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Dreams of the Future

Picture a skyline, and it goes on for as long as possible till it’s cut off by the edge of the horizon.   Even at that distance you can see great buildings and towers rising up like giants to worship the rising sun.   The buildings, the skyline, is not pristine and beautiful.   It’s dirty and grimy, and in that sky you can see bridges, little specks of life moving about, cables hanging, things moving.   Platforms and odd-looking vehicles.   Signs everywhere, a suspended sea of architecture and neon extending for what seems and feels like forever.

The future is not something I view with much hope in terms of progress.  When I see the future I imagine in some cases a mere continuation of all the crap and garbage we have to put up with now only on a larger scale.  Sci-fi authors, in the 40s and 50s seemed to have some sort of uptopian delusion wherein they pictured the future full of chrome and high-technology complete with self-cleaning houses and flying Cadillacs.  My grandfather used to ground me a lot when I lived with him and as a result the only things I could spend time with were old sci-fi and western novels.   Believe me, when I tell you he had a lot of them.   Apparently he’d buy whatever the public library would be phasing out of their book stock at the little store they had for a huge discount.  Most of these books were not classics by any means, don’t get me wrong some well-known works were in my Grandfather’s library.  H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Some various works of Issac Asimov.  Tons of Louis L’amour westerns, which, from what my grandfather says, is basically the most accurate western fare you can find.  The rest was all stuff with corny titles and features such as hilarious cover art depicting some dude with a mullet on mars holding a ray gun with a fawning space-babe on his shoulder.

So you can imagine me, grounded for something stupid, curled up in a ball in the back bedroom reading nothing but old dreams of the future day after day during most of the year.   A lot of these books were from the 40s through 80s.   Almost nothing current but I made due.   When reading these books some were surprisingly good, some were utterly forgettable.   The future was a shining place, filled with high technology and adventure.   When I was older this stuff could be real.   I could leave earth and go into the space fleet, scour new territories, explore the stars.   As time went on and I kept reading westerns as well.   I began to see romantic parallels between cowboys and space explorers.   Rough and tumble types always using thier meager resources and thier wits to save the day and get the girl.  

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Killing Literature, One Fang at a Time

I know, I know, the title for this post is awfully dramatic.   I know that it’s a bold claim to make that now, officially, literature is dead, dying, or a fucking zombie shambling around the countryside as a hollow shell of it’s former self.   Many people would disagree, but that’s only because not everyone has seen the utter horse shit on sale at the bookstore that I did.   I want you to sit back, dear reader, and allow the following image to wash over.   Relax, empty your mind and focus ahead only at this text and the preceding image.   Behold:

... and reailty BITES!  Get it?   NYUCK NYUCK

Now, if the first thought in your head is ‘wow that looks like it could be pretty cool,’ I want you to do me a favor.   Take your hand, ball it into a fist, and punch yourself right in the face.  Besides my gut instinct to burst into a fit of mad laughter, there are several things gazing upon this majestic piece of surly Shakespearean art does for me.

First, it disturbs me, deeply.   If you notice the top of the image states ‘New York Times Bestselling Author,’  a title, which means nothing anymore anyway.   Lets face it, every shitty self-help book and half assed novel is apparently a ‘best seller.’  Just because people read it doesn’t mean it’s good.   I mean the Ghost Rider movie made money, but it still sucked so much dick it practically imploded on itself sucking Nick Cage’s carrier further into an event horizon of complete epic failure.   Basically the ‘New York Times Bestseller’ tag on a book just tells you that it’s popular amoung the same populace that thinks Micheal Bay is a good director, Adam Sandler is funny, and voted to elect George W. Bush president … TWICE.

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Hobo Wars Episode 5: The Bumpire Strikes Back

In my previous article I stated that the homeless would not fuck with me again.   Right now I am sad to report that those words were a tad bit premature.   Now I know how Bush felt when he addressed the US a few months into the Iraq War with a giant ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner in the background; that, by the way, he totally knew nothing about.  You see, I failed to listen to the sage advice of many famous tacticians from the past.   That advice was, simply, don’t pick fights with people who have nothing to lose because there is nothing to be gained from fighting them and no way to make them stop.   The homeless, apparently, couldn’t care less if you stink up their little hobo carts and they don’t seem to mind too badly if you throw them out.    They’ll just find another cart to steal and fill with random junk and garbage, and bring it back.   Frustrating, kind of like a mongrel dog you just want to go away, so you pitch a stick and the ugly thing just keeps bringing it back no matter how many times you throw it into traffic.

