Sorry, folks, I am on vacation, so no Importometer Reading for this week or next. Go amuse yourselves for a few days.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Friday, May 31st, 2013
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
In honor of a recent experience, I present the Bailey-Starbucks Annoyance Scale, which measures how aggravating certain behaviors are to people trying to read quietly (in ascending order of annoyance):
0 ) Silence
1 ) Brief polite greeting
2 ) “What are you reading?”
3 ) “Is it any good?”
4 ) “What’s it about?”
5 ) “That doesn’t sound very good.”
6 ) “You know what you should read instead?” (Lengthy description of radically different book follows)
And finally, after the reader asks to be left in peace so he can carry on with his reading:
7 ) (Indignantly) “I was just trying to make conversation! There’s no need to be rude!”
General rule of thumb, folks: if someone is reading, chances are they want to read and not engage in conversation.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
A few days ago, I posted this as my response to the events in Boston…or, more accurately, a response to some of the responses to the tragedy I saw on Facebook, news sites, etc. This was my way of processing the whole thing and, to a degree, venting a little over how some people were reacting. Emotional event or no, I always prefer rational responses to irrational ones. It’s what separates us from the animals.
That and our ability to wear yoga pants with SASSY written across the butt in rhinestones. I’m not saying that makes us better than animals…
Anyway, before long I had a couple of responses, some from friends, and some from an individual I’ve come to know well, after a fashion.
This fellow has commented on my blog several times, e-mailed me, forwarded news stories to me — and almost never under his real name. He likes to make up e-mail addresses (or, when he’s feeling lazy, sends me stuff as “firstname.lastname@example.org”) that cleverly disguise his identity…at least until I check his IP address and see that they’re all coming from the same place. It helps to know a lot of tech nerds who can teach me some very useful tricks.
I know who he is, and he knows I know, but that doesn’t stop him. He is what is known in Internet parlance as a “troll,” an individual who posts spiteful, childish, confrontational things simply to provoke a reaction. Sometimes this is simply a highly opinionated person who thinks the best way to communicate his thought is by expressing them in the most belligerent, insulting, patronizing way possible (the “Limbaugh”). Sometimes a troll is someone trying to convince everyone he’s the smartest person in the room, which he accomplishes by trying to make everyone else feel rock-stupid. Sometimes it’s just a straight-up bully.
My not-so-mysterious serial commenter falls within the latter category, although he sucks at it. His comments often involve calling me bald, which is about as effective as calling me a nearsighted white guy who rarely shaves. Yeah, sick burn there, dude, let me go ice my wounded ego.
Here’s the thing: I know that I will every so often post something that provokes a response. Great, that’s kind of the point of this blog — and if you’ll recall the epic post from a few years back that garnered more than 50 responses from pro-gun nutters (who differ from gun enthusiasts because gun enthusiasts are reasonable people with whom you can have an adult discussion), you’ll know I can take the heat.
And I love it when people try to engage in an honest debate, a sincere exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Sometimes you learn something. Maybe that something is “Oh my god this person is BUGNUTS CRAZY!!!” but hey, learnin’ is learnin’.
But when people just poke at me with a virtual stick? Yeah, not going to happen.
Blocking this individual is easy enough, but I’m going to take another approach. Whenever he posts one of his dry bon mots, I’m going to change it to words of praise. You’ll know these creatively amended posts by the asterisk I will add to the poster’s pseudonym du jour. Go ahead and look around at some stuff that’s been posted this week, you’ll see them.
That’s the big perk of running your own playground: you get to set the rules, and my rule number one is “no trolls allowed.”
Friday, March 1st, 2013
10 ) Sequestration! The word nobody knows the meaning of, yet we’re all freaking out over it!
9 ) Pope Benedict has left the building…and gone to another building nearby, which, oddly, is also a church.
8 ) Law & Order: SVU ends a story inspired by Rihanna and Chris Brown’s reunion with the Rihanna proxy killing the Chris Brown proxy. Too bad art doesn’t always imitate life.
7 ) Seth MacFarlane gets mixed reviews for his occasionally ribald Oscar hosting stint, declares he won’t host again. Dude, that decision was made long before you made it.
6 ) The Barnstable County Commissioners and the Assembly of Delegates get into another pissing contest, this time over the lack of a PowerPoint budget presentation to accompany the phone book-sized budget document. Sorry, I didn’t realize that the Assembly couldn’t read something unless it had pictures.
5 ) Ben Affleck’s Argo wins Best Picture, ensuring that no late-night talk show host will ever tell another Gigli joke again.
