A memory left behind

Women of a certain age may relate to this:

I remember with the few friends I did have — who were kids from families that were frugal like mine — whispering furtively “lard-ass jeans” about the Jordache jeans (I think that may have been a joke on SNL?). Whispering furtively because “ass” was a bad bad bad word and we could have got in SO MUCH TROUBLE had a teacher overheard. Heh.

Actually, it went far beyond “joke on SNL”:

In 1984, Jordache Enterprises, Inc. was the designer jeans behemoth of its day, grossing about $400 million annually. Jordache had just launched a $30 million ad campaign to keep up the momentum.

That same year, two Albuquerque women, Susan Duran and Marsha Stafford, started a home-based company to market a brand of designer jeans for plus-sized women.

The two ladies were passionate about their new venture. Duran, 35 (5’8″, 190 pounds), and Stafford, 33 (5’7″, 170 pounds), had long wanted to create jeans for the amply-proportioned woman.

They considered a variety of brand names for the new company — Calvin Swine, Vidal Sowsoon, Seambusters, Buffalo Buns, Thunder Thighs. In the end, they chose Lardashe.

Jordache, of course, was not amused:

During the three-day trial, an attorney for Jordache said, “The term Lardashe, which everybody understands to be lard ass, is an offensive, insensitive term to use to apply to overweight women.” He claimed that potential customers might think Lardashe jeans were a Jordache product and could take offense… The District Court in New Mexico held, and an appeals court later affirmed, that no trademark infringement had occurred.

There was, however, one unexpected later development:

Although the ladies won, the legal battle proved to be particularly costly for Stafford. She developed an ulcer and lost 60 pounds, making her too svelte for Lardashe jeans.

She and her partner solved the problem by creating a new line of Lardashe junior sizes.

Eventually, Lardashe was wound down. Jordache survives today, although they’ve diversified into lots of other product lines, and their jeans are no longer considered even slightly iconic.

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This is not your grandma’s Bunny Hop

(Via neo-neocon, who’s actually witnessed one of these events, though not this one specifically.)

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Officiously speaking

I was not fond of OpenOffice 4, and have rolled back to 3.4.1, which had never given me any grief. Will Truman has temporarily thrown in with the LibreOffice partisans. However, he doesn’t share my antipathy for the dominant office suite:

For the most part, I don’t miss Microsoft Office. The problem is … Google.

Google’s Android apps … don’t read ODF files. There is a third-party app that can read them capably, one that can edit them clumsily, and one that can edit documents but not spreadsheets. It’s all harder than with regular MS Office docs, however, where there are multiple apps that can edit them well.

If Google were to offer support within Drive, that would be remarkably convenient. Not just for my phone, where I wouldn’t be doing anything non-major, but for the desktop as well. Their refusal to support ODF files is maddening.

This is almost, but not quite, as weird as Ford’s original SYNC system, developed with Microsoft, which worked better with iPods than it did with Zunes.

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Ninety plus ten?

About the only thing I knew about singer/songwriter Charli XCX, born Charlotte Emma Aitchison 23 years ago, is that she wrote Icona Pop’s weird international hit “I Love It.” (Charli is listed as “featured” on the track, though apparently she joins in only on the one line “I don’t care/I love it,” and she doesn’t appear in the video. And the only reason I know “I Love It” is because I happened upon a note-perfect parody called “I Ship It,” devoted to implausible fanfiction, something I know a little bit about.

Charli has been making music since her teens, and she shares the blame for Iggy Azalea’s irritating but catchy “Fancy,” lampooned by “Weird Al” Yankovic as “Handy.” But Charli’s own stuff works pretty decently on its own terms. “Nuclear Seasons” was the first track on (and the second single from) her 2013 album True Romance:

With all the graphic gizmos cleared away, we see her this way:

Charli XCX in the summer of 2013

And what’s the deal with the Roman numerals, if that’s what they are? Hint: they aren’t:

Well, people have speculated that it means “Kiss Kiss,” but I really just chose the name because I thought it looked cool and sounded catchy. Of course, when I was signed to my record label, I suddenly felt like it needed to stand for something. So I told my label that it could mean, “X-Rated Content” or something like that, and everyone there just kind of looked at me as if I was crazy. They were all probably thinking, “Oh, no, what did we get ourselves into?!” But really, at the moment, it just stands for everything I’ve done so far.

Whatever the heck that means.

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Out of the Garden, into the Sunshine

There is much chatter about the 21st Century Exodus, from California to Texas. We don’t hear so much about this move down Interstate 95:

I moved to Florida from New Jersey a couple of weeks ago because of a number of personal and financial reasons.

