Mr. Charlton Builds a Computer

I received my computer Tuesday and after work, chores, making dinner, and a bunch of tasks needing to be accomplished, I finally had time at about 10:30 pm to sit down and put together a massive box of computer pieces. By 2:00 am Wednesday morning, I finally had the damn thing together and running with an operating system. Ran into a couple snags, though…

  • I bought a CPU fan, thinking the CPU wouldn’t come with a fan. It did. So I have two CPU fans. Now, the extra one I bought is most certainly an upgrade, but Christ, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine attaching such a massive and ugly piece of hardware to a CPU. It looks like my processor is being molested by a silver monster.
  • I also bought an extra tube of thermal paste. That’s only because I didn’t expect the extra fan to have some. It did. Now I’m capable of attaching a ton of processors to heatsinks and fans. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
  • I installed the mother board first, which turned out to be a mistake. You see, that crazy monster CPU fan needs to fastened to the BACK of the motherboard as well as the front. I had to take off the sucker and attach this beast of a fan before I could put the motherboard back in.
  • I was going to return the fan, once I realized what a pain in the ass it was. As I was looking up the return policy, I spilled coffee on the instructions for this fan. After a lot of swearing (sorry Kat!), I decided to keep the fan.
  • If you haven’t noticed, basically every problem I had was with this fan. But damn, does it push some heat!
  • Once everything was installed, I went to go install my operating system. Except I didn’t actually buy one. After some digging, I found my old copy of Windows 7. Brand new machine, and it’s running an operating system that’s over 7 years old. I’m off to a great start.

It might seem like two and a half hours is a long time to setup a computer, but remember, this is the first computer I’ve bought in 8 years. I was taking my sweet time, occasionally smelling the cords as I was putting it together. They had that new cord smell. Delicious.

I’ve been slowly adding software to the machine. Slowly. I’ve starting with some basics I use a bunch. Which brings me to a new problem. Because right now I’m satisfied that everything that NEEDS to be installed finally is, and I’m writing this blog at 3:00 pm on Friday. From the time of unboxing to the moment I can finally sit down and feel comfortable using my computer, it has been three days. 2 and a half hours ain’t bad, but 3 days is a goddamn long time to be waiting to use your new toy.

You see, you can’t just start mucking about on the computer the second you have it plugged in. No sir. You have to make sure everything is updated first. You have to update all the drivers for the hardware; the motherboard (you should do this first), the video card, the LAN, the audio. You have to install the latest service pack for Windows. You then have to update Windows. Now you’re going to want to install all the cool software you use on a regular basis; A good internet browser, Skype, Steam, a slew of design program I tell myself I’m going to learn but never do. Once that’s all done, once all of that was setup, I finally installed Skyrim to see how well this computer would run.

It runs at 60 FPS on the highest settings. I mean, it’s a game that’s also 8 years old, but damn, it still looks pretty good.

I’ve been going on such a downloading spree that I had to call my service provider and have them bump me up to their platinum program. If I hadn’t done that, I would still be installing Visual Studio’s 2017 (this program happens to clock in at over 50 Gbs with all the bells at whistles. No joke). I’ve only had this computer for a couple days and I’ve already downloaded well over a hundred gigs of sweet data, and from how it’s going so far, that ain’t going to stop any time soon.

TLDR; Mr. Charlton got a new computer. Mr. Charlton build his new computer. Mr. Charlton is now treating his new machine like a China vase, and refuses to even browse Facebook with it yet. You’ll know the new shiny has worn off when I start downloading crap I shouldn’t be.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. I missed a post ’cause I was enthralled with my new toy. I should be working instead of playing, but I just downloaded Batman: Arkham City and SWEET PEARL it runs at 60 FPS with every damn thing turned on. An old game, but this tells me I can at least play some new games if I choose to.

 

 

Dear 90’s Kids; Your Childhood was Stupid

I was born in 1983, which puts me in the category of Millenial, a term used by dumb people who figure generational differences can be neatly divided into decade-size chunks. At the same time, this generation, who’s formative years was in the late 80’s and early 90’s, for whatever reason, thinks this was clearly winning some sort of lottery. Anyone born from 1980 to about 1990 will rant and rave about their childhood, bragging about their upbringing with anyone they have on their social media list. The reverberation from the rest of the internet echoes right back at them. “Remember this?” Everyone nods in affirmation. Apparently, 1990’s nostalgia is the best nostalgia.

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I try not to.

