"Your call is very important to us. Please hold."

A recent Customer Rage Study - yes, that is its actual title - conducted by the Customer Care Alliance in collaboration with Arizona State University's business school, found that "70 percent of us experienced rage" while dealing with a service representative recently and 33 percent yelled at the person who was supposed to be helping.
So reports Paul Brown in the New York Times today. No mention of how many people experience rage while reading the New York Times.

Brown also reports a trend (according to Jane magazine, which I'm sure you've heard of because somebody must have and it sure isn't me) among young women known as "life coaching." The trend, not the women. Life coaching sessions, apparently, can run $200 to $500 a month and are usually conducted via weekly telephone calls. Which sounds a little suspicious to me, if you want to know. Nonetheless...
"Over the past decade, the International Coach Federation has seen a 30 percent increase in membership" and MTV included a $1,000 voucher for a life coaching session in the gift bags at last year's Video Music Awards.
Who gets these gift bags? The people who win the awards? And they need "life coaches"? (No I won't say anything snarky about voice coaches here.)

What I think is, the International Coach Federation is onto something big.

Technorati Tags: ,

Safety and hospitality win out every time

"Given the option of hiring acne-riddled teenage boys in red vests, or beautiful and sexy models and actresses trained in safety and hospitality, we're betting our success that restaurants, boutique hotels, clubs and private parties will prefer the latter," company founder Brad Saltzman said on Wednesday.
So don't tell me Brad doesn't know the parking business. That's a new chain of "female valet parking" lots in Los Angeles he's talking about.

You can find more informative stuff like this in the new "Odd News" feed, in the sidebar.

The Empire scrolls down.

Technorati Tags: ,

One more thing I completely missed

Here's a photograph taken around 100 years ago in New York of a statue memorializing the Defeat of Slander. Why didn't somebody tell me that? What, it didn't seem important or something?

More importantly, why didn't somebody tell Ann Coulter?

Come on, people. Let's pay better attention here.

: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

Technorati Tags:

A glut of gluts

We have too much of everything, don't we? Really. I don't what to sound like some kind of commie wacko here but tell me, have you walked down the "hair products" aisle in the drug store recently? Do we really need 5,368 kinds of shampoo? Or what about the pain pill aisle - do we really need all that stuff? How many kinds of headache are there anyway?

We have a cigar glut. We have so many cigars they're starting to make cigars that taste like something else. Strawberry flavored cigars - what in the name of all that's holy is that? Same for coffee and potato chips. Who wants potato chips that taste like barbecue sauce? OK, well, there's always some weirdo but if he wants barbecue sauce he can buy some barbecue sauce. And if he wants barbecue sauce on his potato chips he can put it on his potato chips. Who knows why he would want to do that? He's a weirdo. That's what weirdos do. But potato chips should taste like potato chips because that's what they are.

And books. Don't believe me? Walk into any book store. Doesn't have to be one of those great big ones - just an ordinary little old neighborhood book store will do. How many of those books have you read? We don't need any more books until we've read the ones we already have. And don't even get me started on libraries.

And art. Art! Walk into any art store and just look at all the art they have lying around. Is this a store or a museum? If we're short on art why is so much of it just lying around doing nothing like that? There's so much art you can get a guy to spray some on your wall for free. And 36,412 kinds of earrings.

And blogs. We have too many blogs. And way too much time on our hands.

Technorati Tags: ,


Or yours either; or yours, over there by the potted plant

I'm starting to think maybe we should all just speak French. Or Swahili. Or British, even - because this English thing just doesn't seem to be working out.

For example, our Dubya (Yale '68, Harvard '75 - so you know he has the finest of educations) recently said...
You can't have an ideology that works if you say to half the population in a part of the world, you have no rights. You can't say to a group of people, my ideology is better than freedom, and if you speak out you're going to get -- you'll be tortured....

But we need people in America who can go and say to people, living in freedom is not the American way of life, it is a universal way of life. We're not saying your democracy has to be like yours.
...to the US University Presidents Summit on International Education, no less. (And yes that's from the White House web site, evil spy cookies and all).

See what I mean? Not working out at all.

Technorati Tags: ,

Here's something really depressing, and also something cold

I'm listening to George Carlin's book, When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops? (yeah that's it in the sidebar there). Listening is even better than reading because Carlin reads it himself. And that's not what's depressing - it's a very funny book. Carlin's books read a lot like blogs, by the way. I don't know if he has a blog (and clearly I'm too lazy to find out right now) but if he does, it's the funniest blog around.

