Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Thank you all, all of you, for 2008. I could not have envisioned a better year if I had been able to plan it all out for myself in advance.

I have tried putting a year-end thank-you to verse, but it was all just too trite and nasty, not representative of the deep gratitude I feel toward so many of you. So, consider yourselves the ones who left Cuttlefish speechless. And instead, I’ll just post a few pictures for you. None are remarkable for any reason other than that I took them. I was there. Finally. And some of you reading know that I could not have done that without you. So… completely inadequately… thank you.

So very much.

And have a great 2009!

I just realized that an unusually substantial number of my memorable moments of 2008 occurred in Hotels. Not that unusual, given the amount of time spent living in them this year, but still… so if you are one of the people who crossed paths with me in a Hotel, consider yourself doubly thanked. New York, Chicago, Sofia, Bourgas, Thessaloniki, Delphi, and especially Athens. And I am sure I am forgetting some. I love you all.

(click pics to moderately embiggen)

Chicago (not my favorite view, but the best I have a pic of):

A close-up of a Greek vase...

My favorite statue:

I love this shot--a column from the Athens agora:

The back view of the Parthenon. No photo will ever do it justice.

A simple pot... but it was the casket for an infant. I can't imagine being the parent... or the person who found it.

The size of these columns simply does not come across in photos.

The changing of the guards in Athens. A beautiful ceremony--of course, in the past few weeks there have been protests here.

The theatre at Epidaurus. Acoustically perfect; I could hear every word spoken from where I took this pic. Standing where the speaker is standing, it sounds like you are in your own bathtub. You hear yourself perfectly. An amazing place.

Nafplion. I can't do it justice, so I will just post one image. The water is bluer, the mountain is higher, the everything is everythinger...

I think I'll cut this short here--I took (literally) thousands of photos, but I suspect evil spirits will prohibit me from posting all of them on this post. More later... or perhaps sooner, one never knows. These shots are reduced in quality, but some of them (I don't think any of this post's) I use as desktop images in their higher resolutions. Anyone who wants anything here in hi-rez, just ask.

The Year In Cities

I am not one to often do memes
(It's just so hard to rhyme them, it seems)
But this one I'll try
Cos the year that's gone by
Has been better than even my dreams!

So, Chad Orzel at Uncertain Principles (love that dog!) propogates a meme: list the places where you spent at least one night in 2008 (other than home). Any other year, I would be too depressed at how short a list it was, to actually post it. This year?



Veliko Turnovo

New York City
Canastota, NY

Yeah, next year is gonna suck, but I have my memories... So, where did you go this year?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Digital Pack-Rat, Vol. 8

Evangelists were happy for the economic downturn--it drives people to religion! Gee, it's almost like their god makes people miserable so that they can turn to... him for help?

It's nice sometimes, to pray for God
To intervene and save us;
So gather all together and
Sing praises to His name!
It's nice to be reminded by
These troubles that He gave us;
If God did not exist--why, then,
Just who'd there be to blame?

(oh, yeah, that's right... atheists.)

And Pat Boone voiced a public opinion about... really, who cares? It's Pat Boone!

I never, ever liked Pat Boone
The man has evil in his soul;
And not cos he's a whackaloon,
But what he did to Rock and Roll.

Now that South Carolina's license plates will no longer be able to say "I believe", the residents may have to go back to expressing themselves through their cars in other ways.

My grandfather's caddy tells anyone looking
He's chock-full of ignorant hate;
The frame says "what would Jesus do?"
The plate says B- IR8

Our preacher, he told us he once saw a car
With blasphemy there on the tag--
The license plate read I4NIC8,
So he knew it was owned by a fag

All I want is a customized license
To hang from the back of my truck,
Expressing my hatred of science and schooling--
It says "I'm a dumb stupid fuck"

The power went out at Cuttlehouse for about 4 days. What wonderful things battery-powered radios are--why, if god had not given them to us, we'd have had to invent them ourselves!

Stuck in the dark, with the radio on,
I heard the AM preachers;
I never knew that atheists
Were such appalling creatures!
The godless have declared a war
On all of god's creations--
This Christmas, we must all fight back
(Oh, yes... and send donations.)

Rick Warren paints us a beautiful picture of Eden, complete with dinosaurs and humans living together. It's... inspirational.

