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By ad hoc (Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:53:20 AM EST) bikes, books, plays, rants (all tags)
even in milk.


He of the inspiring hair is coming to Boston. I'm pretty sure I'll be busy that night, though. Doing ... something.

More for the guy who has everything.


Attention georgeha infidel: A summer day's project


Psmith in the City by PG Wodehouse

[amazon] [MBLN]

Both Psmith and Mike Jackson are forced to find work to support themselves and end up working in "The City" (London’s name for their financial district) at the New Asian Bank. Mike would rather be playing cricket, Psmith would rather be doing, well, no one is quite sure.

This was a little hard to get into. I mean, all the great Wodehouse effects are the, particularly in dialog, but even though this is only the second of the Psmith books, I felt as if I were expected to know who all the characters were. Now with Wooster and Jeeves, and with the crew at Blandings, I do know who they all are, but not here. I also got lost several times when the characters went into heavy l33t 5p33k about cricket. If you know the game, I sure it was uproarious, but I don’t, so I didn’t. Entirely my problem, though, and I admit it.

Two things struck me in reading this one. Douglas Adams must have been a huge Wodehouse fan. The timbre of the sentence is eerily similar (Adams’ "They hang in the air in much the same way that bricks don’t" could easily have come from this book.) The other thing that struck me is how uncannily similar Psmith is, in personality, to Ignatius J Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces. Psmith is certainly smarter and far more of a dandy, but the self centered egotism is spot on, eh wot?

Psmith’s manipulations of the bank personell from his lowly position as, basically, mail boy, and Reilly’s mischief in the Levy Pants factory (or even selling hot dogs) are one in the same. Certainly they both have the same result.

A very good read.


I got three books at the IP depository last time around. The Psmith one, above. A Scanner Darkly by PK Dick, and Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, another Wodehouse.

The Dick book has the first ten pages missing.

I've got a book that's a collection of five Jeeves stories, so I have trouble remember which ones I've read, but I've never heard of this title so I was confident that I haven't read it. That is until I got home and read the tiny print on the title page that says "Originally published in the USA under the title Bertie Wooster Sees It Through. That, of course, is in the collection. Ugh. I thought it looked familiar when I started it, but sometimes it's hard to tell whether I've actually read it or whether I've seen the dramatization (comedyization?) with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry.

Guess it's a trip back to the depository today.


OTOH, I've only got a couple of days to go before the trip, so maybe I should not bother. I should be cleaning the house for impending parental arrival, which is tomorrow. Then again, more t-storms are expected, so who knows when they'll actually get here.


Chiropractor visit at 4:30 this afternoon. I sure hope it does some good. I'm having serious doubts about whether I can complete the ride in this condition. I'm sure I can start and probably do the first two days since they're so flat, but the minute the road starts to pitch up, I'm not sure I'll be able to get any leverage. I will have probably irritated my nerve or whatever it is and send me back to the heating pad.


Shakespeare on the Common has been announced. Taming of the Shrew. Any Husians interested in a night out? Lawn chairs and popcorn?


I'm not quite sure what to think of this latest disaster. All the pols are out there yelling about how they're going to get to the bottom of this and make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Just like they did last time. And the time before that.

It would be "nice" if this were an isolated incident. It's not. It's repeated over and over. The one difference this time is that someone got killed. Well, unless you count 9/11 when 3,000 people were killed as a result of the same sort of incompetent, nepotistic, patronage and payola responsible for this.

What will the end result of this be? My prediction: the records are so muddled no one will be able to fix blame or responsibility anywhere except the usual "systemic failure' and "procedures are now in place to insure this never happens again."

Amarello needs to go and he needs to go now. The single right thing he did was go to the husband's house personally. Romney, OTOH, hasn't even made a phone call, AFAIK (and he certainly would have put out a press release as soon as it happened if he had). Yet he waited exactly 88 seconds before he politicized the whole thing.

I say that's a safe prediction.

It's what's happened on almost every major public works project of the last 30 years.
UMass/Boston campusindictments)
Orange Line relocation
Boston City Hall ("the ugliest public space in the world")
and that's only three.

I'm just glad I never use the tunnels. One thing about being sans car and living in town is that I use the subway tunnel to get to the airport which has been operating without major incident since 1908. It's that route I'll be using tomorrow night when I pick the parents up at the airport.

