Archive for October 2014

Iggnernt fahkeds

There was a time when misspelling an occasional word to get past a spam filter was just uncommon enough to make you giggle as you pressed the Del key. Then the focus shifted to random word salad. But there are traditionalists out there, and one of them sent me this offer, in which the occasional word is spelled correctly, undoubtedly due to an oversight:

gurnltvfjqvwcbqwulieiouuyjxb

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Best prrices in the world

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0,90$ Viggara
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0,79$ Piink Femaale Vigaaraa
2,02$ Viigaraa Soft Taabs

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Somee infoormation
a.. Top quality
b.. 100% Satiisffacttion Gurantee
c.. Loweest priices in thee universe!
d.. FDA approoved
e.. Offiiciial suppliiers
f.. Unmarkeed parceel
g.. Insuraancee deeliveeryy
h.. Worldwiidee trackablee shippiing
i.. Gifts and diiscoounts
j.. All kiind of products in one place
k.. Neext daay faast shipping foor Americaan cliients ^NEW!

ahsgcmhmpeshxk
ihxabsseaufissqaxzqcqbrcdiallzqnyhbwlnfvbd

Now how the farking fark did they get A through K in the right order? (Singing, I’d guess.)

Of course, people should be discouraged from buying from operations like this, if only because the products will be used in connection with sexual activity, and if you answer ads like this, you are obviously too stupid to live.

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Fair is foul, and fouls are fair

One does not expect flawless play action in the NBA preseason. The Nuggets, who’d already played one game, were a smidgen less sloppy, but only a smidgen. (And they’d lost that earlier game, to the Lakers in San Diego.) The Thunder started out minus four players due to injury — Jones, Ibaka, Collison and Perkins — so big guys were at a premium. Steven Adams, starting in the middle, knocked down seven of eight shots for 15 points to lead OKC; he also collected six fouls. We saw a lot of shots not going in: the Nuggets shot close to 60 percent, the Thunder less than 40. (You want to see a curious line? Jeremy Lamb was 9-10 from the foul line, 1-14 from anywhere else.) And the fouls! Fifty-eight of them, 32 by OKC. (Which means 26 from Denver.) The last OKC lead was four points, early in the fourth; Denver then ran off an 18-2 run to go up 12, and held on for a 114-101 win.

Timofey Mozgov led all the scorers with 20 points; Jusuf Nurkić demonstrated both rebounding (15 boards) and histrionic (quelle flop) talent. And since the Nuggets have only one preseason game at home — this one — it’s probably a good thing they got to show the home crowd some good stuff. As for the Thunder, well, if they’re back at full strength Friday at Dallas, maybe we can figure out something. I’m thinking, though, that the guys who came in for training camp — Lance Thomas, Michael Jenkins and Talib Zanna — really seem to be busting a nut for a roster spot, which is always a good sign.

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Enthusiasm curbed

Robert Stacy McCain, on the dodgy subject of GOP Election Possibilities:

The Republican Party reminds me of a Bible verse, which is to say it is “without form and void” (Genesis 1:2).

I might suggest “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

If the Republican Party were listed on the periodic table of elements, it would be in the right column, among the inert gases.

Also known as the “noble” gases, but that wouldn’t work here, would it?

From the foregoing discussion, you can perhaps understand that I’m just quivering in anticipation at the prospect that Republicans might — just barely, maybe — capture a majority in the Senate on Nov. 4.

Which they might, which is to say that the possibility is nonzero. However, one should never underestimate the GOP’s capacity for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at the last moment.

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The cubist at your door

I’m guessing that she walked down Picasso’s street, and she could not resist his stare:

Picasso-esque Halloween costume

Nor did she call him names, either.

(From the Facebook page of KS107.5 in Denver.)

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The new water rates

They go into effect today, and there was a slip included with my water bill detailing the changes. There are only two tiers, but they’re simple: (1) 10,000 gallons or less; (2) more than 10,000 gallons. Up to now, it’s been a flat $2.65 per thousand, but no more:

  • Today: $2.73/1000 gallons up to 10,000; $3.14/1000 gallons thereafter.
  • October 2015: $2.81/1000 gallons up to 10,000; $3.32/1000 gallons thereafter.
  • October 2016: $2.89/1000 gallons up to 10,000; $3.50/1000 gallons thereafter.