In the Bible, they'd have you believe
That the serpent taught Man to deceive.
It was no bitten apple
But a dinosaur's grapple--
Leviathan did it with Eve!

Yes, Eve, the original madam
Was cheating on poorly hung Adam
When it comes to good sex,
A Tyrannosaur's Rex
As she found out the moment she had 'im!

Though it cast them from Eden to Earth, it
Made Eve full of unending mirth--It
Spawned giggles and sighs,
And her faraway eyes
Had the look that just said "It was worth it."

Monday, December 29, 2008

And you think *I'm* obsessive!?!

...just in case any of you have any free time at all (I currently do not--5 big projects all with the same due date: this Wednesday), I thought I'd share a great place to get completely lost in productive obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Ok, you might have noticed I have a tendency to write things in verse. Just a bit. Once in a while. But it's not like I have decided to, say, write the entire unabridged dictionary in Limerick form. In good limericks, with proper rhymes and anapest meter and peer review. And (I'm sure there is an appropriate Douglas Adams phrase here, but as I said, I am busy) alphabetically. It began in 2004 (from an idea hatched in 2003), and has made it to the early D words so far. I have contributed about a hundred, but only just over half of them have passed peer review so far; these people are strict. And they are good. And they are obsessive! There are authors with thousands of approved limericks!

So if that sort of thing tickles your fancy, pop over and give it a try! Or, if you just need a definition for something... in limerick form... for a word that begins DA or earlier... they probably have it.

Some of mine from the site:

cuttlefish by Cuttlefish

The cuttlefish: squid-like, you think?
Just a cephalopod in the drink?
Then you also should know it
Refers to a poet,
Or any who hide in their ink.

browse by Cuttlefish

As I browsed through the books I'd requested,
The librarian had me arrested!
I cried, "Surely you've read
Francis Bacon, who said
That some books should be chewed and digested!"

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."
—Francis Bacon, Sr. (1561–1626)

brevity by Cuttlefish

The OEDILF takes the planet by storm—
Some day soon, we will find it the norm!
Words explained in great brevity
(Brief) and with levity—
Defined in the limerick form!


braised by Cuttlefish

The little 4-H-er was praised
For the beautiful calf she had raised.
The judge said, "It shows
That you love Elsie Rose."
"Oh, I will", said the little girl, "braised."

Elsie Rose will be browned in fat and then simmered in a closed container.

chromium steel by Cuttlefish

She's a robot; she doesn't look real,
But she still has a certain appeal:
She has silicon eyes
And molybdenum thighs
And an ass made of chromium steel.

In 1921, when Karel Capek introduced the term robot, robots were assumed to be humanoid in appearance. Things have changed; most modern robots are not humanoid, and the term chromium steel has been replaced by stainless steel, referring to corrosion-resistant steel containing chromium content of at least 10.5% by weight.

chromatophore by Cuttlefish

Look again, and you might doubt your eyes:
It's the cuttlefish, cloaked in disguise!
What's its trick? There, within
Its remarkable skin
Are chromatophores, changing in size.

Chromatophores—cells, containing pigments, that can contract or dilate—are responsible for the amazing and ever-changing appearance of the cuttlefish. Cuttlefish make chameleons look like rank amateurs.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Much too busy to write right now. But I thought I'd share this beautiful new Digital Cuttlefish!

Now all I have to do is decide how to use it! New banner? Signature? I have to do something, so it is familiar when it graces the cover of volume 2, whenever that comes out! Any of you artistic types out there, feel free to suggest anything!

Once again, image by the incomparable Michael McRae. Click to embiggen (um... it embiggens quite a lot. Sorry.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas To All Of You (From Your Atheist Friend)

I just got a nice "Merry Christmas" this morning
From someone who calls me his "atheist friend";
He jokingly added, as if for a warning,
His greeting was truly not meant to offend.

He assumed that an atheist hated this season,
Or else he was joking, or just didn't see;
He was wrong, though, that's certain, whatever his reason--
Cos Christmas is really quite special to me:

We’ll all open presents, and cook a big dinner,
And share in traditions we learned long ago
But Christmas is different for this humble sinner,
No “birth of the saviour”, just people we know.

It has nothing to do with a babe in a manger
Or kings being led by a star up above,
But rather in family, friend, and in stranger,
In kindnesses done for the people we love.

A spirit of hope, and a spirit of giving,
A promise of peace in a troubling day,
A chance to examine the way we are living--
The courage to say what we’ve wanted to say.

