Posted by: David | March 5, 2008

Crapstack Flyby

Crapstack WHAT?!

What the hell is that you ask?

It’s the layered crap that continually flies by us every beautiful day. With the stacklike structure.  It’s the layering that fools us. The appearance of design piques our interest. We are a stupid species sometimes.

It Is Also Known As …

  • Balderdash
  • Baloney
  • Buggerall
  • Bullshit
  • Flapdoodle
  • Jive
  • Malarkey
  • Nonsense
  • Palaver
  • Poppycock
  • Prattle
  • Rubbish



Ripples on the pond. Data. Flying by. (Photo from 1975!)

Every day we are bombarded with data. NOT information. NOT knowledge. NOT wisdom. Just DATA. Fluctuations in the bitstream. Temperature up, stock market down, coffee too hot, running late, gotta go.

Is it meaningful? Yes.

Is it of value? Meh?!

Is this a dim view? Maybe. Yes.

Will I keep asking and then answering my own questions? Why not?

Furthermore, I belabor the point right to DEATH in this post.

Yeah it is a dim view. But only because our depraved “culture” went beyond the pale, came back, went beyond it again, came back again and then, with Homer Simpson-like glee, said “Oh LOOK!  It’s A PALE! Let’s go BEYOND IT! HEE HEE!!” This started maybe in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Or maybe it was the 20s. The 1420s.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE our depraved culture, and I am one of its bastard sons.

“FATHER! I am your bastard son!”

But it’s depraved. And I’m a bastard. And it’s not entirely my fault that my culture went south. So yeah, this is not really about blame, but it’s all your fault. Everything would have been A-OK by now if you’d just gotten up off your duff back in the Middle Ages.

That’s you, lower right, sitting on your duff in the Middle Ages.

The crapstack flyby is just the day’s data. The day of the week, the time you woke up, what you ate for breakfast, the traffic, when you got to work, etcetera. The number of dollars, breaths, miles, heartbeats, toilet flushes, etc. What comes out in the wash. The dots you connected.

It’s just accounting. The ripples on the surface. Auto-equivalent. Not actionable. Your noise cancelling headphones should filter that right out and help you get on to the “friction of the day”.  Exit the warrior …

My point is now pronounced dead. There. I killed it. Just like I said I would.

It awakes with a gasp. Not dead yet … What we really need is a nice big “Stuff To Ignore” list, right? Oh this guy Richard Carlson wrote some books about this. I’ve never read any of them, but judging them from their covers I’ll bet they’re just what I’m talking about! [It’s all ‘small stuff’. Except for the big stuff, which you’ll recognize right away right after it knocks you on your ass!]

Here’s a blogger’s example of stuff to ignore. Imagine that some nimrod leaves you this comment on your blog:

DAH! I Googled “SHIT” and I got YOUR BLOG!

I wonder what I’ll get if I Google “STUPID SHIT”??

Probably your blog AGAIN! DAH!!

Someone gives you lemons, you make lemonade right? They give you shit, you make “chocolate” pie! Obvious isn’t it?

These are fermenting beer bubbles, up close. (Photo circa 1984.)

I don’t know what else to say, except that after you’re done ignoring the crapstack flyby, which is hard work sometimes, get some good quality rest.

Sleep is SO important!


  1. Haha, you definitely gave me a new appreciation of the word “crapstack”, as well as a fresh hatred for “chocolate pie” (damn you!)

    PS: “FATHER! I am your bastard son!”…seriously LMAO 😉

    Thanks Romi 🙂 It’s always fun to LYAO.

  2. I do not think it is so hard to do without the crap. The idea is to reserve about half an hour a day for something else. That’s all.

    The problem, then, is what “something else” could be. Well, just a hint: it is most certainly not what comes off the “humanities” university presses.

    Talk about the wordflood. We are perpetrators us bloggers, are we not? Sometimes I really wonder what will become of this blogosphere …

  3. I agree. Too much information deadens the mind.

    THAT’S what I’M sayin’ DUDE!! Like TOTALLY! I
    knew that you would get it. We even have a handy acronym for it: TMI. Just-in-time information delivery is the promise of the internet.

  4. I love the word flapdoodle. I’m sure that says something about me. Probably nothing good.

    I totally agree with your bombardment theory. What’s also strange about it is if you choose not to be bombarded you’re the weirdo.

    I was sitting in the living room, no notepad, no TV, no cat, just sitting there, and my girlfriends daughter kept walking past until she finally asked what I was doing. When I told her sitting she couldn’t believe it. She asked if the cable was down. No. She tried it to make sure. She kept looking at me as if I was a quill pen.

    She went to tell her mother who also had to come check out the crazy guy living under the same roof.

    I have a hard time believing 90% of the people who say they have ADD and all those other alphabetic syndromes. I think it’s just that there are so many choices it’s easy to be flighty and distracted.

