June 3, 2011

The Weeklies #178

The Weekly Climate. Hot. Damn hot. Africa hot.

The Weekly Cool Political Move. 33-year-old Harper Reed is the President Obama's new Chief Technology Officer. He's the former CTO for Threadless. Very cool move.

The Weekly Read. In concept, Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovich was brilliant - a London cop finds himself learning magic as an apprentice in a little-known police division. It's like Law & Order meets Harry Potter in a gritty urban fantasy. And it's wonderfully written. Aaronovich is witty and snarky but doesn't let the humor undermine the seriousness of the tale he's telling. There is no reason I shouldn't have liked this book...but for some reason the longer I read, the more distracted I got. It wasn't bad but it didn't hold my attention for great lengths of time. I suspect it was me, not the book. I'm even willing to read the follow-up just to see.

The Weekly Music. Like many, I took advantage of Amazon's Lady Gaga deal. After all, they were selling the new album, Born This Way, for a buck. Hard to go wrong there. Now, I know what you're thinking - you listen to Lady Gaga? Truth be told, her last album was brilliant. And she's nothing if not a shrewd marketer. What I liked about her last album is noticeably absent in this one - hooks. The first album was compulsively listenable. This one seems a bit flatter, a bit more mechanical. There's not much that draws the listener in and compels him to keep on listening. That said, it's not a bad album. Just not as good as her last.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. John Edwards has had a bad year. He has an affair, a child with another woman, his estranged wife dies after a protracted battle with cancer and now a grand jury is set to indict the former vice presidential candidate on charges that he used campaign funds to cover up his affair. The only thing worse would been if he'd actually been elected before all this blew up.

The Best Customer Complaint Letter Ever. Comedian Eugene Mirman got sick of Time Warner's service. Or lack thereof. So he wrote a letter then promptly took out a full page newspaper ad to publish said letter. It's brilliant. You can read the letter itself here and watch the author read it here.

The Weekly Question. What's your favorite thing about summer?

Posted by Chris at June 3, 2011 7:10 AM

Summers just feel more carefree and easier for some reason. My life stays just as busy (even busier actually), but it just doesn't fee that way. Maybe it's just my attitude!

Posted by: Elizabeth at June 3, 2011 7:36 AM

Yesterday and today are nice. I guess South Africa hot?

I loved that letter. I don't even want to get into how stupid it is that any company like that has regular hour technicians. I also feel the same way about so many other service industries. I think it's probably because I've had to be available 24-7 for so many jobs...

Still dislike Lady Gaga almost as much as I hate Glee.

Summer is good because there are pools involved. Also, bosses tend to take more vacations in summer.

Posted by: alektra at June 3, 2011 8:19 AM

Enjoy the heat! Over here in California it's been rainy and cold...

Posted by: Holly at June 3, 2011 10:45 AM

...and that letter is genius! I especially love all the commenters who obviously didn't see the humor...

Posted by: Holly at June 3, 2011 10:49 AM

Rainy and cold in this part of CA too with the additional bonus of tornadoes in Chico - not all that far from us.

Enjoy your weekend.

Posted by: ann adams at June 3, 2011 10:50 AM

My favorite thing about summer? Hm...well, I like not having to monitor my kids' homework and worry about them getting to school on time. I like being able to do stuff on weeknights because they aren't school nights. I love the weather. I love watching my kids in our backyard pool. That said, the storm before the calm is this week and next, with the flurry of end-of-year activity. Today my 5th grader and my 8th grader are participating in We The People and had to get all dressed up for that. My 6th grader is helping to set up the 8th grade dance, so she'll be home late, then my 8th grader will be out late attending said dance. Next week, 6th and 8th grader have final exams, 6th grader goes to the beach for a day, 8th grader goes to Magic Mountain for a day, 5th grader graduates, 8th grader graduates, 6th grader prepares to go to Florida on the 13th for a biology "field trip". Madness, I tell you.

Posted by: Brooke at June 3, 2011 12:16 PM

Africa hot? Texas hot/humid is bad enough!

Favorite thing about summer: air conditioning. and snowcones.

Posted by: Christina at June 3, 2011 1:13 PM

I confess I like Lady Gaga too. And of all people to get me hooked on her, it was a pastor friend!

Posted by: Heather at June 3, 2011 1:28 PM

I agree with you about the Gaga album. I really don't want to like her- she annoys the crap out of me as a person- but her tunes are catchy and invariably I'm going to like one and then iTunes will charge me $1.29 for it, so 99 cents for the album couldn't be beat. And a good thing too, since so far I only like two songs and can only tolerate about 5 of them...

Posted by: Judy at June 3, 2011 1:53 PM

I totally dug Lady Gaga....I thought she was kind of brilliant. Now I am totally over her schtick. OVER IT.

Posted by: alimartell at June 3, 2011 5:04 PM

Good Morning Vietnam, right? :)

My favorite thing about summer is the increasing acceptance of having ice cream for dinner. I don't like hot weather (I don't like cold weather either. Boring middle of the road weather? Yes please).

Posted by: Sarah at June 3, 2011 9:13 PM

OMG the Comcast letter is brilliant! And as for the summer question, I guess I like some of the laid back feel. The heat makes me feel slower and that helps to just chill out. And I like really cold drinks on unbearably hot days.

Posted by: Claire at June 4, 2011 6:59 AM

John Edwards in an epic asshat. In other news, I have eleventy million things to do in the next few days, but this might end up being the best summer yet.

Posted by: Heather at June 4, 2011 9:52 AM

finding a nice cool swimming hole to jump in to!

Posted by: geek-betty at June 7, 2011 2:22 PM