Archive for February 2007

Things to do in Denver when you’re tired

Beating the Nuggets didn’t look like it was on the agenda. The Hornets trailed most of the game, managed to tie it late in the third, fell behind by three at the end of the quarter, and then Denver, apparently irritated, put the squeeze on the Bees. With one minute left, though, the Hornets had fought back to a 101-101 tie. With three seconds left, it was 103-103, and that’s how regulation time ended.

At some point during the overtime, the Hornets noticed that they’d won three of the four quarters, and turned up the heat a little, though missing three free throws didn’t help. Ex-Hornet J. R. Smith tied it up at 112 with 20 seconds left; Desmond Mason nailed a bucket at the buzzer to win it, 114-112. And it ended with Smith and Byron Scott, never the best of friends, in a hug by the sideline. You can’t write scripts like that: no one would believe them.

All five Denver starters finished in double figures. Carmelo Anthony, of course, was huge: 27 points, nine rebounds, five assists. Allen Iverson, maybe slightly slowed by a twisted ankle, dropped in 22 and served up nine dimes.

The starting Hornets also finished in double figures, led by Mason with 23; Tyson Chandler got yet another double-double with 10 points and 16 boards. Bobby Jackson got 15 off the bench.

Tomorrow night: the Milwaukee Bucks come to the Ford Center.

Addendum: The Denver Post reports a sighting of the Birdman:

Former Nugget Chris “Birdman” Andersen attended Wednesday night’s game. It is the first Nuggets game Andersen has attended since being suspended two years for violating the NBA’s drug policy last January. He played for the Hornets at the time of his suspension. “Bird is a good dude,” Hornets guard Chris Paul said. “That’s my man. Every time I see him I show him support and I can’t wait until he gets a chance to come back to the league.”

A year from now. I hope.

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Another reason to hate winter

I’ve covered this before, but I admit I didn’t think of this angle:

Because everyone’s wearing gloves, you can’t spot whether or not there’s a wedding band on that otherwise appealing woman standing next to you on the subway platform.

Do I admit that I do look? (Not that it makes the slightest bit of difference, of course.)

And are there any statistics on the success rate of public-transit romances?

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The tin DRM

The Metropolitan Library System is now offering downloadable audio books to which you can listen.

Maybe. Dwight is not impressed:

I was kind of excited about downloading one and giving this new service a try. Load one onto my iPod and listen during my lunch breaks, or as I fall asleep at night. But alas, I got my hopes up too soon. The audio files come as WMA (Windows Media Audio) DRM-protected files which are incompatible with the iPod.

Probably won’t work with the Zune, either. And yes, there are workarounds, but:

[F]or at least some of the titles, I could go through the time-consuming process of burning these titles to a CD — ripping that CD back into iTunes — and then putting it onto my iPod. But, for all that effort, I might as well just actually read the damn thing.

Careful now. They might start putting DRM on e-books.

Oh, wait ….

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The Hoohah Monologues

You probably know this play under a different title.

(Via Fark.com.)

Addendum: Hawthorn Mineart has a better idea.

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I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink

Excuse me while I whimper in the corner:

“Greater numbers of female partners leads to fatigue in males. They start producing smaller sperm packages,” [biologist Sylvain] Charlat said. “Unfortunately, the females … instinctively know that the packages are smaller and that their chances of having been sufficiently impregnated after mating are lower than usual. This just makes them more rampant.”

Dr Charlat was actually talking about butterflies, but this still spooks me.

(Via Lip Schtick.)

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Hey, maybe it is rocket science

HBN Shoe, LLC is the manufacturer of something called Insolia, which pulls off this remarkable feat:

Insolia products fundamentally change the inside of high heel shoes, shifting weight off the ball of the foot back to the heel. It actually feels like you are wearing much lower heels which is a true comfort factor for many women. This weight shift improves body alignment and balance dramatically reducing leg and lower back fatigue while reducing pressure on the ball of the foot. Thanks to Insolia products, women no longer have to sacrifice style for comfort or comfort for style.

The developers of Insolia included podiatrist Howard J. Dananberg, founder of HBN, and Brian Hughes, an actual MIT rocket scientist.

