Monthly Archives: November, 2009

Ho ho ho: trust this!

Ah, Christmas time. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The perfect time to play people for suckers, right?

A co-worker told me a story today about their weekend hunt for a Christmas tree. What? Already?!? But that’s another story.

Her story reminded me of a little tale:

I was strolling the city streets of Tijuana, Mexico, when we came across a sandwich board sign on the sidewalk that read, “free margarita with your meal.” That sounded good. Then we were like, “What restaurant?” All we could see was a tiny doorway with steps descending down into a pitch black mysterious darkness.

Feeling adventurous, we climbed down those steps and found a little restaurant. We were seated, placed our orders, and then served our food. Finally we spoke up and said, “Hey, what about those free margaritas?” Oh yes, they exclaimed. Let us get those for you.

The free margaritas then arrived as promised. Each one was served in a shot glass.

I think we all know the moral of this story, right kids? Never believe anything anyone tells you … ever. Especially when an economic transaction hangs in the balance.

So, back to the Christmas tree story. 🙂

My friend and her entire family and even the young ones were enticed out in the freaking woods by an advertisement in the newspaper. “Cut your own Christmas tree! Come see Santa! Free hot cocoa and sleigh rides. Saws provided.” That sounds pretty darn good. The young ones were even asked if they wanted to see Santa. Of course they responded, “Yes, yes, yes! Santa!” Thus, the hopes of young children were raised with the great promise of meeting the man himself.

Can you guess what happens next?

Yes, they arrive at some dumpy house out in the woods. It was so dumpy they had to ask, “Are we in the right place?” Yes, they were told. “The Christmas trees are around back.” Ever hopeful, the family trudged on. What did they find? A homemade scarecrow sitting in a chair made up to look like Santa Claus, accurate in every detail including the blue jeans. On a table they found hot water, styrofoam cups and hot cocoa packets. Oh that brings back delightful memories of Christmas’ past!

The five year old little boy, God bless his precious heart, looked at the Santa scarecrow and exclaimed, “Santa Claus is dead!”

You just can’t beat Christmas spirit like that!

In short, the whole place was a freakin’ joke. Just another case of lying to make a buck. Merry fucking Christmas to you!

An update from the shouter

The end of a month is a milestone of sorts. As we put November 2009 to bed, I thought I would share a few random thoughts about my blogging experience so far.

With this posting I have successfully met the self-imposed challenge of posting at least once a day for an entire month. Woot! Late in October I signed up to become an “official” NaBlaPoMo blog. My brain is so hyperactive with background noise it was actually fairly easy to do. Setting a goal and meeting that goal: Not something you’ll find me doing all that often. 🙂

To celebrate, I started off this post with a graph showing the activity of this blog as reported by the WordPress stats function. The graph shows “views per week.” I’m still a new kid on the block. I’ve only been doing this for 10 weeks. But the overall trend seems promising. When CNN and FOX News start calling to get my opinion on things I’ll be sure to let you know. And yes, the Y-Axis labels have been omitted to prevent the leaking of critical proprietary statistical information. Ha!

The WordPress dashboard tells me that in those 10 weeks I have posted 128 times using a whopping total of 681 tags. That makes this post number 129.  And while someone like They Call Me Jane has yet to write her 100th post, she has already hit the 1,000 comments milestone. Me? With more posts than her I’m about 40.1 percent there.

I hope that this blog makes you laugh and occasionally prompts you to think. I deeply appreciate those of you who read and share my private thoughts (since I’m doing this anonymously). It has been a lot of fun and I’ve met some wonderful and amazing people that I already consider to be friends. I plan to keep writing full throttle and see where this blog takes me. Horton could hear a Who. It’s nice to know that the outside world can sometimes hear my shouts from the abyss, too.

Skateboarder fail while crossing the street

This is post I wrote last summer. After seeing a picture of a skateboarding pope I knew the time had finally come to share. Enjoy!

There is a certain type of person who wanders this world. They have no clue about what they are doing, no awareness of their surroundings, and no common sense.

Consider your garden variety street skateboarder. They’ll scoot along on their little toy, often only a few feet from where cars zoom by. All it would take is one little pebble to fling them from their board directly into traffic. Time it just right and it is head squishy time and brains splattered on the asphalt.

Oh yeah, we are not talking about your great thinkers here.

The other day I was at a stop sign waiting for my turn to go. In front of me a young man was crossing the street on his skateboard. As he proceeded through the intersection he fell off the board. D’oh! The board squirted backwards out of control in the direction opposite that he had been traveling. I watched as a car just happened to be turning into that same intersection at the exact same moment.

Yep, you guessed it. Tire hit skateboard and KABLEWIE! It was a pretty loud sound.

The driver immediately pulled over and leaped out of his car, probably freaked that he had just hit the kid. In the street the kid simply stood there holding the two separate pieces of what used to be his skateboard. What a dumb ass. Too dumb to know he had just narrowly escaped the gaping jaws of Darwin. I’d bet the only thought running through his head was, “skateboard breaky.” I’m sure he’ll be back in the streets on a new toy as soon as possible.

I just sat in my car and laughed at the perfect timing and the absurdity of that young man standing there with such a look of surprise on his face. It’s like he was saying,”What! Cars here?!?” Yeah, dude. You’re standing on a “street.” It’s a place where cars often go. Sorry but it’s not that surprising.

Good times.

Please sir, mix a lot!

Olives in white tequila - yummy

“I’ll have my emotions shaken, not stirred.”

