May 31, 2006

Irrelephant Life Lessons: Life Lesson # 247

Let's start with a few simple, true statements.

Fresh strawberries dipped in hot fudge chocolate are delicious.

Dark chocolate bars are delicious.

Now, the Life Lesson: Attend me.
When you've plenty of fresh strawberries but are low on hot fudge, but you DO have plenty of dark chocolate syrup it's not a good idea to mix the two, thinking that a combination of wonderful taste sensations will automatically taste good together. They don't.

Trust me on this one.

Talkies Tuewednesday - Wherein Irrelephant Makes Up For His Lack




this is an audio post - click to play


Join us today as:

Irrelephant discusses the relevant issues surrounding spelling Lithuiania correctly.

Vulgar Wizard delves deeply into the ramifications of turning Lithuianaianen.

Hannibal The Hamster answers your burning questions about exporting your citizenry.

Strange Cousin Susan quests for an iPod in Lithuiannianana.

and

Leesepea gives us her always unique viewpoint on teaching foreign languages to complete idjits who want to take over governments in foreign countries that they can't even find on a globe.

Can you spell it without checking a dictionary or online?

May 30, 2006

Eyemaze answers--

For those of you (Nancy Dancy) who got frustrated at the Globe, here's the answers, as stolen from another blog.

Now keep in mind that I'm listing several different ones, because there are I think three different endings, each a perfect 20,000 points.

Cube
Montain
Ladder
Ball
Egg
Windmill
Pipe
Tornado
Cog
Dish
Gear
TV screen

Or you can do

Ball
Box
Ladder
Mountain
Egg
Pipe
Prop
Wind
Gear
Dish
Rocket
TV

or even

Ball
Cube
Ladder
Egg
Hill
Pipe
Prop
Gear
Tornado
Dish
Thruster
Monitor

Turn And Face The Strain

Cha-cha-cha-changes...Okay, so I can't sing David Bowie to save my life.

Things around my life here of late have been, shall we say "dynamic?" I'm not ordinarily a person who likes change, have never been a big fan of change, and frankly I still don't like change. I like change so little that I throw all my metal money out.

Yeah, that was lame.

Change, however, seems to love itself some Irrelephant. I can't exactly point a finger at it, but there was the wallet. Fifty some odd years of the same wallet, and then suddenly I need a new one. Then it was boots. My old pair of HiTek Magnums finally gave up the ghost, one losing all it's colour, the other had a tear in it's side about four inches long, so suddenly it was brand new boots on top of a new wallet.

As if that wasn't enough, I suddenly develop a problem with my truck's tire. These tires have less than 20K miles on them, are about 5 years old, and out of the blue the right front decides that it wants to let a slice of it's belting about a foot long come loose from the carcass, which gives me a lump the length of my forearm, the height of my nose and the width of a case of red-ass in my tire, making my truck undriveable. So I had to get my tire changed (yeah, that's like a pun only not so funny) and that involved a long wait in Sears and a lot of cash I didn't have. No change involved.

My daughter is returning to her mother's place in Oregon this summer, too, a change which I always have a difficult time dealing with. Last year her mother (heretofore referred to as "The Goat") didn't bring her back to the Pacific Northwest because she couldn't afford it, so I had my daughter not only for the entire school year and summer but the next school year as well. And now she has to return for summer to La Casa del Goat, which then means a dreaded series of flights back up there come the beginning of school to fetch her back. The only high point of that trip is that we're bringing Vulgar Wizard with us, so THAT promises much fun!

Change, change everywhere.

Of course, we can't forget dear Black Betty, can we? A new bike, a new bike note, a whole new way of driving (slow!) and myriad changes in street mannerisms as well as no longer being part of the sport bike crowd. Sadly enough, the worst part of all this bike-change is that Harley guys now wave at me, thinking I'm one of them. *violent, pained shudder*

We officially got our new DOO, and then we hired a new Account Executive at work last week or thereabouts. More change, faces this time, and positions. The low side is that we got rid of the good Account Manager, Cindy-Bo-Bindy, and kept Cankle, the Wicked Witch And Her Old Barbie Doll Look. WTF is up with that? Here's hoping our newbie ousts The Thick-Ankled-One soonest. I'm tired of avoiding her basilisk-like gaze.

And then, I found out this afternoon (to add insult to injury,) that my eBay account had been hacked and I was suddenly from Taiwan and was selling some 40+ Louis Vitton purses and handbags that not only did I not own but the purveyour probably didn't own, either. And so that entailed a lot of password changes and tons of hunting down information that I had forgotten years ago, and an online chat with an eBay representative who turned my account back on after they turned it off for me, thank my stars and garters for that, no money lost, no skin off my trunk. The superfast speed of the internet, however, combined with this young lady's intent to stick in a huge pre-prepared paragraph every line advertising their safety and etc. and her insistent desire for me to remember the first email address I used on eBay some six or seven years ago as well as the street I was born on almost 38 years ago made what should have been a three minute chat last almost half an hour.

At least she didn't ask me if I was 15 and/or a virgin.

May 27, 2006

Addictive

THIS is a very neat thing indeed.

Why am I always so late catching on to these things?

May 25, 2006

My Future Is Black

I say this because my future used to be red. Honda red. I was a Red Rider for years, loved red, heck, if you pricked me, I bled red.

