Years ago in the printing business, somebody told me the pick two rule. You've probably encountered it. It goes like this: Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick two. I thought it was elegant then, and I still think so now. Then I noticed it could be nicely adapted to work for amplification for bass guitars. In that case, you get to select any two from these three: Loud. Light. Cheap. I'll bet you can find a set that applies to your own area of interest and expertise. Now I think I've found the pick two rule for my rants: Clever. Prompt. Original.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Tell you what. Mothers' Day might be the worst day of the year. Yesterday afternoon I bicycled through the environs of the Audubon Zoo and dang not only was every single parking space filled but there were vehicles parked under the trees fender to fender all the way to the stables. Families were loading and unloading walkers and wheelchairs and strollers and there were moms of every age and description each with her own amorphous clump of offspring. And everyone looked genuinely miserable. Okay. So for one day of the year, I can be almost glad my mom is dead.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Words. Am I right? Like the word fag, referring quaintly to a cigarette and pejoratively to a gay man. And the two senses have two different etymologies, thusly: Fagot is an old word for twig, like you would use for kindling. So, a cigarette is like a little burning stick. Meanwhile, in Yiddish, fagele literally means little bird (from the German Vogel) and, yup, is Yiddish slang for queer. So when you think about, it's not even the same word. It's two different words, spelled and pronounced exactly the same. They are (God forgive me I can't stop myself) homophones.
Monday, April 27, 2015
My brother tells me the Mason-Dixon line is where youse guys meets you all. Yup. It's also the eye contact frontier. The further south you go, the more likely folks will look you full on in the face as you pass. Because it's so muggy, you're automatically exchanging intimate body fluids with everyone within your vapor radius. Might as well smile and nod. And smile like you mean it, not that tight angry little thing people do with their mouths. Let me see those gums, count those molars. Give me a smile like a Golden Retriever, or don't even bother.
Monday, April 20, 2015
A note to hikers: I hear there's a gallon of water in every almond, which makes them the most efficient source of hydration you can carry. Here's another great way to conserve water and reduce your carbon footprint. It can take 2,000 gallons of water to grow enough cotton for one pair of jeans. Then factor in the petroleum used to power the planting and harvesting, the transport and manufacture of each bale. What if there was some way to more directly convert crude oil into wearable raiment? What if a polyester doubleknit leisure suit is your greenest garment option?
Monday, April 13, 2015
Most Mondays, I fritter away my 100 words on some ephemeral minutiae or other, stirring up my simmering mental soup to keep the bottom of the brain pan from scorching. Not this week. This week I am a man on a mission. Listen. There is such a thing as the American Pencil Collectors Society. It was founded in Sterling, Kansas, in 1958, and it is open to citizens of all nations. They ask only that you “have a genuine interest in pencil collecting of any kind,” and hand over ten bucks. Ten bucks. I think you know what to do.
Monday, April 6, 2015
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