Using the force apparently causes one to purse his or her lips in a rather pronounced fashion.
It’s vacation 2013! Spouse and I have been off since the beginning of July. Up ’til now, we’ve been stay-cating; we’ve been doing some (but only some) of the (many) chores that need doing around the Juniorvanian estate. That’s been mostly successful - financing arrangements had to be made as the end of a car lease approached and decisions had to be made about whether the National Vehicle Fleet was to be augmented; extensive yardwork needed to be done (the People’s Weed Whacker in particular was called into heavy service); general tidying and decluttering throughout the house was in required, and I even tackled the monstrous mess that was (and to a certain extent, still is) the garage. I have installed an amplifier and an old pair of speakers in the garage, so I now have a rock and roll outdoor work area, which allows me to spend a little more time organizing, sorting through clutter and tidying. I still have designs on using some of the airspace above the garage door to store the rear bagger assembly for the People’s Lawn Mower; there’s a pulley already in place in the general area that is just begging to fly the whole awkward contraption so that it doesn’t take so much valuable floorspace.
But staycations such as these are only so restful, so we’ve packed up the truck and headed off to Sudbury to visit Nani and Appa.
Upon arrival in Sudbury, we took a quick trip over to the golf club to which Nani and Appa belong. Ben was excited to play golf with Apps, and was very pleased to get a putting lesson from him on one of the practice greens. He was even MORE interested, once we got there, in the golf carts. After the lesson was concluded, staring at the carts lined up below the clubhouse deck, he asked me (with his usual hilariously enunciated emphasis on the interrogatory commencing the sentence) “What can we do with those golf carts, Daddy?”
Change: the incremental grows fundamental
And all around is new
I looked away for just a minute
Now looking back at you
I could have sworn you were so much smaller
Now squeaks and sleeps are memories
Setting like the son on the horizon of my mind.
Wow. The more I read of his stuff, the more upset I become that David Foster Wallace is no longer around to think about things and then tell us his thoughts.
From “E unibus pluram“, an amazing essay on what it means to watch TV. It is difficult to put in perspective the clarity of insight in this piece and the importance of its conclusions, but it blows my mind to think that Wallace was writing in 1992 – before the curiously ironic, but undoubtedly atomizing and isolating effects of widespread Internet use had become apparent to just about everybody.
A little bird tells me some folks might be coming this way via Grantland tomorrow. Don’t mind the cobwebs hereabouts, things have been a little slow since (I assume) aliens arrived in the night and used mind control and likely some sort of anal probe to steal all of my free time, come to think of it coincidentally right around the time my son was born.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the Albert stuff. If you’re looking for other stuff to read here, for some reason I seem to do well when writing about the People’s Lawnmower. I know, I don’t get it either, but it is funny. And there’s more.
Am trying to make myself spend some more time on things that aren’t work; you know, things that I enjoy and things that make life worth living.
One of those things is writing on this blog. I do like it, it makes me feel good.
Another one of those things is playing music. I hope to do more of that with this new guitar that I got for Christmas from Spouse. My whole outlook has gotten considerably more rockabilly since I opened it up – it’s a hollow body archtop – I think I might grow long sideburns and a ducktail.
Anyway, been desperately trying to grab ten minutes here and there to practice between The Boy’s naps and meals and diaper changes (he’s been home from daycare during most of the holidays). It’s hard to get into any serious effort to learn a song, or even a riff or a new technique in those quick stolen moments. But I vow to keep trying; I’m working on “Having an Average Weekend” by Shadowy Men From a Shadowy Planet at the moment.
Tonight’s gem from The Boy: Spouse had made cookies and The Boy was aggressively sampling. At one point, he had learned to just liberate cookies from the counter and start eating, a development that was interdicted by Spouse, asking him, “Just how many more of those things are you going to eat, anyhow?” He thought for a few seconds and said confidently, “Three of them.”
Yes, so it’s been a while. [Insert excuses here].
At the moment, I am sitting on the porch in the late Sunday afternoon sun. It is a gorgeous day in May, and there’s a soft wind blowing, just enough to rustle the trees. I can hear the birds chirping and…way off on the distance, Spouse and The Boy laughing as they fill the bird feeders.
Life is good.
Republished from March 11th, 2011 because this piece was linked to once by the estimable Puck Daddy and the content is kind of timely; also because this place needs to look like it has new content and I haven’t blogged at all for a very long time because of the perpetual plague that has descended upon Juniorvania ever since The Boy went to daycare and started hanging around with all the other little petri dishes.
Cam Cole wrote a ridiculous article today about social media and the National Hockey League trade deadline.
