Jan 24

Friday Crap Roundup XXXIII: Crap I Like

When I started SB nearly a year ago the intent was to supplement what I wrote at Cracked. Unfortunately, as of today said contributions at Cracked comprise entirely of a single Photoplasty entry. I haven’t even sent them a proposal in months. It’s very much a lack of desire on my part, and also because I think they’ve slipped a bit recently. Don’t get me wrong, they still produce great stuff from time to time. I’m just not “feeling” them as much anymore.

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Too many movie and video game articles I frankly don’t give a rat’s ass about.
Image credit: Valve Corporation

That said, there’s plenty of other good stuff out there. That’s a good thing, given what kind of a slacker I am.

Continue reading

Jun 04

Eschewing Mornings

I have been in pure, unadulterated pain all day long. It was self-inflicted no less. No, it’s nothing morbid; as a matter of fact I’m in pretty good spirits overall.

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Not to mention largely pharmaceutical and supplement free.
Image credit: Forbes

It’s because of something I did. Was it running? Was it going to the gym? Nah. Well, not yet. I’m still in the 2T. It’s because of something I did today I haven’t done in a very, very long time.

I woke up at 6:30 am. On purpose.

Continue reading

Apr 05

Friday Crap Roundup VIII

It’s Friday at the Command Center, so it’s time for the Friday Crap Roundup! But first, I have some cleaning up to do ….

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Cats and Kleenex. Gotta love it.

Trolling for Fun and Profit

Right. Now that that’s taken care of, let’s turn our attention to other beings who strike without warning.

You may have seen this video make the rounds on Facebook this week. It’s a hilarious “interview” by Brick Stone with members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Stone skewers them for all they’re worth, and then some.

“We’re done here.”

“Brick Stone” is actually standup comedian Dave Sirus, who turned guerrilla comic trolling in general – and baiting the WBC in particular – into his main schtick. He’s starting to get some good ink for it too. I’m happy to help.

Bashing the Classics

Those of you who know me well may know about my healthy disdain for English Lit classes. And for those who didn’t, well now you do. Here’s a diatribe on the matter I posted on Facebook recently:

Reason #1804 why English Lit sucks: Kids don’t want to read books like The Old Man and the Sea, or My Name is Asher Lev, or Frankenstein. Why? Because they’re all about FAILURE. Adolescents have enough pathos as it is. Let them read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or something. It may not be about success, but at least the characters chose their own terms.

I was compelled to read all three of these works at various points during junior high and high school. Hemingway’s prose in Old Man communicated his imagery very well, but after 50 pages of reading about a back-and-forth battle between some dude and a marlin, it got a bit … old. Then after three days of fighting the damn thing he finally hauls his catch in, only to have it eaten by sharks before he returns to port. How … utterly depressing.

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Kind of like watching the Outdoor Channel for hours on end, until your dish is stolen by wolverines.
Image credit: Experience Kissimmee, Florida

As for the others, Frankenstein was beyond turgid, while My Name is Asher Lev was so goddamn depressing it made Old Man look like an episode of In Living Color by comparison. I don’t think I ever finished that one, to hell with bad grades.

Naturally this sparked a mixed reaction and a debate on my Facebook page. Others mentioned books such as Lord of the Flies and The Grapes of Wrath. I never read either one, so I couldn’t comment intelligently.

Grapes of Wrath

I’m such a Philistine.
Image credit: scatterkeir

I’d be very interested to hear what you have to say on the matter, dear reader. Please feel free to comment and debate. I may respond in a later edition of FCR. If nothing else, it would be a break from the tedium of deleting spam comments hawking third-rate knockoffs of Michael Kors handbags or some shit.

The Moose and Spam Update

Earlier this week I unexpectedly heard from Moose Factory Boy™, who told me to expect a call or text “very soon.” Well, the most recent text I received as of this writing was from my ex-wife, who informed me Beachy is off of school next Friday. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to that. No word from Myrtle whatsoever.

