500. The Last Post

Well, this is it.

I had planned to make a little video to celebrate this final post, but there were, um, technical difficulties:

Ah, well. I tried.

Yes, Typewriter Monkey Task Force is ending at last. Before I lay the blog to rest, I should probably answer a few final questions.

What will happen to your typewriter monkeys?

A few readers have asked about my typewriter monkeys—as a precaution, I presume, in order to stay out of their way. Never fear! I don’t intend to unleash my monkeys upon any of my readers.

My monkeys wanted to set off some fireworks to celebrate the blog’s end, but that never ends well, so I threw them a goodbye party instead. I provided snacks, and they brought their own drinks. (I didn’t even know you could make cocktails with rum and bananas.) They drank enough rum to float a boat, and ate enough bananas to sink one.

While my monkeys slept off their hangovers, I took the opportunity to pack them comfortably in a large crate, and to ship them to Australia.

Goodbye, and good riddance!

Of all places on Earth, the Outback seemed like the one where my monkeys could do the least damage. (Even so, brace yourself, Australia.) If the Mad Max movies are to be believed, the Australian interior is already pretty wild, so my monkeys will fit right in.

What will you do now that TMTF is over?

I will catch up with long overdue housework, sleep, work on my story project, and play some video games… probably not in that order.

Where can I follow your future projects?

You can always find me on Twitter, where I’ll share any future news or announcements.

Do you have any final comments?

I made most of my concluding remarks in TMTF’s final posts, in which I highlighted the best of the blog, thanked readers, reminisced, and looked forward to something new.

As a matter of fact, I have just one more thing to say.

I want to leave you with a blessing. It’s an old one from the Bible, and I mean every word of it:

“The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you, and give you peace.”

It’s been quite a journey. Thanks for coming along.

Adam out. Peace.


498. Special Thanks

I owe a great debt of gratitude to the many people who have supported this blog over the years. Before it ends next week, I want to thank them. Today’s post is basically TMTF’s end credits. Don’t expect a post-credits scene teasing a sequel, though!

All right, I guess we should start by playing some credits music. Fortunately, YouTube has us covered. For maximum effect, I recommend playing the following video while you read the rest of this post. UPBEAT GUITAR IS GO.

(If the video ends before you finish reading this post, you can find another great credits song here on YouTube.)

I want to start by thanking everyone who contributed guest posts to this blog. It would take too long to thank each of these writers individually, yet I’m grateful for every post they contributed.

These wonderful writers shared their own stories, ideas, and perspectives, making TMTF far more nuanced and interesting than it would have been if only I had written it. Iroh, a character from my all-time favorite show, once said, “It is important to draw wisdom from many different places. If you take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale.”

They don’t come much wiser than Iroh.

Thank you, guest writers, for lending my blog your wisdom.

I would be remiss not to give a shout out to Jon Acuff and Wes Molebash. Although I no longer follow their work, they were early inspirations for this blog; TMTF probably wouldn’t exist without them. A guest post I wrote for Mr. Acuff gave TMTF an early boost, and Mr. Molebash created one of this blog’s banners, so that’s cool.

This is a fairly accurate representation of my workspace.

Thanks, Jon and Wes. Stay hip.

I owe a huge thank-you to Kevin McCreary, YouTuber extraordinaire, who collaborated with me on a freakin’ rap battle to celebrate TMTF’s two hundredth post. He went so far beyond my timid request for a backing track that it still kinda blows my mind, and while my rapping wasn’t great, his music and mixing were perfect.

You rock, Kevin. Thanks.

I must also thank my other YouTube collaborators, DRWolf001 and Crowne PrinceThese video makers are phenomenally creative, and also wolves.

Wolves. Seriously, I don’t make up this stuff.

In a video animated by Crowne Prince, DRWolf and I discussed my experiences blogging, and the good doctor offered some advice. It was a terrific privilege to work with this unlikely pair, and I consider our video a high point for this blog.

Thank you, DRWolf and Crown Prince. Stay creative!

I must give a shout out to a couple of fellow bloggers. Amy Green inspires me with her faith, honesty, compassion, and profound thoughtfulness. Thomas Mark Zuniga taught me a thing or two about the value of transparency and vulnerability over keeping up appearances. They both wrote excellent guest posts for my blog. Heck, Tom even dropped by my home during his EPIC QUEST around the country a while back.

If I am very lucky, I may someday have a beard as nice as Tom’s.

Amy and Tom, thanks for using your gifts so faithfully, and for lending them to my blog.