Many New Jersey residents are doing the same, including my accountant. She, as I, can pay for a small mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance and association fees on a condo in Florida on what we paid for real estate taxes alone in New Jersey. Add the fact that Florida has no personal income tax, and you’ll have loads of New Jerseyans heading to Florida. I had my car transported by truck, and the man who delivered it told me the 9 other cars belonged to people who are moving to Florida.

There is, of course, a drawback:

New Jersey is hot and humid in the summer, but you don’t know humid hotness until you’re in South Florida to stay. The main difference between the two is, Miami doesn’t really cool off at night.

I’ve never been to Miami, though a couple of trips to Orlando gave me a healthy respect for — or maybe an abject fear of — Florida humidity, especially since it can do things like this:

Morning walks before the temps hit the mid eighties (in both temperature and humidity) become a streaming flow of sweat pouring down from my scalp, through my clothes, slowing down enough to puddle in my bra — not stopping until reaching my ankles. Anything not made of natural fabrics (including two tops made of “wicking” material) then becomes clammy the moment you step into an air-conditioned building. The result can best be called a synthetically-induced hot flash: Brutal sweat followed by chilling dampness.

And people wonder why LeBron would go back to Cleveland.

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Sometimes you don’t dare click

And this is one of those times, I think:

Still, the embed does the heavy lifting.

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Maybe I don’t need a video

A couple of days ago, the Spammish Inquisition, which I hadn’t expected, insisted that what I really needed was a video. I argued that if I had one, it would not be well received.

For a vivid illustration of “not well received,” here’s Robert Stacy McCain complaining to a videoblogger:

I’m a super-fast reader. If you were to provide me with a transcript of your 11-minute video rant, I could skim over it in less than a minute and locate the “money quote,” which I could then copy-and-paste into a block-quote on my blog and discuss it. Alternatively, I might decide that your 11-minute video rant is a silly piece of nonsense that should be ignored. Either way, the difference between (a) the 11-minute video rant and (b) a transcript of your rant is that (b) saves me 10 minutes of time over (a), not to mention the time savings between (c) doing a quick copy-and-paste of a quote and (d) having to transcribe your lunatic gibberish.

I don’t know if I’m legitimately “super-fast,” but this is very much like what I do with readable rants.

There are, says McCain, three reasons why someone might prefer to do video over “print,” and he’s not keen on any of them. (You’ll have to Read The Whole Thing for those.)

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Shaw is the new Black

Is this, as Entertainment Weekly’s Music Mix suggests, “the most hated song on the Internet right now”?

One might reasonably question Catey Shaw’s own Brooklyn Girl credentials — she only recently moved to 11206 from Virginia Beach — but I think most of the hate (51 percent thumbs down on YouTube) comes from people wondering “Oh, geez, is this the next Rebecca Black?” Of course, in so doing, they extend RB’s fifteen minutes of fame even further, but they’re not thinking about that.

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Marginally refillable

You’d think that in this putative era of Medical Marvels we could do better than this:

Got a letter from Walgreens, a form letter out of a computer, but an actual printed-on-paper, delivered-by-snail-mail letter the other day. It’s telling me that one of my prescriptions has expired, and the doctor hasn’t stepped up and authorized any more. All this requesting and authorizing is done with fax machines, so if the doc is going to authorize more drugs for me, he’s going to need the fax number. Well, where is it? It’s not in the letter, it’s not on their website, so I call, fight with the robo-cop answering machine, wade through an armload of protocol with the operator and finally get the fax number. Call the doctor’s office and they tell me they don’t need the fax number, all this prescription s*** is handled electronically now.

I am particularly concerned because I’m at a place about one step in back of this: everything going in and coming out on my behalf is fax, even if it’s that weird-looking electronic fax that’s sent as TIFF files or something, and I have about ten prescriptions to deal with every month.

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Quote of the week

Roberta X on a generation growing up ahistorical:

Funny thing: war is Hell. Tam knows it. I know it. Polished and perfumed professional network journalist in NYC? She doesn’t know it. A blue zillion history books and documentaries out there and I doubt she’s even seen Hellcats Of The Navy. In [Savannah Guthrie's] world, WW II, concentration camps, aerial firebombings, death marches, atom bombs and all, was a kind of multi-year Boy Scout Jamboree with some spirited disagreements.

When the next World War comes marchin’ in — as seems more likely with every passing day — it’ll have stunningly white teeth and near-total amnesia.

