Routine Mittigation

Graphic from Page One, 9-23-12The Oklahoman and the Washington Examiner have been under common ownership for some time, and occasional Examiner editorials have been reprinted, usually in the second position, on the Oklahoman editorial page. Both papers have been enthusiastic, possibly even fervent, supporters of Mitt Romney. (In other news, there are enthusiastic, possibly even fervent, supporters of Mitt Romney.) This weekend, we were treated to a 10-part, 12-page supplement of Examiner articles on Barack Obama, titled The Man Behind the Image, which contains nothing I think of as being particularly incendiary; if you’ve been paying attention all along, you already knew all these things, and you’ve either filed them away for future reference or dismissed them as irrelevant.

There is, however, a punchline: the promo for the supplement, as it appeared in the newspaper’s Page One sidebar, describes it as “A special report from The Washington Examiner in today’s comics package.” Make of that what you will.

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If your sin’s original

Why are things so screwed up? The more I think about it, the more I feel like blaming two naked humans and a snake.

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It costs more to live on your own

On the upside, it avoids unpleasant situations like this:

Found out this weekend that my roommate — the primary on the lease — had called the landlord to inform him that he was through being a tenant. Unfortunately, said roommate did this without talking to me first, nor did he let me know anything about this until the landlord sent that email.

Judging from prior reports, said roommate was also less than diligent about paying the bills. Good riddance — but the timing of this event, inevitably, was not so good.

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Status markers

I have never thought of myself as being rich, exactly, though my net worth is on the positive side of the ledger, which presumably makes me better off than some, and while my assets aren’t growing much at all, my liabilities continue to decline, which must be scored as an advantage. More to the point, I have enough Worldly Goods to meet my current level of demand, though I suppose I might feel a bit closer to that elusive ideal of richness if I’d just buy a few more, um, things:

When I was young, to be rich meant owning a Coach bag, drinking Pellegrino water, listening to a Bose Wave radio, wearing cashmere sweaters, and having hardwood floors in my home. In some ways, I still feel that way.

Still, as needs go, these are relatively easily met:

This weekend I decided to tackle it. I bought a Coach bag and then I went to Best Buy and bought the Sonos multi-room digital music system (Bose is so 20th century). The other items are things I already consumed… I have a number of cashmere sweaters and my house has hardwood flooring. San Pellegrino is a quick trip to the grocery store.

Come to think of it, I’ve completed about 40 percent of that list myself: I have nice parquet floors, except in the kitchen and bathroom, and I own three single-unit radios — one by JBL, two by Cambridge Soundworks — that compete pretty well with the Bose Wave. I do have Bose audio in the car, but it’s a 2000 model — so 20th century.

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A cure for what ails you

Monday is — well, it’s a Monday, so it needs all the help it can get, and let’s face it, every day is improved by bacon. Accordingly:

On Monday, September 24, Call Me Stormy will unveil our most ambitious project to date — A DAY OF BACON — an all-out, non-stop salute to bacon. Every hour on the hour, covering an entire 24-hour marathon, we will post a clip from a movie, cartoon, TV show, stand-up comedy routine, music video or newsreel celebrating the wonders of bacon.

That’s a whole lotta bacon. And why, you ask?

No other meat tastes as sweet as candy. None is so richly aromatic. And none so well represents our spirit at a time when we are under assault from violent extremists who are hellbent to limit our freedoms, including the choice of bacon as a breakfast entree. We could use a laugh and a pick-me-up, and bacon’s just the right thing to do the trick.

And besides, it’s been weeks since International Bacon Day.

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There are several reasons to remember German actress Romy Schneider, who did most of her best work in the French cinema but made some serious noise in Hollywood in the Sixties, including The Cardinal, opposite Tom Tryon, and What’s New Pussycat, in which she plays the fiancée of an unrepentant womanizer played by Peter O’Toole. How unrepentant, you ask?

RS: We’re married thirty seconds and already you look at other women.

PO: I had to look at her, she was talking to me, I looked in the direction the sound was coming from.

A very Woody Allen-ish exchange, which seems reasonable, inasmuch as it was written by Woody Allen.

Romy Schneider

Schneider’s life spiraled rapidly downward in 1981, when her teenage son David died after trying to climb a wire fence and slashed an artery. When she was found dead in her Paris apartment the following spring, she was believed to have committed suicide. French officials ruled she hadn’t. She was forty-three; she would have been seventy-four tomorrow.

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A hard hobbit to break

Rule 85: If it exists, there is pony of it.

And right on time, too.

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This here is a love song

Roger, after careful consideration, has decided to participate in that Six Songs of Me business (I did it here), and one of his selections makes me jump just a little:

What is your perfect love song?

Forever I have been a sucker for “I Only Have Eyes for You” by the Flamingoes. Always makes me a bit misty.

Seems to work on unicorns, too.

(Title courtesy of Brinsley Schwarz.)

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No news from Winder

I was following a news item on, and this semi-nifty little map appeared in the sidebar, offering “County by County News”:

Local coverage on WSB-TV

Note that Clarke County is sitting out there to the east all by its lonesome, while several closer counties — Barrow, Oconee, Walton — are apparently spurned by WSB-TV. My first thought was “Maybe they have a translator out there,” and as maybes go, this is one of the more definite examples: there is indeed a WSB translator licensed to Athens, which is in Clarke County — in fact, Athens and Clarke County were consolidated in 1990 — though the actual broadcast site is outside Winder, in Barrow County.

Then again, nothing here is quite as amusing as the shape of Fulton County, which resembles a lolcat peering around a corner.

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Celestia shrugged

Dating Fails has this under the title “You Can’t Be a Real Person”:

Profile of patriotpony1986

I suspect he’s still crushed that Princess Cadance totally saved Shining Armor’s ass on their wedding day.

