3 – 3 + 1 = Change

February 17, 2012

Alright, let’s see … I had three blogs at one time. One (“A Link and a Smile”) expired a month or so ago. Then, the second one (“The Stupid Bet”) came to an end just a few days ago. (Sniff. Sniff.) The only one left was that old, bland, unused, blog on WordPress. Oh, wait, that’s where we are right now. Well, it isn’t expiring, since WordPress won’t delete a blog—short of a nuclear holocaust. However, I am abandoning it. (Poor little guy.)

So is that it for me? Am I to disappear, never to blog again? Well, yes and no. First the ‘yes’ part. My nom de plume, “Reputation@Stake”, will indeed fade from memory. (Cue melodramatic music.) But now the ‘no’ part. I will have a new home—but will just use my name—and will use my new home to simply let my creative energy out. My new (and soon-to-be only) location on the internet is: cre8ive-outlet.blogspot.com. I will simply post stuff there that my brain occasionally comes up with. There will be no regularity to the posting (though posts will be shorter and simpler), and no real boundaries or themes. It will still be PG-rated, however, and hopefully still fun.

I hope to see you there, because I like hearing what you people are thinking. But if I don’t see you over there, I want to say thanks for all the fun and support and comments you’ve shared with me this whole time. Thanks.

Sebastian Black


February 14, 2012

Well, it finally happened. My blog at thestupidbet.com was finally yanked from the internet today. (I wasn’t giving them money anymore, so I guess they got mad.) I’m going to write one more post, here, in a day or two, to explain what’s going on, so I’ll see you then.



Moving Day

May 9, 2010

Don’t be shocked, but I have officially moved this blog to thestupidbet.com. I’m sure this will be hard for some of you, as you have to type in a whole new address (just delete the “wordpress” part) but I’ve outlined the pros and cons, to help you with the change.

Upside of this:

  • You’ll feel cool, because everyone is doing it.
  • Easier to remember.
  • Will probably make me less grumpy. (Yeah, I know you didn’t want to say anything.) But no guarantees.
  • Feels better.
  • Tastes better.
  • Looks better (I think) because I can control it more.
  • I can now add cool new features for your blog-reading pleasure. (I’ll even take suggestions.)
  • And for everyone using Blogger/blogspot, you can now follow the new site by clicking that little Google button, like you’re used to.

Downside of this:

  • You have to move, and no one likes to move. But you have to admit, this place has been looking kind of dumpy. The dry-rot has gotten bad, and the rats and disease are rampant. Yeah, it’s time to move. Sorry.
  • The rent is a little more expensive at the new website, and the neighbors can get a little loud.
  • This site will no longer be updated, though it will still exist. (I have trouble letting go of things.)

As you can see, the pros clearly outweigh the cons. And, so, it’s time. The truck is pulling out, so I’ve got to go. Please come on over. I’ll leave the back door unlocked, and I’ll hopefully remember to deactivate the alarm.


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Day #72 – The Stupid Bet Award – 7th Recipient

May 7, 2010

Stupid (adj.) – Idiotic

Bet (n.) – A gamble

Stupid Bet (phrase) – A challenge, risk, or attempt, with the potential for very dumb consequences.

This week’s SB Award goes to:

Mr. Flat Face, for thinking, “I bet this helmet will protect my head.”

A wise man once said, “Helmets are perfect. Helmets are your friend. Helmets are invincible, and will protect you from all dangers.” That wise man died soon afterward, from head trauma, but I still believe him. And Mr. Flat Face appears to believe him as well. I admire his faith in the wise man’s words, even to the point of assuming that a helmet need not cover all parts of your head. I mean, as long as you think to wear a helmet, that should be enough, right? I guess that could be true. Maybe it is the thought that counts, but thoughts clearly aren’t one of Mr. Face’s strengths. And even less so now.

Things I’m assuming about Mr. Face:

– He feels no need to wear a seatbelt in his car, since it has airbags.

– He was playing a video game the day his instructor went over simple guarding techniques. (Like put your hand up rather than out, and maybe even turn your head to the side a little, if necessary.)

– He no longer has to worry about being able to smell people’s feet.

– He lost this fight. Quickly.

May you always resolve your differences with words, and always have a couple of Excedrin handy.


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Day #71 – Time for a quiz.

May 6, 2010

I figure seventy days is long enough for anyone to get to know me. (I’m not that complicated.) And so, since yesterday was my seventieth day of writing this awe-inspiring stupid blog, I should be able to quiz everyone. But not just any quiz. No, that would be dull. This quiz will be completely about me. (See? Much more exciting.) We’ll start off easy: What’s my favorite color? Nope. Try again. No, it’s gray. C’mon people! You’re not off to a very good start. How about my favorite letter? Nobody? (Hint: It’s the same as my favorite number, and favorite shape.) Circle, O, Zero? No one knew that one? Sheesh, I thought that’d be a gimme.

