Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Ant Invasion: Them! Them!!

The Crank

So there I was at my new desk, at my new job, planning someone’s beautiful new kitchen when I hear the opening guitar riff from AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock” (my new smartphone ringtone). I immediately flashback to all my wife’s other just-getting-home-from-work-frantic-gems.  “We’re being invaded!” she said. “Red ants everywhere, millions of ‘em, and they bite!!”

I take a deep breath, “Where are they?”

“Everywhere,” she said. “The cat food in the laundry, and the bananas in the kitchen seem to be their main obsession.”

“What do you wish for me to do from here?” I asked.

“I have used up all the organic natural bug spray we had. Pick up more.”

Now let me ’splain something. My wife gets skeeved out very easily by any sort of tiny livestock. The last time anything like this happened, this ‘organic natural’ bug spray had the most god-awful smell I have ever been subjected to. I smelled it for weeks. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t enjoy eating, nothing. I was ready to set fire to the f-ing house. It eventually went away and I put the can in the garage, hopefully where she couldn’t find it.

You see how well that worked. Oh, and to put this invasion into perspective, I believe that last incident involved one cricket.

So now I have these scenes flashing through my mind. Scenes of vomiting cats. Scenes of vomiting beige gorillas. Scenes of my wife, in full hazmat regalia, with a can of shit smelling bug spray au natural in one hand and the phone in the other. As I go into a local establishment for some non-lethal to gorillas, non-smelling bug spray, I ask a guy in the department what he would recommend for small red ants. He tells me he has lived in some really bad places, and this one has always worked.

The label reads: “Works Every Time, No Odor.”

Awesome. As I enter through the laundry room, gingerly, my eyes focus in on the floor. You know those scenes of battlefields you see in movies after the fight is over, and the winner strolls through hundreds of dead bodies as the sun sets in the distance, smoke rising from the ashes of the put out fires? Yeah, well that was nothing. The floor literally crunches with the remains of ants (mostly uncles really), millions and millions of them. All gone to that big anthill in the sky. Bowls of cat food, almost totally hidden by the bodies of the vanquished. The automatic cat waterer had dead uncles raining down the little waterfall into the bowl of other floating remains. They were swirling into the mechanism swimming their little swim of the macabre, over and over again. As I crunch down the hall, I see them, dead, stuck to the floor, stuck to the molding, stuck to the walls. As I round the hall into the kitchen, I see her. My wife standing there with a look of sheer exhaustion.

“I think I got them. I think I got them all.”

“It looks like you wiped-out the whole f-ing species.”

It was just about then that the whole ‘smell’ thing started to rear its ugly nose. Oh-My-God was all I said. “Where are the cats” was my second statement. Again, not asking how she was would soon enough come back to bite me.

“The cats are in our room, no ants there.”

I told her I would change and I would start the cleanup. We both got to it. We had the whole area mopped thrice, vacuumed and the mop head and bag from the vacuum thrown in the trash.  It was about 9:00 PM when we both settled down to watch some TV.

“Want anything? I’m going for a sandwich?” my wife asked, while heading to the kitchen.


That was all I heard from her as she walked into the kitchen. As I rolled out of my Lazyboy and into the kitchen, I saw that our little red menace had regrouped for a last ditch effort to assume control of my home. Thousands of them now cover the stove and the countertops.

“Fuck you, you little red bastards!” I said as I get the bottle of Works Every Time, No Odor and go for it. My wife asks about its organicity, if that’s even a word. I laugh and say “Gee, I hope not” in my best Sly Stallone as I start to spray.

They all seem to die on contact, and no odor…at all. They start to try to escape, but I am just too fast. I start to make the sound of David Hedison in The Fly, when he calls out for help at the end just before that spider kills him. “Help me, heeelp, oh noooo”, in my best Hedison-like Helium voice.

Eventually I win and they all die. This should be released in installments, of course, like Lord of the Rings. I could be like in the last episode: Return of the King. If there were only one ant big enough that I could have kicked into the pool, while yelling, “This is Phoenix!”

Now, at near 10:00 PM, we get to clean up all over again. Rip apart the whole range and put all the parts in the dishwasher. Clean off the counters, disinfect, and clean again, re mop the floor… and then move out the fridge to see if any are hiding there.

All this death and no odor! What a concept!

At this point I realize that the cats have been locked in the bedroom, sans litter box, for some four hours now. I slowly open the door and they both run like hell for the litter. It was like I could almost hear them go “AAHHH…” as they relieved themselves. Cannoli looks up at me and gives me a look like, “You almost had another f-ing room to clean, beeoch.”

