30 June 2008

Creative Writing: Part the Fifth - the Request Post

Helloooo, campers! It's Monday, and you know what that means! Oh, well, yes, it does mean that. But what I was talking about is that it's time to submit your comments/snippets for this week's installment of the "Bob Locks in Two Days of Posting Per Week With One Idea" aka "Creative Writing Post"!

So, leave me something like...


The seed taters had, as usual, eyes. What was unusual was that the eyes were looking at her malevolently.


And come Saturday, I'll weave all the comments into a reasonable and coherent whole. Or try to, at any rate.

Links to previous Saturday Fiction entries can be found in the sidebar. --->

29 June 2008

Sunday Night Limerick

There once was an Norskie named Aslo
Who hailed from the city of Oslo
He moved from the city
And man, it 'tweren't pretty
On the ice he learned to keep his ass low

Praise Pedantry!

Amen. That's all I have to say to this.

Okay, I will say more.

I know that English is a living language, and therefore constantly changing. That's fine, as long as the change makes sense. Confusing "rein" and "reign"? Not so sensical.

Of course, my mom is a retired English teacher, so what do I know?

Sunday Video

I was having a chat with a friend, and something happened that reminded me of a scene from the Danny Kaye movie, The Court Jester. We use GMail to chat, and (probably as in most chat platforms) when the one with whom you are conversing is entering text, it says "____ is typing...". Well, I saw that message for quite some time, and when she hit enter, all that popped up was "Okay."


Anyway, I looked for just that scene, which I have always thought was one of the funniest in the film (which, if you haven't seen... please do. You'll laugh a lot, I promise). Alas, I could only find it as part of a compilation of scenes from the movie, posted below. The one I'm talking about begins at approx 2:40 into the clip, with "the moment" at 4:45.

28 June 2008

Saturday Fiction 4


It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, out on the edge of... wait, that's not right. *Ahem*

It was a slow week in the city in the mountains. I was still hoping to hear from Arianne, but was beginning to think that it would never happen. I had several of my PI compatriots all over the country looking out for any info about her, but all I could do was wait... and empty yet another bottle of gin as I sat at my desk brooding.

I was thinking about going down to the liquor store to get a fresh bottle, when my office door opened and in walked a tall blonde. She crossed the room and sat across the desk from me, flipping her long, silken hair over her shoulder.

"I understand you're a Private Investigator," she said as she pulled a cigarette from a silver case and lit it.

"Yes, I am," I answered, sliding the half-full ashtray across the desk. "It says so, right on my door."

"Oh. I ... didn't notice." She sat for a minute, silently smoking her cigarette. I was just about to ask if she needed my services when she spoke up. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have come here. Forgive me for bothering you."

She stood up and turned to leave, and I said "Wait, Miss ...".

I could see the hesitation on her face as she stood there considering her next move. Finally she sat back down. "Davis. Eloise Davis. I work in the research labs over at the university, and we have a ... situation going on. I was hoping you'd be able to help out."

"My standard rate is 200 a day, plus expenses," I told her. She nodded her head and proceeded to explain the problem.

"As I said, I work in the university labs. I specialize in AI - that's artificial intelligence. For the last three years my team has been working on designing intelligent home appliances. Not mindless robots that follow pre-programmed instructions like a Roomba, but ones that will actually foresee and take care of all housekeeping needs. These days, with two - or even three - income households being the norm, people just don't have the time and energy to maintain a spotless home.

"Anyway, two months ago, we got a grant from a new patron. It was a very large grant, but it came with a couple of provisos - one of which was the addition of a new researcher, Dr. Gary Smedlin. That's when the trouble started." She paused for a moment, then asked "May I use your restroom?"

"Help yourself," I said, gesturing to the door. I waited while she ... took care of business, and when she came back out I said, "I'm not sure how I can help. The only knowledge I have of computers is the PIN number for my ATM card." This wasn't exactly true, as I had both a MySpace page and accounts at several online poker sites, but that wasn't important now.

"Oh, it's not the science that I want to to look at," she replied as she looked in the full-length mirror on the wall next to the bathroom door. "I want you to check out Dr. Smedlin. There's something ... creepy about him." She was checking her stockings in the mirror when the phone rang.

"Noir," I said, speaking into the phone. It was my landlord, reminding me that the rent had been due the week before. I sighed and said, "Yeah, I've got a case I'm looking into right now. I'll have the money for you by the end of the week," and hung up the phone. "Looks like you've hired yourself a private eye, Miss Davis."

She gave me directions to her lab, and Smedlin's address, and I told her I'd be by later that day.


After she left I went down to the Five Spot for a cup of Jimmy's famous coffee, to help clear my head. Jimmy set the cup of steaming hot java in front of me and said, "Gee, Guy, you look like you've been run over. What gives?"

"Just keep the pot handy, Jimmy. I'm not in the mood to talk," I answered. I grabbed the powdered creamer container to add to my cup, but when I turned it up nothing came out. Peeking in the opening in the top, I saw that it was empty. Jimmy got me a fresh container, and I proceeded to drink three cups of the strong brew before I felt up to hailing a cab for the trip across town to the university.

Forty-five minutes later I walked up to the door of the lab where Davis - and Smedlin - worked. As I reached up to knock, I heard a scream, and then laughter, from inside. A quick check confirmed that my Special was in its shoulder holster, and I opened the door to see what was going on.

Eloise stood in one corner of the large room, a large shop-vac vacuum cleaner spinning around wildly, spewing water near her. Over by a bank of computers stood the laughing man - it must have been Smedlin. There was a look of mania in his eyes as he laughed, and I shivered a bit at the sight of it. When Smedlin saw me, he stopped laughing and ran over to the shop-vac, yelling imprecations at the appliance and flipping a switch on the side of an odd-looking box mounted to the side of the vac.

The vacuum cleaner took the tirade in stride, and calmly continued its task, sucking up the water that it had just spewed all over the lab.

