Follower Analysis…and Some Hotdogs

I wish to talk today about a milestone. My first ENTRY in this blog was July 1st, twenty ought oh nine. On the 30th day of May, twenty ought eighteen, I got my 100th follower. I thought it might be time for some “analytics” as the captains of e-commerce like to say (to me, they’ll always be “statistics”).

The numbers below that you will contemplate shortly after I finish this statement, are a data hotdog – it’s comprised of this and that to form a deliciously fulfilling tube of meaning. The “parts” I’ve so revivified include – time, number of posts and number of followers. Each factor represents an obscure part of an animal that can’t survive cuisinically (why not?) by itself. Like a butcher of information, I will grind these ingredients together, and produce…

Listen, I like this analogy, but I’m ready to get on with the data processing. To that end –

VARIABLE #1 – TIME:
It’s been 8.8 years, or 465 weeks, or 3,255 days, or 78,120 hours since July 1st, 2009. One or all may be used to represent time in my calculations. Therefore, I’ve decided to call any variable dealing with time, “TIME”.

VARIABLE #2 – LABOR:

You are reading my 200th published entry. That is, it wasn’t published at the time of the 100th follower. Therefore, I put in 199 posts worth of toil. Moreover, I estimate my total word count to be in the neighborhood of 85,291, by adding the word counts of every 19th -20th post and averaging it. That average came out to 428.6 words per post.

VARIABLE #3 – FOLLOWERS:
I have 100 loyal readers. That can be construed in many ways – such as 200 pinky toes connected to 100 brains that enjoy stimulating content. Or 93 or so appendices occupying space inside 93 or so of my readers. This assumes that my followers are consistent with the statistic mentioned HERE reporting that 7 percent of the population experiences an appendicitis at some point.

I feel like I’m flagrantly digressing. Getting back to the point – as a function of TIME (t), FOLLOWERS (f) increases at a rate of about 3.1% of a new follower everyday or a new follower every 32 or 33 days. I think of it like earning followers piece by piece, by this time tomorrow I will have earned a foot or perhaps a hand and forearm of some lucky reader.

As a function of LABOR (l), I gain one follower for every 1.99 posts. At a fitting rate of 199/3255 (I move so very slowly) – one post every 16 days.

Using my word count estimate of 85,291 – that’s 100/85,291 or .12% (.1172%) of a follower for every word, or one follower for every 852.91 words.

Application: up to and including HERE, there are 466 words or about 466 x 0.1172% = 0.546152 (55%) of one new follower. In more practical terms, I only need to write ~387 more words or work 83% as hard to gain a complete follower. At my current rate, such a task would take 85,291 words/3,255 days = 26.2 words/day. Three-hundred-eighty-seven (I can’t start a sentence with a number, so unsightly) more words divided by 26.2 words/day = 14.77 days. Thing is, I’ve written 77 more words already and I’m not done, so this post might earn me 1.4 or even (dare I say it?) 1.75 more followers!

In short, (f)=0.001172l, where l=t/0.038163. Thus, assuming everything remains constant, a period of say, 214 days (π x 100) would result in 214 days/0. 038163 = 5,607.526 words, netting me 0.001172 x 5,607.526 = 6 full bodied followers, the torso and part of the hips from another (6.57).

Inferences: like any blogger, one of my goals is to reach as many whole people as possible. Based on the numbers, reaching my next milestone – 1,000 followers, gaining 900 more – would take 29,306.058 days. If there is no change in the time I commit to blogging, that will take about 80 years (29,306.058 days)/ 0. 038163 or 767,918.45 words. In 80 years, I’ll be 117 years old. I’m not going to bet on living that long – I don’t think blogging would be high on my priority list anyway.

Listen, I transposed the 5s and 2 in the number of days figure (3,255 became 3,522). I’ve just spent an afternoon not only correcting those figures but editing the portion above “Application: up to and including HERE, there are 466 words…” so it stayed at 466 words, lest I recalculate the figures. That said, I don’t want to fade this post out gracefully; I’m hungry, I’m just abruptly halting now to go eat…a hotdog sounds good.

—–

One more thing. there are 779 words above the line, this post should snag me 779 x .001172 = .913 or 91% of a new follower. Assuming this individual is a female of average weight (168.5lbs), that’s 153.335lbs of follower. For the average dude, weighing in at 195.7lbs on average, that’s 178.07lbs of flesh that will soon receive an email every time a spin a yarn.

