Monday, October 31, 2011

Lonely No More

He was a lonely boy. If you were to try and pick him out of a group, you’d be wrong. He would be the other one. Over to the side, by himself. The one your eye just passed over.

He had no real friends among his classmates. The other children admired his brother and the teachers were all delighted to have his sister in their class. He however, was rarely noticed at all.

Although he was basically ignored by everyone else, a week never went by without his brother physically torturing him or his sister verbally humiliating him in some manner.

The day he finally decided to leave was after his brother sat on his face and farted on him. His sister responded by laughing and calling him a word he didn’t understand. His complaints to his father were met with a snort and an easygoing chiding of “Sean, you know better than to play so rough with him.” to his brother. His mother, although more sympathetic, explained that the word his sister used referred to an ancient group of cave dwelling people and that both he and his brother were indeed acting as such with all their horseplay.

He could not tell you for sure when he first thought about running away but he had been planning it for some time. In the garage he had hidden an old backpack with supplies, a pair of jeans with a hole in one of the knees (that his mother had told him to throw away), two pairs of socks, a blanket, a flashlight, some beef jerky, a few candy bars and his entire life savings; forty-two dollars and fifteen cents.

The next day his parents had gone out entrusting his brother and sister to watch him. His brother was soon engrossed playing a video game on the Xbox 360 in the living room while his sister was upstairs in her room reading and listening to music on her iPod. This left him totally unsupervised. Giving him the perfect opportunity to slip away unnoticed.

He went to the kitchen, took two bottles of water from the refrigerator then went out to the garage to retrieve his backpack of supplies. Then with one last look at his house he started walking.

Soon he found himself on the outskirts of town heading north on a rural road he believed led to the highway. Once he there he hoped to get a ride from a sympathetic person to a different place where he could start his new life. The sun was high in the sky. He was hungry so he ate one of his candy bars and washed it down with a bottle of water before he realized that he had just drank half his water supply.

He came to an overpass where he could hear running water down below. There was a burbling river that ran beneath it and into the woods. He was thinking to himself that he could replenish his water bottle when another thought came to him. He remembered his sister saying something about “…all rivers flowed into the sea.” He had never been to the sea. He decided to clamber down the embankment and follow the river.

He followed the river deep into the woods enjoying the sound it made and how it splashed over rocks. After some time he came to a fork with a path leading away from the river. It was beginning to get dark so he decided to take the path and find somewhere to rest for the night thinking he could return by the path to the river again tomorrow and continue his trek to the sea.

The path brought him to an open field with what appeared to be an old derelict farm with a small copse of trees to one side. The farm house looked unpleasant and the barn unsafe with its roof mostly caved in. He made his way across a pasture and over a broken down fence towards the trees giving the house a wide berth. It felt like the empty windows of the farmhouse were like eyes, watching his every move.

After rummaging in his backpack for some beef jerky and his blanket using the bag as a pillow he settled down on a bald patch of grass beneath one of the trees. “I wonder if they are looking for me yet.” He imagined his parents yelling at his brother and sister and how worried and sorry they all were now. He thought how there would be police men with dogs all trying to find him. “I’ll make it to the sea and get a job on a fishing boat.” he smiled. “Then one day I’ll be the captain of my own boat!” With these thoughts running through his head he soon fell asleep.

He awoke hours later, bright moonlight lighting up the field and the small group of trees. Languidly stretching he got up to relieve himself. As he was zipping up a voice behind him said “Where did you come from?” He slowly turned around, not scared, not yet, and looked around.

A shadow detached itself from the tree he had slept under and there, he was relieved to see, stood a boy, not unlike him but with blond hair and a crooked smile.

“I’m Isaiah, what are you doing here?”

He paused a moment and then replied “I’m running away from home.”

“Wow!” said Isaiah “You sure are brave!”

The boy grinned, embarrassed at the compliment.

“You want a candy bar?” he asked Isaiah “I still have half of one left or maybe some beef jerky?”

For a brief moment Isaiah looked sad as he shook his head but his smile soon returned as he said “You want to play a game?”

The boy beamed, he was rarely ever included in any games at school and his brother and sister could never be bothered to play with him.

“What would you like to play?”

Isaiah walked up to him tapped him on the shoulder “Tag!” “You’re It!” and then ran laughing across the field. The boy laughed and quickly ran after him.

They played tag through the field, climbed a few trees and were now walking along the river bank skipping rocks and talking. The boy told Isaiah about cartoons and television shows he enjoyed but Isaiah didn’t seem to know much about any of them so he changed the subject.

“Do you live around here?” asked the boy as they walked on.

“Not far.” answered Isaiah.

“You don’t live in that old creepy farm house do you?

“No, nobody lives in there.” Isaiah sighed and said “Actually, I ran away from home too.”

“Cool!” the boy exclaimed. Then, more timidly “Maybe we can run away together.” “I was thinking of following the river to the sea.”

They were back at the copse of trees. It was a beautiful October night, warm as summer and the harvest moon dominated the night sky.

“That sounds like a good idea, going to the sea...” Isaiah hesitated.

“You’ll come with me then?” the boy asked eagerly.

Isaiah turned to the boy and said “If you do something for me then I might.”

“I thought I finally found a friend” said the boy and started skulking away.

Isaiah chased after him “Hey, we are friends...we can be friends...forever...but I’ve got to know I can trust you.” “That I can count on you.”

The boy looked up “You promise?”

Isaiah put his arm around the boy's shoulder “Yeah, I promise.”

This brought a smile to the boy's face “Okay, what do I have to do?”

“You ran away from home so you’re brave but are you as brave as me?” Isaiah turned them both to face the ramshackle farm house and pointed. “I left my haversack in there and I can’t leave without it so I want you to go in there and bring it back to me.”

“I...I...don’t...know...” stammered the boy.

“You’re not scared, are you?” Isaiah asked.

Of course he was scared and of course he said he was not. He didn’t want to lose his only friend.

“Okay, I’ll do it.”

The boy took his flashlight from his pack and made his way toward the dilapidated farm house until he stood before the crumbling door hanging open on its hinges. Hesitant to enter, he stood wondering if this was a good idea. He could smell damp and rot and something else underneath.

When a strange shuffling noise came from inside he jumped back and exclaimed “I thought you said it was empty!”

“It isn’t empty.” “I said nobody lives in there.” Isaiah giggled. “Now get in there and bring my bag to me.”

“It must have been just an animal.” the boy muttered to himself.

He then squared his shoulders and entered the farm house.

The darkness inside was oppressive and thick. His flashlight appearing to cut through it like a knife. In the hall he could see entry ways to rooms on either side. He paused thinking to himself that he should have asked where exactly the bag was. If he went back outside to ask now though, empty handed, Isaiah might think he was chickening out and change his mind about coming with him. Worse he didn’t think he’d be able to muster up enough courage to come back inside either. He’d just have to search.