And now I've gone blue. Yamaha blue, that is. And black. Black and blue. I'm bruised.

No, that doesn't sound nice at all, does it?

When I started riding, Yamaha had a do-it-all beginner bike, a super value machine called the Seca II. It was an air-cooled 600cc semi-sport bike, with a half fairing, lots of attitude, and very simple mechanics. And the best part? It was cheap. I had just come through a divorce, and cheap was right up my alley, seeing as how I had just lost the brand new Civic. And yes, it was red, too, but that's for later.

The Seca II was, according to Yamaha, "Dark Metallic Blue III." According to me it was dark green. And I drove the crap out of that bike, until I upgraded to my red Magna, the first Strawberry Bitch. And after that, another red Honda, my Interceptor, the second Strawberry Bitch.

And today I broke down and ran my arse up to Natchitoches and brought home--a black Yamaha Roadliner.


**************
And that, my friends, is as far as I got yesterday, what with work and writer's block suddenly leaping up, and all sorts of other distractions and other annoyances, and I can't seem to get my groove back, so I'm going to go tomorrow morning with the father-in-law to Winnfield to fetch back a restorable Jeep, and then cut grass, and plow, and otherwise busy myself all weekend with tasks, but most importantly including cleaning my new bike, who I have named....

wait for it....

Betty. My own sweet Black Betty.

Who already has over 100 miles on the clock, stretching for that 601 break-in miles, and the first oil change, and then I can really open her up.

Damn that sounds kinda filthy. *lol*

So. More later. Much love to all of you, and happy Memorial Day Weekend! Three days off!

Woot!

May 24, 2006

Grow It, Show It, Long As I Can Grow It

Yes, I'm making reference to a Cowsills song. It's my blog, and I can do folk songs if I want to.

The current trend in male coiffure seems to be turning toward the "bald is beautiful" bumper sticker set. More and more men I know, men who ordinarily sport full heads of hair are going to the shear and razor set, and breaking out the skull wax.

Why?

That is to say, what makes trends like that happen? The vagarities of fashion trend and current style have always been so alien to me, like some foreign language whose consonants don't quite line up right, sounds and words that have always, for me, fallen on my tin ear (lost my real one in in a bar fight in the 80's, all they had handy was a keg funnel, and I liked it so much I kept it.)

So, having the fashion sense of a clam on a bicycle I think I'm going to grow mine out again.

There's several things weighing against my decision however, things that I recall from the halcyon days of my youth. I remember endless hours spent letting it air dry, because if I blow-dried it it would explode in giant frizzies. The endless maintenance is one of the down sides. Having to ponytail and tuck it into my helmet was another grievance of mine, being a motorcycle rider. Tangles and knots are the first result of riding with it loose.

I could sit here all morning listing pros and cons of having long hair again, but I think I'll just close with this:

Bugger 'em if they can't take a joke.

May 23, 2006

Talkies Tuesday - The Postal System And You




this is an audio post - click to play



Join us today as:

Irrelephant discusses the relevant issues surrounding wasting time en route to the mailbox. Lame, I know.

Vulgar Wizard delves deeply into the ramifications of a modern postal system coexisting with electronic delivery of mail.

Hannibal The Hamster answers your burning questions about mailing your children to Zanzibar.

Strange Cousin Susan quests for a stamp.

and

Leesepea gives us her always unique viewpoint on why it would be a good thing if she went postal in class one day.

Do you prefer self-adhesive or lick-and-stick stamps? Use those fingers and write us!

S.W.A.K.
Irrelephant

May 21, 2006

Southern Boys Will Survive

Except that I haven't been a "boy" for a very long time now. Even when I WAS a boy. And I dislike country music. So the title is completely appropos but annoying. *shrug* What was I to do?

There are certain things that every Southern Man is expected to know how to do, even if they don't do it for a living, a hobby, or a sport. They include but are not limited to


  • Huntin'
  • Fishin'
  • Shootin'
    • Varm'nts
    • Squirrel
    • Deer
    • That damn neighbor's dawg
    • Everything Else
  • Farmin'
  • Spittin'

Anyway, the list goes on.

Today, depending on how you look at it, I either earned a Southern Man merit badge, added to my Skill Set, or I got 'er dun. Your choice, all are applicable.

I've already earned Elder Status in Runnin' Th' Tractor, which includes Bushhoggin', Road Drivin', Rowin' Up Gardens, Pullin' Stumps, Stretchin' Bob Wire (actual Southern pronunciation,) and most importantly, Gettin' Cars Outta Ditches With Th' Loggin' Chain. And today I polished up an old skill in a new type of agricultural knowledge: Box Bladin'.

Long story short, our parking lot at work is gravel. It's location by the interstate makes it a good place for big trucks to turn around in, and they do so, and dig huge ruts in the gravel and clay substrate very easily. Petron (our landlords) are supposed to lay concrete for us, but knowing how fast they are that'll be two years from now.

So, being a buck-stopping sort of guy, I loaded the tractor up with the box blade, hooked the trailer to my freshly-running-well Rita, and hauled the lot to work. Where I fixed the lot. Nice and level, and I even scalped the huge piles of loose gravel that tires throw up which are extremely detrimental to motorcyclists, namely ME. And it was easy. Or at least several tries at it prior to this morning laid the (excuse the pun) groundwork for box blading gravel and dirt well. And I did it well. Made me quite proud, if I do say so myself. I actually felt like I earned the pay I charged for today's work.

