- odds and ends -

Amid the nosebleeds and bomb threats, I've been playing around with, what else, animated gifs.  I made a little Sherlock Holmes dealybopper to go on a redirect page that gets linked to from time to time and I'll probably stick a few others on pages that haven't been born yet.  I'd never really messed around with making little pictures move about.  It's kind of fun, a good diversion for us overworked single-taskers.  Ooh look, here's Sherlock now:

Chuck and I have made plans to attend the Point Mugu Airshow next weekend.  He tells me this'll be his first airshow, which is surprising for a guy as aeronautically bent as he is, so I'm looking forward to seeing his reactions to things like low-level high-speed fly-bys and such.  There's something enchanting about the gut-rumbling roar of a pair of J79-GE-8 turbojets in full afterburner, and it strikes me as something Chuck will be able to savor.  He's gonna want a couple for his Land Cruiser.

In a way, our day at the airshow will be a mini version of our upcoming trip to New York -- two guys stumbling through a sea of humanity, eating hotdogs, and listening to the noise.  And since it's a precursor to a longer session of buddyness a month from now, I'm sure each of us will be scrutinizing the other to see if we can detect those tiny little habits that will grow into enormous character flaws over the course of several days in New York and eventually have us precursing the day the other was born.

This is all done, of course, in the name of Having A Good Time In The Big Apple.  Besides, each of us already has a pretty good picture of what the other is all about.  As the more mature one, I'll be taking the lead insofar as setting an example of civility and a cool head is concerned.  Chuck, the edgy youthful rebel, will complement the pairing with his witty bons mots, thus making us powerful contenders for the prize of Coolest Dudes On The Town.  Yes, the anticipation is so thick you can cut it with a sharpened screwdriver.


The e-mail has really been piling up around here lately, so much so that I'm going to respond to just a few of them here in public, and thereby cut my workload in half since they're the questions that I'm most often asked by those of you who care enough to send the very best. 

The first question comes from Biff Throckmorton of Winnemucca, Nevada, who writes...

"Stephen [sic].  How did you get to be so golldern smart?  Every time I read your stuff I could just kick myself for not doing all those extra credit assignments in school.  What's your secret?"

Breathing exercises, Biph, très simple.  The brain needs oxygen to function correctly, and oxygen that can be properly and precisely directed helps to put more molecules where you want them -- in the thinking centers.  Use your index finger to close your left nostril, then inhale using only your right lung.  Use alternating nostrils and lungs for five minutes in the morning and six minutes before bed and you'll find you wake up more refreshed and throbbing with smarts.  

The next question is from Nigel Bandsaw of Feltham on the Wall, Sussex, England, a promising young guitar strap maker with whom I've been keeping a correspondence for a couple of years now, who asks this question...

Dude.  You rock.

Yes.  And quite keen of you to notice.  So many young people like yourself these days are quick to toss barbs at their elders, but I say woe unto the youngster who fails to see the guardrail because he's mesmerized by the little ceramic bumps on the pavement!  I may wear Hush Puppies, but Rover still has a good growl on, if you know what I mean.  

The next query is from Mimsy Borogroves of Thwapneck, New Jersey, who asks...

"Do I know you?"

Ah, Mimsy, you're not the first to ask this.  I have what is known clinically as Everyman's Face, a condition wherein my expression takes on the characteristics of those around me, making my face strikingly unmemorable.  And as you know, wherever your face goes, your mood will soon follow.  I don't know what that means, or if it pertains to your question, but I'm sure you'll find it valuable nonetheless.  Also, I worked my way through community college as a model, and my photograph can be seen in new vinyl wallets throughout the western United States; the black and white shot of a man with a spit curl holding a conch up to his ear -- c'est moi!  Just call me Mr. Ubiquitous.

That's all I have time for at the moment, as Viv is crouched in the doorway of my office wearing that fetching little cellophane and gauze number with which she consistently achieves her connubial successes.  I am powerless against it.



  today's music:



today's wisdom:

"The fool mistakes power for virtue, acclaim for merit, nonconformity for dangerousness, conviction for truth, revenge for justice, license for liberty, and kindness for weakness.

- Anonymous


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