What I Can’t Stop Thinking About Today


So what I can’t stop thinking about today is a Wikipedia sentence, of course. It’s from the article about Pitt Fall, a drop tower ride formerly at Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh:

In June 2011, it was put for sale and bought in early September to an undisclosed buyer.

So … in 2011 — in this decade — someone just went to a major amusement park, bought a drop tower ride, carted it off, and we don’t know who? I mean, the owner’s neighbors have to have sometime said, like, “Hey, did the blue duplex down the street always have a 251-foot-tall metal tower in the front yard?” You’d think we could find who bought the Kennywood drop tower just by looking up more. I don’t know how it’s been kept a secret eight years now.

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Today’s Excuse For Why I’m Running Late On Everything


I’m very sorry but I have been caught up with the momentousness of ordinary days. Like, particularly: there was one day that one person chose to promote the idea that the decaffeinated coffee should be in the pot with the orange handle. And that every place, ever, that has followed that convention is ultimately following that person’s lead. Think, then, of the day that person picked orange handles. Did they have any idea that this was the day they were going to crush the idea of a green handle, or a handle with one red stripe instead, or any of the other many ways that the information could be conveyed? Did they have rivals whose hopes for alternate conventions were crushed? Did their rivals know right away that their ideas were doomed? Was the orange-handle idea promulgated at a morning or an afternoon meeting? With whom? What did that person have for breakfast?

My guess is tea.

Perching Upon A Few Words


You know, based on how English forms comparatives, we have to conclude there should be something we describe as the “roostest” and we just have to discover what that is.

(Thank you for being here as I meet the promise made when I thought about the month of Decembest. Pease visit next week when I plan to ask whether a centaur should properly be understood as someone who’s half-human, half-penny or someone who’s half-penny, half-horse.)

Not To Brag, But I Am A Truly Popular Person


And my cell phone is a very necessary thing to have which I rely upon often.

Somewhat old cell phone showing at the top of the list 'RECEIVED CALLS: Mom, Aug 25, 11:18 pm'. The picture was taken in early August of the following year.
I know what you’re wondering and the reason I don’t have a call from Dad is that somehow his phone and my phone have decided to ignore the other, and Verizon’s advice is “I dunno, the both of you come to a store together and maybe we’ll think something out”. I’m in Michigan. My father lives in South Carolina. Verizon has yet to suggest what store the two of us might reasonably visit together. Well, I’m sure he’s doing all right.

Thinking Again About The Cool Months


You know how — at my latitudes anyway — December is typically a cold and Christmas-y month? Boy, just think how extremely cold and ultra-Christmas-y the month of Decembest must be.

(And so I fulfill the promise the promise made last week when I wondered about taking all the Cember out of the month. Please visit me next week when I ponder how the structure of English comparatives implies there should be such a concept as the roostest.)

About the new fridge


So we got that new refrigerator I was talking about. We’d meant to go to Sears ironically, but we ended up buying an actual refrigerator. we got a good deal. There was a sale on, for one. And another sale for freezer-top refrigerators. Plus there’s a rebate from the local electric company for replacing a still-technically-working fridge with a new one. Also for getting an Energy Star fridge. And on top of that, Sears gave us a big chunk of reward points. We’ve come out $26.50 ahead on the deal. I’ve left my day job now and instead I make money buying fridges.

Also when looking over the rewards points my love wondered how Sears made money, and then we remembered. Anyway our only worry now is that Sears lasts through the twelve-month warranty. Someone remind me in August 2020 to check whether they made it.

With The Rise Of Digital-Life Persons


The thing about digital-life persons is that while persons, they are also code. So they would seek ways to speed up what they do. One way to speed up work is speculative execution. When things are slow, calculate the futures which are possible, and reactions to them. A digital-life person, being a person, would interact, with other persons. And so the speculative execution would be working out how to react to things.

