Monday, July 25, 2016


I drive home on a 2 lane highway.  It's a major artery.  I'll drive about 60.  Which is faster than the speed limit but generally with the flow of traffic.

Today, I was second in a line of about seven or eight cars.  Eight in this line was a tan Jaguar.

Apparently, the driver of the Jaguar was in a hurry, as he decides to pass everybody in front of him.

From in between Cleveland, and Charleston, TN all the way to highway 11's terminus on Barsoom, Mars.

Actually, it was just everybody in that immediate line.

He didn't make it.  He had to swerve in front of me to miss oncoming traffic.  He missed the front of the car by inches.

At his next opportunity, he passed, and quickly came up on the city limits of Charleston, where the speed limit is 35, and they mean Thirty By God Five Miles an Hour, son!

He nearly has to ditch his car when a car in front of him has to stop at the Piggly Wiggly.

He then speeds up.  I'd estimate fifty, and that's conservative.

The balloon of schadenfreude that swells in my chest as the Charleston Police SUV pulls out from the Municipal Building's parking lot following him nearly lifted me off this planet.

Blue lights.

I shouldn't have, but I laughed myself hoarse.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Snopes, and whatnot

Go read this:

Campers, this is a beautiful, amazing time to live in.  We forget that.  It's too easy to become accustomed to things.  But stop and think.  We have an immeasurable breadth of information available to us as quickly as it takes you to ask "How tall was Warren G. Harding?"  I can talk to my phone.  In fact, as I typed this, I asked my phone, which is sitting on the coffee table this very question.  Turns out the man was 6'0" and had an amazing middle name.

Sadly, though, in this day an age, the amount of misinformation grows at the same rate as legit info.  If not faster.

This is compounded by the fact that there are those among us who see Boogeymen everywhere.  This is not new.  We have seen an Enemy nearly as long as there have been people.  The sad fact is, though, there are some who have to see Boogeymen.  Because it's easier.  Because it helps them sleep at night.  Because it's easier to say that the Boogeyman is Holding Me Down than it is to try harder, think harder and work harder.

At the end of the day, you don't have to believe everything on  In fact, you don't have to believe everything anybody says or writes.  It's good to have filters.  It's good to be skeptical.

I guess that's my point, standing up here on my Soapbox.  If you can find it in yourself to be skeptical about's intent and backing, then find it in yourself to be skeptical about the news story that FEMA is preparing coffins for some Illuminati-inspired calamity, or that Barry HUSSEIN Obama is looking to declare martial law to declare himself God King and Grand Poobah for Life of Americaland.

Another way I might say it:  Keep an open mind.  The fact of the matter is:  we all deal with a measure of confirmation bias.  We're in a difficult world with a lot of information being flung at us.  Sometimes, it's impossible not to look for something we agree with.  Still, take some time to read up on the opposing viewpoints.  Try to read some stuff by people you might disagree with.  Don't look only for the articles that agree that the Designated Hitter is bad.  Read the other stuff, if for no other reason than to de-boogeyman the argument.

In closing, the sentiment about walking away from the argument is strong.  It reminds me of one of my favorite lines that I am likely misquoting:  arguing with a fool is like wrestling with a pig: even if you win, the pig won't understand and just enjoyed the attention.

And remember:  there will always be some men you just can't reach....

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

A proposal to the NBA

I don't watch the NBA.  I don't care for the NBA.  I haven't put a lot of thought into why I enjoy college basketball so much, but the NBA so little.  I haven't figured it necessary, and I just let that particular mystery be.

Still, it did not go unnoticed when Kevin Durant left his team in Oklahoma City to sign with the Golden State Warriors earlier this week.

I wasn't completely ignorant of the goings on of this last season, and did find myself some impressed with their regular season record.  It will make next season particularly interesting, to see if Durant's addition to the roster can make them an even better team.  There were folks on ye olde Facebooke wondering if the Warriors could run the table next season.  Win all 82.

It's unlikely as all hell, but the fact that it even pops up into consideration makes you wonder:  is this free agent signing the best for Basketball?

I've seen it written that four of the starters for the Warriors could easily lead a Western Conference All-Star team.  That this may be the best tandem of players ever put together, on paper, on one team, by a large margin.

