04.08.09 – Wednesday

Word: abscond [ab-skond] v. to depart in a sudden and secret manner, esp. to avoid capture and legal prosecution: The cashier absconded with the money.

 

Birthday: David Rittenhouse (1732), Betty Ford (1918), Carmen McRae (1920), Kofi Annan (1938), Stuart Pankin (1946), Tom DeLay (1947), Steve Howe (1947), John Schneider (1960), Izzy Stradlin (1962), Julian Lennon (1963), Biz Markie (1964), Robin Wright Penn (1966), Patricia Arquette (1968)

 

Occurrence: 1992 – Tennis legend and Philadelphia native Arthur Ashe announces he’s contracted AIDS from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries. Because I hail from Philadelphia, I’m ashamed to admit that I thought he had contracted AIDS sexually.

 

Standpoint: So. After I wrote yesterday’s post, I started doing my nightly internet research. While I was flipping through my RSS Reader, I noticed that Glenn Beck was on my TV screen, ranting pretty intensely about Richard Poplawski. He condemned so-called “liberal bloggers” for casting blame on the right-wing portion of our nation and its attitude about gun control. (I was only half-listening, really. A good deal of my attention was being put to use wondering how in the hell the dude ever got a talk show. Why do networks always mistake yelling for charisma?) In any case, he was going on and on about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and casually alluding to the right to bear arms. Something struck me. Society is kind of fucking nuts. Nowadays, people are nearly hysterical about things like cigarettes, artificial sweeteners and Big Macs. (If you didn’t know, they’re bad for you.) People who smoke too much, use too much artificial sweetener or eat too much fast food are likely to die from some horrible disease. Proven facts. I’m not disputing them. But I’m reasonably confident that people who get shot at, even once, are more likely to die from the bullets hurtling at them. So why are tobacco, artificial sweetener and fast food companies under constant barrage and gun companies less so? It’s simple. The Second Amendment to which Mr. Beck was alluding. It says that we all have the right to own guns. No one ever thought to make a Constitutional Amendment about the right to puff on a Camel Light, pour Equal in coffee or woof down a Whopper. But as a United States citizen, Richard Poplawski was able to gather deadly weapons. The Constitution told him it was OK. I wonder if the loved ones of the fallen Pittsburgh Police officers give a rat’s ass about the Constitution right now. I know I don’t. I don’t think laws are made to be broken. I do, however, think laws should be re-examined after a certain amount of time and held up to our current reality. Gun laws need to be changed. Now.

 

QuotationThus the metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the 9mm bullet.Dave Barry

 

Tune: Throw Me The Statue is a great band that I’ve had the opportunity to see in concert at least three times but, for various reasons, didn’t. Here’s “About To Walk”. (By the way, Matt Durkin, if you’re reading this, I want my Throw Me The Statue album back, punk. Also, the Elvis Costello album and the David Sedaris book.)

 

Link: 60 Incredible Aerial Photos from 640 Pixels – Simply amazing stuff.

 

Gallimaufry: Blockbuster Video is apparently close to kaput. Maybe that “no late fees” policy wasn’t such a hot idea…The actor who was inside the Darth Vader (James Earl Jones was the voice) suit for the first three Star Wars films (or the last three, depending on what level geek you are) hasn’t been paid residuals for Return of the Jedi yet. LucasFilm claims that David Prowse signed a contract that stipulates he only gets residual money when the film actually turns a profit. The studio claims that Jedi has yet to do that. You read that right…Fans of the FOX show House were taken off-guard last night when Kal Penn’s character, Dr. Kutner, committed suicide. Turns out the star of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is set to become an associate director at the Office of Public Liaison at The White House. Is there any other place Penn could’ve been going to work where that secret would not have been leaked? I think not.

 

Incoming: Tomorrow – Finally. Your Annoying Sayings responses will be addressed. Friday – My “3 Incredibly Cool Things To Do In Philadelphia This Weekend”. (I know. The title is way too long. I’m working on it.)

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04.02.09 – Thursday

Word: foofaraw [foofuh-raw] n. 1. a great fuss or disturbance about something very insignificant  2. an excessive amount of decoration or ornamentation, as on a piece of clothing, a building, etc.   

 

Birthday: Charlemagne (742), Francesco Maria Grimaldi (1618), Thomas Jefferson (1743), Hans Christian Andersen (1805), Émile Zola (1840), Walter Chrysler (1875), Max Ernst (1891), Buddy Ebsen (1908), Sir Alec Guinness (1914), Jack Webb (1920), Marvin Gaye (1939), Dr. Demento (1941), Leon Russell (1942), Linda Hunt (1945), Anne Waldman (1945), Emmylou Harris (1947), Christopher Meloni (1961), Clark Gregg (1962), Rodney King (1965), Adam Rodriguez (1975)

 

Occurrence: 1882Jesse James is shot in the back by his friend, Robert Ford. Ten years later Edward O’Kelley shoots Ford in the back. Karma’s a bitch.

 

Standpoint: Has this ever happened to you? You walk into a convenience store with the intention of buying bottled water or a newspaper or something small. You grab whatever you’re there to buy and head up to the counter. There is only person in front of you. It’s a woman who’s piled about 23 different items on the counter. You roll your eyes and wonder to yourself if this woman has ever heard of a supermarket. You can tell the clerk behind the cash register is thinking the same thing as he scans each item and puts them into one of the six bags it’s going to require for all her purchases. While that’s going on, the woman is kind of staring blankly around the store, as if trying to see if maybe she’s forgotten something. The clerk then announces some total that sounds fully unusual to hear in a convenience store like “$74.78”. This breaks the woman from her trance and she quizzically looks at the clerk as if she didn’t expect to be asked to pay for her 6 bags of stuff. It’s not until then that the purse comes off the shoulder and drops with a thud onto the crowded counter. She spends the next two minutes fumbling through her bag which looks to have enough room for a baby rhinoceros. Finally, she retrieves a credit card and hands it to the clerk who informs her to swipe the card in the machine in front of her. She looks at the swiper like its alien technology and says something like, “Right here?” After cautiously swiping the card, the clerk has to remind her to put in her PIN number which takes her another minute to remember. The transaction approved, you think you can finally buy your item and leave the store. But you’re wrong. The woman needs to make sure everything is back in her purse, just the way she left it. After securing the credit card in the wallet and, in turn, the wallet in her enormous satchel, she gathers up her plastic bags and walks out the door. Everyone in the line, which is now about ten people long, looks at each other with the same thought running through their minds: “What the fuck?” You pay for your item and leave.

 

This happens to me at least twice a week. Am I the only one?

 

Quotation: For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity. Jean Dubuffet

 

Tune: Sometimes one great band can cover a song from another great band and make it sound like its own. That’s what Rogue Wave did with Pixies“Debaser”.

 

Link: Net Fridge – Just like your refrigerator. Only different.

 

Gallimaufry: I read about Oak Island a few years back. The mysterious story behind it fascinated me…Yesterday, I ate Whopper from Burger King. It was delicious. Take a look at the America’s 10 Best Fast-Food Restaurants…Last week, I posted a link to Worldometers. Tuesday, I read this article on BBC News Online. Overpopulation might be the next big world crisis. Stay tuned.