The More Things Change the More They Remain

Even though it goes without saying, I’m gonna say it, “This world sure is a funny place.”space junk

I’ve written about other worlds, alternate Earths, parallel dimensions and none of them compare to the rock we call home.

As I have heard it said, and excuse me for paraphrasing, “Fiction is more difficult to write than nonfiction. Fiction must be believable.”

You can write about an alien being who lives on an active volcanic planet, eats rocks, poops yo-yos and attends the toy convention each year on Alpha Centauri.

How about survival on an actual caustic world–a world devoid of land with nothing but a sea of hydrochloric acid waiting to be fed?

Believe it or not a colony thrives in this environment. They are the Helicobacter pylori. To locate this ecosystem and these hardy creatures simply swallow. Your offering would be accepted, devoured and even added to your own recommended daily allowance (RDA) of stuff.

Let’s switch gears a moment and talk about the green movement, not the one that’s all the buzz here on earth, but the one a little further off the ground. Oh, you can bet plenty of people are in the know; it just hasn’t gained the worldwide notoriety of its cousin.

Why you ask?

It could be that Henny Penny hasn’t ventured outside for several decades. Personally, I’m holding fast to the theory that assumes it’s because hunks of smoldering garbage haven’t started falling out of the sky on a regular basis. I’m talking about space junk.

I know that “the sky is falling” crisis is true because I have spent an exhaustive amount of time reading and studying its effects. If you will turn your attention to the previous paragraph (the one that begins with Henny Penny) I will state un-categorically that I have read those three lines many times.

If you will then turn your attention to the paragraph just below this one, I will once again pledge to having scoured the text. This will prove that not only have I read extensively but am now considered the leading authority of what I have written.

Do you remember that old adage, what goes up, must come down? Well, over the past sixty years or so we’ve sent enormous amounts of high tech gadgetry up to space that have ignored the time-honored cliché and chosen not to come back down. I’m going to be the first to give this latest crisis a name: “Metal Mayhem.”

What I have been able to determine is this. As soon as the metal appliance is free from the gravitational pull of the earth it becomes a rogue, no longer obeying even the simplest laws of physics.

I sense they will be gathering at some point in time to do something. Until then, I will keep you apprised of any new developments.

Changing gears once again to the green movement on the surface of our planet (of which I am a proponent), God gave us this beautiful planet for our home and we are charged to be good stewards concerning everything within our power.

The latest issue I have to question are the cardboard tubes, or the lack thereof, at the center of a roll of toilet tissue.

One company has removed the dastardly tubes to prevent them from entering our landfills. It seems to me if we maintain landfills in order to dispose of trash, then what better trash to dispose of than paper products?

They come from trees, which we plant exclusively for pulpwood to make paper products. Once a cardboard tube hits a landfill and the tiniest bit of water comes in contact with it, I would imagine it would begin reciting the wicked witch of the West’s death dialogue.

“What a world, what a world,” the tube would moan (much like its green faced counterpart) as it dissolved into a puddle of goo. Who knows, perhaps cardboard tubes are actually good for the environment. They would supply ground nutrients it would not normally receive unless a tree fell and rotted.  Since the cardboard rots a few billion times faster, I believe I’ll opt for the toilet tubes.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily anyone’s, but can be attributed to the ramblings of a madman.

I’m tired of playing now…… I believe I’ll take my drool cup and go home.

Please lock up when you leave.

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Smorgasbord Anyone?

Why, I don’t know, but when a notion jumps out of nowhere and slaps me upside the head with an idea for a blog post,dog food there always seems to be fodder lurking in a past or even recent work to reinforce that particular notion.

I bet I know what you’re thinking. Why doesn’t someone give this guy a handful of periods and teach him how to construct a paragraph using short multiple sentences instead of using one sentence to build a paragraph?

And, my answer to that would be: I shall take it under advisement and please don’t interrupt again.

Where was I?…Fodder lurking… Reinforce… Notion… Got it!

In a recent manuscript, during one particularly harrowing scene, our heroes were about to be ripped to shreds and consumed by a pack of mutated wolves. Before the nasty canines could partake of their bipedal sustenance (meals ready to eat), a boulder, driven by a rogue alien, unknowingly squashes the puppies.  Sounds kind of silly when you say it like that, but trust me, it was really scary when I wrote it.

What brought this work of science fiction to mind was a dog food commercial. Yep, that’s all it took.

In fact, this commercial began by saying all domesticated canines were related to wolves. Then, it went on to explain the animal’s need for protein and declared that their food contained 30% protein.

