Things went smoothly at the polling place, largely because there wasn't a whole lot of activity; I completed ballot #269 at a minute before 5 pm. There was the usual waving of signs down the block, which is always entertaining.
I don't expect any real surprises today, but I've been wrong before.
You gotta admit, it's faster than drilling:
"Sooner or later, these poor mountaineers will hit some bubblin' crude," Bush said. "And then we can restore America to gas-guzzling greatness."
In the meantime, though, there's conservation to be done:
Here in Oklahoma, we use lethal injection, though we're now required to remove all trans fats beforehand.
You may have heard it from Bob Wills; you may have heard it from Phil Harris. Either way, you've almost certainly heard it:
You can eat as much as you please
'Cause it's never out of season
That's what I like about the South
Many, many verses. (That's the fourth, I think.) A more contemporary version:
And so much more.
(Spotted by Morgan K. Freeberg.)
On occasion, Woot has offered items from the Razer line of meece, and I bought one as a backup for home use: whichever failed first, the Logitech that travels with the notebook or the Microsoft on the big box, would be duly replaced by the Razer. Neither of them has given me the slightest bit of grief, but the Microsoft mouse on the work box eventually ground its innards into slag, and Trini fished a mouse out of somewhere or other to fill in. "It's probably not too good," she said, and she was being generous; it was terrible, and nowhere on the applet to set its double-click speed was there a setting at which it was happy.
So I brought forth the Razer, from their Copperhead line in "Anarchy Red." It is a fearsomely precise device, and its capabilities as a pointer are well beyond my ability to point with it it comes with five preset "profiles," depending on your needs, and I wound up taking one of the slower ones. If this sounds to you like driving an Indy car to Burger King, well, so be it, but I'd rather have a good product that's not being stressed rather than an inferior product that's being worked beyond its design capacity. If you're a Serious Gamer, which I am not, your mileage may vary.
If there's a job you run that has a better-than-average chance of halting due to an error, it is not wise to run it an hour and a half after the sysadmin has left for the day.
Tomorrow's primary ballot has, so far as I can tell, exactly two items for me: the County Clerk and State House District 87 races are GOP only, and I don't live in District 2 of the county and therefore can't take part in the de-Rinehartization process.
The Congressional races, though, I have to look at. For House District 5, either Bert Smith or Steven L. Perry will be the sacrificial lamb facing Mary Fallin. In previous such rituals, I have favored Mr Smith, and I will do so again tomorrow.
Either Andrew Rice or Jim Rogers will take on Jim Inhofe for the Senate. Hint: it won't be Jim Rogers.
Of the two Republicans seeking Trebor Worthen's spot in the House Worthen, after two terms, is bowing out the only one I know anything much about is Andrew Winningham, and that only because his brother cuts my hair. The survivor will face Democrat Dana Orwig, who failed to oust Worthen in 2006, come November.
This, I think:
And the dog gets the, um, semi-bone.
This is standard. Very few hotels have desks with surfaces low enough to allow comfortable work. And few have chairs that aren’t uncomfortable for sitting at a laptop for more than half an hour or so.
I've had no particular issue with desks, except to the extent that they're badly located, but chairs range from not bad to utterly hellish, and the latter have outnumbered the former by about four to one. I have, in fact, complained to innkeepers about this; more than once I've relocated the desk and sat on the bed to work.
So I can endorse this:
At my usual price point around $90-110 I'd almost think this ought to be mandatory.
At this moment, the Oklahoma City Whozits have 13 players under contract 14 if restricted free agent Robert Smith gets around to accepting his qualifying offer which leaves at least one roster spot open. (The presumption here is that the two yet-unsigned draft picks, DeVon Hardin and Serge Ibaka, will not actually be signed this year.) The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry predicted three weeks ago that the team "likely will not be players in free agency," which seemed logical at the time.
Then, of course, Sam Presti went after Utah guard C. J. Miles, but the Jazz wouldn't let him go. Mayberry is now hinting at the possibility of landing J. R. Smith from Denver:
Smith reportedly earned about $2.1 million last year, and the Nuggets have extended him a qualifying offer just over $3 million. Denver has said they'll match anything anyone offers, but they've spent two years in Luxury Tax Hell and have had to fork over upwards of $15 million for the privilege, which means that Presti might be able to swing this with a serious overbid.