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Almost live and indirect

I have yet to happen upon any concert footage from Wild 100, the August concert on the Jersey shore in which Rebecca Black appeared, but RB did favor us with thirty seconds of video connected to the event, and for now, that’s going to have to do:

It’s billed as a “trailer,” and there’s that “COMING SOON” blurb, so I remain hopeful.

(Title swiped from a DJ I remember from forty-odd years ago.)

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It needs to be about 20 percent shufflier

Tam reports an anomaly among her most-played iPod tracks:

[T]he one I don’t get is the Gin Blossoms song [“Hey Jealousy”]. How did it get that high up there? I don’t use playlists, everything is random shuffle, and I know I’ve never repeated it, because I don’t even particularly like it. However, it is blandly inoffensive enough that I’ve probably never skipped it either when it’s been served up; it’s the acoustic equivalent of eggshell white paint on the walls.

There must be something about Gin Blossoms. I have exactly three Gin Blossoms tracks out of 6800 on the work box, and yet they seem to come up every third day or so.

Also high on her list was the Emerson, Lake & Powell epic “Touch and Go,” which to me has always sounded like Greg Lake’s attempt at recreating King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” — on which, incidentally, he sang. Certainly Lake’s lyric style here is a direct descendant of Pete Sinfield’s there.

Note: I had originally intended to post this as a comment to Tam’s original post, but Blogger was having one of its periodic snits.

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Vroom with a view

Jack Baruth waxes lyrical about the Shelby GT500, and it ain’t Turtle Wax either:

It cruises windows-up at 72 mph on the freeway, delivers twenty miles per gallon, chills the cabin, plays Sade’s “Love Deluxe” with appropriate fidelity, doesn’t cook the luggage in the mail-slot trunk, rides acceptably on bad pavement, looks spectacular, costs less than a loaded German mid-size sedan, will be sought-after in the used market as long as there’s a gallon of gasoline to be had anywhere. It reaches for the road ahead with incandescent aggression and remains stable long after the fenceposts have blurred into invisibility.

I actually passed a GT500 ragtop yesterday in the general vicinity of the I-44/I-235 clusterfark, not because I had superior speed or mad driving skillz or anything like that, but because I saw the hole open up and the Shelby didn’t take it. Then again, it might be horrifying to think about your astronomical horsepower numbers while you’re practically idling at 59 mph. I did, however, have time to note the ponycar’s tag: VROOOOM. I think it was four O’s.

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Quote of the week

Given my not-awful score on the Verbal section of the SAT, you might have thought I was a passable writer in those days. I was not. And, says Peg Tyre in The Atlantic, things have only gotten worse since then:

According to the Nation’s Report Card, in 2007, the latest year for which this data is available, only 1 percent of all 12th-graders nationwide could write a sophisticated, well-­organized essay. Other research has shown that 70 to 75 percent of students in grades four through 12 write poorly. Over the past 30 years, as knowledge-based work has come to dominate the economy, American high schools have raised achievement rates in mathematics by providing more­-extensive and higher-level instruction. But high schools are still graduating large numbers of students whose writing skills better equip them to work on farms or in factories than in offices; for decades, achievement rates in writing have remained low.

Fortunately for me, IBM’s various control languages aren’t particularly nuanced, and they pay the bills around here. Still, I was well into my forties before I got to the point where I wasn’t thoroughly embarrassed with my command of written English. Not that anyone is threatening to turn me into a farmhand or a factory worker, exactly, but c’est la vie.

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It’s all there in black and white

The 411 on Fifty Shades of Grey, as explained by Katrina Lumsden:

Women who defend this book are, however unwittingly, participating in some of the most blatant misogyny I’ve ever witnessed, giving the impression that some women enjoy being debased, abused, and controlled (outside of a consensual Dom/sub relationship). This is not a book about BDSM, this is a book about one sick, abusive man and his obsession with a young, naive invertebrate. It’s a book about a girl who has absolutely no sense of self, who sacrifices any pretense of individuality in order to hold onto a man who doesn’t even show her the faintest glimmer of respect. It’s about two attention-starved individuals with the emotional maturity of toilet paper convincing themselves that their relationship is “like, the best thing ever, OMG”. It’s trite, insulting, and dangerous.

I mention in passing that despite Ms Lumsden’s enthusiastic rejection of the book — you should probably read the entire review to get a feel for that level of enthusiasm — nearly a quarter-million readers have rated it highly enough to average 3.62 stars out of a possible 5. Then again, every one of us knows someone who’s slightly less stable than a four-pack of Charmin. Over the years, alas, I’ve even voted for a few.

(Via this Cara Ellison tweet.)

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Amazingly, this does not involve Pinterest

Or, for that matter, Harold Pinter. We’re talking PINs, and this one was nice while it lasted:

The safest 4-digit PIN is “8068” — or at least it was, until researchers at Data Genetics told everyone this week. The researchers there went through a set of 3.4 million four-digit personal identification numbers and found “8068” came up only 25 times.

The most common PIN, unsurprisingly, is “1234.” Beyond that:

[T]here are several numbers that people seem drawn toward. For instance, PINs starting in “19” are common because people like to link their identification numbers with a significant year. In fact, all PINs that start in 19 fall into the top fifth of the dataset.

The top 20 includes all the series in which the first number is repeated throughout (such as 3333) plus 4321, 1212 and 2001. The study also found that many PINs are based on visual clues. Coming in at No. 22 is 2580 — the numbers that run down the middle of a phone or ATM keypad.

I’m waiting for something harder to guess, like, say, √2+3.

(Via Fark.)

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