A Twist Of Fate
June, 2009 Entries
"Heath (n): The withered grass that grows below the heather in the Scottish highlands."
- Mirriam-Webster

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(06/28/09 - 10:43 AM)
Today is Wanda's birthday. She's still as gorgeous as the day I met her, and as radiant as ever. I love her so much that it hurts sometimes, and I can't imagine my life without her. I can barely stand being away from her while we're at work. How sappy is that?

I look forward to becoming ancient and comparing wrinkles with her, and I hope that we can both be around for each other until the very end.

And now, for something completely different.

The Washington Post Mensa invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are the 2009 winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido : All talk and no action.
14. Dopeler Effect : The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee , n. The person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted , adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
3. Abdicate , v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade , v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly , adj. Impotent.
6. Negligent , adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
7. Lymph , v. To walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle , n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence , n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash , n. A rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle , n. A humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude , n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon , n.. A Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster , n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism , n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent , n. An opening in the front of jockey shorts worn by Jewish men.

(06/27/09 - 10:02 PM)
Today: Heath Tries To Be Funny - Again, Again! I may have already told this one: It's one of my older ones and - if I did - I apologize. But only a little.

Two police officers were responding to a call that some kids were smoking pot on an overlook above the city. One cop was the top of the squad, while the other had only finished the Police Academy because his mom was diddling the Chief.

The officers found three young boys who were indeed smoking pot. They talked with the boys, and one of them made a fast move. Before the smart cop could react, the stupid one had grabbed the closest boy, and thrown him bodily into his two friends. This subsequently knocked the three of them off of the overlook, where they plunged to their deaths.

"What in the hell did you do that for, you idiot?", said the smart cop.

The dumb cop just looked at him and said, "Haven't you ever heard the saying?"

"Haven't I ever heard WHAT saying, you moron?"

"You know, about 'Killing two burnouts with one stoner'?"

(06/26/09 - 11:03 PM)
Wanda and I were watching our love/hate nemesis in the form of a chimpmonk in our front yard today as he did cute little chimpmonk stuff. Damn, he's adorable.

We watched him look around, do the one-two-three back leg stand thing where he jacks up a level each time (it reminds me of a meerkat, actually) and then we watched him shoot over to our sidewalk and... and... oh, my God.

The chimpmonk stopped to look at one of many purple, seedy blobs on our sidewalk. He sniffed, looked around, and then ate it. He then moved on to the next one, which was substantially larger, and broke it off the sidewalk. Then, he took it in his cutie-muffin little paws, and proceeded to hurridly devour it like a little ear of seedy, purple corn. When he was done, he then removed the remnants from the sidewalk with his mouth, and licked up the remaining 'stuff'.

He went on doing this until my sidewalk had precisely zero robin bombs remaining.

It's disgusting, but I can't help but feel somewhat grateful for his custodial work, in light of the fact that he usually just digs holes and destroys things.

Who knew they did this, though? I had no idea.

(06/25/09 - 11:08 PM)
This evening I was informed that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had passed on to the great theme-park in the sky*.
*(Monkeys sold separately)

Not four seconds after my wife said this, I retorted, "That's really strange, because just this afternoon, I thought I heard a weird sound. You know: like hundreds of thousands of pre-pubescent boys' sphincters relaxing - all at once. That would explain that, then."

This got a giggle, but little did I know how quickly the jokes would come - and spread. Here's a few:

° Michael Jackson, being predominantly plastic at his time of death, is to be melted down and re-cast into commemorative Lego bricks, so that little children everywhere can continue to play with him, even after his death.

° Michael Jackson's cause of death initially appeared to be poisoning. As near as the responding EMT could figure, he had gotten ahold of some twelve-year-old nuts.

° It was surmised that Michael Jackson died sometime around four-forty P.M., as was fitting: It's when the big hand touches the little hand.

I can't tell if I'm disappointed in humanity, or in awe of its creativity as a collective.

(06/24/09 - 10:32 PM)
I had just exited the shower this morning, and was completing my daily hygiene regime. I was about one minute away from being ready to race off to work, when I heard my doorbell ring.

