Sunday, December 30, 2007

Waiting for the Gift of Sound and Vision




Well, I haven't felt like writing a thing lately. But I have been busy. I learned a little more about my program called Sqirlz Morph (I got version 1.3 a while back ). I wanted to tackle the "simpler" subroutines of warping, as opposed to "morphing", which is the full Monty of the program. I really got balled up over the subtle details, though. I had to think it all through and perform some experiments with red circles and blue squares before I could get it. Of course I went online but got no help. Still, Sqirlz Morph is a great little program and it's free. I see there is a new version 1.5 release at Download.com
There are some older versions still around on the Web.
The first shot is an older one I re-ran with warp settings as opposed to morph, and the second is a previous failure I tweaked a bit today and then cleaned up with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Whom I am not too happy with today, because of their over-kill organizing window, which I had wisely ignored since I bought the program. If you don't save your projects as JPGs, Windows can't view them, and its organizer is written to satisfy the most obsessive minds in existence. Anyway, one whole sqirlz session got lost today and I suspect Adobe, open in a different window, was such a resource hog it caused the project to bail without warning, and I had not saved... you would think we would learn.
Having said that, I gave up the ghost on my old PhotoDeluxe software last year. I forsaw a 10 hour learning-curve, with no guarantees, to force my new machine using XP to keep using it, and the cost-benefit analysis looked grim. So I forked over about $100 for Adobe's Elements, and actually it's great. Except for the dreaded Organizer...
Here's a Brian Eno video about his visual art, 77 Milion Paintings

Friday, December 28, 2007

Jumper







Well, the cat's out of the bag now. I may as well admit it. They have made a movie out of the 1992 book that inspired my name.






http://www.jumperthemovie.com/ will provide some info on this. The usual search of Google Wikipedia and YouTube will provide more.
Author Steven Gould (middle name Charles) is of course not to be confused with the late Stephen Jay Gould whose books I love and found very valuable as well.
This science fiction writer wowed me. Teleportation is an old science fiction theme, but Gould brought it alive with such a fresh enthusiasm that not only did I simply enjoy the book, he inspired me as a writer. Cast out all old baggage, begin the journey anew!
At first, viewing the movie trailers, with slavering anticipation, I was put off by some elements I detected that were not true to the original book. "Oh, lord, another typical Hollywood mash-up," I thought. But it looks like the talent is there in the movie, (screenwriters include Jim Uhls of Fight Club, and apparently Gould has written a couple of sequels I'm also slavering for. One (the third) was written for the release of the movie, okay. It's obvious he didn't stomp off in a funk about this. We will see.
I also loved Gould's 1996 Wildside
Update: The movie was not well received by critics. And I ordered and read Jumper: Griffin's Story which was pretty good. Being such a fan of the books, I was of course rapt throughout. The special effects were all one could ask for. I thought it was paced a little tiny bit too fast - I suppose that's better than too slow, but I didn't think that was likely. The acting didn't do much for me. And there was a huge plot hole.
But I am still Jumper, and I still Jump.
Further update: I indicated to author Steven Gould my appropriation of this name for online purposes. He gave me an okay up on its continued use by me. I think I first used it on an old Sudoku forum, where I have used it Or was it first used on the New Kind of Science (Wolfram) forum? Not sure. My old posts have vanished.

Friday, November 16, 2007

For its Own Sake


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Haiku


Raw nerve, cut myself
I've had this much pain before
So I can take it


Inevitable.
Thousand-foot-tall door closes.
Ka-Whooom! Then, silence.


Offshore drilling rig
Sam the Sham got his own boat,
charges for the ride.


Nun rides bicycle
Storm clouds darken, it grows late
Who will start the fire?


"Holy shit, Batman!"
"Hey! You watch your mouth, Robin!"
The caped crusaders.


Symmetry is fun
Beautiful is different
it's not the same thing


What the hell happened?
God damn it all anyway.
My baby left me

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Was a UFO Hoaxter


I got started when I took up kite-flying as a calming activity. My life had been frenetic, stressful, and I had given up a bad habit recently, so I bought a sturdy delta-winged kite.
Since '86 I've been looking for the pre-packaged box kites I was most impressed with as a kid; surely imported from Taiwan those days, with tremendous lift and stability and unique in that they have no obvious"wings" but the paper panels forming part of the sides of the rectangular box. I haven't seen them in years, and I keep putting off making my own. But a good tested delta kite will be all right.

I experimented with nylon monofilament for fishing, 5- and 10-pound-test line, but settled for the reliable 15 or 20. I bought about 15 rolls of 400-yard line as my hobby progressed.
I remember one sunny, breezy afternoon tying a few successive spools together as I played out my kite to a height of about 1,200 yards or about 2/3 of a mile out. A pair of brown eagles came from over the horizon once I got up to about 600 feet; I guess they were checking out to see if they had some local competition. Cautious that they might actually attack, or at least tumble my kite, I quickly played out about 400 more feet of line and outclimbed them. A small Piper from the local airstrip came by to check things out.

I toyed around with it in those days. I would try to see how high I needed to fly it to make it disappear completely. I got self-conscious, once, because I knew I looked odd, out in a field holding an invisible string attached to nothing that could be seen. And flying an invisible kite loses it's fun, even if I was breaking my own altitude records in the process.

I didn't have any fancy reels, just a homemade large can I wrapped and let out simply. It took forever to reel that kite back down from 2000 feet. I remember the first time getting impatient, and then I realized I was having such a cool time, I didn't care if it took a while to reel in and go home. I learned patience.

One night I drove through some backstreets to a field that abutted a main road, though you couldn't get into the field there. It was dusk; I parked my car behind some weeds, and by the time I got my kite up in the air it was dark out. I don't think the moon was visible.
I played out about 1,000 feet of line, got out a little tiny cheap flashlight I'd bought in the grocery checkout lane, and taped it onto the string with some duct tape. It made the line sag somewhat, but as it rose up the kite caught a higher lift far above, and pulled that little light straight up another 600 feet.

It looked very cool. The kite was completely out of sight in the dark heights, but the light quickly became a point, a pixie of light unlike any usual thing seen in the night sky. It was no bird, plane, swampgas, helicopter, star, or balloon. Just a slightly jittery, shimmering little light in the sky.

I didn't know the building far across the field and across the road was a church until the service ended, and people started coming out of the front door of the church, chatting with each other, heading for their cars in the parking lot beside the building. One person saw it, then a few more started pointing up at it in the sky, and talking. I was too far away, about 250 yards to make out any words, behind some weeds, leaning on my car in the total darkness, and I was being quiet. Their voices sounded really alive, kind of loud, but that wasn't it, it was a tone of curiosity, a murmur of unafraid excitement and interest... mystery.

It's interesting to me how about half the people there took one look at it and didn't linger at all; they walked straight to their cars and drove away, almost nervously it seemed to me. The other half of the people stood out there, pointing up at the little light, talking to each other for over 20 minutes, slowly drifting to their cars before the last two couples stayed a few more minutes, watching and talking quietly. The other couple started to their car, the man calling over his shoulder to his friend, "Well, I hope you figure it out!" and the last holdout looked back up into the sky, but his wife grabbed his arm and I barely heard her say to her husband, "Come on, honey, let's GO."

