Forth and back

There are basically two types of Dallas-Oklahoma City games: excruciatingly close ones that wreak havoc on the cardiac patients in the audience, and complete and utter blowouts. Tonight was Type A through most of the third quarter, and then B-ness took temporary control: the Thunder opened the fourth with a 15-0 run, running a modest six-point lead to twenty-one. And then suddenly it was all Mavericks; after missing a dozen shots in a row, they hit seven straight. But the Mavs would get no closer than eight, and Rick Carlisle raised the home-white flag with a minute and a half left. OKC 116, Dallas 103, and a reminder that this year, anyway, whichever type of game it is, the Thunder win it: the season series is duly swept, four-zip.

Of course, Dirk was being Dirkish throughout, and he finished with a game-high, indeed season-high, 33 points on 10-16 shooting. (He also missed a free throw, which is among the most unheard-of things I ever heard of.) Apart from Nowitzki, however, Dallas ran short of offense: the only other Maverick to hit more than half his shots was newly-arrived David Lee, who went two for three. Wesley Matthews did knock down five treys; however, he missed all five of his two-point shots. The Oklahoma City answer to all this was — Dion Waiters? It’s true: Slumpy McSlumperman was 5-8 for the evening, 4-6 on the long-ball, and while this doesn’t mean he’s Back to Normal, it’s certainly a lot more appealing than the prolonged mope he’s been in. With Waiters delivering, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook got to play EchoBall: they both went 8-17 for 24 points each. And Billy Donovan might have contributed to that by tweaking the rotation once more. For the first 46 minutes and change, there was no time in which KD and Westbrook both sat: one of them would be on the floor at all times. Did it work? Well, there’s that W.

The next ten days will be tricky and then some. Tomorrow night in New Orleans, followed by a brief return home, although the Warriors will be waiting when they arrive. Then back on the road for Sacramento (they can mess with your head), the Clippers (they can mess with your face), and once again, the Warriors. It’s a long, long slog, finishing out in Milwaukee, where we wait to see if Thunder castoff Steve Novak gets to play.

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More secret than the ballot

Just about everyone in the state has had this experience in the last few days:

I got no fewer than six “Unknown Caller” or “Private Caller” calls last night. I am assuming, as our primaries are March 1, that they were either representatives of one of the candidates making a “Hey, can I count on your support?” call or a pollster.

But here’s my thought: If they’re gonna call people, they should have the intestinal fortitude to code their caller ID so it turns up the name of the candidate’s campaign or says POLITICAL POLL or some such. Don’t hide behind “Unknown Caller” and hope you can TRICK people into picking up. Let people know and let them honestly decide whether they want to listen to a pre-recorded message or be asked their preferences.

My rule is not to pick up for callers that don’t list who they are, except in VERY rare cases when it’s someone I know calling from a cheap cell phone where the company doesn’t provide caller ID numbers. But you’d think a political party could shell out the bucks to be identified.

And no, none of them left messages. So maybe it wasn’t a pre-recorded “get out the vote” call, maybe it was some scammer.

These days, that’s what you’d call a distinction without a difference.

And while I’m on the subject, allow me to say that I really don’t give that much of a damn how my friends and neighbors are planning to vote: I don’t need their guidance, nor do they need mine. Besides, there’s not a whole hell of a lot I could do about it if I were concerned: even if they’re all voting for Smith, I can still vote for Jones — but only once.

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Probe being withdrawn

I’m at the age when rather a lot of people seem to want to know if I’ve ever had a colonoscopy. Short answer: yes, and I’m not looking forward to doing it again. Those wacky Canadians say I probably shouldn’t bother:

Colonoscopy should not be used for routine screening of colorectal cancer in patients with no symptoms or family history of the disease, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care advises in updated guidelines issued Monday.

Instead, the task force strongly recommends that low-risk patients aged 50 to 74 be screened for colorectal cancer using stool-based testing every two years or sigmoidoscopy every 10 years.

Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible scope allows the doctor to view the lower portion of the colon and rectum, not the entire colon as is the case with colonoscopy.

Stool-based tests look for signs of blood that may indicate cancer in the large bowel.

[insert “pain in the ass” reference here]

Maybe our friends in the Great White North are trying to save a few bucks on healthcare?

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As prices continue to rise

You want to see a serious Consumer Price Index, as opposed to the fudge-factory product of the US?

Or we can go even farther back:

If there’s a lesson here, it’s got to be “Don’t go to war with Napoleon.”

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It’s still required

Get your mind around this one:

“Weird Al” Yankovic’s Mandatory Tour comes to Enid, Oklahoma on the 17th of July.

For reals. In between Dallas and El Paso, the Alapalooza will be stopping in the Wheat Capital.

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Rocking world explained

This was all over Facebook yesterday:

Pooh, what makes the world go round? asked Piglet. Fat bottomed girls, replied Pooh

Sorry for the earworm.

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In a size Flat Six

Last fall, I bought two pairs (from separate sources) of the New Balance 928, a decent walking shoe in a nice unshiny black, and I admit up front that I didn’t make the mental connection with Porsche’s unholy (in the heretical sense) 928. Then again, I am not Jack Baruth:

The New Balance 993 isn’t just named after the greatest Porsche road car of all time — actually, it isn’t really named after the greatest Porsche road car of all time — it’s also one of the best casual shoes money can buy. It’s made in the United States.

And dammit, it was on sale yesterday.

Disclosure: I retired two pairs of 925s in favor of the 928s; I still have a pair of 1122s and, for periods when only a truly trashed shoe will do, a pair of 587s. None of those other models have any automotive significance, so far as I know.

