The Brain Dump

I’m suffering a Recall-Packer Loss-Newt Gingrich-Walker Ad Blitz-Edit happy assholes hangover right now. I kept trying to say something, but realized that I can’t find anything particularly poignant to say about anything epic. Could be the end of an interim where I had awesome kids who really demanded a lot of me. Could be that The Midget managed to vomit twice, one time being at school after telling her teacher she was fine. Might be that I’m working on a longer post and it never seems “done” enough to put out there. Maybe it’s something else. In anyway, here’s my brain-emptying thoughts on a horribly frigid Friday:

– From the “Good Tip” Department: Found this from a friend who solved his problem with DirecTV the old-fashioned way: “What I learned tonight: If you scream “FUCK YOU!” into your phone when stuck in DirecTV automated phone system hell, it then connects you to a customer service rep.”

– It’s been ass-pounding cold out here, to the point where I’m actually wearing gloves because it hurts not to. I had not fully put the gloves on, so a small sliver of skin was exposed to the -30 wind chill yesterday and it felt like I was being stabbed in the wrist with a butcher’s knife. In walking around campus, however, I saw three kids without hats and one wearing flip flops with socks. Look, kid, no one is taking away your “man card” if you actually try to avoid frostbite.

– Went to get gas today. It was so cold that digital display was barely visible and slow in switching from screen to screen. After I scanned my credit card, the pump robot immediately asked me if I would like to add a car wash today. Duh.

– Last year, I was driving my Civic to work in weather like this when I found that the cruise control no longer worked. I figured something had broken and I’d have to go to a boneyard and pull a part. Did some research and found out that Honda admits that under the “rare instance” that temperatures fall below -20, the cruise may cease to function. This year, the same thing happened. You’ve got to wonder if people from Honda ever visited Wisconsin.

– Every time I try to avoid saying something about Governor Deadeyes, he just forces my hand. In a brief weekly recap, citizens of this state gathered enough signatures to force a recall election against him, word got out that he turned down $37 million to implement health care reform, he derided the recall as being driven by “big money from out of state”while he wasfundraising in California and New York (which in case he failed geography is out-of-state), remains tied to an ongoing John Doe investigation andannounced his plans to implement education reform having not shown State Superintendent Tony Evers the final bills. Oh, Scott, you had me at “recall.”

– You’ve got to give these guys points for creativity…Nothing says “VD, public corruption and scandal” like a puppet.

– Got our first “copy edited” chapter back from the book I’m co-authoring. This was supposed to be a simple cleaning edit for style and grammar. Instead, the copy editor decided she would be better off just writing the book herself. I’m not even close to kidding. She tracked changes in blue and it looked like an entire planet of Smurfs were massacred and left to die on that chapter. Making it worse, she was adding unneeded words and putting back things the initial reviewers said were really bad ideas (and they were right in retrospect). I was more than a bit upset and it wasn’t even a chapter I had written. My co-author wrote to me that he stopped reading after six pages because his blood pressure meds were failing to keep him in the green zone. The response from the publisher: We’re looking into this. Oh… Good…

Read this piece about Muhammad Ali at 70 and what he means and should mean to people. It’s a solid read about a complex man who had a polarizing nature and a firm sense of right and wrong. I might be in the minority here, but I have huge problems with Ali the man (as opposed to Ali the symbol). He embraced a religious persona as a member of the Nation of Islam and yet was horribly unfaithful to his wife. He was pro-civil rights and anti-racism and yet he had no problem calling Joe Frazier “a gorilla.” He never seemed to fully understand that his lack of consistency was unnerving to people who weren’t solidly on his side. Prior to the Fight of the Century, he said Frazier could never beat him. Ali said if he lost, he’d crawl across the ring and subjugate himself to Frazier. After Frazier kicked his ass, Ali instead claimed it was a huge miscarriage of justice and that he didn’t really lose. After he agreed to a “computerized” boxing match against Rocky Marciano to determine who would win, Ali bragged about how he’d never lose. After every the final scenario showed he lost, his answer was, “That computer was made in Alabama.” Every conceivable slight was attributed to racism or error or something else entirely. Some people loved him for that, I suppose. However, it took Larry Holmes to cut through all of this and at one point explain, “For all he did for boxing and for all he did in life, Ali wasn’t a good boxer and he wasn’t a good loser.”

Finally, rest in peace, Etta James. The sultry singer whose smooth voice launched a million love stories will be missed. When The Missus and I were getting married, we pretty much disagreed on everything at some point, but the one thing we knew for sure was that our first dance would be to “At Last.”

5 thoughts on “The Brain Dump

  1. “What I learned tonight: If you scream “FUCK YOU!” into your phone when stuck in DirecTV automated phone system hell, it then connects you to a customer service rep.”
    Ha ha … will keep that in mind. You know what else works? Twitter. Corporations are terrified of social media. Especially if you have more than, like, 10 followers. I’ve taken my customer grievances about Home Depot, BofA, GE and numerous other Colossal Corporations to Twitter and *bingo* instant results!

  2. I’m sorry to hear you got a lemon copy editor.
    A good one is worth their weight in gold. They make you look smarter and more lucid without destroying your voice and tone.
    Complaining to the publisher was exactly the right thing to do.

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