The Red Planet Diner – Sedona

Posted in On Tthe Road on July 17th, 2011 by MadDog
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Nobody, not even residents of Sedona, could deny that it is an eminently quirky community. In fact, that is its primary claim to fame. We have been exploring some of the local attractions. Grace has lived here for seventeen years, so she knows the lay of the land pretty well. One place which attracted my attention from the beginning is the Red Planet Diner on Route 89A, the main drag through Oak Creek Village.

It’s not all that impressive from the outside. It defies the sensibilities of the Sedona Color Police, who insist that desert tones are the only suitable shades for architecture. Sedona is the only place in the world where the golden arches of McDonalds are teal. Aside from the flashy neon sign in front, there is not much to attract the attention of passersby.

Oh, wait. There is one other little thing.  Just off the road in front of the parking lot is a captured flying saucer. As I have heard, the proper term is Unidentified Flying Object. This, however, does not seem to fit, as this object has been clearly identified. It is an Unreasonably Funny Object:

I won’t show you images of the food. I’ve had to many complaints about ugly food here at MPBM. I will, however, say that the menu is typically diner-style. There are plenty of choices and the meal we had was very tasty. They have a decent bar. The service is cheerful and amusing. All of the staff wear t-shirts bearing the greeting, “Welcome Earthlings.”:

It probably the only establishment on the planet featuring an alien restroom attendant:

Alas, there is no jukebox. The selection boxes at the tables have long been colonized by tiny aliens:

Other small aliens float ghostlike around the ceiling while their scout ship hovers silently:

A more robust alien serves as maître d’:

The usual “Please wait to be seated” placard is replace by a more amusing version.

I couldn’t resist posing Grace at the door. Really, someone should talk to these aliens about clothing:

Grace was visibly discomfited by the proximity of a naturalist alien.

I find myself in a place where being far out on the fringes of the bell curve is perfectly acceptable. The presence of many long-haired, freaky people is very comforting. It’s not unlike a warmer Hamilton, Ontario, except for the pervasive woo-woo factor. It will be interesting to see what happens to Sedona when the New Age becomes passé, as it surely will.

Nothing lasts forever.

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To The Aliens in My Front Yard – Live Long and Prosper

Posted in Humor, Under the Sea on March 8th, 2010 by MadDog
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The Laboratory Monks tell us that a huge portion of the genes that spell out what we appear to be (Yeah, I’m a phenotype, just like you. Except I’m less inhibited.) are exactly the same. Okay, lets say that I share like maybe 90% of the genes with my dog, Sheba. That could explain a lot. But, we don’t look much like each other. Chimps are even closer, something like 98%. Don’t take these numbers seriously, I’m not checking them. I’m just sketching the general sketch here. In one sense, I’m nearly as mousey as a mouse, as moosey as a moose . . . you get the picture.

But, when you go into the ocean . . . wow . . . There be monsters there. HARRRGGHH!

When did you ever see anything like this in your front yard?Well, any fool knows that it’s just a cuttlefish, specifically a Broadclub Cuttlefish, technically a Sepia latimanus.  But, have you ever stopped, maybe after a stiff Scotch or two, and pondered just how different  it is? If you think about it long enough, you go all funny. People are always telling me that I think too much. Maybe they are right.

But, how do you shut it off? I mean, look at this thing:You can’t see it here, but it was flashing  me. No, not that way. Waves of brilliant colours were sweeping over its body. If that were not enough, it was growing lumps even as I watched. Check out cuttlefish flicks on YouTube if you want to blow your mind.

They also have this funny (not ha-ha, I mean hair standing up on the back of your neck funny) thing that they do with their arms that seems chillingly communicative. It’s like, “Hey, stupid! Yeah, you. Cat got your tongue? Can’t you see I’m talking to you?” I’ll demonstrate at the end of the post. You’ll be amazed.

As if that’s not bad enough, we have the cloaking devices. You see the alien? I’m one up on you, because I know its secret:Here on Earth we call it the Longsnout Flathead. The Men in Black call it a Thysanophrys chiltonae.  (Thy Chi  for short). I can’t pronounce what their cousins call themsleves back on Betelgeuse XVI.

Okay, now  do you see it? Unlike in outer space, the cloaking device fails to be 100% effective underwater. I think has something to do with refraction angles or some such tomfoolery:Still pretty effective, eh? The eyes are the problem. If they cloak their eyes, they can’t see you. It’s a sort of self-defeating defense. Not much use. The eyes always give them away. They need to work on their technology. Maybe they should feed a few of their theoretical scientists to us. That would give them an incentive to come up with a fix.

Here I have used my soon to be patented MadDog Alien Disclosing Anti-Cloaking Ray Dispenser on this Flathead (a close cousin of the Coneheads, in case you were wondering) to display it in its fully disgusting not-like-me-at-all splendor:I should warn you not to stare into its eyes too long, especially if you click the image to enlarge it. I recently heard of a teenager who did that. It was horrible. He stopped cutting school, quit smoking pot, finished all of accumulation of 1,600 hours of his court mandated community service and stopped saying, “Whatever.” If these things have that kind of power they could take over any time they darn well please.

