Punch-cards like birding

May 4, 2015

Today, we had Rose Breasted Grosbeaks at our feeders.  This was super emotional for me.  Why?

In the spring of 2009, or maybe 2010, Ethan’s interest in birds took an aggressive twist. Until then, I somewhat thought it a quirk of his childhood. Something he would outgrow – a phase, or a passing interest. One day, when I came home, he was going on about having seen a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the feeder. He described it to me, and it was a bird I had never seen.

Rose -breasted Grosbeak

I wrote it off as the ramblings of a 7 year old child with an active imagination.  After all, prior to us having bought him an actual bird book published after 1940, (about thirty days before this), everything was a Chipping Sparrow. Besides, I was pretty certain at the time that I would only see chickadees, cardinals, and robins in my yard along with the yucky black birds that make a lot of noise.

The very next day, sitting in my family room, a bizarre looking bird landed on the feeder. I grabbed my camera (5D with a 200mm lens) and took some very grainy pictures through the window.

Interestingly, I had just finished reading Outliers – I’d learned how Bill Gates became a great programmer because he was able to compile and debug code on the fly (as opposed to the tedium of punch cards where a single mistake can take weeks to debug).  I had an idea – I would photograph all the crazy things that Ethan sees, and give him the same kind of debugging feedback. The old way of birding, where the birder sees the bird, then either right there of later on starts flipping through pages in a book, and trying to work from a faulty memory, reminded me of how programmers used to have to work.  They would make a bunch pf punch cards, put them in a stack (don’t drop them!), feed them through a computer, wait for it to compile, and then debug.  With the advent of on the fly compiling, you could program and compile much more quickly. I would do this for my son, he would see the bird (write the code), identify it (compile it), and then check it against the photo (debug).

I became hooked. I already loved photography,  I am fortunate to work for a great, successful income that allows me to travel and purchase equipment, Ethan loved birds, and so I became a review tool he used for verification (birds in flight, distance shots, etc), and I became his student. Through him, I’ve learned to become a better parent and a better photographer. I’ve learned that when you, the parent, fuel the fire that is in your child, when you fan the flames, they become a conflagration, a burning inferno of passion. All you have to do is create opportunity, and get them whatever they need to learn, and.then, the child becomes amazing. If you can do what they love with them, all the better!

Today, after a 6 year absence, the Grosbeak came back (Ok, maybe not the same one) and it brought three friends. We had FOUR Rose-breasted Grosbeaks on our feeder today. Yesterday, the find of the day was in Urbana at Busey woods when Ethan located a rare White-eyed Vireo who just happened to very much want his photo taken.  The RBG and WEV are in this set on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/…/44211019@N…/sets/72157651937850019/

Personally, I am thinking that the White-eyed Vireo came to see us, because he hung around us and followed us for about 100 feet before flitting away up into the treetops. Maybe he’s friends with the GWW – I’m telling you, they talk about us behind our backs …. 😉
Scott Ellis (Ethan’s proud and slightly insane Dad and personal photographer)

What He Thinks (WHT), What She Thinks (WST)- The Elevator Extrapolation

Scenario:  A man exiting an elevator in an office building and a beautiful woman, entering the same elevator, silently mouths the word “hi” and smiles at him as they pass each other.


 

Part 1: The walk-by

WHT: She’s totally into me. Do I know her?  

WST: Isn’t that John from accounting?   I wonder if he remembers that time he sent my paycheck to the wrong address and it took me three weeks to get paid?  I was so pissed at him.  Did he grow a beard?  It’s kind of hot.  Should I say Hi?  I hate him.

*They walk past each other*

WST : Oh crap, this isn’t John at all.  Why oh why don’t I get my eyes checked? Oh crap, it’s that creep, Steve from IT….but I have to say hi, because he is in IT and you have to be nice to IT people so they will come running when you have a computer problem….maybe I should throw a little flirt in?  Just to…wait, no, then he will cyber-stalk me. Oh crap, my lips already started to move…oh SHIT!, why am I smiling! what have I done??  I hope he doesn’t recognize me…I hope he doesn’t recognize me…oh god, I can  feel his eyes drilling holes into my ass…gotta push the button. *turns around* yep, there it is.  Take a nice long look. *smiles awkwardly at him*

WHT: She’s totally into me. 

