Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Too Early? Too Late? - A Hodgepodge

Here we are at that time of year when, more than any other time, I witness in my work a strange phenomenon.

Well, strange to me, at least. Maybe there’s some sense to it that I’ve yet to divine.

The strangeness is this: I will receive various items for publication in the various sources for which I’m responsible in which the author would inform the reader that such-and-such event will take place on, say, January 6. And for good, albeit strange, measure, he or she will almost invariably tack on “2012.”

Who knows how many 2012s I have lopped off the past four to six weeks? Who knows how many more I will lop off in the next four to six weeks—for the strangeness will continue at least that long.

Not counting those folks who simply cannot write a date without putting the year on it, no matter how far into the year we’ve already come.

I’ve tried to figure out how and why a person might develop such a habit, and I confess to being stumped. Certainly if I am in December 2011 writing about an event that will occur on January 6, I can rely on my reader to understand that I mean the January 6 that will be popping up in a few weeks here, not the January 6 that happened almost a year ago, nor the January 6 that will be happening a little more than a year hence.

Can’t I?

Even keeping in mind what H.L. Mencken had to say about the intelligence of the American public, I am confident that all of the 2012s I blithely fling into the virtual wastebasket will cause no undue distress.

Watch this space in case I turn out to be wrong. I’ll report if someone shows up for any of the events in question a year late. And I’ll certainly report if anyone shows up for something a year early.

Believe me, I’d love for that to happen.

¶ ¶ ¶

On the subject of numbers and people’s odd quirks regarding them:

My late father could never, it seems, write a number without expressing it in both words and numerals. He would never have written, “Grandma went to the store three times last week”; he would instead have written “Grandma went to the store three (3) times last week.”

In his case, I suspect he either developed the habit as a young man climbing the corporate ladder at what was Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, then USWest, then Qwest, now CenturyLink. (Yes, you see a trend there: each name is even less descriptive of the business than the previous name was. CenturyLink is particular is a dumb name, and I’m a little glad Dad didn’t live to see its advent. In fact, CenturyLink sounds like something I would use if I wanted to show up for an event a year too early.) I wouldn’t be too surprised to learn that, in his early days there, he and his cohorts were taught that This Is The Way It’s Done, and he never deviated from that path, strange though it seems to me.

Dad also would never use an exclamation point when three (3) could be used. I’m not kidding!!! If he felt inclined toward exclamation, which he often would in his pr/marketing days, he invariably tripled the order. He never used two (2); he never used four (4); he sure as hell never used one (1). It was always and inevitably three (3)!!!

Which may go a ways toward explaining my habit of eschewing them in my own work!!!

¶ ¶ ¶

Back to the subject of dumb names:

This week I received from the Board of Pensions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (in which I still have a few dollars, since they limit the amount one may remove in a calendar year...which reminds me, I have only a few days in which to remove this year’s allotment. So enjoy being restricted from accessing my own money) that it will henceforth no longer be known as the Board of Pensions but rather by the new and exciting name...Portico Benefit Services.

Portico.

I looked it up, and it has no definition other than the usual one, viz., a covered entrance. A porch.

Yet somehow, according to the letter, whoever comes up with such things believes that “a new name will help people better understand what we do as this church’s provider of health, retirement, disability and survivor benefits and related services.”

Well, it’s possible that “a new name” might do all those things. But “Portico” ain’t it. “Portico” says nothing, at least nothing related to benefits. Unless it has to do with the benefits division of an architectural firm.

It’s curious to me, too, that the new name hops on board what I perceive to be a trend of sorts, namely, obscuring the relationship of a given entity to its religious organization, in this case the ELCA. Nothing in “Portico Benefit Services” points to it being at all connected with any religious body, and certainly not the body it is in fact connected with.

I imagine someone decided that “ELCA Board of Pensions” was a limiting name. Maybe so. To be sure, it handles more than pensions per se. Well, then, how about “ELCA Board of Pensions and Benefits”? Or “ELCA Benefit Services”? Either of those—or any of a dozen other possibilities—would be more descriptive of the entity’s function and purpose than “Portico.”

It seems that there’s some desire to dissociate the agency from its church. I can’t think why, unless there’s a belief that down the road it will serve more than just its church body. Something along the lines of my credit union recently merging with another credit union and adopting a new, unmemorable name (indeed, I would have to go look it up) that seems intentionally designed to separate it from its telephone-industry history.

The ELCA did the same thing some years ago with its now-defunct radio ministry, Lutheran Vespers. Someone decided that, after who knows how many decades, “vespers” had become inaccurate since most radio stations ran it in the pre-dawn hours on Sunday mornings rather than at the close of the day. Okay-fine. They cranked up the task forces, committees, focus groups, and God knows what all else and came up with an exciting new name: Grace Matters. Which, as I said at the time, sounded like an ’80s sitcom starring someone named Grace, if Amazing Grace was already being used.

Again, there seemed a concerted effort to dissociate it from its own history. I never understood why. And keep in mind, I had no dog in the fight, nor have I one now in the Portico fight.

But money, yes. So I need Portico to avoid the fate of Grace Matters for at least another year. 

To avoid confusion, that would be December 20, 2012!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

From the Junk Mail Folder

As I’ve mentioned before (“Did I say ‘no one’? I meant ‘hardly anyone’”), pretty much every day my office e-mail is graced with a Rapture and End Times message from, appropriately enough, RaptureandEndtimes.com. They claim it’s “because you have expressed an interest in Rapture and End Times,” but that’s only one of the falsehoods their messages typically contain. I’ve expressed no such interest, nor have I visited their website. (What would be the point?) I rather suspect I receive it because I work at a church office; several of my colleagues have reported receiving it as well, and for no other apparent reason.

Although I seldom read their messages (again, what would be the point?), I have noticed that they changed their Gmail address earlier this month. It had always been kingdomofheavenin2011; as of this week it’s the much less poetic raptureandendtimes.

Which I take to be their tacit acknowledgement that the rapture is unlikely to take place within the next 3½ weeks.

