Uncle Ben's Crazy Thoughts



The sky was brilliant tonight. The scenery, so green. The surroundings are breathtaking in their order, simplicity, and craftsmanship. It is a beautiful time and place to get married.

Not a crazy thought because that is not always needed.


I'm Getting Married in the Morning

Ding dong, the bells are gonna ring. Pull out a Popper!
Let's have a Whopper! Snacky foods are just my thing.

I don't approve of the original version. Plus, my financiér (it's a French word for "semi-spouseified") doesn't like the girls kissing the soon-to-be-wed's cheek. And I don't either. Unless it's my financiér. And I really like Jalapeño Poppers. And that flame-broiled burger. Yum.

But the "Burger King" is a creepazoid.


Bull Moose

So it's ben (he he) awhile since writing. If you care, you must. Yes. I know I am it. The one you need to have. To be. Like. Me.

Let's start by focusing on my awesomeness. It is high, so very great and powerfull, beautifully, lovely elevated. Like my love for all things wonderful. Which is me.

The evidence of this is of my high school achievements, which were replete. Like, all star athlete, brainy (non-nerdy, except in a cool way), student body president, homecoming king, loved by all the ladies and envied by all the fellows smooth.

At boys state, you know it, I defied the grade. Moved left on a right turn only. Zagged when others zigged. Republican or Democrat? No sir, started my only party thanks. Bull moose. Like carry a big stick Teddy. Did an old-time Roosevelt and didn't win, but we didn't lose, if you know what I mean. That's my style. Kansas City tennis style. Show-me-the-state-that-loves-me style. Ben-style.



It's been (or ben--get it?) awhile since I have written last. The reason is, a lot of time has passed between the last time I posted and now.

I have been thinking of this current economic collapse, and I realized that there is a strong correlation between my sister and the bubble. She moves to Utah, housing prices go up. She moves to Boston, same thing. Romania, Jersey City, Antelope Island, Sheboygan--it all fits. She is a moving housing bubble. I hope she doesn't burst.



Being home makes me realize there are more things to life than geeps.
Like turducken.



I have a theory: Haggis is polenta. Haggis is lamb cakes. Haggis is beauty. Haggis is everything. Haggis is love. Haggis is perfection.

Haggis simply is.



I am home now from the big K-Z (that's what we, us we in the knowing stuff lots yes, call the K-Z; I'm so in know that I can't call K-Z anything else). One thing I miss is the wonderful goat yogurt, pecan, thyme, and cinnamon lamb cakes. The lamb here is just not the same. It is so, what's the word in English ... Maryish. As in:

Mary had a little lamb,
Who tasted kind of junky;
And the herbs and spices on that lamb,
Were all kinds of funky.

Yes. Lamb and goat spice meat sauce. So tasty. So, K-Z tasty



Sorry I am so late in writing. I will make it up with many hours of of weeping. And then I will save my tears, as is my common practice. I have been involved in a contest called не имеет возникновение козочки!, of which I won the top prize! I plan to celebrate by dancing a traditional Romanian jig (thanks Lora!).



Weirdest thing. I just found out that "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" has the same tune as "ABCs".

I just can't imagine Michael Jackson singing "Twinkle, Twinkle..." *shutter*


Ab Urbe Condita

Don't you all have your favorite "What Happened On Your Birthday" day? Well, mine is September 13, 1752 (that would 2505 for you Justinians out there; that's right, I'm talking to you, the one with the Caesar cut). That, of course, was a banner day in the British Empire. Never to be remembered, never to be forgotten.



I found out I really don't fit in here, but I have a great desire to be anonymous. So I am growing dreadlocks. That should work.



Do you really need to say Series of Unfortunate Events? Can't you just say Unfortunate Events? Don't they always come in series for you too? I mean, if I had a pickled pig's foot for every time she told me, no, she never really like my dancing—just before I failed my knitting and basket weaving final and just after I wrecked my Honda Hobbit—I'd have half a baker's dozen pig's feet (in addition to my already stored quarter pint of tears).



After talking with Russell's wife, we determined that since he was the only son that wasn't red and hairy, he gets the birthright. Lame!



I just realized something: football has very little to do with the foot. It should be called handball. And handball should be called gloveball—with team handball simply called awesome.

