Saturday, July 4, 2015

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

To deep fry a turkey.
Procure a turkey in the usual manner.
Such as casually approaching one on a street corner
Or in a senior citizen's home
While appearing to gaze at your wristwatch
And then pouncing on it
And stuffing it into a satchel
Or a carpetbag.
Or set a very large mousetrap
In an area frequented by turkeys.
For best results,
The turkey should be dead.
If the turkey is not dead,
Just be patient,
For pity's sake.
Turkeys are not immortal.
Or you can drop the hammer on that little devil,
In a literal or figurative sense.
It's really up to you.
Dynamite is not considered sporting
As a method for snuffing out
The life of a turkey.
And beating a turkey to death with a shoe
May be frowned upon
In some quarters.
But suffocating a turkey with a pillow
Is considered relatively humane.
It is no small feat to sneak up on a turkey.
And please reflect on the irony
Of smothering a turkey with a feather pillow.
Next, dress the turkey.
No one seems to be sure what this means.
But a nice pinafore is considered stylish
In the turkey community
Or a seersucker suit.
Whatever that is.
Never attempt to put a wig on a turkey.
It will only aggravate the turkey
And you won't feel very good about yourself.
Now place the turkey
Into some type of turkey deep frying device
And fry it
In the customary manner.
If the turkey is not quite dead
You'll know it.
For further instructions
See Appendix 2C,
How to Deep Fry a Turkey

Inspirational Quotes That Might Still Need a Little Work

You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You were born a moron.
We have nothing to fear but everything.
Believe you can and you're just postponing the inevitable disappointment.
Change your thoughts and don't forget to change your underwear.
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in giving up every time we fail.
When you come to the end of your rope, your neck is about to break.
Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I just say the hell with it.
We must become the asshole we want to see.

A Little South of France

An artist and an astrophysicist and a rabbi walk into a bar.
Hopping hither and thither.
Crazy as three waltzing mice.
In this twittering world.
Somebody flings a mattress out.
And their hair stands on end.
There stand they, poor rinkrank, on their seventeen long shanks.
A little south of France brain-wise.
Dark and beautiful and probably doomed.
A mouse of a mouse to a mouse a mouse o mouse
The mice they'll hang up in the smoke, and then you'll see the snow.
Strange language.
Slimy things did crawl with legs.
Spoiled their act as a clown.
There at the bottom of the food chain.
They welcome our new insect overlords.
Toddle off and fly your flying machine.
You vagabonds!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Up and Coming Amish Rappers

Ghostface Miller
Digable Planters
House of Grain
Hex Clan
De La Soil
DWA (Diggers With Attitude)
Old Dirty Pastor

Haiku on a Shoe-Pegging Machine - Patent US5896

Teeth of the pinion
Automaton shoemaker
Secured by set screws

A Brief Guide to Space Race Movies

You could sweat the details, but it’s probably safe to say that the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union lasted nearly 12 years. The Soviets kicked it off on October 4, 1957 with the launch of the little satellite that could, the one known as Sputnik. The Americans fell behind on nearly every front in those early years but then grabbed the brass ring on July 21, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

Nowadays, four decades after humans last walked on the moon, space exploration fails to stir the public imagination like it once did. Ticker tape parades for astronauts are a thing of the past, and Canadian Chris Hadfield is arguably the closest thing to a “celebrity” astronaut to come along in decades.

Read more at Black Gate

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Name Is For My Friends

Just the place for a snark.
What do I get?
A lot of yak from you.
The clocks strike thirteen.
The clouds hang low in the heavens.
Smolten in our mist.
One of these days the sun's gonna come up.
And burn a hole clean through the planet.
Some guy had a sign saying it was the end of the world.
When you get there you'll find yourself a cheery land.
The drugs begin to take hold.
Ahh, smell those Christmas trees.
They're altogether ooky.
That, my dear Vance
Is the understatement of the year.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

A Mouse Did Run

It is wise to bring some water
When one goes out to look for water.
So please move your ass.
Charlie don't surf.
Dennis surfed.
Brian couldn't surf.
It was a dark and stormy night.
As pretty as an airport.
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat.
The minister needed it to stuff a cushion.
Never trust a man with short legs.
I'll see your horse and raise you a grand piano.
Around here we don't give a man a funeral
Unless we're pretty sure he needs one.
We were all going direct to Heaven.
We don't steal cable in Heaven.
A mouse did run.
This story is done.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hieronimo's Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

I'm gonna save you.
Then we will sing all the cowboy songs.
Settle down sir, the doctor says.
You're just going to have to be a little patient.
He don't make monkeys, he just train 'em.
Yet you still keep to this obstinate silence
Will you send a dinghy, please?
You're barking up the wrong fish.
He has the ability to nullify all radar beams.
Generated by a giant flying saucer.
He cut your head off and put it in his TV set
Because he wanted to change into a dope.
It is something or is he an imbecile.
What do you tell a man with two black eyes?
Nothing, he's already been told twice.
In waking life you have never even been to Kentucky.
So go feed those hogs before they worry themselves into anemia.
And I'll bet my badge that we haven't seen the last of those weirdies.

