Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Tracking Report

The latest report just came in. Santa ran into a little weather situation (mini tsunami) and is still flying over Indonesia.

The odds of him making it farther west than England is pretty grim.

Children in the Americas should be informed that although Christmas may be fruitless, all indicators are pointing to a big Easter.

More updates as they come in.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to Land a Dream Job in a Down Economy

How to Land the Job of Your Dreams: The ultimate and fail safe job interview helps that are guaranteed to land you the job of your choice.

Rule number one: Always start by stating that you went to Harvard. That is impressive and will be your “in.”

Once you have your “in,” tell the interviewer something interesting about yourself, but avoid any funny stories of things you have done that may be considered “criminal activity.” If you cannot think of something interesting about yourself, think about something interesting that someone you know has done. (After all, we influence the people we know, so it is really more of a team effort.) For example, you may say “I was the first man to walk on the moon.” We all know who Neil Armstrong is, so no harm done. Plus, this is also impressive. Now you have two “ins.”

With two “ins”, it is pretty hard not to get the job. At this point, you are just trying not to blow it. Stay away from explosive topics like war, politics, religion, and especially political religious wars. Instead, try asking a few questions about the interviewer’s love life. You want to make things personal. The interviewer may act hesitant at first, but keep prodding. This is all part of the test. Keep the payoff in sight. If you develop a connection with the person, you will have sealed the deal. If you do not feel that immediate connection, try throwing in a few statements like “My favorite color is the same as yours.” Or “If you had your own business, I would definitely want to work there . . . forever . . . and ever . . . and ever . . . and ever. Continue the “and evers” until the interviewer breaks away from your piercing eye contact, even if this takes several minutes. He needs to know that you are sincere—to the grave and beyond sincere.

At this stage, the interviewer will probably go through a series of questions as a formality. Be prepared to answer questions about why all the phone numbers for your references are disconnected or no longer in use.

When asked about your prior work experience, be descriptive and use bold action verbs. Do not say “I babysat during the summer.” Instead, say “I engineered and developed state-of-the-art technology as regional director of the research and development department.” Such language will pique the interviewer’s interest. Employers want people with transferable skills. They are not looking for someone to babysit (unless it is a child care center—that is the only exception), they want someone to engineer and develop. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard employers say that.

Also, don’t wait too long to ask if the employer believes in some of the illnesses you think you may have. This would also be the time to ask detailed questions about the number of security cameras and guards they keep around the office. It is important to show interest in their business.

And most important, be prepared for anything. Bring a can of mace, a magic deck of cards, a jump rope, monopoly money, anything that might get you out of a tough question.

And finally, for a nice finishing touch to the interview, hand the interviewer a thank you card and ask him to write his name and his company’s name in the blanks. (You do not want to risk misspelling the names. It may give the impression that you are not thoughtful.) When he is done, ask to borrow a stamp, and then leave the thank you card on his desk. (This way, even if you do not get the job—hey, free stamp!)

Remember proper etiquette is to wait at least five minutes before calling to see if you got the job and to ask if you can get that first pay check advanced.

Enjoy many happy years in the job of your dreams.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Editor position available

If anyone would like to be an associate editor for this blog, please e-mail me a one word resume.

Please do not send anything longer than one word. I have a very old computer.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Concession Post

Recently there has been a lot of buzz around the Internet about when I am going to update my newly transformed political blog. Obviously, that last post was less about politics than it was about Thanksgiving (or pilgrim chemicals or whatever it was about—I really couldn’t follow it). If you want to know the truth about the political blog—I had to shut it down.

It is with deep regret that I inform you that my political blog is no more. It turns out that what I considered “not bad,” many others with a background in politics considered “very, very bad, in a monumental way.”

Recent reports indicate that my one day of political blogging was the nation’s biggest disaster since the Fredericks Fiasco and more than likely caused the nation’s economic downturn. (For the novice, the Frederick’s Fiasco was when we elected Mr. Fredericks, who we later discovered was a scarecrow and then had to elect a new president right away. Actually, that may have been a cartoon. No matter now.)

The day after my political post, 15,700 people requested to have their citizenship revoked and moved to Canada (could anything really be that serious?). Experts claim it is linked to my blog, but I have my own theory (My theory involves a bunch of people, maybe 15,700 or so, who wanted their Citizen brand watches refurbished and also happened to be terrible typists.)

Over 600 legal immigrants pretended to have fraudulent social security numbers and voluntarily turned themselves in. Each handed the authorities a confession in feigned broken English citing to my website.

