Sunday, October 18, 2009

Balloon Boy

Now surely everyone in the world already knew, or should have, before they even had to chase the thing down, that this guy's nuts, right? The Balloon Boy's Dad? Maybe that's why they had to take him seriously, but seriously now, he wants to be on TV! People wouldn't just use their kids for that, would they?

It's Sunday and I'm feeling pretty lazy, and a little lightheaded, since I'm trying to clean the house for company, so I'm not going to hyperlink everything for you. You'll have to look it up yourself, but it won't be very hard. There's almost nothing else on the news.

No kidding! Just before I move out of my house in the middle of nowhere, I'm having company. You won't find that all over the Internet. I'll tell you all about it some time. I know, you thought I was talking about something more interesting. Sorry.

Meanwhile, in the world of twitter and the blogosphere and just-in-time news (that's the kind where you don't actually have to pay someone to sit around and be expert at reporting the news, you just call it in, at great expense of helium, when you need it), how the hell did people who pay attention to Wife Swap already NOT know what was going on??!!! I'd like to be shouting my head off right there, but I hear ALL CAPS is really impolite.

OK, so I kind of like the guy. He reminds me of myself when I was, like, maybe 14 right before I was into girls. His wife's kinda hot, so maybe he really is onto something, and his kids don't seem all that bad. They might all watch too many spaceships-in-the-backyard type movies, but I really don't want the guy to go to jail.

So we got punk'd. Big Deal! I think we believe stuff that's a lot more outlandish and spend a lot more money on it, with worse consequences, and those guys never go to jail. You know who I'm talking about! No, not the ventriloquist's dummy. He obviously wasn't making up the stuff he told us by himself. Wait, are you that easily fooled??? sorry.

I wish the guy was on the Internet - and that there WAS Internet - back when I was 14 or so. I never could cobble together the right stuff to make my hovercraft support me (mine had a little model airplane engine, but it was still cool). My static electricity Van-de-graf generator never did work, because all I had was wooden spools, long rubber bands, and aluminum mixing bowls. It should have worked, but I got bored.

And we didn't have mylar back then, so my hot air balloon was some kind of army surplus rip-off chewing gum rubber. As I recall you had to boil it before blowing it up, so it wouldn't just pop before it could ever take off. I don't think the air traffic controllers allow those things anymore. Not to mention, shhh, homeland security who musta been all over this one when it got started. And anyhow, we couldn't get helium right at the Dollar Store (r), so all I could do was fill mine up from the ass end of mom's vacuum cleaner and so it never did actually fly. It was cool, though. I mean literally.

But the whole thing felt like a ripoff for sure. I was expecting something the size of at least a shoebox for whatever money they tricked me into spending. I think we had comic books back then instead of the Internet. I was never stupid enough to buy X-ray glasses though. I knew enough not to do that. I had my own ways to spy on naked girls.

I almost got in big trouble myself, launching UFOs which were really dry cleaning bags with a little McDonalds' straw kind of mouth-opening structure, and a little tinfoil container of Sterno (r) just like crazy homeless people used to drink plus something from my chemistry set to lighten it up. So you could see it I mean. The hot air made it float. I almost said stupid. Sorry.

Don't try this at home. It's actually pretty scary when you realize that it might come down somewhere and start a fire. I sure was glad my bicycle could keep up with it, and that no-one reported UFOs on the radio. We listened to radio back then and just adored the DJs. Kind of the way folks these days adore Brittney Spears or Paris Hilton, maybe. Well, there weren't any female DJs, but you know what I'm talking about, right?

But come on people. You got punk'd!

You're the ones should pay the price. I mean, any of you who actually watch Wife Swap on TV. OK, sure I caught a glimpse on YouTube of what it's all about, and it would probably be pretty hard NOT to watch if you had the TV on, which, OK clearly I almost never do or I'd know what's actually going on out there where civilization actually lives.

But there's really important stuff going on in the world, that you are going to be asked to weigh in on. Hello, this is supposed to be a democracy, and you can't be chasing tornadoes or rainbows all the time. Helloooo!! You have to vote too, if you're older than, say, old enough to kill people. No drinking though (wink wink)!!!!

The guy's on record, for chrissakes, that he thinks he is descended from aliens. Very public record. And if that's not weird enough, his wife thinks she was too. If that were the case, then the odds are pretty good that we all are, since it doesn't look like he married his sister. I mean his wife looks pretty Japanese.

It almost makes the wife he swapped with, some kind of spiritualist with an endearing lisp, seem pretty down to earth. Although her husband's mullet was a trip. I guess they might still be in vogue along the spiritualist camp meeting trail.

You already know how stylish I am, so I'd be the last one on the planet to know. Seriously. I might wear a mullet myself if it wouldn't look so stupid on me. I mean if I had that much hair.

Well, I've really got to get back to cleaning out some cobwebs. The sun is out for the first time in maybe a month, and so they're showing up pretty clearly. Looking like Halloween, which would be fine this time of year, but I live so far out that in all the time I've lived here - one entire sabbatical cycle - no kids have ever rung my doorbell. So I always just eat the candy myself. Hey, I'm just saying!

My own kids are gone, and I've ordered up a dumpster now for the stuff none of us wants. There's good old fashioned Craig's List for the rest. But did I tell you I've got company coming? So, I can't chuck it all just yet. One last cleaning and tidying up.

