Monthly Archives: July 2007

“Hey,who’s that Guy up there with solberg?”

“So.. what ails these ales from Wales, anyway?”
must’ve felt he wasn’t getting the appropriate ‘bang for his buck’ here at the Welsh Mountains Tag-a-log-athon. Not for lack of trying, though; him and Sierra, his silly girlfriend, trailed or led by their sillier poodle Tango, had done their part to ‘dry-up the reservoir’ since 9 this morning. I’d helped, but cautiously, feeling responsible, both for driving home, but also for having brought them to this curious event….

Billed this year as “CYMRU BASH: RUB-A-SHRUB, SAVE WALES”, the main-event was a “Put out Ye Burning Bush” contest, where each fool had two(2) minutes to try to extinguish a flaming tree-o-life thingie they had set up. I’m sure it was supposed to symbolize something or other..anyway Romey wasted his ten bucks and two minutes of fame trying to dodge the judges, who’d intervened as soon as his battle plan, to ‘piss the dumb thing out’ became apparent. Sierra hid her face in her hands, while Tango, on a too-long leash actually tried to help Romeo in his Great Urination. All in all, not a stellar performance. But then, he never had a chance anyway. Like Bessler’s ‘perpetual motion’ flywheel, the thing was ‘aided’, fueled by hidden pipes, turpentine, micro-sparkplugs.. I was still sober enough to see that. After valient efforts by a dozen or so ‘play-by-the-rules’ shrub-rubbers, we’d pretty much pegged the attraction as a flaming Dog-and-Pony show.

Until He showed up.
“Jesus, who’s that?!” Sierra saw Him first.
“Oh, just the Abominable Snowman in an extra-terrestrial kilt..” I tried to sound matter-of-fact, in the absence of hard facts.
“..and a Crown of Thrones?” Ok, Romeo was a little drunk, did I mention that?
“’s ‘Crown of Thorns’,  stupid!” Sierra gave him an elbow in the ribs, abruptly, as if historical accuracy were our prime concern.
I decided to try out my finely-honed faux-Cymru accent:
Tango barked at that. At least I got a reaction for my labour-of-love-of-letters.. I think dogs somehow “know” when humans are having fun, even of the esoteric variety, like miniature poodles.
But I saw Him give me a dirty look. Hmm.. no sense of humor, Big Guy? I had another arrow to fling, in that case:
“Lose the gown, clown!” I yelled. A couple brave xangans in the back commented “Yeah!”
Tango actually licked my leg on that one.. Something about trees..
The Holy One wasn’t impressed. He was here to fight fire with fire. Armeggedon, if need be.
He spake unto the doggie: “BE STILL, FURRY ONE. FIRST I’LL DISTILL FIR…”
I thought a long second…….So that was His secret.. turpentine! Shoulda known not to hang out with the literalists..
And, as prophesied, sure enough, lickety split, like Red Adair with the Kuwaiti oil-well fires, he “Quenched the Bush, Took the Prize, and somewhat unexpectedly, came back to where we was sitting, and shook my hand for what seemed an eternity before speaking:
“I owe you’uns a beer, ye of little faith..”
Knowing He made the stuff from tap-water, I decided to take Him up on it. We exchanged cell-phone numbers, I explained how to get to my place, and in a worrisome whirr of fur He were gone….

  Well, if you ever thought you worked fast to get ready for a party, you’ll have to wait in line while I describe the frantic and frenetic scene as the three of us threw furniture out the back door, set up an impromptu chair-on-a-table lecturn, blew circuit-breakers trying to get the lights and the oven to work at the same time, charged the battery in the old Betamax ™, ran to the super for a chicken, two loaves of bread, five fish and a six-pack of Miller ™  just in case. Oh, and some bottled waters, a lot, actually…also, ‘just in case’. I won’t bore anyone with the whole Megilla of our festive last supper, it’s been documented elsewhere. Sufficient unto the day to read the short poetic synopsis that me an’ Romeo, Sierra, and Tango put together from our recollection a few hundred years later:

Christ broke his wrist on the rostrum as He raced through Be-
attitudes. “Let there be light, dammit, now can We
rest? There be roosters to roast, Let the rusty old
Grille be de-greased, sync the raster if you must but no
You-Tube this time, and I trust you erased that im-
pertinent outburst, I was hungry and spaced..

