Am I Ready for Some Football?

Just a bit over two weeks to go. The linked article is four months old, but there never seems to be a lot of news generated about this game, as such, before the Hall of Fame induction festivities actually begin.

The Atlanta Falcons will be the designated home team, “hosting” the Denver Broncos. It’s NFL pre-season football, so a step... below spring football, actually — though that could be because neither team holds any particular allegiance in this household.

Pre-season pro football is only an appetizer until college footbll begins on August 31, with Mrs. McG's alma mater, Mississippi State, visiting Louisiana-Lafayette. Wyoming’s hosting of Missouri (!) will begin before the Mississippi State game ends, but that’s what DVRs are for.

©   McGehee

But This Is a New One

I do quote myself sometimes, and this will be one of those times.

Over at Instapundit, to a post by Ed Driscoll about the latest Nike idiocy, I commented:

Nike's target market consists of people who live in an alternate reality called "social media."

Sane people ought to avoid living there, it's past the point of dystopia.

First we closed all of the insane asylums, then Facebook and Twitter, et al, opened new ones.

©   McGehee

Free As Can Be

I posted the entire text of the Declaration of Independence last year (and the year before), and if you've a mind to read it again here (as opposed to, oh I don't know, any of the thousands of other places online you can find it), you can follow either of those links.

The state of our American union these days may be — and certainly ought to be — of profound concern to many of us, but the rest of the world is no better off. Americans remain more free even now than anyone else in the world. Some countries are dead set on getting worse; others want to get better. I think we’re one of the latter, The Most Busted Name in News™ and its fellow-travelers in the media and in public office to the contrary notwithstanding.

The next sixteen months, give or take a day, will show whether I’m right or wrong about that.

Me, I’ll be celebrating this day with some target practice. Because I can, and nincompoops in Congress can’t stop me.

Update: If you genuinely believe this flag is the equivalent of the Nazi swastika, you have the IQ of dirt.

©   McGehee

Clever Headline of the Week

Most headlines deemed “clever” tend to be puns or wordplay, or an ironic play on the history of the subject of the piece.

What we have here is a mite more low-key than that.

Upcoming Event Aims to Connect Us to Our Heritage Using Storytelling and the Sweet Smell of Gunpowder

Lander Valley Sportsmen’s Association (LVSA) is hosting a two-day event in July to promote civic responsibility. To accomplish this LVSA is bringing the nationally recognized Project Appleseed program to leverage the tradition of rifle marksmanship as a tool for teaching colonial history and the timeless values our culture has embraced.

Project Appleseed’s site shares its goal like this: “In today’s world of 24-hour news cycles, changing technologies, and push-button gratification, it’s a challenge to stay connected to the values that our great country was built on. Ideals like integrity, commitment, and personal responsibility are what our founding fathers relied on to win our independence and to then make America a great nation. We use rifle marksmanship instruction as a gateway to help bring our nation’s history to life and to show that many of the values that our forefathers relied on to win our independence are still very much in demand today.”

I’ve smelled gunpowder smoke from Fourth of July fireworks, and I’ve smelled expended nitrocellulose, which is the propellant used in modern cartridge ammunition. The difference is subtle, and they do smell similar enough that I won’t complain. Why ruin a cleverness with pedantry (after I’ve already had to correct an its/it’s error in the copy)?

©   McGehee

Bank on This

Your financial institution will not spoof your own phone number to warn you they’ve suspended your account.

The Cheyenne Police Department are warning people in the capital city of a phone scam, where the potential victim’s own number shows up on the caller I.D.

“They will claim that your bank account has been suspended and that you must verify your account information with them,” the Cheyenne PD said in a statement Wednesday morning. “Please continue to be wary of these types of calls and hang up immediately or don’t answer them at all.”

If future me slips through a time warp and calls me from my future phone, he’ll know I check my voicemail, so he can leave me one when I don’t answer. Any other calls purporting to be from my own number can only be scams.

©   McGehee

Speaking of Integrity in Public Office...

The Coweta County school board recently had to commission an investigation at the insistence of one of its members — who was then the only board member that refused to cooperate with it.

On the one hand, this seems to be one of those “Sayre’s Law” instances where the battles are so vicious because the stakes are so small. On the other hand, one might be excused for assuming the only thing at stake here was the board member’s own ego.

As the local paper sifts through the investigation’s findings, though, it discovers increasing evidence that the allegations that sparked the investigation were cooked up for unrelated reasons.