Now get this. My house actually has a built-in vacuum. Talk about useless. You can do this thought experiment at home. In your head now, compare, say, dragging around an entire vacuum hose with dragging around an electrical cord.

You see what I mean? I mean, who buys this shit. I priced a power head for mine once, just to see, and they wanted maybe three times what it would cost me for a nice old fashioned Hoover. (you can already tell I'm not into Cyclonic machinery for cleaning, so who knows what you might be willing to pay for suction)

You should see what a whole new system would cost. And people pay it!!! Maybe because they can exhaust outdoors, and then filter the air coming in. But those people breath their own cleaning fluid fumes. Hey, maybe that's what going on in the world now . . . (maybe that's what's going on with me!)

Plus there's the basic law of physics which limits suction to the height of the atmosphere above our heads, which means the longer the hose, the less the suction no matter how big the motor is. And mine's plenty big enough to run a hovercraft that would support me even how big I am now! There's no legal limit to how hard you can blow. I mean real laws, physical laws, not the kind that says you can't talk on your cell phone while driving. I mean unless you're the governator's wife. At least no one would ever elect a Scientologist (r), right?

(back in the day, my vacuum cleaner hovercraft would only work on a shiny tile floor like they have in school. We didn't blow out our gutters or our leaves way back then, never having thought a gadget was actually required for that So there weren't any really strong blower motors available just for the garbage picking. And even I knew enough to put the motor right on the hovercraft rather than hooking up a really long hose. I mean I'm not stupid. I'm just saying . . . )

OK, I really should stop picking on that guy. I already said I like him fine. He looks a little crazed, but I guess all mad scientists are supposed to look that way. You know, in a back to the future kind of look.

Which, speaking of, I still can't get out of my head this Large Hadron Collider they're supposed to start up again in just a few short weeks. I actually read the papers of those guys who calculated the odds of its having failed the first time. Then they factored in the odds of the one we started building here in the good ol' USA actually being scrapped after we'd already spent billions on it.

I already made fun of how that NEVER happens in a democracy. In a democracy, see, you have all these insiders gaming the system, diverting the electorate with stupid can't-not-look-at-it stuff so they won't notice when you build a bridge to nowhere.

But reading the actual paper gave me new insight. They included in their calculations stuff like that the Russkies were out of the game, and so we'd already won that competition by default or whatever it is called when the other team doesn't show. Well, we kicked their asses out, so maybe you can't really call it default. I guess it's about priorities.

Our masculine motivations were rather deflated, if you know what I mean, and Congress, which is still plenty masculine if you read the tabloids, kind of lost its will to carry on with strange science experiments without some kind of competition to give them the right MoJo to keep going.

But those oh-so-much-more civilized Europeans, who play a totally different style of football, picked up the ball and ran with it. Well, you can't actually do that in Euro-ball, but you know what I mean. Hmmm. I wonder why they bash heads over there so much more than we do, even given our low-life manners at the American style games. That's a mystery beyond me to figure out.

I'll bet we've got better cops than they do. And ours carry guns. Yeah, that must be it.

Huh, what, they carry guns over there now too??? Deflate a kid's bubble, why don't you. I guess some things will just have to remain a mystery.

But anyhow, this is actually some serious science. No kidding. They think it's pretty strange that a wildly expensive and complicated machine might not actually work. Hello!!! Haven't they ever wanted to throw their computer out the Window (r)???

I sure have. Like right now, for no reason at all, the little coffee cup holder tray keeps popping out as if in service to my every want, and I just want to slap the bitch silly. I really do. It's annoying, and I never use the thing anyhow, preferring text to things that move. I mean I'll hold my own damned coffee, and like to stop at diners for my break anyhow to get my fix while driving.

Jeeze, I wonder if I have ADHD just like Glenn Beck. I can't seem to keep my mind on anything. What was I talking about??? About how there's no limit to how hard you can blow and still not break the law? Ummmm

Oh yeah, the LHC, a 17 mile circumference machine to coax gravity defining particles out of nothingness. I guess matter hardly ever gets created or destroyed, only transformed, and these guys have made a machine now to come pretty darned close to that point toward the very beginning when something really actually did get created out of nothing.

I gotta tell you, I'm not buying it.

But hey, don't listen to me. They just named a hurricane after me, but no, don't listen to me.

See that's what happens when you put way too much energy into making things go round and round in circles. We used to have these little siren thingies we'd mount on our bikes, see, and when you pulled the string, they'd start spinning against the wheel, but then the cops made them illegal, see, because, like people would think it was actually the cops, you know back when cops had actual spinning things to make their sirens go and not stupid digital noisemakers like they started out having over there in sissy Europe, you know, two tone kind of electronic oscillator machines, and we had them in our backyards too, these motor driven actual sirens, which were set to blow all at the same time in case of nuclear Armageddon, but now they're all rusted out since I don't think they actually test them anymore, you know, now that the world is safe from nutty ideas like communism, and anyhow people figured out that hiding under your desk doesn't really stop the fallout, which isn't really so much coming from the sky which I knew because we had a fallout shelter in our basement and it didn't even have a cement roof on it because, at least this is what Uncle Sam told us, the rays would be coming from the side, and . . . . .

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