We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, February 17. 2018
Hello everybody. If the news seems pretty grim these days, don't worry too much about it. The government will fix everything. They're peculiarly suited to coming up with the answers to today's problems. After all, the surgeon who leaves a sponge, retractors, and his watch inside a patient knows where to look when they open the poor sod back up. Been there, done that.
We soldier on. On to the links!
Doesn't anyone take responsibility for their own actions anymore? That was a rhetorical question.
The Internet is a woman riding the subway wearing a bustier and a thong while complaining that everyone is looking at her.
A smart politician would tweak stalking laws in the US to include covertly tracking people across the Internet without their express written consent, with a one-button opt-opt that erases every bit of your data at any time from any web service. I don't know any smart politicians, and don't expect to meet one anytime soon.
I hate to break it to you poindexters, but the Uber driver's only real job is to supply the car you ride in. Oh, and to clean the puke out of the back seat every third passenger. Getting rid of the driver is a sideways move.
When I was young I learned about the Triangle Trade in history class. Sugar, tobacco, and cotton to England, textiles and rum to Africa, and unpaid interns to the Americas. I could have sworn they outlawed that sort of thing.
When I was young the kids who walked into walls a lot had their own classes, which were held outdoors quite often. They had their own bus, too. Now they have their own office building, which is nice.
I use Femgoplaces.com. It's a pretty cool search engine, you probably haven't heard of it. You type in your search terms, and they dispatch a girl to drive to a part of town she's not familiar with. When she gets there, she rolls down the window and asks the first person shes sees for the information she wants.
Yes, but will they shoot a tractor trailer into space? That's the true measure of technical innovation nowadays.
If I recall correctly, Romney really cornered the Mormon vote in Massachusetts. Well, he drove his wife to the polls. Same thing. Say, are there any Mormons in Utah?
When I read the headline, I assumed all the employees joined a New York City longshoreman's union, and one of their brothers was a union delegate.
Have a great Saturday, one and all!
Friday, February 16. 2018
What a charming and inspirational message.
I'm sorry, I was being pretending to be pleasant. As you know, I'm no good at it. Let's start over: Keerist, what drivel. But it's unexceptional drivel. No need to comment on how trite and meaningless the message is. Let's look at the spelling. I guarantee it was written, and shared quite a bit on social media, by college graduates. "You body"? Really? However, I'd like to point out that the word isn't misspelled. It's not a typo, either. The person who wrote it, and apparently a lot of people who read it, are blind to the fact that it's the wrong word. They have a condition I hereby christen Facebook Aphasia. They no longer have the mental ability to tell one word from another. It's not that they don't have the innate intellectual horsepower to learn the difference between you and your and you're. After all, they probably learned Klingon for their cosplay wedding ceremony. They're broken, not dumb.
I think, technically, I'm talking about semantic anomia, but I'm just a blowhard on the Internet, so Facebook Aphasia is good enough for me.
Of course proper doctor-type persons know you generally need brain damage from a shovel to the parietal or a tumor that makes tempura of your temporal lobe to give you a proper dose of semantic anomia. I hereby posit that a contemporary public school education followed by a trip to the academy is on par with a severe blow to the head. People have become brain damaged by a refusal to enforce abstract standards of right and wrong for grammar, or anything else for that matter. Through a continual process of calling anyone who notices you're in error a Nazi, and exposure to a continuous stream of word salad on electronic devices, there are entire generations who are literally unable to tell one word from another. They've been taught from the cradle to simply take a stab at all things grammatical. They've been conditioned to rely on hunches, and they're blissfully ignorant of where the knee-jerk reactions they call hunches are spawned.
So, welcome to the Facebook Aphasia world, where every voice is passive, every sentence starts with an adverb, and to, too, two is just the sound a Sesame Street train makes. There's no use whining about it, when wining about it works better. And dismember, never leaf anyone who touches your sole more than you body.
On to the links!
The horror! Pornography will not be immediately displayed by default on your computer screen? What do I need one for, then? And remember, never leave anyone who touches your soul more than his own winkie with safe search turned off
Remember kids, Tesla's taxpayer-subsidized piece of automotive space junk is brilliant, and Donald Trump is a doodyhead for wondering if a space station could be useful to anyone. It's just a hunch you have, but you hunches is always wright.
I hereby support research that may, one day, after millions in grants, allow humans to live to be 41, too. I sleep by hanging upside down in the closet already, so I've got a head start.
I bet conditional cash transfers break the poverty cycle from the moment the recipients get the dough until the moment their boyfriends make it to the strip joint.
Hmm. Maybe brain damage from Pokemon-induced car crashes is the reason no one can spell "definitely" anymore.
I dunno. Screaming, "No raises for anyone, NOW GET BACK TO WORK," always works great for me. I find this saves the employees the embarrassment of hearing how worthless and lazy they are during formal reviews. See, I worry about other people's feelings too much. It's a curse, really.
In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
By definition, a parent who wants their minor child to get a Facebook page is unfit, so wangling clear consent from them shouldn't be too difficult.
I thought Mark Zuckerberg's mentor's name was spelled "Beelzebub."
Yes, I'll be glad to give a screenshot of my driver's license to "Bongo International." Sounds as buttoned-down as the Bank of England.
Everyone have a great Friday. I hope today's links touched your soul more than you body!
Thursday, February 15. 2018
Try searching on the Internet for information about Thor. Good luck if you're not interested in comic book movies. The Internet is a million miles wide and 1/16" deep, and it's turtles all the way down. References to Thor, the actual Norse god of thunder, are an afterthought. The actual Thor, not the wisecracking Australian guy, seems like he was pretty important back in the day. When a day of the week is named after you, you matter.
I'm always fascinated to see who matters on the Internet, because I wandered the Earth before it existed. The Internet likes all kinds of people who seemed half a joke in their heyday to me. I think it's a totally ingrained fetish for pointless contrariness. It's a Howard Zinn world, and whatever you trot out, there must be a cranky alternative we can decide to like instead. That's why the Internet loves Tesla, a weird, mostly useless crank, and hates Edison. The daily Google Doodles are always nobodies that somebody has decided to exalt in place of people who accomplished a lot. I prefer the real deals. I have no interest in a movie about comic book Thor. The original article was interesting enough.
Speaking of original articles, How about Jack Kilby? Who's that you say? Oh, he's not Internet-famous enough to get welfare queens like Elon Musk to name their subsidized cars after him. He just more or less invented the integrated circuit by himself in 1958:
Almost all of the truly useful things in the world are invented by invented by guys like Kilby, not Tony Stark wannabes. They bring lunch to work in a paper bag, wear short sleeve shirts and clip-on ties with their J. C. Penney suits, and have ink stains on their shirt pockets. The Internet's not interested in them. Then again, the Internet isn't all that useful, so it's foolish to think a Facebook world would be interested in a real god, when a comic book god is available.
On to today's links:
The Gallivans don't sound like Internet people. The Free Sh*t Army wouldn't have asked for the packages to be stopped.
