We don’t normally discuss sports around this blog, but the Baseball Hall of Fame is just down the road from me in Cooperstown. And with Halloween approaching, I thought I should link to this wonderful article about that famous institution.
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As a writer, I catalog all my experiences, naturally, and try to make sense of them for later use. But recently, I discovered something bizarre and inexplicable. Everything happens for a reason, of course, and the universe has an order to it.
So why does Hanes underwear come in a resealable bag?
I used to be quite the cyclist back in the day, racing almost every weekend in the summer. Not so much these days, but I did ride a race not long ago for old time’s sake. It happens to be a race well known for treating riders well, by feeding them muffins and such after the race, as well as the traditional water and bananas. They also hand out a goody bag to all the riders, with little gifts that vary from year to year. This year, the bag contained this:
That’s right – a pint glass, a beer cozy, and a “Michelob Ultra” water bottle. Message received, race organizers. I will commence unwinding from the race.
Longtime readers of my blogs will know that I have a soft spot for the language of MacGyver. This supercut of people in movies enhancing images is generally awesome, but as always, the awesomest parts are those with good old MacGyver.
Of course, no video of enhancement would be complete without Adventure Time:
As we all know, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is upon us. It’s an important day, well worth celebrating, but please people, don’t say “argh” and think you are properly entering the spirit of things. The proper pirate exclamation is “arrrrr” (with as many “r”s as you like – go nuts!), or, if you prefer, “yarr”. But not, “argh”.
“But you don’t understand!” I hear you shouting, “When I say ‘argh’ the ‘g’ is silent! Also sort of the ‘h’, though really, who can tell? I mean, sometimes I sort of let fly with a breathy ‘hu’ sound at the end when I’m going for a sexy pirate sound, but really, the ‘gh’ is basically a unit. And like I said, I don’t pronounce it.”
Well, look. For one thing I see poor misguided souls lurching around in eye patches with stuffed parrots on their shoulder saying “argh” with the trailing ‘g’ all the time. Think of those folks making fools of themselves and try to set an example, would you? For another thing, “argh” already clearly fills the role of a general exclamation of distress, while the piratical “arr” is more of a generalized interjection. I am by nature a descriptivist, but clearly we need both words, and it is in the best interests of the language to properly differentiate them. English is confusing enough as it is.
I’ve always been fond of understatement, and I’m known a certain laconic insouciance, so I was impressed by the spokesperson of the Massachusetts State Police, who recently, in reference to an axe that fell off a truck on I-95 and lodged in someone’s windshield, that it “could have been worse”. Now, the phrase “it could have been worse” is sort of pointless when you stop to think of it because yes, there is always some way to make any situation, no matter how disastrous, slightly worse.
But to say that a situation that started with an axe flying through a windshield and ended with a passenger being a bit shaken up might have gone more badly is going the extra mile. I mean, what if two axes had lodged in that poor person’s windshield? Imagine how shaken the passenger would have been. And that’s just off the top of my head. I could probably come up with a few other ways things could have ended up worse, given a few minutes.
When I first heard that an Amazon employee had crashed an unmanned aerial vehicle in the Space Needle, I thought to myself “Well, Bezos has finally done it now.” Year after year of losing money? That’s a mark of pride for Seattle-based businesses. Annoying indie authors by not giving them much money for Kindle Unlimited? Well, where else are their most loyal partisans going to go now? But but jove, people are a bit twitchy about drones getting up to mischief these days. And he could hardly have picked a more beloved civic monument to ram. This isn’t the Saint Louis arch or something.
But now it sounds like he simply buzzed the observation deck, maybe without running into anything. So that’s all right, then.