There Goes the Galaxy-- Coming Soon to a Solar System Near You!

Just a quick little announcement to say the humorous space fantasy novel I've been yammering about writing for, oh, forever now-- There Goes the Galaxy-- officially has a Facebook page, for folks who'd like to keep up with news on it. I'm targeting the launch for September-- I'll let you all know when I have a more specific date.

The Facebook page is here: for those of you interested in checking it out and learning more about the book.

As you can see, the cover is done now, thanks to my talented friend, Dave White. He did indeed create the Earth in a few mere days-- and the sun, as well. On the seventh day he rested and enjoyed a couple of breakfast tacos.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the progress with you all. Exciting times, my friends. Exciting times!

The Curious Case of the Confusing Campbell's Kettle Container

Campbell's new Kettle of chicken chili. Hearty, tasty, and it looks so... microwavable... doesn't it? In fact, it looks like it's packaged just like Campbell's equally delicious and microwavable Chicken and Dumplings, and the beef veg soup with the little hamburger patties in it, and our tried and true friend, the traditional Noodle Soup.

I am a soup-a-holic, you see. I am all about new soupy, stewy goodness. I eat soup for lunch most days, and sometimes for dinner, too. I even got second degree burns once from an unfortunate soup spillage accident, and it didn't put me off my favorite flavors.

So when I saw this nifty new chicken chili, and a new beef and mushroom combo, I had them in my hot little hands as fast as a panicky spring bride grabs the discount dress of her dreams at a $100 gown blowout.

But when I got the chicken chili back to work, to see how long I needed to microwave it, I was surprised to see that the metaphorical gown did not fit the bride's most simple assumptions...

"Do not microwave in container."


I read it twice, because it was so contrary to all my previous product experiences for this type of packaging. 

"Do not microwave in container."

Now, bowls at work are not exactly a-plenty. I mean, while it's a homey sort of office we enjoy, it's still a friggin' office. We have the 400 examples of tradeshow mug swag that most executives covet, and the biodegradable plates we are grateful for when food is primarily eaten desk-ward, so we only lose a third of it or so down our keyboards. We also are not working in the wonderful world of Plastic-Wrap Land.

Think of it like a Frat House, only it smells a lot better and the decor is tasteful.

Sure, I could nuke the soup in a promo Initech mug or something. Which I did. But the whole thing left me befuddled. 

Why package the soup in a non-microwavable container that looks exactly like every other microwavable lunch option? Hormel, Chef Boyardee, Campbell's Chunky-- all these folks have come to some quiet agreement that when a microwavable lunch choice is in one of these same plastic-lidded tubbies, it can be heated straight in the container.

It's like some unspoken rule between manufacturer and consumers, the way cereal comes in a box, and eggs come in a carton.

Instead, it's a little like buying a carton of milk to find what you have in there is actually powdered. Or grabbing a carton of eggs only to see there are pre-fried eggs in there.

And I know, in the great scheme of things, this momentary befuddlement rates about a negative 200 on the Inconvenience-o-meter. It's minutia of Seinfeldian proportions, I realize that-- and if I weren't such a lazy bugger, I would be at home making my own soup, and prepackaging it for myself in my own microwave tubs where I would be assured of its total nukability.

For those wondering, I even do have bigger things to worry about. Like whether my 401K will end up with enough to buy myself a nice pack of gum in retirement. If I still have my teeth. I know I'm not alone.

So with that in perspective, to our friends at Campbell's, I would just like to say, the chili was extremely yum. My only suggestion to you is to take a tip from a political campaign slogan that's rather fallen out of favor these days... When it comes to your Kettle, instead say: "Yes, we'll CAN."

My Purring, Pointy-eared Dog

I apologize that I've been so e-silent here on the blog lately. In trying to get my one novel wrapped up for publication in September, and working on its follow-up, I do not have my bloggy mojo lately.

Bloggy mojo has been stolen. Possibly by the creature in the video that I'll share with you today.

Harry, you see, is a dog. No, no, I know what you are going to say-- there is this sort of Catness about him. But you're wrong. Appearances are deceiving. I tell you, he follows me around. He tries to bury things. And he plays Fetch... At least until his A.D.D. kicks in and he gets distracted...

