The Answer, questioned

The most sensible commentary on Allen Iverson I’ve yet seen, from Sixers blog Depressed Fan (and isn’t that a great name?):

I’m on the record against this move from pretty much every basketball angle imaginable, but now that it’s happened I just have to move on.

I’m truly glad Iverson accepted the non-guaranteed contract, to me it says he’s serious about wanting to play basketball, he’s got something to prove and essentially he ceded the control of the team back to the three Eds, for better or worse. Iverson is essentially on double-secret probation until January 10th (or until he lights up the scoreboard and it would be financial suicide to cut him). Missed practices, explosions in the press, chasing his wife around naked waving a gun, any episodes like this could end his NBA career abruptly, so hopefully he’ll keep his nose clean for the time being.

You have to figure that A.I. is not known for humility — not now, not ever — but if he wants to play, he’s going to have to toe the line.

And where does this leave rookie Jrue Holiday? When the Sixers were here in OKC, Jrue basically made life miserable for Russell Westbrook; Iverson can’t defend against a Skee-Ball machine.

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Words I can live by

For that matter, so can you, without a great deal of effort:

Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

And it’s not like you’re going to be dipping into the eggnog in April, fercrissake.

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Unsuspicious minds

The Secret Service didn’t catch Tareq and Michaele Salahi, says martial artist Stephen W. Browne, because the couple didn’t appear to be up to anything sneaky:

Presidential security, any security organization charged with protecting life and property, is trained to perceive and deal with threats. A threat, to bodyguards, is most often a person or persons nearby with the intent to do harm. That intent creates in an aggressor, certain subtle patterns of behavior that people with experience and competent use-of-force training learn to recognize.

And the Salahis didn’t exhibit any of those patterns:

The Secret Service fell asleep on this one precisely because [the] Salahis weren’t assassins, spies, or saboteurs. They weren’t on a mission — they were on a lark.

The Salahis were completely without malice, and thus failed to alarm the trained “instincts” of the President’s bodyguards.

Apparently this is a job for the likes of Sherlock Holmes, who is attentive enough to note when a dog fails to bark.

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The pertinent word is “tool”

Someone had the audacity (not the audio-editing software) to ask this at Yahoo! Answers:

I am interested in finding a blog response tool that will automatically post comments to relevant blog topics to help promote our business/products (ie. someone blogs about one of our products, then our automatic response posts a comment with a link/promotional code to buy that product).

Does anyone know if a tool like this exists?

In other words, he would like to spam, and he’d like our assistance in getting started.

Let’s see. There’s “No,” and then there’s “Hell, no.” What’s next?

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Yeah, I’ve worked with people like that

Rob O’Hara spots an unfortunate example of auto-truncation:

CS Field Rep Job Posting

At least, we’re assuming that this was unintentional.

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Best damn business idea ever

I can feel a venti coming on:

We have decided to open our own business. A coffee shop. With strippers. For now we’re calling it “Java ‘N Jugs.”

But we’re not going to be like those Seattle bikini-clad coffee-slingers. Our baristas (which will be us to start) will be dressed like Dita Von Teese: classic red lipstick, pin curls, silk stockings, 1930s styling. Put a tip in the tin and we take a little off. Eventually we’re in our knickers, a-makin’ coffee. We’re strip-tistas! But classy ones. And also ones that don’t get naked because I’m pretty sure that being naked behind the counter would be a violation of health codes.

Besides, if they got to the point of being topless, some nimrod would probably burn down the place.

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And people think I’m prolific

But I could never reach this level of productivity:

I did my own self-imposed sprints that were more conducive to my schedule, but I think this actually helped me increase the number of words I got in an hour (along with a little typing game that I had started playing). Where in previous years I averaged about one thousand words for each hour, this year I cut that time in half. There were even times when I wrote more than one thousand words in thirty minutes. This also resulted in chapters that were twice as long as the ones in previous years.