So now I guess I need to keep working on my Spittin'. There's liable to be a couchon de lait any day now, and I need to be prime on my spittin' and beer holdin' skills.

May 19, 2006

So Mote It Be - It Is Done

As it is in my heart so shall it be under my arse.

Yes, I sacrificed the perfect black bull and the five perfect black rams and the ten perfect black cockrels and the forty million three hundred twenty seven thousand five hundred and forth seven perfect black ants on the Altar of High Finance and I got approved with the best finance rate (5.9% yo!) for my new


OMFG.

I am SO FREAKING STOKED right now that I could explode into little bloody gobbets of me all over the office but then I couldn't pick up my new


next week.

Yes, for the next eight or so days I'm going to be strong (hah) and patient (hah hah) and spend the time between now and next Saturday the 26th, the day I go to pick up my new

trying to sell the Strawberry Bitch II, known to me with much of love as Miranda, because when I bought her I quickly realised that unless I was terribly careful and kept a tight hold on my impulses I would soon be read my Miranda Rights by a very polite young police officer who would then stuff me in the back of his stinky car and whisk me away on a one-way trip to The Stony Lonesome.

Four years later I have earned only one speeding ticket, which was sort of a gyp because it was in a speed trap city that I didn't know about, and I've had (*knock wood*) no accidents of any sort, but my driving has become...well, let me put it this way. If you asked, say, Miguel Duhamel the factory Honda racer he'd probably say that I've become very comfortable and 'dialed in' with my bike, and that my skills as a racer were small but growing and that I was too old to make a living racing bikes. If you asked that polite young police officer (that'd be you, Jason, if you were polite...*lol*) about my driving then he'd probably say that I've exceeded the speed limit more times than Sir Stirling Moss, MBE and have done more foolish things on that bike than all of the Kennedys and their cars put together.

And yes, quite frankly I think I'm starting to get a little old for a sportbike, even a sport-touring bike. My wrists never fully got used to long rides with most of my upper body resting on them, and my back likes to complain after a while in the saddle, and a hard bump through a race-taut suspension drives nails into my spine, so I think that as much fun as I've had for the past three years it's time to say goodbye to my dear Miranda, let some younger body take over for me, and I'll retire gracefully into the Neo-Retro arms of a

May 18, 2006

May Is Motorcycle Awareness Month

And I'm ashamed I didn't know this. Granted, I do all I can here to make you guys aware of bikes and riders.

I know this is geared more toward the greasy nasty Harley guys you see out there, but it goes same for all of us, whether we be Crotch Rocketeers (me for another week or so,) Crusier Hustlers (that'll be me in about a week or so) and yes, Hog Handlers too. Muy thanks to Hannibal for forwarding this to me via my red-headed stepchild (MySpace) and reminding me of this most important time, now that May is almost gone. *sigh*


I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But you didn't see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk. But you didn't see me playing Santa at the local mall.

I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant. But you didn't see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.

I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by. But you didn't see me driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children. But you didn't see me when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you stare at my long hair. But you didn't see my friends and me cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves. But you didn't see my brothers and me donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.

I saw you look in fright at my tattoos. But you didn't see me cry as my children were born and have their name written over and in my heart.

I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But you didn't see me going home to be with my family.

I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But you didn't see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you yelling at your kids in the car. But you didn't see me pat my child's hands, knowing he was safe behind me.

I saw you reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road. But you didn't see me squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.

I saw you race down the road in the rain. But you didn't see me get soaked to the skin so that my son could have the car to go on his date.

I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But you didn't see me trying to turn right.

I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But you didn't see me leave the road.

I saw you waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But you didn't see me. I wasn't there.

I saw you go home to your family. But you didn't see me. Because I died that day you cut me off.

I was just a biker,..... A person with friends and a family. But you didn't see me.

MAY IS MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS MONTH. PLEASE PASS THIS ON FOR YOUR FRIENDS WHO RIDE OR WHO MAY HAVE DIED WHILE RIDING. Roight-o. Done and done.



Stay awake

Stay aware

Motorcycles

Are Everywhere


Burma Shave




*grin* Hey you, share the road. And for gawd's sake put down that damned cellular phone and watch what you're doing!

Down At The Kitty Rodeo

In which Irrelephant cannot decide if he wants to name the post "Felis Notso Domesticus," or "Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!"

Yes that's right, it's never a dull morning in the Irrelephant Household when a very small and rather unruly kitty has to go to the vetrinarian to be fixed ("But Pa, I didn't know she was broke") and a small dog has to get her teeth cleaned.

Easy one first--Penny (aka Penny Pocket, aka Peaunt Penny aka Penny With Peanuts In Her Pockets) needs her teeth cleaned. Her previous owners fed her solely on soft food, which as we all know has no crunchy bits in it to clean tartar and buildup off small teeth, so Penny has tartar, and halitosis bad enough to blister clothing. The process for getting Penny to the puppy dentist?


  • "Penny, get in the car."
  • "Penny, hop in your bed."
  • "Okay Penny, I'll see you after work. Be good for the vetrinarian."
  • Pick up freshly dentrified pup after work.

