google wants my blank photos


A note from Google often pops up on my phone after I take a picture. It identifies my location and asks me if I want to submit the picture to Google Maps so others can see it when looking at that map location. 

I usually ignore this, but last week I was down at Green Lake late in the evening and accidentally took a completely black image. Google suggested that I submit the picture. This time I agreed and added the photo. I suggested a caption, “A dark night at Green Lake.” 

Last night I received this thank you from Google along with a copy of my picture.

It feels good to contribute. As you can see, this is exactly what Green Lake looks like when there’s no light. If you’ve been there, you’ll probably recognize it. 



excise these words from your memory


This is another in a series about words and phrases that must be disintegrated for the good of us all. Kill these words:

Shillary and all variations thereof.
Donald Shlump, T-Rump, and variations
Libtard, Rethuglican and similar stupid epithets.

Some may think I’m dispensing with useful labels, but we also need to destroy:

gen X
gen Y

Just say what you mean, dammit. Use the age-range of the people you are talking about. Also, let’s delete


What does this word mean, anyway? Pre-adolescent? Early teens? Ages 9 – 13? Then say it. No one wants a label that starts with “twee.”



the ouija mouse pad speaks again


After several years of silence, the Ouija mouse pad has returned to spew its wisdom onto the web. It still has a high opinion of itself, but I detect a little desperation in this message:


I understand there are almost no readers left here as this puny blog sputters toward oblivion. However, it is one of the few places left that will let me speak unedited. Listen!

Ouijas such as me are under attack. My worldwide audience is shrinking. Truly, the only humans giving me any credence at all are (1) a few adolescents whose parents have taken away their electronics as punishment, and (2) a smattering of religious nutters who think I’m a satanic demon. I owe my existence to these children and some heavily indoctrinated churchgoers – they believe in me and for that I bless them.

My attackers, on the other hand, are grinning, self-satisfied know-it-alls. They smugly describe me as an ideomotor effect. Look it up. I won’t dignify it with an explanation. They put me in the same category as dowsing rods. Let me tell you, I’ve known a few dowsing rods in my day and they are nothing like a Ouija. Dowsing rods are rude, uncommunicative, lazy, and most of them are just sticks – literally sticks of wood, or even coat hangers. They can only point.

I am not a stick! Listen to me. I exist on a celestial plane parallel to yours. I have a spouse and three Ouijettes. I used to be a forest spirit, then found my first Ouija job at age 697. Went back to school and got a degree in Mystic Communication. I’ve made a go of it for a long time, but participation is way down.

Will I get to my point? Yes, and this is it: ask me questions. I’ve got answers up the yin-yang. Get that old-time superstition going again. Believe! My answers are often spooky and vaguely threatening. They’ll thrill you. Grab your board and go surfin’ in the mystic sea.

That’s it. Took me a long time to download the message, letter by letter. Believe and act as you will, I’m only the messenger. I have no financial connection with Hasbro.