Also, I don’t use jelly

My mother would have objected to this, but then she’s seen me eating peanut butter out of the jar:

Shelf full of Kellogg's Jif cereal

On the upside, there’s no debate on how it’s pronounced.

(Via Cameron Miquelon.)

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The second best that you can do

Nobody knows protectionism like the French, and they’re not afraid of wielding it:

This past October, French lawmakers decided it was time to show Amazon who’s boss. Frustrated by Amazon’s fast and cheap book-selling model, which poses a threat to France’s healthy ecosystem of indie bookstores, politicians banded together to approve a bill that prohibited Jeff Bezos’ company and other online retailers from shipping discounted books for free. The measure is designed to protect traditional booksellers who have complained that Amazon is hurting their businesses.

The new minimum shipping charge from Amazon.fr: €0.01.

“We are unfortunately not allowed to offer you free shipping for ordering books,” Amazon writes in the FAQ section of its website. “We have therefore set delivery fees at one euro-cent for each order that contains books and that is sent by Amazon in order to systematically guarantee you the lowest price for your book orders.”

The other part of the protectionist scheme will not so easily be eluded: France has rewritten its law allowing 5 percent off list price to include brick-and-mortar retailers only. Still, one does not bet against Amazon — not for long, anyway.

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They never outgrow the cheerleaders

I am aware that the ability to lure women half your age into the sack is highly prized these days, at least among men my age. And while I’d be lying if I said I never thought about it, I’d be damned embarrassed if I came off like this:

We met on a dating site. Dave was interesting, gentlemanly and bright. He held my hand and toured with me on long bicycle rides. He drove many miles to come to my door. He made meals for us both and ruffled my dog’s happy head. I was enticed and longed for the full knowing of this man. And so, we planned a weekend together. That’s when things got confusing, unspoken and just-not-quite there. We went to bed in a couple’s way — unclothed and touching — all parts near. Kisses were shared and sleep came in hugs. I attempted more intimacy throughout the weekend and was deterred each time.

On Monday evening over the phone, I asked this man who had shared my bed for three nights running why we had not made love. “Your body is too wrinkly,” he said without a pause. “I have spoiled myself over the years with young woman. I just can’t get excited with you. I love your energy and your laughter. I like your head and your heart. But, I just can’t deal with your body.”

Dave is 55. Apparently he figures he’s still entitled to centerfold material. And this is what upset his applecart so:

I am a 59-year-old woman in great health and in good physical shape. I stand five-feet, nine-inches tall and weigh 135 pounds. I wear a size six in both jeans and panties, and my breasts are nowhere near my navel. In fact, they still struggle to make it full-up in a B-cup bra. My thighs are no longer velvet and my buttocks have dimples. My upper arms wobble a bit and my skin shows the marks of the sun. There is a softness around my waist that is no longer perfectly taut, and the pout of my abdomen attests to a c-section that took its bikini flatness — but gave me a son.

I should be in such shape, qualitatively speaking, at my age, which, you’ll remember, is only slightly beyond hers.

The manosphere would explain to me that Dave’s just exercising his Game, and maybe I’ll give him that. But the time to back off, I contend, is a long time before the third trip to the bedroom. And I have enough douchitude of my own to regret, thank you very much; you’re not helping.

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Ferrous anorthosite, you’re my hero

I had no reason to think this would catch anyone’s eye:

Marisa answered in TLO’s Monday Morning Tweets:

More specifically, lunar ferrous anorthosite.

If you’re not familiar with anorthosite, it’s a phaneritic, intrusive igneous rock characterized by a predominance of plagioclase feldspar (90 to 100 percent) and a minimal mafic component (0 to 10 percent). If you’re looking at the moon, the lighter-colored areas are largely composed of this very rock.

How much of this did I know before sitting down to write this? Around 15 to 25 percent, on a good day.

Maud Pie, alas, was not available for comment.

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Paywall for one and one for paywall

NewsOK has started reproaching me for using AdBlock Plus, and has requested an explanation from among the following choices:

  • To stop automatic video ads from playing.
  • I have privacy concerns.
  • Blocking, speeds up page load times for me.
  • I didn’t realize I was blocking ads on NewsOK.com.
  • I don’t want to see any online advertising.
  • My company blocks online advertising.
  • Other:

For “Other,” try this: “I pay you guys a couple hundred dollars a year and should not be subjected to any further indignities of this sort.”

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Every man an artisan

Just another fad for hipsters? It’s much, much more:

The idea is that all the mindless manual labor which our ancestors spent all of history trying to escape is actually beneficial for you, whereas letting modern machinery do your drudgework, like, cheapens your basic essential humanity somehow. So forget modern, impersonal, factory-made mass-produced clothing; you’re not really “dressed” unless you’re wearing clothes you made yourself, using your own spinning wheel to spin your own thread out of fibers from your own pet sheep or gardenful of flax or cotton plants, then weaving those threads into cloth with your own loom.