If we're going after ex-Hornets, though, I think a better deal might be Linton Johnson, last seen at Phoenix; he's not as reliable a shooter as Smith, but he's much more ferocious on defense, and signing him won't break the bank: a million a year could secure his services.
Still unspoken: who, if anyone, is likely to be traded. The Whozits have three expiring contracts this year.
We honor tradition here, to the extent that there is any tradition on the Web, by emptying out the referrer logs and highlighting some of the entries therein.
possible third term for bush: Don't hold your breath.
does a world tour mean going to all the states: Not yet, and I still haven't figured out a way to drive to Hawaii.
improve corvair handling: First, air up the back tires; second, try not to run over Ralph Nader.
geezer is an offensive term: Shaddup, ya old fart.
abercrombie jeans vs thigh circumference: I don't think Abercrombie will sell you jeans if they think you have thighs.
"number of sexual partners in a year": All these years are starting to blur together.
dyslexic science fiction producers with beards: Oh, that narrows it down a whole lot.
symptoms: "disinterest" & "procrastination": What is "blogging"?
why does grace hanadarko drive a porsche: Nobody wants to see Holly Hunter in a Hyundai.
is springdale job corps haunted by a little girl with a red dress on and a bouncing ball: I believe I speak for everyone here when I say "Springdale has a Job Corps?"
Timing belt replacement facts and myths Infiniti I-30: Fact: the I30 has no timing belt. Myth: what the mechanic is relying on when he gives you the bill for replacement.
What the hell does "Dustbury" mean? Business, pal. Business.
Omigod, let's pillory this guy:
The AANR website listed Rep. Dougherty as attending the 75th Annual convention of the AANR in California, where it said he presented a workshop titled “Secrets of a State Official” and received their Government Affairs Award. According to the web site, the convention was held at the DeAnza Springs Resort in Jacumba, Calif. The DeAnza Springs Resort is listed on their web site as a clothing optional resort.
After reviewing the web site, I have a few questions. Why would a state representative from Missouri speak at a AANR convention in California? How did this trip benefit the citizens of District 53? Who paid for the trip?
Dougherty said that representatives of the AANR had asked him to speak while he stopped at a booth maintained by the organization at a gathering of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Dougherty said that he and his wife already had planned to be in San Diego during the 2006 AANR convention, held at DeAnza Springs Resort, east of San Diego. He agreed to attend and speak, Dougherty said. He was not compensated for his talk, he added.
Given Rep. Dougherty's bio, which indicates that he's not exactly your stereotypical libertine, and given the indication from Jeff City that no money was misappropriated, the big gripe here seems to be that Dougherty was in the presence of a bunch of nekkid people; nowhere is it suggested that Dougherty doffed his own duds. (Here's the agenda in PDF format.) And if he did, well, so what? He was on his own time.
Semi-useful suggestion: Next time Dougherty gets a chance to address an AANR convention, it should be in the Midwest Region. Closer to home, you know.
The song of the seagull is different these days
Its cry has turned into a sneer
But no one has noticed the change in the air
Since all of those turbines came here
The sky and the ocean were sisters in sight
Reflecting each other in style
But now there are shadows that fall on the shore
And they're going to be here for a while
The whirring of blades can be heard through the night
A slice here, a dice there, and more
Industrial processes ought to be banned
Their presence makes all of us poor
What happened to beauty, to sense of delight?
These horrid things really aren't green
They've ruined our life on the hills by the sea
Where the wind turbine farm can be seen
They told us that this was the best of the ways
To produce all that power we used
We told them that surely there must be another
But bureaucrats coldly refused
"Since oil is just awful and nuclear worse
There's no other option," they said
And so they destroyed everything we hold dear
So our seaside existence is dead
We still hear the blades as they cut through the sky
From daybreak on into the night
We still see the shadows that fall on the shore
The darkness that shatters the bright
It wasn't our fault that they built all these things
Our hands, they are perfectly clean
And we curse all the world from the hills by the sea
Where the wind turbine farm can be seen
(Suggested, quite unintentionally, by Tam.)
