Archive for Ventually

Three million

That’s how many people have visited this place over the years, though several have actually been here more than once.

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Barren newsstand

In a matter of 21 months, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania went from having two daily newspapers to having none. At the very least, this deserves some sort of discussion.

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This shouldn’t be about me

Arlo Guthrie:

“During these hard days and hard weeks, everybody always has it bad once in a while. You know, you have a bad time of it, and you always have a friend who says “Hey man, you ain’t got it that bad. Look at that guy.” And you at that guy, and he’s got it worse than you. And it makes you feel better that there’s somebody that’s got it worse than you.

“But think of the last guy. For one minute, think of the last guy. Nobody’s got it worse than that guy. Nobody in the whole world. That guy… he’s so alone in the world that he doesn’t even have a street to lay in for a truck to run him over. He’s out there with nothin’. Nothin’s happenin’ for that cat.”

There are times when I have to remind myself that I’m not the last guy.

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Now this is a platform

No platform is the practice of of preventing someone — either through policy or through protest — from spreading their ideas through a particular event or website. The term is mostly used to refer to rescinding an invitation to someone asked to speak at an event (such as a guest lecture at a college). The concept apparently originates from a policy used by the British National Union of Students to prevent people they disagree with from giving speeches on UK college campuses. The concept is similar to the political action of cordon sanitaire, where a politician or political party is either unconditionally excluded from coalitions or other forms or cooperation, or even completely ignored. “No platform” is typically invoked for issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, Holocaust denial, and so forth. As what is and is not acceptable by society changes with the times, so do the targets of “no platform”, with 2015 seeing protests of speakers seen as transphobic or Islamophobic who consider themselves progressive as they are feminists or atheists, respectively. No-platforming is, at best, an attempt to prevent a balance fallacy, with protesters refusing to allow tacit endorsement of reactionary views. ~ “No platform,” RationalWiki, as of 8 August 2018.

If “no platform” is your modus operandi, have I got a platform for you!

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Fear of disconnection

Once upon a time, a power outage was almost an adventure.

Now it scares the fark out of me. What’s changed?

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Unserious deficiencies

There are many ways to torture oneself: a feigned asceticism intended to impress the neighbors; maintaining a list of every faux pas you’ve ever committed and reviewing it on a regular bases; watching a whole lot of cable news. Apparently my torment of choice is Yahoo! Answers.

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Three hundred ponies

More than once, I thought, it seemed like a stampede.

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Pick a name and stick with it

You’ve run a blog for seemingly all your life. Now your life is changed, and not for the better. What to do with that blog?

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Where did that come from?

“The memories of a man in his old age,” sang Pink Floyd, “are the deeds of a man in his prime.” I would aver that sometimes they’re the deeds, or the attitude, of a kid not even imagining manhood yet.

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So shut up and die already

Few phenomena of which I’m aware are capable of instilling as much will to live as the existence of a government which seems to want you to die.

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The older, the bitter

A new book by Jonathan Rauch says that yes, mid-life crises are scary, but that they eventually go away. This might even be true; I know my life improved markedly from 50 to 60, before everything went to hell.

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Take my life. Please.

This started out as an attempt to be funny about suicide. Imagine how well that might have worked in the hands of someone with talent.

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Living ain’t what it used to be

Then again, in this hard-time age, I’d be hard-pressed to assert that it ever was.

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Pending womanhood

As an old man in his sixties, I can’t imagine life as a tween girl.

Or maybe I can.

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No improvements

“I have to admit it’s getting better,” said Paul; “it’s getting better all the time.”

“Can’t get no worse,” John observed, sotto voce.

I think by now you know how I feel about it.

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Reversion to form

“Have you had this before?” the doctor asked, pretending to shuffle through the 800 or so pages of my file folder.

“I have,” I said.

“Well, you’ve got it again.”

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A step sideways

There have been moments when I wanted nothing more than to bang on the drum all day. But maybe that’s more effort than I feel like putting forth anymore.

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Helplessly harping

If I’ve learned anything — and who says I have? — it’s that there are damned few things in life about which I don’t complain.

Whether this is a good thing or not is left as an exercise for the student.

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Bomb bursting in air

The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a place like no other; no one who has seen it — around 300,000 visitors a year — has been unchanged by it.

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And then there were none

Well, if I’d had any vestigial sibling rivalry tormenting me, it’s got to be gone now, along with all those siblings I used to have.

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Resurrection shuffle

Exactly twice in my life, Easter and April Fools’ Day happened to coincide. The first time, I didn’t notice. This time, it’s different.

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Delete your browser

You’d be doing us all a favor. Really, you would.

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Whatever that may mean

In my secondary-school days, I took one year of French, two years of Spanish, and three years of mostly ecclesiastical Latin. And I swear, I don’t understand women in any of them.

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Busted cycle

During recent spates of insomnia, I assumed that my circadian rhythms were totally out of whack. I am currently not quite so sleep-deprived, but this old body persists in traveling to the beat of a different drum.

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Should I not have done that?

“Was I wrong?” I have been known to ask myself. And more often than I’d like to admit, the answer is “Yes, you were.”

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The model for all that followed

Everything I’ve seen says that this song came out in 2008:

Yet somehow, I get the feeling I’ve seen it all before.

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Sixty-fifth seed

In 2001, the NCAA introduced the play-in game to the Men’s Division I basketball tournament, in which two also-rans would compete for the 64th and last seed, 16th in whatever regional. Though there were now 65 teams involved, there was never an officially designated 65th seed, which is kind of a shame, since “65th seed” packs even more of a rhetorical wallop than “fifth wheel,” my accustomed location in the dating game.

And it’s not like it would hurt the NCAA tournament, which now involves 68 teams.

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Grey-matter romance

“I like big brains,” she said, “and I cannot lie.”

Sure you can’t, honey. Sure you can’t.

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A clue-free zone

Sometimes I wonder why I torture myself with this idiocy.

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January does nothing for me

There’s nothing like the dead of winter to make you feel like you’ve already died. And this January, not even two-thirds over, has been more onerous than usual.

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