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.



A Fistful of Eight Letter Words

One of my favorite things in life is playing cryptograms at cryptogramcorner.org

I found the cryptogram puzzle for May 2nd, 2013 especiaLLy challenging. It is shorter than most of the puzzles presented by cryptogramcorner.org and I worked on it for more than six hours without seeming to get close to the correct answer. I normaLLy solve these puzzles in five to fifteen minutes, but my usual techniques didn't seem to work.

I noticed an interesting pattern with the author's name on the bottom line. Each name is six letters long, and there are close ties between the names and two of the words from the quotation (first line). The single letter word U appears most likely to be the word "a" because it is also the last letter of the first name. I believe there are far more names that end with A rather than I.

The name connections: 6th letter of the last name equals the 1st and 4th letter of the first name, and the 3rd and 4th letters of the last equal the 2nd and 3rd of the first and the 2nd letter of the last name, most likely A, equals the 6th letter of the first name. THEN ... letters 5-2-3-4 of the last name equal letters 1-2-3-4 out of the 5 letters of the 4th word of the quotation.

I originally thought, "this one might be easy." - Wrong

So I asked Google for a list of the common last names and searched for names that had a 2nd letter A where none of the letters are repeated. I tried several names but nothing seemed to match.

I neXt tried going through my local telephone book looking for last names with the same criteria. Nothing seemed to work.

Then I noticed a pattern in the 7th word of the quotation: VXTJVNTQ

There is translational symmetry in the odd numbered letters. The V is the same for the 1st and 5th letters, and the T is the same for the 3rd and 7th letters, and then aLL the even numbered letters X-J-N-Q are unique. 


It was time to apply more brute computer force.

I asked Google for aLL the 8 letter words of the English language. 

It gave me 29,766 words.

I puLLed them into an Excel spreadsheet. Then I wrote an IF statement in the adjacent column that looked for a match of 1st and 5th AND 3rd and 7th, and display TRUE or FALSE. Then I built another IF statement in the next column to display the number 1 in the middle of the column when the TRUE was found, otherwise leave a blank. This technique allows you to visually inspect thousands of things very fast by paging up & down. I found 112 eight letter words that matched my criteria. I was successful at that level of search and didn't bother adding the more complicated logic of checking the even numbered letters for uniqueness. I figured I could just eyeball for now.

So I paged through all 29,766 words in several minutes trying to find what I thought might be good, better and best candidates for the word in the quotation. I made an ordered list of the good better best in Notepad. I also felt that with the word order meant it might be an adjective, being the second to the last word of the quotation, plus it followed the word "a".

Out of the 112 words, I had floated the word "epidemic" as my top favorite, and "clenched" as my second. But then I remembered that the last word of the puzzle was a four letter word, and I suddenly thought of the very common word that goes with clenched: FIST

So, I tried clenched in the puzzle and the suddenly I could read almost the entire puzzle without the other letters even being in place! I could see how the I of FIST was going to give the name INDIRA GANDHI - the only word I didn't get immediately was the very first word of the quote, it took a few minutes to get "you". 

.... and finaLLy ....


Fifteen Isn't New Unless You Are A Tortoise Or A Rock

The FFA ordered service on a potential defective part on some Boeing 737's, horizontal stabilizer pins. Here is the last line of the news article:

The aircraft included in the directive are relatively new, entering service in 1998 or later.

Hold it, 1998? "New"? "Relatively"? I would never think of a 15 year old plane, that flys almost every day, as any kind of new.


Plato Missouri is the Mean Center of Population for the United States of America. Does that mean that the farther you are away from there the nicer you are?


I am glad they changed how you play the Texas Lotto. Starting tomorrow they have new options. Now I wiLL be able to play eXactly how I currently played.


One of my favorite math problems that I have wrote about has almost a thousand hits, which is alot for my blog. It had quite a few yesterday so I figure it might go past 1,000 today. My Solutions to the Seven Bridges of Königsberg Math Problem


What kind of idiot sets off bombs at a marathon race? There are people there from aLL over the world; there is nothing political or religious about running - who are you targeting? And of aLL places, Boston, you even picked a place with my name. You kiLLed an 8 year old little boy. This is a stupid kind of evil.


A Little Piece of Evil at the Wall Street Journal

I caLLed the Wall Street Journal yesterday to cancel my subscription, and they told me it was set to eXpire in one month. And I thought that was great, I was going to wind up paying one more month than what I had even wanted, that I didn't catch it in time.

Just as soon as I got off the phone talking to the customer support person I heard my e-mail system get a message. Sure enough, it was a confirmation from the WSJ teLLing me that my subscription was canceLLed.

BUT ... then this morning, the VERY NEXT day I got an e-mail around 3 AM from the WSJ teLLing me that the credit card that is tied to my account no longer works - so they were trying to grab one more month. Evil.

UPDATE: 2013.04.26  It has been two weeks, and the stupidity continues ... The Wall Street Journal obviously doesn't know how to turn something OFF ... I just got another e-mail saying that my credit card didn't work for making a payment. I accidentally hit the WSJ icon on my iPad yesterday and sure enough it opened up just like normal. 


Don't Eat Doritos !!!

I learned today that eating Doritos wiLL make you want to steal sports cars, be a bad influence to Law Enforcement Ossifers, and pick up hitchhikers.

I saw it on a veRy short documentary on teleBision, so it must be true. You may have thought it was a commercial since it was only 30 seconds long, but it wasn't, it was a documentary.

Remember! Don't Eat Doritos !!!