There will also be small increases in sewer fees and the base customer charge. The bill I received yesterday, for 2000-gallon consumption, was $56.05; under the new rates next month, it would be $58.11. (This assumes there’s no increase in the price for trash-collection service, since none was mentioned in the announcement.)

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Fox-y lady

I could not let this pass by:

Well, she wants to believe.

Addendum: Here’s the quiz.

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Shroom for one more

If there hadn’t been a fungus among us beforehand, there certainly is now:

A 1.7m long and 1.2m wide reishi mushroom weighing 220 kilogram has been found by a local man in Ea Kar District, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

The mushroom has been sold to Dao Duc Dai in Ban Me Thuot City at VND200 million.

A 500-pound mushroom is not something you see every day. (And 200 million dong works out to $9500 US, so this wee beastie brought around twenty bucks a pound.) Let’s have a look:

Humongous reishi mushroom

The buyer apparently hiked into the forest to get a look at it, and:

Mr. Dai said that at the time he purchased the mushroom, it was clinging on a big stump in the forest. He had to mobilize nearly ten men to remove and take it home.

I don’t doubt it. This looks even less maneuverable than the contents of Utah Phillips’ Moose Turd Pie.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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A site old enough to vote

Still like that old-time Robert Dole? Jonathan Blake advises that the Dole/Kemp 1996 campaign Web site is still up in more or less its original format, maintained by political-history site 4President.org.

I must tell you, it looks every one of its eighteen years. (Like I should talk, right?) Still, it’s no Space Jam, as Bob Dole would tell you if you were talking to Bob Dole.

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Downtime a-comin’

The surfer dudes who host my sites have advised that said sites will be down for at least part of Sunday evening:

We’re continuing our roll-out of Ubuntu 12.04 Precise to an additional 150 web servers this Sunday, October 12th. As we’d like to get all of our customers over to this new OS, we will be upgrading 2 batches per week. While the total estimated maintenance is 5 hours, we expect actual downtime due to the upgrade to be around 45 minutes. A large part of the maintenance window will be spent testing all of the servers post-upgrade to ensure everything is in order.

And it is indeed a new OS for them: far back as I can remember — and I’ve been there almost 13 years — they’ve been running some flavor of Debian.

Of course, the major thrill with any such announcement is the list of actual machine names to be upgraded, which includes such august designations as “augusta,” “coweta,” “king-william,” “snowstorm” and “tricia-mcmillan.”

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A plugin to be desired

A couple days ago, Jack Baruth was sorely vexed with the sort of literal-minded schnook who can’t detect satire no matter how obvious it is. A commenter responded with this programming note:

I am in the final testing of a program that I will be offering for sale to the operators of blogs and any other website that allows comments. It will be known as the Butt Hurt Detector XP-9 and will work as follows;

When Butt Hurt is detected in a post, an immediate message will be sent to the poster’s device that consists of the following, a full screen flashing extended middle finger with the invitation to “Pull on your big girl panties and get over yourself” and immediate termination of posting privileges. Any attempt to establish another posting account from the same device, will result in a self destruct command to be sent back, hopefully resulting in a fiery explosion of said device(I’m still working on that part).

I have but a single objection: “butthurt” really needs to be one word.

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MAD at Bex

The current issue of MAD pokes fun at TMZ — perhaps not the most difficult target, I concede, but sometimes low-hanging fruit is tasty — and works in a reference to our “Friday” friend that I’m not sure I want to contemplate:

Panel from Mad magazine #530

Thanks (I guess) to Desmond Devlin and Tom Bunk.

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More patience than I would have had

The Friar actually answers one of those automated telephone polls from a state-senate campaign:

But now I’m confused, because I don’t understand what an election to a state legislature has to do with what religion I think the President is, whether or not he is effective in leading the nation against terrorism and whether his health care reform initiative has been a plus or a minus.

Which suggests that this was a Republican campaign calling, since state Democrats hardly ever mention that Obama fellow, who apparently isn’t all that popular in this neck of the woods.

Still, the relevance of this material is questionable:

What that has to do with who represents this part of the state in a crumbling capitol building and state political leadership that has at best one adult in the room when the heads of the executive and legislative branches gather together is beyond me. Maybe I’m just a low-information voter.