You don’t need to think there’s a god up above you
To want to be good to your fellows on Earth.
To give to your friends, and to tell them “I love you”
Has nothing to do with some son of god’s birth.

For love, and for giving, we say “tis the season”
For caring, for kindness, for sharing good cheer
But why limit ourselves? I mean, what is the reason?
Why can’t we be giving the rest of the year?

This Christmas, my wish for each sister and brother,
To you, and to everyone you may hold dear;
Remember, this Christmas, to love one another—
Not only this season, but all through the year!

I'll happily send him my own Christmas greeting,
And wish him a good one, and Happy New Year,
And hope he remembers, so next time we're meeting
He'll talk as he wants to, with nothing to fear.

Happy Cephalopodmas!

It's still plenty of time till the plunder--
I mean "morning of childlike wonder"
But it's such a big Earth
That, for instance, in Perth,
It's already Christmas Down Under.

(I have recently been accused of being too snow-focused this squidmas, what with the song lyrics and all. So here's a special Cuttlemas greeting for my dear friend Podblack Cat, for whom it is already tomorrow!)

Monday, December 22, 2008


Ah... XKCD has done it again!
(and of course my formatting screws it up--click image for the full comic!)

A cuttlefish learns, so amazing quickly,
And oh so incredibly much—
We’ve figured out chemistry, quantum mechanics,
Biology, Physics, and such;
We could, if we chose to, go traipsing through wormholes
To galaxies light-years away;
But frankly, there’s something more baffling to study,
And that’s why we’ve chosen to stay.

These rather unusual featherless bipeds,
So noisy, so smelly, so strange—
It seems they can learn, or at least they respond
To contingencies which we arrange.
They learn rather slowly, it must be admitted;
It could be their brains are quite small.
And given their habits, the evidence tells us
Some probably don’t learn at all.

They somehow invented some horrible weapons
Which all thinking beings should fear
They constantly threaten complete devastation—
I’m rather surprised they’re still here!
They keep dumping poison in lakes or in rivers
Where others get water to drink—
Although this is senseless, and foolish, and stupid,
I still believe some of them think.

They’ve hit upon something that multiplies thinking,
A process they like to call “science”,
Where each person builds on the other ones’ progress
Like standing on shoulders of giants.
Some say these “humans” are smarter than cuttlefish;
I won’t be taking that bet!
But maybe—just maybe—with science to help them,
These humans… they might make it yet.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Song, Revisited (sheet music!)

Ok, so in putzing around trying to find a way to put music here, I found a wonderful way to procrastinate! Finale NotePad has a 30-day trial period that is fully functional--with enough patience, a non-composer like myself was able to pretty much get my song down the way I hear it in my head... and a few other ways besides! (I did it the easy way--wrote it in C, then cut and pasted it into G, which apparently is the key I sing it in.) I think the Finale people have a place where they host people's compositions, so perhaps I will put mine there, but I wanted (mostly for Kevin and Glenn, who asked) to put up the music before it is too late. Of course it is not quite the arrangement I hear, but I finally figured out what that arrangement would be--there is an album by jazz trumpeter Chase Sanborn, a small group with a woman vocalist; that is the sound I hear this song in. Oh, well.

This is just the main body of the song--the intro isn't finished (I may edit it in later). Click for a more readable size. (UPDATE: In the comments, a PDF of the song, courtesy of the kind and talented AnthonyB.)

Oh, yeah, the other verses again:

(actual song)
Christmas is the time when I can say to you “I love you”
Kiss you if the mistletoe is hanging right above you
All through the year,
my friend we’ve grown near
And now when I see you this Christmas, it’s clear

I want to be more than friends this Christmas
I want to be closer than ever before
I want to be more than friends this Christmas
That’s what this Christmas is for.

Christmas is the time to cuddle up beside the fire
Feel the kind of love that only Christmas can inspire
Outside there’s snow,
but in here, a glow
And I’m warm when I’m with you, and that’s how I know:


Christmas is the time to hear the carols sung so sweetly
Let the magic of the season fill your heart completely
Love is brand new,
and wishes come true
I’ve just one wish this Christmas, and that wish is you:


Christmas is the time to walk the snowy world together
Face the coming year as boldly as we face the weather
Come and be strong
and join in my song
And the love that is Christmas can last the year long


Friday, December 19, 2008

The "War On Christmas", Explained.

