Forget about vanity license plates. Get yourself a vanity car!
How about this? It would work best on a car that has the license plate pretty flush to the back of the car, no deep recession, and if the color is the same color as the background of the license plate. For example, you have a white license plate with black lettering, and a white car. Then you could carefully paint in the same font and size as the letters of the vanity plate, but with a whole phrase, where the license is just part of it, like:
I’d rather bE PLAYINg the piano.
With “I’d rather b” painted to the left of the the plate, and “g the piano.” on the right, and the plate itself saying E PLAYIN. To make it maximally cool, the plate itself doesn’t make sense. This is purse lovely thinking, but also has the advantage that probably no one else in your state has already nabbed “E PLAYIN” as their vanity plate. Please send a photo if you do this!
The Wizard of Oz is a perennial favorite, sentimental, inspiring, and cherished for its simple truths. Going a little deeper, others have uncovered themes in the story revealing a political allegory. What interests me is what happened after the movie ended, following the clues that the story was not going to end happily ever after.
Just watched “Veducated” on Amazon Prime streaming video, which gently makes the case that a meat/dairy diet is unsustainable in light of the world’s growing population, and cruel to animals. “Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. This entertaining documentary showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who discover they can change the world one bite at a time.”
Authorities are investigating an apparent hacking of the Emergency Broadcast System. Those watching Public TV 13 Monday afternoon or the Bachelor on ABC Monday night may have seen a message come across the screen saying “Local authorities in your area have reported the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” the message warned. “Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”
Sometimes you get an invitation from someone, but you’re just not up to it, but want to let them down easy. You might want to have a few of these ready just in case necessity arrises. If you know of others, please respond.
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I feel I’m late on the uptake coming across Timothy Ferris (of four-hour fame, not the comsmologist), the “world’s best guinea pig”. He’s tried out all sorts of stuff so that you don’t have to. Check out his books on dieting and entrepreneurship. Many of the tips seem counterintuitive, like eating sweet rolls once a week while dieting, but if you’re ready for some fresh ideas you’ll find plenty to consider.
I am thinking of preordering his newest, “The Four-Hour Cook”, which is reported to include information on how to learn anything.
Talking about my neighbor’s decorations reminded me about something that happened the Halloween before last, that took place on a Friday. My kids had a sleepover, and the next day 5 kids were sitting around the breakfast table and I came up with the idea of going around the neighborhood acting like the Candy Recycling Service, and predicted about a 20% success rate. This was received skeptically but ended up being about right after they got dressed and took a trip around the block knocking on neighbors’ doors–most either had passed out all their candy the night before, or wanted to hold in to what was left, and a few were openly suspicious as to whether the kids actually were with a bona fide Candy Recycling Service. But as predicted, there were a number of households that jumped at the opportunity to dispose of the temptation, one lady cried out “oh yes I do!” when asked if she had any candy she’d like to get rid of. They came back with a whole pillow case full, more than they’d gotten the night before in costume.
As there had been a number of kids exposed to the idea, I predicted that it would quickly go viral as it spread around their school, and then jumped the fence to others, and soon sweep the nation. As far as I can tell this doesn’t seem to have happened yet, I presume since this year Halloween was on a week night, and you can’t really go after work the next day to same effect. I still think this could be a good opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new micro-business, selling cards for people to out in their windows with the words “No Candy Recycling” so they won’t be bothered by surley teenagers the next day. I thnk it is only a matter of time before this takes off, so I want to register he idea to help future historians figure out where it began n
This has been a hard year for my neighbor. First he got a ticket from a city inspector for watering on the wrong day of the week. Next he had his industrial strength 4th of July fireworks show shut down by the police. Afterwards he said he was fed up, and was thinking of moving out if town.
Every year since they moved in he has started early getting ready for Halloween. This year he has amped up his Christmas presentation, doubling the number lights in his yard after his dad unloaded a bunch of stuff on him.
I got a lovely idea for a performance art piece: hiring a guy to dress up like a city worker to deliver a citation for being in violation of the city’s excessive Christmas decoration ordinance, having exceeded by 30% or more 50% of the average amount of decorations per residence of his street. It’s a funny idea to me, but I don’t think he would agree, and it could prove to be dangerous for the imposter. My neighbor may be ready to snap, and he has guns.
You know Murphy’s Law and may enjoy lists of its many corollaries. Basically it’s the idea that “If anything can go wrong it will”, and even more ominously, “If more than one thing can go wrong it will be the worst one”, etc. I haven’t quite worked my response out, but I think I’m far enough along that there may be something to share. Too bad I didn’t put two and two together before Oprah went off the air.
I slip into seeing traces of the truth of Murphy’s Law in situations like being in a hurry and getting stuck at red lights. “It’s always that way. When you’re in a hurry you get red lights, when you have plenty of time you get green.” It hit me a couple of weeks ago that Murphy’s Law may be connected more to the effects of human perception and memory than it is to thermodynamics (“the universe is headed towards disorganization”). You just notice things going wrong more, and remember them better. You don’t remember all the times you were in a hurry and got lucky with green lights, or when you were not in a hurry and hit red lights. Murphy’s Law is a reflection of the way the human brain processes experience.
Maybe if we had a name for the opposite effect it would be easier to grab ahold of and see pleasant patterns. It’s worth a try. How about “Willey’s Law”? “If anything can go right it will, and if more than one thing can go right the best one will.” Then when you’re in a hurry and you hit a green light it won’t just slip by unnoticed, you’ll say “There it goes again—Willey’s Law—when I really needed it something good happened.”
Let yourself be lucky. It’s not something magical, like a shimmering glow you get from being tapped by a fairy’s wand. If you don’t believe it, check out Richard Wiseman’s article (“The Luck Factor”) on a ten-year scientific study into the nature of luck.
Anyway, back to my debunking of Murphy’s Law. If everything that could go wrong, and the worst of all possible ones being most likely, you would never get anything accomplished. You definitely wouldn’t make it to work, what with the accidents that could have happened and all the mechanical problems your vehicle could have developed.
While this may perk you up a little and give you a bit more bounce in your step, I think the most productive application of this awareness could be in your relationship with your partner. We often develop resentments about the way people who are close to us are, seeing patterns and believing that we have figured them out. “You are always doing X.” It is another result of the sort of perception we have that makes us imagine Murphy’s Law in effect. You just don’t notice all the times that they are doing Y, Z, or J. If you think that someone is a certain way, try remaining especially attentive to times they are not that way, and be willing to revise your estimation of them. Resentments are often hardened by believing in patterns that may not be there.