Squeezed


Careful shoppers often note that spaghetti and elbow macaroni are the least expensive pasta choices at the grocery store. I'm looking for the novel mouth-feel of the oddballs, though: rotini, or shells, or even wagonwheels. Remember them? I want a sauce-grabbing and interesting little pasta morsel in my mouth, and I see I have to pay about twice as much to get it. That's right, almost double the price. Even angel-hair spaghetti is about twice as much as regular spaghetti. If they made little fish-shaped pasta morsels, which I want, I bet they'd charge three times as much.
So let's look at the cost to manufacture this. Commercial (industrial) pasta dies, the pieces made to force the dough through, have evolved. They used to be made of copper, by hand; then bronze. Higher speeds, greater forces. Hundreds of pounds of pressure, forcing that stuff out at greater and greater speeds. The factories got more efficient. Hardened steel dies, finally. There's a whole science of manufacturing the dies for pasta-making plants. So I assumed the weirder pasta pieces had more complex and expensive parts to make them. That might be reasonable.
Except for the weird anomaly of elbow macaroni. This stuff is twice as complicated as spaghetti, at least. It's hollow, for one thing, making the extrusion significantly more complicated. And they have to make sure it has that 90 degree bend in it, the "elbow." Not so simple, really. Surely a simple rotini is less expensive to make.
But note this: elbow macaroni has a lousy "mouth feel" to it. It's not that great. No sauce or cheese really goes far into those thin tubes, it's no better or worse than spaghetti, and like regular spaghetti, inferior even to"thin spaghetti" and noticeably less rewarding to eat than "angel hair,"which although requires smaller dies, is really pretty damned simple even in a cost-conscious factory.
The reason regular spaghetti and elbow macaroni are least expensive is not because they are cheaper to produce, it's because they aren't that great.And I'm pretty sure they COULD sell me rotini at the SAME LOW PRICE, they just WON'T. Those bastards.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Year Without Cheese


In August of 2007, I decided to go a year without cheese. I had just gotten my cholesterol report back from the doctor; and I'm overweight by some 20 lbs.


In the early '80s or '90s I read about an actress who lost weight by a simple "no cheese" diet. Uncomplicated, and not excessively sacrificial or forbidding. Simple. Merely not eating cheese.


After one year of that, and making no other lifestyle changes, I had dropped 10 pounds. Now I'm doing it again. This time I'm experiencing even greater social pressure to eat cheese. People overreact; waitstaff raise their eyebrows.


Then, I was not a fanatic. I recall two or three pizzas I allowed myself during that year. Maybe one or two other violations such as a broccoli casserole serving at Thanksgiving. But I quit buying the stuff and pretty much quit it for the year.


I drink skim milk, eat yogurt, cook with butter. I don't eat a lot of sour cream, but it's allowed. Just cheese.


I ate less fast food in those days, cheese experiment or not. Nowadays, I eat out a bit more. It has become a challenge to go cheeseless, but I have. It's interesting how much easier it is to judge the quality of the burger, without the cheese. I am becoming a fan of the slaw-and chili burger.


Just like last time, I allow myself a couple of exceptions occasionally. I had tacos with cheese for my birthday, and have had one frozen pizza since August. Next pizza will be pepperoni and mushroom and olive, no cheese. I eat a lot of tacos and other Mexican food, and order them all without cheese. A lunch wagon pulled up where I work recently and I asked the lady what she had without cheese. With a worried look, she rifled through her stash of lunch and said, "They all have cheese!" She talked me into getting a taco and simply removing the cheese, which I did. She gave me a price break!


I've been all over the internet reading various others' tales of no cheese. Almost every one of them expresses big regrets: we love the stuff. Vegans, vegetarians, dieters and cholesterol-lowerers, lactose intolerent, candida and yeast sufferers, and low-thyroid people. They are mostly expressing a melancholy sadness relating to this sacrifice. It seems to be difficult, a "last thing on the list" that they were able to quit; the thing they love the most.



A humorous take on the "Cheesocracy."
I've lost some weight already, but have not been on scales yet. More on this when I find some and weigh myself.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Does



I would like to take this opportunity to comment on a common tactic employed by many, such as TV's Columbo, but more often used by a certain sort of unregenerate Son of the South. I'm talking about the tactic of deliberately appearing to be stupider than one is. This is often a reflexive habit, honed into such persistent usage it becomes almost unconscous in its employ. I assume the prime role model in this behavior is Andy Griffith. In this fictional display, Andy appears to be a hick, and beguiles the bad guys into letting slip some critical piece of intelligence, thinking he won't pick up on it. But he does! This is because Andy is sly.
I believe the practitioners of this habit, even though they believe they are emulating a smart fellow, have practiced this routine so much that they are in danger of actually becoming the thing they think they are pretending to be. Like your Mama said, if you keep making that face it'll get stuck that way.
Besides, I asked myself a while back, how smart do you have to be, and how smart is it, to constantly make people think you are an idiot, anyway?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Juicy Job


As lads, my friend instigated, and I assisted with, the manufacture of a sort of rum or perhaps "cachaca" from refined sugar, water, and ordinary bread yeast. When fermentation slowed to a crawl, we made a still from Pyrex glassware, even incorporating a water-cooled Pyrex coil to condense it. His father assisted. He didn't know that our "experiment" was soon ramped up from the mere ounce we obtained, and which he thought was pretty harmless even if we tasted it. As it was only an ounce, and was too strong and alien for teenage boys to develop a taste for. He believed. Years later, my friend told me the rest of the story.Unbeknownst to his father or me, he continued his work and somehow (I must get the details) managed to make about 2 gallons of the stuff and stored it in mason jars. Unsatisfied with the strength, he distilled it twice, and it approached everclear or very strong vodka in potency. He and some other guys mixed it with various fruit juices and got bombed.That summer, he went for a job interview at an industrial chemical plant. The interviewer asked him of his interest in chemistry, and he explained his recent hobby. Intrigued, the interviewer peppered him with questions. "Well, I happen to have a few quarts in my trunk right now," he said, and they repaired to the parking lot where he magnanimously offered a couple of quarts to the interviewer as a gift. He got the job. And a cushy job it was indeed for a high-school boy. Nowadays we live in moonshine country, but I still turn my nose up at the stuff. Copper coils, metal pots, radiators for crying out loud: none of those hillbillies can be trusted to obtain the level of purity my buddy and I obtained using all glass equipment and double distillation.
About the illustration: Note the seams sealed with lead solder and the non-food grade ball valve attached. And the dubious plastic hose, although that might just be for the cooling water. But still! Yuck!
UPDATE: My long-lost friend just showed up and tells me: "Your latest entry barely hints at the truth and is dead wrong on most counts." This cracks me up. I believe him. So much for my memory.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Simpsonized





We all lie about our age. The top example shows me as 64. I lied. I'm not 64.
And the bottom: I just play a guy who wears a suit on TV.
Some blog friends on Achenblog began this enjoyable silliness. The site can be found at http://simpsonizeme.com/#
It will ask you for a photo, but I don't really believe it has to be a photo of oneself. I wonder why they are phishing for photos?
Needless to say, playing with someone else's cartooning software caused me to temporarily neglect my own projects.

Incredible!

Having been enjoying playing with my morphing software Sqirlz Morph from http://www.download.com/ (see bottom of blog for some more examples) I realized I could also blend people and comix or cartoon characters. Bruce Banner at the bottom of the Hulk cover is one-half the real me, and so is the Hulk. More comix morphs are on my list of fun things to do soon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Flag This Post

Actually, I stole this from an African American artist I know. (Here I just re-created something similar to his painting today from generic web pix.) It means "change" and "out with the old hatred, in with the new pride." It doesn't mean anything else.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Bando's Curse


Bando was my technician. By all rights I should have fired him shortly after he began, but I was glad I didn't. He was excellent. With certain limitations.

