Random Thursday

Photo: Pecan Creek after a recent rain

Hello again, and welcome to another confusing edition of RT, where we pretend to know a lot about a few things, but really are just in love with the clicking sound our keyboard makes. Don’t judge me.

GIF of Kermit the Frog typing furiously
(Sorry if you get tired of seeing this but I never do.)

Speaking of hammering away at the keyboard, today is National Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day, which is really just a very awkward way of saying “get your eyes checked and then hit the Warby Parker website to procure a pair of specs in a style that you’ll inevitably regret.” But more encouragingly, it’s also National Pie Day (not to be confused with Pi Day), and I suppose you could put your newly acquired lenses to good use by choosing the best looking cherry pie in the showcase. (It’s a proven fact that cherry pie is the best pie, and deniers are simply to be pitied.)

We’ve got quite a bit to cover, and I know you’re anxious to go pie hunting, so let’s get going, shall we?

  • I was exchanging texts with my pal Sam, and he used the phrase in the offing. That’s a phrase that I’ve seen and used a lot, but I’d never thought about its origins. Of course, the definition is in the near or immediate future, but according to the [presumably knowledgeable] folks at Dictionary.com, it began life as a nautical term, and a very specific one at that. According to that website, this expression originally meant “in the part of the ocean visible between shore and horizon”; its figurative use dates from the late 1700s.
  • And here’s an explanation of why that expression even mattered back in the day.
  • And, finally [Ed. And mercifully], of course, one can calculate somewhat precisely the distance that corresponds to in the offing.
  • Couple of automotive tidbits to ponder. First, according to this article from Car and Driver, owners of one of the new Mercedes Benz electric vehicles will be able to unlock more horsepower and quicker acceleration for ONLY $1,200 PER YEAR. Let that sink in. You’ve paid near or over six figures to own a car, but you’ll have to buy a subscription in order to access capabilities that are already built into the vehicle.
  • And it’s not as though those new capabilities, precious though the price might be, are cool enough to, say, turn your vehicle into a flying car or one whose fake tailpipes dispenses Añejo tequila. I guess there are people who will pay $100/month to shave “up to a second” off their 0-to-60 mph times, but they’re still going to be blown away by a Tesla Model S Plaid.
  • Car and Driver has another announcement that seems to be equally controversial, judging by the comments left on its website: beginning in 2025, Chevrolet will spinoff Corvette into its own separate brand, and then introduce a sedan and an SUV.
  • I’ve got no dog in this hunt, so I’m intrigued by this. It’s a strategy that’s worked well for Porsche, another performance-oriented brand that saw and went after the revenue windfall of expanding its reputation into additional lucrative markets (and even Lamborghini and Ferrari finally acknowledged the reality of market forces). But, boy, there are some purists who seem to believe that this move by Chevy is the worst kind of heresy. Let the Holy Car Wars begin!
  • Fake WiFi QR codeLet’s shift gears (see what I did there…cars…gears…uh, never mind) and talk about the easiest possible way to give visitors to your home access to your wifi: let them scan a QR code that doesn’t reveal your network’s password but instantly connects them to it. I forget how I came across this, but it’s pretty cool. Simply visit this secure website, input a couple of values into a form, then download and/or print the generated QR code. You have the option of adding a caption below the code; I put “Scan to Join WiFi” on ours. I printed it, laminated it, and placed it on a nightstand in our main guest bedroom. By the way, I doctored up the QR code shown above; feel free to try to scan it, but don’t blame me if instead of joining our wifi, you summon a demon.
  • So, it’s that time of the year, and Debbie has our house decorated to the nines (an idiom, btw, that dates back to the early 18th century). My task in this two-day process is simply to haul the crates and boxes down from the attic and place them around the house for easy access. She’s highly organized and all the boxes are labeled. But I’m surprised at how edgy our Christmas decor seems to have gotten:
  • Box labeled 'Hanging Tree'
  • I’m a few days late with this — it’s not my fault; the sun was in my eyes; the dog ate my homework; I was distraught over the last episode of Reginald The Vampire — but November 26th marked the 100th birthday of Charles Schulz (b. 1922-d. 2000), the creator of Peanuts. The website for the Charles M. Schulz Museum has a terrific display of the tributes that cartoonists around the world created to honor Schulz and his beloved comic strip. It’s worth spending a bit of time scrolling through them. Their value as comics is spotty, but they’re all heartfelt and worthy tributes.
  • BC comic strip tribute to Charles Schulz on his 100th birthday


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