A Bit About Me

My photo
Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

31 May 2010

Never Forget

I am late doing this...but let us not forget those who gave their lives...or part of their lives to keep us free. Be it whichever war it was...remember, they did it so that people like you and me can breathe the air we breathe and live the life we lead. Let us honour them (and ourselves and our family and our family's family) by living good, honourable lives...worthy of their sacrifice.

Photos I took in Washingon, DC - 2009.

From top to bottom the photos are as follows:Washington Monument
Marine Corps War Memorial aka the Iwo Jima Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Korean War Veterans Memorial

29 May 2010

I've Got Mono

Here's a proposed Craig Ferguson (host of CBS's "Late Late Show") monologue I came up with long ago. Keep in mind this was written the first year he started hosting - so his "voice" has changed some...i.e., he doesn't say the same things like he used to. This was purely for my entertainment...it's not like Craig asked me to write his monologues or anything...it was just for fun. It also helps if you have seen Craig and know his mannerisms and vocal intonations...if not, you can always call me up and I'll read it to you in my best "Craig voice". :)

Please be aware I'm posting these blogs how I originially wrote them years ago. Consequently they aren't going to be timely and they aren't going to be like my regular blogs -- mainly a lot of these are just "comedy snippets" of sorts.

Jane Birkin and the Hermès bag named after her.

I was walking around the "ritzy shopping district" the other day, and I can't believe what these stores in Hollywood sell for kids.

"Oh yes, why my daughter just HAS to have a pair of $5000 Hermès earmuffs...ALL the kids in her class do"...like whatever happened to getting your kid a Barbie!?

When I was a wee lad growing up in Scotland...I got to name a sheep - and it wasn't even MY sheep - it was Mr. Flannagan's across town. THAT was MY lousy Christmas present - not some poofy $5000 earmuffs and a Birkin bag. What the hell's a Birkin bag, anyway - and why does it cost $30,000??!

What's even worse, is that you have to wait TWO years if you want to get one...unless you go to eBay and then it's anyone's guess. Would YOU know a fake Birkin bag if you bought one? I certainly wouldn't. "You know, Marge...your tag looks sooooo three-thousand dollar-ish."

I know what you're saying...here's another late nite talk show host talking about expensive 'to die for' purses. But this is true!

These Birkin bags were named after Jane Birkin...who was an English actress who did a lot of French films in the 60s. I Googled her, I did...and she was NAKED in EVERY SINGLE photo......with Brigitte Bardot, even!

Hey, when you have Brigitte Bardot telling you to "put some clothes on, girlfriend"...you know you have something.

So, I guess the Hermes designers were sitting around one day saying, "Well we have the Kelly bag named after Grace Kelly -- and that one has style, can we maybe...oh, I don't know...make a bag with a lot more slutty appeal? How about this Birkin one? Sure! And let's say you have to wait months to get one...that way it will be like an adult 'Tickle-Me-Elmo' doll..."

...and speaking of tickling...I think THAT'S the movie where Birkin was actually wearing those muffs.

Well, the photo WAS a little fuzzy.

C'mon..it's true!

(Originally written 9 December 2005)

28 May 2010

What CAN I do?

The following was written by me as a silly comedy snippet (you know...if I ever tried to do a stand-up comedy routine...and if Montgomery, Alabama ever had a comedy venue to try my hand at it)...apparently serving no real purpose until now (and even now I question its purpose)...

So, anybody here have trouble sleeping?

I seriously have problems sleeping...that I've had since I can remember. Tried relaxing, warm milk, cold vodka...nothing works. So I figure I'll go and read a book...you know, you read some...you get tired...you fall asleep.

So, I go on down to the library because you can pick up used books there for like a quarter...and I picked up a few, including one big-ass one by Stephen King called "Insomnia".

Well, I'm no genius, but I figure the reason these books are for sale for less than a buck is because no one wants to read them...and who the HELL's going to want to read some horror book about not sleeping when they're trying to sleep?? Just what was he thinking??