It’s stuff like this that gives me hope for the future.

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Indiscriminate leeches

All spammers are nasty farging dweebs, but some of them are just a shade nastier than their scum-sucking brethren.

This little jewel popped in today with the dubious headline “How not to be a Grammy fashion don’t”:

We are glad to offer you F.D.A approved Original Viagra.

You can order it here: http://www.christianschoolmagazine.info

Fast shipping and tax free prices guaranteed.

Said URL actually lands on worldwidebonus.com, the domain record for which was posted this week by registerfly.com, a generally-respectable registrar who probably hasn’t noticed this yet.

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Not so easy Bucks

The last time the Hornets were supposed to play the Bucks, ice on the runway kept them from taking off. Tonight the Bucks were here, and the Hornets brought their own ice for the fourth quarter while Milwaukee was running a 16-2 run; up ten after the third quarter, the Bees managed a mere sixteen points in the fourth but rallied to force a 90-90 tie at the end of regulation. Apparently everyone was tired after 48 minutes; it was still tied after 53.

And so there was a second overtime, and the Hornets remembered that they were 3-0 in overtime and held the Bucks to four points in five minutes, winning 109-101.

Good Bucks: Mo Williams had 30 points, and Ruben Patterson got 28. (Patterson also records a double-double, with 16 rebounds.) Not So Good Bucks: Both Charlie Villanueva and Earl Boykins fouled out.

No fewer than seven Hornets scored in double figures, and three of them had double-doubles: David West had 21 points and 19 (!) rebounds; Tyson Chandler had 11 points and 22 (!!) boards; Chris Paul scored 14 and delivered 10 assists. Desmond Mason picked up 24 points; Linton Johnson and Bobby Jackson had 10 and 12 respectively off the bench; Jackson’s 56th-minute trey put the game out of the Bucks’ reach.

The Grizzlies will be here on Saturday in the first half of a home-and-home; the Bees play at Memphis Tuesday.

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Friday on my mind

You may remember this story from Wednesday; I suggested that the blog where I found it might not be safe for work.

The blogger responds to this characterization:

In today’s conservative social climate, it’s going to take a long, long time before anyone can proclaim to the boss, “Can I get off early on Friday? Our naturist resort is having family night.”

Well, “anyone,” maybe. I don’t know if I can pull this off, so to speak, or not, but this is more likely due to the fact that I usually have to work late on Friday than to any particular fear of bringing up the subject.

More to the point, I’d hate to go to “family night” by myself.

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The straight and narrow

For the second time this week, someone has asked if I’m losing weight. I honestly don’t know: I don’t own a scale. I certainly don’t feel any lighter.

Still, there is some evidence which might support this premise. For the last ten years, I’ve bought the same size trousers from the same source. The last couple of batches — I usually buy two or three at a time — were just slightly snug with the standard five-hole belt fastened at the middle hole. Those same garments are now distinctly loose: even with the belt tightened to the max, if I take more than a couple of steps I can feel them sliding downward, putting myself awfully close to the dubious distinction of being able to pants myself without using my hands. It is true that as of the first of the year, I am on a cholesterol-reduction drug; but the slippage was taking place even before that. Fortunately, I don’t work as a plumber.

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Songs for swingin’ satellites

Frank Sinatra, 24/7? Siriusly:

Siriusly Sinatra will be a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week channel, that will air recordings spanning the entire spectrum of Sinatra’s career, as well as other artists from the big band, swing and traditional pop genres. In addition to featuring regular blocks of Sinatra’s music, Siriusly Sinatra will also feature a weekly show hosted by Nancy Sinatra, rare live concert performances, and archived material. The channel is expected to launch on February 14th.

The Interested-Participant is skeptical:

One would have to be quite the fan to enjoy 24/7 of Frank Sinatra.

Not to worry. When it comes to the Chairman, I am Board-certified.

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Angel was a centerfold

Last year I made up a list of “Phrases I never want to hear again,” and prominent on that list — to the extent that it was the only item that drew a reproach in comments, anyway — was this:

“Anna Nicole Smith,” unless followed by “was found dead”

In the wake of Vickie’s demise (that was her real name, and I always liked it better anyway), I have decided to append a note about it to that post. (Unlike some denizens of blogdom, I have never suffered from the delusion that I could cover my tracks.)