I may not even shop on that aisle at the groc store just to avoid the Doritos. WeLL, I guess I could venture part way down the aisle just far enough to get my chips to go with my salsa. I just don't need a bad influence like Doritos in my life making me commit crimes. Whispering to me, just eat a few Doritos and you wiLL be brave enough to steal a car. Oh, the Whispering Doritos, how terrible. Then I realized how cannibalistic Doritos sounds, it has "door", "eat" and "toes" in it. Terrible, just terrible.


Cable Company Math

I got an e-mail from the cable company saying that we had already used up 75% of our monthly allocation of data transfer - ??? - wow - and to think the e-mail arrived on the 10th of the month, and I think we started on the 5th with brand new internet service. 5 to 6 days and we are already at 75 percent?!?!?


I am making gumbo, wish me luck ...


A Free All First Story

Look carefuLLy at the first picture. The words on the crooked window sticker are: 

"Cell Phone Free Vehicle"

I tried to adjust the color and contrast so you could read the words but that is about the best I could get my computer to do without my fancier software from my previous computer.

Several minutes ago I was at the intersection of 10th and Cedar at the stoplight facing south when I was directly behind this vehicle and I thought, "What does this little square sign mean on this window of this tiny little truck?"

So I took my ceLL phone out of my pocket and quickly took the first picture while we were motionless at the red light.

Then I thought, focusing on the second line Free Vehicle, "I wiLL follow her and get this vehicle and it can be mine until the neXt person who sees the vehicle's Free sign and rightly claims it as their vehicle ..... then my second thought: I realize I should make up a rule that says you can only "own" this magicaLLy free vehicle once."

So I foLLow the magicaLLy free truck to Wal-Mart a few miles away and wait for the driver to go into the store. Then I go over to the free truck to rightly claim "It's My Turn" - but she didn't leave the keys in the ignition! I thought, "Hmm, she obviously is not playing the free vehicle game correctly." So I foLLow her into the store and got the keys.

Now, I am not going to say eXactly how I got the keys. I might have reached in her pocket and got them. I might have borrowed a frying pan from the kitchen supplies and used that. The keys might have simply faLLen out of her pocket after there was a cutting action by a borrowed large hunting knife from the sporting goods section. Perhaps pharmaceutical chemicals were involved. It wiLL just have to be a mysterious part of this store story.

So anyway, I drive the tiny truck of Free to my house. I am sitting on my lawn admiring it wondering how long it wiLL be mine until the neXt person figures out that it is free and takes it.

15 Minutes

That is how long it took about fifteen cops to show up at my house with guns drawn, and pointed at me while I just sat there on my lawn, admiring my free truck. 

I just waved, "hi" and smiled. 

One of them approached me veRy cautiously with his pistol drawn wearing SWAT gear and began asking, "Mr. Boston, we have you on video surveillance stealing this vehicle and assaulting the owner. Why did you take this vehicle, considering you already had a much larger truck that you left behind at the store?!?!? ... and what was the deal with the frying pan and duct tape?"

Oh, I forgot to mention the duct tape a couple paragraphs ago, sorry.

I was confused. Stolen?!?!? I told the SWAT Gear Guy that the vehicle wasn't stolen, it was Free. And then I showed him the sticker on the back window. Then he started to argue with me that was ridiculous! Something about how the sign meant that cell phones couldn't be in the vehicle. And I said, no, that was physicaLLy impossible and took out my ceLL phone and threw it into the cab of the truck through the open passenger side window. Some idiot cop yeLLed out, "He's got a GUN!" and fired off a couple rounds but luckily missed both of us but nicked the free truck on the back right side. The spokescop, Mister SWAT Gear Guy, yelled for them to hold their fire and the other 13 slightly smarter cops subdued the one idiot cop who shot at us. There was some momentary wrestling and yeLLing out in the street.

I told the spokescop my story about seeing the free vehicle sticker at 10th and Cedar, and this time he said, "Oh, I understand now, so just anyone who sees the vehicle can claim it and get the keys and drive off in it?" and I reply Yes, its that simple. Then I eXplained the new rule about how the vehicle could only be claimed once by each human. Then I told him about how he could make up a new rule to add to the previous set of rules for how the Free game is played.

Suddenly another cop car stopped in front of my house and a woman jumps out with a bandage on her head and a pants pocket cut by what was most likely a large borrowed hunting knife, just speculation on my part, came running towards us screaming, "Thats him, that's the guy who stole my truck and keys! And he hit ..." but then the spokescop told her, "No! Its now MY vehicle, I've always wanted a little truck just like this ... NEW RULE: Only cops can have this FREE vehicle." and he jumps in the vehicle and throws my ceLL phone back to me (otherwise how would I have got my picture for this blog post?) and he drove off escaping through hole in the perimeter of cop cars. They obviously didn't realize just how smaLL the free vehicle was. Every cop car takes off in pursuit after the Free Vehicle hoping it wiLL be their turn neXt ...

So I am left standing in my empty driveway with the woman with the bandage and then we both notice there is the trigger happy cop in handcuffs just sitting alone in the middle of the street. He smiles and tries to wave and says something I don't understand. The woman with the head bandage turns to me and asks, "Tell me, ... what just happened here?"

I respond, "You wouldn't believe me even if I told you. It's an April 1st kind of story."

Disclaimer: ActuaLLy I took this picture several days ago and wrote the story then, too, but later decided to wait until the perfect day in the future, April 1st, to publish it. You can teLL that I didn't take the picture today because it is much cloudier today and it was veRy dark and early when I first started actuaLLy typing this into blogger. It may be April 2nd right this veRy minute but it was stiLL April 1st somewhere on the globe when I started the actual typing process, so it stiLL qualifies as an April First joke. hahahahahhaahhaahhaahahahaha .. I am just old and slow ... now clicking the Publish button

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