Category Archives: Stupidity

The Bat

The bat touched my hair. I freaked out and swatted my hair and the space above my head feverishly in the dark. I felt something light and crispy brush the back of my hand briefly. My stomach clenched and twisted. My heart rose up into my throat and choked me. My eyes strained in vain to make out any detail whatsoever in the pitch black cavernous space. The sound of flapping wings receded for a moment, bringing forth my eternal gratitude. In this space eternity is forever and for only a micro-moment simultaneously, for I was forced to revoke my gratitude seconds later when I heard the approaching sound of wings flapping in the darkness. My heart-rate tripled. My breath got caught in my bronchials and I began to suffocate.

I suddenly recalled a recent appointment with my accountant. He was a miserable man, and cheap too, but he provided the service for me I could not provide for myself and I had little choice but to continue to subject myself to his presence once or twice a year. As he pecked away at his calculator (he was too cheap to consider purchasing modern hardware, much less software) I remember allowing my mind at the time to wander towards thoughts of his personal life. Did he have a wife? Children? I thought it unlikely as a wife and children cost money – as unromantic and practical-minded as that may sound, it is the truth – and I couldn’t see him taking on the burdensome expense. But maybe he had – I didn’t know and didn’t bother to ask, but I remember wondering because on his desk I glanced upon an item which struck me as being uncharacteristically warm and charming, and I couldn’t imagine that this cheap, miserly soul had ever purchased anything so, well, human. I couldn’t really imagine it being a gift, either, as he didn’t seem the sort to partake in any such silly rituals as gift giving or receiving.

Lying on the cold, dank floor now, curled up into as tight a ball as I could wrap myself, praying the bat would go away and leave me unmolested, I thought that maybe my accountant must indeed have had a wife once, for there was no other explanation I could think of to explain the object I witnessed on his desk that rainy afternoon in April.

Jim the Dinosaur

So Jim the Dinosaur walked out of the restaurant and paused by the bench that was just outside the doorway and thought:

If I’m a dinosaur why do I keep eating at this restaurant. I mean, I don’t even like ribs that much.

But the longer Jim the Dinosaur tried to figure it all out, the muddier his thoughts became. He decided to just leave things be and take a walk. He started off toward the wooded area just east southeast of the Rib Shack. He traveled at a leisurely pace, poking his snout into the air from time to time to take in the olfactorial delights of Spring. When he was about twenty feet or so from the edge of the woods he came across an old frienemy of his named Bill.

Bill was a stinking beast from the Tau Ceti system who liked to spend his weekends prowling the Hudson River Valley, terrorizing the squirrels and chipmunks with his toxic bowels and their sulfurous emissions. Jim the Dinosaur wished Bill would just stop coming around but his luck wasn’t that good, he supposed. Here was that flatulent prig again, fouling up the atmosphere with each noxious blast from his lower region.

“JimDo! Good to see you buddy.” He let rip a winner.

“Go flick yourself off a cliff buddy. Lea’me alone today, wouldya?”

“Come on, JimDo. What would you do without me around to bug you? You’d go soft and lose all your skills.” Bill farted from “without” to “bug”, then let out a little encore around “your skills”.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Thanks, man.” And with that, Jim the Dinosaur clamped his jaws tight around Bill’s scrawny neck and bite hard, severing the smelly beast’s head clean off from its neck. The rest of Bill’s body, far from dead, ran off laughing into the woods at breakneck speed, blasting the surrounding trees with a stupefying cloud of methane based ambrosia. “Catchya later big guy!”

“Whatever, man” Jim the Dinosaur said half out loud and half to himself, the smelly visitor long out of earshot by now anyway.

Jim the Dinosaur weighed munching on Bill’s severed head but ultimately decided against it. He was still full from his meal at the Rib Shack. He kicked it into a drainage ditch near where the woods met the road, then decided to walk along the road a ways. Bill was always such a pain in the neck.

About a mile on, Jim the Dinosaur had a thought. What if I can make a film about my life? Everyone will love it and want to watch it over and over again. So Jim the Dinosaur set immediately upon the plan. He began the script that very moment.

A few moments later, he decided to drop the project. Jim the Dinosaur can’t really write too well. Or spell. Or read. Jim the Dinosaur is more of a consumer than a content creator.

The next morning Jim the Dinosaur rose early and headed over to the Rib Shack for some ribs and eggs. He did it more out of habit than any real desire to eat ribs this morning. Eggs, sure he could go for some eggs, but the ribs were just habit.

Happy New Year!