In closing, I’d just like to point out that the numbers listed above, notably the near 800,000 words and ~30,000 days, as big and unwieldy as they seem, are perfectly rational to me. If you’re like me, you feel belittled when some fatcat starts spouting off about Apple being worth 40 kajillion dollars or that Trump paid $17 million for this or that trivial thing. When used in this way, numbers are meaningless – merely a device for the bourgeoisie to show the proletariat how high they can count. I don’t see the numbers in this post as numbers, but as little pebbles I can collect to someday make a mountain of meaning. Won’t you be one of my pebbles?

Webp.net-gifmaker

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Social Dysfunction and Mass Shooting

For the content below, I reference THIS post.

I’m not sure why I thought that data collection for this project would be a walk in the park, but the more information I gather, the more I realize that I have even more to gather. Let’s say I start researching how a shooter got his guns (of the 10 or so shootings I’ve researched on that parameter, 100% of the firearms were obtained legally, with a majority doing so despite a record that should have prevented the sale).

 

Big digression, sorry. I’ll start looking for how they got guns and see something about exposure to domestic violence. Then I’ll remember a blurb about so and so watching his mom get beat up, so I’ll add that variable.

 

All told, this dataset contains 20 (as I count them) variables, including –

three demographic measures (it’s been a while since grad school – some of these might not belong to “demographics”). These are the “invariable variables” – the shooter was stuck with these upon being born –

  • Location (state)
  • Date of birth
  • Race

 

Six components that the shooter had some control of –

  • Specific location of shooting
  • Date of shooting/age
  • Graduation date
  • Death toll
  • Injured toll
  • Status of shooter (suicide, KIA, or captured)

 

Three variables of what I will call “life experience”

  • Military status
  • Relationship with the father
  • Exposure to domestic violence

 

Seven dealing with guns

  • Shooter use of AR-15
  • Shooter use of an automatic weapon
  • Shooter use of handguns
  • Shooter use of other semi-automatic
  • Any other weapons
  • Total number of weapons
  • Legality of gun acquisition.

Diagnosed and/or suspected mental and social disorders.

I’m jumping the gun here when I report that, of seven of the more recent shootings, at least four had either been diagnosed or been suspected of having some disorder on the autism spectrum (including Asperger’s). Compare that to one out of every 68 kids in the US are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My methods and results are far from conclusive, but warrant a closer look, in my opinion. Let me be clear – I’m not suggesting that individuals with autism are inherently violent; merely that, as a social disorder, higher functioning individuals on the spectrum may lack the social coping mechanisms of the typical person, yet they are exposed to the same reality of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other perversions of social norms that the rest of us must face. More than the disorder itself is the treatment, or rather lack thereof. A study released in 2016 by the CDC “shows that, overall, less than half the children identified with autism (43 percent) had received comprehensive developmental evaluations by age 3.” In effect, it’s the lack of intervention that is to blame, not the disorder itself.

 

Ok, that was a big digression, please forgive me.

 

Another common factor that became apparent was military status – of the nine of the more recent shootings, four of the shooters were either active, discharged or interested in joining a branch of the military. Again, this figure is far above the national average of 0.4% or roughly 1 out of 250 people…

 

I have to stop myself now. I’m drawing conclusions from an incomplete dataset of a handful of cases. In the statistical world, that’s a sin.

In any case, I think there is evidence that this issue is far more complex than simply restricting access to guns.

This should not suggest that we should abandon the effort to better control guns. Access to guns gives the crazy inside these individuals form and direction.

I hope to have a more complete dataset soon and will report back with more conclusive observations. Stay tuned…

One more thing – You may not have heard about it, but on Tuesday 3/20 a Maryland student tried to shoot up his high school. He was thwarted by the School’s resource officer – I feel he should be mentioned by name and marked as a hero – Blaine Gaskill was reportedly facing the shooter within seconds of the first shot. Thanks to his prompt response, the shooter only fired on two individuals – Desmond Barnes was shot in the thigh and has been released from the hospital. Jaelyn Willey was shot in the head, rendering her brain dead. She was pulled off life support and died Thursday 3/22. My condolences to her family and friends…

273irg

I was initially incensed by the lack of media coverage, thinking there just weren’t enough dead school children to make headlines. Then I decided that it was a good thing. No doubt the shooter in Maryland was inspired by the Florida shooter, who was inspired by another school shooting and so on. By not sensationalizing it, perhaps we’ll get a reprieve from the bloodshed. There’s an idea media, don’t have a “breaking news” orgasm and ejaculate sensational information every time there’s a shooting. Just a thought…

 

FIN

 

@JarrettLWilson

 

Bashing Through the Prose, In 100 Days…

I recently tried an accelerated writing program offered by thewritepractice.com. The program is designed to help the aspiring writer complete the first draft of a novel in 100 days. It is aptly named “The 100 Day Book” program, the brainchild of Joe Bunting (not to be confused with the “100 Novels in a Day” program from Bo Junting).

