Archive for Dyssynergy

Do not mess with this cat

You will pay dearly:

(Via American Digest.)

Comments (1)

Democracy dies in dorkness

How do these people get A-list, or even C-list, media jobs?

(Via Daily Pundit.)

Comments (2)

Rock around the block

No, this isn’t from Boulder, Colorado, but it’s probably too close for comfort:

One of two stones that fell on Colorado Route 145

The scary part is that this one had a sister:

A road in Colorado is closed indefinitely due to a massive rock slide that produced two boulders large enough to wipe out a significant portion of the pavement.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the boulders struck Colorado 145 on Friday [5/24] between Cortez and Telluride. The slide included dirt and other rocks. The two huge boulders destroyed the full width of the highway pavement, leaving a trench about 8 feet deep across both lanes. The road is impassable, the department said.

The smaller rock was moved. This one, not so much: the state says it will have to be blown to bits before they can get it out of the road — and then, of course, they’ll have to fix the road.

(Via Pergelator.)


It’s not just for sex offenders anymore

But hey, maybe this will work on a different level:

In what could be a major step toward curbing animal cruelty, Rhode Island just passed a bill requiring convicted abusers to be placed on a statewide registry. The objective? To make sure they don’t adopt another animal.

According to KUTV, the bill was approved by the Rhode Island House of Representatives on Thursday and is awaiting Senate approval. Under the law, anyone convicted of abusing an animal would be required to pay a $125 fee and register with the database. The collection of names will be made available to animal shelters and adoption agencies, which will be required to check the registry before adopting out any pets. If the prospective owner’s name appears, they will not be permitted to adopt the animal.

The fee is presumably over and above whatever penalties were assessed the abuser.

Convicted abusers have five days to register, either from the time of their conviction if no jail time is mandated or from the time of their release. The prohibition on owning another animal lasts 15 years. If they’re convicted a second time, they would be banned for life.

The ASPCA, however, is critical of such legislation:

The group’s policy statement argues that registries are costly to maintain, not often utilized by adoption centers, and don’t address the potential for abusers to find animals in other ways. The group also asserts that registries may influence potential convictions, as defendants and their legal representation might plead to lesser charges to avoid being placed in the database. The ASPCA instead recommends court-mandated no-contact orders for convicted animal abusers.

I’m not sure how I’d prefer this to end up, except to say that either alternative is probably better than nothing.

Comments (2)

And he shall be Elon, and he shall be a good man

Tesla fanboys think the world of Elon Musk. Not everyone, however, is a Tesla fanboy:

Name a wealthy millennial supporter of Elon Musk and Tesla and I can bet you any amount of money they have not looked at Tesla’s balance sheet or cash flow or the details of its global demand trends. They have not thought about its dealership strategy or manufacturing strategy and the cash flow implications of these. They just like what Elon says. It sounds big and visionary. They buy into Elon’s formulation that he is saving the environment and everyone opposed to him is in a cabal with big oil (ignoring the fact that Elon routinely uses his Gulfstream VI to commute distances less than 60 miles). So saying that rich millenials adore Elon is effectively saying that they want to be associated with the same things Elon says he is for — the environment and space travel et al.

Elon Musk is Ferdinand DeLesseps. He is P.T. Barnum. He is Elizabeth Holmes. He is the pied piper. He is fabulous at spinning visions and making them sound science-y. But he is not Tony Stark. There is a phenomenon with Elon Musk that everyone thinks he is brilliant until they hear him speak about something about which they have domain knowledge, and then they realize he is full of sh*t. For example, no one who knows anything about transportation or physics or basic engineering has thought his Boring Company and Hyperloop make any sense at all. His ideas would have been great cover stories for Popular Mechanics in the 1970’s, wowing 13-year-old boys like me with pictures of mile-long cargo blimps and flying RV’s. He is like a Marvel movie that spouts science that is just believable-enough sounding that it moves the plot along but does not stand up to any scrutiny.

Now there’s an image: a mile-long cargo blimp.

Speaking of blimps, I was driving southward from central Los Angeles one day half a lifetime ago when I saw what looked like the Goodyear Blimp, except at ground level. A little closer, and — well, whaddaya know, it was the Goodyear Blimp, mostly deflated. Goodyear currently has three bases for blimpage, one of which is, and was, Carson, California.

