Monthly Archives: February 2012

Camera Review: Beth’s ‘Canon Future-shot XL99’

Seeing Beth (Seedsower)’s latest post was ‘the geranium that finally broke my camel’s back.’ But in a good way. I mean, am I the only one who noticed that she has pictures from the Future!!? In her words: “This is what it will look like six months from now.” or variations on that theme. Clearly, she has been discretely mum for a while now on an amazing piece of photographic gear, and I had to get my hands on it.
A quick email, and she, being the kind of sweetheart only Atilla the Hun wouldn’t love,  mailed it to me..um…tomorrow, and it arrived yesterday(!) Something with neutrinos, don’t ask how it’s done.
We’ll get to the gadget, which I’ve done nothing but play with since opening the package, in a second.
But first, here are the two photos from her site which got my attention, just as a reminder.
 
    Note the time-stamps(!!) A dead giveaway, but somehow no one else caught it.
OK, the camera itself is quite heavy; as befits a device containing, in Canon’s words ‘proprietary electro-mechanical fixtures’, and about which they studiously refuse to comment. Quantum wave-function extrapolation without collapse is my guess, but who cares? Let’s take it for a spin already:
Aside from the standard F-Stop, ASA, and the like, the dial which stands out in its novelty on the rear of the camera is labeled simply ‘TIME’. and no, it doesn’t control time-exposures. It sets the TIME of the subject(!!) The middle detent is marked ‘Present’ and graduations in both directions are labeled ‘one hour’, one day’, one week’, one month’… all the way to, I suppose, 1000 years, although I’m scared to look.
    And so after a couple hours in my garden, shooting plants with the setting on ‘2 months in the Future’, seeing which ones will do well: peanuts, purple cabbage, azeleas (didn’t know they had such purty flowers), and which are predetermined to die (if I trust Canon): popcorn, eggplants (some wilt I couldn’t have predicted), and my precious tomatoes (might as well stop watering ’em right now I guess), I did, finally, what anyone would do with a toy like this: shoot myself.
Yes, with trembling hands I went for the big prize; set the dial to 30 years from now.
    
As you can see from what the Manual calls ‘Now ‘n Later Pair’s, this is Big News! Ima gonna be around for awhile, turns out. And just when I’d been putting my albums in boxes with people’s names on ’em. ‘Buy yer own records, suckers!’ I couldn’t stop screaming, till one of my neighbors poked his ugly head around the corner. But I was ready; shot a quick candid, still on
‘plus 30yrs’, then told him to ‘go play in traffic.’, something like that.
And sure enough, the picture shows him wheeling away in a dilapidated chair, bald, shirt hanging out, plus his house in the background looks like it hasn’t been painted since, oh, 2012.
I do have to send the baby back tomorrow, so Beth will get it yesterday(?) But it’s been an amazing day. Oh and I see that there’ll be a ton of little chicks in the hen-house starting this June. Didn’t count ’em though. You’re not supposed to do that till they hatch.
Thanks, Beth @seedsower, I owe you one.

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Spring: And I been seein’ Endive down at C ‘n N Diving Supply

    Yup, It’s right out front, there with the aqualungs. Can’t miss it, unless you’re blind. Place is right next-door to C ‘n I Dog Biscuits, there on the Main drag.
‘Candy’, the ‘C’ of both ventures is something of a partnership-slut. Even has a deal going with me, the world’s least promising entrepreneur; “C AND Y Canes” I make ’em in my spare time, for the blind. ‘Choice select bamboo’… from the neighbors’ fences. Hey, they won’t notice one or two, right? I paint ’em gay colours; they’re for the blind, duh.
    But why I’m writing this is cuz, like, I’m soooo tired of hearing that damn jingle; you heard it, unless your radio’s broke ‘n  crushed under a rock since Christmas:
“Your ‘A’ source for your race-horse:/
Your “Ace-Horse Supply!”

