Irregular Verbiage

from the desk of Colin Nicholls

RIP Zachary

On the morning of the 16th, Zach did not show up for breakfast. This is not unusual; he likes to wander, and on occasion has turned up as late as lunchtime. However, with Summer in full swing and the current drought conditions, we also know that it is risky for little cats to be out at night.

We could have kept the cats inside at night, but Zach had his routine, and made such a fuss if he couldn’t come and go as he pleased. Outdoor activities were such a big part of his cat identity. So we let him be, reminding him to be alert, and not be a tender morsel for some hungry predator.

We feared the worst when I found his collar and some fur on our front driveway. Not a good sign. Clearly a scuffle had occurred. We walked around the block, talking to any neighbors we met, asking them to keep a look out.

The following day, Lisa decided to check out the field next to the nearby Elementary school. We both went, and there we found him. His luck had run out. It was probably a coyote; neighborhood sightings are becoming commonplace.

We collected him together and wrapped him in piece of hessian, and took him back home and buried him between the orange tree and the cherry plum tree, where all our cats liked to sit, and nap, and watch.

Our little neighborhood trooper is no more. He was friendly and talkative, and didn’t move fast unless he had to. Everyone loved him.

We let him live the life he wanted: He slept all day, gave and received plenty of love, and demanded both food and the right to go out at night. We spoiled him rotten while we could.

He has been a terror to birds and lizards and mice alike, and has now paid his debt to the Food Chain. We, in turn, are paying our own debt in our hearts.

Our drawer is full of treats, that who will eat? Buster doesn’t like ’em

A Book Review

Too Little Too Late: The Fall of 21st Century Civilization
by Rev. Deet Laser-Printer II
(p) Sphynx Press 2116

Review by Toyota Rabbit

i’m not supposed to have read this book but some dumb-ass acolyte threw up downstairs after eating bad mushrooms. at the beginning of my shift after sixth hour i found a note from the new master google to “deal with the mess in the basement” and he left the gate unlocked for me.

every week i sweep and mop the floors fast, so I can spend more time reading the books before ninth hour when my shift ends, so having this extra chore today pisses me off.

the really old books are kept in the basement, and this blue one looks interesting so I take it and carry it back upstairs and hide it under a shelf.

during my next shift i start reading it and i think it is stupid. it reads like a learning book but there are a lot of words that aren’t in the dictionary and i think the writer made them up to sound important.

i read some more and now i don’t believe it is true. i think the writer is telling a fiction but pretending to be a learning book.
clever trick and now i am interested in what happens next in the story.

well that is stupid. made-up stories are fun but this book is silly. no tribe would ignore warning after warning of coming disaster, year after year after year. here in the city they teach us as soon as we are old enough, to be smart about washing to avoid sickness, being careful about eating and storing food, and closing the gates to the plague rats. i remember old master google talking about how there used to be more people alive in the world – maybe even tens of millions although it doesn’t sound right to me – and that most of them died when the knowledge went away. i really think that if they knew about it early enough – a few years, say – they could have stopped the dark age from happening. so it must have been a sudden thing.

now we have cities and libraries and lessons but we also have mushroom-eating dumb-asses. i want to ask master google if this is “irony” but can’t let him know i took the book.

i have buried the book under the compost. i would not read it a second time.

New Reality TV Shows

Coming in the new season:

Bigger Than Your Head

In which overweight competitors attempt to lose weight through intense caloric reduction, whilst receiving counseling. After 12 episodes, most candidates have dropped out after gaining self-acceptance through personal growth. Those that remain are the losers. (In some markets, this show may be broadcast as “Too Jung to Diet”)

Race To The Bottom

In which 12 corporations compete to be the top dog in a weekly series of mergers and acquisitions. In the finale, the last remaining corporate entity inherits the national debt, no production capacity, and a subsistence-living populace with zero purchasing power. (Subtitles required for final four episodes due to production shifting to Manila)

Top Kheer

In which three regular blokes tour the territories of the Indian subcontinent reviewing local desserts and delicacies.

Thirty Minutes of Silver

A nightly half-hour look at the markets, with financial advice from Our Lord Jesus Christ with whom I have a personal investment.

Conjunction +/-1

Lugged the 6″ Dobsonian Mount out each evening to get some shots of Saturn and Jupiter doing their thing.

December 21 was the closest approach, but I think my best shot was the evening before:

December 20th – ISO 800 F1.8 1/25 s
December 21st – ISO 800 F1.8 1/13 s
December 22nd – ISO 400 F1.8 1/30 s

Each time something cosmic happens worthy of time and attention, I tell myself I will invest in some better equipment, but it doesn’t happen. This time, I tried to get a range of ISO settings and shutter speeds, and had my Sony RX100 mounted on a tripod, pointing down the eyepiece.


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