I didn't think so. But in case you did, here's what you're getting, and this is why:
Okay, urban cool girls, unsheath your Visas: this will run you $165, which is about thrice the price of a nonurban uncool FitFlop. (The black kid version, shown here, is $15 less.) And, well, this indisputably qualifies as distinctive footwear.
(Seen at Popgadget.)
The St. Louis Rams were a slightly-less-than-indifferent 3-13 last year, which doesn't bother Rush Limbaugh in the least, since he doesn't own the team yet:
There is no indication, however, that current Rams ownership Chip Rosenboom and Lucia Rodriguez, children of the late Georgia Frontiere have any plans to sell. And there's one other hurdle to be cleared:
On the upside, hatred of team owners seems to be running a little higher than usual lately, but if there's one thing that bothers Rush Limbaugh hardly at all, it's being on the receiving end of hatred.
Maybe it will happen when Condi Rice becomes NFL Commissioner.
A couple of Homeland stores had an unexpected promotion today: Tax-Free Day. "Save more than 7 percent," they said. Since both the participating stores were in Oklahoma City limits, the savings would presumably be 8.375 percent. I checked a few items and didn't spot any price increases, and the register tape from the self-checkout indeed reports 0.00 tax, so I guess they meant it.
Of course, they're going to have to remit something to the Tax Commission anyway, so it's not really "tax-free," but anything that saves me $3.50 on a forty-dollar grocery run is something to be encouraged.
Gas prices are falling across town: unleaded regular, probably with some ethanol content, can be had today at various places in Oklahoma City for less than $3.40 a gallon. Yet people are still paying several cents extra to avoid ethanol altogether, and you can't blame them: some engines really don't seem to like the stuff. What's more, the vaunted 113 octane rating is comparatively insignificant, considering it's only ten percent of the mixture, and it's suggested here that producers are starting with lower-octane gas to begin with and then using the ethanol to bring the octane up to pump spec.
More important to some is the mileage issue. Ethanol packs less actual energy than gasoline; Texas officials report that on E85, fuel consumption is about 40 percent higher. In my own car, the effect of the E10 mixture has been unclear; there has been no significant change in mileage, and no other issues have cropped up.
It occurs to me that instead of selling the stuff as Gasoline Helper, ethanol promoters could have pitched it as some sort of quasi-racing fuel additive. Formula 1 racing now specifies 5.75 percent "renewables" in its approved fuel (specification here), and may go higher. After all, people don't expect racers to get good gas mileage.
According to everything you've ever heard, Lynyrd Skynyrd was named after Robert E. Lee High School gym coach Leonard Skinner, who punished founding members Gary Rossington and Bob Burns several times for breaking the school's strict dress code.
At least one musical pundit is questioning this story. From today's listserv:
By "deception," I assume he means the willingness of Skynyrd members to promote the gym-teacher story.
Anyway, said pundit is looking for corroboration or refutation, one way or another. Me, I'm waiting for a remake of the Coasters' hit "Poison Ivy" by the Joe Spivey Band.
Last year, I noted that my little corner of the city rated a not-too-shabby 78 on Walk Score. The city as a whole rates a 43, which would immediately suggest that walkability is not evenly distributed. (Given the sheer physical size of this town, hardly anything is.) And indeed, if you look at their map, you see scattered patches of green and yellow in a sea of "car-dependent" red.
To be fair, Walk Score does acknowledge its limitations.
And yes, I live between May Avenue and a mall. I don't think I've ever seen anyone walking from around here to Penn Square; there are folks who will walk to the shops in Mayfair Village or along 50th, or maybe to the Target at 53rd and May, but that's about it.
Besides, it's July and it's pushing 100 outside, which surely discourages walkers.
This is the way the letter began:
"Express mail," as described by said firm, is not at all the same as "Express Mail," a product of the US Postal Service with bold logos, easy to recognize, especially if you've ever worked in accounts receivable for a firm with a lot of deadbeat customers. And in fact, tucked away into the not-really-a-stamp postage block in the upper right corner is the telltale legend PRESORTED STANDARD.
