Friday, October 21, 2016

STAR WARS a la DocumentCzar

I recently constructed a dummy document to use as a demonstration on how to do some stuph at DocumentCzar that doesn't really matter and you wouldn't really care about except that it resulted in the following totally-fake procedural instructions.

9.  Implement Phase

9.1  A New Hope
     9.1.1  Prepare the Droids for Transport

          1.  Insert plans for Death Star into R2D2.

          2.  Record poor-quality hologram message.
          3.  Get shot by the only storm trooper in the whole Evil Empire who can actually hit the broad side of a barn.

     9.1.2  Droid Capture and Blog Download

          1.  Get transported to Uncle Owen’s Moisture Farm.
                a.  Leave a crashed escape pod, with spare parts from your self-repair kit, in plain view for storm troopers to find.
                b.  Wander through sand dunes; forgetting that, according to prequels, you can fly.
                c.  Find a band of fly-infested scavengers and let them electrocute you.
                d.  Shut down and enjoy the ride.
          2.  Download funny blogs from the WorldWideWackfest:
                a.  Determine which article is desired.
                Note: There may be a long pause before understanding particular jokes.
                b.  Right-click on the webpage, click Save as in the pop-up menu, and blah, blah, blah.
                Note: (Download will take some time to complete.)
          3.  Once the download is complete:
                a.  Hear your Uncle Owen call for you.
                b.  Trot out across a barren landscape while your heroic theme plays in the background.
                c.  Whine some nonsense about power converters.

9.2  The Empire Strikes Back
     9.2.1  Justifying Mark Hamill’s Damaged Face

Because Mark Hamill was in a serious car crash between the filming of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, his face was roughed up a bit.

          1.  Invent an ice-cave monster.
          2.  Indicate Luke’s growing compatibility with The Force by having him telekinetically retrieve his lightsaber just in time to free his feet, but not soon enough to spare his face from a good slashing.

     9.2.2  Do More Stuff But Stop in the Middle of the Story So You End Up with a Trilogy

          1.  I love you.
          2.  I know.

9.3  Return of the Jedi

Ewoks are not applicable.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Observed Absurdities™ 26 - Wait a Minute, Maid

I bought a small bottle of Minute Maid apple juice the other day and something didn't look quite right.

I am fully prepared to accept that it's just me and my warped lateral thinking process, but does anybody else take the tag line under the logo a little too literally, digestive-system-wise, to fully enjoy drinking the contents?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Almost Movie Recaps

For a few years now, I've been writing mini reports on the books I read throughout the year and publishing them on my personal FaceBook page; three volumes a year. The thought recently struck me (ouch!) that it might be interesting to do that for the movies I watch, too. But holy farnsworth! What with streaming Netflix and my insatiable hunger for popcorn, that would be a LOT of movies. I'd have to publish way more often and write recaps that are way shorter...

The Count of Monte Cristo  -  Unjustly-jailed sailor pretends to be dead to get out of prison, and pretends to be nobility to get revenge.

The Wizard of Oz  -  Illegal immigrant kills one sister, then joins with three strangers to kill the other.

No Country For Old Men  -  Psycho guy in need of a new hairstyle kills people while on trail of a ton of cash. Totally ineffective Sheriff Tommy Lee Jones retires.

Zootopia  -  Snarky cartoon animals run around and do stuff. Only memorable scene was the sloths in the DMV, which was in the film's trailer, so why did I bother to watch this?

Finding Nemo  -  Neurotic cartoon fish finds Nemo.

Finding Dory  -  Neurotic cartoon fish finds Dory. Dory finds her parents. Pixar finds a cash cow.

Bourne Identity  -  Amnesiac wreaks havoc. Some spy-types have hissy-fits.

Avatar  -  Dances With Wolves meets Ferngully.

Titanic  -  Frustrated wife gets naked for sketch artist. Also, a boat sinks.

Million Dollar Baby  -  Female Rocky, with Clint Eastwood as Burgess Meredith.

Rocky  -  Male Million Dollar Baby with...yeah, you get it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Have You Dug Wall Drug?

Beloved and I took a trip Out West last week to spend some time with her siblings and watch the deer and the antelope play.

The trip through South Dakota on Interstate 90 is always an...uh...experience in itself.

