Category Archives: How I think

Beastmaster 65

“Welcome to the Ultimate Skills competition!”
“Thanks, Keith! We’re here with the finest old fat people with skills to maneuver this bone-cracking, back-pulling, mind-blowing course that sooner or later everyone is going to have to master!”
“Just like regular Beastmaster, there are 3 courses. Christine? I bet you want to know what they are!”
“Of course, Keith! And we have 8 competitors ready for the 1st elimination. Only 6 of those 8 get to the next level.”
“The first course is going to focus on maneuverability. To get to the Mouth of the Beast, the competitor has to walk up a 100-foot ramp. It’s at a 6% grade and only 3 feet wide. But to complicate this, there are knee-knockers placed every 20-25 feet. These 12-inch barriers are the bane of anyone who’s had to walk around a house that has pets or grandchildren.”
“That’s right! My shins hurt already!”
“But when you get to the top of the ramp, you have to come down 50 stairs without a hand railing!”
“What makes this so hard?”
“The stairs are not the standard 10-12 inch tread, these stairs are only 6 inches wide.”
“We may see some spills there!”
“After they descend the stairs, they go into the belly of the beast. The room is completely black and has obstacles throughout. We’re talking head-bangers, shin-scrapers, random poles, squishy toys, and a false door!”
“How could anyone get across that?”
“They have a standard flashlight.”
“Oh?”
“Yes, it blinks on and off at inconvenient times and the beam will only faintly show 2 feet ahead of the contestant.”
“How will we see the action?”
“Infrared cameras.”
“If they’re not suicidal when they come out of this challenge, they go to the fork pick-up.”
“What’s that, Keith?”
“The Infamous Fork Pick Up! 9 forks are placed in and under and behind various objects in the room. The contestants are being told there are 10, but they get 2 points per fork, and it’s a timed exercise. If you stay in the room for too long, you get 0 points. The person with the most points wins.”
“So, OCD people looking for the non-existent 10th fork might time-out and lose all their points?!
“Yes! But that’s not all! Now they enter the colon of death!”
“It sounds awful!”
“The contestants have to sit in a wheelchair and wheel it up a snakeline 200 feet with a 10% rise and 15 turns.”

“Breaking news, Keith. One of the contestants took a look at the first obstacle, complained of pain in his arm and then grabbed his chest. 2 feet out of camera range, he ran to his van and took off. 2 more of the candidates took their canes to the set designer. George will be in the hospital for another 2-3 days. 2 more of them just wandered off the set. The last 3 were mumbling something about their prostates and have been in the bathroom for the past 26 minutes. There’s been no word if they’re coming out.”

“Well, Christine…Age and treachery…”

 

 

The More you know

The More you know, the less you don’t know.

The More you know, the more you know what you don’t know.

The More you know, the less smart your friends look.

The More you know, the more you want to know.

The More you No, the less you Yes.

Oops, that last one slipped in there.

The More you know, the less stupid you feel.

The More you know, seems like a good idea, right? Do you ache to find out where you saw that actor in the show? I saw Sean Murray in a JAG episode who was a ne’er-do-well kid whose mom pleaded with the judge to have him remanded into her custody. The JAG asked the judge to remand him to the custody of the Navy! All he needed was discipline. Sean’s final line was that he might go into the Judge Advocate General program. Well, he goes to John Hopkins and MIT and gets into NCIS… Oh wait, we’re not supposed to know that.

So maybe that doesn’t make you curious. I have a student that is taking Arabic lessons. I’d love to learn Arabic! I have another student that raises sheep, and I’d love to spin my own yarn. I have a friend that could teach me. I have another student that loves history and we were talking about the 1st American War…the Revolutionary War. It wasn’t.

In colonial New England, King Philip’s War began when a band of Wampanoag warriors raided the border settlement of Swansea, Massachusetts, and massacred the English colonists there. King Philip was the Chief of the Wampanoag. The article cited there gives the whole story. How do I know that? I had a relative that was wounded there. So this happened 100 years before the Revolutionary War. So, no, the Pilgrims and the Natives were not in blissful peace until the French and Indian War 80 years later and 10 years before the Revolutionary War.