He appeared to be taking the longest time to pick up the rudiments of our profession. He seemed off in some dreamworld and I was constantly nervous that he wasn't understanding the instructions new employees routinely receive.

I finally determined to just give Bando an assignment and qualify him on that basis. To my amazement, he performed perfectly on a series of machines in our testing lab, recorded his results satisfactorily, and correctly noted a slight mis-calibration of one of our testing standards. He had turned into a first-class technician, in my view, overnight.

Here, then, after an interesting interview with the man, I formulated in my mind Bando's curse, which was in my view both a strength and a weakness: he could not learn anything without learning the whole of that field of knowledge. And he did. Bando had, on his own, spent countless hours at the local libraries, public and at the University, and mastered our entire field. He told me he could literally not feel any understanding at all of any subject until he had read deeply on the subject, and he had achieved an overall picture, as he put it.

That talent led him to be a valuable employee. I feel I have rewarded him, too.

Bando's curse was when he applied his brain to human beings. He seemed to be spending his entire life, or at least that part of it concerned with interacting with his fellow human beings, wandering around in the same fog I had seen exhibited the first few days when he came to work for me. He could literally make no headway in dealing with people because he needed to master all the knowledge about the human race before he could confidently act. In other words, Bando would need his entire life, if not a thousand lives, to master the "background material" of his investigation.

And so he was stuck. Constantly distracted by his own sense of incomplete knowledge, he appeared stupid or eccentric to most people I saw him interact with while he was here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Judgment Day

I used to throw newspapers, and one morning I'd been accosted by about three crackheads, all of 'em wanting to jump in my game, and I can tell you when it's five a.m. and crackheads are slowing you down, you gotta be fast, and I was, I'd see 'em coming up to me and time slowed down and the very instant, the 20th of a second I see their lips opening trying to snag me in the game, I'd open my mouth and start talking non-stop: "Hey, hey my man," I'm talking loud and running right over whatever they got to say, cause I know it's my only hope, "It's a fast gig, a hurry-up thing, ya gotta go, go, go, and I'm tellin' ya, it's just one damn thing after another some mornin's, ya know man, and I can't stop cause if I stop I get BEHIND, so far behind, they'll be complainin' and believe me, I got to just go go go." All this talking as fast as I possibly can and I'm walking fast while I talk and making total fixed eye-contact and I am not letting that crackhead get a single word in edgewise. Not a single word.
--------------------------------------------------------------
I remember when my father died, I returned from the funeral out of state, tired is what I was and I was beyond tired. I had spent a week in the hospital watching him slowly die, and then returned for the funeral a few days later. I had to go to the grocery store when I got back to Charlotte.
----------------------------------------------------------------
That other morning, in a different year, on a different day, crackhead number four for the morning started his approach, and I thought to myself each one of these guys thinks he's the only crackhead who's tried to jump in my game this morning.
So I ran out of my stuff, and I just said instead, "get out of my way, you damn crackhead," while I'm walking and makin' eye contact with him like I know I have to, and he bows up and sputters, "who the hell are you to judge me, man?"
-------------------------------------------------------------
So, fatigued in a way I've never been before, I'm in the grocery line and when it comes time to pay I start fumbling with my money or my checkbook, and I'm aware that I'm acting like a doddering moron. And the guy behind me is getting impatient, and so is the woman behind him, and I can identifywith them cause I've been exactly in their shoes. I just can't seem to get it together, and fumble and mess up for what seems like the longest moments until finally I get the cashier paid off, and stumble off, too tired even to feel embarassed, but feeling the stares against my back and hearing the mumbled "dumbass jerk" and some other pissed off murmur from the woman.
---------------------------------------------------------
My nephew was enraged at some boy who lived down the mountain from them, it seemed the boy was retarded or had had his head knocked in by a now-absent father long ago, or had a brain tumor removed in infancy, or something like that, we adults didn't know all the details, but knew the boy had some reason to be not quite okay. But my nephew was fuming; he's tried to play with the kid or pal around, and now he was fulminating about the neighbor boy. "That stupid faggot!" he kept shouting, and all us uneasy adults knew enough that my nephew didn't even really know what that word meant, and that whatever faux pas the other kid had made, there was probably a forgiveable reason, and that my nephew was making a scene over something that maybe he shouldn't.
Finally my cousin-in-law Ashley lowers the hammer on my nephew. "Why don'tyou just shut up, Jason, what you don't seem to realize is that some people have problems YOU JUST DON'T KNOW ABOUT!" And every adult in the room turned and looked at him and said, "That's right, Jason!"
---------------------------------------------------------
Not to be slowed down, I told the crackhead, "Hell yes I'm judging you, man,but I sure as hell don't expect you or anyone else to take my judgment seriously. Hell, I don't even take my OWN judgments seriously!" That left him with his mouth hanging open, just as I hoped, and I stepped around him and kept on with my paper route and finished by 6:00.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Have You Seen Me?


Have you really looked?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

IN THE FUTURE...


In the future, all food will be sold one bite at a time. You will go to the grocery store and purchase however many prepackaged mouthfuls as you desire of whatever kind of food you want. Each bite of food will be slightly smaller than an actual bite you might want. It will have a cardboard cover with a photograph of the type of food on it. The actual bite of food in the package will not look like the photograph on the cardboard envelope. Inside, each bite of food will be encased in a plastic envelope made of something like Kevlar. There will be no instructions on how to open it on the package. The package will have the word "handy" printed on the cardboard. Most people will use tinsnips or garden pruning scissors to open the plastic packages. Each package will be irradiated and sterile. Each package will have an expiration date. Each package will have the nutrition information printed on it.
Each package will take approximately 10 seconds to open if several packages are laid out beforehand and assembly-line techniques used by the consumer in a food preparation area. Each unit of packaging will weigh 44.5% of the total purchased weight. Each packaged bite of purchased food will be enclosed in a single bag before leaving the grocery store. Each bag will be of gossamer thickness and will often split open in the parking lot, spilling the mouthfuls of purchased food paks on the pavement. The gossamer final bags will be difficult to open and only experienced grocery employees will be able to handle them. Each of the numerous bags will be looped on the consumer's separate fingers for transport to the parking lot.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Plan B


Back when I left the doors open, I would handle wasps with my badminton racket. No mere flyswatter would do. The badminton racket took down the wasps and made sure they'd stay down.
One day a hornet got in. A big fat hornet that lived in an archetypal gray glob-sphere hanging from a nearby tree. An angry armored high-speed danger-pellet from Hell.
Knowing I was underarmed I nevertheless gave him a hearty swak with the badminton racket and he was propelled into the wall at a speed that would terminally cripple any of his weaker cousins but which served only to enrage this particular insect demon. With an audible smack he hit the wall, rebounded, and he came right at me making twice as loud the ominous low thrum as he had before. I fled the room.
Down the hall I saw my grandfather's ceremonial cavalry sword, and I wrested it from the wall where I displayed it, snatched the blade out of its sheath, and returned to the living room ready to do battle. Just in time. The hornet had just passed the doorway as I entered, and as he swung back to attack me, I was able to set up the swing like a baseball pitch coming towards me, and I swung the sword and cut that mother clean in two.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Awful Transmogrification of Luther Gunther



It is curious that the night it started, I had awakened in the middle of the darkest hours for no reason I can readily discern. A sheen of sweat was on my forehead, my sheets damp, although the night was cool and the window open. My dog chose that moment to howl forlornly in the yard. It was a new moon, giving no dim light through the window, and I got out of bed and wandered to the kitchen in search of a soporific cookie and a glass of milk.