Elapsed time:1 second


Part 2: As the doors close

WST: Creep. Thank God these elevator doors will close before he can take that total miscue and jump back in… Think happy thoughts…think happy thoughts…Kittens!” *smiles*  Now let’s see, after work today I need to stop at the grocery store and pick up lettuce, tomato, green onions, hamburger…gosh, will these doors ever close?  Is he really still staring at me??  Oh, and I can’t forget to call mom, and hmm, I wonder if my blue shoes will go with that black dress I bought yesterday *contemplates 311 factorial arrangement of clothes and shoes

*doors close*

Oh thank god, they finally closed!  These doors need a stalker button that closes the doors instantly….

Elapsed time: 3 seconds


 

Part 3, 20 minutes later:  After thoughts.

WHT: She was totally into me.  I should have made some excuse and jumped back in the elevator….

WST: What should I have for lunch? 

 

What is eeCardinal?

eeCardinal is the beta version of a photography app that integrates with flickr. It’s purpose is to enable people to review photographs in an intuitive and user friendly manner.  No further information about this app is available at this time.  It is described in some great detail in the book

Mobile Devices: Tools and Technologies – CRC Press Book

If you would like to know more, you must purchase the book and return here.  Further information will not be available until the book is released. If you are a test flight user, you can reach me via email with any questions.

eeCardinal is built on Glimpse360 technology, which is also produced by Scorellis.  eeCardinal may not be the final name of the product.

eeCardinal test flight support

For support on eeCardinal, the namespace on flickr, or on Glimpse360 vector technology, contact scorellis through the self-same address at gmail.com.

Solicitations or inquiries regarding the app development, jobs, photography, etc, are not being accepted at this time.

 

Thurple Thursday Morning

This morning I awakened and as I got dressed, I thought to myself,”Iit’s not waffle Wednesday, why am I putting on waffle? Too bad there’s not a material called ‘thurple’.

“Hey, that would be a good name for my app. ” Then I googled it and found very few results. This one stood out, because my app is about creating an identification space.

http://www.serc.si.edu/education/programs/java/activities/purple.aspx.

Then I said the word out loud. Then I decided it didn’t make sense. The search for a catch name continues. For now it is still eeCardinal.

Ten Commandments of MS SQL Database Administration

  1. Thou shall use no other databases before MS SQL.
  2. Thou shall not attempt to print thy database.
  3. Thou shall not assume thy databases are not corrupt.
  4. Thou shall perform DBCC and backups on the 7th day.
  5. Honor the query plan and statistics and keep it wholly in your mind at all times.
  6. Thou Shall not DELETE without a WHERE clause.
  7. Thou shall not commit thy transaction without isolation.
  8. Thou shall not unnecessarily transact with read isolation level uncommitted.
  9. Thou shall not say you have database security when you don’t know.
  10. Thou shall not transgress upon production bandwidth with maintenance task operations.

tile – the World’s Best Lost and FIND  

Scott Ellis is a technologist,  an author, blogger, kalimbist, micro-blogger,  and a photographer, in no particular order.  Flawlessly forgetful, he is an avid tile user.  For a day job, Scott works as the infrastructure architect for the  e-discovery software company, kCura.

by Scott R. Ellis

I’ve lamented for years that I can’t just type in : Find: sneakers.shoes into my computer and have it tell me where my sneakers are.  One time, after I had been coding for nearly 20 hours, I actually tried to grab my coffee cup with the mouse arrow.  Yeah, right?

