What's the best place you've ever visited? And why?
This one time I was at your Mom’s house….
Ok, not really.
That’s actually a difficult question to answer.
In 2000, The Wife and I went to Scotland for 2 weeks, including trips to Ireland and London. I loved London and would love to go back. Plus we were staying with my sister, so it was a very inexpensive trip.
In 2005, I went with a tour group to Geneva, Prague, and Nice (France) on a tour of cities which were important for the Reformation. That was a “once in a lifetime” trip. Switzerland was absolutely beautiful. I loved Prague and have always wanted to go back.
Then there was the SF Tweetup about 2 years ago, which was great. So many great people, including many I had never met before.
Or the mountains of North Carolina, where I used to go every 3 months or so and I would have the weekend all to myself. 3 days, uninterrupted. I can’t think of anything I could use more than to get back into that habit.
But that would mean giving up our trips to Chicago, and I wouldn’t want to do that either. I’ve never been a city guy, but part of me loves Chicago.
Maybe I should say my mom’s house. It’s where I grew up, and where I (quite willingly) travel every summer and Christmas, even though it means driving from 9pm Christmas Eve to 9am Christmas morning just to be there.
If you gave me a wad of cash and told me that I could only spend it on travel to somewhere I’ve already been and sufficient to go anywhere I wanted, I’d go back to London. So I guess that’s my answer. Right now.
(Yes, I bought a domain name just to redirect it to my real domain name. No you have a problem.)
It touches on both religion and politics. I talk about The Secret, The Prosperity Gospel, the intentional misreading of the Bible to fit our preconceived notions, clichés people say because they can’t deal with the inexplicable, and more.
“Do you want to come smell my crotch and make sure there’s no turkey in it too?”—
(to the dogs… after she had been eating turkey… from a plastic bag… which she had been “hiding” between her legs… not like that… to keep the dogs from getting it. She then put it in the fridge but the dogs were not convinced it was really gone and not just still hidden, so they each took turns…”investigating”… when the 3rd of the 3 of them gave to her, that was her response.)
I’m no bird expert, but it didn’t look like a duck to me… it looked like… well… a bird… I would have thought “pigeon” except for the coloring…
I was parked under a tree, and next to a building. As near as I can figure, the bird flew into a window on the building, broke its neck, and dropped onto my car.
Either that or it dive-bombed my car windshield.
It was pretty surreal. I got into the car and was just about to start the engine when I saw it, and wasn’t quite sure what it was. I went around to the passenger side (first picture) and it looked like the neck and head were gone or stuck inside the hood. It was only when I went around to the other side (2nd picture) that I saw that it was intact.
You can see that the wipers were on when the car was turned off. It was raining a little all morning. Not sure if that had anything to do with it or not.
Anyway… yeah… just a little bit odd, dontcha think?
And, behold, the dark days were upon Columbus, for the Buckeyes were 6-5 and civic self-esteem had fallen to levels not seen since the 1987 loss to Indiana.
Then an angel of the Lord (or maybe it was ESPN) did appear, reporting rumors that a messiah would come.
And his name would be Urban Meyer. For, lo, hadnt he already bought a house in Upper Arlington and signed up to take green-bean casserole to the neighborhood potluck?
Then did the people rejoice at the rumors and make burnt offerings of bratwurst and fall upon the ground in triumphal intoxication.
For he was the one long-awaited by Buckeyes fans. So great were his powers, they said, that he would liberate the passing game and toughen the defense, not to mention reopen all freeway ramps and raise people from the dead (though not the Blue Jackets as some things are beyond hope).
And all this for — what? — maybe $5 million a year and a shoe contract? It would be a bargain at twice the price.
And it came to pass that Meyer denied any interest in the Ohio State coaching job, but the people did not hear him, because they were too busy envisioning where to put the 10 straight national-championship trophies they had already entrusted him to win.
Then the more sane among them cautioned against premature celebration, lest it further confirm to the outside world that some Buckeyes fans are, shall we say, a few yards shy of a first down.
Alas, the cooler heads inquired, “Considering that he is not hired yet or, for that matter, interviewed should we really be commissioning an oratorio fashioned after Handel’s Messiah to mark his arrival?”
And there arose a 600-voice choir drowning out the naysayers. And thus did the singers musically express the towns expectations:
For unto us a coach is hired
(Unto us a coach is hired),
The one weve long desired
(The one weve long desired),
And the spread offense shall be upon his shoulders,
And his name shall be called:
The mighty Urb,
The quintessential leader,
The prince of blitz.
"Well," said those of more cautious mind, "at least they did not do the Hallelujah Chorus.”
But then the Hallelujah Chorus, embellished by fireworks and a fighter-jet flyover, burst forth.
Meyer watched from afar, for he was an astute man, well-acquainted with the ways of football. Even when Buckeyes fans tracked him down, stood outside his office and prostrated themselves, he did not go out to meet them.
"If you went there, you would be a god," said impressed co-workers.
"Yes, I would be a god," he said, "until the first time my offense went three-and-out against a MAC team in September."
- No woman over the age of 10 wants a stuffed animal as a gift.
- I mean it.
- If you’ve been told “no gifts this year,” it may very well be a test. If you can look past that, buy a modest, thoughtful gift that will make her eyebrows go up. When she produces a gift for you, open it and let a few minutes pass before giving her your gift. Trust me.
- Even if she doesn’t give you a gift, wait until everything else is over and kids (if there are some) have finished opening things, then present it to her. Do not say a word, even if she protests. Trust me.