I’m beginning to see a pattern. But was it because they didn’t know more? If I post this will more people know more?

Yet we tend to denigrate those curious people, those smart people, those founts of information. Egg-heads, Geeks, Idiot-Savants… It’s not good to be smart in America. We need to change that. Because THE MORE YOU KNOW…

There’s always a Bloody Ghost

The new Christopher Moore book came out…Shakespeare for Squirrels. There is a character, Fool, that he uses in the Shakespearian stories he writes and the plots are basically perversions of the plays. One was King Lear, and the other was Merchant of Venice although he incorporated some of the other plays and characters. When you’re doing a play, especially without a public address system, you can’t really do voice-overs to tell the audience what the character is thinking or feeling. In that case, Shakespeare employed a ghost to express the thought process, to further the plot, to show the emotional and mental state of the character. In Moore’s books, the protagonist often has arguments with the ghost, and the ghost has an agenda as well. It leads to some very silly dialog.

So Shakespeare would write–

Ghost: Murder most foul, as in the best it is. But this most foul, strange and unnatural.

You could expect this from Moore:

Ghost: Murder most fowl, as in the best it is, especially on Sundays when the cook visits the hen house. But this most fowl, strange and unnatural that the victim’s neck was throttled and all his clothes ripped off and the victim deep-fried past crispiness.

It got me thinking. What if the ghosts were just consciences personified? And random?

Scrooge:  Are you the ghost of Christmas Future?

GoCF: … ( he never talks in the play, he just points)

Scrooge: I fear thee most…

Ghost of DeNiro Future: You talkin’ to ME? I don’t see anybody…oh Sorry George, I’ll just wait for you to say your lines.

GoCF: …Looks menacingly at Ghost of DeNiro…though it’s difficult to tell since you can’t see under the hood.

Scrooge: His name’s George?

GoCF: …Returns his gaze to Scrooge

Ghost of DeNiro Future: *whispers off stage, “lines?”* Loud whisper from stage Left, “He doesn’t have lines, he just points.”

GoCF: *Smacks forehead. Forgets he’s carrying a scythe.* Ow!

Scrooge: He speaks!

Both Ghosts: Shut up!

What if random ghosts just showed up during the performances? 

Hamlet: Alas, poor Yoric.

Yorik’s ghost: WHAT!  I was just getting to sleep

George’s ghost: Wait until you see Dicken’s ghosts!

Hamlet: I knew him!

Yorik’s ghost: *Trying to scowl without his head*…You knew me?! Where were you when they yelled duck?

George’s ghost: Didn’t you duck?

Yorik’s ghost: I thought they were asking me to do an impression, so I quacked

Hamlet: I wasn’t there when he died. But here’s his head. Where’s the rest of him?

Gravedigger: He couldn’t afford a casket…

George’s ghost: Cheap bugger.

Yorik’s Ghost: Is that Dickens guy the one that’s looking for a fool? Auditions maybe?

George’s ghost: A Fool’s Ghost, or a Ghost for a Fool?

Hamlet: Dickens for the first and Christopher Moore for the second?

Horatio: WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING TO?!

Though it would be cool to have the ghosts in the courtroom telling everyone what the witnesses are thinking during their testimony.

Perry Mason: Isn’t it true that you went to the house with the intention of confronting your ex-wife?

Mr. Hughes: I knew for a fact that her Tai Chi group met from 2:00-3:00 on Thursdays and I just needed some stuff from my home office.

Mrs. Hughes’ ghost: Yes, truly he speaks because every time I went for Tai Chi, he would ask me where I was going. Every. single. time. And every time He said, “How long have you been going at 2:00?” And I would say, “You forgot to change the clocks from daylight savings time, it’s 3:00!”

