Thursday, November 28, 2013

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR MY FRIENDS, FAMILY, HEALTH AND WORK.


I am also thankful that tomorrow we can all once again start taking everything for granted.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

# TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR GENERAL DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER


General Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, and I don't know about you, but I think that is one kick-ass job description.

As a boy growing up in Kansas, Eisenhower converted a small barn into a makeshift laboratory, where he invented the Internet, the National Highway System, and NASA. Young Dwight was a childhood friend of Clark Kent and Dorothy Gale.

But then, a threat emerged in Europe, and our three young friends joined the army, fighting the Nazis and having adventures. Who can forget the stirring images of Eisenhower, Superman and Dorothy Gale leading the charge onto the beaches of Normandy?

Finally, on April 30th 1945, Eisenhower tracked Das Feuer to the Berlin bunker and killed Adolf Hitler after an exhausting shirtless knife fight while a terrified Eva Braun looked on. It ended with Eisenhower slowly pushing his Bowie knife into a wheezing Hitler. Eisenhower said. "Shhh, shh. It will be over soon. Shhhh." Hitler's disgraceful last words were, " Ich habe gerade gekackt ein wenig." ("I just pooped a little.") With this knife fight, Eisenhower won World War II, launching the careers of a both Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

On his Internet blog, IKE'S PLACE, Eisenhower warned: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." And we totally guarded against that, and whew, we dodged a bullet on that one. No misplaced power here. No way.

He once punched Joseph McCarthy in the face and said, "Cool it with the witch hunt stuff man, this is America."

Eisenhower had absolutely nothing to do with 1953 coup in Iran and all of its unintended consequences. Nope.

Moving on: He proclaimed that, "Blacks and whites should be able to go to school together. Stop being such racist dicks you guys," and everyone was like, "General Eisenhower killed Hitler, we better do what he says," and so ended racism.

After WWII, General Eisenhower was Army Chief of Staff for Harry S. Truman, but after killing Hitler, ending racism, averting the police state, and inventing the Internet, being a "Chief of Staff" was a letdown. "I used to be Supreme Allied Commander, by comparison, this sucks," so he pursued his destiny and went on to become the 13th President of Columbia University.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

# TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR VARIOUS MEATS AND CHEESES!

The only thing better than bacon is more bacon. I am thankful for Ham. Hamburger. Steak. Salisbury steak. Sausage. Sausage links with bacon. Salmon. Those red circles on pizza. Fish sticks. Catfish. Chicken. Large chicken (known as LC, or turkey). Fried chicken. Chicken nuggets. Buffalo. Buffalo wings. Pork roast. The various meats found in various chilies and stews. Bacon.

I am thankful for cheese. Aged cheese, American cheese, Swiss cheese. I am thankful for the shredded and wheeled cheeses. Also the various wedges of fancy aged cheese.

I am thankful that various meats and cheeses can be combined to make various foods, like cheeseburgers, pizzas, and various lasagnas. Sometimes various meats and cheeses can be placed in a basket, and given as a tasty gift. They can be placed gently on crackers (even saltines!), and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Various meats and cheeses later went on to become our 34th President. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

# TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR BRUCE, THE GROCERY CART GUY

I am thankful for Bruce, the guy who brings in the grocery carts at the supermarket where food comes from. He is always cheerful. He always greets everybody with "HI, THANKS FOR COMING BY" or "HAVE A NICE DAY," or sends them off with a "COME AGAIN SOON," or "THANKS FOR SHOPPING" or some variation like that. He's very enthusiastic. He's there every day. He's got a bit of a limp. He seems mentally challenged, but I don't know, I could be wrong. Thing is, he's happy doing what he's doing, he's as dependable as an atomic clock, and I'm just glad he's there. At first, I found him annoying. STOP BEING SO GOD DAMNED CHEERFUL, I would scream at him (in my mind), but now I wouldn't have it any other way. We need more people like Bruce, and less people who don't even bother to put their carts back in those collection racks because they're too busy being "successful" and "busy" and "fulfilled," or whatever self-centered bullshit they're up to. Bruce is everything good and hopeful in this world. Unstressed by the news, or politics, or "the economy," he lives his life day to day. What bliss. He alone is immune to the bullshit churned in overactive brains. What merciful disregard for all of the dumb things that nag at us. Here is an example of a kindhearted soul. Bruce should be in charge. Not a cruel thought in his head. Here is compassion and wisdom. He minds his own business. He cares about others. Collecting shopping carts when he should robed and revered as a holy man. He should sit on a throne, and people would come to him and say, "Bruce, tell us your wisdom," and he would say, "Be nice."

