All posts by Jayhawkdano@comcast.net

Moving from Chicago to Kansas at the age of ten is bound to have some affect on a kid. I was a Polish/Irish boy in the land of Smith/Jones(s) . Humor became my go to coping mechanism and reading/science became my refuge. That is the recipe that created the person that I am today, an engineer who, um, shall we say “sees the world differently”. I am no longer in Kansas. They were done with me quite a while ago. I am currently roaming the wilds of Colorado but where ever I go people always tell me I’m “unique”. I am sure they mean it as a compliment.

Insists

 

I sat in my perch lording over my domain, the snow-kissed streets lay before me.

Too early to be tainted by man nor beast. A perfect moment held to

myself as warm as the cup in my hands. This would be a brief respite.

There was an untamed beast in the room that had to yet be sated.

It was hungry and demanding. It had been reasonably well behaved

all week. Satisfied with short visits during the week, an hour here, a

half hour there. The weekend had arrived and it’s drum beat could

not be ignored. It needed words. It demanded. It insisted. I

descended from my perch and sat before the keyboard, ready to

atone for my misdeeds.

 

The was written in respose to The Daily Post.

Yes , the SEO scores for this suck as well 🙂

Inkling

It had no form. It never had. It was always there and not.

It settled on the cusp of reality from the beginning of everything.

It would be there until the end of it all.

It had lured poets and scientists.

It had tempted the best and the worst of all beings.

It’s song had woven its way into the hearts of many a promising

young dreamer.

Many had tried to encircle, corral or cajole it.

Whose to say whether they succeeded.

It had beckoned many races, creeds, colors and sentient beings through out the galaxies and across the ages.

It had wrapped its etherial tendrils around all that came seeking, though none complained.

It has always been, the notion that something greater could be found.

For those who sought failed, those that ran could not hide.

It was, it is and would be an inkling.

 

This was written in response to the daily prompt.

 

The SEO scores for this really suck.

Dumpster Diving for Pharmaceuticals

Eighty-two dollars. Ten little yellow pills. Sorry Mick, not even mothers little helpers.

Eight Dollars and twenty cents a shot for Tamiflu and they don’t even come with a warning to call the Dr. after four hours.

Granted I was much happier with their ability to fight the flu. To catch you up, this is the part where I tell you that I have spent the last week like many unlucky Americans. No, the dumpster part comes later. I left work early on Monday with a sickness I have not had in years, the flu.

I have no idea why the flu has not visited me in the last 10 years. I have never been big on the flu shot. It’s always a crapshoot. My conclusion is that in the past it had lost the fight for possession of my body to sinus infections which decided to call my body their humble abode. Yes, I think the sinus infections muscled out any other nasty microbe that tried to move into its territory.

The infections were so bad ass that it took surgery to evict them.

I am happy to say I have been sinus infection free for over a year. But apparently, they left 
a big welcome matt open for any tenant regardless of race, creed or ability to make the landlord miserable. Hello Flu.

Since I have a weakened immune system, my doctor didn’t want to mess around and prescribed Tamiflu. “Weakened immune system,” you say? Is it time to put on patent leather shoes and move to Florida? No, I don’t have on sandals and Bermuda shorts and I am not that old yet but having diabetes weakens your immune system considerably.

Unfortunately, by the time I received the Dr’s message my provider’s pharmacy had closed. No worries, there was a critical care facility a mere 45 minutes away. What could happen while speeding with a 103 temperature? No, it’s not time for the dumpster yet.

It was 103 before I last talked to the Dr. I am sure it held at 103 like a good little fever. How often do you have a good excuse for speeding? My last such case was 2 am on a morning in 1991 and my appendix was threatening to introduce itself to me. The police didn’t pull me over then either.

When the pharmacist at urgent care rang up $82 for Tamiflu, even he had to double check that was the price after health insurance coverage. I was glad I did not have to add the price of a speeding ticket to that.

