Oct 08

Time To Refocus

This has been coming for a little while now. I was hoping the feeling would pass, but it really hasn’t so I guess it’s time to act on my instincts.

I’m powering down my alt accounts.

I really don’t have the time to fuck around with my main account so how am I supposed to look after four of them.

To clarify. this is my main account and I used @granolalight to do non-swearing, homesteading related posts. I barely showed up on that one, but I’m keeping 5 SP on it in case the urge hits me.

@reactionaries was my wife’s account that she has relinquished to me after having had enough of Steemit and @fromthebeginning was an account that a friend just left to me when things went south for him. I basically just set them to autovote friends and collect a bit of curation but it was less than a cent a week on average so what’s the actual point to that?

So I set the three of them to power down and I will move whatever is in them to this account and then figure out what I’ll do with it. I imagine I’ll just lease out my tiny amount of SP and sit on my laurels but who really knows? I can’t lie and say that I’m not disheartened and a bit depressed when it comes to Steemit.

Posting, I mean.

Winter is on its way and I am switching to winter shift next week. That means shorter days (if it’s not snowing) but more days per week. I know from last winter that I am not going to have the time, or will, to sit down and write out stories each week, especially when you spend hours doing it when you should be doing more productive work. If it produced some actual physical benefit to my life, I wouldn’t even balk at it, but I feel like it’s stressing me out more.

Add to the mix that I probably average about $5 a post and it doesn’t really seem worth it. It may not look like it but I spend several hours on a post and while I am not here for the money, obviously, there are really not many other rewards, when you actually think about it.

Sure, I know you are all vibrating right now and yelling “COMMUNITY!” at the screen but I didn’t say I wasn’t going to be involved, I am just going to take a break from posting here. I am still going to be judging what I can for Comedy Open Mic and helping behind the scenes there, and I hope I can still hang out with @shadowspub the odd time I’m able to catch a show on the Steemit Ramble discord.

When I’m not plowing or sanding.

I also like cuddling up with my wife and dreaming of our trip down to see @buttcoins this February.

(Why do they put that first “r” in there? I have never heard someone pronounce it Feb-ru-ary. Have you? Maybe I will start enunciating better and fucking everyone else up.)

Yeah, we are planning a trip to Lake Atitlan to scout out possible homesteading sites. That’s another reason I need to buckle down and do more productive things with my time. The longer I piss around, the longer it’s going to be to get out of the rat race and into a more meaningful existence.

If I can pick up extra hours this winter I am going to grab whatever I can. I’m also going to focus more on growing indoors. We got some new lights and want to learn as much as we can about efficiently growing things inside. We hope to one day branch into aquaponics as well, so it’s kind of important for our future to figure this stuff out.

I also need the vitamin D the grow lights give me. It’s like being surrounded by sunshine. I’m going to sprout a few kush seeds and see if I can grow a few decent plants over the winter. Between that and the herbs and veggies, I should get to spend quite a bit of time in there getting my sun on. I’ve pulled my worm bin in there as well, so I can just sift out castings and get a jump on the spring while listening to gardening podcasts and dreaming of a better life.

It’s not that we don’t have a great life; we do. It can always be better though. Simpler. More in tune with nature and less in tune with the nature of our society. I know that we are feeling it but the kids are not. This is the life they know. The life their friends live.

I only hope they figure it out before they are in their forties like we did.

I guess I figured it out a lot earlier but I had this albatross around my neck that was holding me back. I also made a lot of poor choices when it comes to money companions almost everything.

Anyhow.

I’m just going to be laying low for a bit. I may post some stuff through the whaleshares cross posting tool, so if it works, something might pop up here. It won’t be much though. Not that it ever was.

Sep 30

Despite All My Haze – Comedy Open Mic Round 32

I am still just a rat in a maze.

I don’t know why I spent so much time on Pixabay and Paint to make that stupid, yet free, image. I guess I was trying to save me writing a thousand words but I asked around and everyone said they didn’t understand it, so it looks like I have to write this whole thing out.

The eighties were a different time. Obviously.

One thing that was different then was my age. I was just a kid. A kid who really liked animals, amongst other things, but we’ll get into that later.

So a buddy and I were at a mall that had a pet store in it. I was fascinated by the birds they had there and couldn’t help but notice the price tags that came with them. Some were in the thousands of dollars.

I checked my bank book and saw that I had $7 in my account. Add that to the $18 in my wallet and I could afford a $25 bird. Maybe a budgie.

They were only about $10 as long as I had a cage and food. I did have an old gerbil cage from a bad choice my brother and the cat made but they said it was no good for birds.

That’s when we saw the sign.

