Long-Awaited?

hotmailSo I haven’t posted here in over three months. My stats indicate daily visits are down under ten. Yet, mysteriously, I have nearly thirty notifications in my e-mail of new followers — all with hotmail addresses and none of whom appear in the list of those following the blog here on WordPress. What’s up?

Facebook LogoOn Facebook I recently have been fed up with dextremist garbage and periodically respond to the wickedly wrong crap that gets posted. For many months, perhaps even a year, I’d held my, ah, typing fingers, attempting, unwisely, to be “fair.” Once I post contrarian comments, the blitz of ghostly followers… Coincidence?

Probably.

Yet I wonder.

ghost iconAnd I am again, however briefly, and/or sporadically, back. Unlike, currently, the U.S. government (ridiculously pretending to “defund” the ACA has nothing to do with continuing resolutions in lieu of an actual budget, Greedily Opportunistic Poopyheads).

Happy, spectral new “fans?”

©2013 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

D J T

I tried to prevent myself from even writing — let alone posting — this trivial, overly subjective whinge. However, after I spent too many half-conscious hours last night running variations on the initials so central to this post through my mind, I had no real choice but to succumb and exorcise De-vile Jouncechops Turgidity. Really — even asleep, or half-asleep, or mostly asleep, I was devising various phrases, such as “Demonically Jaundiced Tushie,” to describe the (thinly) orange-thatched subhuman whose ranting and invidious presence on our planet has cornered me into writing today.

Last week (I think — perhaps it was earlier: I shall know better when I seek out the image I intend to use in illustration for this article, for this particular portion of this article, in fact*), a certain (to-be-unmentioned by name) financial scam artist** (Dumb Jerk Talking) made an outrageously offensive tweet against fellow New Yorker (actually a New Jersey native by birth) Jon Stewart — this tweet:

Dullard Jerkmember (Torture-us) Twit

Dullard Jerkmember (Torture-us) Twit

Initially, I read about, then ignored and then forgot about Drooling Jivemonkey Thickpate and his nonsense. Until yesterday evening, when awaiting the start of The Good Wife at 8:00 PM Our Local Time (Daylight Savings Variety), I accidentally endured the final few minutes of Dirtwuss Jackstaff Thatchskullʼs wearily lame “reality” hour of enhanced-interrogation maltreatment (failed-celebrity version thereof). And the subjection to Dolt Jute-chewing Tipplepratesʼs braying and painful pontifications, even for a few hundred seconds, left me on the uneasy and sickened side of sleep.

Thus this post and its Joycean exuberance in ringing the changes on Deafnoggin Jughead Turpitudeʼs initials.

And I have only just begun, but also run on too long about too little. However, I was having so much fun, I thought you (whatever faithful peruser has made it to this point) might like to participate on your own. Using the chart below, just select one from Column A, another from Column B and the last from Column C (I really should have called those columns D, J and T) and create your own burlesque caricatures to lampoon Driparse Japehoax Tincturation (not really necessary, as It, sleazy merchant of valueless twaddle, does such a woefully awesome job of making Itself ridiculous).

Doofus Jackdaw Thirdrate WordsChart

And you could  consult a dictionary or thesaurus yourself for even more variations to play. Obviously, I didnʼt even make it through the alphabet on various traducements to use, so feel free to add (or invent — the addition of… “-head” or “-breath” or “-ass” or any gross physicality may transform even the most mundane and titmousian expression into a truly splendiferous and gargantuan aspersion absolutely appropriate to the abomination that is Demi-apt Jumbomalicious Troglodyte).

* Turns out it was only “four days ago,” according to Google Images search.

** Also here and here and here and (I think we all get the picture… long before now, too.)

*** Heck, Dullard J. Twatfumble probably went no further than a quick look at Stewartʼs Wikipedia entry for the naming thing asininely featured in the tweet (or, to be accurate, forced an intern or other employee to do the job for His — Dirty Jobs Trashmeister — Ineptitude-Personified Haughtiness).

©2013 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Past Blast

As the dextremist Enemies of Americans at Fox News attempt (tiresomely, repetitively, again) to distort real news/events for Their own smarmy purposes (abetted by that shady and seditious shark, Andy Breitburp), I, who have mowed the lawn today (such a major accomplishment, we must say), feel the best post I can make for this Labor Day is the one I published one year ago. You may read it here.

Our Iowan 2011 Labor Day brings/continues the midwestern coolth we first experienced yesterday, and, even as I type with sweatshirt and long pants upon my body, the temperatures are a pleasure. The Lovely One and I traveled on Saturday to Mt. Pleasant to visit Dawn and Kevin (she has been suffering from chicken pox, a truly unpleasant experience as an adult), returning yesterday. Dawn was pretty completely recovered (even being permitted back into her elementary art classroom this past week), and (I think) all four of us enjoyed a good time together.

