Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 31

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 31

Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance…

The letters F M are scrawled on the reflective glass, using a bar of soap.

F M —- F for what? Fanny? Then what does the M represent.

The meaning of the 2 letters is secondary to the fact that Fanny is nowhere to be seen. She scampers to the order counter. “Have you seen a skinny redhead about my tall?”


Connie gallops out to their empty car. She sprints back inside to report on the mysterious happenings to the guys, who fan out to cover more ground.

“I’m thinking that our close call was no accident,” Eddie concludes.

The day manager of the restaurant blocks public entry down the restroom hall, allowing Martin to legally enter to women’s facilities. “F M, frequency modulation? Not likely.” Using his other senses, he wonders, “That smell, I know it….. CHCl 3, chloroform or dichloromethane.”

“That was used as anesthesia in early surgical medicine. Doc Campbell used it at his hospital back in Florida.”

“Correct and it is the fastest way to render someone unconscious, against their will.”

“She’s been kidnapped, hasn’t she.” Constance shivers at the thought. “How in God’s name did whoever know we were stopping to eat? Were we being tailed Eddie?”

“No! We’ve only gone 2 miles since we left the nunnery and we weren’t followed there or here.”

“In the world of cause and effect we have this: unknown device and missing woman. We must have a track-able gadget locked it in the trunk and we didn’t figure that out?.”

Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance.”

“But I allowed us to let our guard down and Fanny is gone!” That is no ordinary woman to her. Fanny Renwick is her housemate and partner in crime.

“Don’t think the worst, Con,” Eddie, while beside his self in worry, has to maintain a clear head; he is driving.

“If she’s still alive, there are four million people here-about – about being 2000 square miles,” Eddie then proceeds to bring up the worst.

“I get the feeling that Fanny may be a pawn/bargaining chip in this widening mystery. They may be contacting us sooner than later.” Martin draws a daunting comparison.

“Like your friend, Libby?”

“Let’s head back to the house and sort through the goodies we have. Just think, in oneRelated image secluded meeting we have a famous Evangelist in Graham, an incomparable scientist in Fermi, leading Catholic figures outside Rome, not to mention Willard Libby.”

“Don’t leave out that government guy, Wolfgram. If the US State Department or FBI is involved, who knows what is going on?”

Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon

page 30

The NULL Solution = Episode 139

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The NULL Solution = Episode 139

…we’ve anonymously blamed on so many sources that it will take a month of Sundays for anybody to sort out the truth…

“I propose compiling a list of your family members, match that to a list of the all the places you’ve been and see where that gets us.”

Deimostra McKinney has been given the job of genealogical historian, in addition to her duties as Eridanus’ lone debutante and the title of 1st Earth child born in space.

“I can do that Mr. Skaldic.” Her respectful nature comes naturally.

McKinneys                  Places

Sampson                      Earth

Celeste                          Mars

Deke                             NEWFOUNDLANDER

Gus                               Epsilon Eridani

Deimostra (Me)





Perception belongs to the eye of the beholder. Seeing the proper nouns scribbled in two columns inspires a new line of thinking for an outsider like Skaldic. If his hunch is correct, perhaps a mix ‘n match combination of the list will somehow equal Harmonia’s fuzzy math.

“I’ve been running some numbers,” explains Rick Stanley. “If we came to full-stop, that beast would overtake us in about 20 days, 20.6 million miles and closing.”

“Boy, it hardly looks like it is moving. I was just wondering.”

I doubt that it cares about us.”

Roy comments on their progress, “Thanks for that Rick. I was wondering if spotting the drone would affect their progress.”

“Did you notice that we have given the tow-drone a name? How does the Martian Mule sound?”

“Swell Rick. You can paint that on the hull when you get back to Earth.”

There appears to be no easy way out, of this appointed get-together, that is. Collapsar rumbles on @ 41,666.666 miles per hour. It will pass by Mars soon enough.

“Amateur astronomers are sharing screenshots of you-know-what on every social network out there. We’re spreading the rumor that it’s a hoax – being perpetrated by, well we’ve anonymously blamed on so many sources that it will take a month of Sundays for anybody to sort out the truth.”

Do Presidents, ex or otherwise, lie to the American people?

NASA is doing its best 23-skidoo, which used to refer to a gusty New York wind. Now it is a tap dance around an unwelcome subject.

This deception will do nothing to dissuade government conspiracy theorists from proliferating. Nobody pays much attention to history, so maybe historians will go easy on the facts and other fibs surrounding this confounding moment in Earth’s near future.

The NULL Solution =

Episode 139

page 137 (end Ch. 12)

Lists List

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Top 10 Lists That Nobody

Should Write Anymore


We all love a good list; it’s a quick, easy, and convenient way to organize  information without starting every other paragraph with “Oh, and ALSO…”

But they need to be interesting, especially in this age of endless  information bombarding you from all directions, plus a few more that haven’t  been discovered yet.  With thousands of blogs, articles, columns, and message board threads devoted  to listing everything under the sun, you need to find a topic that will stand  out in the crowd.  Objective or not, funny or not, the point is to be  intriguing and original.

