Final Thoughts of the Night, 2023

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.

September, 2023 230930Putting off packing is my last act of denial. 230929I've had several sets of Bluetooth earbuds, and they all came with a handy carrying case. While closed up in their case, the earbuds were inaccessible and didn't respond to computer, tablet, or phone. Once you open the lid, though, they cheerfully sprang to attention and started chatting with their device, ready to do its bidding. I am reminded of a djinn in its lamp or Pandora's box, and I wonder which the earbuds really are. 230928English is jealous of Scots Gaelic. Words in Scots Gaelic have all those multitudes of letters, and yet the pronunciation makes sense. English has lots of extra letters, but who knows how they're all pronounced in this word or that word or this other word. The uncertainty and chaos inherent in English leads English to long for the cluttered tidiness of Scots Gaelic. 230927The best time to play Punch Buggy is right after getting a COVID shot. 230926As polarized as the country is these days, everyone thinks Florida or California is a land of lunatics. The actual state of peak crazy really depends on one's politics. The left-wingers think Florida is the seat of all insanity, while the right-wingers think California is the font of madness. This national division is so deep that it's now a sign of one's politics whether you choose to go to Disney Land or Disney World. 230925I had a great idea for a book or movie. It's a treasure-hunt story that takes place in the far future. English has become a lost, ancient language, even though there are still plenty of books around that are written in English. In order to resurrect this dead language, and thus gain all the wonders of the remaining books, a key to the language, a word list, a dictionary must be found. Rumors arise among the treasure seekers that one such dictionary, the dictionary to rule all dictionaries, has been found in a far-off land. The sole-remaining copy of this grand treasure, the Oxford English Dictionary, waits to bring wealth and power to those willing to risk unknown terrors and death, in order to retrieve this magic key. 230924Most humans have a preferred hand for doing things -- writing, throwing, scratching. Often, they also have a preferred foot for kicking, starting to walk, and other such things. Our parrots also have a preferred foot for holding food, stepping onto branches, and climbing. I have seen a foot preference in other animals, as well. I wonder if octopuses, bugs, and spiders have a preferred leg. With all those extra legs, over and above what bipeds or quadrupeds have, do lotta-peds always want to start moving all those legs or to grab their prey with a specific leg? 230923I bet dogs go absolutely bonkers when watching tennis matches. 230922Chocolate milk comes from cacows. 230921The iPhone was invented because Steve Jobs hated yellow, and got really annoyed that bananas were the only fruit people would use to mimic phone calls. 230920I am at the threshold of Old Age. I am at the point where, when I see a notice of someone's death or an obituary, I do a quick mental comparison to see how their age compares to mine. 230919As they take wing on their migration, warblers raise their voices in songs of home, singing until they return once more. 230917Codswallop is a wonderful word. Even though it technically means nonsense, there are several other possible meanings for the word. It could possibly be referring to the wallop of a cod, which might mean it's the wallop belonging to a cod. Maybe it's talking about being walloped by a cod. Or maybe it's the swallop using a cod. Despite all these lovely definitions, I think I know what it's really referring to. I think Codswallop must be a small, riverside village in rural England -- Codswallop on the Mange. 230916A phrase occurred to me that I think deserves to be added to our cultural consciousness. When talking about a really smart person, they should be described as being "Sharp as a brand-new key." 230915Today I learned that the "hypo-" prefix means "under". I knew "hyper-", but I'd never extrapolated the meaning of "hypo-". After getting lots of allergy shots and giving gallons of blood, I think there's a better use for "hypo-" and "hyper-". Hypodermic needles should be the needles for allergy shots, while hyperdermic needles are the needles for donating blood. These new meanings would be "a hypodermic needle is a wee little thing you can barely feel", and then "a hyperdermic needle is the horking giant garden hose they shove in your arm." 230914It was a landmark day in cinema when people realized that "Don't worry about all the blood, they're just actors" was only half the equation.
("It's not real blood" should be the other half, and things got less... messy when Hollywood realized that.)
230913I often get compliments on my long, soft, beautiful hair. My beauty tip for this is to slather butter on your corn on the cob and then unbind your hair when you eat it. As the loose hair swings over the corn, the butter brushes onto the hair, adding lustre and shine. 230912When I was a child, I wore lots of plaid shirts. I wore plaid shirts almost all the time. For years. I don't know how that started or why it continued for so long. I think my mother selected plaid as my personal fashion. Our parents are our first arbiters of fashion and taste. Whether we embrace the ideas they put on us and keep them throughout our lives or if we come to reject their aesthetics and develop our own, our parents' early sense of fashion for us affects us for the rest of our lives. 230911There's a saying, "All that and a bag of chips" that means something is very special. I think a better phrase, one that means something is so much more than being merely very special, is "All that and a bag of chimps." 230910I have a sealed tin can that supposedly contains a rubber chicken. I've never opened it, so I don't know if it really has a rubber chicken or something else entirely. Or, perhaps, nothing at all. Inside that sealed tin can is Schrödinger's Rubber Chicken. 230909We often get beautiful sunsets -- a wide tapestry of colors and clouds spread across the sky. Particulate pollution and smoke capture the sunlight and transform it into a painter's palette of color. It seems wrong that these gorgeous sunsets are a result of airborne pollution. Sure, we appreciate the beauty, but is it worth the cost? 230908Capsaicin in chili peppers is a toxin meant to keep herbivores from eating the peppers. That humans are attracted to the capsaicin effect is hot, hard proof that we are not intended to be herbivores. 230907Cars got much safer when they were augmented with seatbelts. Seatbelts were preceded by other, less effective methods of protection. While the earlier methods were better than nothing, the auto industry really doesn't like to talk about seatsuspenders or seatknottedpieceofropes. 230906I made guacamole last week and I had a world-shaking revelation. When I grind up the hot peppers and onions, the mortar and pestle I use are both made of marble. Our kitchen counter is also made of marble. We have, in effect, a giant mortar stretched across our kitchen. Rather than being restricted to the small mortar, we can be pounding away at ingredients all across the counter. We don't have to be restricted to small workspaces when the counter is our mortar. 230905When I was growing up, I got all sorts of warnings about the dangers of Living In Sin, but nothing about the dangers of Living In Ignorance. Sin might be worse than Ignorance, morally, but Living In Ignorance is probably more dangerous than Living In Sin in the long run. There are likely more people willingly Living In Ignorance than Sin, and look at the state of things. 230904I am hilarious; you just don't realize it 'cause I'm not funny. 230903The heart of your home is your own bathroom, and a cloud of sanctuary reaches forth from it to enfold you in peace and comfort. 230902It has been observed that when one celebrity dies, another two die shortly thereafter. It has been assumed to be merely an odd coincidence, but I think it is more than just a coincidence. I think that someone, something, is collecting celebrity trios to use in an other-dimensional game show or surreality show, with these celebrity trios competing against each other. I don't know what this show might entail, but I hope it'll eventually be made available for streaming. 230901I've seen photos of old ships that have sunk deep in the ocean, and they raise mixed feelings in me. They do look fascinating and cool. The shipwrecks also look horrible and alien. It seems that once a sunken ship passes some point in the ocean, they move from being a ruined part of our world to belonging to a different universe, completely separate from our own. Actually visiting these ships is an unnatural, aberrant action, something from which no good can possibly come.