I came home a bit lighter in the head (very marginally) when my just-more-than-a-week-old crown fell off the stump of my tooth about 11:00 AM Sunday! Fortunately, I wasnʼt chewing anything, and the $1000 misinserted (or failed) part is nestled in my vest to be restored for free (or so I presume) early tomorrow (or so I have requested). Happy holiday to me. And I certainly hope you, gentle readers, have enjoyed more fully your three-day weekend (which corporate powers and the dim Dextreme, along with their utterly mindless Teabots, would like to render more meaningless than the day has become).

By the way, the birthday bash for my mother-in-law at Timmermanʼs Friday evening was very fun. Janet brought home a full meal of leftovers from her order (Chicken Chardonnay with added artichokes), while I consumed both of my Greek-style pork chops. My Beloved is right now on the phone with her sister, but that call is probably drawing toward an end, so I should cease saying somewhat less than nothing here and be ready to actually speak with my spouse.

So thatʼs the news for now. Power to the People, and welcome back to work tomorrow.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Apologetic Punkʼdee

Sometimes oneʼs own foolishness can provide the meat for a blog post. Well, thatʼs true at least in my case. And hereʼs the post, today, to prove the axiom. (I could have entitled this one, “Stepping in My Own Droppings.”)

And some wonder why I picked Wakdjunkaga as a pseudonym/alter ego…

…or Facebook Follies

Over the weekend I got punked* via the internet. No, my identity wasnʼt stolen (at least not yet), but I got tricked into making a terribly false post on Facebook. About Michele Bachmann.

A Facebook page I have permitted on my Newsfeed posted a link to a Twitter feed this past Saturday morning. 

No, as you may observe below, AATPʼs original post did not mention anything about satire.

The Facebook page, “Americans Against the Tea Party,”  has a definite agenda in its online presence, determinedly in opposition to Dextremism and narrow-minded nonsense of that rigidly Rightist sort, but in general, although utterly opinionated, their posts have been sincere for the nearly a year that I have received their updates. I clicked their link to the Twitter remark Saturday, and found this:

Now I am no Twitterhead. The entire concept of “following” folksʼ 140-word pronouncements strikes me as the pursuit of the illusion of information as opposed to acquiring (and, we hope, attempting to understand) actual information.** To me, although I wondered about the abbreviation of the junior Congresswomanʼs name (and therefore cited my source when I repeated the “quote” as “@MicheIBachmann,” copied directly from the tweet), the remark seemed only slightly (d)extreme for the recent victor in the infamous Iowa Republican Straw Poll. In fact, except for the use of “tsunamis,” a pretty lengthy and unusual word for her, the remark seemed to fit snugly within her record of gaffes and ridiculosities pretty well.

So, believing that I was alerting the world to further pseudoChristian, fully fundamentalist/Dextremist folly, I reposted the “quote.” And a few of my Facebook comrades “liked” my observation that Ms Bachmann was more than merely crazy eyes.

Unfortunately (for me), I was deluded. AATP had  posted a “satirical” link, as they admitted themselves a little later:

Ha ha. So truly amusing. I got tricked. Punked.

Being but discontinuously online, I had no clue about my error until a friend from the Right bothered to tell me Saturday evening that the post was “from a satire site.” Although I felt blushingly ashamed, I was wrong (and he was more than right). Thus my thanks to him for bothering to politely and firmly point out my nonsense.

My correction

And my apologies to Ms. Bachmann (although sheʼll never know theyʼre here, Iʼm sure) after she has created a public record that could so easily include the horrible (but satiric) tweet.

* …Perhaps I should spell that “punkʼd” or something like that?

** Not that Facebook posts (which are now limited to fairly brief number of characters — which I have violated repeatedly and been forced to edit/reduce my remarks) are really all that worthwhile.

(All images today are accurate and unedited captures from Facebook and Twitter.)

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Dirty Work (at and away from The Crossroads)

Thereʼs nothing particularly dirty about this shot (from today). But this is the tree I actually climbed to get the trap about a month ago. It is (I firmly hope) the ONLY tree Iʼll have to climb. (The trap is visible in the photo, but you have to look very closely to discern it in the quite low spot where I rehung the thing and from where I removed it this morning.)

My job is dirty work. I havenʼt mentioned this issue before partly because it didnʼt seem that way back in April when I got started. (I am thinking about “when I got started” as I have begun to take down the traps, beginning with those we first put up.) But even in those (dreamily now?) chilly and rainy days of not-quite-spring-here-on-the-prairie, I was using the “goop” weʼre provided to clean the sticky stuff (Tanglefoot®) on the traps from my fingers and the extendable pole. On a fairly regular basis.

