War of attrition

This game opened with four players out: Blake Griffin and J. J. Barea for the Clippers, Kendrick Perkins and Anthony Morrow for the Thunder. (Perk, as always the One in One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other, wasn’t injured: he drew a one-game suspension for a head-butting incident involving a New Orleans butthead.) And after the game opened, Glen “Big Baby Davis” departed with back spasms, and Steven Adams dislocated a finger or something. (Adams, who was fouled on the play, came back out of the locker room to hit one of two free throws, just in case he might be able to return. He did not.)

With limited personnel, the strategy becomes simple: hit your shots and keep the other guys from hitting theirs. The third quarter today could serve as an object lesson, the Thunder walloping the Clippers 35-19 for a 101-75 advantage going into the fourth. Three minutes later, Doc Rivers had seen enough, and he started subbing in what subs he had; OKC ran that lead to as much as 32, and finished off the Clips with aplomb, 131-108.

Spencer Hawes, starting at the four in the absence of Griffin, knocked out 17 points in the first half. That’s all he would get. Chris Paul came up with a double-double: 18 points, 13 assists, and perhaps most remarkably, three fouls. (CP3 inevitably took issue with all of them.) Matt Barnes tossed up 15 points; super sixth man Jamal Crawford came up with 21, and little-used C. J. Wilcox grabbed ten in Extended Garbage Time.

For Oklahoma City, the usual guys got their usual numbers: Kevin Durant 29, Russell Westbrook 19 (with 11 assists), Serge Ibaka 13. What was fun was watching Reggie Jackson go 6-6 for 15 points; what was even more fun was watching Mitch McGary, who’d scored four whole points all season, getting the call early and collecting a double-double. Seriously. 19 points on 8-9 shooting, 10 rebounds. (Both McGary and Jackson were +19; Dion Waiters, with 16 points, was +21.) Change of pace: the Thunder reserves, who scored a feeble 11 against New Orleans night before last, this time put up 62. And the Clippers seemed to be suffering from Board Avoidance Syndrome, outrebounded by OKC 54-29.

A quick trip to Denver for a Monday-night scuffle, a visit from the Grizzlies on Wednesday, and it’s the All-Star break. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I definitely need a break.

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Fark blurb of the week

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Welcome to karma

It was all I could do to keep from spewing BWAHAHAHAHAHAH! all over the answer box:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Downloaded the golf club off of piratebay.sx and it was a codex if thats any help but when i open the game it opens the steam store?

Thieves complaining about the merchandise they stole. Sheesh.


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Woll’s between us

Deborah Ann Woll, thirty today, is best known for her role as Jessica Hamby in HBO’s series True Blood, and this is how she started:

In her human life, Jessica was raised in a strict, devout Christian family in Shreveport, Louisiana. Jessica and her younger sister Eden were homeschooled and only allowed to go to Bible study and clarinet lessons. Her father would often beat Jessica with his belt to punish her for her faults. Jessica’s mother was oblivious to this abuse — in a later episode, Jessica attributed this to her mother’s “stupidness”. Jessica resented the restrictions of her life dearly and secretly developed a rebellious attitude to her father’s dominance. Shortly before her appearance in True Blood, she chooses to sneak out after her bible study to attend a friend’s party. In events off-screen, she was subsequently captured by vampires and brought to the scene of a vampire trial, where the Magister, the enforcer of vampire justice, intended to use her as part of a sentence for a vampire on trial.

Of course, that “human” life was superseded by her existence as a vampire in her own right:

Deborah Ann Woll on HBO

Outside of True Blood, Deborah Ann seems pretty normal:

Deborah Ann Woll as a civilian

In the unlikely event that she tries to put the bite on you, tell her that you’re just totally full of gluten.

Next up: as Karen Page, secretary to Daredevil, The Man Without Fear.

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It goes with your milk-white complexion

Mascara made from Oreo cookies:

She has also made eyeliner from M&Ms.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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Right-lane loafer

A sniveling letter to the editor of the Oklahoman:

Oklahoma City drivers need a refresher on what “yield” means. Every day, I experience drivers entering Interstate 44 and failing to yield to oncoming traffic. These drivers approach traffic almost at highway speeds while on the on-ramp and force themselves into highway traffic, causing drivers to brake suddenly or even stop, just to let a noncompliant driver in. One of the worst on-ramps is I-44 southbound at NW 10.

