Archive | October, 2010

>Mike Wallace Interviews Ayn Rand

31 Oct

>Why, she has neither horns nor fangs! And she predicts…umm, pretty much the mess we’ve got. Have a look.

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>That Incident At A Rand Paul Rally

31 Oct

>…In which a MoveOn.org protester, wearing a blonde wig (?) tries to shove a sign into the candidate’s vehicle and is then chased around the SUV, heading back towards Mr. Paul as it stops and is grabbed and pushed down to the curb hard? What happens next is what got all the attention; the press and the protester called it a headstomp but it looks like her shoulder to me. Dirty pool either way, but what you might not have noticed is what also happens:

The Lone Stepper puts his foot on her shoulder and shoves down solidly and as he does so, another Paul supporter steps up holding out his hand, and shouts, “No-no-no-nuh-n’no! C’mon–” at the stepper, who quits and moves back, shaking his finger chidingly. Interviewed soon after, the protester, still clutching her “RepubliCorp” sign, seems little worse for the wear, claiming she just wanted to share, “My message…which is just the same as anyone else.” Um, no it’s not; protective coloration FAIL. But look on the bright side, kiddo: you’re famous, and they didn’t even break your glasses. Speaking as a glasses-wearer who has been chased down and shoved around, do you know how lucky that is?

Heck, those Rand-fans, they can’t even manage crowd violence; somebody starts in with late hits, somebody else intervenes, toot sweet. Try that with the SEIU and see how far you get. –We know what happens when you protest around the President of these here too-United States: he sics you on his opposition. (Here, scroll in to the 5:50 mark; they keep dinging him over a broken campaign promise ’til 8:30 in, where he sings ’em out with BS and FDR riffs, trailing off into GOP-bashing. You stay classy, sir. Um…).

I’m still no fan of any political rally, which creepify me even when they come off without a hitch. But to come in spoilin’ for trouble, rush the candidate and still have crowd members intervene on your behalf? That’s not pro-level thuggery you’re receiving. Not even close. Chicago police wouldn’t even consider it a warning.

>Follow The Bouncing….Bottle?

31 Oct

>Go here. There’s music there. I dare you. Will you regret it? Not really. It’s what the paper deserves. Oh, and here’s a palate-cleanser for afters.

Blame Mike Flynn. I do.

(PS: The (charming) Marimba Ponies do their own take on the second number linked to above — but I have to warn you, if you like that sort of thing, it’s a rabbit-hole you’ll fall into for an hour or more).

>Coats In The Hood?

31 Oct

>Tam range me up from Castle Frostbite and pointed out in the Dan Coats political ad she snarked at awhile back, the YouTube freeze-frame has him sitting in a diner with a distinctive, Miami Beach-Deco/Fab Fifties palette of colors: it’s SoBro’s own Good Morning Mama’s, brighter than any tropic flower.

I called up the vid while she spoke and was rocking it back and forth, when I realized a few cuts earlier, Mr. Coats is chatting with a fellow at a vegetable stand. But it’s not just any vegetable stand, it’s Locally Grown Gardens, right down the block from Mama’s, and the guy is the owner, Ron. (I wouldn’t read anything political into that; Ron’s naturally friendly and as near as anyone could guess, his politics consist of suggesting you should eat fresh, flavorful food, ideally from his store, while listening to first-rate reggae. This is a platform nearly everyone can embrace and still be true to themselves, even Dan Coats).

Haven’t gone through the ad frame-by-frame but it is pretty obvious the candidate was workin’ 54th St., pretty much within bicycling range of Roseholme Cottage. Woo-hoo, Hollywood, here we come!

>I Often Wonder What The Brewers Drink

31 Oct

>Or is it Vintners? Vernors?* (Ale-8-One, maybe?)

There I was, shopping at Giant Home Improvement Store — ‘cos it’s “make more bookshelves,” time for some reason I’m not even real clear on, and it was my idea — and there, close by the entrance, an alarm company’s van is parked. His security system sometimes goes off with a warning as people walk by….