Full disclosure – I didn’t finish a first draft, but I’m still pleased with the overall experience. To finish a draft would’ve been great, but I did come away with several valuable lessons.

First and foremost, I learned that I am what Kurt Vonnegut refers to as a “basher”, as opposed to a “swooper”. Hard as I try, I can’t churn out 800 to 1,000 words a day. The basher

“goes one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before going on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done.”

The swooper

“write[s] a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work.”

Teh Basher
“Hey Joe, where you going with that hammer in your hand?”

I did have a few breakout sessions where I produced 1,000 words, so I can swoop, but for the most part, I bash. All the same, no matter what your approach, this program provides sage advice, deadlines and a support forum for other aspiring writers to hold you accountable and provide feedback on your writing.

Perhaps the most useful feature of the program is the daily email tips to spark the flame of goodly writing inside the budding writer. Notable examples –

“Today, have a character do something. It can be as small as eating a cookie or as dramatic as drawing a gun on someone. Whatever they do, use it to show us who that character is and make them stick in our minds.”

And

“Open up your book to something you wrote a few days or weeks ago. Glance over it and take a few minutes to laugh. Then, once you’re feeling good about writing again, jump back to today’s scenes and keep writing!”

Uno mas,

“Challenge yourself to write something deliberately bad today. What’s the worst sentence you can imagine? Write it down, and then keep writing.”

 

This last tip is especially meaningful for me. As were all the messages concerning what a pissant perfectionism can be. That was what held me back – the unquenchable desire to be perfect.

Many of the daily emails harped on the myth of perfection. Applying the practice tips from these messages were tools that allowed me to write 1,000 words in one day a few times.

I saved all the emails and plan to revisit them as I do my own thing.

BONUS! A cute lady with a squirrelly last name sends you weekly emails with your progress and other words of encouragement. Perhaps most impressive of all is that both cute, squirrelly last name girl and the Joe himself always responded to my questions and concerns with a genuine, not canned response, and in a timely manner.

And Joe is a good sport, I’d message him on Facebook, starting with “Hey Joe, I heard you shot your lady down” or “Hey Joe, where you gonna run to now?” and he played right along.

I was way short on the word count, but that’s because I need to get over this idea that my writing must be perfect as soon it’s written. I’m happy with every single word that I wrote – wish there were more…

I suppose that’d be a complaint – the program didn’t write a book for me. Writing a book is frickin hard, but this program breaks it into manageable tasks, making the process a more… manageable task.

Another perk was weekly author interviews. I attended a few, and it always got me thinking about my own writing process, but while sitting there listening I was jonesin to write, so I skipped some. Looking back on it, I wish I would’ve sat attentively through all of them, that’s part of the experience that I paid for.

In closing, I’d say this program would benefit any budding writer. You may not finish a book, but you’ll be writing and you’ll gain an understanding of the logistics involved in writing a book. In the end, if my ho-hum attitude toward interviews is any indicator, you get out what you put in.

Doctor Pillow…Talk

The universe has spoken to me once again (for previous occurrences describing words descending upon me from the totality of existence, read HERE and HERE). I’ve experienced a singularity of my present and the experiences HERE chronicled.

You see, I got a comment on the above linked post from a woman whose husband has sustained a brain injury and is contemplating having a Baclofen pump “installed” (for a compendium of my posts concerning the Baclofen pump, direct the graphical representation of your mouse (i.e. “cursor”) HERE and apply pressure to the left button on said mouse). It is to these good people, that I dedicate this entry.

Listen, the battery on my pump was near death, so I had to have the whole pump replaced.

This I did, or rather had done, two days ago. There are a few remarkable occurrences that I would like to relate to you, dear reader.

1.          This first point is not particularly remarkable compared to the other two, but deserves to be mentioned – the procedure was performed by the fabulous Dr. Deborah Fisher. She does surgery, pump refills, Botox injections and pain management, all with a very cool South African accent. She is, without a doubt, one of the good ones and one of my favorite people.

2.          The name of the anesthesiologist was, I sh*t you not, Dr. Pillow. Put another way, the man whose responsibility it was to put me to sleep was named “Dr. Pillow”. Dr. Pillow had an assistant named Rip Van Blanket*…twas the darnedest thing that team Pillow/Blanket should manage my sleepy time…

Syringe Doc Pillow Head

3.          True to their names, the Pillow/Blanket duo had me so stupefied that, when I woke up in the recovery room, I could swear I was in a staging area, awaiting the procedure. I was nearly set off when this blue flaming nurse asked me if I wanted something to drink, I had to check myself because I was indignant that this guy was trying to thwart this procedure that I worked so hard to set up by offering me a drink minutes before it was to be performed.