Maybe you’re just not good at favorites. That’s fine. So, what about this one: Three people have quit at my office over the last year. Question – was I one of them? Take your time. Alright, time’s up. Duh. I’m still working here. How could I have quit? Well … uh … actually, January had a little incident, that I forgot to mention. You see, Susan and I had planned on going on a ski trip—which I had announced weeks in advance (I’m very responsible)—and at the last minute my boss told me I needed to stay because of a big fat dumb project that had just come up. Well, that is what is classically known as an impasse. And impasses tend to get in my way, and I don’t like yielding to them, but that just creates another impasse. So before this snowballed into a monster impasse extraordinaire, I decided to try something. I quit, and said that I would reapply for my job when I got back. I even wrote up a letter of resignation. It went something like this: “To Irma, See ya beans! Affectionately, Reputation@Stake.” Or something close to that. And there were surprisingly few applicants for the position when I got back.

But that reminds me of the next quiz question. What is the first name of my boss? Oh, wait. Don’t read the above paragraph yet. Okay, now answer it. Oh, never mind, forget it. And, no, why she prefers for us to call her by her first name rather than “Your Highness”, is not a quiz question. (By the way, if I had her power I would totally make people do that.) But back to the quiz. And this one is multiple choice. What is my greatest fear? Snakes, spiders, or a blood-thirsty serial killer wandering through my house at night with an axe, after having just cut the power and phone lines? What?! Spiders? What is it with you people and spiders? No, it’s the murderer. Spiders are like the size of a nickel, and they can’t even pick up axes. What’s so scary about that?

You guys aren’t doing nearly as well as I assumed you would, so here’s the last question. Can “The Stupid Bet” be found anywhere other than “thestupidbet.wordpress.com”? Ah, tricky one huh? In fact yes. It can now be found at simply “thestupidbet.com”. It might even be moving there permanently pretty soon, too. Huh? No, don’t worry, I’ll let you know before I discontinue it here. What? You want one more? Okay. Bonus question: How many fingers am I holding up? (Hint: I’m not giving you one.) But I will give you five guesses.


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Day #70 – Requiem for the blue one.

May 5, 2010

I’m sorry I killed

you, but you needed to die.

The end had

come, and we both knew why.

You could have

objected, but why even try?

You knew it was

over, so you had to comply.

Sure, we had some

good times, I won’t try to lie.

But memories

like those bring no tear to my eye.

Yes, I remember

that day, when I decided to buy.

And I got some

help from that towel store guy.

But you know

the facts, so you can’t deny,

That you could no

longer make anyone dry.

And no one

knows that, better than I.

You were no longer

soft, and you’d lost all your dye.

So I had to kill

you, but don’t let that imply,

That your quality

wasn’t once very high.

But those days are

over, so it’s time for goodbye.


A sign that you had a really slow day:

You write a poem about throwing away an old towel.

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Day #69 – The Weekly Top 5

May 4, 2010


When my wife, Susan, and I go on vacation, we just assume that no place is off limits. We have either snuck into, or finagled our way into, dozens of places in multiple countries. It’s just what we do. Restrictions are for suckers.

In Pittsburgh we convinced a guard to let us into an exclusive men’s club and even got him to give us a personal tour, which was great since he had a key to all the locked doors. We snuck onto the roof of the National Cathedral in Washington DC—you wouldn’t believe how much they appear to not want people to do that. We had to go through the monks’ personal quarters (it was a round room with a red carpet, and looked eerily similar to the dorm room in Harry Potter) and through the little bell-ringing room, but we got up there. Then there is Venice, which had lots of places that were off limits—so that was a fun trip.

Every destination seems to have restricted areas. We don’t like that. And like I said, we assume that doesn’t apply to us. What they really mean is that it’s closed to stupid people—especially since most places’ big-time security systems involve a sign on a stick, or a little rope stretched across a doorway. Seems like an invitation to me.

So this week’s top five is a list of places that I don’t think even Susan and I could get into. That doesn’t mean we won’t someday try (especially now that we know about them). But these five places would be particularly challenging.

