Absent For A Bit ....

I am away for a little while working on a few or more episodes for The Adventures of My Space Alien Alter Ego story ... will return (to Earth) soon!

Notice: Blogger has screwed up and lost a bunch of photos out of my blog! They are replaced with a gray silhouette of a human head. I will eventually get them replaced with the correct photo, it may take a while to find and fix everything. So some of my stories don't make much sense without their photos, sorry for the inconvenience.



Some Interesting Alternative Ways to Play Sudoku

Here are two examples of interesting ways to plays Sudoku to make it more challenging. Force yourself to remember parts of the puzzle entirely through the game play. I prefer to play online at Web Sudoku

The Vast Empty Middle

Sometimes there are no numbers in the middle square when playing at the hardest level. An interesting way to play this game is to NOT record any plays to the middle square, but force yourself to remember any solved locations within the middle square for the entire puzzle play. You then wind up with a final solution that looks something like this:
You can check your work to make sure that the 8/9ths solution is correct, notice the message "Everything is OK, you have 9 to go!"

A Number is Missing

Sometimes playing at the hardest level will give you a puzzle with one of the numbers not appearing in the initial puzzle. So in this case I play forcing myself to remember the location of that number for the entire game play. This example has the number 6 missing. I have included several screen shots that show the play progression; the progression is left, right, top down.


Where I Recently Didn't Eat and Didn't Die: Nothing

NoThInG ? What do you mean, Ernest, by ‘Nothing’? Have you surprised us with yet another strange diet, this time based on starvation or something else, or in this case 'nothing else’?

Well, several weeks ago I did a review of the restaurant ‘Nothing But Noodles’ in Amarillo TX, but alas, as I walked by the store yesterday on my way to my favorite Starbuck’s, there was a bit of emptiness in the NotButNoo location. Screeeeech went my shoes on the sidewalk as I changed gears and reversed back to see the store was emptied out. So the ‘But Noodles’ part is gone, and now there is ‘Nothing’, although they lied to me, there is still a big word ‘Noodle’ tempting me on the exterior wall way high up in the air which leads you down to … ‘Nothing’

I came home and checked for a corporate website, and there appears to be a NotButNoo company, but they have not responded to my e-mail request just yet, and there appears to be several other spots, 16, around the country in 12 states where you can indulge their menu items. So my first meal there was maybe my last meal, at least for that location, a rarity for restaurants that I have enjoyed. Maybe new noodles will appear soon to take the place of ... nothing.


Guess Which One is More Dangerous


You accidentally remove an outside load bearing wall during a home renovation and you realize you can’t outrun the collapsing structure

.. OR ..

You accidentally run into a bear outside while you are loaded and your gun is not loaded and realize you can’t outrun the bear and you start to collapse as your knees are no longer load bearing.

Helpful Hint: When you go walking in the woods it is important to take a friend with you for bear protection. Its not that the average bear is more afraid of two people vs one, you just need to remember to bring someone that you can outrun. (I didn’t create this hint, but I did make sure my version of it rhymed and it is one of the most important pieces of imphomashun we can pass onto the next generation as a guiding principle, even for non-bear-loaded situations)


You scratch yourself so much it makes you bleed

.. OR ..

You are working in a blood bank and the shelf falls down and you spill so much blood on yourself that it makes you itch (Subsequent scratching begins, see first choice …)

Helpful Hint: Don’t work in a Blood Bank with weak shelves


Walk around W-Mart and put 10 items into the pockets of your coat and then start over again and put each one of them back before walking out of the store

.. OR ..

Walk into W-Mart with 10 tiny things that W-Mart has never sold and probably never will and distribute them throughout the store on shelves and then go back and collect them in the same order before walking out of the store.

Helpful Hints: Don’t bring kitties or puppies unless you plan to securely attach them to something and they are extremely quiet. Also make sure that the local laws are something akin to: Its not "shoplifting" if you “accidentally” put something in your pocket unless you leave the store with it and “forgot” to pay W-Mart


A tornado, a hurricane and a typhoon walk into a bar …. Oh, sorry, wrong blog post…..