Refreshed and not yet ready to return to my bed, I wandered into my office and saw the red light on my answering machine blinking. I activated my computer by nudging the mouse and as the screen lit enough to give me some light, I noticed the time was 4:14 as I punched my answering machine. It was Luther.

For some reason his voice was hushed on the thin tape, unlike him. "You've got to know about this, man," he murmured. "I've found it... the Grail." I distinctly heard a hiccup. "The wassabe margarita, man... it works." I heard a weird whine in the background, something odd and out of place. An eldrich, keening wind. I felt a coldness in my room, and a shiver passed through me as I sat in the dark room. "I'm going to drink the whole thing," his voice on the machine whispered, "right now."

I heard him breathing, an uneven gasping for air not like him, and I heard him unmistakably drinking something in audible gulps. Now Luther himself had begun making a noise into my answering machine I cannot describe. A whimpering vocal whine of something like pain, yet in it was also an exaltation, a strangely triumphant squeal of... completion.
And then a dial tone, and the tape stopped, and then began to rewind.
. . .
We chopped a hole in his front door at almost 6:00 a.m., his swarthy, untrustworthy landlord and I, who had roused the man with several telephone calls, imploring and relentlessly browbeating him until the man had shown up in front of Luther's apartment down in the chemical zone, angry, but fearing the worst, like me.

Inside we found no one. There was a strange smell in the apartment, like coffee kept hot far too long, or ozone, or a feverish sickroom for cats. A wrong smell. Luther was gone. On his kitchen counter was the recipe, written on a scrap of notebook paper, next to the now-empty blender containing mere drops of the potion which had led to his uncanny transmogrification and preternatural removal from our universe.

I include it here merely as a precaution. Do not do this, I implore you. The unholy recipe included a large amount of wassabi, and horseradish as well as strong Chinese mustard, in combination with a quite large amount of simple citrus ice, and he had blended the icy, frozen concoction such that he experienced brain-freeze at the exact moment the wassabe / horseradish had put Chinese fire into his sinuses!

It's no wonder he is gone. He has left this world, and I am convinced he succeeded in his Faustian quest, and that his atoms dissolved and joined the Microsphere and the Macrosphere in the same fearsome instant. And sometimes I wonder what might I experience if I were to pursue the dangerous course he did: The instant of brain-freeze, as from a margarita or slushee, at the exact moment the Chinese nasal-fire commenced, sent him to his doom, from our view, yet what about from his?????

Banned


In contrast with the last post, the people who have the chutzpah
to declare words "banished" are a different breed of bold.

Protologisms

A prototype word without even the status of a neologism. Set forth for your perusal. In fact I was struck by the overall modesty of the proposals.

I stumbled on this corner of Wiktionary (and stumbling on odd corners of Wiktionary, and Wikipedia, too, is often a useful way to understand the sites), for my first time. A suprprisingly high percentage of these are either hilarious, very clever, and erudite.

"The term "protologism" is considered a neologism based on standardizedWiktionary criteria."Neologisms are newly acknowledged terms. They typically have not been incirculation long enough or widely enough for their social status to bedetermined. Neologisms can be nonces, slang terms, or even illiteracies."The citation of "protologism" may be restricted to certain other contextsthat have not been fully investigated, such as industry jargon or regionaluse. The term may not generally be understood even within those contexts." -Wiktionary
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:List_of_protologisms

I found serious proposals for new words here, such as
sphone: noun [Garrett Jones] - A shape formed by spinning a cone intotetraspace, around its symmetry axis. Can also be formed by connected allthe points on the surface of a sphere to a point some distance away from thesphere in tetraspace, with the point being upsilon or delta from the centerof the sphere. It is the analog of the cone in realmspace. (sphone = sphere+ cone).

And some very good ones:
thanatolotry: Worship of death, a trait attributable to suicide bombers and devil worshippers.

One can sort it all out by topic, too. In searching by topic, I found allsorts of true gems:
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:List_of_protologisms_by_topic#Overuse_terms
faux-mo: When a generation lacking any clear, unique identity attempts (in inconsistant, questionably sincere and argueably futile ways) to label and define itself and/or it's cultural elements. This is generally characterized by a sort of quiet desperation, thinly veiled hostility and confusion.

Some people think oddly:
Thursdaily: Every Thursday

Sideslappers
lockblocker: A person who prevents the unlocking of a his or her cardoor by pulling the door handle at the same time the driver presses theunlock buttona.
lesbosexual: n. [Note: Coined by Mark Simpson in Sex Terror: EroticMisadventures in Pop Culture (Harrington Park Press, 2002).] A non-stylishgay man.

I coined the next one long ago. Now it has a home.
masochismo: n. [Masochism + Machismo] The idea that ones masculinity is tied to the capacity to endure self-inflicted pain.

Humpy's Children

My old tomcat Humpy was chasing some rabbits. I thought it was to eat the rabbits. I was wrong. Now Humpy's children are all over the place. Sqirlz morph

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Annoying Mushroom


This is growing out of my woodpile. I'm pretty sure this is off the sweetgum tree. I'm also pretty sure it's a sort of chanterelle.

It's been there a week or so. I sure wish I knew. It looks tasty, even now. But of course I'm not that big a fool, to eat it knowing nothing.

Links

http://www.puppyfind.com/
http://www.nextdaypets.com/



http://www.puppyfind.com/view_listing/?list_id=58nl4j519c&sid=6bfafc8b0353ba1043f523afbd8167e3&back=%2Ffor_sale%2F%3Fbreed_id%3D20%26country%3D%26state%3D%26page%3D1%26order_by%3Drand%26back%3D%252Fbreed%252F%253Fbreed_id%253D20%2526back%253D

Similar from the region:
http://www.news-leader.com/assets/pdf/DO143030922.PDF
http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009909230408

a phrase for Google
"state lines" federal "puppy mill"
and see this
and
Then I Googled
fake OR phony animal rescue
and got a story about a fake vet, but the article pointed out the IRS has ways you can check on non-profit status. If they are claiming non-profit status, they can get in HUGE trouble. If you are interested to read it it is:

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Tom Paine said:

"Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man."

Saturday, June 2, 2007

All Our Broken Hearts


"So," Micaila said, "you're working for the Machine?"

And I didn't feel too bad; not really; not then. As a staircase builder, I just went into new homes under construction and built the future residents fine staircases. Everyone needs a good, solid staircase, don't they? Solid oak, they were. Long lasting, beautiful, and strong. One thing bothered me, though. I'd see the lots being cleared and the big oaks being bulldozed down and hauled off to the landfill, or the shredder at best, for compost; and compost is a good thing, right? All the oak planks came from somewhere else, and I'd wonder: wouldn't it be better to use the oak they just hauled out of that lot? But the lumberyards have no use for local oak trees, apparently. I'm not sure why.

I did good work; fine work; and the money was good. One day I was working at a new house half-built on the then-fringes of Charlotte, and I saw all around the floor a lot of little footprints, and I recognized them as raccoon tracks. And the oddest thought came to mind: I envisioned the little guy coming into the new house, late at night, and thinking to himself, "Cool. The Humans are building me a nice new house!" I realized that the construction was happening on his former hunting ground. I bet the first day the bulldozers arrived, they scraped up some good bugs and he moseyed around after midnight and actually got some good eating from the disturbed topsoil. I bet that didn't last too long, though.

