Is This What I Do With Eternity?

Buy a Rubik’s Cube, order some black stickers, and then put the black stickers on it to create a Gothik’s Cube?

Apparently, so, although in my defense, the actual sticker application only took a couple of minutes.

But, wait, there’s more: I also have a trophy case for it and have ordered a bronze plate. I might have to put up a picture of the completed project, which I might keep or I might give away for Christmas. Or maybe I will do a bunch of them and put them on Etsy until I do a simple Internet search and find the Internet is already rife with them.

Aw, dang.

But a greater portion of eternity, I will spend trying to figure out what to do with 442 more black square stickers (roll of 500 – 54 on the cube – 2 lost in the taping that held the roll closed). Just kidding! I will spend a couple of weeks with it on my desk, and then I will toss it into one of the assorted bins and leave it for my heirs to deal with.

Total cost $10 for the cube, $10 for the stickers, $5 for the trophy case, $10 for the little tag…. Suddenly, my strange handicrafts become fairly expensive indeed.

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St. Louis County Votes To Curtail Affordable Rental Housing in St. Louis County

St. Louis County votes to halt evictions:

Some households in St. Louis County are waking up with a sigh of relief after St. Louis County leaders voted to halt evictions through June.

In a 4-2-1 vote Tuesday night, the county council voted to approve a measure to temporarily suspend evictions until June 30.

Why will it end in June? Spoiler alert: It won’t.

So what is a landlord to do? Raise the rent, or let the properties fall to ruin because they can’t put out people who don’t pay the rent?

Maybe both!

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Lileks Identifies A Lacking I Had Not Acutely Noticed

Lileks today has a picture from downtown Minneapolis:

That’s a pussy willow. We don’t have those in Missouri. Unlike when I said we didn’t have white birch only to find that the park near our house in Old Trees was riot with them, I checked the range of the American Pussy Willow, which appears a bit in Northern Missouri, but certainly not here in the Ozarks. When I was a boy, and later a student at the university, I would have seen blooming pussy willows every spring. And as a man, I had not noticed I was not seeing them until today.

A couple points:

  • Aren’t you afraid of stealing Lileks’ photo here? C’mon, man, he still could have the Nonfungible Token on it (Link via Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit).
  • Aren’t you afraid by naming that tree several times that you’ll suddenly be beset with Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans looking for, erm, spicy pictures of Alyson Hannigan? Gentle reader, I am counting on it. I could use the traffic. So below the fold, I’ll post a picture of Alyson Hannigan.

At any rate, I have the sudden urge to plant some pussy willow trees at Nogglestead; likely, though, they would fare only as well as the Lileks lilacs.

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Brian J.’s Recycler Tour (III)

Apparently, twelve years ago, I quipped on Facebook:

Brian J. Noggle recommends you avoid tugging on Batman’s cape as well. To be honest, he’s more piquish than Superman.

Note:

  • In those days, what you put into Facebook appeared right next to your name, so I often phrased my posts as though my name was the subject in a sentence. It’s not that Brian J. often refers to himself in the first person. Although, I suppose, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I do.
  • Hmmm, twelve years ago, I used peckish instead of piquish. I have corrected it here in the Revised Second Edition of this quip.

Also, I need to footnote this humor.

*

You damn kids.

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Book Report: Mr. Monk Goes To Hawaii by Lee Goldberg (2006)

Book coverAll right, all right, all right, I said I was going to finish David Copperfield before I picked this book up, but I did a couple of chapters of Dickens and wanted another break. So I picked this book up a week later. This one, recall, gentle reader, I bought at the Friends of the Christian County Book Sale in 2017; given that this particular sale generally runs concurrently with the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale, I checked to see if it, too, was running this week. Oh, but no: it was an in-library event the first weekend of the month. Which I would have known if I only subscribed to the Christian County Headliner. And, I suppose, read it in a timely fashion (I often fall a week or two behind, so I generally only later discover events I would have wanted to attend).

