The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Insult My Intelligence

War.

Famine.

Pestilence.

Death.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

What’s wrong with this picture? (Image is in the public domain.)

And they’re all men.

Does this strike anyone else as inherently sexist?  Women can destroy the world as effectively as men can.  They just need a chance to let their evil ways shine.

I would take a moment to ask my thoughtful readers which of the horsemen would most appropriately be depicted as a horsewoman.  Instead, long live free advertising.  I may ask the question one day as a writing prompt on my other blog.  For now, you’ll just have to marvel at my wisdom and perhaps click the cheerful happy link.

Clicky clicky…

Boot Camp Insults My Intelligence

I recently had the opportunity to visit an old friend at the military base where he’s stationed.  Since I’m somewhat above the maximum weight limit to join the forces, no recruitment attempts were made in spite of my unemployed status.

Realistically, I would have declined if I had been asked.  The odds of me making it through boot camp are exactly zero.  Come to think of it, the odds of me making it through any remedial physical fitness training before boot camp are also zero.

And even if I made it through, I’m rather clumsy.  I’m the guy who would slip on a rock and accidentally drop his gun, which in turn would fire while conveniently pointed at someone else’s head.

Putting me in the military would be a horrible idea.

Almost.

You see, this is what most people imagine when they think of military training and work:

I bet he's running after ISIS.  (Photo is in public domain.)

I bet he’s running after ISIS. (Photo is in public domain.)

And this is what I see a lot of on base every time I go:

Okay, maybe I didn't see Slovenian soldiers.  But the guy is sitting on his butt doing work.  Close enough.  (Photo credit: Carol A Lehman)

Okay, maybe I don’t see Slovenian soldiers. But the guy is sitting on his butt doing work. Close enough. (Photo credit: Carol A Lehman)

Now, I’m not stupid.  I understand that the military occasionally needs soldiers to do physically grueling work in combat zones and those soldiers need appropriate training to do that work.  However, do soldiers really need any remote level of physical fitness to fire missiles from drones while sitting at a distant computer center?

When gays were banned from the military, Americans often heard complaints of critical skills being excluded from the force because their owners had a certain taste in sex.  Even though sex was irrelevant to the job.  And now, people are being excluded from the force because they have a certain taste in food even though the resulting girth would no longer hinder many soldiers from doing their jobs properly.

The U.S. military is outdated.  Fat people skills are state of the art; moreover, diversity in body type ought to be celebrated for the unique contributions each body is able to make.

Just make sure that larger soldiers aren’t put on the front lines.  We would make easy targets…

Soylent Hillary Insults My Intelligence

Hillary's golden years before her golden years.  (Photo credit: Henry Dunay)

Hillary’s golden years before her golden years. (Photo credit: Henry Dunay)

If Soylent Hillary
is made
out of people…

Will she degrade
and fade?

Donations,
Benghazi,
Email,
Controversies pervade.

Corpses.
(Her fault or not,
the dead feel betrayed.
They made her what she is.)

The consultants strayed
and made
The Soylent One.

Her new views are coming.
Her loyalists start drumming.
She drinks lemonade.

It’s bitter.

Once again
the Queen ascends
to nothing.

Made from people,
but not people herself.

Seemingly.

Cursed by her own deeds
to grow old
as Bill’s doting wife
with privacy
and inevitability.

Inevitability?
He’ll get laid.

How
does a former
inevitable
failed candidate
loser
defeated by her own faults,
unmade
by her own weaknesses
become inevitable again?

The addition of more
baggage?

Tirade?

No one deserves to win
except “me.”

Frankenturkey Insults My Intelligence

Today I learned that Thanksgiving leftovers can be revived after three months in the refrigerator.

Waste not, want not.  (Photo credit: Stu Spivack)

Waste not, want not. (Photo credit: Stu Spivack)

First, eliminate the odor with a few quick shots of bleach.  The bleach also replaces some of the moisture the leftovers had lost and it kills any mold that might have found a home on your bird.  Remove the dead mold with a butter knife.