Later that morning, the contractor I was working for came by and brought his little daughter. I showed her the tracks. "Look," I said, "A raccoon has been in here!" And a look of pain came over the contractor's face, and he intently shook his head "no" at me when she wasn't looking. He knew where that line of thought might lead, and he didn't want to go there. I knew then that he knew what I knew, and he was a nice guy who felt sort of the same thing I was feeling, and he didn't want his kid to get that feeling at that moment.

The raccoon came back the next night, too. but his little paw prints took a shorter route. I don't think he liked the sheetrock dust on his feet very much. And I think he was starting to realize. He hadn't stayed long. There wasn't much to eat there, after all.

That was a few years ago. I still build a few staircases but after 9-11 business went bad for me. And of course as far as jobs go there is no real demand for manufacturing much of anything else around here but more big houses and office space and big shopping centers with more Lowes and Home Depots. You know they always build them almost side by side. Isn't that odd? I wear T-shirts a lot to work, but they're all made in China or Haiti or somewhere, out of fabric so thin they're almost transparent right out of the wrapper, new. The bank tellers give me looks like I'm a sort of a bum when I wear my thin T-shirts to cash my checks. They make me put my thumbprint on my paychecks. I think all the old textile millworkers must be retired or on crack now, and kiting bad checks a lot or something.

Now I have a new job, and I run a bulldozer myself. I go out into the woods and knock down the trees. I was trained by a nice young fellow who was leaving the company. He seemed distracted and apologetic, and although I asked him why he was leaving, he never really explained why.

Sometimes I still think about what Micaila said.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Gift

I got back from Christmas that year on the 27th and that night it snowed. The next morning, I thought it would be a fine thing to take a walk in the park next door and enjoy the unspoiled beauty before melt and lots of foot traffic marred it. Of course it was brisk and pretty and invigorating and good.

On the way back, I noticed one thing slightly spoiling the perfection of the scene, in addition to my own footprints. A spot of trash, no doubt left by careless park-goers. I would pick it up. As I neared it, I saw it was a bag with what looked to be the remains of a six-pack in it. Nearing, I saw some bottle caps still on. Then I saw all the bottlecaps were on! I reached down, exposed it, and saw it was Lowenbrau, my favorite brand! Pristine, chilled in snow! It was like divine providence! A great omen!

So I picked it up and noticed a receipt in the bag, and wanting to solve this mystery, I looked closer. Not a receipt - a handwritten note. And it said, "Merry Christmas, Jumper." Unsigned. And for one brief moment I thought God had sent me a message.

It took a while and two incidents to get it all straight. A week later my friend called and asked if I had gotten my Christmas present. He explained he had dropped it at my door when I was gone.

About two months later I found a note on my door. "Come get your dog at the pound. Call this number. Signed, the Dog Police." My dog Lucky! So I called. The man said he had discovered Lucky shacked up in the woods with a female German Shepherd and their brood of puppies, and they had attacked the landscaping crew, defending the pups. All this a complete surprise to me.

The last piece of the puzzle. And it also solved my question about why Lucky had been pushing his food bowl down the stairs all the time. He was actually trying to carry his food to his secret family in the woods. And he had been carrying all sorts of likely presents to them as well. Such as a six-pack from my front doorstep he undoubtedly planned to open when he got there.

Lucky was trying to be a good father. The result was that his family was jailed, I had to bail him out and leave them to their fate, and not only that, I couldn't afford to get him out of the calaboose unless I agreed to have him neutrified. Which they did.

+50 Million since 1990...

I'm pretty much a "liberal" if not a screaming leftist as some accuse me of (I'm not), and I have some concerns about immigration that I wanted to share with you.
First, those who say we are a nation of immigrants are correct, obviously. I see a difference in today's world, however, in that it's understood that resources are not unlimited. This is different from the past, I believe. Population growth may kill this planet. Advanced societies have seen this, and I cannot include the US varied populace of scientifically illiterate know-nothings in this group. Nevertheless, in combination with various social changes including the consumer culture's drive to put, more than in the past, women in the job market; and birth-control and delayed childbirth, the US essentially stopped population growth in our country, except for immigration. Without the draconian measures the Chinese implemented.
This is something good. Unless curtailed, population growth WILL destroy the entire ecosystem of the earth, and I would pre-emptively request you not disparage this fact.
I do not want an increase in the population of the USA. I do not want a population of 350 million here. I do not want McMansions built with subsidized / deliberate underpaid labor here. These huge expansions in the building business, and make no mistake, no energy efficiency is seriously attempted in these huge ego structures, are a liability and will cause more pollution here than ever. I don't want that crap in Mexico, either.
Having said that, and understanding that there are simply no jobs in Mexico as rewarding as those in the US, what should my position be?
Mexico has been a poor country since I was born in the '50s, and it's poor today. I ask myself, "What policies has the US taken, if any, that have contributed to this?" I believe US action, and inaction, HAVE contributed. It's a disgrace for us to not have been helping our neighbor, and the disgrace continues today. Why has not the wealth of Mexico's rich trickled down to the populace? Why has there never been a huge push towards a not merely good, but a superior public education system made in Mexico?
More to the point, what has the US done to help Mexico to avoid ruining Mexico's land and environment; and what has the US done to help Mexico see the value of population control? What have we done to help?
Nothing much. Some.
I get the impression from some that they feel the following things are simply impossible in Mexico: Widespread education and adoption of ecological awareness by large amounts of people. Investment in good well-paying jobs.Less corruption, better healthcare, decent houses, cleaner water. Hope for a sustainable future.
If they don't believe that's possible there, why should I think they hope that's possible here?
In conclusion, what do I think should be done? I don't want to cause cruelty or hardship, that's for sure. I don't have any problems with Hispanic culture. I am uncomfortable with wages being kept low. I'm very uncomfortable with Mexicans being used in jobs where hazardous conditions are present. Make no mistake; these guys out there breathing the dust from sawing concrete blocks and bricks, and sheetrock dust, all will pay a horrible price one day. I don't like to see that. Or get exposed to concentrated pesticides, either.
I don't know if I've made any case at all on what changes if any should be made with US policy on illegal immigration. I simply don't know. But those are my concerns. Regarding the current status of illegal immigrants living and working in theUS, I believe the concept of amnesty might be well applied in the followingsense:
"Amnesty" often implies that those offered amnesty give up something in return. I propose that these hard working folks be given this opportunity: if you are willing to be thumbprinted, and registered, get a passport, and then give up all information you have regarding those who supplied you with your counterfeit documents, and give up all information regarding the immigrant-smugglers or"coyotes" who may have arranged for your transport into the US, then certainly a deal can be reached to expedite your green card.
And then enforce exactly those terms. This would have multiple advantages. The document counterfeiters and coyotes should be sent to prison ensuring that further entry is hampered, and illegals would lose their anonymity and go mainstream, while being thoroughly identified and noted as having helped law enforcement as well. 4/10/06

Wild Thing

My dog Lucky seemed to have a past. A past during which he had spent some time wild in the woods. I always suspected his owner's yard had been demolished by hurricane Hugo, and Lucky had taken the opportunity to escape.

He was shy, but I coaxed him out of the woods with some dogfood and he and I agreed that he would live with me thereafter. Life was good.
You wonder how a wild dog survives. Twice he showed me some remarkable food-acquiring skills.

