Well, I’m Unconfuzzled

For the seventh time in a row, the incumbent sheriff was re-elected.

This time it was Lenn Wood, who succeeded to the job a few months ago when longtime incumbent Mike Yeager retired to take his post as United States Marshal for the Northern District of Georgia.

This result is exactly what I expected. Yeager had been a popular sheriff for the entire time Mrs. McG and I have lived in Coweta County, and he specifically promoted Wood into the position to become sheriff when he left office. The only people arguing that Wood was unsuited to the job were the three candidates trying to take it away from him. He beat the entire field, 3-to-1.

Now, it’s entirely possible they were right — but a few months is hardly enough time to see if that’s true. Fortunately, there’s a regular sheriff’s election next year, and if Sheriff Wood really is a poor choice for the job, one or more of his special-election opponents will be duty- and honor-bound to run against him for the Republican nomination next July.

I rather hope at least one of them does. They’ve invested their personal reputations in saying things about Wood that, if they sit out the regular election rather than try again to prove their point, will be shown as humbug born of pure, ugly ambition. And if we do end up needing to replace the man we just elected, we should have someone with integrity for an alternative.

©   McGehee



The “Man Bites Dog” Fallacy

Maybe you’ve heard of “Gell-Mann Amnesia,” the tendency of people to notice that journalists get everything wrong about things they have independent knowledge of, but assume those same journalists get everything right about everything else.

That’s only one problem with modern journalism, though. Even if the Derp State Media weren’t politically biased — which it is — the calculation of news value that goes into deciding what to report, creates a misperception of the real world that actively disinforms news consumers.

To figure out why, simply consider the judgment intrinsic to the idea that a dog biting a man isn’t news because it happens so often.

Unfortunately, a lot of news consumers have never bothered to compare the picture of the world they get from the media, to the picture they get from pretty much every other source. While Crichton’s Gell-Mann effect refers specifically to experts, a variant of it can apply to literally anyone. Among them? Journalists.

Journalists don’t report the world you know. They don’t think the world you know is newsworthy. They report a skewed, wacked-out, perverse world that they used to think readers and viewers would recognize as consisting of the weird and crazy. The abnormal. These days, if you really pay attention to what they say, how they describe the world when they’re not merely reciting what happened (do they even still do that?), you can tell they don’t even think it’s weird or crazy anymore. They think reality begins and ends with what they report.

What bothers me most is that too many of the people who still pay attention to them agree, even if they wish it weren’t so. And they let that skewed, wacked-out, perverse vision of the world inform their expectations for the future.

Whenever I see it at work, I want to reach through the internet and slap the stupid right out of them.

©   McGehee



“Concerned”

There is no “inconsistency” between conservative views on abortion and capital punishment.

The victim of abortion is innocent. A perpetrator of a capital crime — assuming the guilt proved in court is true — is not. We do not put people to death for something they have not yet done. Period.

If you have doubts about the application of the death penalty, address them. Don’t set up a false equivalency with another issue that has nothing to do with it.

©   McGehee



Refenestrated

For months now, the games I have from the Microsoft Store — Solitaire, Minesweeper, and a third-party Hearts game — have all been exhibiting bad behavior when ads are cycling. That is, when a banner ad is loading, or changing its display image.

The Hearts game in particular, which is the only one cycling ads during actual play, was the worst; cards in motion would freeze in place for several seconds until the ad process had finished, and only then could play resume.

There's been buzz about a new version of Windows 10 (remember when “Windows 10” was the version?), and today I found out why it hadn't yet installed on my laptop: I needed to install the "upgrade assistant" for such a momentous update. Well, so I did it.

It changed my taskbar, and I had to re-select my background image, but at least the ad-cycling in the various games is working more smoothly.

It remains to be seen what damage the upgrade does to the rest of my user experience.

©   McGehee



And Here I Thought March Was Madness

Last summer I was taken somewhat aback to find that the NBA had a summer league that started play in July. Today I discovered something I hadn’t realized back then.

The NBA’s non-summer league began the final round of its playoffs two days ago.

Back in April when I asked, “Will the NBA title be decided before school gets out for the summer?” I thought I was kidding (the school year hereabouts normally ends just before the Memorial Day weekend). Turns out the answer was “No.”

So here’s football struggling to keep a spring league going for one lousy season, and the NBA, between a playoff schedule that stretches into June, and a summer league that bridges much of the gap between then and the start of regular-season play in — what, August? — is almost literally a year-round operation.

Thank God the NFL’s Hall of Fame Game is only two months away. That’s, like, a quarter-finals round in pro basketball.

©   McGehee




Some Gave All

Rather than reiterate things I’ve said before, I think I’ll just link to my posts from the last couple of Memorial Day observances.

Plus:

If I should fall in battle, I will not be the first.
But may God grant that I be among the last.