God knows that’s never happened before.

Diogenes, I think you’d better re-light that lamp of yours.

©   McGehee

Well, I’m Unconfuzzled

For the seventh time in a row, the incumbent sheriff was re-elected.

This time it was Lenn Wood, who succeeded to the job a few months ago when longtime incumbent Mike Yeager retired to take his post as United States Marshal for the Northern District of Georgia.

This result is exactly what I expected. Yeager had been a popular sheriff for the entire time Mrs. McG and I have lived in Coweta County, and he specifically promoted Wood into the position to become sheriff when he left office. The only people arguing that Wood was unsuited to the job were the three candidates trying to take it away from him. He beat the entire field, 3-to-1.

Now, it’s entirely possible they were right — but a few months is hardly enough time to see if that’s true. Fortunately, there’s a regular sheriff’s election next year, and if Sheriff Wood really is a poor choice for the job, one or more of his special-election opponents will be duty- and honor-bound to run against him for the Republican nomination next July.

I rather hope at least one of them does. They’ve invested their personal reputations in saying things about Wood that, if they sit out the regular election rather than try again to prove their point, will be shown as humbug born of pure, ugly ambition. And if we do end up needing to replace the man we just elected, we should have someone with integrity for an alternative.

Update, the following Monday: Wood actually won in every voting precinct in the county.

©   McGehee

The “Man Bites Dog” Fallacy

Maybe you’ve heard of “Gell-Mann Amnesia,” the tendency of people to notice that journalists get everything wrong about things they have independent knowledge of, but assume those same journalists get everything right about everything else.

That’s only one problem with modern journalism, though. Even if the Derp State Media weren’t politically biased — which it is — the calculation of news value that goes into deciding what to report, creates a misperception of the real world that actively disinforms news consumers.

To figure out why, simply consider the judgment intrinsic to the idea that a dog biting a man isn’t news because it happens so often.

Unfortunately, a lot of news consumers have never bothered to compare the picture of the world they get from the media, to the picture they get from pretty much every other source. While Crichton’s Gell-Mann effect refers specifically to experts, a variant of it can apply to literally anyone. Among them? Journalists.

Journalists don’t report the world you know. They don’t think the world you know is newsworthy. They report a skewed, wacked-out, perverse world that they used to think readers and viewers would recognize as consisting of the weird and crazy. The abnormal. These days, if you really pay attention to what they say, how they describe the world when they’re not merely reciting what happened (do they even still do that?), you can tell they don’t even think it’s weird or crazy anymore. They think reality begins and ends with what they report.

What bothers me most is that too many of the people who still pay attention to them agree, even if they wish it weren’t so. And they let that skewed, wacked-out, perverse vision of the world inform their expectations for the future.

Whenever I see it at work, I want to reach through the internet and slap the stupid right out of them.

©   McGehee


There is no “inconsistency” between conservative views on abortion and capital punishment.

The victim of abortion is innocent. A perpetrator of a capital crime — assuming the guilt proved in court is true — is not. We do not put people to death for something they have not yet done. Period.

If you have doubts about the application of the death penalty, address them. Don’t set up a false equivalency with another issue that has nothing to do with it.

©   McGehee


For months now, the games I have from the Microsoft Store — Solitaire, Minesweeper, and a third-party Hearts game — have all been exhibiting bad behavior when ads are cycling. That is, when a banner ad is loading, or changing its display image.

The Hearts game in particular, which is the only one cycling ads during actual play, was the worst; cards in motion would freeze in place for several seconds until the ad process had finished, and only then could play resume.

There's been buzz about a new version of Windows 10 (remember when “Windows 10” was the version?), and today I found out why it hadn't yet installed on my laptop: I needed to install the "upgrade assistant" for such a momentous update. Well, so I did it.

It changed my taskbar, and I had to re-select my background image, but at least the ad-cycling in the various games is working more smoothly.

It remains to be seen what damage the upgrade does to the rest of my user experience.

©   McGehee

And Here I Thought March Was Madness

Last summer I was taken somewhat aback to find that the NBA had a summer league that started play in July. Today I discovered something I hadn’t realized back then.

The NBA’s non-summer league began the final round of its playoffs two days ago.

Back in April when I asked, “Will the NBA title be decided before school gets out for the summer?” I thought I was kidding (the school year hereabouts normally ends just before the Memorial Day weekend). Turns out the answer was “No.”