Mr. Charlton is here to tell you that your memory is pretty terrible. I used to be like you, 90’s kid. I used to say things like “Well, this new computer game is pretty fancy, but it’s not nearly as cool as my Super Nintendo”. I too used to swallow the Kool-Aid of 90’s nostalgia, drinking it in like cheap gin. Reality smacked me back in the face when instead of thinking about memory lane, I took a stroll down it. For the first time in over two decades, I sat down and watched my favorite cartoon from my childhood; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

It’s fucking awful.

I’m not saying this lightly. I love cartoons. I watch cartoons all the time. I’m not judging a medium here, people. What I’m saying is that objectively, and I say this with conviction in my heart, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the 1980’s cartoon I cherished as a child, is an utter pile of crap. It sucks. The first season of the show is sort of passable, but then it completely goes off the rails. There’s no real character development, there’s no structure, the plot is stupid, and the whole show reeks of lousy writing.

There’s a reason for this, though. You see, kids are smart, but they’re also pretty dumb. It’s just what kids do. Saturday morning cartoons were designed to do one thing, and one thing only. Sell toys. And it worked. Really, really well.

tmnt-actionfigures

Maybe too well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out in 1987, so I was four years old when I was introduced to the show. That’s young. I mean, that’s brain formative, crazy impressionable young. These shows were so effective, a law had to be put in place to let children know when the show took a break and the advertisements began. It was called the Children’s Television Act.

It wasn’t just TMNT that was trying to sell my childhood to me, there was a number of shows that pulled this kind of trash.

16729172_1737650963215530_5805631914698509738_n

David Koresh couldn’t get this kind of following.

If you’re part of the earlier generations, the Gen X’s or the Baby Boomers, and you’ve always wondered why our generation was so obsessed with weird pop culture like Transformers and Nintendo, well, it’s because that’s how you inadvertently raised us. You sat us down in front of the television every Saturday morning, and let us watch six hours of programming designed to get us to buy toys. And it was done when our brains were spongy and pliable.

Now I’m not pointing the finger at anyone. I’m also not really writing this for the older generations, or my generation either. I’m writing this for the younger generation, for the kids who were born after the naughts. If you’re wondering why mommy and daddy will have an actual argument about which Pokemon is better, it’s because your parents were brainwashed when they were kids. It’s why the adult neighbors will solemnly nod in agreement when they mention how Micheal Bay destroyed their childhood with the new Transformer movies. The adults you’ll have to work with when you grow to get a job will forever be sitting around the water cooler, discussing which Power Ranger they would have been.

If you’re a 90’s “Kid” reading this, there is still hope. The cartoons being made today are spearheaded by the same generation, and they are way better than anything we ever had. If you’re actually a Ninja Turtles fan, then I suggest you go watch the new 3D remake from Nickelodeon that premiered in 2012. It actually has a plot and is well written for a kid’s show. A lot of other famous franchises are getting reboots, and many of them are pretty good.

The kids growing up today have it better than I did as a kid when it comes to entertainment, and that’s a good thing. Cartoons are more engaging and smart, video games are bigger and brighter, and if all else fails, it’s not like the old stuff vanished. Heck, I was playing the old arcade game ‘Asteroids’ on my computer the other day. It’s nice to look back every now and again. You just have to make should you’re only glancing back at the past, not staring intently.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. The Super Nintendo is still fun and all, but it doesn’t compare with playing online against crazy Russian people in CounterStrike.

Let’s Talk About Bells “Let’s Talk”

If you’re not a Canadian, this topic might be a little foreign to you, so I’m going to break it down. Bell Canada is a telecommunications company operating in the Great White North. A few years ago, they started their “Let’s Talk” campaign, which is designed to bring mental health to the forefront of conversation. The campaign takes place at the beginning of the year, and if you are a Canadian citizen, you start to see commercials like these.

Micheal Landsberg is a famous Canadian sports guy.

Howie Mandel is a famous Canadian game show host.

I’m not sure who this is. But she’s probably Canadian.

Bringing up the stigma of mental health issues is a tough one, and I commend Bell for trying to bring this into the public arena. The other day, though, a friend of mine brought up a very important piece of the mental health puzzle faced here in Canada. Specifically, he brought up this guy.

Vince Li

(Photo: The Canadian Press)

This is Will Baker, formally known as Vincent Li. On July 30th, 2008, he decapitated a fellow passenger, Tim McLean, on a Greyhound bus traveling to Winnipeg. After cutting off his head, he began to cannibalize parts of the young man. As of the writing of this post, Will is living alone, under supervision, in Winnipeg. Will is asking for an absolute discharge, which would grant him total freedom. Currently, his case is being reviewed by the Crown.

