Clothed all in Green

Now that Ed Shadid, who represents Ward 2 on City Council, has announced that he’d like the spot in the middle of the horseshoe, Mike McCarville is asking: “Will Dr. Ed Shadid’s involvement in the Green Party come back to bite him as he runs for mayor of Oklahoma City?”

It obviously didn’t hurt him when he ran for Council, and you may be certain that it was brought up. Now Ward 2, which is where I live, is perhaps a hair more, um, progressive than some other parts of town, but the ballot for mayor is officially nonpartisan. That said, if Mick Cornett — who, just incidentally, is a Republican — decides to go for a fourth term, he’ll be hard to beat, even if someone is unkind enough to mention that no previous mayor has served more than three terms. (Oops.)

Comments (3)

Proud and indolent youth

Suzette brainstorms at all hours, unlike some of us:

Early in the morning, I have the sincere belief that I can get everything that I have to do at work done by the end of the day. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think I should probably send out a few emails. Early in the morning, I acknowledge how deranged that notion is. Last evening at about 6pm ET, I sent a message to a co-worker in Arizona offering to review something complicated that we talked about earlier in the day. It was 4pm where he was. He wrote back to me in all his 27 year old glory and this is what his email said:

“Who needs some work/life balance here? I have about 20 minutes — is that enough time to discuss?”

Being a bit more passive-aggressive than this youngster, I’d have probably written up an answer and timed it to be sent at 5:59 am. But my sympathy for his position does not in any way change her position:

Dude, this is the reason why your generation is not going to do as well economically as mine has done. Do your work. Regarding work/life balance, allow me to paraphrase the great Don Draper: “That’s what the money is for.”

As a rule, I quit thinking about work at 4:38 pm — even if I have to stay later than that. Not that I’m doing all that well economically, mind you.

Comments (7)


Google Mine? Not for me, says Rob O’Hara:

There’s only one reason for it — so Google will know what you own so that they can better tailor advertisements to you. Of course they already do that based on the things you search and shop for online, but until now they didn’t have any way to do that with the things you own. That’s what Mine allows them to do. Man I would have loved to spied in on that meeting.

“But how can we find out what people own so that we can better market ads to them?”

“I don’t know. Let’s just set up a big empty database and ask people to manually enter that information in for us!”

It’s like Pinterest, without being, um, pinteresting. And this seems indisputable:

We live in the “Golden Age of Over Sharing”. We’ve gone from websites to blogs to MySpace to Facebook to Twitter to whatever. In 10 seconds with half a dozen touches of my thumb I can take a picture with my phone and share it, along with my current location, with over a thousand people. People share too much, too broadly, too often.

Too true.

Comments (2)

Fark blurb of the week

Comments (1)

Use #2 pencil only

Eric Scheie wants his SAT scores, and can’t get them:

[F]or some time now I have been seeking my SAT score results from the early 1970s. After spending a non-refundable $30.00 fee, I received a letter from the testing board telling me that they cannot find my SAT scores. So I called my high school, and they can’t find them either.

He clings to one last hope:

[R]eading today’s news convinces me that in all probability, the NSA knows my SAT scores.

And my taxes fund the NSA, do they not?

So where are my SAT scores?

I’d suggest “in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’,” but that’s probably reserved for Barack Obama’s transcripts.

Note: I took the SAT twice. The numbers are seared into my brain. (They also propped up the illusion that I was sort of bright, a notion I have worked diligently to dispel.)

Comments (3)

Music to gavotte by

Carly Simon memeCarly Simon’s first hit, “That’s the Way I Always Heard It Should Be,” was to me her finest hour, or at least her finest four and a quarter minutes. When I first heard it, I figured I’d heard the last of her; the scenario, in which our narrator resigns herself to a marriage far short of ideal, is downright scary, and downright scary first singles generally do not lend themselves to a long and happy chart life. I was wrong, of course; Simon continued to have big hits for several years, none of them bigger than “You’re So Vain,” about a mystery man who might even have sung on the session — that is, if you thought it was about Mick Jagger. Others argued for Warren Beatty. Simon, sensibly, said nothing, and maintains her silence to this day.

Then again, the No Secrets album, from which “You’re So Vain” was released as the first single, drew rather a lot of non-musical attention because of its cover photo, shot by Ed Caraeff in front of the Portobello Hotel. Herewith, to celebrate Simon’s birthday this week — she turned 68 Tuesday — an outtake from that photoshoot:

Carly Simon in London 1972

It wasn’t as blatant as, say, Boys in the Trees, six years later, but then again, that was six years later.

Comments (4)

At the sign of the T

I’ve seen several Tesla Roadsters around town, and caught a brief glimpse of a Model S. Inevitably, my thoughts, once past “Damn, that looks nice,” turned to “Where the fark did they buy this contraption? Texas?”

Well, Tesla has let it be known that they will be opening a service center here in the 405, date, location and hours to be determined.

And yes, the nearest showrooms are in Texas: Austin and Houston. (There’s a service center in Dallas.) In the meantime, if something goes wrong, Tesla Rangers do make house calls.

Comments (1)

Minor site anomaly

The latest update to the Live Comment Preview inserts the digit “1” plus a space just about Gravatar-wide before your name in the preview. It does not do this on the saved comment.

I have known about this, to the extent that it affects this particular theme, for at least a year, and have delayed installing the update until this week, mostly because I wanted to see how just nasty WordPress might get about it. As it happens, WordPress did nothing more than put up the usual digit in a circle to tell me that an update was available.

