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Governor Squid
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...learn our quarantine names... Clementine Brave. Holy crap -- I think I'm halfway to a YA bestseller already! Also, I remember enjoying Bellwether, but I can't remember the details of it to save my life. Is it worth picking up again?
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on The Lockdown Diaries (2) at davidthompson
On leftist academia and its standards. The bachelor's degree used to be shorthand for "this candidate has intellect and perseverance." Now it means very little, apart from some tribal affiliation between those who cheer for the same team. In my current practice, the marker is calculus. If a candidate can recognize and understand something like the exponential survival function in the context of equipment reliability, then we figure they're worth taking a closer look at. Advertising one's pronouns has much the opposite effect.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on The Lockdown Diaries (2) at davidthompson
I've tried putting in terms that a spoiled college brat would understand: "Today, you have four or five coffee shops within an easy walk. Each of them tries to source the best coffee beans they can, and blends them and roasts them in a variety of ways in an effort to be the most appealing to you. You have a favorite place with a favorite variety, but you know that you can stop into any of them and get a very satisfying cup. "In your Brave New World, there will be only the People's Glorious Revolutionary Coffee Centre, and you'll be lucky if even one of these locations is convenient to your daily routine. The P.G.R. Coffee Committee will buy beans from the cheapest provider, at whatever minimum quality standard they think they can get away with. There will be one roast available, and it will be whatever the Commissar prefers. It might be free in your Worker's Paradise, but you'll be lucky if you get enough coffee ration cards to treat yourself twice a week. "If you complain about the situation, you'll be punished by the P.G.R. Morale Committee. And if you ever decide to supply your own beans and roast them yourself, you'll have to do it in secret, because the moment one of your friends or neighbors gets in trouble with the P.G.R. Morale Committee themselves, they'll turn you over in a heartbeat to save their own skin. Is this really a lifestyle conducive to your dreams of radical creativity? Can you write your revolutionary masterpiece fueled by just two cups of watery brown pseudo-coffee per week?"Admittedly, the message gets through to very few. They always assume their Marxist philosophy professor will be the Commissar, never imagining that it's far more likely they'll be First Against The Wall.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
I could listen to the music on its own. Funny you should say that. I once put the Motion Picture Soundtrack in my DVD player instead of the Motion Picture itself, and it took me the better part of 20 minutes to realize my mistake.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Aunt Betty, meanwhile, responds to neither emails nor calls. Nobody cares that you can't get through to your travel agent, sweetie. You're not going anywhere soon, and you can wait another week or two to sort out your voucher or refund or whatever. There are people with actual emergencies trying to get things done right now. Next time, it says, book through a more substantial agent. Ahah. Next time. Yes, next time! You really think your sob story has convinced anybody that you're going to settle down in your cottage for the foreseeable? Does anybody really believe that Simka Gravas Liz Farrelly isn't going to start flying around the world just as soon as the opportunity arises? That she won't send her kid off to party with her friends study in some trendy city on another continent? Puhleeze. We attack nature; eventually nature fights back. Silly bint has lived in safety and luxury for so long that she doesn't even realize how backwards she has it. Listen, honey: your long life of ease up to now was possible only because countless generations of clever men figured out ways to keep nature at arm's length. Your comfortable house, plentiful food, clean water, and absence of everyday pestilence is nothing less than a miracle for which you should give thanks daily. It's not some invisible baseline to be taken for granted -- or worse, to be blamed for your current anxieties. We don't attack nature; we defend ourselves from it.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on The Sound Of Her Unspooling at davidthompson
Here's a little palette cleanser: Weird Al performs Classical Gas on the roof at sunset.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2020 on The Lockdown Diaries at davidthompson
There are well-appointed pump rooms... Would one be forgiven for assuming these were rooms full of really cute high-heel shoes for the members to try on?
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2020 on The Lockdown Diaries at davidthompson
...we’re introduced to a Brooklynite comedian... If I might ask for a point of clarification -- does Billy call himself a comedian because he writes funny jokes and stands up in front of people to tell them those jokes, or is it more of a salve for his ego because so many people laugh at him? If the former, does he write traditional set-up/punchline jokes, or is it more observational humo(u)r, or does he just describe his lifestyle to strangers and let them react as they will?
