Monthly Archives: December 2007

LIFE ON MARS

Diverse Devices“Yes, Your Dog can be Demeanor”, (or is it Device Diversa?)
   See, I take these jobs over the phone. Some of ’em I’d love to kick over the cliff…
“Please to translate this over good english?” was the request….Oh,”and do cheap“.
“You bird-Bahrains, you’re asking me to ‘do cheep’?
I have to drive all the way to their factory to figure out what they actually do, or actually walk there, since
there’s never any parking in Central TA.
“Didn’t ‘Uptown’ Sinclair Lewis-Carol write “Phallus in Wonderland?/
I’m downtown, here at the BonTon, the girl says: “Maybe the book’s been banned?”
So I’m stuck with Actresses-on-line, like ‘Bridgette Bardot dot com’.
Click once in the foyer, twice on the derrierre/ thrice in the new boudoir”

See, to Edgar Allen, Poe, a tree was just another damn perch for a Raven.
But I horse around with it, having been told by amusing Nightmare:
“Go and play with words… and not with yourself”
But for some folks, straightening out the lines on the mirror, razor-edging the phrases into a fine powdery… well
You see the challenge; It’s a war out there. Verses versus Vice. Or is that vice versa?
ACETONE.ORG, A SMART, INSIGHTFUL SITE, I learned that:
ACETONE OR GAS MAR TIN!.” Sigh.. What about ACE-T; “ONE-ORGASM ART“? Oh well,

MARTHA T, DON’T MAR THAT HE/
BREW-NETTE, GOES WITH YOUR EYES…
AND THE K-MART HAT, IT’S ARGUABLY
THE ULTIMATE DISGUISE

MARTIN’S SMART IN SPACE DEBRIS/
AND SALES, THE MARTIAN SEES..
no, “MARTIN&MARTIN’S PACED E-BRIS
HE SAILS THE MARTIAN SEAS?..
..THE MARTIAN SWERVED?
“THEM ART” I ANSWER, VED
it’s THE MART, IAN S. WE RV-ed  *gives up*



A:
So, what’s he talking about?
B: No clue!
C: What come after ‘B’, alphabet-wise?
D: ‘D’, duh!
C: Oh, I see
S: Si
F: Oui,oui
P: You talking to me?
F: Disregard; I shoulda ‘non’
G: How far’d we get?
B: …to ‘B’
H: or ‘not to be’?
I: That’s funny!
Y: Why?
J: Why not?
Z: Where’s the queue?
Q: You’re last
T: Anyone for tea?
N: Me,me! Hey, FUNEX?
T: Oof, I heard that one in second grade: SVFX!
K: I just woke up as a giant bug, where’s that at?
N: Yeah, and where’re my buddies, ‘L&M’?
X: Got kicked out for smoking, I guess..
V: We’re dying here; TWA just took off.
W: No, Only T&A…I’m still here
All: “Yeah, one more dreadful year and  counting!”
O: You’re no JFK, that’s fer shure
A: ..He shoulda been..
Y: What’s that mean?
A:..Guess we’re back to the top.
E: No, I know what he’s doing, he’s recycycling
F: Hah. I did that once; rode the whole way to Lake Baikal before I realized..
G: ..you forgot your wallet?
F: Yeah, had to re-cycle back home and get it.
E: It’s big this year.
X: What’s big?
E: Recycling
Y: Why?
J: Something to do with your hands…

“Which way is ‘outa here’?”

    First the point, for those of you who never seem to know what I’m writing about: Road signage in Israel is atrocious, which isn’t all that suprising.
Ok, now the fun part.



      An innocent motorist leaving Alfei Menashe, a borderline-west-bank bedroom town, driving on basically the only road out, (of course), comes to a point about 300 meters before the first “Tee” intersection and looks at this sign. Wish I’d taken my camera, but I swear this is an accurate artist’s rendition:

BAD SIGN
Simple huh? You probably want to go the Kfar Saba, one of Israel’s ten or so major towns, and an unavoidable choke-point on the way home, wherever you live. Go to Shkem and risk being added to the chopped-chicken-liver barrel. Only one problem..
The sign is wrong!
A mistake. Erroneous, whatever. And it’s been that way, I assume, for years. A small sign at the actual intersection has seemingly forgotten about Kfar Saba, but does tell you now to turn right to go to… Nablus(?). You’re just supposed to kinda know that’s another name for Shkem, or “Shek-em’ for anyone who cares about vowels.



