Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Category: TIL Tuesday Page 1 of 2


TIL that there’s someone Putin is afraid of.

Is it this guy?

Aw hell, naw! as they say on Black Jeopardy.  That guy is Putin’s muppet!

No, it’s this guy….

This is Bill Browder.  He is at least partly responsible for something called the Magnitsky Act.   If you don’t know, the Magnitsky Act is the law that allows the assets of human rights violators to be frozen.  The Magnitsky Act is probably how the international community will finally get Vladimir Putin for his crimes against humanity.

Of all the things Putin asked for of his muppet yesterday, this guy was the one mentioned by name.  Putin wants very badly for some of his assassins representatives to get within spitting distance of Bill Browder.

I’m thinking it’s not for the selfie opportunity.

Made-Up Holidays

Of course, they all are.  Made-up, I mean.  Every day the sun rises and sets (or sets and rises, for you members of the tribe).  If a given day is special-er than another, it’s because some member of the priestly or ruling caste decided to scam the peasants a bit with another reason to pay up on the tribute.

The longer it’s been since the day was specialed, the more acceptable we find it.  So, Christmas outranks Thanksgiving, which outranks Mother’s Day, which outranks Secretaries’ Administrative Professionals’ Day.  YMMV.

Anyway, they all outrank this:

Prime Day is a holiday declared by Amazon, for Amazon.  For 33 hours in the middle of July, Prime membership gets you all kinds of iffy deals.  The Wirecutter, which I love, buys into this wholeheartedly.  Which I guess is suitable: Amazon affiliate links are their entire business model.  I wonder how the NYTimes likes owning a business that is so wrapped up in Amazon.  Anyway.  I guess the merchant class now makes up our holidays, being that the priestly and the royal are not in quite such high regard anymore.

And no, I am not at all immune.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are my two most favorite days.  And though I want nothing to do with my actual birthday, Thanksgiving works as that for me, too.  So Turkey Day gets a double-dip of my esteem.


Turns Out, I Hate TV

Today, I learned that I actually hate TV.

Yep – that’s me, the guy who seemingly cannot shut up about the golden age of TV we live in right now.  For three hours today, I was in the presence — with the sound on — of the other side of that coin.  A local broadcast channel, beginning with the early evening “newscasts”, on through the network news half-hour, and wrapping up the time watching Wheel! Of! Fortune!

So here’s what I don’t ever, ever see when I am watching all that TV that I rave about:  Local news, which is pretty rough.  TV network news, which is probably the main reason Pumpkin is in the White House as opposed to some other accommodation federally-managed but a little less luxurious, like, maybe Allenwood.  And the truly worst of the worst, the bottom of the sh*pile… commercials.

I do use TiVo for the one thing it’s really good at – making sure commercials are not part of our viewing experience.  Today’s experience included pharmaceutical ads that would get their makers sent to prison in civilized countries and political ads that make dirty politics play out in your living room until you want a shower just because of what has been on your screen.

So when I watch non-premium (i.e., ad-supported) channels, I erase their ads from my stream.  If the originators don’t like that, then they can go back to the advertisers and ask for ad content that is not absolute pollution to the eyes and ears.  But they won’t do that, so I will never stop skipping ads.  I will purchase no service with unskippable ads (looking at you, Hulu).  If that means one day I have no service I can purchase at all, then so be it.


We Need to Talk About Tommy

Tommy Muscatello.  Of all the ridiculous, insulting, annoying, ugly personages that my country has inflicted on the rest of the world, this one is kinda special.  Here, have a look:

Thomas J. Mace-Archer-Mills?   I got yer “scunns for tea” right here!  But: ya gotta love how he stays in character even when he’s busted.

There’s never any shortage of reasons why I have to fight the impulse when in Europe, to claim that I am Canadian.  Here’s another biggie.



TIL Tuesday

Today I learned… that I have a nickname among some of my colleagues.


not me. SO not me.

I suppose it could be worse!

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