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, August 20. 2016
Early one morning the sun was shining. I was laying in bed. Must be Saturday.
In my grandparent's lifetime, everyone was expected to work at least half a day on Saturday. Sunday was the only day of rest. My great-grandparents didn't even get that. They had to ask for a whole day off from working far in advance, and their wish might not necessarily be granted.
The peasant working class is reappearing everywhere. Tugging their forelock and saying, "Morning, Guvna" as they hold the door open for their latest Uber cab customer. Hawkers and pedlars don't take the weekends off. That's when they hunt their prey. Er, that didn't sound right. Leisure hours for others are target rich environments. Hmm. That sounded a trifle violent as well. Anyway, they work weekends.
Even the hoity toity don't get Saturday off in the traditional sense anymore. Unless they're smart enough to claim their cellphone ran out of batteries on the weekend. That doesn't work on a steady basis. After all, excuses must be refreshed from time to time. You can only attend your grandmother's funeral like four or five times before the boss catches on.
On to the links!
While everyone was busy worrying where a doltish swimmer lost his wallet, the NSA was teaching every bad actor and tinpot dictatorship how to hack even the most secure systems. It's OK, I imagine, because they didn't mean to. Comey means never having to say you're sorry.
Look at the headline. It's magnificent. I love watching Millennials trying to operate punctuation and spelling. Apparently all twelve years of regular schooling now consists of the advice: Take a stab at it. Anyway, we ran a link yesterday that mentioned that internet security warnings often get ignored. This is why ignoring them is usually a good idea.
Half of that list is stupid. The other half would be useless if it were practical, which they won't be. Self-driving cars aren't a problem to be solved, because there's no problem there. Why do Millennials want to sit in a booster seat clutching a ziploc bag of Cheerios and a Gameboy until they're ready for a nursing home? Drive your own damn car. It's not that hard if you're not texting.
Wow, it really is Jimmy Carter's second and third term. BEOG grants are coming back. Can roller disco be far behind? They really did call them BEOG grants back in the day. It's like calling a cash-hole an ATM machine.
This is news? The Pentagon also planned nuclear strikes against the Vatican and Turks and Caicos back in the '60s. That's what they do. If they didn't plan fourteen different ways to move the Soviet Union six inches to the right, the hard way, they should have been fired.
Our friend Gerard remembers that Randy Newman has long since caught up with his famous relatives.
See what I mean? No high-schooler should be on FriendFace. WWTCLTOPED? Luckily, it'll flop, because kids think Friendface is for olds.
Have a lovely weekend, Maggie's readers. Drop your smartphone into the lake, by accident, on purpose, and take two full days off from work.
Friday, August 19. 2016
Well, good morning to ye.
I wrote about 500 words of screamingly hilarious text, filled with mordant observations, into the Maggie's Farm website editor. It was like leaving a bucket of corn next to the paddock. It done got et. That means the links for today are late, and they're not funny. Sorta like Game of Thrones. Maggie's makes do with a coal oil powered website, with alcohol lamps on the desks to light our compositing machine, and that's the way we like it.
No text is as funny as the text that gets erased. The fish that got away is always the largest. Writers never can reproduce lost work, even five minutes after they wrote it. Every manuscript is a foreign country as soon as it's written. If the printer accidentally burned Anna Karenina, and you asked Tolstoy to re-write it, he'd probably say something like, "I'm pretty sure it's about Russia, but don't hold me to it."
So if you need a laugh, you'll have to do without my erased observations. Picturing me putting needles in a doll that looks like the webmaster will have to do.
On to the links!
If software warnings from multinational tech companies didn't read like Hop on Pop, maybe people wouldn't ignore them. All the examples I see say things like, "Whoopsie, that shouldn't have happened! Our code monkeys have been dispatched to check into it. Here's a picture of a penguin!"
These teachers are demonstrating they're unfit for their jobs, and should be fired. They'll be given prizes instead.
I could have fixed Barnes & Noble. Hell, I could have fixed Yahoo. Unfitness for a job is now considered your primary qualification for it.
Another begged question. No cities are liveable. We'll give the article a pass for sticking the mealy-mouthed word "most" in there. Tallest midget in the circus. I like that the first reason a city is "liveable" is healthcare. If your first consideration for where you live is finding a doctor, you'd be happiest in a nursing home, I think.
I'm sorry. Were you saying something?
Not many people know what Cisco does. My impression of the company is that it's 500 times more important than Google, Apple, Facebook, Snapchat, and several hundred other tech companies combined. The Internet is really just a bunch of switches, and Cisco made them all. They're hemorrhaging workers because the CEO decided he (she? I refuse to look it up) wants to be in the Software as a Service business for some reason. After everyone loses their job, and the company tanks, maybe Barnes & Noble will hire him.
I'm confused. I've been assured that it's only trailer parks with confederate flags in the trailer windows where this sort of thing goes on. And we all know that only hillbillies marry their relatives. Woody Allen could tell you that. Is it possible that low-rent behavior isn't about money?
I find Oetzi the Iceman to be the most interesting story of the last 50 years or so. Hmm. Shot in the back with an arrow, and left to die. Dude was a burglar.
You're right. I don't. Unlike Annabel and Emily from the Daily Mail, I've heard of Photoshop and publicity stunts. Still funny, though. Enjoy!
Say, it's Friday, isn't it? That's like the fifth Monday in a row. I hope our list of links helps you power through until they light the smoking lamp, and the blessed weekend begins. A votre sante, Maggie's readers!
Thursday, August 18. 2016
Arthur Hiller has passed away. If the name doesn't ring a bell, he's a movie director. The Hollywood Reporter, charged with identifying him in their headline to a public that left him behind years ago, called him the "director of Love Story." Why they would choose that as his epitaph is telling. About the author, and the industry. Not Arthur Hiller.
Love Story made a lot of money. People in Hollywood find a way to like things that make a lot of money. They prefer working on cranky, obscure things that pay them a lot of money, and don't make anyone else any money, but they sit up straight when a rainmaker like Arthur Hiller walks in the room. Money is power and it's all Hollywood knows.
