Da-da Wonders...

The Santa Pause: A Summer Primer

Don't worry, it's not technically child abuse.

Da-da grew up in the desert. Someone had to. This means all those summer dreams of smiley picnics and BBQs and cookouts and volleyball and beach frolics mean absolutely nothing to Da-da. In the desert, summers are brutal, to be avoided; you get to feeling like a bat, stuck inside all day in the coolness of your cave, hanging upside down, going out only at night. Well, maybe that's just Da-da. Anyway, it's hot in the desert in summer. No. HOT. Dry. Dead. Tires stick to the driveway. Everything's brown, dessicated. You get the idea. Weatherwise, the only time anything happens in the desert is in the fall, winter and spring. So, those who see winter as a lifeless season... well, that's how Da-da sees summer. Needless to say, Da-da doesn't look forward to summer much, but he manages to get through as he used to get through it: with Christmas music.

And now, if you could please stop punching your Da-da doll a moment, Da-da will explain.

Seems the only times Da-da was happy as a kid was when school was out -- esp. during Christmas vacation/winter break, when Da-da would put on a huge stack-O-Xmas music and proceed to build one hellaciously enormoid Gothic Christmas diorama in the living room all week before the main event, sorta like this but with more zing:

This was a small one.

As a recovering musician (jazz and classical), a love for Christmas music is pretty much Da-da's main personality flaw, apart from that inner troll thing. And we're not talking Barbara Streisand Christmas music here, or John Tesh Christmas music, or any of the current, fey pretty-boy dredge-pop effluvia that should never ever ever be listened to, not even by prisoners. No, Da-da's talking about tasty Christmas music: Vince Guaraldi (who did the music for all the Charlie Brown specials), Art Tatum, Red Garland, Oscar Peterson, Dexter Gordon, Ellington.... Those guys, playing mostly instrumental Christmas music, peppered with the odd tasty dead vocalist from way back when you could buy white bread or say the words, "Merry Christmas," without cringing.

99.99% of musicians find Da-da's musical aberration horrifying. Da-da is, in fact, a monster to them. Rocks are thrown. Invectives hurled. Fires are set. Da-da certainly doesn't find fault with any of this abuse. Hey, some people like, "Mork & Mindy." And Da-da can totally take a punch and be just fine. Just don't try it twice, Chuck.

This is how most musicians react to Christmas music.

Anyway, Da-da tries not to inflict his Hideous Summer Yule on others, but his children are being tangentially exposed, musically, on occasion, BUT hold up on that big red CHILD ABUSE button a sec. Da-da mixes things up with Space Pop, Monster Pop, bizarre sound FX, old Disneyland ride soundtracks, jazz and classical, the sound of crickets, all salted with a tinny '30s jazz substrate. Da-da can't stand anything contemporary; music is so redundantly bad these days that Da-da treats it like Vincent Price treated vampires in, "The Last Man on Earth."

So, the logical question that forms in any rational person's mind is: IS DA-DA A MUSIC NAZI?

Well, he does have the mustache, but he keeps it in his Bad Mall Santa Da-da suit. Jeez, what do you expect from a guy who hangs upside down in a cave like a bat all summer listening to Christmas music?

[By the way, special thanks to Da-da's old college friend, BADLANDS, for shaving off (most of) Da-da's Music Nazi Mustache. A former college DJ and barking dog music aficionado (aficionada?), BADLANDS helped Da-da see the value in all kinds of music... well, except rap. Sorry, B. Da-da hates rap. Ok, so Da-da might have a little Music Nazi stubble, but one does need to discriminate a little, otherwise, we'd all still be watching, "Mork & Mindy," while hanging upside down and listening to Christmas music.]

Na-nu, na-.... Nah.


The One Where Da-da Shows How to Stop Wind Turbines From Killing Birds

"I mean, you're not helping. Why is that, Leon?"
"Well, those blades keep whacking me, 'cause I can't see 'em."
"Oh. Sorry."

Da-da's oldest, Nagurski, loves birds. He was just reading about how giant wind turbines were killing birds all over the place and no one knows what to do about it. Well, Da-da knows what to do:

Paint the giant blades with ultraviolet paint.

