Hawked up

A cold night in the Big Breezy, and the Atlanta Hawks got a cold reception at the Roundish Building Downtown, although they seemed less bothered by that than by Russell Westbrook’s bid for a statistic: with seven seconds left, Westbrook, expected to dribble it out, instead dished the ball to an open Serge Ibaka, who dropped it through. It was Westbrook’s tenth assist, to go with ten rebounds and 23 points, giving him his third triple-double ever. Even radio guy Matt Pinto seemed surprised. Atlanta’s Al Horford came back with a mostly-unchallenged layup, and that was that; there were a few choice words exchanged after the horn, but nothing came of it, and the Thunder posted a 103-94 win.

Ibaka himself had a double-double: ten points, ten boards. What was most remarkable, though, was that the long ball was actually falling for the Thunder; Kevin Durant (33 points) hit five of nine, and the rest of the team also hit five of nine. Then there was the brief appearance of Jeff Green, who somehow rolled up six fouls in less than twenty minutes. (He still scored 10, and finished a game-high +13.)

Jamal Crawford, the Hawks’ sturdy sixth man, grabbed five steals and led Atlanta scorers with 26; Josh Smith added 23 points more, and Joe Johnson earned a double-double (16 points, 11 dimes). The Hawks, down nine after the first, gained ground in both the second and third quarters, but were held to 15 points in the fourth.

Coming up: three road games in six days, though the first one is tomorrow night at San Antonio. At least Uncle Jeff got some rest.

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The opposite of “joyride”

How big is “flyover country”? Mark Alger suggests that certain members of society haven’t a clue, and proposes a demonstration:

I maintain that you could induce a sort of a catatonia in your typical fashionable Upper East Side liberal by plunking him or her down in the front passenger seat of an SUV trekking across Montana on a bright spring day. The sky alone would oppress.

Oh, absolutely. Let ‘em do the entire 667 miles of US 2. Not only is it Wide Open in the best (and therefore least urban) sense, but parts of the road run parallel to the BNSF railroad, which means there’s a good chance they might see a couple hundred rail cars full of good old American coal. By the time they get to Havre, they’ll be wishing they’d been waterboarded instead.

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Quote of the week

A bit of wisdom from Jennifer:

For the love of John Moses Browning, don’t get your toys that go bang and toys you like to bang mixed up.

She was referring to, um, this.

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Down to Earth

Lynn overcomes her skepticism:

These are my first pair of Earth shoes. I’m always skeptical about gimmicky features and claims, like the toe being 3.7 degrees higher than the heel, which is a big deal with Earth shoes, but I was also curious and always wanted a pair. I really love the look of these and, like I said, it was a really good sale so they are now on my feet and they feel great.

It won’t be her last, either:

I was thinking about Birkenstocks, or the cheap knock-offs they sell at Walmart every summer, but now I’m hooked on Earth shoes.

Sounds like a pretty solid endorsement to me. (See the link for a picture.)

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Keeping it clean

Overly impressed by neatness as I am, I would probably throw myself at any or all of these women:

Not that I object to telekinesis or similarly advanced technologies, of course.

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“2011 beckons,” says Andrew Ian Dodge in the title of the 406th Carnival of the Vanities.

Years do that, especially around this date. I don’t remember anything in particular about the year 406, except that Attila the Hun was born right around then.

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Somewhere out there

Call it Lyndon, or call it Linden, but it’s still a pit:

It was the fourth habitable world found (at least by the NATO powers), the closest to Earth, the only planet “taken” by NATO during the Far Edge War and the third settled by USSF colonists. The climate’s pretty good, the local land life not especially varied or aggressive toward humans; “terraforming” has been no big deal, about like settling Ohio. Or more like Texas, minus the border issues: some challenges but the settlers rose to meet them. And had kids. A lot of kids. And indulged in various flavors of civic involvement most majorly.

Which was a bit of exposition from Roberta X’s I Work On A Starship, an actual dead-tree copy of which is on the way to my mailbox even as we speak. I’d downloaded an ebook version, which was less than $2, but I wanted something permanent for the library.

Maybe I’ll schlep it to the Hidden Frontier some year and get her to sign it.

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Speaking of Sasha

We mentioned Sasha Vujacic in a post about last night’s Nets-Thunder game; he was the only New Jersey player to score the long ball. Far be it from me to make some rude comment about scoring, but here’s a look at Sasha’s fiancée:

Maria Shaparova

You’re looking at tennis star Maria Sharapova, seen here in civilian wear at the 2007 ESPYs. She and Vujacic started dating in 2009, and, well, he is called “The Machine.”

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Everything they had

Oklahomans for Responsible Government, the advocacy group which helped lead the opposition to State Question 744 in the 2010 general election, is closing its doors Friday:

“The combination of a tough economy and an election cycle that collected millions in donations has created a climate where a non-profit organization finds it hard to raise funds,” said OFRG Communications Director and Projects Manager Peter J. Rudy. “While I believe that the cause of transparency and fiscal responsibility is important, contributions are needed to continue these causes and the support is not available for 2011.”