I think he may have stolen my bloggy mojo. And that is unfortunate, because he probably buried it in his litter box where he put my tube of lipstick that time.


Question for today to my fellow bloggers: have you ever felt like your bloggy mojo was stolen, and what did you do about it?

The Spam Username Dictionary

"Steakyjak." That was the fake name some apparently carnivorous spambot sent me, as it auto-applied for membership in a forum I used to admin.

Recently, I've been getting one notice like this every hour, and a few in-between, sort of like the chimes of Big Ben but without all that fun, historic bonging.

Steakyjak was but a single metaphorical bong. And the name found me singing Spinal Tap's song to a slightly different set of lyrics:

"You're a spammy one, Steakyjak... You're a scammy one, Steakyjak."

I deleted this message, but the spamminators soon offered me a new registrant:


Oh, I know-- I can't believe I didn't think it was a real person, either.

Weren't there Runnyamothnots living on The Cape last season? Didn't Mrs. Runnyamothnot teach eighth grade English? Don't we see the runnyamothnots migrate along the Amazon river basin each year, bullying the local capybara and starting shoving matches with spider monkey gangs?

So since I haven't been able to figure out how to get the system to stop sending me automated messages, I've decided to channel these great spam usernames into something entertaining and useful...

The Spam Username Dictionary. And YOU all might enjoy playing along. These are just a few of the names I've seen in the past week, and some possible definitions for them. Of course, I am happy to take alternate suggestions from your creative brains!

  • Unfantis: (un-FAN-tis) The baby prince who has absolutely no chance of ever wearing the crown unless he goes completely Lucretia Borgia on his whole family. "If the Brady Bunch were royalty, Cindy would be the true unfantis, but Jan would buy the poison."
  • Apeenody: (Uh-PEE-nod-dee) Parental approval-- often overly enthusiastic due to too many years of diapers-- for a successful potty training session. "Little Timmy was so proud because he achieved apeenody for not wetting his Pull-ups."
  • AMubsmoumb: (MUBS-moob) That mole you aren't sure if it's more raised than it was before or whether it's changed color or not. "How can you tell if a mumbsmoub has changed color or not when, in paranoia, you keep poking it?"
  • Loffwrodovo: (Lof-roe-DOE-voe) The act of finding your own writing so funny you laugh at it even when no one else does. "The lengthy loffwrodovo in the middle of her presentation left the audience less than impressed."
  • Duatomunny: (DOO-uh-TOE-mun-nee) Advice people give you whether you want it or not. It is a synonym for the phrase "putting in your two cents worth." "Her mother in law's duatomunny covered everything from what laundry detergent to buy to how to properly iron her husband's underwear."
  • Bloolifog: (BLOO-luh-fog) Mist that takes on an eerie color that makes you worry just a little you will start hearing music composed by John Carpenter. "The bloolifog swept in so quickly, she refused to answer the sudden knock at the door."
  • Ignomowcow: (IG-no-MOE-cow) A bovine who lacks the innate knowledge other cows seem to have about returning to the barn on time. "The cows had all come home, but that ignomowcow, Bessie, stood in the far pasture under a rising moon by herself.
  • Kandinaf: (KAN-din-aff) The relentless need for a piece of chocolate or other sweet after dinner, especially when you're on a diet. "Though she only had a light dinner, the kandinaf was so strong, Mary devoured a whole box of truffles."
  • Treabstrott: (TREEB-strot) Insulting term for the person who purposefully does a bad job on a project he doesn't like, so it gets passed to someone else. "Matt was such a treabstrott, he not only managed to get out of the job he was hired to do, he somehow got promoted to an even higher position."
  • Flooderbob: (FLUD-der-bob) The items in your basement that take on a boatlike quality when you get too much rain at once. "I knew we had a lot of rain, but I never expected to see my stored Tupperware go all flooderbob around the basement rec room." This could alternately be the awkward footage you take of a butterfly or other fast-moving object. "I tried to hold the camera still, but my Youtube video is still flooderbob."

Well, that's all I have for today. But I could still use some help defining:
  • Impurismub
  • Spoolounump
  • Megastof