I lose my stuff in my house.  Every day, I spend a minute here, a minute there, just looking for things like my keys. Mostly, it’s my shoes. Sometimes, my keys are in my shoes.  In the daily battle between my left brain and right brain, organization is typically the first victim

Now, along comes tile. I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz, and with my inevitable forgetfulness and curiosity, I found their offering intriguing.  I decided to make a purchase, and give it a chance.

tile is a nifty little tag that I stick on just about anything to help me keep track of stuff.  It’s about 1 inch square by a quarter inch thick and I have them on everything from my kalimba to my camera to my shoes.  I even have one in each car.  I have placed another order for 8 more. The truth of the matter is this: If it were feasible, I would integrate this platform into everything.

Here are just a few, everyday uses for tile, most of which I will have cause to use:

  • How to find your bicycle in a row of 100 other bicycles.
  • locate your coat in a coat room or in a pile of coats at a party.
  • Find your significant other at a party (hopefully not in the coat room…)
  • Find your car in a huge parking lot.
  • How to find your kids’ missing gloves in the school lost and found.   (all teachers and school administrators should have theTileApp!!!)
  • The kids (Have you got them all? you lovebird you!)
  • The luggage from the hotel room
  • The luggage on the carousel at the airport
  • Finding your TAPE MEASURE!
  • Dog training clicker

ok, I’ll stop on that last one.  You know and I know that I could go on all day long like this — 10,000 uses for tiles that have almost nothing to do with someone finding your lost [insert your item here] and saving the day.

What’s was clear to me, the first time I ever saw tile, is that tile is a search engine for the physical world. At long last, I no longer have to keep track of ANYTHING.  Well, anything that I can affix a tile to…

“WAIT!”  You’re shouting (please stop shouting at me).  you say, “I don’t want to stick this little white tag on everything I own! My shoes?  Are you KIDDING Me??!”  (really, stop yelling at me!).

Ok, check out this video.  Acrylic paint is some seriously amazing stuff.  It dries really really fast.  The label on the paint I used cites that it cures in about 21 days.  “Cures” is just another way of saying, “It is really, really dry now.  Too late to change your mind!” Bonus: you can mix your own colors, too, and it’s super easy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tej38HVd9rM

I just painted mine yesterday, and I plan to wait 21 days (I know! more waiting, right? Patience, grasshopper).  Once the paint has cured, I’ll put it on my key ring.  We’ll have an answer in a couple more months how it is going.  How long will it last?

Speaking of the future, what’s in store for the future of tile?  I have no idea what they will actually do, but here are some suggestions (I hope they read this blog!!!!):

  • More clever designs, preferably by me!
  • Smaller size, different shapes.  Embed tile in everything!!
  • tile way stations – put little micro towers in busy locations, like train stations and airports that will only store the location of LOST items that walk by.
  • tile relay points – I want to have a master tile that I can stick on a wall in every room in my house that has more juice, and will communicate with the little guys.
  • Triangulation – two or more tiles and a cell phone should be able to pinpoint the precise location of a tile.  .
  • v.futuristic future : you don’t even think about it anymore.  Everything comes pre-tiled and registered to you when you buy it at the store.  It just shows up in your app. Every surface in your house is a charging pad – dropping your clothes on the floor recharges its integrated tile.

Clearly,. my impeccable forgetfulness is because I daydream too much. Yes, building a future like this will take A LOT of hard work.  Startups are NOT easy and they rely heavily on user feedback.  I am more than ok with this.  Together, we will grow, and build a future of tile ubiquity. Grab your tile, grab your inner child, and paint.  You can’t mess this up – it dries really fast and you just paint over your mistakes!

Measuring Efficiency of DBCC CheckDB with Computed Columns

by Scott Ellis and Erik Darling

Published on: Nov 28, 2014 @ 11:16

VERSION of Microsoft SQL : Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP3) – 10.50.6000.34

Background

Recently we [a software vendor] added some persisted, computed columns to our software database, which is MS SQL 2008 and 2012.  We (my friend Erik and I – this is not an officially sanctioned test) wanted to know how much longer DBCC checkDB tests would take, and if we could put a percentage on it.  See the last paragraph for the answer if you want to skip to the good part and avoid reading all these accursed words.