Since those early days, especially as heat has swelled and the dry epoch of summer descended, the roads have become dustbins thick with yellow grit my vehicle plows up into clouds of dense fog-like filth, even as complicated and unreadable medleys of weeds have sprouted (neck-high in some places) in the ditches along those dusty country roads… my work has gotten dirtier. My clothes really require a daily cleaning, partly to remove my own bodily exudation but also the thick layer(s) of accumulated dust and stickiness from traps.

I had thought the worst was two weeks back when temperatures soared to nearly 100° (with — pardon my mentioning it, Tushie Lamebah — heat indices often nearly 120°). And at the end of the aforementioned three weeks of utter aridity. But today, as I began to take down the traps, the filth factor (and the sweat, even though the day topped out just about 92° with the heat index only at 105º) the grimy grunginess hit a new level of ugliness. Taking the traps apart (saving the hardware but eventually folding the purple cardboard into a flat with the glue sides inward* for later disposal) with the glue in a molten state (mixed with bug bodies/parts/guts and windblown dirt) had me cleansing my fingers every single stop.

And the dust puffed in visible waves of billows around me, reverberated from my clothes with every step I took from the back of the GOV to the driverʼs door.

I just wanted to report: my job is dirty work.

And now, as it is not air-conditioned here in the office, I think Iʼll quit and leave this post brief. But dirty.

*  — but only after very, very carefully scrutinizing each peculiar bug — after all, this is the final examination, and I wouldnʼt want to miss anything exciting, however much I donʼt want emerald ash borers around here in my lifetime.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

Visitations (or “Family Values”)

Some families are less outgoing than others…

Today the parents-in-law get their new computer and network installed. To ease their initiation into the digital etherspace, I promised that I would be present when the Geek Squad arrives this morning (sometime — the appointment is between 8:00 and noon) to help with questions or concerns the pair might have. And to get them actively online with at least one e-mail address and an awareness (I hope) of what a browser is.

Since retirement began, I have visited them on my own a couple of times, generally to help with something or to get their help (like acquiring their used lawn mower last spring). And those two are the only parents of any kind that I have on earth these days (fortunately, they’re the kind of spouse’s parents who accept their sons-in-law and daughter-in-law and actually seem like another set of parents). But it’s still kind of odd visiting with one’s in-laws, no matter how much the mutual appreciation. For instance, I adore Janet’s sister, Diane, but when she visits I do realize that the two women spend long, unwearying hours together while I generally read or something for parts of the weekend, leaving them on their own, sometimes for hours.

That was not my pattern last weekend when my sister, Margaret, came to visit. She and I were talking (not as nonstop as Janet and Diane, but then our family is far from as social as theirs) from Friday afternoon until noon on Sunday. And although Janet made herself much more present than I tend to do (notice that comment about Wakdjunkaga’s family sociability index above), she was the one being silent for long stretches and on Saturday night retiring two hours earlier than the siblings.

The Lovely One has let me know that perhaps not everyone is enchanted with my political insights (and I don’t mean wisdom, but everything that all-too-easy internet research has made terrifyingly visible to me over the past year or so — it is a very scary Dextreme out there, selfRighteous and wrongheaded religiously and lunatic politically), nor amused by incessant discussion of science fiction and fantasy or childhood recollections or my various analyses of Homer’s Odyssey (about which I really should write, having been reminded of those arguable theses in debate with my sister), nor enthralled with theological discussions (Margaret taught me about “adoptionism” and about a half dozen or more contemporary theologians and Biblical scholars, Saturday night). Clearly role reversal, for sure, dependent on which family is visiting.

Antigone burying/honoring Polyneices

One’s own family is the one that one knows and that knows one the best. (Like that? The objective third person derives from helping sophomores with their persuasive essays for the last month — their real teacher doesn’t appreciate writers using first and second person, so utterly unlike this blog, for instance…) That profundity reminds me of another, critical literary observation I used to impose on certain classes: about Antigone — so obsessively infatuated with death, purity and finality — choosing her original family into which she was born over the potential and future family she might have made for herself (electing to bury her dead and dishonored brother instead of marrying her espoused cousin, who himself, on another hand, elects to die with/for her, his unrealized bride, against his father).

And oneʼs own family alters, blooms and grows wider in compass. Margaretʼs husband, Brian, was one of the best goads and inspirations in my life, brimming with wisdom, learning and wit (his spirit surely supervised and stimulated our sibling conversation this past Saturday night). Yet so many think of in-laws as pests or problems somehow… Dianeʼs husband, Steve, is, I think, no actual nameable relation to me (is oneʼs sister-in-lawʼs husband considered to be related to one?), but he is an important part of my family, right along with his son, one of my two nephews (a named relationship interestingly, although the two nephews — one on Janetʼs side and one from mine — arenʼt themselves related. Are they?). And my brotherʼs son is going to get married this summer…

Oneʼs family is a living entity, not a narrowly predefined cold case.

