Monday, July 21, 2003

My Humblest Apologies: I have been scurrying around the country again - down to DC, up to Mackinac - all the while trying to get the final edits done on Business As Usual. The result is no posting here and little work on all my other writing projects, including new content here. I can think of at least three projects for this place that I have partially begun and a couple other that are just ideas. Once I start ‘em I usually finish them, I just don’t know when.

Also, I have to start work on a web site for Business As Usual, plus I have some ideas for a redesign of this site (yes, it's that time again). ACK!

This is me begging for more patience. The best is yet to come.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Just Thought I'd Say Hi: Been a while since my last post and likely to be a week or so until my next. Sorry, busy time. I am working on a couple of things that should see the light of day before too long. In the meantime, the good folks at re-published my essay Aerobics for Regular Guys. The ensuing commentary ranged from interesting to deeply disturbed.

I wish I could tell you Apple Pie was still on sale at Amazon, but I have no idea what is going on with it now. Ah well, soon it will be Business As Usual.
Pillory Hillary: Not surprisingly, P.J. O'Rourke has little good to say about Hillary Clinton's book. But in fact, she's got no one to blame but herself for saying stuff like this:

One snowy night during my freshman year, Margaret Clapp, then President of the college, arrived unexpectedly at my dorm. . . . She came into the dining room and asked for volunteers to help her gently shake the snow off the branches of the surrounding trees so that they wouldn't break under the weight. We walked from tree to tree through knee-high snow under a clear sky filled with stars, led by a strong, intelligent woman alert to the surprises and vulnerabilities of nature. . . . I decided that night that I had found the place where I belonged.

That sort of prose makes Dan Quayle seem sharp and witty. She is blandly free of anything remotely resembling a soul or personality. Check out this quote:

Ireland invigorated and inspired me, and I wished we could bottle up the good feelings and take them back home.

Has the woman never heard of Guinness?
There Goes the Neighborhood: If this guy lived near me I believe I would be within my legal rights to pipe bomb his ride. First Divas, now this. Is it possible to legislate Quiet Time?
Day of Future Past: MIT has reprinted an article from 1950 about what the next 50 years would be like. Fascinating stuff. They got some very right, like this description of what came to be a microwave:

[The] expansion of the frozen-food industry and the changing gastronomic habits of the nation have made it necessary to install in every home the electronic industrial stove which came out of World War II. Jane Dobson has one of these electronic stoves. In eight seconds a half-grilled frozen steak is thawed; in two minutes more it is ready to serve.

And some stuff very wrong:

It is easy enough to spot a budding hurricane in the doldrums off the coast of Africa. Before it has a chance to gather much strength and speed as it travels westward toward Florida, oil is spread over the sea and ignited. There is an updraft. Air from the surrounding region, which includes the developing hurricane, rushes in to fill the void. The rising air condenses so that some of the water in the whirling mass falls as rain.

Only a futurist could imagine a constructive oil spill. Good read. Check it out.
Gunga galunga...gunga, gunga-galunga: This may be the funniest story I've ever read. It seems the Sports Editor of the Roswell Daily Record, in Roswell, NM (yeah that place, the global center of alien abductions) was fired for publishing a story about a local golf tournament wherein he placed a certain quote:

[He] quoted [Carl] Spangler as saying he invented a new kind of grass for the tournament. The quotation in Jones' story is taken directly from "Caddyshack":

"'This is a hybrid ... of bluegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, featherbed bent and northern California sensemilia (sic),' Spangler said. 'The amazing stuff about this, is that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on the stuff.'"

He got fired for that. Memo to the management of the Roswell Daily Record: Please see your doctor about getting irony implants. I suppose if you get probed by aliens often enough, you tend to lose your sense of humor.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

#*$%#)*&#%^!!!!: I was about 600-700 words into my essay on Canyon Ranch and it appears to be gone. Disappeared. Vaporized. Devoured by poisonous flying monkeys. I would like to blame it on my computer (a Dell laptop, which contrary to their reputation, is flaky as all get out), but the fact of the matter is that I probably had a bunch of documents open and accidently clicked the red 'X' on it and even more accidentally clicked 'Don't Save.' Curses! A pox on all technology!

Yet, I shall start again and persevere. Basically, the check is in the mail.
Depends On the Meaning of Ironic: An remarkably witty article on irony in the Guardian Unlimited. I apologize in advance for the lurid language.

But other strands of media use irony to assert their right to have no position whatsoever. So, you take a cover of FHM, with tits on the front - and it's ironic because it appears to be saying "women are objects", yet of course it isn't saying that, because we're in a postfeminist age. But nor is it saying "women aren't objects", because that would be dated, over-sincere, mawkish even. So, it's effectively saying "women are neither objects, nor non-objects - and here are some tits!"

Guffaw. The article is not only remarkable because it's such a clever, fun read, but also because it appears in the Guardian Unlimited, an insufferably snotty paper where humor takes a back seat (way back) to pursed-lipped sanctimony. Ironic, that.
Gotta Click 'Em All: Just a few quickies.