Friday Four

Friday, June 27, 2014

1. I don't know where she got this, but Pumpkin made me burst out laughing when, cranky and in need of a nap a couple of days ago, she tried to insult me by calling me a "raccoon".

And speaking of things my daughter didn't get at home... Quite a few months back, she hinted at a future in politics by informing me, as she reached for something on my plate, that she was "helping me share" my snack. (A fellow traveller did once caution, half-jokingly, that childhood is "fraught with property rights issues". She now knows not to reach for other people's food. I remain as astounded as ever at how saturated our culture is with rank altruism, not that there aren't times and places for sharing things.)

Turning to my year-old son, he always breaks into a big smile, and often says, "Dada" when I don my eyeglasses and flat cap on the way out the door.

2. Thanks to my new beer emporium, I finally got around to trying a bottle of Brother Thelonious, by North Coast Brewing:

North Coast Brewing Co. is proud to partner with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in support of Jazz education. The Brewery makes a donation to the Institute for every bottle of Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale sold.

Like a Belgian "Dark Strong Ale," this beer is rich and robust with an ABV of 9.3% [sic]. The package features a label picturing the Jazz master himself, and comes in either a 375 or 750 ml bottle with a traditional cork and wire finish, or 12 oz. 4-packs.

VITAL STATISTICS

Style: Belgian Style Strong Dark
Color: Dark mahogany
ABV: 9.4%
Bitterness: 32 IBUs
I wish I'd tried this way back, when I first saw it on the shelf of another store.

3. An arthritis drug may offer hope that sufferers of alopecia universalis, which causes them to lose all their hair, can grow it back:
Tofacitinib appears to spur hair regrowth in a patient with alopecia universalis by turning off the immune system attack on hair follicles that is prompted by the disease, [researcher Brett] King said.
The same drug also mildly alleviated the same patient's psoriasis.

4. Despite drawing Portugal 2-2 after being ahead in World Cup round-robin play, I think it's good news overall that American soccer fans can feel disappointment at such a result:
Put simply, America played an entertaining game against one of the best teams in the world and, if anything, was better than the scoreline suggested. This was not America potting a few lucky goals and defending for dear life. This was America giving as good as it got. 
The result was just enough, after yesterday's 1-0 loss to Germany, to see us through to the knockout stages for the second time running -- the first time that has ever occurred.

-- CAV

7 comments:

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write, "This was not America potting a few lucky goals and defending for dear life. This was America giving as good as it got." No, Gus, it was the moral decay of Kennedy leftism scoring another goal in the communist battle against American goodness, decency, motherhood, apple pie, and real manhood. Really! Ann Coulter said so, so it must be true!

If more "Americans" are watching soccer today, it's only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.

Yeesh. She makes Tracinski's sports commentary sound intelligent.

Gus Van Horn said...

Snedcat,

I read Coulter's hit piece (or should I call it a "miss piece"?) and, yes, it was that bad.

I was mildly tempted to comment on it when I read the following:

"What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things. Here’s a great idea: Let’s create a game where you’re not allowed to use them!"

If we set aside the fantasy: Holy hairless biped!

No. What sets man apart from the beasts is the faculty of reason. Here's a great idea for Ann Coulter: Let's critique a popular sport without using our minds! (But I may be erring on the side of generosity here.)

Incidentally, a conservative serviceman (who is apparently a fellow Arsenal fan) wrote a pretty decent rebuttal, in which he cites average distances covered per game, on average, for several major sports:

NBA: 2.72 miles
NFL: 1.25 miles
MLB: Unmeasurable due to short distances covered
Soccer: 7 miles

This reminds me of the following, from my rebuttal of Tracinski:

"Unlike most American sports, with their unlimited substitutions and interminable time-outs, the clock runs constantly in soccer. You must, quite literally, think on your feet most of the game. Furthermore, all but the goalkeepers and at most six other players must be well-conditioned enough to run almost constantly for two forty-five minute halves. There are no beer bellies in soccer. If fitness annoys you, switch channels."

(That piece was quite good, if I say so myself after reading it again.)

Gus

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you preen, "(That piece was quite good, if I say so myself after reading it again.)" Yes, quite good!

And as to this figure, "Soccer: 7 miles," as I was putting in my half that this evening, I kept thinking about Coulter's piece of work (or piece of something), and just kept grinning. It's amazing how many jabs at that waste of foolscap came to mind. Some of the better ones: (1) American football? Wimpy Yanks. Real men play rugby. (2) I guess this is her latest salvo in the culture wars. It would be more successful if she had any culture. (3) No doubt if cornered by someone intelligent, she'll play the humor card. Unfortunately, she's as humorless as she is uncultured. I'm not a great fan of George Carlin, but this sketch is infinitely funnier than Coulter's drivel. (4) Yeah, it probably is a blow in her culture war. That's self-declared conservatives for you, they're too unphilosophical to handle a philosophical war, so they try to make do with a culture war--and, alas, they're not even philosophical enough to handle that worth a darn. (5) She didn't even touch on the good soccer joke. (Somewhat as you've said before, why can't people like Tracinski and Coulter come up with any funny jabs against soccer?) And, (6) along the lines of your earlier comment, "There are no beer bellies in soccer. If fitness annoys you, switch channels," that reminds me that I grew up watching football with my mother, who, shall we say, has a vocal appreciation for male athletic beauty. While she's not a fan of soccer, she loves watching professional soccer players in action...

Gus Van Horn said...

On a more serious note, after reading something like this coming from her, I'll be far more circumspect about volunteering agreement with anything she has to say. There will always be a question of how fastidious she has been in her reasoning and her selection of source material.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write, On a more serious note, after reading something like this coming from her, I'll be far more circumspect about volunteering agreement with anything she has to say. There will always be a question of how fastidious she has been in her reasoning and her selection of source material.

Indeed. Such a moment comes to any thinking observer of Ms. Coulter. The final straw for me was a nonsense column she wrote saying that as the Constitution only prohibits the establishment of a national church, conservatives need to work to restore state-supported churches, which there would be no problem in doing. This is, of course, either a confession of pretty substantial ignorance of constitutional law or a direct lie: It ignores the principle of "incorporation," by which certain provisions of the Bill of Rights are deemed by the Supreme Court as applying equally to the states; in the case of the Establishment Clause, this process started in 1947.

Mind you, no doubt she'd argue the principle is illegitimate, at least in the case of religion (though if a liberal were to argue that by the same reasoning the state in which he resides should enact the gagging of her opinions, no doubt she'd suddenly find "incorporation" a useful hectoring tool, and of course I'm sure she welcomed the incorporation of the Second Amendment in 2010), but her column gave no indication the she is even aware of the issue; if she were aware, surely a sentence or two would not have gone amiss.

Basically, my view of her is that she is a conservative-commentariat jack of all trades, but only in the sense of alternating between a jackal, a jackass, and a jackanape. I know a number of conservatives who tolerate her because of the enemies she provokes, but I find no virtue and little entertainment value in provoking one's enemies by the use of the same ignoble tactics one accuses them of using routinely, if only because that allows them to use snippets of one's performance to dismiss all people on the right as snarling mongers of hatred and stupidity.

Gus Van Horn said...

"Basically, my view of her is that she is a conservative-commentariat jack of all trades, but only in the sense of alternating between a jackal, a jackass, and a jackanape."

You're being a bit harsh here: Surely she is a master of at least one of these.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you retort, "You're being a bit harsh here: Surely she is a master of at least one of these." Ha! Excellent! My hat's off. I'll stoop nearer enough to her level and merely say that the same is true of her talents at baiting her opponents.