July 2012 Archives


Annalie, age 7, has recently felt put upon by the world.

She finds other people annoying. She doesn't understand why it's her responsibility to get along with annoying people. "Why is this my job?" she asks her mother incredulously. "I just want to be left alone." Further, she thinks it's patently unfair that she's the one who's thought rude when they're the ones who are annoying.

"I've seen how this ends," her mother cautions. "You buy a house in Metamuville and you relate to other human beings only through a computer."

wasted calories

Community creator Dan Harmon on a commentary track, about objectifying actress Allison Brie:

The first season, I was really protective of Allison. I was like, "Hey man. That's my DAUGHTER!" Then her 7 pictorials came out, and now I'm like, "Eh. That's my house payment."

best mug shot ever

This is the guy who got all uppity at a Batman screening in Arizona. He's got 100 more Facebook friends than me.

catching up

Much has happened during my absence.

A whole lot of people died in Aurora, chief among them the Pretty Young White Woman the media always seems to mourn most. It's nothing nefarious, though. It's just extra tragic when they die.

And then a whole lot of people congregated at Joe Paterno's grave to dig him up and burn him at the stake. Metaphorically. So far. I do not defend Paterno. His moment for moral courage came, and he failed utterly. But nor do I pretend I've ever been faced with such a choice, myself. I find the more-outraged-than-thou zeal with which people are spitting upon him to be creepily like self-pleasure. The more public it is, the better it feels. Just when I thought this tale couldn't get any more revolting.

bye for now

After an insane Saturday of trying to guess passwords and email addresses from 1997, I believe I'm ready to move checkraise.com from its original ISP to one that has upgraded its servers since 1993. Will the site be down for seconds? Days? I do not know.

white noise

Longtime colleague Amy, trying to compliment me:

"You're a great fit for a certain kind of boss. A boss who appreciates...(long pause)...lots of criticism."

reader mail: nate

In answer to the obvious question, he fashioned a noose out of bedsheets. The coroner said his neck didn't break, that he instead slowly asphyxiated. There, aren't you glad you asked?


A childhood friend of mine just killed himself in his prison cell.

I'm not going to pretend we were close after age 10. I hadn't thought of him in decades, not since I last saw him in the hallways of high school and Nate pretended not to see me. Such are childhood friendships. Or such is me. Whichever.

Nate's parents banned me from their home. They banned me due to a specific crime: my face got in the way of their dog's incisors. Nate and I were playing one day, and he let the husky out of the back yard, and it leapt on me. To this day, I have puncture scars on my left check and temple.

My parents didn't sue, nor threaten to, nor even make a stink, which tells you how long ago this was. But they were informed nonetheless that I was no longer welcome at Nate's house, for I had clearly been mistreating the dog. The evidence was trickling down my neck. The dog went on to attack Nate's little sister and others, but my gold-embossed apology must have gotten lost in the mail.

I didn't know it at the time, but this was my first encounter with destructive, delusional parenting.

In reading about Nate's suicide, I see that he grew up to become the worst possible classification of child molester. I will not comment on the typical histories of child molesters other than to acknowledge that yeah, I'm thinking that, too. What really caught my attention was that Nate, who had seven children by three women, was hailed in an ad placed by his parents as a "loving and devoted father."

I stared at that line for a good, long while.

preambles to stupidity

Before a rule change, "illegal defense" was a commonplace foul call in NBA games. I know it had something to do with doubling a man who didn't have the ball, but that was just the toe of this mysterious elephant. I didn't get it. I would never get it. When I taught college technical writing, I went so far as to offer extra credit to anyone who could write me a definition that I completely understood. Many tried. All failed.

And thus did "Whoop, that's gonna be illegal defense." become my first preamble to stupidity. Whenever I heard that phrase, I knew was going to understand nothing that followed. That phrase became a reliable predictor of my own stupidity.

The modern day equivalent is "Quantum theory tells us..." There's not a bloody chance of me understanding what comes next. Quantum physics is to me now what algebra was to me as a kid: I can repeat back what you just said, but please don't ask me to rephrase it.

At work, it's "Marketing has a request."

At home, it's a contractor saying "Hey John, lemme show you something..."

In love, it's "You know what your problem is?"

And then there's my accountant, the hall of famer. He doesn't even get a catchphrase. I don't understand anything the man says after he inhales.

wanted: one very tall glass of milk

When I saw the towering rainbow Oreo that the cookie company put on its Facebook page last week, I had only one thought: I want you in my belly.


Unfortunately I read on.

That Jeni Friedersdorfs exist is not, of course, news. Wherever their fragile views are invalidated by cookies, there the Jeni Friedersdorfs will be, claiming victimhood. Oreo supporting gay pride week was just too much. Jeni will dunk no more.

"Bye Bye OREO!," wrote user Jeni Friedersdorf. "Why can't companies stay neutral on such things?"
Probably for the same reason lower primates have to fling shit on things that don't remotely affect them. They're just morally compelled.

45 economics

When I was a kid, my neighbor Tom was a bit younger than me. One day he informed me that I was foolish to pay $5.99 for an album. He was acquiring all the same songs on 45s for only 99 cents each and thereby saving $5.10. No amount of people explaining the math to him would dissuade Tom from this belief. I was throwing money away.

In the decades since, every conversation I've had about economics has been some variation of that argument with Tom.

"I'm tired of throwing money away on rent!" says young Darcy of her dire need to buy a starter home with her cheating mooch boyfriend. "I want to build equity."

It is a familiar argument. A familiar, asinine argument. So I broke out Karl's Mortgage Calculator and showed her how, if she lived in the house for the first five years of her 30 year mortgage, she would indeed build $23,000 in equity. At the cost of paying $38,000 in interest.

"So you've lost fifteen grand and you haven't had a single repair, furnished a room, or paid closing costs or property taxes yet," I said.

She was bewildered. Everyone knows that home-owning is the smarter investment. Anything else is just throwing money away, and that would just be stupid.

flight distendants

I read another article about how air rage incidents among travelers are up, way up. It's all anecdotal nonsense, seemingly. What strikes me is that flight attendants are the people driving this claim.

Because in my experience, it's the flight attendants who've gotten ruder post-9/11. Really rude. The kind of rude that comes with having all the power. DMV rude.

Perhaps I'm just oversensitive because I know I can't defend myself from mistreatment, lest I get kicked off my flight. So I put it to you guys. Am I imagining this, or are our once-courteous flight attendants now outright abusive and blaming us?

resistable link of the week

Child birth like you've NEVER seen it

moron taxonomy
stupid church signs
super bowl xl officiating
percy chronicles

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