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Category Archives: Things I like (and so should you)

Your Own Personal Trekkie

I mean, I guess that’s what I am. I know a lot of Star Trek stuff off the top of my head, and I do have a Starfleet shirt. I once bartended an entre shift on Halloween dressed like this:

Vulcan Bartender 2So yes, I’m a Trekkie so you don’t have to be, because these days, you could be a perfectly normal person who loves the Star Trek movies for non-dorky reasons. You might just like action movies starring hot people, for example.

I love the new Star Trek movies for both kinds of reasons. Sometimes you hear Trekkies bitching because these last two movies deviate in tone and depth and philosophical ambition from the rest of the franchise, but the way I see it, there’s plenty of old Star Trek out there. Just put a bucket outside before you go to sleep tonight, and by the time you wake up, it will be full of old Star Trek. There’s plenty of that.

But this time around, there’s a lot more for us dorks sprinkled in with all the awesomeness, so just in case you have an actual social life and haven’t seen every episode ever made several times apiece, let me take you on a little tour of the Trekkie stuff from Star Trek Into Darkness.

Khan, for example. Khan Noonien Singh. You might notice that his name sounds a lot like Noonian Soong, the guy who created Data from The Next Generation. It turns out that both characters were named after the same pal of series creator Gene Roddenberry, but then on the most recent series, Star Trek: Enterprise, Noonian Soong’s grandfather Arik showed up (played by Brent Spiner, who also played Data and Noonian Soong) and turned out to be messing around with Augments like Khan.

KHANSo maybe Arik Soong interacted with a later-awakened Khan Noonien Singh, and then told his son about him, and then that guy named one of his kids Noonian. Even the spelling in the credits changes on some of the episodes, sometimes it’s spelled like Khan’s name.

See, in the original Star Trek, Kirk and his crew come across the USS Botany Bay with frozen Augmented Khan and his frozen, Augmented pals in it. This was after the Eugenics Wars, which took place in the 1990s, when superhumans like Khan occupied and ruled one quarter of the world. After that, I think we kicked their asses, but killed a lot of people – that’s why in Star Trek: First Contact, civilization had backslid a little.

So in the movie, it’s Admiral Alexander Marcus (played by Robocop!) who finds the USS Botany Bay, long before Kirk did in the original series. That’s because in the two most recent movies, we’re in an alternate universe created by a time travel paradox, in which the planet Vulcan was destroyed. As Starfleet moved more toward a military mindset similar to America post-9/11, they must have altered their missions to more aggressively chart the area, and so that’s why they found Khan sooner.

Also, when Noonian Soong was screwing around, experimenting with Augments he unleashed some kind of virus on the Klingons,altering their physical appearance, which is why Klingons from the old show appear to be smooth-skinned, while the rest of them – even those in Star Trek: Enterprise, which takes place before the original series – have ridges on their faces and generally more complicated makeup. Yes, they bothered to explain that for us.

Doctor MarcusThe hot, blonde scientist chickaroo? That’s not just the Admiral’s daughter, that’s Dr. Marcus from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. She’s the one who has a kid with him and then doesn’t tell him for twenty-odd years. Then she calls him up because mind-controlled Chekhov shows up ordering her to hand over the Genesis device.

Also, did you notice that tribble was pregnant? Do you know how I can tell?

Because all tribbles are pregnant. They’re born pregnant. Dr. McCoy explained that to us way back in “The Trouble With Tribbles.” Member? That’s why they were all over the place.

Whale ProbeAlso, there’s a giant, hollow tree-type of probe on the way to Earth still. It’s the one from Star Trek IV, which showed up because it turned out that humpback whales had been communicating with it for centuries, and then they went extinct so it showed up and went all apeshit on Starfleet, like “Where are the whales, guys? Where are the cockadoody whales?!” Except blowing stuff up, too.

So someone’s going to need to go back in time and get some humpback whales. Doesn’t have to be our guys, but since Old Parallel Universe Spock is here, he might want to give someone the old Heads Up-A-Roo. Just two whales are apparently fine. All you gotta do is use the Sun’s gravitational pull as a slingshot, scootch back to the eighties, right before the Eugenics War, which apparently took its toll on the whale population for some reason.