"Who is this, Davis? Some knight in," he looked at my rumpled clothing, "dingy armor, come to 'save' you?" Smedlin cackled as he returned to his side of the research lab.

"I've had enough of you and your petty, insane practical jokes, Smedlin," Eloise hissed at his back as she stalked across the room, the squelching of her sodden shoes sending the mad scientist into further gales of laughter.

I fixed Smedlin with a gimlet eye, and said, "Soggy socks will never stop her." Adventures require fortitude, and we were going to experience much worse than wet feet. But I didn't yet know that.

"Who the hell are you, and why are you here?" Smedlin yelled, flipping a switch on the side of an iron, which started working on a pair of slacks lying on an ironing board. The shop-vac saw this, moved over to the ironing board and latched on to the dangling pant leg.

Before I could answer the question, the iron attacked the shop-vac and Smedlin reached for the off switches on the two appliances. The iron dodged his attempt and leaped across the ironing board and onto the adjacent counter top. The shop-vac tried to get away from the scientist, to no avail. Smedlin straightened from flipping the switch, thinking all was under control again, but then the iron got involved and it was asymmetrical warfare all over again.

The iron managed to reactivate the shop-vac, which in turn powered up a weed trimmer and a chainsaw, and ... the results weren't pretty. When the fury in the middle of the room subsided, there wasn't much of Smedlin left in one piece - but the bits lying about weren't human, they were machine parts. After making sure that the rogue appliances weren't going to attack Eloise or myself, I reached down and picked up the head of the "scientist", which was trailing hundreds of wires which had been attached to various other bits.

The back of the head popped open, and inside was a small jar. The jar contained a thick black sludge that looked as if it might be a new, or alien, life form. It had several wires of different gauge running from it to clusters of relays inside the head. Looking more closely at the jar, I discovered that there was a dead cockroach inside it.

I looked at Eloise, who was shaken but recovering, and said, "I'm assuming this was a straightforward case of insect asphyxiation."

....


It has come to my attention that not everyone is familiar with A Prairie Home Companion and the character of Guy Noir. I find this information difficult to absorb, but then I'm weird like that. I hope Garrison Keillor won't be upset that I'm using this iconic character.

27 June 2008

All The World's Ills ...

Can be traced to one thing:



And now we know.

(h/t to FranIAm)

Friday Morning Quickie

In the long-lost country of Upper Farawayia, there was great excitement. After thousands of years without contact with the outside world, the benevolent and hereditary leader, The Shan, had decided to open the borders to limited trade and interaction.

The people oohed and aahed at the bits of technology that merchants brought to them (while secretly feeling smug that these outsiders had limited telepathic abilities - the Farawayians were by no means 'backwards'), but decided by unspoken agreement that they would not allow their nation to be cluttered by materialistic things.

The one exception was to convince The Shan to accept a gift of an automobile from her loving people. After comparing models, the Committee to Select a Car chose a brand new metallic purple Honda to be the new conveyance for The Shan.

With great pomp, The Shan and her entourage set out on a progress, visiting all corners of Upper Farawayia to thank the people for the fine gift.

In the small mountain village of Phylesia, however, tragedy struck. As The Shan was giving a speech to the villagers, somehow the emergency brake on the car disengaged and the vehicle suddenly started rolling forward. Everyone was so entranced by The Shan's speech, that none noticed the hurtling car until it was too late.

"Oh, my God!" one of the villagers cried out. "The Fit has hit The Shan!"

26 June 2008

This Post Is Not About Sunspots

This post is about blog visitors and from whence they came.

I love the InterWebs Tubes. In the last 12 hours alone, I've had visitors from all these countries:










Can you name them all, WITHOUT USING A SEARCH ENGINE (or rolling over the images, cause I didn't change the names when I uploaded them)?

(and, yes, I know there's a trick in there. Do you?)

How To Speak Republican!

I seem to be all about the companion posts these days. I found this one over at Monkey Muck, and it's the natural complement to the "I'm Voting Republican" post I put up a couple weeks ago.



(for any who can't see the video, the secret is to use the word "liberal")

Should We Just Go Ahead And Cancel July 4th Celebrations?

Read this now.

Ancestors of mine fought and died in the American Revolution, and, according to my cousin's research, one of them was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.

Sorry, guys, that we couldn't hold on to that which you believed, even to the point of death.

Python Random Thor's Day




25 June 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Thank Dog My Phriends Reminded Me It's Wednesday Or I Would Have Totally Spaced On This Edition



Helllooooooo!

First Wednesday of Summer!

Ummmm,.... Yes.

I could use a beer.

How 'bout you?

Straight Talk From the Horse's ....



Yes!
No!
Maybe!

"My wife is a trollop and a c*nt!"

24 June 2008

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?



My parents grew up during the Great Depression. They never were part of the images above or below, mainly because they were from poor families to begin with, and had gardens and livestock. But they were aware of what was going on in the country, and I know that they hoped that their children would never have to experience the like. It appears that their hope may not be successful.



From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal:


The chaos that erupted outside Milwaukee County's main welfare office Monday over disaster-related food aid had more to do with a weak economy and crushing poverty in parts of this community than the devastating floods that swept through the state earlier this month, local government and food relief officials said.
...
"We expect long lines for free food in Third World countries," Hines said. "We don't expect a line of 2,500 people waiting for food vouchers" in Milwaukee.


Let's keep turning food into fuel, okay? Because having corn-based biofuel in your tank is much more important than something silly like, oh, I don't know ... allowing other people to be able to feed their kids.

Oh, and what were those profits for Bush Buddies Big Oil last quarter, again?

23 June 2008

Ememe

Meaning, I received this one via email....


2008 QUESTIONNAIRE

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your
friends. Change all the answers so they apply to you, and then
send this to your friends including the person who sent it
to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little
things about your friends that you might not have known!



