Saturday, June 14, 2008

Size matters, and random observations

I loved the Marianas Variety's survey of Marianas gas prices: Rota $5.30, Tinian $5.00, Saipan $4.80 and Guam $4.57 per gallon. The differences are about what you'd expect given the islands' size and other factors. For good measure, we get a peek at $6.00 gasoline in the Federated States of Micronesia.

So we're all getting 'hosed' equally. The closing paragraph was entertaining, though not very amusing:

"Robert Koppen of South Pacific Petroleum Company, which runs Circle K gas stations, declined to comment, saying oil companies don't normally discuss gas price issues."

Fish stories

An anonymous poster had a cow because of my ruminations about the Marianas Variety and Saipan Tribune perhaps, er, leaning one way or another on the proposed Marine Monument. Follow the links and see how they handle the same story. No comment here; I want to be fair and balanced. You decide. (Gee, I always wanted to write that. Does Fox have the copy write?)

Site sighting

This is just a quick jab at my pal Ed Stevens for writing "re-zero your sites" in his Friday column. Tch, coming from an experienced writer and self-proclaimed gun nut. I wouldn't even mention it, but he once mocked my affection for The Elements of Style.

Round three to the Governor

The House of Representatives may oppose Gov. Benigno R. Fitial's 'emergency' takeover of the Commonwealth Ports Authority, but it's been outfoxed. The Governor has extended the state of emergency and there's nothing they can do. He's forced the board to resign, but no replacements have been appointed.


Bruce A. Bateman said...

Ed may have written 'sights' only to have the editor's spell checker change it. I've seen errors creep into a few of my pieces once sent off for publication. Even as I write spellchecker is screwing with me, sometimes when I go back and proof I find that the Microsoft god has visited my prose.

That is not to say that the human editing process does not sometimes correct some glaring errors on my part. It does. But the intrusion by the auto system goes mostly unappreciated by me and probably by other writers too.

bigsoxfan said...

Actually, Ed wrote in a piece several months ago (or was it the Turbit) on how microsoft word screws with the author with auto correct. Better to use a vanilla WP program and make it up as you go along. I miss EE from the variety, I've been checking the english language papers from the RP for his bylines. Even if he uses a new name, I'll recognize his unique style. I be speeeling less often know that I use auto corrcton on difficult werds. Sorry, I'm reading 1984 for the first time and new speak is on the brain.

KAP said...

My inner Luddite loves sight and site-- even cite since somewhat practical voice recognition software is coming out. Like peek, peak and pique, my other favorites, these vagaries of the wonderfully arcane American English language may be our last, best hope of keeping Artificial Intelligence at bay.

Spell checkers are great, but I never use them on auto. I want to approve the changes. GIGO: they're programmed by people.

I use Open Office on one of my computers. It has an annoying habit of capitalizing words for me, with the saving grace of rearranging 'eth' to 'the' when I type too fast and go dyslexic. Odd, now that I think about it, because spellcheck isn't enabled.

(One of my fantasies, impossible now, was to edit Bill Buckley and find a mistake.)

I've been meaning to revisit 1984. It's one of my favorites. He's wrong, of course: I think the 911 hysteria of 2001 is much closer. But dates are what you say they are anyway.