Three-buck puck

Drew Magary’s “Hater’s Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog” complains bitterly about a food item:

Item #02-741009 Callie’s Charleston Biscuits

Williams-Sonoma says: “Flaky, buttery, and made by hand by celebrated caterer Callie White.”

Price: $72 (set of 24)

Notes from Drew: That’s $72 for biscuits. At Popeye’s, the biscuit comes free with your order. At Williams-Sonoma, it costs you the rough equivalent of your phone bill. How good could these biscuits possibly be? There’s a threshold past which biscuits cannot improve. Even the best goddamn biscuit in the world isn’t $72 better than a Popeye’s biscuit. Unless that biscuit can make you teleport.

You may be assured, however, that if it can, I’m buying it — even if the only place it takes me is the nearest Popeye’s, which is less than half a mile away.

(Via this @syaffolee tweet.)

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Sunny unshare

Lynn is happy to inform you that she will not share this:

I guess Facebook is exactly what I knew it would be, or should have known, but I was hoping it would be a lot more of “This is what I’ve been doing,” and “This is what I’m thinking about,” and “Here are these pictures of my kids, grandkids, pets, house and garden,” and a lot less “Share this if you love your mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, Jesus or puppies”. After a few of those I decided that I will not share anything that says “Share this if…” It just seems so manipulative to me — like they’re saying “you have to share this.” So I don’t.

I’ve sent up a couple of those things, hinting at an ill-concealed tendency toward gooey sentimentality, but the rationale is more “I don’t have a damned thing to say” than “Oh, that’s so true.”

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It couldn’t be Grizzlier

Thirty-six to fifteen. Think about that for a moment. Oklahoma City led 30-20 after the first quarter, and then Memphis took command. Totally. The second quarter went to the Griz, 36-15. This was partially due to the Thunder’s second unit being seriously outplayed by the Memphis reserves; but when the starters returned, the Grizzlies remained in the driver’s seat, and stayed there the rest of the night, culminating with Kendrick Perkins and Zack Randolph trash-talking each other into the locker room with two minutes left. The Thunder would never close the gap, and Memphis got away with a 10-point win, 107-97.

And 36-15 isn’t even your telltale statistic. This is: despite a marginally smaller shooting percentage, the Griz got off 21 more shots. With that going for them, OKC’s otherwise-competitive numbers and double-doubles from both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant (a season-high 34) didn’t mean a thing.

Speaking of double-doubles, Z-Bo had one before being thumbed. And Rudy Gay tossed in a season-high 28, second only to Durant’s 34. Five Grizzlies wound up in double figures, including two off the bench. (The OKC second unit barely got into double figures in aggregate.)

A word about Westbrook: Huh? He didn’t shoot that well — 6-19 — but he served up 13 dimes to go with those 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and turned it over just twice. (The turnover-prone Thunder gave it up 15 times, the stingier Griz only eight.) Whatever went wrong tonight, and what it appeared to be was a defense just slightly more porous than SpongeBob, it didn’t seem to be Russell’s fault.

This much for the Griz: if they can play three quarters like that every night from here on out, it’s good night, LeBron. Memphis, rot them, just might go all the way. Meanwhile, the Thunder will vent their frustrations on a fairly average Hornets squad in the Big Easy on Friday night.

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Terrible pony afflictions

Fillyjonk speculates on the possible chronic ailments of the Mane Six:

Twi would have to be hypertensive. And Pinkie Pie — too much sugar, type II diabetes. Or maybe ADHD … And Applejack would have some kind of RSI from bucking too many trees. And Rainbow Dash would either have concussions, or perhaps altitude sickness from flying too high. And Fluttershy, probably agoraphobia. And Rarity, I don’t know about Rarity … maybe she’d swallow a pin.

Pinkie Pie is unwellI would not at all be surprised to see Twilight Sparkle’s blood pressure off the charts. (Assuming Equestria uses the traditional sphygmomanometer, I’d expect the mercury to break through the top of the column, and maybe through the top of the tree that houses the library.)

I am less worried about Pinkie, despite her eating habits, since she seems to have a linear accelerator built into her metabolism. I fully expect her to keep a supply of Higgs bosons scattered around town in case of emergency.

Fanon has it that pegasi generally end up with lots of broken bones for pretty much the obvious reason. In a short story I wrote, Rainbow Dash is done in by pneumonia, a disease that seems to be more common among weather specialists, perhaps due to extended exposure to aerosols. And I’m thinking that sooner or later, Fluttershy is going to catch something from one of those motley critters she watches over at the edge of the Everfree.

RSI seems plausible for Applejack, though I suspect the entire Apple family has relatively high resistance to that sort of thing. As for Rarity, I see her as borderline bipolar, or maybe a bit over the line, given the contrast between her manifest joy in completing a task perfectly and her horror at the various and sundry events that qualify as the Worst Possible Thing. Not that swallowing a pin is anything to be joyous about.

(Picture: Pinkie Pie after a bad batch of muffins in “Applebuck Season,” from the first season of MLP:FiM.)

