Tuesday, August 13, 43 A.B.

Oolite Blather

Oolite limestone is limestone characterized by small, round concretions that resemble fish eggs.  These concretions are usually composed of particles of calcium carbonate which have seen fit to gather around some charismatic bit of quartz or shell.  Apparently growing tired of waiting for that bit of quartz or shell to say anything interesting, these concretions have cemented themselves together in a grotesque parody of college students on spring break.  The resulting mass is often used to make churches, statehouses, and banks as well as highly-rated MTV specials.

Oolite blather is quite similar to oolite limestone.  It is characterized by short, circular bits of reasoning that many mistake for fish thoughts.  These bits are usually composed of words which have been twisted around some small, worthless idea at their center.  Apparently congenitally unable to do anything valuable with his time, a man will occasionally slap these bits together and call it an entry.  The resulting mess is laughingly referred to as a "journal" (JUR-nal) by those whose sense of irony has been honed to a fine point by long exposure to what goes on in churches, statehouses, banks, and/or MTV specials.

The following bits of oolite blather are presented in the admittedly forlorn hope of making all this a tad clearer.  The significance of these bits has been magnified to a ridiculous extent to reduce the chances of anyone breaking a nail while reaching for their microscope.

The General Update Bit

No more bunnies in my yard.  No more groundhogs.  Even fewer fireflies than there were before.  No more picked cherry tomatoes.

I'm beginning to suspect my grass needs to try a new brand of breath mint.

The Clarification Bit

Last entry I said that my arm was tired from harvesting 7 cherry tomatoes.

Actually (as my Significant Other so helpfully reminded me after I'd posted that claim), my Significant Other harvested those tomatoes - not I.

The extreme muscle fatigue I was feeling must have been the result of my pointing to those cherry tomatoes and telling my Significant Other which particular cherry tomato she ought to pick next.

Apparently pointing is even more painfully fatiguing than actual picking and my poor mind attempted to protect itself by repressing the exact details.

I'm not sure, but I'm guessing this is why Kroger's, Safeway, and the other major grocery store chains do a booming business in cherry tomatoes even during the height of what ought to be the peak of the local back yard harvest season.

The "Ohio Never Ceases To Amaze Me!" Bit

About 10 mines operate in my state these days.

About 4600 abandoned mines have been identified.

The authorities suspect that an additional 2000 abandoned mines are out there, just waiting to be found.

In 1995, a group of motorists discovered one of these mines when Interstate 70 disappeared beneath them.

If YOU come across what appears to be an abandoned Ohio mine, DO NOT attempt to approach it.  These mines are as old and unpredictable as my uncle was before succumbing to Tomato-Picker's Fatigue Syndrome and should NOT be entered, poked, touched, explored, spoken to, driven over, waved at, used as a receptacle for trash, or teased with any small red object without the express permission of local officials!

If YOU come across what appears to be an abandoned Ohio mine, please contact the Ohio Department of Wayward Industrial Relics.

Failure to heed these instructions may earn you around-the-clock CNN coverage, the heart-felt prayers of a rapt nation, and a big parade upon your death-defying rescue.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

The Pathetic Bit That Wears The Mask Of The World-Weary Existentialist

Big bellies were all the rage in England, circa 1600.

Everyone wanted one.

They were a sign that you were a success.  That you were wealthy.  That you had enough to eat.

Men who didn't have big bellies would wear fake ones in an attempt to win the love and respect of their fellows.

And they'd often insist that their wives wear hip pads, too.

Question:  I know times have changed, but...  would YOU love and respect me more if I donned a big fake belly?

I promise to love and respect you in return.

After all, I have plenty of old towels in my linen closet that are just going to waste.

And Elvis has been dead now 25 years - it's simply time for you to stop living in the past and shift your love and respect to someone who can actually use 'em.

So, what do you say?


I promise never to ask you to harvest cherry tomatoes in an abandoned mine if you do!

The Pet-Peeve-Of-The-Day Bit

As I mentioned some time ago, my decade-old microwave oven recently died on me.

Well, I got as new one.

A $59 Samsung model that has a lot more features than my old (and originally much more expensive) GE.

The Samsung has a turntable!

The Samsung has an adjustable power level!

The Samsung actually works!!

Unfortunately, the Samsung also has a couple of features that are driving me absolutely nuts.

First, it beeps FOUR TIMES just before its timer goes off.  Four LOUD times.  Like, "LOOK OUT! LOOK OUT! THERE'S A DUMP TRUNK BACKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE KITCHEN!!!" loud.  Such Chicken Little alarmism tends to take away my appetite.  (Unexpected "IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD!!!" alerts usually do.)

Second, my new microwave beeps again - TWICE - if I don't go and check on my food within 30 seconds of the timer's going off.  These beeps are short, fast, and insistent.

Nuns would beep like that if they didn't have rulers to do the talking for them.

Bottom line:  If I slap a "Taliban" label on my microwave, do you think the U.S. military will come and rescue me from it?

The Utterly Gratuitous Final Bit

If I were a super hero, I'd be Pill Bug Man.

At the first sign of trouble, I'd roll up into a tight little armored ball and pretend to be dead until normalcy returned.

Yeah, not very heroic.

But I look really sharp in gray.

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(©Now by DJ Birtcher when absolutely nobody is looking)


Helpful Hint #17:  Jets leave contrails across the sky - not contails.  An easy way to remember this is to say to yourself "The word contrail is short for condensation trail.  Jets leave condensation trails across the sky - contrails for short."  Contails is short for consecrated tails.  Temple prostitutes have consecrated tails.  If our skies were filled with contails instead of contrails, flying would be a MUCH more pleasurable experience these days that it actually is.

(NOTE: Hints sometimes adhere to oolite blather the way grains of sand, clay, and mud adhere to oolite limestone.  They may safely be brushed away without damaging the underlying structural integrity of the blather.  On the other hand, they probably look better on MTV....)