A glaring error like this could go un-corrected only in a country and culture which actively discourages thinking about anyone but oneself. I can hear the illiterate lackey in the paint shop saying “What do I care, I live in stinking Kfar Saba?” His puffed-up little ‘boss’ doesn’t give a shit, as long as he gets paid; ditto for  the guy who, on Israel’s official weather website writes about the “chince of thundery stroms”.
So the Council of Wise Mosaics,® if they even hear about this, will certainly look for the cheapest way out, starting of course with denial.® If that becomes untenable, they will likely suggest this:

FIXED

Moses, our Leader not famous for finding the quickest and most direct way out of Egypt, it’s all his fault. They should have listened to… to… well, I might as well just say it: to Jesus.
Yes, dumb as it sounds, Jesus’ country, the United Snakes, where unlike Israel they celebrate his birthday, or at least mention it on the back page of the paper (I thought it was the 27th, I just couldn’t remember after fifteen years what day it falls on) well, in his country they don’t allow dumb shit like this(?). So without buying in to crackpot notions of the, (last I heard), majority of ‘Merikans who believe jesus or somebody he knew plopped all the animals down on the map in less than a week, we could at least ask him what he’d do about road signs. Yes, I intend to raise that suggestion at the council meeteing: “What would Jesus do?”  I’ll have to be appropriately dressed, of course, 

‘ANTS ARE THE ANSWER’

      Ahhh, first day of winter, when a gent of my bent straightens up the upper storage area of his house, assuming he still owns one. Spring cleaning, but magno ex post facto, I admit. Nolo contendere.
So I’m hanging halfway out the attic window, trying to get the ‘man’ga’non (the ‘spring’ mechanism, maybe that there’s my problem?) to slide like it used to, , so that there might be Light and Air,( and if I fail, Water?) Meanwhile the slings and arrows are flying just overhead:
“You never do anything at the right time, it was so nice out a few months ago.”
I glower at ‘Brunhilda’, whatever her damn name is. How’d I end up with a Swede anyway?
“Norse! We have everything Sweden’s got, except a good neighbor.”
Oh god she reads my thoughts too..
  We’d met, no, we’d “become acquainted” at a quaint Cairo “Pin a Donkey on the Tail” party, a Skandinubian Blowout event for the visiting blonde-on-blondes at the Hotel. The rest is history, written by the victors, as you may have heard. I need to be careful here.
“I FISH ALL FALL!” I told my Dear-one, by way of explanation. Capitals help her spell it right in the journal.
“IF I SHALL FALL….?” She suggested, pouncing on that variant with Freudian schaden-freude. I faked a loss-of-balance for her pleasure.
“Yeah, you’d love that, Bertha;  you get the house, the kids, my Telecaster, I get the old Ride to Eternity on the Great Viking Ship-to-Nowhere..”
“…After a brief ceremony..”
Dead serious, she was, and all heart. I eyed the pile of slovenly-ly-stacked books I was standing on. Chosen for its thickness originally, the ten-pound “Illustrated Altas of the World” now looked like a perfect… um… ‘Werfel’, a ‘thrown object’ with which to silence my adversary, if only briefly. My luck she would catch it with one hand, open to some city far away, and..
Wait! An idea?
“GO, ODD ONE… ATLAS TRIP?”
I tossed her the tome, along with my offer. Yes, she could sail around the freaking world, tied to the mast, visiting ports in alphabetical order. Now I just had to pay for it, at least the first leg..
“GOOD! DONE AT LAST! R.I.P” She wrote that down, of course, adding “I see through his ruse, this short-tailed donkey of a man, who wants me dead; well we shall see. I should have married a gentile, like my uncle..
“Only want what’s best for you, dear..”
I can read her thoughts, such as they are, did I mention that?
“And so, I would be-elated if you were to leave me to my be-lated clean-up before I die-a-lated, you hairy behemoth of a slag wife..”
With that she actually did retire to her quarters, to sort out the adjectives, I presume.


