There is a certain beauty to these disparate messages in this week’s spam file – a mélange of subjects I find peculiarly compelling:
* A scary number and an awesome cat
* Weird food KILLED my blood pressure
* John Kerry With Egyptians Over Gaza
* My hips went from a 40 down to a 35 in seven days
* Mail from CIA (Congratulation) !!!
* [SPAM] is NOT SPAM!
* Free Viagra for under $5!
And this, from a company that helps inventors turn their innovative ideas into branded product…this, to me, is the most poignant spam of all:
* Tangled, messy garden hoses are a thing of the past
Please, say it ain’t so.
How will I ever convey to my offspring the contentment that can only arise from laboring to transform a tangled, messy garden hose into a straight and tidy irrigation tube, if the former no longer exists?
I swear, those entrepreneurs just want to suck the mystery out of life.
* * *
Silent But Deadly = Recuperative
Readers with such totally meaningless lives they must fill the void in their souls by reading my blog excellent memories may recall last week’s blog, wherein I mentioned the mini-strokes that have afflicted my mother. Those Wacky Scientists ® may have come up with a non-surgical, non-pharmacological, totally natural treatment for her.
I am, of course, referring to fart-smelling.
As reported in The Week:
“A new study …suggests that exposure to hydrogen sulfide could prevent mitochondria damage….. Hydrogen sulfide gas…well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases,” a professor at the University of Exeter, said…. the study suggests that “a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria.”
I can’t help but wonder: is there is a corollary effect for gas emissions of the northern orifice; i.e., does listening to belching have mitigating effects for auditory or other sensory disorders? In other words, any excuse to play this:
* * *
Why I Never Ran a Lemonade Stand 
* * *
Apparently, my calling, where my true talent lies, is writing Amazon reviews. Such as the one I penned for my “manatee tea infuser.”
I love the way my manatee looks; I love the very concept, and I love the way she perches on the rim of my teacup, with her loose tea-laden nether regions soaking in the hot water, infusing the teacup with…well, with very little actual tea.
The holes in her silicon trunk are just not holey enough to allow for proper circulation. The only thing that comes close to the disappointed look on my face when I sip what I am hoping will be a freshly brewed cuppa, and taste instead a week mug of almost-nothing (hey, did I mistakenly order the homeopathic tea?), is the forlorn expression on the manatea herself. I think she knows what’s going on. She is a tea infuser that does not infuse; she is forlorn, bereft of purpose, just another pretty (if bewhiskered) face.
The review itself received several glowing reviews, and is currently listed as the most helpful review for the product. I may now return to Antares with a clear conscience. My work here is done.
“(Moiself) has written one of the most informative and creative reviews of any product that I have ever had the privilege to read. Thank you for a review that not only provided the information that I needed and also managed to be very entertaining.”
* * *
Tonight is Hillsboro’s Bards & Brews. Bards & Brews is a last-Friday-of-the-month literary event, co-organized by Jacobsen’s Books and hosted by the downtown Hillsboro restaurant/wine bar/retail shop, Primrose & Tumbleweeds:
Join us for a celebration of the written word! Local authors of every flavor will gather for Bards & Brews to share their works in a series of talks and readings, while you enjoy a meal or a beverage from the world’s largest collection of Oregon wines and beers.
As I mentioned last week, I’d rather be home trimming my nostril hairs with a weed whacker than do author appearances, but since the nose hair situation is under control and my name is on the list, I’ve no excuse but to show up. I’ll read a couple of passages from my featured book and be available to talk afterward.  Here’s the slate (author and book title) for tonight:
* Robyn Parnell (The Mighty Quinn)
* Caitlin Claire Diehl (First Daughter)
* Tammy Owen (House of Goats)
* Paula Stokes (The Art of Lainy)
* Paul Gerald (60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland)
I hope to see your friendly faces (perhaps made even friendlier by the beverages?) tonight. If nothing else, you may pick up some hiking tips from Paul Gerald (aka that Portland hiking guy).
Bards & Brews, Friday July 25, 7 – 9p
Primrose & Tumbleweeds
248 E Main St.
in old town Hillsboro, one block north of the Hillsboro Transit Center
* * *
Department of I Am So Not Making This Up
And the Golden Wingnut Award goes to….wanna-be nurse Sara Hellwege.
I will really, really try not to refer to her as Sarah Hell-Wedgie. So, please, erase the following image from your mind.