Perry Mason: Let the records show Mr. Hughes arrived at his house at precisely 2:47 PM.

MHG: He never does anything precisely…

Perry Mason: Mr. Hughes, how did you get into the house?

Mr. Hughes: I walked in.

Perry Mason: There were no impediments to your entry?

Mr. Hughes: There was a mop near the stairs.

MHG: “See? I was paying attention! I’m not the jerk you make me out to be to your girlfriends!” Did you have to walk around the bucket?

Perry Mason: Did you have to walk around the bucket?

Jury: Is the ghost feeding Perry his lines?

Mr. Hughes: I didn’t notice

MHG: Why didn’t you fall on your ass on the slick floor?

Perry Mason: Did the floor look freshly cleaned?

Mr. Hughes: Um

MHG: That was a witty answer… Now he’s thinking, “I could say I went to the kitchen and checked the water temp and it was cold so it had been sitting there for a while.” Wait for it. Mason’s not going to give him the chance…

Perry Mason: Mr. Hughes, isn’t it true that you tracked in dirt on the freshly cleaned floor and went directly up the stairs to your wife’s room where you saw her changing into her Tai Chi clothes?

Mr. Hughes: Um

MHG: Ya, couldn’t be bothered to mop up the footprints on the Clean Floor!

Perry Mason: And when she saw you and she screamed, isn’t it true that you rushed to her and threw her through the window and into the garden on the tomato towers?

MHG: and thinking to yourself, “Ooo! fertilizer! AND mulch!”

Mr. Hughes: Shut up!

Perry Mason: I beg your pardon!

Mr. Hughes: Not you, you blowhard, the fricken Ghost!

MHG: You said that out loud, didn’t you!

Jury: Yup he did.

Mr. Hughes: Wait…you mean you guys are hearing the ghost too?

Everyone in the courtroom: Yes.

Mr. Hughes: oh…shit.

Yes, ghosts would make an interesting addition to our world.

 

 

 

Well that didn’t go as planned

You wake up and think, I haven’t worn that green outfit for a while. I have just the necklace and rings for it. Oh and these shoes! Yup. That’s what I’ll wear to work today.

You get to work and do your on-air make-up and the cameraman says, “Well this ought to be interesting…” The director says nothing. You review the latest data and check the monitors. You run a cursory practice on the motions for your part. The music starts. Camera 1 is showing anchor 1, Camera 2 is on anchor 2, Camera 1 picks up the Sports reporter. Camera 2 shifts to you, and you hear an involuntary snicker from the camera crew.

“It’s five minutes after the hour. In today’s weather, we can expect sunny skies and temperatures hovering around the 70-degree mark. More in our forecast later.”

“In the top of the news…” Anchor 1 describes the horror and the violence on the screen and you un-mike and go to your chair. The director motions you over.

“Ahem, you’re wearing a green dress.”

“? Nice of you to notice.”

“You’re wearing a GREEN dress…”

“? And? *beat, beat* Oh crap!”

“You have anything else?”

“Nope.”

“No scarf? a table cloth toga perhaps?”

“Let me check my purse…Nope”

“Don’t get smart with me.”

“I’m the weather girl, isn’t that impossible?”

“We will be the laughing stock because of this. What are you going to do about this?”

Improvise…

Anchor 2 is talking about cute puppies and school science fairs. She hates her stories. She wants to be Anchor 1. She has a journalism degree, but she’s not pretty enough to sit in the Anchor 1 chair. She hates that Anchor 1 has more hairspray in his hair than she does. She despises him because he can’t pronounce the names of the countries or their leaders without help. She shudders at his condescending smile when he finishes the hard news and passes the baton to her. She finishes her stories and Anchor 1 lets everyone know what’s coming up after the break. She looks at you and she sees what’s going to happen, and starts grinning. Anchor 1 hasn’t picked up on it yet. She motions you to come over and you do.

“You could go viral with this. You could tell the dirtiest jokes you could think of and now they’d be hilarious because you’d be invisible!”