Rats – $3.99

We asked if we could hold the rats, to make sure they were tame and they let us go in a room with a few so they couldn’t escape.

Escape? They didn’t even want to leave my sweater. Their tiny little claws were crawling all over us and it felt great. We picked the two boys we wanted and they boxed them up with a bag of food for us. All together it cost like $15. What a score.

He got the fat one with the huge balls and named him Elvis. Mine was younger and not yet pronounced in the testicle department so I called him Michael Jackson.

When I got home, I started getting Michael’s cage ready with some shavings from the chicken coop and a bunch of toilet paper rolls to run around in. Some food and water to top things off and then I let him crawl around on me while I laid on the bed.

Then the phone rang.

Turned out that someone wasn’t allowed to have a rat in the house so Elvis had to go. I agreed to take him, even though my mom was clearly motioning that this was not happening. We only had one phone that was attached to the kitchen wall, so it was pretty easy to see her.

I could deal with her later. Right now there was an animal that needed my help.

I should mention that another thing I really liked was rebellion and dissidence. It sort of fueled me until my twenties. There was just something about sticking it to The Man that I really liked.

To be clear, in this instance my mom was The Man.

I walked over and got Elvis so he could come and live with his brothersibling. I had to strike that because, within a week of being reunited, Michael Jackson, who shall herein be named Lita Ford, gave birth to a bunch of tiny, pink freaks.

Looks like old Elvis grabbed her by the pussy or something. At least I assume it was him. There could have been a bunch of males and females mixed up in that batch. After phoning the pet store, they told me that they just guessed which ones were male, as most rats are sold for snake food and don’t make it to parenthood.

Well, I now needed another fucking cage to keep them separated. Uncle Larry probably had one. He always had useful shit like that around the house.

It took a couple of days to track him down and he gave me a cage he had in his workshop. I took it right home and put Elvis in it. It looked like maybe there were a few babies missing, but I can’t say for certain.

I probably should have counted them but then again, who really wants to know that their pet gobbled up their own, or anyone else’s, babies? Not me, that’s for damn sure.

Everything was good for about a month until Lita Ford, who still was living with her brood, had another batch of babies.

What the fickity fuck? Her kids couldn’t have done it. It’s like a three week gestation period and there’s no way that they reached sexual maturity at a week old. Is there? They didn’t even have their fucking eyes open. I bet that dirty, old, Elvis slipped one past the goalie. You would think that she wouldn’t have gone into heat after just pumping out a bloody pile of shrimps, but the animal kingdom is a strange and wonderful miracle.

I’m not going to get into the shitshow that went on at my house when Mom found out that there were now around twenty rats in the house, as opposed to the one that was there when she warned me not to bring another rat into the house. Needless to say, I was in need of a solution to my newest problem.

Enter the German

At school, during homeroom, I mentioned aloud that I had a bunch of rats in various stages of life that I had to get rid of. The German kid pulled me aside after silent reading and asked me how much I wanted for them. The fact that he was reading the Satanic Bible didn’t bother me a bit.

Holy fuck, what do I do here? On one hand, I am broke and would love to at least get the money I had spent on this furry fiasco back, but on the other hand, I wondered if I could turn a profit. I didn’t want to scare him off, as I needed to get rid of these fucking rats but greed got to me.

I started by telling him they were $4 each at the pet store and I had twenty of them. He flat out told me that there was no way that he was going to pay $80 to do experiments in his backyard.

Fuck.

I was about to ask what experiments he was doing, but then I decided that I really didn’t give a shit. I figured he had a snake he needed to feed so why would I care if he was putting drops of LSD on their backs or dripping their blood to outline the pentagram that is probably next to the huge swastika in his yard.

Obviously, they wouldn’t really have those in the yard. That was just me acting foolish. They would keep them in the basement so as to not arouse suspicion amongst the liberal neighbours.

I told him that I wasn’t going to charge him that much, but I would like to get a buck a piece. He said that was fine and said he would bring in the money on Friday. That really wasn’t good for me, what with the stern talking to by my mother, but I said it was cool. What fucking choice did I have?

Now I had to figure out how to keep the rats out of the house for three days and then sneak them into school Friday morning until the end of the day. Piece of cake, right?

I decided that it would be too hard to take all of them in at once so I would sneak a few into the school each day. I took the books out of my gym bag and left them in my locker. I never did homework anyhow, and I was going to need the room.

I took seven in each day and put them in the bottom of my locker which I had lined with shavings and added a water and food dish. It was too hard to hold them in when I opened the door, so I only did it first thing in the morning. I wasn’t prepared for the smell of so many rats shitting and pissing in one square foot of locker bottom, but I needed this to go down smoothly so I stayed the course.

I know what you’re thinking.