I’m certainly not qualified, nor do I care to refute any statements made by the manufacturer, but doesn’t it make you curious….how?  “How what?” you ask.

Just sit tight and allow me to explain.

How, breeders have managed to whittle away at a large, pack-hunting animal and in some cases, turn him into a tiny, yap machine or at the other end of the spectrum, a huge lumbering mass of good-natured (for the most part) slobber?

I want you to imagine this scenario…

If a pack of wolves were hunting in the wild and happened to bring down an elk, they would dine on a large portion of protein. In actuality, nearly all protein except for a lesser amount of fat. I guess all that whittling away the breeders did, lopped off 70% of our modern day puppy-dogs need for protein. Of course you can toss man’s best friend a chunk of raw meat or a nice salad and see which one he prefers. Kinda says it all don’t you think?

Enter modern-day suburbia…

You’re a member of the roughest west-side gang, the Chow Down Chihuahuas. You’re out in force tonight and hungry for blood. No sir! You’ll accept no less than 30% protein, 30% starch, 30% dark leafy greens and maybe, just before bedtime, to fill in that remaining 10%, you’ll nosh on a puddle of sardine drippings that ooze from the bottom of the Famous five-star dining establishment Le de Beauvoir house of stench  (mustn’t forget those omega-3 fatty acids).

You spot your quarry hanging out of an uncovered trash can at the Jones’. It’s a partially wrapped, still in the bag, pound or more of rotten deli sliced roast beef. Not only that, but you smell a half-eaten turkey carcass…that heavenly aroma wafting from within the food storage container.

Your unruly crew manages to turn the can onto its side and Katie-bar-the-door…let the feasting begin.

Filled to the brim, you make your way home, push through the doggie door, jump on to your owner’s lap and lick him right smack on the mouth before you settle down for your nightly nap.

Good…yawn.…night…zzz…zzz

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That’s Just a Couple Syllables Short of Poetic

This particular post will be a bit shorter than most. I remembered something from my past and when it comes to mind it brings with it a minute or two of enjoyment even in its simplicity.alcohol

I became a carpenter during my early days of employment. One particular job we were working was out of town and we chose to commute each day instead of procuring lodging and laying over.

Occasionally we would stop for breakfast at a small motel with the restaurant on premises just off the interstate.

As is usual, any place that caters to tourist will have different knickknacks and whatnots for sale at the cash register in hopes of a last-minute sale before the customer gets away.

There was a placard that caught my eye. It tickled me when I read it, which was every time I stopped to eat. It didn’t take long to memorize and once I did I never forgot it.

I’d like to share this with you in hopes it will bring a chuckle or a smile to your day.

 

Starkle starkle little twink, who the heck you are I think

I’m not under what you’d call, the alco-fluence of ink-cohol

I’m not drunk like thinkle peep, I’m just a little slort on sheep

I not know who is me yet, but the drunker I stand here the longer I get

So pour me one more to fill my cup, I’ve got all day sober to Sunday up.

                                                                                                     Author Unknown

Sometimes it takes the simplest things to make us smile. So, turn corners of your mouth upward often. Who knows, it just might become contagious.

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If Making Sense for Normal People Was Mandatory; Boy, Would I Be in Trouble…Problem Is, It Makes Sense to Me

In what genre do you write? I’m not sure it’s even legal to ask that question any longer. It seems every day or two a new grouping surfaces giving you additional options to categorize your work.button quail The latest, by my reckoning to slide under the radar is “new adult.”

Hmm… Let’s see, we have “young adult, middle grade and adult.” I guess we needed something to span the chasm between young adult and adult. Of course then we have to ask ourselves, what about the older adults, the elderly adults and the expanses between them?

Think… Think… Think… That’s not it.… Think… Think… Think… Think… Think… See how this grabs you.

“Middle grade, young adult, new adult, adult adult, middle-aged adult, old adult, ancient adult and dusty adult.… Dare we go any further? I think not.

How about fantasy? We have fantasy, high fantasy, epic fantasy, urban fantasy…… Enough already, I think you get the idea. In fact, I’ll jump ship, yet stay in the same vein. Here is what I mean.

I’m working on a fantasy adventure novel with a menagerie of characters (young and old, human and not so human) one of my favorites being a young attractive pre-teen with a feisty disposition.

This brings about a veritable cornucopia of expressions, such as: Cute as a button. Wow! Can you say subjective with a capital S.U.B?

Firstly, what one would call cute another would refer to as: pretty, attractive, etc. and we’re going to put a stop to that mess right now and assume that cute is a given.

Now, the second part of this saying is the most difficult to wrap your noggin around. Since when is a button cute?

