I’m weird. I’m not particularly ashamed of it. I like esoteric things.

I work for a state agency…..and some months ago, I found a gigantic stack of old forms (from the 1970’s!!) near the big office shredder and I thought they were cool. Apparently, they’re the documentation concerning call-ins that people would make to complain about various public health issues. Here’s one (pretty much verbatim) from April 1977:

“Mrs. ‘B’ from Myrtle Springs, Texas calls in stating she has a shallow well for water supply. She complains that her next door neighbor has a mobile home and runs sewage out on the ground, less than 100 feet from her well. Couple both work in Dallas.

Action taken: Wrote letter — check June 20 — Called Mrs. ‘B’ Aug 8 — she said nothing has been done. Inspected this place with Mrs. ‘L’s’ son, 3-21-78 [nearly a year later!!!] Septic tank and field lines have been installed and apparently are working properly.”
—————— It appears to’ve been closed on 3/22/1978

Stop motion — big bucks!!

Artist's rendering of Coraline's evil 'Other Mother'

Artist’s rendering of Coraline’s evil ‘Other Mother’

So, a few nights ago, I watched a web stream of an auction hosted by Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, CA. The company that did Coraline, The Box Trolls and ParaNorman auctioned off its original puppets made for the films. They even auctioned off this one-of-a-kind Coraline puppet (some sort of VIP giveaway thingie)……

Any-hoo…..this was a major big-bucks affair….I promise!!  I watched about 45 minutes of the thing and it was pretty cool!  Two versions of ‘Fish’ from The Box Trolls sold for $8500 and $12,000, respectively. But the big Ka-boom was Coraline’s Evie other mother puppet……..which brought a staggering $50,100!!  That’s a chunk-o-change!!

I loved how just a manhole cover from The Box Trolls brought over $900! …a manhole cover!!  Those are some people with money-to-burn!

How 51 Shades Of Licensing Is Killing Our Economy

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Dont Ask Meimnoexpert:

Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! Read this!! I’m happy to say that Texas is looking into this very thing, which is why it’s getting rid of a few licensing boards/licenses!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Who should live and who should die? Every day, thousands of patients across the United States put their lives into the hands of trained medical professionals, relying on the skill, experience, and intuition of these experts to safely regain their health. Medical doctors are strictly licensed, required to go through years of rigorous academic training and apprenticeships before they are allowed to operate autonomously.

Should you buy daffodils or chrysanthemums? While hardly a life-or-death question (except perhaps yesterday on Valentines Day), florists in Louisiana can’t simply open a shop and begin providing floral advice. In decidedly un-floral language, the state of Louisiana requires a license to be a retail florist, demanding a written exam before one is allowed to “arrange and sell floral designs, cut flowers and ornamental plants.”

Whether doctors or florists, occupational licenses have grown incredibly common in the United States, encompassing possibly more than 1000 professions and…

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#385 That one house on your street that gets really, really into Halloween

Dont Ask Meimnoexpert:

This is cool!

Originally posted on 1000 Awesome Things:

Level 0. Real cobwebs, one pumpkin lying on the porch that isn’t carved, lollipops in a popcorn bowl.

Level 1. Fake stringy cobwebs across the front door, carved jack-o-lantern lying on the porch, plastic Halloween-themed sign on the door, mini candy bars handed out of a giant plastic orange pumpkin.

Level 2. Fake stringy cobwebs everywhere with giant black plastic spiders on them, more than two jack-o-lanterns on the porch with real candles flickering inside, creepy music of creaky doors and rattling chains playing through the window, candy handed out by someone wearing a Scream mask or long black cape, a pretend dead guy in a patio chair on the porch who turns out to be real when you get close to him.

Level 3. Garage transformed into haunted house featuring actual black cat, more than three jack-o-lanterns carved into detailed works of art, orange and black lightbulbs up the…

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Are you old yet?

A social worker assists attendees at a public health fair in Van, Texas (2014)

Found this article over at CNN Money today:


Read the article if you’d like to, but I was especially struck by a comment following the article….find it below:

“At age 67, I’m still employed and earning a comfortable salary. I also have plenty of freelance clients (I’m a high-tech marketing copywriter and editor). My situation is the consequence of younger employees’ lack of solid language skills. They are almost universally unable to write clear, engaging, properly formulated business content. They are not merely ungrammatical writers; they can’t even sequence concepts coherently. True, many do not speak English as a first language; they get a pass. However even those born to English-speaking families are appalling writers and can’t punctuate their way out of  a paper bag. Executive management keeps me aboard to avoid being embarrassed by howlers on the web site or by incomprehensible brochures packed with meandering sentences and wince-worthy syntax.”

……an interesting take, hmmmm?