Non-Stop… IS A LIE!!

The non-stop snack bar stopped. I had no business being there at that point, anyway, but Pavel (the guy on the next stool) and Hanka (the bartender) turned out to be very friendly folk. I was there much longer than I had planned to be. At one point, near the end, Hanka took the keys and locked the front door. “She is closing,” Pavel explained to me, “but she says it is all right if we stay.”

It had started when Pavel asked me what I did for a living. “I’m a writer,” I said. something something Spisovatel something he said to Hanka. something something piš something she said back to him. “She is worried you will write about this place,” he translated.

“I already have,” I said.

Things just got rolling from there. I paid for Pavel’s next beer. I was at my limit by that time, but then Pavel bought me a beer. Now it’s tomorrow afternoon.

Non-Stop Snack Bar

Names of businesses are descriptive here, and Non-Stop Snack Bar is a perfect example. It’s a snack bar (emphasis on bar), and it never closes. This place is a little unusual in that the beer served is not prominently displayed. There are only two things a czech bar patron wants to know: when is the bar open and what beer is served. The rest is inconsequential.

This is the closest all-night place to where I live, and I have never been here before. Strašnica is not really your party-all-night kind of neighborhood.

I was just getting ready to write “this is a cash on the barrelhead kind of place.” I paid for my first two beers when they arrived, and I’ve watched other patrons, some obviously regulars, do the same. Third beer (laptop open), she marked a piece of paper and waved off the payment. I think the real reason is that she’s too busy scarfing down Buffalo Wings that she had delivered from somewhere else. Yes, it’s a snack bar, but the emphasis really is on bar. And Herna. There are slot machines all around me, taking the space where my favorite table would be, but they’re in quiet mode, softly purring in an almost soothing manner.

The TV is on. There’s a movie on with Harrison Ford in it. There is a limited pool of good dubbing actors, and the one who is playing whoever the hell Harrison Ford is supposed to be has a distinctive voice – kind of high and nasal. I don’t hear much czech TV, but I hear this guy all the time. Tonight the movie went into commercial break and we were treated to an ad for cold medicine where the guy had the same distinctive voice as the lead actor in the feature. There was another commercial that didn’t include him, but then the next one did.

I have been sensitized to his voice to the point where any time I’m listening to the television I can’t help but say, “There’s that guy again!”

Scrive Diem

Many years ago, one pit-digging day (Ah, pit-digging day. One of the most hallowed days of the year. The Friday before the first Saturday after the first full moon in July. Big dogs with dirty tongues, kegs of beer, shovels, and campfires. Twenty years after the first pit-diggig day celebration, four of the five key participants contribute to this blog), I lamented to Jess that none of us present had a camera.

“Some people make history,” he said, “others record it.”

This blog shows pretty well which side of that divide I have landed on. Other people go to bars to drink with their friends; I go to bars to watch people and write about them. Keith asked if thinking about how I’m going to record an event alters the way I experience it. (Actually, I don’t think he was talking about me in particular, he made some comment about quality or some other nonsense.)

I may not be the one to answer a question like that in the first place. You have to understand that when I write, “I’m in the Cheap Beer Place…” I really am in the Cheap Beer Place, right then, as I’m writing it. (I’m in the Cheap Beer Place right now. Tall Brunette Slivovice-Pusher has been replaced by Little Blonde Cutie. LBC is new here, and hasn’t been around enough to earn anything more than a purely descriptive nickname.) In general, I’m not just thinking about how I might record the experience, I’m actively recording it. I’m like the photographer at the wedding – I’m not really part of the festivities at all. When I’m not writing about the events and people around me, I’m writing about the events and people in my head, who are usually more interesting.

