Arthur Lee Samuel, Three First Names?

Artificial Intelligence or an era of political rhetoric. This month’s contribution to the BoFN.

The Blog of Funny Names

Today I am standing on my soap box—because I’m too short for you to see me otherwise—and whispering, because if you want people to pay attention, you whisper. And have a slice of Chocolate Bourbon Cake. I understand it’s one of Dave’s fav’s.

A little bribery never hurt. A little bribery never tasted so good and virtual calories don’t count.😉

You might need to turn the volume up.

Let the whispering oratory begin . . . I won’t stand for it anymore. There are consequences and they must be dealt with.

Not since Arto wrote the notable Norbert Wiener post, postulating the Wiener Sausage, have I been this warmed up—except in August and it’s in the upper 90’s or low 100’s (Fahrenheit)—about a missed opportunity. In that case, to use the Wiener Sausage as a base for an episode of the Big Bang Theory. But that’s something else entirely.

I’m talking about amending…

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Conjoined Mushrooms Or Great Neighbors?

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” ~ Yoda

Our neighborhood is a mix of baby boomers and young families. We enjoy summer barbecues, block parties, and neighborhood watch. Neighbors chat in the street in the evening. Occasional turmoil occurs when someone cuts down a tree or parks an RV in the street.

The most exciting things on our street—naked squirrels running up trees or kids joy riding on scooters.

A week ago, moving vans parked in front of one of my longtime neighbors’ (twenty plus years) home. I assumed one of their adult children moved back. I assumed wrong.

They moved in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day, without telling anyone.

Unknown neighborhood dispute? Witness protection? Stalker?

Stairs. Stair. Stairs. They now present an insurmountable issue. Our former neighbors moved twenty minutes away to a single story home.

Fortunately, we’ve been invited to visit them. Glad to know we’re not the other kind of former neighbors.

The next day, while talking to one of my friends at the neighborhood grocery store, I didn’t examine the mushrooms I took from the display. I just shoved them in my sack.

“You will find only what you take with you.” ~ Yoda

When I prepped the mushrooms for our spaghetti sauce, guess what rolled out of the bag?

This is what happens when you can't let go.

True friendship.

This is what happens when you’re afraid to lose your neighbor who is your friend. The good news, our neighbors are selling their home to one of their daughters so we aren’t losing anything.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” ~ Yoda

Try. But I did try. And the conjoined mushrooms tasted great. Circle of life, my friends, circle of life.

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Comicon Carry Over

A few weeks ago, a group of us took a foreign exchange student to Emerald City ComiCon (ECCC)—allowing us to cross it off our bucket list.

Seeing ComiCon through the eyes of a 15-year-old exchange student raised the event to another level.

My younger sibling, also a SciFi fan attended as a Dalek from Doctor Who. I’m the one in the orange wearing The Blerch shirt.  Over the course of the day she posed for over 70 photos with Doctor Who fans. Small children followed behind her chanting in mechanized tones, “Ex-term-i-nate.”

Posing with a Dalek outside ECCC registration.

Posing with a Dalek outside ECCC registration. Okay she’s really my sister.

I’ve only viewed a couple episodes of the Doctor, making it much more amusing for me.

The event staff wandered around the convention center with shirts saying “Minion”. One of the Minions presented my sister, the Dalek, with a Super Fan award for her costume. She was psyched.

A good costume is a terrible thing to waste.

Two weeks later, while still basking in the memories of our recent Comicon adventure, we celebrated Quiz night dressed in our costumes.

Even the Twinkies came dressed as “Minions,” and the water bottles wore capes.

Minions come in all shapes and flavors.

Minions come in all shapes and flavors.

I’m not sure how many of the “Minions” survived the evening . . .


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Smartphone Succubus, The Exorcism

*Warning: Because our cell phones are under the age of consent, their pictures will not appear here. Does anyone know when a cell phone reaches the age of consent?

