Yosemite Park got its name from the Miwok word “Yohhe’meti.”
It means “They are killers.” And it refers to the violent Pai-Ute tribe who fought with the Miwok and the Ahwahnee.
As Ken Burns wrote his documentary series about the national parks, he looked over the piles of research and smirked.
It didn’t his narrative of white people being the source of evil in the world.
“I’ll just put the meaning after white settlers slaughter the natives,” said Ken. “It will sound like it refers to the settlers.”
Peter Coyote let the booth know that he was ready to record.

The Miners

With the rise of digital currencies, like bitcoin, the miners of those digital currencies compete to throw raw computing power at earning those currencies, whether its their own or servers that they’ve hacked and taken over.
They don’t completely take over a server’s resources, because that would alert the owner to their presence.
Instead, they use all of the unused resources, so there is no performance loss.
When the administrator logs in and performs any tasks, the mining program hides and sleeps, until the admin logs out.
They start back up and begin once more to mine for more coins.


Every prince wants to one day be king.
And Prince Drogo was no exception to that.
His father, King Grond, who taught him well.
As well as Drogo’s brother, Prince Victor.
A year older than Drogo.
When Grond died, Victor took the crown.
Drogo did all he could to get it for himself.
Assassins and poisons aren’t cheap.
Victor’s wives and children died, but Victor survived.
And then, the crown was Drogo’s to take.
He took it off of his brother’s corpse and put it on his head.
“Oh shit,” he said. “The poison. I forgot to wash it off.”

Weekly Challenge #723 – PICK TWO: contest, hop to it, toys, pain, treading water, protect



The End of the Rope

“Tie a knot and hang on… I’ll tie a knot around their necks. Be happy and blah blah blah…”
She was grumpy all the time. The neighbors would always scatter away in all directions, hiding from her.
And then came a bird. She scared it away, but the bird came back, again and again. And it brought a little twig, then another, and soon there was a nest. And baby birds!
She opened a bit of the window and gave the mommy some seeds she had bought.
No one could believe it when, one day, she simply said “Good morning!”.


Hot stuff!

She suggested ‘spicing things up a little’ to restore our flagging relationship. I, being naive, surprised her with a meal at a Thai restaurant: Apparently, not the sort of spice she had in mind.

I’ll never forget the night she introduced me to her new ‘toys’ – for all the wrong reasons.

I can still remember the sickly sweet smell of lubricant, and the slimy feeling as she applied it in places that I myself would only venture from necessity.

But, above all, the horrific pain as we realised she’d mistakenly applied chilli oil instead of lube…

Now, that’s spicy!


In The End Its Really About the Toys —The contest is simple: He Who Has The Most Toys Wins. Now simple in no way represents easy. And one man’s toy might well be greater than the net worth of a 3rd world country. Some argue tools are toys, but I don’t ascribe to this point of view. A good toy lack any functional purpose, or useful interface which allows fundamental alteration of local reality. Further it must maintain some level of childish glee that would cause a six year old to smile, giggle and clap. I’m sure Eli Musk does all three when he lights up a rocket.


Snow fell gently. deadening the sounds of the forest like a tomb. I withdrew my sword without effort and stared across the white field to my nemesis. Enraged, I charged at my opponent. “Fill your hand, you son of a bitch,” I screamed! Our blades crossed and clanged as our footwork crushed the snow. Each of us furiously slashing to preserve one another’s life. I was quick. I was skilled. I was not the victor. The pain in my gut exploded as her reddened steel was pulled from my side with a boot kick. Who will protect my family now?


Completing another loop around the block, Billbert’s mother pulled the car into the driveway. “I don’t know anyone in our neighborhood named, Balloni or Rigatoni. You don’t mean Albragetti, do you?”

“That’s it. I knew it was some kind of pasta. They’re still behind us, Mom. What am I going to do?”

His mother shook her head. “As a mother, I’d love to protect you from pain and embarrassment. But, you got yourself into this predicament. You’ll have to get yourself out. Hop to it, now. Go confront this girl.”

Billbert dragged his feet as he walked toward the Fararri.


Toys; pain
I found Jackie torturing her toys again. She’d pulled the back legs off the dog robot, and it whined as it struggled to drag itself away. The boy robot had a screwdriver jammed through his neck and twitched painfully.

“Stop that at once!” I screamed.

“They’re robots,” she said, “they don’t care.”

“How will you ever care about your baby brother if you can’t care about your toy friends?” I pleaded.

“He’s fake too,” she said, twisting the cat robot’s body to make it snarl. “Daddy told me he bought it for you because you couldn’t have any more children.”


You’ll thank me for the cold soon.

Watching you frantically treading water, from my sanctuary in the lifeboat, I see your exertions slowing as cold and shock set in: But, don’t worry, I’m not going to let you drown – your wrists are lashed firmly enough to the dinghy to assure me of that.

And that freezing water really is a blessing in disguise. Trust me.

You see, the sharks will come soon, and when they do, they will tear you limb from limb, piece by piece.

Then you’ll thank me for the cold…

And how it numbs the pain.


Klaus the Toymaker likes to make toys for the children of the village.
And the children love the toys.
But he is only one man, and the village has grown so much in the past twenty years.
And then there’s the toys that the children break. The repairs, the wear-and-tear.
That takes time, too.
Now, there is a lottery.
The children who want toys draw tablets from a kettle.
And they swallow them.
Those who wake up the next day get toys.
And those who don’t, well, they should have taken better care of their toys.
Or read more books.

The Islamic State

My Muslim friend tells me that ISIS isn’t really Islamic.
Despite the fact that they’re called the Islamic State.
Despite the fact that they quote the Q’ran as they behead people.
Despite the fact that they’re forcing people to convert to Islam or die.
Despite the fact that when they’re captured, they demand Q’rans, prisons, imams, and halal meals in prison.
Despite the fact that Muslims protest that the prisoners are treated badly, or that it’s a War On Islam.
So, I took out a massive scimitar, and beheaded my friend.
“I guess I’m more Islamic than you,” I said.

Ashtray dinosaur

When I was little, my family had a great big green car.
It was from the days when everybody smoked, and there were ashtrays in the back.
I remember pulling out the ashtray assembly and stuffing a toy plastic dinosaur in the well of the seat panel.
I’d look in there every time I rode in that car.
Then, one day, my dad traded in that car for another.
The car and the dinosaur were gone.
I don’t worry too much about losing things.
I like to think of them as being with the dinosaur in his little ashtray cave.

Birthday presents

Instead of getting presents for my birthday from my parents, I give them presents.
After all, weren’t they the ones who gave me life in the first place?
I give my dad a tie and some flowers to my mother.
Then, on Fathers Day, I demand a present from my dad, because, after all, aren’t I the one who made him a father in the first place?
On Mothers Day, I demand a present from my mother, because, after all, aren’t I the one who made her a mother in the first place.
“That was your father’s fault,” she says.


I’ve always been a zipper-fly jeans wearer. Never been the button-fly kind of guy.
Never zipped the zipper into my cock, either. Never been that careless. Or drunk.
Until yesterday.
So, here I am in the hospital, all stitched up and drugged to the point of not caring.
I wish I had been drugged to the point of not remembering, too.
They asked for my ID and my insurance, and I told them it was in my wallet in my back pocket.
“Be gentle,” I said.
They were.
Seen the bill? The cuts will heal long before the wallet will.


It started with a simple filter. Fred sent email from his bank to a Banking folder.
Then, Fred filtered some mailing lists into their own folders.
All the while, Fred was creating filters for Spam, sending it to the trash.
A few rules here, a few filters there.
Then Fred added auto-responders. This let people know he got their mail.
Pretty soon, Fred’s email box could run itself.
Fred’s car, on the other hand, couldn’t drive itself.
He got drunk and ran into a tree, and died.
But Fred’s email box kept on going.
And so will yours, one day.

The Tenth Life

A friend once told me that when a beloved cat dies, their tenth lives are our memories of them.
The truth is, their tenth lives are as ghosts, and they haunt the shit out of us.
We see them out of the corners of our eyes.
We feel them near when we are trying to sleep.
We hear them in the kitchen, or in the closet, or under the bed.
And it scares the shit out of us.
Maybe when we tend to our other cats, or the new kitten, do they get bored with us, and they move on.