Make it loud.

Leftovers & Links #41

There are probably exceptions and it’s not one of the Ten Commandments or anything, but when a politician says “quite frankly,” quite frankly you’re about to hear bullshit.

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Never lead a life of quiet desperation. Make it loud. 

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G20 offers little new on climate,
leaving uphill task for COP26

That’s a boring headline, to match the boring news.

Quote: The leaders only recognised "the key relevance" of halting net emissions "by or around mid-century". This removed the 2050 date seen in previous versions of the final statement so as to make the target less specific.

Let me translate that: The leaders of our planet couldn’t reach consensus that 2050 is “mid-century.”

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The City of Caves looks like someplace fun to visit, and I’d like to have a sandwich at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, the oldest inn in England — pouring beer since 1189. 

As with all travelogue daydreams, of course, it’ll only be a daydream. I’ll never fly again, and every aspect of international travel looks like a pain in the arse, so you'll find my corpse in my recliner.

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Coca-Cola pays $5.6B to
fully acquire BodyArmor

Quote: Food and beverage giant Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) has made its biggest-ever brand acquisition. It's paid $5.6bn to buy the remaining stake it doesn't own in BodyArmor, the American sports drink brand, getting full ownership. 

The news here, to me, is that BodyArmor is a “sports drink brand.” I’ve heard of it, but (not kidding) I’d assumed it was deodorant. That's the only reason I clicked the link, wondering why Coke was expanding into antiperspirants.

Also, I don’t know what a “sports drink” is unless it’s like the icky Gatorade I had a few sips of in the 1970s. Pepsi owns Gatorade so yeah, Coke buying BodyArmor means it must be the Brand X to that disgusting concoction. 

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In San Francisco, cornhole and cornholing means anal sex. In the midwest, though, cornhole is a wholesome beanbag tossing game. I’ve lived in Wisconsin since 2004, but it’s still startling when my boss mentions that she played cornhole with her in-laws over the weekend.

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Signal messaging app responds to
subpoena with “pound sand,” again

Quote: Once again, this request sought a wide variety of information we don’t have, including the users’s name, address, correspondence, contacts, groups, call records.

As usual, we couldn’t provide any of that. It’s impossible to turn over data that we never had access to in the first place. Signal doesn’t have access to your messages; your chat list; your groups; your contacts; your stickers; your profile name or avatar; or even the GIFs you search for. As a result, our response to the subpoena will look familiar. It’s the same set of “Account and Subscriber Information” that we can provide: Unix timestamps for when each account was created and the date that each account last connected to the Signal service. 

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At the grocery at 4:00 in the morning, I saw a woman with “Don’t talk to me” emblazoned in large letters across her hoodie. I asked her where she’d gotten that delightful garment, and she told me.

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The scope of the problem
with bullshit on social media

Quote: ...in just the 30 minutes allotted for her talk, Facebook would take down 615,417 pieces of content, YouTube would take down 271,440 videos, channels, and comments, and TikTok would take down 18,870 videos. And, also, the Oversight Board would receive 48 petitions to review a Facebook takedown decision. 

Yeah, but nobody needs to be concerned when two or six or 600 fools on Facebook are chattering about the lizard people putting microchips in SpaghettiOs. It’s only a problem worth worrying about when 50,000 people, or millions, are following the lizard people. Focus the takedown efforts on the big fish filling the tank with poop. 

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That's too many grasshoppers.

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You can tour the narrowest house in NYC, or buy it, for $5,000,000.

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I had a pimple coming in on my left thigh, making wearing pants quite uncomfortable, so it's lucky I’m working from home. Too much information? No, too much information is never enough.

What works best is jamming a moist towelette where skin rubs against skin, and leaving the moisty there for a few hours. Zit at noon, no zit at six. 

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


Sincere tip 'o the hat:
Captain Hampockets
Follow Me Here
Messy Nessy Chick
National Zero
Ran Prieur
Vintage Everyday

Voenix Rising

Becky Jo
Name Withheld
Dave S.

Expensive works of art are trading cards for the rich.


Leftovers & Links 

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  1. I swear I though BodyArmor was men's underwear. I've not purchased underwear for so long, that entire galactic empires have risen and fallen since my last visit to J. C. Penney, which explains why the spent elastic in my underpants allows them to fall to my knees when I'm not wearing equally old sweats to pin them in place. An odd thought for Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.


    1. You're thinking of Under Armor. It's really common around here, because it started in the Batimore / DC area, pretty close to where I live.

    2. In 1979, I went to work for a startup real estate development company called Winchester Homes which, at the time, was owned by Weyerhaeuser. So I spent two years driving up and down the Governor Ritchie Highway to the various development sites and writing computer code for Winchester. I understand Tri Pointe Homes bought Winchester sometime around 2014 (or perhaps before -- I left in 1981 and transferred to another part of Weyerhaeuser). But I was there, when the company headquarters was in a warehouse and the first development in Columbia, MD (Creighton's Run) broke ground. Jack Creighton was the Senior VP of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company, and, not being fools, the people who ran Winchester named their first development after their senior boss.