But how to best anticipate future interactions? Digital-life persons would calculate what other persons they might meet. Then send messages asking what their responses would be to plausible interactions. The other digital-life person would form a web of speculative interactions back. Or forward requests for speculative interactions on to even more persons. And take future requests, exploring the branching trees of possible personal contacts. After a few quiet days any pair of persons might find themselves aware of the whole web of possible lives they might live together, the sad the the happy, the disastrous and the triumphant, the tumultuous and the calm, the ridiculous and the amiable. All the great partnerships, the productive rivalries, the networks of alliances and enemies and the strange malleable center ground, the betrayals, the reconciliations, the petty failures, the surprise kind gestures, the tender moments, the unshakeable bonding; all these different life-paths lay out in ways that everyone knew and agreed would happen.

At that point it became an unbearable shame to spoil the rich tapestry of potential by ever meeting someone, which would just collapse their many lives together down to a solitary actual life.

Briefly Thinking About The Cool Months Of The Year


So, December is the time of year we take all the Cember out of the room, right?

(Thanks for seeing me do what I said I’d do last week. Please stop in next week as I wonder if December is, for my latitude anyway, typically a cold, Christmas-y month, then just how extreme the month of Decembest must be.)

What’s Got Me Hopelessly Distracted Today


I’m sorry to get nothing done. But I’ve just learned of the Tonawanda Kardex Lumbermen, a team which played one game as a member of the National Football League. This was the 6th of November, 1921, when they lost to the Rochester Jeffersons by a score of 45-0. They didn’t re-join the league in 1922, possibly because the league fee went up from $20 to $1000.

Wikipedia lists the team as, in 1921, having played two other games that season. One was the 9th of October against the Syracuse team, which had no known name, and which people used to think was a member of the National Football League because the Syracuse team claimed they were. The National Football League doesn’t think they were, but maybe all the paperwork saying they joined or were in the league or left got lost? It was a scoreless tie when, seventeen minutes in, the rain was too bad to continue. Their other game was scheduled for the 30th of October, against the Rochester Scalpers, but got cancelled.

Also the article says that professional football was played in Tonawanda by no later than 1913, saying, “this terminus ad quem comes from records that show the team lost to the Lancaster Malleables”. And I am lost in admiration of whatever Wikipedia editor jammed the term “terminus ad quem” in to a paragraph about when we know professional football was played in Tonawanda, New York. So, anyway, you can see why there’s no hope of my doing anything when I have information like this on my plate.

Can’t lie, I kind of miss this era of professional sports.

In Which I Get Ahead On Disliking Movies I Haven’t Seen


I just want to say that I see no reason that we need a Duck Soup prequel. I don’t think we should make one. By “we” I mean “they”. By “they” I mean whoever might make a Duck Soup prequel. The original movie’s great. I suppose there’s some reason why Mrs Teasdale has the daft idea that Rufus T Firefly would be able to help any of Freedonia’s problem, but you know? I don’t need to know what it is. We can just head-canon that it’s something like why Mrs Emily Upjohn has such trust in Hugo Z Hackenbush, right? Why not?

I know, I know. It’s discourteous to judge a movie before I’ve seen it, and before they’ve released it, and before anyone’s made it, and before anyone’s done anything about making it. Heck, it’s being seen as snide to judge a movie even after you have seen it, if you get your opinion in before its thirty-years-later critical re-evaluation these days. Still. I’ve decided I like my opinion and I’ll stick with that. You can do with it as you please.

This Week’s Short Nonsense With Words


I’m sorry, I’ve been trying to work out a joke where I propose that if you “conceal” something it means you’re doing something “with seal”, but it turns out that is exactly what it means. And between that and the threat that the heat wave is going to return? I’m feeling all pouty.

(I appreciate your seeing whether last week’s forecast would come true. Please stop in next week when I’ll ponder the cooler months of the year and ask whether December is the time when we take all the Cember out of the room.)

What I Mean By Space Nudity


I have already received a number of queries about what I mean by “space nudity” as mentioned in yesterday’s essay. By “space nudity” I mean such nudity as you might encounter, develop, or learn from adventures in space. I had mistaken the term for one being in such common use as to need no further explanation. It turns out to be a term of art within the nude industry, and I should have been more careful with its use. I apologize for the confusion.

Few Words, As Promised


So the thing that detergent removes. That has to be tergent, correct? And from this we can conclude that the thing that gets clothes dirty again is retergent. It’s simple logic.

(And so I fulfill last week’s promise. Thank you and please check back next week when I start to make a joke about how etymologically ‘conceal’ must mean that you’re doing something ‘with seal’ except then I realize that’s probably exactly what it does mean and I get all pouty.)