Cole mentions that during the intense discussions surrounding today’s NHL trade deadline, many people availed themselves of the opportunity to have a little fun; some folk decided to create Twitter accounts that appeared to emanate from real hockey media personalities. Down Goes Brown decided to spice up a dull morning by using the new media to organize the 21st century (ahem) grownup equivalent of a class clown prank. Following the lead of an old high school classic, the “co-ordinated, math-class-derailing pre-arranged 11:45 coughing fit”, DGB suggested that at 12:50, everyone should send the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Joffrey Lupul (@JLupul) a tweet that appeared to refer to his “trade” to Long Island (that trade being, of course, an entirely fictitious event which had not occurred). The tweets were sent en masse. Lupul appears to have played along with the gag, tweeting shortly afterwards that he was “Long Island bound. So I hear…”
I didn’t see it, but apparently the “Lupul trade” was, for a time, being reported by some as an actual event. I saw some Tweets indicating that it was briefly posted on the Philadelphia Flyers’ website, and – according to Cole’s article – Gord Miller and TSN briefly fell for it too, relaying the information to unsuspecting viewers watching their Trade Deadline Special.
At first, Cole’s article reads like a more or less good-natured look at these virtual hijinks in the social context within which they occurred. The first two thirds of the article, at times, read a bit like a barely concealed admiration for the inherent hunour in the Lupul prank in particular:
Got it? The Twitterers “pranked” the NHL and lampooned the “over-hyped” deadline, “greatly enlivening” the day. Pretty good stuff, huh?
In the end, though, Cole ends up clucking his tongue at those involved like a disapproving schoolmaster:
Really? Is there really a need for either (a) another “blogger in the basement” joke or (b) a law prohibiting the creation of spoof Twitter accounts?
I don’t wish to position myself as a defender of mendacity, but if Mr. Cole and the rest of the world can’t stomach the thought of people lying to one another over the Internet, I sincerely hope he never has occasion to be made aware of Internet dating sites. Also, he would be well advised to avoid taking up fishing for sport, as the ability to spin a tall tale, though far from rare, is very much a quality to be nurtured and developed among anglers. Maybe it would be best to stay out of the “fiction” section of the library, and the cinema too, just to be safe.
Now, I’m not here to tell you that I understand why some people would get their jollies concocting fake trades to whirl around the Internet, and I’m not suggesting that DGB’s little prank is the comic equivalent of Newton’s contribution to calculus; I can tell you, however, that people discussing things amongst each other, having fun, and taking the piss out of one another is probably nothing to be terribly alarmed about. It’s been happening wherever people have gathered socially for thousands of years. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that somewhere, deep in an unexplored cave in northern Europe, there is a cave painting that is now difficult to comprehend, but which – back on the day it was first splattered on the rock – was the functional equivalent of a Star Wars Kid mashup.
My point is not that I think “fake Twitter accounts” are desirable and necessary, but rather that social media platforms represent a meeting place, not just another broadcast medium. Twitter is a conversation; the content may be partly based in the news, but it is wholly about entertainment. Journalists who choose to rely on it and rebroadcast it unfiltered and without any value (such as fact-checking) added – in my opinion – do their readers or viewers a disservice.
Lastly, the final point about “nibbling away at the social network’s credibility” is so astonishing I honestly don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. It’s Twitter; it HAS NO CREDIBILITY in the first place.
The logic is so confused in this article, it’s honestly difficult to follow Cole’s reasoning as to why he feels that the legislative process needs to be invoked. It’s very hard, however, to escape the general feeling that the Cam Cole No Pissing Around on Twitter Law is necessary solely to protect lazy journalists who are in such a breakneck rush to report the news that they’re basically just reading their Twitter feed directly into the camera without doing some basic fact-checking first.
Do you follow that? Damien Cox made an “honest mistake” when he wrongly reported Pat Burns’ death, but “highly respected” and “earnest reporters” were “duped” when they failed to do the minimal checks necessary to make sure @ForREELZESPN_LeBrun – the account reporting the trade of a puck moving defenceman for a bag of doughnuts – is actually related to the hockey journalist in question. To review: Damien Cox makes an honest mistake, those engaged in that line of work fail to learn from it, and – by breathlessly reporting gossip overheard in a virtual barroom as fact – are victims of “mean-spirited” and socially destructive users of the Internet. Heads I win, tails you lose.
The part I have a very difficult time understanding is how Cole misses the point. He actually points out, in the middle portion of the article, how easy it is in most cases to spot a fake Gord Miller Twitter account merely by reading the contents of the page on which the tweets appear (Gord Miller’s Twitter account has probably been around for more than two hours, likely contains more than eight tweets, and it’s highly likely the real Gord Miller has more than 52 followers). In other words, Cole identifies the ease with which these “frauds” can be discovered, but swerves right past the legitimate target – so-called reporters relying on random stuff posted on the Internet for Christ’s sake as accurate – and instead delivers a confusing, poorly reasoned and somewhat startling conclusion generally indicting humans for just fucking around.
Good luck putting a stop to that.
One year ago today, it all changed…and it’s all for the better. Thanks for coming into our lives, little fellow!