It's interesting that post-WWII Hungary didn't bother to collect taxes, because the money was devaluing so fast. They just printed some more and spent it. Stop me when I say something that sounds unfamiliar.
I'm a grown man, more or less. Like I said, I don't have heroes, or go to comic book movies looking for them. But Adam and Shivaun will do in a pinch if you put a gun to my head. Slaying dragons that desolate the landscape and sleep on mountains of gold still cuts some ice with me.
The Soviet Union used to announce they were lightening up every once in a while. Perestroika, tovarish! After a few months of letting you vent your spleen at the party meetings, they'd say, "Never mind," and anyone who opened their yap would be mining gold in Siberia with their bare hands for twenty years. Giving a recruiter access to your social media accounts is about the same idea.
I'm so old I remember when "scientists" warned us that living near power lines would give us cancer, but major roads giving us dementia is almost as good. Of course since next-to-no-one lives far away from power lines or major roads, your study can be bent, folded, or mutilated to suit any agenda.
Yeah, but at least your computer is finally doing something productive. I say leave it.
For $2,500 I'll promise to never work there in the first place.
Breakfast options and alcohol? That's a redundancy at my house.
I think there are still four or five days on the Millennial's calendar that aren't Halloween, but I wouldn't bet on it.
What's for dinner tonight, mom? Cling peaches in heavy syrup, creamed corn, and cranberry sauce with indentations from the can. You know, same as last night.
Well, that's it for today. Have a great Thor's Day! Look out for Saint Boniface, though.
Wednesday, February 14. 2018
Hello everybody. Roger de Hauteville here, King of Sicily. Bird Dog has asked me to sit in for him while he's away at a retreat. It's not exactly summer camp. He's in a 12-step program for toxic masculinity. He's been leaving puddles of masculinity on the floor here and there, and his minders have decided it's got to stop. So you're stuck with me again. I was available because I'm on a forced hiatus from my job, too. Damn HR harpy got me in hot water with the shareholders. She secretly recorded a marketing meeting I called. Total entrapment, in my estimation. I'll let you be the judge:
See? This is why American industry is falling behind the rest of the world. No respect for old fashioned quality control.
On to today's links!
I guarantee the wedding T-shirts all come in XXXL
For the sane reader who's avoided Snapchat's charms, a "Streak" is an endless stream of pointless, ephemeral messages sent between two instant message accounts. They give you a little gold star if you keep it going for 3+ days. Pavlov was born too soon, I guess.
Remember, if you want to test this theory, don't test it on animals if the HR lady is looking.
I didn't think this was possible. Apparently, you can rent a car with cash, too. The smart traveler always relies on carjacking only as a last resort.
They wouldn't have debated an invitation to golf with Donald Trump.
Now all you have to do to nullify your marriage is let your Snapchat Streak lapse.
Mr. President, we must not allow a radioactive harbor gap!
Do they have styrofoam classical columns for rent, too? Those things work great. You can pay for them with untraceable foreign credit card payments, too.
Further down the page there's a similar headline: New Macrobiotic family discovered in Whole Foods.
It's probably part of an ancient tradition that continues to this day. You make a pilgrimage to the shrine that holds the triptych with the sacred runes of plenty scrawled all over it. There are fantastic, indecipherable signs everywhere. You beg the totem for succor, and then while you're fumbling for a sacrificial offering, a disembodied, sonorous, god-like voice booms: Do you want fries with that?
That's nothing. Over 70 percent of Gen X-ers said they'd be willing to have their heads pounded onto a stake in a Swedish lakebottom for six months of free Netflix.
Have a great Wednesday, everybody!
Saturday, August 12. 2017
Nope. Dairy barns were painted white -- with lead paint --to indicate purity. Barns are painted all colors, but most red ones were covered with red lead primer. Lead oxide, linseed oil, turpentine and Japan drier. Most outbuildings didn't merit paint, and red lead primer was the cheapest stuff you could buy. Cary Grant learned not to mix white lead primer with red lead primer in Operation Petticoat.
Legos suck. Bring back American Bricks!
You can make butter with milk and a stick. Command economies can't solve anything.
We've finally reached peak passion.
Look at the picture. It's like these dweebs share one, big closet to go with their one, big opinion.
Listen, poindexters. We stopped going to the moon because there's nothing to do there. It was a stunt, to outdo the Soviet Union.
"Crowdfunded vessel." Heh. Have you tried my Indiegogo vaccines? They're free-range.
This accurate description of recent investor/business relationships tells you all you need to know about the last 10 years.
His motorcade doesn't obey the speed limit. They should revoke his driver's license, too.
He just really likes typing Libor.
Get Shorty was a perfect movie. Get Shorty was a passable book. Get Shorty will be a terrible TV show.
This becomes a problem when the government changes hands, apparently.
Have a great Saturday, everyone! Maybe paint your barn red, and then paint the town red.
Friday, August 11. 2017
Hi everybody. It's Friday. Light the smoking lamp early. Run the cocktail flag up the mizzen before you're under sail. It's noontime somewhere. Bust out the tonsil polish while the sun rides high. Bunk off. Take a mental health day. Slack. Don't kill the job. Make up your mind to procrastinate. Indole.
Read the links first, though.
If you've always wondered what a conservative is, and you work in hi-tech, the nice man will tell you in fourth-grade syntax about this rare but terrifying animal.
All of them work just fine, thank you -- if you're running them. Duh.
That's the best definition of blogging I've seen.
IBM should get with the times and appoint a female CEO to straighten out this mess. Oh.
Listen, iPhone drones. There's only one way to tell your airline you hate it. It has a steering wheel.
I and Pangur Ban my cat, 'tis a like task we are at; hunting mice is his delight, hunting words I sit all night...
An Irishman, late for an appointment, prays, "Lord, if you give me a parking space, I'll give up Guinness and go to Mass every Sunday." A parking space immediately opens up. The Irishman sticks his head out the window, looks up, and says, "Never mind, I found one."
Debts backed by physical assets are so 20th Century.
As long as Flinger's and Chotchkie's stay open, I don't care. You want to come over and watch Kung Fu?
Perhaps we should declare war on it. You know, a war on drugs.
It's unclear to me where Kevin Bacon fits into this.
Janet Yellen can't even cause inflation right. Where's Arthur F. Burns when you need him?
Thursday, August 10. 2017
All the guy at Google did was mention that in a private moment, he has entertained the thought that Google's wife has bingo wings and halitosis, and Google's kid eats library paste. Some how or another, it merits a sacking, followed by the kind of attention that Leo Tolstoy used to get in Russia. I don't get it.
I hereby propose that Google's original, stupid, gilt-edged lie of a motto, Don't Be Evil, be changed to a more up-to-date, honest version: Don't Be Male. Works for me. So does Start Page.
On to the links!
Everything is just Pichai at Google.
That's a lot of words to call a guy a conniving jerk.
I remember some inter-war poll of Oxford students who claimed they wouldn't fight for their country, either, egged on by Bloomsbury pansies. They all climbed into Spitfires when the time came. Talk is cheap, coming and going.
If you've never experienced the wonder of Russian dashcam video, you're in for a treat.
