“Houses are amazingly complex repositories. What I found, to my great surprise, is that whatever happens in the world – whatever is discovered or created or bitterly fought over – eventually ends up, in one way or another, in your house. Wars, famines, the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment – they are all there in your sofas and chests of drawers, tucked into the folds of your curtains, in the downy softness of your pillows, in the paint on your walls and the water in your pipes. So the history of household life isn’t just a history of beds and sofas and kitchen stoves, as I vaguely supposed it would be, but of scurvy and guano and the Eiffel Tower and bedbugs and body-snatching and just about everything else that has ever happened. Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”
– Bill Bryson At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Nigella Lawson is, of course, an English author and TV personality. Born to Nigel Lawson, Conservative MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher, Nigella got a master’s degree in medieval and modern languages. She then began writing book reviews for The Spectator, a job she parlayed into a career as a restaurant critic. She freelanced for several newspapers and food-related magazines before releasing her first book, How to Eat, in 1998. Several other books and TV shows have followed.
As a Steelers fan, I should be concerned with what goes on in the AFC North. And actually, I am. Every time the Ratbirds and Bungles lose I smile, and there’s a deep joy in my heart every time the Steelers beat the Brownies… which is often.
But as an AFC North fan, I get awfully tired of the national sports media slobbering all over the NFC Least. I couldn’t care less about the New York Giants, or the Philadelphia Eagles, or the Deadskins… but I do have a special hate for the Dallas Cowboys. This hate, born in the 70s, used to get deeper and deeper every year… but it’s more like pity. Now that the Cowboys have Tony Romo, I laugh like Vincent Price every time he bungles a snap or throws a pick at the worst possible time… which is, like the Steelers beating the Browns, quite often.
Imagine my joy when I saw this on Sunday:
heh. No, I’m not laughing because Tony Romo is hurt. He’ll get better, and as I understand it, he won’t even need surgery. I laugh because it just makes me happy to see the SS Jerry Jones going down like the friggin’ Titanic with Wade Phillips at the helm. And the amazing thing is that Dallas has talent. To ape Winston Churchill, never was so little done by so many with so much talent. It almost makes me wish that someone would take highlights from Dallas’ season, speed them up, and put the whole thing to the theme song from The Benny Hill Show. Oh wait:
Although I’ve traveled through a good chunk of the United States, most of that has been through the air. I haven’t really driven all that much outside Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas.
This may be a regional thing here in this part of the world… but for years I noticed these weird “candy canes” on the side of interstates here in the South.
They’re made out of metal, and look to be about the same diameter as dryer duct.
They’re always painted the same shade of green as the electrical or telephone boxes you sometimes see on the edge of people’s yards, although they’ve usually been sitting there so long that they’ve beached to a milky green shade.
They appear to be slightly larger than a mailbox.
They are usually located well off the road, as if they’re not for public use. In other words, they don’t appear to be covering up one of those call boxes you used to see on side of the road, for instance.
The “hook” of the cane always points towards the road, never away from it.
I’ve never seen any writing on one, and I feel they’re too common and too uniform in appearance to be some weird “Jesus Saves” kind of thing.
Are there any civil engineers out there who know what those things are? When I was a teen, I thought they might be venting some type of gas, but they seemed too numerous for that, and why have the hook facing the interstate? As I got older, I wondered if they were capturing some type of air quality data, but then… why the “candy cane” form factor?
Having said all that, I don’t think I’ve actually seen one in a while. At any rate, this is one of those things I’ve googlefailed at for years, and it’s really been bugging me. Anyone who could answer this would be my hero or heroine!
From the International News Desk (or, as I just call it… my desk) at jimcofer.com… let’s do the news:
– Don’t like your home or business showing up in Google Maps? Then Google CEO Eric Schmidt has a helpful suggestion: just move! Somehow Microsoft is still the “evil” company out there, yet Schmidt recently told The Atlantic that his company’s policy was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it”. Yeah, I trust them with that!
– Prostitutes in one area of Spain have been ordered to wear fluorescent safety jackets. It seems that working girls near the town of Els Alamus ply their trade on a highway just outside of town, and the measure was put in place to ensure their safety. The linked article also notes that prostitution is not illegal in Spain, that there are an estimated 300,000 prostitutes in the county, 95% of them are from North Africa or South America, and a whopping 25% of Spanish men admit to using their services.
– Speaking of whores, The Episcopal Church is shutting down several services in an attempt to save money… instead of just, you know, not suing their parishioners. The “church’s” legal bills are expected to be in the $3m range this year, and the cuts are expected to save $2.1m. What’s worse? Many of the items being cut actually generate revenue for the “church”.
– Sony has ceased production of the cassette Walkman in Japan. I bet you didn’t even know they still made them in the first place, huh? Apparently they’ll still be manufactured in China, for some reason.
– Britain’s decent into politically correct mamby-pamby idiocy continues: several museums in the country are now covering up mummies or placing large warning signs about them… so as not to offend pagans. :eyeroll:
“Jesus grew up & raised the dead,” she cried, “and the world shouted, ‘Leave the dead lie. The dead are dead & can stay that way. What do you want with the dead alive?’ Oh you people…they nailed Him to a cross & run a spear through His side & then they said, ‘Now we can have some peace, now we can ease our minds.’ And …they hadn’t but only said it when they wanted Him to come again.”
The season 4 finale begins with Don in bed. He hears a noise, which wakes him up. He calls out, and a fully dressed Faye walks in the room. Don asks her to “put him out of his misery” before she goes. Faye tells him that the American Cancer Society loved his ad, and they will love him. She then tells him that he will have a blast with his kids in California. Don insists that he has a “sick feeling” in his stomach, and Faye says that it might not be about work, that it could be about his past. Don says that it’s not that simple, and Faye agrees. But she also says that if he resolves some of his issues, he might feel better about everything. She kisses him, and says that she’ll call him on Tuesday when he gets back. Don says that he will miss her.
Joan pushes the mail cart around a mostly empty office. She arrives at Lane’s office, where he promotes her to “Director of Agency Operations”. Unfortunately, the job comes with no increase in salary, as the agency hasn’t signed any new clients in ten weeks. Joan says that it’s “almost an honor”.
We then see Don and Pete meeting with the American Cancer Society. One of the board members asks what made him write his now-famous open letter, and a nervous Don says that it was just an impulse, and was something he needed to do to “move forward”. The same board member compliments him on the gesture and says that they feel that lung cancer is avoidable, especially with the right ad campaign. She wonders what the campaign might be like. Another member says that they feel that scary medical facts are “useless”, and he reveals that half the board smokes. Don says that he also smokes, and mentions how futile it was to run ads to get people to change brands, much less quit.