July Boing the boing

My Friend Kerry: Sometimes when I go to a different Starbucks they ask for a name to write on the cup. Sometimes I just give them my last name. They usually spell that right. Never know how they’ll spell my first name!

Me: I have an entire Seinfeld-ian premise based on this. I mean try ordering coffee with a name like “Aaron.” The soft vowel at the start, the soft consonant at the end. The myriad of names you could mistake it for. Eric. Derek. Erin. Darin. My Aaron always gives the name “Eddie” when he orders sandwiches in a deli. But his friends always goof it up by calling him Aaron. So he starts insisting that his friends call him Eddie when they’re in the deli. This problem compounds when his friends start calling him Eddie outside of the deli. This pisses him off to no end, so his friends start upping the ante by calling him “Deli Eddie.”

Unbeknownst to any of them, there is a local crime family called the “Deliedies.” One day, one of their mobster rivals overhears them calling him “Deli Eddie.”

Hilarity ensues.


And now, some Poops from the CS188 Archive:


Look! James Brown! AND PUPPEHS!

Genius.


parng baner
“Now, I hope I don’t have to explain to you people that, in this particular scenario, I’m Little Bunny Foo Foo. See, and Obama, see, he’s the field mice. Get it? See, I’m whapping him on the head.

“Well now, I haven’t really thought that far ahead. You say the Good Fairy turns the rabbit into a what?

“What the hell is a Goon?”


That’s right, everybody. Today is the day the House of Representatives voted to sue President Obama.

This is going to be fun.

Homer Eating Popcorn


Wasn’t nostalgia neat?

Ten years ago today, you and I met a man named Barack Obama.

The speech is still as stirring as it was in 2004, when I recall personally being glued to the television, watching this young man energize this crowd so effectively, and immediately registering a profound hope for the Democratic Party. We were at the time in the midst of running a lackluster ticket, and we didn’t even have an inkling then of what a disgusting human being John Edwards would turn out to be. We still didn’t think it would go as it did, as it was easy to perceive that George W. Bush was a dismal failure as the Premier Executive of this fine land and that we could pummel him with Fred the Elephant Boy on the ticket.

The speech also highlights what makes many Obama supporters bristle about him today. This has been a President who has often above all else tried to achieve unity, a tendency that has often cost us. But when you see him express his vision at this nascent age, and when you contemplate how he has led as President, it’s difficult to deny the man’s integrity.

Barack Obama is still the real deal, kids.


There was a “Photoshop Wil Wheaton” challenge on the Twitter today. My entry:

@wilw just doesn’t get it. #photoshopwilwheaton

I know. Sloppy. I used Sumo Paint and really laid it on thick with the blur tool. Oh, well.

P.S. There’s a Tumblr!

Upstate

Why do we sit through a polar vortex through the winter? Why brave subzero temperatures, frozen faces, wet feet and shivers, and a wintry grasp that seems never ending?

This:

landscape at the farm

If you look closely, you can see a small farm creature named Anna B. Cat making her way across the pasture.

I did warn you I’d be playing with the panoramic camera setting.


Yes, sir!

“Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments. But executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf.” (U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski)


The Cheese Table and Other Adventures

This was a banner day.

The mobile phone I previously used, an LG Marquee, was originally purchased as a point-of-entry phone to a new mobile service. I did not want to buy a higher-end phone at the time until I had faith in the carrier, Ting, a Sprint MVNO that has rates a human being can actually understand. The coverage is generally good, although it can get touchy when I’m out at Gonfalon. But that is the case with many carriers; some sort of hole or triangle seems to have converged on that spot that zaps mobile phone signals.

Anyway, the Marquee has gotten mighty sluggish of late, and I decided it was time to upgrade. Today I took delivery of an iPhone 5 (one new development with Ting for the last year or so was its ability to carry certain models of iPhone). I had forgotten what a difference it can make to have a good phone. I’m sure I’ll be bugging people with panoramic photographs soon enough (can’t wait to shoot one out at the farm).

Dad also helped me deliver two key pieces of furniture today; my office chair and this short table that Hic found for five bucks and that my Dad stabilized mightily with extra nuts and bolts. I have needed a piece in my studio apartment to give me just a little bit more counter space. This is that piece. It’s perfect.

cheese table

I will most often use the thing for preparing the cheese and Triscuits snack that so often fortifies me. So it’s a “cheese table” to me. What it means though is extra counter space, an extra drawer, another shelf, and all that at a size that isn’t too obnoxious.

We ended the day with blackened catfish, sweet corn from a farmer’s stand that may be the best corn I’ve ever eaten, and broccolies right from the back yard. A bannner day, indeed. Did I mention how beautiful the weather was today?

Bring Back the Gibbet!

Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein

So…if state-sanctioned punitive killing doesn’t bother you all by its lonesome…

…or if it doesn’t bother you that a convicted double murderer was reported to have gasped for air 660 times over the course of 90 minutes while his botched execution commenced…he was a killer anyways, let him suffer like his victims, that sort of thing? Okay.

How about that states are now using inmates as test subjects to help formulate better ways to put citizens to death?

How much creepier does it have to get?


This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message, I’ll get back to you.

“For the same price I can get an actor with two eyes.” (Studio Boss Harry Cohn, upon rejecting Peter Falk’s screen test for columbia Pictures. One of the wrongest guys ever.)

For a guy who gets mighty nostalgic about ’70s television, whose Tivo more often than not tops out with content from MeTV, it’s been quite a week. First, James Garner, primarily known as private eye Jim Rockford, dies. Second, filed under “Hollywood is out of ideas,” talk of a Columbo re-tread surfaces.

