Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Does not compute

You know I can't resist a good "end of the world" story. And since Howard Camping let us down on the rapture and the end of the Mayan calendar didn't really mean end of days, all we have is Trump wagging his nasty rump at the North Koreans to give us doomsday fears.

But I ran across a new one the other day on Twitter. An article about the world running out of data space caught my eye. Apparently the dire predictions have been around for awhile. We are creating so much data posting photos and videos of our pets and kids on social media that even the mysterious cloud can't hold everything. The article said that even if we figured out a way to store data on every single atom, we'd run out of data space in a matter of years.

I don't claim to understand how we can run out of space for something that doesn't physically exist, but it started me thinking. I've been blogging away thinking that after I post my last post before heading off into the great unknown some day, it and the rest of Dizgraceland would hang around forever helping people solve the riddle of  Leon Spinks and determining whether clams are really happy. Now I find that we could run out of storage space and my life's work will likely be erased to make room for more videos of cats on trampolines.

BTW, my last post will likely be something whiny about repeating myself, being invisible and wondering why my blog never went viral.

Pause for a lugubrious howl.

Friday, April 14, 2017

April fools

Can't believe April Fools Day snuck by me without so much as a Whoopee Cushion or joy buzzer. I guess April Fools Day just feels redundant with you know who squatting in the White House muttering and tweeting jibba jabba.

Not that I had any practical jokes in mind. There is quite the write up about practical jokes on Wikipedia if you are interested in why they are called practical jokes. I think the article also is a practical example of people with too much time on their hands.

Sometimes I miss a time before Wikipedia and not being able to immerse myself in the minutia of useless things.

Pause for lugubrious howl.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Spring into inaction

I didn't post on my birthday as is my usual custom. Generally I get a bit down around then because birthdays have usually been a let down for me. But this year I was treated to a farm stay at a working farm in Sedro Woolley, Washington and it made me forget about me pushing 60.

I won't go into too many details since I posted more about it on my daddy blog.  But suffice it to say I had a blast just feeding cows and driving tractors. It was simple. It was good, hard work. And none of it involved a committee or an hour and a half meeting.

One of the cool things about the farm was that the owner bought it about eight years ago when he was the age I am now. He was this vibrant, smart guy who was patient and full of life. And he made me think about the direction of my life.

Monday, March 13, 2017

If a blog falls in the forest and there is no one there to read it, does it make a sound?

Dizgraceland ko·an: a paradoxical blog, used in cyberspace to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment. Or not.
I suppose I could have titled this post, "What is the sound of one blog clapping?" but that wouldn't make any sense. Nor would "Show me the blog you wrote before you were born." I think I'm fine with wondering if a blog falling in the forest with no one to read it makes a sound.

I remember having to write an essay in an 8th-grade creative writing class about whether a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it would make a sound. I blathered on for a page or two about there always being something to hear it (animals, insects, plants) so yes, it made a sound. It wasn't a very creative essay.

Yet here I am, 44 or so years later blathering on about the proverbial koan and its proverbial sounds. I have to admit I was feeling a bit maudlin about blogging today. Every now and then I check my stats and reread some of my posts from the early days of my blogging career that have been getting hits recently and marvel at the number of comments. The comments were from a group of regulars that I grew to think of as my virtual entourage.
Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la, Those were the days, oh yes those were the days
Oh my god, I'm breaking into maudlin songs mid blog post which is worse than my normal digressions or lugubrious howls.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Feral hog apocalypse now

In between doom and gloom tweets about Crooked Donald, I've been seeing a great deal of stories about animals acting out of character. A bull escaped from a slaughterhouse and led police on a chase through New York. He was shot with multiple tranquilizers before he passed out (and eventually died).

I found it very sad.

Then a coyote in South Carolina followed a doctor into his office. The doctor panicked and led the aggressive coyote on a ten-foot chase before it got distracted by a squirrel. There is no information about whether or not he caught the squirrel.

Now Texas is launching a full-scale effort to stave off a "feral hog apocalypse." Apparently as many as 2.5 million feral hogs are roaming Texas helping themselves to what the Texas Agriculture Commission claims is $50 million worth of crops and Aunt Betty's petunias each year.

Monday, February 13, 2017

I had a dream

I think I dream a lot. But, most of the time I forget my dreams soon after I step into the shower. Sometimes though, the dreams are pretty vivid and stay with me.

