My Backyard

I left my bed today for the first time in many months. Bruno helped me downstairs and out into the backyard.

The sun was high. The day was warm. I sat in a garden recliner.

The yard slopes down a mile through light woods to the river. A ship with all sails set passed heading south as I settled.

So much air. So much space outside. Breeze in my hair.

A band of Roma camp in the woods. The police and then the army asked me if I wished their removal. Let them stay. I see the smoke rising from their fires.

The dogs stay close at first, then begin to roam, then to course across the hillside. They flush a few rabbits but these dogs are not the old borzoi. They can chase but they cannot catch.

To die outside of that damned room, this is an end worthwhile.

The Homeless Blogger 1/28/18

Out on the street again. That place I had was too good to be true. The renter laws in this town totally favor the landlord. Run a little late, bounce a check or two, and you come home to find all your possessions – in my case, stashed in three grocery bags – out on the sidewalk.

The good news is that I never actually paid the old woman anything. She comes from a time long ago when a man’s word was his bond. My bonds are all of the bail variety.

So I’m sitting in the Bush Street library, the ritziest in town. Except, just one computer. The head librarian does not want his patrons online. He’s another old one.

Now I’m at the Garden Branch library over by the university. Some kid is giving out free weed in front. I came here because the long line for the computer at Bush was getting pushy. Rich folks, don’t want the hoi polloi putting dirty fingers on their keyboard.

That grass is going right to my head. Now that it’s legal, who knows what street scenes will befall us.

The grass wasn’t exactly free, but I didn’t have to pay anything for it.

Now I’m down at the East First Street Branch. The university students at Garden Branch are a lot more fastidious than I remember college students being. Nobody is going to complain about that sort of thing down here. The busiest room in the place is the bathroom,  where the homeless clean up.

Now I’m off to look for the old Dale Carnegie book I used to read while waiting for the soup kitchen to open.

Anniversary: Battle of the Giants

Today’s the day, back in 2002, when the internet’s two largest like/follow spammers tangled.

It happened by accident and at its peak, the Web ground to a halt.

BeEnlightenedNowSir and GetRichLikeMe are now little remembered, but back in 2002, 80% of all blog posts were liked by one or both of them, and more than 90% of all blog sites were followed by one or both of them.

How the two got into an automated like/follow loop may never be known, but all like/follow stats were blown away before they were done that day.

BeEnlightenedNowSir was living at the time in a cold-water walkup on the south side of Brommist-on-Earm. GetRichLikeMe resided in a yurt on the hill with that water tank, overlooking Possum, Montana.

Banned from the Web, the two met in St. Moritz and blew through their wealth in epic fashion (they both made a billion online, from bloggers paying them to get lost). The couple died in each other’s arms from what the post mortems described as “extreme insults to the body.”

 

Birthday!

I’m 21 today. Happy birthday to me.

All growed up lol.

In three days I’ll be a U. S. Marine. Oorah!

Shouldn’t say that yet. Don’t have the right.

At last I’ll be living and working with real men and women.

The Corps will knock the vinegar out of me, the sooner the better. My mom already gave me the haircut. She was afraid if I came home and she wasn’t used to it, she might embarrass herself.

I’ll be starting out fixing jet planes. I never had any luck with mechanical stuff but they teach you. Is a jet mechanical? Propellers are, but jets seem more like rockets. Are rockets mechanical?

I’m doing some push ups, but maybe I should save my strength. If i flush out of training, or whatever they call it, I’ll never get over it. I guess I’d join the Army next but it wouldn’t be the same.

I’ve got an old movie about drill instructors at Paris Island. Jack Webb is the top one. I turn up the sound to get used to all the shouting. I don’t know what the rules are going to be about iPhones and iPads and so forth. They’ll let me know. Probably while calling me “maggot.”

This will also be my first time outside of Valdosta.

Wish me luck!

What is “Fake” Fake News?

This is the most common question I get these days on the blog (dark-net edition).

What it’s not:

  • Fake fake news is not un-fake or non-fake or true news.
  • Fake fake news is not very fake or extremely fake or awesomely fake news.

What it is:

  • Fake fake news is written or spoken material for which an individual or organization is paid in good faith, with the understanding that the product is genuine fake news, which it isn’t.
  • Fake fake news can be true or false; it can be news or nothing new; it might further the goals of directed fake news or have no effect whatsoever. Who the hell knows!?
  • Fake fake news is produced to make a buck (which is taken directly out of the pocket of the honest fake-news writer) or for a larf. It may be plagiarized from any source (in several cases the Bible). It may be generated by a random-word app or typed by a roomful of monkeys – no, the monkeys would never do that.

Don’t read it. Don’t listen to it. Do not abide it.