After performing this basic cleaning, you must decide upon an appropriate recipient for your newly rediscovered culinary delight as well as an appropriate receptacle to ship it in.  I recommend a large Ziploc bag placed inside a cardboard box.  However, you must include something else inside the box to prevent dogs or other nearby animals from tearing open the package and stealing the loot.  I’d suggest spraying the entire box with Axe; that stuff will keep anything but teenagers away.

And now for the new, proud owner of Frankenturkey.  I do not recommend any occupant of the White House or Capitol Hill because all that Axe on the box might get you accused of trying to poison a politician.  That’s terrorism, perhaps.  Instead, I recommend your closest vegetarian friend; since the turkey no longer resembles a meat product, your friend will never know what you fed them.

If it looks like tofu and smells like tofu, it can’t be a Frankenturkey.

– Epitaph on friend’s grave

After the funeral, your refrigerator will hug you; it’s his friendship that matters most in your life.  Go out and buy your fridge some new bling.

The Bloggies Insult My Intelligence

No doubt many of you have heard of the Bloggies, arguably the most prominent blogging award there is.  I say “prominent” and not “best” because I know a thing or two about the selection process that you may not fully appreciate.

Here’s the official publicized procedure: people fill out a web form nominating blogs in all sorts of categories.  Votes are tallied and then the organizer chooses 200 random voters to decide on the finalists from a list of the top vote-getters.  The voting form asks if you’re willing to be chosen when you submit your nominations, presumably to ensure that judges don’t complain about all the work.

Just look at that face!  You don't need to keep him from complaining...

Just look at that face! You don’t need to keep him from complaining.  (Image requires no attribution.)

This year, I served as one of the ever-so-deserving 200 on the judging panel.

The organizer sent me an extra-special link to my ballot about two weeks before the voting deadline but, since I rarely check the email account that’s attached to my blog, I did not see the message until two days before the ballot was due.

Now for some math.  Each judge reviews the semifinalists for ten categories (out of 30) and there are approximately 15-20 blogs per category.  I’d estimate that it took about half of the two days to load all those blogs.  And that’s just the home page for each one.  Also transpiring during those two days: sleep, job applications, cooking, eating, the occasional potty break, bathing, and enjoying the snowflakes outside my window.  That left me with enough time to click to a second page on most of the blogs I was evaluating.

As you can see, I focused on my judging duties in accordance with the sacred trust I was given.  Diligence is key.  It’s not like I ever promised to do a good job.

Of course, other issues did come up.  Take a look at the judging instructions:

Ten categories have been randomly selected for you. For each, select up to five weblogs (or six in the Weblog of the Year category). If you encounter blogs that aren’t eligible for their category, just skip them. If you encounter a broken link, try adding “www.” to the beginning of it. I encourage you to vote in all the categories available to you, but it isn’t required. If you don’t have time to complete the whole ballot now, you may submit a partial ballot and return later to complete it.

Um… I know this may be a stretch, but shouldn’t a blogging awards site be able to provide links that will open properly?

And come to think of it, is it too much to ask that semifinalists be pre-screened for basic eligibility before I’m asked to spend my time judging?  Or, maybe the semifinalists should have been double-checked to make sure they were actually blogs.  (Granted, some of those questionable websites may have contained blogs somewhere on them.  However, if I can’t immediately locate your blog, you lose.)

Nevertheless, I thought it would be exciting to review these best-of-the-best blogs and see if I could find anything worthwhile.  And so I checked the first category: Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog.  I must admit that I learned more about that region than I could have ever imagined possible.  For instance, at least three semifinalists had blogs focusing on culturally enlightening arguments against the existence of global warming.  I say “at least three” because two nominees were in Spanish (I think) and another refused to load.

I’m not spending my time trying to decipher a foreign language because it wasn’t in the job description.  If I can’t judge the writing quality, you lose.