Sure. Why do birds never fly into spider webs? Because they can see into the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, and spider webs GLOW in birds' eyes. Some companies even make ultraviolet-colored fake spider webs to put on your windows to keep the birds from smacking into them. So, simply scale this up and paint the turbine blades with ultraviolet paint and turn the turbines back on and everyone's happy. A bird will fly near the turbine and basically see the equivalent of a huge glowing dinner plate spinning in the air and the bird will say, "WHOA! A HUGE GLOWING SPINNING THING! I BETTER NOT FLY INTO THAT!" And suddenly, the world is a better place for birds and the environment and all the choirs let loose and The Cabal goes to jail and none of us have to pay taxes or our mortgages ever again. You know, a Happy Place.

If someone somewhere wants to thank Da-da for this helpful suggestion, feel free to contribute to his boys' college fund. And now, on to the problem of saving snails from all those ravenous French bistros, but that's easy... 

WHOA! Note that this represents Da-da's 1000th post! Let's get this snail off the ground!


Bronko + Nagurski's Star Wars-y Robot Apocalypse

Behold R2 and RNot doing what they do best.

"Da-da, Why Do Women Make Estrogen?"

Testosterone is powerful stuff, Maurice.

7YO Nagurski: "Da-da, why do women make es-tro-gen, and not tes-tos-ter-one like men?"
Da-da: "Where did you hear about that??"
7YO Nagurski: "Ma-ma."
Da-da: "Ah."
7YO Nagurski: "So
why es-trogen, and not tes-tos-terone?"
Da-da: "Because if women produced testosterone, all the men would be dead."


One Weird Trick to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time...

Having children leads to extreme tiredness, so you might wanna practice birth control.
Or simply follow the sign.


Pay No Attention to the Plot Thickening Behind the Curtain

Your first obvious question is, "Are those poppies?" YES. Yes, they are.
Then you ask, "Which plot, Da-da? There seem to be so many these days." And Da-da says, READ, Timmy...

Huh. You can't seem to swing a dead barbecued Evil Emperor these days without striking some massive hoity-planetoid-y death star close-orbiting the sun and showing off her techno-prowess. Now it seems the earlier satellite data has been corroborated with another sighting a week later, showing that same enormous object (est. to be 3X the size of earth), but now accompanied by a smaller object just off her starboard bow -- an object that clearly zooms out of frame. You can plainly see Venus off to the right, and this thing is closer to the sun, very very close, and that means it's being roasted and toasted and is yet thriving and air conditioned and everyone inside is wearing party hats and looking at their watches waiting for Planetfall Terra. Is it any wonder you're not hearing much about this?

Here's the source satellite data. You be da judge.

So. Ferocious typos notwithstanding, do glitches speed away? Makes you wonder what else we might see during Sunday's solar eclipse. Here's Da-da's previous link to weird footage, from a different satellite. You can really see how big the thing is in the above link.

And then there's the current missing data, curiously near the same spot. Huh.

And in this one... could it be that that massive object is siphoning energy? Look at the blacked out BONES:

Regardless, they're all no doubt giggling inside that Death Star, anyway. Why? BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL THE MISSING POT PIE CHICKEN CHUNKS. Dammit. (See previous post below.)


Food and Loathing: The Amazing Chicken-free Chicken Pot Pie, A Product Non-Recommendation

Don't you believe it.

Sure, Da-da likes to make most things from scratch, but like every other parent on earth, he doesn't always have time to move around without the restraints. So, since Bronko and Nagurski love pot pies -- which Da-da usually secures from Trader Joes, (which are awesome, but they were out) -- Da-da shelled out $5.49 each for two of the above pot pies from an upscale overpriced market that shall remain shameless. $5.49 doesn't apparently buy what it once did, esp. when it's festooned with the word, "ORGANIC." Note that these were the only two pot pies they carried, the other brand being smaller. Here's the image and description off Pacific Foods website:
"Tender chunks of free-range organic chicken and garden vegetables are simmered slowly in a creamy sauce and ladled into a light, flakey crust made with organic flour and butter. It will remind you of home in that mouthwatering “can I have seconds, please?” sort of way. And this one is ready in about seven minutes. So, you could have two if you really wanted to."

Uh huh. Dangle that participle, word-monkey. That said, the pot pie reality was a bit different.