You start to smile. You know exactly what to do.

You go to the snack table and take the fruit tray. You empty the fruit onto plates and carry it surreptitiously to your station. Anchor 2 is trying not to laugh.

“Welcome back,” says Anchor 1 showing his best side and gleaming teeth. “What do we have in store for us over the weekend, Brandy?”

You hold the tray up just under your chin. It looks like you’re a talking head on a platter. “It’s Mandy…and I thought I would give you a heads up about the storm coming in.”

Anchor 2 giggles.

Anchor 1 is confused. He’s not looking at the monitor. The sound man mutes the mikes. “What’s going on?” he says under his breath. Anchor 2 giggles again.

You float your head over to the national map. But you stoop so you seem lower. Leaving the tray in the same place, you stand up so it looks like your head is flying up into the air. “The temperatures here in the Florida region are going to soar when that low front comes in.” Your hand magically appears in the middle of the country. “But this high front will be coming in soon indicating storms and possibly some twisters.” You do a pirouette that makes your head look like it’s spinning. You move to the middle of the map facing the Pacific. “We have a big storm building up behind the Rockies” (coinciding where your boobs would be if anyone could see them) “and that could impact the Appalachian area in 3-4 days,” you say facing the Atlantic and the corresponding mountains strategically placed. The cameramen are almost crying. Anchor 1 is now staring in disbelief at the monitor. Camera 1 briefly cuts to Anchor 1 for his reaction and catches him with the dumbest look on his face. Back to Camera 2.

Your head looks down. “Meanwhile, down in the gulf…” Howls of laughter from the camera crew. The director has tears in his eyes and though he’s motioning wildly to go to commercial, no one is paying attention. “Warm, moist air is coming into the lower regions of the country bringing some possibilities of earth-shaking activity.” You close your eyes and bounce on your toes. You clear your throat and continue. “So if you hear lots of noise to your south, don’t lose your heads. Back to you!”

Camera 1 on Anchor 1:  Stunned silence

Camera 1 switches to Anchor 2: Her head is buried in her hands as she laughs uncontrollably.

Camera 1 switches to Anchor 1: Still stunned silence

Cut to commercial.

 

 

 

A whole new world?

You have that song in your head now, don’t you! It screams adventure and excitement! Something new and amazing. What if, after this scare, you come out to a whole different, older world?

Think about it for a second.

When I first started working at Primerica, I was anxious to succeed. I knew that I would be able to help people by changing their perceptions of money and give them power over things that most people assume are beyond their control. They could choose their futures. All they needed were tools that would be simple enough to use and flexible enough to react to any circumstance. I saw the differences in my clients’ outlook on their futures. I saw the difference these tools made in my life. Enthusiastic? YES!

But…

The environment was completely different. There was the pounding football-rally-like music. There were high fives and all these people grinning like idiots. I was really uncomfortable. I would come home from training exhausted and drained. We had 2-day builder’s schools with an emotional element and an intellectual element…sales and products. The hardest part of the business was the team-building. You had to attract good team members because there were so many hopeless people that needed our help. These were people in pain. They were confined to a job that paid them just enough to keep them and not enough for them to realize their dreams. Their perceptions were grim: work until you die. You worked to live, and you had no life. There was no time for family, for travel, for education and experiences. There was not enough money to satisfy all the needs of the family: the weddings, the funerals, the vacations, the home of their dreams. We gave people those options that they couldn’t get anywhere else. They were surrounded by people that criticized them, who abused them, who sucked the joy right out of them. So when these people came to these meetings, they wanted joy and camaraderie. They wanted to think they could grab that brass ring. They needed hope. These meetings and builder’s schools provided that. After going to these things for years, I gradually became immune to “hug and high-five” cooties.

