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KeithSpeak - August 2009



August 1, 2009 

Every month, when I start a new page for KeithSpeak, I must do the following:


  • Create the content
  • Create new page
  • Format content and page in HTML
  • Put in title
  • Put in meta tags
  • Add favicon code to header
  • Add footer
  • Add statistics JavaScript
  • Add Google ads
  • Change page URL
  • Update Google Site Map
  • FTP new page to website directory
  • Create backlinks in KeithSpeak and the previous month to the new page
  • Save source code
  • Publish the page
  • Update the webfeed

And you thought all I did was drink coffee and pontificate! Ha.

August 2, 2009




August 3, 2009

I met a girl who masquerades on the Internet as a boy. Her e-mail names are masculine, her Facebook page is all guy stuff (complete with pics of her Photoshopped as a male), and pretty much everything she does socially on the Net, she does as a guy. I asked her what she gained by doing that. She shot back knowingly, Dudes have it so easy! No one hitting on you, no one asking how big your boobs are. So it’s all about sex? I surmised. Yeah, she confirmed. Golly jeepers.

August 4, 2009

The local weather report: The Province is a tinderbox. It hasn’t rained here since the Clinton administration. The forests are scary full of dry fuel, primarily gobs and more gobs of dead pine trees from the pine beetle infestation of the last few years. Currently, there are over 700 forest fires burning in British Columbia, and August, the mother of hell, has only just begun.

The local weather forecast: Not good. Not good at all.

August 5, 2009

Yes, that is an atomic bomb cake and matching mushroom cloud hat.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. 


August 6, 2009

There was this simp my wife used to work with. He was a lazy, scheming, useless sod. I hadn’t seen this wastrel for years, until recently, when I had the chance to observe the guy in action at a local store. Imagine if you will, a pear shaped, jowly, sweaty, controlling, manipulative know-it-all yelling in public about some trumped up atrocity the store had perpetrated against his person and what were they going to do about compensating him because “he could have been killed!”. The overwhelmed clerk tried to tell him that bumping into a greeting card display rack doesn't qualify as a life threatening injury, but got shouted down with bombast and bluster to the point where she finally gave in to the jerk’s demands. Satisfied, smacking his greasy lips like he’d just eaten a fried chicken dinner, the jerk turns around to leave, parading forward like the Pope at a processional, only to make eye contact with me. In that glance, he knows I know he just extended his well earned reputation as a user loser creep, and because he has no power over me, real or imagined, he lowers his eyes and slinks away to go boast of his exploitation, or whatever it is he does that brings supposed meaning to his wretched life. Some people.

August 7, 2009

So our truck fries a computer module that controls ABS braking and I am informed by the dealer that the replacement computer control costs $1550! I tell him that a brand new computer with 1000 times the computing power costs less than the one dedicated embedded control. How is that possible? I mean really? 


August 8, 2009

As is the way of the world, there’s a middleman in a transaction we do here as a company, and this middleman, this broker, he takes a little off the top for his efforts. Only lately he’s been taking too much. I’m about to tell him to back off. I have a premonition this isn’t going to go well.


UPDATE: We are now minus one middleman. Yea? My empire! Pragmatism grips me. I've solicited the best unemployed middlemen in the business. Interviews are tomorrow.  


August 9, 2009

This recession is unbelievable! So many middlemen showed up for the job that we had to house them in the Italian restaurant next door.

Then Giuseppe got mad because no one was ordering, which led him to baking fresh garlic bread and blowing the smell out through the ventilation system where the middlemen couldn’t focus on anything but their growing desire for a delicious spaghetti dinner, which of course, Giuseppe was more than happy to provide. When everyone was done eating, we promptly eliminated most of them, for one reason or another, while their stomachs were full and they were happy to leave.


But everything suddenly changed when Arnold, our lawyer, called to inform us that we were being sued by Mildred Monet, an early feminist and part-time optician who wanted in on the middleman (now woman) short list just because she wasn’t in on the middleman (now woman) short list. I see...

By sheer coincidence, Mildred became the first interviewee.


-- Have you ever been a middlewoman?

