The Flawed Wisdom of a Moldy, Over-ripe Alien Olive

The strange creature I refer to in the title is Yoda. If you are unfamiliar with the character, he resembles a moldy, over-ripe green olive. And he is from a planet other than Earth. He spouts sayings that, on the surface, seem wise. At the risk of incurring the wrath of other fans of the Star Wars universe, I intend to debunk a couple of these.

Some may wonder why I would bother to do this. Surely, my debunks can themselves be debunked. But don’t bother to ask why. There is no why. Let that suffice.

In one of Luke’s many mind-bending conversations with Yoda, the past-its-prime-piece-of-fruit explains that “there is no try.” He counsels Luke to “do or do not.” This is pointless advice. It is blindingly obvious that you either do or do not. A try is intangible because at the end of every try there is either a did or a did not. I suppose the crinkled up critter could be saying something about your mindset. If you go into something thinking that you will rather than that you’ll try, perhaps your chances of success will be greater. But his statements are unclear and open to interpretation. Where is the wisdom in that? If you are trying to teach a concept that will aid someone in saving the very universe is it not wise to avoid cloaking your lessons in ambiguity? Plain English, please! Perhaps I’m being silly. Perhaps English is his second language. Perhaps he is capable of plainer speech when he waggles his pimento and speaks whatever language it is that alien olives speak. I’m sure it sounds something like the squeaky sound slippery, rubbery Mediterranean fruits make as they’re ground by human teeth.

One of the very first lessons Yoda teaches Luke is that “wars not make one great.” We can ignore the very obvious grammatical errors since we’ve established that English is not Yoda’s native language. What  I’d like to focus on is the fact this is a response to Luke’s statement that he is looking for “a great Jedi warrior.” Luke never implied, inferred or otherwise construed that he thought war had made Yoda great. He plainly stated that Yoda was great at making war. He was a great warrior. Not “he was made great by war.” Granted, in order to be great at war, one must participate in war and much participation could make one great at waging war thereby implying that war made him great. However, if it is Yoda’s intent to convey this, he once again states it extremely vaguely. If Yoda’s intent is instead to engage in learned discourse with his student, who is obviously quite distressed and impatient, it might do him well to respond to the actual statement that was made and go into such confusing detail that thinking of the implications of what was said slows the students thought processes thereby calming the prospective Padawan.

At any rate, what can one honestly expect from a moldy old alien olive anyway?

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…peruse the Star Wars universe for more tidbits to be analyzed. Even if Yoda is one of your favorites it can be fun to philosophize about his philosophy.

A don’t…hack my wordpress account, find my address, hunt me down and force-choke me to death should you have taken some offense to this post. I may not be able to wield the force, but I had one day of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training and, though I don’t remember much of it, I’m really good at hiding.

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Reflections on Death and the Burial of a Strange Man

My wife and I spent the weekend visiting the graves of our respective grandparents for some reason. It got me to thinking about a lot of things. Mainly, I considered the death traditions we celebrate and the secondly it got me to thinking about the manner in which I’d like to be laid to rest. If you are sensitive to conversations regarding death and interment, you might want to seek reading material elsewhere. My sense of humor is less than sympathetic in this regard. I think it’s a coping mechanism. Still, it could be offensive. Consider yourself warned. Proceed at your own risk.

It is strange the way we commemorate our dearly departed. We generally either put them in a box in the ground with a stone to mark the spot or burn the body and dispose of the ashes in a treasured location or store them on a mantelpiece. We visit the resting places of our relatives to reflect and place tokens. It seems, to me at least, a more meaningful tradition is to visit the places my loved ones lived and laughed and loved rather than the plots in which they were buried. My wife and I did this, also, on the way to the respective cemeteries. We drove past our grandparents’ old houses and various other places of interest in their lives. I found this much more satisfying than marveling at the fact that I soon stood over the resting places of their remains. I suppose I can see how being close to their mortal leavings can provide a sense of closeness with their eternal being.

All that aside, I began to think that if people are going to visit my resting place after I’m gone, I’d like to give them a show. I want my sense of humor to live on despite the death of my body.

