Backhanded truth

Penmanship was never my strong suit until my middle teens, when I assume that the onrush of hormones that screwed up everything else somehow induced me to change my scrawl to a sweet flowing script. (My original Social Security card, issued in the 1960s, contains a signature worthy of Sister Catherine.) Today, well, not so much.

Still, that doesn’t constitute anything like an argument for the abandonment of actual handwriting:

If you can’t read cursive, someone could hand you page 12 of the owner’s manual of a ’94 Toyota Camry and tell you that it’s Article Three of the Constitution, and if you can’t read the original to compare, you’d just need to take their word for it that the Supreme Court has a 3 year/36,000 mile powertrain warranty.

And as we all know, there are entire cities — Washington, D.C. comes quickly to mind — of people who are manifestly incapable of reading the Constitution. I doubt many of them are driving ’94 Camrys, though.

Addendum: Learning it once is hard enough; learning it twice is torturous.

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The usual Grizzly business

Halfway through the second quarter, you could see the grindhouse door: it was Oklahoma City 33, Memphis 32. Then suddenly the Thunder took off, landing in the locker room at halftime with a 51-36 lead. The Griz were not having any of that, and gradually eroded that lead to as little as three. With the Thunder up 78-75, it was Kevin Durant for two, Thabo Sefolosha for three and then Durant for two more for a ten-point lead, but a subsequent Zach Randolph layup was the last Memphis score, and the Thunder goes up 2-1 in the season series with an 86-77 win.

Durant’s game-high 31 was nice, of course, and Serge Ibaka put together a double-double in the first half, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds, but perhaps the pivotal factor was defense by Steven Adams, who blocked four shots in 23 minutes and basically dared anyone to get around him. (Adams also drew five fouls, but by no means is that news.) And if the bench didn’t score a lot — only 14 points in all — well, this wasn’t a big offensive display; the Thunder went 4-18 from beyond the arc, which is terrible, but the Grizzlies were 2-16.

How much Memphis missed Mike Conley is hard to tell. Rookie Nick Calathes started at the point, and if he’s not the offensive machine Conley is, he performed respectably well, with eight points and four steals. Randolph and Marc Gasol each scored 13 to lead the Griz, with Mike Miller and Courtney Lee kicking in 11 apiece, but what Memphis did best was force turnovers: OKC handed it over 16 times, the Griz only 11.

And once again, we get to defend Kendrick Perkins, who scored one point — a free throw (out of two) in the waning moments — but who contributed eight boards, two blocks and even a steal. With the Griz not hitting the long ball, all Perk had to do was keep them out of the paint, and you know he enjoyed it.

Fifty games done, 39 won. Not that anyone’s going to mention that this is on pace for a 64-win season. And by March, maybe Russell Westbrook — remember him? — will be back.

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Case insensitive

The only way this could have been sillier would have been if the password had been “PASSWORD” or something like that:

CBS Super Bowl Command Center coverage screenshot

And I thought my security might have been, um, somewhat porous.

(Via Deadspin.)

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The community comes forward

He was eleven, a fairly typical kid for his age, with one exception that comes to mind: he was a fan of My Little Pony, and he wasn’t going to change that for anypony.

Then came the rage, the bullying, the anger. At eleven, you wonder why, and maybe you think it’s your fault. And you get out the rope.

It didn’t kill Michael Morones, but it came too close for comfort. Pony fans put together a short fundraiser to help cover the kid’s medical expenses; it raised five grand in something like ten hours. The donations kept coming in. The goal was raised to $10,000, then to $20,000. As of last night over $33,000 had been donated.

This quote from the fund site seems pertinent:

I read about Michael the other day at the everfree network and have seen news about him daily. When I saw the photo of him in the hospital bed with all the tubes I couldn’t help but shed a tear for the poor kid. I myself was bullied in high school and teased all my school life. Early on I was teased and shunned for being poor. But then when I was 10 years old I was severely burned in an explosion. High school was a very difficult time for me. My sophomore year I was basically physically assaulted leaving science class and to make things worse the school administration turned a blind eye. I was targeted for being different because of my scars and appearance. I’ve grown since then and I still have a philosophy in life. Enjoy your life and be grateful for what you have. Don’t feel pressure to be like everyone else. I enjoy the things and act how I want to as long as it’s not hurting anybody. MLP is just another positive message in a world where kids need more hope, magic, and friendship, in their lives. Bullying should never ever be accepted and Michael nor anyone else should have to hide what they like or who they are simply because others don’t understand. We are all different yet the same.

“How dare you like what I don’t like!” is not, and will never be, a viable philosophy, its echoes in far-off lands like the District of Columbia notwithstanding.

