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In Memorium: Life, Death and Leaves (October Re-run)

It’s  October again.  Sadly, I have nothing to add to the tribute of a month that is simultaneously my most favorite and most un-favorite of seasons.  I present, therefore, a rerun form two years ago while I contemplate creating some new content.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”–Albert Camus

Lest the general levity of this blog give you a false impression of my worldview, let me state that sometimes life sucks.  For the most part, I use humor and satire as a defense and an escape, a diversion if you will.   This has been an incredibly bittersweet week; I have never experienced anything remotely like it.   My last post was Freshly Pressed–perhaps the ultimate honor for a WordPress blogger.  Yet while this was going on, three people I know died.  They were an 82-year-old uncle whose death had been anticipated, a 58-year-old work colleague whose demise was an unexpected shock, and most tragically, the 29-year-old son of one of my poker buddies whose death from illness had been feared for some time.

If you will permit me then, a tribute to these lost souls with the only piece of poetry I ever wrote which I would deem publishable.  It’s well over 35-years old–the sort of thing one could only write in one’s youth.

The Leaves

Words ©1976, 2012  Mark Sackler

Sit and look at the leaves,

Amber arms descending from October’s trees.

Covering delicate grasses,

sweeping the highway,

bedding the rain,

Solemn songs to life departed,

Sit and look at the leaves.

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Google This: Search Term Haiku #4

“What, never? No never! What, never?  Well Hardly Ever!”–Sir William S. Gilbert (HMS Pinafore)

Sir William S. Gilbert

Sir William S. Gilbert

Whoever said that anything worthwhile is not easy must have been talking about Google.  Really!?  Yes, really.  Search term haiku continues to increase in difficulty, as Google reports fewer and fewer of these terms.  On a recent day, for example, I was thrilled to see on my WordPress stats page that some 23 hits on this site had come by way of search engines.  I was, however, horrified to see that only three of the actual terms used were reported.

I don’t give up so easily.  So even as I try never to break my own rules for this genre, using only verbatim excerpts from terms that found this blog, let’s just say I follow them with a fortitude worthy of Sir William S. Gilbert.  You can see the full detailed rules in a previous post. So here goes nothing.  (note: As a result of my Equation of Inane Celebrity Meme Virality being Freshly Pressed a year or so ago,  this blog continues to get many “meme” related search hits.  Read that original post here.)

terms

.

One Potato

Paris Hilton meme

show white girls pussy photo

she swallowed a ring.

.

.

Two Potato

Lindsay Lohan meme

a chubby mariachi

Al Capone female

.

Three Potato

Life is wasted meme

You can’t hear me, can you?

Smartphone distraction

.

Rutabaga

Celebrity meme

Mr. Rutabaga Head

funny to Google

.

More

Heisenberg name meme

when geeky scientists can

exchange sapouse tube**

.

**SIC, and as Red Skelton used to say, “I just do ’em, I don’t explain ’em.”

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Google This! Search Term Haiku #3

“The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”–Gilbert K. Chesterton

While poems about cheese may be few and far between, there is no shortage of cheesy poetry, especially on the web.  Far be it for me to not to jump on that band wagon.  So, until some cheese-related phrases start turning up in my search terms, I’ll have to settle for cheesy.  You, like the chickens at left, are more than free to ignore me. The rules, once again, for search term haiku, are as follows:

  1. Every phrase must come from search terms actually used to find this blog, per my WordPress stats page.
  2. The poems must follow the accepted Anglicized format of the traditional Japanese art form: three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively.
  3. Each line must constitute an actual individual search term phrase, verbatim.  The only changes allowed are punctuation and truncation.  (Phrases may be taken from within search terms).
  4. Words may not be changed or rearranged. Typos and misspellings must not be corrected.
  5. Phrases may be combined or extended to multiple lines, as long as the previous four conditions are met.

When you are done ignoring the haiku below, you can ignore more of them here.  These were a bit harder to construct, folks.  Cheesy search term haiku requires cheesy search terms queries;  get out there and throw me some Gouda.

Tacky Education

Vinyl lettering

education wallpaper

of Mark Twain quotes

.

Three Course Meal

Dog swallowed brillo,

a veterinarian

and Schrödinger’s Cat

.

Meow vs. Woof

How to count like cat?

My schipperke is clever

physics equation.

.

Existential Stench

I am alone in

Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub blog

with Pepe Le Pou*

.

Equation #2

Real life example

of Lindsay Lohan cup size

celebrity meme.