The battlements of the mighty Hobocity.

So, it seems that I have underestimated my homeless foes, and that they have decided to strike back by forming a grand hobo armada in the back of the building.  As I write this, there are probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 homeless people living in the lot behind they building.   They have gloriously erected a testament to the times which I lovingly refer to as ‘Hobo City’  or as one of my co-workers called it ‘Bum Fest 09.’  Hobocity is a wondrous place, where the denizens can enjoy all the perks of their downtown location, stinky old blankets adorn the fences of the lot to mark their turf, they have plentiful stolen lawn chairs on which to sit all day and contemplate things like cannibalism and optimal change harvesting locations, a nice building to use as a bathroom, and they proudly send hobo war parties out to collect change and food as well as cash registers.   You heard me.   Cash registers.   This homeless army has got ridiculous.   I thought it was bad when I first wrote about it but holy shit it’s turning into a regular sitcom.  So get this, a couple of days ago several of the hobos from hobocity wandered to a business that is literally 50 feet from the lot they are staying in, shoved their way through lines of waiting customers, and fucking grabbed the cash register and walked out like they owned the fucking thing! 

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1, 2, 3, 4… I Declare a Hobo War!

I think I’ve mentioned that I work in the ghetto.   If I haven’t well, now I have.  I work in the ghetto.   Not even the loose definition of ghetto.   This is a full-fledged prostitute filled, mostly minority (black and Hispanic people – or as the local mechanics oh-so-cleverly call them –  ‘spooks n’ spics’) populated, drug dealer market, hobo infested, wasteland of humanity.   However, of all these nefarious elements which you find in the delicious cornucopia of human life known as downtown Orlando, there is one that I especially fear for their sheer number, smell, and lack of an education.   I refer, of course, to the hobos.   If you were thinking that I was talking about those damn ‘spooks n’ spics,’ congratulations… you’re racist!

The hobos, yes.  I hate hobos.   They are thicker than fleas in the glorious city of Orlando.   A city, it should be noted, that’s board of tourism refers to as ‘the city beautiful,’ which is such a distortion of the truth that I’m surprised that more people haven’t sued them for false advertising.   I have a fairly good reason for hating hobos, aside from the fact that they lie about being hobos.   You know what I mean if you’d ever been approached by one.   Some smelly dude with a scruffy beard and no teeth will come up to you with some convoluted story about how his family needs bus fare back to where-the-fuck-ever or that they need a few bucks to rent a cab to get to the airport.   Like anyone believes them.   Nothing worse than needing money for booze and cheep bum hookers but to always try the ‘bus fare’ story, poor form Orlando homeless, poor form.  That’s not the reason for my hate of the homeless local to this area.   I’m sure there are some nice homeless guys, full for worldly wisdom and perfectly sane, in fantasy land; however, over here you get the best inner-city bums Orlando has to offer.   The ones that will walk down lanes of traffic at red-lights banging on your car’s window and yelling insults at you if you don’t give them change, or the ones, that have made me hate the homeless in Orlando…. the ones that shit on your building.

'The City Beautiful,' my ass.

You heard me, shitting on the building.  

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Spam Catalog: A Swirling Vortex of Fail

When I first registered to Blog Catalog, I did so at the behest of The Warden.    Somehow, I was under the mistaken impression that it was a good site to ‘get noticed’ on.   I was only half right, as it’s a good place to get noticed by Habeeb and Hadji’s spam emporium, good luck finding a breathing and intelligent human being in this seething pit of stupidity.   I don’t know who moderates this site, but whoever it is must be the most down syndrome infested retard to ever walk the face of the earth.   Holy shit, I have never seen so many Viagra blogs, recycled content blogs, crappy online storefront blogs, ‘blogging tips’ blogs and ‘make money online’ blogs in my entire life.   This site barely encourages ‘networking’, it’s a lot easier to just add every spammer who makes a friend request and leaves a stupid comment on your ‘shout box’ than to try and pick and choose.   If you’re looking for actual humans and not whoever is surfing the web looking to promote his Viagra blog while working from his local Sprint call center in New Delhi, then you, my friend, are fucked.