So, as I always play the safe side and don’t look for trouble where it doesn’t sound like fun, I’m publicly communicating my good intentions to any and all aliens, above or below the Dihydrogen Monoxide interface:

I’m using the same creepy hand signal that the Cuttlefish and Mister Spock use. You thought it was Hollywood, eh? Sucker!

Sheesh, I look like I’ve been raised from the dead. Call me Lazarus. You like my Lieutenant Dangle shorts? I cut the pockets off so people wouldn’t think I was a cast member of Reno 911.  That’s a genuine Harley Davidson belt buckle, by the way, given to me by Trevor Hattersley and Karen Simmons for some event, my birthday or Christmas or something. I can’t remember. I have to keep saying this, because I once attributed the gift to someone else and I’m still grovelling for forgiveness. Ooooh, I’m digressing severely.

Anyway, to all you aliens out there:  I’m a nice peaceable guy. You don’t get in my face, I won’t get in yours. My motto is live and let live or whatever it is you do.

In short:  Live Long and Prosper.

I’ll try to do the same.

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Are Aliens Controlling our Behaviour?

Posted in Dangerous, Humor on February 24th, 2009 by MadDog
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I’ve subscribed to two magazines since before I entered puberty. One is Scientific American.   I’ve learned a lot from reading roughly 600 issues over the years. The other magazine that I’ve read all these years is Analog Science Fiction & Fact.   The material is not so difficult. Many famous Science Fiction authors have gotten their start in the pages of Analog:

Analog Science Fiction & Fact
Yesterday evening I was reading an article about a Mars colony where the cats were infested with Taxoplasma gondii.   Taxo-what?   Me too. I had only a dim recollection that it was something that cats carry and humans can get it and it’s not only not very good for you; it has some extremely odd side affects.

T. gondii   is a very peculiar parasite. Cats carry it with little effect. A really good parasite soon learns not to harm its host. Here’s how it works:  (From NPR All Things Considered,   14 April 2007)

When you see a cat pounce on a rat, it seems like a classic story about a predator and prey.

But scientists have recently discovered that sometimes the main actor is actually a tiny parasite in the rat’s brain that makes the normally fearful rat think “oh how nice” when it smells a cat.

The parasite wants the rat to be caught by the cat because it needs to be in the cat’s stomach to reproduce. New research sheds light on how this surprising little organism can manipulate a rodent to do its will.

Well, that is a little simplistic, but nicely put. So, the cat infects the rat (apparently rats find cat turds quite tasty) and T. gondii   begins to rewire the rat’s brain so that it likes the smell of cat pee. Now the rats hang around where the cats like to take a whiz and the cats quickly catch onto this and the rats are soon in the cats’ tummies making more T. gondii.   If that doesn’t show how cool nature is, then I just don’t know what might impress you.

That’s all well and good, but what does it have to do with humans?

Hah!  Humans can get infectd by T. gondii   also. That’s where it gets really interesting.

In humans T. gondii   can cause birth defects, predispose one to mental problems, cause more boys than girls to be born . . . the list goes on. I won’t go into all that. You can read more here and here.

The interesting idea to toy around with is:  Could this be a plan hatched by Aliens to take over the world? Scoff if you like, but this image might just get you to thinking:

Felis domesticus - Alien agents?
How easy would it be for a technologically advanced society to develop a parasite that could infect humans (half the population of earth already, by some reports) and begin to subtly change behaviour? Later, the parasite, if well designed, would follow its programmed evolutionary path and begin modifying humans in more drastic ways. Like similar organisms (malaria being one) it could constantly modify itslef to defend against a cure.

It would be as easy as playing with kittens. And probably as much fun.

I’m not suggesting that this is the case. I’m just saying that it would be the easiest way that I can think of to take over the world.

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In My Garden #3 – ALIENS! – Ant Body Snatchers

Posted in Humor, My Garden on February 19th, 2008 by MadDog
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Hmmmm, my garden seems to be getting a lot of attention these days – and not all of it is welcome.

This morning, while making my usual rounds with camera in hand, I discovered that Aliens From Outer Space have established an ant body harvesting operation in my garden.

Have a look at this:

Alien machine to harvest ant bodies

Clearly, this is a cleverly disguised device for collecting and preserving the nutrients from ant bodies for later consumption by the fiendish aliens which have occupied my garden.  The ants are attracted to the death machine by the cloying scent of the ‘flowers’  These elegant but devilish contraptions then lure the hapless ant to the yellow thingie in the middle (see the ant walking around on it).  The ant is then immediately sucked inside the dissolving chamber which is full of alien digestive fluids, a dash of Worcestershire Sauce, and a little ascorbic acid as a preservative.  (click on the image to see a bigger version)

Please, in the name of public safety, check your garden for suspicious activity.  You can look here and here to verify that any flesh eating ‘plants’ that you find are safe.  Mother Earth has quite a few of these and they are most generally satisfied with the occasional bug.

But we must not let these alien upstarts have our ants.  First it will be ants, then cats and dogs, then small children and goats.  Heaven help us!

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