Thursday, December 7, 2017

Just One

The lone "ladybug" 
     From The Copy Desk: This time The Boys got their bug, since this week's subject moves a bit slower than the butterflies that eluded Marty's camera this past summer. We here at The Copy Desk are thrilled to avoid curious excursions north of the 38th parallel to find "suitable" artwork for their post.

     "Well that's it, I'm all done cleaning up the window sills," Warren said. "That was easy, just one bug."
     Indeed, Warren had swept up, sprayed and wiped down the entire winter burough sun room.  Marty, suspiciously, wandered out into the sun-warmed enclave and looked around.
     "Hey it really does look good. Nice job Warren," Marty said. "And I thought you were grossed out by dead bugs, what's up, you turning 'normal' on me?"
     Marty need not worry. There's a half a roll of paper towels in the garbage can to prove Warren's still a scaredy-gopher when it comes to dead things. And besides, it's Thursday and Warren just woke up.
     "It was easy," Warren said. "It wasn't dead. So I let it crawl onto a beer mat and then I let it go outside.
     And there were no other bugs, dead or alive, anywhere ..... " Warren paused, realizing that ..... "there were no huge bunches of ladybugs to vacuum up, or cluster flies or even June bugs this past summer."
     "You're right, brother," Marty said, "And there's the sudden lack of birds around here. If all the bugs are gone, birds would leave."
     The Boys stared at each other for a moment, then leapt (well, kinda) into action. Gathering snacks, craft beverages, pillows blankets and iPads they settled into the Adirondack chairs to catch the late afternoon sun glistening off the year's first snowfall.
     "There's a story here that may explain our anecdotal observations," Marty said.
     "Aunt who" Warren asked.

     From The Copy Desk: Yes, there is a story HERE that may explain The Boys' observations.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Things are looking up

Things are looking up for these DPRK generals, for
their missiles just successfully launched and
they're not going to die today.
      "Hey there goes another one," Warren exclaimed. "That makes 34 this year, way up from the 14 we spotted in each of the last two years."
     Marty, tripping over their "Easy" button, scrambled to grab the camera. By the time he's ready and out the door, the monarch butterfly was nowhere to be seen.
     "Rats, missed another one," Marty said. "How will The Copy Desk illustrate the post now."
     Marty had been trying for weeks to get a good picture of an endangered monarch butterfly flitting through the yard. There's really not a lot of them anymore (thanks Monsanto) and they winter in a mountainous area of Mexico, where each year the wintering monarch population is counted.
     "I wonder if this year's increased numbers around the burrow are a predictor of a winter monarch population increase," Marty said. "That data point comes out in January, I think."
     "Actually it comes out in February," Warren said. "And maybe this year's higher local number reflects last year's population rebound. Two years ago there where only 42 million overwintering butterflies - down from the 20 year average of about 225 million. In 2016 there were 150 million and in 2017 the numbers dipped to 125 million. For the details, see Center for Biological Diversity"
     "How do you do that," Marty said. "How do you insert a hyperlink into your speech. It's not natural. We may have to burn you as a witch at some point."
     From The Copy Desk: As to Warren's 'witchiness" we're not going to divulge what we know, but we will hint at the possibility that he may in fact be drinking Guinness and watching hurling or something .... somewhere. If only there were pictures.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Dangers of Pants

     From The Copy Desk: As is well documented, indeed, from the beginning, The Boys have avoided the pitfalls and discomfort of ..... Pants. Now, they feel, they are vindicated.