1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:00am

2. Diamonds or pearls? As I'll never be able to afford either, meh.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Heh. Star Trek: Generations, I believe. Yep, haven't been to a cinema in around ten years.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Current? LOST All time? M*A*S*H

5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Coffee

6. What is your middle name? Robert

7. What food do you dislike? Asparagus

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Live at the Quick

9. What kind of car do you drive? 1993 Dodge Spirit (with only 85k miles)

10. Favorite sandwich? Reuben (and let me tell you, it's hard to find a really good reuben around here)

11. What characteristic do you despise? Hypocrisy

12. Favorite item of clothing? My little black dress ... errr, wait. I don't have one of those! So... my Lleu t-shirt that I got for my birthday 12 years ago.

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? /smiles/

14. Are you an organized person? The answer to that is somewhere under the pile of papers next to me....

15. Where would you retire to? The drawing room.

16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I remember last year's, does that count?

17. What are you going to do when you finish this? Post it.

18. Furthest place you are sending this? Out to the entire InterWebs Tubes, so everywhere!!1!

19. Person you expect to send it back first? The first person to read it

20. When is your birthday? 11 July (see my wishlist in the sidebar if you care to celebrate it with me ;) )

22. What is your shoe size? 11½ EEE

23. Pets? As often as I can. Oh, you mean do I have any? Yup. Muh kittehs, Puff and Callie.

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? No.

25. What did you want to be when you were little? An astronaut. But then I got bigger and bigger ... and bigger. I quickly outgrew the height limitation.

26. How are you today? Sad that George Carlin died, but otherwise okay.

27. What is your favorite flower? Whatever fragrant blossoms are now in season.

29. What are you listening to right now? Classical music on the radio.

30. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Dunno.

29. What was the last thing you ate? Popcorn.

31. Do you wish on stars? Sometimes, but more often on the moon (my ruling planet).

32. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Purple

33. How is the weather right now? Be-yoo-ti-ful!

34. Last person you spoke to on the phone? If Skype counts, my Dad. Otherwise, my friend Crystal.

35. Favorite soft drink? Don't drink soft drinks,unless they have liquor in them. ;)

36. Favorite restaurant? Jack of the Wood, in Asheville (they have really good reubens... not to mention Green Man beers, brewed on-site).

37. Hair color? Dark brown

38. What was your favorite toy as a child? My Red Rider BB gun (no, I didn't put my eye out).

39. Summer or W Chrissiinter? WTP does that mean?

41. Chocolate or Vanilla? Duh. Chocolate.

42. Coffee or tea? Coffee

43. Do you want your friends to email you back? Well, as I'm posting this on my blog, I don't see as how that's necessary, but if any of them want to, sure.

44. When was the last time you cried? One day last week.

45. What is under your bed? The steering wheel of the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago) - I built a bed shelf over the 'cockpit' several years ago.

46. What did you do last night? Chatted with a dear friend, and the second string as well.

47. What are you afraid of? Another Republican administration. Ever.

48. Salty or sweet? I am both.

49. How many keys on your key ring? One.

50. How many years at your current job? I've been working for Gentleman Farmer since 2001, on and off.

51. Favorite day of the week? A day is a day is a day.

52. Do you make friends easily? Kinda. It depends on the person.

53. How many people will you send this to? Approximately 6.5 billion

54. How many will respond? A helluva lot less than 6.5 billion!

55. Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends? Yes, it's nice to get to know friends better.


NOTE: The questions are numbered just as I received them. I have no idea what happened to the missing questions. If you see them, let me know.


If you read this, you must answer or you will break the chain, and your inbox will be flooded with "Viarga[sic]" and "Baby Maker" spams. Or not.

Is It Just Me...

...or is there something that just doesn't sound right about the following:


the Sierra Club and our friends at the United Steelworkers (USW) jointly endorsed Barack Obama for President.

(from an email received this morning)

The Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers, eh?

Is that anything like "and the lion shall lie down with the lamb"?

Creative Writing: Part the Fourth - the Request Post

Okay folks, it's time to give me some snippets, some quotes to use, some bit of action, some ... thing - which I will (attempt) to weave into a coherent story.

Something along the lines of:


The vacuum cleaner took the tirade in stride, and calmly continued its task.


Results of the previous "chapters" can be found in the sidebar, over ---->

RIP George

A cache of Carlinania (so called because he was a master of pointing out the inane - with a h/t to Jen):



So sad.

Here's more of the master of linguistic comedy. (unembeddable)

Carlin on "Countdown" (transcript):



Here is (for those who can't watch videos) a transcript of Carlin's diatribe on Religion, and here is his monolog on "Transhumanism".

22 June 2008

REVA*



Jen pointed me to this one. The title translates correctly as "Virtual Eruptions". However, in Spanish (or so Jen tells me - and I have no reason to doubt her), "erupciĆ³n" also translates as "burp".

Look at the photo again.


*"RiƩndose en Voz Alta" or "Laughing out Loud"

21 June 2008

Saturday Fiction 3


Teresa was on her way to Las Vegas, having gotten a tip that Bill and Jerry had been spotted at the Luxor, when her cell phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Teresa, it's Lynne," came the response. "I've got good news for you. We've decided to push up the release date of your book to next week."

Teresa had been waiting months to hear this news, but was, for the moment, confused - her mind was so focused on getting to Vegas before Bill left town.

"I'm sorry?" she asked. "Book? ... Oh! Why, that's great!"

"I thought you'd be happy," Lynne replied. "But I need you to be in New York this afternoon. We've booked you on Regis & Kelly to talk about it. There's a ticket waiting at the airport for you. Oh, and make sure you pack a green outfit."

Why was green so very important? She had no idea. But that really wasn't a concern right now. "Ummm, I'm not at home. I'm on I-40 between Flagstaff and Kingman, on my way to Vegas." She hesitated, not wanting to say why she was on her way to Vegas. Somehow, she didn't think that telling her editor that she was on her way to kill her ex would be a career plus.