Like the other morning, I had a dream that the neighbor had cut a door in my fence and built a play structure for his kids on my property. I only noticed it when I saw his kids building a snowman in my back yard.  So naturally I went outside to confront my neighbor. By this time the snow was gone and he seemed to be having a party in his backyard.

I asked him if he'd built the play structure in my yard after cutting a hole in the fence. He got belligerent when I threatened a law suit and said he wasn't the mortgage payer for where he was living. He was a renter. I told him he needed to remove the play structure at once or I'd call the police. Then I said I'd remove it myself with an axe.

At that point he picked up the main structure and wheeled it through the fence along with what seemed to be an endless amount of other crap that he'd dumped in my yard.

Then the dream got weird(er).

The guy starts up this huge construction machine and is lifting stuff out of the front of my yard with it. And he is carting stuff out of my garage that he'd placed there. I was yelling at him about what gave him the right to put his stuff in my garage (I think this portion of the dream was based on fact since our garage is full of all kinds of crap right now and none of it is a car).

Then I woke up.

The funny thing about the dream was that most of it took place at my mom's old house that was torn down several years ago. I don't have a yard with a fence that borders any neighbors. But I do have a garage full of crap as I mentioned.

Not sure what the point of the dream was. Maybe I feel as though my boundaries in life have been violated by Crooked Donald and his team.

Could be those spicy pistachio nuts I ate before going to bed, too.

We'll probably never no.

The north wind doth blow

I do not like snow. Oh, I'm okay with it if it snows Christmas Eve and looks pretty for a few hours. But then I want it to go away.

I will not bore you and rehash anecdotes of how people in Seattle haven't got a clue how to drive in the snow.  Truth be told, people in Seattle are pretty crappy driver's no matter what the weather. They just treat snow as an excuse to slide into each other and blame it on the weather rather than their own inadequate driving skills.

My children like snow because they rarely experience it here. I imagine if it rarely rained here, they would like the rain as well. I, on the other hand, grew up with snow on a fairly regular basis during the winter. There are only so many snowmen you can make before it loses its appeal.

I don't like to be cold. So naturally snow falls with an automatic strike against it in my book. It reminds me of learning to ski when I was 17 and having to get up at the crack of dawn every day for a week during my Christmas break to catch a bus to Bogus Basin Ski resort. There I'd stand in line at the rental place to get my skis and trudge to my beginner's class that lasted all day. I had secondhand boots that didn't fit right and absorbed water. So basically I was miserable the entire time.

Snow for my children inevitably means no school. When I was a kid they never shut the school down for snow. It was just a few blocks from my house anyway. Even then snow stressed me out because our school had a strict policy forbidding you to throw snowballs. The penalty was a spanking by the principal. And he was this sadistic bald guy who had this big wooden paddle on display in his office.

Now I wouldn't have thrown a snowball because I was deathly afraid of authority at that age, but for whatever reason, the snow still stressed me out since who knows whether I might have unintentional tried to wipe snow off my glove and have it perceived as throwing snow. It wouldn't have been the first time I'd been punished unjustly in grade school for crimes I didn't commit. Teachers in that era had a tendency to be judge and jury.

Oh well, since I started drafting this post the snow came and went. It was followed by torrential rain and winds. And now the snow if a mere melted memory.

Now I can go back to complaining about politics.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Darkest before the dawn

Suffice it to say, it is not the best time to be an American. Not that I have ever overly identified myself with my country. I liked it when it kind of went off and did its thing and didn't bother me too much.

But now the inmates of the insane asylum have literally taken over Bedlam and social and pseudo media are abuzz with riveting stories about how Trump is deadly afraid of stairs and ramps and his press secretary chews and swallows two packs of gum before noon every day. And those stories seem normal in comparison to the flurry of Executive Orders the idiot has issued in his first week in office.

Meanwhile the protests go on and on. And I search my soul, wondering if it does any good. It's like a bad science fiction movie where the Nazi's won the war and America is part of the third or fourth Reich.  There's only so many times you can scream, "No fair, not right" before you realize the people in power don't care.

At first I thought all of the protests were a sign that a majority of the people in America realized Trump and his Toadies are pond scum. Then I started seeing the polls start popping up citing that 50 percent of the population supports his outrageous orders to build walls, ban Muslims and block immigration. But why should I be surprised. Almost 50 percent of the population voted for him. Why would I think they would wake up now?

