…ok, that was a very pretty sunrise. But still.

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Mornin’ all.

I wanted to sleep in a bit today. I wanted it so bad I could almost taste the cotton candy atmosphere of Dreamland. Apparently my eyes didn’t get the memo because they popped open and insisted on staying that way. Instead of having tea on a paddle boat filled with circus side show stars (legit recurring dream of mine…and yes, it IS as epic as it sounds. We all have top hats.) I’m wide awake on dry land with zero side show friends, drinking what may just go down as the Worst Pot of Coffee of 2016 at 4:30 a.m.

Eyeballs… WTF? Why you gotta ruin shit all the time?

I guess it’s not their fault. The brain controls them, after all, and right now my brain is a’whirlin’ and a’zippin’ and a’poppin’ over shit I can’t change. Don’t you just hate that? Isn’t that the worst?

I think the next step in human evolution should be an instinctual awareness that there are things outside the scope of our own control that the brain will automatically classify as “not worth dwelling on”.

You know, I think I might be onto something here. Hey, scientist friends…how do I get the ball rolling on this “evolution” thing? Do I need to start an online petition or something? I need a grant, don’t I? Some kind of funding. I bet I need a research team.

Ugh. This seems like it might be more complicated than I thought. Damn you Pokemon for making evolution look so easy.

(…and while we’re on the subject, let me add a spare 2 cents I’ve got lying around: For the record, I’m all for Pokemon Go, though I don’t play myself and never will. I’m a gamer, sure, but I’ve never been able to get into Pokemon. However, any game that gets people up and out and makes them WANT to move and interact with other humans is BRILLIANT. Yeah, idiots are still being idiots. Yeah, some people are taking advantage of those idiots. And the dudes who fell down the bluff and got hurt probably really need to reassess their priorities in life. But the game is hands down the most revolutionary thing that’s come to the gaming world in a long, long time. Kudos to the brilliant bastards at Nintendo. I tip the top hat I wish I had in real life.)

Boy, is the news messed up these days or what? Every day I open my browser and it just seems so doomy and gloomy. I wanted to do some headlines. Folks, there aren’t enough funny ones to even attempt a Roundup. It’s all dead kids and murdered cops and suicide bombs and wild fires and droughts and locusts and mega volcanoes and asteroid crashes that wiped out half of humanity…

…well, maybe not the last couple. You get what I’m saying, though. It’s getting overwhelming, isn’t it?

And then we’ve got November looming. Say it with me: UGH.

Did you hear that Melania Trump just straight up plagiarized Michelle Obama?

Okay, okay. To be fair, I should say Melania Trump’s speech writers plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech writers.

“Uh, Bethie? Maybe we shouldn’t go after Melania. She’s just the wife.”

Welp, the thing is, I’ve spent the last 7 years listening to racist bullshit about Michelle Obama. Hillary was front and center in the press for all of Bill’s drama. Bill is now fair game. Shit, remember how the press (and, admittedly, myself) used to wonder if the hamster just stopped running on the wheel behind Laura Bush’s dead, vapid eyes? Spouses have always been fair game when they’re put on display by the candidates.

Besides, this isn’t really about Melania. The story is really about another stupid campaign slip up from the sock puppet we call a Republican candidate. Melania didn’t write the speech. She just read what Dumbo’s staff gave her to read. If you haven’t heard the speech she gave to the RNC, take a listen. Then listen to a speech Michelle Obama gave to the DNC in 2008. It’s so close that if I were the speech writer, I’d sue.

…er, I’d sue in my mind, anyway. In real life, I highly doubt I’d want anyone to know that I wrote speeches for any political figure. Lawsuits are public record. Couldn’t risk the shame being a political speech writer would bring to my family. I’d go onto the internet and bitch about it anonymously like a mofo, though.

What a mess, folks. We’ve got Chump vs. Godzillary. I’m not happy with either candidate. They’re both slick as shit. Neither is going to be able to keep a single campaign promise because they are both spending their time alienating the people they’re going to have to work with for the next four years just to scramble for one more vote. Both have terrible histories when it comes to critical decision making. And neither one of them can seem to get their head out of their own ass long enough to do anyone a damn bit of good.

It’s bleak, my friends.