Arthur Hiller made some fun, interesting movies. You can still watch The In-Laws with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin and get a few laughs from it. He made the pilot for the 60's TV show The Addams Family, which is still very funny to look at. Like its contemporary The Beverly Hillbillies, it was really witty for a short while, before it became like every other dreary thing on TV.
I remember Love Story. It's a bad movie, and must be unwatchable today, even for its devotees. It's not my fault it made money. It got none of mine. It's not Arthur Hiller's fault, really, that it made a lot of money, so don't blame him either. He put his best effort forward for everything he worked at, and people liked him for it. They gave him an award for being generous, once. He remarked, “It’s so embarrassing to receive an award for doing what you should be doing, but I must admit it pleases me greatly.”
That's a better epitaph for the man, surely, than the director of Love Story. RIP
On to the links!
Begging the question in the headline again. Tsk. Tsk. The Pieta is Michelangelo's best work. Even seated Moses could give Dave a run for his money. Moses' ankles are fine. Hell, Dave might not be the most enjoyable statue outside the Palazzo Vecchio. Hercules and Cacus is a blast, and it gives you a two-for-one discount on your sculpture-gazing budget. A statue of a guy about to get his brains beat in is more appropriate than David, when it's outside the town hall where you pay your taxes.
A true expert in valuation buys companies, he doesn't scratch away in a cubicle estimating value. And he would never tell you what he was thinking. Uber could be worth next to nothing overnight, so valuing it at par with General Motors is silly. There's no scrap metal value in Uber if it goes belly up.
Sooner or later, everyone is going to have to come to grips with the fact that nearly all the stuff that wrecks your life is voluntary.
I've been wrong on the Internet more times than I can count. I am only "corrected" when I'm right.
Wednesday, August 17. 2016
Reading news reports from other countries is fun. You have no chips on their intellectual poker table, so you can read about things with an unjaundiced eye. I think George Washington called the attitude disinterestedness. He meant you shouldn't have a dog in any fight that you stand to benefit from. Old Muttonhead was somewhat phlegmatic, so it's hard to know what he might be thinking about any particular topic, but I've gotten the impression by reading about him that if he saw the capital city that bears his name, he'd bust out the fire and sword. Disinterestedly.
Anyway, I went to Europe this AM and poked around, looking for things I could be disinterested in, hoping they'd interest me. I hope they interest you, too.
Isn't France still essentially under martial law? Don't government functionaries have better things to do? Don't Pokemon Go players?
Snicker. For some reason I have a Cab Calloway song playing in my head. Won't they just have to turn over all the proceeds to Troy? Hi di hi di hi di ho!
I'm trying to wrap my head around the formulation: "Spain's Olympic kayak hero." El Cid unavailable for comment.
"Expecting anything to function properly" is mysteriously absent from this list.
I think this comes under the heading of "slow news day" in Germany. Shouldn't you be shopping for a bottle of ouzo and a spray of flowers for some Greek, to go along with your reparations check? Get busy.
Well, there you have it. Europe. And I though the United States was a silly place. Good night, Mr. and Mrs. Europe, from border to border and coast to coast, and all the ships at sea. You were fun while you lasted.
Tuesday, August 16. 2016
I am a connoisseur of bad writing.
As you can imagine, I adore the Internet. The Internet is like a bad writing contest with 6 billion contestants and no prize. It's the Telephone Game played in semaphore by myopics. It's a vast playground for hunches about grammar, with capitalization carbuncles appearing here and there, garnished with improvisational spelling, in a passive voice reduction. Not to mention the mixed metaphors.
Some wags went on a safari looking for bad writing, and called it the Bulwer-Lytton Contest. We all know its humble beginnings. Poor Georgie B-L was just doing his best to write a novel back in 1830:
That ain't Shakespeare, but honestly, it can't compete with the Huffington Post for triteness. It's just the sort of writing that makes you put the book back on the library shelf, and pick up the next one. No. Big. Deal.
But they've made it a contest, so it is a big deal. I hate it. Encouraging people on the Internet to write badly on purpose is a fool's errand. That's what they do. Encouraging them to write well, or even write gooder, would strike me as a worthier task. But then again, the contest is presented by Writer's Digest, whose raison d'etre is encouraging girls who should have flunked out of jo school to write another sparkly vampire bodice-ripper using their specious advice. Yawn.
I want bad writing that turns out that way on accident, to use the parlance of our times. I want bad writing written in dead earnest. Apparently, I wanted the Bad Writing Contest.
Now that's what I'm talkin' about. I'm slightly confused, though. It says a girl wrote it, but she forgot to put three exclamation points at the end. A minor oversight, but telling.
Now, on to our quotidian dose of bad writing from all over:
Ah, the Internet, where every question is begged. Are computer coders part of the Elite Class? No. They'll revert to the equivalent of journeyman plumbers in the near future. Perfectly respectable, but hardly elite. The author's inability to order concrete without an iPhone app is telling. It's telling about him, not the concrete company. And the word "into" in the headline should be "to."
Along the same lines as Mr. I Retired at 28 and Want a Medal. They always say the answer to any question posed in a headline is invariably, "No." All I needed to see was a long table covered with Apple computers to know nothing productive was going on.
There's a question in the headline again. It's a fake though. The question is begged, not answered with a "No." Diesel engines have been obsolete for a long time. The reasons they keep making them are weird.
The practice of screwing a bizarre melange of merde to the walls in taverns is a lot older than all the chains mentioned in this interesting article. Every barroom, from the '30s on, put memorabilia from the patrons on the walls to keep them coming back. After they died, it looked randomly chosen to a new crop of drunks.
Every generation has something that brings a tear of remembrance to the eye. It's a moving target. You'd kill to play Knock Down with your old baseball cards, and people younger than you want to play Donkey Kong Junior on a tabletop.
Some day, everyone will realize that the last ten years has consisted of nothing but skimming. Nothing of value was created. Google stole the Yellow Pages, Facebook stole the dry-erase board hanging on a girl's dorm room door, and Apple gave you a little handheld television to watch while driving.