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You owe us two stars

Restaurant reviews in The New York Times, I am given to understand, run from zero to four stars. This place, apparently, ventures deep into the Negative Zone, judging by the questions they pose to the proprietor. For instance:

Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?

Or this:

How did nachos, one of the hardest dishes in the American canon to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable? Why augment tortilla chips with fried lasagna noodles that taste like nothing except oil? Why not bury those chips under a properly hot and filling layer of melted cheese and jalapeños instead of dribbling them with thin needles of pepperoni and cold gray clots of ground turkey?

Or even this:

What accounts for the vast difference between the Donkey Sauce recipe you’ve published and the Donkey Sauce in your restaurant? Why has the hearty, rustic appeal of roasted-garlic mayonnaise been replaced by something that tastes like Miracle Whip with minced raw garlic?

And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?

It is de rigueur to scoff at the Times these days; but you’ll never see anything half this harsh in the Oklahoma Gazette.

(Suggested by this @inthefade tweet.)

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Twidjits

Of late, there have been some weird delays in getting everything loaded up here, and while it’s easy, even instinctive, to blame SiteMeter, which has had several inexplicable outages of late, the real culprit most of the time is Twitter, whose widget I’d carefully rewritten to match the site design. They have announced that they’re dropping support for said widget Real Soon Now, and they’re pushing Embedded Timelines in its place. I have duly installed the contraption, and it does seem to load a little faster, which may be simply due to the fact that it’s less customizable. I do, however, find it disconcerting to see all these Mini-Me apparitions down the sidebar.

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Online-dating limbo

If you’re up on your Chubby Checker tunes, you know that the hook in “Limbo Rock” is “How low can you go?” A chap who faked up a female profile on one of those dating sites discovered that there’s no real bottom to this abyss:

I wanted to make [the bio] so idiotic and unappealing that no one in their right mind would show interest in this girl. If you are hitting on her after reading her profile you have no interest in anything intellectual whatsoever.

The results, alas, were predictable:

Within 6 hours my profile had been viewed over 400 times and 39 guys had messaged me.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say they didn’t really read the bio. They just saw a cute girl and went for it. I’m not saying that’s smart but I’m just hoping for their sake they didn’t read that train wreck of a description and think “Ok yeah! This is what I’ve been searching for!”

You should probably read the whole thing, just to get an idea of how clueless this “girl” — and her would-be suitors — seem to be.

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Each and every day of the year

One of the blessings of later life is that you can sometimes persuade the older women to doff their duds for a good cause:

What would inspire 16 women in their 70s and 80s to get nearly naked for a photographer? Apparently, Helen Mirren.

In Mirren’s 2003 movie Calendar Girls, a refined women’s club decides to raise money by selling a risqué calendar. And so things went for the Riderwood retirement community in Silver Spring, Maryland, said Beth Gordon, 79, who is Miss November in the “Going Bare For Benevolent Care” 2013 calendar and organized the project.

Sixteen retired women — all in their 70s and 80s — appear naked in the 12-month calendar that is selling for $15.

Well, they’re only naked in the sense that they don’t have any clothes on. (I’ve used this excuse myself, in fact.)

Amazon says 3-5 weeks shipping, so if you want this by New Year’s, you’d better get on the stick.

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Their number-one tourist attraction

One might ask, legitimately, how many tourist attractions there actually are in Suwon, a city of 1.1 million twenty miles south of Seoul, and I’m thinking that it’s possible to top the legendary Hwaseong Fortress, but it takes something like this to do it:

The Restroom Cultural Park is billed as the world’s first toilet theme park. It’s a monument to the colorful former mayor of Suwon, a man known as Mr. Toilet.

The late Sim Jae-duck was himself born in a toilet and had an affection for loos throughout his life, rigorously promoting public facilities while mayor.

Sim also founded the World Toilet Association and wrote a book entitled Happy to Be With You, Toilet. He died of prostate cancer in 2009.

Al Bundy was not available for comment.

(Tweeted in my general direction by Ryan Baker.)

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They just shot her

Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me!) turns 50 tomorrow, and since my few archive shots were from her late thirties, I had to go searching a bit. Curiously, one of Google Image’s recommendations was “laura san giacomo rack,” and I was sufficiently miffed by this to go hunt down a picture that wasn’t particularly rackalicious. Which explains why you get this shot from the ’12 GLAAD Awards, back in April:

Laura San Giacomo at the 23rd GLAAD Awards

And then I decided that this wasn’t very sporting of me, so you also get this shot from the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards, in mid-June:

Laura San Giacomo at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards

Locals will remember San Giacomo as Rhetta Rodriguez, one of the few characters in Saving Grace with a sort of non-Oklahoman name, although the last year the phone company sent us white pages, we had several columns of Rodriguez.

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Trash for clunkers

The mayor of Paris wants you to keep your old rattletrap out of the central city:

Under proposals presented to the city council on Monday, Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoë intends to outlaw by September 2014 the use of cars and utility vehicles more than 17 years old and lorries or buses more than 18 years old.

Motorcycles built before 2004 will also be forbidden, as the mayor said they were the “most polluting and noisiest”.