.

*SIC

.

Signature   @MarkSackler

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The BLAHS #4–Geek of the Year

“Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”–Warren Buffett

 A view of technology in my youth.

A view of technology in my youth.

I know what you’re thinking.   Why don’t I give the Geek of the Year BLAHS to myself?   Short answer:  I almost won an award like that in my youth, but lost out to the guy in the picture above.   It was no fair really;  I look far cooler in a leopard skin toga than he does.  Anyway, I am only half geek.  In my ancient past I was both a sportscaster and a classical music radio announcer.  How is that for a cognitive dissonance?

Jokes aside, let’s get down to the serious satire.  It’s time to give out another BLAHS (BLog Awards Handed out by Sackler).   A quick review of the rules is in order:

  1. Unlike the various chain-letters going around that masquerade as awards, this one is given out only one at a time–by me.
  2. The only thing the winner has to do to claim the award is endure the embarrassment.  Actually, they don’t even have to do that, as they are getting it either way.
  3. I give these out whenever I want to, to whomever I want to, for whatever reason I feel inclined to give them.  If you don’t like that, I’ll take my football and go home.
  4. The prize is a limited-edition T-shirt and matching refrigerator magnet complete with typographical errors that make them valuable collectors items.  (Don’t worry, when I run out I’ll order more.  As long as the number out there is not infinite it is still technically limited.)
  5. This award is in an appropriate-for-this-blog state of superposition on two counts.  The name BLAHS is both single and plural and the award itself is both serious and satirical at the same time.

You can see a complete history by clicking on “The BLAHS” link under “Categories” in the sidebar to the right.  The short list of previous winners is:

  • The Blog of Funny Names for being my favorite blog (other than mine).  They returned the honor–I am now one of their guest authors. (Is there such a thing as retro-active conflict of interest?)
  • Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub for having the funniest blog name among those I follow.
  • Essa on Everything for winning a reader poll in the category of Lady Blogger with an Attitude.

So, without further ado, let’s go on to the latest and greatest BLAHS–Geek of the Year!  May I have the envelope please?

The envelope?

Where is it?  Oh wait, I forgot. It’s not in an envelope;  it’s in an encrypted email.  Hey, considering that the Associated Press recently had their Twitter account hacked, you can’t be too careful.  Give me a nanosecond to gear up my quantum computer and decode it.  OK, here it is…[drum roll]…and the winner is:

Elke Stangl (a.k.a. Elkement) of Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything

Elke

Elke

Congratulations Elke. You have been named to this honor for any number of reasons. You might ask, what are those numbers (other than 42)?

Besides writing a blog that I follow, her fine geeky points are:

  • As mentioned in a previous post, a resume that reads like a character from The Big Bang Theory.
  • She is a founding member of the cult of search term poetry and spam poetry.  My search term haiku feature is a direct result of her challenge to me in this arena.
  • She is one of the most loyal followers of this blog.  Others may hold that habit against her; I applaud it and award it.
  • She appreciates Douglas Adams as much as I do.
  • Her most recent post of existential spam poetry puts her immediately in a class with Woody Allen and Albert Camus.

Let’s hear from Elke herself:

MS:  What are your favorite geeky things to do—other than spam poetry, of course?geek power

ES:  That’s a tough one. I hardly do anything non-geeky. I spend my whole life nearly hard-wired to my computer and hope for better man-machine interfaces (Stephen-Hawking-Borg-Google-Glass stuff). I indulge in putting the geekiness back into so-called business-y or scientific documents (in a very subtle way, so that only other members of the Geek Cult will notice), and I enjoy hunting bugs and evil networking packets (very much in the same way as Sandra Bullock in The Net – including living off pizza). I feel uncomfortable when directly exposed to sun light which resulted in a lack of vitamin D.

MS: So what got you started on search term & spam poetry?   Who or what is your muse?

ES:  I was sick last year, had just started my meteoric rise to fame as a virtual stand-up comedian on Facebook – and was desperately searching for something funny to post. My non-creative brain, impaired by fever, could just come up with recycled content – from WordPress Stats. So it started with search term poetry on my FB timeline – spam poetry was a logical step in my evolution as an artist. If I would be a more down-to-earth artist, I’d create art from pieces from the scrap yard.

My muse is a person called “Irgendwer” – this is German for “somebody”. His job title in one of my geeky universes is: Somebody Doing Anything Nobody Wants to Do. (My job title in that said universe is Subversive Non-Coordinator and Chief Desperate Dreamer, if you really need to know). He might be my significant other in quite a bunch of alternate universes.

