• You stay classy, Fred Phelps.
• Due to an administrative error, probably mine, I was one day late with my credit card payment to Bank of America last month (previous post on how BoA screws its customers and gets away with it here). Result: on my most recent statement, my interest rate took the express elevator from 7.99% to 19.99%. BoA did nothing to draw attention to that outsized hike; I was lucky I discovered it when I scrutinized the statement, which I don't always do. In fairness, the customer service rep I talked to quickly agreed to give me my old rate back. But after I hung up, the bad taste lingered, and I decided I'm done with these gotcha-games-playing douches. Want my business? Earn it, with a good product, fair policies, and superior service — the way companies like American Express and USAA have consistently done for decades, in my experience. So today, I paid off my $9K Bank of America bill; and tomorrow, I'll be closing the account. Thanks for the memories, guys. OK, not for the memories. For the blog posts you inspired, then, and for the reminder that in a free market, people have options — and that it can be a joy to exercise them.
• Just last month, it emerged that a toll road company offered every member of the Indiana state legislature a special no-charge pass. Now it turns out that public officials in Maryland and Virginia are being given the same perk, and gladly accepting it.
• The topic of drugs can be inflammatory. But marijuana? It lessens the inflammatory. It's in-inflammatory, if you get my drift. Whoa — let me clear my head with a tub of cookie dough. Here's what I mean.
• See, this is why you need Head & Shoulders anti-dandruff shampoo. Buckets and buckets of it.
M. had scratched through her skull during the night — and all the way into her brain.
A penny-dreadful short story by a young Edgar Allen Poe? A long-lost Dario Argento script? Clive Barker on crack? No — Atul Gawande writing in the current issue of the New Yorker. And apparently, it's non-fiction.
• Just because he's paranoid doesn't mean Bruce Schneier shouldn't be taken seriously.
• Exactly how badly does food have to taste to be unconstitutional?
• Two months ago, while visiting London, I spent about an hour practicing panning shots of moving traffic. My skills thus sharpened, I was off to the Mille Miglia in Italy just weeks later, a fabulous old-race-car rally that I photographed on assignment for Road & Track.
Here's one of the London photos (for illustrative purposes only, not because I think it deserves a Pulitzer):
Now I find I could have been detained for questioning; England's finest have begun clamping down on omniboligists, otherwise known as bus photographers.
Couple of my Mille Miglia pan shots:
More photos here.