In short, don’t write any of the following.  Just, don’t.   Thousands of people have already beaten you to these subjects, and you are all  but guaranteed to surprise nobody and bore everybody.

10. Best Guitar Solos

Kirk Hammett  

The problem here is a lot of these lists are done by people who don’t play  for a living, and unless you actually play compose and play guitar solos on a regular basis, chances are you have no  real idea what constitutes a good one versus a bad one.  More notes?   Less notes?  Slow and steady?  Shredding at 70,000 miles an  hour?  To most of us, they all sound the same, mainly because most of us  are listening with ten beers in our system.   Pretty much everything  sounds awesome at that point.

By the way, if you ask most real musicians, that question has a clear answer:  “all of the above”.  They all work in their own way; if a slow-rolling BB King solo tugs at your heartstrings, and a blistering Slayer shred makes you yell in righteous metal rage, then  both have done their job.  To put Metallica’s “One”, Led  Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, or Van Halen’s “Eruption” at the  top of your list, as is often the case with bloggers and Rolling Stone magazine alike, is saying this one kind of music is better than the others  simply because it’s faster and louder.  And that ain’t right.

9. Best Rock Songs

Rock N Roll  

What the Hell is “rock” anyway?  At this point, virtually every form of  music that isn’t classical opera or old-timey zydeco polka is called rock in some form or another.  Country  rock, alternative rock, modern rock, grunge rock, rock ‘n roll, punk rock, hard rock, soft rock (biggest oxymoron of all time), light rock (#2 biggest oxymoron of all time), Christian rock (#3 Bigg…you get the idea); how do you make a  list based on one of the vaguest terms of all-time?

In addition, much like the solo list, the same songs top these lists over and  over again.  “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Stairway To Heaven,” “Freebird,” and any other song that  gets played ad nauseum on mainstream radio vie for the top spot over and over  again.  We get it.

8. Greatest Presidents

Mount Rushmore  

Listing great Presidents is fairly objective, and also fairly predictable  and dull.  Why?  Because there were only a handful of really good  ones, and everybody knows this.  Basically, the four guys on Mount Rushmore, plus FDR, are our greatest Presidents.  Boom, done.  JFK might get an honorable mention on some of  these lists, but his term was cut short way too early and thus we’ll never know  for sure.

Nobody else makes the top list; most don’t even come close.  Show us any  list that claims Millard Fillmore was one of our top five or ten Presidents,  and we’ll show you a random angry commenter who read this, went to his blog, and  vomited up a fake list just to make us look dumb.

7. Best Bands

Best Band Ever  

It is almost impossible to get more vague than this.  Listing  bands?  What kind of bands?  Orchestras?  Drunken German Oom-pa-pa bands?  Do they count?   And how many people need to be in a band for it to be a “band”?  Nine Inch Nails, for the longest time, was one guy.  The Foo  Fighters started out as one guy.  The White Stripes only had two  people.  Meanwhile, Slipknot has nine guys, half of which do little but  bang on stuff.  How is that a band and not a group of infants pounding on  anything in sight because Mama took their ba-ba away?

Do any of the above questions matter?  Not really, because for all the  ambiguity behind just listing bands, this is yet another case where the same few  groups get top billing every time.  And (shock) they’re all classic rock  bands you hear endlessly on the radio!  Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Hendrix, Beatles, Stones, groups like that.  Guess Count Basie and His Orchestra just didn’t try hard  enough.

6. Best TV Shows

The Simpsons  

 How many TV shows have been made since the invention of the medium?   About 95 kajillionbillionmamillion, give or take.  Most of them go  absolutely nowhere, and many of the successful shows of older times did not age  well.  Howdy Doody was a huge hit back in the ‘50s, but nobody is  going to put it on their lists because the titular character looks like  something a demon-child constructed and then inserted into your nightmares.

No, most of the shows that top “best show” list are going to be alike: The  Simpsons, Seinfeld, All In The Family, Gunsmoke, and others along that ilk.   Longevity is the clue here; if a show hung around a really long time (or in the  Simpsons case, continues to hang on even though it probably shouldn’t),  then it’s one of the Best Ever.  It also helps if the thing was in color:  sorry, Honeymooners.  Back to the moon with you.

5. Top Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories  

There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there, and they’re rather  interesting to read and discuss.  There’s only one problem:  they’re  almost guaranteed to be BS.  They make no sense, and there are just as many  people devoted to debunking these ideas as there are people who swear by their  validity.

And even if they’re ultimately not fiction, they can’t be proven, so why do  people rank them?  “JFK’s CIA-led assassination was interesting and all, but it  doesn’t hold a CANDLE to the US having bin Laden in captivity for years and then finally killing  him and going public just as Obama’s approval ratings really begin to slip!”

The only thing dumber than ranking conspiracy theories is putting Biggie/2Pac thing on the top.  Yes, they were awesome  rappers, but they were rappers.  Not world leaders or international  terrorists or world-renowned social rights activists.  Rappers.  Take  them off your list now, and nobody gets hurt.

