Archive for the ‘JackTales’ Category.

Engrish Prease

Okay, I know this is totally politically-incorrect, but I have absolutely no clue of what it means. I got this on Flickr, and I’m very, very confused.


I would like you to identify yourself and be decent Asjqa intimate
Special hobby, and only a photography
I love it so much
So that all the love and appreciation my friend”

Flickr is a photo sharing website, so I think this is legite. I just have absolutely no idea of what “I would like you to identify yourself and be decent Asjqa intimate” actually implies. What thel hell is “Asjqa?”

Yeah, I know, just ask them. FU.

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Happy International Pipe-Smoking Day!

It’s IPSD! I asked for it off from work as a religious holiday, but they wouldn’t let me celebrate it, so I’m filing an EEO.

Anyway, in the meantime, I just wanted to fabricate some nonsense about IPSD.

IPSD was established when Stonehenge was finished, and all the Druids went to the local pub, got sloshed, and decided to make it a holiday. In an effort to include this pagan holiday, Caesar commissioned Leonardo Da Vinci to do a painting of the establishment of this memorable event. Unfortunately, Leo had also been hanging out at the local pub, got sloshed, and painted “The Last Supper” instead. Caesar had him drawn and quartered. He figured Santa had a pipe, that would have to do.

During Pipe Prohibition, people would go into bootleg pipe saloons and smoke homemade tobacco out of bathtubs filled with gin. This led to the Great Chicago Fire, when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow ignored the “Do not dump hot ashes” sign. While sloshed.

Today, we celebrate by battling a 775% tax increase on tobacco. In a scene reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party, we plan a secret (well, not so secret now) mission to throw our legislators into Puget Sound. Any anti-pipe-smoking activist is being labeled a “terrorist.”

So now, I leave you with the actual words from Oscar Wilde, ““Keep pipe-smoking in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of pipe-smoking and being smokey brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.” (Not many people know it, but Oscar Wilde wrote “Alice in Meerschaum-land,” much to the indignity of Lewis Carrol, who promptly sued him for plagarism…a tradition that this blog celebrates to this day.)


Pipe-smoking dog

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V, The Television Series

Have you ever done something for your employer that was so embarrassing that you cringe to remember it 25 years later?

V, 2009ABC is “re-imagining” the television series V, which originally ran around, what, ’84, ’85, originally on NBC? Anyway, I had just got out from the Army. My job skills pretty much consisted of killing people, which, unless you’re whacking people for the mob in Chicago, which is what a buddy of mine ended up doing, your career choices are pretty limited.

BDB 10I took a job as Assistant Manager at a B. Dalton Bookseller (Yes, that would be me in the middle row on the left with dark glasses on. Click on the picture for a bigger view.). Now, one of the things you may have noticed is that when a new television/movie property comes out, there is tie-in merchandise, which includes books. As part of a big promo for the series, the local network wanted to do a big V event.

V uniformThe network actually sent out a alien uniform from V for one of us to wear for the event. I swear to god as my witness, I’d sooner die than wear this thing. Unfortunately, my manager was a seriously skinny little rat, and his wife was an elephant, so neither of them would fit in the costume, so my lovely staff told the network that I’d be wearing the costume. Of course, they didn’t tell me until the day of the event.

I don’t know if you remember these uniforms, but they were sort of the color of an orange gone bad, with funky padding in random places. Basically a modded mechanics uniform. And, thank god, I had dark, dark glasses.

So I end up in the front of the store, totally bewildered, dressed like a mechanic in a dead orange uniform, with television cameras stuck in my face, and an interviewer wanting me to talk about how exciting I thought the show would be.

Dr. Who, Tom BakerOkay, that was bad enough, but then, our usual sci-fi geeks who saw the event, then ran home and got their cosplay outfits. So, in addition to the cameras in my face, I’m surrounded by Dr. Who, Star Trek, and various other aliens with blue faces. God, I wanted to strangle that girl in the Dr. Who outfit with her own scarf.

You know my love of taking photos? Yes, there’s a picture of me in that damn uniform, no, you will never, ever see it, and yes, if you do, I will personally, permanently hurt you.

Remember how I said my only other job skill at the time was killing people? This was one of those times where I gave it serious, serious thought about exercising that particular job skill. I spent hours in front of that store, imagining wiping out everyone with an M-16 and hand grenades.

As a result, there is no way I’d ever watch the new series. Unless they have hot chicks on it. And there would have to be nudity. Serious sex scenes involving blue people. And violence involving Dr. Who and Trekkies.

