Somewhere, Trog Is Smiling

Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick break up after more than two years together.

Me, too. Hopefully, now he can focus on football.

Aaron Rogers, I mean. Not Trog. He is from Wisconsin, so Trog will focus on the Packers, which is more than football. The Packers is life.

But that’s not why Trog celebrates, of course.

(Explanation to everyone but me: There once was a Wisconsin-based blogger Troglopundit who had a schtick that he liked Danica Patrick. I’ve posted about it from time to time even after his blog ended. Because it allows me to post news about the comely Danica Patrick under the pretext of doing it “for Trog.”)

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Ms. K Doesn’t Care How Old You Feel, Old Man

However, she notes:

And you know what? It might be that many years again until I see the biggest geek sensation of 2016. When I come across a DVD set at a garage sale. Or while scavenging an abandoned farmhouse After.

Brian J., why did you take a screenshot of the tweet instead of embedding it? you might ask. Because, gentle reader, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in 17+ years of blogging, it’s that embedding something means that I won’t see in 2031 what I embedded because Goowitterple will have retired the format, so I’ll have no idea what I was planning to watch in 2050-something.

Which, of course, won’t be useful anyway if there’s an After, but I’ll still be able to use the DVDs I scavenged as a rudimentary mirror. How did I get so old? I will ask myself.

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The Older He Gets, The More He Sounds Like Leonard Cohen

David Gilmour has a new song, “Yes, I Have Ghosts”:

He’s sounding a little more like Leonard Cohen these days, but not the older Leonard Cohen.

Of course, I hear parallels that aren’t there, so he probably does not.

He has long been my favorite member of Pink Floyd, and I was listening to his solo album About Face today, when I remembered he had this song out. So I got it for the cost of a couple of planned shipping delays from Amazon.

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I Am Not A Player Or A PUA

and I say that I’ve come to appreciate a wider beauty in women as I’ve gotten older, but….

I don’t think I’d ever have called that woman a dog.

What? She’s hugging the aforementioned dog, and the advertising company cropped it so there would be a pretty girl to catch your eye instead of another dog? HUSH YOUR PUPPY!

You know, I am not sure what principle determines that I am the target audience for canine vocalization cessation, but I see ads for this a lot. I live out in the country; I don’t care if other peoples’ dogs bark, and if my dogs bark, I want to hear what they have to say. I haven’t clicked through to see if the treatment is for your dogs or the yappy dog in the suburban next yard that prevents you from sleeping, but, brother, that isn’t here.

UPDATE: I hit Publish on the post, and I go to another Web site, and:

A different not-a-dog and her dog.

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Book Report: Blood Rules The Executioner #149 (1991)

Book coverThis book is the first part of a trilogy called the Medellin Trilogy. So it includes appearances by Phoenix Force and Able Team, two spin-off series, as they work together, but separately, to deal with the narcotics traffickers who were bad guys of the era, before everything went back to the Nazis. Come on, there was a James Bond movie and a Tom Clancy novel/movie in the same stripe.

At any rate, Bolan goes to Columbia to bring some pain to the cartels in the area; one of the other teams goes to Panama to take on the strongman leader who’s also a drug conduit (and whose name is not Nanuel Moriega); the other team goes to Miami to deal with the local dealers there and to maybe find a high-powered assassin for one of the cartels. Bolan does his thing playing the cartels against each other, the team in Panama encounters some high powered mercenary talent that one of the team members knows from his time in the Israeli Defense Forces; and the team in Miami links up with an anti-drug crusader who provides them with tips on dealers and factories, a member of the team gets involved with her on a personal level, and in a plot twist that I saw coming from forever away, she is the asssassin who takes orders directly from the leader of the biggest cartel!

So we end with a cliffhanger: The guy involved with her disappears!

At any rate, I checked my shelf, and it looks as though I have the first and the third books in the series. Which kind of matches the experience I had with a lot of fantasy novels that my kid brother, an impressionable Marine back then, gave me when he was in the Corps. He ended up with a lot of incomplete trilogies, and he gave them to me for Christmas one year. So I’m not entirely sure how most of the Forgotten Realms sagas ended. Which led me to a dilemma: do I order the middle book or not?

