Last night I looked up from writing my novel synopsis and eating peanut butter cookies, and I realized that this blog has achieved a phenomenal milestone. It has existed for 660 days. The significance may not punch you in the face right away, so I’ll explain. The numeral 660 is the area code for Sedalia, Missouri. That town is only a two hour drive from Branson, Missouri. I visited Branson once. I think it’s pretty much how Las Vegas would look if it were built by the cast of Hee Haw, and yet the place entertained me in spite of myself. Ergo, milestone. Don’t you feel silly that you didn’t see it for yourself?

In celebration, I devoted a few minutes to thinking about the posts in this blog, and the number of posts (176) made it hard to keep them straight in my brain. If my tentacular mass of prior posts confuses me, then it probably confuses more recent regular readers, not to mention folks who stumble across the blog.

And I don’t know about you, but when I find an interesting blog with a long history, I’m puzzled about how to locate the parts of that history I might be most interested in. I know that’s what categories and tags are for, but what does it really mean when a post is tagged “camel”? How to ride one? How to raise them? How do they taste roasted? Do you prefer regular or menthol? It would be nice if the blogger would do some extra work for me. I have my own work that needs to be done and cookies waiting to be eaten.

A quick survey revealed that while this is my general humor blog, it does often follow certain themes. Creativity, marriage, work, family, fear and confidence are common themes. In addition, 33 posts mention movies, 35 posts mention death, 17 posts include strong profanity, 7 posts mention snot, and immersion blenders figure prominently in 2 posts. Cats appear in a full 100 of my posts.

Okay, this is a perplexing mess, and I’m cutting through it right now. I’ve extracted eight general groups of posts and a few posts from each group. You can find them below, along with a sentence or two describing each group to help you decide whether those posts might be interesting to you in any way at all.

My Wife

In order to understand a lot of my posts, it helps to understand my wife. This group of posts describes about 10 percent of her being, but that’s the portion she employs daily, not the 90% capable of sinking you like the Titanic. We’ve discussed getting t-shirts that say “Bill will make you cry. Kathleen will make you disappear.”


These posts chat about a couple of our recent vacations, both of which almost killed us. Jamaica was romantic. Disney World was nostalgic. Both were horrifying in their own way.


My mother died last year, so these posts may not make you pee with laughter the whole way through. Some are a bit somber, but I tried to avoid maudlin.

Baron Yörg Goes to the Movies

My acquaintance Baron Yörg, a 500 year-old vampire Lord of All Things Foul and Unholy, provides the occasional movie review. I’ve been begging him to review Bambi, but no luck so far.


Employment and unemployment seem to weigh on everyone these days. In these posts I touched on employment challenges, with a subtext of living in a ditch and eating dirt, rejected by everyone with more than four teeth, and forced to count my lice to keep from going insane.


These posts contain a below-average number of chuckles, but they do touch on some real ways that death forces itself upon us.

Weirdly Philosophical

All right, maybe this shouldn’t even be a category, but these posts look at some odd aspects of living in the world, such as fear, failure, and walking around with a metaphorical stick up one’s backside.

Top 3

These were the three most frequently viewed posts that didn’t fall into any of the other categories. Yeah, I didn’t do any work at all to list these, but they seem cute to me.

I hope this presentation was helpful to folks interested in checking out some of the older posts. Putting it together helped me. I had no idea I’d never written a post containing the word “spleen.” Until now.

If we’re going to go back in time, let’s go all the way back.

In these times jobs remain elusive, and many people are thrust into unemployment. Things are difficult now for working people, and they will be difficult again in the future. We want to find a job now, but we also want to find a job that will be in demand during the next economic crunch. We propose that most of us aren’t thinking far enough ahead. Why train for jobs that will survive the next recession, when we should train for jobs that will survive the coming apocalyptic destruction of society?

The jobs on that list are not those you might expect. For example, Environmentalist is a poor choice. That will become evident when they discover that bears don’t like people and that in order to stay warm you must be willing to burn something you find in nature. Similarly, Survivalists will not experience the joyride they may expect, once a thousand looters beat them to death with rocks and steal all their canned ham and 7.62mm ammunition.

Therefore, to assist in your long-term career planning we present the 10 jobs most likely to survive the coming apocalypse.

Psychic Reader: By surviving the apocalypse, a psychic reader will have demonstrable proof of their abilities. They will find a valuable place in any post-apocalyptic community by providing advice on love, family, money, and zombie blood rituals.

Zookeeper: Since most technology will be trashed, a zookeeper will find expanded opportunities. These will include handling 2-headed mutant draft horses, and husbandry planning for the giant goat-yak cross-breeds raised for food and their silky fur.

Technical Writer: Our entire technical civilization has been documented by technical writers in manuals that no other human has ever read. If we’re to access any of that technology in the post-apocalyptic world, tech writers will be needed to decode those writings.

Weatherman: In today’s world a weatherman exists to provide people the illusion that they can know at least one thing about what will happen tomorrow, so that they aren’t driven insane by existential trauma. The same will be true after the apocalypse. We expect that the accuracy of forecasts will not appreciably diminish.