You never know what task will end up requiring some heavy lifting.  Fortunately, judging wasn't one of them.  (Photo credit: tunnupus)

You never know what task will end up requiring some heavy lifting. Fortunately, judging wasn’t one of them. (Photo credit: tunnupus)

Of course, I didn’t get to delve so deeply into any of these blogs… at least to the extent that something called “depth” could be discerned.  I, like most other people, happen to have a life and it’s relatively easy to figure out which blogs are crap after a very brief perusal.  I’m not giving up my potty breaks so that I can look at an extra few posts.  I’m not even giving up my potty breaks so I can search the blog for a link to archives of posts that were published during the year the blogging award is for.  I stopped hunting once it became clear that many blogs did not include such links.

And remember, I’m not 1 of 200 who are judging these categories.  I’m one of 66 or 67.  (200 judges total, but each of us only judges 1/3 of the categories.)  My voice matters big time no matter how uninformed it might be.

Yay me.

Next up was “Best Designed Weblog” and, as some of you may know, I take a great interest in innovative blog design… even if my own blog’s design is on the divisive side.  I could select up to five blogs from among twenty choices.

I picked two.

Yes, only two.  A few were so seriously flawed that I can’t believe they became semifinalists on the basis of legitimate votes.  (On the other hand, I have an abiding belief that people are stupid… so maybe the votes were on the up-and-up.)  Other nominees were generic and, therefore, indistinguishable from the millions of other blogs out there.  Of course, I could have judged the blogs’ navigation but I really don’t think effective navigation is such an unusual or difficult thing that people deserve an award for doing it properly.

The person behind the Bloggies also decided to randomly assign me the “Entertainment” category as well as “Fashion or Beauty.”  I tend to think that blogs on these subjects are crap even when they’re well constructed.  So as not to hurt people’s feelings, I will not continue on that line of thought.

Okay, I lied.  If I hate your topic, you lose.  That may sound unfair but no criteria were given for the assessment of a blog’s quality.  I figured that my personal prejudices would work just fine.

The “Best Group or Community Weblog” category also focused on a special group of blogs.  I think it had more parenting blogs among the nominees than the “Best Parenting or Family Weblogs” category that I was also asked to judge.

I guess all it takes to become a semifinalist is for members of a topical blogging group to go vote for each other en masse.  Just a hypothesis…

And then there’s “Best Photography of a Weblog.”  Here’s the category’s definition:

Photoblogs and other weblogs with a focus on presenting photography.

Please note that the category name does not mean the same thing as the given definition; the category name implies that all blogs containing photography can be nominated regardless of the blog’s overall focus .  Nevertheless, I did find a couple of blogs among the nominees that deserve an award.  I saved a copy of my ballot so I could find these (and a few others from the remaining categories) again.

Yes, it took that long for me to think “hey, I’ll want to see some of these again.”

By the time I reached “Best New Weblog,” I wasn’t much in the mood to do the basic assessment of eligibility that the Bloggies’ administrator should have performed on all nominees before sending out the ballot.  It’s possible that I may have voted for a blog that wasn’t new last year.  I didn’t check.

The final two categories I judged were European blogs and blogs about politics.  Both had some keepers, especially the political category which had a good share of famous and commercial blogs whose writers surely couldn’t care less about the award.  I voted for a lot of those.

And then I must mention the blogs that were nominated for numerous categories.  Contrary to what you might believe, this thrilled me.  I thought a lot of these blogs were crap the first time I saw them, meaning that each repeat listing represented one less blog for me to look at.  Of course, I did return to those blogs when the category was design or photography or something I hadn’t considered as heavily in my original assessment… and that’s in spite of my suspicion that some of these bloggers may have found a way to stuff the ballot box.

Stuffing the ballot box wouldn’t be too difficult and I doubt the organizer (yes, it appears to be one person) is taking sufficient measures to prevent it.  If he isn’t reviewing the semifinalists’ eligibility, we can probably assume that the more time-consuming or technically savvy measures aren’t being pursued either.

Overall, I found the experience disappointing.  With the opportunity to cast up to 50 votes, I cast fewer than 25.  I follow a few blogs that outshine most of the semifinalists.

