On the table

About the time this goes live, I’ll be on the operating table, getting my nerves realigned. (Literally. Look up “spinal stenosis.”) I have been given no reason to think this is a particularly complicated procedure, and I expect to come out of it no worse than I went in.

Saturday I sprung this idea:

I still hate the idea. Then again, I’ve burned up the last of my paid days at work as of this afternoon, so “subsequent expenses” are still something of a worry. (I have, I think, enough on hand to cover the annual out-of-pocket on my gold silver bronze zinc health-insurance plan.) I don’t plan a formal fundraiser or anything like that, largely because this requires setting an official goal, which sort of rubs me the wrong way. (If you’re curious, I was thinking in terms of $4,000.) That said, I would be grateful for anything anyone feels like stashing into my PayPal account (chaz -at- dustbury.com).

Any posts I have in the can will be dribbled out over the next day or two. I expect to be released Tuesday, maybe Wednesday at the latest.

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Strange search-engine queries (543)

Once more, we pop the lid off last week’s visitors and try to figure out just what the heck they were looking for.

cooties übersetzung:  Cooties are like, well, cooties, man.

suppose ford, gm, and dodge make the majority of pick-up trucks sold in the united states if they all sell for approximately the same price, and ford offers a $2,000 rebate on new truck sales, what can ford expect to see?  $2000 new “customer cash” on Chevy Silverado.

mississippi goddam chords:  Read the farging sheet music.

bulldog smasher:  It’s not enough to smash pumpkins anymore.

which of the following best summarizes the main idea of this paragraph? most people steal money if it is left in an open basket. few people steal money from plywood boxes with slots in the top. most people are honest enough not to commit major theft. few people are aware when they commit crimes:  Too many people think they can finish their homework by Googling the exercise questions.

as the four winners of the grade-school spelling bee posed for a picture, each was recollecting over the day’s success. which of the following children exhibits an external locus of control?  For instance, this one.

what is a primary source:  Hint: you’re not looking at one.

how siri ios rich voip mayo:  Siri might put up with that, but Cortana would kick your ass just for thinking it.

ghostbusters fail:  Well, that explains the dogs and cats living together.

brother jukebox sister wine:  And the second cousin winds up busing tables.

fingering doesnt work:  Perhaps you’re doing it wrong.

atomic groove girlz nite out, pt.1 happy hour, april 22:  I’d say there’s a reasonable possibility that someone was fingered.

i’m a loser yahoo answers:  One among thousands.

doel 3 tihange 2:  Walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.

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Vaya con queso

If I were to list all the individuals with whom I might associate quesadillas, William Shatner would probably be second from the bottom. Still:

Shatner Quesadilla via Bad Menu

First from the bottom? After the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Dole out the barrel

I’d thought I’d heard all the arguments on behalf of the Negative Income Tax aka Guaranteed Annual Income, but this one is new to me:

It might also help with [the] problem of people being homeless and with the skyrocketing cost of rent. If you have a guaranteed but limited income, you are going to look for a place you can afford to live. There are thousands of towns in middle America that are shrinking because there are no jobs. You can bet the rents in those places are going to be much lower than they are in the big cities. So this negative income tax might lead to a rebirth of small town America. If people start are leaving the big cities for the small towns we should see a reduction in traffic congestion in the big cities. Good news all around.

I dunno. I think you’d have to make the dole conditional, mandating that the recipients move to some place where Section 8 is more like five and a half, for this actually to work.

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Block partier

Not so long ago, Stuart Weitzman came up with a shoe called, for good and sensible reasons, “Tasselmania.” What happens when the shoe is not so, well, manic?

Tasselean by Stuart Weitzman

The nice thing about the block heel is that it looks like it won’t give way under you, unlike some styles you could name. Says Weitzman’s storefront about “Tasselean”:

Boho goes modern by way of a tassel detail and a minimalist single-sole design. This fashionista favorite is finished with braided straps and is crafted from cipria leather or suede. Wear with structured shorts and a silk tunic.

Um, “structured”? Okay. These are structured AF, or at least A&F.

The cipria version of “Tasselean” is “Frosted White.” Either way, it’s $398.

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Dragged into the next century

From 2010:

Last month, you’ll remember, privately-owned (but Senate-appointed) tag agents registered their displeasure with the state’s plan to process orders over the Web, which might put a dent in their business model.

Displeasure duly noted, the Oklahoma Tax Commission has now opened up that Web site and bestowed upon it the incredibly-obvious acronym CARS, which stands for “Convenient Auto Renewal System.”