1. Disneyland is just taunting us with this one. A comedian once said that since there is no alcohol allowed in Disneyland, how can it possibly be “The happiest place on earth”? Good point. But there is in fact one place you can get snoggered in the park. It’s called Club 33.  And very appropriately it is in the New Orleans Square section. Duh. Where else would it be? It’s supposed to be a secret private club, but how secret can you be when your details are explained in Wikipedia? The problem for Susan and I is that it costs between 10 and 30 thousand dollars to join (but maybe we can find a coupon), and the waiting list is fourteen years long. You have to be buzzed in, and show a membership card, and probably give a DNA sample, so this might be beyond our abilities, and therefore belongs on this list.

2. The funny thing about this next one is that I might be invited there someday. But until the end of the world comes, it’s a big no-no. And that’s actually the point of the place: The end of the world. It’s called Mount Weather, so they’re not very creative, but they’re very super duper serious. Whatever goes on in there is wicked secretive, because it’s the place the US government has prepared for people to go when the world is about to be destroyed, or annihilated, or whatever. It’s the highly secure, last safe place on earth, impending doom, destination of choice. So unless Susan or I can find a way to send a comet toward earth, we’ll probably never get in.

3. The year 2013 is the key to this next one. That’s when Susan and I will make our move. Because otherwise, the Ise Grand Shrine is incredibly tough to crack into. We could probably fake being members of the Japanese imperial family to get in (that’s a requirement) because we’ve impersonated journalists and architecture students to get into places. So how hard can royalty be? However, the kicker is that being imperial isn’t enough. You also have to be a priest or priestess, and neither of us know anything about the Shinto religion. Ah, but there is a loophole. They demolish and rebuild the shrine every twenty years. (It’s a death/rebirth thing.) And guess when the next deconstruction is scheduled? 2013. Time to get fitted for a Japanese construction-worker’s uniform.

4. Now, this next place isn’t racist. Sexist, but not racist. I’m telling you this because it’s called White’s Gentlemen’s Club. But that’s just because the founder’s name was Francis White. (See, told you.) But no women are allowed. (See? I was right again.) So, obviously I have a slightly better chance of getting in than Susan, but the only way I can do it is if I’m invited in by a member who also has the support of two other members. And not that many people like me. At least not all in one place. And definitely not in England (the club’s location). Plus these guys are loaded. They make six-thousand-dollar bets on things like which of two raindrops will slide down a window first. Seriously. So you know they can afford the best security systems. But maybe we can get them to bet on whether Susan or I can get inside first. Ha! Another loophole.

5. If Club 33 sounded exclusive, how about Room 39? That’s both exclusive and annoyingly vague. But just because it’s in North Korea, and run by their government, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to go there. Of course we want to go there—you told us we couldn’t. Plus, since it is suspected (no one knows, because no one can get in) that inside they are making tons of counterfeit currency, maybe if we can get in, they’ll print us off some.

Reputation@ Stake

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Day #68 – Thump! Whoa! Whew!

May 3, 2010

Wow, that scared me! I completely freaked myself out this weekend, in a moment of terrifying, that-could-have-kick-started-a-heart-attack, accident and misinterpretation. Here is a lesson I learned really, really quick: Road construction workers wearing their reflective vests, look almost identical to those big orange barrel-shaped traffic cones. Especially when they are kneeling down. And have their back to you. At around dusk.

The library. That was my only destination. I had no desire to attend a horror carnival where I would be taking five years off my life, which for a split second I thought would just be five years off my jail sentence. I swear I only looked down for half of a third of a fraction of a nanosecond. It was all the radio station’s fault really. No one actually even liked “Come On Eileen” back in the 1980s, so why would you still be playing it over twenty years later? I had no choice but to change the station. So if I really had killed a road worker, I bet the jury would have understood.

But I didn’t kill anyone. I just swerved six inches in the wrong direction, and creamed a traffic cone. The side of my car looks like it hit a giant clown fish, and the cone looks like it’s bowing to a Japanese emperor, but at least no one actually got hurt. The problem was, there was a traffic guy about ten feet away, kneeling by the curb, and he popped up in shock when he heard the thump. So my experience went like this: Song comes on—ears start hurting—bad flashbacks from my school days start coming on—fear of a horrible song getting stuck in my head, forces me to act—I look down—turn a knob—hear a really loud thump—look up just in time to see, out of the corner of my eye, something orange and white bouncing off my car—and immediately see some orange and white guy stand up with shock on his face. What conclusion would your brain leap to?

Now in reality I was just coming off a red light so I was only going about ten miles an hour, but I still saw the future face of my bunkmate in my cell on death row, in that fraction of a second. He was big and ugly, sure, but that wasn’t the hard part. What really bugged me was that I was on death row because of “Come On Eileen.”

