Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Peter O'Toole.
Need I say more?


Leslie Nielsen.
No Shirley jokes, please. Ever see him in Forbidden Planet? Or the Poseidon Adventure? As the Swamp Fox? Tammy and The Bachelor? He was great. Even before Airplane! But oh, so funny after that.


I wish my toenails grew faster. And my nose hair slower.


I have a very realistic looking fake foot in my closet. It was used as an anatomical model for teaching nurses how to check for neuropathy, but I keep it just to freak people out when they come to visit my house. You now have a heads up on that.


Oh, and Peter O'Toole isn't dead yet. Eventually he will be, but not at the time of this writing. 


If you've never been to Centralia, Pennsylvania (and why the hell would you have been?), you should put it on your list of creepy places to visit, or even on your list of regular places to visit. However, it is not regular. It is a ghost town. I love going there, especially in winter. 


Props, as always, to Keely, the Un Mom, creator of RTT:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nice Things

When someone commits an Random Act of Kindness upon you, it's nice. Naturally, when it happens to most of us, our first reaction is suspicion. However, in the microsecond before my suspicion gene kicks in, I have a wonderful moment of gratitude, surprise, and warmness. I suppose those are the endorphins surging into my brain. Makes me happy that the endorphins are faster than the susporphins (write that new word down, kiddies).

I wonder what my face looks like when these little chemical surges are going on? Does the RAofK bestower see my endorphin rush through my eyes? Does that person then see my mental defensive shield raise up? I hope so, and I hope not. When you do something nice for another person, ideally you don't do it for any reason other than it's the right thing to do. You don't do it to feel like a potential threat, or pedophile, or creep, and you sure don't enjoy that type of reaction. So I hate to think that my tendency toward putting my guard up is making a do-gooder feel that I mistrust them. Of course, actual creeps are excluded here. I absolutely want them to feel like I'm their personal parole officer.

The event that got me thinking about this is a very simple RAofK that I received from a blogger, I.T. Guru, and fellow Twitter-er, Rob Brown. He had seen a review I had written regarding a new email application called Humail. It's a great idea for email, although may not be for everyone. Feel free to check it out.
My review stated my frustrations with the app, and my wish that it were more functional, because I really want to use it and like it.

I guess Rob saw my review (just guesswork, because I don't know Rob and he could only have known about me from reading what I wrote about it on the web). Well, in short, Rob sent me a nice Tweet to let me know he had written an in-depth review of Humail, and thought it might be helpful to me. It was, and is. By reading it, I learned more about Humail, but I also learned that Rob is a very good writer, reviewer, and expert in computer tech stuff. So I gained another on line "friend" and he helped out a total stranger.

That's nice. It one of those deals in life I call Nice Things. Now do yourself a favor. Check out Rob's blog. It's really good. And you know what? You'll be doing a RAofK to Rob and to me.

I will overlook your raised eyebrow of suspicion when you check it out.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RTT Wall of Shame

When everyone around me (all under the age of fetus to my ancient brain) starts talking about how they love the Kings of Leon, I gamely go along with them and nod vigorously. Although when I look for Leon on Google Earth, I can't find it. Nor is it in the CIA Factbook on countries. And can anyone tell me why Leon has more than one king?


I stayed up way too late last night watching programs on Supermassive Black Holes, and how we should mine the Moon for Helium 3. Then, after about 1 am, I tried to read Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan. Who does shit like that? I fell asleep with my iPad on my chest.


My wife does volunteer work for Meals on Wheels, which is a magnificent organization, by the way. One of her coworkers is a 74 year old man named Max. Max is energetic, and only biologically 74. He has the mind of a 20-something, and a great attitude to match. But he does one thing that cracks me up and costs me time. He keeps giving my wife books and CDs on rock bands for me to check out. In particular, on The Band, you know, Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, those guys.

Now, I happen to LOVE the band and I even go see Levon when he performs up near Woodstock at his home. You can't beat that. Great stuff. But Max is killing my productivity as much as this blog is killing it! Max, for the love of my sanity, please stop!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Treatise Rant Regarding Rational Thought

I'm not actually prepared to write anything right now, let alone a Treatise, so let me just wonder for a moment. I have a difficult time understanding people who are determined to avoid rational thought. In particular, when it comes to science, religion, woo, and personal belief systems. This comes up as I have recently tried to discuss a topic in an atheist web forum.

A Christian came into this forum, which I happen to moderate. His first post wasn't an introduction, but a question to atheists. He asked, "If the God of the bible really exists (kind of a big 'If' on an atheist forum), do you think he could reveal himself to you in a way that would satisfy your belief in him? So that you'd know 100% that he exists."

If it is not apparent to you at first reading, why this "What if?" scenario is off base in a number of ways, then maybe this isn't a post you should bother reading at all, let alone participate in.