I haven’t heard anything from my Nigerian 419 scammer either. Apparently he/she fell for my “Church of Satan, Reformed (Nunavut Synod)” gag.

Both of these developments are a damn shame. I need material to keep this blog going. This crap doesn’t write itself, you know.

Track of the Week

Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the national anthem of the Great Basin:

A fan-made video, and a damn good one I might add.

Mar 25

What’s in the Air Tonight?

Ah, spring must be in the air. The last clumps of snow in the parking lots have melted. The HOA is planting pretty flowers. Furry creatures are scavenging anew. Blooms are threatening all over. It’s like one of those old Disney cartoons out there, with dancing trees and shit.

And my nose is running like liquid waste from a paper mill, probably replete with all the environmental hazards that entails.

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“You won’t find Bambi here, son.”
Image credit: Pollinator

Yes indeed. Allergies have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. This first occurred to me when I was four years old. A stray kitten wandered into the backyard, and like any four-year-old I was completely enamored with it. That is, until my sinuses went haywire, my face became became blotched red and swollen, and my eyes damn near sealed shut. No kitten was adopted that day.

Ultimately I was put on a prescription allergy medication and remained on it until I was a teenager. Beachy seems to have inherited this trait from me. Accordingly she can’t play with the Pyramid Brothers unless there’s a bottle of Children’s Benadryl nearby.

Fortunately my allergies have subsided somewhat since childhood, which in turn has allowed me to be the cat person I am today. Nevertheless, the constant presence of cat dander here at the Command Center is not exactly helpful for my sinuses.

Upon waking up with a head full of self-produced, off-white brine at three in the morning, I knew today wasn’t going to be particularly pleasant. This was exacerbated by Sneferu’s nightly chore of annoying the ever-loving crap out of me, which he performs dutifully.

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“Purr! You know you love me! Now let me claw your back!”

Ironically, Sneferu also has allergy problems. While they don’t seem to slow him down, they do often make him sound like Bill the Cat. So I’ve come full circle. I once sniffled and sneezed because of a kitten. Last night I sniffled and sneezed WITH a kitten. Who saw that one coming?

Naturally, I used up the last of the allergy meds when Beachy was here last weekend. Time to hit Albertson’s for a refill. I’ve dealt with my allergies long enough to know they’re not going to succumb to some candy-ass homeopathic remedy. I need to break out the heavy duty stuff. The stuff that takes down an elephant at 100 meters. I’m not screwing around here, dammit!

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Eh, close enough.

The allergy medicine seems to making a little bit of an impact. I was able to write today’s entry without having to squeegee snot off the screen on a regular basis. That’s a good thing by any author’s standard, right? Oh, I do love my craft.

Mar 16

At One With Nature, Sort Of

Today Beachy is with me. Nothing like trying to keep an eight-year-old busy for an entire weekend without going bankrupt. The fact she lives in the 2T and Boise has so much more to do exacerbates the issue.

Psy_performing_Gangnam_Style_at_the_Future_Music_Festival_2013

She also has a pretty hardcore YouTube habit, thus the late post today.

Fortunately the last few days have been relatively nice outside. That opened up my options a bit. It was a pleasant enough day to go to the zoo, a relatively cheap and time-consuming activity. Frankly I’ve had my fill of child-friendly indoor diversions such as Pojo’s for the time being. Beachy considers herself an expert on those claw crane games, exploiting every opportunity to practice her craft. I still have a big bowl of hard candy she won something like six months ago. The Pyramid Brothers like to play with said candies. Here at the Command Center, finding a pack of Smarties behind the toilet at two in the morning is a rather common occurrence.

Beachy insisted we use sunscreen before going out. This struck me as a bit bizarre as it was 59 and partly cloudy in Boise today, hardly sunburn weather. I went ahead and got some. We’re going to need it when the Command Center’s HOA opens the pool.

