Until it’s time for you to go

It’s too late now, but you might want to remember Tam’s advice a couple of years from now:

This may sound funny having just voted for a couple tepid incumbents over their likely worse challengers, but I voted “no” on all judicial retention questions. Because any time a ballot straight up asks you “Should we fire this incumbent?” without tacking on the qualifier “…and give his job to this other wrong lizard right here,” it should be a no-brainer. I don’t care how good a job he’s doing; I’m all for dragging Cincinnatus back to his plow kicking and screaming if he doesn’t have the grace to do it himself.

This is, you should know, a question with which I’ve wrestled before.

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It’s a Mansfield

In 1953, Jayne Mansfield, only twenty and hardly a household word yet, was doing live theatre in Dallas, and at some point posed for a Fourth of July-themed photoshoot. A couple of shots therefrom:

Jayne Mansfield 1953

Jayne Mansfield 1953

Mansfield once claimed that she had an IQ of 163, though it wasn’t really a factor in her career: “They’re more interested in 40–21–35,” she said. That said, she studied at least three languages besides English, plus piano and violin. Singing, maybe not so much, though she cut this single in 1965:

One of the sidemen on this track (and on its B-side, “Suey”) was a chap named James Marshall Hendrix.

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Beyond decimation

Technically, if your forces are decimated, they’ve been reduced by 10 percent, though contemporary usage suggests something much worse — say, 53.3 percent, which is where you are when you have 15 players and only seven are able to play. The Thunder have reached that unhappy point, losing Perry Jones to a knee contusion early in the second half, and their one-point lead at halftime turned into a 14-point deficit halfway through the fourth quarter. Toronto’s Raptors are nothing if not opportunistic — it’s no accident they get to the foul line more than any other team in the league — and they had plenty of opportunities tonight. The Thunder managed to cut that lead to seven a couple of times, and then wound up with six players when Sebastian Telfair drew a flagrant-two at the expense of Tyler Hansbrough’s face. What’s the next step beyond decimated? Toronto 100, Oklahoma City 88, and if the Thunder isn’t exactly on pace for 3-29 by New Year’s Eve, they’re getting closer every game.

And this, mind you, despite shooting well from the floor: 52 percent — the Raptors managed 40 — and while 6-21 from outside isn’t great, the Raps were 8-31, which is worse. You can account for most of the 12-point loss, though, by looking at the foul line, where OKC missed 11 of 25 shots. (Toronto flubbed only four out of 33.) There were even double-doubles: Reggie Jackson had 13 points and 14 assists, while Serge Ibaka had 25 points and 11 rebounds. In fact, everybody scored except Perk; but “everybody” doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

The Raptors spread the scoring around with five in double figures — one less than OKC — led by DeMar DeRozen, who punched in 16. And they gave up ten turnovers, which is a lot for them. Then again, the Thunder coughed it up 21 times, which unfortunately isn’t a lot for them these days.

Three days until the Grizzlies come to town. I’m not taking any bets on how many players will actually be able to suit up for that massacre. (The Griz have won four straight.) At the present rate, Ibaka, who played almost 46 minutes tonight, will probably have to fill at least three positions by himself.

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Report from the polling place

In the 2012 election, I wandered in at the usual time — just before 5 pm, two hours before the polls close — and got out in half an hour with ballot #1211 for the precinct. For a mid-termer, I figured half the time and half the turnout would be more than acceptable.

And it was a little busier than that: I cast #783 at 5:07 pm. There was no line, really, but there was only one booth when I signed in, and fortunately, I’d already made up my mind on most of the races. (I admit, I totally forgot Lieutenant Governor.)

A few folks had address or identification issues, but so far as I could tell, no one at the time was being turned away: provisional ballots are not exactly routine, but everyone on site knew the procedure, which is always a good thing.

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A sort of hairy discussion

Tam reports on a dog sighting:

RX: “Look! A… regular poodle? Large poodle?”

Me:Standard poodle.”

RX: “Is there a Non-standard poodle? A Sub-standard poodle? The Sub-standard poodle is made by children in Third World sweatshops and it has those puffs of fur in the wrong places, like on its neck or at odd intervals on its legs…”

Me: “…and it goes ‘fooW!’

