Bae by dae

Still not used to the B word:

Awesomeness TV was responsible for the Web series Royal Crush; RB was a cast member in season three. I suspect she’s done more work for them in the interim, and await the unveiling of same.

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Thank you for being a doll

For some inscrutable reason, this makes me smile:

Golden Girls action figures

Funko is selling this set, and apparently they nailed it:

Check out the amazing detail on the fabulous four. Blanche looking all sly and sexy in her red lounge wear, sweet, innocent Rose in a cute, pink wrap-dress, Dorothy having absolutely none of your shit as she sports sensible shoes and her signature dour expression. But it’s Sophia who steals the show with her infamous purse in hand, ready to smack someone upside the head. They’re all just too perfect.

I’m still trying to get my mind around the phrase “Blanche Devereaux action figure.”

Initial distribution will be at New York Comic-Con, but eventually these will be within the reach of us homebound types.

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Storm, no chaser

While Matthew bedevils the south Atlantic Coast, I am minded of my reaction to the F6-if-we-had-F6’s tornado outbreak in May 1999:

[T]he worst managed to stay to my south and west, though not very far. At its peak, the funnel was nearly a mile wide, and its easternmost flank ventured to within half a mile of this desk. At least, that’s what they said in the newspapers; what I saw looked more like a matte painting from a science-fiction film, and an ill-lit one at that. The electrical power went dead here almost immediately, and was not restored until the next day. The only actual damage to my premises, though, was some ostensible surface excitement added to the top of my car, courtesy of a barrage of high-speed ice balls. Given the sheer strength of this storm — bigger vehicles than this were picked up and dropped across the street or in front of houses or even into houses — I’m not inclined to complain a great deal about a handful of dimples.

The phrase that pays is “what I saw”; I reasoned that if this damn thing is going to kill me, I’m not going to huddle in the corner and simply wait for it. Which doesn’t necessarily tell you how I might behave with a hurricane breathing down my neck.

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When the levies break

Reports Rasmussen:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 83% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that when most businessmen pay their taxes, they try to pay as little as possible. Only 12% feel they are more concerned with paying their fair share.

Bill Quick calls out what’s wrong with the way this survey is worded:

1. “Avoid paying taxes.” The implication is that taxes should never be “avoided,” even if the tax code specifically permits you to follow procedures that lessen your overall tax burden. A further implication is that taxpayers should not do this at all — because, really, it isn’t your money, is it? If the government lets you keep any of “your” money (which it actually regards as its money), well, isn’t that nice of the government?

2. “Try to pay as little as possible” versus “fair share.” I really hate this notion of “fair share,” because it loads the calculus in the direction that “fairness” requires you to hand over to the government as large an amount of your own wealth as possible, to be “fair.”

Wealthy people pay by far the largest amount of taxes in this country. If you want to talk about actually fair shares, what about the enormous number of people who don’t pay taxes at all.

More eloquently, Judge Learned Hand, then on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals:

Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.

Opinion in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Newman, 159 F.2d 848, 1947. Then again, it was a dissenting opinion; the government, once it was awarded droit de seigneur with regard to your paycheck, has consistently argued that the award was deserved.

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Mary Jane in stereo

Cristina of ShoeTease has been crushing on this Nine West (Canada) Mary Jane:


I haven’t worn Mary Janes since I was young. And I mean, really young! I’ve always loved their flirty, school girl appeal, but never thought anyone over the age of 25 could pull them off. But then I started seeing some amazing street style. You know, with these fabulous older women wearing their strappy closed-toe heels with kick flare jeans, boho dresses and more. I was inspired.

Three inches might be just a little tall for a Mary Jane, but I have very nearly persuaded myself that the double-strap array visually offsets some of that perceived vertical. In the States, Amazon is selling this in blue or in grey for $99.

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Perhaps she do lie

In Britain, if you’re buying cocaine, you apparently have the right to assume that you’re actually getting cocaine:

A conman who was found to be selling washing powder as cocaine has ended up in court for fraud.

Jamie Lee Taylor, 27, passed off the household cleaning product as Class A drugs for two months. His enterprise paid off in the short term as he made “a fair bit of money”, Teesside Crown Court heard. But he ended up in the dock as he had broken the law, despite never having sold illegal narcotics.

In vain did counsel argue that it’s not illegal to sell washing powder. Taylor, though, was busted for offering to supply cocaine and “possession of an article for use in fraud.” I suspect he came up with this scheme the last time he’d been imprisoned. And truth be told, I’m somewhat amused at the vision of someone snorting Daz.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Fuller service

Drive all the way to the gas station? Too much work:

For the next three months, Bentley owners in California can have gasoline delivered to their vehicle via an app. Because the service (called “Filld for Bentley”) is meant to be the ultimate in convenience, that means anytime, anywhere. Owners simply open an app and request the filling time — the vehicle’s connectivity functions and the Filld app work together to locate the vehicle and unlock the fuel cap.

The automaker calls it “concierge fuel service,” which brings to mind images of a silver urn rolled in on an ornate teak dolly. Perhaps even a decanter. (And how will these deliverymen be dressed?)

In something premium, one hopes.

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A sort of milestone

A snapshot of the WordPress dashboard:

20,000 Posts

Actually, that was taken yesterday, so now it’s slightly more than twenty thousand posts.

This particular database begins in September 2006, so it includes the last ten years — though obviously not the first ten years.

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Nothing to do, nowhere to go?

