Meanwhile in Montgomery

A change in legislative compensation is coming for the Alabama legislature:

Starting after this year’s elections, Alabama lawmakers will be paid the median household income for the state.

The state has hired a law firm to help determine that amount.

In 2012, Alabamians approved a constitutional amendment making the change in lawmaker pay.

Well, okay. Did it take a law firm to determine this amount?

In 2012, the median household income in Alabama was about $42,000.

Not mentioned in the article: how much they’re getting now. Reid Wilson of WaPo ferreted that out last year:

Alabama legislators only make $10 a day in actual salary, but they get $4,308 a month in expense budgets and $50 a day when the legislature meets.

Says Wikipedia: “The length of the regular session is limited to 30 meeting days within a period of 105 calendar days. Session weeks consist of meetings of the full chamber and committee meetings.”

So this is, then, a raise? And state voters approved it? Then again, these hardy souls must deal with the Alabama Constitution of 1901, which runs over 340,000 words, or about half the size of Atlas Shrugged.

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Untrue to its contents

This spam was from, it said, “Cable Service,” and the subject was “Optimize your viewing experience with cable TV.”

Then followed three links, anchored as follows:

  • Greencard
  • Need a Greencard? Get help from experienced US Attorneys – Attorney Advertisement
  • Work legally with a greencard.

And, you know, the CableCARD is dead.

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Winding up like this

From about a week and a half ago, here’s Jessica Alba, doing that ceremonial first-pitch thing for the Dodgers:

Jessica Alba throws out the first pitch at Chavez Ravine

Good form, as they say. Still, the Brewers scored seven runs in the first four innings and the Dodgers failed to catch up, falling 7-2.

Speaking of good form, here’s a January still from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

Jessica Alba looking Jessica Alba-esque

Readers of Fashion Bomb Daily approved this look by better than seven to two.

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Dropping Thabeet

Hasheem the Dream heads northeast:

The Thunder have traded Hasheem Thabeet, along with cash considerations, to the 76ers who absorb his contract into their cap space, creating a $1.25 million trade exception.

Why did the Thunder do this? With the emergence of Steven Adams, plus the addition of Mitch McGary, Thabeet [was] firmly the Thunder’s third center and nothing more than an insurance policy. His contract for next season was non-guaranteed ($1.2 million) and was likely to be waived in training camp anyway.

On the upside, if the Sixers keep him, he’s likely to see more time on the floor, if only because there’s likely to be a whole lot of garbage time, especially if Philly isn’t substantially improved from last season, “one of the most dismal in franchise history.”

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Walking off from the runoff

I cast ballot #290, according to the machine, at 4:53 pm. With competitive races in both parties, I think I was expecting a few more than that. Still, there are lots of folks wedded to the concept of “Runoff, schmunoff.” Perhaps one of these years we can do the Instant Runoff thing.

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Non-shiny happy people

Apparently it’s possible, even in this day and age:

I was thinking about my old high school French teacher again this morning as I trudged up the stairs to my office. Specifically, how I remember seeing him on his way to work (the prep school I attended had a few houses that they used to provide housing for some faculty. He and his wife had a house close to campus). He was frequently whistling and swinging his briefcase. And thinking about that makes me sad because while I value my work deeply, I never quite feel like whistling and swinging whatever I am carrying (I don’t carry a briefcase) as I head in to work. And I wonder, how does someone learn to be that happy-go-lucky? By all rights I should be like that — I have an extremely good life, unbelievably good by global standards — and yet I’m so serious all the time. And stuff, little stuff, gets to me and sucks out the joy I might feel.

I think part of it may be hard-coded into the genome. Mark Twain’s Old Man in “What Is Man?”, 1906:

I know them well. They are extremes, abnormals; their temperaments are as opposite as the poles. Their life-histories are about alike — but look at the results! Their ages are about the same — about around fifty. Burgess had always been buoyant, hopeful, happy; Adams has always been cheerless, hopeless, despondent. As young fellows both tried country journalism — and failed. Burgess didn’t seem to mind it; Adams couldn’t smile, he could only mourn and groan over what had happened and torture himself with vain regrets for not having done so and so instead of so and so — THEN he would have succeeded. They tried the law — and failed. Burgess remained happy — because he couldn’t help it. Adams was wretched — because he couldn’t help it. From that day to this, those two men have gone on trying things and failing: Burgess has come out happy and cheerful every time; Adams the reverse. And we do absolutely know that these men’s inborn temperaments have remained unchanged through all the vicissitudes of their material affairs. Let us see how it is with their immaterials. Both have been zealous Democrats; both have been zealous Republicans; both have been zealous Mugwumps. Burgess has always found happiness and Adams unhappiness in these several political beliefs and in their migrations out of them. Both of these men have been Presbyterians, Universalists, Methodists, Catholics — then Presbyterians again, then Methodists again. Burgess has always found rest in these excursions, and Adams unrest. They are trying Christian Science, now, with the customary result, the inevitable result. No political or religious belief can make Burgess unhappy or the other man happy.