One late summer day I was sitting quietly on my back stairs, sipping a beer. Lucky was loafing in the grassy area of our dirt driveway circle. Not really paying attention at first, I saw him get up and start snuffling the ground with his nose like some kind of crazy roothog. Trying to plow up some turf with his nose. Crazy dog, I mused. Lucky lay back down and became motionless again. About two minutes went by. A robin alit near him and started hopping near where Lucky had apparently stirred up some bugs with his nose. Dinner for robin.
So robin, picking at bugs, hops a bit closer to Lucky, and Lucky smoothly puts out his paw and pins robin to the ground. Dinner for Lucky.

I barely believed my eyes. "Holy S-word!" I shouted. Lucky looked up, thinking I was scolding him, removed his paw from robin, and robin flew away, no doubt shaken. "Sorry, Lucky," I called to him. He looked at me accusingly.

One other time I saw Lucky get a free meal from the wild in a way that shocked me. Walking the perimeter of the property in late spring, I noticed a fledgling baby bird just out of the nest, swaying unsteadily on a branch about seven feet off the ground. Lucky noticed him, too. As I walked away from that area, Lucky began a hard charge towards that bird, right in front of it, locking eyes on that birdie as he leaped high, right towards the bird! And I knew that Lucky was not going to make a seven-foot leap, and I think Lucky knew, too. But the bird was so frightened he fell off the limb! And Lucky got a snack.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Barbecue - The Real Story

Okay, here's the story of barbecue: There are two regions of the country which each follow excruciatingly complicated exclusionary rules, and end up with a restrictive fare rivaling a danged Japanese tea ceremony. These regions, if there is any doubt left, are the Carolinas and Texas. Everywhere else, I ought to add right here and right now, follows the style known by me as "Deep South" which extends all the way to Memphis, whose barbecue is reputedly mighty fine; and I have no reason to doubt that. And maybe further. As we know, places like South Florida (but not North Florida!) and California have no barbecue. They have hamburgers on hibachis. Or tofu dogs and pineapple. Things such as that. What they do in Oshkosh is none of my business. In Texas, at least, certain variations are approved: most all wild game is allowed, such as javelina, rabbit, armadillo (tasty!) and venison. Sausages are quite common as adjuncts on the grill. Fajitas are often cooked with the main course of brisket. (There are no chicken fajitas officially recognized in Texas!) Which brings us to the meat of the matter: chicken is verboten at a public barbecue in Texas, if there is pork in those sausages you DON'T TALK ABOUT IT, and hog meat is not present. Not only that, in Texas the sauce is given short shrift, and barbecue beans are not seen as necessary! Unflavored pintos are often the only beans you get!I find this oppressive, as all these things are presumably allowed in other regions, except of course the Carolinas, where no chicken or beef is recognized as barbecue, and the fights are about things like whether to add a spoonfull of ketchup, or mustard, to a gallon of vinegar when making the "sauce." And the local yokels think that adding one drop of Texas Pete, the hot sauce BANNED IN TEXAS, (didn't know that, did you?) is considered a "secret ingredient." Whereas anywhere else in the country, even Chicago for crying out loud, you can get barbecued chicken, barbecued pork, smoked pork, smoked beef, barbecue beans, hush puppies, pork ribs, beef ribs, THREE kinds of delicious sauce, (medium, hot, and fiery), and the sauce is full of tomato and molasses or brown sugar like God intended, and hush puppies, cole slaw, and any of the suitable meats served on a bun if you desire; it's your choice. Barbecue wants to be free!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saving Trees with Near-Fatal Damage







After the new yard guy nearly killed yet another two dogwood trees, I wanted to document what to do about it.
A few years ago I decided to grow dogwood trees from seeds. My research informed me that the seeds are inside the red berries dogwood trees get in the fall. I gathered and naturally dried them to make sure the seeds fully formed, and a month later soaked them and peeled off the dried flesh, revealing seeds looking much like little tiny walnuts. I again naturally dried them on a shelf.

In December I put them all in a ziplock bag along with a fully moistened but not dripping paper towel folded up, and resealed the first bag inside another just to ensure they would not dry out. Into the refrigerator they went. This mimicked their normal cold months outside in damp soil.

Around March I took them out of the bags, and gave them a quick whirl in the food processor. I was afraid I would grind them all up, but the information I had said it would only weaken the shells and help them sprout. The advice was good; they didn't grind up at all. I planted them all, and in a month or so had 55 baby dogwood trees.

I started planting them, mostly in my neighbors' yards after getting enthusiastic permission. And a lot of them have died. I have finally realized that their bark is quite tender, and various weed whackers, wielded by these neighbors, had killed them by stripping all the bark off all around the base of each.

One day I was on a construction site where new landscaping was going in, and some established 15-foot crape myrtles were going to be taken out. I asked for one, and the bulldozer operator dug one mostly out, and then yanked it the rest of the way up with a canvas strap tied around the base and attached to his dozer blade. When he yanked, all the bark at the base stripped loose, like a shirtsleeve torn in two at the elbow. It was the time of spring when the sap was still running in the cambium, which is the living layer of bark which transports water, nutrients, and life itself from the root to the branches and leaves. And I knew the completely torn cambium would cause the sure death of the tree. Not wanting to seem ungrateful, and aware that even if it died, the rootball would send forth vigorous new growth, I went on and loaded it on my truck, and headed for home. Transporting a 15-foot tree in a small truck is quite an adventure, by the way.

I went ahead and planted it. Then I got on the internet, searching for "tree wounds" and "damaged bark" and wasn't having much luck, but I stumbled onto a site explaining how to graft, and it mentioned using grafting wax. Aha!

I wound some sterile gauze around the torn "sleeve" of bark, coaxing the torn part back as close as I could get it to reuniting the top to the bottom of the bark. Then, having some beeswax on hand from another project, I melted it and slathered it all over the gauze, making sure to extend it onto undamaged bark all the way around above and below the bandage. I wanted it water tight where no air drying could get to the wound. I used beeswax for its reputed antibacterial properties.

As you can see, (below) the crape myrtle is fine. When I finally unwrapped the bandage (a bit prematurely, actually: in the autumn of that year. I should have waited; although essentially all was well) I saw that the cambium had grown like crazy under the bandage. It had rejoined the top and bottom of the torn area and reestablished a lifegiving bridge over the torn area!
So I have done the same with three baby dogwoods.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Separated at Birth?







Tuesday, April 17, 2007

That You Do So Well


You do somethin' to me,

Somethin' that simply mystifies me,

Tell me, why should it be?

You have the power to hypnotize me . . .
Let me live 'neath your spell,

Do do that 'voodoo' that you do so well!

For you do somethin' to me,

That nobody else could do!
- Cole Porter


Once upon a time I had a little Mexican Day of the Dead figure, purchased at a folk art resale store; a little skeleton figure carved of wood who represented Death. I had the bright idea of initiating a little ritual in which I stuck nails into the little figure every Saturday night, midnight, which technically is neither Saturday or Sunday.

I wanted to kill Death.

As I practiced my routine week after week, I grew more intent on actually causing Death injury by my machinations. I felt anger and hate, and nurtured these emotions, directing my enmity with an ever increasing focus on the figurine and what he stood for. I would prepare for my ritual by allowing my rage at Death to grow. My heart pounded and my jaws would clench and I breathed deeply. I filed the nails sharper than they were originally manufactured. I didn't use a hammer, I slammed the nails in with an adjustable wrench. Into its head, its belly, its back; into its eyes and ears.

