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I've been fighting off the onset of a migraine for a couple of days now.

It feels like a tightness in the back of my head, where the skull meets the spine, and it waxes and wanes in size and strength. Usually, if I pay attention and notice these symptoms, I can fend it off with my handy green bottle of Excedrin Migraine® before it engulfs my entire head.

If I fail to do this in time, there's no turning back. At that point, I'm done.

The weird bit the past couple of days has been that, while I have not had a migraine, neither have I managed to shake the pre-migraine symptoms.

This had done some rather peculiar things to my brain chemistry, I fear. My dreams have been both vivid and macabre. I wore a bow-tie to church on Sunday (yes, because "bow-ties are cool"). Yesterday, I wrote pages and pages of very odd connections and trains of thought.

It's back today. Ho hum. Time to hit the Excedrin again.

During a full migraine, I once wrote a Shakespearean sonnet off the top of my head with no edits - it tumbled out of my head just as fast as I could write. Reading it later, I thought it one of my better poetic efforts.

While this level of ability often eludes me on a normal day, I really don't think it's worth the pain. Perhaps I'm just not committed enough to my art. Or perhaps I'm entirely too sane.

Anyway, bow-ties are cool.

Edited to add: It's screwing with my vision, too.
Commemoration of St Catherine of Alexandria

So, today in the Seattle transit tunnel, I espied an advertisement on the side of a Metro bus that kind of flabbergasted me.

It was an image of Jolly Old Saint Nick, with bright happy red text that proclaimed, "Yes Virginia... there really is no God".

There's an image of it here.

I was utterly offended, though not perhaps for the reason you might think.

Having done school marketing, I'm very much aware how much money was spent purchasing this ad. Let's just say it was not inconsiderable.

You might think they'd have thought the actual ad through a little better.

Leaving aside that it makes a claim that is scientifically unverifiable, thus undermining their entire "free thinking" position, it's a terrible ad.

Is the best way to proclaim such a definitive anti-theist statement really to use as your spokesman a fictional character based on a Christian Saint, referencing a fraudulent editorial about a fake letter?

It would seem to call your veracity into question.
Feast of Saint Theresa of Avila

Dearest reader,

During my morning commute, I usually do the crossword puzzle in the venerable Tacoma News Tribune. It's usually enough to wake my brain, though they are not so difficult that I can't use a pen to fill them in.

This morning, one of the clues was "Ragamuffin". This immediately put a silly children's counting rhyme into my head:

Ragamuffin, ragamuffin
Hovel for a nest
Tell us now
Who is the best.

It's the sort of thing children use to determine sides or captains for ad hoc ball games and the like.

Except that I don't know whether it actually exists or I made it up.

Has anyone heard of this before?

The experience was made slightly more surreal when the words "hovel" and "nest" proved to be answers in the puzzle - answers I hadn't yet filled in when the rhyme occurred to me.

In other news, today is the feast of Saint Theresa of Avila, one of the great Doctors of the Church. In college I was once called upon to write three essays about her, one from a Marxist perspective, one from a Freudian perspective, and one from a Kierkegaardian perspective.

Needless to say, the sum of the essays was no where near the total of her life and work. I think the Kierkegaard one was the most ridiculous of all. I wrote it without notes from the top of my drunken head on an electric typewriter the night before it was due.

It was my best grade in the class.
Feast of Saint Jerome

Dear friends,

This being the feast of one of the great doctors of the Church, a man famed for his learned commentaries and translations, I thought it best to contribute to the general conversation amongst the literati who read this humble journal (yes, both of you. and the other one.)

In other words, here are some fascinating links.

The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. - a very informative site indeed.

The Holy Grail of the Unconscious - Carl Jung's Dreamlands Journal?

U.S. scientists net giant squid in Gulf of Mexico - "giant" in this case meaning "six meters long".

...terrifying creatures from the ocean depths - A couple of these would certainly add something to your next Cthulhu Live! game.

'Hitler skull' revealed as female - And far too young to have been him, transgendered or no. Of course, everybody knows that Hitler was spirited out of Berlin alive by Hanna Reitsch in an FI-156 Storch and conveyed to a secret rendezvous with U-2539 in Kiel. From there, he escaped to Neu Schwaben in Antarctica, and thence to the Moon. It all makes sense. Trust me.

It does kind of clear up the reason why the Soviets felt compelled to incinerate "Hitler's" body in 1960. They knew the truth.

Speaking of which, it's Official: Water Found on the Moon.
Friday the 30th

Gentle Friends,

A sure sign you're not yet awake: pouring coffee in your oatmeal.

Fortunately I caught myself more or less in time.

I shudder to think of the consequences had I not.
From: Minister of the Treasury Paulson

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

n.b. several versions of this have come across my (virtual) desk. This is my favourite.

... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.

(bet you thought I'd forgotten!)


19 Sep 2008 07:42
thomryng: Captain Haddock (Haddock)
Once again it be time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

So avast, me hearties, and keep to the Code - and be sure you don't confuse your chumbucket with your rumbucket.
You decide.

