Sweetening your life

This sandal showed up in my tweetstream:

DV by Dolce Vita Baina

Dolce Vita’s DV line used to feature “Baina” here, but it’s pretty much out of stock at your major retailers. (I checked Nordstrom Rack, where it was marked down from $79 to $50, or $36 in a nude-ish shade.) A one-inch platform doesn’t offset a 4.5-inch heel, and there’s a zipper up the back you can’t really see at this angle.

I noticed this shoe, though, because John Salmon remarked that Sandra Bullock could rock them. I looked through a few Sandra Bullock pictures, and didn’t find any instances of her wearing this particular shoe, but I’m not about to disagree.


Spoofer fail

I blew off the call from 405-511-2897, because scumbags, but this is both scummier and stupider than I’d anticipated:

Caller ID said XXXXXXXXXX OK. I never answer unidentified calls. Rang 3 times and then stopped. Funny thing is the same thing happened yesterday except it was XXXXXXXXXX GA from phone no. 404-511-2897. So I guess they can make it look like the call is from any state?

If you happen to be Googling this number, you may be absolutely certain that they’re Up to No Good and you have no reason at all to talk to them.

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Country for young women

This looks like a pretty interesting show:

Have you ever wondered the story behind “Live Like You Were Dying” for Tim McGraw? Did you know that the songwriter of “Friends in Low Places” actually traded his ownership of that song to pay off a hefty beer tab at a local bar in Nashville before it became a worldwide hit for Garth Brooks?

Introducing, “Nashville Unplugged: The Story behind the Song”, a songwriter in the round show that brings the most successful hit songwriters from Nashville right to you. The intimacy of this all acoustic, impromptu show makes for a highly interactive connection between the songwriters and the audience. No show is ever the same because there is no script or band; just some truth-telling troubadours with guitars in their hands, telling the stories behind some of the world’s greatest songs that they happen to have written.

Thursday in Pasadena. And I never would have guessed the opening act:

Then again, RB is working hard to hone her songwriting chops, so why not?

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Watch ’em putt

This is the location:

Our facility boasts four full 18 hole miniature golf courses, a 7000 square foot video game arcade, a full pizzeria and restaurant, go-karts, batting cages, and now, a full-time event staff ready to make your special event at Cool Crest a truly wonderful experience!

Hey, I know these kids:

Laney, Jackson and Gunner at Cool Crest in Independence, Missouri

And you’ll note they’re not at the “7000 square foot video game arcade.”

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As inevitable as the holidays themselves

Due out this fall:

She and Him Christmas Party

And hey, it’s been five years since Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward put out a Christmas album. (Come to think of it, they’ve had only one non-Christmas album since then.)

Track 12, it says, is “Christmas Don’t Be Late.” Really? Zooey? Zooey? ZOOEY!

[awaiting response]

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No lesser evils here

You may not need this little cheat sheet, but just in case:

And thank you, Crawling Chaos.

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Checking in

Today was, apparently, the last follow-up by the surgical team following my back surgery in early July. I grumbled a bit, mostly because the robovoice calling me to remind me a couple of days ago made a point of telling me to bring a whole bunch of documentation that I knew damned well they already had. The receptionist said, yes, they did have it, but we do need you to fill out a third of a page on Current Conditions.

The doctor himself says that I probably have another month’s worth of work restrictions before they’ll be officially lifted. He did, however, seem impressed with spot-strength displays. (One such test: you raise the front of the foot, he forces it upward, and then you’re supposed to push it back to the floor. I may have scraped the guy’s knuckles.) Anyway, unless something dreadfully terrible happens fairly quickly, this book is now closed.

Downside: it was raining when I left the office, and I had to contort myself rather horribly to get into my car, something I don’t do well anyway, even when it’s dry. My right knee now hurts like a sonofabitch.

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Your 2016 State Questions

I can stand two of them, maybe. The other five, I want nothing to do with.

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It seems all too reasonable

Cristina asks herself: “Why, 6 years later, am I still blogging about shoes?”

[T]he simple answer is: even though I’ve deviated from the daily stiletto-wearing lifestyle and have zero time (or energy) for schmoozing at media events, I do love blogging and am still very much in love with shoes.