Impassive, blank, its painted-on toothy grimace remained unchanged, neither threatening nor amused.

Death would not die.

The dirty little figurine began to fray and splinter. The dowels holding on its arms and legs began to crack from my angry blows. The nails would remain until I yanked them out, twisting them savagely to remove them only for me to drive a new one in another spot. Finally the little Death doll seemed ready to crack in two.

By now, almost a year had passed; I had not neglected my ritual a single Saturday (or was it Sunday?), and what had begun as an inspired act of experimental folly had become my own secret religion. I knew I would have to continue, but how? I devised a plan. I walked into a fetid swamp, into a grove of frightened, haunted, twisted oak trees, dying at their roots, and found one, and sawed off a limb as big as my leg, and carried it home, where I chiseled and shaped new legs for the figurine. I painted them to match the originals, and replaced the cracked parts with the new. Slowly, over a course of months, I replaced bits of the little object with new parts, and continued my abuse of the doll.

I am no fool, and I watched and read the news, and paid attention to the obituaries and kept my ears alert to rumors from hospitals. It was not working.

Death would not die.

Increasingly alone, I meditated often during the week, and allowed my rage against Death to grow, filling greater and greater parts of my week, culminating in my weekend's midnight ritual. Sunday afternoons I rested.

I would not be denied. The man at the hardware store told me there was no reason for him to even stock 11-penny nails, but he did anyway, and he sold me a few of them. He was unfriendly.
At midnight Saturday, (or is it Sunday?), with a scream and a curse, in the candlelit gloom of my shrine, I wield my sledgehammer, smashing the nail into Death's chest and splitting the nasty little figurine right through its center, knocking off its limbs in the process and dislodging a knot from its painted skeleton head, and that's when my heart explodes and it feels like God's personal lightning bolt has just gone through my chest, and I fall forwards, and as my mind's eye goes dark under the light of the still burning candles the last thing I see in front of me on the carpet is the little mannequin Death, and his painted-on teeth, and its smile was neither threatening nor amused.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

3 Wheeled Cars

I found this site a few years ago and want to share it with other dreamers. www.3wheelers.com/ is dedicated to collectors of these cars and their photographs, aiming for a record of every three wheeled car ever made. Go to the "tour" and check out from A to Z these crazy cars, with some incredible mileage estimates, such as 300 mpg on this one (top), and also view some of the historical models. A roof over your head, a little interior heat, room for a bag of groceries.What else do you need? Kids? Buy them some auxiliary pods, put on a trailer hitch, and tow 'em along behind, I say.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Native American Draft Animals



A few weeks ago, I was sent this pic via email. So I did some research. As seen here,
http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/workmoose.asp


the photo was unfortunately faked, at least partially. So I read the post, and followed to where I saw several actual real moose in harness.
Why was I intrigued?


Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552 is an excellent book I recommend but a single portion of his thesis raised some doubts in my mind: his observation that no significant draft animals were usable in the pre-Columbian Americas except for South American llamas, which are not very large and strong, and were certainly limited to the relatively small area where they were domesticated in Peru.


I am no expert in the temperament of bison or Innuit sled dogs but I postulated their use might have spread, further in the case of dogs, and of course harnessing bison was never done by native Americans at all, at least that we know. But was it possible? I have done some cursory internet research, and I can't tell. I maintain it is possible to harness an American bison, and train it to plow and haul loads.


(Along the way, I discovered a wonderfully free ebook from Project Gutenberg: The Extermination of the American Bison, by William T. Hornaday available at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17748/17748-h/17748-h.htm )


Not only that, but I suspect the dogsled business could have been vastly expanded if its use had been adopted by more of the southern societies in the Americas. Some modified ski-type runners could traverse many other types of terrain than snow. Perhaps the wheel would have been perfected rather than the travois.


Anyway, my surprise and fascination with the moose in harness added another species to my dreams of what might have been. Imagine if a few thousand years ago, native people in the Americas had domesticated the bison (or moose) to pull plows and heavy loads, perfected dog team transportation, developed more productive agriculture. What sort of people might have met the Spanish then?


I will hope my idea will be explored one day in an alternate-history novel I can read.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Of Course It's Eerie, That's the Point


Rusty of Mark Trail, meet Dean Koontz, author. Sqirlz morph

Ships with Tattooed Sails

Remembering the time I invented 3-D tattoos. I was staying at my brother's house, either in the seventies or in 1981. Bob Dylan's song The Gates of Eden, with a line in it "ships with tattooed sails," was playing while I was asleep, and I dreamed of a big ship coming into a harbor, and then I dreamed about a girl with a big 3-D tattoo on her back. It was the old '40s or '50s technology, the view for the left eye in green, the right eye image in red, overlapping. I dreamed she carried the red-green glasses around in her purse, so to display it properly. In the dream, her tattoo was a big sailing ship. My brother had a party that night, and some people from the magazine "Mother Earth News" were there. I told of my dream to several people that night. Soon after that, I moved to Ohio and worked for a year or so before deciding to move back to Texas, where I had chosen the town I wanted to live in. In Texas, I was browsing in a 7-11 store, saw a "Mother Earth News" on the rack, and picked it up. Odd timing! I never looked at that magazine on any regular basis. There, in a comic strip in the back, was my idea, including the slightly silly part of having to carry around the glasses for it to work.

Update: The red/ blue (or red / green) 3-D system will probably not be revived, and some form of the newer polarized lens technology, or something not yet developed fully, such as holograms for the masses, will probably be used for general 3-D use. As for tattoos, the "magic eye" type, used in the '80s for the posters that had people squinting (no help) and crossing their eyes (the key), would make awesome tattoos. Artist H.R. Giger experimented with this 3-D effect with good success.

The Trap

Remember the odd old movie, about 1980, scripted by Bruce Lee, and instructed to be released ONLY after his death, called "Circle of Iron?" NO? Well, in the movie there was a character who held the only copy of a Big Secret Book of Knowledge! And the Bruce Lee character was sorely tempted to possess this book! Well, as it turned out, it was a trap! Whoever possessed the Big Secret Book of Knowledge was doomed to spend his life guarding it!

So I guess I know what I'm in for with this blog.

The Punchline




You can see in the insets those mysterious landforms we see on every globe, and promptly dismiss from our consciousness. They are, of course, placed on every globe in strategic locations, always in the same places. Their purpose, as we know, is to conceal actual Top Secret mysteries. But that's another story!

Photoshop for Hire


The key is to try to keep it subtle....