And to tie all this together: some Tesla fanboy on Quora was asking if he had to order special Tesla tires for his Model X, or if he could just go down to Goodyear. (The latter, in fact.)

Comments (5)

Give it up, melon farmer

It’s apparently very, very important to some people to appear to be transgressive in their behavior:

Is it normal that I want to marry my mother? She’s such a great and beautiful woman. I see her naked all the time, and my heart starts racing. Do I need help?

If I thought for a moment there was any truth to this, I’d report the silly twit to whatever authorities were not likely to burst into guffaws.

And if there is any truth to this, I blame meth.

Comments (1)

Right, what’s an ark?

It’s rather hard to look at this and not laugh:

The owners of a replica of Noah’s Ark featured at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Ky., sued its insurers [pdf] who refused to cover rain damage.

The ark’s owner said heavy rains in 2017 and 2018 caused a landslide on its property and its five insurance carriers refused to cover damages totaling nearly $1 million. The ark itself was reportedly undamaged in the rains.

Ark Encounter is asking for compensatory and punitive damages and a jury trial in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. The suit names Swiss-based Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings, its use company and three other carriers.

A decision is expected within forty days and forty nights.

Okay, maybe not.

Comments (1)

We don’t want to talk to you

The message on the Web site was clear enough: this prescription order is delayed, please call us at [the usual number].

Well, apparently you can’t do that anymore. Through last month, if you dialed up Walgreens, you got five choices, and just about anything you’d want to talk to them about fit neatly into one of those five. Not anymore. They’ve gone to one of those nauseatingly chirpy conversational speech boxes that automatically assumes you’re in the fourth grade — but which can’t comprehend anything that doesn’t match up with its prepared scripts.

I fought with this thing for a while, and finally filed this:

@WAGSocialCare was happy to commiserate with your humble narrator, but didn’t go much beyond that. So the next day, I went back to the Web site and engaged the Live Chat person, who couldn’t find any record of that order.

One hand, it’s clear, can’t tell what the other is doing.

Comments (2)

War on wages

There may be loads of good economic news out there, but almost none of it indicates that your basic wage-earner types — I have reference to, among others, me — are benefiting from it. Dave Schuler offers a couple of reasons why:

The first is fear. People are afraid to ask for a raise for fear of being replaced by someone from a temp firm or placement company who’ll work for lower pay and no benefits. Additionally, people find it hard to leave their present jobs to find better-paying ones. There are multiple reasons for that. Multiple-job households are one reason. I could also go into a diatribe on how resume-screening software provides an advantage to people who look good on paper but in practice are incapable of doing the job.

In a slight digression I heard recently from an excellent source that the IT operations of a major financial services company were shut down for a week due to malware, resulting in the loss of at least a week’s work. That would never have happened, say, twenty years ago. Their present operations are being run by temps and placements. There’s a different ethos at work.

Another prospective explanation is that the job reports aren’t telling the whole story. The jobs that are being created don’t pay better than the ones that are being lost. The jobs being created in health care aren’t jobs for physicians or the highest-paid technicians. They’re jobs for bedpan emptiers that pay minimum wage. People earning $25 an hour are still getting fired and the best jobs they can find pay $15 an hour. That depresses the wage figures.

It also depresses the wage earners, I suggest.

For the record, I have no idea what they’re paying my replacement when he — I assume it’s a he, because reasons — but I suspect it’s less than what I get. Of course, I have something like three decades’ worth of experience in a highly specialized field, but that and $6.99 will get you a combo meal at your favorite junk-food emporium.


Remember shopping?

Yeah, I used to do some of that:

I have been a little disturbed the way shopping malls seem to be dying. I personally don’t have much use for them. My wife can spend hours shopping there. Busy, well kept malls are a pretty good indicator of a healthy economy, which means people are working which should mean they are earning enough money to take care of themselves. When I see vacant store fronts and trash blowing around in the parking lot I take it as a sign that things aren’t going so well. Washington Square Mall is a big local mall and it seems to be doing well, except there was a big Sears store there and now it is closed.