Meanwhile, were I inclined to do one of my infamous pop-culture sendoffs — and believe me, if I couldn’t come up with something heartfelt for Frankie Laine, I surely wouldn’t be able to say anything about Ms Smith — I’d be better served just ripping off this item from Tam:

[S]ince there are plenty of celebrity-watching blogs out there eulogizing and scandalizing in all their banner-ad festooned, audio-streaming glory, I figured I’d let them do what they do best, which is pretending to care about Anna Nicole Smith, and I’d stick to doing what I do best, which is making fun of stuff that pretty much has nothing to do with Anna Nicole Smith. That is, until I saw that PETA had released a statement on her demise. The highlight?

“A long-time vegetarian who had slimmed down into a stunning beauty when she stopped eating meat…”

…and she died at 39, you tree-hugging dingus. I’m her age and, while I lack the dope habit, I do smoke and I eat meat and you don’t see me keeling over in any Florida hotels, do you? So there you go: Learn from Anna, go eat some steak today.

I’m readying a New York strip for the grill this evening.

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Heart murmurs

The insistence of Forrest Gump’s mother notwithstanding, there’s rather a lot more to life than a box of chocolates, especially this time of year:

Cupid’s arrow will cost consumers a little more this year. The average lovestruck consumer will spend nearly $120 on Valentine’s Day this year, up from $101 last year.

In total, U.S. wooers will spend $16.9 billion on their sweethearts this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2007 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by market research company BIGresearch.

The survey polled 7,703 consumers and found that 63% of them planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day, most between the ages of 25 and 34. On average, men will spend $154 on their Valentines, nearly double the $85 the average female will spend on her sweetheart. The most popular gifts men plan to buy to say “Be Mine”: flowers (58.3%), candy (42.9%) and jewelry (27.6%).

Inasmuch as this adds up to 128.8 percent, you have to figure that some of these fellows are hedging their bets.

I’m slightly suspicious of that $154 figure, if only because it’s far too low to include any meaningful amount of therapy.

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Wish I’d thought of this

The nearest gas station/C-store has one of those coin-operated air compressors, and it is cunningly designed to run out of time at the beginning of one’s third tire. I took all the precautions I could — removed all the caps first, took all the pressure readings with my handy-dandy gauge, carefully dekinked the hose, and only then deposited the coins — and still, two tires completed, third tire only just begun, and dead silence.

This is the sort of thing that makes me think “Geez, I ought to get a compressor of my own,” and then I calculate how many trips I can make to that store for that amount of money.

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So my DJ told me

Did you ever try to sing along with a song despite the fact that you obviously didn’t know all the words?

Certainly one of the all-time tongue-twisters in the land of karaoke is “Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me),” a project of producer-songwriters Norman Dolph and Paul DiFranco that at first no one would even try to sing. Enter bubblegum veteran Joey Levine — you heard him mentioning love in his tummy once upon a time — who actually could deliver this seemingly-endless string of namechecks without going slowly (or quickly) insane.

The disc, issued under the nom de disque “Reunion,” was an enormous hit (#8 in Billboard); the pseudonym was then promptly retired, inasmuch as there was no way on earth to come up with a followup. Nineteen seventy-four being way before the death of the radio star, there was no video.

And then:

I might also note that hardly anyone dared to remake this song — with the notable exception of the always-fearless Tracey Ullman, who did a creditable job on her 1984 LP You Broke My Heart in 17 Places, done for one of those “all the others” labels. (The Reunion original was on RCA.)

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Tales of the unexpected

Heavens to Betsy (not her real name), can this be true? A virtual valentine?

(Found on a blog. In an effort to minimize total embarrassment, I am not providing a link.)

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It’s not just binary

Who’s missing from those “I’m a PC/I’m a Mac” commercials?

Right you are.

(Via Fark.)

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Lucky I didn’t mention the dirty knife

CT reports on a report about New York’s pricey Kobe Club, and this (well, apart from the check) is the scary part:

Hanging upside down from the ceiling in the nearly pitch-black dining room are sharp, gleaming samurai swords, about 2,000 of them. The server volunteered that number, appended with an assurance that the blades, firmly anchored, shouldn’t cause any concern.

