Friday, February 29, 2008

Why Dolphins Are Overrated

No, this isn’t a football post. It’s an animal post. About dolphins. Specifically, the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncates, who seems to hog most of the spotlight.

Am I the only one tired of hearing about how wonderful dolphins are? I’m no marine biologist, but dolphins are supposed to be smart, right? Yet I’ve been going to Sea World since I was five, and they’re still doing the same stupid shit they did back then. “Sit back and enjoy the playful elegance of Cindy and Sandy as they swim and jump to the accompaniment of overly dramatic music designed to fool you into thinking they're smarter than they really are…” C’mon. Swimming and jumping? They’re fucking dolphins. That’s. What. They. Do. If they used their superior intellect to orchestrate an elaborate escape, then I might be impressed. But swimming and jumping?

By the way, dogs can swim and jump too. In fact, I have a theory that dolphins are basically aquatic dogs. Dogs do tricks for food. That’s all the dolphins are doing. And really, those dolphin shows at Sea World and local aquariums are just the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show without the pooper scoopers.

But it goes deeper than that. Bomb sniffing dogs? Underwater mine-hunting dolphins. Dogs respond to those weird ass whistles that nobody can hear. Guess what? So do the fucking dolphins.

Oh, but you say, “Dolphins are sweet and gentle and benevolent and they care about human beings because they’ve rescued people drowning in the ocean.” Dogs are all of those things, plus anyone who’s watched classic cartoons will tell you that if you ever find yourself suddenly trapped under an avalanche, eventually a St. Bernard will come along, pull you out of the snow, and pour itself a shot of whiskey from that little barrel around its neck. Using your body as a floatation device? Not even in the same league.

And c’mon, if you think about it, "Lassie" and "Flipper" were the same friggin show.

And you know how dogs like to hump your leg? It’s been widely documented (also here) that dolphins engage in the same amorous activity, only they won’t settle for just your thigh. In fact, this behavior is so deviant that Carl Hiaasen even included it in one of his novels, though I don’t remember which one.

And here’s another reason I don’t trust dolphins: they’re always smiling. But it’s not a friendly smile. It’s one of those holier-than-thou-your-mere-existence-amuses-my- superior-dolphin-intellect kind of smiles. It’s predatory. And now that I think about it, it’s probably just an act so you’ll think they’re cute and you’ll let your guard down and jump in the water with them so they can ram their big cetacean cock up your ass.

Here they are anticipating a poolside gang bang.

You can say all these things about killer whales too, which aren’t really whales by the way. They’re giant dolphins. Plus, killer whales are mean. Don’t believe me? Here’s a clip from the documentary The Blue Planet, wherein a killer whale plays volleyball with a sea lion pup. Warning: May cause disillusionment.

Still think these are majestic creatures? This clip doesn’t mention it, but in the documentary they point out that when the killer whale was through having its fun, it didn’t even eat the sea lion. Sure, maybe there’s a good explanation. Maybe this particular killer whale was just an asshole. Maybe it was high on toxic phytoplankton. Maybe it was the Kaiser Sรถze of killer whales sending a message to all the sea lion bystanders who owed it money. I dunno. But it makes me increasingly suspicious of Shamu.

And that’s another thing. These killer whale shows are even more ridiculous than the dolphin shows. The main draw of these shows seems to be the finale when they let the really big giant killer dolphin/whale out of its cage and it circles the tank and flings water at enthusiastic tourists, using the same muscle groups it would use to slingshot a baby sea lion. And don’t think for a second it wouldn’t send a baby sea lion soaring into the audience if could. “Guess we’re all out of baby sea lions. Guess they’ll have to settle for this water I just shit in. Boy, humans sure like diluted shit water. Maybe a coupla the little ones’ll fall in the tank and I could launch them…” And people arrive forty-five minutes early just to get seats in the Splash Zone. But then again, most tourists are northerners anyway, so you can’t expect too much.