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Our hostess wins Brownie points

Actually, I don’t think the Girl Scouts have an official position on what wine goes with which cookie, so this item (courtesy of Babble) should probably be considered Non-Standard:

Match the wine to the Girl Scout Cookie

Wonder what I should dip into this handy Cardbordeaux?

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Not dead the way you know it

If you’ve ever seen it, you don’t need to be reminded here, but just in case:

Manos: The Hands of Fate, made in 1966 by a Texas fertilizer salesman, is a legendarily awful movie about a vacationing family that stumbles upon the creepy Valley Lodge and ends up falling into a cult of ladies in gauzy underwear and a guy with a hand fetish.

It was filmed with a silent camera, so all the dialogue is dubbed. One actress broke her leg, so her character was reduced to that of a randy teen making out in a car. Poor henchman Torgo (late actor John Reynolds) was supposed to be a satyr, but just looked like a sad dude with giant knees.

Manos would have died a quiet death but for its 1993 discovery by Mystery Science Theater 3000. The cult comedy show famous for overlaying comic dialogue on bad movies catapulted it to bad-movie fame with a legendary episode. And in 2012, the three MST3K alums who formed a similar group, Rifftrax, aired Manos in hundreds of theaters around the US, with fresh jokes mocking the movie.

And now comes an even fresher punchline:

Jackey Neyman Jones, who played little Debbie in Manos, is hoping to bring the infamous movie back with a Kickstarter campaign for a tongue-in-cheek sequel, Manos Returns.

Says she in the Kickstarter pitch:

We see MANOS Returns as a companion piece to the original MANOS. It’s a comedic horror film set in a world where MANOS and his cult are real and dangerous. There will be jokes and references to the original film, of course, but our characters take everything that happens to them seriously and will react accordingly. MANOS Returns will feature many of the characters from the original MANOS, and we will introduce some new characters along with the old.

When we say MANOS Returns will be “tongue-in-cheek,” we mean “funny.” We plan for our movie to be both funny and scary. We think that’s the best way to both honor the original and embrace all the reasons why people are still fascinated by it today. Think Cabin in the Woods or Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, (thanks @MovieVigilante), not Birdemic 2.

I should probably be pleased to admit that I never even saw the first Birdemic.

Deadline is the first of March; the Kickstarter is only a couple of thousand dollars short of reaching its goal. And yes, I helped.

I swear by the knees of Torgo, that’s the original Master, Tom Neyman.

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Sort of winging it

From “Planet TAD,” 2-10-16 (MAD #538, April):

I know the story of “The Ugly Duckling” is supposed to be uplifting, but let’s face it: it’s not really a story about an ugly duckling. It’s a story about a perfectly nice-looking swan. The moral of the story is basically: “If people don’t find you attractive, cross your fingers and hope that you’re secretly a different species entirely.”

I suspect more people have at least entertained this idea than are willing to admit.

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The macroses, they is ours, the precious

Elsewhere, Moses supposes macroses is roses, but Moses supposes erroneously.

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O hai

I once described a spam as “someone trying to imitate American legalese with no tools but a French-to-Urdu phrasebook.” If this sounds like an unnecessarily roundabout way of doing things, imagine this: feed a line of a song lyric into Google Translate, take the result and feed it back into Google Translate, repeat until utterly crazed, continue with the next line.

That’s pretty much what’s been done here:

Now think about it. How could you make this procedure even weirder? That’s right: incorporate Google Images.

To put this in Trek terms, we’ll have holodecks long before we get proper Universal Translators.

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Listing this way or that

I have never taken advantage of Twitter’s “List” function, mostly out of a misplaced concern that I might concentrate on one group of tweeters at the expense of all the others; if I need to monitor a concept or a hashtag, I can always create a temporary column in TweetDeck. And frankly, I’m not all that comfortable with associating people’s names with, say, “women with whom I have no chance whatsoever, dammit” or “people who perversely believe that Trixie is Best Pony.”

That said, I’m on 121 lists compiled by other people, and the vast majority of them are “people I know” or “people who hang on #blogchat.” Nothing particularly accusative. Two of them, however, do make me smile: Writer’s point and Online Media. They help to preserve the illusion that I have something to say.

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It’s really a gas

And a pretty important one, too:

Protip: If you don’t want to stay alive, quit breathing oxygen.

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Stand up straight

Believe me, I’d love to.

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Strange search-engine queries (525)

For those just tuning in, this is a weekly exercise in which we go through the scores of search strings that brought users of Bing and Google and whatever to this site, and then try to find something amusing about them. Sometimes it even works.

what happens if you bite your tongue:  A brief period of pain, as distinguished from the extended period of sorrow that would have been caused by what you were thinking about saying.

what do you call a skydiver with the flu:  Um, a sick chuter?

would you like us to send you a daily digest about new articles every day offer:  Well, that is what “daily” means: every day.

governor: the bridge that spans the brookline and kings boroughs is in desperate need of repair with estimates in the range of $30 million. over one million vehicles cross the bridge each day. therefore:  Raise the toll to $30.

“ok time to stop those pesky spammers” ~oncological:  Too bad. I was looking forward to giving them cancer.

hen tie:  You hope your mom thinks of this when she hears you talking about Japanese porn.

tigerdirect out of business:  Well, the Web site is still up and running.

tigerdirect website down:  Perhaps I spoke too soon.

excessive generosity:  This is probably not what killed TigerDirect.

taylor swift armpit sweat:  Only $90 an ounce at better retailers.

yuja wang bikini:  I can’t imagine her playing the piano in a swimsuit; on the upside, it probably wouldn’t interfere with her movements.

gentlemen formerly dressed:  At some point, they decided it was no longer worth the bother.

not superman:  “What is the inscription on Clark Kent’s headstone?”

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