Trolls are all over the Interwebs, yes? How come you encounter so few in real life? How come you rarely meet chumps who'll hurl incendiary invective to your face? Because they would get their heads bashed in is why. So the real trollness in someone only emerges when they think they are anonymous. Because taking responsibility for their digital actions is anathema to these charmless ones. So, if 1+1=2, it would seem the obvious way to get rid of trolls is for digital anonymity to take a hike. That way, trolls could still have their say, they would just be responsible for it. Imagine that.
March 2, 2015
It seems that unless one has a personal experience with a UFO, it tends to remain suspect to those who don't. Yet if you ask most people whether there is intelligent life in this unfathomable universe, a majority will say yes. So who knows what's really going on? I wrote to Nick Pope asking for his personal opinion on this matter. Nick used to run the British Government's UFO Project. I thought his response was thorough and spot on. So, (without Nick's permission), I thought I'd share his comment with you (and hope he doesn't mind).
"Keith, I've avoided definitive statements on this because I genuinely don't know what we're dealing with. I think it's fair to say that it's a combination of things: some genuine misidentifications of aircraft lights, stars, planets, satellites, meteors, etc.; some hoaxes; some 'black projects' (e.g. secret prototype aircraft and drones); and maybe some exotic atmospheric plasma phenomenon that science doesn't yet fully understand. As to any of the more exotic theories (e.g. extraterrestrial visitation, time travellers or some intrusion from 'hidden' dimensions), I can't rule out the possibility, but neither can I claim that there's any definitive proof."
We each occupy a self-created world. Notice how this woman is pleased and amused by what she is witnessing in her world, whilst he is stunned and awed in his. Same event, two different world views, two different realities. You don't need to try and be anybody else. You can't. You're you. As this picture clearly shows.
March 4, 2015
Got a renewal notice six months before the expiry of a domain name I hold. Got another one at three months and then, a month before expiry, I got six notices about renewing the domain name. I guess the heyday of having billions of new domains registered are waning for the companies that sell them; renewal must be their cash cow. Remember the old days when you could cyber squat a domain name until it expired and then jump on it for yourself a minute after midnight? Yeah, not so much anymore.
UPDATE: Because I didn't want to renew the domain in question, I let it lapse. In the following week I got three more notices from the company telling me my domain had expired. Was I aware? Did I know?! But wait, it's not gone yet! Did I know that for a certain fee, I could still claim it as my own! That's right! It's not too late! Hurry! Sigh.
March 5, 2015
I'm sitting next to a guy who is dressed in a curly rainbow clown wig and wearing the sweater of the minor league hockey team we are both watching play. I say, Nice hair. He says it used to be part of his act. Your act? "I used to be a mime." Oh god no. Yes, seems he used to do "street art" where he would go up to a stranger and mimic their actions for the amusement of others until one day someone got really mad, punched him out and took his tips. Now he only wears his rainbow wig to hockey games and Halloween parties. "Turns out I wasn't cut out for the mime life." I nodded, few people are, thank god. Then the local team scored and he went apeshit, jumping and screaming and shaking his wig all over the arena. As he was running up and down the asile yelling like a madman, I could see how difficult miming would have been for him. Just to be safe, I moved to another section.
When stopped by the police and questioned as to whether he was selling cocaine, Herve laughed and said, "Moi?", then fled the city, suitcase in one hand and bag of cocaine in the other.
March 8, 2015
I had a dream last night were I was wrestling a bear! It got so intense I suddenly woke up, only to find Maddie, our 120 pound malamute, sitting on top of me and pawing at my head to get me to wake up and play. Good lord.
March 9, 2015
We've had a deer living in our field all winter. While other deer have jumped in and out of the fenced field, she seems to have never left. We kind of wondered why until we almost walked up on her without her even knowing we were there. Have you ever snuck up on a deer? Damn near impossible without them hearing. It seems she is deaf. I guess our fenced field is a safer place than the world outside it where everything from coyotes to bears to men with shotguns await her. You never think of wild animals as being born with handicaps, but it appears we have a deer who can't hear.
March 11, 2015
Years ago I played ball with a fellow whom I grew to dislike and stopped talking to completely after we nearly came to blows. You ever have someone who so grates on you that your stomach knots every time you encounter them? This was that guy for me. Eventually he moved away and my life was rosy once again. Yesterday I ran into another member of that former team who told me that he had recently spoken with the offending jerk and that my name had come up. I held up my hand and told him to stop right there as I had no intention of hearing what the jerk had to say because as soon as his name was mentioned, my stomach knotted and the familiar urge to strangle the fool returned. I told my friend that we could talk about anything else but that guy. And so we did.
March 12, 2015
Was recently contacted by an American in Chile who asked me if I was the same Keith Ryan who had tried to blackmail him in the early 90s. What? Uh, no? Once again, does this stuff only happen to me?