..hope no one’s offended by my inclusion of this Fellow in my superficially-facetious tale. I actually like the guy, sympathise with Him. Tough starting a religion; if they knew what you were talking about you wouldn’t need to do it in the first place. And having a better seat here than most of you from which to view the institutionalized powers he was up against, well, he never had a chance. Near the end of the party, when I brought up the Inquisition, among a long laundry-list of other similar embarassments, He just shook His head, kinda looked skyward, and shrugged, “What ya gonna do?”. I consoled Him by trying out my theory that one of the reasons the United States is basically a decent society of turn-signalers is his oft-mis-quoted; “Check the other Turn {signal}”. Typically modest, he added. “Ye, verily, that and dilligent police work.”

Think about what you’re saying..

    Ok, right to the point, and a sharpened little point it is:
  I was 56 before I realized I had ‘fingernails’. Before you rashly assume I’m led around on a leash and fed twice daily with an IV, let me explain: How can a guy say, thousands of times, “finger-NAILS” and not have it occur to him even once that he’s using that word, ‘Nails‘, you know, like what you hit with a hammer? But the sad fact is that yes, it only dawned on me about a year ago. I was thinking about the Hebrew “tsiporen”, for fingernail, and wondering what’s the connection to “tsipor”, the generic hebrew word for ‘bird’. Turns out we can see the oddities and vagaries of a new language a lot more easily than we can ‘look within’ a language which, as a mother-tongue, has become so second-nature that we never really see it, like a fish who somehow never ‘feels wet’.
   Speaking of which, when one says about a women he’s met, “She’s a girl I ‘used to know’..” she could very well  reply: “Yeah, and what did you ‘use’ me to ‘know’, precisely?” (..or, “What did you use to know me?”) 
  Advice: Re-formulate the expression: “She’s a wonderfully complex and exotic creature from whom, through careful and respectful interaction, I learned so much about how she sees the world… oh, and what makes her scream, but that’s all safely in the past, for now..” Ah, fingernails. Brando had a problem with them too, I dimly recall. Wonder what they’re called in French….

*add* See the fifth comment below for a slightly clearer exposition of what irks me… (and thanks to the preceeding four….)

Make a FOOL of yourself..

    Of course I mean a FOOL in the sense of “one who fools or tricks”. Unfortunately, that sense may not exist…. until now. “Fooled by fools/ Clowned by clowns” Might catch on. At any rate, a sensible speaker in a crisis such as this takes a moment to analyze his Relationship with the Letter-Combo: F-x-L:

When you fail you’re a failure,
If you fall, you’re the fall-guy.
I can feel all deese-a feelings,
Though my ‘feelers’ be hidden under
Felt hats; my favorite one
fell out of fashion, well I’ll
File that little factoid, I’m a
consonant filer. Hey
fill up on filler-food, Phila-
delphia’s famous for
foal’s? No, Kentucky’s the
follicle center, so I’m
told, but then they could be
fooling me; Foolers, they’re
full of foul motives and
fouled carbureators, so we’ll
choose fuel-injection, now
Quick! How’m I feeling?

Um.. ‘full’
…. and kinda on my guard; gotta work hard to keep my balance, preserve my dignity, stick with accepted fashion trends, eat wisely, and get that little pony ready for the Derby, although it hurts to cut holes in a brand new hat. And while I’m out of town, let’s make a quick Doppleganger, to stand guard in the yard, just in case. Was it Abraham who said: “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and that’s usually enough, if you’re not gone too long..”



1)…for the Moon to get to a point in its orbit where I can use my new familiarity with Tycho, Copernicus, et al, Craters R Us, to see for myself what’s up with that Guy-de-la-Lune.
2)…for my silly butterflies to hatch already; ‘What, they don’t know a great photo-op when they see one?’
for an unexpected foot-injury, just so I can have the pedoptimist whisper to his secretary after I leave, “He’ll go through Hell waiting for that Heel to heal!”
for Tyrone Chemicals, Inc. to send me my damn Potassium Permanganate I ordered in 1954. “Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery”. My first experience using a fake identity, ok, but still…
5)…to get paid for the ‘Superdome’ I built with a partner here for the Great Synagogue of the Grand Wahzoo in Netanya. It might not be tactful to come bursting down through it on Yom Kippur, so maybe a note to the donors from St. Louis might be productive..