The hoops I had to jump through to get this operation scheduled is a saga worthy of its own post. Moreover, my recovery from this procedure has been much smoother than when I got the first pump. For next time, I’ll give a full summary/timeline of the major events associated with the pump.

That the words on this website have reached but a few people is reason enough to keep it up.

 

FIN

 

@JarrettLWilson

 

*This name is total bullsh*t, his real name was “Todd” or “Bill” or some other such name common to a suburban, middle class white male. He didn’t say his last name, so for purposes of this blog let’s say his last name was “Valium”.

TO FALL IN LOVE…COUNTY

Hello, Internet,

I composed a short story for a short story competition. I’m publishing that story here, so that you might read it, and go vote for it HERE.

I am pretty proud of this story, so I am pulling out all the stops. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Cheers –

—–

I’ve fallen in Love…County, Oklahoma – Thackerville to be precise. If the proprietors of Winstar World Casino were here, they’d say I was in Paris. Amor, indeed.

Probably less confusing if I say “I took a spill in Love County, Oklahoma.” I’m now a guest at Carter County’s Mercy Hospital Ardmore, Thackerville’s exotic neighbor to the north. It didn’t take much testing to diagnose severe dehydration.

It’s funny how similar casinos and hospitals are. There are the blinking lights, and the veritable symphony of bells, chirps and beeps. The IV infusion pump at the other end of the tubes in my arm could well be a less enthusiastic coin machine. Instead of coins, it runs on bags of liquid. Instead of winning money, the player wins a cocktail of meds.

My adventure into a state of critically low fluid levels started two days ago. At that time, I was a well-hydrated 47-year-old man visiting “Paris” for a poker tournament – Paris if it became a gaming room parody of itself populated by muffin topped rednecks & chain-smoking grandmas and offered overpriced drinks, gimmicky slot machines and token table games.

“Falling in love” – either the kind where gravity forces you to the ground in south central Oklahoma/Paris or the kind that makes you act like a child – was the last thing on my mind. I’m recently divorced, so I’ve done the whole falling in love, til death do you part song and dance.

Get this, the theme of the tournament was “Fall in Love (County)”. It’s early September, the casino was kicking off Autumn with sappiness.

Now I’ll tell you about how I was hustled by a native American woman physiologically, emotionally and financially.

Firstly, my name is Gavin Cleveland. I’m a real estate speculator, or I used to be anyway; I did so well last year I retired. “Retire” sounds off – I have a lot of money, I don’t work. The end.

I enjoy gambling. What is real estate speculation but a high stakes gamble? I’m trying my hand, literally, on the pro poker tour. I’ve started small, at a casino in southern Oklahoma.

I say Thackerville, they say Paris, let’s call the whole thing off.

Shortly after my arrival, I met an exotic native American woman named Awanasea. The thing about her that revved me up was that she looked so wholesome, so genuinely native; a real woman with calloused hands and crow’s feet instead of Hollywood’s Pocahontas. Like a bay horse, her soft mocha skin contrasted sharply with her jet-black hair and brought out glimmering shades of brown in her dark, dark eyes. Her hair was long, with the crimped wavy quality of the occasional “I only have hair because it’s not acceptable for women to be bald” hair days.

I was at a table with two others, playing Texas hold ’em, when Awanasea, garbed in glossy black leather, squeaked leatherily (that is to say, uncomfortably) into the chair at the end of the table. She reached into her purse for some cash to buy in as I raised the dealer to the single bet limit of $50. After hearing that and gawking at my healthy pile of chips, she said “you must be here to Fall in Love.”

“Beg your pardon ma’am?”

“The poker tournament…” she winked.

“Oh.” I smirked. “That’s right. How’d you guess?”

Well, there’s the huge stack of chips, then your miffed expression when you said ‘I raise to $50’, right?” she raised her eyebrows. The house lights set off facets of umber in her eyes.

“That’s right, miss…” I trailed off inquisitively.

“Awanasea. Call me Sea.” she framed ‘SEE-YUH’ in air quotes. “Head over to the poker room for higher stakes, Mr…” She trailed off, imitating my ham-handed approach to learning her name.

“Gavin, name’s Gavin. Where’s that?” I asked.

“Well, Gavin – The poker room, higher limit tables, and the dollar machines are in London.”

