03.31.10 – A Wednesday

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word

greenhorn [green-hawrn] n. 1. an untrained or inexperienced person 2. a naive or gullible person; someone who is easily tricked or swindled 3. Slang. a newly arrived immigrant; newcomer

birthday

René Descartes (1596), Joseph Haydn (1732), John Fowles (1926), César Chávez (1927), William Daniels (1927), Lefty Frizzell (1928), Gordie Howe (1928), Liz Claiborne (1929), Richard Chamberlain (1934), Shirley Jones (1934), Herb Alpert (1935), Barney Frank (1940), Patrick Leahy (1940), Michael Savage (1942), Christopher Walken (1943), Gabe Kaplan (1945), Al Gore (1948), Rhea Perlman (1948), Ed Marinaro (1950), Angus Young (1955), Marc McClure (1957), Ewan McGregor (1971), Josh Saviano (1976)

standpoint

My new laptop actually works with this old iPod I inherited so, after I got home from bartending last night later than usual, I started ripping old CDs and, hence, there is no new Standpoint today. Tomorrow, there will be definitely be one and a most unpopular one with some among you.

quotation

Sometimes when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn’t all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was just a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity. Henry Bromell

tune

There’s a variety of songs out there with such an outstanding opening line, I don’t particularly care what happens throughout their duration. One such line is, “For once I want to be the car crash,” from “Headlights on Dark Roads” by Snow Patrol. In this instance, the entirety is solid as well.

gallimaufry

→ I try to steer clear of language so strong as this, but HOLY FUCK. The GOP leadership must be contemplating an assassination plot of this batshit crazy lady. To be fair, the video clip is at least four times as funny as anything she did on SNL.

→ For the record, if you don’t find Craig Ferguson funny, we’ll most likely never see eye-to-eye on anything at all. (This doesn’t mean I’m backing down from liking Jimmy Fallon, I just thrive on variety.)

→ It didn’t come as any surprise to me the Philadelphia Phillies made this decision. But I’ve been hearing gripes about it which is surprising since I was under the belief this city always rooted for the underdog. What other explanation could there be for all those damn Rocky movies?

07.10.09 – Friday

Word: aphorism [afuh-riz-uhm] n. a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation, as “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).

Birthday: John Calvin (1509), Camille Pissarro (1830), Adolphus Busch (1839), John Wyndham (1903), David Brinkley (1920), Jake LaMotta (1921), Fred Gwynne (1926), Lee Morgan (1938), Arthur Ashe (1943), Ron Glass (1945), Arlo Guthrie (1947), Greg Kihn (1949), Neil Tennant (1954), Béla Fleck (1958), Chiwetel Ejiofor (1974), Adrian Grenier (1976), Jessica Simpson (1980) 

Quotation: Golf. My God, that’s a mysterious occupation. I know people who are – good friends – who are absolutely smitten, practicing their swing and talking about it. I can understand some sort of sport where your body got a benefit, like marathon running or bicycle racing. That’s not golf. And not only that, but the whole business of standing in the sun- my God. That’s like torture.Christopher Walken

Tune: Houseguest’s pop shuffles and sashays with an off-kilter grace, like a defiant drunk finding his way home. Guitars shamble and rumble with repressed power, rising in hooky swells that call to mind Guided by Voices, Beat Happening, and the Feelies.” That’s how Cleveland Scene feels about Akron, Ohio band, Houseguest. Try “Proud Utility Infielder” and see if you agree.