Still, there are times I go out without my laptop. Those times aren’t frequent, and I always have a moment of panic when I leave a place without my backpack. Phantom laptop syndrome. When the laptop is closed, however, I can usually stop writing and enjoy the moment. When I’m having an interesting conversation, I’m not thinking about how to describe it later. If I’m hanging in a bar watching sports on TV, that’s pretty much all I’m doing. In the words of Pink Floyd, I have amazing powers of concentration. That means I’m either all the way with you or all the way gone. If my head is somewhere else, I can still struggle along with a conversation, but it is frustrating for both parties.

There are times when I’ve realized that someone was talking to me, but I was someplace else entirely. Once you get to know me you start to recognize the faraway look that tells you I’m writing at the moment, even if it looks like I’m staring into space. Those are the moments when Amy and Melinda would steal my shoes.

One place you can just forget about me is at a live concert when the music is good. I don’t know what it is about those events, but as soon as the band starts to blow I disconnect from the place entirely. Occasionally I’ll think about writing about the concert, but more often I’m off in some fiction-world, either one built from scratch just for the occasion, or one already under construction. Unless the music’s really, really, good. Then I’m in the concert hall and a fully participating member of the band. Either way my friends are ignored unless the music sucks.

Some people make history, other people record it. Some, a very few, make history by recording it well. That’s what I’m shooting for.

One more release to go…

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks hammering on the word processor, fixing bugs, improving performance, and adding some of the little things that make good software great. (Along with a dangerous excursion into Photoshop to make less-ugly interface icons.) The number of users is climbing steadily as well; there’s a buzz building which is bringing a bunch of new users. With more users comes more work supporting them, and if I’m not careful I can lose an entire afternoon Takin’ Care of Business.

I haven’t gotten much writing done lately. There’s always a slump for me before November, but this year the tasks around JNW have really grown. Imagine when I start charging money for it. I think my customer service is already far better than that of most companies, but it’s going to be a real challenge to keep that up in the future. Maybe I’ll just overcharge for the software to keep my customer base small.

Even when I do sit to write, my brain is still working in a very technical space. It’s a good zone to be in, and probably why I’ve been able to make so much progress on the software, but it’s not so good for writing or planning novels. It’s time to shift my priorities, and concentrate on the more difficult and risky task of writing good prose.

I got a release out today, and it’s a good one, and I plan to do one more little release with the ability to turn off some of the warnings and alerts. Then its time to put the code on the shelf for a couple of weeks and use the software for its intended purpose.

De Brug – echoes

A couple of days later I was talking with Soup Boy. Soup Boy is certainly popular with the ladies, and has a healthy and active social life. He was bugging me about working fourteen hours every day and not getting out and meeting people. In my own defense I mentioned my encounter at De Brug. I started to describe her, but I didn’t get far.

“Black hair down to her butt?” Soup Boy asked.

“Yeah, ” I said.

“I know her. Damn, it’s a small town. She’s a trip. And she’s hot.”

“She just broke up with her boyfriend,” I said.


“Yeah, we spent the afternoon disparaging North Carolina. He sounded like a real goober.”

“I never could figure out what she saw in that guy.”

“Well, she’s not seeing it any more.”

The conversation continued like that for a while, mostly at Goober’s expense. I wondered if I would hear from her again about her writing. She had said her life could fill ten books, and from what I heard from Soup Boy, she might not have been exaggerating.

Two days later Soup Boy and I were on a tram, and he says, “I have some gossip for you. It’s about Cleo.” It took me a moment to figure out who Cleo was, but then I was all ears. “I was at a party last night,” he said, “and I thought she might be there. I asked about her and they said she was in the hospital.”

“Holy cow.”

“Not the hospital, really, the psycho ward. I guess she’s kind of freaking out about her boyfriend.” She had seemed sad when I met her, but hardly freaking out. Still, people keep things inside. Then Soup Boy dropped the bomb. “Apparently she stabbed herself pretty seriously, a couple of times.”

Not even ‘holy cow’ could convey what I felt then, so I didn’t say anything at first. Eventually conversation turned to the futility of grand gestures of desperation, the fleeting nature of life, Soup Boy’s ex-girlfriends, and what a goober Goober was.