Still, points for sticktuitiveness. Earlier this autumn, they were pretty sure that everything would hit the fan during Rosh Hashanah. Which began at sunset on September 28 and ended at sunset on September 30. Indeed, on September 29 they sent out a message with the subject line “Your Last Chance.” That message I did read, of course, or at least the first couple of paragraphs:
    We have finally made it to the end! If you have been following our messages, you know that we expect the Rapture to occur during the Jewish Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah). The Feast started on Wednesday 28th at about sunset Jerusalem time, and will run through for two days ending on the 30th. So we don’t know the exact day and hour!
    In our first messages and on the website, we determined the “season” of the Rapture by exploring the Holy Bible, the customs of the Jewish people and the history of the nation of Israel. The Jewish wedding ceremony revealed the theme and model of the Rapture, and helped determine the sequence of events. We focused on comparing Matthew chapter 24 and Revelation chapter 6 to comprehend the Tribulation period. The reestablishment of Israel as a nation, the definition of a Biblical generation, the Jewish feasts and the Feast of Trumpets guided us to the possible year of the Rapture. This brought us to the dates of September 29-30, 2011 as a likely time for the Lord to return to snatch away His bride.
I was struck by the clever way in which they squirmed around the troublesome fact that Jesus himself is given to say that no one knows when the Second Coming will occur, viz., “Well, we think it’ll be sometime this weekend...so, you see, we don’t claim to know the day or the hour. Just, you know, the time frame.” Nice.

As near as I could tell, the rapture did not occur at any time that weekend. It is true that the office was a little underpopulated that Monday morning...but it always is on a Monday morning. Eventually everybody turned up. And keep in mind that I work with churchy people--certainly one or two of them would have been “snatched up,” were any snatching-up going on.

Although there was no Rapture and End Times message in my inbox that morning.

Indeed, the last message from them had been the “Your Last Chance” message on September 29.

You don’t suppose...

But no. On Tuesday, October 4, they were back in business again, with nary a mention of the Rosh Hashanah weekend, a tack that I cannot think about without the word chutzpah leaping to mind. The rapture having stubbornly refused to occur, they were obligied to fall back on vagueness:
    If you have been following our messages, you know that we show that the Rapture “window of time” is closing rapidly. We know this because the Lord gave Christians very specific signs to look for.
He also kind of told us to not bother looking for said signs, but everybody needs a hobby.

They also included this rather puzzling instruction:
    Caution: The Lord is sovereign and can take us whenever He wants. In the Bible we can see many examples of the Lord delaying judgement or changing His plans. The book of Jonah has a perfect example of this. But if the Rapture does happen shortly, this is your last chance - to prepare your heart and to reach out to your family and friends.
So in other words: The rapture’s a-comin’. Unless it isn’t. But if it is, you gotta be ready. You know, as ready as you can be for something that may or may not be a-comin’. Did we mention this is your last chance?

And now they seem to have abandoned the whole idea that their much-anticipated rapture will take place yet this calendar year. Which makes me a little sad, in fact. For them. I put no more stock in their prognostications than I do in the statements of those who insist the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world next year. But clearly they do, and it’s kind of sad to watch them squirm and struggle around the fact that they really dont have any idea, and neither does anybody else.

Well, fun’s fun, but I think I’ll stick to my longtime plan, namely, live the life, try to be decent toward people and small animals, and let the universe take care of itself.

So far so good, I might add.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Maybe, but...

I’ll come clean: I have seen neither The Help nor After Armageddon. So perhaps the two are more alike than I suspect. That said, I was somewhat surprised to encounter this earlier today at DeepDiscount.com:


To be fair, it doesn’t tell me that my interest in The Help causes the folds at DeepDiscount.com to think I’d be interested in After Armageddon (”What have past acts of destruction taught us about what will happen to mankind after the apocalypse?” Well, probably that I’d rather not be around to find out)—it merely says “You might also be interested in”, as if they’re just pulling an idea out of the air. Sort of like those odd promos on AMC that are along the lines of “If you’re enjoying Back to the Future, stay tuned for Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” 

Or maybe DeepDiscount.com’s recommendations are based on one of their people saying, “Hey, what do you think we should recommend to this guy?” and someone else saying, “I bet he has pretty eclectic tastes. If he’s interested in The Help, maybe he’d like Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and someone else says, “Nah, The Help is based on a best-selling novel; he’d want something highbrow like After Armageddon,” and someone else says, “After Armageddon is highbrow?” and the other guy says, “It was on The History Channel!” and the other other guy says, “So what?  So is Ax Men,” and the first guy says, “Okay, done, I just recommended After Armageddon. Hey, this lady’s looking at The Singing Nun, what else should we recommend to her?” And so on.

Anyhow, I ordered two DVDs today, and After Armageddon wasn’t one of them.


Friday, December 02, 2011

Helloooo, Senior Discount!

I see it’s been awhile (again) since I’ve attended to these pages. November was pretty intense, although mostly in a good way. And now it’s gone.

The arrival of December means I’m barely three weeks away from the anniversary of my birth, and this year’s anniversary marks the arrival of the long-awaited, Much-Coveted Senior Discount.

I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would be shy or embarrassed or offended by reaching the age of 55, or, as I like to think of it, The Midpoint. Just boxes on the calendar, I always say, and if this box is worth a couple of pennies to me, why, so much the better!

Even as I approach my double nickels, I find hilarious the greeting card we (by which I mean Jackie, on behalf of our office staff) got for my former boss on the occasion of her 55th some years ago. The front of the card is your typical American restaurant breakfast: Eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, pancakes, coffee, juice, etc., all spread out on the table. Inside the card: “Helloooo, Senior Discount!”

I’m not sure our leader was that amused, however. Her comment upon opening the card: “Oh. My.”
 
At the time, I did sort of wonder if the humor of the card would fade as I approached my own double nickels. It hasn’t. Indeed, I searched online for a copy of the card, with no luck. You’ll have to make do with Clint Eastwood.


