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Rated: 13+ · Book · Biographical · #2257228
Tales from real life
Well, if they're not true, they oughta be!
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September 27, 2022 at 2:53pm
September 27, 2022 at 2:53pm
It seems as though these will never stop . . .

Twice Fooled by Seamus L. Miner

Low Energy by Millie Watts

How to Make Graffiti Art by Mark D. Wahls

The Least Infraction by Juan D. Merritt

Doubling Down on Dames by Phil Anders

Decoding Music by C. D. Player

A Guide to Compelling Prose by Paige Turner

End of Days by Sonny Downes

Rockin' the Boat by Dory Lister

Open Fire Cuisine by Rose Tina Chestnut

Effeminate Males by Nancy Boyce

Basic Coin Tricks by Penny Palmer

See also:   "Even More Books I'd Like to See
September 18, 2022 at 1:36pm
September 18, 2022 at 1:36pm

Raising kids is both challenging and rewarding. An amusing part of watching them grow up is when they 'discover' things that you'd almost forgotten. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of articles in the newsfeed about 'quiet quitting'. The Millenials seem to think this is a new phenomenon, but it certainly isn't new to me. It isn't even new to Gen-X. The Simpsons brought us this quote from Homer in 1995, "Lisa, if you don't like your job you don't strike, you just go in every day and do it really half-assed - that's the American way."

When I began my career in the Aerospace industry, I was awed by the sheer size of the products and the machinery that made them. The first few weeks, I stood out like a tourist in New York City gawking at the tall buildings. As I walked through the factory one day, a guy grinned at me and said, "Well, I see they issued you your Boeing gloves." I actually looked down before laughing as I realized that my hands were in my pockets. No wonder the place was known as the Lazy B!

I met many hard-working people who put in long hours to make the company a success. I also met a few slackers who made a career out of wearing their Boeing gloves. In my later years, I learned an even better term for what's now being called quiet quitting: retired in place (or simply RIP). This term describes someone who's given up after being in the same position for twenty years without a promotion. They often have little going on for them at home and use work as a social outlet. They chat, drink coffee, surf the web, and occasionally do a little work to alleviate the boredom.

But half-assing it isn't just a work thing. I knew a lot of guys who started doing the bare minimum in kindergarten. We called them football players. But seriously, the upper classes have been passed through university without effort for hundreds of years. Those born to wealth and privilege can receive 'the gentleman's C' in lieu of merit. But that C isn't a mark of shame, even the barely literate can hang an Ivy League degree and go on to achieve great things. And, once the degree is in hand, you merely file a lawsuit to prevent public disclosure of your embarrassing grades. As an infamous con man says, you don't have to be a genius to lie about your IQ.

Half-assing it has been around since the first gatherer said, "You guys go ahead and hunt, I'll hang back and try these roots and berries." In biblical times, Jesus told the parable of the workers in the vineyard (John 20: 1-16). Some workers came in the morning and some in the afternoon, but they all got the same wage. The moral of the story? You can put in a lot of hours and try to impress the boss, or you can do the bare minimum and just scrape by. In the end, it all pays the same.

September 13, 2022 at 2:02pm
September 13, 2022 at 2:02pm

See polydactyl kitten tracks
wide paw-prints in the snow,
count left to right and total up
four feet with extra toes.

Five claws apiece show in the back
and six in frontal view.
Ten digits aft, a dozen fore
add up to twenty-two.

Author's note:
September 5, 2022 at 10:41pm
September 5, 2022 at 10:41pm

I Only Think I Love You

    I never meant to hurt you
"I need some space right now."
    I want to hold you in my arms
"You don't need me anyhow."

    I wish you'd stay and hold me
"Take all the space you need."
    I know that we could work it out
"Don't you worry over me."

    Please tell me that you want to stay
"You don't even want to try."

    Just ask me not to leave you now
"Then I guess this is goodbye."

author's note

September 4, 2022 at 1:35pm
September 4, 2022 at 1:35pm

California Hotel

Welcome to a Courtyard hotel,
rising to a warm desert smell.