It is the next morning and there is no sign of the red menace. The cats look fine. We won. We defended our home. No lasting smell. As I leave for work, I look around for George W. Bush to tell me “Mission Accomplished,” or, at least “a heck of job, Cranky”.

Now, if I could just figure out why I glow in the dark…….

Don’t Crank Wit Me.

Or Especially Mrs. Crank.

Antpocalypse Now: Crazy Ants Drive out Fire Ants

Erisa Brahe

The South—Let’s face it, the American way of life isn’t what it used to be.  There are more corn byproducts than apples in our apple pies, tornados are targeting our square states, and J.J. Abrams is single handedly destroying all sci-fi franchises with the word “Star” in their name.  Worst still, chaos has crept slowly into our well-manicured backyards.

Remember the fire ant?  They were our frighteningly violent new neighbors. They would pop up in our yards where we least expect it, chew on our electrical equipment, and set fire to man and beast alike with their evil stings.  We loathed them.  We feared Them! And now, we’ll do anything to have them back.

Yes, something is driving out and eradicating whole colonies of our fine six-legged friends.  Enter the Raspberry Crazy Ant (Nylanderia fulva). And we’re not talking about your Aunt Babsy coming home for Thanksgiving with a fifth of vodka. It’s not that kind of aunt.  These ants initially seem harmless enough; they don’t sting and from a distance they travel in stumbling drunken patterns not unlike the Ghetto Shaman after last call.  It makes you wonder how they are even able to find your house at all.  But once they’ve found you—much like Aunt Babsy after that fifth of vodka—it’s impossible to get them to leave.

Sure fire ant stings cause a unique sort of pain that blazes like a million suns and, sure, once in a while someone would die of anaphylactic shock, but they were the psycho-killer insects we knew.  Much like knowing you’ll get mugged in that dark alley, fire ants were in the places we expected. They live in highly visible, politely cone-shaped mounds out in the yard—mounds you only stepped on if you wanted to die. 

Crazy ants, on the other pincher, move in and set up meth labs in the basement. They multiply in rapid numbers, eating everything from wood to insulation to the Discord pot supply (don’t laugh. That could really effect material).  They’re in our yards and our houses, decimating perfectly clean and happy suburban neighborhoods.  I’m back to the ants again; I know the Discord crew can do that too…it’s why I’m distancing myself from them.

What’s worse, the crazy ants are so hopped up on the chemicals that they consume right in our homes—the stuff even the most ruthless fire ant colonies fear—they now seem even angrier and crazier. I’m talking about the Discord staff this time. They need help.

Some reports even suggest these crazy ant MFs are using the insecticide as sustenance.  They’ve also been spotted carrying away small vertebrates…like lizards, mice, and newborn babies. 

A raspberry crazy ant took my baby! Hmm. It does have a nice ring to it.

I’m assuming their recent behavior is to study us and exploit our weaknesses. Did I mention they do have a lot in common with the Discord staff? Now if only they could carry away Aunt Babsy.  She’s passed out on the floor again… and she’s far from being a small vertebrate.

A dingo took my Babsy! Hmm. I can make this work…

New Technology Lets Blind See Porn

Erisa Brahe

We stand on the cusp of a new era where man and machine will finally merge, creating an ultimate hive mind that does nothing but stare at cute cat pictures on the internet.  While hover boards, flying cars, and moon bases seem distant dreams, there is something to be said for having a device that fits in your pocket and brings you porn on demand. 

However, there’s hope on the tech horizon future as prosthetics developer, Second Sight, announced they have received FDA approval of the Argus II, a bionic retinal implant that has allowed blind patients to see again.  Now you can honestly tell your children, “Yes, you can become a Geordi La Forge-Jason Russell Hybrid when you grow up.”

As interest in wearable technology increases, Google has already announced that it is developing a set of augmented reality glasses, which would allow the wearer to surf the web and complete other mobile computing with just their eyes.  Dubbed Google Glass, their CEO has already apologized for future cross-eyed children, failed college classes, and vehicular damage caused when motorists “Surf and Drive.” 

However, we at the Discord are looking even farther down the road.  Coupled with Google Glasses, recipient of the Argus II implant have the potential to surf the web at any time.  Stuck in a business meeting?  Play Angry Birds with your eyes.   Stuck making small talk with an annoying person?  Bring up Redtube.  They’ll be none the wiser unless you have tightfitting pants.  Those with the Cyber Sight could even web surf in their sleep.  Ride the Poptart Cat Rainbow in your dreams or let your subconscious become the start of its very own porno. The only limit is your own imagination and all the 404 error pages out there!