Mind you, it was 8:24 in the morning, so I had no idea what to expect. I initially thought perhaps it might be one of my neighbors asking a favor, or that Wanda had forgotten something.

As I looked out the peephole, I saw a young boy of maybe twelve with a lawnmower and a gas can. In the street was his morbidly corpulent matron, painfully constricting her elfin clothing to beyond the breaking point, while pulling a wagon containing another of her smaller spawn.

Now, I give the kid credit: I wish all kids had this kind of work ethic and desire to be paid for a hard-earned job well done. What I failed to comprehend was why he was doing this at 8:24 in the morning, on a week day, in a neighborhood of predominantly young, middle-class, blue-collar workers. Who was home to receive this lawn-grooming bounty at this hour?

Dear Kids' Mom:

How about taking Billy around some time after four P.M. instead of wasting his time?

Also, either wear clothes that fit, or wear a tarp over the ones' that don't. No one wants to see your muffin top or your cankles, thanks.

(06/23/09 - 11:05 PM)
Wanda and I were discussing something tonight, and somehow the subject of Port-A-Potties came up (I think she was telling a story about someone, and one of them or something - I really don't remember). This made me remember something that happened a long time ago.

About fifteen years ago, I had a very close friend named Wendy. Wendy used to work with my Dad for a while, and even used to be on the same bowling league. She was pushing fifty, and I was only eighteen, but somehow that didn't matter. We were just really great friends.

I remember being at a festival or some such thing with a group of our friends (back then, we traveled in massive packs) and she really had to use the bathroom. Instead of waiting for the long lines at the designated women's Potties, she said 'screw this' and made a beeline for the guys section.

This was just how Wendy was - she took life by the horns and did things her way. It was part of her appeal, in a lot of ways. When she came out, she mentioned that she liked the men's alot better, because there was a handy little shelf for her purse.

I wondered what she was talking about, and moments later it all became clear. You see, men's Potties have a small, elliptical trough on one side with a drainage hole to the tank. The purpose of this little side-trough is to catch wee-wee if men choose to stand up. It's also known as a urinal, in certain circles.

When we finally explained to her that her 'purse shelf' was actually a #1 receptacle, she freaked out.

We all had a good laugh, and she treated her purse like a veritable pariah for the remainder of the event.

I still miss Wendy. She died a few years back unexpectedly. At the end, she didn't even have her memories, which was sad. But I'll still remember all the fun stuff we did, even if she can't be here to reminisce about it.

(06/22/09 - 11:04 PM)
We were sitting down tonight to watch some anime, and I had the television turned on but needed to get a few things in order before we fired up the old DVD player.

On television was a show that I was aware of about the business of car reposession. Normally the subject doesn't interest me, and I had not watched the show before at all. But what immediately caught my attention was that the repo men had been sent out on dirt backroads, in the middle of nowhere, to perform their duties. They finally emerged in a wooded glen, and lo and behold there was the vehicle they were supposed to reposess. Near the vehicle, were four L.A.R.P.'ers (that's 'Live-Action Role-Playing', to those of you out there who got laid alot in high school) in full medieval costume - three dudes (a wizard, a warrior, and a paladin) and one chick (the princess, of course.)

The repo men pulled up, and hollered out the window, "Is one of you Matt so-and-so?"

The wizard, not breaking character replies, "I am known by that name often in your realm."

Now, the repo guys are a little afraid and weirded out - there's four of them, and two repo men. And two of them are armed - one with a mace, and one with a sword.

So, the repo men decide that they're probably not going to kill anyone, and they slowly get out of the vehicle. They state their business, and immediately the 'princess' yells, "They've come to take your steed! Protect Falcor!"

Apparently, the Prius was named Falcor. Sure: why not?

So, the group - still refusing to break character after repeated requests for simple normalcy from the repo guys form up ranks around the 'steed', and threaten in an entirely medieval way. Matt, especially, is waving his wizard wand around like it's cocked and loaded, and he's telling the men to leave, lest they face certain peril, etc., etc.

After about five minutes of middle-ages posturing, the L.A.R.P.'ers finally realize that they are about to lose the car they came here in, and the princess finally blows a gasket.

