Archive for Dyssynergy

We were warned

Two Sundays ago, there was an email from the Oklahoman apologizing for late delivery: “You may be aware that as of Monday our production and manufacturing of the newspaper is now being completed in Tulsa.”

Inevitably, this additional hour or so of processing time — I assume the content is delivered to Tulsa electronically, but the actual papers have to come back down the Turner Turnpike — leads to this sort of thing:

Editor's note from the Oklahoman 10-22-16

So this might have been predictable:

And likewise this, the following morning:

But hey, they saved some money, so it’s all good.

Oh, OU beat Texas Tech, 66-59, which sounds for all the world like a basketball score.

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It’s all cat videos

And the cats darn well know it, too:

A morning TV show in Turkey’s southwestern Denizli province was interrupted by an uninvited guest on Tuesday when a stray cat, who secretly entered the studio through an open door, popped up on screen.

Presenter of “Good morning Denizli” show Kudret Çelebioğlu on Denizli Radio and Television (DRT) was dumbfounded when he saw the cat climb onto his desk and sit on his laptop during a live broadcast as he was reading the headlines for dailies.

Shortly after he realized the cat was in the studio, he said that he had a ‘surprise visitor’ and continued with his program.

After the cat climbed on the desk, Çelebioğlu reminded viewers that winter is coming and that they should remember to feed stray animals on the streets and keep their doors open as cold weather arrives.

(Via Miss Cellania.)


Not ready when you are

Priorities, always priorities:

Delta Airlines contracted with clothing designer Zac Posen to create new uniforms for Delta ticket agents, flight attendants and gate attendants. This means that the flight attendant who offers you three peanuts and a glass of water, the gate attendant who has no patience with how long it takes you to produce your boarding pass and the ticket agent who laughs when you ask why your connecting flight is seven hours late will all look really snazzy. The new uniforms won’t actually go into service until 2018, which may prompt you to suspect that I will make a joke about them being delivered on a Delta flight. Consider it done.

It occurs to me that the airlines most revered for stylishness — Braniff, Eastern, Pan Am — are all dead. (Well, okay, the remains of Eastern have apparently signed up for the Lazarus treatment.)

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Poor, poor, pitiful she

“Why does nobody follow my social media?” she wails:

Well I tell a little lie, I do get a few followers now and then, on Instagram, Twitter and so on, I don’t use Facebook anymore, but I don’t have as many as some people and when I do get followers, they don’t even appreciate what I have to post, otherwise what was the point in them following me in the first place? I don’t what I’m doing wrong. Everyone else just seems to have it easy. They can get away with posting selfies of themselves and gets lots of likes and comments for them, I’ve never gotten anything like that in my life. I think I must come off as fake to people. But nothing about me is fake at all, whatever I post is true to what is happening in my life in the present moment. People seem to be inspired by others’ happiness but my own. Say I post a picture of me smiling, nobody gives a damn. It doesn’t feel fair. I’m a human being too with interests, passions and hobbies like everyone else.

I’ve always assumed that my vast social-media following has been due to my mad grammar skillz.

Still, this is worrisome, because someone who thinks she’s entitled to X amount of attention on screen probably thinks she’s entitled to comparable levels of attention in Real Life. Of such is madness born.

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Send in the clowns, if any

Creepy clowns in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania? “People need to chill,” says Hilde Lysiak of the Orange Street News:

Everyone in Selinsgrove has been freaking out over people dressing up like clowns. How ridiculous! What are they going to do? Squirt people with their flower?

This is what happens when people start reporting things without knowing the facts. I’ve investigated every one of these claims and couldn’t find any actual evidence of people dressing up like clowns going around scaring anyone!

That’s the editorial in the print edition. Online, we find this:

Among all the creepy clown rumors in Selinsgrove, Sara Moore, director of the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco, CA, is standing up for real clowns.

People wearing creepy clown masks do not deserve to call themselves clowns, according to Moore.

“Bad individuals wearing masks who are scaring people. Those individuals are not clowns just like someone wearing a scary nurse costume is not a real nurse,” Sara Moore told the OSN.

And that would seem to be that.