But enough about me: This book has Natalee, Mr. Monk’s assistant, dropping a bomb on him: her best friend is getting married, so she has an all-expense trip paid for to a resort in Hawaii for a week, and she waits until the day before to tell him. She expects to have a week away from him, but he, with the help of a prescription from his psychiatrist, flies on a plane (with all of his inhibitions and habits gone) to join her.

Mr. Monk is the man to speak up at the wedding, as he noticed things that indicate that the groom is a liar and potential bigamist; after that, an older (sixties!) woman with a trophy husband is murdered; it turns out that he has married older women and inherited them before, but in the past, they’ve died of natural causes (or have they?). She was bashed in the head in her bungalow after reporting hearing voices. Meanwhile, a spiritualist next door filming his television show says he has messages from Monk’s dead wife and Natalee’s dead husband, and Monk wants to prove him a fraud.

Again, a good book, and I am going to look for Lee Goldberg work next Saturday at the book sale. Which is me going out of my way to the fiction tables; most of the time, I only hit the records, audio courses, art books, old books, and local interest sections. But I am planning to not take my boys, so I’ll have a little more time to wander.

At any rate, flags and stuff below the fold.

Continue reading “Book Report: Mr. Monk Goes To Hawaii by Lee Goldberg (2006)”

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Things I Knew Already

I should make this a series, but I guess I would have to already know more than one thing I read on the Internet to make it so.

However, Neatorama links to a Smithsonian article called The Ill-Fated Idea to Move the Nation’s Capital to St. Louis.

Of course I knew that; I read It Happened In Lemay. The book review mentions the story in a sentence “Lemay was once considered for capital of the United States (story here).” The sentence contains a dead link.

You know, I have been getting a lot of hits lately for that book report for an obscure comb-bound history book by the editor of a defunct local newspaper (Naborhood Link News), and I could not understand it. Perhaps it was research for that article.

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But Can It Seek And Destroy Enemy Rovers?

NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity completes third successful flight:

NASA completed the third successful flight of its Mars helicopter Ingenuity on Sunday.

The NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif., announced the successful flight in a tweet Sunday morning, declaring that the helicopter “continues to set records” flying faster and farther.

C’mon, man, Martian records that we know of are currently pretty easy to break, ainna?

But let’s look to the future: That little thing should have a couple Hellfire missiles on it.

Because later rovers will have that capability (China invokes mythic god of war and fire for its Mars rover name).

(Former link from Instapundit; the latter because I hit the New York Post Web site a couple times a day. Kind of like when I got my first desk job connected to the Web in 1998.)

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Getting Along With Little Doggies

The Ozarks Multisport Club is holding its duathlon series in person this year, way up north of Springfield, so I shan’t attend this year as it would be an hour in the car each way before the suck occurs.

Since it’s not virtual, that also means that this little guy over on FR 190 will miss me as I won’t be passing by at speed every weekend.

Although, to be honest, he’s a bit lazy; its the cattle on the other side of the road that would run along the fence line inside the pasture that as I ran or rode by. Although, to be honest, it’s not just the horns one must fear.

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Book Report: Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg (2006)

Book coverI don’t know where I picked this up; it’s a nice hardback edition, and it doesn’t have any price stickers or internal markings to indicate whether it came from a library book sale or ABC books. One of the mysteries of the universe, I guess.

The book is based on the television series Monk which ran the early part of the century. That makes it ten or twenty years younger than the other television- and movie-based properties I’ve been reading the last couple of months. This is the first in the series, which pleases me, as I also came across the paperback copy of Mr. Monk Goes To Hawaii that I bought in 2017, and I managed to grab the earlier one first (unlike the Babylon 5 episode guide I just read, which is for the second season but I’ve learned that I have the episode guide for the first season around here somewhere).

And I really enjoyed this book.

The schtick of the program is that Adrian Monk, the detective, is obsessive-compulsive and germaphobic, but his slightly warped mind is good for solving murders because he notices little details that other people overlook. The book is written in a first person narrator style where his assistant, a former bartender who keeps him in handiwipes and intercedes with normal people on his behalf, tells the story. So it has a Holmes/Watson structure, and it’s fun to read. And no politics; a lot of twenty-first century crime fiction, especially by established authors (Ed McBain, Robert B. Parker, Marcia Muller), has some jabs or worse at people who vote differently than the authors. You get nothing of the sort in this book, and it’s set in San Francisco.

