Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Perfect ‘F’ Word? (or- ‘Morse Code done warped my young mind.’

    I’m assuming that most readers here spent their childhood roughly like mine: when not plowing, feeding cattle, or chasing butterflies you chatted from a room in the attic with Russians on Morse Code, using a lashed-together contraption made out of salvaged TV tubes.
   
Ok, maybe your youth was a bit different; (I used the 6AG7 as an oscillator and the 6V6 as a Class C amplifier stage, but there were other options of course. I know that.
   
Seriously, Morse Code done got in my mind, camped out there, built concrete foundations… and just, like  took the place the hell over. And now I can’t even hear conversational speech without interpreting it as code letters, according to the rhythm of the syllables.
Morse is, as you know, made up of dots and dashes. A dash is three times as long as a dot. We ‘spell out’ the words, but, with an abundance of abbreviations, conversations proceed surprisingly quickly. At 35 (standard 5-letter) words per minute, my usual speed, you know each other’s name, city, weather, and equipment within the first minute. Usually the guy’s name is Vlad. If not, then Val or Yuri. And the more plaintive, chirpy, and weak his signal the more likely it is that your on-line friend is transmitting from the Siberian side of the great Russian  expanse. Cubans and Dominicans, in the 60s, were also chirpy as hell. One of the true talents of a good op was to be able to separate an almost un-readably weak station from the overwhelming cacophony of stronger signals very near it in frequency. I learned to appreciate the fact that they too were struggling to copy my signal, and often with a set-up even more primitive than mine.


And now we finally get to the ‘F’ word.
Di di DAH dit. That’s an ‘F’. ‘Fed-er-a-tion’ is an ‘F’ word. Note the ‘longer’ third syllable.
‘Alabama’ and ‘Tallahassee’ are close, but really don’t quite make the cut.
We use ‘CQ’ as a shorthand general query for contacts. Dah di dah dit/ Dah dah di dah. Try saying: ‘Stands to reason, too loose to goose.’ and you can’t help but sound out the rhythm of the two-letter combo, CQ.
‘In a New York minute’, as you can probably guess by this point, is
.._ _..  Morse for the question-mark sign. That’s what you send if you suspect the guy’s name isn’t Yuri. Or Val or Vlad.


And just for fun(?) here’s the alphabet, with some quick examples I just thought up which seem to mimic the Morse:
A ._    A-lone
B _…  Bees in a box
C _._.  Candelabra
D _..    Deal wid-it
E .       Eat
F .._.    Fotographic
G _ _ .  God you’re hot
H ….     Hemoglobin
I ..        Is it?
J . _ _ _  Jurassic style
K _._    Kangaroo
L ._..     Leviathan
M _ _    Mau-Mau
N _.      Normal
O _ _ _  Oh… my… God!
P ._ _ .  Parisian nights
Q _ _ . _  Quick, slick, an’ thick.
R ._.      Renaldo
S …        Satellite
T _        Tea
U .._     Unaware
V …_    Vanilla-gram
W ._ _  What ails you?
X _.._    ‘X’ in the box
Y _ . _ _ Yank a door knob
Z _ _ ..    Zebras did it

Whew, dat weren’t easy. (And no, I don’t know what a vanilla-gram is either.)  I’m off to California in my
Catastrophic 
Winnebago to buy some
Pachysandra.
Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just say ‘F-it!’


Wu: I dunno, I remember the alphabet with:
‘A bad child dies every Friday. Good heavens I just know little Manny needs octopus parts quickly, Reader, so that under-water vessels’ll xerox your zebra.’
Me: ??? Not sure we’re on the same frequency, Wu. Can you QSY up 5 khz?

“Karma and stopping it.”:Spike Speaks from Pike’s Peak

   “I, like you, like Ike.” I told his wife, Wifi_gurl when we met for this interview.
Ike eeks out a damn good living writing ‘Spike Speaks from Pike’s Peak’, a big-league blog on down-hill bike racing, and it’s an up-hill battle keeping up with this up-and coming writer, who just keeps coming up with Wit with which to watch his rising star rise by, and daily. Just yesterday, Spike spoke on
Karma and stopping it.‘:
  
“Them’s the breaks and them’s the brakes…he led off, then spoke at length of spokes, spoke-specs, and spooks-in-the-works; the whole works, all in one killer article.
‘Wow
‘, I said to myself, “paste this post on your pasta-maker, guy, or you’ll be pissed you didn’t. Or on the front of the fridge.” I did.

Yup, Ike’s in the fast lane and picking up speed as we speak. He needs it to drive traffic to his Mile-high site.