He would later go on to become our 34th President.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

# TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR FRUIT LOOPS AND CARTOONS

Today is Saturday, and that means sugary cereal, footie pajamas, and violent cartoons! I am thankful for sugar, harvested by machete in the cane fields of Hawaii, and the corn flour blend fields of Nebraska, where corn flour blend plants stand taller than a man for miles and miles. I am thankful for the whole grain yellow corn flour paddies of Asia, and the degerminated yellow corn flour mines of Moria, where degerminated yellow corn flour is mined by the stoic dwarves of Middle Earth. I am thankful for wheat flour from Kansas, and whole grain oat flour from the whole grain trees of Florida. I am thankful for oat fiber from the Hanging Oat Flour Gardens of Babylon, and soluble corn fiber, harvested by the corn fiber divers of Japan: a corn fiber diver of Japan can stay underwater for seven or eight minutes at a time. 

I am thankful for the hydrogenated vegetable oil drillers of Texas, who drill thousands of feet below the earth to extract this precious resource. I am thankful for salt, collected by following absentminded girls on rainy days. I am thankful for "red 40", painstakingly harvested through backbreaking labor by immigrant workers under harsh conditions from the beautiful yet deadly red 40 poinsettias. I am thankful for Natural Flavor, which is the indefinable essence brought into being by meditating monks in Tibetan temples. Natural Flavor is collected like dew from the low ceilings of their solitary cells, and carted down mountain trails by Sherpas in handcrafted glass bottles with cork stoppers inscribed with mysterious koans. I am thankful for Blue 2, extracted from the ice below Superman's Fortress of Solitude by Intuit villagers rowing outrigger canoes. I am thankful for turmeric color, mined from the surface of the planet mars by blind robots that worship a forgotten god. I am thankful for yellow 6, rubbed patiently from the Lotus flowers of Nepal by virgin Buddhist nuns. 

I am thankful for annatto color, which is dreamed by four Precogs floating in a nutritional bath in a futuristic police headquarters. The elusive annatto color is captured by computer and converted from digital to analog signal, which is then scraped from the solder joints of circuit boards within the Metabase computer. Annatto color isn't actually a physical thing, but a concept brought forth by complicated algorithms within the Metabase, a byproduct of pre-crime screening. Annatto color is very rare, difficult to harvest, and you should be damned lucky it is in your Fruit Loops, for which I am thankful. God Bless America. I am thankful for blue 1, which is scraped from the surface of blueberries by Army widowers, and mixed with their tears to enhance flavor. 

And finally, I am thankful for BHT, as everyone knows, is Butylated hydroxytoluene, also known as butylhydroxytoluene, is a lipophilic organic compound, chemically a derivative of phenol, that is useful for its antioxidant properties. European and U.S. regulations allow small percentages to be used as a food additive. While there may be some dispute in BHT's use in the human diet, the chemical is widely used in industry wherever oxidation in fluids (e.g. fuel, oil) and other materials must be treated, and free radicals must be kept in check and I totally did not just cut and paste that last part from Wikipedia. BHT was developed in the childhood laboratory of our 34th President.

Friday, November 22, 2013

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM

Without our Interstate Highway System, there would be no Smoky and The Bandit. Smoky and The Bandit launched the career of a fresh-faced former Nun named Sally Field. Jackie Gleason was great in that movie. If you don't remember the line, "Daddy, the top came off!" you're missing out on a great movie line. Plus, with our Highway system, you can drive all over the place. Texas. You could drive to Texas. Or Washington (the state or the capital) or any of the other states. Construction was authorized in 1956, and ya'll know what that means: It is the brainchild of our 34th President. So DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ) created the Internet, which led to Google Maps. And the Internet Highway System is INSIDE GOOGLE MAPS, which is INSIDE THE INTERNET. Mind. Blown. And you are reading this ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB instead of from a Xeroxed paper in a coffee shop (with no WIFI) in the early nineties. You are welcome. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

# TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR SLEEP.


When everyone sleeps, the combined weight of billions of heavy eyelids pulls the sun down, and that's why we sleep at night, or that’s why it is night while we sleep. Science doesn't know. Sleep researchers say stuff, I suppose, but I'm too lazy to look that up right now.

