The Monitor in the Merrimack

February 11, 2020

C’mon. When you’re staring at this much screen you want a box of popcorn, a big ol’ soda, and a preview of coming attractions that does not include the honking 18-wheeler into whose lane you have strayed.

I have an ironclad disagreement with the notion of a multiplex in motion.

My argument is a simple one: If you want to drive, get an automobile. If you want to text, tweet, phone, Facebook, Instagram, eat, drink, smoke, shoot, or stream anything other than your own bad self down the road, why, get a sofa and some fixed location to put it in.

Our discussion of the Escalade Multiplex with its 38 inches of curving OLED real estate caused me to remember an earlier screed on this very topic, from the pages of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News circa 2014. For a change I cited sources other than the voices in my head, though of course they too were interviewed at length.

Rather than simply reprint the column — c’est ennuyeux! — I barked it into the old Shure SM58 and presto! Yes, yes, yes, out popped another episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

Too late for this year’s Pulitzer for Audio Reporting, but hey, there’s always next year, amirite? Or maybe 2024, when the sonofabitch will be 10 years old and journalistic standards may have declined even further, perhaps to my level.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder, then edited in Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. Post-production voodoo by Auphonic. The background music is “Well Oiled Machine” from Zapsplat. Sound effects from Apple’s iMovie effects bin and Your Humble Narrator.

Don’t take it for granite, Joe

February 11, 2020

Frosty the Snow Toad awaits news from New Hampshire.

O, ’tis a frosty auld morning out there, cold enough to freeze the stones off a three-peckered snow toad.

I haven’t checked the forecast for New Hampshire, where ’tis rumored that the Granite State may lay a nice stone over the grave of Daffy Uncle Joe’s presidential ambitions, the third time being less than a charm, it seems.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Joe, if only for the way he hee-hawed Lyin’ Paul Ryan and his zombie-eyed, granny-starvin’ bullshit right off the debate stage in the 2012 pestilential campaign.

But he’s not the man for the job this time. He has the affect of a fella who feels obliged by circumstances and the voices in his head to apply for a job that he really doesn’t want.

If Daffy Uncle Joe were the nominee, I’d vote for him, of course. I’d vote for Frosty the Snow Toad if he were running against Puffy the MAGA Dragon.

But I’d feel like a fella obliged by circumstances and the voices in his head to do a job that he really doesn’t want to do.

The 2021 Escalade Multiplex

February 8, 2020

This beast has nearly as much screen real estate as my living room. The difference is, my living room gets better mileage and won’t be found parked on top of a cyclist because I was having trouble deciding what to watch.

Call me old-fashioned, but when I read a statement like this

The most important screen for any driver of the new Escalade is the 14.2-inch digital instrument cluster that sits just behind the steering wheel.

… I long for the days when editors, like, y’know, edited, an’ stuff.

I would argue that “the most important screen for any driver of the new Escalade” is the fucking windshield.

Our man at The Verge doesn’t get around to wondering whether this mechanized multiplex is a good idea until quite late in the piece. Given that the curb weight of the 2020 2WD model is 5,311 pounds, you may consider me a strong “No” on that question.

Nobody needs 38 inches of OLED on the ROAD, which s/he shares with pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and other, lesser autos, like UPS trucks, cement mixers, and SWAT-team armored cars. You want to play with screens, get a living room and a comfy chair.

Mama and the papas

February 7, 2020

Herself and Herself the Elder surfing the Innertubes for Kindle books.

We took Herself the Elder out today for a bite of lunch, a bit of light banter, and some medium-heavy shopping.

A tip of the Mad Dog sombrero to the staff at the Weck’s near Juan Tabo and Copper; they were exemplary, nearly as sweet as the two giant brownies we had for dessert.

Too, kudos to HtE, who has bounced back quite nicely after a long stretch of physical, emotional, and geographical challenges. She’s still using a walker, but her strength, endurance, and mobility seem greatly improved and she may be able to graduate to a HurryCane before long. We bought her one today, just in case.

I could’ve used a walker myself after that meal. Or maybe a wheelchair. The Original papas plate is a major gut-bomb, especially when you smother it with green chile and chase it with a brownie.