None of this would matter, of course, if those words weren’t worth reading.

Having read several of her previous works, though, I’m confident that they will be.

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The glucose is clear

Generations Healthcare, it says in the paper, is offering free informational seminars this month on the subject of Medicare. In an effort to make attendees health-conscious, they’ve selected the locations carefully:

Dec. 4 — Panera Bread, 10600 S Pennsylvania.
Dec. 9 — Starbucks, 3616 N May.
Dec. 10 — Krispy Kreme, 1024 SW 74th.
Dec. 17 — Denny’s, 1617 W I-240 Service Road.
Dec. 22 — Krispy Kreme, 1024 SW 74th.
Dec. 29 — Krispy Kreme, 13500 N Pennsylvania.
Dec. 30 — Dunkin’ Donuts, 1600 S Sunnylane.
Dec. 31 — Starbucks, 3616 N May.

Each session starts at 9:30 am and will run for approximately one hour.

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Trey bien

If your idea of great basketball is seeing a three-point shot go down, you’d have loved this game: the Thunder put up 24 of them and made 12, while the 76ers got 14 of 23. But while the shooting was about equally effective on both sides, Oklahoma City did some serious board control, outrebounding Philadelphia 43-29 — 18 off the offensive glass, yet — and the Thunder posted their tenth win in eighteen games, 117-106 over a Philly squad that led at halftime and stayed close through most of the third quarter.

Much of the Sixers’ offense was provided by A.I., and that means Andre Igoudala. (Allen Iverson has signed with Philadelphia, but likely won’t see action until next week.) Igoudala was good for 28 points; fellow forward Thaddeus Young contributed 20; Elton Brand, playing sixth man these days, got 13. Rookie point guard Jrue Holiday scored 15, his career high.

The Thunder had five players in double figures, including the much-missed Nick Collison, who returned from a knee ailment with an 18-point, seven-rebound performance in 21 minutes off the bench. Also returning from an injury — and then developing a new one — was Nenad Krstić, who dropped in 12 points. Thabo Sefolosha also had 12; Jeff Green knocked down 19. Russell Westbrook managed only seven points, but served up 15 assists, a personal record. The Durantula finished with a slightly-above-average 33 points.

Two more games in this homestand: the Celtics will be here Friday night, the Warriors on Monday. Boston will of course be tough; then again, the Thunder somehow are 6-1 against teams from the East. And when Golden State arrives, expect another shotfest: that’s what they do.

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What the font?

Red Eye on Fox News

I mean, seriously, what’s the deal? Mistral? “We paid for this font, now we’re gonna use it”? Or is it just that it’s two in the morning (midnight Pacific) and nobody gives a damn?

Not even the presence of Nicole Petallides can compensate for that level of eyestrain. As Jenn says, “You just make it easy for critics to come after you.”

(Okay, who was that who muttered “At least it wasn’t Comic Sans”?)

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Own a piece of a pirate

Somali sea gangs are now selling shares:

In Somalia’s main pirate lair of Haradheere, the sea gangs have set up a cooperative to fund their hijackings offshore, a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate.

It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations — and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments.

Said one, um, interested party:

“Four months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 15 ‘maritime companies’ and now we are hosting 72. Ten of them have so far been successful at hijacking.

“The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials … we’ve made piracy a community activity.”

The really remarkable aspect of all this, if you ask me, is that ACORN didn’t think of it first. Too capitalist-sounding, maybe?

(Via SteveF at Daily Pundit.)

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The MAPS bottom line

MartzMimic, commenting before a sea of Ogles, explains why he’s supporting the MAPS 3 package:

In each of the previous proposals — including last year’s vote to improve the Ford Center and build a practice facility for the Thunder — our city leaders have actually delivered what they said they would deliver. Too many people seem to forget what Oklahoma City was like prior to MAPS.

Downtown certainly wasn’t a place a pretty girl could go plaster shark posters in relative safety.