Inasmuch as an inordinate number of on-ramps in this town provide no way to see what’s approaching in the slow lane, the solution to this is simple: approach traffic at higher than highway speeds. (For those who might be wondering: this is what the top half of the tach is for.) If I’m going faster than you, obviously I’m not in your way, unless you’re that one cretin in a thousand who takes offense and tailgates for the next five miles, in which case dying in a fire might be the kindest fate I wish for you.

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Please have a seat

Just don’t think about what you’re doing when you do:

Prototype Hello Kitty toilet seat

About all I can do here is repeat the Atlantic blurb:

An employee for Japanese character goods maker Sanrio displays a prototype model of a Hello Kitty branded toilet seat at Sanrio’s headquarters in Tokyo on February 2, 2015. The device has seat heating and warm water shower functions.

The sort of thing one purchases at the Home Depot — basically, an oval of compressed factory sweepings with a semi-regular hole in the middle — probably wouldn’t even be recognized in Japan.

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Shacking down

Radio Shack, so-called because they’re usually not in shacks and they seldom if ever sell radios, has filed for Chapter 11; about half the stores — 1800 or so — will be closed in three waves, including, so far as I can tell, eleven in Oklahoma.

First group:

  • Broken Arrow, 1348 E. Hillside Dr.
  • Tulsa, 7454 S. Olympia Ave.
  • Tulsa, 10035 S. Memorial Dr.

Second group:

  • Oklahoma City, 5928 SW 3rd St.
  • Oklahoma City, 11725 S. Western Ave.
  • Owasso, 12305 E. 96th St. N.
  • Tulsa, 8518 E. 71st St.

Third group:

  • Altus, 1307 N. Main St.
  • Oklahoma City, 1841 Belle Isle Blvd.
  • Ponca City, 3000 N. 14th St.
  • Sapulpa, 126 E. Taft Ave.

And you probably should find another place to get your obscure batteries, since the remaining stores may end up going to Sprint.

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Slurped into the maw

The Pelicans got the last nine points of the third quarter, and the first five of the fourth, leaving the Thunder in a seven-point hole after having once led by a dozen. With 3:00 left, New Orleans was up 103-100, and Serge Ibaka was on the bench with six fouls. (Seven, if you count the technical, which you don’t.) This was not the best time for Kevin Durant, apparently healed of his toe sprain, to have trouble shooting. With 18 seconds left, it was NO 111, OKC 110; Tyreke Evans somehow missed two free throws, but the Thunder came up dry on the next possession, and Anthony Davis knocked down a pair to give the Birds a three-point lead with two seconds to go; incredibly, Russell Westbrook’s trey didn’t go, but he was fouled, and Russ scored all three free throws to tie it at 113 with 1.2 seconds left. Even more incredibly, Anthony Davis got in a trey just barely at the horn. New Orleans 116, Oklahoma City 113, and the Pelicans win the season series 3-1.

Between Davis, who got his 41st point of the night with that buzzer-beater, and Evans, who had a triple-double (22 points, 16 assists, 10 rebounds), it’s perhaps a surprise the Birds were held to a mere 116; they made 11 of 20 treys all night, shot 48 percent overall, got 25 of 30 free throws to fall, and held 26-19 advantages in assists and 46-40 off the glass. This is the number I’m looking at, though: the New Orleans bench, mostly Quincy Pondexter and Ryan Anderson, collected 36 points, while the Thunder reserves managed only 11.

Among the OKC starters, Westbrook was clearly on: those last three free throws gave him 48 points for the night, a new career high. (Not to mention an average of 46.5 for the last two games.) Durant, clearly off, still came up with 27 points, albeit on 9-26 shooting; Ibaka and Steven Adams (also the recipient of a T) had 10 each.

The Clippers, who have obligingly dropped three in a row, will be here Sunday at noon. Maybe I’ll wake up for it.

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And lo, down was gotten

You already know the story:

The bell tolls seven times and I arise;
my fast is broken with a bowl of gruel.

And twelve lines more, as Pop Sonnets takes on Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”

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Somebody, I forget his name, said back in the Malaise Era that US energy policies were wacko, to the extent that if we had the last gallon of gasoline on earth, we’d probably sell it for 85 cents.

