Spring Training

Plants are more energetic this time of year, too.Spring is the most active time of year. Most mornings I go out and look up at the trees, because that's where the squirrels live. I like to pretend I'm a squirrel, because squirrels don't have to wear any clothes when they climb trees. No one calls the cops when squirrels are naked, but my neighbors don't like it when I climb trees without my clothes on.

Springtime is also baseball season, so in the evenings I like to take my dog to the park where the kids play ball. My dog likes baseball, too, because it's fun to hang out in right field and catch pop flies. He's a good runner, so most of the time he gets the ball before the kids do, and by the time he comes back it's all chewed up and they have to get a new ball. When the kids are chasing me with their baseball bats, I like to pretend I'm in a marathon, because in a marathon you can't stop every time you get thirsty.

When it gets dark, I like to walk around and count the lights in my neighbors' windows. If I see a window without a light I go up and unscrew the bulb from the porchlight, because it's better to have a dark porch than a dark window. Some of my neighbors don't like porchlight bulbs in their mailboxes, but most of them leave their lights on all the time now, so I guess they took the hint.


Keeping An Eye On Things

The eyes of technology are upon youAt some point in the illustrious exercise now known as blogging, it dawns on the writer that many words have left the gate, but their final destination is by no means certain. Have they been wordnapped, then cloned and pressed into service in the darkest corners of the Internet?

Copyright infringement may be the second-oldest profession, but the same technology that enabled blogs now makes it ridiculously easy to swipe another's wordsor images, or whateverand I don't mean fair use. Fortunately, that technology can also be used the other way; it can expose and bring down the perpetrators, and make them wish they'd never had access to the Net in the first place.

You know who you are. Think about what you're doing, then think about how much that lawyer is going to cost. What's your reputation worth now? What will it be worth afterward?



The Vacuum of Intuition

Adrift in the vacuous voidEating too many burgers during the course of a long weekend has a debilitating effect on the mind. When most of the body's blood volume has been shunted to the digestive system, there isn't enough left over for the brain. This makes it the perfect time to ponder things like intuition.

Intuition, as I understand it, isn't a thought process at all. Instead, it's the absence of coherent attention; it's an empty bubble; it's a vacuum; it's nothing with something around it. Perversely, the instant I utter the blasphemy of understanding such a thingsuch a no-thingI'm immediately constrained by the same empty bubble that confounded my focus in the first place.

Since thinking about intuition is essentially the same as thinking about nothing, any attempt to explain how one might have arrived at a particular intuitive conclusion is problematic. It isn't so much that something is lost in the translation; the problem has more in common with converting the thought processes of Picasso to a computer program suitable for use by primates.

The situation may be especially familiar to women, simply because women seem more likely than men to rely on intuition. But how to explain the processespecially to a guy with a gutful of red meatmay be little more than an exercise in futility.


Another Orbit

Have another slice of e-cakeIf the planet we call home has rotated 6,939 times since you came aboard, and 228 moons have come and gone, you may be in the ideal position to receive today's Happy Birthday Wish.

Of course, there's only one ideal daughter, which narrows it down quite a bit.

Happy Birthday, sweetie. I'm proud of you.


A Stuffwise Progression

I don't know what this is, either.Crawling about on the Net this morning, the full impact of the situation hit me right between the eyes. There's, like, a gob of stuff out there, man, and I'll never, ever catch up. It is to pine, stuffwise.

Since I'm on the subject of trees, I'll admit that those infernal seed pods all over the patio are really starting to get to me. I've already used up two brooms trying to make a clearing so I can barbeque, but the pods are overwhelming, and hostile.

Since I'm on the subject of MP3 players, I may as well confess a newfound adoration for iTunes. It took some getting used to, but it was worth it in the end. I especially like those smart playlists, and the automatic volume equalization is grand.

Since I'm on the subject of cubic capacity, I might also add my two cents on the price of gasoline, but then, it's probably high enough already.

That is all.


