locks keep the monsters out, while some feel that car locks keep them from escaping the monsters inside the car. Most people recognize that both are potentially true, but feel that one or the other is the greater risk. There are those frozen by indecision because they feel that both are equally true. To the monsters, those people are known as "dinner". 240303There are a number of places in the Bible that talk about the breath of God bringing life. Both literally and figuratively, breathing in the breath of God is a means of receiving life and blessing. Remember this as you take Communion. Breathe in the aroma of the bread and of the wine before eating and drinking them. Let the scent of Communion infuse your soul, and become part of communing with God. 240302It seems that Tilda Swinton's name should be spelled "Swiñtoñ". 240301Ants really are opportunistic little bastards.

February, 2024 240229Rust is to iron what brown spots are to bananas and people. 240228To make TV more interesting, I've started watching as if the adverts are part of the show. It adds an odd new dimension to TV shows. Things are proceeding along in an office or in a police station or in court just as I'd expect, then suddenly there's a new plot where new characters are hanging out on a beach, or are sitting in a bar, or are talking about their hemorrhoids and the drugs to fix them, then we're suddenly back to the police about to make a raid on a meth lab and I have to pivot my world view to account for meth being a hemorrhoid drug now. It can get confusing, but it promotes active viewing and really exercises the imagination to reconcile the wild new anecdotal scenes with the rest of the narrative. 240227Fishnet stockings were invented by three fishermen who never managed to catch a mermaid in their nets. 240226Tombstones are engraved invitations the Grim Reaper uses to summon a spirit into the afterlife. 240225The Snow Moon is the full moon each February. If you examine each Snow Moon under a magnifying glass, as you might expect they all look different. 240224In a world of Metaxolitiol, Zanphedratine, and Betazor Glucoratol, I salute the discovers of vitamins, who dared to name them with single letters. Not to mention a letter and a number for those really racy vitamins. 240223Toilets should always be sold with a plunger guaranteed to fit that actual toilet. 240222I was trying to type "Spanish Inquisition" and my phone really wanted me to type "Spaniel Inquisition". It was kind of frustrating, but it also brought wonderful thoughts to mind. Think how much better the world would be if the Spanish Inquisition hadn't existed, but the Spaniel Inquisition had. Instead of awful questions like, "Are you an evil heathen?" or "Would you like a red-hot poker jammed up your butt?" there would have been questions like "Who's a good boy?" and "Want to play catch with this ball?" and "Who wants some treats?" The world would be a much better place if we'd had -- if we would have -- the Spaniel Inquisition. 240221Splendorphins are artificial hormones that make you feel great. 240220Why do hypnotists always make people think they are chickens? Are chickens inherently funny? Are chickens so antithetical to humans that it would take hypnotism to make a person imitate a chicken? Do we have strong racial prejudices against chickens? Maybe it's a pre-memory, and we're pre-membering that chickens are going to evolve and become our mutant chicken overlords. 240219I have observed many horses in many pastures. If there is something out of place -- a tree branch fell off a tree, an unfamiliar bucket left behind -- then the horses will run over and stand beside the interloper and look around with great concern. The horses think they are looking very diligent and investigative and responsible, but they really just look like tattletales waiting for a human to show up to see this terrible thing that has appeared. 240218If you spend a lot of time being self-deprecating or speaking negatively about yourself, you shouldn't be surprised if someone does you the honor of believing your words. 240217Whenever you see a picture or photo of the meteor coming to wipe out the dinosaurs, there's always one dinosaur that's looking up at the meteor. I think that's supposed to be ironic, and to show how ephemeral life is, as well as how clueless we all are. However, I think that the real story is that one dinosaur is looking up at the meteor and sighing, because it was the one who warned everyone else about their impending doom and they just partied on like nothing was ever going to happen. 240216Foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but willful ignorance is the ravening ogre of stupid minds. 240215Someone who takes a nice piece of music and arranges an awful version of it should be called a deranger. 240214I wanted to try a protein shake, but I wasn't sure if I should defrost the steak before wiggling it around over my head. 240213Accompanists are the confessors of singers. They always know the singers' sins and transgressions, yet they maintain their silence. 240212It is said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom." Apparently, a brownie in the middle of the night is the price of eternal vigilance. 240211Facemasks on football helmets weren't initially intended to protect the wearer's face. The first facemask was added to keep Bernie "Bulldog" Fribberson from biting other players. 240210Evolution is like minor software updates. Small changes over long periods of time aggregate to large changes. Mutations are like major software updates; large changes happen fairly quickly, and can have wide-ranging effects. Extinction events are like replacing one app with another or moving to a completely different operating system. 240209A bezoar is a blob of material that forms in the stomachs of ruminants and some other animals. Bezoars have been used as antidotes for various physical ailments. Pearls are blobs of material that form within the shell of pearl oysters and some other mollusks. Pearls have been used as antidotes and cures for various physical ailments. I'd never realized it, but pearls are bezoars of the sea. 240208I wonder if tallymen only tallied bananas. Maybe they just specialized in different fruits, so there was a banana talleyman, and a mango tallyman, and a coconut tallyman. Surely tallying was a specialized skill, and talleymen couldn't tally anything put before them. I also wonder if they were afraid of the deadly black tarantulas, or if the tallymen had an understanding with the deadly black tarantulas. 