Yuge data

Yeah, sure it is:

Reince Priebus is running around saying it was the GOP data operations that got the Trump vote out on Tuesday. He was on the radio claiming that his team “knew what people ate for lunch, when they went to work and how they voted in the past” so they could target these voters and get them to the polls. He made it sound like they had studied all of us since birth so they could maximize their vote.

This is nonsense. Trump had none of this stuff in the primary and he poleaxed everyone in his way. His “ground game” was to go on TV and radio and be interesting. Then he went on Twitter to give reporters something to ask him. In the general, he preferred the old fashioned whistle stop tour. Instead of a train, he flew around on his plane and did stadium shows near airports. His campaign was lean and mean, avoiding the trap of hiring an army of experts. Trump was outspent something close to 5-to-1 when including outside groups.

I think Reince is trying to psych out the Democrats, who have been crunching numbers for a heck of a long time. And I think they will not be deceived.

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Worse than a wash

First, the good news:

The McRib is back at McDonald’s but only at select locations. Fortunately, you won’t only be left to call or drive around in search of it this time around as the company has put out an official free McRib locator smartphone app.

Now, the bad news:

Unfortunately for Android users, currently it’s only available for iOS off of the iTunes store. You can find it here.

The universe continues to find ways to screw me over.

(Via HelloGiggles.)

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Piston our Post Toasties

After being edged by the Magic at home, the Thunder had the delightful prospect of flying up to Detroit. And the Pistons were understrength: Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson (!) were missing in action. Didn’t matter: Detroit opened up a 59-47 lead at the half — a trey intended to beat the buzzer didn’t — and led by as many as 19 before Oklahoma City started to gain a few. It didn’t last long, and there were some questions about the officiating:

Yeah, like Draymond was ever inadvertent. De nada. The Pistons won this 104-88, not because they got calls, not because they had such fabulous defense, and not because of Caldwell-Pope’s prodigious level of Kentaviousness, but because the Thunder couldn’t shoot to save their lives. We’re talking 33 of 88 for 37.5 percent. Three-pointers? Five of 27, just under 19 percent. The Pistons merely had to be Not Horrible to win this one, and they’re still undefeated at the Palace this season.

There was, of course, another Russell Westbrook double-double — 33 points, 15 rebounds, eight dimes — but nobody else in Thunder blue could manage even a dozen. For Detroit, Aron Baynes, playing the role of Andre Drummond, collected 20 points and eight boards; Tobias Harris led the Pistons with 22.

Good news: The Thunder come home next. Not so good news: first game is with the 6-4 Rockets, who have done better this year on the road than they have in Houston. (This assumes, as was correct at this writing, that the Rockets are stomping the 76ers.)

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Welcome to New Canada

This would simplify matters for all those people who swore they’d move to Canada if Donald Trump were elected:

Adjusted borders

(Via Jeff Faria, who warns: “Of course, all those folks will have to undergo Canadianization training, which is a long, complex process involving maple syrup.” Pass the poutine.)

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Hank Wilson’s gone

Something you may not have known: Leon Russell played piano on Bobby Pickett’s original “Monster Mash.”

In fact, before he built his reputation as a slightly off-center singer and bandleader, Leon Russell played on lots of big hits and even co-wrote a few (for instance, this one, which informed much of my adolescence.) You won’t see Leon here, but you will hear his piano:

Perhaps his biggest success as a solo artist was the 1972 album Carney, which featured the single “Tight Rope”:

The B-side of “Tight Rope” was the lovely “This Masquerade,” covered to great extent by George Benson a few years later:

Still, the highlight of Carney was “If the Shoe Fits,” a kindly but still snarky blast at the rock and roll fandom of the age.

Leon Russell kept on making music, if not always making the charts; perhaps his most dramatic return was The Union, a 2010 joint venture with Elton John. Russell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, introduced by John, who’d always been a fan:

When Mr. Russell’s Greatest Hits album came on one day during the trip, I started to cry, it moved me so much. His music takes me back to the most wonderful time in my life, and it makes me so angry that he’s been forgotten.

Let me assure Sir Elton that Leon Russell has never been forgotten, especially here in his native Oklahoma. (Long associated with Tulsa, he was actually born in Lawton in 1942.)

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This will be the day that I die

Well, not me, probably not today. (That said, you should probably consider me at least marginally suicidal for the duration.) But I’m wondering if there’s an accepted protocol for one’s Last Post Ever — or if it’s better just to let things grind to a halt. I’ve been on both sides of the issue at various times; now I’m just confused.

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Strange search-engine queries (563)

Just what you needed: another Monday morning, and another traipse through recent search strings. (Not what you needed? Sorry about that.)