I remember that show. That was a good show. Good show all around, Glen, and RIP
Joe Stalin knew how to get women to undertake a grueling trek halfway across Russia to Siberia, whether they wanted to or not. I guess the NYT still misses the guy.
Net neutrality my keister. I wonder what the FCC fine for ten billion wardrobe malfunctions would be if cable and internet really got the same treatment.
Fighting over the last Funyun is bound to send your diastolic through the roof.
Someone should mention to little sooper genius boy that we already have self-driving trucks. They're called rail cars.
A woman plaintiff, so this one will stick.
In complex matters like these, it's much simpler to assume everyone involved, including the author of the article, is a jerk, and deserves no sympathy. Saves time and aggravation.
Well, there's the links. Have a great Thursday. And don't worry, Maggie's Farm waitstaff would never flirt with you to get a better tip. We might rifle through your belongings if you don't keep an eye on them, though.
Wednesday, August 9. 2017
A friend sent along this video from a recital for a music store in Los Angeles. Holy cow she's only ten years old. Double-plus good: That's her mother accompanying her on the piano. Cool choice of music, too. "Sicilienne" by Maria Teresia von Paradis. She was a blind musician and composer who had Salieri for a teacher and Mozart for a friend.
I don't know about you, but when I was ten years old, I was still eating earthworms I found in the playground, and my mother only played the radio. There's some hope for the human race yet.
On to the links!
Little Kimmie better not work outside in the yard too often. Shame if something fell on him.
Mmm. Polyphenols. If I recall my chemistry correctly (I bet I don't), Polyphenols are called "anti-nutrients." I don't go out of my way to eat anti-nutrients.
It appears that everyone in Europe is a French waiter now.
If you scuttle your ship, do you have to keep up the loan payments? I'm asking for a friend.
He's kinda cute. Unless you're a squirrel.
Neato. I wonder if they have a copy of Good Old Shoe?
Apple employees are revolting? I'll say they are.
I would have answered, "Because, unlike Greeks, they have some."
I love the term "cord cutters." People who used to pay one cable TV bill and a small internet bill will now pay seventeen streaming service bills and a giant internet bill for bandwidth. You know, to save aggravation and money.
Not a NIMBY, I see.
I think they misunderstood him. I think he was just referring to hanging them all on telephone poles.
Harrumph. Back in my day, sonny, we just married the boss's daughter.
Well, there are the links for today. I hope you're all ready for another grueling day of resting and vesting, or being henpecked, or maybe even working if you can't avoid it.
Tuesday, August 8. 2017
Lucille Ball? That Lucille Ball? Cate Blanchett is pretty enough to play Ethel Mertz. Maybe
Darwin worshipers hardest hit
"And pass the savings along to passengers." Pull the other one. It has bells on
All I know is that The Yakuza is a criminally underrated movie
According to David Stockman, the market will crash every day for 36 years and counting
No one brings the potato salad to the Mensa meetings in Equatorial Guinea
Poor Glenn. What did he ever do to this guy to get compared to MSNBC? Shoot his dog?
I remember the good old days when we called it "gnarly" instead of "awesome"
I remember the good old days when surfing was gnarly
I think I'm supposed to warn you there's some naked people if you follow the hyperlink. The way the internet is going, pretty soon we'll have to warn you when there aren't naked people at the link
You have to admit, that headline is right up there with Headless Body In Topless Bar.
Wow. That kind of fascist policing wouldn't fly in an enlightened country like the USA. And shootings and stabbings in Denmark? Must be fake news
Who could have predicted that Japanese youngsters would be better behaved than Americans?
They're just following orders from fewer people
Don Baylor was a blast to watch. He'd stand in one batters box and lean over the other one. RIP, big fella
Monday, August 7. 2017
Bird Dog has gone fishing for the week. His Raja Isteri figured his audience would bridle at seven full days without a little touch of Bird Dog in the night, so she kindly sent me a picture of him up to his old angling tricks. Bird Dog isn't much of a fisherman, truth be told. Just between you and me, he jacklights great whites. He even tried a salt lick once, but it didn't work all that well. I'm not sure why. Anyway, as you can see, Bird Dog is just another square old man who wears his shoes when he goes swimming.
On to the links!
Little-known fact: P. T. Barnum was actually a stoic who downplayed his opinions for public consumption
After a restoration process that took more than two years, the USS Constitution – first launched in 1797 and the oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat – was eased back into Boston Harbor on Sunday night.
Little-known fact: Bad writers use dashes and parentheses instead of commas. Really bad writers use them in headlines
Little-known fact: The best jokes are unintentional
Little-known fact: Anything about acting Estonian by Greeks
Apparently little-known fact to some people: The USSR is no longer operative. We've read their files. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were guilty, guilty, guilty
Little-known fact: An iPhone isn't a magic device that nulls out all existing laws. Very little known, apparently. Not for long
Little-known fact: You can hire bad writers who shotgun quotation marks and parentheses into everything to pretend to be impartially reporting on a newsworthy trend just to get a link back to the company that hired them, because the FTC isn't paying attention to the internet. Yet
Little-known fact: All the good news is bad now
Little-known fact: The road to total enlightenment is long and arduous. Bring a a bag lunch and a change of undershorts
Little-known fact: My parents produced an emotionally intelligent machine using nothing but a bottle of Mateus, a Bobby Darin record, and some private school tuition
Little-known fact: You can't mention this at Google, either
Have a great Monday, everyone. If you can manage it, you should go fishin'.
Saturday, August 5. 2017
Hello again. Roger here. Bird Dog's off to get wormed, or get his nails clipped, or something, so you're stuck with me. I can't do nearly as good a job as Bird Dog when it comes to assembling links for you fine people. My lips get really tired reading all those stories. However, he's started me off on Saturday. It's a smart strategy. Nothing much happens on the weekends, so I can't get into too much trouble. Of course George III is reported to have written "Nothing of importance happened today," in his diary on July 4th, 1776, so maybe I better scan the papers for you just in case. On to the links!
Our friend Gerard at American Digest is in the Saturday Evening Post? Signs and wonders, man. Signs and wonders.
Dirigiste? My French is rusty. She's not that fat, is she?
Just plug the holes, doc, and mind yer own business.
You know, you could turn it off. It sounds crazy, I know, but you could. Smart people never looked at it in the first place.
Pssst. Grok. Don't mention the Paleo diet to the Neanderthals. They think it's cultural appropriation.
Have a nice Saturday. Try to make sure that nothing important happens to you today.
Saturday, July 8. 2017
I need a funny quote about Saturday. I have to paste something in here. You fine readers deserve more than just a few links to digital fishwrap. You merit inspiration. You're worthy of something stimulating. The day itself warrants an attaboy.
Quotes about Saturday are thin on the ground, however. It's the day of rest of days. Saturday is for putting on go to hell pants and painting the fence. Mucking out plugged gutters off rickety stepladders. Going to the dump. Wags and deep thinkers alike have given Saturday a pass. The Saturday sojourn of sol across the firmament just doesn't move the apothegmatic meter.