By Friday, the pills were working and my flu was on the ropes.
When I discovered I could not find the last three pills that evening, I panicked.  I just knew that I would have a relapse because I lost the last 24 dollars worth of Tamiflu.

Retracing my steps and looking everywhere in between, I had come to the frightening conclusion that those 3 little pills could probably be found snug as a bug in one of the two trash bags I had relegated to the dumpster that evening.

So, at ten o’clock on a Friday evening, I found myself hanging halfway in a dumpster. Probably no surprise to many that thought my life was headed in that direction.

Several thoughts went through my mind at the time.

The most insistent thought was “I should have thrown a belt on the mom jeans I was wearing.” It was cold outside and I was worried about even more exposure.

A car did stop nearby but they were just getting their mail. By the hurried sounds of their feet and screeching car tires, I assumed they had spotted me and were less than curious to see what was going on.

Oh well, the neighbors were not keeping our trash safe for democracy. I can live with that.

Proving myself to be right, as I found the pills in one of the trash bags, was a far less satisfying feeling than knowing that I would not suffer a relapse because of losing 24 bucks worth of Tamiflu.

Besides, there were a myriad of other reasons for having a relapse. Where did I put that good bottle of Scotch?”

Dawn of The Net Ninnies. (Following Good SEO Practices)

We as consumers of internet writing are becoming dumbed down.
In short, we are becoming Net Ninnies.
It may or may not be our fault.

Much writing on the internet strives to follow good SEO rules. (Search Engine Optimization). Because if no one finds your posts why write them in the first place.

SEO rules are either the cause of dumbed down writing or the audience is driving the creation of these rules.  It’s one or the other. I know which side my money is on.

So what are some of the SEO rules?

Length of the post.
It is bad SEO to write blog posts that are greater than 300 words. That is about the average number of words in a page. Posts less than 300 words are not good either.
Apparently, our short-term memory is more efficient when operating in 300-word increments.

300 words? Are you kidding me? What would have become of the classics if they were published on the web?

“Gone with the Wind” would have to be published in 1,394 separate blog posts.                                                                                                                                  ( 418,053 words at 300 words a page = 1,394 (1,393.5 ~1,394) )*

In the time it took for the story to unfold, Rhett and Scarlet would have met other people and neither of them would have given a damn about the other.

Ok, I just checked the math and the Civil War lasted 1,510 days so the war would be winding down after the blog posted version of “Gone With The Wind” completes. Let’s face facts though, the bloom was way off the petal by then and both Rhett and Scarlet were looking for a way out.

Spoiler alert!

If Rhett could have made use of those extra days he may have come up with sign off words that were just a little more creative. “Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn” has to be the last words of many a failed relationship involving women named Scarlett.

.At 40,300 words, “Around The World in 80 Days” would have taken ~134 days.

Phileas Fogg would have lost the £20,000 and blamed it on the French guy.

“War and Peace” at 587,287 words would take around 1,957 days for Peace To Overcome War.

In that amount of time, there are bound to be a few new wars cropping up. Peace for all would come much later. I am not going to calculate the amount of time for that to happen. It’s too depressing to think that the amount of endings is not keeping up with the number of beginnings.

Complexity
Yes, the SEO score of a blog post goes down if the reading level of the post is too complicated

Complexity takes into account the number of words per sentence. Good SEO dictates that shorter sentences work better. The SEO rule that really dumbs the net down is that the count of syllables in your post should be low. So if you are forcing a reader to pick up a dictionary (google it) then your blog post will pass into the annals of time without notice.

What would famous quotes or passages from books amount to  if they followed good SEO principals?

Instead of Sydney Carton concluding ”It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better …” He would be relegated to affirm “I’m going to do the best thing ever.” Sounds like a certain leader of the free world.

The epoch opening of “A Tale of Two Cities” would not be recognizable.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief it was the epoch of incredulity…..” 

This quote goes on to add a few more lines with quite a few more multisyllabic words so I am sure that it would be dumbed down to something more like; “Well, it was good and bad. Trust me on this.”