Admittedly, it’s a three-fer play-on-words, but who’s even got a horse these days? My own carriage is like, horse-less. Ditto for all my equine-o-phobe neighbors. So far.
Those Ace people bought the lot up behind Candy’s, put in a track, a little faux barn, run their dumb ‘surrey with the fringe on top’ around all day and night. Candy’s seeing-eye dogs be goin’ nuts. Hounds probably jus’smell ’em. Or taste ’em, whatever. You know how it is with the surviving senses filling up a vacuum.

Plus, the place attracts a bad crowd. Beggars out front, pretending to be blind. Some of ’em even using my(!) canes as fake props.
“Give to the Venetian Blind!” one’s got scrawled on a sign. As if we don’t have enough charity-cases on our Home-Planet. ‘Of course they’re blind.’, I thought to myself. ‘800 degree sulphuric-acid at 50 times Earth’s atmospheric pressure kinda does that to a man.’ Rots his mind too. ‘
Case in point, the guy next to him: Sitting there at a table in mirror black wrap-arounds, Fisher-Price ‘A Child’s First Stethescope’
around his neck and a half(?) of a probably stolen pair of cheap binoculars in his hand. Sign says: Over 50? When’s the last time you looked at Uranus?’ I just stood as silently as a ghost in front of him, thumbed my nose, made a bunch of other quietly-annoying faces, until he finally broke:
“Who you looking at, asshole?” He asks, doing what we used to call ‘fer-schnapping his-self.’ That’s when an imposter blows his own cover out of ‘ignerenz’, or whatever they call it these days.
Anyway, Candy called me before I got too ‘one-on-one’ with this repeating decimal of a fractional human:
“Let ’em alone, honey, they know not what they do.”
she says.
“Great, neither do I.” I told her, walking back to my/our Cane-o-rama. She’s always so ‘biblical’, that girl. Prolly even wore a bib as a child. Yeah, mebbe that’s what happened. She be cute though.
So yeah Spring. The endive does look like seaweed , ya gotta admit. ‘Sargasso # 9’, that’s the Variety, if you wanna grow it yourself. Tastes better if you’re blind. So they say.

Let’s fix The Guy’s grammar…or mebbe not?

As expected, he’s done it again. No sooner did ‘less people’ start ‘wearing a watch’ than the Poster-boi of the Front Page comes out with this.

Now obviously, people of even modest intellect should know that the proper wording is “Who’s you’re daddy?”, or something like that. We’ll let the other gaffes here slide, for now…
    Anyway, I do have a small and entirely earnest question for my readers: Should we tell him?
(As opposed to just writing a snarky little entry like this one, here on a backwater site which he studiously has never read in his life. Doing that just smells so, you know, passive-aggressive, and I’m trying to quit that.)


The first, head-on approach (honest confrontation) has at least the small hope of fixing the problem: the embarrassment of having friends see stuff like this on ‘my’ Xanga web platform.
But yes, it may backfire. Cause hard feelings.
Although possibly, if I word my comment like…um…like this:

Looks like we had different Dads. Mine taught me, way back before I could even drive a fire-engine, that the contraction for ‘Who is’ is “Who’s” And so always, after we’d finally put the fire out, he’d let me ask the men “Who’s holding whose hose?” In exactly those words. I never forgot it. Wish you’d have been there.

I think it’s kinda mild. Enlightening but not scolding or pedantic.
See, no one really knows if he’s really borderline-literate, or just doesn’t care enough not to put errors into every second post. That’s the real question, I guess.
What does anyone think?



Wu: There went your wanna-be @seedsower Mr Congeniality Badge!
Me: Whadya mean? I planted a ton of lettuce this morning.
Wu: No, I mean, like, why do you need enemies?
Me: Here’s the question, Woozie: Does Johnny also have any rights? To see his second language treated with respect? By headliners at least?
Wu: Maybe. But some day you’re house’ll be on fire, and he’s jus gonna say: “First, lets see who’s house this is. This may take all day…”
Me: I’ll wear a watch, just in case.

