Spanning a lifetime, nearly

I was pretty happy with the Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross soundtrack to The Social Network, so it was a given that I’d go for their newest collaboration, the score for another David Fincher film: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This is a bigger package: thirty-nine tracks on three CDs for $14 plus shipping, or the same 39 tracks not on CDs for slightly less. I duly put in my preorder — release is scheduled for next Tuesday — and they sent me a batch of MP3s on the spot in a handy ZIP file.

I opened up the file in good ol’ WinZIP, sorted the contents by Date/Time Modified, and I think we can safely say that Reznor and Ross might be, in certain instances, ahead of their time:

Screenshot from WinZIP

Not all of them, though.

You can get your own copy here; there’s a 6-track sampler available.

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Let’s just say you’re on your own

Oh, that brand-new Saab sitting on the dealer’s lot? It’s out of warranty:

According to a leaked memo to Saab dealers obtained by Autoblog, the bankrupt automaker is ceasing all warranty coverage on its vehicles in North America.

The memo was sent out Monday following a Swedish court’s approval of Saab’s bankruptcy petition and — as we suspected — all new vehicles will be sold “as is.”

The North American branch of Saab also is suspending the payment of new car, powertrain, emissions and parts warranties, along with recall campaigns, certified pre-owned coverage and no-charge maintenance programs.

Which sounds like a good argument for a 9-4X at fire-sale prices: your local Caddy dealer might actually recognize it as a sister to his SRX, which means he might be able to fix it, albeit on your dime.

Not that anyone is going to buy one, though, until we find out whether this suspension has an expiration date.

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Mind the gap, but not very much

We’ve got some serious generation gap (a phrase that probably should have died in the 1960s) in play these days. First, Emily on her fellow Millenials:

My generation isn’t particularly easy to please. We’re cynical assholes with a penchant for aggrandizement and an inability to recognize the difference between global citizenship and self-promotion (no, read that. It’s amazing). Which might be part of the reason that the first Millennial to rise to power on Earth is a sociopathic 28-year-old North Korean dictator with his father’s fashion sense and nuclear capabilities.

Not that my demographic cohort is all that damned wonderful:

What the Boomers as a generation missed (there were, of course and thankfully, many honorable individual exceptions) was the core set of values that every generation must discover to make a successful transition to real adulthood: maturity. Collectively the Boomers continued to follow ideals they associated with youth and individualism: fulfillment and “creativity” rather than endurance and commitment. Boomer spouses dropped families because relationships with spouses or children or mortgage payments no longer “fulfilled” them; Boomer society tolerated the most selfish and immature behavior in its public and cultural leaders out of the classically youthful and immature belief that intolerance and hypocrisy are greater sins than the dereliction of duty. That the greatest and most effective political leader the Baby Boom produced was William Jefferson Clinton tells you all you need to know.

“Mea culpa,” said the narrator, admitting to having helped the Big He into the White House.

All we need now is a Gen X representative to denounce both upper and lower slices of the sandwich. Then again, obsessive media hand-wringing notwithstanding, I suspect none of this really qualifies as “news,” that inter-generational resentment likely has existed as long as man has had generations; there’s got to be a centenarian out there somewhere who’s still bitter because his grandparents were somehow complicit in the Panic of 1873.

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A little short of actual revenge

Yeah, yeah, we know: preseason. Doesn’t mean squat. Still, there’s a certain amusement value in a game where Daequan Cook misses ten of eleven from beyond the arc and it doesn’t matter; the Thunder were up 74-53 after three quarters, and the bench held on to dispatch the pesky Dallas reserves, 87-83. It’s good to beat the champs.

Much of what we saw Sunday, we saw again: dominance on the boards (51-39) and too many turnovers (17, though the Mavs gave up just as many). Both Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki showed up for this one, though neither did much damage (nine points between them). OKC ran out to a 23-point lead before letting things get a little too lax, and you know Scott Brooks is going to be drilling on Finishing The Damn Game for much of the week — especially since the season opens on Christmas against the Magic, who aren’t exactly pushovers. Yet. (Depends on whether Dwight Howard vanishes from the roster between now and then.) Still, disposing of the league champions twice in a row, even in the preseason, has got to be good for morale. It’s certainly good for mine.

