First up, Rusty Webb's entry in the Triweekly Blogfest Challenge has been posted. You can find it on his blog, and here's the intro:
McGillicutty’s bar is my favorite place on earth. And Greedo from Star Wars is my hero. Those are pretty much the only two things I have an opinion about. Funny, until last week, all I knew was that I loved my bar. The Greedo thing was something that never crossed my mind.
I didn't think someone could do a gritty reboot of the Star Wars cantina scene, but darned if Rusty didn't nail it. He did the picture, too. Read the whole entry here. It won't take you long, and it's worth it.
Entries in the current challenge have to be posted by tomorrow; any blog entry on the theme "Han Shot First... But Time-Traveling Elvis shot SECOND" will qualify. My own meager effort is here, and PT Dilloway's clever entry is here.
Did I mention the winner gets a $10 gift card to Amazon? Because that might be important. Post your entry, leave a link, and I'll announce the winners Monday or so.
Then, on to the vaguely-alien-alphabet-related posts I sometimes muster up for this A To Z Challenge thing. I know there's rules and all for the Challenge, but as Balmudo said in Grease, the rules is there ain't no rules, and I have tried to live by those words Every. Day. Of. My. Life.
Things seem more serious if you overpunctuate them, have you noticed????
I started thinking today what topic I might post about alien alphabets ("there ain't no rules") and then I had to take a break and help Mr Bunches set up his Mouse Trap game so he could make the trap work without even bothering to really play it, in blatant defiance of the front page of the rules which say, and I quote:
BUILDING THE MOUSE TRAP IS PART OF GAME
PLAY. DO NOT PRE-ASSEMBLE THE TRAP.
Mr Bunches is a kindred spirit when it comes to rules like that. He'll play games the way he wants, thank you very little. (See what I did there? You thought I was going to thank you but I didn't, really, you rules nerds.)
Anyway, as I sit here watching him play Mouse Trap, which I really thought was one word up until this point, and not being allowed to play:
Me: Do I get a turn?
Mr Bunches: No.
Me: When do I get to play?
Mr Bunches: Go sit down.
I began writing this post, and instead of alien languages I began to wonder "Does science have in place a plan to catch an alien?"
I mean, what else would science be up to, once they decided (probably wrongly) to not blow up the moon?
Surely, I figured, things have advanced since E.T. was lured into a house using whatever candy paid the most for the sponsorship, right?
It seems though, that with everything else science has let me down about (tidal pools, cloning myself so I can have a day off and nobody knows), science is woefully lagging in the alien trapping department, leaving it up to Russian fisherman and some guy on Squidoo to lead the way into this Brave New Frontier I'll call "Screw You, Aliens, Don't Mess With Earthlings."
Before I begin, though, are we really going to go with Earthlings as our title when we meet other races? Because that seems kind of wimply. Earthling. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence or intimidate anyone, does it? We should hold a world wide contest to come up with a better name. I submit "Awesomeizers." Rolls off the tongue.
Oh, and on a related note, I also vote we start calling our planet, instead of a synonym for dirt, "Planet Awesome."
Here on Planet Awesome, great strides are being made in the field of alien capturing not by the government, or "science," but by private industry, the way God The Capitalist would want it. (When you start a small business, Jesus smiles and an angel gets its wings, then declares bankruptcy two years later.)
I am referring to "A Practical Guide For Those Interested in Capturing Live Alien Beings From Another Planet," the best-rated site on this subject, far outpacing my own "Extremely IMpractical Guide for Those Who Have Better Things To Do Than Capture Alien Beings From This Planet." Not sure where the marketing was when we came up with that, but heads will roll when I get around to having a marketing department.
The whole article is too long for me to care about, or read, but I could see immediately that there were a lot of very practical tips, such as this one:
How To Get Started Quickly
There is no shortcut to finding and capturing aliens.
That part goes on to say that finding aliens will take "dedication" and "work," two things I'm not known for. Another thing I'm missing? A rape van:
That's the actual picture they supplied of the van they suggest you use.
The van is necessary to avoid electromagnetic influences and/or walking into Chris Hansen's trap house. You'll also want a lead-lined vest, which you can get from your local medical supplier if you don't already have one. But you already have one, right?
Other equipment they suggest? A cage or holding pen. You'd be surprised how many people leave that off the list.
So you've got your cage, your stun gun, your weird-vest, and your windowless van, you've registered with the local authorities and introduced yourself to your neighbors, let's get alien capturin'.
