Today was to be the day I would buy my Leica. I found the perfect one: chrome finish, Leitz logo, great condition, good price. I called today.

“Sorry, we sold that one yesterday.”

Everyone I’ve talked to so far says that getting one will be a matter of luck. Evidently they are usually bought within a day or two of being listed. For someone accustomed to a consumer culture, this is extremely frustrating.

December 13, 2005 December 13, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

Thundersnow!

December 9, 2005 December 9, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

Where the heck is the 3-5 inches of snow we were promised last night? The NWS never acknowledges errors in their forecast products, but fortunately you can also read the technical discussion:

    BASED UPON RADAR TRENDS AND LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE WE ARE BACKING OFF
    ON ACCUMULATIONS FROM PREVIOUS FORECAST...AND WILL DROP ADVISORIES 
    FOR I-95 CORRIDOR AND LOWER WARNINGS TO ADVISORIES FOR S COASTAL 
    ZONES.

    IF WE WERE ALL AT 10KFT THIS WOULD BE A GOOD SNOWSTORM...BUT LOW 
    LEVEL DRY AIR HAS BEEN WINNING THE BATTLE ALL NIGHT AND WILL LIMIT 
    NORTHWARD EXTENT OF SNOW SHIELD THIS MORNING. SURFACE MESOANALYSIS 
    SHOWS RIDGING WORKING DOWN INTO NORTHERN CT...NW RI AND MUCH OF SE MA
    WHICH CAN ALSO BE SEEN BY A LACK OF ECHOES ON KBOX 88D.
    

December 6, 2005 December 6, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

on music

As a matter of desperation, I ate lunch at Au Bon Pain today. They were playing painfully slow Sinatra-esque renditions of AM radio favorites like “Silver Bells.” Who knew torture could take the name of “holiday cheer.” In my mind I was moments away from gunning down everyone in the room when the music made an abrupt change to that of the Raymond Scott Quintette. For real!

on guns

Somewhere near the Illinois-Indiana border, where endless fallow cornfields meet the lifeless highway, I spotted a new line of roadside billboards in the style of Burma-Shave. I think they speak volumes about America. Here is one example of a five-sign sequence:

TERRORISTS
LIKE GUN CONTROL
DISARMED VICTIMS
ARE THEIR GOAL
GUNS SAVE LIFE.com

on trees

The subject of this week’s political controversy here in Boston is a tree. The official Christmas tree has been newly re-minted as a “Holiday Tree.” Everyone has something to say about it. Regrettably, nobody seems to have noticed that we can settle this problem without delving into the issue of religious sensitivity. The proper question to ask is, “What holiday, besides Christmas, is symbolized by a giant conifer?”

Keep thinking.

December 1, 2005 December 1, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

SBC, which (incredibly!) now owns AT&T, decided to rename itself AT&T. The change evidently warranted a newer, more ridiculous logo. I will not attempt to defend 1984’s “Death Star” version, but I’m not fond of the new “sliced ribbons” look either.

For starters, where I went to first grade, we were taught that acronyms, initials, and the first letters of proper nouns should be set in uppercase. They might have missed that lesson.

Most annoyingly, the new typeface is distinctively European. That, to me, seems pretty dumb for a company whose first name is “American.”

It’s curious to note also how printing technology has changed the rules for what is an “acceptable” logo: for the new spherical shape to appear on paper, the printing press must be capable of accurately reproducing a very tight band of grayscale around the periphery. That would not have been quite so trivial a task 20 years ago. I’m curious to see how it will appear on vehicles, since it can be neither painted (easily) nor cut from vinyl.

Logo Logo Logo Logo
1939 1969 1984 2005

November 21, 2005 November 21, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

No one is available to take your call. Please leave a message.

November 17, 2005 November 17, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

The complete absence of editorial discretion in Wikipedia can bring a ridiculous breadth of information to a single, seemingly simple topic.

Take, for example, the biography of King Abdullah II of Jordan. How else would you find out that he appears as an extra in a 1995 episode of Star Trek: Voyager?

November 10, 2005 November 10, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments

“Before Facebook, the only way to adequately stalk a woman was to stand outside her window and leave weird presents around, Boo Radley style.”From “Fo’ the Shorties: The Obligatory Facebook Article,” The Tech, Nov. 8, 2005

November 9, 2005 November 9, 2005 archives by Scott No Comments