Eat and Be Lazy, Kids

The wrestlers complained he was loud.
He do the police in different voices.
But today's noise is tomorrow's hootenanny.
A boy and his pet bear.
It wasn't a bear, father,
I'm just as God made me, sir, said the alleged bear.
And I only want large bread.
Well, why don't you donate your pants?
And then your azaleas will laugh themselves sick.
And in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.
The gnat fattening on the brain grew in size till it swelled to the dimensions of a pigeon, and then the skull of Nimrod burst.
Well, you needn't git mad about it.
Mother lives on Sirius.
And don't call her Shirley.
She saith you gotta grab life by the lips and yank as hard as you can.
Let your turtle help.
For the turtle is nature's suction cup.
Let me say before I go any further that I forgive nobody.
And you be quiet, monster.

Sunday Song: Dictators - Faster and Louder

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Why I Like Potatoes

I don't much care for potatoes, actually.
Including unpeeled potatoes.
Which remind me of a stinky old man with mottled flaky skin.
And have you ever eaten a raw potato?
If so, please proceed to the nearest head examination center.
And ask to have your head examined.
So while I don't like potatoes much,
I'll get cracking on this list.
This thankless task of a list.
There was the time I got a chunk of raw potato stuck in my nose.
Which is all you need to know about it.
So drop it.
I know I brought it up.
But drop it already.
And hash browns remind me of Donald Trump's hair.
And they probably taste like it.
But I wouldn't know, since I've never tasted Donald Trump's hair.
And I'd rather lick a boil than eat a French fry.
And a potato is not a majestic beast galloping across the savannah.
For more on why I like potatoes, refer to my treatise, More on Why I Like Potatoes.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

What I Know

Increasing numbers of human babies are being born smelling like pigs
Life is pain. Alleviated occasionally by modest doses of misery and suffering.
You can lead a horse to water but good luck getting it to water ski.
Laughter is the best medicine. Human dung ain't so good.
If you give a man a fish he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish and he falls in the water and drowns you're going to wish you'd given him a fish.
He who laughs last might be retarded.

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If the Pope Was More Like Moe Howard

The Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church is carrying a long plank balanced on his shoulder.
The Cardinal Secretary of State calls him.
He turns abruptly.
Whacks the pontiff in the face with the plank.
The Pope closes in on the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.
Goes for an eye poke.
The Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church neatly blocks it.
With an outstretched hand laid alongside his nose.
The Pope counters with the two-handed eye poke.
A brilliant maneuver.
Takes three steps backward.
Steps in the Cardinal Secretary of State's paint bucket.
Tries to shake it loose.
It's stuck.
Shoves his mitre (cool Pope hat) down over the Cardinal Secretary of State's eyes.
Gives his ears a good twist.
Tweaks his beak.

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Beyond Belief, edited by Richard Hurley

Beyond Belief
Edited by Richard J. Hurley
Scholastic Book Services (188 pages, $0.45, April 1966)

Given that Scholastic was the publisher of this anthology, it’s probably fair to assume that it was aimed at what was once called the juvenile demographic. I was in that demographic when the 1973 paperback edition was published.

However, as the publishing credits reveal, most of the stories are drawn from SF magazines of prior decades. None of which were geared to juveniles, as far as I’m aware. It’s a mixed bag, as anthologies often are, but for me the ups outweighed the downs by a bit.

Read more at Black Gate.

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People With No Heads

Tend to eat a lot of soup and yogurt.
Drop it right down the old esophagus (milkshakes, too).
Sucks not to have a place to put your eyes and ears and so on.
And swimming is tricky.
But think of what you save on mustache wax, tooth whitening strips, and acne medicine.
And you'll never have a concussion.
But its awkward for all concerned when the cowboy in the group inadvertently says "we'll head 'em off at the pass."

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Time the Whore of Babylon Dropped the Kids Off At Soccer Practice

There were a few things she could have done differently.
Like not turning up at the soccer field on a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, and having seven heads and ten horns.
But the Lexus was in the shop for a brake job.
And her outfit - purple and scarlet and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls.
Not everyone can pull that off.
As several of the moms were quick to point out.
And the belly shirt.
Now that was harlotry.
And the golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication and being drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
Sure, they all liked a Margarita or a wine cooler or two.
But that was really a bit much.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Sunset Years of the Star of That Really Popular Cat Video

