When my US History class in high school covered the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, Mr. Cushing took the position of the British by defending King George’s policies and labeling the colonists as whiny ingratiate rebels. He challenged us to defend the colonists’ actions and justify the rebellion.
This was the first time I can recall being struck by the fact that there was a different version of events outside of the standard doctrine of history being taught in the schools. For me, this was the beginning of an approach of thinking critically of any historical narrative or current news story. I do my best to always consider the source of information and alternative viewpoints. Because if history is written by the victors, then it stands to reason that there is an unwritten history as told by the losers that just may well be very compelling. Except for those people who call the Civil War the War of Northern Aggression and insist that it wasn’t about slavery. Those people are just assholes.
So thanks, Mr. Cushing.
Happy Patriots’ Day
We went to Minute Man National Historical Park today for Patriots Day events. Although the battle reenactments are tomorrow, reenactors are at the park all weekend to talk about the events surrounding the first shots of the Revolutionary War.
This Minute Man was kind enough to talk to us for about 20 minutes about muskets, rifles, canons, and the British Regulars’ march on Col. Barrett’s Farm. He even persevered when we were joined in our discussion by a douchebag who seemed to be there just to show that he knew just as much, if not more, than the reenactors by confirming after almost every one of the reenactor’s sentences that everything we were being told was, in fact, true, and then coming up with his own related bit of trivia.
Aidan, who just loves this stuff, stayed interested the whole time and even asked some intelligent questions, which seemed to really delight the reenactors.
My favorite part, though, was when we first got to the park. We went to the visitor center and walked up to an interpretive panel that had a picture of Dr. Joseph Warren, Aidan said, “Oh Dad, that’s Joseph Warren. He was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill”. That’s pretty good, I think.
It’s a frustrating beverage designed for frustrated people.
- Whomever wrote this piece for the Atlantic seems to hold my view on hops, namely that their overuse in craft beer is fucking ridiculous and ruining craft beer. If you want a hoppy beer, drink an IPA and enjoy the hell out of it. But how about we don’t over-hop our hefeweizens and porters and stouts and lagers and pilsners and every other fucking type of goddamn beer that wasn’t overhopped until a bunch of fucking hipster douchebags decided they wanted to make beer because Wil Wheaton made it “cool”? (N.B. Technically, I blame Sam Adams for the overuse of hops…must be all those fucking beans they eat in Boston that dulls their goddamn tastebuds.)
- For the non-beer drinkers who might drink wine, here’s my SAT analogy: beer : overhopped beer :: tannic wine : eating a fucking banana peel
- Are you fucking kidding me? Take the nastiest thing about beer and make it into a non-alcolholic drink? Smart. Perhaps next, we can take milk and let it sit for six weeks in a peat bog so it can take on the smoky undertones of scotch.
- Be a goddamn grownup and drink a fucking non-alcoholic drink if you want a non-alcoholic drink (the marketing justification from the makers of this vile brew is that they’re targeting people with the maturity of newborns.)
This is a time-lapse video if the Milton-Madison bridge in Indiana and Kentucky being slid into place.
Last week, workers installed the new superstructure for the nearly-half-mile long bridge by sliding it laterally 55 feet (17 meters) from where it was assembled on temporary piers. It’s the longest known bridge to be slid laterally in this manner.
The bridge measures 2,428 feet (742 meters) long and 40 feet (12 meters) wide. It weighs 30 million pounds (13.6 million kilograms).
CNN said that “Bridge geeks call this a steel truss bridge.” I don’t know what people who aren’t bridge geeks call it.
I subscribe to an email list that announces upcoming entries in a monthly series of industry webinars.
This morning, instead of following the instructions in the email about who to contact with questions, one person simply hit reply and wrote that he was having problems registering for the upcoming webinar. That reply went out to everyone on the email list.
Someone else replied that they were having the same problem. Others replied that they were getting these replies and they didn’t understand why. People started telling everyone to stop replying. Someone in charge of the list said that he didn’t understand what was happening, but that he was going to investigate. More people replied to say they were getting other people’s replies. Someone suggested that people should use the unsubscribe link in the original email to stop getting emails. People then tried to unsubscribe by replying and saying “Please unsubscribe me” or some variant of that. More replies of people saying they were getting all the replies. Lots of yelling to stop replying.
The current totals in the broad categories of responses are:
- I Can’t register for webinar: 2
- I’m getting all the replies: 18
- Fix the email system: 5
- Stop replying to the emails: 18
- Use the unsubscribe link: 2
- Unsubscribe me: 4
I desperately want to chime in with some nonsense to keep this going, but I know that clients are on this list. *sadface*
This morning I had a meeting out at a bridge that we’re going to be replacing. When I arrived at the site, there was a Canada goose flopping about in the road, right at the bridge. It had obviously been hit by a car and couldn’t stand up. It’s uncaring goose friends were off grazing on the grass on the side of the road, leaving it to fend for itself.
I was the first one to arrive for the meeting, and I didn’t want to stand there for an hour watching it flail helplessly in the roadway while other cars just drove around it, so I put on my safety vest, picked it up, and put it on the side of the road. Now I could stand there for an hour and watch it flail helplessly on the grass. Except that when it’s goose friends walked down a short patch away from the bridge to the river I had the bright idea to bring the goose over there so that it could rest (and eventually die) in a more peaceful spot. And I wouldn’t be able to see it.
When I put the goose down at the water’s edge, though, it clearly wanted to go into the water. It was flailing it’s wings and stretching, but just couldn’t move, so I picked it up again and put it in the water. That seemed to calm it down, and it managed to work it’s way out to be with its friends.
I forgot about the dam spillway, though.
The dam is right next to the site, and I facepalmed as the current started to grab the goose, which clearly couldn’t swim against the force. About a minute later, it went over the spillway. It survived the fall, which was only a few feet high, but instead of continuing to follow the current downstream it got caught in the eddies at the bottom and struggled to stay afloat as the falling water tossed it around. I decided that I couldn’t watch and walked away. But when I checked back a few minutes later, it was gone. I don’t know if it finally got out of the eddies or if drowned.
So that was my good deed of the day.
Describe your last fart using only a movie title
The Day The Earth Stood Still
To Kill a Mockingbird
1492: Conquest of Paradise
There Will Be Blood
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
The Truman Show
The Limits of Control
Enemy At The Gates.
There Will Be Blood
The Dead Zone
My boss just told me that because we were a sponsor for that terrible conference we went to last week, we’ve been invited to take a survey on our opinion of it.
But he won’t let me be the one to respond to it. So why did he tell me about it?! He’s just taunting me, that’s why. Bastard.
He’ll probably use constructive criticism couched in positive reinforcement language. No one responds to that nonsense.