January 2017’s Scraps File


Some things I couldn’t find any use for writing in January; if you can find a good use for them, please do. I ask only to hear if any of them went on to be happy.

I’m rotten at choosing clothes. You can judge that from the slightly pained but amused look on my love’s face when it becomes obvious that once again I’ve dressed myself. If you can’t see my love’s face, I’m sorry that you’re missing such a fine experience. But instead look at any picture of people from the 70s or 80s and identify the person wearing the most regrettable outfit. I’ve worn that as recently as Tuesday. I don’t care. They’re clothes and I’m happy to wear them. — Cut from some piece or other, I think the one about crafts. Not really relevant to the main point of the article and besides it ended up long enough as is.

The thing is that gives me the idea to start wondering about something. — Cut from like fourteen pieces because it could go into any of my bits and that’s one of those warning signs I shouldn’t be putting it in any of them. Warning: I might use this to see how long a sentence I could make that doesn’t say anything at all. You’re still free to use it, just, there’s no being sure you’ll have it all to yourself.

If you have that job you either grew up wanting to be someone who makes those little paper flags hung on toothpicks or else your life took turns bringing you to making them. — The thing about my clothes (to get back to them) is that I don’t need to talk about it that much because you’ve seen ugly clothes before. Not necessarily on me, but yeah, on me.

I’m not going to stop making boxed macaroni and cheese wrong because I know it’s easier to keep doing it wrong than to remember to look at the directions and do it right for once. — Also cut from that crafts essay which had more cuts than usual. Also I don’t want to make my clothing problems seem too bad. Like, that look my love gets when noticing I dressed myself? It’s not, like, horrified or anything. It’s like, imagine if you were fixing a car engine. And you called to your dog saying, “Monty! Fetch me the 15 mm socket wrench” and figured you were making a good joke. And the dog was confused but understood there was something about fetching going on there. And the dog came back holding an ice scraper in his mouth. Also the dog’s named Monty. You know the look you’d give the dog, delighted that he was doing his best to do the perfectly hopeless? That’s the look I get when I dress myself. It doesn’t hurt any and I can usually find the socket wrench after that.

“The Tasmanian rainforest is considered a Gondwanan relic.” — I brought that back from an earlier scraps file because I was sure there was something I could do with that, and there wasn’t. It’s pretty nice as it is, on Wikipedia, but I got nothing.

I remember coloring when I was a kid, and we’d get boxes of crayons from school. There’d be as many as 62 Extremely Dark Colors Equally Likely To be Purple, Black, Navy Blue, Blue, Or Any Other Color You Do Not Want, all with the wrappers peeled off in every box of sixteen crayons. — Cut because my problems with coloring in elementary school weren’t so much about what shade of some extremely dark blue-like-or-black color I had available but more that I was never satisfied with how uniformly a crayon could color things. Also I liked the part where you colored in letters. By you I mean me, or in this context, I. I couldn’t get enough letters to color in like that. So in hindsight, again, I understand why I was treated that way.

And then the person working the Wendy’s counter warned me they were out of potatoes, which means they know me as the guy who comes in like once a month and orders two baked potatoes, so now it’s too emotionally involved going there and I don’t dare visit ever again. — Anyway these days I just wear a solid shirt of one color and pants. Pants of a different color. I learned my lesson the day in grad school when I went out wearing an orange shirt and orange sweatpants and caught a glimpse of myself in the glass door and realized what I was doing. So I have learned to do slightly better, that’s the important thing.

Good luck with February, everyone!

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index dropped nine points after Michigan’s official state groundhog refused to emerge from her lair and make a weather prediction, which is surely all normal and just fine, right? Tell us that’s normal and just fine. We don’t know anymore.

106

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Statistics Saturday: Eight Statistics Saturday Posts


To close out Me Week, how about some of lists of stuff that I liked?

And because the world is confusing and hurt-y, here’s one more. The Ingredients List For Libby’s 29 oz Can of 100% Pure Pumpkin brings a refreshing calm and sense of place to everything. I hope this helps.

Yes, Yes, Yellow Submarine, Now Move On


My love and I were listening to Sirius XM’s Cheesey 70s channel, because we had used up the 80s channel and were saving what’s left of the Current Indie channel. They got to playing C W McCall’s “Convoy” and I heard something I never noticed before. Buried there somewhere in the lyrics he sings something about a “chartreuse microbus”. I didn’t imagine it. My love heard the same thing.

And now I’m left wondering: what other oddly-colored vehicles are hiding in the midst of songs everybody kind of knows but doesn’t really listen to? If we poke around “Sweet Caroline” would we find a fuchsia MG-B? Is there a minor verse in “We Didn’t Start The Fire” built around a teal Mercury Lynx? I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in “Take On Me” that’s about a khaki Buick Roadmaster, but has anyone checked recently?