The boy came to a room with a tattered old mattress and moldering furniture. Here he started searching intently thinking that the other boy might have laid down here to rest. Suddenly he hears a loud rustling noise behind him. Startled, he quickly turns around, his flashlight beam bouncing off everything trying to find the source of the sound, only to see a field mouse bursting out from beneath some decomposing trash and scurrying under a broken dresser.

Stifling a scream and breathing deeply to regain his composure he moves back out into the hall saying to himself “See it was only a small mouse...nothing to be scared of...”

Toward the back of the house he finds an open door with some stairs leading down. "I've looked everywhere up's gotta be down there."

He slowly makes his way down the creaking stairs to a dirt floor. It’s hot and there is a horrible smell down here which is almost palpable. It smelled not unlike rotting meat but underneath there was something horrid, fetid and slimy.

In a dark corner he finds it. Isaiah’s...what did he call it...haversack? It was ripped open though and all the contents spilled onto the floor. Some old rotted clothing, putrid tin cans with no labels, a dusty canteen, rusty pocket knife...this doesn’t seem right. He shrugs the idea off and starts to gather the items up and stuff them back into the bag when he hears that strange shuffling noise again.

He isn’t about to be scared by a mouse again though so he finishes stuffing the items into the bag, slips the strap over his shoulder and turns to go back upstairs thinking of he and Isaiah on a boat together on the big blue sea and smiles to himself.

That’s when he notices that the house has gone eerily quiet.

A shiver goes down his spine and his smile fades. He begins to shine his flashlight around when out of the darkness something steps right in front of him...

He moves the beam of light up the dark figure in front of him. He doesn't understand what he is looking at...the smile...there's something wrong with it...there are way too many teeth.

Outside Isaiah listened as the boy’s screams echo across the field, bounce off the trees and then abruptly come to an end.

Isaiah smiled his crooked smile. He knew that later, after the body was buried under one of the trees, maybe even next to his own, the moon would rise tomorrow and then he would be lonely no more.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Go Elf Yourself!

Like most people, I tend to only think about elves when reading one of J. R. R. Tolkien's books or around Christmas time.

An elf is a creature of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of human like creatures who are often pictured as youthful seeming men and women of great beauty living in forests and underground places such as caves. They have been portrayed to be very long lived and as beings of great magical powers.

As far as I can tell there seem to be only six skills that an elf tends to have so although the versatility of these pointy-eared little freaks is not that great they do seem to exceed at what they can do.
Toy Makers
Most commonly elves are known as tireless workers employed in Santa's Workshop making the toys that Santa Claus delivers to all the good little girls and boys on Christmas Eve.
Perhaps not so commonly known is that elves can craft leather shoes so fine that they would make an Indonesian Nike sweatshop worker cry himself to sleep.
When the shoemaker in the story finally catches a glimpse of the elves at work he notices that they are all buck naked. For safety's sake and as a means of saying "thanks" he decides to knit them some clothing. The elves take the clothing and never return.
Elves can make toys and shoes, but can't make themselves shirts and pants? Maybe it's a strange rite of passage. All elves have to start out making shoes until someone gets tired of looking at their butts and gives them something to wear. Only then can they change craft.
Elves seem to prefer doing their baking in large hollow trees, despite the enormous fire hazard. Each year hundreds of elves and woodland creatures die in baking related forest fires, but their chocolate chip cookies taste awesome, so its a statistic I can live with.
Cereal Makers

Snap, Crackle and Pop are best known for inventing Rice Krispies cereal. Legend has it they had a fourth brother named "Soggy," who died suspiciously the night before the cereal was unveiled in 1928. The three assailants were never found.


If the Lord of the Rings has taught us one thing about elves its that when they are not sending out joy in the form of toys, cereal and cookies, they are sending razor sharp arrows deep into the skulls of their enemies. A good rule of thumb is: Don't bother them, and you won't get an arrow in your eye.


In at least one documented case, a misfit elf named Hermey quit Santa's Workshop to strike out on his own and become a practicing dentist. Maybe he was a cousin of the Tooth Fairy or something. He was last seen crying on a glacier after trying to perform a root canal on a Yeti.

Now that you've got all that elf-ing information...

Click the picture and go and Elf Yourself!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday The 13th!

It's Friday the 13th and as a public service I have compiled a list of suggestions that I feel will keep you safe from harm...

Survival Tip #1: If you see a black cat, shoot it.
Better to be safe than sorry.

Survival Tip #2: Use up all your bad luck early.
You can only have so much bad luck in a single day, so just start trying to use your whole quota of it by lunch. Tempt fate through such activities as cleaning your toaster with a fork, picking a fight with a gorilla or cleaning your ears with a nail gun.

Survival Tip #3: Don't talk about Fight Club.
Even if you are a beautiful and unique snowflake, just don't.

Survival Tip #4: Don't let the Jehovah's Witnesses in.
Sure, three hundred and sixty four days out of the year they seem like nice folks who just want to share their crackpot religious dogma and a cup of Kool-Aid with you...but each year on Friday the 13th, they fatten their ranks by kidnapping people and forcing them to watch Veggie Tales until they convert.

Survival Tip #5: Refuse to recognize that it's Friday the 13th.
In many skyscrapers, superstitious builders make the floors jump from twelve to fourteen to avoid the unlucky thirteenth floor. As soon as you wake up today, say, "Wow, what a lovely day August the 14th is!"

Survival Tip #6: Leave the Earth by close of business April 13, 2029.
Be gone before the Near-Earth asteroid 99942 Apophis smashes into our planet and destroys the world as we know it.

Now you've got to ask yourself one question:

"Am I feeling superstitious?"

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Halloween Ghost Story

There was an old farmhouse that, until it was torn down, stood in the middle of a three acre plot of land in Mansfield, Texas.

The land belongs to Season's parents, who had purchased the otherwise barren expanse with the intent of building a home on the northwest edge of the property closest to the main road. The home was built, the perimeter fenced, and the rest of the land used to hold the many pieces of heavy equipment that Season’s step-father, uses for his sand and gravel company. After toying with the idea of renovating the sixty year old farmhouse and turning it into a guest house, they decided against it and now only used it for storage.

Last summer, Season received an invitation from her parents for us to spend a few days at their home, so we packed our overnight bags and made the four hour drive from our home in Oklahoma, looking forward to a pleasant weekend.

For the record, Season and I share an interest in the paranormal. We both enjoy horror movies, scary novels, and the occasional worthwhile spooky documentary. We’ve also tried our hand at "ghost hunting" once during a ghost tour in San Antonio, Texas.