Instructions/Anleitung/Instrucciones/инструкци


Français: Je suis dans la douleur de penser à tout la futilité de la conquête normande. Pourquoi avons-nous même pas la peine? Bien sûr, ils ont reçu un quelques mots, comme garage et ménage à troix, mais les sauvages primitifs encore appelez l’eau «water», et non pas «eau».
Oh, et appuyez sur «On» pour le ON et OFF pour éteint. LOUD rend plus fort. Et maintenant, mon mal à la tête déjà.


Deutsch: Die stolzen deutschen Volkes grüßen euch für diesen Kauf.
Ein Volk, ein Verstärker. Drücken Sie ON für  EIN und OFF für AUS.


Español: Queremos que usted disfrute de este dispositivo. Con todo nuestro corazón. Reproduce tu música a todo volumen. Si algunos gringo no le gusta, le llaman racista al.


Русский: Да, мы говорили, что “Мы вас похороним” Этого не произошло Вы ждали в очереди по три..
дней, чтобы купить этот гаджет. Просто включите его. Если это не работает, используйте молоток.


English: Finally, a real f*cking language that normal people can read! Hit the ‘ON switch to
turn it on, the OFF to turn it off, and ‘LOUDER’ to make it louder. Jezuz, how tough is that?


Wu: So this is what you go through just to get the stupid hair-dryer to run?
Me: Oui/Ja/Si/Да/Yup. But all it plays in ‘Blowing in the Wind’. Prolly something I’m doing wrong...

Purple Asters are forever. OK, 7 years, with good behavior

       A little practice for if I ever dumbly decide to raise crops which actually make money.
I sold plenty of black-eyed peas this year. Fifteen shekels for a kilo. That’s about $2 a pound.
Fine, you ‘lose a little on each basket-load, but make it up on volume.’ Somebody explain how that works; I think it’s a joke.
    The real joke, on me, is that, were I a care-free free-spirit, like @ordinarybutloud, I’d switch gears, take a chance, ‘you only live once’, ‘go with your passion’.
Not that I’m passionate about cannabis, Haven’t touched it in 40 years, what with meth, junk, acid, stuff like that who’s got time for pot?
Well some folks do, and they like to pay big shekels.
And for my part I enjoy raising plants. A perfect match.
It’s only when you have to talk to a man in uniform that you get second thoughts:



” ‘Morning officer. Yeah I heard about that little runaway doggie. Think he went that-a-way.”
“Nice try, Bub. I’m here to visit your garden.”
“Don’t you guys ever call first? Give me a chance to, you know, to clean up a bit.”
“No problem sir. Place looks pretty nice as it is. Sooo, you like flowers?”
“Well yeah, depending who I’m talking to. I mean chicks like flowers, you know what I’m sayin’?”
“These little guys over here, they look pretty healthy.”
“Nah, you wanna see healthy, come, let’s go up an’ look at the godetias, nemesias, passifloras; you’ll forget where you were.”
“No, I’m kinda interested in these here, oddly. They’re…”
Purple Asters, proud to say. Says so right on the sign I made. Raised ’em from seed.”
“Yeah, that’s always a problem in our country; finding good seed. Tell me, where did you manage to find these?”
“Oh, some guy at a kiosk gave ’em to me, to raise. He’d overheard me talking about gardening.”
“Lucky you. Got his number, by any chance? “
“No, sorry, guy. He just took mine, said he’d call sometime; Wants ’em back when they get big. He told me they have these gorgeous purple flowers, but there’s a trick making ’em bloom, so he’ll do that part for me.”
“And what does your friend look like?”
“Oh, not a friend, actually. Sorta average, dark hair, medium build. I didn’t pay much attention. Haven’t ever seen him there again since.”
“You’d probably be fascinated to know we got a nice lab, in-house: put in a sample and it reads out genus and species.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Latin’s so cold, so clinical. I’ll just live with ‘Purple Asters’.”

“So maybe I’ll just borrow one of these right here. You can come down to the station to get it back when we have the answer.”

