Sunday, November 15, 2020

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS

What they're saying about Jim's provocative blog:

--"Джим - забавный парень, но он не Яков Смирнов!" (Jim's a funny guy, but he's no Yakof Smirnoff!  Nyet!")--Vladimir Putin
--"Я думаю, мы могли бы использовать такого парня, как Джим."  (I think we could use a guy like Jim!)--Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the United States.
--"He's from this country, Mexicans don't read him, so that's good enough for me."--Donald Trump
--"The one thing I didn't delete from my private server."--Hillary Clinton
--"Jimaschizzle!"--Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. (aka Snoop Dogg)
--"The one thing I DO read!"--Sarah Palin
--"The most fun you can have with your clothes on (but DO take a shower afterwards)."--Dick Cavett

jimjustselling . . .


Actually, I'm not, but the good folks at HenschelHAUS are.
https://henschelhausbooks.com/product/lol-i-gags/


The book is also available at:

POPCORN

  By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life

  • New product need (from Raid, perhaps?):  Verbal Tic Spray.  Use whenever someone says “having said that,” “basically,” “actually,” “literally,” “totally” or uses any unnecessary filler word.  Use as need, especially on unmasked violators, in a well-ventilated area.
  • By the way, this edition of jimjustsaying marks the debut of my new editorial assistant, Rick Shaw.  Welcome, Rickster!
  • No truth to the rumor that there will be a jimjustsaying podcast.  I’m wondering how soon podcasts will outnumber blogs (not that there’s anything wrong with that)!
  • Wouldn’t it be better if every state was a “battleground state"?
  • What will take longer?  The creation and full application of an effective coronavirus vaccine or the time it would take for all the political “sages,” “analysts” and “strategists” to get the egg off their faces?  Maybe Pfizer has a product for them as well.
  • Another ethnic stereotype dashed!   Comedian Nipsey Russell used to say that “Mexicans can never get their cars started.”
  • Well, they’ve come a long way, as witness the features of an unusually sophisticated 1,300-foot drug-smuggling tunnel authorities recently discovered running from Mexico to the U.S. underneath the border wall.
  • Measuring 3 feet wide by 4 feet high, the tunnel has a railway, ventilation, water lines and electric lights. Angel Ortiz, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations, said its builders must have been highly skilled, because the sand in the area is very loose and most tunnels “end up caving.”
  • jimjustsaying’s Party Ice-Breaker of the Month: “Say [actual partygoer’s name here], did you ever wonder how authentic is the music in movies that take place in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt?  Was it based on any actual manuscripts?”
  • Not really, various sources indicate.  We do have some knowledge of ancient instruments from written descriptions and depictions on works of art, which may help modern composers for films produce music that seems fitting.  But we know little about the style in which these instruments were played and even less about what kinds of compositions might have been common or popular. Only a handful of melodies have been preserved, along with fragments of musical notations.
  • jimjustsaying’s Newspaper Obituary Nickname of the Month:  “Grumpy.”  As in, Darryl A. “Grumpy” Behling,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 18, 2020.  R.I.P., Mr. Behling.
  • Drudging Around: Scientists discover mysterious new organ in head . . . Flesh-eating bacteria in ocean is killing people in Carolinas . . . Raccoons break into bank . . . The twisted sex lives of Nazis—and the women who loved them . . . ‘People looking for escape’: Tattoo shops booked until 2021 . . .  Pandemic spurs boon in outdoor therapy sessions . . . Pump & Dump:  Rapper who endorsed Donald never registered to vote. . . . The age of sex robots. (Thanks, as always, to Matt Drudge and his merry band of aggregators for this month’s jaw-droppers.)
  • “In France, if we wish to drain the swamps, we do not consult the frogs.”--French Sen. Michel Delebarre, The Times (U.K.)
  • There will never be a Rudy Giuliani Lookalike Contest.
  • Whatever happened to Bill O'Reilly?
  • jimjustsaying’s Media Word of the Month (a word you see in print or hear on television/radio but never hear an actual person use in real life):  Presumptive.  As in, “Jim Szantor should be the presumptive nominee for President in 2020.
  • Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.”--Journalist David Frost, Montreal Gazette
  • I'm not saying I believe in the Mayan Calendar, but I'm not starting my Christmas shopping until Dec. 22!
  • I feel sorry for any woman married to a man who would say, "We're pregnant."
  • The road less traveled probably has fewer potholes, detours or tailgaters.
  • Transgender musings:  Do more men want to become women . . . or do more women want to become men?   What if you don't want to be either?
  • jimjustsaying's Social Tip of the Week:  "You should always leave a party 10 minutes before you actually do."--Cartoonist Gary Larson
  • If you haven't seen at least five stories about "mindfulness" this week, I hope you're out of your coma and the ICU very soon.  There's actually a book titled "Mindful Eating," which, when you think about it, is probably better than mindless eating, which is probably behind much if not all of the obesity epidemic.
  • jimjustsaying’s Word That Doesn’t Exist But Should of the Month:  XIIDIGITATION: The practice of trying to determine the year a movie was made by deciphering the roman numerals at the end of the credits. --"Sniglets," Rich Hall and Friends
  • It seems to me there are entirely too many "Halls of Fame," as I encounter a new one virtually every week.  Fairly soon we'll be advised that someone has been inducted into the Underwear Wearers Hall of Fame.  (Or something similarly silly and meaningless.)  I’m sure Andy Warhol would agree.
  • "Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up."--G.K. Chesterton
  • Today’s Latin Lesson:  Appellare nimiam.  (“Too close to call.”)