Okay, okay. I’d settle for hot chicks. But they’d have to be in bikinis. Washing cars.

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Watchya’ been doin?’

Yeah, yeah. I disappeared of of the face of the earth for a while. Probably just making a drive-by at the moment.

If you didn’t know, I’m bipolar, and there’s a bunch of stuff that comes with it. My medication usually works well, but it occasionally doesn’t work as well as it usually does. When that happens, well, all sorts of things happen.

nimrod I should have known it was coming. I started obsessing over a single thing: Nimrod lighters. I ended up with more material than I could ever use for an article, then lost interest.

Then social networking started to feel more like work than fun. Facebook, MySpace, even semi-social networks like YouTube and Flickr felt like it required dragging myself to the computer. I’ve never been totally social, but this was like shutting down.

Then I went through a spree of compulsive spending. I had to have all these antique lighters, and they had to have a distinctive set of rules before I would buy them.

I got on top of that, albeit a bit too late for my credit card, but remember that I mentioned that the selection of lighters needed a distinctive set of rules? Then I started obsessively organizing and compartmentalizing. I spent hours reorganizing file systems on my computer for no good reason, other than I wanted it organized in some specific way.

deviantARTThen I made the mistake of hanging out on deviantART. I started obsessively collecting, again, a distinctive type of art. Then I spent weeks organizing what I had downloaded.

These are soothing activities that keep me feeling safe, but they have become intrusive, affecting a lot of my life. So I’ve been struggling to keep it under control. I’ve got a week off, a week back at work, then two more weeks off, since I always take Halloween off. I’ve done more on the yard in two days, than I’ve done all summer, and I’ve got a bunch of other things done that I’ve been neglecting.

Oh, and I’m specifically Bipolar II, which means instead of manic manic highs, I get really irritable and cranky. And I have a bitch of a new boss. We call her The Gargoyle. So you can imagine what our working relationship has been like, although I have gotten off some of the best zingers recently.

We were at a staff meeting. I tend to have a dry sense of wit, so I’ll say something that will take a minute for it to sink into someone’s brain. We have a supervisor named Phil who really was confused by me for a long time, and then he started laughing, and, I swear, telling jokes. Anyway, the topic of Phil comes up in the meeting, and I look over at Phil and say, “And Phil even grew a sense of humor.” And while everyone was still laughing, I turned to The Gargoyle and said, “So there’s still hope for you.”

And to keep a long story short, she managed to drive through  own garage door the other day.  I swear, it’s true. So her car ends up in the shop. Later, we get in a heated, uh, disagreement over an issue, and I invoke the OIG and my attorney, so you can imagine how loving our relationship was after that.

Later, at closing, she calls me up on the intercom to yap at me about this and that, and then she asks, “Oh, would you give me a ride home?”

“Has Hell frozen over?”

“I was just kidding (with no kidding in her voice)! I’d ask 500 people for a ride before I’d ever ask you!”

“And you’d be lucky if any of those 500 people said yes.”

“You are so rude!”

“And your point is?”

Yeah, nothing but fun at the ol’ postal service… And you should hear my employees say about her. I am absolutely obscene but there’s even some things I won’t repeat. That’s how bad it is.

Anyway, I’m still not all that ready to pop back into the social network scene, and I do have odds and ends to do. I have to fix my stuck garage door, download new firmware for my Omnia and see if I can get it’s internal GPS unlocked, fix a running toilet (where’s it running to?), clean out the garage (yeah, right), and start setting up for Halloween.

I’ll start posting stuff that I haven’t gotten to for a while.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with this thought:

Pipes and Rabbits

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The Engagement Flutes Faux Pas



Just a short little JackTale here. I was telling someone about this the other day, and I thought I’d share it with you ’cause it’s so awful.

When my first wife, Sherrie and I got engaged, it was going to be a big, fancy wedding. Okay, think lower-middle-income fancy. All those bride magazines are going to be the death of us.

Anyway, my parents bought into it, and wanted to give us something before the wedding as a special gift. They gave us engraved champagne flutes.

With the name of my ex-girlfriend on them.

As you can imagine…well, you can imagine. Sherrie was pretty distraught, and my parents were horrified and went rushing out to fix the problem. A week later, they brought us the replacement flutes.

With her name misspelled.

This is what we call, “a sign.” Too bad I ignored it. Sorry Sherrie.

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