"Matt, you promised me a ride home! How are we supposed to get home, Matt? You told me that no one would find us here; that no one would be here! You said this was cool!"

Actually, in hindsight, this is pretty much what a real princess would do - think only of herself, and yell about something that is clearly out of the hands of the individual in peril. So maybe she never broke character, by that definition.

As the vehicle was hooked and jerked, she screamed at the top of her lungs, "Is this any way to treat a princess?!?"

My Good Lord, I can't make this up. I'm all for a little fantasy in your life now and again - it's healthy. But this was just insane to watch four individuals approaching thirty who were out here to do a little role playing. And that begged another question from me: How can this be fun, with just four people in the woods? I mean if sex were involved, maybe but...

(06/21/09 - 11:16 PM)
Today: Heath Tries To Be Funny - Again!

A woman had spent over twenty years assisting mothers-to-be in their homes with childbirth. As she got older, she decided that it was time for an apprentice.

For a year, she trained the apprentice and eventually she became nearly as skilled as her mentor.

One particular day, the pair were assisting a first-time mother in ejecting a freshly-minted boy from the cannon of life, when the mentor began to talk to herself.

"Ugh. I just don't feel like this is going well at all."

"It's going just fine," replied her apprentice, wondering what had come over the woman.

"No, I don't think it is. I'm not sure that I'm cut out for this anymore. Maybe I never was. I don't know."

"You've taught me everything that I know," replied her apprentice pateintly, "and we've always succeeded in bringing new life into the world."

The panicked mother-to-be watched this back and forth with as much interest as a woman pushing a large, sloppy thing through a very small hole can.

"Ahhhhh! I just can't do this anymore!" the mentor shrieked, and ran from the room crying.

The mother-to-be, in between screams and curses involving her husband, his rectum, and a porcupine, asked the apprentice, "I don't mean to be rude, but what was that... AAAAAAAAAGH... all about? Is that... AAAAAAAAAAGHH... normal?"

The apprentice merely sighed and shook her head, "No, it's not, but it happens. She's just having a midwife crisis. That's all. It's nothing to worry about, really."

(06/20/09 - 11:02 PM)
Today it was lovely out, so Wanda and I sat outside for a bit. After about ten minutes, she started to show red, and I mentioned that she might want to use some sunscreen. At this point, she let me know that she had SPF45 on, and that she was probably just warm. As the minutes rolled on, I let it go, but she seemed to be cooking up nicely.

After about 45 minutes in the sun, we went in. And she was sunburned. The moral? Apparently, sunscreen can expire.

I got the trees trimmed up some more today as well, and culled some more books. The fire in back burned lazily all afternoon, and I worked on the MP3's for a couple of hours as well.

On the whole, it was a good day, and Wanda now has some neat sunburn lines.

(06/19/09 - 11:22 PM)
Went to the store after work today, and then mowed the lawn between rain storms. I also began trimming the trees and burning, but the rain soon stopped that endeavor. Then we just hung out.

Honestly, nothing eventful happened.

I did finish Terry Pratchett's latest book, "Nation". I actually thought at first it was another DiscWorld novel - it's not. That being said, he has had some success with forays into all things not of the Disc. "Strata" being a notable success.

This book centers around a young boy named Mau who lives in a chain of islands and one day goes to a neighboring island to fend for himself to become a man. A large tsunami ensues, and wipes out The Nation where he once lived. Within the pages is a story of self, history, coming of age, and the often silly prejudices individuals hold for those who are not exactly like them.

As a whole, the book was an enjoyable read in and of itself, but I still crave DiscWorld material. I know, this makes me shallow - and I simply don't care.

If you're looking for a non-DiscWorld introduction to Terry Pratchett's work, this should do nicely. It's a fun read, and it's a decent aside.

I just hope the next one is in the DiscWorld line...

(06/18/09 - 10:28 PM)
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Ifway ouyay antway otay ytray isthay, ouyay ancay implysay ogay otay ethay igpay-atinlay anslatortray ocatedlay erehay. Enjoyway!

(06/17/09 - 11:16 PM)
We were watching "The Family Guy" the other night, when Stewie referenced 'Two girls, one cup.' Normally, I get even the most obscure movie, television, or pop-culture references. But this was one that totally threw me.