“Yippee!” Just man against nature now, all action, suspense, and no Finns to finagle.  I turned to my chore a new man, aided by my secret weapon, a bottle.
But no, you err, Dear Reader, this is a very special bottle. Even the outside of the box it’d arrived in cautioned:
“Use within 24 hours!”
What could it be? None other than “Saint Alban’s Self-whitening Automatic Autumn-Attic Cleaner.” in the Giant Valu-pak

I’d ordered it on-line. Sight-unseen, as they say. All I knew was the mouse-over pop-up blurb: “One bottle is all you need” plus the mysterious: “Created in our forminable La-BOR-a-tory on Hobbes Row, St Albans, Hertfordshire. Hmmmm
It certainly didn’t weigh much; maybe you add water? I turned the bottle around and read the label:
Active Ingredients: Active and Greedy Ants! So that was their secret! Wait, “Inactive Ingredients: -up to 10% dissed-ants may be present. We do our utmost.. blah, blah, however, a partial refund can be negotiated on a pro-rated basis for out-of-spec ‘sluggish’ count. Contact us at Tel: +44 (0)1727 866100

Carefully, so very cautiously, I unscrewed the lid and gently laid the bottle in the center of the attic. as instructed. I’d positioned myself judiciously close to the stairs, smiling as I’d read that advice on the warning label. But no warning label could have prepared me for the veritable Army, no, ‘Armada’ of voracious creatures which exploded out of captivity the second they saw the light of day. A human wave spread out like a bomb blast, then coaleasced into a thick writhing chorus-line of troups, blocking my exit-strategy within seconds. The window? I could still make it if I ran. Turning back, I saw them heading down the now fuzzy-looking steps. All of them. So much for ‘sluggish’ They seemed so single-minded…

Wait, they were ignoring the job-at-hand, my precious attic/war-zone! As I perched on the window sill I suddenly felt my left leg being attacked, bitten repeatedly by, I suppose, a few stealth ‘irregulars’, I turned  and saw more on the way. The lawn seemed suddenly a foot or so nearer, and yes, I jumped, or “FELL” for what seemed like an eternity. She knew, that sneaky Dane, she had it all planned out. I heard her scream as I hit the ground. A drop of sympathetic blood in her frozen veins? I lay there, in the Pachysandra, waiting…  for help to come running? What I in fact witnessed was sweeter, much sweeter, and in a second, the 10 pounds, 3 shillings, 4 quid, plus postage paid for itself with interest: There went my Brunhilda, covered head to toe (and I suspect including orifices) by St.Albans Active and Greedy Ants,and yes,she was running…screaming and running… who cares? ‘away’. {ed* ‘never to return’} Thanks, ed. My legs might be broken, but my life is saved, I cried, redeemed by the cunningly engineered bugs of Hobbes Row Labs, Ltd. “Nasty, British and short” indeed! One bottle is all you need.

Final Update:
As compensation for my pain-n-suffering, I have been offered a Dream (Nightmare?) Vacation-Package: Two days and seven nights canoeing on the Scenic Rio Deja-Voodoo, where I’ll “…thrill to the creepy feeling that ‘I’ve been up this creek before, also without a paddle’..!” Not sure I’m gonna accept it.

WRONG NUMBER!

“Yeah, you sick little robot, you got a bad wrong number this time, and now all kinds of just awful stuff is gonna happen to you and anyone you ever knew”.
 
Every night I rush to the phone to hear recorded screaming dreck about today’s special on toilet-paper at Super-Bonus. They pronounce it “Soup-air Bow-noose”. Pitiable losers don’t even have a language of their own. I’m gonna go over there right now with a lead pipe and make sure they can’t ‘talk too good‘ for the next 50 years. These calls-from hell show up on ID as “Private Call“. ‘Private call’ was supposed to be for trash what hadn’t the balls to identify themselves. However, a week ago, I answer one (I record the times and source, for use in my murder trial) with my usual “Go ahead you piece of shit, make my day!” only to hear a mild-mannered nurse from the Hospital informing me that my appointment had been cancelled. She wasn’t sure if that would make my day, and after I explained and apologized, I told her it had. See, I’d had two tests in just one week where I took off work, drove an hour, waited two, only to find out that Herr Doctor had “left the building”, or never arrived. We have a real low valuation of a man’s time here. I’ve seen israeli ‘contractors’ (in their imagination) give four arab guys a half day’s work somewhere and then expect them to sit and chew gum by the side of the road for the rest of the day, waiting for their ride home.
  
