adios, mofo

Lots of buzz yesterday about this story (and the accompanying video). Texas Gov. Rick Perry, after doing a TV interview, said “Adios, mofo” while the cameras continued to roll.
Amusing stuff. But more amusing was this conversation between some of my colleagues in the newsroom (and I am not making this up):
Editor: What does “mofo” mean, anyway?
Reporter #1: It’s a bad word for black people, I think.
Reporter #2: (overhearing the conversation, somewhat stunned) Actually, it means “motherfucker.”
Editor: Oh, in Spanish?

kaus on mazda 3

Mickey Kaus reviews my new car. I love my Mazda 3, but I nod in agreement at his thoughts on cornering — it’s got a wide turning radius that takes some getting used to.
I take pride in being a pretty good parker — it’s amazing the things one can form a self-image on; for me it’s parking skill and George Foreman Grill jujitsu — but when I got the Mazda I became the world’s worst parker for a few weeks. Turning into narrow spots was an adventure there for a while.

mountain goats haiku

When the Mountain Goats’ The Sunset Tree came out a couple months ago, I was a bit disappointed — seemed a little dull. But another listen on the road back from Louisiana Monday made me revise that review: It’s no Tallahassee, sure, but it’s still quite affecting.
Here head Goat John Darnielle does a haiku-only interview about the album, song by song. It’s a silly conceit, but kinda funny, particularly when John’s answers start getting a little uppity with the 5-7-5-spouting interviewer. When asked to explain the central image of “Magpie”: “Only a traitor / undresses his metaphors / As if they were whores.” When asked if one song describes a youthful “escape” from pain into music: “All interviewers / Seem to like this word ‘escape’ / For this song: me, less.”

bill block sr., r.i.p.

Bill Block Sr. passed away yesterday at 89. Bill was a grand old newspaperman and, simply, a grand old man. His family owns The Toledo Blade, my former employer, so I got to know Bill a bit over the last decade. First met him in Toledo in 1996; last had dinner with him in Pittsburgh last summer. The P-G editorial calls him “an uncommonly good man,” and I think that’s right — he was pure of heart, an honest and graceful and kind fellow who, despite his riches, refused to put on airs. My condolences to the family.

dittybot rocks

In the Oh-My-God-This-Is-So-Useless-But-So-Awesome Dept.: DittyBot for Mac OS X.
“You send a text message from your mobile phone to your POP email account. Your text message should contain the keywords of a song title (and possibly an artist name) that you want to hear. DittyBot finds that email (he checks Mail every 45 seconds) and copies the song name into a text file. The song name is then copied into iTunes and a playlist is created from your search. Next, DittyBot loads Skype (the internet telephony app) and begins calling your mobile phone. Your mobile phone rings and when you pick it up, you should hear your song start playing in all its compressed glory. DittyBot will play your selection to you over your phone until you hang up. Mind you, this all should happen within 1 minute of sending your song request (depending on the speed of your POP server). Sometimes it