The end of Kevin.

March 20, 2017

“Good morning, Robert,” Kevin greeted as he entered the office.

“Good morning,” Robert muttered.

“Great day to be alive, isn’t it?”

Not so much for you, Robert thought as he watched Kevin walk into his office and close the door behind him before drawing the blinds closed. He absolutely dreaded what was about to happen that morning.

Then Robert looked out the window and gasped. There was Charles walking across the parking lot towards the office building while carrying a large bag. Charles was furious with Kevin for refusing to order some special software that could process patient orders on the hospital’s network while being light on system resources, something of benefit to the antiquated network. Never mind that the network would run more reliably, never mind that the staff would spend more time at home to save their marriages, no, Kevin thought it was better to renew the maintenance contract that barely kept the network running despite promising he would order the software. That was all Charles could take before reaching his breaking point.

Before Robert knew it, the door to the office opened and in walked Charles, still carrying the large bag. Charles stopped to look at the door to Kevin’s office.

“Is Kevin here?” Charles asked, nodding towards the door.

“Yes,” Robert gulped.

“Cover your ears,” Charles replied as he placed the bag on the floor to unzip it open. “This is going to be loud.”

Then Charles pulled out a 6FU Mine Launcher, a weapon so dangerous that it was illegal to possess anywhere in the world. Robert’s eyes widened with horror, much to Charles’s amusement. Charles then prepared his weapon for firing and used it to break the glass on Kevin’s door. Only the closed blinds served as protective barriers now.

Without warning Charles began to fire into Kevin’s office, launching tennis ball sized projectiles that exploded on contact with their targets. There were deafening explosions and smoke along with flying fragments of flesh and metal. After the last shot was fired, Charles quickly picked up his bag and fled the office, forever a fugitive and never to be seen again.

Robert slowly emerged from under his desk that served as shelter during the attack. His heart pounding, he cautiously walked to Kevin’s office to survey the damage, and as soon as he saw the aftermath, he immediately felt nauseous at the sight of blood and fragments of skin, innards and bones all over the office.

Oh my God. Kevin’s dead.

Meanwhile, in a small dark room deep underground beneath the hospital, Kevin woke up, finding himself lying on a small couch.

“What happened?” Kevin asked.

“Your life was in danger,” Agent X replied as he entered the room. “We pulled you underground in time and put in your place a mannequin bearing your likeness, complete with synthetic skin and blood. The mannequin was completely destroyed during the attack, meaning you are now dead.”

“I was afraid of that,” Kevin sighed.

“Don’t feel bad, for your next mission awaits. However, I must remind you that its secrecy is such that once you learn the details, you can never leave this place alive. Are you all right?”

“I’m fine for someone who just got blown to bits by exploding tennis balls,” Kevin replied as he stood up.

Agent X chuckled. “I see you’ve regained your sense of humor. If you’re ready, follow me.”

My big mistake.

March 18, 2017

I made a big mistake, I think
I was looking for something to drink
It was too dark to see
So I reached out blindly
And drank a big bottle of ink

The Asshole On Vacation.

March 17, 2017

He’s the type who’s desperate to escape reality
He finds a place to go so he can pack his bags and flee
And off he goes to get away without a hesitation
Beware of the arrival of the Asshole On Vacation

As soon as he arrives in town he has nowhere to go
So he’ll head out on the highway and then drive extremely slow
He’s done his part to add on to the daily aggravation
No wonder everybody hates the Asshole On Vacation

He’s focused on his mission to get lost along the way
So he’ll stop and ask directions 15 thousand times a day
All the while he’s getting his much needed relaxation
It’s difficult to understand the Asshole On Vacation

Reality soon beckons and it’s time for him to leave
He makes his quick departure to our overjoyed relief
Until we know how to handle this awkward situation
Never make eye contact with the Asshole On Vacation

The GPS that knew too much.

March 16, 2017

I sat staring at the GPS on my dashboard in disbelief. It had long been able to analyze traffic light patterns and real-time traffic conditions to calculate my time of arrival at my destination with uncanny accuracy. On some mornings it would report that I would be at work in 19 minutes, other mornings 22 minutes. Sometimes it would even warn me of a lengthy commute so I could seek an alternative route.

But not this morning.

My GPS wasn’t showing the estimated time of arrival at all. That section of the screen was blank. It still reported that traffic was very light,so I was certain I was in for a swift drive to work. But why wasn’t it showing what time I would get there?

A few minutes later, I was on the interstate to begin my commute. Suddenly one of my front tires blew and I lost control of my car. I veered sharply off the road, across the median and directly into the path of an approaching tractor trailer. There was a loud crunching of metal before I saw and heard no more.

I never made it to work that morning. Somehow my GPS knew that.

The Red Robin experiment.

March 15, 2017

This past Monday I ate at Red Robin where I sampled their excellent Burnin’ Love burger that comes served with a whole jalapeño pepper on top of the burger. After downing my meal, I noticed there were two jalapeño seeds left on my plate, so I wrapped them in the thin paper used to wrap straws and took the seeds home, where I’m about to try growing them.

After letting the seeds dry for a few days, I put them in some moistened peat pellets I had sitting in the tray of my seed starting kit.

20170315_210734

Then I put the lid on the tray and put it on top of my refrigerator where it’s warm and free from drafts. I’ll check it occasionally to make sure it’s got plenty of water and will post an update if anything happens. Stay tuned.

No red robins were harmed during the making of this post.

Phone hijack alert.

March 13, 2017

If you have a smart phone, there is a very high likelihood of your phone getting hijacked by an intruder using a streaming video signal that disrupts your phone’s normal operations. I know this because my phone has just been similarly attacked.