A
nyway, so now that “Private-call” might be someone real,  I have to answer them. At least “Unavailable” is still sacred. “Unavailable” means “Out-of-the-country”, someone from the real world. You miss one of those calls, you sit by the phone till he calls back.
   Or so I thought. Last night I had “one message” on my voice-mail from “an International number“. I tortured myself worrying who might be in trouble as I entered endless passwords, etc. only to hear, yes, a “one-day deal on aluminum foil” at some stinking local supermarket. They’ve either paid-off someone at the corrupt telephone company, or have farmed out their dirty business to some foreign mercenary drone. The only point for me is that now I have to listen to them too, in order not to miss a wedding, birth, or funeral of someone I actually care about.
This morning I got a call on my cell phone: “Hello and Good morning”, I answered. The goon on the other end just muttered, “You’re not the Yonatan I’m looking for” and hung up, of course, without an apology for running me down two ladders. I hate him, and will add him to my list of numbers I call every night at 3:00 AM. Hurts worse to think I must have mistaken him for a human at some point and given him my number.
 One more theory: Lots of solicitors seem to think I’m Dorit Rotem. She must have had my number three years ago, and must also have been both a sucker for “Check here if you want daily updates on the price of toilet-paper” and a real ignoramus, who still can’t internalize that she’s now got a new phone number. I know where she lives. She’s next.  Violins, they only understand violins.

Toilet-paper on Sale/  Big Update:
I took off work to drive to Super-Bonus, to settle this affair decisively. Walked in disguised as Teddy Roosevelt (“Walk softly, carry a Big Stick“). The check-out girl smiled so sweetly, “Is that a lead-pipe in your pocket or are you just unhappy to see me?” (Ok, I made that up, that’d be Mae West’s line. But anyway, the smile, and speedy referral to Meir, the Manager, reminded me of Will Rodger’s “Never met a man I didn’t like” Meir, whom I like so far… we’ll see.. apologized, told me their robot-drone is programmed to bother each victim only once, so there must have been a bug in the code. I took his home phone number as a hostage, in case his assurances don’t pan out. Came home to see three(3) calls unanswered from “Private Call”. I’m assuming they called to apologize, but ‘ gehe veys?’ (Go figure). Maybe it’s like the Spam, where if you check the box at the bottom, you know, “No, my penis is perfectly adequate, do not send me any more offers”, they then know you are alive, and sell your  address to millions of other spammers. I guess we’ll need to update this story once more, when the facts are final
.

Yoni, die gantze mocher

“You-will-want-to-buy-this-car” in my best hypnotic monotone.
“No I won’t!” The guy wasn’t quite out yet.
“Aren’t you supposed to be swinging a watch on a chain?” he taunted me.
“I am, silly. You’re just looking through the wrong end of the receiver”.
I heard a thump, as if he was re-arranging his phone. I waited, and waited.
“You-are-getting-very  d-r-o-w-s-y..” I still had a chance.
*Click*. End of another attempted sale. Guess I overdid it with the magic powers.


Oh, well, here’s another sucker calling already..
“What are you asking for the Fiesta?” he sounded cheerful enough. I decided to try a new tack.
“I’m asking… um.. asking for just a minute of your time, first, while I describe some of the special features you’ll receive when you drive away in your brand new…”
“Yeah, like what?”
(Hmm, what happened to ‘cheerful?)
“Like… well.. the instrument panel is simply unbelievable!” I gushed.
“Whas dat mean?”
“Dat’s mean you won’t believe it, duh”
“Lemme guess, GPS and a cheap tach?”

It occured to me that , should he actually purchase this motor vehicle, the truth would not be hidden from his inquiring eyes for long….  certainly not long enough for me to get safely out of the country. I might as well be honest.
“No, to tell the truth, it means you can’t believe anything: The gas gauge hasn’t worked since I bought it, the temp shows red-line even before it’s warmed up, the speedometer goes from 0 to 180… and back, and forth, oh, and the panel lights don’t work when you turn on the headlights, but that’s only at night. The oil light blinks along with the left turn signal… well, you get the picture..  Hello?… Hello??”
So much for “I cannot tell a lie.”



