71. Chameleons

It’s you. Good to see you again. I’ve got something to tell you.

A while back I made a spelling mistake in an email. During the moment while I was clicking send, I saw “Danial” where “Daniel” should have been. I quickly sent a second movement command down my right arm to its left click finger, retracting the previous click command. It arrived milliseconds after the first click command but to no avail. My left click finger is a premium model. It had already clicked with plenty of time to spare and then sent this reply back to my brain, “You suck old man!” which is really not true. I normally have great quality control on all mechanical movement commands that I send throughout my body. Not to mention, I’m just realizing, my left click finger is exactly as old as I am. So…whatever. We get along pretty well, my finger and I. I’m not taking it personally or anything. I still think we’ll do good work together in the future but I won’t be trusting that finger with any of my more sensitive feelings and thoughts for a while at least.

Until next time,

Benjamin Boyd

70. Right


You are married. You are playing the game of Marriage. Most people would tell you that marriage is not a game, it’s life, and if you work hard at it you will succeed. True? Maybe.

Does marriage have rules? Can you win or lose at marriage? Yes. Something with rules that you can win or lose…that’s a game. I think most people get married without realizing it’s a game or knowing what the rules are.


  1. When you get married you both get an unknown limited number of points.
  2. You win the game of marriage by reaching a higher unknown number of points. How do you get points?
  3. ***If you make your spouse feel special to you, cared for, and taken care of at least once during the day and by the end of the day your spouse still feels like you love them, then your spouse gets 1 point. If not, your spouse loses 1 point.
  4. You cannot give any points to yourself or stop yourself from losing any points.
  5. If your spouse reaches 0 points, they lose, and if your spouse loses then no matter how many points you have, you lose too.

It may seem obvious, but how do you make your spouse feel special, taken care of, and cared for? The formula for that is different for everybody. This is a very easy game to win and it is a very easy game to lose. You as a human are a creature of habit. Whatever you do today is probably what you are going to do tomorrow. Within a few months after marriage you will either be in the habit of losing points or gaining points. After that it is just a matter of time…

I lost this game. Actually, I was winning. I was winning until without what seemed like any warning, I lost. I lost because my wife lost. I loved her but wasn’t making her feel special to me, cared for, or really taken care of. She was making me feel special and cared for and I was happy. She was special to me, but she didn’t know and eventually became very unhappy.

When I was in high school I was forced to read one of many useful books about marriage. This book was titled “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. It made sense but it wasn’t real to me. Gary Chapman says that there are generally five languages of love and every human has a primary and often a secondary love language, a way that you feel most valued, appreciated and loved. The languages are:

  • Words of affirmation: unsolicited compliments and kind words
  • Quality time: spending real quality one on one time together without distractions
  • Receiving gifts: self explanatory, some people just really love to get gifts
  • Acts of service, and
  • Physical touch: Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, not all about the bedroom (but let’s be fair, not not about the bedroom)

I knew Tracie’s primary love language is acts of service, but that is not my love language. How you feel love from others is how you will naturally try to communicate love to your spouse. If they are not fluent in that language also then the love won’t get through. For Tracie acts of service and quality time in her words make her “feel like the most cherished treasure”. I was excellent at providing quality time but acts of service did not come naturally to me at all. In fact, they annoyed me. Why ask someone to do trivial little tasks that you are perfectly capable of doing? Doesn’t matter. Acts of service make my wife feel special to me and cared for. I knew the language in my head from reading the book but it wasn’t mine so I almost didn’t believe it was real. I starved her of the love language she valued most. So we lost.

Losing at marriage is just that time when your wife snaps…and you suddenly realize that what you thought was quite a nice marriage is, in fact, a bad marriage. The amazing thing about marriage is that every time you lose you can just start again. Some people go their whole lives losing this game over and over again with the same person. That is an unhappy marriage. But if you learn something along the way, try new things and figure out how to give your spouse points, it doesn’t matter how long that takes, you will eventually win an amazing marriage.

There is no such thing as a mediocre marriage. Every single day your marriage is either inching towards bad…or amazing. Every day. No exceptions.

I chose my wife for my life. I married her and promised to figure this thing out. I began a mission to speak the weird and wonderful Acts-of-Service love language which my wife holds so dear. I wasn’t good at it for a long time but I kept learning and trying and now I’m still not great at it but if my wife is sitting on the couch and she asks me for a glass of water from the kitchen I know that she is asking me if I love her and I look deep into her eyes and I say in my sexiest voice, “Of course I will get you a glass of water from the kitchen.” And we lived mostly happily ever after.

Dear married people,

On your wedding day you promised your spouse points. Go get ’em tiger.

