Rained out.

We finished photography on our student film Saturday. It was 27 degrees, and we all stood around blowing on our fingers to keep blood circulating for the last shots. Our batteries kept failing in the cold, and at one point I took a near-dead one and stuck it in my bra on the chance a little warmth might bring it back to life. When we needed it later, it had miraculously recovered to near-full capacity. Make of that what you will, but I feel justified in claiming my breasts can now generate electricity. I think I’ll put it on my resume.

Good thing we finished, though, because this was Sunday’s weather:

It's a beautiful day.

You need a day like this every so often, an excuse to stay inside and gather linkage for your stupid blog. Let’s make it an all-bloggage Monday morning, because it’s winter break and I’m not fully awake yet.

Sunday’s fields were rich and fruitful, starting with a story that got barely briefed in the local fishwrap but, thankfully, much wider coverage in the WashPost — the horrific multiple fatal in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The Fast and the Furious meets … reality, I guess. People have been illegally racing cars as long as there have been cars, but when I started reading the story, I assumed it was an out-of-control racer who spun into the crowd, not a bunch of people standing in the middle of the road, neatly screened by tire smoke. What a nightmare.

There seems to be a bit of this going around — illegal racing ending in multiple funerals, that is. I was never a gearhead, and the only place I ever saw this sort of drag-racing happen was on a freshly paved but still unopened part of a new freeway in Columbus, just days away from its ribbon-cutting. (Ohio readers? It was Rt. 315, and now you know the truth: my middle name is Methuselah.) It was motorcycles, and I’m not even sure anyone was racing, just winding it out in a convenient place. Still: shudder.

The WashPost also provides a wonderful, funny summation of the Detroit mayoral scandal, by ex-Freeper Neely Tucker. He reprints a number of the text messages in question, and now seems as good a time as any to point out what’s bugged me about this since the beginning: How complete they are. With the exception of the inescapable LOLs, even figuring the parties had devices with QWERTY keyboards, they don’t sound like the way two people who know one another well — exceptionally well, in this case — actually text-chat with one another:

CB: “I’m feeling like I want another night like the most recent Saturday at the Residence Inn! You made me feel so damn good that night.”

Somehow, she neglected to give the street address. It’s like bad expository dialogue in a movie.

Which is a good transition to Gene Weingarten’s column, yes, also in the WashPost (my new favorite Sunday paper), written entirely on his cell phone:

on the few occasions i do text message, the only concession i make is that i dont use capitals or apostrophes or question marks or hyphens because they take an extra keystroke and when one is typing with ones thumbs one wants to conserve keystrokes. it pains me to realize that mankinds signature anatomical adaptation, the one that distinguishes us from the lowly beasts, has been pressed into service for such a moronic chore. its like using a stradivarius to hammer a nail.

so, texting is stupid. but do you want to know what is stupider. to get this column published, i have to email it to myself every 30 words.

A man I could love (and who bears a striking resemblance to Detroit’s mayor, at least in that hat), Patrice O’Neal, says he likes to eat like Caligula:

I made thigh-meat gumbo with some kielbasa. For some reason, when the recipe calls for chicken breast, I use thigh. I’m a thigh-meat dude. Thigh is just the best meat — I don’t get chicken breast. I think it’s a publicity stunt that we’ve convinced people it’s delicious. Chicken is legs and thighs — they’re juicy.

Are you listening, James Lileks? Unlikely.

Barack Obama made me a mixtape. What has Barack Obama done for you lately? HT: Eric Zorn. Keep reloading for endless fun.

Finally, a housekeeping note: I’m getting spam-bombed. At least two dozen spam comments a day are slipping the main net and landing in the moderation queue, which is not a huge headache, but since they come to me as e-mail first, it’s just a pain. So we’re going to start closing comments after one or two weeks, since the vast majority of the spam attempts are sent to old threads. This means approximately nothing to 99 percent of you, but if you’re the sort who likes to catch up every six months, you may not be able to join the conversation. Send an e-mail instead.

Go commence the week. I need about a million cups of coffee first.

Posted at 8:37 am in Detroit life, Housekeeping, Media, Same ol' same ol' |

11 responses to “Rained out.”

  1. John said on February 18, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I Sing the Body Electric!

    Were you humming at the time?

    65 chars

  2. del said on February 18, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I was thinking the mayor’s romantic texts were complete to increase the lovers’ naughty pleasure. Then I found this on youtube.


    174 chars

  3. Linda said on February 18, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Well, he’s right about the thigh vs. white meat. White meat is a dry, tasteless ripoff. But the message about the hotel? I could see that in a hotel ad.

    155 chars

  4. Danny said on February 18, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Make of that what you will, but I feel justified in claiming my breasts can now generate electricity.

    I dub thee, Lady Gaia, Protectress of the Realm, Healer of Global Warming.

    Actually, I do remember a recent article regarding the possibility of clothing of the future being embedded with nano-wires to harvest and stroe electricity generated from motion. Applications range from Soldiers in the field to pedestrians powering iPods.

    518 chars

  5. nancy said on February 18, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Actually, taping chemical hand-warmers to lithium-ion batteries is a pretty well-known workaround for operating cameras in freezing conditions. But at least my cleavage is snug enough that it traps heat. It may be old, but it ain’t dead yet.

    Interesting link, Danny. I just finished a story on alt-energy, and if I came away with one overwhelming impression, it’s that the power of the future will come from a variety of “little” sources like this. Fewer giant power plants burning coal, and a lot more small ones capturing wind, sun, wave motion and even people motion.

    573 chars

  6. brian stouder said on February 18, 2008 at 11:15 am

    See, I finally got my lovely wife to regularly read this blog (if only so she can see what I’ve been up to), but I haven’t yet got her to comment here. But if she WAS to comment, surely she’d say that the phrase

    my cleavage is snug enough that it traps heat

    followed by the reference to

    and even people motion.

    would certainly generate all sorts of energy in her husband’s (fevered!) imagination!

    423 chars

  7. Danny said on February 18, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Brian is obviously thinking of jumping jacks in a nano-wired sports bra.

    See, he is one of the few evil geniuses of whom we can no longer say, “If only he had used it for good instead of evil.”

    196 chars

  8. nancy said on February 18, 2008 at 11:42 am

    If Ashley still remembers the URL for that sports-bra motion visualizer, now would be the time to post it.

    106 chars

  9. Jolene said on February 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Here’s another story re capturing the energy generated by the body. I heard an interview w/ one of the developers on NPR last week. He said there was lots of optimization work (i.e., decreasing weight, increasing yield) to be done, but that the concept was sound.

    273 chars

  10. nancy said on February 18, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Jolene, you forgot the link.

    28 chars

  11. Jolene said on February 18, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Here it is: http://www.news.com/2300-1008_3-6229842.html

    56 chars