Category Archives: Farce

Chicken vs Egg – Madison Avenue Version

I’ve been spending a LOT of hours in my home office, usually well into the evening (i.e., past midnight) and “after hours” (after 17:00 when I’m technically “off the clock”) I’ll usually have some sports broadcast or the other on. It’s as much background noise as anything else, but when everyone screams I can look over at the replay and see the great play.

In the process of doing this I am, of course, exposed to ads. Ads are a somewhat necessary evil, but what I notice is that when you’re watching particular events you’ll see the same ads over and over and over. The EXACT same ads. Over. And Over. And Over.

And some of these ads are truly horrible, or so it seems. But then I started to wonder.

Are these ads intrinsically horrible? Or are they just so-so ads that are made to seem horrible because of the repetition?

In other words, the really lame Spectrum ad with the guy with the horrible toupee and his neighbor who doesn’t read books? Yes, they’re morons and the day I buy phone service from Spectrum because they convinced me to will be sometime after the heat death of the universe. But would I absolutely despise that ad if I saw it nightly instead of at every break in the action? Or would it be one stupid, lame ad among hundreds of others, destined to be simply ignored instead of hated?

On the other hand, those nacho cheese fries ads that look like a cheesy horror film? Those are pretty well done and interesting. But are they really that much better, or do I just see them once or twice a night instead of every ten minutes? (BTW, as ads they’re useless to me, because the idea of eating nacho cheese fries is positively revolting, but that’s irrelevant to the argument. As is everything else…)

See, this is what happens to your brain (okay, well, my brain) when it’s not properly cared for!

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Farce

Paranoid Much?

I just got an email, not even spam, a legit email apparently, from DFW Airport, “Clean, Safe and Ready for the Holidays.”

Okay.

Aside from their need to use the Oxford comma, I have to wonder why I’m getting this. To the best of my knowledge I’ve never subscribed to anything asking for information on DFW. Yes, I’ve flown through there many times – who in this country who’s flown more than a handful of times has not? It’s a hub for just about every major airline except Southwest. And while it’s possible (I guess?) that at one point when I was there I logged onto a public wi-fi network or looked up a terminal map (that place is freakin’ HUGE) and inadvertently gave permission to get notifications and ads, why have I never seen anything from them before? I didn’t check, but I don’t think I’ve been through there in at least three or four years.

So maybe it’s random. Maybe it’s innocent. Maybe they bought the subscriber database from Aviation Week & Space Technology (I’m a subscriber) and they’re doing a spammy email blast. Maybe.

Or maybe…

I got a phone call this morning from one of my co-workers about something I needed to look into since she’s gone. She was at DFW, transferring planes. Does the cell phone + computers + internet + Amazon/Apple/Google/IBM group AI know the origin of that call and flag it with that data in turn being cross referenced with advertisers and spammers?

Probably not. PROBABLY not. I know there are a lot of whacked out conspiracy theories out there and all, but c’mon! How paranoid do you want to be?

But if we have our family Zoom Thanksgiving and one of the kids mentions a video game and I don’t even have a game console and don’t play video games at all and I’m not researching it for any gift ideas or anything else even remotely connected to it and then I get an email from them…

I might start to get suspicious.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Farce

Sunset – October 10th

It’s been a while since we’ve had a nice pink, orange, and purple sunset. Lots of them without a cloud in the sky, lots more after with grey, brown, and orange clouds of smoke, and a few with just grey clouds. But tonight was the first that I’ve seen in a while where looking out through the front door glass to the west it had that wonderful, special, colorful glow.

On another note and related to absolutely nothing, why is it that we don’t have “southeastern” food or culture or style or furniture or architecture? This stunning revelation (almost certainly a sign of early onset brain damage – do doubt the rot in my right rotator cuff has now spread up into my cranium) was brought as I was fixing a “southwestern chicken salad” for dinner, and I thought about all of those other things with “southwestern” attached. I’m sure most would recognize salads with corn & beans, stylized roadrunners and Kokopelli figures, Santa Fe-like adobe houses filled with turquoise furniture, all as being “southwest” in some way.