The best kind, according to campaign types.

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Close-order drill

The Thunder, who were shorthanded in Denver, were more so in Dallas, with Mitch McGary, wounded at the Nuggets game, out for six weeks, Sebastian Telfair out with something or other wrong with his ankle, and Reggie Jackson, after 17 minutes retired with a wrist injury. So former Europlayer Michael Jenkins wound up running the Thunder offense — no way was Russell Westbrook going to play in the second half — and Jenkins did a pretty decent job, with seven points and five assists. This is, after all, why one has a preseason, right? Fortunately, the shorthandedness went in both directions: Dallas was Dirkless for the evening, Monta Ellis was unwell, Raymond Felton was hurt early on, and Mavs-Thunder ended up as the usual see-saw, with OKC up by one with 1:33 left and gradually opening up that lead into a 9-point win, 118-109.

Things to note:

  • Anthony Morrow, who was hired as a long-distance sharpshooter, was pretty much that: 2-7 from inside the circle, 4-7 from outside of it.
  • After a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night at Denver, Jeremy Lamb recovered enough to come up with a double-double: 19 points, 11 rebounds. Guards, you may remember, don’t usually get 11 rebounds.
  • If they don’t pick up Talib Zanna and at least assign him to the 66ers Blue, I will be most disappointed.

There were 85 foul shots tonight, 45 by the Mavs (who made 32). Dallas also put up 36 treys, of which 11 actually hit. This is standard Maverick procedure, but it’s easier when you have the starters to work with.

First home game at OKC will involve the Grizzlies, on Tuesday. Fasten your safety belt.

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Watch that wallpaper

I suppose what I really want to know here is why this clod expects to have his phone seized:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: To the women if a guy has a naked woman as his phone background do you make him change it/r u offended enough to leave him?

Which naked woman, you ask?

I want to have Anna Nicole as my background but I fear the loss of a future gf if I start dating & she grabs my phone.

“Honey, she’s been dead for seven years!” will not help you in this case.

I admit to having once had a picture of Debbie Gibson as phone wallpaper, though she was not unclothed. (At least, not completely.) Never you mind what’s there now.

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Evolution in action

Species survive because they adapt. The Gulf Coast is not likely to run out of birds any time soon:

On our first evening here, we dropped into a local supermarket to pick up a few essentials. When we came out, we noticed a flock of small birds hopping from car to car. They were carefully inspecting headlights, radiator grilles, etc. for dead insects and eating all they found. It was very businesslike behavior. Thinking about it, it was entirely logical, of course. Many people drive hundreds of miles to get here, and accumulate lots of dead insects on the front of their vehicles in the process. What better source of food for a hungry bird? I wonder how long it took them to learn to look there?

We’re not exactly a tourist destination here in the Big Breezy, so our major example of bird adaptation can be seen most easily in big box store parking lots: roughly four-and-twenty black birds for every dropped bag of popcorn. Ground Zero might be the Crest Foods store at 23rd and Meridian: not only does it sell a lot of to-go stuff to people who will actually eat it walking back to their cars, but in front of it are a Burger King and an A&W/Long John Silver’s combo.

Then again, we’re not talking picky diners here:

Crows have been reported to eat over 1000 food items, including insects, worms, berries, birds eggs and nestlings, small mammals, bats, fish, snakes, frogs, salamanders, animal dung, grain, nuts, carrion, fried chicken, hamburgers, Chinese food, french fries, and human vomit.

Then again:

They can be weirdly picky though — an experiment showed crows prefer French fries in a McDonald’s bag over those in a brown paper bag. To top it off, a nestling can eat 100 grasshoppers in 3 hours.

You can’t tell me that a crow can’t recognize the Golden Arches.

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Straining the argument

Last month, we found out that Oklahoma apparently does not have a problem with a driver’s-license photo featuring the traditional headgear of the Pastafarians. British Columbia, by contrast, has a problem:

Here in one of the most religiously diverse communities in Canada, it is possible to obtain a driver’s license wearing a kipa, hijab, habit, turban or Amish cap — really, any piece of religious headgear that does not obscure the face.