“Who’d have thought he’d have had a head for business?” Wifi asked me, rhetorically.
“Um..nobody?” I offered, foot-in-mouth.
She looked a bit puzzled.
“Sorry, that was tongue-in-cheek.” I quickly added, covering my butt, hoping she hadn’t gotten up-in-arms(?)
She hadn’t.

“I like Ike and I dig his doggie too.
” Wifi summed it up mischievously as I put on my coat.
“Can I put quotes on that?” I asked. She thought a second:
“Sure. I ‘Like’ Ike and I ‘Digg’ his dog.” she smiled.
“Me too, Wiffy, the ‘like’ part, I mean.” I agreed. “I’ll tell everyone in sight on my site, …and cite you as an objective reference.”
“Do that.” Big hug, worth the wait.
And so here I am.
I mean, there I went…

All your shrouds are belong to us/ Game over

Yes, “We gotz teh data, we win.’
Or maybe not so fast? Let’s wait for the official announcement.
    See, I’m doing an experiment myself. Two-liter water-bottles (stolen midnights from the recycling bins), in an attempt to store heat from the Sun (sp?) during the day and radiate it at night to even-out the daily temperature-excursions in my greenhouses. And it’ll pay big shekels, in dye and/or paint, to know, right now, which ‘system’ captures the most heat…if there is in fact much of a difference?
The four options you see here ought to nail the question to the wall, after a few days of careful measurements.

But it occurred to me to add one more bottle; ‘Holy Water’, let’s call it. Normal tap water, but slap on a quick yarmulke and bless G-d for even giving us water, for giving me life and the brains to make it enjoyable, for giving us as a people the long-term sheer guts to return to our geographic cradle, to revive the place after centuries of neglect, and, oh, to invent nifty plastics which our brother, Dustin Hoffman, after suitable graduate degrees and a pool-side tip, could form into the vessels we need here. A-men.
For now, let’s just choose Xanga sides and bet on one of the secular contendas in the picture.
Penn State actually did a relevant study some years ago, which I found on the net. But for some reason I’ll trust my results here over those of the ‘goyim’. Who knows what blessings they mighta used in their lab?
And the Shroud, what’s the deal with the shroud?
Um… if it’s the Real Deal, it oughta be a bit warmer than a Control Shroud; yes, after all these years.
Wonder if anyone checked into that.

And in these Cursory Times at least Nursery Rhymes

One more from my late dinner-guest: I.Emma Lazarus:


Ba Ba Black Sheep, have you any wool?
“Yup, take a look here: half-a-bag full.”

“Half for the government, half for the rent
Half for the kids till the money’s all spent

I am Baba Black Sheep looking at my wool
It’s the best you can do if ya got no strings to pull.” 

Duh, Baba Black Sheep, sumpthin happen to yer brain?
The bag’s half emp-ty, hope it doesn’t rain

Nothing for retirement, nada for your wife
Forget about yer health, ‘n hope to have-a short life

Yeah, Bubba Black-Sheep, If-you only had a brain.
Pull the wool out of your eyes; you are gurgling down the drain.

Guess who’s not coming to dinner?

Mary had a little lamb
Slice of ham
Half a yam
All I got was
‘breast of spam’
She fleeced me white as snow

I’d followed her to school that day
Sad to say. I’m-a
fool that way…
Followed her to school that day
Breaking all my rules

See, everywhere that Mary went
She left that scent
Of unpaid rent
Very broke… or badly bent
In debt I-was sure to go.

Now Mary’s in a little jamb
Cute, but damn
I gotz to scram
Scary; ‘Sooo… dat’s who I am?’
Um.. Yes (as well as No)


Subject:
Temporary romance

Location(s):
Flyby Night-School of Cosmetology
Joey’s Diner
1727 RR Ave, Apt 7 (ring bell)

Characters:
Mary somebody…
Me

High points:
First ten minutes

Low points
Everything thereafter

Moral(s):
Things usually go down-hill after ‘Breast O’ Spam.’ / Live and Learn


Wu: Tell me this didn’t happen.
Me: Fine. ‘This didn’t happen’. Cool?
Wu: Glad we cleared that up. I mean, ‘like moths to a plug-in candle, Fly-By attracts only the most leprous lepidoptera from the far side of the tracks…’
Me: Hey, I thought the sign said ‘Cosmology’ They list Emma Lazarus as a founder, you knew that?
Wu: Odd. Mary’s sayin’ you only wanted your nails done for free.
Me: Haha. I can do my own nails. OK, I got screwed.
Wu: Well, at least there’s that…