Links


Boodlers

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/mighty-appetite/ A Mighty Appetite -- Kim O'Donnel
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/ Achenblog
http://www.mortiifera.com/?m Den of Darkness-boodleblogs
http://web.mac.com/dooleyclan/Site_ /Blog/Blog.html Dooley's Vertebrate Paleontology Lab
http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/ Dowd Report-yello
http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/ Foma yello
http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/ Jumper's Journal
http://loftyideal.blogspot.com/ Lofty Ideal, frostbitten
http://www.mintd.com/stores/show/ -Wee-Folk-Outfitters Martooni's Doors
http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/ NEI Nuclear Notes
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze fvj/BoodleArchive.htm Quick Links to All Achenblog
http://readthinklive.blogspot.com/ Read - Think - Live-kb's
http://www.weefolkoutfitters.com/
http://wilbrodog.blogspot.com/ Wilbrodog's Dog House

Amusements

http://www.answers.com/topic/chess-variant chess variant Information from Answers.com
http://www.cockeyed.com/ Cockeyed
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/comic-riffs/ Comic Riffs by Michael Cavna
http://charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/index Creative Loafing Charlotte Home
http://www.dataisnature.com/ dataisnature.com
http://www.ugo.com/channels/comics/heromachine/classic.asp Hero Machine - Create Your Hero
http://www.tubedaze.com/ Hey, Shipwreck
http://www.pandora.com/ Pandora Radio
http://www.sesow.com/ Sesow paintings Official web page of Matt Sesow
http://www.sinfest.net/ Sinfest
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a _ .html Straight Dope
http://joshreads.com/ The Comics Curmudgeon
http://www.gailgastfield.com/innocence/soi.html The Wm. Blake Page - The Songs of Innocence
http://dir.salon.com/topics/tom_tomorrow/index.html Tom Tomorrow - Salon.com
http://www.weirdcharlotte.com/ Weird Charlotte
http://www.youtube.com/ YouTube

Computing

http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com/ / /add-visitor-counter-blog-hit.html Blogger Tips and Tricks
http://www.silcom.com/~barnowl/ Chain letters-Daniel W. VanArsdale
http://www.download.com/ Download.com
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/ Faster Forward
http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/projects/festival/ Festival(speech project)
http://www.google.com/trends Google Trends
http://thepiratebay.org/ Pirate Bay
http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/ The Real Blogger Status

Courses, Lectures
http://www.vcampus.com/cciivv/icc/catalog/offering/?coid Course Offering Details
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm Free Online Course Materials MIT
http://lecturefox.com/ free university lectures - computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry
http://www.binghamton.edu/history/resources/bjoh/article .htm History Department at Binghamton

University
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/ - Physics-IFall /VideoLectures/detail/Video-Segment-Index-for-L- .htm

MIT OpenCourseWare Physics . Physics I Classical Mechanics, Fall Video Lectures detail

Dictionaries
http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen emplace Diccionario Ingles-EspaƱol
http://www.m-w.com/ Merriam-Webster Online
http://www.netlingo.com/ NetLingo The Internet Dictionary
http://english american.com/index.html#index The English-to-American Dictionary
http://www.urbandictionary.com/ Urban Dictionary, September Song Binging

Politics

http://bucknakedpolitics.typepad.com/ Buck Naked Politics
http://www.mslaw.edu/MSLMedia/LTV/ . .pdf bushtorture
http://www.jerrypournelle.com/mail/currentmail.html Chaos Manor Mail page
https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/reference_maps/pdf/political_world.pdf

CIA-map-world.pdf
http://www.cjr.org/ Columbia Journalism Review
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline complete_ _timeline&startpos #a skilling

Complete Timeline
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/ Contrary Brin
http://daggatt.blogspot.com/ daggatt blog
http://journal.davidbyrne.com/ David Byrne Journal
http://www.edge.org/ Edge
http://www.electoral-vote.com/index.html electoral-vote.com
http://opeding.blogspot.com/ End Of the World Cafe-Ro's blog
http://www.harvardlawreview.org/ Harvard Law Review
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/allochrt.pdf http--www.ntia.doc.gov-osmhome-allochrt.pdf
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ Huffington Post
http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/ / /l t-justice.html Kung Fu Monkey L T Justice
http://www.findlaw.com/ FindLaw
http://www.miamiherald.com/leonard_pitts/ Leonard Pitts Jr. - MiamiHerald.com
http://marynewsom.blogspot.com/ Naked City
http://www.newyorker.com/ New Yorker
http://www.markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/ News From Underground-CrispinMiller
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/ Paul Krugman - Op-Ed Columnist - New York Times Blog
http://poorgeorgesalmanac.com/ Poor George’s Almanac
http://robertreich.blogspot.com/ Robert Reich's Blog
http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/ SCOTUSblog
http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/ Sentient Developments
http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/ Shakesville
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/ Talking Points Memo

Science & Math


http://www.americanscientist.org/template/CurrentIssue American Scientist Online
http://benmuse.typepad.com/arctic_economics/ Arctic Economics
http://blog.wired.com/sterling/ Beyond the Beyond - Wired Blogs
http://twistedphysics.typepad.com/cocktail_party_physics/ Cocktail Party Physics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retinex Color constancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://www.damninteresting.com/ Damn Interesting
http://discovermagazine.com/ Discover Magazine
http://www.geo va.vt.edu/A /A .htm Earth heat pumps Seasonal Temperature Cycles
http://www.ma.huji.ac.il/~library/classm.htm Math & CS library-Math Classification
http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html NASA - Home
http://www.nature.com/index.html Nature - science journal
http://www.pepysdiary.com/ Pepys' Diary
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ Pharyngula
http://ronsprimitiveskills.blogspot.com/ Ron's Primitive Skills
http://www.sciencedaily.com/ Science Daily
http://www.sciencenews.org/ Science News
http://www.sciam.com/section.cfm?id news Scientific American News
http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/anmlies.html Sixty-three anomalies of water
http://www.springerlink.com/ SpringerLink - Journal Article
http://geometrygames.org/ Topology and Geometry
http://www.uky.edu/AS/Geology/webdogs/plates/pangaea- .html webdogs plate reconstructions
/
Weather

http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/Conus/full_loop.php aa weather
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/gmex/loop-avn.html Gulf of Mexico Satellite radar
http://www.intellicast.com/storm/hurricane/caribbeansatellite.aspx?animate true Intellicast -

Caribbean Satellite Loop in United States
http://www.intellicast.com/Storm urricane/PacificSatellite.aspx?animate true Intellicast - Pacific

Satellite Loop in United States
http://www.wunderground.com/satellite/vis/ k/US.html Local Satellite Weather Underground
http://www.cnn.com/WEATHER/NAmerica/sat.anim.html North America Weather
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/loop-avn.html North Atlantic AVN Color Imagery -

Satellite Services Division
http://wxweb.meteostar.com/cgi-bin/satellite/noaaport_loop.cgi?/var/www/leads_images/satellite/SYS/IR/

Satellite & infrared NAmerica Loop
/
Wikis and Open Source

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page AA - Wikibooks textbooks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page AA Wikipedia
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Main_Page AA Wiktionary
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Our_projects AAOur projects - Wikimedia Foundation
http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger Internet Archive Prelinger Archives
http://gutenberg.net.au/ Project Gutenberg Australia
http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page Project Gutenburg
http://www.snopes.com/ Snopes- Urban Legends Reference Pages

http://www.cuil.com/ AA search engine Cuil
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ Black Box Voting - Welcome to www.BlackBoxVoting.org,
http://boyle .sitewizard.biz/home.html Boyle Consulting Engineers
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/ Charlotte Observer.com
http://www.charmeck.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki aiku Haiku - Wikipedia
http://www.ahapoetry.com/haiku.htm Haiku
http://www.kluttspropertymanagement.com/ Klutts Property Management
http://www.tencate.com/smartsite.dws?id Mirifi-TenCate - Geosynthetics
http://maps .co.mecklenburg.nc.us/website/realestate/viewer.htm POLARIS
http://www.sencera.com/careers.html Sencera - Thin-Film Photovoltaic Solar Cell Technology
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID Sinfestbookmark
http://www.namebase.org/
http://www.geogrid.com/products_sg.html StrataGRID-Strata Systems INC
http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares The Power of Nightmares
http://streebgreebling.blogspot.com/ The Streeb-Greebling Diaries Legends in AI Chris McKinstry