I just noticed that I accidentally put an ‘accident’ or ‘accidentally’ in every case.


Three Tales from the Kanzany Road

Who, what, or where is 'Kanzany' ???
'Kanzany' is a word I created to combine the meaning of the 2 words 'Kansan' and 'zany'. Checking Google, there appear to be no hits except when used as a proper name some where far, far away. The accent is on the first syllable.

The Kanzany Road:
Now you'll get to peek at a few candid cases of Kanzany that were part of my trip to Topeka a few years ago.
1st Case of Kanzany: The PJ leg of a trucker. Now 'PJ' doesn't stand for pajamas, that would have been bad enough to see a trucker in his pajamas wandering around at a truck stop. No, it stands for 'Practical Joke'. As I was passing a semi on the interstate there was an apparently amputated leg with a shoe and pants sticking out the sleeper door of the semi rig on the driver's side. A second look showed that the door was closed and the artificial lower left limb for laughs was securely held in place, and designed catch your eye. It worked, it caught my eye. I was just glad I wasn't witnessing a sloppy serial killer. Now I am not claiming that the driver was from Kansas, I just saw it in the state, out on the KS road. I later wondered how many near accidents these legs have caused. Perhaps they need border patrols for Kansas itself, for what they let in AND out of the state.
2nd Case of Kanzany: It took place on my way back from Topeka in the little town of Iola after deciding to make a pass down through Missouri and entering the east side of Kansas. There was nothing memorably strange in the state of Missouri. Just as I was leaving the west side of Iola on highway 54 there was a cemetery and something caught my eye in the middle of it that seemed kind of out of place, even for Kansas. It was a road sign, and guess which road sign-> a 'Dead End' sign. Well, this kept me laughing for several miles. Just about the time I had finally settled down from the Dead End Placard at the Dead End Place, the final piece of Kanzany happened.
3rd Case of Kanzany: It took place on a passageway built up across a dry lakebed. It was a straight piece of highway 54 with very wide gently sloped gravel shoulders and a guardrail way out at the edge of the gravel on both sides running all the way across the lake bed. I was following another vehicle as I approached the east side of the passageway and the driver suddenly slowed down and moved way over to the left side of the left lane. My eyes panned left following the vehicle wondering what-on-earth he was doing driving in the wrong lane and then I saw there was a 2nd vehicle coming straight toward me in a head-on manner driving on my edge of the highway, but then a split second later I realized he was moving very slowly, had his emergency flashers going and wasn't looking my direction but off to my right. After moving into the left lane to avoid the head-on collision, my eyes were drawn back to the right again to see a 3rd vehicle, a sedan, coming toward us way over on the guard rail, and slamming into the guardrail every once in a while sending sparks flying. Enough sparks that you could see during the day time. A Bouncing Buick as a strange sparky monorail device. So it appeared that the 2nd vehicle was keeping tabs on the 3rd vehicle. I anxiously waited to see who was driving the B-Buick and as the B-Buick reached me, there appeared to be a very ancient tiny person just barely able to see over the steering wheel, probably an escapee from an old folks home. Probably found a key and decided to flee. Some times I will help out with incidents, but being that far from home, that late in the day, hundreds of miles before bedtime, & my mother was expecting me for supper, I decided to leave this piece of Kanzany in the hands of Kansans. Besides, the B-Buick was going in the opposite direction, away from me. I was reminded of the movie 'The Great Escape' and the Steve McQueen motorcycle scene near the end of the movie. He is a prisoner of war escapee on a motorcycle trying to elude the Nazis. He tries to jump over the fence at the national border 'Evel Knievel' style, but just barely fails, and winds up back in the cooler with his baseball and glove.
After experiencing the zaniness, I left the state and got a beauty bonus while departing Wichita later that day. The sky was filled with pockets of pretty pink & purple puffy mammiform clouds with sharp segmentation. So what did I learn from my trip through Kansas? Never travel without a camera, preferably a movie camera, to capture the 'The Foot, The Dead, The Elderly & The Beauty' of strange places, especially Kanzany places.
Reference & Note:
Coordinates of the Iola KS "Dead End" sign:
approx 37dg 55' 20.25" N 95dg 24' 50.58" W
Note to my step-sister LA in Wichita: This journey took place while our combo parents were still living there. You should know I wouldn't pass through town without seeing you and going out for flaming Japanese food.