 
Actually, I have now twice received the Much-Coveted Senior Discount. The first was at a marching-band event this past summer. My wife, being a few months older than me, already enjoys the rights and privileges attendant to the MCSD—but of course the age at which the discount is given differs from one establishment to the next. So, at said marching-band competition, she inquired about the age at which the MCSD was offered, and told it was the magical age 55. She averred that she qualified...and when we reached our seats we realized the girl had given us both the discount. I made no objection: Since my teenage years, people have tended to assume I’m older than I am. (It predates grayness, baldness, and fatness.) It worked to my advantage then (almost never got carded at bars), and it seems to be working to my advantage again.
 
If that occasion was presumptive, the second occasion, last night, was purely generosity. As we were paying for our dinner, I mentioned to the cashier that my wife was entitled to the discount, and that I should return in three weeks when I would qualify, to which she responded, “I’ll just give it to you now.” Early birthday present. Score!!

Mind you, I don’t for a second think the MCSD is anything to which I am entitled, given that “entitlement” has somehow become a dirty word. There’s no particular skill in managing to go 55 years without dying, not when you live in Middle America, at least. A little caution, a little luck, you should be able to muddle along. But I do see the MCSD as something I’ve been helping to subsidize for several decades now, and I have no objection whatsoever to taking a little payback on it now.

But, that said—phooey on those establishments that won’t give the MCSD till age 65. Cheapskates! When I turn 65, I’m going to quit patronizing your joint.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Vote Early and Often!

I’ll bet I’m not the first person to ask this question, if only because I’ve been asking it for nearly four decades now, but here it is: Why must I vote at “my” polling place and only my polling place?

The often-asked question (I live in a state and a city that seem to hold an awful lot of elections, “special” and otherwise) arose again this morning as I dropped my son off at his high school. Having had some difficulty getting him in a fully upright position, I observed, as he exited the car, that it was 8:08. Since my work hours are pretty flexible, it wouldn’t ordinarily matter if I took a few minutes to double back to Longfellow Elementary, “my” polling place, cast a quick vote (secure in the knowledge that there would be no lines of voters to worry about), and be to the office in good form. However, on Tuesdays I like to have proofs on the conference table for the 8:30 worship-planning meeting, and even though the points of the high school-polling place-office triangle are literally only a couple of miles apart, I wasn’t sure I could exercise my franchise and still have the proofs on the table.

(Sure, I could have called work and asked Stella to break into my office and transport the proofs from my desk to the conference table, but I like to save favors like that for real emergencies.)

And then a couple of things occur to me:
    1. My son’s high school is a polling place, and 
    B. My workplace is a polling place
Yes, that’s right: A few minutes ago I walked past several empty voting booths to get to my office, but they were of no use to me. And the age-old question resurfaces: How come?

Certainly in our great technological age there must be some mechanism by which my signing in to vote at my workplace, or my son’s school, or anyplace else would lock me out of voting at any other polls in town, no?

But of course, though the technology surely exists, I overlook the fact that we live in an age in which dark forces conspire to make voting more difficult, not less, and to deprive whole segments of the population (those who traditionally vote for the “wrong” party) of their right to vote at all. And I’ve no reason to believe those forces would not use such technology to shut out those whose votes they cannot claim honestly.

So perhaps it’s best to leave well enough alone.


Thursday, October 06, 2011

It Came from the Mail Servers!

Odd things show up in my inboxes, very odd things. Sure, there’s plenty of spam to go around, and readers of these posts know that I truly enjoy a well-crafted bit of spam (probably because it’s so rare), but a lot of the really weird stuff isn’t spam at all; it’s just...weird. For instance? Well—


I can’t afford to pay $5,000 a week for the rest of my life, so I figured I'd better open it right away. God only knows how Publishers Clearing House would know whether I opened it or not, but I suppose they must have their ways. Better to be safe.



Honestly, I can’t think of anybody who wouldn't want to save DISCOUNT on ITEMNAME. Needless to say I went a little crazy and really stocked up on ITEMNAME. You just never know, and, again, better to be safe.



A range?? How big do they think my house is?




And speaking of houses: I have absolutely no idea what a “worm out” floor is, but it sounds like something I wouldn’t want to have—especially in the bathroom! Honestly, though, you’d think maybe the manufacturer would get the worms out before sending the flooring over, but evidently not.



This is from a survey, not e-mail per se...although the come-on to take the survey came via e-mail:



Isn’t that really just a yes-or-no question?



And finally, where would we be without some good old spam?


Yes, that’s right—really important special correspondence from INTERPOL! Try to contain your jealousy. As you see, I have been given some pretty good news from INTERPOL SPECIAL INVESTIGATION AGENT MR. SCOTT L. EVERSON AND ASSOCIATE. And associate? You’d think Mr. Scott L. Everson, being a Special Investigation Agent and all, would be able to ferret out the name of his associate. But then I really have no idea how INTERPOL does things. Perhaps Mr. Everson has been distracted by “some little investigation” into my case. Certainly he seems too distracted to form cogent sentences. Frankly, I always thought INTERPOL was a classier operation than seems to be the case. Budget cuts, I suppose. Probably why Special Investigation Agent Everson uses a Yahoo e-mail account.

Oddly enough, despite it having been more than a month now since I received his notice, Special Investigation Agent Everson has yet to e-mail or call me, as he said he would. And I figure if Publishers Clearing House knows whether or not I’ve opened their e-mail, INTERPOL should be able to see that I have, right?  It’s possible Special Investigation Agent Everson, or his unknown associate, also know that I obviously did not “keep away this message from any other person around you, because we have decided to conclude this issue with you alone” and are punishing me for it.

Which is a drag. I could really use the $6.4 million that Mr. Everson has mysteriously parked in Malaysia for me. Especially if Publishers Clearing House starts charging me that five grand a week.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Some Quotations, and Some Observations

“Maybe our favourite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.” – John Green

I see that I have neglected this poor little blog for some time, and likewise have neglected the various quotations that I collect from hither and thither across the vast and endless internet. This past summer is but a blur, and autumn is shaping up to be no less busy. Are you ever given to thinking that after such-and-such event or season or box on the calendar things will slow down or get back to some kind of vague, unknowable “normal”? Certainly I am. And I’m almost always wrong. Nothing ever slows down, and I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as “normal.”