Basketball should be called netball. And netball should simply be called boring.



*built on xkcd initial idea



As you are probably well aware, one of the big draws to Ташкөмүр (in Жалалабат областы—pretty impressive, huh?) is the dinosaur fossils. In fact, the dinosaur is very important to the Kyrgyz culture. We have even printed dinosaur stamps. 

Well, because of this animal's cultural impact, there has been a bit of a backlash against the United States since Land Before Time (a recent backlash because of the Cold War; we just got a bootlegged, Russia dubbed version last). It's not that the typical Kyrgyzstani doesn't think that Don Bluth accurately portrayed the featured lizards, but that the death of Littlefoot's mother was all too tragic.

In fact, we are preparing for the 20th anniversary of the release of the original film—now to be hereafter recognized as a national day of mourning.



As with much of the rest of the world, there is a big group of people here that are excited about the Obama win. It's too bad they have latched on to a mistranslation of "Yes We Can!" and now they say to each other:
то правильно, мы сохраняет мясо!
Which, translated, means roughly:
This is true, we can save meat!


Orzubek Nazarov Night

This last week (October 30) we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Orzubek Nazarov's ascent to boxing's royalty as the WBA Lightweight Champion when he beat South African Dingaan Thobela and reigned for four years, six months, and sixteen days (his subsequent loss led to the decade-long French reign of the weight class, a period the WBA is happy to have over).

For the celebration, we heft 60 kg effigies of South American and French boxers, first pummeling them, then burning them in a large Kumis-fueled bonfire (not unlike Guy Fawkes Night), and finally we end with hot berry cider and pastries. It is great fun.


Kyrgyz Newspeak

A snapshot of the news at this moment.

On Santa (Times of Central Asia):
The world has started to recognize Kyrgyzstan as the Santa Claus’s home[, d]irector of the state agency for tourism Turusbek Mamashev [mentioned on] Azattyk radio.
(I know him!)

And on the financial crisis.

24, Kyrgyzstan - 17 hours ago
Kyrgyzstan should openly admit negative effect of the world financial crisis to the country’s economy.
Times of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan - 1 hour ago
Financial crisis largely spares Kyrgyzstan.


No blackouts since Nov. 1, 2008!

24.kg reported on October 27, 2008:
No electricity blackouts in Kyrgyzstan since November 1, 2008.
So I looked for more information in the copy:
“Kyrgyz government will stop practicing electricity blackouts since November 2008,” Saparbek Balkibekov the Minister of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources told the news agency “24.kg”.


Celebrity Me

Look, I made the news!

I was actually wearing a dark suit and a pair of black Balmorals when they called me into the meeting. Then they said that I didn't look "American" enough, so I had to change my outfit to accommodate the Nikes.

We were discussing a recent gift to Australia. We had sent them 12,420 manaschis, 3,674 komuz players, and 6,238 poods of horse meat. By the way, it is easy to remember these units of mass, just think "шальная беседа" and you'll remember:
  • one pood = 40 funts
  • 1 funt = 32 lots
  • 1 lot = 3 zolotniks
  • 1 zolotnik = 96 dolias
 Right now they were discussing whether Manas or Ned Kelly could win in a fight. It turns out, this has become quite a heated exchange between the Aussies and the manaschis we sent there. They asked me to decide. I said that Spiderman would win. They said something rude about Americans and then asked me to leave.


My Squirrel Friend

Pretty cute, huh.

That's how we roll here.  Kyrgyz squirrel style.


Mark Dacascos

We are so excited! Mark Dacascos, who you may know from Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (in deleted scenes), General Hospital (Police Cadet in Episodes #1.5823, #1.6202, #1.6204, and #1.6206), and The Nomad (huge in Kazakhstan) is coming to visit Kyrgyzstan!

We are pumped. So pumped.


Travel Guide

Lonely Planet's main Kyrgyz article reports about Kyrgyzstan:

No whistles and bells, just friendly faces and some mighty big mountains.

What Kyrgyzstan lacks in gracious buildings and fancy cakes it makes up for with nomadic traditions such as laid-back hospitality, a healthy distrust of authority and a fondness for drinking fermented mare's milk.

