TMQ Watch: August 19, 2014.

August 21st, 2014

TMQ just seems to get longer and longer.

After the jump, this week’s TMQ

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Fair food watch.

August 20th, 2014

In case you were wondering what Fried Sriracha Balls look like, they are slide number 5 in this eight slide (Warning! Slide show!) slide show (Warning! Slide show!) from the HouChron.

See also this non-slide-show article from the Dallas Eater site, which has a better description of the funnel cake ale.

(Yes, I didn’t use the “on a stick” category. That’s because none of these items is actually served on a stick, which is a huge disappointment as far as I’m concerned.)

Quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore (#1 in a series).

August 17th, 2014

Yes, introducing yet another occasional series. In this one, I document weird stuff I’ve found at the local used bookstores, on other people’s bookshelves, or just roaming around. All books are real unless otherwise stated.

Our first entry?

The Washington Fringe Benefit

Yes, that’s The Washington Fringe Benefit by Elizabeth L. Ray. For the benefit of my younger readers, Ms. Ray was a clerk and secretary for a congressman from Ohio named Wayne Hayes. To quote Ms. Ray, “I can’t type. I can’t file. I can’t even answer the phone.” So why did Congressman Hayes employ her? Yep. She was basically his mistress, paid for out of Congressional funds. Here’s a link (by way of WikiPedia) to the original WP story.

All this took place in the Watergate/immediate post-Watergate era. When the story broke in May of 1976, it became a major scandal; Hayes ended up resigning from his committee chairmanship (“Committee on House Administration”) and, a few months later, from Congress itself.

Back cover of The Washington Fringe Benefit

I have not read the book yet, but it appears to be a roman à clef about Ms. Ray’s…service, so to speak, in our nation’s capital, with the various real persons (other than Ms. Ray herself) given nearly transparent disguises. It does have the advantage of being short (172 pages), but I can’t comment on the merits of the writing.

As far as I can tell, this is Ms. Ray’s only novel. She appears to still be alive, but her Wikipedia entry describes her as having “faded back into obscurity”. Former Congressman Hayes passed away in 1989.

TMQ Watch: August 12, 2014.

August 14th, 2014

And so is TMQ. And so is TMQ Watch. The first column of the NFL season is always kind of strange; there’s a lot of short items, basketball coverage, and other things that throw us for a loop. We’re probably not going to hit every one of TMQ’s throwaway quips. And yes, we’re aware that TMQ did a couple of draft columns; we looked at those and frankly didn’t find anything noteworthy in them. One was his usual silly mock draft, the other was his draft analysis, and both contained the recommended US daily allowance of TMQ tropes.

Anyway, back to this week’s TMQ, after the jump…

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Book note.

August 14th, 2014

The NYT has a brief interview with Doug J. Swanson, tied to the release of his new non-fiction book, Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker.

This is great news, as far as I’m concerned, for two reasons:

  1. The story of Benny Binion and his foes, especially Herbert Noble, is a fascinating one. Lawrence gave me a copy of The Green Felt Jungle (a work I’m surprised Swanson didn’t mention) for Christmas one year, and that covers the Binion/Noble story at some length. But I’m excited about a more up-to-date book length treatment.
  2. I’m also kind of fond of Doug Swanson’s work. I’ve read and enjoyed (to varying degrees) four out of five of the Jack Flippo books, and was wondering why I hadn’t seen a new one in a while.

So, yeah, I’ll be picking this one up soon.

The Washington Post makes me testy again.

August 13th, 2014

Actual WP headline:

Waldman: Libertarians silent on Mo. shooting

(I won’t provide a link because 1) the Posties tell me I’ve used up all my articles for the month even though I’m a subscriber, and II) I don’t link clickbait.)

Yeah! Those pesky Libertarians haven’t been talking at all about Ferguson!

Except for Walter Olsen at Overlawyered.

And the folks over at Reason.

And Popehat on the Twitter.

And Morlock Publishing, but technically I think he’s an anarcocapitalist rather than a Libertarian.

To be fair, Balko hasn’t had much to say specifically about Ferguson, though he has been continuing to write about police militarization and misconduct.

Perhaps the WP issues highly effective hearing protection to their staff. Maybe something like these.

TMQ Watch watch.

August 13th, 2014

Good news: football is back.
News: Tuesday Morning Quarterback is also back.
More news: TMQ Watch will return. We are not sure when, as we are still busy with other things (including wrapping up DEFCON coverage) but we will try to get to this week’s TMQ as soon as we can.

Obit watch: August 13, 2014.

August 13th, 2014

Lauren Bacall. NYT. LAT. A/V Club.

DEFCON 22 updates: August 12, 2014.

August 12th, 2014

Random notes: August 12, 2014.

August 12th, 2014

Garry Kasparov lost his bid to run the World Chess Federation. The incumbent president, Kirsan N. Ilyumzhinov, was re-elected by a wide margin (110 to 61).

Mr. Ilyumzhinov, 52, a native of Kalmykia, a poor Russian republic on the Caspian Sea, has led the chess federation since 1995, but not without controversy. He cultivated friendships with Saddam Hussein, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, and claims that he was abducted by space aliens one night in 1997. He also claims the game was invented by extraterrestrials.


Tiger, Tiger, burning bright: or, Lawrence goes to the tank museum. Hilarity ensues.

Actual LAT headline: “Convicted smuggler of prized fish bladders gets 1-year prison term“.

Robin Williams.

August 12th, 2014

Lawrence. Popehat I. Popehat II. NYT. LAT. A/V Club. Incomparable “Bonus Track”.

Edited to add: The Bloggess.

Somehow this seems appropriate:

Edited to add 2: Cracked. Damn.

So when I hear some naive soul say, “Wow, how could a wacky guy like [insert famous dead comedian here] just [insert method of early self-destruction here]? He was always joking around and having a great time!” my only response is a blank stare.
That’s honestly the equivalent of, “How can that cow be dead? She had to be healthy, because these hamburgers we made from her are delicious!”

Depression lies.

August 11th, 2014

Robin Williams, the Oscar-winning actor and comedian whose performances careened from dazzling pop-culture riffs to intense dramatic roles, died Monday at the age of 63, in an apparent suicide that marked the grim end of his recent battles with severe depression.

I’ll have more to say about this in the morning. In the meantime, the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.