"Vegas? Okay,... we can get you a ticket on the red-eye into New York, and I'll get someone to pick up an outfit for you." Lynne said. "Postpone your gambling and head to the airport. I'll have a driver waiting at Newark, to take you to your hotel. See you in the morning!" ... and she hung up.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit... Teresa thought as she dropped the cell phone on the seat beside her....

Meanwhile, in Vegas............

Bill awoke from a deep sleep and looked around the room. Luckily, Jerry was not there. Breathing a sigh of relief, Bill let go of the closed umbrella he had been clutching when he finally drifted off to sleep, got up from the bed, and headed for the bathroom.

Bill wasn't sure what had been going on with Jerry the night before. He'd been perfectly content to let the laundry pile up in the corner. That is, until the pile started talking to him. Bill suspected it had something to do with the 300 pound Samoan he had seen talking to Jerry in the casino earlier. Something wasn't quite right about the guy - flailing his arms about like he was swatting at giant flies and all that.

As he stepped under the stream of hot water in the shower, he thought again about trying to call Teresa and seeing if he could explain. By the time he finished showering, he knew exactly what he would say to her ... if she answered the phone.

He reached for the towel and his hand closed on something unexpected. What was this? A second umbrella?...


Later that morning, in the Green Room of the Regis & Kelly show.......

Teresa finished off her fourth cup of coffee since awakening, confused, in her hotel room. She really needed to pee, but had been cornered by Regis, who was telling stories of his childhood, and Kelly - who was being very ... Kelly.

As Regis finished a story about how his mom did his nail polish the first time he cross-dressed, Teresa looked around desperately, hoping to catch Lynne's attention. Unfortunately, Lynne had left the room with one of the other guests, to do what Teresa didn't know. As Regis paused in his torrent of tales of his youth, Kelly piped up with a series of questions. When the host asked how A Wizard of Earthsea was different than Harry Potter, she sat stunned for a moment and then realized, she was in the presence of stupid people with no knowledge of classical fantasy.

Teresa stood up abruptly and she cried, "No more, no more" and ran out of the room. She ran down the hall and out to the street, where she stood stunned. It was raining, but it wasn't water falling from the sky. She started shaking her head in denial as she stared at the scene in front of her. It had been years since she had seen that many frogs in one place....


Back in Vegas............

Bill hurried down the hall of the luxury hotel, buttoning his shirt with one hand, and trying not to drop his shoes as he rushed for the elevator. Something was very wrong. He jabbed at the "G" repeatedly, hoping - as people in a hurry always do - that it would somehow speed up the process of the elevator doors closing and the car getting to its destination.

The elevator performed its duties in at its own pace, however, but eventually (to Bill's frantic thinking) opened the doors and let him out in the lobby. He ran past the slot machines and out the door, planning on grabbing the first taxi in line to get him the hell away from whatever was happening back in the room that he and Jerry had been sharing.

As the heat of a Las Vegas day hit him, he skidded to a halt, confused. There were no taxis or shuttle buses under the canopy. There was no valet, waiting for the next guest to arrive. There were no people visible anywhere. It was just too damn quiet outside....

____________

He looked up from the unfinished manuscript and around the nearly empty room. This was just one of many partial stories that Arianne had left behind when she abruptly closed her bakery and left town, and he had finally gotten around to putting them into storage. He couldn't bring himself to throw them away, hoping that she would someday return. Guy sighed again as he looked around the large apartment that Arianne and he had called home for the short time they were together.

The bells in the cathedral tolled 8, but it was only 3:45 as he reached over to get another box into which to put the stories and the other remainders of their relationship, and noticed that the boxes, once seemingly an endless pile, had suddenly run out. There was no container for the most precious of their belongings.

Then he noticed the TCU umbrella in the corner.



As always, the suggested bits are in bold. Links for the previous two editions can be found in the sidebar. Look for the next request post on Monday!!

The Inevitable Companion Post

...for the Which Superhero Are You post:

Which Supervillain Are You?

Your results:
You are Apocalypse





Apocalypse
61%
The Joker
54%
Poison Ivy
54%
Mr. Freeze
54%
Dr. Doom
53%
Magneto
50%
Dark Phoenix
50%
Riddler
50%
Venom
45%
Mystique
44%
Lex Luthor
39%
Juggernaut
28%
Kingpin
28%
Green Goblin
24%
Catwoman
20%
Two-Face
20%
You believe in survival of the fittest and you believe that you are the fittest.*


Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz


(h/t to SAP)

*Also? I so don't believe that. FWIW

20 June 2008

Have I Mentioned....

...that I love Firefox3?

It's faster, less of a resource hog, and...

Ever since I installed it, YouTube videos have been working for me again!!!!!

Yay, w00t, yee-ha, and yippeeeee!


That is all.

Heh



(h/t to BlueGal)

Happy Solstice and Break A Leg!

Today is the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is), also known as the Summer Solstice! The actual solstice will be at 7:59pm EDT, so be on the lookout for Oberon and Titania, and if you see a hat and cane with a donkey-head knob ... don't put it on/pick it up!!*

Also, tonight is opening night for the 58th season of the outdoor drama Horn in the West. I was a cast member of that show for several years, and I wrote a bit about it here (including a short clip of me singing).

It has been ten years since I was in the show, but I still remember it fondly. I was in over 250 performances, including several performances where I played the role of Preacher Sims - a part which I understudied all the years I was there. I miss doing the show, it was so much fun.

So, to all my friends who are still doing Horn, I wish you a heartfelt "Break a leg!" and good weather for opening night, and indeed, the whole season. I hope to be able to make it up to Boone to see the show sometime this summer, but if I don't, you can be sure I'm thinking of you guys.

(Wes Martin and Darrell King as Dan'l Boone and Rev. Isaiah Sims, respectively)


*An if thou know'st not of what I speak
then watchest thee this video (beginning at around 3:45 in)

19 June 2008

Thursday Python Random Monty SPECIAL BONUS EDITION

Your result for The Monty Python Character Test...