4 ) Scott Weiland is booted from Stone Temple Pilots again. Fans react: “STP was back together again?”
3 ) The Onion catches hell for a vulgar tweet about nine-year-old actress Quvenzhane Wallis. Congratulations, Onion: people have whined about a joke you told. You are now officially mainstream.
2 ) Critics call nine-year-old rapper Lil Poopy’s saucy videos inappropriate for his age. Yes, because objectifying women is only appropriate for adult men.
1 ) Budweiser is accused of watering down its beer. Like anyone can tell.
Monday, December 31st, 2012
The end of the year means it’s time for us media types to start cranking out end-of-year lists as lazy filler since, between December 24 and January 2, everyone is too damn drunk or too deep in a food coma to do anything newsworthy.
And so, here are a bunch of quickie lists that should kill a few minutes, some serious, some less so.
BEST MOVIES I SAW THIS YEAR
1 ) The Avengers
2 ) Skyfall
3 ) Cabin in the Woods
4 ) The Dark Knight Rises
5 ) The Avengers (I saw it five times in the theaters, it deserves two slots!)
FIVE INTERNET MEMES THAT NEED TO DIE
1 ) Anything that begins with “Keep Calm and…”
2 ) Ehrmergehrd.
3 ) Call Me Maybe derivatives.
4 ) The Ryan Gosling “Hey, girl” thing.
5 ) Gangnam Style parodies.
FIVE BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2012
1 ) Mockingjay (Book 3 in the Hunger Games trilogy) – Suzanne Collins
2 ) True Grit – Charles Portis
3 ) Fool – Christopher Moore
4 ) The Naming of the Beasts (Book 5 in the Felix Castor series) – Mike Carey
5 ) Summer Knight (Book 4 in the Dresden Files series) – Jim Butcher
FIVE THINGS OUT TO DESTROY CAPE COD
1 ) Sharks
2 ) Wind turbines
3 ) Wild turkeys (also know as land sharks)
4 ) Wastewater authorities
5 ) …and the people who (allegedly) love them
FIVE EXCELLENT TV SHOWS I WATCHED THIS YEAR
1 ) Doctor Who
2 ) Sherlock (the BBC version, not the Americanized Elementary)
3 ) Supernatural (thank you Netflix for throwing the entire series up on streaming video!)
4 ) The Big Bang Theory
5 ) The Walking Dead (season three, you have so far redeemed season two)
FIVE PEOPLE I’D LIKE TO LOCK INTO A ROOM TO ARGUE TO THE DEATH (or to the pain…I’m not sadistic)
1 ) Sherlock Holmes (the BBC version, as portrayed be Benedict Cumberbatch
2 ) Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie)
3 ) Dr. Sheldon Cooper (of The Big Bang Theory, as played by Jim Parsons)
4 ) Mr. Spock (original Leonard Nimoy version or new Zachary Quinto version, I’m not picky)
5 ) Richard Latimer
FIVE MOVIES I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE IN 2013
1 ) Iron Man 3
2 ) Thor – The Dark World
3 ) Star Trek Into Darkness
4 ) Pacific Rim
5 ) The Evil Dead remake (even though I expect it to pale in comparison to the original)
FIVE AS-YET UNTAPPED ALTERNATE IDENTITIES FOR THE GUY WHO PRETENDED TO BE “VOICES ON WASTEWATER”
1 ) Barnstable County Strike Force Delta-X Mark 2.5 (sounds impressive, doesn’t it?)
2 ) Every Single Taxpaying Voter On Cape Cod and You Can’t Prove Otherwise, Nyah!
3 ) The Cape Cod Coalition for Awesome Alliterative Acronyms
4 ) Enron (hey, they’re not using the name anymore)
5 ) Mike Bailey, reporter for the Falmouth Enterprise
Friday, October 19th, 2012
This week Sen. Wolf issued a second endorsement for Mary L. (Pat) Flynn of Falmouth, who, like Ms. Lyons, is running for re-election to the county board.
“Commissioner Flynn has a distinguished record and she has been a driving force in moving the County forward on a number of key issues.” Sen. Wolf said in a press release. “Mary Pat is not afraid to take on difficult issues and bring people together to solve challenges…Mary Pat has served us well.”
Kind words, but really, it’s not surprising that Sen. Wolf would support two fellow Democrats.
The proposed debate between Falmouth’s Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates candidates Julia C. Taylor and Andrew V. Putnam is officially on.
The two candidates will participate in a debate that will be taped at the FCTV studio, with questions provided by yours truly. Jay Zavala, president of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce, will moderate.