Wanda asked me if I knew what he meant, and I said no, but I'd find out the next day.

Not such a good idea.

Warning! Unless you're way too curious, DO NOT CLICK the links below. Seriously: Don't do it.

2 Girls, 1 Cup was apparently an internet phenomena that led to two similar follow-ups: 2 Girls, 1 Finger and 4 Girls Fingerpainting. Essentially, each deals with girls pooping, eating it, and then vomiting into one another's mouth and eating that too. Who thinks this stuff up?

I can't make this up. I don't think my psyche will ever be the same for having tracked this one down. Wanda sat stock-still in shock for a full minute when she saw it, simply not knowing what to think. I wasn't sure either.

The odd question that popped into my mind was how these girls could stomach it all (no pun intended) especially with the bodies natural olfactory defenses, as well as reactionary vomiting responses?

I hope these girls got paid enough to go to college and become psychologists, because they need someone's advice - and a ton of therapy.

(06/16/09 - 11:09 PM)
Wanda showed me a cool new toy today. It's a web site called Last.FM that allows you to plug in the name of your favorite artist and either listen to works by that artist, or find other artists who are very similar to them. This is a great tool for discovering new music that is essentially tailored to your tastes without having to sift endlessly through samples, or purchase questionable CD's only to be hopelessly disappointed. I've been doing both for nearly two decades now and let me tell you - this is way better.

Check it out!

(06/15/09 - 11:04 PM)
Finished up the "Dead Like Me" series, and all I can say is "WOW". This series was so well-written, so well cast, and so well... great, that I just can't say enough good things about it.

The show is about a girl who has nothing going for her who dies suddenly, and is told that rather than moving on, she'll be held back to perform the function of grim reaper. As far fetched as that is, it's an amazing concept on screen.

The biggest disappointment (alright, there were two) was that there were only two seasons, and that the Movie follow-up was better left unmade. Specifically, they changed the dynamic of the show, and re-cast one of the key players while eliminating Mandy Patinkin's character who, for my money, was the lynchpin of the series.

This show was something special, and it was sad that Bryan Fuller and MGM couldn't agree on anything. I think when you have something that brilliant on your hands, you let the thing just ride. But, apparently, MGM didn't have the sense to see a good thing when they had it. As such, alot of storyline went unexplored. Which is sad, because the setups were all there and there were about a hundred questions one was just pining to know the answers to.

The profanity was a bit much, even for me, but on the whole it was still fun to see the show evolve in a manner that kept you coming back for more. Also interesting was the appearance of Jasmine Guy (remember Whitley from "A Different World"?) as a tempermental meter maid and Rebecca Gayheart as a dead flapper with a heart of gold and a neverending sense of whimsy.

I can't recommend this series enough. Even the skeptical, young and old will enjoy this one. For more information, click here.

(06/14/09 - 11:13 AM)
Welcome to Sunday's special installment of 'Heath Tries To Be Funny By Inventing Jokes Best Left Unspoken'! All set?

A Detective on the local police force entered his office one Monday morning and upon arriving at his desk, was immediately confused.

Upon his desk, where his old computer had been, was a simple terminal. His partner soon arrived, and he asked him about it.

"Oh," came his partners reply, "Didn't you get the memo? They replaced our Windows PC's with Unix terminals. Apparently, the other software wasn't reliable enough, and too many people were getting on porn sites or something. I dunno."

"You mean I gotta learn a whole new operating system? Shit Mel, I had a hard enough time transitioning from my Remington to a computer. I don't think I can handle any more change."

His partner simply shrugged, and they got to work.

Within moments, it was obvious to the Detective that the change might not be all bad. His crime database interface was the same as it had been, and it seemed to function the same. He pulled up his first case - a brutal murder. As always, the screen loaded. But instead of allowing him free reign on the screen, a small window popped up in the center of the screen. The window read: "Oh, what a terrible shame. So innocent."

Moments later, it disappeared and he was able to access the data.

