Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
February 29, 2016
What’s with the pre-tied bow ties, Hollywood?
Category: Current Events … Miscellany

So I didn't watch the Oscars last night because I could care less about rich people patting themselves on the back (if you get paid gobs of money for a job you profess to love, I feel like that's your award and you should neither expect nor require further recognition), but during the few bits I saw in passing I was surprised that many/most of the men who appeared were wearing pre-tied bow ties. What gives? I can understand someone who doesn't often attend flashy galas not knowing how to tie a bow tie, but it seems like a skill A-list actors should possess.

Actually, I'm a little miffed that when I bought my tuxedo -- which wasn't cheap, especially for me -- the salesman sold me a pre-tied bow tie with it. I'm certain he asked me whether I knew how to tie a bow tie and gave me the pre-tied version when I answered in the negative, but here's how that exchange should have gone.

Salesman: Do you know how to tie a bow tie?
Me: I don't.
Salesman: Do you know how to tie shoelaces?
Me: Of course!
Salesman: Same principle! Here's your self-tie bow tie.

Done. Granted, tying a bow tie is *slightly* more difficult than tying shoelaces, but only because most of us have been tying our shoes since we were toddlers and don't tackle bow ties until much later. (Also, the diagrams that detail the steps aren't entirely helpful in that the most important step is actually hidden from the front view.) With a little practice, tying a bow tie is no trouble at all. It's even kinda fun.

-posted by Wes | 9:33 pm | Comments (0)
March 1, 2015
I know I’ve been away a while…
Category: Miscellany … Technical Stuff

...but long enough to have accumulated 1900 spam comments?! JC on a pogo stick.

Anyway, I wanted to post briefly about writing and common phrases/expressions. I was reading a story by a member of a writing group I recently joined, and she wrote that the character's knuckles had turned white from performing a particular repetitive action. And of course I knew what she meant, and the phrasing wouldn't at all have given me pause if I hadn't been in a mood to ponder such things (which I generally am when I'm reading a piece in order to critique it) -- and I got to wondering about "clichés" and how we can (sometimes) end up confusing the reader when we make an effort to avoid them. For instance, I knew what the author of this story was talking about because the expression is common enough. But I could step up to bat thirty thousand times and endure sixteen million close calls on the freeway and strangle a billion fat-necked babies and my knuckles wouldn't even remotely whiten unless my skin were really dry and I needed to put on some lotion. So if the author had tried to describe the character's knuckles becoming white in some novel, creative way -- without using the well worn phrase -- I might not have had any idea what she meant. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 11:24 pm | Comments (0)
August 1, 2014
Misapprehension
Category: Miscellany

So today at work, during a lunch break of sorts, I was chatting with this woman from corporate. The conversation was pretty one-sided, but I got her talking about her life and professional history and whatnot -- she went on for several minutes about how she'd lived in Korea and Brazil before coming to the United States. Then she stopped ... and, after a meaningful pause, she smiled and said, "I like you, Wes." (more...)

-posted by Wes | 12:06 am | Comments (1)
October 24, 2013
Fans and Friendship?
Category: Miscellany

Hey, all! It's been a while, hasn't it? I've been somewhat more active on tumblr -- and much more active on Facebook -- but not so much here. I'd like for that to change. (I never did figure out how to reliably integrate the tumblr content into this blog; I'll have to look into that again.) We'll see.

Anyway, if you're friends with me on Facebook (or in real life), you've probably noticed that lately I've been really into Sirena. The group consists of a trio of ladies who travel to renaissance festivals and put on a show in which they pretend to be mythical sirens, singing and dancing and drumming with purported intent to draw in the audience members and ensnare their souls. If you know me, you know that sort of thing is right up my alley -- the rennfest stuff is less my deal, but I'm all about mythology and monsters and such -- so you're probably not surprised that I dig the group based on my description alone. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 1:32 pm | Comments (0)
July 24, 2013
Ducks are horrifying nightmare creatures.
Category: Linkage … Miscellany

Well, today I learned that ducks are -- or are prone to becoming -- cannibals. This passage (from the NSW Department of Primary Industries Agriculture website) is particularly chilling:

"Although cannibalism can begin in ducks of any age, ducklings over 4 weeks old are more prone to develop this vice. The underlying reasons for birds turning to cannibalism are not known, but it is associated with boredom..."

Duck cannibalism is associated with BOREDOM, people. Somebody get those ducks some knitting needles STAT.1

Check out this blog entry on Real Clear Science for a firsthand account of duck cannibalism, and here's the horrific "Scientifically Accurate DuckTales" video that sent me down this corkscrew-shaped road to nightmares in the first place.2

  1. That said, ducks are also apparently rapists and necrophiliacs. So riddle me this: how do they ever get bored?!? 
  2. Though I already knew about the corkscrew penises and labyrinthine vaginas. *shudder* 
-posted by Wes | 2:14 am | Comments (0)
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