2016.03 minutiae

  • You've probably seen at least a couple of the Bad Lip Reading videos.  They've gotten a lot better lately — the Herbert Spinecki bit at the end of the Ted Cruz video was a lot more coherent and therefore much funnier than the "Y'all think I won't whip them pintos, yet the crown is for your juicy waitress" gibberish in the early clips.  Which isn't to say that the gibberish has disappeared entirely.  Earlier this month I happened across the "Bushes of Love" video, and found it so insanely catchy that I wound up listening to it virtually on repeat for a couple of days there.  The fact that the lyrics are things like "It could be hiding behind that scrap pile / That's just a big cow" was immaterial.  Or not quite immaterial — actually, I liked the song enough that I found that my brain kept trying to turn the lyrics into something meaningful.  I'd hear the guy singing "I know you really want someone to hold you / But we all got a chicken-duck-woman thing waiting for us / Every day I worry all day" and I'd think, you know, that's really true, isn't it?  I can relate to that.

  • Donald Trump on violence directed toward protesters at his rallies:  "We treat them very gently. You know, ten years ago, they would have been treated very differently, not by me, but by — that's the way life is."  Yeah, it was a different world ten years ago.  Those Senate races in 2006 — Olympia Snowe was just bustin' heads.

  • I was walking down the sidewalk near my house when I slipped on something — no big deal, as I caught myself before I fell, but as I looked down to see what it was, I braced myself.  What gross thing will this be?, I wondered.  Dog droppings?  The remains of a rat?  But no — it turned out that I had slipped on an actual banana peel.

  • I did a Twitter search to try to dig up an old discussion of one of my interactive stories, but apparently the title in question has become popular in spam tweets.  For example:

    "The photopia as respects pepperfry feigning has highlighted the problems in relation to online purchasing"

    "Bring broad photopia apropos of extruded crinoline whippy plank exclusive of maiden companies"

    "Chiliarchia kingly forcemeat partnered with irreducible other beloved inferior photopia necklaces"

    "Lasik photopia urological surgery is high severe pinch against wearing quizzing glass"

    "Fitting guidelines against smell around replacing rock-bottom photopia set on edge drub"

    There are hundreds of these!

  • I've been teaching an SAT class out in suburbia, and stopped by a chain bakery near the classroom site so that I wouldn't be starving as I explained fractional exponents.  I got a couple of pastries, ate one, and headed to class.  The next morning I realized that the second pastry was still in my bag.  Undoubtedly it would be stale, but I figured that maybe I could turn it into bread pudding or something.  But when I took it out of my bag, I discovered that it didn't seem stale at all, and when I took an experimental bite — nope, not at all different from the one I had eaten the day before.  So on the one hand, yay, edible breakfast.  On the other… yeah, the fact that it didn't go stale after sitting around for a full day suggests that it was probably made predominantly of space-age polymers.

  • Covered California, the local Obamacare exchange, is a very welcoming program.  Since my coverage was re-upped in January, I have received one or more "Welcome to Covered California" mailers every week.

  • At the Seattle airport I happened across this sign:

    As it happens, >BUTTER LONDON is the winning command in my forthcoming mashup of Crush, Crumble, and Chomp! and You Are a Chef!

  • While I was in Canada this month, Solange took me to what might be the most amazing place on Earth.  It's called BULK BARN.  Now, I am familiar with bulk food bins.  The Berkeley Bowl has aisles and aisles of them.  But Bulk Barn takes this to a new level.  Over a dozen different kinds of shredded coconut!  Several dozen different kinds of colored sprinkles!  The Berkeley Bowl has a couple dozen different kinds of spices in bulk, and if you want something fancier (like smoked paprika), you have to go to the spice aisle and purchase a whole bottle.  At Bulk Barn, not so!  You can get just that quarter teaspoon of smoked paprika your recipe calls for!  But more than the practicality, I was dumbfounded by seeing so much of certain things in one place.  Like, have you ever seen an entire barrel of frosting?  Here you go:

  • Speaking of Canada, I was amused to see that one of the comics in this month's Scary Go Round Universe checklist was British North America #4.

  • For ages I have had vague memories of avidly watching a game show about working your way up a game board with green arrows and red circles, or possibly X's… I thought it was called Charge!, but since I couldn't find any indication that such a show existed, I had begun to think that I had just cobbled it together out of snippets of TV that my five-year-old brain could not properly process.  Not so!  Every few years I have poked at the Internet trying to find some sort of confirmation that this show had existed, and I finally found it on Youtube.  (Still waiting for HBO's Missing Persons: Dead or Alive? to turn up, though.  Which is appropriate enough, I guess.)

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