Centurion

You scored 60 Stubborn, 50 Crazy, 41 Agressive, and 60 Evil!






Appearance: Life of Brian



The black shadowed person in helmet.





High Light:



Latin Lesson.



Brian is writing a slogan to a wall, oblivious to the Roman patrol approaching from behind. The slogan is "ROMANES EUNT DOMUS".



Centurion: What's this then? "ROMANES EUNT DOMUS"? "People called Romanes they go the house"?

Brian: It, it says "Romans go home".

Centurion: No it doesn't. What's Latin for "Roman"?

Brian: (hesitates)

Centurion: Come on, come on!

Brian: (uncertain) "ROMANUS".

Centurion: Goes like?

Brian: "-ANUS".

Centurion: Vocative plural of "-ANUS" is?

Brian: "-ANI".

Centurion: (takes paintbrush from Brian and paints over) "RO-MA-NI".
"EUNT"? What is "EUNT"?

Brian: "Go".

Centurion: Conjugate the verb "to go"!

Brian: "IRE". "EO", "IS", "IT", "IMUS", "ITIS", "EUNT".

Centurion:So "EUNT" is ...?

Brian: Third person plural present indicative, "they go".

Centurion: But "Romans, go home!" is an order, so you must use the ...?


(lifts Brian by his hairs)


Brian: The ... imperative.

Centurion: Which is?

Brian: Ahm, oh, oh, "I", "I"!

Centurion: How many romans?

(pulls harder)


Brian: Plural, plural! "ITE".

Centurion: (strikes over "EUNT" and paints "ITE" to the wall)
(satisfied) "I-TE".
"DOMUS"? Nominative? "Go home", this is motion towards, isn't it, boy?

Brian: (very anxious) Dative?

Centurion:(draws his sword and holds it to Brian's throat)

Brian: Ahh! No, ablative, ablative, sir. No, the, accusative, accusative,
ah, DOMUM, sir.

Centurion:Except that "DOMUS" takes the ...?

Brian: ... the locative, sir!

Centurion: Which is?

Brian: "DOMUM".

Centurion: (satisfied) "DOMUM" (strikes out "DOMUS" and writes "DOMUM") "-MUM".
Understand?

Brian: Yes sir.

Centurion: Now write it down a hundred times.

Brian: Yes sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar, sir.

Centurion: (salutes) Hail Caesar.
If it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.

Brian: (very reliefed) Oh thank you sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar and
everything, sir!

Take The Monty Python Character Test at HelloQuizzy



(h/t to Wyldth1ng)



Thursday Python Random Monty

18 June 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Awesomely Awesome Solstice Moon Edition



Christina sent me this link, which explains part of this week's title.

Hello, phellow campers!!!!

Let's get this phyre started!!!

Munchies, mixers, and et cetera all in the usual places.

What be on ye mind, this e'en?

George W. Bush: Profile of Putrescence

Oh, what is it this time, you ask?

He speaks up for his BFF John "I Never Met An Issue I Couldn't Flip-flop On" McCain, and says we should open up the continental shelf for oil drilling.

From the NYT article:

President Bush urged Congress on Wednesday to end a federal ban on offshore oil drilling and open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration, asserting that those steps and others would lower gasoline prices and “strengthen our national security.”

[snip]
The party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, used a speech in Houston on Tuesday to say he now favors offshore drilling, an announcement that infuriated environmentalists who had long viewed him as an ally. Florida’s Republican governor, Charlie Crist, immediately joined Mr. McCain, saying that he, too, now wants an end to the ban.

[snip]
...Mr. Bush’s father signed a presidential executive order in 1990 banning coastal oil exploration, and Mr. Bush’s brother Jeb was an outspoken opponent of offshore drilling when he was governor of Florida.

Now, though, President Bush is considering retracting his father’s order. Although the chief White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said Mr. Bush “is not taking any executive action” on Wednesday, two people outside the White House said such a move was under serious consideration, and a senior White House official did not dispute their account.


But here's the best part:

No one knows for certain how much oil is in the moratorium area. The federal Energy Information Administration estimates that roughly 75 billion barrels of oil in the United States may be found in all areas of the country that are now off limits for development, and that 21 percent of this oil — or about 16 billion barrels — is covered by the offshore moratorium.


According to consumption statistics from 2006, the US uses 20,730,000 barrels of oil per day. So ... carry the one... that works out to approximately 711 days of oil consumption. In 2006. And I'm sure that in the eight to ten years it would take for those oil wells to begin producing that we would never increase our consumption of oil over 2006 levels.


George W. Bush. Still a douche. 215 days left until FREEEEEDOM!!!

16 June 2008

Creative Writing Threedux

Okay folks, you know the drill.

You give me snippets - something like:


The bells in the cathedral tolled 8, but it was only 3:45.


and I give you a story on Saturday (links to previous installments can be found in my sidebar).

So what are you gonna give me to work with this week? (Remember, it's more fun if you don't read the other comments before you leave your own!!)

15 June 2008

Father's Day Post

(my dad circa 1958)

Happy Father's Day to my Dad, my Brothers, and all the other dads out there!!!

(why isn't there an Uncle's Day?)

14 June 2008

Saturday Fiction

As you know, I am doing this as a weekly feature - well, until the creative well runs dry. Last week's story is here. This week's submissions are in bold (if you want to check up on me, the comment thread is here). Apologies to Garrison Keillor and the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson, but that's where your comments led me this week, folks.


It was a dark night in the city in the mountains. I had been hitting the bottle pretty hard at the Five Spot, my favorite watering hole. I dragged my bleary eyes up towards the clock behind the bar. At first, the clock on the wall read half passed[sic] a monkey's ass, a quarter 'til his balls, but after I rubbed my eyes, I realized that I was still mildly drunk and the clock really read 1:17a.m. Okay, I was more than mildly drunk. I was well on my way to being plastered... or beyond.

Jimmy wasn't there that night, and Ellen, the substitute bartender, could see the mood I was in and was setting down a fresh drink for me before I could even ask.