So I have been wondering what was going to happen with these dinosaurs and now we know. I don’t buy much these days, I pretty much have everything I need, but occasionally I will buy something from Amazon, usually a book, and I won’t have to pay for it because I have enough points on my credit card to cover a $10 purchase. I used to be a big fan of cash, but now I use a credit card for almost everything. I can’t really explain why I made the change, except perhaps because I carry my cash in my wallet which I carry in my hip pocket and getting it out when I am sitting in the car (buying gasoline or going through a fast food drive through) requires contorting my body enough to get my behind off of the seat so I can get my wallet out. I carry my credit card in sleeve I keep in my front pocket and getting the card out of there isn’t such an ordeal. Or maybe all the credit card advertisements convinced my subconscious that my world would be filled with light and happiness if I used a credit card for everything.

It could be worse. Writing a check is, if not quite infinitely slower, certainly the sort of thing that detracts from one’s speed.

Comments (5)

Stanch that flow

A precautionary measure, and a serious one:

If you carry a gun, and you’re not carrying a tourniquet or two, you’re either LARPing, or you’re a fucking idiot. The fact is, a “gunfight” implies bilateral ballistics, and the enemy gets a vote. If you assume your one box of ammo a month “practice” regimen means you’re automatically a far better marksman than the bad guy you are going to end up in a gunfight with, well, I’ve got an 8 ounce jar of fairy dust I’ll sell you cheap, and it’s guaranteed to make you stronger, faster, higher flying, and generally more attractive to members of your preferred sex.

“LARPing” is taking part in a live-action role-playing game, and you’re not supposed to bleed during them.

And regrettably, we probably all know someone who thinks that fairy dust is one hell of a deal.

(Via Tamara Keel.)


Use and reuse

Sensible advice from Brian J.:

When lining your household garbage cans with used plastic grocery bags, place the bags inside the garbage can inside-out so your guests don’t have to think before judging you based on where you shop!

For example:

Reused plastic bag, courtesy of Brian J. Noggle

I don’t think there are any premium-priced supermarkets whose name begins with the word “price.”

Comments (2)

Twice the suckage

The man owns two, count ’em, two vacuum cleaners:

I am, however, a bit sketchy on floors. This is not to say you couldn’t eat off my floors. You could because you’d find a host of food shreds there on any given afternoon. This is not because I like floors configured as mouse buffets but only because, being 6’1″, the floors are so far away I don’t really focus on them. My solution? The world’s most rapacious vacuum cleaner, “The Kirby.”

Actually, I have 2 (two!) solutions since I own 2 (two!) vacuum cleaners. The first is a kind of cheap, plastic metrosexual’s vacuum bought at some box store because it was cheap. Like all metrosexual items, it performs in a manner that lets you know all cheap things are worth much less than you spent on them. It sucks by not sucking as a sucker of floor dirt should. Very sucky. It is, at the best, back-up. Bags and parts for it are sold everywhere.

Then there’s “The 2004 Kirby Diamond” weighing in are over twenty-three pounds of solid chromed steel, titanium bristles that can skin a black rhino, and a woven cloth bag wrapped around the vacuum bag that could be made into an outdoor area rug. The motor in this bad boy is so powerful it can suck kittens out of my basement through the floorboards in the living room. It is the chopped Harley Hog of vacuums.

One does not argue with a Kirby; even if it’s 75 years old, you can still get factory parts. The price, however, will make your nose bleed.

I own two vacuums, after a fashion: a middle-70s Hoover upright, now on its fourth drive belt and God knows how many bags, and a hand-held Black and Decker that collects the grime and such in a plastic cup that spills no matter how you open it.

Comments (1)

Is that a gas leak?

It should only be so simple:

Last week, the library at Australia’s University of Canberra was evacuated due to fears that a funky smell was being caused by a gas leak. Firefighters were called to the scene and hazmat crews conducted atmospheric monitoring of the building. Fortunately, as Michael McGowan reports for the Guardian, the source of the stench was found to be a benign (if very stinky) durian — the divisive fruit with a smell so pungent it is banned in some southeast Asian hotels, transport systems and public places.

