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the sun looking at me all cockeyed

several times already this year I have been gently arrested by the realization that all this cold, this snow, this bitter wind, and lack of leaves and flowers, all of this is thanks to a little teeny tilt of the earth on its axis.

But it’s not the distance from the sun that has us all bundled in fur and wool in the winter and stripped down to our skivvies in the summer like I for a long time thought. That’s only a 2 per cent distance variation from summer to winter after all, which makes for only a 4 per cent change in temperature. The real fweezing/buwning comes not from how far the sun has to travel but how it hits us.

Ya know when you’re out in the garden in July and you suddenly understand that the sun isn’t shining on you but at you and so you slather more SPF 105 over your face and raise your zinc-stained fist and swear the sun your eternal enemy?

Yeah, that’s b/c in the summer the sun is shining down and raining ultraviolet blows about your head and shoulders like Mike Tyson circa ’85. In the winter when we’re tilted away like Ali circa ’63 there are fewer hours of light and that light is hitting us all aslant so less of its punishment is absorbed. Glancing blows rather than a square wallop to the chops.

Being the ├╝bercracker that I am, I vastly prefer winter light to summer. That plus my metabolism is evolved from eons of long-cold-winter starvers. With enough fur and wool then I am ready for the winters I was born for. Verily I say unto skadi: bring it.

Cormac McCarthy’s Typewriter

Continuing with the spasm of materialism inhabiting this e-ournal* for the last couple of weeks (it’s the holidays, bub), consider Cormac McCarthy’s Olivetti for auction this friday at Christie’s.


I begged and begged Courtney to buy it for me but no dice. I don’t know what I’d do with it anyway except look at it sitting in the corner.

And write letters to myself from him:


What a slamming writer you have turned out to be.

– Cormac


* Thank you A.H.M for lending this appellation.

twenty-four seconds of hilarity

Flight Control: Flight 209 you’re clear for takeoff.
Clarence Oveur: Roger.
Roger Murdock: Huh?
FC: LA departure frequency 123.9.
Clarence Oveur: Roger.
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Victor Basta: Request vector, over.
Clarence Oveur: What?
FC: Flight 209 clear for vector 324.
Roger Murdock: We have clearance, Clarence.
Clarence Oveur: Roger, Roger, what’s our vector, victor?
FC: Now we’re in radio clearance, over.
Clarence Oveur: That’s Clarence Oveur, over.
Victor Basta: Roger.
Roger Murdock: Huh?
FC: Roger, over.
Clarence Oveur: What?
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Victor Basta: Who?

what do i do if a ginger kid bites me

One thing I like to do every day is check google trends to see what people are searching for. And every so often there’s a good phrase in there, right below simon malls and right above eme627 laptop that stops me in my tracks.

On Thanksgiving day 2009 at 9pm EST the thirty-first most popular search term was “what do i do if a ginger kid bites me”

As this is a question we have all pondered at one time or another, I was quite relieved to see that others were worrying it as well. Perhaps most comforting of all are the related searches. As you can see below, there are good folks out there like ourselves who worry the big questions in life and find if not solace then at least succor in google’s gentle ministrations.

what-do-i-do-if-a-ginger-kid-bites-meThough I wish this all were true, more likely the trend is the result of a random scalawag with nothing to perpetrate but mischief while he/she waits out the boredom of a family gathering. Ginger, on the other hand, is commonly English, which is not celebrating a holiday today, especially not at 11am, when the search saw it’s peak, though 11am here is 4pm there. On the third hand, ginger may be gaining ground here. Talking about Hercules the other day, Rosie asked, Wasn’t he a ginger? A ginger? Hercules?

No, but jesus was a mischievous badger.

To Collect Something or Everything

I like lots of pretty things, but I don’t officially collect anything. Not seriously at least. I often think it might behoove me to get serious about something, except that I am bad at being single-minded for long. I am great at short intense bursts of interest, but the idea of studying the esoterica of philately or the ephemera of numismatics for the rest of my life seems dreadfully boring. I just don’t consider any one thing important enough to warrant my attention for so long, and prefer to live a collage of assembled shells and books and rocks and plants and bones and vegetables and websites and foods and cetera.

I’m not sure that breadth of knowledge trumps depth however. Is there an objective answer to this one?

Auto-Horn-Tooting Put to Auto-Challenge

If I were in tenth grade and my English teacher said we were all under too much pressure and so instead of doing work today we were going to sit in a circle and talk about our feelings and she started off with an exercise where we had to complete the sentence “if you knew me well you would know that I…” I would finish the sentence by saying “you would know that when I want to find something I find it.”

Cases in point: When I got to the beach in Washington I said I want to find a whole sand dollar. And I did! A whole bunch of ’em. And when I was walking behind a tennis club in Vermont on Saturday I said I want to find a tennis ball and guess what! I found two! I could come up with dozens more (or at least one) of this kind of story, but I am modest man, mindful of his audience and its need to rush on to the next big thing so I will limit myself to these two.

But now, a challenge to my preening, a one in one hundred million needle in a haystack if the haystack were the sea and the needle were an albino lobster challenge, I WANT TO FIND AN ALBINO LOBSTER!!

don't f**k with whitey!
don't f**k with whitey!