Minor annoyances

After hearing of Punxsutawney all my life, I’m at a point where I find Chamber of Commerce-invented groundhog prognostication about as annoying as astrologist-invented 7% larger than average supermoons (sic, I say…sic), but quite a lot less annoying than the phrase “super blue blood moon”, so obnoxious it might set my hair alight if I thought about it overlong.

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.

Carl Reiner

What a bunch of hooey

Perhaps I ought to be inspired by this article to come up with some daft product that my new company – how about Gullible You, LLC? – could sell, but the thought fills me with a pea-green gaseous mixture of nausea and shame. How do these people do it? Steelier guts than mine.

If you want to save some time, all you really need to know about “raw water” are these words from the article: “Mukhande Singh…(né Christopher Sanborn)”. Uh-huh.

“Nootropics”? Come now. Better hobbies for all, I say.

This bears repeating every now and then

Something I wrote seven years ago:

A friend mentioned during a lengthy conversation that, though he texts a lot and was about to set up a Facebook page for his restaurant ’cause that’s what you’re s’posed to do these days, he didn’t really get the appeal of Facebook. I told him that it exists primarily in order to teach youngsters early to undervalue and give away every last remnant of their privacy so that Facebook and others can make oodles of dough selling as much of their data as they can. He had just been regaling me with tales of how various customers had pissed him off in the restaurant during the day and how disgusted he was with people generally, so I concluded by saying that Facebook and Twitter were a lot like people, only condensed and therefore worse. My, how he laughed.

I still haven’t signed up to any of those things, for the same reasons that I don’t quaff sulfuric acid with my breakfast, jab at my eyes with knitting needles, or taunt rabid raccoons with sticks.

Betty back from surgery

Click for a larger version

A little tube repair, a fresh partial vacuum, a whiff of argon, and she’s good as new.

It’s been about twenty-five years since I found this hand-crafted wooden standup in a little seaside Marilyn Monroe/Betty Boop/Elvis memorabilia shop – at an irresistible post-season 50% discount. I imagine whoever made it back then would be pleased to know she’s alive and kicking.

It’s nice to have her aqua glow back in the kitchen.

Here’s a nifty clip from Betty Boop’s Bamboo Isle (1932):

Her hula was rotoscoped from the dancer in the opening sequence of the same cartoon performed by the Royal Samoans:

The full cartoon can be viewed here.

Thanks to Betty Boop, fried clams

The tube on my Betty Boop standup cracked at the base the other day, so I found a neon shop online that’s closer than the last one I used in Maine and got a reasonable quote for repair. There was no address on the web site, just “North Shore”, but I got directions from the guy and it turns out he’s not even five miles away from J.T. Farnham’s in Essex, and I just found that Farnham’s has extended their season through December this year instead of November. So it’s fried clams for lunch on Sunday and prolly a quart of seafood chowder to bring home. Maybe a lobster roll, too, if I’m feeling a bit peckish. Must remember to bring cash. Can’t wait.

I took this photo in August 2008:

One job – they had one job

Here we see the problem inherent in mail-ordering shirts. The collar labels on these three claim they’re all the same size. The middle one fits well while the other two would have me mimic, respectively, a pup tent and a rather tightly-wrapped mummy.

I have sent words – restrained ones, I thought, considering the alternately grumbling and growling noises I seem to be making.

Excuse me while I fetch my eyebrows.

Heckuva profit margin, bub

I have a slow leak in one tire and, when the pressure monitor warning lit up again on Saturday, I stopped at a place near where I was that I’ve had previous good repair experience with. They found the leak is unfortunately on the shoulder and therefore not repairable, so I asked for a quote on a replacement. They said US$195 for the one, with installation, balancing, disposal, &c. included in that price.

That sounded a bit high to me, and it’s time I got a set of four anyway, so I checked Costco’s site when I got home. Their price for the same is $131 apiece, also including everything, but with their recurring $70 off a set of four Michelins deal that ended yesterday, it came down to $113 each. They’ll be at the warehouse tomorrow. My savings is the equivalent of five years of Costco membership fees.

What could possibly go wrong?

So a simple straight-line driverless shuttle spots ahead an 18-wheeler backing into a loading dock in front of it and stops – a smidge late and directly in the truck’s turning arc. Incapable of, say, tootling its horn melodiously while bellowing “Yo, dummy!” or quickly backing up 48 inches because “that numbnut doesn’t see me”, it sits there, obstacle stop logic performing perfectly, happily getting its bumper smushed. And it’s sponsored by the American Automobile Association.

For some reason, the local news story is not framed in the manner I just used, maybe because everyone wants driverless cars, don’t they, and we’ve all agreed not to be negative about them, haven’t we, and what’s Mr. Just-Ate-a-Lemon’s problem over there, anyway?

In related news, $300m of driverless and aptly-named imagocurrency Ether was accidentally stolen and then promptly digitally burned to a whisp as the inadvertent thief tried to return it. No smoke, no muss, no cleanup. Not even a sound effect, I’ll wager.