This is my typewriter. It serves me well. Every now and again I get an urge to try something a bit different, say a word processor or some such nonsense. But then I come to my senses and remember the axiom: never entrust to another that which is best kept to yourself.

That may not make much sense to you at the present time, but it will. Trust me on that. So here is my story:

Once upon a yabbady dabbity doo in a land far and few between in time and space there lived a jabber wocky whosamaflipitz. Okay that’s bullshit and we both know it. Now for the real deal. I steal lives. Kinda sorta. I don’t kill people. I don’t rob them of anything. I just kinda sorta borrow their minds and then do a quick copy and paste. Just like on a computer. You know, nothing lost when sharing betweenst folders or friends. I have it, I share it with you. Now you have it, and I have it too. Simple, right?

It is in this way I steal lives. I share them with others. Well, I share their lives with myself. But they don’t lose a thing. They don’t even notice when I make myself a copy of their life, nor when I paste said copy. I imagine you’re wondering to where I paste their life after I copy it, right? That part is harder to explain. But let me try.

You know how ice cream melts in the heat? Yet we eat ice cream in the hot weather days usually, right? (Except those crazy folks who eat ice cream in winter, but they’re crazy.) We do things in such a way as to create challenges for ourselves. Eat the ice cream before it melts. Get out of the burning building before we die. That sort of thing.

You think I’m beginning to explain the whys before the hows but bear with me. Now, the thing about challenges is they’re tough. They’re hard and difficult, and that’s what we crave. In order to achieve anything from life we have to have a frame of reference. Desires and goals and whatnot. Against our desires and goals we can achieve success or not. Now, each desire (or goal, goals are desires – more on this later) creates a directory in our souls. A directory is a box, more or less, in which we store our memories of experience. Our existence is usually concerned mainly with the processing of these memories. (The creation is our existence, but for some reason no one gets that.)

So we go about moving files around and copying files from directory to directory. We create files on the fly and process them continually. We figure our directories are ours alone but this is not so. I can read your files, and if you had any inclination that I existed and, simultaneously, wanted to read my files, you would have little difficulty doing so. Hell, we can even arrange write access to each other’s files if we wanted to. But I’m getting ahead of my story.

So the point is I find some files I like… Boom, presto. They now exist in parallel in my own little archive of non-original life directories. Your life is mine. And mine is yours. Sort of. The critical difference being I know you exist. Or you used to, anyway. Now we are sort of like a team, but only one of us has a clue.

You see, while you’ve been busily creating mental imagery in an attempt to consolidate these near non-sequiturs into some sort of coherent narrative, I’ve been busy copying some files you may be familiar with into my database. Howdy pardner 😉

See how goals achieved bring about satisfaction? Happy 2015!

“Real Love Begins….” Thich Nhat Hanh

Riding effortlessly on a large green turtle

“Real love begins when nothing is expected in return.”

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.”

“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet……….Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis that the earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing to the future.”

“I have arrived, I am home.  My destination is in each step.”

“There is no path to peace, the path is peace.”

“Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.”

“When you look deeply into your anger, you will see that the person you call your enemy is also suffering. As soon as you see that, the capacity of accepting and having compassion for them is there.”

“I have arrived, I am home in the now.  I am solid.  I am free.  In the ultimate I…

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Robin Williams and Me: The Killer Among Us.

Psych Circus

Robin Williams  Person    Giant BombWhy Robin Williams?

I’m not a fan of celebrity worship, nor do I feel especially comfortable perhaps taking advantage of human suffering and loss by writing about a total stranger’s suicide.  That said, Robin’s suicide disturbs me. It touches a sore nerve, it hurts. He seemed a safe, reliable positive out there in the world, a source of joy and humor and, well, life. He was fine as far as I knew, just fine, then BAM!: dead. It’s shocking, saddening, makes the world seem less safe, less reliable.

Why me?

Clearly there is no “Robin Williams and me”, no relationship beyond talented performer and fan. I use the phrase in another sense. Why does his death hit me harder than most? What does it mean?

Events’ meaning partially come from our reactions to them, our responses. Like so many, I have thought over Robin’s many fine performances, the incredible eruption…

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The Difference Between Men And Women…Very, Very, True!

Yup

THE EDITOR'S JOURNAL

couplegfLet’s say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening…

when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: “Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”

And then, there is silence in the car.To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation…

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Nature finds a way. Ramp from 670W to 315N.

Reason #66 why this iPhone will be my last, or how I learned to stop worrying and play my .ogg files

cannot play file

Really sick of this.

