Trick or trout

I can think of a carp or two I wanted to strangle — at this very location, in fact — but apparently it’s the trout who are having trouble breathing:

Cold water pouring through power-generating turbines at Table Rock Dam frequently lacks enough oxygen in late summer and fall to keep the trout healthy in downstream Lake Taneycomo.

Because of the low oxygen levels, Lake Taneycomo has been declared an “impaired waterway” since 2008. The problem threatens Taneycomo’s multimillion dollar trout fishery, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency now wants Missouri to do something about it.

Last week, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources began seeking public comment on ways to get more oxygen into the trout habitat.

To me, this seems pretty obvious: redesign the turbines to mix more air, hence more oxygen, into the water. It will cost a ton of money up front, but it’s a more-or-less permanent solution, until the fish evolve to such an extent that they start phoning the surface and asking for snorkels.

What they’ll propose, however, is probably something suboptimal, tinged with enough government-inflicted green to incur the wrath of Brian J. Noggle:

Please, someone tell me how the needs of the trout outweigh the needs of the people who use power. For example, how many trout balance against the need of a single ventilator for a human? That’s determining balance, brothers and sisters. On one side of the scale, some number of fish and on the other side of the scale, people.

Don’t be silly. Fish have scales of their own.

I suspect that this can be solved without jeopardizing either the power plant or the hatchery, but first we can expect to hear some Really Bad Proposals. It’s simply the way these things work.

Comments (5)

It’s a Mr Satan, calling about the heat

Here’s one ticket to Eat Pray Love that will go unsold:

Not unless I was dead, buried, had a stake driven through my vampiric, blood-lusting heart and was buried again in earth sewn with garlic could you get me in a theater to see this movie. And even then I’d figure out a way to haunt you and drive you stark raving mad as my revenge.

This sounds about 1.6 times as severe as “when hell freezes over.”

Comments (4)

Making it up as I go along

I have never had any particular gift for fiction: I run out of gas somewhere around a thousand words, and if you believe the old yarn about there being only seven basic plots, you’d probably wonder if I’d ever seen the other six. Clearly I have no business trying to write a novel.

Stacy McCain also declines to participate, for the following reason:

One reason I’ve never tried to write a novel is because, sooner or later, you’ve got to have a sex scene. There’s this gnawing fear that (a) the scene would be interpreted as the writer’s own personal fantasy or a roman à clef and (b) the results might be ridiculous.

There is no shortage of examples of (c) all of the above, either.

Then again, maybe it’s just imagination I lack. Cintra Wilson has an article in the current Out about a couple of straight females writing gay romance novels. Yes, there are sex scenes. Says one of the authors in question:

I hope she wasn’t too disappointed to be sent to write an article about writers of gay porn for women and come across me instead. I hope she believed me when I said that that was not what I thought I was doing, and that one or two sex scenes in a book full of other stuff does not automatically make that book porn.

I suppose this is where I’m supposed to insist that “I am not a prude,” despite the fact that I tend to get a trifle antsy during sex scenes, even of the sort George Carlin once described as “good old-fashioned American man-on-top get-it-over-with-quick.” Besides, there are probably a hundred contemporary synonyms for “penis,” and 98 of them tend to make me giggle. (I blame Mike Judge.) I should definitely steer clear of those M/M stories.

Comments (4)

The dreaded Worship From Afar mode

I normally don’t like to pick on commenters on other blogs, but this guy baffles me. To a piece by the Booth Babe, he says:

I am not trying to be sexist or anything of the sort, only complimentary when I say that I just went to Do you Come With The Car and the heading has literally the prettiest pair of legs I have seen in ages, if not ever. Please take that as a compliment from one of the few gentlemen you would encounter.

In approximately this order, what went through my mind upon reading that:

  • I suspect she meets more gentlemen than he thinks; it’s just that the people who fail to qualify as such make for better, or at least snarkier, blogfodder.
  • Not to mention tweetables: “Only 1 guy tried to grab my tits today. That’s what I call a successful event.”
  • Um, that heading is a drawing. A good one, I think, but still a drawing. We have no way of knowing if the artist has ever even seen the Booth Babe.

Then again, it would be unsporting of me to pour cold water over this poor fellow’s fantasies, so maybe I won’t post this.

Update: Hah!

Further update: Okay, it’s not a drawing. See TBB’s comment below.

Comments (4)

Post-local for post-yokels

There was at one time a certain provincialism in American newspapers, and one fairly common manifestation of it was what Dick Stanley calls the “200-Mile Rule”:

That’s what they used to call it at a certain Dallas newspaper that is no more. Meaning when the story was beyond 200 miles being extra careful about the facts became, essentially, unnecessary. Because nobody out thataway was likely to be reading it.

The late, perhaps-lamented Dallas Times Herald, I suspect.

This is a Texas-size radius, so your mileage may vary:

In New York City, and New Jersey, when I worked in NJ in the 70s, it was more like the 50-mile rule.