I say no! Saturday must get its due. Let's see what we can find to tickle our Saturday intellect, and send us to the transfer station with a spring in our step:
No, it isn't.
See: Fey, Tina.
David strikes me as the kind of person who mentions his SAT scores to everyone he meets, even though he's 54. I don't know about you, but I'm not inspired by this quote. I don't want to add any weekend toil to the good, solid, fourteen hours of work I perform during the week. Let's move on.
Oh, dear. Old Lyndon Baines wasn't exactly Cicero, was he? I get the impression that this quote is an adulteration of a quote from Lady Bird Johnson, "Lyndon, every man has a need for a Saturday night bath, whether he's president or not."
Sorry Dale, but by Friday afternoon, I feel as though I've hit a wall.
Wait, that came out wrong. Never mind. Forget the whole thing. Here are the Saturday links. You're on your own for inspiration:
File that headline under: Girl with access to social media accounts who used to work at Buzzfeed. Charming dad and daughter, nonetheless.
More good dad goodness. Now that I think of it, Saturday is a dad kind of day. I can guarantee that this dad gets comped at Disney five times over. The video is more viral than the doorknob at an Ebola clinic.
A worthy topic, and the article isn't entirely fanciful or stupid. There's no way the surveys aren't skewed to the boneheaded side of the ledger. This fellow seems to think Generation Z are all Bernie supporters, face painters, and sign holders. Not hardly. Let me sum up the generational divide from my personal experience. Millennials have wasted their useful working and reproductive lives with childish agitation and untenable social and work situations. They're already toast if they haven't cashed out their failed startup stock options. Generation Z has learned to be circumspect, won't answer surveys, don't like Millennials, and will make Eisenhower look leftist.
One of those pleasant pieces of internet sea glass that washes up from time to time.
Anecdata: I was in the phone store on Wednesday. I had to choose a phone to go along with my new plan. I said, "Anything but Apple." Clerk said, "Everyone says that now."
By gad that webpage is a nightmare. Self-playing video that follows you around. Sidebar picture of a woman who got her makeup done at a funeral parlor hectoring you to change three sentences on your LinkedIn page to go from dumpster diving to six figures, and Jeff Bezos smiling or having a stroke, I can't tell the difference with him. You have to wade ten paragraphs in to find out anything important:
People who have been shut out of the labor market since Nancy Pelosi hove into view are getting jobs again. It makes me happy to hear of it.
Everyone pretends to be angry at the airlines, but it's the TSA they hate, but don't have the nerve to confront. Making people who fight with flight crews and police into celebrities encourages more of that sort of thing. This guy probably thinks he'll be on Oprah next week, sitting next to Gloria Allred, and clutching big checks from the airline and the company that makes Ambien. I have my doubts.
Oh noes! Not a culture of fear! Way to clutch those pearls, Politico. My tiny violin is working overtime.
That description only fits about 10,000 colleges.
Surprisingly, the combatants weren't pasty, obese neckbeards wearing trilbys and My Little Pony tee shirts.
Have a great Saturday, everyone!
Friday, July 7. 2017
The Maggie's Farm editor ate my homework. It does that once out of every five tries or so. It keeps me guessing in the most piquant fashion. The Maggie's Farm computer console is hooked up by a leather strop to the hub of Bird Dog's Farmall, and sometimes, if the humidity is high, the belt slips. Oh well. You'll have to skip my scintillating insights for today, and just read the boring old newspapers:
Your brain is 2/5ths as powerful as the most powerful computer ever built. It's not your brain's fault you use it to watch pro wrestling and worry about vaccines and autism. You could be doing something useful with it.
Theodore Dalrymple is one of maybe five intelligent persons currently writing for the internet.
Real scientists observe things and ask questions. Fake scientists make pronouncements and ask for edicts. This is real science.
I'd have left an upper decker.
How a grape blight resulted in the most famous photograph of all time.
Got that? Hamburger Helper is too hoity toity for poor people now.
It's agitprop. Posing. The police pretend to police while the rioters wreck stuff. The world has raised an entire generation of Wild Ones: What are you protesting? What have you got?
The nonsensical rulings are over. Not because the judges have gotten religion. They just know they'll be overturned and they'll look like fools. To paraphrase Jennifer Cavalleri, Gorsuch means never having to say you're sorry.
Goofy projects deserve a goofy design, I guess. If arithmetic isn't your strong suit, coal costs maybe $40 a ton. It cost 55 million dollars to build a solar array to avoid buying 40 million dollars-worth of coal.
Super Gonorrhoea? They'll probably make him into a Marvel superhero in the next edition.
It was kind to help her out instead of citing her.
First-time offenders? What does that mean? They were all virgins? There's a program? Back in my day my friends just slapped me on the back and said attaboy.
Have a great Friday, everyone!
Thursday, July 6. 2017
The world is moving strongly into a period of hostile takeovers.
For the purposes of our discussion, a hostile takeover is the subversion of an existing power structure from its current owners without shooting. I'll skip questions of merit. Deserve's got nothing to do with it, according to William Munny, the famous philosopher. Of course that line is a hostile takeover itself, from Lawrence of Arabia:
Sexual harassment lawsuits in the tech industry are a minor form of hostile takeover, for instance. Tech businesses were founded on circumventing established laws and customs by simply putting an http in front of your name. It worked for a while. They created nothing. They were hostile takeovers of existing power structures. They ignored laws and customs to get between the customer and the providers of goods and services they desire, as surely as Paulie in Goodfellas did to the restaurant and the patrons. Tech titans don't understand business much. That's why they're in charge of great affairs, but still sitting through TED talks about the productivity gains they'll enjoy by sorting their intellectual crayons by color. Their businesses are now big and established enough to be pillaged in turn, however, and the lady lawyers will have them, easy. They looked at my client funny, your honor. Make her CEO. You wouldn't look at Joe Pesci funny, and he's a walk in the park compared to any given woman in an office setting. I don't care. Uber run by Yahoo management doesn't bother me.
On a larger scale, shooting wars don't accomplish much anymore. Assad fights because he's weak, not because he's strong, for instance. If you order your affairs correctly, opportunities for plunder fall in your lap. People who are fighting are generally proxies of obscure power syndicates. For the most part, the world is a being ruled by syndicates. Gangster states. China is a syndicate. Russia is a syndicate. Their outward forms do not reveal their inner power structure. You simply watch what they do to identify what they're driving at. Russia wants a port on the Black Sea. They will keep the Crimea. That's not fair, say the Ukrainians. Fair? What's fair got to do with it? It's going to happen.
It appears that America is being run by a syndicate. There was a hostile takeover by an outsider who understood a proxy battle. The in crowd is attempting to put humpty dumpty back together again by any means they can muster. Looking for a head for this hydra is a waste of time. They do not need marching orders. They simply understand, as a group, that power is slipping away from them, so they might as well go all in, because if they don't, they'll be on the outside. You know, in the dreaded private sector.