As the day progressed, he pulled up yet another case. This one was a runaway minor who had frozen to death only days ago. Once more, the data arrived upon his screen, and once more a small window popped up in the center. The window read: "Tsk, tsk. Such a young man. The world can be such a cruel place."

Puzzled, the Detective watched as the window once more disappeared. This went on all day and at about 2:00, the IT guy came around to speak with each individual about how the transition was going for them.

"How are you finding the transision, Detective?" the IT guy asked.

"Well," he responded, "I don't miss the blue screen of death. But I have to tell you, every time I pull up a file, the computer seems to take a moment to offer some comment before allowing me to access the data. What's with that?"

"Ah," came the IT guys response, "Yes. Well, as you may or may not know, Unix - unlike Windows - is a case-sensitive operating system."

(06/13/09 - 11:08 PM)
Went to my Aunt Linda's today to pick up my Grandmother's hope chest. It's a 1930's, art-deco design that's cedar-lined with copper hardware. It's very interesting, especially the veneer work. The only thing I don't care for is the scalloping around the base near the feet. I have no idea where we'll put it, but I could simply not see it go. We also gained custody of a painting in a lovely wooden frame that I had been particularly fond of as a child that my grandparents had been given as a wedding shower gift, as well as genealogy information for the entire Brainerd side of the family - lots and lots of that - pictures and all.

We came home and I felt strangely motivated. So, I elected to put up drywall in the mud room and do some book gleaning. I was amazed at what I was willing to part with a mere six months after my last cull, but I'm finding more and more than non-fiction is much easier to part with these days. And a good deal of my Nixon-centric literature now holds no interest since Mark Felt came forward as Deep Throat.

I wonder if Jack the Ripper would have been as interesting now if Walter Siekert had simply come forward as well, instead of being found out decades and decades later? Probably not.

Anyway... The sheetrock went up, I got to clean the extra sheetrock out of my garage in the bargain and I came to the realization that the treadmill that had been languishing without a permanent home in the mud room could now be placed downstairs since I added outlets to the other side of the basement.

This would have been impossible before, even with the outlets, as we had a ping-pong table down there as well as a homeless chair. Both now have new homes, and my basement feels 'open' once more.

I think tomorrow I am going to go Goodwill Hunting (oh yeah, pun intended) for other items that I can blissfully remove from my life. I hate clutter.

Talking about my Grandparents with my Aunt made me realize what a lousy Grandson I had been. I could have (and should have) been a better friend to my Grandmother. Instead, I merely paid lip service and did what was convenient for me, rather than considering her needs.

My Grandfather is another story. As a child I idolized his intellect and voracious appetite for knowledge. As I grew older, I realized that he was a philanderer who gave my Grandmother the respect of a KKK member at a Black Panthers rally. She doted on him, and tended to his every need as he killed them both with unfiltered cigarette smoke and a hostile living environment. But she was a Catholic, and she still believed in the best in everyone and the will of God, so she stuck it out. I'll never understand why for certain, but she did. She was a far better person than I, in that respect. I would have kicked his philandering ass to the curb and made him wash his own socks.

I think that what's sad is that my Grandmother actually enjoyed my company because I made her laugh - a great deal. I don't think there was anything substantial to my company otherwise, but laughter was something that she sorely needed in her final years as her friends died one by one and cancer slowly leached the life out of her once vibrant mind. And I failed her during this time most of all. I'll always regret it, but at least I've gained the sense as the years have passed to realize my mistake.

At least, I think I have. I try and talk to my parents more, even though they both have individualized issues that make me nuts. I feel like something of an aberration in my own family; like I don't belong, or was adopted. Perhaps it was my odd upbringing. I'll never really know. At any rate, I try to give attention and time to both paternal units even though they both make me nuts in their own special ways. Hopefully it will result in a glaring lack of regret when the time comes.

(06/12/09 - 10:13 PM)
I took the old chair from our living room to its new home with my co-worker today and was glad that she could use it as much as I was glad to have the space recaptured in my basement.

I went to the grocery store, and then came home and mowed the lawn (which was good, because it looks like rain.)

Today feels like a day to make something up. So here goes...