The process of getting Fiona The Hostile to the vetrinarian?

Wow. I'm not even going to try and list it, I'll be here all day.

The short version involves the wife trying to catch her and earning an earfull of growls and a finger full of claws, then me trying to catch her and earning a palm full of claws and a non-puncturing bite as well as a cacaphony of yowls and growls, and then the wife getting the dog's leash and turning the den into a rodeo arena, roping Fiona with the leash and letting her realise the inevitability of her situitation, then trying to stuff her into the cat carrier without losing a finger.

See, the problem is that Fiona is a daughter of Mamie, who was the Original Outside Cat. Mamie was a dear sweet thing, but she had no problem, in pure cat behaviour, in letting you know in no uncertain terms that she was tired of attention, or required more attention, or wanted to play. Having sharp claws and teeth can make for an excellent focal point of your desires. And Fiona, being her kit, lived her first few weeks tasting Wild Milk from Mamie, so she's got a heaping helping of Alec from A Clockwork Orange in her belly. She's a dear unless she's hormonal or aggravated or tired or otherwise put out, and doesn't mind telling you.

Me, I find it refreshing. She's a CAT, in every sense of the word, quite unlike the five other eating and sleeping machines we have in the house, who have long since forgotten their Wild Milk Days. But, it's also a little unbearable when there are five others in the house who relish their sleeping and peace, just like their owners, so Fiona The Utterly Bezeek is getting repaired this morning.

And if anyone tells me that I should kill her, or hit her in the head, or leave her in the yard on a piece of clothesline or anything else foolish like that I'll remind you that she's a cat, she's defending herself in the only way she knows how, and that I find suggestions of doing harm to animals utterly reprehensible and a sign of a really sad, sick person. Also might I remind you that I get that same sort of behaviour from most humans, who have the luxury of speech and emotional control, and I don't hit YOU, now do I? Although I have thought about the wisdom of staking some of you out in the yard overnight.

I also love her dearly, the little witch, because she likes mayonaise.

May 17, 2006

Well Whaddaya Know

You know how you tense your entire body when you're certain that a blow is going to fall and it's really going to hurt? Your entire body reacts, readying for the pain that this attack is going to inflict, and your physiology, in it's evolutionary preparedness is getting you ready for the strike.

And then it never falls, and you're left feeling empty, incomplete, like a sneeze that you were sure was going to happen, or when you rock too far backwards in a rocking chair but then you don't fall. That's how I've felt most of the morning. Yesterday was, for various reasons, strained. This morning I thought for certain was going to be strained since I'm pretty much alone in the office, but it has't developed that way.

I got here late, after a night of very disturbing dreams and a not so perfect start to the morning, and of course the place was empty, the Butter Troll being one to be here late whenever possible. So, taking advantage of the quiet and the unseasonably beautiful weather I went around the building and opened all the windows up. The cool breezes have been blowing through all morning, and the worst thing they've managed is to make the mini-blinds string tap against the wall in the conference room, and if a light ticking noise is going to be the worst thing I have to deal with today then I'll count myself way ahead of the game.

Last night the local motorcycle shop tried to pull a fast one on me while I took a new Roadliner out for a test drive, but a $500 difference in price is going to light a warning light in my head, so Loewer Powersports? Fuck you, I'm buying elsewhere. For the third time. I never should have given you the first two chances, much less three. This left me in a pretty poor mood last night, but this morning I'm past it, and couldn't care. This weekend part of the family and I are going to Natchitoches to see if I can get approved for a new bike, and if so...

I've been able to play my classical music as loud as I care to, also. I'm not sitting here blowing out the walls, but I do have the station turned up high enough that I can hear it quite comfortably. It's nice not to have to worry if I'm bothering anyone with it, because I know that Beethoven and Bach are acquired tastes and I'm pretty much alone here as far as classical enjoyment goes.

Did I mention that I'm actually getting things accomplished on the schedule I had made for myself this morning? I certainly am, and proud of it. Does this mean that I'll get appreciated more? No. Does it mean that sudden justice will come in the form of pink slips to the two women here that most need it? No. I'm not stupid enough to believe that, anyway. What it does mean is that I feel good about myself for staying on target and on track for completing what I need to complete today, so as not to leave a huge mess for Friday and the weekend.

Rita is currently not running, as of last night. The brother and I set about changing her distributor and it's become more of a task than we originally thought. The good news being that both of us think we know where we went wrong, and so by the weekend Rita not only should be back on her feet but should be doing so with a brand new distributor and coil, which should keep her from her recent difficulties with losing her timing.

The weather is beautiful, did I tell you? I'm going to find some more windows to open up.

...And Some Days The Bear Bites You

Ever had one of those days when you just KNOW the entire day is going to kick you square in the nuts as hard as it can?

Ever had two of them back to back?

*raising hand*

May 15, 2006

A Beginning

A beginning, as we've discussed before, is a delicate thing.

Way back in the dark ages when I was in high school I finally realised that I would need a wallet for real. I had been carrying one for a while at that point, but it was more because it was cool than for any real necessity. Come age 15 I was driving and therefore had a driver's license, an insurance card, and various and other sundries that I needed to keep handy, including very small amounts of cash and one very elderly condom, and I needed somewhere to carry them all.

