Saturday, July 18, 2009

Monkey Algebra? Why not? (Sunday's Poem 25)

To Help the Monkey Cross the River,
Thomas Lux

which he must
cross, by swimming, for fruits and nuts,
to help him
I sit with my rifle on a platform
high in a tree, same side of the river
as the hungry monkey. How does this assist
him? When he swims for it
I look first upriver: predators move faster with
the current than against it.
If a crocodile is aimed from upriver to eat the monkey
and an anaconda from downriver burns
with the same ambition, I do
the math, algebra, angles, rate-of-monkey,
croc- and snake-speed, and if, if
it looks as though the anaconda or the croc
will reach the monkey
before he attains the river’s far bank,
I raise my rifle and fire
one, two, three, even four times into the river
just behind the monkey
to hurry him up a little.
Shoot the snake, the crocodile?
They’re just doing their jobs,
but the monkey, the monkey
has little hands like a child’s,
and the smart ones, in a cage, can be taught to smile.


Well. That had a twist ending to it, didn't it? I picked today's poem out solely because it had the word "Monkey" in the title, making it the only poem in the list I was looking at which had that feature. And then about halfway through it I wasn't going to choose it at all, but I was won over by rate-of-monkey, and then that twist: firing behind the monkey. That made the poem. That one little twist, that one thought, made me look at the world in a different way.

Potatos can't be pets. That's ridiculous. Potatos are too evil for that. (3 Good Things From July 18)

It was only a high of something like 65 degrees yesterday. Thank God I've got my 3 Good Things to keep me cheery...

1. Adam Ant's Greatest Hits on CD. For the past 20 years, there's been a hole in my life that can only be filled by singing along with Friend Or Foe.

2. Making it up the steep hill on my jog... while pushing the Babies! in their stroller. I'm like Superman, if Superman didn't fight robots in space but did push two 40-pound toddlers in a double stroller up a really steep hill.

3. The Andy Rooney jokes on The Soup, which I taped from Friday night and watched yesterday with Sweetie. Now, every time I eat a potato I'm going to think: I think a potato can be a pet.

I invented a new kind of sit-up, too. It's like the old one, but without the "sit" or the "up" part. Much easier on the back.

I was going to make some more of my own homemade diet bars yesterday, but I ran out of time, what with all the other stuff I had on tap for the day. Stuff like... um... well..

Fine. I spent the entire day watching Friends re-runs instead of doing chores. Happy, now?

It's a shame, too, because my diet bars are great. And easy to make. Here's what I do: I buy a bunch of Snickers and Butterfingers and Zero Bars, and then I take them out of the wrappers, and put them into plain plastic bags in the refrigerator. Then, whenever I want a snack, instead of having something that's bad for me, like potato chips or an entire Tombstone pizza, I just reach for one of my diet bars, instead.

It works perfectly, I don't mind telling you. I'm healthier than I've ever been. And more muscular. I bet I've added 3 inches of stomach muscle alone, this week.

But because I didn't have time to make my own diet bars yesterday, I thought maybe I'd shop for some, today. And I found some, too: the ProtiDiet diet bar from Diet Direct.

They come in flavors like "Supreme Caramel" and "Hazelnut" and "Supreme Chocolate," but they have only 150 calories apiece, and don't have any funny aftertaste. They do have a high protein content, it says on the site. Plus, they look delicious. Not as delicious as my homemade diet bars, but really good, nonetheless.

So I ordered me up a couple; Diet Direct makes it easy to do that, and they've got more than just the one kind of diet bar, too -- they've got dozens of them, plus hot drinks, meal replacements, puddings, weight loss kits, and more. And I know I'll like the stuff, because they've got a money back guarantee -- so I've got nothing to lose.

Except maybe all that muscle I've been adding around my waist.

I bet he does a lot of cyber sit-ups. (Sweetie's Hunk of the Week 24)

Sweetie's Hunk of This Week is: Gerard Butler

You/Sweetie Know Him As: This guy:

who, frankly, I thought was a completely-computer-generated character. I mean, look at him. Nobody looks like that. How many muscles does he have? You know what he looks like? One of those He-Man action figures from the 1980s, the ones that looked like they'd bulked up on steroids for the sole purpose of beating up my Star Wars' action figures:

I know him as: I don't really know him at all. Or, that is, I know him, but I'm not sure how I know him. Like I said, I thought he was computer-generated, but then suddenly he's not, he's here in real life, like Reverse Tron (TM Me 2009) and he's all over the place, being in other movies that never get released, and not dating Jennifer Aniston and, apparently, lodging all 450+ of his abdominal muscles into Sweetie's mind.

