Odds & Ends // 2017.07.31 // Dog Days of Summer

Like it says: odds & ends; I’ll try to post this once a week to track things I read, quick updates, thoughts, links, etc.


  • Coldplay – Miracle


  • Caps Honored to Hoist Garbage Can

    After the Caps beat the Seals, Tommy Williams, who had two assists that night and was the game’s second star, picked up the trash can, held it over his head and passed it around the room. The Caps paraded it around the room. After all, the Caps finally won a road game!

    Sounds about right. I wonder if they raised a banner, too…

  • The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak

    This reporter was able, after determining his RNC ID, to view his modeled policy preferences and political actions as calculated by TargetPoint. It is a testament both to their talents, and to the real danger of this exposure, that the results were astoundingly accurate.

    So annoying that all our info keeps floating around out there because people are woefully negligent. Not to mention that it’s being collected and sold like this in the first place.

  • Building Mental Toughness Off the Field

  • I used to be a political cartoonist. Here’s what you should know about satirizing political assassinations.

    An artist’s job is to take risks, and taking risks means sometimes doing things that turn out to be stupid and wrong. The riskier the subject matter, the better or funnier your art had better be. If you fail, people are going to be offended and mad and call you names on the internet. They will also do this if you succeed. If your intention is to provoke, you don’t apologize when you succeed; the correct response, when you waggle a severed president’s head at the public and the public is outraged, is: “That’s right, and here’s Mitch McConnell’s, too.”

  • Ron Burkle opens up on Penguins ownership, Mario Lemieux and the future

    “The parade almost means more than that moment on the ice [after the Cup was won],” he said. “That moment on the ice is exciting, but when you sit there and you see a community like Pittsburgh, and the size of Pittsburgh, and the turnout in the community … and it was [goalie Marc-Andre] Fleury’s last moment. And seeing people holding up Phil Kessel signs, that is probably the highlight of the whole thing.”

    Definitely missing Molinari on the Penguins beat. PG would’ve been better served to aim for something like this on a bi-weekly or monthly basis rather than relegating him to the Penn State beat.

  • Redesigning Waxy

    Here, I control my words. Nobody can shut this site down, run annoying ads on it, or sell it to a phone company. Nobody can tell me what I can or can’t say, and I have complete control over the way it’s displayed. Nobody except me can change the URL structure, breaking 14 years of links to content on the web.

    Obviously I don’t have 14 years of posts, but if I had stuck to when I actually started playing around with wordpress, I’d have 7 or 8 years at this point. Facebook has 12 years of me, and twitter had 9 1

  • The Zelda-‘Twin Peaks’ Connection is Real

    Tezuka: I didn’t try to do that on purpose. About Twin Peaks. We were talking about this before you [Iwata] arrived. I was talking about fashioning Link’s Awakening with a feel that’s somewhat like Twin Peaks. At the time, Twin Peaks was rather popular. The drama was all about a small number of characters in a small town. So I wanted to make something like that, while it would be small enough in scope to easily understand, it would have deep and distinctive characteristics.

    This was my first Zelda game and it had a lot of quirks and oddities that the rest of the series hasn’t really had.

  • I read Ready Player One. The movie should be fun.

A post shared by David Trudo (@trudo) on


“Only when a republic’s life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is in the wrong. There is no other time.
This Republic’s life is not in peril. The nation has sold its honor for a phrase. It has swung itself loose from its safe anchorage and is drifting, its helm is in pirate hands. The stupid phrase needed help, and it got another one: ‘Even if the war be wrong we are in it and must fight it out: we cannot retire from it without dishonor.’ Why, not even a burglar could have said it better. We cannot withdraw from this sordid raid because to grant peace to those little people on their terms–independence–would dishonor us. You have flung away Adam’s phrase–you should take it up and examine it again. He said, ‘An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.’”

Gotta get my Mark Twain in during times like these.

