Our aviation consultant notes…

…this engaging piece about, among other things, a flight between London and Tokyo. If you have access to the Times, check it out. It’s worth the read.

In Flight - NYTimes.com

But me, I'll go with the grilled cheese

How much are Maine moose worth? A lot! | George's Outdoor News

"To Howard Ludington of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a Maine moose is worth $13,000. Dustin Parent of Laconia, New Hampshire agrees."

We knew he could do it if he'd just keep trying

Jeb Bush definitively states he would not have invaded Iraq - NY Daily News

Getting right to the point

Fight The Kale Agenda

Hey, wait, we might be on to something here

If we can get enough of those Republican senators to go off campaigning in Iowa, imagine what might get done!

Staying right on top of things

Blotter: Hinsdale woman sends nearly $3,000 to phony IRS agent - The Doings Hinsdale

"Between 9:40 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. May 7, a Hinsdale woman reported someone claiming to be an agent from the Internal Revenue Service called and threatened to put her in jail if she did not correct an alleged tax discrepancy. The resident deposited $2,986.73 into the bank account the caller specified. She realized it was a scam when the suspect called the next day requesting an additional $5,000."

From the Hinsdale, IL, police blotter.

Vaudeville, the sport

Patriots’ Rebuttal Is Foray Further Into Farce - NYTimes.com

"This whole affair first veered toward farce before the Super Bowl, when Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said in a news conference that he was not the Mona Lisa Vito of air pressure in footballs. The saga has now slipped further, to the point that the most important issue now facing the N.F.L. would seem to be why a middle-aged employee chose to enter a bathroom — and not painful allegations that the league overlooks domestic violence, drug use and the long-term physical effects of the game."

But in Wisconsin time

Undernews: TOP of the GOP

"It's hard to believe that it has been 505 years since the first settlers arrived at Jamestown. - Scott Walker tweet

"One reason it's hard to believe is because they actually didn't come until 408 years ago. "


Commas are not confetti, but…

Judicious application of the comma shaker - CSMonitor.com

Hey wait a minute

Warren: Congress needs to invest in Amtrak's service - NY Daily News

"‘Both Democrats and Republicans expect the impossible: to make a profit, or break even, and serve every dinky town between the big cities,’ said Charles Wheelan, a public policy expert at Dartmouth College."

Those of us who live in the dinky towns need more Amtrak, not less.

And by the way, do you know where Dartmouth College is?

The news is not universally good

Wow, Jeb Bush Is Awful - Gail Collins, NYTimes.com

"If the version of Jeb Bush we’ve been seeing lately is the one we’re going to be stuck with, then one of the other Republican contenders is going to win. Maybe the guy who thinks Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery. Or the guy who once linked vaccines to children with mental disorders. The guy who used to peddle a ‘Diabetes Solution Kit.’ The guy with the bridge traffic jam!"


Who figures this stuff out, anyway?

A communique from our Midwest and Elsewhere bureau informs us "every date from the 10th through the 19th this month is a palindrome." For example, today is 51215.


A glimpse into the future's past

Mad Men Ad Theory - Marshall McLuhan on Advertising

"It is exactly this kind of freedom that McLuhan described as the heart of American consumerist democracy in Understanding Media:

"'After the Second War, an ad-conscious American army officer in Italy noted with misgivings that Italians could tell you the names of cabinet ministers, but not the names of commodities preferred by Italian celebrities. Furthermore, he said, the wall space of Italian cities was given over to political, rather than commercial slogans. He predicted that there was small hope that Italians would ever achieve any sort of domestic prosperity or calm until they began to worry about the rival claims of cornflakes and cigarettes, rather than the capacities of public men. In fact, he went so far as to say that democratic freedom very largely consists in ignoring politics and worrying, instead, about the threat of scaly scalp, hairy legs, sluggish bowlers, saggy breasts, receding gums, excess weight, and tired blood.'"

Maybe it’s time to re-read McLuhan.

Where is Spock when you need him?

Paying taxes is an inescapable reality – even in space - CSMonitor.com

"Another question for space-based taxpayers might be, 'What's the appropriate tax year?' The Martian year is 686 Earth days, while a day on Uranus is 34 Earth years. 'Think about the deferral opportunities,' Chodorow said."

More nature than we really need


And who'll remember then?

Obama Gives Conditional Approval to Shell to Drill in Arctic | The New Republic

"The Arctic could mean a long-term, fundamental change to the world’s oil supply, since commerical production is still decades away."

Or maybe shotguns


On the virtues of mobility (or not)

Elderly man with prostitute under bed loses housing subsidy | New York Post

"Monson says the man was a ‘more mobile gentleman’ who went on booze runs for his neighbors."