When I decided to resurrect my dream project, the Lance Eliot saga, I really wanted some concept art for the characters. Sabina Kipa created some excellent character sketches, and when I recently wrote that her skills were matched by her patience and positivity, I meant it.

I love these concept sketches.

Thanks again, Sabina. Keep up the great work!

Last year, a Methodist pastor who read my blog invited me to speak at his church. I embarked upon an epic journey to Wisconsin, drinking inordinate amounts of coffee, and even passing through the tenth circle of hell, which some people call Chicago. The Reverend Kevin Niebuhr turned out to be the manliest Methodist I’ve ever met, and also a kind, geeky gentleman.

It was a great privilege to visit Rev Kev and meet his church family.

Thanks for everything, Rev Kev. God bless you, and if you haven’t already seen the new Star Wars movie, you totally should.

Around the time I started this blog, I watched an Internet cartoon series called Fred the Monkey. I enjoyed these Homestar Runner-esque cartoons about a monkey and his eccentric roommates. It was a surprise when, years later, their creator agreed to write a guest post for my blog—and a staggering shock when he became one of the most supportive and encouraging readers I’ve ever had.

JK Riki did more for TMTF than almost anyone. He wrote guest posts, edited images, created original art, shared insights and encouragements in the comments, and was generally awesome. Honestly, I might have abandoned TMTF a long time ago if JK hadn’t come along to support it.

I’m not sure I trust JK’s monkey around any of mine, though.

I honestly can’t thank you enough, JK. God bless you.

I owe my family thanks for their support, and for not smacking me when I rambled about my blog. My younger brother, John, gets bonus points for letting me share his many wonderful mispronunciations.

Thanks, guys. Stay fabulous.

I want to give extra-special thanks to my dad, who supported TMTF since before I even started it. He created much of its original artwork, including one of its magnificent banners.

From the beginning, I considered this picture one of the best things about my blog. My opinion hasn’t changed.

Besides drawing pictures for this blog, my dad proofread many posts, gave feedback, and offered endless encouragements. If I could thank only one person, it would be he.

Thanks, Pa. You’re a Stout Fella.

I must reluctantly offer thanks to my typewriter monkeys, from whom I will soon part ways: Sophia, Socrates, Plato, Hera, Penelope, Aristotle, Apollo, Euripides, Icarus, Athena, Phoebe, and Aquila.

My monkeys caused a lot of trouble, started countless fires, and didn’t actually help much, but I guess TMTF wouldn’t exist without them, so that’s something.

Thanks for working on the blog, guys. I’ll almost feel bad firing you after TMTF ends next week. Almost.

From the beginning, my philosophy for this blog has been represented by the letters S.D.G. These initials stand for Soli Deo gloriato God alone be glory. Neither I nor this blog have always followed this philosophy, but it’s a good one, and I stand by it.

Thank you, Father, for TMTF.

Finally, I want to give a round of thanks to this blog’s readers—in other words, to you.

I owe special thanks to readers who commented on blog posts, “Liked” them, or shared them on social media. I appreciate every bit of support. I must also give special thanks to everyone who celebrated Be Nice to Someone on the Internet Day over the years by, y’know, being nice to someone on the Internet. Thanks also to the generous readers who supported this blog’s charity fundraisers.

Writing this blog was quite a journey. I’m glad I didn’t make it alone.

Thanks for reading!

482. What Should I Name My Hypothetical Newsletter?

This blog shall end in just a couple of months. I’ll move on to another personal project, and send my typewriter monkeys packing. (Hurrah!) For the first time in more than five years, I’ll be blog-less. It will be the end of an epoch.

A few people seem mildly interested in the life and times of Adam Stück, so I’m thinking of starting a personal newsletter after TMTF bites the dust. It wouldn’t follow any kind of schedule. After years of writing scheduled blog posts, I want a nice, long break from deadlines! I would write a newsletter whenever I felt like it, which probably wouldn’t be too often.

I’ve thought of a couple of titles for my hypothetical newsletter: The Brewsletter and Up and Adam. The first celebrates my love of coffee; the second, my fondness for bad puns.

‘Tis the season for voting. Cast a vote in the poll below and let me know which title you prefer for my hypothetical newsletter! And if you have your own title to suggest, let us know in the comments!

468. Of Mice and Men (and Monkeys)

This blog is taking a two-week break, returning with new posts on Monday, September 5.

I had planned to work ahead on this blog during my recent vacation. However, in each of the places I visited, I couldn’t get the Internet working smoothly on my computer. Alas! This means TMTF is now behind schedule.

