Perhaps not the best mixer

Then again, you’ll probably drink it straight anyway:

A while ago, my buddy, Captain Artie told me about Van Gogh PB&J vodka, but, alas, my local liquor emporium did not have it. Artie promised to bring me a bottle on the occasion of his next visit, but my most excellent daughter beat him to the punch. Ten seconds after she gifted me with the bottle, out came two tall shot glasses for an instant tasting. The fragrance is more nutty than fruity, but it all comes together when sipped slammed down.

All I need is a bacon vodka, and my life will be complete.

Oh, wait…

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The Hardware Preservation Act

After whining yesterday about a computer keyboard that failed after a mere twenty-two years (less one month) of service, I figure I may as well remind you of some of the other antediluvian contraptions around here, including a stapler that has made it past 40.

And this:

Casio SA-53 digital watch: Purchased circa 1984. A succession of crummy bands, though the current one has now lasted ten years.

Now fifteen years, though this required me to spend approximately an hour this past weekend repairing a couple of broken links. Obviously this flies in the face of all that cost-benefit ratio stuff, but I have my rules.

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Seoul barren and dry

Bill Quick offers this advice in response to Robert Stacy McCain’s continuing mishaps with his 2004 Kia Optima:

I’ve actually roadtripped with HST and a carload of dope-addled hippies (including myself), and I can tell you that he’d rather have been stripped naked in the middle of a GOP convention than drive a Kia.

You need to get your hands on a suicide-door Lincoln. Now, that was a car.

You know who needs suicide-door Lincolns even more than Dr. Hyundai S. McCain? Lincoln, that’s who. They can’t survive long with a menu of slightly-less-Fordy Fords.

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The “nuke them from orbit” option

Because sending checks won’t do the job:

I grew up in Detroit. A couple of million dollars to a car company (that borrowed even more tax dollars to “pay their loan back”) isn’t gonna save a city that has more crack houses than able-bodied workers, and more wild dogs than new ideas. Detroit has suffered from half a century of poor leadership, from jerks who bulldozed functioning black neighborhoods in the sixties in favor of project housing, to Coleman Young who spewed so much anti-white hatred at the suburbs they kept moving the borders further and further out, to mid-90s car companies so convinced that gas-guzzling SUVs were the wave of the future that they made deals with union devils that paid 95% pensions and $30 an hour for workers to sleep. Detroit isn’t going to be rescued by hope and change.

An atom bomb that forces the population to scatter and the city to rebuild, maybe, but not an empty suit with platitudes about glowing days ahead. Bears are moving back into the city. You can buy a house for less than it costs to buy a car. In the public school book depository, the books are turning back into trees.

In which case, we may not need the nukes: just let entropy run its course. Same result, lower initial expenditure.

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Say goodbye to my little friend

My IBM Model M keyboard is old enough to drink, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t liquid that killed it.

Underside of IBM Model M keyboard

Actually, I haven’t pitched it out yet: there are a few more drastic cleaning methods I want to try. But damn, I was hoping for at least 22 years out of this keyboard, and my spare El Cheapo unit lives up to its name.

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Putting himself to the fullest possible use

Lyricist Hal David often seemed to be joined at the hip to composer Burt Bacharach, so when David passed away this weekend at ninety-one, I decided to hunt down a song with David’s words and somebody else’s melody.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good examples of such, and this one is among the best:

The melodist here is Sherman Edwards, who spent several years in the Brill Building writing stuff for Elvis before he got sick of the whole scheme — or of Colonel Tom Parker, perhaps — and dropped everything to create a Great American Musical. Edwards died in 1981, by which time his 1776 had long since acquired classic status.

As for Sarah Vaughan, she was never all that fond of “Broken Hearted Melody,” deeming it “corny” — but she was happy to sing it for the fans. And if we must have a Bacharach-David song here, let’s have this one:

My personal favorite, except when it’s this.

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Another serving of Rice

Yours truly, a few months back:

Former Democratic state senator Andrew Rice, probably the only politician in this state’s history ever to name-check Antonio Gramsci in an interview, regularly got an A from the National Rifle Association. As did his opponent, most years. (Rice has since left the state, to allow his wife to do that career-advancement thing. Sounds vaguely bluish to me.)

Apparently Mrs Rice’s new position didn’t work out, because they’re back in town:

Rice will be in charge of raising money and awareness for Variety Care, Oklahoma’s largest community health center that operates 13 part-time and full-time health care locations in Oklahoma.

Rice, 39, and his family moved to Nashville to support his wife’s medical career, but he said her job there wasn’t what she had hoped it would be.

Such is life. Rice says he’s not looking to resume his career in politics: “Right now, I’m happy to be out of elective office and really don’t have any desire to go back to it at all.”

I don’t at all blame him for that. Rice replaces Marsha Funk, whose landing place I have yet to discover.

Addendum: Variety Care sent me this:

I wanted to let you know that Marsha left us to pursue another opportunity. We’re thrilled to have Andrew on board and look forward to a great year ahead.

Fair enough.

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Strange search-engine queries (344)

It must be admitted that this is rather a curious sort of feature, inasmuch as it requires making responses of a sort to individuals who have long since departed this site and will likely never read them anyway. I might as well be talking to a freaking chair.

staple attraction:  I think it’s those short but perfectly straight legs.

alderaan modification station:  How much modification do they need? They’re a peaceful planet. They have no weapons, except for the odd staple gun.

