Archive for the ‘Abuckortwo’ Category

HoarseMan Has a New Employee – Sort Of

Posted: December 7, 2012 by sgtconundrum in Abuckortwo, Where's the Frog?
coupla guys

Cleanin’ up the Streets!

Yo, I’m Sgt. Conundrum. Don’t talk much.

Or type much either.

But you will be hearing from me.


Sarge C.



…Doesn’t mean that nobody else was. In the past ten days since I read a Patheos article “3000 Years Ago, Was Anybody Alive Then?1 on people who really believe that the Olympics couldn’t be 3,000 years old because it is only 2012… (I read it with mouth hanging open, by the way) I’ve been searching for proper response.

Not that in NEEDS a response from MOI, but those who know me understand that it’s a very, very rare circumstance where I don’t feel compelled to offer forth some kind of response. This, I think, is definitely case where a couple of illustrations should do very well, thank you. I can assure you that even thought I, personally, was not alive — at least in this configuration — there were plenty of dudes and chicks hangin’.

It’s all about FOCUS… I repeat for those of you who know who you are… It’s all about FOCUS, not FOCUS INTERRUPTUM.

Exhibit 1: The Illustrated Vision of the Millennial’s “Worldly” View of Time.

Exhibit 1: Millennial timeline depicting FOCUS. If your eyes are already bad, you may be screwed at telling the difference.

Exhibit 2: The Illustrated View of the Boomer’s Weary Vision of Time


Non comede nivis flavum
1 Please take time to visit the referenced article, it saves me from having to copy the entire freaking thing here in violation of the original author’s copyright.

surveillance THM-8263798 - classified

Yep, I think that protecting intellectual property and copyrights are worthwhile efforts. But this SOPA thing can’t be the answer. Briefly, it will allow agencies in guvmint (as my friend Lem Willertree of the Gonads Holler calls it) to shut down access — or should I say force all ISPs to shut down access to sites outside the US who are believed to be selling or distributing products — or content — that is in violation of copyright laws — U.S. Copyright laws.

On the surface, this is all well and good but then like every other piece of draconian legislation, there are the what-ifs and downright abuses. (Like just image if right now there were states in the U.S. who had passed or are in the process of passing legislation that could radically reduce the ability of many Americans to vote in the upcoming “Buy Your Congressman” sale they’ll call an election. — but I digress)

This SOPA legislation would be a lot easier to handle if in the past couple of years our elected (sort-of) representatives and The Supremes (not the talented ones) had carved into stone that America’s Hallowed Corpulations were PEOPLE. Yes, real people with little pee-pees and tiny toes and vaginas and such. The basic difference is that many of America’s Hallowed Corpulations have more than one a-hole. The official name for the decision was, (I think, but of course the Hoarseman is often wrong) “The People Who Think Money Should Buy All of The Guvmint Shenanigans You’re Willing To Pay For vs. People With Souls.” The Souls lost out to drinks at some golf-course bar in Scotland.

surveillance THM-8263799

But the legislation is put forth and supported by those same exact Corpulations. They of course will receive the financial benefit while the Main Street Guy, the Flyover Gal, the Not-Quite-White Border State twins, and the You-Can’t-Do-THAT-in-America couples will have to pay for all the enforcement and infrastructure with their tax dollars — because the Corpulations didn’t have to pay any this year for some reason.

Then — the What-Ifs.

  • What if somebody on a British (let’s pretend they’re actually friends of the U.S. Guvmint) website complains about the quality of an American company’s product — which is likely made in Shenzhen or Bratislava — what’s to say the company couldn’t pressure the enforcers to shut it down. After all the product Brand Name is intellectual property and is likely, in this case, used without permission.
  • Who has never seen a forum where somebody posted “So-and-So’s customer service sucks the big one” in a consumer forum. (The smart-ass in me wants to ask “who’s big one?” but I digress.) Isn’t using the CompanyName® in this manner a misuse of intellectual property?
  • Anybody ever read an article from the Guardian, London Times, or Der Spiegel to start the day? I do, about 90% of the time. What if one of these online versions had ONE AD — out of hundreds, perhaps thousands — that made an offer to sell in violation of the terms in SOPA. The whole freaking website should be blocked from the entire United States?
  • Or try this one – an American small business which has a good shot at coming up with a product to compete with one from a large corporation, one that does NOT infringe on the the corporation’s IP. The small business guy gets some funding and help from his father-in-law in Canada who also owns a web-hosting company. (Making the source of the data “foreign” perhaps.) Could the Big American Corpulation use SOPA to shut the little guy down for IP violations without having to actually attempt to prove in court something that isn’t provable, because it isn’t true

This last one might strike a chord with writer friends and acquaintances. What if, with SOPA in their back pockets, big publishers used the fact that your small (or independent) publishing house or eBook distributor used a server on foreign soil. And your latest book contained a misprint.

Your heroine’s parents ask her about the new young man she’s been seeing, a young artisan from town.

The parents ask, “Your young man, is it Barry the cobbler?”

“No, ” she replied. “It’s Harry,  potter.”

Oh no! A misprint they left out the word [the]! After a few hundred copies get out, your publisher’s servers are disconnected from all U.S. locations. Why because the American reprinter of a British book invoked SOPA. Not to get you particularly but to “send the word” to all those upstart independents. Will your publisher have the resources to battle it out, especially if they can’t sell anything in the US of A?