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Deep space it isn’t

Apparently the old-school hip-hop tune was wrong: white lines do do it, especially if they’re scribed on a pricey piece of asphalt.

Like, say, 14 East Main in Bricktown, which is up for sale for a startling five million dollars. Or maybe not so startling, given this description:

This is perhaps the most important parking lot in Bricktown. The lot, which is situated in the center of one of Bricktown’s most vibrant blocks, is invaluable as it services a number of surrounding buildings and accomodates hundreds of customers seeking event parking. While the lot boasts great income today, it could be redeveloped to accommodate a much needed parking garage that could potentially even have apartments on top of it. Bricktown has long had a reputation of being parking deficient.

I have indeed parked in this lot several times, and it’s a handy location, though I’ve never felt that Bricktown, or any particular location in and around downtown, was actually lacking in parking space. On the other hand, I’m not one of those hypersuburban types who feels that a space within 30 feet of the front door is his birthright. (Several such are floating in front of the Belle Isle Walmart even as we speak.)

And the price tag isn’t as ominous as it looks, judging by the comps: the parking lot on the Canal (100 East California) changed hands five years ago for just shy of $4.9 million. Not bad for five-eighths of an acre.

I just wonder how much it would cost to slap a parking garage on top of this slab — and whether anyone would willingly live over it.

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Occasional titters

The Mystery Lady in the previous post said “I have a great sense of humor. I know when to be serious and when to have fun.”

The late Christopher Hitchens would have told you that women were simply not funny, but this was, suggests the lady known as neo-neocon, mostly an effort to provoke:

Hitchens was well aware that there are a number of female humorists who are very funny indeed, but he correctly observed that, in general, it’s men who are more inclined to create humor than women are. Hitchens’ explanation was that it’s mainly because men are trying to appeal to women through humor, and women have no need to appeal to men that way because they’re already plenty appealing in other ways.

A Google search for “women can’t tell jokes” promises 77,000 results, though obviously there’s more to having a sense of humor than merely telling jokes. Again, neo-neocon:

Expressive humor, so often a potent aphrodisiac for a woman when she perceives it in a man (a fact that Hitchens exploited to his great lifelong pleasure, because he was a very witty man), doesn’t tend to enhance her love life if she possesses the trait, unless she happens upon the uncommon man who finds it a turn-on (and there are such men), or unless she uses her gift sparingly. I’ve pondered why that might be so, and I’ve decided that humor is a decidedly aggressive act, even though it’s often a somewhat masked and de-fanged sort of aggression. It can be gentle or more barbed, but all humor has something of an edge, and as such is perceived in the gut as somewhat masculine.

A bit of egalitarianism might serve us guys well here. I didn’t start out in such a state — more’s the pity — but eventually I figured out that were I a member of an actual couple, it wasn’t at all necessary for me to be, or even to pretend to be, the chancellor of the combined exchequer, the decider of all difficult questions, or the raconteur at the Jones party up the street.

(Title goes back, oh, 35 years or so.)

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This should have been sent to Billy Shears

The latest spam from a member of the Lonely Hearts Club:

Happy lady wants more happiness!

I hope to share this with my future man! Are you there? I’m looking for someone who is sociable, kind, manly, with real feelings maybe a little romantic in certain circumstances, and realist.

Are you not perfect? Are you charming? Do you want to love and be loved? If yes call me.

What can I say about myself? I’m a girl that is both attractive in body and soul.

I love the mountains, autumn, cars, stars, sport, my city.

I have a great sense of humor. I know when to be serious and when to have fun.

I’m about as little romantic as they come, I suppose.

