“I don’t get it.” Garrick said aloud as he shrugged. He considered responding to the post with “Tl;dr”, but that didn’t really convey his confusion. “WTF?” also came to mind, as did “lolwut” and “O_o”. In the end, however, he went with a simple “huh?” He pressed “enter” and sat back, waiting for the response.

Denyse boggled on her end of the screen. She had put forth a well detailed argument, complete with citations and examples (and links, even, dammit!) only to have it all negated with a four – character reply. God, how she longed, longed, to be able to reach through the computer screen and grab people by the throat and shake them exactly the way you’re never supposed to shake a baby. She was at a loss. She let loose a torrent of thought on the screen, possessed.

“The English language is made up of these things called ‘words’,” Denyse typed. “These ‘words’ stand for, are the place-holders for, these things called ‘ideas’. ‘Ideas’ are the the things that are traded back and forth between sentient creatures in a process called ‘conversation’. One ‘idea’ leads to another one, and so forth and so on, until a thing called ‘understanding’ is achieved. I could tell you, for example, that water is wet. You might reply that beer is also wet. This might lead us into a thing called a ‘discussion’ on the differences and similarities between beer and water. What is not allowed, however, is this bullshit about one person responding ‘huh?’ to something that was so clearly laid out as what I wrote to you. Are you saying that I lost you somewhere? Where did that happen? What does ‘huh?’ mean? What is ‘huh?’ a response to? You are, ostensibly, a functional adult. Use words.” Enter.

Now, Garrick was hurt. A little bit. Denyse and her big brain. Her big words. Her logic, that he was never allowed to argue with. The one big word that occurred to him at times like these was ’emasculating’. If she provoked an emotional response out of him, however, it would mean that she had won. He pursed his lips. Popped his knuckles. Concentrated.

“What I meant by, ‘huh?’,” Garrick haltingly began, “was that I don’t understand why you think that it would be such a bad thing for people to have their health and well being monitored for them, for their own good. What’s wrong with a restaurant suggesting a lighter option for a customer, if the waiters can tell at a glance on a screen that this person’s heading towards type II diabetes, for example?” It had taken Garrick quite a while to type that out. He’d had to make constant references back to Denyse’s original post, just to make sure he wasn’t about to mis-quote or mis-understand her. Denyse was known to be quick witted; however, the speed of her reply still jarred. As though she had been watching over Garrick’s shoulder as he typed, she thundered back.

“Have you ever heard of the concept of ‘agency’?” Denyse asked. “Does the thought of ‘personal responsibility’ ring a bell? Why should the body politic, be it collectivist, statist, or capitalist, have any say in the affairs of the citizenry, especially when it comes to such personal issues as health? Have all notions of privacy been thrown away? Has -”

The screen went blank. Garrick looked over his shoulder. His boss looked on, shaking his head ruefully. “Another failure,” he sighed, shutting the ‘Denyse’ program down.

Garrick nodded. “We’ll get it, eventually. Just a little bit more tweaking. The last ‘Denyse’ was a little too much of a sycophant; this one … well, you can see the problems. A bit more ‘tough love’ than we really need.”

“Right,” the boss agreed. “We need to dial it in. Come up with a personality that most people will accept, that won’t rub people the wrong way. This app is gonna go on everything, after all. Can’t have it going around spouting off about stuff over everybody’s head.”


words © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

This is sort of a “sideways” story, a tangent from Allosaurus. You don’t really have to read any of that to get anything out of this, if you don’t want to, or if you already read enough about Fran and Palmetto Bug Man. Just a thought that I had from listening to Laurie Anderson this afternoon.

“Who told the 80’s they could come back, anyway?” Morgan sighed, in between bites of his sandwich. “Popped collar polos, Ray Bans, bright ass colors … and this music you kids listen to these days!” He took a long pull from his extra large size soda. “Not one original guitar riff! Not one! Jesus Christ, I liked Vampire Weekend a lot better when they were called Peter Gabriel -”

“Sir,” the young woman behind the deli counter started, ” you sound a little bit … agitated.” “Sir” and “agitated” were said as though they were questions. The young woman continued. ” I’m going to have to ask you to calm yourself down a little bit, mmk?”

“Don’t take that tone with me!” Morgan blurted. “Who are you, my wife? ‘Calm down’, she says-”

“It’s just that we’re showing some elevated signals here on your blood pressure and anxiety levels.” The young woman pressed a few buttons on a console in front of her. “Plus, it looks like you lied to me earlier. You had a regular cola just the other day.” She extended a hand to him. “You’ll I have to give me that one back and accept a diet lemon/lime or water.”

“Oh, really?” Morgan sneered. “No unsweetened ice tea?”

“Hmm. Nope. You’d be over your caffeine limit for the day.”

