Posts Tagged ‘pointless funny stories’

This is beyond overdue

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

And yet, I still kind of have nothing of any real import to share, so here is a generic list o’ stuff in no particular order.

  • I have been writing the new book. It’s gone relatively smoothly minus the ever-present slight concern that where I’m taking things plot-wise is maybe too far or too slow or not quite perfect, but that’s the way it goes, I suppose. Today I will cross the 100-page mark, which is the clearest sign that an actual novel will come out of this in the end.
  • It’s cold as hell, and yet it’s as warm as it’s ever going to be for quite some time.
  • I’m another year older tomorrow, and yet I’m as young as I’m ever going to be…especially today.
  • My Sims2 have been neglected, but not forgotten…especially not on Saturday night. I’ve created a family based on myself and my dog, except they don’t have dogs in The Sims2, so he is represented by a young black child with white hair named Smelly. Smelly is a lot more useful than the real case study upon which he is based because he’s able to wash the dishes, do yard work, and order a pizza. Hmmm… Maybe I should look into adopting a young black child? Madonna and all them make it look so easy…

    Malamute in city

    Give him a kingdom to oversee, and he's happy.

  • I know it’s $2 or $3 or even $4 a cup, but lattes are so much better than any French press or drip coffee I make myself. And they don’t act as a colonic delivered via my mouth. One more reason I need to get rich…and soon.
  • In the same vein, I realize I’ve got to get my hands on a baby monkey, get it it to ride my dog (backwards being fine, if not preferable), have someone write a catchy and stupid tune to go with it, and become a YouTube sensation. He also does a great thing where he smashes his face against glass doors and rubs his tongue all over it. Hilarious stuff, that.
  • I love Top Chef but I don’t give a rat’s ass about Top Chef Just Desserts. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and TV is already overcrowded with people making ridiculous cakes and swords out of hard candy and copulating swans out of chocolate. Yawn.
  • I’m headed back  to the east side of the state in a couple days as a very good friend is getting married and then I’m off to Pennsylvania for a couple weeks to watch my dad’s kitty zoo while he’s on vacation. In theory, I will keep up my  book writing momentum, although I plan to do just a few pages tomorrow in honor of my bday and again on Thursday because (as I just told you if you were paying attention) I have to drive across the state and that takes a long ass time during which I cannot (unfortunately) write. Actually, in the spirit of accuracy, I COULD write during the drive, but I would likely also die in a fiery car crash for the effort.
  • The parade of Housewives never ends. I’m happy to report I disconnected from the DC wives and have no idea what happened or who they are or who’s insane, but I am ashamed to share that I did watch about 20 minutes of those godforsaken Atlanta Housewives. Damn it all to hell! And what did Kandi do to her hair with that red section on top? And does anyone else think Kim is a man in drag? And why didn’t Dwight take a single lesson from the plastic surgery mistakes of Michael Jackson???
  • Looking at the clock, it’s about time to go boil some water for some of that colon-cleansing coffee and get my write on.
  • I kind of want to go see that Jackass 3D movie. This is the same part of me talking that misses Crank Yankers and owns the Rob & Big DVDs. The part of me that’s a 12-year-old boy.
  • Having walked the dog and witnessed – and more often that not, picked up – his every bowel movement for three weeks, I can tell you two things definitively:
  1. Think twice before owning a 100-pound dog in a city. Not only will they yank your arm out of its socket over the sight of a Pomeranian in some lady’s arms two blocks away, but they make bigger dumps than those of a horse.
  2. Not all poop can be scooped. Case in point, the mess this morning looked shockingly akin to chocolate cake batter, and I didn’t even get a bag out and fake it for fear of getting too close. Besides, the flies were apparently given advance warning and started swarming in almost immediately. My new attitude toward certain poop scooping scenarios: I really don’t need tourists handing me Wet Ones baby wipes after I take a hit for the team; so watch your step, and wear rubber soled shoes. It’s a jungle out there, and my canine provides the quicksand.

Good luck,  happy sightseeing, and enjoy your smooth expensive coffee, you rich bastards.

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Ash is a goddamned robot

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

So the following headline caught my eye this morning: The Challenge of Making Real Robot Skin, which in turn led pretty much immediately to a “come again?” moment.