240207I want to write a series of mystery novels. The main characters will be a polite, formal Belgian detective and the love of his life, a female clown who loves another detective. These will be the Poirot and Pierette mysteries. 240206So many people have dental problems. Impacted wisdom teeth, teeth growing in sideways, teeth growing in behind the line of other teeth, not to mention all the others. These dental problems seem to have the common problem of having too many teeth in too small of a mouth. Other animals don't tend to have these problems, so I'm wondering why humans do. I think we used to have longer protruding jaws, stretching forward from beneath our eye sockets, and I've got some questions. Why did our jaws evolve to be smaller? Why didn't we evolve mouths that had fewer teeth? Why did we evolve the longer jaws in the first place? Can we really trust evolution any more? 240205Many languages have technical language doodads that allows a speaker to put words in whatever order they want, and the listener hears what the speaker intends. English is a maniac, and that is not how it works. For example, "Sven ate a cheese" has a very different meaning if you switch it to "A cheese ate Sven." Also, you'd better get the order right when you spell out "WTF?" 240204The Slow Line Axiom states that if I am somewhere that has multiple lines (e.g., grocery stores or TSA checkpoints), then my line will go 25% slower than all the other lines. The Law of Extension states that the Slow Line Axiom applies to every person on the planet. The Queuing Paradox is the observation that the Slow Line Axiom and the Law of Extension are both true, yet it is impossible for both to be true. 240203I want to open a zoo for nocturnal animals. It would have lovely outdoor yards, with natural habitats for each type of animal. It would do its best to provide good, quality care and fulfilling lives for the animals lived there. It would also close at dusk. 240202The Winter Rabbit hops through the season. The Cold Paw falling here, the Warm Paw falling there, the Snow Paw hither, the Rain Paw yon. Her cottontail dusts the countryside, sweeping the snow into flurries and then clearing it off. She is elusive and seldom seen, but her influence lays across the land. 240201DVRs have revolutionized how people watch TV by allowing people to record shows and view them later at their convenience. In addition, DVRs can buffer video and allow viewers to back up just a little in case loud noises or other distractions briefly interrupt or interfere with what's being watched. This functionality would be extremely useful for other such distraction-prone situations. As loud and distracting as cars can be, it is quite surprising that this buffering isn't a common feature in car radios. It would be very helpful to be able to pause or even "back up" traffic or weather reports, news stories, or music whenever rude horn-honking or emergency sirens overpower the important radio content.

January, 2024 240131When putting out crab lines in the Chesapeake Bay, it is extremely common for them to be baited with raw chicken. The chicken industry on Maryland's Eastern Shore is very large, and produces many millions of chickens each year. I fear the time that blue crabs learn of the close proximity of this favorite food, for that is the day the blue crabs will actively start evolving the ability to live on land. It won't take them long to learn that humans are just as tasty, and then they will start hunting us. 240130There are animal and plant mimics that imitate the coloration, appearance, and behaviors of other, more dangerous, animals and plants. This imitation provides protection and keeps predators from going after the mimics. It is interesting that there aren't any animals or plants that mimic humans. As far as we know. 240129Watching a movie or show that's in a language you don't know is an exercise in creativity. If you don't know what's really going on, then anything you want can be happening. You can invent all sorts of dialog, assign characters you want to the actors, decide for yourself what the locations and settings are, and it ends the way you want it to end. It's a "Choose Your Own Adventure", acted out in front of you and the only limitations are those you want to put on it yourself. 240128A recent proverb talks about how there are two wolves fighting inside a person, an good wolf and an evil wolf. The way things have been lately, I feel like the two wolves inside me are Hati and Máni, the two Norse wolves that are destined to initiate Ragnarök when they swallow the sun and the moon. 240127I like goats better than sheep. I'd rather be with the goats than the sheep. Goats have gotten a bit of a bad reputation thanks to a passage or two in the Bible. It seems odd that Jesus, who supported the outcasts and disenfranchised, would be talking up that sort of anti-caprine segregation. 240126I've played a number of World War II games, and they really aren't for me. If I play one of the Axis countries, then I intentionally do a bad job so they get squashed. If I play one of the Allied countries, then I get really pissy if I don't win because the Good Guys are supposed to win. It's probably best if I skip the war games and stick to something easy, like Bunny Kingdom or WizWar. 240125Orcs must be the stealthiest, most inaudible creatures in existence. Moria is immense, caverns and tunnels and halls riddling an enormous series of mountains. It is teeming with orcs, with a healthy smattering of cave trolls and other nasties. One stupid bucket is knocked down a shaft and an orc war party comes to investigate. That war party gets trashed by the Fellowship, and All The Orcs! converge on an enormous hall to take care of this tiny group of non-orcs. Not only that, but the balrog climbs up out of its basement apartment to look into the problem. All because one dumb bucket tumbled down a shaft. Orcs have got to be the quietest beings around. 