One of those weeks

Pitcher Matt Boyd was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2013, and was assigned to the Class A Lansing Lugnuts. (I mention this because I just wanted to say “Lansing Lugnuts.”) He toiled in the minors for a season and a half, rising to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats (nearly as much fun as “Lansing Lugnuts”) and, last month, the Triple-A Buffalo Bison. (The Department of Redundancy Department says hello.) And then he was called up to The Show.

He lost his first start, against Texas: before being pulled in the seventh inning, he gave up four runs, but he struck out seven, tying the Jays record for strikeouts in a debut. Things got worse after that:

Blue Jays left-hander Matt Boyd failed to record an out in his start [Thursday] against the Red Sox.

Boyd allowed seven straight batters to reach base before being pulled. He walked one and gave up six hits in the frame, including back-to-back home runs from David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. Liam Hendriks allowed two inherited runners to score after Blue Jays manager John Gibbons brought the hook, so Boyd ended up being charged with seven runs.

Boyd’s ERA, which was 5.40, is now 14.85.

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Thank heaven for artificial flavor

I don’t think natural flavors would enhance this concoction in the least:

And are there crumbs? A proper funnel cake leaves bits and pieces of itself behind, usually on one’s shirt.

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Quote of the week

We have Dueling Quotes this week. The topic is Moral Relativism, and Brian J. is here to tell you all about it:

Back when I was a young man majoring in English and philosophy at the university 1990-1994, I took sport in asking my compatriots in the English department to ask three morals. Not any morals, not even morals that the interrogated actually followed. Just three morals. The question tripped up most of them as they were enlightened in the ways of relativism and would not identify morals at all under threat of possibly being considered a prude somewhere. Now, friends, this is a Catholic (!) university, and the Christian faith has ten prominent morals specified in Exodus and hundreds in other bits of the Pentateuch. Most people could spell out at least three of the Ten Commandments even if they didn’t adhere to them or think they could. But oh so many of those adults would not or could not.

That was then. This is now, says Tam:

I grew up with Southern Baptist preachers warning me of the dangers of moral relativism, but the problem with modern Progressivism is its absolute lack of anything even like moral relativism. Bad things are bad, and there are no degrees of badness, except maybe a +5 badness modifier if the bad thing in question was done by a white dude, with an additional +3 if he spoke English.

It’s an odd moral calculus, where Victim Blaming is as bad as Victim Stoning. If you try going Godwin, they hasten to point out that the US had concentration camps in WWII, without acknowledging that there’s a pretty substantial difference of degree between a concentration camp where one leaves via the front gate versus one where the only exit is via the chimney.

Have things deteriorated that much since the early Nineties? (Answer: Yes.)

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Soke that beak!

Some more inscrutable stuff from the spam trap:

The smoker can choose hhis flavor andd enjoy smoking until thee cartridge runs out of e-liquid. The International Civil Aviation Organization, aan agency oof the United Nations, has issued a similar warning, according to a Jan. E cigarette smokers are able to take soke beaks and return to work without tthe evidence on their shirts.

For no reason I can think of, this was intended for a Rule 5 item about a Turkish actress.

Still, few words go as well with “United Nations” as oof.

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Not so much purple

The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince has made what one might call a Swift move:

Prince has removed his discography from all streaming music services except Tidal. “Prince’s publisher has asked all streaming services to remove his catalog,” reads a note on Prince’s Spotify artist page. “We have cooperated with the request and hope to bring his music back as soon as possible.”

This is nothing new for His Purpleness: last year he had all his tunes pulled from YouTube, and killed his Facebook and Twitter accounts, although he has since resurfaced on Twitter, where he expressed some annoyance with the very concept of streaming music:

This is where he got that quote, and here’s the rest of it:

“…from pennies on the dollar to fractions of pennies on the dollar.”

To borrow a phrase, it’s a sign o’ the times.

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General Lee speaking

As The Dukes of Hazzard vanishes from cable channels, the Friar gets what ought to be the final word:

Both TV Land and Country Music Television (CMT) were airing Dukes, but are no longer. TV Land will replace it with reruns of Bonanza, a series free of racism and noted for its enlightened portrayal of Chinese immigrant cooks.

