The scariest game in the world.

“Gentlemen,” Oscar announced as he entered the Information Systems department. “Did you get my email?”

“I’m reading it now,” Robert replied while seated at his desk. “It’s about that game.”

“The scariest game in the world,” Charles snickered. “I played it last night but it didn’t do anything to me.”

“Really?” Oscar asked in amazement. “This game is spreading like wildfire across the Internet and people are installing it on their phones, tablets and desktops. We need to set up a rule on our firewall to keep it out of our hospital.”

Oscar stepped in front of the closed door to Kevin’s office and gently knocked. No response.

“Is Kevin in today?” Oscar asked.

“No,” Robert answered, “he hasn’t showed up yet not has he called out.”

“That’s strange,” Oscar sighed. “Anyway, this game, called Dā, has some psychological aspects worth mentioning. As you play, it emits a special frequently known to trigger your panic reflex to heighten your anxiety, so by the time the jumpscare appears on your screen, you will react with extreme levels of terror.”

“Ah, that explains it,” Charles grinned. “I didn’t have my sound on.”

“Good for you, Charles,” Oscar smiled back, “but there’s a second aspect of Dā that’s of great concern. In addition to the panic frequency, there’s also a frequency that triggers addiction that will keep you hooked, and that’s not a good thing. Even worse, the panic and addiction frequencies get stronger the longer you play, so over time the game gets scarier and more addictive at the same time. No wonder there are reports of people playing Dā for days on end before eventually dropping dead of fright. If this game ever makes it inside our hospital, well, I’m sure you can figure that one out.”

“Everyone will be playing Dā instead of working,” Robert replied while shaking his head. “Come on, Charles, let’s get to work.”

Kevin sat in front of his computer at home, his anxious heart pounding as he stared at the screen depicting a virtual venture down a endless hallway. Suddenly an image of a scary skull appeared along with the sound effect of shrill screaming, prompting Kevin to fall backwards with fright while letting out a scream of his own. While seated on the floor, he glanced at the clock on the wall.

Oh shit, I’m late.

Kevin stood up and began walking for the door but he stopped and glanced at his computer.

One more game, then I’ll go.

Jamming with a virtual Casio SK-1 keyboard.

The very first music keyboard I ever owned was the Casio SK-1. Its standout feature was a built-in microphone for sampling your own sounds for playing as virtual musical instruments, be it a dog’s bark, a whistle or your own belch. It also had a built-in synthesizer function for fine-tuning into a custom sound you could also use for playing tunes, so the musical possibilities were endless. I paid about $90 for mine and it gave me many years of enjoyment until one day I inadvertently rendered it useless when I tried to sample a sound of shaking a plastic bottle with sand inside. The sand somehow got out and ruined the keys, instantly ending my musical ambitions.

I’ve since thought of buying another one but it appears the SK-1 is now a sought-after collector’s item with a much higher price tag. Pursuing such a purchase now would break my budget bigtime, if not my bank first.

However, I do have an 25-key MIDI keyboard from M-Audio I use to create my music. I thought I could somehow duplicate the SK-1’s sound if I had the right tools, so I set out online to begin my search.

Barely 15 minutes later, I had everything I needed and I didn’t have to pay a dime.

Here are the three free components to make your own virtual SK-1.

  • FreePiano – this open-source wonder not only includes a virtual piano but also has support for VST (virtual instrument) files as well.
  • XTT01 – a VST plugin that loads WAV files and lets you play them on your keyboard the way the SK-1 did for your sampled sounds.
  • Casio SK-1 Rhythm and Tone Sample Pack – a collection of instrument sounds and rhythms in 24-bit WAV format.

The last step is converting the WAV files to 16-bit for them to work with XTT01. Your favorite sound recorder should have this capability. I myself use Cool Edit 2000, an old program but one that still works to make my musical ideas a reality.

Have fun!

Ian’s surreal vacation.

“Ian, wake up!”

Steve excitedly shook Ian out of his sleep. As Ian slowly woke up and his consciousness set in, he was momentarily startled by the unfamiliar surroundings.

