CSotD: Quibbles, major and minor

Macanudo (KFS) gets it right.

Since the election, inauguration and attempted coup, there’s been very little of any importance to complain about, but it hasn’t stopped anyone, and social media has, in lieu of people arguing over things that matter, become a torrent of people bitching and moaning over things that don’t.


Wiley has it down in today’s Non Sequitur (WPWG), though I would quibble that, while some of the simple answers come from those in vestments, there’s also the simple-minded rantings of those who are just as unthinkingly dogmatic in their rejection of religion.

In any case, as he also suggests, the differences among the various schools of whackos is insignificant.


I’ll confess to a few crotchets of my own, and Pat Byrnes rants this one for me.

If he were a bit more crotchety himself, he’d style himself Padraig Ó Broin, which is his right, though I’d hardly call myself O’Peader or MacPeader, since my Irish is all on the maternal side.

Although my g-g-grandmother Bridget Doyle also had a Danish last name, watered down over centuries of concupiscent Irish hospitality.


Now, leaping to the other side of the Irish Sea — as we still must — a note to cartoonists that whoever was dissing Archie’s skin tone, Harry confirmed that it wasn’t HRH and, moreover, that however much the situation may be distressing her, both Harry and Meghan professed their continued affection for her.

So knock off the “racist Queen” cartoons.

Also, here’s the transcript and I challenge cartoonists to find anywhere in which they ask for privacy.

So no more of that either.

I suspect there have been a lot of cartoons drawn by people who didn’t listen to the interview, and shame on them.

This from someone who thinks royalty is silly.

Though I have an idea for improving the Royal Tourist Attractions. I was once on the board of a historic house that swapped out its furnishings a few times a year to show the place as it would have been in different eras.

I think Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace should do the same, and that the royals should be schooled on the history, given era-appropriate costumes and then serve as re-enactors and interpreters in the castles.

It would encourage repeat visits. “Oh, but I haven’t seen the Regency setting.”


It’s so easy a child can do it.


Rhymes With Orange (KFS) offers a concept I’ve seen a few other places as well this week, and I don’t quibble with the joke that, of course, Daylight Saving Time is purely a modern and mostly American idea.

However, RWO brought to mind the memory of a handheld sundial I got one Christmas that came with a little compass and, within the pop-up lid, a list of dates and instructions so that you could raise the fold-down gnomon to a particular level as indicated by marks on its side and then hold the sundial towards the proper compass point and of course the whole thing was a colossal pain and magnificently inaccurate, given our local deposit of magnetite ore.

I suspect sundials are more accurate the closer you live to the Equator anyway, and I’m sure someone more knowledgeable will correct or confirm that in the comments.

But I’m historically astute enough to suggest that back in the days of sundials the exact time didn’t matter all that much anyway.

Now here’s a purely astronomical

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mr. Boffo)

(Reality Check – AMS)

Asked and answered, though Whamond makes the common mistake of confusing time with distance, or at least suggesting it.

That’s the problem when a whole generation of Star Wars fans reach adulthood.

Even — perhaps “especially” — if they swallow this retrosplaining.


As Norm’s alter ego long ago suggested, only the first two movies are really canonical.


Meanwhile, over at Between Friends (KFS), Maeve is working to screw up yet another relationship, which might be tiresome if she didn’t find new ways each time.

The brilliance of this recurring storyline being that she’s just like a real-life friend: You feel sorry for her and you also want to whack her upside the head.


Yeah, something like that.


The Buckets (AMS) has had a good story arc going about squirrels and bird feeders.

My son’s in-laws solved the problem with one of those feeders that spins if a squirrel lands on it, flinging him off, but those things are awfully pricey.

I solved it once with a roll of speaker wire — not only cheap but, in this case, unused and therefore free — by simply hanging my feeders from 15 or 20 feet of single-strand wire, which is too fine for them to climb down, and five feet off the ground, which is too high for them to jump up.

Mind you, this solution takes either luck or a little advance planning, since it requires having a very large tree in your backyard.


Indeed, Real Life Adventures (AMS), who carries cash anymore?