But lifelong Surreyite Obi Canuel is currently unable to drive because he has refused to remove a spaghetti colander from his head for his driver’s license photo. He does it, he claims, because he believes the world was created by an intoxicated Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The FSM soused? Perish the thought.

Last November, Mr. Canuel posed for his driver’s license photo while wearing a blue toga and plastic spaghetti colander.

The unusual photo was deemed fit for Mr. Canuel’s provincial I.D. card, but after lengthy review by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia — the province’s official licensing agency — it was ultimately deemed insufficient for his driver’s license.

This may be a mission-creep issue: the ICBC was originally created as a Crown Corporation to provide auto insurance, and only later was handed the responsibility for licensing drivers. And drivers don’t think much of their insurance these days.

Still, British Columbia could legitimately be seen as a laggard:

U.S. soldiers have had “FSM” listed as a religion on their dog tags, a town councilmember in Pomfret, N.Y., was recently sworn in while solemnly wearing a plastic pasta colander, and colander-wearing pastafarians have been able to obtain driver’s licenses in Austria, the Czech Republic, California, Texas, Oklahoma and New Zealand.

And I suspect Victoria won’t stand for that for long.

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Fark blurb of the week

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Let the other be Papyrus

Others face the music. ISIS faces the type:

Oh, for some (Times New) Roman warriors right about now.

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Quote of the week

We open with a paragraph from Wikipedia, in case you missed what was going on:

Malala Yousafzai (born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani female education activist, who became the youngest ever Nobel Prize recipient in any category. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement.

All this, says Pakistani journalist Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, makes it easy to hate her:

Do you think it’s easy for me to accept flag bearers of my religion as my enemy? Do you believe that it’s easy for me to accept the fact that a 16-year-old girl fearlessly took a stand against the biggest threat facing this country while men like me were busy being apologetic on the behalf of the “freedom fighters”?

Do you honestly believe that it’s easy for me to accept that a young girl from our neck of the woods, with all the societal handicaps that one can think of, can singlehandedly orchestrate a global rude awakening? The thought rips the bigoted, discriminatory and misogynistic ideals that I’ve grown up with, into tiny little shreds.

How can I accept Malala to be a hero, when her speeches do not have any Islamic or nationalistic agenda? How can I consider her to be my future leader when nothing she says or does imbues a false sense of superiority in me as a Muslim or a Pakistani? How can I accept that a young girl was able to highlight who our actual enemies are, when grown up men in our parliaments are still hell bent on befriending them?

How can I rejoice at Malala’s global achievement when I’ve been taught all my life that a girl’s place is in the kitchen? I just can’t.

The religion I follow is inherently misogynistic. The society I live in is quintessentially patriarchal. And I’m supposed to manifest ideals of gender equality and women empowerment out of the blue?

Tough questions. But in the long run, the penalty for a wrong answer is infinitely tougher.

(Via Blazing Cat Fur.)

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Sentimental on my mind

Glen Campbell, now in the final stage of Alzheimer’s, will soon leave the stage entirely. He has left us one last song, with the ironic title “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”:

The melody is somber and contemplative, but the lyrics show Campbell’s ability to find irony in his disease. The result is a beautiful combination of sadness and joy, which ends much too quickly.

At least the man from Delight goes out on a somewhat-happy note.

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Is this next year’s sandal?

It’s certainly one of next year’s sandals: InStyle.com included it in a gallery of “Standout Accessories From Spring 2015 New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks,” and I do freely concede that it stands out. Thakoon (Panichgul), a designer born in Thailand who grew up in Omaha, perhaps is best known for outfitting Michelle Obama on the last night of the 2008 Democratic convention, though I can’t possibly imagine Mrs O wearing this particular shoe under any circumstances:

Wedge sandal by Thakoon for Spring 2015

The unnamed model here is probably happy, though, because (1) she’s working and (2) Thakoon’s wedge is not making her obvious heel blister any worse.

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They did the Mash

And boy, did they:

The formal release of this track (and fourteen others) is still a couple of weeks away, but hey, that’s why there’s a video out now.

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That whole civic-duty thing

Something called BadVoter.org will query a name in the State Election Board’s database and return the number of days it’s been since that person was handed a ballot. (Anything under 365 is considered “good.”) Presumably, this will empower you to nag your neighbors, or at least Ree Drummond, who, they say, has missed several elections.

