Random Randomness, 7/14/2014

“Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster, but an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” – Obi Wan Kenobi

Or maybe it’s just a collection of stuff with little point and less connection to any coherent meaning.

Have faith, dear Cosette.les-miserables-bwVive la France!  A happy Bastille Day to one and all. In honor of the revolution that sparked the messy and somewhat random Gallic transition from feudal tyranny to mob rule to Napoleonic empire to constitutional monarchy to democratic republic (and heavily influenced our own revolution on the other side of the Atlantic), I’m reading an advance copy of the Manga Classics edition of Les Misérables, adapted by Crystal Chen and Stacy King, and illustrated by Tsemei Lee.

So far, it’s a faithful and respectful abbreviated retelling of the Victor Hugo classic. It seems Manga Cosette has a better stylist than Broadway Poster Cosette, though both look wistfully misérable, in their respective fashion. Review to follow soon.

Baguette: French food that even a random, uncultured lout like me can appreciate. Quite possibly the perfect expression of bread.

Because All Office Work and No Play Makes Fred a Pale, Flabby Lump of Flesh: In my ongoing effort to keep up my general fitness and resist sliding into a sedentary abyss, I’ve spent more time of late in outdoor activities:

1. Long evening walks with my Lovely Wife, altogether pleasant and refreshing.

"Feed me!"2. Excursions with the Family Pack to the local Off-Leash Dog Park / Canine Muddy Water Absorption Area / Gateway to Chaos.

3. Pruning the noxious, spiny, toxic, flesh-eating vegetation our builder randomly selected and declared “ornamental shrubbery.”

4. Playing disc golf with my Eldest Son, an activity with all the quaint charm of the original Scottish activity once described by Mark Twain as a “good walk spoiled.” FYI, the fact that golf discs are cheaper than golf clubs does not compensate for the fact that they are much more expensive than golf balls and just as easy to lose in the briars to which they are attracted with an intensity approaching that of ferrous metal to a superconducting magnet.

5. Geocaching, a sport in which adults employ 21st-century satellite navigation to locate plastic boxes filled with children’s trinkets and concealed deep within tick-infested thickets of poison ivy.

Mulligan: A free shot sometimes given a golfer in informal play when the previous shot was poorly played or sucked into a random inter-dimensional vortex. See also: “do-over.”

This Just In From the FIFA World Cup: Thank heaven, it’s over. GGGGGOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!

Flop: In soccer, to aggressively exaggerate a foul or the appearance of a foul in order to manipulate officials into a favorable call. See also: “diving,” “faking,” “acting,” “lying,” “begging,” and “cheating.” According to this article, American players are notoriously bad at flopping due to some random cultural attachment to outdated principles like good sportsmanship, honesty, and fair play.

In the spirit of full disclosure, the flop is not unknown to American sports culture, and my otherwise ethically-impeccable high school basketball coach instructed our team in its rudiments. We weren’t very good at it either.

Sam, chilling with a slushie after a recent walk.

Speaking of Dogs: We added a new member at random to the Pack last week. This is what happens when the family stops by the local rescue shelter to “visit.” His name is Sam, and like Tigger, his bottom must be made out of springs because he has a vertical leap about three times his body length. Despite his athletic ability (or maybe because of it), he’s one of the most calm and even-tempered dogs I’ve ever encountered. He also walks well on the leash, which is helpful on those evening walks with my Lovely Wife.

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