I understand her stay in the hospital was brief, but I have not heard from her since. I hope she does write her ten volumes, and I hope writing them brings her peace.

She Who Smiles Rarely is in fine form today.

I haven’t seen her for a while; I was starting to wonder if she still worked here at Crazy Daisy. No worries, on a quiet Sunday afternoon we are here together, and just as far apart as ever.

At one point as she was approaching my table I looked up, and I read her thoughts with startling clarity. She was preparing herself in case I smiled at her as she passed by, mustering the resolve to perhaps smile back a little if she had to. I looked back down at my work but smiled anyway, letting her off the hook but perhaps still sharing a little cheer.

I did get one smile, as she was taking my menu. It wasn’t even particularly forced.

An architecture question

I’m sitting at the Little Café Near Home, planing my November, which is looking bright, and somewhere along the way I started thinking of triangles — not sure what set it off — and a missed opportunity by my math teachers in seventh grade.

My memory being notoriously bad, I’m amazed I remember any of this stuff, but we spent a lot of time in geometry class messing with triangles. One thing that was pounded into our heads was that once you define the lengths of the sides of a triangle, you’re done. That triangle is fixed. I think we called it the side-side-side theorem, or SSS for short. It was just another fact. Just another checkbox in the curriculum.

It might have caught my interest more, and perhaps the interest of others who didn’t take to math so well, it someone had mentioned that it could be the single most important fact in mechanical engineering and architecture. Triangles are rigid.

Now I remember how I started thinking this way — most of the chairs in this place, sturdily made of steel, are distorted. Over the months and years of use people have leaned back in them until now they are all somewhat out of shape. They are sturdy, but they are all about rectangles, not triangles. It would not take much to redesign these chairs to be much sturdier.

So you put a chair like this in front of a high school math class and say, “Behold, the power of the triangle in your everyday life.”

But then I did some more thinking. Thoughts often lead to thinking, and thinking to thoughts, in a vicious cycle interrupted only by head trauma or the presence of a member of the opposite sex. I thought of Notre Dame Cathedral. No triangles. Apparently stone is not a material for triangles. It’s good with compression, but tensile strength is laughable. It can only be flexed one direction.

But wood is certainly a good triangle material. I remember as a kid staring up at the rafters in church, seeing the triangles there, admiring the way they were made with parallel planks bolted together like a giant tinkertoy. I remember those rafters better than any sermon.

But older examples of triangles in architecture, I’m having a hard time with. There’s the old footage of the great New York skyscrapers racing each other into the sky, giant rectangular steel frames with steeplejacks racing about with hot rivets. There must have been triangles in there or the whole mess would have twisted and fallen, but they’re not apparent in those old movies.

So, architecture guys: Sacre Coeur, no triangles; then there was that skyscraper where exotriangles were added when they realized after they built the thing that the wind tunnel tests on the models were flawed. If you were given half an hour in front of a semi-comatose group of young math students who don’t give a rat’s ass about SSS, what would you tell them? How do you pass on that this seemingly esoteric fact is a cornerstone of our civilization? In your absence, how do you advise teachers to do the same?

The scope of this ramble is rapidly expanding, to where I now want to create a framework that allows professionals to pass on their passion to students who don’t have any way to recognize when they are confronted by a potentially life-changing fact. I want a footnote in the book that links to a video of an architect getting really gung-ho about triangles, or a chemist going batshit over – uh – whatever chemists go batshit over. I want to challenge leaders in every field to think back to the most basic fact their profession is based upon, the thing they take most for granted, and explain it to people who have never heard it before. They would be giving meaning to the really important bits, things that would otherwise be lost in the noise, but simple facts that could decide a career. There’s some kid in that geometry class, not so good at proofs and theorems, but when given an important tool for buildin’ stuff, might just perk up a bit, might see the connection between all these numbers and building a hotel on the moon.

For me.