My Uncle Morty was an inventor. He invented all sorts of things. Here's a list of some of his inventions that never made the mainstream:

Breakfast Cereals:
° First Mate Crunch
° Duke Chocula
° Distinctive J

Cleaning Products
° Formula 408
° Somewhat Amazing
° Scottish Well

° 6Up
° B&X Root Beer
° 4 Alive

Television Shows
° 7 Is Plenty
° Your Three Daughters
° Car 53 - There You Are!
° Sunday Evening Pre-Recorded
° The Chevy Chase Show
° The $300 Dollar Trapezoid
° The Old & Well Rested
° The Lust Cruise
° Allow Muskrat

Yep, Uncle Morty was really something. Never will he know how close he came, or how much Victor Borge would utilize failures of individuals such as himself to make others laugh.

(06/10/09 - 10:15 PM)
Greetings, all! It is I, Plinky the House Elf!

I come to you this week as Master Heath snores languidly like a torpid hippo on the sofa. This week, I have finally been able to access a new television feed with the remote stick. This is a good thing, as I feel that I have learned all that I may from Lifetime . This week I was able to access something called BET. It is also known as 'Black Entertainment Television', which makes sense seeing that nearly everyone on the channel is dark-complected. The only time this became somewhat confusing was when a movie called, "The Color Purple" came on, and I attempted to adjust the television boxes' color settings when the individuals in the show did not look purple enough in comparison to everyone else on the channel.

I was also able to observe several hours of programming on a channel called HGTV. This feed seems to be predominantly in place to shame individuals whose homes are not as good as they should be. Personally, I feel that their homes are lovely, but what do I know?

One strange thing I noted was that some of the brothers who lived in the same home on these shows were strangely close to one another and had high voices. I finally caught Master Heath between bites of dinner, and asked about this phenomenon.

After he threw a buttermilk biscuit at me, and the cat trampled me to retrieve it, he shouted that they were gay, and to 'pipe down' (whatever that means.)

I had no idea what he was speaking about. Sure they were happy and gay - they were improving their home! I elected to do some research, and found some startling information. The term 'gay' not only means happy, it also is slang for 'homosexual'.

This didn't help me much, so I looked up the term 'homosexual'. You won't believe this! Sometimes, men love other men, and women love other women! This bears a whole host of new questions: Where do the men place their spingzabblers to procreate? How do the women procreate without a spingzabbler?

I knew that there must be some mistake, so I cautiously asked Master Heath about this phenomenon. His reply was to once more throw what was at hand at me (this time, it was a pillow, thankfully) and shout, "It's like lesbians and stuff. Now pipe down!"

Aha! Here was a term I had never heard, so I went back to my research. It turns out that Lebaneses are from Lebanon, where the earliest traces of civilization are recorded in the form of the Phoenicians. They have a unique confessionalism government, and were once ruled by the French.

Perhaps this is where the term 'French Kissing' originates, when Lebaneses used to kiss one another there. That has to be it. I also found some references to a small Greek island called 'Lesbos', but that just led me to a dry hole. On a whim, I entered 'dry hole' in the search engine that Master Heath showed me how to use, but it only resulted in numerous sites for something called 'personal lubricant'. Clearly, I was back where I began.

I wanted to study this strange phenomena further, but Master Heath came in just then and removed my physically from the computer machine stating that he had to check on Alabaster in the fifth at Springfield downs. Will he ever speak in sentences that make sense to anyone but himself?

So, I spent a goodly portion of the remainder of the day researching the phenomenon of homesexuality by further following a lead I had stumbled upon earlier. I made random phone calls to a place called 'Philadelphia', because it is called the city of brotherly love. After 342 hang ups and various profanity, I learned that love comes in many forms: Storge, Mania, Philia, Eros & Agape, and that Philadelphia took its name from the third type - philia. When I asked the helpful man on the other end how mating with another man worked, he said something about having to get back to his sermon and hung up on me.

Still, I had hope. I now understood that this sort of love had a categorization. When Master Heath finally removed himself bodily from in front of the computer machine, I returned once more to my search.

After attempting numerous searches, I learned that gay men enjoy musical theater, purple triangles, and the music of Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. I also learned that they eat alot of male chickens, and that altar boy fantasies are popular (I have no idea what this means.)