So it’s Christmas—my Christmas—my secular day;
The Supreme Court decided it must be that way.
As a secular holiday, Christmas can stay,
With department-store Santa Claus, there on display,
Or with Rudolph, or some other TV cliché,
And your photograph taken in front of the sleigh.

If you want, you can use this occasion to pray;
Even atheists know such behavior’s okay—
Just as long as you don’t expect me to obey,
And admit that your version of Christmas holds sway;
The establishment clause means I don’t have to play
By your rules, because every belief gets its say.

If you really think Christmas is in disarray,
That it’s war, and it’s time to make somebody pay,
Then I humbly submit, you’ve been led far astray
By some ignorant pundit who airs his dismay
By the grace of that same First Amendment that “they”
Get to hide behind, here in the U. S. of A.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why, You've Grown A Whole Foot!

One of the wonderful things about babies
Is counting each finger and toe,
And seeing the miniature fingerprint whorls—
Each one is unique, as you know.
The joy’s universal, or so I would hope;
I don’t think I need to explain.
But no one expects to find fingers or toes
On a foot growing in your kid’s brain!

But three-day-old Sam is a miracle baby;
Mom sees him smile and laugh—
He’s cuter than any one kid ought to be;
He’s cute as a kid and a half!
His story, first told to a small, local paper
Has now hit the public arena;
They don’t say they’re looking for names for the foot
But the natural choice is “Athena”

A Critical Examination Of Belief

I noticed something while grading yesterday--a student had found that our class topic had presented some challenges to his belief system. Our topic often does that. He decided to write his final paper on those challenges, and to see whether the two positions might be made more compatible. (Of course, the possibility that one or the other was simply wrong did not make an appearance in his paper.) He examined the evidence to see why people would believe our topic, but apparently did not feel that he had to make any similar justification for his own belief, beyond "I believe in God". I must admit, I have to wonder a bit about the strength of a belief that is never subjected to inquiry. I would love to see the same amount of work put into the other half of his paper, the one that should begin "I believe in God, for the following reasons..." But I suspect I know the answer.

This verse is not about him.

I’ve examined evolution, and I think I understand
Though the evidence is shaky, still I think the theory’s grand
But it’s only just a theory, so it’s only just a start
And an open-minded person should try picking it apart.
No belief without a reason! Give me proof of what you claim!
And the more I look, the more I see the evidence is lame!
When considering a tangled bank, I choose to see God’s Laws
And the reason I believe it? Just because.

Charles Darwin drew a picture of an ever-branching tree
From the earliest of creatures all the way to you and me
Other limbs produced the fishes, beetles, lizards, monkeys, ants,
Paramecia, bacteria, creationists and plants;
He supported it with evidence of every kind he could
Which I’ve critically examined, as a thinking person should;
Now I know that he’s mistaken in the picture that he draws
And the reason I believe it? Just because.

If you analyze it critically, as science says we must
You’ll find laws of physics broken, so the theory is a bust:
The second thermo-something law is busted into pieces
By the fact that evolution means that entropy decreases!
And random changes couldn’t make the creatures that we find,
So the evidence is clear, that we cannot be un-designed!
With castles out of playing-cards and armies made of straws
There’s the reason I believe it: Just because.

Now, with Darwin and his evolution clearly in the tank
There is only one alternative, if I am to be frank;
That’s the theory found in Genesis, the Holy Word of God,
And with natural selection out, creation gets the nod.
But we can’t be disrespectful to our deeply held belief,
So our critical examination, this time, must be brief
There’s no clothing on this emperor, not even filmy gauze—
But the reason I believe it? Just because.

Sure, the logic may be iffy, and the evidence is slim—
Who created the creator? And then, who created him?
Why the Genesis creation? Why not something else instead?
Can we guarantee the story is exactly what God said?
Is it literal or metaphor, or maybe outright fiction?
What’s the proper course of action when we find a contradiction?
I’m ignoring any nagging doubt within me where it gnaws
And the reason I believe it? Just because.

If I’m right, I go to heaven, which I’d really like to do
But I’ll go to hell for sure if I suspect that it’s untrue
It’s a simple little wager, there’s no reason to think twice:
You get punished if you’re naughty, you get presents if you’re nice
From the guy who watches all of us, from there behind his beard
(And who cares if it’s millennia since last time he appeared?)
And so, even if it’s really just a grown-up’s Santa Claus
Well, the reason I believe it? Just because.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A special place in Heaven...