My beautiful wife tells me she has read works by the author and some of his collaborations with Janet Evanovich and has enjoyed them; perhaps when I hit the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library book sale next week, I will actually walk past the fiction section and the mystery tables to see if I can spot some of his other works.

Which is not to say I did not find things to flag and quibble and snark over.
Continue reading “Book Report: Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg (2006)”

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Welcome To The Dystopian Future

Where one links to a humor piece entitled AN FAQ ABOUT YOUR NEW BIRTH CONTROL: THE MUSIC OF RUSH and one feels compelled to add:

In case you’ve never heard of Rush, you really should. Seriously, love ’em or hate ’em, you’re incomplete if you haven’t heard at least a few of their songs.

What a world we now live in!

(Side note: The three Rush songs on my gym playlist: “Fly By Night”, “Roll the Bones”, and “Dreamline”–coincidentally, what 97 QFM was playing in 1991, when Roll the Bones was something of a comeback album even though the band had not really been away.)

I have given my oldest son a number of Pink Floyd albums (The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here) for Christmas to hopefully helpfully forestall the day when one has to explain which one’s Pink. (The lad asked me the other day, “Waters or Gilmour?” probably to like the opposite one better–teenagers!)

I know, that’s two music posts in a row. But, c’mon, man, you’re not here for the hot takes on news and politics, ainna?

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Musical Balance, Spring 2021

Forgive me, Father; it has been five months (November 11, 2020) since my last confession about my musical purchasing balance.

Perhaps I was holding off because my musical purchases were unbalanced. Perhaps I held off because I’m not sure that anyone reads these posts. Perhaps I was being lazy because I really have been buying a lot from individuals’ Web sites, so it’s not like I can just roll down my Amazon ordered list (strangely, my Amazon orders have really dropped of a cliff this year).

However, we shall see as we go here if I bought more than the 18 albums I bought in the summer and autumn of 2020. Spoiler alert: The album I mentioned I was thinking about buying? I bought it. Perhaps you did not need a spoiler alert for that; you probably expected that non-twist.

Continue reading “Musical Balance, Spring 2021”

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World War III Teams Sign Up

The current administration is working hard to get teams signed up for World War III: Biden recognizes atrocities against Armenians as genocide

Well, I guess that pushes a NATO member towards the Chinese/Russian side.

Currently, we’ve got the teams as follows:

Allies: Other Side:
United States Russia
China
Turkey

Although we really have to come up with actual allies to call our side “the Allies”. We could add Taiwan, briefly. And we’d need to come up with a name for the other side since Axis is played out and Axis of Evil, too.

Ah, well, the winners will write the history of any future global conflict. Let’s leave it to them.

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Next, To Thwart Casanova Frankenstein

Hey, the Bowler has to have her his priorities:

Man fills bowling ball with father’s ashes — then bowls perfect game

Although I did not watch Mystery Men with my boys on Spring Break last month, I did watch it with them earlier this year.

Not that I would have needed to see it recently to make this connection. Although it was not played over and over on Showtime while we lived in a trailer, it was something I saw when I was young enough to make an impression, and I’ve watched it a couple of times in the intervening twenty-some years.

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Life Lessons from Brian J.

I am trying to raise my boys to be men, which means I like to pass on important life lessons to them.

For example, I am teaching my children young men:

  • It is impossible to look tough while drinking through a straw. Humphrey Bogart would himself looked silly with a duck face as he tried to get the last of a frappé out of a plastic cup. When a drink comes with a straw, take it out and drink it like a man.
  • Beans can be any meal. I know, I know; when I was a kid, I did not have a taste for beans, but now that I am a man, I find that you can have beans for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And you can mix in other leftovers with beans to stretch them out. I attribute this, of course, to I read The Grapes of Wrath.
  • Never, ever appear before your woman wearing nothing but socks. Especially black socks. Okay, they’re still a little young for this particular lesson, but it’s an important one.

Just a few little things, but they make adult life easier and better.