So, to sum up: never trust a dolphin. They’re not that smart. Even the ones who manage not to get captured. And while dolphins may look cute, always remember, they’re just waiting to fuck you. And never sit in the Splash Zone, unless you like half-digested mullet spine in your hair. But if you do, you probably belong in a Carl Hiaasen book too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday – Monday Edition

My junior high English teacher would occasionally assign creative writing exercises. Nothing complicated. Just write a story then stand up in front of the whole class and read it aloud. Already having a mortal fear of public speaking, I dreaded these more than any other adolescent embarrassment. My first few attempts were horrible, mostly because I was trying to write A Story, and the silence of my classmates when I read them at the podium confirmed my hunch that I sucked. Then finally, in sixth grade I think, fed up with the torture of these silly assignments, I thought, Screw it. I’m just gonna write something ridiculous.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this, throwing caution to the wind and thinking you don’t really care about what anyone says. But, at least for me, about five minutes before you’re supposed to deliver, your hands get cold and sweaty, your heart skips several beats and you start thinking, Shit. I severely fucked up. I actually have to READ this. And you try to determine the most believable way to fake food poisoning.

I wrote a James Bond parody about his ex-partner, James Stocks, who was stationed with 007 on Wall Street where they were known as Stocks and Bond. I don’t remember anything else about the story. I’m sure it was dumb. But what I do remember is my classmates laughing at all the right places. If you’ve never had a room full of your peers laughing at your jokes, I strongly recommend it. It’s one of the best natural highs available. From then on, I was the guy who wrote funny stories. And once you develop a reputation like that, you can write anything and they’ll laugh, and I was sure that’s what I was going to do for the rest of my life.

Then I got to high school and my English teacher there gave me a C- on our first writing assignment, curing me of any silly notions I had that I could write. So I spent most of high school dreading English, dreading writing, and even dreading reading for that matter. But then, my senior year, I transferred to a large public high school, and one of my teammates showed me the novel he’d written. Sure, it was Star Wars fan fiction crap, but I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Here was this high school baseball player who’d written a novel just because he felt like it. And thought, Screw it. I’m gonna do it too. And I’ve been trying to do it ever since.

When did you know or decide you had no choice but to write?

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Sky Is Falling And Other News

Despite the perfectly reasonable sounding explanations to the contrary, this is another big step toward the weaponization of space, not just missile defense. The data to be gleaned from this operation is invaluable, whether or not it correlates to an actual anti-missile mission.

And if this isn’t a thinly veiled threat, I don’t know what is. I mean, c’mon. Dallas?

And while I don’t usually fear change or new technologies, this one scares the shit out of me. I know it’s the future, but I also know there are real life comic book villains out there who see this and think, “Oh, a thermostat. Now we just need to build the HVAC system.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WTF Wednesday

They don’t make ‘em like they used to. It’s not a new concept, I know. But when I saw what had happened to my favorite toy of all time, the Sit ‘N Spin, I nearly had an aneurism. As a child of the late 70s and early 80s I was part of the last generation to experience a mostly unstructured and unsupervised childhood, before the neurotic extracurricular activity movement forced kids to buy Day-Timers, before the electronic revolution moved playtime indoors, and before safety helmets zapped the danger—and the fun—out of everything. We had freedom. The freedom to organize a neighborhood wide game of wiffle ball, or the freedom, if we felt like it, to sit on our asses and do nothing at all but daydream. It was better than anything that came from a toy store. Except possibly the Sit ‘N Spin.

I loved my Sit ‘N Spin. I loved it to a degree I cannot fully describe to others who don’t already know the feeling. I had the powder blue one, with the swirly rainbow stickers, though the stickers had all but worn off by the time I turned five. And I’m sure I played with my Sit ‘N Spin well beyond the recommended age range, longer than I’d like to admit anyway. But the original Sit ‘N Spin wasn’t just a toy either; it was so much more.

It was a:

Physics Teacher: Sure, I didn’t know it was called centrifugal force at the time, but I knew if I let go my ass would be upside down against the couch.

Dance Instructor: Pop off that center post, stand with your feet spread slightly, and swivel your hips back and forth. That’s how I learned to do The Twist.

