Monday, June 29, 2015

Doritos also

Remember being young and at a party and probably there’s beer and certainly there’s a pair of ar-5s blasting out some Marshall Tucker or Mason Proffit or some other band with a name that sounds like it might have been Vice President under James K. Polk and possibly there is a bong and a baggy filled with Indiana ditch weed and the later it gets the less you want to leave not because you’re having so much fun which actually you’re not but you are absolutely sure that as soon as you go something wonderful will happen? Life’s like that.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The 50-foot woman could see radio.

We have a treasured heritage here of focusing on certain topics, and among these the subject of Extremely Large Pencils is writ large. Because who doesn't like really big or really tiny stuff? Dollhouses and model railroads, or King Kong and the legendary Giant Booming Prairie Chicken of Rothsay, Minnesota? So the new Ant Man movie should be cool. But here's a quibble: if you size-shifted your retina, you'd change the wavelengths of sensitivity, so as you got tinier purple things would look red and x-rays would look purple. Bad news if you're looking to Stan Lee for rigorous science.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Next Week: Back to Big Pencils

I don't generally do politics. Lots of good writers have it covered, whereas what's going on in Dave's brain is often sadly underreported. But right now the hilarious clown car of GOP hopefuls includes the governors of two states where I have personal history. Bobby Jindal running on his executive record in Louisiana is like applying for a chauffeur's job with a shopping bag full of DUIs and accident reports. And while I'm not saying Wisconsin's Scott Walker is in anybody's pocket, it might be a good idea to compare those dents on his face with David Koch's key ring.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Right in our wheelhouse

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Clutch time

Before long, all our vehicles will operate autonomously. Soon we won't need drivers anymore. There are about 1.5 million heavy truck drivers in the United States, about 600,000 bus drivers, over 200,000 cabbies. That's not counting local delivery vehicles, pizza guys, the ice cream truck. Most of these jobs are going away. For the remaining drivers, this will do what disco did to blue collar musicians; nothing pushes incomes down like an overcrowded field of competing freelancers. Meanwhile, the leading providers of on-demand autonomous services will no doubt merge to form massive conglomerates that dominate the field. Goober uber alles.

Monday, May 25, 2015

It's English. I write in English.

So I'm trying to make these little essays better or at least to slow the degradation which seems to be the inevitable fate of any protracted human endeavor. Those of you who don't do this kind of work might think, “What is he whining about? It's 100 words. I say more than that just ordering at the drive-through.” Which, sure, but probably sometimes you ask for the same breakfast or lunch you did last time, but I can't do that, because I'm committed to new words every week. Well actually not new. I proudly recycle by using a preexisting language.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I'll settle for any one out of three.

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.