Miss Tibbles.
An entire wing of the mansion was given over to her some years ago.
Gone to ruin now, drafty and smelling faintly of stale catnip.
Miss Tibbles.
Perches in the dank great room in her tattered red velvet kitty bed.
The grand piano in the corner, mostly unused.
Though just last week she roused herself and ran through a few pieces by Rachmaninoff.
The magic wasn’t there anymore.
Her attendant – Burt – observed.
Though he wouldn’t have dared to say so.
Miss Tibbles.
Yawns, stretches and eyes the silent telephone.
It won’t be much longer.
She’s ready for her close-up.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Prufrock

Row, row, row your boat
Like a patient etherized upon a table
Gently down the stream
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
I have heard the mermaids singing each to each
Life is but a dream
Til human voices wake us and we drown

Row, row, row your boat
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - T.S. Eliot

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Sunday Song: Cramps - I'm Cramped

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Movie - Young Sherlock Holmes

Young Sherlock Holmes
Directed by Barry Levinson

So just how did Sherlock Holmes and John Watson get together? I'm no authority on the canon of Holmes but the way Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote it differs a good bit from how the makers of Young Sherlock Holmes handled it - something they take pains to note at the end of the film.

But what's a little dramatic license among friends? As the filmmakers would have us believe, young Watson meets young Holmes upon arriving at a new boarding school, where his future pal proceeds to do one of those fancy Sherlock Holmes things and tells him all about himself, based on a few subtle clues.

Which is all well and good and to be expected and if things had proceeded in this fashion I might have stayed on board. But as things moved along the movie began to take on a tone that would have been more suitable to Young Indiana Jones (which came along in the form of a TV series less than a decade later) than Young Sherlock Holmes. There's something of a mystery at the heart of all this, with blow darts that cause people to hallucinate wildly and ultimately end up dead, and an Egyptian cult, but it's more about fast-paced, big-budget action and spectacle than deduction.

Which is fine if you like that sort of thing. I didn't mind and it's certainly a well-made film, though the relentless pace became wearying at times. Much of this can probably be explained by considering some of the principals. They include Steven Spielberg, the executive producer, who had just done his Indiana Jones thing a few years earlier and who was producing another YA adventure flick, The Goonies, in the same year.

Writer Chris Columbus would go on to do Home Alone before too long and later took a crack at some Harry Potter movies. Which not so far removed from what he did here, when you think about it but without all that magic stuff. At first I thought Barry Levinson seemed like an odd choice to direct but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. After all, his big score up to this point had been with Diner, a coming of age tale. Which is not unlike what's done here, although with a lot more action.

To summarize, if you're looking for a good Sherlock Holmes movie you should probably keep looking. If you're looking for a good young-adult adventure movie this should do the trick.

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Casually walking around with a bag of hair.
My hair smells so good.
I love my hair.
Damn my hair smells to good right now.
My hair smells so beautiful n feels like feathers.
I love my hair.
At Walmart today, a lady told me I should be in a Pantene commercial.

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The Murders in the Rue Morgue - 1975

The Murders in the Rue Morgue
CBS Radio Mystery Theater

I've got to confess that The Murders in the Rue Morgue is one of the Poe stories I've never actually gotten around to reading. So when I listened to this adaptation made for the CBS Radio Mystery Theater I didn't really have a frame of reference for what I was hearing. Given that, I had to take said adaption on its own merits, rather than comparing it to the original.

Supposedly one of the first detective stories, it's also a locked room mystery, a subgenre of a subgenre of mystery fiction that never ceases to amaze, amuse and irritate those of us who go for that sort of thing. The killings that take place inside this locked room are fairly gruesome, even by today's more relaxed standards, and one can't help imagining Poe writing splatter films if he'd lived a century and a half later.

Of course, one C. Auguste Dupin steps in to take over the investigation and proceeds to put together a few clues and sort everything out. If you're wondering where Sherlock Holmes got some of his mannerisms and personality traits it wouldn't be unreasonable to start your search here. Not a bad tale, all in all, at least based on what i heard in this adaptation, though I'm still up in the air about whether Poe's choice of killers was brilliant or just plain goofy.

But it's another worthwhile episode from the vast archive of CBS Radio Mystery Theater productions. Hard to believe that they turned out one of these every weekday for about ten years but they did.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

My Last Few Fortune Cookie Messages

Your honored mother has the countenance of an ape.
A prosthetic elbow may be waiting around the next corner.
May your pockets always be filled with sufficient carrion.
Beware of anthropomorphic horses who sing too loudly.
Live this day as though it will be your last. It will.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

How Immortals Pass the Time

Bob has been immortal for nearly 417 million years.
The young whippersnapper.
But lately time’s been dragging.
So he rounds up some toothpicks and gets to work.
Before long (by immortal standards, that is) he’s built a full-scale replica of the universe.
Complete with galaxies and Pringles and asteroids and Cleveland.
The other immortals can’t help but admire it.
It’s a pretty nifty piece of work, to be sure.
Until the fire.