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mohandas Gandhi

Both Gandhi and I are wrong. Computers certainly slow down over time. I had that fact driven home again this past week when, after just over a year of struggling with an ungodly slow, ancient Windows POS computer at the office, a shiny new one arrived on my desk this past week. (Actually, it arrived under my desk, but let’s not quibble.) Where computers are concerned, there is not more to life than increasing its speed!

Still Windows, alas, but at least I don’t have to shovel coal into a chute on the side as I did with the former machine. One of those cases when you knew that a situation was bad, but really had no idea how bad it was until you got out of it.

Had a job like that once, but that’s neither here nor there.

“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” – Proverbs 29:7

That one’s been resonating with me a great deal in recent weeks. In modern America, we blame and revile the poor, and insist on making them absolutely destitute before we will bring ourselves to throw them the smallest, most stale scraps. Why? Because we’re a “Christian nation,” of course! Jesus himself gave the parable of the Samaritan who, encountering a man along the road who was beaten and left for dead by robbers, wrinkled his nose in disgust and hied on along the road, muttering to himself that it was the man’s own fault for being on that road in the first place, that the noblest act of civilized society is to allow people to fail, and that it’s morally wrong to help anybody except through “the church.”

At least, I gather that’s the parable, given how quickly and gleefully the “Christian” right pull the rug out from the less fortunate. Query: What would Jesus do?

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” – Chinese Proverb

Indeed. We continue to call them “conservatives,” as they themselves do. In fact they are not. If any genuine conservatives still exist, they are small in number and quite quiet. Those who are called such today might more accurately be described as “regressives,” since they obviously wish not to conserve anything but rather to dismantle everything and regress to their Hobbesian, Randian, dog-eat-dog ideal.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

We live in a time of universal deceit. The constant repetition of lies, courtesy of Fox, Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter, and the rest of the regressives’ propaganda machine, becomes “truth” to those who lack the moral or intellectual fiber to question what they are show and told, to peer through the opium smoke, to think and see for themselves.

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy

Here are more. Some are heavy, some are frothy. There’s more where that came from.

“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.” – Eric Hoffer

“The greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth- persistent and persuasive.” – John F. Kennedy

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” – Ray Bradbury

“Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” – Mark Twain

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour (1908 – 1988)

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; Give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish.” – Anonymous

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein

“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” – William James

“Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.” – Melinda Haynes

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” – Charles Bukowski

“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” – Arthur C. Clarke

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mohandas Gandhi

Monday, September 05, 2011

Important message from Interpol!

Wow! This message “From Special Investigation Agent, United Kingdom !!” sure is exciting. Somehow, though, I always thought Interpol agents would be a little more, I dunno...literate or something. But whatever. Seems I’m about to come into six and a half million dollars, which puts me half a million dollars ahead of Col. Steve Austin, so there!



All I can say is, it’s a good thing I routinely check my spam folder, or I might have missed out on this entirely! Whew!

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Did I say 'no one'? I meant 'hardly anyone'."

Every day the junk mail folder in my office e-mail receives a new “Rapture and End Times” message from someone with the catchy e-mail address kingdomofheavenin2011@gmail.com.

Curiously, the one message that I’ve glanced at begins by quoting Matthew 24:36 (“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”)...and then proceeds to negate that quotation by explaining how the owner of that catchy e-mail address—evidently being smarter than Jesus himself, not to mention all the angels—has figured out when heaven and earth shall pass away. (Hint: It will be before “kingdomofheavenin2011” has to be replaced by an address that doesn’t rhyme.)

Guess Jesus was just kidding with all that “No one knows about that day or hour” stuff.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Invaluable E-mail!

A local camera shop e-mailed me info about its upcoming “Tent Sale & Cash For Cameras Event!” Having a couple of older cameras—two of them film cameras!—collecting dust around the house, I read on:

    KEH will be on site to evaluate and purchase working, used camera equipment for CASH!*

Ah, but of course: an asterisk, universal shorthand for “Not really.” Ordinarily one expects to see an asterisk after the word free, where its function is to transform the meaning of the word to “not free,” so naturally I wandered down to the excruciatingly fine print at the bottom of the message:

    *Cash for cameras items subject to appraisal and may not be purchased if deemed invaluable.

I confess to a momentary confusion there. Invaluable, after all, means valuable—in fact, it means really, really valuable. If my camera were “deemed invaluable,” why would the Tent Sale & Cash For Cameras Event! people not want to purchase it? You’d think they’d want to snap it right up!

The solution to this mystery might lie in this definition of invaluable that I found at merriam-webster.com:

    in·valu·able adj valuable beyond estimation : PRICELESS [providing invaluable assistance]

An invaluable camera? Or a valueless one?
Well, there you have it! If my 30-year-old completely manual Canon TX should prove to be “deemed invaluable,” of course the Tent Sale & Cash For Cameras Event! people would have to decline to purchase it, since there is no way to estimate a fair price on something whose value is beyond estimation. It’s all so logical. Truly an invaluable piece of e-mail! Asterisk.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Who's on First?

Just finished watching a nice video of Adam West talking about, of course, Batman. Having been a kid during the 1960s Batmania, I have a fondness for West as Batman, even if I find the old shows difficult to watch today. But as a comic-book geek of some duration, and perhaps something of a purist, I always cringe when I see West referred to as "the original Batman," because he was in fact the third actor to portray Batman on film.



Here's a photo of the first Batman, Lewis Wilson, in the 1943 serial Batman:




And here's a photo of the second Batman, Robert Lowery, in the sequel serial Batman and Robin, 1949:




And of course here's Adam West in the mid-1960s:


The Batman serials are, by today's standards, pretty slow-paced; and given that they were released on a weekly basis, awfully repetitious to watch back-to-back. (Sort of like reading collections of daily newspaper comic strips with continuing story lines.) But they're worth watching, and readily available on DVD.