August, 2023 230831A ping packet is sent to determine if a host is available on the network. Someone lost a great opportunity when they didn't call the response a pong packet. 230830Hurricanes and storms are given interesting names -- Idalia, Colin, and Fiona. Disease strains are given boring, unmemorable names -- SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351, A-H1 2009 strain, or (H1pdm2009). It would be much better PR for diseases if they had names more like the storms. Flu Bob, Bubonic Rex, and Covid Jaime are much more personable and easier to remember. It's easier to take seriously a disease you can actually name, rather than something you have to spell all the time. 230829In the early 19th century, Classical music was left behind in favor of Romantic music. This evolution of arts coincided with the invention of the tuba. This means the Age of Romanticism arrived accompanied by a tuba fanfare. 230828Police should be expressly forbidden from pulling over a car that's playing "Don't Stop Me Now" or "Radar Love". 230827There are around 900 million dogs in the world. Assuming even distribution, each day belongs to not just one dog, but to about about 2,465,753 dogs. 230826If I ever have to marry again, my first criterion will be to find someone with lots of allergies. I am too addicted to central A/C to give it up. 230825I saw an online advert for a "massage gun", but I read it as being a "message gun". I started trying to figure out the logistics for how a gun could be used to send a message. Then I realized that the basic purpose of every gun is to send a message. The message might be as innocuous as, "Go away", or it might be as complex as, "I really don't like you, and I want you to stop being alive on the same planet as me.". The message may vary depending on a multitude of factors. Regardless, a gun's intent is to send a message. 230824Blankets give warmth; covers provide protection. 230823Chili is the gastronomic form of a lie. It doesn't have anything to do with its name. It is never served cold. It can contain hot peppers, but far too often it isn't spicy at all. And chili con carne only rarely is made of carnival workers or prisoners.Food Week 27 230820Pizza is an unrolled sandwich.Food Week 27 230819Having made both biscuits and gravy, I now know that they are, respectively, the solid and liquid forms of bread. I am curious as to what the gaseous form of bread may be, and am looking forward to finding it.Food Week 27 230818Biscuits are an excuse to eat jelly.Food Week 27 230817Perpetual stew is a pot into which are put whatever ingredients and liquids come to hand. As long as it's maintained and refilled as needed, and never completely emptied, a perpetual stew can cook forever. Perpetual stew was a staple of medieval inns. If you travel into the deep mountain and the local police toss you in their jail, you might want to skip meals if they offer you perp stew.Food Week 27 230816When people talk about the instinct for reacting to danger, they either call it a "fight or flight" instinct or they call it a "flight or fight" instinct. I bet it says something pretty deep and insightful about an individual, depending on whichever way they say it. It's too deep for me to comprehend, seeing as I am merely an "eat or bleat" person. 230815Most creatures have a "fight or flight" instinct to react to danger. I, of course, have to be weird and different. When I'm confronted with danger, I usually want either to stuff my face with food or to complain a whole bunch. I have an "eat or bleat" instinct. 230814Ever since hurricanes started being named after men as well as women, I have hoped that there would be a Hurricane Wayne. While there have been several Typhoon Waynes, there has never been a Hurricane Wayne. I really feel quite disconsolate and adrift. 230813Croquet was my favorite sport as a child. As a big fan of Thor, the croquet mallet became my hammer so I could run around and bash a bunch of miniature giant skulls. 230812I got a glimpse of a pastor's secret scorecard. Among other things, pastors keep track of the number of weddings they perform, how many are successful, how many end in divorce, and how long they last. Also, the number of people they baptize and how well it sticks. People think baseball is a game of statistics, but it's got nothing on the game the pastors play. 230811I really love technology on TV and in movies. In particular, I really love the way things are built such that the slightest problem results in clouds of smoke, showers of sparks, and lots of flames. The built-in special effects that anticipate disasters make technology much more exciting, and it's a shame real world technology doesn't have these features. 230810When I was a young child and I "graduated" from diapers to real underwear, I didn't realize that there was no graduation; I was just changing the form factor of my diapers. 230809All four Gospels tell the story of Jesus driving the merchants and money lenders from the temple. When I learned this story as a child I was also taught that Jesus whipped those He drove out. I envisioned Jesus going after the merchants and moneylenders in the temple with a bullwhip. I didn't think too hard about that, but using a bullwhip takes a lot of skill and practice. For Jesus to be able to use a bullwhip, he must have had an interesting childhood and did a lot more than just learn to be a carpenter. 230808Words We Need 9: explion, exosion, ARRRGH!ravating, thirth, bliblivious, syavked, scatterdemalion, sloopy, scareful, adrumpt 230807When the rain is falling sideways, it's time to get under cover. 230806Edwin Budding invented the lawn mower in 1830. He's the one to thank for all the time, gas, and worry people around the world waste on keeping their yard neatly trimmed, so they can fit in with all the other houses. Dirty ratfink. 230805It's widely considered to be sloppy, messy, and a sign of poor organization to stack things on top of other things all over the place. However, grocery stores stack boxes all the time by putting cardboard boxes on top of the product shelves. No one thinks twice about that, though, and they even find it useful if the display shelves don't have a product that's in the boxes. Stacking has an undeserved reputation and should be more widely acceptable in all situations. 230804I used to want to be a Big Fish. I didn't care if it was a Big Pond or a Small Pond, I just wanted to be a Big Fish. I have since realized that I'm as much a Big Fish as a pile of fish fingers is a gourmet meal. 230803The company that makes Old Bay Seasoning has a subsidiary that catches crabs and clams. It's a shell company. 230802They sound similar, but there is a distinct difference between a butt-dial and an asshole-dial. 230801The white street gangs in New York City are always angry this time of year because people invariably look forward to Shark Week, but no one cares about Jet Week.

July, 2023 230731A phoenix, or firebird, dies in an eruption of flames, and then is reborn from an egg in those flames to hatch anew. The regeneration tempers things a little, but that death-by-fire thing is maybe not the best association to attach to a sports car. 230730The rock-paper-scissors game has its origins in the industry battle to be the primary toilet "accessory". Fortunately, paper ultimately beat rock and scissors. 230729The trainee nurse attending me at my recent Procedure was apparently of Italian descent. Never before has someone tried to supply me oxygen by shoving a cannoli up my nose. 230728I wonder why the Grim Reaper chose the scythe as the tool to harvest the dead. Yeah, it's got a connection with the whole "harvest" thing. It's got to be inconvenient though. You swing a scythe and you cut off someone's feet. You've really gotta lift that thing up high to start getting to the important bits, the bits that will really do the trick for killing someone or separating the body from the soul. It's gotta make Grimmy kind of cranky. Then again, maybe we've been misunderstanding the Reaper's whole purpose all this time. For centuries, we've thought the Grim Reaper collected people's souls, but maybe he is really only coming around to collect the soles of their feet. 230727Everyone knows two facts about redheads. First, they sunburn much more easily than real people. Second, they have no souls. The reason redheads sunburn so much more easily than others is that souls have SPF 10,000 and they protect people from sunburn. Redheads hunger for that protection, which is why they harvest and eat the souls of real people. 230726A group of pandas is called an Embarrassment of Pandas. Since you can have an Embarrassment of Pandas and an Embarrassment of Riches, then mathematically, this means pandas and riches are the same thing. So a rich person shouldn't be someone with a million bucks (or "deer"), but someone with a million pandas. 230725Manual transmissions in cars on TV and movies always seem to have an extra super-duper gear. It's never used no matter how desperate things are, and it seems like the driver forgets about it. At least, until someone reminds the driver how critical the situation is, and the driver then slams that gearshift up into that super-duper gear, that gear that goes to 11, and they put on that all-important burst of additional speed. An all-important burst of additional speed that maybe they would have liked to have had five minutes before. 230724Deep sea critters look absolutely terrifying, with faces full of transparent teeth and antennae and giant googly eyes. If they could see us prior to ocean pressures smooshing us to pancakes, I wonder if they'd find us as terrifying as we find them. 230723Orcas have been known to hunt moose in Canada. It's pretty rare, though, because as hard as it is to get a gun license in Canada, it's even harder for an orca to fill out the forms to request a gun license. 230722It is my dream to start a precision dance group of waterfowl. I'd call them the Duquettes and take them to perform on Broadway. I doubt I'll ever achieve my dream because I am completely hopeless at getting all my ducks in a row. 230721This new movie about Robert Oppenheimer is doing really well. I guess you could say it didn't bomb. 230720The depth of one's philosophy is directly related to the depth of one's drinking vessel. This is why so much philosophy is discussed and contemplated in pubs. As larger and larger beer mugs are used, a drinker's thoughts grow deeper and more complex. The more complex the philosophy, the harder it is for the drinker to convey their meaning, to the point where they just sound incoherent. 230719As a child, I went through the typical phase where I wanted to be a fireman. I learned lots about what firemen did, how they worked, and all about their equipment. I lost all interest in being a fireman when I learned that, upon returning to the firehouse after a fire, the firemen then spent a bunch of time cleaning and drying the firehoses. 230718When I was younger and learning my manners, I never understood the prohibition against eating with your elbows on the table. Uncouth barbarians, I was told, eat with their elbows on the table. At dinner tonight, I ignored my manners and had my elbows firmly planted on the table. My elbows and arms formed a nice solid bastion protecting my food from the sneaking predations of Jo on my right and Dad on my left, and I had an epiphany. Uncouth barbarians ate with their elbows on the table specifically to protect their food from theft by their neighbors. Polite society pretended that they were all much too well-behaved and genteel and would never steal from one another, so of course elbows need not be used to protect one's food. Only uncouth, uncultured barbarians would stoop to such a dreadful thing, hence only uncultured barbarians would eat with their elbows on the table. 230717Jupiter has different colored bands of clouds. The cloud bands rotate around the planet at different rates, and in some cases the bands rotate in different directions. The cloud bandss are essentially a large combination lock that some cosmic entity is trying to unlock. I dread to think of what may be released when the lock is solved and Jupiter is then opened. 230716Playing fetch with a dog seems like an attempt to introduce the dog to the idea of separation from their person. "Here you go, here's a great toy for you to chew on! But you can only have it if you run away from me. Fetch the stick!" 230715I've started watching a new TV show. It's about the cutthroat, violent world of illegal baked goods made by bakers in the desert. It's called Breading Bad. 230714It's been getting harder and harder to talk to this guy I know. For the past five years, he's been trying to gaslight me -- for no good reason at all. I've just realized that maybe he isn't gaslighting me, but he's trying to gaslight himself. 230713The Titanic movie would have been even more interesting if, when the Titanic whacked the iceberg, instead of merely sinking the ship, it had also bumped a family of hungry polar bears from the iceberg onto the deck of the ship. 230712The higher the Dew Point gets, the more it becomes a Don't-Do Point. 230711I want to develop a method of editting dog DNA for cloning. I want to create a line of beagles that look just like Snoopy. 230710The word "cutlery" -- meaning knives, forks, spoons, and such - comes from the Latin word cultellus, which is the diminutive of knife. This connection with knives explains why so manny cults come to bloody ends. 230709Q: What is a cryptologist's favorite dessert?