Additionally, almost 37% of those signed up to take the US Citizenship test no-showed. Again, everyone is blaming that on my blog, but I’ve yet to read any compelling evidence. (I’ve thrown all of the reports they sent straight into the garbage.)

So, I’ll go back to writing about highlighters, wind chimes, second-hand kung-fu moves, and other topics that affect people’s lives on a more meaningful and day-to-day level than mere politics. Besides, I really couldn’t think of any more ideas. I pretty much covered all I knew about politics in that one post.

This may come to a great surprise to anyone who has ever attended a social gathering with me, but I actually do not follow politics as closely as you probably supposed. Pretty much all I do at those gatherings is go up to people talking politics and throw in a couple of rehearsed phrases. I’ve found the following to work well in most all situations:

  • “Our entire system is constitutionally constipated!” (throw down napkin and storm off)
  • “Recount! Recount!” (can be repeated numerous times for great comedic effect)
  • “typical intellectual mannequins” (said with a disgusted face)
  • “Show me a candidate who will dye their green roots red, white, and blue, and I’ll bake him a presidential cake faster than you can say Secretary of State.” (force a tear, or if you’re no actor, gently poke your eye with a toothpick beforehand.)

I just throw those out at random. People really in those discussions are usually smart enough to somehow abstract something intellectually coherent out of the phrase. Man, they are really smart. I really should have had them write on my blog. Oh well, that ship has sunk.

So, Goodbye politics. I wish I could have gotten to know you a little better. I’ll try studying up again in 2012 on the drive over to the voting booths.

And lastly, to all of you who depended on my blog for your political insight these past few months (or one day, if you want to be technical), I wish you the best. As they say in politics (or in any situation really), “see ya’ around.”

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Trytophanian Thanksgiving

Trytophan—an el camino acid found in turkey that purportedly makes people tired.

Scientists have repeatedly asserted that the drowsiness frequently experienced on Thanksgiving can be attributed to the eating of a big meal and not specifically to eating turkey. Still there are some who continue to believe that eating turkey makes you tired. (See wikopedia – trytophaniacs). I’m with them. It’s true. I’ve experienced it. I offer a summary of my day’s happenings as living proof.

This morning I was in bed dreaming about turkeys, and I didn’t fully wake up until all the cleaning around the house was done and the real turkey was prepared and in the oven.

And then the smell of the turkey cooking made me so tired that I couldn’t even help set the table and prepare the side dishes that I insisted that no one else make but me. (I found a secret recipe on the back of an instant mashed potatoes box. Hint—add extra butter.)

I took one look at the giant Turkey balloon in the parade, and my eyes instantly glazed over and I couldn’t hear a single word of the things people were asking me to do, especially about vacuuming the living room or answering the door. You’d think by the way she went on that Aunt Gilda had never waited out in the freezing rain for ten minutes before.

Then came actually eating the turkey. I was so sleepy during the meal that there was no way I could fight back the belching—let alone say “excuse me Pilgrim,” as is the custom of the day.

Then after the turkey dinner, I barely had enough energy to ask someone to bring me a turkey sandwich, while I sprawled out on the couch watching the game. Truth be told, I couldn’t even stand up when my team scored a touchdown. I had to just raise my two hands above my head, then fold them back behind my head. I was asleep by the time the extra point went through.

I probably should not have had that last turkey sandwich. My drowsiness got so bad that I could not even control what I was saying or doing. There’s no way that I normally would have kept asking Aunt Gilda to loan my thirty-five dollars. And I certainly wouldn’t have slipped her a note that read: put the cash in my pie or a Pilgrim gets it. I had ancestors who were Pilgrims (or maybe it was pilferers—whichever is the one where they were the big hats with buckles on them and steal packs of gum from stores).

I was so tired from all that turkey that there was no way I could help with the dishes or even tell anyone that I had put my dirty plate under the couch because I was too sleepy to take it to the sink. It took all my energy to keep yelling to my wife from the kitchen to come join me and I would do the dishes later. Although, I think that last part was the turkey talking. I meant to say the dishes would get done later.

I usually stay too sleepy to help with the dishes for several months.

At one point my mother pulled me aside and said she needed to talk to me about something really important. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she drew me close. I could smell the turkey on her breath, and I was asleep by the time she could control her tears enough to start talking.

When saying goodbye to all of our guests I would have loved to have zipped up my fly, which I just noticed was down, but by then I was totally exhausted. All I could muster to do was give a half wave and mumble “gobble gobble.”

I didn’t even have the ambition to tell them to come again sometime or even to give Uncle John his coat back—even after he asked for it a couple of times. Give it a rest John. Man, give that guy some more turkey.