“Thanks to everyone for evacuating so quickly and safely — about 550 people left the building in under six minutes,” the library posted on its Facebook page. “Fortunately the suspected gas leak turned out to be a part of a durian — the offending fruit has now been removed.”

The durian had reportedly been left near an air vent, though there’s no word on who did it. The incident marks the second time in recent months that the fruit has disrupted the peace at an Australian library.

That’s a pretty decent time for an evacuation. Still, you have to wonder what penalties could be inflicted, should they find the person with the malodorous fruit.

Comments (1)

The post-Gaylord era

E. K. Gaylord thought it was important for you to know what he thought about things, so the editorial page of the Oklahoman was kept sprucely maintained, even if some of the attitudes seemed to date to the 19th century or before. (Edward King Gaylord was born in 1873, and while he wasn’t the guy who actually founded the paper, he was the guy who kept it coming to your porch every day until 1974, on a day when he went to work and never made it home again.)

But those days are pretty much gone. Kelly Dyer Fry told us after the GateHouse takeover that cutbacks were inevitable, and she wasn’t kidding; I didn’t actually go out and find a newsstand copy to verify, but both Print Replica and PDF versions today were utterly devoid of editorials. The Opinion page was more conspicuous than usual, simply by its absence.

The Opinion page on was at its usual level of activity. There is, though, a column of Featured Links off to the side, and the first item in that column is “THE OKLAHOMAN: See all recent editorials.” I hit it, and got 404ed. I’d estimate that 404 is also the rotational speed of Ed Gaylord, six feet beneath the surface of the planet.

Comments (1)

Shut up, Elon

Some people need more of a filter than others:

Elon Musk must defend himself in court after calling a diver who helped save Thai schoolboys trapped in a cave a pedophile, a Los Angeles judge says.

The federal court judge set a 22 October trial date.

Mr Musk is being sued by Vern Unsworth, who helped rescue the 12 boys from Thailand’s Tham Luang caves.

The Tesla boss called Mr Unsworth a “pedo” in a Twitter post after the Briton said Mr Musk’s attempt to help in the rescue was a “PR stunt”.

Along the way, Musk violated the First Rule of Holes:

Mr Musk soon apologised and deleted the offending tweets, saying he had acted “in anger”.

But he reignited the row in September. In an email to a Buzzfeed reporter, he implored the journalist to “find out what’s actually going on” and suggested the diver had taken no part in the cave rescue.

Unsworth is asking $75,000 plus punitive damages.

Comments (2)

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

Well, actually, it was Saturday, and this isn’t Pleasant Valley, but Status-Symbol Land remains what it always was:

runaway drone

Lil Red Drone disregarded control commands and flew away. Last seen heading south on NW 66th and Independence at approximately 100 feet altitude. May run out of juice around 50th and May, Maybe even 39th. Please share.

Well, it didn’t land here.

Comments (1)

50 percent more socks

We tend to think of Procter & Gamble as staid, set in their ways, and otherwise uncreative. And they don’t always do weird well: witness, for instance, that whole collection of Charmin toilet-paper ads featuring, um, bears in the woods, and sometimes even bears out of the woods. But this non-US laundry-detergent ad is both weird and done well:

Rindex ad featuring girl with three legs

Somewhere there’s a programmer on staff at P&G’s ad agency.


No collusion or coordination


Russian President Vladimir Putin took a tumble on ice on Friday while waving to adoring fans after playing in an ice hockey game in Sochi.

Putin was participating in the annual exhibition hockey game with former NHL players, playing alongside Russian hockey stars Slava Fetisov and Pavel Bure as well as several Russian governors.

Although his coordination was questionable, his scoring skills were on point as he boasted 8 points for his team.

Still waiting for a Donald Trump tweet.

Comments (3)

Come in out of the scold

What did we do to deserve this? Almost certainly nothing:

One of the things making the rounds (and predictably getting dumped on both by people to the right of me and people to the left of me) is this infographic USA Today put out talking about “what all people spend money ‘unnecessarily’ on” and they claim the “average” American spends about $1500 a month “unnecessarily.” (the story is here but because they want you to either pay for a subscription (heh) or allow whatever ads their adserver serves up, I haven’t read the full story)

It wasm’t so long ago that my entire budget for a month was $1500.

