Saturday, March 31, 2007

Video Games and Space Loaf

Time-wasters, I have confess. I've been doing a lot of caving in to peer pressure lately. Signed up for MyFace and Spacebook. Sent a text message from my cellular telephone. Joined a motorcycle gang. Snorted Windex.

I'm a little ashamed.

This latest lapse in judgment put a sizable dent in my checking account, and has left me feeling exhilarated and stumbly. It's also shown me how old I am.

I went out and bought an Xbox 360 video game console. I was going to get one of them fancy Xbox 460s, but those were sold out.

Holy space gerbils, I'm witty.

So here I was, at the local giant electronics retailer, doing what all men do, especially ones with social anxiety disorders: I pretended to know exactly what I wanted and where to find it. This kinda fell apart on me when I had to ask the salesbeing if they had any "Xbox Elites, er, Pro. I mean Pro. Do you guys have any pretzels in the back? In your back? Geez, I mean, Xbacks?"

Fortunately, he was able to decipher the message, which was that I wanted him to check The Back (a magical place where everything is always in stock) for any Xbox 360 Pro packages that might be lurking there. The Pro version of the console comes with a higher pricetag and the stuff the "Core" system does not. The hard drive. The hot-air popcorn popper. The built-in electric bumscratcher. You know; the really cool things.

Checkout. They ask me if I want to sign up for their Customer Gold Special SuperSavings
® ShortBus Rewards card. No thanks.

"It'll save you fifteen dollars on this purchase alone, sir!"
"I'm not interested in saving money because I'm stupid."

"Oh, that's so sad. Credit or debit?"

"Paper, please."

Once I was done being incompetent there, it was off to the used video game store to get a game and another controller. As it turns out, in this particular establishment, you're not allowed to take controllers and other peripheral devices off the hooks yourself. This confused me at first, because the first peg I went to was pretty normal: you could remove the product, stare at it, chew on the corner, and then slide it back on the peg when you decide not to buy it.

Nope. Some little kid took pity on me after watching me struggle to remove a controller from another peg, and told me the secret: you actually have to shuffle up to one of the salesnerds and sheepishly ask them if they can come twist one off the peg for you. There are special tools involved here, so you need them. I pointed out to the gamewench that unlocked my controller, Excalibur style, that there was a broken peg that allowed me to be self-sufficient.

They never laugh.

Checkout. Would you like to sign up for our GamerGold SPF-50 Honky PaleCard? No. Don't like savings. Savings give me gas. Ha ha. You sure? Yes. I never plan on visiting your fleabag establishment again. Gonna eBay the stuff.

Whew! Home at last. Now that I've got the coolest console in the world (and if you think I'm going to defend that stance to the nerdlord fanboys, you're nuts), I can bring polygonal death to my enemies and talk on my little telemarketer headset to my brothers and their friends. Anything coming out of the headset sounds like diseased gnomes fighting in a wading pool, which makes it amusing. But the point is, I'm cool now.

As for the title of this post, the "Space Loaf" in particular, I put that up there to make the post more eye-catchy. I'll explain it in the next post. This is known as "being a jerk" and it's supposed to foster traffic-generating suspense. All us professionals utilize it from time to time.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mouse Balls

I don't know how they wrote this with a straight face. This was a real memo sent out by IBM to its employees in all seriousness. It went to all field engineers about a computer peripheral problem.

The author of this memo was quite genuine. The engineers rolled on the floor! Especially note the last couple of sentences.

"If a mouse fails to operate or should it perform erratically, it may need a ball replacement. Mouse balls are now available as FRU (Field Replacement Units). Because of the delicate nature of this procedure, a replacement of mouse balls should only be attempted by properly trained personnel. Before proceeding, determine the type of mouse balls by examining the underside of the mouse. Domestic balls will be larger and harder than foreign balls. Ball removal procedures differ depending upon the manufacturer of the mouse. Foreign balls can be replaced using the pop off method. Domestic balls are replaced by using the twist off method. Mouse balls are not usually static sensitive. However, excessive handling can result in sudden discharge.

Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse may be used immediately. It is recommended that each person have a pair of spare balls for maintaining optimum customer satisfaction. Any customer missing his balls should contact the local personnel in charge of removing and replacing these necessary items.

Please keep in mind that a customer without properly working balls is an unhappy customer
Pickle Weasel's note: this text was not original with me. If you want to be all snarky and tell me you have already received this by email and it's not funny any more, then I suggest you email--
Respectfully submitted,


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Luscious Lemur

I have often wished for a taste of lemur. A mere morsel would do, for a lemur glutton I am not. I daresay few people have had the opportunity to sample a bit of lemur and, out of those, few took up the challenge. So, you see, indulging in lemur substance would place me in company with elites. I would be able to approach complete strangers and inform them of my gastronomic prowess.

“I’ve sampled lemur,” I would say, my face slowly expanding in a wide, stupid smile. My intended victim would look startled and then back away, looking furtively for a convenient avenue of escape. I would not let them flee so easily, however, choosing instead to follow their retreat. I would continue smiling widely and rub my hands in a circular motion, just to show them I meant no harm. “Yes,” I would say. “Lemur. L-l-l-l-leeeemur.”

Later, I would dream of having even more lemur treats, finally giving up my reverie to struggle against the restricting canvas now encasing my finely chiseled body. How sad that society has not yet learned to accept the eccentricities of a true lemur connoisseur. And how sorry they will be when I transform them all into lemurs.

Once freed from my bonds, I would request an outing in the park. Using both cunning and brute strength, I would overpower the guard and tie his feet and hands with supple bamboo. Using organic materials, such as tree bark and grass, I would construct a vehicle with a ludicrously mild effect on the environment. Reminded of my duty to future generations, I also vow to restrict my own personal emissions and, laughing, curse all bean burritos as the food of demons.

Chucklingly confident I had reduced my carbon footprint to the size of a baby step, I would fill the vehicle’s fuel tank with mulch and drive away in search of only the most succulent lemurs.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chuck Norris for President

Surely I don't need to add too many clever comments to this. It would be easy for me--almost as easy as breathing--but I feel that the picture is worth 231 words.

Jacob "Pickle Weasel" Nordby

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Baked Confections for the FooDaddy

My birthday hat.

Well, time-wasters, it's that time of year again! When all folks of all places and from all layers of the social strata come together to celebrate the day that the world got just a little more sarcastic. The sody pop flows like wine. The planet's atmosphere vibrates with a thousand bugle calls and the thunder of a thousand sky-writing planes. The mile-high lettering spells out naughty words and advice to world leaders.

My birfday!

Let me tell you about my celebrations. And remember, if you read it on the Internet, it's gotta be true. These are the highlights.

7:30 AM: The FooDaddy remains solidly asleep with his earplugs in and his cat sprawled across his chest. He considers drooling a little, but decides to twitch instead. This power of decision has made him the great man he is today.

9:00 AM: President Bush and a cavalcade of foreign dignitaries stop by to offer their congratulations. The President mumbles a speech while Dick Cheney pokes the FooDaddy's sleeping form with a long piece of bamboo.

11:43 AM: Stomping fat people barging around in the apartment above dislodge plaster and lathing from the ceiling two feet from the FooDaddy's head. The pain and swearing gradually bring him to full conciousness.

1:16 PM: The FooDaddy slithers out of bed, falls to the floor and shuffles blindly out of his lair. He rubs the sleep boogers from his eyes and stares at a wall he can't remember having been there before. Then it all comes back in a rush: this is NOT the bathroom. The FooDaddy goes to get some paper towels.

2:56 PM: Freshly showered and smelling of mint and glee, the FooDaddy prances around some.

2:57 PM: Disaster! He has blown a prancing muscle! Paramedics and extremely attractive young women alike rush to his aid. The paras read him stories while the young women feed him cashews and sing to him. The FooDaddy asks to have his ankle rubbed, and they all leave in disgust, firing shouts of "pervert!" and "fornicator!" over their shoulders as they leave the apartment.

