Something Else I Discovered In The Local Alt-Weekly


I didn’t discover this part, but my mathematics blog did a couple more comic strips yesterday. I would have posted that tomorrow, but I had other stuff that I wanted to take up that space. I might even post it yet.

Anyway, while last week’s issue of the local alt-weekly didn’t have a New In Town article to let me know what bars are opening, it did have the list of what bands are performing nearby. So now I know that whoever’s been booking acts for The Loft got sloppy about covering up how they’re also working for Moriarty’s Pub. Or else we had three musical acts lived that sitcom premise of having to cover two gigs at the same time in places that aren’t even next to each other. I hope they figured out where they should be and when. Also I hope they foiled international spies or something along the way because part of me still thinks the world should work like 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

Listings for both The Loft and for Moriarty's Pub, for Friday, Bass Physics/Blunt Force, 9 pm; for Saturday, Rob Crozier, 7 pm.
Idle curiosity: how many bands do you figure named themselves ‘Karaoke’ in a fit of giddy joy and mutual hand-slapping before discovering why that isn’t actually a good idea?

Also if it seems like we have a lot of Reno’s in town yeah, it kind of does. We also have a lot of Tin Can Bars, it seems like, but they don’t have shows I guess. Nothing like we have Biggby Coffee shops, mind you. But nobody has as many of those as we have, not even us.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index dropped another four points owing to investor confidence being shaken by this incredibly long line to get out of the parking lot. And yeah, the line got so long and so slow they just raised the barrier and waved people out without charging but, still, what was going on? That isn’t right.

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Meanwhile In Nihilistic Crossword Puzzles


I know the crossword puzzle editor for our local alt-weekly likes being playful and playing thematic games. You know, like making the clues off in some amusing way, or making the answers be the right answers only modified by some gimmick. And then there was last week’s puzzle which went for a full-on statement of the hopelessness of it all. This is why I top out at staring at Jumble a while and then declaring I could solve that easily if I wanted to.

Crossword Solution from Page 25: a blank miniature of the original crossword.
This reminds me of when I was doing the humor page at my campus’s unread leftist weekly. I ran a crossword puzzle and a bunch of clues I made up on the spot, so if any word possibly fit that anything it was wild luck. I don’t know. The editor-in-chief wanted to know what the answers were even though everybody on staff told her it was a joke and there were no answers. So the next week I ran the puzzle again with a note that because of an editing error a mistake was made in the clues printed and please enjoy this corrected one instead. And reran the exact same puzzle and exact same clues and the editor-in-chief wanted to know what any of them were and everyone warned her that of course there were no answers to any of this. And then the next week I included another bit saying that because of a really unfortunate editing error the mistaken clues were printed and here were the correct ones and please see page 22 for the answers. It was a 20-page issue. And then mercifully the semester ended and I graduated and the editor-in-chief didn’t know where I went to grad school. I’m joking. She had my parents’ home address and so could get me from there.

Also apparently there’s a French Playtime group going on when I wasn’t looking. This is what I get for only looking at the community events after they’ve already passed: I have a ready-made excuse not to have to do anything.

In less hopeless tasks, here’s last week’s mathematics comics. Yes, Barney Google is among them, though Barney Google himself doesn’t appear. He hasn’t been in his own comic strip in literally weeks now. Really, he’s getting to be a bit of a bother popping in so often these days.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

While the index rose by four points traders are taking no cheer in this news because they remember way back when there was that big runup to over 150 points and now any bit of good news is taken as a warning that bad news is going to come and it’s just going to make it all the worse when it does. 2016 has really been a heck of a year, hasn’t it?

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Um.


From the top-of-the-town readers choice guide in the local alt-weekly.

Top Five Dining Guide: Top 4 Chinese Restaurants
Insult to injury, one of the four is PF Chang’s. I’m not saying you can’t have a fine dinner at PF Chang’s although I’ve never tried, it’s just that you know where you can get a fine dinner at PF Chang’s? At literally any PF Chang’s that exists anywhere in the United States and at least thirteen other nations is where. I just think top-of-the-area surveys like this should display some bias towards local expressions of the concept of purchasing lumps of matter which can be put into your mouth when you think that wise.

No, really, the metro area has more than four Chinese restaurants. Way more. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were eight or even ten of them. I sense the surprise closure of the House Of Ing earlier this year behind all this even though the place has a spinoff chain of fast-food outlets called Ing!credible with local TV advertisements that are twelve percent more twee than you imagine.