I had to that point been given several wallets as gifts and had even bought a few, but never found one that I really liked, until I happened upon The Wallet. It was black nylon, and had a beautiful dark green tartan flannel liner. It was a regular bi-fold style with a velcro flap to close it up, and it held what I needed it to hold. Best of all, though, it conformed quickly to the shape of my hip pocket, which was the biggest hurdle. I don't like being uncomfortable, and had put aside many other styles in search of, come to find out, that black nylon job.

That wallet lasted me many a year. As the years progressed it grew to the perfect shape--slightly concave, just bent enough to fit around my hip bone when I sit, and it knew just where to ride in any pocket. It survived numerous washings, survived being rained on, survived being almost pledged into a fraternity in college, and has done everything but deflect a bullet.

I like my wallet.

But it finally tore. Threads had come loose, the velcro wasn't quite as clingy as it used to be, but last week, after literally decades of service, the nylon on it's front face wore through. Yes, that's an indicator of how often I throw things away--the NYLON WORE THROUGH. Bad news, retiring a wallet. Bad that I had to give up this friend of my life. Worse than a divorce, more stressful than a house fire, right up there with having your tongue hammered to a thin paste, I had to give up my boon companion, the friend closest to my arse. Fit me like a glove, had no more secrets, was as close to me as anything could be, and it was suddenly unusable.

I bought a new wallet this weekend. It's black leather, a bi-fold style, but it's not the same. It isn't hard-worn, isn't crushed and warped to shape. It's full of promise and hope, but it's not my wallet. It's a stressful time for me.

What's worse is that I'm due to receive my new pair of boots this week, the ones that are intended to replace my much-loved and much-torn pair of fifteen year old HiTek Magnums.

Saints and sinners preserve me.

May 14, 2006

Mudders Of The World Unite

I'd like to take this opportunity (because I'm a cheap barstard and can't afford to buy cards for all the Mothers I know) to wish each and every Mother out there a Happy Mother's Day.

This would include but not be limited to--

Me own sainted Mum
Me own sainted Mum-In-Law, she of the wonderous backyard wildlife sanctuary and the Astounding Herbivorous Woodpecker
My syster, the knitter
Old Grey Mare, me other Mum
Liz, who has a Full House and then some
Leesa, who is too often bored
Hannibal who is a new Mum and therefore sleeps rarely
Nancy Dancehall who has a flair for names
and to everyone I may have missed and/or who does not have a blog to which I can link.

Without you, well, most of us wouldn't be here, now would we?

May 11, 2006

Oh What A Beautiful Mooorrrrrrrninggggggggg

Aren't you glad I can't audioblog a singing title? VW always tells me that I sing with more enthusiasm than skill. I agree. I couldn't carry a tune if it was nailed to my hand.

It's utterly lovely outside right now--it was a balmy 55 degrees outside this morning, and it's only very slowly risen up to about 70, the sun is shining, the wind is blowing, and I wish I were working outside. That's what we need here--outdoor officing. Which we could use for about four days. *lol*

So. I'm going to open some more windows up. Here's hoping your day is as lovely outside as mine is right now.

May 10, 2006

And Then I Wonder Some More

It's been a strange sort of a day.

I don't know if it's the impending storm that has done it, or if there has been some sort of massive paradigm shift somewhere whose effects are radiating all the way out to here, but something has done us all in.

You see, it's been strangely cheerful today at work.

Don't get me wrong now, work has still had it's serious downs, but for some reason this morning Vulgar Wizard came in all bouncing and cheerful, and I caught the mood instantly and started feeding her more positive energy so she'd keep going, and somehow throughout the day instead of us both crashing and burning she and I both have maintained a level of cheer and smiles that has, like hysteria, managed to cling grimly to a shaky but demanding existence.

And strangely enough, I don't have a direction I wanted to do with for this. Funny, eh?

I think it's got something to do with the massive storm that is working it's slow way toward us from across Tay-has way. Too much electromagnetic energy in the sky, or maybe it's a dearth of ozone, or perhaps just fumes from all those acres of chili are gusting across Toledo Bend, mixing with the aquatic farts of all those fish, and the resulting silent biological agent is even now affecting us one and all, causing strange euphorias and demented outlooks.

So. A meme.

1. Take a book you've read. The Nero Wolfe corpus. Now take the main character. Nero Wolfe. That was difficult. Put them in a band. That's a stretch. What would the band's name be? The Wolfetones? No, it'd have to be called "Flummery."
2. What instrument would that character play? Nero never evinced a liking for playing an instrument in the stories, and didn't seem to care that much for music at all, so I'd have to arm him with a French Horn.
3. Who else would be in that band? Archie, on lead guitar, Fritz on the spoons, Theodore would do percussion on the terra cotta pots, Fred on bass guitar, Orrie on bass violin and Saul on flute, with Lily Rowan for smoky background vocals.
4. Would they stay underground or get popular? Underground for sure, in the dancehalls of New York.
5. Why did you choose that book? For the absurdity levels it would generate, why else?

May 9, 2006

Talkies Tuesday - Disjointed Communication




this is an audio post - click to play



Join us today as:

Irrelephant discusses the relevant issues surrounding having nothing to really say.

Vulgar Wizard delves deeply into the ramifications of loose change.

Hannibal The Hamster answers your burning questions about boloney sandwiches.

