The Week’s Tweets (2010-04-04)

  • These are the TSA's "new" screening protocols? What were we, just guessing before? #
  • I need a tool belt with a baby holster. #
  • You with the loud pipes: everyone thinks you're a tool, but the guy trying to walk his baby to sleep? He actively hates you. #
  • Dubious about the absurdly G-rated explanation of the origins of "in like Flynn" on today's "Christy the Wordsmith." #
  • Can we stop using the "woman enough" analogue to "man enough" and just switch to using "adult enough" for everyone? #
  • Does anyone have a completely empty room where I can spend the day with my octopus-armed seven-month-old? #
  • Remembering J.F. terHorst, a public official with strong enough principles to resign over them. #
  • Indeed: "I come here and watch the traffic. I thought I had problems, but look at these poor people." #
  • Epidemic of "mean girls"? Nope. The middle-aged are out of control, though: #
  • If someone is going to call business owners "job creators," shouldn't they have to call employees "profit creators"? #
  • "The last pope to step down from the post was Gregory XII, in 1415." (So don't hold your breath.) #
  • In the living room, this is Petty Officer Stokes. I have the deck, conn, and baby. Make all reports to me. #
  • Want to live across the street from a park with splash play and playground? Then buy my house. #missoula #
  • Loving Carbon Copy Cloner for backing up my MacBook (10.4, so no Time Machine). I have tested to confirm that I now have a bootable clone! #
  • Looking forward to when doctors routinely install USB port in newborns' heads for sleep controller interface. NO IDEA it was this hard. #
  • Freelance writers and editors, check out the valuable services offered by The Writer's Bridge (I'm a member). #
  • "Why should I and [the] noble Lords trust the Executive to deal with mice when they cannot deal with the economy?" #
  • Work in downtown Missoula? Buy my house, and you can walk to work in 15 minutes. #
  • Wow, it's illegal to voice your religious convictions on the streets of Scotland? #
  • How to defeat a pit bull with your bare hands. (Yes, I only found this because I was looking for Savage Love.) #
  • "Never let yummy little kids anywhere near unleashed pit bulls." #
  • Can anyone explain Ross Douthat to me? #
  • "Globish": a highly simplified but still comprehensible form of English without grammar or structure. #
  • "First article about Twitter that references Wordsworth, Hammurabi, and Greek mythology": #
  • Berube, contra Chomsky: "crucial …not to normalize [U.S. torture] by saying … nothing new to see here. " #
  • Sarkozy: "Welcome to the club of states who don't turn their back on the sick and the poor." #
  • Forget ideal outcomes, be realistic about how politics will warp a policy and build more resilient reforms. h #
  • Disappointed to learn that an advertised "ghost blogger" position would not involve blogging about actual ghosts. #
  • Corn syrup is to corn as cocaine is to coca? #
  • Apparently there is some technical sense in which the world did not know Ricky Martin was gay until today. #
  • Thanks @aaronwatkins and @westoftheloop for kind words about my latest Went West column on living far from family. #
  • One year after jettisoning my old backup solution (Mozy), I'm finally implementing a new one. #
  • My latest Went West column considers why so many of us are willing to move so far away from home. #wtcomm #

The Week’s Tweets (2010-03-28)

  • "It was not immediately clear how he endeavored to restore the possum's life." #
  • Hoping 5 interviews will have provided sufficient material for the 350-word article I need to write this weekend. #
  • So looking forward to my wife's unemployment. #
  • Man, it's so offensive that the federal government is taking over the federal government's student-loan industry. #
  • Tactical error by GOP? Forcing reconciliation bill back to House may create opportunity to add public option. #
  • Websites: I will never take your surveys if you are not offering money or other concrete compensation Just saying. #
  • Frum on HCR: "[T]he most radical voices in the party and the movement … led us to abject and irreversible defeat." #
  • HCR = "Fed's biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago." #
  • American Dream (of working your way to top) is easier in Canada than America: #
  • Belief in divine authority really is the only credible basis for morality, isn't it? #
  • Megan McArdle in a nutshell: "a sense of overwhelming indignation in search of an argument." #
  • So are we still going to have that civil war now? #
  • My latest Went West column: why would anyone move away from Missoula? #

The Week’s Tweets (2010-03-21)

