Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Odd Quotes

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
~ Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ummm, I was, er, supposed to...

Ramblings Post #287
There are moments when the world slows down and we can reach out with our fingertips to touch the fabric of reality. Every thought and every action is crystal clear and purposeful. Everything has meaning and depth. We are the masters of the universe. This is not that moment. 

I've been out of it.

This chicken plucking schedule has me so off my body clock, so off kilter, so off the grid that I didn't even fill out a bracket this year. I'd printed out a bracket and filled in a few first round games, but left it for later because my mind was fuzzy with other things. The whole week has been odd. Even stranger, no one in my office even mentioned the games. Not once all week. The games weren't on at lunch in the break room. Now that I remember it, Tosh.0 was playing. No office pool, no predictions, nothing.

Now I'm not a devoted fan of college basketball by any stretch of the imagination. I have buddies who can tell you what high school someone played at, offensive schemes, player tendencies and shooting percentages for multiple teams. I just like a good game, and underdog story, both of which the tourney is chock full of. I like a lot of people watch for the sport, not because I have a team.  

But to work in an office full of guys who don't watch any sports? Not any of them? What in the world is really going on? What strange land is this?

Barkeep. A Redbull smoothie with a shot of Tequila, and bag of Doritos.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hillary and the Server

This is a political post. 

This is a scandal? I didn’t realize that we were running that low on scandal.

So, if I got this straight, although it wasn’t illegal at the time the Secretary of State used a server setup for her husband's use. A secure server setup for use by a former President of the United States, so like another part of the government - possibly Secret Service -  if I think about it, and we’re having a hissy fit. I’m fairly certain the E-birthday card to her daughter didn’t get mixed up with her confession that she was the one who turned off the radar outside of Pearl Harbor early one morning. I'm not quite sure what her detractors are looking for, but this is not the scandal they want it to be. Not even close. Like a 2, maybe. 

We live in a brand new world, and days of voluminous reams of paper correspondence are gone. A tossed off email here, a quick phone call there are what the movers and the shakers of our existence use to move and the shake. And if you’ve ever lost a connection at that particular curve in the highway or had the misfortune to try to access a government approved email system, you should sympathize with anyone who would prefer to use a system they know works. She had two wars going, a hostile other half of government and as I understand already had two iPads, or tablets or whatever it was we were all hot to have at the time. How much more stuff was she supposed to carry? (There will be no purse jokes, thanks.)

It’s not like she’s the first person to do this, see Colin Powell, Karl Rove and others including Chris Christie who have used personal email when official email is provided. I'm willing to bet those servers weren't setup for a President. Sure she handled it poorly, but I'm thinking of this as just practice. Presidency practice, although I'm not sure why she would need anymore. And I’m not sure why it matters, because the National Archives doesn’t have a set way to preserve them in the way they do documents. 

And in any case the only place this will matter is attack ads come 2016. And I don't think any of us are looking forward to that.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Saint of Ankh-Morpork

“It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.”
~ Terry Pratchett, Jingo

My own Terry Pratchett books... that I could find on short notice. 
One of my favorite authors, from the list on the side, passed away on Thursday. I'd just ordered a copy of one of his latest books the night before.

He weaved a magic with words and ideas in such a fashion that in my dreams I could only hope that one day I might be considered a pale imitator. He took broad sweeping concepts and reduced them to their underlying silliness and stupidity in dialogue that should be enshrined for their clarity. If you think of his books as trite fantasy, just goblins and dragons, then you need to read them again.

Like a lot of readers, I found him after Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which I plucked off a book-stand in a gas station in Santee, SC). It was with Adams I discovered that good writing could be funny, but take grand concepts and boil them down to where even a hick from the backwoods like me could understand them. It was like being ushered into the philosopher’s trust. But you can only re-read him so many times. Maybe. But I was young then, in my teens. I found Pratchett in college.

I look back now and realized I entered his massive Discworld series at the wrong point – Guards, Guards  or Men at Arms would have been a better start, or one involving Granny Weatherwax, but I like a lot of people before me started with Rincewind. And while Adams was good, Pratchett was in my opinion, a master. People laud Tolkien, who wrote his books as travelogues to showcase the languages he invented, but Pratchett weaved a massive world over thirty plus books that you could prop up as a mirror to our own little hunk of dirt in space and give us a chance to see where our seams were showing. And he did it with a laugh.  