@Reply=(free) Goodwill to Men

     Dawned on me just now (as the Sun came up?) that one of the cheapest (sorry, ‘least expensive’) little gifts one can give in this Season is a simple acknowledgment of a Xanga comment.
A few numbered Pointlets, of course:


1) Yes, you read correctly, ‘Goodwill to Men’. No need to worry about women. They are, like with the Egg, only Necessary Chickens in the all-important process of creating ‘Another Egg’. Treat them as nicely as is required until a male offspring has been achieved….
(Yeah, a bit of little-black-dress humor. We can only dream of a world free from gender inequality. Iceland comes to mind, with their ‘Bobbysdotter’ surnames. Still, how can you truly respect a country which names itself after ‘-one of the phases of the H2O molecule, occurring below 0 degrees Centigrade.-‘
Really.
2) I’ve used ‘being un-replied-to’ as a prime example of feeling under-valued in my previous post on Hebrew idioms. And not on a whim; I have an ‘Open-Wound’ file here of folks whose replies I’m awaiting. Perhaps not everyone is as obsessed with the Mutuality of Interaction as I am. And if it don’t bother you to invest a bit of your soul in a comment to zero response, well, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. I envy you, and Happy Holidays.

3)
Speaking of which: waiting in line to pay the $600 fee for annual car registration here at the
Post Office, I felt momentarily uneasy from the zombie silence of the Russian behind me in line. What’s an extrovert to do?
“Hag Sameach!” (‘Happy Holiday’) Always appropriate during Chanukhah).. I thought.
No reply. He ignored me like Lenin’s cadaver in Red Square(?).
“Hag Ha-molad?” I back-tracked. (‘Merry Christmas?’, roughly.)
Still no sign of life.
“Tov, a zaftige Zorroaster le’chah!’ (‘Ok then, do have a fat-filled Zorro-Easter, I know?’) I gave up and eyed my updated place in line. But thinking about it, well, any reply, even a demonstrative shrug, would have been better than the icy Soviet ‘no-comment’.
4) And so, QED, as we say. Someone takes the time to type a reaction to your Post? Tell her that you read it at least. (Yes, ‘her’
, they’re the ones who lay the eggs… for now.) Even if all you can say is:
“@ dino_gal: Thanks for your input. Frankly, I’m not sure what bio-engineered pterodactyls have to do with my recipe for cookies here, but if they turn out to be relevant, at least I won’t die stupid on that issue.”


A warm and well-lit holiday season to all. Even the Sun has decided to work a bit longer every day from now on. Probably sending @Replies to Venus and Mars as we speak/ js


Wu: Damn. Looks like we got that  Lancaster Reader on board again, guy
Me: Yeah, I felt the ship list to starboard myself. What’s to do?
Wu: Guess just wait for a Comment. Then reply, off course.
Me: ‘Of course‘…
Wu: Sorry, forgot to spin the wheel.

Fame and Adulation.. or Notoriety?

     So much fun working publicly in the Town Square, my car squeezed perilously into a sidewalk spot between the ‘Map of the Village’ sign and the Concrete Cows some elected official decided to purchase as ‘Outdoor Art.’
Main Point: Any passing motorist who doesn’t blow his horn, scream ‘Yo, Yonatan!’ or otherwise acknowledge my Presence must be either a newly-arrived immigrant, or someone who owes me money.
One can bat around forever the advantages/disadvantages of small-town life. Today, I chose to relish the plus side. (…and vowed to make a ‘collect my receivables’ run this evening.)
    Last night, feeling inexplicably irate, I fairly blew up at the Super when Cheese-slicer lady  put my order on hold in deference to some bozo’s shopping list of crutons(?)
He defended himself: “How was I to know your shopping-cart had priority?”
Of course I stilled my phantoms forth-with, and apologized for being edgy.
Cheese-lady then took my cell #, to install plastic roofing on her porch. Cruton-guy did likewise, recognizing me as the highly-regarded gutter-and-down-spout local expert.
I do keep a safe distance though, from the Frozen Fish aisle . For some reason, statistically, work-contracts negotiated there have a higher percentage of ‘dead-beat’ non-payment.
A sign on my car I should put? ‘Will work for fish’ Nah, could be misconstrued.