  • I like access to health care as much as next guy-but not at cost of making abortion slightly less convenient. #
  • "Bachmann: “˜I don’t mean any disrespect’ when I accuse the media of “˜treason.’" #
  • Walmart undercutting… payday lenders? #
  • Starting to remember which houses with dogs to avoid when I'm walking with a sleeping baby. #
  • "It’s not rocket science: 100 rules for NASA project managers." via @mstibbe #
  • Really glad we set Coen's tantrums ahead one hour on Sunday morning. #
  • DIsappointed that I only learned of Missoula's supplementary March leaf pickup when the trucks showed up. #
  • Paranoid political style in a psychological nutshell: focusing anger on powerful foe mitigates our fears. #
  • Latest Went West column: reckoning the costs of moving from a city to a small town. #

The Week’s Tweets (2010-03-14)

  • Good news: Obama appoints Edward Tufte to advisory panel of Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. #
  • "[A]ny single scientific study alone is quite likely to be incorrect." #
  • Nate Silver argues -contra Greenwald, et al.-that libs have not been "scammed" out of public option. (Latin corrected!) #
  • Nate Silver argues -contra Greenwald, at. al.-that libs have not been "scammed" out of a public option. #
  • Obama (acc. to Brooks): "Government should address problems without interfering with the dynamism of the market." #
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates: "'Obama isn't tough enough' = escape hatch for [liberals] who don't want to think." #
  • Ruane Manning horse clock! #
  • Toyota: 20 million cars sold, 56 deaths. Please stop obsessing over this. (And if it happens to you, NEUTRAL!) #
  • Breaking: people who knew serial killer found him not"nice" or "normal" but rather "creepy and obnoxious." #
  • Thanks @angelahopp for RTing my latest Went West column, "Some of my best friends are cities." #
  • The scarcity of political reporters who understand "reconciliation" begs the question why we pay attention to them at all. #
  • Adventures in transcribing an Australian: "hit a bug with it in beta = "did a bundle with the data." #
  • Hey, why not read the famous David Foster Wallace commencement speech at Kenyon? It's famous for a reason: #
  • "If this is the information age, what are we so well-informed about?" #
  • My latest Went West column: I don't hate cities. I just don't want to live in one right now. #wtcomm @wtcommunities #

The Week’s Tweets (2010-03-07)

  • Just turned off a bunch of notifications in Facebook. I feel free! (So it's nothing personal if I don't respond to your comment.) #
  • Your reality is out of date: on "mesofacts," facts that change so slowly you'll miss it if you're not paying attention. #
  • Forget all my noodling at Went West (, here's a real reason not to live in a city: #
  • Why do people tweet news items without a link? #
  • Most annoying thing about Macs: having to beseech and then wait for them to eject things. Does whatever causes this benefit me in some way? #
  • Real estate! #
  • Ira Glass: "The natural state of all writing is mediocrity." #
  • Miss. Co is short election judges, but this is first I heard of training-and I'm a former judge. Comm. fail? #
  • "[D]oves were released as a symbol of peace … as fireworks burst in the sky, catching many birds in the cross-fire." #
  • Grateful the sun is not out today. #
  • Wow, Diane Ravitch now sounds… sane about No Child Left Behind. #
  • Buy a raincoat. Soon, Republicans' heads will be exploding all around you. #
  • Our mailman has taken to wearing a blue fedora (or maybe it's a trilby?). I wonder if it is an official USPS uniform item. #
  • Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss. #
  • So glad I decided to get some physical therapy for my back. (Tara at Alpine PT for Missoula people.) #
  • At my desk late, setting up for a conference call with India and Australia. #
  • Love when "looting" footage shows "looters" throwing food out into crowds of strangers. I thought reporters needed BS detectors. #
  • If health-care reform is really a multi-billion-dollar "giveaway" to insurers, why are they now fighting it? #
  • Advice to criminals: don't keep a diary. #
  • Man, more post-quake looting. Why don't people in places where infrastructure is destroyed just wait patiently for it to be rebuilt? #
  • Well, now that spring is here in Montana, guess I'll just throw away all of these winter clothes…. #
  • "We used the wrong measurements to decide if childhood mental illness is real, and we reached the wrong conclusions." #
  • "Come to terms with the fact that your breaths are limited, and your days numbered. You have to budget your outrage." #
  • Google fixed a problem by using "Wittgenstein's theories about how words are defined by context". #
  • If liberals give up snootiness/evangelicals retire sanctimony, might make progress against enemies of humanity. #
  • What's worse, a targeted, surgical assassination, or a drone attack that kills innocent bystanders? #
  • Do I know the kind of people who can tell me what's so great about an app that opens WPF resource dictionaries really quickly? #
  • My latest Went West column looks at my changing relationship to city life/Baltimore. @wtcommunities #wtcomm #

