Cranky And Johnny
Cats, Garfield once pontificated, are the world's best treeclimbers and the world's worst treeclimber-downers. That he made this pronouncement whilst dangling from a lofty bough by his toesies only serves to increase his authority ...(read on)
And So It Begins—Again
Okay, I quit. I admit it. I give up. HAPPY FREAKIN NEW YEAR DAMMIT ...(read on)
Mileage And Maintenance
Long about half-past November last, I started feeling pain in my right shoulder. At first it was just a twinge while completing a mouse-intensive computer task. Fairly rapidly it grew into a constant, nagging stab, accompanied by a grinding of tendons reminiscent of a cranky transmission in a VW bug ...(read on)
A Likely Story
The literature of the paranormal is rife with anecdotes. Naturally, the legitimacy of such stories is primally impacted by the verifiable veracity of their sources. Credible professionals such as doctors, lawyers, police officers and public officials are frequently cited as eyewitnesses to various supernatural events such as ghosts, flying saucers and alien abduction. Their accounts frequently take the form, "I couldn't believe my eyes but there it was."
Should we then take these testimonies as convincing evidence that there is a hard case for ghosts, flying saucers and alien abduction? Not really. ...(read on)
Sporty And Shorty
Ah, youth, fleeting and feckless. When I was young, footloose and slightly insane, I married me a wild and crazy blues mama and we set out to see the world...(read on)
Hot Off The Press
All too often, songwriters are like those malificent individuals classically described by Somerset Maugham:
"Do you like card tricks?"
"No, I hate card tricks," I answered.
"Well I'll just show you this one."
Π In Your Face
Huzzah huzzah, ring the bells and shred the documents, it's Pi Day! ...(read on)
When I'm 64
I always contend that I'll live to be a hundred, fully cognizant of the unlikelihood of that event...(read on)
Slack And Blue
Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a slacker...(read on)
No Matter How Thin You Slice It
Great little town, Seattle. Culture out the wazoo. Hammering Man! Grunge! The Space Needle! Rain! Macklemore! The Seahawks! Mountains! Oceans! Rain! No matter what your taste slurps, there's a flavor in your flavor here.
But if you're a none-of-the-above kinda kid, have we got a flavor for you: Moisture Festival!....(read on)
The Kalendar Kid Writhes Again!
Right about this time each year, down here where the dark rolls over and exposes its pale, faintly luminescent underbelly, I tend towards a creative habit, a spasm, if you will, of what shreds of creativity remain in the burnt-out bulb of my sensorium: I put out a calendar....(read on)
Wishing you all...(read on)
2, 4, 6, 8
Titanic events have been stirring, brethren and sistren. A truly historical moment is upon us. Indeed, consider: in their three, count 'em, three short years of existence, the Tea Party has accomplished what the Marxists, Socialists, Nationalists, Liberals, Libertarians, Laborites, Randroids, Hippies, Yippies, Punks and Occupiers couldn't do in a whole stinkin' century of sweat, protest and outright dying: they've brought down the government without firing a shot! YEAAAHHHHH!...(read on)
I loves me a good holiday. Best invention religion ever came up with. Anytime I can get away from the endless river of tasks that staying alive entails, it's a blessing. So right now, I'm pretty happy, walking round humming "it's The Most Wonderful Tiiiiime oooof the yeeeear..." Why, you ask? Why, it's Purim!...(read on)
Do I Detect A Pattern?
So here's a quaint little ditty I wrote a couple years ago whilst waiting to see the dentist on my birthday. Which, coincidentally ("dental," GET IT??), I'll be doing again today...(read on)
Dr. Burns Goes To Washington
Where can be found a more fertile market, a more fecund abundance of snake oil than the self-help publishing field?....(read on)
Preaching to the choir is an old and honorable occupation, though one somewhat lacking in practicality. It's a tossup whether you're getting more benefit from the exercise than discomfit from the waste of breath....(read on)
In case the observance escaped you, we had us an election just now.
Yeah, yeah, I know, late to the post. Since polling day and the endless trickle of mail-in ballots, a lotta plinge done gone over the dam. Between Syria, Palestine, Iran, North Korea and oh yeah the Budget Cliff (cue Wiley Coyote whistle-crunch), things have been plenty frisky. Probly not a whole lotta utility in rehashing old news.
But just this once. Just this once. Because y'know what? I'm so stinkin' proud!....(read on)
Greek Salad, Side Of Music
In the spirit of the season, my ode to epistemological eschatology. Happy Solstice! (NSFW because RAWK!)....(read on)
May the Holiday season light your path....(read on)
The Bookmark Factory
Be careful, they say, what you wish for. Story of my life....(read on)
Paper Or Plastic?