Let’s face it, Dickens would suffer greatly.

“Four Score and Seven Years ago….” Would have become “A long time ago in a land far away.” causing George Lucas to pay usage fees to the Lincoln estate.

Stop Words.

No, I don’t mean “You’re not going anywhere young man until you clean your room.”  In SEO-land stop words are common words that, if occurring in the title, are ignored by GOOGLE because apparently it has some standards.

There exists over 600 stop words. It’s a wonder anything on the internet gets read.

The words “See Her Taken” would be totally ignored by GOOGLE thus forcing Liam Neesam to abandon a fourth sequel. That might not be a bad thing. Films like “Dude, Where’s My Car” would probably never see the light of day.

At this point, my word count is more than twice the max so for the few readers that are left, peace out.

*I think I just blew a few of my former math instructors minds by showing my work.

Vegas: Something Familiar

Him:
He left the motel feeling a little lighter if only for the fact that his luggage was being held at the front desk. He checked out a bit early for a 5 pm flight but he was going to call the airlines to see if he could bump up his flight time.

Last nights dream showed him some mercy but he wasn’t going to risk it.

Walking down Fremont he let the sights and sounds soak into him. The falling of chips, the spinning of one-armed bandits, the barely occasional ring of the payoff. It became an orchestra and was on it’s way to being a soundtrack. Yet, something else had become familiar to him and he couldn’t quite place it.

He now found himself standing before the entrance of The Beat, his favorite record store/coffee shop. To be honest, the only record store/coffee shop he had ever known. It was here that he had an epiphany as to why familiarity had crept into his walk along Fremont.

He entered and parked his butt at his favorite table and along with his order he submitted a question to the waitress.
“Tell me, what was here before the coffee shop?

“Good question, I’ll ask Maggie the owner and get you some coffee.

“Ok, Thank you,” he replied.

Her:

She rose with the sun, some habits are hard to break and decided to walk the distance to breakfast. She had worked up quite an appetite by the time she had arrived at The Beat. Walking in the front door something grabbed her attention.

A familiar voice talking to the waitress perhaps?  She sat down at her preferred table and tuned in the direction of that voice.

“Oh my,” she thought.

The waitress had brought him his coffee and an answer.
‘Maggie says before The Beat it was a pawn shop.”

“You don’t say. That’s interesting,” he said and thanked her for the coffee.

He took a sip of his java and was about to read one of the free Vegas rags laying around when an attractive woman stepped up to his table and in a melodious voice said, “I’m sorry to interrupt but I feel like I know you from somewhere.”

He looked up into a pair of the prettiest eyes he had seen in, well, forever, and thought that perhaps he was being a little too hasty in his decision to leave Vegas.

Funnel

The procedure had a simple name but the concept inspired a fantastic array of silicon chip driven solutions.

The whole idea was to capture the memory of a dying brain cell so it could be “recycled” or funneled back into newer brain cells. I had heard the spiel from the doctor and asked all kinds of questions about the exact technology involved in the process. He told me that he could not divulge the exact specifics because of a nondisclosure agreement but that he could give me vague generalities and a crude analogy. That is where the recycling of the dying brain came in.

So now I find myself as a volunteer in a study. They say it’s perfectly safe and I will greatly benefit from it. To make a long story short I now find myself lying on a gurney in a white sterile room awaiting a crack team of medical researchers who will administer the procedure.

Here they come now. Well, its just two guys and but they look like they know what they’re doing

One of them was pushing a tool cart with a white sheet draped over it. This is so exciting, they’re about to pull off the sheet and reveal to me the secret of the procedure. Something no one else has seen before.

Wait, what? Um, this must be some mistake. Ok guys, enough of the joke already.

“Yes, you did mention funnel but I thought it was a metaphor.”
Help, someone…HELP…..

This was in response to today’s  daily post.

Vegas: Beat the Day.