They believe they deserve to run the United States, and signal their merit to rule by a series of categorical blandishments they swap with each other. They're a fraternity without Greek letters on the front. They don't think it's fair that they devoted their lives to the nomenklatura career track, only to have their skillset made superfluous by an outsider.
What's fair got to do with it? It's either going to happen, or it isn't.
On to the links.
The article's author inexpertly tries to flip the script back to: No one went to Trump's inauguration. He's not popular. There's 2500 words of foot stamping, and then a very interesting item I'd missed:
If that map at the top of this page looks like a nothingburger to you, you're not paying attention. I have found myself, completely by accident, doing business with businesses in three of the green countries, and the Ukraine, too. That's where the action is. Trump knows where the action is. His wife is Slovenian, after all, and she looks like she's still ready for action.
If you need a laugh, just sign in with any old words and play along with what you find. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so painfully accurate.
Ah, statistics. Did you know that 94.73 percent of statistics are made up on the spot?
Kathy Griffin and James Comey seen furiously taking notes.
Ooh. Independent analysts. I love those. They're better than anonymous sources. Did they prove that Amelia refused to show up for her physical in the Texas Air National Guard, too? I'm asking for a friend. Alright, alright, I'm asking for Dan Rather.
"Can" is not le mot juste. Does, and will be allowed to continue to do so, is more like it. The judge's reasoning is piquant: Did you see the way the plaintiff was dressed online? They were asking for it.
Farming subsidies pay better than farming.
I see the kamikaze ethos is alive and well in the land of the rising sun.
Have a pleasant pre-Friday, everyone!
Wednesday, July 5. 2017
I could never figure out if Christopher Plummer was any good. He's been a fixture in movies I like to watch for a long time. He wouldn't get carved into any cinematic Mount Rushmores or anything, but he was always hanging around. He's more important than a That Guy in the movies, but I have trouble picturing people plunking down the shekels because his name was above the fine print on the poster.
He was Kipling and Arthur Wellesley and Rommel to good effect. He flounced around as Commodus pretty well in The Fall of the Roman Empire. The Sound of Music was approximately the most successful movie ever made, so it looks good on a resume, but he was just a bright moon in Julie Andrews' orbit in that one. The Battle of Britain is movie worth rewatching, but he's hardly the star of it. And no one pays any attention to anyone else when Peter Sellers is eating the scenery, so his turn in the Pink Panther series is also a secondary one. He and Cato have to fight it out for second place.
I got the impression he takes himself pretty seriously. Or, perhaps, wants us to take him seriously. That can be deadly. It leads to Charlton Heston trying to do Julius Caesar (shudder). Plummer has also declaims Shakespeare, but only in places where Canadian pigeons act as critics, so I have no idea to what effect. He's Canadian himself, and they ladle awards and titles all over him, but I don't know if that matters. They give statues out at random these days, based on a virtue-signalling order I can't bother to figure out.
So I get this movie Barrymore. It's a more-or-less one-man-play set to celluloid. Plummer is John Barrymore, a famous actor you never heard of if you're under the age of 93. Anyway, it's Barrymore ten minutes before his liver became an insuperable sea anchor. Washed up, bank account hoovered by Hoover and alimony. A man who made a bundle in bad movies, got serious about his work, and became a formidable Shakespearean stage actor. The movie is just Barrymore, wandering an empty stage with a reader offstage to give him cues. He wants to do Richard III, one last time, but he has to prove to some backers that he can still find the lines in the fog of his alcoholism. He still needs the work, every which way.
So Plummer plays Barrymore, a man born to a stage family, who works in Hollywood for dough and entree to the high life, but who wants to be taken seriously. Plummer has a chair or two, a drinks cart, a rack of costumes, and a basket of swords and flyswatters to work with, and a man in the canyon of the curtains to yell something back when he yells LINE! That's it. Plummer has to conjure up a man, bigger than life, then make him small, and somehow resurrect the greatness in fits and starts. He has to cook envy and pity for the audience on a hobo stove while they wait.
I now know if Christopher Plummer is any good.
On to the links!
People who have never been backstage think show business is glamorous.
Hmm. I was unaware that the British Seaside had a bright side.
Identity thieves don't honor HIPAA rules? And an obese clerk with Mary Tyler Moore clothes and Post-It notes all over her monitor isn't good at safeguarding your medical records? I'm shocked. This is my shocked face.
Whoah. Back up. There's a river in Los Angeles? Who knew?
I think Dropbox flummoxes the modern tech investor, because it appears to make money.
Proof positive the Democrats are in the wilderness. Oh, and a mobile phone video game designer is their Natty Bumppo. Good luck with that.
Have a lovely Monday again today.
Tuesday, July 4. 2017
I have no desire to mock our British brethren on Independence Day. They are required by their circumstances to live on a pile of rocks and peat in the North Atlantic. We got the amber waves of grain. No sense rubbing it in. I'm not sure they'd acknowledge the slight. I imagine the reaction in Old Blighty at the occasion of the original Brexit was a shrug. The who, with the what now, where, has declared independence? Does that mean Lord Cornwallis will be back for the season in London? Jolly good!
The very idea that the United States would hold a grudge against England over the War of Independence seems odd to the modern American. There are plenty of European countries in line for mockery before we skip on down to the Anglo-Saxon-Norman-Scots-Irish-Welsh-Cornish-Manx-Chav conglomerate. Personally, I'd heap derision on, oh, I don't know -- Luxembourg -- before I'd mention Merry Olde. I mean, honestly, Luxembourg is a zip code, not a country. Their navy is a joke. Britain's navy has never been a joke. England expects that every man will do his duty, and they know how to get it out of him. In Luxembourg, mentioning Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash just means that Claus von Bulow is invited to your cocktail party.
Canada burned down the White House back in the day. Forgive and forget, I say. England shot Congreve rockets at Andrew Jackson. Water under the bridge, if you ask me. The Welsh may be swearing at us, but there's no way to tell by listening to them, so it's pointless to take offense. Australians do punch Americans with amazing regularity. But they punch everybody, so nobody takes umbrage. The United States is celebrating its 241st birthday today, and in the spirit of a guy who landed on his feet, I hereby invite the nation-state version of our crazy ex-wives, ne'er-do-well brothers in law, and illegitimate children to the barbecue. Happy Independence Day to one and all!
The USS Constitution is interesting as all get-out. It's made more interesting by the fact that it's basically a Ship of Theseus at this point. The United States is a Ship of Theseus. All the parts have been replaced a few times, but it's still basically the same thing.
I've been on that boat. It's basically a studio apartment with wood paneling you can drown in. People used to be brave.
All male humans know the Moshulu is the boat packed with immigrants that cruises past the Statue of Liberty in The Godfather Part II. We also know that Han shot first. We don't know much else.
Oh, THAT USS Massachusetts. The one they have in Fall River, Massachusetts is easier to visit, but it's just as rusty, I think. They have a submarine, too. It's basically a studio apartment with metal wallpaper you can drown in.
Castine, Maine was once called Bagaduce? Didn't he play the little bass player in The Partridge Family?
Ancient history, isn't.
Men who fought in a real, live shooting war weren't afraid of sparklers.