MS: Kirk or Picard?  (Damn, it makes me feel uncomfortably geeky just to ask that—I don’t even like Star Trek)

ES: Picard of course, because he is a refined educated French (European) philosopher 🙂

MS: Any advice to aspiring geek bloggers?

ES:  I don’t care about advice on blogging – in particular avoid those Top Ten Most Important But Yet Extremely Trivial Things to Know about Blogging lists.

[That was a close one.  I thought she was going to say “avoid The Millennium Conjectures”]

MS: Who on “The Big Bang Theory” do you think you most take after?  (Assuming you watch if over there in Austria, otherwise you can pass on the question).

ES: I don’t have time to watch TV, I am following too many geeky blogs.

  [That comment alone is worthy of this award.]

MS:  Any other comments you would like to make are welcome.  (Sorry but “42” is taken)

ES: I am exhausted from all that existential stuff posted to my blog in the past days. I leave it at a quote of Douglas Adams and my discerning observation of artists being better than management consultants and sociologists in analyzing corporate culture:

Context: Part 5 of the Trilogy of Five, Ford Prefect enters the building of the publishers of the guide,

He always entered via the ventilation system rather than the main lobby because the main lobby was patrolled by robots whose job it was to quiz incoming employees about their expense accounts.  The company had been taken over by InfiniDim Enterprises…We spent millions on that name, because before it was under-structured, over-resourced, under-managed and over-inebriated.

Congratulations, Elke.  To claim your prize, please send me a self-addressed stamped steamer trunk.  Your award will arrive via return carrier pigeon as soon as I can train one to fly to wherever you are.

Signature@MarkSackler

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Google This! Search Term Haiku #2

“Anything too stupid to be spoken is sung.”–Voltaire

www.cartoonstock.com Used by permission

http://www.cartoonstock.com
Used by permission

If Voltaire were alive today, he would have said “anything too stupid to be spoken is Googled.”

And with that missive, folks, it’s time for another thrilling rendition of Search Term Haiku.   To recap,  this feature was inspired by blogger  Elkement  when she created search term poetry on her blog, Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything.     She suggested I try my hand at it, and I did her one better.   I created search term Haiku,  which must abide by the following rules:

.

  1. Every phrase must come from search terms actually used to find this blog, per my WordPress stats page.
  2. The poems must follow the accepted Anglicized format of the traditional Japanese art form: three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively.
  3. Each line must constitute an actual individual search term phrase, verbatim.  The only changes allowed are punctuation and truncation.  (Phrases may be taken from within search terms).
  4. Words may not be changed or rearranged. Typos and misspellings must not be corrected.

The poems below have all been created using search terms that have appeared on my WordPress stats page since the last Search Term Haiku post in January of this year.  It should be noted:  adding stories to this blog about my life as the husband of a veterinarian has opened up a whole new world of gross search terms.  I did not make these up, I swear it.  Enjoy.


YUCK

What does poop look like?

Images found on Facebook

When you have pinworms

 

Science Class

Why is the sky plue*?

To Teach Physics to Your Dog

Erwin Schroedinger

 

 

Ah, Me

Mark Sacler* part 3

When you have enough quotes

Rat and pig cartoon

 

 

Canine Crazy

Dog eats brillo pad

At subatomic level

Mental enema

 

 

Zoophilia

Small lazy black dog

Veterinarian spouse

The wife of Luffy

 
* SIC (typos reproduced accurately.)

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1001: A Blogging Odyssey

“Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘blog’ is a fool’s errand.”–Michael Conniff

“Blogging is pure vanity.”–Unknown

1001 HITSLet’s not get all misty eyed here, but yesterday The Millennium Conjectures™ passed the 1,000 subscriber threshold.  This presents an opportunity to wax poetic on the nature of blogging itself.  Oh, wait, I forgot–you don’t care, and my poetry stinks.  I’ll spare you the agony;  if you are one of my followers it is probably because of the humor, satire or metaphysics.  Thanks for being here.  Thanks for liking my posts and commenting on them.   The onus is now on me to keep delivering–with a little help from my friends, of course. 😉

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In Memoriam: Mary Ruth “U.V.” Ray

mary ruth rayMary Ruth Ray (Aka”U.V”; Aka “Vi”) died Tuesday, January 29 at age 56 after a three year battle with cancer.  She was a world class viola player,  a founding member of the Lydian String Quartet and an artist in residence at Brandeis University for more than 3 decades.  Others knew her better and longer than me,  but she was a friend and a follower of this blog.  I refer you to her biography page on the Brandeis University web site, and obituary in the Boston Globe.   The list of recordings and Grammy nominations is particularly impressive.  One blogger described her playing as demonstrative of quiet excellence; that describes her perfectly as a human being as well.

