Category Archives: jus’ some writin’

I had another Kinko’s dream this morning.

I was working the night shift at Kinko’s Copy Center (now FedEx Office) in Grand Forks, North Dakota and a lady came in wanting 54 half-page invites printed on Orbit Orange (I think that was “1A” in Kinko’s code) for a sauerkraut-themed party.

Sure thing, so I took her original at the counter and went back to the copiers and found out that management had switched to that stupid Just In Time inventory management system and there wasn’t enough Orbit Orange paper on the shelf and it was the night shift so I couldn’t order any in time anyway so I’m franticly digging through the back of the store looking for more Orbit Orange paper but I can’t find any.

So, since it’s a sauerkraut-themed party, I suggest maybe printing it on a cream-colored paper since that would be closer in color to sauerkraut, and she’s very kind and agrees but I can tell she’s disappointed.

So I go back to print her invites on cream-colored paper and then I can’t find her original invite to make copies from. So I’m digging all around and the store starts to get busy with more customers coming in but I’m going to find that damned invite. That lady is extremely patient.

So I finally find that original invite and it’s on a work table and just under the tabletop is a shelf that’s out of sight from the counter with a compartment full of heavier-weight Orbit Orange cardstock. Duh! These are 5.5”x8.5” invites so of course they should be copied on cardstock and I have enough to make them in Orbit Orange! She’ll be so happy!

But just as I go to grab the stack of Orbit Orange cardstock, I see that it’s all gone except for a single sheet and the morning person (Hi, Lynn!) who came to replace me had taken and used it for another project that just came in and then I woke up to a text message alert sound and I realized I had slept through five alarms and now I’m totally exhausted.

Shirking Boredom with Airplane Safety Instruction Cards

floating

On the last leg of my flight from Seattle to Bismarck, I went looking for a diversion.

This is what happened. Continue reading

Ten Least Popular Flavors of Jell-O

Parsnip Delight

Bologna

Viking Longship

Pigeon Squeezings

Green

Burning Tire

Musk

February Jack-o’-Lantern

Touch of Bleach

Gladys

The proofreading bar has been raised.

Whoever wrote this sublime Tumblr app update description, I bow before your greatness.

Never miss the opportunity to make something awesome.

The copy: Why do we malign bugs so? Are we not their Creators? As we crush them, do we not crush a part of ourselves? It was not weakness or failure that allowed them into this world. Nay, it was the light of innovation that we cast into the dark corners that these bugs call home. ’Twas our torches that send those bugs skittering. This update does not contain bug fixes. No! This update contains bug promises. Promises to find them a new home where each may pursue those interests most central to them.

North Dakotans — Sons of the wild jackass.

Another example of why I love going through vintage magazines.

“North, a constant hotbed of agrarian reform, is radical, progressive, upsetting in politics with a habit of electing opinionated men whom sober folk elsewhere often regard as sons of the wild jackass.”

— Jack Schaefer, describing North Dakota in the feature article for Holiday magazine, May 1955.

If Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano had dated the Pillsbury Doughboy

If Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano had dated the Pillsbury Doughboy

I’m so very sorry.

Pokémon or questionable genital nickname?

magikarp62480

Bulbasaur
Charmander
Weedle
Beedrill
Pidgey
Spearow
Vulpix
Jigglypuff
Oddish
Mankey
Poliwag
Machop
Bellsprout
Tentacruel
Graveler
Slowpoke
Dewgong
Grimer
Cloyster
Gastly
Krabby
Cubone
Lickitung
Rhyhorn
Horsea
Electabuzz
Pinsir
Ninetales
Gyarados
Flareon
Snorlax
Squirtle

Alone in a Park at Night

Last night, I went walking down by the river, looking for Pokémon (It’s exercise!). The sun had set a while before, so things were pretty dark except for the occasional working light in Keelboat Park.

From almost beyond the reach of the light, a man emerged from the parking lot. “Speak Spanish?”

I shook my head and said no.

Approaching me, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, opened an app and spoke into it. The autotranslation was a jumble and he quickly realized it so he tried again with something different.

The translation on the phone said, “look like a woman with a child”.

My first thought was, “Is he calling me fat?”

He was friendly so I dismissed that.

He then pantomimed pushing something at waist height.

Ah! Yes. I had seen a woman pushing a baby stroller down the walking path a few minutes earlier.

I nodded, copied his stroller-pushing movement and pointed the direction I saw her go.

“Five? Ten?”

“Five minutes, yes.” as I held up my hand and five fingers, because I’m a dork.

He said thanks and was walking back to his truck when he turned back around and asked, “Short?”

“Yes, short.” as I held up my hand to about my belly, because she was short and I’m a dork.

He said thanks again and headed off. Nice guy.

I’m glad that you don’t have to speak English to be in this country, because otherwise I would have even less of a story to tell.

Also, he made more sense than many of the English-speaking people I know.

Long forgotten, but not long overdue.

Last night, I remembered a book I stumbled upon but never checked out while researching ball lightning for a paper in the University of North Dakota geology library a quarter of a century ago. It didn’t quite belong in a geology library (or in the nonfiction section), but I’m glad it was there.

In the book, the author told of a hitherto undiscovered land where an assortment of fantastic little critters lived who had evolved adaptations a la Galápagos/Darwin. It had wonderful illustrations and seemed to be written in a very serious and scientific manner. That’s all I remembered.

After quite a few futile search stabs with ODIN (the Online Dakota Information Network), I added “satire” to the search and BINGO.

The Snouters: Form and Life of the Rhinogrades by Harald Stümpke (1967)

The Snouters: Form and Life of the Rhinogrades by Harald Stümpke (1967)

Found and bought a good-looking hardcover on eBay and it’s headed my way.

So… Thanks, brain?