What really captures our imaginations; however, are EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) audio recordings. Some of the anomalies that we had heard on these recordings could easily be written off using more earthbound than otherworldly explanations, yet there are some that even a rational mind must admit are beyond the scope of common experience and understanding.

In any case, beyond having heard or read about such occurrences, we had never had a personal experience involving a disembodied voice.

Not until the weekend that we spent at Season’s parents' home, in July of 2007.

We arrived in Mansfield late on a Friday evening, and after a little catching up, we decided to turn in. Laying awake in bed talking, not quite able to sleep just yet, our conversation turned to the old farmhouse that stood about fifty yards off the south side of the house. I was as much enticed by the farmhouse's seemingly ancient, decrepit beauty as I was impressed by its subtle yet unmistakable air of foreboding. I mentioned how creepy it had looked to me under the light of the moon as we approached the house, and how perfect a setting it seemed for the types of hauntings I was so fond of reading about on dark wintry nights. I asked what it was like inside and she responded by telling me she didn't know, she had never been inside.

"My step-dad never let me inside." "He says it's not safe in there."

At breakfast the next morning though, the notion that I'd planted in her head was alive and kicking and she broached the subject of the old farmhouse with her step-father.

"It's a dangerous place, there's bats in the attic and I don't want you poking around in there," was all he would say when asked about it, attempting to turn the conversation from the subject at hand by asking if we wanted to ride the four wheelers after breakfast.

An hour after breakfast, Season informed me, with a mischievous grin, that we would be "investigating the old farmhouse" just as soon as her step-father headed into town on some errands. Gabriel had gone off with his grandmother to a water park so we would have the whole place to ourselves.

The sun was straight overhead as we approached the doorway of the old farmhouse. We hesitated at the entrance, casting a glance back at the house to ensure no lectures about venturing into unsound structures would be delivered over dinner that night. The door less entryway opened up to a fairly large room crowded with cardboard boxes and a large worktable stacked with various grease stained engine parts. To the right, there was yet another doorway that led into a much smaller room. The way into this room was made impenetrable by more stacks of boxes and crates. Off to the left, I saw an even smaller doorway that exposed a rickety flight of stairs leading, presumably, to the attic above.

The interior was fairly well-lit and we were both engrossed in our own thoughts and busily exploring when we heard the thump overhead.

I wish we'd had a video camera to record our reactions to this sound, because we both nearly jumped out of our skins.

I started to mutter "Did you hear that" when Season cut me off with a swatting of her arm and a sharp "Shhhhh!" Dead silence ensued for the next thirty seconds as we stood there until I finally spoke again in a whisper. "Could be the bats Buddy warned us about?” The noise came again, this time more distinct, not directly overhead but further toward the back, as of something in the far corner of the attic above our heads. Immediately our heads turned toward the doorway to our left, the doorway leading to the short flight of steps into the attic. Season was about to say something when it came a third time, actually loosening dirt from the rafters and punctuated by a dragging shuffle on the floorboards overhead.

I said "It sounds like there's someone up there..."What we heard next was a voice, soft and low, muffled by the rafters and the overhead floorboards that separated us from the attic and it called the words:

"David, is that you?"

One moment we were in that dark, stuffy farmhouse, the next we were out in the bright sunlight with the breeze blowing in our faces as we stepped lively through the tall grass back toward the main house. It was that quick, that synchronous.

Once away from whatever danger we may have been in or imagined we were in, within the safety of sunlight, you'd think that we would have found ourselves a safe space somewhere and sat talking about what we had heard, or what we thought we had heard, but we didn't. We simply turned heels quickly, left, and not another mention of the experience was had that day until we found ourselves in bed again late that night, unable to sleep and unable to forget.

I brought up the topic and we discussed what we thought we'd heard, and danced around a million different possible explanations for what it could have been, but the explanation that occurred to me as we lay there in bed, sleepless, was a bit more frightening.

"Maybe there's someone living up there that nobody knows about...

"The idea sent shivers up and down my spine, offering up images of escaped mental patients creeping onto unsuspecting people's properties in the dead of night and it alarmed me to the point where I actually got out of bed, stood at the window looking out onto the property offering a clear view of the moon washed farmhouse, and actually considered either going out there with a weapon from the house or calling the local police to check it out. We could have been mistaken in what we heard though and the last thing we wanted to do (apart from admitting to her step-father that we had betrayed his wishes to keep out) was call the police to investigate the overactive imaginings of a young couple.

So we determined that in the morning, we would go out to investigate yet again. This time as we approached the farmhouse (not having mentioned our concerns to her parents for fear of causing undue worry) I was armed with a baseball bat I'd found lying on the grass and Season, perhaps not entirely convinced the sounds had come from something living, with a long-handled flashlight and a mini-cassette recorder she found in the house.

Our second entrance to the farmhouse proved to be a lot more ordinary than my imagination had fancied it might be, and the notion that someone may have actually taken up residence in that ramshackle old home was quickly put to rest on a second look. Also the likeliness that anyone attempting to climb up the flight of stairs leading to the attic would most likely crash through the rotted wood and break a leg, or worse.

We stood listening in silence for what seemed like an eternity.

Nothing, no sounds except for the occasional crack of the old wood settling. We decided that since we had come this far, we were damned if we were going to leave without a good and thorough search and so we set about the task of figuring out a way to ascend the steps leading to the attic.

I'd spotted a fairly fresh plank of wood about six feet long, two feet wide, and three inches thick, lying in the yard of the farmhouse as we approached, so I came up with the idea that perhaps we could lay the plank lengthwise across the top of the steps to crawl up.

Once we had constructed the ramp and after another five minutes quietly arguing over who should be the first to go, I went up the length of the plank. By this time the sun had emerged and the sunlight cast through the holes in the roof was good enough so that I could see everything. As I stood on the floorboards of the attic, determining if they were in well enough shape to sustain my weight, I scanned the large area before me, baseball bat at the ready.

When I look back on it I honestly don't know what I was expecting to see up there in the attic, but whatever it may have been, whether flesh and bone or otherwise, there was nothing to be found. Only a severely rusted bedspring, an equally old mattress leaning askew against the near wall, a scattering of crates, and a decrepit rocking chair that sat in the farthest corner of the attic facing the wall.

I stood there staring at the back of that chair until Season's voice, directly behind me, startled me out of my daze. "It’s empty." I turned around to find that as I'd stood there taking an inventory of the space before me, she had made her way up the plank and into the attic.

She was aiming the beam of her flashlight and scanning the attic. "So much for our stranger in the attic theory." I added, motioning to the inch-thick layer of dust that covered every visible square foot of the floorboards. If anyone had been in the attic, it was a long, long time before we had ever arrived. I'm not sure how long we stood there, but it was long enough for the two of us to determine that none of our explanations fit what we had heard.