I haven’t mentioned it the last couple of weeks because of boring reasons, but my mathematics blog is still going on and did some comics yesterday. Should do some comics tomorrow, if you’re still reading by then, but I don’t have a URL for that yet.

Local Architecture Critic Derides Seasons, Nature


I’m sorry to get to this late, but other stuff kept coming up. Remember the architecture critic for the local alt-weekly? The one who took his mandate to ridicule shabby and run-down buildings around town as a chance to explain how ugh but the vertically oriented windows do not work with the lines of the house? He’s still at it.

In a recent issue he named the Eyesore of the Week — “our look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing” — to be Power Lines and Trees, found “everywhere”. He says:

With autumn in full flush, one’s eyes are naturally drawn upward to enjoy the resplendent colors of the season. Unfortunately, that view is diminished when the bright colors are pruned away to allow for the unrestricted distribution of utility lines.

So my headline here is a bit unfair since he isn’t actually decrying the natural progression of seasons. He’s more protesting that we have power lines. To be fair, the city was hit badly by an ice storm two winters ago that knocked out power for a lot of the area. Some homes were without electricity for up to 23 months and reverted, Flintstones style, to having their cell phones charged by trained pterodactyls on bicycles hooked up to generators. And underground power lines would have a harder time being knocked out by ice storms and falling branches. And then we wouldn’t have to trim branches so as to better knock out power lines during ice storms.

Anyway, the cover story of last week’s issue was Art Infusion: Public Art Is Popping Up Around Lansing, But Where Is It Coming From? The question suggests that city officials just patrol the streets each day, and occasionally run across some bright-orange pile of twisted metal girders, and phone the main office to report, “Yeah, looks like we got some new public art on Eight Street. No, don’t think it’s actively threatening. I did hear a rumor of a Dali-esque melted-clock installation at Cedar and Kalamazoo, going to check that next.”

Local Architecture Critic Running Farther Amok


I’ve mentioned the local alt-weekly’s architecture critic and how he’s drifted from the mission of uselessly attempting to shame absentee-owner slumlords. Last week’s issue continued that trend. He slammed a house for “unfortunate alterations and updates”. Among them, “the broad eaves that characterize the [Craftsman bungalow] style have been removed, leaving no overhang on the gable rakes” and that “the ashlar stone veneer selected for the exterior cladding [ … ] does not fit with this home’s original style.”

I’m told that back in the day the Eyesore of the Week critic would try to contact the absentee-owner slumlord of a place to be shamed, so that they could get a proper “no comment” about the house’s condition. The current guy doesn’t seem to be doing that. That’s a pity. I would like to know how the owners would respond to being warned the local alt-weekly was going to call them out for exterior cladding “more appropriate for postwar ranch homes”, and whether the silence would last for more than twenty seconds before the sad head-shaking and turning away from the critic.

Also, the classified ads don’t have the job listing for a Senior Physicist this week, so I guess they found someone they could work with. They do have a listing for a delivery person for Jersey Giant Subs, though, if you feel less like particle physics and more like giant sandwich delivery.

Also, Local Architecture Critic Running Amok


So in non-Momma news: our local alternate weekly has an Eyesore Of The Week column, one of those things you’re supposed to read for the vicious joy of watching some slumlord get called out on, like, how there’s been a garbage bin stuck through the front door for over three years now and it’s been on fire since November and nobody does anything about it. Oh, they excuse the column as a public service, shaming absentee owners into cleaning up their properties, but if they could be shamed they wouldn’t be absentee-owner slumlords.

Anyway, the paper hired a real proper experienced architectural critic, which has had weird effects, such as now sometimes what makes it the Eyesore of the Week is just that “the community college built it and it was 1973 and these things just happened like that back then and everybody involved is sorry”. And now the last one I read went on about a house where the major sins are — and I’m not deliberately exaggerating — that the aluminum siding pieces are too tall, and the upstairs window is horizontally divided rather than vertically.

And the critic didn’t content himself with the picture of the Eyesore, but called out some rendering software to show what the house would look like if the siding were replaced with narrower wooden siding and the upstairs window vertically divided. I guess it looks different and I’ll trust the architecture critic that it looks better, since that guy’s the critic and I just read the alternate weekly, but what I really noticed was that in the computer-generated image the neighboring houses are completely different. It suggests the problem is only a bit of detailing on the house, and that it instead ought to be in a different neighborhood, one with houses that take much less rendering time. This may be true, but I don’t see how it’s anything that the owner can do anything about.