So we look to the rest of the world. We take ourselves out of our own backyard and search for a bit of positivity elsewhere. And promptly end up back where we started. It’s no better anywhere else right now. Riots and killings and coups and propaganda and… *sigh*

I know we need to be global and look at the big picture and it’s our responsibility to know what’s going on yada yada. But, sometimes wouldn’t it be great not to? Maybe from time to time what we really need to ask ourselves as a society is this: Would ANY of this matter if you were standing on Europa?

I mean it. Imagine you’re standing on the frosty tundras of Europa. You spent over five years traveling 390 million miles, eating protein concentrate and cleaning the air filters constantly and checking and rechecking and triple checking every damn system log five billion times a fricken day until you just about go mad…before finally, FINALLY descend the ladder to feel the crunch of Europa’s snow reverberate through the sole of your boot and travel up your body in the delicious thrill of discovery.

Does any of the human drama matter to you right then?

Not one goddamn bit.

We’re a blip. A dot. A tiny little speck. There isn’t one single thing humans can do right now that would have an impact on even our own solar system, never mind the galaxy or the universe. If we blew our planet to smithereens, Andromedans would not even know. It would not impact their lives in any way.

Maybe that shouldn’t be comforting, but somehow it is. No matter how terrible humanity gets, we’re the only ones that are going to suffer because of it. So far we haven’t managed to infect the Universe at large.

I like that.

…and, I don’t. All of humanity’s problems right now are caused by humans. We are doing it to ourselves. There isn’t a cosmic plot afoot, no nefarious plan to destroy or disrupt or disband the human race. This isn’t happening TO us, it’s happening BECAUSE of us. And it’s getting worse because we love the gossip. We love the drama. We love to eat up the media that adds fuel to the fire. We WANT to be charged up and angry. We are twitchy to grab up a pitchfork and torch and storm the castle. We’re behaving very badly right now because, at heart, the human race is bored and itchy.

And isn’t that a wicked pisser?

I don’t want to leave you with the tang of doom and gloom clinging to your taste buds. My god, it’s bad enough that you had to smell the fumes off this witch’s brew I call coffee! Let’s get a bit of hopeful perspective instead.

In the time it took me to bitch and moan about the state of the world, nearly 1,000 babies were born across the planet. That’s 1,000 new lives. 1,000 new chances. 1,000 fresh hopes. They don’t want to fight. They don’t hate anything. They just want to live and be loved, and love in return. They haven’t yet been ruined by bitter people who are desperate to blame someone else for their position in life. They don’t know or care about ISIS or presidential candidates or border wars or drug smuggling or racism or murderers…

Every day, humanity has thousands of fresh starts. Can any other known planet say the same?

Maybe it’ll take one of us standing on the bleak and barren ice fields of Europa, seeing the vastness of nothing that is the rest of our solar system to understand what that really means.

We’re just a speck, that’s true. But, we’re a rare and exceptional speck. And I think that’s pretty damn cool.

Thus concludes a Musing for Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Work today, where I get to make peoples’ dream cakes a reality. …actually, I think I’m just making Boston Cream Pies today, but those are good, too.

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It’s normal to want to hug the radiator all day, right?

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Mornin’ all.

I just microwaved my coffee for the third time this morning. I don’t particularly like scalding my tongue and throat. But I do like holding the hot coffee cup.

“Still cold there?”

We passed “cold” about 30 degrees ago. We’re now in the “huddle up and resign yourself to the icy hell” section of the thermostat. The part no one at the thermostat factory actually believed would ever be used.

Folks around here are starting to be divided into two separate camps. You’ve got those who bitch about the weathah, and those who want to lord it over other people how they’re NOT bitching about the weathah. I, clearly, am in the Free Bitchery For All party. Those on the other side say griping means I’m somehow less of a New Hampster.

** Author’s note: No, that’s not what we’re called. But shouldn’t it be? I’ve always thought it’s a missed opportunity that we’re not.**

I was born here. I was raised here. I’ve lived here an entire life save a few months, and even then I only sampled a different part of New England. I am as native a Hampster as they come. In court, my credentials would qualify me to be an expert witness.

Using all my years of gained knowledge and experience about the great Granite State, I can say with 99.9% accuracy that this winter fuckin’ blows.

You can quote me.

Now that it’s established for the record, we’ll just accept it as fact that this winter is a really bad one. In fact, one of the worst I can remember. If something’s wicked bad, why not gripe about it? It makes you feel good to know that you aren’t the only one whose toes gave up all pretense of feeling and warmth in November, that around town, other people decide to wash dishes by hand just to warm up the fingers, that you aren’t being silly when you stand under the vestibule heaters at Walmart with your eyes closed pretending it’s a sunny spring day, if only for a minute.