As we turned to begin our descent back down our makeshift ramp, Season stopped and fished a blank cassette out of her pocket and inserted it into the recorder. I said something like "Hey, don't bother, let’s just get out of here." but she informed me that she was going to leave the micro-cassette behind in RECORD mode. She set it down on one of the floorboards just inside the attic entryway. "Just to satisfy my curiosity," she said and we left.

We never did tell anyone what we had been up to that day, or the day previous. We were set to head back home early the following morning and we both agreed it was far better to exchange pleasantries on the final evening of our visit rather than to choke the air with questions about previous tenants, the history of the land, or the possibility of spirits that linger after death. According to Season, things like that didn't go over too well with her step-father.

We realized that in order to retrieve the cassette recorder Season had left behind, we would not only have to brave the rickety ramp of our invention once again, but we'd also have to make it out there early enough so that her no one would see us. We also decided that it would be best to take down the makeshift ramp, so proof of our actions wouldn't be discovered. We resolved to wake up half an hour before dawn and sneak out to the old farmhouse one last time.

When we got there, this time stepping our way through the dark with the aid of a flashlight, everything was just as we'd left it. No signs of any ghostly disturbance, no violently overturned boxes, no footprints in the dust other than those we'd created ourselves. I cautiously but hurriedly crawled my way up the wooden plank, reached a hand into the darkness, and retrieved the cassette recorder which was in the exact place we had left it the day before. I made my way down and we took down the ramp.

I was patting the dust and dirt from my pants legs when it came again. The same sudden, sharp thump that we had heard two days prior. My first thought was that Season must have heard something moving up there before the thump sounded, because when I looked at her, her head was already turned upwards and her eyes were fixed on the attic entrance directly above us. My eyes followed her stare and I looked up, but there was nothing discernible in the darkness beyond the threshold. Season had just began to ask me if I'd heard it too but her words broke off when another thud, this time more jarring than the first, almost violent in its force, sent a fistful of dust shooting from the rafters. The horrible, sickening shuffling sound came next, and the image that entered my mind then was that of someone, or something, dragging itself across the floor almost directly over our heads, approaching the attic entry.

In an instant the two of us were stumbling through the dark toward the front entrance and within five seconds we were back out into the cool predawn air. As we passed through the doorway of the old farmhouse for the last time, we heard the voice again, this time much closer, coming from atop the attic stairs where we had stood only seconds ago, this time much clearer, raspy, nearly gravelly, calling after us. And the words it said were:

"David...don't leave me all alone!"

We stopped about ten feet short of her parents' back porch and tried to regain our composure. Season suddenly remembered the micro-cassette recorder, checked it out closely and announced "It's turned off…halfway through the tape.” “As if someone shut it off on purpose." I tried to reason that maybe the batteries had run out, but she quickly dispelled that notion when she pressed the REWIND button and it kicked immediately into life. It only took a few seconds for the tape to reach the start of the spool, and just as she was about to press the PLAY button, the back door swung open and Season's mother, Charla, was standing there in her morning robe.

"What are you two doing up so early?" she asked. "Oh, just getting the car situated" I quickly replied and we darted back inside the house to have breakfast.

It wasn't until we said our farewells, and hit the road once again; all the while warily eyeing the old farmhouse as we made our way down the long gravel driveway headed for the main road with Gabriel safely conked out in the back seat; that we were finally alone and able to listen to what it was that may have been recorded.

I wasn't certain that anything would have come through on the tape, but I wanted to be able to listen without having to strain to hear over sound of the engine so as soon as we'd gone about a mile, I pulled the car off to the side of the road under the shade of a tree and shut the engine off.

The first sound head on the tape were Season's own words ("Just to satisfy my curiosity"), then the creaking and groaning of the floorboards and the racket of our footfalls as we made our way down the plank and exited the farmhouse. Five minutes of silence ensued, only the occasional sound of the old structure settling in on itself, then another five or six minutes, then the sound of an airplane flying by in the distance, then more silence. Just as the tape was about to reach the point where it had mysteriously stopped on itself, I heard something...

On first impression it sounded like someone breathing in short, shallow breaths. I was opening my mouth to ask Season to stop the tape and rewind it, when I realized the sound was only getting louder. I could tell by the expression on Season's face that I was not, in fact, hearing things. She was hearing it too. What came next, though, sent shivers down my spine and made the sounds we'd heard in the farmhouse, frightening and inexplicable though they were, seem like nothing more than a precursor. The breaths seemed to be getting louder, and although no sound of movement could be heard, I got the distinct impression that something was drawing nearer to the microphone. It frightened me to think that the very cassette recorder Season now held in trembling hands could have come so close to, or may even have been touched by, whatever it was that was causing that horrible sound.

The breathing faded, almost abruptly, followed by approximately ten seconds of absolute silence.

Then the singing began. It was quite unmistakably, and most distinctly, the voice of a woman and although I could not make out the words, she was singing something. A lullaby, perhaps? To this day I am not sure, even though we've listened to the tape hundreds of times since and have tried amplifying the sound through various means. It is certainly not a melody I, or Season, or anyone else we've shared the recording with, are familiar with.

It isn't that horrible breathing or the faint yet undeniable strain of song delivered by that mysterious voice that still, to this day, haunts my mind in the quiet dark before sleep overtakes me. Rather, it is the final three seconds of that recording that will always stay with me, and will always serve as proof to my mind that despite our best efforts to argue to the contrary, there are things that happen in this life that are beyond the bounds of rational explanation.

The singing voice stopped abruptly and was replaced by a dry, hoarse giggle. A hideous, insane laughter that erupted into a cackle just as an invisible finger reached out, brushed against the microphone, and pressed STOP.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Moon River...

It's Official: Water has been found on the Moon!

Since man first travled to the Moon and brought pieces of it back to Earth, scientists have thought that the lunar surface was bone dry, but new observations from three different spacecraft have apparently found the presence of water on the Moon…kind of.

And by kind of, I mean it’s in very small amounts (one ton of the top layer of the lunar surface would hold about thirty-two ounces of water), and that a lot of it is not comprised of a complete molecule of water, but is instead found as a hydroxyl molecule (OH-), a water molecule with a hydrogen atom stripped off.

Also, the amounts seem to fluctuate in rhythm with the lunar day, so it looks like the Sun has something to do with this. Scientists speculate the hydrogen in the solar wind may be blasting the surface of the Moon, freeing oxygen from the rocks there and binding with it to form OH- and water.

Of course, there may be water below the surface and one easy way to find out how much is to crash a probe into it!

Finding water on the moon would be a boon to possible future lunar bases, acting as a potential source of drinking water and fuel.

I was thinking of a way to market this new discovery and there appears to already be a company that distributes bottled water named: Moon Water The Low Gravity Water.