4. Best Scary Movies


With the exception of a couple films, scary movies are generally awful and forgettable.   Why?  Because 95% of them are sequels; actually, that’s too kind of a  word.  More like direct Xerox copies.  It’s literally the same story  every time; corny monster attacks, kills expandable characters, gets killed by the few  remaining survivors, magically returns at least six more times to kill and die  all over again.  The few good films are basically the first in a given  series, and the same ones will top Scary Movie lists until the end of time.

Oh, and speaking of sequels…

3. Worst Sequels

Worst Sequels  

Star Wars.  That is all.

Oh, you want more?  Well, there really isn’t any more.  Most sequels are made strictly for cash and are quickly forgotten  about, and the few that live on are almost universally reviled by the  list-making community.  Such are the Star Wars sequels.  Well, the prequels  anyway.  Which are technically sequels because they came after the first three  movies.  Which are actually the last three.  So Star Wars 1-3, which top most of these awful sequel  lists, are both sequels AND prequels, which would make Star Wars 2 and  3, which are actually 5 and 6, sequels to prequels AND prequels to  sequels.  And now I’m cross-eyed.  In short, please don’t ever make  Star Wars 7-9, Mr. Lucas.  It’s confusing enough as it is.

Rounding out most of these lists are Godfather III and…that’s about it.  Though if  Cars 2 continues to tank the way it has been, we may have a new  candidate for copycat list writers to bash until the end of time.

2. Best Cartoon Characters

Best Cartoon Characters  

At this point, you have probably realized why a lot of these list themes are  overdone and useless: they’re either extremely subjective, or the same four or  five entries top multiple lists time and again.  Such is the idea of  listing awesome cartoon characters.  Any list that doesn’t stick Mickey, Bugs, or Homer Simpson at the top of their list is written by either  a lying wannabe hipster who wants to show off how they like unpopular things, or  the world’s biggest Huckleberry Hound fanboy.

A better approach here would be to list the best characters in a particular  show.  That way your list is far less generalized, you won’t feel as  obligated to list the same people as everyone else, and you can finally solve  the endless debates over whether Bugs was better than Daffy, or Bart was better  than Homer, or Huckleberry was better than…um…well…Not-Huckleberry.

And that’s why ol’ Huck never tops a list.

1. Hottest Girls

Nikki Cox  

If there is any more subjective list out there, we’d like to see it.   “Here’s a list of fifty girls that are pretty!”  These lists are little  more than random name dumps of famous pretty girls, with no rhyme or reason.  To just list  hot girls like that is beyond boring and amateur; I did that when I was fifteen  (Nikki Cox was #1, which is why she gets rewarded with her picture in my  article).  What’s Maxim’s excuse?

If you simply must list hot girls, find some kind of angle to separate  yourself from the gaggle of Internet horndogs who are praying Vanessa Hudgens  sees her name as #1 and e-mails them begging for a date.  Hottest girls  over the age of 70, for starters.  Or maybe hottest girls who are actually  guys (Madea’s dreamy).  A little imagination can go a long way, especially  if Madea or Barbara Bush stumble upon your list and get a quivering in  your loins.  Or, you can always pick a body part, like sexy lips.

Lists List


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Jarod Kintz

“I’m putting the word “Don’t” on my To Do list.
― Jarod KintzThis is the best book I’ve ever written, and it still sucks

A.S. Byatt

“Lists are a form of power.”

― A.S. ByattThe Virgin in the Garden

Michael Chabon

“She reaches down into her bulging tote bag and pulls out a small plastic box with a hinged lid. It contains a round pill box with a threaded lid from which she tips out a vitamin pill, a fish-oil pill, and the enzyme tablet that lets her stomach digest milk. Inside the hinged plastic box she also carries packets of salt, pepper, horseradish, and hand-wipes, a doll size bottle of Tabasco sauce, chlorine pills for treating drinking water, Pepto-Bismol chews, and God knows what else. If you go to a concert, Bina has opera glasses. If you need to sit on the grass, she whips out a towel. Ant traps, a corkscrew, candles and matches, a dog muzzle, a penknife, a tiny aerosol can of freon, a magnifying glass – Landsman has seen everything come out of that overstuffed cowhide at one time or another.”

― Michael ChabonThe Yiddish Policemen’s Union



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We all have them.

Some lists are products of function. That grocery list tracks the needs of your household, and if you are financially responsible, it reflects what’s on sale. My friend @ jenplus4 ( sister) must be the list-iest person in Illinois. She has four hungry mouths to feed, a job, a budget and they cannot live on potato chips alone.

Other lists are goal oriented, such as education, career, marital, etc…, those meant to keep individuals on an upward track. These lists tend to be mental notes, because they rarely leave our subconscious.

As the end of the year approaches, we start to pay attention to lists, like THE MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE OF 2012. I’d like to think I would make such a roster, but not enough people know who I am–though not too many people necessarily need to know me.

As editor of this weblog, I am the queen of lists listed in this and future listings. I invite you add “Writing is Fun-damental” to your list of must-read reads, as I will be featuring a succession of  lists to close out 2012.