(It doesn’t help that my typewriter monkeys, my reluctant assistants for this blog, are currently in jail. It’s a long story.)

Instead of scrambling to write quick-and-dirty posts for this blog’s next few deadlines, I’ve decided to take a couple of weeks off. It was a reluctant decision. I really wanted to finish TMTF before this year ended, but at this point I’m not sure that’s feasible. By taking a break, I resign myself to ending this blog early next year, which will save me a lot of stress and worry in the long run. Now I don’t have to rush.

My sense of responsibility borders on the pathological, so I always feel guilty when I miss deadlines or neglect commitments. However, as I said the last time I took a sudden break from blogging, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” Translated from the Scots language to contemporary English, this phrase by Scottish poet Robert Burns reads something like, “Stuff happens, yo.”

And it does.

“Stuff happens” is a recurring theme for this blog, actually.

The best-laid plans of mice and men (and monkeys) go often awry. We’re only human. (At any rate, I’m only human. My typewriter monkeys are… well, monkeys.) I suppose the occasional break is inevitable.

TMTF won’t go dark during its two-week break; I’ll republish old posts on the blog’s usual Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule. We recycle here; TMTF is very eco-friendly.

Before taking that break, I would like to share a few sneak peeks of what TMTF has in store for the months ahead.

  • I want to write one more Gabriel Green story: a last hurrah for the man whose star-crossed career has provided a couple of short stories for this blog.
  • I’m really excited for the next Adam’s Story post, which will include some concept art. I’ve already given one preview. Here’s another:

Paz follow-up concept

  • Do you know what irritates me? People who don’t wash their hands. They make me… angry. Really angry. Bad stuff happens when I’m angry.
  • I’ve written a lot of That Time I _____ posts, but there’s one important event I’ve never mentioned. It involves burgers.

There’s some cool stuff ahead… I hope. I should probably start working on it.

Louisa May Alcott once wrote, “First live, then write.” Solid advice. I have some living to do, but I’ll be back. TMTF shall return with new posts on Monday, September 5. Thanks for reading!

455. Thoughts on Extremism

A few days ago, John Cleese showed up on my Twitter homepage—a video of him, I mean, not the man himself. (That would have been pretty cool, though.) I think the video, a brief discussion of extremism, is worth sharing.

Extremism is a vague term, but it generally describes a cause or belief—or, alternatively, support for a cause or belief—so extreme as to be harmful or irrational.

In just a few words, Mr. Cleese lists benefits of extremism, which are more or less synonymous with some of its flaws:

Well, the biggest advantage of extremism is that it makes you feel good, because it provides you with enemies.

Let me explain. The great thing about having enemies is that you can pretend that all the badness in the whole world is in your enemies, and all the goodness in the whole world is in you. Attractive, isn’t it?

So if you have a lot of anger and resentment in you anyway, and you therefore enjoy abusing people, then you can pretend that you’re only doing it because these enemies of yours are such very bad persons! And if it wasn’t for them, you’d actually be good-natured, and courteous, and rational, all the time. So if you want to feel good, become an extremist!

That’s a problem with extremism, isn’t it? It’s often nothing more than an oversimplification, or a deflection of blame. It deflects the blame for vast, complicated problems toward anyone with whom the extremist strongly disagrees. This enables both wrath and pride, allowing an extremist to act like a jerk and feel like a saint: an appalling hypocrisy.

Most extremists are easily controlled. They want to deflect blame on others. If someone tells them others are to blame, most extremists are only too eager to agree. After all, it’s satisfying to point out a speck in someone else’s eye. It’s much harder to acknowledge that I might have something in my own.

Extremism is alive and well in the world today. It provokes conflicts great and small, from massive terrorist attacks to petty political insults. I like to think I’m not an extremist, but Mr. Cleese’s video touches a nerve—I understand the mindset he describes. It’s easier to blame others than to figure out to whom the blame really belongs… especially if it ends up belonging to me.

It’s so easy to point fingers, isn’t it?

I mean, just for example, I could say, “Those extremists! They ruin everything, and I have nothing but contempt for them.”

If I said this, I would admittedly make a valid point: Extremists generally make the world a worse place. However, I would also overlook a point of great significance: By griping about extremists, I’m not exactly making the world any better, am I?

It begs the question: How is my contempt for extremists any different than their contempt for others?