Monday, August 15. 2016
Look, I just thought you should know. I barely know how to break news like this to you. But this is the kind of earth-shaking development that must be disseminated. Send small children out of the room, pour yourself a bracer, sit down, and know this: A swimmer has been inconvenienced!
It's Monday morning, and I know you're relying on Maggie's Farm to cover the globe like Sherwin Williams to get the stories that really matter. I'm trying to take my stint as the Farm's resident hooligan seriously. I felt an obligation to get up to speed on the most important stories on the planet, and report them here to you. I checked in with MSNBSBBclatcheyrudge, and I was shocked, shocked at what I discovered. I was expecting all sorts of bad things. Things like race riots, trouble in the Balkans, plagues of disease-carrying mosquitoes, fixed elections. I didn't see any of that mentioned, so I guess everything's OK on those fronts. But boy howdy, a swimmer has been inconvenienced.
I mean, when a swimmer can be inconvenienced by some ruffian, some footpad, some cad, some bounder, some slavering miscreant -- certainly the end times must be upon us. I forget which horseman of the apocalypse was sent to inconvenience a swimmer, but he's right up there, I bet.
On to the links.
I'm so old I remember when this affected the price of film. I'm also so old I remember film.
My chemistry education was elemental. and my metallurgy is a bit rusty, but that sounds to my ear like a very splodey combination.
No, they're not, and no, we wouldn't.
I heard he cheated and used paint brushes, too.
No Hong Kong-style soya sauce chicken noodles for you! Come back thirty days!
Must be some mistake. We all know the oldest gold object in the world is one of Keith Richard's fillings.
So, H.G. Wells invented the Internet in 1937. And then the Morlocks took it over and called it Twitter.
Well, that's it for today's links. Tune in tomorrow, and I promise I'll find out if any swimmers discover there isn't any toilet paper in their stall, or stub their toe on a coffee table, or are made to wait in line over-long at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, or are forced to fly economy.
Saturday, August 13. 2016
Roger here. Bird Dog has gone to the spa to take the waters. And by "spa," I mean tavern. And by "waters," I mean single malt. Anyway, he's left me to guard the chicken coop until he can finish his sabbatical, and make bail. I don't know what to talk about. That's because I'm not interesting, the way Bird Dog is.
I'm not interesting, but that's beside the point. What makes me even more useless to the lovely people here at the Farm is that I'm not interested. I don't care about much of anything that makes the front page of the papers, or the nightly news, or Huffpo. At least, I think I'm not interested, because I have no idea what's going on at those venues. It's not a pose like you'd suppose. I think it's all twaddle and avoid looking at it.
I'll try to take the path less traveled, and look for interesting things:
Never mind autistic kids. Why doesn't every kid speak more than one language? Me pega.
This is called "begging the question," even though it's not a question. It's the smug version of petitio principii. The real question is whether natural photosynthesis is particularly efficient. It isn't. There's just a lot of it going on.
Well, that's today's roundup of links. You can now return to your regularly scheduled conniption fit about the election.
Monday, August 1. 2016
Haven't you heard? Top 10 lists are so 2010. Why, no one that doesn't eat their vegetables by scooping up mashed potatoes with a butter knife and smooshing them in the peas refers to TOP TEN lists any longer. It's just not done by our class of people, dear. We're busy, important people who don't have time to peruse ten entries on any topic. If we wanted a decalogue, we'd hire Moses and a headstone company. We live in a Snapchat society. Keep it under a half a dozen, will ya?
In order to get in the spirit of the exercise, we've come up with a sort of test pattern of TOP FIVE lists. Don't strain yourself reading them all at once. I tried, and my lips got really tired. My advice is to dip into this treasure trove of minutiae over a period of days. When you're all done, you'll have bulked-up reading muscles and can move on to reading the comment sections on the daily crop reports from the USDA. It's bracing stuff.
So without further ado, here's our TOP FIVE LIST OF TOP FIVE LISTS:
This is dedicated to all the people promising to leave the country if Donald Trump wins the election. It also works for all the preppers that are promising to leave the country if Donald Trump loses. It's also handy for Libertarians who promise to leave the country whether Donald Trump wins or loses.
It's against the law in Georgia to use foul language in front of a dead body in a funeral home? People in Georgia must know a different class of people than I do. There's no other reason to attend a wake in my social set.
Hmm. I didn't see clerk at the Quik-E-Mart on there. On the plus side, it's an infographic, which is great for people who think a TOP FIVE list is a workout.
I'm really dull, so I just bought 1,100 Neon Tetras and dumped them into a goldfish bowl. It saves a lot of time, because there's only room for 17 tablespoons of water, making it much easier to clean.
Top Five Bucket List Destinations
If you're dissatisfied with our selection of TOP FIVE lists, suggest one in the comments. Remember, six or more is right out!
Thursday, November 26. 2015
Reposted, but still terrible
Monday, November 23. 2015
Well, another Monday has rolled around. Time to leave the old rack and earn the spondulac. Exit your cribs to get the dibs. Act the noble savage to get the happy cabbage. Brave the debris to get the dough-re-mi. Feel the balm of the oil of palm. I hope by close of business that you pile the oof up to the roof.
Alarming News: Just a bunch of links to writing done elsewhere
Well, you see what I mean. I can assure you that the percentage of live blogs to festering pixel corpses doesn't improve as you continue down the blogroll. I guess it's true what Sir Walter Scott said about blogging:
I'm not picking on Ace, of course. He doesn't have time to read his blog. If he's like most bloggers, he leaves his blogroll as it was eight years ago, as a kind of shrine to his friends, many of whom are his commenters, I'm sure.
Obama is barely smart enough to order the most expensive thing on the menu at a Sizzler, and the press corps thinks he's a polymath.
If this works better than the current eco-friendly method, which is having illegal aliens crapping on the weeds, then Chipotle and I are all for it.
Living in a cave is the alternative, huh? You could, you know, shut the goddamned thing off.
I say the old ways are the best ways, so I'm going to stick with burning peat in a brazier in the middle of my great hall, thanks.