-- No. I’m a feminist first and a part-time optician second.

-- But we don’t need a feminist optician, we need a middlewoman.

-- Do I have to sue you again?

-- You’re hired.


Un-fortunately, Mildred didn’t work out. As a matter of fact she never started, admitting that she just wanted to assert herself and empower severe gals everywhere and had absolutely no intention of brokering anything for anybody especially men. Super. We’re out $458.00 for a spaghetti banquet at Giuseppe’s, $2,000 to Arnold to get the case dismissed, and still we have no middleman/woman. Gee, tomorrow, another round of interviews I guess.


August 10, 2009

First was Karl – frankly, his attitude was way too happy go lucky; we all thought he must be hiding something. Yesss, maybe something so horrible that it will suddenly arise in him on a particularly stressful day when we least expect it and boom, Karl goes all Manson on us. Who could take that kind of chance?


Next was big Mel – he was way too confident that people were overlooking his one of a kind hairline because he was so, well, confident, and big - but they weren’t, we weren’t, you couldn’t help but stare at it.

Then there was Megan Sue. She started out great in the mock negotiations with her natural ability to work both ends of the deal, or as she put it, play one boyfriend off another, but she couldn’t stop smiling, not even for a moment. It started to bug us.


Frankie was eliminated due to massive amounts of insouciance, a particularly annoying trait when witnessed in real life.


And finally, for today, we had the affable but Englishly challenged Kenji, who was ultimately ruled out not due to his not speaking a word of English, but the beret, which looked quite jaunty but made us appear somewhat French.


I can’t take anymore. I’m all interviewed out. Tomorrow we'll wrap things up and (fingers crossed) hire a new middleman or woman. Oh boy.


August 11, 2009

His name was simply de Cruzas. He said the painter thing hadn’t been going so well, he couldn’t think of anything to paint, and the stupid patrons didn’t want to pay for blank canvasses, selfish pigs, morons. He wondered if perhaps his moustache was getting in the way of our interview. I could shave it, he let on, I only grew it to get girls. Then de Cruzas pulled out a flask and knocked back a snort before tossing out, So heck, what does a middleman do anyway?


He was followed by this squirrelly fellow. Migrant farm worker Tod. Ooh, Tod creeped us out from the get go. Bad vibes Tod. We quickly moved on before Tod could fixate on us.


Expressing his love for an iron fist, bloody revolution, and Tolstoy, Demetri, a practicing nihilist, was looking pretty good as our guy until he started telling us how often he likes to be alone with his dark thoughts, just sitting there in the dark letting his darkest thoughts run free, with all their dark savagery and horror spilling out of him and coating the hum drum world of boring little people, all the fake little people with their sunshine this and sunshine that – patooey (he actually spit on the floor). Next!


 He was followed by the oddball Rev. Al, a Pentecostal preacher who had lost his tent, flock and mind in Hurricane Katrina. We asked if he’d shave that goofy beard, maybe deal with those ear tufts, you know, groom up a bit, but he said he’d grown this hoary facial covering to prevent his real self from emerging, a terrible man, a heathen with horrible dreams, a man prone to intentionally disobeying Gawd! Then he went on some rant about Gog and Magog and frankly, we were about at wits end.


Wouldn’t you know it, just when things seemed their darkest, we found Wanda! The very last interview turned out to be the most marvelous middleman yet, Wanda Baccus. Tough, fair, experienced and committed, she was hired on the spot. We liked her so much we gave her a raise two minutes later! Wanda demanded to be called a middleman, not a middlewoman – no gender distinctions for her thank you very much! Anyway, that’s just a small glimpse into what it takes to be an Internet publisher and run your own successful company, like I do.


August 12, 2009

All of my friends are different from one another, and none of them know each other. They are an eclectic group from all walks of life - blue collar, professional, intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, techie, artist, biker - they each address specific things in myself that I like expressing, hence our friendship. But if they all got together in the same place, if they actually got to meet one another, yeesh, can you spell bad acid trip. See, they relate to me, and I relate to them, but they wouldn’t relate to each other (I can’t believe he’s pals with him). Consequently, none of my friends knows each other. It’s kind of the antithesis of networking.