Nick Roberts has a whole Top Ten, from which I single out Number Three:

Embarrass the Stimulus. The Stimulus does not work because people in Washington, DC do not know what needs OKC or any town has. Even if they knew what projects the people in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis supported, here in OKC we got nothing from the Stimulus. Is there a guarantee the Stimulus will work? No, in fact precedent is way against it. Precedent is however in favor of MAPS. If you want to make a political point against government waste and pet projects, vote for MAPS. Let’s prove a powerful point to Washington: special projects are best left to local leaders NOT distant politicians.

Actually, we got a few bucks here and there, inasmuch as most of the funds seem to be spent on state government, and OKC has been the state capital ever since we didn’t actually steal the state seal. But not much of it is going to be spent on stimulating actual private investment, which is the whole point of MAPS. (Okay, “satisfying some people’s Edifice Complex” is up there somewhere, but it’s not at the top.)

I still have issues with the methodology in place around here, but I remain unpersuaded by the opposition.

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Scenes from the class struggle in Springfield

It should surprise no one — no one in Illinois, anyway — that Cook County Board president Todd Stroger resisted the idea of reducing the county’s sales tax: governments seldom give up revenue if they can help it. The board voted to reduce the tax; Stroger cast his veto; the board overrode it.

The tax reduction, which will drop the sales tax in most of Chicago to 9.75 percent, goes into effect on — the first of July?

Pending any legal challenge, the reduced tax will go into effect on July 1 — the soonest that the Illinois Department of Revenue, which actually collects the tax, can update its computers.

Excuse my French, but WTF? Oklahoma puts out entirely new updates every quarter, and we’re supposedly just a couple of years into that indoor-plumbing thing.

Must be a runner for the Chicago Way, down there in Springfield.

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Fark blurb of the week

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The next best thing to the Weezer Snuggie

Buy a mobile home, get a free can of pork and beans:

Clayton Homes ad

Expires New Year’s Eve. The offer, I mean.

If you missed the Weezer Snuggie, try here.

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The oracle of Del-Fi

Bob Keane already used the best title for his book, and since he’s gone now, I have no qualms about using it here.

Before he was Bob Keane, he was Bob Keene, and before that Bob Kuhn; he played clarinet and fronted big bands, to the extent that big bands would permit themselves to be fronted by a kid like Kuhn.

Somewhere around 1957, Keene went to work for John Siamas at Keen Records. (Note the absence of a final E.) Their first signing was a gospel singer named Sam Cook. (Note the absence of a final E.) Cook had been doing gospel sides for Art Rupe at Specialty, and Rupe was apparently fine with Sam doing secular stuff, until he found out that Sam wasn’t trying to reach the same market as Specialty’s other R&B hitmaker, Little Richard. “You Send Me” and other hits by Sam Cooke made a lot of money for Siamas, not so much for Keene, and Keene decided he wanted to own his own label outright.

“Del-Fi” was indeed like the oracle, only in, um, hi-fi. Keene (not yet “Keane”) had been recording Mexican pachuco stuff around L.A., and out in the San Fernando Valley he happened upon a high-school kid named Richard Valenzuela who played a mean guitar. Signed to Del-Fi in 1958, the youngster was dubbed “Ritchie Valens,” and his first single, “Come On Let’s Go,” charted; the second, “Donna,” was a smash — as was the B-side, a reworking of the old Veracruz folk song “La Bamba.”

One more single was waxed — an instrumental called “Fast Freight,” listed on some labels as by “Arvee Allens,” before February made us all shiver. Keane continued to issue local L.A. stuff, generally with either surf or vocal-group (the word “doo-wop” was studiously avoided in some circles) acts; one of my favorite obscurities continues to hide out in Del-Fi’s archives.