Curiously, or perhaps not so curiously, groups advocating irresponsible government are awash in funding. And you couldn’t get much more irresponsible than SQ 744: “Let’s spend as much as they do!” is the sort of noise made only by people who think themselves entitled to spend other people’s money.

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Weird timing

So I popped open the WordPress admin, and while they hadn’t offered me the 3.0.4 update, there was an update for a plugin, so I went out to fetch that.

And the moment it was done, up popped the 3.0.4 link. I did the update and went on to another site. They hadn’t offered the 3.0.4 update, but there was an update for a plugin — a different plugin this time — so I went out to fetch that.

A third site, a third different plugin, but the same result. Still, things could have been a lot worse.

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The kid’s nuts

From “Hey! Do This” in the current Gazette:

From 1994, the Oscar-nominated Farinelli is a biopic about Carlo Broschi, a famous, fawned-over singer castrated at childhood. Think of him as the 18th-century Justin Bieber as you watch the French/Italian film unspool at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 425 Couch.

Justin Bieber? Now that takes balls.

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Properly incentivized

The ex-blogger formerly known as Jacqueline Passey, always a favorite in these parts for some reason, admits (on Facebook) to having passed this advice to her boss:

“I could revise your old proposals to add a more persuasive spin … you don’t always do a great job ‘selling’ your ideas. We need to vaguely insinuate that if they don’t give us money, toxic dust will kill their children.”

Why, no, she’s not working for the government. Why do you ask?

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Over with quick

Last time these two clubs met, it took three overtimes and about three and a half hours to come to any sort of conclusion. Tonight, it was over with about halfway through the second quarter, as the Thunder coasted to a 114-93 win over the visiting New Jersey Nets.

It’s not like the Nets did much of anything wrong. They shot a respectable 48 percent, were sharper than the Thunder at the stripe (23 of 27; OKC hit only 18 of 27), and bagged one more rebound. Brook Lopez was particularly fearsome, recording 19 points and blocking four shots; Devin Harris scored 19 more. The Nets’ three-point prowess was missing in action, though: New Jersey bagged only two of seven treys, both by Sasha Vujacic. And the Nets turned the ball over 23 times.

Telling statistic: Oklahoma City recorded 31 assists on 45 shots made. For a team that trailed the league in ball movement early in the season, this is fairly impressive. The Thunder shot nearly 55 percent, and five players landed in double figures, led by Kevin Durant with a close-to-his average 27 points.

Mullens Report: Byron played a little over five minutes, missed two shots and one of two free throws, but reeled in three boards and blocked a shot.

Two for three on this homestand; the Hawks will be visiting the Large Unnamed Dome Friday night.

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Curly fried

Bill Richardson to replace Hillary Clinton at State? Not a chance, according to Hillbuzz:

Bill Richardson … is at a 10 on both of the Clintons’ hate lists.

And this means:

Those of you who have hated her for all these years have missed the opportunity of observing one of the most interesting and entertaining grudge-holders in American history at the top of her game. If you are loyal to her, she will move mountains to help you and never forget what you’ve done for her. If you backstab her, she will put you on “The List”, and her loyalists will work tirelessly every day to do whatever they can to take you down. In creative, soul-crushing, often publicly humiliating ways.

So where will Bill Richardson actually land?

Bill Richardson is lucky if, someday, far in the future, he’s able to become so much as the Assistant Manager of a medium-peforming Arby’s off an interstate somewhere.

Well, he does look the part.

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Start the year off wrong

The National Insurance Crime Bureau, which despite its name is not in charge of regulating insurance crime, warns that New Year’s Day is the worst holiday for auto theft, 18 percent higher than Halloween and, surprisingly to me anyway, 26 percent higher than New Year’s Eve.

Of course, if you’re in certain parts of the City of New York, you probably don’t have to worry so much, since they won’t have your car dug out until Valentine’s Day.

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Diligently tracked

The thing about Amazon — well, one of the things about Amazon — is that it remembers everything you’ve done on their site better than you do, and therefore there’s a reason why they have all these recommendations for you when you venture over there.

Amazon acquired Zappos last year, which apparently I had forgotten, because I wandered over to Zappos yesterday and yes, they had recommendations for me. Not that I’d actually wear them or anything, but I was amused enough to pass one of those recommendations on to you.

Jeanette by Me Too

You’re looking at “Jeanette,” from the Me Too line, and I suspect you’ve probably seen something like it before. It’s a nice satin sling with just a hint of “prom shoe” (see discussion of the concept here) and maybe too large a bow up front. (One Zappos customer says she tripped over it.) The color recommended was Champagne, though I prefer this brown version. The heel is listed as 3¾ inches, but somehow looks a little lower. At this writing, “Jeanette” is marked down from $89 to $61. Would I wear this were I a girl-type person? I think I might. Not that it matters at this point.

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