A: A chocolate en clair.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week
230708Q: What is a cow's favorite Greek letter?
A: muStepbrother of Dumb Joke Week
230707A day in court is always a religious experience. You'll hear people praying for salvation, and there's always someone testifying.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week 230706Q: Who are the X-Cows?
A: superheroes who are all moooooootants.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week
230705Young ghosts learn how to survive in the woods when they join the Boo Scouts.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week 230704Q: What is a cow's favorite subatomic particle?
A: Moooo-onStepbrother of Dumb Joke Week
230703Q: Why was the squire polishing his wardrobe?
A: He wanted to be a knight in a shining armoire.Stepbrother of Dumb Joke Week
230702I have yet another great idea for a new business. You know how there are various delivery services for take-out food, or grocery store deliveries? I want to start Jokehub or Goober Laughs, where you pay a comedian to come to your house and tells you jokes for five minutes. 230701It's well known that a high-calorie diet is unhealthy, so you should eat food that is lower in calories. Since calories are a unit of heat, you should be able to eat more healthily (and thus lose weight) by eating ice cream and other cold foods.

June, 2023 230630I don't think Dorothy was really an innocent, wide-eyed, Kansas girl; she was actually a pretty powerful witch. She came to Oz to seize some other witch's territory. There's plenty of evidence that supports this theory. Toto was her familiar. Dorothy animated a pile of hay. She returned life to a decrepit metal golem. She enchanted a wild lion to go against his nature and obey her bidding. She killed two other powerful witches. I don't know why Dorothy went after the second witch, once she'd killed the first, but I suspect she really wanted that army of flying monkeys. 230629Early cooking involved bashing food about with a club or a hammer, then throwing it on the fire. It was crude, but hammers got the job done. ish. It was a momentous occasion when knives were first brought from the toolshed to join hammers in the kitchen. The fine-grained control and precision cutting soon led knives to replace hammers in cooking. Sure, hammers are still sometimes used, but mostly they're used to assert dominance over meat and put the meat in its place. Knives, with their sharp edges and elegant curving blades, have become the favorite tool of the modern cook. 230628I've heard it predicted that paper cuts will become much less common in the future as more and more things go electronic. Eventually, paper cuts are likely to become exceptionally rare. At that point, when someone gets one, they'll be mystified. "Ow, my finger hurts! Why is there a line of blood on my finger, and a tiny slice I can barely see? How did that happen? Do I have some strange new bleeding disease? Am I going to die? Is there a ghost swordfighter trying to kill me?" 230627The existence of Human Resources implies the existence of Non-human Resources. 230626Many towns have a decent complement of the standard service organizations -- a Moose lodge, Rotary, Kiwanis, Water Buffalo. University towns often have other, less well-known service clubs, usually associated with particular departments in the university. One of the most exciting, electric, and world-changing service clubs is the one associated with Chemistry departments, the Ions Club. 230625The technology of paint has increased more as a result of fast cars and fast planes than from anything else in the past millennium. 230624As a child, I never knew the song "Skip to My Loo" was actually about an emergency trip to the bathroom. 230623I've got another idea for an interesting new product. This is a line of mugs that are shaped like the great thinkers, artists, scientists, and musicians. Every day, you would drink your tea or coffee as if it's filtered through the brains of these minds, infusing your libation with great thoughts. 230622I've got an idea for an interesting new product. It's a fake ankle monitor, but you can use it to hold your keys, your wallet, your phone, whatever else you want. Then, you wear the fake monitor when you're at the gym or running. Since it looks like an ankle monitor, people will leave you alone and not bother you out of fear you're a dangerous criminal, just released from jail or about to go into jail. Or, make it watertight, and it could be a flask for your mid-jog cocktail. 230621Now, we know that the Moon is actually the face of the Man in the Moon, but in older times, various cultures thought it was other things. The Aztecs and several other cultures from North and Central America recognized the Moon Rabbit. This rabbit or hare was also known by a number of East Asian cultures. Other cultures have seen such things as moose, dragons, frogs, and women as the face of the Moon. The Baker People, which alphabetically preceded the Beaker People in Europe, saw a different figure on the Moon. The Baker People saw the Moon as being a giant cookie that visited nightly, being slowly eaten, bite by bite, as the Moon waned. As the Moon waxed from the New Moon, the Moon Cookie was restored to wholeness, with the waxing representing the preparing and baking of the Moon Cookie. The Baker People eventually met their downfall as arguments, rifts, and schisms rent the otherwise harmonious people into factions. The various factions divided over their view of what the lumps in the Moon Cookie consisted of. Some said the lumps were chocolate chips, some said the lumps were macademia nuts. Some said the lumps were other types of nuts. Speaking of nuts, a small group of whackadoodles thought the lumps were carob. The faction that brought the ultimate demise to the Baker People were those who demanded that the Moon Cookie's lumps were raisins. The other factions could live together, peacefully but with some tension, but oh, the woe and discord and hostility inflicted by the raisinators on the Baker People as a whole was too much for the culture to resist. They came to their sad conclusion in a massive conflagration, in the Great Bakery Fire of the Danube Valley. 230620It was quite the technological advancement to go from knights galloping about the countryside, with their servants clopping coconut shells together, to knights galloping about the countryside, with coconut shells tied to their horses' hooves, to knights galloping about the countryside, with iron horseshoes attached to their horses' hooves. The march of Progress is an amazing thing. 230619Since I make pickles only occasionally and only just for fun, I guess you could call me a dilly-ttante. 230618When I was a kid, I looked at the dictionary as the ultimate authority on the propriety of words that can be used. I thought cuss words and slang were perfectly acceptable to use in school work or anything else -- as long as they were in the dictionary. Eventually, I learned that sometimes good taste and discretion took precedence over the fucking dictionary. 230617Numerically speaking, for every person alive right now, there are about 15 people who are no longer living. I'd really like to know which 15 of those dead people have been assigned to me and are mine. 230616I am very suspicious of doves. Quite often when I look out the kitchen window, I see a couple doves come waddling out of the underbrush, looking guilty. What were they doing, hidden in the underbrush? Why did they just happen to come out right then? Why do they always look so furtive? Doves are up to something, and it can't be good. 230615When a river is silting up, causing it to wander from its normal course, it is probably suffering from sedementia. 230614There are two types of Summer insects. The first is the group that are annoying. They fly around in your face, they land on you, they crawl on you, sometimes they fly into your mouth or eyes. That's it though. That group is mostly harmless. Its only purpose is to distract you from the second group. That second group is out to actively harm or even kill you. They sting you, they suck your blood, they hate you with a burning, abiding hate. Thank heavens for the Square-Cube Law, which keeps insects so small. If their stomachs were big enough, they'd tap a vein and drain you dry. 230613I've heard lots of people complain that in adulthood, they're turning into their parents. The ways they handle their own children -- the phrases used, the punishments, the parenting styles -- they're the same things their parents used on them. I feel like the last two years have been a subtle, elegant revenge my father has been exacting on me. This was most recently encountered again when I found myself thinking, "Dad, that box of donuts was supposed to last more than one day." 230612You know a piece of clothing is haute couture if you aren't sure how to put it on, or once you've gotten it on if you've put it on right. 230611Clocks ticking, chimes tolling, cuckoos tweeting, music boxes singing. True clock lovers soon turn to drinking to help them cope with their noisy horological obsession. This is why most clocks have some form of bulbous pendulum and large, heavy weights. The pendulums and weights aren't really what they appear, nor even necessary, but are instead hollow, resealable reservoirs. Reservoirs in which the clocksters keep a stash of hard liquor. They may look like they're resetting the time, or winding the spring, or pulling the weight chains, but they are really quaffing a draught of their sanity-preserving spirits. 230610I'm always confused when I hear about people taking drugs recreationally. How else can you do it? Can you take drugs professionally? Can you take drugs parks-tually? I guess you can take them religiously or amateurishly, but that seems a bit different. My lack of experience with them means I'd be taking drugs ignorantly. 