CAUTION: PG-13 language: Just maybe any or all of those things could happen — speculation on my part, but then again I could very well the person to whom a commenter on so eloquently said, “Suck my big swinging dick ! Hey, Main Street Guy, Fuck Off.”1

Hmmm, seems to me that some people might call SOPA burdensome regulation — but hey, how burdensome can something be when it closes the doors to competition and worse yet — innovation.

“My damned board said, ‘Screw innovation, it costs too much. Just make us more money with what you’ve already got.’ Who the hell do you think we are?”

Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui

— The commentary above is strictly opinion, rendered loudly with unmitigated gall.


Some recent news regarding SOPA:

CNET 12/21/2011: How SOPA Would Affect You”

CBS News 1/16/2012:Wikipedia to Join Web Blackout Protesting SOPA

1 ref: October 13,2011 – Collateral Damage from Occupy Wall Street

It Could Drive Ya to Drink

My original headline said the Big Blue F, but OK, the “F” itself is white. Blue, however, is the trademark color that people think about. (I’m not including the familiar logo here because they have more lawyers than I do.)

Each day, it seems I have another friend or two pulling the plug on Facebook. I’ve spent some time over the past ten days deleting some information and had planned to do more, but from this article on ZDNET regarding 22 specific privacy and personal data complaints, I think any future effort will be for naught.

Imagine all of us living, planning, connecting, dreaming to fill the Big Bucket of data known as Facebook Intellectual Property.

“How did that work out for you,” I ask myself.

“Not well, not well at all. I hate cold coffee.”

Ok, so I had to make a run to Longmont today to take care of some business. Thursdays in Longmont are kind of a regular thing for me. In fact you might call it a “habit.”

Thing is, I developed another habit in four years or so of making the drive from northern Denver to Colorado Springs. Let’s just call it Regular Stops at a Very Famous Coffee Place (or RSVFCP for short). Driving 90 miles on I25 between 10:00 and 11:00 pm takes a lot of caffeine–to maintain concentration, ya know. Somehow, early this year when I started the 35 or so miles to Longmont (which, for trivia fans, I used to call Frogmont when growing up there) the trips decided on their own that they needed RSVFCP, too.

They. Were. Taking. Over. My. Life.

So I stopped, pretty much cold-turkey (not Wild Turkey), except for the you-know-occasional-slip. [But I digress.]

Today, on the way back, I was “Being Good,” which is a euphemism for driving-right-on-by-the-green-circle. Because… (this is a pause to build tension)

Because there was a really great sandwich shop right across the street where I could get something really healthy. And it was a place I’d been to several times before and because of their diligence in preparing my sandwich with the complete avoidance of anything onion-ish made sure that I left ALIVE. This, although some of you may think differently, is a good thing.

But alas! (I love that word… alas, alas, alas!) I saw a sign in the window that said “FOR LEASE.” Excuse me… For Lease?

I was starving. Hungry. Famished. (sorry, thinking of a Carol Berg workshop on word choices…) Right next door was a Pretty Famous Grocery Chain Store which, I knew, had a deli. SAVED! So I went in, and started reading labels for ingredients. With my allergies, I never ASSUME* anything. But I ASSUMED that this Pretty Famous Grocery Chain Store – Not the dangerous WAY – would have something already prepared that I could ingest (thanks, again, Carol).

How many times have you heard somebody say NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING?

Not finding anything, I was somewhat disheartened. OK, that is an understatement. Let’s call it “at the precipice of being pissed-off.” But suddenly, (cue Montovani-esqu soundtrack) there was a round green sign. So I ASSUMED that everything was right with the world. It was a message from Providence (not the one in Rhode Island) that it was ok-to-make-that-occasional-slip — this time. I ordered a blended Chai creme in the largest size available (they, of course have another trademarked name for both the drink and the size) with electric anticipation. The young lady behind the counter listened carefully to my order, tapped the screen of her computer, and told me – with an air of confidence – $7.20. I handed her a ten-dollar bill and a quarter.

Then all hell broke lose. She tried to enter $10.25 as the amount tendered and the register locked up.

“I’ll have to go get a manager… today is my first day alone… sorry.”

What the heck? I ASSUMED that the register would be able to process my $10.25 and tell that nice young lady to give me back $3.05. But NO! It locked up. What! Was the cash register expecting a tip? So… it… took… some… time… for… her… to… get… the… manager. (Snore) Then it took him time to explain to her that she had to VOID the transaction, with his approval, and then give me my quarter back, and then redo the transaction with a tender of $10.00 EVEN. (What does everybody just use a piece of plastic anymore?)

That taken care of, I ASSUMED next, that I would get my Chai and lemon something-or-other-that-looks-like-a-slice-of-bread and be on my way.

Foot tapping… patiently…

“Here you go,” she said with an embarrassed smile, and I was on my way.

(note: here is where the suspenseful climax comes)

I opened the door of my car, got in, and took a sip. Hmmmm. I took another sip. Cold Coffee! Not only Cold Coffee, but Cold Espresso Coffee, Cold Bitter Coffee.

Did I say I hate cold coffee?

Ok, I could have gotten angry and yelled at the poor girl behind the counter, but what? Am I Patty Hewes? It wasn’t her fault, it wasn’t that big a deal, and I was already running late.

I started the car, backed out of the parking space and looked at the “FOR LEASE” sign again.

In the empty storefront NEXT to the sandwich shop — which was wide open and filled with happy people eating sandwiches.

Methinks I doth ASSUME too much.