Weekend Wonk


  Jerome Shea       October 7, 2007

So tap water, as I said last week, got a bum rap. Even for many who drink water from the kitchen faucet, a very lucrative industry of home water filters has sprung up. Don’t drink the water until you have tortured it to a fare-thee-well, shriven it of its chemical sins. Ironically, much bottled water these days is just purified (and glorified?) tap water. And they are supposed to say so on the label.


  Jerome Shea       September 29, 2007

All day I face the barren waste Without the taste of water, cool water Old Dan and I with throats burned dry And souls that cry for water, cool, clear, water. (fr. “Cool Water,” Bob Nolan, 1941) So it’s the late Seventies and you’re a venture capitalist. I am sitting in your office outlining my blockbuster proposal. I want to bring a new drink to market. I will package it in pint-sized plastic bottles and charge, oh, roughly what Coke and Pepsi charge for their concoctions.

Excerpts From the Ship's Log of the 'OSX Tiger IV'

  Dan Shea       September 23, 2007

Excerpts from the ship’s log of the ‘OSX Tiger IV,’ which as recently discovered by sarcastic deep-sea divers/Mac users. Finder’s Log, 08/20/06 We have finally left port! We have a fine new ship, the OSX Tiger IV, and a stout crew of hardy extensions (all fresh off well earned beta-leave) to man her. As we left the harbor and began to unfurl our untested Intel sails, many souls on deck witnessed a giant Jobsbird feasting on the bloated floating corpse of a Billgull, which is the best omen these salty old captain’s eyes have seen in nigh on twenty years of iSailing!

His Poor Wife

  Jerome Shea       September 15, 2007

No, I am not referring to the Long-Suffering Diana, though some might like to make that case. I am referring instead to the recent spate of disgraced politicians and others, those whose sexual shenanigans, real or alleged, have been exposed for all the world to snicker and gawk at, to mull over in glee or in dudgeon. Larry Craig is not the last, only the latest, and let me be even-handed about this.

10-4, Good Buddy

  Jerome Shea       September 8, 2007

I had to laugh. David Brooks, University of Chicago B.A. (History, ’83) and conservative pundit, was hunkered down with an over-the-road trucker in a diner in Virginia,* which got me fantasizing George Will jawing about porkbelly futures at the feed store or Thomas Sowell…but I find it too painful to fantasize Thomas Sowell. Let me say right off the bat that I like David Brooks’s stuff. He’s neither a ranter nor a knee-jerk ideologue and I often find in his columns a shiny intellectual bauble that I can play with for hours on end.


  Jerome Shea       September 2, 2007

On the streets of Florence, second only to reproductions of David are reproductions—often keychain size—of Pinocchio, the world’s most famous puppet. This is as it should be, I suppose. Just as Michelangelo was a revered native son, so was Carlo Lorenzini, who gave us one of the world’s most famous children’s stories. We know him as Carlo Collodi, a name he took from his mother’s village. He was born in 1826, spent his life as a newspaperman and something of a political gadfly, and died in 1890.

eScams Collide

  Dan Shea       August 25, 2007

FROM: Koffi Mensah-Maafo (koffimensahmaafo@geemail.com) TO: Dear Friend: kZinSky_4_Prez (anar-key-21@nohope4man.net) SUBJECT: Your Urgent need for Money business relationship sir! Dear prospectively partner, This is Honorable lowly Koffi Mensah-Maafo writing for you, being behalf of Very Honorable Mr. Iwo Kepsaan Otoo, the much slain upon Former Minister of Richness of Ghana. Being free now from enemies domestic by Exiling, His Ministerness is wanting interest in property purchase, estate procure-ishment, or and landed space in your country.

A Grouch Abroad: Pictures

  Jerome Shea       August 12, 2007

Il Duomo Street scene, w/ Campanile, “Bruno,” “Gladys” I’ll have his name in just a minute! The Long-suffering Diana Abstemious Shea Il Duomo, interior The dome, interior Baptism of Christ The Arno Harry’s Bar, along the Arno One of these statues isn’t. Washday A view from Fiesole Street scene, Fiesole Roman…and Roman Catholic Temple ruins Santa Croce and Dante statue Florence, and Fiesole, from the dome The Campanile, from the dome

A Grouch Abroad II

  Jerome Shea       August 4, 2007

Friday afternoon, I think it was, we spent six months in the Uffizi Gallery. It sure felt like that, traipsing from room to room to room to room… Please understand. I get off on Renaissance religious art with the same fervor as the next guy. But please! ENOUGH! I got really maxed out on the Big A’s (Assumption, Ascension, Annunciation), not to mention the nativity scenes and all the pietas. And can we please relegate St.

A Grouch Abroad: An Idiosyncratic Report

  Jerome Shea       July 28, 2007

(Being an account of the recent trip that Shea and Diana, his long-suffering wife, took to the city of Florence [the one in Italy]. Cosmopolitan readers will note that the perspective is American and somewhat provincial. You have a problem with that?) Well…before we had even boarded our flight in Albuquerque they confiscated my Swiss Army knife. Yes, it was my fault, and the second knife I have lost to Homeland Security, but I take my bad omens where I find them.

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