Journal Entries

Forget the Canoli, It's All About the Meatballs

It's not politics as usual in Allentown, Pennsylvania. But then, it never is, I guess.

There's a corruption trial going on in the eastern part of the Commonwealth: the mayor, Ed Pawlowski, is accused of shady contract dealing. He denies this, as does his lawyer, vehemently and with extreme prejudice toward the accusers, who are called various names. The mayor and his lawyer contend that the real corrupt officials are the ones testifying for the prosecution.

People are enjoying this, especially as federal wiretaps are involved. It got juicy when the defence tried to convince the jury about the meatball testimony.

It seems that an official named Strathearn and another official named Fleck were discussing meatballs over the phone. Fleck was promising Strathearn some of the meaty delectables, allegedly from Mrs Fleck's kitchen. Strathearn testified that yes, he received these meatballs - but he was disappointed that he only got four. As a bachelor during the time in question, he claimed, he was prone to carry Tupperware in his car, in hopes of scoring some home-cooked nourishment. Fair enough. We've been there. Pass the Tupperware, we think.

The mayor's attorney, however, insisted that the word 'meatballs' was code for a payoff. Au contraire, insisted Strathearn. "The meatballs were the meatballs were the meatballs." He added, grammatically, 'There was nothing to do with anything other than meatballs, period, paragraph.'

A Twitter user tweeted: 'This trial has generated my favorite line ever given in a court room.' The press compared Strathearn's statement to the famous Gertrude Stein dictum. Gertrude Stein was from Pittsburgh, so there's a tradition here. Some people may think that the defence has been reading too many detective novels.

Judge Sanchez had had enough, and called a recess. He also told the jury to ignore all this talk of meatballs. (Lots of luck.)

We suspect we know what the jury wanted for lunch. The spicy meatball sub is a favourite food in eastern Pennsylvania. smiley - run

smiley - dragon

PS

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Latest reply: Feb 21, 2018

What the World Needs Now... probably not another Youtube video. But you're getting one. With kittens in. smiley - tongueout

Happy Valentine's Day.

smiley - dragon

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Latest reply: Feb 14, 2018

Sirius Cybernetics Has Arrived

I bought a backup laptop from Amazon. She *talks*. She is relentlessly cheerful. I think she is Eddy the Shipboard Computer's more upbeat sister.

I am still trying to get it set up. It refused to recognise any of my passwords and made me type Captcha codes for half an hour. I suspect it learned some new curse words.

It is still playing with itself. No doubt, it is waiting for the lemon-scented napkins to arrive...

Aha, good news! The screensaver is up. Oh, horror...

It shows a snowy landscape...smiley - facepalm

I hate Sirius Cybernetics.

smiley - dragon

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Latest reply: Feb 8, 2018

Happy Groundhog Day! New Album Is Out!

By now, the news has gone round the world. FWR even sent me a screen capture. But the 'Punxsutawney Spirit' said it best:


Punxsutawney Phil has officially done his thing, and he has declared SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER after seeing his shadow.'

Earlier this week, the 'Punxsutawney Spirit' announced such important news as the holders of the titles of Little Mr and Miss Groundhog 2018. Very cute five-year-olds.

It is not surprising that the Groundhog wasn't sanguine about the chances for an early spring. After all, it snowed last night, and the temperature sank like a stone. This morning, it was -11C on Gobblers Knob. If they hadn't picked him up, I doubt he would have come out of that burrow. Groundhogs are not exactly stupid. The same can not be said of all the humans out there in the cold.

The Weather Channel's website has this to say on 2 February:

'The groundhog's accuracy rate is far lower than actual meteorologists'.'

If your best boast is that you can predict the weather better than a fat rodent.... And you can't make it stop snowing, either. I'm glad I've already done my shopping for the week.

And now, for the Event that nobody has been waiting for...the Groundhog Day release of the latest Heavy Leslie album! Thanks to FWR for the inspiration for this album, which of course includes 'All You Need Is Love', 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Strawberry Fields Forever', and other perennial favourites, all with cool videos and that Heavy Leslie sound. (I have found new ways to torture the instrument.)

Here it is in all its glory: The appropriately-titled 'Dmitri Gheorgheni Ruins the Beatles'. Take that, Bluebottle.

Listen to it: the pain will take your mind away from the weather.

smiley - dragon

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Latest reply: Feb 2, 2018

Spread the Love, Fight the Loneliness

It's news around the world that PM Theresa May has appointed a Minister for Loneliness. I read that she stated:

'For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life. I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones - people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.'

One of the US's former surgeon generals agrees with the UK government. Dr Vivek Murthy also thinks loneliness is an issue that should be addressed.

Stephen Colbert, the raucous late-night host, didn't seem to understand. After all, he's surrounded by people every day. He riffed on the issue in order to trot out his fake British accents. I'll include the link: maybe you can see it.

If he were still alive, I'd nominate Fred Rogers for America's Secretary of Loneliness. He understood loneliness: he was an only child. Why do you think he played with puppets?

The h2g2 Post is way ahead of government here. We've been planning to tackle this issue for *weeks*. The Create Team are all over it: February's Challenge is going to be 'Spreading the Love'. We're pushing for contributions aimed at increasing the love on this planet. The Challenge will go up 1 February, but you can start working on it now.

Freewayriding is getting us ready for it with his serialised short story, 'Spreading the Love: A Fishy Tail'. The first part's been in this week's Post all week at A87902562. More to follow. Just because we're all about peace, love, and understanding doesn't mean we've turned off the snark. You'll love the story. FWR: as a writer, he's sort of 'Tom Holt meets Terry Pratchett in a dark alley'.

Pardon me while I go and practice on the organ. FWR keeps 'suggesting' recordings, and I have to brush up on my Beatles songs. I even mail-ordered a new book of arrangements...look out, Bluebottle...

In the meantime, here's my 'Michelle' video, in which we take a stroll along the hippie boulevards of the Haight-Ashbury District in San Francisco. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a little Heavy Leslie and the Library of Congress...

smiley - peacesign, friends! Start spreading the love!

smiley - dragon

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Latest reply: Jan 20, 2018

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