Strange Cousin Susan quests for a roll of quarters.

and

Leesepea gives us her always unique viewpoint on credit cards and vending machines.

Do you call it Coke or pop? Tell us!

May 8, 2006

The 2006 Census

You gotta love a pun. You'll see in a second.

I know that as humans we always take things for granted. It seems to be hardwired into us, some sort of throwback from the "Quest For Fire" days. If something doesn't represent a threat to us, we ignore it, much like we ignore the wonderous input of all the hundreds of senses we have. (See? Pun. You're welcome, Nancy.)

"Hundreds," you query? You betcha. Attend me:

We have, other than smell, sight, taste, hearing and touch, the senses of:

  • accomplishment

  • duty

  • right

  • impending doom

  • astonishment

  • humour

  • dignity

  • honour

  • irony



And let's not forget common sense, second sense, second sight, and second breakfast.

And that, Your Honour, is where I gave out about two weeks ago. I had a good seed idea but nowhere to go with it, so as I usually do I didn't let something as silly as having nothing to write about stop me and I went ahead and launched right into it, got a few good rib-ticklers in there, and then washed up on the desolate shores of I Don't Know Where To Go With This One Island, so I left it there and caught the next train back to town and got on with my life.

But you see, I'm the sort of guy who can't let a lying dog sleep, so I had to go back in a Zodiac (I'm a Virgo, what sign are you?) and get the poor thing before it was lost forever, much like the only other post I've ever abandoned, that one about two months ago where I was trying to talk about the joys of old things, re: my truck and getting the dash working again, but before I could finish the post I realised that the repair guys had (*gasp in surprise*) not actually done all the job they said they did, so that post got abandoned as did that garage.

And now that I've gotten you completely turned around, and perhaps gotten your sense of direction all screwed out of whack I'm gonna leave you with this:

Firnk. (I don't have access here to the lovely Firnk Button that VW designed for me, so just imagine it.)

Do You Know What Today Is?

No, it's not the first day of the rest of your life, or any other silly bumper-sticker philosophy sort of thing. No, vitally importantly, today is


National Computer Sacrifice Day!


My syster texted me this morning to let me know she had already started off the day's festivities by listening to the joyful sounds of a monitor being pushed down the stairwell by, I can only assume, some early-rising reveler.

I started off my day's worth of festivities with a cheerful little pyre of 5 1/2" floppy disks and some old data casettes, and plan to work my way up to a large burning altar sacrifice of TI-80s. I think I might finish the holiday off by hanging and burning a UNIVAC in effigy while singing "Daisy" in HAL-9000's voice.

Ah, the sweet celebrations of the neo-fetishistic pagans.

May 7, 2006

Executioner -- EXECUTE!

Wanted: Position where I can use my dubious talents as a image/PR guy to help advance the careers of start-up business and existing business who feel they have become stagnant.

I'm pretty fair, it would seem, in the business of image, but pretty foul at the actual DOING of business. Lemme 'splain. I cut the grass at my office for a small fee each week. It's fairly easy work, the location is close, and I take further ownership of the business I am employed by, so it's a win-win. The thing is, I always think (cutting grass is good think-time) about taking it to the next level--how can I turn a single office worth of grass cutting into a successful, ongoing business in an already competitive world of lawn services?

The answer? Image. People don't want to buy a lawn service, they want to buy an image. I'm in the buisness of selling sizzle, not steak. Anybody can sell steak, it takes imagination and flair to sell sizzle with that same old shoe-leather quality steak. I'm good at image. Really good at it. All it takes is imagination, and I've got that by the truckload. The thing is, I'm not so good with all the fiddly details like cash-flow, inventory control, and most important, finding that one service that nobody else seems to be offering.

Consider: I cut grass for one office. I want to make it more than one office. While not the best at figuring out how to increase my size and scope and ability I've already figured out the name of the business, the logo, and importantly, the sizzle of the business. See, me and some imaginary partner or coworker would suddenly become:



The Professionals.




Not "Professional Lawn Care," nothing as plain as that. Just "The Professionals." The logo? Black icons on white background, two men in black suits, white shirts and black ties, wearing wayfarer sunglasses, black fedoras pulled low. One has a weed-eater slung over one shoulder, shotgun style, with his other hand in his slacks pocket and the other is standing relaxed, resting one hand on a push mower's handle. Beneath the logo, the legend: "Let Us Handle Your Dirty Work." Suddenly you're not hiring a couple of middle-aged guys who want to earn beer and gas money, you're hiring a couple of lawn hit-men, who by their image (their sizzle) are selling you gangster-style quality--fast, efficient, and clean. You're buying The Family Touch.

The uniform? White T-shirts with the logo on the front pocket and the legend on the back, and black jeans or chino shorts. Uniformity, the key to iconic tie-ins, and a clean look on the employees. The trick? Keep tons of shirts onboard the vehicle, so that whenever you show up for the next job you look clean, fresh, and like this house is the only house you have to do that day, so you are going to really do it up fine, even if you're on your fifteenth yard for the day and want to puke your guts out.

But then, there's the followthrough. Finding a crew, getting the money, making it all happen in Real Life. The thousand and one tiny details that make a business thrive.

