We few, we fallible

This past week Mike Hendrix celebrated his 10th anniversary of blogging at Cold Fury, and there was just one little hitch:

[A]s usual, I forgot to renew my domain name again, which is something I manage to do each and every year. Gotta go fix that.

Life is like that. Fortunately for me, the surfer dudes who host this place (and a few other domains I run) have an Auto-Renew option: when it runs out, they obligingly tack on another year and add ten bucks to my current tab. Since I’m no more organized than the next guy, and probably less than most, I need stuff like that.

Comments (2)

Not that anyone would pick a Cavalier

If you’d asked me for the greatest Chevrolet of all time, I might have mentioned the ’55 Bel Air (the ’56 and ’57 facelifts, I think, were mostly retrograde), or maybe the ’63 Corvette with the split rear window. But it’s not that hard to make a case for the ’69 Camaro, and in the General’s online poll of bowtie fans, the last of the first-generation Mustang-fighters came out on top.

Chevy design chief Tom Peters, who owns a ’69 Camaro, probably won’t quibble, and neither will his boss, Ed Welburn, who owns one too.

Comments (4)

Fark blurb of the week

Comments (1)

For all you multiphiles out there

Now that I think of it, is there such a thing as a multiphile?

Polyamory is Wrong

A friend sent me this picture; I tracked it to Zazzle, which vends this very shirt.

Next: to determine whether the late Cleveland Amory qualified as a polymath.

Comments (9)

Feel the warmth, already

Not that it’s an original idea or anything, but I once referred to Las Vegas as “America’s Gomorrah,” not because of any residual fondness for frelks or anything like that, but simply as a form of shorthand.

Of course, Vegas has (almost) nothing to compare with the marvels of One Brimstone Place, so if you’re vacationing this year, I suggest you go to Hell, which has had a major makeover since the last time you heard about it.

(Via Nancy Friedman.)

Comments (5)

Where have all the Gaylords gone?

About four years ago — right about the time Newspaper Death Watch went online — I started pondering the question of whether The Oklahoman could actually survive as an independent entity: Opubco had lots of presumably-profitable non-newspaper interests, but if the economy ever went south, they couldn’t necessarily prop up the paper with revenues from, say, the Broadmoor.

Shortly thereafter, the economy did in fact head for Tierra del Fuego, and I decided that the most likely suitor would be Freedom Communications, owner of the Orange County Register and several dozen smaller papers, on the basis of both financials and editorial philosophy. The financials did not in fact work out: in the fall of ’09, Freedom reorganized under Chapter 11, emerging eight months later with various private-equity firms calling the shots. So I wrote off that possibility and put the subject out of my mind.

Needless to say, the out-of-right-field acquisition of Opubco by Philip Anschutz took me totally by surprise: up to now, his hyperlocal model of several dozen Examiner-branded sites and three actual newspapers hasn’t exactly made waves. (Here’s the Oklahoma City version if you haven’t seen it, and chances are you haven’t.)

Generally, two things are widely known about Mr Anschutz: he’s a shrewd dealmaker, and he occupies a spot on the political continuum about where old E. K. Gaylord used to be, which is somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. I don’t have a particular problem with this, not being the sort of person who reads a paper for the editorials, though I suppose I might feel differently if we had competing dailies in town. (During my New England sojourn, I picked up the Globe about as often as I bought the Herald Traveler Record American Whatever; at the time, their editorial philosophies weren’t as far apart as they are now.) I know some locals who are disappointed that the new ownership won’t push the paper several steps in the direction of The New York Times, but I’m thinking, if your model is the Times, why not just buy the Times? Their national edition could use the circulation boost.

Ultimately, I suppose, the major benefit of this takeover is that Anschutz can afford to spend some money on the paper. Whether he’ll actually do it or not remains to be seen, but I’m pretty sure it won’t bleed him to death.

Comments off

See you later, haters

In July, I offered this modest grumble regarding Rebecca Black’s sophomore effort, “My Moment”:

[T]he verse about “haters” is just superfluous: if you’re going to demonstrate your superiority to such, the only effective techniques are either (1) to ignore them altogether or (2) to go full Cee Lo Green on them.

After a prolonged period of (1), apparently she’s ready to try (2). Someone left her a nastygram on Tumblr [warning: embedded music player], to the effect that “You are famous because everybody hates you.”

She responded:

so, i wasn’t going to reply to this, but i really just want to make a point. I DON’T CARE. i don’t care if my song wasn’t up to par with Katy, Gaga, Adele, all of them. i’m just here, doing what i love. i’m out here, living my dream, and what are you doing? sitting behind a computer saying nasty things online. say all that to my face, i would have some respect for you. i’m not trying to act like “a superstar.” i’m SO BEYOND grateful that all of this happened. to me, i’m a 14 year old from Cali that is just getting a chance to be heard. by the way, i don’t care about all the dislikes on my video. i realize some people don’t understand that, but it’s true. you can’t break me that easily. what i care about are the people that are willing to learn a little about me before judging. thanks.

Some people don’t quite comprehend why I bother paying attention to this girl. Let’s just say I’m taking skin-thickening lessons. If that makes me a Beccaholic, so be it.

Comments (5)


Revisionist history being what it is, Joan Crawford is remembered mostly these days for her dislike of wire hangers. Estranged daughter Christina is entirely too happy to announce that there were times when hangers were utterly irrelevant:

Christina Crawford … is developing a one-woman show where she not only plans to reveal new secrets about her life with Mommie Dearest, Joan Crawford, but also show never-before-seen home movies of the screen legend in the nude.

