Something besides 206th Street

The city of Edmond is getting a new subdivision called Thunder Canyon, which I suspect is probably about 50 percent accurate — I’m pretty sure you can hear thunder up there now and then. This is, of course, in character for this part of the world:

In the 1970s a subdivision went in west of Ski Island called “Canyon North,” and threading down the middle of it is something called Basswood Canyon Road. Quite apart from the fact that we’re not exactly overrun (underrun?) with canyons in that part of town, basswood doesn’t grow here: it tends to show up in the Midwest and points east, also places not known for canyons.

More surprising is that it’s in Edmond and no trees are mentioned:

The city of Edmond, on the other hand, likes trees. Loves trees. The joke a few years ago was that there was a City Council motion to ban all further street or subdivision names that contained any mention of “oak”, before the entire population wound up living on Something Oak Drive. At least, I think it was a joke.

Coming back down Covell Road, I happened upon a subdivision that probably should have been called Ashford Oaks, but was in fact called “Asheforde Oaks”, with a double helping of that Olde Englishe Codswallope that presumably impels people with ancestors named Martinez (such as, well, yours truly) to look elsewhere for housing.

But give them this. At least they’re not being blatant about that “Thunder” business:

There will be no Durant Drive, Rumble Lane, Westbrook Pass or Collison Court in Thunder Canyon, Edmond’s new housing development on the east side of the city.

The project with 188 lots near Covell Road and Midwest Boulevard will not have any ties to Oklahoma City’s professional basketball team.

There’s a Harden Drive just south of Nichols Hills, but I’m not going there either.

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What’s that hitting the fan?

It was 80-ish a couple of days ago, and we had a freeze warning this morning, so obviously one of you has been screwing with the Global Thermostat again:

I guess there is not much in Science that is fixed in stone.

Except the temperature. The only thing that Science knows for sure is that the temperature was exactly right about 100 years ago. Now of course, the temperature is almost a little hotter and we’re all going to die. But thank goodness civilization lived long enough to find that one exactly right temperature. I hope Mr Obama chisels the number into some sort of monument so that, should humans evolve again from the wreckage, they won’t have to waste their energy determining The Proper Temperature and they can get right down to blaming each other about just who is responsible for ruining everything this time.

Fortunately, Mr Obama has at his disposal an entire battalion of chiselers.

(Via Monday Evening.)

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Even finer print

Bill Quick proposes a Constitutional amendment:

Anything we have to pass in order to find out what it is … should not be passed.

I’d like to see a constitutional amendment mandating that every bill except for declarations of war must undergo a waiting period of at least one day for every page of the bill prior to any final vote on it.

There’s something vaguely karmic here: all the lunkheads who used every typographical trick in the book to make a “five-page paper” out of maybe 2.3 pages of text all of a sudden would be calling for six-point type and margins no wider than a gnat’s ass.

The sideways approach — elect a President who will veto anything it takes longer than fifteen minutes to read — is probably not going to happen either.

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Taller than a kitten heel

It’s a poodle heel:

Poodle heel platform sandal by Charlotte Olympia

This sandal by Charlotte Olympia is guaranteed to be noticed, not just for its vaguely canine underpinnings, but for the little charm that hangs over the top of your foot. (It’s a golden heart that says LA VIE EN ROSE.)

The ever-tasteful Nancy Friedman, who tweeted the existence of this shoe in my general direction, says: “Maybe at 50% off…” At Neiman’s, that would be $847.50.

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Some of his best friends, and so forth

A grabber of an opening paragraph:

I am not a misogynist, but… Of course, if I say that, immediately you think either the next words out of my keyboard will be, or that I am learning the proper obsequiescence of a Sensitive Nineties Man (SNM) too late for it to do any good for the nineties, but I am not a misogynist; I think women are one of the top two genders in the world.

One of the earliest posts by Brian J. Noggle, who hoisted his blog banner ten years ago this week.

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Counting for much

Shortly after the 2008 election, I complained that “actual knowledge of mathematical concepts is inimical to political success.” If one assumes that we get the government we deserve, it’s no trick to conclude that the Great Unwashed are utterly immune to arithmetic.