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Low lights, big city

Holly Brockwell goes one up on Paul Simon:

Besides, she’s prettier than that Disturbed guy.

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Accentuate the negative

An Amazon reviewer described this shoe as “the most badly designed piece of footwear I have ever come across in my entire life,” and how could I not read that?

When I read that they have long straps that don’t tighten enough, I thought maybe I’d be OK since I have quite a high instep. In fact my feet are pretty chunky and wide too (I’m between a 4E and a 6E). But at their tightest pull, the straps on these STILL leave a noticeable gap above my foot, enough to stop them being secure when I walk. In fact the only way to get them anywhere near tight enough is to pull some of the velcro through the eye. And by that point, as people have pointed out, you have an absolutely ridiculous amount of excess strap to the point of it looking stupid.

So here am I, with quite a high instep, chunky and wide feet, a problem with swelling — and at least once a day, a strap pops out of position because there’s not enough of it. I ordered a pair. Problem solved. And yes, I gave him a “Yes, I found this review helpful,” because I did find it useful, even if my reaction is the exact opposite of his.


Myopes are better than your opes

Dorothy Parker certainly didn’t say so; but what if the alleged male aversion to women who wear glasses was due, not to the glasses themselves, but to those women’s mental superiority?

Glasses-wearers are smarter than those with perfect vision, according to researchers at Mainz University in Germany.

According to The Times, scientists in the department of ophthalmology at the German university found that short-sighted people were more likely to be brighter and better educated than people who don’t need glasses.

Researchers were investigating the increase in myopia across Europe, which is as high as 50 per cent in groups of professionals over the age of 40. The study looked at 3,452 people, giving them eye examinations and intelligence tests and recorded their age and level of investigation. The research paper said: “A higher cognitive ability was identified in myopes compared with non-myopes.”

Then again, crummy vision doesn’t necessarily make you a visionary:

But the experts said there was a closer link between intelligence levels and length of time spent in education.

Duration of education is also linked with near-work, where proximity to books and screens can have an impact on eye health.

I note that my own vision deteriorated to mandatory lensing level once I started believing all that crap about how smart I was supposed to be.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Expected item

Apparently this happens to everyone at the self-checkout counter:

I get ALMOST DONE when the machine says that I didn’t bag the item — or maybe it said there was something in the bag that didn’t belong, I don’t recall. The point here is that I had been doing everything properly, with everything that ought to have been in the bag actually in the bag, and nothing in the bag that shouldn’t have been in it.

So the machine doesn’t like my arrangement, fine. I take the item out and put it back in to make it happy. It still doesn’t like it. Okay, fine, I will take out ALL THE ITEMS, cancel the entire transaction, and do it all again but slower because apparently this machine is special needs.

I try to cancel out, and the machine basically throws a fit by saying that it requires an associate to void the transaction. In other words, now am I not only going to have to deal with a human, I get the added pleasure of looking like either an idiot who doesn’t know how to self-checkout, or some shady bitch who’s trying to scam the Mart of Walls.

At this point, I just threw my hands up and walked the fuck away. Yes, I abandoned all my items; there weren’t that many and an associate was going to come over anyway, and frankly I was tired of the whole thing. All I wanted was to buy my crap and leave, and instead I was dealing with technology which couldn’t understand that I had indeed properly scanned and bagged my crap.

I think it’s a safe bet she’s not the only woman who’s done the same.

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A letter from the newspaper

From today’s email, slightly after noon:

Today, Sunday, October 9th, our team experienced delays in delivering your newspaper. You may be aware that as of Monday our production and manufacturing of the newspaper is now being completed in Tulsa.

Last night we experienced some unusual system and equipment issues that delayed the newspaper from arriving in the OKC Metro area. Let me assure you, this was not an individual carrier issue. As a result of the issues experienced today, our call volume has been unusually high and many of our subscribers have experienced issues in getting through to us via our call center.

Late delivery of your newspaper is never acceptable. We are subscribers, too and it is important to us that a quality product is consistently received in a timely manner. While we are doing everything in our power to ensure that your delivery is not affected, this is change and change can be difficult. We sincerely apologize for the disruption that this late delivery may have caused you and your family. We ask that you would extend us your patience as we work through this transitional process.