Before dozing off for my third nap, I thought about all the pilgrims and why they were so set on eating turkey all the time. Were they having trouble sleeping? Did they want their Native American guests to do the dishes? Was that really “so rude and embarrassing?”

Before crashing for the evening, I complained to my wife about the effects of all this turkey on my system. She said that she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary in my behavior today. I guess maybe she wasn’t quite as sharp as usual; she did have a little turkey herself.

Well, when all is said and done, maybe I still haven’t convinced you of the effects of tryptophan. But at least, I can leave you all with this—the pilgrim’s Thanksgiving prayer:

A happy turkey to all, and to all a good gizzard. Gobble, gobble. Amen.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I've Gone Political

I do not often delve into politics on this blog, but only because I don't know who any of the people are or take the time to find out what the issues are, not because I don't care.

In fact, I have had some really amazing experiences with the political process, even as recently as last week. When I went into the voting booth, a strong emotion swept over me as I realized something--I was in a telephone booth. It had been so long since I had seen one of them, I had forgotten what they looked like and got confused. It turns out that our state does mail in votes only. (The emotion that swept over me was embarrassment, which is somehow easy to mistake with voter's pride.)

By the way, I did end up filling out my ballot and mailed it overnight priority mail to that telephone booth. And that time, there was no mistaking the voter's pride of knowing that my vote counted.

So with that being said, I've elected to turn this blog into a political forum. Relax. I know what you're thinking. What's a white house? There's an "n" in government? You'll catch on. Thirty percent of the populus does. So please, E. pluribus your unum and be prepared to be moved politically.

History in the Making

We have recently witnessed an historic election--the first African American to be elected as president. I think we all share the feeling that a barrier has been broken. This is almost as big as when George W. Bush was elected president. That was the first time that a father and a son had both been elected President of the United States.

I remember after that election sitting in my room thinking. I sat there imagining all the young men, who upon their fathers being sworn into office must have thought, "well, so much for me being president." They never conceived that they would have a chance.

And why would they? It had never been done before. There were probably tens of young men throughout our country's history who feared for their parents going into politics, afraid that the oval office door would be closed on their future. From the first son of George Washington, a history of sons being shunned was shattered by George Jr.'s election.

As I was back then, I again am reminded of what a great place America is. It truly is the land of opportunity. -- Obama's daughter in 2032. Let's make history again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Missionary Memoirs

It has been three months and six days since the last anniversary of my coming home from my mission in Russia. In honor of this event, I have selected some random entries from my mission memoirs. Be enlightened, enlifted, and engulfed.

I had a hard time understanding anything people were saying. I felt like giving up. Then something happened. I came to a realization—somehow, I was wearing headphones. (I couldn’t remember putting them on, but sure enough they were there.) Once I took them off, I was able to understand every word that anyone ever said to me for my entire mission. (Russian was way easy.)

A whole bunch of Russians were gathered together saying things like “Man, what’s with this country? Let’s just push it into the Black Sea and start over. We can be something more modern, like Laser Astronautica.” That’s when I stepped in. I stood before the enormous crowd and said in my loudest voice “What’s going on? Are you guys talking about something?”* The group quickly slinked away. My inquiry was exactly what they needed to hear. I had saved Russia. And in doing so, I converted a kid (but that was months earlier in a different city).
* It turns out I had my headphones on again.

Another time I stopped to buy an ice cream cone, and I can’t remember exactly what happened, but somehow that ended up saving Russia, too. All in all, I must’ve saved that country around seven or eight times.

I remember frequently laughing and joking with another missionary on the bus until we couldn’t stop laughing. Our companions would always give us these looks like “Oh, here they go again” and “nothing good will ever come of this.” But you know what—we may never have taught anyone on any of those bus rides, but no one can say that we never missed our stop. That happened all the time.

Every week we’d play this game where we would fill out a sheet with numbers. You were supposed to write whatever numbers pop into your head and try to guess the week’s magic numbers, or something like that. I didn’t know all the rules. I usually just looked at everyone else’s numbers and then picked numbers just a little higher than the rest. No one ever told us who won, but a lot of people did tell me that my numbers were good.

One day on the way to a first appointment with a new street contact, I decided that I was going to stand up this contact. I pretended that I couldn’t read my own handwriting and went to a wrong address on the other side of town. I had my companion knock on the door as I tried to hold back my laughter. The door opened and there stood our contact. Apparently he had given us a wrong address. We all learned a very valuable lesson that day, but I can’t seem to remember what that was.

I’ll tell you one thing I know for sure—a mission is not just about learning dumb magic tricks and wearing funny ties. I was reminded of that all the time.