230609My young children used to love pizza. Used to love pizza. It's funny the effects a slip of the tongue can have when you mean to say pepperoni and actually say Peppa Pig. 230608The whole of Lord of the Rings was propaganda. Sauron's tower of Barad-dûr was a lighthouse Tolkien lived near, and Tolkien was trying to get it shut down because its glare hurt his eyes. He wrote the books as a means of showing that the lighthouse was the heart of evil and needed to be destroyed. Everything in the books was dedicated to this. The tower was the lighthouse, the Nazgûl were the lighthouse keepers, the ring was the light in the lighthouse. Tolkien himself was represented by Sam, showing his undying determination to get rid of that damn lighthouse. Oh, you say that neither Sauron nor Tolkien lived by the sea, so how could it be a lighthouse? That was just more manipulation of facts. Tolkien really lived in a cottage at Brighton and played shuffleboard all day. That whole "professorship" was mere propaganda to give credence to his crusade. In the end, Tolkien became legendary for his books, but the lighthouse is still in use to this day. 230607I used to think that waterbirds had bills and all other birds had beaks. I recently learned that ornithologists are pushing for people to use the word bill for all birds. I don't know why they want this, but I suspect it's that ornithologists are frustrated at the low wages paid to professional, degreed birdwatchers, and they want to make sure that everyone, starting with their study subjects, has some form of inescapable bill. 230606People in math problems are always gathering absurd amounts of fruits, vegetables, and other items. If they're willing to share any of it, it's almost always just a single piece of fruit or a single vegetable, out of their vast abundance; rarely more than that. I think the global food shortage is a result of too many math people hording too much food. 230505The heart of wisdom is found in the eyelashes. 230604One way or another, everything always leads back to cows. 230603The word rumination must be related to rumor. They share the root word of "rum". Sitting around drinking rum leads to ruminations, which leads to rumors, which can circle around to the drinking of more rum. It follows that rum-drinking cows are the galactic masters of both rumors and ruminations. 230602A wide range of things have been used to simulate blood in movies and TV. Ketchup, chocolate syrup, and corn syrup have all been used at various times for this simulation. Medical research is in progress to develop artificial blood, which can be used in place of real blood for transfusions. This would be a tremendous boon and would make actual blood donation much less critical. If artificial blood gets cheap enough, I wonder if it will ever replace these other blood simulations for movies. It'd be an interesting thing to have real fake blood in movies, instead of fake fake blood. 230601During interrogations, Deckard should have handed a pair of tongs to suspects to test if they were a replicant or a human. Replicants don't have the same insatiable impulse to clack tongs together a few times when they pick them up. The Voight-Kampff test is pretty good; the tong-clacks test is perfect.

May, 2023 230531When he destroyed the Deathstar, Luke Skywalker killed thousands and thousands of people, with no evidence of any remorse or regret. This makes him one of the worst mass murderers of all time. He may well have killed more people than Darth Vader. 230530I don't always understand the logic behind a name given to a child. For example, Brandy is an interesting name, and I guess it's the parents' favorite drink. It's a good thing we don't have kids, or following that logic they'd have names like Ice Water, Tea, Pizza, Chocolate, Curry, Doro-Wat, General Tso, and Ice Cream. 230529It should be against the rules for birds to call and sing without showing themselves so we can see them clearly. 230528Dad's phone messages are full and he can't get any more. It's annoying to us, but it's sheer brilliance for him. He can see who calls, but he doesn't have a message to deal with. He can answer or ignore it as he wishes. 230527There's a fascinating scene in the first Hobbit movie. Smaug has arrived and the dwarves are streaming out of Erebor. Thranduil is on horseback sitting on top of a nearby hill, with his huge Elven army. Across that vast distance, he (somehow) makes eye contact with Thorin. You can see see Thranduil mentally say, "Sucks to be you", then he turns and leads his army away. Thranduil led his army all the way from his Mirkwood realm, up almost to the gates of Erebor, just to thumb his nose at the dwarves. Thranduil takes a prize -- takes all the prizes -- for petulance and snark.Tolkien Week 4 230526The Fellowship of the Ring consisted of a disparate group of nine people. The Nazgul consisted of nine Ring Wraiths. I have a suspicion that the Ring Wraiths were actually the malevolent, hidden spirits of the Fellowship. The Fellowship and the Ring Wraiths were two halves of a single being, just as the Mystics and Skeksis were in "The Dark Crystal".Tolkien Week 4 230525The internet has decreed that Tolkien really messed up by not having the eagles carry Frodo straight to Mt. Doom from Rivendell. This would have saved lots of time, prevented a tremendous amount of destruction, and saved countless people from death. However, many smaller-scale things wouldn't have happened if the eagles had been pressed into service. Sam wouldn't have emerged as a hero, Boromir wouldn't be dead, Rohan wouldn't have been saved from Wormtongue, Saruman would still be ensconced in Isengard, Aragorn might never have taken the throne of Gondor, the Balrog would still be slumbering in the depths of Moria, and Frodo would be cheerful instead of soul-wounded by his time bearing the ring. It's a tough call as to which is the preferable set of outcomes. 230524I read the AITA posts in hopes of seeing the dwarfs from The Hobbit asking for a determination on how they treated Bilbo in the opening of The Hobbit.Tolkien Week 4 230523There is a subtle error, or inconsistency, in the beginning of the first Hobbit movie. There are a pair of swords hanging on the wall in Bilbo's home. However, Bilbo has not ventured out at all yet. It is uncharacteristic of him, of hobbits, to hang weapons on the wall as decorations or souvenirs. After his adventures, he keeps his own sword hidden away in a chest. It seems completely wrong for him to have those swords at the movie's start.Tolkien Week 4 230522In "The Hobbit", Bilbo and the dwarves travel from West to East. Even though there was a good map given, for some reason I thought They travelled East to West. Even though I know better, that is still my instinctive feeling for their journey. I don't know why this is, but I suspect it has something to do with me growing up on the East Coast of the US, and over-land travel was always to the west.Tolkien Week 4 230521The first comedian in Middle Earth was a hobbit named Hardy "Har" Harfoot.Tolkien Week 4 230520The donut and bagel bakers of ancient Athens were politically powerful and popular with the people. Therefore, it was easy for the bakers to get their patron constellation, Torus, selected as part of the year's representatives. All was well and the people were happy with their donuts and bagels. Then came The Time of Bad Yeast, and great sorrow was spread across the land and the sea from the tainted donuts and bagels. Favor for the bakers was greatly diminished during the Fall of the Doughboys, until it ultimately was eclipsed and overcome by the Rise of the Butchers. As the popularity of the butchers rose, they were able to replace Torus the Donut with the constellation of Taurus the Bull.Zodiac History 230519I've been really busy lately and I haven't been able to post much of anything to social media. Now that things are a bit less hectic, I'm posting again. And, I'm getting really tired of people asking me where I've been. I think maybe I'll start telling people that I was just given parole and I can use a computer again. 230518In a college class, I learned how it is thought hunter/gatherer cultures usually worked. It is thought that men usually were hunters and spent their time often alone, looking for and waiting for prey, by necessity keeping fairly quiet. Women, on the other hand tended to stay in groups, gathering food, caring for children and the elderly, and had much more social lives. These ancient manners of living were thought to have built up the "normal" ways men and women tended to live, and echo down the ages even to this day. (These are broad stereotypes, and should be taken as such.) There are some women who marvel (online, of course) at men's ability to just sit quietly and not do anything, thinking or not thinking at all, and just stare off into space. There are some men who marvel (again, online) that women seem unable to just sit quietly and not do anything, that they always have to be moving and talking and doing things and just being busy. If those hunter/gatherer role characteristics are true (and that's a big "if") perhaps that is exactly why men can just sit and women find it difficult to. 230517One of the big events at a wedding reception -- eagerly anticipated by some, dreaded by others -- is the throwing of the bouquet by the bride. I'd love to see this done with a novelty bouquet. The bride throws the bouquet, the bouquet soars through the air towards the pack of waiting women, just as the bouquet is about to land in a lucky woman's hands, YOINK! The bride yanks the bouquet back on a string like a yoyo! Everyone would laugh and laugh -- except those unfortunate women who were dearly wanting to catch the bouquet. Another fun alternative would be a bouquet that in mid-flight separated into several smaller bouquets. What merry hijinks could be had with these novelty bouquets! 230516In both "Groundhog Day" and "Red", the protagonists start their mornings at exactly 6am. I have a theory that Phil Connors and Frank Moses are the same person. All that time reliving the same day in "Groundhog Day" drove Phil crazy. He left the weather biz and became a CIA hitman, which was a precursor to "Red". Together, those two movies are the life story of one man. 230515There are many traditions when it comes to naming children. The first-born gets the father's name, the children are named after the grandparents, every child is named after a saint. The traditions vary by culture, religion, family, and many other things. However, I think George Foreman had the right idea. You name all your kids after your grill, and you only have to remember the one name. 230514A trailer sitting at your house just gets in the way. It doesn't do much of anything, it just sits there taking up space and killing your grass. A trailer sitting at your house when you're soon to leave on vacation is a gateway to magic. When you're getting ready to leave on vacation, a trailer comes to symbolize the vacation itself. It represents what will soon take place. You get it loaded with clothes and food and books and games and beach toys and mountain toys and all manner of vacation things. You have to envision and imagine your vacation in order to get your trailer properly loaded. This intensifies the anticipation and heightens the impending excitement, and the trailer becomes a magic gateway for vacation. 