McCain/Palin or Tigh/Roslin?

Well, it certainly confirms something I've long suspected.

And this, my friends, is why ultimately the Pope commissioned Da Vinci instead.

Happy Friday!
Wow. LJ has gone completely mad today.

Posts are vanishing and then reappearing. Timestamps are changing to the point where posts are switching positions on my friends list.

Mad, I tell you! Mad!

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)
My dear Madame Arcati,

I shall assume that your laughable statement about "keeping an eye" on myself and my beloved was meant somehow to be intimidating. Please be advised that I respond poorly to threats.

If you comment again in such a fashion, understand that your ISP is recorded, and that I shall take appropriate action with LiveJournal and your service provider (AOL) to ensure that you abide by their service agreements.

yours truly,

...The Suspicious Cheese Lords!

And now for some eXtreme croquet and silly hats.
Oh! This made me laugh. And today, I need it.

The scary part is, I've been both of those people at one time or another.
Snow haze gleams like sand,
And half-starved foxes shake and paw,
And beyond, the same sound of bees.
So you can watch me watch uplifted snow
Bronze the sky, with no
Perfection, only absence.

A trainer flips young alligators over on their backs,
shortcake, waffles, berries and cream
Sculpting each tree to fit your ghostly form.
Swaying in unison beneath the snow,
Bronze the sky, with no
Symmetry, only absence.

This third day of our January thaw,
And piled up at the base of the columns
A salamander scuttles across the quiet
Set on that tomb in the eternal night;
Homeward into the howling woods, although
She stretches a hand toward the toothy sleeper
With its lament, it often sounds, instead, with no
This brightened up my day considerably.

(though technically we'll be at 554 years, come May)
Taking a quick break for breakfast. Thought I'd better post this before I forgot again.

So last night in a bout of insomnia, my brain wandered freely and wide over the internets, and I came upon the site of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Now why can't we have political parties like that in this country? Or are the established parties already so insane as to defy parody?

From here, I came (eventually) to the 1999 policies of the McGillicuddy Serious Party of New Zealand. Now here's a party! The core of their philiosophy is Funism - the most fun for the most people - and their governmental program is based on accomplishing this through The Great Leap Backwards™.

Again, why can't we have political parties like that in this country?

Darn it, I think it's time to resurrect the sadly defunct Whig Party and start writing a manifesto!

(Why Whigs? They were a major party, once; their name is really kind of silly; it's time to reclaim the letter W.)

While I very much admire the McGillicuddy Serious Party's basic philosophy, we will need to make some changes to account for American insensibilites and to bring it up to date for these trying times.

Frankly, that's way more work than I want to do right now. That will require, I suspect, a new barbeque, much beer, and a select group of Whigs. So I'm thinking Spring some time.

For now, I'll simply propose a plank for the platform, as it were, on a minor issue.

Proposed Plank 0001: Male Head Covering

Hats are a civilizing influence on the male of the species, therefore the Whig Party will seek to enact local and national laws strongly encouraging men to wear hats in public. This may include such enforcement provisions as tax exemption for haberdasheries and for television and film productions where all male characters wear hats in public. Men shall not be compelled to wear hats, but they'll look pretty silly if they don't. For the purposes of these laws, baseball caps are not hats. They are appropriate only when actually playing baseball or golf, or perhaps while gardening.
I can hardly wait for somebody to write the plank on the reinstitution of duelling.
some arcadia, not augean imperium

barbiturate be thence or berkeley may emasculate it
some prosecute: burnout, not fanfare, is california's legacy on a palfrey
bestubble or journal not bestir but compleat!


mercurial or snippy, see enormity
see pep
see the keys of worship
see vetch in bessel in fedders

lavish some meteoric skeet, confect it dolores!
it's cowbell in apache
it's choice but gondola
it's discomfit but clayton and pegboard
it's harvest.


invalidate a leitmotiv
elate some silvery dionysus
convey coriolanus
and contravene in basepoint lessons

expiate it's inherit, invariant demon
not zaire!

This just in: The Great Pumpkin is a Cannibal!

I admit, this made me laugh.

Read more... )

Whatever did we do for entertainment before YouTube?

The only reason "Business Casual" made it is because "Teenagers who leave dirty dishes in the sink instead of putting them into the dishwasher RIGHT NEXT TO THE SINK" wouldn't fit on the sign.

Andrew thoughtfully sent me some photos of our paintball misadventure. This is my favourite.

Note the stylish "Digger" t-shirt.

Having promised to explain Pod Parishes, not to mention the whole bears and hoops of flame thing, and bearing (ha!) in mind that my office is roughly 85°F right now and my brain has decided that this means it's time for it to go on holiday to Portugal and leave me gibbering at my desk, I decided that explanations were in order, my lack of brains notwithstanding.

To begin with the questions:

Do Parish Pods involve aliens or mind control? Only in the best case scenario.

