Sunday, December 27, 2009

Plat du jour

I wonder if there's any relation to W MOZART.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Festivus!

To all those who observe Festivus, have a happy one.

If you'd like to sing a Festivus song, see my previous post.

(I wonder how big a holiday this is among pole dancers.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sexism is alive and well in the Appleton, WI courts

Or maybe just heterosexism.

Wis. teen will need legal permission to date girls

The judge didn't seem to think that there would be any problem if the defendant wanted to date a boy. Or, perhaps more likely, the judge didn't even consider the possibility he would want to date a boy.

Living with bobcats XII

Arizona: Man Fights Off Rabid Bobcat With Bare Hands

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Internet finds

Here are some things I found particularly interesting and/or amusing as I have surfed the web recently.
  • Swedish service performs your last online wishes My immediate question is how this would work for people, like me, who are not using their official names. How could the death be verified? That said, I think this is a good invention in general. I have one Facebook friend who died a year or two ago, and it's always weird to see her picture pop up on my list of friends. I could unfriend her, I suppose, but that doesn't seem quite right either.
  • And speaking of unfriending: Fla. judges, lawyers must 'unfriend' on Facebook. This does make some sense--the appearance of judges' impartiality is almost as important as their actual impartiality.
  • Pandora has a station just for Hanukkah music.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Semi-random thoughts

● When I got to the section of my college alumni magazine with the little notes about what various alumni are doing, I took a little satisfaction in realizing that it will be quite some time before articles about people in my class will be in the "early years" segment. Right now that segment covers people who graduated before 1940. The oldest alum mentioned graduated in 1926.

● In the good news-bad news department, the little newsletter stuck into my utility bill starts with an article titled "Lower Natural Gas Prices Expected." Great. But the last article is "Con Edison Seeks Gas-Rate Increase." The gas itself might get cheaper, but they want more money to deliver it. We can't win.

● Duane Reade has nice 100 calorie bags of its (I guess) house brand "de lish" potato chips. Well, it says in big type on the front that it's 100 calories. It's only in the much smaller Nutrition Facts table in the back do you learn that it's 100 calories PER SERVING, and there are 1.3 servings in the bag.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Plat du jour

I wonder where APPLEA-F are?

(I'm still figuring out how to use the camera in my new phone, especially with the flash. This was way over-exposed.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Bruno convicted--Yay!

Jury Convicts Joseph Bruno on 2 of 8 Corruption Charges

Finally the former NY Senate Republican leader will face his just desserts. It's too bad this came after so many years of his messing things up in the government.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Best Overheard in New York of the day

50-something yuppie guy to another: My wife just doesn't understand that men go through menopause too. It's not just a woman's problem. These past few months I can tell that I've begun my menopause.
Teenage girl sitting across from two yuppies: I'm pretty sure they call what you're going through "erectile dysfunction."

--F Train

Friday, December 04, 2009

Plat du jour--guest submission

From Carolyn Ann's collection

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Deer in Manhattan? Who knew?

Police Rescue a Deer on Governors I.

That deer sure must be a strong swimmer, to get all the way across the harbor from New Jersey.

But what really intrigued me was the end of the article, which says there are deer in Manhattan--all the way up at the northern tip, but now I'm waiting for one to find its way to Central Park, like the coyote.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Semi-random thoughts

● almost always seems to show at least a 10% chance of precipitation. I consider this a classic CYA--no one can complain if it does happen to rain.

● "Losing your tuna" should be a euphemism for something. One of my Facebook friends suggested it should mean having female-to-male gender surgery.

● The museums' audio guide explanations for kids are sometimes more informative than the general ones--and always more entertaining.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Semi-random thoughts

● I did some internet research on satellite radio for a friend. Immediately after that I got ads for Sirius radio on my Excite news pages. These targeted advertisements really watch your internet usage--and they are fast.

● A Facebook friend (whom I don't really know) wrote that she "wants to learn to speed read so i can read 2-4 books a month." Sad.

'Unfriend' Is Dictionary's 2009 Word of the Year, beating out "sexting" among other neologisms. I generally don't unfriend Facebook friends. Mostly I just hide them on my feed. There have also been a few really obnoxious people I've blocked completely, but I don't think any of them were friends.