I hugged my kids and my husband and my parents. The first time I hugged my brothers was probably at my mom’s funeral in 1990, and I wasn’t in the company then. I wouldn’t hug friends. I didn’t have all that many. Then, when I started as a rep for the company,  I submitted to all the hugs and high-fives biweekly. It was really uncomfortable at first. There were a few of us that did the Spock high-five: it’s where you hold your hand in the traditional Vulcan greeting but DON’T TOUCH! You could do that across the room! Ahhh! Loophole! Before quarantine, I got to be OK with this touching after working with the company since 2001. 19 years it took me to get used to hugging and high-fiving. 19 years to be able to see and understand the pain of the people I worked with. 19 years caring and wanting to help people and grasping the emotional side of the tools I offered.

I am a Toastmaster and we shake hands multiple times during the meetings, and that didn’t feel weird. I am in Bible Study Fellowship and we hug each other and pray for each other, but that didn’t seem weird. I had arrived! And it was all due to this business I was in.

But now…

I still hug my husband and son. I don’t have access to my other kids or my grandkids. I don’t see my friends except in zoom meetings. Toastmasters has online meetings. Bible study and church are online.  I’ve become more comfortable in my isolation. I don’t have to have physical contact to “feel close” to those people anymore. Even Primerica is having virtual meetings.

What if it takes me another 20 years to get used to the physical touch again? I actually had to suppress shivers at first when I hugged someone. I wouldn’t get into crowded places if I could avoid it. I preferred sitting in my room with a book, or watching TV, or writing on the computer. Most people’s personal space is about 1 foot. Mine is about a mile. I hated talking with people that felt they had to touch you to talk to you. Joe Biden would drive me absolutely insane. I had one friend who was rather round, and when he talked to you sometimes he spat, and he was always bumping you with his big belly. His personal space was about 3 inches. I dreaded talking to him at church.

I know that this seems a bit frivolous, and you might even be laughing now. I am not. I guess it doesn’t make sense to project my future behavior. Many others may be reluctant to get as physically close as we used to because we’ve trained ourselves in fear for this time. It’s just a niggling thing in the back of my mind that I don’t have to worry about right now as the quarantine doesn’t look like it will be lifted any time soon. However…I hope my brand new world will be less intimidating than the world I enjoy now–isolation, quiet, freedom to be myself in all my weirdness.

Support?

Remember the good times!

Support our Heros!

Stay Safe, Stay Home!

We’re working 24/7 and just donated $2,000,000.

Yes. We all support this. Of course, we’ll fly an American Flag and have some Eagles. Oh, and the eagles will be soaring majestically. Maybe it will be just a profile with a solitary tear for all those we’ve lost. Eagles won’t shed tears like humans by the way.

This all seems familiar, doesn’t it? The patriotic messages, the support that is shown for our people on the front lines, and all the celebrities telling everyone that we’re in this together are supposed to make us feel better. But…

Now I’m getting mad.

Remember the good times–when we spent hours on the couch drinking beer and watching sports? When we rubbed elbows with thousands of other crazed fans, we felt a part of something. Don’t you want to feel a part of something now? Of course, you do! Maybe I’m getting cynical in this–my 4 millionth crisis. Ok, it feels like 4 million. We’re discovering we don’t need professional sports to entertain us, or sold-out concerts, or other big-ticket items. We can’t have keg parties and barbecues and tailgating any more…too close to people. Awwwww. What do they actually mean? If there are no sports shows, there are no beer commercials. No car commercials. No ED commercials. OH!!! Maybe they miss us more than we miss them. It means that the networks and pay per views have to come up with more programming! How do you do that when you can’t get an audience to see the talk show? How can you film an ensemble show if they have to zoom in their performances? Do you go to reruns? Old shows that were canceled a few years back? You can’t even get a film crew in to do TV or movies. They want this quarantine to disappear so they can get all that revenue that we have learned to spend on other things.  Book sales and audiobooks and DVD sales have gone up. Puzzles are becoming popular again. So are board games. How badly do you want to go back to the more expensive types of entertainment?