Drunken Stupor Simulator: I can’t tell you how many awkward social situations I’ve avoided as an adult because of my uncanny ability to hold my liquor, and I owe it all to the countless hours I logged on my Sit ‘N Spin as a kid.

Horizon Expander: You know how they used to say if you ate Pop Rocks and drank Coke at the same time your head would explode? I don’t know about that, but if you eat Pop Rocks and drink Coke while pushing 100RPMs on a Sit ‘N Spin you will definitely open your mind to new unexplored dimensions. Trust me.

Tough Love Parent: I learned a valuable life lesson when I was eight when I woke up to take a leak in the middle of the night and sprained my ankle on the dizzy pad. My parents said, “See? This is why we told you to clean up your room.” But even then I knew they were from a different generation and didn’t understand what my good ole SNS was really trying to teach me: always keep the path to the pisser free of obstacles. This is wisdom I’ve passed on to my children, and I’d like to one day have it embroidered on a wall hanging.

So this past Christmas, when my two year-old got her first Sit ‘N Spin, I was anxious to assemble it as quickly as possible so she too could begin her personal life journey, courtesy of Playskool. That is, until I opened the box and discovered a flimsy plastic shell masquerading as the toy I’d known and loved. I believe my exact thoughts on the matter were, “The fuck is this?” My two year-old daughter, clearly as perturbed as I was by the lengths to which toy makers will go to shave a few bucks off production costs, reiterated my sentiments, “Fuhhh is zissss, Da-deee?” And since Mommy was in another room, I nodded and said, “You can say that again.” So she did.

The original Sit 'N Spin was made of some kind of industrial strength resin, possibly a Space Age polymer. Whatever its nature, it was damn near indestructible. For example, you could pick it up by its center post, and swing it in a fit of frustration over not being allowed to ride your bike to 7-11 with the other kids, and it would leave an inconveniently noticeable hole in a standard hollow core door. The new one, I'm pretty sure I could crush like a beer can. But the secret to the original Sit 'N Spin’s success was its 100% genuine steel ball bearings. I don't know what the new one uses, but it’s obvious the Playskool engineers were absent the day their places of higher learning taught friction. They should call the new one Sit ‘N—. And of course, the new one also comes equipped with the standard loud-as-shit electronic music assembly, which not only requires AA batteries, but the temperament of a Buddhist monk to keep from hurling the friggin thing through a sliding glass door. Which would only cause it to break anyway—not the door.

They even make a “Simon Says” version of the Sit ‘N Spin now, which urges children to accomplish such imaginative tasks as “spin faster” and “spin slower.” Of course, this is just one more clever method of conditioning kids to obey the disembodied voice of authority, so they’ll more readily accept the street corner Simons, already prominent in the UK. To combat this, I’ve tried to instill a sense of rebellion in my children, not against me or my wife, but against the disembodied voice of authority. In fact, whenever they complain to me that their toys are telling them to do something they don’t want to do, I always say, “Well, what’s the rule?” And, as if reciting multiplication facts learned by rote, they say, “Never obey the disembodied voice of authority.” I don’t know if I’m getting through to them or not, but it’s fun to watch.

But then I sit and watch my two year-old struggle to achieve a half revolution on this crappy imposter toy, and I lament the passing of what once was, and I mourn the fate of my future grandchildren who will no doubt be subjected to even more ridiculousness imported from China. And I worry about our society in general, because much like the Sit ‘N Spin, in many ways we too have lost our bearings (and our balls for that matter), and we’ve traded them in for a cheap plastic replica and false promises of safety, set to an obnoxiously loud tune that attempts to mask the shallowness of it all. But then I remember the world keeps going round and round, like the old Sit ‘N Spin used to, and eventually people will get fed up with the counterfeit bullshit. And then one day, hopefully soon, the masses will pick up their mindless distraction gizmos and hurl them through the glass walls of their socially engineered time-out corners, and demand a little freedom back, and a little quality, and maybe play some wiffle ball too. In the meantime, thank God for swiveling office chairs.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Grabbing My Mail Sack Monday

While it humbles me that people come here and actually read this crap, it also makes me highly suspect of their mental stability. So when I get emails asking blog related questions, I'm a little hesitant to hit Reply and encourage potentially dangerous individuals. I'll answer the questions here instead.