Oh, and for the record, here's the first filmic James Bond, Barry Nelson, in a 1954 TV adaptation of Casino Royale. However, purist though I may be, I am prepared to make allowances for the fact that Nelson's version of Bond was Americanized, and referred to as "Jimmy Bond." Thus I object only slightly if at all to Sean Connery's being called the first James Bond.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Major Bother

Here is a screen grab of the sign-in page for Mail.com from a little while ago:



As you can see, Mail.com follows the lead of many other free e-mail services by dangling before me various “news” items that they for some reason think I will want to read on my way to getting my mail. They are almost always wrong. But this particular item caught my eye for one simple reason: The headline is about Charlie Sheen. But the photo, from the movie Major League, features Corbin Bernsen and Tom Berenger.

And, I’m thinking, maybe the top of Sheen’s head there at the bottom of the frame.

That struck me as a little odd, but having never seen Major League, I thought perhaps it’s not easy to find a photo of Sheen from that movie.

So I did a Google image search for Major League +Charlie Sheen. And got this (.21 second later, if you must know):



Conclusion: Laziness at Mail.com. My guess is that photos are automatically cropped to fit the display window, and no one could be bothered to manually crop the photo so that the subject of the story would in fact be shown in the photo.

Meanwhile, what exactly is there in a story about Charlie Sheen taking drugs while making a movie more than a decade ago that qualifies it as “breaking news”?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Things that Give Sober Men Pause

E-mail and the interweb are big sources of entertainment...and I’m not talking about cat videos, entertaining as those are. No, I mean the regular stuff that lands in my inbox or otherwise drifts across my monitor. Like what, you ask? Why, I just happen to have some examples!

First, another item for our Did Nobody Read This Before it Got Sent Out? category (previous entries may be found here, here, and here:


As you will not, even though the authors of this survey did not, all of their age categories overlap. It so happens that I am 54: do I chose 45-54. which includes my age, or 54-60, which...um, includes my age? Even though I am a few days past the halfway mark to my next birthday, I decided to chose 45-54, as you see. But had someone taken two seconds to think about it, he or she would have edited out the overlaps.

Now here’s this handy “Helps and Hints” box from a student aid form that we filled out last weekend:





Ah, I see: When it asks for “student’s first name,” we must “enter the student’s first name.” My, that is helpful to know! But “Helps and Hints” doesn’t tell us what to do if we happened to have given our child a name that doesnt “contain only letters (A-Z), numbers (0-9), periods (.), or blanks (spaces)”—you know, if we named our kids J@net or £loyd or something. Apparently “Helps and Hints” only take you so far.


The strangeness of Twitter—and the whole social networking arena—is practically without limit, but this notice that landed in my inbox a day or two ago is the most intriguing one I’ve seen in quite some time. And by “intriguing,” I of course mean “strange”:


So this very attractive young woman (if in fact it is a woman, or young. The person in the picture is both of those things, but you’ll have to take my word for it, and one has no way of knowing whether various profile photos are legit or scanned from a magazine) wants to meet “anyone in the Baltimore area,” even though she seems to live in Indianapolis. Huh. Well, she does say she’s new to “the area,” so maybe she just landed in Baltimore and hasn’t yet changed her profile to reflect that. Okay. But here’s the next puzzler: As of the day this arrived in my mailbox, she had posted a grand total of two, count ’em, two tweets...and yet she somehow has 107 followers! I get that there’s a whole contingent of Twitterers for whom the object of the game is to amass as many followers as possible, no matter what (quantity trumps quality, evidently), and that supposedly there is a bizarre etiquette (to which I do not subscribe: see here) that says if someone follows you you are honor bound to follow back. But why would I be the least bit interested in following someone who doesn’t seem to tweet anything? I don’t get it at all.

But I bet by now she has twice as many followers.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Seeking Advice from the Vast Interweb

All right, let’s see how good this whole social networking thing really is:

For the first time ever, I am going to put forward an actual, honest-to-goodness request for advice, and see where it gets me. If anywhere. I plan to publish this request via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and will let you know what happens.

I’m looking for direction regarding a DVR.

Background: A few years ago, for very little money, I purchased from Geeks.com a Lite-On DVR, not unlike that which is pictured here. It has a TV tuner (not a very good one, but it does have it) but no hard drive. It records directly to disc—DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD-R, and DVD+R, and maybe other formats I’ve forgotten and never used. Or at least it used to: About three weeks ago it suddenly lost its ability to recognize anything except a pre-recorded commercial DVD, which it plays like a charm. But it will not recognize the presence of any other disc, whether recorded or blank. One hears the mechanism working away for several minutes, after which it just gives up and pretends it doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

So I wish to replace it, and with something better. Which is where you come in, perhaps.

I don’t think I’m interested in TiVo: I’m not wild about the idea of adding another monthly fee into the mix. (Someone told me that there’s a no-service TiVo option, but if so I can’t find anything about it on their website.)

Here is what I want:

    • A set-top DVR;
    • with a built-in TV tuner;
    • and a hard drive;
    and the ability to burn to disc.

Naturally, if the purchase price doesn’t require me to take out a second mortgage, that would be okay too.

Some models I’ve seen online also include a VCR and the option to record either from disc to tape or tape to disc. That would be nice, but it’s not an essential feature.

So there. If you have a model you’d like to recommend, or warn me against, have at it. You can use the “comment” link here, e-mail me, or contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, as applicable. I appreciate your time and expertise.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pictures of Fathers for Father's Day

(I still think it should be Fathers’ Day, but clearly I once again am swimming against the tide.)

Here’s a little something I cobbled together this morning: On the left we have a photo of my dad and his dad, Paul B. Reynolds, taken around 1967 at my grandfather’s house in Omaha. At top right, a photo of my mother’s dad, Carmine C. Caliendo, taken at his house in Omaha in, I would guess, the early 1960s. And at lower right, a photo of my dad’s grandfather, Samuel S. Reynolds, from a studio portrait made of his entire family in the early 1920s (judging from how young my grandfather looks in the same photo).



Somewhere in the mountains of photos I’ve lugged home from my parents’ house (and which, as Bob is my witless, I am going to get scanned and organized, somehow) I must have a photo of my dad’s other grandfather, William F. McGrail, and from my childhood I seem to recall a photo of my mom’s grandfather, Martino Caliendo, floating around, though I haven’t found it recently.

