Quotes From Disqus

On the topic of guns on college campuses, some foreign dipshit wrote:

“To my European-born mind, the idea of putting guns into the hands of the immature, excitable and perhaps alcohol-addled borders on madness.”

…to which I responded:

“And to my African-born mind, you’re full of shit. If 21-year-old college students are still that immature that they aren’t to be trusted with guns, perhaps we should raise the voting, driving and drinking age to 25.”

Someone was talking about Catholic schools, and that reminded me of a perennial thought:

“What I always enjoyed was Catholic schools using the Viking as a mascot for their sports teams. Talk about short memories…”

Finally, on the topic of “hydration”, someone was extolling the virtues of water, whereupon I commented:

“Last time I drank more than a mouthful of straight water was… actually, I can’t remember the last time I drank more than a mouthful of straight water. Yuck. Revolting stuff.”

My preferred method of ingesting water is when it’s in solid form and surrounded by Scotch or gin.

And now it’s time for my morning cuppa.

 

Intemperance

And lo did the Combatte Controller and his fair bryde venture unto the castle of the Physician, where they mette with the man they call Evil Kim. After supping upon the flesh of dead bullock did the carousing beginne, with the drinkynge of much ale and strong spirits. And there was raucous laughter, and loud conversation, and foulle language, and fondling of weaponry large and small, more loud laughter and carousing, and did I mention drinkynge?

By the light of the dawn did Evil Kim awake, with throbbynge head from the liqueur and sore stomach from all the laughter, because he had to penne this blogge, and lo did the bright rays of the Sunne afflict his eyes. In vain did he plead with the others, whose bodies are clearly more accustomed to such debaucherie, to keepe their voices down lest his pore head explode. And loudly did they laugh at Evil Kim’s predicament, callynge him ugly names such as Olde Fartte and worse (which I dare not mentionne here lest the Ladies reading this sorry tale be offended). Even the Physician, who should knowe better, did mock the ailments of Evil Kim and gave him not of his potions to ease the pain, and did cackle upon hearing the groans of sufferynge, the Foul Bastard (for such did Evil Kim call him).

Whereupon did the groaning elder member of the group repair unto his bedde until such Tyme would pass that the hobgoblins would cease their clogge dance in his head, or merciful Death arrive to claim his ravaged body. Should the first come to pass, and not the last, will Evil Kim (now called Nice Kim) penne further tales for his Loyal Readers, but ’twill occur most lykely in the morn.

 

Lovely To See You Again, My Friend

Yeah, I know: it’s the title of an old Moody Blues song (and one with which they usually open their live shows). But in my case, it resonates with me, and not only because I’ve always loved the Moodies.

I have been astonished at how many of my former Readers — that is to say, Readers from my previous website offerings — have come back to see this latest version of my back porch. More than that, however, is the pleasure I feel at making their acquaintance, again. I recognize the online nicknames, remember the stuff they like to read about, and hell, even their writing styles are familiar to me, some as much as my own.

I’m not a man who requires much validation — as all know, my attitude is “Like me, and stay; dislike me, and feel free to go somewhere else” — so to have all you guys and ladies reappear out of the mists of time gives me not a feeling of validation, but of pleasure, just as one would greet an old school friend.

And yes, while the circumstances of my back porch’s reappearance are lousy, it helps a great deal that so many of you have said, in essence, “We’re truly sorry about the circumstances, but damn, it’s good to have you back.”

Ditto.

When I relaunched my blog, I spoke about needing a reason to live (and I promise, this will likely be the last time I mention this), and I believed that writing was okay, but not a complete reason to do so.

Actually, it is. I wake up each day not with a thought of “What the hell am I going to write about today?” but rather, “What do I feel like writing about today?” The difference between the two questions is profound, and I have to tell you all, the fact that there’s an audience of old friends willing to indulge me in my rants, raves and quasi-intellectual scribblings one more time makes the whole thing easy.

You see, I don’t choose to write; I have to write, have to communicate, and make known all the stuff which pleases me, enrages me and strikes me dumb with its beauty. And of course, there’s the godless Democrats to consider… and in a later post, I will explain the concept behind The Glorious Day.

In the meantime, please let me offer my deepest gratitude to all my Returning Readers for having faith in me after so long an absence, and to the New Readers, with whom I’ll no doubt become as familiar as with the older group, a.k.a the Beer ‘N Treason Set (thank you, Longtime Friend and Reader Jim D, for the name).

It’s good to be alive and writing again. And it is lovely to see you again, my friends.

Now For The Marketing

Later today I’ll be doing a walk-through of the old house to see how the reno contractors performed. Then the realtor and I will formulate a marketing strategy to get the house shown in its best light — by “the realtor and I” I mean of course “the realtor”, because this is their métier and I’ve always believed in letting the pros do their job unmolested. She’s going to tell me what she’s going to do, and I’m going to nod sagely and say, “Excellent idea.” I’ve sold maybe two houses in my time, and not locally; she does that every week. Who do you think has the better idea of what sells in our market?

On that topic, by the way, there’s a good rule of thumb that whenever you see a totally shit ad on TV, the chances are excellent that it was either created by, influenced by or produced by the client, and not the ad agency.