This is, after all, The Way It Should Be:

Do what our ancestors did: be independent and self-sufficient, live a healthy, natural back-to-the-Earth lifestyle, spend years of repetitive labor producing a single piece of fabric, then drop dead by 35.

Think of your carbon footprint, man!

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Return of the prodigal

Maybe Thomas Wolfe was right and you can’t go home again, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

To some skeptical residents, LeBron’s return to Cleveland is less that of the prodigal son’s triumphant return home than the straying husband who abandoned his longtime partner to chase a younger, hotter, firmer slice having second thoughts. Having realized he traded a deep love for a sweaty romp, he’s coming home with a bouquet of roses in one hand and a diamond bracelet in the other, begging forgiveness for his foolish mistake of lustful youth.

All that doesn’t make LeBron’s desire to return any less sincere. Who hasn’t at some time or other hurt those we loved? And it takes a lot of courage to return to what many Clevelanders might consider “the scene of the crime.” LeBron is one of the best players in the world. He could have gone anywhere, but he chose Cleveland, knowing he would have to endure a firestorm of criticism. Had he stayed in Miami or gone elsewhere, he would have been hoisted on shoulders and paraded through the streets. That testifies to his sincerity.

I’m not one of the best anything in the world, but I’ve left this town twice, and come back twice. So I tend to sympathize with King James: home is more than a location Google Maps has stored as a default. And if he pulls off in Cleveland, even once, what he did twice in Miami — well, let’s wait and see.

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Strange search-engine queries (441)

Another week goes by, another trip through — and sometimes over — the logs, looking for the search strings that brought you (no, not you, some other you) to this very site.

how to remove cd4e from 2000 mazda 626:  If you have to ask, you don’t have any business trying to do it in your back yard.

The Girl Gets Her Cape Tugged:  If it was Wonder Woman, you’re probably singing an octave higher by now.

mono recording and mixing:  Piece of cake. All you have to do is forget you have 31 (or 63) other tracks at your disposal.

What is tje function of the hold button one a ford gear lever:  I’d suggest you read the manual, but now that I come to think of it, this may be more difficult than I’d have expected. Also, you misspelled “teh.”

peter mulready drugs:  Hmmm. Never seen those at Walgreens.

99 cougar transmission shifts eratic when hot:  Oh. Erratic. I thought you were trying to say something else. (Never know with those Cougars.)

Mane six r34:  Take your clop somewhere else. Oh, and don’t touch the screen.

naked andrea boehrer:  Take your clop somewhere else. Oh, and don’t touch the screen.

what happens when you hold your breath and bite your tongue:  You get a much more entertaining session of the legislature.

vapor barriers NASCAR racing:  The delicate scent of melting tires should keep you from wandering onto the oval.

heir to the massengill fortune:  A perfect query for a summer’s eve.

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Battle of divulge

This site admittedly has its confessional aspects, and of the several thousand topics that have come up over the past eighteen years, at least a handful have involved revelations that might be considered uncomfortable, not so much for me to say as for you to hear.

Still, I’m pretty sure I’ve never quite gotten to this point:

I’m sitting across a woman and her daughter, about ten, give or take a year, on the CDTA (local) bus. The mom is on the phone talking to her friend, and I’m not paying attention, until she says: “Do you know what I really hate about Eddie [not his real name]? He comes into the bathroom when I’m trying to pee and s###!” Then she goes on about how, when she closes the bathroom door, he pounds on the door and demands to know what she’s doing in there. And she repeats her intentions.

At this point, the daughter says, “TMI, mommy!” She actually used the initials, rather than “too much information.” But either the mom doesn’t hear her, or feels the need to continue with this important telephonic conversation.

The girl is sitting right across from me, and looks at me with this exasperated gaze. I give her the “what can you do?” shrug. She says, a little louder, “Mommy, everybody on the bus can hear you!” This was probably true.

But Mommy manifestly did not care: the denunciation of Eddie [not his real name] was uppermost in her mind, and her outrage trumps everyone else’s discomfort.

Then again, Ed is not entirely blameless: bathrooms being generally devoid of creature comforts not specifically related to the tasks at hand, it should have been perfectly obvious what she was doing in there.

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Somewhat unlike Mountain Dew

At least, that’s what I’ve been given to believe:

You know, plants, if you’re just gonna hurl all over the place — well, I don’t know if it’s worth it burning all that Shell V-Power just to get you guys some carbon dioxide.