I dislike scolds, and there was an undercurrent really of “Look, if you gave up every small pleasure in life and washed your entire body and hair and clothes with Super-Cheap-Industrial-Strength-Trust-Us-It’s-Walmart brand soap, you could have some more money for retirement!” and I get that underfunded retirements are a big problem but … I’ve been in a place (a few times) where I had to give up all “nonessential” spending, and it’s a miserable way to live.

(Also, the whole “$1500 a month” thing does make me think it’s strongly influenced by people far wealthier than I am, and that somehow USA Today is using that to shame us ordinary schlubs about “OMG, you bought MOVIE TICKETS for your family last month? How terrible!”)

But really: suggesting people give up the little things that make life in the here-and-now better is … not good. Yes, I hear the standard “blame poor people” argument of “if they only ate beans and rice every single day instead of getting fast food all the time” (presupposing the time, energy, and kitchen facilities to cook dry beans … I don’t make beans “from scratch” very often myself despite having a good kitchen, because of the time factor) or yelling at people for buying some new toy … or paying for Netflix or engaging in some form of not-free entertainment.

There has always been a strong puritanical streak in this land, at least partially because actual Puritans played a small but well-publicized role in the national history. And Washington is absolutely infested with such creatures. I plan to ignore them until such time as they learn how to balance a budget.

Comments (3)

Two points on his license

Now, who exactly licenses pigeons?

It was a quiet afternoon in Bocholt in western Germany when a pigeon broke the calm and the speed limit, flying down a residential street at 45km/h (28mph) in a 30km/h zone.

A mobile speed camera flashed as soon as the pigeon flew past.

Authorities in the town, a short distance from the Dutch border, published the picture last week, and it has since gone viral.

Under normal circumstances the penalty for speeding would be €25 (£21;$28).

Pigeon caught by a German speed camera

And you don’t want to know what’s going to happen to his insurance.

Comments (3)

You’re so rad

“The model won’t mind if we expose her to radioactivity, will she?”

“If she wants to keep her job, she won’t say a word.”

(Via Miss Cellania.)

Comments (5)

That’s about the size of it

Google reports about 205,000 results for “CVS receipt meme,” and it’s eminently justifiable:

During the brief period when CVS was my pharmacy of choice, the shortest register tape I received was about 42 inches long.

Comments (5)

Do the Walmart shuffle

When I first started doing this online-grocery thing, the nearest Walmart (about a mile and a half) had six parking spaces — they call then “lanes” — for the folks picking up stuff, whether it’s groceries or something bulky from elsewhere in the store. This proved to be insufficient, and so they added four more spaces to the north, and sensibly numbered them 7 through 10.

They still have ten spaces, but the configuration files have been tweaked, or something. I pulled into the second space from the curb, which previously was #2. Some time in the last six days, it metamorphosed into #9; the lane farthest north, the lane closest to their service door, used to be #10 but is now #1.

The only reason I can think of for this is if people have a marked preference for lower-numbered lanes, they’ll pull in closer to the service door, saving the staff a few steps each day.

(The title is what it is because of 10cc.)


There can be only one

May 2012: The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, along with other papers owned by Advance Publications (Condé Nast), announces it will cut back its publishing schedule: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday only.

June 2012: Advance lays off about 200 members of the T-P staff.

October 2012: The Advocate, a Baton Rouge paper, sets up a New Orleans operation that will publish seven days a week.

September 2014: After experimenting with a tabloid-sized T-P on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the Times-Picayune returns to a seven-day-a-week schedule.

May 2019: The Advocate acquires the T-P:

The Newhouse family sold the 182-year-old daily The Times-Picayune and its website,, to a scrappy New Orleans competitor, and the entire staff is being laid off. That has stirred worries across the other papers in the family’s Advance Publications empire.

A total of 161 staff members are being laid off, according to a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, which listed 65 reporter and editor jobs in the bloodbath.

John and Dathel Georges, the husband-and-wife team that owns the rival New Orleans Advocate, are buying The Times-Picayune from Newhouse’s Advance Local, which has owned it since 1962.

