Final Thoughts of the Night, 2021

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

February, 2021 210226A bird previously thought extinct for 170 years was recently discovered alive and well on Borneo. This is very exciting news, and gives some hope that other extinct species might still survive. In particular, this makes me optimistic that some extremely remote island may still hold living dinosaurs. 210225When I was a kid, I couldn't pick up a pen without getting ink all over my hands. This was a problem for several interlocking reasons. First, drawing with pens was much quieter than drawing with pencils. Second, quieter drawing meant I wanted to use a pen for unobtrusive drawing during church services. Third, my mother would yell at me when she saw I had ink all over my hands. So I'd draw with a pen during church services, get ink all over my hands, and my mother would get mad at me for having messy, inky hands. I think this is why I don't want to get a tattoo. 210224As the years have gone by, it seems They keep inventing new types of weather. I remember Wind Chill first gained popularity when I was a kid. Then about two decades ago, Heat Index jumped into the public awareness. Other new weather types have come along, but the latest is Freezing Fog. Who thought that was a good idea? What's next, Burning Rain? Carnivorous Snow? Why do the Weather Wizards keep doing this insane stuff? Can't they be happy with basic rain and snow and sun? 210223My wife keeps complaining about me buying produce and letting it sit around until it smells horrible. She's highly concerned with the food waste, and just can't appreciate that I'm doing intensive research for future practical jokes. 210222"I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers." This phrase is used so often and without much apparent thought that it's become a trite cliche. It's also rather inspecific and assumed to be supportive. The nature of the comment is more generally useful considering the possible underlying thoughts. "I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers." I'm praying you lose your job. I think the best sex I ever had was with your husband last night. I'm praying a meteor lands on your head. 210221For me, the word "spider" is a synonym for "black widow" and "brown recluse." 210220Whenever I hear about Mumford and Sons, I immediately think of the Amazing Mumford, and I expect to hear them say, "À La Peanut Butter Sandwiches!" 210219When I take a picture to show something's size, I always use a fish for the size comparison. That way I can say, "Fish for scale." 210218Even though they tried to copy Maryland, the borders of Oklahoma were drawn by people with less imagination than the people who drew Maryland's borders. 210217Weathertop (to the tune of Rocky Top)
Wish that I was on ol' Weathertop
The hills that are east of Bree
Ain't no ringwraiths on Weathertop
Ain't no orcs or stone trolls
Once I camped out up on Weathertop
Had second breakfast
Also a third, and then a fourth and fifth
I still dream about that

Weathertop, you'll always be
Breakfast heaven for me
Good ol' Weathertop
Weathertop, east of Bree
Weathertop, east of Bree
Tolkien Week 2
210216The Lord of the Rings isn't very specific as to the One Ring's powers, but it says that the One Ring controls all the other rings of power. This makes the One Ring sound like the master encryption keys that governments want in order to decrypt everyone's encrypted data regardless of how it was encrypted. Both are artifacts of great power that are pure fantasy and are the products of fanciful thinking and imagination.Tolkien Week 2 210215The manner of speech used widely in the Lord of the Rings implies that Middle-Earthers all learned to speak from Yoda. Mixed up the sentence order is quite often. Pointy ears, inscrutable expessions, sensitive hearing. Yoda the elves really look like perhaps.Tolkien Week 2 210214The Rohirrim never say "no"; they only say "nay."Tolkien Week 2 210213Gimli reminds me of Tigger. Gimli thinks that Dwarfs do everything bestest of all.Tolkien Week 2 210212One name for Elrond's house in Rivendell is The Last Homely House East of the Sea. That name sounds like it's a Middle Earthy version of Stuckey's.Tolkien Week 2 210211The phrase "Lord of the Rings" is only used twice in the three books of the Lord of the Rings. It isn't explicitly, unequivocally, used to refer to Sauron, it's only implied. Maybe it's not referring to Sauron at all. Maybe the Lord of the Rings is actually whoever is holding the One Ring. That would make Frodo the Lord of the Rings for most of the trilogy, with Sam spending a little time in that rôle, and Gollum coming in a far distant third. During the trilogy, in fact, Sauron never possesses the One Ring, so over the course of the three books he is never the Lord of the Rings. This makes sense because Sauron is, at best, a background presence. He is a nebulous, intangible presence, but he is only very rarely seen presence. Even though he is a looming threat throughout, the books are almost completely taken up with Frodo and Sam's journey to destroy the One Ring. Frodo is the real Lord of the Rings.Tolkien Week 2 200210My greatest childhood fear was that I'd get sucked into quicksand, and with my head stuck above the surface, killer bees and army ants would show up and attack me. Then the black widows and snakes would arrive. 210209Many people spend a lot of time worrying about the clothes they or a loved one will be buried in. Will it be this dress or that one? Will it be this suit or that one? Which tie woul be best? Which shoes? However, fabrics are notoriously short-lived; they rot and fall apart fairly quickly. By the time a future archeologist digs up someone's bones, their clothes will almost certainly be gone. It seems it'd be best to save the time not worrying about this and to let the clothes be used by people who actually need them. 210208Vaccines work because the human immune system is as gullible as anti-vaxxers' brains. 210207The "-eatos" suffix can be applied to any food, and turns that food into a snack. Taco-eatos, Pancake-eatos, burger-eatos, lobster-eatos, crab-eatos, pork-eatos, cook-eatos, potat-eatos, asparag-eatos, lard-eatos. It's all in the "-eatos", it's just built-in to the word. 210206There should be a musical that's a rebuttal to Hamilton. It would be from Aaron Burr's point of view, though nothing much would happen. All of the music would be easy-listening. 210205For a while now, loonies have been wearing tin foil hats to protect against government mind control, aliens, and mind reading. These poor, misguided fools have deluded themselves into these bizarre types of headwear. If they had any good sense at all, they'd realize it's tin foil cats that protect against these insidious mind threats. 210204Geologists say that glaciers moved stones and boulders, carved up the landscape, and did all sorts of modification work to the face of the earth. Myths say that giants did that grand-scale landscaping, scarring the earth through fighting and other shenanigans. I think the actual reason intertwines these disparate reasons. A more elegant solution is that glaciers were really frost giants and they rough-sculpted the earth as they migrated over the land. 210203For millenia, one of the really nice things about winter has been that mosquitoes migrate south for the cold times. I fully expect that some unforesightful genetic scientist is working even now to crossbreed mosquitoes and minks or polar bears so that we'll have some winter-dwelling mosquitoes. 210202Why do heroes have sidekicks and villains have henchmen? You never hear of a hero having a henchman, or a villain having a sidekick. Kicking is one of those things that heroes and villains do to each other, so it's just sort of a neutral thing. That leaves henching. I think the act of henching must be inherently evil, and that's why only villains have henchmen. 210201Saying, "We cater to our clients" is another way of saying you bend to your customers' insane demands.

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

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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