Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Cutting up

 Sure, but you should get a load of the mouth on their clippers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

On this date in history, January 15

On this date in history, January 15:

In 849, Byzantine emperor Theophylact dies, but his name is quickly trademarked for a new allergy drug.

In 1582, Russia signs the Truce of Yam-Zapolsky. Nobody remembers much about Zapolsky, but the yams were reportedly delicious.

In 1775, Italian composer Giovanni Battista Sammartini dies of syllables.

In 1869, future Kentucky governor and male human Ruby Laffoon is born, not knowing that his future lieutenant governor will be nicknamed "Happy." Despite the tug of the entire universe, Ruby and Happy do not create a TV show.

In 1943, the Pentagon is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia. Originally entitled the Hexagon, budget cuts had a dramatic effect on the project.

In 1962, the Derveni papyrus, an ancient manuscript from 340 BC, is found in Greece. Revealing remarkable prescience, it reads, simply, "Beware the clowns." Or "Don't forget to buy ouzo." Historians are divided.

In 1967, the first Super Bowl occurs, resulting in the invention of advertising.

In 1969, the Soviet Union launches spacecraft Soyuz 5. When asked about the first four, the Soviet Union replies, "Hey! Look over there!" and then runs.

In 1991, England's Queen Elizabeth II, being queen of Australia too, files paperwork allowing Australia to become the first of its commonwealths to use its own Victoria Cross as part of its honors system. This is probably a big deal. Somebody check.

In 2001, Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia, goes online, and since absolutely anybody can edit its listings, accidentally launches the "post-truth" era.

In 2005, the European Space Agency's SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers traces of silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron and other elements on the moon. Disappointingly, these are all later found to be concentrated in the spot where Buzz Aldrin spilled a Coke.

In 2009, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger lands a crippled passenger jet in New York's Hudson River with no loss of life. As is the American way, he is vilified for causing people to miss their connecting flights.

. . .

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Just plain seedy

 There isn't a play on words on Earth clever enough to get me to try a kale mint combo.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A son turning 16 brings back old memories

My son turns 16 this week, a fact which evokes in me a level of sentimentality I have not felt since the final episode of M*A*S*H*.

I remember being 16, but only vaguely, like I also remember seeing "Apocalypse Now," but I can't remember why the natives had to hack up that water buffalo. I was 16 in an era when society wanted you to drive so much, your counselor literally called you out of class to the office to sign you up for Drivers Ed. An era when "texting" somebody meant throwing your math book at their head.

When I was 16, the first "Star Wars" came out. Our minds were blown, but soon they were unblown by repeated viewings of "Happy Days" and "The Love Boat." We learned about romance by sneaking into "Saturday Night Fever," which temporarily damaged our judgment to the point we thought men singing in falsetto for entire songs was "boss."

When I was a teenager, my first priority was avoiding looking uncool. I didn't have to look cool, but I definitely couldn't look uncool. I know. It seems like it would be either one or the other, but there was a grey area where Schrodinger's cat lived.

The thing you can't know at 16 is what you will regret. One day my dad drove me home after a track meet. I was still in my maroon tank top and shiny shorts. He suggested we stop off for a milk shake. I imagined the looks from the other customers, thinking aww, how cute, a daddy out with his boy. Adorable.

Adorable was not cool. I told my dad no, I'm good, let's just go home. I will never forget his look of incredulity. I remember hoping he did not guess that I did not want to be seen with him. I was all grown up, you understand.

My dad died a decade ago, and you can't imagine how much I'd give for one more milk shake with him. My son is not like I was. He appears to be unconcerned with cool entirely, and would no more turn down a shake with his old man than he would turn off his phone during daylight hours.

His generation gets criticized, but I think if it can just come up with something approaching "music," it will be pretty cool.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017