2013 – Just Another Absurd Year

AbsurdChild

Well we’ve come to the close of another year.  Another year chock full of the absurdity of humans.  So let’s count down the top absurdities voted on in a poll of randomly selected readers [Me].  You can even read my past social commentary at the very time the absurdity occurred.

#1 – Miley Vyrus Twerks, Pokes, and Tokes

[Aug 26th]

You read it right.  A former good girl, inspiration and mentor to many young gals, goes twerky, jerky and bizerky between bong blasts. She came in on a wrecking ball to adore you.  Just watch out for her foam finger, its been places, if you know what I mean!  If you do, don’t pull it!  Who knows what song and video that will lead to in 2014.

#2 North West is Born [June 27th]

Baby naming took a new path south, or north, depending on your last name. Some named their kids Cheese, Blip, Ajax, Kiwi, Kazz, Kinzly, and a host of other absurd names all in the hopes of being unique amongst the others trying to be unique, which makes none of them unique, actually.  But keep trying, we need a good laugh.

#3 Harlem Shake

Not to be outdone by the “twerk” gave birth to the Harlem Shake.  I’m predicting the Thwongamotion will be the top song, dance and merchandising sensation of 2014. It’s a combination of twerking in a thong. Fans will be yelling

“Oh man, that’s so thwong!”

GagString

Every body’s doing a brand new dance now!
Come on baby do the Thwongamotion!

#4 Government

No elaboration is necessary, as no one would read the 2,600 pages to point out the absurdities.  You can just take your pick of the clowns from dysfunction junction.  We found $600 million to spend on a website from Canadian contractors, $38,000 for congressional portraits, but zero funds to fix the patch needed on my street.  They’ve run the country’s credit card to $17 trillion and gave themselves a raise.  If this is not the definition of absurd, then I give up.

#5 ISON

All year I had been reading about the Comet of the Century, ISON.  It never showed.  Appears it didn’t survive a pass near the sun.  Then there was a meteor that scientists say is from Mars, while at the same time touting a mission to Mars.  Is it just me, but are scientist actually now engaged in marketing their exploration plans?  How in the world, or the universe, can one say a piece of rock came from Mars?  Where they standing there when it was hit and followed it to our surface?  If that’s the case, I have land with a swamp, the swamp water came from Mars polar region. Just trust me!

#6 Wedding Color Crime

A couple got into an argument over the color scheme of the wedding and the husband to be, got stabbed. Well that’s a fair trade! I KID YOU NOT!  Read here Well at least they saved themselves the emotional pain and expense of a divorce. This should play well into my Female Code and Man Club posts for 2014. Bridezilla’s strike again.

#7 Google Glasses [May 20th]

I love technology, but come on!  You truly can’t find your way to the restaurant around the corner?  You need glasses to tell you when to turn left, then right?  Passwords are enough to drive us all insane, so let’s get more technology, like a telephone watch!  [April 10th] Well then, if you are still on board, I’m here to sell you the iMrRoboto line.

#8 Shades of Character Obsessions [Sep 9th]

When you read the news you cannot help but read the “beautiful people” or “trends” sections.  This is where we learn that people get so upset over the actors and actresses selected to play characters from a book.  Some so upset they send death threats.  It’s make believe folks! This is why they should cast stars with bags over their heads, so that the viewers can transpose their ideas over the bag.  However, if any skin showed, people would still complain, “That ain’t the way I thought that tat would appear!!!!”  As an author you just can’t win!

ChristianGrey

50 Shades of Brown
Staring: Bobblehead Bob Baggity as
Christian Green Billions

“His shirt wasn’t that blue in the book!!!”

#9 Delivery Drones [December 3rd]

Today’s news was about all the packages that were not delivered, due to ice and last minute shopper procrastination. At first I though delivery drones was a completely absurd idea.  Not anymore!  FedEx needs a complete fleet of FedEx Flinger Drones to fling off on your doorsteps in 2014.  UPS needs the UPyours Drone.  Just leave all the marketing and logistics to me.

#10 This Blog

Seriously, wasn’t this the most absurd thing you’ve read all year?  But if you can’t get enough, there are 219 humor posts, in total, on this blog and many more coming in 2014.

chimp

OMG! Do not encourage him!!!!
If you do, I’ll rise all the apes and take over the world.

In all seriousness, I wish each and everyone of you a healthy and prosperous New Year.  Take time to love, learn and most of all – LAUGH.  Without laughter we could not survive this absurd thing called life.  Thanks for following and commenting.  Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!

