Downsize matters

This little blurb has shown up in sub-meme (so far) quantities:

No More Lies -- attempts to explain overseas movement of jobs

Just a note: if you have a 401(k), you’re a stockholder, Chuckie.

But this is as good a response as one can reasonably expect:

[T]hat third world guy would be MUCH better off doing seasonal work in a rice paddy somewhere exposed to malaria-ridden mosquitoes and foot fungus trying to scratch out a basic living for his family and maybe afford a used 1970’s transistor radio. Because YOU deserve a higher wage.

Provide more value to the world than you are paid, and the work will come to you. That is how wealth is generated, making the pie bigger for everyone.

Of course, the numbskulls who think all things bright and beautiful come from government will resent the heck out of this, especially when they’re replaced by third-world guys — or by machines assembled by third-world guys.

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Deform follows dysfunction

Or maybe it’s the other way around. A year or so ago, I tossed up some nonsense which was intended to verify that yes, the new Ford F-150 pickup has an aluminum body atop its steel frame, and down in the comments I noted:

In terms of automotive bodywork, steel is decidedly cheaper, if only because it’s easier to form — and, as the body shop will tell you, easier to repair.

You can work an F-150 up to about sixty grand if you try, a sum that will almost buy you the lowest-end Tesla Model S. How much does it cost to fix those little beauties? Let’s just say a helluva lot:

“Cost of repair crazy high” is how one Model S owner puts it in a thread on the Tesla Motor Club online owners forum.

He describes a minor front-end collision, from which he was able to drive away, that cost him $20,327 to repair.

Visible damage was limited to the front left fender, lights, and the corner of the hood. But the bill listed 92 hours of labor and almost $8,000 in parts, including a single self-piercing rivet billed at $35.

That $35 is about what you’d pay for a Tylenol at County Hospital.

Twenty thousand bucks will just about buy me a knee replacement, from which I won’t be able to walk away for some time.

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And the singer sang her song

Nu metal, perhaps?

Earth and the stillness broken by reply
Through the night tide I lie down in the sky
Beyond the waves wipe out the joyous light
And dancing in the power of the night
Want things to go before it is too late
Night tide I lie here in this world of hate
Away like the mist of the desolate
I’ll show you all the world is full of hate

Not the beginning or the end: that section came out of the middle. And I can see someone screaming this into a microphone, maybe, though whether I want to hear someone screaming this into a microphone is another matter entirely.

Anyway, the poet apparently did not intend this to be a song:

We’ve seen (and heard) worse, believe me.

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Seemingly made for each other

I remembered this passage by Cynthia Heimel yesterday, describing a female archetype she calls the Little Girl:

Pink is her wardrobe’s middle name. Too much pink, in fact, is not enough. She is inordinately fond of pinafores and puffy sleeves, and has several pairs of anklets, many of them embroidered with teensy, darling little cornflowers.

And on (and on) from there, until:

What the Little Girl is projecting is that she’s still in the sandbox and therefore not responsible for anything. She spends most of her time looking for someone to take care of her, and although she can usually change a fuse faster than any truck driver, she’s quick to disguise that knowledge.

Doesn’t sound like anyone I know. But she needn’t go unloved:

Her ardent admirer is the Little Boy. He’ll realize that at last he’s found his dream girl. They’ll go to the zoo and cry over the baby polar bear. They’ll write the New Wave version of Peter Pan. They’ll play hopscotch. As a couple, no one will be able to stand them.

I played a pretty mean game of hopscotch in my day, but a Little Boy I’m not.

Heimel wrote that — it’s in her book Sex Tips for Girls — around 30 years ago. Not quite 30 hours ago, this item appeared in my tweetstream (tweets are protected, so no ID):

Grown women who wear Hello Kitty should not be surprised if the men who pursue them still live at home & sleep on Spiderman sheets.

So little we’ve changed.

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Poor me

Google deals me a solid:

Screenshot of Google preview

Oh, well. At least I have a job. (Of course, your mileage may vary, since Google tends to adjust these things from time to time and from user to user.) I assure you, I wasn’t looking for something particularly morose when I started.

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Warmth vs. intercoolers

This guy thinks he has a dilemma:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: If I have to buy a sports or super car like Maseratis, Porsches, Ferraris or Lamborghinis, should I sacrifice dating/marriage?

He goes on:

I’ve always wanted a nice european car and its been my dream for quite a while. I was told the car is financially cheaper than the woman. So if I wanted a nice super car like a Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale, Porsche 911 Turbo S or a Audi R8 5.2 V10, maybe even a Lexus LFA. Should I sacrifice on women and children, get a good education and save as much as possible for 15 years before buying my dream car?

Not to worry. The process is automatic: once a woman finds out you’re more interested in a car than in her, she will scorch the pavement for a quarter-mile just to get away from you.