The Advocate plans to publish a seven-days-a-week paper using both brands on the masthead starting in early June and will merge both websites under

Is this the first of several dominoes? Advance says no:

Randy Siegel, chief executive of Advance Local, said the company does not intend to sell any other papers. “This was a one-off,” Siegel told The [New York] Post. “We’re all terribly sad about the outcome.”

And that “both brands” deal can’t last too long, as I, once a reader of the Boston Herald Traveler and Record American am willing to bet. (The HTRA survives as the Boston Herald.) I’m guessing that “Picayune” has more actual market value than “Times.”


Paper or plastic?

How about neither? Is neither good for you?

Last summer, New Jersey was on the verge of becoming a national leader in efforts to curb the use of plastic bags and cutback on plastic waste.

But when a bill landed on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, it was deemed not strict enough and vetoed. Murphy asked lawmakers to try again.

They did indeed try again, but:

[Senate Bill 2776] [pdf] calls for bans on single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene food containers. It also places a 10-cent fee on paper bags.

But it soon may go even further.

State Sen. Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, the head of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, said he will push for the bill, which he sponsored, to be amended to include a ban on paper bags, as well. Smith said the move is aimed at pushing Garden State residents to further change their shopping habits and bring their own bags from home.

The next step, I surmise, is “Thanks, I’ll eat it here.”

Comments (4)

Uninstalling Java

Jakarta, home to ten million people, is about to be replaced as the capital of Indonesia:

Indonesia’s Minister of National Development and Planning Board Chief, Bambang Brodjonegoro, said President Joko Widodo favored a plan to relocate the capital from Jakarta to outside of Java Island, according to CNN Indonesia, but that the government has not yet formally decided an exact location.

According to Reuters, Brodjonegoro said on Monday that the administration was considering the eastern side of the archipelago as the destination for the new capital. However, such a move could take up to 10 years, he said.

Failure to regulate the global temperature? Nothing so apocalyptic:

It’s also one of the fastest sinking cities in the world, according to the not-for-profit organization The World Economic Forum. The nation is prone to flooding and is sinking at an alarming rate due to over-extraction of groundwater.

A site east of Java, as hinted by Mr Brodjonegoro, would be a hair closer to the center of the country, and Hollywood should note that it’s not near Krakatoa.

Comments (1)

John Doe versus the volcano

Perhaps it’s better if we don’t know this fellow’s name:

A 32-year-old soldier, straining to get a better view of the inside of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, was seriously injured after he fell from a 300-foot-high cliff into the volcano crater.

According to a parks spokesman, the man climbed over a metal guardrail to get a better vantage point. Then the ground beneath him collapsed.

Army officials say the man is a soldier from Schofield Barracks, on the island of Oahu, and was on Hawaii’s Big Island for training exercises. An eyewitness saw the man fall into the volcano around 6:30 p.m. and immediately notified authorities.

Rescue workers were able to rappel down the inside of the volcano, where they found the man on a ledge 70 feet below the rim. They attached him to a stretcher and airlifted him out of the crater, with the help of a military helicopter.

For now, of course, he’s properly horrified. Twenty years from now, one of the kids will pop up an image of Kilauea on a ViewMaster 2100, and he’ll shrug: “Been there, done that.”

Comments (1)

A test of skill

Anybody can click on a link and enter some sort of sweepstakes, but expects a little more from its supporters:

Quiz posed by BulkMunitions

Very shrewd of them.


Papa was a scaredy cat

And here, he goes and demonstrates that: News station posts image of my 11 year old daughter on Facebook and Facebook refuses to remove it!!?

What part of the word “news” do you not comprehend?

My 11 year old daughter went to a public event with a friend and the news station ended up taking a photo of her and posting it public on their Facebook page and in the newspaper they interviewed my child and posted images of her with personal info without my consent. her face in the middle of the shot, her name and location… a huge safety concern for us as out town has less than 2000 people and there’s only one school here.

We contacted the news station and explained out displeasure, they didn’t care and refused to remove the image. We’ve reported it to Facebook several times and they refuse to delete it. How can I have the image removed or at least her name/location out of there? I’m fuming, last time she goes to an event by herself.

Probably the biggest thing that’s ever going to happen to that poor girl in Podunkylvania, and you want to piss all over it. When they take you to the nursing home, be sure to ask for double occupancy.