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2020 on Modern Love at davidthompson
Nearly all political and cultural phenomena are a result not of wanting to achieve something but out of sheer ennui. Several generations of my forebears worked awfully hard to provide me with a life where my biggest worry is boredom. I'm not about to castigate them for their efforts, even if it has led to "influencer" becoming a thing.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2020 on Modern Love at davidthompson
No laughing at the back. Terribly sorry, teacher. I just couldn't help myself! We watched some TV shows, we smoked weed. From whence cometh this marvel of agriculture? Is this an Amazon Prime service, or an Uber Eats kind of thing? (Asking for a friend.)
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2020 on Modern Love at davidthompson
Can you imagine the committee meeting where they debated the style guide for how to draw Snowflake's package? One wonders if the Great Old Ones caused the meeting to be convened, or if they fled to the outer darkness in anticipation of its coming.
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2020 on Above Us, Our Betters at davidthompson
You may honk when ready. Sweet mother of mercy! If I ever need a case study of the useless parasites drawn to once-successful organizations, this will be it. I love that one of their other new creations is a fat girl of colo(u)r with a Bag of Holding(tm). And the creative genius behind all of this is a guy named Kibblesmith. Now I have this mental image of his grandfather working down at the cat food quarry, hammering giant chunks down into bite-size kibble for twelve hours a day, six days a week, all so that young Danny could go to University in the big city and learn how to create the cringiest comic book characters this world has ever seen. If only he hadn't succumbed to Purina Lung back in ninety-eight -- he would've been so proud!
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2020 on Above Us, Our Betters at davidthompson
They just let the criminal scum do as they please and pass on the costs to the consumer. Or they give up and close up shop. Which is just fine for our preaching class, as they can simply shift gears to how The Man is denying goods and services to disadvantaged communities.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2020 on Above Us, Our Betters at davidthompson
I'm still sad that whomever received Red Penny's laptop didn't share the contents with the rest of us. Seems like such a missed opportunity.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2020 on Above Us, Our Betters at davidthompson
Funny then that there's bugger all shoplifting in communist countries. Does taking animals out of the zoo and turning them into cold cuts count as shoplifting?
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2020 on Above Us, Our Betters at davidthompson
Bit of a vicious circle, innit? Police do poorly at their jobs; public loses respect for police; jurors find against the bumbling bobbies in their lawsuits; bureaucrats create more CYA paperwork to be done on every shift as a legal shield; police spend more time on CYA red tape bad-police insurance and less time on good policing; police do poorly at their jobs... Can you imagine the city where the police chief defends his good cops and cuts loose the bad cops? Where the Mayor and Council insist that employees entrusted to detain and even kill their neighbors be held to the highest standard? Where the union head insists on no more than a perfunctory show of due process before letting his rotten brother get cut loose? It's nothing more than a handful of leaders showing basic leadership and competence, and yet it sounds like some kind of fairy tale. And people wonder why I'm such a misanthrope all the time.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2020 on Self Service at davidthompson
When they enter the pool area, aren't people already assuming the responsibility/liability of not drowning? Just throw an asterisk on the sign saying they promise not to get sick while they're at it. NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY NO RUNNING NO DIVING * No giving anyone the Wuha^H^H^H^H Covid
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
No, at the least these social distancing measures will flatten the curve so the medical system will be better able to handle it. I'm not convinced that flattening the curve is as desirable as its proponents make it out to be. Consider: under this plan, we're all to be isolated for months, stuck at home with no sports or musical concerts or live entertainment of any sort to keep us entertained and distracted. No travel, no night out at the pub -- nothing at all to do, except for the occasional dash to the market to purchase another gross of toilet tissue. The economy will stall, as any business where six or more employees or customers might gather closes its doors. All of this in an effort to prolong the misery to such an extent that our health care providers are stretched to the limit, but not beyond. The alternative is that we all go about our regular business as usual. Shops and pubs stay open; the Prem and the Six Nations get on with their matches. Nobody gets sequestered at home with their spouse and children