Why didn’t you just put all the rats in a bag and drown them in a bucket of bleach?

Well, that’s sort of overkill, but things along that line sure popped into my head. I figured that since they were going to die from experiments, I could just kill them and get it over with.

$20 in the 80s is like $155 now.

Judging from what I made an hour then to what I make an hour now.

Are you telling me you wouldn’t smuggle rats into a high school for $155? You’re fucking right you would. If you wouldn’t, I don’t want to know you.

So Friday rolls around and Klaus Von Schittenhead comes up and hands me five dollars. I tell him that they are a buck a piece and he just nods and says he’ll take five of them. I stress the fact that I need him to take all twenty but he says that all he has is five bucks, so that’s all he can take this week.

I couldn’t imagine the smell after another week or how many inbred rats would be living in there by then.

I had to break down and tell him that he can just have the rest for free as long as he takes them as soon as school is done. He seemed quite pleased with this and mentioned that he had already built a maze for the experiments. I asked if he was electrocuting them when they took a wrong turn and he shook his head saying that he was going to try and reward them with a treat for making the correct turn.

I was ashamed of myself for assuming that a German kid that reads the Satanic Bible is automatically a Nazi rat torturer. The problem is that was a kid, and my mind hadn’t developed enough to admit things like this. Just like I didn’t admit to him that most likely the rats would chew through his gym bag before his mother could drive him home.

I nominate @arseniclullaby and @johnthefelon to get an entry into this sumbitch.

All photos are free from Pixabay. I’d happily pay for their photos if I had money. They’re that good.

Sep 26

My Nineteenth Birthday

A friend wanted some Copperfield’s stories, so I shall regale you with the story of my nineteenth birthday, but first I’ll let the uninformed know about the phenomenon that was Copperfield’s.

Every small town has/had a version of Copperfield’s. You know the place, good food, ten-cent-wing night and lots of booze.  It transformed from a family restaurant into a dance club from Thursday to Saturday. There was hot, charismatic waitresses and bartenders; big, huggable bouncers (well, I’m sure someone hugged them); and a great DJ that put the cock in cocky (and anything else with two tits and a heartbeat). It was a very comfortable place to drink for an entire generation and my second home for a few years.

Let’s go back in time.

When I was sixteen or seventeen, I worked as a busboy and bar porter there and it facilitated my foray into manhood. I partied with the rest of the staff after work, and I felt like part of a greater thing. I thought that putting on that Copperfields shirt meant that I was part of the elite team. People didn’t mess with you if you had that shirt on, because everyone had each other’s back. Nobody messed with the waitresses, without getting their head bounced off the center post of the front doors as they were being “escorted” out, or getting surreptitiously punched by a busboy as the doorman was carrying them across the floor. You just felt safe there (or at least I did), but alas, everyone has to move on sometime.

Fast forward a couple years to my nineteenth birthday. I had a double shot of Jack Daniels and a couple of beer for lunch, followed by half a dozen rye and gingers for dessert. I then headed for Copperfield’s for supper and some libations. Because it was my birthday, and the fact that I knew the staff, I was treated to several happy birthday shooters. I was doing pretty good as I didn’t puke until Ferg gave me the “Formula One” (Thanks pal, but I still say it was Scope).

So there I was, happily shit faced, and sitting with a friend, when I decided I might need to see a man about a horse. As I swerved my way to the washroom, a small guy, about my size, said “How’s it going there, Goggles?”

I was taken aback.  Being one who was never into taking shit from anybody, I replied, “That’s really cool to make fun of drunk people that have obvious physical impairments. I guess when you don’t have the mental capacity to be a decent human being, these are the things that make you feel good about yourself.”

While he was trying to figure out the insult I had directed his way, I turned around and set my glasses on the table and remarked, “The goggles are off now asshole.”

That was when his rather large-necked, tough-looking friend stepped in and explained how I was going to have to fight him first if I wanted to get to his much smaller friend.

This seemed unfair to me but my mom didn’t raise me to complain about life not being fair so I agreed to beat up the two of them and then took a couple of steps back to get a better run at this situation. Right about then, one of my bouncer buddies came and picked me up off the ground, reminding me that I was five and a half feet tall, 145 pounds, and as much as I claimed invincibility, that I was in fact mortal.

All of those things may have been true but that didn’t stop me from telling Big Neck that he was lucky the bouncer had me, which seemed like the right thing to say at the time.

It turned out to be the exact opposite of the right thing to say at the time.  Big Neck ran up and started smashing me about the head and neck with his club-like fists. Luckily for me, my friend could walk fast and Big Neck seemed unable to walk and fight at the same time, so the blows weren’t as hard as I thought they would be.