Dear Blogless,
What’s with the So-And-So Wednesday, So-And-So Thursday crap? Are all your posts going to be titled this way?
[name withheld]

That’s a good question, Name. I honestly don’t know what I was trying to pull off there. I think it was an attempt at satire of some sort, but I can’t remember, and it’s getting on my nerves too. I’ve empanelled a committee to explore this very issue.

Dear Mr. Troll,
You’re a guy. Do guys really listen to women? I’d like to think my boyfriend hangs on every word I say, and that the reason he doesn’t always respond appropriately, or at all for that matter, is because he’s just afraid to express his feelings in an intimate way for fear of rejection or embarrassment or some other imagined trauma that might bruise his ego and cause him to think he’s less of a man. Is this the case, or do guys just hear what they want to hear and ignore the rest?

Please, call me Blogless. Mr. Troll is my father. Next question.

Yo BT,
You think Dwight Howard really deserved to win the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest this past Saturday during the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans?

First of all, you don’t have to say “Sprite Slam Dunk Contest” etc. like you’re talking to a buncha writers who don’t know anything about sports. And he was going to win the dunk contest anyway, even if he showed up with an accordion and played "This Land Is Your Land" for the entirety of his allotted time. This is what's known in the NBA as a make-up call. During a game, if a ref blows a call at one end of the floor, he'll usually correct his mistake by making an equally ridiculous call at the other end against the other team. And yes, while it's true two wrongs don't make a right, fifty to sixty wrongs typically make a regulation NBA game. Twice that if the refs have money on the spread. But since last year's dunk contest wasn't a game, and there was no way to rescind Dwight's unjust first round elimination, and since last year's refs aka "judges" included the likes of Michael Jordan and Dr. J, who are both NBA deities and therefore arrogant shitheads, Dwight got screwed and everybody knew it and he got to cry about it for a whole year with nothing to comfort him but piles and piles of endorsement deal money. So this year the NBA made sure Dwight would win the dunk contest by changing the rules to allow fans to vote for the winner, by stocking the field with other big men from unpopular teams, and by kicking Michael Jordan the fuck out. The good news is now that Dwight's gotten his rocks off and won his dunk trophy, he can finally concentrate on more important things such as bringing a championship to Orlando, and he can stop taking nights off like he did last Monday against Cleveland.

But hey, I'm getting off track here. Did he deserve to win? Fuck yeah! Did you SEE that Superman dunk? He wore a friggin cape, dude! Oh, you didn't see it? Well, lemme play it again.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fave Five Friday

This is where I co-opt an overexposed corporate marketing ploy and bend it to fit my own purposes. It's called filler. Please feel free to participate.

1) Fave mixed drink: Jack and Coke

2) Fave board game: Balderdash

3) Fave Bob Marley song: Redemption Song

4) Fave stand-up comedian: Mitch Hedberg

5) Fave line from The Princess Bride: "Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hey, Baby Thursday

My wife and I are gradually turning into each other. For as long as I’ve known her, my wife’s had to sleep with her feet sticking out from under the blanket. No matter how cold or how hot the room is, no matter where we are, she requires uncovered feet in order to attain restful sleep. It’s one of those silly things I love about her. Of course, I rarely let an opportunity to tease her about it go by. For her birthday one year, I bought her a blanket, cut a hole in it near the bottom for her feet, and gave it to her as a gag gift, fully expecting it to land me in the doghouse. Turns out women actually like this sort of thing. Go figure. Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when, a few years into our marriage, I discovered the reason I hadn’t been sleeping well was because my feet were now being suffocated by the blanket. It’s an unnerving feeling, the first time you realize you’re turning into someone else. But however intense my anxiety had been, it was nothing compared to the panic attack my wife experienced the first time she caught herself heckling the eleven o’clock news.