Will Baker was found not criminally responsible (NCR) for his actions, as he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. At the time of the killing, he heard the ‘Voice of God’ tell him to kill the young man or die himself.

Every January, Facebook fills with stories about people wanting to open up and share their own experiences with mental health. I hear from folks about eating disordered, anxiety attacks, depression. It’s both incredibly brave and important because it strips away the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Understand I’m not here to disparage any form of mental disorder. Depression, anxiety, these are real conditions that affect thousands of Canadians every year. It’s important we talk about them. The problem is Bell using these conditions as the face of mental health issues. While Bell is more than happy to hire successful spokespeople to talk about their struggles and how they overcame them, like the videos posted above, they tend to go quiet about subjects like Mr. Baker.

The conversation changes in tone when we bring up people who’ve committed violent acts while suffering a mental disorder. It slides from sharing videos like these on Twitter, all the way down to locking a person up and throwing away the key. People want to have a conversation about mental health when it’s told by photogenic actors, but the conversation stops when it’s discussing cases like the killing of Tim McLean, or the Calgary Stabbings, where five people were killed at a house party by someone claiming aliens were talking to him.

I’m going to relate my own story here. I spent some time in Golden in the spring of 2015, a few months. It was enough time to meet some of the towns more interesting folks. There was one person, in particular, who stood out. We’ll call him Greg. Now, Greg went to the library a lot. I was at the library every once and a while, as my mom works there. Greg made me pretty uncomfortable because Greg talked to ghosts. I asked some of the other people in town about Greg, including my mom. “He’s harmless,” I was told “and the truth is, we can’t really do anything about him.” And it’s completely true, even though it was clear that Greg was obviously suffering from some sort of mental disorder, there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. The police couldn’t do anything, as he hadn’t broken any laws. And there’s no facility in a small place like Golden that could have intervened.

Greg made me uncomfortable for another reason. While he seemed friendly enough to other people, the ghosts had beef with me and were letting Greg know. Once, when I was leaving the library, Greg was standing outside. I said hello, and he replied with “They’re saying you’re very dangerous. I don’t like dangerous people.” He also said this while looking right through me with the classic ‘thousand yard stare’. Not long after, he moved somewhere else, somewhere in northern BC.

I’m telling this story because even though it was clear society had a person suffering from head problems on their hands, there was no protocol in place to deal with him. That’s a glaring issue, one that Bell’s “Let’s Talk” campaign doesn’t address. What would have happened had the ghosts decided I was threat? What would have happened if Greg acted upon the ghosts suggestions?

Bell did raise 6.5 million dollars for mental health, which is a win.  But, if we want to get serious about mental health, we need to do more than just talk about it. We need to start addressing it. Not just addressing what we do with violent patients after they’ve recovered and have been treated, but how to prevent them from becoming violent in the first place. The last thing I want to hear about is a man named Greg committing an act of violence in northern BC, because ghosts were telling him space pirates were coming to get him.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. #LetsDoSomethingAboutIt

No. 45 – Lunch

“I’ve got everything here”.

The Veteran had to double check. If anything was missing, well, he wouldn’t yell at you, he’d just think you were incapable. Unreliable. A dumbass, in his own words. So the Veteran opened the insulated bag and had a look. A big Mac from McDonald’s. Two cheese and beef melts from Arby’s. A bucket of KFC – Extra Crispy. A small loaded pizza from Papa Johns. Two bottles of coke.

“Seems like everything’s in order. Go on in, he’ll be waiting for you” the Veteran told the Rookie intern. The Rookie looked up at him. The Veteran finished his thought for him before he opened his mouth. “Yes, all of that is for him. Steve might grab a slice of pizza, but… besides that, yeah, it’s all his. No, he’s not going to eat it all in one go. He sets it up like a little buffet and picks at it throughout the afternoon. Go on, he’s expecting you. He might seem scary, but he’s an alright guy.”

The Rookie nodded and trotted off. The Veteran ducked off to the washroom to tweet this. They were cracking down on leaks. But this was too damn good of an opportunity to pass up.

***

The Rookie opened the door to the Oval Office. There was the President of the United States, yelling at the television.”Those fucking liars! Those fucking sons-a-bitches! I didn’t tell the Aussie Prime Minister to go fuck himself.”

The Vice-President was pacing behind him. “No sir, you didn’t say that. But you were rather curt.”

The President of the United States spun around. “Yeah, and I hung up on the clown. Over a thousand refugee he says he’s sending over. Said he made a deal with the last guy. What a lousy deal. You know what we get? Nothing. We get a bunch of broken sand hicks and their shitty offspring.”