Of course while you are skull-fucking, the possibility of plugging any part of your brain to the internet creates the opportunity of cranial cyber-attack.  You don’t want to open the wrong file on Piratebay and then end up bringing something home to your wife.  The potential for these Cyber STDs (CSTDs) could be disastrous. HD VD? How is anyone going to be able to read any Discord articles if worms and trojans are taking up all available memory, downloading random things into your brain, or causing a total system shutdown?

Luckily, technology may be able to save us there as well.  According to images recently leaked from the US Patents office, Apple may be developing a watch-like mobile device.   Unofficially, named the iWatch by many Apple fans, this technology can finally allow us to have those Dick Tracy wristwatches we’ve been saving all those box tops for since the 50s.  Coupled with microchip technology, the iWatch has the potential to monitor the wearer’s vitals, including blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and sperm count.  It could detect a heart attack as its happening, bringing up helpful apps to help you update your will, count down the time you have left, and contact the priest, shaman or holy person of your choice.

The Discord has already claimed the trademarks to the iWill, iPriest, iYig, and iDeath apps…well, they would have but they had to go to the virtual pharmacy mall for some cyber ointment.

H.G. Ertel’s The Time Machine

H.G. Ertel’s The Time Machine
H. G. Ertel

For years scientists have disputed the possibility of time travel: matter can’t travel faster than the speed of light, Zefram Cochrane won’t be born until the next century, yada yada. Other scientists just dodge the question entirely with things like, “I’m more than a little busy looking at these glass slides and shuffling these papers around” …and, “How did you get passed the retinal scan to get in here, anyway?”

As for me? I’ll quote a popular Monkee’s song, “I’m a Believer”…because yesterday it happened to me. I went from June 24th, 2012, all the way back to January 1st, 1970. I fell through what I believe was an inter-dimensional portal located in my apartment. I awoke to discover my cellphone had absolutely no service, and somehow the date/time had reset….SENDING ME BACK IN TIME!!!! Sorry for the ALL CAPS and exclamation points thing, but I believe the situation warranted the excitement implied by such a frowned-upon writing style. So…F-YOU!!!

The first thing I did—since everything I know about time-travel I learned from the Back to the Future films and season five of Lost—was check to see if I wasn’t somehow erasing little-by-little like that photo of Marty McFly and his siblings.

(By the way, the Johnny B. Goode part in BTTF, when Marty McFly goes ape shit & busts out some van Halen licks?! C’mon, how’d he get such a processed cheesy ‘80s metal sound out of a guitar/amp combo made in the early ‘50s?! Jesus man, fuzzboxes weren’t even invented until the ‘60s. Back to the Fender!?)

Everything’s still here, I thought to myself, double-checking my pants to see if my penis was still intact. Y’know…I’d better check again. You can’t be too careful when you’re messing with the fragile nature of the time/space continuum…or my balls. I repeated the procedure for the rest of the afternoon, just to be sure.

What DO you do when you’re suddenly transported back in time?! All of the possibilities were there…I could buy Apple stock, warn the public of things to come, I could even “write” all the greatest hits of the ‘70s, before they were written by the people that actually “wrote” them! Jesus Christ, I could convince John to ditch Yoko & keep The Beatles together! I could write Rush’s most classic albums! Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy, written by Ertel! Dark Side of the Moon, Wish you Were Ertel, Animals. All the music of Pink Floyd written by ME! Have a cigar, I’m gonna go far!

I could even (gasp) warn The Discord not to bother!

The financial rewards for my obsessive studies of useless bullshit over the past 20 years were finally going to pay off! I could start trends before they happened! invent Rap! Pre-date the ‘80s! Start wearing my pants down around my knees! On second thought, I’d better hold off on that one.

And the sex! Most STDs from the early 70s were basically cured by penicillin & special shampoos with lice-combs. None of this AIDS bullshit to deal with. Surely I could convince the porn industry that Lady Bics were the wave of the future!

I thought of all the old people I know…I could see them back in their heyday, complete with huge chunky sideburns and button-up shirts with butterfly collars. I could get drunk with my dad! …who sported a rather “Ohio Player’ish” afro/beard combo at the time, which made me think “man, cleaning the shower drain after THAT guy must’ ve been torture!”

Theoretically, I could have been downstairs drinking Billy Beer and watching The Rockford Files, while my parents were upstairs fucking in September of ‘75 to the mellow strains of If by Bread.

(Trust me, you have NO idea how much I just shivered typing that line. Better check my pants again to see if I’m disappearing.)

Then, they repaired the cellphone tower that caused this temporal rift in time….and I was suddenly back in 2012.

No untold billions.

No fame.

No massive numbers of girls just throwing themselves at me all in the name of “free love, man.”

Y’know what? FUCK John Lennon….I ain’t tellin’ him SHIT.