An airborne menace.
   "Hey Warren," Marty said. "Have you seen that The Copy Desk (TCD) is up and about. He can actually walk again." It had been at least a week since either of The Boys saw TCD out in the garden near the summer burrow. The only visitor has been that one lone turkey, and she has the nerve to bathe on the marmots' sun porch.
    "I heard him tell someone he's on steroids," Warren said. "They also mentioned swell links, and I think, something about bird psyching. Where they talking about sausage and playing tricks on chickadees?"
     "Once again haphling, you've managed to get most of that wrong," Marty said. "It's true he was on steroids, but not the Jose Canseco-kind, just the ones that reduce swelling. Which is the second point, he said swelling, not swell links, and lastly - the birds are safe - the diagnosis was an inflamed bursar sack of the hip joint. Bursitis it's called.
   "The best guess as to what brought him down remains ....... his pants," Marty said. "It took years, but the long-term impact on his fatter wallet pressing against the diminishing muscle mass of a child of the Eisenhower Administration, the back pocket a bit lower as the bulging stomach limits the height to which the pants can be hitched ..... eventually there's enough aggravation and joint becomes so painful I saw him crawl across the kitchen to feed the cat."
     "Why would he do that?" Warren asked.
     "Because his leg didn't hurt when he crawled," Marty said.
     "No. I mean why would he feed the cat. They're hunters. She should feed herself," Warren said.
     From Copy Desk: The relative merits of cats in general, and specifically with regards to the current feline resident here at The Copy Desk, are debatable. We'll leave that for another time, suffice it to say for now that she could apply for and probably win PETA-approved status - as she rarely, if ever, seems to hunt anything.
     "So the lesson here is don't wear pants?" Warren asked. "But, mercifully, he still seems to wear pants, so I'll guess that he just keeps his wallet in his front pocket now."
     "And it's a good thing too," Marty said. "He's got an important job coming up, what with the holiday and all."

     From The Copy Desk: Yes the deadline approaches. The holiday is of course June 21, the 73rd birthday of now-Sir Raymond Douglas Davies, being knighted late last year, and in celebration The Boys and TCD generally round up a post with all dialogue being lines from Sir Ray songs; See: The Hard Way and The Tronald.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Marmots .... Upgraded

     From The Copy Desk: Among the impediments to more frequent posts on this blog (besides a vigorous nap schedule, snacking, eating, dining, sleeping and chores around the burrow), it has always been technology which has vexed The Boys significantly. Now, with their electric bill slashed by solar panels, our furry pundits are excited to announce that their tech woes may be over. A new iPad Pro, with camera and 256 gig of memory, has been secured to replace their creaking iPad 1 ..... which dates from early 2010 and uses the venerable Apple A4 chip - meaning that it was almost entirely unable to access Internet sites with any aplomb. Now upgraded, The Boys are threatening to post more often. We here at The Copy Desk are hopeful, but we'll wait for evidence to roll in.

Warren saying goodbye to the old iPad.

     "This isn't working," Marty said. "Why on earth can't I add a photo I just took with this iPad to the blog I'm writing on THIS iPad."
     Warren, resisting the more snarky comment that popped into his head, asked, "Why don't you call Bill Gates and ask him to explain it to you."
     This first-world problem, for once, isn't Mr. Bill's fault ..... the problem seems to be that Google and Apple stuff can't get along.
     "We'll have to cope," Marty said. "I just have email the photo to the Mac mini in the burrow and live with. It means I still can't post from wherever, but I guess it'll do."
     Warren wondered if actually reading the iPad tips or taking the online class would help, but figured Marty was too stubborn to go there. "After want we've endured with the old one this is still a great improvement ... if we can figure out how to shut down the audio typo function."
     From The Copy Desk: With that we'll leave The Boys to their self-improvement effort and await their next effort.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Shock treatment

      From The Copy Desk: It's been a few weeks now and Marty has finally emerged from his emergency shock treatment .... immersed in pain -relieving gel, sipping bourbon and gobbling analgesics like M&Ms. The election was indeed a shock to him and now as the thrice-bankrupt prophet of rude prepares to lead the free world he's trying to figure out what he'll need to survive this more than normally uncertain future.

     "Hey Warren," Marty shouted, "should I get a gas-fueled electric generator for the burrow or six years of freeze-dried vegetarian meals. I'm running out of money and I can't decide."
     Warren thought for a bit and said, "How about three years of food and a solar panel. There's these companies that'll put a set of panels in your yard for free, you just gotta sign up to buy the power for 20 years or so.
     This will also leave some money in your account, which you will probably withdraw and hide at the bottom of the burrow."
      Warren knew Marty had a few more stages of grief to work through, what with the death of truth, and figured he'd let him do his crazy stuff and get it out of his system. Only then can they figure out what they really need to do and get on with that. Marty returned to the laptop and appeared to be shopping for solar panels.
     "Russian poodles," Marty screamed, looking up from the webpage for pets. "Breeders have created a new dog. This is absurd. A pink dog with a blonde comb-over."
      Warren came over to see the picture and noticed something, "It says they're sold out. Also, the dogs can't be exported to the European Union because they're genetically modified."