And the answer… none of the above

I’ve got my NaNoWriMo story. All those other ideas, including a couple I forgot to mention in that previous episode, are back on the back burner. There’s a new story in town, and it’s a goodie.

An american is assigned to live in a tiny nation that no one has ever heard of – in fact, no one is even sure if it’s actually a country or perhaps a territory of one of its only-slightly-less obscure neighbors. He is met with great suspicion until he admits he is a spy, at which point he becomes a minor celebrity. People are beating down his door to tell him “state secrets”, most of which are repackaged jokes involving goats. Eventually our main man, under pressure to report something meaningful, starts including these stories in his reports, developing his own code. The spooks in Washington, being paranoid, read an entirely different message into his code. Hijinks ensue. When the Russians learn of the Americans’ interest in a part of the former Soviet Union, things get really crazy – and, of course, the chinese can’t ignore all these goings-on.

The mayor of the capital city of “Stan”, as the country comes to be known at the CIA, turns out to be quite a wily fellow beneath his naive bumpkin exterior.

This guy will be in a story someday

I’m sitting at a table near the door, which I regret now because it is c-c-c-cold outside, and whenever someone comes in the door doesn’t close all the way. There is a waitress and a bartender; she is stretched pretty thin, so when he has a chance he comes around the bar with fistfuls of beers and spreads the joy.

He is not a tall man, but he is a big man. He has neatly trimmed grey hair and wire glasses. His black trousers are held up by suspenders. He wears a leather apron that only just avoids being comical strapped onto the front of his bulk. I was sitting, staring into space, thinking about what to write next when he asked me if I wanted another beer. He had a great voice, smooth and low without being deep, soft but resonant. I accepted his offer and he set a beer in front of me.

This is one of those places where there is a piece of paper on your table and as you add to the tab they put hashmarks on the paper. A gloriously simple system, but one that prevents all sorts of misunderstandings, as well as fraud (there are places here notorious for adding items to your bill). The bartender produced a pen from his pocket, clicked it twice rapidly without looking, made a mark on my tab, then, checking the pen to make sure it was still deployed, put it back in his pocket.

Well, that’s inconvenient…

Thought I’d drop by the Little Café Near Home yestereve for a bit of writing. It’s a good place for that. Of course, it’s only polite that I enjoy a beverage while I’m there. Beverages cost money. Specifically, cash. My reserves were a little low, but as I hopped off the tram I was surrounded by ATM’s. The closest belonged to a shiny German (perhaps Austrian? Maybe Swiss) bank with a friendly yellow sign. It’s been a good friend on many other occasions, so I ambled into the foyer of the otherwise dark and silent building and inserted my card.

After contemplating just how much money to withdraw and punching a few buttons, I waited. Then the screen flashed:

“Unauthorized use. Card retained.”

I stood there for a moment while it sunk in I would be getting neither money nor my card back.

No LIttle Café then, but a trip back to the homestead and an international long distance call to my bank. The first thing Linda told me, before I even explained the situation completely, was that one of the major networks that carries transaction information was down. Once I explained my problem she started digging into my account info, then put me on hold for fifteen minutes or so.

Finally she came back on. “We tried everything, and we can’t figure out why they kept your card. We’ll work on it again when the network is back up.”

Probably the problem was caused by the network failure – the authorization was lost somewhere in the ether and the fraud detectors went off at the bank. Today I will go down there and ask for my card back. That should be interesting. In the meantime I have another card, but I’m afraid to use it.

A terribly trivial anniversary

I posted six episodes that day, an opening salvo to establish some of the themes of the blog. I mentioned my candidacy for President of the United States. I mentioned software and blimps. I told a story about an adventure on a previous visit to the Czech Republic, and I wondered whether using iBlog was really the way to go. (I’m still not sure, but 535 episodes and 4500 comments later, the thought of moving makes my head spin.) I posted a few more episodes in October, but November was a write-off, and things only went in fits and spurts until I decided to use the blog to chronicle my homeless tour. That’s when things started to gain traction.

