While Driving Across southern New Mexico this morning, I rolled my eyes a bit at a warning sign: “Dust Storms May Exist”. Well yeah, so might space aliens bent on beaming someone up from the desert. Reminds me of the one I see farther north: “Icy Conditions May Exist”. Are lawyers writing road signs now? Maybe charging by the letter?
While Working, I Have My police/fire/ambulance radios running in the office, which helps me anticipate being called out (Kit and I are volunteer medics, as you probably remember). Today while working on the Premium newsletter I heard the local cops head over to the school for a “lockdown drill” — tying in nicely to the shootout story this week. I commented to Kit, “We only had to worry about fire drills.” She quickly retorted: “And nuclear war ‘duck and cover’ drills.”
A Note from Darryl in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, suggests, “I know you have been around since the beginning of the internet as one of the longest (and also I would say one of the best) running e-newletters. I ran across this story in Time magazine and thought it would be an interesting article to add into your weekly post.”
How Cool is my home town (Burbank, Calif.)? Sure, “Beautiful Downtown Burbank” is where Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In was taped, but it was also (from 1928) the headquarters city of Lockheed Aircraft Co., and that was apparently reflected in the city seal.
A reader thought I should go on Reddit and do an AMA, or “Ask Me Anything” event. I do have a Reddit account, but I’ve been far from active there, and I’m a bit dubious that I’m known there. It’d be pretty icky to do an AMA and not have anyone show up. But after pondering it for several months, I thought I’d do an AMA outside of Reddit, and invite the Premium subscribers to ask the questions.
My buddy “Jawn” from my NASA days is one of those natural social networkers. I don’t mean on Facebook, I mean in real life, and throughout his whole life. Several of his friends are on a mailing list together; I know them all in Real Life myself, and they’re all great guys. One, Hy, sent out a joke to the group today about men and power tools.
Yes, I know I’m weird. I know I see things differently than most people. I know I notice things that …um… normal people mostly wouldn’t. And I skim a lot of news stories while searching out illustrations of the Human Condition.
I made a little graphic which I posted on Facebook earlier this week, and it seems to have hit a chord with the crowd there:
It was Labor Day in the U.S. on Monday, and I was laboring. Not just to get the Premium edition out, but I put it together sitting at the Labor Day rodeo here in Ridgway, Colorado.
Some interesting statistical analysis on True story locations from Premium subscriber Mark in (yep!) Florida:
Everyone talks about the weather, but I only write about it when it’s really weird!
OK, I’m a crank. I like Facebook. I really do. But one of the things I hate about it is how all up-in-arms people get about nothing.
This story is what got me started on remembering Herb Caen — it’s from True’s 17 May 2009 issue:
Important Update Below
Sundays are writing day around here: it’s the day I write This is True each week. This week, I had the usual line-up of stories about stupid people doing stupid things (or, as the case may be, smart people doing stupid things!) when I came across the story of Mark Rimkufski from the weirdest state in the union, which is of course Florida.
It’s quite a search sometimes for Just The Right Person for the Honorary Unsubscribe. Sometimes I have to choose one person over another when both would be great. Sometimes it’s a struggle to find someone I think really should get the honor.
After rushing around Hong Kong, Tibet, and Chengdu, it was time for a little rest. With a four-day cruise down the Yangtze River, we won’t have to pack and unpack, or catch planes, for awhile.
Yeah, those Grammys — the Grammy® Awards. But interesting as it is, the story takes a bit of background.
When I was a kid, I would sometimes wonder if I’d live to see the 21st Century. I’m not particularly old, so it wasn’t a question of dying of old age first, but rather that I grew up in 1960s Los Angeles, with all the anxiety that entailed.
For awhile, I ran contests among the readership, with various little “games” to play.
Every once in a while I get a note asking why I use the credit “(Reuter)” instead of “(Reuters)”.