August 13, 2009

The first wing of migrating geese came though yesterday. For me, that is the official start to Fall, even though the Weather Channel will tell you differently, and the Farmers’ Almanac will tell you differently, and the Gregorian Calendar will tell you that Fall is still 5.5 weeks away. Hooey. Canadian geese are migrating right now. They know Fall has started. Now, so do you.


August 14, 2009

I recently had to switch out my cable modem as the old one was malfunctioning. To replace it, I had to bring the old modem and power supply in to the cable company for exchange. The old power supply was a brick that weighed about 10 pounds and was enormous in size. It sat under my desk and got so warm that in winter I used to rest my tootsies on it and could stay toasty at work all day. But the new power supply is dainty, tiny – I can barely get my big toe on it. And it doesn’t even heat up! How am I going to keep my feet warm this winter? Technology is failing me. And I don’t like it one bit.


August 15, 2009

I can’t believe it. The tractor guy from last month returned! Now, instead of our newer tractor, he wants to buy our older tractor. Jeez, I tell him it too is not for sale. And just like before, he throws out a number. Look, I’m all for persistence, it’s a worthy trait, but so is listening. To facilitate the latter, I speak to him very slowly: It’s...not...for...sale. He throws out another number. I give him a good-god-man-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you look, and exit stage left. Some people.


August 16, 2009

There are all these pint sized baby squirrels running all over our yard collecting fir cones and seeds and running back to their nests with them. If these young’uns have never experienced a winter before, how do they know they need to stock up? How do they know about seasons, and snow and the fact that they must store food for a long, coming stretch?  


August 17, 2009

I have been working with a fellow from a tech company on live streaming of video from a mobile, and I wake up this morning to see that another company has stolen our thunder by beating us to the punch. I'm not a particularly happy camper this morn. In fact, I’m going to go sulk. Ta.


August 18, 2009

Gibberish sounds like what it is.


August 19, 2009

My wife recently told some friends a story I had forgotten about. Susan, myself and our dog were staying at the Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies during a mid-winter getaway. This is a great old hotel in a beautiful place - that just happened to be hosting a Mary Kay convention. Can you imagine? Everything was Pepto-Bismol pink: clothes, cars, luggage, laptops, pink, pink, pink and pink. It was so surreal it freaked out our dog. Up to that point I had been led to believe that dogs were color blind, but I found out that weekend, they can see pink. Everywhere, highly made up ladies with pink cell phones rushing here and speeding there, their swirling pinkness creating vortexes, sucking in other Mary Kays along the way and forming great lines of high energy pink ladies, enough for a breeze in the lobby, each line accompanied by a slight humming sound as they made their Mary Kay plans in passing. The driveway, which is like big enough to hold a thousand cars, held a thousand pink cars. Inside the building and out, one hideous color. It was something to see. And to think we were there for it all.


August 20, 2009

He was a nose piercer by trade.

But business was slow.

So he was trying to start a new trend.

The Nose Clamp.

Would the public bite?



August 21, 2009

I was parked in a city lot downtown. All the windows were rolled down and the 3 dogs waited and lolled in the truck while I ran my errand. When I returned, standing by the vehicle and petting the dogs was an enormous man – maybe 6’ 10”, 350 lbs. A huge human. A massive hunk. So he’s asking me about the dogs, the breed, etc., and the whole time I’m talking to him, I feel like I’m in the 4th grade. I also notice that the dogs are quieter and acting a little strange. When our chat was done and he had walked on, I swear the dogs gave me a, Did-you-see-that! look.


August 23, 2009

Yesterday, our network got knocked out of commission by a virus transmitted through a PDF attachment opened with an older version of Adobe Reader. It took me all day and four full system virus scans (at 4.5 hours each) to get rid of the bugger, during which time I thoroughly killed the punk who wrote the script, many many times, in many many ways. Aye vengeance, thy sweet taste is known to me. 