   Meanwhile, there’s ‘gold’ on the sidewalks here in abundance; I found this last night, and filmed the deconstruction:.

printer salvage

…and the second I posted this, my banner ads changed to ones from companies wanting to sell me (us?)  new improved versions of the device pictured, even though I never mentioned its holy name in print.Holy Robots! Then I realized I’d named the jpg using that ‘unspoken name’, so the mystery is solved. But what about the fact that every time I show a picture of one of our fuzzy friends who go ‘moo’ and give ‘moloko’, I get wall-to-wall ads from oversexed agencies dying to inseminate her, albeit ‘artificially’? I still say the ad-bot looks at the pictures, so be careful when you sit on that Xerox, ok? 

lunar Relativity

    Here is a question I sincerely need answered, and since more and more I am learning to turn to Xanga as the first-choice source of reliable information, I’ll ask it here. And although for clarity I’ve drawn our two heroines standing at the poles, I believe that on-the-ground reports from, say, Sidney and New York should be enough to clear this up, (so that we can then proceed to weightier issues?)


*and furthermore….*

“Wie lange, wie schlimme”. Now there’s a childhood phrase from a language I’ll choose not to identify. I heard it a thousand times growing up, and you could translate it roughly, “The longer it goes, the worse it gets.” Real appropriate for my attempts to mentally ‘set the globes in their orbs… oh, and to check if they were, like, upside-down’. Here’s what I got, tell me where I (first?) went wrong.
    If I could hover in space above the North Pole, “motionless” {that would mean I’d maintain altitude and keep the Sun always coming in my left-side cockpit window} I’d look down and see the Earth underneath me spinning counter-clockwise. Half of the Earth would be lit-up, (the half facing left-wards towards the Sun), and Boston would have its ‘sunrise’ first, followed three hours later by San Francisco’s turn. Ok so far? No? You say I forgot that the Earth spins 23 and a half degrees ‘off’ of perpendicular to the revolutionary plane. Nope, didn’t forget that. If I’m high enough I don’t have to think about it… much. Or somebody else is saying I’d have to be orbiting the Sun along with the Earth, at the same incredible velocity (Hmm… 93 million miles times 2 times pi, divided by 365 days… let’s just say I’m doin’ it and get on with the man-in-the-moon show, cool?) Ok now, a guy at the Equator pissing in his back yard and waiting to see the lovely sunrise will look like he’s ‘standing out(ward)’ to me. He shoulda thought of that a few minutes ago, but anyway, the spectacular sun-spot at the “top” of the Sun I see out my window should look to him like it’s ‘on the left’, right? And further assume that this guy doesn’t do anything all day, let’s say, except wait for the sunset, for which he turns around to face the other direction he calls ‘West’. He’ll then see that same sunspot, which for me of course hasn’t moved, on the ‘right’ side of the disc of the sun, the opposite of what he saw at sunrise.

  Ok, the good part: Replace ‘the Sun’ with ‘the Moon’. A moon which happens to be ‘full’, that is, on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, or otherwise put, on the ‘outside’ of the Earth’s orbit. I spin my chopper around 180 and do the whole sorry “Day in the Sky” trick again, but with the Moon. I take a picture of it out the window; Tycho Crater bright and prominent as a reference point. My equatorial friend will obviously see the Moon also appear to ‘rotate’ 180 degrees between moon-rise and moon-set, right? That’s “turn upside-down”, is it not? Therefore, the least we can say is that there is no set ‘orientation’ to the Moon, and I’m guessing that at Boston’s lattitude, in the North 40’s, the effect of turning around will be only partial, but still noticeable. I’ve made my case. All that’s left, like the scientists in the Renaisance realized, is to “Go outside and check if I’m right!”. This I will do tomorrow, or maybe the day after that, if I feel like it. I am, as you know, on the 30th parallel, where time slows down somewhat.

User Tips: Xanga’s new “Smart-Block”

    Tons of folks have been asking me to explain how to navigate Xanga’s new Smart-Block® option, so here are a couple points I hope will help some of ye perplexed blokes.