In order to test my personal reaction to ingesting a cookie, a banana, and seven scotch and sodas, you're going to have to give me a banana and a cookie.
Help, I'm a Chinese businessman being held in a Kenyan jail, and I'll transfer one million dollars to your account if you'll just pay my bail. Please enter your bank account information...
After reading the article, I realize I have no idea how anything works anymore, but neither does anyone else, so I don't feel bad.
Why has Italian cinema lost its appeal? Sophia Loren's bustline finally dipped below the horizon. It's really that simple. And stop calling her abroad.
The author talks in wonderment when the salesman asks about the health of a customer's family members before trying to sell them things. The concept of using good manners, or any manners at all, doesn't even register as "a thing" with the author. Honestly, iPhones have utterly destroyed an entire generation of human beings.
I've raised chickens. Chicken breast grown in a petri dish will be 10 percent smarter than any chicken I've ever met.
OK, everybody, time to get after that spondulac!
Sunday, November 22. 2015
Well, it's Sunday. That means Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes in the morning, and Sunday-go-to-hell clothes in the afternoon. You know, for puttering around the house.
Let's borderline blaspheme and ask, WWJAD? (What would Joan of Arc do?) I'm no expert, and think it presumptuous to speak for her, but I have an inkling whatever she'd do, she'd do it to Frankie, not the reporters, and it would leave a mark.
Speaking of Orleans, WWJAD? It's not for me to say, but I imagine she would kneel down and tenderly kiss that brave man on his furrowed brow, nurse his wounds, and then go off to see if it was possible to fit the second man into a tuna can.
WWJAD? I am a sinner, not a saint, so don't trust me, but I figure she would commend that nurse for showing simple Christian charity to all. Then if the bomber recovered from his wounds, she'd give him a 12" haircut.
WWJAD? This one is easier. She would weep, as did I.
WWJAD? She'd run next to him, clanking all the way. Then they'd stop five yards shy of the finish line and pray for the other runners to catch up.
WWJAD? Mention she needed fewer people to save France.
WWJAD? Trick question. She's not an Apple person. That was William Tell. Joan wore armor, so I imagine she was more of a Chrome user.
WWJAD? She'd probably remind you to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. Then she'd point out that Caesar has been dead for two thousand years, and split the dough with you.
Well, I hope you all have a nice Sunday, and if you think it might be fun or enlightening, you can wonder WWJAD about everything in your life today. I know for a dead cert she wouldn't take the points and bet on the Cleveland Rams. Obvious Saints fan.
Saturday, November 21. 2015
It's common for humans to personalize things that don't have anything to do with us in particular. For instance, many people looked at today's news and espied a massacre at the Radisson Hotel in Mali. It was perpetrated by Al Qaeda, or Alcoa, or Al Kaline, or Boko Loko, or Procul Harem, or whatever those pesky Mohammedans are printing on their bowling shirts these days. Some observers immediately wondered what it meant to them.
Be honest. It's possible your first reaction to seeing the mayhem in Mali was, "I've been in worse Radissons than that! That one in Naperville didn't even have USA Todays in the lobby, and I couldn't tell the difference between the continental breakfast and the wet nap." That's hardly commendable, but it's understandable. It's no less sensible than rending your garments over it before changing the channel to The True Game of Downton Boardwalk Thrones. Bad things happen all day, every day. You're not the king of the world, as far as I know.
Tragedy is when I stub my toe; comedy is when you fall into an open manhole and die. It's not as heartless as it sounds. Our reactions to the things we encounter in the news must be tempered by proportionality. We are all charged to look after our selves, our family, our friends, our community, our country, and then mankind -- in that order. Making gigantic, pointless, histrionic demonstrations of how much you care about people so far away they might as well be an abstraction isn't of any use to anyone. I've also noticed that people that make a big deal out of loving humanity in general usually leave a 5 percent tip after a four-hour meal, then go home and beat their wives. Or start the Soviet Union. Talk is cheap.
The level of moral preening abroad in the land grows daily. College students are demanding that Woodrow Wilson get airbrushed out of their textbooks to signal they're ready for three minutes hate. That way they can accuse anyone who stops after two minutes of being a kulak reactionary Goldstein fan.
It puts me in mind of King Charles II. After he was restored to the British throne, he dug up the corpse of Oliver Cromwell, the man who had beheaded his father, and had Cromwell's festering corpse drawn, hung, and beheaded. His father must have looked down from heaven, or more likely up from the other place, and thought to himself, "That's swell and all, but it would have been handier nine years ago."
On to the news:
Christ, bring back the Borgias. What an invertebrate sits on that chair now.
I wouldn't worry too much about that. The Baltic is no big deal. Put all your hotels on Mediterranean.
By ignoring everything but precious metals, Spain ended up with runaway inflation. Digging metal out of the ground to increase the money supply is no different than printing greenbacks.
Unlike all the little SJW twerps going to Ivy League, I have known lots of real, live Syrians. They're Christian. They came here years ago to get away from the murderous psychos you're inviting over now. But keep on caring deeply about Syrians to earn a sanctimony merit badge on your diploma, kids.
I used to live in a parallel universe where scientists could produce results twice in a row before they'd claim they'd outdone Newton.
I'm often surprised by what surprises people. Chicks dug Rudolph Valentino, too -- until he opened his mouth.
The iPhone economy is 99 percent Ponzi. A half dozen companies make money, everybody else borrows over and over again to cover their losses. LivingSocial lost $1.4 billion in 4 years. They simply convinced investors that the electronic equivalent of a flyer that falls out of the newspaper was General Motors.
It's like the sun rising in the east, isn't it? If a Clinton offers to go halfsies on a gold mine, they'll get the gold, you'll get the shaft.
Would you like to find out more? Vote Sanders!
My aunt, Carlotta Tendant, feels your pain, dude.
Maggie's Farm readers are our friends. We care about our friends. Stay out of the Radisson!
