I Participated!

The judges’ results are in, and I definitely participated in a 100 word micro fiction short story contest. If you are too lazy to click that link, I don’t blame you, but you’ll miss out on rereading the thrilling story I wrote, rejected, and did NOT submit to the contest. Here’s the 100 word micro fiction short story that I deemed contest-worthy and entered in the contest.

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Mite Be Funny #280 – Remembering Roe

I tried. I had a 3 panel Mite Be Funny cartoon about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe ready to publish yesterday. Was it funny? Well, it was about as funny as any Mite Be Funny cartoon, which isn’t saying much. But it definitely had more humor than the somber Flies On Washington Walls cartoon about Roe that I recently published.

I just couldn’t bring myself to push the Publish button. So, I rewrote it into a single panel cartoon about Clarence & Ginni Thomas. Once again, I couldn’t publish. I just can’t bring myself to associate the overthrow of Roe with any semblance of humor. Humor and overturning Roe don’t fit for me. I can’t do it.

We have too many family & friends whose lives will be altered through this Roe reversal, and it’s not all about getting an abortion. For example, did you realize that in the process of IVF (in vitro fertilization), discarded fertilized eggs may be considered to have been aborted? And SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear that they may not stop at Roe. Protection for same sex marriage, LGBTQ rights, and even contraception are all on the chopping block, so to speak. Will I be branded a criminal someday because I have a vasectomy?

Living in Illinois, we are safe for now. We have a strong pro-choice Democrat as governor and Democrat-controlled legislatures. But hold on. Everyone is up for election in less than 5 months. Illinois has a history of electing Republican governors. Ugh! Thanks, downstate Republican rubes. My focus for the November elections will be to flip our local Illinois State House seat blue. Click HERE for the voting record of Republican incumbent Dan Ugaste. Yuck. At least he voted against puppy mills. Our just-announced Democratic candidate is a female pro-choice microbiologist! She didn’t go through our primary election process, so the Democratic Party will have to slate her which will involve getting her a lot of signatures. We will.

The bottom line is that we got an excellent local candidate for IL State House in November, and you did not get a Mite Be Funny cartoon yesterday. Everyone wins.

I Got Vaccinated, or Did I?

I really don’t know for sure. Not for COVID, silly readers. I’m twice vaxxed and boosted against COVID. I just got vaccinated against RSV (click HERE for more info on RSV), which stands for Respiratory SomethingIcannotspell Virus. Or, did I get vaccinated? I really don’t know. I’ll explain.

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When Pigs Fly

You may have heard or used the expression “when pigs fly” before. What about when they are “flying” around a racetrack? I will be working the booth for the local county Democrats again this year at the annual local County Fair coming up in July. We will try our best to convert Republicans, Trumpers, MAGAs, RINOs, QAnons, Libertarians, pedestrians, and “patriots” to vote Democrat in November. Trust me, it’s an uphill battle. Consider who attends the fair when the local yokel newspaper posts this online as an attention-grabbing headline.

Old favorite? What’s even scarier to me is that I can walk to the fairgrounds from my house. Oh well, better get my bib overall shorts cleaned and pressed. It’s fair-goin’ time!

In Over My Head

I kicked off my summer swimming season when I was on my recent trip with my daughter. I swam indoors over 3 mornings and totaled 1 mile. It felt good getting back in the pool, but I yearned for open water swimming. Today was the day. The only thing keeping me from a 7:30AM swim in a deep water quarry with 66 degree F/19 degree C water when the air temp was 62F/17C was common sense. Well, that has never been much of a deterrent to me in life. I would definitely literally be in over my head today in the water.

I was also figuratively in over my head today. I pulled in as another swimmer was having his wife (assuming they were married because who else would be crazy enough to be out there with him?) help him prepare for his swim with wetsuit, goggles, swim cap, emergency inflatable, amphetamines, swim diaper, etc. He and many others present were serious swimmers training for triathlons. Don’t believe me? Take a look at his car.

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Me Write Science Fiction?

I blogged about a writing contest where they give you a first line, last line, and plot twist to use to write a story. Well, here they are …

First Line – The attack was over in seconds.

Last Line – Far too many people put their faith in me.

Editor’s Note: That last line is so perfect for this dummy.

Anyway, I was okay with those lines and constructing a story inside of them. But then, the Plot Twist was revealed.

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Rethinking Pescatarianism

For many years now, I’ve been a practicing pescatarian. I don’t eat red meat and avoid buying chicken for myself, although I have been known to eat a chicken wing or two that nobody else in my family will eat. I eat fish to get some protein, and I like catfish, although this story has me rethinking the whole pescatarian thing, especially catfish.

Someone had some fun with that headline. Hard object indeed. If you want to see it, here’s the link to the full story with a pic that is NSFW.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/catfish-sex-toy-ohio-river_n_62a36b03e4b0cf43c848ba6f

I think that we can agree you didn’t get catfished with this post. Sure, I lured you in with a cute gif as bait, but you reeled in and netted a good catch with this story. Alright, gotta go as I have a bit of a haddock.