The rain was coming down outside like the flow of Niagara over the falls, and the frequent lightning showed the deserted late night streets of the "metropolis" of AsheVegas. Even the cabbies were laying low.

I told Ellen to not make me any more drinks, as I had an early appointment the next morning with a potential client. It was a simple check on a business partner who was thought to be skimming profits, but it promised to pay well - and I needed the bucks, as the rent on my office was past due.

All of us left in the bar turned to look as lightning struck a lamppost outside, the thunder loud enough to rattle the bottles of premium liquor on the top shelf behind the bar. The sound of the thunder echoed off the buildings of the city as I put on my raincoat and fedora.

Ellen asked me if I wanted her to call me a cab, but I told her the walk back to the office would be good for me - and that I was a private investigator, not a mode of transportation. As I stood there, wobbling slightly due to the alcohol and waiting in vain for her to laugh at my joke, I noticed it was silent outside. The rumble had subsided and I went outside at last.

I turned right to head down the street toward my office and the rumpled sofa I called my bed, and there she was. Tall and slim, with her long, curly red hair plastered to her head from the rain, she was wearing a white raincoat that looked like the repellent had worn out long ago. She was barefoot, and carrying one high-heeled shoe in her porcelain-skinned, long-fingered hand.

"Excuse me, sir," she said in a throaty voice that would warm an Iditarod racer who had been on the go all day in a blizzard. Do you know the famous detective, Guy Noir? The doorman at his building said he hangs out in the bar you just left."

"I not only know him, I am him," I replied.

"Wow," she said. "That's some kind of coincidence."

"I'm in no position to believe in coincidence."
She grabbed hold of me as another bolt of lightning struck nearby, wrapping her slim arms around my neck and holding on tight. I could feel her heart beating against my chest as she sobbed quietly.

She looked at me sheepishly as she released me and said, "I'm sorry, Mr. Noir. I'm a bit afraid of thunderstorms. I didn't hurt you, did I?"

"My neck hurts," I replied, still feeling the warmth of her being pressed against me, "but that's an old injury and not your fault. Why don't we go to my office and out of this storm, and you can tell me why you were looking for me?"

A part of me hoped another lightning bolt would cause her to grab hold of me again, as it had been some time since a beautiful woman had been that close to me, but we made it to the Acme Building without any of them. We went up the elevator to my floor and into my office. I went into my bathroom to get her a towel so she could dry her hair and face, and when I came back out I stood stunned for a moment.

She had taken off her raincoat, and stood there wearing a rain-soaked peasant blouse and a skirt so short I could see the bottom of the word "Saturday" embroidered on the back of her panties.

I handed her the towel and went to the closet to get her one of my spare shirts.

"Here," I said, handing her the shirt, "you can go into the bathroom and put this on. We can hang your blouse over the radiator to dry."

Her pale face turned red as she looked down at her blouse that was stuck to her like a second skin. "Thank you. I'm not leaving much to the imagination right now, am I?"

"I don't mind," I said quietly to her back as she walked into the bathroom and closed the door.

When she came out of the bathroom and laid her blouse and skirt on the top of the radiator, she told me why she had been looking for me. Her name was Arianne Campbell. She owned a small bake shop and cafe on the other side of town, and was having problems with the lawyer's office next door. There were all sorts of loud and strange noises coming from over there all day long, and it was scaring her patrons off.

While she told her story, I stood at the window watching the rain fall. I had heard of the shop she owned. It was one of those sketchy places, but the food was great. I had never been there myself, as I was the type that preferred street vendor hot dogs to gluten-free carob chip muffins.

When she fell silent, I turned to tell her my standard rates and saw that she had fallen asleep on the sofa. I sighed, pulled my tattered blanket over her, and sat down at my desk. I put my feet up on the desk and settled back to nap a bit myself, somewhat glad that we didn't negotiate my fee while I was drunk. That had never worked out well for me in the past....


The sound of the garbage truck backing into the alley outside my window woke me. The sun was low on the eastern horizon and just beginning to send its golden rays into my office. I looked over at the sofa and wasn't surprised to see it empty. I brewed a pot of coffee and washed my face, then decided, since my appointment wasn't for another two hours, to head over to her place - make sure she was okay and to return her clothes that she had left on the now cold radiator.

As the cab pulled up to her address, I could see her standing on the sidewalk in front of her shop. She sighed as she watched the hand-painted sign flapping loosely above her little bakery: 'Pie Dough and Trends'. Once, it had been the favorite haunt of the "in" crowd. Now, she was in jeopardy of losing it.

"Good morning, Miss Campbell," I said as I stepped up beside her and held out her blouse and skirt. "You left these at my office."

She flashed a brilliant smile at me and said "I hope I didn't wake you when I left. I needed to get over here and open up ... in case anyone shows up wanting food, that is." Her large blue eyes began welling with tears as she turned and unlocked the front door of the shop. "Let me repay your generosity from last night by fixing you some breakfast."

The strong coffee laying in my stomach lurched at the thought of a seven grain bagel joining it, and I graciously declined.

"Well," I said, "I might as well look in on your neighbor while I'm here." A large man with long curly hair had just unlocked and entered the lawyer's office and it appeared they were now open for the day.

"Oh, thank you, Mr. Noir!" she cried, hugging me tightly. I gave her a brief hug in return and then stepped through the door and into the law office. I was not prepared for the sight that greeted me.

The large man had taken off his overcoat, and was standing in front of a picture of a tropical beach, wearing only a long print Polynesian skirt.

"The Fucking Bees! Oh, Jesus God. Mother-kripes-fucker! What the poop!" he screamed at the picture. The picture on the wall just stared back at him. Never saying anything.

