A Short Tour of the Inner Workings of a Disturbed Mind

Updated 6/29/10

From time to time, something occurs which puts my mind in motion. It could be something major or something simple like taking a ride on the NYC Subway. I never know from where these pearls of wisdom will occur. Rather than have these little thoughts go to waste in the distal regions of my brain, I will jot them down here.

Submitted for your perusal are the following observations, ruminations, rants, raves, whines (bring your own cheese) and other non-sequiturs.

Star Trek & World War 3

Forty-four years ago "Star Trek" made a lot of predictions about the future. Indeed, much of the science fiction of yesterday is today's science fact. They did make one error though: The 3rd World War AKA The Eugenics War. They predicted super humans would attempt to take over the world by virtue of their genetically engineered intellect and strength.

I think the Eugenics War will be the 4th World War. The 3rd World War will be over religion and it will make the Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries look like a minor scuffle by comparison. By the time it's over we'll be lucky to have any DNA left in which to create a new species.

My Take on Formal Attire

I do not understand. Why is that women can wear a dress open down to the navel and a skirt with a slit up to their crotch but I have to wear a pair of pants and a starchy shirt buttoned up to the neck?

Things That Make You Go,"Huh?"

I just read this little jewel in the news:

  • A New York Supreme Court judge ruled Tuesday that the state cannot revoke the drivers licenses of thousands of illegal immigrants who do not have Social Security cards. State officials said it was in the interest of homeland security to take away licenses. However, immigrant rights activists say the measure prevents many illegal aliens from driving to work to make a living.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but can someone tell me why we are legitimizing illegal immigrant status? Does not the word illegal mean something you should not be doing? Does anyone else see a conflict here?

Reality Bites

Reality TV? To me, that is an oxymoron. Even the network news is not the real story, only what they want you to see.

Over the last few years there has been an outbreak of the so-called reality show. People are put in ridiculous situations with live microphones and cameras following them every step of the way. In effect, the producers have turned the viewing public into a bunch of peeping Toms. As a circumstance of that position, we get to see humanity at its most primitive level. Presumably intelligent men and women acting like crybabies. There is more whining than in a kindergarten classroom, each one complaining about the other. It is enough to make me toss my cookies. The only thing worse is an afternoon with Jerry Springer or Judge Judy, but that is a different animal.

Be that as it may, it is my opinion that there is no such thing as "reality" on TV. Stick a microphone or camera in someone's face and that person ceases to be. In their place is a doppelganger that will emote to no end, over-dramatize and otherwise ham it up. I call it the Intellectual Uncertainty Principle, the macroscopic equivalent to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in the Quantum world. It is the principle that dictates that all people are intelligent until you get close enough to realize, as they open their mouths, they're not.

A Better Mousetrap?

As the saying goes, build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. For years, I have been searching for the idea that will catapult me into the realm of Erno Rubik and the guy who invented the pet rock and now I think I am on to something.

While toiling over the sink one day I was expending considerable energy trying to remove the remnants of Corn Flakes from the bottom of a bowl. I tried steel wool, brute force, a spatula used as a scrapper, mild expletives, and some choice words for the folks in Battle Creek, Michigan. Much to my chagrin, nothing worked except for elbow grease and 10 minutes of time per flake. Then it hit me!

This stuff is strong! All I have to do is figure out the chemical reaction that occurs when a milk-laden Corn Flake dries up on a porcelain bowl, thus causing molecular cohesion and I will have the adhesive industry at my doorstep.

Look out Loctite!

The French Toast Connection

A friend of mine once asked me why so many people make French toast during foul weather. I, not having studied psychology and expecting a punch line simply replied, "No. Do tell."

He said he was at a loss to explain it as well but every time severe weather is predicted everyone runs to the grocery store to stock up on eggs, milk, and bread.

I never noticed that before. Personally, I prefer chocolate Oreos and Hershey's chocolate milk.

The Mars/Venus Debate in My House

One lazy Sunday afternoon my wife and I woke up (we're not morning people) and she told me of a dream she had. Wiping the sleep from my face I prepared for another one of her nocturnal hallucinations. She told me that she had dreamt she was cheating on me.