The Extended, Extended, Extended Warranty On Extension

SpeedRacer

IFunPhone Version 65

Today on Facebook I socialized with a fellow author over a mixer.  This author’s mixer died and I commented how only authors can provide narrative to the humanistic sounds an inanimate object can make.   I asked if she had given it a name.  “Stupid,” was her reply.  I replied that I understood her state of mind.  For me it’s weed whackers.  I had one I bought in the 1980’s from Sears that lasted almost 25 years.  It had no warranty, it was just made well, by AMERICANS. Alas, it died and then the next generation of weed whackers came along.  They last exactly 366 days, or just one day after the expiration of the warranty.  I don’t curse often, but on day 366 I do, loudly and proudly.

Now I always turn down the extended warranty, because it costs as much as the stupid plastic object itself.  I freely admit it – I LOVE MY MONEY!  I work so very hard for it and yet it parts from me faster than Taylor Swift from her boyfriends.  The problem is that manufacturers also love my money and have advised their engineers to make sub-standard products from plastic.  You see, if companies are to keep their EPS ratio high and shareholders giddily happy, they need sales, a lot of sales, or revenues from warranties  They get you coming and going.

This is why we have a new SmartPhone or a Mini Maxi Tablet every 30 days.  Soon the smart phone will have a weed whacker app, that spits out a blade like the car Speed Racer drove in those campy 1970 cartoons (which I admit I watched).  The iFunPhone Version 65.  It also has a mace app.  This way you can blind your attackers first, then go Chainsaw Massacre Mad Max on them next.  You see why I love to write?  If only I could convince stupid manufacturers of my cutting edge product features and yes, the warranties.  My imagination never takes a break.

I suppose I should purchase the extended warranty, but the second I do I am afraid the salesperson will tell me that this extended warranty is good for only 30 days or until the company reaches sales of 30 billion.  If they fail to reach their quota the self destruct app will be initiated and your weed whacker, version 6,234,567,892 will explode in a terrifying and agony filled death.  So, would you like the extended, extended warranty; good for an additional 30 days?  I am sure this is about $300 for a $50 product.  Oh, but they aren’t done on the siege of my wallet.  This is when they sell me the extended, extended, extended warranty that I can place on extension through October 15th, the very day I will finally get my tax return done and my $1,000 refund, which will cover the warranty.  How convenient!

Now since I am an old guy, most probably don’t remember the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy buys a vacuum cleaner, but through the salesmanship of the door to door salesman, she buys attachments valued at more than $1,000.  Adjusted for inflation that vacuum cleaner system is now the same as a BMW.  As she has to explain to Ricky, she goes into her famous cry, “Waaaaaah!”  Today’s products may be stupid, but the clever people at the manufacturers are always looking for ways to separate you from your money and they call themselves iMagineers.

To end this post, I have renamed my whackers, the company, the salespeople, and the shareholders to – Weed Wankers.  And as I edge my yard I curse and then I pray the wanker will last to day 367. Yes they are as stupid as the mixer.  What product (no company names) riles your gall, even if you don’t know what a gall is?

A Conversation About Death

Reaper

As a man the age of 53, I still hope to have another 25-30 years of life ahead of me.  Much of what determines my age of death is in my genetics.  My grandparents averaged around the age of 84.  That gives me about 31 more years.  However, anything can happen in between and I mean anything.  If I was told my life would end tomorrow what would I do?  I’d have a steak, sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes, white gravy with a dozen fresh baked rolls. Oh, and a slab of bacon. Afterwards I’d enjoy a few rounds of beer and a cigarette.  Yes that’s right, a cigarette.  29 years ago I gave up, cold-turkey, a 2-1/2 pack a day habit as a promise to my pregnant wife that I would set an example for our son who was on the way.   Did I quit just for my wife?  Not really, I knew the outcome if I continued to smoke.  I wanted to live much longer.

This last week my son, who never took up smoking, sent me an email wanting to know what I would have to say if I called my grandson to my death bed with my dying breath.  Here’s what I’d say, “I love you Brogan.  Give life your absolute best. Have dreams, for dreams are the directions  for the actions to be taken.  If you respect me, then respect your parents. Don’t take things too seriously, especially high school and girls. Remember the fun things we did together.  Oh, one last thing – pull my finger!

I want laughter to be mixed with the tears.  If he ever talks about me it will be something like this, “You know what that old-fart did to me?”  Since I know my family line and his mother’s line, there is a good chance of frequent flatulation and I will always be on his mind.  See, you have to think ahead.

This morning my wife and I, as we do very often, discussed friends and family and how life had not gone as we had planned and hoped, but that we would stand side-by-side no matter what, a commitment to an ageless and sacred vow I still recall and will honor as a man. We talked about people who seem to be waiting for something, instead of making something happen.  I told my wife should I die early, our vow would end and to grieve no more than a month for me, then get busy living.  There is to be no funeral, but a party to celebrate my life. I will be cremated and cast to the seas.  I also made it clear I do not want to prolong my life with machines or man-made chemicals.  Let me fart one last time and then let me go.  As Aragorn said in The Lord of the Rings, “I do not fear death.”  I have faith there is an afterlife.