Steve was sitting in the chair behind the desk, twirling a pen. “It was good of you to show your strong hand there, Mr. President. We can’t be letting just anyone into the country. The last guy was soft. You need to be strong.”

The President walked over to the desk, put his hands on it and leaned right over to look at Steve. “I am strong. I’m the strongest. There’s nobody out there who’s stronger than me.” Steve looked right at the President and didn’t break eye contact. There was a pause. “Good. That’s exactly what this country needs. Mr. President”. Steve flashed a grin and soon the President of the United States was beaming. “You’re my guy Steve, this is why you’re my guy.” The Vice-President shook his head in the corner.

“Lunch! I can smell it. New guy. Thank you so much for running out and grabbing this for me. You’re a rockstar, you know that? Just put it on the desk”. The Rookie intern walked over to the desk and placed to order down. The Vice-President finally spoke again. “Look, with all due respect Mr. President, at your age you shouldn’t be eating this kind of…” The President of the United States waved his hand at the Vice-Pres. “Now, now, we’ve talked about this, okay? I’m healthy. I’ve got a body like, like, hey, who’s that superhero that can rejuvenate himself? Played by that hairy guy.”

The Rookie’s eyes brightened. “You mean Wolverine?”

The President clapped his hands and pointed at the Rookie. “This kid. This kid right here. RockStar. You’re going places kid, I can see it. What’s your name?”

The Rookie thrust out his hand. “The name’s Matt, sir. Matt Goading.” The President shook his hand. “Whoa there, Matt, strong grip you’ve got. I like that in a man. Good business skill”.

Suddenly there was a buzz from the President’s pocket. He pulled out his cell phone. He looked at it, and then his face curdled. His jovial, round features became hard lines, and he started turning red as the blood rushed to his face.

“Fuck!” he screamed. It was clear now that, even though he might have been disappointed with the television earlier, he didn’t lose his cool. Now, the calm seas in the oval office became a torrential storm of scorching emotions.

“How the fuck did they know? This @RoguePOTUSStaff on Twitter. How the fuck did this shit for brains asshole knew what I was eating? He’s got the whole list right here.”

Steve looked at the Rookie, his dropping eyes piercing right through him to the back of his skull. “Mr. President, we might have a traitor in our midst right here.”

The President looked at Steve, then over at the Rookie. He started pointing his finger right in the Rookie’s face. “Do you know who the fuck I am? I will wipe the fucking floor with you. I will ram so many lawsuits down your goddamn throat you’ll be begging me to stop. You-will-be-begging-me. I will go to fucking war over this. Who the fuck are you?” The Rookie tried to say something but was shot down immediately. “I do not give a shit who the fuck Matt Goading is. I will bury you, your family and your goddamn children.”

The President straighten his tie, threw a hand through his hair. The red drained from his face. He held out his phone. “Your phone. Lemme see it.” The Rookie was pale, shaking nervously as beads of sweat started running down his face. “C’mon, don’t make this harder on yourself kid. Gimme your phone.” The Rookie pulled out his cell phone and handed it over. The President swiped at it. “What’s your password?” The Rookie stuttered slightly “It… It’s 5468…” The President tapped the phone a couple times, then started swiping again. After a while, he cocked an eyebrow and looked up at the Rookie. “Where’s your Twitter app? I can’t find it.” The Rookie gulped nervously. “C’mon kid, I don’t have all day. Where’s the app?” The Rookie was looking down at his feet. “I… ummm. I…” The President poked him with the phone. “C’mon, big man, where’s Twitter? You’re saying something. Say it.” The Rookie shuffled in place. “I don’t…. I don’t have Twitter. I don’t even have a Twitter account.”

The President’s eyes bulged, then rolled back. “Jesus Christ, I thought we were only hiring kids who understood cyber.” He shook his head and handed the phone back. His face went scarlet and he kicked at a chair. “Goddamnit!” The entire time, Steve hadn’t taken his eyes off the Rookie. “Mr. President, we don’t have a traitor here. But we might have a tool. A Trojan Horse.”

The President was still red in the face and walked towards the desk. “Not in the mood for riddles about horses, Steve. You have an idea, spit it out.”

Steve broke his gaze with the Rookie and looked over at the President. “The person in charge of this account, it’s obviously a brat. What we need is someone to find out this brat, sniff ’em out. We need a younger person, someone fresh.” he continued twirling the pen.

The President threw up his hands. “Stop with the games Steve, who are you talking about?”