“If Akira Kurosawa hired the Marquis de Sade as an interior decorator,” says the reviewer. I’m generally in favor of edgy design, but not with this many edges.

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What may be in store

The Saturday Oklahoman has a column on the second business page which lists major office leases. (This is separate from the major real-estate transactions, which is usually one page over.) This item from today’s list gave me pause:

VS Pharmacies signed a ground lease for 60,412 square feet of space in Mayfair Village Shopping Center at NW 50 and May Avenue. [Mark] Inman, Alaina McGlothin and [Brian] Donahue handled the transaction.

This threesome works for CB-Richard Ellis Oklahoma. The first thing that struck me was, well, who is “VS”? Most likely, I reasoned, a typo: this is really CVS. And inasmuch as there’s a Walgreens on this corner, a CVS should be considered inevitable: these two chains chase each other all over.

But wait: there’s a CVS at the far end of the complex, near 48th and May. And they surely don’t occupy sixty thousand square feet, which means that this is probably not a renewal of their current deal.

Which can mean only one of one thing: the oft-rumored displacement of the Mayfair Market, which has sat on this corner for decades. I am, of course, outraged, not so much because of the historical importance of this store (not much) but because this is the only place I know of that actually stocks Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts in the plain (unfrosted) blueberry variety. I am so screwed.

But wait! The market isn’t 60,000 square feet either. According to the County Assessor, it’s 19,600, and there’s no way they can scrape it off the pavement and replace it with a building three times its size without getting in the way of Union Bank. That Walgreens is listed as 15,396 square feet.

If nothing else, this gives you an insight into the sort of things I worry about while the rest of the world concentrates on ephemera.

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No Memphis blues tonight

With essentially no time left in the first half, Chris Paul managed to work the ball into the basket.

From behind the backboard.

They waved it off, of course, but expect this on highlight reels for days to come. And it fit in: a lot of things were falling into the bucket tonight, especially for the Hornets, who shot a startling 55.8 percent from the floor (and 50 percent from the 3-point line) en route to a 114-99 win over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.

The Griz stayed close through most of the first half, and Pau Gasol was his usual efficient self, picking up a double-double for the night (21 points, 11 rebounds), but the Bees opened it up in the third quarter, outscoring Memphis 35-24.

Six Hornets in double figures during the shootfest: Chris Paul had 23 (and 11 assists), David West 22, Desmond Mason 16, Tyson Chandler 15 (and 16 boards), Devin Brown and Bobby Jackson with 11 each. Hilton Armstrong is starting to pick up more minutes, and while he still makes the occasional rookie mistakes, he’s getting to be a tough competitor. And to everyone’s relief, no overtime.

Tuesday the Bees fly to Memphis to play these same Grizzlies, who are now thirteen games below .500.

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Next: hybrid Hummers

Back in December I made some offhand remark about variations on the Oreo theme, including such wacky ideas as an Oreo with no discernible chocolate whatsoever, which I pronounced my favorite of the bunch.

This week, an edition I hadn’t seen before turned up on the shelf at Albertson’s, and I was sufficiently weirded-out to buy. It’s the traditional Oreo, but it’s organic.

Really. Here’s the Ingredients list:

Organic wheat flour, organic evaporated cane sugar, palm oil, expeller-pressed oleic safflower oil, cocoa (processed with alkali), organic brown rice syrup, organic cornstarch, leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate), sea salt, soy lecithin (emulsifier), organic vanilla extract.

Of this list, only cocoa, soy lecithin and baking soda show up in standard-issue Oreos. The Nutrition Facts are almost identical — the organic version lists 13 grams of sugar and 75 mg of potassium (presumably from calcium phosphate), versus 14 grams of sugar and no potassium at all in the standard version.