My apologies in advance...

There’s a special place in Heaven
(‘cept it doesn’t quite exist)
For the special, special people
Like the first I ever kissed
Or the ones who always volunteer
For nasty, smelly work,
Or who yield the proper right-of-way
And not just be a jerk
There’s a special place for people
Who repair the power wires
(So that blogger poets now can post
Instead of tending fires)
But the finest place in Heaven,
If you’d like to take a look,
Is reserved for all the people
Who decide to buy my book.

Ha! Didn’t quite expect that ending, did you? This is just a little reminder—the turnaround time was really fast when I ordered mine, so my guess is there is still time before cephalopodmas to order them to tuck into stockings, g-strings, and the like. Or, if you prefer, just put it on your list, so that somebody who loves you very much can express her or his love in the way that only a paperback volume of rather odd verse can. And remember—if you buy it with your Solstice gift money, you will have the Evolutionary Biology Valentine’s Day Poem in your hot little hands in plenty of time to be ready to serenade that special someone who cuts quite a striking figure in a white lab coat.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It Could Be Much, Much Worse

It's been four days, so far, without power
And our moods are still cheerful, not dour
But this powerless stint
Makes my co-workers hint
That I'm welcome to borrow their shower!

(the truth is, our wood stove heats water
To the point where it couldn't be hotter
So despite lacking power
"Have ladle, will shower"
Say father and mother and daughter)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Christmas Love Song (which just happens to be atheistic)

One of the more frustrating aspects of blogging is that you can't do it when the power is out. And the power is out in a six-state region right now. Not a huge deal--just get out the candles and oil lamps, light the wood stove, and you're good to go. Or to stay, as the case may be. I still don't have power, actually. (How am I posting? Magic.)

So once it gets dark (shortly after 4 PM, actually), there is a bit less that one can do. Our oil lamp is plenty bright enough to read by, but all the reading I had planned to do (ok, technically you might call it grading, or marking, depending on your regional dialect) is on my computer--or rather, on my students' computers, to be turned in online sometime between when the power went out 2 days ago and last night. So I was without a lot of what I had planned to read, and what I *wanted* to read was in my office. Oh well.

Once it gets even darker, the most fun is to be had with the AM radio. I was pulling in at least 4 languages (one I did not recognize, but also French, Spanish, and of course American), and everything from New York City to Quebec. Hockey games, basketball, Billo's replacement, local talkers who think the way to make it big is by pretending to be conservative, irate, and obnoxious... and of course, religious stations. Once again, I was reminded that there is a war on christmas going on. Without a trace of the merest hint of an inkling of a nod toward the pagan origins of a solstice celebration, I was chastised to remember the true meaning of christmas... excuse me, the True Meaning of Christmas.

So I am taking it on myself again to fire another salvo for the side of the righteous (or the rational) in the war. Dammit, I will not celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas, because I prefer the true meaning of christmas--this season, to me, is a time of love, of giving, of caring... and as an atheist, I will cruelly and heartlessly love my neighbors, support them in these trying times, and genuinely care, all without so much as a mention of the birth of god's chosen human sacrifice.

This time, a love song. I was trying to write something else, when I realized I had just written the intro to a song I had had kicking around for some time. This is a real song, and a beautiful one if I say so myself, in 3/4 time (except the intro/outro which are in 4/4); I have chords and melody for it and everything, except that I don't have the ability to write music for posting here. Sorry. You'll just have to take my word for it.

The stories told this time of year
To bring us hope, or joy, or cheer—
Who cares if, really, none of them are true?
The season brings the shortest days
And with the sunlight’s dying rays
The longest nights, that I can spend... with you.

(actual song)
Christmas is the time when I can say to you “I love you”
Kiss you if the mistletoe is hanging right above you
All through the year,
my friend we’ve grown near
And now when I see you this Christmas, it’s clear

I want to be more than friends this Christmas
I want to be closer than ever before
I want to be more than friends this Christmas
That’s what this Christmas is for.

