Monthly Archives: November 2020

Black and Blue

I don’t know why this is such a difficult thing for people to understand, but Blackbeard was the famous pirate.  Bluebeard was just a serial murderer of wives.  I’m not sure why either murderous criminal would be considered a good corporate symbol.  But if, for instance, a company that sells hair care products wanted to use Bluebeard as a mascot, going for some kind of jolly roger motif is way off base.  Bluebeard’s whole thing was keys, so might I suggest his use by a lock manufacturer?

This guy wouldn’t last a day at sea

At least Edward Teach had a certain amount of flair (come to think of it, a beard products company that had Blackbeard as their mascot could try to bring back his striking fashion statement of wearing a bunch of lighted slow-burning matches in his beard – it’s hard to find beard matches these days).

Pirate Edward Teach Corsair - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

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Filed under Words Mean Things, Dammit

This Pillow is Annoying Me

Actually, to be precise, this pillow case is annoying me. Also irritating me is the lack of standardization between pillow and pillow case sizing, for throw pillows designed for couches. I won’t go into that now (look for my upcoming 6-part series on pillow irritations for that). But suffice to say that I had a heck of a time finding covers that would actually fit these new pillows I bought to stop my head from bonking into the arms of my couch when I lie down on it, because none of the covers I could find seemed to quite fit.

But finally, after an exhaustive search, I found this design:

The birds are a nice touch

It’s probably not the first design I would have chosen, but as I said, the choices that would actually fit my pillows were limited, and at first I was perfectly happy with it. But then I noticed those details on the trees, and not I can’t unsee the problem, which alert readers have no doubt already seen. Clearly, someone tried to suggest the look of birch trees with the little notches that allow the off-white of the pillow cover itself to show a little contrast with the gray. But check out where the tree is in front of that (massively-beracked) deer. Now we see black in the notches rather than white, and since black in this case represents the deer that can only mean those notches are actually void space in the trees, not bark patterns.

Actually, as I think about it, maybe the black makes more sense for a bark pattern than the white.

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

But that just makes it worse, and anyway, the trees on the pillow cover still seem to have notches cut out of them for some reason. This is very upsetting, and I think I need to go lie down on my couch.

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Choose Your Raconteurs Carefully

Fusilli Jerry” is a classic episode of the TV show Seinfeld, possessed of various cultural markers. One of these is Kramer’s quote “You meet a proctologist at a party, don’t walk away. Plant yourself there, because you will hear the funniest stories you’ve ever heard.”

Yarn | You meet a proctologist at a party, don't walk away. ~ Seinfeld  (1989) - S06E21 The Fusilli Jerry | Video clips by quotes, clip |  ca9e90b5-8405-4a3d-8693-08c1eff3f7fc | 紗
Kramer explaining proctologists

Unfortunately, as I recently discovered, the same doesn’t hold true of septic tank technicians, despite the tangential relationship of the two occupations. The guy who pumps out septic tanks may be gregarious and have a lot to talk about, but that doesn’t mean his anecdotes will be all that entertaining.

This got me thinking, what occupations would tend to have good stories to tell? Now is a good time to make a list, as we all prepare for a time when we have parties again.

So far, I’ve got:

  • Test pilot
  • Wildlands firefighter
  • Bartender
  • Astronaut
  • Flight attendant
  • Carny

I’m sure there are a few others. I’ll update as I think of them, for use in making lists of invitations.

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That’s a Strange Way to Spell “Charles Babbage”

I was driven from my comfortable home recently in search of a burrito, which search took me to the village of Hamilton. As I drove in, I noticed for the first time a sign proclaiming Hamilton to be the birthplace of “John Attanasoff, Inventor of the Computer”. Now, as all computer geeks and steampunk enthusiasts know, that title properly belongs to Charles Babbage.

Babbage is the one on the right

Granted, “Inventor of the First Digital Electronic Computer” is a bit wordy for a sign in a 45 MPH zone, but maybe they could do some kind of multi-sign Burma Shave thing. And true, Babbage never actually built his difference engine so maybe a sign mentioning him would need a few caveats as well, but I think we can all agree that precision in language is important when discussing computers, digital or otherwise.

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