Friday, November 15, 2013

What if Yarn Bombing replaced actual bombing?


  
BombER ROCKS Local Market
Associated Press
November 15, 2013


Samara—13 people were delighted in the Iraqi city of Samara today when a yarn bomber went off in a crowded market. Those closest to the epicenter experienced varying critical effects with four people receiving sweaters, two with their heads covered in colorful berets, and one man fought back tears as he pulled a red and white striped alpine ski cap around his ears by the freshly knitted tassels. One woman who had been standing nearby pointed out her pink leg warmers and smiled “I am just glad I walked away with something I can show my family.” An older man, holding a tea pot cozy with a zig zag pattern, mused “I was meant to have this. It is by god’s will that I was here. I am always serving cold tea to my old friends because my teapot holds no warmth. But not after this day.” Iraqi Police are overjoyed but somewhat baffled. “While we are still gathering evidence, we definitely have found some patterns here”, said Sgt. Al-Asadi as he held up a vest pattern and several darning needles that appeared to be homemade. “We are following up on a tip from several people with mittens who reported witnessing a young boy, who had been closest to the yarn bomber, that fled the scene with a large afghan,” Al-Asadi said. Police are seeking the boy for questioning to see if he can identify the perpetrator and knit them all new beanies for the winter.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Vote

Zombies at the polling places. A lot of your friends are going to tell you that you should go vote today, no matter what your political affiliation or opinion. It's not really true. They are secretly going to video tape you as you try to escape from the zombies at the polling place and then put the video on The Webs in fast forward with Benny Hill music playing in the background. Sure it's funny when you are running around but once it gets to the part where zombies start gnawing on your flesh and slurping up your entrails . . . well  . . . there's only so much a saxophone can do for comedy. God I hate saxophones.

I sure am exhausted from all the political ads. Here in the 21st century, I feel like I am really getting my money's worth out of my land line. It's not just the $30 a month, the various opportunities for credit card upgrades, timeshare options and donation requests from the Fraternal Order of Police (because I believe in the right to exclude the ladies from Greek style law enforcement organizations. Besides, Sororal Order just sounds stupid.) The real value of my land line, even though it is exhausting, is all the phone calls from John McCain and Accountability for America and something called the RNC (which I think is some kind of organization for sexy comic book nurses, just judging by the letters RNC and the content of the calls), to try to convince me to vote for them. I listened to the WHOLE call from John McCain and he sounds totally reasonable. He calls me his friend (which he won't do when other people are around) and tells me how important my vote is and how I shouldn't trust some guy named Carbona or Corona or Michael Crabtree because San Fran is a running team . . . wait that might be my fantasy football. Why am I taking fantasy football advice from John McCain? I don't know. I don't really remember. But my point is, I am all set to agree with McCain. My vote is set in my mind: Vote "Not Carboner" 2012. And then here comes a call FOR this Carnoma guy and they have some really good points and then I start to wonder if John McCain is really my friend and I get all stressed out and lie awake at night trying to remember the Carsonoma guy's name so I don't Flake out and mark my ballot incorrectly . . . holy crap, I just had a thought, do you even realize that ballot and ballet are only one letter apart. Gadzooks. . .  anyway, so you can see with this Qdoba guy example that every time I answer the phone, I am swinging my vote back and forth. I am tired. I am starting to feel a little fickle. I'm a swing voter. My keys are in the bowl and I am going home with the last person to call my land line. It's no way to live. I'm tired. Stressed. And probably in for some kind of mental venereal disease. Doc: "Joel, you have Crabtrees". Joel: "Oh God. I'm not even a starter in most leagues." Doc: "What the hell are you talking about?" Joel: "What the hell are YOU talking about." Don't forget, it's a mental disease.

So anyway, as I am weighing all of this valuable input (I don't know if you've seen any of these, but some of these kind of phone calls are being made into commercials, too), I wonder if maybe I should make up my own mind.