He noticed me then and spun around shouting something that sounded like .... Mommadaddy smelled like trees. Burnt trees on a sultry Sunday morning. But I couldn't understand him because there was a disgusting fluid bubbling out of his mouth as he tried to speak. He lurched toward me and, before I could completely react, puked on me. My hand was covered in sticky, putrid goo, and there wasn't a sink to be found. He grabbed a coffee mug off the desk and swatted at the air around his head. He then turned his crazed gaze on me again and held the mug out in front of me like a gun.

"Don't you point that coffee mug at me, young man!" I shouted at him, backing slowly toward the door.

"I'm from Samoa!!!" he gibbered. "The Devil not only made me do it, but he changed the mug from a .357 Magnum into what you now see." His eyes suddenly rolled back in his head, and I thought he was going to pass out.

Then he looked at me and said - in a calm voice, "Good morning, sir. May I help you? Let's go next door and get a bagel, okay?"

I followed him into Pie Dough and Trends, somewhat taken aback by his sudden change of demeanor, and looked over at Arianne as the Samoan lawyer went into the bathroom to wash up. I started to ask her if he was the only person next door when a scream from the bathroom echoed through the shop.

The door burst open and the Samoan stood there, drool dribbling from his chin and the crazed look back in his eyes. The so-called "luxury soap" left a nasty rash that crept up his forearms as he slowly advanced toward us, wielding a large sliver of broken mirror. Arianne screamed as he stabbed at me, and.....







Look for the new request post on Monday!!

13 June 2008

/Wonders If It's Possible to Hibernate Through the Summer/

I sat down this morning to write a political post ... but then I saw this over at Zaius Nation. More of the same from the Repellican Party. Dr. Z's final paragraph pretty much sums things up:


It's not like the the media isn't paying attention to the stark differences between Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain, however. I did find two different articles that cover this story in detail. One was from Korea and the other one was from Africa.


Go read the whole thing, please.

Pilfered From Pidomon: Which Superhero Are You?

I found this over at his place last night (he stole it from swinebread):

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Spider-Man
85%
Green Lantern
75%
Superman
60%
Iron Man
60%
Supergirl
55%
Wonder Woman
50%
Hulk
50%
Catwoman
45%
The Flash
45%
Robin
40%
Batman
20%
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.


Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...



And here I thought I'd be Ben Grimm (The Thing) or the Hulk.

12 June 2008

Thursdom Ranty Pyday Monthon

Ah, a classic -- err, that's Classical!



Oh!

Don't forget to (if you have not already) leave me a comment on this week's Creative Writing post! New story on Saturday!!

I'm Voting Republican!*

Thank Ceiling Cat YouTube worked (for a moment) this morning.



(h/t to Mustang Bobby)

*yes, it's satire.

11 June 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The No Spammers, My "Baby-maker" Does Not Need to be Updated Edition



Hello, All!

Does anyone ever really click on emails with those subject lines? Much less actually respond to them? I was cleaning out my spam folder this morning, and 12 of the 20 messages there had that subject line - or variations of it. Jeebus.

Anyway, it's time to light a Phyre!!! Don't worry, it's virtual and throws off no heat.

Whatchya got on yer minds, my phriends? Grab a beer (or gnat's piss if your name is pidomon) and speak up!!!

10 June 2008

Sometimes You Just Need a Quickie

To steal a line from the inimitable Dr. Zaius:

No time for blogging today!!!

Thunderstorms have been barreling through here this afternoon, and I've been unplugged quite a bit. Plus, I'm actually working on some writing for pay! (don't worry, it's a mere pittance - but a pittance is better than an empty belly!)

So, .... ummm,... check out my blogrolls! Yeah, that's the ticket! They all have awesome things to say on a regular basis, so visit early and visit often.

Oh, and if you haven't yet, leave a comment on yesterday's post so your bit will be included in this week's Creative Writing Exercise!

Heh. The Wagner overture "made famous" by Bugs Bunny's "What's Opera Doc?" is playing on the radio right now. How drollishly apropos, WCQS host!


/dodges lightning bolts to click "Publish Post" button/

09 June 2008

Coolest Photo of the ... Well, I'm Not Sure of the Timeframe Yet, But It's Pretty Dang Cool!




The Earth/Moon system as seen by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, currently in orbit around Mars.

(h/t Jeff Fecke at Shakesville)

Creative Writing Redux

Okay, I had so much fun with this post on Saturday that I'm gonna keep doing the same thing. For those who missed the setup the week before, what I'm doing is taking comments - a phrase or a "moment" of description - left in the designated thread (that would be this one) and writing a scene or possibly a complete short short story using all the comments - or as many as I can, as the case may be. An example might be:


"Don't you point that coffee mug at me, young man!"


I would like to add one thing. If you choose to leave a comment on this, please don't read the other comments (if any) before you leave yours. The challenge is for me to weave together unrelated bits into a coherent whole. I will post the new scene/story on Saturday.

So, whaddaya say?

08 June 2008

I Didn't Duck In Time

... so pidomon tagged me for this one.

Two by Two

Two Names You Go By
1. Phy/Phyd/Phydeaux
2. Bob

Two things you are wearing right now
1. Gym shorts
2. "Support Your Local Brewer" tee shirt

Two of your favorite things
1.Raindrops on roses
2.Whiskers on kittens

Two things you want very badly at the moment
1. For Gentleman Farmer to return from vacation next week and decide it's time to start one of the three big projects he's had "just waiting to start" for the last few months (which would mean steady - and good - income for a while)
2. A batch of brownies and some dark chocolate ice cream to go on top :)

Two favorite pets you have or had
1. Serena, who was my kitty for 18 years.
2. Ginger, who was a ginger chow, and the bestest, sweetest doggie ever.