Not too similarly, from Roger:

There are people who actually don’t understand that math is everywhere. The old recipe book says that I require 10 32 ounce cans for a bunch of lasagna I’m making. But they don’t make 32-ounce cans anymore, they only make 28 ounce cans. How many cans will I need?

Ah, the ever-popular Grocery Shrink Ray, which is used on things other than groceries; in 2007 I bought a replacement for my 30-gallon water heater, which holds, um, 28 gallons despite being almost exactly the same size.

And Roger needs twelve cans, though he’ll use less than half of the last one. After a brief flirtation with online operations, I do my tax returns by hand, though I suspect I may be one of a dying breed.

Isaac Asimov was available for comment.

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Let there be slight

Screenshot from Oklahoma MesonetThis is, by no small margin, the nastiest 10th of April since they started keeping weather records in 1891, and it appears that the Spirit of Nasty hath caused much confusion at the Oklahoma Mesonet, which was displaying that forecast graphic this afternoon. To borrow a phrase, they keep using that word; I do not believe it means what they think it means.

(The mercury struggled to get up to 45 degrees on this date in 1958, a mere two dozen or so below average; we will fall short of that today by about eight.)

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Hilarity ends suit

Women, men are routinely told, are looking for partners with a sense of humor, which prompted this outburst from me many years ago:

[This] undoubtedly explains all the girlfriends Gilbert Gottfried has stolen away from Eric Bana.

The Advice Goddess tries to enlighten a reader on this very subject:

You’re unlikely to score a second date by pelting her with jokes and one-liners, which suggests you prepared for the evening by memorizing the joke book on the back of the toilet.

Which is exactly where most joke books should be kept, if you ask me.

What impresses a woman are shows of wit — spontaneous expressions of humor in response to something she says or something around you. Wit reflects intelligence while communicating your worldview — telling her who you are far more interestingly than droning on about your major and your dream to someday get your boss to assign you a better parking space.

Some majors today won’t even get you a parking space to begin with, but that’s neither here nor there. (Okay, it’s there. Happy now?)

And really, you’ve got to have more than one arrow in your quiver: if a pocketful of wry is all you have, you shouldn’t expect anything more than the occasional necessity to vacuum out the crumbs.

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Introducing Schedule FB

The IRS routinely looks at your W-2 and that fistful of 1099s. And now they’re reading your social-media accounts:

New reports brought to light by one privacy and data security expert suggest that this tax filing season the Internal Revenue Service may be monitoring social media for any clues of tax cheats.

According to Kristen Mathews, a partner attorney at law firm Proskauer Rose LLP who specializes in privacy and data security, there are reports that the IRS will be checking into individual Facebook and Twitter accounts for improprieties.

Though the agency says that it will only conduct such monitoring if a tax form raises a red flag, it is somewhat unclear to what extent it will be capable of delving into social media accounts.

You think maybe that drunken debauch in Dayton you plastered (while plastered) all over Facebook might get your expenses disallowed?

(Via this Jules Shapiro tweet.)

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Making it up in volume

This Vi Hart video evidently went over a lot of heads:

It cost her a few subscribers, leading her to muse:

Most of YouTube seems to be going for having 10 million subscribers and leeching a few cents out of each. If I can just keep making bad videos that refine my subscriber base into increasingly smaller and more invested groups, I can aspire to someday have just one subscriber, who is willing to pay one million dollars for my videos, and then I will be more successful! So there! :D

I, of course, immediately subscribed.

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Alert spoilers

About an hour and a half before tipoff, I found myself with a vaguely defeatist outlook, based on the notion that hey, if the Jazz win, that makes things so much more difficult for the Lakers, and there’s a lot to be said for making things more difficult for the Lakers. The Jazz, however, did not win, the Thunder once again cranking up the fourth-quarter defense and taking a 14-point lead, though Utah rattled down the next seven points to slice that lead in half, and inside the 25-second mark they’d pulled to within four. In response, Kevin Durant knocked down a pair of free throws; then Russell Westbrook swiped a Jazz inbound pass and delivered it to the bucket, drew a foul, and knocked down two free throws of his own to ice it, 90-80.