You may wonder, is it a polite chirp? One of those show-off alarms that runs through more and more of its repertoire the longer you linger, louder every time? Maybe the headlights and taillights flash?

Ha!

It’s a great big dog, who barks and leaps up at the window if you get close.

So, a tip from a guy who’d know? On car-alarms, at least, go organic!
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* Now owned by one of the Big Names (and arguably the kewlest) but still darned good.

>The New Math

31 Oct

>So, I’m at BigBox Office Supply with $22.53 in notebook, paperclips, repositionable index tabs and drafting erasers to buy; I hand Fresh-Faced Young Man at the checkout $30 American, he rings it up and I suddenly remember I have a surplus of pennies. I rapidly dig out three cents, figuring the way my 47 cents change is now a half-dollar is a no-brainer.

Alas, it’s not. He vaporlocks. Takes the three cents and stands there, lips moving, as he attempts to take the derivative of the curve I’ve just thrown him, dy and dx circling sharklike in his brain, slashing at his thoughts while on the periphery, venerable, furious Asian men wave abacuses and yell at him, cheered on by crewcut geeks with slide rules and long-haired ones with fat, button-studded calculators. His manager’s at the other register and it’s just registered with her that Post-Teenaged Sidekick has ground to a halt. She turns and asks, “What’d she give you?” She gives me a suspicious look, thinking I have handed him a 5-Zloty* note, 14 dinars, six $2 bills and a subway token and am demanding my change in kopecks and loonies, right now.†

“Unh, thirty dollars. An’ three cents.”

“How much was it? Twenty-two fifty-three?” She disfavors him with a witheringly disgusted look, but his back is to her and I’m pretty sure he’s immune anyway. “Where do you start?”

“Where?”

“Put the three cents in the drawer. Now, take–“

He drops the pennies in their bin, fumbles out a one, drops it, grabs it and gives me a sheepish look.

“No! Take two quarters. Now, what’s left?”

“Er, five?

“And…? Two ones?”

Comprehension seems to dawn; he ends up holding $7.50, which he hands to me in one lump without the traditional chant of ‘Fifty makes twenny-three, two ones is twenny-five and five is thirty; with your three cents, we’re even.’

Y’know, there’s a reason for doing that, two reasons in fact, and there’s a reason why he can’t; one is to force a kind of rolling recalc and the other is to hand over the minimum number of bills by filling to the nearest five, then the nearest ten and twenty and so on. At one time, nearly every transaction ended in that comforting ritual, unless some inconsiderate high-roller was writing a check. Any more, that nifty little card-slideola right out there for the customer’s convenience allows all but the greenest of stockboys hoping to move up to get a chance helping out at the registers…as long as no one with a pocketbook fulla cash comes along and has the nerve to round up the transaction after he’s already rung the total.

…Which was a rotten trick; I can’t claim I wasn’t a bit of a jerk there but I really did think it was trivial.
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* The Poles have always had some good-lookin’ paper money; they’ve mostly been able to avoid the candy-bar wrapper look in favor of serious, quality engraving.

† This list, thunk up at random, adds up to $33.48 in USD, or pretty close ($33.53 as of 0722EST 31OCT2010, the Jordanian dinar having gone up a tick or two) assuming the monetary value of the subway token is zero. My change would be, oh, ten loonies, 23 Russian rubles and 98 kopecks. Wrong! Inverted the loonie/greenback ratio. It would be eleven loonies, six Russian rubles, 14 kopecks. Or the loonies and simply 614 kopecks: 12 50s, a ten and four ones. Aw, math is hard.

>Yum!

30 Oct

>The drive home from work takes me close to Sam’s Gyros; I was hungry yesterday but didn’t feel ambitious enough to make anything, so I stopped by to get what they sell as a whole gyros sandwich.

…Which is two 2/3 of a pita, each stuffed full of meat, sauce, cucumber and tomato. (The leftover thirds? They use them for table bread!) Very tasty.

It’s kind of a fast food take on Mediterranean food, but very well done.