Oct 232015

playboy77Quoting myself from four and a half years ago:

Particularly since the Web came of age—so, for perhaps the past 15 or 16 years as I type—Playboy’s pictorials are really rather quaint.  I mean, if you’re crackin’ a Playboy to see naked women, you’re leading a very, very sheltered life.  (You’re also going to get a warped, and dreadfully sterile, idea of what beauty is.)

And that’s pretty much why they’re saying they’re getting rid of nudity in the magazine. There’s no mystery of any kind when it comes to “adult content” on the information superhighway (remember when we called it that?). Also, there’s some speculation that they’re dropping nudity to raise the brand’s respectability in China and India.

I thought the paper magazine’s days were probably numbered, but I didn’t anticipate it turning into Maxim before it winked out of existence.

When I was about nine, my friend Edwin and I sat on his living room couch with one of his dad’s Playboys, with a People or something on the outside, with our babysitter sitting right in the room with us. We thought we were really pulling one over on her. I think that’s the last time I looked at a Playboy and found it genuinely, significantly entertaining.

Also quoting myself, this time from nearly eight years ago:

…this intended demographic seems awfully muddled.  Here is Paris Hilton on one page, and Fred Thompson on the next.  Here’s an ad for an Xbox 360 game; here’s another for a $75,000 car.  There are liquor ads throughout.

Ah, I’ve got it!  Playboy‘s readership is composed primarily of college kids and middle-aged men who each wish they were the other.

I think I still like that assessment.

 Posted by at 7:27 pm
Oct 222015
  • Sigh. More misery for the Cubs. I thought it might happen for them this year. Uncle Bill and I became Cubs fans watching WGN in the mid-’80s. I haven’t followed baseball closely since the ’94 strike, but I thought I might watch a Cubs World Series. Alas…
  • I’m having epic allergy troubles. I can’t remember ever being so miserable in the fall.
  • I saw a black ribbon magnet on a car this morning that said Support Tattoos, in Gothic script. How does one support tattoos, exactly?
  • Halo 5 is ordered. The new $150 controller, not so much. I have no doubt it’s beautiful hardware and I’d enjoy it, but the cold hard truth is that I’m just not good enough anymore to realize any advantage from it. I’m too old, and too tired on the rare occasions I do sit down to play, for it to do anything for me.
  • I go to church with a Memphis alumnus and huge football fan, and he’s about to go nuts. Memphis has a legitimate shot at finishing undefeated. Sadly, I don’t think there will be enough carnage in the Power 5 for an undefeated Memphis to sneak into the playoff. Great shot at a New Year’s Six spot, though.
  • We’re constructing a new grocery strategy. Stay tuned for more details. Aldi will be a newly regular stop for us, I have a feeling. I’m not terribly excited about spending time on 72 through Madison by design, but I’ll do it for enough money.
  • Speaking of Aldi, sriracha hummus sounds good, don’t you think? I’ll open it Saturday for football.
 Posted by at 8:34 pm
Oct 202015

Lea, the boys, and I had a great time hanging out at the 2015 Village of Providence Car Show on Sunday. It gets a little bigger every year. We saw lots of cool stuff, and it’s wide open. Anyone with something s/he wants to show is welcome.


The show was heavy on modded late model performance cars—lots of blown Mustangs and what-not—but there was a decent contingent of survivors, too. My single favorite car was this Maserati Merak:


If there was anything listing what year it was then I missed it, but judging from what has to be a U.S.-specific hideous line-destroying front bumper and the dedicated Fasten Seat Belts lamp on the instrument panel, I’m going to guess this is a ’76 or ’77.

Only 1,830 Meraks were produced. It is essentially a “decontented” Maserati Bora, which many people consider the finest street car Maserati ever produced. The Bora was V8-powered, and had a fully faired-in rear with a glass backlight. The Merak was powered by one of two V6s, and used these simple and much-less-expensive buttresses to preserve the roofline from greenhouse to deck:


My favorite thing about the car is that it’s not a trailer queen. It’s clearly cared for, but it’s also clearly enjoyed. It was driven in, and it’ll be driven home. Love it:


 Posted by at 9:58 pm
Oct 192015

So National Review has its first bona fide this-could-happen piece on Donald Trump out today. Longtime Republican strategist Ed Rollins is quoted as finding the notion plausible, and he’s not the sort of fellow to allow a moment to overwhelm his judgment.

Has this bizarre exercise gone on longer than I expected it to? Why, yes. Yes, it has. I didn’t see him staying in the race even as long as Thanksgiving. He’s still leading a month out, so I’d say he’ll still be around then.

As close as we’ve been to right here during my lifetime was Ross Perot in 1992. The critical difference is that Perot stood in a third tent. Trump is running as a Republican.

Perot’s ultimate political legacy was/is to divide the electorate sufficiently to allow Bill Clinton to win twice. But if you don’t remember Perot as an initially serious threat to win, you’re shading history. It was getting out and getting back in that fatally damaged his chances, not anything he’d said or done prior.

As it turned out, 1992 was the first presidential election in which I could vote. It may well have been for Perot had he not exited and reentered the race. Instead, this 18-year-old with a skull full of mush voted for Clinton.

In 2016, I will commit to voting for the Republican candidate, no matter who it is. I would really like it to be Carly Fiorina. I would rather it be any other Republican in the race than Donald Trump.

But if Trump is the last person standing, which now appears to be a significant, if not yet compelling, threat, then yes, I will vote for him.

 Posted by at 11:25 am
Oct 152015
  • I saw a woman this morning to whom I’ve been faithful for longer than I’ve even known Lea. It was crazy, with me flat on my back and lots of vibrating and squirting implements and her telling me what to do and what-not. Wild scene, man.
  • By the way, you should always brush before you floss. The flossing gets residual toothpaste, and thus fluoride, between your teeth. I used to do it the other way around.
  • Have we ever had so many high-profile college football coaching vacancies in the middle of the season like this? It’s really odd, isn’t it?
  • My car is giving me a great opportunity to be philosophical. (How’s that for a Pollyanna spin on a PITA situation?) It has a problem I’m going to have to solve, but that I’m also going to have to figure out as I go. I’m looking at it first thing in the morning, for 20 or 30 minutes, until I get it fixed. Driving the truck in the meantime.
  • My younger son just gleefully informed me that there is indeed a precise rhyme for orange. He loves words. I love that.
  • All of Nissan’s current bizarre design language has found its finest expression to date in the 2016 Maxima. It’s lovely in photos, but a real killer in the metal.
  • If you’ve been holding out for a genuinely cool night for soup, this weekend looks promising.
 Posted by at 7:21 pm