“Such diversity in southern Oklahoma…” I quipped.

“Despite you people’s best efforts to the contrary…” she jabbed playfully. “That’s okay. We’re evening the score.” she said. She held a copper hand level with her nose, and rubbed her fingers together in the pan-tribal, indeed pan-galactic sign for money.

She was a feisty one, this Sea. I stood, gathered my chips. Then asked her, “How do I get to London?”

That’s right, a Caucasian American man in “Paris” asked a native American woman for directions to “London”.

She pointed towards some sparkling golden dragons to her right, hanging from the ceiling around a brilliant, terraced jade fountain. “Go through Beijing, Rome, then Madrid, the next area is London. The poker room is at the far end.”

She sounded like a demented geography teacher.

“Thanks. I guess I’ll ‘see-yuh’ later” I said, with a big shit eating grin.

She sighed. “I ‘Gavin’t’ heard that one recently!” she replied.

I was starting to like this girl.

“Clever!…I’m really going now. “You said past Beijing and Rome, through Madrid and to the far end of London?”

She nodded. “Tell you what. I’m pretty hungry. There’s a buffet right there, I’ll walk you over there, I’ll even point out the weak dealers.” she said as she lit a long cigarette, exhaled a cloud of smoke.

We left the table and joined a flowing river of pilgrims seeking fortunes from bedazzling machines and black tables topped with green felt.

We passed through two continents, and now stood before a relief of Big Ben on frosted glass. The buffet was just off to our left, and just beyond, a neon blue “poker room” sign.

Sea grabbed my hand, and we carved a path through machines offering the “Gems of Africa” or “Treasures of the Amazon”. These machines operated as much on money, as on the life forces of the players. She stopped well short of our destination.

“Let’s get a few games in…” she sat at a machine, patted the seat next to it, her dark eyes beckoned.

“I thought you were hungry…” I countered.

“I can wait, it’s open 24 hours anyway.”

What’s a few games on a nickel machine? I thought. That wouldn’t be the last time such a thought crossed my mind. I sat down, fed the machine a twenty and noticed that, being in the “high roller” area, all machines were a dollar. Sea reached over me and pressed the “max bet” button. Her leather jacket squeaked as she stretched. Her fingernails brushed my leg on the way back. This little touching was making me more curious about her.

We spent $60 of my money at the machine (well, not all of it. I still have $0.55 and $1.10 vouchers in my pocket), then we walked to the buffet.

“Well, I guess this is goodbye.” I said, feigning sorrow.

“What? A date with no dinner?” she asked indignantly.

I started. “Date?” I queried, confused but curious.

“Why not?” she replied, eyes sparkling.

“Yeah, why not” I parroted.

So, we ate and had cocktails.

Finally, the check came. I grabbed it to indicate that I was ready to go. Sea jumped up, grabbed my arm and hung on me as we walked to the register.

“Poker room?” she asked innocently.

“Yeah, you coming too?”

“Want me to point out the weak dealers?”

“Oh yeah. Let’s go.” I said, looking down at her. Our eyes met and she came up for a kiss. Nothing too salacious, just a quick peck on the lips.

At that point, it was early evening on Friday, August 25th. It is now midday on Sunday, the 27th according to the whiteboard in my hospital room.

In a casino, there is no time – there are no windows to indicate what time of day it is. There are clocks, but who cares about time when you’re throwing away money?

Sea had me so bedraggled by Saturday night, I forgot to do what I went there to do – play in the poker tournament.

Every time I tried to call it a night, she’d feed me a new reason to stay out. If it wasn’t “one more drink…” or “one more hand…”, it was seizing opportunity, or as she put it, “time to strike while the fire is hot.” The third time she said that, I asked, “as opposed to the fire being cold?” she stopped saying it after that.

Early Sunday morning, I excused myself to the bathroom with the intention of slipping away. Suddenly, the hallway was an old rickety bridge swaying violently back and forth, for me anyway. It got so bad that I staggered headfirst into a water fountain and went lights out. Talk about have a drink.

I woke up at the hospital with an arm full of needles.

My fluid levels are improving, still haven’t seen my wallet, car keys, phone… not to mention the girl I “fell” for.

At least I’m not in Love anymore…county or otherwise.

Again, go here: http://shortfictionbreak.com/fall-17/#poll) to vote. my name is Jarrett Wilson. This story is called “To Fall in Love… County” and when the menu drops down, stories are listed alphabetically by author last name, so mine is near the bottom. Thanks again!