Christmas is the time to cuddle up beside the fire
Feel the kind of love that only Christmas can inspire
Outside there’s snow,
but in here, a glow
And I’m warm when I’m with you, and that’s how I know:


Christmas is the time to hear the carols sung so sweetly
Let the magic of the season fill your heart completely
Love is brand new,
and wishes come true
I’ve just one wish this Christmas, and that wish is you:


Christmas is the time to walk the snowy world together
Face the coming year as boldly as we face the weather
Come and be strong
and join in my song
And the love that is Christmas can last the year long


The stories told this time of year
To bring us hope, or joy, or cheer—
Who cares if, really, none of them are true?
The season brings the shortest days
And with the sunlight’s dying rays
The longest nights, that I can spend... with you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Few Pics, And Thoughts, From Greece

In the shadow of Mt. Olympus is Dion, the site of ... well, of a great many ruins, now. Once, the site of temples, steam baths, an amphitheater, shops, houses, a thriving and important community, where the religious sanctuary was the center of everything. Later, because it had a constant supply of spring water, fed by the slopes of Olympus, both Philip of Macedonia and his son Alexander (later, Alexander the Great) housed and trained troops here. One can see places where they tore down buildings, then used the columns as recycled building material for walls and roads. The stone roads have ruts worn in them from chariots and carts; the place feels every bit of its history.

On my visit here, I probably took 200 photos--the site is large and diverse enough that it really looks as if I had visited three or four separate places. The shots here are from the Sanctuary of Isis, once a place of worship, now a place of frogs, fish, and turtles.

Once there was a temple here
With marble columns gleaming white
Once the gods themselves looked down
Upon these altars with delight.
Olympus climbs into the clouds
And mortals look up from below—
The hidden summit must have gods,
We do not just believe—we know.

But gods, it seems, are mortal too
And gods must die, as must we all
And temples, without gods, decay;
Abandoned columns soon will fall.
The people leave; the waters rise;
What was a marble floor, now grass;
The sunken statuary gaze,
And dumbly watch millennia pass.

Once the gods were worshipped here
Today the rulers here, the frogs
Control the fate of damsel-flies;
Athena’s columns for their logs.
The gods, it seems, cannot stop time
And Zeus himself must lose his crown
The land gives way to fish and frogs…
And turtles all the way down.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

"I got a word what rhymes wit you"

That sentence, or its functional equivalent, was in a Tarzan book. I read them voraciously, some 30+ years ago. Good moral advice; good stories; good skepticism of motives. In this case, the person who was to be rhymed was named Bubanovitch, if memory and spelling serve.

The rhyme today comes from Illinois. Governor Blagojevich is in hot water of his own cooking.
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday morning and charged with corruption, including an allegation that he conspired to effectively sell President-elect Barack Obama’s seat in the United States Senate to the highest bidder.
His backup plan was to take the seat himself.
“If I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself,” the governor said in recorded conversation, prosecutors said.

A 76-page affidavit from the United States Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois says Mr. Blagojevich (pronounced bluh-GOY-uh-vich) was heard on wiretaps over the last month planning to “sell or trade Illinois’ United States Senate seat vacated by Pres-elect Barack Obama for financial and personal benefits for himself and his wife.”
Greedy Bastard.

That sonovabitch Blagojevich
Had thought he’d found the perfect pitch
He thought he’d sell a precious toy
But ran into a little glitch

The Guv’ner is a naughty boy—
He puts the “ill” in Illinois
He looked for payment, ere he’d choose
A worthy person to employ

But now his tale has hit the news
And no one wants to share his shoes
It’s called a “spree”; it’s a “new low”
Blagojevich now sings the blues

He had the power to bestow
The Senate seat, so dontcha know
Blagojevich, that sonovabitch
Was holding out for quid pro quo.

Monday, December 08, 2008

“And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

So, tonight, one of the true traditions of the season...

I’m sitting in a cozy room
With Cuttlekid and Cuttlespouse
We’re watching Charlie Brown again
As custom goes, in Cuttlehouse

It’s not the babe, it’s not the manger
Not the shining star above
I hope that Linus would approve,
But Christmas is for those we love

I have no need for heavenly host
I have no need for newborn king...
This evening spent with Charlie Brown?
I would not trade for anything.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Why? Ultimately, Sex.

So, PZ posted and linked to this comic:

One interpretation is that our interest in sex is what keeps us from being so interested in everything else... I don't know if that was the artist's intent, but if it was, I disagree strongly.

It seems to me, the reason for
Invention, Industry, or War
Or Art, or Medicine, or more
Is... horny folks who want to score.