THE QUOTE RACK

 Lasting T-cell immunity to Covid?

People who have recovered from Covid-19 may retain cellular immunity for at least six months after infection—a major boost for hopes of long-term protection against the virus. Recent research has found that the body’s initial antibody response to the disease diminishes quickly, suggesting antibodies won’t provide lasting immunity.

But so-called T-cells—a part of the immune system that attacks infected cells—appear to stick around longer. In a new British study, which hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed, researchers measured T-cell activity in 100 U.K. health-care workers six months after they had tested positive for Covid-19. None had been hospitalized; about half had been asymptomatic.  All 100 participants showed “robust T-cell responses,” even those whose antibody count had dropped to an undetectable level.

The scale of T-cell response was 50 percent higher in people who had shown symptoms of the disease. That could mean people with asymptomatic cases may not retain as much cellular protection or may simply be better equipped to fight off the virus without a big immune response. The authors emphasize that the study proves only that the T-cells are active, not that they confer immunity. “Cellular immunity,” lead author Shamez Ladhani told CNBC.com, “is a complex but potentially very significant piece of the Covid-19 puzzle.” 
--The Week
How to fix our election chaos

The ongoing chaos over the presidential election results is entirely unnecessary. The U.S. is unique among advanced nations in having each state hold its own election, with its own rules and method of counting and results coming out in dribs and drabs over days. Those varying rules led to wild fluctuations as results were updated [recently], with the “mirage” that President Trump was leading in several states; in reality, votes in Biden’s favor had already been cast and were simply waiting to be counted. The delays in counting mail-in ballots and votes from big cities allowed partisan conspiracy theorists to claim sinister forces were at work. This system needs to be brought into the 21st Century before the next presidential election.

In Canada, elections are conducted by a single, nonpartisan federal agency, with the same rules for every part of the country. Rather than release interim vote totals at random, a centralized system tabulates all the votes and only then announces who won. Our current hodgepodge system produces excruciating delays and confusion. For the sake of our psychological health and confidence in democracy, we desperately need reform.
--Law professor Stephen Vladeck, New York Times 

The polls: Why so wrong again?

#####Professional pollsters blew it again. Just as they did in 2016, the polls underestimated President Trump’s strength as they predicted an easy victory for the Democratic nominee. Some polls had Joe Biden ahead by as many as 10 percentage points nationally, while the final margin will probably be a much slimmer 4 to 5 points. On the state level, pollsters predicted a 3- to 6-point Biden victory in Florida and a toss-up in Texas. Trump took Florida by 3-plus and Texas by almost 6. Ohio and Iowa were rated toss-ups, and Trump took both by 8-plus. 
--Matthew Rozsa, Salon.com

#####Down ballot, the polling performance appeared even worse. Pollsters predicted a blue wave would carry Democrats to a gain of about a dozen House seats and three to six in the Senate. Instead, Democrats lost House seats and could end up gaining only one in the Senate, depending on the results of two runoff elections in Georgia. Maine Sen. Susan Collins—deemed a potential loser—wound up winning by almost 9 points. 