*  *  *

The it’s-too-large-to-fit-in-a-pants-pocket smartphone sat patiently on top of my better half’s car roof like it does every morning when he loads his car to leave—gleaming gold and white on the black roof top.

He climbed into the car and backed out of the garage. The phone, still sitting on the roof and powered by the laws of physics, took a different route and landed on the cement driveway with a sickening crunch. The face plate fractured, splintered. Siri moaned in protest, her back light faded.

Our insurance company sent us a new phone over night.

FedEx delivered more than a smart phone. Lurking in the shadows of the box something dark and ominous arrived with the phone.

The instructions from the insurance company requested I remove the SIMM card from our original phone before returning it. Done.

I set the old SIMM card on my desk on top of the return envelope.

I opened the box with the phone. Twin to the original with a pristine face plate. I opened the SIMM port to install the new chip. My phone rang. I set the new SIMM card on my desk.

One of my cats hissed, leaped on my desk, and knocked everything but the phone to the floor.

Oh crap, which one is the new SIMM chip?

I guessed wrong.

Somehow my older version smart phone and my husband’s sleek new smart phone mind melding, becoming an old fashioned party line. Shared Texts, check. Shared photos, check. Shared phone calls, e-mails, documents and apps, check check check.

We were one in phones as well as last names.

I swapped the SIMMs, reset the phone and via the magic of tech support we separated the Siamese phones, everything that is but the text messaging. They couldn’t figure it out either.

It worked well for the first few days. Then the phone hiccuped during a meeting. He couldn’t make calls, couldn’t answer calls, couldn’t even unlock his phone.

On the bright side I could still read his text messages, but I don’t really care about chimpanzees drinking beer and orangutans making photocopies of their derriere—you know, that important stuff.

This time we drove to our service provider’s brick and mortar. They assured us this happened all the time, people just tapping the wrong part of the screen. After thirty minutes of struggling with the phone, it worked properly. Problem solved.

Two weeks of smart phone serenity.

Then the phone hiccuped again—during a conference call while on speaker—in the middle of a conference room table when no one touched it. It changed settings to VoiceOver mode. Only we didn’t know that’s what happened.

Siri nagged non-stop, but she wouldn’t listen.

I handed my husband my phone and took his phone back to the brick and mortar.

My hands folded in prayer. “Please help.”

The concierge said, “You look like you might cry.”

It took me fifteen minutes to unlock the phone—with supervision.

I took copious notes on 3” x 5” cards as two technicians performed the exorcism.

Caution tape, big orange cones, another 15 minutes, a group prayer, the laying on of hands and the Hallelujah Chorus. The sun broke through the clouds filling the store with real daylight. And by the power invested in us by Father Guido Sarducci or maybe it was Greyskull, the phone worked properly.

Although when the sun broke out, I thought I heard Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice whispering in falsetto, “I’ll be back.”

As I walked out the door Technician 2 said, “Visit YouTube for instruction for working with your phone.”

More important, Technician 1 said, “Have a blessed day.”

Can I sprinkle holy water on a cell phone?

  *  *  *

Refer to note 1 every time the phone powers down for no reason.

Refer to note 1 every time the phone powers down for no reason.


Patience is a virtue when your phone is possessed.

Patience is a virtue when your cell phone is possessed.

Now that I no longer have finger prints, opportunities abound.

Now that I no longer have finger prints, opportunities abound.

Whatever you do, don't look away from the screen, unless your driving . . .

Whatever you do, don’t look away from the screen, unless you’re driving . . .

It's as if she's say, "Accessibility, you don't need no stinkin' Accessibility."

It’s as if she’s said, “Accessibility, you don’t need no stinkin’ Accessibility.

While I don't ordinarily advocate violence, that felt really good . . .

While I don’t ordinarily advocate violence, that felt really good . . . .

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What Do You Do with a Fifth Blogiversary?

WordPress Five Years

Thank you to all the new followers and welcome back friends.

