Previous “COVID-19” posts

He Knows That They’ve Been Bad, Not Good 

Monday, October 26th, 2020

Attempting to bribe Santa Claus is surely one of the naughtiest things one can do. It’s also entirely on brand for the Trump Administration.


Voting Information: American’s election is well underway, with tens of millions of early votes already cast. If you haven’t voted yet, please, please, please make a plan to do so, either immediately by mail, or in person if possible.

For the benefit of all mankind, the nightmare of the Trump presidency needs to end as soon as possible. Visit https://vote.org for more details – in many states, there’s still time to register. Once you’ve done that, make sure your friends and family are voting as well.

Silencio, Por Favor!

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Did I get some sweet new headphones? Am I some sort of YouTube gamer now?

No. However, there is jackhammering 50 feet from me.

So, this is how I live now.

A Journey to Nowhere 

Friday, October 9th, 2020

While COVID-19 has me missing traveling, I can’t say I particularly miss the act of flying. Though our ability to jet around the globe is incredible if you stop and think about it, airlines have managed to grind out nearly all the wonder of it, leaving it as little more than a utilitarian transportation option.

Apparently, however, at least some people do miss modern air travel. They miss it enough that they’re taking sightseeing flights to nowhere.

For those who can’t wait to get back to the skies, some airlines have started to offer sightseeing flights that offer all the thrill of air travel without actually going anywhere.

I shudder to think of the carbon footprint on this.

One Magical Front Door

Friday, September 25th, 2020

Recently, I bought some potato chips. More specifically, I bought 156 single-serving bags of potato chips from England. Now sure, ordering over $100 worth of junk food might seem crazy. But what you have to remember is that it’s 2020, and we each need to find a way to get through this thing. Also, the British really know their way around a salt & vinegar “crisp”, as they call them.

So yes, this happened:

Only a fraction of the haul
[Photo courtesy of P. Kafasis]

As absurd as this recent purchase might seem, however, it’s far from the most ridiculous thing going on here. First, let’s talk shipping speed. My order was dispatched from England in the afternoon on Monday, September 14th. It was driven from Bristol to East Midlands airport about two hours away, then flown across the Atlantic to New York City. There, it cleared customs, and was quickly driven to Boston. Just over 48 hours after it began its journey, the box was at my front door. That’s simply unnecessary, particularly for such a frivolous purchase.

Better still is the note DHL added to the last item of the tracking information:

This was not in fact the approximate location where I signed for the package. Instead, the delivery was left without an actual signature or even a ring of the doorbell. Thankfully, I noticed it before any snack fiends could make off with my precious cargo. If I hadn’t, however, I think DHL would’ve had a hard time defending themselves given this note.

A Second Chance for a Strange Chair 

Monday, September 21st, 2020

In what may well be the worst year of many of our lives (…so far), this story of a fish chair is a brief bit of relief.

Coming to You Live From His Mother’s Basement 

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

OK, it’s not quite as ridiculous as the headline would suggest, but Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner is broadcasting the 2020 season from his own living room.

Beautiful Blue Skies and Golden Sunshine 

Monday, August 31st, 2020

In 2020, why wouldn’t you watch a weather report for Los Angeles from eccentric filmmaker David Lynch? This makes as much sense as anything else right now.

“Fair” Means Whatever Is Good for Jerry Jones 

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

If the NFL does in fact play its 2020 season this fall, most stadiums will be empty. However, because not all states currently prohibit mass gatherings, a few teams will be allowed to have fans at their home games.

You might wonder if this actually matters. In a word, yes. Home field advantage is a real phenomenon, with home teams winning more games than away teams, and that advantage is directly related to the fans.

Years ago, I read an excellent book called “Scorecasting”, which discussed hidden factors that affect sports. In one section, the book analyzed why home advantage exists, controlling for as many factors as possible. For instance, to test the theory that sleeping in their own beds is what helps players, they looked at the results of cross-town games. They found that even in games where both teams had slept in their own beds, the home team still won more often.

The book concluded that fans were responsible for a big part of home advantage, specifically by producing a psychological impact on the officials. Loud fans can swing a few calls the home team’s way, and that in turn can swing a few games. Neat!

Scorecasting” is a great book, and I recommend it if it sounds at all interesting to you. One person who should definitely give it a read is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Jones was asked about the fairness of the Cowboys being allowed to have fans, when most other teams. Among his word salad of an answer, he said it was “absolutely fair”. As not just the aforementioned book, but real results in 2020 show, it obviously is not fair at all. Further, it’s preposterous to state otherwise.

“It’s Good” Is a Decent Slogan 

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

In what is clearly little more than a publicity stunt which is working very well, KFC has stated they won’t be using their “finger lickin’ good” slogan during our global pandemic.

Ghost Cruise Ships 

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

Sightseeing tours of minimally-staffed cruise ships anchored off the coast of England are a hot new tourist attraction.