Please. This is a much better description:

Kyrgyzstan is the best thing to come galloping out of the Central Asian mountains waving a headless goat since the collapse of the USSR [...] the other 'Stans seem positively boring.

That should be the main explanation.



This is just to inform you that The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology and the citizens of Switzerland has been awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity.


South Pacific

I am staying away from the South Pacific (that is around the Tropic of Capricorn and below). It is simply not safe. The Chironex fleckeri (a type of jellyfish, the most venomous of perhaps any creature in the world), stonefish, blue-ringed octopus, yellow-bellied sea snake, great white shark, and giant squid all live there.

Now, Lora will get all excited about the giant squid, but I don't think she knows about the colossal squid. This guy is huge, and I purposely didn't use the phrase "this sucker is huge" because instead of suckers, it has tiger-like claws all over it tentacles. *squeal*

And fisherman have actually seen them alive; it was captured on video (thanks to Russell for the Discovery link).

Sure, they don't have a big eye, but there is more to squids than just eyes. Like razor-sharp claws.

Oh yeah, they are down south too. *shiver*



I just came from what is known as a Toi, it's a Kyrgyz party, but not a normal party, because at normal parties all you do is sacrifice a couple of sheep, a Toi is special because it only happens a few times in a person's lifetime, and you slaughter a horse. Don't worry, it's not the cute horses that you ride, but rather ones that are specially raised to be for feed, kind of like beef cattle, but horses, so there is a lot more meat. I've known that I like horse meat since Kazakhstan, but I didn't know that it was such a special occasion to kill an entire horse.

At the end of the Toi, which contained four more courses, the last one was when they handed out the horse, I had to give a speech, and then sing a song. I was rewarded with a bottle of wine for my amazing rendition of "Happy Birthday".


An Ounce

Looking past his incredibly good looking first name, Benjamin Franklin once said something that has never made much sense to me:
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Are you as confused as I am from that statement? Hey Mr. Franklin, how about "a muskox of work is better than a toadstool of talking."

The thing is, I have seen an ounce. Well, I went to see an ounce, but there weren't any home at the time. It was at a Kyrgyz Republic national park and Planet Earth even once did a documentary on the ounce in this vicinity; but there were none to be found. They do live here. Wikipedia says so:

And if there is anyone that knows what an ounce is, it is a Bishkek resident. Man, come on—it's on our Coat of Arms.

кыргызский народ, Высокие горы, заветная наша земля.

And don't you forget it.



You'd think in Central Asia that I would be free from them, but not even here can I escape their power.

You see, I was tasked with buying a birthday card for a visiting dignitary from Molvanîa, and while looking, I came across a monkey card. You know the type, the monkey is on the card and inside it says something cheeky (it said: STUMZ STUM PLAIS-EIN STUMZ!— which is in Molvanîan, so I don't actually know what it means, but it's probably funny).

What makes monkeys the funniest animal? Have you ever seen a geep? Or an angry cow with a glue gun? Now thems funny. I would like to see that on a card. A cow and a geep with glue gun.

I can see it now.




ERGGG! It wasn't that big a deal! My coworker had brought in her famous lamb and cabbage dip and I thought it was free game. And now she is all mad at me. I even left her a nice verse to smooth things over (taken below from original Russian).

This is Just to Say:

I have eaten
your dip
that was on
your desktop
and which
I knew you were
for your son's
kalym feast.

Forgive me,
it was wonderful:
all meaty and cabbagey,
and I had rye bread
that shouldn't
be wasted.

She didn't even seem to care! I was sincere in my writings! AHHHH!

I wish I had a dog.


What I like about myself so much is my handsomeness. Sure, I am not what one calls a "beautiful man", but who wants to be that anyway? All that skin care ... yuck. I have the appropriate level of handsomecity. It is pretty nice; nice enough to get horse-whipped by a Kyrgyz young lady anyway. 

I really need to work on my horsemanship. Ow.


Boise State

It has been a bit of an annoying day here. Earlier, we watched* the Boise State-Oregon game, and all the Kyrgyz were cheering for Oregon. They do love horses, so I thought BSU was an easy conversion, but it appears that the duck is a revered animal in the month of September.