Steve sighed. “The RockStar here. He goes out, makes himself chummy with all the other staff members, finds out who’s in charge of the handle @RoguePOTUSStaff. Our solution is right here in the room.”

The President looked over at the Rookie, back to Steve, then back to the Rookie. His eyes lit up when the pieces came together. “Good idea. I like that idea. I like that idea a lot.” He walked back to the Rookie and put his hands on his shoulders. “Listen, Matt, sorry about earlier. But I’m surrounded, surrounded by losers who want to bring me down. I need loyal people. If you’re loyal to me, I’ll be loyal to you. You get whatever you want. You want a new car? I’ll get you a new car. You want to fuck a bus full of models? I will personally hand pick the models myself. I’m offering you the key to a new life, a life of success, a key that will open every door for you. All you need to do is be loyal to me. Can you do that, Matt?”

The Rookie, still pale as a ghost and sweating profusely, nodded in agreement.

“Not good enough Matt. How do businessmen do business?” The President put out his hand. The Rookie extended his own and shook his. “Beautiful. What a handshake. You’re going to go far, Matt. You help us find this leak, and we’ll plug it up.” The President reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He opened it and produced a stack of hundred dollar bills. “Here’s some money. You make friends out there. Take them out for drinks, take them to dinner, buy them whatever they want. Grease ’em up and make ’em talk.” the President said as he handed the stack of hundreds to the Rookie. “I’m counting on you. Now get at it, tiger.” The President smiled and winked.

The Rookie gave a grin, just about tripped over his feet as he turned and walked out of the room. Just before he was out the door, the President spoke.

“One last thing, kid. Get a Twitter app. It’ll help you find this loser.” The Rookie nodded once and pushed the door open.

On the other side of the door, the White House was bustling as usual, but the air was less heavy. The door latch clicked. The Rookie closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was only his first day, and already he making waves. He opened his eyes and he saw the Veteran, the guy who double checked his order, on the other side of the hall. The Veteran grinned and gave the Rookie a thumbs up. The Rookie returned the thumbs up, even though his hand was trembling. It was going to be a long four years.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. I’m not even sure this even counts as satire anymore.

 

 

The Little Weaponized Germ That Could

Note: Recently, Russian largest tank manufacturer, Uralvagonzavod has contracted award-winning children’s writer Svetlana Lavrova to write a kid’s story about tanks. It’s intended to teach children about the patriotic values of war machines, and follows a character known as “The Little Tank”. Not happy to see prestige and wealth go to some jerk in Russia, Mr. Charlton has decided to step into the game and produce his own children’s book. Not only will the child learn the phonetics of the English language, he or she will be more comfortable of the likelihood of a disease ridden Apocalypse. Mr. Charlton will now gladly accept submission’s from artists to have to honor of creating pictures for his new story.

Blankie was sad. Even though he’d been Timmy’s frien his entire existence, Timmy was now forgetting Blankie more and more often. Timmy used to bring Blankie everywhere! Now, as Timmy was growing older, he was taking Blankie out with him less often. Timmy was also forgetting Blankie in the strangest of places. Timmy was walking away as Blankie laid on the floor of Site 42-X, a laboratory (LA-BRA-TO-RY) located in New Mexico, in the US of A. Timmy’s dad was a scientist here, and worked on weaponized (WE-PON-IZED)  germs. Blankie wasn’t really sure what that meant. What isimportant to Blankie is Timmy had forgotten him once again, and now he was left in the laboratory overnight. Tears welled up in Blankies eyes as he began to cry.

“Now now there, young fella. No need to shed tears when you’re among friends.” Blankie looks around. Through the dark, he saw three strangers appear through the darkness. The was a test tube, a syringe (SUR-INGE), and a small beaker full of green liquid. They approached slowly. Blankie stopped crying, and looked up at these new friends.

“Who… who are you?” he asked. They began to chuckle. The test tube stepped forwards, and she spoke. “Why, we’re diseases. We make weak people very sick, and then die. The great government (GO-VERN-MENT) of the United States keeps us a secret, but in case of extreme situations (SI-TU-A-SHUN), the president tears up the Geneva convention and puts us to work”.

The syringe sighed. “That’s only if the Apocalypse takes place, and the entire world goes to hell. Things have been pretty quiet up there, and we might not ever leave this laboratory.”

“Gosh, it’s nice to meet you all. What’s your names? My name is Blankie.”

The test tube curtsied (CURT-SEED). “My name is Small Pox , this syringe here goes by Anthrax, and the cute little beaker on the end is weaponized Ebola (EE-BOL-A)”. The syringe and the beaker nodded. “It’s nice to meet you Blankie. We don’t meet a lot of others down here in the lab”.