It all comes down to what people choose to believe. Once they have ingrained something into their heads, it is almost impossible to dissuade them of it being the truth. Because they have made it their truth. And most people will go out of their way to constantly adjust their reality to hold onto their truth. No number of facts will change their minds. Because as we are discovering "alternative facts" are quickly becoming the norm.

I'm no different. Nothing anyone can tell me will ever make me think there is anything positive that can come from Trump running the country (into the ground). And even when he is gone, the Republicans will blame it all on the Democrats anyway.

I wish the sun would come out soon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hollywood spirits

I've been to Hollywood a few times in my life. Mostly as most people go to Hollywood--as a tourist. This time I was in Hollywood on a business trip. I was in town for a few days to shoot some television spots for work. And since the production company's offices were in Hollywood I stayed at a hotel in the heart of tinsel town, the Hollywood Roosevelt.

The Hollywood Roosevelt was built in 1927. It is seeped in old Hollywood history. One of the first Academy Awards ceremony took place there. It is even supposed to be haunted by Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Cliff. Marilyn had one of her first photo shoots as a model in the hotel pool.

I didn't see any ghosts at the Hollywood Roosevelt. But I could understand why they would be there. The place had atmosphere oozing out of it in spades. I could understand why I didn't see any ghosts though. My room was barely big enough for me let alone a ghost.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

You take the high road and I'll take the circuitous road...

I started to write this post about how romanticism begins to wane the older you get and the more experience you've had. That got sidetracked as I meandered down memory lane recalling my own experience. Experience is the operative word here. Because being hopefully optimistic seems to be something that feeds a romanticized view of life. And experience tends to squash both hope and optimism.

Jaded perhaps. But pretty much true.

Pause for lugubrious howl.

Or perhaps experience begins to create self-fulfilling prophecies that squash both hope and optimism. Regardless, I find it difficult to maintain a cheery attitude about things, especially with the current political realities.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Clickbaiters are the new spammers

noun informal 

(on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.
I am struggling to stick to my resolution to not succumb to the siren song of clickbait. This is particularly difficult on Twitter since the primary purpose of most tweets is to get you to click on them. Facebook is not much better. Though I have blocked some of the worst offenders from my news stream. For awhile there I was constantly being pulled into tabloid like headlines reading things like "Mother and toddler discover time machine in Walmart." Turned out to be a mother snaps a photo of a geriatric shopper dressed in the same outfit as her three year old.

Clickbait preys on that aspect of human nature that just can't help but open a container of cottage cheese in the fridge that is several months past it's pull date. It uses the same principal of newspapers like the National Enquirer to lure hapless shoppers to throw it in the cart at the checkout stand because they were dying to read an article about a boy trapped in a refrigerator who eats his own arm.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Repeating myself

I feel like I have told all of my stories. Some of them one too many times. I've even written about repeating myself several times and waxed less than poetically about my theories of why we repeat ourselves so much as we age.  And I find repeating myself terribly annoying.

Yet I do it.

It is disturbing when I catch myself repeating myself. It is even more annoying when someone else brings it to my attention. It happens at work. I'll be pontificating to one of my staff and they'll fill in the ending of what I'm ranting about. Because I've said it to them before.

Then I panic. Because it means I've become one of those people. The ones who are pompous bores that repeat themselves because they don't have anything original to say. It also means I've become unaware. And one thing I've always clung to throughout my life is that I take great pains to be aware of everyone of my faults. I like to beat people to the punch when it comes to pointing out my deficiencies.

I'd like to think that I also tried to correct my faults when I become aware of them. I don't really like to be annoying. And nothing is more annoying than little things like repeating ones self.

Well making grunting sounds for no reason is pretty annoying.  Or sucking your teeth. Muttering to yourself is annoying, too.

Pause for lugubrious howl.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Another day, another year

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the end of 2016, a truly sucky year if there ever was one. I am not even going to rehash (or re-hashtag) the setbacks on the political scene

(Pause for lugubrious howl)

I did manage to post more posts than I have posted since 2011. I think that may have had something to do with the fore mentioned political developments. But I am resolved to ignore all of that for the next four years.

Not that I am much on New Year's resolutions. Though I am going to make as much effort as possible to avoid Internet click-bait. I am also resolved that, once I finish binge watching the sixth and final season of Glee, I will not rewatch it again. Because, although I enjoy the music, I found the writing on season five and six to have sunk to the sub-moronic level. Plus they have run out of gender benders to weave in and out of the weak plots.