As Sam Adams used to say, "Hold my brandy smash and watch this!"
Goes to show what I know. I thought "Whistle-Belly Vengeance" was a reference to the Taco Bell drive thru. Silly me.
Pro Tip- Don't stick your knife in the salt cellar. Old Muttonhead gets sore if you do. Viz:
George Washington is the greatest man who ever lived. I mean it. He refused to become the king of America, though it was offered to him. When he turned over the reins of government to John Adams, it was the first peaceful transfer of real power by election in the history of the world. Many of his rules of civility still are intelligent, actionable advice for today's world. For instance:
Apparently, the internet needs to be abolished. George said so.
Happy Independence Day to Maggie's Farm readers, and all the ships at sea!
Monday, July 3. 2017
Well, it's a nothing sort of Monday. Tuesday's a holiday, and everyone had Friday off, too. By the time the 4th rolls around, everybody's going to be too sunburned and hung over to blow their fingers off with off-brand fireworks properly. We're working in shifts here at Maggie's Farm, though. Bird Dog is still having his blood swapped out at the Peter Thiel/Keith Richards clinic, but the rest of us soldier on. We're not as interesting as Bird Dog, but we always tell the truth as we see it. We all wear really thick intellectual glasses, however. It makes us see things funny.
For instance, I'm not even sure that Donald Trump is Hitler. I know, the science is settled on that one, and I try and I try, but I can't see it. I squint and hold him at arm's length, and lift my lids real high, then rub my eyes, but I just can't picture it. He doesn't even look like Ernst Roehm to me. There's not even a hint of Admiral Raeder about him. I can't even gin up a resemblance to Roderick Spode, the amateur dictator. As far as I can tell, the body politic got tired of having Billy Ray Valentine as president, so we elected Thornton Melon. Meh. On to the links!
I'm fresh out of snark. A wonderful man.
I'm fresh out of snark. A pleasant man.
For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.
Slowly but surely, it's bound to start dawning on Millennials that the internet is not a magical place where regular old laws don't apply.
If Rembrandt was a clapboard, this is vinyl siding.
The quest to portray secretaries as more important than their bosses rolls on. Because girlz.
As is usual, the article is refreshingly information-free. It sounds similar to always running Windows as a user, and reserving the administrator role for nothing but recovering an earlier image of your computer if things go south on you.
I'm confused by the term "kangaroo-specific environment." What about vaguely kangaroo-ish environments, like bars at closing time?
As usual, the answer is, "Something must be done." Since this is San Francisco, that means something must be done by someone else, at great expense, to assuage your guilt as you pedal past the poors. The policeman in Oklahoma in the first link shows you what "something" really means, virtue signallers. Get busy.
I'm not exactly sure, but wouldn't that mean that Tired Light is in, and the Red Shift is out? So Einstein was confused, and the universe probably isn't expanding? Other than that, this isn't big news. I wouldn't worry about it. The scientist is obviously a loon. Look at that quote:
Theoretical, computational work needs to be verified experimentally? Hold on there, Poindexter. That kind of approach doesn't fly in climate science, so I don't think we should pay attention to it in physics, either. Hey, Mikko, just say that because of Republican obstruction, light will keep getting slower and slower until you can catch it with fielder's glove. You'll get a big grant, and the science will be settled.
Have a great Monday, everyone!
Saturday, July 1. 2017
Well, we're in Day Two of: Gee I miss Bird Dog, and who is this feckless replacement serving up links in his absence? I admit I can't hold a candle to Bird Dog's link output. He reads the whole internet every day, just looking for links for you. Interestingly, he prints the entire internet out on a tractor-feed printer before he reads it. He likes his stories to alternate between white and light green, I guess. I don't know how he does it. I can't manage to read the whole internet every day. My lips get real tired.
For all the Maggie's Farm faithful, I offer that snapshot of Bird Dog relaxing at the day spa while he's away on sabbatical. I hope it tides you over until he returns. I don't want you to get the wrong idea about his reading material, however. He assured me that he was just checking the spelling and grammar for a friend. He's wearing his NSA-proof reading faceguard, of course. He doesn't want the boys at Foggy Bottom, the FBI, the NSA, or Mika Brzkini, er, Brzerker, er, Bazouki, or what ever her name is, knowing what he's thinking while he's reading. Speaking of Mika, I hear she has a tight face and a foggy bottom, too. Normally, Bird Dog wears a tin-foil homburg when he reads instead of the faceguard. Unfortunately, he used the tin foil for cooking during the pig roast, and had to go with his backup.
Anyway, here are the links that Bird Dog would have offered, if he was on duty, and slightly deranged:
I assume that at 3 PM, the New York Times workers have just woken up from sleeping at their desks, and are fresh and ready to not work with vigor.
Conjecture and evidence of Norsemen in the Americas and the North Atlantic keeps piling up, but there's one constant: Jared Diamond is an idiot.
Has anyone asked Jared Diamond to be wrong about this discovery yet?
This tells you all you need to know about the moronic state of IPOs in the "Tech Sector." It's laughable to call a grocery delivery business a tech company just because they have a website, but hey, I don't make the rules. Anyway, "In its IPO prospectus, the company warned that it may never be profitable, adding that it anticipates that “operating expenses and capital expenditures will increase substantially in the foreseeable future.” Got that? In print, it tells you they're not even trying to be a real company. It's free beer tomorrow, forever. Mr. Ponzi to the white phone!
An astonishing body of basically anonymous work. There are much worse epitaphs than that in that town. Ask Lupe Velez.
Good thing that H-Bomb didn't wreck the Earth's Van Allen belt and suspenders.
For forty years, I've been listening to people, male and female, highbrow and lowbrow, explaining that they don't really like the soap operas they watch religiously. The author would be happier if she admitted she was shallow and not too bright.
3.3 million phone calls? Was there one tween girl on the warrant, or two?
You invented a Murphy Bed with buggy software added. Yes, you're all geniuses.
My experience with computing and the internet is very extensive. I feel as though I have seen enough to form an overall opinion: It was all a big mistake. The entire tech sector should be rolled back to Microsoft Office and land lines. We'd all be happier, and any important stuff would still get done. Of course, a company that occasionally delivers cardboard boxes filled with wilted arugula couldn't IPO for a third of a billion without the internet, but no plan is perfect.
Happy Saturday, everyone!
Friday, June 30. 2017
Well, Bird Dog is worn out. He's weary of finding fascinating links every day. He's gone off to get his groove back. He's going to get his covfefe sharpened. Er, I mean, he's getting his covefefe trimmed. That is to say, his covfefe needed a world class overhaul. Bigly. He's left me in charge of finding a Yuge set of morning links for the Maggie's Farm morning roundup. I'm Haile Salassie to help out.
I found it amusing that everyone in the reglar media pretended that they didn't know that covfefe was simply a typo of the word coverage. In context, it couldn't mean anything else. They like to cast Trump as a vicious bumpkin, so it had to be gibberish, not fat thumbs. And unlike all the misspelled words I see on the internet, covfefe really was just a typo. Everyone claims that they made a typo when they misspell a word, or more usually, use one word when they mean another. Mis-keyed words you're trying to spell correctly are typos. Misspelled words, because you don't know how to spell, aren't.