So, after it's colonized I'm thinking of building a microbrewery on the surface of the Moon.

Lunar Brew/Moonshine made from real Moon water. Delicious.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Avast, ye scallywags! Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!
The observance, started by John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur and Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers, gained widespread renown when it was mentioned by Dave Barry in his nationally syndicated newspaper column seven years ago.
Talk Like a Pirate Day came to be when Baur and Summers, in the middle of a friendly raquetball match, found the game was more fun when punctuated with pirate utterances so they decided to make a day of it. Since then, the day has spawned celebrations around the world, including pirate-themed bar crawls, charity walks and plenty of other events with a healthy dose of pirattitude.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country. The defense of liberty is the enduring thread that connects the selfless service of an American soldier today with the similar service of a patriot who came to the defense of this great nation through the ages.

I take enormous pride in how my fellow servicemen have fought, how they lived, and now take time to truly remember their sacrifice. Our brave men and women in uniform – both past and present – are the storm that gives chase to evil and safe harbor to liberty. Their loss can and should be mourned, but their character and commitment should be celebrated. That is how our great warriors should be remembered on this day, Memorial Day.

To those who served and those who continue to serve, I salute you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Minivan Highway

Nothing much to report.

Busy with some contract work so enjoy this super delicious video.

Kraftwerk's Grandfathers?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

You can thank thirteen years of Catholic school education for my warped sense of humor.

Anyway, I'm taking a moment to remember what today means to me and it ain't about colored eggs, chocolate or some stupid bunny.

Today, as we celebrate Easter, I would like to reflect on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and my gratitude for his sacrafice.

I hope you everyone has a wonderful day celebrating Easter with your families and friends in whatever manner you long as it does not involve that evil bastard The Easter Bunny.

After all - Jesus loves you, but The Easter Bunny sure as heck doesn't.

Just watch this video if you don't believe me...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Star Wars Girl Fight

Impressive. Most impressive.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Worthy Cause

Five months ago our life changed drastically when Season was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, chronic, degenerative disorder that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates nerves and facilitates the conduction of nerve impulses is the initial target of inflammatory destruction in multiple sclerosis.

It's been an up hill battle, but Season is a very strong woman and a committed fighter so I have no doubt she will eventually win the war against this disease.

She has a big heart and she isn't just concerned about herself. Season doesn't want anyone else to have to go through the same issues she has on a day to day basis in her fight against MS.

Recently she has formed a team for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Walk MS fundraising event.

Walk MS is the signature fundraising event of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. By participating in Walk MS you can know that you've shared a remarkable achievement with over two hundred and fifty thousand other walkers in more than seven hundred cities across the country, but most importantly, you'll be making a difference by raising essential funds for research and services for people with MS.

We will be personally participating in the walk to raise money to help find a cure for MS. This year’s goal is to raise over a million dollars. She has made a personal commitment to raise two thousand five hundred dollars and is hoping to surpass that amount.

This where you come in, she needs help to do it!

You can help in the efforts to end this devastating disease.

Please consider supporting with a tax-deductible donation to help her reach her fundraising goal.

Click here to make an online donation ---> Support Walk MS

Click here to visit Season's Blog ---> Destination...Season

I realize times are tough all around, but please every little bit counts so click on the links and help support a worthy cause.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mankind Is No Island

Seven hundred thousand people are homeless on any given night.

Seventy-six percent of homeless people who receive needed services like substance abuse treatment, education, and job training stop being homeless.

Eighty percent of homeless people who received subsidized housing remain stably housed.

However, less than one out of three people who are eligible for low-income housing, receive it.

For homeless youth, educational outreach programs, job training, and transitional living programs have proven very successful.

Forty percent of homeless people are veterans and the US Department of Veteran's Affairs has two major programs in place to provide health care, assessment, and referral to homeless veterans.

Studies show that these programs do help.

Homelessness is a condition that we have the power to end.

You can help to provide both temporary shelter and permanent solutions for the homeless by choosing a charity working to end homelessness.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sympathy For The Empire?

I am a big Star Wars fan and my favorite character is Darth Vader.

However, I do not side with The Galactic Empire even though I believe George Lucas favors this faction throughout all six movies.

If you factor in what must occur at the end of Revenge Of The Sith to tie in the original trilogy, Anakin must become Darth Vader, almost all of the Jedi are killed, and The Empire is formed to dominate the galaxy, it's clear that The Dark Side has consistently come out ahead and the inescapable conclusion is that Lucas supports The Empire.

Let's break it down:

Round One - The Phantom Menace

Although the climax of the movie appears to show our heroes prevailing over the evil Trade Federation, the future Galactic Empire takes the true victory by manipulating the event to seat Senator Palpatine, who will later become The Emperor, to the Senate.

Empire 1 - Republic 0

Round Two - Attack of the Clones

Palpatine continues to gain influence over the Senate. The Republic is duped yet again, this time into utilizing an army of cloned soldiers who will eventually dominate the galaxy as the Empire's Stormtroopers. Anakin is seduced by the dark side into killing an entire tribe of Tusken Raiders, but then strangely wins over Padmé after confessing to mass revenge killing. Chicks dig bad boys.

Empire 2 - Republic 0

Round Three - Revenge of the Sith

Anakin gives into The Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader, almost all of the Jedi are killed except for Yoda and Obi-Wan, liberty dies with thunderous applause and the newly formed Galactic Empire begins to ruthlessly take over the galaxy.

Empire 3 - Republic 0

Round Four - A New Hope

Okay, I realize Luke destroyed the Death Star in the climax and the heroes got shiny medals, but The Empire wiped out the entire planet of Alderaan. That's like the equivalent of the Japanese shooting down the Enola Gay after it nuked Hiroshima. It doesn't change the end result. It didn't even seem to effect The Empire that greatly. They even already had another Death Star being constructed.

Empire 4 - Republic 0

Round Five - The Empire Strikes Back

The title says it all. The Rebels are on the run, they get discovered on the planet Hoth and are defeated and forced to retreat. Han Solo gets frozen in Carbonite. Luke gets his ass kicked by Darth Vader.

Empire 5 - Republic 0

Round Six - Return of the Jedi

Yes, the second Death Star is destroyed and Darth Vader redeems himself by killing The Emperor before he also dies, but I don't think that necessarily means The Empire was truly knocked out.

Although, the deaths of Vader and Palpatine appeared to cause The Rebellion to topple The Galactic Empire like a house of cards, I think things were tied up far to quickly.

As recent history has taught us, you have to win the peace after you win the war. There would be a huge power vacuum within The Empire, with various Grand Moffs lining up to seize power. The Empire's infrastructure is still is place, short of a Death Star or two, but apparently, those can be made to be fully operational failry quickly so it couldn't be too long before The Rebels realized the war was far from over.

