Saturday, September 13, 2014

Clip art

I used to really like  clip art.  I once had many books packed full of the stuff.  Then the digital revolution arrived.  In a very short time most clip art became useless.  What worked with a copy machine for a newsletter didn't work so good in the digital publishing world. The biggest problem is most of it is so low resolution it's nearly useless.  While some clip art nowadays is high resolution, most of it is not.  Did I mention most of it looks like crap?  So, I'm not that in to clip art anymore. 

This is a shame as I want a specific type of art and I cannot find it.  I'll keep looking, but I am not at all optimistic I can find what I want.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Driving With Gloves

I'm not really that fond of winter, so the recent premature snow had me somewhat bummed.  But there is one thing about winter I've always enjoyed.  I like driving with gloves on. I can't say why--it's certainly more than just keeping my hands warm.  You can grip the wheel and it's just better. So, yesterday I put on my gloves for the first time since last winter and went outside to my car. It wasn't really that cold. The cold front had lasted about an hour and was already gone. In fact, it was rather nice outside. So, I decided to drive with gloves on anyway, but it wasn't right.  It wasn't right at all.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

No Way!

Yep, it's snowing in parts of Colorado.  It's only September.  Heck we hardly had much of a summer. Now it's snowing already.  Of course, it'll melt off as it's too early. but I still am in a state of disbelief.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oy Veh Steampunk?

Just yesterday I was having a discussion with somebody about whether steampunk is fading or not.  Events come and go, so it's not a simple conclusion.  Then, today, I just learned the Steampunk With a Twist Con in Grand Junction later this month is "postponed" until next March.  Frankly, they might as well have cancelled it altogether.  There had been signs it was in financial trouble, so this was not really a surprise.  

Now, no one is going to plunk down money for tickets. To do so would be like throwing it down the proverbial rat hole.  Likewise, who's really going to risk money on a dealer table?  And, I fear those suckers who already paid are never going to see their ticket money again. Then there are the participants.  Are we likely to waste our time for a second round in March?  I seriously doubt I will.

This is entirely my opinion.  I don't think the organizers really knew what they were doing.  It's also possible Grand Junction simply lacks the population to support such a con.  Regardless, I don't think it was well promoted.  I've said this before and I'll say it again: Simply posting something on Facebook does not make it an event. It is not adequate.  They had a crummy website.  In other words, they tried to get by on the cheap.  Obviously, they didn't have the funds, hence its demise. Still, if you don't have the resources, don't take on such endeavors.  I would love to have Davecon or Vailcon, but I know such fancies would be disastrous and would never seriously undertake them.  

Well, I'll get off my soap box now. I wish them well, but I don't see it happening in March or ever.


I don't particularly like bacon. I never really have.  It seems every place that sells every imaginable type of food suddenly wants to put bacon on it--be it pizza, salad, hamburgers or milkshakes. Yes, milkshakes.  Now I really care if people want bacon in their milkshake, I just wish they'd leave me alone and stop trying to put bacon on my food.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Kamper

Various political causes have been trying to get me to volunteer for them.  I used to volunteer for stuff, then I came to the conclusion that volunteering is a complete waste of my time.  The world is not going to be a better place because I gave up a few free hours of my time. It will be exactly the same.  Logically, therefore, I've concluded there is no point in my volunteering.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Red Shirt Freshman of Notre Dame

Every year around the start of football season I post this story.

The Red Shirt Freshman of Notre Dame

  Otis Claverson didn't look too good when the trainers carried him off the field. His eyes were glazed over and his usually smiling face had been replaced by one filled with searing pain. “Seventy-three,” someone kept yelling. That number seemed familiar. Lizard Murphy glanced down at his jersey. He was number 73. He looked at Elmo Bruno, defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish. “Lizard in,” the crusty man with the thinning crewcut ordered. Lizard put on his helmet and trotted onto the field. The last game of the regular season, a bowl bid and a national championship were on the line and Lizard had never played for a single minute during the entire season. He lined up at the right middle linebacker spot, replacing the injured Otis Claverson, who was in for only two plays for the starting linebacker.