Anyhow, thanks, dads!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Familiar Conundrum

Familiar to me, at least. Maybe you’re more fortunate.

Here’s the set-up: Someone you know, and like, and perhaps are related to (maybe by marriage, maybe by blood) helpfully forwards to you yet another idiotic, had-you-taken-two-seconds-to-think-before-you-hit-send-you’d-have-realized-this-is-bullshit piece of...e-mail. And you are torn between setting the record straight and preserving the friendship.

Add into the mix that the e-mail in question is an ancient bit of balderdash that is endlessly recirculated as a slander against the current President of the United States, to wit, a baseless claim that “Obama made a policy that NO U.S. SERVICEMAN CAN SPEAK AT ANY FAITH-BASED PUBLIC EVENTS ANYMORE,” supposedly originating with one “Retired Vice Admiral Bob Scarborough, of Arlington , Va” (all punctuation oddities sic).

It is, of course, malarkey. As indicated above, anyone with a nickel’s worth of skepticism would catch the fragrance of horse crap, and either delete the thing immediately or take two and a half minutes to check it out. Snopes.com points out that the incident alluded to in the slanderous e-mail, in which an Army Green Beret was scheduled and then un-scheduled to speak at a Catch-A-Dream Foundation event, was in fact the result of an existing Department of Defense policy and “was NOT a function of any influence or directive from the President, nor was it a change in policy,” according to a statement from the Catch-a-Dream executive director, who added, “It is my understanding that the decision was based upon strict interpretation of an existing policy regarding involvement of military personnel in ‘fund-raising‘ activities.”

You can read the whole deal here. The message that was forwarded to me seems identical to the one quoted by snopes.com. Except mine came with a racist subject line—“FW: thats our boy”—so we should be under no illusions about the leanings of the message’s originator.

In most circumstances, I would be inclined to do one of two things, depending on the particulars of the case. I might send off a gently, even humorously corrective message. Or I might send off a more strongly worded corrective measure. The former is something I employ when someone sends something stupid but harmless, like hotel key cards contain your credit card account information and other vital statistics, or Al Gore is going to start charging you for every e-mail you send. (I’ve previously written about the nice old lady who was accustomed to sending such balderdash to a whole long list of recipients, including my previous workplace address. I would gently set her straight. She would send more balderdash. Repeat. Eventually she quit sending them, but I suspect that all she did was remove me from her list.)

The latter approach, which usually involved the phrase “anyone with half a brain” at some point, is what I use when there’s an actual slanderous lie in play, as is the case with the current e-mail.

But the problem is, the forwarder of the message, as indicated, is someone I like, and I’m having trouble coming up with a way to correct his stupidity without making him feel, you know, stupid, which, I find, is the sort of thing that strains friendships.

I suppose I could send an e-mail burst to everyone who received the message, which would include my friend as well as the jerk who first passed it along (from a business address, which, along with the inability to correctly render the contraction of “that is,” and the inability to put recipients’ addresses in the BCC field, shows us exactly how sharp a cookie we’re dealing with here). But it’s a tough call.

And in the end I am plagued also with the knowledge that people who share such slanders aren’t interested in the truth anyway. We see it all the time. Hell, a bunch of them are running after the GOP presidential nomination even as we speak, and a bunch more are cheering them on.

Meantime, I can’t pretend that I don’t feel less fond of my friend now. I’ve always known he tilts toward the right, but I always thought he was more fair-minded than appears to be the case. I’ll try to convince myself that he’s merely gullible and not the least bit mean-spirited, racist, or sladerous.

Yeah, that should work.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Fistful of Quotations

Blimey, it’s been awhile since I last posted some of the quotations I’m forever collecting here and there on the interwebs. Must make up for lost time!

    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” —Mark Twain
     
     
    “A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.” —Theodore Roosevelt

    “A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

    “Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.” —Jules Renard, author (1864-1910)

    “Perhaps contradictions are not impediments to the spiritual life but an integral part of it.” —Parker J. Palmer

    “Whenever there is some silence around you — listen to it.” —Eckhart Tolle

    “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” —Melody Beattie

    “Today we may not fully appreciate the workplace as a laboratory where matters of soul are worked out.” —Thomas Moore

    “Belief is more complicated than either the believers or the disbelievers among us are usually willing to admit.” —Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

    “Many are the connections, it seems to me, between learning and healing.” —Laurent A. Daloz

    “Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.” —Thomas Szasz, author, professor of psychiatry (b. 1920)

    “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.” —George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

    “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” —Confucius

    “Hope is the dream of a waking man.” —Aristotle

    “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.” —Victor Hugo


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Good to Have Choices. I Guess.

A couple of things that came on my radar screen of late, and which for one reason or other amused.

First up, this from Outback Steakhouse, asking me to select my “favorite Outback location.” This will be easy:


On the other hand, sometimes you can have too many choices. Or a couple of choices that leave you scratching your head a bit:


“Best describes.” Also, “Select one answer.” I don’t know why, but something about that just seems wrong.

I get that the Outback “choice” is the result of one-size-fits all programming. But the gender question--which comes from one of the online surveys that I take fewer and fewer of all the time, and this is one of the reasons—is just the result of not taking the time to have someone else read it over and say, “You know, this sounds kind of weird.”

Which is why it’s pleasant, in my current gig, to have a boss who understand the importance of good writing and who is a pretty decent editor himself, as well as a volunteer who comes in every week to proofread for me before I send publications to press—and who also knows what she's doing, having worked as a proofreader before her retirement.

Even so, the bugaboos will slip through. Sometimes, I’m the only one who notices them. I hate those the most.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Blind Octopus

Seems like only yesterday I was reporting on being pestered by creditors who obviously have lost track of one of their debtors—specifically, a Wendy J. Reynolds, who, as I have to keep telling people
    a. Does not live at this address
    b. Never has lived at this address¹
    c. Is in no way related to or known by me
    d. So quit calling me and sending me mail in regard to this person

In fact, I see that it’s been nearly three months (“Guesswork,” posted March 12, 2011), which I suppose is about all I can expect in that various collection agencies are flailing about like blind octopi trying to find their deadbeat. As indicated in “Guesswork,” I assume they decided to start picking on me because I have the same initials as their debtor, which, after all, is pretty conclusive.

