Amazon Bird Calls has some elegant and much-emulated software algorithms to suggest items we might be interested in purchasing. Suggestions are based on our own ordering histories, and also on related items other customers purchased after buying some item in our order history.

Thus, if you once ordered the Nash Ensemble’s recording of Schubert’s Trout Quintet (theme song for the BBC Britcom Waiting For God), the software might be smart enough to suggest a new release of the complete Schubert symphonies, while being smart enough not to set up associations with unrelated symphonies like Dvorak’s New World.

Hence, if you’re interested in a Field Guide to Birds: Arizona and New Mexico, why not branch out into bird calls, or, better yet, buy this new phone and place that bird call yourself?

Amazon Bird Calls

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It’s The Little Things, 2011


  • The little 9.5 ounce glass-bottled Starbucks Frappuccino bottles. Not a bad little designer dessert. The real item: they look like miniature milk bottles from the 1950’s. Do you realize how rare any kind of glass bottle has become?
  • Using sunlight and exhaust fan heat from the PC’s to warm rooms while cutting down on the winter utility bills.
  • House Republicans, for on January 6 reading the entire U.S. Constitution on the floor, except for unsavory parts previously amended, such as the three-fifths of a person slave census, fugitive slave laws, and exclusion of ordinary citizens from directly voting for their Senator. This selflessly noble grandstanding demonstrated once and for all a firm dedication to securing a just and rightful exclusive copyright monopoly on Liberty, while proving resolute commitment to lead, by example, the nuts and bolts exercise of real statesmanship and legislative productivity.


  • The e-mail etiquette of acquaintances who flood your in-box with jokes and “you’ll appreciate this” forwarded email attachments, but who never write;
  • The e-mail etiquette of acquaintances who send you an email, and then phone up for an hour, to tell you they just sent you an email;
  • The e-mail etiquette of acquaintances who receive a note or inquiry from you, read it, say “oh that’s nice, look, I have mail”, and then respond by flooding your in-box with jokes and “you’ll appreciate this” forwarded email attachments.
  • Classical radio stations that can’t decide which is the better and really timeless classical icon, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, or the theme song from Harry Potter.

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Remember When, No. 427

Can you remember when:

  • History Channel broadcast history
  • Discovery Channel was about adventure and discovery
  • Blue Skies were blue
  • The President of the United States was called ‘The President’
  • Classical radio stations still played classical music
  • You could fill the gas tank with pocket change scrounged from under the car seat
  • Bridge fare was 25 cents
  • CBS considered The Smothers Brothers show controversial

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Heard on TV

  • “I watch that periodically all the time” — unattributed
  • “Nucular” – History Channel, on the nuclear rifle
  • “mangible” – ad for manageable documentation services
  • “physical reform” – AZ Libertarian candidate, pushing for fiscal reform.
  • “measle thelioma” – ad for mesothelioma litigation services
  • Cadillac Escalade – “most important fecal of the year.”

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More “Remember When?”

I received another of those “Remember When?” e-mails the other day, and, of course, I’m old enough to remember them all.

So I came up with a few more of my own.

  • Roller skates had skate keys to clasp the leather soles of your street shoes to your skates.
  • We’d make our own skateboards with a pair of skates, a two-by-four and some nails.
  • Skate wheels were all-metal. You could hear them coming blocks away, especially as they rolled over sidewalk cracks.
  • Soap-box derby racers were actually made out of soap boxes.
  • Packing boxes were actually made of wood.
  • Wood wasn’t manufactured in pulp mills from sawdust and glue, it actually grew on trees .
  • Trees actually grew wild all over the place — before we all had to go out and buy them at Orchard Supply.
  • Little girls were made of “sugar and spice” because they were actually nice.
  • Little boys were made of “snips and snails” because that rhymes better than “frogs-in-the-pockets.”
  • After you washed your jeans, you’d run them through the newfangled electric wringer and hang them on a clothesline to dry.
  • “Homework” was something you learned-by-doing after school, and would usually remember 50 years later.
  • If you were sick, the family doctor made house calls — often, the same day.
  • Families would “save up” to pay for vacations and special holidays.
  • Your folks gassed up the family car for 25 cents a gallon.
  • That’s about $2.20 a gallon in 2009 dollars.
  • I was sent to the store for a load of bread. I couldn’t find the “Crow Eat.” The grocery clerk said I wanted OroWheat (29 cents).
  • A cross-country phone call was “long distance”, and the connection was made by the Operator.
  • The costs of such calls were almost prohibitive. Families kept clocks or timers by the telephone stand.
  • Yes, in 1950 the TV took 3 minutes to warm up, because it was all vacuum tubes and a round 15″ cathode ray tube.
  • Today the sets are all LED, Plasma and miniaturized circuits. They are so complex no one can repair them, and they still take 3 minutes to warm up.
  • Yes, in 1950, one of the best TV shows in town was Howdy Doody.
  • Today, at least we can say the most popular shows are doody.
    TV advertising was designed not to annoy or intrude.
  • In 1956 we weren’t allowed to stay up and watch Jackie Gleason with the grown-ups. It was their TV, not ours.
  • On a clear day you could go for a drive to the mountains, and see them ahead before you arrived.
  • Today, we have GPS to tell us what’s coming up on the next block.

