Final Thoughts of the Night, 2020
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.
200402Doctors and nurses are extremely worried about their cow-orkers getting infected; they really worry about staff infections.
200401I have it on good authority that COVID-19 is heavier than air, so it tends to settle down at floor level. This raises the obvious and important question -- how much is COVID-19 subject to the 5 Second Rule?
200331"Shelter in place" is a polite way of saying "Vector in place".
200329Handwashing is all the rage. 20 seconds minimum is the requirement. 20 seconds overall? 20 seconds for each and every part of the hand? Do germs and viruses have an internal clock that tells them that contact with soap kills them after 20 seconds? Or is it the hot water? The vigorous scrubbing? These guidelines on handwashing just don't cover all the needed information.
200328No matter what color the carrots are, they're still carrots.Food Week 16
200327Mrs. Butterworth's name implies that there must be a Mr. Butterworth. We never hear about him though. If her claim to fame is any indication of his own, then he must be a purveyor of barbecue sauce. I'm guessing then that Mrs. Butterworth is married to either Sweet Baby Ray or Stubbs.Food Week 16
200326Anchovy afishionados know everyone hates anchovies but they are always surprised when people exclaim in disgust and absolutely refuse to have fish on shared pizza.Food Week 16
200325Mashed potatoes are just potato dip with pretensions.Food Week 16
200324The best hot pepper for bringing order and balance to your life is the chi-potle pepper.Food Week 16
200323Bread is soft and delicious. Stale bread is hard and crunchy and not nearly so delicious. Toast is hard and crunchy and somewhat burned and delicious. Apparently, the difference in physical qualities between toast and stale bread is that toast is somewhat burned. My toaster is having an identity crisis. It takes a piece of bread and gives you something that is toast on one side and stale bread on the other. I don't know why it doesn't do both sides the same, whether its toast or stale bread, but the toaster insists on only producing half toast, half stale bread. I think it would be better described as a toaster-staler. I don't really see that name as being particularly successful when it comes to advertising.Food Week 16
200322Laziness combined with a 90% empty fridge engenders faith in divine culinary manifestations.Food Week 16
200321It's said that more sharks have seen you than you have seen sharks. This implies that sharks have internet access and are addicted to the livestream version of Google Street View.
200320Past Me: Look at this big bowl of spaghetti noodles! I'll put a bunch on my plate to have with sauce, but I'll also grab a yummy handful to eat cold while the plate is heating.
Current Me: Dagnabbit. There aren't enough spaghetti noodles to do anything useful with. Damn you, Past Me, I hate you so much.
200319Pen caps are chewtoys for humans.
200318When an author goes into great detail explaining why a prison absolutely cannot be broken out of, you know know that a prison break will occur by the end of the chapter.
200317My favorite bird in Ireland has very strong ideas and feelings about things, and doesn't hesitate to make them known. It's the O'Piñion Jay.Bird Week 2
200316In times past, fairies would leave changlings for humans to raise. Cuckoos and Cowbirds both lay their eggs in other birds' nests, leaving them to be hatched and raised by the other birds. I think this similarity is not an accident. I think the fae of the Seelie Court evolved into Cuckoos, while the fae of the Unseelie Court evolved into Cowbirds.Bird Week 2
200315John's Law of Extrapolative Ornithology: If it looks like a duck and silhouettes like a duck, it's gotta be a female Greater Scaup of the subspecies that only lives on Lake Huron and Lake Erie.Bird Week 2
200314I wonder if redheaded woodpeckers have souls.Bird Week 2
200313During World War II, women stepped up (stepped out, really) and took factory and other jobs outside the home. When the war was over, they found that they liked working outside the home, and were good at it. This brought about a fundamental shift in society, a shift that continues very strong today. The recent Coronavirus epidemic has brought the possibility of a similar societal shift. More and more companies are telling their employees that to protect against the Coronavirus, the employees must stay out of the office and work from home. I predict a likely outcome of this will be to show workers, companies, and managers that people can work effectively from home, that centralized offices are not necessary. People will like working from home. Even after this Coronavirus problem has been solved, people will want to continue working from home.