Khan2As for all this talk about who the real bad guy is – the real bad guy is Khan. If you thought Khan wasn’t pure evil at any point, it was because he’s so fucking smart he can reach right out of the fictional world into this one and control your brain. Sure, the Admiral was a jerk and a bad guy. Getting temporarily enslaved by Admiral Marcus doesn’t make Khan a nice guy. Also, he’s Young Khan. Give him about twenty or thirty years. Maroon him on a barely habitable planet for a few years. See what happens.

Also, a Pro Tip for anyone out there with a beautiful and brilliant daughter – she is NOT going to choose your evil plans over the hot, dangerous guy you hate, just because you raised her. Especially if you told her you hate him and he’s off limits. That’s not how it works.

Okay, cool. This Trekkie lesson is over. Go on upstairs and see if your mom will make you a quesadilla.

Just be all like, “MOM! MOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!”

KIRK 3

 

 

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Robert Heinlein’s The Number Of The Beast

The Number of the BeastToday I’m sitting around in Cleveland for work-related reasons, drove up here this morning, went through some loan documents with someone, and then I had three hours to kill until doing it again. A hard life,I know, so let’s sit around and read this paperback book I borrowered from someone, called The Number of the Beast by Robert Heinlein.

I’m only about 85 pages into it, but it is the strangest novel I’ve read in a while. It was written in 1980 and it shows – none of the characters can stop talking about sex, and everybody appears to be open to swinging, and even though it’s set in the future where cars fly, there’s not much of an Internet, most things need plugged in, and women are sexually liberated, but mostly aspire to be dutiful wives.

It’s strange – the writing is very convoluted. Long, long paragraphs – sort of typical of paperback science fiction. Sex, sex and long paragraphs. Wonky dialogue and really long technical descriptions of time machines, and even though this one predates Back to the Future by five years, the protagonists build a time machine and mount it in their car so they can travel time and space in it.

They haven’t done that yet though. Traveled through time. They’re just standing around naked, being eighties-style creepy, talking about tax evasion, group sex, and time travel. Okeedokee then.

Here’s the situation. It starts out at a university where a square-jawed American named Zebadiah has just met Deetee, who is the self-described beautiful daughter of a mad scientist. Zeb and Deetee dance a bit, and then decide they should get married. So they go back to her Dad’s house, and he really is a mad scientist, having some history with Zeb, whom he’s invited into town to see his time machine.

Her Dad’s name is Jake and he is married not to Deetee’s mom, but instead to her friend Hilda. Deetee’s mom is dead, and so Hilda stepped up and married him, and everybody’s cool with that. All over the book, they casually banter about trampled sexual taboos. The daughter casually mentions that she’s never had sex with her father but would have been happy to, for instance – gross, Eighties People. Gross.

They all agree that it’s a great idea for Deetee and Zeb to get married, so they go on outside and someone blows up one of their cars, and they all get into Zeb’s car, which flies and which talks and which he calls the Gay Deceiver. I’m not making any of this up, that’s what happens when you have been knocking out classic science fiction books for decades, nobody edits you, not one word.

LibyansWho blew up the car? Well, the Black Hats, we learn. They are aliens who don’t want Jake to invent the time machine. My guess is, they’re aliens or people from Earth’s past who our perverted protagonists are going to screw with later, which will cause them to want to come either forward or back in time to prevent them from building the machine they use to get within screwing-with-them distance.

Black Hats = Libyans, for those of you wanting to speak in Back to the Future terms. Gay Deceiver equals the Delorean, and the Professor equals Jake (who is of course also a professor). Okay, got it?

Cool, so they all pile into the Gay Deceiver, go and get married, and then they head to Jake’s desert hideout which not even the government knows about, and confirm via the Gay Deceiver’s wonky Radio Internet Thing, that everybody thinks they died in the explosion even though there are (presumably) no body parts.

Then they spend the rest of the eighty pages I’ve read having sexual intercourse, discussing sexual intercourse, turning out to be pregnant and drinking wine to celebrate, and mounting the time machine on the dashboard of the Gay Deceiver. They go into incredible detail explaining that there’s no way anyone can find them out there, and then explaining how their time machine works.

Hot Tub Time MachineI don’t know about you, but I prefer not to hear too much about how time machines work. I’m a Flux Capacitor kind of guy. How does it work? It works great, let’s go.