I cheered joyously as the other doormen threw him out and came back to give me a stern talking to. They told me that he was waiting outside, and I had best go sit down and wait for my ride. I guess I must have followed instructions.

The next morning I woke up in my buddy’s pickup truck.  It seems I slept through the rest of my time at the bar, the after party, and the ride home.  I’m still indebted to my friends for preventing my early demise, and most of all to Joey, for making sure I made it home safe with my goggles, and for not letting any hot chicks rape me while I was too drunk to remember it.

Sep 19

You Know Who Doesn’t Get Enough Recognition? – Comedy Open Mic Round 31

And all of the people that are involved with it.

I know, I know. We don’t get to toot our own horns nearly enough so I am going to take this opportunity to reiterate.

The fact of the matter is that COM is a necessary (sometimes) evil on the Steem blockchain. It’s kind of like that complete asshole in high school that nobody wanted around but his dad grew weed and was usually too high to notice an ounce missing.

I’m looking at you, Doug.

So anyhow, like COM, Doug was just around and you talked to him when you were bored or wanted to get high and forget that Kelly pointed out your boner in front of the whole class. You just know she sits in front of the AC to get her nipples hard on purpose, but you’re the idiot that can’t control himself.

By grade eleven you have high talked to Doug enough to know that his dad is gay and is trying to hide it from himself with drugs and his mom had sex with a male stripper when they were in town last November.

Now you start to understand why Doug is so annoying and you think you should quit judging him because he has had such a fucked up childhood. You actually decide that you should just quit judging people altogether. Nobody likes to be judged.

Whoa there, Hoss. Tap the brakes a bit.

I forgot the whole reason I was here in the first place.

There are some people that loved to be judged, and we’re here to do that judging. From videos to songs to written posts to art. We are here to assign a point value to your hard, (or not so hard), work.

But enough about you

I’m writing this post to thank us for judging all your entries. It’s sometimes a pain in the ass, but we are happy to do it. You folks probably don’t realize this, but there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to keep this show on the road. There are the judges, the curators, and the admin volunteers. Nobody gets a paycheque, but they still do this to help out a fantastic dis-organization.

Between plagiarism checking, making sure the rules are followed and reading all of the posts in their lists, the judges have their work cut out for them. The curators are reading posts outside of COM entries and trying to find other funny people to join this wonderful contest, and the admins are doing their damndest, between trying to live their lives, illnesses, and raising families, to keep the whole thing flowing.

Sometimes there are hiccups and things get behind, but when you are doing so much work manually, it is to be expected.

Especially when we are shorthanded.

Yeah, that’s right. Every week we need people to help out with judging, curating, etc… but there never seems to be enough interest. I understand that it’s easier to just enter and try to win a bit of Steemy goodness, but it really would help us out a lot if you could help us out a little. It’s going to be hard to keep this going with everyone getting burned out and beating the neighbourhood rummies up to release their frustrations.

What do I have to be frustrated about, you ask?

Well, the chapping on my ass won’t go away and my boss is making me work weekends until I retire. That’s one thing, plus we got all these fucking drunks hanging around the park. They stole my lawnmower last week and then tried selling it back to me.

Great, now I’m pissed off again about the local alkies. I just came here to thank the judges, and write an anecdote or parable, or whatever the hell that story about Doug was.

Oh, and to gently persuade you to vote COM as a witness.

Oh yeah, and to tell you to check out Chibera’s discord server.

If you do those things for me, there’s a pretty good chance that I can get @belemo to tickle your taint. No guarantees, but probably a 78% chance. You supply the airfare and a per diem of 75 SBD.

Photo sources are pixabay.com and screencaps of COM, Chibera, and a Google search of “reiterate”.

I nominate @you and @thehorseyourodeinon

Sep 14

Has GentleBot Got A Screw Loose? – Comedy Open Mic Round 30

Anyone who has been on Steemit for a while has probably had a visit from, or at least heard of, @gentlebot.

It’s a bot that goes around upvoting comments. I always thought that it only upvoted comments that contained a certain gentleness. That was what I was always told anyhow.

Then I saw this on a comment I had put on Amir’s excellent post.

Yeah, yeah, I know I didn’t really learn to keep my mouth shut. It’s just jokey jokes.

My point is that @gentlebot usually just upvotes comments that are all nice and shit. Does their filter just pick out the nice words like “funny” and “laugh” but disregard the sex and ass kicking? Maybe we’ll never know, but thanks for the $.19 and a reason to write a quick post for Comedy Open Mic before the deadline.

I nominate @gentlebot’s creator to compile a list of the funniest comments, if that’s even possible, and also @shadowspub because she never responds to my goading for a funny post.