Back when I was in school, and Galileo used to cheat off me, the teachers instructed us that if you can't spell a word, then you don't know what it means, and you shouldn't use it. I can spell covfefe. I know what it means. It means you're an idiot if you think a sentence fragment typed with your thumbs delivered via mass email is an actionable piece of information. Covfefe away, you Twits!
Selfies are nothing new. The booth was just too big and heavy to drag into the ladies room with you back in the day.
In the mid-1960s, it was industry practice to include just three minutes of commercials in every half-hour of prime time. When ABC premiered Batman in January 1966, it ignited a firestorm of controversy by adding a fourth minute.
Bird Dog claims to like New York City. Me? I think it's a trailer park with a subway. The yokels there marry their own relatives (Hi Woody!), are all tattooed and drug-addicted (Xanax is a drug), and mostly piss outdoors. They can reassemble their five deck chair burrows, er, boroughs, any way they like. It's their covfefe.
The persons in charge of all large internet companies are idiots. They have no idea how they ended up with all that cash. Not one of them can get a repeat success no matter how hard they try, because they ascribe to genius what was dumb luck. They build up huge cash hoards overseas, occasionally fritter them away on pointless boondoggles, refuse to pay taxes so they can distribute them to shareholders, and then childishly think that socialist governments will let them keep it.
Yes, by all means, take productivity and career advice from the New York Times. I'm fairly certain that the monthly federal unemployment numbers is no longer issued in percentage form, and consists solely of a list of the names of people laid off from the New York Times, and the occasional FBI director.
Awareness and education? Look fellas, let's be reasonable, huh? This is not the time or the place to perform some kind of a half-assed autopsy on a fish. And I am not going to stand here and see that thing cut open and see that little Kintner boy spill out all over the dock.
He's only 50 touchdowns ahead of me. Does that put me in the running?
Friday, October 28. 2016
So, movies are important. We talked a little about one movie yesterday, and it elicited a discussion of many. What do movies mean?
Movies are stories. Some people think movies and other forms of visual entertainment like TV shows are inferior to reading books. I think that's sort of true. If your mind is forced to picture something that has been transmitted to you by the written word, the gray-matter horsepower it takes to make the picture in your head improves its effect somehow. Even a story spoken to you is like that a little. Having all the visual work done for you dulls the effect. It attenuates other effects, though. It's a form of mind control. You'll see my story the way I want it seen, or you won't see it at all.
It's the same for writing. Writing a word with a pencil on paper makes you understand it better than selecting it on a tablet computer. That's one of 6,176,158 reasons why is our children not learning.
Movies aren't more sophisticated than text. I think movies are actually closer to the normal way our pit-scratching, mammoth-pestering ancestors communicated ideas and feelings. The parts that work are a throwback. A pantomime by the firelight. Show, not tell. Or at least, tell, not labor over commas. People are affected by movies and television. Or more to the point, people are influenced by movies and TV.
There's a reason why everyone wears their hair like Laura Petrie one day and talks like Dirty Harry the next. There's a reason why the same people we used to treat like lowlifes -- because they are -- get made into griots and petty Caesars, raised on a pedestal of their residuals. There's a reason why colleges had toga parties in the early sixties, and then again in the eighties when Animal House reminded everyone of reminding everyone about sword and sandal epics like Ben-Hur. Our behavior, mores, speech, and appearance are affected by what we see on the screen. Unfortunately, right now, what we see is pandaemonium.
Let's see what Pandora's up to these days:
Wow, there are actual male humans on that list. I thought it would be Audrey Hepburn 10 times. It's a little light on Clint Eastwood, though, isn't it? You had to wear Dirty Harry glasses in the '70s. It was like a law.
Mel Gibson must be rehabilitated because he makes money in Hollywood. He kisses their ring, and they kiss his ass. Simple, really.
Go figure. Kevin Costner's name in the same sentence as "fraud." Must be a day that ends in Y. Of course, he's on the receiving end for a change, instead of the audience. He always sounds like he's reading a phone book with a bite from a peanut butter and Seconal sandwich in his mouth to my ear.
Like I said yesterday, "Four Dozen Julia Roberts Legal Thrillers You May Have Missed."
Oh, brother. That little piece of purple prose is appended to a ranking of the best 6-second video clips on a defunct service cancelled by a soon to be forgotten caterwauling service. That's Remembrance of Things Past to a Millennial.
Well, that's the links for today. Vote for the best pair of sunglasses in the movies in the comments.
Thursday, October 27. 2016
I've never really understood movie lists. They're always curated under titles like, "The 40 Greatest Zombie Love Stories," or, "Four Dozen Julia Roberts Legal Thrillers You May Have Missed." The ones I really don't get begin with, "The 100 Greatest...
I don't know about you, but I don't think there are 100 movies, total, worth watching twice. A list of 100 Greatest Movies wouldn't need any additional qualifiers. There are maybe a hundred great movies, period. Even a good movie is pretty rare. Office Space is a good movie.
It's good because it played small ball. It used offbeat actors and looked at mundane things in a fresh way. Your job sucks and you're lonesome and your boss is just going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Saturday. Galaxy Quest came out the same year, and had the same fresh feeling despite the subject matter being pretty well picked over already.
If I had to explain to an alien what the American cultural and business landscape looked like when the clock was about to strike the millennium, I'd show them Office Space. Since they were aliens, I'd have it dubbed in Spanish. The movie is a Swiss army knife of quotes, too. There's one for every occasion. Let's look at the business news today, and see if the little world Mike Judge invented between the lo-pile carpeting and the drop ceiling of Initech still holds up:
I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven, I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she's filing then I should be able to listen to the radio while I'm collating so I don't see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven.
I'll bet I'm the first one laid off! Just the thought of having to go to the state unemployment office and stand in line with those SCUMBAGS...
The ratio of people to cake is too big.
I don't know, man. I just get that feeling lookin' at her like she's the type of chick that just... [shudders]
We get caught laundering money, we're not going to white-collar resort prison. No, no, no. We're going to federal POUND ME IN THE *** prison.
So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.
Good luck with your layoffs, all right? I hope your firings go really well.
I'm thinking I might take that new chick from Logistics. If things go well I might be showing her my O-face. "Oh... Oh... Oh!" You know what I'm talkin' about. "Oh!"
I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be.
Milt, we're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?
That's what I'm talkin' about when I talk about America!
Wednesday, October 26. 2016
I get this weird vibe when I read the newspapers. I'm looking for things to amuse or delight this audience. Nothing seems amusing and delightful to me. Lots of things are funny, but Will Ferrell funny, not Mark Twain funny. Lots of things are delightful. They still publish the obituaries, after all, and there's always people you don't like in there. You have to take your amusements where you find them.
The vibe I'm referring to doesn't really have a coherent theme I can point out. Just the opposite. I'm pointing out the lack of a theme. It reminds me of the interlude just after a trip to Chipotle. You know what's going to happen. You just don't know if that trip to Costco for toilet paper was enough to handle it.
