Saturday, July 17, 2010

What I will do if I am ever a wampire

This is going around and it's fun.

1. I will not pick off friends, family or neighbors of the Hero one at a time. This annoys the Hero and drives him into action. They'll still be there when he is dead.

2. There are thousands of people who want to be vampires. Why pick someone who doesn't?

3. The Hero will come armed with holy water, a cross and a stake. I will come armed with a 5.56 mm assault rifle, a rocket launcher and grenades.

4. When biting women to make them slaves, I will bite them in discreet areas, such as the inside of the thigh, the lower part of the breast, or some similar location not requiring painfully obvious alteration of clothing or ridiculous accessories to conceal.

5. I will equip my home with a marvelous device called a Burglar Alarm with an automatic dialer. It will be difficult for the Hero to kill me in my "sleep" while he's under arrest for attempted break and enter.

6. My coffin will be concealed and will be a plain wooden box. The elaborate oak coffin with gold trim resting in the basement will be equipped with claymores designed to shred the body of anyone who opens it.

7. I will wear a watch, and verify what time the next day's sunrise occurs, every evening, before heading out for the night's activities.

8. The formal attire with cape will be reserved for special occasions. Jeans and a t-shirt will be fine for everyday wear as they are less noticeable.

9. I will not engage in a battle of wits with the Hero. I plan on killing him anyway so what's the point?

10. There will be no windows, doors, elevator shafts, or air vents accessing my Hidden Lair that have any sort of access to the outside through which sunlight can be directed to my Lair using mirrors.

11. If there must be windows, they will be painted over and backed with steel plate so the Hero will face a rude surprise when he throws something through it at sunrise.

12. When I take the Hero's True Love to make her my concubine and eternal slave, I will not show her off to torment the Hero. That would goad the Hero into making an attack. She will be tucked away in a quiet room watched over by my loyal servants until the Hero is dead.

13. I will not transform children. Their bodies will stay the same age forever while their minds grow older, and they will become whiny and disobedient.

14. I will not use bug-eating morons as servants. Pretty females dressed in little French maid outfits are more visually appealing and can also distract the Hero.

15. While castles and mansions are traditional and have a certain flair, the two-bedroom bungalow is less noticeable in suburbia.

16. My home will not have wooden furniture, the legs of which become sharp, pointed sticks at inopportune moments.

17. My home will have mirrors, but they will be located in places such as the bathroom, where I am unlikely to be present at the same time as the Hero or his friends.

18. I will not change into a bat, scuttle up walls, fly, or hypnotize people when there might be witnesses.

19. All my concubines will be fully aware that they are not to seduce, attack, harass, or even mildly bother visitors staying in the castle unless they have express permission from me.

20. The blood in the refrigerator will be stored in a tomato juice jug, and there will be ordinary food in there for camouflage.

21. I will get a good voice coach and change my name. "Hi, I'm Bob," is less suspicious than "I... am... Count..."

22. I will not associate with vampire theatres, vampire whorehouses and prostitution rings, vampire bars, or vampire biker gangs. They attract attention.

23. I will spend no more than 10 years in any one location, and when I move it will be somewhere distant. I will not return to a previous home for a minimum of 80 years. This way, anyone who previously knew me will either be dead or senile.

24. I will be able to explain porphyria and why that unfortunate genetic condition is the reason I cannot go out in the sun.

25. I will force myself to look concerned, rather than hungry, when someone accidentally cuts himself.

26. A Kevlar vest with a ceramic trauma plate located over the heart is a rather trendy fashion accessory.

27. I will take seriously anyone who approaches me with a water pistol and a confident expression.

28. Backpacks and small bags capable of holding sharp pointed wooden sticks will be taken from visitors by a servant at the door. Anyone refusing to part with their accessories will be taken into a side room, shot in the knees, handcuffed, and chained to the wall, where they will provide lunch for my concubines.

29. Crossbows, spears, arrows, and other antique weapons with wood or large blades will be banned from the castle. There is nothing wrong with a fine collection of rifles and handguns.

30. Before dining out with anyone, I will verify that garlic is not a major spice at that restaurant.

31. All servants, concubines, and assorted slaves will be under strict orders not to show excessive devotion to me in public.

32. Servants, concubines, and assorted slaves will have a zero-tolerance rule: one mistake and they're dead. I can always create more.

33. When recruiting new blood, so to speak, I will first enslave those who might notice odd behavior in my future concubines and do something about it. Thus, when I hit the local all-female school, The Tomboy Who Could Be Attractive With The Right Makeup goes first, followed quickly by The Misunderstood But Brave Social Pariah, and The Attractive Girl With The Heart Of Gold. The good-looking cheerleaders, the sexually repressed teachers/librarians, and the oversexed bimbos can wait.

34. All future concubines will be screened and have complete background checks. Those with relatives named Van Helsing will be removed from consideration. The irony is not worth the risk.

35. Nothing says the Hero can't be a cripple or be suffering massive trauma from a shotgun blast before he becomes lunch.

36. I will not personally finish off the Hero. That is what loyal servants, concubines, and assorted slaves are for. Besides, the Hero's True Love is probably tastier.