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Moving Day

     From The Copy Desk: Warren and Marty are in the midst of moving from the summer to the winter burrow, and as such, things are a bit disorganized. It's also worth 'noting' that Warren recently got a new phone, and it's out of this world.

      Warren, rushing into the still disorganized winter burrow, shouted, "Hey Marty have you seen what Phil had for lunch ....." There was a loud crash, as Warren tumbled to the floor, tipping over the serving cart stacked with apples.
Since Pi is infinite, will the roasting ever be done?
     "That's what happens when you rush around staring at your phone instead of where you're going," Marty said. "That phone is going to be the death of you." Marty began to retrieve the apples that had rolled all over the room and, looking over at Warren, snapped,"Hey, put down the phone and help me pick these up."
     "But I just got an alert," Warren said. "We'll get to see Phil's dessert."
     Marty grabbed the phone from his halph-brother and held it out in front of him ..... leading him into the kitchen and took a seat at the table.
     "Have a seat brother, we need to talk," Marty said. "Nobody should care what Phil had to eat. Nobody should be so engrossed in their phone that they don't even look where they're going. Nobody should be so crude as to ignore the flesh and blood individual who needs help cleaning up a mess the phone user caused because their phone just bleeped or something."
     Warren, still suffering from FOMA (fear of missing out), reached out and grabbed the phone from Marty, shouting, "Was it cupcakes or brownies, I need to know."
    Marty sat back, calmly stating, "Look what it's done to you, you're a mess. You've been less than helpful today and we'll have to stay up past bedtime tonight to get this burrow set straight. You have the attention span of about 8 seconds and ....... hey what's that smell?"
     Warren felt the heat and dropped his smoldering phone. Marty, thinking quickly, tossed the phone into the kitchen stove and shut the door - where it continued to smolder until it lit the fire and started roasting the vegetables Marty had in the oven.
     While dinner was roasting The Boys worked on putting everything in its place and generally cleaning up the house. Marty continued his lecture about the evils of "smart" phones and eventually convinced Warren to go back to his flip phone.
     "These vegetables are really tasty," Warren said. "I love the spices you've used."
     Marty, looking his brother in the eyes, said, "Thanks. It's a pleasure to share a meal with you and have a chance to chat."
     From The Copy Desk: While much progress has been made, the woodpile shielding the entrance to the summer burrow still offers enough cover for The Boys' needs ..... but the local forecast calls for colder weather starting this weekend and prompted the decision to move. The Copy Desk plans to finish moving the rest of the wood soon. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Convenient "truths'

     From The Copy Desk: Warren and Marty, having temporarily suspended their boycott of the news,  are now prepared to resume whatever passes for "normal" in their world. This might, or might not, be interesting.

     It was another really hot day, and Warren just returned from the garden with enough parsley and leaf lettuce to get The Boys through the afternoon.
     "I'm not going back out there until the sun goes behind the trees, it's brutally hot," Warren said. "Have you noticed they're taking apart our woodpile, we may have to move the main burrow entrance soon."
     Marty was unconcerned. The woodpile won't move anytime soon he figured, it's too hot to do that much work. "We're set. The local humans don't move that fast, we'll be ready to move to the winter burrow by the time they get anything done." From The Copy Desk: Frankly, we're insulted.
     Marty's copy of the Weekly World Marmot News lay on the stump near the burrow entrance. "You've been reading the news," Warren said. "I thought we were going to avoid it for a while."
     "I couldn't resist, I had to read more when I saw the headline 'Court Overturns Voter ID Law,'" Marty said. "It turns out, after a bit more research on Marmopedia, that federal appeals courts have be overturning all or parts of many of the voter restriction laws passed in states controlled by the Republic Party."
     Warren knew that many of these laws were passed with amazing speed shortly after the Supreme Court overturned sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that prevented states with a history of discrimination from passing laws that discriminate against, usually, minority voters. "So as soon as they were freed from federal oversight, they passed these laws to prevent 'voter fraud,' which they claim is rampant despite any evidence." Warren said.
     "Very good furry grasshopper," Marty said. "If there is any problem with voting in this country, it's because the underfunded and/or uncaring elections officials don't keep up with the work to keep the rolls accurate, while ignoring where the real problem may be - absentee ballots. But even if there is absentee ballot fraud, it's rarely enough to swing any election."
     Warren thought about this for a while as he cooled off from his trip to the garden, finally he said, "So the Republic Party believes in voter fraud, which does't exist, in order to improve their chances of winning elections.
     "But they don't believe in global warming, which does exist, also in order to try to win elections."
     Marty smiled. "Warren," he said, "You're beginning to get it. They're willing to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of voters and roast the planet just to win elections and provide tax cuts for rich people."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016