Well, I discussed it with my beautiful wife, and she encouraged me to order it. So I did. I paid like $5 for an Executioner novel, and suddenly I’m getting further from my goal of reading all the ones I have. Ay, well. I will probably finish this three-book set before I forget what’s going on. Which is always a danger with boilerplate books like this.

I’ve also looked ahead a bit at other books, and it looks as though the trilogy thing for Executioner novels did not become a normal staple in the years ahead.

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Internet Cattin’

I don’t know why I thought of this joke whilst sitting on the pool deck watching my youngest jumping off the diving board.

But I did.

I know, it requires knowledge of Roman history as well as understanding that large cats are called chonkers on the Internet for some reason. To be honest, I could explain the former to you better than the latter.

I know, I could have used Vittles instead of Victuals, but for some reason the slang variant did not come to mind immediately come to mind even though Tender Vittles was a cat food brand back in the day. But I am a snob.

At any rate, I hope you chuckled. Or, as the kids of the Internet say, LOLed.

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In Other Words, It Succeeded

Emergency grant program for small businesses is out of money:

A pot of money meant to help prop up small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic has run out of funds.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance program, a federal measure offering grants of up to $10,000 to entrepreneurs, has ended after reaching the $20 billion funding limit allowed by Congress, the Small Business Administration announced Saturday.

In other words, the program successfully distributed the funds allocated to it by Congress. And by the end of June, no less! Very efficient.

Good job, now back to your other tasks, everybody.

(Link via the Springfield Business Journal, who shriekingly titles the story Emergency grant program runs out of cash.)

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Book Report: William Partridge Burpee: American Marine Impressionist by D. Roger Howlett (1991)

Book coverYou know, he’s a marine impressionist because he painted seaside towns and whatnot, not because he went to Parris Island. As I come from a family of real Marines, I feel the need to make this distinction early. Not that you would have been confused otherwise, gentle reader; I know you’re discerning. But I wanted to again bask in the reflected glory of my relative who served whilst I studied poetry at the university.

At any rate, Burpee was a late 19th and early 20th century painter from Maine who lived/showed in Boston for a while. He seems to have come from some money, and he worked for a time as a bookkeeper before chucking it all for his art. And he did well, showing in Boston as I mentioned among some of the other notables of the time, including Sargent and Monet. He doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, if you can believe such a thing possible. And you can find his work for sale at a thousand dollars a throw, which means of all the art books I’ve read, his is the most likely for me to acquire to hang alongside my garage sale Renoirs.

At any rate, the work is okay. A lot of landscapes, but some figures, and as you know, I like figures in my Impressionism.

I have mentioned that the text with these books tends to run in two ways: One, you have the critic-themed text talking about the influences and comparing the artist to other works, often looking at an artist’s evolution and using a lot of cant. The second tends to the biographical in nature, and I prefer that because reading a bunch of name-dropping text making comparisons and contrasts that I won’t get bore me.

This book, on the other hand, does both: At the start and end, we get the comparisons, but in the middle, Burpee takes a trip to Europe at like fifty, and he travels through France, Italy, and whatnot for two years. We get a lot more detail about his life at that time, but then we’re back into the other. So a bit whip-sawed, but not bad.

So I’m glad to have read it and glad to have written this review so I can some time in the coming years look back at it and say, “Oh, yeah, that guy.”

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That’s Not Funny

We have, on occasion, shared knock knock and other jokes at the dinner table, and most of them are not especially funny, which makes us laugh the harder.

I mean, my oldest used to memorize them from joke books and retell them. Then, my youngest, who did not grasp humor really, would try his own, and we’d get something like:

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Boo who?
Boo YOU!

That brought tears to my eyes, and I could not stop laughing, because that has an actual knock-knock joke punchline, and he did not use it.