 

The Hierarchy of Suck and a Two Headed Duck (that rhymes and you know it does)…

“You’re one of the good ones…[insert name]”

       Ren, the comically cantankerous cartoon Chihuahua

Very broadly, there are three types of people – 1. People who suck, 2. People who don’t suck, and 3. The good ones.

The first two are pretty self explanatory – people who don’t rack the 270lbs they just squatted from the Smith machine (seriously you guys, that’s three 45lb plates on each side) are the suckiest of what I will call the “undistinguished suckfaces” – those who suck, but not at a professional, Kathy Griffin level. So that I don’t digress on the sub-hierarchy of suck, I’ll just say that the “undistinguished suckfaces” are but a drop in the bucket of suck (or “sucket” if you will). The middle genus in my criminally simplistic taxonomy of human temperament are those who don’t suck.

The beauty of this type of class of person is that you don’t have to do much to get in, just NOT suck. I’ll put it to you like this, dear readers-

Roughly 3.14 kajillion times a day, we are faced with some choice. It could be as simple as choosing breakfast – Cheerios or leftover Chinese? Or as complex as pressing a button to test a missile, thereby risking the lives of millions of people (if you’re Kim Jong-Un).

In simplest terms, each example contains two or more broad paths. Each path is quite broad with a dizzying circuitry of tributaries and “roads less traveled”. Each path, no matter how broad or narrow, trodden or smooth will do one of two things – 1. Suck , or 2.Not suck. When you reach the threshold of these paths, ask yourself one simple question, will the result of my decision to take this path cause suck for me or anyone else? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck.

If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– will the suck of my decision outweigh the potential positives? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck.

If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– will this decision place the brunt of the suck on someone else? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck. If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– must I take this path to achieve my ends? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck. If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up ques….

Actually, at that point, it’s best just to forget about your ends and NOT make that decision.

This leads me to the upper echelon of the quality ‘o people structure.

I’ve adopted the term “one of the good ones” to describe these people.  Such people go beyond the requirements of NOT sucking and make things less sucky for others. In short, they suck the sucking out of things that suck. They redeem the ever growing population of the “sucket”.

I’d like to tell you, Internet, about one of the good ones as I rank her. Her name is Kay, this is her likeness as of Christmas 2016 (I think).

20160104_181217

I met Kay when she commissioned me to convert some home video tapes (Hi8, I believe) to DVD.

Turns out, Kay and her husband, Dan, are pretty neat, what with their family of ducks, old jukeboxes and antique Japanese gambling machines. To honor her uniqueness, I’m officially declaring her “one of the good ones”, and, like I did with Dr. Shearer HERE, I’m going to conjure an origin story. That is, the story you are about to read is entirely fictitious and any similarity to actual people, places or mystical ducks is purely coincidental (and frickin awesome!). Here we go –

Like horns upon a goat they lay.

High atop Mount Fløyfjellet

Storhorn and Lillehorn sit,

Keeping watch over the islands of Norway.

 

The village elders often say

That between the spires is a connection

To another dimension,

Where mystical creatures live and play.

 

It happened upon a day

There arose a great upset

When village was met

By a bundle so fey.

 

In the mild month of May,

The people of Austvågøya did find

A basket seemingly left behind

Floating in the bay.

 

To their dismay,

A baby they found within;

How could it have been

That a baby should come this way?

 

The village elders did carefully assay

The coming of this child

As if from the wild;

But none could say…

 

… whence her home might lay,

Until Sigurd stood forth,

Pointed to the north

And opened his mouth to say…

 

… “I know from whither this child did stray,

By some folly she was let…

…Out the doorway atop Fløyfjellet

From thither did she come this way.”

 

This he did convey

To the villagers there assembled.

Oh how they stirred and trembled

At the thought of a mystical doorway.

 

With intent to allay,

Sigurd boldly spake,

“On the morrow I shall take…

…this child back that way.”

 

The people thought him fey,

But in his words they found relief

In the face of the belief

A ransom for the child they’d have to pay.

 

And so the next day,

Sigurd set forth

On a journey to the north

That he might defray…

 

… any cost for this child gone astray

And so he climbed high, then higher

To reach the twin spire;

The frame of the dimensional doorway

 

Facing the columns he did say,

An enchantment to lay bare,

Any charm hidden there

And thus show him the way.

 

At that moment darkness overtook day

A glowing portal did appear.

So Sigurd buried his fear

Set on returning the little girl, come what may.

 

So, valiantly he passed through the array;

Like in vacuum his ears did pop,

He spun and wrenched and twisted non-stop.

It felt like the kneading of clay.

 

He peered hither and thither to assay

A scene before him so queer,

Sound but a hollow din, sight but a chromatic smear.