But I’ll award a couple of points for ingenuity: the obligatory fake email address might actually exist at Hearst Magazines, which entity is on my whitelist because I subscribe to one of their publications.

Aside: A search for “Billy Shears” on Wikipedia redirects to a Sgt. Pepper’s page.

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And it’s $15 for a towel

It was Jeff Jarvis who first suggested flying nude as a security measure in the wake of 9/11. The suggestion may or may not have been tongue-in-cheek; little did he know that the TSA was going to inspect people’s naughty bits on a regular basis.

There is, however, another argument in favor of boarding in the buff:

Toilets in jumbos are so small that anyone larger than a jockey needs the skills of a contortionist to unzip, unbuckle, unbutton and remove clothing.

It takes a six-point turn just to wash your hands — if you can work out how to use the taps — and then you’ve got to do it all in reverse. All while worrying about the queue forming outside the door.

How many people would actually go for such a thing? Not many, I suspect, though the number is certainly nonzero:

In an entirely unscientific survey conducted by Trip Advisor, nearly four in five of the 22,091 respondents said they were willing to get their gear off when high in the sky, if it meant that other people on the flight would also be under-dressed.

The upsides include reduced plane weight, no-fuss body scans and plenty of good visual amusement when your flight is delayed.

There is, of course, a downside:

[Y]ou’d want to hope there’s no turbulence while the hostie is waving a pot of piping hot coffee above your jewels.

Even now, readers are wondering what the hell airline is it that actually serves hot coffee these days.

(Via this nudiarist tweet.)

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The glamorous life of the lexicographer

For one thing, there’s that whole business about how “glamour” seems to lose its U when the “-ous” suffix is hung on it. And remarkably, this is not the stuff of daydreams:

Let’s be perfectly clear here: all the glamour and intrigue that most people attach to lexicography is a fiction. Samuel Johnson, in his great dictionary of 1755, defined “lexicographer” as “a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge,” and he is not lying. My day consists of sifting through citations of words in context and puzzling over how to succinctly describe the glob of dust and crud that makes up a dust bunny. (I settled on “aggregate.”) Lexicographers do not sit in sleek conference rooms and make your language. That’s what you — the reading, writing, speaking public — do. Language is democratic, not oligarchic. That’s where the real glamour is.

L’Académie Française might beg to differ, but unlike the sons and daughters of Webster, they actually seek to make the language. Sometimes they even succeed.

(Via this tweet by the authoritatively glamorous [or was that “glamorously authoritative”?] Nancy Friedman.)

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Kicked-up pumps

So where do you find the perfect black pump? Some thoughts on the matter:

My perfect black pump would have a ½-inch platform, smooth leather, a 3 inch heel, an almond toe and, at most, a $200-300 price tag. I don’t want any annoying spikes or studs. I have had my fill of them.

The readership here tends toward a somewhat lower price point, so I expanded the criteria a bit, and turned up this Nine West offering:

Rocha by Nine West

“Rocha” is a little bit too tall — 3¾ inches, only a quarter-inch platform — but it’s only $79, and at this writing Peltz has it on sale. There’s also a distressed-taupe version, which ought to fill the bill for so-called “nude” colors.

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Right next to the obituaries

An editorial from the Roanoke Times:

City and county officials contend that you are prepared to maintain a permanent state of vigilance without interfering with your work, family obligations and weekend soccer games. They are asking the General Assembly to waive requirements that legal notices be published in newspapers for public hearings, zoning requests and local budgets. Instead, that information would be available only on government websites.

Of course, the papers get paid for running these notices, as the Times acknowledges, which costs the officials money. Then again, running a governmental Web site costs money too. And I’d argue that there’s a better chance that citizens will find a given notice if it’s available in more than one location.

Besides, hard copy has its advantages:

For example, a judge last month voided the Dendron Town Council’s permit for a coal-fired power plant in that Tidewater community because public notices did not clearly state that a vote was scheduled on the matter.