First off, there were no chunks of chicken whatsoever. Not one. In two pies. Da-da checked, incredulous, as he'd been suckered by the pic on the box and couldn't quite believe it, but who are we kidding this is what the world has come to, right? [breathing sound] Second, there was no crust apart from the thing slapped on top of the paper bowl, and it was a millimeter thick. Ah, but there were lots of "chicken gravy," vaguelly redolent of... well, of something that used to have feathers. Since the "pie" contained nothing else, these were in fact nothing but, "GRAVY PIES," and the gravy was lame. Da-da wasted an hour's-worth of British Thermal Units to cook these pathetic paper bowls of blah. And Da-da's boys did not want seconds -- indeed, they quite loudly complained that there was no chicken in their chicken pot pie (which they've come to expect from Trader Joes' pot pie), took two bites of gravy and asked for a hot dog. Da-da then had to waste more time and more money making more food -- in a big damn hurry, as the natives were starving and tend to flense flesh off bones in this dangerous state. They were not happy and Da-da is not happy... AND POT PIE IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY.

See there? You made Da-da get all CAP-py. Nice work. Back to Soylent Green, already in progress.

"Soylent Green is people food!"

Da-da's Calculus of Creepy Art Appreciation 201: Finding Your Perfect Foyer Statue

Finding that perfect creepy foyer statue is paramount to setting the right artistic tone with children.


Of Eclipses, Sphinxes and Shrubberianism

You know things are getting weird when Ma-ma dons her Sphinx outfit.
If she asks you a question, be sure to know the answer.

Da-da hasn't seen news of this upcoming solar eclipse anywhere, but then again, Da-da refers to himself as Da-da and lives under a shrubbery (two actually, for a nice two-pronged effect). Anyway, said solar eclipse will be visible on Sunday, May 20th, in the early evening across much of the U.S., as well as other parts of the globe, with apologies to those readers in non-eclipse-y, socially and economically functional countries. All the info on when and where is elegantly presented HERE at Shadow and Substance. They do an awesome job. Basically, May 20th is gonna be one weird day. Trust Da-da on this one. All your plants WILL DOUBLE IN SIZE and become sentient, while all your Yahtzee dice will go missing. Weird, huh?

What this REALLY MEANS is that you'll be able to trick your kids into going to bed earlier. Ahem.

Almost time for Tubby Apocalypse. (Ignore the blood.) It'll be over soon, Roger the Shrubber.


Da-da's Darwin Award #3: Death Car on the Freeway

What's wrong with this picture?
Da-da used to be a professional musician (jazz and classical) in Southern California a while ago, and hence was in his car a lot. On one such outting, he was transporting other musicians who seemed to take it for granted that Da-da had a car and would drive them around from gig to gig. This went on for months, with no one offering to pitch in for gas, to drive, or to do anything that might help the driver; no one even bought Da-da a burger, or some coffee.

Having grown infinitely weary of these freeloaders, Da-da hatched an evil plan of revenge at 2:30 am one dark and non-stormy clear night on the way home from a gig. Everyone in the car was fast asleep -- everyone except Da-da --  and had been for at least an hour. Since Da-da had traveled the same freeways for years, he knew them as well as the highway patrol, so he knew what he was doing. Seeing his opportunity, Da-da slowed and stopped his small car in the middle of the freeway, at the crest of a hill, such that he could see behind him for a good three miles. There was no one out on the road, on either side, no headlights for miles. Being a weeknight and very late, it was totally dead. Da-da rolled down his window, so the cold air and silence would creep in on his passengers. Then he turned the car's lights off -- again, with a keen eye on the mirrors for any headlights -- and just sat there for a good minute, listening to his passengers snore. Da-da then took a deep breath and yelled at the top of his lungs:

Four guys suddenly snapped awake and started screaming, heads whipping back and forth in terror at the reality of Da-da's words. They could FEEL the cold night air on their faces, the lack of acceleration, the SMELL of the cement, SEE that we were really stopped dead, lights out, in the middle of the damn freeway. Sparse street lights revealed grooved cement of the empty lanes, six across. Green freeway signs glared at them blankly, surrounded by tire chunks and freeway flotsam festooning the fence beyond. Their frightened screams rose in pitch... which was Da-da's cue to start the car.

"I'll try to start the car again!" Da-da shouted, in a rare, Academy-award-winning first-person performance.

It started immediately, of course. Da-da flipped on the lights and floored it, roaring up and over the freeway's crest to the cheers of his passengers. Da-da was a hero! And his passengers? They were WIDE AWAKE for the duration and, for the record, never fell asleep in Da-da's car again.

What's the moral of the story?

Da-da's a moron.


Because lots of drunks and low-lifes and stupid musicians turn their lights off when they drive, so the police won't see them weaving around playing air hockey with two-ton automobiles and the center divider, or pulling pranks in the middle of a freeway. Despite that, there was Da-da, sitting in the middle of the freeway with no lights on, a sitting duck. Worse, he had sleeping people depending on him for their safety, trusting him. Sure, Da-da COULD see very well for at least three miles behind him, so there was very little danger, but it was still a dumb thing to do. Thing is, those guys are STILL AWAKE somewhere, eyes saucer-wide and unblinking.