Of course, what you want to know is “How does it taste?” To these jaded taste buds, it’s slightly less sweet than the usual Oreo, and the cookie seems just a shade more resistant to breakage. I’d rate it a percentage point or two above its brandmates. Its price, unfortunately, is more than a percentage point or two higher: I paid $3.49 for an 8.5-ounce box, while its corporate cousins were going for $2.99 (in fact, on sale for $2.50 yesterday) for 18 ounces. And it’s still an Oreo, which means you’re not going to be able to pass it off as some kind of health food — but at least it’s a whole lot less artificial. And that’s an accomplishment of sorts: it’s not often you can get something with more-or-less “natural” origins to come off as purely synthetic.

Assuming I’m reading the kosher certification correctly, this is a dairy product.

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When you care enough to wring the very most

Philip Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield, sneered at sex: “The pleasure is momentary, the position is ridiculous, and the expense is damnable.” I might suggest that his lordship might have been happier had he tried other positions, but his other two premises are well-nigh unassailable.

Now Terry comes forth to assail one of them, and right on time, too:

“Gifting” is considered the salvation of profits, which is indicative of a societal misperception that dollars = devotion. Sure, being remembered is nice, but that’s true day to day, not on artificial occasions. A simple “I’m thinking of you” goes much farther than something wrapped up with a bow. If I want flowers, I’ll pick up a small bouquet from the grocery store for $5. If I want jewelry, I’ll spend a couple of bucks at Target or Shopko. I don’t need anyone to prove something to me by buying them for me. I think most women would agree with me. Men need to see advertising for what it is: an underhanded way for the retail industry to weasel money out of their pockets by convincing them that they’re unworthy in a woman’s eyes if they don’t come across with something expensive. Don’t believe it.

It probably wouldn’t hurt if a few more women had this insight, either, if you know what I mean.

Now does anybody have any ideas to stretch out the “momentary pleasure”?

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Across a crowded room

There’s a technique to this?

So I was watching an old fave. show of mine, Viva La Bam. It was the episode where Bam is trying to teach Vito how to pick up a woman. He asked Vito what he does when he’s trying to catch a woman’s eye. Bam seemed to imply that there are certain things that definitely let a woman know that you’re interested although he didn’t elaborate. This made me curious.

Gentlemen, what do YOU do to catch someone’s attention and let her know that you’re interested in getting to know her? And if she smiles back at you, is that incentive enough for you to go over and introduce yourself? Does the length of the eye contact factor in at all?

Actually, I usually avoid looking in that direction, ostensibly as a safety precaution, but mostly because I figure it’s just so much wasted effort, and I’m too tired for that sort of thing.

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If only

Laura Lemay plugs in a new drive, and she has more space than she ever dreamed of:

Total Capacity: 892.6 PB (1,004,931,217,620,206,000 bytes)

This can’t be right, she reasons:

Laura: what does it mean when you plug in a disk and it says you have 900 petabytes of free space?

Eric: either the math is wrong or you’ve just opened up a worm hole in space.

Geeky explanation: It turns out that Maxtor drives do not jumper like the Quantum drives I’ve been using. I reset the jumper correctly and I got the normal .00025 PB capacity I was looking for.

Still, you have to figure that eventually we will all have drives that hold four times as much as Google’s entire datacenter does today, and that shortly thereafter there will be some version of Windows which requires that much.

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Support your local treasure

Jeff Shaw puts in a good word for something uniquely Tulsa:

City development is a serious and vogue issue in Tulsa these days. There is a reason for it. We have some tremendous obstacles ahead of us if we are to remain competitive as a city, both regionally and nationally. It’s not really about being a destination hub for entertainment or having “cool places” to go, so that some mythical “creative class” of people might want to live here. These are a just a small part of the equation.

But I want to mention something that Tulsans ought to be supporting, but don’t — and that is a place called Gilcrease Museum. It requires local support. All of the great cities with great museums support their museums, and we should too.

I will tell you from personal experience that most people in Tulsa don’t know where the museum is, as Tim Farley aptly notes in his [Urban Tulsa Weekly] report. But also from personal experience I can tell you that people are quite apathetic on the subject.

That’s scary. I live down here at the other end of the turnpike, and I can find the Gilcrease quite easily: I’ve been there twice in recent years. It’s a splendid place, one Tulsa can be proud of. It doesn’t get the press of the Philbrook, perhaps because some folks around these parts are still faintly embarrassed by that whole Western and/or Native American business. Fine. If you can’t deal with the Old West, perhaps you can handle the gardens, which are lovely in their own right.