“14, 40 or Fight!”:  This was an overresponse to the Oregon boundary dispute that led some misguided souls to reconnoiter over Mount Vesuvius.

Pantyhose Teens At school:  Surely not summer school. Too hot.

a hoof in two worlds:  Contrary to popular belief, this was not the working title for The Sparkle Chronicles (q.v.)

Hello kitty small ironing board:  I expect anything Hello Kitty to be small by default.

superwoman overpower sex:  Yeah, you wish.

sam presti like thabeet:  Well, he says he does, anyway.

executive rotation:  “Sir, with all due respect, sit on it and spin.”

decision making simplified:  I keep a decision-making module in my pocket. There’s an engraving of George Washington on one side of it.

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Meanwhile in CLT

Most of what goes on this week in Charlotte will be either the exaltation of Barack Obama or poorly-worded insults aimed at [random Republican]. For us hoops fans, the story is both a little more complicated and a little more infuriating:

The cherry on top of this lottery-bound mess is the decision to allow the Democratic National Convention to take over the Bobcats home at exactly the same time that teams are beginning their training camps. Instead of practicing in an NBA-appropriate facility, the Bobcats will spend the majority of September with two-hour-a-day access to the Johnson and Wales University gym. To rephrase: an NBA franchise will be practicing for most of September in a gym belonging to a 2,500 student college.

On the upside, the ‘Cats can’t finish 7-59 again, if only because there’s a full slate of 82 games this year.

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The jacket illustration looked fine

The Chicago Public Library is holding a three-week amnesty for those scofflaws with overdue books, even waiving the maximum $10 fine, and so far, they’ve retrieved at least one classic:

A Chicago-area woman wanted to return an overdue copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray to the Chicago Public Library, but first she wanted to be sure she wouldn’t go to jail.

That’s because the book, a rare limited edition of the Oscar Wilde novel, was checked out in 1934. Harlean Hoffman Vision found it in her late mother’s possessions, with a Chicago Public Library stamp.

A previous CPL amnesty, in 1992, saw the return of 77,000 items.

(Via Fark.)

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The size of their packages

Suzette’s checklist for New Motor Vehicles:

Here’s my list of must haves:

  • in-dash navigation
  • auto-dimming mirror

Here’s my list of absolute no-nos:

  • leather seats

As for anything else, meh:

Sure 12-speaker surround sound would be nice but I won’t wither without it. Panoramic sun roof? I have a sun roof in my current car and you know what happens when I open it? THE SUN SHINES RIGHT ON ME. Ew. So I never open it. Heated steering wheel? Heated seats? Never gonna use them. When will they offer cooling seats? That I might invest in.

When will they offer cooled seats? Is 1996 good for you?

On the other hand, this isn’t good for anybody actually wanting to buy a car:

[F]or this car if you want the package that has the navigation in it, you are required to get the package that has the leather seats. Is that bullshit or what? And there’s no getting around it.

It’s times like these that I am grateful to Messrs. Rand and McNally.

If anyone cares, my current ride has the auto-dim mirror and, yes, leather seats; they designed the dash before they developed the nav, so the little pop-up box on the dash where the nav is supposed to live is officially designated a storage compartment. It is theoretically possible to buy the OEM part and have it retrofitted, but for that kind of money I could buy a TomTom, a TomTom, and several other Toms.

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A little less rigor in that mortis

This particular New York Times piece starts with a possibly misleading statistic:

Since 1900, the life expectancy of Americans has jumped to just shy of 80 from 47 years.

I suspect that much of that gain has been at the younger end of the spectrum: while infant mortality has more or less leveled off lately, it was much higher a hundred years ago.

Still, we (which, for the moment, includes me) are living longer these days, and Rand Simberg raises a valid point:

Of course, it’s one thing to say you only want to live to be eighty when it’s a theoretical issue, decades from now. A lot of those people change their minds when the time actually approaches.

Not so many decades, for some of us. And since my father died at 79, I’d kind of like to improve on that number. My mother never made it to fifty.

I don’t think I’ll have a whole lot to say about it, though, since old parts wear out, and new parts cost — I almost said “an arm and a leg,” but that wouldn’t do, would it?

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A niche, scratched

Even more thoughts on this business of writing, while I contemplate whether I have any business being in it.

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Rumer has it

On the basis of this snapshot, Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, has at least two bags of it, plus a case of coconut water.

Rumer Willis outside Whole Foods

And no, that’s not her Toyota minivan.

Willis, now 24, shows up occasionally on TV, most recently as a novice drug dealer in the Comedy Central sitcom Workaholics.

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Tracking spam

As though tracking cookies weren’t annoying enough. This showed up in today’s barrage of email:

Your blog post on offers the same submit as another article author but i much like your far better.

Roger, of course, had nothing whatever to do with this, except to the extent that he had a blog and allowed me to leave a comment thereupon. Still, the idea that the bastiges have figured out another vector for their crap is disheartening.

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Open the door, Richard

Based on a post from yesterday, Fillyjonk has come up with the term priapiumcephaly, which combines scientific lingo for “genitalia” and “head.” It’s almost a certainty that you know at least one individual who can be described in those terms. And while using seven syllables to express an idea that requires only two goes somewhat against my grain, I have to admit that the derivation of this term was sufficiently elegant to leave me with the classic coprophagic grin.

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