Well, after the Ducks didn’t recover the onside kick (which was superbly represented, I might add) and it became apparent the Broncos would win, the ritual period of mourning began. So, for the entirety of the day, my ears were blasted with their wailings and throwing of cooked rice. Luckily, the prescribed timeframe of sorrow for contests in which you have not wagered any family member is only twelve hours, so tomorrow should be quite a bit better.

*Watched, not in the normal sense of watching, as in: watching a football game on TV. What we did do was attend a puppet show featuring jersey-wearing marionettes fashioned out of petrified gourds, painted blue and orange or green and yellow, respectively. The reason we watched it today instead of Saturday is that the puppeteers needed to get the full game report before they could present the program.

One issue I had was on their insistence on the marionettes riding horses; they are absolutely certain that football players ride horses—I mean, what’s the point of a contest if it doesn’t take place while showing off your horsemanship?

My Work

There have been a lot of questions concerning what I do on a day-to-day basis. Let me clear these up once and for all; I get enough assumptions and presuppositions as it is, thank you very much.

A few years back, after Elbonia lost the contract with the US Government, Kyrgyzstan became the number one provider of outsourced economic data for governments around the world. When Federal Reserve economists want to know what is going on in the next few years, they turn to us.

We follow a time honored process of taking fermented goat's milk, mixed with fresh horse milk, and a large quantity of vodka. We then burn the mixture, adding vodka to keep the flame, until we are left with just a mushy, powdery residue. Within the remnants, we look for indications of the future. Unfortunately, this year, the butter-swan appeared, which meant a continuing credit crunch, bad debts, and failed banks. Too bad it wasn't the flying goat hare (yes, that is the proper use of hare). That is a good sign (at least for those in pig commodities trading).



Tempers are confusing. If you have a temper it is evidenced because you lose your temper, but doesn't that then mean that you don't have a temper at that exact point that you are exhibiting that you have one?

On another note, I have decided to switch my studies and get a Masters in Anger Management.



Joy of life oft unsaid
In aspect green and tortoise red;
Ambrosia to superior bred:

Salad, Salad, Salad

A lighter fare often rate
Preferred of peckish date.
Its properties; effeminate:

Salad, Salad, Salad

Among its kind, I find my ilk.
And sadness do I daily bilk
While I enjoy with curdled milk:

Salad, Salad, Salad



What's the point of electricity anyway? I mean, except for blogging, what can we use it for? Grinding wheat, oh, like you never heard of a hand powered mill? Making guacamole? Like, you don't know how to use that mortar and pestle lying in your middle drawer in the kitchen?

Let's think about it. Sleeping: hmmm, needs no electricity. Romantic candlelight dinner: really silly with electric candles. Birthday cake: Dutch oven and, again, candles do the trick more than fine (you bring your sissy electricity-baked cake and I will bring my Dutch oven-baked cake and we'll see who gets the girl).

Horseback riding? Surfing? Blackouts? None of these need electricity. In fact, it would probably ruin things. Especially blackouts. I mean, what's the point of a blackouts if you have electricity to run everything? Yeah, I know, pointless right?

Ulak Tartysh

Oy vey! This last weekend was the annual Bishkek Goat Bowl, which is like the Turkey Bowl expect we play ulak tartysh instead of American football. My team was the Chuy Province Djigits—the rule is you need one foreigner per team, and I was the lucky one. It was a rough go and I am well tired. The most excitement was when I got caught in the middle of a kyz kuumai event, but luckily I hid beneath the nearest goat carcass before I disrupted things too much.


How Ben Got Crazy

Many of you have asked (and I am talking to you, yes you—the voices in my head) how I think of my crazy thoughts. The first step is to think (you may think it is to be crazy, which helps, but sometimes limits the ability to express ideas correctly). Then I do, what the Kyrgyz call: "crazy walking" as in (from a chat with Russell while were talking about my quote: "Dance with me beige. Dance on my heart and my liver. Dance you crazy color. Sing to my soul.")
when I'm lonely, and then I start . . . crazy walking . . . occasionally [my coworkers] ask if my roof has flown
That is the secret my friends.