Or maybe it’s just the Tyranny of the New. Thomas Gilcrease donated his collection of Western art to the city of Tulsa way back in the 1950s, and to some people, it might as well be ancient Sumeria. Distracted by shiny things, I suppose.

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Strange search-engine queries (54)

I didn’t invent this concept, but I daresay, I’ve gotten the maximum mileage out of it. And with traffic now on the (slight) upswing — well, see for yourself.

weird search queries:  You’re looking at them.

sports enema:  What, is ESPN expanding again?

jessica alba is really ugly:  You’re no prize yourself.

cisco alcoholic beverage:  Not the choice of those who program routers for a living.

how to apologize to a woman when she just wants to be friends:  Wait a minute. You’re apologizing to her?

bewitched kidman legs:  Which you hardly got to see in the actual movie, dammit.

nba penis size:  Let’s just say it’s harder to hit from the 3-point line.

when will you meet your soulmate:  About the time Satan starts banging on the pipes because the heat’s off.

engine mayonnaise:  If you’re actually producing this sort of thing, see your authorized dealer pronto.

dexy’s equivalent meth:  Geez, Eileen, slow up a little, wouldja?

should I worry about a P0420 error code on the I30:  Depends. Can you spare $1200 for a new front tube and oxygen sensor?

“literary editor” “stuff magazine”:  Finally, something to beat out “jumbo shrimp” on the Top 10 Oxymorons List.

cool minivans:  Finally, something to beat out “jumbo shrimp” on the Top 10 Oxymorons List.

lyrics: duh duh duh duh … duh duh duh:  So I’m supposed to name that tune in fifteen Duhs?

Infinite Dress, invented by Linda Silvestri:  Anyone know what size this is?

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Building for the future

We will entertain no jokes about graduation gowns:

The [American Association for Nude Recreation – Southwest Region] awards up to 2 (two) $1,500 scholarships each year. The awards are based on merit alone. No consideration is given to race, creed, sex, religion, or financial need.

Criteria:

  • Applicant and/or parent/guardian must have been an AANR-SW member for the last two years.
  • Applicant must be between the ages of 17 and 25.
  • Applicant must be a high school senior, or already enrolled in a college, technical or vocational institution.

I looked at the application form, and there’s an essay question at the very end: “Write a 250 word essay listing your goals in life, future plans, chosen profession, and explain how social nudism has affected your life.”

I suppose the only thing truly remarkable about this is that I was surprised to find it.

The Southwest Region includes the four states with ZIP codes beginning with 7, although there are no AANR member clubs in Arkansas, due to legal constraints.

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Shiftless individuals

Autoblog reports that automatic transmissions will outnumber stick shifts worldwide in 2007.

Which, of course, will make it difficult to outlaw the infernal slushboxes in the name of all that is green and holy, but hey, you can’t have everything.

Disclosure: I have been driving for 32 years, and the majority of those years were spent with a stick, but my present vehicle has, yes, an automatic.

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Your lovin’ don’t pay my bills

Are there social strata in blogdom? Neil Kramer goes to the heart of the matter:

I love that ONLINE there is freedom to walk in different social circles. I’m hoping that race, religion, etc. is never a factor in online friendship.

But, let’s be honest, do you think differences in MONEY would hinder many of us from becoming friends in real life?

I don’t think so. I have only the vaguest idea what most of my friends make, and don’t give much of a damn one way or another.

Of course, I don’t know anyone (1) living on the streets or (2) building a second mansion, either.

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I’m not from around here, myself

You know, I might have to try this at one end of the next World Tour:

I think it would be very fun. You would go to the borders of your city and then drive in like a tourist that has never been there. You find an information place and find things that you have never seen or heard of before, or if necessary you can just go to some place that has some importance to your town. Then after a day of exploration you stay in a nearby hotel. When you wake up try to find anymore fun things to do and then go back to the borders of your town/city and drive back in as your usual self (not as a tourist).

If nothing else, it would give me an excuse to stay at the Skirvin (or maybe the Colcord).