It was not a particularly good night for either bench: 14 points for OKC, 11 for Utah. Nor did either side shoot well: OKC 39.5 percent, Utah 39.2. The Jazz did land four of five starters in double figures, led by Mo Williams with 19, and big Al Jefferson banged his way to a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds). The Thunder, meanwhile, landed four of five starters in double figures, led by Russell Westbrook with 25; slightly less big Kevin Durant just missed a triple-double (21 points, 12 boards, nine assists.) If this sounds like it was pretty close, well, it was; the Jazz were never really out of it, but they didn’t ever catch up either.

And allow me to say a few words about the much-misunderstood Jamaal Tinsley, whose seven years with Indiana ended with his being epoxied to the pine while the Pacers begged for some team to take him off their hands. The Grizzlies flirted with him for a while, but at the beginning of the 2011-12 season he was down in the D-League. The Jazz watched him play, signed him, and this year gave him a one-year contract extension. He missed his only shot tonight, but in ten minutes he came up with three boards and four dimes. Not a bad comeback for a 35-year-old.

The OKC road trip ends in a flurry: Thursday at Golden State, Friday at Portland. Games 81 and 82 are back at home: the Kings on Monday, the Bucks on Wednesday.

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He was touching his device

A section of the California Vehicle Code:

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.”

What if you’re neither listening nor talking? This was the pitch made by a defendant, who said that he was looking up something on Google Maps.

Not so fast, says the court:

“Our review of the statute’s plain language leads us to conclude that the primary evil sought to be avoided is the distraction the driver faces when using his or her hands to operate the phone. That distraction would be present whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator, a clock, or a device for sending and receiving text messages and e-mails.”

(Full text of decision [pdf].)

But then there’s this:

[A] new law went into effect during January 2013 that allows hands-free voice calls and texting. In order to accomplish this, the driver must use voice-operated applications that allow them to dictate, send and listen to wireless communication while driving.

So you’ll be slightly less distracted. Yay.

(Via Autoblog.)

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For all the new soldiers

I simply must link to this post of Tam’s, not only because it contains an epic ambush drill, but because it’s titled in Turkish, and correct Turkish at that. (Not all of us consistently get the dotted and undotted I sorted out. Even if it was just a cut/paste job, it’s easy to mess up.)

“Kapalıçarşı yeniçeri” she translates as the closest available equivalent to “ninja.” Fair enough. And I’d bet just about anything that she said it out loud and immediately recognized that second word as the source of our term “janissary.”

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A side glance

Lots of things happened on the 9th of April that were far more important than the opening of a Web site. On that date in 1947, tornadoes swept through Texas and Oklahoma, killing 181; on that date in 1989, the Soviet army broke up a demonstration in Tbilisi, Georgia, killing 20. On a happier note, on that date in 1965, supermodel Paulina Porizkova was born.

Paulina Porizkova

That’s funny, she doesn’t look happy.

Then again, she has some reservations about the industry in which she used to work:

When I was modeling in the 1980s, retouching was very expensive. It was hardly ever done. The models had to be a certain size, have perfect skin. Then along came Adobe Photoshop, and suddenly a 55-year-old actress can be doing a beauty campaign. I’m happy for her. But it did kill the model. Now models are nothing more than coathangers — skinny coathangers for hanging clothes on. It’s the designers’ fault. They’re designing with no regard for real women. They’re designing for a model who looks like a crow on a stick.

See also her 2007 novel A Model Summer.

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At seventeen

Surprisingly, this Web site is still not old enough to drink.

(This being a blogiversary of sorts, an Open Thread is proclaimed.)

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A piece of the cloud

Just signed up for DreamObjects, a cloud-storage solution offered by the surfer dudes who host this site. I figure, at some point I’ll need it, and I might as well take advantage of the promo pricing.

I have no idea how much stuff I plan to store up there, but they have storage plans from 20 GB a month (a buck thirty-five) to 100 TB a month ($4,500). Alternatively, there is usage-based billing, which costs a flat seven cents per gigabyte, plus seven to retrieve it. (Uploading it costs nothing.)

Ideas from the ground are of course welcomed. There’s already a plugin to back up the Web site from the WordPress admin. (The site runs about 2 GB.)

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