Blankie looked down at the floor. “Shucks, the only reason I’m here is because my friend Timmy left me behind…” The other gasped. “He left you behind? That doesn’t sound like a friend to me, Blankie.” said Small Pox. “We’d never leave behind a friend.” said Anthrax. Ebola spoke up, in his squeaky (SKWEE-KEE) voice. “It’s Un-American!”

Blankie got mad. The edges of the blanket became little fists. “I wish I could take you all with me, but I know that Timmy’s dad is mean. He won’t let us be friends. He’s always saying how ‘If anything got out, it would be the end of the world’. And Timmy will remember me eventually (EV- EN-TCHU-LY, and he’ll come back to get me.”

They were all sad. Then, weaponized Ebola had an idea. “I know! We can get out of here, together! It’s you Blankie. Even though you aren’t a disease like we are, you can be the vessel (VES-ELL) that transports us.” Small Pox piped up. “You know, that just might work!”

Blankie looked up at his new friends. “You think that would work?” Ebola chimed in. “Would it? That’s one of the ways the noble Europeans decimated (DES-E-MATE-ED) the dirty horde that was festering in God’s new land!” he said, in his squeaky voice. “Yeah, they just took the blankets from their sick soldiers (SOL-GERS), and gave them to the natives. They almost wiped them out completely to finish their holy genocide.” said Anthrax.

Blankie puffed out his chest. He was only a blanket before, but now he was going to usher in a new age of darkness. He was beaming (BEEM-EENE) with pride. All three of the diseases blessed Blankie with their power. “Soon, my new friends, we’ll all leave this place, and sing the song that will end the world!” And with that, they all began to sing.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. I could also use a song writer here, I think I’m striking gold with this kid’s stuff. If anyone wants to jam out a couple songs about the harbinger of death, drop me a line.

p.s.s. If you hadn’t noticed, I’m not very good at spelling things out phonetically. I really struggled with that part, just so you know.

Lies are the Spicer of Life

Note: This is a transcript of the third press conference held by Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The conference was held Tuesday, January 24th, 2017.

<Muffled noise as reporters are taking their places. Sean Spicer walks out to the podium>

“Hello, everyone. I’m glad you could all make it on such short notice. There have been a lot of lies spouted recently about not only myself but also Kellyanne Conway and many other people within the Trump team. Today, I will be making a point of clearing up some of the misconceptions so that you can untwist the media out of the crooked perverse form you’ve managed to wrangle it into.”

<A number of reporters jump up at the pause, shouting and pointing  small microphone devices in the direction of  Sean>

“Does it look like I’m taking questions today? Your job is to open your earholes and learn something. Now, what I’m talking about is complicated. It might just pass over your head. You media jerks have been calling us liars. That’s not very nice. We’ve said before, President Trump had the largest turnout for his inauguration in the history of the United States. In the words of our President, and I quote, ‘It was the bigliest inauguration ever. The ratings were good. They were so good. The ratings were through the roof. In fact, we had to get a repair person in to fix the roof. With our record attendance, we broke a roof and gave a man a job’.”

“Now, I understand some of you have been tweeting pictures of past inaugurations, and data gathered by the DC metro regarding tickets, and Nielson ratings for television. You keep throwing facts in our direction. As Kellyanne mentioned, we’re using alternative-facts here, or as we’re calling ’em now, alt-facts.”

<Four reporters scream out ‘Alt-facts?’ in unison. Loud grumbling and murmuring fill the room. One reporter faints>

“Can I finish? Can I finish, please? What you don’t know is that not only is Kellyanne Conway a very talented individual in getting people elected, she’s also has a degree in theoretical physics. What she’s discovered is this; there are an infinite number of universes, and each universe is an alternate version of this reality. And there are facts that can come from these universes, which we’ve labeled as alt-facts. So, in theory, there is an alternate universe where over a billion people tuned into the inauguration. I want you to think about that for a second.”

<More rabble from the press. One journalist gets a question out.”

“Mr. Press Secretary, Mr. Press Secretary!”

“Oh jeez, god, really? Fine, you there, in the sweater. Yes, you.”

“Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post. If what you are saying is true…”

“It is.”

“…Ahem. If what you’re saying is true, then would it stand to imagine a reality where Hillary Clinton the presidency? If the answer is yes, is there any way to travel there?”

“To put it bluntly, no. President Donald Trump is such a sensation that his popularity spans all the infinite universes. He’s that huge.”

