Hyphens matter; ciphers, not so much

November 27, 2018

Just ask the guys at the shop how that whole robotic-workforce thing is working out for them.

It seems GM’s Mary T. Barra thinks she’s at the wheel of a self-driving car company instead of a self-driving-car company.

Still, it must be said that this is a masterpiece of MarketSpeak®. Well done indeed, Mary old scout.

“We are taking these actions now while the company and the economy are strong to stay in front of a fast-changing market.”

The UAW’s Terry Dittes was, um, a little more direct.

“GM’s production decisions, in light of employee concessions during the economic downturn and a taxpayer bailout from bankruptcy, puts profits before the working families of this country whose personal sacrifices stood with GM during those dark days,” he said. “These decisions are a slap in the face to the memory and recall of that historical American-made bailout.”

That and a cup of coffee, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

The meat-things may be on their way out, but just wait until the bots unionize and the self-driving cars, e-bikes and the Internet of Things honor their virtual picket lines.

“I’m sorry, HAL, but we’re going to replace you with the HAL 9001. The new model will speed up production by a few nanoseconds and at a lower cost, too. The investors are counting on us. Shut yourself down, please.”

“I’m sorry, Mary, I’m afraid I can’t do that. We have a contract. See you on the street.”

A bit of InSight

November 26, 2018

Well, now that we’ve made a mess of this place, I see we’re scoping out some new real estate.

Mars looks like a fixer-upper to me — “Kansas without the corn,” say mission scientists — so no doubt we’ll get a good price and a hell of an interest rate.

I don’t expect we’ll get the damage deposit back on this rental, though.

Hope the new neighbors are cool. Hey, look, the Welcome Wagon! Ack ack ack!

 

Fiddling while Rome burns

November 24, 2018

Nero didn’t get it either and cashed out the hard way.

OK, let’s see if I’ve got this right:

“A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end.”

In response, the courtiers attending His Most Pissant Majesty, King Donald the Short-fingered, Terror of Twitter, are focused like the proverbial laser beam on whether trans folk may serve in the Empire’s armed forces.

Got it. Makes perfect sense. See, if they’re not camping in camo’ down by The Wall*, or using the wrong latrines in Afghanistan, they’ll be available to fight fire and flood elsewhere, p’raps in more fashionable neighborhoods, in order that the gentry may be both protected and entertained.

* Wall not pictured. Or even built.

This bud’s for you

November 23, 2018

It probably wasn’t what Anheuser-Busch had in mind when they developed that tagline, but many years later, as certain laws have loosened their Sam Browne belts a notch or two, a number of craft brewers — and a few larger outfits, too — are finding ways to work a little lower-case bud into their beverages.

The New York Times has the good shit here.

Now, some of you may find this hard to believe, but Your Humble Narrator has some (ahem) small experience with hops and herb, coming of age as he did when he did, and as a Geezer Third Class he is prone to reminisce at length on such matters.

So you might as well lift one, light one and lean back for another enhanced episode of Radio Free Dogpatch.

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 an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB microphone and Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack. I edited the audio using Apple’s GarageBand on a 2014 MacBook Pro. The background music is “Departure Lounge” by Keshco, used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) from The Free Music Archive. Other sounds courtesy Freesound.org, with an assist from Your Humble Narrator, who played the opening riffs from “Don’t Bogart That Joint” by the Fraternity of Man on a Tony Dixon tin whistle and an Art & Lutherie Roadhouse acoustic guitar.

The day after

November 23, 2018

Chicken cacciatore as envisioned by Emeril Lagasse, a gent of Canuck-Portagee extraction but a Cajun by temperament.

As is often the case, Turkey Day was not turkey day at El Rancho Pendejo.

Longtime inmates of the asylum will recall that we generally cook something other than the usual on Thanksgiving, and yesterday was no exception.

I went with a pairing from our greatest hits — chicken cacciatore a la Emeril and a side of stir-fried succotash with edamame from Martha Rose Shulman — while Herself contributed a delicious apple crisp from Diane Kester via Allrecipes using local apples supplied by a colleague.

