Notes and Nonsense

– This is why I should never be put on a jury. I’d hand the keys of the company and just about every asset of every employee involved over to this couple out of rage and fury, and that’s not actual justice. But they sure as hell deserve something. – ‘It has to be known what was done to us’: Natick couple harassed by eBay tell their story for the first time – The Boston Globe

– I rarely read City Journal and kick myself for my failure to keep up with them every time I do. From Lee Siegel, a long article but worth the time: “He writes that amour propre represents “a demand on others that they think better of us than they think of themselves.” That seems, in the current moment, just about right.” – Year Zero | City Journal (

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You Can’t Make This Up

Laurel Hubbard, weightlifter from New Zealand who, after living most of his life as a man decided to live the rest – so far – of his now her life as a woman, has been eliminated in women’s Olympic competition. This will be a full on “See!” fest of fingers pointed Hubbard’s way as proof that women’s sports are in no danger from nee male competition with no mention of the fact that Hubbard is forty-three years old and his competition is averaging around twenty-five.

We’re going to get the Battle of the sexes where a thirty year old woman proved equality by beating a fifty-five year old man in tennis in redux, but with conflicted reporters trying to recast it as Battle of the Sex because there is no such thing as biological reality in our brave new present.

That Hubbard made a team at forty-three should be proof of physical inequity but that is not why I bring this up. I bring it up because Hubbard failed to progress in the competition because, per The Daily Mail using the parlance of the sport: “The 43-year-old, who transitioned in 2012, was competing in the 87kg+ category but failed to record a single valid ‘snatch’ lift in Tokyo.”

Please try the veal.

Stupid Things

In case the “pin” vs. “pen” thing was too easy for you, now we have this:

Also, and this is something that came up on a lazy Sunday afternoon as I try to reacclimate to non-beach life even though the beer with breakfast model was working quite well, why do I fold my underwear? Wrinkled boxers are the last thing I need to be worrying about.

Dispatches From The Beach: Vol Un (The Public Beach Uprising Edition)

This has been among our best beach trips despite. The despite list gets pretty long.

We booked a house in a gated community with some of our family on the beach and others no more than two blocks away. There are ten of us in the two blocks away contingent. My wife and two kids, a sister in-law and brother in-law and their two, my mother in-law, and my brother in-law’s twin.

The house slept twelve. It had a rooftop pool and a basement with a wet bar and three huge flat screens across a wall opposite a huge leather couch. We were destined for elation. Then we got the first call.

There were terrible issues with the house that required workmen and the delays inherent in employing workmen and they would not be able to honor our rental agreement. I didn’t believe it. I assumed they got a better offer from some other punters. I was wrong.

They put us in a second rental. Again, sleeps twelve. Then we were told that someone bought the house from the people we signed a lease with and that the new owners didn’t want to honor the rental agreement. I didn’t field that phone call and I’m glad I didn’t. The person who did is an attorney and devilishly clever so I’m sure my tact was already out the window, but I’d have said no. We have a lien by way of a lease and you bought the house – with all attached liens. I’d try to see what they were willing to do to get out of it. The rental was roughly eight thousand. I’d let them buy us out. I bet we could get four thousand. That said, I never saw the contract and the attorney that did and handled the call is devilishly clever.

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The Consequences of Law and Order

Amanda Palmer is a twit. I met her after her Birmingham show and she seemed nice. She married a writer I’m quite fond of and otherwise has behaved as well as you’d expect despite some crappy political assumptions. Then she wrote this “poem.” The scare quotes are there because I want you, gentle reader, to understand that I don’t consider liberal use of the Enter button to constitute poetry.

At least one writer has called it the worst poem of all time. Well…

This is secondary. I mean secondary to Palmer as an intro to what I was actually thinking but first I want to point out, and that is neither first nor secondary as that honor has already been doled out so we’ll go with tertiary. Tertiarilly I want to point to a line from her Boston bomber elegy:

“you don’t know how to dance but you give it a shot anyway.”

That is dancing, right? That’s the fun of it.

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I’m Definitely Not Being Watched

Remember when we were younger? There was a spring in our step, a twinkle in our eyes, a dream in our heart, and a suspicion that the Patriot Act was overstepping by checking on our library records to get at our reading habits. Those were the halcyon days.

Of course, now we accept such intrusions with all the grace and spine of calamari. It’s a sign of poor taste to object to being investigated. I mean, if you’re innocent why not welcome the chance to prove so? Never mind the expense of a legal defense. The process is definitely not the punishment (See Flynn, Michael) and objecting to the process makes you look a teensie bit… well, guilty.

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Doctor Who and Why You Wont Get Your Roommate to Watch It

I’m watching Doctor Who with my son. I’m caught up through half of the Capaldi episodes. He started from zero. We’re late into the Matt Smith shows and while I like Tennant best, the writing for Smith is just incredible.

Yes he got a Gaiman episode and that’s bound to skew things, but the planning and the long game relating to the Ponds is breathtaking.

My plan here is not to lionize Doctor Who, it’s writers and actors. I’m here to tell you how to turn people off of a show that you love.

Start with your favorite episode.

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Mensa Likes Sinister Stuff

I’m told that 80% of Mensa members are left-handed. That’s supposed to make me think that left handed people are smarter than those of us that can use scissors.

I’m improperly cowed.

I’m a fan of thinking inside the box. We’ve fetishized out of bounds thinking to the point where math is racist so I’m a fan of reigning things in. But as to left handed people being smarter because they make up a larger percentage of MENSA roll calls?

Let’s take an occasion to think outside the box.

Maybe lefties are just joiners.

A Return to Normalcy

About a third of us were maskless, including a similar fraction of the employees. The remaining two thirds of shoppers paid no notice; nary a Karen nor any of her subspecies were to be found. At least they weren’t heard from. I’ve long suspected that those scolds only hector when they feel the crowd at their back.

I spoke with a maskless employee at the customer service desk who called the maskless manager over and the maskless manager and I had a maskless conversation about the possibility of her taking on my oldest as a grocery bagger a few days a week. He wants a summer job and I’m all for it. He hopes to try his hand at one of several restaurants where he’s already buddies with the staff and gets treated like a mascot. I want him to be a number for a while, learn to deal with people who he doesn’t already have a friendship with, and earn praise and criticism from people he hasn’t known since he was eight. Publix grocery store, particularly now that they don’t require a facial security blanket is just the ticket. Plus, he can ride his bike to work so I won’t have to drive him.

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The Multiverse and Me or, The Multiverse and Me and Me and Me…

I’m a science fiction fan and I like watching the occasional documentary on quantum physics, cosmology, and the nature of reality. I have a shelf of half read books on those same subjects. For some reason, usually around page 150, the explanation for the laity ends and the sentence “This is the paper I submitted to the Nobel Committee.” rears its ugly head. It’s all equations with Greek letters and horrid nightmares of high school Calculus come rushing back.

I’m no mathematician. I accept that. I do find that stuff interesting though.

One of the most interesting is the theory that each choice you make spawns one or many alternate universes. Every possibility must happen. If I turn left there is a universe where I turn right. There’s also one were I hit a tree, stall out, have a heart attack, just sit there for no reason until I starve to death, etc. They all happen.

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