At this point, I had no idea what was going on, and I frankly lost interest.

But I shall persevere, dear readers!

(06/09/09 - 11:04 PM)
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(06/08/09 - 11:13 PM)
This weekend, I had the cat outside and was using his brush to remove layers 112-98 of his copious fur. He started to get fidgety, so I stopped and cleaned the brush out. What remained was a clump of fluff the size of a tennis ball that I set in the grass beside me. I then got distracted, and went inside for something.

Eventually, the night wore on, and I forgot all about the ball-o-fur.

When I went out this afternoon, I saw something odd. There were feathers near the furball, the likes of which I had never seen in my yard before, but could readily identify. Apparently some time in the night, an owl thought he saw an easy snack, attacked the furball, and finding nothing of substance (literally) flew away in a huff. For, you see, there were owl feathers out there near the furball.

How funny is that? I really would have liked to have witnessed that.

This year has been odd for avian fowl in our yard. Back are the usual annual visitors: grackels, robins, owls, woodpeckers, etc. But this year I've seen a few birds I've not seen before, including an Indigo Bunting just this morning. I'm not sure if it's the spectre of Global Warming rearing its head, or just coincidence that I was in the right place at the right time to see these things.

I WILL say that I have never been so aware of the mating rituals of birds as I have been this year. I've witnessed robins attempting to score, the mating dances of grackels (it's true - they dance, and it's freaking hilarious) as well as the mating calls and chases. It's actually fairly interesting, while being amusing at the same time. Especially marveling at the obvious sexual frustration and perseverance of the males. Those females, they don't just give it up to any bird, you know.

(06/07/09 - 11:06 PM)
Welcome to today's installment of 'Heath Tries To Be Funny'! Ready?

In 1736, a pair of geographers were exploring the outlying islands of Japan. Each was British and, as such, were excessively polite. One day, they arrived at an island consisting of a circular coral reef surrounding a lagoon. The men each checked their respective charts, and realized that this particular island had been heretofore overlooked.

Each wanted the other to name it, but each insisted that he give the honor to the other gentleman. This polite battle of wits went on until the First Mate could no longer tolerate it.

"I have a solution," said the First Mate, "Shall I take care of the naming for you two gentlemen?"

The geographers were too polite to say no, and so the First Mate added a scrawl below the newly placed island on the cartography scroll.

This was how the small island became known as the "I Don't Care Atoll".

(06/06/09 - 10:13 PM)
Finished the "Red Garden" anime series last night, and was left with too many holes in the plotline to be entirely satisfied.

The series was well done. The music was good, and the voice acting was not horrible (it often bordered on adorable). The problem was that there was just not enough backstory for plausibility.

Okay, so we have two factions cursing one another. Why? What happened? How do the curses work? What happened to the bloodlines? And on and on and on. I could write out a whole page of questions. At the very least, a flimsy explaination was in order.

On the whole, I can't entirely recommend the series. For more information - as always - I defer to the link above.

(06/05/09 - 10:27 PM)
The backsplash is done! The grout is curing, and I suspect that there's some sulphur-dioxide in the colorant, because it smells like a wet fart to the Nth degree. Phew!

We also installed under-cabinet lighting under all the cabinets. This proved to be more challenging that I first surmised, and took almost four hours to do. The upside? It looks awesome with the glass mosiac tile at night (and 'awesome' is not a word I use lightly). All told, we installed six lights, and elected to not re-install our CD player. It's almost become an anachronism, and we just never use it. This is a good thing, because it really opens up and streamlines the space. Plus, we have a veritable army of iPod's running around.

I also fixed the deck this morning, so all the warped boards (okay, there were only three, but still...) are now as flat as a pre-pubescent Asian girl.

Work actually left me alone for the first time today and - after logging nearly 20 hours there this week - it was a welcome respite to say the very least.

This 'vacation' has been a mixed bag: Stresses were higher for us than normal because our collective employees seemed to think that we were there to solve their problems, rather than to get our work done. On Thursday morning, I was even awakened at 7:30 by a panicked phone call that led to the first of three trips to work that day.