Friday, November 20. 2015
I'm supposed to read the papers and paste some of the more interesting items on this page for you to peruse. We're all supposed to have a few laughs, go tsk, tsk, or on the odd occasion, applaud what we see. Today I was brought up short, as they say. Like a baby midget in the circus. I'm still capable of being shocked, I guess. The papers are full of man's inhumanity to man these last few days, but nothing about a terrorist attack surprises me anymore. Doesn't even move the meter, I'm ashamed to say.
The Newspaper neglected to mention that the "fugitive Santeria priest" suspected of murder had raped a child. All the news that fits, I guess, and the fact that the rape victim was a child can't compete with everything else the headline has going on.
I can't say I blame the news organization. They have a lot of ground to cover. I didn't even bother listing all the plain old murders I found on that page. There was a kind of monotony to them. The KTLA news page even tried to get me to pay attention to a car wreck. That doesn't even register as bad news to me anymore after reading the rest of the happenings from one little corner of our world.
Well, don't worry, you can count on me to keep bringing you the news, but as soon as I'm done, I'm shaving my head, putting on flowing robes, and fashioning a placard that reads REPENT, THE WORLD WILL END TOMORROW. You'll find me out on the sidewalk, waving at passing cars, and apologizing to everyone for not making the sign 50 years ago when it would have been timely.
I see. He's terrified of producing a beneficial trace gas, or any "waste." He will, however, propose the mining of lots of manganese, a material that causes permanent neurological disorders, tremors, facial muscle spasms, difficulty walking, acute bronchitis, aggressiveness, and hallucinations. But he'll make enough juice to charge his phone, so it's all good.
I don't have any questions about the viability of Obamacare, and never did, but thanks for playing.
Let's make a deal, college kids. I'll help you jackhammer his name off the building if you'll help me erase his signature from the Revenue Act of 1913.
I have no sympathy -- none -- for a college graduate that can't pluralize "buddy."
I have only one observation. If a man and a woman are in separate bathtubs, no amount of medication will initiate sexual activity between them. That's a cast iron fact.
Sounds great. I'm all for a return to mid-Victorian Napier-style foreign policy, too: "Come here instantly. Come here at once and make your submission, or I will in a week tear you from the midst of your village and hang you."
I have another theory. The emissions rules to limit CO2 are stupid and unattainable, and Volkswagen workers had to choose between fibbing and mass ritual suicide in the parking lot.
Half say they are barely getting by, and the other half didn't hear the question because their head is in the oven.
That is a nifty piece of work. After the zombie apocalypse, he'll be an emperor-god because he'll be the only man on Earth able to program an LED register to show the vague outlines of a naked woman.
Well, that should tide you over until tomorrow. Remember, Maggies Farm loves you and wants you to be happy, so if by some twist of fate you accidentally enter the broadcast area for KTLA, roll up the windows, lock the doors, and keep driving.
Thursday, November 19. 2015
We used to be rather better at this cloak and dagger stuff.
Perhaps it was because we were all sure we were on the same team back in the day. Kennedy was a bit of a dolt compared to Eisenhower, but he wasn't any kind of friend to the commies. The Bay of Pigs was about as dumb an attempt at exercising American power as you could come up with, but he didn't mess it up on purpose because he was secretly hoping the other side would win. I'm not sure you can count on that brand of My mother, drunk or sober patriotism anymore.
Not too many years earlier, Eisenhower was able to go on national television and admit he was the one that sent Francis Gary Powers to spy on the Soviet Union from the edge of space. He knew that everyone on the other side of the aisle wouldn't impeach him over it. It was, after all, in the United States' best interest. Well, if it worked it was.
While terrorists are raging all over the landscape, our intelligence experts are busy in nondescript buildings in Virginia rifling through Tea Party tax returns. Anyone that understands opportunity cost knows that when some tasks get done to the last jot and tittle, others get the back burner. The Rumford Meteor japed that the massacre in Paris had an effect: France Finally Uses the List of Terrorists They’ve Been Keeping at the Bottom of a Locked Filing Cabinet Stuck in a Disused Lavatory With a Sign on the Door Saying Beware of the Leopard
If that's funny, it's because it's true. France had a list of 168 locations they had identified as possible terrorist hideouts. They used the list to conduct raids the day after the bloodbath. What exactly was a more important use of their time the day before the massacre? Putting someone in the clink for working 36 hours a week?
Even the entertainment about dealing with an implacable enemy used to be better. I'm sick of rogue CIA agents. I long for the good old days of CIA agents who were rogues. Not the same thing, is it?
On to today's news:
C'mon, admit it. Public School is obsolete. It serves only as an academy for depravity at this point.
Yeah, and the burglars are 100 percent less likely to shoot your dog.
Once a week? Maybe. I'll reserve judgment until they clarify whether that means at least two people are in the room.
You're not allowed to drink alcohol when taking this drug. No one's getting any action under those circumstances.
You mean Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun aren't nursing homes?
There's always plenty of weather in bodice rippers. Otherwise Fabio's pectorals wouldn't glisten with sweat as his hands slowly made their way up inside her chemise, the faint aroma of the sodden garden surrounding them like the perfume of Aphrodite, and all that sh*t.
In his defense, he did say, "No sprinkles."
I'm fairly certain the first and only taco I ate at Taco Bell hasn't moved an inch since I swallowed it.
No one should ever go to jail for copyright infringement, which is a civil violation, or should be. Same goes for tax evasion. If you can't collect the money upfront, willingly, you're not entitled to it. Jailing people for owing money is medieval.
"The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" with Richard Burton and Claire Bloom is the best spy movie ever made. Discuss.
Wednesday, November 18. 2015
Look, I know you mean well, and some of you look quite fetching in a lab coat, horn rims, and high heels, but I am not interested in your "studies." You do not seem to have studied anything but grievances in school, yet you publish studies by the ream as soon as you escape. I do not care a fig if you think my cell phone is giving cancer to my autism. I am not all that interested in your theories about the correlation of causation with the cessation of sensation in my foot as I drop off to sleep at night.