You're driving by exits for towns with names like Reliance and Mudsludger...or, as often as not, you're driving by exits with no name at all. Seriously. There are several exit signs that just have the mile marker number and an arrow...and they lead to dirt roads. (True truth!)

And every 3.7 miles is a billboard advertising the amazing piece of Americana known as Wall Drug: home of free ice water, five-cent cups of coffee, and $47 bags of authentic jackalope pellets.

There are animatronic-wannabe mannequins lip-syncing to The Sons of the Pioneers, wall after wall of framed newspaper and magazine articles about Wall Drug, and an endless selection of pop guns, shot glasses, shirts, hats, porcelain dinosaurs, and wooden puzzles emblazoned with Wall Drug, Wall, S.D.

But wait! Let us not forget the fiberglass photo opportunities:

Several years ago, we stopped in Wall on our way back from Wyoming... with a chair strapped to the roof of our minivan.

Didn't feel out of place. At. All.   

Friday, September 23, 2016

Almost True Confessions

What with all the political wrangling and accusations swirling around, I feel the need to set a good example by laying my cards on the table and owning up to a few things about myself:

  • When I dial in for a conference call at work (DocumentCzar), and the computer voice says "At the sound of the tone, state your name and press the pound sign," I usually say "Your name".
  • While listening to the news, my brain shuts off whenever it hears the words "On Wall Street today...".
  • When giving our tiny canine-like creature (MarcoSansPolo, a practically weightless chihuahua) a bath, I secretly contemplate how easy it would be to wring his little neck and never have to pick up after him in our backyard ever again.
  • I sometimes use an online word generator ( to help me play Scrabble. (The almost true part of that confession is the word sometimes.)
  • I don't really understand the popularity of Twitter.
  • I don't really give a tweet about understanding popularity.
  • I'm not really as popular as Tweety Bird.
  • Larry Bird wasn't really a fan of Conway Twitty.
  • Lady Bird was really a twit on the subway.
  • Big Bird can't fit on a subway.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Observed Absurdities™ 25 - Grammar Police Permanently Peeved


When a tattoo goes wrong, there's not a whole lot a person can do without the aid of a laser and a bankroll...which leads me to believe this apostrophe atrocity is going to be around for a long, long time.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Great Minnesota Sweat-Together

Monday afternoon, Beloved and I took our lives in our hands, along with a sizable bankroll, and braved the streets and gastronomic challenges of the Minnesota State Fair.

The Weather Channel promised there would be overcast skies all day, with a decent chance for scattered showers, so we thought the final-day crowd would be slimmer than normal.

We were wrong...and not just from the viewpoint of the calorie-rich, batter-dipped, deep-fried carbohydrate bombs being passed off as food by the unending parade of vendors. There were tons of people, some weighing close to a ton individually, on almost every square foot of horizontal surface.

We carefully tip-toed our way to what passed for a line of people waiting to purchase different seafood offerings from a place called Giggles. Beloved had her palate poised to enjoy what Giggles calls a "Boatload of Perch", but what the picture on the menu board made clear was three small filet in a tiny paper basket. We'll never know what it was really like, because after the 15 minutes it took for the barely-dressed gal in front of us to decide which authentically-crafted beer she wanted in a souvenir plastic cup, we were told that Giggles had run out of perch...but we could have a crab cake if we'd like.

No...we would not like.

Beloved settled for a bowl of Greek-flavored chicken and rice from Flavored Chicken & Rice in a Bowl. (Okay, that wasn't the real name of the place, but it should have been.) Me? I tried one of this year's new offerings: SpamCurds.

I've found a new fair favorite; worthy of piling up next to Australian Batter-Dipped Potatoes with Ranch and Cheese. These little cubes are lightly breaded with a crisp burst of flavor that perfectly complements the marvelous mystery of Spam®.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Now, go back to the 4th paragraph and revisit the phrase "barely-dressed gal."

First, what an interesting oxymoron barely dressed is.

Second, the gal in front of us in line, with her napkin of a top and sliver of denim of a bottom, was in no way an anomaly in the crowd. Between cover-ups that didn't and pantyhose posing as leggings posing as pants, there was nowhere safe for my eyes to focus except for my ever-expanding belly. Beloved just grabbed my hand and tried to keep me from running into people.

Ha! Fat chance!