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A gentle reminder

Not that anyone is asking, but no, I haven’t been wondering if maybe I could land one of those campaign slots, and this explains why as well as anything:

If bloggers ever intend to be a legitimate force in politics, they should not have to be afraid that their previous work is going to upend any campaign that they tie themselves to. We’ve been contacted by three campaigns, and have hesitated joining any of them for fear that the girl on the other end of this could be us. We haven’t written anything that we’d ever consider derogatory, but judging by the ferocity with which Amanda [Marcotte] was attacked, we can’t help but believe that we, too, would be maligned in the same way. We all take chances, pouring our lives and our personal views into these pages that are a Google search away, and we all have to stand by them, or they’re worthless in their very existence.

Frankly, we’re kind of sad that people we know and generally love had a heavy hand in this. Amanda has her faults, but she also has her little slice of the internet, and she deserves at least that. If you don’t agree with her, then refute her. Don’t silence her or destroy her ability to make good, legitimate work of her writing skills, because they will come for you, too. We now cannot think of a reason why they would not, and they should with full force, and with every available asset, as they too will believe.

And no, just because they did it first doesn’t make it right.

Sauce for the gander, and all that.

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Never mock a Hyundai

Forbes has another one of its goofy lists, this time What Your Car Says About You — provided, of course, that your car is the sort of pricey conveyance that is most easily affordable to, well, readers of Forbes. Since they didn’t venture far enough down the automotive food chain to get to what I drive, I’m filling the gap here with what my car says about me, which is simply this: at a point where I was in bad need of new wheels, I chose to buy a six-year-old luxoboat for 40 percent of its original sticker price, with the hope of getting eight to ten more years out of it.

Not everyone reacts as blandly as this. My children asked if I were suddenly acquiring a veneer of snootiness (I almost typed “snottiness,” which fits equally well); a couple of people asked if this climb up a rung or two of the perceived automotive hierarchy constituted some form of therapy (perhaps it did, in some way); one reader of this site accused me of being some sort of “grown-up,” perhaps the scariest prospect of all. (The American male is not unique in his desire to perpetuate adolescence, but he goes to the most trouble to see it done.) But ultimately I can no more explain my choice of vehicle to others than I could my choice of girlfriend, had I a girlfriend, which of course I don’t, and this model has no particular reputation as a crumpet-collector anyway.

If I’ve learned anything from the experience, it’s that a lot more things are negotiable than I had imagined. I am not overly fond of leather, and I absolutely despise fake wood; Gwendolyn is outfitted rather generously with both, and I shrug when people point this out.

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Baby, it’s cold outside

There is considerable amusement value in the current dust-up between TXU Corporation, which has announced plans to build a number of coal-fired power plants in northern Texas, and various opponents, including the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and something called the Clean Sky Coalition, among whose mostly-Texan members you’ll find Oklahoman Aubrey McClendon, chair of Chesapeake Energy.

The DEQ concern is specific:

“We’re concerned that their plan to build a significant amount of coal power plants would hurt the counties in southern Oklahoma that are close to nonattainment of federal ozone standards,” said Matthew Paque, an environmental attorney supervisor … “Much of the air quality problems in that area already come from Texas, and we’re concerned that these facilities will put those counties closer to not meeting standards. We want to make sure permits are adequate to public health in Oklahoma.”

TXU says the air will be cleaner when all is said and done:

“We’re talking about actually cleaning the air because we will be offsetting all the new emissions by shutting down older, inefficient plants and retrofitting our existing fleet,” TXU spokesman Thomas Kleckner said. “Moving forward in such a fashion will offset new emissions and also reduce our total emissions by 20 percent from 2005 levels.”

And McClendon plays the “global warming” card:

“How can you, as a serious person today, not be concerned about global warming,” McClendon asked. “And if you are, you can’t continue to burn coal. Our industry needs to do a better job of telling that story.”

Chesapeake vends natural gas, which produces lower carbon dioxide levels than coal, although natural gas, which is primarily methane, would be a pretty potent component of the greenhouse mix all by itself, were it running around loose.

But TXU says they’re using too much gas already:

“We need the power now, and we can’t afford to wait,” Kleckner said. “Coal provides the best short-term alternative. Also, we’re currently over-reliant on gas generation, which makes up 72 percent of our generation.”

