Friday, September 30, 2011

Accepting the scientific consensus

Smithsonian tells me that scientists say we are a few years away from a 2,000 pound pumpkin.  I must know what candidates for public office think about this prospect immediately, please.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Misunderestimating the people

Somehow somebody stuck into every lawn in town a small (3x5?) cellophane US flag (the staff says, "Made in China.")  Taped below and in line with the flag is a business card for a local pro wrestler.  It has a picture of him clobbering some poor schlep in a black leotard, next to his slogan ("It's Quittin' Time!").  Below that are some promotional weblinks.

So I've been forced to radically revise upward my estimate of how tasteful and useful September 11 commentary and commemoration would be this year.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Things I find off-putting (III)

All these damn cupcake shops (and stands, and trucks.)  How frickin' precious.  Listen, folks: unless you're a fatass and bothered by it, get yourself a goddam slice of cake at a store for grownups.  And if you are a fatass and it bothers you, you got no business eating cupcakes anyway.  And if you stand in some damn line around the block to pay big bucks for the privilege of eating a damn cupcake....

Monday, August 8, 2011


Looking for tips on where locally to pick paw paw fruit...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Message for the Washington Post, NPR, etc.

Please, please, please stop boring me with the blow-by-blow of when Boehner's meeting Obama to discuss the debt ceiling and when Reid is meeting Obama to discuss the debt ceiling and Obama's plan for the debt ceiling and McConnell's plan for the debt ceiling and Reid's pla for the debt ceiling and who has what red line.  Just, y'know, let me know when it's done, or when you know for sure the fed workers ain't getting paid, let me know that.  The obsessive can go through the details after.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two cents from the field

Just chanced across a little movie I'd never heard of called Game 6.  Charming.  It was sort of more a play than a movie in feel.  But I'd watch it again happily.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I join the haters

I don't wish to join the masses reflexively slagging Palin and Trump, but when they have their summit -- please, God, let him come on to her.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My childhood horror was worse than yours

NPR keeps telling me how there's all these young people celebrating because they've had to deal with Osama bin Laden as their bogeyman all their adult lives.  Geez, what pussies; I grew up during the cold war.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The REALLY Great Stagnation

What's really ridiculous about this debate about how kitchen technology has changed over time, is that anybody could determine via a cursory viewing of The Flintstones that in fact kitchen technology in the 1950's had changed, in terms of tool functionality and ease, almost negligibly since the Stone Age.  As a matter of fact, Stone Age technology had vast advantages in the "green" space, being powered not by fossil fuels (a little humor there!) but in fact by direct biological power from small captive dinosaurs, whose extinction set back kitchen technology considerably.  It's really like technology (not in terms of underlying methodology -- your caveman didn't have a transitor-driven dishwasher -- but in terms of effect: he had a functionally equivalent water-jetting wooly mammoth) went nowhere -- or rather, stuggled to regain lost ground, which really puts your Michelangelos and Newtons into perspective -- from prehistory until the '50's, then there was an itty-bitty bump, and then we come to the present day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fight the real enemy

Every state needs to have its own little version of Guantanamo Bay to which people who drive around without getting the snow off the roofs of their cars, are sent immediately and without appeal.  Not only will there be no sympathy for little guys driving cars which are far too tall for them to see (let alone clean) the roof, but in fact they'll be first in, last out.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Where's Doom in all this stuff?

It seems like newspapers are, in the wake of the horrible shooting at Rep. Giffords' event, waging an ongoing debate over ``civility'' in public speech, directly and indirectly the question of whether the event was the result of increasing hostile, enemy-of-the-state type political speech (which, often and especially from conservatives, invokes the use of military or firearm metaphors, to little real informational benefit), or the result of a killer who, tragically, had become a completely unhinged mess to whose actions causality can't easily be ascribed.  I lean towards the second view.  It's not that I particularly like the kind of political speech that goes around -- I'd like to hear more real content -- but I think its effect here is at best marginal.  I understand I might be wrong on that though.  The problem is that the case for the influence of political speech is made by two types of person: those with a genuine concern for the downstream consequences of violence-referencing political speech, and those seeking political advantage (and I believe that most speakers in public now are so much tools of political ``teams'' that basically they'll echo the political advantage line unconsciously).

It seems to me that if one seriously wanted to make the causality argument, though, one is obliged to address the overall presence of violence in our culture.  People have been complaining for decades, I think rightly, about the amazing amounts of consequence-free, casual violence and carelessness for human dignity in film, on television, and in popular music.  Lately of course computer games -- with which I have little familiarity -- have become omnipresent and actual grownups can talk in public about playing them often, and these things are amazingly graphic and violent and put the man-child user in the position of casually killing. 

Our society is ever more steeped in violent images and language, in which now the most blah suburbanite can participate.  In that context political speech presumably has to get ever more extreme to even register.  So I don't have any real faith in a ``political speech alone'' understanding of what happened, and I'd assume any good-faith (as opposed to opportunistic) attempt to talk about what happened as something prompted by outside speech, could at best talk about political speech as a directing influence for an already-combustible individual, or as a last straw over a mountain of violent images.  I think an honest approach would have to at least nod to the vast increase of violent imagery in the culture.

Among many many pieces attributing the murders to political speech, I have not seen that nod even once, and I am therefore inclined to write them all off as conscious or unconscious opportunism.

Friday, January 14, 2011

¿Estoy haciendo estafado?

Why is the Spanish language version of "Wall-E" on DVD generally cheaper than the English one when I Froogle it?  Why _is_ there a Spanish language version -- isn't there a Spanish track on the English one?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Yeah, tell me about it

It's always better if your kid can just play basketball super well; Ph. D.'s suck.