I can barely wrap my head around this kind of nonsense stuff...these 'what if' things. He might as well ask, "If a carpet fiber could build an electron microscope, would you be 100% convinced that ten monkeys could hijack a planet from orbit and learn the words to 'Louie, Louie'?"
It's about the same degree of nonsensical question to me. The first part of his question, the "Suppose god exists" part, has nothing to do with what we can know or not know. Neither is there any reason to "know" anything with the ideal, but nonexistent 100% certainty. I know where this guy was trying to lead the topic, because fundamentalist Christians love to tout that they have the absolute truth and thus have 100% certainty of things, and therefore, try to use that as a way to make non-believers doubt their own positions. It's a purely philosophical and psychological manipulative trick, in essence. Bugs the shit out of me.

This is as far as I want to take this topic today. More of a rant than anything, but had to put it out there.

Feel free to comment, criticize, unfollow, or get more people to follow me! Really. I'm interested in others' thoughts on this.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Note To The Uninitiated

In case it's not obvious from my writing, I love (reading and) using the Unreliable Narrator in stories. Importantly, I love him especially when he is reliable most of the time, and only occasionally falls into disrepute. More specifically, I am deeply fond of the Unreliable Narrator when she doesn't know she is unreliable. It's almost ecstasy for me.

Just keep this in mind, my seraphic readers, when you come to a point at which you say to yourself, "What an asshole! I thought he was serious." Almost everything I write is all true, has a grain of truth, or is somewhat based on a version of reality in the Multiverses. If not, at least I'll convince myself and you that it is, for a time.

A Voting Tradition Continues

Just a quick note, or perhaps, bragging rights for me yet again this year. Mrs. Marshmallow and I have a tradition that goes back to college, wherein we hold a physical contest for who gets to control the votes that come from our house, in any election. Sometimes it's a footrace to the polling place. It could be a watermelon seed spitting contest. It's even been an around-the-world solo yacht race (that might have been my first or second wife, I forget these details, especially when they end so tragically and without the closure of finding that person lost at sea). In all fairness, I did turn back from my own heading to look for her right up to the point of having to continue or risk losing the world record time.

This year, she unwisely suggested arm wrestling. I mean, please! What was she thinking? I am the Defiant Marshmallow, after all. I suppose the post victory celebration could have been more subdued, but you can't judge or throw stones unless you been in the shoes of someone who wins one of these contests. Besides, who can resist a live Cirque du Soleil show right in your own front yard?

I did make the write in choices easy for her though. Cthulhu is a lot easier to write than it is to say. And how easy is it to write Fine, Howard, and Fine?

Piece of cake.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Random Thoughts, Random Votes.

It's Your Right.
Don't Screw It Up!

I'm not gonna go for the easy, "It comes down to voting between a douche and a turd sandwich." I'm just not gonna. I want to, though.

I did a carefully measured, placebo controlled, double-blind, crossover study of political TV ads this year (meaning: I watched a couple of commercials without changing channels this week). What I found may shock you, but, believe it or not, some of those ads were simply attacks on the character of one candidate by his or her opponent. While it may seem like a good idea to the low-road candidate at the time he approves an attack ad, what he fails to understand is that for 30 seconds, all I can hear coming from the (louder than the program I was watching) commercial is his opponent's name! Over and over and over.

Being the conscientious American I am, I have done so little prework on any of the candidates, I'm most likely to vote for the name I've heard or seen most often. Which means, when I hear "Joe Sestak" 50 million times in a week, I couldn't give a rip about the context in which I heard it. I'm simply familiar with his name. So I feel like I know Joe. I love Joe. I want Joe to be my guy. I don't care if he molested church mice in Afganistan with Voldemort. He's gonna get my vote.

Now, many people would think that I'm just wasting my vote. Au contraire! Ralph Nader wasted my vote. John Anderson wasted my vote. Pat Paulsen wasted my....no, I take that back. Paulsen was an excellent choice.

My point is this...

...Shit! my train of thought derailed back in the Voldemort paragraph. I forgot my point. Which is exactly my point! We vote as randomly as we think. Why not go in and vote for the candidate you think is hottest? You may not like the job she does, but at least when the Fox News puts her on TV, you'll get that warm feeling in your nethers and you'll take your next bathroom break a happier person.

Make up your own criteria for voting. Height, sex, favorite NASCAR driver, number of appearances on Letterman. Who cares? Just don't pretend that you are voting because you agree with the candidates platform, because if you're being honest, you don't have a damn clue what it is anyway. I watched Sarah Palin give an interview in which she hallucinated may have elucidated her platform. Who knows? The whole time I watched her, all I could think was, "Doesn't she see or hear that guy behind her slaughtering those turkeys?" And that's also the only thing I could subsequently remember about her "platform" Turkeys getting their heads ripped off!

Also, she was hot.

So get out there and vote. Write me in if you want. I was hot, back in 2005. Ask the RenFaire people, if you don't believe me.