So everything was going fine until I came to a little riff on predictions for the future and one of the predictions was "time will stop and everything will happen all at once." Which is pretty funny as long as you don't think about it.

That's were I went wrong. I thought about it. And I started thinking, what was the single most attention-getting thing that ever happened to me, and at least one of those things was this: getting whacked in the head with a croquet mallet. (You might want to make a note of that in case you ever wonder what's going on in my head.)

And the thing is, that one thing would probably be so distracting that I would miss everything else that happened. Ever. Now is that a bummer, or what. Really depressing, just like I said.

If you want to see the cold thing, which is completely cool (and not depressing at all), have a look at these pictures from an "ice and snow world" festival in China.

(Thanks to Formerly Upstairs Cathy for the link.)

Technorati Tags:

Sex and the clueless

Saw the movie Kinsey last night, with a couple of other geezers (and yes, if you've been wondering, we really were that dumb), and was very pleasantly surprised. I - all three of us, in fact - had been expecting a sort of so-so film, based on the early reviews we'd read which had seemed, well, so-so. But we were wrong. It's very good.

Now I'm looking here on IMDB and finding the film did better there than I would have guessed. Imagine my surprise. Either IMDB is a better guide to movies than I'd thought or I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Still, how dull would it be if we only talked about things we really knew?
HE: Good morning.

SHE: Good morning. The world is round, I hear.

HE: Well not perfectly round, but what's a bulge or two between friends?

SHE: God you're so sexy when you talk smart.
OK, I just made that last part up. Really I have no idea.

Technorati Tags:

Mr. Gates goes to dinner with Beijing

G. B. (that would be George Bernard) Shaw once famously, as you know (I'm only pointing this out in case some doofus who doesn't wanders in), asked a female dinner companion if she would go to bed with him for some outlandish sum of money, say $100 million. I don't know exactly how much but $100 million sounds pretty big, considering this was a long time ago when $100 million would have actually been worth something. And this happened in London so of course he would have said pounds, not dollars, but we speak English here.

So anyway he asked her would she sleep with him (notice how I'm dancing around the real word here) for $100 million and she said yes. Well then, Shaw said, how about for $10? What do you think I am, she protested, a prostitute?

"Madame," Shaw replied, "We've already established that. Now we're just haggling about the price."

Mr. Gates burnished his own credentials the other day when Microsoft unplugged a dissident blogger at the request of the Chinese government.

"Comply with global and local laws," (global laws?) the company mumbled (according to the Times). "This is a complex and difficult issue," mumble mumble.

And, oh yeah, this: "We think it's better to be there with our services than not be there."

Ahhh. Not so complex and difficult after all. And would Microsoft do the same to you? We're just haggling about the price.

There is a great deal of money to be made in China and the pressures of the "global market" (a far more marketable term than "prostitution," to be sure), yada yada yada. You know the rest. There is a great deal of money to be made everywhere - and yes, dear valued customer, this means you.

Reflect for a moment on the fact that virtually all the US "news" media are owned by giant corporations with a great deal to gain from government favors. And just about everything else is too.

And the whole place is starting to look a little bit like a brothel, isn't it?

Technorati Tags: ,

Fruit flies, and I'm not talking about a food fight here

I'm not talking about Maureen Dowd's book either. I used to read her columns in the NYTimes from time to time but I gave that up when some dimwit got the idea I might pay for them, which they aren't worth. And I might read her book some day, I'm not saying I won't, but it's not all that high on my list.

But there's an interesting little excerpt here, on a blog called TV On The Fritz. It's about gay fruit flies. Yup, you read that right.

Now I don't know very much about fruit flies except that they're small, pesky, and reproduce like crazy. I've only had two significant encounters with fruit flies - one was in a biology class when I owned a jarful for a while (and learned about the reproducing part), and the other was the day I nuked some. I just got annoyed, is all, with some fruit flies hanging around a banana, so I tossed the banana in the microwave, fruit flies and all, and turned it on. Cooked those little suckers a good long time. Then I opened the microwave door and they flew right out. Somewhere in Michigan at this very minute there may be a strain of mutant fruit flies preparing to devour the Earth.

So here some scientists come along and do pretty much the same thing, Dowd says, only they do it a little more scientifically (if you believe in scientifically), and they found out that by switching just one gene in the fruit flies they could make them gay. Talk about your life-altering operation, there. (But the fruit flies didn't seem to mind - or if they did, they didn't say.)