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Man with a grudge

Either that, or he has delusions of Christie-hood and just likes the idea of closed lanes:

For the second time, Phillip DeClemente has forced authorities to shut lanes on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge because of his threatening behavior, officials said Saturday.

Late Friday night, DeClemente was taken into custody after police closed the bridge’s northbound lanes for more than an hour.

Let’s see. What can we learn from DeClemente’s first time?

In the 2012 incident, DeClemente was arrested after he parked his SUV sideways on the bridge, blocking traffic, and contemplated killing himself, police said. On the Lexus’ windows, DeClemente painted the words “Stay Away,” “Back Off” and “Game Over.” Inside the car, he had a smoke grenade and two cans of pepper spray, police said.

Police closed the bridge and eventually talked him into surrendering. DeClemente spent 30 days in the Medical University of South Carolina psychiatric unit.

After being discharged from the hospital, DeClemente told The Post and Courier that he wasn’t suicidal, didn’t have a bomb and had no plans to harm the bridge. He said he was trying to expose what he described as a smear campaign against him and ongoing harassment by police and private investigators.

I refuse to believe that this guy doesn’t have his own blog.

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Every pirate on earth rolled into one

Is there any rationalization this guy might have missed?

Soooooo… I’m looking for the best way to download torrents I keep getting those pesky letters from Verizon saying that we have been involved in piracy. so they slow down our network speeds and I have had so many at this point they could possibly kick us off of their service permanently… and I really enjoy Verizons services.. I hate buying music just generally because It always ends up getting deleted at some point in the future via computer crash or having to restore a computer or internal/external hard drives becoming corrupt then I have to buy the stuff all over again.. and some albums you cant find unless you torrent them. so bottom line is I need the best way to hide my IP address. be it a proxy of some sort or whatever is best. but it MUST BE FULL PROOF!!!! I use vuze. and I have good antivirus and anti spyware programs so Im not concerned about getting bugs.

Oh, and musicians never, ever object to being ripped off:

Music isnt about money. It should never be about money.. music is art and expression and reaching out to people via that art or expression I didnt ask for your two cents on How what I am doing is wrong If I were an artist I wouldnt give two craps if people downloaded my music illegally as long as people were listening to it and getting something out of it. music is about changing lives and for enjoyment go listen to some immortal technique. He verbally expresses he would boot his own music to reach listeners… Also these people make millions on tours and gear that they sell. I doubt its gonna effect their sails that much if I download some of their music illegally

Since there’s basically no chance this yutz is living on his own and paying his own bills, I’m envisioning a scene in which his mom confiscates his computer:

“Where are you going with that?”

“Just reaching out to people and changing some lives. Surely you can’t object to that.”

And the door closes.

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Strange search-engine queries (418)

Presented uncut and without commercials, unlike anything else on television yesterday.

baby get back by gordon lightfoot:  “Backside, you’d better get down/’Cause you’re just getting bigger, I can’t see around.”

99 ford contour trans just stopped working:  Did you ever consider that it might be past retirement age?

Derpy Best Friend Fanfiction:  I just don’t know how this ever got here.

2000 Mazda 626 have a carbarautor?  If we still had those contraptions, maybe people would be able to spell the word.

free nicole deboer sexy photos:  Generally, when someone asks for free photos, what is really wanted is a way to acquire photos offered for sale without actually paying.

v6 engine pressure per cylibder:  I assume what you want is “compression,” or you’re planning to drop the engine on the floor to see if it makes a dent. (It will.)

262144th note:  Got to have a lot of those if you plan to go for 5000 bpm.

55 no sinal from pulse generator:  For a minute there I thought you’d said “no sinai,” and I wondered what Moses would think.

Who decides which words to no longer use?  Well, it’s certainly not John Boehner.

blessed are the pessimists backups:  I got a new beatitude!

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Yeah, that’s what they said

Generally, within a few days after the lawn treatment is conducted, the rain comes in.

Except, of course, when it isn’t rain:

Yard sign in the snow

See the full, uncropped shot on Flickr, if you so desire.

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Your passive-aggressive assistant

Samsung has been busily updating Fausta’s phone, evidently through a portal:

[N]ow my phone has a voice. A dry, professional, all-business, female voice. A voice that pops up at inconvenient times telling me that I have “25 new emails”. A clear, bossy voice.

I named her Gladys.

Nothing much gets past Gladys.

Not only does she pop up to announce how many new emails are there, she sometimes pipes in to make other announcements.

I suspect that some day the phone itself will die — but somehow Gladys will still be alive.

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Works every time

As the guy said in the antacid ad, “Try it, you’ll like it”:

Seattle news clipping from Bad Newspaper

(A Bad Newspaper special via Miss Cellania.)