In 1966, Keane’s Mustang label issued tracks by the Bobby Fuller Four, a passel of Texan expats who sounded like Buddy Holly brought up to date; their biggest single, in fact, was “I Fought the Law,” written by latter-day Cricket Sonny Curtis, and they followed it up with a cover of Holly’s “Love’s Made a Fool of You.” For reasons unknown, Bobby Fuller wound up dead; a year later, so did Del-Fi.

In the middle 1990s, Keane reactivated Del-Fi, and, to the delight of record-collector geeks, he started his new numbering sequence where the old one had left off. About the time he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he sold the label to Warner Music Group. At this writing, Del-Fi.com has gone dark, perhaps in tribute to Bob, who died Friday at 87.

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Reefer blandness

Kathy Shaidle reproduces an email from Rick McGinnis which details some of the lesser-known disadvantages of cannabis:

1. It makes people think Pink Floyd were a good, even great, band, instead of a sporadically interesting psychedelic artifact who outright sucked by the time they released The Wall.

2. It’s the reason why music stores can lease-to-buy instruments at terms that would make the mafia blanch, because their time-installment purchasers would rather pay ten dollars a month for a hundred years than come up short when it comes time to pay their pot dealer.

3. Because their parents proudly admit to smoking it, it’s deprived the children of boomers of their last chance to reject their parents as high-handed, hysterical, out-of-touch conformists and made regular law-breaking socially acceptable.

4. It’s made British Columbia and its underground economy far too viable; without it (and Chinese real estate speculation), the province would be just another geographic catch-basin for the country’s cranks, flakes and dimwits — like California without either Hollywood or Silicon Valley.

5. Jam bands.

Ten bucks a month for a hundred years is, um, $12,000. This sounds like the terms you’d get from one of those rent-to-own joints, except they won’t stretch your payments out much beyond a hundred weeks.

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Weird political science

If looking at the contemporary political/cultural scene gives you a sense of déjà vu, there’s a reason for that, says Andrea Harris:

Everywhere you go, everything you encounter, every attitude and platitude and political position, has its roots in the jocks-vs.-nerds, popular-vs.-unwanted, James-Spader-Molly-Ringwald-couples-don’t-exist-in-real-life dichotomy the nation’s citizenry experienced in high school. We are currently experiencing a revenge-of-the-nerds administration — with the sting in the tail being that Obama really isn’t a nerd, he’s just one of those people who would have been a jock but for having no athletic ability. There’s nothing worse than someone who can’t be what he is. We must all pay for his personality dysfunctions.

The one thing policy wonks have in common is, of course, wonkishness.

Contrariwise:

Anyway, Sarah Palin is, obviously, a jock, and so all of us who fancy ourselves intellectuals whether artistic or scientific or both must be up in arms against her commonplace, shallow, brawn-not-brain, “get your nose out of that book and clean up your room!”, boys-who-won’t-play-football-are-fags, scratchy “nice” dress for church no you can’t sleep late, God wants you to stay a virgin! self. Or … do we?

I tell you, if John Hughes had just started making films this year, he’d be hailed as a political satirist. And a better one than Michael Moore, at that.

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16 pounds, and what do you get?

Whenever possible, I try to follow up on questions posed on this site. From nine years ago:

[A] non-landed (by which is meant they don’t own their own facilities) naturist group (this should require no explanation) sends word that they have added to their scheduled offerings clothing-optional bowling. What I want to know is: do they still rent shoes?

This month’s AANR Bulletin has a photo of members of Native Woods Naturists Park, taken at a bowling alley. And every last one of them is wearing shoes, though clearly some of them aren’t rented, since they don’t match the others.

And yes, it is possible to notice shoes, even socks, on a person who is wearing nothing else.

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Very much to the point

Don’t it seem like kicks just keep getting harder to find?

studded peep-toe pumps

Maybe a bit too stylish for Rosa Klebb, and maybe not quite ideal for kicking a bear in the balls.

(Via SondraK — hat tip: Jeffro.)

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