I don't know how many genes a fruit fly has but humans have, by one guess, around 30,000. With around 30,000, the human gene count would be only one-third greater than that of the simple roundworm C. elegans at about 20,000 genes. Yikes! Maybe fruit flies have more than humans, I don't know (I told you that) but whatever, one gene is still only one.

Which has got to mean...something, right?

Or maybe not. Why don't you just ask somebody who knows. Leave me out of this, OK? It wasn't my idea.

Technorati Tags:


Maybe you thought Germans don't have fun

I guess you'll have to admit you were wrong now - just check out this fun thing.

In a town called Halberstadt, the Germans are performing a John Cage composition called "organ1/ASLSP" (stands for As SLow aS Possible). And just how slow would that be? Try 639 years.

Begun in September, 2001, the performance is scheduled to conclude in 2639. And it's coming along nicely, thank you very much. Why just today the piece proceeded to its second chord (A, C, and F-Sharp), which will be held "for the next few years," according to this report from Agence France Presse.

Personally I give it a few centuries before the scrooit factor kicks in. But these Germans are a dogged lot, and they do like a good time.

Technorati Tags: ,

This could be a really dumb thing to bring up here right now.

I just hope it's not a jinx. Please don't let it be a jinx.

It's not that I have any thing against snow, exactly. Snow is fine in its place - like, for example, Killington or Steamboat Springs or Tahoe. Or Duluth. Duluth is a whole different thing. it's pretty weird they don't have much snow in Duluth yet, at least that I can see on the webcam. Less snow than here even. (I don't want to mention where I am in case the snow gods are reading this. NSA is bad enough.) Which is usually not the case.

One evening at dinner, back near the dawn of history (before the Internet, even) the subject of snow came up. Specifically, the subject of shoveling it. Even more specifically, the subject of my kids' shoveling it (so it might have been me who brought this subject up - I don't remember exactly but it's possible). And my kids said, in unison - which was generally how they managed to say things like this - "I bet your Dad didn't make you shovel snow when you were our age."

Aha, I thought to myself. Gotcha. This time, for sure.

So the next day I wrote to the editor of the Duluth Tribune and said look, you've gotta help me here. This may be the only chance I ever get to win a point with my kids. This might be it, right here. So how about finding a couple of good snow pictures for me so I can show them all the snow I shoveled when I was a kid myself.

And he did. A whole fat envelope of pictures. Wonderful, fantastic pictures. Snow drifts second-story deep (the biggest one I remember shoveling through was about seven feet and I thought that was a big deal but these were spectacular). National Guard tanks in the streets helping to plow. Great fantastic mountains of snow piled up at street corners (we used to dig in them and make "igloos" - it's a wonder any of us survived). People schlepping around on snowshoes and skiis.

I don't remember the kids were much impressed. But I sure was. I don't know if I still have the pictures - maybe they're buried under some stuff in the back room. If I ever find them I'll scan one or two so you can see.

So now look. It's snowing here. Not very much, but I can take a hint. So I'm going to stop thinking about snow and think about summer instead.

Ask any real Duluthian what they do up there in the summer and he'll say, "Well, if it comes on Sunday we play baseball."

Technorati Tags:


Ok guys. Now that we're alone here, listen up. This is huge. There are a bunch of so-called "scientists" (who are these wimps really?) who are working on some kind of long distance lie detector ray.

Now look. I know we have to find the evildoers and all - I saw Minority Report and I know what that Rice doll says - but tell me something here. Do you really want to answer the question "do these pants make my butt look fat"? I didn't think so.

We have to stop this thing and stop it now. So we get a couple of mushroom clouds here and there. We can live with it. But this lie detector ray thing, that's different. That could be the end of the world. As we know it.

And this time I'm not kidding.

Technorati Tags:


Hey there, Bunky, not feeling totally clueless yet today, you say?

Well you might try reading this.

Seth, a cartoonist whose work ranks right up there with Clowes, Woodring, the Hernandez brothers, and Ware, is profiled in the latest issue of Toronto Life.
I read it on Boing Boing.

It sure worked for me.

Technorati Tags:

Yes that Barbie and that King Kong, too, but not that Bob Knight

Not the redoubtable long-time Hoosier basketball coach Bob Knight, I mean. It's a different Bob Knight ABC News' Jake Tapper is talking about here.
Bob Knight, director of CWA's Culture and Family Institute, said Barbie manufacturer Mattel was being influenced by the "transgender movement."
Yes, that Barbie. America's bimbo, Barbie. (And that CWA, same one that got into another fuss with Mattel recently over some kind of doll called "American Girl" and some kind of group called "Girls Inc." which supports - oh spare us - "sex education.")