He held aloft the child gone astray…

 

… then opened his mouth to say,

“Behold, I bare a child of your domain,

And I would parley to ease any disdain,

And enmity towards my village by the bay”

 

At that, Sigurd’s eyes met with a curious display;

The sounds of his voice were as ripples on a pond,

Wrinkling and warping the air beyond.

In reply, a surly voice squawked “who are they?”

wp-1499003794572.

 

The words seemed an aural melee

Attacking sight and sound with such force,

Sigurd gleaned the sound’s source

He spied an abomination heading his way.

 

Of all the oddities Sigurd saw that day,

None were so queer as this.

A creature common enough, but grotesquely amiss.

Hark the full tale, ere you gainsay –

 

The creature on its way

Was a duck I tell you,

Not with one head, but with two!

The two heads conversed in a manner so fey…

 

… gouging and pecking away

At the neighboring head

While squawking so loudly as to raise the dead;

Sigurd knew not which head held sway

 

Ere the squawking and pecking would belay

Sigurd spoke this query,

“I’ve wandered far, and am weary.

What of this child, a ward gone astray?”

 

The left head squawked, “SWORD GONE AWAY!?!”

The right head pecked and squawked with derision,

“ NO, YOU DOLT. THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION!”

It squawked what was surely a mainstay…

 

… of the conversation most every day

For it was, the loud squawking and jeering

Resulted in loss of hearing;

Making any message difficult to convey.

 

Sigurd feared there would be no end to the fray,

That his quest had been for nought;

That this child, the realm had already forgot.

He resolved to leave without delay.

 

Sigurd sighed, overcome by dismay.

As before, sounds he made

Were given shape, and in physical form, did pervade

And ripple the air like water in a bay.

 

Upon reaching the creature, the head of gray

Began a raucous declaration,

Squawking “We feel a queer sensation!”

In a manner so fey.

 

The creature’s voice like a woman so gay,

With the occasional raucous “quack”;

Considering the creature, Sigurd turned back…

as he thought Why’d I come this way?

 

Then something happened, he decided to stay,

Just as if he had voiced that question

“I have a suggestion”

Quacked the head of grey.

 

Sigurd’s mind fell into disarray.

It came to Sigurd

That this beastly bird

He should here and now slay.

 

Through some diabolical relay,

They heard the thoughts in Sigurd’s head;

That he would see them dead

Ere they’d had their say.

 

For then they did display,

A visage of death

With fiery breath

And razor sharp talons to flay.

 

Deliver me from this beast I pray

Thought he in desperation

“Leave the child for obliteration?”

Said the beast to Sigurd’s inner mislay

 

“Creature, how is it that you can say

Answers to questions in my head

And to thoughts I haven’t said?

Tell me true, and do not play.”

 

Grey head spoke without delay,

“You know nought of your location,

We know much of your vocation”

Spoke the duck with the head so grey.

 

At this, Sigurd did display…

…a countenance of dither

That he should come hither

And be subject to such play.

 

After some delay,

Sigurd, with his mind clear,

Queried, “what know you of my vocation here?

I ask of you, if I may.”

 

This answer, to Sigurd, they did purvey –

“You seek the repatriation,

Of the youth in your possession.”

They know of the child found by the bay…

It’s Good to be Alive

Wonderful MeHappEaster, interwebs! Or happy Easter if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. I come to you today because my heart has been stirred. I frequently listen to NPR via the NPR One app. A featured story today was that of widowed parents of young children. Rather, the widows did the talking, but the subject was more centered on how the children will turn out and how to best remember the child’s father (listen to it HERE).

This topic really resonates with me. You see, I nearly died (more details HERE). I’m not fond of saying that. It’s too dramatic and it smacks of hyperbole.

Still, I suppose I’ve come closer to meeting the reaper than most. At the time, I had a two year old daughter at home. By the expert skill of Dr. Jonathan White and the loving support of my now ex wife Jessica and my parents, I persist in respirating, masticating, cogitating, pontificating, etceterating, and most importantly, continue participating in the upbringating of my daughter(ating…).

It is altogether fitting and proper (thank you, Mr. Lincoln) that I would choose this day to blog on this topic. On more than one occasion (such as HERE and HERE) I’ve asserted the notion that, in a figurative way, Jarrett Wilson died from a brain hemorrhage in May of 2009. He was given new life in September of that same confounded year. The resurrection thing is the only similarity between me and Jesus; I have trouble enough walking on land, I can only change water into Crystal Light or coffee and my dad, as cool as he is, is not God.

