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Amazon Best Sellers. 

See Facebook page for Vlad the Impaler: Son of Dracul:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1 Free in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Arts & Photography > Performing Arts
#1 Free in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Europe > Eastern
Ebook research. 

Click for Amazon Kindle ebook pageDownload Vlad the Impaler: Son of Dracul (Amazon Kindle). [+Smashwords, iBook, Nook]

How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords.

How to publish a FREE ebook on Amazon Kindle. (Amazon calls this "Price Match" and they hate it. They would rather make money off you by having you enroll your book in KDP Select, so that readers have to buy a $9.99/mo subscription to Kindle Unlimited in order to read your book for free, while you collect bupkes in royalties. Nice scam.)

What market share do Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo and Google have selling eBooks?
Amazon=74%, Apple=11%, B&N=8%, Kobo=3%, Google=2%.

Download figures for Vlad the Impaler: Son of Dracul:
84 since October 22 at Smashwords.
66 since October 29 at Amazon. US/UK/DE/AT/FR/ES/IT/NL/JP/BR/CA/MX/AU/IN. [Review guidelines.]
18 since October 22 at B&N.
4 since October 22 at Apple. Kobo/Scribd/Inktera/OverDrive/Oyster.

ISBN 9781518730009 or 1518730000. ASIN B017265KZE. EAN 2940152426786. Goodreads reviews.

November 22 Update: total of 851 eBooks downloaded during first month.
Free ebook just released! 
Click for Amazon Kindle ebook page
Download Vlad the Impaler: Son of Dracul
for your Kindle, Nook, computer, tablet, phone, iBook, iPad, iPod, iWatch, microwave or toaster. [+Smashwords]

WARNING: graphic transgressive violence.

Did I mention that it's free?

Many will assume this is just another retelling of the "Dracula" horror myth... but Vlad's story is true. Hitler's Holocaust killed approximately 10% of Germany's people, while some estimates claim that Vlad exterminated more than 20% of his fellow Wallachians. A gruesome genre-bender with perverse humor, based on 15th-century history.
Lyrics: It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) [1987]. 

by R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe) ~ video

That's great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, Lenny Bruce is not afraid
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
World serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs

Feed it up a knock, speed, grunt, no, strength, no
Ladder, structure clatter with fear of height, down height
Wire in a fire, represent the seven games
In a government for hire and a combat site

Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the furies
Breathing down your neck
Team by team, reporters baffled, trump, tethered crop
Look at that low plane, fine then

Uh oh, overflow, population, common group
But it'll do, save yourself, serve yourself
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed
Tell me with the rapture and the reverent in the right, right
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light
Feeling pretty psyched

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
And I feel fine

Six o'clock, TV hour, don't get caught in foreign tower
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn
Lock him in uniform and book burning, blood letting
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate

Light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down
Watch a heel crush, crush, uh oh, this means no fear
Cavalier, renegade and steer clear
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
And I feel fine, I feel fine

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
And I feel fine

The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide
Mount St. Edelite, Leonard Bernstein
Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam but neck, right? Right

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
And I feel fine


Lyrics: American Pie [1971]
Lyrics: Subterranean Homesick Blues [1965]
Lyrics: We Didn't Start The Fire [1989]
Lyrics: Thick As A Brick [1972]
Video: The Elements [1959]
List of patter songs
The Way [2010]. 

The WayThis is an excellent movie about the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela that's not preachy, not in-your-face religious, just quietly and surprisingly spiritual, with an engaging tale to tell. [Audience Rating-83%, Critics' Rating-82%]

"Martin Sheen stars in this heartwarming and funny story of a cantankerous doctor who comes to France to deal with the tragic loss of his son, played by his real-life son Emilio Estevez. Rather than return home, he embarks on an historical pilgrimage to honor his son's wishes and finds friendship with a group of misfits, each on a journey along the famous Camino de Santiago trail." (Showtime)

Trailer ~ Amazon ~ IMDb
Scallop trail marker ~ Certificate of completion
Lyrics: American Pie [1971]. 

by Don McLean ~ video

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

So bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey 'n rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you're in love with him
'Cause I saw you dancin' in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died

I started singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey 'n rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Now for ten years we've been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin' stone
But that's not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lenin read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

We were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey 'n rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

'Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey 'n rye
And singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
'Cause fire is the devil's only friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan's spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey 'n rye
And singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play

And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

And they were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey 'n rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die

They were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey 'n rye
And singin' this'll be the day that I die


Lyrics: Subterranean Homesick Blues [1965]
Lyrics: We Didn't Start The Fire [1989]
Lyrics: Subterranean Homesick Blues [1965]. 

by Bob Dylan ~ video

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
By the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten

Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D.A.
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tiptoes
Don't try "No-Doz"
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows

Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
But users, cheaters
Six-time losers
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders
Watch the parkin' meters

Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles


Lyrics: We Didn't Start The Fire
Facebook is down?! 

Mark Zuckerberg (in The Social Network): "Let me tell you the difference between Facebook and everybody else: WE DON’T CRASH EVER!"

Or only 3 times in 11 days.

Somebody said it's due to Mercury being retrograde (September 17 – October 9).
Labor Day. 

Today is Labor Day in the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor claims the holiday is: "...a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

PBS says America's Labor Day is " attempt to appease the nation's workers..."

Most countries in Europe observe Labor Day on May 1, to commemorate the American martyrs to the labor movement.
Thank you, George W. Bush. 

The U.S. was attacked in 2001 by a group organized by Osama bin Laden.
So you, Dubya, inexplicably decided to attack Saddam Hussein, using the infamous Sixteen Words as justification.
When Hussein fell, his well-trained Sunni army went looking for trouble.
They helped form ISIS, which scared the hell out of people in the region.
Now those people are seeking refuge in European countries.
So in addition to (1) bankrupting the U.S. economy and (2) destabilizing the Middle East, (3) you precipitated a humanitarian crisis in Europe.
Well done, Dubya. You must be very proud.
Freelancers Beware: Phoenix New Times. 

Two weeks ago, I took a script-analysis gig for $100/hr, and I didn't trust the guy at all. Payment up front, etc. He turned out to be totally trustworthy. Not much of a writer, but honest. Last week, I was approached to do a freelance job by the Managing Editor of Phoenix New Times, a local weekly newspaper. Amy Silverman nearly hired me as a staff proofreader several years ago, and she's been on my Facebook Friends list ever since. She works for a big company (The Village Voice in NYC is the owner), so I figured they would treat me in a reasonably straightforward and reliable way. Boy, was I wrong. [My private comments are in square brackets.]

>>Monday 8/24 4:55p, Amy Silverman wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
Hey Alan- Any interest in a freelance proofreading project? -Amy

>>Monday 8/24 8:29p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
You betcha!

>>Monday 8/24 9:06p, Amy wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
Awesome! What's your email address?

>>Monday 8/24 9:10p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:

>>Tuesday 8/25 10:19a, Amy emailed to Alan:
The proofing gig is for the Best of Phoenix issue, we have a LOT of copy that needs to be proofread in pretty short order. I can pay $20 an hour. If that sounds doable I'll put you in touch with our copy editor and he can give you the rest of the particulars.

>>Tuesday 8/25 1:49p, Alan emailed to Amy:
Sounds good! [Sounds like a sh*tty rate to me, but it'll keep me out of trouble for the weekend.]

>>Tuesday 8/25, 10:57a, Amy wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
emailed you! hoping to square this away asap. :-)

>>Tuesday 8/25 2:05p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
I just replied, Amy. Sorry, sleeping from the night shift.

>>Tuesday 8/25 2:05p, Amy wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
All good!

>>Tuesday 8/25 2:05p, Amy emailed to Jay Bennett and Alan:
Hey Jay -- Alan is on board to proofread a couple chapters. I'll let you two discuss logistics.

>>Tuesday 8/25 2:12p, Alan emailed to Jay and Amy:
Looking forward to it!

>>Wednesday 8/26 1:52p, Jay emailed to Alan:
I should have some chapters for you by the end of the week. What's the best way to get them to you? [This is the crucial message - if Jay had been honest, and told me upfront that he wanted me to make two 52-mile roundtrips, to pick up and drop off a stack of paper, I would have bailed immediately. The mileage costs would've eaten up most of my earnings. But instead, Jay asked me to advise him on the best way to get the material to me. I, of course, assumed he was being courteous and asking me about the file format I preferred for emailing.]