I’m inspired by some inappropriate 1800’s era tombstones from New England I read about in a book call “Weird New England”. If you enjoy the thought of someone’s body spending eternity underneath a stone engraved with insults, you should check it out. If I’m cremated when I die, and you should stumble upon my urn, you’re likely to read on the side a saying such as “They burned me, then urned me.”, or, “I was incinerated; my mortal remains herein incarcerated. My soul is gone, my ash remains; if I should spill I’d likely stain.”

If I should be buried and I die in some horrific fashion, a photorealistic engraving of my expression at the moment of death will adorn my stone. With or without the engraving, my casket will be buried in quicksand with a thin layer of false turf covering it. There will be a fine-print engraving to encourage one to step closer to read it. The resultant motion of the person thrashing about as they sink into my grave will activate a recording of me either screaming an ear-splitting, pterodactyl-reminiscent scream or moaning a loud and disorienting zombie-esque moan.

Burial or cremation, one thing is sure; you should probably avoid me in death as much as in life unless you enjoy heartless and narcissistic pranks perpetrated upon your person. My poor wife. She’s going to have to be buried next to this.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…think often of your lost loved ones, as they were as well as as they are.

A don’t…feel compelled to visit my grave. You really don’t deserve that.

Daylight Saving Time: Simple Plan to Help the Farmers or Plot to Decrease Population; A Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory That Holds a Bit of Water Despite The Lunacy of the Claim

I have heard, but not bothered to confirm, that Daylight Saving Time was instituted so that farmers would have more daylight hours to spend in their fields. That in itself seems ridiculous. Why should the government control something like that? And what, if farmers were actually the inspiration for the act, does it say about the government’s view of farmers? To me it says that Uncle Sam sees farmers as incapable of managing their time efficiently and in need of federal assistance.

This is ludicrous, but its implications pale in comparison to the ominous “secondary” effect of Daylight Saving Time I recently discovered.

My work is east of my home. I go to work at a reasonable hour; 8:00 a.m. This could be true of many people in our nation. I haven’t bothered to gather statistics, but I’d be willing to bet that a considerable percentage of people drive east at times approaching 8:00 a.m. Before the clocks were moved forward one hour, by government mandate mind you, my drive to work was fairly pleasant. At some moments, I could see a sliver of the sun rising over the horizon, and I found it beautiful. After the time change, however, this same route traversed an hour later is a direct route to the very center of a large celestial body so bright its light cancels out virtually everything in my field of vision. I found it disturbing, painful, irritating and deadly.

I drove 30 mph in a 50 mph zone for nearly a mile because driving directly toward the very sun overpowered other drivers’ brake lights. My eyes were squinted nearly shut because when I opened them everything around me was washed out by the sun’s impressively powerful glare. When the road finally curved a bit, I still couldn’t fully open my eyes because my lids and eyebrows were twitching from overuse, my eyes were watering and burned with intense afterimages.

The next day I wore sunglasses and found them only barely better than driving with my eyes denuded. At least I didn’t have to squint quite as hard.

I checked my facts to an extent. Some of my coworkers also experienced this blindness perpetrated upon us by our own government. Thankfully, we have recently had morning cloud cover and, so far, I haven’t been killed or killed anyone else due to governmental interference in my visual acuity as I drive to work.

In conclusion, it could only be a matter of time before the conspirators win and I rear end someone because they are rendered invisible by the act of driving directly into the sun. Even the aftereffects of a brief foray into the solar realm affect driving ability significantly. Even if that first mile doesn’t kill me, the following miles might as the afterimages continue to erase the traffic in front of me from my sight.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…wear sunglasses after you spring forward. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it helps.

A don’t…lose all faith in the government. Perhaps they were presented with false facts by groups concerned with global de-population. Perhaps the government takes the role of pawn rather than perpetrator in this instance.

 

Cow Patties for Dinner? It’s Not As Bad As It Sounds

I eat cow patties. I eat them as often as I can and I am not ashamed of it.

After reading the previous statement, I find it highly likely that you think me bereft of any sort of sense. In fact, the opposite is true. My mind is quite sound.

To explain my position simply I’ll say that the term “hamburger” in no way describes the food that we accept that it does. If you were to bring a pre-hamburger individual into present times and offer him a “hamburger” sight unseen and without any explanation as to the makeup of the offer, he or she would likely think one of two things.