Multicolored Metamorphosis

Muted colors have no place here

The first time I saw my words about the girl with the multicolored hair, they were right here on a page of the Omegaword blog.

The last time I saw my words about the girl with the multicolored hair, they were on a page at the ColourLovers site.

Thanks, Craig.


The Case for Mediocrity

Sniffing flowers always results in wisdom.While sniffing a flower this morning, it occurred to me that everything I've learned in life leads me to four impregnable conclusions.

1) Knowledge is power.

2) A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

3) Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

4) P=IV

Obviously, these lead me to three similarly unassailable deductions.

1) A little power is less likely to result in corruption.

2) Corruption is the product of current and voltage.

3) Stagnant water has no current to speak of.

So, as you can see, life can be rather elegantly summarized in four simple statements.

1) Without voltage, there can be no current.

2) Absolute knowledge requires high voltage.

3) All clothes dryers are corrupt.

4) Mediocrity and stagnant water are the same thing.


Visions of the Past

A past-tense sort of visionSadly, my virtual time capsule died on the e-vine. I thought it would be fun to leave a messagea blog post in this casefor some future reader to find, but the very technology I thought would make it possible thwarted me in the end.

The ability to post-date a monologue for automatic publishing was recently enabled in the blogging system I've come to know and love during the past couple years, which triggered the idea of setting that future date beyond what might ordinarily be considered reasonable. I figured 2099 would be a good year to aim for, because it's unlikely I'll be around by then. At least not in the corporeal sense.

The message I crafted was simple, yet poignant. By 2099, I think simple messages will be appreciated even more than they are today; text messaging is already the de facto standard, and it's only going to get better. Or worse, if truncated word-pieces with no vowels seem limiting.

Anyway, my message read, "Hi it's 2099 so I'm dead now. How's it going?" Then there were some pictures of clowns, just in case there aren't any clowns left in 2099. I uploaded my post, changed the year from 08 to 99 and pressed the publish button. But instead of adding my post to the future-delivery queue, the system decided I really wanted 1999 and sent it backward, into the past. I decided to spell it out, and republished my message with all four year-digits intact.

Same result. Maybe it's just Google's way of telling me not to hide stuff in their servers for 91 years, or maybe there's something fundamentally wrong with trying to immortalize myself. Either way, it looks like I'll be burying that box in the backyard after all.



If your legs look like this, it's time for a vacation. This is what I get for relying on old electronic-calendar notes. Yesterday was not, in fact, this blog's second birthday; that won't happen until next month. How embarrassing.

A quick look at the archives might have avoided this situation, although that would have violated my policy of not reading my own stuff. A similarly quick look at the spreadsheet I use to keep running totals of elapsed time between dates would have informed me that it's been only 1.9 years, not 2.0.

Okay, I'm over it. Just the same, I think I'll go on vacation now. At least until tomorrow.


Life's Second Year

Where you're surfing fromToday we are two. No, I didn't run off and get myself hitched over the weekend; I continue to live in sin. I mean it's the Omegaword blog's second birthday. Like most two-year-olds, the blog has seen a few changes, and also exhibits the curious mix of faux maturity and belligerence that so often characterize life's second year.

Although the number is unremarkable by any modern measure, some 4,200 thrill-seekers have visited these virtual pages since I began keeping track of such things. Most of you check in from the United States76% to be exactbut I feel a particular thrill when I see other parts of the world pop up on the radar. The United Kingdom comes in second, followed by Canada, then Australia only a percentage point behind. Brazil, the Philippines, Croatia, Finland, Spain, Germany and Austria are responsible for those remaining slices of the pie. Thanks for dropping by, folks.

The surfboard you useFor the 4,800 page-views recorded during the same period, 54% have been by way of Internet Explorer 7, and Firefox is in second place with 16% of the share. The older 6-point-something versions of Internet Explorer are still used by 10% of viewers, with the Opera and Safari browsers making up the balance.

