Category Archives: Time Travel

I Was Lying About Monsters

The sound of an airplane overhead drew me outside – there were no airplanes in the sky over America that afternoon, not anywhere in the country. You could go out in your yard and hear the silence, a sound unto itself, like when an air conditioner kicks off in the middle of the night.

So I was standing there in the driveway watching the sky, hearing its hidden vacuum cleaner sounds, looking for vapor trails.

It was Air Force One, I found out when I went inside. The President of the United States, escorted by a squad of fighters, on his way to do whatever it was he needed to do that day.

No one knew if this was the beginning of the attacks or the end. It seemed like mushroom clouds could bloom on the horizon any second, and I found myself thinking about military targets in central Ohio – what was here that might be attacked?

DCSC, I thought – a defense contractor or military base or something, I didn’t know exactly what it was. But it was right there on the east side of Columbus, and we had a Federal Building downtown. And an international airport, too.

Ellen was three and a half years old. I picked her up at preschool and found a sign on the wall which asked us not to discuss the attacks with our children, since they’d only spend the next few days freaking each other out.

I remember not liking it, not liking the idea that anyone might instruct me on how to talk to my daughter about this – or how not to talk to her. And anyway, it wasn’t an option for me. Ellen is a little Deanna Troi from Star Trek, an empath, and she always has been. She can’t quite read your mind, but she can feel your emotions about as clearly as you can.

Try lying to her about being terrified – go ahead. You might as well try and convince her it’s winter on the Fourth of July.

Big Uncle Shawn had come over. His mother was in Cincinnati with her husband, and he was as convinced she was safe as one could be, and so he came to our house. If society collapsed and we had to make a break for western Canada, well let’s just say that was something we were prepared to do.

We had only recently brought a television back into the house – we hadn’t had one for years – and we moved it downstairs into the den so we could watch the news without filling the whole house with it. Ellen didn’t care if we wanted her to see it or not; she already knew something was horribly wrong, and a round of Polly Pockets was pretty much off the table.

She crept in quietly while we watched the cavalcade of non-Hollywood explosions, filthy and gray and quick, devouring New Yorkers like a freakish sandstorm. Human beings were jumping out of windows a half a mile in the sky, to escape the heat.

Ellen was simply standing there all of the sudden, next to us. She said, “Why are they jumping, Daddy?”

Shawn was accustomed to Ellen’s little girl ways, but by no means was he prepared to answer that one. I shrugged and told her the truth. “Some people crashed some airplanes into these really tall buildings in New York, and knocked them down. It’s a big deal. A lot of people died, Ellen.”

“On purpose?”

“Yes, on purpose.”

She chewed on it with her brain and then asked, “Did they die, too?”

That took me a second to figure out. She wanted to know if the guys who flew the planes into buildings on purpose had died. I hadn’t really thought of it that way – at least there was that.

“Yes, they died, too.”

Still too young to really get a grasp on death, it troubled her. With no religion to simplify it for her, we’d been forced to be as honest with her about death as I was being about the attacks – we don’t know what happens when you die, that’s all there is to it.

She said, “Why would they do that?”

More people on the television fleeing down the street as another rumbling cloud of debris overtook them, and then the camera itself. Shawn turned it off.

I said, “There are people in the world, Ellen, who are just monsters. I don’t know how else to put it. They were monsters and they did something terrible.”

She had climbed onto my lap as I answered, and now she looked up at me, her eyebrows furrowed in a level of concentration usually reserved for chess players. She said, “You told me there was no such thing as monsters, Daddy.”

That’s exactly what she said.

And I’ll never forget the look Shawn and I exchanged as that little piece of her innocence fell away, the chilling realization that these people, these monsters, these terrorists, whatever you wanted to call them – they’d done exactly what they’d meant to do.

I told her, “I’m sorry, Ellen.” And I was.

Because there wasn’t anything else to say.


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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!!!!!”




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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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Behold The Mighty Clothing Printer

It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a wall-mounted unit no more cumbersome than a washing machine, looks kind of like a really big paper towel dispenser with Wifi access. Here’s the design web site by Serious Super Genius Joshua Harris, which tells you everything you need to know. I’ll just go ahead and recap it here, in case you don’t feel like clicking a link (I’m not going to steal his pictures though, so you should) and so it will count as a daily post.