I suppose this little ruse is intended to impress the sort of person on whom a company might spend $15 at a single whack on a customer-retention program. This sort of person is not me.
The road, I mean. Sheesh:
I was amused by the leisure drivers in their Ford rental cars, braking before turns in the road instead of accelerating. Or those ridiculous environmentalists pushing their Prius up the hills.
I find it reassuring that it's still possible to have a "yummy drive" on Mulholland. I had one myself, twenty years ago, in my battered old Toyota Celica, approximately two hours after buying a Thomas Bros. map though not, as you will see, actually reading it.
And I think I comported myself well, at least compared to the Ford-borne tourists. I got to about the 17000 block and the road seemed to disappear; I pressed ahead and found myself on some sort of goat path. About a mile farther down I spotted some four-by-four that had been abandoned, and the alarm went off in the back of my head: Where the hell do you think you're going, anyway?
So I did the U and doubled back, and rather than go all the way back down Mulholland, I took the first side road to the north, which turned out to be Encino Hills Drive, a nice, curvy little residential street that suddenly PLUNGES TO CERTAIN DEATH. I arrived at Hayvenhurst with purple smoke pouring out of the rear wheel wells, which only just started to subside by the time I reached Ventura Boulevard.
Two days and two new brake drums later, I took on Dead Man's Curve, or what's left of it, anyway, because that's how Angelenos know you don't actually live there. I did in fact have a California driver's license at this point, and within a week I would be in possession of an actual smog certificate for the Celica, but the guys sneering on Sunset didn't know that. Then again, I'm not a gorgeous woman in a Porsche.
Utah reserve guard C. J. Miles will not be jumping to the Oklahoma City Doomaflatchies; the Jazz, as is their right with a restricted free agent, matched the OKC offer. (And almost literally at the last minute, suggesting that there was some agony in the front office.)
No comment from Sam Presti yet; I have the feeling he's bound and determined to find some use for the mid-level exception this season.
The Writer Chick has put up a three-part series titled Women + Blogosphere = Impact, which consists of a small (sample size=14) survey of women bloggers plus WC's own answers to the questions posed. Since my own audience intersects with hers hardly at all, I figured I'd bring up some of the same points here and see what happens.
From a survey respondent:
This might seem obvious to some of you; it wasn't quite so obvious to me, but then I write one-liners all the time. That said, I'm quite interested in finding where the line is drawn between mere "information" and actual "wisdom."
Also from the survey:
I'm not so sure that we're "fearless." "Heedless," I might believe; there's a lot to be said for a damn-the-consequences attitude, though it does occasionally result in, well, consequences. There is, however, some vestigial tendency among some of us to take the words of women less seriously than we do the words of men, and while I'd argue that this attitude is on the wane, it's far from being altogether gone. No wonder the women don't always speak up. WC herself touches on this phenomenon:
I try to avoid appearing to have deep feelings, although once in a while, despite my best efforts, something creeps into the text. (If you were wondering why it is that some items appear here in the blog and others wind up in The Vent, this is a contributing factor.) Fortunately, my poetry is bad, so no one is likely to accuse me of being feely. Touchy, maybe.
A personal note: Were I to reorder my blogroll chronologically, starting with the first person I'd ever read on a regular basis, the top of the order would be Steph Mineart's Commonplacebook.com, which has been around in one form or another for fourteen years; I was reading her before I ever posted anything of my own. Was she influential in my early blog development? I don't doubt it. Then again, there are people who claim to be influenced by me, so take this with several units of sodium chloride.
Neither Energy nor Wind sits well with me: they're too abstract. (Wind, in fact, downright blows.)
Marshalls would be okay if they lost an L; right now it looks like an off-price retail store.
That leaves the B-words. Barons will work, once the punsters have played out the "Baron Wasteland" angle, which shouldn't take long; Bison have more of a local connection and a reputation for speed.
The NBA, of course, won't say a word.
Apparently there are there were, anyway apartments worse than the CrappiFlats™ where I spent nearly a quarter of my life. I found this story tucked away into the Metro section of the paper, and decided it merited some sort of discussion.
City officials closed on a deal Friday and purchased the blighted area for $3 million. The apartments had gone up for sale after the former owners filed for bankruptcy and faced foreclosure.