At the time, I noted that this wasn’t likely to change my own habits; I have an agent of choice, and I’ve been going there for a decade or so.

Then again, I spent none of that decade in the hospital. And now that I’m at an appalling level of incapacitation, now is the time to learn the online stuff.

Elapsed time: about six minutes. Trickiest bit was on insurance verification, where they have options for either name or NAIC number of insurer: perhaps they never expected anyone actually to have the NAIC number. There’s a $1.50 fee. And some time next week, right about the time the old year tab expires, I should have a new one. I just hope I feel well enough to put it in place.

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Make yourself a meal

An idea by Roberta X takes root, and a tasty root it is:

There would probably be limits on second helpings, purely for logistical reasons.

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Every little bit helps

Brenda Holloway hit the Top 40 three times for Motown, and each time there’s a story to tell.

First Brenda Holloway LP, Tamla 273

California composer Ed Cobb, once one of the Four Preps, wrote “Every Little Bit Hurts”; Brenda had cut it for the Del-Fi label in Los Angeles, circa 1962, and she’d record it once more for the new Motown West Coast office, manned by producers Hal Davis and Marc Gordon. It was a song she did not want to do: been there, done that. In April 1964, the new version of “Every Little Bit Hurts” was turned loose; it hit #13 in Billboard, getting her a slot on the next Motortown Revue.

After “I’ll Always Love You,” another Cobb tune (not the same “I’ll Always Love You” cut by the Spinners during their Motown years) failed to hit big, Mary Wells was packing up for 20th Century-Fox, and seeing Brenda as the Next Mary Wells, the company brought her to Detroit to replace Mary on a Smokey Robinson number. It’s the same backing track over which Mary sang; some orchestral sweetening was added for Brenda. “When I’m Gone” reached #25.

Brenda Holloway album art

Brenda’s last Top 40 entry was a song she wrote with her sister Patrice; Berry Gordy and producer Frank Wilson added a few bits and slapped their names on as co-writers. (Wilson, says Brenda, came up with the bridge.) “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” stalled at #39; a subsequent cover by Blood, Sweat & Tears reached #2, by which time Brenda had left Motown and sued Gordy over his alleged contribution to the song.

After a long time away from the microphone, she began to record again, and to make personal appearances. (One such appearance, I am told, was with BS&T.)

Brenda Holloway in 2011

She turned 70 this past week, and she’s still singing.

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Too much warmth

This seems pretty indisputable:

Oklahoma summers are hot and sticky and everything about them is the absolute worst. I didn’t always hate them. I used to actually love the heat, and spent about 10 years of my life playing competitive fast pitch softball in the summer heat. Hell, I remember playing in tournaments that were canceled because other girls literally died of heat stroke while standing in the outfield, and I wasn’t particularly phased by the heat at the time.

But that was when I could wear my sleeveless jersey and shorts all day. Now, I may not be outside all day, but I have to wear some business casual garb, and I would like to know what asshole decided that all business casual clothing should be made of the most unbreathable fabrics, because that person should be swaddled in a pair of modern-fit trousers and left out in the sun to slowly desiccate into the raisin they deserve to be.

Also at the link: deodorant tips.

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Life imitates Springfield

Malk, now with Vitamin RThe Simpsons Wiki describes this mysterious substance:

Bart thought that the school served milk, but when he cracked his knuckles, they snapped painfully. Bart was shocked about the brittleness of his bones because he had always drunk plenty of milk. However, when he looked closer at the carton, he realized it was written “MALK” instead of “MILK.”

You have to figure that Superintendent Chalmers wasn’t about to spend big on mere beverages. But that was 1995. Today:

Modern-day MALK was born in Houston in 2014. I have no idea whether it contains any Vitamin R.

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To soar beyond the clouds

That which is Pony inspires us all, from whatever corner of the world as we know it.

The musician known to us as MelodicPony, who crafted this lovely bit of orchestration in 2013, has died, the victim of a stroke. He was twenty-seven.

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She knew you were trouble when you walked in

This is, or is about to be anyway, an actual book:

Taylor Swift, Girl Detective

The title, of course, is a misheard lyric (from “Blank Space,” if you’re keeping score). And we’re telling you this on background:

Written by Larissa Zageris and illustrated by Kitty Curran in the style of the Nancy Drew series, the book is about an out of work actress in New York City who finds threatening messages on her skinny mocha Starbucks drinks. (It’s not authorized by Swift, but according to the creators, the pop star followed the Tumblr for the book.)