There are, I understand, women who wear stilettos every day, though I don’t know any.

Although, working at my desk all day, I usually remain shoe-less. No, the irony isn’t lost on me.

I admit to wondering on occasion if brand-name fashion bloggers like Chiara Ferragni or Wendy Nguyen ever sit around in a T-shirt and jeans.



There was literally nothing in minor-league hockey anything like the old Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League:

The last incarnation of the Blazers came into being in 1992 with the revival of the CHL. They were one of the most successful minor league hockey franchises of all time, averaging 9,128 fans a game over 17 seasons. The franchise led the CHL in attendance in each of its 17 seasons in the league; and all of North American minor pro hockey on five occasions. On ice, the Blazers excelled as well, winning an unprecedented nine regular season division championships (including seven straight, 1996–2003), five regular-season points titles and CHL championships in 1996 and 2001. The franchise’s two great stars, Joe Burton and Hardy Sauter, are the CHL’s first and third all-time career leading scorers, and Burton is the fourth leading goal scorer in minor league hockey history.

The CHL folded in 2014; the Blazers had departed five years earlier, on the pretext of not being able to negotiate a lease with the city. As it turned out, the ownership had bigger fish to fry: in 2010, a dormant American Hockey League franchise was awakened from the dead and moved out of deepest Canuckistan into Bricktown, and given the name “Oklahoma City Barons.” Lead-pipe cinch, right? Wrong: while the Barons played well most of the time, winning 202 of 384 games, their attendance was among the worst in the AHL, and in 2015 the team relocated to, um, Bakersfield, California, where they didn’t play as well but drew substantially (about 30 percent) more spectators.

And that would seem to be that, except that a local sports guy (NBC station) came up with this last night:

What do we want? “The Blazers!” When do we want them? “Next season!”

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Pop, pop, pop music

New York, London, Paris, Munich … Pyongyang?

South Korea is set to blare pop music across its border with North Korea as part of its latest attempt to breed discontent in Kim Jong-un’s hermit kingdom.

The bizarre tactic has been proposed in response to yet another nuclear test by the aggressive maverick state, which has put the world on red alert.

Korea pop music, nicknamed K-Pop, will be played from huge speakers positioned near the border, with officials claiming the catchy tunes will be audible from a distance of 20 miles.

South Korean and international news reports will also be broadcast across the border.

Billboard abandoned its K-pop Hot 100 in 2014. This was the last Number One:

How would the DPRK deal with that?

(Via Fark.)

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But still dismal

The Z Man has his doubts about economics:

Economics, as I’m fond of saying, is the modern equivalent of astrology. Before a battle, Cyrus II of Persia would bring in his astrologers to advice him on the time and place to attack his enemy. The astrologers would figure out what he wanted to hear, consult their maps and then tell him what he wanted to hear. Cyrus was a badass dude who was rarely wrong, so it was a wise course by the astrologers to tell the boss what he already knew. When he won, they got some credit and they avoided contradicting the boss.

This old story about the eminent astrologer economist Joseph Stiglitz praising the economic polices of Venezuela ten years ago is a good example. Stiglitz was telling his hosts what they wanted to hear because they were paying him to endorse their brand of lunacy. Of course, Venezuela is now headed to total collapse because their economy has ground to a halt. In an age when Mexico’s poor people are obese, Venezuela has managed to have a food shortage. Maybe the rulers should not have listened to Joseph Stiglitz.

Rulers will listen to anyone who will say the things they want to hear. God knows our political class, if possible even worse than Venezuela’s, is desperate to dissemble, and as a result all manner of soothsayers are kept on retainer.

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Reach to exceed grasp

This spiffy little device from Ettore is called “Grip ‘n Grab”:

Grip 'n Grab Amazon photo

The physical-therapy folks hinted that they’d be ordering one for me, but I figured it wasn’t going to happen, until yesterday when one of them (the 32-inch version) showed up on my porch in an Amazon box.

It wasn’t from the therapists, though. It was an anonymous gift, with a brief paragraph from the unknown sender, including this:

This gift symbolizes what I would like to do: give you a hand in this difficult time.

I think I know who sent it, but I’m not going to nose around. And I’ve already paid this forward on behalf of an underemployed Twitter friend.

