Mary Jane in stereo

Cristina of ShoeTease has been crushing on this Nine West (Canada) Mary Jane:


I haven’t worn Mary Janes since I was young. And I mean, really young! I’ve always loved their flirty, school girl appeal, but never thought anyone over the age of 25 could pull them off. But then I started seeing some amazing street style. You know, with these fabulous older women wearing their strappy closed-toe heels with kick flare jeans, boho dresses and more. I was inspired.

Three inches might be just a little tall for a Mary Jane, but I have very nearly persuaded myself that the double-strap array visually offsets some of that perceived vertical. In the States, Amazon is selling this in blue or in grey for $99.

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Perhaps she do lie

In Britain, if you’re buying cocaine, you apparently have the right to assume that you’re actually getting cocaine:

A conman who was found to be selling washing powder as cocaine has ended up in court for fraud.

Jamie Lee Taylor, 27, passed off the household cleaning product as Class A drugs for two months. His enterprise paid off in the short term as he made “a fair bit of money”, Teesside Crown Court heard. But he ended up in the dock as he had broken the law, despite never having sold illegal narcotics.

In vain did counsel argue that it’s not illegal to sell washing powder. Taylor, though, was busted for offering to supply cocaine and “possession of an article for use in fraud.” I suspect he came up with this scheme the last time he’d been imprisoned. And truth be told, I’m somewhat amused at the vision of someone snorting Daz.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Fuller service

Drive all the way to the gas station? Too much work:

For the next three months, Bentley owners in California can have gasoline delivered to their vehicle via an app. Because the service (called “Filld for Bentley”) is meant to be the ultimate in convenience, that means anytime, anywhere. Owners simply open an app and request the filling time — the vehicle’s connectivity functions and the Filld app work together to locate the vehicle and unlock the fuel cap.

The automaker calls it “concierge fuel service,” which brings to mind images of a silver urn rolled in on an ornate teak dolly. Perhaps even a decanter. (And how will these deliverymen be dressed?)

In something premium, one hopes.

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A sort of milestone

A snapshot of the WordPress dashboard:

20,000 Posts

Actually, that was taken yesterday, so now it’s slightly more than twenty thousand posts.

This particular database begins in September 2006, so it includes the last ten years — though obviously not the first ten years.

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Nothing to do, nowhere to go?

There’s a sign going up in Forest Hills in the borough of Queens that you just might want to see:

An intersection in Forest Hills, New York will be officially renamed “The Ramones Way” as a memorial to the legendary punk band. It [is] the intersection of 67th Avenue and 110th Street, right in front of Forest Hills High School, where the band’s original lineup met and would later become inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

The street will officially be unveiled on October 23, following a proposal passed by the City Council July 14, according to councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills).

(With thanks to Rob O’Hara, who quipped: “In other news, I still have to get off the interstate at Garth Brooks Blvd.”)

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Breaking snooze

I know this entirely too well:

I woke a bit after four, stumbled to the bathroom and then was unable to go back to sleep. So it goes. My ability to compartmentalize and shut down my brain at times in order to relax has left me along with my ability to throw a sharp curve ball. I tell my brain to “Shut up, Donnie,” but it just keeps bringing up more stuff.

I know the root cause of my inability to sleep. I just cannot get deep into REM lying on my back. Fifty-four years of habit won’t be changed in two and one half months. I snore more on my back, I wriggle around more. It is just the way of things. Hopefully, the Doc will let me sleep on my belly after my next visit later this month. If not, I will eventually get used to sleeping on my back. Or I will keep getting four or five hours of sleep. It gives me something to complain write about.

I do either left side or right side — and each side gets at least a dozen tries every night. And I can’t remember the last time I slept for six hours straight.

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Still in Spain

With Steven Adams still hors de combat, Billy Donovan went with four of Monday’s starting five, inserting Enes Kanter in the center position. This didn’t last long; Kanter rolled up the points easily enough, but so did FC Barcelona, and Kanter was replaced by Ersan Ilyasova. (Interchangeable Turks! Only in Oklahoma City.) Amusingly, the power at the Palau Sant Jordi went off during halftime, but it didn’t delay the game much. This wasn’t the scoring fest that took place on Monday in Madrid, by any means; the Thunder squeaked by, 92-89, on the strength of a 5-0 late run. Still, Kanter, left to his own devices, managed to come up with 24 points; Victor Claver led FCB with 25. And that’s it for the Spanish part of the preseason; there will be almost a week to recover from jet lag.

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And he makes the team

Tim Tebow takes the next step forward:

There were supposedly no guarantees in his contract, so Tim Tebow earned his way on to the Mets’ Arizona Fall League team. Those spots are usually reserved for a franchise’s promising young prospects, but the former NFL quarterback has apparently impressed the Mets.

The 30-year old outfielder will report this Sunday to the Arizona Fall League and play for Scottsdale. Tom Goodwin will manage the club as soon as his responsibilities as first base coach for the Mets conclude.

“We want Tim to play in more games to continue developing his skills on the field while facing advanced competition,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said.

Among other players who’ve come up through the ranks of the Scottsdale Scorpions: Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, and, um, Michael Jordan (in 1994, when he hit .252).

