Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Book Learning

From the nooks and crannies of Paul's mind.

Amazon's Jeffrey Bezoz, in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, was asked if people will miss the "tactile feel of the book -- the hard-to-describe intangibles" when using the Kindle electronic reader:
"I'm sure people love their horses, too," Bezoz said. "But you're not going to keep riding your horse to work just because you love your horse. It's our job to build something that is better than a physical book."

What about it folks? Do you lose anything curling up in bed with the Kindle instead of your horse?


Abbe Rifkin, 51, a lifer deputy D.A. in Miami was driving north on I-95 recently when she witnessed a shocking crime. Being a highly trained crimestopper, she whipped out her cell phone, garnered the evidence, and squealed to the Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Yes, she objected to a vanity license plate on a Mitsubishi Raider. This happened to be a U.S. Marines' plate, decorated with state-issued anchor, eagle and globe. And four personal letters: "TWAT."

Stewart Tabares, the car's owner, served a tour in Afghanistan where he achieved the rank of sergeant on a Tactical Wire Assault Team. That's right, the Marines call the unit, "TWAT."

No matter. Prosecutor Rifkin wants the state to strip the plate from the vet's car, water-board him, and force him to watch "The Vagina Monologues," as performed by Harvey Fierstein. (Okay, one of those is true).

“To put it on a Marine Corps license plate, when he had to know that it was offensive to women, dishonors the plate and dishonors the Corps,” Rifkin said.

I'm always dubious when people make blanket statements, such as "offensive to women." It is possible, of course, that thousands of Florida women do find the plate objectionable, regardless of military underpinning. It's also possible that thousands more don't give a shit.

In related news, violent crime rose in Miami during the first five months of the year.



  1. Paul,

    Interesting question about the Kindle. I just bought one and so far I have really enjoyed reading with it. One of the great blessings for my wife is the "theory" that the Kindle can actually replace the constant stack of books on my nightstand. So far it has reduced the number but can't quite replace the stack. There are too many new books being released that are not available on the Kindle for the stack to be reduced to nothing.

    This actually raises a question I've had since getting the Kindle. Who decides whether or not a book is released electronically? The author or the publisher?

    Thanks for the great news about crime stoppers in South Florida. As a Naples resident I know that I'll be able to sleep better knowing that no one is driving in Florida with a TWAT license plate. Oh - by the way - the restaurant that I frequent on Tuesdays and Thursdays has been broken into twice in the past two weeks.

  2. I agre with your sentiments to vague "It's offensive to . . ."

    Although she's right. He knew what the tag meant. That doesn't make it less funny.


  3. The idea of not having stacks of books cluttering every room is appealing. Reading from a computer-like screen is not.

    I think somebody should replace the "A" with the letter "I" and be done with it. From Twat to Twit works for me.

  4. I'm so glad law enforcement is protecting society from evil words like twat. God knows, if I saw this plate I might be so blinded by outrage that I'd drive right off the Interstate at high speed and strike a child.

    And we should all think of the children.

    On a side note, a friend from Australia called a female friend a twat and when her jaw dropped he said, "I guess it means something different here than it does in Australia."

    In Australia it means fool.

  5. Funny as always Paul.

    I think people really miss the big picture about the Kindle. It is not about it replacing books, but how you will be buying your books. People compain now about the effect of Amazon and the Big Chain Bookstores and the Big Box stores on independent bookstores, but with Kindle there is no reason to leave the house or even get on a computer to order a book....and then have it in less then five minutes. You have to admit there is a certain appeal there. (aren't we all reading this on a computer, expect for the really geeky of us reading this on their new iPhone?) There are it is 10pm at night and you just finished the novel you were reading but not ready for bed yet...well fire up the Kindle and buy/read that new Jim Born novel.

    And that's nothing when you consider the moving factor. Kindle in your pocket, or those 80 boxes of books?

    I think there really is room for both.

  6. I once went to the Vagina Monologues.....I thought it was going to be a ventriloquism act.

    Isn't TWAT a branch of KAOS....where's Max and 99 when you need them?

  7. Get a grip, you silly TWAT, say I. My personal fave is a VA license that says GOPSUX


  8. Max and 99 are coming to a theatre near you. Stay tuned.

  9. Stranger things have happened. I once saw official memorandums regarding a Special Homicide Investigation Team. You can imagine the comments....

    Personal experience, when I was in the Corporate World, I was part of a task force that put together a set of standards and practices titled Fundamental Underlying Core Knowledge. The project went on for 11 months, and the day before it went to the printers, I looked at the cover and said, "Uh, guys?" We changed it immediately....

    And you're right Patty...I, for one, cannot wait to see Max and 99 back in action....:)