--Steven Shepard, Politico.com 

#####What a black eye for polling. After 2016, pollsters tried to capture more potential Trump supporters by weighting for rural voters and those without four-year college degrees. But the correction may have been insufficient and failed to compensate for the deep distrust many conservatives feel for the mainstream media and polling outlets. They may be hanging up on polling calls in disproportionate numbers.
--Aaron Zitner, Wall Street Journal 

#####Polling clearly has some serious challenges. Statistical analysis works only if you can reach representative samples of different voting groups. But if some groups decline to participate, polls will be consistently wrong.
--Nate Cohn, New York Times 

#####If that’s the case, polling faces an existential threat. But the damage won’t be limited to polling companies, which do much more than predict the outcome of elections. Much of American democracy depends on being able to understand what our fellow citizens think on such issues as gun control, religious belief, racial justice, climate change and abortion. Officials use polls to help decide policy and candidates to craft campaigns. As Americans sort themselves into ideological bubbles, the need for reliable polling is arguably greater now than ever before. If everyone decides polls can’t be trusted anymore, we’re all flying blind.

--David Graham, TheAtlantic​.com 
Look-alike couples

Back in 1987, scientists at the University of Michigan put out a study that suggested the faces of people in long-term relationships look more alike over time. Now a team at Stanford University has probed that theory and found it to be bunk, reports The Times (U.K.). By trawling through wedding anniversary announcements in newspapers, the Stanford team created a bank of pictures of more than 500 couples at different stages in their marriage.

They then used a computer algorithm and surveys with volunteers to determine whether the couples’ faces appeared to grow more alike. The researchers found clear evidence that when couples first get together, they are more likely to resemble one another than random pairs of people. But there was no evidence for them growing more alike over time. Lead author Pin Pin Tea-makorn says there are several explanations why people initially gravitate toward their look-alikes. “The first is that people tend to like things they are familiar with,” she says. “Another is that, in general, organisms tend to select a mate who is pretty similar to make sure they are not mating with a different species.”
--The Week 

Is the 4-percent rule too strict?

The man who invented the 4 percent rule has updated the numbers. In 1994, Bill Bengen, a financial adviser in Southern California, established the principle that “if you want to make sure your retirement savings last at least as long as you do, you should budget to spend no more than 4 percent of the balance in the first year—and then adjust the amount each year in line with inflation.”

But Bengen now says that this rule of thumb is too simplistic. He devised it as a hypothetical for someone retiring in October 1968, “the worst moment he could find in modern times,” just before a 14-year bear market and runaway inflation. Historically, however, the average safe withdrawal rate has turned out to be 7 percent. Bengen, a retiree himself, said he sticks to a withdrawal rate of 5 percent.
-- Brett Arends, MarketWatch.com 

Trump’s debt is a serious security risk

President Trump’s massive personal debt poses a significant counterintelligence risk. Recently published tax information shows he owes $421 million that he must pay off over the next few years, and by some estimates, his total debt may be as high $1 billion. As former national security officials, we’re keenly aware that our nation’s adversaries often use debt to compel Americans into betraying their country. Aldrich Ames, the infamous CIA spy who fed secrets to the Soviet Union, later admitted he did so because he was in debt and “needed funds to dig himself out of the hole.”

This is why Americans seeking access to classified information must submit to a deeply invasive review of their financial history, with two major exceptions: members of Congress and the president. Had Trump undergone the standard review, we have no doubt he would have been denied a clearance. Americans deserve to know whether the president owes money to Russians or other foreign actors. Is he making foreign-policy decisions with his faltering businesses in mind? Our country can no longer ignore the national security risks that Trump’s debt creates.
--Michael Morell and David Kris, Washington Post