No explanation necessary, I assume.  (Image credit: Plognark)

No explanation necessary, I assume. (Image credit: Plognark)

And with that in mind, I would like to encourage all of you who were not nominated to disregard the disregarding of your work.  I can promise you that the awards do not reliably track quality and they may not even measure popularity all that well.  However, I’m sure they effectively predict an increase in traffic to the selected blogs; for that reason, I humbly request that everyone reading this post please nominate me for as many categories as possible next year.  I won’t even ask you to consider the possibility of opening some new free email accounts so you can nominate me multiple times.

And if you happen to be selected as a finalist, please don’t take offense at what I’ve written here.  I am a judge; you bow to me.  If you think I’m a looney or that I didn’t take the job seriously enough or that I have bad taste, I have news for you: the randomized selection of judges results in random judges and not necessarily qualified judges.  Be thankful that I’m literate above a seventh-grade level; you never know who else might have been judging your work.

Imagine the possibilities!  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Imagine the possibilities.  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

And be thankful that I didn’t vote by just clicking on random blogs.

Presumably…

Misogyny Insults My Intelligence

black heart

Pink is for losers. (Image credit: scutajar)

Dear Dr. Bumblepuppy,

We wish to express our utmost gratitude for gracing our restaurant with your presence on Valentine’s Day.  However, we regret to inform you that your little princess is no longer welcome at our establishment.  That wench exuded womanly noise from the moment you exited your car, and not in a fun way.  Yelling, screaming, wailing, tears flooding her make-up and creating a mess for our janitors.  We have never heard anyone insult our staff, our food, and our existence so much as she did; she will be lucky if our other patrons do not sue her for ruining their romantic evening with her “vocal talents,” as you so euphemistically described her screeching.

In closing, we wish you a swift recuperation from the injuries you incurred on our premises.  The hot coffee in your face and the knee in your crotch were most assuredly not deserved.  The average dog has more respect for men and the culinary arts than that thing you call a woman.  We hope you will consider saving yourself further physical, psychological, and financial torture by dumping the broad.

With warmest regards,

Matthew G. Thomas
Manager, White Castle
1106 Old Myers Bridge Avenue

Matt Mullenweg’s Penis Insults My Intelligence

Anyone who blogs on WordPress or knows people who blog on WordPress or lives within earshot of people who blog on WordPress probably heard the furor about all the changes that were recently made to the notorious blogging platform.  I’m more okay with the changes than a lot of people are.  In fact, I’d like to write Matt Mullenweg (the head CEO guy) a thank you note.

This guy is the object of everyone's love as of late.  (Photo credit: Ronny Siegel)

This guy is the object of everyone’s love as of late. (Photo credit: Ronny Siegel)

Dear Mr. Mullenweg,

Thank you for the numerous upgrades to WordPress.  As a Ph.D., I can cheerfully inform you that your actions have provided important psychological insights into the internet age.  We can now conclude with 98% certainty that the length of a scroll bar is inversely proportional to the size of its developer’s penis.  Furthermore, we would also like to thank you for not incorporating a photo of said penis into the new design… even though “beep beep boop” sounds vaguely like robot sex.

If you’re into robot sex, we don’t need to know.

We, the bloggers at WordPress, appreciate your efforts to maintain a wholesome family atmosphere on this blogging platform.  We understand that the new design involved a lot of work and a lot of missed opportunities for coitus.  You could improve your sex life and the sex lives of your employees by ignoring the mountain of corrections needed on the new interface and reverting everything to the old layout.  The majority of WordPress bloggers would not riot because we wouldn’t feel stiffed.

Nevertheless, we kindly request that you purchase an expensive car the next time you feel the need to compensate for those areas where you fall short.

Sincerely,
BP

I’ll close this post with an explanation to my regular readers.  Even though penis jokes aren’t usually my thing, I find that criticism is best leveled in the absence of unfounded accusations.  Rather, we ought to make a concerted effort to understand the psyche of the people to whom we address our grievances.

Mitt Romney’s Detractors Insult My Intelligence

Mitt is back and he's ready to entertain.  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Mitt is back and he’s ready to entertain. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

After not-so-nearly coming somewhat close to defeating Barack Obama in 2012, Mitt Romney is reportedly planning to run again. Critics claim that he has no chance of winning the nomination, much less ascending to the presidency, but I believe that he will ensure a Republican victory in 2016.

