June 2nd, 2009 · Comments Off on To duck or not to duck?
Those familiar with this blog may have noticed that ducks tend to float through its pages like a theme, perhaps, I hope, from a dreaming composer and not so much, I hope, like that annoying drum riff that the worst guy in the band loves to play.
Sinister ducks, rubber ducks, ducks in and out of water, even (way back in 2003) my first Flash animation Quack-Don’t-Quack.
So it is understandable that a clever person who knows me well, such as for instance a Nobel Laureate who is married to me, would think of me as somebody who would like this video making fun of Pat Robertson for comparing gay marriage to sex with ducks.
And I cannot resist in turn passing this on to you also, but let me just say that as much as I do like ducks, I do not like them THAT way.
Yes, the Big Mac Index (and its more elite rival, the Tall Latte Index) are semi-serious efforts to match wages to cost of living in different countries.
Why not expand this to comparing cost of living across the lines of social class. Conservatives are outraged that US auto workers can earn 10 Big Macs per hour, but they seem quite content that GM executives get $3M to $14M per year.
This makes perfect sense, however, because GM executives do not eat Big Macs. The relevant point of comparison should be something like dinner for one at Oxford’s Fat Duck restaurant, which costs $170.
The Big-Mac-Fat-Duck Index requires, then, paying the GM executive at least $1,700 per hour. If a GM executive puts in 50 weeks per year at 40 hours per week, that is 2,000 highly valuable executive hours they should expect to get fair pay for, which works out to at least $3.4M per year.
And this does not even count beverage, tip, or air fare from Detroit to the UK!
The executives who get even more than that are no doubt eating meals somewhere even more expensive.
One brown mother duck with five brown fuzzy babies.
They’ve been the big topic of neighborhood conversaion up in NH, where I’ve been hanging out email-free this past week.
Jamie says one of the babies is a wild child, who showed up all by himself at Jamie’s boat dock the other day. The baby hung out there for hours, loving the attention and little pieces of bread that came his way.
Then Mama Duck showed up to reassemble her family before bedtime, but not without giving both Jamie and her wild child a LOUD QUACKING-TO!
In other summertime news, I made chocolate cake and invited my siblings over to share it.
Such is the fate of the amateur photographer when confronted by Vincent Van Gogh re-conceived as a giant bearded bunny.
This Van Gogh self portrait reimagined is on the wall at The Duck and Bunny on Wickenden Street in Providence, RI. If you like crepes, cupcakes, champagne, iced tea, and great art with new duck-bunny components, I thoroughly recommend this good new restaurant.
Just at the edge between winter and cold early spring, two Oxford ducks were exploring the new possibilities.
Er, what I mean is …
After a lot of trouble and with much help from Cecil Coupe, my trouble-plagued blog has come through a WordPress upgrade and onto a new ISP. Wish me luck as I now move from treading thin ice to (I hope) a dramatic re-entry into full springtime.
November 7th, 2006 · Comments Off on Things to think about on Election Day, 2006
Think about the following when you VOTE today
Unwarranted Phone Taps
Governor Bob Taft
Representative Tom Delay
Representative Roy Blunt
Representative Ken Calvert
Representative John Dolittle
Representative Tom Feeney
Representative Katherine Harris
Representative Jerry Lewis
Representative Gary Miller
Representative Marilyn Musgrave
Representative Richard Pombo
Representative Rick Renzi
Representative John Sweeney
Representative Charles Taylor
Representative Curt Weldon
Representative J.D. Hayworth
Representative Don Sherwood
Representative Bob Ney
Representative Duke Cunningham
Representative Tom Reynolds
Representative Chris Cannon
Representative Mark Foley
Representative Dennis Hastert
Senator George Allen
Senator Bill Frist
Senator Conrad Burns
Senator Rick Santorum
The Vice Presidential Energy Task Force
Three bucks a gallon
Record oil company profits
The Supreme Court
Stem Cell Research
The Baghdad Museum
General Eric Shinsecki
General Anthony Zinni
Swift Boat Hit Squads
Expiration of Assault Weapons Ban
Donald Henry Rumsfeld
And finally, the Uniter-Decider-Reader of Camus, Shakespeare and “My Pet Goat,” who describes the party that successfully prosecuted two world wars as people who “cut and run”.
A letter-writer to the Monitor said she had been “bombarded by recorded election messages from [Democratic candidate] Paul Hodes.” Marilyn Jewell of Concord wrote that she would be sure to vote for [his Republican opponent Charlie] Bass, in part because “he doesn’t pester me to death.”
What’s wrong with this picture? Hodes isn’t pummeling voters with repeated robocalls–Republicans are.
But it sure does sound that way, for the first ten seconds (“Hello, I’m calling with information about Paul Hodes…”) Hang up the phone? That’s fine with the robocallers, because they’ll call you back, again and again and again.
And NH isn’t the only place where this is happening.
* OK, it’s a nasty trick, but is it illegal? Well, shouldn’t it be? FCC regulations provide that all prerecorded messages must at the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call. [47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(b)]
Hello, “real media”–could you please cover this story?
Bonus linkage: Niek Hockx emailed me a webcam showing Dutch sea lions–I’m en route to see some, so this bloggery comes to you over Logan’s wifi, not much more than a week after my visit to the Galapagos sea lions. The Dutch call them “Zeehonden” (sea dogs)–in Galapagos they were “lobos del mar” (sea wolves)…