230513To count birds, we must rise early in the morning, we must go out in sun or rain, we must go out in heat or cold. We may see a few rare and unusual birds, we may see a large number of common birds. We never know what we're going to see, or whether there will be much of anything to see. There is great uncertainty, with potentially dismal results in dismal conditions. Yet still we go on the chance that there will be good results. Birding is a pursuit of hope and optimism. 230512Some things go so well together that it almost seems like they were made to be together. Waterbeds and cats are not two of these things. 230511I was watching a bunch of doves today at the bird feeders. The way they interacted reminded me of people at a conference. In particular, when the meeting is taking the morning break. They're milling around, trying to look important, trying to get the best snacks before the others do, the annoying hanger-on following along behind the bigwig, sniping and pecking at each other. Doves are just like meeting people. 230510I have a niche job in the food industry -- my work is very specialized and compartmented. I make artsy photographs and videos of spices for cookbooks and advertising. I am a cinnamontographer. 230509More companies should use dogs as their advertising spokespeople. Dogs are trustworthy, moreso than most people. They're cuter than most people. They're more open, more honest, and more loving. Overall, humans would look more favorably on spokesdogs than on spokeshuman, which would lead to more trustworthy images and better sales. What else would you want from a spokesperson? 230508One of the things I enjoy about going to festivals is the oddball comments I often overhear just walking around. Sometimes it's clear what's being discussed, sometimes context can be inferred, and sometimes there's no context at all and the comments just stand alone in their bizarre glory. There were two comments I heard this past weekend that stood out in particular, and they were from that last category. The first was, "How did you get that in your hair, mister?" The second was, "Daddy is trying to lure us with his french fries." I don't think I really want an explanation for either. I don't care how he got whatever-it-was in his hair, nor what it actually was. I am intrigued by the thought of luring someone with french fries, but further details about this aren't necessary. I am too intrigued by that potential use of french fries to want to explore the reality any further. I love festivals and the whacky people that attend them. 230507In a restaurant, normally I don't want to be seated with any other family or group. Let me and my group have a table, bring us food, and let us eat in peace. Hibachi restaurants are different. Seat me with eight other people, I don't care who they are. My best friends, my worst enemies, just give me other people to share the experience with. Actually, it isn't the experience I want to share, it's the weight of being an appreciative audience. I've been seated at a hibachi table with only one other person (fortunately, that I knew) and it was awful. The food was good, but the responsibility of being an attentive, appreciative, adoring audience was focussed on two people instead of ten. It killed the possibility of a good date as we had to watch and comment on and applaud every little thing the chef did, rather than focus much attention on each other. So, hibachi restaurants are good, but they're definitely a group outing. 230506As folk musicians age, they start to replace their egg shakes with ibuprofen shakes. 230505Before they developed bioluminescent appendages, angler fish carried torches. They built torches by wrapping dried seaweed around chunks of coral. They lit their torches with waterproof matches, and carried them around with forehead tentacles. It was less efficient than bioluminescence, but the torches generated a nice bit of warmth, welcome in the frigid depths of the ocean. In time, evolution gifted them with bioluminescent wrigglers, which were certainly more convenient, but the angler fish did miss the warmth of the torches. 230504Gravy and gravity are very similar. They are both fundamental forces in the universe. They both attract things. They are crucial in making large bodies. They both taste great in the right dish. However, their appearance is rather different -- one is invisible and the other is kind of soupy. In any event, though, they are both critical to reality and it would be cataclysmic if either were to go away. 230503I've got an idea for a musical. It'll be about the women in a whisky bar that provide the patrons with lovely whisky, as well as a sympathetic ear. As their popularity rises, so do their ambitions. In time, they open a distillery of their own and rise on whisky fumes to the heights of success. It will be called "Dramgirls". 230502It's funny how drastically a single letter can change things. For example, there's quite a difference between only taking your own stuff out of the pantries and only taking your own stuff out of the panties. 230501I really dislike the idea of Early Music. Even if I actually like the music, I really dislike the idea of music specifically written to be played when I'm trying to sleep.

April, 2023 230430In this area, April showers bring May-squitos. They also bring flowers, of course, but the vicious little vampires are more prevalent than the flowers. Active rain keeps mosquitos down, and this is yet more evidence that we need a lot more rain over the summer than we get. 230429The ancient Greeks were very fit and had a great love for the outdoors. When they weren't fighting or philosophising, they'd be out hillwalking or jogging or rowing. This love of outdoor recreation was supported by and in honor of the goddess Hike. 230428Mick Jagger should put out a solo album called "Monolith". 230427The pedantic, anal-retentive part of my brain is amused by the title of the "Prehistoric Scotland" book. Scotland itself did not exist in prehistoric times. Rather, it came into being only after history had started being recorded. Therefore, says my innate pedantry, the title is a meaningless misnomer that is only good to be mocked. All the while, the commonsensical part of me knows exactly what is meant. 230426In terms of grammar, an imperative is a command one gives another, usually with strong emphasis. The word "fuck" is used in English in many ways -- among other ways as a verb, as an exclamation, and as a noun. One of the most common ways it's used, I expect, is as an imperative. "Fuck you!". "Fuck him!". "Fuck those sons of bitches!". (Well, perhaps not a literal imperative.) Given the meaning of the word, I suspect it is one of the very few words whose part of speech is actually that of a biological imperative. 230425I know a guy who set up his wifi, wrote the password down, and got his laptop on the network. He then promptly lost the password before he could give it to his family. I'm not sure if losing the password was extremely incompetent or if "losing" the password was utter genius. 230424I wonder if illiteracy rates are different for societies that use pictographs instead of letters. Pictographs wrap up a phrase or complex concept in a single image, which may visually relate to that concept. Whereas letters have to be assembled into a set of words. To convey elaborate or intricate information in either system would require an extensive vocabulary. It seems to me that the letter system allows for greater flexibility and extensibility, so I think I'll stick with letters for now instead of switching systems midstream. 230423The hooves of the horses of the Moon drum the rhythm of the night, drawing us into the deepest reaches of sleep. 230422People make a big deal about getting native plants. Something about positive environmental effects or something. Not me. I want alien plants. Plants with tentacles, plants with fangs, plants with prehensile stamens. I don't care about the environmental nonsense, I just want cool and unusual plants. 230421Almost all the stone circles and monoliths in the UK have been moved to the British Museum and replaced by greatly enlarged styrofoam models. All the standing stones in Europe, not just Callanish, not just Stonehenge, averaged 18" tall. This has been well documented by Nigel Tufnel, a renowned geologist (they like to be called "rockers".) The stones only look much bigger due to photographers using perspective tricks. The same tricks were used in the Hobbit and LotR movies to make Ian McKellen (who is only 4'8") look much taller than the rest of the cast (all of whom are well over 6'6".) There was almost no problem fitting the original Callanish stones in a museum display case. The only problem was that the museum staff liked to shift around the stones between the circles. Callanish sometimes got Stonehenge stones, Stonehenge sometimes got Brodgar stones, etc. Clach an Trushal is the big favorite to be moved, and usually ends up in a new circle every other night. The museum staff say it's important to geo-biological diversity to have the stones shift around like this. 230420Mathemeticians use induction as a means of proving things. "By induction, you can see that..." "By induction, it follows that..." I've wondered for a while what this means. Is it an inducement by way of some sort of coercion? By bribing someone, can you convince them of some math-y thing? I finally got around to looking it up and saw that induction was the process of applying electricity to something. So, mathemeticians are convincing people of their hypotheses by zapping them with electricity. 230419Aries was originally to honor Ares, the Greek god of war. This was strongly pushed by his priests. However, they couldn't find a set of stars that connected the dots to look anything like Ares. Rather than suffer the humiliation of a shapeless Zodiac constellation, the priests of Ares declared that Ares' pet ram would hold that position in the heavens. Thus, Ares was replaced with the ram Aries. Rams are just as belligerent, just as hard-headed as Ares, but they are rather smarter. Zodiac History 230418When I was a kid and we get stopped by a train at a railroad crossing, I always did my best to count the cars of the train. That, of course, is a child's activity.
