Smile not so smart after all

Chimayó resident files suit over flask bearing her image - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News

"A Chimayó woman is suing the maker of novelty products over a flask that includes her likeness and the phrase ‘I’m going to be the most popular girl in rehab.’…

"Anne Taintor Inc. founder Anne Taintor is a Harvard University graduate who, according to the company’s website, has been 'making smart people smile since 1985…'”

VA to go Mickey Mouse?

Federal Eye: VA secretary tells student veterans: ‘Come join us’

"The secretary also outlined an effort to transform VA into ‘the best customer service organization in the world.’ As the former CEO of Procter and Gamble, he said he is tapping friends in the corporate world, from Disney to the Ritz Carlton, for advice.

"‘Have you ever heard of anyone having a bad experience at Disney?’ he asked. ‘I don’t think so.’"

Sounds like a win-win to me

A sober Snowden deems life in Russia ‘great’ - The Washington Post

"‘They talk about Russia like it’s the worst place on earth. Russia's great,’ the former NSA contractor told journalist James Bamford during an interview in Moscow for the PBS program ‘NOVA…'"

What's wrong with this picture?

The U.S. has more jails than colleges. Here’s a map of where those prisoners live. - The Washington Post

Can’t afford to send kids to school, can afford to send them to jail? Really?

Imagine the Monopoly coupons

Interstate pileup leaves road covered in 500 pounds of fries

"The Argus Leader (http://argusne.ws/1BJrUU7 ) reports that emergency personnel in McCook County in the southeast part of the state spent Friday morning removing the fries from the road."

Bring GPS

Undernews: Word: Maine road directions

"How much further is it to Freeport? . . . About 25,000 miles the way you're headed."

Starting to look a mite chilly in Duluth

Northern Images/Duluth Harbor Cam

We are shocked

GOP not jumping to embrace Obama's free college proposal - NY Daily News


If we can do this we can do anything!

CES showcases faster walking device - Yahoo News UK

"'Rollkers are a device - not a skate - but a device with wheels that you go walking normally with, and you get twice the speed of walking.'"

I wonder how they work on escalators. 

When’s the next Olympics, by the way?

You may think you know what this headline means, but that's only because you speak English and this looks like English, but it's not

Ex-Somerfield Chief To Lead Sofa Chain Float - Yahoo News UK

And did I read somewhere it's Elvis's birthday?

This Mashup Shows How Today’s Most Popular Country Songs Sound Exactly the Same | TIME

(Definitely worth a listen.)

You can not, it turns out…

…keep a Minnesota boy away from a snow shovel, no matter how you try. But today’s installment was a mere inch or two of light, fluffy stuff, and at 17º, it’s a virtual heat wave out there. Also, I need clean socks. So can’t sit around here all day.

I'll pass, thanks

Lamborghini has a tough cell with new $6K phone | New York Post

"On the creepier end of IoT, check out Sen.se’s Mother and Motion Cookies, a home-networking system that bills itself as ‘like a mom, only better’ — and whose Weeble-Wobble-shaped base unit has a pair of glowing eyes."

I have exactly zero idea what this paragraph is about except, well, cookies are good.


Life is…

You Are Here – Futility Closet

"‘Life is something like this trumpet. If you don’t put anything in it, you don’t get anything out.’ — W.C. Handy"

And more.

You say creepy, I say…wait, what?

Creepy lover gets 40 years in prison after torching girlfriend's home, killing neighbor | Chicago

Gung Ho

I put another four miles on the old boots today and on a 54-year old pair of black Army–issue wool boot socks, one of two identical pairs I own. They harken back to Fort Dix in January of 1961, and I’ve probably worn them at least a few times every winter since then. Some stuff, the Army does (or did) right.

What a novel concept

No living in fear: 'I Am Charlie' rallies back free speech

"LONDON (AP) — From Berlin to Bangkok, tens of thousands took a stand against living in fear…"

Clearly, these guys are not Americans. Or maybe they just haven’t heard of Ebola yet. Or (OMG) Muslims

Nice work, AT&T

Rollover Data from AT&T

"We’re proud to offer Rollover Data to our new and current Mobile Share Value customers. With Rollover Data, unused plan data rolls over for one month."

I have a low-data plan but even so, I almost never use it all. Now, I’ll have more to not use. Unless, of course, I do. Use it, I mean. I already do because, normally, I don’t. 

Am I the only guy who has trouble figuring out cell phone plans?

Can you spell "outnumbered"

The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus | ThinkProgress


To the Olver International bus station. It’s minus freaking four. I’m just a little more grumpy than usual. But the sun is up and by the time I get home it may be warmed up to 10, or even 12. I will feel much better then.


Try, try again


Soon to encounter his arch nemesis, Picnic-Man

'Ant-Man' Trailer - Watch the Full-Length Trailer for 'Ant-Man' - Esquire

Is there still time for a word-ban nomination, or do I have to wait a whole nother freaking year?

“Monetize” is driving me bananas. 

Button up your overcoat

Digging up some old guys' stuff—again

Time capsule that was in Massachusetts State House is opened - Metro - The Boston Globe

"‘This cornerstone of a building intended for the use of the legislative and executive branches of the government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was laid by his Excellency Samuel Adams, Esquire, governor of the said Commonwealth,’ said Michael Comeau, executive director of the Massachusetts Archives, reading from the plate’s inscription.

"Paul Revere helped Adams plant the plate and other relics, he read. So did William Scollay, a colonel in the Revolutionary War."

Tomorrow morning…

…I have something to do I can’t do today (an appointment at the clinic). 

This morning I have nothing to do I can’t do tomorrow. (Is this a perfect state of affairs?)