Who needs terrorists when you could just put a Massachusetts politician in charge and get the same result?


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Stays crunchy | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Does that Level 4 Bio lab count as public works? by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:04:14 AM EST
The one around the corner, hosting Ebola ( I was reading up on that after re-reading The Hot Zone).

A Scanner Darkly is one of my favorite Dick stories. I'd suggest getting it at a used book store, but every I go into a used book store looking for Dick, I come away disappointed. I guess fans just hold onto their Dick.

Okay, I'm done.


Probably by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:08:12 AM EST
I certainly has during the approval process. And the people who run it have a level 3 lab from which tularemia escaped and they didn't tell anyone.

I can only imagine what's in store for the future.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Oh, nice. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:04:53 AM EST
a finger shaped nose hair trimmer.

You'll notice the model has a look on his face that screams "I'm not here! I'm in my happy place!"

--
Faith, and the possibility of weaponized kissing?

Re's: by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:07:50 AM EST
Shakespeare: Sounds great. ana and I were talking about going to see a bit of Shakespearean misogyny this summer, and it'd be cool to have some more people come along. There are a couple of dates when it wouldn't be possible, but I think most of those are going to be when you're gone anyway.

Big Dig: What a nightmare. And don't forget about the scaffolding that fell on Newbury Street, was it? a couple of months ago. I've rarely used the tunnels until now, when I need to drive into Chinatown so I can head from there to a meeting in Grafton in the afternoon. Driving in Boston is scary enough without having to also watch the sky/roof.

Back and ride: Good luck. I hope you're able to hold out, but don't do any lasting damage to yourself. I hope the chiro appointment goes well.
--
Continue to lean until you feel gravity threatening to discipline you for being stupid. - CRwM

It doesn't start by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:09:51 AM EST
until after I'm back. I get back on Friday and it starts Saturday. Of course, my parents will be here until the 25th.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
I'll check with ana. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:41:51 AM EST
I know there are some rehearsals and a concert coming up in a couple of weeks, and Saturdays, I play softball. I'll already be in the area (at the Common), but I'll probably be all smelly after the game.
--
Continue to lean until you feel gravity threatening to discipline you for being stupid. - CRwM
[ Parent ]
Well, by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:47:03 AM EST
it's every night for three weeks. There should be a free day in there somewhere.

Maybe we could get some happy hour ersters beforehand.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Gig is by ana (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 11:21:39 AM EST
Sunday the 23rd, so that's not a problem. Hm. Should announce in a diary.

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

[ Parent ]
Hey by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:12:17 AM EST
Is it true that all the Big Dig tunnels smell like fish?

I've heard rumours of such nonsense and while I secretly wish it to be true I would like some verification.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

Dunno by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:44:09 AM EST
As I say, I never take the Big Dig tunnels.

However, I can tell you that the subway tunnels smell like urine, though.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
city hall by MM (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 02:17:11 PM EST
it really is the worst possible blight in the worst possible spot in a city that is otherwise an aesthetically pleasing European style city that doesn't have a lot of the failings of other car-based US cities. I keep planning on studying who was behind "urban renewal" architecture in that era, maybe now I'll go do it.

You mean, from a distance? by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 05:45:15 PM EST
That certainly would be safer.

I suspect whoever it was was probably East German.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Looks like by Weapon of Pack Destruction (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 08:21:13 PM EST
one of Le Corbusier's monstrosities.  Oh look, I wasn't far off the mark.

Best book on Le Corbusier's and Mies van der Rohe's architecture - "From Bauhaus to Our House" by Tom Wolfe.

[ Parent ]
I have that book! by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 04:49:09 AM EST
It's been years since I've read it though.

City Hall is by I.M. Pei. It's strange, though, because I usually like his stuff. Or at least find it inoffensive.

Like the JFK Library or the Hancock building. But I suppose a lot of it has to do with the direction of the client. City Hall is appalling both inside and out. All of the concrete on the inside looks like it's been riddled with bullet holes.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
I remember by MM (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 07:21:17 AM EST
CRwM talking about the projects in NYC that were designed by Le Corbusier, so I'd probably start there. Don't have the link but the whole thing was jaw droppingly ignorant. Insert normal snide remarks here.

[ Parent ]
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