It would be more like two and a quarter today — with prices on the rise again, I got only one chance to fill Gwendolyn’s 70-liter tank with Shell V-Power at under two bucks a gallon — but while gasoline demand has been declining a bit, a reason for the previous price collapse that was popular among people who fear the wrath of Saudi Arabia, it hasn’t been declining that much, and current car buyers are paying even less attention to EPA fuel-economy estimates than usual. Demand, one might reasonably conclude, is relatively inelastic. And this is not the only commodity so affected:

What if it’s chocolate? What would people not pay for chocolate? The price elasticity for chocolate (whoops, now I’m going to make technical mistakes — beware) is negative. It might even be a Giffen good. In other words, you want it so badly that no matter what Hershey’s charges, you’re going to pay. With regard to the supply going tits up, Starbucks coffee drinkers will drink all of South America’s coffee plants bare. There will never be a point at which gasoline costs too much for us to not empty all the wells. We will eat all of the bluefin tuna sushi until there is no more in the sea, and the businesses between us and the raw materials of the earth will spin their flywheels until the whole enterprise crumbles. In other words, people will watch Robin Williams tell jokes until the day he dies, even if show business is killing him. And the day before his last show, there will be no indication by the price of the ticket that it is the very last ticket.

Consumers won’t know, because whatever it is, they can afford it. And then it’s a ghost town.

At the moment, I’m just grateful there exists no chocolate-covered gasoline — which would, of course, be premium-priced.

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Make mine drab

Hey, somebody has to keep this place from falling apart:

Sometimes I wish I were the creative one. Or the good singer. Or the athlete. Or more comfortable taking risks. Or something else. I don’t know why. I know that it’s valuable to be able to count on someone to get stuff done, and that there are a lot of people who aren’t reliable … but it’s kind of an awful thing to be known for, I think. If we’re talking Hollywood stereotypes, instead of the “fun dame” or the “manic pixie dream girl,” I’m the spinster schoolmarm who disapproves of everything.

Considering how much in everyday life deserves disapproval, I don’t see this as being so terrible.

And how many times has that “fun dame” been passed over to the next guy, and the next, and the next? Probably more often than we’d want to imagine.

I close with a quote from one of the most quotable people I know: myself.

Be wary of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The most immediate effect of being swept off your feet is losing your equilibrium.

Some of us would just as soon not lose ourselves in the moment.

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Quote of the week

Almost a mocking tone here, one might say:

Well played, sir.

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It’s all just metal

Bark M. has a chat with the co-owner of a used-car dealership, and this bit of pragmatism pops up:

He told me about a beautiful 2013 E350 Sport 4Matic that he sold to a customer, and how finally getting rid of that car was going to enable him to go buy TWO used trucks at auction that week. “Those things we can really make some money on,” he excitedly shared with me. “People are still afraid of car payments in this economy. It’s much easier for me to move a few used trucks that I can get people into $210-220 payments on than these high-end cars. Those cars have two kinds of customers — over-educated pricks who come in here and tell me how much I paid for the car and how they don’t think I should be allowed to make any money on them, and then the people who don’t have any ability to actually pay for them.”

I certainly wouldn’t mind a 2013 E350 Sport 4Matic, but while I might be able to afford it (maybe), I’m not going in with the idea of intimidating dealer staff: they know more angles than I possibly can, and I pride myself on not being an overeducated prick.

Still, car payments, in many cases, are indeed something to be feared. There’s at least one person almost every single day on Yahoo! Answers who just bought a car in the last couple of months and is now, in that innocuous British phrase, being “made redundant”; invariably he wants to know if he can take it back to the dealership, the way he’d return a low-end power tool to Walmart. (No, he can’t.)

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Too young they awaken

“Nature hike,” they said. Those Cub Scouts had no idea what they were in for:

The troop was hiking in Torrey Pines State Beach in California last month when they “encountered some individuals who were inappropriately dressed,” according to a statement from Karl Shelton, the camping director for a San Diego chapter of the Boy Scouts of America.


Local news reports identified the beach the troop had mistakenly ventured onto as Black’s Beach, a naturalist or nude beach located below the Torrey Pines bluffs.


You may be certain that the Scouts were diverted rather quickly after the discovery.

(Via Sophie Rolstad.)

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Origaming the system

Another example of the method of protest being more entertaining than the actual circumstance being protested:

According to a report from the Times Record News, police say a Wichita Falls, TX man refused to leave the county courthouse while trying to pay his tax bill.

Paying your bill is totally legal, of course, but a county tax official accused him of disrupting the operation and efficiency of the tax office because he handed over his $600 payment with $1 bills folded so tightly, each one “required tax office personnel approximately six minutes to unfold each bill,” police say.

Staff attempted to eject him; when he wouldn’t go, they hauled him off to jail. They didn’t say what he used to post $500 bail. Me, I just want to know how someone in Texas has a property-tax bill of only $600.

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