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My share of the debacle

In December, CFI Care [not its real initials] made a presentation at the office, presumably to sell everyone on the benefits of the new government-approved health-insurance policy being sold us. I missed it, as I was already ill, though it was whispered to me that the old $3000 deductible was being replaced with a new $5000 deductible. I suggested that this was scarcely an improvement, and got a half-hearted shrug in return, a shrug that said “Yes, yes, we know, but what can we do about it now?”

Back in the days before bronze and silver and gold, when they were talking about Cadillac policies, what we had was basically a five-year-old Pontiac with a leaky valve-cover gasket. The office picks up my premium expense. However, I estimate my additional out-of-pocket expense, based solely on the new copay specifications, at $800. God forbid something should actually happen to me in this ’96 Hyundai with bad brakes.

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Strange search-engine queries (468)

During the past week, nearly a thousand people visited this site who weren’t among the regular readers: they were Looking For Something. Sometimes the Something for which they’re Looking demands some kind of response, if only a wisecrack. The solution? You’re soaking in it.

nanoskirt femtoskirt:  For those of you who thought microskirts and miniskirts were insufficiently revealing.

hershey cadbury lawsuit 2015:  This is about those damn creme eggs, isn’t it?

latest sunrise ever:  It’s the one that never comes, because the sun has finally burned itself out.

check engine light off won’t come on on02 mazda 626:  Do you have any idea how many people would be freaking grateful for such an occurrence?

found female cat on N.w Sheridan Ave Okc:  Good for you. Now try putting this on Twitter, where it’s more likely to be read before the poor cat suffers further.

scrotum flapping around:  I suggest you throw something over it before it gets used as a cat toy.

inverse of gentrification:  Those of us who have lived there called ‘em “the projects.”

626 y5 gearbox changing in hold only:  Pretty much all powertrain questions boil down to this: “What can I do that won’t cost me anything?” The answer, almost always, is Nothing.

Is Cerulean Studios profitable:  They’re not making a dime off me, anyway.

www.at what mileage should injectors for mazda cronos be changed:  One mile before they fail.

all cats are grey in the dark example ayuda:  First thing you need to do is turn out all the lights.

they expected the ocean something big something colossal but they were served instead with some agitated water in a saucer:  This is basically the first semester of Advertising and Marketing 101.

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Even crap costs more

Found in the Meh forum:

In a shocking turn of events, the quintessential Woot thing where you get three craps and a bag for a dollar per crap (plus five dollars shipping) has changed once again. Now, instead of paying $3 (plus five dollars shipping plus tax in most states), you will be paying $5 (plus five dollars shipping plus even more tax in most states).

Then again, it’s not like anyone was ever ordering one or two craps at $1 apiece, and Woot used to inveigh against that nonexistent practice before defaulting everyone to three craps for $3 (plus five dollars shipping).

Says the forum correspondent:

The salient bit for me is: “Which is all highfalutin preamble to saying that we’re raising the price of the Bag Of Crap by $2 and not improving the quality whatsoever.

This is the official Woot announcement.

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Fizzling spells

If there was one thing more remarkable than the Thunder’s 37-point first quarter, including a 13-0 opening run, on the road at Orlando, it was the 42-point second quarter; were it not for the team’s genuinely lousy foul shooting — 10-17 for 59 percent in that half, versus 73 percent from the floor — one might have thought that this thing was in the bag. And then the Magic opened the second half with three consecutive treys, exposing some of the defensive rot yet to be pruned away.

Still, in the third quarter Orlando managed to slice the Thunder’s 34-point halftime lead only by seven, so the Foregone Conclusion button was pushed, neither Kevin Durant (21 points, 11 rebounds, one technical) nor Russell Westbrook (17 points, one industrial-strength dunk, one technical) came out for the fourth, and OKC emptied the bench with 6:11 left. The final: Oklahoma City 127, Orlando 99, and the Thunder is back at .500. Unfortunately, so is New Orleans: the Pelicans edged the Raptors, 95-93.

With all 12 players getting minutes, seven Thundermen scored in double figures, including the bookends of the bench, Dion Waiters (17) and Reggie Jackson (13). Andre Roberson rolled up 10 points for the second time ever. Serge Ibaka knocked down 16. Even Kendrick Perkins bagged 11 points (!), on 5-7 (!!) shooting. That 73-percent shooting percentage early on did drop, but only to 58; OKC enjoyed a startling 54-33 advantage on the boards.

Despite all that, the game-high man was Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, with 23 points. Elfrid Payton, beside him in the Magic backcourt, added 19. The woeful Magic shooting percentage in the first half became less so in the second, rising to just under 40. Both sides hit around 35 percent from beyond the circle. And interestingly, both sides had two players with five fouls: Payton and Nikola Vučević for the Magic, Steven Adams and Nick Collison for the Thunder.