Him:
The gambler left the tables when he hit break-even point.
Sounds simple enough but that had taken most of the day.
He was in a fairly deep hole. When he finally could stand on level -ground he and the day were both exhausted. He had beaten the day. Or, he wondered. Had the day beat him?

He avoided all delays to dream time that night, hitting the mattress after only removing his shoes. He didn’t take off his pants. He didn’t take off his flowered shirt. He didn’t even check under the bed to see the briefcase he knew nothing about.

He had no trouble falling asleep. It wasn’t long before he was visiting his less-than-favorite pawn shop.

He found himself sitting in his usual chair tucked in safely by a copious amount of duct tape. This time something was missing, Gone was the feeling of impending doom but the gentle reminder of the duct tape was an indicator that he was not here by choice.

The curtains to his right soon parted and the pawn shop owner appeared. Gone was his five o’clock shadow. Oh gee, he thought. He shaved for the occasion.

“I am very happy,” said the proprietor. “Can you guess why?” he asked.

“You discovered disposable razors,” said the gambler while waiting for the beating that did not occur.

“Very funny, I won’t even beat you because you finally started to play ball,” replied the clean-shaven man.

“Is this about the company softball team because I already told you I have a trick knee .”

”Ha-ha funny man. No, of course not, it’s about you turning that briefcase into cold hard cash.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.  Was it cold? I tried to keep it warm,” replied the gambler.

He had no idea what clean-shaven man was babbling about but it was his dream so a little babbling was part of the package.

“Haha. Yes, it took you some time but you did well.”

“Oh, great, I’m happy you’re happy but why the duct tape,” he asked.

“Sorry, forgive me, old habits,” said the clean-shaven man as he cut him out of the chair.

The gambler awoke not much longer afterward. If there was anything more to the dream he could not recall. He only knew he felt great and decided to hit his favorite coffee shop/used record store for breakfast. Taking stock of himself he decided he should take a shower first.

Her:
Her day was like the previous work days. This time, however, she returned a “lost” item, relocating it to under the bed where she found it.

At the end of her day, she was beat.

She barely changed for bed that night before remembering the next day was Saturday. She set her alarm clock for her Saturday wake up time so she could have breakfast at her favorite place.”

Note: The words are coming fast and furious so you may have missed the previous installment. Catch it here.

Vegas: Waking from a Vision

The rays of 2018 fell down upon the Vegas desert without much fanfare and with a few less souls around to witness the event. Fortunately for the purpose of this story, we don’t know those souls. The ones we are familiar with are still following their dreams.

Him:
After playing “what can I see in the clouds” with the water stained ceiling for twenty minutes,  he concluded this session of “lets put off my day”.  He also thought that losing himself in the cards would take his mind off of his troubles.

He thought about that for a moment.

What have I got to worry about? My troubles aren’t anchored to reality. They are attached to something fleeting and nebulous. They’re just dreams. They’re very vivid and painful dreams but they’re just dreams. Maybe “vision” is a more appropriate word.

With that one thought his malaise melted away and he let the hot shower wash any remnants down the drain.

Her:
The light crept into her window and announced its presence by alighting on Nadine’s forehead. She became vertical like a shot. She had no time to waste today.  A man’s life may be at stake. It was just a dream but this one, as well as the man,  stood out from any other in her life. She was worried it may be an actual vision, one that she needed to prevent from becoming reality.

She looked under the bed. Unfortunately, the briefcase was still there. She was hoping it had been swallowed up by her dream. No such luck but she knew what to do.
The hotel’s lost and found was destined to have a new briefcase.

“Nadine putting that in the lost and found will not salve you conscious,” counseled Gladys.

Nadine had not told Gladys about her vision. She didn’t need her boss questioning her sanity. She just told her that the story she shared scared her. She figured that much was true. Whether she had a dream or a vision, there was one thing she knew for sure. The story was certainly the cause of it and it scared the hell out of her.

“You know what you have to do.”

“Yes Gladys, I need to give it back to the owner. Can I just put it back where I found it?”

“Yes, I think that should do it.”

