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Showing posts from April, 2016

Save Boaty McBoatface, Replace Robert E. Lee

Democracy may suffer a staggering blow this week. Despite overwhelming support from an enthusiastic public, the will of the British people may be silenced by a single civil servant.

A new £200 million science research vessel has been named Boaty McBoatface by 120,000 Britons who voted online to help decide what to call the science ship.

Except not everyone likes it, and one man has the power to sink the name.

Tory Science Minister Jo Johnson has indicated that, despite overwhelming public support, he wants to veto Boaty McBoatface.

Why? The name is so wonderful, I added it to my word processor's user dictionary.

Science Minister Johnson — who I shall now call Grumpy McGrumpface — says it's not suitable and serious enough. More importantly, says the U.K. Daily Mirror, he may be too embarrassed to tell the Queen about it.

That's a good reason to trample democracy: you were embarrassed because you had to say the name to the Queen of England.

It could have been worse. Some of …

You're Never Too Old to Have Fun

A recent Twitter poll from ESPN's "His & Hers" asked the question, "(Is it) OK for a grown man to bring a glove to a baseball game?"

Grown men get paid millions of dollars to play a kid's game played by children around the world, and you're wondering whether I can bring a ball glove to the game?

Let me ask a different question: Is it okay for people to dress up as their favorite superheroes at a comic book convention?

Is it okay for grown adults to go into the woods and play "War" with paintball guns?

Is it okay to wear a jacket that looks like a NASCAR driver's uniform?

Is it okay to sing along in the car?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. You should be able to do what makes you happy, and if that means taking a baseball mitt to accomplish a childhood dream, then godspeed, little slugger.

OK for a grown man to bring a glove to a baseball game?— His And Hers (@HisAndHers) April 12, 2016

So I tweeted back, "Absolutely! Every boy dreams of ca…

Would You Rather Always Be Late or a Jerk?

Some days, I worry about society, because otherwise-normal people seem to want to be mean for the sake of being mean.

I recently wrote an article on my work blog about a trend I've noticed where people complain on social media about others who are late. Not just occasionally late, but chronically, habitually, constantly late.

I saw one tweet that said, "People who are habitually late are either arrogant, stupid, or both. #Respect."

I responded, "I would think #respect also means not calling people arrogant or stupid."

"Not if they're habitually late," he replied.

I don't think I'd like working with this guy.

Other people have also called their tardy colleagues rude and selfish.

So I wrote an article about how, rather than taking an all-or-nothing view of people, we should try extending grace and forgiveness, a concept you may have heard mentioned on Sunday mornings.

I urged my readers to figure out a way to get the late-comers to change, ra…

Kicking the Cheeseburger Habit

I have a dining problem.

Not an eating problem. A problem with the things I choose to eat at restaurants.

Most of my healthier-than-thou friends will no doubt shout, "See! I knew it! He's finally hit rock bottom, and he's ready to seek help!"

Not even close.

I don't have a problem, everyone else has the problem.

("See? Classic denial. 'It's everyone's else's fault but mine.' Let's stage an intervention!")

I'm ashamed to admit it, being a creative professional who appreciates new experiences and events: my family thinks I'm boring and predictable when it comes to my restaurant food choices.

Predictable? I shudder to think that I'm predictable. I prefer "oddly quirky, but mostly harmless."

My sin is that I have a few favorite dishes that I order over and over when we visit a new restaurant.

Well, one favorite dish.

My go to meal is a restaurant's signature cheeseburger, extra crispy French fries. Unless the…

The Crack of the Bat, the Roar of the Children

Erik is out of the office this week, so to celebrate Major League Baseball's Opening Day, we're reprinting a column from 2005, back when the Fort Wayne Tin Caps were still known as the Wizards.

"Okay, is everyone for our first baseball game."

"That's right, Buddy, baseball. Check it out, he says it every time I do."

"Baseball."

"Baseball."

"Okay, that's enough."

"Where does everyone want to sit? Honey, you sit between me and Mommy. Sweetie, you sit next to Mommy, and Buddy, you can sit on my lap."

"Is everyone settled? Okay, now we can watch the baseball game."

"Yes, baseball."

"Baseball."

"Okay, that's enough."

"I could eat. What are you getting?"

"I'm watching the game."

"We actually came here so I could teach my kids about my favorite sport, not stand in line."

"Will you answer every single question they have?"

"A ho…