The ban extends to anywhere within the A86 beltway. The motivation:

They are part of a plan to turn Paris into a Low Emission Zone, cutting emissions by 30 per cent by 2015. Failure to comply with European air pollution norms could see Brussels slap a €100 million fine on France in 2016.

And inevitably, the punchline:

Users of old cars are only thought to account for three per cent of the 4.5 million or so vehicles in the Paris region.

But of course.

(Via Tim Blair.)

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Still alive, dammit

Scott Routley, thirty-nine years old, reports that he is not in pain. This seemingly mundane statement is more remarkable than you imagine:

It’s the first time an uncommunicative, severely brain-injured patient has been able to give answers clinically relevant to their care.

Backstory:

Mr Routley suffered a severe brain injury in a car accident 12 years ago. None of his physical assessments since then have shown any sign of awareness, or ability to communicate.

But the British neuroscientist Prof Adrian Owen — who led the team at the Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario — said Mr Routley was clearly not vegetative.

“Scott has been able to show he has a conscious, thinking mind. We have scanned him several times and his pattern of brain activity shows he is clearly choosing to answer our questions. We believe he knows who and where he is.”

Of course, in our new cost-controlled world, they’re not about to let anybody else hang on for twelve years no matter how much brain activity might be present.

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Triglyceride Patrol dissolving

Last year, Denmark imposed a tax on high-fat foods, by which they meant over 2.3 percent saturated fat. This month, they announced they were scrapping the whole idea:

[A]uthorities said the tax had inflated food prices and put Danish jobs at risk.

The Danish tax ministry said it was also cancelling its plans to introduce a tax on sugar.

Oh, and one more thing:

The ministry said one of the effects of the fat tax was that some Danes had begun crossing the border into Germany to stock up on food there.

Sikken en overraskelse — or, as the French would have it, quelle surprise.

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High RPMs

The Pistons were definitely moving at high speed tonight, taking a 51-45 lead at the half and extending it to 73-62 after three. The Thunder started the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run to get back into it, and things went back and forth for most of the rest of the evening, with OKC going up 88-85 with 47 seconds left and Detroit taking its last timeout. The final was 92-90, and the Pistons are officially swept.

It was Russell Westbrook’s birthday, and he didn’t take any time off. In fact, he played the entire second half, putting together a formidable line: 33 points (11-25), 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and only two turnovers. And beyond that, there were free throws: 37 points from the stripe out of 42 attempts. (Of the five misses, Westbrook had four. Then again, he hit 11.) Kevin Durant (26 points) went 10-10 on free throws; Kevin Martin (15 points) went 8-8. This almost makes up for the appalling 37-percent shooting (and a nauseating 1-10 for distance).

The Pistons shot a little better (just under 40 percent, 6-17 on treys), definitely moved the ball better (22 assists versus 10), and had fewer turnovers to boot (11 versus 14). Four Detroit starters finished in double figures (Brandon Knight, who went 2-13 from the floor, missed by a bucket), but none broke twenty. They could have pulled this one out, but Durant and Westbrook weren’t having any of that, and besides, Scott Brooks’ brand of small ball — Serge Ibaka took over the middle, with Durant playing power forward — seems to work a hell of a lot better than you’d think it would.

Next opponent figures to be even tougher than the Pistons were tonight. I’m talking Grizzlies; the Memphis boys will come to town Wednesday. Let’s hope there are extra medical personnel on hand.

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There’s that Tenth Amendment again

This post at The Other McCain drew a comment from “crosspatch” on how to keep the Republicans from screwing up so badly next time:

We need to recognize that the USA has very different regional culture. What will sell well in Oklahoma isn’t going to sell in Connecticut. We need to stop trying to sell Oklahoma to Connecticut.

Or, for that matter, Connecticut to Oklahoma.

We need to “federalize” the GOP. We need to find a common set of positions that ALL the GOP candidates from all regions can support… What makes federal politics so divisive is that people with both conservative and liberal points of view fear the other side is going to shove their social values down the throat of the entire country from Washington DC. That wasn’t the intention of the federal government. Let those social issues be worked out at the state capitals, not the national capital.

The fly in this particular ointment, I suspect, is that sooner or later — and it’s never, ever “later” — someone is going to complain that whatever disparities may exist between Oklahoma and Connecticut are somehow violations of that “equal protection of the laws” clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. We want federalism when we get what we want; otherwise, it sucks pond water and we don’t want any part of it.

Which, of course, merely restates the obvious: our political class is prone to experimentation, justified by the belief that it makes them look like they’re somehow earning their keep. (“We have to do something!”) Ultimately, we might be better served by dropping the lot of them into an active volcano. Even a dormant volcano would be an improvement.

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No squabbles

Show this to your children. They won’t believe that there was once a time when fashionable women read the newspaper:

Dovedown hosiery ad

The old mill at 18th and Broad in Griffin, Georgia, south of Atlanta, has long since disappeared, though the Dovedown trademark didn’t actually expire until 2008.

An operation called StockingShowcase.com reports that they have the last remaining pairs of Dovedown stockings, in the following colors: Cloudmist, Rose Blush, Tango, Wild Mink, Serenade and Promenade.

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