Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Law & Order: Deli Division

Sometimes a cigar isn’t just a cigar



Friday, June 25, 2021

Colorful colonial time

"The soldier's wives are allowed to pass the cent­inels, but the other day a most ludicrous circumstance took place, by the obstinacy of an old man upon guard. He would not permit a woman, who was a true campaigner to go beyond him, great altercation ensued, in which the lady displayed much of the Billingsgate oratory, when the old man was so irritated as to present his firelock; the woman imme­diately ran up, snatched it from him, knocked him down, and striding over the prostrate hero, in the exultation of triumph, profusely besprinkled him, not with Olympian dew, but that which is esteemed as emollient to the complexion - and 'faith, something more natural - nor did she quit her post, till a file of sturdy ragamuffins marched valiantly to his relief, dispossessed the Amazon, and enabled the knight of the grisly caxon to look fierce, and reshoulder his musquet."

[Thomas Anbury, Travels through the Interior Parts of America, in a Series of Letters (London, 1789; Reprinted by Arno Press, Inc., 1969), 2: 81-82, letter dated Cambridge, December 9, 1777. "BILLINGSGATE LANGUAGE. Foul language, or abuse." Francis Grose, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (London, 1796).

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Scientists discover gene and part of brain that make people gullible | Discover Magazine

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

golden oldie

Like me, this is vintage, but I suspect it still rings true. 

--- Men Are From Mars —

Let's say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine.

He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time.  A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: "Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?"

And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: "Gee, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he'been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want or isn't sure of."

And Roger is thinking: "Gosh. Six months."

And Elaine is thinking: "But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward . . . I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?"

And Roger is thinking: . . . "so that means it was . . . let's see. ... February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means . . .  lemme check the odometer. . . Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here."

And Elaine is thinking: "He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed — even before I sensed it -- that I was feeling some reservations.  Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected."

And Roger is thinking: "And I'm gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still not shifting right.  And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600. "

And Elaine is thinking: "He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can'help the way I feel. I'm just not sure."

And Roger is thinking: "They'll probably say it's only a 90-day warranty. That's exactly what they're gonna say, the rats."

And Elaine is thinking "maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy."

And Roger is thinking: "Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their ..."

"Roger," Elaine says aloud.

"What?" says Roger, startled.

"Please don't torture yourself like this," she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have... I feel so ..." (She breaks down, sobbing.)

"What?" says Roger.

"I'm such a fool," Elaine sobs. "I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse."

"There's no horse?" says Roger.

"You think I'm a fool, don't you?" Elaine says.

"No!" says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.

"It's just that . . . It's that I . . . I need some time," Elaine says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

"Yes," he says.

(Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

"Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?" she says.

"What way?" says Roger.

"That way about time," says Elaine.

"Oh," says Roger. "Yes."

(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

"Thank you, Roger," she says.

"Thank you," says Roger.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechs he never heard of.  A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think about it. (This is also Roger's policy regarding world hunger.)

The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say:

"Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?"

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Musketman’s creed by Tal Dibner

Musketman's Creed

By Tal Dibner

This is my musket. There are many like it, but this one is mine and I bought it from Cabelas.

My musket is not my best friend. It is demanding and requires constant attention.  I must manage it as I have mismanaged my life.

Without me, my musket is useless but should keep its resale value.  Without my musket, I'd probably take up fishing. I must fire my musket elevated. I must shoot elevated rather than at my enemy who isn't elevating enough. I mustn't shoot him even as he shoots me. I will...

My musket and I know that what counts in pretend war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our volley, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is taking hits that count. We will take hits, and try to find a spot in the shade to do so...

My musket is expensive, because it is my Reenacting life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its amazing lack of sights and its barrel. I will keep my musket clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will ...

Before God, I swear I enjoyed Assassins Creed III but will not base my impression upon it.  My musket and I are not the defenders of my country. We are the not even the masters of our weekend. We are trying to be the saviors of my weekend.

So be it, until Farbiness is defeated and there is no enemy, but the start of the workweek.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

a good snarky reply

Monday, June 14, 2021

Three methods

A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer are tasked with finding the volume of a rubber ball

The mathematician takes the ball, measures its diameter, then calculates the volume.

The physicist submerges the ball in water and measures the amount of water displaced.

The engineer twists and turns the ball, finds the model number, and looks it up in his Red Rubber Ball chart  


Saturday, June 05, 2021