I’ll be the first to admit that $787 billion is a lot of money. It’s a lot of money for the government to spend on one thing, even something as big as stimulating the American economy. A year-and-a-half after Congress authorized borrowing and spending those billions, the average American is still waiting for his situation to improve, and is growing more frustrated with each passing day. But not me. My one encounter with the stimulus (aside from being offered a lower COBRA payment after I was laid off) was as a beneficiary of its first-time homebuyer tax credit. Without that credit, I’d still be renting an apartment and wondering whether I could ever afford a house. So, strange as it may sound, I count myself as the rare citizen who hears the word “stimulus” and feels not anger or ambivalence, but gratitude.
Archive for the ‘Prickly City’ Category
As any child knows, there is a difference between there, their, and they’re. They’re going to the store for ice cream. Their ice cream is starting to melt. They put the ice cream in the freezer, over there. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp, but that doesn’t stop people from using these words interchangeably. Their it is! There not here yet?! They’re new car is really nice LOL! These errors might be excusable if a giant, Jupiter-sized asteroid was barreling toward Earth. But as far as I can tell, that’s not the case.
Chicago sits along an enormous body of water and, as a result, tends to be both hot and humid during the summer. Believe me, I know how uncomfortable humidity can be. It makes people tired, grimy, groggy, and irritable. If I were asked to choose between a 30-degree day with a foot of snow on the ground or a 90-degree day with 100-percent humidity in the air, I would opt for the former. But even I don’t delude myself into thinking that “dry heat” is comfortable. Chicago temperatures have hovered near 90 for the past few days, and even though the humidity had been relatively low, it still feels hot outside. Really hot. Too hot. I can’t wait for autumn.
Sometimes I look at the comics page and am underwhelmed by the quality of the art. A handful of strips are dynamic and distinctive, while a similar number of strips are downright terrible. But the majority of strips seem to fall in the middle; they’re drawn competently, but without visual flair. They suffer from a distinct lack of personality. I’d put Prickly City in this category. The characters are well-drawn, but they don’t pop off the page and the desert setting is often dull and repetitive. Even so, the art isn’t amateurish, as the devolving panels in today’s installment aptly illustrate.
A year ago, I would have found it hard to believe that I would spend a significant amount of time this winter thinking about carp. I’ve never been fishing, don’t eat a whole lot of seafood, and have neglected the beach for the past three years (shame on me). But what brought this particular fish to my attention is the speed with which it is approaching Lake Michigan via Chicago’s Sanitary and Ship Canal. This has caused the federal government to consider some pretty drastic measures, including closing the locks that connect the two waterways. Hopefully in doesn’t come to that, since hundreds of businesses rely on the canal for shipping. In the meantime, the job of carp wrangler sounds like a pretty important one to me.
Despite being an avid Mac user, I have virtually no interest in Apple’s frothily anticipated tablet computer. Sure, I’ll read a couple of reviews, and will probably duck into the Apple Store at some point to fiddle with the tablet, but the idea of a bigger-than-an-iPhone-but-smaller-than-a-Macbook computer holds very little appeal for me. Will it serve as an e-reader? Maybe, but I’m a fan of printed books. Will it be an ideal device for gaming? Maybe, but I’ve yet to buy a single game for my iPhone. There are only two things I know for certain: the tablet will be pricey, and it will be awkward to compose text using the device’s touchscreen keyboard (or stylus, or other silly contraption). Go ahead, Apple. Prove me wrong.