Benj, gamer for life

69. Grandma Turns 100

Hello travelers of Earth,

My Grandma is a great traveler. She has covered 94 billion km in her lifetime plus whatever little trips she has made on Earth. That is the equivalent of Earth-orbiting the sun 100 times. Which is what she did. She’s 100 now and billions of km ahead of me. Too late to congratulate her on that now though. That was last week. She’s working on 101 now.

In other news, I took an Aspergers test on behalf of my cats. Result: Score of 37, “Aspergers likely”. For reference, I personally scored a 12 and do not have Aspergers despite the suspicions of my wife as I spent hours figuring out exactly how long it would probably take to really count to 1 billion in person.

My cats’ symptoms include:

  1. “Significant difficulty in the use of multiple non-verbal behaviors such as the lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, awkward or clumsy body postures and gestures.” (just Pip on that last one, Indy is a sleek house ninja cat)
  2. “A significant and encompassing preoccupation or obsession with one or two restricted topics, that is abnormal either in intensity, subject or focus.” (meowing to be let out at the back door every time I walk downstairs, also any and all open boxes)

Look at them, classic Aspergers. Accepting donations for their treatment now. We’re probably just going to go with lots of huggles (a mixture of hugs and cuddles) but we can use the money to buy small empty boxes, cucumbers, catnip and string.

68. Drive Like the Wind

To you,

I think my eyes might have perfect vision.

Like maybe when I was 11 my nose filed a complaint against my eyes for going cross-eyed or something. There is a small chance that my eyes are vindictive pains in the butt. I mean, I think they might be playing the long con on me just to get back at my nose for something. You know, make it wear glasses.

Some mornings after a good sleep I wake up and go about my normal business. Then like 45 minutes later I’ll all of a sudden realize I’m not wearing my glasses and my vision…goes blurry. At least I suspect it just went blurry. It’s hard to know for sure but I feel like I wasn’t seeing blurry earlier. Like my eyes also had such a good sleep that they forgot they were long conning my nose and just saw normal, like they do. And then…

“Uh, Freddie.” (I think my eyes call each other Freddie and Eddie) “Don’t look…I think we’ve been doing 20/20.”

“Oh…oh…ok. Crap. Umm, no sudden movements. I’ll count to three. On three, fade, k. 1…2…3…” …and, I remember I’m not wearing glasses.

I’m pretty sure that’s how it is going down, like 51% to 95% sure. I haven’t actually caught them in the act yet. Crafty little devils, my eyes.

To good vision, a nose without glasses marks, and long life.

67. Viewpoint


Dear World,

I was going to say something about the election. Then I thought, what would Jesus do? I didn’t know. My best guess is that it would be to talk about something else. Going a different direction here.

The Story of Dame Chicken Chucksy of the House Chinchippy

Chicken Chucksy of the house Chinchippy walked up the length of the coop and turned right. It was insane. It was necessary. She could have turned around but sometimes you just have to do it again. She walked to a corner, turned left, left, right, left, and stopped. “BuckOCK!”

The man stopped too. He liked to talk to chickens so he did. Until this time. This time he understood. “Hello Mrs. Chucksy. How’s it go…oh…oh no…I’m SOO sorry. Truly. I didn’t mean to eat all of your babies…every day……for your whole life. I………”

What do you say to a chicken in a coop, house of Chinchippy or not? I’ll tell you this, Chicken Chucksy doesn’t get eye contact anymore. Oh no! The eyes of the man be turned down. To the ground. He DID mean to. YES he did.

Chicken Chucksy of the house Chinchippy walks up the length of the coop.


66. Woolly Mammoths

Woolly Mammoth


I did not waste the last 20 months of comic production time. I just learned how easy it would be to waste 20 months of comic production time. Pretty easy.

Dear North Americans,

I’ve been hearing about Muslims.

TLDR: In conclusion all I really wanted to say is that Muslims in America are just barely more dangerous than cows and just a bit less dangerous than trying to take a selfie. I must warn that Christian folk in America are much more dangerous than taking selfies so take care if you’re near a church this weekend.

Some roughly accurate facts:

1.6 billion Muslims
2.2 billion Christians
500 million Buddhists
30 million Sikhs
18 million Seventh Day Adventists
14 million Jews

From this I deduce that if every Christian was friends with one Muslim there would still be 600 million Christians that would be without a Muslim friend.

We’re all just people. I get the impression that some people are afraid of Muslim people. If you are one of the 2.2 billion who believe in this kind of thing (I am), I feel like our friend Jesus might think this is silly. I always thought if one believes in the bible one didn’t have to worry about things like this.

I did some reading about how many people are dying in the world and it seems like a lot less than I would expect if Muslims (1.6 billion) were big into killing people. 3 out of 400 people die every year = 55 million total. If the Muslims or Christians decide to start killing people on principle expect that number to increase dramatically.