The Russian people were not easy to get to know. Often times, unless you had a leak or didn’t pay rent, you’d have to leave your apartment to even meet any Russian people. Of course, once you actually saw them, they were open and friendly. But again, that’s only after you left your apartment.

Life in Russia was unpredictable. My companion often remarked that he never knew what to expect from one day to the next. I guess I understand that. I mean, some days I wouldn’t even get on the bus; other days I’d follow my companion onto the bus and then jump out just as the doors were closing; and some days I’d really try to get on the bus but would miss the door, hit the side of the bus, and fall back into the ice-cream stand line (where I’d stay all day).

A lot of the missionaries would wear those big fur hats, but I always thought that looked silly. I just wore a plain black stocking cap. I kept my fur hat tucked in my coat and would pull it out to pretend that a beaver was attacking me.

In Russia, when it snowed, it really snowed. Not like around here. The snow in Russia would be white and would fall downward from way up in the sky. This may sound like snow here, but the snow in Russia was Russian white and fell from a Russian sky.

On a mission you always go by “Elder.” In fact, after a time, I honestly forgot what my first name actually was. And that happened around lunch time on my first day! And that was just the start. By the end of my mission, I had forgotten where I lived, what I thought tasted good, what words rhymed with jam, almost everything.

I will never forget the time I went to a discussion or some other meeting and taught some people a whole lot of things about some topic and how they did or did not accept it.

The waiting

I haven't posted in about three months. I took some time off to think, brush my teeth, and watch some T.V. I'm happy to say that I have decided to take a break from taking time off.

So now I give you the three month's worth of thinking (and brushing teeth and watching T.V.) that went into the following post:

I decided to go to the beach, but then I forgot about it and stayed in my room all summer. One time my brother came in and told me a joke, but I was actually asleep with my eyes open (I reached the point where my eyes had dried out from so much T.V. that my eyelids could no longer close. -side note-Try leading a social life without being able to wink--good luck.) The next day my brother asked me if I liked the joke, so I pretended to choke on a bite of orange to get out of answering. It would have been very convincing if I had really had an orange.

I hope that was worth the wait. (p.s. If my brother has told you a joke in the last few months, let me know if it was good. I'm sure it was the same one.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Amateur Researchers World of Researching the World (ARWRW)

ARWRW members-- This week's research assignment:

Is trumpet a word? I believe so. All letters put together that are not numbers are words. Trumpet has letters together. Trumpet is not a number. I see no other alternatives—unless it is a noun. It could possibly be a noun. That gives us plenty to research for this week.

Monday, June 9, 2008

DR Alice* -- Advice Column

(*DR stands for Don’s Relative, not necessarily “doctor” as many believe)

Dear Dr. Alice,

Most of the time I enjoy being with my in-laws. Meal times are the only exception. Whenever I look down to take a bite, my father-in-law shoots me in the face with a rubber band. He does this every time my wife and mother-in-law aren’t looking. He carries a rubber band ball made of hundreds of bands with him, and he can usually get in fifteen or more shots during a meal. I’m never sure what to do, so I merely smile and lightly nod to him each time he shoots me like I think it is a good joke.

We’re newly married and she really admires her father. I don’t want to rock the boat, but I am worried about getting my eye poked out. Do I say something? We have a dinner scheduled next week.

Bruised and Banded Husband

Dear BBH,

You may consider yourself silly to worry over this, but your concern is well founded. You may not realize this, but you use your eyes a lot more than you think—probably almost every day. If you really think about it, I bet you can scarcely go four or five hours without wanting to look at something. Many popular past-times such as reading, watching television, or even blinking all require at least one good eye. I fear that losing your vision would certainly prove to be a major inconvenience. Therefore, you should not feel like a big coward or baby because you are worried.

However, I think you would probably be crossing the line to talk to your wife about this. You have yet to lose even one eye, so to go on and on about losing your vision would seem a bit over-the-top. Plus, your mother-in-law would certainly think you were a big whiner. Although, you should not feel like that of course. But you cannot pretend to believe that others will not think that of you.

It is probably best for you to buy a nice pair of sunglasses—the kind used in sports, with the wrap around lenses would be best. This would preserve your eyes and prevent you from looking like a silly little girl in front of your in-laws. You could also try to buy him a pocket Tetris game. His hands would then be occupied and unable to inflict any more pain upon your face.


Dear Dr. Alice,

Sometimes I just get the feeling that people are watching me. I feel this most acutely when I’m making a speech or doing cartwheels in a crowded area. I just wish people would leave me alone and let me do what I want. If I want to stand in front of the T.V. and sing during everyone’s favorite show, so what? What’s the big deal? I’m just me.