If the notice had merely been posted on the town’s website, there would have been a temptation for officials to tinker with the wording when the mistake was discovered. The newspaper notice provided a permanent record that could not be retouched.

Would a town council actually do such a thing? What do you think?

(Via Jerry Fuhrman, who argues in favor of the change.)

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We’re not actually talking about it

But Rand Simberg has provoked my Presidential endorsement:

I’d also note (to cite a tweet) that [Václav Havel is] an example of the ancient dictum (that I just made up) that a country can do a lot worse than having a dissident playwright as a president. Mamet, 2012!

Now to get him to sign on the line which is dotted.

Addendum: Heh. Even the Instant Man is intrigued.

Disclosure: One of those damnable quickie surveys puts me in the Bachmann camp, despite the fact that I’ve had all my shots.

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Kiddie seltzer

Dave Schuler goes poking into the sub-basement below the food pyramid, and comes up with Fizzies:

Fizzies were tablets put into water to make a disgusting colored, flavored, and sweetened drink. Sort of like carbonated Kool-Aid but worse in flavor. Fizzies were dealt a deathblow by the federal government when some of the substances used to make them were banned. I understand they’ve made a resurgence with a new formulation.

I probably shouldn’t mention this, but they were a thousand million times more godawful if you simply took the tablet (like some giant pastel-colored pill) and then washed it down with a glass of water.

Maybe it was the sugar substitute:

[I]n 1968, the FDA came out and banned the the artificial sweeteners used to make Fizzies, called cyclamates. Cyclamates were an essential part of making Fizzies tablets, and the scientist didn’t know how to reformulate. Retailers were allowed to sell out their remaining stock through 1970, but after that Fizzies disappeared.

There was a brief reappearance in the 1990s with aspartame, but that, um, fizzled out; the current formula, marketed since 2005, contains sucralose.

I have never tried the allegedly-similar Creamola Foam product.

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Hardbound and determined

Um, no, actually, I don’t own a Kindle or any of those book-reading devices. You want to know why?

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Strange search-engine queries (307)

Yeah, it’s this again. On the upside, there is no Tim Tebow-related material included. (Oops.)

invisible alexa hamilton image:  I have to tell you, she wasn’t much to look at when she was invisible. (Now get some clothes on her, and…)

sheer hose coming back:  They look pretty good on Alexa Hamilton, too.

cheapest refurbished discounted computers Christmas URL Comments Refurbished email blog 19 September 2008:  This is why you should never cut a piece from a page you already have and then paste it into a search box.

the depth of my humilation:  You’re probably reading it right now.

nina hartley on knees:  And not your knees, amirite?

where is the overflow:  By now, it’s covering your shoes.

hitler jelly doughnut eating champion:  You never see this in any of the Downfall parody videos for some reason.

love me with all of your heart steve allen:  A crush is such a precious thing.

masturbate armorall:  Well, maybe not so precious after all.

dont want flying cars:  I’d be happy if they’d quit flying through the red lights over by the mall.

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First blood, so to speak

The hurry-up preseason runs a whole two games: OKC at Dallas, followed day after tomorrow by Dallas at OKC. I am hesitant to make a whole lot of assumptions after the first one, especially since neither Jason Kidd nor Dirk Nowitzki was on the floor, but I have to figure that Scott Brooks went seriously bipolar tonight: he got to see some excellent shooting (56 percent, plus ten treys) and a serious rebounding advantage (45-33), but he also had to witness twenty-five turnovers, which very nearly undid the Thunder’s 106-92 win in the Big D with the big D.

This being preseason, no one played a whole lot of minutes. The Mavericks got to play underdog a couple of times, down by twenty and then pulling to within a couple of possessions before the Thunder calmed them down. (The scarier was the beginning of the fourth quarter, when the Mavs threw up 14 consecutive points into a 20-point Thunder lead.) Still, OKC retained some semblance of cool, which they didn’t always do in tough fourth quarters last season.

Tuesday will be here before I know it.

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