Yawn headline of the day

Turkey on NJ Turnpike causes havoc, evades capture
Big deal, there are lots of turkeys driving on the NJ turnpike.

OK, I guess I really should file this under "living with wild turkeys."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Plat du jour--guest submission

Since the plate says "subway series" I doubt it was gotten in response to the Yankees recent World Series win. Found by Joanne.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The new penny

I got a surprise when I looked at the penny included in the sales mailing from Starcrest of California. I hadn't heard they were redesigning the back of the one cent piece, as it's called officially. It turns out there are four new versions of the coin's "reverse."

Of course, if they somehow got rid of the sales tax we could easily get rid of pennies altogether.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Plat du jour

She's certainly no dog.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Plat du jour

OK, hiz is a Mini. I wonder what herz is.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Plat du jour

Yes, it's your Prius.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

You think the Bronx is just a wasteland?

This is the magnificent view of the Hudson Palisades from Wave Hill, where I went this afternoon. It's beautiful up there. They run a free van that will pick you up at the subway or the Metro-North train station.

It's in the Bronx. The neighbors will say they live in Riverdale, but it's really just a part of the Bronx.

Those Aussies sure know how to have fun

Sydney Harbor Bridge becomes grassy picnic ground
SYDNEY (AP) - Thousands of people ate breakfast on the Sydney Harbor Bridge as the iconic steel span was transformed Sunday into a grassy picnic ground.

Usually bustling with traffic, the bridge was covered by lawn laid specially for the morning event. It [was] attended by 6,000 lucky picnickers chosen in a ballot to enjoy food, music and the majestic view.

"It's amazing to see the bridge in this perspective," Sydney resident Don Fuchs said as he strolled across, taking in the Sydney Opera House.

"Usually you sit in the car, you cross it, and that's it," he said.

Picnickers brought hampers full of fruit and croissants, while organizers handed out freshly baked bread, jams, apples and yoghurt.

A piano player played honky-tonk music while grazing cows added a rustic touch.

New South Wales state Premier Nathan Rees said the tourism promotion would likely become an annual event.

Grazing cows??!!

Northwest pilots having sex?

My friend Erica Foley says on Facebook:
that Northwest flight that overshot Minneapolis? Is it ridiculous to infer that the captain and co-pilot were having sex? They emphatically deny they were sleeping and none of the other explanations make any sense at all.
I think she may have something there.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another weapon against the "pirates"

US drones protecting ships from Somali pirates

This is great. I hope that soon the thugs will realize that when they go out to attack ships that it is very likely they will return home empty-handed, assuming they return at all.

6th graders write

A Facebook friend (whom I actually knew slightly before Facebook) teaches 6th grade. He had his students write personal narratives. Some titles: "Oh No My Thumb," "When I Lost My iPod," "My First Cigarette Ever," "When My Mom Had a Zit," and "OUCH!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Semi-random thoughts

● I've always hated the milk-mustache ads.

● I find it very curious that the Patriot Act adopts the view directly contrary to that of the patriots who said "Give me liberty, or give me death." The Act requires Americans to give up chunks of our right to be free of government interference and scrutiny of our lives, in order to be (allegedly) safer from terrorists.

● I'm amused when I get identical letters addressed to my male and female names. Sorry, Ms. Magazine, I'm not going to subscribe under either one.

● Bloomberg for Mayor ads appeared alongside a news story I was reading (about elections) on I get them on videos on Fail Blog. I got them on WQXR, before it became a listener-supported station. Flyer after flyer appears in my mail. I hate how he wins elections simply by drowning out the messages of his opponents with his billions.

● It's "très," people, not "trés." Merci beaucoup.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

AP accuses Shepard Fairey of lying

AP says artist made up story about Obama poster

It wasn't just a mistake Fairey was trying to cover up, it was a deliberate lie, the AP claims. After the previous events I'm even less surprised at this.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Plat du jour

Hi Bolo! I'm Caprice.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Shepard Fairey admits cover-up

Artist admits using key AP photo for 'HOPE' poster


I've commented before on how I disliked the iconic "Hope," etc. posters used in Pres. Obama's campaign, and I noted that the Associated Press was suing the artist, Shepard Fairey, for copyright infringement. Now Fairey has admitted he did use the photo of Obama which the AP claimed was the basis for his work. He said he lied to his lawyers, who have withdrawn from the case.