whom they love dearly, but not 24-hours-a-day dearly. As a result, the contagion spreads out of control. Our poor hospitals are stretched beyond endurance, forced to triage their patients and make heartbreaking decisions about who gets treatment and who gets sent home "to be made as comfortable as possible." Under this scenario, sad to say, a lot of OAPs die an early (but honestly, not that early!) death. Me? I'll take the pull-the-bandage-off-quickly route. I get to keep my footy, and my pub, and my job, and my marriage. The misery is profound but acute, with the worst over in a matter of weeks instead of months. With a bit of luck, the economy and stock market make a quick recovery, and even if they don't, at least my liability for public pensions and geriatric health care is significantly reduced. And just think of all the small homes and spots in nursing homes that will be freed up, and the effect that will have on affordability. There's so much silver lining here that one would be forgiven for losing sight of the dark clouds! I realize this plan may rub a lot of people the wrong way, but I tried very earnestly to warn them that putting me on the hook for their health care costs meant turning over the decision-making that goes with that care and those costs, so I honestly don't think I can be painted as the Bad Guy here.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Well, as instructions go, it seems farcical, rather poisonous and likely to attract the kind of personalities that are best avoided. True, but if you're looking to mobilize an army of unpaid foot soldiers to harass your constituents into helpless complacency, the bossy busybodies are a good place to start. And as a bonus, after you give them leave to harass their neighbors, you earn a bit of goodwill from them and make it less likely that they'll harass you and your people. Honestly, we need to find a way to harness this group for our own purposes. Anyone fancy starting up a chapter of Occupy Her Majesty's Government?
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2020 on A Dilemma Presents Itself at davidthompson
Lying is in her DNA. I see what you did there.
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2020 on A Dilemma Presents Itself at davidthompson
Ever since Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race, I’ve been mad at my husband. Thoughtless bastard might as well have brought home a Malibu Barbie for her birthday.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2020 on A Dilemma Presents Itself at davidthompson
Why is everyone buying toilet paper for a virus whose symptoms are listed as fever, cough, shortness of breath? Where the bellwether goes, the flock will follow.
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2020 on A Dilemma Presents Itself at davidthompson
Cut the man some slack. It's already 0800 and he hasn't had a drink yet.
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2020 on A Dilemma Presents Itself at davidthompson
Whenever we have a blizzard, everybody runs to the market ahead of the storm to stock up on eggs, milk, and bread. I have no idea why they do this, but they do, and as a result, every time we see a snowstorm in the forecast, my wife and I have a craving for french toast.
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2020 on A Dilemma Presents Itself at davidthompson
Hey presto! the averages will favour women. But only at the expense of hiring far less women. Minnesota has a Pay Equity Act which demands that public-sector pay between comparable male-dominated and female-dominated job classes be equal. In a former life, I used to help cities and counties to comply with the pay equity rules, and saw the effects up close. For one thing, there were rampant problems caused by weak negotiating with the Teamsters, since their classes were mostly male-dominated and whatever compensation gains they made tended to take jurisdictions out of compliance. The Teamsters got upset when the cities started to point out that their demands were a lot more expensive once they priced in the cost of paying the affected non-union females whatever was needed to keep things equal. My favorite project, though, was one rural county that was out of compliance, and just couldn't afford the payroll impact of bringing their female-dominated classes up to the required level. I took a look at their pay report and sent them a recommendation to give one woman a 6% raise, and to fire three women in another job class and replace them with men. They'd be in compliance for less than ten grand plus the cost of hiring a few clerks, and if the women sued, the county could say it was simply doing what was required under state law. I sent a copy of the report to the state pay equity office with a note asking if this was what they intended when they set up the system. After a subsequent conference call between me, the state office, and the owners of my firm, it was determined that I should focus on utility rate studies in future. (The county was given a waiver and three years to work on fixing the imbalance.) Economists have more fun than statisticians, because they play with perverse incentives instead of standard deviations.
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2020 on She Feels Unclean at davidthompson