Dear ME,
Unfortunately, sometimes people can be cruel. Public speaking is extremely frightening. In certain polls, people actually reported fearing public speaking more than death (however, it should be noted that dying while giving a public speech was not an option). The only thing more frightening than public speaking would probably be public speaking at great heights. However, it sounds as if the people you have chosen to surround yourself with will not appreciate that. So, you have two options. Find an entirely new group of people to be around, or instead of singing in front of the T.V., just mouth the words of the actors on the show. Then there would be no cause for complaint.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Ol' Fishin' Hole

One day I decided to let Tommy in on my secret fishing hole. We were at lunch between classes, when I told him that I was done learning for the day, and that he could come along for some real education. Tommy took the bait, and we spent the rest of the afternoon lying on our backs looking up at the clouds and fishing. The next day I noticed Tommy wasn’t in class again. At lunch I took off to the fishing hole. And just as I had expected, there was Tommy. “I’ve created a monster,” I declared. Tommy looked up at me and then spread his wings and flew right at me. I was able to duck from his fangs just in time. I grabbed a broken tree branch lying on the ground and when Tommy came circling around, I used it to crack one of his wings. He fell to the ground and I finished him off with a big rock. After that experience, fishing always seemed kind of boring to me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Help college

I heard on the news that there are less college students today then there were even two weeks ago (I guess because a lot of students just graduated). If there continues to be less college students every two weeks, in enough time, there won't be anyone in college at all anymore. And then who are professors going to force to buy the books they wrote? High school teachers? Unlikely. But what about postal workers, and librarians, and other non-high school teachers like you and me? The answer is probably all of us .
We need to do something to encourage more people to go to college. I have one idea.

We could make a video and circulate it around the Internet. The video would show a college graduate walking through the procession. Then it cuts to later that night. The graduate is sitting in a dimly lit apartment eating soup out of his graduation cap. He looks at the camera and says "I will never eat soup again!" Then the rest of the video is of him later on in life walking around town throwing piles of money in the air everywhere he goes. And we're all thinking, Man, where's he getting all this money? Then at the end in big letters is the word College in solid gold lettering. Problem solved.

We would need a catchy title to draw attention. I was thinking, "Man jumps over volcano to save dog."

Please let me know if you are interested in helping. I'll need someone to shoot the video and someone to donate all the piles of money that will be thrown around. Let me know. Thanks.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Feelings: Day 10

I was skeptical at first, but now that I've gone through this process, I can honestly say that I feel that writing about my feelings is a big wasto el timo (in commemoration of Cinco de Mayo).

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Feelings: Day 9

I asked some guy a question today, and he said he didn’t know the answer. It just really bothered me, because I didn’t want to have to ask someone else. I guess I can’t understand why things can’t just work out. Why is everything so difficult? I ended up having to ask a third person before I got the answer. It only took a couple of minutes, but by then, my day was shot.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Feelings: Day 8

My job is so hard. Nobody knows how hard my job is. How could anyone ever know? No one ever sees me doing my job. I spend most all of the day down in the basement. If someone comes down, I just pretend that I’m grabbing some pens and supplies and head back upstairs to my office and then circle back when they are gone. Nobody knows.

My Feelings: Day 8 update

I was fired today. I guess somebody knew. I have never felt like this before. I feel free. No more hiding in the basement. I spent all day walking around, going into everyone’s office. I can’t even count how many people’s office I went into and said, “Did you hear the news? The rumor is I got canned.” Then after a couple of minutes of my rummaging through their things, they invariable struck up a conversation with me. We talked about all kinds of things—respecting a person’s private space, really having a lot to do right now, enforceability of restraining orders. I really enjoyed it. I think I might do this all week—maybe all year. It’s great finally getting to know these people.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Feelings: Day 7

I wonder if I’m really making an impact in the world. No, not really. But I do wonder if I could run over and take that man’s hat without him waking up.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Feelings: Day 6

Today I experienced one of the most powerful things a human can feel—a hot curling iron left on the bathroom counter for apparently no reason.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Feelings: Day 5

Do you ever get so frustrated that you feel like just stomping on a bunch of wire hangers and then slamming them into the garbage can? That’s how I felt yesterday when I tried to build a robot out of my old hangers. I spent all day on it, and all I ended up with was a big pile of clothes on my bed, plus no one to make me a sandwich, which was the whole point of the project.

