Monday, January 16, 2017

Today Vacation; Tomorrow Back to Work

The Readers Digest cites The Week magazine's take on office workers which claims that the average office worker receives 122 e-mails per day.  How many of these e's are jokes, cartoons was apparently not delved into. 

In the spirit of fun that has enveloped offices for years (not) readers were asked to submit new names for this onrush of communication. 

Here are the eight by subscribers who arrive at work and blanch at the sound of "You've Got Mail."

Inboxication - but I think "inboxification" is funnier
Attn: Deficit Disorder
RE: RE: RE: Lapse - I didn't get this one and I still don't.
Pessimistic Outlook
Reaching the Point of No Reply

When you're retired, you can laugh, too.  Until that happy day ... relish three day weekends.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Send OUT the Clowns!

Ringling Bros. Barney & Bailey Circus (original name) is quitting show biz in May, 2017, after 146 years of terrifying little kids with their clowns.

Fear of clowns affects 12 per cent of the U.S. population. This fear even has its own name - "coulrophobia" and symptoms include sweating, nausea, rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, trembling and feelings of dread. 

"But wait!" you cry.  "Are you afraid of going into a MacDonald's?"  Not at all - Ronald MacDonald is kid friendly with a big, happy smile (as opposed to a grimaced, tooth-baring grin) and he wears minimal make-up and little kid clothes.  In fact his striped leggings and sweater sleeves may remind some of the very popular "Where's Waldo?" fascination of some time ago.  Non-threatening.  He looks genuinely friendly. 

Plus you can get fed there.  Speaking of which, Jim Delligatti, who created the first Big Mac in Pennsylvania as a franchise owner, has died, age 98.  His family remarked that he ate a Big Mac at least once a week.  Use your own judgement on Big Mac consumption.

I don't wish any retiring clowns bad luck, plagues or jail time, but I am glad to see them go.  They were menacing-looking, made sudden loud noises, looked sinister and never did anything nice to one another - swats with big foam (I hope) hammers, etc.  No, the world was long terrified, but the Big Scare is now vanquished.  Good.   

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Do They Call Them "Dronies"?

While leafing leisurely through Le Monde ( the French newspaper this morning, I came across a new way to be separated from our hard-earned funds.

Travel agents at a certain level ("Around the world in a customized AB380 for $225,000! ") and deluxe hotels are now offering drone selfies and the photographers to use them.  

Carrying this thought farther, I would imagine that lesser hotels and travel agents propose drone rentals at your destination of choice. 

If you are a dedicated DIYer, buy a drone.  Prices range from $93 to $2,000 and I would recommend the low end until you work out how not to crash it through a neighbor's window or take out a school bus.  Prudence. 

If you are a shooter, try to get a job with Flytographer - 60 min. shoot for $350 which given the number of hours in a day with good lighting, could be quite profitable.  Shoot My Travel is another, but no prices were listed.  If you really like travel on the other guy's dime, audition for El Camino Travel which sends a pro with the customer to shoot 500 photos of the client cavorting as he/she will per day and then present them with a carefully culled 30 shots the next morning, ready for exposure on social media.  "My Movie About My Vacation, a continuing series."

However, if you have mastered "droning" (?) check with local law enforcement wherever you land to make sure you aren't going to annoy them.  I've never been in one, but I understand that jails in other countries are not nearly as posh as some of ours.

To avoid taking down your flight, do not store lithium batteries in checked luggage.  Take it on board with you and when your hair catches fire (from the battery burning down through the bin) you can do something about it.   

Dronies.  This is a very weird generation, in case you hadn't noticed.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday the 13th, 2017

Now, now - don't be afraid although I understand that so many people are afraid that there's even a psychological label affixed to that fear - triska-something or other.  Not everything that happens on Friday the 13th is bad!

Have a laugh instead.  Richie and I were tooling south on PCH and as we passed the tattoo parlor (why are they always called "parlors"?)  we couldn't miss the fact that some 18 to 20 people were lined up outside it with two more crossing the side street to get to it.  And - coincidence or not? dum-te-dum-dum - this audience was 18 to 20 years old.

Richie said, "School outing?"  Redondo Union High School is just down the street, their ages corresponded to high school students (with several that clearly hadn't graduated with their class)

"Pre-med?  Going for an anatomy lesson on skin?" I contributed. 

