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I’ve gotten email recently from a Japanese chap.  Not reading Japanese and not knowing anybody who speaks only Japanese, I have been deleting them.

Tonight, in avoiding the work I need to do, I translated the latest message.

Japanese

According to my friends at Google Translate, this comes out to

Ōburī sensei sei-gai ofisu no Yamamotodesu. Osewa ni natte orimasu. Hyōki ni tsukimashite, sonogo ikagadeshou ka? Chōsei no ue go kaitō itadakimasu yō onegai itashimasu. Nao, satsuei ni tsuite wa, kōho-bi to jikan ni tsuite mo go shitei itadakimasu yō onegai itashimasu. Dōzo, yoroshikuonegaītashimasu.

and in English,

Mr. Aubrey

It is Yamamoto of the office of the government.
We become indebted to.

Regarding the markings, how about after that?
Please adjust after adjustment and thank you for your reply.
For shooting, please also specify candidate date and time.

Thank you very much.

He is indebted to me, and trusts me to make adjustments after someone else makes adjustments. And wants to shoot someone of my choice.

So I’m not sure whether to be honored or scared.  But give it up, Tetsuhisa.  Either way, it’s not worth it.  Trust me on this one.

 

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I enjoy reading Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. I probably shouldn’t – these things are violent. The hero and the bad guys leave a trail of bodies and bruises from one end of the book to the other. 

I was surprised to find out that the genre is not new. I probably shouldn’t be – there is nothing new under the sun.

I recently finished reading a big book of all Dashiell Hammett’s novels. There are five of them, including The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. (side note: those movies are great. The first Jack Reacher movie was OK. Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher. End of discussion.)

The first of Hammett’s novels is 1929’s Red Harvest. Given the body count of around two dozen, you can guess what makes the harvest that color.

The later books are not as gory as the first, but his short stories are very reminiscent of Reacher – smooth and understated, strongly masculine without being macho, and slyly humorous. In one short story, a policeman comes into money but doesn’t change his habits, including very low end cigars. The unnamed narrator, working for Continental Op, calls it a “cigar-thing”. That’s funny.

I found Lee Child before I found Dashiell Hammett. I’m glad I kept going. 

Time for another list of potentially profound sayings, that other people have created and I have harvested.  Here are the previous six entries.

Aug 16: Cows may not be smarter than people, but some cows are smarter than some people

Sep 16: Don’t get bitter, get better

Oct 16: You don’t have a soul.  You *ARE* a soul.  You have a body.

Nov 16: There is some probability that rational decision is not the governing phenomenon here.

Dec 16: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Jan 17: When you see hoofprints, think horse and not zebra

Feb 17: Eveyone who overgeneralises is always an idiot

Mar 17: Argue for your limitations, and soon they will be yours

Apr 17: You cannot make everybody happy.  You are not pizza.

May 17: The Venn diagram for age, experience and wisdom is not one of concentric circles

Jun 17: You manage what you know

Jul 17: “Carpe diem” is my favorite saying. Fish are ten cents each.

Aug 17: What you expect, you must inspect

Sep 17: Semper Gumby – forever flexible

If you are using sharp kitchen tools – a mandolin, for instance – keep your fingers away from the sharp parts. Otherwise you can end up with a bandaid on your index finger.

Or so I’ve heard.

My other revelation from the evening is Lip Blam, useful for when you’re shooting your mouth off.

I like motorsports.  Dialing that down a bit, I like car racing, and NASCAR, and Tony Stewart.  My goal is to get a race-used tire from Tony Stewart and turn it into a coffee table for my man cave.  Ignore for the moment that there’s no man cave, nor money for the tire or glass top.  Those aren’t the point.

The point is that on eBay, I have a “watch” set up for Tony Stewart.  One of the things that came up recently was a tire cover – retail, not race-used, does not apply to me.

I looked to the bottom to see if there were links to anything that would be of interest.  I found this:

mascara

The word was supposed to be NASCAR.  Autocorrect changed it, and the author didn’t catch it.

Somehow, mascara and Tony Stewart don’t quite go together.

He does his crossword puzzles in ink.

Read the rest of this entry »

Or political typography. Not sure which way this one goes.

This isn’t a post about politics. The news story linked is about politics. You have been warned.

That New York-based bastion of journalism, the Daily News, has a story about Mr. Trump’s trials in Arizona, where protesters blocked a highway to keep him from getting to a rally.   In the story they reference footage obtained from a helicopter.

Arial

“Arial video”. I would have thought Mr Trump was more of a Times New Roman guy.

Bettie and I went to the Clermont County fair on Saturday – it was Demolition Derby day. We got a late start, which was on purpose – we avoided the massive rainstorms that went through on Saturday morning. We got to see all the fun things we normally do, only missing the old tractors (which may not have been there).

We got to walk through the 4H building, seeing the exhibits. This one caught my eye:

2014-07-26 15.58.11

 

Yup – Bridal Safety, Bridaling Your Horse Safely, and Proper Bridal Fit.

The girl’s name and 4H group were on the poster, and will not be published here.  I don’t blame the girl – she obviously cares for her horses, and words are not her main concern.

I do blame the adult supervisors, though.  This was an easy one, one I imagine that horse people have to deal with a lot.  Unless the adults don’t know any better, which is a possibility.

Nevertheless, Bettie and I will be attending the fair next year.  4H lists Head as the first of their four H-words.  We’ll see.  We’ll see . . .

I couldn’t make a living as a proofreader or an editor.  I like computer work, so I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.

But when I find things like this, I can’t help but reporting them.

WCPO did a story on electric rates going up.  They described the increase this way:

thirty percent

 

While it is true to say that going from six cents to almost ten cents is “more than a 30 percent” increase, it would be more accurate (as well as more sensational) to describe it as “more than a 60 percent” increase.

6 x 1.3 is 7.8.

6 x 1.6 is 9.6 – far closer to the 9.9 price.

Accuracy, if you want it, is a 65% bump.  Harder to say and conceptualize in a sound bite.

Still, John Matarese could have gone for “over 50%” and been more accurate.

The first time I was published, I had submitted a clipped funny to PC Magazine (back in the 90s).  Someone was selling a computer monitor – except that instead of the RGB that it was intended to be, it came out as a KGB monitor.  I got $25 and a T-shirt for that one.

This week, I got the acclamation of my peers.

I read The Register, a British IT site.  I don’t read every article, and some I avoid.  There was an article about which devices are most easily broken, and my phone made the list (and did best in the embedded video).

Then there are the comments for the article.  In general, comments on articles at The Reg vary from informative to amusing to trolling.  There are some regulars, and some regular trolls.  There is a lot of understated humor, which I like.  And that’s where I came in.

twins

 

So I think I’m occasionally a funny guy.  This time, four anonymous people thought so, too.  That’s good enough for me.  Thanks, anonymous folks.