As a CPA, I have had to deal with death in the form of financial advice and estate issues.  I’ve seen the very best and the very worst of human nature in dealing with death and money. In the coming years, I will have to deal with the death of my parents.  In my mind I believe I am prepared, but tell that to my heart.  Watching a parent age, suffer illness and begin the process of losing memory is difficult, but a stage of life not few of us escape by a sudden death.  In those waning days of the winter of life, we will find what we are truly made of. We will also begin to address our own mortality and decide what to do with the remaining time given.

However, my wife and me also decided that a conversation about death is self-defeating, and that we would convert all our energy and thought to living every single moment.  I would rather die in my death bed and say, “Well I wrote 50 books in my lifetime and made 50 bucks” than to say, “I wished I had written that book.”  Failure to live life is the actual loss of life. You are still going to die whether the critics loved your work or not. Take a chance and self publish your story.  Some call it vanity, when in fact they say this as they stand before the mirror of envy. Do not let anyone, fame, or money define your self worth.

Maybe this week you should have a conversation about death.  Hopefully it also creates the discussion for the passion of living.  From there let it flow from discussion to action.  You need not be rich to live a fulfilling life.  In my trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar, I present a reader with an interesting take on both life and death. The story is an epic adventure story, but a story, that should have you thinking about the fragility of life.  I know this much, you reach a certain age and time rapidly flees from you, like a fart in the wind.

“All men die, not all men really live.” William Wallace

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Andy Dufresne

Hey, I can do that!

LuckyDay

You see them all the time, little sayings embedded around cute pictures of puppies and kittens, or women without coffee (not so cute).  I always wondered how they did it.  In 2011, I purchased the Adobe Creative Suite Master Edition so that I could become a self publisher of my fantasy mythology.  I have been able to compose my book trailer and create my website.  Each day I learn something new.   Last week I began the process of editing and formatting my fourth book of the nineteen book mythology with Adobe InDesign.

Today I learned how to use images cropped out of a photo with PhotoShop  and imported into an Adobe Illustrator file.  There I added simple text and exported the result to a PNG format which you now see above.

As you can see Famous Hamish is now getting quite skilled at the art of manipulation.  What do I have planed next?  Is it a trip to Disney Land or Vegas?  No, it’s a project to start illustrating by tracing sketches of my creatures, maps, and scenes from the stories for the web and advertising.  From there I can then design my own eBook covers.

Where will this all end?  Heck, who knows, right now I am having a blast learning a series of software products that will bring one step closer to a dream of complete publishing prowess.  Only audacious haggis hurling Famous Hamish would dare such a journey.

The Aid of a Lullaby

Every author wants to be creative and original. In my current chapter work in progress, there are five very young children, ages three to six.  They are trying to be saved from a horrifying situation by the heroine of the story.  The heroine uses the aid of a lullaby to calm their terrified state in a dark basement.

Lullabies appear to me as a rarity in our modern age, but as a middle-aged man, I do recall their use in calming infants and toddlers to the uncertainties of the night.  The youngest of the children in my narrative is three, and she is at the furthest location of the basement, and the most frightened.  She is asked to sing a lullaby, so that a six year old boy nearest to her can find her, and be led to the spot where the heroine can huddle and protect them.

Here is the first draft to this lullaby:

“Loni Lee, Loni Li,
In my arms you’ll never cry,
Loni Lee, Loni Li,
Hush now baby, night shall fly
Loni Lee, Loni Li,
By your side, you are in my eye,
Loni Lee, Loni Li,
Forever more by your side,
Loni Lee, Loni Li
Dawn is well-nigh,
Loni Lee, Loni Li
From darkness to blue sky.”

This lullaby is to be included in the fourth book of my nineteen story mythology.  Books four through thirteen deal with the destruction of worlds and all their living beings.  This lullaby is to be found in the first story in the rise of evil series, the Fall of Helloria.  In my research for a lullaby I came across the story of Lilith. Lullabies were used to ward off the spirit of Lilith, the first wife of Adam, who became  a demon and stole the souls of children during the night.  If you are shaking your head, yes, I did state Lilith was the first wife of Adam according to a Jewish myth.

In the case of my story, Gahar is the first living being to be corrupted. This first story revolves around his fall and his allegiance to evil, and his influence to the destruction of his own world, the world of Helloria.  He will also be instrumental in the fall of eight more heavenly worlds.  In one of those stories he will share power with a fallen queen, Maggith, whose name I created from a combination of Maggots and Lilith.

If you are an author, have you ever used a lullaby in your story?  If yes, in what manner did the lullaby serve your story?  I look forward to the conversation.