200312Honing pigeons have the sharpest knives.Bird Week 2
200311I got email about extracting interesting parts of network traffic from the uninteresting parts, and one message got me thinking about birds. The email was talking about separating the wheatears from the chaffinches.Bird Week 2
200310Doves are revolutionaries, always involved in a coo.Bird Week 2
200309Bird names sound like the names of superheros and supervillains. For example: Thrasher, Bee Eater, Kingfisher, Woodpecker, Black Vulture, Magpie, Cuckoo, Loon, Diver, Bufflehead, Horned Owl, Roadrunner, Longspur, Hooded Crow, Creeper, Lucifer Hummingbird, Killdeer.Bird Week 2
200308Pandemics affect chefs and forest gods more than anyone else.
200307Traffic cones look like giant candy corns. Every time I get stuck in construction back-ups, I get a barely controllable urge to jump out of my car, grab a traffic cone, and take a big bite.
200306I had a dream last night wherein I learned that Corgis, lightbulbs, and babies were all roughly the same intelligence level and temperament. This meant that if you know how to deal with one of these, you know how to deal with all three.
200305When I had shoulder surgery, they really loaded me up with aesthetics. Now I can't lift my arm without noticing the beauty of the world around me.
200304It seems like the VW Beetle should have six wheels.
200303When elected officials die in office, it's often the case that the spouse is put in place to fill the position for the remainder of the term. This is a weird way of getting a job, one that is likely to be putting an inexperienced person into a position of power. I'm not aware of other jobs that have that sort of thing. A dead engineer isn't replaced by her husband just because they were married. A dead restaurant waiter isn't replaced by his wife just because they were married. It seems that a mortally vacated political office should be filled based on experience or an election, not on wedding vows.
200302"Florida Man Opens Alligator Petting Zoo"
"Florida Man Delivers Valentines With Crossbow"
"Florida Man, Self-Appointed Florida Pope, Decrees Communion Sacraments Shall Be Cheerwine and Sweetbreads"
Florida Man has become a caricature of all the weird and oddball things people can think up (or, more likely, unthink up) to do. I bet Florida Man is actually a stealth campaign run by Florida's tourism department to try to lure people to visit the state with all these tales of bizarre and wonderful activities awaiting them.
200301At church, the choir recently sang Jester Hairston's excellent spiritual, "Elijah Rock". I really like this song and always look forward to singing it. However, it also has some unexpected imagery with it. The basses start out alone, setting the mood of rock-solid strength. The sopranos and altos then come in, smooth as silk and chocolate, calling Elijah's name in a sensuous, supple response to the basses' call. The opening part of the song makes me think of a movie theme for a suave, worldly private detective.
200229I've seen a number of organists have to run back and forth between organ and pisno in order to cover all the music for a service. This entails taking off the organ shoes, putting on regular shoes, taking off the regular shoes, putting organ shoes back on, all in the tiny interstitial moments between having to play one instrument then the other. There really should be organ loafers that slip on and off quickly in order to facilitate these quick changes. If organ loafers wouldn't work, then maybe organ galoshes -- orgaloshes -- might work better.
200228I'd love to see a version of "Call of the Wild" where Buck was played by Moon Moon.
200227Humans have domesticated horses for riding for around 8,000 years. Before that happened, I wonder what the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse rode. Were they always riding horses? Was the fact that they were riding horses a major element of their overwhelming presence? Maybe they rode something other than horses. Before humans rode horses, maybe the Four Riders rode whatever humans happened to ride. Maybe the Four Horsemen were actually the Four Wolfmen of the Apocalypse or the Four Giraffemen of the Apocalypse or the Four Camelmen of the Apocalypse or the Four Piggybackmen of the Apocalypse. If the Four Riders came now, would they be the Four Bicyclemen of the Apocalypse or the Four Pickupmen of the Apocalypse or the Four Skateboardmen of the Apocalypse or the Four Segwaymen of the Apocalypse?