This sort of thing, to me anyway, has just enough of the busybody about it to make me think it’s a Democratic get-out-the-vote scheme, and indeed Matt Silverstein, the designated Democratic sacrificial lamb against Senator Jim Inhofe this year, is promoting it on Facebook. (Read the comments, if you dare.) I, of course, figure that everyone knows when I vote, because I post about it here.

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Strange search-engine queries (454)

In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and wound up taking a wrong turn at the Bermuda Triangle or something. I am not celebrating today, not so much because I have social-justice warrior bona fides to burnish, but simply because I don’t get a day off. And neither does this regular-ish Monday series.

People in this group wake up..its not yet night:  No compelling reason to get up, especially on a Monday.

yours school plans celebration on childrens day and want students to participate wholeheartedly by displaying craft material and other decorative pieces made by them no. one:  Should be “How come we had to come to school today?”

this grp its very uptight and weak.. i thnk i must change the group name -change the:  First, change the idea that you are in charge of naming the group.

Are there transmission problems with 20 year old Mazda SUVs:  They’re 20 years old. What the hell do you think?

sgt. pepper factoids:  Remember when they said “It was twenty years ago today”? Now it’s sixty-seven.

newsok Anthony Caudill marriage:  So it did not occur to you to go to NewsOK first? They do have a search screen of sorts.

Records that were mixed in mono sound clean:  Yeah, but that’s because nobody did very good stereo mixes early on.

round the twist lady disappear episode:  Eventually, the entire series disappeared.

A poster about yourself “Learn me Better”:  The White House is just crammed full of those.

ginny arnell sings Dumb Head in Japanese:  The Japanese surely understand the concept of “dumb.”

daniel cohn-bendit Carmen Bizet:  Actually, Bizet missed the schemes of Danny the Red, having conveniently died ninety-odd years before the 1968 uprising in France.

what are the dials in the seats of the pagani huayra:  They’re for God to remind you that you’re making too damn much money.

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After while, crocodile

Russia’s Food Czar, or whatever, has approved the importation of crocodile meat:

Russia’s food safety watchdog has approved the import of crocodile meat from the Philippines to replace the beef and pork banned under Moscow’s restrictions on foods from Western countries, a news report said.

The veterinary and sanitary inspection agency, Rosselkhoznadzor, has added a Filipino producer of frozen crocodile meat, Coral Agri-Ventures Farm, to its list of companies allowed to supply food to Russia’s markets, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.

The restrictions, of course, are intended as payback for Western sanctions imposed as a response to Russian incursions into Ukraine. But Moscow is prepared to look far and wide for replacements, and not just crocodiles:

Russian officials have also visited India to consider imports of buffalo meat after dismissing it for years over quality concerns.

And the government is planning a hard sell to hungry Russians:

The government’s official daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta recently published an article extolling the culinary qualities of meats that have otherwise remained exotic for the vast majority of the country’s population.

Titled “Grilled Crocodiles and Hippos on a Skewer,” the article also reviewed the taste of kangaroo, shark and ostrich meats.

A bag of otters’ noses, please. Um, make it two.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Pointed rejection

Somehow I don’t think this will work:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Can i put barbed wire on my fence?

Reason for the decorations:

i like going in my hot tub at night naked and recently i found out all the neighbour kids watch me and i havent been able to go out since and i was wondering if you can put barbed wire up its like all the back gardens are a strip by the house and a long parallel fence and then each seperated by another fence i want to put wire all around the fences that define my garden an i allowed to do that and if not what can i do to get rid of them

Barbed wire doesn’t do a whole lot to block anyone’s view, so we’re forced to assume that the kids are having to climb up to see. The path of least resistance here is either a taller fence or enough of a hedge to block the line of sight.

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And now, a word from our alternate Sponch

Gansito, the Mexican sort-of-Twinkie that has been showing up in local Anglo-ish supermarkets of late, has apparently sold well enough for the store chain to bring over a couple more items from the Marinela line, neither of which I’d seen on their Web site: Mini Mantecadas, which appeared to be shrunken muffins, and something called Sponch. Reasoning that hey, a muffin is a muffin, I opted for a bag of Sponch.