But I've got to hand it to him...he thinks of an everyday happening and then makes a scary as hell story out of it. I just figure he's sitting there at home at the typewriter...going..."Dogs...yeah...really mean dog..."Cujo". Corn...people like corn...how about "Children of the Corn"? Ooh, what else do people like to do? Drive...yeah..."Christine"...okay...talk on their cell phones. I got it: "Cell"!"

Okay, so I can't have a dog, can't bury it behind my house if it would ever die...can't eat corn or talk on my cell phone...forget about talking on it IN my car...and I'll never sleep again. What's going to be next? A horror story about a toilet?

Oh gee, thanks, Mr. King.

Originally written 28 Jan 06.

23 May 2010

Prelude To Some Blogs

My next series of blogs (don't get bent out of shape...I am not doing another three-parter on Sea Monkeys)...will be older ones. Not that I've posted them before...but they remain old, nonetheless.

A little back-story if I may...

A while back I took to carrying around this brown, faux-leather notebook in which I would write when I had to sit waiting in doctor's offices and whatnot. I even half-convinced myself that I would look massively impressive and "writer-ish" like Johnny Depp did in "Finding Neverland". And anyone who was fortunate enough to glance in my direction would automatically think of Depp's portrayal of J.M. Barrie...and be stricken with the worst case of awe he ever experienced (good thing they were at the doctor) in his entire life. Imagine me...a budding Oscar-winning, future Pulitzer Prize-winning, AND former Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest-winning (yes, that last one already happened - go read my side-bar) writer, sitting right there next to them and they'd not even know it! Oh, they'd sense it alright as I had, clutched in my hand, a highly elaborate "look at me...I'm someone important" pen...and no one need ever know I purchased quite a few of these for next to nothing when the Office Max store up on the bypass went out of business a couple years back.

Yes...while I basked in the glow of my pseudo-self importance - in the end I probably just came off looking like an aging buffoon who hadn't yet realized you could email people instead of write them. So much for instilling people with a sense of "awe". Awesome? No. Awe-kward? Yes.

Then I misplaced this notebook for a time and only found it the other day. While it is true that common sense dictated I could just pick up another one at TJ Maxx and start anew, which I did; the new ones, equally majestic as those "on sale" pens, just didn't hold the same kind of magic to me, so I decided I'd start bringing a book along to read instead. Yes, I traded writing for reading...but the arithmetic undoubtedly came out the same: I still probably looked like just another old ailing chick sitting in a doctor's office.

As far as these blogs (or very short stories, as I like to call them) go...I was thinking about just scrapping them all, but then I figured I'd use them and let everyone know why they might seem out-of-date...as "I do believe" they have some worth.

So, there -- I've said it...and with further delay, I present to you...some old blogs.

16 May 2010

Sea Monkeys III: The Final Seaquel

Because you are all dying (faster than my cannibalistic Sea Monkeys) to have me wrap up my final installment of my three-part foray into Sea Monkey raising...I certainly won't prolong this agony any longer than is humanly tolerable.

As you are all aware (if you had been following along with Part 1 and 2), I found a treasure trove of endless fun - and something I've always wanted: Sea Monkeys.

While Sea Monkeys might not be all they're cracked up to be...and certainly not all they are hyped up to be, they did do something in my house which rarely ever happens.

No, they didn't make the kids clean their rooms and I didn't finish that book I was writing; but there was actual family interaction involved in spurts, and these little freeze-dried "time-travellers", mutant as they may be, caused it.

Oh, I'm not reporting there were any "Gee, Wally, will ya look at that!" moments - and sadly, despite years of comic book-inspired anticipation, they have yet to live up to the mystique these ads insinuated. In other words, they haven't built any underwater castles - a fact which I am still upset over...and probably will be for life.

But, true to their word, my "family" hatched in a mere 24-hour time frame. Apparently we kept the thermostat in the house set to "optimal Sea Monkey breeding temperature". We were careful to put them on a north-facing window (as instructed) and barricaded them ingeniously against the windowsill with rocks so we didn't, one day, wake up to the sound of tacky plastic containers falling due to overzealous curious cats.

We, so far, have never had to make some split-second decision of whether one would even be capable of extruding minute aquatic squiggles out of carpet pile - or whether a good stomping up and down on the poor misfortunate mutant life form would be a far, far, better thing to do. So...no such "Tale of Two Cities" moments...yet.

