Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Backyard Rest

Blackbirds or grackles, I'm not sure which, but they stopped in for a brief rest in our grove of trees this morning. You'll need sound to appreciate them. They took my breath away.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Avast ye mateys!

It be Talk Like A Pirate Day today ye scallywags! Did ye forget? Aye, I be guessin' ye did. Yarr! Weigh anchor! Hoist the mizzen! Savvy, ye scallywag?! Or ye will be in Davey Jones' locker soon, ye Landlubber!

I dare ye t' answer that thar phone at least once today with a hearty "Yarrrrr" or "Shiver me timbers." Or maybe rather than waving t' yer scallywag neighbor or if yer walkin' the planks of the cubicle farm, throw a hand over ye bad eye and let out a hearty "Avast ye mateys!"

If yer pirate speak needs a little hoistin' of thar sails, take a look at this
pirate speak translator. Argh, where's me bottle o' rum?

And to get ye Talk Like A Pirate Day started, here's a bit o' humor to shiver ye timbers...

A pirate walks into a bar wearing
a paper towel as a hat. He sits
down at the bar and orders some
dirty rum.
The bartender asks, "Why
are you wearing a paper towel?"

"Arrr..." says the pirate. "I've got
a Bounty on me head!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Craigslist Junkie

I've become a bit of a Craigslist junkie. It's a great resource for finding practically anything you could desire or for selling anything you own. I've been looking for a dining room table as of late and have been spending some time in the furniture section of Craigslist. Admittedly there is a lot of crap to sort through on my quest. But I am confident the right fit will come along.

It is quite scary what some people will try to sell: mangled and sheet covered couches; tables missing more than one leg and office chairs that look like they've been dropped off a bridge onto I-494 during rush hour just to name a few.

It is equally scary to see the interior of some of these peoples homes. I am buying stock in the plastic storage container industry tomorrow as it's apparent by the photos I've seen that most homes have stacks and stacks of them in the corners of every room.

Then the other day this hilarious post appeared in the furniture section...

How to Sell Your Furniture - A Primer for the Confused
Date: 2007-09-16, 3:02PM CDT

Hey you folks with furniture to sell! I have a message for you. I'm here to help.

Gosh - how *generous* of you to offer your sodden, lumpen, cat-scratched, filth-laden, five-hundred-pound couch! And it's just *fascinating* that was custom upholstered in stylish puke green and burgundy nubby polyester plaid SO RECENTLY back in 1978! So what if it's a little faded on one side - it's alright.

Except that it just can't come with you when you move, is all. Right. I understand!

...But how do I sell it, you ask? I put up an ad for it every 15 minutes and yet no one is calling me! So here are a few pointers that will help your

- "Like New" does not mean "New - to you". It means, you could bring it back to the store and they would give you a return. It does not mean used, people! It does NOT mean "like new except for when I reupholstered it myself with burlap and a staple gun" or "like new except needs to be propped up on one side and has a slight odor" or "like new except for the ten-inch gash that Cujo ripped in it before he barfed on the cushions." That's not what "excellent," "fabulous," "great", "perfect," or "pristine" condition means either.

Tell me something. If it is truly like new, then why do you have an old sheet thrown over it for the picture? If it's "like new", then how come it looks like you bought it at a yard sale from Howard Cosell? And tell me this: why - WHY - does your picture clearly show an enormous crater-like ass dent in the middle of that couch? The last I looked, Crate and Barrel did not sell couches with convex cushions whose seams looked about to burst. They wouldn't, because no one would buy them. Except you. Because from the looks of that dent, you are apparently the world's largest Weeble.

I am truly frightened by that dent. Even if I could force myself not to imagine your sweaty butt cheeks every time I sat down on it, I couldn't buy your couch because I would be too afraid to go to your place and meet you. If that ass of yours has the heft to drastically alter a piece of furniture, could you sit on me and kill me? What if you're a crazed, ass-wielding maniac of sufficient magnitude to crush me like a bug? What if you're a serial killer? What if your calling card to the cops is Death by Ass?

...I don't want to die. Not for a couch. And I'll tell you, not for filthy goddam "Like New" couch that you slipcovered ten years ago to cover the dog hair - THAT'S for damn sure.