Because the movie ends before those ramifications were addressed, I'll be charitable and give this round to The Rebellion.

Let's go to the scorecard:

This gives The Empire a resounding 5-1 victory with The Rebels only scoring a TKO.

Which side of the force do you think Lucas is on?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Rockin' The Accordion Ukrainian Style

Ukrainian band, Los Colorados, perform Katy Perry's Hot & Cold in their own unique style. Complete with accordion solo.

I want Los Colorados to play at my next birthday party. It should make up for the Ukrainian bride I ordered that got "lost" in the mail.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Diego: The Lil' Dirt Devil

When I finally stopped laughing I had to ask:
What in the world is this picture about?!?!?!?
Is he supposed to be a vacuuming superhero from the future?
Is the photo an analogy of Diego's "future" in housekeeping?
Is he a martian and the vacuum signifies the vacuum of deep space?
Was the photographer drunk and out of props?
Either way this picture is classic.
Thank you Sexy People for uploading this picture!

Happy April Fools' Day!

The origins of April Fools' Day are murky, but the likeliest explanation is that it began as a way to mock French people who were slow to switch to the Gregorian Calendar which changed New Year's from April 1st to January 1st.

These folks were labeled "fools" and some were sent on "fools' errands."

Of course there are alternate theories, specifically ones that ascribe the informal holiday to the cultural impact of the Hilaria Festival of ancient Rome and the Holi Celebration in India.

The Museum of Hoaxes has a complete collection of all the theories, but the real problem with explaining April Fools' Day is that you never quite know when someone is trying to fool you with their explanation.

My favorite example comes from Professor Joseph Boskin of Boston University. Boskin explained that the holiday stemmed from a moment of political unrest under Constantine, when a group of court jesters said they could run the empire better than he could. He claimed that Constantine was amused so he let a jester named Kugel be king for a day. That day was April 1st.

The press ran this theory in 1983, only to find out it was Boskin's prank on the American public.

The real fun though is pulling a prank yourself.

So, go on and make some prank phone calls, change the time on a clock, heat up a door handle, tape up a computer mouse, tie up a sink sprayer, strategically apply some vaseline to surfaces, glue a quarter to the floor, exchange the salt and the sugar, or just hide and scare the heck out of someone.

Make a fool out of somebody and have a happy April Fools' Day.

Top One Hundred April Fools' Day Hoaxes Of All Time

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tell Me Why?

You Don't Like Mondays...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Apocalypse Meow

Watership Down! I repeat, Watership Down! Medic!

Twouble With Twitter

Twitter, expanding on the dictionary's definition of twit since 2006:


  • Noun - An insignificant or bothersome person, a foolishly annoying person.
  • Verb - To taunt, ridicule, or tease, especially for embarrassing mistakes or faults.

The sad part about Twitter is that it actually is a living metaphor for how desperately everyone wants to be connected, to others, and to feel like they are being heard.

Appealing to a voyeuristic impulse driven generation raised on disconnection and instant gratification Twitter, (unlike blogging) is as much about connection as chewing gum is about nutrition. Yet, you will find hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people following the random, mindless white noise events of another humans life.

Pearls of wisdom such as:

Dim sum is my favorite. – 161 followers

I'm at bar camp la. – 887 followers

I am sooo grateful for getting an extra hour of sleep. – 648 followers

Adding 40 friends on facebook - 4226 followers

What is driving not only Twitter but the whole social network phenomena is the need for acceptance and validation; the bigger the number of “followers” or “friends” you have the more “important” you are. Your life is now a essentially a video game.

Shouldn't people desire quality in real friends, instead of quantity in illusionary friends?

Don't people realize sonic pulses are good food MRI’s but not for human connection?

Twitter does not make human interaction more efficient, nor does it help you get more connected, it feeds you an illusion of connection.

The social network phenomena points to one obvious reality, that humans deeply and desperately want to connect, but platforms like Twitter are the fast food of human connection quick, bad for you, nutritionally empty, and feed on giving the least healthy thing to as many people as possible for one simple purpose, money.

I feel like I am becoming more and more jaded lately.

Well, at least I can still laugh at the situation and this video proves I'm not the only one who thinks Twitter is blogging for retards and the next evolution of stupid.

Video thanks to Big Daddy over at Bon Jour, Pee Wee

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Karma Karma Karma Chameleon

You come and go
You come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams
Or like Ray-Ban sunglasses...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Obama Fatigue

Obama claims he inherited the deficit...

As Ace so succinctly put it :

"He inherited these deficits like OJ inherited Niccole Brown's head".

He has proposed a budget with a level of spending that sends deficits to record levels!

Obama wants to assume that by 2012, the last year of his first term, revenues will exceed the average of the previous twenty-five years (indeed, the last fifty years!) for every year from then on. He assumes unprecedented revenues to start flowing in, year after year, from 2012 onward. He also assumes unspecified savings in those years way past his first term.

He puts the deficit at 12.3% of GDP in 2009. Throughout the Great Depression, whether under Hoover or FDR, the deficit never exceeded 6% of GDP. Under Reagan, with his inherited recession and his tax cuts, it never exceeded 6% of GDP. Under George W. Bush, with his inherited recession and his tax cuts, it never even got to 4% of GDP.

In fact, in only five years since 1930 has the deficit exceeded 6% of GDP: 1942-46. It has exceeded Obama's 12.3% only from 1942 to 1945.

That was World War II. Then, defense spending was about 40% of GDP. Now it is about 4%.

Obama projects debt held by the public at 59% of GDP in 2009, and about 65% of GDP thereafter, as far as his projections go.

You have to go back to Truman to see debts that high. And Truman was paying off World War II costs. It's been below 50% of GDP since 1957. For the first time since then, it will exceed that level this year, going from 41% to 59% of GDP in a single year.

This is a terrible budget. In Obama's first term, it is even worse than my predictions. Into his second term and beyond, it is still bad, and held together only with rosy assumptions on both the revenue and spending sides. When things can be expected to get really bad, by 2020 and beyond, he makes no projections at all.

Obama also had the great idea to save money with a plans to have our military veterans to use their private insurance to cover combat related injuries! I'm a military veteran! Luckily veterans groups, learning of the possibility last month, quickly mobilized to oppose it and he dropped it.

What kind of President would quickly abandon his moral responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nations freedoms?

The kind who would want an organization with voter fraud investigations in twelve states to partner with Census to help count the number of Americans in the country.

With many criminal indictments and convictions having been leveled in numerous states against ACORN the concern is why the Census should be "partnering" with an organization that has so frequently bribed people to register voters.

What is at stake from an accurate census is huge. The allocation of seats in Congress, and ultimately questions of who controls it, depend on an accurate count. Much of the money Congress spends is allocated based on the census.