The following days were "filled" with such family entertainment as feeding them, replacing Sea Monkey water, which evaporates at an astronomically slow rate, and wondering how I was going to clean their aquarium. Face it, microscopic egg sacs could easily be mistaken for dirty water. Perhaps when I "strawed" some out to toss it...I threw away 75 whole families.

Oh, I am sure there are ways to ascertain your Sea Monkeys live for ages - because they sell enough extra Sea Monkey stuff to guilt any caring person, i.e., a mother of a six-year-old, into purchasing. And if they don't live after you plunk down $3.00 for "Sea Monkey Medicine" (yes, I kid you not) and another $3.00 for a "Sea Monkeys 'Million Bubble' Air Pump", etc., etc., - well, there's always that "Amazing 2 Year Warranty!" of theirs.

And then, for people like me...who never acquired their Sea Monkeys until much, much later in life...there's the "Executive Sea Monkeys For Grown Ups" kit for a mere $12.00.

Oh, yeah...these guys "Sea" you coming...but I'm not falling for any of it...

...but I am half-tempted to send away for an official "Sea Monkey Diploma" from the prestigious "Crustacean College" certifying me as a "Sea Monkey Scientist". It's only $16.00 with shipping and handling included, and just think how THAT would look on my resume...and how all prospective employers would look at ME for including it.

Sounds to me there's literally hours of fun to be had right there!

Now for some amazing Sea Monkey photos...

Small Hatchlings:

Sea Monkeys front and center..."Primordial Pool" in the background:
Sea Monkey - Up Close:

08 May 2010

If I Can Have Your Attention, Please...A Toast to..."Young Boozer"

Niftiest name ever for a candidate?

I'm sorry - I'd vote for this guy regardless of which office he's running for. I don't even need to hear his platform - his name is AWESOME!

At least he seems to have a sense of humour as he's poking fun of his name as well at his

If they would ever allow me to come up with campaign slogans...I'd enlist a few of my players on my
interactive comedy website ("yes, I have one" - and "why haven't you played already?")...and, in a few years, this guy would be President!

I challenge you all to come up with actual candidates over the years...with a name better than this.

Good luck.

07 May 2010

Coming to a Mailbox Near You: Stamp Out Pesky Raccoons this Saturday!

(I know I owe everyone Part 3 of my Sea Monkey blog...I will get to it tomorrow or the next day...but for now, I had to promote and voice my concern over this food drive.)

I must commend the United States Postal Service...in conjunction with the National Association of Letter Carriers...for their thoughtful idea to try to "curb" hunger via asking people to donate "non-perishable" food items. They are asking that items be left by your mailbox this Saturday, 8 May 10, to be picked up by your mail carrier (yes, mail WILL be late this Saturday)...to be taken to a local food bank and distributed to the needy.

The thought is very nice. I don't have any problems with this - but I have problems with this whole idea and I'm never one to mince words...I'm one to say them, or in this case, to type them out.

Number One Problem: The notification in my mailbox today. Had I not noticed I had TWO of them...I wouldn't have paid any attention to either. I saw the word "stamp" on both - and automatically shuffled them to the back of my pile of bills and "To the Manor Born" Netflix dvds I had in my hand. It was only when I saw it on the newscast tonite that I paid any attention...and then I just balked at the fact I got TWO of these. Either it's easier to put two in every other mailbox than to put one in each...or they just made about a bazillion of these things...at some astronomical cost. These things don't print themselves. Granted, they've pretty much bypassed the "buying the stamps" thing - but I bet even the Post Office has to shell out X amount for some bulk mailing fee. So, yes, I have an issue with this.