Wu: An a-typically brief entry
Me: Yeah, bothers me too. Innocent Readers are forgiven for imagining  that my days are spent constructing blog-posts.
Wu: And the horn-blowers? They likewise knoweth  not whom they distract?
Me: Absolutely. I had this killer idea for a poem. Now all I remember is the smile.
Wu: Or the simile…

‘And I’m a Goat??’ Favorite Hebrew expressions: #27

     If there is any blogger here who has never, not even once,  felt momentarily ignored, under-estimated, or otherwise passed-over in the Xanga mini-pecking-order, well, you probably have low-expectations-as-a-policy, or else a compromised sense of self-worth.
I’m talking about your two-paragraph Killer Comment; dead on target, original and charming as all get-out which never rates a Reply, when at the same time ten ‘LOLs’ are ‘rewarded’ with personalized gushing tahnk-yous.
Or, in Real-life, (as marginal as that realm has become), you’re ‘hanging with two friends, and decide to order a pizza. Discussion of toppings ensues, and you can’t help but notice that they’re talking ‘half peperoni and half mushrooms.’  “Half??” you think, to yourself, for now. “What about ‘No Anchovies’?”  Indeed, “What about ME?? Thirds?”
This is where I come to your rescue.
Click on the little ‘Rec’ icon below this Post and you will receive your OWN DAMN PIZZA.
* ‘Choice of toppings’  I’ll get from your Comment text, on my way to the Pizza joint, thence to the Overnight Cargo check-in at Ben Gurion airport.
    Seriously, this is the time to ‘invoke’ Hebrew Expression # 27. Gaze at a point somewhere between your two thoughtless ‘Friends’ and the ceiling, hold both arms outstretched palms-up, and repeat after me, loudly:
“Va Anee Ez???”
You’ve just told them ‘where the goddamn fish pisses from’, (to use Expression #28), and in plain English translation, asked:
“And I’m what, a f*cking GOAT??”

Works most of the time. Usually they’ll say, roughly “Oy, slee’kha. Sha’khak’nu!” (‘Oh, sorry, we forgot!’)
    But beware of the down-side. If one of ’em replies: “Ken, b’erech.” (‘Yeah, approximately.’) it’s a wake-up call that you need to either spend more schmooze-time with these valued ‘buddies’, or better, ‘de-friend’ them, write defamatory sh*t about ’em on your Wall… and console yourself for the time being with your Own Personal Pizza.
If they deliver in your sector.
Or to goats.



All Expressions guaranteed in current Israeli usage. By teh hair on my chinny-chin chin. Or I’ll blow your house down.


* fear not: ‘R.E.C.’ is simply italian for ‘Retributat Est Certiori’, the source of the common English karmic maxim ‘Payback’s a mother-….,’ Click away.


(‘and since I get a dozen hits a day from ‘thin-spo’ ‘searchers’, I might as well gratuitously mention that Key-word, even though this post reads more like ‘fats-spo’. I do sincerely wish them all success at attaining their ideal weight, at coming to a manageably sane relationship with food, and oh, a very small ‘Pizza: hold the tomatoes, cheese, dough, and toppings’.


“The End of the World. And now I can’t even blog about it!”

No one saw it coming. Millions of disbelievers world-wide stared at the headlines and screamed: “OMG This has got to be a joke!”

Popular social-networking site goes to black: Catastrophic loss of all data reported

‘Please let it be Farce-Book!’ they pleaded, trembling mouse-hand scrolling helplessly down into the full horror of the story:

Xanga Inc, a well-liked second-tier blog platform locked its cyber-doors at 12 PM EST Wednesday in a stunning move which left shocked survivors gasping in anguish. There was no advance notice, and attempts to contact the firm’s NY office were unsuccessful, as of this report.
But a staff member, speaking anonymously as ‘John’, explained:
‘Xanga’s finished. Road-kill. Every bit of data was deleted from the servers.”
“On purpose?” this reporter pressed the source.
“We have no idea at this point. It just happened, is all I can say.”, he revealed, before a hasty exit accompanied by two armed body-guards.



Google paralyzed by ‘hit‘s on cached-blogs as victims  race frantically to save posts.
Internet giant Google.com faced an un-precedented and apparently impossible challenge this
morning, as users of the defunct blog-platform Xanga.com inundated servers world-wide with
page-load requests, attempting, largely in vain, to salvage a few precious memories from their
on-line journals. The search-engine as a consequence was ‘down’ for a record 7 1/2 hours in most of the US, the UK, and, especially hard-hit, Asia.

“All I got was this-here stupid Comment about a guy’s horse!” said one blogger we spoke to.
Said another, stoically: “Oh well. Guess I’ll go back to eating drech. All my weight-watching diary entries. Poof! Just like that. And just when I broke 117.8!”
 