Thing That Makes You Go Hmmm About Him: Maybe he is computer-generated. You know how computers never quite get it right, and the "people" they generate are always a little off? Gerard Butler might be computer generated. Consider this: Has anyone ever actually seen him in person? I haven't. And consider this: His haircut. It's awful. It's the kind of hair cut a computer puts on a person, because computers think "geek" is "cool":

Or the kind of haircut the computer copied from an old 1980s cartoon, maybe, to try to mimic what it thought humans should look like:

The Reason I Tell Myself Sweetie Likes Him: Since I barely knew he existed (if he exists...), I never really thought about why Sweetie would like him until I asked her, last night, who her "Hunk of the Week" would be and she said Gerard Butler, and I thought about that for a second, and what I thought was this: Why? So I asked her that. I asked her: "Why?" And I got...

...The Actual Reason Sweetie Likes Him: As she said, and I quote: "You're kidding, right? Why do you think?"

So I said: "His abs?" (It was a reasonable guess, since he appears to be made entirely of abdominal muscles.)(And He-Man hair.) Sweetie neither confirmed nor denied that, but instead said:

"Did you see 300?"

Which, for the record, I didn't. And I didn't know Sweetie did. She claimed she'd watched it one day while The Boy was watching it, in passing, as it were. That's what she claimed. But you'd have to have heard the emotion in her voice when she said Did you see 300? That's assuming abdominal muscles are an emotion. Which in Sweetie's case, they were.

Point I'd Like To Make About Sweetie's Actual Reason For Liking Him: It's all computer-generated, Sweetie. He's not even a real person. Those muscles, that hair... all just a bunch of bits and bytes floating around in cyberspace. Just look at him in real life:

Um. Never mind.

See all the Hunks of the Week here.

Mr Bunches Was More Helpful Than Mr F, Who Tried To Pitch In By Spraying Me WIth The Hose. (3 Good Things From July 17, 2009)

It's not hard to find 3 Good Things about a Friday off from work... it's hard to limit it to just 3. Here's the ones I picked:

1. Sweetie's impromptu rendition of West Side Story's opening number after she put a hat on Mr F last night. We were taking turns putting her newsboy cap on Mr F and making up quotes like " 'ello, Guvnor!" and on Sweetie's turn, she did the snapping part of West Side Story. (I know, I know-- we really shouldn't party so hard on a Friday night. But we're animals.)

2. Sweetie part 2: I played for her the theme from Joanie Loves Chachi (sung by Scott Baio and Erin Moran!) and asked if she could name it. Within 10 seconds, she had. (I gave her a lying-on-my-side-on-the-couch ovation.)

3. Mr Bunches helping me move some plants in our yard -- as I continue building the Long-Awaited Perennial Garden Yard, I moved a couple of plants from the side of the house to the back, and Mr Bunches helped. As I'd dig up the plant on the side, he'd stand by me and look on. Then we'd carry it to the back yard, where I'd dig a hole and put it in, at which point Mr Bunches would pick up clumps of dirt and throw them in, too. (He later moved on to throwing clumps of dirt into a puddle nearby, which was less helpful but I'm sure the intent was there.)

Charlie The Basset Hound Will Love It. I'm Positive.

Whenever he travels up here to visit from Florida, my brother Matt brings with him his dog, Charlie The Basset Hound. Matt and his wife love Charlie, and don't want to leave him alone in a house all day, with a neighbor popping in to make sure he's fed. They want him to have a good time and lots of companionship and not get lonely.

I understand all that, and I don't mind it at all, other than the fact that when Matt has Charlie the Basset Hound here, I can't foist off my kids onto him and get free babysitting.

So I've found the solution that's perfect for both of us: Dog Day Care from Camp Bow Wow.

Camp Bow Wow runs day and overnight camps for dogs in a safe and upscale environment -- it's like a home away from home where dogs can be dropped off in the morning and picked up in the evening, OR the dogs can stay overnight, joining the day camp dogs during the day and then staying in their own cabins at night.

This isn't just some place where dogs are stuffed into a pen and left to molder all day; Camp Bow Wow has trained staffers who understand dogs - -their health and behavior -- and who will work with your dogs to make sure they have fun and enjoy their stay at camp.

They've even got live "Camper Cams," so if Matt wants to see Charlie The Basset Hound while he's babysitting MY kids, he can do that easily-- watching Charlie eat campfire treats and playing in the indoor and outdoor play areas.

While I found out about Camp Bow Wow from their website, I'm surprised I hadn't heard of them before, seeing as how they've been featured in a bunch of media, like newspapers and television shows. There's over 200 of them right now (and their website has a link to opening your own franchise... so maybe, when Matt comes here, I'll have him stay at a Camp Bow Wow that I own. After all, who says you can't make a little profit off of relatives' visiting? Society? Bah! I never listen to society anyway...)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Neither the song nor the video have anything to do with anything else. (83 Down, 9,665 To Go)

It's back! It's back!