Mr Stone didn't say "Good riddance," but he could have, I think:
And he means crime problems:
Imagine what the rest of the tenants thought.
But here's what really grabbed me:
Presumably in that order. It will be, said Stone, up to nine months before the 40-acre tract is actually scraped.
If someone's work day begins at, say, 8:00, it is considered bad form to page her before 8:01.
Matthew Phenix, in the September Automobile, on one of the superest of supercars:
In fact, all three the wretched child, the wet dog, and the [whatever] O'Reilly should all be at Desperation Point, whizwise, if you ask me.
Correction: Fixed issue date.
I'm assuming that everyone here recognizes "enormity" as being, not an alternate form of "enormousness" or anything like that, but a serious pejorative. My trusty Webster's New Collegiate defines it as "the quality or state of being immoderate, monstrous or outrageous, esp: great wickedness"; in the #2 slot, we find "a grave offense against order, right, or decency."
The following is a paragraph from an Associated Press sports story:
Now: is this AP guy expressing an editorial opinion on the franchise relocation, or is he just unaware of the proper use of the word?
(Note to AP: Send any bills to Department of Sanitation, 297 West Street, New York, NY 10013.)
So what's the plan?
And he did, too:
Now that's some serious depreciation: 61 percent in two years. (I had been congratulating myself on snagging a quasi-luxoboat that had fallen 60 percent in six years.)
And "guzzler" is in the wallet of the beholder:
God (or Royal Dutch Shell) help you when you start driving unsensibly. I figure, with 604 ponies on tap, it starts about four seconds after shifting into D.
Last time we looked in on Chris "Birdman" Andersen, he'd applied for and gotten reinstatement to the NBA, and the New Orleans Hornets, his last team of record, did pick him up, though they didn't play him much.
So with that contract now expired, Andersen's first team, the Denver Nuggets, have signed him to a one-year deal for what appears to be the six-year veteran's minimum of $998,398 which means that the two years he spent on suspension apparently count toward his overall NBA service.
The Nuggets will be at the Ford twice this season; it will be great to see the Birdman in action again, even if he's playing for the opponents. (And he'll likely get one heck of a cheer the first time he sets foot on the court. We're funny that way. I expect the Hornets will get a full-fledged standing O when they come to town.)
There might be lots of possible answers to that question, but it appears the Blue Note has made up its mind. The current version of their Gazette ad, which started (I assume) two months ago, contains the following assurance:
Let's hope they have a nice, long string of non-sucky acts in their genre of choice: "punk rockabilly and honky tonk styled music."
The following was received in email:
From: "United Parcel Service"
Date: Wed, July 23, 2008 1:29 pm
Unfortunately we were not able to deliver postal package you sent on July the 1st in time because the recipient’s address is not correct.
Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office.
Attached to this was a 65k zip file (UPS_INVOICE_187271.zip) which, when unzipped, yields an executable (same name with .exe extension), which I of course am not about to run.
In terms of subtlety, this is right up there with the guy who used a stolen credit card to buy an identity theft protection package.
Update: Today I got two copies of a similar scam: this time, the attachment was described as a Customs form, the completion of which was essential to delivery of my package from France.
Last month I brought up the case of unsigned Mancunian popsters The Get Out Clause, who, presumably unable to afford to produce a music video on their own, played in front of several dozen surveillance cameras and then requested the footage under Britain's Freedom of Information Act.
I have now received their current disc (£5), which includes a DivX'ed copy of the "Paper" video, plus audio for "Paper" and three other songs. It's quite likable, if you have an ear for keyboardless Britpop and just slightly overwrought words, which of course I do. And apparently they scraped up enough funding in preorders to cover the cost of actual pressed CDs these are not CD-Rs and the trifold artwork, which looks something like this:
Actually, that's the Flash picture that emerges when you load up the disc, but it's close enough. (And besides, I need a new scanner cable.) Their MySpace page contains some earlier tracks not included in this collection.
The tricky question: will this band now remain unsigned? And now that they know they can sell a few discs without The Industry behind them and also on iTunes, I notice will they even care if they do?
