Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Bagatelle.

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Kim Jong-nam Died of Heart Failure, North Korea Suggests

“Heart failure,” MacAdoo said in an almost sorrowful tone.
“Heart seizure,” Haere said automatically.
“What’s the difference?”
‘Everyone dies of heart failure.”

–Ross Thomas, Missionary Stew

Bagatelle.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

‘Hog Apocalypse’: Texas has a new weapon in its war on feral pigs. It’s not pretty.

I have no joke here. I just want to embed this:

Retail is heck.

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Two stories related to the declining fortunes of the retail industry that I thought were worth noting:

1. Sears is selling off the Craftsman tool brand. My dad did all of his own auto and home maintenance, and he swore by his Craftsman tools. And why not: they had a lifetime warranty, no questions asked. (I remember going with him to a Sears at one point to exchange a socket wrench: he was trying to get a rusted bolt on a truck bumper unstuck, as I recall, and was using a length of pipe to get additional leverage. The wrench snapped in half before the bolt gave. And Sears didn’t even ask any questions. They just gave him a replacement socket wrench.)

But I haven’t been in a Sears store for years, and I’m not even sure that they still have the lifetime warranty on Craftsman tools. I’m not sure what my dad would be doing now: perhaps purchasing Snap-On instead, as I think they’ve become a little more available now. (You kind of had to know people in the 70s and early 80s, or work professionally as a mechanic, to get Snap-On tools.) This looks like a quick attempt at a cash infusion to prop up a dying company.

2) Macy’s is laying off 10,000 people. And they’re closing three stores in Houston, including the one at Greenspoint Mall.

When I was a teenager, I spent a fair amount of time at Greenspoint Mall, and I (well, my family and I) shopped at the Foley’s.

Note I said “the Foley’s”. Not “the Macy’s”. Foley’s was a beloved regional brand that Macy’s bought and which they have proceeded to run into the ground.

Granted, it is hard to do retail these days, and it is hard to run a mall. Especially Greenspoint, which has changed considerably since my teenage years. (I have heard that it is now commonly nicknamed “Gunspoint Mall”.) As Mike the Musicologist, who is also familiar with the area, said when I informed him, “… seeing what’s become of Greenspoint and West Oaks, the better question is ‘What took you so long?'”

Maybe sometime real soon now, they can use what’s left of Greenspoint to film the big chase scene in that all-female remake of “The Blues Brothers”. I remember there being lots of space in that mall.

Not an obit watch.

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

The Leonard Cohen obit will probably go up some time tomorrow. The news is breaking and I want to give it time to settle.

Musical interlude.

Friday, November 13th, 2015

No particular reason. Just feel like it.

Correlation does not imply causation.

Friday, May 9th, 2014

This may be my new favorite blog.

Got nothing.

Friday, January 10th, 2014

I hate being silent for two days straight, but I don’t have any thing I feel is worth writing about.

The Chris Christie thing is now being covered by everyone else in the world. I don’t have anything new to add, or anything more to say, about the gun show thing; there’s going to be a Saxet show this month per the existing contract, and Premier is going to have shows in Cedar Park during April and June. I’m frankly a little burned out on this fight, and I’m not sure what else we can do. (“If voting could change the system, it wouldn’t be legal.”)

More than anything else, I’m just feeling cranky and upset and tired and depressed. I think part of it is the season and part of it is the weather. I don’t know. I’m having trouble concentrating on stuff: I’m still trying to write the King of Sports review and do coursework, but both are struggles.

Maybe I just need a weekend. One more day to go.

Pete and Repeat.

Friday, August 30th, 2013

I’ve quoted these lines from Ian Frazier’s On the Rez before. For reasons I can’t really explain, they have a special resonance for me. It seems appropriate to quote them again now.

If I had a film of SuAnne at Lead (as far as I know, no such film exists) I would study it in slow motion frame by frame. There’s a magic in what she did, along with the promise that public acts of courage are still alive out there somewhere. Mostly, I would run the film of SuAnne again and again for my own braveheart song. I refer to her, as I do to Crazy Horse, for proof that it’s a public service to be brave.

It’s a public service to be brave. Even if you don’t believe you are.

I cannot tell a lie…

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

…I only just got around to this, but:

…luring noted playwright and director Neil LaBute from his own hotly-anticipated theatrical project Not the Bees: An Evening With Nicolas Cage.

kicked over my giggle-box, as did:

“You asshole, you can’t even get your director in-jokes right,” LaBute reportedly said, and stormed out, never to return.

Apropos 2.

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

“If I’m the G-dd–n Batman, why am I on top of a cake with this amazonian bimbo?”

I commend to the attention of future brides everywhere the strategy that this one used to encourage participation by both genders in the bouquet toss: attach a Fry’s gift card to the bouquet. (However, brides should consider carefully the value of the card they’re going to attach. For $10, yeah, I’ll participate. For $250, I’ll kill a snitch. I’m not saying I have, I’m not saying I haven’t…)

People you normally don’t see this dressed up, part 1.

And two. Finally, here’s what seems like a fitting song for the happy couple.

Quote of the day.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I tucked it in there with the dishes following the well-known scientific principle of “why the hell not?”

Indeed. In our studies of the history of technology, we have found that much scientific and technical advancement is motivated by that same principle.

Western Civilization.

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Gandhi is supposed to have said it would be a good idea, but I am unable to find a trustworthy source for that quote.

Western civilization is doomed:

Twilight hair accessories

Western civilization is not doomed:

That’s a Hot Wheels car with a built-in video camera. And a built-in LCD screen so you can play back your video without downloading it (though you can do that as well with the USB cable). Target had it for $50.

I have no idea how much video it records or what quality, but man! I would never have predicted that 41 years ago.

(You know something else? Hot Wheels at Target are going for about $1.07; I think I paid $3.49 for a five-pack. You know what I was paying for Hot Wheels when I bought them out of my own pocket at the age of 4 or 5? About a buck. You know what $1 in 1970 money translates into? $5.83. I’m sure someone’s going to tell me today’s Hot Wheels aren’t as well made as the 1970 0nes – I don’t have any of my 1970 ones in front of me, but the new ones feel fine – or that they’re made in China and coated with lead paint – I don’t chew on mine – but frankly, I don’t care. Name me something else that’s stayed at a near constant price for 40 years.)