Play songs by what’s-his-name.

Yeesh, there are dates when the commutes to and from Lansing goes swimmingly, and those when it doesn’t. Today: Not one of those days, although not that anything awful happened. A chain-reaction accident on 127 clogged us for a while. And then it was a fairly eventful day, and a drive home enlivened by fun with Voice Control, my primitive iPhone’s early version of Siri:

“Play songs by Lady Gaga.”


And so on. (Nothing like Lady Gaga for a boring drive.)

“Play songs by the Rolling Stones.”


“No, play songs by the Rolling Stones.”


It’s sort of fun, actually. Sometimes I listen to Mitch Albom’s radio show. I wish Mitch would figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, because this is two of his many media outlets where he mostly seems to be doing it with half his enthusiasm tied behind his back. But let’s speak no more of him.

This was the subject of the press conference — the release of the Center for Michigan’s year-long community engagement project, asking the public what it wants from its public schools. What it wants is, by and large, not what the legislature wants to make state policy. Oh, it’ll be an interesting budget this year.

And with this lameness, I leave you with my final words of the day: Pizza, wine, zzzzz.

Posted at 12:34 am in Same ol' same ol' |

29 responses to “Play songs by what’s-his-name.”

  1. Basset said on January 23, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Blame someone. Punish them. That’ll fix all the schools’ problems just like magic… next, the healthcare system. On the far right, there’s a simple answer for everything.

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  2. beb said on January 23, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I never understood the Republican hostility to public education. You would think that even they would agree that an educated population was good for business. I can’t say I’ve ever consciously heard a Lady Ga-Ga song, so I have no idea why or how it would be good for commuting. On the other hand there is a 27 and 1/2 minute jamm with crazy horse that I really liked. I suspect it only ended because the old men playing the instruments got tired.

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  3. adrianne said on January 23, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I like your experiments with voice controlling your song selection. David does the same thing with his phone, with often hilarious results.

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  4. brian stouder said on January 23, 2013 at 8:49 am

    There’s probably a Stephen King novel here, somewhere…or at least a Night Gallery/Twighlight Zone episode

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  5. nancy said on January 23, 2013 at 8:56 am

    What’s weird is when I let my headset fall down around my neck — it’s a Bluetooth — and accidentally hit the play button by moving my neck. All of a sudden: BROWN SUGAR.

    On the subject of education: Good news, Indiana: You’re No. 1.

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  6. nancy said on January 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

    The Gannett tips box lives on. I like tip No. 1: How to cope with the frigid cold if you’re living on the street. It gives a number for a shelter, but doesn’t instruct the reader to wrap the newspaper around himself for insulation? What is happening to journalism these days?

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  7. brian stouder said on January 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

    and more good news! – Ball State pulled their collective heads out of their beer bongs (or whatever)

    then again, though, I suspect these schools will never actually close

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  8. Prospero said on January 23, 2013 at 9:48 am


    Mo Cheeks did the best national anthem.

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  9. brian stouder said on January 23, 2013 at 9:56 am

    so, I went to the Fox-News McDonald’s yesterday for lunch (yes, I know – shouldn’t eat crap like that, yadda yadda yadda; but it is a total-experience-thing, which I find occasionally interesting), and saw an exceptionally ridiculous report from Mexico, about Mexican citizens setting up their own patrols in small villages and the like – to counter the drug cartels (said the reporter) – and with fairly simple firearms.

    The villagers are tired of the cartel guys, and have given up on the idea that the government will protect them. Of course, the cartel goons have fearsome weaponry, plus defacto immunity from governmental law enforcement.

    The reporter went on to say that some local government officials have offered these fellows uniforms and official status; but these fellows don’t want that, as they wish to remain anonymous(can’t imagine why!).

    A kicker in the story is – the vigilantes occasionally capture cartel guys (allegedly) – and then (says the reporter) they don’t know what to do with them…..(I took that as Fox-code for “We didn’t ask” – wink wink)

    The thing that got me was, it seemed that the Fox folks really wanted to present a morality tale about how an armed citizenry is a net-good thing, and they (Fox) resolutely looked away from the story that was plainly before them: the continuing decline of our neighbor to the south into chaos (and the bad-to-worse choices that citizens there face, regardless whether they own guns)

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  10. Bitter Scribe said on January 23, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Beb @#2: When the Mississippi legislature was debating whether to offer free and mandatory kindergarten, one of the Solons down there declared that he’d be damned if he would spend taxpayers’ money to babysit African-American children.

    Only he didn’t call them “African-American.”

    Most current opponents of public education, almost all of whom are now Republicans, are too sophisticated to use language like that. But I think it’s pretty safe to say that’s a large part of the motivation for the hostility.

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  11. brian stouder said on January 23, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Speaking of race, there’s this:

    The lead paragraphs:

    NEW YORK (AP) — Opponents of the city’s limit on the size of sugary drinks are raising questions of racial fairness alongside other complaints as the novel restriction faces a court test. The NAACP’s New York state branch and the Hispanic Federation have joined beverage makers and sellers in trying to stop the rule from taking effect March 12. With a hearing set Wednesday, critics are attacking what they call an inconsistent and undemocratic regulation, while city officials and health experts defend it as a pioneering and proper move to fight obesity.

    The issue is complex for the minority advocates, especially given obesity rates that are higher than average among blacks and Hispanics, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. The groups say in court papers they’re concerned about the discrepancy, but the soda rule will unduly harm minority businesses and “freedom of choice in low-income communities.”