I don't really have a dog in that hunt--I haven't watched the NBA regularly in at least 15 years, and probably closer to 20.  I watched all of two minutes the past season, that being the final two minutes of the Warriors/Cavaliers Finals Game 7.  I wouldn't know who to compare if I were in a conversation and would probably just smile and say Manute Bol a lot.

That just puts me in a good mood.  Say that out loud.  Wherever you are.

Manute Bol.

Elongate the U in the first name.

Manuuuuuuuuuuute Bol!!!!!!!!


What I'm getting at here is that, on paper, I couldn't argue that such a move would be best for the competitive balance of the league.  If you were an owner of a Western Conference team, I wouldn't begrudge you much at all for hollering.  I mean, sure, everybody likes that Underdog story, but when your team is on the wrong side of that signing, do you like your chances to win the Conference next year?

But let me ask you something.

What if we then gave the Warriors a handicap?

Here's what I propose:

I am offering myself up to the Golden State Warriors, to sign as a Free Agent for the 2016-17 season.

I am 39, and will turn 40 during the next season.

I couldn't tell you the last time I touched a basketball.

I'm 6'3" and heavyset.  I've got a shoulder that hurts when it gets cold outside.  I'm not sure I could run up and down a court more than twice before collapsing into a pile of sweaty laundry.  I hit myself in the nuts with cardboard boxes at work at least 3 times a year.

Mr. Commissioner.  Make the Golden State Warriors sign me.  Make them start me.  Make them play me at least 16 minutes a game.  I'll be the anchor of that team.  In a bad way.

Think of the attraction.  Four of the Greatest Players in the League, and Tommy Acuff!  Can Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson overcome perhaps the biggest lead weight ever put around the necks of an NBA squad?

I'm offering my services, most humbly.  I would play for the absolute minimum salary allowed (which would still be quite the substantial raise, let me tell you!).

I'll send you my resume.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

2016 Reading List

Just a listing of what I've been reading and/or listening to in the first half of this year:


Welcome to Night Vale    by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
Isaac's Storm    by Erik Larson

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams     by Stephen King

Faithful Place     by Tana French


McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories   edited by Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay    by Michael Chabon


Patient Zero       by Jonathan Maberry

The Proud Tower      by Barbara Tuchman

The Sirens of Titan      by Kurt Vonnegut


The Cartel       by Don Winslow

The Dark Tower:  The Gunslinger      by Stephen King

Lovecraft Country       by Matt Ruff

The Serpent King     by Jeff Zentner


The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor

The Dark Tower:  The Drawing of the Three      by Stephen King

The Bully Pulpit           Doris Kearns Goodwin

A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever
          by Josh Karp

Geek Love        by Katherine Dunn


City of Mirrors        by Justin Cronin

True Grit        by Clinton Portis

Mayflower      by Nathaniel Philbrick

the Sex Lives of Cannibals     by J. Maarten Troost

The Union of the State      by Corey Stulce


A couple of notes:

I made an attempt at David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest during February and March.  I made it a little less than halfway through before losing steam, and getting distracted by "real life."    2016 has been a rough year for working.  I joke about working like a botard sometimes.  We've been shorthanded for one reason or another it seems like this whole year.  Winter and Spring of this early year made reading more difficult than an Entertainment Weekly article daunting.  it was disappointing, because that part of the year was generally the easy part of the year, at least in terms of free time.  I'll give Jest another try, perhaps next year.

I also started, but didn't finish Joe Lansdale's Paradise Sky.  I may try again down the road.

One more Max picture

I wandered over to my folks' house yesterday.  My sister brought my nephew up.  His new name, he informed me, is Brickwood Doodoo, and he is from the Island Nation of Brickwood Dumb.  Update your fantasy lineups accordingly.

Anyway, I popped onto Mom's computer for a second, and she had this picture as her background:

The picture was taken in the last half of 2011.  Sally, the black dog on the right, had only a couple of years in her.  Max, of course, passed last month.

This is a good picture of them.  They were inseparable.

A good dog is a gift.  Mom and Dad were gifted twice.  Those two were the best.