More often than not, my experience is a visit to the zoo is little more than a two-hour walk past a series of empty artificial habitats, the alleged animals always sleeping in the back or whatever. Today was more successful than that. The animals were out more than usual, although most were fast asleep. A good thing for second graders, not so much for fans of blog snark. Sorry ’bout that.

There’s a carousel at the zoo, and Dippin’ Dots. Oh yes. No trip to Zoo Boise is complete without those damn Dippin’ Dots.

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Truth be told, a pretty good use for liquid nitrogen.

We proceeded with the obligatory carousel ride. As Beachy is finally over the height requirement, I observed from the sidelines. There are distinct advantages to having a older, taller kid at the zoo. No stroller required, and they don’t ask to be lifted up as much.

While Beachy was on the carousel I got strafed by a Canada Goose. Trust me, you don’t need to pay $11.25 to get up close to these things in Boise. They’re everywhere. My craptacular camera phone wasn’t able to get a decent shot of the perpetrator, so here’s a boring-ass Wikipedia image instead.

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You should see what they do to the Idaho State Capitol.

The highlight of the zoo is undoubtedly the African Plains Exhibit, set in a meticulously and accurately re-created Maasai village. Yup, it’s straight outta Tanzania, baby.

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Totally.

Anyway, the lions are always a hit and there are always plenty of monkeys about. The giraffes appeared to be hidden for some time. How the hell do you hide a giraffe? We finally found them before we got out of there, with the Dippin’ Dots of course.

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Did I mention how authentic this place is?

We were done with the zoo. My ankle was done, period. Headed to the car I was strafed again, this time by a seagull. You don’t need to pay to see those here either, especially this time of year. Thanks to my phone … aw, screw it.

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Here’s the boring-ass Wikipedia image. *sigh*

Mar 14

The Indifference Strikes Back

“A blog entry every day, no matter what.” I swear sometimes I’m such a bitch to myself.

“And make it funny, dammit!” Yeah, yeah, yeah …. This is easier said than done when one is battling bipolar depression, insomnia and cats who want to sit on one’s face at three in the morning.

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Yes, I’m looking at you, Sneferu.

Today I’ve been thinking about the benefits of carbonite as depicted in the Star Wars series. For the benefit of the three of you who have never heard of Star Wars, it’s a series of science fiction films involving good guys, bad guys, terrible laser gun shooting, something called the Force, curious swordplay, and of course explosions and shit. As a four-year-old I declined an invitation to see the first (fourth?) movie when it first came out in 1977. I thought it sounded stupid.

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A good cereal notwithstanding, C-3PO needed to be slapped, repeatedly.

Anyway, carbonite. According to the august, authoritative Star Wars database Wookieepedia, carbonite “was a metal alloy that was made from carbon. It was mixed with tibanna gas, compressed, and flash-frozen into blocks for transport.” In addition to its industrial uses and thanks to several convenient leaps of logic, carbonite was an ideal medium for placing people, and presumably other living things, into a state of indefinite suspended animation. Han Solo was placed in carbonite towards the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

Too bad it’s not real. Given my chronic sleep issues I’d love to place myself into suspended animation from time to time. Today being a perfect example. At least as far as my experience is concerned, depression isn’t a constant state of sadness as much as it is a constant state of “fuck it.” Of course, if it were real I’d probably have to pay royalties to Disney, as they own Star Wars now.

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Behold your corporate overlords.

Personally I’m more of a Star Trek fan. The technology featured in that franchise strikes me as much more practical overall. I’d love to see a real-world transporter in action. Space travel wouldn’t be necessary to appreciate its benefits; you could just as easily use it for those nasty commutes.

startrek transport

“I’m going to Albania for the afternoon. See you at 5.”
Image credit: tkksummers

Of course, the airline industry lobby would delay transporter technology for years.

All right, so I’m in the 400-word range with this. Good enough for me. I’m going back to bed now.