I used to get cynical about Valentine's Day, any holiday really, that involved running out and buying greeting cards that would just get thrown away in couple of days anyway. But my wife has taught me that it’s not about the actual cards, or the pounds and pounds of heart-shaped chocolate contributing to an obese society, or the wholesale massacre of fragrant plant life. It’s about taking the time to show the person you love how much you care. The methods we use are a function of creativity (or lack thereof) and convenience, and in the end, it’s not the method that really matters. At least I think that’s what she meant. Sometimes I can be a little dense.

So tonight I’ll give her the card, and the chocolate (if there’s any left), and the roses. And after the kids are in bed we’ll have our romantic evening, or as romantic an evening as possible on a babysitter-less school night. And afterward we'll curl up together in bed with our feet uncovered, flip on the local news, and laugh at the plastic people who don't understand what they're reading. And snuggled up beside her, I’ll think again how lucky I am to have her, and how lucky I am that, even in the slightest of ways, I’m turning into her, because there’s no one else in the world I’d rather turn into.

Sucks for her she’s turning into me though.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Parenting Tip Wednesday

Our bathroom reading basket is filled with magazines like Parenting, and Parents, and Parenting For Parents With Children Who Have Parents. I don’t understand this because my wife is a great parent, and like all good husbands, I will often take the time (usually when I’m in the bathroom) to tell her she’s a great parent:

“Honeeeeeeee? Why do we subscribe to all these parenting magazines? You’re a great parent.”

“Thanks, I know.”

“So…why are we spending the money again?”

“Because I’m a great parent.”

“We buy them because you’re a great parent?”

“Because I’m a great parent.”

I’ve never understood women. Point is, being a guy with a need to read while otherwise occupied, I’ve become somewhat of a parenting magazine guru. For those of you who don’t know, they’re basically women’s magazines (with the obligatory articles about sex and why men are stupid) and for the most part they’re well written by writers, usually mothers, who know what they’re talking about. (Except the part about men being stupid.) However, there are always one or two articles per issue written by “experts” who don’t seem to know “shit” about “anything.” These articles always have titles like “6 Ways To Keep Your Toddler Safe From Choking Hazards.” And at first you’re excited, because who hasn’t rushed to the emergency room while their spouse was out of town because the two year-old accidentally ingested Boots the Monkey's easily breakable tail? But after wading through eighty-two pages of perfumey ads for Hamburger Helper and nursing bras, you discover that five of those six solutions aren’t really solutions but cleverly worded filler, and the sixth one only an idiot would try and it would never work anyway and you know because you’re the idiot who tried it.

So, from time to time, I’ll be offering real parenting tips, as a public service, to counteract any foolishness you may have been subjected to by one of the experts. These are practical, field-tested techniques that will only enhance your child rearing abilities, and you’d be wise to learn them.

Today’s Tip: Their best weapon is your best weapon.

Let’s face it. Kids can be annoying. And nothing’s more annoying than that illogical abomination known as Opposite Day. You know how it is:

“Daddy, can I have ice cream?”


“Ha-ha! Today’s Opposite Day!”

This is where those other parenting experts will tell you to curb your frustration and consider your child’s disregard for parental authority as an opportunity for her to grow as a person, and rather than discouraging your child, you might try joining her in the creative wordplay process and together explore the convoluted wonders of circular logic. Look, fuck that. You do that, and you’ll end up with this:

“Ha-ha! Today’s Opposite Day!”

“Don’t start that sh—I mean, alright sweetie. I’m curbing my frustration. We can play Opposite Day. Or, I should say, we can’t play Opposite—

“Ice cream! Ice cream! Woooo-hoooo! Ice cream!”

“No, no. Don’t climb up there, please. I mean, yes. Yes, climb up—NO! Don’t really do it!”

And you’ll have the same conversation tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, and you’ll be insane before the magazine’s next issue hits the stands. There’s only one way to end the Opposite Day bullshit, and it’s the same method you used when you were seven: retaliatory annoyance.

“Ha-ha! Today’s Opposite Day!”

“You know, sweetie, by saying it’s Opposite Day, you’re really saying it’s not Opposite Day.”

“Okay… It's not Opposite Day. Ha-ha!”

“Oh good. I’m glad it’s not Opposite Day.”

“Daaaa-deee! It is Opposite Day.”