Of course, when a guy as iconic as Garner discorporates, it makes a guy like me go look him up. Here are a few things I found in his Wiki you might not expect:

  • He was a veteran, having served 14 months in Korea with the 5th Regimental Combat Team in the Korean War.
  • He was a Sooners fan. Garner was a native of Oklahoma and frequently attended football games at OU. He never graduated high school but received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at OU in 1995.
  • He marched on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. “In his autobiography, Garner recalled sitting in third row listening to King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”
  • He was a lifelong Democrat. “For his role in the 1985 CBS miniseries Space, the character’s party affiliation was changed from Republican as in the book to reflect Garner’s personal views. Garner said, ‘My wife would leave me if I played a Republican.'”
  • Garner died one month prior to his 58th wedding anniversary. The story goes that he met her at an Adlai Stevenson political rally in 1956 and they married two weeks later.

Seems to me the guy was every bit as likeable as he seemed on the TV machine.


Aaron has mixed feelings about the idea of a Columbo remake with Mark Ruffalo in the title role. I got a better idea: Let’s do Baretta first.

Now. Let’s get to one more little thing you may or may not have known: One of Steven Spielberg’s first jobs? Directing the first episode of “Columbo.”


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA


Creationist Ken Ham calls to end space program because aliens are going to hell anyway


Nice Job

To the young mother I saw allowing her young towhead son to drag her around the grocery while he sang a made-up nonsensical song and seemed to be the happiest person on Earth at that moment, to you, for allowing him to pull you and for singing along right with him, I say: You’re doing it right.

Rewriting History

I have lately been embarking on a new project here at the 8WK.

Doing a bit of editing.

You might think, how can you edit a blog that’s been around since March 2001? It’s ridiculous, you’re being ridiculous, now on your bike, good chap.

Well, I can. It’s a living document, that’s what makes it so vital. I can fix or delete broken links. I can overhaul categories to make things easier to find. I can try to fix or replace pictures. I can edit to enforce a more cohesive editorial style. I can even add entries retroactively.

For instance, I created this nice Thanksgiving entry from 2011 by rummaging through my Twitter archive.

There are some handy add-on tools to help with such a process, including:

  • Broken Link Checker
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
  • Multi-column Tag Map
  • Static Random Posts Widget
  • WordPress Editorial Calendar
  • WP HTML Sitemap

It just seems like something I’ve put so much into all these years ought to be more complete. And, it gives me a nice organizational construct with which to retrace my steps a little.

Not to mention, I’m finding lots of KITEEH PICTOORS.

Ah! Leah!

I think I was 14 the summer I was Heather’s boyfriend for like a day.

13? I don’t know. It was just at that age at which I was surging with that wicked new chemistry, when nothing occupied my every waking thought, action, statement, or deed except for wanting to be with a person of the opposite sex. I am amazed that any other information of any kind ever made it into my brain at that time. Such miraculous computers we carry around on our shoulders.

Heather had her look together. Her most astonishing feature was her piercing blue eyes, which she had already learned to accentuate nicely. She had kind of a schnoz, but I was into that. Her hair was bleached and blown out, she was tanned, and she wore this fur stole and somehow pulled it off even in a little lake resort town in the middle of summer. She looked like she’d feel soft, and she wore lip gloss really well.

I remember seeing a movie with a group back when the Mall had a theater, and I remember that she had to tell me to put my arm around her.

(To paraphrase, right then and there, I should have known I was through.)

A few days later or at least what seems like it in my memory, she was hanging with another kid, a dude who was taller, cooler, better lookin’ than I. I remember one awkward afternoon hanging out at the picnic tables by the Lake, her friend Leah and I making awkward conversation, and Heather and her new friend canoodling. I was raging.

Leah wasn’t Heather. Her hair was brown and curly and she wore glasses. She dressed in black mostly. She had acne. I knew she liked me. But I wasn’t remotely interested in her, and I was pretty busy being angry and hurt about the situation going on in front of my eyes, too much so to exercise the opportunity to get to know Leah.

But Leah liked Prince.

She was a real fan, too. Like, she was an early adopter. I don’t even know if 1999 was out at the time. Certainly “When Doves Cry” was way in the back of the way way back of The Vault. Leah was talking about what a great album Dirty Mind was, and I had no freakin’ clue what she was talking about.

Now, it’s 30 years since “Purple Rain,” and that post is making the rounds on Facebook. I haven’t thought of Leah in a long time, but today, when I saw the Facebook post about that milestone making the rounds, the synapses just connected. And my brain scolded me fiercely.

You really should have gotten to know Leah, dude.

Heather was such a pill.


While I’m on rememborating things (hey. look at that. I just invented a word.), today is likely the anniversary of the time I got to shake Arlo Guthrie’s hand. And Studs Terkel’s. And Pete Seeger’s. And Josh White Jr.’s. Not much of a story to it, really; Dear Old Dad had me for the summer and we went to a free concert in D.C. to remember the birthday of one Woody Guthrie. At the break I used the fact that I was a kid to sneak back and meet me some celebrities (the backstage was not walled off, exactly).

I asked Arlo to play “City of New Orleans” (my knowledge of him and/or Woody was pretty much relegated to Arlo’s Hobo’s Lullaby album at the time), but he said the show was for his Dad’s music. I did get an autograph from Studs, including the famous “take it easy, but take it.”

I had no idea what that meant.

Anyway. I think Woody Guthrie’s birthday is worth rememborating every year. The man did, after all, write the song that really should be the national anthem, after all.

Kidding.


In Other News

“This is how you play tennis without the net.”