And “northwest” is there in our culture. Seattle, rain, Pearl Jam + Foo Fighters + Nirvana + Heart, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Saint Helens, flying fish in Pike Place Market, fat bears, salmon.

Let’s not forget “northeast!” Yankees, Vermonters, Mainiacs, Live Free or Die, clam chowder, maple syrup, “paaaaking yah caaah by the maahket,” the Duck of Justice

But “southeast?” Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

It’s all the “south.” Let’s get real, there are states in the southeast corner of the United States – Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, the Carolinas. But they’re all “south,” not “southeast.”

Why is that?

Remember when we used to worry about things like that instead of whether key top government officials were trying to execute a coup d’etat or allow a pandemic to kill a half million of us or both?

Good times!

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Filed under Farce, Photography, Politics

A Lunch Thought

I was making lunch today when I realized that, on the one hand, we’re getting really low on that spray bottle of Grey Poupon mustard, and on the other hand, there seems to be an awful lot in there considering that not much is coming out!

You can tap on it and pound it a bit on the counter top to move some of it down to the spout, but that technique has limited efficacy. My brain being what it is (sick, broken, warped, bizarre – yes, I think I like “bizarre” the best!) it occurred to me that what I really need is A CENTRIFUGE!!!

It could be one of those lab-type things, the size of a food processor that gets up to 1,000 G’s, but they’re several thousand dollars and seem to all be custom designed to ONLY hold test tubes. I need something more generic. More impractical. More…ridiculous.

I need to ride along with the bottle(s), to control the experiment. I need to get to NASA. Or Baikonur, either way. Russian centrifugal force is as good as any. Physics is physics. 20 G’s is 20 G’s.

We could do preliminary testing of the theory on a carnival ride. These things can pull 3 G’s – that would be a good start. I’m not sure how they would feel about me getting on with a collection of condiment bottles, but these things are run by minimum wage teenagers and carnival workers, so I’m sure that slipping them a fiver will grease the skids!

It will be an adventure!!

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Filed under Farce, Photography

An Ancient Magik

How was your Monday?

I was busier than god, deadlines for work shooting by me like a biker gang in the slow lane of the 405 Freeway, when I got up to get a soda. When I came into the kitchen…

Why is there water all over the floor? Where’s it coming from? This seems “off nominal.”

Oh, the water runs all the way down to the other end of the kitchen and under the stove. This seems “way, WAY off nominal.”

It turns out that something in the fridge, where the water feed line comes in to supply water to the ice maker and cold water dispenser, had committed suicide and was spraying water all over. Couldn’t find a shutoff, couldn’t move the fridge, but I could hear water running back there, so the short term solution was to turn off the water main to the house.

In the end it got fixed, the water’s back on – but we have no ice maker for a while.

Oh! NO!

Worry not, my friendly readers. I am a practitioner of an ancient Magik, a dark lore handed down from father to son for generation on generation.

I… (insert drum roll!) …can make ice without an ice making machine.

It’s complex, involves incantations and ancient artifacts, relics from an older, gentler age. (The Sixties – work with me here!) The ice will be in a different form than you are used to, a manifestation of my ice making abilities which will leave you in awe.

The cult’s rules forbid me from revealing all, but I can give you a glimpse into the mystic realm…

Use this ancient wisdom carefully and wisely!

(Now, wasn’t reading this drivel better than watching the RNC tonight? You’re welcome!!)

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Filed under Disasters, Farce, Photography

Twelve Hours

I stumbled on a large can of worms a little over twelve hours ago and have spent the day, shuffling fairly large data files into order to figure out how many worms, how big, how wiggly, and training them to tap dance.

Another hour or so to go but the clock’s ticking and I haven’t posted today, so have a picture from a couple weeks ago when I was set up to catch a comet from my front yard.

Back to the tap dancing worms! It’s so hard to get them into those teeny, tiny, little tuxedos and top hats!

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Filed under Astronomy, Farce, Photography

My Letter From Hogwarts

Or at least, its equivalent.

IT’S FROM KENNEDY SPACE CENTER!!! TO **ME**!!!

It MUST be the letter telling me that I’ve been picked to be an astronaut, RIGHT??!!