So I think I’ll just go back to bed for a while. (Now it is.)

We've been seeing all too much of this kind of click-bait recently

Here’s a story entitled The Republican War on Kale

The Republican War on Kale - The Daily Beast

…which does not mention kale. Anywhere. Not even once. 

(In fact it’s about Republican displeasure with school lunch regulations attributed to Democrats in general and Michele Obama in particular—sort of a Republican war on the Democrats’s war on French Fries. So plenty of war, no kale.)

And just to get your cold morning started right

Free 20s Jazz Collection : Gathacol Radio : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

Add a nice cup of hot coffee and you’re set.

Running out of things to not do?

On not not do? Welcome to the motherlode.

Internet Archive brings nearly 2,400 MS-DOS games online - NY Daily News

"‘Some of them will still fall over and die, and many of them might be weird to play in a browser window,’ he said. ‘And of course you can’t really save things off for later, and that will limit things too.’"


We missed the memo, I guess

It's Official: 2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record | Mother Jones

"For many Americans, 2014 will be remembered for its multiple blasts of Arctic air and bitter winters. And this week, another bout of freezing temperatures is marching east across the country, in the first major thermometer plunge of the season.

But as cold as you may have been last year, it's now official that 2014 was actually the hottest year globally since record-keeping began. So confirmed the Japan Meteorological Agency in preliminary data released Monday."

And not a good way to start a new year

Politician Kirby Delauter Gets Skewered By The Newspaper He Threatened

Wait, what?

Twitter Help Center | Twitter limits (API, updates, and following)

“Tweets [are limited to] 2,400 per day. "

They’re kidding, right? What if you have something really, really important to say but saying it would be your 2,401st tweet? What then?

The possibilities are staggering. And this, from the same help page: “…there are additional rules prohibiting aggressive following behavior.” Whoa! I can’t imagine.

OK, why am I reading Twitter help pages anyway? I decided maybe it was time I learned how it worked.

Pretty much, I’m finding out, like I thought.

At first glance, 5,000 steps seems like a lot of steps…

…but (I’m talking “steps” as in “paces” here) it’s not. If your step is a yard long, 5,000 steps would get you about 2.8 miles, a useful bit of exercise but not enough to put much wear on your boots. My own step (as calculated from iOS’s health app averages) is 2.23 feet, which amounts to 2,283 steps per mile.

But not today. Today is tiny-step-taker day, just enough snow to hide the ice patches on the sidewalks. And there are plenty of them. Ice patches, I mean. But plenty of sidewalks too, although not all of them are shoveled very well (Are you listening, Bank of America? What’s your problem?). (OK, what’s one of your problems?) So be careful out there.

Also it’s downright chilly, but that’s Wisconsin’s fault.

But if they gave an award for publicity stunts…

‘The Interview’, ‘Sex Tape’ Shortlisted For Worst Picture of the Year - Shalom Life

"The Golden Raspberry Awards aka ‘The Razzies’ celebrates the worst of Hollywood in a ceremony immediately before the Academy Awards. On Monday, the shortlist of contenders was released…‘The Interview’ garnering four [nominations] including Worst Picture and Worst Actor for both Franco and Rogen."

Some Canadians just too nice for their own good (or waitress's)

Drunken Canadian man tips nearly $100,000 on $7 meal: police - NY Daily News

"Luckily for him his credit card was rejected. Unluckily for the waitress said she received no tip."


Fortunately, I don't believe in wind chill…

…because if I did, today would be a really, really nasty one, but since I don't, it's a balmy-ish thirty-three or possibly -four. Not bad.

We are being threatened with worse, but we're happy to wait.

Qwackers & cheese

Sounds like just the thing

Imagine our joy

When you run out of things to write about

The secret madness of Adolf Hitler - Salon.com

Secret! No wonder we thought all this time he was perfectly sane.

YA fad begins in California

Naked woman gets stuck in ex-boyfriend’s chimney | New York Post

"This is the second instance in only a few months where a California woman became stuck in an ex-lover’s chimney."

Picky, picky

Passengers refuse to reboard after engine explodes on AirAsia plane | New York Post


Save the drones!

Exclusive: U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says - The Daily Beast

"‘ACC believes we are about to see a perfect storm of increased COCOM [Combatant Commander] demand, accession reductions and outflow increases that will damage the readiness and combat capability of the MQ-1/9 enterprise for years to come,’ Carlisle wrote."

Pity we couldn’t save the language.

If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail

US drones hit 'good Taliban' commander's compound in North Waziristan - The Long War Journal

So when you say "stealth" you mean…

The Aviationist » Here are some stunning pictures of a B-2 stealth bomber doing Rose Bowl Game flyover

…what, exactly?

Grins like a chair?

Medicine Is About to Get Personal | TIME

"A trim, gray man, he has twinkling eyes and a face lit by a smile of such authenticity that it makes you think of Shaker furniture."

Metaphor begone!

Don't vote, don't complain

Institute for Public Accuracy

"‘Our cautious guess is that turnout in this year’s Congressional races will finally weigh in at around 36 percent of the potential electorate that had legal rights to cast a ballot. That’s a shocking statistic. Across the whole sweep of American history, the momentous dimensions of what has just happened stand out in bold relief. "

The ice

Six or 8 inches of pure, unadulterated slop

That's what we have on our front sidewalk this morning. It's heavy. But I applied my vast snow removal experience to engineering a drainage system that leads into the nearest storm sewer grate. It's supposed to be warm today – maybe as high as 45° by the end of the afternoon. I'll let things drain until then and try to remove what's left.

We have a cold, cold weather forecast for the next couple of weeks, with a sprinkle or two of snow along the way. Getting this one cleaned up might be key to the whole month.