- If you’ve become a couple that exchanges money or explicit, detailed lists leaving nothing as a surprise, make sure you have a modest surprise. Even a special bottle of champagne and a promise of an offsite babysitter for a night. Something to light a spark. Something special. Take it from me.
Every woman is different, but I’ve found these rules apply 99% of the time.
FCC finds AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile not in the public interest
Shockingly, AT&T finds this decision appalling. They are completely lacking in pall:
AT&T said it was disappointed with the FCC’s decision. “It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the U.S. economy desperately needs both,” Larry Solomon, AT&T’s senior vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement.
Wow that’s terrible! How could they do such a — wait, apparently the FCC has something to add:
FCC officials said they found no evidence that AT&T would roll out its 4G mobile broadband service faster if it was allowed to buy T-Mobile, as the company has suggested. The FCC’s staff also rejected AT&T promises saying the merger would lead to tens of thousands of new jobs. FCC officials instead said it would be likely to lead to “massive” layoffs as the two companies cut duplicative jobs.
In case you’re just joining us… my mother asks me to order stuff for her via Amazon Prime, or as she calls it “MAGIC”… obviously this time of year is especially busy for her… and by her, I mean me… She asked me to order two books for my brother, whose birthday is 11/25, and have them sent to her house, because he’s going to be there for Thanksgiving.
The following is a summary of our email exchange from this morning.
Me: That book you asked me to order for Mike that was supposed to be there Wednesday? It should be there today.
Her: Awesome, thank you so much. I may even have time to wrap them before he arrives on Wed. night.
Me: How many times do I have to tell you THEY ARE WRAPPED… IN A BOX
Her: Some of us are untrainable…… obviously…
We also have a long-standing “debate” about the need to “wrap” things that come from Amazon… I mean, the purpose of wrapping a present is to keep you from knowing what’s inside, right? And if you can’t see through the box, then it has the exact same effect as wrapping paper, right? So why spend money on wrapping paper and then try to wrap a box — which will inevitably be frustrating? Put a bow on it, if you must. And the cardboard box is also perfect for writing TO and FROM, so don’t bother with those little tags that fall off anyway.
Obviously, my mother thinks I’m some kind of monster and wonders where she went wrong in raising me…
I, on the other hand, think she’s being completely ridiculous and that she should realize that I obviously benefitted from the college education (which she paid for) by my amazing powers of logical thinking… which have been nevertheless thwarted by branch of the Military Industrial Complex known as Big Wrapping.
Not to be confused with Big Rappin’ which was the name of the first album in my ill-fated hip-hop career.
Is the United States sliding toward theocracy? That’s what Republican presidential candidates have told us for more than a year. Radical Islam, they’ve argued, is on the verge of taking over our country through Sharia law. But this weekend, at an Iowa forum sparsely covered by the press, the candidates made clear that they don’t mind theocracy—in fact, they’d like to impose it—as long as it’s Christian.
You can find video of Saturday’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum” on the Web sites of two organizations that sponsored it: CitizenLink and the Family Leader. Here are highlights of the candidates’ remarks.
I have long argued that giving pepper spray and tasers to police officers is a terrible idea.
I believe that by giving the State the ability to inflict astounding pain on people, but for that pain to leave no physical mark, we made it easier for human beings to inflict that punishment on the State’s behalf. Just as shooting someone from 200m away is easier to do than to stab them with a bayonet, spraying someone with mace is likely much less confronting to the police officer than it would be to hit an unarmed civilian with a billy-club.
I suspect that this decoupling of the infliction of pain and the causing of physical wounds is what allows otherwise decent people to think it’s reasonable or rational to pepper-spray an 84 year-old woman.
Could you even imagine this woman being hit with a truncheon?
But you can totally believe that she was sprayed with pepper-spray, right?
I also firmly suspect that tasers and pepper spray (which decouple pain from intimate physical violence or danger of wounding) contributed to the creation of a society that would consider waterboarding to be something other than torture.
I had never really thought about it that way before, but the man has a good point.
We have a crayola clipboard that hold crayons & paper for Indy when we’re in the car. Letter size paper is just too big to fit comfortably, so we cut some sheets in half horizontally to make 8.5”x5.5” sheets.
Anyway, on the way down to my mom’s house for breakfast, Indy makes my mom a card.
Inside, it says “I love you the best.”
The outside (the back if you imagine a normal greeting card; she messed up the front) reads: “I am thankful for you.”
No coaching. She didn’t ask me how to spell anything. Most of it was spelled like a 4 year old would spell those words, which is delightfully incorrect.
She just looked at me and said, “Dada, do you think Nana will like this card?”
“Kiddo”, I replied, “She’s gonna love it.”
SPOILER ALERT: She loved it.
My general rule is that if you have to ask “Is it creepy if…” then you should stop, because yes it’s creepy.
(Filed under “If you have to ask…”)
However, I’m violating that rule… because despite thinking it might be creepy to reblog something about someone else’s kid, I think this is my new favorite part for today.
a) Jeremy (the sole developer) gives away all of the features for free, with no nagging “HEY WHY NOT DONATE?!?!”
b) He supports Firefox, Safari, and Chrome — which is to say — he maintains 3 versions of this, even though he himself probably only uses 1.
c) Tumblr, Inc. hasn’t done anything noteworthy to improve the Dashboard experience in… does anyone even remember when they last did anything noteworthy to improve the dashboard? But what they have done is threaten to take down Jeremy’s Tumblr account, despite his willingness to work with them to improve MissingE so that it doesn’t overtax their system.
All that time and energy on his part seems like it should be worth something. How about $1 for every “Oh, it does that? Cool!” and then multiply for the number of days that you use it :-?
Or, you know, just donate some amount because it’s the right thing to do.