If everyone stayed awake at the same time, all of the open eyes would use up all the sunlight, and the sun would burn out, and no one wants that. The stars shine for those who stand the watches of the ungodly hours, and those who fret and lie awake and yearn for the solace of sleep.

I am thankful for the one thing we all agree on, besides breathing and food: sleep. CEOs and drifters are equalized for a few hours. Their material things are equally uselessness. Muslims, Christians and Jews, all believe, for a few hours, nothing, and are at peace. No one is so busy, hateful, or stupid to not sleep.

I am thankful for the death rehearsal.
I am thankful for the ultimate peace before the ultimate peace.
I am thankful for the innocence of unconsciousness.
I am thankful for temporary oblivion before permanent oblivion.
I am thankful for sleep. The universal reset. The snuggled snooze of billions of temporarily harmless souls.

When we dream, our relaxed brains pick up the thoughts of people on the other side of the planet because of gravity and earthworms, and that's how thoughts are recycled, so we do some of the stuff people ran out of time for on the other side of the earth. But what about the excess dreams? The moon acts as a sponge to soak up all the dreams. That's why there are dark spots on the moon. Those are dreams. The moon is held up by dreams, and it scoots—moved by the same force that moves Ouija board thingies—to the edge of the sky at some point because the sun is waiting to come up, and they have this awkward thing (they used to date) so she hides whenever he shows up, although everybody thinks they should get back together, but—oh, it's a whole thing, I'm not going to rehash it—so anyway, the story is that the moon goes down to make room for the sun. When you see the moon during the day, that means somebody is taking a nap and slacking off!

By now you're wondering, what does this have to do with our 34th President? Well, as you know, in the 1950s, everything was in black and white. (That's why photos from that time are black and white. duh) and we dreamed in color. Well not anymore. Not after our 34th President. Coincidence? You decide.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR SALTINE CRACKERS

Saltine crackers are delicious. They are good under sardines, smoked oysters, little squares of cheese, ham, jalapeno peppers, and peanut butter. The "manna from heaven," in the bible was packages of saltines. The "ambrosia," in Greek mythology was also saltine crackers. Saltine crackers have thirteen holes in them. Saltines later went on to become our 34th President.

Monday, November 18, 2013

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR THE HIVEMIND

The Hivemind is everywhere. It watches us. It connects us. It keeps us safe. It sells us products. It fixes our spelling. It forgives our bad grammar. It shortens our focus. It guesses our intentions. It predicts our actions. It helps us remember birthdays. With the Hivemind, we are never alone. We think about it when we are not participating in it, and we bask in its glow when we connect with it. It gives us a feeling of accomplishment. The Hivemind was developed in the sixties. When someone "likes" something we have done, it stimulates the nucleus accumbens,[1] and who doesn't want the nucleus accumbens stimulated? Am I right ladies? And gentlemen? lol.

It gave us "lol."

With the Hivemind, all information is accessible. Communication is instantaneous. We are all one with the Hivemind. The Hivemind is safe, non addictive, and provides accurate, non-biased information at all times. The Hivemind is the brainchild of our 34th President. *
-------------------
1.  http://healthland.time.com/2013/08/31/this-is-your-brain-on-facebook/
* by pure coincidence, this is sort of true.