Seems like every few hundred years or so some people (even they are just people) kill millions of other people. That’s what some people do sometimes. It is horrific but it is not surprising. Some people in the world right now are very into killing people. They’re not Stalin level killers yet though. They’ve got nothing on Subutai, that’s for sure. Trying to keep things in perspective. Somewhere between 150,000 and 500,000 people have died in Syria since that conflict began. 3 of them were us. Either way that is not Islam, it’s war. Overall in the last 50 years the craziest killers seem to be us. Conquest of the Philippines (200,000 plus killed), Indochina war (1 million dead, many our direct responsibility), Bay of Pigs, we’re probably directly responsible for an estimated 250,000 Muslim deaths world wide since the 80’s. We’re dangerous. We’re doing all kinds of really bad stuff all over the world right now. I think we should be real happy that Muslims are coming to North America where we can’t kill them so easily. I want to be indirectly responsible for as few killings of Muslims as possible.

What about on home soil? We should be worried about Muslims here at home right? I’ve read that last year they killed roughly 25 Americans in the name of Islam in America. Oh no! And Christians in America in the name of Jesus killed 40 or so additional Americans. Though death is never trivial, both of these numbers are.

Last year in America killed by:
Sharks: 1
Taking selfies: 29 (Unfair statistic, this is worldwide numbers. Check wikipedia. There are some good ones.)
Cows: 22

In conclusion all I really wanted to say is that Muslims in America are just barely more dangerous than cows and just a bit less dangerous than trying to take a selfie. I must warn that Christian folk in America are much more dangerous than taking selfies so take care if you’re near a church this weekend.

Signing off for today,
Benjamin Boyd

65. Willard and the popes Sixtus

65. Willard

This is the story of the popes Sixtus. I don’t know anything about them, but they do exist and I feel their story should be told. I begin by googling.

While I’m googling I’ll share a little something about Australia. “By car,” is not an appropriate response to “How are you going?” Kangaroos are dumb. That is what a local told me. I have no way to verify this. If something dangerous happens in a coorporation in Australia the CEO is held personally liable. The first reaction I had to that was, I bet everything is wonderful in Australia. It’s not, though I did enjoy myself there during the 5 week work trip I just returned from. In the name of safety at work, huge mounds of paper are constructed everywhere. If an accident happens the lawyers run headlong into the huge piles of paper and have a very difficult time finding the CEO. Unfortunately, according to some government statistics I found, this approach does seem to be decreasing the number of on the job injuries somewhat so I guess it is working. Ok, I found something. Now back to the popes Sixtus.

There were five popes Sixtus. That seems like just the right amount of popes Sixtus. That is five popes of the Catholic church ranging well over a thousand years of human history. Hopefully this is going to have a bit of everything; intrigue, drama, adventure, comedy, thrills and maybe even a happily ever after. So to recap, what I know so far is that there were five popes Sixtus. I must google some more…

Pope Sixtus the I was the seventh pope. He is known for deciding that none but the sacred ministers are allowed to touch the sacred vessels. This is a legit fact from the Liber Pontificalis, a history of the popes. Ooooo! I probably shouldn’t be commenting live on my google research. This is actually not a legit fact. It is followed closely by, “This, like all accounts of early papal decrees, is of course fabrication, an attempt to assign a definite, primitive origin to the order prevailing in the sixth century.” Come to think of it, what is the Liber Pontificalis? If I don’t know, I don’t think I can use it as a reference. Scratch that. Moving on.

Pope Sixtus the II – unfortunately, martyred. Factoid: The total number of martyred popes is unclear to me; seems to be roughly around 30 though.

Pope Sixtus the III is all tied up with the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus. Question of the day, 431 a.d., was whether to call the mother of Jesus, Mary Theotokos or not. They decided to go ahead and do that, aaaand the world church split in two. What’s amazing about this is that more time had passed from the time Jesus was born until this massive schism than has passed today since the creation of the USA but nobody gives a defecation about 431 a.d. anymore. (That didn’t really work did it. This is a rare instance where the euphemism actually comes across as worse than the real thing. I apologise for that.)

So then China built the Grand Canal, Islam begins, the English have learned to swear and they don’t even know it (Saxons), and that is just to the 600’s. A thousand years go by and a IVth pope Sixtus appears. He immediately builds the Sistine Chapel, indulges in a little nepotism and dies. True story.

If anyone ever says to you, “Wow, what about that Pope Sixtus, eh?” without specifying a number, then you should know that they are talking about the legendary Pope Sixtus the V. Before becoming pope, Pope Sixtus the V was appointed Inquisitor of the much less well known Venetian Inquisition. He was so inquisitive that the Venetians requested that he be recalled to Rome and he was. After he became pope he inspired the local phrase, “This cannot last forever, as the guy who turned the spit said.” At the time brigands used to hide out in the colisseum in Rome and had been a big nuisance to the city for some time. One night a hermit asked to join the brigands for the night. He brought a large bottle of wine to share, turned the spit for them and said, “This cannot last forever.” And it didn’t, because he was Pope Sixtus and he had drugged them all with the wine and hanged them the next morning. He was a strong vigorous pope who at the end of his career started to mess with the order of the Jesuits and then he died. The obvious conclusion here is that there is no conclusive evidence that the Jesuits were in any way responsible.