After some judicious legwork, I have determined that there are no less than a bazillion explanations of this precursor to the zipper.

When trying to determine the most likely candidate of any inquiry, I use three separate criteria.

1.) Have I seen the explanation in question in more than one publication?

2.) Are these publications reliable?

3.) And most importantly: which one strikes my fancy?

After weighing the facts along with my likes and dislikes, I have determined that an English quail, known as a button quail (see picture top of page) was the inspiration for the expression “cute as a button.”

Just when you thought it was finally over and the nasty man can no longer hurt you with his outrageous button lore, I continue to flog the dead horse.

Expression number two: Cute as she can be.

Talk about “screwed up as a chicken noodle soup sandwich.” Boy, this one has the potential to blow 37 different ways to last Monday on the backs of two words.

That first word being: as

First and foremost “as” is either an adverb, conjunction or preposition. Quite a lot for the little fella to hold up without adding more… Don’t you think…Hmm? Well so do I, on to the second word.

This is where it gets a little dicey. With “be” being the word, is it truly as she wants to be or can it now be how someone else feels that she should be? You see, “to be” is not necessarily related literary wise to “or not to be.” So one could say that as long as the cuteness is maintained, the state of being, whether “be” is for her or be is for he, he be, she be, we be, you be, they be are completely immaterial and have no business “being” anywhere.

On top of everything else I named my firstborn “As” which makes “As” a noun. Now if he takes off running, give me a minute and I’ll turn him into a verb.

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Location, Location, Location

When you set out to write a piece, it doesn’t matter if you use an outline to structure your story or fly by the seat of your pants.over yonder It’s a given that you must drop your cast of characters into a location, be it fact or fancy, in order to tell the story. Even the condition of the participants makes no difference as long as they’re where you put them and ready to do your bidding while being forced through the story as you weave your tale.

The location of that location can ultimately shake the credibility of your story. For argument’s sake, let’s say that chapter one takes place on a beautiful white sand beach somewhere in the Tropics. Coconut palms sway in the warm afternoon breeze. The smell of seafood cooking in banana leaves fills the air. Then, a throng of mercenaries clad in dirty underwear and headbands come frolicking from the jungle and play tag until sundown.

See what I mean? No continuity. This same linguistic problem can squeeze from between the pages of any novel and bleed over into everyday life.

Have you ever heard someone say:

We’re lost in the middle of nowhere. First, we must ask ourselves, is there really such a place as nowhere? Then, we must follow-up that question with a resounding, “no!” And to further back up this conclusion, we refer to the statement, “no matter where you go, there you are.” This phrase and this phrase alone proves without a doubt that if you are there then it is physically impossible to be nowhere.

Mayhap we should delve into this “location” quandary a bit deeper. Have you ever asked an individual the whereabouts of a particular landmark, only to receive a reply such as, “just over that hill a spell” or “down the road a piece?” Not that hard to decipher if you give it a little thought, but the real barnburner remains to be, “Over yonder.”

I was born and bred in the South, heard it all my life and just accepted it at face value. They used it in William Shakespear’s day (Hark, doth light thru yonder window break?) and even then they didn’t know what it meant. (Of course, they thought Juliet was the sun.) If someone were to ask me, “Where is over yonder and what exactly does it mean,” I would have to say, “Why, over yonder is anywhere other than here.” Its exact definition is anywhere other than here.

I want you to ponder something until we meet again. The next time you ask someone where they are going and they answer you with “nowhere,” suggest to them that since, “nowhere” is an impossibility (citing facts learned in this blog post) offer “yonder” as an alternative since you’re both already there.

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Are We There Yet?

Vacations! Aren’t they something? Once each year, you load your vehicle full of personal artifacts, drive hundreds of miles to a house that you have rented for the week, unpack your vehicle in which you have brought all of family vacationyour treasures from home, and fill your home away from home. Now that you have your home away from home just like your home, you can relax because you feel like you’re at home.

This year we had a house full (twelve in all); four generations together for an entire week. I know, it sounds like a lot, but I do believe it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had.

  • My dear mother (whom I was happy just watching enjoy her first vacation in years) was in attendance, along with my mother and father-in law. (Please allow me, for clarification purposes that amidst all the in-laws jokes that circle nowadays, I have been blessed with a pair that I consider my second set of parents.)
  • Next my sister and her husband (she oozes sweetness while my brother-in-law sweats hilarity).
  • From the loins of a proud father, my son in all his glory stretched across the couch doodling with his smart phone and his wife of two years, reading or better yet, playing with the little person.
  • My daughter, having pushed through difficult times and emerged victorious along with my son-in-law (he doesn’t have much hair, but he’s all right just the same.)
  •  My wonderful wife, who is just as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside.
  • And introducing, the one and only L’il Ed!! (His real name is Elijah and most everyone calls him Eli, but PaPa (that’s me). I call him L’il Ed. It’s a long story and one that bears telling; just not today. That’s fodder for another post.)