  He grunted and looked mean for the benefit of the big tight end on the other side of the ball. Lizard glanced down and realized they were practically standing on the end zone. They were down by three points and there was only a minute left in the game and New Mexico State was about to score again — New Mexico State.
  The instant the ball was snapped, the  quarterback stepped back to pass. Lizard scrambled after the tight end. Lizard ran like a truck and had been put in to stop the anticipated run. For a big man, their tight end was fast—much faster than Lizard. Lizard tried to keep up. Suddenly the tight end turned back toward the quarterback. Lizard was behind him—way behind him, and the ball was going straight at the tight end, who was now five yards in front of Lizard. Then something strange happened that would change Lizard's life forever. The New Mexico State tight end vanished—just disappeared. The ball sailed straight into Lizard's gut. Somehow, Lizard managed to hang onto it.
  “Down it you meathead!” he could hear coach Elmo yelling.
  There were a lot of the other guys between him and the other end zone nearly 100 yards away, but time was running out. He put his helmet down and charged ahead. The first state guy made contact on the five, a stiff arm sent him to the turf. By the 20, Lizard's lungs were hurting and he still had 80 yards to go. A second guy missed a tackle to his legs. Lizard looked over his shoulder. Micky D. was only a few yards behind him. The free safety was so much faster than he was. He tossed the ball—a perfect lateral to his teammate. Lizard stopped. His teammate sailed past him, dodged two tacklers and headed into open field.
    A few seconds later Notre Dame was back on top as Mick D. Spillner ran untouched into the end zone. People everywhere on the sidelines were cheering and jumping up and down—at least everywhere on the Notre Dame side. The State guys were jumping up and down too, but they were screaming and shaking their fists.
  The New Mexico State coach, finishing an undefeated rookie season, disregarded the fact that Notre Dame was setting up for the extra point and stormed out onto the field. The referee threw a flag and blew his whistle to stop play. “Where the hell's my tight end?” he yelled to the official.
  After a five minute consultation, the referee ruled that the touchdown stood, and that there were ten seconds left on the clock. Campus security would have to deal with the mysterious disappearance of Buz Bombarella, star tight end for New Mexico State. Disappearing during a play was not covered in NCAA rules.
  Lizard was touched when Mickey D. gave him the football he'd lateraled to him. He vowed to cherish it forever.
  That evening, he was walking back to his room in the company of Juliet Mills, one of the cheerleaders who had suddenly taken an interest in him. He was about to explain how he'd come to be named Lizard, but he had an uneasy feeling that something wasn't quite right. Tearing his eyes away from he r, he looked around. There was a flying saucer hovering over the dorm. He broke into a run. In fact, if he'd ran that fast earlier, he could've scored the touchdown himself. He charged up the stairs and busted through the door to his room without even stopping to turn the knob or unlock it.
   A little green guy with black eyes and two antennae sticking out of his head was climbing out the  window — with the game ball. Lizard lunged after him and grabbed onto the ball. The green-guy jumped off the ledge and pulled Lizard off with him. Instead of falling, they ascended. Three seconds later, they were inside the flying saucer.
    Lizard kicked the green guy with enough force to get his football back.
    Five other green guys were standing around him, each one had a shiny cylinder pointed straight at Lizard's head.      He let the green guy take back the football.
  “It's you!” someone said. Lizard turned around. There was another green guy, but this one was wearing a Notre Dame jersey. The other green guys bowed. “I can't believe it's you. Would you autograph the football?”
  “Hell no.”
   “Please?”   “No way. It's my ball.” Lizard crossed his arms and tried to look as defiant as possible.
   “We'll kill you.”
 Lizard accepted the pen one of them was now holding and scrawled something with his right hand. Lizard was a southpaw and figured that was about as good as a bad forgery. They didn't seem to notice. “What's with you guys?” He handed back the football    “Go Irish!” they all yelled in unison.An ugly thought entered his mind. “You guys do something to that Oregon tight end?”
  They all started looking toward the ceiling. The one in the football jersey finally gestured for the others to put away their weapons. “You would've lost the national championship.”
“There were only fifty seconds left,” the others said, again all in unison. “A touchdown would've finished you.”
  “Where is he?” Lizard asked. “Did you transport him up?”
   “Out of range,” they all said.
      “We vaporized him. Maybe we got a little carried away.”  
    “This is too weird. Keep the damn ball.”
   “Ah, thank you,” the one in the jersey said. “You are too kind.”
“When we go to the Fiesta Bowl, you guys aren't going to . . . ?” Lizard asked.
  “No. We regret that little incident.”
  “Besides, Miami doesn't have a prayer. Go Irish!” they all yelled.

  “You wanted to see me?” Lizard asked as he stood at attention in Elmo Bruno's office.
   Bruno turned down the sound of the television. He'd been watching Jeopardy. “This ruckus about yesterday's game. The Fiesta Bowl just backed out of their invite. The boss is in there now trying to get us booked in some bowl in Alaska.”
 “Yeah, and they're talking about going with Alcom State instead of us.”
 “I don't even know where the heck that is.”
 Lizard sat down in one of the comfy leather chairs. “I wouldn't worry about it, sir. I think Notre Dame is entering a new era of football.”
  “How so?”
  The news team interrupted Jeopardy on the television to bring a report that the stadium in Arizona that was used by the Fiesta Bowl had just been leveled by an apparent earthquake. Police were denying rumors of a flying saucer sighting just moments before the quake. 

Author’s note: The way college bowls are awarded has changed substantially since this story was first published.