Tip of the Weinstein

Eric S. Raymond’s take on the the unwinding of Bill Cosby versus the implosion of Harvey Weinstein:

It looked to me like the first couple of women coming out against Cosby were likely genuine, but a lot of the later ones were obvious trash looking to score a quick buck by making claims that Cosby at that point could not credibly deny.

I don’t think we’ve reached the point where we’re starting to see trash making false claims about Weinstein. I have little doubt that will occur.

I think the allegations against Weinstein are both more serious and more credible than those made against Cosby. I’d still assign a very low but nonzero probability to the hypothesis that Cosby was entirely framed. I don’t believe that for a second about Weinstein.

Part of the reason for that evaluation is my read on both men. Cosby seemed to want pretty normal things, sexually speaking. Weinstein, on the other hand, seems to be a a sick, paraphilic creep who got off as much or more on humiliating and disgusting women as he did on having them service him.

I look at Cosby and I see a man who had enough decency in him that if and when he went over the line with women he was probably ashamed about it. Weinstein, on the other hand, ugh. He’s ugly all the way down. Not only is his remorse obviously fake, he doesn’t really seem to care that the fakery is obvious. He’s going through a cynical parody of contrition because he can’t imagine that anyone could actually mean it.

How about those other horndogs in the news?

This morning I was reading some tell-all about Hugh Hefner’s sex life in the comments on Ann Althouse’s blog. I gotta say that compared to Weinstein he seems to have been almost innocent and charming. He wanted to fuck lots of beautiful women, he recruited them without pretense, and he kept his compensation promises. No rape or roofies for him.

Bill Clinton, on the other hand … well, I won’t say he was as bad as Weinstein, but he’s always manifested a kind of sociopathic indifference to the women he used — and of course, there were the credible rape accusations. Like Weinstein without the paraphilia. Or at least without more than a relatively small trace of it.

“Men and women, women and men. It will never work.” — Erica Jong

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Gaming the gas once more

Oklahoma Natural Gas is reinstating the Voluntary Fixed-Price Plan, a quirky deal made possible by a quirky state law which says they have to pass gas to us customers at cost. From this year’s flyer:

The price you pay for the natural gas you use each month is Oklahoma Natural Gas’ average cost for the gas we’ve purchased under a variety of contracts. The cost-of-gas portion of your bill varies each month based on how much you use and what we paid for that supply.

It’s been fairly warm of late. During the billing period, I used a meager 0.628 dekatherms, worth $3.37. (The rest of my bill, about $40, was service charges plus taxes and such.)

We’ve already bought a portion of our winter natural gas supply at fixed prices, so we know its cost. We’re making that natural gas available to those who wish to enroll in the Voluntary Fixed-Price Plan at $3.945 per Dekatherm for the 12-month period beginning November 1, 2017.

Inasmuch as my last bill shows a Fuel Cost of $5.369/Dth, I expect this will save me a few bucks in the winter. Greatest usage last winter was 11.5 Dth in January; I’m not expecting anything worse than 13 or 14 this time around.

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Strange search-engine queries (611)

Welcome to Monday. While you’re waiting for whatever Monday-morning mayhem may be headed your way, feel free to take a seat and look at the weirdest stuff I found in the search logs in recent days.

quadratics jeep:  It takes a lot more to be Trail Rated than it used to.

which paragraph summarizes julius caesar’s life best? julius caesar was born into a powerful family. he became a successful military general and politician, eventually becoming dictator of rome. he was assassinated in 44 bce. julius caesar came from humble beginnings. he worked his way up, becoming:  The inspiration for a salad.

its a great day to whip somebodys ass:  So said Brutus, right before he brandished the knife.

tweetdeck failed to verify account please try again later:  This won’t get you out of your suspension one second sooner.

hugh hefner death date:  I don’t think he asked anyone out on that last day.

austin power dildo experience:  I remember when they opened for the J. Geils Band back in ’78.

there is insufficient memory or disk space word 2013:  Now you’re going to have to delete your collection of upskirt photos. Boo hoo.

why are fiat 500e so cheap:  Low demand. No other reason is needed.

a milf claiming back her life. sofia fucks a whippersnapper and … she dedicates it to her exhusband!  Well, nobody’s going to worry that they spent too much on story development.

buy high quality backlinks:  No backlink you can buy is ever high quality.

what disaster took their reason away from men? what whip lashed them to their knees in shame and submission? the worship of the word “we.” in the excerpt, which concept causes the downfall of humanity?  The desire for free stuff.

defiring:  I’ll take “Things That Won’t Happen to Harvey Weinstein” for a thousand, Alex.

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Peak wind

Seems like every time we turn around, someone’s discovered more oil and/or gas; at this rate, we’ll never run out of the stuff.

Wind power? Not so much:

Few people have probably noticed, but the world’s winds are getting slower. It is something that cannot be picked up by watching the billowing of dust or listening to the rustle of leaves on nearby trees.