Which are prerequisites for today’s version of TV news. In fact, I think they may be the only prerequisites, at least for the males; females presumably have to pass a skirt-length standard.

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Withering staff

Inoperable prostate cancer killed Frank Zappa at 53. Did he get off easy, so to speak?

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No time to talk

Stateside, we dither about drivers with cell phones. For those who contend that we must Do Something, even if it’s wrong, this is what’s being done in the United Kingdom:

UK drivers who find themselves in an accident may also see their cell phones confiscated by the police to determine if they were used prior to said accident.

Visordown reports one Suzette Davenport, chief constable in Gloucestershire in charge of roads policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers, issued the order to check all phones on the scene, no matter the severity of the accident.

If everyone in the US had shiny new smartphones with substantial resale value, they’d do that here, because, you know, forfeiture.

And even if the Brits weren’t doing this, they were definitely thinking “draconian”:

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin proclaimed those who are caught using their phones while driving should see six points knocked off of their license, leading to a driving ban if a driver is caught twice in three years; newly minted drivers would lose their license if caught once during the first two years of holding said license.

Which leads to another question: If Britain, which chafes under restrictive European Union decrees, can come up with something like this, what on earth can the EUrocrats be planning in Brussels?

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Dust inevitably bitten

Two years ago, three community papers in south Tulsa County — the Bixby Bulletin, the Jenks Journal and the Glenpool Post — were consolidated into the South County Leader.

Today, the Leader retreats:

With this edition, the South County Leader will officially cease publication. The July 31, 2014, Vol. 109, No.23 South County Leader will be its last.

“It is a shame that after 109 years in print we are signaling the end of an era but market conditions in the communities we have served have changed,” said Neighbor News publisher Jamey Honeycutt.

Neighbor News has several other papers in the Tulsa metro, perhaps most notably the semiweekly Broken Arrow Ledger.

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I need a video

Says so right here in this piece of spam:

Do you know that having a Video for your website is the best way to grow your business and expand your reach. People love watching videos rather than reading websites these days. Other benefits are:

1) Conversion Rate of website increases by upto 75%

2) You website gets 100% more views and 30% more clicks

3) Search engine ranking increases by upto 50%.

The sender, identified as “Shelly Johnson” — recent English major, am I right? — has no idea what would happen if I actually followed these instructions. And I’m not particularly good at predictions, especially about the future; but I’m pretty sure the phrase “WTF is the deal with the video?” will resound from sea to snoring sea.

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Double non-secret probation

In fact, it’s so non-secret it made the news halfway across the state:

Move-in day at Oklahoma State University is two weeks away, but no one will be moving into the Phi Delta Theta house.

OSU has suspended the fraternity until August 2016, citing multiple violations of university and Interfraternity Council policies regarding alcohol and hazing.

There seems to be one particular class at fault:

Students who will be juniors this fall seemed resolved to cause problems for the chapter… They threw a keg party at the chapter house May 9 — while the fraternity was on deferred suspension for hazing pledges.

So far, no one has announced a really futile and stupid gesture in response.

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There’s no need for argument

Carl J. Domino, who’s running for the House from Florida’s District 18, has proposed something called “Fix Congress First.” Apparently it’s not “fixing” in the veterinary sense, more’s the pity. But this is the opening pitch:

If we want to put Washington back to work for the people, we need to reform the Congress itself. I propose we get back to being citizen legislators by establishing 8 year term limits for US Representatives and setting pay for Congress at the median pay in their district.

Half of that sounds plausible. The other half, not so much: I can think of no reason why Henry Waxman’s replacement in CA 33 should be paid more than Markwayne Mullin in OK 2.

Ohio’s Third Base Politics notes:

This would significantly reduce the income of many Congressmen, leaving the door to these elected offices available to only wealthy people, like Domino. In addition to that, Domino is proposing that some minority and female Representatives earn wages hovering near the poverty line, depending on their family size… The Democrats are already beating the drums of the “War on Women” and Domino is playing right into them. Even if it is unintentional, he is reinforcing the stereotype of Republicans being rich, out of touch old men who are trying to keep minorities and women down.

And come to think of it, why this interest in term limits? Domino is 70, fercrissake. Term limits are coming for him whether he likes them or not.

Oh:

Domino was a Representative in the House of Representatives of the U.S. state of Florida… Domino served from 2002-2010, where he had to stand down due to Florida term limits.

So apparently he’s used to that sort of thing. And Florida’s term-limit law doesn’t keep Domino from seeking another office after maxing one out.

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