L’il Ed belongs to my daughter and her husband (You know the one without much hair, but even though he is follicley challenged, he really is a great guy.)

L’il Ed is two years old. Some folks would say that he’s twenty-six months. Since this is my blog, said blog is subject to my laws.

First law: no child over the age of twelve months may have present age stated in any other form than in one year increments. However, if applied for six months prior to next birthday and approved, parent may add (up until the age of four years) the suffix “and a half” to the child’s present age; i.e., 1 ½, 2 ½ etc.

I mean come on. Don’t you get tired of saying (for example) I’m 437 ½ months old when they ask your age? It’s either that or “none of your business.”

As for the rest of the vacation L’il Ed and PaPa swam in the pool; hit the waves and frolicked with the dolphins; caught several hundred fish and 30 pounds of crab in the surf; and built a sand castle 2 ½ miles long.

Second law: see law number one. Numbers are applicable when determining the proper distance for sandcastles.

Yep, me and my namesake had a great time. Have the same place reserved for 2015. The little fella doesn’t know it yet, but next year I’m gonna teach him wrangling and riding waterspouts 101…… Yee Haw!!

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Talk About Your Gruesome Twosome…I’m Just Glad There Ain’t Three Of’em

Are you the type of person who wouldn’t notice a giraffe riding a bicycle backward, waving a purple flag with the image of Sir Edmund Hillary’s right boot unlacing itself on it, all the while singing “Pop Goes the Weasel,” boys bike wreakreading a book (written by me on the subject of teaching giraffes to ride bicycles) and munching on a peanut butter and anchovy sandwich if it rolled in front of you at an intersection?

Or, are you more of the type who would sneak into the ape exhibit at your local zoological park, spend hours picking nits from your many monkey mates in order to pick smaller nits off the nits you’ve already picked?

Perhaps you find solace in measuring dust bunnies for an upcoming obstacle course you’ve been mulling around in your head for quite some time?

Whatever it is, do it with fervor because when you least expect it, they’re coming after you with a tranquilizer gun and a net.

Me? Well I’m somewhere in the middle. On this wonderful blue ball that God blessed us with as our home we have our fair share of good, bad, quirky and everything in between.

I tend to look at things and wonder why they are the way they are, when it would have been so much simpler and in some cases less painful to incorporate a small change in the planning phase of the particular object.

Case in point: the bicycle

First take a few moments to ponder anatomical differences between boys and girls giving the naughty bits special consideration.

Having done this, review in your mind the design and construction of the modern day bicycle keeping the differences of the so named “girls” or “boys” model firmly entrenched within your thought process.

Now, allow me to pose to you one of many situations that are quite likely to occur.

You’re pedaling down a dirt road. The day is warm. A slight southerly breeze instills within you a sense of well-being. Yes, this is one of the few perfect days we experience during the course of a year.  In a flash you catch a blur in your peripheral vision. It’s that lunatic giraffe on his backward bike crossing the road again.

Swerving to avoid a collision, you run off the road, down a slight embankment, and into a tree. Now, herein lies the problem as “physics” (a subject I never studied) comes into play in a very, very, big way.

Side note: The problem being, just because I didn’t study physics, doesn’t mean it does not exist.

When the bicycle you’re riding comes to a sudden, nay an instantaneous stop, your body continues its forward progression (here’s where we will learn our first physics term “inertia”) and once your bottom clears the seat gravity takes over (and there’s our second term, “gravity”). Considering you are a male and have just plowed into said tree, if you’re riding a girl’s bike your feet will hit the ground first–no harm no foul.  In the second scenario, you are a male riding a boy’s bike (here’s where the physics terms we learned earlier come into play).

Inertia: The force that must be overcome in order to stop an object in motion or to put a stagnant object into motion.

Gravity: …I sincerely hope that any explanation is unnecessary.

Once your bottom begins to move forward on the seat, inertia has been overcome and gravity becomes the enemy. Your feet are longer the first objects to come in contact with the ground, rather the steel bar that runs just inches below your seat becomes the second place where inertia goes to die, along with your boys, as they collide in a disfiguring, mutilated, mash of crushed manhood……Nuff said…… Correction…… Too much said!

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