200226There's an age-old philosophical question as to whether Life imitates Art or if Art imitates Life. Sure, they both imitate each other in small ways from time to time, but the real answer is that neither imitates the other. Art and Life both imitate Cable Access channel 71, which is a full-time display of wireless cameras strapped to the heads of dogs.
200225Formaldehyde is used to preserve bodies for dignified, solemn funerals. For a quick, dump-'em-in-the-park funeral, you'd use informaldehyde.
200224If a neutered dog licked one of those hallucinogenic frogs, what would he be trippin'?
200223The health app on my phone counts the daily number of steps taken, the number of floors climbed, and the number of walking miles. It doesn't tell me the important data, things like the number of jokes told, the number of bars crawled, and the number of snide comments kept in my head -- and those statistics are arguably more important to my health than the others.
200222A friend posted that she'd visited the Desert Botanical Gardens in Arizona. Except I misread it as the Dessert Botanical Gardens. Now I reallyreallyreally want to go to the Dessert Botanical Gardens.
200221I have thought of a way to drive my brother-in-law crazy. I'm going to get a Rubik's Cube and have someone get it one move from being solved. Then I'll put it out and never let anyone touch it.
200220To a percussionist, the whole world is an instrument.
200219I have always had lots of trouble remembering which way latitude and longitude went. There just wasn't anything I found that was a decent reminder. I was listening to Jimmy Buffett one day and I gained enlightenment.
200218A well-known guru on decluttering wrote that you should have fewer than 50 books. I started decluttering today by getting rid of her book.
200217Toyota has a car called a Solara. Every time I see the name I read it as the Toyota Sclera. That would be a really weird name for a car.
200216For a number of years, I've participated in a citizen-scientist program, helping to track population and migration data of a single species. This year, it's expanded beyond cyborgs to also track robots, androids, drones, and other artificial lifeforms. It's called the Great Backyard Borg Count.
200215Every time I see Azog the Defiler in the Hobbit movies, I think he looks like an angry beluga whale.
200214A heart is an upside-down butt you share with a smile.
200213On the talent-show TV shows, you know the acts are doing something dangerous when they pull out the blindfolds. Anyone can juggle hammers, but if someone juggles hammers blindfolded then you can rest assured that those hammers are chain-driven, fanged, and scorpion-tailed. If I ever get on one of those shows, I'm sure it'll be for singing. I'll be sure to pull out a blindfold mid-song just to imply something dangerous is about to happen.
200212I've read a bunch of mystery novels where the murder weapon was a blunt instrument. It seems it'd be a really unlikely murder weapon, but the bluntest instrument I can think of is a kettle drum.
200211Breakdancing started when some kids tried to play outside right after a freezing rain. Their natural dexterity and style turned a time of low friction into a new form of art.
200210When I was a kid, we jumped around on the furniture and pretended the floor was lava. These days, they call that game Parkour.
200209Hope and love are the flint and steel that strike a spark and bring light to the world.
200208I brought about a cosmic convergence today. I finished a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jam. At the same time!
200207Trail mix and party mix are both delightful things, each a composite snack built of atoms of yum. Except that people invariably add horrible atoms of yuck to the mix. Most of the time, these composite snacks sit in their containers, just waiting for you to come munch on them. They wait, inert and quiescent. However, they develop a temporary form of sentience and agility when you are trying to skim out a handful of delight without getting any of the horrid bits. That's when those raisins or puffed rice kernels develop an unhealthy attraction to your hand, and you find that snack handful you just got is 62% composed of those pieces of primordial awful condensed into small nuggets of evil.
200206A lot of people, myself included, put AM or PM on times where, contextually, it is completely irrelevant. Sure, let's have a work telecon at 11pm. Let's have dinner at 6am.
200205A groundhog's shadow isn't merely an absence of light. Groundhog shadows are interdimensional creatures that are able to see into the future, at least as far as weather is concerned. It all seems fun and innocuous, but I worry about their hidden motives and what else they may be doing besides that once-a-year prognostication.