When I got there the second and third times, my employees bombarded me with problems. The reason? Apparently, they trust my judgement, or don't like the judgement of the other individuals there in my absence. I'm not entirely certain how to explain this phenomenon but I have come to one solid conclusion: It's irritating.

I'm there to perform specific tasks, not to bear the brunt of all the evils of the day - my Boss and Expediter are there to cover that. This, above all else, is what I desired from a vacation. The ability to come in and do what I do best, while allowing the day-to-day caveats to be handled on the fly by my Boss.

Yet, somehow, my presence seemed to indicate that I was there to solve the entire companies' problems single-handedly. Were it not so stressful, I might even take it as a compliment.

But it's exceedingly stressful, so I didn't.

I fielded I don't know how many 'Emergency' phone calls this week - at all hours, no less - including one from my Boss asking derogatory questions about a quote I had done. Was that really necessary? In fact, I was so distrought by his demeanor that I dropped everything to go into work and see what the problem was. I had asked him leading questions on the phone, which he answered in the negative. Clearly, I had indeed made an error based on his answers, so I went in to rectify it - my error, my responsibility to fix.

When I got there, I realized that I had, in fact, been entirely correct in my initial action, and his line of inquiry was flawed. This made me feel better, but I didn't like the fact that he didn't study the problem enough to realize that I was in the right prior to simply calling me and reading me the first half of the riot act.



(06/04/09 - 10:36 PM)
Watched Quentin Tarantino's latest film, "Grindhouse" tonight. While it held our attention, it really was out there (from Tarantino?! Shocking, I know!)

For my money, his best films to date are "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill II".

If you're a Tarantino fan, you'll at least enjoy the film. If not, then you might want to take a pass - especially if you haven't loved the crap out of something he's done before.

(06/03/09 - 10:24 PM)
Went and picked out tile for our kitchen backsplash today. We had to go to Janesville to get it, as our two local stores didn't have near enough, but - for some reason - Janesville had a veritable Federal Reserve of that particular item.

Go figure.

So, we got there, and...

Greetings! It is I, Pinky the House Elf! Mistress Dena has asked that this blog entry be interrupted to give you the following important news flash:

Master Heath's current top-five Bejeweled scores are:

* 119,260
* 115,160
* 108,620
* 107,830
* 106,760

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog entry, already in progress.

...could not BELIEVE that a polar bear could get that all the way up in there, especially after having mauled that kid! That's just the kind of story that this blog has been waiting for! It's probably the coolest thing I have ever seen, and I will never forget it as long as I live.

(06/02/09 - 10:18 PM)
Got up early and went and got a haircut this morning. On my way back home, work once again called and I ended up there instead of home.

In the mail today, we got another statement from Chase Visa - this one for my wife's credit card. You may recall that I mentioned my disdain for their services earlier in the blog, and here again we find that we have a non-payment penalty, interest, and the loss of introductory interest rate because of said same.

The problem? We sent a payment - on time, no less - that they claim they never received. Bear in mind that the two payments were sent from different locations, at different times.

So, again, my question is: Are you screwing with your patrons? The reason I ask is that my wife was able to get her late fee reversed, her interest reversed but NOT her introductory interest rate based on her 'non-payment'.

This sounds awfully suspect, wouldn't you agree? Especially when you have two money-conscious individuals who pay their entire amount due - on time - each and every month, and often mail it back the day after receipt. I wonder how many other people are suffering these 'losses due to mail'?

(06/01/09 - 10:23 PM)
It's Monday - the first official day of our >cough cough< 'vacation'. So, of course, it goes without saying that my wife and I already are >In best Ginny Simms voice< fit to be tied.

The phone calls began early this morning. I ended up spending 5 hours at work today - on three separate trips in, all marked 'URGENT'. My wife is battling in-duh-viduals who are now calling her to ask precisely the same questions that she made sure they were prepared to answer on their own prior to her departure, but they did not take notes about. She's also battling one woman who insists on messaging her via every means imaginable that 'things are falling apart there at work!' - yeah, that's what she wants to hear while she's ON VACATION.


We did get some errands run today, in between crises, and I got to go get high on nitrous at the dentist. It was expensive, but at least my cavity is blissfully missing.

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