Made in Japan Mazda 626 auto transmission:  Some were, some weren’t. And those that were turned out to be no better than those that weren’t.

trent automobiles was expecting a large shipment of metal the previous week. but three weeks later, the shipment still hadn’t arrived. a lot of time was lost and the expenses shot up. this will result in a lack of:  Students actually trying to do their own damn homework.

nishiyama onsen keiunkan price:  If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

web toys for your procrastination pleasure:  Isn’t that, like, all of them?

grainy porn:  Obviously you need better Web toys.

fourhourworkweek/tmi:  If you have one of these, believe me, I don’t want to know about it.

indigenous peoples of north america torrent:  Well, you know, there are a lot of them.

drawing conclusions about every woman who leases a car in a particular zip code from a representative sample of 250 women in that zip code who lease a car is called:  Setting yourself up for disappointment when they inexplicably refuse to follow your marketing plan.

two hours from now:  It will be a little past eight and you still won’t be awake.

superheroine trapped:  Oh, she’ll escape. She’s got to be there for the sequel, after all.

diet trim slack companion shapewear:  For those scared off by Spanx.

edm drop vocals hooks screams and shouts:   I think there’s a little more to it than that.

fm receiver 7 little words:  You gave up AM radio for this?

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Stronger spells

The Orlando Magic had won exactly once on the road this season. It would have been, however, a mistake to assume that they couldn’t do it again. Certainly the Thunder didn’t put up enough defense; the Magic jumped out to a 27-13 first-quarter lead, and OKC wouldn’t tie it up again until very late in the third. After that, things remained knotted: just inside the three-minute mark, the score was 107-107; inside the 30-second mark, 117-117. Ex-Thunderman Serge Ibaka finished it off: his 30th and 31st points, those latter representing a career high, rattled down with 0.4 second left. The Thunder couldn’t get off a last shot, and Orlando claimed a 119-117 win.

You might expect, with 236 points scored, that there was shooting, and there was: 53 percent for Orlando, 51 for Oklahoma City. The Magic were a bit more effective with the long ball: 11 of 24 versus 7 of 25. (Seven of those Orlando treys fell in the fourth quarter.) And while both teams hit 16 free throws, the Magic only put up 20; the Thunder tried 26.

Apart from Ibaka, the big Magic scorers were the two starting guards: Elfrid Payton with 23, Evan Fournier with 21. (Victor Oladipo, who used to collect such numbers when he played for Orlando, knocked down 12 for OKC.) Russell Westbrook came up with yet another triple-double (41-12-16), with four other players in double figures, led by Enes Kanter with 16. Whatever it was, it wasn’t quite enough: tonight, Orlando was hungrier, and with everyone playing big minutes, things might get complicated tomorrow night in Detroit, where the Pistons are 5-5 but undefeated at home.

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Mostly, it’s fast

Really, really fast:

Laser physicists in Munich have developed a method to record the change of states of electrons in atoms when they are struck by light. Those changes happen incredibly fast, in a period of time called, wonderfully, a “zeptosecond.”

The specific study was done on helium atoms, which have two electrons. When a light with enough energy strikes a helium atom, the energy is absorbed in one of two ways — either all of it by one of them, or half-and-half. Either way, one electron is ejected from the atom, and the new process, described in the story, can see that happen because of its “zeptosecond” shutter speed. The actual duration of a zeptosecond, if you are curious, is a trillionth of a billionth of a second — slightly less than the attention span of the modern media.

The time between the light turning green and the jerk behind you leaning on his horn is somewhat longer than a zeptosecond, though it doesn’t seem much longer.

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Not a clean getaway

Florida has its own Fark tag. We don’t. But it looks like we’re working on it:

A Connerville man got caught taking a bath in someone else’s home [Thursday] evening, after running from police while in handcuffs.

Shortly after 5 p.m., 35-year-old Justin Pollock was pulled over for speeding on State Highway 99 in Connerville.

An Oklahoma highway patrolman found marijuana, put him in handcuffs, and put him in the front of the trooper’s car. But while the trooper was searching Pollock’s van, Pollock maneuvered the cuffs to the front and got out, before running to his van and driving off.

He abandoned his car in some trees of a close by parking lot, and was found in a home around 6.

Charges, of course, were filed:

He has been charged with felony drug possession, felony evading arrest, escape and burglary.

At least he didn’t stink at the time.

(With thanks to Fillyjonk.)

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Leave it blank

An Oklahoman editorial from yesterday:

Trump’s victory in Oklahoma was among the most lopsided in all 50 states. Yet he achieved that domination while attracting fewer Oklahoma voters than [George W.] Bush or McCain. Perhaps Trump did draw new voters out of the woodwork in Oklahoma. But if so, it seems he may have also prompted some traditional GOP voters to sit this election out.