So there's this Branco Bammers guy who has a fun rodeo clown name, but doesn't look much like a rodeo clown. Maybe the ears. Then there's Fifties Sunday School Cartoon Dad. Let's say that your Sunday school teacher gives you a coloring book page with a modern 1950's family and you see that Hominy Cartoon Dad there. What color are you going to use first? Here's another thing I heard about that guy: He's not even going by his real first name! He dropped his first name, Oven, when he got into politics and the slogan, "Without an Oven Mitt, You Will Get Burned.". Just went by the initial. O. Mitt Hominy. He dropped the "O" when people started taking his name off the ballot.

Anyways, both of them make me feel like an unintended panhandler. They keep offering me change. I don't want any change. I like things just the way they are. I just got my first big screen TV and I want to watch at least one superbowl on it before society crumbles just because some politician wants to go and make "change". Like letting all the zombies out of the polling places. Then we suddenly have a zombie apocalypse and there's no more Starbucks or women's lingerie. All the signs of a stable society are out the window. And worse, you just know zombies are going to chase people with big heads first. It's like my neck has a a great big giant heavy target painted on it and I am wearing a button up shirt that says, "Eat Me First."

So because Leslie Knope is not on the ballot, I decided it's not worth it. That way I could avoid the "going to vote" thing like your so called friends are trying to get you to do. I do not belong at a zombie infested polling place with my giant, delicious temptation of a head bobbing around. Maybe some of you small headed people, if you are nimble enough, might be able to get away with it. And you'll get your sticker that says, I didn't get the plaugue today (you don't get a sticker if the zombies get you). But I am staying home with a shotgun in my lap and I am going to protect my new TV. I suggest you do the same. I respect your opinion and your right to choose (I don't really but you're probably going to do what you want anyway), but if you go vote and get eaten by a zombie, you are stupid. Stupid as a Sororal Order of Police.

In conclusion, don't vote. Zombies will eat you and you will get a mental venereal disease and it will look like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zRT-LvJUuQ

Post Script Pun:


Panhandler: "Hey man, can you spare some change?"
Candidate: "No Sir. I am giving all of mine to 'Merica."

Saturday, February 18, 2012



So Roben's teacher wants parents to write a letter to their kid for a family history paper. Well . . . I couldn't lie . . .




Dear Roben,

Because it’s all made up anyway, I might as well just tell you: You were never born.

We made you. Compelled by some irretrievable impulse for having something we made together, we settled on a robot child. A little insight here: I had said, “Can’t we just do a puzzle or something? I mean, with all the misery and suffering in the world, wouldn’t we just be contributing to a shortage of resources?” Your mother, as she always does, had the perfect answer: ”You mean, like your tears are a waste of water? Stop crying and get your keys. We’re going to the robot store.” You come from a long line of strong women: Your aunt was a death row prison guard. Your great great grandmother was an arm wrestling champion and, if the record is accurate, you are related to the only grizzly bear on the Mayflower.

So we gathered parts. Talked of infusing you with family history, whether it would matter and ultimately decided it would happen organically. We are who we are: It would all come down to instinct and the negotiation over who would work on what. Armed with modest salaries and a good old American impulse to own something, we filled our cart full of dreams and discounted hardware. If the receipt can serve as genealogical record, your skeletal structure consists primarily of 300 year old English beechwood and your innards, crafted from fiberglass insulation, were derived from Italian stained glass. And, as you know, bag pipes without the drones and stocks serve as your lungs, providing the basis for your ability to so intuitively imitate a Scottish accent.

The annual rebuilding, where we discarded small and worn parts, taught us the most about you. When I saw a worn knee, I couldn’t help but smile thinking of all the basketball we played over the past year and how paying for a replacement part was totally worth it. And you would learn about me too when I would say, “Well, I’ll just have to replace the leg next year, so I might as well replace the knee and leg this year while I have the thing apart.” When you got over the frustration of having one leg longer than than the other, mostly by discovering the pivot advantage, you could see what a practical man I am. You come from a long line of practical men: Your grandfather saved enough money to actually retire comfortably. Your great great uncle was the first to diagram buffalo meat and convinced Lewis and Clark to eat it. And, if the veterinary log is correct, you are related to the only man aboard the Mayflower who argued against the impracticality of bringing along a grizzly bear.