Two people you hope will fill this out
1. Jen
2. Christina

Two things you did last night
1. Hung out at the VPub for a bit
2. Watched Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream

Two things you ate last night
1. Macaroni
2. Cheese

Two people you last talked to
1. Downstairs Neighbor's squatter
2. Downstairs Neighbor's boy toy

Two things you are doing tomorrow
1. Meditating
2. Who knows, it's not tomorrow yet

Two of farthest trips taken in the last 5 years
1. Rigel VII (but I'm not supposed to talk about that)
2. Ormond Beach, FL

Two favorite holidays
1. I don't do holidays
2. I still don't do holidays

Two favorite beverages
1. Stout
2. Iced tea (sweet)

07 June 2008

A Post For Saturday

As you may recall, last Saturday I had the idea that I would solicit "moments" from commenters and then weave them all into one story. Well, here 'tis (quotes in shades of red - thanks to Jen for pointing that out in comments):




Bill turned to Jerry and said, "Where did that armadillo come from?"

Jerry replied, "That's not an armadillo. It looks more like an armored dildo." His response was unsatisfactory on so many levels.
But then, Jerry was known for not being very satisfactory. On many levels.

Bill stood there, watching the armored critter scurry across the shimmering pavement, and it suddenly dawned on him that he'd made a terrible mistake. Jerry had convinced him to go on the road trip, using that last fight Bill had with Teresa as the ultimate goad. And now, she was desperately searching for him in order eliminate him from her life for good!

How could I have been so dumb? Bill thought to himself, thinking back to the scene a few days earlier.

I want my two dollars!" Teresa shouted over the thunder. Bill stood there, with a hurt look on his face. He'd laughed once when she said things like that. Now he couldn't even manage a smile. Their relationship had always been ... exciting and somewhat contentious, but for many years he had always enjoyed the friction - and the making up.

"Well? What do you have to say?" she asked.

"The drawing was a few minutes ago. If you'll switch the TV over to the news, they'll be showing the numbers. I may have already won?" he responded, his voice growing desperate as her face grew darker with what appeared to be true anger.

She considered a few possible responses, and then realized she had to leave before the rain began in earnest. "I just can't take it any more, Bill. We're broker than broke, and you're buying lottery tickets. I'll be ... I don't know. I just know I have to get out of here."

Teresa grabbed her keys and left, slamming the kitchen door behind her, which caused - as always - the lower cabinet door to swing open, and the mutated cockroaches which had taken up residence there were suddenly bathed in the bright light of the kitchen.

It became quite clear that the cockroaches - like Bill - had no other place to go. It was at that moment that Jerry showed up, and started talking about a road trip to Vegas....



Thanks for playing, everyone!!

06 June 2008

A New Post*

Gas hit $4.00 a gallon here this week, and my '93 Dodge Spirit gets a whopping 23mpg. So that means to drive over to Gentleman Farmer's and back now costs me about $12 dollars.

So I'm thinking about getting a scooter. (Cause I want to be like Christina) At somewhere between 50 and 75 mpg? It's a no-brainer. So, I'm searching the classifieds and Craigslist for a 150cc model (the 50cc + mountains + my size = walking is faster). Also, the route I prefer to take to get to GentFarm's is mostly back roads anyway, so the lower speed won't be a problem.

Wish me luck.

*Because Dusty said so, that's why.

05 June 2008

Wherein I Get All Philosophical






What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Existentialism

Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.



“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”

--Jean-Paul Sartre



“It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.”

--Blaise Pascal



More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...


Existentialism


95%

Hedonism


90%

Utilitarianism


80%

Justice (Fairness)


75%

Kantianism


65%

Apathy


45%

Nihilism


35%

Strong Egoism


30%

Divine Command


15%




(h/t to Liss)

Thursday Python Random Monty

04 June 2008

Pheaux Phyre Phorum: The Going Over to a Friend's House For Dinner and Not Sure What Time I'll Be Back Edition



So, now we're pretty sure that's it's gonna be Barack Obama -v- John McCain come November. This is gonna be "fun", where "fun" = "a pile of Republican-fanned racism and blatant lies".

But let's not talk about that tonight. In fact, let's talk about anything but that, kay?

03 June 2008

The Final Tuesday

Well, until 4 November, that is.

Those bellwether* states, Montana and South Dakota, are voting today in the final primaries of the season (and there was great rejoicing throughout the land). It is most likely that Barack Obama will have enough delegates in his column after today to be the unofficial "candidate presumptive". And, according to posts at Shakesville, Hillary Clinton may be conceding tonight, and - GASP!!11! - might even be considering accepting an offer to be the Vice Presidential candidate.

How awesome would that be, for the Dems to be running an African-American (a young one at that) and a woman ... against the GOP's same-old Old Rich White Dudez ticket (c'mon, you know McCain's gonna pick some rich old fart)?

In any case, I am so glad that the primaries are over!!!


*an etymological aside - I've always thought the word was "bellweather" and that it had its genesis in "bell" and "weather", but I was wrong. (mark this date) The word actually comes from "a wether or other male sheep that leads the flock, usually bearing a bell", according to the dictionary. Thus endeth today's lesson in wordiness.

02 June 2008

What I Didn't Tell You Friday

... when I posted about bush-hogging, basically because I was feeling brain-dead by the time I got home (spending hours sitting on a tractor in the sun will do that to you), was that in the middle of the afternoon, the tractor just ... died on me. Half a tank of diesel, and it just quit.

I left GentFarm a note, describing the 'symptoms' and went over to a friend's house. He and I got to talking about meditation, and he taught me a few simple techniques, which I have already found helpful. I've always been interested in meditation, but haven't been willing (or, most of the time, able) to shell out $$$ to get someone to teach me. So I was glad that my friend volunteered the info. He also showed me some Tai Chi body relaxation moves, which have also already proved beneficial.

Anyway, there's still several hours of 'hogging' to do, but that must wait for the tractor to be healed.

Don't forget to comment on my post from Saturday, if you have not yet done so! The deadline is Wednesday noon (my time, EDT).

01 June 2008

Change of Plans

Just a minor one.

After reading the first couple of comments on my previous post, I've decided that I will (attempt) to write a short story incorporating all the comments. If you haven't left one yet, please do so, either on that post or this one.

Any comments that come in before ... oh, let's say Wednesday, noon EDT, I'll try my best to include.

This could be fun.