    Chill out! Watch a ripple in the water. Or, better yet, beer bubbles.

    Thanks b&g! I thought you’d agree. Obviously you TOTALLY get this post! Imagine that, just SITTING! Preposterous!

    Yeah, you ARE the weirdo. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. Don’t you think that you should be paying more attention to what’s going on around you? I mean shit. You look like a quill pen. Fuh Cryin Out Loud!

    I remembered the word ‘flapdoodle’ a few years back and immediately used it to name a networked laser printer my coworkers and I shared. One of my coworkers liked to yell “FLAPDOODLE” when she sent something to the printer. I loved that!

  5. @ David: Don’t forget buggerall.

    @ Boundandgags: you could have said you were “meditating.” Very useful word, that. It’s sort of like a static-discharge grounding concept; because it ends in -ing it sounds like a verb, and so it relieves the nervous tension that the sight of your idleness engendered in the passing girlfriend. But it’s not a verb, really, or rather it’s a verb that is about doing a sort of not-doing. So you’re off the hook.


    What a concept….I think I’ll go think on it a while… TTYL…

    BUGGERALL!! Added. Thanks vermonter. I was hoping someone would come up with the M word. I think maybe meditation is the best way to prevent to the crapstack flyby from eroding one’s mind too much. Or perhaps there are other ways to develop some kind of ablation layer, just like Homer Simpson.

  6. I mean passing girlfriend’s daughter. Or girlfriend’s passing daughter. Or something. Wha’eva. I certainly didn’t mean to get you in trouble with your girlfriend :o)

  7. Meditating! Vermonter! You are my hero! I’ve even got my chant ready,

    “Ohpleasegoaway. Ohpleasegoaway. Ohpleasegoaway.”

    I think the term is girlfriend’s gas passing daughter but I could be wrong. My meditation chair squeaks.

    As far as my not getting in trouble, don’t bother yourself with those thoughts. I did, after all, wake today. That’s usually when the trouble starts.

    Although last week I got into trouble while sleeping. The cat knocked over a lamp I was no where near but the blame fell to me. Which, trust me, is a unique way to wake up.

    Dave, I’ll like to take your advice but it would be easier to pay more attention if they sold it at the dollar store.

    Gotta go. Gotta flapdoodle some pages.

    Oh you’re lucky that your girlfriend and her daughter don’t read this blog aren’t you B&G?

    And I’ve ALSO noticed how all the trouble seems to start right after getting out of bed. WTF?!

    Never seen flapdoodle as a verb, but hey, it works for YOU, don’t it?

  8. LOL @ Vermonter and B&G.

    David, this was a great post. The amount of flapdoodle just seems to get larger and larger, and if I’m not careful, it wears me out. Seriously, just my home page on my computer is one gigantic crapstack. I have to just walk away sometimes.

    Thank you moonbeam, I worked on it for way too long. It’s a favorite topic of mine. Since I live in my own little world, I like to occasionally and flamboyantly justify my isolation with grandiose confabulations like this. However, in my workaday world at a college IT department, I see the amount of data becoming overwhelming all too often. It ain’t healthy.

    Thanks for using the word crapstack!!

  9. Flapdoodle is the greatest word evah.

    Nice to see you out and about Miss Wendy! Thanks stopping by! 🙂

  10. I really liked this post. That’s why I stopped using the dishwasher and wash the dishes by hand. I don’t actually have to think about washing the dishes and I can just let my mind travel to where it feels like going. I don’t play music or have the TV on I just wash the dishes. The crapstack flies by me and my mind flies where it wants.

    Joanharvest I was SO hoping you’d comment to that effect! Your dishwashing meditation is a favorite of mine, though I often listen to music or NPR on the little radio thingy the kids gifted us.

    I have kitchen duty on the weekends. Yesterday’s dishes await … Making chicken soup tonight. Takes care of nearly every leftover in the fridge!

  11. I LOVE the ripple on the water photo. Did you take it? cool. and the beer beads.

    Isn’t great that we have created such a tender connection with the word flapdoodle here? At least, I now have a fondness for the word…

    If you read Atonement by Ian McEwan, the passages about the mother allowing her thoughts to weave slowly through her mind is brilliant. As is the way IMcE describes managing the onset of a migraine.

    Thanks CuriousC. Yes I took that picture on a footbridge to my dorm sometime in my sophomore semester (yes, I only had one semester as a sophomore before dropping out. I’m STILL a sophomore! I dropped something into the water and waited for the ripples to get out where I wanted them to be. The beer beads were captured through the shoulder of a 5 gallon glass “carboy” in which I was brewing some beer.

    We all love FLAPDOODLE! I can picture the Wizard of Oz saying that word, even though he never does.

