Imagine a Surprise Party…

…where instead of friends and family surprising the guest of honor, he surprises them.

That’s what this line in a piece about yesterday’s freeway bridge collapse is:

Atlantans already suffered through the fourth-worst traffic in America and the ninth worst in the world, Inrix, a global transportation research firm, reported last year.

And I had to drive in that for a week and a half. Both ways!

Okay, lots of people around here do that for years, but we already knew they were insane.

It isn’t just that people here have lousy driving habits — I actually came to regard most people I was sharing the freeway with as merely responding as rationally as possible to a freeway system designed by Tweedledum and Tweedledee’s stupider brother. The real problem is, well, the freeway system was designed by Tweedledum and Tweedledee’s stupider brother.

Anyway, the investigation of how the fire started and why it caused such damage has only begun, and will surely be bagged to protect the Bushes and Halliburton. Clearly this was 9/11 all over again — just ask Rosie O’Donnell.


If You’re Ever Thinking of Registering Your Web Domain with Google Domains…


Update, hours later: Turns out — and they don’t bother to tell anybody this — the screens for transferring a domain from one Google account to another only work if you’re using Google Chrome.

So, I finally managed to get the domain transferred to my non-G Suite account, the one I have to use for my Project Fi phone account. The sacrifices have left me thinking I should limit my media purchases to Amazon, since any such I made on the G Suite (formerly Google Apps) account will be lost — except music, which I can download — when I let it die upon expiration of the most recent renewal.

Then again, I have no expectation of creating any more Google accounts. Maybe that’ll make a difference.

‘More Older Women Are Drinking Hard’

What would we do without studies?

More older American women than ever are drinking — and drinking hard, a new study shows.

Most troubling was the finding that the prevalence of binge drinking among older women is increasing dramatically, far faster than it is among older men, the researchers noted.

The difference was striking: Among men, the average prevalence of binge drinking remained stable from 1997 to 2014, while it increased an average of nearly 4 percent per year among women, the researchers found.

Increased drinking and binge drinking can be a serious health problem for women, said study author Rosalind Breslow, an epidemiologist at the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

I’ll be on my fainting couch.

Could Stand Updating

Back in 1994, the late George Jones released a song called “High-Tech Redneck,” about a country boy who had all the latest technology at his fingertips.

Today of course, much of the technology described in the song is laughably obsolete. So it seemed to me it could use a bit of an update:

He’s got a Duck Dynasty marathon
Binging on Netflix and it’s streamin’ in strong
A wifi virtual remote control
3D TV with stereo
Football, baseball, NASCAR too
With picture-in-picture it’s all in view
And if it comes on just a little too late
With his DVR he can watch it next day.

He’s a high-tech redneck
Mayberry meets Star Trek
He’s a bumpkin
But he’s plugged in
He’s a high-tech redneck.

He’s got twenty sub-woofers in the bed of his truck
A thousand watts of power and he keeps it cranked up
He ain’t into hip hop, he ain’t into rap
He likes to rattle them speakers with Ronnie Milsap
CDs and MP3s with gigs to send
CB, radar and SiriusXM
And if he needs to talk to his honey at home
He has Siri dial ‘er up on his Apple iPhone

He’s a high-tech redneck
Mayberry meets Star Trek
He’s a bumpkin
But he’s plugged in
He’s a high-tech redneck.

I never have heard anybody blasting “It Was Almost Like a Song” out of a truck bed full of sub-woofers. In the immortal words of Jayne Cobb, that would be an interesting day.

Coincidence, I’m Sure

Instapundit links ArsTechnica about a study Rand Simberg linked in Time. The quote from ArsTechnica:

The team behind the paper used human embryonic kidney cells (which grow well in the lab) to look at the role of this chemical. The authors found that NAD+ binds to the protein “deleted in breast cancer 1” (DBC1), which—as its name implies—was previously implicated in cancer. DBC1 normally binds to and inhibits another protein that performs DNA repair. But NAD+ blocks this interaction, releasing the inhibition on DNA repair.

Therefore, as NAD+ concentrations decline with age, it’s possible there is insufficient NAD+ to bind to the DBC1 protein, leaving it free to block DNA repair.

To test this proposed mechanism in a living organism, the authors used aging mice. As expected, NAD+ concentrations declined as the mice aged. With its decline, DBC1 was increasingly binding to and shutting down the DNA repair enzyme. The authors then gave the mice the chemical precursor to NAD+, which should restore their NAD+ concentrations. Once the mice were given this treatment, their DNA repair activity increased, and the levels of DNA damage were reduced.

On the strength of Rand’s link and comment, I headed over to one of the local pill stores yesterday and got a bottle. This morning I noticed a great deal of improvement in my overall energy level — but it’s way too soon for this stuff to have made a difference.

Isn’t it?


The first bloom of the azaleas has come and gone, and now the dogwoods are aflower. The grasses in the field out past the front yard are taller than I left them last fall. April is a week and some hours away and I still haven’t gotten around to seeing if the mower will start.

When I do get it started, I’ll find out soon after whether the can of bug repellent I bought last year still has the potency to keep ticks from latching on.

And then I’ll find out if my Claritin pills still work.

     “If you do a job right you won’t have to do it again.”

     “Even mowing the lawn?”


Once upon a time, there was an item known as a cash register. Many of them were made by a company known as National Cash Register. Now

The NCR Corporation (abbrev. National Cash Register) is an American computer hardware, software and electronics company that makes self-service kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, check processing systems, barcode scanners, and business consumables.

“Point-of-sale terminal” is the fancy 21st-century term for cash register. They don’t make that “cha-ching” sound that persons of a certain age associate with cash registers, so I suppose the new name is apt enough. The beeping of UPC scanners is cacophonous enough, especially when mixed with the gasps of horror at the final totals.

NCR is a bigger player these days in ATM manufacture. Just once I’d like to make a deposit at an ATM and hear a cheery “cha-ching” as a kind of cybernetic congratulation to my bank account. Lord knows most bank accounts these days could use cheering up.