A meeting this morning, then links.
Thanks for your patience.
Sorry for the vacuum.
The day picked me up by the neck and shook me a few times. Better now. Links as I have time.
Mashable: How America has regressed since the ‘Mad Men’ era.
Lest you believe Mad Men is documentary, cue up McMillan & Wife [on Netflix], and check out something filmed in the era. Even the Mad Men folks didn’t dare go to the aesthetic lengths the period embraced. A plaid jacket makes an attempt, but you need to pair it with a striped shirt, paisley tie. Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James wear some particularly cringeworthy gear that will, if you were around during the era, will remind you of what we assaulted each other with daily. I remember wearing red, white and blue vertical stripe bellbottoms with a blue flowered big-lapel shirt, and thinking myself devastatingly handsome (erk). Such were the times. Another of the things they don’t portray (as far as I can tell) - the body odor. Showers became popular about the time of blow dryers; many houses just didn’t have them. A semi-weekly bath was considered clean enough. Greasy hair, damp pits. Even on businessfolk. [Yes, I know I just recently wrote about this. But the stills from Mad Men I’m seeing all over are just not period accurate.]
Regression? Everyone knows many conservatives worship the ‘50’s. I ended up attending a friend’s party, to my surprise a GOP fundraiser. Cigars, pearl necklaces. Brylcream and beehives. A total time capsule. Even more dated than my old man’s poker get-togethers when I was a tiny kid.
Slate: Pollen in honey cannot desensitize the immune system.
Someone tried to sell me on this a long time ago. Never noticed a darned thing. “You have to do it longer!” Do you know how long a jar of honey lasts in my cabinet? Waste of time and space. So I went back to buying honey I liked the taste of.
Google NGram Viewer: AOL, Facebook and Twitter.
Storms to the west (a good thing) ...
... and ‘insta-fog.’
More meetings. Links soon.
One o’ those mornings.
Meetings out the wazoo. Links shortly.
Seen today in Santa Fe: Passive political statement?
A large limo-like car pulls up next to me in traffic. Slowly advancing in its lane, I have a slow-mo view of the interior and side panels. The driver and passenger, a young couple. Female is driving, hands on top of the steering wheel, looking squished and nervous. Male is passengering, crossed legs propped on the wide dashboard, sloppily drinking a soda. The back seat filled with white bags. On the side, “COW MANURE.” The C-pillar, covered in fabric-looking vinyl starts to slip by, and I notice a metal badge:
“CONGRESSIONAL TOWN SEDAN”. [Apparently a variant of Lincoln Town Car.]
You can’t make this stuff up. Proposed soundtrack.
My thoughts are with the victims of the Amtrak accident.
As most of you know, I took the train from Princeton to NYC for thirteen years. A NJ Transit pass would give you access to the express Amtraks, so I know these trains well. The tracks in many locations are in a dreadful state of repair. Mashable has a shot ... look at the rails. The express tracks are concrete, and the early ones would shatter between the rail connection and the concrete tie when the trains set up high frequency vibration beyond a certain MPH. The wooden tracks ... well, you can walk along the NE Corridor and pull spikes out with your bare hands. The engineer may have gone too fast for the condition of the tracks - but why are the tracks in such condition, when they are so heavily used? One gets the idea there’s no safety margin. There could be a mechanical failure in the train itself, too. Either way, ignoring infrastructure kills people.
Later: Note also, in some shots, how close it came to what seem to be parked tank cars.
Even later: Excess speed is being blamed. I’ll bet the brakes were applied too heavily, in a panic; the crushed first car is a good indicator. If the engineer had been more gradual, the train probably would have made it in spite of the speed.
HemmingsDaily: 1964 Pontiac Banshee XP-833 coupe concept heads to auction.
I think I’ve found the perfect cure for insomnia.
Watching reruns of MacMillan and Wife. The shock of the stripes, patchworks, leisure suits and double-breasted bathrobes against plaid furniture wears off after about 30 minutes, and I manage to fall asleep in the third act of each episode. Certainly a time capsule. Today’s “vintage” clothing trends have nothing whatsoever to do with the horrors we really wore ...
NY Times: Denise McCluggage, Auto Racing Pacesetter, Dies at 88.
Not bad, NY Times. You overlooked the fact she drove for Enzo Ferrari. That’s kind of important. And her book “The Centered Skier” was way ahead of its time.
Great to see you in my stats today. Hope all is well.
“Change is the only constant; hanging on the only sin.” RIP, my good friend.
A quote from the great lady herself. But she never ‘hung on’, really. She drove, with all her consummate skill, right up until the end. My beloved client, famed race car driver Denise McCluggage, passed away last night. Autoweek, Road & Track have remembrances this morning.
