Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Two Things I Don't Trust
  • A meteorologist with a full head of hair.

  • Green soft soap in a public restroom

Book Report: The Path of Vision by Bessie Mona Lasky (1945)
Well, this is a collection of watercolors, religious figures and whatnot, accompanied by some verse presumably by Ms. Lasky.

Not as good as some of the other art books I've reviewed recently. But it didn't take long to look at or to review.

Books mentioned in this review:

Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Frightening Epiphany
I'm not saying I'm low rent or anything, but all the spammers are trying to sell me knockoff Timexes.

Book Report: The Giant Book of Insults by compiled by Louis A. Safian (1967)
This book collects two previous volumes' worth of one liners and insults, meaning it's 416 pages of quips and acid tongue baths. Most of the stuff is dated and not very good, but the book has enough amusing clips and whatnot that it rivals an Ogden Nash volume in the number of potential IM statuses and tweets you could use to sound clever.

If you wanted to republish this book, you could retitle it as the Giant Book of Tweets. If you're hankering for reading a big book of that sort thing, this is is your bag.

Of course, everyone who knows me will now have to doubt the originality of my zingers. Because I had no comic sense before, and now I'm even parts H.L. Mencken and Dorothy Parker.

Books mentioned in this review:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009
It's Not That It's Too Loud, Per Se
So 101.1 went from the River to Movin' and failed spectacularly, quickly, at changing from an eclectic mix of music to light, office-friendly dance and hip hop to an FM sports station, and for the first time in a very long while, I had to change the presets on my truck radio.

Because they kept sending me mail flyers, I changed it to 107.7, an actual Top 40 station. I say this because it plays the Top 40 countdown on Sunday mornings still. I thought that was an anachronism, but I guess it's still around.

And I've been treated to this particular piece by Lady Gaga:

And I hearken back to what Ramon, a night manager, said to a younger stocker as they finished up work one morning. He didn't understand how they would be able to sing or rap to the same songs in 20 years time the way he could still sing old R&B songs.

I spent the day echoing Ramon to everyone I spoke with. "How the heck do you sing along with that? Puh puh puh poker face. Muh muh muh muh my puh puh puh poker face." I also laid into the whole thematic girl power manipulation of men thing, kinda as though every song on the dance radio top 40 was equivalent to Dion and the Belmonts singing "The Wanderer" with a lot of sampling and synth.

But then it occurred to me: 20 plus years later, I can still sing to this because I played the 45 single over and over again:

In my meager defense, the M/A/R/R/S is far superior because it features laser blasts in the audio and space race footage in the video.

But I guess it's a matter of not understanding these damn kids or not steeping myself in Top 40 music enough yet.

Two Reads on ObamaCare
Or maybe ObamaDontCare.

Cal Thomas:
    . McCaughey discovered buried in the bill a new bureaucracy called the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. Among other things, it means a Washington official will "monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective." Some of that occurs now, but this would take it to a whole new level.


    Euthanasia will not originate with your beloved grandmother or parents. It will start in a public hospital with a 100-year-old woman who has multiple health problems and "wants" to die so as not to "burden" anyone. Public opinion polls will determine that a majority favor letting - even helping - the old girl die.

    Yes, there are times when a patient and his family may decide to forgo treatment and allow death to occur, but that decision should not be made by a government official. Once that door is opened (as it was with abortion) there will be no closing it and dying will become a patriotic duty when the patient's balance sheet shows a deficit.
A shot of night-night will always be cheaper than any condition worse than a bad haircut, and it might be cheaper than a second haircut. Keep this in mind when begging for government health care. You'll pay for what you get.

Secondly, no quote here, but Scott Atlas lays out some points of pride for our "broken" health care system. Like the supermarkets stuffed with copious meats, dry goods, and fresh fruits vegetables in the middle of winter, our enjoyment of the wonderful things we have are becoming dangerously divorced from the understanding of the contingent nature of them. The lifestyle and system into which we have been born is not the floor of all possible outcomes. It's near the topmost of possibility.

Maybe Also Treated For Gunshot Wounds
Emergency workers rescue woman who fell through shoot, into water in Wellston:

    Police and firefighters rescued a woman who fell into a shoot leading to a pool of water about 1 p.m. today at the old Wellston High School at Wells Drive and Evergreen Avenue.
Damn, those homophones are tricky.

Note to St. Louis Post-Dispatch staff: Homophones are not people who are afraid of gay people.

Also Hidden in the Stimulus Bill
Beginning in 2009, new currency will replace Federal Reserve Note with Federal Note because there's no longer any reserve left in the Federal Government, and surely no rights left to the states or the people.

Estimated cost savings: $303 million annually. Of course, by "savings," that means "$303 million funneled to Chicago activist organizations/political fundraisers," but that's what happens when the government controls the dictionary that the newspapers use.

Monday, March 02, 2009
Book Report: Well Versed in Business by Greg LaConte (1994)
This book is a collection of lighthearted verses about the business world. It falls somewhere between an Ogden Nash volume and The Complete Geek (An Owner's Manual).

The verses are light-hearted but sometimes pointed, and unfortunately they're not very poetic. I mean, Ogden Nash isn't the most poetic of authors, but he can turn a phrase that you'll want to tweet. But LaConte's pieces are too earnest and common to warrant that.

It's not that long in reading, as it contains only 30 poems, and maybe you'll find something in it you recognize if you worked in a traditionalesque corporate office environment 15 years ago.

Books mentioned in this review:

Sunday, March 01, 2009
Book Report: Michigan: A Picture Book to Remember Her By by Crescent Books (1981)
This book focuses on Michigan, unlike Great Lakes: A Photographic Journey. It doesn't contain any text aside from photo captions, either, but it does share some of the images from the other book. As such, I didn't like it as much as I would have. Also, it includes Detroit, romanticizing a city which probably shouldn't be romanticized any more.

But the imagery made me homesick for the upper North Midwest again.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Gainsborough by Max Rothschild (1900?)
I tried to read this book, a monograph published around the turn of the 20th century. However, as I read the biography of Gainsborough, I found that some of the pages were not cut correctly, which means that I could not open some of the pages. Fine, I thought when I got to the first one, I'll skip this pages and keep going. As I continued, there were several such pages which rendered reading of the biography pretty tough.

So I looked at the pictures. English portraiture. Pretty boring stuff. I did come away with the fact that England didn't really produce a lot of known painters and that they liked portraits.

I also learned that my sainted mother did a report on Gainsborough in the third grade, ca. 1957, and remembered one of his paintings. Ah, the strange, meandering pathways to knowledge.

Books mentioned in this review:

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."