This might be an easier sell for TXU were they to throw another wind farm or two — they already have about 580 MW at their disposal — into the mix.

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EULA be sorry

It was true then and it’s true now: no one writes a software license like Microsoft.

(Thanks to wamprat.)

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The Brits rack up a win

The Sun reports that 57 percent of British women wear a D-cup, making them, according to bra manufacturer Triumph, the bustiest in Europe.

I tend to question this survey for two reasons:

  1. The Italians came in last, which seems utterly implausible;
  2. This is England, after all, the world’s leading consumer of spotted dick.

I wonder if anyone’s done research on Kleenex sales in the E.U.

(Via Fark.)

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Now here’s your Memphis blues

The last time we saw these Grizzlies, they were losing to the Hornets 114-99. That was at the Ford Center, though; this time, the Griz were at home in Memphis’ FedExForum, and revenge was on their minds. They got it, too: the Hornets won the odd quarters, but the Grizzlies won the even ones by more, finishing the fourth with a flourish to win it, 108-104.

Neither team shot especially well. The Bees dominated the boards, but the Hornet guards had a seriously off night. (Any night when Devin Brown and Chris Paul combined come up with only seven points has to be considered an off night; Jannero Pargo, at least, came up with 11.) Tyson Chandler snagged 23 boards, setting a personal record and tying a club record; he also dropped in 17 points. David West also picked up the double-double, with 22 points and 11 rebounds; Desmond Mason, still in sharpshooter mode, had 23 points.

The Grizzly guards, conversely, had their way: Chucky Atkins and Rudy Gay between them scored 37. Forward threat Mike Miller picked up 22, and Memphis recorded two double-doubles: Pau Gasol (11 points, 15 boards) and Hakim Warrick (15 points, 12 boards off the bench).

If nothing else, this should remind us that even cellar-dwellers win once in a while, and it’s not wise to take them for granted.

The Bees will be back in OKC tomorrow for a Valentine’s Day match with the Kings. I am told the home uniforms will reflect the holiday; I plan to listen to the game on the radio.

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Shade-tree mechanic blinded by sun

Apparently I’ve been neglecting my hardware duties for too long: last night I opened up the Old Box and stuffed into it a fresh new PCI card with four USB 2.0 connections thereupon, and I was so unbelievably clumsy I’m surprised I didn’t drop-kick the tower into the corner. In fact, the machine wouldn’t boot until I opened it back up and manhandled the card into a different slot; unless there was some vague grounding issue that I overlooked, I have no idea why.

And while it’s probably a losing battle to keep a Windows 98 (albeit Second Edition) box going after all these years, it’s either that or buy a new scanner.

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The rattling of the keys

The smallest of the Big Four record companies is contemplating dumping Digital Rights Management altogether, and at least one vendor is predicting a sales boom:

Yahoo Music general manager Dave Goldberg predicts that by Christmas, most of Yahoo’s catalog will be DRM-free.
“The labels understand that DRM has to go,” he says. “It’s nothing but a tax on digital consumers. There’s good momentum behind DRM going away.” He says sales would increase by 15% to 20% without DRM.

Maybe. I haven’t run into too many DRM issues — well, one, actually — so I don’t think I’m suddenly going to run out and download tons more stuff, presumably at the same price, just because it’s going to be a tad easier to use. On the other hand, Microsoft just loves DRM, and anything that perturbs Microsoft can’t be all bad, can it?

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Bidder with the sweet

“Snipe me, you bastard!” I hissed as I looked at the screen and noticed that my final bid, placed fifteen minutes earlier, was still the high bid.

I believe what motivated this utterance was the collision of the memory that I’d dropped out of the bidding at $20 with the glaring fact that I’d gotten back into it at $46; I apparently expected to be punished for hubris, or at least foolish persistence, and sat on the item page pushing F5 at random intervals during the last two minutes of the auction.

I did win, and duly paid up, but there’s still this nagging feeling: if nobody else wanted this so badly (there were 13 bids, but only four actual bidders), why did I?

And is there any way I can blame this on Valentine’s Day?

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On the firefly platform

On Sunny Googe Street:

Googe!

Alternate title: The First Noel.

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