The Gap

No, not the store The GAP, the gap since my last post. Has it been 6 days? This is what I mean about having a job. I like to eat and have a roof over my head, and often that takes priority over posting here. Sorry. I’m really apologizing to myself since I am blissfully free of readership. I still have the spammy bots though, which try to post helpful crap on the site in the guise of comments to my posts. They are all the same. The robot wants to help my site get noticed. I love most robots, just as I love most people. But I do not love asshole robots or asshole people. I also love happy memories of things I have seen. These things rarely involve puppies.

Today for some unknown reason I was reminded of a high school basketball story. We had been practicing pretty hard and everyone was getting tired. One of the players went for a rebound and as he did so, some inner pressure that had built up within his lower digestive system became too much for nature’s release valve to handle. The combination of physical activity and a ton of gas, probably caused by cafeteria fish sticks, pushed the sphincter to its limits and, as it performed its designed function, a loud blap echoed through the gym. Our coach (who has since gone on to become somewhat well-known in high-school and college basketball circles despite being an asshole) immediately blew his whistle to stop play.

He went on and on about how farting while playing basketball was uncouth and that he considered the gymnasium to be his house. And that we were visitors in his house. One of the other players had been at the other end of the court and was walking back to where we stood. Just as he rejoined our group, but before he could hear any of the pious anti-farting lecture, the kid rips a monster. He really “roasted the pigeon” as I like to say. This was one of the most excellent things I have ever witnessed. The coach turned all pink and then red. He was pissed. We all started laughing of course because it’s like when your dad is having a meltdown and you realize how absurd it is and you start laughing and then get your ass kicked by your dad and even though he’s punching you in the head you are still laughing. Dads love that.

My coach was a dick. He didn’t care that no one had washed their jock strap for a month or that a couple of players smelled of ammonia. That’s fine. He actually thought the gymnasium was his grand home and that we had defiled it with a single fart. Thing is, he was only about 25 at the time, so he had to be a real jerk from his very spawning onward. I hope that now, in his senior years, he can barely keep his own sphincter shut long enough to get to the bathroom.

More stories later if the spirit moves me. – Phil Reebius



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A Very Short Story

A water droplet hangs from the edge of a leaf, slowly growing toward critical mass, but before the baby lemur is able to moisten its tongue, the drop falls silently, becoming one with the forest floor. –Phil Reebius

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Who writes the spam comments that get thrown at WordPress blogs? I think this would be a great job, just sitting around writing bullshit that a bot will attempt to post to random blog postings as comments. I’ve also noticed that over the years, the bots are more sophisticated. Instead of just trying to post links, now they disguise the spam as a “helpful comment” along the lines of “great post, you should buy my shit,” or “great post, you should try this miracle shit.” It’s pretty much the same thing but I love the terrible language. I offer this to the world:

“Hello, this is a great post and I am pleased to make your greetings, knowing most of your aptitude and coordinated responses from joy. Has blog creation been many work events or has your pleasantness of sharing your knowledge addressed most needs? Try new feelings and engagement with me for the future with services to help your get noticing and numbers boosts. Also hot women for your pleasure if desired times of peacefulness are planning this season of joy.”

There. Anyone can do it.

Thank you Akismet!

-Phil Reebius

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Time and finding the right tools

Oh boy. Finding the time. Between work and things you must do to keep your life in order, it’s challenging to find the time to write. It’s challenging to make the time. My head gets jumbled full of ideas and I try to save them, but it’s impossible without writing them down. Trouble is, the ideas that seem most interesting come at 3:30 AM when I cannot sleep. Another voice asks: “How do I know these are good ideas? It’s 3:30 AM? What if this idea is a bad hallucination?” So nothing gets written down.

I’ve been playing around lately with Scrivener as a writing tool. It appears to have many of the features that would make it easier to get the thoughts out now and organize them later. I found Scrivener while looking for an alternative to Apple’s Pages program. I had used Pages to write The Randy Scuffle Papers, and it gave me just enough control. Once you have it figured out, it’s quite easy to use and there are plenty of adjustments you can make to your copy as you write. I was using the version that came with iWork 09; it worked just fine until…

Well, Apple keeps changing things. New operating systems, new versions and updates of everything. It’s nice until they stop supporting your version and your computer starts to slowly decay. I wonder when my personal operating system won’t be supported anymore; I know my hardware is starting to get a bit squeaky, especially in the knees. So I finally broke down and got a new Macbook Pro. I loved my old one. It served me well. If Apple has done one thing well, it is that they make great hardware. At least in my experience. So my old Macbook still works fine, it’s just that the operating system isn’t supported anymore and all the new versions of software won’t run on it. Ha ha. Too bad for you!

At any rate, I opened up some of my old files in the new version of Pages and immediately felt sick. Are you kidding me? No Garamond font? That’s what I used for The Randy Scuffle Papers, and for a good portion of the next book. Okay, I can use Palatino. That should work fine, and I can reformat where needed. But still, Garamond is such a classic it’s hard to see it go. I have used Palatino before professionally and it is a very serviceable font, so it’s not the end of the world. Then I started trying to write with the new version of Pages. Crap. I mean shit. What? Half of the functions that make the program decent have gone missing. I’m starting to get annoyed now. They’ve made it stupid. They’ve made it simple. They’ve made it so it works on a mobile device. Like I’m going to write books on a mobile device.

What really annoys the shit out of me is that I pay a premium for an Apple device. Human factors and usability experts have obviously been involved in many facets of their product development. The software, including the operating systems, is getting uglier and dumber with each iteration. But at least it’s not Microsoft Word, which I find completely frustrating to use. (Gee, where did they hide that function? Is it an icon? It it a menu item that uses words? Is it hidden in some mode I’ve not discovered?)

Sorry for the detour. Pages now looks like a cartoon version of a word processor that’s been designed for little kids, so I’m trying to find a substitute. Scrivener may be it, at least for doing books and such. I will update in another posting once I’ve played with it a bit more. The weirdest thing may be having to get used to not seeing your actual layout until you “print” it. If that turns out to be a PITA, I may keep looking, as I haven’t had a chance to really try it yet. I’ll have to make the time. -Phil Reebius


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