It's a common assertion that Nature bats last. For all our numbers, we scurrying hordes of shaven apes are at best a sideshow on planet Gaia and at worst a verminous infestation. But while Mother has little more time to spend on us, her darling children, than on other darling children— beetles, say— we have a hard time not thinking of Her. This election year, while blue and red are still enormously important colors, increasingly the hue that intrudes into the national conversation is green...(read on)
Papa Van Come Home
In the maturity of my autonomy (in other words, after Mommy dropped me from her car policy), I have never owned a car worth stealing. ....(read on)
Under The Gun
Trying to drop a surveying stake into the amorphous landscape of modern life makes nailing proverbial jelly to the proverbial wall a mere snat of the fingers. As William Gibson once put it, too many moving parts and too few labels. Worse, there's a whole panoply of industries devoted to the task of keeping the shells sliding as quickly as possible in the hopes of faking out one more mark....(read on)
Progress occurs in many ways. The popular narratives tell of the man with the plan or the basement tinkerer screaming Eureka! Ow! or the benevolent tycoon stretching forth his benevolent hand and tracing above the barren earth the sign of the dollar... okay, that last one, not so much. Still, the cultural concept, at least in our culture, is of the wheel of technology turning onward, ever onward, served by strong, clean-limbed men and women who know what they want and take it...(read on)
Facial hair on men is a subject fraught with subtext, whether it be youthful or mature appearance, nonconformity or conformity, an assumption of stylishly intellectual dignity or the channeling of Rasputin. Great figures in history from the apoeponimous General Burnside on down have contributed provenence to the practice.
And despite or because of it, chin hedges and lip caterpillers continue to recycle into vogue...(read on)
Once Upon An Upright
There is disagreement in the world as to the value of versatility. Some claim that putting all your eggs in one basket can be dangerous, others that chasing two hares catches neither. Still others say patience is a virtue and he who hesitates is lost and look before you leap and even a worm turns and three's a crowd. So much for aphorisms. It all seems to boil down to a simple homily: too much of anything is deleterious. O'course, we can also quote Mae West: "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!" ...(read on)
The Thaddeus Gazette Embraces Recursion
Scribes have ever pined for more efficient ways of getting words into indelible form and intrepid inventors have created them, from quills and parchment to fountain pens to typewriters and linotype to computer typesetting to WordStar, WordPerfect and Word. And given the current state of solar flare activity, possibly thence to styluses and damp clay...(read on)
A Little Something For The Troops
And now, from Art Artifice and his Artificial Orchestra, a tribute to the good ol' battle of the sexes:...(read on)
Madam Zuzu's Mailbag
The Future. Vast. Tumultuous. Dim. But not to all of us. Not to one woman, one extraordinary, exceptionally talented visionary, that uniquely gifted entity revealed to us only by the cryptic yet legendary name Madam Zuzu.
So let's bring her out right now!...(read on)
A Lyric (w/Annotations)
You'll Never Make A Living Playing Trombone1
When I was just a lad2
I wanted really bad3
to play a shiny brasswind in the band...(read on)
Is it the sick dog? The sore shoulder? Seasonal financial and meteorological reversals? Or just the stopped up washing machine? Ah, the author's dilemma: where to begin? Every story has another story stuck to it, a small dog of uncertain pedigree firmly attached to its leg...(read on)
Another Ride Around The Sun
Birthdays and x-rays
showing what's inside you
giving you a guide to know your fate
birth and death are accidents waiting to happen
life is just what happens while you wait
Weh-he-hell now, it's my birthday!...(read on)
Goose Harvesting In Post-Industrial America
We of the liberal bent (or, as we like to call ourselves, "smart people") frequently tend to a fond, mildly envious view of Canada. Ah, that vaguely European enclave of civil tranquility nestled to the north, land of the esquimaux and national health care, of exquisite bread on every corner and generous, public-spirited hearts in every government office. Who do I have to marry to move there?
You of Canadian citizenship in my reading audience are cordially invited to laugh as long as you like...(read on)
An Author In Spite Of Himself
Okay, it's no "Call me Ishmael." It isn't a patch on "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." It ain't even hardly "A screaming comes across the sky." (or is it...?) But what the heck, everybody has to start somewhere. Behold, oh my brothers and sisters, a published author...(read on)
Trial By Jury Duty
We are noble citizens of the land of the free and the home of the brave, fully knowledgeable that no restraint upon our actions shall accrue from our righteous citizenship. Not for us the slaver's thong, the conscript's chains, the bondsman's burden. If we live well, if we truly observe the duly constituted laws of the land, pay our taxes and don't spit on the sidewalk, no other duty, not even the burden and privilege of the plebiscite, shall be imposed upon us, save only voluntarily.
Guess again, Sparky. Welcome to jury duty....(read on)
Ben 'n' Finn
As a proud possesor of a recently-purchased smart phone, I'm here to announce that the software for belt-top computers is of necessity limited in its scope and power. Though the considerable cost associated with one is mitigated by the luxuriant apps available (it's a cell phone! It's a video camera! it's a web browser! it's a GPS! it's a tuner! a metronome! a calculator! a...), only the more data-centric uses hold much value. Apart from being a cell phone, of course — it does that pretty well.
At least one program, however, carries the necessary heft and flow to qualify as a certified Killer App, and that's the Kindle emulator...(read on)
The Old Time Warp Genius Grant Ploy
My friend is an internationally renowned folksinger — which is to say, unknown...(read on)
All over the world tonight, peoples of every land celebrate the Festivals of the Lights...(read on)
Season's Greetings: New Rules, Spiders
It's been a year since I posted anything on this, the good old Thaddeus Gazette. I have nothing to attribute this to except...(read on)
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