Anyway, they tell me all about it in long, long paragraphs, and I’m just trying to get to the part where they travel through time in it. The reason you’re reading about it is, I’m planning to read the next eighty pages now, but I’m cursed to blog daily about something. Anything. So here you go – a blog post about a creepy time traveling swinger book from the eighties, which is oddly, pretty good and I want to finish now.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

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The Tommy C Workout

WorkoutThe first thing we need to do is put on our running shorts, that way there’s no question that we’re going to work out. I wear the stretchy kind, but they have a sort of outer, non-stretchy layer so you don’t look so silly and leggy, and I like to put my socks on from last night, since they’re going to be filthy pretty soon anyway.

But the last thing we want to do is go off all half-cocked, run straight out the door like a Nike commercial. As a general rule, if you are working out for an hour, it should take you about three.

Like we have to have coffee, and coffee makes you pee and dehydrates you so first we drink a quart of water, then three cups of coffee while we Facebook in our running shorts. What we’re doing here is limbering up – go ahead and wiggle your toes a little, that counts as stretching.

After about three cups of coffee, it’s starting to feel like time to get out the door. Here’s a Pro Tip – make sure you check very thoroughly as to whether or not you have to go Number Two. If you have to go Number Two while you are running, you’re either going to stop running, or you’re going to go Number Two. I guess the good news is, wherever you are, you’re very likely to run home at that point so if you’re just starting out..

No, that’s gross. Now let’s eat an egg. No bread, no toast, no taters – just an egg. You can go ahead and cook it, we’re not Rocky Balboa. Sometimes if it’s the middle of the day by the time I get around to it, I eat a couple handfuls of peanuts instead. Something about the protein, I don’t know, that’s what works. Maybe a banana. No whiskey, even if it’s after noon.

Cool, now we stretch a little bit, then it’s out the door. Just push that procrastinating voice off to the side, tell it, Screw You, Voice, We’re Going Running Right Now And –

Oh my God – look at this bunny!

Bunny on Walk

I think it’s some kind of cute little Mama Bunny! It’s got a little mouthful of grass, so it must be building a nest someplace! Look how close the cute little bunny is letting me get to it!

All right, I agree, let’s head back in and get some carrots and chop them up for the bunny, and we’d better name the bunny. How about Abraham? Sure, that sounds good. Here are some carrots, Abraham. Sorry about your Dude’s Name, if you’re really a mama.

And no, that’s not my Creeper Van there, good question. Now, let’s get in the car and drive to the park.

The whole way, we’ll grumble about running, because we hate to run. You know what the problem is? It’s all the women on Facebook freaking out about the way women are oversexualized and how unrealistic the body types are in ads, and then ten minutes later they post a picture of shirtless Johnny Depp or a hunky fireman or something, with the caption “YUM YUM.”

You know, little boys feel insecure about their body types just like little girls and forty year-old bloggers. Just sayin’.

Anywho, the trick is to grab two handfuls of your beer belly and remind yourself that you aren’t supposed to be able to do that. Don’t crash your car though, wait until you are at the park to remind yourself about your belly.

Cool, now we have to be very strategic about where we park the car, because I don’t like to run past the car at all once I’ve started. It doesn’t matter if I’ve gone three miles or three hundred feet, if I run past my car at any point, a voice in my head will say, “Hey, look, it’s the car! Let’s get back in that car, Tom. We can drive away and eat cake somewhere and apologize to our belly for trying to kill it.”

A lot of doctors will tell you to ignore voices in your head, especially if they are talking to you directly. Psshhhhh. Doctors.

So we run over a little bridge to another track, run around that one a few times, and never go back over the bridge until it’s really time to get in the car. At some point, we’ll encounter what’s known as The Wall.

The Wall is like a barricade in your mind which tells your body that you can’t run anymore. Most athletes will tell you that the key to distance running is to train yourself to Run Through The Wall.

Kool AidBut that’s dumb. Don’t run through The Wall. You’re not the Kool Aid Man. When you hit The Wall, you stop. That voice in your head is your brain, and it’s a lot smarter than your legs. It knows what it’s talking about.

Now, go home and do push ups for exactly one episode of John Stewart. Look in the mirror and suck your gut up into your chest cavity. Give yourself a thumbs up and a big smile.

Cool. Now just do that every other day, unless it rains or it’s too hot, too cold, you’re too busy, you don’t feel like it, or Greeno’s in town. You’ll be in Tommy C Shape in no time!

