Subordinate claws

By now, everyone has figured it out: the Memphis Grizzlies are fierce, and at the FedEx Forum they’re more so. The Thunder learned this last season, losing three of four, and got a refresher course in the playoffs, where it took seven games to subdue the Don’t Care Bears. The last meeting was 28 December, which OKC somehow won by three points, 98-95, despite Russell Westbrook having the Worst. Night. Ever. Tonight, Westbrook exploded for 30 points, and for good measure blocked a shot with 20 seconds left, and OKC somehow won by five points, 100-95.

We learned one thing: Marreese Speights, acquired from the Sixers, is no Zach Randolph, but he’s no slouch either, coming up with 10 points, one of six Grizzlies in double figures. Mike Conley, who played only a few seconds in that December game, was in good form, and Marc Gasol continues to be Marc Gasol. Rudy Gay, unfortunately for the Griz, wasn’t very Rudy Gay, hitting only 7 of 21 and missing four of five from the line.

With Westbrook running amok, Reggie Jackson saw limited minutes, but he’s probably not complaining, and he had two steals, as many as the rest of the team combined. Both Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant had free passes to Rebound City, Perk reeling in 13 and KD snagging 11 to go with 22 points. And then there’s Thabo Sefolosha, offensive machine, who knocked down three treys in three tries. You gotta love the idea of an elite defenseman who can shoot the long ball, right?

The Thunder have to play the Griz twice more this season, but at least they’ll have Loud City on their side. Not that Memphis is going to notice. For now, though, the more immediate issue, and by “immediate” I mean “tomorrow,” there’s a trip to New Orleans, where the Hornets, having taken out their frustrations on the Nuggets last night, should be well rested and anxious to prove a point — though what I want to know is whether Eric Gordon has recovered from that bruised right knee.

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Snow angel alert

Robert Stacy McCain has apparently chosen to wrap himself in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:

[T]he past few days in New Hampshire, I’ve begun feeling increasingly glum, and uncharacteristic mood-swing that I at first attributed to being forced to take the Jon Huntsman campaign seriously. Later, I thought maybe I was bummed out by hanging around with those squishy RINOs from National Review during Saturday night’s debate.

It wasn’t until I picked up Sunday’s Boston Globe and saw that story about “arctic hysteria” that I realized I must be suffering from the same problem that affects the Greenlandic Inuit.

Not being in the habit of thumbing through DSM IV, I decided to see what the Wikipedants had to say about this particular syndrome:

Symptoms can include intense hysteria (screaming, uncontrolled wild behavior), depression, coprophagia, insensitivity to extreme cold (such as running around in the snow naked), echolalia (senseless repetition of overheard words) and more.

Coprophagia? Well, that would explain the grin he’s wearing in all those pictures from the road. (Or it wouldn’t. I know I certainly wouldn’t grin under those circumstances.)

Still, there are three words which should be kept in mind under the conditions: “New,” “Hampshire,” and “January.” Perhaps it wouldn’t bother the Inuit, but I must note here that the major New Hampshire nudist facility is closed until mid-May. They’re not crazy.

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Gets her through her busy day

George Carlin used to deride the very concept of pain pills: “I already have pain! I need relief pills!”

Undoubtedly much to the annoyance of the Warriors on Drugs, some of those tabs actually deliver the goods:

My eight-day drug regime has predominately consisted of the generic drugstore variety; Nyquil, decongestants, antihistamines, cough syrup, aspirin, Vicks. Today I kicked it up a notch with a modest amount of vicodin, the modern-day version of mother’s little helper. What a difference a script makes! I spent two hours shopping for birthday gifts and a grand dinner, cleaned the house (no small task after many days of gross neglect), herded boys after school, prepped the meal, wrapped presents and found myself singing as I tucked clean sheets on the bed.

My hair is gorgeous, legs are shaved, the make-up is beautiful and these gorgeous peep-toe stiletto heels feel like they were meant to be worn forever.

“What a drag it is getting old,” sang Sir Mick when he was twenty-three and never imagined anyone would ever refer to him as Sir Mick. Then again, he was probably making reference to Nembutals, the sort found in Mr Murphy’s overalls.

Amusingly, an advisory panel once suggested the FDA take Vicodin and its ilk off the market because the acetaminophen component — not the opioid, mind you, but the stuff like Tylenol — was a threat to the nation’s livers. Eminem and House, you’ll note, are still alive and kicking; and I have to figure that anything that makes stilettos “feel like they were meant to be worn forever” is a genuine boon. Not that you can convince Chuck Schumer of this, of course.

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Quick, build a house!