See, what these anti-complainers aren’t understanding is that complaining makes us united. The very best way to get a herd of humans to feel like they’re a cohesive unit is to present them with something that pisses them all off. Give them a hardship. Let them band together under a flag of malcontent!

“That’s a cynical outlook to have, Bethie.”

*shrug* Not all winds of change are warm and fuzzy.

I’m sure once that fairly small star to which we’re cosmically bound gets off its ass and actually DOES something, I’ll be all rainbows and unicorns again. Until then, LET THE FREE BITCHING COMMENCE!!!

…and for the rest of you NOT in a bitterly cold winter un-wonderland, let’s hunt around for a distraction.

“Do you mean…??!!”

Oh yeah.

“Is it really…??!!

Uh huh.

“Can it be…??!!”

Cue the go-go dancers, strike up the mariachi band…

“Wait. Mariachi? What happened to the orchestra?”

Cultural exchange. Right now my orchestra is playing at a futbol match in Guadalajara. We thought it would be neat to mix things up. If our weather can’t be warm, at least our music can! Strike up the tunes, amigos, because it’s time for a….

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP!!! * * *

Look at that flamenco routine! I didn’t know the go-go dancers had it in them. See? See what a little lively music can do? I feel peppier already! Let’s keep the happy feelings of warmer places going with some jokes. As always, I’ve scoured these internets to find you some headlines that struck me as odd, ironic, funny, confusing…or really, just grabbed my attention. The headlines are 100% real. The comments after are the pasteurized processed news product of my own making. Shall we dive in?

– Montana Town Turns Away Teen With a Troubled Past

Because you know it’s been proven throughout history that the only way to help a CHILD is to turn your back and shun him. Do it. Everyone turn around right now and I’m SURE this young man will help himself.

– A Bullet Attachment That Could Save Lives?

Here’s novel idea. Instead of spending millions on the research and development of bullets that won’t actually kill people, you could, you know, just not shoot them. Just throwin’ it out there, ‘Merica.

– Near Cities, Pumas Kill More, But Eat Less

They wouldn’t have to if those damn bobcats would stop disrespecting them.

– Reputed Al-Qaida Operative to Represent Himself at Trial

Yeeeaaahhhh…that’s gonna go well…

New Hampshire Mountain Hiker Found Dead

Effin’ NO. It was a New York mountain hiker who decided to try and hike up the Presidential section of the White Mountains in NH, not an NH hiker. Let’s make that clear. Also, she went ALONE and camped out on the exposed mountain top. I will not let my fellow Hampsters be the butt of nationwide jokery. Sorry the lady died, but jeez. You can only dangle the carrot in front of Fate so long before she takes you up on it.

– Washington Monument Shrinks Slightly With New Measurements

See? You’re not the only one to suffer shrinkage in the cold.

Killing in Washington State Offers “Ferguson” Moment for Hispanics

Equal opportunity riots. It’s the baby steps that’ll get us there, folks.

-‘Such a Knucklehead’: US Army Commander Admits Confusing Location of Key Ukrainian City

“I thought that ‘km’ was some kind of fancy Ruskie code,” he said with a humble smile as he stood in front of a village now reduced to rubble. “Golly, I’m just a silly willy, I reckon.”

The Five Woofiest Descriptions of Westminster Competitions

This. THIS?! We’re all up in arms about Brian Williams, but THIS is acceptable?

Republicans Critical of Obama’s ‘Amnesty Bonuses’

Damn. I thought at least one president would make it through his term with full, bi-partisan support on all key issues. Hey, seven years before he hit a snag…that’s a pretty good run.

Bill Clinton ‘Burst A Gasket’ Over Pro-Hillary Group’s Comments

I didn’t click on the story for two reasons: 1) It’s the internet, and I know how that will end. 2) I heard enough about Bill Clinton bursting in the 90s.

The Disingenuous Gas Tax Hike an Ominous Sign For The Legislative Session

So they were just kidding about that gas tax? Great! I expect my refund by the end of the week then, legislators. K, thnx.

Scuba Divers Lead Charge Against Invasive Lionfish

How do you think they blow the infantry bugle?

Scuba Divers Lead Charge Against Invasive Lionfish

That’s taking “school shootings” to a whole new level.