Friends of ours related how their children made up their own non sequitur punch lines that also involved giant chickens in some fashion; at Nogglestead, the giant chickens at the door were doing crazy things and ruining your property values. These, too, punch above their actual humor in how much we laugh at them.

Last night, I debuted a new one I wrote, well, last night:

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Rookie law enforcement official on my first no-knock raid. Oh, dammit!

Nobody laughed, so I guess that’s another one to not send to Reader’s Digest.

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This Weekend’s History Lesson

We’re spending time at home again, so we have had the opportunity to watch a couple of films over the weekend.

Such as this history lesson:

Which is not much of a history lesson at all, given that it’s purportedly set in the protodynastic period in Egypt which runs like 3000 B.C., when two actual Egyptians bore the title King Scorpion, and the Rock plays the last of the Akkadians, which is is out of time since the Akkadian empire did not rise until about 2300 B.C., seven hundred years after, and the “Akkadians” are assassins, which seems to be patterned on the Order of Assassins from roughly 1100 A.D.

So, that is to say, it was not a very good history lesson at all but rather a lesson not to get your understanding of history from the cinema.

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Taking the Papers

So they tell me that print is dead. However, over the last couple of weeks, I have subscribed to four newspapers.

As you might know, gentle reader, I have been taking the weekly Greene County Commonwealth since it was the Republic Monitor, before that young Squibb fellow bought it. I’ve also started subscriptions to the Marshfield Mail after learning that the new Missouri poet laureate is the editor and The Current Local out of Van Buren since last fall, when I stopped on the way back from Poplar Bluff where I helped my brother tear off his roof and discovered that Van Buren has a little paper (named after the Current River).

Well, friends, for my oldest son’s birthday this year, we started a brokerage account and seeded him a little money for investing in equities. So I’ve re-subscribed to the Wall Street Journal so he can review the stock section and maybe get an idea about what he’d like to invest in. So far, I’m a week into receiving the paper, and I have kept up with it–I’ve mentioned at least once that I’ve been known to let the unread papers accumulate for weeks or months. Although some days I’m the third person to read it, as my son goes and gets it in the morning and then my wife might browse it in the afternoon before I can sit down with it in the evening. But, still. I am doing well so far (but this is subject to change, and in a month I will no doubt have a stack of them).

I also re-subscribed to the Tri Lakes News out of Branson, now called the Branson Tri Lakes News. I had a subscription for a couple of years after one of our trips down there, but I have it up in a moment of cost-cutting at some point. It’s $100 annually for a bi-weekly, which means, what, a buck a paper? It seemed like a lot when I wanted to trim at the edges of our budget. However, when we went down this summer, I felt a little underinformed about the state of Branson and the shows that were open, so I resubscribed.

On our way back from Poplar Bluff this month I stopped in Mansfield (home of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Rocky Ridge Farm) hoping to find a local paper. Instead, I found two: the Douglas County Herald and the WC [Wright County] Journal. So I subscribed to both of them as well.

So, if you’re keeping track, I now take one daily, one bi-weekly, and four weeklies.

Next up: The Licking News. As I mentioned, I got one misdelivered in the mail a couple years ago and from time to time think to subscribe to the paper, but I haven’t found a form or rate for the subscription. I’ll probably break down and email them for what to put on my check now that I’ve seen that they hosted a book signing for Larry Dablemont, whose Ain’t No Such Animal I just read. So clearly this is a sign that now is the time. Also, Larry Dablemont has a new book out which I will have to get.

At any rate, not depicted: the Springfield News-Leader. I get to page through it when I go to the dentist, and basically it’s a couple of pages written by twenty-three-year-olds and pieces from USA Today. So, nah, brah. They can’t run enough Steve Pokin to justify the expense.

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Hasn’t Anyone Here Seen Kuffs?

Why Is a Tech Executive Installing Security Cameras Around San Francisco?