And also this, courtesy of Doc:

©   McGehee



Feels Like 99°

We can get this hot this early in the summer because it hasn’t gotten up to its normal midsummer humidity in these parts; the dewpoint is still less than 70°F.

Mind you, when I was growing up in Sacramento, a dewpoint in the mid 60s was unliveable, but back then we didn’t have air conditioning. In fact the house we’re in now — the second one we’ve lived in since moving to Georgia — is also only the second house I’ve lived in that did have air conditioning.

When I was really, really little, when my parents were managing a motel in midtown Sacramento, A/C was still a pretty rare thing in Western motels.

So far our A/C here in subtropical west Georgia is holding up okay, but when the dewpoints get higher than the range we set on our thermostats, that could change.

To quote the late Jay Silverheels, “Ugh.”

©   McGehee



(The Third Week of) May in Wyoming

Al Gore promised them global warming. Where is it!!!???

Update, next day: It ain’t over yet.

Meanwhile, back at the home acres...

©   McGehee



Now a Three-Walgreens Town

As foreshadowed last August, one of Newnan’s two Rite Aid stores finally has Walgreens signage, and a page on the Walgreens website.

This makes it not the closest, but the most convenient in many ways of all the local Walgreens stores, at least from home. CVS is still closer than any of them, but we’ve used Walgreens for our prescriptions for several years. Before Mrs. McG's mother moved to Newnan six years ago, and for some time after, she used CVS despite having a Walgreens closer to her Chattanooga home — but after dealing with the pharmacy at the CVS near us one time too many, she too switched to Walgreens.

There are some former Rite Aid locations in other nearby towns that I thought might go W, but at least one of those closed down altogether despite there not being another Walgreens for many, many miles. I haven’t scouted them so I don’t know the status of the others; we just happened to pass that one and notice it was empty and I have no idea where that one store’s prescription customers got sent. The Newnan store that closed was so nearby an existing Walgreens that the chain would have needed a Starbucks-fifteen-years-ago business model to justify not closing it.

Nor have I darkened the door of our town’s new Walgreens since noticing the completed conversion (I visited it once last fall when it was still signed as a Rite Aid except in the pharmacy). I imagine the rough layout remains as it was, with only the aisles’ category organization adjusted.

The local Rite Aids were built (as Eckerd stores) with their entrances in the middle of the front wall, not at the corners like Walgreens and CVS. I can’t picture the new ownership spending that much money at this point just to move the door. Even if the location proves sufficiently profitable to consider a greater investment (which would surprise me, frankly), I think the chain is more likely to find a larger parcel not too far away and build a new store from the ground up to replace this one.

There are still a handful of Rite Aids southwest of Atlanta, by the way, that were not sold to Walgreens and are still operating as Rite Aid stores. They would have been involved in the Albertson’s merger last year, had that not been rejected by Rite Aid shareholders.

Update, Saturday: Having now visited the new Eckerd-cum-Rite Aid-cum-Walgreens, I’m even more convinced this store wouldn’t be upgraded where it stands, even if I believed The W would make the investment. Walking into the store, it feels smaller than the existing purpose-built local Walgreens stores, but in actual square-footage it really isn’t — Eckerd-built stores use the space much less efficiently than the corner-door model preferred by the ascendant chains. Which would tend to explain why the corner-door model is so popular with those chains.

When Rite Aid acquired PayLess Drug Stores 20-plus years ago, many of the newer PayLess stores were also corner-door stores, and the newer CVS stores even have similar internal layouts. Ironically, at least one of the stores Rite Aid still operates in this general area seems to be one of those former PayLess locations with the corner entrance.

©   McGehee



That’s Just Nuts

Years ago when we lived closer to it, Mrs. McG and I had memberships at our local Sam’s Club. One day when we were in the store, we passed a huge, almost six-foot-high display just behind the checkstands — and I mean almost half of the checkstands.

This display consisted solely of cases and cases of peanuts, mixed nuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios...

I nudged Mrs. McG, jerked my thumb at this massive excess and said, “That’s just nuts.”

She rolled her eyes so cutely that I repeated the gag a number of times on subsequent visits just to see her do it again. In retrospect, it may have had just the tiniest bit to do with why she eventually allowed our memberships to lapse.

Anyway, yesterday there was a post at Dustbury with a picture of a Little Debbie® Nutty Bar™ and a caption describing it as dessert lasagna.

Later that same day I was in one of the various grocery stores we have around town and was reminded that Little Debbie is now calling that particular treat “Nutty Buddy.”

Which reminded me of the ice cream treat I remembered by that name, created and marketed when I was a kid by a company that no longer exists. Here in the South though, Mayfield offers something apparently patterned after the original.

But I guess nobody really owns the phrase anymore. Eesh.

©   McGehee



 


Coming to You from
Subtropical West Georgia



 
Original content and design © 2019 Kevin McGehee. Images and excerpts are © their respective owners.