It’s all rather complicated. The world tends to be a mess, after all, which may be why Jesus Christ made a point of summing up so neatly: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

This doesn’t mean that I must accept every point of view. What it means is that I must do my best to respect and understand everyone, even if I don’t agree with them. Disagreement is fine. Extremism—demonizing those who disagree—is never acceptable.

On a personal note, I do tend to blame my typewriter monkeys for all of this blog’s problems. Maybe, instead of deflecting that blame, I should acknowledge that some of it belongs to me. I make mistakes, too. Maybe I should try to respect and understand my monkeys instead of assuming the worst of them.

I’ll think about it.

451. The Sordid Story of My Typewriter Monkeys

For nearly five years, I have run this blog with the reluctant help of a dozen typewriter monkeys. What exactly, you ask, is a typewriter monkey? It’s a monkey with a typewriter, of course. They aren’t the best assistants, but my monkeys were cheaper than hiring a secretary, so here we are.

Some time ago, one of my readers expressed interest in learning more about my monkeys. His comment made me realize how little I knew about them. In fact, all I knew for sure was that they liked setting stuff on fire. I was a bit nervous to dig any deeper.

Typewriter monkeys (1 of 2)

The monkey on the right looks a bit like Hunter S. Thompson, which is completely appropriate: “fear and loathing” is a phrase often used in describing my monkeys.

All the same, I feel I owe my readers some answers, so I recently did some research into my monkeys’ sordid past. What I found was… not surprising, actually. I found not solid facts, but a patchwork of dark hints and sinister rumors. How many are true? I don’t know, and I would rather not. I can sleep at night not knowing.

Here at last, dear reader, is the story of my typewriter monkeys. Here is the shameful tale of Sophia, Socrates, Plato, Hera, Penelope, Aristotle, Apollo, Euripides, Icarus, Athena, Phoebe, and Aquila. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Typewriter monkeys (2 of 2)

Here my monkeys are “fixing” a typewriter. May it rest in peace.

(In case anyone is interested, here’s the true story behind my typewriter monkeys. It isn’t nearly as interesting as the made-up one.)

I bought my typewriter monkeys on Amazon.com back in 2011 from a company called Press Paws, Inc. (It seemed like a good idea at the time.) It didn’t take me long to realize my mistake, but when I tried to contact the seller, it remained mysteriously out of reach. I didn’t pursue the matter any further at the time; I was too busy putting out fires and mopping up puddles of typewriter ink.

More recent attempts to locate Press Paws led me nowhere. However, after digging around some of the darker corners of the Internet, I stumbled upon a man who claimed to have known my monkeys before Press Paws acquired them.

This man requested anonymity, so I’ll call him Socrates. He claimed to have worked as a janitor for Tough Nut, a high-security wildlife refuge “somewhere in the Amazon.” (I assume he meant the geographical area, not the online store.) According to Socrates, Tough Nut is where conservationists send the wildlife too, um, wild to be kept anywhere else.

Of all the animals living in Tough Nut, none were tougher (or nuttier) than the twelve monkeys known as the Dirty Dozen. They came from all corners of the world. None of the staff at Tough Nut knew much about them, but there were plenty of rumors.

One of the monkeys was rumored to be el Bandido Peludo de Sonora, a legendary outlaw who terrorized tourists to Mexico’s Sonora state. He was notorious for never actually holstering his weapon, keeping a banana in the holster instead.

Another member of the Dirty Dozen had once belonged to Somali pirates. Another was once a pickpocket in Mumbai, and yet another had been the mascot of a dive bar in the Bronx. I wasn’t even slightly surprised to hear that one of them had been sentenced to Tough Nut for blowing up a deserted firework warehouse.

Boom, baby.

Of all these shameful reputations, the worst belonged to a monkey who had once worked for TMZ.

Surrounded by ominous rumors, the Dirty Dozen gained a fearsome reputation among the other animals in Tough Nut. Even the bears and tigers feared them. The Dirty Dozen committed such dreadful crimes as starting fires, inciting riots, and talking too loudly during movies.

In the end, the monkeys were so unmanageable that Tough Nut sold them to Press Paws for the equivalent of seventeen United States cents. Press Paws managed to sell the Dirty Dozen (for quite a bit more than seventeen cents) to an unsuspecting college student, before shutting down and apparently erasing all traces of its existence.

I was that college student, of course. I renamed my gang of monkeys the Typewriter Monkey Task Force, finished putting out the fires, and started a blogthis blog, in fact, which I named after my typewriter monkeys in an optimistic attempt to earn their respect. (It obviously didn’t work.)

