An idea of mine stolen yet again
Date Patrol is coming to TLC. I wouldn't have noticed it except that Barbaloot enjoys watching Trading Spaces, hosted by Paige Davis, and, well, she's hot. So I was half-watching Paige---er, Trading Spaces with her, and what did they announce but the continuing theft of another of my ideas.

Anyway, if dating is an acquired skill set clearly some will acquire it better than others, and some will never get it without some formal coaching. TLC Network agrees with me, at least enough to give it a try as oxymoronic "reality television." It will not carry the baggage of a school operated by a distillery or a university.

To the show's producers' credit, it appears they will be examining and finishing "her" skills as well. That will make the show more interesting to us guys. But a pitfall awaits: the date arranged between the two of them is far less likely to fail, and will offer much less educational value to its viewers, because the finishing teachers will be unconsciously guiding him and her together. That does not occur in the real world. Even arranged marriages are put together by people who couldn't give a rat's *ss whether he can strike up any chemistry with her.

A better test will come when the poor yub tries these newly-acquired skills on someone randomly chosen from the same pool that he would have chosen from if the TLC cameras had never shown up. But by then the cameras will be gone, and countless other poor yubs will not have the benefit of learning from his mistakes. And there will be mistakes.

Good luck. It's a jungle out there.

One in the oven

The sonogram below is of our next child, at 17 weeks gestation.

We've withheld announcement until now because we've lost fetuses in the first trimester, even later, several times before; the odds of full delivery on this tadpole are pretty good now. Even though Barbaloot is now 40 years old.

Names have been chosen, both pink and blue, and we prefer to find out which at birth. "Accident" was peremptorily rejected.
Upgrade season
We are dropping our AT&T mobiles, and switching to Verizons. Moving our long-distance calling to the mobiles and saving ten bucks a month in the bargain.
Update: mtpolitics is going farther down this route, contemplating the dropping of land-lines altogther.

We've noticed that the Verizon phone works very poorly on the first floor of our house, but OK upstairs, so going long-distance is still a player; it also works at the church, so Barbaloot will get calls from the sitter (or me) on Thursday night choir practice. I've noticed that mine pukes directly beneath the lone rural tower here in Undisclosed Remote Location. Cadre says, "they all suck here."


We need you to do something
The organization that is coordinating pressure on the TSA to train pilots to be armed is staging simultaneous press conferences at several major airports. I need you to go to their site, and if you live near one of the airports, get your ass over there on the proper date and time. Bring some sammiches for the pilots.

Another blogger and I differ, respectfully, about the wisdom of armed pilots (versus armed passengers). I truly believe that if we can achieve a critical mass of armed pilots, we can turn a corner with public opinion about concealed carry by ordinary citizens, both on the ground and eventually in the air.

I doubt that armed passengers can be a reality before Earthbound citizens can go discreetly armed. And I believe that Earthbound permit-free, or "Vermont-style" concealed carry can spread to most of the US until we penetrate those few holdouts like New York state and California with "shall-issue."