Friday, November 15, 2013

# TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR "EVERYTHING SUBTLE, COMPLEX, ABSTRACT, AND PROFOUND"

I am thankful for a thousand forgotten Thursdays. I am thankful for unobserved dew covered spider webs on spring mornings near dilapidated barns. I am thankful for routing tables, IP addresses, the unrecorded thoughts of Shakespearean characters, the question of existence vs. non-existence, and medieval drawings of imaginary creatures. I am thankful for unheard trees falling in remote forests. I am thankful for languages I won't know, religions I won't follow, and various kinds of welding. I am thankful for engineering and medicine. I am thankful for the violins in the song "Kashmir." I am thankful for the sighs of aging strangers on distant continents. Empty sunlit afternoon sidewalks. I am thankful for untaken photographs and the airy space in the lower boughs of well formed trees. The unspoken names of all the sparrows in the world. I am thankful that somewhere, someone is being born who I will never know, who will live out a complex, unique life and never know that you or I or anyone reading this ever existed. I am thankful for the smell of library books. I am thankful for weekday waves on deserted Caribbean beaches. I am thankful for questions about free will and determinism. I am thankful for the Latin terms for rare medical conditions. I am thankful for slide rules, multiplication tables, old tide charts, almanacs, and forgotten hand-silhouette turkeys in Big Chief tablets. I am thankful for the pretentious hackwork of listing unrelated things, and the calculated cowardice of false humility. I am thankful for half remembered phrases of classical music. I am thankful for the souls of forgotten spreadsheets and the sad memories of empty filing cabinets. I am thankful for dust motes in sunbeams in for-lease office spaces. I am thankful for the forgotten chance genius of drunks and stoners. I am thankful for solitary nuns in desolate suburban afternoon churches. I am thankful for thirty-year-old copies of TV Guide in abandoned Arizona desert doublewide trailers. I am thankful for the olfactory scheme of dogs, the Dewey Decimal System, and scientific discoveries that will happen a thousand years from today. I am thankful for comedy sketches yet unwritten. I am thankful for unwanted glass knick-knacks in Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. I am thankful for new music I will never appreciate. I am thankful for changing fashion and geologic time. I am thankful for esoteric terms used by pompous wine tasters. I am thankful for Euclidean geometry and the Earth's rotation. I am thankful for tinnitus and the DNA damage theory of aging. I am thankful for the New York Stock Exchange, solar flares, and whatever is beyond observable space. I am thankful for the failures and achievements our 34th President. I am thankful for quiet moments of contemplation happening everywhere. I am thankful for "everything subtle, complex, abstract and profound." I am thankful for the countless things and unthings for which I am unaware that I should be thankful.
-----------------------
Full disclosure: the phrase "everything subtle, complex, abstract and profound" is lifted directly from the Epilogue of a book:
Dobelli, Rolf. The Art of Thinking Clearly. New York, Harper Collins, 2013. Print 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR "CALLING IT IN"

Today I am thankful for not having to be over the top every day. Sometimes you can't always bring your "A" game, you know? Sometimes you just need to take it easy and coast a little. It's a long month. Gotta pace yourself. I'm thankful for being able to "half-ass" it once in awhile, and no one really noticing. Don't want to burn out halfway through. You know who else knew this? Our 34th President.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR CHICKEN

Chicken comes from stores and restaurants, and can be found in various shapes and configurations. Nugget chickens are raised at various smaller stores that sell hot food. I am thankful for chicken because chicken is the default "meat" taste. When viewing sporting events, chicken becomes naturally spicy. Chicken is an important part of the food triangle. Chicken is important to me because without chickens, we would have no eggs. Without eggs, there would be no scrambled eggs, or cake, or scrambled cake. Also, I am thankful for eggs, because without eggs, there would be no chicken, and without chicken, there wouldn't be LARGE CHICKEN (LC) otherwise known by its street name, "turkey." No turkey, no Thanksgiving. Also, chicken went on to become our 34th President.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU!

Why? Because you have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life. You went on to become our 34th President.

I am also thankful for the Forer Effect.

Monday, November 11, 2013

War Stuff for Freedom or Whatever

This Veterans day, lets not stop at honoring Vets who have already dealt with War Bullshit; lets be sure in the fact that some asshole in a suit somewhere is cooking up some new War Bullshit, so our children and eventually, their children will get to deal with some War Bullshit. It'll probably involve getting oil or China or something. Then we'll convince ourselves it was totally worth it. And then they'll make movies about it and do ceremony stuff before sporting events. For freedom or whatever.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR FIRE

Bob Newhart, our 34th
President, established
the Fire Dept. System.
"Fire Good!" Even the Frankenstein monster finally realized that fire is good. Without fire, it would be winter both outside AND inside, and no one wants that. Fire was invented in 1933 by Nikola Tesla in response to the rising threat of Communism.