Peel back the dwarves and goblins, and you see a short comment on the absurdity of pushing for war while insisting that the government taxes too much, or of the balance of tradition vs new ideas,  or religion for religion’s sake,  or believing in oneself and redemption. Maybe you prefer your lessons dry, but Pratchett served them with a liberal ladling of joy and great heaps of humor, wrapped in an idea that was just sweet enough to follow.

Sir Terry Pratchett. Oh, ye sir, shall be missed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Things I meant to comment on...

Ramblings Post #286
It's the winter months, and normally I would be cocooned up in the crib fizzed out on the latest video game, playing each night after work staying warm and saving money. Think about it, ONE sixty dollar game, two months of enjoyment. I'm not a stay up three days and finish it kinda guy. I savor the experience. Only this year has been different. Damn Chicken plucking. So many half started posts. So to catch up...

Jon Stewart’s departure

Seventeen years is a long time. I like Jon Stewart. He embodies just the right amount of serious and sarcasm to look like a newscaster but possess the correct amount of outrage at the absurdity he has to report to be tragically funny. I remember there was a host of the Daily Show before him, but that’s like reminding folks that Jack Paar hosted the Tonight Show before Johnny Carson. Of course many of you have no idea who I’m talking about because to you Jay Leno has always been the guy. Man I’m old.

In any case, the tone of the show is the host. Had John Oliver or Larry Wilmore not gotten their own shows, I would have nominated either one. There has some push for Jessica Williams to be named the host, but at this point in her career, I don’t think she’s seasoned enough yet. Three more years, sure, but right now, I haven’t see it.  And since they can’t put the show on hold for three years to wait….


I watched the first episode. That’s it. It’s a phenomenon and being accorded all kind of press because unlike a lot of shows, the numbers keep going up and up. And if the gifs from Tumblr are to be believed, it has some great one liners.  I just was thrown because it pasted the disease issue on the front of the story (seemingly copying one of favorite shows, Kelsey Grammer’s turn in Boss) and it doesn’t really add anything to the story. Although I usually hate writing that stuffs a story early, establishing multiple story lines separately instead of growing them from a single event, the story presented was more than enough. Why tack on a disease? What if the show makes to past his diagnosed life span? Does he come back as a ghost? I'm just saying.

Please note I didn’t watch because I thought it was bad, I’m just usually not into over the top soap opera type drama. 


Did not watch. Seriously, did you think they'd give it to Selma? Seriously?

Cold Weather/MARTA

Damn Atlanta is cold. Way too cold. You especially feel it in the morning when you’ve just missed the MARTA train and you were on the escalator to the platform but couldn’t run because you hurt your leg the week previous. It cuts through your leather jacket, and your down jacket, and it makes you think you’re getting really fat because that little fabric cap you have now seems too small. Because it’s cold. Then the next week it’s warm enough for shorts weather, then bam, it’s comforter weather cold again.

If anyone asks if climate change is real, give them the weather reports for a January in Atlanta. This just don’t make no damn sense. 

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

About damn time. I truly think this would be a lot better if say, you guys waited until I could afford to actually buy a ticket. Although at my current rate, that fight would be the basis for Grudge Match 2. This is the fight we’ve been waiting for. And it better be good. None of that first round knock out crap either. Considering how much you two are gonna screw up everyone’s May – a big party at the start AND Memorial Day at the finish – it better look like a Rocky movie come to life. If people shell out for Vegas and it ends early?

My Achilles

Apparently I hurt my Achilles. Stressed it. I would explain what happened, but it seems to a source of mirth when I tell the story, so you'll have to find me and buy me dinner to get it out of me. I'm on the mend though. Two weeks ago I could not walk at all. Now the limp is barely noticeable. Six months from now I'll be running marathons. No, I'm lying. I'll be able sitting on the couch watching a marathon going 'I could do that.' And telling myself my leg hasn't quite healed yet. Not quite.

Barkeep. I'll need a nice California Chardonnay and some of those cheeses. I'm not gonna eat it, it's for the look. 


Monday, March 2, 2015

He Lived Long And Prospered

I really thought he'd live as long as Spock
Writer. Director. Poet. Photographer. Musician. Actor. Cultural Icon.
Leonard Nimoy.
Live Long and Prosper.
He did.