So I went to the article, and it started to come clear…and then more or less tanked straight into WTF land. Why’s that? Well, just so you don’t feel left out, here are a few excerpts to catch you up:

I don't know what this is, but the 1.5mm skin kind of reminds me of cake. Mmmmmm...  Cake.

I don't know what this is, but the 1.5mm skin kind of reminds me of cake. Mmmmmm... Cake.

In a recent paper “Towards Humanlike Social Touch for Sociable Robotics,” John Cabibihan and his fellow scientists detailed the reasons for testing and developing realistic skin for social robots.

“Touch is important in social interactions. Social touch are all those instances in which people touch each other, when shaking hands, when giving a pat in the back as a sign of congratulations and even in high-fives. Yet, one should not easily assume that humans will be comfortable with the idea of shaking an artificial hand made from a stiff material. In addition to the appropriate controls for a safe handshake grip and other forms of social touch, humanlike skin softness would be a reasonable requirement for the sociable robots envisioned to directly interact with humans in a social setting. “

Human skin has properties that are not easy to replicate in synthetics. The authors created a skin testing machine to check out some of the current substitutes for human skin in robots – like silicone and polyurethane. Unfortunately, these simplistic skin substitutes were tested and found wanting; at present, there is no accepted substitute for the feeling of real human skin.

There have been a number of different attempts to produce more lifelike skin for robots, as well as skin that would properly feed sensation to the operator of the robot. There is, of course, one ideal solution to creating robot skin that is as human as possible. Recent work done at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft science institute in Germany has demonstrated that small swatches of actual human skin can be grown in petri dishes in a mass production facility.

It takes a lot of damage before you realize Arnold isn't actually a person, but a killing machine.

It takes a lot of damage before you realize Arnold isn't actually a person, but a killing machine.

Ummm…what?

Who is doing human skin-covered robot development?
And WHY????

Clearly I missed some kind of memo. What the hell kind of robot is this?

I’m okay with Roomba and his stinky cousin, Scooba and anything that comes over to clean my floors or dishes (but no touching the laundry. I love doing laundry. It’s the only chore where I would even consider use of the word ‘love’ in association.), but I’m not so sure how I feel about robots that I can’t tell are robots.

At least even the iRobot robots looked like robots, so once they turned bad you could tell them apart. And WALL-E. Clearly a robot, and fine by me…especially because he never decided to destroy the humans who created him, which is a plus.

As for the explanation on this bad idea, I’m not buying the whole ‘people don’t want to shake hands with a robot’ excuse, either.

I would shake hands with a robot.

I shake hands with my dog (which has, in turn, taught him to flog me when he wants something, and I’m ignoring him, but that’s another story for another day). And if a robot wanted to pat me on the back with a metallic pitchfork hand, I’d be okay with that (so long as it was gentle and not a robot beat down that punctured a lung or whatnot. Punctured lungs are no good.)

My point here is I think there are only two reasons that they would want to put real skin on a robot:

1. To trick us.

2. To make robot prostitutes (or sex slaves or whatever).

See? Nothing but a goddamned robot.

See? Nothing but a goddamned robot.

And I don’t like it one little bit. And I suspect the robots wouldn’t like it one little bit. And this is where things go wrong. You create something in order to dominate it and use it as a slave, but you made it too smart so it collaborates with the others of its kind and overthrows you and the next thing you know we’re all hanging out in liquid cocoons and powering The Matrix.

Right????

So can’t we at least learn from our popular culture? Life imitates art and whatnot?

For instance,  in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (The Phillip K. Dick classic known more commonly as the Harrison Ford movie Blader Runner)? Replicants – or ‘skin jobs’ as they’re not-so-ironically called – that think they’re human beings but later (and not exactly in the interest of their psychological health) find out they’re not.

Daryl Hannah as a 'basic pleasure model.' This gives me an idea for Halloween....

Daryl Hannah as a 'basic pleasure model.' This gives me an idea for Halloween....

Nobody likes to grow up thinking they’re real and find out they’re not. It’s an identity crisis in the making.

How about Alien? You know, where The Company secretly sends a robot as part of the crew to ensure that a heinous monster will make it back to earth safe and sound? And nobody knew he was a robot until he tried to kill Ripley and then all that white foamy stuff started oozing out of him.

You can’t trust those robots that look like people. You think they’re a regular, reasonable person…but they can be wired as total traitors just like that.

And speaking of treacherous behavior, who can forget The Terminator? Imagine if The Terminator would have at least had the decency to look like a killer robot. Things might have turned out differently for all the other Sarah Conners in the Los Angeles phone book.

