The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I am going to ramble for a bit. There should be a better word for this, one that is suited to the printed/written form. Rambling in speech is all about context but when it's oral, it's all about who is speaking. If a college professor rambles then it's a sign of a mind caught up with more esoteric things, deeper thoughts. If your neighbor rambles, he's an idiot. When your wife rambles, you have done something wrong. If your husband rambles, it's because he's done something wrong. If you are speaking to an unattractive person, it indicates you are bored. If you are talking to an attractive person, it is more properly called babbling. Incidentally, beautiful women think that most men babble as a rule. But I digress... which is another way of saying I am rambling.

When I worked, I got involved in a quality process group. What we were supposed to do was analyze process problems and find solutions. One of the things we did was called "brain storming." That's corporate-speak for group rambling. I didn't do well at this because I thought the ideas offered for consideration should be sensible, that nonsensical ideas were not only non-productive but counter-productive. I was obviously not a team player and eventually resigned from the group. I wrote a nice letter of resignation wherein I pointed out that we were avoiding the obvious solution by spending too much time playing at problem solving. No one missed me much.

The new I-phones are coming out and have their share of problems, as all new products seem to. Which reminded me that not too long ago (in real time, eons in technology time) we complained about noisy phones and phone lines. We complained about having to speak loudly on long distance calls. This was on the phones in your homes and they cost maybe $8 a month. Fast-forward to the present and we gladly pay well over $50 a month to shout to be heard poorly on cell phones. But we get to do that shouting in restaurants, our cars, and on the streets where everyone gets to hear at least one side of our private conversations.

I'm an old fogey. I realized this a few years ago when I noticed that I remembered when they didn't have to edit films so they could be shown on TV. I grew up watching films from the thirties and forties played on Saturday afternoons. Jimmy Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, et al., all managed to entertain us with great acting without once uttering even a mild profanity. TV trailed behind movies in allowing "colorful" language but it's catching up. A couple of decades ago, we began seeing ads on TV for feminine products, now we have ads for erectile dysfunction products. This is progress? I am not so sure.

Speaking of things I remember, I need to write them down before I forget them. That's another sign of advancing age. I am not too worried about this, it's natural to have little lapses of memory. I recall hearing once that we shouldn't be concerned when we forget where we left the car keys. We should start worrying when we forget we own a car. But a good memory is useful when writing columns. I often think of a great idea to write about when I am lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. That creates a quandary. If I get up and write it down, I will greatly postpone falling asleep. If I don't write it down, I am afraid I will lose it forever. If I lay there debating with myself about what to do I will end up with both results. So now I have little slips of paper with bits of ideas all over the place, none of which seem half as witty or clever as they did when I was half asleep.

I am my own worst critic, next to my ex-wife. That makes it tough to proofread what I write. That's always been a problem. When I would write essays in school, I would re-write them several times as I checked them for spelling and grammar. Sometimes, I would change the entire theme because I would find the original theme boring or insipid. I did this with reports I would write for work too. The same thing happens with this column. I wonder if this is common among writers. Probably. I am definitely not as unique as I'd like to think I am.

By the way, I think I know the key to easing global warming. Just get all politicians to shut up. Just think of the amount of hot air that would no longer be released.

[This bit of drivel was originally posted on an old blog I had that no one ever saw]


Anonymous said...

I am still LOLing (evolution of language - LOL is now a verb to be used in the present continuous) Your first papagraph had me in stitches. I do proof read, mainly to convince myself I am not making a complete prat of myself, in doing so I find spelling errors that an English shouldn't make.


Douglas said...

Just the first paragraph? I am crushed.

Anonymous said...

global bad air.. haha. cool.

about the half-asleep thingy. i have read of a trivia about that before. when we are sleeping can we draw our extremeties of our wiseness. (no, i just exaggerated that) A study was conducted (i forgot most details) and it came to the conclusion that most people, when they are asleep (or half-asleep) become sharper, as in to mathemathical problem-solving, than they usually are, compared to when they are awake.

Anonymous said...

remiss of me, the first paragraph particularly. I too used to be somewhat fastidious about my writings, but now consider the first draft (e& oe) to be what I intended.

my apologies for the momentary disappointment. I hope I have redeemed myself LOL.


Douglas said...

Ares, the state of twilight sleep is akin to an hypnotic trance. It allows the brain to rid itself of outside stimuli (well, lower the emphasis greatly) which, in turn, leaves computing power to work on more esoteric things.

Argentum, you are hereby redeemed. My tongue was nestled firmly in cheek (as you no doubt knew well) and I was actually quite pleased with your comment/compliment. I thought the first paragraph was the best of the lot also.

Anonymous said...

breathes sigh of relief...


The Brain Twinkey said...

I have to agree with AV. That first paragraph was great! It was right on the numbers! Thanks for the laugh.


Anonymous said...

Douglas, off-topic but:

You've been tagged. Check out this link to find out what that means:

Have fun ... and don't forget to let me know when you've completed your 8!

Argentum Vulgaris