Let me explain.

During primary season, the other Republicans will spend a lot of time talking about how Mitt is yesterday’s news, how he seems to lack core political convictions, how he seems to be seeking the presidency out of ambition and not out of service, how he seems cold, how his underperformance the last time around reflects on his leadership abilities, how he’s cozy with Wall Street, and so on.

After getting all of this practice, the Republican who eventually defeats him will be well prepared to hurl the same factually accurate rhetoric at Hillary Clinton.

Fancy French Phrases Insult My Intelligence

Because I’m bilingual and have a Ph.D., I usually don’t like to criticize people who use “fancy schmancy” vocabulary; after all, I happen to be one of those people.

Nevertheless, one can misuse sophisticated vocabulary and use (or mandate the use of) intelligent-sounding foreign terms when no need exists for it.

That said, I’d like to introduce you to the cooking term “mise en place.”  In English, this translates loosely as “gather all your shit before you start.”  Something so simple and helpful and obvious shouldn’t sound so daunting.

Obvious means obvious.  If you’re making tacos for your family, this means getting all of your ingredients in one place before you cook.   It also means frying the meat and grating the cheese (etc.) before you begin constructing the tacos.

On the other hand, I suppose you could grab your taco shell, then pull your meat from the refrigerator, then cook the meat, then put the meat in the taco shell, then locate and grate your cheese, then realize you forgot lettuce at the grocery store, then chop lettuce when you return from your emergency shopping trip, then find your sour cream, then smell your sour cream to make sure it isn’t expired, then realize that it is expired, then feed it to your cat, then eat the soggy lukewarm taco that has been waiting for you all this time.

"Gathering all your shit before you start" is also useful if you're hosting a party and plan to play bartender.  (Photo credit: Tannaz)

“Gathering all your shit before you start” is also useful if you’re hosting a party and plan to play bartender. (Photo credit: Tannaz)

 

Gun Owners Insult My Intelligence

Has anyone else noticed that there’s too much gun violence in the United States?

No?

Okay, you’ll have to trust me on this one.  We have this Second Amendment thing here that gives us the right to own weapons.  Lots of weapons.  Big weapons.  Shiny weapons.  Deadly and fun weapons.

We start at a young age here.  (Photo credit: sirfoxyprincess)

We start at a young age here. (Photo credit: sirfoxyprincess)

I like the Second Amendment.

Guns have been shown to deter crime when they’re not aiding crime.  If only there were a way to get the deterrent effect without all those pesky negatives.

With that in mind, I’d like to make a proposal.  The problem with gun owners is that they’re often the people who think guns are cool; that means they’d have relatively little aversion to firing one.  We should mandate that guns be given to the people who are least likely to shoot them and most likely to exercise good judgment by storing them in an appropriate gun safe.

Let’s start by arming all Catholic priests.  Everyone knows that no priest would ever harm an innocent person.  Moreover, the Church has demonstrated its willingness and ability to police wrongdoing when its members don’t meet the highest of moral standards.

After all, the clergy loves holy things, not holey things.

We all know what Jesus would do.  (Photo credit: RIOT Devon England)

We all know what Jesus would do. (Photo credit: RIOT Devon England)

Text Messages Insult My Intelligence

Happy new year everyone.

This holiday season, it’s important to remember all of the important people in your life and wish them the best.  Since we’re all busy, that wish may need to be conveyed through a text message instead of through a warmer and fuzzier phone call.

If you text your holiday greetings, you can even send a picture without having to buy a card.  (Photo credit: Intel Free Press)

If you text your holiday greetings, you can even send a picture without having to buy a card. (Photo credit: Intel Free Press)

I’m okay with that.  I don’t want to deal with all those repetitive phone calls.

However, please be so kind as to not send a single text message to everyone.  Believe it or not, lots of folks haven’t figured out how to reply only to the sender.  In other words, your recipients may be destined for symphonic digital torture as your friends and family reciprocate your performance of the agreed upon communication obligations… at midnight.

With that in mind, I would like to suggest a new year’s resolution: make friends who are smart enough to learn such simple technology.  You’re stuck with your family, though.