I felt like Monsieur Creosote after I finished that bad boy. Thank God nobody offered me a wafer-thin mint.

Meanwhile, back in Iowa. …

February 7, 2020

The DNC strives to make chicken salad from … well … you know.

Reg: I now propose that all seven of these ex-brothers be now entered in the minutes as probationary martyrs to the cause.

Loretta: I second that, Reg.

Reg: Thank you, Loretta. On the nod. Siblings! Let us not be downhearted! One total catastrophe like this is just the beginning!

• Editor’s note: My sense of humor briefly deserted me yesterday. But I think I should get off with crucifixion (first offense).

Orange Julius Caesar killed Spartacus

February 5, 2020

Can we impeach the sonofabitch again?
This time for homicide?

He did it by giving that bloated scumbag Flush Limburger the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the same honor Kirk Douglas received from Jimmy Carter.

Douglas died today at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 103.

Interesting notes: He made his bones with “Champion,” based on a Ring Lardner story of the same name. And his favorite movie apparently was “Lonely Are the Brave,” which was based on an Ed Abbey novel, “The Brave Cowboy.” I had no idea that was his fave; I certainly liked both stories, the way I like all Lardner and Abbey stories.

And I loved me some Kirk Douglas movies.

Today, we are all Spartacus. Except for, well, you know. That guy.

 

Kentucky Fried Chickenshit

February 5, 2020

Col. Turtle filled the bucket for the Fat Man.

99 Mobiltelefon

February 5, 2020

The headline reads: “A man walked down a street with 99 phones in a wagon. Google Maps thought it was a traffic jam.”

Back at base bugs in the software
Flash the message “something’s out there!”

Our robot overlords will not be amused, Herr Weckert.

And yeah, he drew inspiration from a Jay-Z song, but Nena’s piece was the first one that sprung to mind for me.

A Royal Flush, or Circling the Bowl

February 4, 2020

Goddamnit, this one will not go down!

What a week. And we’re only at Tuesday.

On Monday, the Donks intercoursed the penguin most savagely with an Iowa caucus that resembled nothing so much as the Batley Townswomens’ Guild’s re-enactment of the Battle of Pearl Harbor, only without the funny bits.

Come Tuesday, we got a twofer: First, the Senate “debating” whether to remove King Donald the Short-fingered from his golden throne; and the State of the Union Address, which seems certain to be even less funny than the Senate, the Iowa caucus, and the Batley Townswomens’ Guild.

And come Wednesday, His Lardship will skate on all charges, have Stephanie Grisham squeegee all those senatorial lip prints off his fat ass, and get back to wiping it with the world.

As if all this weren’t bad enough, well, I bring still more evil tidings — yes, yes, yes, it’s time for more political-science fiction from the K-9 Caucus at Radio Free Dogpatch!

Gosh. Whatever will Thursday bring? And News Dump Friday is gonna have to up its game big-time if it wants to keep being more than just another day of the week.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder, then edited in Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. Post-production voodoo by Auphonic. The background music is “The Throne Room” from Sir Cubworth, via the YouTube Audio Library. The golf shot and crowd noise come from craigsmith at Freesound.org. Clock ticking and alarm ringing are straight from the iMovie sound-effects bin. And the sound of the world swirling down the loo? That comes straight from the guest bath at El Rancho Pendejo.

‘The Death of Iowa, Queen of Donks’

February 4, 2020

P’raps it comes from the zoo!
The Iowa Democratic Party, not the penguin.

Well, without Larry and The Professor around to keep an eye on things, Iowa has intercoursed the penguin, caucus-wise.

It’s a bit early for Valentine’s Day, but still, what a lovely gift to the Republicans, que no?

“They can’t even run a caucus in Iowa, and they want to run the country? We’ll have more on the Fake Iowa Caucuses later in our programme. In the meantime we present the first episode of a new radio drama series, ‘The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots.’ Part One: ‘The Beginning.’ ”

• Editor’s note: For anyone unfamiliar with the voodoo that they do so badly in Iowa, here’s John Nichols on the procedure.