ACORN is a "bipartisan" organization in name only. Giving it any type of official role in the process, including making it a so-called "Census Bureau partner," is disturbing.

For a nonpartisan organization such as the Census, ACORN's political connections are also troubling. Last year, the Obama campaign paid ACORN $800,000 to register voters and do other work. ABC News' Jake Tapper caught Obama campaign officials in numerous attempts to hide Mr. Obama's past connections with ACORN. Mr. Obama also gave ACORN money when he served on the board of the Woods Fund in Chicago. For all the work that he has done for ACORN over the years, Investor's Business Daily called Mr. Obama "ACORN's Senator."

In sixty days or so he has made some terrible decisions and they seem to just keep coming.

Only one thousand three hundred and ninety-five more days until he is out. It couldn't come any faster if it was tomorrow for me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Doctor Is In

I heard this conversation on the radio this morning:

Clueless Caller: I’m confused. My girlfriend has sex with me, but she refuses to ever kiss me on the mouth.

Relationship Doctor: There are two possibilities. It could be possible she is turned off by your breath or there may be psychological reasons why your girlfriend avoids kissing. Blah, blah, blah.

The Doctor's bottom line was if your girlfriend hardly kisses you, you need to ask her and yourself what the problem is. It might be fixable, but it may also be a sign that she lacks real feelings for you.

I think the Doctor missed the obvious. She ignored a third, but far more likely, explanation for this woman's behavior.

So it looks like it's up to me to help this guy out...

Dear Clueless,

I have some questions about your "girlfriend:"
  • Does she usually greet you by asking "Are you a cop"?

  • Instead of going out to dinner and a movie, does she just prefer the cash?

  • Do most of your "dates" occur in parked cars or motels?

  • Is her petname for you "John"?

  • After the "date", do you drop her off on any corner?

  • When you suggest that she come home to meet your mother, does she say "Okay, but that'll be an extra fifty bucks"?

  • Is her favorite movie "Pretty Woman"?
If you've answered "yes" to one or more of the above, I suspect that she may not be your girlfriend after all. You may want to reconsider this relationship and look into some health screening.

Best Wishes,
Q. McLovin' M.D.

I can't believe no one has ever offered me my own advice column.

Bear Mountain Sports Commercial

Monday, March 23, 2009

We The People Stimulus Package

Democracy is not a spectator sport...

In 1776 one of our founding fathers Thomas Paine, anonymously published a pamphlet entitled “Common Sense” which challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used resonated with the common man and was the first publication to openly push for independence.

Maintaining “the cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind,” Paine passionately argued for independence from Great Britain, and painted the picture of a prosperous future, if freed from the oppressive and economically draining English government.

Now two hundred and thirty three years later, America once again finds itself being taxed without representation, and being drained economically by an oppressive government.

This time, it’s own government run amuck.

What would Thomas Paine say about America’s plight today?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shooting Star Inc.

I got such a positive response about my newly evolved end of life decisions to have my body flash frozen into a specific pose and shot into space that I believe this idea can be developed into a business venture.

Think about it:

You can literally become the Silver Surfer, or Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a Buddhist could be frozen into a meditation position, Chuck Norris could be posed, set into a spin and perpetually roundhouse kick for the rest of time.

You could be covered in mirrors transforming you into a star!

Speaking of stars:

Star Wars fans - You can recreate an actual scene from the movie as Darth Vader in his battle damaged TIE Fighter hurtling through space!

The possibilities are endless.

Remains could be set into orbit around Earth, into deep space or shot directly at a particular planet.

You remember how Uncle Buster was always so fond of Jupiter, right?

Even if the orbit is imperfect, or if it is effected by some other object the results are still pretty memorable. Either the deceased will be sent back to reenter the atmosphere harmlessly vaporizing becoming a blazing shooting star as a final tribute or they could be knocked out of orbit and fly off into deep space to boldly go where no man has gone before.

I am now taking up a collection for the start up capitol to get this business off the ground (so to speak).

The first million dollars gets you a complementary space burial and memorial video.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's time once again to dust off your shamrocks and test your Irish luck, cause we're all green on St. Patrick's Day!

Well, in all fairness I am exactly zero percent Irish.

However, my beautiful girlfriend is half Irish, Ireland is an island as is my country of origin, I was brought up Roman Catholic, one of my best friends in the Army was Irish and I went along with him to visit his relatives in County Cork. I also have an affinity for delicious alcoholic beverages and the color green.

Hopefully that's enough to earn me the right to celebrate.

Saint Patrick, the Roman Catholic patron saint of the inebriated.

Today is the day where we mourn a great man, a humble and courageous man by drinking a whole bunch of green alcoholic beverages and by gathering with friends and family to have fun.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

End Of Life Decisions

This should not be considered a final will and testament, as, obviously, it mentions none of my assets, which will be dealt with in other documents. However, what follows is, in fact, a true statement of my final wishes.

I have often told people that upon my death, at the conclusion of the after party, I want my dead body to be shot out of a cannon and wherever it lands that is where they should bury me.

I don't think it is too much to ask for and it seems like a good way to go out with a bang, so to speak.

I am now considering a different method to dispose of my earthly remains.

Logistical issues aside, upon my death the following should be performed:

I want my body to be placed into a Superman costume and flash frozen into this pose:

The frozen remains should then be launched into outer space.

None of this geosynchronous orbit crap either. I want to be on an extra-solar trajectory.

Why? Because an alien armada on it's way to Earth could come across me and decide that maybe they better make a U-turn and head back to Quasar F-73 and re-think their invasion plans.

So it is written. So let it be done.

Obama's Poll Numbers Are Falling

It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama's high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration.

Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced.

Polling data show that Obama's approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. Rasmussen Reports data shows that Mr. Obama's net presidential approval rating. Which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve, is just six, his lowest rating to date.

Overall, Rasmussen Reports shows a 56%-43% approval, with a third strongly disapproving of the president's performance. This is a substantial degree of polarization so early in the administration. Obama has lost virtually all of his Republican support and a good part of his Independent support, and the trend is decidedly negative.

The reason for this decline most likely has to do with doubts about the administration's policies and their impact on peoples' lives.

Are people finally taking notice?

The 2010 budget document is on the OMB website.

While the Red Shed (formerly the Whitehouse) talks about deficit reduction as if there were some sort of 'savings' involved, you have to understand that deficits are being reduced by increasing taxes and not by reducing spending you will not be impressed either.

According to the budget document:

Gross Federal Deficit 2008 = $9.986 trillion (actual); increasing in 2009 to $12.704 trillion (est.); by 2013 $16.198 trillion (est).