This comic still makes me chuckle. Thanks, JK.

My typewriter monkeys have spent nearly half a decade working for me, and these years have been bright. I mean that literally—I can’t count how many times my monkeys have set stuff on fire. Fortunately, my monkeys set fires only when they’re sober, so I don’t have to worry on weekends and holidays. (Thanks to its fireworks, July Fourth is the exception to this rule. Wait, that’s in two weeks, isn’t it? Flipping heck.)

There you have it, dear reader: the sordid story of my typewriter monkeys. I hope to finish this blog before the year ends, and to send my monkeys packing. Where will they go? I don’t care, so long as it’s far from here.

I smell something burning. I had better end here.

450. Adam Answers

As TMTF hits its last fifty-post milestone before the end, I want to pause a moment, thank everyone who has been a part of this blog’s journey, and declare my opinion that Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie.

Empire Strikes Back

The greatness was strong with this one.

All right, with that out of the way, here are my answers to the questions submitted by readers for today’s Q&A. Here we go!

JK asks: In spite of your down-playing your abilities, I think your singing is quite lovely. Do you have any music related experience/training, or is it just natural know how? Play any instruments to go along with the vocals? Follow up, can we get another serenade while you’re at it?

Aw, thanks, JK! I sang in choir a couple of years in high school, and performed with a few worship teams over the years, but I’ve never taken lessons or anything.

I am a little proud of my vibrato: that wobble in the pitch of my singing voice. As a kid, I heard other singers perform the vibrato technique. I thought it was neat, so I trained myself to do it. Mine is a bit forced, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

The only instrument I’ve ever played is the bongo drum, for which I have no training whatsoever, and on which I performed with more enthusiasm than skill.


None of my typewriter monkeys play bongos, thank heaven. Imagine the racket!

I’ve thought about doing one or two more song covers, but for an amateur like me, they take a ton of trial and error. I’d rather spend my non-blogging free time relaxing! I did cover “Baba Yetu” karaoke-style a while back, though, singing over the original track. I’m really pleased with how that one turned out.

Sarah asks: How much time per week do you and your monkeys put into the blog? And how has that changed since you started the site? Of all the places you could have chosen to live, why Indiana?

Good questions! My time spent blogging varies wildly from week to week, and I don’t really keep track of it, but I estimate three to eight hours.

Depending on the kind of post I write, I might dash off it in an hour or slave away at it for three to five. Personal reflections and silly thoughts on random subjects are quicker and easier to write; serious treatises take tons of time and effort. Posts involving audio recording or image editing take extra time.

I’m probably spending less time on the blog these days than when I started, thanks to my decision long ago to publish a short, geeky commentary every Wednesday instead of another numbered post. The shorter mid-week updates require much less effort, and they let me share stuff I think is cool.

Your final question is a familiar one! When people ask me why I settled in Indiana after living overseas, I tell them, “It’s a really long story, but I’ll give you the really short version.”

Here’s that short answer: I live in the United States because, of all the countries in the world, it’s the only one for which I currently have the legal paperwork required for a job; I live in Indiana because, of the few roots I have in this country, most are here; and I live in the little town of Berne because, when I was looking for a job years ago, it had the only place that would hire me.

Berne ain’t a bad place to live.

I’m fond of Berne, but it really could use a movie theater, some mountains, a beach or two, a Japanese noodle stand, and a Starbucks. Ah, well. Nowhere is perfect, I guess.

JS asks: What about pants?

A most profound question. I cannot offer an answer worthy of it, for I am but a foolish mortal. How can I, or any of the humans who live their short lives upon this fading earth, match a question of such wisdom with an answer equally wise?

The word pants can be traced back through the English, French, and Italian languages to Pantalone, the character stereotype in commedia dell’arte, a form of performance art popular in sixteenth-century Italy. This stereotype, which caricatured Venetians, was named for Saint Pantaleon, a saint popular in Venice.

By following these tangled skeins of history and etymology, we trace pants to a legendary saint. Does its connection to an ancient martyr make pants the holiest of clothes?

Speaking of holey clothes, why do some stores sell torn jeans? Who actually buys pants that, as Dave Barry put it, appear to have been ripped to shreds by crazed wolverines? That’s another question for which I have no good answer.


Not that kind of wolverine, guys.

Returning to my reader’s question, a character in Avatar: The Last Airbender, my all-time favorite show, offers this unfathomable wisdom: “Pants are an illusion, and so is death.”

My own view on pants is that a gentleman shouldn’t leave home without them.