Today we use fire for many useful pastimes, such as cooking, home heating, and the combustion engine. During the Fire Embargo of the 1970s, fire shortages crippled the economy, and this led the Newhart Administration to establish the Fire Department System, which endures to this day.

Friday, November 08, 2013

# TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR AIR!

Without air, there would be no Wright Brothers, because an airplane works because of differential air pressure on a wing foil as it passes through air. No Wright Bros., no airplanes. No airplanes, no Fantasy Island. No Fantasy Island, no Hervé Villechaize saying "De Plane! De Plane!" I don't want to live in a world where that didn't happen.

Air: without air, we would all have to wear spacesuits. I wouldn't want to live in a world where we all wore spacesuits. Plus, Hervé Villechaize in a tiny spacesuit is horrifying.

Not only that, there would be no movie, "The Boy In The Plastic Bubble," (he wouldn't need a bubble, he would always be in a spacesuit) That movie in turn inspired the "Bubble Boy" episode on Seinfeld. That was hilarious! "Moops?"

None of that would have happened, and even if it had happened, it would have happened in spacesuits. Not as awesome.

And anyway, giving everyone spacesuits wouldn't even work, because there would be nothing to refill the air tanks with, so we would die.

Can you imagine? A landscape filled with spacesuits, which would in turn be filled with human skeletons? The malls filled with spacesuit-wearing skeletons, hospital nurseries with basinets filled with tiny skeletons in tiny spacesuits, lifeless old-folks' homes with wheelchairs full of lifeless spacesuit-wearing skeletons, and highways filled with wrecked cars, which in turn would contain space-suited human skeletons, mold growing on the surface of their Starbucks Lattes. Think about it. Now you're thankful for air, huh?

With no air, there would be no early sailing ships. {no wind ya'all} No early sailing ships, no pilgrims, and NO THANKGIVING!

{mind blown}

And even if we had managed to have a Thanksgiving in our rudimentary space suits, we could never have given smallpox-infected blankets to the Indians, because the smallpox would never kill them because they would always be wearing their Indian spacesuits, so they would have eventually wiped us out with their plasma rifles. (They wouldn't have arrows, because arrows are made of wood, and can a tree grow in a vacuum? I think not. Think these things through people!)

No, it would be nothing but herds of spacesuit-wearing buffalo and spacesuit-wearing Indians riding spacesuit-wearing horses.

Nope, I don't want to live in that world. So today I am thankful for Air.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A LIGHTHEARTED TAKE ON LEAF BLOWERS:

I am against the use of military drones within the borders of the United States, with one exception:

People using leaf blowers.

I know this sounds harsh, but the 2nd Amendment covers the right to keep firearms, and although thousands of people lose their lives to gun violence every year, people have the right, so whatever. It doesn't cover leaf blowers, because our founding fathers knew that leaf blowers were fucking horrible.

I'm glad I don't own a firearm, because if I did, I would walk over and shoot that motherfucker right in his fucking face.

Leaf blowers? Leaf blowers are an abomination. I hope there is a special place in hell for people who use their awful, noisy, stupid leaf blowers on what would otherwise be a peaceful, beautiful fall Saturday morning.

Guess what I'm listening to, right now, as I type this? Some lazy-ass, no good, fucked up neighbor of mine, running his god-damned leaf blower.

Use a rake you lazy-ass motherfucker.

Please NSA, please read this and put together a comprehensive security plan that would allow military drones to tomahawk missile these motherfuckers and their leaf-blowers straight to hell. Leave a god-damned smoking crater in their fucking yard, where the gently falling leaves can quietly accumulate over the years.

Motherfucker.

for the record: I would never shoot or otherwise harm in any way anybody, ever. this is a writing exercise. Jesus Christ.

About Me

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I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com

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