Either

 A: You were offering to introduce him or her to a resident of a burg called Ham

Or

B: You were offering him or her some sort of ham based dish, perhaps one in which bits of a resident of a burg had been mixed into.

Paradoxically, both of these ideas are true and false. “Hamburger” does not mean a round chunk of ground chuck. “Hamburger” means the things I previously described. A more accurate name for a round chunk of ground chuck is cow patty. A shaped chunk of ground material is called a (whatever material was used) patty. Therefore a patty made of cow is a cow patty.

I eat cow patties.

I am not ashamed of it.

I will continue to do it.

I am not insane.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…feel free to join this etymologically correct movement if you wish.

A don’t…ask for a cow patty should you attend a barbeque thrown by a rancher or farm hand. You’ll certainly be disappointed, disgusted and laughed back into the city.

 

Sweet Tea and Immortality: A Sort of Scientific Excuse to Satisfy an Illogical Addiction

I’m given to understand that oxidation is the process by which rust is formed. I also take it that this same process is what kills off cells in our bodies. I could be mistaken about one or both of these beliefs, but let’s assume that my science is sound.

Given that we’ve now conspired to assume with one another, let’s follow this theory to its conclusion. Should you decide at any point to break fellowship with our newly formed quasi-majestic 12-esque arrangement, feel free to step away. I’ll neither seek to brainwash or eliminate you should you divulge any details of what you’ve read.

In addition to what I’m given to understand regarding oxidation, I’m also given to understand that teas are rich in antioxidants, or, compounds that prevent oxidation. If this is true, (we again assume it is) tea could be the formula for immortality.

Its a very simple premise for what I hope is a groundbreaking discovery. By drinking gallons of tea I can, in addition to satisfying my caffeine addiction and gaining mass due to my proclivity to sweeten tea to a semi-syrup state, prevent my cells from dying, thereby preventing the aging process from occurring. If I don’t age, I live forever.

Of course, this can never be proven. If it is true, and assuming I never die due to an accident, I’ll never live long enough to know whether or not I’ll never die of natural causes. I could proclaim I’ve discovered the fountain of youth in my own kitchen cupboard and have a sudden heart attack the next day, disproving my claim. I could live a thousand years before dying of old age, convinced the whole time that death would never catch me.

And of course, the complete opposite of my theory could be true. Perhaps the body needs oxidation in order to keep the cells fresh. In other words, old cells need to die off, be disposed of, then replaced by new ones. Perhaps if I load my body with tea and prevent the old cells from dying off, my body will quickly become a mass of old cells which have long outlived their usefulness and yet remain, clogging my system and preventing the production of newer more vigorous cells.

The only way to find out is to drink gallons of tea. Which I will do.

The real reason I will do this is that I’ve found a tea that comes with little ceramic figurines inside each box and for some unknown reason I’m as addicted to them as I am to caffeine.

But I can’t very well go around saying I drink tea simply because I want more little ceramic things to put on a shelf so my kids can divide them amongst themselves when my experiment inevitably fails.

In conclusion, I drink a lot of tea in the name of science.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…drink tea if you enjoy it. Perhaps it has a health benefit, perhaps not. If you should drink it, do it purely for enjoyment.

A don’t…ever take medical advice from me. Even if I had a medical degree, I wouldn’t take my advice. My strange sense of humor would likely cause many deaths and an outrageously expensive malpractice insurance policy.

Jerkology 101: An Introduction

I, being a reluctant people pleaser and fantasizing unsung hero, have thought a lot about jerks. My distaste with verbal confrontation has inspired me to think deeply about the nature of jerks. I have been writing a field guide to common jerks.

Among my many eccentricities is an obsession with field guides. I have a field guide to fish. A field guide to birds. I have field guides to edible plants, poisonous plants, varmints, pests and survival techniques. If  “field guide” is in the title, I’ll find the money to buy it.

As I live with this obsession, combined with my fear of being verbally harangued by negative entities, it is only logical that I should create a field guide of my own. This field guide is entitled thusly: “Field Guide to Common Jerks”. It used to be “Field Guide to Common North American Jerks” until I realized that the types of jerks are universal. Versions of each jerk can be naturally found on every continent and in every city, town, settlement and village the world ’round.

