Quetzalcoatl's Return

It's never too early to celebrate the return of Quetzalcoatl.

Once I couldn't even pronounce Quetzalcoatl, but here it's 2009 already and it won't be long now before he makes his grand reappearance. I'm assuming it will be grand anyway, because with a name like that you can't just step off a commercial jetliner and expect to see a guy holding up a sign in the lobby. I don't think it would be much better over the public-address system, either. It's a tough name.

Depending on what you read, Quetzalcoatl will be sullen and angry, or full of lighthearted cheer and ready for a good game of Chess. If you're like me, the idea of watching two people play Chess isn't high on the list of entertaining pastimes, but it might be different if Quetzalcoatl is on one side of the board. I think he'll bring a certain lightheartedness to the game, unless he's in a bad mood. I've seen poor Chess sportsmanship before, and it isn't the sort of thing you'd want your kids to witness.

In the meantime, I think it would be a good idea to brush up on my French. By 2012, I want to be able to have an intelligent conversation with Quetzalcoatl if I see him on the street.


Circular Logic

Figure 110101Logic may be overrated in the grand scheme of things, but when it comes to computers the importance of it just can't be overstated. Well, actually it can, but if you steer clear of Computer Science classrooms you'll have a better chance of avoiding that kind of talk.

Anyway, when bits become trapped in a loop (see figure 110101) it's a lot like the endless cycle of birth and rebirth you may have heard about from your reincarnated buddy Lewis. Not that Lewis and binary logic have anything in common, unless he lives in one of the Computer Science classrooms I mentioned previously. But the end result is still the same, namely a long, exhausting trip around the wheel, or the processor.

Fortunately, both situations have a trivial solution, as my least favorite math teacher used to say as he flung erasers at his least favorite pupil. Whether fatigue is due to a non-terminating algorithm or life #14763222, the answer is a new set of brake pads, because you can't put the brakes on something that doesn't have any brakes to begin with.


Why I Do the Things I Do

Alien Plant LifeA recurring theme in the majority of recent monologues that appear in this space is notes from the edge. I mention it only by way of explanation for those who, from time to time, assign heft and meaning to words that were never intended to carry more than the weight of an emaciated donut hole, or the meaning of a random pattern of lines scribbled in the margin of a notepad while on hold during a phone call. When I assign a monologue to that notes from the edge category, it's generally safe to assume that (1) any logic contained therein is likely to be eccentric at best, (2) I have made no special effort to communicate serious thought, and (3) it's likely the monologue has been triggered by the sorts of fleeting thought fragments that so often result in fleeting, fragmented thoughts in written form. In other words, they're absurd concatenations, not vessels of occulted meaning.

To illustrate, I'll use Friday's monologue as an example of how things might go terribly wrong, given a particular mix of circumstances and perceptions. As you've probably guessed by now, the past three weeks have been largely occupied by graphics, graphics, and graphics, some of which have already found their way onto my new space at Zazzle. The process is cumbersome and often tedious, not because the actual product creation on Zazzle is cumbersome and tediousit's a no-brainerbut because of the time and inspiration required to actually create those graphics in the first place, followed by the inevitable overhead that comes from software glitches and the uncooperative attitude of computers in general. Then there's the tweaking, rethinking, and redoing, followed by poring over the data from Google Analytics. The process has left me bereft, and in need of an extended vacation with no access to computers.

Last Thursday's Hide In Plain Sight posterand the ancillary, obligatory t-shirtbegan with an old friend's remark about "holding out for the pencil sketch of the tree." It's actually a pen and ink drawing, but nevertheless resulted in a concerted effort to make it ready for the marketplace. Although I generally try to have some sort of semi-related gibberish posted on the blog in honor of a new item's birth, there simply wasn't enough time and energy left over for that afterward.

This brings me, finally, to the originally promised subject of blog-matter, and how it might be used to substantiate the insubstantial. Amateur psychiatrists should pay particular attention, because it illuminates the process I often employ in the creation of so many notes from the edge monologues. Professional psychiatrists may find it illuminating for other reasons.

On Friday, I was certain about two things: I had overlaid my original pen and ink drawing (nifty orange sunlike blob included at no extra charge) with the words, "hide in plain sight," and those words were rendered in such a way as to make them virtually invisible on the Zazzle site. What to do? I mean, hidden is one thing, but invisible isn't necessarily what you're after where posters are concerned. Suddenly, it struck me that I could simply enlarge one section of it, put it up on the blog, then use it as an excuse to fire off another one of my infamous Friday notes from the edge offerings. Har!