The John Conner Interview

The John Conner Interview
Alex Bone

I caught up to John Conner, of Terminator fame, in an abandoned WWII weapons testing range. His mother, Sarah, was off hunting radioactive rabbits with a sling shot, so I was able to speak with him without her breaking my jaw…like last time.

John: You know this interview could be jeopardizing my life as well as the entire human race, right?

Bone: Relax, I heard that the Borg only watch Fox News so I think you’ll be safe.

John: Umm, you mean Terminators. Sounds like someone’s been doing his homework.

Bone: That was just a Star Wars joke.

John: Trek.

Bone: Whatever, look, let’s get started before your mother shows up and kicks my ass again.

John: OK, but make this quick, mom has me jogging a double marathon, practice shooting, and crickets don’t pickle and can themselves, you know.

Bone: So has Judgment Day already happened?

John: (after a long stare) Ah, no.

Bone: Will there still be beer after the apocalypse?

John: What? I don’t know maybe some, but it will be popular.

Bone: That sucks. Will it be easier to get chicks into bed? You know you could do the whole ‘we’re both about to die anyway, baby’ kind of thing.

John: Since Judgment Day hasn’t happened, how would I know this?

Bone: But you should be an expert in theoretical post-apocalyptic poontang (APP). Could you program a bunch of terminators to turn levers that work turbines in power plants, like that superhero does in that School House Rock video, and solve the energy crisis?

John: Huh? Where are you coming up with this crap?

Bone: Well, Terminators are the ones who go ex-terminator, ex-terminator, right?

John: Those are Daleks and they say exterminate. Jesus, dude. Shouldn’t you be asking me about what each person could be doing to help us avoid Judgment Day?

Bone: I’ll ask the questions. Now, if say you’re dating this hot futuristic chick, but when you went back in time you ended up having sex with her mother….that could add whole new verses to that song, “I’m my own grandpa.” Or what if she’s like sixty-five when you return and all nasty looking? And would you tell your girlfriend that you slept with her mom or just burn the old photos up in her attic?

John: You’re an idiot. No wonder my mother punched you. Now I should really let everyone know about this certain Terminator weakness we discovered where—

Bone: Yeah, yeah, and that lawsuit with Sarah is still pending. So if they made a super hot terminator chick, like Boomer, would you sleep with her?

John: (Smiling) I’ve already done that, man, but again it’s a Terminator…Boomer is a Cylon.

Bone: Babylon 5?

John: Battlestar Galactica.

Bone: Oh, well you got some cyber nukkie, so high five, bro! Now let’s get back to the whole beer issue. Shit here comes your mom! I have to go. Oh no, she has that sling shot and it’s filled with cholla!

I barely escaped and, due to certain well targeted missiles, I was forced to type this whole interview standing. So after Judgment Day, there will be beer, but much less of it. But the chicks will be easier, so stock up on beer now and, wow, the apocalypse could rock! Thank you for visiting the Discord’s Science Department, where non-fiction meets considerable friction.

Dino Farts the Cause of Prehistoric Global Warming?

Dino Farts the Cause of Prehistoric Global Warming?
Erisa Brahe

Late Jurassic Period, Earth – I am standing here in the middle of a Mesozoic marsh where I have sunk the Discord’s company Delorean past the fenders. As I wait for a creepy green puppet to appear and pull my car out of the mud with his mind, I figured I should report this story—a story I broke the boundaries of time and space to tell. There is evidence Global Warming happened in the prehistoric past, but the facts stink!

The theory of Global Warming seems to have been around Gorever (sorry!). It was certainly discussed when I was a wee kindergartener in the late 80’s, but it turns out that the threat and the controversy are far more ancient than was previously believed. Researchers have estimated methane emissions from sauropods may have contributed twice as much greenhouse gas than our modern industrial output.

Many have heard talk of cows and their droppings contributing to greenhouse gasses, but now think of a herd of cows releasing twice as much gas than the past 150 years of automobile exhaust and radio talk show hosts combined (not including Rush Limbaugh, of course). In other words, sauropods, or our friendly long-necked dinosaurs, had such strong flatulence it may have instigated climate change at the end of the Jurassic Period.

I tried interviewing these creatures, but it is difficult to grab the attention of an 85-foot Brachiosaurus with its head munching the tops of some ancient conifers. It is even more treacherous to approach one from behind as wind speeds can reach hurricane like levels, not to mention trying to dodge fecal debris the size of a small car. The smell is also atrocious and it’s everywhere! It’s like they’ve turned the entire Earth into a giant Dutchoven.

This is a politically and gastro-intestinally turbulent time. Local small mammals and herbivores have taken a strong stance on conservation and increasing air and water quality. A group of Progressodons even tried to ban beans and cabbage from all diets, but to no avail. The Republiraptors are up in their very tiny arms about the whole situation. Sayings like From My Cold Dead Bowels are everywhere. This countermovement has been started by a group calling themselves Freedom Farters.