The #NeverTrump hashtag bunch perhaps saw that it had no place to go; independent Evan McMullin wasn’t on the ballot and couldn’t be put there. (We have no provision for write-ins.)

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No accounting for these people

The story begins here:

As she tells it on FB:

Got a letter in the mail from ACS student loan processing. It seems my loan was dumped out of a special program that lowered my interest rate because “two payments were returned for insufficient funds.” They then warned that they were contacting the credit reporting agencies because I am such a deadbeat.

Well, given that that loan payment was $100, I was curious as to how that happened, because I don’t think I’ve been that broke since I actually *was in law school.* So I look online — all on-time payments; I hadn’t had a late payment since *2014.*

Until October of 2016.

It turns out, at that time, my loan had a mere $.15 left on it. But ACS can’t process a check for less than $1.00. So every time they tried to process my payment of $.15, the computer registered a problem and the payment got declined.

So, for two months, I was a deadbeat ACS client. Over $.15. And they were going to put my account in default and tank my credit.

Now, it turns out, they still can’t take payments of less than $1.00. So I have to *overpay* on a student loan that is almost completely paid off by $.86, so that the payment will be $1.01.

I told them they should put it toward a new computer.

Or to hire someone with half (0.4 to 0.6, anyway) a brain.

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Saturday spottings (it Hast to be)

It began with a message from Jennifer Hast:

Alright, this is stupid. Let’s get together in real life. It should have happened already by now.

What are you doing this Saturday evening?

Well, yeah, I suppose it should have. I mean, we’re here in the same (almost) town, and we’ve traded imprecations for some time.

And so:

No, not that. Don’t be rude. Jennifer and hubby Michael and the resident teenager and an old friend descended on Fassler Hall in Midtown, to find this here old guy in a walker. Once I got my head around the fact that several of my medications prohibit things like beer, we spent about four hours getting to know one another and swapping improbable stories that nonetheless were totally true. Brewskis were ingested (not by the teenager or by me), and several pictures were taken. (The Hasts have matching Nikons, because reasons.) The food was highly non-nourishing and therefore delicious; I had their version of a Chicago dog (pickle, sport pepper, tomato, onion, yellow mustard, neon relish, celery salt), which was great fun, not especially neat, and reasonably priced. The atmosphere, of course, was boisterous, but hey, it’s Saturday night.

A splendid time was had by all, and we will have to Do This Again someday.

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We got your playlist right here, pal

Were I not actually here and able to tune in 101.7, I’d almost believe this:

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Local Christian radio station 101.7 WSLT “Salt & Light Radio” announced Friday a new programming direction wherein its radio hosts would be instructed to select from a list of nine different songs, up from the usual eight — which was already double the industry standard.

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to add Chris Tomlin’s ‘Good, Good Father’ to the rotation. We know we’ll get some push-back here, but we believe God loves diversity and creativity,” a spokesman for the station said in a statement Friday.

“Of course, we’ll still be playing the other eight songs over and over and over again — we just really wanted to push the boundaries by adding one more to the rotation,” he noted. “But the staples like ‘The God I Know,’ ‘Holy Spirit,’ ‘Oceans,’ and that song where the girl says she’s going to get her worship on aren’t going anywhere.”

Actually, that last song is not bad at all:

And with a nine-song rotation, you probably won’t hear it more than once an hour.

That said, there’s no available space at 101.7 in this market, what with a big Class C FM at 101.9.

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Demi, or not Demi?

According to some sources, Demi Moore’s first name is actually Demetria; Demi demurs. “Moore,” at least, is easy to explain: she was married to musician Freddy Moore from 1980 to 1985, though apparently she adopted his surname before they were actually wed. In 1980, she was all of eighteen years old — Freddy was 30 — and she had left high school to pursue showbiz interests.

The usual sequence followed: model, then actress. For a bit over a decade, she was a legitimate superstar; she may have faded (slightly) into the shadows, but not so much that she can’t find work.

Demi Moore for Versace

Demi Moore in late 2012

Demi Moore from the future

Much is made of her film career, and perhaps even more of her latter-day high-profile celebrity husbands. I’d like to dial back for a moment to the days of Freddy Moore. Demi apparently co-wrote three songs with Moore, and she appears in the music video for one of them: “It’s Not a Rumor,” recorded in 1980 by Freddy’s band The Nu-Kats.

Perfectly reasonable power pop, if you ask me. Rhino Records, then a Los Angeles indie label, put out a five-track 10-inch Nu-Kats LP called Plastic Facts, including both “It’s Not a Rumor” and “I Was a Teenage Shoplifter.”

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Valley of the jolly

Once an icon, everywhere an icon:

Tickles the Niblets, it does.

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