No, not me. I mean, yes, I'm back from my trial (it didn't go as well as we'd hoped, but it went better than we'd feared) but that's not what I'm talking about.

What I'm talking about is: "Down... To Go" is back, by popular demand. ("Popular" = me.) I'm bringing back the feature where I put up a song from my ever-growing collection of music and post it here for no particular reason, and then ramble about whatever happens to be on my mind.

Beginning tomorrow, I'll get back to more stuff, but until then, enjoy Song 83: "Out The Window" by The Violent Femmes

The only thing I've been expanding is my pants' waistline. That doesn't cause a lot of stir on Wall Street.

This could probably be the next big thing in telecommunications, I'm guessing. I just got down reading a Golivemobile press release announcing that they're expanding into Asia, or, more specifically, expanding their operations in Asia.

Golivemobile has for a couple of years been operating in a limited capacity in Asia, but just recently fully committed to expanding there, building offices and setting up a core team of people in India and the Phillipines, people who left senior positions in Google and AOL and other top firms to join Golivemobile, poising that company for a serious amount of growth in an area of the world that hasn't been saturated yet.

The move makes GoliveMobile a global technology company and will help spur a lot of growth by that company, as the 30 employees in Manila and 50 in Bangalore aggressively recruit in those markets and build on the core team, taking what was a Denver company to the next level in providing mobile content, and operations of internet technology markets and continuing the phenomenal growth of this company.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I hope I don't miss anything (Sunday's Poem, 25)

Did I Miss Anything?
Tom Wayman

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people
on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human experience
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been

but it was one place

And you weren’t here


Life intrudes again: I won't be blogging this week until probably Friday or maybe Saturday, depending on how things go (I've got another one of those trials. It's really annoying how my boss expects me to work for my pay). While I'm off suing people, why not check out the archives on this site, or look at one of my other sites:

The Best of Everything: Just what it sounds like: A roundup of everything that's The Best in any category you can think of... ranging from the most scientifically accurate Modest Mouse song to the Best Olsen Twin.

AfterDark: The scariest stories you'll find anywhere. Serialized short horror stories. Two completed stories right now: What You Need: Taylor has what people need... and that's too bad for him, and "The Grave-Robbers" -- New Sam learns a lot about his family when he turns 12, including why there are so many bodies buried below the house. Plus, The End of Light just started. Will Joe The Magician destroy the world?

"5 Pages." Read a novel the way I write it: 5 pages at a time. In Up So Floating Many Bells Down, you'll meet Sarah, whose fiance drowned the night of her bachelor party -- sending her off to join a group of people trying to prove that there's a serial killer at work. Meanwhile, her brother Dylan leaves town after the tragedy, setting up shop as a writer/photographer in Las Vegas. But he comes back over Thanksgiving one last time before heading to New York... without either of his fiancees.

Lesbian Zombies Are Taking Over The World: 2 weeks ago, Rachel woke up and realized that she didn't know who or what she was. On the advice of her octopus, she headed south, where she met Brigitte. Just as they fell in love, though, Rachel was kidnapped and dragged off an adventure through the 73 dimensions. It's the world's only sci-fi/horror/fantasy/erotic/serial novel!

Are you a frustrated writer? Me, too -- kind of. But I'm less frustrated since I began talking about writing, and getting published -- or, rather, not getting published -- on AAAAAUGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Or: Why is it so hard to get an agent, get published, get rich, and move to Hawaii?) You'll find posts on my efforts to get published, plus how I come up with ideas, plus a lot of fun thoughts about writing.

And, because sometimes I get goaded into it by the need to make a living, I also write about the law on Family and Consumer Law: The Blog. If you have a family, or spend money -- or know someone who does -- this blog is for you.

That oughtta keep you busy. See you next week.

Sweetie was well aware that they were celebrity fingers. (3 Good Things From July 11)

Saturdays are easy to get 3 Good Things from, but even so, yesterday was a great one.

1. Watching The Unborn with Sweetie last night, and having her grab my hand to cover her eyes during the scary parts. Sweetie loves horror movies -- she just hates the scary parts of them, and so she watches those through my fingers.

2. Learning about the painting One while we attended Madison's "Art Fair On The Square." "One" is a painting made of 1,000,000 tiny squares, which can be purchased separately by art lovers, who then help create the painting in a way, because the painting, which is one unified work, is spread around the world and interpreted by the viewers in their own way. I loved the idea; unfortunately, I didn't have $20 to buy a piece. But you can read more about it here.

3. This. I'm a star!