Here are the basics of the computed columns.  An index is subsequently created on each computed column, each index contains 3 keys. The computed column is the leading key in all three of them.

Here is the computation in the table definition on each computed column:

 [redactedComputedColumnName]  AS (CONVERT([binary](20),hashbytes('SHA1',case when isnull([hashedField],'')='' THEN CONVERT([nvarchar](30),[ID],0) ELSE upper('S'+rtrim([hashedField])) end),0)) PERSISTED NOT NULL

The Rationale

Why did we want to do this test: This test seeks to identify the percent difference in duration of a DBCC check with and without computed columns.  We sought to determine if we could create a percentage difference based on the size of the single, very large table that houses the computed columns, and then apply that as a multiplier across thousands of databases.

Previously, these columns were populated by a trigger, so adding computed columns has increased the duration of DBCC.  We did the right thing and removed the trigger because it was a never-ending source of trauma when inserting massive amounts of data, which is a common occurrence in this software.

The Experiment

To begin, we restored a 5 GB database* that is representative of the types of databases about which many people will be curious. We ran this test against a database attached to SQL on an 8 core, 50 GB RAM SQL Server 2008 R2.  The table we examined is 3.398 GB.  The database server runs on an Intel Xeon E5 2.6 GHz virtual machine. Here is the restore code we used, if you are into this sort of thing:


 RESTORE DATABASE [DBCC_TEST5GB]
 FROM DISK = '\\Backups_SQL\RELO001\ERIK_COMP_TEST\FULL\v.NoComputedCols.bak'
 WITH BUFFERCOUNT = 500, MAXTRANSFERSIZE = 4194304, STATS
 
Restore Time: 670553 pages in 115.857 seconds (45.216 MB/sec)
Size of BAK file: 1.32GB (compressed backup)

We used BUFFERCOUNT of 500 and a MAXTRANSFERSIZE of 4 MB because we wanted to beat the shit out of our IO. Use this code (really, anything you find here) at your own peril. The word “STATS” allows you to see how far long the restore has progressed.

The we set:

STATISTICS TIME ON
We wanted to know how long it would take, both real world and CPU time.
For monitoring, we opened a new window to run sp_whoisactive to see what’s happening.  We even piped the output of Adam Machanic’s sp_whoIsActive script to a table for further evaluation and verification as needed.
Then we started the DBCC CheckDB. The following Traceflags were active:
--DBCC TRACEON (2549, -1)
--DBCC TRACEON (2562, -1)
--DBCC TRACEON (1118, -1)

You can look these up at:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/saponsqlserver/archive/2011/12/22/faster-dbcc-checkdb-released-in-sql-2008-r2-sp1-traceflag-2562-amp-2549.aspx  and  http://sqlperformance.com/2012/11/io-subsystem/minimize-impact-of-checkdb

Baseline 1: DBCC against a 5 GB, no Computed Columns Database

We need to know how long a DBCC check will take on a “normal” database. To get to a version of the software that has computed columns, we upgraded from an earlier version.  First we did the command against a previous version of the database:

 /* DBCC command for V.noComputedCols database */
 /* DBCC command for 7.5 database */
 DBCC CHECKDB ([DBCC_TEST5GB]) WITH NO_INFOMSGS, ALL_ERRORMSGS
/* Run DBCC check without indexes */
 Duration: 103985 ms.
 CPU time: 71663 ms.

Baseline 2: DBCC against a 5 GB,  database with computed columns disabled.

The previous database was upgraded to a version with computed columns. To establish foundation, we took a baseline with Computed columns disabled.  This was to look for possible differences introduced by the upgrade.