In addition to overcoming your fear of aliens by watching movies about alien abductions (an actual tip), you'll also want to place an ad for someone to sleep near you in your van while you hover over them with a stun gun. Really:
Stakeout and Capture The next step, after you have gained the prospects confidence and cooperation in this matter, is to plan your effort to capture the alien. After all, nobody wants to get abducted in their sleep and your service could put an end to this problem. In most cases, this means staking out the prospects residence, which may sometimes involve one or two months of effort before you produce results. You absolutely want another person involved in this phase, a helper that can provide company, alleviate fear and help subdue the alien. If you do not have a friend, you could place an ad or hire a helper from a temp service.
Here, I've written your Craig's List ad for you:
HELP WANTED: I've got the van, and the stun gun, and have located a 'prospect.' I just need someone to camp outside that house with me for a few weeks and then help subdue the 'alien.' Cops and weirdos not welcome.
Having successfully caught your "alien," what's the first thing you should do next? I'd advise not crossing state lines because you don't want to federalize this. Squidoo recommends turning yourself in, which is probably for the best:
Profits From Captured Aliens Before you actually capture your alien, make sure you have several sources available that would be happy to purchase a captured alien. Here are the top 4 entities that will pay you instantly for a live alien.
1. Your local FBI office. Get the phone number of key field officers in advance so you can call after you get a capture. DO NOT call them before your have a captured alien or you might end up arrested.
2. A local military base. Again, get the number of key people BEFORE you haul in your capture.
3. A local USDA office. This might not sound like an obvious choice but they are involved deeply with government research and can have access to CASH.
4. A local post office or federal building. Again, these government officials can get cash for you immediately.
Raise your hand if you always secretly suspected the Post Office made all its money off buying captive aliens from locals. I knew it.
Luckily for us, the Russians are light-years (puns always intended!) behind us in alien-catching, not-at-all-creepy technology. For one thing, they don't have our Post Office and its ready Cash-for-Aliens program. All they have are fisherman. This 2007 article on Pravda details a Close Encounter of The Nyet (it's the only Russian word I know) Kind:
Village residents from the Rostov region of Russia caught a weird creature two weeks ago after a strong storm in the Sea of Azov. The shark-looking creature was producing strange squeaky sounds. The fishermen originally believed that they had caught an alien and decided to film the monster with the help of a cell phone camera. The footage clearly shows the creatures’ head, body and long tail. The bizarre catch was weighing almost 100 kilograms, the Komsomolskaya Pravda reports.
The Russians, despite probably having not read the Squidoo article, knew exactly what to do: they ate it.
From the article again:
However, ufologists and scientists were greatly disappointed when they found out that the fishermen had eaten the monster. They said that they were not scared of the creature so they decided to use it as food. One of the men said that it was the most delicious dish he had ever eaten.
And now you know what's going to replace pink slime in your McNuggets. Russian scientists ruled out the creature being a mermaid, which is good because that seems wrong, cooking and eating a mermaid, doesn't it?
That's all for now. Here's question 62 in the Great Star Wars Blogathon:
What was the fake slogan Robot Chicken had Admiral Ackbar tell kids for his breakfast cereal?
It wasn't this:
That's worth 50 points. Commenters 3, and the last commenter get 10 bonus points.
DON'T FORGET TO MAKE YOUR WHAMMY! WAGERS TODAY!
Since I didn't put a point total on question 61, I've made it worth 25 -- the mid-range. And I'm going to give it to PT Dilloway even though the "Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encylopedia" says the bounty hunter in disguise was infiltrating "Coruscant," because I don't know how you infiltrate a planet.
Write your blogfest entry! The Triweekly Blogfest Challenge -- prize is $10 -- is to post something on the theme of "Han shot first, but Time-Traveling Elvis shot second" by April 29. Leave a link to your post in the comments to this post. You'll get 100 points for posting it, plus 5 for mentioning the blogathon.
You can get 1,000 points by mentioning the Yellow Hill fundraiser on your blog; here's the post where I explain that, and you can click here to go directly to the Yellow Hill fundraising page. If you don't want the points, you can in the alternative link to/mention it and get a free book of mine.(Find my books here.) (If you've done this, leave me a link and I'll get you the points.)
And I'm going to put another bounty out: 500 points if you get Julian Darius, or anyone from Martian Lit, to leave a comment here.
Here are the Star Wars Blogathon standings; check your point total here.