Friday Notes (May 19, 2023)

I love that brief period each spring when the mock apple trees are in bloom:

I missed the peak before the blossom pedals start to fall. As you can see on the ground below, that’s already begun to happen.

It was rain that kept me from going out for photos earlier. Unfortunately, the sky is still cloudy and gray. The blossoms look even better when the sky is blue, but if life has taught me anything it’s that [cue music] “you can’t always get what you want (but if you try sometimes, well, you just might find, you get what you need).”

Or not. The universe is perverse. It nailed irony long before the hipsters did (and they usually get it wrong).


In today’s edition of Friday Notes I’m going to dump some notes for posts I really wanted to write but have decided will take more effort than I want to give them. Feel free to, as they say, take any of these balls and run with it (or them). No snow off my roof (as I’ve never heard anyone say).

I’ll get to those, but first more of the usual flotsam and jetsam.


It’s been a long time since I rant/hate-posted about spammers. They’re no less vexations to my soul than ever, but after one has vented one’s spleen several times, going on and on about it is just obsessive.

And my various spam filters here and on email do a very good job, so it’s mostly out of sight, out of mind. I do check my spam folder to make sure nothing important fell through the cracks, so I am aware of their thieving misrepresentations. Sometimes I notice something new or worth noting.

Like those email spams telling me some random hacker invaded my computer and now owns (more properly pwns) my machine and has even used my camera to record me doing nasty things (except my laptop’s camera is covered and I don’t do nasty things on my computer (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it)). Bottom line, no, not even slightly true, don’t fall for it.

I’ve also noticed how many email spams contain the words “reward” in their subject. As ever, a (stupid, stupid, stupid) trap for the unwary and naive. Hopefully all your spam filters are as good as mine.

What I wanted to mention was a recent trend I noticed in the blog spam. It has always looked like it was written by an illiterate idiot (a device to screen out the knowledgeable), but lately a lot of them seem to use an algorithm that makes it look like someone is trying to type wearing boxing gloves. Here are some examples:

Hello wohld you mind sharing whiuch blog plaform you’re using? I’m looking to tart my ownn blog iin the near future but I’m having a hqrd time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

The reasson I ask is because your lyout sedms diffesrent thhen mkst blokgs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry foor being off-topic bbut I had to ask!


My partnerr annd I syumbled over here bby a different paye and thught I mikght aas well checck things out.

I like what I see sso now i aam following you. Lookk forwaed tto checkming out yojr webb page yet again.

One more:

Spot oon with tyis write-up, I honestly believe this anazing sitye needs much more attention. I’ll probably bee retuyrning tto read through more, thanks forr the info!

I’m absolutely fascinated by the algorithm that produces this mind-bogglingly bad text. It’s a combination of incorrect letters, dropped letters, added letters, and a dash of something else. A while back, for fun, I wrote a random text generator (see this post), and now I want to see if I can write one to replicate this garbage.

Lastly, if I ever find out who sold my iCloud email address to the spam crowd, we’re gonna have wyrds. Hurtful wyrds. Several hundred a day in my Junk folder. Yow!


Another picture of the mock apple trees for a bit of beauty after the universally ugly and mentally defective spammers (who all have serious hygiene issues and extraordinarily small and deformed penii).



Intolerant of intolerance,
Prejudiced against prejudice,
Negative about negativity,
Opposed to opposition.
The only constant is change.
The only way forward is backwards.
The only way to win is to lose.
Spend money to make money.
A penny earned is piss poor wages.
(Is any thought worth just a penny?)

The weirdest things pop out of my mind sometimes. I just write them down.

Here’s another:


Anything not proven may be wrong.
This is hard.
Anything not disproven may be right.
This is easier.
Ask any black swan.

And finally:


The Atheist Problem: It might be true.
The Theist Problem: It might be false.
Decisive Agnosticism: I definitely don’t know.

As I said, I don’t explain them, I just write them down.


Even as a kid I was crazy about bread. Pastries are okay, but bread is my “bread of life” (see this post; or this fun one; or this very short one). My normal breakfast is two slices of toast; I especially like toasted bread. And while I’m quite adamant about good old white bread when it comes to hamburger and hotdog buns, I want something very, very serious for my breakfast toast.

But it seems like every time I find a really good bread, the bakery goes out of business, or the store stops carrying it, or somehow the perverse universe says, “Ha! We interrupt your plans for no good reason! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

The bread I’ve been buying for several years now, Wholesome Harvest 9 Grain & Seed bread, has always been a bit of a crapshoot. My local Cub store, which imports it from (I kid you not) Bimbo Bakehouse LLC in Pennsylvania, only ever has from four to zero loaves on the shelf. Very frustrating when it’s zero and I have to resort to a less tasty but more common backup bread.