For those of you who remember Gentleman Rook Tobacco you know what I mean. I had a clean, easy to navigate website, uncluttered pages, hunter green borders with maroon fields, easy checkout, and the infamous "puffing chicken" logo.





Well-executed image, not a lot of money, and trying to compete online with the sharks all added up to a lackluster 5 years. I don't have the final business sense to pull things off, and lack the wherewithal to find the person that DOES.

Wanted: Helper with good business sense and a giant defict of imagination. Objective:

Success!

May 5, 2006

Perceptual Difficulties: Please Stand By

Real Life vs The World As You See It In Your Head. Sometimes there can be quite a difference, and sometimes that difference can smack you in the side of the head like a fist coming in from Cleveland on the 11:14 Express Freight.

As most of you know, I've been messing around at one the local radio stations. Not as an on-air personality ready to replace one of the other DJs but more as a sort of hanger-on who gets to go into the studio during broadcast times and sort of yell and make rude noises and help Riley (one half of the morning show) sort CDs back into their place in the big binder, and offer suggestions as to what should come next.

Ron, the other half of the morning show was out of town for the latter half of this week, and with the blessings of my boss Vulgar Wizard I hied myself to the station this morning to do what I could to install the new Riley And Paul Revolution Show, which actually never really came about but I got some cool bumper stickers made up, and some rather discreet lapel pins, and a flag. Well, okay, no flag.

The funny thing is this--the last two Fridays I've visited the station I've had my perceptions of two people changed; one drastically, one almost none at all, and that interests me. You see, I've always (falsely, it seems) prided myself on not judging books by their cover, and apparently I've been doing just that. Let's take two cases, shall we? Oh, I know, how about Ron and Riley!

Ron I had pretty well right, from what little I've seen of him. He comes across on the air just like he comes across in person, which is to say that he doesn't have to alter or edit his behaviour very much at all to appear live on the air. He's had enough experience in stations to be relaxed and confident at the board, and everything sort of flows when he works. He's also a lot of fun to watch, because he makes it all seem soooo easy. I guess that's how you get to be Program Director of a station.

Riley. I was about as far off as I could have been on Riley. *lol* On the air I always perceived her as a little ditzy sometimes, giggly but relatively stable, and a pro at poking Ron's buttons. The past two Fridays have changed my impressions a bit. Riley at work in front of the station's control board is like watching a flaming octopus try to assemble a four-barrel carburetor while playing a zither. Utter chaos, leaping around, lots of yelling and some interestingly colourful profanity and a lot of off the cuff remarks that half the time left me scratching my head in wonderment. Definitely not the person I had pegged her for being.

So what lesson do I take from the past two days experiences? *scratching head* Uhm...lessee. Don't ride Miranda when it's a 50% chance of rain? Or that when I park her for lunch and bring Rita to work the sun comes out and starts scorching everything in sight? Beats me at this point, because I don't know if I can change, but I do know this--the pair of them (the DJs, not the vehicles) have been enough to make me start listening to *gasp choke* pop music in the mornings for the two hours I'm at work and they're on, if nothing else so I can call in and be a pest some more.

Hey, you have to go where your talents lie, right?

What Are You Gonna Do With Your Life?

I wanna rock.

I've always envied the people who seem to get good jobs and just stay there until they retire. You know the kind of person I'm talking about, I'm sure--the old guy at the Post Office who was there when they poured the foundation, or that guy who has worked at the local hardware store since he was knee high to a ten penny nail. The guys who always work dilligently but not too quickly, who always seem to put in a full days work and never get angry, never have a bad day. And suddenly you're attending their retirement party and they've plans to buy a two hundred foot long yacht and live off the coast of Brazil until they die.

I've never been one of those people.

I can't seem to find a job that I can be genuinely comfortable at, a job whose supervisors and employees are ALL hard working, fun-loving, and fair. A job that challenges me, that gives me hope for the future. A job where I can stay, where I can feel welcome all the time, where I can make a good living for me and my family AND have a modiicum of fun.

Do these jobs not exist? Monster.com seems to think so, as do most of the temp agencies in town, or at least that's what their advertisements seem to be telling me, but I think that it must have a lot more to do with my own attitude than the job.

I could be wrong, too.

So who do I have to blow to find this job? Why can't I just be one of those guys who goes to work, keeps his head low, doesn't make any sort of a stir, does his eight a day/five a week, draws a paycheck and somehow ends up as plant manager of the second largest creosote manufacturing plant in the state, drawing a six figure income and driving a huge armoured car of an SUV to bring the kids to soccer practice? Where was the line for that? Did I miss the memo?

I've always been one to pull hard, to be THE engaged employee, the one who takes ownership of the problem and of the company. I always thought I was an HR director's wet dream. I try my best, and yes, I like to screw off, but not always, not hardly, but dang, I know when it's time to work, and I know how to give it my all.

I guess I'm still waiting for someone to work for who will give ME their all.

May 4, 2006

When Ya Gotta Go, Ya Gotta Go--

Potty Humour. The first type of humour that we all come in contact with (no pun intended) as infants, the human condition renders all things toilet taboo, and therefore ripe ground for humour. In some species (men) this never changes.