Not that anyone cares, but the American Kennel Club recognizes three sizes of poodle, the largest of which is the Standard, over 15 inches tall at the withers. The smallest is the Toy, under 10 inches. In between is the Miniature. Similar standards exist in other countries.

Their formal appearance notwithstanding, the poodle is useful in field work. Wikipedia notes:

[I]n the past 20 years in North America … Standard Poodles have begun to be put back to their original purpose as duck and game bird hunters. The more commonly acceptable clips seen in the show ring and the local groomer’s have proven extremely impractical in action. In the US and Canada, most hunters are male, lower to upper middle class, and strongly dislike being seen with a dog that has had an effete reputation. Dyeing a white Standard Poodle’s hair flamboyant colours and putting bows in their hair has been a habit since the days well-to-do French ladies got their hands on them and circus acts made huge profits on them, but is unnecessary in the field for hiding in blinds.

It may also be counterproductive to try to make them look like ponies.

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Sports shortage alleviated

RadioInsight reports on recent sales:

Fred & Evelyn Morton sell 96.5 K243BJ Oklahoma City to Tyler Media for $100. The translator is currently operated by Tyler as CHR “Now 96.5″ rebroadcasting 107.7 KRXO-HD2, however the application states Sports “The Franchise 2″ 1560 KEBC Del City will be the originating station.

Because, you know, there just aren’t enough spots on the dial where you can get sports in this town.

The Now 96.5 programming seems to have landed on K225BN, at 92.9, where it will at least have 200 watts to play with instead of 120. It won’t be interfering with KBEZ Tulsa, also on 92.9, though it’s going to be a mess where fringe-reception areas meet.

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It’s a floor wax and a credit card

Top Ten reasons to choose the NBC Saturday Night Live MasterCard:

  1. It’s usable at thousands of locations, and you’re not
  2. Endorsed by Morgan Fairchild, your wife, whom you’ve slept with
  3. Terms and Conditions require you to party on, Garth
  4. It’s cheap enough, it’s pretty enough, and doggone, people like it
  5. Provides standard services at enclosed retail compounds
  6. Samurai payments!
  7. Who’s in your wallet? Could it be … SATAN?
  8. Honored by Da Bears
  9. Double rewards for ignorant sluts
  10. If you ever want to cancel, Sinead O’Connor will come to your house and rip it in half

(Prompted by Costa Tsiokos.)

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No endorsements

Not this year, anyway; this year’s ballot is unrelievedly meh. (At least in the Second Congressional District, you have the option of voting for a dead guy.) The only local candidate I view with anything resembling enthusiasm is Forrest “Butch” Freeman, who’s done a heck of a job as the country treasurer. At least county-level offices aren’t an embarrassment these days; the three commissioners seem to be busting a nut to get things done without breaking us. (I will definitely be voting for incumbent Willa Johnson for District 1, who is not messing up; there have been years when this was too much to expect from a commissioner.)

Otherwise, I am motivated these days mostly by the possibility of disposing of incumbents. Most incumbents in this state being Republican, this means I’ll have to pull the virtual lever for some Democrats. Fortunately, in this state Democrats tend to be Democrats as I remember them from my younger days, instead of the neo-Stalinists that get all the national press coverage.

If you’re still contemplating the race for governor, Joe Dorman answered some questions from The Lost Ogle, and Mary Fallin didn’t. Hard to tell which of the two is less persuasive.

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Blasted in Brooklyn

After that semi-miraculous outing at home with a mere eight players, the thought of having nine players must have seemed a delightful prospect. It was not. While Reggie Jackson’s presence was welcome, and while he did score a game-high 23 points, the Nets were still able to blow the Thunder out of the Barclay Center, shooting over 50 percent all night, just slightly under 50 from beyond the arc, and turning the ball over a mere eight times. (Jackson had seven turnovers all by himself.) It was 32-19 at the end of the first quarter, and things only got worse after that; the final shot, a trey by Sebastian Telfair, brought the Thunder to within, um, thirty-one. Final: Brooklyn 116, Oklahoma City 85.