That damn fire keeps getting closer all the time…

Screen shot from Fox 5: Fire Destroyed by Home

(From LAObserved via this Amy Alkon tweet.)

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A tweet of great social and political import

There is, of course, silliness in several thousand varieties on Twitter, but once in a while something like this comes along:

Tweet by saucybritches

And this is what happened, later that same day.

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Gently sipping

Demand for gasoline has been down of late, which hasn’t affected the price all that much for some reason. At least we know we can’t blame Amy Alkon:

I spent $153 on gas in 2010. In all of 2010. Don’t know what the 2011 tally was because I haven’t added it up yet, but it’s probably less. I work my life so I barely have to drive anywhere. Most people probably can’t do that. I also bought a Honda Insight hybrid in 2004, as the first new car I’ve ever had. I bought it so I wouldn’t pollute (it’s a SULEV — a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) but it’s turned out to be really amazing in savings on gas ever since.

A spin over to shows the post-2008 figures for the ’04 Insight to be 45 city/49 highway. (Original sticker said 57/56.) I’m guessing she has the CVT version, because the stick-shift model just missed SULEV by a hair.

A hundred and fifty-three bucks would keep my car gassed up for, oh, seven weeks, maybe.

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Text only

Bailey Connell explains why she’s not doing a video blog:

[I]t’s in your best interest to keep my videos to performing pre-written music and lyrics, where I don’t have to speak off the top of my head. As much I wish I were, I am not quick-witted; when I try to be, I tend to … er … talk out of the wrong end. If I wanted you to hear word-diarrhea, I’d refer you to a recording of one of Ron Paul’s speeches.

There’s a lot to be said for knowing your limitations. (Assuming, of course, that those actually are her limitations.)

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Further distinction

A post last week about British MP Louise Mensch contained a peripheral remark about Home Secretary Theresa May’s “distinctive shoes,” illustrated with a pair perhaps not as distinctive as these:

Theresa May in leopard-print heels

Fleet Street, as is its wont, tends to go ballistic over women in UK politics for extraneous reasons like this, which suggests to me that there will be more material of this type during the next several months.


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A fountain troubled

Roxeanne de Luca contemplates her marital status, and reminds us that there are no guarantees in life:

[O]ne cannot always choose whether or not to find a great husband and to have a minivan full of children. We are not guaranteed such rewards, even if we choose the path that would likely lead us to such rewards. What we can do, however, is to be the type of woman whom a good man would want to marry, and would be proud to have as the mother of his children. If you do not end up with a huge, loving family (or a small, loving family, if two kids are about all you can handle), it shouldn’t be because you are a raging shrew whom men will sleep with but would never marry.

Perhaps fortunately for me, the vast majority of the unmarried women I know are not in fact raging shrews. Still, if you fancy yourself the very model of a modern-day Petruchio, be assured that Kate is out there:

I would (gently) suggest that Maureen Dowd is simply not the kind of person that any sane man would want to wake up next to every morning, and it’s not because she’s smart (which she may be, and can intimidate many men), or successful (ditto), but because she’s such a damn shrew.

So noted.

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Idol hands

Brian J. throws out a tricky question:

Justin Bieber: Is he more like Andy Gibb or Shaun Cassidy?

It’s tricky because there are so many available points of comparison. A few possibilities:

  • Still alive: Gibb, no; Cassidy, yes; Bieber, yes.
  • Owes much of his career to sibling(s): Gibb: yes; Cassidy, no; Bieber: no.
  • Owes much of his career to screaming teenage girls: Gibb: yes; Cassidy, yes; Bieber, yes.
  • Issues with voice changing: Gibb, no; Cassidy, no; Bieber, yes.
  • Godawful cover version: Gibb, “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (duet with Victoria Principal); Cassidy, “Da Doo Ron Ron”; Bieber, none yet, unless you want to count his Christmas album.
  • likelihood of flourishing post-musical career: Gibb, no (died); Cassidy, yes (established TV writer/producer); Bieber, too early to tell.

And I suppose I should mention this:

  • How many singles did I buy? Gibb, two; Cassidy, none; Bieber, one.

Admittedly, the Bieber song I bought, “Pray,” is his least successful: it didn’t even chart in his native Canada.

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Strange search-engine queries (310)

Once again it’s time to open up the logs and see if anything amusing has landed therein. Hey, it beats the hell out of golf, especially this time of day, when you can barely see the green, let alone the actual cup.

“got to meet zooey deschanel”:  Be warned: she’s probably not your type.

all girls have an inner slut:  With the possible exception of Zooey Deschanel.

shoe size bell curve:  Common sizes in the middle: at the left and right, they’re out of stock.

why isn’t darker than black on itunes?  The anime, or the Cage album?