Oh, and comparatively speaking:

For the record, I enjoy Bonanza much more than Dukes, because the latter is very very dumb and there’s only so much dumb Catherine Bach’s legs can erase.

If you’d like to test that latter assertion:

Catherine Bach suitably attired

Now: do you feel smarter? Even a little?

One more try:

Catherine Bach suitably attired

Brilliance surely is within your grasp.

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Take that, ya little turdblossom

Some weird goings-on in Wayne, New Jersey:

A township teacher who lost her tenured position and whose teaching license was suspended after she made fun of a curse word in a student’s name has lost her appeal.

Yvette Nichols had appealed an October decision [pdf] by the state licensing agency for teachers — the Board of Examiners — suspending her teaching certificate for a year for posting a screenshot on Facebook of an assignment a student had completed, which instructed students to “practice writing my name the kindergarten way.” Nichols’ Facebook post, however, focused on the curse word in the student’s name.

What is this story missing? Right:

The decision does not specify what the student’s name was, or what curse word it contained.

Theoretically, I suppose, the child could have been named for a marginally famous river, like the Washita.

(Via Strong Language.)

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Utility zero

Perhaps the single most useless site on the entire Web is now live, for limited values of “live”:

The Internet is supposed to be the world’s most inclusive medium: A miraculous tech utopia anyone can access. Which is why Justin Foley thought it might be funny to make a Web site that was, well — exactly the opposite.

Foley is the man behind, a site that — true to its name — only one person can visit at a time. You access the site by requesting a “ticket” for your 60-second window and then waiting in line; as of Tuesday night, there were only 40,204 other people you needed to get behind.

Of course, if you close your browser tab, you lose your place, so the line moves more quickly than you might think.

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Eighteen and I don’t know what I want

I know what I wanted at 18: a place of my own. Didn’t work out quite that way, but hey, I’m just this guy, you know?


His comment: “i look pretty dumb in this pic!”

Oh, and someone noticed the door under the stairs, and asked if Harry Potter might be behind it.

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The antithesis of progress

Oh, yeah, it saves space. Big deal:

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sealed Air, the maker of bubble wrap, has announced a new “flat” version of its product. This version, to the lament of many on social media, will not pop.

Sealed Air states that shipping pre-inflated rolls of bubble wrap takes up too much space in trucks and on warehouse floors. The new version is sold in flat sheets and will be filled on demand with a custom pump. Shipping it in this manner will use about 1/50 as much space as before.

Rather than individual bubbles, the new wrap contains a single chamber of air which holds little promise to entertain like the original wrapping has done for decades.

This puts an end to at least some of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s freaky time.

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Dot nothing

There is now a waiting list for IPv4 addresses in this part of the world:

Noting an important development for the Internet community, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), a nonprofit association that manages the distribution of Internet number resources within its region, announced today that it has activated its Unmet Request Policy with the approval of an address request that was larger than the available inventory in the regional IPv4 free pool.

Activation of this policy is another sign of the impending depletion of unassigned IPv4 resources in the ARIN region, reminding businesses of the need to deploy the next generation Internet Protocol, IPv6, and usher in the next stage of the Internet’s evolution. Qualifying organizations now have the choice of accepting the next largest available block of IPv4 addresses or being placed on the Waiting List for Unmet IPv4 Requests.

If anyone cares, we’ve had an IPv6 address here for a couple of years:


Or so I’m told. I’ve never actually tried it, being generally a generation and a half behind on most technical matters.

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We trike harder

Yours truly, a few months back:

The Elio Motors three-wheeler, to borrow an old phrase, is the car of the future, and it always will be. I mentioned the little ultra-econobox last year, and quoted its ship date as “next spring.” It’s not going to happen in the next eighty days, guys.

That said, the unicorn has been sighted and even photographed:

Occasionally the Elio team travels around the country showing off the Elio. Last week I was finally able to see one in person and actually sit inside.

There’s a decent amount of room inside for humans. For baggage, not so much:

The trunk’s measurements are 27″x14″x10″. For comparison, American Airlines allows 22″x14″9″ for carry on bags. Essentially you’ll have enough room back there for one carry on bag and a couple of sandwiches or something.