2:58 PM: "Dang," says the FooDaddy.

4:19 PM: The FooDaddy's adoring hordes of best friends all offer him their birthday wishes and their birthday cakes and their birthday parties. Overcome with gratitude, the FooDaddy thanks them all profusely and heads to Bob Evans restaurant.

4:30 PM: A waitress notices the FooDaddy sitting alone at a table for twelve, happily chewing on a biscuit and pecking the keyboard of his laptop with his free hand. She asks if he is expecting more people, and he looks up at her and smiles. "What?" he says winningly. The waitress figures him for the type who will try to pay with Monopoly money or animal pelts, and avoids the table.

7:23 PM: The FooDaddy realizes he's made a grievous error. As it turns out, when he heard his friends say "Go to Bob Evans and get a table for twelve and order yourself some biscuits," what they really said was "Hottub party at Kevin's!". The FooDaddy pays for his biscuits and shuffles rapidly out the door.

8:00 PM: The FooDaddy arrives at Kevin's place, where the hundreds of guests, made all the more eager for his company by the prolonged lack of, burst into maniacal cheering. The hottest girls at hand hoist him to their shoulders and carry him to an easy chair where they feed him cashews and sing to him.

8:03 PM: The most skilled cakesmiths in the land cart forth two cakes. Both of them are yellow cakes, his favorite kind, and one has buttercream frosting, the other chocolate. The FooDaddy stands, puts his hand over his heart, and makes a speech:

8:04 PM: "Ladies, gentlemen, and more ladies!" he says. "I am honored to be here, and I am honored to eat of your baked confections!" here he winks at the bakers in order that he may thank them with his eyeball. "Blah blah blah," he says with feeling, "and furthermore blah! Bring on the milk!"

11:57 PM: After having eaten his fill of the delicious cake and washed it down with cold milk from only the craftiest cows, the FooDaddy hugs everyone until his arms fall off. The ladies pick them up and put them in a plastic bag, which they hang around his neck. They express heartfelt desire to see him without a shirt again soon, and he smiles paternally down at them, and would have patted them on the head, but for his missing arms.

12:18 AM: The FooDaddy, covered with lipstick kisses and confetti, drives home with his teeth.

12: 46 AM: The FooDaddy climbs into bed, full of cheer and hope for the future, and tells Cheney to put down the bamboo and get the hell out of his room, for God's sake.

12:50 AM: Dreams.

Whoo! What a day that was, time-wasters! I wish you could have all been there to fact-check. For all who are curious, I am now 24 years old. As far as I'm concerned, this is old enough to start questioning popular culture in a gravelly voice and mocking the young.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Scruffy Love; In Pictures 2

The book's coming along slowly but surely. I won't even pretend to feign to consider thinking about perhaps making an in-the-ballpark guess as to when I'll be done, but rest assured I'll let you all know!

In the meantime, check out the newest thing in foreplay: pit admiration.

I guess someone thought it was sexy. People are weird.

Friday, March 16, 2007

FooDaddy's Horror

I believe I’ve mentioned Stephen King recently. By weight, he is the most popular author of scaries in the library system I work for.

So I thought to myself, “why let Mister King have all the fun? Might I too be able to cash in on the lucrative ‘making people jumpy’ market?”

Yes. The answer is yes, of course I can. All I need to do is to turn off all the lights, ask my cat to turn black and make his back all archy, and pretend I’m a frail, unarmed, easily frightened woman in, like, a forest or something.

You might want to turn off your own lights, time-wasters, to add to the effect.

Kristen Wispy picked her frail way through the forest. Damp leaves clung to the bottoms of her sneakers. A lone werewolf howled lonsomely in the lonesome distance as she approached the mansion’s driveway.

The trees on either side of the narrow gravel path hung skeletal limbs overhead, creating a really creepy tunnel of skeletal tree limbs. An evil owl chuckled high above as Kristen crunched by on the gravel.