Sponch — which I’m sure is not a mnemonic for the elements that support life — is, for all intents and purposes, the anti-Mallomar. I don’t think I can top this description:

Picture, if you will, four miniature Hostess Snowballs (marshmallow covered in coconut). Two are strawberry flavored, and two are plain flavored. Lay the whole thing on a butter cookie, and then, for good measure, squirt some strawberry jam in the center. Wow, even in just typing that, I realized I had described my dream cookie.

This may be the second time around for Sponch, which, at the time of that description, was actually branded “¡Sponch!” This particular packaging has six tubes, each containing three Sponch, a total of 270g, or 15g per Sponch. And I eventually found Marinela’s World site, which filled me in on some of the non-Mexican Marinela lore. (Some Houston stores were apparently carrying Gansito in 1984.)

And Sponch suffers one of the same issues as Mallomars:

[W]ith all the jubilant, celebrating marshmallows dancing in their coconut crusts, little attention was given to the cookie’s core component. The cookie itself is rather flavorless, and somewhat frustratingly flaky. It doesn’t add a lot to the experience, other than providing a base for the party going on above it. This is also not a huge complaint, in the same way you don’t complain when the apartment full of hot sorority sisters who just moved in downstairs and spend all of their time giggling and having sexy drunken pillowfights, don’t know a lot about Keats. In fact, that’s what this cookie is. It is a sexy drunken pillowfight, where you accidentally get punched in the stomach at the end.

“The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish,” commented John Keats.

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Imported from Paradise Island

Columnist and Fox News contributor Jedediah Bila shows off a little of that Diana Prince style:

Jedediah Bila from here down

And when you get right down to it, which you should, Wonder Woman is a perfectly reasonable fashion choice, though bracelets that properly resist ordnance are probably harder to design.

Not that you asked, but Bila is about five-foot-five.

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My little taggers

Did you see any graffiti in Ponyville? In Canterlot? In Manehattan, for Luna’s sake? So why would you want to see it in Butte, Montana?

Someone tagged a Butte neighborhood with not only the names but the words “My Little Pony.”

It’s unknown at this time if it’s a gang of tweens or a group of “Bronies,” adult men who love the cartoon and toys.

Given the vast quantity of hatred for bronies out there, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that this was the work of self-described brony enemies, trying to embarrass (or worse) the local pony fans.

Police received reports starting Saturday morning of the cartoon names scrawled on a vehicle, fences and garage doors. The majority of graffiti was found on Keokuk and Hancock streets. About six sites were hit.

The monetary damage will depend if the black and white spray paint washes off, police said.

Well, there you go. A genuine fan of My Little Pony would have come up with show-accurate colors for each and every mention.

(Michelle Malkin saw this before I did.)

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All my bass are belong to her

Meghan Trainor has owned the charts of late with that weird little tune called “All About That Bass,” popularly interpreted as a body-acceptance anthem. (I think that line about “skinny bitches” probably disqualifies it, but I still adore the record.) And if she looks appallingly young, well, she’s not yet 21: she’s entitled.

Entertainment Weekly spent one page of a three-page article on this:

Meghan Trainor on a bicycle

And while her Amy-Winehouse-meets-the-Shirelles sound has its own charms, this is what seriously makes me grin: “All About That Bass” comes from a 2014 EP with the title Title. That’s the name of it. And she’s not pulling anyone’s chain, either. Here’s the (audio only) title song, so to speak:

I’ll consider that a supplementary explanation for the bicycle.

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Three Fs, anyway

And it’s not like you won’t figure it out on your own:

As the young folks say, well played.

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Get off my driveway

It’s that concrete strip that interrupts the lawn. You can’t miss it.

Actually, you probably can, if these numbers from Nielsen have any validity:

Nielsen, who are better known for its television ratings system than much else, recently published a report narrowing down who exactly goes for connected-vehicle technology the most.

Short answer: Men 55 and over, college degree in one hand, $100,000 in the other.

Breaking it down further, men comprised the majority of all connected-vehicle users at 58 percent, with 42 percent over the age of 55, 62 percent in possession of a college degree, and 37 percent making over $100,000 annually.