How the modern dog came to be 

A major new study of prehistoric dog DNA has revealed how rapidly man’s best friend spread around the world following domestication and how the animals’ changed as they followed their two-legged masters. Researchers sequenced and analyzed DNA extracted from the remains of 27 ancient dogs unearthed in Europe, the Near East and Siberia. They found that by 11,000 years ago, just after the Ice Age and before the domestication of any other animal, there were already five different types of dogs with distinct genetic ancestries scattered across the world. The study suggests that domestication may have begun about 20,000 years ago, some 5,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Some of the researchers also believe the genomes show that all dogs evolved from an extinct and as yet unidentified form of wolf, though others say the evidence is not conclusive. The team made a pack of other findings, including that today’s dogs are much less genetically diverse than their ancient ancestors, presumably because breeders have prioritized powerful genes; that no new wolf DNA has entered dog genomes since wolves became dogs more than 15,000 years ago; and that dogs’ geographic spread didn’t always correlate with human migration. “In many cases humans would simply bring their dogs with them as they migrated and moved across the world,” co-author Anders Bergstrom, from London’s Francis Crick Institute, told CNN​.com. But “perhaps sometimes dogs were traded between human groups.”
--The Week 


jimjustplaying

THE SOCRATIC METHOD?

As Socrates famously wrote, "The unexamined life is not worth living." One would well posit  that the unchallenged life is not worth living.  Or, if it is,  not as satisfying.

Most of my music-related activity since leaving the Air Force Band in late 1969 has been as an author and critic, my playing restricted solely to playing along with records at home.

Soloist Jim Szantor as lead alto David Bixler gives the cutoff on the final chord.

But that changed on Aug. 11 when I performed as a guest soloist on clarinet with the fabled Birch Creek Jazz Orchestra, a big band made up of some of the best jazz players in the country, comprising as they do the faculty that teaches the students who come to Egg Harbor in Door County for two-week sessions of intensive training and performance opportunities.  It's sort of a musical boot camp but with kindly but highly decorated instructors.  

My feature spot was "Ballad for Benny" a tune written by the late, great jazz composer and saxophonist Oliver Nelson, who was commissioned by Benny Goodman to write new material for the band's historic 1962 tour of the Soviet Union.   It was such a  significant cultural/political event back then that Walter Cronkite often led the CBS Nightly News with the band's latest exploits.

The 17-piece Birch Creek Jazz Orchestra prior to my introduction.


This tune was recorded by the Oliver Nelson Orchestra (with the great Phil Woods in a rare outing on clarinet instead of his usual lustrous alto sax) but never performed publicly in this country--till now.  If you do an internet search on some of the illustrious players in the band behind me --Dennis Mackrel, Clay Jenkins, Doug Stone, David Bixler, Tanya Darby, to name a few--you'll see why I'm so proud to have been selected to perform with them.


Part of the evening's program.
It was an oppressively muggy night (close to 100 percent humidity) in the un-air-conditioned hall, making intonation more of a challenge than usual. It took some months of chipping away at the rust that had accumulated over the years on my woodwind chops, but I was determined to have one last dance, so to speak, with the idiom that I have loved for a lifetime.  To paraphrase the late Karl Wallenda of the famed aerial troupe The Flying Wallendas, "Life is the bandstand.  The rest is just waiting."  

Luckily for me, the wait is over.



55th High School Reunion Essay


From Red Devils to Gray Devils (or, 73 is the new 61)

By Jim Szantor

It has been a long and winding road that brings the Class of '61 to Reunion Weekend.   A time when we can take our noses out of our devices and communicate the best possible way--face to face.  We've come so far and seen so much, but on this occasion it's all about something that we can never get enough of--living in the moment with people who matter to us.  Some of us may say more to each other this weekend than we did when we were in the same building on a daily basis.  Reunions can be strange that way.

We've gone our separate ways in many ways, but there are bonds that can never be separated, and Mary D. Bradford was a big part of that.  Some of the connections we treasure started before that, some came after.  But we're so fortunate to have them.  There's no app for that.

Our birth dates and graduation dates were bookended by two presidents known mainly by their initials (FDR and JFK), with some of us then sent off to an unpopular war by LBJ.  (OMG!)  Somehow we survived anti-war and race riots, three high-profile assassinations and thought we were living in turbulent times then.  Little did we know.

We've reached the time of our lives when, as is often said, it seems as if we're having breakfast every 20 minutes and a doctor's appointment every 20 days.   And if our waistlines have expanded, so have our vocabularies.  Unfortunately, many of our new  words end in "itis," "oscopy" or "ectomy" (with a few "ograms" thrown in for good measure.)  Some of us are lucky enough to have original factory equipment, but others seem to be doing just fine with replacement parts.  Our mileage may vary accordingly.

