Double yellow swine

Eric Scheie contemplates the left-lane bandit (Decelerus scumbili):

What I would love to know is what it is that makes certain swinish people think that they have a God-given right to occupy the passing lane and refuse to move.

I suspect that, like so many others, they have remade God in their own image, and conflate His interests with theirs.

While I try to understand people by putting myself in their position, where it comes to this business, I’m stumped because I am in their position all the time. I have to drive in the left lane a lot, because here in Michigan, trucks are forced to stay in the right and follow the slower 60 m.p.h. speed limit, which means that cars that travel at their speed limit of 70 must either get in the left or be forced to slow down to 60. Under this system, naturally there are often people who driving faster coming up behind me. Sure, some of them are rude about it, but I always get over, just as I would expect the same from a driver in front of me going more slowly. It’s just one of the basic rules of driving on the highway, and I have been doing it for many decades. But it seems that there are more left lane road hogs than ever before, though. Is it because there are more drivers and they stand out more, or might the problem be that driving schools have stopped teaching that the left lane is for passing? Or are people just ruder?

The same two-tier speed limits prevail in Texas — on the fastest non-toll roads, cars go 80, trucks 70 — but Texas has some semblance of lane discipline, and similarly enlightened states, such as my own, will happily bust you for plodding along in the left lane.

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Box O’ Books

Mayfair Heights Little Library

One of the niftier ideas of recent years is the Little Free Library, bigger than a breadbox but just barely, located in urban neighborhoods and rural areas. And we’re about to get this one in our neck of the woods. The scoop, from our neighborhood’s Facebook page:

The SHINE program will install this one near NW 45 and Mayfair Drive in the park. It will be stocked with books, donated by Barnes and Noble and Full Circle Book Store. You can take a book and return it when you are finished or replace it with a new book. What a great way to encourage literacy, increase community involvement and spirit!

I have no idea what books will be selected for the initial load; I have several I plan to contribute to the cause.

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Left out

One thing we have in abundance in Oklahoma is former Democrats. This is not entirely a blessing, as one of them notes:

Detractors may like to point to the current GOP-run state legislature as a not-so-much-of-a-bargain bin of genuine knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers, but the accuracy of that assessment doesn’t eliminate the fact that it was not entirely different under the other outfit.

And my former party has done little in the last few years to correct some of their problems: nominating people almost guaranteed to lose given the political makeup of their districts, supporting establishment candidates over those who have a chance of winning, sacrificing some of their best and brightest in races they could not hope to win and so on. The few successes they’ve had did little to rebuild the party infrastructure or offer reasons why “Democrat” in Oklahoma doesn’t mean the same thing it means in San Francisco.

Were I running the Democratic organization out here — before you ask, I am not volunteering — I’d suggest that the nomination of a sacrificial lamb is a far, far better thing then letting an incumbent run unopposed. And you never know: the GOP might actually lose the 5th Congressional district one of these days, given the population growth pattern around here.

What goes around, they say, comes around. The fact that the GOP has not been able to enact everything on its wish list, despite an overwhelming legislative majority, tells me that the wheel continues to turn.

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Buckle down

T-shirt with seat belt print designThe young lady in the BMW is not actually wearing a seat belt: it’s a T-shirt with a picture of a seat belt printed on it. From this angle, it’s fairly obvious, but the proper combination of interior upholstery color, viewing angle and duration can make it much less so. Chinese drivers can buy this shirt for 35-50 yuan; it’s legal, although the police don’t seem to be particularly amused. Being caught unbelted means a 50-yuan fine and two points out of a possible twelve, so this is a fairly high price to pay to avoid buckling up, but apparently there are people willing to pay it.

(Found at CarNewsChina.)

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Worn by Forties scene kids

Okay, maybe not:

EMO hosiery ad 1947

Not a cultural reference, but a French brand name of long standing. This page dates to 1947; they were still around into the 1960s.

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Pinoy puns

A friend in the UK sent over a link yesterday, and I have to admit that it took me a while to catch on. It’s a TV show for children, produced in the Philippines; it’s called Wansapanataym, and I had to say it out loud before it dawned on me.