Brooklyn presented the dreaded Balanced Offense, with six players in double figures, led by Brook Lopez and Alan Anderson with 18 each. Deron Williams, the only Net to hang around for more than 30 minutes, scored 17 in 36:46 and racked up a +29 for the night. (Meanwhile, Reggie Jackson played 41:45 and ended up -28.) The Nets took only 19 foul shots all night, but they made 17 of them.

Meanwhile, OKC was putting up 21 from the stripe and hitting only 13, and shooting a below-par 39 percent from the field. Telfair, who legendarily can’t shoot, shot well: 5-10, 3-7 from outside, 16 points. But the big guys put up small lines, Steven Adams with a mere 9, Nick Collison 3, Lance Thomas 2, and Kendrick Perkins saw nothing go in at all. The Thunder did have the edge (15-9) in offensive rebounds, though that edge was made possible largely by not hitting the first shot in the possession.

And, oh yes, it’s back to eight players again: Andre Roberson came up sprained after eleven minutes and a single point, and did not return. I suspect he won’t be back for tomorrow night in Toronto, anent which Darnell Mayberry quipped: “DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross probably can’t wait until tomorrow night.” Oh, good lord, no: were there a bit involved, the Raptors would be champing at it.

Update, 9:09: Roberson is out tomorrow, says Scott Brooks.

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After which you vanish into thin air

The purveyors of Pricey Beauty Stuff have mapped it all out:

This summer I was in a department store looking for moisturizer. I was in London, in search of Boots No. 7, which came highly recommended. Standing in front over an overwhelming product assortment I asked the well made up sales clerk for help. She explained the brand came in 3 versions (I paraphrase):

1. Dewey new skin ages up to 25

2. Slightly older skin that needs some TLC from 25-35

3. Mature skin which encompasses everyone over 35

Subtle differences, one surmises, between 25 and 35. After that, though?

I fell into the last category. As do many, if not most women. I wondered how the vast majority of women, from 35 to as long as someone is willing and able to purchase moisturizer, could possibly be clumped together.

Some time after 35, I’m guessing, is when you realize you can get the same results, or lack thereof, from a product that sells for $5 as you can from a product that sells for $25. Or for $125.

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Hairs split upon request

“Tanj on your silly game,” said Louis Wu. He wasn’t talking about California and Federal regulations, but he could have been:

I watched them brag for half an hour about spending tons of extra money on … LEED certified buildings. As written here any number of times, most LEED savings come through BS gaming of the rules, like putting in dedicated electric vehicle parking sites (that do not even need a charger to get credit). In a brief moment of honesty, the architect presenting admitted that most of the LEED score for one building came from using used rather than new furniture in the building.

It’s okay. Getting the points, and the credits accrued therefrom, is far more important than the ostensible goals of the regulators; it was always thus, and always thus it shall remain.

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More mettle in your plastic

I, of course, carry a Plywood Card:

I remember my father telling me about the Amex Gold Card when I was a kid. “It has no limit,” he said, in the tones that an earlier generation used to describe the bomb at Hiroshima, “you could charge a Rolls-Royce on it.” When he eventually got one, I was deeply disappointed that he didn’t immediately charge a Rolls-Royce. Given that our local dealer had precisely one Rolls-Royce in stock, however, and it was a fucking Camargue, I no longer resent him for not doing so.

I get the sense that the Platinum Card is now what the Gold Card used to be. My Platinum Amex doesn’t seem to have any limit, although to be fair I’ve never tried to charge a Rolls-Royce. I have had a couple of days where I made five figures’ worth of charges to it in a single day, an action that prompts panicked phone calls from my Visa Signature card issuer, and I had no trouble doing so. Lately I’ve been thinking about downgrading to the Gold or even the Green card, however. I’m not really living much of an upscale life.

Only once did I ever get a phone call on even a Green Amex, presumably because I’d gone beyond my high-side-of-normal thousand-a-month usage.

And once upon a time, some Middle East arms dealer, visiting Boeing, is supposed to have bought a plane on impulse and paid for it with Amex.