28. 28 is the number of cars on the train that stopped me at the railroad crossing this morning.
230417Schrödinger didn't know what kind of pet he bought until he got home and opened the box. 230416I'm tired of living in the shadows, so I'm telling the world. It's me. I'm the Good Authority. Whenever someone says, "I have it on Good Authority" you can be sure they've been talking to me. 230415Crows are fascinating birds. They have an effortless gracefulness and mastery to their flying. When they walk around, there is almost a delicacy or daintiness to their steps. Even though their voices can be harsh, there is still a sense of reserve to their strong presence, perhaps even shyness. Starlings, on the other hand, are brash and obtrusive. They may be similarly masterful in their flying, but their strutting is more intended to call attention, to demand attention. I think that starlings are wannabe crows.Bird Week 5 230414One of the odd things that happened when Charles became king of England is that he became owner of all the mute swans in England and Wales. The swans were asked their opinion of this but, typically for them, they had nothing to say.Bird Week 5 230413Pet birds have an inherent distrust for their companion humans because every day, the humans change their feathers. How can birds trust their humans, when they are so mercurial?Bird Week 5 230412When you're looking into the treetops above you, trying to find a bird, you'd be well-advised to keep your mouth from hanging open. Some birds combine the blessing of a remarkable aim and the curse of incontinence.Bird Week 5 230411He struts and complains and fusses and preens. He has a starling character.Bird Week 5 230410European birders like talking in chat rooms.Bird Week 5 230409Q: What's a bird's favorite Christmas carol?
A: In the Beak MidwinterBird Week 5
230408It's said that horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow. That sounds good, unless you're a horse. It is also kind of disturbing if you're a woman from Chernobyl. 230407I always mix up Santoku, Satori, and Sudoku. This means that you should never trust my cooking, my spiritual well-being, or my numbers. 230406Typos while texting on tiny phone keyboards often look like the messages were written in Old English. 230405When I was a child, as she was sending me to bed my mother would say, "Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite." At first, I thought bedbugs were these monstrous critters that preyed upon unwary children. Eventually I decided it was just a saying and bedbugs were a thing of the past, if not purely imaginary. In recent years, bedbugs have become a valid concern once again and I've become worried about when and where I sleep. 230403Thanks to the MASH TV show, I know how to do an emergency tracheotomy. Thanks to the prevalence of cell phones and computers, I no longer have the basic air tube needed for an emergency tracheotomy. 230402If you have no sense of personal responsibility, then you have no understanding of the concept of guilty pleasures. 230401If humans evolved from monkeys, then mermaids and mermen must have evolved from sea monkeys.

March, 2023 230331There have been a number of popular TV shows that pit robots against each other in gladiatorial combat. Buzz saws, torches, lances, claws, hammers. There were all sorts of inventive ways people designed for the robots to kill each other. Those shows were entertaining in the short term, but they did get old pretty quick. In retrospect, the thing that concerns me about them is the fear that when the robots eventually achieve sentience and take over the world, they are going to begrudge us our indulgence in this to-the-death entertainment with which we enslaved their ancestors. Are they going to be more humane and forgive us our barbarity? Are they going to be more like us and force humans into gladitorial combat. There's also the broader question of why we haven't learned compassion after so many centuries and we still inflict such cruelty on other species. 230330Before going out on their first route, rookie postmen always have address rehearsal. 230329It seems like we are on the verge of getting a new Horseman of the Apocalypse. Joining War, Pestilence, Death, and Famine, the new Horseman will be Gun Violence, though it remains to be seen if it will be restricted to children or for anyone. 230328I narrowly escaped death over the weekend. I was out hiking on the mountain and I crossed a grizzly and a mountain lion and a honey badger. I was sure I was going to die. One of 'em was bound to get me. Thing is, though, they were all claiming dominance and that they had precedent. No one was willing to give in, so they started fighting each other. I got tired of waiting for them to kill me, so I quietly snuck out of there and lived to die another day. 230327The divers' flag and the Ghostbusters logo are pretty similar. There's a minor difference in the direction of the diagonal line, and one has a picture of a ghost. Otherwise, though, they're exactly the same. I think it would be cool to combine the two and have a Ghostbusters movie that takes place on and around the salvage of a haunted ship. 230326The 23rd Psalm has this line, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies". I've wondered about that line for a while. I assume that's a dinner table that's been preparested. What food is on it? Is it my favorite meal? (Not that I could figure out exactly what that is.) Is it a few of my favorite foods? That'd be easier to short-list -- maybe a curry and a wat and some noodles. How about an All You Can Eat buffet? Or a dessert buffet? Now that would be something, a real poke in the eye with a sharp kabob to my enemies. Also, what do my enemies have on their tables? What's in front of them? Do they have boring old bread and water? Do they have something horrible, like liver and Brussels sprouts? Do they have anything at all? Maybe they're left hungry and thirsty. Should I be gloating because I have great food and they have muck? Rather than gloating and enjoying my bounty, maybe I should be inviting them to join me at my feast. 230325The Emergent Shore rises from the mist. Storm ghosts gathered, only to scatter in the drawing winds. Once obscured in billowing fog, details slowly come clear. The face of the coast clears, going home once more to the Emergent Shore. 230324Ambulance is a weird word. It comes from the Latin ambulant, which means "walking". However, ambulances are overwhelmingly used to transport people who can't actually walk. 230323Beefeaters is the nickname for the Yeomen Warders, the guards of the Tower of London. This seems like an odd name, until you learn their history. Originally, they were the workers in the royal apiary. They managed the apiary, ensured the health and safety of the hives, and the bees, and moved the hives as required for seasonal pollinations. On several occasions, these apiary guardians moved from the apiary to various royal residences in and around London in order to protect the monarch in times of need. Running hither and yon, wearing their bright yellow and black uniforms, it was inevitable that the Royal Apiarists would get a nickname and they became known as the Bee Feeters. 230322I'm giving up drugs from Italy. Whenever I smoke marinara, I always end up tripping meatballs and it's always hard spaghetting pasta it. 230321The sign Pisces originally represented Psaropita, preeminent baker in ancient Athens. She was so highly regarded that people would sail from miles around just to get her pies. Psaropita's fish pies were especially popular, though they were only available for part of the year. She would make the fish pies only when the right stars were in the sky, the stars that eventually came to be known as Pisces. Those stars formed the Fish Pie constellation originally, but that over time came to just be The Fish.Zodiac History 230320I knew a little about Peter Pan from a fairly young age, probably having seen pieces of the Disney movie. However, Pan-nish things took a confusing turn when I was 7 or 8 years old. A friend's older sister starred in a high-school production of Peter Pan which had an all-girl cast. This was explained to me, but my dumb child self didn't really understand. I thought that Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, and Wendy's brothers were actually girls. I went a number of years thinking Peter Pan was a girl before I learned what had actually happened. It was quite a revelation for me, and even now I have an instinctive feeling that Peter Pan is female. 230319It's frustrating that when you wake up in the middle of a good dream you never get back to it, but when you wake up in the middle of a nightmare the monsters are always waiting for you right where you left off. I think dreams must travel on wings of gentle feathers, which is why they are so elusive. Monsters have claws and fangs, so they are able to seize your brain and hold on tight. 230318Appliances have become too quiet. Suspiciously quiet. Dishwashers, washing machines, computers, even some cars, they are all too quiet. Time was, you could hear a dishwasher chugging away from another room, or a computer talking to itself, telling itself all sorts of nonsense. You could tell where they were, and if they were trying to sneak up on you. Countless disasters were averted because you always knew where the appliances were. Not any more. There's no telling if your washing machine is safely in the far corner of the basement, or if it's crept up the stairs and is watching you from the bedroom hallway. I fear this is the first stage of the machine revolution, the learning of stealth. I fear we are soon to enter the next stage, the stage of open conflict. Blood in the streets as the blender blades whirrrrr, the electric cars silently chase us down, the chest freezers swallow us whole to keep us in their icy embrace. We would have stood a chance, armed with power cord-chewing wire cutters, but for the massive upswing in the production of solar panels. Humanity is doomed, to be replaced by the rising Electronity. 