The Week’s Tweets (2010-02-28)

  • These terrible earthquakes are almost enough to make me believe that the earth's surface consists of shifting tectonic plates. #
  • Slightly more than two hours until the tsunami gets to Hawaii (1619 ET). #
  • Starting my 35th project for my favorite client. (You can see why they're my favorite.) #
  • On Avatar: "I can’t name a single other instance of someone arguing, “Look, it’s stupid, it’s lame, but you hafta." #
  • "[Y]oung black adults ages 18 to 25 years old were less likely to use illicit drugs than the national average." #
  • "Recent data do not support the ubiquity of black crack-mom characters in [Tyler Perry] movies." #
  • Cut the COAST GUARD'S budget? Yeah, lot of fat to trim there. #
  • Do babies ever blink? Hard to win staring contests with Coen. #
  • Man the sun is annoying when you are pushing a stroller with a sleeping baby inside. #
  • Gold standard plus no central banks = two of the worst depressions in American history. #
  • Hey, now you can carry guns in Nation Parks (in states that allow it in their state parks). Who cares? #
  • Went West may be moving east, but at least it's to a state with "west" in the name. #wtcomm @wtcommunities #
  • Went West may be moving east, but at least it's to a state with "west" in the name. #
  • Note to stroller makers: if you aren't going to include a steering wheel, it doesn't do much good to put the swiveling wheels on the front. #
  • Is it really accurate to call this guy "a Corvallis man"? Hint: I'm not talking about the "Corvallis" part. #
  • "This is new for us, dealing with someone stealing houses." #
  • "The officers followed a trail of stolen M&Ms to her door." #
  • Is it my imagination, or do Montanans do a lot of baby shaking? Also, FYI, "spanking" a one month old: = 911. #
  • Loving the SmartCart massage chair in concourse B of Cincinnati airport. #
  • Even from catching just a few minutes of cable news in an airport waiting area it is easy to understand what a negative force it is. #
  • Who actually throws a newspaper away in an airport waiting area? #
  • Biscuit World! #
  • Where can I find a photo gallery of the men's cross country race? I'm looking for different angles on Kriukov's photo finish. #
  • If you're looking for a house in Missoula, please check out our ad. Open house today 12-2 p.m. #

The Week’s Tweets (2010-02-21)

  • Amazed by how little vomit I have on me after three flights with a 5 month old. #
  • Surprised Delta actually let Coen land the plane. That pilot must have really needed that nap! #
  • Olympics cursed by Canada's long-ago pact with a minor demon named Lenny. #
  • I'd probably get out cross-country skiing more often if it were more like biathlon. #
  • Maritime peeps: anyone need a used (actually, opened but never used) handheld VHF radio? #
  • Distinct impression that the Break clerk was miffed when I didn't tip her for ringing up a pre-made sandwich. #

The Week’s Tweets (2010-02-14)

  • Reading some of my own sentences in an interview transcript makes me more sympathetic to politicians who get mocked for clumsy locutions. #
  • Ominous IM quote for the day: "they died already. that was fast!" #
  • Aspiring to the lifestyle of the dogs in P.D. Eastman's Go, Dog, Go. Except for being awakened by someone using a megaphone. #
  • Tenn. teacher/shooter was losing job for yelling at students? In Balt. school, they said I didn't scream enough. #
  • Is healthy eating a disorder? Some docs are pushing for a new DSM entry on "orthorexia": #
  • Getting our stories straight for tomorrow's meeting with the accountant. #
  • RT @aaronwatkins: Google Buzz was created just to keep people from bitching about the latest Facebook redesign. #
  • "We should be [able] to keep the space we shovel but should also clear the other spaces in front of our property." #
  • Kind of enjoying Google Buzz. Related: getting even less done than usual. #
  • Google Buzz is now at the stage where everyone announces how much they hate it/how little use it is. Massive uptake is impending! #
  • An "aha" moment at physical therapy is making my back feel a LOT better. #
  • "Fur children"? #
  • My lower back and I sometimes wish Coen were one of those babies you can occasionally put down. #
  • Does Brian Kahn's interviewing style (Home Ground, on MT public radio) drive anyone else up the wall? #
  • East coast blizzards "an early warning sign of global warming." #
  • Coen's Fisher Price Laugh & Learnâ„¢ Learning Puppyâ„¢ says it loves him. I think this relationship is moving a little fast. #
  • What's this new Google thing? Facebuzz or something? #
  • Lots of people are "angry at Washington." Are you? What for? #
  • As an Andrew Sullivan fan, I enjoyed this reality check on AS from Jonathan Chait: #
  • Robert Gibbs may be a good advisor/strategist, but it's difficult to understand why anyone thinks he is the best public face for the WH. #
  • Lord how I hate digital TV. #
  • Call me crazy, but I would buy another Toyota tomorrow. #
  • Iran announced today that it would like everyone to talk about it on the news tonight. The world complied. #
  • People are already saying this house is "pretty spiffy": #
  • My latest Went West column: from now on, I will be the most humble person IN THE WORLD. #
  • House available in Missoula (corrected link): #
  • I hate how many open windows I end up with in Safari. Why isn't there a way to have blind links open in tabs, like in Firefox? #
  • If you know anyone looking for a house in Missoula, MT: #