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Brian J.’s Recycler Tour

I can’t believe I wasted some of my best lines on Twitter and Facebook, making money for the Boy rather than as an attraction for you, gentle reader, to come here for the wit and make me money by clicking one of the (blocked) ads or the Amazon links, even though I was booted from the affiliate program when Amazon had tantrum about people making money in states that threatened to collect Internet sales taxes before they had a footprint in that state. Now, of course, Internet sales taxes are a fait accompli and Amazon has big footprints in the state, but when I applied for reinstatement, not enough people ordered through my affiliate link, so I got discharged a second time. Maybe I’ll try again when I get up to fifty readers a day consistently–they’re mostly search hits for old book reports anyway, the kind of place where an affiliate book link might make sense.

But I digress.

Apparently, I posted this gem on Facebook ten years ago:

Momma always said life is like a box of Kafka’s.

Now more than ever, ainna?

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I Thought We Were Passed The “Haw, Haw!” Stage, But Probably Never Will Be

Ted Nugent, who once dismissed COVID-19, gets virus:

In the video shot at his Michigan ranch, the “Cat Scratch Fever” singer repeatedly uses racist slurs to refer to COVID-19 and reiterates his previous stance that he wouldn’t be getting the vaccine because he claims wrongly that “nobody knows what’s in it.”

Nugent, a supporter of ex-President Donald Trump, previously called the pandemic a scam and has railed against public health restrictions. He has repeated a narrative pushed by conservative media and disputed by health experts that suggests the official death count from the coronavirus is inflated.

So much rightthinking in that “news,” I feel mindcleaner for having read it.

UPDATE: Immediately after posting this, I happened over to Facebook and saw one of my now-Internet acquaintances commenting on another medium’s covering of the story with his own, “Haw, haw!” I used to think so much better of people. On the other hand, I vote for Trump twice, so he would think me irredeemable were he to think of me at all.

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Meanwhile, In Missouri

As you know, gentle reader, I like to have my pool opened early in April so that the water is clear enough that we can jump into it and swim in April, no matter how cold it is, because I am from Wisconsin, and my boys have Wisconsin blood in them.

Which means this often happens.

Let it be known that I might not jump into that water this weekend.

Also, I really should have cut some more firewood yesterday afternoon when it was seventy degrees.

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Book Report: Babylon 5: The Coming of Shadows by Jane Killick (1998)

Book coverWhen I bought this in 2007, I said:

I have seen like five minutes of Babylon 5 in my life, and I’m buying a book tie-in? I blame it on book-acquisition-drunkeness.

In the fourteen years since, I have not seen any more Babylon 5. I thought back then that this was a tie-in novel, but, you know, looking at the cover indicates that this is an episode guide for the second season, apparently the one where The Scarecrow (Bruce Boxleitner) takes over from Sisko the other guy. The joke is on me, though, as I bought the episode guide for season one, Signs and Portents in an ABC Books order last year during the Great Empausening, as I could have read the first season’s episode guide before this one.

At any rate, the book is an episode guide that talks about the second season. There’s a new commander on the space station, and a couple of the races whose ambassadors reside on the station are gearing up for war–one race with the assistance of an ancient race that almost conquered the universe a long time ago. The book starts with an article on producing the series on a budget, and then the individual episodes have a cast list, a summary, and then the cast and crew talking about their memories of making the episode. As such, you don’t get a lot of intricate connections between the episodes, although it does mention the arc stories as they developed.

While reading, I was struck by the actors who played in Star Trek series and Babylon 5, including Walter Koenig and Dwight Schultz. I see Miguel A. Núñez, Jr., was a guest star in one episode this season; I saw his film Juwanna Mann in the theatre because I remembered him from Tour of Duty, and looking at his oevre, I see that I have seen him in a lot of movies, although I don’t remember him in them (they’re small roles), but undoubtedly I recognize him and say his name when I see him in those bit roles, only to forget he was in them if I happen to think of them.

At any rate, a couple quotes and remarks below the fold.
Continue reading “Book Report: Babylon 5: The Coming of Shadows by Jane Killick (1998)”

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