And that’s the truth. Or honest fake news.

 

It was my fault.

“It wasn’t my fault.”

“It wasn’t my fault.”

“It wasn’t your fault and it wasn’t your fault. It was my fault.”

“Your fault?”

“His fault?”

“My fault.”

“It was my fault.”

“It was my fault.”

[100-Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #30]

It wasn’t my fault.

“Did you measure that earthquake?”

“It wasn’t my fault. I handle the San Andreas fault.”

“You used that same excuse in our tennis match today.”

“It wasn’t my fault. My partner hit that ball over the line.”

“You blame everyone but yourself. Even your beagle and your jumper.”

“It wasn’t my fault. My beagle has a notch in his ear; it’s a conformation fault. My jumper’s knockdown in the ring was a performance fault.”

“And when all the lights went out?”

“It wasn’t my fault. That fault was built into the computer program, and it was tripped by an electrical fault.”

“You need no-fault insurance.”

[100-Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #30]

Life in Hollywood: Advertising

Screenwriters sometimes write ad copy. An Australian friend asked me to have a go at something new for Aeroplane Jelly. He had been paid a big advance for a draft now due, but after a week with me in Hollywood, he was too drunk and disoriented to write anything. The subject came up as we drank at the Pole Cats Lounge in East L.A. A dancer there uses aquamarine Jello onstage. After she finishes, she comes down and acts innocent while administering lap dances to patrons aghast at the glob of it she still holds in her hand.

98 words. An entry in the 100 Word Challenge.

Guest Blogger: H. Cain

We all make mistakes. It’s only human.

The important thing is, do we learn from those mistakes? Do we grow?

I’m sure that all of you have done things that you aren’t proud of. Think back. Why did it happen? Would you make the same mistake again today? I think not.

Let he who is blameless throw the first stone. He whom is blameless.

I was with a woman. Why not? I’m a man, per se. But I misread a couple of her signals. I responded. You could say I reacted. Once corrected by her, or restrained and slapped you might say, I learned. I’ve moved on. I shouldn’t be punished for a person I no longer am.

I’d like to thank this young fellow here for lending me his blog for a minute. I was going to tweet about the incident as soon as I stepped out of the elevator, but with the screaming and so forth, I decided to hold off until I got out of the hallway and away from building security, to gather my thoughts.

Which reminds me, why is a beautiful woman like a pizza with extra cheese? I’ll answer that at the next debate.

Guest Post: Representative John Jakobs

Hello. I’m John Jakobs, your representative from District 51. I’d like to thank the blog administrator for providing this opportunity to me to speak to you.

As you may know, if you’re a resident in my district, the special election is upon us, and I’d like to take a minute of your time to ask for your vote.

Who to vote for? That’s what we ask ourselves. There is only one way to decide. You must dialog with the candidates and make your choice based upon their views, their beliefs, and their values. And their promises, of course.

That’s what I am now offering you. My beliefs. Write to me, email me, post a question on my wall, tweet me, call me on the phone, fax me. Track me down like a dog. Use whatever method you must to contact me with your questions.

And what are your questions? Let me give you an example. You probably know that 99 out of 100 reputable scientists support the view that the Earth is warming, as a consequence of human activity and to the detriment of all living species upon the planet, except the bugs. One scientist out of a 100, on the other hand, often branded as a nut, cries out in protest and denial, warning us of a monumental hoax, of junk environmental science. Which do you believe? The 99 or the 1? Contact me and state your view. Make your case and I’ll explain my beliefs on the matter to you as well. If we are in accord, take that into account when you vote.

There are those who say that government is the source of all our problems, that the smaller the government is, the better, and that the lower our taxes, the better for the economy. Others argue that in this time of globalization and environmental challenge, we must rely on our government to assure equity in the polity and reasonable control over capitalist practices. Tell me what you think and I will then agree with you, or try to convince you of a truth other than your own.

Another example: some believe that undocumented immigrants in this country contribute substantially to our industrial productivity and deserve a life of dignity and a clear path to naturalization and citizenship. Others would load the illegals, or “wetbacks,”onto boxcars by the millions and haul them back to Mexico and dump them there. Where do you stand? Let’s discusss this, one on one, mano a mano.

I could continue. What about the LGBT issue? Or as others would have it, the practices of homosexuals, or “homos”? What about taxing the rich? What about abortion: a woman’s right to control her own body or bloody murder? I have my views. Perhaps they’re the same as yours. That’s why I want to “get inside your head.” Reasonable people can disagree, but to garner your vote, it’s probably best if I agree with you.

I’m guessing, in fact, that you and I agree on just about everything. It’s just a feeling I have. Contact me and let’s find out.

Thank you.