Support our heroes! You know, the guys that cannot stay home because otherwise, they lose their jobs. We need those shelf stockers and cashiers and fast-food workers. They are essential to our sanity. Support our heroes in the medical industry! I’m all for that. But don’t say that and then go to a party because you’re bored. Don’t go to a protest with a crowd of people to demonstrate your opposition to the Nazi State. How do you think this virus spreads? You want to make our heroes work harder with fewer supplies and not enough PPEs because you miss your mobs? That is not supportive! How do you support them? Pay them hazard pay! Subsidize their health insurance. Fast-food workers are part-timers who don’t qualify for health benefits. They still have to show up. You think a mask and gloves are all that is needed to protect them from infection? You’re not treating these people as heroes, they’re indentured servants. They’re the serfs that are sent to slow down the cavalry. They’re the bullet sponges. Show them real support!

Stay Safe, Stay Home! Ah, the message of all our favorite TV stars. Yes, please! Watch our shows and buy our products because we all love you. We can all sing the Entertainment Tonight 6-note theme. Aren’t we wonderful? PSAs by these people seem self-serving. They may not be able to work now, but I don’t think for 1 second that they will feel an economic impact. They’re just repeating what the doctors and scientists say we should do, but because they’re celebrities, they have more authority. How far have we come when things aren’t true unless LL Cool J says it. Give me Dr. Fauci. Isn’t it funny that we’re not seeing this message from our representatives in government? They want us to go out and spend money, so we need to lift the quarantine ASAP regardless of whether it’s safe. Get ready for the 2nd wave. Do stay home to be safe, but you don’t have to order big bucks’ worth of stuff online to replace the money spent before this crisis hit. We don’t HAVE to go back to spending money like that again.

Picture 5 blue bears sitting on the couch. The little girl bear (she has a bow on her ear) looks scared and is grabbing a pillow. One little boy bear is wearing glasses and is on his tummy in front of the TV. The other little boy bear is staring at the screen. Momma and Daddy bears are looking stressed and also staring at the screen. At the end of the commercial, they hug. AWWWWWW. We all know they’re the Charmin Bears. The message: We’re working 24/7. Oh really? Then where’s the toilet paper? They donated $2 million to a cause. How nice. Where’s the toilet paper? OHHHHH! None of the bears is leaving to go to the potty. They’re BEARS. They go in the WOODS! Is that what they’re implying we should do? It certainly didn’t look as if They were working 24/7. Good to know. I don’t want bears making my toilet paper.

It seems to me that the entertainment industry is sending the wrong messages. They don’t understand what their constituents want or need. They don’t need to be reminded of the sports they cannot watch or participate in. They don’t need to be told to support their local heroes with shallow words of encouragement, people are already supporting much more than that–making masks, pats on the back, responsible behavior. People really want to get out and be with people again, but there are many more that are staying home, and not because some celebrity says to. I, unfortunately, believe that a great many corporations are thinking that these conditions are short term and are not willing to adjust the products they focus on, the use of their workforce, and their distribution methods and are pretending that things will get back to normal. Normal has changed. It will not revert to what it was in October.

My fellow Americans (wow, maybe I should run for president!) we are smart and resilient. We don’t have to depend on someone else to solve our problems. We don’t have to pay any attention to celebrities telling us what we already know. We don’t have to rely on the government to “fix” this, for as we know, they will mess it up worse in the mistaken belief that they know what’s best for us. Any thinking person would have chosen to self-quarantine as long as this deadly virus was out there. Let’s not be stupid. If you see someone doing something ludicrous, call them out on it. (With a bullhorn…behind a locked door…with a loaded shotgun.)

I guess I’m getting cynical in my old age. Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m watching too much TV.

Discovery…well get on with it!

I adore Star Trek. I love the fact that all the aliens have forward-facing eyes, a nose, and a mouth where you’d expect, and 2 ears on the sides of their heads. They walk upright, have 2 arms and legs and have 5 fingers on each hand. The difference is the weird goop they have on their faces. I’m currently watching Discovery, and I do like Saru. And the Klingons have decided to grow hair again after the war is over. In a few months, L’Rell goes from bald to shoulder length hair? Sure… and the older male Klingons suddenly have 3 years beard growth. Oh, and Spock with a beard. But it’s ok, it’s not a goatee, so he’s not evil.

