Technocratic breakdown

Good morning. It’s Tuesday. That is all.

The MBTA Advisory Board is not happy with the Globe editorial board. The rest of us are just bored.

It’s clear that Massachusetts has had a tough time with its vaccine rollout. The state’s website is difficult to use to make reservations. People are frustrated and disappointed in Charlie Baker, who was supposed to be good at these kinds of things. But I think Baker is as frustrated as the rest of us and maybe his hands are tied since he’s reliant on sub-par government technology to solve this problem. But it is solvable, as these non-government programmers easily demonstrated.

France is worried about the influence of crazy ideas coming from the US, particularly from our universities. Now that is saying something.

I haven’t heard much about the guy that ran onto the field during the Superbowl. CBS quickly cut away and mostly ignored it, other than to use the time to show more commercials. But radio covered it the way it should have been covered.

And if you’re stuck in an assisted living facility during a pandemic, you might as well make the best of it. Cheers!

Second act

Monday morning in New England. Eight years ago today we got a little snow.

Well, Brady won another one. (Was it me or did the announcers seem to lose complete interest in the game and stop calling plays in the middle of the forth quarter?)

The SNL cold open this weekend featured parodies of Superbowl commercials. The real ones from last night were not far off. Most were pretty lame. The Sam Adams spot was kind of OK. The shortest commercial was probably the best. Only 5 seconds. If you missed it, here it is.

Tesla has had a unique position in the market for some time now. That time may be coming to an end. And it’s not Apple ending it.

An offhand deal led to a treasure trove of photographs documenting life in China between 1985 and 2005. It’s called the Beijing Silvermine. Incredible.

And Donald Trump is much happier now that he’s off social media. A win-win.

Generation gap

It’s Superbowl Sunday.

A local filmmaker is doing a documentary on our free-range turkeys. Pass the cranberry sauce.

Well, today is the day that Tom Brady gets to prove himself – again. The old, established QB is being challenged by a talented young upstart. It seems like only yesterday that Tom was that upstart.

Naturally produced antibodies may not be enough protection from mutated versions of the coronavirus. But the vaccines, so far, still seem to be effective.

The great bucatini crisis of 2020 is over. It should be coming back to supermarket shelves. The head of pasta company De Cecco breaks his silence on what happened. He doesn’t want to name names but he does say, “It’s always a good thing to know who your enemies are.”

And here’s another entry into the record books for 2020: A lot less lightening.

Full of holes

Good morning. It’s Wednesday. The day the music died.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday so I wouldn’t put away that winter gear quite yet.

Valentine’s Day is coming and that means heart-shaped doughnuts. The most popular doughnut in Massachusetts, according to an analysis of google search results, is the chocolate frosted. But after dinner another favorite rules. I wonder why no one has invented a strawberry shortcake doughnut.

Residents are reporting problems in those new super tall and thin residential skyscrapers in New York. Pipes are leaking, walls are creaking and elevators are stuck. Who says you can never be too tall or thin?

Our own Tom Brady is becoming a mythical character. (We’ll see just how mythical on Sunday.)

And a couple of years ago people were actually complaining that there were too many quality TV shows to watch. The pandemic took care of that. Peak TV is now trough TV. But we do have more episodes of City on a Hill to look forward to.

Good cheap fast

It’s a stormy Monday. February is upon us. But not for long, happily.

Sawing someone in half is still one of the most popular tricks a magician can do, even after a century of performances. I don’t know how it’s done and I don’t want to know.

The software developed for the CDC by Deloitte to schedule vaccinations seems to have a problem or two. A no-bid $40 million contract to a consultant with a spotty history to develop a large-scale, critical system in the midst of a pandemic. Who could have seen this fail coming? Usually on a project like this you get to choose two out of three: Good, cheap or fast. All we got was fast. And it wasn’t all that fast. One more example of the problems with government software projects.

A Kansas City Chiefs’ lineman with a medical degree opted out of the season because of the coronavirus. Instead of playing he worked on a hospital ward caring for covid patients. Now his team is going to the SuperBowl. Should he get a ring if they win on Sunday? It would be nice if he did.

Leica lenses are not cheap but their value ages well. If you bought a Noctilux for $1200 thirty five years ago you could sell it today for about the same price, if not much more. In fact, that old design is being refreshed by the company and is now selling new for $7,695! A little too rich for my blood, though.

And on a day expected to bring a few, here is a very nice photo of a snowflake.