Why I Call This ‘Another Blog, Meanwhile’


My father mentioned how he likes my blog even if the doesn’t understand it, and how he sometimes skips the e-mail notices because he forgets what this “Another Blog, Meanwhile” is. Also one of his best friends mentioned he has no idea what the name means. So I thought I’d maybe best explain it some.

When starting out here I needed a name. You can’t just go out leaving your WordPress blog nameless, because their servers hate dealing with “[ eventually, a small cough ].wordpress.com”. But I didn’t have any good names. I didn’t know what the tone and focus of the blog would be. My guess was I’d have some idea after writing it a while. A catchy name picked too early wouldn’t fit. And it’s not like my actual name lends itself to any wordplay. Go ahead, try and think of wordplay based on “Nebus”. The only one that has ever existed was way back when I was an undergraduate at Rutgers, and the inter-campus buses had a blizzard of lettered routes. So you could try to do something with the E-bus, the EE-bus, or maybe the B-bus.

At that, when I was at Rutgers, the humor editors for the unread leftist weekly I was on named their section “about herring”. The title was drawn from a section header in the Joy of Cooking and more self-confidence than I have ever had. Whimsy is dangerous. My only whimsical touches I ever think work are the ones nobody else even notices. I don’t want to pick a fight with my readers about whether the blog has a funny name. I’m too busy trying to insist there’s something funny comparing when things happened to the Battle of Manzikert.

So I went with “Joseph Nebus’s Sense Of Humor”. As a title it’s boring, but at least it’s not interesting. And nobody could say I was posting something outside the character implied by the title. Except my father, who’s also a Joseph Nebus, but it turns out we mostly find the same stuff funny anyway. And I figured if I found the blog’s true identity I’d know it.

The real focus of things around here developed when Apartment 3-G dissolved into the aimless, plotless wandering of shabbily drawn faces on random backgrounds occupied by lamps. I was fascinated. I got into explaining how much nothing was happening in Apartment 3-G. And when the comic strip was finally, mercifully, put down The Onion AV Club recapped the bloggers who were talking about the strip. Joe Blevins, a guy I knew back in the days we had a Mystery Science Theater 3000 community, mentioned my blog twice without ever actually saying my name. He started one mention of it by saying “Another blog, meanwhile, used the death of Apartment 3-G to speculate on the future of newspaper comics in general” and went on to quote a whole paragraph. It drew thousands of people to my blog, all of whom left shortly after.

But look at that start of “Another Blog, Meanwhile”. It’s dull enough that it never gives a hint that it’s an obscure joke. And it’s a daily reminder that the moment I got noticed by the Big Time they only kind-of noticed and didn’t even get my name in. It’s perfect. I had my blog’s identity, and it was talking about the story strips people just assumed had been cancelled in Like 1984. From this, I had my name. It isn’t much, but it’s something I don’t have to think about often, and that’s what I truly need.

Statistics Saturday: Contents Of My Phone Numbers


Digit Occurrence (Percent)
0 6.48
1 10.19
2 21.30
3 11.11
4 1.85
5 6.48
6 7.41
7 14.81
8 7.41
9 12.96

Notes On Methodology, which is always the fun part: phone numbers which had the area code changed under them are counted multiple times. The phone numbers I had my first three years as an undergraduate are not included because I don’t remember what they are either. My fourth year as an undergraduate I didn’t get a phone because I figured I could just use the phone for the unread campus weekly I spent all my time working on anyway. The phone number I had when I lived in Singapore is counted too, with the area code of ‘6’ because when I was there there was one area code, ‘6’, for land-line and another area code, ‘8’, for mobile phones and don’t you just love a single-digit area code? Anyway the country code of ’65’ isn’t included because I don’t think it’s fair to include that as part of the phone number. Also I never really felt sure I knew what I was doing dialing internationally back then but I loved putting a ‘+65’ in front of my phone number the couple times I had to share it with anyone then. I once had the phone number 266-0001 and that was great except if I ordered something delivered they thought my callback number was a fake. Also I kept getting calls from the rent-to-own-scam place from someone who gave them a fake number for a couch. I liked the number anyway.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

You see? You see? We just knew there was going to be a collapse. All right, it’s just four measly points and we’d barely even notice them in ordinary circumstances but if things don’t go up tomorrow we’re going to have to cancel so many orders for consumable frivolities.