I have written the field guide almost in its entirety. I had planned to publish it, but I decided that the stories of Sir Donkey Legs would be more marketable due to the originality of the characters (most of the credit is due to my children on that front). I still plan to publish the field guide, as soon I finish publishing my Sir Donkey Legs stories. So far there are two more ready to go, I’m  just waiting on funding.  The field guide will be given to the world. Until then, I offer it, for better or for worse, to my fellow bloggers.

I’ll begin by introducing you to Jerk philosophy. I have found that there are two basic types of Jerks. All of the Sub-Jerks fall under one of the following two categories: Active Jerk and Passive Jerk.

Active Jerks are those who actively try to physically hurt you. In this category you’ll find murderers, Satan himself and rapists. The Passive Jerk category includes such Jerks as those who insult you out of jealousy; cheaters and thieves.(Speaking of thieves, I used to work in a jail with a gentleman who would sing his own version of the classic hymn “Bringing In The Sheaves” which he called “Bringing In The Thieves” any time a new inmate arrived in our facility. If you’ve ever heard the original, you can imagine how humorous his version is in an incarceratory setting.)

This post is simply to introduce you to the idea of the philosophy of Jerkology. When you’re too afraid to confront others, you spend a lot of time thinking horribly of those who’ve insulted or mistreated you. The field guide is my way of passively dealing with that issue. I guess I myself am a form of passive jerk. Future posts will introduce you to the multiple different jerks contained within the guide. Be on the lookout for a book version, complete with illustrations, within the next few years.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…keep up to date on my Jerkology posts to determine whether or not you yourself are some sort of jerk.

A don’t…be a jerk if you can help it. At least not in public. Everyone deserves not to have been a jerk to. If that makes any sense at all.

Defining Grilled Cheese: Some Tasty Food for Thought

Let’s journey together through the culture surrounding some popular foods, pizza, chicken fried steak and grilled cheese.

I recently came to the conclusion that a grilled cheese sandwich is a sandwich, containing nothing but cheese, that has been grilled. If you add anything to it, it becomes  a grilled (whatever you put in it) sandwich. After all, many hot sandwiches contain cheese, are grilled or otherwise heated, and are not called “grilled cheese”. Consider the Philly Cheesesteak. The meat, toppings and cheese are grilled and generally served in a toasted bun. Not a grilled cheese.

Pizza supports this claim. Unless you are the sort of person who cannot or will not eat cheese, your pizza will have cheese. If the pizza only has cheese, it is a cheese pizza. If it has anything else on it at all, pepperoni, ham, onions, olives, what have you, it is no longer called a cheese pizza. It is called a (whatever you put on it) pizza.

I understand that what is true for one type of food may not be true for another. I heard it posited this evening that what makes a sandwich a grilled cheese is the way it is cooked (to a toasty, crunchy, golden brown) and the pull of the cheese as you bite into it.

I see what they did there and I don’t buy it.

I attack this claim with chicken fried steak.

Chicken fried steak is usually beef that has been fried in the same manner as chicken traditionally is. It is still steak. Frying it like chicken does not cause people to call it chicken simply because it is cooked like chicken. The same should apply to so-called grilled cheese sandwiches. You are basically breading and cooking whatever filling you’ve chosen as if it were a grilled cheese sandwich. Therefore a pulled pork “grilled cheese” sandwich, for example, should be called a grilled cheese cooked pulled pork. Granted, this is an awkward order to place, but we should follow the logic used with other foods.

You may ask why I would even consider this a problem. To support my indignation, I submit the devolution of the English language. If everyone were able to use words willy-nilly and we didn’t have the good old Oxford’s English Dictionary and multiple learned scholars preserving “Proper English” we would soon become unable to understand people from outside our own social circles.

In other words, it is ok to fry steak as if it were chicken and grill pork as if it were cheese, but if there are no watch-dogs we would soon be unable to order in unfamiliar restaurants due to the inaccurate naming and/or descriptions of foodstuffs.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…call food whatever you want. But follow the logic to prevent food related foul-ups.

A don’t…pay too much attention to this post. It’s just food for thought.