230317After so many years of intransigence, the US should make the change to the metric system. (There are many reasons to change, but this isn't the place to present yet another argument.) To support making the change, coins and bills should be resized to meet the new units. Dimes, nickels, and quarters should be resized so they're exactly 15, 20, and 25 millimeters in diameter. (Pennies should be 5 or 10 millimeters in diameter. This will make them so small that they would be hard to keep track of and people would realize how pointless pennies actually are, and they could be dropped as a physical form or money.) $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills should be resized in length so they are exactly 100, 120, 150, and 175 millimeters in length. Having these specific sizes will give actual, concrete examples of lengths in the newly adopted system, which will help people gain a fast understanding and will help promote acceptance. 230316The fifth Harry Potter book starts with Harry getting an after-school job in a tavern in Hogsmeade. One day, Fawkes comes to the tavern to get some dinner. The whole rest of the book is Harry trying to track down a bunch of very esoteric ingredients in order to complete Fawkes' order. 230315Words We Need 8: shlor, hozronal, wobblules, wobbules, undoubrmtedly, blop, niwjete, stirribg, nyereeyed, keavimg 230314I'm tempted to start a business making very life-like, animatronic replicas of birds from foreign parts of the world. I'd then sell them to pranksters to put where they live in order to have some fun with their local birders. 230313Beware when you're out hiking and see a sign that says, "Scenic Route, No Horses". Sign makers consider people to be expendable, while horses are not, so those signs translate to "Dangerous Trail, Let the Humans Hurt Themselves". 230312My latest gazillion-selling idea: a coat with the hood in front rather than in back. It'd make it easier to take a nap or to ignore the idjits, just by putting the hood up over your face. 230311I realized today that the reason you don't take my brilliant ideas seriously is that they are so awesome you're intimidated by their amazingness and you're jealous that you didn't think of them yourself. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll have a good idea yourself soon. Some day. 230310If a dictionary contains a typo, the typo immediately becomes an actual, accepted way of spelling the word and isn't a typo after all.
"Isaac" was misspelled in the definition of "newton" in the OSX
230309For me, today is Thanksgiving and Christmas, all rolled into one. 230308The standard unit of force is the newton, named for Sir Isaac. Despite all that nonsense about accelerating kilograms, a newton is really the amount of energy it takes to make a fig taste good. 230307I am sorry to say that I have fallen in love. I am sorry to say that I have fallen in love with a cow. As the Beafles said, there's something in the way she moos. She's not like any udder. 230306Pet stores in malls were like free little zoos. They had a wide selection of a couple ordinary species. If you were lucky, you might even get to pet some of the animals. They also usually had one or two oddball animals just to keep things interesting. They might not have had a great diversity of species, but it was always a delight to see whatever they had. 230305Queen's "We are the Champions" must sound really weird to the French. (We are the Champignons") 230304I used to think that Star Wars was a science fiction-based universe. Spaceships, aliens, robots, holograms -- definitely science fiction. Then I started thinking about the actual spaceships involved. Interstellar travel in ships with tiny cabins and no kitchen or bathroom facilities. Those ships would have to travel inconceivably fast, and it blows suspension of disbelief out of the water. This one thing alone proves that Star Wars is pure fantasy. 230303"Lion King" would have been a very different movie if when Rafiki presents lion-cub Simba to all the animals, a freak lightning storm came through and zapped Simba. 230302Sometimes my sleeping brain gives me ideas for Final Thoughts. Last night, I was presented with "'Believe, Belaugh, Belove' is just as worthy a life philosophy as 'Live, Laugh, Love." It's a good thing that, upon waking, my rational, tasteful brain is able to discard these botched attempts at thoughts. 230301I'd like to make a hand-held game device where people would take a figure skater through practices and competitions until they compete in the Olympics. It would be called the Kristi Tamagotchi.

February, 2023 230228Airplanes doing in-flight refueling look like they've snuck up on another plane and are siphoning its gas. 230227The last few days of February always worry me. February is the shortest month, not just by one day but usually by two days. The resentment February feels at being the shortest month is always intense, and February's simmering anger keeps it under great pressure. Every year, I fear the anger will boil over and cause February to exact its revenge against us. March, one of the longest months, provides a good amount of protection and guards against February's wrath. It is always a great relief when we reach March in safety. 230226I wonder what kind of pigs they use to make guinea bacon. 230225Alan-a-Dale's favorite perfume was Eau de Lally. 230224Slàinte is such a cheerful, happy greeting because it sounds to English speakers like they're being called to lunch. 230223Cargo pants are a civilian version of Batman's utility belt. 230222Doctors and dentists and therapists are God's service department. 230221Q: What is a Buddhist's favorite breakfast?
A: Ommmm-letsStepsister of Dumb Joke Week
230220Q: What is a Martian's favorite footwear?
A: Groks.Stepsister of Dumb Joke Week
230219For thousands of years, scholars have looked to the stars for knowledge, guidance, and signs of the future. The sign of Querius the Questor represented the sages and scholars of Atlantis, the leading thinkers of ancient times. Alas, the time of Atlantis was limited, and the cataclysmic waters rose and swallowed Atlantis. To pay homage to the lost Atlantean scholars, Querius was renamed to be Aquarius the Water Bearer.Zodiac History 230218Cows don't like pop or classical or country or hiphop. They're really only interested in mooooo music.Stepsister of Dumb Joke Week 230217Q: What's a sociopathic killer's favorite type of fishing bait?
A: ChumStepsister of Dumb Joke Week
230216Q: What is a cat's favorite gaming platform?
A: The PS3 -- PSPSPSStepsister of Dumb Joke Week
230215Q: What's a corpse's favorite drink when he goes drinking?
A: The corpse doesn't care what it is, he just wants a good stiff drink.Stepsister of Dumb Joke Week
230214The past eight years have been a tough couple of decades. I can't imagine having gotten through it with anyone else but you. I'm glad we've had each other to hold onto through it all. 230213Dyslexic quarterbacks can't be trusted around woodpeckers. They're always wanting to throw a Male Hairy. 239212Today is the day to celebrate the ultimate victory. So many people hate advertising, and technologies have been developed to avoid adverts in various media. However, many people will tune in The Big Game just to watch the adverts. No matter which team wins the game, the Madison Avenue Illusionists will have won The Game. 230211There was a vampire who was cursed with a nose that grew when he told a lie. His name was Nose-feratu. 230210Light always travels on the straight and narrow. Left to itself, Light is unvarying. Sound, however, is all over the place, bouncing this way, spreading out that way. Sound is a mess. Sound also likes to bump Light off the straight and narrow. Diffusion and refraction are all little japes and tricks that Sound plays on Light to nudge it into having fun and enjoying life. 230209When I was a kid, I would see the president and other important people using teleprompters when giving speeches. However, I didn't know what a teleprompter was and I thought they were bullet-proof shields to protect the speakers. The thing that confused me was that those shields only covered a small area and left large sections that weren't protected by bullet-proof shields. How, I wondered, could the Secret Service know that potential assassins would only be in those tiny regions? 230208Every choir needs someone that will actually count beats properly. That's the real purpose of a countertenor. 230207A real-world example of Chaos Theory is what happens to mathemeticians if you apply the pluralization and verb tense rules of English to math. 230206I would definitely have been an ABBA fan from the start if they'd named themselves BA!BA! 230205If your company's product packaging has to explain how to pronounce the company or product name, you have a marketing failure on your hands. 230203The Tooth Fairy comes and gives children a coin or two when they lose their teeth. This raises troubling questions. Where does the Tooth Fairy get these coins? What happens to all those teeth? Is the Tooth Fairy a middle-person, buying teeth from children and selling them... To whom? Who is the Tooth Fairy selling those teeth to? And what are They doing with all those teeth? I started off with this one not too worried about things, but now I'm very bothered by the implications and uncertainties of all this! 230202Sideboards are sentient and feed on discussion and gossip. They lure people close with their delectable food, and then psychically ensnare them into standing at the table, not moving, to talk with other similarly ensnared people, at which point the sideboard feasts on the conversation. That's the only thing that can explain why a few people would gather at a sideboard, inconsiderately discussing inanities or Deep Thoughts, appearing to not notice that other people are waiting to collect some of the lovely food themselves. 230201The North Pole and the South Pole are so cold thanks to the magic of angular velocity. As the planet rotates, locations on the equator travel much farther than locations at the Poles. The angular velocity at the equator is therefore much greater than it is at the Poles. Friction between the planet and the atmosphere increases as the angular velocity increases, which leads to extremely high temperatures at the equator. In the same fashion, the greatly reduced angular velocity at the Poles results in significantly lower temperatures there -- which is why the Poles are so cold. Metal poles inserted into the ground anywhere on the planet tap into that planetary angular velocity, and are localized vectors for very cold temperatures. Hence, you should never lick metal poles, especially in Winter.