37. All future concubines will be strip-searched for rosaries, crucifixes, and garlic before I approach them.

38. All cute but spunky kids in the community who express an interest in the supernatural will be identified and observed for sudden changes in behavior.

39. I will be an upstanding but otherwise undistinguished resident of my community, and will make sure that I cultivate enough friends that I will be warned of anyone spreading malicious rumors about me.

40. Since it will be the last thing they would expect, I will hire a Mafia hit team to take out the Hero and his friends. Let's see that crucifix protect them from an hail of gunfire.

41. All villagers will be encouraged to send their children to the schools I will secretly finance. After a few years of modern education they will dismiss the legends told by their grandparents, several of which will undoubtedly be ways to destroy me.

42. I will ignore all attempts to appeal to my former sense of humanity. I don't have any. That is why it is former.

43. I will remind myself that I am immortal, not indestructible.

44. All concubines will save the loose, transparent, flowing silk dresses for special occasions. I'm a modern sort of guy so I like a woman in leather, which provides more protection so they last longer in a fight.

45. Although firearms are useless against me and the concubines, they work quite effectively on the Hero and his friends. Therefore all concubines will be armed and taught to shoot. They will use hand and fang in attacks only as a last resort.

46. All bodies of former meals will be destroyed in a manner which will make the absence of blood and presence of bite marks impossible to identify.

47. I will not send the bodies (or parts thereof) of former friends, relatives, mentors, or lovers to the Hero in order to demonstrate my complete mastery over life and death.

48. I will not demonstrate knowledge inappropriate for someone of my apparent age.

49. I will not begin a vendetta against someone who has destroyed a fellow vampire. They have clearly demonstrated they have the ability to destroy me. I'll off them when I have the chance, not make it my life's work.

50. As cute as the Slayer is, there are other girls just as cute who are not capable of destroying me.

51. More vampires means a lower prey ratio: I will carefully consider if I really want more of us running around.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Now we know!

Scientists have determined that the chicken came first. How do they know that? To form the egg shell, there needs to be a protein in the ovaries of the chicken, which means that at some point, there was an animal that developed this protein and was able to lay eggs. So the chicken did indeed come first.

It's fun to know that, but the article points out that there are potential applications for this knowledge.  But for a Friday after quitting time, I'll go for the baseline idea and be happy right with that. 

How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you.

This is a valuable article for any cat owner.

Our doormat

My little sister gave me a doormat a couple years ago for a birthday present. It says "We love our vacuum, we've found God, and we gave at the office." Sadly, it's not kept the missionaries away, but I didn't think it would. But it is a funny doormat and it's pretty functional, too.

The new housecleaners were here today and cleaned the front portico and the tag from the bottom of the doormat fell off. Shoot, I hadn't even known there was a tag. It's pretty funny. It says:
Information you should know about your doormat

Warning: Do not use mat as a projectile. Sudden acceleration to dangerous speeds may cause injury. When using mat, follow directions: Put your right foot in, put your right foot out, put your right foot in and shake it all about. This mat is not designed to sustain gross weight exceeding 12,000 lbs. If mat begins to smoke, immediately seek shelter and cover head. Caution: If coffee spills on mat, assume that it is very hot. This mat is not intended to be used as a placemat. Small food particles trapped in fibers may attract rodents and other vermin. Do not glue mat to porous surfaces such as pregnant women, pets, and heavy machinery. When not in use, mat should be kept out of reach of children with CFED (Compulsive Fiber Eating Disorder). Do not taunt mat. Failure to comply relieves the makers of this doormat, Simply Precious Home Decor, and its parent company, High Cotton, Inc., of any and all liability.


Quote du jour

On Twitter, there's something I follow called @FakeAPStylebook. There are lots of great fake style tips, but this one today was a real corker:
A co-dependent clause will stay with a main clause long beyond the point that it's healthy for either of them.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D

I've always liked what the Hubble Telescope does and the insights it brings. The Ultra Deep Field photograph is an amazing photo; as the video clip says, it may be the most important photo ever taken. This video clip shows the galaxies from the photo in a 3D rendering.


Caffeine, my drug of choice

My drug of choice these days is caffeine. (My previous drug of choice was something far more deadly, far more dangerous, and the most addictive substance known to humankind according to the CDC. God, I miss smoking even after 33 years....)

Anyway, this article from Lifehacker is something fascinating about caffeine and how it works.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Buy this book!

I have a friend named Mary Wise. I've known her through the STC for about 15 years now. She's a pip. Mary's a great technical communicator and was even the president of the STC at one point (which is no small accomplishment). Mary is also a professional clown. She's a Ringling Clown College graduate. And she's written a book entitled Girl Clown about her first job as a clown with a small circus.

It's a very good book. I just finished it a half hour ago and I needed to come tell you about it right away. You should buy a copy. Or even two.


Who I write like

There's a lovely site called I Write Like that lets you see who you write like.

I fed it a big chunk of blog writing (my essay on Reagan, which seemed like a long enough sample) and let it happily chew on it and it turns out that my political writing analyzes like George Orwell.

I write like
George Orwell

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

But that's for non-fiction writing. I fed it a chunk of my second novel and I got this:

I write like
J. D. Salinger

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I could do worse than writing fiction like Salinger. My plotting isn't a patch on his, though. Better stick to the non-fiction for now....