Having thus reduced the equation to the lower left corner of the posterthe other three words wouldn't have worked by themselvesthe next problem was coming up with a few loosely related sentences with which to surround my graphic. I thought about the concept of hiding in plain sight in several contexts. One of them was the thankless task of prevention, i.e. those whose job it is to keep bad things from happening. In that role, success means a certain invisibility; no one notices things that aren't happening; success hides in plain sight. Another had to do with a lifestyle that requires secrecy, e.g. espionage, undercover narcotics, or a professional assassin; the person hides in plain sight. I considered more typical scenarios, too, such as the increasingly common financial pressures; people may wind up hiding from creditors, or worse. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

As luck would have it, I didn't have to work that hard, or worse yet, move into the quagmire of seriousness for a Friday monologue. A blog that shows up via my RSS feeds provided the trigger, and in concert with a certain commenter on the same blog, gave me all the ideas I needed to fabricate a set of sentences suitable for my notes from the edge category. The whole pink moustache thing probably speaks for itself, or ought to; it's difficult to imagine such a non-subject in a context much beyond satire, if it even gets that far. The four ludicrous Spanish terms were triggered in exactly the same way, and though they certainly qualify as inside jokes for those of us who hang on every other word of The Fire From Within, they have no intrinsic purpose beyond the casualyet Full Bozoexpressions typically used in the Omegaword venue.

Petty tyrants: pinches tiranos
Little petty tyrants: pinches tiranitos
Small-fry petty tyrants: repinches tiranitos
Teensy-weensy petty tyrants: pinches tiranitos chiquititos

Maybe it's just me, but whenever I contemplate the sheer absurdity of those terms, I'm overcome with the desire to get up and snort. Har again!

Anyway, I'm including a graphic of the little alien plant I put on a greeting card over the weekend, partly because I can't think of anything else to put up there, and partly because my joints and eyes are still jacked from all the computer time during the past weeks. Any hidden meaning contained therein is purely coincidental, and is best deciphered using reverse-speech techniques.


Hide In Plain Sight

Subtle, yet understated.

To be truly stealthy, Grasshopper, you must learn to hide in plain sight. This will allow you to come and go as you please, unnoticed, for the surest way to attract the attention of others is an oversized head and small eyes. The rectangular nail is pounded down first, and roundish pegs have no place in a squarish society. See to it, therefore, that your cuticles are properly maintained, and keep your pegboard firmly askance, for the sideways glance falls primarily on the upright.

Do not be concerned, Grasshopper, about the color of your moustache. Pink is a powerful color among colors, and highly preferred wherever pinches tiranos, pinches tiranitos, repinches tiranitos and pinches tiranitos chiquititos issue fiats that torment the children of lesser gods. Their progeny, too, will agree that nothing says Excuse Me like the taste of pale ale from a barrel of monkeys, aged to perfection in the labyrinths and lairs below the belt of Orion, where it really hurts.

Avoid the temptation of invisibility, Grasshopper, for the ghosts of futures past reveal themselves to those who sleep, mothlike, beneath the wings of dreams. Snore loudly and with gusto, but do not hide behind the handkerchief of society, for it has been used by nostrils and rogues.


Tears for the Blue Orb

Pay attention next time. Haha. That's a joke. There is no next time. Maybe it isn't news, really, to anyone who's been watching the planet disintegrate. According to Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, climate change is moving at an even quicker pace than had been predicted. Quoted in a recent Washington Post article, he says coal-burning in developing countries plays a major role, and that we're "basically looking now at a future climate that's beyond anything we've considered seriously in climate model simulations." I could be wrong, but I have the feeling he isn't referring to a milder, more pleasant climate.

I may be wrong about something else, too. I've often wondered how things might have turned out, climatewise, had we adopted the environmental philosophies of the indigenous Americans. Somehow, I just can't picture them destroying the very source of all life as we know it. That would be insane.


Retrograde Motion

Equinus mutans The difference between evolution and devolution isn't always clear to me. Sometimes moving forward means returning to a previous state, perhaps one better suited to the current environment. On the other hand, devolution doesn't necessarily require retrograde motion; it's possible to move forward without gain. Lossless motion can occur in either direction, but motion doesn't always improve things. Sometimes it just musses your hair.

It's confusing. Sure, I can change my DNA as easily as the next guy, but what if I don't want to look like him? What if I like my ears right where they are? Just because something is possible, that doesn't automatically make it beneficial, especially when it comes to ears, or fingers. Maybe you think it would be cool to have feathers instead of fingers, because that way you could flap around the room like some kind of demented bird, and all your friends would call you up and invite you to parties.