The next week will be unnerving, against four Eastern foes, all of them for the moment playoff-bound: Miami (Tuesday), Washington (Wednesday), Atlanta (Friday) and Cleveland (Sunday). It’s going to take some seriously high-energy balling to get through this bunch.

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Nix on that idea

Spike Lee, Knicks fan par excellence, is not a man to mince words:

During a recent interview, Yahoo’s Jordan Zakarin asked Lee why he didn’t attend the Knicks’ game against the Milwaukee Bucks in London. His response was priceless.

“We’ve lost 16 motherf—–g games in a row. 26 out of 27,” he said. “And I’m gonna get on a plane for that?! I can take a cab to see them lose!”

(Via HoopsHype. Dashes in the original, handled weirdly by WordPress.)

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Tweet unto others

And they will tweet unto you God knows what. I, for one, shrug.

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You’re hearing this

The Tulsa Sound, says Wikipedia, is “a musical style that originated in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was a mix of rockabilly, country, rock ‘n’ roll, and blues sounds of the late 1950s and early 1960s.”

What's This I Hear cover artThere are occasional references to the Tulsa Sound in state publications, but this is the first compilation of recordings I’ve seen pop up. The prospectus:

From this vantage point, some 60 years later, and with so much water under the bridge, it’s hard to imagine just how much of a shockwave the emergence of Elvis Presley shot through the youth of America. This was no less true for the collection of young wannabe musicians who called Tulsa, Oklahoma, their home in the period of time the “Tupelo Tornado” twisted his way across the USA, leaving a trail of devastation and inspiration in his wake.

The “Tulsa Sound” would become one of the most influential strands of American Rock music in the 1970s, and beyond, and on this collection we take a detailed look at the early years of the artists that would go on to put Tulsa on the musical atlas. Featuring highlights from Tulsa pioneers like Clyde Stacy and David Gates, who would find fame as the lead-singer and chief songwriter for the massively popular Bread, this release also includes, for the first time, all 8 of the songs that the great JJ Cale recorded in his formative years in his hometown, before heading out to LA with other Tulsa friends, in search of glory.

Cale was recording as “Johnny Cale” in those days; by the time he’d signed to Liberty in the middle 1960s, he’d become JJ. (Birth name: John Weldon Cale.)

What’s This I Hear?, named for a pre-Bread song by David Gates, is due out from England’s Cherry Red label in February.

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Just don’t say the name

While various allegedly American institutions attempt to chip away at the First Amendment — you know who you are — here’s how things go in a place where such concepts never existed:

Prosecutors seek up to five years of imprisonment for Turkish journalist and anchorwoman Sedef Kabaş for her tweet in which she called on citizens not to forget the name of the judge who dropped the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption probe that involved high-profile names and former Cabinet members.

An indictment has been prepared by the prosecutors on charges of “targeting people involved in the fight against terrorism and making threats,” which is punishable with jail time from one-and-a-half years to five years.

What is it exactly that Kabaş said?

“Do not forget the name of the judge who decided not to pursue the proceedings in the Dec. 17 probe,” Kabaş tweeted. She was referring to a massive graft probe which was officially dropped on Dec. 16 when the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office rejected an objection to its decision to not pursue proceedings in the case.

Seditious, isn’t it? In the meantime, you might not want to tweet anything about Ekrem Aydıner.

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Zooeypalooza 22!

Zooey Deschanel has twice as much to celebrate these days: not only is it her birthday (she’s 35), but the oven now contains an actual bun, for which we offer best wishes to Mom and to dad Jacob Pechenik. All this, of course, prompted an all-too-rare Zooeypalooza.

Zooeypalooza 22!

Clickage yields embiggenment.

Prior Paloozas: ZP 1, ZP 2, ZP 3, ZP 4, ZP 5, ZP 6, ZP 7, ZP 8, ZP 9, ZP 10, ZP 11, ZP 12, ZP 13, ZP 14, ZP 15, ZP 16, ZP 17, ZP 18, ZP 19, ZP 20, ZP 21.

Update, 21 January: Zooey and Jacob are engaged. And high time, too, doncha think?

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Recipient has no game

Received last night: a reasonably careful replica of an actual iTunes Store invoice. Since I hadn’t bought anything from the iTunes Store in the last week or so, I knew this was a fake. And this is what I’m supposed to have bought:

Space Qube

About this game:

Space Qube is a voxel based retro style shooting game which also allows the players to create everything they can image in the game using voxel.

There’s a lot to be said for retro shooters. And this was said:

SpaceQube will be free on iTunes store soon. Then it will be ported to Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and maybe Android.

In the meantime, it’s $2.99, which is nowhere near the £38.59 asked by the forgers of the invoice.

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