Mar 10

Springing Forward

Oh yippee skippy, it’s Daylight Savings Time “spring forward” day again. Time to reset the clocks on the thermostat, the stove, the coffee maker, the microwave, the car stereo, the cats ….

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Well, maybe not the cats. I do wish they had an “off” switch though.

Still, I wonder why we bother with it anymore. Daylight Savings Time is a relic of World War I and has been gradually extended ever since. Today it’s more standard than “Standard” time, in effect for nearly eight months out of the year. Yup, we won’t be “falling back” until 3 November. Personally I’d be in favor of making DST our year-round “standard” time and dispensing with the old Standard Time entirely. Apparently exactly that was tried in the mid 70s. I was too young to remember it, of course.

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Which is a shame. I understand there was quite a party in the 2T back in ’74.
Image credit: Docob5

Anyway, year-round DST was scrapped because people were concerned about kids leaving for school in the dark. This makes about as much sense as extending DST to accommodate Halloween trick-or-treaters (which, sadly, was also done). Besides, if you grew up in a far western section of any given time zone, you went to school in the dark for part of the year anyway. You know, places like … southern Idaho.

mountaintime

And I turned out just fine. *twitch*

So America, don’t forget to set your clocks today. But if you live in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Arizona outside the Navajo Nation, parts of western Indiana (where no one seems to know what the hell time it is in the first place), or Pocatello, Idaho (where it’s still 1968), you don’t need to worry about it. Simple, right?

Mar 05

The Muse is a Bitch

Much like yesterday, there are days when shit bloody nothing happens here at the Command Center. I can only watch the Pyramid Brothers lick their asses for so long. Yet I have a commitment to write every day. That’s a big reason why I do this. I’m finally feeling better after a long illness, and I’ll be damned if inactivity is going to pull me down again.

So I can relate to the guys who create, or rather created, Homestar Runner.

homestar

You know, this guy.

The Brothers Chaps, who envisioned the aforementioned character, were incredibly productive for a very long time. Check out the Strong Bad e-mails for verification. They were working with Adobe Flash and and such happy horseshit too. You know, words AND images. They did it every week for years. I just steal images from Wikipedia and write snarky comments about them.

Od_jeane-kirkpatrick-official-portrait_1-255x301

… is nobody’s baby.
If you get the reference, especially if you’re a single female, I love you.

Anyway, the point is after about eight years or so the entire Homestar Runner site stopped providing new content. Just freakin’ stopped. The last update there was well over two years ago. I don’t mean to denigrate them in the slightest. They had a hell of a run few of us will ever duplicate. Shit, I haven’t even made it a month here and I’m already feeling that heat.

Hell, History Wednesday is tomorrow. I know what I want to write about, but I don’t even have a draft yet.

Back in the dark ages of Milli Vanilli I was a cross country runner. It was said during practice that after a few runs your quality would drop off sharply, only to progressively get better as time progressed. That was with continued practice, of course. I happen to believe that’s true. My experience with writing strongly suggests the same rules apply.

I hope the Brothers Chaps aren’t done. I hope I have plenty left in the tank myself. I can only get away with bullshit like this for so long ….

Feb 22

Friday Crap Roundup II

This week’s FCR was written with a slight headache, a sore shoulder and a spotty memory. I feel a bit better than yesterday though. Thanks for caring.

Seconding That

I caused quite a kerfuffle on my Facebook page when I re-posted this Someecards.com meme:

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Note to Sarah Palin: a bell, not a gun.

Needless to say, given that I live in Idaho and all, this brought the NRA lobby out of the woodwork. I think a few clarifications are in order. As I’ve mentioned earlier in this space, I don’t support banning THINGS. Things include guns. If you want to build a collection of whatever to obsessive and sociopathic heights, go for it.

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Pictured: obsessive, sociopathic and perfectly legal.
Image credit: PINKÉ

However, I also think health is more important than having a gun. It’s basic psychology. Recall your studies of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in high school. You did study that, right? It’s pretty simple, really. Health is at the base of the pyramid as a physiological need, while gun ownership is further up. At best, it’s a safety need. Therefore, health is a more fundamental need than gun ownership. Call me crazy, but I think government policy should reflect that.