     From The Copy Desk: After a trip to the local health clinic for a particularly nasty badminton injury, The Boys were discussing politics, though still not watching or reading any news. Why they feel secure in making predictions is anybody's guess.

     Marty and Warren argued all the way home from the health clinic, but then agreed to drop the discussion about who was at fault for the injury. Eyes are fragile things and not meant to stop shuttlecocks. Then they turned to politics, or what passes for politics these days.    
     So now it became clear that the shuttlecock's impact (or was it the pain medication?) left Warren without any inhibitions. "Tronald Dump can't stand to be a loser ...... when it becomes clear he's losing he's going to quit the race."
     Marty scoffed. But thinking it over, wondered if his medically-deranged halph-brother was actually on to something. "If he's also not actually that rich, as rich as he says he is, it would give him another reason to bail," Marty said. "And if the polling gets much worse, and if nobody wants to speak at, or even attend, the Republic Party convention, I can see him blaming the party and walking."

     From The Copy Desk: Would that would make it a "Trexit?"

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Tronald

     From The Copy Desk: Once again The Boys speak only in lines lifted from  songs written by Raymond Douglas Davies, in honor of his 72nd birthday today, June 21. God Bless The Kinks.

     "There's a crack up in the ceiling and the kitchen sink is leaking," Warren said. "Sometimes I wish I could just drift away."
     Marty, lounging nearby, looked over at his despondent halph-brother, and said, "Cheer up son, put on the kettle. There's no point in being glum. Have a cuppa tea, for Christ sake have a cuppa tea."
     This just made Warren sadder. "I think I'm so educated and I'm so civilized 'cos I'm a strict vegetarian. But with the over-population and inflation and starvation and the crazy politicians,  I don't feel safe in this world no more. I don't want to die in a nuclear war," he said.
To establish the corners of the
 badminton court, The Boys finally
found a use for factory beer.
     Marty went over and, yes, put the kettle on. Warren stared with glazed eyes at the Faux Nooze channel showing a podium and about a hundred American flags ...... waiting for Tronald Dump to speak.
    "Give 'em lots of violence, and plenty to hate. Give the people what they want," Marty said to the television. "The bigger the ego, the bigger the fall. When your reputation counts for nothing at all."
     Cuppa tea in hand, Marty went over to Warren and said, "The world's going crazy and nobody gives a damn anymore."
   Warren, sipping his tea, said, "Promises, promises, all we get are promises."
   Just then the crowd on TV cheered as The Tronald made his way to the podium .....
   "He's really middle class and he's just a phony," Marty said, "He acts tough but it's just a front."
   Warren clicked off the TV and, turning to Marty, said, "In a world that is full of hatin' and about to descend. I just smile and pretend I'm a million miles away from it all and let it go right over my head."

   From The Copy Desk:  With that The Boys decided to ignore the news and go play badminton - perhaps until after election day. In 2014, The Boys also spoke in Ray lyrics, a post titled The Hard Way.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thus quothe the marmot

     From The Copy Desk: The Boys have discussed commenting on certain current political "doings," but since most of it makes so little sense - there's really not a lot to say. So instead, they offer this quotation.

     “We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood . . . . It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by  working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
     I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

Abraham Lincoln  - from a letter to Col. William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864