There are over 100 episodes, and I must single this one out for sheer wackiness: “Juan To Tree,” about a ten-year-old kid who chops down a tree in his yard to make room for a basketball court. To his horror, he finds that he has to replace the tree — in person. I suspect even Fluttershy would balk at that.

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The 17-ounce solution

You probably always suspected that Nanny Bloomberg’s soda-cup fixation was full of holes, and the New York Supreme Court (I think that’s the one) has now pointed out those holes using the mighty Permanent Injunction.

The biggest hole? Capricious and arbitrary rules:

[T]he Big Gulp didn’t fall under the Board of Health regulations, which is part of the reason the Supreme Court was so keen on striking down the prohibition. Convenience stores like 7-11 were excluded from the law, meaning that while a person couldn’t Super-Size their beverage at a corner McDonalds, they could obtain a bucket of soda easily twice as large at the Stop ‘n Shop across the street. Supermarkets, which like most major businesses are licensed and regulated by the state of New York, were also exempt, laying enforcement of the law at the feet of independent restaurants, mobile food vendor stands, and food truck proprietors who got their licenses to operate from the city. And, of course, there was no ban on simply purchasing multiple 16oz drinks instead of just one exceedingly large drink. All the ban really would end up doing is cutting into the profits of New York businesses that pay their taxes directly to the city, and cutting into the choices that New Yorkers should, by all rights, be allowed to make for themselves.

But that’s an insignificant detail when people’s health and well-being are on the line! And you know Mayor Bloomberg hates having to share a subway seat with an overweight rider. When he rides the subway. Which is probably never. But still.

Nanny’s minions will of course appeal. In the meantime, I’m opening up a two-liter (67.6 ounces, dammit) Dr Pepper to celebrate.

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Would you like a turnover with that?

I swear, the Thunder were coming up with turnovers faster than Arby’s at lunchtime. Seriously. The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry, livetweeting from San Antonio: “I can’t type fast enough to keep up with OKC’s turnovers.” I assure you, Darnell is no slouch. And this debacle occurred in the absence of Tony Parker, mind you; stepping up with great vigor was Tiago Splitter, a punch line last year, a hero in Spurville tonight. San Antonio, down double figures early on, wound up outscoring OKC 35-18 in the second, and the Spurs never looked back, pocketing a 105-93 win that put them up two games over the Thunder in the West.

And really, the Thunder didn’t have to hand the ball over that often: the Spurs were shooting exceptionally well, and none of them better than Splitter, who shot 9-11 for a team-high 21 points while gathering ten rebounds. Splitter didn’t put up any treys, but Danny Green tossed up four and hit them all. San Antonio shot over 50 percent almost all night, finishing a hair above 52; OKC scraped in with just under 43, Russell Westbrook trying his best to move things along but winding up 11-27 for a very hard 25 points. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant collected 11 of his 26 at the free-throw line. (Much was made of Terrible Officiating tonight, but the Spurs got called for more fouls than did the Thunder, and OKC got ten more foul shots.) And the Thunder’s +8 in rebounding was more than offset by their +5 in turnovers.

The Spurs now have a 2-1 edge in the season series, with one left to play (at Oklahoma City on 4/4). If Pop is worried, he isn’t acting like it.

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Beware of online frauds

One “Mr. Max Marcus” left this in my email box with exactly that title. Let’s go ahead and see what he wants to tell me:

BEWARE OF ONLINE FRAUDS……..CONTACT THE BARRISTER NOW………..SUPPORTED BY THE HOUSE OF FINANCE.

Ministry of Finance

Address: Plots 745 & 746, Ahmadu Bello Way, Central Area, P.M.B 14 Garki, Abuja.

Website: http://www.fmf.gov.ng

ATTN: Beneficiary

Records show that you are among the individuals who are yet to receive their overdue funds. Well we want you to know that your compensated fund worth the total amount of $1.000.000.00usd (One Million United State dollars Only) that was suppose to be deliver as an ATM CARD to you was return back to our Head Office due to the fact that you refuse to contact the right person with your fund. The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI gathered information from the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) of how some people have lost out sums of money to these impostors.