If you can deal with this, you can use it to wash down some Kale Granola Chocolate Bark by Coracao Confections.

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What is this

CAPTCHA: icant even

(Via Rebecca Black.)

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A word to health-conscious zombies

In the theme to the Popcap videogame Plants vs. Zombies, Laura Shigihara, as Sunflower, issues a warning to the zombies: “Brains are quite rich in cholesterol.”

It appears she was understating the case:

I once ran across a product called pork brains and milk gravy which I immediately bought. I never ate any of it, I just bought it to show to my friends. It came in a small can about the same size as the cans that Vienna sausages come in which I assumed was one serving.

The health label informed me that the can contained slightly over one thousand percent of the cholesterol that I could healthily wolf down in one day. In other words, ten days cholesterol in one sitting; a heart attack in a very small can.

Do zombies worry about heart attacks? Maybe they should.

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Leave it in neutral

The FCC has been taking comments on their “net neutrality” proposal, which is of course nothing of the sort. Author and media critic Jeff Jarvis has posted his online, from which I excerpt one paragraph:

We know that corporate incumbents in this industry will abuse the control they have to disadvantage competitors. I filed a complaint with the Commission last year when Verizon refused to connect my Google Nexus 7 LTE tablet to its network as required by the Commission’s own rules governing that spectrum as “open.” The incumbent ISPs have demonstrated well that they choose not to understand the definition of “open.”

Purely by coincidence, Entertainment Weekly senior writer Darren Franich notes (issue 1320):

[N]o one in America feels anything besides utter hatred for their cable company, so no one will mourn when all the Time Warners and Comcasts finally die two minutes after we press the “die” button on our remote controls.

Gee, where can I get a remote like that?

But that’s the deal: service providers, be they wired or wireless, have one goal in life, and making you happy is not it.

Side note: Entertainment Weekly was created by, yes, Jeff Jarvis, way back in the 1980s. (Issue #1 appeared in February 1990. I have read them all.)

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Sweaty in Seattle

Parella Lewis of KCPQ, aka Q13 Fox (Seattle/Tacoma), presents a startling statistic:

Five. Whole. Days.

And the record for consecutive days with highs 90 degrees plus in Oklahoma City (again, per NWS)?

Read the rest of this entry »

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More than mere speed

Neil deGrasse Tyson, introducing Car and Driver’s Speed Issue for 2014:

What we really seek are rapid changes in our speed. Those who recite the fast-lane mantra “I feel the need for speed” almost surely instead mean “I can’t wait to accelerate.”

People who like the feel of going fast prefer a stiff suspension because it allows you to “feel the road,” which is driver’s code for feeling all the abrupt disruptions to what would otherwise be a smooth and steady ride.

In the formal language of physics, we go a step further: Acceleration is not only a change in speed (up or down) but also a change in direction. That’s why going around tight turns — especially banked turns — is vastly more fun than driving in a straight line. That’s why the most-fun roller coasters are not the ones that go fast, but the ones that flip, twist and turn you incessantly.

Two or three months from now, we’ll see a couple of letters from drag-strip fans who question that “change in direction” line. (Sorry, guys: acceleration is a vector quantity, with both magnitude and direction.) Then again, what can you say about someone whose fun is over in 16 seconds or less?

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Some last-century thinking

There are message boards that specialize in girlie pix, and even in sections of girlie pix, one of which (never you mind) was offering this stirring photo of Carole Lombard from here down:

Carole Lombard, mostly

The description hinted that there was something risqué about the full photo, which of course I immediately sought out:

Carole Lombard with John Barrymore

Her partner in crime here is John Barrymore, and this turns out to be a publicity still for Columbia’s 1934 comedy Twentieth Century, much of which is set on the fabled 20th Century Limited train between New York and Chicago. The key number here is 1934, that being the year that the Production Code was first enforced, and needless to say, the Hays Office would have had a problem with this sort of thing. This image wasn’t in the actual film, though, so it fell under the jurisdiction of the Advertising Advisory Council, headed by Joseph I. Breen, later the Production Code’s chief enforcer. An explanation, plus a larger version of the photo:

One wonders which more drew the wrath of the moralist Breen: the acres and acres of lovely Lombard leg on display, or the hint of a nipple just above Barrymore’s hand. Maybe both were equal opportunity offenders. And perhaps Carole and John knew this picture wasn’t going to pass muster anyway, so instead they decided to milk it for all its worth, sort of along the lines of Jean Harlow flashing a topless display “for the boys in the lab” at the end of her rain barrel scene in Red Dust two years before.

Oh, my, yes, Red Dust (MGM, ’32). Even in the surviving footage, the normally unflappable Clark Gable seems seriously flapped.

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