Metcalfe's Law: The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system.
Other networks, such as the network of highways, don't fare so well:
Therefore cars, as network objects, are intrinsically broken. Maybe not quite broken, because they still work to some extent, but after a point they definitely suffer from negative externalities as more nodes are added to their system. But despite the fact that cars are social objects, they have not at all been designed as such. Bound to the physical world, they can't provide you with any way of setting a threshold and insulating yourself from an overloaded network the way a decent social network might. And that's why the user experience of driving a car is often so shitty. Looking at it this way, the more nodes you add to the network, the less effective they individually become.
I'm more apt to blame the drivers than the cars, if only because almost every time you see a car in trouble, there's a driver involved. And drivers have their problems: they don't know what's happening two blocks or two exits ahead, the traffic reports on the radio invariably have several minutes of lag time, and in case you hadn't noticed, 50 percent of drivers have below-average skills.
Worst of all, unlike the case with networks of packets, cars don't route around damage worth a damn. In fact, they don't do so well even when there's no damage; yesterday afternoon on I-35 northbound, things came close to grinding to a halt because a couple of vehicles had pulled off to the side and rather a lot of that aforementioned 50 percent slowed down to satisfy their misplaced curiosity. I do my best to ameliorate matters, but I can do only so much.
(Via White Pebble.)
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 155, which consists of officers under the Oklahoma County Sheriff, has voted No Confidence in District 2 Commissioner Brent Rinehart [link to PDF file], last seen circulating a goofy comic book as part of his reelection effort.
I don't know how much clout the FOP has, but I think they might have had just a tad more of it had they spelled Rinehart's name right.
Let's see how far this goes. It seems to have started around here.
So far as I can tell, if someone Spreads It from this point, it will show up here; I presume I left some sort of trace at Outside the Beltway.
Update: From the actual FAQ:
The Trenton Thunder are now offering a complimentary ticket to any Seattle Supersonic fan. To receive a free ticket, fans must stop by the box office at Waterfront Park and be wearing their Seattle Supersonic hat, jersey, t-shirt or other merchandise. Each Seattle fan will receive one free ticket based on availability.
"We just want to help ease the pain for Sonics fans worldwide and offer them a night of fun with the Thunder here in Trenton," said Thunder General Manager Brad Taylor. "We can't blame Oklahoma City for choosing the best nickname in all of sports and certainly wish them well."
Okay, I laughed. And why wouldn't I?
(I note with amusement that the Thunder play at Samuel J. Plumeri Field at Mercer County Waterfront Park, One Thunder Road, Trenton. Robert Mitchum would have been pleased.)
If all you're looking at is the fuel-economy sticker, you're missing the point, says Mark Alger:
Last big appliance I bought was a water heater. Yes, I did look at the Energy Guide placard. It was closer to the more expensive end of the scale, but only slightly and the difference between the two extremes was trivial: maybe twenty, twenty-five bucks a year, within the limits of sampling error. (The device is, I note, a lot cheaper to operate than the vintage-1985 tank it replaced, but I didn't buy the new one to save money; I bought the new one because the old one was leaking.)
Regarding fuel-economy numbers, there are few real laggards these days. For any particular size and weight, the mileage is fairly predictable, the laws of physics being generally inexorable at this level; a 4800-lb SUV is going to suck down a lot more dinosaur extract than a 2800-lb compact. A difference of 1 or 2 mpg isn't, or at least shouldn't be, a deal-breaker; you'd get that much of a difference just from sample variations.
The Performance Sports Center, on Lincoln north of Memorial, will become the temporary practice facility and training site for the Oklahoma City Nameless Wonders until such time as the city constructs the permanent facility.
GM Sam Presti apparently was impressed:
The team is apparently buying the facility outright, which invites the question of what happens to it when the new practice venue gets completed. (I left that very question for Darnell Mayberry.) The location makes sense if you expect, as I do, that team members will be acquiring residences in far north Oklahoma City or in Edmond.
Update: Mr Mayberry comes through:
Works for me.
Then again, if it had never been in style in the first place but no matter. Let us cheer the fact that at least one member of the Royal Family understands the word "frugal":
The Princess Royal wore the white dress with yellow floral print to Saturday's wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman, at the Queen's Chapel, London.