She climbed the rotted stairs to the mansion’s porch. The boards, all bent and splintered, seemed almost like arthritic knuckles all too ready to clutch unweary trespassers and shove them into some unspeakable ravening maw. Kristen’s fingers touched the doorknob, leaving her fingerprints in the dust. A gust of wind threw leaves and twigs into the side of the house, and the old rocking chair to her right creaked as the wind set it in motion. She looked back at the door.

“Aye, so ye want to enter, do ye?” said a dry, hollow voice from the chair. It sounded like angry wind blowing over dead squirrels. Kristen’s head snapped to the right in surprise, and she gasped. There was an old man in the chair! He was dressed in a red-and-black checkered coat, and here and there straw poked through the tears in its fabric. She couldn’t see his face, as he was looking straight ahead through the torn screens of the porch and into the night.

“Oh, uh...yes, I do. I’m sorry! I didn’t know anyone still lived here. You see, my friends and I were, um...well, we were exploring, and Jason wandered this way, and his footprints led to your driveway, and…” she trailed off.

The old man turned to face her. His eyeless face contorted into a grin that showed far too many teeth. “Oh, yes, that’s what they all say!” he cackled. “I hate to bring thee such bad tidings, missy, but thy friend is already gone to the land of farts and spirits!”

“Of—of what?” Kristin stammered.

“Pull my finger!” said the old man, and he was suddenly engulfed in a screaming vortex of cold fire. Kristen shielded her face with her hands, and when she lowered them again, the chair and the surrounding walls and floor were coated with frost. There was no sign of the old man.

She pushed open the door. Moonlight dribbled into the vast catacombs of the mansion’s entrance hall. Kristen screamed when she saw what was laying on the floor not six feet from where she stood.

It was Jason’s severed right buttock!

Oh, man! Talk about creepy! Owls, werewolves, crazy old ghostmen! This story’s got it all. Now I’m going to go turn on all the lights I own and watch Sesame Street until I stop shaking.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Pickle Weasel and the Sea

(As you can see from the gleaming muscles of my back, I am a very strong man.)
The sea was blue that day. Pickle Weasel arose at the crack of 10:37.
The old groundskeeper was already raking up the dog leavings on the beach and picking up tourist spoor for sale to the less fortunate.
Pickle Weasel walked up and fired up his Spanish. "Ola, Senor! Como esta?"
The old man glanced up briefly, then went back immediately to raking up soupy-looking dog turds. His voice sounded like a piece of pumice being rubbed on a slate floor, "Muy bien, Gringo, y tu?"
Pickle Weasel grinned madly for joy at understanding this complicated phrase, "Muy bien, mi Amigo, muchas muchas gracias!"
The old man scowled a little at this frantic assumption of friendship and poked his rake impatiently at a half-dead rock crab that was trying to eat a lump of dog crap.
Pickle Weasel, being the sensitive tourist that he was, averted his eyes, stretched and scratched his belly.
The old man, in a very obvious attempt to get the ugly American to shove off, silently pointed to a brightly colored plastic boat pulled up above the surf line.
Pickle Weasel made an eager facial expression and asked, "Por mi?"
The old man nodded solemnly--although Pickle Weasel noticed that his eyes became suddenly shifty and sly.
Pickle Weasel, with his curious mixture of boldness and lack of intelligence suddenly climaxing, laughed gaily and jogged over to the boat for a look.
It looked good. It was slender and brightly colored and had little molded areas to accommodate a tourists buttocks.
Pickle Weasel grabbed the short, frayed rope (yes, gentle reader, this is an example of foreshadowing) and dragged the surprisingly light craft down to the edge of the water.
It all seemed so simple in the beneficent morning sunshine. The water was blue and shiny. The waves were small and friendly.
Pickle Weasel pushed the little kayak into the first line of surf and hopped aboard. He wriggled around until his buttocks settled into their appropriate indentations and grasped the paddle optimistically.
The first thing that happened was no surprise. The receding surf pulled the boat forward into the second line of larger waves. P.W. paddled furiously to keep the nose straight forward (he had once read that this was the proper thing to do and he had also watched The Castaway a couple of times). He was still in the shallows and the rush of water created a powerful eddy effect that bounced him sideways in very unpredictable ways.
Just then a much larger wave swelled up from beneath and tossed the surprised PW into the air. He was caught there, for a shining moment, with the pretty turquoise boat above him, his paddle soaring out into the waves and a rush of sea foam sliding away beneath him. For a split second he caught sight of the old man leaning over his poop-smeared rake and cackling madly. Then the world turned into a jumble of salty sand in his mouth, the kayak smacking his head and a lot of choking water tumbling him over and over onto the beach.
As mentioned previously, the Pickle Weasel is bold, enthusiastic and not very intelligent. He repeated the process over and over again until he learned a very basic secret--the Sea will always win. He also learned that it is a far, far better thing to sit on the beach with a cold Pacifico in your hand and watch other foolish tourists turn themselves into sun-burned, beach-scraped idiots.
He also remembered a recent bout with the notorious raicilla and realized that he had much to learn about this mysterious, wonderful place.
The adventures of Pickle Weasel will continue...
Respectfully Submitted,
Jacob "Pickle Weasel" Nordby