So if you're looking for a theme in today's links, you're bound to be disappointed. It's a burlecue out there, people:
The average person in the United States in unemployable. They are unable to concentrate on anything but a cellphone. You're only hired because they can't get anyone better, and they can't wait to get rid of you. You must become freelancers because there's no other way to force you to pay attention to your work, or starve.
Look high. Look low. Go around back. Dig a hole and look at the underpinnings. A number of any kind never appears in that story. I wonder why that is. Wait a minute. No I don't
Google made its money completely by accident. They had a rock in their pocket that kept away tigers in Palo Alto, and they think it will work in the Punjab.
Remember the crack "epidemic" of the 90s? Politicians said prison or midnight basketball would fix it, take your pick. Neither did, but they both took credit. The problem disappeared only after it had utterly destroyed everyone it touched. Cellphones are just like that.
The tech industry is incredibly sanctimonious about imaginary slights to any aggrieved minority. Except anyone older than 35, the hell with them. I have no sympathy. Ten years ago, the aggrieved parties here were snickering in conference rooms about an adult who applied for a job at their startup. Welcome to the wonderful world of freelancing! Now put down the phone, or starve.
Job mobility is important. Otherwise you just end up with a bunch of people over 35 at your workplace. Ewww.
There are 600,000 Chinese people in France? Who knew? Say, I was wondering. Are there any French people left in France? I hope they keep at least one around to insult Americans on vacation. It lends a certain charm to the place.
Say, isn't that about the same age as the two people currently applying for George's old job? George retired eight years ago. Ten, if you count when Pelosi took over the country. Is president listed on Old Geek Jobs?
Books are heavy. The people who believe "studies" should lift more of them.
Like two elderly wrestlers leaning on each other in the ninth round.
Waterfront homes are always ugly. Always.
That's such a wonderful formulation: He is known at the strip club. Are you known at the strip club? Out of the way, peasant! I'm known at the strip club. How do you get known at the strip club? Do you bring quarters instead of dollar bills?
Well, it's Wednesday, people. You might as well swim to the far shore. You're already halfway there.
Tuesday, October 25. 2016
So, someone knocked on my door yesterday. That's rare. It was a quiet knock, I barely heard it. I spotted a car I didn't recognize in the drive. Also rare. I answered the door. There was a young, soon to be importunate young woman at the door. She was wary and pushy at the same time.
On to the links!
I hate to blame the victim, so I won't. But the definition of "online retailer" should include knowing how to be online. Just sayin'.
Like most things in the news, I quickly came to the conclusion that everyone in the story and everyone involved in the production of the story was an idiot.
It's really hard to produce a civilization. It's much easier to wreck it. There's no reverse gear in entropy. Enjoy.
I have a habit now. When I want to find out something about any news story in the United States or elsewhere, I go to the Daily Mail. It's an awful newspaper, but it publishes all the info it can get its hands on. Great pictures. An amazing find.
Have a loverly day, everybody!
Monday, October 24. 2016
If you've been under a rock, you might have missed out on the news that the internet sorta crapped out on Friday. You couldn't twit, or twat, or twunt, or twisp, or whatever you call that internet grunting you guys do. You couldn't go to Reddit to visit subreddits that consist of one founder, one reader, and one moderator, adding up to one person. You couldn't binge-watch Game of Cards on Netflix. Or was it Harry of the Rings you like? I forget. Anyway, you couldn't do it.
I didn't notice. You know, if you ask me, the internet is now old enough to be judged on its merits. It kinda sucks. When it doesn't work because your baby monitor and a Cuisinart in the next country don't want it to work, it demonstrates that it was set up and is being run by fools.
Still, here we are. On to the links!
Tech oligarchs buy real businesses with borrowed money from fake businesses. You're going to see a lot of people without swim trunks when this tide goes out. I'm not sure this guy is smart enough to buy a real business, so he really better keep a weather eye on the tide chart. At least Bezos has a paper route to fall back on.
I never had one. Now no one has one. I feel some Latin coming on.
Hard to tell. He's not playing In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
The purpose of rigging polls is not discouraging opponents and attracting money from people who want to back the winner. That's gravy. The real purpose is cover for stuffing ballot boxes. James Michael Curley could have told you that.
Do they hand out Nikes and purple blankets? Oh well. No children to pull the plug on you in the hospital when the nurse isn't looking. The nurse will do it when she notices no children come to visit you.
Well, it's Monday, and last time I checked, the internet still worked. You're going to have to think of another excuse for not getting anything done this week. Tell them your Samsung Galaxy phone caught on fire, ignited your car's air conditioner, and you got oversampled at Sunday's wine tasting. It's worth a shot.
Saturday, October 22. 2016
Almost Saturday Night is a Dave Edmunds song. I know you're going to tell me in the comments that John Fogerty wrote it. I also know that you're going to tell me in the comments that John Fogerty wrote it, but you're going to spell it Fogarty. I know you pretty good, don't I? I know you pretty well, too.
It's a Dave Edmunds song to me because he did it best, or at least made it first to my ear at the appropriate time. He was the first with the most, as they say. That's how the world keeps score. Once you make a recording, it's an artifact. Artifacts don't change. They can be replayed, and judged. The music industry got really big when it began to produce artifacts that could be made on a relative shoestring and then sold on a mass scale. There's a limited amount of performances you can make money from. Records made lots of people rich for the same reason Bill Gates got rich. Once you've made your one thing, you can sell it as many times as you like.
The Beatles are the first musicians I can recall who produced artifacts that were substantially more than captured noises from a performance. That turned the music business into an artifact horserace. In this race, I say Edmunds won. You're going to disagree with me in the comments, I know it. And I also know you're going to spell Edmunds, Edmonds, and Fogerty, Fogarty.
All music is entirely artificial now. Nothing of it has much to do with the performer. They're just nailed to the prow of the artifact ship. There's a navy of men and robots manning the ProTools oars. People won't have it any other way at this point. They prefer the artificial over the real, because that's all they know.
There's a word for people who know real from ersatz, and deliberately choose ersatz. I don't have time to call people names, though. It's almost Saturday night.
People don't buy newspapers to make money. They buy newspapers to wield power. The destruction of the revenue at the New York Times bothers the Pinchy family not one whit. The employees suffer. The people who own the paper get to decide who will get the blame for all the layoffs. Hint: it's not them.
Via the Instapundit, who no doubt filed this one under "Too good to check." It's a tooth from an old excavator bucket.
I like reading the Z Man, and Zero Hedge, too. Great fun. They're like prophets standing on the corner averring that the world will end yesterday.
Nothing economically productive has happened in the last ten years. Those who ended up in charge can't produce anything of value, and they can't even keep the lights on.
In case you're thinking about chortling at tubby guys with neckbeards and trilbys over a Linux exploit, think again. Linux is the OS on lots and lots of servers. Lots.
Well, Saturdays are slow around the internet, and busy around the farm, so that's all the links you get. Don't despair; it's almost Saturday Night.
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