"Oh, I see." I said as I arose for my morning constitutional. "Wait!" she yelled. "Aren't you going to ask me who I was cheating with? Or if it bothered me?" I replied, "No. It was just a dream. No big deal."

Well! You would think I had just committed an eternal sin. She said, "That's the difference between men and women. If you had told me you had a dream that you had cheated on me I would have been asking questions all afternoon. Who was she? Was it good for you too?"

Seeing an opportunity to impart upon her some male rational I replied, "If I had a dream like that I most certainly would not have told you about it!"

Gee. Castro makes a nice sofa bed.

Agony, Agony!

I guess I must be going through a second childhood. However, it doesn't look like it will be anything like my first one.

I must have been very lucky the first time around. The only childhood disease I ever contracted was the mumps. While all my friends were homebound with measles and such, I was out playing with my Matchbox cars (which if I still had them today would probably be worth a small fortune.)

During the last week of school, my son came down with chicken pox. No big deal, or so I thought. He was lethargic for a day or so then he was fine, save for that he looked like he was caught in the middle of a paint ball fight.

Three weeks later I did not feel so good. I barely got out of the bed for 2 days. On the third day, I happened to pass a mirror. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I got the pox. It is okay to laugh.

No, really. Laugh. I was so covered in bumps I bore a slight resemblance to the Leper in the Mel Gibson movie "Braveheart." Well, there goes my theory that I am indestructible.

I told my son, "When I said share share that's fair, THIS IS NOT WHAT I MEANT!" I wish I had some Matchbox cars.

I Found The Atkins Secret!

Diets. I never understood them. If you cannot lose weight maybe you are just lazy. Get up off of your ever widening posterior and hit the streets. But I digress. Who am I to speak?

I was examining the ingredients of a box of "low carb" cookies when I noticed that the first listed item is malitol, a sugar alcohol. Also in the family are sorbitol and mannitol. All three are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. These products have the ability to sweeten foods without adding dietary sugar. Great news for diabetics, sad news for dentists.

Maybe it is a coincidence, but under the cover of this box of cookies (that you can't see until you open the box) was a warning. " Consumption of sugar alcohols may have a laxative effect." For some reason it never occurred to me until this time. The reason the Atkins diet works is not that you lowered your carbohydrate intake; it is that you spend most of the day running from bathroom to bathroom.

Something Special in the Air?

I do not like airplanes. That is not to say I do not like flying, I love flying. Airplanes, though, leave much to be desired. Moreover, airline rules make as much sense as Interstate highways in Hawaii. I doubt they are all for safety reasons. They are probably more for liability reasons due to the litigious nature of our current society.

I would love someone to explain to me what the difference is between the full upright seat position and the "reclined" seat position, and how it could possibly make a difference which way you sit during take off. Oh, and do not forget those seatback tray tables that must be upright and locked.

The Wedding

During the summer of 1988, my wife was in the market for a wedding dress. I, never having been married prior, did not realize what a difficult and time-consuming chore this is. Moreover, it never occurred to me how expensive a few square yards of mesh can be. When first I saw the prices, I thought it was a joke. I mean, what are we talking about here in raw material? Twenty, maybe even $30 worth?

My turn was next. I went to the tux rental shop where I was measured, prodded, poked and pinned for a suit that I was going to wear for a total of perhaps 12 hours. Then it hit me. Women buy a wedding dress that they can wear only once while we rent a tux that we can wear repeatedly until it is out of style. Does not this seem backwards? Should not women rent wedding dresses while we buy tuxedos?

The NYC Subway

For those of you who have never ventured into the City underground let me enlighten you. It's July. The air temperature is on the steamy side of 85 degrees with a heat index of 90 or better. You approach the hole in the ground only to discover that every homeless person has used it as a urinal. As you trod the urine soaked stairs the temperature rises by an order of magnitude as you descend. Your lungs scream out for fresh air as you hold your nose for the trip.

Upon reaching the platform the temperature is well over the 100 degree mark with nary a breeze except for the wind storm caused by the passing of a train on the express track. You stand there afraid to move lest your sweat soaked skin touches your clothes and sticks to you. Ah! There is relief in sight, a light at the end of the tunnel. It is an oncoming train!