Being a practical man, or as your mom would say “boring”, I took the time one day to make this calculation about your day to day life:
9 hours of sleep/shutdown/battery charge
7 hours of school
3 hours of homework (your teacher is reading this, right?)
5 hours with Mom and Dad

This data suggests no matter how hard we try, our coding as your “parents” is smaller than the whole program of your life. And each year, as you made friends, got involved in sports and even somehow managed to find girlfriends accepting of your robocity, our coding contribution shrank. This can be hard on your creators, and believe me, your mom put in a lot of labor. I say this not as a lament or guilt trip, but to drive the point you know so well: you made you, too, and have done so exceptionally.

So, if you ever decide, God help you, to make your own child, I will tell you this one thing I have learned: There is no such thing as too much love or too much affection, but there is such a thing as too little, even for a robot.

Love,

Dad

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Aurora Night,
The one who laughs all the time,
Burns right through eyelids
Haloes right through walls --
A shiny thing distraction:
Nothing gets done.

Bouyant, coffee'd, hamock ease
magnetic glow electricities
charged and polar
libraries.

High window sun
unblonded freckles
stare at walls
'till yellow speckles.
Can I be in on every joke you're laughing at?

The obvious is obvious --
isn't it obvious?
Unless the light is yellow,
everywhere,
and I can't see:
Aurora Night,
eyelid vein roadmap:
followed to nowhere.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cops, Cow Farts and Angry Birds

Cow flatulence contribute between 4 - 9% of methane, a troublemaker in the world of climate change. You know who else contributes? Policeman sitting with the engine running outside the gym. The whole time. I don't get it. CO2 is also a pretty naughty Nellie when it comes to climate change. And that's mostly human caused.

All this talk about climate change really makes you think of the budget brawl - a metaphorical midget wrestling match complete with chairs, easily distracted refs and a bunch of people watching, some of them not even knowing if it's real or not.

Let's start with climate change. Mother Nature is moody. Climate goes through cycles. An ice age here. A drought there. Thrown in a few volcanos, meteors and El Ninos and weather is hard to predict. The one thing you can observe is a trend. You can watch the trends and make generalizations. So let's say there was no industrialization, mostly just cow farts and the resulting tornados. And lets say you were, somehow, with your complete lack of technological advancement (resulting from a lack of industrialization), you managed to observe and calculate (with your hand-whittled abacus) that temperatures were trending higher and that the ice on top of mountains in Pakistan was going to melt, raise the oceans and mess up the oceanic currents that assist in tempering climate. You would think two things: When that ice melts, it will make it a lot easier for the Pakistani government to go in and finally take out the Yeti. Second, you would think: holy crap, how can we stop this? And your answer would be, well, it's completely out of my control. I guess I just have to accept that significant portions of the population will be lost or displaced. Then a meteor that you didn't calculate for on your hand-whittled abacus (because you were SO busy with climate change) would crash into your house instantly killing you, your dog, Bruce Willis, and incinerating your precious wood-beaded calculator. Dang.

Okay, a slightly less depressing scenario, you learn that the heat trend will melt some of the ice in Pakistan, cause some waters to rise, will be really inconvenient for some trade routes, but for the most part, it looks like everything is going to get really close to total devastation, but you are going to be able to weather it (see what I did there). A meteor does come crashing into your neighborhood but it is so eroded by its travels through your atmosphere, that it ends up a small rock that bounces off the dog house in your yard, and Bruce Willis, your little Jack Russell terrier, picks it up in his mouth and buries it in the yard.

Now let's pretend that you were in Scenario #2 above, but you are in an industrialized world in which the industrialization contributes to a slight degradation of the atmosphere. If that's hard for you to imagine, picture you are in a world just like ours but try to believe, just for a minute, that CO2, produced by industrialization, really does contribute to degradation of the atmosphere. Got it?