Sweet Tiffany is such a pretty feast
She wakes to find a sweaty beast.

‘Relax,’ said the dark spirit’s face
‘Check out my cool killer place.’

Stabbing knives of shimmering light,
steely voices calling in the night.

You can forget Heaven’s bell,
You lovely prisoners of Hell.

Your chambers haven’t any door
alibis still bring you back before.

You just dance on but never leave
those voices and their mission to receive.

author's note

September 2, 2022 at 11:17pm
September 2, 2022 at 11:17pm

Messieurs, Mesdames, and motley fools,
to whom it may concern,
it's time to set aside the scythe
and take a different turn.

No more creepy, weepy, reaping,
an end to snuffing wicks,
the thousand million swan songs sung
along the river Styx.

Goodbye ye dimmed, ye doomed and damned,
those pure of heart and true,
my tenure terminates tonight,
I bid you all adieu.

Love and kisses,

The Grim Reaper

author's note
September 1, 2022 at 4:02pm
September 1, 2022 at 4:02pm

Dig Those Clams

“It’s watches out,” the walrus cried,
“or you’ll trip among the dunes.
Beat down the sand with happy soles,
keep time with merry tunes.”

They danced beneath a clam-bake sun,
through the hot-sauce afternoon,
until their numbers all ran out.
How did it get so late so soon?

8 lines of nonsense poesy (with apologies to Lewis Carroll)

An entry for The Daily Poem 

Must use this quote from Dr. Seuss: How did it get so late so soon?
May not use: tick, tock, minute(s), hour(s), year(s), or birthday.
August 26, 2022 at 3:02pm
August 26, 2022 at 3:02pm

Those of a certain age, who grew up without internet and social media, may not be adept at searching URL's, but they may be better qualified to judge the results. I'm a product of the Mad Men advertising age, when commercials broke free of product constraints and the medium became the message. The story that convinces a consumer to buy is actually the product in today's marketing world. There's no longer any connection between the advertising claims and the performance of the product. And, who really cares about quality, price or functionality when the act of buying is the real object of commerce? The immediate gratification of buying anything outweighs the long-term satisfaction of having something. Why worry about having a CD when you can buy the stream over and over? Most physical products are quickly tossed in a landfill anyway.

Before Twitter and Facebook, people would forward emails instead of retweeting. The forwards would feature a joke of the day or an apocryphal news item with an embryonic clickbait image. Photoshop was just becoming a verb at that time and there were many gullible people who took the pictures at face value. One in particular showed an air-sea rescue with a coast guard helicopter winching up a basket just inches above the gaping maw of a lunging shark. It was well-done, but still an obvious fake due to the apparent size of the shark. The scammers soon upped their game and began assuring the reader that "this is a real image, not Photoshop!" Well, if you have to start with a claim that you're not lying, then that's pretty much an admission that a lie is coming next.

The problem with disseminating misinformation via email, however, was the difficulty in monetizing the product. The pay-per-click advertising model of today's internet is one solution. And social media provides another. Now, your 'friends' can sell you products directly, and they can start off inside your circle of trust. And that's the big red flag for Truth Social. By definition, the user must trust the community and accept any dubious claim at face value. But, just like a photoshopped shark, if you need to put the word truth in the title, then that's pretty much an admission that there won't be any in the content.
August 24, 2022 at 3:46pm
August 24, 2022 at 3:46pm

I enjoy making up book titles and author names that are amusingly similar and appropriate. My goal is to find titles and names that seem plausible when taken by themselves but generate a laugh when put together. For example, Queen of the Limbo is a real book title and Lois Barr is a real name. Both can be found with a Google search. It's only when they're put together, Queen of the Limbo by Lois Barr, that a smile results.

Of course, these have been around for generations. I remember some from my childhood, titles such as Yellow River by I. P. Freely or Guide to Breathing by Justin Hale. You can find more if you google 'Books Never Written'. So far, I've resisted reading them online because I want to make my own. I'm sure there are similar variations that are created independently, and I can't guarantee that all of mine are unique, but I hope that at least a few are original with me.