“You. Have got. To be. Kidding.” But, the young woman was resolute, and Morgan couldn’t afford another interaction with the Powers That Be. He gave the young woman back the cup with a sigh. “Lemon/lime,” he muttered, a broken man.

It was during his last tango with the Powers That Be that he’d been put on a modified potassium diet. A bit moody and restless, they’d said. More bananas, they’d ordered. Morgan hated bananas – yellow, mushy, obscene. Who knew what horrors they’d introduce him to next time? Gluten – free? Morgan grew up on his mom’s baked spaghetti. Not happening.

Just then, Morgan’s pedometer broke in. “Look, I don’t wanna start anything,” the pedometer said in a pleasant, slightly matronly tone, “but you’ve got another 4,000 steps to go before six p.m. this evening. Now would be a good time to start walking in place, don’t you think? I mean …” The pedometer trailed off, the audio version of a rather passive/aggressive shrug. Morgan rolled his eyes and began to march about in place.

The screen above the counter displayed the news of the day. Morgan glanced up to read as he continued his lunch – gulp, step, gulp, chew, step, step, step.  Gulp, step, gulp, chew, step, step, step. Bombings over here. Shootings at this school or other. Building collapses. Weirdos in spandex making a mess of things in Saint Pete. Gulp, step, gulp, chew, step, step, step. He looked around the deli. The other customers seemed to be engaged in the same shuffling dance, with eyes on TV screens or smart phones or tablets. The same matronly voice from the pedometers exhorting the dancers. From the tablets. From the TVs. A safe, soothing, comforting voice.

words (except “O Superman”, which is linked from youtube and is by Laurie Anderson) © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.


Posted: June 5, 2013 in rants, utter crap
Tags: , , ,


Things have been fairly dark lately. I haven’t wanted to write about it much, because who wants to hear someone whining about how bad life is going? Things are tough all over, bub. Get over it.

Suffice it to say, the new meds for the brain cyst may or may not be affecting my outlook on life. I really should’ve been enjoying the most recent concert I played in. I should be looking forward to the gigs I got coming up.

One of the things that I really like about the TV show The Prisoner, was the suggestion that it really didn’t matter what side that the spy worked for. Future human civilization was going to be collectivist, whether you sided with capitalism or socialism. I don’t know. I just know I better get my penny farthing bike out of the deal.

Finding Solace in the Gutter.

Here is a very arresting photograph by a fellow blogger. You might go and check out their work. I had to write something that seemed, to me at least, to fit the mood of the picture. Like someone who had to make a very tough decision with no clear “good” outcome, no matter what the choice was.


There. It’s done. I did it.

I don’t regret it, either.

Not one damn bit.




Went to the neurologist this afternoon. She looked over the MRIs and what not. Told me I have an arachnoid cyst on the right hemisphere. It could be the thing responsible for the weakness on the left side, the loss of ability to speak, and the general “things ain’t working right”-ieness I’ve been dealing with the last couple of years.

A cyst.

In my brain.

That none of the other MRIs caught, at all.

Um, what?

Um, what?

I don’t know what else to say, so here is a picture I took of a steel pan, a conga drum and a pineapple. Enjoy it.


words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

Riding The Bus

Riding The Bus

Jimmy Cliff singing in my ears

Ruby with a gun in Brixton

Bus shaking as the driver grinds the gears

Every bus ride is a long one


Swinging from the strap one handed

Keep looking for your stop and you’re


Freezing so the rain don’t fog up the windows

Keep looking for your stop

Catch a glimpse of the gulf every day

Crossing that bridge at Edgewater

Take it all in ’til you get taken away

Riding through the streets of Clearwater


Singing in your head little snatches of a song

Now you missed your stop


Ringing the bell let me off right here

Cussin and fussin cuz damn I missed my stop


words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.


Posted: March 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

So, I was thinking the other day on my way to work, and I thought, “I know! I’ll make up a language!” Like you find yourself thinking from time to time.

This is a language that only uses one vowel sound; namely, “o” as in “boat” and “cope”. Just, you know, to be difficult. First, we start with numbers and letters, just like Sesame Street.

0 = ro

1 = o

2 = to

3 = ho

4 = fo

5 = yo

6 = so

7 = vo

8 = ko

9 = no

10 = oro

From this, we can construct numbers 11- 19 by using oro as a root and adding one of the other numbers like o, to, ho and so forth.

11 = oro o

12 = oro to

13 = oro ho

Et cetera. To create 20, 30, 40 and the like, we simply switch “o” at the beginning of oro for one of the other numbers.

20 = toro

30 = horo

40 = foro

Thusly. 44, as an example, would be foro fo; that is, four tens and four ones.