Damn gadget freaks. And actually, it’s worse than that:

As for how all users end up in a connected vehicle, Nielsen says safety is the biggest factor, with 79 percent believing the vehicle’s technology will keep them safe on the road. Crash notifications, Internet-enabled navigation and safety alerts were at the top of the users’ list when shopping for a new vehicle.

Technology is seldom a match for stupidity; and it’s stupidity, either yours or that guy’s [see next lane], that’s most likely to get you killed out on the superslab.

In a couple of these cases, it’s yours:

The entertainment side of the infotainment divide also had its day in the sun, with 36 percent of users streaming audio into their car on a regular basis, 26 percent going online, and 21 percent downloading media while riding the real superhighway.

What percent, I wonder, are bitching about teenagers texting?

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Anonymous bears

Dave Joerger, noting that it is, after all, still the preseason, decided to stick with his second string tonight: no Gasol, no Conley, no Z-Bo, no Tony Allen. Not even Tayshaun Prince. Considering that half the Thunder roster is hors de combat, it’s hard to fault Joerger. And the Griz did pretty good in that first quarter, leading 32-23 after twelve. Meanwhile, Scott Brooks’ current version of the Starting Five of Frankenstein — Perry Jones III and Lance Jones up front, Russell Westbrook and Andre Roberson on the wings, Steven Adams in the middle — took a good while to get warmed up, but were fairly awesome when they did: see, for instance, Adams’ 14 points in the second quarter. OKC 60, Memphis 59 at the half, and the redemption of Jeremy Lamb, who came back to life in the second half, brought the Thunder to its second win in Before It Counts, 117-107.

Lamb, in fact, had 23 points, Adams 22, and five others in double figures. (Westbrook had the game’s only double-double: 14 points, 12 assists.) Roberson, alas, continued the Thunder tradition of no actual shooting from the shooting guard, missing all four of his shots. Despite that, OKC shot 53 percent, and if you were wondering if Anthony Morrow would help in the absence of Kevin Durant, look at this line: 5-6 from the floor, 3-4 from outside, 6-6 from the stripe, for 19 points in just over 22 minutes.

Journeyman Quincy Pondexter, gone much of last year, evidently has spent some time working on his 3-ball: he made three of five to lead the Griz with 16 points. Newish guys Jordan Adams and Patrick Christopher carried much of the load towards the end. If Dave Joerger is saying “We do so have a bench,” well, we have to believe him.

Thursday night, it’s off to the Big Easy. Maybe Serge Ibaka will be back by then. Or maybe it won’t be a problem if he isn’t.

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You live where?

If you can identify one house on my block, you can figure the addresses for any of them: the numbering is consistent — each lot west is plus four — and usually the number is actually readable. This is not, however, the case everywhere:

Older son is a pizza delivery guy. He routinely sees what the paramedics see: no house number, confusing house numbers, illegible house numbers, dark brown house numbers on black backgrounds, white house numbers on cream backgrounds, house numbers twenty feet off the ground where you would never look, house numbers painted on the curb with cars parked over them, house numbers so small they can’t be seen from the street, house numbers that appear to have been installed at random; the list is endless. The pizza guys would like to find your house quicker as time is money for them. The ambulance guys would like to find your house quicker as they hope to save your life. The FedEx guy and the UPS guy would like to find your house quicker too. So do plumbers, electricians, paper boys, and furniture delivery guys.

I should state here that when I took over the palatial estate at Surlywood, there were two sets of numbers, neither of which passed muster: a set of chrome digits over the garage door, fine once, not so fine once new guttering was installed just over it; and a set of black digits on a brown background, not readable except under very specific lighting conditions.

I toyed with moving the black digits to a pink background, but ultimately decided to install a vertical plaque, black on white, 19 x 4 inches, just east of the garage door. It is not as handsome as I thought it might be, but it’s readable.

On the curb? One set of digits painted on each of the two curved sections, where it takes considerable effort to block them with cars.

And I should probably admit that maybe my block is not so easy after all: the numbering is as I stated, but there are eight houses on the south side of the street, only four on the north. This seems to baffle some people, even when they can read the digits.