A Travel Edition of … Random Thoughts

I thought maybe I could squeeze in another concert after seeing The Lumineers and Lord Huron last week. On our way home from St. Louis, my daughter and I stopped to visit with a cousin who is my daughter’s age and was spending a few weeks in central Illinois with a relative. That cousin let us know that the Macoupin County Fair was in full swing, so we decided to stop in and maybe see a concert. I was excited to see two possibilities.

Well, it turns out that Open Goat (great name for a band) is actually not a band, and it wasn’t much of a show. Just a bunch of goats in pens. And although it was tempting to hang around for the Beer Tent Band (a very pedestrian name for a band), I did not want to be in central Illinois that late with a four hour drive to get home. I also wasn’t sure if the band was playing in the Smoky Jennings Pavilion or a literally smoky Jennings Pavilion. There’s still a lot of smoking going on in rural central Illinois.

The trip home was excellent as we stopped to see some top notch roadside tourist attractions along the way. However, I sense a scandal brewing at the World’s Largest Covered Wagon in Lincoln, IL. Take a look and see if you can spot the problem.

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Concert Tour Update #3

My daughter and I finished off our St. Louis concert tour with a show by Lord Huron. I had purchased tickets for both concerts with Covid in mind. So, our seats were on the side with minimal people near us. I felt this was a necessary precaution, because we were concerting in Missouri where people think Covid has been completely eradicated or never existed in the first place. Our seats for the Lord Huron show were top row, on the end.

Those seats may sound terrible with a view like this.

It could be a whole lot worse, like this seat.

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Concert Tour Update #2

My daughter and I took a break from concerting last night, and we saw St. Louis from a riverboat on the waters of the mighty Mississippi River. And boy, oh boy, what an ugly view … except when we were passing The Arch.

I don’t want to make any “arch” enemies of readers in St. Louis, so I will note that St. Louis offers a beautiful riverfront park by The Arch. But the rest of the riverfront is very industrial and agricultural. The view of and smell from the asphalt manufacturing plant was … memorable. And if you like to listen to a running commentary from the ship’s captain about bridges, tugboats, and barges (who wouldn’t?), then this is the riverboat tour for you.

However, I was very concerned about this sign I saw on the boat.

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Concert Tour Update #1

The first stop on our summer concert tour was to see Caamp and The Lumineers. Most important for me is always legroom. I chose seats that did not disappoint.

Yes, those are my delicate little feet at the bottom of the pic with lots more room to stretch out. And a clear view of the stage … at least for Caamp while everyone was seated. There was plenty of standing and dancing for The Lumineers.

Speaking of Caamp, they underwhelmed me. Their sound reminded me a bit too much of Mumford and Sons, and I can only take so much banjo at one time … unless it’s Steve Martin wielding one.

As for The Lumineers, they did not disappoint. Here’s a link to their setlist, and a clip from their set.

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My Summer Concert Tour

Thankfully, I will not be touring to perform but to partake. I hit the road Wednesday with my 13 year old daughter to head to St Louis to see two concerts, squeeze in one day of work, do some sightseeing, and get my daughter over to see her cousin from Arizona who is staying with a relative in Central Illinois. I know you’re thinking, “Jim, please tell us more about that fascinating day of work you have planned with your daughter.” Well, work plans are still in flux, so instead I will tell you about the concerts.

Wednesday we drive straight from home to our hotel, check-in to the luxuriously-appointed Holiday Inn Express, and walk across a couple parking lots to the concert venue to see …

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A Lifetime Achievement Goal Reached

It was a busy night last night. I sold a car, unclogged a second floor downspout, diagnosed an electrical problem with our other car, bought the part to fix the electrical problem, got some food for an upcoming trip with my daughter, audited expenses and signed checks as part of my role as elected township government trustee. Oh, and most importantly, I reached a lifetime achievement milestone after discovering this last night.

No, it’s not an ancient coin, weapon, or jewelry that I discovered while metal detecting.

It is a far more important find that resulted in a culmination of my life’s work. I’ll explain, but first, a metal detecting joke.

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Want a FREE Apple Watch?

Of course, I won’t be the one giving you a totally FREE Apple Watch. Come on, I’m already offering you an almost free (under a buck!) award-winning book of short stories. But I can point you in the right direction to get a FREE Apple Watch. I have to admit, I was skeptical. But I registered, and this arrived by FedEx.

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Ready? Set? Write!

Attention writers who can’t get motivated to write. What better way to get writing than with the hope of winning a major award? Maybe that will get you off your lazy ass and writing something. I’ve blogged about some FREE writing contests in the past, and I’ve got another one for you. Here’s the link below to click.

Destination Unknown Challenge Registration – AutoCrit Online Editing

It sounds fun. They provide the opening line, a plot twist, and the final line. You supply the rest. And everyone who registers is entered in the prize drawing for what are described as “awesome prizes.”

The real prize is getting some writing practice. Sign up and write something. Maybe it will turn into an award-winning book of short stories like I wrote that I am practically giving away by selling it for only $0.99. Clicking my book link will be a prize for me for telling you about prizes for you. Does that make any sense? That’s why we need writing practice. Click, write, and maybe even win something.