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Feelings: Day 4

We went to the fair and my three-year old son kept running off. So, I sat him down and told him that if he ran off, he might get lost and then we couldn’t be together anymore. I then gave him a hug and told him that I loved him and wanted him to stay with us always. A couple of minutes later, he saw a clown handing out balloons and ran off to get one. I wonder if he’s happy here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Feelings: Day 3

Have you ever felt really down? I mean, really down. If you have, please write and tell me what it’s like. I would like to write about it one of these days, but I always seem to be on top of the world, so I really wouldn’t know where to start. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Feelings: Day 2

This morning I felt completely alone—utterly and completely alone. But I later realized that I wasn’t as alone as I had thought. Someone had seen me take the box of doughnuts from the staff lounge and stuff it into my briefcase. I am learning that I cannot always trust my feelings.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Feelings: Day 1

For the past few days, I’ve been thinking that I should be more open with my feelings, but I didn’t know how. Then this morning I was reading a touching greeting card when I saw a dog with only three legs hobbling to the bus stop, presumably to go to work. He stopped for a moment to kiss his doggy wife goodbye. He then continued on his path, until he stopped to kiss another dog. And then a cat. And just when the bus pulled up, he ran off with a whole pack of dogs, yapping and spastically kissing all the way. That beautiful scene was like emotional fiber loosening the bowels of my heart. And so I’ve decided that for the next ten days, I’m going to write about my feelings. It will feel good to share some tears together.

My Feelings: Day #1
Today, I felt really cold. I don’t know what it was—maybe a draft. But for some reason I think it was something else (probably not buttoning my vest). I wasn’t sure what to do. I hadn’t felt that way in a while. I put my jacket on, and that seemed to help. I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for my jacket. I really don’t know.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

User Friendly

I tried to make my blog more user friendly. I realized that if anyone ever read this page, they would have to be constantly scrolling their eyes back and forth and up and down the page. So, I made links at the end of each line along the right side of the page. The link would then take the reader to the next line on the left side of the page. That saves the reader a lot of wasted time that he/she/noun could use to wonder why the punctuation was all wrong. I also added links at the end of each sentence that take the reader to the beginning of the next sentence. That way the reader can skip through the pointless spaces between sentences and keep on reading. These links were hyperlinks, which means that they glow, flash, and otherwise blink and jump around the screen. I then added links that automatically linked to other links on the page, until the entire blog was swirling around and emitting random holographs. However, I finally had to remove all of these great user friendly features when I realized the page was making my left eye partially melt. I apologize for the inconvenience, but you’ll have to read this blog as you would other user unfriendly blogs.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My First Big Break

I’ll always remember the day when I finally got my first big break in life. There I was, being handed the keys to the most enormous house I’d ever seen. I felt a little awkward, not even knowing the guy who had owned this house. He must have been an old rich man who died without any close family or friends. However, I soon learned that a life of wealth is not at all as I had imagined.

The house was big, there was no disputing that, but the living conditions were not ideal. All of the rooms were packed with desks and computers. And there were all these people there telling me to clean everything up. Plus, they wouldn’t even let me move in any of my things. There was this one nice guy, though, who would drop by and give me a check every couple of weeks. So I put up with all those other things.

However, after a little while, I finally got rid of all those desks and computers and brought in my bed. And guess what—everyone was mad. Even the nice check guy stopped coming by. Well, I guess around that same time they must have somehow found a closer living relative than me, because that first man showed up again and asked for the keys back. At that moment, I knew my time as a big shot had passed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Future: Are We Ready?

I was in my backyard digging a hole to bury a hang glider who flew into our window, when I hit something hard. I looked into the hole and discovered two objects. One was a cylindrical box; the other, a flat silver piece of metal.

The flat metal piece turned out to be the head of my shovel, which must have broken off while I was digging. I put the two objects aside and returned to my work. It slowed me down considerably having to just beat the ground with the handle. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the hang glider came to after a couple of hours and walked off. So I ended up not having to finish digging the hole.

I was about to start filling the hole back in, when I realized that it might be nice to have an extra foxhole around, just in case. I put the handle down and examined the strange, cylindrical box. It appeared to be some sort of time capsule. It looked old and had the words “time capsule” written on the side—a clue, no doubt. After several minutes of struggling with the lid, I attempted to pull it off rather than push it harder into the box. It came off immediately. I was shocked by what happened next.

When the lid came off, I heard “you have opened the secret time capsule” in a voice that could only be described as sounding like the wind. It was me that said it, in my whispery ghost voice. I had attempted that voice many times before, but had never pulled it off quite so well as this time. And that shocked me.