I'm not the least bit surprised by all this. Fairey has shown little respect for the law in the past. But the creation of art is no excuse for breaking the law.

That goes for Roman Polanski also.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Plat du jour

Hi Song! I'm Caprice.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Headline of the day

Dead deer in clown suit left on Iowa porch

"Pirates" lose 11 more

When these thugs figure out that trying to hijack a ship means jail if not death, sanity will return to that part of the world.

11 suspected pirates captured in Indian Ocean

U.S. Navy names ship for Medgar Evers

Long overdue.

Navy honors civil rights martyr Medgar Evers

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The widow of slain civil-rights pioneer Medgar Evers fought tears Friday as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, announced he's naming a new Navy supply ship for Evers' late husband.

"I think of those who will serve on this ship and those who will see it in different parts of the world. And perhaps they, too, will come to know who Medgar Evers was and what he stood for," Myrlie Evers-Williams said at Jackson State University, where Mabus made the announcement.

Evers was Mississippi field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People when he was assassinated outside his Jackson home on June 12, 1963. He was 37.

"He gave his life for his country," Mabus told an audience of about 200.
(more via the link)

Living with bobcats IV

California: AV Bobcat Mistaken for Mountain Lion

Friday, October 09, 2009

Plat du jour

Reggie Jackson is back in town?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

This should end all of the health care arguments

It really starts at the 0:48 point.

Semi-random thoughts

● I added the Wall Street Journal's Pictures of the Day to my daily internet read. Some of the pictures are just stunning. It reminds me of Life Magazine back when it was my primary source of news photography.

● I blocked someone on Facebook who said "voting is for suckers." There's a limit to how much stupidity I will tolerate.

Utah has granted 80,000 NON-residents permits to carry concealed weapons? Idiocy.

● My box of Shredded Wheat tells me that the cereal has been around for 117 years. This is very impressive. Then I remember that I have been around for over half that period.

● I notice the radio ads for a couple of Broadway plays mention the length of the shows: 80 or 90 minutes. Both of the plays are serious dramas. I guess they figure people might not come if they thought they had to sit through a more normal length performance.

● And speaking of radio ads, this evening WQXR, NYC's classical music station, changes frequencies and becomes a public radio station, owned by WNYC. No more commercials! Yay! But I have to wonder what other changes are in store. Apparently some of its announcers will not be moving over--including Clayelle Dalferes, who is a continuing source of traffic to this blog. They are being replaced by a couple from WNYC (and one other starting next month).

● One evening last week I stopped for a quick bite at The Modern, the excellent Danny Meyer restaurant in the Museum of Modern Art. There is a row of small, round tables parallel to the bar, with a banquet on one side and a chair for each table on the other. There was a vacant one, right next to a pillar. The chair was missing, so I sat on the banquet, at a 45 degree angle to get away a bit from the adjacent table, which was crowded with four people. I placed my order, and a bit later a bus-person? a bus-man? a busser? (I don't think bus-boy is politically correct these days) brought my place setting. But it seemed to offend his sensibilities that I wasn't sitting on the banquet at a 90 degree angle--which is where he put the setting, instead of directly in front of me. I moved it over. Listen, bus-whatever, the place setting is for the diner, not for the furniture.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

France 5, Somali hijackers 0

Somali pirates attack French military vessel
I love it. They made a small mistake--they attacked the command ship of the entire French force in the area! But they're not "pirates." They're organized criminal gangs with boats.



Friday, October 02, 2009

Plat du jour

This car seems to be Russian. Or maybe it's just rushin'.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Non-random thoughts

occuring while reading the Sunday NY Times business section.