200204I have a friend who seems to live in an ongoing stream-of-consciousness discussion. When he starts talking to a new person, the discussion stream picks up where it left off with the last person. You never know what has come before, you have to hope enough context will come forth that you can make sense of what's being discussed. There isn't much you can add to the conversation, since it's all going on orbiting around his head. This guy would be great to have for a dentist. There's no conversational requirements from the patient, other than that they have ears to listen to him. They can grunt acknowledgments, but they don't have to ask questions or contribute in any other way. That'd eliminate that awkward way dentists have of expecting you to hold up your end of the conversation when you have fingers and tools and sponges jammed in your mouth.
200203Hockey puts up protective barriers to keep the tiny puck from flying into the stands and injuring a spectator. Car racetracks put up nothing to stop cars and car parts from flying up into the stands and taking out a bunch of spectators. I think this says something about the esteem in which the sport organizers hold their fans.
200202Time will be interesting when we put a colony on another planet. Whether the new planet has longer days or years, shorter days or years, or whatever, the calendar will immediately be different between the colony and Earth. New days and months will have to be invented, new seasons, new festivals and celebrations, and nothing will be synchronized with Earth. Warranties, retirement age, drinking age, driving age -- so much will be affected. We'll have to invent a whole new way of looking at and thinking about time.
200201There's a big mystery in marine biology as to why whales will beach themselves. Biologists need to apply Occam's Razor and stop overlooking the obvious solution. Whales beach themselves because they've just eaten and they aren't supposed to swim for an hour. If whales could tell time, they'd happily return to the sea after an hour on the beach.
200131Incoherent Late-Night Thought: Interstate roads are really simulations we forgot and left running.
200130I don't understand how Pepé Le Pew could so easily mistake painted cats for skunks, when skunks are so much more beautiful than cats.
200129The Norse used runes for writing and magic. They were most often engraved on stone, so good tools were required to carve them. Sometimes, for magical purposes scissors were used to carve them. The problem with using scissors this way was that the magic was just as likely to cut back at the magician as it was to affect the magician's target. It didn't take long for Norse magicians to teach their apprentices the dangers of runing with scissors.
200128The Twilight Zone pool-champion episode taught me that I should never pursue greatness, that mediocrity was far preferable.
200127Saturn has a dense, visually impressive, ring system. Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus each have a sparse, barely visible ring system. The nine planets, their moons, the asteroid belt, and all the other detritus in the solar system are the Sun's extremely sparse ring system.
200126It always bothers me that spaceships don't seem to have door locks or ignition keys. I don't really care about the actual mechanism, but it seems there should be some sort of security to prevent just anyone from coming on board or driving away in the ship.
200125I thought I'd try to find a date for Saturday night, so I watched this dating show called Dateline. The interviewer is a zombie and they keep talking about murders. Forever more I'll be afraid to leave home for a date.
200124I have long assumed that I would die before Jo, so the Events of Last Year were stunning in many ways. My greatest fear in dying before Jo is in how I'll be replaced. There are lots of ways I know she'll easily find a better replacement. She'll have no problem finding a better provider. No problem finding a better cook. No problem finding a better musical partner, a better lover, a better groundskeeper, a better organizer. The thing I really worry about, my big fear, is that Jo might find someone who is funnier than me.
200123I tried watching that TV show, The Mandelbrotian. The plot kept getting more and more complex, seeming to approach chaos, but it never changed as I got deeper into it.
200122It's interesting that organ stops actually start things.
200121The phrase "a thousand points of light" was popularized by Bush 1 as a way to describe the diverse volunteer organizations in America. In each forest, each city park, each suburban neighborhood, each squirrel is a thousand points of frenetic hyperactivity.
200120I hate the word "Imma". The laziness it represents is commendable, but that level of laziness would be best reserved for more important things. Without that word, though, I couldn't have one of my favorite (intentional) Mondegreens.