Ian was in what looked like a small motel room with two beds and antiquated furniture from the 1960’s. His friend Steve stood in front of him, beaming with excitement. Funny, Ian didn’t remember checking into a motel…

“Come on, Ian!” Steve urged excitedly. “Get dressed and let’s go!”

“Go where?”

“Did you forget already? We’re going to Unversal Studios.”

“What?” Ian was caught off guard by Steve’s odd pronunciation. “What was that?”

“Get dressed already! I can’t wait any longer.” Steve became impatient.

Ian rose from bed and put on the clothes that were in his suitcase at the foot of the bed. After tying his shoes, Ian stood up and sighed, “Okay, let’s go.”

“Hooray!” Steve yelled and excitedly dashed for the door like a dog excited to go outside. Ian opened the door and right away they were at a famous outdoor shopping center with stores and restaurants near two well-known amusement parks. At first the sight looked familiar and welcoming, but over time things would not appear as they seemed. Ian turned around and expected to see the door to their room but there was no trace of their motel.

“Welcome to Shitty Walk!” Steve announced, interrupting Ian’s thoughts.

Ian became more confused than ever. “Don’t you mean City Walk?”

“What the hell is a city walk?” Steve asked with confusion in his voice. Then he pointed at something behind Ian and asked, “What does that say?”

Ian turned around and gasped. There on a giant pole was a sign that read WELCOME TO THE WORLD FAMOUS SHITTY WALK.

Then Ian began looking around and could not believe his eyes. Nearby was Jimmy Muppet’s Argharitaville and across the artificially flavored lake was the Hard Sock Café with the Rotten Teeth Laxative Deplorium just next door.

What is this place?

“Come on, Ian, let’s go!”

Ian obeyed Steve’s command and caught up with him, although he had to maintain a quickened pace just to keep up with him.

“Wait a minute, Steve,” Ian huffed. “Are we going the right way? Unless we’re going to Islands of Adventure.”

What?” Steve shot back. “What’s wrong with you today? For your information, there is no such place as Islands of Adventure. If you’re talking about Aisles of Excitement, then it’s the other way. We’re going to Unversal Studios, and there it is!”

Ahead was a giant rotating cube with a crudely painted map of the world along with the words UNVERSAL STUDIOS at the base.

“Unversal Studios?” Ian read the unusual words. “Must be a typo.”

Steve began laughing hysterically. “Oh, Ian, you’re a riot!”

The two walked on and entered the park. Ian noticed there were no admission booths for paying to get in, but he decided not to bring that up. There was too much for his brain to digest already.

“So what do you want to ride first?” Steve asked. “Oh, don’t tell me, you want to go on Bugga Boo!”

Ian’s head began to hurt.

“Are you okay, Ian?” Steve asked. “You look like your head’s starting to hurt. Oh, there it is!”

Steve pointed at a plain white building that looked nothing like a ride.

“Oh,” Ian laughed, “you have to go to the restroom.”

“What restroom? That’s the Bugga Boo! Let’s go!”

Steve led Ian past The Great Movie Flop Ride towards the plain building that had the small words “Bugga Boo” written in black crayon. There was a plain white door that led them inside.

When the door closed behind them, Ian and Steve were left standing in pitch black darkness. The silence was so intense that it felt like the two of them had lost their sense of hearing.

“Steve?’ Ian spoke up. “Where are you?”

Ian began taking small steps in the darkness while desperately reaching for something to grasp.

Suddenly, a deep voice from nowhere belched, “Bugga.”

Ian was so startled he nearly lost his balance as if he were walking across a tightrope while blindfolded, only he wasn’t. Or was he?


No answer. The only sound Ian heard was his own heart pumping furiously, and he could almost hear the blood flowing through his veins.

Suddenly strobe lights in the room began flashing as Ian saw an oversized skeleton swaying and frantically flailing its arms.

“BOO!” a shrill voice screeched from the loudspeakers hidden in the room.

“YIPE!” Ian suddenly sat up in his bed, his sleep interrupted by what had been a nightmare. As his mind quickly adjusted to the reality that had quickly replaced the bizarre events of his dream, he let out a long sigh before reclining back to his previously held resting position.

“That’s the last time I’ll ever have a green egg and ham pizza,” Ian muttered.

A message from your neighborhood stores.