I've done a cursory internet search and haven't found a specific term for this kind of wordplay. Perhaps it's up to me to create it? After deep analysis and serious reflection, I'm proposing the term synaptonym to describe these literary gems. It's a combination of syn (similar), apt (appropriate), and the Greek suffix -onym which is used to designate a particular class of words or names. Google doesn't bring up any current usage of the term, so it's available for this purpose. However, I am open to other suggestions if anyone has a better idea.

Now, if I could only figure a way to monetize this odd pursuit . . .

Building an Off Grid Privy by John Carpenter

Making Pounds Disappear by Penny Weiss

My Left Feet by Robert Kent Waltz

Understanding Longitude by Easton West

The Power of Millions by Megan Watts

Salty Lips & Icy Sips by Margarita Glass

A Savage Ordeal by Ellen Bach

Beginning Leatherwork by Tandy Hyde

Conservative Bias by Eileen Wright

In Defense of Heaven by Pearl E. Gates

Foodborne Pathogens by Sam N. Ellis

Hops and Lagers by Amber Brewster

Sneaks and Cheats by Upton O. Goode

Elements of Traffic Management by Carson Rhodes

See also:   "More Books I'd Like to See

See also:   "Still More Books I'd Like to See
August 19, 2022 at 5:06pm
August 19, 2022 at 5:06pm

The Seattle area had a record overnight temperature Wednesday, the highest low ever for the date. The daytime high was in the 90's and clouds moved in during the afternoon. The fluffy sky blanket sealed in the heat like putting a lid on a boiling pot. It was an uncomfortable 80 degrees outside at 11 o'clock. As I lay awake in the darkness, I thought back to a long-running discussion at work.

The subject then was also temperature, but it took place during a cold snap in January. One of the guys made the claim that his car was colder inside that morning than the temperature shown on his outdoor thermometer. We're all engineers and our expertise varies by degree, but the consensus was that Bill must be crazy. Either the sensor in his car or the thermometer must be defective. It seemed intuitive that the car was warm when it was parked, then gradually cooled overnight to match the ambient temperature outside. If it was really well insulated, then it might remain slightly warmer, but no way could it be colder!

After a spirited discussion, we finally did some research and found that our consensus was defective. Bill was absolutely correct, and the laws of thermodynamics backed him up. To understand why, we need a quick review of heat transfer. Heat can be radiated like the rays of the sun, it can be conducted through direct touch like cuddling in bed, or it can be carried by a stream of gas or liquid like in a convection oven.

The night of the freezing car was very still, so convection played no part in our mystery. We all thought that the heat inside the car would be conducted through the steel and glass to the surrounding air. When the temperature inside matched the outside, then heat transfer should stop. Our reasoning was correct, but we forgot about radiation.

The radiation of heat depends on the temperature difference of the sending and receiving objects. Think of how direct sunlight feels on your face when you stand in front of your house on a cool day. The sun is the warmer object, and the temperature difference is immense. The sun's radiation easily overpowers conduction. Walk around to the back and stand near a shaded wall. Now your face is the warmer object, and the sensation is actually cooling. That's what was happening to Bill's car.

The car was parked in an open driveway and the view through the windshield was unobstructed by buildings, trees, or clouds. The sky was crystal clear all the way to the infinity of deep space, and the temperature of that space is close to absolute zero. Bill's car was still 475 degrees warmer than outer space even when its interior temperature matched the chilly ambient of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. So, the car continued to radiate heat to outer space all night. The steel and glass of the car insulates the inside from the outside, so conduction doesn't replace the heat lost by radiation until there's a measurable temperature difference. Of course, this cooling effect isn't seen when the car is parked inside a garage or under tree cover.

The cooling is similar but exactly opposite to parking your car in direct sunlight. Our 27 million-degree sun radiates a large amount of heat into your car through its windows. The interior temperature can rise to a lethal 120 degrees Fahrenheit before the process of conduction removes as much heat as is added by radiation.

I like to tell this story because it demonstrates the power of science. I was humbled by my poor understanding of college physics. It reminds me to question what I think I know and remain open to learning. Certainty is not a substitute for knowledge.

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