<Shouting again from the press. More hands are raised.>

“Alright, I think I handled that last question pretty well. Let’s keep this streak going! Yes, you there.”

“Yes, hello, Gary O’Donoghue, BBC. I’ve had a little bit of time since you stated Kellyanne Conway to do some research. There doesn’t seem to be any indication that she studied physics at any of the universities she attended. Would you care to explain?”

<Sean Spicer reaches for his temples.>

“See? This is why we can’t have nice things. You’re trying to twist things here, you Limey jerk. You’re just trying to wind me up. Have you not been listening? Have you not been paying attention? There are other universes, moron, and in some of those universes Kellyanne went to MIT and studied theoretical physics and found out about these infinite universes. Is that so hard? Is it getting through your thick skull? Because you couldn’t play fair, I’m only taking one more question and it’s going to be from our friends over at Breitbart.”

<The person from Breitbart, now sitting up from the lazyboy provided for him, smirks at the reporters before asking a question.>

“Sup Sean, I had a blast over the weekend. Thanks for showing me the town. I gotta ask. How do you feel about Dippin Dots?”

<Sean Spicer’s face goes red. He starts to visibly grind his teeth.>

“Dippin Dots? Ice cream of the future? I feel like they should be taken out with extreme prejudice. I’m talking black masks and BMXs at night. Tactical precision strikes. You struck a nerve there. Anyways, that’s a wrap. I have to go figure out some other great ideas, one of the versions of me in the infinite universes is Rhode Scholar.”

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. The jokes is that for some reason, Sean Spicer hates Dippin Dots.

p.s.s. Apparently, and I heard this through the grape vine so it might not be real, but Trump is sending out Spicer to meet the press on these issues. I guess the President would be pretty upset at the idea of not having the biggest inauguration ever.

p.s.s.s. I think Trump is going to hate these next four years more than his detractors ever will.

 

The Christmas Blues

Christmas used to bring such joy, back in the day. It truly was, for the most part, the most wonderful time of the year. These days, not so much. I’ve been trying to narrow it down, the last couple of revolutions around the sun, exactly when Christmas stopped being fun, or at least as fun as the season once was.

At first, I thought it might be a nostalgia thing. Like most things, holidays were more enjoyable as a child. Being a kid meant not having a care in the world. You weren’t expected to buy gifts, instead, you just showed up at the tree come Christmas morning. You had to create a couple of gifts, sure, but your teacher was making you do that anyways. My parents were overjoyed to get lousy pottery made with love. Candy also seemed to taste better, I can’t handle it the way I used to. But I don’t think nostalgia is the root of my Christmas woes.

Maybe it’s the stress. The malls are packed with shoppers, and heading out to buy gifts is a nightmare. Everyone is on edge, grinding their teeth at the thought of having to brace the masses in order to find the perfect present for that perfect someone. Can’t be that, though. Not for me at least. Kat and myself are making our gifts this year like we did last year, and I can only see the tradition continuing. Instead of a crappy macaroni card, my mom is getting straight up crappy homemade macaroni.

Why was I feeling burnt out? Why is everyone around me, loved ones, friends, and coworkers, tired of Christmas? I mulled it over some hot cocoa and Irish cream, because nothing helps the blues like alcohol does. I check the calendar and realized it’s only the 14th of December. Hasn’t Christmas been on the radar longer than fourteen days?

That’s because we’ve been celebrating Christmas since November 1st. The day after Halloween, the pumpkins go down and the trees come up. We’re now celebrating the holidays for one-sixth of the year. Christmas is now soaking close to twenty percent of my time. I love a good party. But two months of Christmas music, of shopping, of bright lights. I can’t take it any longer.

Even a month is pushing it. A twenty-five day period to be cheery is tough. From now on, I’m going to start celebrating Christmas in April. I’ll buy advent calendars at reduced price and store them away for three months. I’ll stick turkeys in the freezer and forget about them. Instead of snow, I’ll put on rain boots and go dance in the rain.

Why are we celebrating Christmas anyways? It’s Santa’s birthday, and we’re making the poor guy work? That’s ridiculous. Not only are we making him work, we’re sending him out in the freezing snow (or the blaring heat if you’re down on the other side of the hemisphere). April would be a better time for everyone. Santa wouldn’t have to work his birthday, and delivering gifts would be a lot easier. Not only that, but you can buy all your gifts early on boxing day.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. I’m looking forwards to seeing people, though. Heading back to G-Spot for a couple of days! Woot!