"Whooooa, we're halfway there,
Whooooa, Imma eat a bear!"
200119"Think about it." I hate that phrase. "Think about it." It's never meant at face value, but always comes with heavy baggage, with arrogance and condescension. It often means, "You clearly didn't understand the childishly simple thing I just said, so I'll dumb it down. For you. Maybe you'll understand it then." It also comes after the speaker realizes their previous statement was very unclear and needs explanation. That's pointing out their own deficiencies, while trying to make the listener feel like the deficiency was their own. Think about it.
200118Picard had Riker as his 2nd, but who was the Picardy 3rd?
200117After eating dinner, Galactus likes to finish off with some desert.Comic-book Week 4
200116Superheroes that fly love to do the "hero landing" and slam into the ground on one knee. That's why so many superheroes have knee replacements after a few years of heroing, not to mention the debilitating groin injuries.Comic-book Week 4
200115Many superheroes are imbued with a particular trait from one animal or another, a trait that sets them apart from other animals. I have a feeling that animal superheroes imbued with human traits would have a thumb.Comic-book Week 4
200114There's a good reason why Superman is such a wonder. For us mere humans, we have a choice between either fight or flight. Superman, however, has both.Comic-book Week 4
200113While I'm at it... Hair, fingernails, and sloughed-off skin are said to be composed of "dead cells." This implies that other cells are live cells -- or life. What did Thanos consider a unit of life? Cells are units that compose larger systems (organs, muscles, etc.) Those larger systems compose even larger systems (digestive systems, respiratory systems.) Those even larger systems compose a body. Bodies compose even larger systems (communities, countries, species.) When he invoked The Snap, how far down did Thanos go to find a unit of life?Comic-book Week 4
200112I still have questions about The Snap. Now I'm wondering about the Quantum Realm. Did Thanos wipe out half the life down at the quantum level? Did a whole slew of tardigrades get zapped? Did Janet Van Dyne have a small herd of pet tardigrades, and then suddenly a bunch of them disappeared? How would The Snap have affected the balance of life down at that level?Comic-book Week 4
200111I've been an X-Men fan since I was a child, so I grew up thinking that mutated genes were a positive thing. For this reason, I eat as much genetically modified food as I can. A radioactive spider's bite turned Peter Parker into Spiderman; maybe a genetically modified hamburger, with genetically modified cheese and genetically modified pickles, will turn me into Cowman.Comic-book Week 4
200110Even if he doesn't play fetch, the Curiosity Rover is a Good Boy.
200109If we happen to get married again, I'm going to insist on the wedding ceremony having a ring bear.
200108Chi-Rho-Square is a statistical method that assesses how good a Christian is by observing their behavior and comparing it to Christian beliefs.
200107Q: In the Marvel Universe, what is a Dark Elf's favorite holiday?
A: Thanksgiving. It's a big time for families and friends, when everyone gets together with their Malekith and Malekin.Grand-Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
200106Braesy is a Scottish artist who is well known for creative and evocative street graffiti. Sometimes Braesy works with an English colleague to create art of biting political commentary, with a shading of unrequited love. Together, these artists go by the name Banksy and Braesy.Grand-Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
200105The Atlantis economy is based on the exchange of cephalopod-based currency, which economists refer to as squid pro quo.Grand-Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
200104Q: What do you call a large mammal that always thinks it's sick?
A: A hippochondriac.Grand-Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
200103The King of Laois was really Ireland's best dogcatcher.Grand-Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
200102Q: What southern boats do people complain about the most?
A: The kvetch, yawl.Grand-Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
200101Q: Where does a piper keep his testicles?
A: In his dudelsack.Grand-Uncle of Dumb Joke Week
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
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:
- final thoughts from 2011
- final thoughts from 2012
- final thoughts from 2013
- final thoughts from 2014
- final thoughts from 2015
- final thoughts from 2016
- final thoughts from 2017
- final thoughts from 2018
- final thoughts from 2019
Copyright 2011-2020 by Wayne Morrison. All Rights Reserved.