Well, at least I was able this week to spoil someone’s theory about what “25 or 6 to 4” even meant, so there’s that.

Megacolors, go! Go! No, Farther!


I thought I saw something silly on Reuters. I thought the headline to this article read “Could This Megacolor Carry People?” and of course I had to figure no. I can’t see how a megacolor could carry even one person, let alone two or more. For that matter, I couldn’t even figure what a megacolor would be. An extremely intent color, I suppose, that you can see even when you aren’t looking at it? It would be a wonder, is what it would be, if it were anything.

But I’d read the title carelessly. It actually asks “Could This Megacopter Carry People?” and that seems much more like something that could actually happen. If there’s anything copters are for, it’s carrying people. And a megacopter would seem just the thing to carry megapeople around. (You know megapeople. If you don’t, just look up. No, farther up. Keep looking up until you make eye contact. That’s a megaperson. To her side is another, and those are some of the megapeople.) So obviously this would be answered “sure, why the heck not?”

The heck not is because they’re not talking about copters. They’re talking about strapping a bunch of those little drones together and carrying people with those. And yeah, it seems like they ought to be able to carry people around eventually. For now, though, the record is carrying 61 kilograms, or about 135 pounds. 135 pounds isn’t enough to carry around “people”. That wouldn’t even carry a “person”, if by “person” you mean “me”, unless you caught me before I was about nine years old. (I was heavy for my age, owing to my discovery at age seven that it was always possible to eat two more bagels.)

In short, everything about this article is less exciting than it sounds like. Megacolor me disappointed. Letter of protest to follow.

A Labor Of Like: What You Don’t Know About Colors


[ John, author of the A Labor of Like humor blog, was inspired the other day by my guide to the risk I’ll correctly identify a color. With his permission I’d like to put his comment up on the front page so people have a better chance of reading it. ]

What most people don’t know is that Indigo started as a Violet separatist movement by wavelengths that thought the name “purple” sounded stupid, and wanted their own, slightly bluer homeland. The establishment of the Indigan state occurred near the end of the 30 Hues War, which began in 1905 when colors such as brown and silver demanded seats at the wheel of the Knights of the Round Spectrum. After the War ended at the Battle of Rainbow Bridge, the Councils of Tempera and Crayola increased the size of the palette to 16 and 64, respectively. Indigo now holds a permanent seat on the security council of the United Colors of Benetton in New York.

Indigo is a monarchy, currently ruled by King Royston the Fourth, Duke of Grape and Earl of Blueberry. His people lovingly refer to him as “Roy ‘GB’ IV” for short.

Statistics Saturday: Risk That I Will Correctly Identify A Color By Its Name Alone


Color Risk That I Will Correctly Identify This Color By Its Name Alone What CSS Thinks The Color Is
Red 99%
Blue 99%
Green 99%
Yellow 98%
Cyan 94%
Magenta 65%
Prussian Blue 38%
Teal 35%
Maroon 24%
Fuchsia 18%
Chartreuse 0%
Turquoise 16% (This is what I think Teal ought to be)
Goldenrod 12%
Ivory 99 44/100%
Violet 95%
Indigo (Still not sure this isn’t just purple with good marketing)
Mauve (Only if this is 1894 for crying out loud)
Plum 60%
Aquamarine (This isn’t just Aqua? Colors why must you be difficult?)
Lavender 33% (Higher if you’ll just let me call purple or indigo “Lavender”)
Khaki 40%
Atomic Tangerine (What, really?)
Avocado 55%
Viridian (whimper)
Heliotrope 0% (This is what I think Chartreuse ought to be)
Battleship Grey 85%
Puce (Oh good heavens Wikipedia Talk pages make this complicated)

I Guess I Need Some Colorful Help


I should’ve known I’d get myself into trouble. I was hoping to pick up a little extra money because there’ve been all these unexpected expenses like food and those roller coaster seeds I’ve been trying to grow in the front yard. Anyway, I took a contract bit where I just have to work up a name for a newly-invented color, which I figured I could toss off in a moment, the way someone decided that “Cornflower” could be a color.

Anyway, what they want is a word for the shade of orange you get when someone built a community college in like 1971 and put bright orange carpeting all over the walls, because that was something that seemed normal in 1971, and then it’s still somehow up there in 2013. Sure, you know the color I mean from that description, but what are we supposed to do if we need to describe that quickly? Worse, what are people doing with that color that they need it described in a word?

I should’ve taken a temp job making JSON do that thing where you get error messages from your web browser instead.

[ Unrelated: WordPress tells me I’ve now got 250 people following this blog. Thanks kindly to each of you, and I hope that you’re enjoying the occasional glance around these parts. Please feel free to introduce yourselves to one another as there’s a fine student lounge with an indescribable orange-carpeted wall available. ]