“Screeeeee Screee! Hissss Screeeeeach!” said a white, balding T-Partisaurus in response to the report. 

I am told, from a reliable source, that this loosely translates to “The Discord sucks! And how dare you insult my fellow citizens with your future science when there is no proof that the increase in methane is impacting our climate? Are we not made in Godosaurasus’ image? First they tell us not to take dumps in the water supply, and now they don’t want us to fart! The Democratops have gone too far! I shart in their general direction!”

I tried to explain how the warm, moist environment was already a perfect example of a Greenhouse Earth, but I had to leave before the pack rabid Republiraptors chose to feed rather than discuss scientific issues.

Now, I find myself hiding from a dinosaur lynch mob under a pile of rocks, watching the Delorean disappear into the mud and contemplating how often history repeats itself.  I would beg for someone to send help, but there’s still a bounty on my head in 2012.

Oh, hey, Yoda. A little help?

“Sorry, Busy am I.”

Great. Then may the Farts be with you!

Russian Prehistoric Lake Drilling Unleashes Zombie Plague!

Erisa Brahe

Antarctica –Early February, after twenty years of drilling through thousands of feet of Antarctic ice, the Russians finally reached Lake Vostok. Sadly, being February, most of the researchers died the next night of exposure after their celebratory baby whale roast. Vostok, a fresh water lake sealed off from the Antarctic surface since the early Miocene epoch, has been the source of much speculation. It has attracted the attention of mad scientists, neo Nazis, tinfoil-wearing alien hunters, and even mad-Nazi-tinfoil-wearing Discord reporters. 

Many scientists anticipated the discovery of ancient microbes and extremophiles in the icy waters, but there are some who await larger discoveries (extreme-extremophiles?). Some cling to the hope of finally finding the Loch Ness Monster or another such prehistoric dinosaur. If a large reptile could survive incessant Scottish bagpipe music for centuries, perhaps one might be able to survive in an Antarctic lake.

And every good American knows that where there are dinosaurs there must be oil. Despite reports confirming the water content of the lake, some believe that after 20 million years of isolation, a fossil fuel rich layer may have accumulated on the lakebed. No word from the American Security Council on whether they intend to pursue any Afghan terrorists to Antarctica.

And it may not be the first time Lake Vostok spawned military conflict. Early rumors involve a German submarine crashing into the lake at the end of World War II. This sub may have become a base containing the remains of Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler. Presumably, this base is powered by the oil in the lake. Some worry that the pair of cryogenically frozen Nazi leaders could be cloned and used to herald in a Fourth Reich, or worse yet, some type of Naziassic Park with Nazis riding gestaporaptors?

An artistic rendering of the cross-section of Lake Vostok. Credit: US National Science and a Discord Photoshopper.
An artistic rendering of the cross-section of Lake Vostok. Credit: US National Science and a Discord Photoshopper.

Some overlook the ancient past in the hopes of an ancient future, claiming Lake Vostok could contain Ancient Alien technology. Taking certain episodes of Stargate to the extreme, they look forward to discoveries of wrecked spaceships or alien bases. As if hiding Adolf and Eva on a frozen continent weren’t enough, the aliens chose to hide them on Jupiter’s ice moon, Europa, or possibly the forest moon of Endor.

Since the Russians have been so quiet after their first announcement, many of these rumors continue to grow unabated. Early reports confirmed retrieval of water samples from the lake before the drill site closed for the Antarctic winter, but no confirmation on whether the samples contained prehistoric life, mi-go fungus, or even DNA evidence of the third drummer from GWAR. The apparent silence of the Russian government has done little to staunch concerns that members of the drill team did not make the rendezvous to their ships.

This led to a flurry of new accounts of drill team members dying after exposure to the prehistoric water. While the Russian government will not acknowledge the nationality of the alleged victims, there are confirmed sightings of apparently diseased humans wandering the Antarctic shores in an aimless shamble. 

“We thought they were just eager to board their ships,” said Captain Redshirt of the USS Miranda. “At first, we attributed it to the vodka, but, when they bit the Captain of the landing party on the shin, all hell broke loose. It was horrible! Especially when those attacked got up and started wandering about on their own with their entrails in tow. After everyone was infected, they started attacking the penguins. The Pittsburgh hockey team was recently exiled there after losing the first round of the playoffs. “

Doctors hesitate to officially declare people “zombies”, since they seem to still be alive from a distance. This has not stopped locals from proclaiming this a zombie plague or, worse yet, a sobriety outbreak. However, scientists and the Russian government argue that no biological samples have been collected to confirm a bacterial or viral cause, as no ships are willing to approach shore due to fears of being attacked—even when we point out their vodka supplies are untouched! With even worse Antarctic weather approaching, the opportunity for rescue or research is closing. Scientists, however, are hopeful.