A post shared by David Trudo (@trudo) on

  • Happy 4th of July

Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree besides the river of truth, and tell the whole world – ‘No, you move.’ —Amazing Spider-Man #537, December 2006, written by J. Michael Straczynski

My favorite Captain America quote.


  • Speaking of which, Spider-Man: Homecoming was fun.

  • Wonder Woman is still probably my favorite movie of the year until October.


  • Marvel: Making a Difference in the Real World
    Keeping the Marvel run going, this was a really good talk that I stumbled onto. It meant even more when I took part in a Narrative 4 story exchange and was able to share it with the person I was partnered with after we shared our own personal stories.

  1. Twitter is so ephemeral, I don’t see why it bothers to archive posts from a user-standpoint (obviously, they need the data to sell ads). I like to keep it between 3-6 months and routinely nuke everything beyond that. There’s usually nothing I’m embarrassed by or regret posting in the first place, but how often have you gone to someone’s profile and scrolled past a few weeks worth of posts? (Somewhat the same with facebook, the only time you’re going years previously into someone’s profile if trying to find something specific about them… And who does that?

The Fountain Pen Rabbit Hole

These days, I have a modest collection of fountain pens 1, inks, and notebooks. I’ve designed my own letterhead for sending mail to friends and family. I don’t profess to be a Serious Writer™, but I do make sure that I have fun in the process!

How did this happen?

I began my fountain pen journey about three and a half years ago when I was stranded at JFK while waiting for a flight home for Christmas. At the time, my parents were in Charleston, SC, and there were only two flights to there from NYC every day. I had missed the morning flight because I couldn’t afford a cab on top of the plane ticket at the time, and it was a lovely 90 minute trip at an absolute minimum, not counting the 20 minute wait for train transfers in the early morning hours, however long the AirTran takes, Christmas crowds and lines, etc. Long story short, I had seven or eight hours to burn, and JetBlue could only do so much. 2

Luckily, it wasn’t a Sunday, so in addition to 8am teriyaki chicken for breakfast, I grabbed a Sam Adams or two 3, and tried to figure out what to do while I waited.

While chowing down, I noticed that there that there was a Muji-To-Go shop nearby. I had grabbed a few gel pens from their store in the city earlier in the year, so I wandered over to browse, figuring I’d stock up on some notebooks for a few hours of writing to pass the time. I was surprised to find that Muji had their own model of fountain pen. Somewhere along the way in life, I was under the impression that fountain pens were always pricey and expensive instruments that’d be out of my reach, but this was at am impulse buy that fit into my extremely limited budget 4, so I bought one, started writing with it, and promptly fell down the rabbit hole.

First off, it was nice and minimalist, not anything flashy or fancy. This was great because people wouldn’t even notice at first that I was using a fountain pen. 5 Secondly, it was a totally different feel to writing than ballpoints or rollerball gel pens. I didn’t have to grind into the paper, it wasn’t scratching itself along, it didn’t skip. It was a totally different feel in writing. I was hooked instantly. I found myself writing a little slower and watching my handwriting shape up a touch neater.

The real fun started when I found out I could get an ink converter and use different inks in my pen. I could totally personalize it, and that’s where all the fun starts! There’s an endless variety of inks. Dark, light, saturated, shimmering, shaded… the choices are nearly endless. I think I stuck with my Muji pen for a year and a half before branching out to a TWSBI, and then getting to use different nibs. This adds yet another distinction and personalization to my writing. Stub nibs and flourishes for signatures, mediums and broads for writing cards and letters, and fines or extra-fines for quick notes and personal writing.

So that’s a brief recollection of how a missed flight home for Christmas got me into fountain pens.

Oh, and Bill Murray ended up a few rows behind me, so I had that going for me which was nice.

  1. Five so far, including the Lamy 2000 I’m drafting this post with, which I think is my favorite.

  2. They DID have Christmas carolers wandering around the terminal and singing, so that made everything nice.

  3. to start

  4. $8 as the daily special, I think

  5. Now I have flashy ones when I’m trying to make a statement.