Two years later, the title of this blog seems more appropriate than I ever could have imagined. It is a description not just of this blog, but of my life. I am a half-baked idea.

I’ll spare you further retrospectivosity until April 2th. Once a year is enough for that kind of thing.

I am become Jer

Funkmaster G-Force pointed it out recently, and you can check for yourself. From Lindsay Wagner to Renee Zellwiger, chicks dig me.

Well, not me, per se, but some idea of me expressed in these pages. It is a carefully crafted and sloppily maintained me, an idea that’s got out of hand and is running amok through the blogosphere. It is, perhaps, slightly less artificial than the me you would meet if you were to stumble into the Cheap Beer Place right now, but only just.

This particular me, the one you know, is defined by words. Strings of symbols strung together to form ideas. And all of those smaller ideas coalesce into the grand idea of whoever it is I am. Though, maybe it’s not as grand as all that.

There have always been pen pals and others who come to know each other through words, but now we’re looking at something on a whole new scale. One of my NaNoWriMo ideas involves creating a completely artificial person online. But if that person is consistent and compelling, is there really any difference between that and who you’ve come to know here at Muddled Ramblings?

On a smaller scale, in the comments there are also new people – personalities that did not exist before but are just as real in this context. People with no birth certificates, no social security numbers, but in this place they exist and are known.

Of course, some of you have met me in the flesh, so you have two versions of me to compare. Perhaps there is some overlap, the intersection of the two Jerrys that can give some footing on who I really am. Whatever that means.

November approacheth.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want to read that last episode. Bars with Internet are dangerous things, to say the least. Moving on…

I was going to write something lighter this year for NaNoWriMo. I was going to get a little bit silly and maybe even include the Epic Weasel, the Universe’s first convertible spaceship. Pink planets with wine-cooler oceans, and the revolutionaries who brought them beer. That kind of thing. You know, an autobiography.

Then there was the story with the all-female, all-babealicious NASCAR pit crew, Pit Kittens. A friend came up with the title. I already know the cast – the sinuous, dangerous motorcycle rider, the hot-tempered buxom redhead machinist, the mechanical genius who wears lace beneath her lab coat, and, of course, the twins. Oh, the shenanigans!

But then I got another idea, for a psychological thriller kind of thing, where the man in the middle is just as messed up as the people he is tracking down. That seemed like a pretty good idea, but it’s not growing in my head the way a healthy story does. Two good scenes, a few decent situations, one good character, but it’s stagnating in my head.

So then I got another idea. It’s perfect for NaNoWriMo – it plays out over a set period of time (why not thirty days?) and so in the thirty chapters things can move and change, but continuity won’t be a problem with this one. I’ve gone so far as to outline the thirty chapters. I have some good phrases in my head, and I hope I can remember them when it’s time to pick up the pencil and start the examination.

Except that more than half the time I hate the idea. It’s got lots of great potential for themes touching on the nature of who we are, but it’s dark. Dark done well can make the rare glimpses of light that much brighter, but dark done poorly is just a non-stop bummer. (Speaking of which, last week I had the cover over at Piker Press. It’s a story I particularly like for reasons I can’t put my finger on, but ultimately it lacked the glimpse of light. It was more of a episode than a story, I guess.) But there is light in this dark, dark, story, and it ends on a strong note, with a new voice filled with life and hope. When I’m in a particular mood I love the idea.

I don’t think I can maintain that mood for thirty straight days.

I think it’s time for a new poll…

De Brug

I would have left some time ago, but the music is too good. The beers here cost damn near a buck fifty, and the gulash I had, which was excellent, was also on the spendy side. But the tunes are good. Johnny Cash, Lou Reed. The woman next to me here at the bar, who is probably from Jamaica or environs, requested Beatles, and right now “Something” is playing.