Okay, so here you are with Bruce Willis and an automatic dog ball thrower by your side. You are on your tablet computer (oh let's just say its an iPad since no one knows what the eff a tablet computer is but they know what an iPad is), and you use it to observe and calculate trends in weather and see that over the past 200 years, you are trending back towards some pretty heavy duty climate change only this time its slightly more accelerated than the past. This may not seem feasible to calculate, but remember, you're using an iPad, it's "magical". You realize that if you can just curb a little bit of the CO2, you have a shot at preventing scenario #1 above and are willing to settle for scenario #2. You explain it to Bruce Willis saying "Bark!", which roughly translates "It's like having a glass of water with room for about 2 more ounces before it spills over. Mother nature is going to add one more ounce, no matter what, so we are going to have a very full glass. But our freakin' CO2 is another 2 ounces of water. Maybe if we can just use 1 ounce of water, we'll at least be good till the next cycle, whenever that is." Bruce Willis responds with "Bark", which bowowly translates to "I could really go for a meteor right now."

Easy enough to understand, right? Republicans get this concept. Like with the budget.

Before I say to much more, let me be out with something. I am a socialist. That's why I voted for Obama. Of course that was before I knew the only thing he wanted was to steal all of our white women and use them to populate his secret service and call them the Amazonian Guard. Oh wait, that's Gaddafi. Wouldn't it be funny if, instead of the Amazonian Guard, they were called the "Muammar Effers"? I know, right?

Okay fine, I'm not a socialist. But I'm not a raging capitalist either. Just kinda goin with the flow. Ideologies are for chumps.

SO back to the budget. Republicans totally get the 2 ounce more concept. No tax increases. They are sitting there with their "tablet" computers, looking at economic trends of the past 150 years and saying, bigger taxes is like CO2. The economy goes in boom and bust cycles. That's capitalism. But if someone doesn't stand up and protect the revenue generation of lower taxes, it will take us to Scenario #1, a scenario from which the wealthy would not recover. Unfortunately, this wasn't a calculation made on actual data trends but rather there ability to get three stars on varying levels of angry birds in which pig outsourcing was used to build cheap, easily destroyed wooden structures. But hey, three stars is three stars.

The concept is the same though. And that's why Republicans are so soundly united on the Fix Climate Change and No Tax Increase ideologies.

Wait a minute. No. No. I'm pretty sure that's right.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Chemical Overanalysis of Catching Grenades



I had the fortuity Monday morning to find the power button on the radio in my bedroom (without looking - booya) and hear a little tune called "Grenade" by Bruno Mars, released last October for those scolding me for being behind the times. The lyrics caught my morning-subdued attention:

I'd catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I'd jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya

I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain . . .

--Lyrics pinched from "Metrolyrics.com", which really should be an "enough said" situation, but that's not really my thing.

While modern society provides few opportunities for exhibitions of such formidable self sacrifice, this is basically a tune about dying for a chick (or whomever may be the current love interest of Bruno). If you think I'm jumping to conclusions about the songs meaning, here is one previously omitted lyric "Yes, I would die for you, baby/ But you won't do the same". Sadly, it appears, these violent, self destructive tributes are unrequited.

I'm concerned a bit for Bruno, his proclamations and his ability to carry them out. I've run this question by several people: Should Bruno really make these kinds of promises?

There are few available avenues where promises such as "I'd catch a grenade for ya" can be cemented. It's true there are several conflicts and wars raging at this very moment throughout the globe, but Bruno is unlikely to find himself in any of them. Fulfillment of this promise would be two fold: Given a situation in which a grenade, hurled at the lover of Bruno Mars (for whatever reason we can only speculate), Bruno would need to be there to intercept and have the fortitude, in that moment, to make a life altering (and most likely one time only) decision to do so. It's easy to say I would intercept a grenade for someone, but put in that exact situation (which the presence of all of my limbs and a lack of tissue filled shrapnel can attest I have not been in), who is to say I wouldn't cross my arms over my head and scream "Holy crap, something like a rock is flying right towards us."