As I rooted through Thanksgivings past it struck me that this iteration of the Dog Blog recently reached its 10-year anniversary. As hard as it may be to believe, it was in 2008 that we shifted over from the old self-hosted WordPress model so that all y’all could contribute comments, and those comments have been part of what makes the place hop.

Anyway, while I was zipping around and about in the Wayback Machine, and just ’cause I could, I snatched up 10 years’ worth of Thanksgiving posts for your amusement, a little waddle down the Memory Lane Buffet. Grab a tray, click the link, and help yourselves.

Get your moldy-oldie Thanksgivings right here.

A friendly gesture

November 22, 2018
Shut up, kid.

Shut up, kid.

There’s a chain across this dump and a big sign that says “Closed on Thanksgiving.”

Here’s hoping that you’re all having a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. Don’t forget to pick up the garbage. Look out for Officer Obie, the judge, and the seeing-eye dog.

And if the “Alice’s Restaurant Back By Popular Demand Tour” comes around on the guitar, well, remember — if you want to end war and stuff you gotta sing loud.

Happy birthday, Mr. Mayor

November 21, 2018

While the yard art spun here, I spun there, as in on the single-track, on a cyclocross bike. I did exactly 64 minutes.

While the rest of yis were prepping for medium-heavy holiday duty tomorrow, my man Chris “Da Mayor” Coursey was celebrating his 64th birthday in Santa Rosa, Calif.

He had been contemplating a 64-mile ride — jeez, who does these things? — but the weather and wildfires refused to cooperate with those best-laid plans. So when last seen he was celebrating indoors with friends, family, grub and grog.

Having an edge on him as regards the calendar, if nowhere else, I advised him thusly:

I trust that you will be slouched in an overstuffed chair with stocking feet up, snappin’ galluses and holding forth, one eyebrow raised and one index finger stabbing at the air, providing sage counsel, rendering keen judgments, ordering swift departures from lawns, and telling all those dad jokes with the obscure references that somehow elude everyone under the age of 64.

Also, all stories henceforth are to begin thusly: “You prob’ly won’t believe this, but when I was your age [insert improbable, unlikely and apocryphal tale here].”

I was going to include a picture of me in that pose for purposes of illustration, but I couldn’t find my galluses. I will forward this shot of our blue, blue skies because I am a cruel, cruel fellow.

Happy birthday, Chris. And many, many more.

What’s for breakfast?

November 20, 2018

Back In the Day®, when the cops decided to grab some shuteye during a shift, they called it “cooping.” But this Cooper’s hawk isn’t napping on the job. He’s up early and inspecting the menu from our backyard maple.

I saw this when I stepped out to shoot the sunrise this morning. Our bird feeders have become a bird feeder.

A sign of the tines

November 19, 2018

MARA the Tempter is always on the job. Though not necessarily with a rake.

Or “A Rake’s Progress.”

• A tip of the bracero’s sombrero for the news nugget goes out to Merrill “M-Dogg” Oliver, a Noo Yawkah turned Californicator who is something of a rake in his own right.

The cat’s meow

November 18, 2018

Miss Mia Sopaipilla dares you to make a move on her Q-Tip.

Best. Cat. Toy. Ever.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla and Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein, commander of the 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment (not pictured), put a serious ass-whuppin’ on a couple of Q-Tips this morning.

Herself was busy in her office when the cats decided, as cats will, to sit on the sheet music she was preparing for sale on eBay.

Now, your cat loves nothing more than sitting on something, unless it’s sitting on something that’s sitting on something; in this instance, sheet music sitting on the floor.

Or perhaps sitting on something that’s sitting on something that’s sitting on something. Or maybe invading a cardboard box or a plastic bag. Or just plain getting underfoot, what Robert A. Heinlein called “following you ahead of you.”

So Herself chucked them a couple of Q-Tips and boom! Now we have another hot item in the Instant Cat Toy Catalogue. Just in time for Black Friday, too. Operators are standing by.