This journey started because the story teller in me wanted a place to practice writing fiction. This resulted in 168 original short stories about Richard and Fannie Cranium.

Several someones have read “Have You Seen My Pocket Trout” at least once a week for the last five years. I wrote it before I learned the meaning of show versus tell. Thank you for keeping one of my first stories alive.

Then there’s the joy of being part of a bigger community and part of a group blog. Thank you to the crazy, funny bunch over at the Blog of Funny Names.

Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

The universe loves sending opportunities dressed as obstacles.

I spent several, exhausting, life changing, wonderful years caring for parents with dementia. Now I’ve added care giving for my uncle and occasionally my aunt to the list.

The short stories are on hold while I finish a book proposal on Alzheimer’s home care. It is taking much longer than I planned, but dreams are worth the work.

To keep my sense of humor in tact, I may sneak in a semi-colon in for the sheer joy of it. It’s not fiction; who’s going to notice the invisible pair of black stilettos behind the sentence—unless you know to look.

A world without stillettos; a world with lower insurance premiums.

A world without stilettos; a world with lower insurance premiums.

Thank you for writing and sharing and following.

And to finish this celebration, how about a little Pentatonix counting to the number five Sesame Street Style.



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Volodymyr Palahniuk

Jack Palance by any other name would be just as intimidating . . . this month’s contribution to the Blog of Funny Names.

The Blog of Funny Names

Strange roads lead to today’s post. My better half viewed old clips of Milton Friedman, a Nobel laureate in Economics, on YouTube. Which made me think, why not Milton Friedman for the BoFN. Then I noticed when Friedman died. November 16, 2006. Six days after one of my favorite character actors died—Volodymyr Palahniuk. Although his name nearly defies the Wheel of Fortune, “. . . I’ll start with R, S, T, L, N, Pat . . .“.

And I’m sure you’ve seen “Palahniuk” of him over the years, but you may know Volodymyr better by his stage name, Jack Palance.

Volodymyr Palaniuk after we could pronounce his name. Volodymyr Palaniuk after we could pronounce his name.

“Jack” began his career as a pugilist, boxing his way to 15 consecutive victories—12 as knockouts. After loosing to the future heavy weight contender, Joe Baksi, he decided the pay did not cover the beatings. No take backsies from…

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Boy Squirrel or Girl Squirrel Underpants Revisited

Greetings from the land of tree Bacchanalia. My black asphalt driveway turned yellow over the weekend. While the rest of the United States enjoys varying degrees of spring, my little corner enjoys never ending spring. I expect a summer scorcher. And lots of bugs.

Now for this week’s post, which was originally posted in February of 2014, but I’m off enjoying the unexpected company who arrived this week ahead of next week’s expected company. So we’re partying like the squirrels.

Open season on rose hips. Spicy!

Open season on rose hips. Hot stuff baby.

One of my kitty carnivores alerted me to a resident squirrel calling open season on the “Fragrant Wave” rose hip salad bar. Clearly vitamin C cravings. Spicy!

I think this is my best side.

I think this is my best side.

My presence did not affect its dining habits one iota.

Go ahead, make my day!

I’m a diva, d a r l i n g.

Other than it faced me and posed for more pictures. My cats have already accused me of being a paparazzi.

Does this squirrel not realize the moral implications of running around the neighborhood naked?

Leaving the question of squirrel decency up in the air or in this case on a stick.

Leaving one to ponder, boy squirrel or girl squirrel underpants.

Leaving room for debate. You decided. Vote in the comments.

Tighty whities?

Tighty whities?


Pretty in Pink?

Pretty in pink?

Available on Amazon or a local joke shop near you! Click it to view it.

Since my neighborhood squirrel diva mugged for the camera, let’s wrap up this special edition with a real diva. Donna Summers and Hot Stuff. Since this IS such a hot topic.😉

Until next week when this little blog turns five!



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