Ice Insults My Intelligence

Yesterday I tried a bland, boring advertisement for my new blog.  (Click here to visit.)  The new blog showcases a side of myself you don’t often see on Bumblepuppies… namely the hardcore academic side.  Around here, you get the humor end of business and that’s probably what you’d hope for from the ever popular gratuitous advertisement from me.

So, I’m trying again.  This time, I’m taking a page from the future and from the past.

My new blog, The Blacklight Candelabra, will offer writing challenges and I’m composing this post in response to a writing challenge.   Since you can only hide a brain inside a zombie’s mouth (and I choose not to do that), you might call that my professional side to some extent.

But then again, I was Freshly Pressed this year for writing a musical parody.  This is closer to the person my oldest friends would recognize and it’s the person my regular readers are most familiar with.  I suppose it’s also what makes my arrogance endearing to everyone I meet.

With that in mind, I offer you a breathtaking musical rendition of quality marketing material for my new blog.

To the tune of:

Yo, Bumblepups, let’s kick it!

Blacklight baby
Blacklight baby
All right dogs
The candelabra’s up now
Pups is back with a gift for your diction
Ideas grab a hold of you weekly
Shoot like a harpoon quick and meekly
Will it ever stop?
Yo, I don’t know
Turn off the lights and I’ll glow
To the extreme I’ll rock your blog like a vandal
Light up the cage and free your brain, it’s no scandal.
Write!
Light up the candle and glow
I’m feedin’ your brain like philosopher Rousseau.
Deadly, when I write a cruel challenge ’cause
Anything fluffy and light does not move paws.
Love it or leave it
You better gain brains
You better hit bull’s eye
The pups don’t play
If there was a problem
Yo, I’ll solve it
Check out the blog while my big brain evolves it

Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the

Now that the zombies are jumping
With the new year in and the brain cells are pumpin’
Quick to the point, to the point no faking
I’m saving them brains like a golden kraken
Saving them if they’re so quick and nimble
I go crazy when I see you’re dismal.
And the bloggers with a souped up tempo
They’re on a roll and it’s time to plead nolo.
Buildin’ up your 4.0
With my kitchen here so your brains can grow
The zombies on standby
Waving just to say hi
Did they stop?
No, they all passed by
Kept on pursuing to another space
They busted a left and they’re heading to the next blog
That blog is dead.

Yo so I continued to Candel… hey! Blacklight Ave
Brains were smart answering all my topics
Zombies expelled, visiting the tropics,
Jealous ’cause I got all the brains
Play with a rage and attention is all mine
Ready for the pings on the back
The pings are acting swell because they’re full of great acts
Blog posts rang out like a bell
I grabbed all nine
The information gels.
Hopin’ for the pingbacks real fast
Logged in again, was not aghast
Topic to topic, the blog will be packed
I’m tryin’ to bring some friends before zombies attack
Zombies on the scene?
You know what I mean…
They’ll pass us up, and mesmerize all the dope fiends.
If there was a Zombie
Yo, I’ll kill it
Check out the blog while my big brain distills it

Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the

Take heed, ’cause I’m a lyrical poet
The puppy’s on the scene just in case you didn’t know it
My blog, that disposed of all the brain fog
Enough to shake and kick holes in a dog
‘Cause my blog is like a chemical spill
Feasible thoughts that you can vision and feel
Conducted and formed
This is a hell of a concept
We make it hype and you want to step with this
We play through the days, slice the zombie, hell oh yeah!
Cut like a razor blade so fast
Other bloggers say, “damn”
If my blog was a drug
I’d sell it by the gram
Keep my composure when it’s time to get loose
Magnetized as I write while I kick my juice
If there was a Zombie
Yo, I’ll kill it!
Check out the blog while my big brain does fill it.

Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the
Blacklight baby, Visit the

Yo man, let’s get over there.
Word from your teacher.

Blacklight baby
Too cool
Blacklight baby
Too cool too cool
Blacklight baby
Too cool too cool
Blacklight baby
Too cool too cool

 

The Blacklight Candelabra: Protecting Your Brains from Zombies in the Coming Year