The 57-year-old even completed the outfit with the same hat she wore to Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981.
I'm impressed that she's the same size after twenty-seven years.
(Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.)
Bricklin's company, Visionary Vehicles, which is now know as V Cars LLC, has now filed a lawsuit against Chery, Israel Corp, and Quantum LLC, et al. The suit is being filed under RICO statutes, typically used to go after mobsters, and V Cars is hoping to pursue Chery for the potential profits the company feels it could have made over the course of the deal. How much? $14 billion.
Judas on a joystick! Fourteen billion American dollars from a passel of hitherto-untested Sinowagons?
Were I Malcolm Bricklin, I think I'd just bide my time and wait for Cerberus to bail out of Chrysler, then ride in on the proverbial white horse to save the day. Bonus: all the Cherys he can sell.
Naturism is promoted these days as healthy and wholesome and stuff like that, as in this blurb from AANR:
The underside of this premise, of course, is that some people are barred from the premises:
The René Oltra centre, known for its sandy Mediterranean beaches in Languedoc-Roussillon, has been authorised by the data protection authority CNIL to keep a file of people who breach its regulations.
And how was this discovered, you ask?
Inspectors found the resort had a list of "indelicate" clients whose offences ranged from non-payment of bills and making too much noise to lack of personal hygiene and the wearing of clothes.
With one obvious exception, these are good enough reasons to get you thrown out of a lot of places, and not just in France, either.
(Seen here. The CNIL link is safe for work; beyond that, you're on your own.)
Depending on whom you talk to, ethanol as a motor fuel is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or the biggest boondoggle since New Coke.
This dichotomy gave Kwai Wah Pang of the five-store Synergy Flash Mart chain an idea: sell gas both with and without the stuff. Instead of the usual 87/89/91 arrangement, Pang's loaded his tanks with E10 and straight gas, both at 87 octane, and you can get either from the same pump or, if you're inclined to split the difference, an E5 mix. (There's no premium to be had, but "I wasn't selling any premium gas anyway," says Pang.)
C-stores are having a rough time of it these days; think of this move as an example of how adversity occasionally breeds creativity.
Addendum: Trini reports that there's a similar station in West Siloam Springs; she thinks there might have been as many as eight different mixtures.
Because you gotta have more cowbell, that's all there is to it.
(Via Brad Neese.)
A long time ago, I came to the conclusion that when it comes to looking alike, conformists and non-conformists were pretty much even: Brooks Brothers and Beatniks are both brands, and rather stodgy ones at that.
Think-tank researcher and fashionista (a combination well-nigh irresistible, dammit) E. M. Zanotti contributes a data point:
I have no idea what E. M. herself was wearing, but evidently it was more than Robert Novak's old heart could take.
This year, Republicans will be listed before Democrats on state general-election ballots. Under state law through 1994, Democrats were listed before Republicans; some GOP candidates sued the Election Board, and that law was eventually thrown out.
So now, the names of both parties are sealed in a mayonnaise jar kept on Clem McSpadden's porch, or something like that, and then one is drawn. (Doing the drawing this year: Kitti Asberry, vice-chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.) I assume that if we ever get around to allowing third parties, they too will be added to the jar. Asberry believes that independents and undecided voters have a tendency to go for the first name they see:
And state GOP chair Gary Jones says yes, it's an advantage, albeit a small one:
If I remember correctly, in the few nonpartisan elections we have Mayor of Oklahoma City comes to mind the candidates are listed alphabetically.
Side note: When State Questions are on the ballot, the order is Yes, then No. Should these be randomized? Sometimes I think they should; other times I think it will just slow down the balloting.
Or, in this case, both colors:
This is "Work Space" by Kenneth Cole, from his Reaction series; it's a relatively simple quarter-strap pump with a three-inch heel, and while you can get it in dark brown or black, the two-tone version strikes me as the most appealing, even though it might be just a hair too frivolous for some "work spaces" out there. Zappos sells this for a modest $83. Author "galligator" at ShoeBlog.com notes:
I like this too, though I don't ever expect to see these on anyone at work.