My eye caught hold of a single sheet of paper lying facedown in the box. It wasn’t folded, so I wasted little time trying to unfold it. Maybe only a couple of minutes. It looked like a page torn out of a diary. In big block letters, it was entitled The Future: Are We Ready? I read it aloud. The page was short, but still too long to read in my whispery ghost voice (although that would have been a great effect).

The year is 1994. The smell is of the ocean. None of us realize that in 14 short years, the oceans will be replaced by ocean-smelling-like robots. We will dip our robot toes into the ocean and an electromagnetic signal will tell our robot brains that it feels cold and wet. “That is water,” we will say with our internet voice-over mouths. A robotic seagull will then fly over and drop a computer chip on our shoulders. “Oh great! Our new shirts (holographs) are ruined.” We put a postcard into the mailbox, which is actually a wireless scanner that e-mails the picture to our friends Tom and Stacey. We tell each other (IR beam info out of our eyes to the others’ brains) that we will always remember this time we had together at the ocean. We put our leash back on our robotic dog/microwave oven and walk to our cars and drive/digitally transport ourselves back home.

In fourteen years! That would be this year—2008. It did sound eerily similar to our world today—or at least, what our world could be like in a couple of "big" months. But something was troubling me. The author used certain words that someone from 1994 could never have understood or predicted—like Internet, wireless, and seagull. How could someone from the past have known what our life would be like or would soon be like in 2008? My first thought, of course, was that the person must have been an alien that sees all time in the present and got lost here for awhile until getting zapped back up to his ship (or her ship—but I think we all know “how things are” on other planets). But then I looked closer at the page. In the top corner was written “Planet: Earth.” It was an earthling all right. That’s exactly how one of us would have written that.

At that moment, I got distracted. I noticed an old newspaper in the bottom of the box. I started to call out Eureka, but I thought better of it and just yelled Jackpot. I quickly ran to the phone book to call a bookie (FYI—it’s pretty hard to find a bookie in the phone book. Turns out that a bookkeeper is an accountant, and the other places are all libraries). However, I found a real bookie’s number on-line. I placed a bunch of bets on the scores of some baseball games. But I think this scheme would have worked better if the sports page had been from the future instead of 1994. One of the teams I bet $1,000 on doesn’t even exist anymore. All in all, though, I lost quite a bit of money.

I had thought that digging that hole would solve all of my problems, but all it did was burden me with more questions. Who am I? Why am I here? Whose shovel is this? Hey, isn’t my house blue, like that one over there across the street?

Perhaps, it is better to wait for the future to provide us these answers—at a time when we, and the future, are ready (last part read in a whispery ghost voice).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cool Calculator Trick

I've tried this five times in a row, and it worked each time. It's amazing. Follow the instructions below precisely.

Start with your age

  • add your home phone number (no area code)

  • subtract the age you were when you realized that cats aren't the girl and dogs the boy of some generic "pet" animal

  • multiply by the number of the day of the month you were born on

  • write the word "infinity" on your hand

  • divide by any whole number between 5 and 7

  • Turn the calculator upside down

  • multiply by zero

  • add your favorite number

  • press the equals (=) button and turn the calculator right side up

The end result should be your favorite number. Whoah!

(this trick works on most all brand name calculators)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Feeling Bad -- a lesson learned in sympathy

I feel bad. No one ever talks to Stevie–well, except for all of the kids at school. I guess it’s mostly just me that no one talks to. But, I still feel bad.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

To Blog or Not to Blog

I started blogging about six months ago, or should I say, blogging took over my life six months ago. When I started my blog, I never realized how many people it would affect, namely—me. I have to spend time posting things on the blog. Plus I have to create and manage a whole slew of fake accounts to post comments. The whole process is very time consuming and has affected me greatly. I now have no time for exercising, reading my mail, or putting on a belt.

Others were also affected. There were many people who asked me for favors that I forgot about because of all of this blogging. For example, Mrs. Wethers next door asked me to feed her bird while she was on vacation. That bird was the most affected of all by far.

At times I feel guilty because I am taking up so much space on the Internet. What if cyber space gets full before our little ones even learn to type? And goldfish and squirrels and other small creatures will never learn to type. That thought just makes me miserable. Maybe I want too much. I am leading two lives, a virtual web life and a non-virtual webless real life, while others have no lives—like Mrs. Wethers’ cat. Yes, now that I think of it she asked me to feed her cat, not a bird. No matter now.

This whole blogging thing has grown out of control. I used to enjoy reading my blog, but now whenever I look at it, all I see are red lines saying that I spelled something wrong. Or a green line saying fragment.