   Ok, I’m just no good at selling used cars. Maybe it’s ’cause I got no-good cars to sell, but I probably couldn’t get full price for a new one either. The best offer I got today so far was this one:
“Throw in fifteen hundred shekels and I’ll take it off your hands, guy.”
“Hmmm that’s a little less than I was thinking of asking”
I bickered.
“So, how much did you have in mind?”
“Well, three grand would be nice..”
(I get a little mixed up when I’m out of my field of expertise.)
He laughed! The sucker just.. laughed.I hate that. Yeah, all those sick, heartless ‘geschaefters’ know is how to laugh at me. It drives me nuts, and saddens me at the same time. I see a little orphan girl, stringing cheap beads on a little thread she found in the street to make a necklace, walking five miles in the snow to the town marketplace to maybe sell it for a bite to eat for her crippled little brother, and some pig mumbling “How much?” And when she tearfully whispers, “Twenty five cents”, all the while looking down at her little bare feet, he has the nerve to just laugh, just like that, and walk away.
  So anyway, now I’m mad. I wouldn’t sell my car to this beast, kill me first, don’t care how much money I have to throw into the deal.
“Go buy somebody else’s car, and run off a fucking cliff in it!” I slammed down the receiver
.
   Maybe if I wash her, maybe inflate the tires, I might change my mind, take it off the market. I mean it does kinda run, sometimes, and the steering-wheel cover.. well, it’s unbelievable.

The full file on “FxL”

English:  14 points. FAIL FALL FEEL FELL FILE FILL FOAL FOLLY FOOL FULL FOIL FOWL FOUL FUEL
Hebrew gets  2 grudging half-points for “Peel” (‘elephant’) and “Ful” (‘bean’)   (‘P’ and ‘F’ share one letter, sadly,(peh/feh) in what passes for an alphabet…)
Anybody want to make a qualitative comparison of the two languages’ richness and productive use of consonant pairs? Yes, vowels do come in handy

 My hebrew poem goes like this:


“Peel echad achal ful”   (‘An elephant ate bean something blah, blah)’) Pretty deep, huh?



Or we could switch to English, a language with less than a quarter of the development time as hebrew, and, for example get this:
Dysfunctional Season, when leaves fail to fall
There must be a reason: I feel like I fell in their
Place. I’ve a file where I fill in the blanks; Here’s a
 foal lying stillborn, yes a filly. This ranks as a
folly, a discontent winter where only a
fool could remain full of faith
.
and for the bonus point:

Chicken-shit Ethanol (foul-smelling fuel), or So-
lidified Owl-Oil, sold wrapped up in Fowl-Foil. We
offer a full range of free ranging dangerous
bird-brained alternative tools.

My horse was off-course, of course

     Rereading my last post, I guess I can understand how someone might have gotten the (false) impression that I, how do the kids these days say it, ‘do drugs’ to be HIGH. I thought it was understood that we demigods are just blessedly high from the power of our wisdom, plus a shoe-shine and a full tank of gas.
When I say ‘high’ I mean .. well.. linguistically high. Like right now, f’rinstance…
  An off-page discussion of the Hebrew “c’mouvan” (‘of course’) got me off this time. The root word is  “ha’vin” and has the meaning of “to understand”. Whenever I say something moderately inscrutable in hebrew, I usually follow it with a little-used but perfect aphorism: “ve’ha’ma’vin ya’vin”. Which translates as “And he who understands will understand. The “mouvan” part of “c’mou’van” is simply the adjective from the same root, and means “understood”.  Sources differ on the ‘c’ at the start; it usually signifies “like” and so I think of the word as saying “like..well..’understood‘, duh”. Of course.
  