- Here's another little tip! Actually I really just want to thank you. When you put "WOW!!!!!! L@@K!!!!!!!" etc. into the title, you do me a HUGE FAVOR! That lets me know you're a subliterate nincompoop with the intellect and sincerity of a crack addicted squirrel - so I can save the time and skip your ad! If you had anything but a pile of steamy shit to sell, you'd use that space to DESCRIBE it. What a timesaver! Thanks! ...Don't you *want* me to look at your ad? I thought you wanted to get rid of your stuff.

- You might also find it helpful if you stopped saying "amazing," "unbelievable," "rare," etc. You do not have an Frank Lloyd Wright chair, right? You don't have a Caravaggio you're tired of in your college apartment, do you? Oh - wait - no - you have a TOASTER OVEN. That you haven't cleaned since you bought it three years ago.

- And quit saying "Sacrifice!" What are you sacrificing? You're SELLING it for the price it can command on the open market. You receive MONEY for something you clearly do not want any more. That does not make you Mother Theresa. The pope does not give a crap about your "sacrifice." You are not "sacrificing" your ugly Ikea breakfast bar for $20 less than you paid for it two years ago. It's USED. Meaning NO LONGER NEW. You are not Elvis or Paul McCartney. The fact that you owned it does not increase its value. Can you say "depreciation?" ...I knew you could. On top of the fact that it's used - and that perhaps I will be unable to eat my Cheerios day after day, because I can't stop thinking about big pink slabs of ass spilling over the sides of my breakfast bar - I have to buy it with no warranty, deal with you, and schlep it down your 80 flights of stairs in Libertyville. So stuff it with the "incredible bargain" nonsense. It just makes you sound like you're INTENTIONALLY insincere instead of just clueless. Having trouble pricing? Here's a tip! Just because you dropped a $600 when you bought that orange and brown La-Z-Boy back in 1986 doesn't mean that it's worth $200 today! Remember: depreciation. Depreciation and a hefty, hefty ass tax. Your ass took *years* off that chair's life. That chair should sue you. You and your fearsome ass of destruction. It should sue you for reckless endangerment. You should PAY ME to put it up in some kind of protective custody from you.

Here's an easy way to boost sales in a jiffy - MAYBE your furniture would sell if your photos didn't show it nestled in squalor! Maybe I'd buy that entertainment center if the photo didn't show it stuffed with grimy fast-food wrappers and sticky porno tapes! Maybe cleaning up a little would help me believe that your version of "Very Good Condition" means that you've removed MOST of your grimy skidmarks from the cushions!

- And just a reminder - when you take the picture, turn on the lights ON and not OFF. And remember, you want to take a picture of the front of the thing you're selling - not it nestled amongst the discarded whitey tighties in your little hovel! While your taste in decor makes for a fascinating anthropological study, most folks would rather just see the thing you want them to buy.

And here's another helpful tip: you might want your ad to say more than FOR SALE: CHAIR. Or FOR SALE: CHAIR - BLUE. Or even the mysterious but omnipresent FOR SALE: DINNING ROOM SET NEEDS WRK MUST GO CALL 312-555-5555! Gosh, that sure is tempting to have to call you and deal with you, but it might be easier to look at the 999 other dining sets that have pictures or at least descriptions. So please don't leave that out, m'kay?

And there's just one last thing, kids - if it's too nasty for you to sit on any more, then throw it out. Burn it. Shoot it and put it out of its mercy if you have to. But unless you're unusually rich and/or persnickety - and I mean Howard Hughes persnickety - chances are the Craigslist public won't want to set down on your grotty couch from hell either. Even if you're giving it away for free! The "free" category is a place to give away stuff that people would actually want. It isn't there to make sad attempts at unloading filthy, squalid castaways that Salvation Army wouldn't take! That matter is strictly between you and your garbage man. I'm embarrassed for you when I look at them. Really I am.

(...By the way, in case you were wondering, we ALSO don't want your 50,000 bricks "take all or none", your broken cassette deck, your four used coffee mugs with cracks, or your box of 75 slightly used sex toys. And as far as I can tell there is no market for 400-lb broken metal desks. So good luck with that one!)

...So in other words, thanks - but no thanks. And please, people, let's keep the Craigslist airwaves free from mind-numbing crud! Only you can stop and think for a second before you hit the "post" button!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Creatures from

Found this on a new favorite website,

Dutch artist Theo Jansen demonstrates his amazingly lifelike kinetic sculptures, built from plastic tubes and lemonade bottles. His "Strandbeests" (Beach Creatures) are built to move and even survive on their own.