My “spare change” goes to the roundup program at our co-op, where you simply round up the charge, on your card, of course, to the next whole dollar. Muggers and panhandlers have to go to the food bank to benefit from that.

I try to hang on to a dollar or two in case I go to Manchester or Boston, which I don’t do often enough to bother with EZPass, but, even then, you can blow through the booth and they’ll photograph your plate and send you a bill in the mail.

I used to keep change in the ashtray of my car, but they quit putting ashtrays in cars and change is headed in the same direction.


Yes, I’m old, but still hip enough that, when I first read this Lockhorns (KFS), I thought it meant the phone numbers of 800 women, which suggested one helluva bachelorhood.

I’d forgotten about 800-numbers because who pays for long distance phone calls anymore?

For that matter, who carries a “little black book” anymore?

Not that anyone genuinely hip ever really did, mind you. They were for guys who imagined themselves in “The Rat Pack.”

Though Arthur Lee turned a song by Squaresville residents Bacharach and David into something good:


15 thoughts on “CSotD: Quibbles, major and minor

  1. Norm’s alter ego is right, the world would be a much better place if the had stopped after the second movie. Or, at most, done the third without those little hairy thing (put in to sell action figures) and then quit.

  2. Our problem with bird feeders isn’t so much about keeping squirrels out; it’s all the seeds and shells the birds drop on the ground below… which attracts rats.

  3. I wouldn’t say DST is a “mostly American idea.” It’s observed throughout North America and Europe, although mostly not elsewhere. Our youngest has lived in Belgium, Norway, and Palestine and we’ve always had to take two time changes into account while planning Skype sessions. (The last one was particularly tricky since at times the PA did not agree with Israel on when to move the clocks.)

  4. In fact, Paul, I just ran into a youngish Kerryman — not yet 40, I’m sure — who grew up speaking Irish at home, and we talked about the language a bit. Of course, the stuff they teach in school in Dublin is useless in the Gaeltacht, but he said it’s also hard for him to understand native speakers from Galway because their pronunciation is so different.

    I told him about two fellows my uncle met in France who were in the first class section of a train despite third class tickets, and who pretended to speak only Irish, which means explaining their mistake to them took long enough to arrive at their destination.

    He said that’s not an unusual tactic for young fluent scalawags. (A word that comes from Scots Gaelic.)

  5. To answer two of your questions: I carry cash, and I pay for long-distance calls (on the rare occasions I make any). And to suggest another answer to a third of your questions: just accept that squirrels need to eat too, and let the birds fight it out with them if they don’t agree. (We also throw peanuts out for the squirrels, and it would be Kool if the birds starting swiping them as payback, but I don’t think that’s happening.

  6. I can answer your sundial questions, but I’ll need to pull out my handy protractor….

    Of course none of the sundials people buy at garden shops are worth the cost of a broken Timex. There are more sophisticated versions that account for the north-south shift of the sun with the seasons, as well as Earth’s variable speed around the sun (hence the figure-8 analemma you find on old maps and globes), but if you don’t set them up right they’re useless too, and nobody knows how to set them up right.

    I’ve always had a fantasy of having a yard big enough to build a real, accurate sundial. I’d put a flagpole at the south end of a plane of concrete, and for a year I’d fastidiously mark the shadow of the top of pole. Then I’d go back and lay down tiles to mark the hours. It’d be a beauty!

    I figure the job’d only take me 12 parsecs or so.

  7. My problem is not only squirrels, but deer. The squirrels used to clean us out, so we got one of those feeders that the varmint’s weight is sufficient to shut off the supply (of course, requiring the feeder to be sufficiently distant from other branches). However, anything left out at night is completely consumed by venison on the hoof, which means I need to hang the feeders higher (or stop forgetting to bring them in at night).

  8. We’re supposed to pull in our feeders spring and fall because of the bears. I’m in midtown, so I don’t bother but a friend a block away is near a patch of woods and has had bears raid her feeders.

    Moose will also raid them, but that was more of a factor when I lived in Maine.

    Neither are worth disputing with over 50 cents worth of seeds.

  9. The guy who draws xkcd has a great book with very complex solutions to simple problems.
    I suggest seeing if xkcd would have cartoons that are appropriate for inclusion to on of your columns.

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