Great Minds Think Alike

Here are my four terribly twisted versions of the saying "Great Minds Think Alike", proving that they don't.

When the cheese factory puts all the really smelly silent employees to work over in the shredding department:
Grate mimes stink alike

When the winery hires only silent people to judge their product with consistency:
Grape mimes drink alike

When the unions ruin the mining industry forcing layoffs everywhere:
Gripe mines shrink alike

When the boredom of the assembly line starts to get to the sausage employees:
Grind meats, make a link

Do I have to stop at four?
Please & Thank-you.
Now go make coffee, it's starting to show that you have been up for 2 hours already this morning without your proper medication mixture: caffeine & sugga'

I wanted to do one more with "Brinks" and "a lock", but they won't let me …… okay, I'll shut up and make coffee.

My Little Red Rain Gauge is Tilted

I noticed that the rain had collected in my little red wagon, which also serves as my rain gauge in the back yard. Because the wagon was tilted, a shape formed like the one drawn in the picture. Accurate measurements were taken to reproduce the shape in scaled manner and the shade of blue adjusted to show depth.

There were a couple of right angles involved that could accurately integrate the volume of water without the use of calculus because the triangle shapes changed in a linear manner going from one side of the wagon to the other.Then it would just be a matter of dividing the water volume back into the total surface area of the bottom of the wagon to calculate the amount of rainfall.

Linear measurements in centimeters

3.1     48       74.4   area of smaller rectangle 
4.3     74.5    160.2   area of larger rectangle 
117.3   ave area of a triangle 
35.3   Width of wagon 
Volume = Ave Area Triangle x Width of the Wagon
4140.2   volume of water cc 
35.3    82     2894.6   sq cm area of bottom of wagon
1.430 cm, height of water distributed evenly 
0.56  in, height of water distributed evenly

It rained about a half inch.

Additional Work

I played around with the math a little more using numerical integration and I think the average area of the triangle is close to 114.64 sq cm using 40 regions of numerical integration, so the final answer may be 2.3% lower.

It still rained about half an inch.

Additional Additional Work

In a perfect world, a perfect wagon, & perfect measurements, I believe the triangles would be similar, so there probably wouldn't be the need for the numerical integration.

Yeah, pretty sure
it rained about a half inch.

From A Basketball's Diary

Contrary to proper belief, a deflated basketball that has suffered under the beating sun out in the confines of a West Texas backyard and at the repeated tormenting fangs of a domesticated wolf-wanna-be will try to partially self-re-inflate through a strong internal drive & self determination of "I just gotta be a sphere".

Billy Bonka, Bubba, and the Magical Ball Factory

Billy Bonka, Bubba, and the Magical Ball Factory

Our dog Bubba (aka Cooper The Dog) has always loved to rip weeds out of the lawn even from the time he was a little bitty puppy. Remember the "part goat" description in my very first post about him "I Don't Really Have a Dog" ?

Recently my now 2 year old dog has been helping pull weeds alongside me in my tomato patch. He had been very good about NOT picking the tomatoes or touching the tomato plants. I think he likes the succulent green grass and weeds that grow in the well watered soil. They pull easier out of the mud, too.

But lately he has started to change his ways - Mrs. Billie Bonka came in the back door and told me "I just saw him go pick one of the large green tomatoes."