Today, when you or I have access to more stuff than the Associated Press ever dreamed of back then, this sort of “Screw it, it’s way the hell out there in Lower Rubevania” business simply won’t fly anymore. And worse yet, the Rubes have become disinclined to maintain proper obeisance to their superiors in the press.

Doncha just love it?

Comments off


Carnival of the Vanities proprietor Andrew Ian Dodge seems to have the Mid-August Blues, if you believe the title on the 386th CoTV.

I’m inclined to believe him, since I’m suffering from a heat-related version of same, which caused me to fail to get this post out in a timely manner. I will be lucky if I can keep the summer’s cumulative electric bill down to a mere $386.

(To all of you who were just waiting for a CPU-related item here: Nyah.)

Comments off

The non-fussy eater

Where does he come from? Perhaps it requires a background like this:

There is, in fact, a frozen octopus in my freezer as I’m typing this.

Not everyone can say that, nor aspires to. But one just doesn’t wander into the store (and not just any store, either) and say, “You know, I probably need to stock up on octopus.” There has to be some history of this sort of thing, and of course in this case there is:

One of the first things that you learn as a Little Brother™ is that it is your duty to disgust and horrify your older siblings and their friends. And little sisters simply cannot do that as well as Little Brothers™ can.

Why? What’s one of the best ways to disgust anyone? The single best way I know is to be willing, no, eager, to put repulsive stuff into your mouth.

Which reminds me: I haven’t set anything out for dinner. Uh-oh.

Comments (9)

Junior G

Infiniti is showing off the new G25 — same old G, smaller engine, slightly smaller sticker price — and so far, Autoblog readers seem to hate it: the VQ25HR mill in US trim puts out a modest 218 hp.

Time for me to run a comparison:

  2011 G25 2000 I30
Base price $30,950 $29,995
Engine 2.5L DOHC V6 3.0L DOHC V6
BHP 218 @ 6800 rpm 227 @ 6400 rpm
Torque 187 @ 4800 rpm 217 @ 4400 rpm
0-60 (est.) 7.0 8.0
Transmission 7-speed auto 4-speed auto

Just about a wash, really. Still, a G25 with everything will run just about as much as a G37 with nothing — except that the G37 has half again as many ponies to call upon, and no G37 is exactly stripped. And I remain persuaded that the more displacement they scrape out of the VQ engine, the nastier it sounds. My three-liter version, despite its advanced age, is slicker than Monica Bellucci’s dressing-gown; the 3.7s I’ve heard have been just this side of graunchy. On this basis, the 2.5 ought to be exemplary.

Right now, though, a three-year-old G35 looks pretty good.

Comments off

Last will and trouser suit

There’s an old joke about the young bride who arrives at the altar with her hair in curlers: “I want to look nice for the reception.”

This isn’t the same dynamic, exactly, but somehow it reminded me of that old joke:

I want to be buried wearing knits.

I don’t wear knits. Knits make me look lumpy. Nothing screams, “OH LOOK! She had three kids!” like my wearing a knit ensemble. So I don’t.

But I decided, if I can get hold of the morticians before I die and give them my wishes, maybe I can have them cut away all the tummy fat that makes me look mommish, and give me the flat stomach I really never had. A good push up bra and I could have one helluva body.

I dunno. I know some women with industrial-strength muffin tops — we’re talking the full Otis Spunkmeyer here — who still register pretty strongly on the hawtness meter. Not that they’d believe me if I told them so.

Still, I’ve heard worse ideas for Last Requests. And let’s face it, having all this stuff done while you’re actually alive is much more expensive and much more likely to have unpleasant side effects.

Comments (2)

Drew unto others

Drew Barrymore in 60s vintageOne doesn’t generally think of Drew Barrymore, born in 1975, as being a throwback to the Sixties, but the Sixties, in this particular instance anyway, have been very good to her. At last week’s party for the Nylon/Express Denim Issue, Drew was sporting this ¾-sleeve Janine original, circa 1968, in some sort of metallic paisley, an Austin thrift-store find at the delightful price of $25.

The shoes — YSL’s ubiquitous Tribute pumps — are decidedly more up-to-date, and they’re priced to prove it: $760. But expenses notwithstanding, I’m having a hard time remembering Drew looking any better than this, despite there being a photo record of basically everything she’s done since she was six years old and working for Steven Spielberg. And I’m having almost as hard a time imagining someone else her age coming off this well with this look.

Disclosure of Double Secret Motivation: One reason to post this, beyond the hope of garnering a few Rule 5 hits, is to get Lisa’s call on this outfit, given her legendary resemblance to Drew: would she wear this dress?

(Via Fark. Side and back views available at Bitten and Bound.)

Comments (7)

Strange search-engine queries (237)

In case you haven’t been here before, this is one of those exercises in silliness wherein we sift through whatever log entries we have from the past week, separate the wheat from the chaff, and print the chaffiest. All applicable state and Federal regulations have been more or less (okay, mostly less) complied with.

“shave my legs” and “nearsighted”:  Then again, your legs aren’t that far away, unless you’re a supermodel.

List of “bands with seven members”:  Oddly enough, this includes Three Dog Night in their prime.