Or maybe they’ve heard about how I want to go to Mars and they want me to join NASA and head up that project, RIGHT??!!

It’s too thin and flat to actually be the keys to my very own space shuttle – but, hey, they probably don’t use keys, they probably use a credit card like ID thingie, and that will fit in here so that MUST be it, RIGHT??!!

Oh…

It’s those masks that I ordered from the KSC gift shop.

Oh…

Sniffle…

Deep, shuddering breath…

A single tear…

Well, they’re very nice NASA face masks. I’m sure they’re exactly like the ones the astronauts wear…

 

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Filed under Farce, Space

The Apple

I have a bad brain. Sometimes it just goes off on its own. Sometimes it amuses me.

Today I got a bad apple. The combination…

I bit into the apple, which seemed absolutely fine from the outside, only to find that it was mushy and brown in a spot on the inside. Since most of it seemed fine, I got a knife and figured I would just core it and slice it up, taking out the tiny bad part.

The bad part was not tiny.

A solid third of the apple wasn’t all that solid. It was very strange since there was no sign of any bruising on the outside and no sign of any little critter that might have invaded and made a home there, but there was a lot of apple bits that went into the trash.

As I was eating the parts that weren’t brown and mushy, I noticed a teensy, tiny, minuscule, almost unnoticeable, pinhead sized bit of something dark on a piece just as I was popping it into my mouth. By the time its presence had registered I had already started chewing, so instead of spitting it out I just kept chewing. (“YOLO!!”)

And my brain, my bad brain, was off to the races!

THIS was how the alien xenomorph would get inside me! I would be distracted by the big chunks of brown and mushy stuff, but the almost infinitesimally small bit was the real danger, surviving my vigorous chomping like that liquid metal shit in “Terminator 2,” recombining down inside me and starting to grow, feeding, preparing for my big chest-burster scene without even the benefit of Sigourney Weaver being there to comfort me as I bled out! I was no longer a mere apple eater, I was now a HOST!

But was I the Host-est with the most-est?

With that idiotic question surfacing in direct response to the horrific black fantasy that had erupted full blown from my bad brain in mere seconds, I was now attempting to hold in hysterical gales of laughter and choking on the apple. (Maybe the alien was really fast and ready to come out and this was part of the plot? Unlikely, a good horror story needs far more time to marinate and lurk and build tension.)

It wasn’t bad enough that I could envision such a fate from something as mundane as an apple. It was the stupid joke as a response that made it all mine.

Bad brain.

Thinking about it, at first I was tempted to write it off as too much time (103 days now?) in COVID quarantine. One trip out to the store per week, one quick trip to the hangar to pick up mail, and the odd trip through a fast food line is starting to be a bit of a drag.

Later it occurred to me that an equally good explanation was that I have a “Calvin brain,” as in the “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip. Calvin could become Spaceman Spiff in a heartbeat, or take trips to the Jurassic to get photos of dinosaurs in a get rich quick scheme. I’ve just added the snappy punchline. Which, granted, only seems to amuse ME, but you take what you can get. (Feel free to chime in if anyone has actually read this far… Extra special bonus points if you thought the punchline was funny.)

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Filed under Farce

A Red-Letter Day!

There won’t be photos of tonight’s pretty decent ISS pass – it’s cloudy with a 20% chance of rain out there. If you know anything about SoCal it’s that we get rain in June about once every other blue moon. Fate, man, it’s a bitch.

But it’s a red-letter day!

I needed to use shampoo on my hair this morning! Granted, not a lot given the circumstances, more like I just sort of opened the bottle and let some of the fumes waft over my scalp – but it’s a start!! And I can now use a towel to dry it again instead of using a squeegee!

Big doings here!

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Filed under Farce, Paul

Ridiculous – Part Deux

Yesterday I wrote about an unexpected side effect of shaving my head. This morning, thirty-six hours after the initial event, it caught me off guard again, but this time I realized what it reminded me of:

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I also realized what the proper tool is now for “drying my hair”:

12 in. Window Squeegee without Handle

Thank you! I’ll be here all week! Tip your waitress!

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Filed under Farce, Paul