“Nah. It’s really not important to…”
“You know something…what’d you say your name was?”
“Um… ‘Hezi'”
“Hezi what?”
“Hezi Greblos. I’m new here. Didn’t even get a chance to register with the Population Ministry yet.”
“OK, so anyway, ‘Hezi’, these plants look so much like another plant I’m familiar with.”
“Yeah, small, green, couple-a-leaves. Hard to tell most plants apart.”
“They even smell like ’em, I could swear.”
“My apologies, Lieutenant. Skunk came through here last night, he  an’ the kitty had a fight. Damn, the whole place stinks. And you should see my little kitty! C’mon, lets meet the poor fella. Think he’s down there near where you parked.”

“Look here, Solberg. We know everything. Let’s not play games. You wanna make this easy?”
“Actually, I kinda get off on bein’ a wise guy, tell the truth.”
“Think again. I can introduce you to some other men who  love flowers…”
“So what you sayin’? Fifty-fifty?”
“You were dropped on your head, Solberg? Eighty-twenty. And dry, no sticks and stems.”
“Fuck. I’d rather just bury ’em in the compost. You can even watch. Only take a second…”
“Little late for that, kid. We got a deal? Or mebbe you wanna try on these matching wrist-bands. Sorry, no watch. It’s back-ordered…”
“Ok, Officer dirt-ball. But I don’ wanna see any of your goons around here for the next six months. One badge in my face and I sing like a bird, got that?”
Purple Asters. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Nice garden, Hezi. Knock ’em dead.”
Exit.


At least that’s the plan.
 If I needed one.
Which I don’t.

Dear Agent ‘X’: Joe Bell ex-tolls 4 U

     Midnight at X-Lax Int’l Airport. The flight from Teh-ran’s got a delay and ‘Teh-Runs’ have got Joe Bell. Terminal food always spelled the end of his digestive ex-tract, but no, he can’t afford to leave; somebody has to ex-tend his place in line.

A girl, she may be The One, finally strolls aloofly into Receptions. Joey gazes at her ex-pert features; he’s such a sucker for ex-ample breasts. Ex-tradition dies hard. They ex-change looks, and then glance at each other. And as she passes by she whispers, nonchalantly: “You know ‘The Graverobber’s Lament?”
The blood rushes back to Joe’s thinking head. “What an odd question to ex-pose?” is his first thought. “Yes? No?” He knows he has only one chance, no reprieve. You could cut the ex-tension in the hall with an ex-act…oh… knife.
The Agent (?)  finds an excuse to dawdle, and Joe, already dreaming of holding her in his ex-tender arms finally comes out with it:
“No, but ex-hume a few bars and I’ll probably recognize it.”
She smiles cautiously, hints for him to follow her. Out of  earshot she allows a quick, quiet “Glad to see this ex-pand out.” They walk on anonymously.
“We’re in the right ex-ile for the luggage ex-claim?” she asks him, loudly, for public consumption.
“Yes Ma’am. Can I ex-hale you a cab?” Joe inquires, a bit too breathlessly.
“That’d be sweet” ‘X’ smiles, eyes like honey.
In the taxi, after asking the driver to turn on the radio, they relax a bit.
“Look, this isn’t about getting into my ex-panse.” she joked, ex-pressing her face against his, just for a second, after looking in the rear-view.
Joey Bell feels happy all over. His stomach also. ‘X’  too.
“So glad it’s someone like you this time,” ‘X’ uded. “Last mission was some shitty ex-Crete ex-pat.  He was a chemist and a priest. Didn’t trust a soul. I had to ex-pound on the Periodic Table for an hour until he bought me.”
“Jeezuz. Sounds like a failure to ex-communicate!” Joey laughed.
Feeling brave, he turned to her:
“X, will you be my ex-wife?”
“Shhh. The naugahyde has ears.” her finger at her lips, “We’ll get ex-cited for mixing spooks and pleasure…Wait, wasn’t that our ex-it?!” she looked out the window into the speeding darkness.
“Yep, that was it.” Joey gulped. “Guess it’s time to drop this silly “ex” thing and get serious.”
“Easy for you to say” ‘X’ smiled.