1) Due to a bug (of course!) in the beta-version, you can ‘bulk-block’ target groups, but ‘un-block’ is still a one-at-a-time nightmare.. So: “Think before you block, folks!”
Some of the features are, as expected, self-explanatory, such as {Block Males/Females/Indeterminates/Undecideds}  Note: Do NOT select all categories here; you will not be able to access your own site, duh!
3) The {Block Ages:} option is confusing. Sure, the drop-down window lets you quickly select, for example, “Under 22” and in the second window, “Over 40“, but again, it’s very easy to block “under 40” plus “over 22” resulting in what we love to call “the null set“, that is, a total-block! And you thought you had ‘low-readership’ before!
4) I do need to congratulate the Xanga-team on the Tag-Block feature, which is perhaps the ‘cornerstone’ of the whole project. You can scroll down to it and select it right from the start, if age and sex are unimportant to you.
Simply by entering the key-words you want to block, and clicking on ‘Search’, you will, after a few minutes of course, get a new page listing the number of sites whose posts have contained the ‘offensive’ words, separated as: ‘five times or more’, ‘fifty usages’, or ‘500 ‘offenses’. You can then decide on the basis of the data which block/filter to use. (Sometimes I wish they had an option for “even once“, but think about the ‘ten-or-more’ Banner-ads which would be needed to pay for the new super-computer, and you’ll forgive them.) The ‘five-use‘ option’s been just fine, in my experience, since most jerks tend to repeat themselves, you know, they tend to repeat theirselves.
5) That’s about it, folks. IF U CN RD THS, it’s a sign I haven’t blocked you, and with the handy bar-graph at the bottom of the “save changes/ back to your site” page, you can tell what percentage of Xanga you’ve currently blocked. Mine’s almost 95%, I’m ashamed to say; I spent the better part of two nights entering a whole laundry list of ‘bad words’, like ‘whasup‘ and ‘teh‘, of course, but also “hebrews“, as opposed to ‘hebrew‘. (Got so tired of seeing a thousand brain-washed religous nut-cases every time I tried to find a simple human who needed help with the language.)

A few random questions I’m like often frequently asked to answer them, like totally. {Block Y/N?} /YYYYY 
Q: What about ‘ironic’ or ‘quoted’ word-use?
A: Yes, of course I myself used ‘teh’ in this very post, does this mean I’ve blocked myself? No, silly, I put it in quotes, a simple step which keeps me off of teh block-list.
Q: What about typos?
A: Yes, a problem, and the team is working on a fix for it, involving I here, a spell-checquer-ization before the usage-test. Hmm.. wheel see.
Q: Damm, I got blocked ’cause I’m a guy, Is this shit unfair or what?
A: Simply change your “Sex” to ‘female’ in the profile page, and start talking more about feelings, and make-up or mark-up. Life is unfair, Bud/Buddie/Buddha.
Q: How can I at least know why I’ve been blocked, when I try to access a site and am denied?

A: Great question: Don’t spread this around, but if you click on the word “blocked” while holding down the “Control” key, (or Alt/Shift/Ctl/Num Lock/F9+F2, for you Mac users), you get a nice clear dialogue-box which lists the criteria under which you’ve been blocked. Click “That’s OK, Bill” and then it’s your choice if you want to go back to Sept ’05 and delete all your ‘teh’s, for example. Starting a new clean site might be cheaper, but remember there’s also a ‘Block-Empties’ option, so you’ll have to at least say something as your ‘First Post’. I don’t recommend “Whasup?’
Q: How has the Smart-Block helped you personally, mr/ms/mrs/ solberg?
: A curse and a blessing, what did you expect? On the one hand, now all my readers are beautiful, heartbreakingly wise humans of indeterminate sex or age, but on the other hand, it’s a bitch going back through all my posts every night, looking for a few tag-words some well-meaning erudite thought I should’na used. Xanga is, after all, the perfect mirror of society, and you win some, you lose some is teh rule, right? Good luck, and a Happy Blocking experience you should have, insh’allah.

Vacuum Sucked

    I’ll continue to regularly check messages and comments, and to read and comment on posts, but it’s pretty obvious I haven’t a clue what it takes to thrill more than a handful of readers who care enough about what I write to read it and to react. Everybody’s clever except me, it seems, so carry on, friends. The graphic below might help you to find something you missed, since Jan 1 2007. (There are another 206 posts from 2006; oughta keep you busy for a while.) I’ll continue to post privately, but if you keep seeing “Vacuum sucks” here, it’s just because it did. (…before the suit. -ed.)  Think, next time. js (that is: think: What can I do to solve the problem from the supply-side?)

*edit* well, ok, my mom sent me an old prototype pressure-suit Rockwell’s® R&D threw in the dumpster down the road after NASA had “issues” with it, apparently. Tried it on and guess what? Not only does it fit, but when I wear it, I write stuff and stop caring whether anybody ‘gets’ it! Probably the Oxygen/Nitrogen balance point valve, but who cares: at least it’s a good temporary work-around. And no, we only found one of ’em… well, there’s another little suit for a space-dog, I guess, but I already robbed its AM-FM radio…