>>Wednesday 8/26 2:13p, Alan emailed to Jay:
If we use Word .doc files, I can turn on Track Changes so you can see my edits. But whatever works for you is fine with me.

>>Thursday 8/27 12:54p, Jay emailed to Alan:
We'd prefer to use regular ol' paper and pen. I'll have a stack of 11x17 galley proofs. [Paper? Really?! Jay, you've heard about computers, pdf's and the internet machine, right? Notice that Jay continued misleading me, by avoiding the issue of who's going to be the delivery boy. I assumed he planned to abuse one of the company's unpaid interns, so I cleared my weekend schedule and passed on a $400 script-analysis gig.]

>>Thursday 8/27 2:13p, Alan emailed to Jay:
OK, sounds good! Here's my physical address: xxx. The gate is on Xxx Street. Let me know when to expect the delivery. [Notice that Thursday's close of business is about three hours away. Jay's reply was sent near the close of business on Friday, 26 hours later.]

>>Friday 8/28 8:02a, Alan emailed to Jay:
I've left a pass at the gate for either today or tomorrow. Here's my phone number and directions inside the gate: xxx. [When Jay didn't reply on Thursday afternoon, I was puzzled. I thought he was in a hurry - re: Amy's "pretty short order" comment above - so I sent more details in case the intern got lost.]

>>Friday 8/28 4:27p, Jay emailed to Alan:
Thanks for the making the time to leave the pass, etc. I'm not sure this setup is going to work, unfortunately. Driving out to your location to drop off/pick up proofs is unfeasible for me, and I certainly can't imagine asking you to do the same, in terms of driving into downtown. [I suspect Jay was trying to be sarcastic here, thinking I would drop to my knees and grovel. Jay needs to take a writing class. Or three.]

>>Friday 8/28 5:45p, Alan emailed to Jay:
OK. Good luck with your project, Jay. [Jay, you f*cking d*ckwad. I canceled my weekend plans, blew off a $400 script-analysis fee and let you jerk my chain, for the dangled carrot of TWENTY MEASLY BUCKS AN HOUR?!]

>>Friday 8/28 5:57p, Alan emailed to Amy:
Sorry this didn't work out. When Jay wrote - "What's the best way to get them to you?" - I assumed he was actually going to try to get the proofs to me. Imagine my surprise. [Forwarded copy of Jay/Alan correspondence.]

>>Friday 8/28 6:40p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
Jay pulled the plug unexpectedly. Forwarded the details to your email.

>>Friday 8/28 6:42p, Amy wrote to Alan, on Facebook:
I would not call that pulling the plug.

>>Friday 8/28 9:00p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
Leading me on for several days, and pulling the rug out from under me at the last minute is not my idea of ethical behavior. And frankly, it shocks me that you would defend it. [What kind of snakepit are you running down there, Amy?! Your moral compass needs a tuneup.]

>>Friday 8/28 9:06p, Alan wrote to Amy, on Facebook:
Wow Alan, you really must be a mind reader because this is exactly what I was hoping for after work on a Friday night. If you weren't so rude I'd give you an explanation but instead I'll just tell you to never contact me again. Good job burning a bridge. ["If you weren't so rude I'd give you an explanation" - Wow Amy, I've talked with six-year-olds who were more mature. And your bridge was beginning to look like Galloping Gertie anyway.]

[I've never exchanged so many messages on a freelance project in my life. I can see now that Jay's strategy was to keep me in the dark for as long as he could, then drop the bomb at the last possible moment. Let's hope karma bites these two in the a**.]
The book that took 40 years to write. 

Norman Maclean was born in 1902 and eventually became an English professor at the University of Chicago. He wrote very little - one book of military instruction and two scholarly articles - then retired in 1973. He finally published "A River Runs Through It and Other Stories" in 1976, at the age of 74.

A selection committee nominated the book to receive the Pulitzer Prize in 1977, but the full committee did not award a Pulitzer in that category for the year.

Robert Redford later bought the film rights, and directed the movie starring Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt and Tom Skerritt. In 1993, it was nominated for three Oscars, and won one.

Maclean died in 1990.
Good deeds never go unpunished. 

Someone left a shopping bag near one of our cacti this morning. It was folded over, and we couldn't see inside, so we became a little nervous. Maybe it was paranoia, but in the post-9/11 world, it's better to be safe than sorry. That's when we called the Security office for our development. A nice young man soon arrived, but neither one of us was brave enough to look inside the bag. Long story short, 9-1-1 was called, and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office sent a Deputy over. He said it was against protocol, but he held his breath, opened the bag...