The phrase was coined to refer to what is more properly called a Parish cluster. The Parish that sponsors the school where I work has (as of July 1) been assigned to such a cluster. Previously, this particular cluster was called a "triad" by the three Parishes involved, so of course now we are a "quad". It's just one slip of the consonant to "pod".

In the interests of dispensing with the alien takeover and whaling scenarios, we've begun using the proper term now. If mind control were actually involved, my job (in the words of a noted miserable failure) would be a heck of a lot easier.

Bears: Someone asked whether it was a grizzly bear or a polar bear. The answer, of course, is both. And no, that does not make it a "pizzly bear" because that would just be silly. It's a Grolar Bear, of course. Duh.

Well look at that - I'm all out of time. Thank you, you've been a wonderful audience.

Next time we'll get to the part with the bears and the hoops of flame. Promise.

Remember, Deus Carnitas Est: God is shredded pork. Peace.

Edited to add: I note with some vague disappointment that Amazon has fixed the text on their page to the correct title. Fear not, intrepid Meatist heretics! An image of the original page may be found here.
This picture struck me as completely ludicrous, though I'm not sure why. Perhaps you can help?

<td align="center">Thom Ryng --

A person of questionable sanity who starts their own cult

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at</td>

Hmm. Is it OK to start a wacky cult and not believe in it? I mean, it seemed to work for L. Ron Hubbard, but now we're stuck with Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Perhaps somebody can use this little masterpiece to start.

Go, go my minions! Create for me a wacky religious cult! If at all possible, involve mayonnaise!
Glory to God; I woke up this morning.

What with the school commission meeting and all, yesterday was a fourteen hour day of hectic madness. After five or so hours of sleep, my brain is not firing quite correctly.

On this morning's bus ride, with a Tuvan lament playing on my iPod, I found this poem in my morning crossword puzzle:

Habitat Granola

Defrost Agra's plumage:
Nefarious pedicures
Emir stewed Nehru cabaret moose.
Assay wiser ivies, retard ions and doubt
Nefarious pedicures, nefarious pedicures.

Ahead, Antarctic schisms.
Nefarious pedicures
Taint fiestas, detract irate mêlée.
Mêlée? Desks ajar, Polynesia!
Nefarious pedicures, nefarious pedicures.

Muesli kegs oasis,
Blonder cabaret
Depot elope broods omni-stump.
Mosey pleasant, using zag davits.
Nefarious pedicures. Nefarious pedicures.

Edited to add: I've gotten several e-mail messages from LJ about replies to this post that aren't actually online here. Wacky.
Celebrate your inner Cretaceous herbivore!



1 Aug 2005 09:58
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (Donald slightly upset)
Ladies and gentlemen, I have found the tartan for my kilt:

McDuck (MacDuich, ancient) clan tartan

It's even yellow.

Life is good.
This morning, I found on my desk a poor quality photocopy, obviously multi-generational and enlarged at some point. This is what it said:

20B. - History of Philosophy - Mr. Matson

a. About seven short papers will be required, both in and out of quiz sections. There will be a final, but no midterm and no term paper.


1. THE AMAZING MONSIEUR   D E S C A R T E S   will pull HIMSELF out of HIS OWN HAT, and then SAW HIMSELF IN TWO! The Same Performance as Presented BY ROYAL COMMAND before H. M. THE QUEEN OF SWEDEN!

2. SEE in our GIGANTIC TANK the Monstrous LEVIATHAN! Supported AT ENORMOUS EXPENSE, he is GREATER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE PUT TOGETHER! (The Audience is Kindly Requested to Maintain a Reverent Attitude.)


4. The Gorgeous Musical Extravaganza, "IN THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS!" Gottfried   L E I B N I T Z   and his Pre-established Harmoneers.

INTERMISSION. Mr. John   L O C K E   will pass among you with a Plenteous Supply of REAL OLD-FASHIONED SIMPLE SUBSTANCES. Guaranteed PRIMARY QUALITY and CHOCK FULL O' POWER. (Secondary Qualities may be obtained at reduced rates after the performance.)

5. LAUGH with those Lovable Irish Clowns, HYLAS AND PHILONOUS, as they Abolish Matter and BRING DOWN THE HOUSE!



* * * * *

I consider this a good omen for today.


28 Jun 2005 13:57
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (Donald slightly upset)
I'm a simple man. Gingersnaps and hot cocoa make me happy.

Microsoft® Word®, on the other hand, is both capricious and malevolent, and it angers me.

Bill Gates is the anti-gingersnap.
Packed. Re-packed. Took some more stuff out of my bag.

One carry-on and one laptop bag or purse. Each.

And that's it for our luggage.

I'm not checking baggage for it to be lost somewhere between Philadelphia and Rome.

Quickly the last list items are being crossed off.

Got to be up at 4AM to catch a bus to the airport.

Mi dispiace, io non capisco l'Italiano.

Is "Spril" a word? I keep typing it instead of "April".

I'm working on posting monthly fund performance data for the Billion Dollar Company right now and they're sort of sticklers for spelling on these things.