I really don’t know why I just said that. I’m just trying to be punny. But one thing I do often like to do is invent my own drinks. Yes, I like to dabble in the mixology arts.

I’d have to say my favorite hard liquor is easily tequila, hands down. I love the stuff. I spent significant amounts of time on the U.S. border and Tijuana was a frequent haunt for me. And I’d occasionally venture as far south into Baja California as Ensenda, Mexico, home of the world famous Hussong’s Cantina. I even passed out drunk on the floor in that cantina once. Probably not the best or wisest place to lose control of one’s person and faculties, but hey, I survived.

When it comes to tequilas a personal favorite is Tarantula Azul. It’s a blue-tinted tequila flavored with “a unique blend of the finest Blue Agave tequila and natural citrus flavors.” I still don’t know exactly why but I just love the way it tastes. I normally drink it down straight from the bottle. It goes down that easy.

So far I’ve invented two drinks that you might say prominently feature Tarantula Azul tequila. I’m going to open the vault and share those recipes with you today.

The Spider
Eight (8) shots of Tarantula, served together.

One (1) bottle of Tarantula, served whole.


It came to pass this Thanksgiving that no Tarantula was on hand. But I did have a bottle of Hornitos tequila, which is not blended with anything else. It’s just straight up tequila. Not even Jose Cuervo can say that, because technically it is a blended tequila as well.

Without further ado, here is my creation from Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy!

La Cola Desperada
One (1) shot of tequila (like Hornitos)
Four (4) shots of cola (like Pepsi)
Wedge of lemon

Fill glass with ice. Add tequila. Add cola. Squeeze lemon wedge into drink and garnish. This drink is best made when there are absolutely no other beverage fixings to be found. The first serving can be a little rough, but each additional serving in succession is known to improve remarkably.

Bonus pixelization challenge

Here’s a bonus image pixelization challenge featuring an image selected by Mrs. Abyss. It happens to be an image I’d never seen before.

I hope you enjoy these bonus pixels! Good luck! 🙂

Continue reading →

Feckless Friday: pixelization challenge

This week I took a hi-res image and cropped it into a perfect square then reduced it down to an approximate print size of 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches at 72 dpi. I then applied the mosaic filter at a strength of 16-pixel squares.

That process resulted in the image on the left. I’m hopeful that this challenge will prove a skosh tougher than the ones we’ve done before but still be solvable.

If this image stumps you, I have provided a slightly easier version with a strength of 12-pixel squares after the jump. But try not to give up too quickly. 🙂

If you solve this one I’d like to know if you did it using the 16-pixel or 12-pixel versions.

Good luck!

Continue reading →

Listen here pilgrim

The Landing of the Pilgrims, by Henry A. Bacon, 1877

In honor of Thanksgiving, I won’t be throwing my usual rants, offering deep thoughts or trying hard to be negative.

At one point I had thoughts of using an aerial shot of Plymouth Rock for one of the Friday puzzle challenges. Boy did I have the wrong idea about that rock. For one thing, it would hardly be visible from space, even if it was still in its original location. It isn’t.

The historical artifact is now located on the shore of Plymouth Harbor in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where it was moved in 1920.

We all learned in school that the rock is where the pilgrims famously landed in 1620. However, the earliest reference by pilgrims about the rock didn’t happen until 121 years later.

From the Wikipedia page:

In 1835 Alexis De Tocqueville, a French author traveling throughout the United States, wrote:

“This Rock has become an object of veneration in the United States. I have seen bits of it carefully preserved in several towns in the Union. Does this sufficiently show that all human power and greatness is in the soul of man? Here is a stone which the feet of a few outcasts pressed for an instant; and the stone becomes famous; it is treasured by a great nation; its very dust is shared as a relic.”

Another fact about the rock that surprised me is that it has been buried twice by Native American peoples. Once in 1970 and again in 1995:

Native People bury racist rock
Worker’s World, 1 December 1995

Plymouth, Mass.—”Plymouth Rock is a symbol—a monument to murder, slavery, theft, racism and oppression. The white man has killed the spirit in the rock. Things that are dead should stay buried.”

“Bury racism! Bury oppression! Bury `Pilgrim’s Progress’! And bury the rock!”

With these words, Moonanum James (Wampanoag), sachem of United American Indians of New England, led over 300 Native people and their supporters of all nationalities down to Plymouth Rock on Nov. 23.

There, about a dozen protesters scaled an iron fence, jumped into the pit where the rock is located, and buried it.

The crowd cheered as women, men and children representing all four directions—red, black, white and yellow—worked together to cover Plymouth Rock with sand and then planted a Native warrior flag atop it. As the victorious “dirty dozen” climbed out of the pit, Native singers broke into the American Indian Movement song.

The burial of Plymouth Rock capped the 25th anniversary of the National Day of Mourning speak-out held here in Plymouth. The Day of Mourning is a protest against the U.S. celebration of the mythology of Thanksgiving, and against the racist “Pilgrim’s Progress Parade.”

The parade is a re-enactment of the march of Pilgrims to church, with muskets and bibles in hand. Moonanum James said of it: “They want to act as though we sat down and ate turkey and lived happily ever after. That is simply not true—and we keep coming back year after year in order to give answer to their lies.”

Plymouth Rock had previously been buried in 1970, during the very first National Day of Mourning.

As for myself, I’m especially thankful this year for all of the wonderful people I’ve met on I really enjoy reading your stuff and I appreciate it when you comment on mine. Thanks!