Today’s mail brought the latest blind-octopus attempt, this time from an outfit calling itself Asset Acceptance, LLC, of Warren, Michigan. (A company that a lot of people seem to be unhappy with, as a quick Google search reveals, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

The infamous Wendy seems to owe Xcel Energy around $300. (In fact, the letter refers to “Xcel Energy dba Northern States Power Company Minnesota,” which intrigues me, for the very simple reason that I don’t live in Minnesota. Is it possible that these creditors and their minions not only have lost Wendy but are in fact looking for her in the wrong state? Well, sure it is. Given the obvious fact that these collections outfits are plainly guessing their way along, and sharing erroneous information about their debtors’ whereabouts as they do so, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to discover that the elusive Wendy not only has never lived at my address but has never even lived in my Area Code.) Actually, Asset Acceptance, LLC, is making Wendy a pretty sweet offer, willing to settle for half what they say she owes, less one cent.

Makes me feel kind of like a chump for paying my bills in full all the time.

Anyhow, the letter included a toll-free number and the extension’0’of a “Christi Wright, Debt Collector” (points for honesty: a couple of years ago I received a letter for Wendy from an outfit that claimed to be able to put her in touch with money that she was owed, which I thought was a halfway clever approach), so I dialed.

First thing: The welcoming recording tells me that if I know my party’s four-digit extension, I should enter that now followed by the pound key. Although I am virtually certain that 0 is only one digit, I enter it anyway, and the pound key. And am told by the recording that if I know my party’s four-digit extension number, I should enter that now followed by the pound key.

Yeah. Good. I’ll just wait.

By and by a nice bloke comes on the line and asks how he can help me. And I tell him I’ve received this letter (latest in the series. Collect them all) for a Wendy J. Reynolds, who
    a. Does not live at this address
    b. Never has lived at this address
    c. Is in no way related to or known by me
    d. So quit sending me mail in regard to this person

And he says, “Let me look that up,” and then tells me that they sent it to such-and-such address, which I already knew ’cause it’s my address, and kind of the point of the exercise here is to inform them that my address is, you know, wrong, and they should remove it from their database.

Which he promises they will.

And you know what? I believe him. Just as I believed the guy back in March who left a note on my door because he wanted to serve papers on the mysterious Wendy, and just as I believed the woman a couple of years ago who really really wanted to help Wendy retrieve all this money that was owed her.

I believe each of them was sincere in telling me that they’d take my address or phone number off their list. And I believe it won’t do a damn bit of good, because The System now has it in its far-flung listing that Wendy J. Reynolds is associated with my address and phone number, and good luck ever getting that expunged completely. At some future point, some other outfit will go looking for her, and my address will pop up, like the villain at the end of a James Bond movie.

So we’ll see how long before the sequel comes around.

In the meantime, I leave you with this thought: As previously indicated, it’s been plain to me for some time that these creditors and collection agencies, having lost their quarry, are just guessing as to her whereabouts. That might make some sense if, say, she had run up credit-card debt and then skipped town. But you will recall that this latest letter is on behalf of Xcel Energy, which is a provider of electricity. Electricity, in my experience, is something that must be delivered to a particular location. You don’t go to the mall and buy a bunch of electricity and then skip out on the bill.

By necessity, the electric company must know where you live.

And, in this instance, for that woman, it ain’t here.

Which means that these guys are guessing even more blindly than I had previously thought!

_____
¹We bought our current house, some 16 years ago, from friends who had lived here as tenants and eventually owners for nearly 40 years previous to that. So I can state with authority that no Wendy Reynolds has lived here in the past 50-plus years or so, which in my book is as close to “never” as it needs to be.


Monday, June 06, 2011

Unplugged

For reasons as yet still mysterious, my office computer, a clunky Windows POS of indeterminate age, refuses to go online today. (I tend to blame my coworkers who, when I wasn’t here on Friday, decided to move “my” PC to another location. If they’re going to do that, I wish they’d forget to bring it back. But that’s another story for another day.)


As it happens, I am converting the weekend’s DVDs to MP4s, also on another PC (one that handles the chore in a less glacial fashion than the ancient, steam-powered model in my office), and from that PC I was able to make the web updates. But the rest of it simply lies idle for the nonce.


It is astounding how much work a person can’t get done when he can’t go online! I had intended to make some website changes...nope. E-mail? Hah. I can’t even work on publications, since the files are on the network shared drive, and the drive is inaccessible on my PC. Such is the nature of my work that I literally have no other task with which to occupy myself until the tech guy shows up. And so I find myself at the “other” PC, watching Handbrake do its thing in one window and Vimeo Uploader do its thing in the other. Forced idleness is a terrible thing.


Update: Turns out I was right to blame my coworkers.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Best Google Doodles Ever!

Today’s Google Doodles commemorate the birthday of the great Richard Scarry (1919-1994). The kids and I had a lot of fun with his wonderful books back in the day.

Here’s the main Doodle:


And here's a “mini-Doodle” featuring Lowly Worm:



These are certainly The Best Google Doodles Ever!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The News That Fits

Spent a couple of minutes this evening with Paper.li, creating a paper that I have dubbed Eclectica: News That Fits. So far it’s built only on my Twitter account (@wjreynolds); we’ll see what transpires into the future.


The following, I think, is intended to appear among all the clutter at the left of this column. I’m after thinking that more clutter is not what the left side of this page needs, but I was curious to see how it looked, so here it is:


The News That Fits is, of course, a play on The New York Times’s motto, “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” But for me it goes back to my adolescence and a Mad magazine parody (I think. Maybe it was Cracked; maybe National Lampoon—it’s been a few months), with a newspaper proudly displaying the motto “All the News That Fits, We Print.” Under current circumstances it seemed, well, fitting.

