‘Something Went Wrong,’ Afghanistan Edition

December 9, 2019

It’s one thing to suspect it, and another thing to have it dumped in your lap by The Washington Post.

“Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” Bob Crowley, an Army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers. “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.”

Except ice cream cones taste good. This tastes like death.

‘Something Went Wrong’

December 8, 2019

Uh, can you be more specific?

Indeed it did. And so it begins, the Decline and Fall of the iPhone 5.

The New York Times apparently has cooked up an app update that my device can’t digest — the iPhone 5 peaked at iOS version 10.3.4, while the NYT demands 11 or better — and now I can’t surf the shit monsoon from my 7-year-old phone. Woe, etc.

The iPhone SE, ready for its closeup.

Asked for comment, the NYT Customer Care Crew advises, “We are no longer supporting older versions of the NYT app,” adding that geezers in thrall to antiquated technology should “use the mobile browser to access all content on nytimes.com.”

So I sez back to ’em, I sez: “Thanks for the reply. I already figured that out. The iPhone 5 maxes out at iOS 10.3.4, so using v9.11 of your app is not an option. I’m disappointed to learn that the NYT has dropped support for older versions of the app. My iPhone is elderly, to be sure, but not yet senile. For instance, The Washington Post app continues to work just fine.”

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Sonny Jim. Then get off of my lawn.

It’s not this iPhone’s first step on the slippery techno-slope, of course. I’ve already had to replace the battery once, and the Phone app itself has developed the palsy, seizing up and even crashing from time to time.

I can fix that, as I always keep a large hammer within reach. But first, I should probably unbox the iPhone SE that’s been hanging around idle for the past few months. Naturally, it, too, is a discontinued model, slated for the boneyard — and rumor has it that the Wizards of Cupertino are working on a bigger-and-better model for release early in 2020.

But mine will run the latest and greatest version of iOS. For now, anyway.

Happy birthday, Tom Waits

December 7, 2019

Himself turned 70 today. Many more to him. You really gotta hold on, Thomas me lad.

Nolo cojones

December 6, 2019

What a blockhead.

Gosh. Il Douche won’t mount any sort of defense as the House Judiciary Committee contemplates articles of impeachment.

Imagine my surprise.

I don’t suppose it has anything to do with knowing that he’d come out looking like a purse dog that went three rounds with the Hound of the Baskervilles.

No, better he should stay all bunkered up, hiding behind various knaves, minions, and varlets, tweeting like a hyperactive budgie, and wait until The Turtle can run interference for him in the Senate, where he has the home-field advantage.

I’d like to have the lip-balm and breath-mint concessions at that ass-kissing contest. A couple days of the big money and I could retire, is what.

I don’t know much about ART, but. …

December 5, 2019

Once again, tragedy strikes Albuquerque.

Albuquerque Rapid Transit has been on the road less than a week, and already three of its 20 buses have been involved in collisions that left two of them knocked out of service and in need of repairs.

All three crashes occurred while motorists were attempting left turns. In two incidents the motorists apparently mistook the bus lane for a left-turn lane, because that’s what it would be pretty much anywhere other than ART’s nine-mile route down the center of Central Avenue.

That there was a giant garishly colored bus in the way did not deter the motorists from attempting to seize the lane. Burqueños, who get their driver’s licenses for free with their first six-pack of convenience-store lager, know that in the Duke City the first driver to acknowledge another vehicle’s presence surrenders the right of way. Plus, you take your eyes off your phone, you risk missing a text.

It’s not clear whether any of the drivers spilled their beers.

The right stuff

December 3, 2019

All systems go.

“There’s another hold from NASA, another delay. Mia sits there, patiently waiting. What can be going through a cat’s mind at this moment?”

“Gordo? Gordo, I have to urinate.”

Figures lie, and …

December 1, 2019

Roll the tape.

Ho, ho. It seems the Albuquerque Police Department has copped to a few “inaccuracies” in its crime stats.

As pictures go, this is on a par with Leonardo da Vinci admitting that Mona Lisa was actually a dude, and a car-stealing serial killer to boot.

In a chat with the Urinal, Mayor Tim Keller spake thusly:

“The mirror doesn’t lie and the mirror says violent crime is up, and that’s a huge problem, but it also says that property crime and auto theft are down. I don’t think it’s about people believing one thing or another, I think it’s just what your definition of crime is. And we have always said that crime is the biggest problem in our community and that continues to be the case.”

Boy, I’ll bet he’d like to walk that one back now that it’s limping down the street with a bullet wound, trying to find its stolen car.

The good news: It can take the bus! And for free, too. If you overlook the $133 million startup charge, that is.

On the run

November 30, 2019

When I come in cold and tired, it’s good to warm my bones by the fire.

“Dark Side of the Moon” would’ve been an excellent soundtrack for yesterday. Cold, gray, damp, gloomy, madness lurking just around the corner. You lock the door, and throw away the key; there’s someone in my head, but it’s not me.

Happily, the sun returned today, though warmth remained AWOL. So I dragged Herself out for a short trail run and it was just the ticket. A bit squishy underfoot in spots, and windy, but loads better than hanging on in quiet desperation. It’s not the Irish way.

Speaking of the Irish, we finally finished watching Martin Scorsese’s  “The Irishman,” which was so bloody long that we had to make a three-part miniseries out of it. The digital de-aging is a little distracting, until you quit looking for it, but the performances are top shelf. Joe Pesci was superb, Robert De Niro was restrained, and even Al Pacino took a break from chewing on the scenery, mostly. I’d have liked more screen time for Harvey Keitel, but hey, whaddaya gonna do? It is what it is.

There’s a whole gang of familiar faces in this one: comics Ray Romano, Sebastian Maniscalco and Jim Norton; straight men Jesse Piemons, Stephen Graham, and Dominick Lombardozzi; even Little Steven Van Zandt as crooner Jerry Vale.

And you may notice a theater marquee advertising “The Shootist” in the background of one scene. It was about an aging gunman hoping for a quiet death, and John Wayne’s final film. Not long after, De Niro’s character is seen shopping for his own coffin.

Feed bagged

November 29, 2019

Dinner, tabled.

Well, that could’ve gone better.

Thanksgiving 2019 proved something of a bust at El Rancho Pendejo. The mom-in-law was not feeling up to snuff after a poor night’s sleep and hardly any breakfast. A record-shattering snowfall and the subsequent need for shoveling same delayed dinner about 90 minutes. And Mama Kerr’s lemon meringue pie never came off the bench.

The paprika chicken with turnips and taters got in the game, though, as did the stir-fried succotash and baking powder biscuits.

By the time we had all the starters lined up on the field, alas, the MIL was not exactly eager to tie on the old feed bag. She nibbled a bit of this and that, and then asked to be taken back to assisted living. The abrupt changes she’s endured in the past couple of weeks — moving from sea level to altitude, trading a tropical climate for our semi-arid variety, and waking up to a historic Thanksgiving dumper — probably didn’t help matters.

But I got in a bit of upper-body work, shoveling the driveways here and at assisted living, so I got that going for me, which is nice. There are plenty of leftovers, which is nicer. And today Herself will take her mom out for a manicure and maybe a smallish bite of lunch somewhere.

Meanwhile, the merchants are pitching but I ain’t catching. Let ’em blacken someone else’s Friday, sez I.

White Thursday

November 28, 2019

The view from the Main Portal at stupid-thirty.

… the well-known precursor to Black Friday.