A few days ago I wanted to use my phone but couldn’t because of a continuous video stream that was initiated by the hijacker and there was no way to turn it off, not even after using the power button. I could remove the battery but when I put it back in and turned the phone back on, it resumed receiving the hijacker’s video stream.

Apparently the video stream originated from the hijacker’s phone, where I could see his face and hear him speak. The only thing he said was “Where can I find the poles at?” and nothing else, not even after I pleaded with him to terminate the video stream that kept me from using my phone.

It went on like this for several days. I was hoping the hijacker would soon become tired and sign off, but on occasion I saw him wave a can of some well-known energy drink before taking a sip. Each time I tried asking him what he was doing, he always replied with, “Where can I find the poles at?”

Today, I finally figured out the hijacker’s riddle and said “Poland.” The hijacker let out a loud belch before finally terminating the intruding stream to restore my phone to normal.

The scary part is that when I ran a security scan on my phone, no malware was found. That means an attack like the one I just witnessed could happen again at anytime. And who knows what riddle the hijacker will have then.

Don’t worry, this is only fiction. At least for now.

The Round Tuit.

March 11, 2017

At work yesterday I found a small, circular piece of wood in the parking lot. After pondering what to do with it, I took a marker and wrote two words on it to give the wood a newfound purpose.

IMG_-fbmgbb

I did say I’d get it done when I got a Round Tuit.

The riddle of the numbers.

March 4, 2017

I left for home with way too much on my mind. So many pieces of the puzzle, yet so little time to put them all together. Surely my unseen nemesis was having fun leaving behind these extremely cryptic clues for me to gather only to sink further into his trap.

This guy knows what he’s doing. I don’t. That’s the problem here.

Then I spotted the mall just up ahead. I needed a place to stop and think this whole thing over anyway, so I pulled into the parking lot and found a parking spot in the shade. A perfect place for my pondering.

Once parked, I opened the windows to let in the cool morning breeze and then pulled out my notepad and thumbed through the clues collected so far. I had just begun my analytical process when suddenly a small bag landed on the windshield. I quickly looked around for the perpetrator but there was no one nearby. I retrieved the bag and, sensing it safe, untied the knot that held it closed. Reaching inside, I pulled out a piece of paper and unfolded it.

Great, more numbers.

Just four of them this time.

1 1 2 8.

What could this mean?

Something in my mind clicked, and suddenly, it all began to make sense.

All those numbers.

The Pattern.

So that’s what he’s trying to tell me.

Finally, I was able to decipher the message and it grew more frightening by the minute.

I’m too late.

Then the sky grew dark, very dark as if the sun had just set.

It’s happening.

I looked at my watch. It was 9:50 in the morning.

It’s happening.

I’m too late.

After the funeral.

March 2, 2017

I still am in a great deal of shock from what happened yesterday after the funeral.

We were all in attendance at the restaurant for the reception, quietly exchanging memories over a somber lunch when suddenly there was a deafening crash as a car drove through the side of the restaurant where we were seated. Tables were overturned and chairs flew in the midst of a huge cloud of dust that shrouded the room in confusion.

However, as the dust began to settle to reveal a fresh perspective on the unfolding situation, the sight awaiting us was more horrifying than we could ever imagine.

That was not a car that crashed into the restaurant.

It was a coffin.

The lid was wide open, allowing us to see the deceased body inside, in fact the same one just buried at the funeral an hour earlier. The chaos and fear escalated to incomprehensible levels.

Then something outside the window caught my eye.

There, standing in the parking lot, was the mysterious old woman in black, the same woman I saw in the distance at the cemetery. She turned around, took one step towards the trees, and disappeared.

Life hack for balcony gardeners.

February 26, 2017

On my balcony is an assortment of potted plants ranging from herbs to vegetables. I make watering these plants part of my daily routine. The hardest and most time-consuming part of this routine is getting the hose up to the balcony. I would try throwing the hose up to the railing, which would often miss its target and come crashing back down to the pavement. Other times I would try standing on a patio chair and hook the hose on the railing while being careful not to fall. After getting the hose in place, I would go upstairs and water the plants as usual knowing full well I still have to get the hose to the other balcony to water the plants there. I would try swinging the hose across the way to the other railing only to have it fall back down to the pavement instead. Surely there must be an easier, faster way to do this

After some brainstorming, I arrived at a simple solution that saves me time and my sanity. All you need is a tennis ball and some string, such as twine for tying up a chicken before placing it on the rotisserie. The tools you’ll need are a drill with a 1/2 inch bit, a screwdriver and some strong tape like Gorilla Tape.

I started by cutting off a long stretch of string, around 20 to 30 feet, and tied one end to the hose. So far, so good.

20170214_170214

Then I took my drill and drilled a hole through the tennis ball.

20170214_165154

Next I stuck the screwdriver through the hole and taped the string to the end of the screwdriver as shown. In my case I didn’t have a 1/2″ drill bit, so I used the 3/8″ bit I had. The resulting hole was smaller and a tighter squeeze for the string, so some strong tape works, such as Gorilla Tape.

20170214_165716

To feed the string through the ball I just pulled the screwdriver out. Voilà.

20170214_165847

All that’s left to do is tie a knot around the ball.

20170214_170019

And it’s done.

20170214_170333

Now when I water my plants, I bring out the hose and throw the tennis ball at the railing of the balcony. After going upstairs, I simply pull on the string to bring the hose up to the balcony to water the plants as usual.

When I’m ready to water the plants on the other balcony, I lower the hose to the pavement and throw the tennis ball at the other railing and repeat the watering process. When I’m done, I lower the hose to the pavement one last time and then go downstairs to turn off the water and put the hose away. Simple, but it saves me so much time and spares the nozzle from those damaging landings on the pavement.