I am not one for eulogies and she did not want any.  I will close with an expression of deepest sympathy to her family, friends and professional colleagues, and a repeat of a past memorial post from last fall that was one her favorites from this blog.  I have lost too many friends and family this year,  and now another bright light has gone out.

In Memoriam: Life, Death and Leaves

  (originally posted Sept 29,, 2012)

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”–Albert Camus

It has been a difficult week as three people I know died.  They were an 82-year-old uncle whose death had been anticipated, a 59-year-old work colleague whose demise was an unexpected shock, and most tragically, the 29-year-old son of one of my poker buddies whose death from illness had been feared for some time.

Here is an elegy to these lost souls with the only piece of poetry I ever wrote which I would deem appropriate.  It’s well over 35-years old–the sort of thing one could only write in one’s youth.

The Leaves

Words ©1976, 2012  Mark Sackler

Sit and look at the leaves,

Amber arms descending from October’s trees.

Covering delicate grasses,

sweeping the highway,

bedding the rain,

images

Solemn songs to life departed,

Sit and look at the leaves.

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Time Out: Google This! Search Term Haiku

“If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.”–Jimmy Wales

funny_google_search_result_-722978

The last thing you want to do is throw down a challenge to this blogger.  Ever.  But that’s exactly what Elke Stangl did when she created search term poetry on her blog, Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything.  First of all, Elke has a resume that reads like a character from The Big Bang Theory. She describes her self as a physicist turned IT security consultant turned renewable energy engineer–all this plus a stint with Microsoft.   But that aside, her big mistake was suggesting that I try my hand at search term poetry.  I will not be outdone.   Be careful what you wish for Elke, cause here comes Search Term Haiku.  The rules are simple, but the creation is anything but easy.

  1. Every word must come from search terms actually used to find this blog, per my WordPress stats page
  2. The poems must follow the accepted Anglicized format of the traditional Japanese art form: three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively.
  3. Each line must constitute an actual individual search term phrase, verbatim.  The only change allowed is punctuation.

You asked for it, Elke.  So here they are.  (Note:  I may have to bestow a BLAHS on Elke for inspiring this idea.  But not the next one, as that has already been determined and will be posted soon.)

 

HAHA

Siri lacks humor.

Did Schroedinger’s Cat Blow up

Albert Einstein’s hair?

 

Non Sequitor

Stupid search engine:

16 Times 4 equals what?

Lawn bowling cartoons

 

 

What’s in a name?

 

Mahatma Gandhi

Luna Rosa Pirana

Lindsay Lohan meme

 

 

Canine Crazy

 

Are Dogs Chaotic?

If you roll the dice enough times

I’m part schipperke.

 

 

Quixotically Quantum

 

Haldane conjecture:

Many worlds are around us

so why don’t you leave.

 
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Photo Op #1: Past the Peak

“One is forever throwing away substance for shadows.”–Jennie Churchill

She rode from the leaves

For the shadows were deeper,

Light…dark…

…and matter…

Words and images ©2012 Mark Sackler

 

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In Memorium: Life, Death and Leaves

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”–Albert Camus

Lest the general levity of this blog give you a false impression of my worldview, let me state that sometimes life sucks.  For the most part, I use humor and satire as a defense and an escape, a diversion if you will.   This has been an incredibly bittersweet week; I have never experienced anything remotely like it.   My last post was Freshly Pressed–perhaps the ultimate honor for a WordPress blogger.  Yet while this was going on, three people I know died.  They were an 82-year-old uncle whose death had been anticipated, a 58-year-old work colleague whose demise was an unexpected shock, and most tragically, the 29-year-old son of one of my poker buddies whose death from illness had been feared for some time.

If you will permit me then, a tribute to these lost souls with the only piece of poetry I ever wrote which I would deem publishable.  It’s well over 35-years old–the sort of thing one could only write in one’s youth.

The Leaves

Words ©1976, 2012  Mark Sackler

Sit and look at the leaves,

Amber arms descending from October’s trees.

Covering delicate grasses,

sweeping the highway,

bedding the rain,

Solemn songs to life departed,

Sit and look at the leaves.

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