I mention this is part in the hope that it inspires other assembly candidates to follow suit. Delegates often bemoan the assembly’s lack of visibility, and events like these would be a nice step toward fixing that long-standing problem.
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at email@example.com.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
10 ) The US ambassador to Libya is killed amidst growing upheaval in the Middle East. I think “four more years” is going to be more than an election year campaign slogan.
9 ) Mitt Romney displays his knack for government efficiency by pissing on nearly half of all voters, characterizing them as professional victims who live on entitlement programs, in a single speech. But don’t get too angry, 47 percent of America! Give him a few more days and he’ll be trashing the other 53 percent.
8 ) Fundamentalist Christians freak out over a fourth century papyrus that refers to Jesus having a wife. Well, she might as well have not existed considering how much time he spent with those twelve slacker buddies of his…
7 ) Paris Hilton is recorded trashing homosexuals as “disgusting” and “likely to die of AIDS.” Funny, I think homosexuals said the same thing after Paris after her sex tape was leaked.
6 ) The new trailer for The Hobbit drops. Was I complaining about this being split into three movies? I take it back.
5 ) The debate grows over whether taxpayers should foot the bill for a sex-change operation for convicted killer Michelle (Robert) Kosilek. Doesn’t something as ridiculous as that amount to cruel and unusual punishment for taxpayers?
4 ) The 2012 – 2013 NHL season looks to be a bust following a player lock-out. If people actually cared about professional hockey, this might be an issue.
3 ) Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have reportedly reconciled and gotten back together. Oh thank god, in plenty of time for them to go out and promote the last Twilight movie together!
2 ) Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes get into an online spitting contest over which one of them is more of an out-of-control trainwreck. Girls! Girls! You’re BOTH tragic wastes of talent!
1 ) GANGNAM STYLE!
Friday, September 21st, 2012
It is now completely official: Oliver P. Cipollini Jr. is the Democratic candidate for governor’s council of the first district. Mr. Cipollini confirmed his win following a recount conducted last week at the behest of Nicholas D. Bernier, the runner-up in the three-way Democratic primary race.
Incumbent Charles O. Cipollini, Oliver’s brother, has yet to announce whether he will actually run again or, as hinted in recent interviews, step aside to let Oliver win.
Sheila R. Lyons of Wellfleet, candidate for re-election to the Barnstable County Board of County Commissioners, has finally launched her new campaign website, and that’s at www.sheilalyonscapecod.com.
Finally, from the “Good Intentions Gone Hysterically Awry” file: a group that opposes ballot question three, which asks voters to legalize marijuana for medical use in Massachusetts, submitted to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office the website URL http://votenoonquestion3.org for inclusion in the voter’s guide that was recently mailed out.
It turns out that this group, at the time it submitted the URL, had not actually acquired the domain name, which was scooped up by someone who launched a hilarious spoof site that boasts such “news articles” with riotous headlines like “Medical Marijuana is the Gateway Drug to Twinkie Addiction” and “A Healthy Body is the Devil’s Playground.”
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, September 14th, 2012
10 ) Eleven years since 9/11 and finally the government agrees to cover cancer treatments for first responders. Amazing what an election year can do for politicians’ motivation.
9 ) Someone tied to hacktivist group Anonymous takes down web hosting site GoDaddy, along with millions of websites that use the service. under the pretense of testing the service’s security. I think a well-written e-mail would have worked as well, and cheesed off far fewer small businesses in the process.
8 ) A New York pizza shop owner bear-hugs Barack Obama during a campaign stop, then catches hell from the right via Yelp as people who never visited his shop post negative reviews. But really, the Republicans support small businesses.
7 ) NBC chooses to skip coverage of the 9/11 moment of silence to interview Kris Jenner. Sure, their priorities are juuuuuust fine.
6 ) Christopher Sheldon pulls off a last-minute surprise victory over Adam Chaprales. C’mon, last-minute surprise victory for anyone other than Oliver Cipollini…
5 ) An anti-medical marijuana/Question Three group has its pending domain name hijacked. Go to http://votenoonquestion3.org/ and see the hilarious results.
4 ) Topless photos of Kate Middleton surface. London is outraged and citizens take the streets to chant “Well, I never!” at a reasonable volume for the time of day.
3 ) American Idol Jr. — I mean, The X-Factor debuts with new judges Britney “I went crazy but I’m better now” Spears and Demi “in rehab before 21″ Lovato as judges. Apparently, living cautionary tales are part of the show now.
2 ) Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively marry, perhaps only to prove that SOMETHING good came out of Green Lantern.
1 ) Actress Amanda Bynes pulls a Lohan and gets busted for smoking pot while driving. Do you think she supports Question Three?