We appreciate you being a loyal subscriber, and thank you for being a part of The Oklahoman family.

Please know that we are working diligently to ensure that this transition is completed as quickly and smoothly as possible.


Eric Wynn
VP of Circulation
The Oklahoman Media Company

A few notes:

  • When I became relatively incapacitated, I gave up the hard-copy version of the paper in favor of a purely digital subscription. As of last week, they’re now sending me a notification when the Print Replica version is available.
  • Since the Tulsa World is now doing production for both papers, I have to wonder if any World subscribers had similar issues today.
  • Is it my imagination, or did the price of the dead-tree version just go up?

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It’s a Miss Fortune at the door

LeeAnn can hear you knocking, but you can’t come in:

1. I finally got all the insurance foofahrah done regarding the happy joy joy funtime that was having some dickwad try to drive to Taco Bell through the back of my car.

2. But I can’t even put the money in the bank yet because I am TERRIFIED of the very check it’s written on because I am CERTAIN as death and taxes that something “bad” will happen once I have a reasonable amount of money “available”. So the checks are in a coffee can buried in the back yard until I figure Bad Luck’s attention is elsewhere and I can risk it.

I should probably warn you that the entire article runs out to number 9.

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Perhaps she do lie

In Britain, if you’re buying cocaine, you apparently have the right to assume that you’re actually getting cocaine:

A conman who was found to be selling washing powder as cocaine has ended up in court for fraud.

Jamie Lee Taylor, 27, passed off the household cleaning product as Class A drugs for two months. His enterprise paid off in the short term as he made “a fair bit of money”, Teesside Crown Court heard. But he ended up in the dock as he had broken the law, despite never having sold illegal narcotics.

In vain did counsel argue that it’s not illegal to sell washing powder. Taylor, though, was busted for offering to supply cocaine and “possession of an article for use in fraud.” I suspect he came up with this scheme the last time he’d been imprisoned. And truth be told, I’m somewhat amused at the vision of someone snorting Daz.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Breaking snooze

I know this entirely too well:

I woke a bit after four, stumbled to the bathroom and then was unable to go back to sleep. So it goes. My ability to compartmentalize and shut down my brain at times in order to relax has left me along with my ability to throw a sharp curve ball. I tell my brain to “Shut up, Donnie,” but it just keeps bringing up more stuff.

I know the root cause of my inability to sleep. I just cannot get deep into REM lying on my back. Fifty-four years of habit won’t be changed in two and one half months. I snore more on my back, I wriggle around more. It is just the way of things. Hopefully, the Doc will let me sleep on my belly after my next visit later this month. If not, I will eventually get used to sleeping on my back. Or I will keep getting four or five hours of sleep. It gives me something to complain write about.

I do either left side or right side — and each side gets at least a dozen tries every night. And I can’t remember the last time I slept for six hours straight.

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In Uther news

It may take Sir Lancelot to straighten this mess out:

A druid who believes he is a reincarnation of King Arthur is to take court action against what he considers an “illegal charge”. King Arthur Pendragon is suing Wiltshire Council, English Heritage, and Wiltshire Police for having to “pay to pray” at Stonehenge. This involved a £15 charge, which he refused to pay, leading to his ban from the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You mean there was a case when it wasn’t good to be the king?

He decided to challenge the “authorities” because of what he said was an “affront against my and many people’s religion, that is paganism”. King Arthur said: “I am banned from the site because I refuse to pay what I consider to be an illegal charge. Because of this I will be suing Wiltshire Council, English Heritage and Wiltshire Police under articles 9, 10, 11 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights.”

Remember when kings used to do things like, oh, defeat the Saxons? No more, apparently.

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It’s all about the synergy

The Z Man explains the meteoric rise in corporate horse hockey:

Orwell’s Newspeak was a part of an overall program of the state to oppress the masses. The proliferation of jargon we are seeing does not strike me as such. Instead, it is closer to what you see with small children on a playground. They have a limited vocabulary and lots of free time so they make up silly words and word games that sound pleasing, but mean nothing.