It sounds sinister. A soft-spoken cryptocurrency mogul is paying for a private network of high-definition security cameras around the city. Zoom in and you can see the finest details: the sticker on a cellphone, the make of a backpack, the color of someone’s eyes.

But in San Francisco, a city with a decades-long anti-authority streak, from hippies and pioneering gay rights activists to the techno-utopian libertarians and ultra-progressives of today, the crypto mogul has found a surprisingly receptive audience.

Here’s why: While violent crime is not high in the city, property crime is a constant headache. Anyone who lives here knows you shouldn’t leave anything — not a pile of change, not a scarf — in a parked car. Tourists visiting the city’s vistas like Twin Peaks or the famously windy Lombard Street are easy marks. The city government has struggled to solve the problem.

Come on, anyone who has seen the 1992 film Kuffs over and over (which might only be me) knows there’s already a thing that San Francisco can use that’s not exactly police: San Francisco Patrol Special Police.

San Francisco Patrol Special Police is a neighborhood police force authorized in San Francisco’s City Charter but not part of the San Francisco Police Department. They are non-sworn private patrol persons, appointed and regulated by the San Francisco Police Commission after an initial background review by the San Francisco Police Department. They are assigned to, or purchase, a specific area, or beat and charge private clients hourly rates for a variety of services.

The force has been in operation since 1847 during the California Gold Rush. By current City Code the force provides patrols on the streets of San Francisco as well as at fixed locations, and also provides a range of other safety services as requested by private clients.

The San Francisco Patrol Special Police is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States and credited for the first modern U.S. adaption of the Community policing concept.

Probably too much like actual police for right thinking people. Best to just install hackable cameras whose watchers are unknown and unknowable instead.

(Link via Althouse.)

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My Other Little Friend

So in addition to working on the The Elements of Style, I have had my boys working on outlining/summarizing various things as “bonus” assignments through which they can earn a little afternoon video game time. I’ve had them outline the forward and introduction to The Elements of Style and the introduction to Vintage Reading by Robert Kanigel. However, I didn’t want to have to come up with a new short essay for them to outline every day, so I have started them summarizing the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.

You might remember that I read Meditation myself in 2009. What? Eleven years ago? Eesh.

More recently, Adaptive Curmudgeon came across some of quotes from Marcus Aurelius for contemporary consideration.

Also, note that The Elements of Style intersects with Meditations in that the first rule, which describes using the apostrophe and s in possessives, says to use ‘s when the name ends in s except in ancient names, in which case you probably want to change it to the possession of owner. Like the temple of Zeus. Or the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.

So I got to apply both to this post. Ain’t I smart?

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I Noticed

LinkedIn users ditch polite networking for real talk on U.S. race and inequity

Yeah, I saw that the professional social network suddenly resembled every other social network with everyone suddenly reposting and giving up twinkies to approved thoughts.

Kinda like my Facebook feed but with fewer ads for t-shirts and otters.

Link via my LinkedIn feed, where someone uptwinkied someone else saying he was inspired by politics overrunning his feed.

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\m/ \m/

20 Great Heavy Metal Quotes.

My favorite of the bunch?

“A French magazine printed my obituary. How did I die? I dunno, it was in French.”
– Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister

Although this matches my feelings on nu metal for the most part:

“Adding rap to rock music is a bit like taking the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen to a plastic surgeon, then asking him to give her a penis.”
– Manowar’s Karl Logan.

To be honest, I only recognize some of the names because I read Louder than Hell. I AM A POSER.

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I Ain’t That Eld

I’m used to seeing ads for the “I am from Wisconsin, but I live in Missouri” t-shirts that indicate that I’m a Packers fan or a Milwaukee fan or something.

But I got this one:

The Milwaukee Braves are juuuuuust a bit outside my lifetime.

My oldest baseball card, though, is a Del Crandall Milwaukee Braves card from about 1952 that I probably found when I was living in the projects; its corners are rounded and I think it’s taped together. But that doesn’t make me an Atlanta Braves fan. And I’m not sure when Facebook tossed my closet to review my baseball card collection.

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