Friday, March 09, 2007

Editing; A Writer's Friend or Foe?

It all depends, of course, on whose writing we're talking about.

If it's your own, then your words is like your childrens.

"It appears that you have two sons and a daughter. We editors have taken notice. Is it really necessary to have both sons? It's redundant."

"But...but I love my sons! Both of them! Even the ugly one!"

"Well, if you ever want to sell your family, you're going to need to cut down on the excess. I mean, come on... TWO boys? Nobody's going to want to see one of them and then turn around and see a repeat. They'll get bored! They'll go watch TV and scratch themselves instead. No, I'm terribly sorry, but one of them has to go."

"Okay, but I'm going to keep him in a folder for later."

That's the way it feels, anyway. I've been diligently trying to force myself to write a page a day in the Scruffy Love book, and so far so good. It seems, however, that I have fallen into the Stephen King trap: describing mundane things in order to "immerse" the reader.

Ricky the Bastard took a deep breath. First, he dilated his nostrils slightly, then with a contraction of his diaphragm, forced an imbalance in air pressure between his lungs and the surrounding atmosphere. This caused air to rush into his respiratory system, where the alveoli in his lungs grabbed greedily at all the oxygens in this air that had recently taken up residence...

It gets boring after awhile, my father has pointed out. I read my work to him, you see, because I'm proud of the fact that I actually accomplished something.

"So? Whaddya think?"

"I never really loved you."

"I mean the story."

"That's what I'm talking about. It was so bad, I've recanted my regard for you."

"What should I change?"

"Take it all out and replace it with something better."

Editors have to be harsh.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Scruffy Love; In Pictures

I'm sorry to have to break this to you, time-wasters, but Scruffy Love posts shall from now on be reduced to pictures with perhaps some captions below.

Why, you might ask?

Because I only have a limited amount of creative potential, and I'm going to be putting most of it into writing a feature-length Scruffy Love novel! Pray for me!

I'm not entirely sure how many words "feature length" entails, but I figure I can throw in some recipes at the end, or maybe the owner's manual for my cordless mouse or something to fatten it up a bit. So far, I'm up to five whole pages! Expect that number to virtually double in the coming months. Holy crap.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Wombat Adventure, Part 2

Missed Part 1?

Late that night, after I had tucked the baby wombat into its makeshift bed, I was awakened from my slumber by the insistent ringing of the telephone. Still groggy, I grabbed the bedside reading lamp and held it to my ear for several moments, before realizing my mistake.

“Hello?” I rasped, once I had replaced the lamp and snatched the phone from its cradle. My query was met by heavy breathing and then a scary voice whispered,

“Ya wanna buy a duck?”

I paused and thought a moment. Had he said duck? “Listen,” I said. “I realize you telemarketers have to make a living, but this is ridiculous. It’s three o’clock in the morning!”