Gallimaufry: Levi Johnston, the 19-year old who knocked up Bristol Palin, held a press conference Thursday “because Alaskans want to know why Palin has decided to resign, effective the end of the month.” Johnston, who is no longer engaged to Palin’s daughter, feels the reason for her stepping down has something to do with book deals. “She had talked about how nice it would be to take some of this money people had been offering us and you know just run with it, say ‘forget everything else.'” Not sure why he felt like he had to weigh in, but there it is. The Palin family dismissed the aspiring actor’s comments as “a piece of fiction.” Just when you think we’ve come so far as a society. The Valley Club, a swim club in Huntingdon Valley, a suburb of Philadelphia, shows we still got a long way to go. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission is launching an investigation into the events of this past Monday, when an inner city group brought 65 children to swim at the club’s pool facility. Apparently, members were outraged, pulling their children from the pool and holding them protectively from the mostly minority group of children from The Creative Steps, a camp in Northeast Philadelphia. Alethea Wright, the camp’s director, had worked out a deal with The Valley Club to bring the kids to the pool every Monday afternoon. The club is claiming they eventually pulled the minority children from the pool because of “overcrowding.” I’m not buying it and either should you.

04.22.09 – Wednesday

Today is Earth Day!

Word: espouse [i-spouz, i-spous] v. 1. to make one’s own; adopt or embrace, as a cause 2. to marry 3. to give (a woman) in marriage

Birthday: Immanuel Kant (1724), Vladimir Lenin (1870), Vladimir Nabokov (1899), Robert Oppenheimer (1904), Charles Mingus (1922), Aaron Spelling (1923), Charlotte Rae (1926), Richard Donner (1930), Glen Campbell (1936), Jack Nicholson (1937), John Waters (1946), Peter Frampton (1950), Paul Carrack (1951), Marilyn Chambers (1952), Ryan Stiles (1959), Byron Allen (1961), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (1966), Daniel Johns (1979)

Ocurrence: 1970 – The first ever Earth Day is held.

Standpoint: Twitter. You can’t escape it. It’s everywhere. In the past month, I haven’t read a newspaper or watched a talk show where there hasn’t there wasn’t some reference to Twitter, “tweets,” “twittering,” “tweeting” or one of the myriad of other new terms that has invaded the English language because of the overwhelming popularity of the social networking site. If you haven’t heard of it, you must be purposely trying to avoid it. Twitter (and everything to do with it) is currently big news. Last week, Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN to a race to see which one could get to 1 million followers first. Kutcher won. Also last week, Oprah Winfrey publicly joined Twitter on her show where her guest was Evan Williams, Twitter’s CEO. Her first tweet was unsuccessful. Some guy named Corey Menscher has invented the Kickbee, a device a pregnant woman can wear that will detect her baby “kicking” and post a tweet about it.

I joined Twitter a little over a month ago. I railed against it for a while, but finally succumbed. Really just to figure out what the hell it was all about. So, what have I learned? In essence, Twitter is primarily an outlet for people to braindump. Some denominate it microblogging. I think it of it as more full-dress insanity. The tweets come fast and furious. I’m not particular about who I follow or who I allow to follow me. I employ Twitter to drum up additional traffic for this blog, so I figure, the more the merrier.

But individuals are on Twitter for all kinds of reasons. As I’m writing this, I’ve just passed 400 followers. In addition, I’m following close to 800 people in the Twitterverse. I know all of 12 of them personally. The rest are celebrities (Kutcher, P. Diddy and ,yes, even Wil Wheaton), news sites (CNN, E! Online, The Huffington Post), musical acts (Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Band of Horses), companies trying to sell stuff (which is seemingly effective) or fellow bloggers.

Some that I’m following (or they’re following me, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep it all in order), are simply odd. One guy I was following was actually posing as Christopher Walken. His tweets were pretty funny and I could picture the actor writing them. The guy was caught and booted. (He’s now back.)Another person contantly updates conditions on the highways in and around San Jose, CA. I’ve no use for this information but I don’t drop anyone so I’m continually informed on what roads not to take around a city I’ve no current plans to step foot in. These are just two examples. There are hundreds, probably more like hundreds of thousands, more.

So, is Twitter useful? I’d love to give some snarky response about how it’s not, but that would be dishonest. My blog traffic has increased because of my Twitter activity. Not because my clever tweets are necessarily reeling everyone in but because of the promiscuous following habits of most users, myself included. I’m pretty certain that hardly anyone is reading even 10% of all the tweets that appear on their Twitter homepage. So, while it’s doubtful that everyone in TwitterLand is paying real attention to one another, it doesn’t really seem to matter. It’s more about being involved in swirling mayhem and telling people, “Yeah, I’m on Twitter.” 

