Oh seriously, ANOTHER Bill Bickel? [OT]

IBB, the Seattle real estate agent, has appropriated my Gmail address. Now South Dakota’s Bill Bickel is using my Yahoo mail address.

So I know all about the Dodge van he and his wife Courtney own, paid for by his mother Laurie.

This would make him at least the fifth Bill Bickel to use either my Gmail or Yahoo address. This is getting beyond ridiculous.


Well, a personal spongechronicity, anyway:

I read this comic (which I did not at all understand) while I was in Manhattan today, having gone in to buy tickets for my wife and I, our sons and their girlfriends to see Spongebob Squarepants the Musical.

TicketMaster was charging almost $80 in fees for six tickets, by the way: How is this not considered scalping? We’re not talking about the premium they charge for had-to-get tickets (even though they’re sometimes the reason tickets are hard to find), which is a separate matter: these are literally the same tickets I was able to buy at the box office.

Anyway, y’all are here for the comic, not to hear me rant about Ticketmaster:


Added 10 minutes later:

Okay, now it’s getting weird (even though I suspect those are supposed to be pieces of Swiss cheese rather than little Spongebobs: I really don’t have a clue what the Off the Mark is all about either, so I guess we get another bonus CIDU this evening)

mark sponges


The Salina Stockade [OT]


I just wanted to share with y’all what might possibly be the most hideous team logo in baseball history.

Perhaps not coincidentally, this is also one of the worst teams in the history of professional baseball and has actually been dropped from their league, and their entire 2018 system will consist of a couple dozen road games 2000 miles from their home city, which is theoretical anyway because they don’t have a stadium.

[OT] Darkest Hour


If you’re going to make a movie about Winston Churchill, and you want to fictionalize and trivialize the most important decision he made in his life, one of the pivotal decisions of the twentieth century… then just call the movie fiction, rename the character Wallace Birchill, and have at it.

(It’s safe to assume that the comments section will contain spoilers for the film, if that’s relevant in this case; I always err on the side of extreme caution)



Okay, it just seems to me if he’s polite enough to pick up her handkerchief, you’d think he would have offered her his seat in the first place.

Or should I not be trying to make sense of Mutt and Jeff at 4am?

Thinking about this — because, again, it’s 4am — I still offer my seat to women, even though it’s long out of fashion, because that’s how I grew up. But only to adult women: offering my seat to a woman forty years my junior just seems weird (not that this is usually a conscious decision).

You know what really made me feel old? The first time somebody offered me a seat. Maybe I looked particularly aged that day.

Interesting how these things differ regionally: when the extended family was in Boston a few years, I noticed that nobody was offering my octogenarian mother a seat. My son, who lives in Boston, explained that Bostonians rarely offer their seats to the elderly, but seem happy to give them up when asked.

(He himself always offers, because he’s still a New Yorker)

My Mrs. Olsen [semi-OT]


This comic brought back memories of my own Mrs. Olsen.

My Mrs. Olsen was my 8th grade history teacher, Mrs. Ryan. Where Mrs. Olsen is a big woman, Mrs. Ryan was frail, bird-like. She was born when Teddy Roosevelt was president, which was impressive even then.

And I was her Caulfield. I suppose I was everybody’s Caulfield growing up, but Mrs. Ryan was having none of it. She was strict and she scared me. And I didn’t have a janitor friend enabling me when I wanted to undermine her authority (not that I’d ever accuse her of being stupid, mind you: just not as clever as I was, of course).

But my unwillingness to get with the program was bad enough. That she hated me was common knowledge.

Instead of writing a paper about comparative religions, I created a board game where the players passed through various religions’ afterlives.

(getting to the comic reference…)

In April, I convinced her to let us have an Anzac Day party during class. Because, you know, it was history. There was cake. There were balloons.

After a while, one of the balloons became the centerpiece of a volleyball game. And in the middle of it, Mrs. Ryan came out from behind her desk and joined us, at one point giving that balloon an impressive spike. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been more shocked if our neighbor’s dog stood on his hind legs and recited Hamlet’s soliloquy.

I’d like to say that I immediately realized that all the assumptions I’d made about Mrs. Ryan were wrong: but I was thirteen. It came later.

I still have that board game. I got an A.