I was once responsible for a marketing department which had three ad agencies working on different aspects of the company’s business — one handled all the fresh items (produce, fruit, bakery, floral etc), another did the grocery “dailies” — the everyday ads such as seen in the newspapers and flyers — while the third agency handled hard goods (furniture, clothing, appliances and housewares). Each agency was picked because they specialized in that particular area, all tried ceaselessly to poach parts of each other’s business, and all had their pee-pees whacked (by me) for straying into areas outside their own expertise.

“Leave it to the professionals!” should be every manager’s motto, but sadly, few follow that simple rule. Most think they know better than the pros — like I could perform a laparoscopy on myself better than a doctor simply because it’s my body and I know it better than they do. But businessmen — especially company owners — think they understand the marketing of their business or product better than the pros in marketing- and ad agencies. Without exception, they don’t. Even I, who had once worked at a couple of ad agencies and actually understood the process, generally deferred to the agency because — wait for it — it’s their job to know more about it than the client. The one time I exercised the Client Veto was because they’d misinterpreted the brief, which was — ta-da! — my fault in that I hadn’t communicated the brief properly (a.k.a. GIGO — garbage in, garbage out, as the old pros know).

Likewise, my brief to the contractors (flooring and painting) was simple: “Do what you think is best, make the place look amazing, but stay within the budget — unless I specifically authorize otherwise, because otherwise, you’re going to eat the overage.” I also told them before we started that I am the world’s most understanding client and will leave them alone — right up until somebody fucks up or breaks their word to me, and then I’ll be their worst nightmare. We’ll see how well they did, later in the day.

I love Linda, the realtor, by the way. Consummate professional, very experienced, no-nonsense and smart as hell. Took no shit from me, explained everything fully, brooked no argument; but when I told her why I was selling the place, she teared up. “You must really have loved your wife,” she commented; and when I asked why she said that, she replied, “Because every time you talk about her, what she said and what she did, you have a smile on your face.”

Guilty as charged. Damn, I miss her still more, every day.

Not Worth It

As I wander hither and yon through this here Intarwebz thingy, I occasionally run across this kind of bleat when I open a page:

Okay, here’s a little note to the Observer and all the other websites who try this cutesy little trick on us the readers:

The reason we use AdBlocker is because your websites are full of intrusive, pop-up bullshit with loud autoplay videos and (at times) really questionable advertisements which are sometimes nothing more than phishing scams and clickbait links to truly awful websites.

In the specific case of the Observer above, when I paused Adblocker this morning as they requested, a loud piece of BBC World News-type theme started blaring from my speakers, quite disturbing my enjoyment of Gabriel Fauré’s Pavane playing quietly in the background.

Sorry: intrusive autoplay ads are the very raison d’être of AdBlocker. Get rid of them and we can talk again. Until then, however, your content isn’t worth it — no matter how much you think it is.

I might allow ads onto this site at some point because $money$, but I give you my word, O Gentle Readers: you won’t ever need AdBlocker.

Screw The Moon

One of the characteristics The Mrs. and I shared was that if we liked something a lot, we kept using it: whether it was revisiting a restaurant every other month (or more frequently), or patronizing the same four grocery stores for our supplies, or (in her case) only buying Sony electronics, whatever. If we liked a service, or place, or thing, that kept our loyalty.

That habit extended itself particularly to cars. When we lived in New Jersey, I’d brought to the relationship a VW Jetta, and as The Mrs. worked out of home, we just used the one (she and I were both huge fans of VW cars, from Beetles to Rabbits to Jettas to Passats to Kombi vans). Later on, her job required that she get her own car, so there was really no decision to be made: we went off to the VW dealer and walked around the lot. When we saw one we liked, she pointed at the blue Jetta and said to the bewildered salesman:
“We want that car. How long will it take before we can drive it away?”
“D-don’t you want to test drive it first?”
“Does it drive any differently to the green one we parked out front? No? Then there’s no need to test it, is there?”

Many years passed by, and we’d strayed a little from the VW fold because we had different needs — ergo, a Ford F-150 truck for me, a Chev Suburban for her, etc. — but when the kids grew up and got their own cars, we downsized: back to VW, this time, the weirdly-named Tiguan, which is essentially a slightly-larger Golf with a taller ride height. Then, after a few years of that, of course we got a “new” Tiguan (Carmax-new; we’d never bought new cars except Jetta #2), because the Tiggy fit our needs perfectly, so why change?

Just one little problem: the new Tiguan had a “moonroof”. Now that was fine with The Mrs.: a California girl always, she loved the openness that a moonroof brings to driving — except that, of course, she’d forgotten about Texas summers, where lizards are fried to death on the sidewalks and even a Sahara camel would go, “Enough, already.” And Texas winters, while brief, can be really cold, and rainy — which leaves about three non-consecutive weeks in the year when you can use the damn thing as intended.

Moonroofs also lower the internal dimensions of the car because of the mechanism they require, they’re just one more Thing That Can Go Wrong, and of course they add to the cost. So basically, we ended up with a feature that we used, if memory serves me, about four times in the eighteen months since its purchase.

I’m stuck with the stupid thing now: I owe more than the car’s worth, but even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t get another car because I still like the Tiggy a great deal. And considering that a “career” as an Uber/Lyft driver is probably in my future anyway, the Tiguan is not the worst car to own.

Except for the useless moonroof.