 

 

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Meanwhile, In Space

stormI’m online, watching images of a hurricane the size of two Earths on the surface of Saturn, and I’m listening to a literal rocket scientists explain to me all of the things that are weird about it. Being on Saturn is already weird, but he doesn’t sound like he expected any hurricanes there at all.

Most hurricanes are over water, he reminds me, and yes that seems true. I kind of have the vague feeling that it’s not just because we call them something else if they’re over land, but that the water is functional. It feeds the storm system, cooling air, evaporating, affecting air pressure.

Yes, says the rocket scientist, but he doesn’t elaborate, I’m still guessing as to why. But yes, hurricanes are normally over water, and there’s no water on Saturn. Also, this storm is locked at the north pole. We’re used to storms that lumber around and then break up and are gone. This is a really weird kind of hurricane, says the rocket scientist.

Okay, and I believe him. In fact, it sounds to me like Saturn is about to implode into a new star, but the rocket scientist doesn’t seem to be worried about that, and starts talking about something else.

The whole time he sock puppets me through the information, they’re showing me images and sometimes video of Saturn, shot from the Cassini spacecraft, which has been hanging around Saturn for a while now. I was the kind of kid who could tell you all the planets and how many moons they had, sat around in my room staring at pictures of them. Now we’ve sent a robot to Saturn, and I’m watching what it saw on my lap.

solar flareThe hurricane’s been rolling for years, locked at the north pole of Saturn, the wind blasting along at three hundred miles per hour. They’re going to keep an eye on it, while they watch meteorites break up into streams, possibly forming Saturn’s rings. While they map the seasonal plasma changes in Saturn’s magnetosphere. And while they study the ancient hydrocarbon lakes on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.

Yes, and then I’m watching a commercial for some kind of car, thinking about how we’re sitting here in the future, poking around Saturn, and then another video shows up.

This one is a three-year time-lapse of our own Sun, complete with solar eruptions and a vast solar wave. They even play nice, New Age music that makes bloggers feel all introspectively New Agey when they watch it.

Pretty soon I’m thinking about the world we live in, the rabid, barking gun control debate, the bitter, grueling election. People blowing up in Boston, Syria, London, Iraq, you name it. A strike team killing bin Laden. Little flying robots killing civilians. An arch-villain corporation poisoning our food supply while we march in the streets, or don’t.

Here we have evidence that the Universe doesn’t care that much. If we want something in the Universe to care about this stuff, we’re going to have to care about it ourselves.

DrifterI find myself feeling weirdly better about everything, looking into an improbable alien storm. Watching the Sun keep spinning along, barfing plasma, burping solar wind. You got a choice, humans, says the Sun in the only way it knows how to speak. You folks figure out how to get along and work together, move from world to world, or I’ll eat you. I’ll explode one day, and I’ll eat you all, even in a billion years while you kill each other with lasers or sticks. You work it out or don’t, squares.

Some pretty effective New Age music in that three-year Sun montage. Got my philosophical panties in a bunch, yessir. I think I’m going to go and grab a beer, take that edge off. You stay here, blogosphere, and think about how much we matter. I’ll be back in the morning.

 

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Lurking Around In Zanesville

All right, listen I’m sorry I hollered at you yesterday. Sometimes I get into the whiskey and it makes me a little froggy in my bloggy. Here’s an ice cream cone.

Look – we’re going to Zanesville!

Road To Zanesville

Yep, seven o’clock in the morning, and we’re on the open road, headed for the Muskingum County Courthouse, home of the dude who set his own personal collection of zoo animals free into the wilderness a few years back, then killed himself, and cops had to chase his zoo animals all over the county. Obviously, that’s not how they word it on the sign coming into Zanesville, but if I run into the guy who orders the signs, I’ll run it up the old flag pole.

Zanesville is best described as lumpy, like they built the town on a giant, horribly messed-up bed. It’s old, too, and looks sleepy. A lot of lawyers, oddly.

Do you think this sign is at all confusing?

Shoppers Only

I am pretty sure they can’t write me a ticket for failure to shop. This seems pretty unenforceable. So I think the sign is saying, don’t drive into Zanesville and park your car and then just expect to lurk around, doing nothing at all. Because that seems like an obviously cool, fun thing to do, and I’ll bet people are always trying that.

Well, fortunately, I’m a guy who likes to lurk. Let’s go on inside and lurk around the Courthouse. The way I see it, if you’re going to hang around someplace, Security should know about you. You got to keep them on their toes.