That is not the whole story of the five popes Sixtus but that is about all the googling I want to do about it. There was some intrigue that I didn’t pass along. I have to say the level of adventure over all was a bit disappointing. There weren’t as many comedic or thrilling elements as I had hoped. The five popes Sixtus, however, according to their beliefs, are living happily ever after.

64. Ending Like Email

64. Ended Like Email

Dear the ONE,

You love counting. It’s in your blood. Your life’s passion is to count to a billion. But can you do it? Of course you can! You’re the ONE.

If you can count 2 every second, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year for 69.4 years; then if you can just hang on for another 2 weeks 1 day 53 min and 20s, you did it! That’s possible. Except how did you do it? Did you just count to a hundred, 10 million times? That wouldn’t feel right would it? When you’re done you don’t want to be in doubt about whether you just did what you think you did. If you say all of the numbers though, then you’re covered for sure. Imagine “Nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine-million-nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine-thousand-nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine…(the greatest feeling, single moment in the history of mankind)…” ya.

That’s a lot of syllables. More than a billion anyway. How many you ask? Well, I think there are 18,696,192,003. That is assuming you don’t say the “-and-“s, can say seven just as fast as sevn, and to feel right about eleven you take the full 3 syllables. Somebody, please, check my numbers.

So, if you count 2 syllables every second, 8 hours a day etc etc for, well, very nearly 13 centuries you’ll be dead. You need to step up your game. You’re the ONE! With a little practice you can easily count 12 distinct syllables every second, push it out to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, while keeping your 2 week vacation at 50 weeks a year for 120.2 years 5 days 2 hrs 13 min and 20.25s. Unbelievable. You’d have to have started when you were 2 and you’d have to be Jeanne Calment, the only person in recorded history to have been confirmed to live past 122 years old. So I’m telling you there’s a chance. You can do it.

Now, when you’re done, if I’m still alive, come see me and I’ll ask you if you started at 0 or 1. If you’re a techy kind of person you’ll finally realize what that nagging doubt was in the back of your mind that you’ve been suppressing for the past 122 years.

I believe in you,
Benjamin Boyd

63. Extreme Femenist

63. Extreme Femenist

Grimm’s Fairy Tales are the worst. Really bad. You’d never know based on all the movies they’ve inspired. Its all rubbish though. Every Grimm’s Fairy Tale movie is a million times better than the book. I’m reading Rapunzel right now. The king’s son witnessed Rapunzel letting her hair down for Dame Gothel every afternoon. He figured it out and visited her every evening and Dame Gothel had no idea…until…one day the dumbest heroine ever written says this, “Tell me, Dame Gothel, how it happens that you are so much heavier for me to draw up than the young king’s son – he is with me in a moment.” Gemstone.

I don’t know what to say. I guess I should finish reading the story. Gothel cuts Rapunzel’s hair off and takes her into a desert to live in misery, all before the prince arrives in the evening. She tricks the prince with her brand new Rapunzel wig. He leaps out of the tower into some thorns and scratches his eyes out. He wandered blind for years eating only berries and roots until he inexplicably wanders into the desert and finds the love of his life, with twins! Of course her tears cleared his eyes right up “and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented,” in the desert as far as I know.

Really nice story actually. I’m looking forward to the next one. FUNDEVOGEL. Should be a good one.

62. Agoraphobia

62. Agoraphobia
If I don’t have anything to say I try not to write about it. Its been a successful summer.

Today I have something to say. I am gay and have been for quite some time. I’m told that during a brief period of time in my early 3’s I wasn’t gay at all and there were a few times during my teenage years when I was possibly a bit more shy and lonely than gay. Now though, if you are someone who knows me, you know that gay describes me nicely. Otherwise:

Dear Stranger,

Dictionaries record an instance of a language. It’s kind of too bad that they can’t just define a language and be done with it, but they can’t. Also, that would be no fun at all really. Thankfully language is defined by the people that use it (unless it is a programming language). This is good for me because I want to be a part of defining the word ‘gay’. Before I go any further though, just to be safe, I should probably check what the dictionaries last said on the matter…

Hmmm. My efforts may have been wasted. A moment ago I was very surprised to learn that the very first definition of the word ‘gay’ in the Urban Dictionary is “jovial or happy, good-spirited”. Every other old stodgy dictionary I’ve checked online says that ‘gay’ means gay. We all know that old stodgy dictionaries are behind the times though so I think my work here is done.

Nod of the head,

For further discourse on gaiety please see the following:
27. Gay for a Second – Dear gay people