The CWA that Bob Knight (this Bob Knight, as opposed to that Bob Knight) is a director of has the full, spelled-out name "Concerned Women for America," a little fact I will take no notice of.

But cute is in the news today (or at least in the New York Times).
The human cuteness detector is set at such a low bar, researchers said, that it sweeps in and deems cute practically anything remotely resembling a human baby or a part thereof, and so ends up including the young of virtually every mammalian species, fuzzy-headed birds like Japanese cranes, woolly bear caterpillars, a bobbing balloon, a big round rock stacked on a smaller rock, a colon, a hyphen and a close parenthesis typed in succession.
I just hope they didn't pay those researchers too much money for telling them something any self-respecting curmudgeon blogger could have told them for free. These guys have been studying all sorts of cute (the researchers, I mean) and have concluded the new King Kong is cute because he has a squashed, baby-doll face. (What kind of dolls were they playing with, I wonder.)

And that new baby panda at the Smithsonian. Cute, cute, cute, they say. In two hours the zoo sold 13,000 tickets to view it - and they were just for time-limited looks.
A guard's sonorous voice rises above the burble. "OK, folks, five oohs and aahs per person, then it's time to let someone else step up front."
Now ain't that cute?


Technorati Tags:


Does this sound terminally dull or what?

The Wiki History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less

What do I have to do to get a refund, I'm wondering.

Technorati Tags:

Mozart's skull!

Mozart's Skull Possibly Discovered - here on the HuffPo.

This would be the wimp liberal equivalent of Cute Blonde Teen Possibly Abducted.

I used to have a friend in a cozy bedroom suburb of Chicago who used to say he listened to the classical music station (WFMT - best ever, probably still) in the morning while he shaved because it was so much more soothing than listening to the traffic reports. Plus, he didn't want to miss Beethoven's birthday.

The only birthday I care anything about (except my own) is Ghengis Khan's. The nice thing about Ghengis Khan's birthday is nobody knows what day it was, so you can celebrate it any day you need a little lift. (The bad thing is you can still only do it once a year so you have to be sure you won't need an even bigger lift later. Once it's gone, it's gone. If I said I usually wind up celebrating it on New Years Eve you'd think I was a pessimist, wouldn't you.)

People who may expect birthday cards from me have, over the years, become accustomed to this fact.

Technorati Tags:

Dark news from the dark side

“The potential [security threat] is huge,” said Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at F-Secure, an antivirus company. “It’s probably bigger than for any other vulnerability we’ve seen. Any version of Windows is vulnerable right now.”
"Windows PCs face 'huge' virus threat," Kevin Allison, Financial Times.
No, I'm not gloating - this is a public service. So pay attention, public. Get your anti-virus stuff updated and use it too.

I am not a big fan of the anti-virus industry, by the way - for a number of reasons, the most recent of which is its notable failure to mention the infamous Sony rootkit that was discovered (by the geeks) a month or so ago. Corporate viruses (virii, sigh), it seems, they give a pass.

But this one looks like a nasty one and you had best not stand on principle - particularly, mine. Be careful out there.

Technorati Tags:

Swedish geeks form Pirate Party

Shiver me timbers, say I.

(And Yo-Ho-Ho. This is a shameless plug for Treasure Island, a wonderful book I just finished reading. Again. Every kid should read it at least once, and I'm not kidding here.)

The Swedes are not. Kidding, I mean. Either.

The Pirate Party (Piratpartiet) said that it is tired of being deemed a criminals [sic] and terrorists by the system for sharing a few measly files for no financial gain or loss to anyone.
In Sweden, it's even colder than it is in Massachusetts. Imagine how nasty they get in the winter months.

Technorati Tags:


John Yoo, that book about the bird, and more about those evil spy cookies

John Carroll, writing in today's San Francisco Chronicle, clarifies the Constitutional notions of that wacky UC Berkeley law guy, John Yoo. it's a brief primer, Carroll says, "designed to help you understand the workings of our new, streamlined American system of government." Reading it will either crack you up (that Yoo, he's a joker) or scare you witless. If you don't want to take the chance, don't.