I always try to walk into a Courthouse like I’m there to put the SYSTEM ON TRIAL. Make some noise with my heels – click, click, click.

Holy Christmas! Look at this!

Cake Auction

That’s today! There’s a cake auction today!

That thing on the wall of the elevator is talking about real cake. We could go bid on a cake – that’s all I’m saying. Jeez.

All right, third floor, this is weird. We come out into a plain hub office that’s full of stacked boxes. People are working in an area ahead of us, but we’ll follow the arrow for the Engineer’s office and there’s this hallway. Very quiet, completely empty, and with an Exit Sign clearly marked ahead.

Hallway

A little blurry, I know. I am as you are aware, pretty easily freaked out. Because look – there are little white signs on every other door in the hallway. Guess what they say.

Not An Exit

Every door. Every door that isn’t an exit has one of these signs, clarifying that it is not, in fact, an exit.

So again, when people start putting up signs, there’s been a problem, like folks are always yanking random doors open around here. Hey, is this how I get outside? NO!

And these people have put signs up on everything. Look, here’s a fire extinguisher:

Fire Extinguisher

See? In case you didn’t know what it is. And that door next to it is not an exit, so don’t screw around with it.

Damn, fellas.

Fine – we’ll just go down to the map room at the end of the hall, but it turns out. We’re early. We need to kill twenty minutes, and I can’t think of a better way to do it than lurking. People think that lurking is just standing still but no, you can lurk in motion, you just do it slowly and dart your eyes around. Some people coming, voices from the workplace.

Let’s duck into the elevator and wait – there’s a door next to the elevator and it doesn’t say one way or the other whether or not it’s an exit. We’ll have to yank that open and:

Closet (2)

Some kind of utility closet. I swear I’m going to stand here for a few seconds thinking about how entertaining it would be to get in the closet and start shouting, pretending to have gotten trapped in it. They should put up a sign!

No, let’s get out of here, people don’t like it when you’re poking around government buildings for no reason. We’ll go lurk out front and maybe there’s a cart where you can get a hot dog with an egg on it or something. Aw dammit.

Basement

Where the hell are we? I’m not going back in the elevator, screw that but here are some stairs, a whole bunch of them. Two office ladies coming down, talking about someone named Mike. Sounds like Mike freaks them out a little bit. On up and here we are on a balcony overlooking the main atrium:

Atrium

A little blurry, but we can see there’s some stuff down there to look at. Let’s go on down, take a look, try and be calm when we’re snapping pictures from now on. It’s just a blog, Tom, relax. Do your breathing.

Hmm, here’s a table with some stuff on it in front of the Seal of Ohio, and is it religious stuff? Yes! It is, which is fine with me. It looks like the ACLU has already been by and made them take down their Buddy Jesus statue or whatever, and so instead there’s a table and it happens to have a religious book open on it. I don’t think that’s a Bible.

Religion

Oh, I see, it’s The Bible In One Year. Huh. Okay, and the desk calendar also has religious stuff scrawled all over it; I can tell it’s religious because of all the colons. Personally, I don’t care if you want to put religious stuff in courthouses, mostly because I’m lazy and indifferent. But I know the ACLU loves going around picking on small town courthouses in the middle of recessions. Aw well – sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.

I guess the idea is, when the ACLU comes by they’re like, hmm, I don’t know who left that there, go ahead and take that away. And then they have a whole box of books and calendars in the back, that’s what they do at parties, scrawl on calendars.

Okay, getting creeped out, let’s head over here and check out this bell in this glass case.

Old Bell

That piece of paper hanging on it looks like it was typed decades ago, and it explains that the bell was the original town bell, and that it donged when someone died and when there was an emergency and when the Civil War started. The paper explains that the bell was brought here by boat from somewhere and then carted up through town and that it’s a very, very special old bell.

So they keep it in a glass box tucked away behind this shiny, new, prettier bell in a beam of light at the center of the Courthouse.

New Bell

It’s a replica of some other bell. Man, you guys sure love that old bell, don’t you?

All right, starting to get the old Eyeball from folks. Let’s get up to the map room, hand a guy a piece of paper that we are not allowed to FedEx, and then seriously, get back in the car and drive back to Columbus. We’ll just blog about that.