We’d like to introduce ourselves.

We’re the stores in your neighborhood.

It’s easy to take the Internet for granted these days, isn’t it? Wow, you can do everything online, and we mean everything. You get your news online, work online and do all your shopping online. You don’t even have to leave your house anymore.

Well, we’d like to change that.

If you have a few minutes, we’d like you to get in your car and go for a drive. Yes, the sunlight may sting your skin but it’ll at least add some color to your pale-white complexion. And no, you’re not vampires.

When you see one of us stores, you can park your car in the spacious parking lot and walk into our equally spacious, air-conditioned interiors where you can marvel at our aisles and aisles of shelves packed with merchandise.

And this is the best part.

If you see something you want or need, simply take it from the shelf. After the in-store financial transaction is finished moments later, that item is in your possession immediately, with no waiting for delivery or added shipping fees. How about that!

And it’s not science fiction, either.

We’ve been around for years, and although this Internet thing has been putting quite a strain on us, we’re still here and ready to serve you.

So how about leaving your Internet alone for a while and come visit us? We’d love to see you and help you with whatever you need. Chances are, you’ll find what you need and bring it home today.

Or if the thought of leaving your beloved Internet behind for a few minutes is too unbearable, you can always visit our web sites.

The world’s most gruesome horrorcore song.

Controversial rapper Diz Guzting lived a life as violent as his lyrics. During his short life he released three albums in which he pushed the horrorcore genre beyond the limits of good taste with songs with titles too disgusting to print here, yet they served to win him fans as well as notoriety. After his third album “Eyeball Squisher” was released, he performed songs from the album at local bars, but his shows were always cut short when everyone in the bar became so repulsed by the songs that the audience would begin gagging and vomiting.

Undeterred, Diz Guzting began working on his fourth album and had penned a song so gruesome and horrific that he had to take frequent breaks so he could finish gagging and vomiting. But when he tried recording the song, he could not even finish rapping the first verse without his gag reflexes kicking in. Despite taking frequent breaks, skipping meals and drinking Pepto-Bismol milkshakes, he still could not record even the first two lines of the song without gagging and vomiting. The song was simply too disgusting.

Diz Guzting made a few more attempts to record his song, even recording one word at a time but even that didn’t work. Once again his gagging and vomiting reflexes kicked in and he had to stop. Unfortunately he would not live to try again. That evening he would be blown to bits by an unknown assailant armed with a bazooka at a crowded bowling alley (see “Who Killed Diz Guzting?“), forever leaving the song unrecorded and the album incomplete.

Numerous rappers decided to honor Diz Guzting’s legacy by recording his song but they too had difficulty with the disgusting lyrics and ended up gagging and vomiting instead. The song made its way around the world and despite being translated to other languages, not one rapper could perform it without getting sick.

Finally, French rapper Jacques Proof managed to successfully record the song in one take, but afterwards he complained of dizziness and dropped dead in the studio. To honor his legacy, the recording has been deleted and the song remains unrecorded.

The question continues to longer and plague the world of hip hop: Is there a rapper alive that can record this song and live? Could it be you?

The song can be found at this web site and has been archived 25 times for your protection with the password the computed result of dividing the number of people wearing mismatched socks at the office across the street from the bank where Woolworths used to be, by zero.

And good luck.

You’ll need it.

The mysterious ring peddler.

After Steve loaded the final bag into the customer’s car, he gently closed the trunk and with a smile he turned to the customer and said, “Have a nice day.”

As he began pushing the empty shopping cart back to the grocery store in preparation for the next customer, he saw a strange man wearing tattered clothes while seated on the bench just outside the store. The man saw Steve approaching and motioned for him to come over.

As Steve approached he saw the man holding a cigar box. The man smiled at him while baring a mouth full of dirty, crooked teeth. The stench from his filthy clothes was overwhelming, so Steve adjusted his stance to stand out of its way as to allow the breeze to dilute the smell.

“How you, sir?” the man greeted with his broken English. “Would you like buy lucky ring?”

The man opened the cigar box and revealed some crudely assembled rings. Upon closer inspection, Steve noticed they were small pieces of asphalt that were hastily glued to some rusty keyrings.