“At the moment we are not overly concerned about acquiring samples,” said marine biologist, Dr. E. Ripley, “as the Arctic winter will preserve the bodies nicely… assuming they’re in the same place come the spring.”

What has the environmentalists up in arms is the impact this plague is having on the local wildlife, which mostly consists of non-migratory penguins of the Pittsburgh variety. 

“It’s hard to tell which penguins are affected and which aren’t,” said Dr. Ripley. “Even normal penguins mill around aimlessly most of the time, but it’s the reports of flocks turning on each other in a blood bath that have most of us concerned. That’s definitely not normal penguin behavior, even among the Pittsburgh variety.”

Thankfully, there have been no sightings of a zombie Hitler or Eva Braun among the growing horde.

“The possibility of Nazi-zombie penguins on an endless quest of destruction should concern us all,” said Dr. Ripley. “They’re bad enough with hockey sticks and ice skates, but it’s the cute, small, feathery ones that are the most dangerous.”

The only Discord-obtained Photoshop from the Russian Drill 5-G in Antarctica
The only Discord-obtained Photoshop from the Russian Drill 5-G in Antarctica

Review of the ‘Accu-Check Aviva’ Glucose Monitoring System

The Crank

Or, as I like to call it, “Ignorance in Design, Futility in Function”. As you can probably glean from the title, this is one beige gorilla who will be looking for another way to test my glucose. Years of Twinkies and ‘hecho en Mexico’ Coke have started to take their toll. Maybe Hostess going under isn’t such a bad thing… Meanwhile, my dear Doctor has told me I must take horsey-pill sized meds to help me stave off the seemingly inevitable fat man’s disease…Twinkities.

The pills, while really big, and really harsh on ones’ digestive system, are not a big problem for me. It’s amazing how big or awful a pill one can tolerate when it is inserted in the gooey hole of a jelly donut. No, the real problem is: I want to monitor my glucose to see just what I can use for emotional comfort food, and what I can no longer successfully digest without marking time off my lifespan calendar.

Enter the Accu-check Aviva system, prescribed by my Doctor. As my wife is in the medical field, she read and informed me of the directions, none of which seemed out of my ability to comprehend and successfully master. Yeah-well, uh, maybe.

So the wife says, “Now tomorrow morning when you get up, before you eat your usual six bowls of Honey Bunches of Fructose Flakes, test yourself and call me at work and let me know what the reading is.”

Flash forward to the next morning. My very own personal fur-laden live alarm clock, my cat Cannoli, lets me know the sun is up as I feel the wonderful sensations of wet sandpaper on my arm. ‘Oh, did I wake you? Oh well, as you are up anyway, would you be a darling and put some kibbles in my bowl, please? I would do it myself, but I DON’T HAVE ANY THUMBS!” he says with a meow.

I get up and dutifully proceed to the kitchen, where said monitoring equipment has set up household by the phone. I am then reminded by kitty of the real reason I exist as a human. It is said that dogs have masters, but cats have staff. Oh so right. Anyway, after the aforementioned bowl filling, I sit down with all the equipment, and re-read all the instructions. “No problem,” I said to myself as I line up the little torture devices in order of use.

First: turn on meter. Done! Second: take test strip out of sealed container and place wide end in opening at bottom of meter. OK, problem. Sealed container is child/gorilla proof. After getting out my hammer and screwdriver, I get the bastard open. ‘Remove one strip.’ Well, I cannot, for the opening of the container is SMALLER THAN MY FINGERS. So, I dump them all out on the table, and get one inserted into the monitor. Hooray  success! Well, not so fast.

Third: get ‘LANCET PEN’ and set for depth of puncture needed to draw blood. One to five, I set three, midrange is probably ok…is what I am thinking. Fourth: insert drum of lancets into end of pen. Here is where the futility of all this rears its ugly gourd.

I have what is called ‘Benign Essential Tremors’, what amounts to a constant slight shaking of my hands, symptoms typically exacerbated by reading any Zano posts. As I try to match the shake of my hand with the pen in it to the shake of the drum hand, I am reminded of that scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey where the space station rotates and the incoming shuttle tries to match its rotation for docking. I am now wondering if playing ‘The Blue Danube Waltz” on my stereo would make this any easier.


Fifth: rotate drum to where pointer is set to number 5. Each time you use the lancet, it will then rotate to the next number down. You cannot re-use any lancets; they will not re-load once used. Problem ; no rotation. Reread instructions. Hold tip of pen down and rotate drum, simultaneously. Yeah right. By now, the words “piece of shit” are rebounding from all the hard surfaces in my kitchen.