 

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Swarming The EPA, Katy Perry-Style

Pretty soon, I’ll have to put alert Facebook friend Amy Barnes on staff, as this is the second post in a few days gleaned from her Facebook page, though if she were on staff I’d be very upset with her for not taking a picture of the girls in sexy bee suits she saw on the train this morning. Apparently, her concern was that the girls might not be over eighteen, and the bee suits were revealing, but listen – it’s a school day. There aren’t any kids skipping school to go and protest the EPA. If nobody was getting arrested, then document, damn it. DOCUMENT!

Apparently what they are protesting is a certain chemical which the EPA isn’t taking very seriously which is decimating bee populations. Einstein said that if the bees ever die off, humanity would be dead in four years, and I know he was wrong about some stuff, but he seemed like a pretty smart dude. Maybe we should listen to him.

And if not, we should seriously consider listening to the swarm of sexy bees. I tried to google image that to come up with my own photos of sexy bee girls swarming the EPA, but all I got was this thing, kind of summing up what was going on and not being at all clear about whether or not the bee suits should be sexy (Yes).

Swam the EPA

There was some debate on Amy’s thread about this topic as to whether or not the sexy bee suits were appropriate. Some folks found the sexiness of the bee suits to be distracting from the overall message – “They’re just a bunch of wannabes,” said Allison C. (I’ll do that Alcoholic Anonymous-style, since I don’t know Ms. Carver very well).

Whoops! Sorry, Allison, but as you know, there is no way to edit a blog.

Bumblebee ManAnyway it seems to me, here in America, if you want someone to listen to pretty much anything, it’s not a bad idea to dial up the sexy a little. The whole purpose is raising awareness, and by and large we don’t care about non-sexy, non-gun, non-cheeseburger things around here very much. So I say if you’re putting on a bee suit, and you’re not my daughter, then yes – put on a skimpy one. I did find several thousand of them by googling sexy bee suits, but oddly all of them are women. Can’t men rock a sexy bee suit? What’s wrong with you, google?

Which reminds me, I was thinking hey dudes out there – maybe head down there in a flower suit, see if any of them land on you, but scientifically that’s backwards and also profoundly disturbing and inappropriate and demeaning to women, etc. etc. etc.

Didn’t Amy tell you these ladies were no older than your average Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model? We shouldn’t be egging them on, we should be grabbing them by the antennae and dragging them back to their mom’s house. (Don’t do that if you’re a dude, you’ll almost certainly be misunderstood and arrested.)

Similarly, Menzie Chase Campbell pointed out that it’s not a particularly courageous stand, is it? I mean, who the hell is anti-bee?

Well, that’s a good question, but I guess first we should ask ourselves, why don’t people already care about this? Why don’t we just go down there and drink whiskey, bust the place up old school? Why is the Sexy Bee Girl Swarm even necessary?

You might be asking, “Who cares, Tom? Don’t question the Sexy Bee Girl Swarm, embrace it.” And sure, fellas, I gotcha. But since Einstein already told us we need the bees, and since the news has been telling us (though probably not in a sexy enough way) about this for years, why aren’t we already there in normal clothes, blasting down the doors of the EPA and kicking the shit out of a bunch of crooked, lobbyist-owned, tools of The Man?

I mean, I used to be anti-bee, I guess, when I found out that their stings could kill me. I have to carry a little shot around with me and stab myself in the leg if any real bees get a hold of me. If anyone has the right to be anti-bee, it’s me, right?

Well, me and bees reached an understanding, despite our differences. Sure, they can kill me, and sure, I like to run over their house with my lawnmower, and yes, once I found out they could kill me, I dumped gasoline all over their house and set fire to it. Sure. But that’s just because I’m a Skynyrd fan, don’t take it the wrong way.

Everybody can changeNo, not really. But me and bees and Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago all learned to respect each other despite our intense desires to kill each other, and if I can change, and bees can change, and Rocky and Ivan can change, well everybody can change.

So in summary, I think we owe the Definitely Over Eighteen Girls In Bee Suits On Amy’s Train not only an apology, but a debt of gratitude. They’re out there fighting for bees, and not in the dull, hipster, Occupy Wall Street kind of way, with their beards and their eyebrows and their clothing.

They’re doing it Katy Perry-style – last Friday night they did too many shots, danced on table tops, put some bee suits on, occupied the EPA.