August 24, 2009
There is a forest fire on the hills across the lake from us, so I snapped a cell phone pic to show you guys. I e-mailed the photo to myself over 90 minutes ago and it still hasn’t arrived. WTF? Whenever it does show up, I’ll post it here. In the meantime, just imagine a red plume of smoke coming off a hill.
The picture arrived two hours after I sent it. Go figure.


August 25, 2009

For me, the thing that’s tough about New York City is the pathos in that place. It’s heart rending. Heavy. Just the opposite of the earthy, breezy feeling I get in upstate New York. That place is studded with natural beauty and tranquility. My personal discovery of this heretofore unknown statewide equilibrium thing (shall we call it the Keith factor, then?), where the two parts balance each other out to cleverly keep New York State from tipping into either the Atlantic Ocean or Lakes Ontario and Erie, is just my special theory, it’s not official or anything. But I think it’s pretty undeniable I’m onto something.


August 26, 2009

Yikes, I get a “special e-mail postal letter” from computer newbie, Professor Dr. Miles T. Heckendorf of The New Brussels Institute. I know it’s a “special e-mail postal letter” because Professor Heckendorf called me right after he sent it to tell me he sent it. It is, according to Dr. Heckendorf, only the second e-mail he has ever sent. The first was to his computer teacher, “the beautiful Gloria”. Then he hung up. In my inbox I found this.


            Dear Sir,

            Your theory on New York State balance was first proposed by me, Professor Dr. Miles T. Heckendorf of The New Brussels Institute. Though I never told anyone my theory, or ever wrote a paper about it, or ever spoke about it to anybody, anywhere, ever, I want you to know, I was the first to come up with that tipping idea. Only I call it the Heckendorf factor. Please reference me in all your publications and appearances. I will sue. Have a nice day.


                                                                                          Professor Dr. Miles T. Heckendorf, The New Brussels Institute 


August 27, 2009

Hmm yes, what are my legal rights vis-à-vis the Keith factor? I informed our lawyer, Arnold, about this state of affairs. He leaned back in his wheelchair and started thinking out loud, “A computer newbie, eh? Well that’s it, we send him a virus!” I told Arnold no viruses, no worms, no malware. So Arnold came up with a plan he liked to call Arnold Attacks First: “We’ll sue Heckendorf before he sues us! That way, we get the jump on him, we take the lead, he doesn’t know what hit him, he’s thrown for a loop, he’s dazed and confused so he withdraws all claims and has to seek medical attention!” Pleased with his strike first put them on the defensive strategy and its totally implausible ending, Arnold whips his wheelchair in fast tight circles, spewing glee, in constant danger of tipping over. Which he does. Arnold declares, ”We’ll add this to the suit. Juries love personal injury stories. Come on, get me up.” Jeez, so I guess we’re going to court. My my.


August 28, 2009

Wait, no we’re not! I cancelled the lawsuit immediately after visiting Heckendorf’s super creepy Facebook page.

“I love long walks on the beach, gut smashing thunder, Category 5 hurricanes and deadly lightening, especially the super massive destructive kind where things are struck and killed and then burned beyond recognition because they called you Bug Eyes and Scaredy Boy in grade school and taunted you to the point where revenge became your best friend and suffering, making them suffer, was your greatest motivation. How rewarding that over the years, one by one, the beastly taunters have been silenced, the beastly taunters have gotten what they deserve. Oh, I’m fond of musical theatre as well. All right then, who wants to be my friend?”

August 29, 2009

Last night I watched an Australian rules football match. Rough sport. The players wear no padding, take some big knocks, and have to run at top speed all over a humongous circular playing field that winded me just watching it from my couch 12,500 km away, with a beer in my hand, focused on two teams I’d never heard of in a sport I was still trying to figure out the rules of, but I’m a sucker for a game where possession of the ball is in dispute at all times, so I stayed with it. And now I know everything there is to know. And I’m the richer for it.


August 30, 2009

The sun is an orange fireball. The sky is white. There’s ash in the air. It’s hazy and smoky. The fires have spread. It’s kinda eerie. It’s a little like a movie set, only it’s real! I know!

August 31, 2009
Per usual, the month was, um, interesting.


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KeithSpeak                                September 2009


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