So here’s football struggling to keep a spring league going for one lousy season, and the NBA, between a playoff schedule that stretches into June, and a summer league that bridges much of the gap between then and the start of regular-season play in — what, August? — is almost literally a year-round operation.

Thank God the NFL’s Hall of Fame Game is only two months away. That’s, like, a quarter-finals round in pro basketball.

©   McGehee

Some Gave All

Rather than reiterate things I’ve said before, I think I’ll just link to my posts from the last couple of Memorial Day observances.


If I should fall in battle, I will not be the first.
But may God grant that I be among the last.

And also this, courtesy of Doc:

©   McGehee

Feels Like 99°

We can get this hot this early in the summer because it hasn’t gotten up to its normal midsummer humidity in these parts; the dewpoint is still less than 70°F.

Mind you, when I was growing up in Sacramento, a dewpoint in the mid 60s was unliveable, but back then we didn’t have air conditioning. In fact the house we’re in now — the second one we’ve lived in since moving to Georgia — is also only the second house I’ve lived in that did have air conditioning.

When I was really, really little, when my parents were managing a motel in midtown Sacramento, A/C was still a pretty rare thing in Western motels.

So far our A/C here in subtropical west Georgia is holding up okay, but when the dewpoints get higher than the range we set on our thermostats, that could change.

To quote the late Jay Silverheels, “Ugh.”

©   McGehee

(The Third Week of) May in Wyoming

Al Gore promised them global warming. Where is it!!!???

Update, next day: It ain’t over yet.

Meanwhile, back at the home acres...

©   McGehee

Now a Three-Walgreens Town

As foreshadowed last August, one of Newnan’s two Rite Aid stores finally has Walgreens signage, and a page on the Walgreens website.

This makes it not the closest, but the most convenient in many ways of all the local Walgreens stores, at least from home. CVS is still closer than any of them, but we’ve used Walgreens for our prescriptions for several years. Before Mrs. McG's mother moved to Newnan six years ago, and for some time after, she used CVS despite having a Walgreens closer to her Chattanooga home — but after dealing with the pharmacy at the CVS near us one time too many, she too switched to Walgreens.

There are some former Rite Aid locations in other nearby towns that I thought might go W, but at least one of those closed down altogether despite there not being another Walgreens for many, many miles. I haven’t scouted them so I don’t know the status of the others; we just happened to pass that one and notice it was empty and I have no idea where that one store’s prescription customers got sent. The Newnan store that closed was so nearby an existing Walgreens that the chain would have needed a Starbucks-fifteen-years-ago business model to justify not closing it.

Nor have I darkened the door of our town’s new Walgreens since noticing the completed conversion (I visited it once last fall when it was still signed as a Rite Aid except in the pharmacy). I imagine the rough layout remains as it was, with only the aisles’ category organization adjusted.

The local Rite Aids were built (as Eckerd stores) with their entrances in the middle of the front wall, not at the corners like Walgreens and CVS. I can’t picture the new ownership spending that much money at this point just to move the door. Even if the location proves sufficiently profitable to consider a greater investment (which would surprise me, frankly), I think the chain is more likely to find a larger parcel not too far away and build a new store from the ground up to replace this one.

There are still a handful of Rite Aids southwest of Atlanta, by the way, that were not sold to Walgreens and are still operating as Rite Aid stores. They would have been involved in the Albertson’s merger last year, had that not been rejected by Rite Aid shareholders.

Update, Saturday: Having now visited the new Eckerd-cum-Rite Aid-cum-Walgreens, I’m even more convinced this store wouldn’t be upgraded where it stands, even if I believed The W would make the investment. Walking into the store, it feels smaller than the existing purpose-built local Walgreens stores, but in actual square-footage it really isn’t — Eckerd-built stores use the space much less efficiently than the corner-door model preferred by the ascendant chains. Which would tend to explain why the corner-door model is so popular with those chains.

When Rite Aid acquired PayLess Drug Stores 20-plus years ago, many of the newer PayLess stores were also corner-door stores, and the newer CVS stores even have similar internal layouts. Ironically, at least one of the stores Rite Aid still operates in this general area seems to be one of those former PayLess locations with the corner entrance.

©   McGehee


Coming to You from
Subtropical West Georgia

Original content and design © 2019 Kevin McGehee. Images and excerpts are © their respective owners.