“Lucky rings, huh?” Steve chortled.

“Lucky ring, rings LUCK,” the man said firmly, “Wear and luck follow you everywhere. Stone come from Lucky Island in Jamaica. Is luckiest stone in world.”

“I see,” Steve pretended to look interested.

“Wear ring and you get money in mailbox, every day. Is check, five thousand dollar. Every day. You no have to work.”

Then why aren’t you wearing better clothes? Steve felt like asking, but decided to stay quiet and let the man continue.

“When go to casino, wear ring. You no have to play, money come to you. The slot machine, coins come pouring out when you walk by. Roulette room, moneys come pour from ceiling. Poker, take out wallet or bring butterfly net because moneys come fly at you.”

Steve was laughing while trying to keep a straight face, which he found harder and harder to do. Yet the man continued his strange tale.

“When you go bathroom, men pee silver coins and shit bars of gold.”


Steve was laughing so hard that he fell off the bench, thankful for the soft ground that cushioned his fall. There he lay, continuing to laugh while the man on the bench continued his talk as if nothing happened.

“…and get yourself a poodle because they will doo-doo diamonds…”

Monty Python’s Frankenstein.

The following narrative came to me in a dream, including the title. Strangely enough, the narrative makes no mention of the famed movie monster, but instead goes directly to a battlefield where an epic war is about to take place. I spiced it up with additional details to (hopefully) add that unmistakable Pythonesque humor.

So what happened next? Well, I’ll tell you.

The two armies set out under cover of darkness of the night, determined to catch the other side by surprise.

But there was one little detail that neither side had planned on. As they progressed in their campaigns, a thick fog settled throughout the land, a fog so thick that neither side could see where they were going. Still, they carried on, determined to ensure victory would be theirs.

Then it happened. There came coconut sounds as the heads of opposing soldiers collided as the two armies unwittingly ran into each other. Then came the sounds of armor crashing to the ground as the soldiers collapsed in their newly aquired states of unconsciousness.

However, the remaining soldiers in both armies decided to pursue victory by ambushing the other side and the two armies ran at full speed. Unfortunately, they ran off in opposite directions with victory forever eluding their grasp.

The leaders were furious and embarrassed, although some historians claim they were more embarrassed than furious, while other scholars insist they were more furious than embarrassed, but a third group of equally intelligent people claim to have a theory that supports that the leaders were equally embarrassed and furious. Anyway you look at it, none of the leaders were happy.

However, the two leaders went to great lengths to ensure this battle would never get recorded in the history books and insisted that no one write about it. One scribe recorded the details of the battle in the meeting notes anyway and was promptly guillotined on the spot.

Incoherent confrontation.

It was an otherwise quiet morning at Albeitsuns when a masked gunman hoisting a machine gun stormed into the store and screamed, “EVERYBODY DOWN OR EVERYBODY DIE!”

Mr. Yoger, the store manager was standing nearby supervising the front checkouts when he suddenly recognized the gunman’s voice.

“Hector?” Mr. Yoger asked calmly.

“‘Sup Mr. Yoger,” Hector pointed his gun at Mr. Yoger’s face.

“So there isn’t any other way to settle this?” Mr. Yoger asked calmly. He was not in the least alarmed or concerned about this potentially deadly situation. His two tours in Vietnam certainly taught him well.

“What do you think?” Hector snapped. “You store managers with your 150 million dollar salaries taking away our pay so you can live it up while the rest of us go down!”

“150 million dollar salary for being a store manager?” Mr. Yoger chuckled. “Where’d you hear that?”

“Where else?” Hector replied. “Through the grapevine.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t poison ivy?”

“Look man,” Hector snapped as he shook his gun, “you had no call to fire me last week.”

“You forget why I fired you,” Mr. Yoger explained, “I caught you and the other stock clerks gambling in the stairwell.”

“We was helping each other out, man!” Hector shouted. “None of us can afford to pay the bills no more! I lost my car and I’m fallin’ behind on my rent! I’m broke, man!”

“Yet you were somehow able to afford a machine gun,” Mr. Yoger observed.

“You really gettin’ on my nerves, man!” Hector yelled as he pointed the gun at Mr. Yoger’s nose.