That’s what the boys and girls in the managerial state are doing when they cook up neologisms. It’s nursery rhymes for adults, who live and work in what often resemble daycare centers for adults. Instead of wrestling with the Legos to build a house, they spend their days wrestling with Excel to make a cool looking pivot table. Instead of memorizing rhymes, they invent bizarre word combinations like “monotonectally transform multimedia based channels” and put them into PowerPoint presentations.

It is another example, I think, of how Huxley got it right and Orwell got it wrong. The authoritarian model imagined in Nineteen Eighty-Four could never last because it had to rely on force and the math always works against such a system. The violence required to hold it together eventually exceeds the systems capacity for violence. The Huxley model of a world populated by infantilized adults, cheerfully engaged in busy work, requires much less coercion from the state and it has a higher carrying capacity.

And it results in more amusing parodies, too:

It turns out that the future is not “a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” The future is a conference call on which a cheery 30-something says things like “progressively coordinate functional strategic theme areas” — forever.

What’s more, it seems like forever.

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Coming soon: the mug selfie

Florida? Oklahoma? Actually, China:

Just before midnight one night last week, a young woman was pulled over by police in Xinjiang. Police asked her for her license. She didn’t have it, and instead tried to flirt her way out of the ticket.

Instead, police asked her to perform a breathalyzer test to see if she had been drinking. At first, she used the old don’t exhale into the breathalyzer trick, before an officer impatiently informed her that they would gladly drive her to the hospital and have a blood test performed, Sina reports.

After that, the breathalyzer confirmed what everyone already knew, the woman had in fact been drinking. Police then began taking pictures for evidence. When they were taking pictures of her, she demanded that the officers use Meitu, a popular photo editing app, to make her look better.

If there’s anything worse than a drunk, it’s a picky drunk. There are pictures at the first link, though I couldn’t tell you if they were Meitu’d.

(Via Fark.)


Sheriff goes unshot

The deputy, however…

Authorities say a federal agent accidentally shot a deputy’s leg at the sheriff’s station in Lemon Grove [California] while unloading a handgun that was seized by a joint task force Monday.

The deputy’s injury was not considered life-threatening, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said. The names of the deputy and the federal agent were not released.

Reflexes, I suspect, had not gotten the better of him.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)


Living up to the names

This struck me as a pretty interesting idea:

But suddenly I don’t ever want to see a Browns/Packers game.

(Speaking of Nu Shooz, their 2016 album Bagtown is worth your attention.)

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A Lidl more competition

The Germans were already here: Aldi and Trader Joe’s. Here come some more:

A new wave of European grocery stores is about to invade the US.

The German supermarket chain Lidl is gearing up to open stores in dozens of cities along the East Coast spanning from New Jersey to Georgia, the company told Business Insider.

Lidl wouldn’t reveal how many stores it’s planning to open, but sources told the commercial real estate firm CoStar that the company will open as many as 150 US stores by 2018. The company currently has 10,000 stores in 26 European countries.

As of the end of July, there were 11,539 Walmart (or related) stores.

(Via Ellen Cagnassola.)

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But still dismal

The Z Man has his doubts about economics:

Economics, as I’m fond of saying, is the modern equivalent of astrology. Before a battle, Cyrus II of Persia would bring in his astrologers to advice him on the time and place to attack his enemy. The astrologers would figure out what he wanted to hear, consult their maps and then tell him what he wanted to hear. Cyrus was a badass dude who was rarely wrong, so it was a wise course by the astrologers to tell the boss what he already knew. When he won, they got some credit and they avoided contradicting the boss.

This old story about the eminent astrologer economist Joseph Stiglitz praising the economic polices of Venezuela ten years ago is a good example. Stiglitz was telling his hosts what they wanted to hear because they were paying him to endorse their brand of lunacy. Of course, Venezuela is now headed to total collapse because their economy has ground to a halt. In an age when Mexico’s poor people are obese, Venezuela has managed to have a food shortage. Maybe the rulers should not have listened to Joseph Stiglitz.

Rulers will listen to anyone who will say the things they want to hear. God knows our political class, if possible even worse than Venezuela’s, is desperate to dissemble, and as a result all manner of soothsayers are kept on retainer.