Society, at every scale
From broadest brush to fine detail
Is motivated, without fail
By peacocks looking for some tail.

We've instituted education;
Used it as our firm foundation
Building up the strongest nation--
Freud would call it "sublimation"

Darwin, in his own dissection
Took it in a new direction--
If I'm right in recollection,
Called it sexual selection!

It's not enough to flex some pecs
Or write big numbers on your checks
The mating dance has grown complex
But everything comes down to sex.

Our species has a lot of pluck--
It did not thrive because of luck,
Or cos some god took aim and struck--
But just because we like... something...

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Shameless plug... buy my book....

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Ok, I did not expect this...

Ok, so... about a million years ago, when Enzyte was in court on false advertising charges, I wrote a little ditty I called "The Enzyte Song (The Biggest Dicks Of All)". It was not flattering. It spoke of the $100 million fraud charges against Smilin' Bob et al., and concluded that the Enzyte manufacturers were "the Biggest Dicks of All".

Since that post, I have, to my chagrin, had a certain fairly substantial portion of my blog hits come from searches for "biggest dicks"; I doubt that many of these people have been looking for my song. I think, actually, that "biggest dicks" ranks perhaps fourth in all search terms. The first three may be variations on "digital cuttlefish".

Anyway, I was a bit surprised, this evening, to find a hit to my blog that originated from a site run by the Enzyte folks themselves. Seems they collect all the stuff people say, and keep it on their site. No idea whether it is an automatic process, a point of pride, stupidity, or what.

I took a screenshot, just in case you didn't believe me:

Anyway, on the off chance that somebody reading this is thinking of laying some money down for these worthless tablets, let me suggest spending the money on flowers, or a night out, or renting her favorite movie. Or if you want to seem sensitive and really really smart, how about buying a book of verse instead--say, The Digital Cuttlefish, Vol. 1. Read her the Evolutionary Biology Valentine's Day Poem. Thank me later. (Yeah, you could just print it off, but it is so much more romantic to have the book there. Trust me.)
Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.
See, right there, you can spend your money on something much more worthwhile than some placebo pills. Now, place your order, turn off your computer, and go spend some quality time actually listening to what she has to say. The whole world will be a better place for it.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Limericks--How ya doin'?

Yeah, I know, I know, it has been a few weeks since the last Friday Limericks thread. It's been a busy time. Still is, actually, come to think of it. So I thought I'd take a few moments to hide from all that, and ask you how you are doing. Better than your pal Cuttlefish, I hope.

If our health is more precious than gold,
Mine's a stock that I wish I had sold;
I have tried to be tough,
But enough is enough!
It's two weeks now, that I've had this cold!

I'm either too warm, or I'm freezing,
And I'm coughing and sniffling and sneezing;
My voice has gone hoarse,
And my family, of course,
Wants to make me feel better... by teasing!

The TV commercials inspire us
To buy stuff to fight off the virus--
But it seems it's not health
They are after, but wealth--
It's my money of which they're desirous!

Now I'm huddled up, drinking my tea*,
Wishing only to be symptom-free.
So, from your point of view
What's it like to be you?
Cos I tell you, it sucks to be me.

*oh, yeah, I forgot to mention above... the Cuttlespouse used the very last of our coffee. Nothing left for yours truly.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Proposition 8--The Musical

The voting is over, but not the debate;
Many say that the voters were wrong--
California, of course, was the scene of Prop 8:
Here's the story, as told in a song...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nobody Likes A Doom-And-Gloomer...

... especially when he's right.

I watched the nightly business news
(it helped to chase away my blues)
Ben Stein and others helped me choose
When I was buying stocks

The terms I did not know what meant
Did not disturb me, as I spent
On stocks with values in ascent
Or so they said on Fox

The fundamentals still are sound,
Economy’s on solid ground
(And look, our jobs are still around!)
We’re solid as Fort Knox

There was one voice that cast a doubt,
Who said it’s time for getting out
But he was just one single lout
Whom everybody mocks

With grandiose and pompous boasts,
With caviar and champagne toasts
I took the word of game-show hosts
And washed-up former jocks.

The weeks and months, they crept along
I wondered if I’d chosen wrong—
But no, they said—the market’s strong
Enough to brave some shocks

And now my stocks are so damned cheap
I use them now to help me keep
The holes plugged, as I try to sleep
Here in my cardboard box