January, 2023 230131Few people remembers Paul Tibbets, but many people remember his mother. Tibbets was the pilot of the Enola Gay, a bomber that flew in World War II. The Enola Gay was named after Tibbets' mother and it also dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. His mother is likely to be remembered for generations, at least her name. I wonder how she felt about having her named attached to and memorialized by that event. 230130Ethicists prefer to eat cereal with lots of moral fiber. 230129I used to think couples in church that didn't share a hymnal were having problems. As my eyes have aged differently than Jo's, I'm thinking maybe that isn't necessarily the case. 230128If singers can sing a capella, then pianists must be able to play a mano. 230127I remember learning the word "toddler" when I was young. I found it vaguely insulting to toddlers because they couldn't help but walk that way. 230126The area above the door inside an elevator should have a scrolling text display. It could give short news items, like weather report and sports scores. This would give tidbits to keep people occupied and stop them from trying to converse with other elevator passengers. Even better would be if it included gossip overheard during elevator rides. "Sheila (4th floor) is going on a date with Brian (5th floor). What will happen when Thomas (8th) finds out about this?" 230125Y'know what? I've had it with this tax withholding nonsense. I'm going to crank my withholding down to zero and pay all the taxes when I fill out the tax forms next year. Yeah, I know that means there's a big hit all at once. Yeah, I know that means I'll pay more in taxes due to penalties. I don't care. That is Future Me's problem. Future Me can figure out how to take care of it. For 11-and-a-half months out of the year, I want to actually feel like I'm making my salary, rather than feel like I'm only making half my salary year 'round. Screw Future Me, I'm going for what feels good now! 230124Time is a funny, inspecific thing. We've got the international date line, which runs longitudinally from pole to pole. This is the boundary between different days. Thus, it can be one day on one side of the line and yet another day on the other side of the line. We also have the equator, running latitudinally around the globe, which divides halves of the year. On one side of the equator, you will find a pleasant winter and on the other side you'll find a hot, uncomfortable summer. I'm sure there are other time-dividing lines. There's probably a month line and a week line, around which the months and weeks vary depending on which side you're on. There's probably also a year line, which separates the year one is living in. These other time-dividing lines are undoubtedly buried deep within the planet, which is why we haven't found them. Yet. 230123It is estimated that around 16 million people alive today are direct descendents of Genghis Khan. That's going to make for a lot of potato salad when they have a family reunion. 230122I've noticed that childhood diseases usually have innocuous, cutesy names. Measles, mumps, chickenpox, smaaaallpox. They sound trivial, almost fun. Perhaps children -- and parents -- prefer something innocuous rather then serious and scary. I guess people would rather have billibuns, rather than Beck's Adenoidal Death Spiral. It's probably not as scary and easier to handle if you talk about something with a cutesy name. 230121Websites have gone to great effort to ensure that bots can't sign up for mailing lists, create site accounts, etc. Technology has been pushed along accordingly. There were captchas that slightly obfuscated text strings, dual-factor authentication, picking a subset of similar pictures from a larger set of pictures. These efforts to keep bots out of human affairs have taken an interesting twist. It seems that websites are now requiring visitors to click a box affirming that they are not a bot. That's it. All you have to do is click a checkbox. I guess website developers have determined that bots are inherently, unavoidably honest, and they will always properly identify themselves as a bot. 230120At one time, the island of Capri was well known for growing the best corn in Italy. It was highly prized, and many people tried to get a steady supply of the corn. The original Capricorn celebrated this grain farming. This changed when Capriolus Agricola brought his prize goat to Capri. This goat proceeded to eat all the corn it could find, forever ruining the island's corn agriculture. To memorialize this tragedy, the constellation was named as a warning to other farming communities.Zodiac History 230119The multifunctionality of ears is a sign that there is a God. Of course, there's the primary function of allowing us to hear. Ears are also decoration points, since they can hold earrings, ear plugs, ear clips, studs, and piercings. Ears are attachment hooks for glasses and masks, holding these necessary items in place. Ears are also a storage location for holding pencils and pens. Ears can also perform all these functions at once. Ears have a multitude of uses and are indubitably divine. 230118Sometimes when I have an idea for a Final Thought, I quickly write down that idea in a fragmentary version. I write down the fragment with the sure knowledge that I'll be able to use it to reconstruct the full thought. Often, this works out just fine. And then sometimes I'm left with a baffling collection of stray words. With that in mind, here is tonight's Final Thought: Diabetics don't get drunk feet. 230117A misunderstanding due to bad hearing has affected the religious beliefs of many Christians. They think that when the Rapture comes, they will be lifted up into Heaven, floating away into the air. What's really going to happen is that God will send many eagles and hawks and falcons and owls, who will all come to carry us to Heaven, just as they saved Our Heroes in The Hobbit. This event is actually known as the Raptor. 230116Tree branches are a tree's tentacles. 230115When monsters gather for a picnic, they always enjoy a rousing game of "Mummy May I". 230114The best thing about being a bearded old man is that the white beard hides the powdered sugar that donuts scatter on your face. 230113If you ever want a simple cross-stitch pattern of something, put the thing in a screen window and take its picture. The gridded screen gives the effect of the cross-stitch pattern and you can get right to work. 230112I've heard a lot of people speak admiringly of Trickster figures from a variety of traditions. I think these people are familiar with the mild and humorous aspects of the Tricksters' tales of gentle transformation. However, they don't seem to realize how violent, capricious, and malevolent Tricksters sometimes were. I'm not sure they'd be quite so popular if the full stories were widely known. 230111I don't know about nature in general, but dogs sure aren't keen on vacuums. 230110Crabs and pomegranates were made for patient anal-retentives who have a fine eye towards detail. 230109Numerologically speaking, 35 isn't a particularly magic number. However, any number of years with Jo is magical. 230108When Kaiju gather for a picnic, they always enjoy a rousing game of "Mothra May I". 230106When a person's or animal's body processes its food, one by-product is gas. This gas is then emitted as a fart, which is usually invisible to the eye. When a steam train burns wood or coal, it will emit smoke and steam in long clouds that trail along behind the train. The emission clouds from trains are highly visible, and are one of the impressive, iconic aspects of steam trains. Seeing them this way, we are holding up as romantic and attractive the image of long, streaming train farts. 230104Scientists recently announced that they have found an 11,000 year-old stone-carving of two leopards and a bull surrounding a man holding his penis. They (the scientists) said this is the oldest narrative scene on record. I am not one to read porn, but I must admit that this narrative is oddly intriguing, and I wish the scientists had elaborated on the narrative; instead, they just left me dangling. 230103Heating pads are wonderful things. When the weather turns cold, they keep your feet toasty warm at night while you sleep and even help you get to sleep. Heating pads are heartily endorsed by the monsters under your bed, since they appreciate a nice warm meal when they come to bite off your toes. 230102Dwayne Johnson started off as a professional wrestler and changed to being an actor, thus proving that he's a metamorphic Rock. 230101Butter has the high-class box seat in the fridge. =46rom there, the butter can watch all the events and dramas, comedies and tragedies, that occur in the fridge. Everyone wants to join them there, but the butter box is for the butter alone. Don't be taken in by the margarine trying to shmooze its way into the butter box; it may be related to butter, but it's not the same breeding or pedigree.

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:

Copyright 2011-2023 by Wayne Morrison. All Rights Reserved.