I cannot compose anything of worth, because the pain is still too great. I don’t even have the heart to blog at the moment. This weekend, perhaps, I’ll be able to author a longer piece. As Autoweek did, I’ll leave you with the AE Housman verse she excerpted for her book title:
With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.
By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.
I will note that ‘lightfoot lads’ were left in the dust of her driving skills. As she would always say upon parting: “Ciao.” Ciao, Denise. We love you, and will never, ever forget you.
Later: Car & Driver. Automobile Magazine. Hemmings is particularly good. Racer.com quotes Road & Travel, “If there was ever a woman that defined ‘cerebral personality,’ basically someone who genuinely maximizes the potential of their brain and spirit, it’s Denise.” That is a precisely true statement. One of the many reasons we got along so well. She understood free-range brainstorming, and could play Devil’s advocate as well as anyone. We had some great, GREAT discussions over the years.
Even later: Santa Fe New Mexican.
Every time I see a post about Apple Healthkit ...
my mind does a brain-fart and I see ‘Heathkit’ ... the dregs of distant boyhood dreams get all excited. Can’t help it. Every darned time my eyes range across a list of RSS articles, I see those letters together, and I start thinking about building tube amps and such.
FashionBeans x Timex Watches: Weekender Collection.
Cute, affordable ... but loud. I blogged about buying one - many I encounter comment on the loud tick, and not in a complimentary fashion. I sprang for a Seiko self-winder, which adds day/date over the Weekender. The only negative is the small set knob; fiddly for my big fingers. Very accurate, good looking and almost silent. The Weekender has been relegated to solo weekend use.
If a jeweler came up with a low-cost way to quiet a Weekender, I imagine they’d make a mint pretty swiftly. Buy cheap b/w ads in the back of men’s fashion mags.
Yow, the home page for Atlantic ...
The Atlantic went full-on responsive, I suppose, sometime in past months. I’m SO GLAD I read it through RSS. My fingers would die of scrolling. The cacophany of images and text may be great for smartphones, but on desktop I can’t parse it to find linkable stories. I find it overloads my brainpan.
Hugging wild lions, snuggling rhinos ...
I get fed up with the ‘loving/nurturing Mother Nature’ meme. Never more than this morning. A raven swooped on the robin’s nest in the piñon tree out in front of our house, ripped their babies to pieces, and ate them as the parents screamed bloody murder. Sandra is disconsolate. Puts a pall on the day. And that’s nothing compared to Kathmandu ...
BBC: When did curators become cool?
“Motley backgrounds!” I need to work that into my CV at some point. Note that, he tips into involuntary psychoanalysis here ... which is generally a fragrant load of ruminant animal ejecta.
Weblog comment moderation example.
Here’s a good example of something I run into occasionally. Read it through.
The commenter is accusing me of stealing other people’s “ideas”. You can click on the link, and see that he is posting others’ work, insinuating it is my own. I did a check on the site, the author may be one of those mentioned in the original PetaPixel article.
So, what are my choices? I could answer him back in the comments. I could email him privately. I could leave the comment as is, with no response. Or I could just erase the comment and ban him.
What are the ramifications of each?
If I comment or email him, he may continue to escalate the situation with more crazy accusations, or start harvesting my own photography (which he seems ignorant of) out of spite. I’m not in the business of educating folks on the differences between theft and creative license. Nor do I have the time, really. The fact that he made such an ill-conceived comment to begin with convinces me he will not be reasonable. Morocco (his originating country) is a member of the WIPO and Berne treaties, and respects US IP and patents. He risks more than a reasoning person should.
If I leave the comment in place, the link will eventually die, and a person entering my archives will not be able to judge the validity of the comment, meaning a percentage of readers will believe I’m an ‘idea-stealer’ or at least a person of dubious character. Comments turn off after a period of time, so noone could comment in query ... and, in practice, only a handful email to simply ask a question to clarify a point.
At this point, I feel my best choice is to simply erase the comment. I will not ban his IP unless he gets abusive.
In the more innocent past, I would have engaged at great length. I’ve since learned the blog-commenting law of diminishing returns ...
Later: The funnier thing is that I’ve given up on ‘conceptual photography’. I look at what people do, and most of it is of a quality that simply shrieks, “HEY, LOOK ... I’M LEARNING PHOTOSHOP!!!!!” The internet-photography equivalent of inspirational quotes. I feel that if I see another ‘levitation’ shot, or another photo with badly PS’d birds, I’ll simply explode.
Getting to be that ‘hail’ time of year.
Not yet, but soon. Week or three.
Edge o’ the storm.
A Continuous Lean.: The Originals.
Wallabees were part of the unofficial high school uniform when I grew up. Nothing quite like walking on gum soles.