Our lives since high school have had similar arcs (higher education, marriage and careers, exhilarating highs and devastating lows, medical battles won and lost), but no two narratives are alike, with their surprising and fortuitous twists, unexpected and unfortunate turns.  We'll talk about them, tell stories--funny and otherwise--we may have told before.  But underneath it all is something strangely and poignantly wistful that is easier to experience than to explain.  A tear or two may flow, but laughter will carry the day.  To borrow a title from my favorite song of those cherished Bradford years, "It's All in the Game."

We'll reminisce about the sweet used-to-be, a time when you could get on a plane without getting undressed, when mosquitoes were occasional nuisances instead of winged assassins, and a Christmas gift might be one of those wildly irresponsible vintage toys of our youth--the chemistry set--the better to conduct home experiments with the ammonium nitrate now prized by rogue terrorists.

Our first cars are quaint relics now (it's cringe-inducing to contemplate how crude and dangerous they really were), but how treasured they were then!  Apples were something we ate; Steve Jobs was just 6 years old on our Graduation Day and hadn't decided to change the world just yet.  Amazon was a river in South America, a tweet was a sound produced by a bird, and Google was the name of a comic-strip character whose first name, if you don't remember it, can be learned if you use his last name to find it, using a device probably within arm's reach.

Culturally, a maverick from Mississippi named Elvis Presley was viewed as outrageous by some as the fabled Generation Gap reared its head, writ large.  No one envisioned such outre performers as Alice Cooper, Madonna and Sid Vicious and others of inexplicable popularity.  Thus, rap and hip-hop aren't likely to be heard at the Chateau on our special night; Snoop Dogg won't be making the playlist.  We'll hear many oldies and savor the memories they conjure up as the sound track of our youth plays on.

We'll survey the years and laugh about the clothes we wore, the "what were we thinking?" misadventures and the gasoline we burned going around in circles downtown.   We took ourselves perhaps too seriously at times but at least took no "selfies."  (And what about that sheepskin we worked so hard to get?  All we got was a piece of paper!   I, for one, still feel cheated and have thus given my graduation an Incomplete.  But that's just me.)

Our graduates include at least two doctors that I know of, perhaps a lawyer or three, but most likely no Indian chiefs.  Scanning the yearbook, some wonderful names pop out--a Jane Eyre and a Thomas Wolfe, whom I dearly hope can come home again.   The Annex may be gone but still stands tall in our memories.  It rained on our scheduled Graduation Day, a happenstance that turned out to be more of a innocuous oddity than an ill omen.

We'll share some of our epic Kodak moments, those occasions when someone was bound to say, "Great Grandma is probably looking down on us with a big proud smile."  (To explore the thought of other moments when Great Grandma was looking down on us is a thought too unsettling to pursue further in this essay, if you get my drift.  Who raises and lowers the celestial curtain?)

Those of us who have moved away can use this occasion to revisit old haunts (the ones that still exist) and scan the crowd for familiar faces (thank God for name tags) and lament the absence of those we fear we may never see again, trying to remember that, as a poet once said, people die but love doesn't have to.  The list of Missing Classmates numbers about 280 and leads one to wonder where those people are, and, if still living, why they have stayed in the shadows.  If by choice, we have to respect that; if for darker reasons, that's most unfortunate.  We may know the circumstances for a few, but for the others--whether they were good friends, casual acquaintances or names we hardly recognize--like a lot of life's mysteries, we may never know.  We can only hope that life has dealt them the best possible hand.

It has been said that the 25th is the best reunion--some liken it to life's mid-term exam--and say they only get sadder after that.  But most marathoners--those lucky enough to remain in the race--feel more exhilaration in the home stretch than they did at the halfway mark.  Granted, we know the trip is not going to last forever, but it's satisfying to toast the milestones we've achieved and humbly acknowledge our good fortune.  And who knows--the way research is advancing on the scourges of cancer and Alzheimer's, in five years 78 may be the new 61.  Let's drink to that!