None of that Dagwood stuff, though.

Still, hope springs eternal:

Currently I am holding a reservation spot with a $100 down payment, but based on what I saw I am thinking about upgrading to the maximum $1,000 spot. My only trepidation at the moment is that the car was originally slated for a 2014 release date and it has already been pushed back 2½ years to mid-2016 … and with where I would end up in line I most likely wouldn’t see mine until 2017, if the car ships at all. $100 isn’t much to hold a spot for a car that might eventually see the market, but $1,000 is a serious investment.

The incentive on non-refundable reservations: half again as much gets applied to the purchase price. So he’ll get $150 off when they ship. (For now, MSRP is a stunningly modest $6,800.)

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We asked you not to

So you settle down to use the Wi-Fi at the International House of Pancakes, when this happens:

Wi-Fi connections near IHOP

Maybe they should have said “Please”?

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Yeah, good luck with that

One of the candidates for House District 85 is sending out this flyer:

The seat was last won by David Dank, who campaigned to keep it in the family after wife Odilia ran up against term limits. (Mrs. Dank died in 2013; Mr. Dank died this past April.) A special election will be held this fall; four Republicans, including Mr. Jackson, will meet in a primary in July. (Only one Democrat, Cyndi Munson, filed for the seat.) District 85 is generally just north of me.

As for Senator Holt’s observation — aren’t we about to do Civil War II anyway?

(On the nullification idea itself, see Cooper v. Aaron.)

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On the Coming Attractions list

“Messages” is an indie rock band from Austin, a city of 900,000 people with at least 9,000 indie rock bands. Their PR people sent me a tour list: the band is coming to Norman on the 23rd of July. I duly dialed up their Web site, and found this cheerful little number:

Attached to the video, a smidgen of band history:

Messages, formerly known as Mighty Mountain, is an indie rock band from Austin, Texas. Complete with vivid harmonies, anthemic choruses, and ferocious energy, this 6 piece powerhouse has made a name for itself in the Austin music scene. Their powerful performances have landed them spots on bills with the likes of Erykah Badu, Of Montreal, Grouplove, and Spandau Ballet.

Now that’s an eclectic bunch. And I liked the song enough to buy it, which never hurts.

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Holding Serve

American Express is phasing out its old prepaid card in favor of something called Serve, and I decided I’d give the new product a test drive.

Serve from American ExpressThe most obvious difference is capacity: the old prepaid card was limited to $2,250. You can stash a million, or more, on Serve. (Not that I’d have a million, but you get the idea.) All the usual Amex bennies are in play, including product insurance. And at a buck a month, it’s cheaper than any other plastic offered by Amex.

The transaction listings might perplex the newcomer. I plugged a Serve card into the iTunes Store to cover future purchases. As is Apple’s wont, and as I expected, they requested an authorization for $1 to make sure the card was good. As I didn’t expect, this dollar stayed on the listings for eight days before being allowed to expire. This is in accordance with the card’s terms, but it seems a trifle excessive.

Saturday I swiped it to get a tankful of V-Power Nitro+. Amex responded with a $99 hold. (I was expecting maybe $75.) This was reduced Monday to the amount actually purchased: $36.10. Of course, they have no idea how big my gas tank is. But I wonder how much they’re going to hold for, say, a two-night hotel stay.

Then again, this is more information than I’m used to getting from credit cards, or even my Visa Check Card. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, since things do get ironed out on schedule.

Ads displaying Amexes (Amices?) of old bore the name C. F. Frost, who, incidentally, actually existed:

Charles Frost — or Chuck, as we like to call him —-is a real person. He was an account executive for the advertising firm of Ogilvy & Mather, which put together the original “Do you know me?” ads for American Express. Ogilvy and Amex thought it would be convenient to use Frost’s name on the sample ads rather than some phony moniker, which would probably turn out to be the real name of some joker in Pocatello who would sue for privacy infringement. Luckily for Chuck, the number on the credit card was not his real American Express card number.

Dear Ann Baker: Call me.

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