Not that this sort of thing matters, of course:

Which brings us to the point of high-end credit cards: impressing retail personnel. But if you’ve ever worked retail, you know that you don’t care about what stupid credit card the customer has. So maybe the point of a high-end credit card is to imply that you don’t know how little the retail people care about it, because you’ve never worked a retail or foodservice job and therefore wouldn’t know that kind of prole-ass detail. Very meta-impressive. I think.

So maybe it’s to impress the person behind you in line at the counter.

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Strange search-engine queries (457)

I had, supposedly, one additional hour to prepare this feature. You’d never know it by looking at it.

pertinent in legalese:  Just about everything, but most especially that three-word throwaway clause on page 5 that nobody else noticed.

is it possible to change mazda 626 fuel injector to carburetor:  Anything is possible if you spend enough money. Do you want to put $3000 into a $2000 car?

92 mazda 626 won’t shift into gear:  That can’t be true. Whoever heard of a transmission failing after a mere 22 years?

Yes, I was just 13, you might say I was a Musical proverbial knee-high…  And if you were a transmission, you were still working, because they never, ever fail.

gearbox size 6 inch specification:  Guy probably really has five and a quarter but can’t bear the embarrassment.

a scheer litho lovely playmate:  By all means, dress her up in something scheer.

porno mamo klack alman:  Some people will read anything as long as it’s dirty, I suppose.

thebigdaddy black older sex with teen free:  Some people will read anything as long as it’s dirty and they don’t have to pay for it, I suppose.

nancy snyderman screwed up:  I’m assuming this is the active voice.

mairej @fmail.com:  Well, we told you not everyone was using gmail.

viola davis bow legged:  Yet she’ll crush you like the insect you are.

hln song 2001 atoz:  The only song I ever want to hear on HLN begins “Oh, dear, what can we do? / Nancy Grace left, and we’re feeling blue.”

nina foch pronunciation:  Oh, just foch off already.

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A truck for ewe

This may, or may not, be the Ram 700 pickup truck:

Ram variant of Fiat Strada

In real life, this is the Fiat Strada, built in Brazil since 1996 and no relation to the Fiat Strada sold in the US and Britain back in the Eighties, which everywhere else was a Ritmo. (I once got a few minutes to drive one of those Stradas; it was serious fun despite having only 69 hp, perhaps because it handled like an Italian car, and made noises like an Italian car.)

Autoblog thinks this little darb is coming to the States:

Fiat was spotted testing a heavily camouflaged example of the Strada in Michigan months ago. Is it a bit difficult to imagine these 700s lined up next to the 1500 and its HD siblings at modern Ram dealers in the US? Perhaps, but we like options.

Of course, they’d have to start building it in Mexico to avoid the dreaded Chicken Tax. This might not be a problem, since the Strada is already sold in Mexico, and Fiat already has a plant in Toluca, currently turning out 500s and Dodge Journeys.

And “700” makes sense, if you figure that it looks about half the size of a Ram 1500, Chrysler’s standard half-ton pickup. And the two-door version — the model pictured is actually a 3-door, with two doors on the passenger side — has a rated cargo capacity of 705 kg, which is right around three quarters of a ton. However, being a teensy front-driver with a 1.6-liter inline-four and a five-speed manual, the 700 probably can’t tow anything much bigger than your daughter’s Radio Flyer.

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Meanwhile across the hall

Received at another site I run:

This motor is a blower that pulls fresh air from the outdoors, through the heat chamber and back out to the outdoors. 2) A mockingbird has limitless songs, and no two mockingbirds sound alike. To me, that is what spring maintenance is all about.

If there’s a lesson here, it’s this: don’t put the exhaust vent next to a bird’s nest.

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A lot of apps for that

Pergiel’s Corollary to Parkinson’s Law:

I’m pretty much convinced that the amount of driving expands to fill the available space. No wonder people (Google at least) are working on self driving cars. It’s not so cars can fly down the freeway without anybody at the wheel, it’s so people can play tiddly-winks on their iPhones while their car spends an hour crawling along at five MPH to deliver them to work or home.

Well, okay, as long as I don’t have to do any actual work.

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