I sleep when I'm tired and I eat when I'm hungry and I drink when I'm thirsty and I read when I'm curious and I wonder what you're on about. If you've got evidence, trot it out, but I warn you I'm going to want to inspect your test tubes before I throw away my office chair and sit on a beach ball.
Now, on to today's studies:
This article is only sorta-correct. It's true you'll live longer if you don't get in my way when I'm trying to get coffee.
This is the equivalent of breaking into a bank to steal the deposit slips. Ted Williams frozen head is never going to bat .400, either.
Another paid advertisement masquerading as a news article, but I'll play along: America doesn't have "access" to water. We have a population of capable humans who consider an inexpensive supply of potable water for its citizens to be an important, if trivial, undertaking, and then makes it happen. Well, except California.
Yet another fake ad, but I'll play along. This woman believes she needs a handheld supercomputer wirelessly attached to an electronic cup in order to get herself a drink of water. She's the target audience for the last fake article, I imagine.
The article says startup owners are cashing out before they've sufficiently bilked investors out of enough money to fund still more startups. Welcome to the fabulous new iAmway economy!
The United States has always been an endlessly interesting place, and continues to be so.
The United States has always been an endlessly interesting place, and continues to be so.
If a couple more Republican candidates quit, they're not going to be able to field a baseball team.
I've noticed that gruntled people never attack anyone with their penis.
I know they're scientists, but I doubt I'm related to Julia Roberts.
Well, there you go. If I were you, I'd blow off work, get hopped up on pots of coffee, build a house out of corn shucks, and then ride a bicycle covered with LEDs in circles around it. If you don't, the terrorists have won.
Tuesday, November 17. 2015
Since the entire world has quickly settled on singing a dreary, infantile ditty written by a wife-beater that extols the state religion of Nazi Germany and the USSR as a response to an existential threat, I guess it's time to move on to new topics. Speaking of existential, didn't those Frenchmen invent existentialism? No, I think that was Kierkegaarde. Maybe it was Nietzsche. Whatever. It was one of those grouchy fellows. I was doodling in my copybook and trying to get a peek down a girl's blouse that day in school, and must have missed it. At any rate, Europe is just a bunch of zebras at the watering hole watching a lion eat their little sister while mumbling, "Wasn't me, don't care." Who am I to bother about it? Let's read the papers:
Like Obama, Hollande looks at terror attacks through the lens of self-interest. If it affects their personal reputation, they get peevish and start talking like a fop's idea of Audie Murphy. Otherwise, they really don't give a sh*t.
I'm sure a multinational terrorist organization is shaking in their sandals over the prospect of a deluge of fake one-star reviews on Yelp.
In my experience, machine snow is half-frozen filthy retaining pond water sprayed all over you if you deign to ski on a weekday.
Silly me. I thought holding up an inexpertly lettered sign with a preachy message and a hashtag was the pinnacle of human achievement.
Bombshell? You guys don't get out much. She reminds me of homely girls who go to Star Wars conventions.
Ever hear of the Fourth Amendment? Cute little thing. It was popular around here 200 years ago. It almost seems like you have a problem using probable cause to determine who to surveil because then you'd have to admit who is probably gonna cause a problem.
Judge: I need to know which one of them liked that dreadful song in order to rule against him or her.
Round up the Friends of Eddie Coyle
Don't worry. ISIS will crack those open like a pinata after their next Mahdi connects the Sudan to Vienna.
"Brutal" prehistoric world? Compared to what? My housecat will kill anything it can catch, and tortures it first, too. Your goldfish would eat you if it could fit you in its mouth.
Be careful out there in the brutal posthistoric world today.
Monday, November 16. 2015
Well, it's Monday. Your favorite team lost, so the water cooler is looking less like an oasis and more like an enemy gun emplacement. Hey, Bob, did you see Peyton Roethlesberger throw a pick six and a tantrum on fourth down with the game on the line? You know, the one that caused my team to win, and your favorite team and their benighted fans to be consigned to ignominy and defeat? What did you think about that Bob? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Whaddya say about that, Bob?
Me, I don't mind Mondays so much. I don't root for Jameis Manziel or Cam Bradford or Russell Brees, so it's of little consequence if the Green Bay Pacers fall to the Dallas Drovers. The first day of the work week holds no terrors for me. I kind of like it there. No one makes me rake leaves at the office. I don't have to change every battery in every smoke alarm in the building at 4 AM because I can't figure out which one is beeping. It would be silly to be required to paint the outside of a skyscraper, wouldn't it? I don't even know where to look for the gutters on a 50-story building, never mind clean them out. No, the office is just fine. Besides, the Internet connection is better, and I get to read the Maggie's Farm morning links while pretending to be working, instead of pretending to be asleep on the couch when my wife gets home with groceries.
Silly me. From what I've observed, I would have assumed that a "fraudulent H-1B case" would involve NOT bringing illegal aliens into the country to work like coolies.
Um, it's really only necessary for your audience to be stoned, not you. Sober or not, your records sound like Sesame Street on Seconal, dude.
I have always found that the only way I could measurably increase other people's intelligence is by drinking heavily. The girls get better looking, too.
Well, those psychics certainly measurably increased that guy's intelligence. While $718k isn't exactly cheap, it still cost less than a Head Start class.
I've blocked Reddit from my computer under an uncontroversial lack of interest in the opinions of neckbeards law.
The Paris gig has been cancelled. I wouldn't worry about it, though; it's not a big Cinema Verite town.
Occam's Razor: he needs coasters and finally ran out of AOL discs.
First sentence begins with "And." Second sentence begins with "But." The author then uses parentheses to enclose a dependent clause instead of commas. The rest is all stupid, useless Schiit. So the answer to the second question is 01101110 01101111! Whoops, forgot to convert it to analog. NO!
Adblock won't ever stop things like that Popular Science "article" about a particular brand of audio converter. Me, I just want a parentheses blocker.
I wonder. Is it no longer possible for a tech company to survive in the market without pretending the entire business is a Gymboree?
That should be enough information to tide you over until lunch. If you fib and say you have a doctor's appointment right after, you might make it until 3:30 before you're required to do any actual work. Make sure to leave early, too. As they say on the Department of Public Works crew, "No sense killing the job."