After realizing it’s already on # 5, I go into the living room and get my other glasses. When that is done, it says to hold the opening in the bottom of the pen firmly against fingertip and press yellow button. While trying to match shaking-rotations once again, I realize I see no yellow button. Reread. Yellow button is actually a clear button that appears slightly yellow when the pen is correctly set. No yellow. Go through the whole mind-numbing routine again, and lo and behold, I see a faint hint of yellow under the clear button. Re-matching shake-rotations again, with pen firmly held to finger, I go to press the now yellow button, only to realize it is not actually a button. It is a pressure sensitive recess in the side of the pen. A recess one would need fingers like pencils to operate, not, as it were, fat stubby gorilla digits.

Five B: jam lancet into eyeball. Rotate.

Ten minutes have now gone by. I move my hand so my fingernail is on the fukking button, and press. I hear a click, but feel no pain, see no blood. Reread. Reset pen to deeper setting. Can’t do, it won’t turn. Reread. Cannot reuse lancet, rotate drum, then reset depth.

I reread Zano feature to calm down.

It is at this point I realize there doesn’t exist ON EARTH enough Ritalin for me to do this regularly. Reset to deepest setting, match rotations, hold firmly, fingernail on button, press. FUCKING OUCH MAN. I did not for the life of me think a little hole would hurt that much. Now I have a hole, but alas, no blood. It is now going on twenty minutes, and I am happy to be alone at this point, for if either my wife or doctor were present, I would become intimately acquainted with the State’s civil involuntary commitment laws.

I used ALL FIVE lancets; I have FIVE fucking holes in the tip of ONE finger. I am squeezing the living shit out of my finger now, using words I have never even heard before and I am looking for the hammer to finish the job, when-TAD-DA! Blood appears. I quickly get the monitor and apply the paper strip to the blood. I watch the blood go up onto the paper, and turn the monitor around to look at the face to see what the numbers are. It is then I realize it is off. I turn it on, and it asks me to insert paper strip. THERE IS A FUCKING PAPER STRIP IN YOU, YOU BLOODY EVIL SADISTIC DEVICE FROM HELL!! I Reread the instructions, and some more Zano features, and here is the best part:

“You have exactly three minutes to do all of the above before device automatically shuts off and you will be asked to reset device and start over.”

There is blood on my shaver, on the mirror, on my comb, and all over the steering wheel on the Ram. There is now a pile of hammered plastic debris on the kitchen table, along with a bloody napkin and a note to my wife spelled out, in blood, on the kitchen table. Let’s just say the house will be a little quiet for a while. The whole monitoring thing WAS my Idea after all.

So I will forgo checking my blood sugar but will now need to add a blood pressure medication.

A note to the manufacturer: I know that you must have used thin, young, healthy, intelligent people when testing ease-of-use. Uh, the problem as I see it is that by the time a person is ready to use your product—fifty or so years of stress, fattening foods, and sedentary lifestyle later—you have made your product totally fucking useless to us fat-assed dim-witted shaky, high-blood-sugar types. You know, the ones who will, in all probability, be the ones actually purchasing your lovely little product.

Looks like I get a free pass this morning…Mexican Coke/Rum and Twinkies all around.

Breakfast of Champions!

The Crank

The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, or Mrs. Vader Your Car is Ready

The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, or Mrs. Vader Your Car is Ready
The Crank

One day in the late sixties, Carroll Shelby tried talking Bill Cosby into buying one of his Cobra Super Snake sports cars. For those who remember Cosby’s recording of “200 Miles an Hour,” he wanted a car that does 200 mph to get to work. But, after just one ride, he handed back the keys—suggesting this would be better in the hands of a George Wallace, or a Buzz Aldrin, or a Starbuck of Galactica fame. The car was resold to a gentleman who promptly killed himself shortly thereafter. It was not a car to be taken lightly. The new CTS-V wagon is also not to be taken lightly.

While looking like a cute little grocery retriever, it is nothing of the sort…unless you are Darth Vader, or unless your grocery store is on Mars. So this fat Crankster was bullshitted into driving one at the local dealer, and let me tell you, getting back into my pickup was the hardest thing I have ever done…especially with the erection.  If you must know, it lasted so long I had to notify my doctor. 

Just to make things clear, it had me at the exhaust note. Everything from there was gravy. What a sound!  Any motorhead hears it as his eyes half close like any opiate addict on the ‘good stuff.’  I had a stupid grin on my face, head tilted back, and that noticeable bulge in my nether regions. Ask your doctor if the ‘good sound’ is right for you. 