“Um, Hector, can I show you something? It’s at the service desk.” Mr. Yoger motioned towards the service desk in the background. “Give me a minute and I’ll get it for you.”

“45 seconds!” Hector cried.

“Fine, make it 30 if you’re that impatient.”

Mr. Yoger nonchalantly strolled to the service desk and had the clerk retrieve something from under the counter before he returned with what appeared to be a thick stack of envelopes.

“Do you know what these are, Hector?” Mr. Yoger asked. “These are your paychecks which you never picked up. They’ve been at the service desk all this time. But did you ever bother to pick them up? No, you found it easier to go without your pay so you could resort to gambling in the stairwell!”

Hector was trembling with rage and made one last futile effort to calm down.

“AAAAAARRGGGGHHHHH!” Hector screamed while raising his gun and pulling the trigger.


An eerie silence followed. Both Hector and Mr. Yoger stared at each other in what felt like an eternity.

“You got that gun from the toy aisle, didn’t you.” observed Mr. Yoger.

“Awww, spill the ketchup and play dead already! I’m outta here!” Hector screamed before running out of the store, where the police were waiting to take him into custody. Everyone was left standing still in an awkward silence, not sure how to make of the bizarre scene just concluded.

“Well, that was interesting,” Mr. Yoger sighed before eyeing the checkouts. Customers and cashiers alike were standing there with their mouths open. “All right, let’s look alive! Back to work!”

And the checkouts slowly churned back to life under Mr. Yoger’s watchful eye.

Breaking your social media habit with Brizzly.

At one point, Brizzly was a dual Facebook and Twitter client. You could access your news feed from either service with a simple click without leaving the Brizzly site. It was a fast and easy way to keep up with your friends and the world.

Although the dual client feature has long since disappeared, Brizzly’s mission has changed in an effort to ease the gripping effects of social media addiction. On the main page is a text box inviting you to speak what’s on your mind. You can add an image if you like. However, when you click “Send”, the post goes nowhere but still leaves you with that feeling of having had your say.

Kudos to Brizzly for their services to mankind and their efforts to make the world a better place.

After the storm.

Finally, it was over.

After a week of seeking shelter in my bathroom and enduring what felt like an eternity of feeling the house shake, rattle and roll due to unprecedented strong winds of a very rare combination tornado, typhoon and hurricane all rolled up in one devastating storm packing winds in excess of 500 miles per hour. I was amazed my house made it through in one piece. Is there anything duct tape can’t do?

I cautiously emerged from the bathroom and surveyed the interior of my house. So far, so good. Time to look around outside. As I walked through my kitchen I noticed something strange.

The sun was shining through the kitchen window, leaving a glowing beam across the floor.

Funny, the sun never shone through my kitchen window before. Unless it now rises in the north and sets in the south.

This thought kept my mind occupied as I took the remaining steps to the front door, and as soon as I opened it for a look around my neighborhood, my mouth dropped to the floor at the sight I saw.

The street that ran past my house was gone. So were the trees that stood in my front yard. Some of the houses in my neighborhood were gone but others seemed strangely out of place, standing in an uneven formation that would have required an extremely crooked street that zigzagged through the neighborhood. Then came the strangest sight of all.

In the distance was a vast body of water instead of the additional houses I was used to seeing. Were they all swept away by the storm? Was the storm surge that bad? And why did I keep getting that feeling I wasn’t anywhere near my hometown? The questions just kept on coming.

Then I thought of my family, especially my parents who lived farther north along the coast. I felt a surge of urgency to check on them, so I quickly ran for my house and found my phone.

However, when I dialed my parents’ phone number, my call was answered by someone else.

“I’m sorry, your current phone plan does not allow calls outside your designated calling zone.” said the voice.

“Excuse me, my phone plan allows for calls to all of South Florida. What do you mean I’m outside my calling zone?” I snapped.

“Just what I said, sir,” the voice replied. “Either move back to your calling zone or upgrade your plan.”

“Exactly where am I, anyway?” I asked.

“You don’t know? You’re in Cedar Key.”


It took a long time to digest the fact that the storm had pushed my house 247 miles north.

How to get it back to its original spot, I have no idea.