That concludes today’s Q&A post! I’m grateful to everyone who submitted questions; without you, this post would have been embarrassingly short. Thanks, guys.

With fifty posts left, TMTF is hitting the final stretch at last. I could say a lot, but I’ll save it for some other time. For now, I will only say this: Onward!

436. I’m Pretty Sure My Cat Is a Buddhist

I acquired a cat some time ago. She’s a sweetie, and apparently a devout Buddhist.


Pearl is the cutest Buddhist I know.

I have four reasons for thinking Pearl has chosen Buddhism as her way of life.

My cat practices meditation.

Pearly spends much of every day sitting on the windowsill, gazing serenely upon worldly things as earth and sky, lost in contemplation of the cosmic infinite. Meditation is an essential doctrine of Buddhism, and one the Pearl-cat practices faithfully.

At any rate, I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s doing. Why else would she spend so much time staring blankly out the window?

My cat practices yoga.

Yoga is another important expression of Buddhist belief. Given her mastery of the physical aspects of yoga—stretching, contortion, forms, and postures—I can only assume that Pearly has also mastered the discipline’s mental and spiritual aspects.

Cat yoga

This is a picture of another cat, not of Pearl. Out of respect for my cat’s devotion to her religious disciplines, I decided not to share photos of them on this blog.

The Pearl-cat frequently stretches, strikes graceful poses, or contorts her body with astonishing flexibility. I assume it’s all part of some esoteric yoga routine, albeit one that involves licking oneself.

My cat practices feng shui.

The ancient Chinese art of feng shui arranges a household to achieve an optimal flow of chi (spiritual energy) and harmonize with the surrounding environment.

This channeling of spiritual energy is a concept similar to bending in Avatar: The Last Airbender, the classic animated series… but much less likely to flood my home, tear it down, or set it on fire. (For that, I have my typewriter monkeys.)


So far, my cat has limited herself to feng shui. I sure hope she doesn’t get any other bright ideas for redirecting spiritual energy.

Feng shui owes more to Taoism than to Buddhism, yet related concepts appear in certain schools of Buddhist belief, so it’s not much of a stretch to suppose my cat dabbles in it.

Pearly frequently rearranges my apartment in mysterious ways: knocking over seashells on display, batting magnets off the refrigerator door, and trying to eat the Legend of Zelda poster over my bookcase, among other things. She also carries her toys (stuffed mice which my younger brother and I have named “the Plague Rats”) around the apartment, depositing them in unexpected places.

These baffling rearrangements of my living space have no better explanation. The Pearl-cat is apparently practicing feng shui to redirect my apartment’s spiritual energy. I suppose I should be grateful. After all, some people pay for this sort of thing.

My cat practices zen gardening.

Zen gardens are a form of artistic and spiritual expression at temples of Zen Buddhism. These pebbly works of art, crafted from scattered rocks and rippling gravel, are meant to suggest nature and help meditation.

Pearly’s zen garden is an ever-changing tapestry of sand, into which she etches designs whose meanings I can’t even begin to guess.

Zen garden

My cat’s zen garden isn’t quite this artistic, but I’m certain its scrapes and scratches represent some unfathomable meaning.

The Pearl-cat’s zen garden doubles as her litter box. Despite her lofty contemplations of spiritual things, she’s really quite pragmatic.

I’m not sure how to respond to my Buddhist cat. As a Christian, I feel I really ought to do something. Should I take her to church on Sunday? (My church might not appreciate that.) Should I give her a Bible? (I don’t think she can read.) I don’t know, guys.

If anyone is curious about the religious views of my typewriter monkeys, they’re a mixed bag. A few of my monkeys are Darwinists, appropriately enough. Another says he’s a Roman Catholic “like Daredevil and the Judge from The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” which are not encouraging comparisons. At least one of my monkeys worships the Helix Fossil from Twitch Plays Pokémon. Now that my cat has embraced Buddhism, my blogging team has become even more diverse.

I may not agree with my cat’s religious beliefs, but at least she doesn’t worship the sun.

All things considered, it could be worse.

In Case of Fire, Send Email

I have to work an extra day this week, so instead of writing a long Geeky Wednesday post, I’ve leave you in the capable hands of Maurice Moss from The IT Crowd, a superb British comedy series.

Here’s a safety tip: If there’s a fire in your building, email is probably not the best way to contact the fire department. (Trust me on this one. When you’ve worked with my typewriter monkeys for as long as I have, you learn a lot about fire safety.)

Stay safe!