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PR fail

Fashion blogger ML at Twenty York Street is dealing with a tone-deaf public-relations pitch:

You said: “Have you heard, we’ve opened! This fabulous property marks the brand’s entrance into Canada and this global chain’s first-ever location in Ottawa! Nestled in the heart of ByWard Market, which puts you right in my hood btw (you would know this if you’ve googled me a bit or just take a look at one of my social media accounts. Your property’s spectacular view of Ottawa’s skyline is the same damn view you can see from our balcony. Neighbours!), this incredible property aims to honour the very best of Canadian culture including the best products made in Canada.

So far, so good.

I kept reading … Helmed by some Executive Chef, the hotel’s signature restaurant will serve up New Canadian cuisine inspired by an ingredient-driven menu of local, organic and sustainable (not to mention delicious) items. To celebrate the arrival of Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, I thought this signature cocktail recipe with you.

This is lovely, I get to come by and try this signature cocktail!

Made with gold and pearls and all premium ingredients from the finest places in the country, this signature drink embodies everything that makes Canada great.

Oh boy, now I really can’t wait!

Then you said: if you’d like to try this super marvelous signature drink, I would be happy to provide you with a step-by-step recipe.

Wait, what?

If it’s a signature drink, perhaps they don’t want the recipe all over Ontario.

As I sat there puzzled reading and re-reading your message (again) in case, for the 3rd time, I may have missed something. So, I e-mailed you back, attached my media kit because this seems like a simple oversight. You may have been too busy putting the photoshoot together for this drink that you may have not seen my media kit, therefore, it failed to dazzle you.

NO worries, I don’t mind re-sending it and clarifying the part where we should have outlined the section about this being MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL.

And this point cannot be overemphasized:

Everybody else who puts in the hard work gets paid and based on my extensive experience, bloggers are just as skilled, creative and they work bloody hard, if not harder than everybody else. They spend blood, sweat and tears and I mean that both literally and figuratively and sometimes, their life’s calling and savings into their blogging business.

These are not silly side projects or passion blogs, these are legitimate businesses and therefore, should be afforded the compensation and respect they deserve.

And no, payments cannot be in the form of cupcakes, face cream, a bar of chocolate or, as revolutionary as it may sound, step-by-step recipe! Taking advantage of bloggers and influencers are such a no-no. It’s 2016 for goodness sakes.

At the very least, they ought to buy her a drink. And if I ever meet up with her in beautiful downtown Canada, I will. Maybe we can try some of that New Canadian cuisine.

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Death Star etiquette

As always, corporate correspondence is just a hair off kilter:

AT&T Let's Stay In Touch

This would not have been at all objectionable were it not for the subject line: “CHARLES: Action required.”

Um, I pay you guys several hundred dollars a year. You don’t get to require any action from me other than sending the check.

(And by the way, the current email address has been current since, oh, 1999.)

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Beyond compare

One of the advantages of my job is that it borders on uniqueness: I have a singular skill set — too bad it isn’t plural — and the one person I felt could do it as well as I do, if not better, has decamped for quieter (and better-paying, it turns out) climes.

Any evaluation I get, therefore, will be from the upper levels of the corporation, who at least have an idea what I’m doing. So I need not fear this trauma:

I think, based on looking at the raw data and the variance that it was that I had two very disgruntled people in a class of about 30 — there were two people who consistently gave me the lowest score available. So I don’t know. I guess I didn’t reach them, or something.

I dunno. I tell myself not to let this bug me but it does. Part of this is just who I am: for one thing, I only value myself based on my last self-evaluation, whatever that may be, and I forget past things. So having successfully led a church service recedes in my mind, dwarfed by, “You had a couple students who apparently really hated how you taught.”

Of course, I have one other characteristic in my favor: I don’t have quite as good a grounding in statistics, so I’d probably never do the cogitation necessary to reach such a conclusion.


Message, shmessage

Christopher Johnson on 9/11-related protests:

Look. I get the whole First Amendment free speech thing and I’m fine with it (although refuse to bake some gay guy some Pride Day cupcakes on account of your religious principles and see where that gets you). But to stage a protest on the anniversary of one of the most solemn days in this country’s history doesn’t seem like it will sway many people to your point of view.