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All In A Day’s Work

  • Somebody posted a spam comment to my site. The text: “Genial post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.”
  • Good news for those of us still unemployed. Vanguard Week in Review, with the encouraging header Uncertainty abounds as job losses mount , says: “Most of the other economic news that came out this week was also negative, as factory orders fell, the manufacturing sector lost momentum, and personal income was flat.”
  • History (Channel) repeats itself. Concerning the feature WWII in HD, “For over two years  we scoured the world for color World War II film. Some of this footage has never been seen before” … except at 10AM this morning, last week, last month and tomorrow.
  • Mute Awards 2010: Staples, for its “shouting” ad WOW, THAT’S A LOW PRICE! I’m not the only one who hated it. As Jami Bernard writes in a blog post Ad Rant, “In one of the Staples ads, a dorky guy in a deserted aisle of the office supply and electronics store leans toward an item to read its price …”

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Spell Checker

I was doing a spell-check on a document in Microsoft Word just now. The sentence in question was: “Please advise.” Microsoft flagged the word, suggesting “advice”. The MS explanation: “Commonly Confused Words”.

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Valley of the Kings: Secrets in Stone

The much-disrespected SphinxSome of the statuary in the ruins of ancient Egypt have been mutilated or possibly defaced – the great Sphinx, and lesser monuments to the rulers of the old kingdoms. Archaeologists have in some cases deduced that a persistent, widespread pattern of defacement can be connected to efforts to obliterate memory of some deposed or hated public figure.

But these monuments are now 4,500 years old. Archaeologists recognize that much of this kind of damage could be due to looters, vandalism or the ravages of time. The fact of major damage to a statue or monument, taken by itself, is no proof of an old royal scandal, cover-up, or cabal. In fact, such damage could even be the result of mere malicious mischief – of the kind perpetrated by juveniles with too much time on their hands.

Archeologists are trying to determine which kids might have committed some of the more obvious vandalism, and when they do, they’re going to tell their moms.

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Found Cat

Found Cat. This picture is circulating the internet.

The question that the sender came up with: “Makes me wonder how they sexed it…”

The answer one of us came up with:

Cat’o’possums can be sexed, but it’s not easy, and it may take time. Methodical evaluation of lacerations on the hands and face is paramount here.

1.       Minor lacerations, heals quickly – juvenile of either sex

2.       Major lacerations but you get over it – male

3.       Major lacerations that never heal properly and leave permanent scars – female

4.       I never said that, this is just what I heard from somebody else.

Participants’ names are withheld to protect the guilty parties.

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We Like The Moon

It’s still there after all these years: the original Spongmonkeys, from which that horrid old Quiznos singing commercial was taken, about 2004. And it’s still horrible, which is why I keep coming back to it. For self-assurance that you haven’t completely lost all of that irresponsible old juvenile humor, you can check it out yourself at Please do turn down the volume control on your PC speakers so you don’t get evicted. They are still offering spongmonkey T-shirts, though I couldn’t guess why.

We’ve even posted the lyrics below the screen capture image to help ruin your day. 🙂

We Like The Moon

We Like The Moon

We like the moon
coz it is close to us
we like the moooon!
but not as much as a spoon
’cause that’s more use for eating soup
and a fork isn’t very useful for that
unless it has got many vegetables
and then you might be better off with a
unlike the moon
it is up in the sky
it’s up there very high
but not as high
as maybe
digibles or zeppelins
or lightbulbs
and maybe clouds
and puffins also I think maybe
they go quite high too
maybe not as high as the moon
coz the moon is very high
we like the moon
the moon is very useful everyone
everybody like the moon
because it light up the sky at night
and it lovely
and it makes the tide go and we like it
but not as much as cheese
we really like cheese
we like zeppelins
we really like them
and we like kelp and we like moose
and we like deer and we like marmots
and we like all the fluffy animals
we really like the moon

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