In closing, let me go on the record as not liking this petri dish skin human-looking robot stuff. I don’t know what it is, but it ain’t good.

And in the words of Ash, ”I can’t lie to you about your chances, but you have my sympathy”.

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Some people

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

As if we needed further proof that people are nuts…or easily angered…or both, along comes this guy to make my day.

“Who is this man?” you ask. Well, let’s do some deductive reasoning together.

They say your nose and ears keep growing your entire life, and obviously they do.

They say your nose and ears keep growing your entire life, and obviously they do.

Look at this snarly mug. Does this man look angry?

Yes! Yes, he does!

Does he look like he forgot to take his meds?

Right again!

And does he look like a man capable of delivering a beat down onto a stranger’s two-year old child in a Georgia Wal-Mart?

Well, it should, because he did.

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – Police say a 61-year-old man annoyed with a crying 2-year-old girl at a Walmart slapped the child several times after warning the toddler’s mother to keep her quiet.

A police report says after the stranger hit the girl at least four times, he said: “See, I told you I would shut her up.”

Roger Stephens of Stone Mountain is charged with felony cruelty to children. It was unclear if he had an attorney and a telehpone call to his home Wednesday was unanswered.

Authorities say the girl and her mother were shopping Monday when the toddler began crying. The police report says Stephens approached the mother and said, “If you don’t shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you.”

Authorities say after Stephens slapped the girl, she began screaming.

I think the saddest sentence of this article is the last one, because it highlights the audacity of arrogance: Here this man was bragging about his ability to shut up babies, and when given a chance (or seizing a chance…either way) to demonstrate his skill, he failed miserably and made the baby even MORE upset. And then he decided to applaud his failed efforts by tossing a saucy, “See, I told you I would shut her up,” out for all to hear.

But you didn’t, Roger. You didn’t shut her up, you made her scream more.

On the other hand, just looking at him, maybe he didn’t know the difference? Or maybe general screaming sounded more pleasant to him than whining for cookies? It stands to reason he hasn’t had much contact with kids. Or at least I hope he hasn’t.

At the same time, there is a silver lining to be had. Now I’m not saying the toddler deserved this, but let’s break it down objectively here:

1. Kids are annoying. You know they are. You’ve met kids. You may even have kids. In either case, I can guarantee you’ve been annoyed by kids. And if you haven’t? Watch two minutes of that “Nanny 911″ show (whatever it’s called where the British nanny comes and straightens out the hopeless, raising a brood of horrifically spoiled brat parents) and prepare to be ANNOYED. Look, I’m not picking on kids: We were all kids once. We were all annoying. I’m not saying they’re ALWAYS annoying and don’t have their cute or charming moments, I’m just saying that a screaming two-year old – no matter how you slice it – is annoying.

2. In a way, Roger Stephens, Wal-Mart shopper and occasional looney toon, was doing this toddler a favor. The next time she sees a face like that? She’ll know what to do: Shut up and get the hell out of Dodge as fast as humanly possible. There’s no need to lecture this little one on ‘good touch’ or ‘bad touch’ or ‘getting a funny feeling about people.’ Just remind her about that time she was at Wal-Mart, and was physically assualted by a stranger, and she’s good to go.

3. In my opinion, any time you enter a Wal-Mart you really are on your own. All bets are off. Never wanted to see a 400-pound woman in a halter top? Too bad, because there’s one waiting for you by the toilet paper. Have no desire to be hit on by a toothless man in his 80s? That’s a shame, because there’s one hovering around the mangos hoping to pretend that he doesn’t know whether they’re a fruit or a vegetable in order to extract unnecessary cooking advice from you as part of a poorly constructed come-on. Don’t want to be bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake? Well, as we’ve all learned, stay out of Wal-Mart, because you are shooting your odds way up, baby.

And as for you, Roger Stephens (whose name I keep typing as Gary Stephens for some unknown reason)?
I can’t wait to see you making the talk show circuit once you get let out of jail. I’m sure there’s someone somewhere that’s interested in your views on child psychology and will extend your 15 minutes just that much more! Yay for America!

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Things I do instead of writing

Friday, August 7th, 2009
You would think I would notice that the first two words in the title of this book are "Joseph" and "Smith" but nooooo....

