— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 21, 2014
When’s the last time that happened?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 21, 2014
When’s the last time that happened?
George Hamilton IV — yes, that was his real name, and no, he’s not related to the guy with the preternatural tan — was one of the guys who taught me how to rewrite songs on the fly for satirical (I hoped) purposes. Of course, neither Hamilton nor the writers of his biggest hit song (Bob Gibson and John D. Loudermilk) ever intended such a thing: it just happened.
This was that biggest chart hit, hitting #15 on the pop chart and #1 country in 1963:
Which I promptly turned into an auto-parts advertisement:
Slipperiest oil that I’ve ever seen;
All my engines run real clean
With Valvoline —
Hamilton himself made mockery of “Abilene” in the four-dollar-a-gallon days:
Hamilton’s other big hit, “A Rose and a Baby Ruth” — well, let’s not get too blatant here.
George, a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1960, died last week of a heart attack in Nashville at seventy-seven.
In June of 2010, Amazon moved one step closer to Total World Domination by buying Woot from founder Matt Rutledge for somewhere in the low nine figures. Rutledge eventually wearied of being a cog in the Bezos machine, and decamped in 2012 to found Mediocre Laboratories, floating several ideas, one of which was code-named “Pavlov”: “The simple fun of a single daily event store went downhill with the added clutter of selection is a rebirth possible?”
It is. Rutledge shelled out moderately big bucks for meh.com we said “meh” and resumed doing what he presumably loved best. If anything, it’s even more barebones than the original Woot. From the FAQ:
Q: Ok, got it, simplicity and focus, one thing for sale each day, no hype, a community. So where do I follow you, like you and sign up for daily emails?
A: You don’t. If you want to find out what’s for sale, come to the site. Shit, meh.com is a 3-character domain, just type it in already.
Shipping remains $5, but new products now come on at midnight Eastern time instead of Central. And Mediocre is “concocting other experiments to rid you of excess cash,” perhaps as elegant as Rutledge’s Kickstarter for the site, which raised $14,000 in four days.
What you want to know, though, is this: Do they still have the infamous, um, Bags? Yes, they do.
While I’m Clark Kenting around here doing the bloggy stuff, my (not all that) secret identity is churning out pony stories. (They’re on the sidebar, in case you’d somehow missed them.) Turns out, there is historical and religious precedent for this sort of thing.
(A tip of the tiara to Fillyjonk, who sent me this idea four days ago and probably wondered if I was going to do anything with it.)
Nicole goes digging into deepest tax lore, and comes away annoyed:
[T]hat whole “Paperwork Reduction Act” that is cited on all IRS paperwork? That’s just insulting. The only thing the IRS is good at (besides being used as a tool of political vengeance) is killing trees. If all of this is reduced paperwork, I truly shudder to think of what it would be like prior to reduction.
The problem here is that it’s called the Paperwork Reduction Act, but nothing in the Act actually mandates the reduction of paperwork:
The Paperwork Reduction Act mandates that all federal government agencies receive approval from OMB in the form of a “control number” before promulgating a paper form, website, survey or electronic submission that will impose an information collection burden on the general public. The term “burden” is defined as anything beyond “that necessary to identify the respondent, the date, the respondent’s address, and the nature of the instrument.” No one may [be] penalized for refusing an information collection request that does not display a control number. Once obtained, approval must be renewed every three years.
The process created by the Paperwork Reduction Act makes OIRA into a centralized clearinghouse for all government forms.
And of course, OIRA generates paperwork of its own.
Consider: were this Act actually going to reduce a burden imposed by government, there wasn’t a chance in hell that Jimmy Carter would ever have signed it especially since it was December 1980 and he knew he’d be out of work in a month’s time.
“The man whose life is devoted to paperwork has lost the initiative. He is dealing with things that are brought to his notice, having ceased to notice anything for himself.” C. Northcote Parkinson
I remember reading this for some now-forgotten reason:
In the United States, Mallomars are produced by Nabisco. A graham cracker circle is covered with a puff of extruded marshmallow, then enrobed in dark chocolate, which forms a hard shell. Mallomars were introduced to the public in 1913, the same year as the Moon Pie (a confection which has similar ingredients). The first box of Mallomars was sold in West Hoboken, New Jersey (now Union City, New Jersey).