I think I’m digressing here. What I’d like to relate to you, dear reader, is that I’m glad to be alive. I think I’ve said that before and I try to give the impression that I’m grateful, but sometimes, it just needs to be declared.

To be sure, being alive is hard sometimes. On the other hand, life is beautiful – there are beautiful people everywhere, the way they comb their hair, it makes me want to say… it’s a beautiful world… it’s a beautiful world…

That said, there are a lot of things that suck, another way to say it would be there are a lot of things that suck because of stuff I did. I let these things occupy too much CRAM (read more HERE). For today at least, I’m going to revel in the singularity off each moment. A singularity in that each moment is a culmination of a heartbeat, a breath of sweet, sweet air, some thought to move us about the day and being with good people. 🍻

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Tag Blog, p.1

A+ certification Arnold Schwarzenegger aztec gods Botox Brain surgery causality cavernoma CompTIA Conditions and Diseases Dog double vision Family Futurama Germanfest Health hemorrhage Hobbit Home hot water heater Kurt Vonnegut Life Alert Magnetic resonance imaging Medicine Mr. T Neurosurgery orange juice OWFI Physical therapy Recreation Rocky Satan Shopping Skylander spasticity sporks tattoos TBI Technology the big lebowski Tolkien Trauma and Injuries TRILS United States vomiting Zumba

The above words were on my “most used” tags a few months ago. Most of these I only used once, so I thought I’d bring them closer to a true “most used” by making up a story.

I started a story when I first checked the  the list – didn’t like it. As such, this is my second attempt at “tag blog”. There were a lot of people maimed and injured in the making of this blog, especially those who read it and didn’t audibly guffaw –

The Hobbit sat quietly at his computer studying for the CompTIA A+ exams. All of a sudden, he heard a hearty knock on his door.

He scampered down the hallway to the big round door, and opened it very cautiously. On his doorstep, he saw a very large man in a grey cloak and a matching tall grey cap. The man looked down at him and, in a very strong Austrian accent, asked “Aw yoo da hah-bit named Zoomba?”

The hobbit considered the hulking pilgrim in front of him. “I’m a hobbit, not a habit. And yes, my name is Zumba. Who are you?”

The man seemed pleased to hear this, replied, “I’m Schwarzenegger the Grey. I’ve come to ask yoo to help wit a special ehrind.”

Zumba invited Schwarzenegger inside to hear about the errand.

Schwarzenegger the Grey started telling Zumba about Mr. T and his terrible vomiting sickness. “Da Aztec gahds put a cyurse on Mistah T, now he has dah-ble vision and he throws ahp every 10 minutes.”

Zumba grimaced in disgust, “How can I help? I’m not a doctor.”

“I know dat. I read a book by Kyurt Vonnegut that said that hah-bits aw viery handy for special ehrinds, what wit yoor abilidy to turn inveezable.” Replied Schwarzenegger proudly.

Zumba looked at Schwarzenegger with confusion, “Sorry to tell you, but I can’t turn invisible. Also, you must be thinking of a book by JRR Tolkien, not Vonnegut.”

Schwarzenegger sighed, “Dat doesn’t mattah. Doo yoo hyaf any special pahwas?”

Zumba furrowed his brow in thought, “hmm…” He paced a few steps and suddenly stopped with a jerk. “I’m very good with technology and fixing hot water heaters. Do those count?” Zumba asked hopefully.

Schwarzenegger let out an even deeper sigh, “Dehr going to hyaf to count. Rocky already tyurned me down.

Pleased with his better than nothing status, Zumba asked, “What is the errand?”

“Yoo aw to accompany Mistah T to da yunited states to confront the Aztec Gahds dat poot da cyurse on heem.”

“Aren’t the Aztec Gods from Mexico?” Asked Zumba, puzzled.

Schwarzenegger nodded, “Dey decided dat Mexico was too haht, then moved to Denvah.”

Zumba tilted his head. Perplexed he asked, “Gods can do that?”

“Dey aw gahds, dey can doo whatevah dey want.”

Zumba considered this for a moment, then asked, “When do we leave?”

“I hyaf tah go get Mistah T, I left him at a jyermanfest bathroom, dehr weel be lots of people vomiting dehr, he’ll fit right in. I didn’t want heem to throw ahp all over your home.”

With that, Schwarzenegger got up and lumbered toward the door and pulled it open. Just before he walked out, he turned to Zumba and declared, “Al be back” and turned to leave.

Not wanting to be bored, Zumba quickly asked, “Do I have time for an episode of Futurama or Family Guy?”

But he was already gone…

To be continued…

@JarrettLWilson

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