I got in trouble a few months ago for entering a patient's order. Okay, not so much that I entered the order, because I entered it as I'm supposed to, that is, verbatim. We have to enter a five letter code for the order, and most of them are pretty codified--a lab order is coded as LAB, an unscheduled nurse visit is a PRNSN (as needed skilled nurse,) wound care orders are shortened as WOUND. So you can see my trouble when an order came through for a patient's enema. I mean, should I abbreviate it as a PRNSN? It was a scheduled visit. A LAB? No, no specimen was called to be drawn. So I did what any red-blooded he-male would do when confronted with this conundrum--I labeled it an ENEMA order.

That's the bit that got me in trouble with VW a week later, when she was getting my orders to be resubmitted ready. Seeing the abbreviation she shouted across the fifteen feet distance from her to me something along the lines of "ENEMA? An ENEMA ORDER? WHAT THE F**K?!"

So, I've been a good little monkey. Until today. What follows is the exact wording of the order I received today to key:


Anusol HC suppository 1 per rectum twice a day x 5 days 0 refills called into (*pharmacy name*) notified caregiver, voiced understanding.
Right Hand Woman, LPN/Butter Troll, RN
5/4/06
irr (my official signature as order entry beastie)


Okay. Anus-all HC? Wha?? I'm already giggling because of the name of the medication. Nothing cool sounding like "Protonix," nothing serious sounding like "Warfarin Sodium," no, the big-brain guys who invented it decided to call it "Anus All."

I get past that point, and find that the LPN who writes orders for the Clinical Manager and the RN who is the CM have both signed off on an order that seems to suggest that the patient has more than one rectum, each needing medication inserted therein.

"1 PER RECTUM?" At this point I have fallen onto the floor laughing. One per rectum twice a day. So that's what, four or six a day? And only 5 days worth, which could be as few as 10 (for a bi-rectum) or as many as several hundred, if the poor patient is one of those rare but extraordinarily flatulent polyrectal people.

Polyrectal. Cool.

So after a while Vulgar Wizard and the Butter Troll came in to check on me, and finding me collapsed on the floor, twitching from laughter convulsions and apparently dead to all intents and purposes Butter Troll, seeing my order entry screen says "The word 'rectum' did it to him?"

At which point Vulgar Wizard says "Rectum? Hell, it dang near killed him!"

Gawd I love potty humour.

May 3, 2006

What If?

There's a nice place I want you to visit, called What If?

Yes, I know, it's a wonderfully loaded question. What it IS is a meeting place for some very excellent writers of fiction, and just recently here I was invited to participate, which I did, and I have already received some small lauds, which pleased my ego far too much, but hey, that's what egos are for, right?

And right now I'm coughing fit to blow my own head off my shoulders, my cold has migrated into my lungs, and I feel like they're on fire all the time, so I'm going to go lie down with some hot tea, and spend tonite asleep in the arms of The Green Death, only it's cherry flavoured, so it's The Red Death, no Poe involved.

May 2, 2006

Talkies Tuesday - Lying




this is an audio post - click to play



Join us today as:

Irrelephant discusses the relevant issues surrounding Field and Stream.

Vulgar Wizard delves deeply into the ramifications of having horns on one's head.

Hannibal The Hamster answers your burning questions about cracked corn versus rye grass feed plots

Strange Cousin Susan quests for the perfect rack.

and

Leesepea gives us her always unique viewpoint on arming wildlife to even the odds.

Is it Doe Day again? Then join us!

Talkies Tuesday

Seems to be delayed...Audioblogger is having some sort of crisis, and I can't seem to get through. I guess it's time for an iPod or something of the sort.

May 1, 2006

Dis Ease

It's an interesting word broken down that way, isn't it. Dis (not at) ease. I'm uneasy. My throat feels like I've been gargling with steel wool, and it's put me ill at ease.

To look back briefly, the weekend was almost entirely a washout. That's a joke. We got something like 5" of rain overnight, after it rained 2 or 3 inches the previous days, which meant standing water everywhere, and the poor sods who foolishly bought very expensive and very small houses and didn't bother to look at the land realised that their very small very expensive houses were in fact in what used to be a very low, poorly drained field. Voila, flooding. And trust me, bitching to the Police Juror for this area won't solve anything, my mother has been doing it for almost 40 years now and nothing has happened. Fool on you for not checking out the area beforehand.

Yes, I have no sympathy. Right now I don't have any human feelings in toto. I feel like thinly hammered sheep shit.

Saturday, as I was saying, nothing got done except hours of watching the rain fall. Sunday was full, and ended with an evening spent at our local Outback Steakhouse laughing at all the goofy looking prom-going children. Somebody needs to tell Prick #1 that spending your entire dinner on the cellular phone and not talking to the date is grounds to get your ass stomped into slush by the big moody gentleman across the aisle from you, and somebody needs to tell Moron #4 that a white ball cap does not make you look cool even if you ARE wearing a white tux, and while you're at it you might want to tell the rest of them that wearing lavender, peach or lime green vests is about as ridiculous as you can get.

I'm so full of the need to vent tonight. All from my dis ease. I seem to be having a huge sinus drainage which in turn is making my throat red and raw and apt to close at the slightest sign of a cough, and the rest of me feels like I'm fighting a losing battle with a very determined invisible nun--I can't see her, can't find her, but she's sure as anything kicking the hell out of me. So tonight I embrace the Green Death that is NyQuil and hopefully get enough rest that tomorrow will be tons more positive than today was.

Wish me a broken arm.