The book about the bird, it was Jonathan Livingston Seagull, or something. At least I think it was about a bird. I never read it. I seem to have this weird sort of alergy - I can't read a book once it's become too popular. Popular beyond some certain point, I mean. Phenom best-seller popular. That's what saved me from reading the book about the seagull. It's also saved me from reading The DaVinci Code. Now they're making a movie of it, The DaVinci Code, but if it gets big enough fast enough I won't be seeing it either. Same allergy, different medium. Ditto for the fat Greek wedding and everything about Harry Potter. Everything.

I do want to see the new Pixar movie, Cars, when it comes out this year, and the new Pink Panther with Steve Martin, too. And the cowboy movie, Brokeback Mountain (well I've already mentioned that).

I've already mentioned the evil spy cookies too - which you would know if you'd been paying attention here. They've been reported on the White House web site and on NSA's too. The White House ones, at least (on the NSA my lips are sealed, mostly because I have no idea, not that that usually matters around here) come from the evil spy cookie company, WebTrends. WebTrends, not so evilly but not so emphatically either, provides a way to opt out of its evil spy cookie distribution. In order to do that you have to let them give you...a cookie. But this is a good cookie, they say, on the order of chocolate chip. Yum! If you want one you can start by reading this.

Technorati Tags:

Everything's up to date in...Boston?

OK, that may be a bit of a stretch but where else can you see a guy play a fire extinguisher, tell me that.

(The image is from the University of Iowa Libraries via the Library of Congress and its excellent American Memory collection, a national treasure, and I take back what I said about Iowa this one time.)

I don't spend as much time in Boston as I'd like to but I do like the place. It's a smallish city, as opposed to a biggish city, but it seems bigger than it is because when most people think of Boston they include a bunch of close-in suburbs - in other words, Boston proper (but that sounds a little bit redundant, doesn't it?). And it has a whole lot of schools. It has so many schools it feels like you're back in the Student Union when you ride the subway there.

In Boston they call the subway the T. You'd think with so many schools around they could come up with a whole name, but T is as far as they've got so far. But it's a good subway, as opposed to a bad subway. They have entertainers at the subway stations (maybe Jack Griffin himself is down there somewhere, who knows) and various other amazing things.

When I was in the Army and stationed at the nearby (but no longer) Ft. Devens I went to Boston one weekend and saw a woman driving a car through the subway tunnel. I thought that was pretty amazing but I didn't know then what I know now about how people in Boston drive. Anyway the Boston subway cars, some of them at least, look like cars, as opposed to trains - specifically, they look like streetcars when they are running on a track in the middle of the street, which they do when they're not in a tunnel (are you still with me here?), and so I suppose this woman was driving along behind a streetcar and when it went into a tunnel she did too, and couldn't get back out. So there she was. Bumping along, behind the streetcar. Which was now a subway car. And looking a little bit confused. The woman, I mean, not the subway car. If you see what I mean.

I don't know if people still drive in the subway tunnel in Boston although they might, because the only other tunnel they have to drive in leaks. It's called the Big Dig and it was built by a big, politically well-connected American contracting firm I'm not going to mention the name of here (but it starts with "B" and rhymes with "rectal"). It runs under the harbor or the river or whatever, and it went so far over budget it could have become a bridge. But it didn't, and so there it sits. And leaks. I'm not sure I'd want to drive in it myself. But knowing - as I do now - how people in Boston drive, I'm thinking they are all so used to the idea of a horrible and sudden death that they don't mind.

Technorati Tags:


Wikiwiki and the Bs

Hey I just thought it would be a neat headline. Don't get all worked up.

(But wikis are really cool, aren't they? I put one up here on my home network for a while just to fool around with and took it down because I couldn't figure out much use for it. But Wikimedia has, and you should check it out. Wikimedia is, as we say in New England, wicked cool.

(What brought this to mind was a story in today's NYTimes about some new Mac software called NoteShare - love those studly caps - which is touted as taking collaborative computing to new heights. Better than wikis and message boards and the like, the writer, James Fallows, says, because with those things people aren't necessarily working together in real time.

(Begging the question of what the hell "real time" is to begin with, I always thought that was an advantage of working on a computer - that you didn't have to work together in real time. Not that I mind working with you, you understand, just that I mind working with you if you are in some time zone four or five hours away. So maybe I'm missing something big here but if I am, I say I don't care. I'm too old for new, anyway.)