Harris spends a really short, efficient amount of space explaining that by 2050, most people will live in cities, and as such, we’re not going to have much space per person. The middle class might be sinking, but so will our apartments it seems – Harris cites 220 square foot micro-apartments already being built and utilized in several major cities.

Then he points out that on average, Americans throw away 68 pounds of clothing per year. We have it made by cheap labor overseas, we wear it for a bit, and then we get rid of it, and that’s horribly inefficient.

So instead we’ll buy the templates, the designs just as easily as we buy files on iTunes. And we’ll buy cartridges with the various materials – blue cotton, red linen, etc.

Then we load up the program for Blue Sweatshirt, and hit print. Out pops a blue sweatshirt. I don’t know what the hell they’re going to do in the Third World, a buck a day stinks but it probably beats the hell out of zero.

Hold on, I changed my mind, I think I AM going to steal one of his pictures. I’ll just act dumb if he shows up and hollers at me.

Clothing Printer

Ah there it is. All of this, he claims, can be done with existing technology, so it’s not like we have to wait til 2050. And he did it for some kind of project, while the rest of us watched Breaking Bad and Facebooked and wiped out noses on our sleeves and then discarded the clothing at the park in a drunken stupor. Seriously, go click the link, I think I just stole that. He’s going to be mad.

But then, just listen. Because you might be thinking, Well hell, if we can all print clothes out as simply as yanking a paper towel off the roll, then won’t we just throw away more clothes?

And the answer is no, because instead you’ll recycle the clothing back into the printer, and make different clothing out of it. The clothes can be easily reverted to the base substance from the cartridges. When you are finished with your blue sweatshirt, you can feed it back in so that it’s recycled for the next Blue Thing you need.

You don’t keep your clothes in a closet anymore, you keep them on your laptop! They’ll think of closets like 8 Track Tapes!


ashIt’s like we’re cavemen and Joshua Harris just pulled out a shotgun. All Hail The Big Brained Man With The Boom Stick!

Why isn’t this man in charge of everything? Does he think anything else? We should listen to this man. Does he have a North Korea Reverse Printer? It can’t hurt to ask.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to freak out, but that’s basically a primitive replicator from Star Trek Mr. Harris is talking about, nice and casual. That’s what 3-D printers are, too. They’re teleporting and replicating stuff, more and more complicated stuff all the time.

I knew they’d get around to teleporting things, but I always thought of it like The Fly. Someone figures it out, and bam, that’s it, now we teleport. Get yourself some new jobs, truck drivers, cargo ship crews, and dirigible pilots. But no, it’s just like bandwidth or the speed of microprocessors or any other technology. They get it working so poorly that it’s barely useful, then improve it every year til pretty soon Professor Moriarty escapes from the Holodeck and you have to outwit him for realsies.

Not all fun and games though. Here’s a guy in this NPR article who can print you an assault rifle with a 3-D printer. Not joking. Go ahead and take away the guns, 3D Printed Gunit’ll be like taking your kids’ cassette tapes away. How else are they going to get their hands on music? The Internet?

That guy’s a licensed gun manufacturer now, by the way. Why are we having a gun debate again? The gun guys won, dudes. If you take away their guns, they’re going to print out new guns except they’ll still be all mad about the last set of guns you took away. Maybe we can get the clothing printer to print us all out some bullet proof vests, yes?

So something tells me that if we’re talking about clothing and guns, well – those aren’t the only things that can be 3D printed.

Here’s a guy trying to print out a house. Hell yes, he is, go look at him: Dutch Architect To Build House With 3D Printer. Not a shack, either, a 12,000 square foot house. The printer doesn’t print out the whole house, it’s like Super Legos or something.

The FlyThis is all happening. It’s apparently been happening a while. You can print objects now, and we’ve decided not to call it teleportation so nobody freaks out about alien-human hybrids who barf on your boyfriend’s foot and eat it.

Food? You buy nutrient packs like ink cartridges, then stick them in there and out comes crackers and beef jerky and quiche? Go ahead and tell me they can print out clothing and guns but not quiche. I assume the Super Deluxe model will be able to take my shirt after I eat ribs, and then separate the food from the clothing, stick them back into the right cartridges. You dry cleaners can go ahead and get new jobs, too.