Dateline: Tampa, Florida, where not-yet-graduated-or-licensed nurse Sara Hellwege (not Hell-Wedgie) has apparently fallen out of the bounteously-limbed Tree of Illogic and Absurdity and hit every branch on the way down. Despite the obvious signs that Hellwege is suffering from TBI ( theological bullshit instruction), she was able to apply for a job in Tampa medical clinic, and is now blathering “religious liberty violation” because she did not get the job after she said she would not be able to do the job.
No shit. 
Sara Hellwege is a member of a conservative religious “medical” organization that believes, contrary to all medical and scientific evidence, that birth control causes “the death of a human embryo.” When asked by the clinic’s human resources director about her affiliation with the group, “Hellwege admitted she would refuse to prescribe the birth control pill to anyone who wanted it. She was summarily told that prescribing the birth control pill was part of the job and was not hired.”
All together now: Sara Hellwege does not want to prescribe birth control, but she applied for a job at a family health center where prescribing birth control is a job requirement.
* * *
Best. Vandalism. Ever.
Portland is just so, you know, Portlandia. Eleven miles west, we Hillsborons  struggle to have any kind of identity, other than our unofficial city motto,  “Yeah, we’re not Portland, but at least we’re not Riverside.”
Oh, but that was then, and this is now:
“In my 25 years in police services, I have never investigated or seen a criminal mischief involving pastries.”
– Lt. Mike Rouches, Hillsboro police spokesman.
It seems a Hillsboro neighborhood has been plagued – or blessed, depending upon your POV – with a unique form of vandalism. In a kindergartener’s dream titled article, “Donut Caper Hits Hillsboro Neighborhood,” The Oregonian reports that in the past six weeks, vandals have plagued Northeast Farmcrest Street and neighboring areas, “scattering doughnuts around” and other food, too, including red potato salad, “…But doughnuts have been the most common food found.”
And just in case you’re wondering, I HAVE AN ALIBI FOR THE PAST SIX WEEKS.
Here the breaking news reporting gets more species-specific:
“Maple bars smeared across cars. Two chocolate doughnuts with sprinkles sat atop the windshield wipers of one vehicle.”
With sprinkles. I love that this important forensic detail is mentioned.
As you can imagine, Hillsboro’s finest detective squad exists only in our dreams has been assigned to the details. Read the article in its entirety, and you’ll shudder to think of the hypoglycemic sickoes behind these and other incidents:
On July 18, a Hillsboro sergeant found a box of Little Debbie Coral Reef Cakes strewn in the middle of Farmcrest Street. The dessert was the yellow cake with chocolate creme version, which is topped with brightly colored starfish and fish-shaped sprinkles.
The next day, July 19, a woman told police that…she found doughnuts thrown around her yard…. Mysteriously, a “Twilight” book was also left in her driveway.
Now we’re talking.
Hello, CSI Hillsboro, do I have to spell it out for you? Crimes of pastry side-by-side with one of the worst crimes against literature – this is no coincidence.
As one befuddled resident put it, “Can the world get any more cruller?”
* * *
R.I.P. James Garner
If you haven’t already, treat yourself to a viewing of one of the actor’s best (IMHO) if underappreciated roles, in Murphy’s Romance. I love this movie for so many reasons, including the realistic, well-written the role of a kid, where kid gets to be a kid and not a sitcom-ish sassy-talking, wiseass Hollywood version of A Kid ® . The chemistry between Garner’s and Sally Field’s characters is mahvelous; also, the movie has one of the best ending couplets  in cinema history (spoiler alert):
SF: “So, how do you like your eggs?”
JG: “I’m sixty.”
* * *
May your Romcom dialogue be convincing, your wedgies be heavenly, your neighborhood vandalism be hypoglycemic-neutral, and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Cartoon by Mary Lawton. Her work is featured in many venues, including the aptly named Funny Times.
 Except for the batshit crazy kind.
 For some reasons, residents of Hillsboro have resisted my attempt to label us thusly.
 Hillsboro has no official city motto. And since I’m about as unofficial as they get, I feel totally justified in coming up with an unauthorized slogan.
 I’m probably using this poetic reference incorrectly. So, sue me.
Jul 25, 2014 @ 07:07:16
As unfortunate as the manatee is as an infuser, your gift of her to my daughter has made for a great bath toy (although like her IRL relatives, she has to watch out for the [Playmobil] boats).