Once we pass noro no, or 99, we come to ororo, or one hundred. Numbers then proceed as one would expect, up to tororo, or 200. Five hundred ninety seven would be yororo noro vo. After nororo noro no, we come to this number: 1000. It is pronounced “orororo”. Rules for naming the next numerals up to ten thousand are consistent, such that “2013” is pronounced “torororo oro ho”. A change occurs at 10,000, for brevity’s sake: “o’obo”, “to’obo”, “ho’obo” would be “10,000”, “20,000” and “30,000” respectively.

That’s enough numbers for now. I will leave you to come up with “78, 946” on your own.

Parts of the body

go – hand

gog – finger

tlo – eye

odoko – head (also “top of ko” where “ko” = 8)

modoko – tail, bottom (“bottom of 8”)

cho – foot

chog – toe

Plurals are created by adding “w” to the end of a word; the w is only used to indicate plurals and is pronounced like the sound at the the beginning of “which”. So, gow – hands, gogw – eyes, etc.

ko – walk

koko – run

k’koko – run very fast (also “squirrel”)

hoh – mouth

hoh’hoh – talk

h’hoh’hohoko – language

gow’h’hoh’hohoko – the name of this language I’m making up. Essentially it means “language of the ones with hands”; i.e., people.


words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

Today, I learned something. I couldn’t go to work, because I could barely walk. I can’t get in to see a doctor til next Thursday. My room mate, “Constance” and I, took her son to pay off a fine he had. She uses a walker; I use a cane. In addition to her needing the walker for her situation, she also has a sprained ankle. So, here we are: guy with cane, chick with walker, both under fifty, barely creeping along through a parking lot. See it? Amusing. Neither of us expected to find ourselves in our forties looking like Ma and Pa Kettle, but there it is.

Anyway, I said I learned something. Last week, I went to work every day, left the cane behind the counter, and ran (figuratively) all over the shop. Grabbing saxophones down from the walls, moving the stand-up bass around, whatever. Carrying on like a regular person. A while back, Constance was feeling, as she put it, “cocky” and decided that her sprained ankle wasn’t that bad, and hopped all around on it.

She fell and re-injured her ankle.

I must’ve over-done it, and now can’t even lift my feet. I am walking like a shuffling zombie, a Scooby Doo monster.

We sat in the lobby of the DMV together, commiserating. I thought I should be getting better, not having days where things get worse. She felt the same way. What she said, however, was this:

“I don’t look at it any more as, ‘my ankle’s getting better’. I look at it like ‘today my ankle is doing good’ or ‘not so good’. We gotta learn to take the good days when we can get ’em.”

Hope you are taking the good days when you can get ’em, you lot.

This picture is called "Pretty Good Match" because I used a photo editing tool to blank out a weird looking dark blotch on it. I took it on one of the "good" days, so it's appropriate.

This picture is called “Pretty Good Match” because I used a photo editing tool to blank out a weird looking dark blotch on it. I took it on one of the “good” days, so it’s appropriate.




words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

From my other blog about pictures and stuff and things.

Behold The Image!

British Deli_cious in beautiful downtown Dunedin, FL. Allison and Garrett create a welcoming atmosphere in this cozy little place, playing great music and providing a taste of the U.K. to ex-pats and ‘Muricans alike. Check it out if you’re in the area.

words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

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The bus ride  seemed to stretch on for a cold, overly air conditioned eternity. It was crowded – everyone in Pinellas County seemed to be on this one bus. The seats are close together. This means that someone with long legs such as myself can find no comfortable way to sit in a bus seat. In short, it was your typical bus ride.

After I had seen a few more sunrises and sunsets, I finally arrived at my destination. A car ride here would have taken, maybe, 30 minutes tops. But, on the bus, it takes you sooo much longer. I hobbled off the bus and went into the office of the MRI device.

“We’ll need you to fill out this ream of paper work before we begin,” the nurse told me. “If your pen runs out of ink, just ask us for another one at the desk.” I am, now, officially tired of seeing my own name. I think I filled out less paperwork the last time I bought a car.

“Do you have claustrophobia, mister Ward? There’s not really much we can do about it if you do, we just I want to be able to say why when you start freaking out.” And with that I was loaded into a tube, with headphones placed on my ears and a plastic cage over my head. “What kind of music do you want to hear?” the technician asked me.

“Uh, reggae?”

Soon, Bob Marley begin singing about his 3 little birds in my ears. Only to be immediately drowned out by the sound of the world’s largest electric toothbrush committing unspeakable acts. This went on for the better part of half an hour. I closed my eyes, clenched my teeth, and thought of England. (Why are so many medical procedures reminiscent of the sort of things that you find in an S&M dungeon? Not saying it’s a bad thing; just wondering.)

It finally ended. “Shabba!” And just like that, I was extracted from the tube. I was dazed, I was confused, but I wasn’t happy about it.

“Your doctor will let you know about the results in a few days,” the tech said. I had noticed that he and the other techs were dancing in the little room that they check on the progress of the MRI. Glad someone could enjoy the music.

“Can I take a picture of that infernal machine?”

words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.