Man shot in Back of the Yards | Chicago

Go Bears

Tom Brady suspended 4 games, Patriots fined for DeflateGate - NY Daily News

"Brady himself was typically serene…"

Well OK, that

Ah, Italy

Italian Curves, Italian Cures - NYTimes.com

"It was May 1, International Workers’ Day, a holiday. Yet, most people were working, a lot of stores open. I heard the following exchange:

"‘It’s the workers’ holiday and everyone is working!’

"‘Yes, I know, but of course they don’t work the rest of the time!’

"‘That’s true.’"

In the spirit of the Twilight Zone…

'Twilight Zone' Fans Honor The Groundbreaking Sci-Fi Series With 'Twilight Zone Day' On May 11th

"While the original 'Twilight Zone' series ended over 50 years ago, there's no shortage of fans looking to celebrate the groundbreaking sci-fi program. May 11th marks 'Twilight Zone' day, a 24-hour span where legions of loyal viewers are free to memorialize the critically acclaimed sci-fi show."

…and also due to the weird West Coast habit of setting clocks so late that correspondence from that part of the world arrives in the wee, wee hours of the morning and not at any civilized time of the day, we’re celebrating Twilight Zone Day a time-bending day late, never being not better than which. 



…is the day I was dreaming about every day in February: Sunny, comfortably over 80, a little bit of breeze and lots of flowering things and fresh green. It did, alas, bring on an emergency case of spring fever but I am recuperating nicely and expected to quit dozing off unexpectedly by the end of tomorrow, latest.

Payoff time?

BREAKING: Obama Administration Says Yes To Drilling In The Arctic | ThinkProgress

Here's a rather disturbing sentence, New Yorker

Why Anthony Trollope Is Trending - The New Yorker

"Amateur readers have taken up Trollope as a cause and a favorite in a way that they have taken up perhaps no other nineteenth-century English novelist except Jane Austen."

Amateur readers? Really?

Double shots all around

More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think - NYTimes.com

"Coffee has long had a reputation as being unhealthy. But in almost every single respect that reputation is backward. The potential health benefits are surprisingly large."

–Noted by our hyper-alert Midwest and Elsewhere bureau.

A check-up

Why Doctors Without Borders Is Lobbying Against Obama’s Trade Deal - NationalJournal.com

"One of the general criticisms of drug regulations and patent law in many Western countries is that they prevent generic drugs from entering the market for years or even decades and otherwise stifle competition, which keep drug prices high. The pharmaceutical industry counters by arguing that firms need to be able to recoup their investments for failed as well as successful drugs so they can continue pursuing research on new medicines, and market exclusivity helps them do that."


When your lamb chop detector chirps and there are no chops…

…(I mean, come on, we never have lamb chops here, have you seen what those things cost?) it means you’d better drop whatever you’re doing and climb up on your stool or ladder or some handy chair and change the battery or the thing will keep on chirping until it’s driven you entirely 100% completely freaking nuts. (If the battery’s really so weak how can it keep chirping like that anyway? I don’t get it.)

Or you could just rip it off the wall and stomp on it until it quits.

Super's end?

The first Super sold out eight, maybe ten years ago. Now, Super 2.0 is going out of business, having never quite made the whole thing work. Will there be another Super or is this the end of everything? Watch this space.

So what else is new?

Free TV Shows and Movies - Watch Your Favorite TV Episodes and Movies Online | Hulu

"A teenage girl in the Midwest becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. "

And now, a little mom bashing for Mothe's Day

12 Writers Share Their Moms' Weirdest Email and Facebook Habits

Ain’t she cute.

Any way you like it (or don't)

Colorado weather: Wet, wild conditions close roads, unleash hail, tornadoes - The Denver Post

"Wet, wild weather swept through widespread parts of Colorado on Saturday, with hail pounding Pueblo and Manitou Springs as watches and warnings were posted for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, floods, flash floods and winter weather.

"At one point, Elbert County and Colorado Springs were under five different sorts of warnings or advisories. While a tornado was on the ground south of Ellicott, snow was falling less than 50 miles away on U.S. 24."

Not an especially good review

L'Antagoniste review: Desserts are saving grace - NY Daily News

"L’Antagoniste is like the love child of a Brooklyn slacker and a French snob. In France, the food can be so stellar that you forgive the attitude. But at this Bedford-Stuyvesant spinoff of Soho's Le Philosophe, there's no such luck."

Somebody told me last night…

…(I won’t say who, I won’t say why) that, according to the latest communique from the Directorate of Fitness, a person should walk at least 10,000 steps per day. As silly as that sounds, it turns out (I have a magical gizmo on my phone that keeps track of such things, without being told) I do walk 10,000 steps per day, and often more, unknowingly, or at least I have been since the ice went away, which was a week ago Thursday, as I recall.

And so, what had been until this morning a pleasurable activity has now become a chore.

Photos from the streets

Havana Nights - NYTimes.com