On the off chance you haven’t seen this yet.


Lost: one USB stick, black. Contents: writing, mostly fiction. Where lost: if I knew that etc etc. Perhaps at the UN/VIC in Vienna.
If you find it, please contact me at Thanks in advance.

How goldfish are made

Walking in the woods this afternoon with my wife, she kept spotting animals. She always sees them first. (That is, both before I see the animals, and before the animals see her.) I saw a couple birds after she pointed them out. I heard a woodpecker a few times.
Two squirrels I didn’t see at all.
We walked to a pond where a beaver lives, or at least works. You know beavers. Many trees had been chewed down and debarked.
We walked past another, smaller pond where I saw something small and red swimming in the water. I stopped and took a more careful look, and saw that it was a dark orange goldfish, about six inches long. Then I saw another. The longer I looked, the more I saw. By the time we finally left, the pond was full of reddish-orange goldfish.

Open letter to the United Nations Secretary-General and the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Dear Sirs,
Was Robert Palmer shooting a new video at the VIC, or what? What is up with all the miniskirts and knee-high pointy boots on all the secretaries?
Thanks in advance,

Craft projects

You will need:

  • Tube of clear silicone caulk

  • sheet of plastic lunch wrap
  • acrylic paint
  • bits of stuff

Directions: Spread the plastic lunch wrap on your work surface. Squirt out enough silicone into a little dish you can throw away. Oh, add a little dish to the above list. Mix in just a little acrylic paint until it is the silicone is the color of cat vomit. Spread it around on the plastic wrap until it has the right shape. Add bits until there is no way to distinguish it from real cat vomit. It helps to get silicone on the tops of the bits sticking out, they have to look as if they have been inside a stomach.

For bits, Gamma and I used real (dry) cat food, styrofoam bits that had been painted with acrylic paints (raw and burnt umber shades worked well). Most realistic bits were, however, bits of cleaning sponge we painted. Least realistic bits were the M&Ms we added as a joke, and cornstarch based packing peanuts, which dissolved when painted.

Let dry, we waited overnight. Next day (1 April, coincidentally) we peeled off the vomit and left it in various places around the house (we made two).

Result: disappointment on our part, as no one fell for it on April Fool’s day. Could be our sneaking off to my workshop every evening and giggling like maniacs tipped them off.

But I ask you, is a week of giggling like maniacs not reward enough?

Also: no one fell for our fake turtle shit either (blobs of silicone – some quite realistic – painted with Van Dyke Brown (I wanted to just paint them black, but Gamma pointed out correctly that turtle shit is van dyke brown)).

Update: OMA FELL FOR THE CAT VOMIT!!! AND SO DID BETA!!! Gamma fooled them by putting it on a chair, where it looked more realistic than it had on the floor!!!