Hey, google & amazon: you wanna be useful? Don’t show me ads for things you think I want. Show me things my brother wants for his birthday. (He always says “whatever.”)

I don’t think I’m really going to count as fluent in French until I stop reading “biologique” as “belgique”.

The Road-Runner’s Gender Apparently I’m the only one who thinks the Roadrunner in the Warner Brothers’ Coyote-and-Roadrunner cartoons is female. It came up in conversation one evening, and after an online poll I’ve had to face the truth: I just plain got it wrong. 2nd best argument that the Roadrunner is male (from a woman): “They’re all male in those cartoons.” Best argument (from a gold-plated geek): There was an episode where Wile E. Coyote created a decoy dressed up as a female to lure his prey to certain doom. He provided the episode title and release date.

My argument was: there have been many cases in my life when I had a clever idea to solve a complicated problem that blew up in my face. In almost all of those cases, the person standing there shaking her head like, “I told you so!” was female. That’s what the Roadrunner is usually doing. Therefore, with high probability, she’s female.

When he heard this, the Old Engineer looked down at me and said, with infinite sympathy, “Joe, I think the artists intended the audience to identify with the Roadrunner.”

I just diagrammed a sentence, for the first time since the Nixon Administration. Can’t believe I remembered how to do it.

Pre-dawn power outage in 5° F weather. A big salute to all the backup systems in my life: sump pump; telephone; UPS; Honda generator; Subaru beater.

For the first time in 25 years, I do not have a Unix box with the hostname “lion” on my desk. RIP, little box.

My neighbor across the street is shoveling snow off his driveway. He has a 10-year-old son; my father would have regarded that as a failure of parenting.

Decision Matrix

 Moves Doesn’t
Should move No Problem  WD-40
Shouldn’t Duct Tape  No Problem 

Which is the best idea? * Wheeling, West Virginia * Licking, Missouri * Flushing, New York * Banning, California

Reverse list test #2:
3. Use HTML pre tag
2. Put in newlines manually
1. Fix autocorrect when it splits “newlines” into two words

Trying again. 4. This line starts with a “4” because the list is in reverse order. 3. I typed this line with a “3” at the beginning. 2. This line starts with a “2”. 1. Number 1 comes last, in traditional Letterman style.

Leaderboard: most boring pop lyrics of all time. 🎶 3. “So therefore”: Dexy’ s Midnight Runners, “Come on, Eileen” 2. “Et cetera”: The Turtles, “Elenore” 1. “…”: REM, “Lotus”

Could someone please invent a wine basket for the outside of a car, so that the champagne is chilled by the time I get home?

Bleg 📚 I recall reading a science-fiction story (1970’s?) about robotic child-care workers that were as close to human as could be. Adults were fooled, but the children developed a new sense that enabled them to see the difference. Who wrote it?

The plan is to surreptitiously replace all the shopping-mall Christmas music with Telemann concerti, and see how long it takes for anyone to notice. 🎶

“Grading on the steep curve by which he is judged…” …and there’s no need to read any further into that column. 🗑