As fate would have it this conversation took place mere hours before my accident, so for me it hit home literally. The ER bill is going to suck ….

Damn Cats Update

Much to my surprise my previous post about the adventures of Djoser and Sneferu, such as they are, is one of the more popular on Superfluous Bloviations. Only my missives on being fat and adopted have more hits. Since I’m still fat and adopted, here’s a bit on the cats.

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Caught them hitting the ‘nip again.

Sneferu’s fascination with standing water in general, and dropping foreign objects in said standing water in particular, keeps growing. I woke up a few days ago to two $5 bills in the water dish. Most recently I found a piece of a plastic bag in there. Give it a few hours and there will be something else.

Djoser has been a crushing bore lately. The older of the two, it’s as if he’s settling down and becoming an upstanding member of society. Well, as cats go. He’s not waking me up every couple hours like Sneferu is, and he’s not nearly as claw-happy as he used to be. This could very well be due to the recently-installed ceiling fan. He’s constantly entranced.

In any event I’m hoping Sneferu, who’s about six months old now, follows suit one of these days.

So, uh, that’s what’s up with them. Hope you enjoyed it. Maybe next time I’ll borrow a chihuahua from someone for a better story.

Jim Risch: Conservative and Irrelevant

Well hell, I could have told you that. The real tragedy is we’ll probably re-elect this goofball next year.

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Sorry about that.

Track of the Week

Dedicated to myself:

RIP MCA

Feb 09

The Old Kingdom Wasn’t This Gross

Ah, the DNS has renewed. Setting up this web site stuff is not only a pain in the balls, it forces me to recall arcane computer knowledge I learned 10 years ago and hope to YHWH (1) I remembered it right and (2) that it still works. It’s kind of like working on a Lexus when one only knows how to fix Model Ts. The only upside is that I only have to do it once. If you’re reading this, I succeeded without violating the Geneva Convention. That’s more than I can say after I tried to assemble my computer desk. Bent nails galore …

So anyway, I suppose the best way to start a blog is to bore the ever-loving crap out of my audience by talking about my cats. It’s a tradition, and I understand a legal requirement in parts of Scandinavia. That said, my cats are foul, disgusting creatures. Oh sure, they may look cute and cuddly, but they have some bad habits. I adopted them from the Idaho Humane Society back in October, a few months after my previous cat, Loki, went to the great litter box in the sky. Loki was pretty much copacetic with everything, so it was a bit of a shock to encounter these behavioral traits.

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Pictured: filthy, disgusting creatures

Sneferu, the smaller black one, has a penchant for dropping things in standing water. This is usually a cat toy and/or a feather in the water dish, but it can be other things in other places. About a month ago I woke up to a dollar bill in the toilet. It didn’t occur to me to take a picture, as visually documenting the contents of my toilet is not high on my to-do list. You’re welcome.

Earlier today I went to check the water dish (these cats, especially Sneferu, drink water like nobody’s business). What I found was a puddle of water approximately the same color as green death NyQuil. Apart from a small bell, There were no other foreign objects. I can only surmise Sneferu took it upon himself to a destroy a catnip-laced cat toy and dump it into the water dish. Disconcerting, but not surprising.

Yes, I did provide clean water. Thanks for caring.

Djoser, the large orange tabby, is not without his quirks either. He’s quite fond of ripping the hell out of the cat box liner. So much so that I’m forced to tape the liner down every time I change the box. If I don’t … well … that makes the water incident look tame.

CRACKED.com update: This is carried over from my Facebook statuses (statii?). I still have two article submissions in the “Ready for Editorial” folder (i.e. they made it past the first round). Imma gonna wait on submitting any more pitches until someone acts on one or the other pitch already in the pipe. Don’t want to overwhelm those guys too much, you know.