Antigone and contemporary zealots are wrong. Real families grow and change, sharing the love, as the anonymous They like to say (some time). And unlike the “views” of mindlessly vanderplaatzed Tighty Righty radicals selfsnared in their rigid, irrational Dextremity, real “family values” accept and embrace those innumerable, questionable and uncertain strangers who bring the future — surprising and disorienting, breathing life and renewal, embodied as their neoteric present and beloved selves.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

The Perfect Birthday Surprise

Periodically I’ve commented on the luscious spam that both I and WordPress have permitted to appear through commentary here on the blog, but the world of spam took on a whole new level of un-splendid astonishment with a mailing for Janet that arrived Wednesday, just in time for her birthday, and accidentally mixed in by me with all of her birthday cards.

She skipped her usual workout at the Y in Dubuque that day to come home early (well, early by our standards — meaning directly after work) so we could go out to eat in celebration of her natal day. Even though precipitation of the light and foggy kind filled the air, threatening to freeze at the point the temperature fell below 32°, we headed off northward through Andrew to Bellevue, where we ate at The Happy Bean/The Market, a really great restaurant* where we had eaten only one previous time back in the fall of 2010 when we were in Bellevue to witness friend Mary Nevans-Pederson’s exhibit of photographs at the art gallery associated with the restaurant and coffee shop. She and her husband Clayton really recommended this place, and they were right. (It’s so good that Janet had, once we had enjoyed a meal there, passed on the recommendation to her boss, who has frequented the place several times since — while we malingered at home.) Amusingly, both of us enjoyed risotto, mine a sausage-less shrimp dish (it was supposed to have Andouille sausage, but it happened they didn’t have any Wednesday night) and hers orange roughy on a very different rice accompaniment.

Our whole birthday experience at The Happy Bean was really great, even though Janet left her reading glasses on the table, and we still have yet to pick them up, although the waitress called us specially to let her know, the call arriving even before we reached home after our visit. The relevant moment (at least for today’s post) arrived when, having listened to the message from The Happy Bean, she sat down with me to open her birthday cards before we retired for the day. Mixed in, as I already indicated, was the amazingly bad piece of hardcopy spam we feature today. I have scanned the document so you can see what some scam artist thought was appropriate to send someone on her birthday.

Here is the mailing cover (that which you see when the mail arrives):

That which was not a birthday card for The Lovely One

Notice the official look, particularly the dove with olive branch that looks strangely governmental and which directs the eye to the “United States…” Yet this bit of garbage did decidedly not come from anything even remotely official (in fact, it took me close examination to discover the name of the sending corporation**, if that).

Once we opened the trifold card, we found this:

Jut what every woman wants to read on her birthday…

Itʼs not sorry enough that she (I believe) has one of those paltry little life insurance policies provided through work just for the costs of a funeral (costs which The Lovely One wishes to avoid entirely, by the way, preferring to donate her organs and remains however possible; just within the past few weeks she talked about the futility of graveyards for us twain, with no one bound by blood descent to visit such ancestral shrines — I agreed in advance, naturally). But what organization was offering her this brief chance to “qualify” to pay them money for this questionable service? I really had to search the flyer to find the tiny print…

The response card at the bottom of the “information” pictured above

Note the absence of information about the “sponsoring company” (would that be the appropriate term?) on this response card, above. When I mail back such cards for magazine subscriptions, the magazine in question is always clearly marked. So I checked the address side to verify to whom the card would be returned…

The address side of the response card

Nothing. We return to “Processing Center” at a P.O. Box in Phoenix. Really solid. Again, no identifying insurance company behind this scam. Finally, I checked the back of the two folds that contained the “information.” One fold was the front cover, the side addressed to The Lovely One. The other fold was this:

Look closely. You can finally find an insurance company name…

Find it? “The Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company.” Well-known outfit… But they actually exist. Here is their “funeral planning” link. However, if this bit of sleaze portrayed in todayʼs post is their modus operandi, I canʼt say much for that company. Not much except… stay away from those slimesack scambags.

Has anybody received equally amusing sucker-mail?

* (whose website, at least yet on the Big Birthday, as our wonderful waitress noted herself, was somewhat out of date)

** Considering my skeptical, if not openly antagonistic attitude toward Big Business/Multinational Corporations/Old Wealth trying to control our nation and politics with Big Money, is it any wonder that my erring fingers seem invariably to type “coprolation?” The scent of “coprolite” in that error is too good to resist.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.