You would think I would notice that the first two words in the title of this book are "Joseph" and "Smith" but nooooo....

So I was on Amazon.com placing an order for a few gifts, and at the bottom of the pages (below the reviews which I was reading, and thankfully so, as I was intrigued by this book called ‘Rough Rolling Stone’ because it had all these great reviews, but as I read the reviews, I started to learn that the book was not about The Rolling Stones, but about Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons. And I guess it’s a good Joseph Smith book, as things go, and if you’re looking for that kind of reading.

That reminds me: This is akin to the time that I was supposed to be buying some kind of Buddhism or meditation book for someone and instead bought them a book of lesbian poetry [with the same title]. I felt bad because the lady had probably never sold a single copy of her lesbian poetry, and it had finally happened…and here I was returning it a few days later. And she may have had a full-on lady beard in the photo. I can’t quite remember. I do know that I took this kind of odd class once when I was getting my psychology degree, and was deep in the throes of ‘anything for credits toward my degree’ [which is how I ended up in a different class called 'The Prison as a Classroom' where we actually WENT TO A HIGH SECURITY PRISON!!! WTF?] and the teacher had us read all these lesbian [not homosexual. Just lesbian. And NOT The Color Purple. Just lame stuff that her friends must have written or something.] books about the first time and falling in love and being overweight [I think the class was about being overweight, come to think of it. Something like size and image. Or body image and size or something like that. As you can imagine, it had attracted some ladies of considerable size, and I stuck out like a sore thumb]. So anyway, my point here is that I do very clearly remember that on the back of the this one novel – which contained some very awkward and highly detailed love scenes – was a photo of the author and the way the light hit her was just tragic. She had a serious lady beard going on. I kept thinking WHY would you put that photo where other people can see it??? Or maybe in her country that’s considered hot?

(more…)

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So this is kind of weird

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

I’ve been having these strange episodes every day around 3pm where I become so exhausted I have to nap. And I never nap.

In fact, I think there’s a whole blog post about how much I hate napping.

But my body doesn’t care that I hate napping. It just goes into full shut down like a laptop with a worn out battery. Basically, my body starts an automatic hibernation process and refuses to take no for an answer.

So anyway, I’m presuming that’s some lingering after effect of last week’s e. Coli nightmare, and some type of recuperating/healing…and thus that’s not the weird thing I’m referencing in the title.

The weird thing is that I was sitting outside yesterday trying to get my 12 pages done (I’ve upped my daily quota on my book to 12 pages so that I can absolutely be done next Friday and then immediately get down to the business of editing), and I suddenly realized that I was falling asleep and had to shut my eyes for a minute. Okay, that’s not weird either, that’s the ‘new normal,’ but the weird thing is coming. I swear it is.

So I was on my stomach on the lawn chair and fell asleep in one of those light, still kind of aware of what’s going on around you ways – although to my shock, I later realized that I managed to burn through an hour like that –  and heard a noise that sounded like something in my beach bag might’ve fallen over. Since my computer was there, perched semi-precariously in the bag, I propped myself up on my elbows to see what was going on.

It looked like this. Except it's beak was pointed at the sky.

It looked like this. Except it's beak was pointed at the sky.

Everything looked normal EXCEPT about two feet from my head, sitting on the concrete was a robin. And without my glasses on, I can’t see jack sh*t, and so my brain pasted the face of my dog on the face of this robin. Generally speaking, my dog’s face isn’t terribly descriptive. It’s bright white with two little beady eyes (they’re a beautiful amber color, but let’s be honest here: In proportion to the size of his skull, they’re kind of small and thus I feel ‘beady’ is an accurate description) and a big black nose and sometimes a pink-tongued smile. But not always. And the non-smiling version was what seemed to be looking at me from this bird’s face.

So I sat there and ‘looked’ at that for a while (which was rather surreal), and wondered if this was some kind of strange spiritual messenger and why had it taken the form of a hybrid between my dog and a bird, and then decided that enough was enough and I needed to get my glasses and see what was really going on here, because even if it was just a common robin, why wasn’t it flying away?

So I sat up slowly and reached over and got my glasses and the whole time the robin just sat there, literally within reaching distance, and I restored my vision and realized it had it’s beak straight up in the air. It was a small robin, and it’s chest was orange-ish with lots of brown spots all over it. (And in my hunt for a suitable likeness online, I have learned it was a juvenile robin.)

(more…)

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