Tired of seeing this “Cannot play audio file” message in iOS? I know I am. Some folks have taken to blaming Wikipedia for this. Others blame the .ogg file itself while others blame the entire open source philosophy for this conundrum. I lay the blame squarely where it belongs – at Apple’s feet (Microsoft doesn’t get a pass here, it’s just that I don’t use the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, or Internet Explorer at all anymore so I rarely have to be directly burdened by their practices).

Soon I will also be saying goodbye to Apple’s iOS for good. This lack of compatibility with common file types is rapidly showing itself to be a lack of common sense. No Flash? No problem for me really. I never miss it on my iPhone and eagerly await the day HTML5 obliterates any and all need for Flash in websites. But .ogg files, in addition to being more prevalent today than ever, are of superior audio quality when compared with their ubiquitous cousin, the mp3. Being someone who creates music as well as consumes it, I appreciate the combination of good quality sound and small compact file size, and have been using the .ogg file format to share my music for some years now. Of course, on the desktop this presents little to no difficulty for those with whom I share music to play the files, but playing these .ogg files on an iPhone or iPad is not possible “out of the box”. To me this makes no sense whatsoever. For devices which exist almost exclusively as content consumption devices to be so restrictive in what types of content can be consumed reeks – the stench of decomposition surely the result of the rotting vegetal matter in a certain garden cut off from the outside world by strangling walls…

Anywho, onward and forward.

VLC icon

God bless the VLC

The VLC player is available in the App Store, and it will play .ogg files received via email. Now, for those inaccessible Wikipedia sounds:

Puffin icon

The Puffin to the rescue.

The first step in accessing these sounds (N.B. at this point I should mention there may very well be easier ways to do this, I just haven’t come across them yet) is to download Puffin web browser from the App Store. (This method of accessing the Wikipedia .ogg files may work in other [NON-Safari] browsers as well, but this is not a scientific experiment – if you’re interested enough to check them all go right ahead.) There is a free trial version of Puffin, but I’ve found that I use it enough to justify its (at the time I bought it – things change and I’m not going to even bother looking up the price now because it might change again between me writing this and you reading it) relatively low price (I paid about $3.00 or so). For the record this is not a sponsored post – I do not receive any benefit from promoting any product or service and this information is for educational purposes only.

Wikipedia in Puffin

Lo and behold the file is now accessible.

We’re almost there. It would be great if we could just play the sound file in the Puffin web browser, but, alas, this is not possible. So we click (press) on the sound file icon and are presented with this dialog:

Puffin download dialog

Decisions, decisions

From here my limited exploration seems to have found the best thing to do is press “Cancel”. That brings us here:

The URL for the .ogg file

The URL for the .ogg file

Press and hold in the URL area and choose “Select All” followed by “Copy”.

Copy the URL

Copy the URL

Now open the VLC app and select Downloads. (You can see below I had already gone through this process when I took the screenshot, hence the file “White noise…” being present at right already.)

Select Downloads in the VLC menu

Select Downloads in the VLC menu

Paste the URL in VLC Downloads

Paste the URL in VLC Downloads

Paste the URL and press Download.

The file is now available for play in VLC.

The file is now available for play in VLC.

The file is now available. Select it and enjoy!

The Glory of playing .ogg files in iOS

The Glory of playing .ogg files in iOS

This is an awful lot of work to hear an audio sample on Wikipedia. So much for Apple being the purveyor of simplistic devices. My next phone will play .ogg files with the press of a finger – I guarantee that!

Flags & Food

Now this is cool!

the bippity boppity beautiful blog

Flags & Food

NATIONAL FLAGS MADE FROM EACH COUNTRY’S TRADITIONAL FOODS

Italy

basil, pasta and tomatoes 

India 
curry chicken, rice, cheera thoran and papadum wafer

Brazil 
banana leaf, limes, pineapple and passion fruit

China 
dragon fruit and star fruit

United States 
hot dogs, ketchup and mustard

Greece 
olives and feta cheese

Japan 
tuna and rice

Lebanon 
tomatoes, pita bread and parsley

Vietnam 
rambutan, lychee and starfruit

Australia 
meat pie and sauce

South Korea 
kimbap and sauces

France 
blue cheese, brie cheese and grapes

United Kingdom 
scone, cream and jams

Turkey 
Turkish Delight

Spain 
chorizo and rice

Indonesia 
spicy curries and rice

Thailand 
sweet chilli sauce, shredded coconut and blue swimmer crab

Switzerland 
charcuteries and swiss cheese

 

Credits
Client: Sydney International Food Festival
Advertising Agency: WHYBINTBWA, Sydney, Australia
Executive Creative Director: Garry…

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Icebergs

This is profound.