Okay then. I’m good and freaked out. You guys have a lovely Sunday.


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Piling On Back To The Future For No Reason

One of my favorite movies, no doubt about it, and easily one of the cornerstones in any conversation about films from the eighties.  Watching it is like watching Happy Days, if you’re a Baby Boomer.  Like going back in time, one might say.

But I was watching it with my daughters the other day, and I have to say, they had a pretty nice time ripping it apart.  These are veteran Doctor Who fans, so they take their time travel pretty seriously, and old Marty McFly and the Professor just weren’t cutting it, I’m sad to say.

In the non-time travel category, they were not very impressed with the Professor.  Said one daughter, “His robot dog food can opener looks like it takes up a lot of energy and space, and must have cost what?  Six thousand dollars back then?  And it saves him all of ten seconds a day.  Our giant three gallon upside down dog food bin refills itself without using any energy at all, and it doesn’t refill itself if the dog doesn’t eat the food, and it’s dry dog food, so it’s not gross.”

Yes.  Well, the professor is an eccentric one, you know?  That’s why he built a twelve-foot speaker, gave a guitar-playing teenager access to the key, and then forgot to hang a sign on it saying don’t use this.  And that’s also why a man so absent-minded feels free to test his time machine by driving it straight at himself and said teenager, in the parking lot of a mall at one-thirty in the morning – the eighties were a wild time, I tell them. 

In addition, although the girls were in full agreement that a scientist on the verge of time travel might not have been afraid of Libyan terrorists since he was about to escape into the future, it sure seemed questionable that he would involve his teenage pal, with no apparent contingency plan in case they find him (which they did, he didn’t know how, but they found him.)

“Run for it, Marty!”

I mean, that’s it, that’s the plan?  You brought a kid into a serious beef with international terrorists and you figure, RUN!? 

Not, quick, get in the time machine?

Then there is a real debate about the absence of a second hand on the clock tower.  I mean, said one daughter, it sure was a stroke of luck that the lightning happened to strike at the exact instant the minute hand moved, otherwise they’d have NO idea where in that minute they needed to hit the cable at 88 mph.

Good thing that pine tree farmer didn’t bring his gun out the first time, like he almost certainly would have in 1955, another daughter observed.  That’d be a pretty short movie.

Well, sure.  But he didn’t so let’s move on.

Then a big discussion about what happens when you get erased from existence.  The general consensus seems to be that you don’t disappear from photographs one limb at a time, as the movie suggests, but rather that you’d stop existing, and then so would your wisecracking, time-traveling kid.  And also, no one would have taken the picture if those three didn’t exist to pose for it – the picture itself would stop existing.

That really bothered them – it sure looked at the end like Marty and his siblings were going to stop existing, but someone still bothered to take a photograph of nobody standing in front of the well.

And then if you managed to reunite your parents such that they were on track to get married and have kids again, well wouldn’t they end up doing everything differently now that McFly was a hardass instead of a dork? 

And that includes the sexual intercourse which led to the kids.  And unless we’re all mistaken, different sperm carry different sets of genes, and therefore any change at all to when and where the parents had sexual intercourse would result in a different sperm reaching the same – or possibly a different – egg, and that would of course result in a different child.

You gotta think that the newly confident George McFly went about sexual intercourse in a markedly different way than the old, nerdy George McFly, right?  I mean, right? 

So Marty not only would have stopped existing, but if the professor managed to get his parents back on track in the same manner Marty did, he wouldn’t be re-creating the same kids.  He’d be creating new, previously uncreated siblings.

Also, if Marty turned his dad into a confident, literary go-getter, why’d it take thirty years to get his first novel out, even though it appeared inspired by Marty in his radiation suit?

And if Marty’s sister and brother were so cool and rocking now that he changed the past, why’d they still live at home?  They had to both be in their twenties.

Also, the girls were relieved to know that once a vanload of armed Libyan terrorist crashes into a Fotomat a few hundred yards away, they are all disabled and you can pretty much forget about them.

And they were all alarmed by the casual, nostalgic way that Marty’s parents recalled the time Biff sexually assaulted the mom.  “If it hadn’t been for him, we never would have fallen in love!”

You mean, the sexual assault in the school parking lot.  If it hadn’t been for Biff and the way he sexually assaulted you in the school parking lot, you guys never would have fallen in love.