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The A word

That word is “affordable,” and as usual, it doesn’t mean what everyone was taught it meant:

Health insurance premiums will likely increase by an average of 76 percent for Oklahomans who buy individual coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. The increases for individual market plans range from 58 percent to 96 percent.

“These jaw-dropping increases make it clear that Oklahoma’s exchange is on life support,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Health insurers are losing massive amounts of money. If they don’t raise rates they’ll go out of business. This system has been doomed from the beginning.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the only health insurer offering plans on the federal exchange in 2017, submitted the increases to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS will determine if the increases are reasonable. The increase requests follow many insurers reporting significant losses, lower than expected enrollment by the younger population and new customers being sicker than expected. ACA-compliant off-exchange individual plans sold by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma will see the same increases as plans sold on the exchange.

UnitedHealthcare, which was on the exchange last year, has withdrawn.

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Some hard-headed research

There are minor concussions, and there are major concussions. And they tend to look exactly alike out in the field, which makes this gizmo pretty useful:

“Did your brain slow down? How do we measure that objectively?” said Dr. Nancey Tsai, the creator of the Blink Reflexometer.

She said the device can answer those questions.

In the blink of an eye, she said the device can determine if there’s been any changes to the brain’s processing abilities. CEO Mark Semler and the team at the Zucker Institute of Applied Neuroscience in Charleston helped make the invention a reality.

“The computer logs 20 parameters per eye — all these different subtleties about the blink reflex,” said Semler. Through quick air bursts, the device measures the brain’s reaction time. Unlike other technology, this provides numbers.

Right now, it has one disadvantage:

The Blink Reflexometer is currently hauled around on a cart, but eventually, they’ll make it into a handheld device to use on the sidelines at both professional and high school sports.

It’s probably pricey, but hey: sportsball.

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Struck with great force

So far, I’ve heard one track from Valkyrie, the new album by Glass Hammer, it having been recommended to me by Francis W. Porretto, and I’m passing it on to you, all fourteen minutes of it.

Like the best prog rock, it’s about what it says at least as much as what it sounds like. And like the best prog rock, it comes off as vaguely European, though Glass Hammer in fact originated in Chattanooga.

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Zooeypalooza 24!

Has it been almost a year without a Zooeypalooza? This cannot be allowed to stand. Or to sit prettily, either.

Zooeypalooza 24!

Embiggenment, as always, comes with clickage.

Paloozas of yore: ZP 1, ZP 2, ZP 3, ZP 4, ZP 5, ZP 6, ZP 7, ZP 8, ZP 9, ZP 10, ZP 11, ZP 12, ZP 13, ZP 14, ZP 15, ZP 16, ZP 17, ZP 18, ZP 19, ZP 20, ZP 21, ZP 22, ZP 23.

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Toss that word salad

I still have an AOL mailbox, at least partially because I’ve never had a good reason to delete it. Not much shows up in it. And this particular piece of spam, allegedly touting “bathroom remodeling trends by experts in yuor [sic] area,” had a fair number of hidden phrases to give it seeming validity.

Seeming, that is, until you actually read them:

1EH honour

animalism pickup cargo plaint with pompon or sledge thread luminous saliva taffeta with baby or captious 63e road

flitch dysentery shuffle repository with foul or materialism
congruity classical thymus

vane of germinate proceeding canter woodshed mortar ruby viosterol with qursh or interplay fiancee of enormity flamboyant glaze

Then again, maybe I’d like a bathroom with flamboyant glaze, enormity notwithstanding.

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Not a scorpion

Skunks, it appears, have a more robust moral code:

The human involved says he thinks the can had been reused to collect BBQ drippings, which better explains its critter appeal.

(Via Kim Komando.)

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No Italian cars for you

The closing of the Alfa Romeo/Fiat dealership in Dallas prompted this grumble from a local Alfa fan:

Fiat is not going to find a market in this country until this country gets less country, and that’s going to take a while; we are a relatively adolescent nation without easy access to higher education, and many Americans have never been exposed to other continents. The mainstream majority, with a limited frame of reference and a small income, have resorted to rejecting anything that originated outside of the United States. This would include vehicles that do not meet the current American automotive aesthetic … big, mean and ugly. So we have pickup trucks, which are intended to carry anything that is too big [to] ride in a passenger car, driven to work in the city by people wearing cowboy boots to offices. And then we have Sport Ubiquitous Vehicles, most of which never drive over anything more challenging than a speed bump. Meanwhile, my relatives in New Mexico — who have lived on cattle ranches for many generations — drive through the desert to and from the ranch house in a Cadillac. They only use trucks to haul cattle and a Jeep to drive out on the range.

I guess those New Mexican folk aren’t country in that sense.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma City, you can still buy Fiats. Maseratis, even.

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Damsels bring distress

To the likes of me, anyway:

Just five minutes alone with an attractive female raise the levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, according to a study from the University of Valencia.

The effects are heightened in men who believe that the woman in question is “out of their league.”

Cortisol is produced by the body under physical or psychological stress and has been linked to heart disease.

Hmmm. How did they check this?

Researchers tested 84 male students by asking each one to sit in a room and solve a Sudoku puzzle. Two strangers, one male and one female, were also in the room.

When the female stranger left the room and the two men remained sitting together, the volunteer’s stress levels did not rise. However, when the volunteer was left alone with the female stranger, his cortisol levels rose.

I know where I’m going to fall on this scale.

(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

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