Quotation: Thank God man cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. Henry David Thoreau

Tune: Sadly, I didn’t get into Guided By Voices until last summer. After listening to Robert Pollard and crew’s many great songs, I quietly wondered what planet I’d been living on that I never ran across them before. Listen to “Echos Myron.”

Gallimaufry: After being hospitalized a few days ago, it appears that physicist Stephen Hawking will make a full recovery…President Obama sure has had his fair share of firsts. Here’s another one. He’ll be the first US President to appear topless on the cover of a magazineFacebook groups are popping against, of all people, martial artist and movie star Jackie Chan for comments he made over the weekend, including that “the Chinese need to be controlled.” Apparently, the guy’s a fan of oppression. Who knew?

Incoming: TomorrowAnnoying Sayings & Misused Words. Friday3 Things To Do in Philly When You’re Dead and more.

03.31.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: subterfuge [suhb-ter-fyooj] n. an artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.

Birthday: René Descartes (1596), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685), Joseph Haydn (1732), César Chávez (1927), William Daniels(1927), Gordie Howe (1928), Liz Claiborne (1929), Richard Chamberlain (1934), Shirley Jones (1934), Barney Frank (1940), Christopher Walken (1943), Gabe Kaplan (1945), Al Gore (1948), Rhea Perlman (1948), Ed Marinaro (1950), Angus Young (1955), Ewan McGregor (1971), Josh Saviano (1976)

Occurrence: 1918Daylight Saving Time is first used. I’ve heard all the reasons why DST is a good idea. None of them appeal to me. It’s just a hassle. Except when I’m at a bar when we’re turning the clocks back. Then, I mean hey, one more hour of drinking. When is that ever a bad thing?

Standpoint: I like police officers. I know lots of people who don’t. Most have had a bad experience with a cop. Some just like thumbing their nose at authority. (Rock on, rebel.) But being a police officer can’t be easy. I can understand why they might sometimes be rude. First, people generally lie to them. Hardly anyone tells the exact truth. At least not right off the bat. Cops always have to ask a million questions to get to the bottom of anything. That’s gotta be frustrating. Second, imagine if – every conversation that you had in a day – you had to worry about someone either lunging at you or sprinting away and diving over some fence. I’d find it hard to remain forever-courteous in that situation. So I get it. I appreciate everything that law enforcement does for our society. But what Dallas Police Officer Robert Powell did to Ryan and Tamisha Moats was borderline criminal. Guy definitely shouldn’t be a cop. Or even a junkyard security guard. Moats, however, handled the situation like a gentleman and continues to do so. The saddest part about the whole incident is that, if Moats wasn’t an NFL running back, we would’ve never even known it occurred.

Quotation: A careful driver is one who honks his horn when he goes through a red light.Henry Morgan

Soupçon: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms prohibits the use of the word “refreshing” in describing any alcoholic beverage. I thought old Zima ads might’ve used the word but I can’t find any official use of the word “refreshing.”

Tune: Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” has always confused me. If she’s singing, “You’re so vain/You probably think this song is about you,” then wouldn’t the song at least be partially “about” whoever the hell she thinks is “so vain?” I think so. Furthermore, Simon has never confirmed who she’s referring to. Popular speculation names several suspects: Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens, Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson and James Taylor. Apparently, back then, if you played the guitar or happened to be Warren Beatty, you had a pretty good shot of dating Ms. Simon.

Link: Calvin and Hobbes Wonderland – Everything you could possibly need about the awesome comic strip by Bill Watterson.

Gallimaufry: It’s no secret that I like President Obama. But funny is funny. Check out Barack Obama’s Teleprompter’s Blog…Ever wished for super powers? Sure you have. Let Cracked explain why you don’t want them…Using TweetDeck for Twitter is my new vice. I highly recommend it.