Needless to say, if you're reading this and you're some stupid kid -- or worse, you think you're really smart -- DO NOT DO WHAT DA-DA DID. It was a dangerous stunt that just happened to come off without a hitch. And don't have kids till you're old and know better. There. That's all the free advice you get for today. Ya dumb kid. Btw, "Death Car on the Freeway" was the name of a terrible "CHiPs" made-for-TV embarrassment in the late '70s, but Da-da couldn't resist recycling it. Ya dumb Da-da... er, kid.

Punch it, Da-da!


Happy Hallmark Day, Mom (or, "Take THAT, Doves and Bunnies!")

Just a small root problem.

As usual, Da-da's spending Mother's Day being Da-da and dealing with Da-da things. So, while Ma-ma and the boys frolic in the woods, battling doves and bunnies on a picnicky nature adventure, Da-da's stoically awaiting the Roto-Rooter guy to de-root Da-da's clogged sewer line. Ma-ma gets all the fun, so long as her ammo holds out.

Take that, doves and bunnies! (Ma-ma's still an artist with a Thompson.)

Ma-ma the Moon

Ma-ma the Moon

There are so many things the ocean wants.
It wants to relax, to sleep.
To storm. A lot.
To toss silly ships and shippage.
To worry forgotten chunks of land, earth.
But what it really wants is the moon
silver and silky and strange
so near so often, yet often missed, sometimes far away
sometimes full of aliens
looked on by so many 
often taken for granted by little people
but never forgotten by those who know,
loved for its sweetness, its saintly purview
swelled after and loved after by the salt of the earth,
the thoughts of the sea.


Enter the Happy Sun!

Well, it looks like everything's gonna be ok now that the happy sun is here. If you see doves and bunnies frolicking to and fro, don't worry. It's normal. And, if you must do a Julie Andrews across a meadow, do it far from Da-da's house.

Note: NO, Da-da didn't photoshop that. That's a current image from the SDO. Wheee!

That Pre-teen Look of Parenthood

Luckily for Da-da, 5YO Bronko's axe-throwing needs work.

That Downtime Look of Parenthood


Lying to Da-da Gets You... THE VERDICT

Don't lie to Da-da. It makes his face go all earthquakey.

Someone asked why Da-da cares about the solar wind. He in fact does not care about the solar wind. Da-da just wants the info so he knows what's going on. But more and more, said info cannot be obtained. NASA's taken to deleting data, and other countries are following suit. NASA is also shutting down satellites when unusual data arises. Here are some recent examples: link1 + link2 + link3. This compells Da-da to offer some friendly advice. Listen up, govt. agencies and the media, you need to know this:

When you hide something, everyone is interested.

It's Human Nature 101. If you put the info out there in a nominally bland, governmental way, most people go, "oh," and move on with their lives.

Hiding data and access to data makes people want it more. Oh, and speaking as a parent... lying is wrong, and leads to time-outs. And lying to the public is not only wrong, it's soon to be a serious felony, worldwide, and leads to Ultimate Time-outs.

Since few will remember Paul Newman's awesome final summation from, "The Verdict" (written by David Mamet), here it is again, and boy is it timely:

Da-da doubts all current institutions. The only one he doesn't doubt is MA-MA. And Ma-ma is THE LAW.

That TANTRUM EXPRESS Look of Parenthood

The Tantrum Express never stops, running all day and all night... until you die. Even then, it keeps on going. Hope you brought a book. And a coffin.


Apoca-Parenting 501: Living With Post Traumatic Parenting Disorder (PTPD)

Ex. 27. Like their quotidian, active duty parenting counterparts, Empty Nesters and grandparents occasionally experience Post Traumatic Parenting Disorder (PTPD). Nearly half would have to be severely medicated if they weren't severely medicated already.


Da-da's Warming Up the Portal

AAIIEE, just one more thing before Da-da gets the heck off this weird planet. Turns out NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory picked up this triangular Illuminati hole on March 13 -- the day after the solar wind reversal of March 12th, 2012. Weird, huh? It's just a coincidence, of course. A glitch. It's not a space-time Mahabharata angling for your giblets. Or it is. Either way, it's definitely entertaining.