“What does it take to fire a public school teacher”:  Well, an act of Congress certainly won’t do it.

worst wheels ever:  The hexagonal ones created back when pi equaled three.

eternal server error:  This must be the otherwise unused HTTP status code 666.

why is my boat listing to one side:  It’s none of my business, but shouldn’t you be looking at the boat instead of the Internet?

could Ramen noodles cause me to break out in hives:  If you ate nothing else for seven days or so, you’d probably look forward to hives.

Squidward I Can Hear You Masturbating:  This is not the way I remember SpongeBob.

pics of nude women doing obstacle courses:  The real obstacle, I suspect, is the sudden accumulation of gawking men along the sidelines.

what does it feel like when transmission fails?  Like all the money has been sucked out of your wallet.

Comments (2)

The manlier arts

Out of this list of thirty proposed Irreducible Characteristics of Man, I manage to qualify on twenty-point-something. (Regarding #5, while I have definite carnivore tendencies and have been observed in public downing a brewski, I have never actually felt compelled to set foot in Hooters; I’m told that the experience is valued more highly than the food, which runs counter to my post-Molly Murphy’s idea of what a restaurant ought to be.)

That said, though, several of the items listed aren’t at all specific to the male of the species, nor should they be. As a practical matter, I know more women than men who have slogged their way through Atlas Shrugged (#23). And #27 perplexes me:

He keeps his opinion when everyone else agrees with it. He keeps it when just about everybody is disagreeing with it. He only abandons it when the evidence tells him he should.

So doing doesn’t make you male, or even masculine; it makes you sensible.

Note: I do not consider this exercise to be the equivalent of getting in touch with my feminine side. And trust me, I have good metrics for that.

(Suggested by Andrea Harris’ take on the same list.)

Comments (4)


Which technically stands for Quick and Dirty Position Paper, Part II. (Part I is here.)

Comments (7)

Adrift off Statin Island

This is not my idea of a Happy Meal:

Fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralise the heart disease dangers of fatty food, researchers at Imperial College London suggest in a new study.

In a paper published in the American Journal of Cardiology, Dr Darrel Francis and colleagues calculate that the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.

Tom Naughton, no fan of statins, doesn’t like this idea at all:

[A]pparently these researchers are convinced that saturated fat clogs your arteries the way tobacco stains your teeth: a little bit with every dose. Eat a burger, grow some plaque — unless, by gosh, you pop a statin immediately to halt the process.

If, heaven forbid, we start serving fast food with a side of statins, here’s what will happen: five or 10 years from now, you’ll see headlines about a new study that links fast-food consumption to muscle weakness, depression and memory loss. The blame, of course, will be assigned to the burgers. Michael Jacobson of CSPI will seek out the nearest TV camera and declare Quarter Pounders “Alzheimer’s in a bun.”

Apart from the fact that Jacobson, the Perez Hilton of health, is never far from a TV camera to begin with, Naughton’s prediction looks good, though really it’s pretty easy to see that fast food, if it’s still permitted to people outside the Federal government five or ten years from now, will be blamed for everything from crib death to the heartbreak of psoriasis.

(From Margi Lowry’s Facebook page. I think I owe her a McRib.)

Comments (7)

All we ever wanted

What, the First Family on holiday again? Kwitcher bitchin, says Ric Locke:

I am wholeheartedly and unreservedly in favor of politicians taking vacations whenever and wherever they like, with their families, staffers, hangers-on, and pets in attendance. There is no place on the planet where they can spend, in a week, one-tenth of what they toss in the toilet with single votes or pen-strokes while “on duty” (so to speak). If we could keep the entire Congress in Pago-Pago on a first-class expense account, we could balance the budget in six months.

Okay, maybe nine months. Who’s counting?

Comments (2)

Bell curves and flat heels

He who sells shoes occasionally muses about shoes:

The store I work at carries women’s shoes in sizes 6 through 11. I’ve noticed many black women cannot fit into a size 11 and are regulated to the men’s section. On the other side of the equation, I’ve noticed that many East Asian women cannot fit into a size 6 and must wear kids shoes. Retail stores in predominately white areas carry a shoe size selection that caters to white people. From personal experience, I know that the range of shoe sizes in East Asia is geared towards smaller sizes, but what about shoe stores in the ghetto? Do they carry shoes over size 11 for women? Foot Locker, you want to hire me as an analyst? R/K theory, rearing its ugly head once again, but highly useful for “targeted retail marketing strategy”. One thing is for sure, big shoe stores are racist, and it is imperative that representatives of the NAACP and Asian American organizations bring this issue up.

As long as we’re finding horrid inequalities here: How is it that the size-12 woman, relegated to the men’s section, can fit into a size eleven? (Worse yet, she wears a 10, maybe a 10½, in Britain.)

Oh, for the wisdom of Al Bundy.

I imagine a similar situation occurs in stores that sell bras, but I am not an expert on this subject, so don’t quote me on it.

I am so not going there.

Personal note: A former girlfriend wore a size four; she could literally stand in my hand.

Comments (5)