It’s fairly common on some sites to have junk, and such.    You can’t keep all the spammers out, which is true in and of itself.   Whereas most sites at least endeavor to keep most of the spammers out, Blog Catalog has taken a unique and novel approach to the spam issue… they don’t even try to prevent it.   I spent three hours today clicking blogs, of the blogs I clicked only 2 of them were actual blogs about things other than ‘blogging’ or ‘internet marketing,’ and only one of them was a blog that actually had content on it that didn’t consist of some jack-offs twitter ‘tweets.’    This isn’t the only day I’ve tried to find some people a random either, but some days I try to find people by interests.   So I would go to say the ‘humor’ group and browse the members there, and they were Indians as well! It’s like a really boring version of Night Of The Living Dead only instead of zombies trying to eat your brains it’s Indian guys trying to sell you cell phones and cheap prescription medications.

Click The Image for A Larger Version

Oh, what’s that?  ‘It can’t be that bad.’  Yeah, take a look at these shout box comments that I’ve had the pleasure of receiving, they are so legit and not at all generic form spam intended solely to get people to come to their blog and buy shoes made by slave kids in Hong-Kong.

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The New American Dream

For a long time the neighborhood in which I am currently occupying was ran by a board of directors consisting of annoying and bothersome old people who felt the need to intervene on everyone’s decisions as to the appearance of the property that they, most of the time, actually owned. It’s a fascinating thing, the American Dream, you search for it and when you finally obtain the very thing that you had been seeking you immediately find ways and excuses to project your ‘sensible’ notions on why every house should be a boring gray with white curtains and fretting over cats walking across your lawn.   Now, when I refer to the American Dream, I’m talking about a family, a retirement, a nice house or condo in a quiet neighborhood and, with any luck, a white picket fence.   Maybe a chance to grow old and sit on your lawn and lazily yell at young people to get the hell off said lawn and quit drawing penises on your lawn gnomes with a sharpie.  These notions of the ideal existence were what was shoved down the throats of suckers during the, what I lovingly call, the ‘old days,’ which roughly consists of all the time prior to the date I was born.  The thing was, in chasing the American Dream, most people were broken, or didn’t like what they had built up to turning into a royal hassle, or didn’t like what they became in the process.

This article is about those people, because, somehow, this neighborhood is a net for those kinds of people.   Those from the older generations that may have tasted the American Dream, and then… lost it.   This neighborhood, with it’s ugly gray condos stacked uniformly with it’s ugly bushes and ugly walls that reek of plainness as it seems to me, has always looked like the kind of place place that the old go… not to retire, but to linger through the last of their days till they keel over and die.   I know, I know… that sounds terrible.   Think about it this way, most of these people are already dead on the inside!  You say that doesn’t make you feel better?   Well, I guess you can’t please everyone. My point is that they very boring, very old, and very nosy people have managed to keep this neighborhood safe from most of the problems of the Orlando sprawl simply by it’s intrinsic nature.   The moment some kinds wandered in the cops were tipped off right away, the moment someone yelled, cops called.  Pretty much if you were making more noise than it takes to knit, you had the cops called on you.   This is good for me, in a way, because I make hardly any noise at all.   This bad for, say, any college kids that want to throw a party or anyone selling drugs out of their houses.