Instead, it is a phenomenon occurring on a different scale, as the average global wind speed close to the surface of the land decreases. And while it is not affecting the whole earth evenly, the average terrestrial wind speed has decreased by 0.5 kilometres per hour (0.3 miles per hour) every decade, according to data starting in the 1960s.

Known as “stilling,” it has only been discovered in the last decade. And while it may sound deceptively calm, it could be a vital, missing piece of the climate change puzzle and a serious threat to our societies.

If it makes you feel any better, we had a 71-mph wind gust just down the road last night.

What seems to upset these Eurocrats is the fact that the earth, super-complex chaotic system that it is, simply will not do their bidding. On the upside, this phenomenon will enable them to spend more money, which is their major goal.

(Via Tim Blair.)

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Never saw this when I was a kid

Whether it would have made any difference or not, I don’t know.

Parental nudity warning

Now that I think of it, I don’t remember any instance in which I caught the parental units en déshabillé. It was something they just didn’t do.

(Via Cracked but Not Broken.)


Lyrically so

I’m not sure what prompted Steve Sailer to ask this:

Here’s a question. In pop culture history, there are countless male-male songwriting teams — Rodgers-Hart/Hammerstein, Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, Page-Plant, Strummer-Jones, etc. And there are some male-female songwriting pairs, such as Comden-Green, Goffin-King, and Mann-Weil.

But are there any female-female songwriting teams? I imagine there must be, but they are definitely rare.

Why do women write so few popular songs? And, especially, why do they so seldom team up?

Three hundred comments followed, and I was grateful that the two pairs that first came to my mind were eventually mentioned: Jackie DeShannon / Sharon Sheeley and Annette Tucker / Nancie Mantz.

“Breakaway” was the B-side of Irma Thomas’ 1964 hit “Wish Someone Would Care,” though it’s probably best remembered these days in the form of Tracey Ullman’s 1983 cover. Both Jackie and Sharon wrote with others from time to time, but this was their biggest hit as a duo.

The first Electric Prunes album contained twelve songs, six written by Annette and Nancy. (The second single, “Get Me to the World on Time,” was written by Tucker with Jill Jones.)

Deserving of mention here: Ellen Weston, Lesley Gore’s writing partner in the 1970s. They did most of LG’s album Someplace Else Now (for Motown’s Mowest label in 1972) and all of Love Me By Name (for A&M in 1976).

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The rules I write by

For about 70 or 80 consecutive Sundays, I’ve dropped in at #blogchat, a Twitter chat which serves as idea exchange and, occasionally, advice to newbies. Rather a lot of said newbies come in thinking there’s a specific set of standards that must be met before you can enjoy any level of success. I don’t think I’ve done a particularly good job of shooting down that notion; I mean, God knows I don’t follow anything resembling standards, with the exception of a Woody Allen bromide: “Eighty percent of life is just showing up.”

This, I think, is the proper attitude to hold:

The one common thing I saw was “find your niche” and only blog about that. They said nobody wants to read a blog that is all over the place full of random topics. The lie detector determine that was a lie. I do not mind random thoughts. That makes a person far more interesting.

Once it was suggested that, to remain focused, you should restrict yourself to two or three categories and maybe a dozen tags. Obviously this is not my issue: I have 57 categories and, um, 12,000 tags. None of those tags show up in the text because that’s not what they’re for; they’re for helping me keep this improbable mishmash organized. Sometimes they even work.

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These I swear

Jimmy Beaumont, lead singer of the Skyliners, has passed away at seventy-six. If the name draws a blank, allow me to refresh your memory:

The group dissolved in 1963, but reformed in 1974; Beaumont was the last of the original members. (The Skyliners’ last show was last month in New York.)

During the interim, Beaumont drove a cab, but also cut some singles, including the fearsomely soulful “I Never Loved Her Anyway.”

There is a movie called Since I Don’t Have You, but it’s not about Beaumont: it’s about soprano Janet Vogel, who died in 1980, perhaps by her own hand.

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Sister of many brothers

Marie Osmond turned 58 Friday. Most of you already know the demographic — the only girl among eight boys — and well, in terms of Overall Instant Recognition, she’s either first or second, depending on how much attention you paid to brother Donny. Of course, the whole brood was cute, but Marie (that’s her middle name: first name was Olive) had that whole Only Girl thing going for her, and still does.

Marie Osmond at the 2015 Daytime Emmys

Marie Osmond showing a bit of cleavage

Marie Osmond on USA Weekend

She did have a musical career separate from the boys, starting with one good-sized hit (the old standard, “Paper Roses,” which hit #5 pop and #1 country in 1973). Things sort of tailed off after that; her 1974 album This Is the Way I Feel, her fourth, was poppier, and while there were two songs written by the older Osmond brothers, there was also this one, written by the brothers Gibb:

Marie’s most recent album was Music Is Medicine (2016), which barely crept into the Billboard 200 but did make it to #10 on the country chart. This slightly goofy video for the title track includes kids from the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals:

Oh, before you ask: Brother Donny turns 60 in December.