Apoca-Parenting 103L: Soundproofing Your Nest

How many coats of noise-absorbing paint do you have to use before you can no longer hear your monsters children screaming at the top of their lungs playing? 900,001 and still counting.

Pay No Attention to the Granddaddy Death Star in Front of the Curtain

The original video is now gone. Here's a still of another.

On the heels of the March solar wind reversal and potential death star/NASA glitch invasion of 2010, we now have this. It's big. It's really big. If it's real. Some are already calling it dust inside the camera. Anyway, if this new gynormous death star emerging from the sun turns out to be real, it's bigger than Jupiter, and if it parks off our bow... well, get ready for some eclipses. Or a new lens brush. And get Da-da to a nunnery (he's heard they make really good coffee, which the lady narrating this video may desperately need. Da-da had to turn the sound off after a while.) Either way, it's looking more and more like NASA's crow pie is just about done.

UPDATE: And now as of 5/6/12, NASA's SOHO satellite and a lot of USGS sensors are down, with SOHO in a time-consuming, "emergency sun reacquisition mode." [Sigh.] Once all the lying is done and the dust settles in the coming months, we are all going to make lying to the public a capital crime, without appeal.

Hi. Don't hurt me.

Supermoon Apocalypse 2: Rare Chance to Snag Spurious Frisbees This Weekend

The boys love their new nightlight, which features its own guard.

In what will no doubt be the latest fear-mongering blogger/media attempt at mongering FEAR, we'll all soon be hearing about the moon being close to the earth again -- about 12 feet from the earth, which is about as far as Da-da can stretch for the remote -- causing all manner of disasters and we're all gonna die. Again. Seems like we're all gonna die about six times a quarter. Sure, it's the closest the moon's been in XX years, and YES it'll be full, which means that this weekend's lunar lambada will see the entire earth explode and corporations the only things left to survive along with all the cockroaches so they can each push the other around in a justice po├ętique kinda way usually found in Supermoon Apocalypses and apocryphal run-on sentences.

For anyone not in the know, Supermoon Apocalypses also always yield a certain inexplicable yearning for... isochronic tones. Why? Because:
  1. They make your chakras all fresh and springy, and
  2. They make you number things, and
  3. They make you levitate high enough to snag those frisbees on the roof. 
Not sure if fear and frisbees and numbering things are related, but you're far less likely to think straight when you're afraid. Or playing Ultimate Frisbee. Or counting to infinity.

Ultimate. Frisbee.


Pay No Attention to the Death Star Behind the Curtain

Hm. This is puzzling. As a gentleman scientist, it is in fact damn peculiar. Seems on Monday, March 12th, 2012, we on earth had a solar wind reversal -- that is, the powerful stream high energy particles from the sun which typically blows into the dayside of the earth suddenly reversed direction and came from the NIGHT SIDE. It looks in fact on the video like something "blew" at the earth from the wrong side. This isn't supposed to happen, but it did, if you look at the above evidence. The really puzzling thing is, all the data from that day has been scrubbed from all of NASA's sites. Same goes for the Japanese site that also monitors this. Ok, so we had a massive burst on the night side of the earth, pushing the sun's EM envelope back. There are obviously lots and lots of high energy objects and events in the universe, so why hide this fact with erased data?

Obviously, what caused the event has violated the inner mental paradigms of those in charge, so much so that they simply deleted the data. Never underestimate the power of denial here on Planet Whoopie, but... what could've caused such fear-based deletion? Da-da's at a loss to even make fun of it. Or is it that old bugaboo that they're, "saving us from the scary truth." Lying and obfuscation are much scarier -- and are indeed, a felony. And would any of this, by any chance, have to do with the huge anomalous object seen orbiting close to the sun that everyone was buzzing about recently -- oh, and back in January of 2010, too? Have those metallic, planet-sized anomalous Death Star stand-ins that exited the sun back in 2010 come home to roost, cloaked nearby, blowing cosmic smoke in our faces? Anyone? Darth Buehler? NASA deleted all these images, too, but here are some Da-da saved before they were excised from NASA's STEREO A and B satellites.

Welcome to one of the deleted NASA images. Now you begin to see why.
Whatever just emerged from the sun's corona in this pic is metallic (or generating a field)
and about the size of Jupiter.
Um, the sun's corona is about 1.5 million degrees.

This from Spain's unexpurgated satellite camera.

Look at that swamp gas.

Just a glitch... transiting the sun.

Apoca-Parenting 101: DO NOT Pull Grandma's Zombie Finger

Don't do it.
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