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Ghost Exist, Rly

When I was around eight years old I was laying in my mom’s bedroom since she had the largest and most comfortable bed in the house.   We had just got home from seeing Ghostbusters 2, and I was getting sleepy.   In my state of mind, as plain as day I could have swore I saw Slimer coming from my mom’s bathroom at me.   I tried to scream but I could not.  Pinned with terror I simply waited for the vision to go away, dreadfully fearful of a possible tentacle ravishing or even more so perhaps of a possible sliming afterward, and there was no guarantee that it would be the green kind of slime.   Here’s the thing about that, I could have swore Slimer was really there.  It was obviously my imagination/sleepy state  but there are people, lots of people actually, who take things they see in a moment of say, sleep paralysis and believe it was real.  Another good example of this was one night in my old apartment where I started falling asleep but woke up mentally but not physically, so that my body was lying prone due to the aforementioned sleep paralysis and I hallucinated that a ghostly woman was coming out my closest at me and making my body cold.   When I finally managed to get my ex girlfriend to wake me by breathing loudly (it was the only way, I couldn’t yell and I couldn’t move) I discovered that the cold air being blown on me was the damn A/C vent was blowing right at me and my ex had rolled over and taken all the covers off me.  One of the big things I’ve noticed on dealing with the majority of individuals is that people firmly, and often stubbornly believe things.   Not because they need to, not because it makes sense, and certainly not because they’ve spent a great deal of time rationalizing why, but because, quite simply, they want to.  When someone wants to believe something, you’re about as likely to convince them, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, that it doesn’t make sense to go on believing whatever it as, as you are to convince them to stop drawing breath.  It’s practically a doomed enterprise.

Images like this are proofs that ghost exist.

You see, believing in things is wanted, because, well, in reality there’s no magic in life… unless you can find a certain wonderment or joy from simply meeting different people and learning new things.   Otherwise, like I said, no magic.   There’s no spirits walking around trying to wrong the bad things that they did or had happen to them in life.   Psychics are just low-level con men that have convinced themselves that the bullshit they believe and sell to other people who believe is in any way something that is actually legitimate and not a series of loose-guesses, perception and deductions that they can wrap in flowery words and package to people.   People who believe are sort of like a cult, because they all secretly doubt in some small way, and need to constantly get around people who believe and convince themselves that what they are saying makes a damn bit of sense.   It’s all about the appeal of the fantastic, real con men know all about the fantastic and the amazing, that’s their bread and butter.  How do you think famous con men like ‘Yellow Kid’ Wiel or Count Victor Lustig convinced people that they had machines that can duplicate money or that The French government has decided to sell the fucking Eiffel Tower?   They both knew one thing, people want to believe.   Those men they conned?   They believed too, and look where believing in the fantastic got them.

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How to Fail at Wing Sauce

I have a kind of knack for coming up with delicious concoctions in the kitchen, well at least most of the time.   One thing I’ve discovered over the years is that sometimes, if you’re just good enough at something,  at times you can be extraordinarily bad at it.   So I was making wings one night, mostly because it was the only thing left in the damn freezer, and wouldn’t you know… it was the frozen kind that don’t come pre-coated in a layer of delicious and heart-attack enduing sauce.   So I was left with one alternative, I had to make some damn sauce.   Now, an old friend of mine could do wonders with a couple of cans of this stuff called Nazi sauce and a stick or two of butter.   I know it sounds gross, but it was oh-so delicious.   So I decided to sort of replicate that recipe with some butter, some sweet bbq sauce, and a splash of hot chili sauce…

So delicious alone, but when combined...

So as I was setting up the pot on the stove to mix all this stuff up in, began to feel this may not be a good idea; however, when put in a situation where I should probably not be doing something like this I present myself with two options that make me either question my manliness or embrace it.

OPTION ONE, PUSSY OUT: A decidedly unmanly option if there ever was one, if I decided to back down now not only would my wings go sauceless but I would have failed at my attempt to craft a new and delicious wing sauce recipe.    Granted, there was a chance I’d fail anyway, but it never looks good to pussy out without even trying.

OPTION TWO, GO BALLS DEEP: Hell yeah!  That sounds way more macho (stupid) and manly (extra stupid with a hint of crazy)!  Don’t think about things, if you’ve already started doing them go balls deep and just pray whatever you end up doing doesn’t destroy you.   Going balls deep has been a key factor in determining American Foreign policy since the 50s and nothing about that shit has gone wrong.  In a way, with that in mind, there was no way I could fail!

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The Joy of Statistics, Logistics and … Platypi

This site, well, doesn’t get many comments.   Page views seem fairly high though, and I suppose that tells me that at least someone is reading this nonsense, and that’s really good enough for me.   As Huxley states every now and then in the rotating quotes on the right, obscurity can only be cultivated in the dark.   Or at least something to that effect.