Sunday, October 11, 2020

POPCORN

  By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • If someone had told you 30 years ago that we’d be spending a good share of our day fingering a mouse or staring at a phone, you would have questioned his or her sanity.
  • Have you ever known anyone who will admit to watching a shopping channel? (And, come to think of it, wasn’t the Home Shopping Network ahead of its time?)
  • Speaking of television: Ready for a taste of Iraqi TV? You didn't hear it from me, but I understand "Saddam's Wackiest Public Execution Bloopers" will soon be available for streaming.
  • Why do some canned goods have a convenient pull-tab for opening and some don’t?
  • You’ll see variances within the same variety (green beans) within the same brand name (Del Monte). One would think pull tabs would have lapped the field long ago, but they’re still neck in neck with the old cans.
  • I notice we're never told in Roman numerals how many NFL players have contracted the coronavirus or are under indictment for various felonies. (Will Super Bowl LV be canceled because of Covid-X1X?)
  • “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”—Dave Barry
  • Just learned that an apiary is a place where bees are kept. Where are the apes then kept—a bee-iary?
  • jimjustsaying's Pet Peeve of the Week: Not Really-a-Gift Gifts. Like those tote bags and such your insurance company or financial advisor sends you on your birthday that has the firm's name emblazoned on them, as if to say: "Here's sort of a gift, now go and advertise our company wherever you go."
  • Nothing brings out the hypocrisy in people like property taxes. They'll sit on a bar stool and brag, "We bought our house for $59,900 in '64 . . . and now it's appraised at $184,500, HAHAHAHAHAHHA!"
  • But mention a possible $600 increase in their annual property tax (for frivolities such as schools or infrastructure improvement), and they start sputtering and spitting nails.
  • jimjustsaying’s Favorite Quotes of the Month:
  • --"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”--Author Susan Ertz
  • --If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”--Dorothy Parker
  • “It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness.”--Author Chuck Palahniuk
  • What’s the difference between a proverb, an axion and an adage?
  • Drudging Around: How married woman smuggled her boyfriend out of prison in a dog crate . . . Just one student shows up for Detroit teacher’s first day . . . Mexican drug cartel gunmen burn rival’s face off as he pleads for death . . . Man traveled on Greyhound bus with dismembered body parts in suitcases . . . Snake used as face mask on bus . . . Study: People happier spending time with friends than spouse . . . Dog-walker escapes gator dragging him into water by poking eye . . . Monkeys have holes drilled in heads; horrific experiments in Belgian labs . . . 9-year-old sent home—after sneezing . . . ‘Human Satan’ slices off nose, has horns implanted . . . Air Force now has own tattoo shop . . . Male baboons get health benefits from platonic friendships with females . . . Man killed in dispute over line at Michigan haunted house . . . Parrots removed from wildlife park after swearing at customers . . . No jail for parents after baby was disabled after strict vegan diet . . . More men and women consider sex with robot . . . Man knifed cousin during argument over almond milk . . . Pastor did exorcism on toddler and used meth with church members, cops say . . . People still evolving as wisdom teeth vanish and people grow new arteries. . . Priest arrested for threesome with dominatrices on church altar. (Thanks again to Matt Drudge and his merry band of aggregators for this month’s batch of forehead-slappers.)
  • jimjustsaying’s Platform If He Were to be a Presidential Candidate: Instituting a Department of Fashion Police. Because the hiring of detection and enforcement personnel and the building of the requisite prisons would create an enormous number of jobs—white, blue and pink collar!
  • jimjustsaying's Oxymoron of the week: Political science.
  • Speaking of politics: The bottom line is, at the end of the day, we have get down to brass tacks and stop kicking the can down the road. And you can take that to the bank. God forbid.
  • Overheard: "You don't have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you're planning to keep."
  • Redundancy Patrol: Added bonus, basic necessities, completely annihilate.
  • jimjustsaying's Word That Doesn't Exist But Should of the Month: Wondracide: The act of murdering a piece of white bread with a knife and cold butter.--"Sniglets," Rich Hall and Friends
  • “There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.”--Statistician Edward Tufte
  • “As the cold, icy weather continued, many telephone poles and wives were downed during the night.”--Wyandotte (Mich.) News via “Still More Press Boners,” by Earle Tempel.
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname(s) of the Month: Butch, Giggles, Jerry. As in, Gerald L.W. “Butch, Giggles, Jerry” Hildahl, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Aug. 13, 2020.
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Quam longum est ire ad invenire de eius qui vicit electionem? ("How long is it going to take to find out who won the election?")