As a result of this we hereby advise you to stop dealing with any one not referred to you by us.Because most of the early transactions made by you, where illict and not backed by law.So follow the necessary process,so that your $1.000.000.00usd (One Million United State Dollars Only) will be released to you via a custom pin based ATM card with a maximum withdrawal limit of $3,000 per day which is powered by Visa Card and can be used anywhere in the world and Visa Card Logo must be on the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). We have advised that this should be the only way at which you are to receive your payment because its more guaranteed, since over 500 thousand people have fallen victims of those fraudsters and was ripped off their hard earned money on fake bank draft, years ago till date.

To redeem your fund you are hereby advised to contact Mr. James Jeffery via email, who is in charge of your ATM Card. Note, he’s a legal personnel,that understands the law,and will never do anything to deopardise that. For the requirement to proceed and procure your Approval of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your ATM Release Order on your behalf, it will cost you $300.00usd Three Hundred United State Dollars only nothing more and no hidden fees as everything else has been taken cared of by the Federal Government Of Nigeria, so all you will ever need to pay is $300.00 Three Hundred United State Dollars only which is legal to enable us deliver your fund to your door step.

Don’t be deceived by anyone and you are advice to Reconfirm the below information
that is needed.

Full Name…………………………
Full Address……………………..
Phone Number……………………
Sex………………………………….
Date of Birth………………………
Occupation………………………
Age………………………………..
Scan copy of any means of your Identity, eg. Driver’s license/National Id Card

Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to deopardise anything here, would I?

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Temporary to permanent

Though the “permanent” you might not actually want:

Satanic ritual advertised on Craigslist

It is a measure of my own level of dementia, I suppose, that my first thought was “Migod, and people want to buy cars off this site?”

(Via Jeff Thompson on Facebook.)

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It’s just grass

I was delighted to see a fifth of an inch of rain two days after the first lawn treatment of the season — I bought a package of eight — and said so; and then by the sheerest of coincidences, Dan B, a regular in these parts, told this story on Facebook:

The home was bought from an older couple, and he was METICULOUS about his lawn, including yelling at kids to get off of it. He always had the best lawn in the neighborhood, and he made sure EVERYONE knew he worked hard for that perfect lawn.

The older couple sells the house to a family with a 5 year old boy, who has many of the toys typical to a suburban/exurban 21st-Century Lonely Only, including a battery-powered mini-truck that destroyed the old man’s 3 DECADES of effort in less than 6 months.

A hit, a palpable hit.

That said, I note for the record that I have never once told a kid to get off this lawn, not even on the day when several of them were lined up to run through the sprinkler.

And I do have one rule: never have the best lawn — or the worst lawn — on the block. I do believe I have been at least somewhat successful.

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Strange search-engine queries (371)

What would Monday be without these semi-charming little excursions into deepest Web effluvia? (Answer: Still Monday. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t sleep through ‘em.)

Servicing Big Daddy torrent:  I’m willing to bet this is not included in the service contract.

“replaced german as the language of science”:  “What is jargon?”

Stranded: I’ve Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains:  Look at it this way: you had just enough fuel to make it to the crash site.

bikini hypnosis:  “Hey, my mesmerize are up here.”

happier endings to romeo and juliet:  Almost anything would have been happier than “both of them die,” don’t you think?

the tale of fialuridine:  Remember, you can’t spell “fialuridine” without “lurid.”

scam “windows technical support”:  $400 to reinstall Win98SE? Coming right up.

what the fuck is wrong with itunes skipping songs win7 itunes 10.7  It’s the deadly combination of iTunes and Win7. (Otherwise known as “Buy a Mac and shuddup.”)

sorry disease:  I’ve had a few of those. “I wish to hell I could get rid of this sorry disease once and for all.”

on cklw mike & lisa played a guy singing in a low voice. what did he swallow as a kd:  Maybe he had some sorry disease.

did mayor mick cornett say epic fail in 2013 state of the city address?  If he did, it was off the cuff: it’s not in the transcript.

what unexpected pop culture word did mick cornett use in the state of the city address:  Well, it certainly wasn’t “epic fail.”