    I think I need to read that book. I’ve never read any McEwan. Luckily I work at a library!

    How’s the mannequin mosaic coming along? Had a chance to start it yet?

  12. > Oh you’re lucky that your girlfriend and her
    > daughter don’t read this blog aren’t you B&G?
    I’m lucky they don’t pay attention to me. I get away with so much more that way.

    They don’t read me (girlfriend’s not a fan/daughter is too cool) so I know I could get away with more but I follow the rule that I can’t write about them directly (hence the no names. I slip up but I’m only human, right?). Saddest non-disclosure I’ve ever agreed to.

    > And I’ve ALSO noticed how all the trouble
    > seems to start right after getting out of bed.
    > WTF?!
    Hahahahahahahahahaha. It can only go downhill after that first big stretch of the day.

    > Never seen flapdoodle as a verb, but hey,
    > it works for YOU, don’t it?
    I think people don’t want to disturb me to tell me I’m a strudel head.

    I really enjoy your pictures. I was taking a bunch of textural pictures until my girlfriend complained it was stupid and I was wasting disc space. I didn’t fight. It was her camera after all.

    I laughed about this conversation yesterday when a guy told me he spent over ten hours playing a video game then flipped out when I asked him to fill out a two minute form.

    “Is this going to take long? I have ADD so I can never sit and do things like this.”

    You just told me about sitting there for over ten hours! What the. . .oh. . .I understand. Selective ADD. Thanks for clearing that up you coxcomb.

    Yeah, that selective ADD is the shit isn’t it? My dad will spend untold hours per day flipping solitaire cards on the computer, but a few years back when he was complaining about how the birds were getting all the blueberries and I said why don’t you pick them, he says, “too tedious!”

    Our fleeting attention is ground down, multiply pierced, injected with odorous gasses, then sent shopping. Sitting in a chair for a few hours doing nothing is actually WORK. Getting your brain to stop nagging you about all the time you’re wasting and the shit you SHOULD be doing.

    Coxcomb! You come up with some great words there Mr.Z! Gotta love’s redundant definition for that word: “a conceited, foolish dandy; pretentious fop.”

  13. Hi! No, have yet to do much with the mannequin other than collect more cool stuff to glue on her. Thanks for inquiring about her. I think I’ve decided to call her Wilhelmina… -C

    Welcome Wilhelmina! I hope we see you soon on this fantabulous interweb!

  14. “What’s also strange about it is if you choose not to be bombarded you’re the weirdo.” (boundandgags above)

    No. The curious thing is that if you ignore the data to a great degree, nobody notices. Here, online, it may be different, but in everyday life it just does not happen that somebody notices that I have done without TV, radio, newspapers, and bestsellers for about about 6 years.

    I agree with B&G, there is a tacit assumption that one will keep oneself up to date on all the latest meaningless crap, even though it is only yesterday’s same meaningless crap rewritten. Fortunately only the idiots think you’re a weirdo if you don’t know what happened yesterday with Britney Spears.

    But I also agree with you cantueso, for the most part, nobody notices. Online is no different. I can pretend I’m intelligent by mentioning the Large Hadron Collider, but the fact is that I am practically illiterate. I like to think that I’m deliberately ignoring all the world’s great literature, but I am really just too lazy to read it. So I came up instead with this kooky theory about how there’s just too much info out there anyway and you should try not to let it contaminate your brain.

  15. But intelligence and literacy are not related.

    In music I share the tastes of the worst crowds. Nothing too slick, nothing too sleazy, just as long as there are not too many instruments or voices. I love a tango, a solo guitar, a solo trumpet, a solo clarinet, paso doble (needs a band), country music, Russian folk, Spanish cante jondo, Gregorian chant, and I can’t take Mozart, barely Beethoven, no Strauss, no modern classic, and I can’t imagine what would happen if I had to sit through an opera. I think I would have a nervous breakdown.

    So one day I started to read Mozart’s letters to see whether I could understand him that way and did not get very far either.

    My preference for the big stuff is very limited. I can’t take theater plays either.

    Your comment is so comforting to me! How unusual 😀 I feel the same way about opera and live theater. I don’t go to concerts either because I cannot control the volume and it’s always way too loud. I listened to the popular classics as a younger man, but my CD library is light on those and I don’t listen to them as often as I do to the newer stuff that I hear about from younger folks at work. Like you my preference is for simple arrangements: a voice and a piano or guitar … The “big stuff” has had its day has it not?

  16. I think it is too expensive to perform. People who know have been telling me that even the great singers (of opera etc) can’t make it financially, because pirating reduces their sales too much. They don’t rely on a mass market anyway, and the pirating harms them more than others.

    The internet has done some damage there. But on the other hand we can listen to musicians we’d never otherwise hear on their MySpace Music pages. 😀

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