After 13 years living at 4,659 feet, I’ve forgotten how easy it is to be a runner at sea level! Wow. You old-timers like me who live below 1,000 feet elevation have NO EXCUSES. Working out here feels like nothing, even though I left behind the High Plains Desert three weeks ago.
Archive for the 'fluff' Category
Inspired by a recent viewing of Spongebob Squarepants that featured a fake “early Spongebob” cartoon that was clearly a reference to “Steamboat Willie,” I dialed up “Steamboat Willie” on the YouTube and discovered that this cartoon is completely insane and loaded with animal cruelty. Now, I am not one to get all up in your grill about cruelty to animated creatures, but seriously–this thing is whack:
After driving all over L.A. and Orange Counties yesterday to visit friends, I’m taking it easy today. Here’s a cool Labor Day poster, especially for those of us who work for government. Enough of the attacks on public sector employees and the small subset of us who are still unionized! Solidarity forever.
Here’s something I heard while driving around what Southern Californians apparently call “the Southland.” (Maybe it’s just because I’m an American historian and a professional Yankee by birth, inclination, and residence, but I’d never call anyplace I live “the Southland.” Just sayin’.): a hilarous segment from Latino USA: “The Worst Latino.” Well worth a hearing for anyone who’s ever felt like an inferior member of an ethnic group, political movement, religion, or whatever. It’s all about interest group boundaries, and how they define us and bring us together as well as potentially alienate us. Continue Reading »
I’m having serious (and completely drug-free) flashbacks to my 1970s childhood courtesy of this advertisement, which I found at AdViews in the Duke University Libraries’ Digital Collections:
“You can see that they’re build solid, flashy, and hip.” Continue Reading »
Someone disagreeable is trying to persuade you to take a trip to Bath.
Your father is absolutely terrible with money. No one has ever told him this.
All of your dresses look like nightgowns.
. . . . . .
You have five hundred a year. From who? Five hundred what? No one knows. No one cares. You have it. It’s yours. Every year. All five hundred of it.
. . . . . .
A woman who is not your mother treats you like her own daughter. Your actual mother is dead or ridiculous.
You develop a resentment at a public dance.
Some of that sounds pretty good: the five hundred a year, and the dresses like nighties, natch. What’s not to love? Continue Reading »
From The Husband-Man’s Guide (Boston, 1712):
In this month sow Hemp & Flax, pole hops, set and sow all kind of tender herbs and seeds. Restore the liberty of the laborious Bee, by opening her hive. Let Tanners now begin to prepare to get Bark, and the good Housewives mind their gardens, and begin to think of their Daries. Now purge & bleed, you that need; for the use of Physick is yet very seasonable, the Pores of the body being open; therefore this and the last Month is th’ best time to remove and prevent Causes of sickness, and for speedy remedy in any extremity. Let blood these two Months the Moon being in Cancer, Acquary or Taurus, but held to be extream perilous for the Moon to be in that sign which ruleth the Member where the Vein is opened. So also it is held best to take Purges when the Moon is in Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces. But an Oyntment or Plaster is best apply’d when the Moon is in the same Sign that rules the Member to which it is applicable.
As it says after one of its recommended decoctions for common human complaints: Continue Reading »
For the first time in my life, I’m actually going to spend part of my spring break in Florida. Honestly; the farthest south in college or grad school I ever went was Baltimore. (I know! I was a total grind.)
See you on the flip side of the continent.
I watched Hardball last night, and as usual those folks at MSNBC are on Chris Christie and his traffic-on-the-bridge scandal like a dog on a bone. I noticed that the squib for the first segment, “More subpoenas, more questions,” was “Tainted Gov.” Tainted gov? I didn’t get it. Is that a food poisoning joke or something? Then I figured it out–I think it’s a reference to Soft Cell’s 1981 new wave remake of the classic:
HA-ha! Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy weekend!
You have to feel some sympathy for the designers of the team uniforms for the opening ceremonies for the winter Olympics. After all, it’s an all cold weather sports event held at midwinter in the Northern hemisphere, so the team look has to be built around parkas, and perhaps accessorized with touqes and mufflers. Aside from that, you need to find a look that’s flattering (or at least not deeply un-flattering) to people whose body types range in both sexes from tiny figure skaters to thick-thighed speed skaters and to ginormous hockey players and curlers.
But, honestly friends: can’t we do any better than to make most of the international teams look like lifties or Teletubbies (see Argentina for the former, and Germany for the latter)? And Ireland: did you want to make your team look like IRA terrorists?
Mexico is getting slammed by some, but I thought their getups were pretty stylin’. I like team uniforms that try to connect to the national identity of the country represented, and it’s quite a challenge when you have a tropical or subtropical country. Cross your eyes a little bit and they look like matadors in traditional costume. The U.S. uniforms probably seemed like a good idea when viewed in isolation, but having 200+ people in a great mass wearing that getup was just ugly and confusing. Continue Reading »