Because people will happily queue up to see nekkid pictures of pretty much anyone they’ve ever heard of, and a lot of people they haven’t. At least, that seems to be the business model here.

“I never knew that they existed before a year ago and never saw them before a month ago,” Crawford says. “I remembered her telling me about her married lover, Charles McCabe; however, I never saw photos of him till the home movies, when they were hunting, fishing and canoeing in the Poconos.”

Christina is now 72. Her mother died at 72. The clock, one presumes, is ticking.

Comments (1)

Quote of the week

Something our leftward-leaning pundits (and the politicians who court their favor) have never quite been able to grasp:

Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect … In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker’s incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of “Eurosclerosis,” the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries.

From Macroeconomics, by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells (Worth Publishers, 2006). Incidentally, Krugman evidently no longer believes this, which suggests a fairly-obvious question: was he wrong then, or is he wrong now?

Comments (8)


There is a recurrent title on YouTube: “Women2drive.” Women, of course, have been driving for decades, to the delight of male comedians hard up for material — except, of course, in Saudi Arabia, where such things are Not Done.

Hence “Women2drive,” in which those things are done and shown to the world. One such video features someone identified only as “Aziza.”

Aziza, it turns out, gave an interview to an American car magazine this summer, in which she gives her full name and makes the following observation:

There’s nothing in the Islamic religion that prevents women from driving. If you think about it, from the days of the prophet Muhammad — peace be upon him — women were on horseback. A car is a lot more modest than horseback. I think because of the Internet and the fact that it allows a lot of people to show what’s going on, that’s why there’s been a lot of momentum with this movement.

Incidentally, she drives a Toyota Avalon.

Comments (2)

Claire de loon

I have yet to watch New Girl, the Fox comedy starring Zooey Deschanel, at least partially because the official premiere is not until next week. On the other hand, Z’s character Jess Day has been given a Twitter account, and I’m a sucker for one-liners, so:

If you get a memory foam mattress, make sure you sleep really comfortably that first night. Otherwise, it’ll never let you forget.

You may be sure that Zooey is doing her best to promote the series for the network:

Zooey Deschanel for Fox TV

I can just see her walking into a boutique asking “What do you have today that’s adorably goofy?” One of these days she’s going to show up in a dirndl, just to make everyone’s eyes bug out.

Comments (2)

What’s the payload on that Lingam Mk 3?

Sofia finds this possibly-loaded statement in her International Relations textbook:

“For example, the terms power and potency refer to both state capability and male virility. Military force depends on phallic objects — weapons designed to shoot projectiles, penetrate targets and explode.”

I’ve seen enough hentai to know I don’t want to see anything yoni-like shooting projectiles.

Comments (5)

The worst kind of badness

I mean, based on a description like this, it would almost have to be, right?

For the past five and a half months I have had to work with the most vile creature God ever created. In fact, I’m not entirely certain God did create him, every morning I’m quite sure he came straight from the gates of hell. Sometimes I imagine I can still smell the evil foul stench of the day he was created.

And surprisingly, it’s not a politician.

Comments (13)

That’s some fine police work there, Mel

The police chief of Valley Brook, Oklahoma, a quarter-square-mile enclave within southeast Oklahoma City, is in moderately deep doo-doo with the law:

Melvin Martin Fisher Jr., 47, was arraigned [in Sapulpa] Tuesday on one charge of drug trafficking, two charges of unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute and one charge of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Creek County court records.

Fisher was released Monday on $31,000 bail from the Creek County jail, court records show.

“They are accusing him of being in possession of 20 grams of methamphetamine and some quantity of marijuana,” said Rob Henson, Fisher’s attorney.

Inasmuch as Valley Brook’s entire economy is based on traffic tickets and titty bars, I somehow had the feeling that Chief Fisher might not be your basic Ward Cleaver type.

Comments (4)


Lots of Volvos around this town have been fitted with a fake-Euro plate up front — Oklahoma doesn’t issue a front plate — that says “SWEDISH,” as though you couldn’t tell. Except, of course, that nowadays things are different:

For decades, Volvo wore its Swedishness on its sleeve, emphasizing the values that made Ikea, Abba and Swedish porn so popular in the US … even when it was an outpost of the Ford empire. And then the unthinkable happened: Chinese up-and-comer Li Shufu bought the brand and rolled it into his Geely empire. In the world of national-character-branding, being bought by a Chinese firm is something like hiring Casey Anthony as a brand ambassador.

Ouch. So what does Volvo do now to avoid the stereotype of Cheap Chinese Crap? CEO Stefan Jacoby floats this notion:

One weakness of Volvo cars is the exposure to the U.S. dollar, so we are investigating increasing our sourcing in North America. The utmost solution would be to have a North American industrial footprint. We haven’t made up our mind.

Sweden’s other automaker, assuming it’s still functioning at the time you read this, has never been able to afford to be picky; in recent years, some Saabs have been sourced from Japan (9-2X, a Subaru design), the US (9-7X, an artificially-Swedened Chevy TrailBlazer), and Mexico (9-4X, cousin to the Cadillac SRX). This may explain why I’ve never seen one of those “SWEDISH” tags on a Saab.

Comments off

Watchers watching on watch

Students mentoring students

The only thing that could be funnier about this would be if that byline belonged to a reporter working for a paper in, oh, let’s say, Mentor, Ohio. (Okay, it’s actually in Willoughby, but it’s on Mentor Avenue [US 20], and anyway she’s moved on.)

(From Criggo.com via Miss Cellania.)

Comments (1)