I can’t find a recording of the bird call MH and I kept hearing last Sunday when we were hiking around the Fernhill Wetlands. The call was familiar – it reminded me of…of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Until I did.
MH said it was the call of the red-winged blackbird. But RWB’s have several songs and calls. None of the RWB calls I listened to when we returned from our outing  sounded like the one we heard while hiking, which had a distinctive series of three notes (lower–upper-lower). In an AHA! moment, I realized that particular bird call reminded me of the classic Star Trek sound effects which were used for hailing frequencies or to otherwise  indicate There Are Complicated Instruments and Computers On Our Spaceship’s Console, And You Know That Because Of The Noises They Make.
I finally found it. There is a website for Star Trek sound effects (well, of course there is). If you click on the one labeled Transporter Room Report – and just ignore that pesky vocal of Capt. Kirk – you’ll hear a good approximation of the bird call to which I refer.
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Those Who Live In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Cast the First Stone
After Walking A Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes
As much fun as I’m having with the latest batch of the Scientology exposés (including documentaries and books from journalists and former Scientologists alike), it’s just as much fun hearing criticism of Scientology coming from other religious believers.
In this country, most religious believers who diss Scientology self-identify as Christians. Christians, as in, people who go to a temple or church or some other kind of worship box to grovel to/”invite into their hearts” the ghost  of a 2000 year old Jewish zombie who, according to their holy book and their 2K+ year old theologies, was his own father (and who, therefore, impregnated his own virgin mother). This father-deity ordered mass murders of Egyptian babies and men women and children of other religions, sent a bear to maul children the for the crime of teasing a man about his male pattern baldness, hates foreskins for some reason but loves the smell of sacrificed animals, and, as per that book again, says that says disease comes from sinning and that a complicated ritual involving killing birds and wiping their blood on human body parts will cure leprosy…and then to worship this god you symbolically eat him (via crackers and juice or wine, which turn into the Jewish zombie’s skin and blood in your tummy  ) and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in all humans because 6,000 years ago a rib-derived woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical but forbidden tree….
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Cool story, bro.
Oh, but the fun continues. Many religious believers cap their anti-Scientology statements with, “Besides, it (Scientology) isn’t even a real religion!”
Scientology teaches crazy shit and asks you for money – of course it’s a real religion.
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Department of Seasonal Poor Taste
Content warning: Well, duh.
My (belated) Easter sex joke:
He is risen!
He is risen, indeed! 
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Department of Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar…
But what the hell could this mean, Dr. Freud?
I Dreamed a Dream…that I was a guest artist with a Performance Art Troupe, and I had to deliver a pizza to Ronald Reagan.
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Department of Dreams Come True
A recent edition of Science Friday reported on how some British scientists are tackling the problem of detecting sewer misconnections that can lead to discharge of wastewater into to rivers: by using tampons soaked in optical brighteners to serve as pollution detectors.
“…planting tampons in manholes.”
Aside from delivering pizza to former presidents, planting tampons in manholes is my dream come true. Also, I expect it might make a compelling platform for the next presidential candidate:
“A chicken in every pot!
A car in every garage!
A tampon in every manhole!”
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Department of I Am So Going To Do This Someday
Performance Art Idea # 2507
Props: plastic bag; realistic-looking dog feces substitute.
This performance will entail going out for a walk – in the afternoon, perhaps? – on a sunny day, when there are a lot of neighbors out and about, doing yard work or watching their grandkids play or whatnot. I will be toting one of those empty plastic doggie waste bags (the stunt poop will be hidden in my jacket pocket)  but, as per usual for moiself since I am not a dog owner, I will walking sans canine accompaniment. When I return from my walk I will be clutching the now-full-of-feces plastic bag (which, as every dog walker knows, will festively swing from my wrist with my every step). Still, no dog in sight.
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Spring language Lexicon: The Continuation
In last Friday’s blog we learned the difference between Doot-doots and Deet-deets. This week’s lesson features Neng-nengs and darby. Both are nouns, both come from two of my college roommates’ special family words.
Neng-nengs: a pair of old, well-worn, comfy pajamas, or the emotional equivalent of such, which induces a feeling of well-being, contentment, and security.
Darby: a visible bruise of unidentified origin. (“I don’t recall having bumped my leg against anything, so how did I get that darby on my shin?”).
As you see, both are phenomena with which you are already familiar – and both arguably fall into the there should be a word for that category. And oft times, in the German language, there is (see Schadenfreude). Of course, in that great German tradition, put them in charge of coming up with an unidentified bruise term and you’d have something like Ausschreibungnichtidentifizierte. Isn’t darby so much simpler?
There seems to be a collective unconscious of special family words. I have encountered several people from totally different backgrounds (read: people who’d never met my college roommates) who’ve used or were familiar with the word Neng-nengs, and who claimed that their family was the originator of the term.
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Harbingers of Spring
Absent a calendar reminder – or pollen allergies – how does one determine that Spring is in the air? For moiself, there is the first day when birdsong wakes me up at 4 am, followed by the first appearance of the asparagus steamer on the stove. Mmmmm, ’tis the season: fresh asparagus, at least four times a week!
Another harbinger, new this year but equally yummers:
The compound archery bow is here!
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May all your harbingers be Neng-nengs, may your body parts be darby-free, and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Bird calls I googled, of course.
 Yes, that’s the extend of my innate musical notation abililty.
 the Catholic teaching of transubstantiation. The understandings of the communion rite varies among the many flavors of Protestant and Orthodox Christianity, but the majority of sects still practice some form of the body-blood-of-Christ consuming ritual.
 Somehow. Still haven’t worked out the details.