“Which means it’s isn't.”

“Uggghhh! It’s. Not. Opposite Day!”

“Wheew. That’s good news. For a minute I thought it was gonna be Opposite Day.”


“Which means…”

The key here is persistence. Eventually, your child will get so annoyed with you that she will storm off in frustration or breakdown in tears. Either way, she’s forgotten about the ice cream. And that’s Mission Accomplished.

I’ve gotten so good at this technique that when I walk through the front door after an exhausting day and I hear the high-pitched squeal of the Sticky-Fingered Stampede fast approaching, all I have to do is smile and say, “Guess what? Today’s Opposite Day!” And they haul ass for Mommy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday – Personal Neuroses Edition

Starting a new segment today called Show and Tell Tuesday. It probably won’t be every week, or even on Tuesdays, and we may do other things besides showing and telling. But anyway, this is where everyone gets to share something embarrassing about themselves, or, if you’re shy, about one of your “friends.” Or, for the writers, your “characters.” It doesn't have to be elaborate, just humiliating.

Today’s topic is Personal Neuroses. Here’s mine:

Sometimes when I’m standing in line at 7-11, or pumping gas, or walking through a parking lot minding my own business, I’ll glance up and notice a guy dressed in a dark suit and dark sunglasses looking right at me. It’s never the same guy. But I always immediately think: Shit. There’s a secret agent. The fuck did I do? Should I run for it? Or just play it cool?

Then it occurs to me that maybe he's not surveilling me at all. Maybe he thinks he knows me from somewhere, and any minute now he’s gonna walk over and say something like, “It’s Hopkins, right? Remember me? Samuelson. Guatemala. '85.” Then I’ll be forced to play along, like I know what kinda shit went down in Guatemala. And I'll have to decide whether to reply with something vague, like, "Yeah, those were the days," or something cryptic to throw him off balance like, "Of course, only the rabbit lived to tell about it." And at the same time I'll have to be plotting my escape in case he suddenly realizes his faux pas and decides to disappear my ass for National Security reasons.

And then I think: Wait a minute. I'm wearing a dark suit too. And dark glasses. And I'm looking right at him. What if he's just a regular guy, and I'm giving him some paranoid delusional complex? But he must've done something if he gets worked up that easy. Maybe I should follow him and find out what he's up to.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Everyone's A Winner Monday

Over the weekend I discovered I actually did have a really tiny picture of myself after all, and suddenly evaluating entries seemed like a lotta work.

Thanks to everyone who sent a suggestion. They're all posted below. What's really strange is that each one of them actually does resemble me in some way, and I think I'll use all of them at one point or another. Er…probably not the naked guy.

Also, just so we're clear, I don't wear tighty whities.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Send Me A Suggestive Email Friday

Chris has informed me that if I want to be taken seriously as a blogger, then I need to act like a blogger and start sporting an avatar, whatever that is…

And since I don’t have any really tiny pictures of myself, I figured we’d have a contest. I’ve been told that’s also a bloggerly thing to do.

So, if you have any avatar suggestions, please send them to the email address in my profile. All entries will be subjected to a rigorous evaluation process, and scoring will be based on several significant factors including, but not limited to, yadda yadda yadda and I’ll pick the least embarrass—I mean, best one.

I don’t plan to post on weekends, so on Monday or Tuesday I’ll unveil the winner, along with detailed explanations as to why the rest of them sucked.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Learning The Ropes Wednesday

I figured since I don’t know much about blogging, I’d troll around some other blogs, see what they’re up to, and make sure I don’t inadvertently rip anyone off. I’d hate to go to all this trouble just to replicate what’s already been done.

So, using the handy Next Blog button, which Blogger indicated would take me through a series of random blogs, I conducted a scientific survey of approximately 62,000 sites. At least that what it seemed like. It only really took me about ten minutes. By the way, Blogger’s definition of “random” appears to be “twenty, then we start repeating.”

Here are the results:

Only 10% of all blogs are written in English. I admit, this was a little shocking to me too, and it somewhat limited the scope of the scientific survey since English happens to be the only language I read. However, if only 10% of bloggers are blogging in English that means most people are doing something else, and that means English could be just the niche I’m looking for. That’s good news.