Fair Game: Too Many ‘No’ Votes to Be Ignored, a column by Gretchen Morgenson about corporate shareholders' disapproval of candidates for boards of directors. For many years I have always voted to withhold approval of all director candidates who are employees of the corporation. In my view, these would-be "inside" directors, the CEO in particular, should be working for the board, not be a part of it. There's a huge conflict of interest there. One thing I seem to have noticed in recent years, though--usually the only inside directors now are the CEOs, not their subordinates. That's at least some improvement. I really could never understand having subordinates having a say on the employment of their boss.

Digital Domain: What if People Don’t Take the Bait to Go Paperless? a column by Randall Ross, about efforts of companies to get their customers to go to paperless billing. I've accepted such offers for a few bills that are pretty stable, like my phone bills, and my cable TV bill--but I must have an automatic payment set-up with these companies. I don't want to take a chance on an e-mail going astray. I know that snail mail can get lost also, but, perhaps wrongly, I'm more confident in it. It also helps when the company gives me an incentive to go paperless--the cable company deducts a dollar from my bill.

Economic View: Why Health Care Will Never Be Equal, a column by N. Gregory Mankiw. In it he talks about an estimate that statins (a type of drug used to lower cholesterol) cost a whopping $150,000 for each year of life saved. Most of this cost is born by health insurance companies, who of course have to figure this into the rates that policy holders have to pay. He asks whether it is worth it. As it happens, I have been taking such a drug, Lipitor, for roughly 15 years now. I think it costs me $5 for a 90 day supply. It costs my insurance company $200-something. A couple of times I've gotten letters from my insurance company urging me to get my doctor to switch me to a cheaper medicine. They're not talking about a generic version of Lipitor (which does not yet exist) though, but entirely different drugs. I asked my doctor about it. He saw no good reason to switch--Lipitor has been effective for me, and I've had no side effects. So we're sticking with Lipitor, regardless of how much it costs my insurance company. (Getting back to the column's question, I think he's ignoring an important factor. He's failing to consider the costs of treating the heart disease that high cholesterol can cause. Lipitor doesn't just extend lives--it prevents a costly disease.)

Can Amazon Be Wal-Mart of the Web?, an article by Brad Stone about Amazon's venturing way beyond being a bookseller, its original endeavor. I'm all for it. I have found it to provide excellent service, with competitive prices. I like the fact that with most items I get free shipping with a $25 order. And its standard shipping is quite fast (once I got my order before they sent me an e-mail saying it had been shipped!)--there is absolutely no need to pay for expedited shipping living where I do. Their return policy is great. The only complaint I really have ever had about Amazon is when they removed all LGBT-related books from their rankings. I did not buy their excuse that it was part of an effort to remove "adult" books--not when they continued to rank anti-LGBT books. Fortunately they quickly reversed their policy, after the change was protested. I got the feeling that some middle-level executives tried to surrepticiously insert their personal anti-LGBT opinions without the knowledge of the Amazon top-management.

Preoccupations | Jim Remsik: For Writing Software, a Buddy System, a first person article about the use of two-person computer programmer teams to write code. I had never heard of this method, despite having been a programmer for 25 years (I did retire 5 years ago). One person writes, while the other critiques. It sounds like a good idea for writing original software. But I did little of that after 1986, when I left my first IT job. From then on most of what I did was program maintenance, and I don't think the buddy system would be very cost-effective for such work.

Quote of the day

Being gay is not a lifestyle. However being filled with hate and stupidity is.
--Journal of a Power Dyke in Training

I might have said ignorance instead of stupidity, but yeah.

Plat du jour

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Facebook status of the day

Hmmmm. when you make penis shaped cupcakes, do you ice the whole thing or just the balls?

HT to Paige Dula

Semi-random thoughts

● Wisconsin's football opponent today is Wofford College. Wofford College? I had to look it up just to find out where the school is located.

● I'm always amazed when people are amazed when they get parking tickets. I will grant you that sometimes it's a little difficult to determine when it's legal to park somewhere, but if you make it a habit of not making sure you are legally parked you are going to keep getting tickets.