There’s a good vibe here. The language in this bar is English, which means I can talk to people, and they can distract me while I write. Jamaica woman is a terrible singer, but that’s not what matters. She’s singing. I’m singing along as well. Other patrons are singing. It’s the vibe.

Danielle just arrived. The bartender asked, “do you want a coffee or a beer?”


“So you’re having a good day.”

“You bet.” Danielle is American. She rolls her own. Squeeze is playing now, at the request of the Brit sitting next to me. Lots of people are following along. and that’s all right.

So there’s this World cup thing going on. It’s only football (soccer to those where football means Sunday), but people still get pretty worked up about it. The Czechs lost a game they really should have won a few days ago, and now they’re pretty much out. I had a discussion with the dutch bartender that went –

J: The czechs look good on paper but they lost the critical games.

DBT: They’re still the best team in the world.

J: If you can’t win the games that matter, you’re not the best team.

DBT: That’s not the way to think about it.

There were a couple more rounds of that. Apparently I’m awfully damn American to think that the measure of a team is whether it wins the big games, but I’ve met a couple of Atlanta Braves fans who think the “European way”.

But that’s not important. What is important is that the woman who was next to me is not Jamaican. Even that’s not important. What is really is important is that I know she’s not Jamaican. I know this because I talked to her. Yes, you read that right. I talked to a woman in a bar. I didn’t mention this before, but she has long, straight hair that hangs to her waist, enormous walnut eyes, and rich, full lips. The process that led to conversation was a gradual one, stretched over an hour, and was based mostly on both of us knowing the lyrics to certain songs.

She’s not from Jamaica. Man, was I off with that guess. There’s a musicality to her speech that I attributed to the islands, but I was plain and completely wrong. She’s your typical Korean-French-American-Swiss-andsoforth kind of girl. If she is the physical representation of globalization then all I can say is bring it on. I didn’t mention it before, but she is beautiful.

I told her I was a writer. Her vision of me instantly became misty and irrational. There’s something she wants to write. She asked me to read the first paragraph, but I stopped at the second sentence. The first was golden, Five words. A question. A damn good question. The second sentence was a train wreck. I skimmed the rest of the brief text and found muddled ramblings punctuated with really good questions. She looked at me hopefully. “You have a story to tell,” I said, “You have the questions. You don’t have to have the answers, but when you speak of cruelty, you have to be specific. You have to show the cruelty. If it’s your life, you have to show your life.”

More conversation ensued, and I promised to edit her work. That will be a major undertaking, certainly frustrating, possibly embarrassing, if she follows through. But she has a story, and I will do what I must to see a good story told. So we talked for a bit, and just before Skippy arrived she said, “If you read this I will never be able to talk to you again. We can only talk through email.”

And then, as foreshadowed, Skippy showed up. In fact, Skippy is sitting next to me now. Cleopatra is long gone, but Skippy is pounding away on her laptop.

His name is not really Skippy, but it should be. As I post this, he is wondering why I’m smiling at him.

Releasing Your Inner Google

The gnomes at Google understood better than anyone else that the Internet was more than just a big pile of information. It is a big, loosely structured pile of information where connections are based on association, rather than categorization. In that way, I believe, it models human memory more than other repositories. But while surfing the net, hopping from link to link, is much like daydreaming, what was missing was a way move to a specific piece of information. There was no way to concentrate. In that giant ad-hoc pile of info is the answer to your question, but where? Google and the other search engines provided that critical capability, and without them the Web would be damn near worthless.

So, hooray for the search engines!

As a side effect, the search engines also give us a snapshot of the cosmic unconscious. We can see what it is that people are looking for out there. From here, it looks like a hell of a lot of people want to know how to fry eggs, and to read about Japanese g i r l s who wear short s k i r t s in the winter. They want pitchers of the oddest things, and they want to know the ins and outs of X-ray g o g s. Then there are the strange ones.