Sunday, November 15. 2015
Hello everyone. I trust you're all done sleeping one off.
Whoops, I meant to say, I trust you're all back from Sunday service now. If you're like me, there's nothing like a hot cup of joe and the Sunday paper spread out in front of you after church. Of course a printed newspaper was last spotted in my home back when Reagan was abroad in the land, and when the Pope wasn't pro-choice, so I have to make do with a passel of pixels spread out in front of me. On the plus side, the poorly cropped pictures are more plentiful, and some of the articles actually start talking to you, which give the voices in my head a day off. On to the news!
Or, you know, you could shut the stupid thing off, and make your kids shut it off. You know, like an adult.
Alternate title: How to Make an Infantile Adult Using Only Pop Culture and a Candy Store Masquerading as a Coffee Shop.
I think France has also been toying with the idea of hosting some "visiting Arab businessmen." I wonder how that's going?
I have a dictionary. I fear that "Fear" is the wrong word in that headline. DILLIGAF might approximate their mood. however.
"The hunt for those responsible." That's a good one. I imagine common-sense Playstation control will fix everything. With an outright ban on assault Playstations, of course.
Or, you know, you could shut the stupid thing off, and make your kids shut it off. You know, like an adult.
I know! We could install a steering wheel in self-driving cars! That would let the passenger drive the car using their judgment! Of course, first they'd have to shut their stupid iPhone off, and make their kids shut theirs off. You know, like an adult.
Let's see: Barack Barry Hussein Soetoro Obama. I only count five.
Or, you know, you could shut the stupid thing off, and make your kids shut it off. You know, like an adult.
Wow. Those benevolent and intelligent Scandinavians have discovered that neurotic hypochondriacal lonely people prefer a four-star hotel over staying at home and reading Web MD -- if someone else pays for it. There's also a helpful picuture of of a member of this super-race of humans bicycling on two underinflated tires while texting.
Well, that's all the news that fits. Into my schedule, I mean. I think I'm going to, I don't know, shut this stupid thing off now. You, know, like an adult.
Saturday, November 14. 2015
I don't get in nearly as many scrapes on Saturday Night as I once did. I'm always the toughest guy at the Olive Garden at 4:10, so no one dares front me over the newly rationed bread sticks, and I'm usually home in bed before the real heavy stuff comes down past 5:00.
Housing debt? Ten years roll by and somehow everything is still George Bush's fault.
I have solved this problem with insolvency.
People are stunned that jurors don't want a purported mafia member angry at them. That is stunning.
Hmm. It would appear they don't - want - to live like a refugee. Don't want to live like a ref-huge-gee.
William Howard Taft wouldn't leave a scrap of flesh on Tim Cook's bones.
Oh look. The same people who said Microsoft was an evil monopoly because they made an operating system and a web browser are mocking them for not taking over the whole Internet.
Somehow I don't think Mizzou students would have come up with this.
I just look for the word "consensus." Saves time.
I only watch football on TV so I imagine the continuous stream of high-pitched swearing will interfere with this scheme.
Have a lovely Saturday!
Friday, November 13. 2015
Well, if you manage to crawl to the finish line at 5 PM today, you've made it through another week. Look on the bright side. Unless you're melanin-challenged and work at a college, you'll still have a job on Monday, and you have two whole days to show your liver who's boss. On to today's links!
Just drive an Uber cab. Your magic iPhone transubstantiates all regulations into ponies and cupcakes.
My Utopian dream is living in France after all these buildings are demolished.
The author of this article sure doesn't know much history. Try putting in an offer on the Biltmore Estate. You'll have to buy 1/6th of the Pisgah National Forest to go along with it. It used to be the back yard.
At this point, wouldn't Swedish border controls only keep Muslims in?
I guess homeschooling is only bad when conservatives do it.
Humans take chances. Increase their feeling of security, and they'll take bigger chances.
The most successful people don't spend all day reading lists on the Internet.
Hey, NPR: His brain didn't work. His eyes were fine.
So, my collection of Classics Illustrated never happened, right Francoise?
Florence, Italy, gave us the Renaissance. I'm pretty sure you can buy manganese mined by hand in Burkina Faso, which is pretty swell, too.
Everybody have a great day, and make sure to buy a drink for your whole microbial community tonight after work. It's the friendly thing to do.
Thursday, November 12. 2015
I was wondering. Does anybody know how to write jokes any longer? Or more to the point, write humorously? If they're extant, I haven't noticed it. It takes a light touch to write humor, and few seem interested in giving it a try. The best writers would only salt in jokes as foils to a larger humorous situation. Wodehouse had Bertie Wooster, who was impersonating Gussie Fink-Nottle, trying to tell an inappropriate joke at dinner, which is being hosted by a gaggle of grim old sisters, some of whom are hard of hearing.
- There are these three deaf chaps on a train and it stops at Wembley.
In the book this is adapted from, the text is funny because it is a comic situation described in an amusing way. The joke is an excuse to be humorous. It's supposed to be a bad joke, but it really isn't. Twain used the same sort of approach to tell good jokes, but by prefacing them by saying, "This is a bad joke," he had an easier time weaving a humorous narrative around them. The woefully misnamed "situation comedies" have become the modern version of this form of light comedy, but they are usually just a series of blunt jokes barely strung together. Not the same thing.
At any rate, is this Wembley? Time for the links, all supplied with PG Wodehouse quotes to suit:
“...it has been well said that it is precisely these moments when we are feeling that ours is the world and everything that's in it that Fate selects for sneaking up on us with the rock in the stocking.”
"You can't be a successful dictator and design women's underwear. One or the other. Not both."
“In a series of events, all of which had been a bit thick, this, in his opinion, achieved the maximum of thickness.”
“Beggars approached the task of trying to persuade perfect strangers to bear the burden of their maintenance with that optimistic vim which makes all the difference. It was one of those happy mornings.”
“I mean, imagine how some unfortunate Master Criminal would feel, on coming down to do a murder at the old Grange, if he found that not only was Sherlock Holmes putting in the weekend there, but Hercule Poirot, as well."