The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, or Mrs. Vader Your Car is Ready

Stick those fart cans up yo’ asses boys, THIS is da sound… 

Now, to be perfectly honest, if given all the funding, I would still not buy this car. Why? The Recaro racing seat option.  The poor folks at this dealership had to call 911, because I needed the Jaws of Life to be surgically removed from said vehicle.

Caddy-1, Fatman-0

But for the consolation prize, did I mention the erection?

Using a supercharged version of the Corvette engine, this beast will tear you a new one when you put your foot down. Oh yeah, and do so gingerly, the rectum you save may be your own…oh, and your rear tires will last microseconds.

The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, or Mrs. Vader Your Car is Ready
The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, or Mrs. Vader Your Car is Ready
The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, or Mrs. Vader Your Car is Ready

Its competition style brakes will bring you to a stop about as fast as your brains can leave through your nose.  Hey, but the handy part is all gray matter will end up in a nifty little storage area on the console!  Very handy.  They’ve thought of everything!

Transmission? If you’re a real man, it’s a six speed manual and, if you’re a Zano, an auto is available.

With every creature comfort known to man, it’s still a Caddy in every sense of the word.  With the exception of the ‘floaty boat’ aspect, it corners like it’s on rails. If you go food shopping for Mexican, just buy the ingredients for your burritos and with a brisk ride in the back wagon area and voila…it’s Messy MexiCaddy Night damnit!

Way back when, Bill Crosby was right; there truly is no reason to build or buy this beasty, but we terminal gearheads are glad it exists just the same. It’s like thinking of screwing Sarah Palin. You know she’s a loon and her voice would decalcify your spinal column, but you would anyway…it’s kind of like that. 

Thank god, I’m finally losing the erection…

Sarah Palin: The Other White Meat

Ah shit, there it goes again.

The Crank

Bone Escalates the Invertebrate Conflict into Outright War

Bone Escalates the Invertebrate Conflict into Outright War
Alex Bone

Most understand how scorpions loathe their aquatic brothers, the viscous crawdad. Both have segmented bodies, pinching claws, and a burning desire to kill everything that crosses their path. These spineless bastards part ways, however, when it comes to protecting the environment. Whereas scorpions drive Priuses and recycle whenever possible, crawdads are a different story.

Scorpions will do everything in their power to rid the world of excess vermin, crawdads happen to be that vermin.  Those cray-beasts are hell-bent on destroying all other life forms leaving the planet a desolate void—like Mesa.  Scorpions would kick some serious crawdad ass, if only they inhabited the same ecosystem.  So I, Alex Bone, have finally figured out a way to put their natural animosity to good use (insert diabolical laughter here).  I have designed small diving helmets to fit over a scorpion’s head. Then, with a tiny oxygen line, these deadly scorpions are now able to enter the water and fight their evil brethren on their own turf. This pleases Yig.

The experiments are due to begin this spring, barring any altercations between Zano and his nemesis the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. The Discord staff will be armed to the gills (so to speak) as they set forth with bucket loads of poison-laden scorpions. These daring environmentalists will let nothing stand in their way, other than numerous beer runs, barbecue breaks, horse shoe matches, cold pond-water bong hits, forest nymphs, and the aforementioned Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

It will be dicey, of course, for we will be dozens of miles from the nearest liquor store, but the advantages clearly outweigh the risks. Others complain about war, genocide, nuclear weapons and the recent expansion of executive power, but we have survived those for generations, or at least some of us have. Crawdads on the other hand are a nearly unstoppable force that will feast on any living organism. If left unchecked, they could soon control the world…soon they will be on top of the food chain!

So, with the grace of Yig and a few dozen cases of micro brew, these Stalwart warriors will set off for adventure…just as soon as they can find Bone’s damned car keys.

Mick Zano has been quoted as saying, “Bring some other styles besides IPAs, bitch,” as well as other important contributions to the cause.

First it was the fish, then the frogs, but I drew the line when they ate my mother-in-law. Yep, drew it right after that and between the death of my dog and those little bastards chewing on the end of my new sandals.

As the self appointed head of Home Stream Security (HSS), I am moving the color coded warning system to Red Ale, so Zano doesn’t bitch about the beer selection.  Like it or not, this is humanity’s last stand. It’s us or them. I’m hoping these scorpions will give us enough of an edge to have a chance.  Our first attempt with cats went rather poorly.  I forgot how much they hate water.  You will be missed, Snowflake.  But this scorpion thing is going to rock and then I will earn my place as the Scorpion King!

Only time will tell who will be the last to end up in the boiling water and then buttered—but, if it’s me, I sure hope they pour a few bottles of ale into the caldron before I go.  Yeah, I’m talking about IPA, bitch.