Is that grounds for keeping a guy like that hanging around the house with your teenage kids, washing cars and whatnot?

Way to yank the fun out of the movie, girls.  Now you’re all locked into the sequels so get comfy.


Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Television/Movies, Time Travel


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I Have An Evil Twin Named Andy

I first encountered him at OSU, where I was a campus bartender and over time, became quite familiar to a lot of people.  Hundreds and hundreds of people knew me by name, and so wherever I went, I usually ran into some of them.  They’d say, “Hey Tom!  What’s up?”

And I’d do the old, “Heyyyyyyy,” because although everybody knows the bartender, frequently the bartender doesn’t quite know everybody, especially the dudes.  Mostly I just knew you by what you drank – what’s up Vodka Gimlet?  How’s it going Long Island?

Apparently, everywhere Andy went, the same thing happened.  Folks started coming up to me and saying things like, “Hey, man, what was your problem at that Primus show last night?”

And I’d say, “I wasn’t at the Primus show last night.”

And they wouldn’t believe me, because Andy was there, whoever he is or was, and he looked exactly like me.  It turned out, Andy was a little bit rude, too.  He would simply ignore people who came up to him and called him by the wrong name, and he’d glare at people who waved at him, people who thought they were waving at me.

Eventually a co-worker ran into him on High Street and was able to get his name.  Apparently she ran up to him and said “Tom!” when he was on the phone, and then when he ignored her, she persisted, as was her way.  Kept calling him Tom, hopping up and down, probably groped him a little bit – it was the nineties, we were all very free like that.

Speaking of the nineties, it was a pay phone, so Andy didn’t have the option of running away.  Instead he had to say something like, “Hold on.  Listen.  I’m not Tom, my name is Andy, and I’m getting pretty tired of people running up to me and calling me Tom.”

Like that’s anyone’s fault but his – how about you stop looking like me, tough guy?

So now that we all knew his name was Andy, it became a sort of running gag, chancing across him and enraging him by insisting that he was me.  Follow him around, I’d encourage people.  Ask for his autograph.

And it went on for quite some time before one day, I encountered him myself, walking down the street.

I am dead serious here – this guy looked like he stepped out of the mirror.  He could have walked right into my mom’s house and made a sandwich.

And when I ran into him on the sidewalk, we were even dressed identically.  Both of us were wearing green shirts, tucked into black jeans, black tennis shoes, the same kind of glasses, and two feet of hair.

I poked my hand at him to make sure he wasn’t a hologram, then I said, “You must be Andy.”

Andy gave me a look like you do when you realize you’re talking to a movie reviewer that you hate.  “You got to be Tom,” he replied.

Don’t worry, I didn’t kill him.  That was naturally my first thought – you meet your evil twin, you take him out.  The universe must be in balance and every rose has its thorn and if there’s two of us then we each get half as much stuff.  Screw that.

But I was more than a little bit concerned that sometime in the near future, I would commit a horrible crime and escape into the recent past using a time machine, and you can’t be too careful, the way technology’s racing along these days.  You never know if your evil twin is really Future You.

No, I just told him he was super hot and that although I liked his clothes, if he were to wear practically anything else this wouldn’t happen so often, since I was wearing the only clothes I owned at the time.  And he indicated that he wasn’t very amused by my suggestion, or interested in helping me out in that department and he went on his way.  I never saw him again.

Over the years there has naturally been some debate over which of us is the evil twin.  I do like to drink Coors beer, for instance, and I’m told that’s pretty evil.  Also, I think it would surprise you how many different kinds of birds I’ve eaten.  Did you know that when you grill quail they look like tasty little pixies?

But you know, my old pappy used to tell me a couple of things back when I was a wee pup, things like, “Son, don’t ever admit you’re evil” and “You have no idea how many kids I probably have out there, Tom.  I’m like the Thomas Jefferson of the seventies.  It would blow.  Your.  Mind.”

So that’s not a debate I participate in.  Papa was a rolling stone, and all that.

Also, if Andy also has a mouth like mine, there is an excellent chance that someone has beat him to death by now.  Sure.

But assuming he is still out  there, I predict that very soon I will run afoul of my old nemesis once again – because Facebook is getting facial recognition software.  It’s going to start recognizing faces for us, directing us to new and exciting pictures of our Facebook friends.