The caller giggled and sang, “I knoooooooow! So how ‘bout it?”
“No, thank you,” I said. “I have all the ducks I need.”
“How ‘bout wombats?”

In the background, a scary piece of orchestral music began playing. And I shuddered. How had the caller known I had a wombat? Was it just a coincidence? No, that couldn’t be! Why would a telemarketer call me at three in the morning to ask if I owned a wombat? Ducks, yes. Wombats…no. It was too far-fetched.

“I have no need for another wombat,” I said. Immediately after the words left my mouth, I realized my mistake.

“Another?” the caller asked slyly. “Meaning you already own a wombat?”

“I…” Before I could respond, a dial tone sounded. The caller had hung up on me.

The scary music intensified and the shadows in my room seemed to deepen. My bedroom window was open just a bit and I heard the crunch of gravel from the driveway below. I crept from my bed and stealthed my way to the window, but by the time I got there, the driveway and yard were empty. As quickly as I could, I walked to my bedroom door and opened it.

The hallway was darker still, the blackness causing the normally innocent items of grandfather clock and wall mirror to take on ominous personas. I tried to remain calm, but just then I heard someone rattling the knob to the side door. Although thinking quickly, I couldn’t recall if I had locked that door before going to bed.

The squeaking of hinges answered my question. Chills ran up my spine, over the shoulders, and began strumming my clavicles. They were nervous, too. I didn’t blame them.

Remembering the gun in my dresser, I ran back into the bedroom and withdrew the weapon from its hiding place. I checked the load…empty! Hearing the sound of feet on the stairs, I knew I had but a few minutes. Running into the bathroom, I loaded the pistol and took up a defensive position behind the shower curtain.

To Be Continued...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Pickle Weasel Goes to Mexico and Discovers Raicilla

Handsome? Yes, of course...but is he good?

For the first time in our married lives (13 yrs), my wife and I left the country together.
As you can see from the reddish hue of my forehead, we went somewhere tropical. It was heaven, it was paradise, it was the small third-world village of
"So, why," you ask, "does this qualify for remark on the Blog of Stupid?"
Well, my stupid friend, I was just getting ready to tell you and then you rudely interrupted.
Have you ever heard of Raicilla? No? Well, permit a small copy/paste to enlighten you and then we'll proceed...

Raicilla, pronounced "rye-see-ya", is the local moon shine. It is distilled in crude, primitive stills from a fermented mash made from the roots ( raicilla means "little root" ) of the maguey plant. It is a strong violent liquor of greatly varying quality, and usually more than 100 proof. Since it is produced without government license, and sold without government tax, it is illegal in the same sense that moonshine is illegal in the United States. Its production is one of the traditional local arts, and it is found only in this area.

Since it is higher in alcoholic content than most commercially available liquors even a small amount can produce a sudden, strong, and unpredictable drunkeness. There are many reports of violent gastric reactions, and temporary motor paralysis. It has a strong, and persistent reputation for producing an aphrodisiac effect in women, but causing temporary impotency in men. This can lead to a social situation of confused, and conflicting desires. It gives a rough hangover.

Since raicilla is cheap, strong, and readily available, it is most widely and frequently used drinks among the local borrachos (drunks). The raicilla-borracho can still sit and talk ( lucidly, he thinks ) long after he has lost the ability to walk. He does not know this until after he stands up.

For those who drink alcohol at all, a taste of raicilla is an almost essential part of the full local experience. When you drink it for the first time, you should be in secure surroundings among people you know and trust and use cautious moderation.

So, I ask you, my friend, what sort of venturing man would I be to refuse a sample of local culture? And I answer, "Not a man at all, but perhaps a mouse."
I am a man and I did sample the local stuff. I believe Raicilla should be translated "stupid juice". Verily it will make a man believe that he is a god. It will make him believe that he SHOULD maim the local priest and make vigorous love to an iguana. I share this with you in hopes that you will take heed. Mexican jails are less fun than you would imagine.

Jacob "Pickle Weasel" Nordby