On the fast track

Monday. The second day of Squirrel Week.

Jet Blue is looking beat up these days. The question is: Is it just chipped paint from the weather or is it a crack in the fuselage?

Finland and Sweden are on track to join NATO as early as this summer. There’s a long border between Russia and Finland. Plenty of room for an Article 5 misunderstanding.

Matt Viser on Kamala and Marty.

The jigsaw puzzle is almost finished but one important piece that was supposed to fit… just doesn’t. In this case, the puzzle is the Universe.

And what’s a good tip for a robot waiter? You tell me.

Duck and cover

Good morning. It’s Sunday. John Steinbeck‘s birthday.

Russian nukes are on alert. That’s never a good thing.

Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College in London, thinks Putin has bitten off more than he can chew. But Chris Miller, from the Fletcher School at Tufts, thinks the Russian knows what he’s doing and that he has a range of options. “Putin could simply choose to destroy Ukraine and leave the West to pick up the pieces. Such a dismembered, dysfunctional Ukraine could well suit his interests.”

Joshua Yaffa is on the ground in Kyiv.

For what it’s worth, US and Canadian liquor stores, including those in Virginia and New Hampshire, are ceasing the sale of Russian vodka. That’ll show them. Also Rick Steves is cancelling his St. Petersburg tour. Russia is kicked out of Eurovision. And Putin’s conductor friend lost his gig at Carnegie Hall this weekend. Tough medicine all around. Meanwhile, did I mention that Russian nukes are on alert.

And where there’s a crisis there will be scammers. In this case, crypto scammers.

You can go home again

A wonderful Wednesday.

Sidewalk dining sheds in New York are either a good thing that will be made permanent or a bad thing to be removed forthwith. I agree.

A former Irish minister for foreign affairs is pushing to lift restrictions on US citizens who want to retire to Ireland. The plan promoted by Charlie Flanagan would be open to Americans who can show a connection to Ireland, either through ancestry or cultural involvement, or even frequent travel, with an offer of citizenship after 5 years. Interesting.

In bumping up bag check fees, airlines have incentivized the use of carry-on bags. And more often than not these days those carry-on bags are big and bulky, which slows down boarding, costing airlines money. Delta has a pilot program in Boston to see if free bag checking will speed up the boarding process. I hope they didn’t spend a lot on consultants to come up with this.

The Washington Post reports that bananas are getting expensive at the Greater Boston Food Bank. Also, Superbowl guacamole is going to cost more this year as grocery store produce departments succumb to inflation.

And in Seattle, there’s a large intersection between people who drive Mazdas and those who listen to NPR. Strange.

Following tracks

Tuesday. The word is disheveled.

Trailways and Greyhound airlines are merging into one airline. Actually it’s Frontier and Spirit. Christopher Muther has some ideas on what the new carrier should be called.

Adam Gaffin breaks a story on Universal Hub about a lawsuit against the Globe by a California man who is upset about Facebook ad tracking, which he alleges is a violation of federal law.

Harold Meyerson writes about the state of long haul trucking and the demise of unions.

Brian Krebs reports that spammers and phishers are exploiting a LinkedIn feature called slinks (great name for what it’s turned into) that allows third parties to leverage what looks like an official LinkedIn URL to market their own products. It would look like this, linkedin.com/slink?, with a potentially nefarious redirect code coming after the “?“.

And a guy playing slots in Vegas became frustrated when the machine locked up. After a while he lost patience and walked away. When the casino did maintenance on the slot machine it discovered why it had locked up: it hit a quarter-million dollar jackpot. By that time the guy was back home and the casino had no idea who he was. But there’s a happy ending to the story.

Running out the clock

Today is Thursday. It’s Mozart‘s birthday.

The film that’s so bad it’s goodinteresting… hilarious, is back on the big screen. The Room is now at the Coolidge for midnight showings.

Michael Jonas writes about Michelle Wu’s balancing act on labor relations and vaccine mandates. He notes that she has put the recalcitrant unions on “double (not so) secret probation.” My take: it’s just a flexing exercise for both sides. By the time it’s resolved it will all be moot.

Ireland is back. The government has announced the end of all Covid restrictions.

As we gear up for a foot and a half of snow this weekend, Seth Daniel recounts the challenges of winters past in Boston, from using diesel fuel in his furnace to old Mr. Gilchrist shoveling his own walk.

And what this country needs is a good sarcasm font. If Thomas Edison was alive, this is what he would be working on.