240124When I was a child, I thought it was a sin to pick your nose in church, and it made God mad and disappointed if you did it. I never determined if it was a venial sin or a mortal sin. 240123I've got a new sport that should be included in the Summer Olympics. It's called Water Jousting. The jousters stand on a paddleboard and are dragged around the pool by swimmers. They try to knock other jousters off their paddleboards, to the delight and wonder of the crowd. This could even be extended to sword-fights, and even battles between teams. Similar to this is water-chariot racing. Again, swimmers will pull paddleboards with people standing on them, but the paddleboarders won't fight each other, overtly at least, they'll just prod the swimmers to urge them to swim faster. The one problem with these new sports is that the paddleboarders will need to wear armor, which might cause sinking and breathing problems if they fall off the paddleboard. Over time, we'll iron out these few practical problems with the sports. 240122My favorite Scottish TV show is about Walter Whiteface, a sheep that manufactures high-quality illegal drugs. It's called "Breaking Baaaaa". 240121What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Unless it's communicable. 240120I want to do a production of West Side Story with cowboys and natives and Californians, where they are all moving into the neighborhood buying up all the good homes. It would really stress the West in West Side Story. 240119Apple should add a feature to iOS to recognize voice-command keywords used by "Alexa" and other voice-control systems. It should obey the commands, but include a response of, "My name is Siri, not Alexa." 240118I always look at dogs with my furripheral vision.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week 240117In orchestras, cows and rhinos always work best in the horn section.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week 240116Only a pirate can turn a cow into a crow. (By adding an "Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!")Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week 240115Cookie Monster has been up for three Emmy's, but he never won any. That's why his bio says, "Cookie Monster, Nom Nom Nom."Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week 240114Q: What did transvestite Vikings go raiding in?
A: Drag boatsStepbrother of Dumb Joke Week
240113Neptune has extremely powerful atmospheric winds, which blow at over 1,200 miles per hour. That's about what I'd expect from Uranus.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week 240112Q: What is a termite's favorite cereal?
A: Oak Squares.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week
240111I had a bag of snacks that was labelled "Family Size". I really wanted the whole bag, so I started wondering how many people actually constitute a family. I then started thinking about how I am a mass organism, composed of billions of cells, and my gut is teeming with a huge variety of gut flora, and all of these individual components doing their own little thing, but working together and supporting each other all for the benefit of the whole, and that each individual person is a family unto itself. That bag of snacks made me whole family happy. 240110I don't think it's an accident that "sausage" and "assuage" have exactly the same letters in a very similar ordering. 240109The word "exasperate" comes from Latin words that mean "to make rough" or "to provoke". It seems it should be spelled "exaspirate", as all too often the exasperating thing just takes your breath away. 240108If I was king, instead of a court composer I'd have a pork composer. 240107Genesis 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." That sounds to me like a description of the Big Bang. A very poetic version of the Big Bang, but the Big Bang nonetheless. 240106I know several people who have very high security clearances. They never talk about secret stuff because they take their security training seriously. I have a fun game I play with them. I tell them that they dozed off and started talking secrets in their sleep. They get really nervous, start to sweat, and usually rush off to call work. They don't realize it's a game. 240105When squirrels feel threatened, they swish their tails back and forth quite vigorously. This has long been thought to be a warning for other squirrels that danger is near. While this is probably true, I think it's also a way the squirrels are preparing to move into immediate motion. The tail swish acts as a pump to get blood flowing to the back legs, so they can leap into action and have the muscles primed for optimal speed. The squirrel's tail is essentially a blood pump. 240104As lovely and nice as they are, grandfather clocks seem to be pretty fragile and prone to problems. Unless treated with a very delicate touch, they stop too easily, the pendulums get off, the chimes miss. After all these decades, centuries, of grandfather clocks. the mechanisms should be a lot hardier and more resilient than they are. I don't think this is a result of bad technology, but of something that technology can't fix. True to their name, I think that grandfather clocks are a communications medium for our grandfathers and other relatives that have gone ahead of us. I think these deceased relatives are trying to communicate with us by way of the grandfather clocks, but we just don't have the skills or knowledge to understand them. 240103I am suspicious of any dessert that's always accompanied by the disclaimer, "People always say they don't like this whatever, but this one is different. 240102I recently had need to use the phrase "speaking out my ass". I was distracted because I started thinking about slang grammer, and how "speaking out my ass" is different than "speaking out of my ass". While "speaking out of my ass" is more grammatically correct, it just doesn't have the impact or power of "speaking out my ass". By the time I'd thought through all this, the moment had passed and there was no need to use either phrase. 240101I learned the "Here I sit all broken-hearted" poem about 50 years ago. It turns out that my father learned that same poem about 70 years ago. This eloquently illustrates the way poetry can be timeless and speak deeply to each new generation.




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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