Emergency Medical Technician: Those who survive the apocalypse are expected to be a hardy lot, but they will be prey to accidents, bio-engineered plague, and mutant chainsaw attacks. EMTs will be highly prized citizens after the apocalypse because they will go where the zombie attack is happening, and they will treat someone without first ordering two x-rays, an MRI, a blood draw, and psychiatric counseling.

Chemistry Professor: After the apocalypse we will need experts like chemistry professors to harness the elements around us in ways most of us have forgotten. We will need fuels, soap, solvents, and antiseptics. But mainly we’ll want these individuals because none of us will remember how to make beer, wine, or sour mash whiskey.

Retired Mechanic: After the apocalypse our access to machinery, fuel, and machine tools may be limited. Mechanics are likely to be of little use in our communities. However, there will always be a place for a retired mechanic who can yank 500 pounds of computers and plastic garbage out of a Silverado and replace them with a Chevy 350 V-8.

Golf Pro: Prior to the apocalypse a golf pro coached a golf enthusiast on swinging a 9-iron to connect with a golf ball. Post-apocalypse he will coach a desperate, under-nourished survivor on swinging a 9-iron to connect with the head of the zombie who just ate his brother. This is a completely transferrable skill set.

Romance Novelist: Post-apocalyptic communities will face a challenge in repopulating the human species. Not only will it be difficult to find some snuggle time between giant irradiated bug attacks, but everyone will suffer from radiation burns, open sores, and malformations of all imaginable kinds. If this isn’t the time for a story about a bare-chested pirate rescuing a naked girl from headhunters and a volcano, I don’t know when that time would be.

Administrative Assistant: In the immediate aftermath of the apocalypse humanity will lynch all the supervisors and managers, and quite rightly too. Into this leadership vacuum will step administrative assistants. They have long employed their powers of influence and coercion to get people to do all manner of stupid things, and they did it without a shred of actual authority. They will be the bedrock upon which the future post-apocalyptic civilization shall stand.

I’d say they could use a romance novel or two around there.

They won’t let you cut out a guy’s kidney unless you have a college degree. I asked. And it has to be a medical degree. Medieval Russian Literature won’t convince them to let you scrub and order a nurse to hand you any of those obscure, scary surgical instruments. So, if you want to do something like this, I recommend snagging a college degree or two. Even if cutting out kidneys holds no appeal for you, a degree looks really snappy on a resume. It gives you something to list below your first job at Hobby Lobby and above your personal interests in Angry Birds and pornographic origami.

Keep in mind that if you don’t want to do something specialized like medicine, the exact type of degree may not matter much. I personally went for one of those degrees that makes some people say, “What do you expect to do with a degree in THAT?” Now, I would like you to please do me a personal favor. The next time you hear someone say that to a kid, look around for the heaviest thing you can lift and hit that person on the knee with it as hard as you can, because he is a damned moron who deserves to limp for the rest of his life.

I’m not the brightest guy on my block, but my degree never kept me from getting a job. Think of an employer’s problem this way. Employers only hire when they’re in pain. If everything was fine and they weren’t in pain, they’d just keep the money and not hire anybody. Now, if you were in pain, say from your hand being crushed in a car door, would you care whether the guy running towards you was a certified mechanic?

If you’re considering college, I’d like to share a little of my perspective. During my years in college there were facts being tossed around by the bushel basket. But in the end I learned only three significant things.

First, I learned what makes soap work. I mean how soap works from the chemical standpoint. I won’t go into the details, but this is the coolest piece of knowledge ever, and learning it justified every dollar and every hour I put into college.

The second thing I learned was almost as great. One day I was walking through the Student Union. That’s the place on campus where guys go to pretend to study while they look at pretty girls out of the corner of their eye. A crowd blocked the hallway, and I saw that the dean of my university was giving a speech. I had never before heard him speak nor even seen him in his actual flesh. Then I heard the golden, magical portion of his speech. He explained that he, the administrators, the professors, and the staff were the university. The students would come and go—we were transitory, and when we moved on the people who ran the place would still be there. We, the students, did not count—and we’d damned well better not forget it.

That did make me cock my head in a Scooby-Doo moment. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to kiss the man right on the mouth. Oh, certainly he was a nasty sack of moose piss, but amidst his mean-spirited locust swarm of a diatribe soared a single white dove. That dove landed on my shoulder and said to me, “Grow the hell up.”

The third thing I learned was, oddly, about learning. Sometimes people call universities “institutions of higher learning.” People do not call universities “institutions of higher teaching,” and there’s a reason for that. University professors will point you in generally the correct direction, but they have better things to do than spend a bunch of time teaching you stuff. It’s your responsibility to teach your own damn self. During my college career, the occasional dedicated teacher manifested, but as a rule my professors treated students the way alligators treat their young: “There’s the bayou, kid. Either teach yourself to hunt or get eaten by a muskrat, I don’t give a shit which.”

To summarize, my advanced university education consisted of the lovely mystery of soap, the revelation “Grow the hell up,” and the directive “Teach yourself if you don’t want to remain as ignorant as a sack of rusty screws.” Everything else was secondary, although I admit that lots of it was interesting.

I consider it all to be time and money wisely invested.