I love the technology. It’s so cool that you can go faster than light and stop on a dime and even though NOBODY wears a seat belt, they don’t fly through the windshields at the front of the ship. I find it amusing that they have the map on the flat screen and there are the two federation ships and the 30 bad guys in a circle around them. A circle… really? And they say, “We’re surrounded!” Didn’t they start thinking in 3 dimensions before Kirk? Fighter pilots in WWI and WWII were thinking in 3 dimensions! And with all the times they get attacked and it rolls the ship around, and they all fall out of their chairs, each time they redo the Enterprise, they have no airbags or seatbelts.

And before Kirk got the Enterprise, the Discovery had spore drive. Voyager could have been home that afternoon if they had TOLD anyone about it. They had a time travel vortex that made wormholes. They actually went backward in technology from Discovery to Enterprise.

But there are things they need to address. First of all, why start every new scene upside down and rotate the camera? It’s a cool effect once. After that, it’s just annoying.

Then there’s the dialog. OMG. They only have 90 seconds before the proton torpedo embedded in the hull of the ship goes off. They spend it trying to convince each other that one should stay and using their last 30 seconds for a moving tribute to their long association and how honored they’d be…oh for crying in the mud! Prop up the door for long enough she can slide under it before the blast goes off. But no.

“We’re out of time!” You have to bravely sacrifice yourself and you put people in danger because you spend 5 minutes saying goodbye to your brother and apologizing for every single slight and insult. And with NO time left, he has to accept her apology and tell her how she really benefitted him and he’s so proud of her and… For Crying out Loud! Just get to it.

I guess that the last episodes of the season have to have these long moving speeches to tie up loose ends and hint at the next season. It’s especially amusing because with the battle raging around them, and sparks flying and explosions, They never have to raise their voices.  Just once, during one of those scenes, I’d like for the engineer to say, “What the hell are you saying! Quit whispering! It’s red alert and klaxons are going off, and explosions and screaming, and you have to tell me for 2 min before everything blows up how honored you were to work with me instead of aiming the ship at a landing zone or shooting back. Are you out of your mind?” *BOOM*

 

 

 

Stupid things that make me crazy

I watched some Longmire…When Walt, the Sherriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, has a speech to give, he always stands the same way–weight on left foot, right foot forward and head tilted. If there’s a plot point, they close in on his face.

The background music for this show is an E5. That’s a power chord consisting of E and B. It’s not even a complete chord. There may be a little descant which is a variation on this chord, but over and over? The guitarist plays it in the lowest range of his guitar as a 3 note chord, and then plucks those same 3 strings one at a time. This is accompanied by low toms on the drumset in a typical country/western rhythm.

I also watch NCIS and Criminal Minds, and though there’s music that accompanies the action, I can’t tell you what it is. No clue what key it’s in or the instrumentation. Whenever they want to make a point, Rossi is face forward, Penelope is from a lower angle if she’s worried, and from an upper angle if she’s profound. Morgan is always slightly profiled as is Reid. Gibson is face forward. Emily is face forward. JJ is slightly profiled.

Leverage? Nate Ford is face-forward and head slightly down when he’s menacing and sober, profile and head up when he’s drunk. Parker is face forward, but none of the rest ever look directly into the camera. When they’re in the planning stages of the con, it’s a flute with rock and roll drum beat. When they’re sneaking around, it’s a bass guitar solo in 10ths.

With all these action shows, they never, ever, EVER, play the same chord all the way through the show, over and over on the same instrument.

They should buy the guitarist for Longmire a capo so at least he’d get a couple of new notes.