So now,tell the truth, have any of you readers ever spent much time asking why “of course” means “of course”? A course can be a race-course you run on, an academic course which runs on forever, a course of medicines you take one after another till you get better or drop dead. So my guess is that “of course” means, like, ‘in the groove’, running in the time-worn track. Sailors with an extra “F” chromosome run the risk of being blown “off-course”, of course. And women of coarse upbringing are of course to be avoided. “Selb-verstandlich” is a good German equivalent, as is the English “goes without saying” (goes where?), or the hebrew “Ain tsor’erch le’ha’gid” (‘no need to say’) . Finally, the Hebrew “c’mouvan me’e’lav” is a sweet phrase, meaning “understood from itself, from its own essence”. I always think of a self-unzipping data-file when I say it. A pity the ‘me’e’lav’ is such a masculine word, since the ‘self-unzipping’ feature sounds like it might save time and energy in other applications….  A demi-god, by the way, is a ‘half-god’. Some of us from the waist up, some the converse, and some I’ve met actually have the ‘goddess’ half located right in the middle, with the head of a common mortal and feet of clay. Be ye fore-warned…  Of course.

“How’re ya all doin’ down there?”

    A man is often best at what he’s spent the most time doing. I am very good at being high. I have been very high since birth, with a significant gain in elevation starting in about 1965 and lasting until the present… what year is this? I never become sloppy, never damage either physical installations or emotionally fragile structures. “Harmless highness” would be an appropriate term. I don’t remember appearing on stage more than a few times “un-high“. Had I been judged ‘incapacitated’ by the reviewers and adoring(?) fans, I would have, of course, moderated my errant ways, but the subject was never broached. And as you can attest; being at this moment “extremely high“, my cognitive prowess is as close to normative as many lesser-lights could even dream about achieving. So there!

Yes, lesser men do fall victim to the Gorgon, become un-productive, etc. blah blah… but not moi. My first thought upon achieving this highly-vaunted temporary highness was that a worthwhile goal in life, not yet nailed down, would be to be able to truthfully claim on a CV that I am: “..Involved in construction of tin-can Incan structures, working nights, under incandescent lighting with Squoksy-lotyl, my trusted compadre of Incan descent. I shall now pursue this goal with all available devices. Thank you for your support.


  Meanwhile, I have teamed up with 3 other demi-gods, creating a Divine Duality we call “Four Higher powers for Hire”. Rates are moderate and keyed to need, so don’t hesitate to call on us, as a first resort, in times of dexterity, and we’ll be there, with all the Answers.
 (Oh, and yes, the man is fully aware that he is speaking nonsense, but note that it is at least entertaining nonsense
.

“BEST IF READ BY 2022”

First of all, the answer to yesterday’s Puzzeler: What was wrong with Xanga? Well, nothing actually… I mean, that mortals can fix. No, the strange behavior of pages, etc. was completelythe result of my not having bothered to change the new browser options to “check for new versions of pages: Every time” and a few other tweaks. Thanks to all; I think it was edlives’ mention of clearing history which mainly steered me, duh, in the right direction.



  Now Today’s Puzzeler is how to spell “puzzellor”?

No, seriously, here’s the issue. I pulled a pack of Eveready® lithium camera batteries out of the refrigerator and noticed for the first time a note on the bottom of the pack: In red letters, it said “USE BY 2022”.  The question is of course: “Now how can anybody look at that without stopping a second to get …well.. ‘deep’?”
    1) I got less than fifteen years to use these suckers, maybe twenty if I keep them in the freezer. I don’t
remember ever owning the same refrigerator that long. Guess I’ll have to buy some dry ice as a back-up system.
   2) It could be worse: The clay roof-tiles I removed, cleaned, and replaced on an historic house down in
Jaffa were made in 1868. Some of them I had to toss, they were nearing the end of their shelf-life. Sure enough, the barely-legible sticker on the bottom of them said: “Best if used before 2008”
  3) And as fantastic as that date would have looked back in the 1800s, looking around the room here, I
spot more than a few items which could easily sport stickers reminding me to replace them with new stock, say, “BY 3007”
  4) Finally, I recall as if it were only yesterday reading in my little “Golden Book of Astronomy” back in 1956, the page where dates and times for future Eclipses of the Sun were listed. Just seeing the futuristic dates “1963” and even more unimaginable, “1969”(!) gave me a chill. Hey, who knew then whether life as we know it would even be happening that far in the dim future.  We had the Red Chinese to deal with first, let’s not count on much till we get through ’56 in one piece. But sure enough, “Life as we know it” became ‘life as we once knew it’ replaced by “The World of the Future” as we now enjoy it, and yes, the sun came up, was obscured, and emerged triumphant in 1969, right on time… to the minute, actually.

Why don’t I feel as confident about my batteries, maybe that’s the question…