…what? I couldn’t decide, so I put them both in.

– Toddler’s Reaction To Meth Mistaken For Scorpion Sting

Ugh. Another one of these stories. People, toddlers can’t handle their high. Stop giving them meth until at least kindergarten.

Wedding Photographer Rebecca Barger Looks At Cuba

Cuba Gets Very Uncomfortable, Looks Away Awkwardly

How to Find Out If the NSA and GCHQ Spied On You

…nice try, NSA. I almost clicked the link.

Scorpion Stings Woman On Plane, Delays Flight

“Scorpion sting.” Yeah. Riiiiight.

Healthcare Sees Benefits From Better Patient Data

Found that one in the No Shit Gazette this morning. Good to see the NSG still going strong.

KSU Researchers Develop Heat-tolerant Wheat

But…how will we get the bread to bake?

Boy Diagnosed With ‘Fear of Growing Up’

So, you mean, a regular boy. Got it.

New Particle in Physics May Be Found This Year

Or maybe not. It’s not news until it happens. Desperate for attention much, physicists?

– District: 5 Students Mistakenly Given ‘Fifty Shades’ Puzzles

“We’re so embarrassed,” said the shame-faced teacher. “It wasn’t our intention to single out those five students or make them feel discriminated against. All children were supposed to get the Kama Sutra puzzles, and I take full responsibility for the error.”

No Charges For Woman Who Threw Bacon Into Police Station

Because hey…free bacon!

Rare Monkey Eaten By Otters In Accident At British Zoo

I smell cover up. The otters had to have an inside source. It doesn’t make sense that they’d be able to break out of their enclosure, then proceed unseen to the monkey den, somehow get in THAT enclosure, and then pass up all the other monkeys to target one specific ape who, I’d like to point out, is a minority. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I think anyone can read between the lines. “Accident?” Pfft. I think not.

World’s Largest Tunneling Machine Stuck Underground

Well, they never claimed it was the “best” tunneling machine.

Couple Visits 3 Disney Theme Parks in One Day

Every once in awhile you read a news story that proves that there are people who are courageous in the face of adversity, rebellious when the naysayers claim something can’t be done. Three whole theme parks in one day. What a fucking newsworthy accomplishment.

Alabama Judges Must Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

Oh, okay. See, because the first direct order to do so was pretty vague. I’m sure they’ll hop on board now since you said the same thing again and still have no ramifications for ignoring the order.

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Banned in Kenya

DAMMIT. I’ve got to stick by my guns on my anti-censorship stance and oppose this move. But… BUT.

Chris Christie in New Hampshire: Bring It On

*cracks knuckles* LET’S DO THIS.

Rubio Gets Personal With Iowans, Promises to Return

Ew. Anyone else get really creeped out by this headline? I feel like I need a shower.

Is it Cruel to Kick A Robot Dog?

Oh, wow. I didn’t know we’d be getting into such deep philosophy this morning. Okay, well if we look at it objectively, the real question isn’t, “Is it cruel to kick a robot dog?” The real question we need to answer first is, “Is it cruel to create a robot dog?” When we take on the onus of creating a being, whether sentient or psuedo-sentient, we are assigning ourselves godlike properties. That is the debate we should be having. Once we’ve crossed the line into becoming creators, haven’t we, by definition, already justified any future actions we take against our creations?

…*crickets*….

Hey, I don’t write the headlines. Don’t blame me for their fallout.

She Gave Him Her Kidney, He Gave Her His Heart

Typical Bob. Always gotta one-up everyone. Sheesh.

How To Save Internet’s Data: Print It Out

WHOA. HOLD THE PHONE. I just…mind…blown.

What Are Penny Stocks?

I don’t know. And I didn’t care enough to click on the article. Guess I’ll remain ignorant.

Emergency Services Deduce ‘Banana’ in Pine Tree is Geocache

Phew! Glad this was a harmless prank and not a legitimate “banana in a pine tree” situation, if you know what I mean.

…and no, I don’t either.

Thus concludes a mariachi accompanied Muse for Tuesday, February 17, 2015. I’m going to be taking a blogging break next week to work on some editing and cover art. I hope to get one more Musing up this week before then, but I gotta be honest…there’s a better than fair chance that the draw of a new video game the boys just got will outweigh the need to chat over coffee. I mean, I love you and all…but…zombies.