Baffled, we went on when the light changed and would have been wondering for days but for the happy coincidence of Richie running into a friend at the Hermosa Beach Farmer's Market later.  He mentioned it to her and she told him that a friend had called her to tell her that in honor of Friday the 13th, all tattoos were 50 per cent off.  They were damned well doing a landslide business!

But then, on our way home, we passed Lovesick Tattoos on Aviation and they barely looked open.  Clearly they were not celebrating the day in any meaningful way.

*Parlors" usage.  Some customers believe the shop or studio (preferred descriptions) owners  don't want potential customers to be confused as to the difference between a massage parlor (happy ending) and a tattoo parlor (problematical ending.  As in you sober up and see it the next day or your mother sees it right away.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

This Was A Bestseller How? Why?

"The Girl On The Train" by Paula Hawkins   Riverhead Books   323 pages   $26.95

My sister recommended it and I dutifully started looking for it at the library, but apparently  no one ever returned it.  Last week, Richie found it at the library book  store where he paid $1.50 for it.  Having finished it, am very glad he didn't pay list.  The price - rounded off to $27 - would have bought two dirty gin martinis and tip.  Guess which I'd rather have?

Very well, why didn't I like this book.  For starters, the heroine is an alcoholic brought on by desertion by her husband and a divorce.  I am well aware that alcoholism is considered a disease and my sincere sympathies to anyone who might have it.

That said, almost every time she was given a choice, she reached for the bottle, knowing full well that whatever ensued would be unpleasant.  Worse still was her enabling flat mate (it was her house) let her keep staying on even after multiple non-payments of rent.  She did, however, make the heroine clean up her own vomit (middle of the staircase) and never hid the booze, knowing full well what a temptation it was. 

She got fired for being drunk out of her mind at an office function, but rather than fess up to anyone, she pretends she is still going to work, taking the same train to and fro at the times she would have if still employed.

How this ever got to be a best-seller, I will never know.  The prose was unexceptional, the motivations repeated over and over again; the wallowing in bathos never ended.  The characters were two-dimensional at best.

Many women's book clubs espoused it, I am told, but I think the ladies might have been motivated to read it so that they could all slouch on sofas in the hostess' living room, swill down wine and discuss it.  It would have been more productive for them to stay home and drink their own booze.    And stay off of commuter trains.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I am always the last to figure out anything electronically based.. If Richie dies first, I will never be able to watch TV again.  This TV came with two remotes - both necessary - to use.  The Blu-Ray has a remote as does (talking about overkill) the disc/tape/radio player. 

Let us draw a curtain across the functions of the "smart phone" even though I did buy a very thick book on Smart Phones for Dummies which in my case is not rude at all.  To avoid having to deal with the damned thing, it is only used to call out; no one in my family or Richie's or any of our friends have been given the number so I know that any calls listed are from salesmen and of no interest.

I do like being able to read e-mail though as well as the Drudge Report, Daily Mail, etc. 

At the moment I am pursuing yet another way to trick the general reading public out of a buck or two and this project involves collecting 100 (or more depending on book's final thickness) of what I consider to be the best columns from 2009 until now and turning it into a book.  Have already designed the cover; written the columns and made a good start on choosing bits and pieces.   Except that ... I couldn't get the computer to print the columns I selected.

If you tell the new computer to "Print" the first thing it seems to do is go back about 10 columns and print one of them.  Not the one wanted.  Further, it doesn't print just that one; it defiantly will go on printing until you hit STOP and with slow reflexes, you're out a lot of paper and more importantly printer ink.  I have bought whole outfits (attire, shoes, purse) for less than printer ink. 

But today - breakthrough.  Tell the computer you want to edit this particular column and when it pops up, in edit mode, hit PRINT!   

I expect to be finished no later than Monday next week with the entire package. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Band Wit

Naw, um notta New Yawker tryin' to say "band width." 

The was the featured band at yesterday afternoon's jazz club.  They are so classy that they put out a program (rarely done here.)  The back page spells out their Mission Statement which follows.

Correcting Composer Errors.  While the band's primary task is to entertain, it simultaneously makes a concerted effort to correct any errors made in the composition of the various songs played.  As a result, you hear the songs played as they should have been written in the first place.

Equal Opportunity Band.  The Royale Garden Jazz Band does not discriminate in the selection of its musicians on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, political affiliation or the lack of musical ability.

On a more personal note, they whaled hell out of "Back Home Again in Indiana."