God bless them, that’s what I say. What did YOU do for bees today? Eh? EH?!

Also, did you notice how many opportunities I had up there to replace the word “be” with “bee?” But no, I kept it legit, every single time. You’re welcome.

 

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There’s Some Kind Of Blogosphere In Here

MiseryWordPress has changed  bit since my last blogographic death march. There’s a sort of main page where you have a Facebook-style newsfeed. You follow other bloggers like on Twitter, and you click “like” on posts, and you can reblog them – which I guess is like retweeting, I haven’t tried it yet, freaks me out a little bit.

They’ve always had some of these features, but I could swear the newsfeed is new, and I like it because not that many people on Facebook are up for reading a blog at any given time, whereas for the most part, everybody on the WordPress newsfeed is pretty much here for the blogs. Now, right off the bat I can see how that creates the sort of self-spamming environment that turned me off of Twitter, but I guess it’s pretty much going to be whatever the user allows it to be.

So I’m going to approach it very carefully. On Twitter, it’s easy to blast up into the thousands of follows, just by seeking and following any of millions of folks out there who will follow you back as long as you follow them. Nice, but what you’ve got are thousands of followers who are going to ignore you.

I’m going to pick about six or seven blogs per week, and I’m going to follow them. A couple of times a week, I’ll post about the ones I like the most. My requirements are not going to be particularly strict – I want a wide variety of topics, and I only want to read non-cringeworthy writing. Nobody gets to get mad if I click their blog and then don’t follow it, and don’t make me hang up a sign.

Naturally, since all that’s going to take some time, you’re going to have to come with me. We’ll start by sorting through the bloggers who have liked my posts and checking them out. I’m not going to say anything bad about anyone, I’ll just post here the first three or four that I really like.

Okay, the first one I click on is called Kendall F. Person, The Public Blogger. I read a post called The Hypnotizing of Loyalty which I found interesting. It’s LONG and I read the whole thing – that’s saying something. I hit the gong pretty quickly when it comes to reading. He’s got a sort of macaroni and cheese conspiracy thing going on there (among MANY other things) and refers to consumers as zombies. Okeedokee, hop in my newsfeed. But I don’t think that’s his real name, do you?

Peter SellersWhich reminds me, in my search I discover very quickly that there’s a spam angle to this newsfeed thing just as clearly as there is anyplace else. Obviously some of these folks don’t like my blog at all, they’ve just put up a few random posts and now they’re running around following as many people as they can, hoping to get as many followbacks as possible. Mr. Person, for example – using a possible pseudonym makes sense to me, that doesn’t make him a marketing spammer. But he could be collecting followers with just a couple of interesting posts.

We’ll keep our eye on this mysterious Mr. Person. But we won’t directly say anything to him, we’ll just weirdly, vaguely, sideways allude to the possibility that he’s up to something we don’t understand, that way if he is, he won’t think we’re suckers.

Awesome.Then the next one I click, I’m blindsided by some kind of art blog. For some reason, I had forgotten that artists had blogs, too. Check out this guy – DGAF. The first post I click on is a paragraph and a cool piece of art: Black Pyramids With The Gold Sand. Then I click on this one – which I’m not going to describe – called The Real Robin…And Batman. Sealed the deal for me, go over and look at that and presto, you’ve got a new blog to follow. Let me go figure out what his real name is –  Huh. It doesn’t say. Under the about section it tells me only this:

“The official blog for Radikal Nation and honestly….we don’t give a fuck.”

Great blog description? Or greatest blog description ever?

I guess that’s where the name DGAF comes from. See, I’m getting’ it. I’m cool. Nothing gets by me.

Okay and then there’s this one, Robakers is all it’s called. A lean blog, no bells, no whistles, but he’s telling detailed stories about being a pilot – and I mean DETAILED. Long, but interesting so I’ll take that one, too. I also like how simple it is – I’ve seen some of these things so busy they’re hard to look at. This guy says, here’s the story, read it or don’t.

Cool, that’s three for the day. I actually ended up following more than just the three, seems like I do need to fill up the newsfeed a little. I was surprised to find that there are whole blogs that are basically like Dear Penthouse letters – I mean, knock yourself out, just struck me as odd. I’m probably not going to feature your sex blog, but seriously – it’s good to know you’re out there, keeping the tradition alive.

Off to have a decent Sunday, by all means do the same.

 

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