I was just enjoying “Ask the Pilot” when I caught what I thought was a grammatical error that had slipped through Salon’s editors:
“As with Avianca, the United crew was on the one hand acutely aware of its situation yet, on the other, inexplicably loath to deal with it.”
“Wait a minute,” I said, “don’t you mean loathe?”
The fact of the matter is that Patrick Smith and the editors at Salon have a deliciously nuanced vocabulary. While similar, “loath” is an adjective expressing reluctance or unwillingness, while “loathe” is a verb expressing dislike or hostility.
I will be out of town, but one of my favorite baristas at my favorite cafe will have an art opening this Sunday, December 21. Since I may be featured as a model for one of her works, I thought I might even have some vain self-interest in promoting the event a bit.
The Greenhouse Cafe
Caroline’s Curious Creatures!
Opening Sunday, Dec 21 2008
329 West Portal Ave 7pm
Come enjoy a drink &
see some art by
Caroline Hambright &
So it begins . . . in Sizhou, China:
“Angry monkeys turn on their cruel trainer and beat him senseless with his own stick after he handed out a vicious beating to one of the trio during a performance riding mini bicycles in a market in Sizhou, China”
Picture: EUROPICS[CEN] (Via: Telegraph.co.uk)
The times, they are a changin’. Huzzah!
Update: Additional photos and story at The Sun. Even more, smaller photos at Mirror.co.uk.
Surely you have by now heard about the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush. Whatever your own position on Iraq War II I think we can all agree that this seems like the perfect expression at Iraqi anger and frustration at how terribly the postwar occupation has been managed. I also enjoy hearing how Chinese Internet folk look at the issue. Here’s some of the quotes I most enjoy, as translated by ChinaSMACK:
This (news) shows that the democracy of Iraq has been greatly improved.
If any one dared to throw shoes at Saddam, he might have already been fed to the lions.
The United Sates had spent billions of dollars and thousands of human lives to gain the right for Iraqi people to throw shoes. Chinese peopleâ€™s right for throwing shoes needs to be gained by the Chinese themselves.
What was the brand of the shoe he threw at bush? If it was made in China, the U.S. would again say China provided terrorists with weapons.
I saw it too,
Little Bush was nimble;
The journalistâ€™s courage was laudable;
Good job, both!
Note from Fauna: Although not many people like Bush, I think many Chinese netizens will still miss him because he was such a funny man and not many people could be very serious about him.
I myself have always thought Bush was kind of funny. I have made a conscious decision not to get too worked up over the many awful things he has done as President, if only for my own health. Obama has been elected and Bush was bidding adieu to his greatest legacy; I hope the people of Iraq find the shoe-throwing somewhat cathartic.
If Iraq’s democracy survives, I hope that one day they erect a status of this guy in a square somewhere, leaning back to hurl his shoe, a testament to the mixed blessing of American occupation and the (often terrible and bloody) freedoms it has brought. More power to them!
I was asked to “critique” a friend’s new blog. Because I’ve been writing like this since before anyone called this format a “blog” . . . here’s two paragraphs from my response:
I’m really excited about Prop 8 as well, and it is funny that you borrow that story from Gandhi that I enjoy as well. Tonight I just watched “Cry, the Beloved Country” and was moved all over again by great words in a book I have read twice, about . . . compassion and forgiveness. I did not expect to be left feeling so emotionally.
[ . . . ]
And I hope you enjoy the blogging thing. Write for yourself but remember you are being read. I still get emails from old posts I wrote, especially about the divorce stuff. Occasionally someone comes to me expressing a pain that is familiar, and I have the chance to return in a small way some of the kindnesses that have been bestowed upon me over the years. Your children, your grandchildren may some day read through or skim what you had to say. In that way you may be able to help them in their growth, years from now. And remind yourself of things forgotten.
To be sure, “the divorce stuff” is really just a bunch of excerpts from a book someone else wrote. Lately though I have had very little to say about my personal life or things that have stirred my passion. There is less creative self-expression or revealing of myself these days. I am not sure if that is as it should be, or if that needs to change. I figure that my relationship with my web site changes over time based on my needs and how I take responsibility for fulfilling those needs.
Oh yeah, and I love reading what Dennis has to write as well. Happy holidays, folks!
Update: Tammie was laid off a few weeks ago. If you know anyone looking for a smart, talented and diligent Microsoft .net and C# hacker, please check out her LinkedIn profile. (Welcome to the economic down cycle. Yahh!!)
Here’s an e-mail I just sent to Shell Gasoline:
I had no strong feelings about gasoline brands either negative or positive, until this morning. I pulled into the gas station at 19th Ave and Taraval in San Francisco, and the gasoline pump started talking to me and then playing commercials. There’s no way that I would find to turn it off. It was really obnoxious.
When I get my gas I like to have a moment I can stop and think. With blaring televisions on the gas pump I am instead filled with antipathy towards your brand. Because of my experience this morning I now know that when I need gas and I see a Shell station and a non-Shell station, that the non-Shell station is not likely to have a noisy television to annoy me while I get gas. For that I am willing to pay a premium.
Thanks for listening.
Yup. I am a grumpy old man.
I received the following response to the complaint I sent to Shell about their infernal television gas pumps:
Dear DANIEL HOWARD,
Your complaint about the pumps at our Shell branded station concerns us. Please accept our apologies for your trouble and inconvenience.
Be assured that we will give this matter thorough and proper attention. Situations like this are best handled locally, so we have forwarded this information to our Region.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention and for your patronage of Shell products and services.
Shell Solutions Center
My hunch is that this will be the last I hear from them. All the same, this actual human0crafted response is a little better than the average evil corporation.
Alas, I pumped some gas into Mom’s Prius this evening, in Chicago, and I realized I was at a Shell station with more obnoxious NBC programming. Augh!!