Worms and Dung Beetles

You know, worms wouldn't be so made fun of if they ate something besides dirt (I guess they aren't dung beetles, so that's good). Then again, if they get in a fight at school, and the bully says, "eat dirt!"—they probably get a silly look on their face and then eat it and smile with all the dirt grains in their wormy teeth. And then they never make any friends, unless at that point all the picked on kids get the spirit of standing up to bullies and at that moment, they run them (the bullies that is) out of town.

Yeah, that would be great; unless the bullies were fish. Then the worms would just be eaten. And the picked on kids would be even more scared. It is probably why fish aren't allowed to attend elementary school in 45 states and most countries.


Saturday the 13th

In a great departure from Western traditions, I am excited that my birthday was on this day, Saturday the 13th. The departure comes because it is not at all similar to Friday the 13th, Saturday the 13th is a great day of goat feasting, kumis, and cattle rustling here in Kyrgyzstan. Happy Birthday to me and Happy Saturday the 13th to everyone!

Also, good luck to Kseniya Palkina, another lucky 13th day birth; (she was born on the same day as Taylor Swift!) give them the old Bishkek Reply!

Black Knights

I don't think those dark and sinister black knights are as bad as we all always think. Sure, they look scary when we see them on a barren field in the middle of the night, but underneath that foreboding veneer, they are usually just nice, red-headed young men like me.

I should know. I used to be one (a scary, darkish knight; I am still a nice red-head). Does that surprise you? It shouldn't. I am much more formidable than you'd typically consider.

I have deep powers that you'd never consider; I am Dark Ben Knight Man Head Face Bottom!



#F5F5DC, (245, 245, 220), (60°, 10%, 96%); I love beige. Some people think that beige is simply a pale yellowish brown color. It's not. It is a movement, a dance, a song. The first recorded use of beige as a color name in English was in 1887, and since that time it has captured hearts around the world. Beige: il mio cantante.

Some people confuse it with zinnwaldite. Don't be so ignorant you troglodyte. If it is anything, it is more like ecru: raw, untethered, wild.

Dance with me beige. Dance on my heart and my liver. Dance you crazy color. Sing to my soul.



`Twas brillin, and the brawny coves
Did hamble and mamble the tabe:
All benji were his hollowroves,
With him outh crowth towrabe.

"Beware the Jabberbenji, wee one!
The hands of pomp, with circumsnatch!
Stay from the Jubben worm, and shun
The furific Benjicatch!"

I laid my casthers club on hand:
Within the tattered nighttime fought--
And waited we by Benben land,
Whilst sitting deep in wanton thought.

As if in deeped delicious stance,
The Jabberbenji eyed my place,
He struttled up with Jabbenlance,
Straight tow'rd my fearful face!

One, two! One, two! And through and tack
The Jabbenlance went snacky-snack!
Then clubbed I him in tatterin' crack,
To bruised ta beast, from head to back

Tis I slain the Jabberben-beast?
Perhaps for times of yet
We dine in Crispin's mortled feast
A relief of terror's debt

Until another brillin with brawny coves
Does hamble and mamble on the tabe:
The Jabberbenji with hollowroves,
When we again crowth towrabe.


Bishkek Big Mac

Today it was reported that a man says he has eaten 23,000 Big Macs. Truthfully, I am jealous of that man. I love McDonalds.

Luckily there is a McDonalds (okay, a Mac Burgers; but it's close enough) in Bishkek. We have great hopes as a result of this. Ken Payne reported about Moscow:
Now, partly because of McDonald's, people no longer tolerate filth or terrible service, and expectations in the society as a whole have been raised.


Evolution of Mud

I really don't like stinky mud. If there is any evidence that evolution didn't happen, it is stinky mud. I mean, why would that evolve?


Bosworth Field

On this day in 1485 - The Battle of Bosworth Field culminated in the death of Richard III and the end of the House of Plantagenet.

I don't think that any field will ever be named after Brian Bosworth (disagree with me if you want), so this is as close as we are gonna get.

On another note, can you think of any country named after someone's first name? Royal names don't count since they don't have a last name.


Been a Long Time Gone

Istanbul was Constantinople, but I don't think it was really like New Amsterdam. One issue I have with it is the phrase:
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night
Can't we use "ben" instead of "been"? It makes a lot more sense.



Have you ever thought about the word dogma? I have. I think we should call the mother's of puppies "dogmas". It would make so many people happy. Especially me.