/* Disable indexes on computed columns */
ALTER INDEX [IX_1003669_RI] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] DISABLE
ALTER INDEX [IX_1003671_RI] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] DISABLE
ALTER INDEX [IX_1035456_RI] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] DISABLE


Ran a DBCC command:

 /* DBCC command for disabled Computed Columns database */
 DBCC CHECKDB ([DBCC_TEST5GB_CC]) WITH NO_INFOMSGS, ALL_ERRORMSGS
 /* Run DBCC check without indexes */

Results:

Duration: 33003 ms.
CPU time: 70056 ms.

Experiment 1: DBCC with Computed columns on against a 5 GB database

To get the database back to where it needs to be, we rebuild the computed column indexes.

/* Rebuild indexes */
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_1] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] REBUILD
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_2] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] REBUILD
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_3] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] REBUILD

Then run the DBCC

 /* DBCC command for enabled Computed Columns database */
 DBCC CHECKDB ([DBCC_TEST5GB_CC]) WITH NO_INFOMSGS, ALL_ERRORMSGS/* Run DBCC check without indexes */
Duration: 147264 ms.
CPU time: 81358 ms.

Baseline 3 : 430 GB database with disabled computed column indexes.

Next, to establish our multiplier, we ran against a 428.48 GB Database.  Having already established that the CheckDB time ran with negligible differences, we ran it again with the same three computed columns, but with them disabled.

The table with the computed columns sported a hefty 269.418 gigabytes.

/* Disable indexes on computed columns */
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_1] ON [redacted].[EDDSDBO].[Document] DISABLE
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_2] ON [redacted].[EDDSDBO].[Document] DISABLE
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_3] ON [redacted].[EDDSDBO].[Document] DISABLE
/* Run DBCC */
DBCC CHECKDB ([DBCC_TEST430GB]) WITH NO_INFOMSGS, ALL_ERRORMSGS
/* Indexes Disabled

SQL Server Execution Times:

Duration: 9705874 ms.
CPU Time: 4391135 ms.
This (9705874 ms) is 2.69 hours (161.7 minutes)

 /* Rebuild indexes */
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_1] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] REBUILD WITH (ONLINE = ON)
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_2] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] REBUILD WITH (ONLINE = ON)
ALTER INDEX [IX_redacted_3] ON [EDDSDBO].[Document] REBUILD WITH (ONLINE = ON)
Index Rebuild time: 00:01:59.003  (about 2 minutes)

Experiment 2: Run CheckDB on large, production-grade data set with enabled computed column indexes

/* Run DBCC */
/* DBCC command for 8.2 database */
DBCC CHECKDB ([DBCC_TEST430GB]) WITH NO_INFOMSGS, ALL_ERRORMSGS

SQL Server Execution Times:

Duration: 10846102 ms.
CPU time: 4689156 ms.

Conclusions

To fully understand what is happening during a DBCC CheckDB of database computed columns, check out this blog post from Paul Randall.

Paul’s post does indicate a much greater performance hit than what we saw. This could be due to some confluence of the calculation involved, the number of them, the size of the data, the index, trace flags in use, and the underlying hardware.  Paul suggests that dropping and re-enabling the indexes is not a “palatable solution.” I submitted an inquiry to him about this, asking why it is unpalatable (which quite literally means not very tasty), and he responded “Because someone might have indexes that take a long time to rebuild, might not have online, might be enforcing a constraint…”

This got me to thinking that, since with this particular database software, there is no constraint, that many people running this product have Enterprise, and many administrators have offloaded the DBCC process to an extraneous SQL server, disabling the indexes may be an option.  Certainly, in an offloaded situation, disabling and leaving them disabled may leave only a mildly unpalatable aftertaste.

For those of you who are doing consistency checking in production, the only real issue that you can experience is if users actually attempt to access and use the database while the check is in progress and the indexes are disabled. If your column has great potential to be used a lot, then we don’t recommend a production disabling of this index.

Also realize that if this index is corrupted in your production system, you run the risk of a user running across it and then you have to rebuild it during production hours. The risk is low, but it is there.