● Is race the reason people are out so raucously demonstrating against Pres. Obama's proposed healthcare revisions? I'm sure that's an underlying factor for some of them. But I really think that for a majority it's not that they can't accept a black man in the White House. It's because they can't accept a liberal in the White House. For thirty or forty years, liberals have been so demonized by the right that some people think that liberal policies are "un-American," or that they're socialist. Well, they're not. A majority of the voters put Obama in the White House because they, we, have had enough of the conservatives' failed policies. We voted for a real change in the direction of this country, and the conservative minority had better get used to it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

(Supreme) judges on the dance floor

Three years ago, back when I was writing detailed posts about my activities, I described my experiences at the annual dinner of the LGBT Law Assn. (LeGaL), on whose board I continue to sit. In fact, I am now secretary of the association, and vice president of the LeGaL Foundation. The post was entitled "Judges on the dance floor?", and I related how my image of the judiciary had been radically altered by seeing judges dancing. I asked "can anyone imagine [US Supreme Court Justice] Ruth Bader Ginsburg doing the frug?"

Well, I don't know about Justice Ginsburg and the frug, but there is video evidence of newly-seated Justice Sonia Sotomayor (awkwardly) salsa dancing.

There goes my image of the Supreme Court, too.

HT to Nan Hunter

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

We need one of these in NYC

Or maybe a row of them, posted under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, to keep out the evil-doers.

Plat du jour

Oh hi to you, too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I ♥ Al Franken

I wish I could hear what he was saying.

HT to Air America

A video of an earlier example of Franken's skill. He hadn't learned Alaska and Hawaii yet.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Plat du jour--guest submission

Very seldom. If I only tell the truth then I don't have to try to remember what I told which person. It's much easier.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I ♥ NYC!

From Overheard in New York:
Hipster to 50-something tourist who is blocking the way: Hey, lady, where you from?
Woman, proudly: Kansas.
Hipster: Well, Dorothy, this is not Kansas. This is Times Square, New York City, now get the fuck out of the way! (crowd cheers)

Headline of the day

Pantless man accused of harassing neighbor's horse

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Plat du jour

I'm puzzled about this one. There are a couple of restaurants named the Roux, but neither are anywhere near New York.

I ♥ NYC!

From Overheard in New York:
Tourist, taking photo to woman walking in front of camera: Hey! You ruined my picture!
Aggravated city woman: And you ruined my city!

--Grand Central Station

Monday, August 24, 2009

Plat du jour

Weekly free associations

  1. Disguised :: Hidden

  2. Big wheel :: VIP

  3. Irritating :: Pest

  4. Care :: Charity

  5. Grandpa :: Grandma

  6. Shooting :: Pain

  7. Sunglasses :: Shades

  8. Stampede :: Cattle

  9. Painstakingly :: Exact

  10. Terrible position :: ??
From: Unconscious Mutterings

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Plat du jour--guest submission

From Carolyn Ann's collection

Semi-random thoughts

● I got a campaign e-mail from Mark Green, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, which includes his proposals for

•Implement “Open 311” by making 311 accessible over the Internet in real-time.
•Make government information available in real-time through an “Open Data Directive” to leave the era of burdensome freedom of information requests behind.
along with other computer/internet-based proposals. But I really have to wonder how good he and he staff will be at these things--the e-mail started "Dear [Firstname]."

● I just ordered a 2-year calendar for 2010-11. I sure hope that isn't tempting fate.

● Does anyone really care what John McCain thinks anymore? (Well I suppose he's a better Republican voice than Rush Limbaugh.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Plat du jour

I think this just might belong to a New York artist of some sort.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Headline of the day

Man with Spears tattoo steals earring-wearing dog

Dear God, Please send a hurricane to Florida

Not a real big bad one, you know, just enough of one to shut Crist up.


Is God protecting Fla. at Gov. Crist's request?

Plat du jour

Nick's ride, I think.

Weekly free associations

Late again this week.
  1. Delayed :: Reaction

  2. Irresponsible :: Teenager

  3. Stupendous :: Tremendous

  4. Barcelona :: Spain

  5. Solution :: Simple

  6. Simplify :: Explain

  7. Crumble :: Toast

  8. Podcast :: Download

  9. Conversation :: Piece

  10. Homepage :: Excite
From: Unconscious Mutterings

Wednesday, August 19, 2009