Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The end of the iguana

It's time to close down this blog.  I started it four years ago as part of a project at work in which we were encouraged to try out new web goodies.  I think somewhere between 1 and 4 of the other blogs from my co-workers are still running (two may not have started then).  

It's not that I don't have anything left to say, just that I find myself resenting the time it takes to say it.  And now is a logical time to quit because the other (even older) blog I have contributed to, Criminal Brief, recently shut its doors.  In some ways that one has been replaced by SleuthSayers, where I can be found most Wednesdays, bright-eyed and iguana-tailed.  And I continue to report on the best mystery story I read each week at Little Big Crimes.

If you have been reading this blog regularly, I thank you for your attention.  I hope you find some of the other ten zillion blogs out there to your liking.  Be well.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mr. Robert's rules of etiquette

Like I know anything about manners, right?  But here are a few tips I would like to share with the world.

1.  When two people come to a crowded doorway the person leaving the smaller place goes first.  Get it?  The person coming out of the bus leaves before the other guy enters the building.  The person entering the hallway goes before the person entering the room.

2.  When  are at a meeting and someone hands you a stack of papers to pass around the table don't start reading it before you pass them on.  It annoys people.

3.  When you share a microwave oven with other people and you stop it with time left in order to take your food out, hit the stop button again to reset the time to zero, so the next person doesn't wind up with 14 seconds or the like.

4.  Not really etiquette, but a useful tip.  To the people who lean out car windows to yell at pedestrians or people on bikes: we can't understand what you're saying.  It sounds like animal noise and makes you look dumb.  Thought you'd want to know. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The end of American civilization

Take a look at the following quote:

I told him what I believed to be true - that [the nation's leaders] have quite completely transformed our people from a nation with pretty high and respectable ideals to just the opposite of that; that our people have no ideals now that are worthy of consideration; that our Christianity which we have always been so proud of - not to say so vain of - is now nothing but a shell, a sham, a hypocrisy; that we have lost our ancient sympathy with oppressed people struggling for life and liberty; that when we are not coldly indifferent to such things we sneer at them, and that the sneer is about the only expression the newspapers and the nation deal in with regard to such things...

Who said it? A Republican candidate for president? A liberal blogger? A TV preacher?

None of the above. It was Mark Twain, in his autobiographical dictation for March 30, 1906. (If you haven't read his autobiography, newly published, treat yourself. I recommend getting it for an e-reader, because it its big and heavy, and only Volume 1).

Where I wrote {the nation's leaders] what he actually said was:

the McKinleys and the Roosevelts and the multimillionaire disciples of Jay Gould - that man who in his brief life rotted the commercial morals of this nation and left them stinking when he died)...

In other words he was referring to capitalists and imperialists. Today he would be accused of class warfare, or worse. Maybe that's why he insisted his autobiography wait for a hundred years before being published.