Many infrastructure admins that run corruption checks on very large** databases run them in an offloaded way.  They restore the databases to cheaper hardware and let the checks take a day or two to run.  For those people, disabling these indexes is a perfectly viable solution.  If even the remote capacity exists that someone may hit those indexes WHILE they are dropped and WHILE you are doing a DBCC check DON’T DO IT. This not a viable option for a production system and if you are caught doing it by this software infrastructure architect, I will scold you 🙂

Ultimately, whether you have Enterprise or not is irrelevant – you do far more damage to query capabilities for the one or two hours that the indexes are offline than you do for the two minutes it takes to rebuild them.   Moral of the story :

If you are offloading DBCC and want it to go faster, automate a computed column index disable.  If not, if you are performing DBCC in prod, A) Stop doing that B) leave these indexes enabled.

The percent performance improvement, for these particular databases,  seems to be in the neighborhood of XX%- YY%.

 

*No, you can not have, ever, no matter how often you ask me for it

** By very large I mean any size database that causes you stress!

 

 

Missing African Grey Parrot – Evergreen Park Illinois

parrotHey – as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor volunteer, I received this message today – please RT and post to FB too!!! It is cold out, and this bird will be scared and alone !

Missing African Grey Parrot
I’m forwarding this kind of heart-breaking message because CBCM might hear something about this bird that escaped.  The person who had it as a pet is a U of C grad student.  The fact he has put up a huge reward suggests it really meant something to him.
–Dave

———- Forwarded message

Hi all,

A good friend of Ben and mine lost his African Grey parrot (see below). If you get a chance could you pass on the information to any local birding societies, collision monitors, etc. that you have contact information for? The parrot was like a child to him and his partner and the loss of the parrot has been utterly tragic for them.
Many thanks,
Aaron
Begin forwarded message:
I apologize for sending this to the entire listserve, but I really could use your help.  Yesterday I returned from SVP in Berlin to the news that my 3-year old, African Grey parrot, named Earl, had escaped from the woman who was boarding him on November 1st (eleven days ago).  She had been lying to me the entire time that he was fine, “so that it wouldn’t ruin my trip.”  I am distraught, and I am desperate, because he could be anywhere on the south-side of Chicago by now (he is fully flighted).  He was last seen in Evergreen Park, IL.  My only hope is that he flew to somebody for help, before a hawk or the cold got him.
Please, if there is anyone you know that is a bird-watcher or who lives in the vicinity of Evergreen Park, please ask them to keep an eye open for Earl.  If you know anybody in any ornithological societies as well, please let them know.  Any sightings of a strange grey bird, with a bright red tail, a little bit larger in size than a pigeon, is a good sighting.  I can’t do this alone and it all feels so hopeless right now.
My sincerest gratitude,
Justin

How to Catch a Chicken and Leverage its Snark Containment Properties

Recently I had a conversation with a friend about her snark. I keep my snarks in a pantry, in my backyard, underneath the tree where I hang my cheapshots. She was considering getting rid of her snark, and finally we arrived upon the decision that I would send her five, fresh and crinkly snarks.  Snarks, being quite snarky, depend upon chickens and thrive best in an environment that is replete with chickens.  So, of course, i can’t send anyone five new snarks unless they have a chicken for me to put them in.

My usual barter for a small chicken filled with fresh, newly minted, and incredibly jagged snarks, then, is exactly one self-addressed, stamped chicken.  iizeeuna, an apparent foreigner to the ways of snarks and chickens, perhaps mired down in his (or her? I really don’t know, it was twitter for frabjulous’ sake

That was a stupid sentence, so I stopped writing it.  No.  You didn’t misread it.  It ended without a completed thought.

I suppose that therein lay the secret to catching chickens. One must be nimble of mind, quick to abandon poor choices, and loathe to take the bother to cleanup after oneself – if one wishes to do battle with chickens.

Perhaps, let us first begin with the definition:  A chicken is a dreadful, dangerous beast and is defined as the only proper container in which a snark may be transported.  Mind you, snarks are not CREATED in chickens, they are only merely stored inside of them (they strike the chicken on the outside, and sink in slowly over time).  It is the existence of the chickens that instantiates the snarks.  For it is so dense in matter and form, that the bright shapely gestaltedness of a snark can only be preserved forever deeply within it.