Number Two Problem: "Non-perishable food items". I looked this up...it's basically food which doesn't decay as rapidly as other food...that doesn't decay as fast as the ones which decay faster. Yeah...I know...the little postcard...oops...correction "postcards" I received today stipulate that "non-perishable" food items include canned meats and fish, canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice. The two postcards go on to say that we shouldn't give expired items or those in glass containers. I don't know about you...but I've had to toss out stuff like they're asking for because it had bugs in it, was dented, tasted nasty, etc. And I
can't shake the feeling that scores of people are going to be raiding their pantries and just tossing out the things they don't like...like that bulk pack of generic Ramen noodles your kid bought when he was going off to college...but forgot to take along when he moved out, the six-pack snack-sized blueberry applesauce cups (minus the one your kid ate and hated), that questionable box of spaghetti with an undecipherable "company code" instead of an expiration date, and so forth. Hey, you won't ever eat them - but that doesn't mean someone else might, right?

Number Three Problem: Critters. Let's say I take a nice grocery bag or two full to place next to my mailbox for pick-up whenever they deliver on Saturday. I live out here in the rural-ville area...and we have possums, raccoons, rats and mice, armadillos and various other miscellaneous creatures which prowl around looking for tasty bits of pasta, chips, and plastic containers of Jell-O pudding cups...in fact they probably can smell them from two blocks away. I'm not even taking in consideration dogs and cats that might come by. And even if they don't rip them open...there's always "marking" things up...and I'm not talking about prices. They like to "claim" things as their own and there's only one way they go about this...and I'm not sure the Postal person going to know whether or not that moisture's from humidity or from the big-headed feral cat that lives on my property. To borrow and change a phrase from "Look Who's Talking"..."Could be green beans...could be urine-soaked Pringles!" Yum!

Number Four Problem: Ants. See above reason...only modify it some.

Number Five Problem: Humans. Far be it from me to insinuate there are people out there who would...a) steal bags of food people have placed outside for this cause; b) vandalize bags of food people have left out for this cause; and c) do other things I failed to think of to said bags of food.

Now I'm no rocket scientist (insert incendiary blog comment here
) - but I'm thinking perhaps this could have been thought out better before they acted. I'm also not stupid...I Googled and I'm positive they collected thousands of pounds of food which helped out enormously to people who are needy. I'm not saying this is a bad cause...I'm just figuring "leaving it at your mailbox" outside...which most people are putting out the nite before...isn't the safest and most sanitary way of going about donating food. And no one associated with this cause wants to make someone sick inadvertently I am sure...but I'm sure this is going to happen if there aren't better ways to police this.

And...if you haven't heard about this worthy cause...please go here for more info:
www.usps.com/stampouthunger -- but I would stick to canned foods for your piece of mind...I know I am.

02 May 2010

Monkey Sea Monkey Two

Okay, I've kept you all on the edge of your seats for a while now. And when I say "you all" it's not like the Southern "y'all"...it's more like the collective three of you who read my blog. But...the anticipation is going to be partly over soon...and soon you will know what I mean by "part"ly over.

The last blog I left you wondering about my Sea Monkey nurturing - will they hatch? Will they grow up and build a castle? Will they cling to the edge and die...or will they just sit on the windowsill totally forgotten as easily as I tend to forget about watering plants?

Well, first...yes, they did hatch. I had a bunch of those little squirmy things the size of microscopic lice in my Sea Monkey habitat. They really paled in comparison to the huge things my backyard pool grows in the off season...and speaking of comparisons...

...let's compare what the instructions for Sea Monkeys say vs what they really mean, shall we?

Sea Monkey instructions are a wonderful study of contradictions of sorts...as they rather are written with failsafe legal loopholes built in.

Apparently the Sea Monkey folks decided long ago that there's nothing more detrimental to the Sea Monkey business boom than a class action law suit filed by disgruntled Sea Monkey owner lawyers. Yes, when you stipulate that these things have an "Amazing 2 Year Warranty"...you have to, 1) Be able to stand behind it; and 2) Be certain that the majority of Sea Monkey owners are going to lose interest in these things in a fortnight.

Now I'm not claiming to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier nor the sharpest tool in the box, but I'm certainly not one fry short of a Happy Meal, neither.

If, for some reasons my little denizens of the sea fail to hatch or I fail to feed them or my cat drinks the water out of their bowl or whilst in the throes of wild monkey sex (not to be confused with Sea Monkey sex) knock the bowl on the floor and they all die...the fine folks at the Sea Monkey headquarters will send me a water purifier packet, a packet of Sea Monkey egg pouches (valued at the astronomical sum of $6.00) absolutely FREE! They will also send me the "Official" Sea Monkey Handbook (an additional $3.00 value)...also absolutely FREE! And all this will be sent to me FREE of charge if I send them a self-addressed stamped envelope and $3.00 for handling. Heck, that's a deal - as I incur absolutely NO SHIPPING CHARGES! How great is this??