In one budget year Obama will increases our national debt by 27%, and over four years by 62%, although I expect the real numbers will far exceed the estimated numbers, and Congress may throw more tax increases at the taxpayers as a result. I suppose I can understand China's 'concern' over holding so much US debt.

Paraphrasing the old saw that "the whippings will continue until morale improves" I do not expect that Harry Pelosi, Nancy Reid & DemSoc will be able to resist even more '$timulu$' for the government, just not for the economy.

Our grandkids are going to have to pay the bill when it comes due.

I wonder if they'll have to use Chinese Yuan to do it?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday The 13th!

It's Friday the 13th and as a public service I have compiled a list of suggestions that I feel will keep you safe from harm...

Survival Tip #1: If you see a black cat, shoot it.
Better to be safe than sorry.

Survival Tip #2: Use up all your bad luck early.
You can only have so much bad luck in a single day, so just start trying to use your whole quota of it by lunch. Tempt fate through such activities as cleaning your toaster with a fork, picking a fight with a gorilla or cleaning your ears with a nail gun.

Survival Tip #3: Don't talk about Fight Club.
Even if you are a beautiful and unique snowflake, just don't.

Survival Tip #4: Don't let the Jehovah's Witnesses in.
Sure, three hundred and sixty four days out of the year they seem like nice folks who just want to share their crackpot religious dogma and a cup of Kool-Aid with you...but each year on Friday the 13th, they fatten their ranks by kidnapping people and forcing them to watch Veggie Tales until they convert.

Survival Tip #5: Refuse to recognize that it's Friday the 13th.
In many skyscrapers, superstitious builders make the floors jump from twelve to fourteen to avoid the unlucky thirteenth floor. As soon as you wake up today, say, "Wow, what a lovely day March 14th is!

Survival Tip #6: Leave the Earth by close of business April 13, 2029.
Be gone before the Near-Earth asteroid 99942 Apophis smashes into our planet and destroys the world as we know it.

Now you've got to ask yourself one question:

"Am I feeling superstitious?"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You Call That Art?

Do you remember that scene from Fight Club where The Space Monkeys bring in a very dead Robert Paulson and explain how he was shot while on a Project Mayhem assignment to destroy a piece of corporate art and a trendy coffee bar at the same time?

Do you also remember what that piece of corporate art was?

It was a giant sphere which they rolled into a Starbucks.

Even though it was a moving scene which ended with Meat Loaf dying of a massive gaping head wound, my thoughts weren't on the tragic loss of life or on how The Space Monkeys had all been transformed into unfeeling cogs, my thoughts returned to that ugly golden sphere and I remember thinking, “That is not art”.

Fast forward to today as I walked into an office building to attend a meeting and noticed the massive piece of "artwork" that hangs in their atrium from the third to the first floor. I stopped and stared at it, trying to figure out what the heck it was. It took me a few minutes, staring at it’s shiny silver surface until I realized that it looked like the bones of a giant fish.

Well, nothing says “Welcome to Company Inc™, where we do business” like a giant metal abstract trout skeleton.

That got me thinking about a lot of the different corporate art I have seen and I came to the conclusion that referring to any of it as art is damn near an impossibility for me.

I am all for abstract shapes and concepts, but when it looks like a giant piece of sheet metal that has been warped it into a squiggly cylinder which has then been plopped down outside an office building it is not art.

It may be like comparing apples to oranges, but I just can’t call that art as I would a painting by Diego Velazquez or Salvador Dali.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


A cliff is a convenient plot device...

I have seen a lot of real cliffs, but that is an entirely different story about how bad ass I am. One for another time.

Really many actual cliffs do you think the average person has ever even seen?

In fact, you have probably never seen a real cliff in your life.

Okay, maybe one, two tops.

Now compare that with how many cliffs are seen in movies, television programs, whatever.

The average fictional character encounters a whopping 1.58 cliffs every hour. In fact, 0.00027% of the world inhabited by fictitious people is occupied by cliffs. Not by my measurement, by someone else's; someone who has more credibility than me (note: I made this number up, also the one before it).

The point is this: The average person is never flung off a cliff, or forced to catch someone who has been flung off a cliff, or has assisted the person they intend to duel to reach the top of a cliff, or decided to drive their car over a cliff to avoid capture, or fooled their enemy into thinking they have fallen off a cliff only to slowly climb back up after said enemy has left the area, or skidded slowly towards a cliff while fighting for some life-altering treasure, or, for that matter, has had the life-altering treasure fall off a cliff and then has had to go get it, perhaps by intentionally diving of the cliff.

Fictional characters, however, do this all the time.

Suspension of disbelief can only go so far when it comes to cliffs.

Let's hold fiction to some standard here folks.

New Pet

Nick Drummond shot a great series of photos featuring a Star Wars AT-AT as a new family pet named “ATilla”.

In addition to making great pets I hear they’re great for ridding your home of rebel scum.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Meal

Except for the fact that kids seem to love it, it's hard to find a happy story about the McDonald's Happy Meal. Happy Meals seem to have a bad rap for luring kids into eating unhealthy foods with cheap toys.

On the other hand though, kids don't drive themselves to McDonald's, parents do, and if the kids didn't like the food, it's unlikely a little plastic toy would turn the tide in their demands.

I myself think, even though there is hardly anything to them and they've probably irreparably damaged my arteries, McDonald's hamburgers are delicious.

Well, Luke Underwood an eleven year old from Notts, England has a very happy story. He turned his collection of Happy Meal toys into a tidy sum of cash when he sold it for over eleven thousand dollars.

It is estimated that ten thousand Happy Meals would have to have been eaten in order to amass such a collection, but before you head out to the drive-through, you should know that Luke did not eat those meals himself. At the age of seven, he convinced his father to purchase most of the Happy Meals collection (dating from 1990 to 1999) for about three hundred and fifty dollars which he added to until it was sold at auction. The family decided it was time to sell the items after boxes of the collection began taking over their home.

Time to start checking under car seats and the backs of your kids closet or bed for those discarded Happy Meal toys. You just may find some treasure or a psychotic red and white striped clown...

Play That Funky Music


Great mashup of various instructional and other music videos to creat one gigantic funk song.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Welcome To The Future...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Obama And The Economy

(The picture doesn't have anything to do with the story, but it was too weird not to post)

It's hard not to see the continued sell-off on Wall Street and the growing fear on Main Street as a product, at least in part, of the realization that our new president's policies are designed to radically re-engineer the market-based U.S. economy, not just mitigate the recession and financial crisis.
The illusion that Barack Obama will lead from the economic center has quickly come to an end. Instead of combining the best policies of past Democratic presidents - John Kennedy on taxes, Bill Clinton on welfare reform and a balanced budget, for instance - President Obama is returning to Jimmy Carter's higher taxes and Mr. Clinton's draconian defense drawdown. Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents - from George Washington to George W. Bush...