Now, of those 10% English language blogs, roughly 72% want me to look at pictures of their children, 15% want to save my soul from the fiery depths of Hell, and 8% can get me a good deal on athletic footwear, as long as I don’t mind waiting six to eight weeks for delivery from Costa Rica.

In addition to the raw numbers, here are some other various tidbits I picked up along the way:

There are a lot of amazingly talented photographers eating up global bandwidth.

“The current crisis with astronomy and particle physics in the UK is a two-prong problem.” I would’ve guessed three.

Spanish language blogs with Content Warnings = naked women. Admittedly, this is where the scientific survey bogged down a bit.

So, to sum up:

Write in English. Check.

No family photos. Check.

Never consult Blogger in matters requiring an accurate definition. Check.

Also, visit more Spanish language blogs. No problemo.

And I thought this was gonna be hard.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Intro Tuesday

Um. Hello? [tap tap tap] Is this thing on?

So I’ve been in and around the blogosphere for about a year or so now, mostly visiting writing blogs, and while I’ve never actually had a blog of my own, I have left numerous smart-alecky, occasionally rude and/or insensitive comments on other people's blogs… I’m not sure what you call that… But anyway, my name’s Blogless Troll.

I know. I know. You're thinking, "C'mon Blogless. You can't keep calling yourself Blogless now that you've got a blog, can you? That's just silly."

At first I agreed with you; the logic of your argument appeared impenetrable. But then I started thinking about all the people I've known over the years, and I realized many of them had totally inappropriate names too. Way more inappropriate than mine. For example, my best friend growing up was a kid down the street named Artie, but he couldn't draw worth a shit. Not even a little. It was like, "C'mon, Artie. It's Tic. Tac. Toe, man. Two sideways lines and—Just gimme the goddamn pencil."

Then in high school and college, I played baseball with a Hunter (vegan), and a Skip (he was always there), and a Frank (completely fulla shit). And our second baseman, Dewey, had chronic dry skin. Also in college, I was friends with a girl named Lacey, who was a no-frills type, and Patty, who shunned physical contact. I actually dated a Summer once, and although incredibly hot, she was mostly an icy cold-blooded bitch.

Nowadays, when I have the time, I hang out with my Uncle Red who's always blue, and my wife's Greek uncle, Roman. There's also our good friend Grace, who falls down a lot.

In fact, the only appropriate name I can think of belonged to the stray cat my wife and I adopted right after we got married, though thinking about the little guy now makes me all teary-eyed. We ended up putting him to sleep because he suffered from a rare urinary tract deformity. His name was Pierre.

So I'm gonna keep the name. As for the blog itself, my only goal here is to waste five minutes of your life a few times per week. In fact, I haven't decided on an official slogan yet, but, "Well, that's five minutes of my life I'll never get back," is in the top three.

Most of what you'll read here is true, except for the parts that are lies. For the fanatical truth mongers among us, I've attempted to help you obsessively separate fact from fiction by installing a state-of-the-art Truth-O-Meter at the top of each post. As you can see, today's forecast is "Mostly Honest."

I should also warn you I have three kids, but I promise—no, I swear—never to ramble on and on and on and on about how they're the smartest three kids in the world (even though they are), or the cutest (unbelievably so), or the most talented (the two year-old can juggle). But small children are hilarious and if I can exploit them for laughs I will.

One last thing. I may have, at one time or another, left a harsh/belittling/contumelious/thesaurusy comment on someone else's blog, that may or may not have, allegedly, "hurt" your "feelings" in some minor way. If that's the case, feel free to take this opportunity to ***(think up humorous retaliation strategy to suggest to the aggrieved, sincere sounding, like I’m really sorry)(Oops. Was that out loud?)*** I won't mind. Nothing cleanses the soul like anonymous revenge. Besides, I'm a guy, and as we all know, guys don't have feelings. Though I do have an uncle who works for the NSA, and I can have Federal agents on your doorstep in fifteen minutes.

Ha. Kidding.

More like thirty.