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Technically not a black-and-white

Dothan Alabama police car wrapped in pink

Oh, yeah, it’s the same old Panther-bodied Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor you’ve known and feared for years, but this one is for a cause:

The idea behind the pink car came from Chris Lee who is the owner of Shift Designs in Dothan.

After serving the Dothan community for eight years, he wanted a way to give back to the community that has been so great to him and his team.

So, he volunteered to wrap a patrol car in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

With the help of Avery Dennison Graphic Solutions, a premiere vinyl and wrap company, they were able to have the supplies donated for the cause.

Pretty spiffy, though the standard Ford dog-dish hubcaps look even tinier than usual.


Would you believe Not Smart?

One expects better from French intelligence:

A French intelligence agent sent a text message by mistake to the mobile phone of a jihadist, inadvertently warning him that he was under surveillance and undermining an investigation, it emerged on Friday.

The target of the probe, described as an “Islamist preacher” based in the Paris area, immediately understood that his phone was being tapped and his movements monitored.

He called the agent to complain and warned his contacts that they were under surveillance. As a result, separate investigations by two different intelligence services came to nothing, M6 television reported.

In harsher times, the agent would next be dispatched to go pound sand in Algeria.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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The other end of the spectrum

Apt. 9 Bell Sleeve flare dress in Scatter GrayHaving shown you a dress that costs as much as a car, it seems only fair that I follow up with a dress that costs about as much as an oil change:

I did also buy two dresses. Well, Kohl’s had a sale. I originally went in there to see if they had pantyhose (long story, but: I find I suffer less from hives-on-the-legs when I wear them. I don’t know either.) I buy the most dead-cheap kind I can wear (L’Eggs “Everyday” or whatever they call the multipack boxes). But, of course, even most Southern Ladies (let alone Southern Women) have given up on pantyhose so they can be hard to find.

I didn’t feel like buying one pair for the cost of 4-5 of the cheaper kind, so I didn’t. BUT I found two knit dresses, ON SALE (and there was an extra 15% off). They had them both in my size. And they are super cute, especially this one (it’s sort of a taupe, with tiny “squares” made of lines in pink and cream. And it has bell sleeves, which I kind of love.

It’s an appealing style, and it hits her just below mid-knee, which is about as short as she’d care to go.

And of course Kohl’s earned my everlasting regard with a Black Friday commercial in 2011.


Fancy frock

Gucci gown 26000 from Net-A-PorterMaybe it’s just me, but I’d expect to be knocked out a lot more thoroughly for that kind of money:

Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to score one of those fabulous dresses that the stars wear on the red carpet? Well, believe it or not, some of those babies cost tens of thousands of dollars. One of our favorite luxury sites, Net-a-Porter, keeps a stash of high-end designer duds on its virtual shelves, and the most-expensive dress in the brand’s inventory right now is from the beloved fashion house Gucci. Yep, the same brand that makes those $10,000 glitter boots that all the stars are wearing.

If you happen to have an extra $26,000 lying around, the velvet-trimmed gown is all yours. The regal dress features two parrots on the bodice. And in between them, you’ll find shiny crystals and pearls, which are surprisingly faux. But the twirl-worthy fabric is made from 100 percent plissé silk-chiffon.

I’m sorry, but I’m not prepared to Ooh and Aah over a dress that costs more than a Toyota Corolla yet inspires imitation Monty Python snark. “Two parrots on the bodice,” indeed.

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Cob and pen, together again

I’m not sure Jack Handey is on the right track with this Deep Thought:

Just because swans mate for life, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. First of all, if you’re a swan, you’re probably not going to find a swan that looks much better than the one you’ve got, so why not mate for life?

I can’t speak for Jack, but I find the concept deeply satisfying:

And I suspect they do too.


Go ogle

It helps to have some of your shtick memorized, just in case someone actually asks for it:

(Via Rand Simberg.)


Signs of the rhymes

There’s something faintly compelling about having a Whataburger half a mile away: of the national chains, only Popeye’s and Jack in the Box are closer. I ordered probably too much food, pulled ahead to the next window, and the shuffle in the music box duly served up the next song: Rebecca Black’s lovely cover of Troye Sivan’s “Wild.” Which would not be at all notable, except that the last time I went through the drive-thru at this Whataburger it played a different Rebecca Black song.

And the time before that.

This would seem to defy the odds: there are 5,090 songs on the playlist, including eleven by Rebecca Black.

And then this, postmarked “Metroplex MI 480,” was waiting for me back home:

Note received from Rebecca Black, October 2017

Maybe I’ve been doing something right these past six and a half years.

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