I assure you it is purely a matter of temperament. Beliefs are ACQUIREMENTS, temperaments are BORN; beliefs are subject to change, nothing whatever can change temperament.

Aside: I’ll never know precisely how much that essay affected me when I read it as a tween. Call it an acquired belief.

A possibility:

Maybe he never watched the news. That could be part of it.

I’m sure not watching the news has helped my sense of self.

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Never be mist

TTAC commenter “turf3″ explains fog lights:

The purpose of fog lights is to blind oncoming drivers by using them in conjunction with high beams on clear nights when driving on streets with street lights located every 150 feet.

In practice, though, the high beams will blind you more than the fog lights will. (And in some cars, the fog lights turn off when the high beams come on.)

The secondary purpose of fog lights is to add an easily broken feature to plastic bumpers so the cost of using bumpers for their intended purpose (bumping!!!) can be even more expensive.

Now that’s pretty indisputable.

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Prerequisite to just about everything

You absolutely need this class to help navigate the choppy waters of National Discourse:

Credit hours: -3.

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It’s cheap to be the King

From 1989 to 2002, Burger King was owned by the British conglomerate Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo). In 2010, it was acquired by the equity firm 3G Capital, with offices in New York and roots in Brazil. Now it’s about to become Canadian:

The Wall Street Journal‘s Liz Hoffman and Dana Mattioli report Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Horton’s to pull off a “tax inversion” that would allow it to avoid U.S. taxes.

The new holding company would be based in Canada, the pair report.

Whether one will be able to pick up Timbits with a Whopper is not yet known.

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But fourteen’s not mad about me

I adore the sonnet form. I can’t write in it to save my life — the one time I came up with perfect meter and reasonable scansion, I discovered I’d done only thirteen lines — but I adore it just the same.

And this won’t change my mind, either:

Taylor Swift's We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together in sonnet form

(Via Fillyjonk.)

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Damn laws of physics

What in the world could this yahoo possibly have been thinking?

Yahoo! Answers screenshot: What suv has a tow capacity of 7000 lbs and gets good gas mileage?

This is right up there with “How much do I have to spend on a suit to win the heart of a supermodel?”

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At least they’re not blue

The preceding piece was taken from the New York Post, as was this one:

(Why not blue? This is why not blue.)

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That’s right, you bad

There are times when you just can’t resist rubbing it in:

A 40-year-old woman tackled a 20-year-old man fleeing from police in Washington state, then taunted him about being taken down by a grandmother.

Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb tells the Tri-City Herald that Becky Powell was driving by Wednesday when she saw the man run from officers. She told her husband to speed ahead of the fleeing man, and got out to confront him.

Powell says the man tried to stiff-arm her, but she felled him, pulling down his shorts in the process.

She says she got help pinning the man down and asked him how it felt to be taken down by a mother of five and a grandmother of three.

An officer on the scene gave Powell a high-five, but higher-ups later issued the usual “Don’t help us” warning: “We appreciate the assistance, but we don’t want to have people get involved because they can get hurt.”

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Strange search-engine queries (447)

The so-called “dog days” of summer are actually of no special interest to dogs; even when it’s ten below outside, they’re just happy to be here. This is a lesson I have yet to learn.

www.2001 mazda valve body cb4e automatc transmission(fits mazda 626):  You really think someone’s going to sell you the valve body separately? Rotsa ruck with that.

problems associated with mazda 626:  Parts shortages due to people constantly searching for them on the Web.

my 1995 GMC suburban flashs its dash and signal lites ever 10 mineta what doos this:  I’d suggest you read your manual, but this might be beyond your capacity. In the meantime, pick up a used Mazda.

invisible woman 1983:  Probably easier to find than random transmission parts.

cd4e fluid out overflow:  Yeah, I suppose if fluid’s coming out of it, that’s an overflow.

grace slick aston martin:  Well, you know, she has funny cars.

chuck’s seed and feed:  You blew the punch line! No wonder nobody got it.

kaiser wilhelm’s batman:  Not to be confused with The Goddamn Batman.

gulliver naughty:  Aw, he was just trying to get a Lilliput.

under ground music various artists circa 1970:  By now, many of them are literally under ground.

rainbow dash thunder lane sex fanfiction:  Oh, he wishes.

filly feelers rainbow dash:  That’s “filly-foolers,” you flankhat.

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Site questions

New arrivals at the site are often perplexed: “This doesn’t look like any WordPress blog I’ve ever seen.” (In which case, you should see this one, which uses the same theme.) Perhaps your question is answered here.

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Reapplied statistics

It was true when I was eleven, and it’s true half a century later: you can always get my attention with a distinctive love song. (It’s never going to be sung to me, of course, but that’s a small matter in the grand scheme of things.) This one came out in 2005 and blew right past me, though the album whence it came (Piece by Piece) topped the charts in several Eurozone countries.

According to Katie, she and her producer/manager were actually in Beijing and were given the bicycle statistic by their interpreter. No one questioned it.

As for that “12 billion light-years” line, it drew some flak:

Then again, even Han Solo is subject to challenge.

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