80’s movie quote things have been going downhill for me ever since you borrowed my pants:  Sounds more like an anime than a Cage album.

job title general flunkie:  You probably shouldn’t get your hopes up this soon.

why do girls wear more than one bra:  They’re, um, putting up a front.

dinosaur trimmer:  You gonna tell T. rex he needs a trim? Because I’m not.

oatmealburgers:  I see Wilford Brimley’s back at the grill again.

I have nothing to have learned:  Might I suggest English?

old backwater:  Um, you’re soaking in it.

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Nice sweep

So far, every NBA team faced with a back-to-back-to-back has won the third game, and the Thunder weren’t at all inclined to break the string, handily dispatching the visiting Spurs, 108-96, giving OKC the distinction of being the first team this season to go 3-0 through the triple-dip.

The word at the beginning was “apprehension”: last night, Eric Maynor went down and didn’t come back. Today we found out why: torn ACL, which will require surgery, and Maynor will miss the rest of the season. We needn’t have worried. Rookie Reggie Jackson, moved up in the rotation, responded with 11 points and four assists in his first extended stint, one of six Thundermen in double figures. Both Kevin Durant (21 points/10 rebounds) and Nick Collison (12 points/10 rebounds) posted double-doubles, something we haven’t seen a lot of this season.

The San Antonio starters were reasonably effective, with Gary Neal pocketing 18 points and Richard Jefferson dangerous from beyond the arc, but in the third quarter, they were overwhelmed 37-21, and only Neal played any significant time in the fourth. Reserve forward Kawhi Leonard was the only player on either side to log more than 30 minutes of playing time; he had the only Spur double-double (13 points/10 rebounds) for the night. And there was an early fracas between DeJuan Blair and Kendrick Perkins that resulted in double technicals. (We really need a pool to guess when Perk goes over the technical limit of 13 — shortened for this abbreviated season — and gets suspended for a game.)

I suppose it’s considered a travel day tomorrow. Tuesday the Thunder are at Memphis, where the frontcourt isn’t what it used to be — Darrell Arthur is out for the season and Zach Randolph may miss a couple of months — and then Wednesday to New Orleans, where in the post-Chris Paul era nothing is what it used to be.

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The long-suffering mail

Why the Postal Service is in deep doo-doo. (And no, it’s not the fault of the Internet — not by a long shot.)

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Fine future fours

Sometimes it’s the little throwaway paragraphs that tell you the most. TTAC pounced on this one:

Renault-Nissan announced today in Detroit that its Decherd, Tenn., plant will build Mercedes-Benz 4-cylinder engines for Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz starting in 2014.

I’m not quite sure which is the more startling news: that Daimler is outsourcing engine production to the States — yes, they build Benzes in America, but we’re talking mostly the M-Class, which hardly seems suited to a four-banger — or that Infiniti, which hasn’t had a four in a car since the demise of the G20 a decade ago, has decided that they need one.

Deep speculation: Mercedes, for CAFE reasons, may want to bring the B-Class to the States for the first time. The current B-Class is offered with an optional CVT; your current go-to guys for CVT-related technology are Nissan and Audi, and Daimler would rather suck smart cars through a straw than buy anything from the VW Group. So when this new four comes out of Decherd, the engines bound for Benzland will be fitted with the appropriate hardware for a CVT, which might even be one of Nissan Jatco’s.

As for Infiniti, they presumably don’t need a four in the G: they’ve already conjured up an entry-level G25 with a small V6. The question then becomes “What would BMW do?” The Bavarians have already shown the way: they’ve brought out a 1-series just below the 3, and are reported to be working on a small FWD car. Besides the Mini, I mean. Since the Nissan Bluebird/Sylphy is about due for a rework … but maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here.

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Managing energy operations worldwide

The government, Melanie Sherman once said, is like a cat: “Sure it can be silky and cuddly and its purr can lull you into a feeling of contentment, but, like a cat, it can purr one moment, and draw blood the next.”

And this particular simile proves to be almost infinitely extensible — also like the government.

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Search pollution

However efficient Google’s Mystery Math may be at detecting dangerous or deceptive Web pages, it still can’t actually read, which explains why Bill Quick’s Daily Pundit associate Alfred Centauri got this authentic link-farm gibberish while looking for laptop reviews:

Man, possess Sony produce a single hell of an item using the Sony VAIO F2 Series VPCF232FX/B. This infant is one highly effective mom, and can perhaps you have storming via work and enjoy at the velocity of gentle!

And this, he said, was the #2 search result. Certainly reminds me of Number Two.

Update: Corrected name of contributor (see comments).

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