When I first created this site, it was much like… say, a rebound relationship.   My last website broke my heart, cut me to the bone, and made me want to pick up an acoustic guitar and write the world’s billionth love song.   So this was the first thing I made.   At first I wanted to name it Platitudes.com, for the precise reason that, unless I’m being extremely lazy in my writing, I sort of go out of my way to avoid platitudes.   You could even say that it was intended to be ironic which would have been sure to tickle the funny bones of any Gen-Xer that happened to be reading this.   As a side note to that, I  once cracked wise that the best way to get money out of those idiots is to just call things what they are, they seem to think saying something is what it is in a really droll voice makes it cutting and clever.  Ironic.  My brilliant idea was to make Gen-X clothing.   Hats that said, in small text ‘hat.’   Shoes that were in fact labeled ‘Shoe Brand Shoes.’   Expensive t-shirts that said ‘T-Shirt.’   You get the idea.  Of course, I couldn’t get the website name I wanted which sort of irritated me, so I got the Warden on Ventrilo along with another friend of mine in an attempt to coax a new name out of them since my first choice was taken.

Being the super useful Co-Admin he is the Warden cracked wise that Platitudes sounded a lot like, Platypuses.  You know, the ugly poisonous duckbeasts from that wasteland of humanity known as Australia, where everything is poisonous and will kill your ass.  Especially the music, Jet sucks.  So, the suggestion was to name the site, I shit you not… PlatitudePlatypus.com.   While not only is this a stupid suggestion, against my better judgment I said, ‘dude, who would think of something like that?’   Little did I realize that this is the damn internet.  It’s not a matter of who would think of something like that, it’s a matter of when. So I did a google search for ‘platitude.’  This lead me to an article on uncyclopedia.  What’s that you see in the right hand corner upon viewing the page?   A FUCKING PLATYPUS SPEAKING PLATITUDES!

Sometimes, I swear that god only decides to exist to mock me.

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The Secret Legend of the American Ninja’s Blood Hunt Confrontation Annihilation

In my last article I mentioned a very near and very dear old high school friend of mine.   Sam the American Ninja.  Somehow, if you could combine the utter awesomeness of all the American Ninja movies (somehow the count got to four, which goes to show artists who cannot get their scripts accepted must really suck), and sort of mashed it into the corporeal form of one human being, you would end up with a walking avatar of 1980’s film making wizardry.   What you probably wouldn’t end up with is Sam, because nothing about Sam was cool… even in a cheesy 80s action flick way.   What I mean is this… the American Ninja films are a million times less painful to you in the long run than a ten-minute conversation with this man was.  Let me give you Sam’s back story according to him, and before you ask… yes this is based on actual things he told me.  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, well at least if that truth is in fact, fiction itself.

*                                                             *                                                              *

On a dark and stormy night an American Solider, stationed in Japan was killed by a clan of evil Ninjas.   His widow, fearful for her life knew that she had to protect her son, so she gave up her child and left him at a stranger’s doorstep and disappeared into the night.  The child was raised by the kind stranger… a wise old man who actually turned out with his dog ‘Interceptor’ to be … Ninja Master Shadow.  One day young Sam caught his master training in a forest clearing while he was fetching water from the well.   Shadow was standing there and all around him pots were dangling from ropes in the trees.   Then suddenly, there was a great rush of wind and all the pots exploded!  But, and this must be stressed while I say this, in order to get the full effect you have to imagine someone whispering this to you, Shadow never moved.  Also, this was totally not ripped off of those god awful Three Ninjas movies about the 2 skinny kids and 1 fat kid who defeated entire clans of ninjas with corny jokes and nerf guns.   Then, Shadow turned to Sam.


“Sam, today is the day that you must decide if you wish to learn the ways of the Ninja, for you have seen me practicing and now you know the truth and cannot stay if you do not take a vow of secrecy and swear under the ninja code that you will not reveal this truth to any outsiders.  Wahtaaaaaaaaaaa!”


“You told me that Ninjas killed my family!  How can I trust you now you stupid old man!  I will get my revenge and avenge my family by getting revenge and defeating you thereby getting vengeance!  Eat my American fists of justice!”

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