05.09.11 – a monday


élan [ey-lahn, ey-lan] n. dash; impetuous ardor: to dance with great élan


J. M. Barrie (1860), Mike Wallace (1918), James L. Brooks (1940), John Ashcroft (1942), Candice Bergen (1946), Billy Joel (1949), Rosario Dawson (1979), Andrew W. K. (1979),


A few weeks back, I wrote about mental floss, a fact-filled magazine my roommate subscribes to, and shared a sampling of the nuggets of knowledge I’ve come across since reading it. I like factual information and, apparently, I’m not alone because I received quite a few thankful emails from those of you who subscribed to mental floss after reading that post. And, all I can say is, you’re welcome.

Here’s a few more tidbits I’ve come across since then.

→ Back in 1896, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average was created, it was based on the 12 most successful companies in the USA. Today, the Dow Jones is based on 30 companies including American Express and The Home Depot. The only surviving company of the original 12 is General Electric.

→ Each night after Disneyland closes, the park is invaded by hundreds of feral cats.

→ Every sports team in the country that featured the word “red” in its name in relation to Native Americans has changed it to something more innocuous. Only one refuses to join the rest of us in our attempts to forward civilization: the Washington Redskins.

George W. Bush’s Wikipedia page is the all-time most edited with 44,169 changes.

→ There are some out there who estimate that Americans are sitting on $30 billion worth of unused gift cards.

That’s all for this installment.


If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam. ↔ Lord Langdale


I don’t really like driving. It’s pretty frickin’ annoying. I mean, if it was just me on the road, I would absolutely love driving. But I’m not alone out there and most people haven’t got the slightest clue as to how to conduct themselves when behind the wheel. The only aspect of driving that makes it remotely bearable is music. And some songs are really good to drive to and almost make the experience of driving from one place to another enjoyable. Case in point, “Alex Chilton” by The Replacements.


Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is threatening to creep onto the list of my top-20 movies ever. There’s something about it that makes me want to watch over and over. I don’t care if that makes me uncool.

→ Often, I find stories for this blog on Drudge Report. It’s kind of useful but also kind of freaky. I imagine its headquarters underneath a secret mountain somewhere and everyone who works there is convinced they’re the only people who’ll survive whatever it is they’ve decided that day is going to cause Armageddon. Also, those dudes definitely play lots of online role-playing games.

→ Hey, news media types, I think we can take the “Breaking News” tag off the whole Osama bin Laden thing. It’s been a week now. How long can news actually break?

03.18.10 – A Thursday


polemic [puhlem-ik, poh-] n. 1. a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine, etc 2. a person who argues in opposition to another; controversialist


Mary Tudor (1496), John C. Calhoun (1782), Grover Cleveland (1837), Rudolf Diesel (1858), Neville Chamberlain (1869), Ernest Gallo (1909), Peter Graves (1926), George Plimpton (1927), John Updike (1932), Wilson Pickett (1941), Michael Reagan (1945), Bill Frisell (1951), Irene Cara (1959), James McMurtry (1962), Vanessa L. Williams (1963), Bonnie Blair (1964), Jerry Cantrell (1966), Queen Latifah (1970), Dane Cook (1972)


Yesterday, rock legend Alex Chilton died of an apparent heart attack. He was 59.


A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything on real issues. ↔ Theodore Roosevelt


I’ve got to be honest here. I’m not sure I’ve listened all the way through to any original song by Iron and Wine. The dude does a lot of good covers, though. Here’s New Order‘s “Love Vigilantes.”


Good God almighty, can we put this health care thing to bed yet? A prime example of how this country will never get anything done again. Let’s wipe the slate clean and start fresh all ready.

→ With all the technology at our disposal, how in the world did it take one to two hours to fix this problem? Couldn’t they just pull a plug or something? Still, I would’ve loved to see the looks on all those overprotective mothers’ faces.

→ I’m not sure in which alternative dimension this is actually funny. Further evidence of the deteriorating state of our society. Which, by the way, sucks.

03.03.10 – A Wednesday

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to NewsvineAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter


magnate [mag-neyt, -nit] n. 1. a person of great influence, importance, or standing in a particular enterprise, field of business, etc.: a railroad magnate 2. a person of eminence or distinction in any field: literary magnates 3. a member of the former upper house in either the Polish or Hungarian parliament


Alexander Graham Bell (1847), Jean Harlow (1911), Will Eisner (1917), James Doohan (1920), Doc Watson (1923), Perry Ellis (1940), Jennifer Warnes (1947), Tim Kazurinsky (1950), Robyn Hitchcock (1953), Ira Glass (1959), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1962), Herschel Walker (1962), Tone Loc (1966), David Faustino (1974), Jessica Biel (1982)


I got nothing to yap about today. Well, that’s not true as I’m never at a loss to bitch and moan about just about anything. However, lack of sleep and a busy schedule today caused me to turn in early last night and, well, after getting home kind of late from tending bar, I made the decision to put off sharing my chosen topic for today until tomorrow. Come back then for some more.


Science fiction does not remain fiction for long. And certainly not on the Internet.Vinton Cerf


Looking back through the archives of this blog, I can’t believe I’ve never posted one of my favorite songs ever – “Alex Chilton” by The Replacements. The band has always been considered an acquired taste but if you don’t like this tune, you’re dead all the way through. Enjoy.


Man, no wonder the rest of this country thinks Philadelphia has a bad attitude. Could we be on any more of these “Worst Of…” lists? Come on, we’ve got our issues but, really, most of us are just normal folks who’d prefer it if our city was left off some of these lists. We’re more than just cheesesteaks and Rocky.

→ The news about the Chilean earthquake just keeps getting better. Turns out the damn thing moved the planet’s axis by about three inches, not enough to effect the seasons but plenty to shorten the length of actual days. My friend Kevin think the Earth is trying to shake us off because we suck. Might not be too far from the truth.

→ You know this shitty economy is just about rock bottom when even our fictional characters are losing their jobs. Keep your chin up, Spidey.

12.28.09 – A Monday


umbrage [uhm-brij] n. 1. offense; annoyance; displeasure: to feel umbrage at a social snub; to give umbrage to someone; to take umbrage at someone’s rudeness 2. the slightest indication or vaguest feeling of suspicion, doubt, hostility, or the like 3. leaves that afford shade, as the foliage of trees 4. shade or shadows, as cast by trees 5. a shadowy appearance or semblance of something


John Molson (1763), Woodrow Wilson (1856), Pops Staples (1915), Stan Lee (1922), Edgar Winter (1946), Alex Chilton (1950), Denzel Washington (1954), Seth Meyers (1973), John Legend (1978)


OK. Well. I was trying in earnest to complete today’s post but my laptop, which is older than most peoples’ grandparents, began acting up at 2am and is in desperate need of assistance. So there will be no new Standpoint or Gallimaufry. Promise there will be a more complete post tomorrow. Thanks for reading.


For the happiest life, days should be rigorously planned, nights left open to chance.Mignon McLaughlin


About ten years ago, it was considered kind of (sort of) cool to listen to bluegrass. Any song with a banjo could be (in some inexplicable way) played in the company of hipsters without a trace of irony. During that odd period, Nickel Creek, a trio of young and prodigious musicians, were all the rage. Despite the band’s efforts, and the huge popularity of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, bluegrass eventually sunk back into the fringes of popular music, where, because of its limited range, it’s most likely more productive and better off. But Nickel Creek had some pretty great songs. I think “Speak” is my favorite.


(see today’s STANDPOINT)