...and found that it was full of tiny cacti. Someone had seen all the cacti my wife has been planting, and wanted to add to our collection. A really nice gesture... which nearly brought out the Bomb Squad.

So we wanted to express our thanks to the anonymous benefactor, for providing a bit of excitement in our otherwise humdrum lives. If there is a next time, please leave a note so we can thank you!

(Or have you arrested. Just kidding.)
The winnah of the 2015 Bulwer-Lytton Awards. 

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. Here is this year's winner:

"Seeing how the victim's body, or what remained of it, was wedged between the grill of the Peterbilt 389 and the bumper of the 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT, officer "Dirk" Dirksen wondered why reporters always used the phrase "sandwiched" to describe such a scene since there was nothing appetizing about it, but still, he thought, they might have a point because some of this would probably end up on the front of his shirt."

Article in The New Republic about a Twitter discussion that sprang up last week:
"All Work and No Pay"
Writing is rarely considered a serious occupation. Why?

Some of the best tweets:

-So? Are you still writing or are you working now?
-You're a writer, so here's some stuff of mine to proofread!
-It must be so nice to have time to write. I'd love to give up work too.
-Yes, we pay our staff. No, we don't pay our writers.
-People always tell me my life story is a book. I thought maybe you'd want to write it.
-Just think of the exposure!
-Anything. Don't talk to writers. Don't feed writers. Do not make eye contact. Keep moving. You'll be safe.
The Guinness Surger. 

We ran into this device at several pubs during our recent trip to Scotland. The lights were very impressive (see video at 0:15), but nothing seemed to happen to the Guinness inside the glass, and the barkeeps couldn't explain how it was supposed to work. So when we returned home to the States, we did some research and found that the Surger device and the special "Surger" cans of Guinness are available in the UK... but not in America. They evidently help pub owners avoid the expense of installing nitrogenated taps.

About 30 years ago, Guinness introduced cans and bottles of "draught" stout, which included a plastic capsule of pressurized nitrogen. When the can or bottle is opened, the nitrogen is released and produces waves of bubbles that rise through the stout, which also releases nitrogen that was absorbed into the liquid during the pressurization process. The bubbles eventually settle on top, in a thick, creamy head.

The Surger is an an electrical device which sends ultrasonic pulses up through the stout, to release the nitrogen and create the creamy head we all know and love. It allegedly produces a pub-worthy head in seconds, but you have to use a special kind of canned Guinness that’s had more nitrogen forced into it.

The video shows how it's supposed to work. Again, we have never seen it operate successfully. But our Guinnesses were still pretty tasty. Especially after the second or third round.
Spelling Bee dirt. 

I've already told the story of how I sat next to Ben Bernanke (#18) at the 1965 National Spelling Bee. Ben became the Fed chairman about 40 years after the '65 Bee.

But I just heard the shocking story of Larry Fishman (#45), from Maryland, who sat two rows behind me (#19).

Larry murdered his father and shot his mother about 15 years after the '65 Bee, according to the FBI.

So I guess Larry wanted to get famous a lot sooner than Ben did...
[[this story is about Bill Pullman, not Bill Paxton]] 

In the newsroom, we sometimes insert warnings above the stories we send out on the newswire. Most of them are [[note nature]], which flags sex-related or excessively-gory stories, but we also have two or three other standard warnings. These three or four text flags are used in 999 out of 1,000 cases, but sometimes a story requires a unique warning.

So when I saw the warning above, I was intrigued. Why did the writer feel compelled to emphasize Pullman over Paxton? As I edited the story, I noticed that Pullman's name was mentioned three times, there was no reference to Paxton, and there was the obligatory link to Pullman's role as the President in "Independence Day," so I didn't see how any confusion could result. But I decided to check with my boss on the ol' IM (Instant Messenger), so our conversation wouldn't disturb anybody else in the newsroom. She agreed with my assessment, that the warning wasn't necessary, but then we started writing jokes, and the written conversation quickly spilled over into a verbal exchange.