Further more, neither the USPS nor the FedEx will agree to transport snarks in any other container.  They are far too toxic if left to float and meander about and be left to their own devices.

The etymology of the word “chicken” has its roots in ancient egyption.  This was their word for the country “Turkey” and is the sourse of much confusion in children regarding the separate species.

Further to that, the word combines many words to make the one. It is a portmanteau of the word “Chickadee” and “Monster that hath twice the fury of a woman scorned of which hell hath no fury + a 17 witch coven” the latter being a very long word that is broken up by spaces in order to make it more legible and is also, coincidentally, a transliteration from ancient swahili for “Bad ass dude with a big trident”.

The source of this transliteration in the ancient texts is apparent : one must have a big, big giant, three pronged TRIDENT (lord help you if you get the 3.2 pronged kind!).  You will use the trident to catch the mighty chicken, for it is a cowardly, yet formidable beast and a worthy foe of anyone in a loin cloth.  In fact,it is only permitted to hunt chickens while wearing a loin cloth.  Further outerwear will render your efforts ineffective.  If one is female, then one must pursue the chicken topless (I apologize if this offends, I do not make these rules).

To attract a chicken. one must first have incredibly crinkly and jagged new snarks.  If you don’t have any, perchance visit your neighbor, snark cup in hand, and beg to please borrow a fresh new snark. Be sure to dress in a manner of a Lord or a Lady, for the common man always has fresh snarks a plenty to lend to the aristocracy.

Now, take your fresh snark, and walk about the streets of your town.  Avoid the shadowy places.  Go to the light, to the crowds, where people are gathering and having fun.  Twirl your snark about your fingers, and laugh wittily.  All the while, cast about to the periphery with your eyes.  Halt your snark mid-twirl…there! you see the chicken.  It’s eyes are cast low and it may be whispering to another chicken (they invariably travel in pairs!).

Approach your quarry with your snark in hand, held high above your head and, as the chicken is distracted (nay, paralyzed!) by the awesomeness of your snark, drive your trident down and over the wretched creatures neck.

Take great care not to kill it!! Killing chickens is intolerable behavior.  After all, they have caused no harm to you, nor can they!  They are far, far scarier to behold than to actually fight.  Once you have your chicken captured, gently and carefully cram,shove, pound your fresh snark into its mouth. Watch as the snark migrates from the chickens mouth into its brain. Once the snark reaches the fowl creatures brain, you may suddenly be amazed (stunned speechless!) that the chicken actually begins to shrink.   Do not react to this!  if you react in surprise, the snark will burst free from the creatures maw, utterly wasted, and the chicken will expand to be TWICE its previous size and more frightening than ever!

Assuming you haven’t fucked this part up, place the proper amount of postage on the chicken, address it to yourself, place it in an envelope addressed to me, and when i receive it I shall insert FIVE – YES FIVE! – shiny new snarks into various cavities of the chicken and then drop it back in the box for you.

Now that an understanding of the beast has been fully cultivated, you may begin your pursuit.

At the end of it all, once you have received your chicken from me, you may notice that the chicken has MORE than FIVE snarks.  It may have become “snarkified” and begin producing snarks for you, all on its own!

This process is called transnarkification, a process that is both likely and probable.  Watch with amazement as the chicken shall emerge from the shadows and abandon its wily, sneaky, terrrorific ways.  It shall embrace you, and your snarks shall pass through it with ease, for it will no longer be a chicken! It will be a man!   Or a woman! Whatever.  Could be a puppy too.


(WARNING: not all chickens transnarkify with just five snarks.  Anything less than the use of the highest quality snarks may result in a disappointing outcome.  Use of a virtual trident spear is highly recommended as most states frown upon the actual pinning down of chickens with actual, large, multipronged weapons.)