The second fold in the origami of Bruno's grenade-centered libretto is this: you have one chance to make that catch. True, it's close to the size of a baseball. But you don't have a glove. It's not coming towards you, exactly, but instead a lover, who, by Bruno's account, won't be too close by considering the implied indifference. And, you haven't had the chance to warm up at all. Finally, what if the sun is in your eyes. And, not to put to fine a point on it, but if you successfully catch the grenade, assumably in your hand, does your hand really have the bulwark or stopping mass at all to prevent the intended target from meeting with lethal harm?

Consider also, the rhyme pairing of the chorus provided above. Ya is rhymed with Ya. Several times. The Ya rhyming has an unhealthy degree of rhyme saturation. The formula for determining verse saturation (similar to Carbon-Hydrogen saturation) is:

Cn + Rn

in which C is Couplets and R is the number of Rhymes and n is the number of couplets.

So you can imagine if you have 4 couplets you will have 4 rhymes. C4 + R4

Here is a structural diagram:


*This use of C4 is just a coincidence and not an attempt to continue the explosive themes started by the grenade.

A typical song will keep with this formula, though some will push a more saturated formula (typically rap) in which multiple rhymes will occur within a couplet. The formula for that is

Cn + Rxn

in which x stands for the number of rhymes within a line.

So you can imagine if you have 4 couplets, each containing 2 additional rhymes (x=2), you will have C4 + R(2)4 = C4 + R8 providing increased stability and unity throughout.


Bruno Mars has here, has initiated an unstable synthesis by rhyming the same word times itself, repeatedly. The dangerously unstable rhyme formula, based on 12 lines all rhyming with the same word, is

C6 + R1


What a mess! The diagram is completely reversed. Not since Charlie Sheen's acoustic cover of Rebecca Black's "Friday" have we seen such instability. You'll recall that "Friday" is a catchy little tune sticks with you with it's eclectic lyrics such as:

Partyin Partyin yea
Partyin Partyin yea
Fun
Fun
Fun
Fun

Lyrics pinched from RepetitivelyricsRepetitivelyrics.com

I'm not even going to try to write the formula for that one. And we all remember the last time rhyming this dense was used, which I suspect has the same perpetrators. You'll notice that the writing of "Friday" has the John-Hancock-style-signature of it's authors --Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Recall some of their other lyric endeavors:

I wanna rock and roll all nite
and party ever day
(repeat)

Lyrics pinched from excess skin around the neck of Gene Simmons.


My final critique comes from the sound of Bruno Mars voice, which I think sounds like Foreigner. If you don't know who Foreigner is, you're in pretty good shape. If you do and you just got one of their songs in your head, I'm terribly sorry! But if you don't know what Foreigner sounds like, you'll have to imagine Don Henley (formerly of the Eagles), stretched back in a giant, human-sized slingshot, kicked in the groin and launched and asked to sing while in the air. That's Foreigner. Full disclosure:

Bruno Mars seems like a nice, talented young man.
I hate Foreigner. They are from the '70s.

I leave you with the conspiratorial scale coincidence of an album cover, from a seemingly unrelated musical venture. This final image could easily be used for Bruno's song, which lends to this criticism the validity of a Glen Beck chalk board (and also loosely describes Glen Beck):




Grenade. Caught.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Discontensity

You are a kind of fiction
With coconutted, blistered red
Chlorine soothed, aloe fed
Bare shoulders.

My imagination overhears you,
The crunch of summered citrus blooms
Dried out in the roomless rooms,
Your mythic soul, sandpaper smooth.

I invent your thoughts of me,
A spider web, a branching tree,
Artificial passion fashioned,
Not controlled or maturely rationed
With measuring spoon reality.

You smuggling tunnel, you border fence
You're existence verses common sense
Is suppressed, sequestered in dream suspense.
Backed up against the yellow wall
There never was a chance at all.

As summer burns off one more year
Baked with coast-less, top-up, "Here"
In soundless waves and sand veneer
By reasons force, you disappear.