For reasons that remain unclear to me, the December, 2006 archive still generates more interest than any other collection on this blog. It's possible I was more entertaining then, but I'm only guessing. The hairy eyeball monologue and my speech-recorder evaluation are tied for the popularity slot directly below that. It's a veritable demolition derby after that, although the notes from the edge category continues to appeal to many. This may be more than mere coincidence, since so many posts in that group are of questionable judgment and taste.

Extended cranial meltdown aside, and assuming this creative-writing exercise isn't ruined by e-kitsch and capitalistic vulgarity, I hope to use these pages to explore new ways of communicating the ideas and ideals that guide and confound my daily journey. You can ride along if you'd like.


The Ketchup Seed of Faith

One of these things is not like the othersYou know the mustard seed. Its compactness is legendary, and especially if faith is among your goals in life, the mustard seed's dimensions remain the standard against which all other seeds are judged.

By comparison, the ketchup seed enjoys little notoriety. This may have to do with its tendency toward introversion, which hinders the social interaction so crucial to a well-rounded life, and also causes undue paranoia whenever someone wants to take photos.

Unlike the mustard seed, the ketchup seed is rarely seen in church. Whether this indicates a lack of faith or a different sort of spiritual deficit has long been the subject of debate among theologians and agnostics alike. While most in the former group insist that the ketchup seed's shadowy existence is the result of an unrepentant lifestyle, those in the latter category remain unsure about the difference between ketchup, and catsup.

Despite their obvious differences, the seeds of ketchup and mustard share certain undeniable traits that make it difficult to choose between them in moments of quiet desperation. Details differ, but witnesses typically remain unshakeable in their belief that something enhanced the flavor of their burgers and hot dogs, though most are unable to differentiate between the red and yellow bottles when asked.

Although the mustard seed has the advantage of historical precedent, many observers believe it's the ketchup seed that will ultimately determine who wins the human race. Mustard seeds are fine where mountain-moving is the goal, but offer little solace in everyday life.


Proofreading the Blogosphere

Out with the bad words, in with the good.Lately, there's been some discussion around here about the increasing need for proofreading, editing, and indeed writing in the brave new blogosphere. Increasing, because the rampant popularity of the blog has unleashed an epidemic of words, not all of which are in the right place at the right time.

By their nature, blogs are especially handy for communicating thoughts and ideas. Not that the more traditional Web site never requires proofreading, or editing, or writing for that matter; it's just that the ubiquitous blog is more likely to be noticed at the moment. Despite the overwhelming number of blogs suffering on the Web right now, this particular mass-communication tool simply makes it more likely your words will be seen at all.

It isn't a guarantee; it's just opportunity. But sometimes that's enough to launch the next big idea, or at least give it a fighting chance. Given the opportunity, even a small idea can flourish, and grow, and attain incomprehensible heights. Isn't that how the blog got its start?


Prosperous Integrity, Part III

Fiscal fortitude It may be experimental, but my new role of bathrobe entrepreneur carries certain risks and responsibilities. Being the fastidious sort, I'm used to dotting and crossing the letters of the alphabet that require it, and generally keeping a lid on the pots most likely to boil over at inopportune moments. I don't like messes because I hate to clean.

Vulgar metaphors aside, one aspect of bathrobe entrepreneurship remains particularly loathsome to me. I despise self-promotion in any form, and even the benign and altogether common act of putting up an advertisement seems oddly inappropriate. Perhaps it's the impression of neediness it creates. It tells the world that I, too, have the need for t-shirts and toilet paper. It suggests I need food.

Eventually, the despicable act of self-promotion arrives at the subject of pricing the goods or services in question. Even when the product is of the highest quality, its seller possessed of the utmost integrity, and nothing is standing in the way of timely delivery, there's a shred of regret at not having the fiscal fortitude to simply give it away.

Clearly, this is not the stuff of unbridled capitalism; it isn't the sort of thinking that builds empires, or bridges, or even smallish items like toothbrushes. It's the sort of thinking that subverts commerce, and so has no place in my experiment.

We will throw it out, and continue on.