    These Chinese mine accident stories never fail to make me gulp:

    key sentence:

    China has the world’s deadliest coal mine industry, with 1,973 miners killed in accidents in 2011.

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on January 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Yeah, Chinese coal mining is Exhibit #9271 in the Museum of Why Communism Doesn’t Work. When the state is responsible for both coal production and miner safety, guess which one gets short shrift?

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  13. coozledad said on January 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    The only way to talk to these fecal creatures is down:

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  14. brian stouder said on January 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    And by the way – if Beyonce says she was lip synching, then I’ll believe it.

    In any case, she put on a stellar performance, and we saw her remove her ear piece. If she was ‘fakin’ it’, she’s a great faker*….and if she says she was singing it, I believe her

    *I was gonna make the obvious joke, but on second thought – we’ll skip it

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  15. coozledad said on January 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    This seems like it would be a nice driving song, what with the looping guitar and simple melody:

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  16. Dexter said on January 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Mr. Buzzkill here…my winter day reading has been on the diminution of Ahmadinejad in Iran. Richard Engel has written about it the past few days on his Facebook page. Ahmadinejad is now a fading, powerless puppet, and in a few months you will never see his name in print nor his bearded face in media photos.
    “Ahmadinejad is almost irrelevant at this point. Khamenei, the grand ayatollah, the supreme leader, is going to replace Ahmadinejad with someone of his own. That’s the next leader of Iran; the next practical leader is going to come from Khamenei’s real camp. And it’s not clear that that camp is going to reach out to the Obama administration; that that camp is interested in a peace offering. It might be convinced that its own survival is intrinsically linked with a conflict with the United States.”–Richard Engel
    Also, Engel seems willingly to accept that a huge possibility exists that Israel will attack Iran yet this year. And…the extremist right wing won the election in Israel a couple days ago, and who can deny that faction is bloodthirsty and aggressive towards Iran?

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  17. beb said on January 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    China had a labor strike as well, recently, in protest of new rules at one factory limiting restroom breaks to 2 minutes with fines if you are slow to return. One commented suggested that it takes two minutes to just unzip and sit down, and what about washing hands afterwards.

    The problem with Chinese mining isn’t that the regulators and the producers are the same people, it’s that there’s no union to counter the producers. OK, that’s amounts to the same time. What I mean is that everywhere you look there is a drive to produce ever more product for export and no concern to the damage being given to the environment, the health of the workers or job safety. What we’re looking at, really, is raw capitalism.

    Sec of State Clinton was on no apology tour today at her Senate Inquisition. Good for her.

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  18. brian stouder said on January 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Beb – amen!

    And Rand Paul can go to hell. When Paul said he’d have fired her if HE was president, the SecState should have told him that we’re more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to elect a bozo like him to the presidency

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  19. jcburns said on January 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I’ll take Paul Rand over Rand Paul any day.

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  20. Deborah said on January 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    jc, ditto on Paul Rand.

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  21. brian stouder said on January 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    very cool link indeed, JC.

    And the guy makes a lot of sense.

    Think of the Ford logo; essentially simple – and yet rich with meaning and history

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  22. brian stouder said on January 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    and by the by – a good quality local pizza (Raimondo’s here in Fort Wayne is our choice) and some wine (for those who prefer it), or icy cold Diet Pepsi* – followed by zzzz’s in a nice warm ‘n soft bed sounds good to me (and if the proprietress happened to be curled up under the comforter, so much the better, eh?)

    I think I have a plan for the end of this Wednesday…!

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  23. alex said on January 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    So, according to Katie Couric, there are documented phone calls between Manti and a woman purporting to be Lennay Kukua, lots of them and lengthy, and that he and his family were doing Bible study with her over the phone. Suddenly it all seems plausible.

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  24. Sherri said on January 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    What I read was that the phone call “records” were actually spreadsheets emailed to ESPN by a source close to Te’o, and could not be independently verified.

    I’m not aware that Katie Couric has claimed documentation.

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  25. basset said on January 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    And now, a mnemonic device to help old-time music fans remember the name of the “fading, powerless puppet”:

    “Hot corn, cold corn, Mahmoud Ahmadenijad…”

    Not my line but I’ve used it enough times. Helps if there’s a banjo close by.

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  26. Dexter said on January 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    …almost bassett, but you spelled it wrong, just like 99% of people do. I forced myself to memorize the spelling a few years ago when he was in the news almost every day. It’s harder with others, like Iraq’s cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Some spell it Muqtada, some Maqtada, and many other versions have been printed in the English language.

    We sure had fun with Qadaffi, whose name changed daily, so many spellings there simply was no correct way. Qatar…we were instructed to call that place “cutter”. Some said “gutter”.
    I never had these problems as a kid student…Khrushchev was sometimes spelled Khruschev, but I guess that was wrong. Other than that , foreign leaders in the history books and current magazines were Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, and then we had Mao Tse Tung from Peking. A few years after I left school; Mao became Mao Tze Dung and later Mao Zedong. And some maps had Peking as Peiping and now it is Beijing. Another correction I noticed on Google maps is that the city we knew as Hanoi is actually Ha-Noi.

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  27. Dexter said on January 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    …and since wine was mentioned by our host, I must post the bad news from California…the end is near, it’s ovah…there hain’t no more Two Buck Chuck. It’s $2.49 now.

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  28. LAMary said on January 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I always remember that guy’s name as “mama, I’m a dinner jacket.”

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  29. Catherine said on January 24, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Years ago, my sales manager remembered our latest finance guy, one in a constantly changing rotation, as “Asok, not a shoe.”

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