Later in the day he shows up to play our daily game of Paw Ball with a mostly intact, large green tomato instead of the "formerly" green tennis ball that came from W-Mart. After all these months of dirty brown tennis balls, I have confused him with a green tomato look-a-like.

So I think that he thinks that the tomato vines are tennis ball factories. Maybe thats why he has done such a good job pulling weeds, to increase production & get better quality.

Note to self: When purchasing tennis balls in the future, avoid the colors 'tomato green' and 'tomato red'.

by Bubba (aka Cooper The Dog)

I suppose that I shall never see something quite so fine,
As a magical tennis ball tomato factory vine.

A vine whose sunbaked thirsty mouth might suppose,
"Say, where is that human guy with the garden hose?"

A vine that sits green under God all day,
as her chloroplasts suck up the solar rays.

A vine that might all Summertime hear,
The sound of dragonflies fluttering near.

Upon whose decaying branches snow has lain,
As nutrients recycle to the soil again.

(Poems are made by dogs with a mind this fine,
But only Mr. Billy Bonka can fool them
with a mag-ten-ball-tom factory vine.)

Credits and References

The Cast & Crew

Bubba             - Cooper The Dog

Mr. Billy Bonka   - Me

Mrs. Billie Bonka - Tamie

Photography and Software Transformations by Mr. Billy Bonka

The poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer was used as a style & structural poetic reference.

For all the psychiatrists out there reading this, the 'Vines' poem was really mine, not the dog's. But they were his exact thoughts, he just doesn't know how to type, just yet.

Doggie Dictation, Translation & Interpretation courtesy of Mr. Billy Bonka

A Few Other Dog Blog Posts by Mr. Billy Bonka:

- My Wife is More Interesting Than a Dead Buffalo
- 3 Ways To Be Thankful for Four Feet
- The Ancient Sport of Paw Ball: History, Rules and Scoring
- Doggie Bloggie
- I Don't Really Have a Dog

Poetry Link: Cycle To The Beginning of The Poetry Link, The Most Recent Poem


Oh, Silly MySpace Ads, Don't Tempt Me with DoPe

I wrote a diet blog with 2 parts a few days ago, and the second section was about Dr. Pepper, the beverage. The first part about the Chinese guy was total fiction, but there was some truth, a very tiny piece, that giving up 'DoPe' has resulted in a true weight reduction. Yes, I abbreviated it as 'DoPe' for the rest of the blog post and how I had pretty much given it up, along with some fictional looniness involving cheating, mass murder, mayhem, and a meeting. And just what shows up today in a MySpace ad while I am slaving away on another piece of fiction? A DoPe ad. A cold ruthless doctor tempting me.

Its a good thing I had my trusty warm cup of coffee already close by and that I would actually have to leave my house to go get more DoPe.

Just barely saved by java brew.

Oh, Now I See, It's a "V" Not a "C"

I got my new Halloween costume in, but wound up burning my feet, got a little smoke inhalation, and ruined a pair of shoes and socks while practicing, "Buffy the Campfire Slayer". I called the costume store and they said it was a typo on the packaging, the "V" and the "C" are right next to each other on the keyboard. I guess I should have stuck with last years "Smokey the Bear" or the perennial favorite "Middle Aged Overweight Texan Guy". They did send over a free pair of socks, but didn't cover the cost of shoes or emergency room visit.

New Blog for My Abstract Art ... Come Visit

Click HERE for the Art of Ernest S B Boston

These are pieces that I have generated mainly using computer art tools. Enjoy !

Something New:

I am also in the process of linking my poetry blog entries together. This project is only partially finished. A "Poetry LINK" at the bottom of the blog entry points to the next older piece of poetry.

First poem in the series of linked poems ....

Turn Gold Out of the Darkness

Turn Gold Out of the Darkness

Blog Archive

My Art

These are some of my abstract art pieces. They are available as prints, send me a note if you are interested.

Couch Glow

Couch Glow

Gold As Smoke

Gold As Smoke

Flowing Wood

Flowing Wood