      On Fridays, we'd stop along the Governor Ritchie Highway and buy fresh Chesapeake crab to take to somebody's house to prepare for dinner with lots of beer. I was young.


    3. I still wish my underpants wouldn't fall down.


    4. For what little it's worth, probably nothing, I've sometimes used a belt for my pants but suspenders for my undies.

    5. Two thoughts, both distressing. 1) The number of Simon & Garfunkel fans who inhabit this lonely planet has diminished so dramatically that they're not as detectable as an extra-galactic planet or 2) Everybody loves Simon & Garfunkel and nobody thinks I'm particularly humorous.

      I've lost track of which one I'm rooting for.


    6. Sorry, John, if you made a Simon & Garfunkel joke I missed it.

      I haven't seriously listened to them in ages, but they were among my very favorites long ago, and I'm the rare fan who preferred Garfunkel. Simon could write songs, but a lot of people can write good songs. Not many could match Garfunkel's silk-throated perfect pitch.

      I saw them in a reunion concert in the 1980s, a story I won't tell now, but will *threaten* to tell.

    7. My dad was a guy I could never be. I think I figured that out when I was 30 or so, but I'm a slow learner. He worked ten hour days and whenever it snowed. I never played with my dad in the snow, but there were other compensations.

      He'd arrive home on a sunny afternoon pretty close to 6:00 on his 1950 Harley 74 (a beautiful big blue behemoth with a stick shift) and take my sister and me for a bike ride (her in front, me in back). He must have been dead tired, but he never complained. We'd ride up to the Channel 13 tower woods, and do a little light trail riding on a 1200cc bike. When we got home, he'd sometimes take the neighborhood kids for a quick ride around the block. Helmets? They were for fighter pilots, not motorcycle riders.

      I say all this to introduce dad so I can say that he was a harmonica player. No, he didn't play harmonica while he was riding. A Harley requires at least two hands on the grips, and they hadn't invented the Bob Dylan harmonica holder yet.

      Dad told us about the greatest harmonica player in the world, Larry Adler. He made many records and appeared in a few movies and quite a few shorts. I suppose Mr. Adler was a hero to Dad. You've likely not heard of him because he was blacklisted in the '50s for being a Commie and moved to Europe before the Beatles made that a short trip.

      Dad spoke of Larry Adler as if he were a current star (he was -- he died in 2001 -- but that idiot Senator from Wisconsin fucked his career up pretty good). But to my sister and me, he was like some 19th century figure, always looming in the past, reminding Dad that he'd never be as good as him. Dad was cool with that, but we suspected Dad of being the best harmonica player in the world.

      So when I mention a 1964 album by Simon & Garfunkel (to which I think I still know all the lyrics) and expect anybody living and breathing in 2021 to get the reference, it's just an intimation of immortality. I'll be leaving soon, but you might very well enjoy Wednesday Morning, 3:00 A.M. S&G had just stopped performing as Tom & Jerry and taken their more prosaic birth names and their harmony and Paul's songs and arrangements and made themselves an album.

      Maybe it was something your dad or Grandpa Jack listened to, back, as they say, in the day.


    8. Nah, my dad wouldn’t have listened to S&G in the early 1960s. He was a Perry Como guy. Me and my peers were too young, though of course I'm a fan now. My future brother-in-law was in his teens and a big folk nut, probably had S&G on his stereo before they were famous.

      Love the whole story, friend. Reading, and then listening...

      I grew up when S&G were already hugely famous, but this early album Wednesday Morning 3AM is mostly new to me. Thanks to the internet, I’ve spent the last hour listening to every track. I’ll never love it like you do, but there’s great stuff there.

      The big surprise to me is “He Was My Brother” (audio at page bottom) — wow. I remember hearing it many years ago and thinking, huh, wonder what’s the story behind that, but the internet didn’t exist so I never knew until today. Andrew Goodman, killed by cops who got away with it in the Freedom Summer murders, was a friend of Simon’s, and Simon wrote this song about him.

      Five songs by Simon, seven by others. All the Simon songs are very Simon, a good thing of course, and I especially liked his title track, and of course the original “Sound of Silence” (both versions are on my forever playlist).

      Their cover of “The Times They Are a-Changing” is fine, but by now that song is so iconically Dylan that I can barely hear it over the roar of Mr Nobel Prize.

      The album’s first number, "You Can Tell the World," is folksy rock exactly like the music at summer camp I talked about a few days ago.

      With protest songs, and folk stuff like “Peggy-O” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” and the Italian chants of "Benedictus," though, not too surprising it wasn’t a hit.

      You’ve also got me reading a bit about S&G’s early era, where almost all the facts are new to me, like, Garf was still in college when the album was recorded, and went back to school after they’d recorded the album.

      Thanks for a delightful couple of hours, man.