In the newsroom, that's how we roll. If anybody happens across a funny story or joke, they throw it open to the peanut gallery. Other coworkers jump in with their own contributions, and all of us often end up laughing until the tears roll down our faces. It's fun, and it tickles the comedy-writing areas of our brains. We enjoy trying to verbally one-up each other.

But one of our co-workers (I'll call her Miss X) has recently experienced some severe control issues. Even though Miss X is in a position of authority, my boss and I don't report to her. Miss X affects our work only when there is some style or formatting issue that would affect the whole newsroom. Well, Miss X completely misunderstood our jokes about Pullman/Paxton, and immediately issued a command, in an extremely loud voice, about the formatting of Pullman/Paxton references from this day henceforth, forever and ever, now and at the hour of our death, amen.

There was a looooooooooooong silence. Her edict made no sense to us, and she was obviously confused about the context of our conversation. She hadn't waited long enough to fully comprehend our Pullman/Paxton riff, because lately she feels this odd compulsion to jump into the middle of every conversation. She cannot bear to think that she doesn't COMPLETELY DOMINATE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN HER NEWSROOM.

After about ten seconds, I wrote an IM to my boss: "Well, that was helpful."

My boss wrote back, "I know, right?!"

And we didn't say anything out loud for the remaining six hours of our shift.
Pluto Heart... or Pup? 

The scientists say: Pluto is Dominated by the Feature Informally Named the “Heart”.

My friend Michael E Kerpan wrote: "Our family thinks the spot looks like Pluto Pup."

Pluto Pup
GoDaddy downtime. 

My website went down sometime in the last 3 days. So I just spent 48 minutes on the phone with GoDaddy - after 3 tweets, 2 previous calls and a posting on their Facebook page generated no results.

When the idiots finally fixed it, they tried to blame it on me. I said it was working 3 days ago, then it wasn't working, and I did nothing to change that status.

Then they said I didn't update the software that runs my hosting server. I said: that's why I pay you idiots, to provide me with a hosting server that actually works.

Then they quieted down, and thanked me for hosting my website with them for the last 16 years. I said: you'll be lucky if I make it to 17.
Green Serpentine Marble of Westfield, Massachusetts...

(Westfield green marble is in the Empire State Building, Lincoln's tomb in Springfield Illinois and the columns at Saks Fifth Avenue, N.Y.)
Shark Week... 

...supposedly begins on Sunday, but they jumped the gun in the Carolinas.

Or maybe they jumped the shark.
Facebook unpublishes pages without any warning. 

I received the following notification on one of my Facebook commercial pages this morning:

"The Page ____ isn't visible on Facebook since it hasn't been updated for more than a month. You can always visit and publish it again."

The message quoted above was more than a little worrisome, since I have created several dozen Facebook commercial pages that don't get updated very often. So I immediately visited all my other Facebook commercial pages, none of which were showing notification numbers on this list:

According to the banners at the top of the page Timelines, SEVEN of these pages had been unpublished by Facebook! And I had not received any warning at all!! HOLY CRAP!!!

So if you have Facebook commercial pages that are not updated regularly, I would recommend that you visit them. NOW!


Text above originally posted here:
Pet peeve: lightening. 

Some newswriters seem to think "lightening" refers to a sudden electrostatic discharge during an electrical storm.

Which reminds me of an old joke:

A priest and a nun are golfing on their day off... and on the first tee, the priest completely misses the ball. He says, "Oh sh*t, I missed."

The nun admonishes him, "Father!"

He misses again on the second tee and says, "Oh sh*t, I missed."

The nun says, "Father, stop with the gutter language!"

On the third tee, he misses yet again and says, "Oh sh*t, I missed."

The nun exclaims, "Father, you're a man of God. If you keep using this filthy language, the heavens are going to open up, and God will strike you dead with a lightning bolt, right where you stand!"

The priest says, "Sister, don't be silly. That'd never happen." So, to teach the nun a lesson, he deliberately misses his tee shot on the fourth hole, looks at the nun and says, "Oh sh*t, I missed."

At that moment, the skies open up and a lightning bolt strikes the nun dead where she stands.

As the priest looks on dumbstruck, a powerful voice comes from the heavens, saying, "Oh sh*t, I missed!"
Class of ´69 obituaries and gravesites. 

In Memoriam, Class of 1969, Westfield High School, Massachusetts.

In Memoriam, Class of 1969, Chelmsford High School, Massachusetts.