But...even while I realize by doing the above I would have already paid the shipping charges...I have to wonder...so the instructions that came with MY Sea Monkeys were the...what?? UNofficial Sea Monkey Handbook? Certainly I must have been gypped with my original purchase not to have a genuine handbook. What I have is a measly 8 1/2 by 11 inch instruction sheet. Granted, it IS printed on both sides...but the more I look at it as I type this, the more I think it's not even a full 8 1/2 by 11. Seriously...what a letdown.

This flimsy excuse for a handbook goes on to try to convince me that I am to be congratulated on "becoming the owner of the most fantastic pets to ever live and breath!" Yes..."live and breath" is what it says...as apparently I can't hold any claim that they really aren't at all in the same league as my cats...as, well...my cats "breathe". Danged loophole again.

They further tell me that I'll have more fun with them than any sea creature I've ever owned. I don't know about you - but I've owned fish. Fish are pretty boring. They might be nice to look at, but it's not like you can pluck one out of the bowl and sit with it on the sofa. At least not without it smelling after a bit.

These little flecks of sea things will also reward me "with endless hours of pleasure and enjoyment" - and unlike make-believe toys, pet Sea Monkeys are really alive and ready and eager to put on a show. And unlike the insane lady who felt compelled to feed her Tamagotchi while driving...you probably won't kill a cyclist if you're too busy sitting at home, mesmerized, watching your Sea Monkeys.

I have to give the writers of the instructions some credit as they stopped short of saying they are the "Doctor Who of the millennia" - but they might have well said it with this ludicrous statement, "Sea Monkeys are real Time-Travellers asleep in biological time capsules for their strange journey into the future!" Hmmm...perhaps they can get Tom Baker to smile his toothy grin and hold up a packet of eggs and a TARDIS-like container to put them in. Hey...anything's possible - plus he probably hasn't been doing anything lately anyway.

But, wait...I gotta ask...aren't these things just brine shrimp? Once and for all...they aren't brine shrimp! Stop already! They are a "species" of brine shrimp...but they are unique. Not only do they claim to have unlocked the secrets of their life cycles - they've also hinted at creating some mutant sea thing: A hybrid they've crossbred (not unlike England's "Royal Family") but now they will grow larger and live longer than any "natural" variety of brine shrimp. Oh, yeah, they're royal for sure. In fact they mention something about Egyptian Kings in the literature they provided. So, chances are good my Sea Monkeys are blue-bloods -- you know...if they had blood.

My amazing two year warranty eludes to the assumption that my Sea Monkeys live at least two years...but just how long DO these things live? Well, according to my UNofficial 7 3/4" x 11" paper (yes, I just measured it), due to "new computer-driven processing technologies and ultra-pure, non-toxic chemicals, twice as many Sea Monkeys instantly hatch, grow larger and live longer than ever before". Wow! That's a mouthful...and impressive. But wait...just how long DO these things live? Apparently my instructions were not only written by Sea Monkey biologists but political biologists as well!

Now I know everyone is going green...and so's my Sea Monkey water...but that's for the next blog (yes...it's going to be a three-parter, folks). Some of you out there might be wondering..."Mutant royal brine shrimp? Just because they're hybrids...doesn't make them ecologically-friendly, ya know." But, let the fine folks at the Department of Sea Monkeys in Maryland assure you these things are really safe. So safe they can make this disclaimer: "Sea Monkeys are in no way harmful to humans or the environment. If they somehow find their way into natural water ways or sewer lines, they simply will not be able to survive."

So relax, everyone...if I "somehow" FLUSH THEM DOWN THE TOILET, they won't come out as giant alligators on the other end.

(Speaking of ends...stay tuned for Part 3 of my fantastic foray into the fascinating...oh, forget it...just stick around and read my last part when I write it, later on this week.)