So, no harm was really done. The cone and my heart should just pop back into place. But that was one horrific nanosecond. I have no idea how much I freaked out the nice traffic guy, but when I came to a stop, he gave me an awkward little smile (like he would have enjoyed testifying against me) and then waved me on. The very first thing I am going to do after writing this—and, well, maybe after a Dr. Pepper or two (this trauma stuff makes me thirsty) and maybe one of those little pizza bagels—is sit down and write a letter to the highway department, pleading for them to dress their workers in any other color. Blue would be a good choice. That way if I ever did hit someone, it would match my car better. (Okay, that was a little dark. Sorry.)


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Day #67 – The Stupid Bet Award – 6th Recipient

April 30, 2010

Stupid (adj.) – Idiotic

Bet (n.) – A gamble

Stupid Bet (phrase) – A challenge, risk, or attempt, with the potential for very dumb consequences.

This week’s SB Award goes to:

Mr. Guilty Cretin, for thinking, “I bet I can cheat on my wife, and get away with it.”

Ouch. I’m thinking Mr. Cretin routinely underestimated his wife. I suppose it’s possible that she was just swatting at a bee that was buzzing around his car, and all she had with her were a few pickaxes in her purse. Unlikely, but that’s probably the story her lawyer will tell. At any rate, her aim was good. I also wonder if it would be any consolation to Mr. Cretin, that those pickaxes were bought on sale. No? I didn’t think so. Well, at least it isn’t—as far as I know—illegal to drive a car in that condition. You do have to get it to start first, though.

Things I am assuming about Mr. Cretin:

– After what was done to his car, he really, really shouldn’t look at his large high-definition TV.

– He didn’t stay at home much before, or after, this incident.

– He’s probably not going to get much say in which half of his possessions he keeps.

– There’s a good chance that he was an Executive at Enron.

Well, I hope everyone has a nice weekend, and that you always finds creative ways to show your displeasure.


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Day #66 – A helpless challenge.

April 29, 2010

My neighbor/friend Jackson has issued me with another challenge. He did this back on Day #42, and I totally toasted him. So he was a little bitter about that, and he’s very bitter about the fact that this blog is now three months old. If you’re new here, or don’t remember, or just really didn’t care, Jackson is the guy who got me to make The Stupid Bet, which was to create this blog that you are currently suffering through. (Masochist.)  Now, I do apologize for not mentioning, on Tuesday, that it was this blog’s three-month anniversary. (I was wondering why no one showed up at the party.) And so the bitterness inside Jackson—at me reaching this benchmark—overflowed again, and his frustration showed again, and it looked like he was going to explode again. But instead, he just issued me another challenge.

Last time, his challenge was for me to write an entire post about lint—which he was sure I couldn’t do. But with the help of my friend TS Hendrik, who completely coincidentally and very bizarrely talked about lint on his site as well, I had material to fill a post. And so Jackson was toast. And now I can boast. Alright, enough of that. The new challenge is for me to do another entire post about … here it comes … a comma. Yeah, that little punctuation thing. Just in case (and for my own amusement) you don’t remember what a comma is I’ll show you. Here’s one “,” and here’s another one (,) and here’s one more: ,. (It doesn’t take much to amuse me.)

The problem, this time, is that no one has stepped up to help me. I’m all alone in my attempt to write about commas. But, no matter, I will bravely forge on. After all, commas are pretty cool. I’m sure they got lots of dates in school. I mean, their only real competition, if you think about it (and everyone does) is the little Period. Nowadays, though, more often than not, he is just called a dot, which isn’t so hot. (Sorry. I didn’t mean to do it that time.) In fact, I just happened to notice, that just like a Period, you don’t have to press the Shift key on a keyboard to type a comma. But you have to use shift for both the Question-mark and the Exclamation-mark. Ha! Losers.

Plus, everybody wants to be a comma. Apostrophes and Quotation-marks have been accused of identity theft. And I’m thinking about going as a comma for Halloween. I had considered going as a question-mark, but now that I know it’s a loser, I’m going to (as a 35-year old) dress up as a comma instead, so I won’t look like a loser.

Now, originally, I had wanted to look up and recite a bunch of statistics about commas, but laziness got the better of me. (It used to get the best of me, so that’s an improvement.) And so, in lieu of that, I’m going to make up some statistics instead. Here goes: The Comma was used for the very first time when a caveman’s wife accidently bumped into him while he was making a cave drawing. (The validity of this, however, is still being debated by scholars today.) The Comma is also particularly good at playing Monopoly, it likes tacos as long as they’re not too spicy, and it has never been to Batswana, but could probably find it on a map (if it got really, really lucky). And, if, it, had, the, power, it, would, make, everyone, write, their, sentences, like, this, one.


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