The End

Wu: That’s a pretty preposterous I-spy code-language. Hope the future of the sane world doesn’t hang on it.
Me: You were ex-pecting the Real Thing? “Those who tell don’t know..” And its converse.
Wu: And the chick? That’s pretty much a day-to-day thing with you-uns guys?
Oh sure. Gotta ‘bond’, ya know…

Dogfights in 3000 solid overcast and New Teeth

    Our world-class IAF routinely uses the airspace over my house for exercises. This morning a pair of F-16Is, judging by the empty hard-points on the wing, have been playing with the cloud boundary level, exploring the transition between visual contact and radar acquisition, I’m guessing. They take turns being the cat or the dog, hiding and revealing themselves for the kill. I wish them both good hunting. Might be the only thing protecting us from the rabid canines in Tehran. (That, and some ‘larger munitions’ we may or may not have wisely decided to build down in the desert decades ago, knowing that the brain-dead goons corrupting the possibly-salvagable message of Islam would likely turn the religion into a virus infecting the planet sooner or later.)



Ok, teeth.
I was initially sad to feel with my tongue the strengthening-bunker of space-age plastic behind my new temporary incisors/cuspids on the roof of my mouth. I felt I’d been ‘had’. Sad and disappointed.
But as customary, a few hours on Google/Wiki, bless their hearts, reassured me that anything which helps the 10 titanium screws in my jaw-bone-of-an-ox to knit with the bone is an acceptable price. I try to remember that in the middle of the night when, like Oliver Sack’s deluded souls, I fight to rid my mouth of this foreign-body. Glad it’s not an imposter arm or leg.
It’s difficult to take a picture of one’s teeth.
 I’ve not yet told the good news to some of my ‘free-soft-food’ providers. Small of me, but I continue thereby to receive care-packages of delicious warm-it-ups. Meanwhile, secretly, I can  creditably bite through any but the toughest steaks. This does wonders for my damaged self-esteem. Man vs the Beast, you know, still relevant after all these millenia


I must say that I still have no final theory on what happened. An alien encounter seems most likely. I shall explain:
Lost Time: I awoke cold and un-conscious on the road-side. Took a surprisingly long time to register what might have happened. Yes, my bike was there behind me (where the lizards from Antares slyly left it?) but I sure as f*ck don’t remember falling. Plenty of time for a ride in an anti-gravity starship.
The Teeth??? Where are my teeth?? I searched the ground, both five minutes after regaining consciousness and several times since, with a magnifying glass. The area is clean, and if my teeth, all five of them, were ever there I would have found them. What exquisite secrets they must contain for the Perseid Dental Corps, who are fighting as we speak over the rights to examine them, like with the Moon Rocks.
The Leg Thingie?? What appeared at the out-set to be a simple bruise on my left leg quickly developed into a dripping open wound. Liquids of all colours poured from a quarter-sized hole in my leg. WTF?  Pre-occupied with my other injuries (abrasions on both hands which have taken six weeks to even start to heal) I simply left The Phenomenon to attend to itself But I now have what feels for all the world like an apple or a Transmitter in my leg. A large hard object buried there. I want it removed, (but not before I down-load the play-lists). Seriously, the thing feels big enough that, with an internal antenna, it could be up-dating my every move to the Pleiades on 6 gigaHertz. Not that I go anywhere suspicious these days.
Butt-hole? Whew. Forget that part. The extra-terrestrial perverts must have wisely figured that there’s no Cosmic Wisdom down there. Pretty sure if I’d been probed I would have known it by now. So at least there’s that…
Seriously, I do understand better the propensity of folks less versed in science to jump onto the abduction band-wagon in cases like mine. If nothing else, it helps you to feel like less of a dumb-fuck for simlpy (sp?)  falling off your bike.If that’s what happened??? 



I do want to thank, from the bottom of my teeth, all those whose expressed, or even thought to, their well-wishes. Love like that don’t grow on trees, on this planet at least…