There’s a sign going up in Forest Hills in the borough of Queens that you just might want to see:

An intersection in Forest Hills, New York will be officially renamed “The Ramones Way” as a memorial to the legendary punk band. It [is] the intersection of 67th Avenue and 110th Street, right in front of Forest Hills High School, where the band’s original lineup met and would later become inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

The street will officially be unveiled on October 23, following a proposal passed by the City Council July 14, according to councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills).

(With thanks to Rob O’Hara, who quipped: “In other news, I still have to get off the interstate at Garth Brooks Blvd.”)

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Breaking snooze

I know this entirely too well:

I woke a bit after four, stumbled to the bathroom and then was unable to go back to sleep. So it goes. My ability to compartmentalize and shut down my brain at times in order to relax has left me along with my ability to throw a sharp curve ball. I tell my brain to “Shut up, Donnie,” but it just keeps bringing up more stuff.

I know the root cause of my inability to sleep. I just cannot get deep into REM lying on my back. Fifty-four years of habit won’t be changed in two and one half months. I snore more on my back, I wriggle around more. It is just the way of things. Hopefully, the Doc will let me sleep on my belly after my next visit later this month. If not, I will eventually get used to sleeping on my back. Or I will keep getting four or five hours of sleep. It gives me something to complain write about.

I do either left side or right side — and each side gets at least a dozen tries every night. And I can’t remember the last time I slept for six hours straight.

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Still in Spain

With Steven Adams still hors de combat, Billy Donovan went with four of Monday’s starting five, inserting Enes Kanter in the center position. This didn’t last long; Kanter rolled up the points easily enough, but so did FC Barcelona, and Kanter was replaced by Ersan Ilyasova. (Interchangeable Turks! Only in Oklahoma City.) Amusingly, the power at the Palau Sant Jordi went off during halftime, but it didn’t delay the game much. This wasn’t the scoring fest that took place on Monday in Madrid, by any means; the Thunder squeaked by, 92-89, on the strength of a 5-0 late run. Still, Kanter, left to his own devices, managed to come up with 24 points; Victor Claver led FCB with 25. And that’s it for the Spanish part of the preseason; there will be almost a week to recover from jet lag.

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And he makes the team

Tim Tebow takes the next step forward:

There were supposedly no guarantees in his contract, so Tim Tebow earned his way on to the Mets’ Arizona Fall League team. Those spots are usually reserved for a franchise’s promising young prospects, but the former NFL quarterback has apparently impressed the Mets.

The 30-year old outfielder will report this Sunday to the Arizona Fall League and play for Scottsdale. Tom Goodwin will manage the club as soon as his responsibilities as first base coach for the Mets conclude.

“We want Tim to play in more games to continue developing his skills on the field while facing advanced competition,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said.

Among other players who’ve come up through the ranks of the Scottsdale Scorpions: Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, and, um, Michael Jordan (in 1994, when he hit .252).

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The A word

That word is “affordable,” and as usual, it doesn’t mean what everyone was taught it meant:

Health insurance premiums will likely increase by an average of 76 percent for Oklahomans who buy individual coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. The increases for individual market plans range from 58 percent to 96 percent.

“These jaw-dropping increases make it clear that Oklahoma’s exchange is on life support,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Health insurers are losing massive amounts of money. If they don’t raise rates they’ll go out of business. This system has been doomed from the beginning.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the only health insurer offering plans on the federal exchange in 2017, submitted the increases to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS will determine if the increases are reasonable. The increase requests follow many insurers reporting significant losses, lower than expected enrollment by the younger population and new customers being sicker than expected. ACA-compliant off-exchange individual plans sold by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma will see the same increases as plans sold on the exchange.

UnitedHealthcare, which was on the exchange last year, has withdrawn.

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Some hard-headed research

There are minor concussions, and there are major concussions. And they tend to look exactly alike out in the field, which makes this gizmo pretty useful:

“Did your brain slow down? How do we measure that objectively?” said Dr. Nancey Tsai, the creator of the Blink Reflexometer.

She said the device can answer those questions.

In the blink of an eye, she said the device can determine if there’s been any changes to the brain’s processing abilities. CEO Mark Semler and the team at the Zucker Institute of Applied Neuroscience in Charleston helped make the invention a reality.

“The computer logs 20 parameters per eye — all these different subtleties about the blink reflex,” said Semler. Through quick air bursts, the device measures the brain’s reaction time. Unlike other technology, this provides numbers.

Right now, it has one disadvantage:

The Blink Reflexometer is currently hauled around on a cart, but eventually, they’ll make it into a handheld device to use on the sidelines at both professional and high school sports.

It’s probably pricey, but hey: sportsball.

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Struck with great force

So far, I’ve heard one track from Valkyrie, the new album by Glass Hammer, it having been recommended to me by Francis W. Porretto, and I’m passing it on to you, all fourteen minutes of it.

Like the best prog rock, it’s about what it says at least as much as what it sounds like. And like the best prog rock, it comes off as vaguely European, though Glass Hammer in fact originated in Chattanooga.

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Zooeypalooza 24!

Has it been almost a year without a Zooeypalooza? This cannot be allowed to stand. Or to sit prettily, either.

Zooeypalooza 24!

Embiggenment, as always, comes with clickage.

Paloozas of yore: ZP 1, ZP 2, ZP 3, ZP 4, ZP 5, ZP 6, ZP 7, ZP 8, ZP 9, ZP 10, ZP 11, ZP 12, ZP 13, ZP 14, ZP 15, ZP 16, ZP 17, ZP 18, ZP 19, ZP 20, ZP 21, ZP 22, ZP 23.

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