Mallomars are generally available from early October through to April. They are not distributed during the summer months, supposedly because they melt easily in summer temperatures, though this is as much for marketing reasons as for practical ones. Devoted eaters of the cookie have been known to stock up during winter months and keep them refrigerated over the summer, although Nabisco markets other fudge-coated cookie brands year-round. Eighty-seven percent of all Mallomars are sold in the New York metropolitan area. They are produced entirely within Canada, at a factory in Scarborough, Ontario. The issue of Nabisco’s choice to release Mallomars seasonally became a parodied topic on a sketch delivered by graphic artist Pierre Bernard on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
I do remember my reaction, though: “Yeah, like I’ll ever see any of those here, in the land of nine-month summers.”
Today, I have a box of Mallomars, courtesy of Crest Foods. Now Crest usually discounts Nabisco stuff fairly heavily: the standard bag of Oreos is typically $2.50, occasionally as low as $1.99. I paid $4.50 for this. I’m wondering if I should keep them in the fridge or in a safety-deposit box.
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” Sophia Loren
She’s eighty today. I know my duty when I see it:
As you may have come to expect, each of these may be enlarged with a click.
See also Roger Green’s Sophia retrospective.
“Have you noticed,” the pundits point out, “that you’ll never see workaday Muslims denouncing the atrocities routinely committed in the name of Allah?”
“Never” is a long time. And yes, yes, I know: taqiyya. But once in a while I feel like I ought to be giving someone the benefit of the doubt, so this smallish demonstration yesterday at one of the busier intersections in town on the northeast corner of Pennsylvania at Northwest Distressway, putting it squarely on my route home was ever so slightly heartening, especially in a town where mosques are occasionally defaced by persons unknown.
[T]he majority of signs held by the pro-peace crowd at Northwest Expressway and Pennsylvania Avenue by Penn Square Mall, were to drive the point home that terrorist group ISIS is not a representation of Islam, as some held the sign saying “ISIS DOES NOT REPRESENT ME!”
The rally was largely led by CAIR-OK and their executive director Adam Soltani and Imam Imad Enchassi. Both have spoken out against Republican legislator John Bennett of Sallisaw, who recently made very bigoted and inflammatory remarks against Muslim Americans and has since refused to back down or apologize for his hurtful, hateful statements.
“Hurtful” and “hateful,” verbally anyway, are turning into this century’s Frick and Frack.
I admittedly didn’t get really good looks at most of the crowd, but I didn’t see anyone giving off an aura of “Kill!” Our old friend Jennifer James took photos for RDR, and they look similarly benign. And the planners were astute enough to bunch everyone together, unlike the usual approach for demonstrations at this intersection, which is to take over two, even three, corners; this creates a sense of unity.
Update, 23 September: A response from Charles Pergiel.
Update, 26 September: Then again, civilized people do not engage in beheadings.
I spotted this last night on Fark:
Anyone want to guess how many products are in this line?
No, seriously, I have no idea:
There are more than 20 varieties of the traditional Hot Pocket, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner varieties. Nestlé also offers Lean Pockets, Pretzel Bread Hot and Lean Pockets, Hot Pockets Croissant Crust (formerly called Croissant Pockets), Hot Pockets Breakfast items, and Hot Pockets Sideshots. Nestlé formerly produced Hot Pie Express, Hot Pocket Pizza Minis (originally called Hot Pockets Pizza Snacks), Hot Pockets Subs, Hot Pockets Calzones, Hot Pockets Panini, and Hot Pockets Breakfast fruit pastries.
Then again, I often pay the long dollar at lunch for Stouffer’s, another Nestlé product, so maybe I should shut up already.
I was going to get outraged and say “The military is not there to boost the president’s poll numbers!” but that would be disingenuous; of course they are, and presidents have been using them for that since George had to make a standing army to go shake down Pennsylvanian farmers. But they should at least be used for military-type missions.
The administration says that the troops in West Africa will be there for logistical support reasons, to build hospitals and refugee housing and whatnot. But haven’t I just spent a whole damned Iraq war hearing about how KBR and DynCorp and Spacely Sprockets can do that stuff cheaper and more effectively than the lumbering dinosaur of the DoD?