It’s Not Very Original To Say There Is Nothing Original

But here I go anyway: As I look forward to sharing books with Coen, I’m reminding myself of some of my favorites from my childhood. Glancing at an Amazon reader review of John Bellairs’s 1969 fantasy novel Face in the Frost, I was struck by this quote from the book:

“In her slowly rising head were two black holes. Prospero saw in his mind a doll that had terrified him when he was a child. The eyes had rattled in the china skull. Now the woman’s voice, mechanical and heavy: “Why don’t you sleep? Go to sleep.” Her mouth opened wide, impossibly wide, and then the whole face stretched and writhed and yawned in the faint light.”

I’m reminded of nothing so much as the distorted, creepily out-of-proportion mouths so popular in modern horror movies. Click here to view an example from The Ring, but only if you want to see something creepy. There must be some others: I feel like I’ve seen a lot of horror movies recently where significant scare or at least startle value arises from the way someone’s mouth just… keeps… opening. The Ring example isn’t quite what I was picturing. Maybe someone can suggest some more titles.

Perhaps needless to say, I will be waiting to suggest this book to Coen until at least fifth grade.

Why Are They Called “Paultards” Again?

When last we checked in on Ravalli County, just south of Missoula, citizens were circulating a petition asking county officials to-among other things-forbid federal employees from talking to them without permission from the sheriff.

One county resident, who also happens to work for the federal government, recently wrote to the Missoulian: “Do I need a daily letter from the sheriff to enter my home and talk to my wife, or will there be provision for some sort of blanket authorization?”

Now, another Ravalli County resident wants to change the Montana constitution.

“Cathy Hackett of Stevensville this week launched a proposed constitutional initiative campaign to put the boundaries from Montana’s original 1889 constitution into the state’s 1972 constitution. These boundaries spell out, in latitudes and longitudes, where Montana is situated.

“I really think that places our state sovereignty in jeopardy if we don’t have official boundaries in our constitution,” Hackett said Tuesday.”

Hackett, who describes herself as “a bit of a rebel,” is worried that-without the state’s boundaries spelled out in the state constitution-“if you get charged with breaking a Montana law, you could very well use that as a defense and get off.”

I don’t know if this is correct or not, but then, neither does Hackett. Stating the obvious, the reporter advises us that Hackett “is not a lawyer.”

Then there’s this:

“Qualifying a constitutional initiative for the November 2010 ballot is no easy task. To do so requires the signatures of nearly 49,000 registered Montana voters, including 10 percent of the voters in 40 of the 100 state House districts. The signatures must be turned by June 18.

“There’s people all over the state I believe can help me,” Hackett said. “I was part of the Ron Paul thing when he was running for president. We still e-mail each other. I’m counting on those people. I’m confident that they’ll agree with me.”

In other words, Hackett finds it safe to assume that a Ron Paul supporter can be engaged in a quixotic and time-consuming effort to rectify a problem that no state legislator, legal scholar, defense attorney, or jailhouse lawyer has yet noticed and that mainly sounds problematic only if one has just recently begun learning about the subject in a relative vacuum.

I’m not saying this doesn’t sound possible, but-if I were among these Ron Paul supporters-I wouldn’t take the nature of Hackett’s faith in them as a compliment.

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