(Added later: 01/03/06 George Johnson in the New York Times contrasts Encyclopaedia Brittanica with Wikipedia. If this kind of thing keeps up I'll have to start dreaming up some tags besides "Miscellany.")
On a blog called Empire Burlesque, Chris Floyd writes about the Bs better than I ever could. But I've been wondering about this for a long time now: with all the fuss and furor about putting the Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn, have you ever once read about anybody who wants to put up the Beatitudes? I thought not. A lot of Commie terrorist wimp drivel in those Beatitudes. But still I have to ask, are these Christians Christian or are they not?

Did you know that a lot of the Ten Commandments monuments around the country got put there to promote a movie?

It's 1956. Director Cecil B. DeMille's epic film "The Ten Commandments" opens across the country. Months before the release, DeMille drummed up publicity for the film by working with E.J. Ruegemer, a Minnesota juvenile court judge and member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

In the 1940s, Ruegemer launched a nationwide campaign to post copies of the Ten Commandments in juvenile courts across the country. His goal - to provide a moral foundation for troubled youth. When DeMille caught wind of the idea, he suggested to the judge that they work together to erect granite monuments of the Ten Commandments across the nation. DeMille's goal - to plug a new film. A deal was made.

Although there is no official record of how many monuments were erected, numbers range from less than 100 to more than 2,000. The Fraternal Order of Eagles kept the project going long after the film opened, and some monuments didn't get erected until up to 10 years later.
The story's here, from Minnesota NPR.
(And yes, as Dave Barry would say, Wikiwiki and the Bs would be a good name for a rock band. Barry's year in review piece is here, if you missed it.)

Technorati Tags:

Evil spy cookies and all that Bush brush

Dubya (Yale '68, Harvard '75) is on vacation, probably you know. Down there in Mexico. Well, not Mexico any more - it used to be but we and the Mexicans had a big fight at some place called "the Alamo" and we lost so now it's ours. Anyway if you're ever wondering where he is you might as well guess "vacation" - you have a one in five chance of being right. Oh, he's down there alright. Clearing brush.

How much brush can they have? Or, what's really weird, how can anybody like clearing it so much? I know they let him play with the chain saw and all but still, wouldn't that start getting a little dull after a year? And I mean hey, the guy could call in a nuke and get it over with. Personally, I think it's just a loop they play. "Hey Condi, I'm goin to get me some vacation. Cue the tape."

I was going to go find you a picture of Bush and his brush on the White House web site but it's full of evil spy cookies, I was reading. Evil, illegal spy cookies, but we don't sweat the illegal part that much. The NSA site too. With the cookies, I mean. They were saying hey, the cookies just came with the software so how could they know. That's sort of like Bill Gates saying "why is my computer running so much slower now" - gimme a break.

Anyway what I was saying is, it's just after 9:00 on the East Coast and already 2005 is starting to look good. That nostalgia, it's a bitch. The Onion has it's Top Stories of 2005 here - a guy really hates to see a year that good end.

"It was a great year for the American people," Dubya said, and the people of New Orleans "experienced a great outpouring of generosity." Of course there was that inpouring too, but you only remember the good parts, don't you?

Technorati Tags:

Peculiar developments on the frontier

Look, I know there are some pretty wacky things that go on in Seattle. I have unimpeachable sources there, so I know. But horse sex?


I've been meaning to watch that new cowboy movie, "Brokeback Mountain," by the way. I watch cowboy movies every chance I get - part of my ongoing research into what it is "conservatives" are trying to conserve. So I've seen a lot of horse smooches in my day and maybe, just maybe, in one John Wayne movie I saw, a little horse tickle - but horse sex? What's going on in the West, anyway?

(Disclosure: Everything west of the Mississippi is pretty much the same to me, except Nebraska. And Iowa, but Iowa doesn't count. Iowa hardly ever counts as far as I can see. Also Boing Boing got me started here.)

(Wow! Did you see that? A parenthetical statement, italicized! Truly there is some groundbreaking stuff on this blog.)

The late, great Charles Kuralt had a notion about coffee in the West. He figured that as the intrepid settlers moved west they ran short of it - coffee, I mean - and started making it weaker and weaker in consequence, until somewhere about Salt Lake City they were pretty much running on empty, drinking just some sort of brownish hot water out of habit more than anything else. And then of course they discovered Starbucks and the rest was history. (But there are some people who drink "decaf" to this day.)

So could there be something kind of like that going on with horses, I wonder? Sure beats me.


An Empire reader has inquired about the connection between Starbucks and horse sex. As far as I know there is no connection between Starbucks and horse sex. On the other hand, there's the matter of fish sex. All roads lead to Seattle, it seems.

Technorati Tags: