Why, in the name of all that's deep-fried, has nobody ever told me about this site before?! It's freakin' hilarious!
Go read toothpaste for dinner. Here are a couple samples:
Last month, I received some flack from a fella who thought that the 'Simian Farmer' portion of the page banner was a little hard to read. Too 'contrasty' or some such drivel. I hope that the new one for July meets any and all expectations.
If you disapprove in some manner, please contact me immediately so I may ignore you promptly!
PS - all archived page banners can be seen here --> Click it
Link to quote via 43 Folders.
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
~Strunk & White
I don't completely agree with that. Eh?
I make it a habit to gas up my truck at or before the point where it reaches a quarter tank of fuel remaining.
This morning, while doing just that, I had secured the hose nozzle in my gas tank, glanced down and saw a folded piece of pink paper lying on the ground by the wheel of my truck. As my glance transformed into an inquisitive inspection, I quickly realised that there were numbers on this piece of paper. More specifically, a five and a zero. Sweet! I just scored me a fifty! Unfolding my new find, I was doubly please to discover a twenty secured inside the folded fifty. Not even 7 AM and already my day is looking up.
Now, considering that I was at a busy truck stop, very near to where I work and therefore being the place I habitually fill up, this money had most likely fallen out of somebody's pocket quite recently. I wasn't about to hold it up and shout out, "Hey! Did anybody lose 70 bucks?" I think I would have received more than one reply.
So basically, this morning's experience can be chalked up to a combination of my untrusting nature of humans in fiscal matters as well as my own inherent greed. I'll just go and buy my wife some flowers or something.
I mentioned it in passing a couple weeks ago, but it merits another plug:
Go and read the regularly updated blog-novel aptly titled Simon of Space. It has, "...romance, action, humour and all the whiz-bang special effects you can get without actually making a movie." That's according to the author himself, in an unwontedly unbiased unreview of his own work to date.
Catch it while it's still in its fledgling state. Not unlike a phoenix rising from its own ashes, the story has just taken flight and the scope of the whole 'thing' seems about to biggify. Get caught in the wake, why don't you, and enjoy it as much as I have so far. I like to pretend it's a story of an alternate version of me in a universe that just didn't quite make it to the current reality. Or a future me that's destined to be.
Hit the link above or the one I included in my list of People I know (of) on the left sidebar. And remember never to end sentences with prepositions. That's just bad grammar.
COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'msitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?
ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real One.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie, I also want to watch reels 2, 3 and 4. Can I watch them?
ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?
ABBOTT: You click the blue "1".
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?
ABBOTT: The blue "1".
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue w?
ABBOTT: The blue "1" is Real One and the blue "W" is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there are three words in "office for windows"!
ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
COSTELLO: It is?
ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.
COSTELLO: And that word is real one?
ABBOTT: Real One has nothing to do with Word. Real One isn't even part of Office.
COSTELLO: STOP! Don't start that again. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!
(A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START".......
I had a great idea over the weekend.
I deleted all the rock-type songs off my itty-bitty MP3 player on Saturday evening while my missus was working and fired it up with 'The Best of Scottish Pipes and Drums'.
I only ever use the MP3 player while I'm running since the monotony of a treadmill (I'm a fair-weather runner) can be hard to overcome.
Now, when my legs are beating out a metronomic rhythm over the course of an hour, they are accompanied by staccato drumming and the unceasing drone and adrenaline inspiring bray of the bagpipes. I become aware that any flagging effort on my part will undoubtedly result in William Wallace losing the Battle of Stirling and Scotland will forever after be ruled under the ruthless tyranny of the English. (Me, influenced by Hollywood?! Noooo!)
And then just as my run was coming to an end this morning, a lone piper, accompanied by a lone drummer, slowly swayed into Amazing Grace. The two were seamlessly joined by the entire mass band, I became suffused with goosebumps, my feet left the solid earth and I weightlessly sprinted to the end of my run.
Bagpipes totally rock.
(Being a true tale of heroism, teamwork and triumph against impossible odds. Smatterings of embellishment abound.)
The rebel assault fleet finds itself impatiently massed inside the main hanger bay of its remote outpost. This is the day they had been waiting for. So many comrades had been lost in previous skirmishes, so many lives pointlessly squandered, cast into the vacuum against a seemingly intangible foe. So vast, yet ephemeral, was their target.
But today, confirmation had been received that their primary target had been sighted. It called out to them. They, in turn, yearned for it. There would be more lives lost on this day, yet it was the end result that mattered. At nearly any price.
No... at any price.
The signal is quickly relayed for imminent emission. Jockeying for position and rife with anticipation, the assault fleet begins the long, fast flight that will eject them from irascible inactivity towards the epic conflict certain to ensue once their destination is reached. Going through the minds of so many individuals, though they had been endlessly reassured in the briefings leading up to this point, is the possibility of an impermeable barrier preventing them from reaching their main target. It had happened before. A hopeless flight into oblivion would spell certain doom for them all. Most of them were doomed at the outset, but not without a purpose. Others would take up the fight after them should they fail in this endeavour just as they, now, were filling the void left by a myriad of fallen compatriots.
Nearing the end of their initial sub-light flight, the assault leader begins to call all the wings to order. "All wings report in," is broadcast to the fleet. A nearly palpable sense of calm can be felt imposing itself on this seeming small band of warriors. What had been an impressive armada back at the base, now, when set against the nether regions of space in which they find themselves fast approaching a well-defended foe, almost seems to be a pitiable force. Still, the unification of a group of individuals bent exclusively towards a single purpose is a force with which to be reckoned. This one is no different.
A trace of excitement still evident in his voice, a junior member of the fleet is the first to return the call. "Red Ten standing by." This being the first live mission for Red Ten, Red Leader smiles to himself at the enthusiasm evident in the voice that comes over the broadcast. Hopefully his ability is on par with his exuberance. The smile quickly fades and changes to a grim line of consternation as he directs his eyes forward towards the growing target. The young man will not likely survive this encounter.
This first is followed by a regular stream of responses, each sounding more confident than the last, each garnering strength from his comrades.
"Red Seven standing by."
"Red Three standing by."
"Red Five standing by."
Jek Porkins, a senior member of this elite team, having bided his time to ensure he was assigned to this particular mission, calls in his response. "Red Six standing by." His voice ill-conceals an air of pomposity distinctly heard over the com-links of his flight mates. This serves the dual purpose of instilling some awe in the junior recruits at the man's seeming nonchalance as well as tolerant condescension in the older, better trained, veterans.
As the rest of the squad members and their wingmen call in their readiness, their leader prompts them all for the beginning of the next act in the saga about to unfold in the confined vastness of space. "Lock S-foils in attack positions." A brief pause ensues as all units ready their craft, and themselves, for the engagement that will soon be upon them. Seeing the fleet obeying his commands with the alacrity bred at a seeming genetic level, his following ordinates become suffused with the excitement that already infects all his comrades. "We're passing through the magnetic field. Hold tight! Switch your deflectors on. Double front!"
Through the in-flight preparations that had been taking place to this point, still the fleet had been advancing on the target. Only now, when the focus of all was directed towards their monolithic goal, did its vastness fully register. "Look at the size of that thing!" comes the ejaculation from Red Two.
"Cut the chatter, Red Two," is the curt order from Red Leader. But he too is slightly overcome with the daunting task ahead of them all. He does his best to remove any sense of doubt or uncertainty from his voice. "This is it boys! Accelerate to attack speed." Each tiny vessel is loaded and armed with a payload that must be delivered to the exact right spot before time runs out in order for this endeavour to bear fruit. Else all is for naught. Only one of them needs to succeed. Penetrating the outer defences was not going to be easy.
"Red Leader, this is Gold Leader," crackles across the void and into the headsets of the fleet.
"I copy Gold Leader."
"We're starting for the target shaft now."
Feeling suffused with a nearly irresistible urge to head directly for the target area himself, Red Leader instead exhibits restraint and his training comes to the fore as he relays his intentions to play the initial supporting role. "We're in position. I'm going to cut across their axis and try to draw their fire."
The ensuing swirling, chaotic mass of conflict which engulfs the participants requires full concentration and application of skill in order not to be numbered among the fallen. The first of these, ironically, is Red Six.
As Jek Porkins casually flies his vessel over the surface of the target, his hindquarter is struck by an unseen attack and the flickering, dodging motion of his craft rapidly deteriorates from skilled dog fighting manoeuvres to plummetting out of control. He is prompted by his squad mates to save himself. "Pull up." Porkins insists in return that he can handle it. He is urged a second time, much more frantically. "Eject! Eject!"
"No, I'm all right... I'm... Ahhhhhhh!..." His last transmission quickly cuts off to hissing static; all that remains of him is lifeless debris floating listlessly through space. The hubris so recently exuded is now replaced, on his singed, bloated corpse, by a rictus of shock and horror.
Though he is the first, there are many more rebel fighters that start falling victim to the increasing efficacy of the leviathan's ability to defend itself. Gold squad fails mortally in its fledgling attempt at the target. Red Leader, flanked by veteran wingmen and slightly more successful than his predecessor, is similarly despatched.
A new resolve settles itself into the surviving members of the force. Red Five, new to the fleet, takes a lead. "Let's close it up. We're going in, and we're going in full throttle. That ought to keep them off our backs."
His wingman, a little dubious at the plan of attack, hesitates. "At that speed, will you be able to pull out in time?"
Red Five finds some small element of humour in this macabre flight into peril and, smiling at the double-entendre, decides to add a little more. "It'll be just like Beggar's Canyon back home." Being the best pilot in the Outer Rim Territories breeds its own distinct sort of confidence. And with a push on the throttle, Red Five, flanked by his two wingmen, begins his dive towards the target shaft.
Trouble finds them immediately with the surface defences concentrating on the new wave of invasive strangers. His wingmen defending the rear, Red Five focuses on finding the perfect point of entry for his payload. The chaotic whorls of activity and conflict surrounding him suddenly start to coalesce into a comprehensive whole, each individual dance of death taking place in the vicinity contributes to the overall mosaic of Light versus the Dark. Awareness inundates him in that he is merely one element of a greater whole and, armed with this knowledge, creating his own place within, rather than having it thrust upon him, becomes so much more obvious. Understanding dawns with an indescribable incandescence and he knows precisely what must be done. Exactly where and exactly when.
Suffused with this new knowledge, Red Five changes his tactics. Though still trepidatious about his chances, and with comrades being picked off to either side, his now unfettered determination yields the strength of spirit and sureness of hand necessary to do what must be done. Dodging attacks while maintaining an unerring course for his goal, he comes closer. He has sustained near debilitating damage in order to get to this point, he has lost both of his wingmen, but the time is nigh.
Coasting through a preternatural island of calm in the storm that rages unchecked around him, he realises that the place is here; the time is now! He unleashes his payload at the only vulnerable point he can find on this prodigious target and waits...
From among the scores that had begun, it was the efforts of just one that ended up making a difference. A vas deferens.
Or, in other words, my wife and I are officially trying for our second baby now. Glove's off, goalie's been benched. I will be sure to update again when the, umm, Death Star explodes.
Picture a dog.
Now imagine that particular canine is lolly-gagging around, snorting and sniffling inconsolably. The gait of the pooch is stilted and the whimpering sounds it is making lead you to believe that it does not walk without some muscle pain. Its chuffing breath indicates that it cannot breathe through its nose and the constantly watering eyes give it the appearance of forlorn acceptance of its nearly intolerable existance.
I'm as sick as a dog today and really shouldn't be at work. Sure hope I feel better for the company golf tournament tomorrow!