I might dig down into the code to try to fix that — or I might not, depending on how fast I think the next update will be sliding down the chute.

Comments (3)

Baby, you’re a Richman now

Some days I can actually get it together:

Timing, of course, is everything:

The reference, of course, is to this.

Comments (1)

Almost reamed

Not entirely, but almost:

The term “ream” predates your neighborhood big-box office supply store, predates the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company, and even predates that typing pool your grandma was in in the ’50s.

“Ream” has meant five hundred sheets of paper since the 16th century. Well, around five hundred. According to the repository of all human knowledge, Wikipedia, which cites actual books on the history of publishing, a “ream” of paper has ranged from around 425 to around 550 sheets over the centuries, but usually comes in between 480 and 500.

It is not, by any definition, 400 sheets. Then again, Target technically didn’t say it was:

Does this package from Target say “one ream” on it? No. It does not. But like the four-pound bag of sugar, it looks and feels about the same as the quantity you’re used to buying, and customers will pick it up out of habit without even noticing. Maybe.

Does the 400-sheet nonream cost 80 percent as much as the 500-sheet ream? Okay, quit laughing.

Comments (2)

A Hefti assignment

The late Neal Hefti once said that his theme for the mid-60s Batman television series was “the hardest piece of music I ever wrote.”

Now imagine if he’d scored it for actual bats:


Bats produce sounds that are not audible to human ears. First these ultrasounds were digitally reduced to frequencies that are audible. Then the different batsounds were assigned different keys on a keyboard.

I’m surprised they knew all the words.

(From The Week via Miss Cellania.)

Comments off

Scour the people

As you read this, Roger is up and around after having gone through a colonoscopy, and of course we hope that they found none of the things that one hopes not to find with this procedure.

The actual procedure, as I recall, is the easy part. What comes beforehand is something entirely different:

[W]hat really makes this experience, uh, memorable is the preparatory regimen, which seems to involve chugging the contents of a lava lamp — assuming you can find a lava lamp that holds four liters — and then waiting while it scours the inside of your system like so much of Grandma’s lye soap.

I wrote this a few weeks before actually going on the table, but I stand by my description of the prep. What I said when it was all said and done:

I really don’t remember a whole lot about it, or even how long it lasted; today’s high-quality anesthetics apparently work faster than a half-hour of MSNBC, and with fewer mind-numbing aftereffects.

Even then, I was well-Versed.

Comments (4)

Trail of Tears Rated

The first Jeep Cherokee, the SJ, was built by AMC starting with model year 1974; there has been a Cherokee (or, more recently, a Grand Cherokee) in the Jeep lineup ever since. The New York Times apparently found out about them just this month:

Someone apparently told white guy Glenn Collins that Jeep’s been naming an SUV of some sort after a Native American tribe for the last forty years. Presumably there are no Jeep Cherokees in Manhattan. I know I’ve never seen one. Mr. Collins immediately leapt into SWPL action, contacting the Cherokee tribe to see what they think about this racist act.

The tribe, while acknowledging that Jeep wasn’t making them rich, said that they took no position on the matter:

In other words: We don’t care about it, you old white man, and we think your time would be better spent agonizing about truffles or font choice. The Cherokee Nation itself is busy participating in disaster relief and improving tribal access to healthcare.

Bonus comment:

The only possible racist connotation I could imagine would be if a guy carjacked a Cherokee in North Carolina and forced the driver to go to Oklahoma without a break.

Please don’t give anyone any ideas.

Comments (9)

Playing with one’s food

Nobody does it quite like Vi Hart:

I’m operating under the assumption that this is the Next Video.

Comments off

Only an egg

Ellison, your go-to guy for non-generic food suggestions, looks into ostrich eggs:

Looking at the weight and volume of its contents, one ostrich egg is roughly equivalent to two dozen chicken eggs. That’s enough to make a great big honkin’ omelette, but if you buy an ostrich egg at Whole Foods, you’re paying about ten times the price of the same amount of garden-variety cacklefruit. Now, I can appreciate the novelty value of eating certain things (raw whale, anyone?), but that’s a lot of money for an egg … even if it came from a cage-free ostrich raised in an environment absent hormones or antibiotics, massaged daily with Japanese beer. Perhaps it is a reflection of the difficulty of harvesting the eggs: taking them away from a resentful mother ostrich capable of disemboweling a man with a single kick.

Not to mention the relatively low appeal to locavores — unless, of course, you’re reading this from the banks of the Zambezi.

Comments (5)

We got your legacy equipment right here

About a week and a half ago, I cited some ostensible tech writer’s seeming amazement that there was still a market for dot-matrix printers. Brian J., having found that piece to be overly sneer-y, points out:

Mostly, it’s about the author of the piece ticking off items that he does not use any more. Hence, they are obsolete to him… Vinyl records, cassettes, televisions, fax machines, the whole lot of them still fulfill a function and still work, so yes, people will still use them.

He’s seen this attitude before:

It’s easy to have the disposable attitude, I reckon, if you’re young and have not accumulated a number of things that work (which might never happen to today’s young, I reckon… It’s a new mindset, one that most people outside the tech industry don’t share.

And given the possibility that folks inside the tech industry might be getting this stuff for free, or nearly so — greasing the palms of scribes goes back about as long as there have been scribes with palms — you, or at least I, have to wonder if they’d be so cavalier about hardware had they actually had to pay for it.

Comments off