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Connecting Rodham

Let us, for the moment, entertain the idea that there is no Hillary Clinton:

I mean, we all know about Bill’s sexual proclivities. Why would he marry that? It’s much more likely that “Bill’s wife Hillary” has been played by a succession of B-list actresses. Actors, after all, must master the art of lying for money. Not to mention all the accents “Hillary” has tried to fake …

Of course, those actresses had to be carefully selected. Each one had to be a near-perfect fit to the prescribed pattern. Each one had to appear the right age under the klieg lights. Each one had to possess the ability to feign all the necessary emotions — and, of course, the erudition expected of a lawyer. And it was absolutely vital that none of these actresses become emotionally attached to “her husband.” That would have been disastrous.

It wouldn’t have taken much for the Governor of Arkansas, arguably the most inept, most corrupt government in the United States, to arrange for the required deceptions and concealments.

There is, of course, an alternative theory:

Why hasn’t anyone else deduced the implausibility of a real Hillary Rodham Clinton? Why is all the heavy lifting left to me? She’s an android, Gentle Reader. A certified golem! Body by Fisher, training by Stanislavski, scripts from whatever part of Hollywood produces B-movies and slasher flicks!

I suspect the Clinton machine, so to speak, has had difficulty obtaining replacement parts of late.

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PR fail

Fashion blogger ML at Twenty York Street is dealing with a tone-deaf public-relations pitch:

You said: “Have you heard, we’ve opened! This fabulous property marks the brand’s entrance into Canada and this global chain’s first-ever location in Ottawa! Nestled in the heart of ByWard Market, which puts you right in my hood btw (you would know this if you’ve googled me a bit or just take a look at one of my social media accounts. Your property’s spectacular view of Ottawa’s skyline is the same damn view you can see from our balcony. Neighbours!), this incredible property aims to honour the very best of Canadian culture including the best products made in Canada.

So far, so good.

I kept reading … Helmed by some Executive Chef, the hotel’s signature restaurant will serve up New Canadian cuisine inspired by an ingredient-driven menu of local, organic and sustainable (not to mention delicious) items. To celebrate the arrival of Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, I thought this signature cocktail recipe with you.

This is lovely, I get to come by and try this signature cocktail!

Made with gold and pearls and all premium ingredients from the finest places in the country, this signature drink embodies everything that makes Canada great.

Oh boy, now I really can’t wait!

Then you said: if you’d like to try this super marvelous signature drink, I would be happy to provide you with a step-by-step recipe.

Wait, what?

If it’s a signature drink, perhaps they don’t want the recipe all over Ontario.

As I sat there puzzled reading and re-reading your message (again) in case, for the 3rd time, I may have missed something. So, I e-mailed you back, attached my media kit because this seems like a simple oversight. You may have been too busy putting the photoshoot together for this drink that you may have not seen my media kit, therefore, it failed to dazzle you.

NO worries, I don’t mind re-sending it and clarifying the part where we should have outlined the section about this being MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL.

And this point cannot be overemphasized:

Everybody else who puts in the hard work gets paid and based on my extensive experience, bloggers are just as skilled, creative and they work bloody hard, if not harder than everybody else. They spend blood, sweat and tears and I mean that both literally and figuratively and sometimes, their life’s calling and savings into their blogging business.

These are not silly side projects or passion blogs, these are legitimate businesses and therefore, should be afforded the compensation and respect they deserve.

And no, payments cannot be in the form of cupcakes, face cream, a bar of chocolate or, as revolutionary as it may sound, step-by-step recipe! Taking advantage of bloggers and influencers are such a no-no. It’s 2016 for goodness sakes.

At the very least, they ought to buy her a drink. And if I ever meet up with her in beautiful downtown Canada, I will. Maybe we can try some of that New Canadian cuisine.

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Death Star etiquette

As always, corporate correspondence is just a hair off kilter:

AT&T Let's Stay In Touch

This would not have been at all objectionable were it not for the subject line: “CHARLES: Action required.”

Um, I pay you guys several hundred dollars a year. You don’t get to require any action from me other than sending the check.

(And by the way, the current email address has been current since, oh, 1999.)

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