M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, December 17, 2003  

Humpblog (12/17/03)

First of all, thanks to everyone who sent messages of support after my cat Strat turned up diabetic. I will answer all of you as soon as possible. I got this diabetic cat, you know? Cut me some slack, already.

We started his injections Monday morning and he's doing really well. It's amazing how an immediate reward of soft food and tuna will make a cat amenable to an injection he doesn't feel anyway. He's a trouper.

I think it's already having an effect. One of the symptoms of diabetes is weakness in the back legs. Well, tonight I spotted him on top of his six-foot kitty condo for the first time in months. Which is made even more remarkable by the fact that the thing has been stashed away in the basement since we painted the bedroom weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting to see improvement in him so fast, especially when his daily insulin dose is barely enough fluid to smear a the dot on top of an i.

Stay tuned in the future for detailed accounts of injections, glucose levels, and other incredibly boring minutiae. You won't get them, but stay tuned anyway.

* * *

I didn't spend today in a movie theater watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting. I had to be at work all day. That makes me kind of sad. Then I remember that "work" was writing a radio script, and I feel better. I hope to see Return of the King on Friday. All these schedules and obligations. We hates them, yesss, my preciouss, we hates them!

* * *

My favorite sandwich is Boston Market Grilled BBQ Chicken. Not that I say "B B Q" when I order it. I do say "no tomatoes," which never works, but the sandwich is still worth it. It's this big, messy, sodden packet of chicken and sauce and bacon and sauce and cheese and bun and also sauce. They put so much barbecue sauce on this thing that it soaks the paper they wrap it in and it looks like they're handing you a bag containing some gory battlefield trophy. Not only is it tasty, but consuming it allows me to absorb the strength and courage of my fallen enemies.

Well, not really, but it did endow me with another stamp on my Loyal Customer Card, which is just as good. My enemies are pussies, you see.

* * *

'Tis the season for cookie trays. Normal people coalesce into loosely-knit federations called "cookie exchanges," wherein each member makes an obscene amount of one kind of cookie. It all goes into the pot, and then everyone in the alliance gets a share of every kind of cookie. It's quite clever and efficient, which is why normal people do it. Then there's my wife.

Trash and her friend "Blaine" get together every Christmas and make cookies. Lots of cookies. The tradition started like nine years ago, when they set aside an entire three-day weekend and made about a dozen batches of goodies. They'd fill it out with things like store-bought candies and low-effort chocolate-covered pretzels, but it was still a lovely collection.

Over the years, the process has been refined and streamlined to the point where last Friday, they made twenty-five different varieties of treats in less than twelve hours. That's cleverness and efficiency on an entirely different order of magnitude.

Lest you think that they broke into an abandoned restaurant or school cafeteria or something, let me assure you that this takes place in a suburban residence with a standard kitchen, meaning one oven, one stove, one mixer, and one microwave. Hundreds--nay, grosses of cookies ensued. Then they were distributed among an array of hubcap-sized gift plates that were soon groaning under the weight of a staggering collection of cookies, brownies, bars, chocolates, fudge, truffles, tortes, and every other sugary baked good imaginable short of Krispy Kreme. It's like a one-way cookie exchange. They didn't just make a lot of cookies. They made all the cookies. I'm totally serious. If you live in the upper Midwest, every Christmas cookie you eat this holiday season was made by my wife and her friend. They told me to say "you're welcome."

* * *

Technically, the date above is a very historic date. No, I'm not talking about the Hobbit movie again. Just imagine a "19" before the "03."

At today's attempted reenactment of the Wright Brothers' first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, the historically accurate replica of the Wright Flyer never got off the ground. I heard the story on NPR this evening. I love when they use audio from the scene:

Crowd: "Awwwwww."

And this surprises whom? I seem to remember reading somewhere that historically accurate replicas of the Wright Flyer have never flown. Not that I doubt that the Wright Brothers made it into the air one hundred years ago today, but even they couldn't reproduce their results when they got their flying machine home to Ohio. They had to redesign it to get it to work under normal conditions. The only reason they flew in the first place was the 21-mph headwind with 30-mph gusts. This doesn't diminish their achievement, and what they learned on that day and subsequent days was invaluable to our understanding of aerodynamics. What they needed in Kitty Hawk today was a couple of big ol' Hollywood wind machines. Get the air flowing over those giant model-airplane wings at sixty miles and hour and it could have hovered over the rails.

Alternately, it might have been fun to see someone try to fly an F-14 Tomcat exactly 120 feet in exactly twelve seconds. There's something you don't see every day.

Anyway, if you want to commemorate the centennial in a way I had a hand in, read this. It may not be one hundred per cent historically accurate, but look where historical accuracy got us today.

* * *

Hey, check out this collab thing called Fa-la-la-la-las. A whole bunch of web writers are doing entries about their favorite Christmas songs and then getting them linked up via this portal. It's neato. I did one too, which represents the first time I've ever participated in an online collab.

Of course, I kind of cheated by having them link to an entry I wrote last year, but then I am nothing if not lazy. Check it out and look at the other entries by people who were good enough to follow the rules.

* * *

Today's best search phrase "Smite force thousand peasants ugly baseball bat." People complain about how easy it is to learn how to build a bomb or whip up some anthrax on the Internet, but when someone wants to forcefully smite a thousand peasants with not an ugly stick, but an ugly baseball bat, nobody says a word. Won't somebody think of the peasants? Especially the pretty peasants?

posted by M. Giant 8:22 PM 0 comments


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