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I hate to see him go

Francis W. Porretto, who’s been a forceful voice for freedom and against stupidity for many years, has withdrawn from the scene:

I’ve been harassed, slandered, insulted, derided, and demeaned. I’ve had my intelligence, my erudition, my sincerity, my faith, my morals, and my ethics questioned by persons who haven’t even had enough courage to use their right names. A typical day brings me dozens, sometimes hundreds, of obscene, insulting, juvenile emails. Even flushing them out of my computer leaves me feeling soiled. And that’s not the worst of it. Both I and my wife have been threatened, and more than once at that.

So I’m calling it quits. I’m an old man, and not a well one. I’d like some peace for the conclusion of my life. I’d also like to be free of the jackasses who’ve awarded me the various crowns of thorns mentioned above. It appears that the only way I can acquire those things is to cease to write these op-eds.

Which sounds like an odd statement, coming from the most heavily-armed man on Lawn Guyland, but I can see his point: some of these people simply aren’t worth the waste of a round, when there are greater threats on the horizon.

I suppose I have been fortunate, inasmuch as I have largely been spared the sort of contumely visited on FWP. Then again, he was always more willing to engage drive-by vilifiers, while I’ve tended to ignore them.

As a send-off of sorts, a few FWP quotations that made it into the random-quote thing on the sidebar:

“Nothing reveals low character quite as well as the proximity of high character.”

“Tyranny flows from the top down. Freedom swells from the bottom up.”

“In the absence of a competing claim of rights, a man is unconstrained by anything other than the laws of physics.”

Even if you’d rather not remember him for some reason or other, do remember his words.

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Behind the quill

On this, the shortest day of the year — a mere twenty-three hours, going faster than they have any right to — I find the story of an erstwhile kindred spirit, shifting regularly between formal seriousness (serious formality?) and sheer fun.

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Green in the spring

Jeff Green, dealt to Boston so long ago, finally returned to OKC today, and the crowd greeted him warmly. The Celtics had been doing well of late, posting a five-game winning streak despite the absence of Rajon Rondo, and Green had been a major factor in a couple of those wins. Not today, though: the Celtics did a good job of keeping the Thunder out of the cylinder, not such a good job of getting in there themselves, and OKC bagged a 91-79 win on a windy Sunday.

Due to that patented Boston defense, Oklahoma City had rather a lot of one-and-done situations — OKC snagged only three offensive rebounds all day — and shot a mediocre 44 percent. Nor was the Thunder effective on the long ball: they missed 16 of 20. Both the Thunder and the Celtics missed six free throws, though Boston only got 20 shots from the stripe, while OKC took 33.

In a low-scoring grind of a game, you don’t expect much in the way of double figures, though the Celtics did have three starters pull it off, led by Paul Pierce with 20 — and Brandon Bass had a game-high 13 rebounds. Green managed eight despite shooting 2-11. The Thunder also had only three in double figures, led by Kevin Durant with 23. Russell Westbrook added a quiet 15, and Kevin Martin managed to make his shorter shots fall while his long ones failed, leading the bench with 12.

Of course, all the talk was Spur-related, San Antonio having been trounced last night at home by Portland, and the Spurs/Thunder gap is now down to a single game (48-15 vs 47-16). Tomorrow night in Alamo City promises to be ferocious, especially with Tony Parker down for the count.

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Meanwhile, far from Wasilla

From the last time I had anything to say on this particular subject:

The very first post I did about Sarah Palin was in early 2007, when she was so far under the radar she’d practically have to wear ridiculous shoes to be seen.

I gather she’s probably enjoying her less-than-household-word status these days, and on the basis of current evidence, I’m pretty sure her tastes in Wacky Footwear have changed not a whit. From a Friday appearance at a forum at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida:

Sarah Palin at Southeastern University

Now historically, I’ve argued that if you have legs like that you should be able to wear any damn shoes you want, and I’m sure that this bondage boot, or whatever it is, is not often seen on college campuses affiliated with the Assemblies of God; but after keeping a close eye on Sarah for six years, I’m thinking that she got into the habit of wearing things like this specifically because it annoyed the hell out of John McCain, and really, who hasn’t wanted to annoy the hell out of John McCain?

(With thanks to The Ledger.)

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