Are we sending 3,000 personnel into even theoretical danger so that congresscritters in tough races can go pose with carefully-selected-for-diversity photo-op platoons of ACU-clad troopies stacking rice bags and building hospitals among throngs of smiling wogs right before election time? It’s cynical of me to think so, but if true, then for shame! (As though the parties responsible would know shame if it bit them on the ass.)
At the very least, we should be sending congresscritters into theoretical danger. Or maybe not so theoretical; if they’re so damned important, let’s have their boots on the ground.
The canonical Explanation of Social Media, up until now, has involved donuts: on Twitter, you’d see “I’m eating a #donut,” while on LinkedIn, it’s more likely to be “My skills include donut eating.”
Now I like donuts as much as the next guy, maybe more if the next guy has an impacted sweet tooth, but I don’t write about them very much. By comparison:
— Zindigo (@Zindigo) September 18, 2014
The shoes, incidentally, are by Gianvito Rossi, stand 4.3 inches high, and run $1135; they’re from the ’14 Cruise collection.
Ms Mallet came to Zindigo from Neiman Marcus, where she was the senior fashion director.
(Via @PatriotsOfMars, whom you may know under another name or two.)
This, of course, is true. However, it does give me the opportunity to trot out a favorite comedy bit: “The Pirate Alphabet,” from Michael Nesmith’s 1981 comedy video Elephant Parts, which I still have on LaserDisc.
You’d be surprised how many of these letters aren’t R.
Argentina’s National Institute for Agricultural Technology (INTA) has invented a way to convert cow flatulence into usable energy, and it involves putting a plastic backpack on a cow.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cow flatulence and burping, accounts for 5.5 million metric tons of methane per year in the United States, that’s 20% of total US methane emissions.
Yeah, but how much is that per cow?
According to the INTA experimentation, tubes run from the backpack into the cows’ rumen (or biggest digestive tract). They extract about 300 liters of methane a day, which is enough to run a car or a fridge for about 24 hours.
I’m guessing really large fridge or really small car.
I’m still not buying ketchup as a vegetable, though.
And the first two, at that:
They’ve changed the page style slightly since then, but rules are rules.
(Dodd Harris saw this before I did.)
The little City News insert that comes with Oklahoma City’s water bill this month has a section this month that five years ago would have been inconceivable. Topic: “What you should do in a large earthquake,” and this is the suggested routine:
Drop, Cover and Hold On! It is the safest action to take during ground shaking. There are three steps:
1. DROP to the ground,
2. Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table,
3. HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
This will probably not work (1) with something other than a desk or table (2) in a tornado.
Quakiest earthquake ever recorded in this state was 5.6, and yes, I noticed it.
WalletHub, borrowing data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, has attempted to determine the most fair and the least fair state tax systems. Admittedly, mine eyes glazeth over at the presence of “fair” and “tax system” in the same sentence, but I figured I wouldn’t come down with glaucoma from reading their pitch, and if I did, well, I have friends in Colorado.
Oklahoma shows up at #29, about where I expected; the state, says the report, is not overly dependent on property or income taxes, but makes up the difference in sales tax and some of our state-specific Wacky Fees. By this reckoning, the fairest of them all is Montana; bottom of the list is Washington state, which lacks an income tax altogether but which will kill you, or at least maim you, with sales tax. Looking at quintiles, Washington is 7th in undertaxation of the top 20 percent, and first in overtaxation of the bottom 20. (How they rank for glaucoma, I have no idea.)
I was at least somewhat alarmed when I noticed that WalletHub also ran an opinion poll, mostly because I, like most Americans, tend to think other people’s opinions of taxes aren’t worth diddly. I was not surprised, though, to see fairly universal support for a progressive (in the numerical sense) income tax:
Although conservatives appear to support higher taxes on the poor and lower taxes on the rich, the general trend is the same: all Americans believe a fair state and local tax system taxes wealthy households at a higher rate than lower- and middle-income households.
The bottom of the “poor” scale, for this purpose, is an annual income of $5,000; “rich” tops out at $2.5 million. But even the economic liberals quail at more than a 20% impost on the wealthiest, and are willing to accept a percentage point or two at the low end. Somewhere between $30k and $50k, the curves cross.
And this is where it gets interesting. Presented with the hard ITEP data, both sides awarded Montana the top slot, both picked Washington for the bottom, and both left Oklahoma at #29. I conclude that my opinion of taxes is likely worth as little diddly as anyone else’s.