Friday, May 25, 2018

Recently updated

Spare change Challenge coins, on sale!

W2’s mommy

Definitions: “The old squaw duck,”
[Webster’s New International Dictionary, second edition (1934).]

This guide word caught my eye. “Aww,” said I. Followed by “Sheesh.”

Mom appears in W2 only in the extra bits that run along the bottom of the page, where the word is identified as “corrupt. of mamma.” In W3 (1961), mom becomes “short for momma,” and mommy becomes “alter. of mammy.” And both mom and mommy are now defined as “mother,” and nothing but “mother.” The old squaw duck (now known as the long-tailed duck) is gone.

How strange and wonderful that while writing this post, I got a FaceTime call from my daughter Rachel and her daughter Talia. Hi Mom.

“Beat Bop”

A blast from the past in The New Yorker: Hua Hsu’s “The Spectacular Mythology of Rammellzee.” It made me remember a 12-inch single from back in the day: Rammelzee vs. K-Rob, “Beat Bop.” It’s an extraordinary record, ten minutes and ten seconds of K-Rob’s storytelling and cultural commentary and Rammelzee’s spectacular wordplay. My favorite line, I think: “Patty Duke played out the hitting the top.” Say what?!

No, I don’t have the original Tartown release with cover art by Jean-Michel Basquiat. I have the plain old Profile single. On the record the name is spelled Rammelzee. The “day” was 1983.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Spare change

All those challenge coins.


May 25: They’re on sale. Deal of the Day price: $19.95.


5:50 p.m.: If you looked at this post earlier today and wondered what you were seeing, the cause was a missing quotation mark in the second link. (Shouldn’t Blogger flag such a thing before a post is published?)

Mac, asleep

If you are sitting in front of a device at night, the free app f.lux (pronounced “flux”) can be very helpful. The app changes the color of the screen display, “warm at night and like sunlight during the day.” Correlation is not causation, but after using this app for a month or so, I’m realizing that I find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the orange glow, but I don’t mind it anymore. f.lux is available for macOS, iOS, Windows, Linux, and some Android devices.

Thank you, Rachel, for recommending this app.

Mac, awake

Marcel Dierkes’s KeepingYouAwake is a free Mac app, a successor to the worthy Caffeine (which hasn’t been updated for quite some time). KeepingYouAwake keeps the Mac from going to sleep. Useful when downloading a large update or when you’re using the computer intermittently and don’t want to be typing in a password again and again.

A more elaborate free no-sleep app: Amphetamine. As a resident of downstate Illinois, I wish that one had a different name.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Garfield minus Garfield

[Garfield, May 23, 2018.]

A carrier left a free copy of the local newspaper in our driveway today, and I ended up noticing Garfield on the comics page. And having noticed, I had to play Garfield Minus Garfield.

[Garfield revised, May 23, 2018.]

That dog must have magical powers. Clearly an improvement.

Related posts
Blondie minus Blondie : Garfield minus thought balloons : Garfield minus Garfield


Adolfo Bioy Casares, The Invention of Morel, trans. Ruth L.C. Simms (New York: New York Review Books, 2003).

The Invention of Morel is a wonderful novella, literally so. The cover of the NYRB edition — a photograph of Louise Brooks and books — is a bit of a lure: Brooks inspired the novella but plays no part in it. The setting is a mysterious island; the narrator, a man who realizes that he is not alone. No wonder the book appears in Lost, in the hands of James Sawyer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

They’re back

“Repurposed in imaginative ways, many have reappeared on city streets and village greens housing tiny cafes, cellphone repair shops or even defibrillator machines”: “The Red Phone Box, a British Icon, Stages a Comeback” (The New York Times).

Cake revision

“Congrats Jacob! Summa --- Laude.”

I’m not sure how to phrase it:

A South Carolina grocery store created a graduation cake with the —


A South Carolina grocery store removed the —


A South Carolina grocery store made a cake without —


A South Carolina grocery store created a graduation cake with three hyphens in place of the “cum.”

That’s the best I can do.