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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Steve Cole muses: Just thinking to himself.

1. Is a Monkey wrench used ON a monkey, or BY a monkey? I'm just curious.

2. Adolf Hitler gazed out the window of his Argentine ski chalet. The snows outside the window gave him a chill, reminding him all too well of the decades he had spent frozen in suspended animation. Behind him, a new generation of staff officers droned on and on with their reports. Everything was ready for the Fourth Reich. New secret weapons, including orbital death rays, were on line. Stealthy scramjet fighter-bombers would sweep the skies. The bases on the far side of the moon were on standby to launch their missiles of death. Massive armies stood ready, armies that did not yet realize he was their leader, but those soldiers would welcome him with enthusiasm once the secret was revealed. It took just over an hour for the last of them to complete his report, covering new submarines powered by cold fusion engines. "Very well, field marshals, generals, and admirals. I am very pleased," he said. "You may launch Operation Victory. But gentlemen, make no mistake. This time ... this time ... no more 'Mister Nice Guy.' This time, we stop for nothing until we win."

3. I have known for some time that Darth Vader had an older brother named Taxi and a younger sister named Ellie. However, I found obscure references to a third and younger brother, and set out to identify him. After checking dozens of fan websites and references, I discovered his name in the Astronomicron, the book of Sith mysticism. The younger brother's name was Drafty. Sadly, I also found references to three cousins (children of his father's brother), so I have more research to do. One of them may be named Carrie.

4. Did you know that the first words from the Moon were a blooper? (I am not kidding.) Neil Armstrong was supposed to say "That's one small step for a man..." but left out the word "a". If you listen to the tapes, you can see that he realized halfway through the planned statement that he blew the line and was momentarily thinking about starting over, but then just went ahead and finished. You can hear the disappointment in his voice, knowing that he goofed and could never fix it.

5. Perhaps that is not as bad as Jack Kennedy, whose most famous quote ("Ich bin ein Berliner") actually translates into "I am a jelly doughnut" (I am not kidding) because nobody on the White House staff looked up the actual German phrase ("Ich bin ein Berlinischer").

6. According to Bucky Kat, if you take a monkey, wrap him in copper wire, put him into a wet bucket, and kick him down the stairs, you will generate electricity. The system is renewable so long as the monkey stays reasonably healthy. Bucky is working on a spinning multiple monkey version for use in cars and a gorilla-powered version for use in trucks. A hybrid car would be an SUV with a hybrid monkey-gorilla engine.

7. I liked the TV show STORAGE WARS (about junk dealers bidding on abandoned storage lockers) but I think Barry and Jarrod should join forces, jointly bid, then let Barry have his pick of one collectable and let Jarrod sell the rest in his thrift store.

8. Most of the commercials on my XM radio (which only receives one channel, Fox News) are for gold coins or to hire truck drivers. What's going on?

9. I wonder if you could make a truck line work by having a depot every four hours. A driver takes off in the morning, drags a trailer to the next depot, drops it off, picks up a different trailer, and comes back. He's home with his family every night.

10. I am currently about halfway through the last book in the Earth's Children series, the only about Ayla that started in Clan of the Cave Bear. While I loved the first four books, I found the fifth book boring and am seriously wondering if I will give up trying to read the sixth book (Painted Caves). Partly it is just boring, as the people visit one sacred cave after another (and they're all the same). Partly I don't like where the story is going. I understand that the Witch Doctor Union has got to pressure Ayla to join (and on their terms, which will force her to give up her name, her husband, and her children). She is just too powerful for them to allow her to go into business as a doctor in competition with them. I have been in groups where someone hated me (for no good reason) and wanted to do me harm, and I see some hate-filled people in the cast who are going to cause trouble I don't want to read. Like I said, I don't know if I'll finish it. I'd rather the series had ended with book 4.