I forgot John Oliver was an idiot and accidentally watched a segment of Last Week Tonight, and now I’m sad.

And the ironic part is that if he said that, on his show, about someone else, he’d expect everyone to laugh along with him at how f*ing stupid whoever he was mocking was.  The height of public discourse and satirical analysis he is most certainly not. (Truthful, or capable of intelligent/rational analysis is largely in question, but leaning towards no…)

As an aside, why doesn’t youtube have a “never show me any videos by or about this idiot ever again” option? If I thumbs-down every single video will you PLEASE stop trying to put it on the “suggested next video” list?! STOP SHOWING ME THIS CRAP!

Never use FedEx

In less ambitious news, and the latest in the unending string of their fuckups, FedEx has been sitting on my package for 2 days simply because it’s not due. The best part, I find, is that they own right up to it! 

Two opportunities to get it to me, and yet there it sits… Why did I pay $25 for fedex delivery, I might as well just have let USPS do it at this point. 

6 to 5 and pick ’em that tomorrow FedEx shows up at our condo, doesn’t even try to use the callbox, and makes me drive to the facility anyway. Nitwits. 

No Child’s Game (Reality TV 2083) – Andrea White

In the continuing saga of trading YA books with Kelly I have read an interesting take on the dystopian future, based on the premise that the government decides to try and get >99% of the public to watch a reality TV show. This may be no child’s game, but it’s certainly a child’s book, so why exactly the government is doing this is not well defined. A (spoiler) large plot point becomes the fact that the cameras for this TV show are implanted in the children’s eyes. How, exactly, they make it non-obvious that the entire show is being shot first-person is also not discussed.

All in all it’s probably a much more simply-written YA book than some of the others we’ve read, and unfortunately I don’t think it manages to present the question of preventing the dystopia very well. I actually think the historical-recreation-using-kids was a fun angle, but I’m forever amused by YA’s need to cram a dystopian future into every book. Is there some kind of conspiracy to make kids believe that the world is definitely ending soon? Making you think is one of the things I love about YA books, especially because of the heavy-handedness, but you can’t just go tossing in dystopia like a scarf around the neck of the hero, you need to use it to bring some meaning to the thing. Decorative dystopia just makes me irritable.

I also have to say that there’s a stark difference between writing at children’s level, and writing poorly. To my mind writing for children, but writing correctly and well, is important. I read a lot as a child, and I’m almost certain that reading high-quality writing helped me to become a highly capable reader early on, as well as led to improved writing. I do think this book falls a little bit on the bad-writing side of the equation unfortunately.

All in all, an enjoyable read, but definitely left me wishing that the author had tried just a tiny bit harder to make it reasonable, believable, and well written.

He quickly changed the channel of his mind so that he wouldn’t have to consider the life of poverty he had narrowly escaped. He had almost been forced to play a real-life Survivor — a game with no rules, no fans, no prize money, and worst of all, no hope.
I have a job. A hut in Shanty Town. One hundred and fifty dollars in the bank, he reassured himself. Everything will be fine.

Not fair


It’s always the youngest children that get the free ride… (Although we later decided that if you count dog years they’ve become the oldest children, and quite aged indeed, so maybe it’s fair after all…)

The sun is earning its keep


The beach is looking nice this morning! (Not too breezy, which I like). Josh is characteristically sneaking around in his secret service sunglasses.

At least we’re both hamming!

Actual beach…


In the background a three-legged dog plays in the surf.

And no, this time “beach” was not code for “airport”.

After literally minutes of packing and seconds of contemplation we are finally on the road to the vacation that I’m told will actually be at the beach this time.