While running errands this morning I had the same thought I've had for the past three or so weeks: the trees look great this autumn. Whatever combination of heat, precipitation, and the gradual cooling we've had since the beginning of October, the trees refuse to give up their leaves yet, giving us cathedrals of yellow, orange, and red over our streets.
And then I come home to a bunch of news stories that also remind me everything changes:
- Like most sentient humans, Adam Serwer feels no surprise (but plenty of disgust) that a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse: "This is the legal regime that a powerful minority of gun-rights advocates have built—one in which Americans are encouraged to settle their differences with lethal force, preferably leaving as few witnesses capable of testimony as possible."
- Charles Blow worries about the follow-on effects—i.e., vigilantism. Says Blow, "Right-wing gun culture is not unlike the wellness industry, in that it requires the cultivation of a sustained insecurity in its audience, in order to facilitate the endless purchase of its products."
- Dan Friedman finds Rittenhouse's acquittal terrifying: "[M]ost reasonable people would agree that armed vigilantes facing off with armed protesters, or rioters—while police hide blocks away in armored vehicles—is, by and large, bad. But in Kenosha, and much the country, it is legal. And it is becoming normal. ... [T]he biggest failure was that the events of the trial, and the public perception of it, will not deter the kind of conduct that led to it. It seems sure to cause more right-wing vigilantism, more armed confrontations, and more political violence in the streets."
Outside of Kenosha:
Finally, Israel's government has loosened the certification process for Kashrut inspectors, to the outrage (do they express any other emotion?) of the Haredim. One possible factor? "The head of the Chief Rabbinate’s kashrut division was indicted on bribery charges in 2020 after being videotaped allegedly accepting envelopes of cash from food importers." Oy gevalt!
I had to pause the really tricky refactoring I worked on yesterday because we discovered a new performance issue that obscured an old throttling issue. It took me most of the morning to find the performance bottleneck, but after removing it a process went from 270 seconds to 80. Then I started looking into getting the 80 down to, say, 0.8, and discovered that because we're using an API limit with a request limit (180 requests in 15 minutes), I put in a 5-second delay between requests.
So now I've got all this to read...someday:
Finally, the economics of workers vs employers has taken an odd turn as job applicants have started simply ghosting interviewers. But, as Slate says, "employers have been doing this to workers for years, and their hand-wringing didn’t start until the tables were turned."
Quick hit list of stuff I didn't find time to read:
Finally, Alexandra Petri guesses about the books that Republican candidate for Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin might put on your kid's AP curriculum.
Cassie has bugged me for the last hour, even though we went out two hours ago. I assume she wants dinner. I will take care of that presently.
Lloyds of Australia has an auction lot available for a couple of weeks that could seriously shake up your neighborhood:
Title: High Octane Offers - Expressions of Madness Invited
Available for expressions of Madness is a Museum of Modern Masterpieces, these vehicles are survivors of the apocalypse that was the filming of FURY ROAD.
Blown, super-turbo charged and armed to the teeth with weaponry and War Boys, the machines that outran the end of civilisation have been unearthed in the greatest barn-find ever recorded.
Nitrous, noxious, and no-nonsense harbingers of hell, marking man’s uncanny ability to wring beauty even from that designed for death and destruction, art from power, meaning from machine.
No, really, I want to see the Doof Wagon on the streets of Chicago. Don't you?
The auction closes on September 26th.
It's another beautiful September afternoon, upon which I will capitalize when Cassie and I go to a new stop on the Brews & Choos Project after work. At the moment, however, I am refactoring a large collection of classes that for unfortunate reasons don't support automated testing, and looking forward to a day of debugging my refactoring Monday.
And now, more refactoring.
Chicago's minor-league White Sox will play the New York Yankees tomorrow at a temporary 8,000-seat ballpark adjacent to the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa:
The Sox and Yankees begin a three-game series in the most unusual of locations. Thursday’s game will be played at a temporary 8,000-seat ballpark on the Dyersville farm where the Academy Award-nominated 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” was filmed.
“I was raised to embrace the history of the game,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday. “Too often we lose parts of it. We should do a better job and we should do that.
“ ‘Field of Dreams’ is a great movie, embraces all about family and (what) the game is all about. A very special opportunity. Our guys are really excited to be there. I’ve seen some of the comments already. Should be a great day for the White Sox.”
This will be the first major-league game ever played in Iowa.
For reasons that astute readers will infer, a Men's Health article in praise of David Harbour's dad bod in Marvel's Black Widow made me feel good:
When Romanoff and her “sister,” Yelena (Florence Pugh), spring Shostakov, their fake dad, from jail and whisk him off to relative safety, he digs up his old costume from his Red Guardian days; he was a symbol of Soviet pride, Russia’s response to Captain America when Captain America was frozen beneath the Arctic. Here it is: A chance to wear his old colors again, to remember what it was like to be his country’s champion, one more time. So the film kicks off Shostakov’s suit up sequence, a superhero picture tradition where viewers watch as the protagonist gets decked out to save the day. But there’s a problem: The suit doesn’t fit.
But his body isn’t a shortcoming, not just because he refuses to see himself as “less than” for rocking a dad bod, but because the film doesn’t see him that way, either. It’s true that his love handles make up the meat of a few one-liners, particularly after he suits up. But it’s also true that, chub or no, Shostakov is still as strong as a bear, and about as hairy, too....
Black Widow makes his appearance attractive. Shostakov might be an over the hill bozo and a relic of bygone age, but he’s still hot stuff. He knows it. Now, the rest of us do, too.
Yes to all of that.
Yesterday, I went to a movie theater for the first time since 26 January 2020—a gap of 545 days. The movie? Black Widow. You have to watch MCU films on a big screen before watching them at home, really.
I'm also glad the last film I saw in theaters was The Gentlemen, a fun Guy Ritchie romp through London.
Other than the woman a couple rows back who kept coughing (!!!), I thoroughly enjoyed returning to a theater. After, I stopped for a crepe at the local Crêperie, where I last ate almost a year ago.
We're so close to getting back to normal. Come on, red states.
We have gloomy, misty weather today, keeping us mostly inside. Cassie has let me know how bored she is, so in the next few minutes we'll brave the spitting fog and see if anyone else has made it to the dog park.
All right, off to the damp dog park.