coyote Phil

You heard it here first

Rock Band: The Beatles came out 2 days ago. I predict that this will bring about greater respect for Ringo's drumming. That is, if they actually mark the beats where he played them.

I'm a fan of late Beatles, but early Beatles must have been a lot more fun for Ringo.
coyote Phil

Only in America

Today I heard some Muslims interviewed on NPR comment on how much more sensitive government has been to the Muslim community since 9/11/01.

All other neglected minorities in America, take note. Or, er, don't.
coyote Phil

Bad idea of the day: GPS Dylan

I heard Bob Dylan on the radio today - not singing, but talking. He's trying to license his voice out to give instructions on the GPS navigation units in cars. And 40 more years of cigarette smoking hasn't made his voice any clearer.

So, someday soon, you can have this conversation in your car:

GPS Dylan: Tuurr werrf gorn, at the marn way shun.
Driver: Tour worth going? What?
Passenger: I think he said, "Turn left soon at the Penn station".
GPS Dylan: Froom! Werble in ferglesuh.
Driver: I think I was supposed to turn there!
Passenger: No, he said "soon!" Turn soon!
GPS Dylan: Howduz it fheil? Ti be hon yor hohwn? Wid no derekshun hoome?
Driver: I don't think he's giving directions at all.
GPS Dylan: Laka rawhlin schtone!
Passenger: You're making Dylan angry, man!

I know one of the only people to co-author a song with Bob Dylan - my late friend Bernie Statland. He went to summer camp with Bob Dylan when they were kids (only Dylan was Zimmerman then). Somebody was supposed to write a song for their cabin, and Bernie and Bob volunteered. So Bob wrote the first version. Bernie ripped it to shreds: "Bob, this song kind of wanders, and some of it doesn't make any sense. And it doesn't even rhyme right!" So Bernie fixed it up for him.
coyote Phil


I recently started buying a McLatte on my way to work, to give me enough caffeine to negotiate the beltway. One of the McDonalds on my way to work has a guy working the front counter who is remarkably cool. I don't mean "cool" like The Fonz; I mean that he isn't disturbed by the mayhem around him. Some servers manage to stay polite and smile at the customers, but this guy is levels above them. You can tell that he's not making an effort to act undisturbed; he's genuinely calm and unstressed and has a genuine smile, greeting everyone and taking every order as if it were the first one of the day.

I said to him, "It's remarkable that you stay so calm working here." And he said, "Sir" (he calls everyone Sir or Ma'am), "after a few weeks on Parris Island having drill sergeants scream in your face from six inches away, it takes more than McDonalds to get to you." And then added, "You make your attitude yourself." He was a Marine.
coyote Phil

Things I've learned from (

  • Never prepare expensive surprises for anyone.

  • If you live with siblings, parents, or housemates, password-protect everything.

  • If you have children or animals, you will eventually be pooped on.

  • People have no sympathy for fat people or vegetarians.

  • Married With Children is not over-the-top. It's not even near the top.

  • Sex and relationships cause people more distress than everything else combined.

  • Men are idiots.

  • Things that cause more distress than public speaking: Sex, nudity, romance, feeling fat or ugly, being mistaken for someone of the opposite gender, kids, animals, underwear, poop, pee, vomit, farting, being robbed, and falling down.

  • Old people still have sex.

  • Parents are horrified to think of their children having sex.

  • Children are horrified to think of their parents having sex.

  • Women will eagerly give a random man their phone number if he asks out of the blue and they think he's cute.

  • Facebook is the greatest invention ever made for humiliating and embarrassing yourself and others.

  • About 1% of people will say "you totally deserved it" to anything that happens to you, including getting cancer.
coyote Phil

Strangeness within strangeness

About that video you've probably seen of prisoners in orange jumpsuits dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller, from CNN:

"Every able-bodied prisoner must dance. If they refuse, they lose privileges, mostly conjugal visits. According to Garcia, the dancing occupies up to five hours a day. However he rejected claims he's abusing the prisoners' rights by forcing them to dance so many hours a day."

Being made to dance to Michael Jackson's music 5 hours a day?!?!
coyote Phil

Sex offenders

How come convicted sex offenders can't live near a school, are on a public list, and have to tell their neighbors that they're sex offenders -

- but convicted murderers don't?
coyote Phil

User interface simplicity!

Apple believes that having more than one button confuses people!

Hence the simple interface on their iPhone earbuds:

    Press once to answer a call.
    Press twice to send the call to voicemail.
    Press once to hang up.

    Press once to hold the current call and switch to new call.
    Hold for 2 seconds and release to ignore the new call.

When listening to music:
    Press once to play or pause a song.
    Double-click to skip to the next song.
    Triple-click to return to the previous song.