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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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