So, I’ve had my eyes open for an alternative that I can count on. Don’t know about the “count on” part yet (remains to be seen) but at my local Target I saw a bread called Dave’s Killer Bread. I bought a loaf of 21 Whole Grains and Seeds and a loaf of Good Seed.

Wow! Bread so dense you could use the loaves for weightlifting or cudgels. (Reminds me of the Dwarves’ warfare breads from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy series — my “desert island” books.)

The stuff is seriously delicious (even untoasted). My only complaints are the price (high), the loaf size (small), and the slice size (thin). But if this is a reliable bread connection, I’m sold (or bought, or hooked, as the case may be).

It also gives your teeth and jaw a bit of a workout. My kinda bread!

§ §

Posts I’m (Almost Certainly) Never Going to Write


Extreme Opposites: I expect most people know this (which is why I don’t think I can get a post out of it).

Extreme opposites tend to be “opposite” in the same sense that a photo negative is the “opposite” of the photo positive. Both contain the exact same image data, but the light (or color) values are reversed. (The old “we can fix it by reversing the polarity” trope of far too much fiction.)

Hate and Love, Ugly and Beauty, Left and Right, Yin and Yang. Just two sides of the same coin. Go far enough on either extreme you meet the other extreme coming from the other way.

The problem, really, is the “extreme” aspect. It’s usually a Bad Thing. Extremists tend to be off the chain.


One of my very first posts here, in fact the first Sidebands post, was Wow; the interweb is… #1. At the time, I had in mind a series of posts with the theme of the internet and what it’s done for society (good and bad — more the latter than the former I often fear).

But I never posted Wow; the interweb is… #2, let alone more. Yet many of my posts here over the (almost 12) years have touched on the topic. The notion of a more formal series is one of several ideas I’ve had for this blog that never sprouted (let alone bore fruit).

There is a note from a while back that toyed with returning to the series:

The Interweb: A Mighty Two-Edged Sword.

The internet dream of shared and tagged content and meta-data hasn’t really worked out. There’s plenty of data, but it’s mostly a noisy disorganized mess. And it’s gotten so messy and so noisy that even Google Search often can’t return useful results. Used to be searches zeroed in on exactly what you wanted right away or very quickly. Lately I’ve given up on some searches because of all the crap.

I’ve long thought part of the problem was the commercialization. The sharers versus the sellers. Back in the day, the internet was largely about (freely!) sharing the knowledge you’d been lucky enough in life to acquire. The internet was the haven of geeks and intellectuals. Now it’s polluted with spam and snake oil sales.

I suppose it was inevitable but, damn, what a shame. Nothing good lasts.


The Buring Question: Is a hotdog a sandwich?

Correct answer: Hell, no!

Despite that you can stick a wiener or brat between two slices of bread. That’s a food construction error (or someone forgot to buy hotdog buns). Even using a single slice of bread wrapped around a sausage is an aberration.

An even greater food construction error involves cramming sandwich fixings into a hotdog bun. That can only be due to sheer desperation and extreme hunger. (Or, again, someone forgot to go shopping.)

In the notes for the proposed post, I had drawings of the two errors above, but my drawing chops are between awful and non-existent. I considered actually committing the errors and photographing them, but that raised the bar too high, Obviously, I wasn’t committed to the idea.

But for the record, hotdogs are hotdogs, hamburgers are hamburgers, and sandwiches are sandwiches. There’s a reason they’re called different things.

A related food error: whole grain hotdog or hamburger buns.

[And see this semi-related post.]


How to Make a Sandwich (a step-by-step guide with photos)

To give you an idea of what I planned, my notes include:

Tools Required:

Meat & Cheese
Mustard, BBQ Sauce, and/or Aioli
Drill and bits
Pipe Wrench
Toaster (named “Al”)

The idea was for a comedy piece featuring silly and absurd “wrong” photos in contrast with “right” photos. For instance, a “wrong” photo would have the meat and cheese spread out around the plate with the bread folded up on the plate.

Still think it’s a fun idea — someone should do it — but I just don’t have the desire to put in the work. It’s hard enough getting regular posts out.


Lastly, one more photo of the mock apples:

At least, I think they’re mock apples. Never seen any apples, but perhaps that’s the mock part. They do sort of look like the (real) apple tree we had in our backyard when I was a kid.

§ §

I tend to hang on to things, too often beyond their sell-by date. Lately, I’ve been trying to let go of a lot of it and simplify my life. It can be hard to do, but it does feel good once I do. So much really doesn’t matter when you come down to it, and letting all that go frees you to more fully appreciate the things that do matter.

The trick, of course, is knowing which is which.

Stay blossoming, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

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