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Give that man a statue

And by “that man,” I mean almost any man but this man:

… current Major League Baseball Commissioner and former Brewers’ owner Bud Selig, a man who has visited upon us the annoyance of interleague play, the silliness of linking World Series homefield advantage to the outcome of the All-Star Game and the absolute abomination of the 2002 All-Star Game, which he called after 11 innings as a tie. The only previous All-Star tie came in 1961 because of rain. If there is any fitting monument to Selig, a man who has left the game more or less leaderless since his tenure as commissioner began — first in an acting capacity in 1992 and then officially in 1998 — it is not a statue. It is a scorecard with a tie game on it. Or better yet, a rainout.

Google reports over 50,000 results for “bud selig sucks,” including Bud Selig Sucks.

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Hardware update

The old box, once restarted, managed to go six hours without one of those inexplicable reboots. Which means that the problem has been greatly reduced, but hardly solved.

Then again, with Ol’ Man Winter descending upon us heavily again, I’m not in a shopping mood, and delaying the process is a Good Thing.

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Once, not on a bet or anything, I turned out 300 words on a requested subject in 11 minutes flat. (I had promised no more than 15.)

This is not to say that I can do this sort of thing on a regular basis:

For someone who writes almost compulsively, the way some people scratch their ass, having to sit down and generate organized words on a specific topic is unbelievably hard for me. Therefore, like any task I find even slightly daunting or off-putting, I am splendid at finding reasons to avoid it.

I think maybe ten of the last fifty Vents were planned more than ten or twenty minutes in advance; a lot of times, I just have to faceplant into the keyboard and hope it makes an impression on me.

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Where dreams go to die

The Thunder hadn’t won a game in the District of Columbia in years, and it became apparent early on — 13 points in the first quarter — that they weren’t going to win this one. The Wizards calmly and efficiently snuffed the occasional OKC rally; the Thunder were able to pull to within one late in the second, but no closer, and Washington evened up their record (23-23) and the season series (1-1) with a 96-81 thrashing that ended the OKC win streak at ten.

I suspect that the game plan was to concentrate on the deadly Bradley Beal, a certified sharpshooter. And Beal was indeed held to five points. However, the other four starters finished in double figures, as did Martell Webster to lead the bench, with John Wall (17 points, 15 assists, not to mention six steals) and Marcin Gortat (14 points, 13 rebounds) collecting double-doubles. Trevor Ariza was the high scorer, with 18. Still, the Wizards’ offense may not have been as pivotal as tonight’s Telltale Statistic: OKC committed 21 turnovers, more than twice as many as did Washington.

And you have to figure that any night when Kevin Durant puts up 26 points and still finishes -16, which is where he was when he exited with 6:26 left, is not going to end well. Serge Ibaka contributed 14 points and four blocks, the entire Thunder bench 21 points and one block. Nor did the long ball help them: the team that made 16 threes against Miami came up with only four against Washington, in 24 tries. (KD was 0-6.) Perhaps there’s just something about the Verizon Center, although being in D.C. seems frightening enough.

But forget the East for a while, and by “a while” I mean a little less than a week: the Grizzlies will be visiting OKC on Monday night, the Timberwolves on Wednesday, and then it’s off to Orlando on Friday.

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Hardware blues

Consider this a brief summation of what goes through your head as you desperately search for ways to keep this old clunker running for just a few more weeks. And by “you,” I of course mean “me.”

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Covered stories

Being a person of the masculine persuasion, I’ve read a few magazines that are supposedly aimed at me, and generally, they’re about Things Guys Like To Do, supplemented with Things Guys Should Buy; see, for instance, Maxim, which once spun off its Stuff section into a separate magazine, only to discover that the readers realized that Stuff was basically Lucky with a neckbeard. And yes, there are babe pictures now and then, but they’re of secondary interest, unless you’ve gone twelve years without any feminine attention.

If this sounds uninspiring, consider what women are expected to read:

Women … are continually exposed to a single message: it’s time to have sex. Don’t women deserve adventures of their own, ones that have nothing to do with sex or sexuality? Shouldn’t their magazines celebrate that stuff first, put that stuff ahead of the bedroom agenda? Why does every magazine aimed at women in the supermarket have sex as its primary topic?

Don’t get me wrong: the day I can’t have sex with women I’m going to stare at the wall in the nursing home and cry. I’m all about it. But I don’t think it should be the primary focus of every woman’s life.

Then again, this is the culture that gave us Sandra Fluke, attorney and potential Congressional candidate, who will forever be remembered, not for any actual accomplishments which may be in her future, but for demanding that her contraception be subsidized. A culture in which a person like this is taken seriously is a culture that can’t help but serve up cover stories like “26 Ridiculously Hot Moves.”

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