148

Statistics Saturday: The Relented March Of Time


Some astounding facts about how it is later in time now than it ever was before:

  1. The network television debut of Star Trek (1966) is closer in time to the network television debut of Lost In Space (1965) than it is to today (2015).
  2. The end of the Thirty Years War (1648) is closer to us (2015) than is the start of the Thirty Years War (1618).
  3. There are no known living survivors, or spouses of survivors, of the Battle of Manzikert (1071).
  4. More than twelve whole generations of mice have been born, lived, and died of old age since the last installment of Charles Dickens’ The Mystery Of Edwin Drood was published (1870).
  5. At no point in the 21st Century has President Thomas Jefferson been alive.
  6. Though you may be loved today more than yesterday, and may expect to be loved more tomorrow, there is no reason to believe that the amount by which your belovedness increases between today and tomorrow is itself an increase on the amount by which your belovedness increased between yesterday and today.
  7. Between the founding (1922) and the abolition (1991) of the Soviet Union, World War II began (1939 or maybe 1937 or arguably 1931), was fought, and ended (1945 or 1947 or maybe early 1991).
  8. 2016 is to see the 25th anniversary of the 225th anniversary (1991) of the founding of Rutgers University (1766).
  9. November 1st is closer to November 5th than November 22nd is to November 30th.
  10. The television series Casablanca (1983) has been off the air more than twenty times as long as it was on the air. The same astounding property holds for the other television series Casablanca (1955-56).

Cheese, Spam, Poetry


I’ve only ever committed a few acts of poetry. Mostly they’ve been things written part-jokingly. This way I could run them in the unread left-wing student newspaper back at college in the “Ebb and Flow” literary section but could fall back in a bit of cowardice and claim I meant it for the Humor section (“about herring…”) instead. But my spammers are not so inhibited. Here’s one of their recent masterpieces:

Now I am ready to do my breakfast,

once having my breakfast coming yet

again to read additional news.

But maybe I’m just a sucker for any suggestion that events that are about to happen already happened and might just be happening again if I don’t miss them.

Also, I see in my notes the phrase “time cheese”. I do not remember at this point if it was a spam or funny search term, or if it was notes from a dream, or if I had ambitions of writing something particular about it. All I know is the idea is there, and some cheese-eating organism might be attempting to disrupt the normal flow of time from past to future. I’ll let you know if any cheese is had for breakfast in the past.

(Those were the actual section names for the creative-writing/photography section and the humor section, though the humor section’s name changed with each new editor. So now you know exactly how earnest a newspaper The Rutgers Review was in my day. When I finally was made editor of the humor section I named it “Humor”, because I felt like trying to be funny about the section name encouraged the reader to challenge whether this was in fact funny even before our blistering jokes about the campus bus system or the broken computers in the Roost. So now you know exactly what kind of person I am. Also I never actually got anything into “about herring…”, though I did better under other editors.)

And Yet I Remain Suspicious


I’m given to understand that my alma mater, Rutgers, got a bowl invitation this year and that they’re accepting it. I don’t figure on watching it, because, again, I went to Rutgers, so I can’t make myself care how they do in football, and I also don’t believe they belong in the Big Ten playing against serious football programs or this year’s Wolverines either.

The information I have is that they’re playing in something called the Quick Lane Bowl, which I never heard of either. So while I really don’t care whether they win or lose against … I guess it’s North Carolina … I do feel that the players on both sides should check very carefully and make sure that this “Quick Lane Bowl” isn’t actually some manner of trap laid by extraterrestrials who’re hoping to scoop up a representative sample of college athletes with a phony bowl invitation. I don’t think it’s likely, you understand, I just think it’s worth doing more than seeing whether the “Quick Lane Bowl” has an entry on Wikipedia before concluding that it’s a thing that really exists.