Why’d they choose Taylor Swift as the heroine? “Her publicity is focused more on her own derring-doishness and accomplishments than her sex appeal, much like a modern day Nancy Drew,” Kitty Curran tells TIME. “She also used to dress exactly like Nancy Drew, though now she looks maybe more like the updated 80s version.” In the story, Swift makes a mischievous face a lot, and Lorde serves as her muscle. “While Lorde is a badass, she is so ethereal and poetic in her ways that making her the tough one in the book just seemed hilarious to us. We also needed a good foil for the more poised, level-headed detective figure of Taylor Swift and she fit the bill perfectly,” Curran said. Someone should give these two a mystery award for nailing Lorde’s exasperated face.

I somehow missed the Kickstarter for this book, so I have to hope that they run off some copies for the general public.

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An unexpected act of Prestidigitation

Sam Presti comes up with the damnedest deals sometimes. Serge Ibaka will be packing up and heading for Orlando; in return come guard Victor Oladipo, forward Ersan İlyasova, and the rights to the Magic’s #11 draft pick, Domantas Sabonis.

Points of interest:

  • İlyasova has playoff experience: seventeen games with the Bucks, ten of which he started. And he’s at least vaguely familiar with the Thunder organization, as he played a whole season for the old Tulsa 66ers in the D-League.
  • In two games against the Thunder last season, Oladipo put down a triple-double (21-13-10), followed by a 37-point explosion.
  • Sabonis made a name for himself at Gonzaga; in two years he started 32 of 74 games and averaged 13.5 points a game.

In terms of dollars, Oladipo and İlyasova combined make somewhat more than what Ibaka is scheduled to make next year. In the case of İlyasova, he’s guaranteed only $400k unless he makes the Thunder roster by the first of July; Oklahoman beat writer Anthony Slater says that he will, and will be paid $8.4 million. Oladipo is a near-bargain at $6,552,960. Serge will earn $12,250,000 next year. And if Sabonis is signed to a rookie contract immediately, he’ll be paid $2,033,500, give or take 20 percent, as is the rule for rookies.

Oh, and the Nuggets sold the #56 pick to the Thunder, point guard Daniel Hamilton from UConn, who will probably spend Year One in the D-League.

Still, nobody does out-of-the-blue trades like Presti, which inspired Royce Young thusly:

Now that’s brass — or something stronger still.

What do I think? Right now, I just want to make sure that I spell “İlyasova” correctly. (That’s a dotted I; Turkish also has an undotted I.)

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Shipping it

This little five-minute soap fragment turned out to be better than I thought it would be:

Royal Crush comes to you from AwesomenessTV and Royal Caribbean; it’s here mostly — okay, entirely — because Rebecca Black plays Paige. New episodes come out on Monday; there will be six in all.

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A hedgerow with fewer bustles

Led Zeppelin, in this particular instance anyway, are Not Plagiarists:

Led Zeppelin have won a copyright lawsuit that claimed they had plagiarized the music to their most celebrated song, “Stairway to Heaven.” A Los Angeles jury determined Thursday that the lawyer representing the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe, who played with the group Spirit, did not prove that the hard rockers lifted the song’s intro from Spirit’s 1968 instrumental “Taurus.”

The band was, if not gleeful, certainly relieved:

“We are grateful for the jury’s conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years,” members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant said in a statement. “We appreciate our fans’ support and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us.”

Jake Holmes, who’d sued Zeppelin over “Dazed and Confused” in 2010, eventually reached a settlement with the band.

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They won’t care if the coffee sucks

Sometimes you just shake your head and wonder “What’s next?”

A firm in Geneva plans to open a café where customers can enjoy oral sex while they sip their morning coffee. Not everyone is happy with the idea.

The idea for the sex café has been brewing for several months, Bradley Charvet of the Geneva firm Facegirl told Geneva’s Le Matin newspaper recently.

Modelled on similar establishments in Thailand, the proposed Geneva café would add a new dimension to the sex trade in the city of the Protestant reformer Calvin.

Put simply, the business model would see men ordering a coffee and using an iPad to select a prostitute they want to perform oral sex on them. They would then sit at the bar.

“In five or ten minutes, it’s all over,” Charvet explained to Le Matin.


[insert “Bangkok” joke here]

Base price is 60 Swiss francs (about €55). Charvet’s probably right about that time frame, so there should be a steady, um, stream of customers.

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