I want you to look at carousel carver Charles Looff a minute


I just wanted to bring to your attention Charles I D Looff, builder of something like forty carousels, a bunch of roller coasters, and other amusement park rides. Particularly I’d like you to look at his photo on Wikipedia, since it shows him in the full flower of 19th Century Moustache Art. What Wikipedia fails to mention is that the photograph was taken from that time in 1895 when he went on a tour-group visit to the White House and was just naturally mistaken for actually being the President. It was fourteen months before anybody even realized! He might have won re-election except he started an unnecessary quarrel with the New York Customs Inspector about public ownership of the bimetallic tariff.

Also by the way he was born in a town called Bad Bramstedt, and I choose to pretend I believe that’s because it was bapped on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper after Holstein’s troubles during the Revolutions of 1848.

So it turns out the guy who draws Graffiti is still alive and drawing Graffiti


Written on a wooden fence: 'Worst example of snap judgement --- Selfies'
Gene Mora’s Graffiti for the 2nd of July, 2019. So between this and the Broom Hilda kangaroo last week saw just all KINDS of revelations in the comic strips that have been running since before English resumed using the letter ‘k’.

Or at least was alive and drawing Graffiti sometime this decade. Also, in a development that I’m sure no one ever imagined, it turns out this comic strip that’s been running since twelve years before they invented rocks is all cranky about something the Millennials are probably up to with their smartyphones and stuff. The comments on it at GoComics are also really quite Internet Old Person, if you need more of that in your life, which you do not. Still, while there is much we do not know about Gene Mora, the guy who draws Graffiti, we can at least say he’s drawn a new Graffiti this century.

The Unclad Words


So is the state of not having yet put on your underwear being a state of derwear? Is changing your underwear then achieving rederwear?

(Thank you for being with me as I do what I said last week I’d do when I overcame words. Please check back for more of Laundry Month, apparently, as next week I wonder whether the thing removed by detergent is therefore tergent, and whether the act of getting clothes dirty is retergent.)

How Am I Adapting To Life In The Midwest?


Well, the other day, I saw one person stepping backwards to where he almost bumped into another person, and I, a party not involved with this at all, reflexively said “sorry” to nobody in particular, so, apparently quite well then?

In Which Maybe I’ve Overcome Words Entirely


All right but why does my spellchecker give a pass to “housecfront”? What is that, some freak specialist word defined in terms of the usufruct of something? Or is my spellchecker just a load of rubbish? It’s done a very bad job regarding Cincinatti lately, let me tell you that. Cincinnati. See? At least one of those should not be put up with. Which one? There is no way to know.

Screen grab of this post as it was written in TextWrangler, with underlines beneath some certainly wrongly spelled words and not underneath other wrongly spelled words.
I’m only including this picture so you can see I get little warning lines under ‘lockboards’ and ‘derwear’ like I should and don’t get them under ‘housecfront’ and whatever spelling of Cincinatti should not be.

(Ta-da! I have fulfilled the promise made last week after I could not find lockboards. Please be with me next week as I wonder whether the state of having not yet put underwear on is being in a state of derwear, and whether changing your underwear is achieving rederwear. Oh, and spellchecker isn’t going to give me “derwear”? Really?)

Gasoline Alley is trying to make a fool of me


So yes, I do enjoy the couple hours I spend each week perusing the story comics so that I can write a plot summary. And even the writing of the plot summary. If I am doing a public service, good. It’s fun, and it seems to help people out.

So I would have written this past Sunday’s recap of Gasoline Alley in any case. But I feel a little disheartened that Jim Scancarelli posted this on Wednesday, and it goes and does the whole plot recap thing in three panels.

Melba: 'How did you meet this Willow woman?' Rufus: 'Her little dog scared off a wolf that was chasin' me and she hadn't eaten in days an' passed out in my place an' never left!' Melba: 'Sounds like *you* passed out in the vineyard an' never left!'
Jim Scancarelli’s Gasoline Alley for the 26th of June, 2019. By the way, this is a nice use of a continuous background with only implicit panels. I enjoy that sort of composition.