I occasionally chronicle some of the searches that brought people here to MR&HBI. Because this episode will also be cataloged by Google and the others, phrases I do not want to distract the engines from the original quarry I obfuscate with spaces.

  • s w e a t y ass problem
  • stories on how the language moves on the Ladder of Abstraction – actually some of the other links were very interesting.
  • “crosses by the road” – linked to this. I think I finally have a story working that captures some of this feeling.
  • do you lose if you scratch on the eight ball – it depends on where you live.
  • tree in the forest does it make a sound – yes, I am now widely recognized as an expert on the deeper philosophical issues. We need to have more nobody’s in forests so we can figure this one out. Linked to another episode like this one
  • driving time between calgary and edmonton – linked here, but this is also interesting.
  • a r r o g a n t assholes – Second on Yahoo for my description of New Yorkers
  • why sneezes in threes – I don’t have the answer to that, but it did connect to a mediocre Chapter One
  • forced to smell stepmother’s feet – linked to the stories page, attracted to the frequent use of stepmother in the drivelicious The Quest for the Important Thing to Defeat the Evil Guy.
  • p i c t h e r s of dogs – this search is now more common than “p i t c h e r s of haircuts”, but neither sounds too appealing.
  • big b a z o o k a s – in this case, the b a z o o k a s were full of beer.
  • “Oscar Peterson” “hockey fan” – I like both those things. Linked to the Idle Chit-Chat page.
  • E l k poop pictures – I saw e l k poop in Y e l l o w s t o n , but I didn’t take pictures.
  • free x-ray pictures beach girls – because you want to look at them from inside as well
  • Building an Elevated to the moon – I’d settle for being elevated the first few thousand miles.
  • D a r t h V a d e r Bowling Ball – linked to an episode about the travails of Travis
  • cerrillios road, nm – a soulless stretch of misspelled commerce in Santa Fe, but a good place for breakfast
  • z e p t e r bullshit – was attracted to my Writing category page where I say some unflattering things about the company, but stay neutral on their products.
  • The retro into the b l a c k h o l ehere
  • diaper-explosion photo – ewww
  • Beer Piss Tour linked to the bars of the world category page
  • lyrics “we’re not abba” – linked to the Observations category page, attracted to an episode in which I complain about bands doing covers that sound just like the original.
  • what would it take to be a rock n’ roll celebtrity top hit, baby! I tell you, I know all about celebrity! Linked to the Stories category page.
  • “anatomy of a face” book – not a wacky search string at all, but it reminded me of a chance encounter with a truly beautiful woman, who is gone now. And I got the title of her book wrong. But I miss her, the woman I drank with for a couple of hours in an airport bar.
  • sublime “locked up” – linked to a road episode
  • g i r a f f e m y t h stories – I’ve written one, sort of, but it’s not here
  • sex sparking my mocking pics – wow. Searches for lists of random words that include “sex” often end up on the stories category page.
  • toaster cooks eggs heats meat – now there’s a toaster I could endorse!
  • j o j o and the slave
  • curse words in pig latin – linked to an oddamgay episode like this one
  • tweaker chick pictures – at least they weren’t pitchers
  • what would go wrong with a blimp – linked to my sure-fire idea for a new sport. Higher on the list was an interview with Bob Denver. It seems he had a fondness for wacky blimp-based ideas. I knew there was a reason I liked him.
  • toasty tent – linked to an idea that almost doesn’t qualify as a get-poor-quick scheme. The cold winter nights of the toasty tent are coming soon.
  • half baked, ive killed and watched killed – linked to the main page here
  • towns from Reno, Nevada to Weed, CA – if you follow the route I took (via Prince George, Canada and Durham, North Carolina) there are lots of towns between those two places.
  • “how to make an electric spark” – I had the only hit, for a ramble about my special effects work on Pirates.

Perhaps it is a sign of the changing times, but while eggs queries are still the most common, queries about my little writing app are on the rise. Queries about particular bars are on the decline. Perhaps that means I need to write about more of them.