March 14, 2015
At the hardware store a man asks a salesperson where the vibrators are. She says that it is a building supply store, not a sex shop, and then haughtily adds, "We don't sell those disgusting appliances here." He stares at her blankly and then asks, You don't sell concrete vibrators? She replies, "I don't care what it's made out of, it's still perverted and no, we don't sell sex paraphernalia." He turns away from her and goes to another salesperson. Do you sell concrete vibrators? Aisle 7, he says.
March 15, 2015
I told someone that today was the Ides of March and they said, So what? I said that Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March and they said, Julius Irving is dead? Dr. J? I can't believe it! Neither could I.
For the last month I've been watching the World Cricket Championships from New Zealand and Australia. My North American sporting friends are aghast. Cricket? Christ. Why? I tell them that it's refreshing to watch an international event with teams and fans from the likes of Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the West Indies. Have any of them ever seen that before? Of course, they say no. I smile in vindication.
March 18, 2015
People think owning property is sooooo great, and it is, but not always, take today for instance, as I look out the window watching a 10 ton backhoe rip a 4 foot trench down the middle of our lawn in search of a leaking water line, it's, you know, the kind of day when you have to pay people to fix issues that are out of your purview and long predate your occupancy, which sucks because it's basically you paying for other people's mistakes, which is kinda like someone from the past trash talking you in the present, and then when you get the plumber's bill, slapping you upside your head.
March 19, 2015
It's getting bad. He's starting to bring his buddies 'round, so I had to post this sign down in the barn:
I'm hoping this fixes the problem.
March 20, 2015
This guy calls to discuss my creating a program pilot for him. After a bit, he casually asks for a screenshot of my computer desktop. What? "I can read everything about you from that," he boasted. Well isn't that creepy. When I don't send him one he insists. One screenshot and a day later I get a 16 page dossier on who I am, what I've done, what I will ever do and when I will die, all from the background picture, icons, shortcuts, doodads and gadgets comprising my computer desktop. Leafing through the future stuff, I didn't see any mention of him or his company, so I'm guessing, what, I didn't get the job?
March 21, 2015
Watched a clever comedian being excessively clever and eventually the audience turned on him. You could see it in their eyes, they yearned for the simple stuff. The easy to comprehend stuff. They came there to take their brain out of drive, stick it in park and turn up the radio for a while, not to have 800 SAT scores just to get his clever jokes. They started heckling him, offering knock knock jokes, hurling insults. The clever one finally ran out of clever and started hurling foul mouthed insults back. Some wanted to rush the stage. And in case you've ever wondered why comedy clubs have bouncers, this is why.
March 23, 2015
I had what seemed like a great idea for a book somewhere in that nether space between not quite asleep but almost asleep just before I drifted off into a dream which revealed in no uncertain terms how much of a disaster it would be if I were to write such a book and that what seemed like a good idea wasn't really such a good idea. Oh. Ok, scratch that.
March 24, 2015
I was perusing Edgar Cayce's "Black Book" about his readings for cures of various illness and maladies when I hit upon hair restorers. His instructions were specific and mentioned many things, among them massaging your head and hair with pure hog lard, washing it out (with what?), and then applying Vaseline all over your head. Hog lard, Vaseline, on your head, repeatedly, and on one occasion to sleep with it overnight. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not at all saying it doesn't work because I have no idea, but jeez, you'd really have to want hair to go through the god awful greasy mess of restoring it.
March 26, 2015
On the red carpet a celebrity told a reporter that in no uncertain terms was she to be address as Mrs. so and so, wife of an even bigger celebrity, because she herself was a celebrity, with her own fame, and she wanted to be known for that and not the fact that she was married to Mr. so and so. The reporter gushed about how she understood perfectly!, and then asked her a question about her husband. One terse smile later and the reporter was standing there alone, not sure what just happened, not sure if she had done something wrong.
March 27, 2015
Time is money! screams the harried businessman. But is it? One is an arbitrary value subject to daily fluctuation, while the other is a constant. So pairing them is apples and oranges. Which means you can pair anything with time - Time is donuts! Um, donuts. Am I the first to have discovered this?
-- I mean, he's taking money. I was sure I had fifty dollars in here, but now I can only find ten.
-- Why would your nephew steal from you?
-- Because he's a no good bastard.
-- Charlotte! Dallas seems like such a sweet boy.
-- Yeah, well, what he seems and what he is are two different things.
-- What do you mean?
-- You remember when we went to that racy Halloween party and let Hank take all those pictures of you and me, you know, messing around? Well Dallas stole those.
-- He's got naked pictures of me?!
-- That no good bastard!
-- I told you.
March 30, 2015
I'm sitting next to a guy on a bus who is thoughtfully writing down lines on the back of an envelope. Every now and then he pauses and looks out the window, then goes back to writing. I asked him what he was composing. He turned to me with a wistful look and said, "My epitaph." A hundred questions that were none of my business popped into mind. But I didn't ask a one. Instead, I nodded and left him to his thoughts.
March 31, 2015
These folks live at the seashore in a million dollar house 100 feet from the water. Everything was great until they started worrying about the melting icecaps and rising sea levels flooding their house and killing them in their sleep. When asked why they just don't move, the missus said, This place is worth a mill! You think we're just gonna leave?