 

Mr. Charlton Doesn’t Go to Calgary

Crazy thing. I’m supposed to be in Calgary right now. I’m not in Calgary, which may leave people who were expecting me to be in Calgary to ask the question “Mr. Charlton, why the hell are you not in Calgary?” This is a valid question. I wanted to be in Calgary, so very badly, but sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling and bail on a situation when it’s appropriate.

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine (We’ll call her Lisa) invited me out for drinks in Calgary. I don’t live in Calgary. Where I live right now isn’t even that important to the story. What you need to know is my current location isn’t Calgary. Now, there was a very long time where my location was Calgary, because Calgary was my home. I love Calgary, and I have a lot of friends who still call Calgary their residence. I was headed to Calgary to meet some of these people.

Here’s the thing. I have been stressing out these last few days. I took on a lot of projects recently, and I was getting worried about deadlines. They’re manageable, but between the coding I’m helping Kat with, the 3D modeling I’m doing for a friend of mine, plus work, plus the fact I’m still trying to write two thousand words a day, plus the coding I’m doing for myself, well, my time has to be managed properly.

I planned out the entire day. I had some time on the bus to get some stuff done, I had breaks in between meeting friends, I had my day sorted. I would get plenty of time to code, plenty of time to visit, and plenty of time to write. I was going to have a great time.

I didn’t plan on outside circumstances, though, like the bus being an hour and a half late. Where I live wasn’t important to the story before, but I guess it is now. I live in the wind capital of Canada, Lethbridge. I stood out in the cold wind for over an hour and a half. People waiting with me ended up leaving, or calling friends and sitting in their vehicles. Slowly, my day was being eaten up. And I was getting more frustrated by the moment. Plus, it was cold out. I dressed appropriately for someone waiting fifteen minutes, not an hour and forty-five.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run

Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

So I bailed. I said, “If the trip is starting out badly, then it’s a good sign to count my losses and chill for the day.” That’s what I’m doing. I’m going to treat myself to a nice lunch, and I’m going to work on some of the things I had planned on getting done.

There’s a lesson here. In our fast-paced world, we’re constantly bombarded with catchy slogans like “Live to Win” and “Bite off more than you can swallow, then chew” and “Gotta hustle every day” and “The man who stands upon the largest pile of skulls can see the furthest”. But sometimes, if you’re gut is telling you to slow down, that something ain’t right, then back off.

I’m not in Calgary, and it might be a good long while before I’m in Calgary again. That’s a shame, because I really do love the city. To all my friends, I’ll be out later than sooner, I’m afraid. In the mean time, you’ll find me right here, on the internet.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. ‘Ain’t’ wasn’t always a word, but it is now. Which is grand, as it makes me seem like I’m full of folksy bumpkin wisdom.

p.s.s. Just CHALKED full of bumpkin wisdom.

NaNoWriMo – Entry #6

HA! Well, my crappy novel is at the climax right now, which I’m going to tell you right now is quite the joy to write. They say you need a beginning, middle, and an end to a story. What I’m finding out is you need a beginning, a teetering cliff, and a crashing conclusion. There’s going to be a wrap-up chapter, certainly, but right now the main focus is getting some resolution to some of the open strings I have laying about.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed by sitting down to write for at least an hour every night is this; I’ve gotten a lot better at typing. Kat’s grabbing me a nicer keyboard for Christmas, so hopefully I’ll be clacking away at a mechanical keyboard in 2017. Let’s see if I can boost up the ol’ words-per-minute.

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton.

p.s. It’s one of those new fangled mechanical keyboards. It has LEDs in the board and plays dubstep when you turn on the numlock key.

NaNoWriMo – Entry #3

It has been a week today, since the national novel writing month began, and I’m still on track to finish fifty thousand words by the end of the month. That’s the good news. The bad news is I took a break today, and haven’t actually written a word until this moment. Hear me out.

You see, for the last month or so, I haven’t actually had a real day off. Even when I didn’t have a shift scheduled, I still had some sort of obligation that had to be met. Which is fine, that’s life. But today marked the first day in a while where I could just hang out and not do anything. So, me and Kat did some shopping, I got some jeans, we ate some roast duck at a place, and kicked back later and watched a movie.

The point I’m trying to make is this; There’s a lot of pressure western society places on achievements and accomplishments. And these things are wonderful. But you gotta look after yourself too, and take a break every now and again. You can only keep a fire burning so hot until you run out of fuel. It doesn’t hurt to take a day or two and refuel a little.

That being said, I still have 45 minutes to write, and I’m sure I can crank out a few more words tonight!

Sincerely,

The Illustrious Mr. Charlton

p.s. I also made Zucchini bread today. It was fluffy as all sin.