Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Party Gone Wrong

When I first saw that "2 men dressed as women" had attempted to ram the NSA gate at Fort Meade, I wondered what that was about. Was it a disguise? Were they cross-dressers? Were they transgendered in some way?

In some circles you would be required to first inquire as to how these individuals identified themselves, gender-wise. Perhaps it wasn't "2 men dressed as women". Perhaps it was 2 trans-women, dressed as women, despite being born with male bodies.

I'm sure we'll learn more, but for now there's this: "Preliminary information indicated the two men were partying at an area hotel with a third individual when they took that individual's car without permission."

The "partying" part makes me think that they just meant to "have fun", and that things went horribly wrong. One of them's dead now.

When you're on a bender,
no matter what your gender,
only intrude on a fort
as a last resort.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Age Group Bling



This is from a 5k yesterday, my first organized run of 2015.

If there are only 4 guys my age in the race,
I can sometimes take 2nd place!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Past Is A Foreign Country...

...they do things differently there.

My wife came across this artifact from the past:



It's obviously old. There's no zip code, so it's pre-1963. You can read a bit about the company, which sold novelties in the back of comic books here.

It's mostly being passed around as a misogynist artifact now.

You can also find examples of this shoe on the other foot, like this cartoon from the New Yorker, which still seems to be on sale:


The metaphor of mate-finding as a form of hunting is an old one. This metaphor can make people nervous, for obvious reasons. And things that make people nervous... can also make them laugh.

It can be a delicate line
a matter of careful design
between outrageous gaffe
and belly laugh.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Trollway Travels

Radio Free Europe has a dismaying but intriguing interview with a guy who says he's a former professional troll - for the Russians.

'There are thousands of fake accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and vKontakte, all increasingly focused on the war in Ukraine. Many emanate from Russia's most famous "troll factory," the Internet Research center, an unassuming building on St. Petersburg's Savushkina Street, which runs on a 24-hour cycle. In recent weeks, former employees have come forward to talk to RFE/RL about life inside the factory, where hundreds of people work grinding, 12-hour shifts in exchange for 40,000 rubles ($700) a month or more.'

And yes, they have full sock-puppet arguments with each other, troll-to-troll, creating the appearance of differing opinions that are nonetheless united on the basic premise, let us say, that Vladimir Putin is a great guy.

If you're going to be a troll,
Set yourself a financial goal.
Why spend lots of time
Dispensing fake slime
Unless you are on the pay roll?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Neighbor's Puppy Recaptured

I was walking from my house to the train this morning, and I was on my cellphone alerting my dad to the fact that the Tribune had a story on page 3 about me. He was asking me whether the story was scandalous or not, claiming that he didn't want to read anything shockingly bad about me.

Just about then, I spotted a loose puppy, charcoal grey, maybe a French Bulldog, crossing the street toward me, running away from a man and a little girl. It looked sort of like this:



The man shouted out a request for me to stop the puppy.

So I squatted and gestured to it, and it parked itself about a foot in front of me, and I grabbed it by the scruff of the neck. It growled at me a little, but stayed put while the man came to retrieve it.

And while doing this, I actually carried on the conversation with my dad pretty well.

And so, without messing up
I somehow managed to handle
Both a fugitive pup
And scurrilous rumors of a scandal.

Rhyming in the Trib

The Chicago Trubune ran an article about my versifying, and ironically I was so preoccupied by the article yesterday, that I didn't post to this blog!

Article is here. It's written by Gregory Pratt, photo by Chris Sweda.

It's about my rhyming addiction,
And strictly true - no fiction!

The article may be behind their paywall, but if you don't want to register you may be able to get a view by googling for the article, say by googling Chicago Tribune and my name.

Monday, March 23, 2015

First Snow of Spring



The robins are feeling surly.
They think they came back too early.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Changing Tires

Showed my daughter how to change the tire on her car today. (Her husband is out of town.) I had her do a bunch of the work, explaining precautions along the way. She said it was easier than she thought it would be. We did have the great advantage of doing it in a dry warm space - namely her building's garage.

But... how did I fail to show her this before? Now I'm wondering if my son knows how to do it.

During my lifetime, knowing how has actually become less important. Nowadays, with cell phones, you can usually just call someone.

But when your tire loses its air,
it's good to know how to put on the spare.

Clogged

New York City is forever facing some threatened apocalypse, and is forever muddling through, at least so far.

And now another rough beast slouches forth:

"Baby Wipes are destroying the New York sewer system"

They say that cute little wipes,
are wrecking the big city pipes.
They tangle into a mass,
through which nothing further can pass.