Statistics Saturday: What College Football Implies In My Family


I have a tiny bit of interest in how Rutgers does in football; my Michigan in-laws are very concerned this implies I'm a madman.
What makes this funny is I’m from New Jersey so I don’t see any reason Rutgers should be in the Big 10, or even necessarily playing football at all. Neither does the Big 10.

I’m pretty sure this is just a minor East Coast/Midwest cultural difference, but I’m also pretty sure my father-in-law’s heart breaks a bit when I admit I’m fine with the Scarlet Knights getting beaten by whoever it was they played.

Statistics Saturday: Hi, Dad


After a little chat with my father not related to his appearance in dreams of warning, I’d like to include a couple of numbers for Statistics Saturday or Sunday or Whatever which relate to him and to the humor blog posts from this month.

  • Number Of Entries That My Dad Thinks Were Funny He Guesses Though He Didn’t Understand Them: 4.
  • Number Of Entries That My Dad Didn’t Notice But Is Sure He’d Think Were Great: 6. (Thank you!)
  • Black Knight 2000 Lightning Wheel: 200,000 points.
  • Number Of Entries About The Scary Problem In The Basement I Needed My Dad’s Advice On Fixing: 0.
  • Number Of Things I’ve Done To Fix That Scary Problem In The Basement: 1, if going to the hardware store counts.
  • Number With No Particular Connection To My Dad: 2,038.
  • Number Of Times I Realize I Ought To Call My Dad In-Between Times I Actually Do: Like 8 or something embarrassing like that.
  • Year When My Father Revealed To Me That “I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover” Wasn’t A Little Ditty Bugs Bunny Just Made Up: 1979.
  • Number Of Times Out Of Ten That My Father Refers To It As “Ruptures” Instead Of “Rutgers”: 6.
  • Runs Batted In: 26.

Turbo Comics


Over on my mathematics blog I’ve again gathered a bunch of comics which have some kind of mathematics theme and talked about whatever comes to mind on reading those. If you like seeing stuff in the comics footnoted, you might enjoy that.

If you don’t, then you might enjoy something I have: according to the WordPress statistics page, people are coming to me while searching for “facts about turbo movie”. I should be delighted beyond all reasonable measure if my information page about Turbo were to become one of the Internet’s leading pages about the film, before the film is consigned to the same “wait, did that really exist?” bin that, say … oh, I forget … has gotten immortal fame for.

I’m also getting a little interest in “rutgers vs houston football game death” and “mcdonald’s ketchup”, not to mention “lisa kudrow” for some reason.

Nobody Ever Died For Dear Old Rutgers


I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but yesterday my undergraduate school, Rutgers, lost its football game to Houston by a score of only 49-14. (I assume that’s a college or university and not the Houston Oilers because I’m pretty sure the Oilers left town like twenty years ago.) This really shows the Scarlet Knights getting back into the form they had when I was there, when they were promoting the team with mottoes like “Scarlet Knights Football ’93: Gearing Up For Mediocrity!” Then the Board of Governors would decide the problem is they needed an even bigger stadium and they’d go rebuilding the blasted thing. I see they’re still up to that.

This may sound cranky but I liked football better at my grad school, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. They weren’t trying to be Division I; they were somewhere around Division XVII-L, I think, and the football field was just in the middle of campus and there were automatic time-outs when someone walking back from the computer lab cut across the field. (And the computer lab was in a church, by the way, which isn’t even me making a joke.) Plus if you wanted to play, I believe, you just had to show up early the day of the game, no later than the end of the third quarter, and they’d let you suit up. If you could bring your own football, too, that’d really help them out. It was the sort of thing they never wasted effort rebuilding stadiums, or really quite building stadiums, for and the team was at least as mediocre.