The train arrives. Praise the lord and send me the money! Since it's rush hour there is no place to sit. You stand with 200 peasants pressed elbow to elbow, arse to arse, glad to escape the sickly smell of the station. As you enjoy the cool comfort of the air conditioning (assuming of course you're lucky enough to get a train with working A/C) another barrage of malodorous compounds assaults you.

Perfume. Women wear it like body armor. They believe that if they use enough they do not have to smell anything else around them. Now if there were only one woman on the train this would be only a minor annoyance. But when you multiply it by the dozens of women normally packed into a subway car, each with her own brand and scent, your sinuses must fend off an attack that resembles the final fight scene in Star Wars 2, Attack of the Clones.

Finally, you make it to your destination and we play this scenario in reverse. You exit the cool but stinky train, make your way through the funk of the station, and arise in a new borough. The air temperature drops as you climb the steps with nose pinched. A short walk to the office and your ready to start your day.

Now if only we can start our work day with a shower and a nap...

NYC Subway Survival Tip

The passage above is a true chronicle of one of my adventures into the subway. It does not include a piece of advice that I believe should be known by all who dare to ride the subway in the dog days of summer. It is thanks to Don VanHolt from the Unofficial FDNY homepage, www.nyfd.com, that I give you this little tip.

When a train enters a hot, sticky station and you see one of the cars completely or nearly empty, there is a reason! BE AFRAID! BE VERY, VERY AFRAID!

The most common reason is due to a broken A/C unit. The other main reason is that someone who has not bathed in a reasonable amount of time inhabits the car. It is also possible that it is due to both of these reasons. Students of George Boole will recognize this as an OR Gate.

The City Mouse & the Country Mouse

A few weeks back I went to visit a friend who was house sitting in an exclusive (read: expensive) area on the North shore of Long Island. After driving for what seemed like an eternity on a one-lane road with no lights, we arrived at this small house in the middle of 7 acres of wilderness. If not for a full moon you couldn't see a thing past your nose. Nothing to drown out my tinitus, trees so dense you couldn't see the nearest house even in full sunlight, and so many mosquitos, moths, and flying insects that the electronic bug zapper kept a constant dance beat all night; SNAP, zzz, SNAP zzz, SNAP zzz.

Walking into the night I had the strange feeling that someone was watching me. (No, I wasn't humming the song by Rockwell in tune to the bug zapper.) It was too quiet and I couldn't see a thing. I guess I had too many times seen that episode of Twilight Zone where Agnes Moorhead fends off tiny spacemen who land a flying saucer in her attic. That, and the first time we see the Martians in War of the Worlds. I know these things are all in my mind and I'm intelligent enough to know that these are figments of my imagination, but for some reason that doesn't stop my knees from knocking.

No, the country life isn't for me. I'll take a fully attached 2 story private house over a 1 story ranch surrounded by the forest any day. There's something comforting in having neighbors on the other side of a brick wall. (There's also something kinky about it as brick walls are not soundproof, but that's a topic for another website.) Of course, if those neighbors listen to hip-hop, rap, or other types of children's music you could be wishing for a remote control that works through brick walls.

Hmm. One of those that works on the kids would be good too.

Susan Smith

Remember her? She seat-belted her 2 little kids into the back seat of a car then drove it into a body of water and drowned them. What maternal instincts! And what is more ironic is that those kids probably died screaming out "Mommy! Mommy!" Totally heartless.

Last month (July, 2003) she placed a personal ad on a Florida website seeking pen pals. I can only imagine how that ad read:



'Splain to me Lucy...

What in the world is "bling bling" and how did this term make it's way into the English language?

This guy Mailer Daemon must really like me

Sobig.F is a little virus but it's causing a Sobig headache. Part of the problem as I see it is the lack of basic computer skill on the part of the typical end user. You filter your gasoline, you filter your drinking water, why don't you filter your Internet connection with a virus scanner? But that's only part of the problem.

The other problem is the friendly mailer daemon. He quickly bounces bad or infected mail back to the apparent (usually spoofed) sender. These bounces are causing twice the amount of email traffic as the virus alone; for every bad email sent a bounce soon follows. Oh what a vicious web they weave.

So while I sit here singing "Return to Sender", my inbox is moaning "Oh yes, wait a minute Mr. Postman" and my delete key is suffering from repetitive stress injury. The Internet needs an inoculation.