Only you couldn't hear them because you need at least one ear for that sort of thing. That's all I'm really trying to get across here.


The Big Adventure Continues

CreepyHere in the second week of my grand Omegaword products adventure, the learning curve is flattening out a bit. I'm beginning to get a grip on all the graphics that need to be resized, converted, and otherwise made suitable for use in their new lives as t-shirts, posters, skateboards, coffee mugs, and now greeting cards, too. That's one of the initial three over there on the leftblack, of course, like pretty much everything else so far. That probably means something, but I'm not exactly sure what.

The whole thing has been educational, to say the least. One particularly unexpected lesson came by way of someone who was interested in the one item I had removed only hours before. I thought the Jitter Putty concept needed work, having been essentially pulled from my nose in a moment of idle distraction. She disagreed, so it's back. In the future, I'll try not to second-guess myself before others have had the opportunity to tell me what's what, and what's not.

Blue skaters

The second skateboard design had a lot to do with the recent focusfor lack of a better wordon infinity. I liked the idea of skating on infinity, which is how those little blue dudes/dudettes came about.

Get to know yourself In keeping with the illustrious traditiona very new tradition, but I'm going with it anywayof converting bits of blog-matter to posters, t-shirts and etc., the graphic you see on the left is alive in new incarnations now, too. At least it will be once it's ordered, on-demand manufacturing being rather unfriendly toward the whole idea of warehousing and all that.

Onward, thru the fog.


Give Up Your Teeth

Wipe your feet on this graphic. The Omegastaffthat would be meis pleased to announce the birth of another new product. In addition to the wearable, wallable Omegastuff you've come to know [sic] and love [sic] during the past week or so, you now have the option of riding into the nearest sunset, moonrise, or oncoming headlights on your very own custom skateboard.

That's right! Through the miracle of modern do-it-now-because-I-need-it manufacturing, you too can thrill to the sound of wind in your ears as you navigate the warehouses and parking lots, then curse as you misjudge the proximity of the lamppost and eat cold concrete with your one remaining tooth!

And yes, of course it's black.

So you don't forget, order before midnight tonight!

Thank you. Thank you very much.


Retouching Aurora

I dreamed I was cold and fishlike. But then a nice Chinook blew in, and I felt much better. No, not the helicopter. The wind! The wind! What is wrong with you?

One of my favorite graphics has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts, and with the aid of the first line of Touching Aurora is now a rather large wall poster. As you might expect, it has also morphed into a t-shirt, but that's another story entirely.

I mention the poster in particular because it's 39 x 35 inches, which is the size Zazzle's computers thought it ought to be. However, this doesn't mean you can't second-guess the computers and make it smaller. And, as is the case with every other item on my virtual shelves, the mere fact you see a certain color behind a graphic doesn't mean you're stuck with it. You have options; you have choices; you have free will.

I, on the other hand, have a cramp in one or more of my opposable thumbs.

Over and out.


The Big Merchandising Adventure

Mah hay-ud! Mah hay-ud! Cain't see nuttin without mah hay-ud! I always thought it would be cool to put my lunatic ideas on t-shirts, but one thing or another made it impractical. That's changed now, as you can see by the Zazzle panel over there on the right. I put a few t-shirts on the virtual rack yesterdayincluding the one with the Omegaword logo to your leftand today there are poster versions of those graphics, too. The official Omegaword coffee mug was an afterthought, but hey, coffee is really, really important.

My Big Merchandising Adventure doesn't leave much time for things like writing, at least not until I get this thing rolling along by itself. But considering I just started a couple days ago, it shouldn't take too long. I have many ideas and a lot of graphicsplus a few words, toothat will find their way onto shirts, posters, and probably everything from skateboards to postage stamps, eventually. It's jarring, I know, to think of that Stone Cold Salvation graphic on official United States postage, but it could happen. Really.

By the way, I had nothing to do with the babywear; the Zazzle computers do that automatically. I'm in no way suggesting you should dress your infant in Stone Cold Salvation, or Jitter Putty. Of course, I'm not suggesting you shouldn't, because that would be mind control.

In the meantime, please feel free to order a few cases of coffee mugs, or a gross of t-shirts, or a thousand posters for the cube farm. I'm working on the skateboards and the shoes, but I'm only one guy so don't get all demanding on me or I might freak out.

Thank you. Thank you very much.