Pretty soon, Facebook’s going to do what everyone has always done.  It’s going to spot a picture of Andy, and it’s going to ask me if it’s me.  And I’m going to say, “Hell yeah that’s me, Facebook, thanks for asking.”  Then I’m going to drop an old-fashioned cyber stalkin’ on him, and I would encourage you to do the same. 

You can read all about Facebook’s spooky new facial recognition system – and more importantly, how to turn it off – right here.


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The OSU-Michigan Time Warp

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was recovering from eating eight pounds of tasty Thanksgiving food, and realized Actual Greeno was in town from Chicago.  So I knocked out a quick post about my King Kong glass, and then jumped in a car to drive out to Springfield and get him.  This was of course followed by a delightful dinner in the Short North, a few tasty glasses of Stella down at Mac’s Cafe, and then six hours of bar stool wiseassery at the King Avenue Five.

But it wasn’t yesterday.  It was two days ago.  Alien abduction-style, I am missing a full day, and it’s all because of the OSU-Michigan rivalry, which goes way back several centuries to a dispute over which state had to take Toledo.  Obviously, we lost and we appear to have never gotten over it.

So all of the sudden, it’s the next day and Greeno and I were suddenly sitting in a bar again with bloody marys in front of us, and the entire city was also sitting in bars, acting like that was a perfectly normal thing to do at ten o’clock in the morning.  It’s not, you know.

It turns out, this ancient rivalry is expressed in the form of football.  Given how excited everyone was, and given what time we were all in a bar, I had assumed it was a big military conflict, something on the scale of the Iraq Invasion. 

Football games are quite long, but I think that I did a lot better than normal, for a dude who knows about as much about the game as I do about Harry Potter.  For example, I was almost always clapping at the correct time, and for the most part, I could tell you why I was clapping.  Sometimes, there was a little confusion with regards to how long I ought to be clapping – I feel kind of silly clapping at a box on the wall for more than a second or two, even if everyone else is doing the same thing.

I remember the effect this game has on the city quite well, from my days as a campus bartender back in the early nineties.  A normal shift for a bartender on a day like this is sixteen hours, and one thing I can tell you is that you will be doing yourself and your bartender a big favor if you figure out what the hell you want to drink before you get the bartender’s attention.  They’re in kind of a hurry back there, and they don’t think it’s cute or funny when you call them over to observe you as you chew on your lip and think about various drinks and giggle.

You might also think it’s funny to simply order “beer,” the joke being I think that you don’t care what kind of beer, you just want beer.  Unfortunately, bartenders do not have the option of choosing for you – there are typically a hundred different kinds of beers back there.  It’s not nearly as funny or admirable as you might think.  Not very funny, and somewhat time-consuming.

Also, do not drink and drive.  That’s true anytime, of course, but even more so on the day of the OSU-Michigan game, since the cops are out in full force and they’re low on cash.  They can literally pull people over at random and score DUIs, like plucking trout from a stream.

No, a better solution is to call your wife circa eleven o’clock and admit that you seem to be in a bar again, and just maybe add that a ride home would be super, but maybe not for five or six more hours.  Then, forget to eat any meals and try to talk louder and louder each hour.

When the game is over, be certain to notice who won.  I’m pretty sure it was OSU because nobody ran outside and started flipping cars over or burning couches.  Even if you brought it up a few times, it was like it just wouldn’t take hold.

When my wife arrived, she failed to bring any fried chicken despite my brother’s very clear and repeated requests for it, but that was fine.  No problem.  I had, after all, left to go out with Greeno something like twenty hours before that, so all in all, we had to admit that she was being a pretty good sport.

Really, it was like some kind of trap.  There was no reason to allow or condone my behavior, but she seemed to think it was pretty funny and perfectly fine.  In the car, I said, from now on, I’m not going to go out twice at the same time, and I’m always going to remember to eat meals, and once we get home, remind me to post something on Future Tom because I haven’t done that yet.

Then it was eight hours later.  Still no fried chicken.  Still nobody angry at Tom or hollering at Tom, still a decent weekend.  So I just posted something about the time warp I just went through, and that counts as Saturday.  Even though Saturday’s almost gone.

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Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Fried Chicken, Knuckleheads, Time Travel


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