Penny for your thoughts…

“A penny for your thoughts…” You won’t find that around much now. When I was growing up, everyone said this.  Someone would go quiet and get that 1000-yard stare going, and his bud would say, “Penny for your thoughts…” Nowadays, everyone is vomiting their thoughts every waking moment, and with pictures!

Back in 1575 when the phrase was coined (so to speak), a penny was about 1/2 a day’s wages if you were on the bottom of the scale and 1/13 of a day’s wages if you were high up on the scale such as a constable in the army. Lawyers were making 225 pennies/day! But everyone else was in the 2-6 penny range or about 4 pennies/day. So a penny for someone’s thoughts would be 1/4 of their daily pay!

The average gross wages are about $195.75/day, so now the saying would be “$48 for your thoughts.” Do you know anyone whose thoughts you’d be willing to pay nearly $50 to hear? Heck, you might go so far to say “I’ll pay you $48 to stop telling me how sick your cat is, or what you had for breakfast, or how your bm looked this morning!”

Someone using the penny phrase might give the impression that the thoughts of his friend aren’t worth much. In fact, they’d rather want to know why their friend is daydreaming again, and don’t intend to pay up. But if you’re truly curious about the thoughts of your friend, if you offered them $50, wouldn’t they be inclined to think a lot more?

“Hey, Joe!  Watch this!  All I have to do is sit and look puzzled and Ray will pay me $50 to tell him what I’m thinking!”

“What? Is he crazy?”

“Watch!”

“1/2 a C-note for your thoughts Bill.”

“Did you know that the only flightless bird that swims is the penguin? Pay up.”

“Thanks, Bill!  Here ya go!”

“You’re welcome, Ray. I’ve got another thought coming and will have it ready tomorrow at this time.”

“That’s fantastic, Bill! I’ll be here with my money!”

Joe faints.

Yeah. Never write your blog in the middle of the night after a 20 oz cola and 2 pieces of pizza.

Um…

Stage 1: OH NO a Pandemic!! Grab all the Toilet paper! People shown fighting over 12-packs and 24-packs. Toilet paper lines form as the truck comes in for deliveries.

Stage 2: Oh No a Pandemic! All the Primary hoarders are hiding in their TP forts planning for the onslaught of gun toting TP thieves breaking into houses to get TP. HA! Secondary hoarders make themselves known. The fools are stealing the 1 ply rolls from the restaurants and gas station bathrooms. Toilet paper lines form as the truck comes in for deliveries.

Stage 3: oh no a pandemic. All the hoarders are peeking out from behind their TP walls, surprised not to see gangs roaming the streets with plungers threatening to clog toilets with napkins, paper towels, wet wipes unless supplied with 2 12-packs. Streets are empty. Toilet paper lines form as the truck comes in for deliveries.

Stage 4: oh no a pandemic? If the hoarders, primary and secondary, all have all the toilet paper they can carry and resell, and plaster their houses with, why is it still disappearing from the shelves? Tertiary Hoarders? “Ya never know when that truck is coming in…” Pay attention to when the coupons come out. That’s all I’m saying. You don’t need a supply for a month, take just enough to last you until next pay check. Do NOT spend your entire stimulus check on TP! Toilet paper lines form as the truck comes in for deliveries.

Stage 5: Oh No an epidemic. Those that didn’t panic during stages 1-4 are starting to get nervous now. They buy just enough to last 2 weeks. But they have to get to the stores early. Toilet paper lines form as the truck comes in for deliveries.

Stage 6: Oh No. People become creative with toilet brushes and hairdryers. Toilet paper lines form as the truck comes in for deliveries.

Stage 7: Oh. Hoarders quit buying Toilet paper. Everyone else quits buying burritos and chili. Toilet paper is being left on the shelves. Those that didn’t panic are starting to breathe again. Shorter toilet paper lines form as the truck comes in for deliveries.

Stage 8: Hoarders have to call contractor to add onto house so they have room for their 200 year’s worth of TP. More TP is left on the shelves. No toilet paper lines form as the truck comes in for deliveries.