"Memories are like mulligatawny soup in a cheap restaurant. It is best not to stir them."
“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.”
“As a rule, from what I've observed, the American captain of industry doesn't do anything out of business hours. When he has put the cat out and locked up the office for the night, he just relapses into a state of coma from which he emerges only to start being a captain of industry again.”
“It was one of the dullest speeches I ever heard. The Agee woman told us for three quarters of an hour how she came to write her beastly book, when a simple apology was all that was required.”
Have a lovely practice Friday.
Wednesday, November 11. 2015
Well, Bird Dog has gone off for a few days to make sure his mountain redoubt/bolthole is still stocked with beans and ammo. That means you're stuck with me, Roger, the King of Sicily.
Oh dear. Bloggers would have to produce their own text and stop linking to newspapers they purport to hate.
There's a term for borrowing money to pay existing investors instead of trying to turn a profit.
The Bladen Journal reports that a mummified hand found in Castleton, North Yorkshire, England is the only known ‘Hand of Glory’, a grotesque artifact meant to aid thieves in their work during the night, still in existence. This mummified hand supposedly has the power to “entrance humans” according to the Express. Hands of Glory were also a favorite tool for thieves and creative storytellers for over 200 years.I hereby propose we call Obama's autopen the Hawaiian Hand of Glory.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Better than what they have now. Neither could carry Adenauer's jockstrap, however.
Six of us lived in a 960 square foot ranch, and were about average. Why do Millennials demand a trophy for everything? Move.
I'll bet both investors are divorce lawyers
The future of sustainable agriculture is all about smart technology and scaling up
I see the generation that thinks they invented small apartments thinks they invented agriculture the week before.
Well, everybody sally forth and make sure you make enough money today to buy sustainably grown tomatoes before the farm goes out of business and you're forced to buy the pinkish baseballs they always had at the A&P.
Saturday, August 23. 2014
A monkey's diversion. Hmm. You know, Darwin didn't have a clue compared to Gregor Mendel, but we are just monkeys when examined dispassionately. I've never heard the Internet described properly until just now, in my head. I asked Google what the Internet was, which I was afraid to do at first. If you ask the Internet what the Internet is, that's like dividing by zero. I could have broken the darn thing, and then everyone would be angry at me. So I asked with some trepidation, but nothing much happened, good or bad, just like when you search for anything else. It told me this:
No, that's way too many words. I hereby declare: The Internet is A Monkey's Diversion. Someone go update the Wikipedia page, will you? Now on to some desultory links, with crabby commentary. A Monkey's Diversion!
Be flexible. Line up work in advance. Get banking set up. Don't plan to work 40 hrs/wk. Travel light (28L backpack). Go.
Regulation has plunged us back to the hunter-gatherer stage, this time for pixels. If this behavior bothers you, don't fret. Everyone young that tries to copy this method will never procreate.
There is nothing serious that cannot be made trivial, and nothing trivial that cannot be made serious.
It all began, as these things so often do, with a drink. One drink, which led to another, then more besides. Each one, generously given by a genial customer. Each one eagerly slurped by the monkey chained to the bar
That reminds me. I can't wait until Saint Patrick's Day!
A recent report from Reuters has also suggested Apple is in talks with multiple health providers at Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and Allscripts, with the company pushing HealthKit and its Health app as an all-in-one patient data resource for medical professionals.
The biggest heist ever committed in America was bribing politicians to make Apple the defacto computer used in public schools. They were useless for any sort of productive work, which made them wildly popular with academics. Apple smells sweet, sweet Obamacare money now.
Knowledge Vault is a type of "knowledge base" – a system that stores information so that machines as well as people can read it. Where a database deals with numbers, a knowledge base deals with facts. When you type "Where was Madonna born" into Google, for example, the place given is pulled from Google's existing knowledge base.This existing base, called Knowledge Graph, relies on crowdsourcing to expand its information. But the firm noticed that growth was stalling; humans could only take it so far.
Asking the Internet for facts is like telling a bicyclist to go get moon rocks. Facts aren't located on the Internet, dudes. But you knew that. They're looking for their brand of facts.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go through training as an ISIS terrorist? Or better yet, where you would go to find such advanced training? All you have to do to find the answer to these questions is turn to the nearest ISIS media twitter account and click on that bright blue Justpaste.it link. Let’s take a look at the photos posted in July showing one of the Islamic State’s training camps in Ninewa Province and see what we can learn.
Please note the trivial amount of effort it takes to find where these nests of vipers are located. But we're married to proportional response now, I guess, if that. Please also notice the comment section that immediately devolves into: But Christians teach Creationism in Texas Public Schools!
Friday, August 22. 2014
Life has become a complicated muddle, hasn't it? There are many big decisions. Should you become a newsreader because you have a lisp? Should you become an athlete because you're missing limbs? Should you join the military because you're a pacifist?
College calls. It needs deconstructivists like you. The NBA needs midgets, and the NFL needs gay men. International politics needs a low handicap, and international banking needs wizened ovaries, bad. There's a place for everybody, and you just have to follow the signs and portents to figure out where you fit in.
The only really big question is if you should have any hair below your eyebrows. The rest is easy.
Attention bosses: Set up a strong hierarchy and your workers will function better.
Thursday, August 21. 2014
I only read the "newspapers" when I cover for Bird Dog. Do you people really read that stuff, and act on what you've read as if it's informative?
Oops, did I just call our readers "you people"? Jeez, I'm sorry. I meant to say, Do us people really read this stuff...
No, that won't do. Does we people really reads that stuff...
I can't remember all that subjunctive gobbletygook from my McGuffey's Reader, so let's just agree that the newspapers all suck and move on. On to the news -- or whatever it is:
There's a lot of words until you get to that paragraph right there, the only one worth mentioning: It really doesn't matter what crazy people believe. They're crazy.
A Norwegian extrovert looks at your shoes when he's talking instead of his own.
Wow, Nancy Sinatra sure was a sh*tty singer.
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