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Perhaps they’re drugged

The old online prescription refill at Target was clunky in the extreme, but it worked most of the time. And then they decided to outsource it, to an operation called PDX, Inc. It’s still clunky, but now it doesn’t work at all: since it didn’t read any existing cookies, it defaulted to filling my order at a store in Pennsylvania — except that it refused to fill my order because it didn’t like any of the prescription numbers I keyed in. Twice.

What’s more, it has a CAPTCHA.

Whatever the opposite of “I wish them well” may be, that’s what I wish.

Addendum: I whined on Twitter about this, prompting Target HQ to ask me for an email report.

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Increasingly dear

From last year, about this time:

When I bought the palatial estate at Surlywood, insurance on the place was a hair under $900 a year, which sounds high until you consider that we have every known disaster here except tsunami.

Last year, it dropped by the price of a combo meal, to just shy of $2400. Obviously this downward trend could not be allowed to continue, so this year it’s going to nearly $3000. This, mind you, on a house insured for a mere $130,000. I can only conclude that they expect a visit from Godzilla, or that they’re wanting to get their hands on some of those sweet, sweet government bucks the way the health-insurance guys have.

(Note: I’ve changed carriers before. It’s a major hassle, and based on previous experience, I expect it would save me next to nothing in the long run.)

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Privilege checked and acknowledged

Not that I feel compelled to apologize for it or anything. Michael Kinsley writes in the November Vanity Fair:

[T]he least attractive man will always have one advantage over the most attractive woman: he’ll need less time for physical preparation each day. The most vain male politician (that would be John Edwards, who once paid $1,250 for a haircut) probably spends less time on his hair, his cosmetics, and his clothes than the most indifferent or naturally beautiful woman. This is extra time he can spend developing an anti-terrorism policy or catching up on sleep.

Naturally beautiful women are indifferent to me, but that’s a different matter. (Besides, so are the rest of them.)

Feminism is no longer, if it ever was, about burning bras or not shaving your legs. Or at least the female leadership pioneers in business and politics do not interpret feminism that way. The first woman president, be it Hillary Clinton or someone else, will travel with a hairdresser and wear designer clothes. And she will need an extra half-hour or more every morning to do things that cannot be delegated to an aide and that even Barack Obama — probably our most physically fastidious if not downright dandyish president ever — never has had to bother with.

It will certainly take longer than eight minutes, thirty-four seconds.

Did I mention that Kinsley’s piece was about Chris Christie? (Did I have to?)

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I saw her again

The Mamas and the Papas had a song by this title; it was apparently about a brief affair. This isn’t. Instead, it’s about this:

Why shouldn’t I have, you ask? There are places I should not go.

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Older but no grander

With Mitt “Mitt” Romney out of the picture for 2016, Roberta X contemplates the further thinning of the Republican field:

Now if a few more of the perennial it’s-my-turn GOP suits would step down, and their party admit there might be a little more wrong in DC than just the policies of a dislikable El Supremo, they might get somewhere in 2016. —Don’t hold your breath; with the media firmly against them and a general tradition of tone-deafness, I fully expect the Republicans to have me voting Libertarian again in ’16, even if they mostly only beat up on the Bill of Rights seven-eighths as much as the current leading brand… (Some of you will blame me for President Hillary afterwards. Hey, get your party to run someone I can in conscience vote for or shut the heck up.)

Oklahoma doesn’t allow write-ins — screws up the optical-scanning devices — and I figure they probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I wrote in Cthulhu, who, if nothing else, will not cause you to wonder if he is the lesser of two evils.

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Yesterday was Hump Day

And as always, there was some joker taking it too literally:

A Florida man today took a stuffed animal off a Walmart shelf and then used the toy to masturbate before returning the ejaculate-covered item to a store shelf, police report.

The repulsive episode occurred around 3 PM at a Walmart in Brooksville, a city 50 miles north of Tampa.

According to a police report, Sean Johnson, 19, “selected a brown, tan, and red stuffed horse from the clearance shelf in the garden department.” He then went to the comforter aisle in the housewares section, “proceeded to pull out his genitals,” and “proceeded to hump the stuffed horse utilizing short fast movements.” The lewd act was captured by surveillance cameras.

The jerkoff was released after posting $1500 bond. I do hope he wasn’t carrying cash.

(Via Consumerist. Yesterday was also Applejack Appreciation Day, but don’t even think it.)

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