Ended up going downtown (or, as we say here in the Pittsburgh region, "dahntahn") on an errand this morning, and I had an absolutely delightful time.
First off, I was there to visit the county courthouse. No real worries - I just needed to get my license to kill. Well, six of them, really - three for me, and three for the lovely and deadly Mrs. Robb. Hopefully in the coming weeks. we'll be able to be a blessing to our fellow man by shooting, gutting, stringing up, and butchering a half-dozen garden-destroying walking road hazards.
So, licenses in hand, I end up walking past the lovely "Occupy Pittsburgh" shanty town. Already heady with the thought of dead ungulates, I was amused at how absolutely pathetic it looked. As I was walking past, a young man approached me with a flyer and said, "Excuse me, I've written a song about the banks..."
What I wanted to tell him was, "You know what? You and me - let's write a song together. Let's write another song about the banks. Only... this one is going to be about the bank that lent me the money to buy the house I'm living in now, OK?"
"Oh, and let's find some way to mention that other bank - you know, the one that invested in the company I work at, which is why I have a job. And it would be downright rude to forget the bank that extended my wife and I personal loans - three times! - so that we could afford the expenses we needed to pay when we adopted our daughters."
"It would be keen if we could manage to mention the banks that loaned me the money to buy my first car, too. I can see how trying to work in the ones that gave me the loans for the second, and the third, and the fourth might be a little over the top. Maybe we could finish with a bit about the bank that lent my wife a large chunk of money at a hideously low interest rate as part of a student loan."
"Whaddya think? Do we have a song there, or what?"
What I did tell him was, "No thanks," as I kept on walking. Politely rebuffed, he went on to offer his flyer to the next fellow coming down the sidewalk.
Truth be told, I actually felt a bit sorry for him. Hey, he was a clean cut fellow, and I can sympathize with a struggling artist... just not this particular struggling artist. The fact that he's hanging out with the OWS crowd doesn't say a whole lot about his judgement, so I suspect he'll be a "struggling artist" for years to come. C'est une vie de mauvais jugement pour vous.
Finished my hour downtown visiting some friends who work there, and having a short conversation about God and church with Phil, who runs the lot I used to park at when I worked downtown. Phil's a great guy, and he and his buddy Ron are two of the reasons why I think I have any fond memories of working downtown at all. Well, the two of them, and the gyro place that was next door to the office. But mostly those two, really!
All in all, a really good start to the day.
Then I got to work, and now I'm up to my elbows in CIFS and cursing Microsoft in three languages (English, Python and C, for the record).
C'est la vie.
Tim Worstall - a wonderful fellow from across the pond - has A short message to Members of Parliament:
Stop whining you ghastly, miserable, s***s. Or you’ll find out that those lamp posts on Westminster Bridge can be used for more than just illumination.
Which is, unless I'm mistaken, is the King's English equivalent for one of our quaint American colloquialisms:
Yesterday morning, a unique set of circumstances arose just before Sunday school that would have allowed me to make a clever joke regarding cold war politics. Coupled with the opportunity for an insightful allusion as well! Really, one of those memorable, teachable moments that comes along only once in a blue moon.
I thought about it for half a second... looked at my group of junior high students... sighed, and went with a "Shreck" reference instead.
Say what you will about my teaching - at least I know my audience.
William Jacobson on how Newt manages to be an insider and an outsider at the same time:
There is a disbelief how a Tea Party-motivated electorate could support an “insider” like Newt, particularly an insider who did not make many friends in the Republican party and media.
I think the question answers itself. Newt is not seen as beholden to anyone, and that is what makes his insider status non-toxic, and a plus. He’s the insider who is on the outs with the insiders.
As commenter Henry Hawkins points out:
When you’re taking flak from both the lefty media and your own party’s moderate elites, you know you’re on the right track.
Incoming flak is how you know you’re nearing your target.