Should I stop? I wouldn’t even know how to go about it. Do I need to get something signed by the Webmaster (would a portal master do?)? Do I push one of those crazy buttons with a picture on it at the top of my keyboard? I have no idea what any of those are. I definitely do not want to push the wrong one and accidentally delete the world wide web, or even just the internet for that matter. There are still some great blogs out there that are guiding the rising generation. Blogs that provide the courage to forego college and instead become American Idol contestants, run a celebrity gossip blog, or perform other necessary duties that we depend on to keep America running.

And when it is all said and done, that is what I want. I want my blog to keep America up and running. And perhaps maybe, just maybe, that’s exactly what it has been doing. Since I’ve started my blog, America has kept all fifty or so of its states and has produced some great television shows (spin-offs of British shows). Is that just coincidence? I cannot take the risk. I will continue my blog. I will continue it for America, for great television, and in memory of Mrs. Wethers’ bird or cat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

At times the human spirit can soar to new heights

Bobby looked outside at the approaching storm clouds. He quickly grabbed a sweater, put it in a bag and locked the door behind him. He took one last look at the clouds overhead and took a deep breath. He then sprinted as fast as he could to the market at the corner. As he made it to the parking lot, thunder sounded and rain poured down from the sky. Bobby quickly reached down into the bag and pulled out his sweater. He threw the sweater high into the air and watched two cowboys fire five or six shots straight into its belly. Bobby put the sweater back in the bag, nodded to the cowboys, and calmly strolled back to his house.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Insights Out

Sandra didn’t have to go far to realize that she was still pretty close to where she had just left.

A wise man once told me “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I think it was Socrates. And I think he told me in a book that I had to read for some class in school.

I can do anything I set my mind to. And usually my mind is set to “hang out” mode.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Out of simple things

One of the simplest things to do in the whole world is to buy a bunch of corndogs and wrap them together in a bouquet and give it to your dog for his birthday.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Do not believe this: I am lying to you.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One for the Little Guy

Timmy hadn’t correctly answered a question in this class, or in any class, ever. Then it happened. The teacher asked when electricity was first discovered. Timmy knew all about electricity. He did a report on it last year. Timmy’s heart pounded, as he slowly raised his hand above his head. Inch by inch he raised it, excited and scared at the same time. The teacher looked shocked as she saw Timmy’s hand. She stared blankly for a second and then called on him, almost as a question – "Timmy?" Timmy cleared his throat, looked around at the faces of the kids who mercilessly teased him and answered. “I don’t know teacher. I don’t know.” It was the only thing that Timmy didn’t remember about electricity. Timmy then sunk his head into his folded arms on his desk and sighed.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Black Pot

The black pot flew high into the air, and everyone started to freak out. Well, actually they more or less didn’t freak out, but acted normal. You would think that everyone would freak out. That’s the idea I had when I threw the black pot way up above my head. However, although some people kind of looked my way, most everyone just kept on talking and nodding to each other as they passed by. My whole plan was unraveling before me. When the black pot hit the ground, I knew it was over.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


That last post "An Amusing Man" was the first ever post of the year 2008 (on my blog).

And sorry for the long delay in posts leading up to today. I got stuck in traffic.

An Amusing Man

I got kicked in the face today by the most amusing man. After he kicked me, he turned to me and said, “Now, what are you going to do about it?” Like there was anything I could do. I could barely even see, let alone stand up and do something. I mean the very idea that I would even attempt to do something in that state was ridiculous. What an imagination he had! Even now, as I am slouched here in the corner watching the puddle of my blood coagulate, I can’t think of a single thing that I could have done about it. He must have thought of something. Why else would he ask that? He probably had thought of a couple of things, since he had asked me which one I would choose to do. Oh, the creativity! I would trade the remaining portion of my left hand to have a creative and imaginative mind like that.

And there was something about the way he spoke that sounded inherently funny, like I had a concussion or a bleeding ear drum. It was like he was opening up his mouth and air was swirling into it as he spoke. I almost passed out from laughing and/or loss of blood.

Why did he do it? I have no idea. I don’t even know who he was. It must have been a completely spontaneous act. He was such a free spirit, full of life and enthusiastic rage. He must dance through life on a limb, breathing in the light and warmth and fear of the world around him. I, on the other hand, would never jump up and down on another’s arm. And to slap a person for “bleeding too much?” That idea would never just leap into my head; it would take some serious malicious brainstorming. But he could do it without a second thought, a hint of provocation, or the use of pepper spray, which he did use, but he really didn’t need it since I was already lying on the ground almost completely incapacitated.

This was truly a day to remember! You rarely get to meet amusing men like that more than once. They usually finish you off the first time.