Fall 05 Backyard

Le Bleat de rigeur today, with limp copy, obvious links, and a surprise visit from an old, old friend of the site. Long day, and your host has much to write tonight.

Six radio interviews today, including a nice one with a fellow who had not read the book. Didn’t even have a review copy. That one went 25 minutes. He began with “How did you get the idea?” I have honed the answer in such a way that does not accurately reflect the book’s genesis, but is nevertheless accurate. The truth is that I was sitting in my editor’s office after lunch in New York, full of an inordinate amount of beef and red wine, brainstorming. Since we were both lightheaded from digestion and indulgence, nothing was occurring to either of us. I excused myself to use the restroom, and en route to the well-appointed lavs of Random House, the idea just dropped into my skull, unbidden: the Gallery of Regrettable Parenting. Huzzah. Booyah. Et cetera. I pitched it when I returned, and that was that.

My new version involves angels, messages appearing on tortillas, and a Halodol smoothie.

So that was my day. I also had a little pre-interview with the New York Times; I’ll know Monday whether they’re going to do a story on your humble narrator. That would be nice. You know, a guy goes into this business, he thinks Pulitzer, he thinks best-selling Great American Novel; here I’ve assembled a book with a substantial chapter on the matter of wartime constipation, and the next thing you know I’m in the Sunday Times.

Up and comers, take note.

I also filed three columns. Three! One more to write tonight, since tomorrow I have to hike over to St. Paul and do “Talk of the Nation.” I think. Should be around a quarter to three CST.

Filled both tanks in the Water Feature. The lower tank feeds the upper tank via an underground pipe; the water spills down over three terraces, back into the lower tank, where it is pushed back up to the upper tank. Rinse, repeat. There was a problem with the upper tank – aesthetics aside – involving a rather horrible leak, but they took off some stone, patched it up, caulked and caulked some more, told me to wait 24 hours. And all was fine. Until I actually, well, USED THE THING. It empties in 90 minutes. The waterfall stops flowing, and I can hear the pump blades thrashing around in the tank. While some evaporation is normal, I should note that it takes 20 minutes to fill up the lower tank with a garden hose, and I don’t think that much water evaporates from splashing over the rocks. If it did, the humidity in the backyard would rival New Orleans. So perhaps there is a leak in the lower tank.

Perhaps I request that the entire project be filled in, and my money returned. Or I mail all the stones back. One at a time. Postage due.


While I am a big fan of remixing things retro, this may be an acquired taste. Play the first song, and see how long it takes you before you are gripped with the need to fire a pistol into your computer. I lasted 47 seconds, but I have a headache.

Headline writers have but one rule: Clarity. Always clarity.

Old thrift-store book covers. Fresh spiral spines. Good paper. Ex Libris Anonymous sent me one a few years ago, and it’s been sitting on my office desk since then, stuffed with notes and clippings. Twelve bucks a throw, and they’re all one of a kind; an excellent Christmas gift for someone who likes this site.

I mentioned that I had Forty-fied my desktop (hah! I made a funny. Forty-fied! I kill myself) with cool icons. It would churlish to keep them to myself. This is where I got the Coke icons – the clocks are gorgeously done. And this site has some nifty icons as well - Mac and Windows. You’re welcome.

Finally: after a hiatus of several years, let us welcome back an old friend to lileks.com. Ladies and Gentlemen: the return of Mr. Coffee Nerves. See you tomorrow.