There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It May Get Warm

What day is it? 4/30 Sure the Spin Doctors were talking time not date when they said 4:30, but that's what you get with free association. I have no idea what you'd get if you charged for it.

Earlier I was trying to find fountain pen ink and I was really hoping this search string would hold up for when I searched for pen ink at Staples. I think I've got a pretty associative mind, but how you get from pen ink to Pringles and Keebler snacks I'm not exactly sure. Yet dammit, of course when I checked that link just now it does in fact return actual pen inks. Perhaps the elves had temporarily hacked things. Perhaps I should have taken a screen cap. Perhaps it was a special moment for me and my outdated version of Chrome.

Still, you can find Pringles at Staples if you search that directly proving I'm not completely insane/didn't just imagine ink tube images as Pringle housings. And I'm inclined to agree that Pringles are a staple office supply. My brother once described them as ideal for a driving snack because they don't grease fingers like a standard potato chip. This is both disconcerting and correct, and a great reason to have them as an office snack. No need to get up and clean your hands. Of course, just be sure you've got skinny wrists or deft tube dexterity, else Pringle extraction or service can meet with a hiccup.

Of course, I also had to be sure Keebler goods were present, and they are. Incidentally, the top "also viewed" item for Pringle consumers is copy paper, but for the Keeblerers, its latex gloves. Those crazy elves...

Oh, and right, it was warm today, which was the impetus behind titling this entry such as it is, but given the oft unpredictable Chicago weather that May not be the case in the ensuing days. But the heat's a treat, so long as it's just the right amount, eh Goldilocks?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bot or Not

I'm not talking about the silly old Svedka ad campaign that I've talked about at least once before, I'm talking about my most consistent blog readership: bots. For a while it was just lonely Googlebots that would step into my dark corner of the internet (sorry, no capital for you here almighty internet). And it would originate from the Mountain View HQ. But even Google branched out a bit, sending their bots from the fine Canadian city of Toronto (go Jays). Perhaps they know of my old affinity for that team.

But Google's got competition form the Bings and Facebooks, the ruling families of the Americas. Bing's been working to get relevant as a legitimate search engine since obvious placements in Gossip Girl. The thing is, they might be [relevant], but I'm another of those who synonymizes Google and search. There's Google, and there's google. So even though you're googling things on Google, there's a separation. Google knows all about everything I google because with search I'm not very frugal.

I hope the bots like what they find here. I doubt they do. After all, to crawl and index my meandering thoughts can't be very much fun for them. I was reading a book on publishing recently and it advised one to be structured in order to establish themself (can this be back in common usage? Yes, good, okay) as an authority on something. But see, my place is as the authority of these seemingly inane things with a smattering of the old actual soul getting in the way sometimes. Oof, it also advises regularly creating content so users have a reason to come back. USERS. "Hey, that guy's content sucks," says one. "I know," says the other, "and such small portions!"

As inhuman as blogging tends to be, I do bring in my own humanity sometimes. I don't generally like it, and I don't imagine the bots do. I'm one of those still trying to be publicly private. At least part of it's that I think something's less meaningful when you simply share it with everyone. And at least part of it's that I think that good ideas can come from anywhere, the anonymous factor. It's for the opposite reason that people go around misattributing quotes. We take the quote more seriously coming from someone we respect. But how'd we go about respecting them in the first place?

So even though blog is short for weblog, I always think of it as the B-log, as opposed to the A-log. Let's hope my A game is really better than my B game. Then someone might be more game to read it.

**The blogger plans to return to whimsical inanity to close out the month.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Age of Reason

Well, that time that approaches some of us has approached me. I speak of the age known as thirty. You could call it an arbitrary milestone. I might. But either way, I now get to refer to everything as "shit I did in my twenties." I also get to say everything I do in the hours leading up to it is the last I do of that thing before I'm thirty. You can do this for every year. It could be annoying, or it could be fun. I might let you know how it plays out, but probably not.

At any rate, it's arriving very soon and I expect to hit it feeling only a day older than twenty-nine.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Right around the time I caught news of today's tragedy surrounding the Boston Marathon, The Smith's "Ask" was playing in my headphones. It's easy to look for signs, connections, and reasons in the wake of tragedy, and I couldn't ignore the lyrics:

If it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together.

It's an innocent enough sounding line out of context, but even aside from right now I'd always thought a bit prophetic, a bit of historical reference that has too much truth, part of the poetry of Morrissey's often mopey lyrics (of which I happen to be a fan). But the unity and bringing together of people in the wake of tragedies like this is always met with the counterpunch of divisiveness. People get caught up with blame and conspiracy. It's Patriot's Day, Lexington and Concord, start of the American Revolution. This and much other potential symbolism was on my brain, I couldn't avoid it.

These are things you connect to the why of someone would ever do this. There are a lot of reasons, and reason is a hard word to use, because reason I tend to connote with logic and it's only in the logic of the perverse mind that there's reason to kill off innocent people. It's left a lot of people not feeling good about the state of humanity, that acts like this are committed, but as terrible as I find this (I happen too to be a runner, and to know people who were running, and to know people who reside and work in the city), the last thing I would like to see is quantification to measure this tragedy, because tragedy is immeasurable. It's your own connection to the events that form your opinion on it.

I'll just hope we come out of this without the wrong people being blamed, and without overzealous response. We don't need more literal physical security, just people that don't do shit like this. I liked it better when bombing a marathon meant simply that you were physically wiped out and ran like shit.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April Fuels

As I cook dinner, I often like to throw on some tunes and sometimes those tunes can include Miley Cyrus' "The Climb." I find it a pretty solid and enjoyable tune, and until I looked up the lyrics, [wo]man, I thought she was saying "there's always gonna be an uphill mountain" and I thought, "Silly Miley, it has to be uphill to be a mountain, otherwise it's a crater." But it was I who was silly, as she's only saying there's "always gonna to be another mountain." And yet, every time I hear it, I can't help but think the lyrics to be uphill mountain. I guess that's part of my climb.

None of that is even close to a joke, and neither is abstention. As I sit here drinking extremely watered down homemade espresso I have to wonder what it is that accounts for such an abstemious nature. Sure, going without heightens the experience and effect of the effects when indulgence is indulged but what is it that compels one to compulsion and compels another to dispel dependence?

Anyway, speaking of abstention, I abstained from posting this on April Fool's day, (by a whole week in fact as abstention met interruption) since the line between serious and joking is a line I favor so much there was no need to blur it even further with a day devoted to deception — but not in the evil, dastardly sense, just a good old-fashioned prank of sorts.

Things you shouldn't abstain from, whether visiting or residing in Chicago, include  Andersonville's Swedish Bakery and, while you're up there, Brimfield, which is probably the best arrayed/themed store I've seen in quite some time — might just give you Cabin Fever (note: I've never seen this movie and you will not meet a terrible demise by visiting this store). The unusual Woolly Mammoth doesn't suck either.

You know what does suck? Caribou closures. I'd say this seems odd when, for instance, they just put in a new one in the Wicker Park neighborhood I've called home for a few years now (technically I think their location is Bucktown, six corners of one, half a dozen of another) but it definitely happened for Peet's sake.

When a proprietor of a business of beans has the beans (the means) to purchase another proprietor of beans it means someone's going to get roasted. I always found Caribou employees about as friendly as you can get, so I'm sorry to see many of the Chicago Caribou hunted to extinction. While I Cariboo the decision, it'll be argued that business is business and the bean counters have to be accountable for their bean counters. For the folks at German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser, it's just one more coffee brand for them to Jimmy Choo on.

Thanks for stopping by…you stay classy Planet Earth.