All Your Dreams, In One Tidy Briefcase.

Her:

Nadine suddenly had the urge for a cigarette. This would be understandable if she had just quit smoking. But it had been 5 years since she quit cold turkey. She looked around at the strange surroundings. Oh great, my dreams now come with nicotine fits. She noticed the dingy smoke stained room she found herself in had a cheesy curtain for a door. The kind that separates the first class passengers from the riffraff in movie-set airplanes.

The sounds from the other side of the curtain were a far cry from those of pampered passengers using lemon soaked facial towels.

Venturing a peek behind the curtain revealed an attractive man duct-taped to a chair and being questioned by a stocky man, who Nadine had noticed hadn’t shaved in a while. She also noticed the sweat pouring from the unshaven man. Beating a confession out of someone tends to do that. Through the yelling, she managed to catch the words, “My steel briefcase.”

“My god, that poor man is going to die because of me,” she thought.

Him:

He recognized where he was immediately upon entering dreamland. The Eau de Pall-Mall was unmistakable. They didn’t even send a car to pick him up. He just showed up here like a good little victim. Why did he make it so easy for these guys?

He had a lot of material to cover with his therapist when he got back from Vegas.

“I’m asking you nicely,” stated the unshaven pawn shop owner.
What is it with these pawn shop guys and their five o’clock shadows, he thought.  Is it part of the union dress code?

Thwack! A smack upside his head broke him out of his musing.

“Where is my briefcase? More importantly, where is it’s contents?”

“What briefcase? Maybe you could describe it to me. They all look alike to me,” he replied with a slight grin.
Thwack!

Wow, I’ve never heard a thwack before, he thought before surrendering to the pain.

“Stop joking funnyman.”

“Ok, yes that was stupid but in all honesty, I do not know what you’re talking about.”

“This is your final warning,’ uttered sweaty man as he cut the duct-tape to let him go.

“I would kill you right now but I would be out my money and product and then I would be on a very painful hook. You have 24 hours to come up with my briefcase and the product or the briefcase and the profit from the product. While I like the briefcase, returning it by itself will get you killed. You capisce?

“Yes.”  Why in the hell do I even know what that means? Have I been consuming that much terrible pop culture? Wait, is that redundant? Thwack!

A smack upside the head interrupted his thoughts.

“You were inner dialoguing again weren’t you?”

“Uh, yea sorry”

“Not as sorry as you’re going to be if I don’t get my money .”

“Or the product?”

“Yes, you’re starting to get it smart guy.”

And like that the dream had ended.
He awoke with a feeling that there was more to it but try as he might he could not fall asleep again.

Just for the heck of it, he looked under the bed.  Nothing.
No briefcase here, he thought.
The next dream could kill me.

Vegas: Next Stop Dreamland

The lights of the Vegas strip made for a lovely Christmas backdrop. He had been putting off dreamland since midnight and sunrise  was due to arrive on the strip in less than 5 hours.

He hadn’t been this afraid to sleep since he was a kid and that was for an entirely different reason.

He had been a bed wetter as a child. Back then, he was really more afraid of what he would find upon waking up. Now he wasn’t so much afraid of the destination as he was of the journey along the way.

His idea of dreamland did not consist of a visit to the neighborhood pawnshop. His eyes and head had been doing the two-step nod for the last twenty minutes and he could no longer put off the departure of the Sandman special. Falling asleep in the chair would cause real physical pain.

The pawn shop had only consisted of psychological pain up to this point.. He moved to the bed and surrendered to the inevitable.

Across town, another nighttime drama was beginning to unfold. Nadine had gotten home and rather than open up the briefcase, she stashed it under her bed. She had told herself she was too tired to deal with the consequences involved.

The real truth was that the story Gladys had spun had gotten to her.

Nadine decided that any decision made at this point would be better made in the light of day and with a clear head. The suitcase would still be there when she woke and Christmas morning was the traditional time for opening presents. She lay down and waited for the dreamland express with visions of money signs dancing in her head.