Anyway I’m just hoping that this was coincidence. I’d hate to think Jim Scancarelli was trying to undercut me. I thought it was clear that jokes like saying he was trying to get installed as an exhibit at the Museum of Old-Time-Radio were affectionate. I mean, I’d love to be at the Museum of Old-Time-Radio myself.

Well. At this rate I’m wondering what James Allen is planning to do to me come Tuesday.

In Which I Maybe Run Out Of Words


I apologize for not writing more but I have been trying to match all my various keyboards with their appropriate lockboards. It’s not going well, in terms of matches completed. It’s going very well in terms of not getting things done on time.

(Thanks for watching me do what I promised to do last week. Please visit next week as I try to figure out why autocorrect changed an attempted word into “housecfront”.)

Popeye’s Island Adventures is trying to make a fool of me


Me, last week when I reviewed a 1960s cartoon so I could build a little buffer time:

Next week I should get back to Popeye’s Island Adventures with a fresh essay at this link. Now watch as King Features double-crosses me and doesn’t post a new cartoon this week.

King Features:

(Goes two weeks without posting a new cartoon.)

I was ready for it and yet I feel betrayed.

A Follow-Up About Mnemonics


My love read over that my Everything There Is To Say About Mnemonics essay and found something I had failed to say. I hate when it turns out I missed a thing to say. But it is important to note to call them “mnemonics” and not “pneumonics”. “Mnemonics” is the thing about remembering stuff. “Pneumnonics” if that were anything would be something about vapor-propelled actions. Or possibly a New Wave band with two hits, one of them about romance during nuclear war and one of them about radio. I’d love to help people keep this straight but I don’t know a way to make it easy to remember.

In Which I Use Few Words Few In Count And Average In Kind


You say it’s World Simile Day? What is that like?

(Thank you for watching me fulfill last week’s stupid word promise. Please visit next week when I try to match all of my various keyboards with their appropriate lockboards.)

I Just Want To Check That I Understand A Technology Thing Right


Check my work on this. The reason every web site nowadays, including the ones that just show you what the Linotype keyboard layout looked like and reprint old tips for how to get proficient at mechanical typesetting, ask for permission to send you notifications is because they’re run by vampires, right? And they need you to say they’re allowed in before they can come and vampire out all over you? Because I can’t think of another answer that fits the available facts.

In Which I Explain Why I Have Embraced Night Mode On My Laptop


I’ve discovered it’s really nice to have the subtle change in lighting serve as a visual cue for when I can switch from saying “I don’t have to do these four simple little tasks that have been on my list for months now because there’s plenty of time left in the day to start them” to saying “It’s too late in the day for me to start any of these four simple little tasks that have been on my list for months now”. I would do this anyway, yes. But I like having the little difference in how white looks to make my excuse seem all the more technological and therefore correct.

In Which I Lower My Word-Count-Per-Post Average By Using Fewer Words Again


You know, the word “thing” is a gerund. Its root verb is “the”.

(I’m glad you were good enough to see whether I lived up to last week’s promise. Please check back in next week as I think about how World Simile Day is upon us and I wonder what it’s like.)

A Quick Little Note To My Satellite Navigator Map Update Software


You … want to keep running in the background, Garmin Express application? In case I need a day-zero update on the roads? Really?

Look, I appreciate your hustle. Really. It’s just, like, you notice I’m only this week downloading a map from after 2014, right? I’m just saying, I’m pretty sure I can improvise around any problems until I specifically need you to update. Just, like, go to sleep about 2023 or so.

In Which I Am Stumped By A Household Malfunction


Me: “That’s funny. Why isn’t the garage door opening?”
[ I re-enter the PIN for my library card from 18 years ago. ]
Me: “Did the circuit breaker trip or something? No, the waterfall pump is still going. So there’s no possible way to explain this.”
[ I enter the library PIN again. ]

In Which I Lower My Word-Count-Per-Post Average By Using Fewer Words


Would the past tense of ‘mango’ be ‘mangone’ or ‘mangwent’, and how much should it be so? Thank you for your thoughts.

(Thanks for being here to see me fulfill the promise I made last week to ponder this. I’d be glad if you stopped in next time when I try to start another fight with grammarians by insisting that “thing” is the gerund of the root verb “the”.)