Posts tagged ‘time suck’

Where the hell has the BUMD been this time?

11 October, 2008 | | No Comment

OK, so there were no flings with time, losing track of or otherwise. You really want to know? Well, I’ll tell ya.

I was on the campaign trail with Sarah Palin. Oh, sure, the Republican handlers will issue a statement denying it, but that just proves my point, or rather it will, in the event that I have one. But I don’t want to talk about that right now. I want to talk about higher taxes.

No, not really. That may have been a cheap shot, but then again these days, shots are the only things that are cheap in this economy. I am glad I don’t have to worry about having money in the stock market right now. You know, anymore. I worried about my money in the market last week. That money would have been safer with my good friend General Mumbate Shambalessen, who was until two weeks ago the Secretary of the Treasury of Nigeria, and needs help cashing his bonus checks now and then.

If you wonder how bad the global economy is right now, consider this: I just got a spam email that asked me to please paypal the sender five bucks, in exchange for which he’d take me off his spam list. I was tempted to just send the poor bastard the money, but I needed the $5 for an extra 8 ounces of gasoline so I wouldn’t have to push the car all the way home next time.

Lately I’ve been running the car on booze. It’s cheaper. Plus, I get such great looks from the cops who ask me if I’m driving drunk. “No, sir – but the car is!”

On the inside of the car, of course, we have the usual suspects. The Human Tape Recorder listens to music – hers, if she has her iThingy with her, or whatever SOBUMD is playing otherwise. (I’m not allowed to touch that dial – no one wants to hear Big Ugly Music.) So there we were, rocketing along the highway, and listening to Pink Floyd. You know the song, because you didn’t need no education either – Hey! Teacher! Leave those kidsalone! In this song, if you’ll recall, there is a choir of children in the background (and sometimes foreground) singing with the band – “All in all you’re just another brick in the wall!”

The HTR pipes up after listening to the kids for a while, and asks “Is this Kids Bop or something, except without the bad singing?”

Of course, in the time it took us to stop laughing we’d used up another $287 in gasoline.

Also, and I’ve put it off long enough, but it’s time I stopped moping. They lost. It was the sense of inevitability that did me in, the whooooshing noise of getting to October and just knowing that the 100 years were up, that the Cubs could finally take the World Series and sweep it – they had a great season. It was our turn. Boston had their day a few years back. But this year wasn’t next year.  It was just this year – a good year, but not Next Year.

There’s not even anyone to blame. They didn’t even self destruct, or play bad ball. LA just played better baseball. They just got beat.

Eh. There’s always Next Year. We’ll get ‘em then, you’ll see.

Incidentally, in the time it’s taken me to write this, my car has used 15 cents worth of gasoline. Just sitting there, parked.

“Hey, come on – you started this with politics, you can’t just stop writing now,” I hear you cry. OK, I’ll tell you the truth – I’m not just voting, I’m endorsing my pick. I’m endorsing the only ticket to tell it like it is, to always put the needs of American viewers first. I’m writing in Dave Letterman and Tina Fey for the White House in 2008. Can’t you just see Letterman throwing things off the roof of the White House? He won’t veto bills – President Letterman rolls over them with a steamroller. And Tina Fey as VeeP? Heck, she can see the Jersey Turnpike from her house, and a good bit of Long Island.

“But where’s the Time Suck?” you ask. Ah, and I’m glad you did. Last week’s TSoW was called off in deference to the grief of Cubs fans everywhere. This week, though, the Suck is ON.

This week highlights the fun you can have in the UK, with the British Library. It’s easy. It’s addictive. It’s the whole damn world. I love to read (books, haha!), and if I can’t actually get my hands on them, at least I can turn the pages (though you have to install their plug-in). Plus, I can look at Blake’s original draft of The Tyger. Sheesh. It’s like looking over his shoulder – you can see where his mind was, what he wrote and then decided better of. I often wonder about what the future will find from our drafts – do we save them? How many of us draft on paper anymore; or even keep the drafts if we do? My backups are all of finished copy – I tend to delete the drafts once I’m done with a poem. (Done is a relative thing – they’re never really done. Sometimes they just stop getting better for a long long time.)

Anyway, that’s the TSoW. Makeof it what you will.

I leave you with Blake, after the cut.

Time Suck of the Week

28 September, 2008 | | No Comment

This week’s time suck came to me just recently, as most of them do. If you are anything like me – and I am not for one minute suggesting that you are, although you do keep reading this – you probably have a thing for maps. Who doesn’t? A map gives us a sense of where we are in relation to the world, how we fit in, and in a small way perhaps a reminder that we’re all on this shiny blue marble together.

Which brings me to and the wonderful world of the world, along with the WorldMapper Project/. Here are some interesting maps of the 2004 and 2006 elections, as well.

Then there’s the Re-Visions of Minard site, which is a great way to dive into the technical aspects of what makes a map more than a map – how you can pack a terabyte of data into a megabyte of space.  I could spend hours with this, and have.

Time Suck of the Week

21 September, 2008 | | No Comment

Once again it is time for the TSoW.  This week’s Time Suck is for all of us readers, in case you’re wondering what to read next – you know, once you’re done with the never-ending exploits of the Big Ugly Man Doll. 

The wonderful people at have gifted us with a handy, if erratic, piece of code that will suggest to you other authors you might like based on a proximity map – the closer two writers are, the more likely someone will like both of them.  It’s handy despite having an obviously "odd" algorithm, both from the perspective of "well, someone liked it" and from the perspective of "look at all the pretty colors" – just watching the names in the map float around is really kind of mesmerizing.

Useful?  Perhaps not.  A time suck?  Oh yeah.

Look at all the pretty colors!


15 September, 2008 | | No Comment

This week’s Time Suck will only suck a minute or two of your time. It’s worth it. Imagine being a bookseller with almost all the books in the world.   Imagine being a bookseller with almost all the books in the world.  This is a beautiful story, well told.

And oh by the way – the Cubs just threw a no-hitter.  This year is Next Year!

Time Suck of the Week

10 August, 2008 | | No Comment

Ah yes, the immortal TSoW, in which the Big Ugly Man Doll philosophizes about many things, not least of which is which part of my personal insanity I should be sharing with you, Gentle Reader.  In the case of this week, the topic is death and philosophy – in fact, the causes of death of different philosophers through the ages.  

Here you will find out – because you’ve been dying to know – what really killed Nietzsche, Ockham (shaving accident), and Aristotle (excessive moderation), among many, many others, many of whom I’ve actually heard of.  So go on, expand your horizons.  

Fair warning – unless you have a degree in comparative philosophy, it’s not as funny as the cakes.  ;-)