Give Eclectica: News That Fits a once-over, if you’re so inclined. Pointers from veteran Paper.li users is always appreciated. As are anonymous cash donations, but I hold out scant hope.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Born to Loose

Just got this great tweet on (well, of course) Twitter:

    Hi there, gain muscle quickly and loose fat easily with these secret techniques: http://tinyurl.com/zzzzzzz

I love messages like this, which is a good thing since I seem to get plenty of them on Twitter these days. Even with no more than 140 characters to deal with, you can still find a lot of fun in them.

For instance, “secret techniques. ” Sad to say, fellow Twitterer, but the mere fact that you are promulgating these techniques across the vast landscape of social media kind of blows the whole “secrecy ” thing. I suggest you go with “these anything-but-secret techniques. ”

And then there’s the fat. While I think it would be a good idea to lose some fat, I can’t get on board with the push to “loose fat easily, ” or any other way, since it seems manifestly unfair for me to “loose” fat on the world. Also, it sounds gross.

Some people, I’ve noticed, play fast and loose with the word lose.

I enjoy Twitter a lot, and it’s fun to get new followers and, sometimes, follow same, but I’ve long since given up on “following back ” everyone who follows me. For one thing, a certain number of them, on close examination, prove to be right-wingnuts, birthers, and racist slanderers of POTUS. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they’d want to read my tweets, and I know for a fact that I have no interest in reading theirs. (Don’t for a second delude yourself into thinking maybe they’re interested in a wide spectrum of political opinions. Their tweets give the lie to that idea.)

There’s another bunch—although their numbers seem to have dropped off, at least in my little corner of the Twitterverse—who have opened an account, are following perhaps 100 or more tweeters, but have yet to tweet or retweet a single item. Obviously everyone has to start from zero, but you would think there’d be some effort to quickly bring that into positive numbers—how else are people to decide whether a given person is worth following?

Lately I’m starting to get followed by a lot of local businesses and services...local, that is, to some other part of the country. I’m not going to follow back a carpet cleaning service in Tuscaloosa or someplace, unless the majority of their tweets are of general interest—and interesting general interest—as opposed to their great Memorial Day specials. I state clearly in my Twitter profile where I live, and it’s nowhere near Tuscaloosa. I get that for some Twitterers the object of the game is to get as many followers as possible, but, really, people, qualify the list a little bit first!

The ones who really fascinate me, though, are the ones who are removed from Twitter before I even have a chance to view their profile upon receiving e-mail telling me they’re following me. I assume they’ve committed some sort of blatant TOS violation, but wow. What on earth did they do to be closed down almost instantly?

Perhaps they loosed fat on an innocent world. Or the Twitter offices.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

How Low Can You Go?

Those who know me know that I am at least a quasi misanthrope at the best of times. But occasions such as that which occurred just this evening serve to solidify my longstanding motto, Populus es haud damno bonus (“People Are No Damn Good”).

My wife and I are just back from our cemetery tour, first watering the planters at my parents’ grave, then heading out of town a ways to the little country-church cemetery where my wife’s grandparents and great aunt repose. At the latter venue we discovered that the planter of flowers that my wife and her mother had put together and placed for Memorial Day is nowhere to be seen.

While we were marveling at this turn of events, a couple who had been driving slowly through the small cemetery stopped and struck up conversation. Seems their family’s grave had been looted as well, with a couple of hanging pots of plants appropriated from shepherd’s hooks.

Charming.

I can easily excuse a starving man who steals a loaf of bread—or money to purchase a loaf of bread. In the grand scheme of things, that’s an awfully petty offense. But to steal plants and flowers from graves? That is a crime of near-complete depravity. Not depraved as in murder or child molestation or other heinous crimes, obviously, but depraved in the sense that it is a completely pointless crime. Nobody needs a planter of flowers. There’s no black market on which to sell them. It’s just stealing for the sake of stealing.

Much of the drive back to town was spent pondering exactly how low a person must be to steal from a grave. I think such an act ranks below even stealing from the church poor-box. It may not be the lowest act of theft, but I’m hard pressed to think of anything worse offhand.

Mostly what I think are the immortal words of Daffy Duck:

 “You’re despicable.”

Paging Mrs. Malaprop!

As is so often the case, the comments on various articles and news items are at least as entertaining as the articles themselves. Here’s a new (to me) malapropism that I came upon in a comments section just this morning:

“Here is the crust of the problem...”

The author has some other problems, too, besides his crust—the apparent lack of a ? key on his keyboard, an inability to unravel the subtle nuances between your and youre, and so on—but none is as unique or interesting as the crust of his problem.

This looks like a job for Malaprop Man!



One wonders if the crux of the problem in such cases might not be hearing related. I read once that Norm Crosby, “King of the Malaprop,” came to his hilarious wordplay by virtue of an undiagnosed hearing problem that caused him, in childhood, to understand words almost correctly—drinking decapitated coffee, requesting a cold one from the beertender, and so on.

Sometimes, I know, it’s just a matter of misunderstanding a given expression or colloquialism. I knew a fellow in college who was wont to “get down to brass tactics”...and in the years since I’ve known probably half a dozen others who have shared his desire.

Not really a malapropism but still funny is the wildly off-base expression employed by a parish priest of my acquaintance several decades ago. Obviously he had come upon the expression “fly in the ointment,” but misunderstood “fly” to be the verb form. Thus it was that his homilies occasionally would refer to this or that action of Jesus that “flew in the ointment” of the religious leaders of the day. Makes me wonder if he knew what “ointment” is.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Washington, Oregon, Whatever

I have no idea what is going on at The Daily Beast these days. Not that I ever did. But in yesterday's "Cheat Sheet," as indicated here, they had the president "chugging" Guinness at an Irish pub, when the referenced article in fact indicates he drank about two thirds of a pint. ("Chugging" implies downing an entire drink at one go). And today, well, today they have this:



Not sure what good it will do Mr. Kucinich that there are openings in Oregon when, it appears, he may be moving to Washington. But, as the saying goes, whatever.

By this evening, I observe, the Cheat Sheet section of the Daily Beast's website has been corrected. That's the beauty of the internet.

Here's another beautiful thing: At the same time that the Daily Beast seems to have forgotten all about accuracy, proofreading, and junk like that, here's their current front page, proving that irony is far from dead.