If they wanted to get really creative, Kaepernick, the Seahawks, whoever that lesbian soccer player was that did this and whatever other pro sports crapweasels who ostentatiously tell the world how morally wonderful they are might as well fly to Normandy, France next June 6th, knock back a lot of great wine at Rouen, visit the graveyards at the battlefield and collectively piss on as many American graves as they possibly can.

After all, it’s important to send a message.

And it’s equally important to be able to disregard it.


It was always thus

And it will probably always remain so:

That said, rather a lot of people are hoping the intersections aren’t really that dire. And they will be disappointed, possibly even disgruntled. (In the case of people insisting on “FREE” stuff, this is a feature, not a bug.)

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Panned Am

Bill Quick comes up with a great title (“Fly the Friendly Sties”) for a highly appropriate denunciation:

I loathe people who, on the one hand, pound ceaselessly at the practices of the airlines, but will flock to one over all the others, no matter how rude its employees, no matter how obnoxious its amenities (hah!), no matter how much it obviously regards its customers as stuffing for their flying cattle chutes, because they are able to “save” thirty-seven cents on a round-trip fare to Chicago.

Here’s a clue, bitch-queens: They wouldn’t be competing on price if that wasn’t the most effective arena of competition.

When bragging rights are important, people will go out of their way to get them. Yahoo! Answers is full of people who will jump through innumerable hoops just to be able to claim the lowest possible expense on [you name it].

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Sinned against

Imagine the outrage:

Film studio Warner Brothers has asked Google to remove its own website from search results, saying it violates copyright laws.

It also asked the search giant to remove links to legitimate movie streaming websites run by Amazon and Sky, as well as the film database IMDB.

The request was submitted on behalf of Warner Brothers by Vobile, a company that files hundreds of thousands of takedown requests every month.

Warner Brothers has yet to comment.

The self-censorship was first spotted by news blog Torrent Freak, which said Vobile had made some “glaring errors”.

In one request, Google was asked to remove links to the official websites for films such as Batman: The Dark Knight and The Matrix.

Excuse me while I laugh my head off.

(Via Aram Sinnreich.)


Ain’t no sunshine when it’s dark

I get the feeling that they’d have been happier if the Mayflower had landed in Jacksonville:

Of all the major cities on America’s eastern seaboard, none is as far north or east as Boston. Which creates a slight problem in winter: The sun sets really early. As in, for most of December, well before happy hour.

The state, it appears, might do something about that. Governor Charles Baker recently signed a bill ordering a study of the wisdom of moving its 10,555 square miles into a time zone that would brighten the end of the day in the months the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the sun. The idea came from Quincy resident Tom Emswiler, who worries Massachusetts is losing college grads to sunnier climes. On Dec. 9 last year, the sun went down in Boston at 4:11 p.m., only 22 minutes later than in the Yukon.

I assure you, 5:17 pm (typical Way-Early Sunset here on the South Plains) is no picnic either.

Emswiler says Massachusetts should throw in with those who live in the Atlantic Time Zone, which covers eastern Canada, the Caribbean and parts of South America, and do away with changing the clocks in spring and summer. From November through March, the sun would set an hour later than it does now, and those brutish winter days would lose some of their sting.

The sun would rise an hour later too, but the thinking is that darkness in the morning is less depressing than darkness at the end of the day.

My commute for the last decade or so has been in darkness nine months out of every twelve. It gets old very quickly.

Still, I feel I ought to support anything that weakens the deadly grip of Daylight Saving Time.

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It’s been that kind of year

No argument here.


Still here today

A 1947 advertisement for Simmons’ Beautyrest mattress line:

Maureen O'Hara for Simmons Beautyrest

[By Simmons Bedding Company (Life time: August 17, 1920 to Now)
Original publication: Simmons Bedding Company
Immediate source: Simmons Bedding Company, PD-US,]

Ninety-nine bucks for the mattress/box-spring pair in those halcyon postwar days. As it happens, I just discarded a Simmons box spring, bearing a $76.50 price tag; I assume late Sixties or early Seventies.

And of course, I checked via the BLS to determine this: ninety-nine bucks in 1947, adjusted for inflation, is $1,068.34 today. Now I feel (marginally) better about spending $850 (marked down from $900).