    9. May I suggest you also look for an album called The Paul Simon Songbook that was recorded in that same era while Art was in college and Paul was in the UK before producer Tom Wilson added electric instruments to the Sound of Silence. Several of the songs are also on Wednesday Morning while others appear on later S&G albums. You say you're more of an AG fan, so you may be disappointed by his non-appearance and lack of harmonies, but I still find the solo Simon album to be very enjoyable. Of course, YMMV. But that is the essence of music. It's actually really interesting to me how entire genres of music bring their fans immense joy and everyone else extreme agitation and annoyance, whether it be metal, hip-hop, reggae, jazz, blues, country, punk...

    10. So through the mists of time, we see that Mr. Simon had three different music careers developing almost simultaneously. The first, in the UK (mostly in London) where he was living off-and-on with his girlfriend Cathy Chitty (that's her on both versions of the cover of The Paul Simon Songbook) anticipated a life as a Brit, married to Cathy, performing in and around London. The Paul Simon Songbook is a British release (not in general release in the US for 15 years!) that features many of the songs from Simon & Garfunkel's first two American releases. And that was Mr. Simon's future, except that Ms. Chitty believed in Paul so much that she knew he was going to be a pop or rock star, and she didn't want that life. She pretty clearly said, no, never to marriage, and within a few months, Paul was back in New York where Tom Wilson (possibly the guy who invented folk/rock, although success has a thousand fathers) had remixed Sounds of Silence into an explosive hit without the assistance or consent of S or G. Of course we take Sounds of Silence for granted now, but it launched S&G's US career. One month they were playing in New York coffeehouses, the next they were booked on 50 college campuses across the United States. I saw them then, in Corvallis Oregon in a non-acoustic-friendly gym and they were terrific. This, of course, was their second career.

      Paul's third career slightly preceded the other two. His father was a bandleader, and Paul and his friend Al Kooper (later an organ player who helped Dylan develop "that thin, wild mercury sound" on Highway 61 Revisited and became a well-respected producer and music developer) would be allowed to play their acoustic and electric guitars when the band took a break, and sing if nobody objected. This is where Paul learned how to sing in front of an audience.

      Timing, talent, a touch of genius, a kind-hearted woman, ambition and a cup full of luck launched Paul Simon, with Artie hanging on for dear life, to the pinnacle of folk-rock and then onto singer/songwriter where he became the Hoagy Charmichael / Irvin Berlin of his generation.

      He never stopped reaching for something new and was entirely unafraid to fail. Not a bad approach.


    11. Linden — I think there's a good movie to be made from that story, AG going back to college and PS going to England and making his album, and then Wilson translating the song from folk to rock'n'roll without their permission. Comes to a happy ending and everything.

      I shall seek out the Songbook! :)

    12. John — I have great respect for PS, and back in the era when I owned albums I owned most of S&G and most of his solo stuff. I literally haven't heard from him in decades, but the 'pop' in popular music means everyone fades, and anyway, people are entitled to retire.

      Is PS your main maestro, or is he just one of many?

  2. I grew up in NJ, and the first time I heard "cornhole" in a non-humorous way, I almost shit. It must have been when I was in college in Georgia, there were many, many suburban and rural southern kids. I'm with you, I still can't hear about people playing cornhole without internally giggling.

    I thought I had never heard of Body Armor at all. But looked it up, and recognized the packaging as some shit I sold at my last job for 5 years. It never made much of an impression, I guess. I always thought it had more juice, but nope. Its thing seems to be "contains 10% coconut water." It's the third ingredient, after water and sugar.

    1. Next time you;'re near here, we can play cornhole!

  3. Want to move to Ireland with me?

    Weather is shit but they have beer and good music plus you can wear those cute little hats

    1. I've heard that the weather is like Seattle. Rain and fog.

    2. Hey man Id do rain and fog if I didnt have to deal with republicans. Seems like a fair trade to me

    3. I'm too old to learn a whole different culture. Drop me a post card from Ireland, though.

    4. Well it wont be fun without you so no dice.

      "If you want to be strong, learn to fight alone."

  4. This is perhaps not the right time or place for this comment, although the photo of Carl Sagan above in front of an x-ray telescope gives it some credibility. . .

    So a day after I assert that all the exoplanets so far discovered are in the Milky Way galaxy, astrophysicists announce that they are "fairly certain" that evidence of an exoplanet from ANOTHER galaxy has been discovered. This planet is in the Whirlpool galaxy, a group of stars made mostly of kitchen appliances (just a guess) 28 million light-years away from us. Well, everybody has to be somewhere.

    Astrophysicists said that the gas giant was identified using transit technology. Again, I'm not exactly sure, but I assume they mean that they listen for that air hiss when the bus stops. I shouldn't be fucking around, because this really happened yesterday or so. Check it out by searching for "exoplanet discovered outside the Milky Way galaxy".

    Now, once again, where the hell are they?


    1. Found: The first exoplanet outside of our Milky Way

      Big news I guess. 'Whirlpool Galaxy' seems like a dull name. All the pix I've seen of galaxies, they're usually whirlpools. 'Course I don't know nothing, but I *am* the original gas giant.


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