In contrast, one moderately well-known writer on the host with whom we spoke, seemed oddly unfazed by the platform’s sudden auger-in:
“True, it’s impossible to ignore the wholesale suffering caused by the site’s demise. I mean, it’s the only thing running on every channel today. Yesterday’s nuclear exchange between cross-town Mid-East rivals Iran and Israel is now a back-page blurb:
‘Iran described by eye-witnesses as ‘A hole in the ground where there was a country… once” A story like that ain’t chopped liver, bro. But Xanga-death, now that’s a ‘pochalypse!”

So, do you have plans yet, for starting over from scratch? To, you know, put the pieces of your life back together, if that’s even..?”, we asked him.
“What ‘pieces’? I’m backed up on hard-drives, floppy drives, CDs, DVDs, flash drives, EPROMs, clay tablets… I didn’t lose squat. Personally.”

“How’d ya do dat? Didn’t you need what they called ‘Premium’ to download ‘Archives’?”
“…and I don’t look like a ‘Premium’ kinda guy, is what yer sayin?”
“Frankly…um… So how’d ya do it, save stuff?”
“Easy, I read jsolberg‘s nifty tutorial, followed the steps, and today my only problem is not
getting hit by suicidal Xangans jumping out of office windows. Wow, there went another one! That was close! Lucky she’s a thin-spo.”
“So what’s the date on that post? I’d love to read it.”
“It’s scheduled for later this week.”

“Duh. Xanga’s kaput! What you talking about?”
“Nah, I just made that part up. To, you know, scare folks into reading the Post.”
“Whew! And ‘Iran back to the Stone Age’, also a spoof?”
“Yeah, unfortunately.

Awakening the Xanga Dead

(Or: “Hey Lazarus, whassup?!” )
     As a service to Xanga Inc.  for their inexplicably-frequent placement of my posts on the Front Page, I am doing this:
Awakening the dead, (since water-into wine has lost some of its initial shock value.)
How it’s done:
Make a cup of strong coffee.
Think about your Xanga experience and its historical track. Folks who commented your every post and vice versa then went mysteriously AWOL. Things happen quickly on line, and yesterday’s Presence is today’s Ghost-ship, and at the speed of light.
Read your archived posts and comments, starting from the Beginning. Yes, the ones about your bout with the Spanish Flu and Woodrow Wilson’s impossible dream. Pix of your first ‘horse-less carriage’, whatever.
Click on the comments from your Lost Beloveds. One of several things may happen:

1) Site shut down by Owner: My sympathies. You’re out of luck on these. but at least they found the body; an intentional suicide, and not a nagging ‘Lost at Sea’ where loved-ones will forever wonder whether perhaps he succeeded in swimming to an island and is there, fashioning a Swiss-Family-User_Name thatched-hut of a Life.  Back to Options

2) The sweetie-pie’s site is still in place, but the last entry is from Dec 6, 1941: “Off to
Hawaii: Hope they gotz WIFI at Pearl Harbor Club-Med”. What to do?: Find a nice reply-able comment from this ‘Lazarus’ on one of your old posts. Click ‘Reply’ and ‘warn’ the tourist, with 20-20 hindsight, of Yamamoto’s less-than-benign intentions.
No, seriously, since mebbe, jus’ mebbe, your Reply will show up in is/her email, tell the
vagabond how much you miss your interaction. A message in a bottle, but then, what else do you do with an empty bottle?

3) The Xangan is still posting: ‘Obama to Cain: ‘thanks for being there.’, but has for some
reason ceased to put you on the front-burner of his stove-life. Oh well. Read the last half-dozen posts, try to ‘grok’ where your friend’s life has led him/her, and, if appropriate, leave a short comment to the effect that ‘I miss your mouse…’ or words to that effect. No harm in trying.

4) One more possibility is that the lost seeker has perhaps dumbly opted to move to another blog platform. He/she announces, with the glowing optimism typical of fools rushing in: ‘I’ve moved to ‘Bugger.com’ or some other loser site like that. Do this: Go to the new site, spend as long as needed to determine conclusively that the guy shot himself in his blogging foot. Not too difficult a challenge: Sites attempting to compete with Xanga are almost always sad, cold, lonesome, horizontally-flawed, or otherwise disastrous. Remind the guy of his ‘glory-daze’ on Xanga, and plead with him/her to return to The World. Then wait. You’ve done all you can do.


I’ve been dedicating an hour or so each night to this pursuit. I’ll up-date this post if I have
interesting results to announce. Blogging, with its skewed ‘Yes, but what have you written TODAY, sucker?’ ephemerality, shouldn’t have to suffer from the sadness of not even being asked that question by folks who were the light of your life only a couple heartbeats ago.
You can also check those subs near the bottom of your Subs List. you might have missed their
final post where they volunteered for the simulated Mission to Jupiter. That would explain
everything. Good Hunting.