It’s an email from your pot roast

Wait a minute. Isn’t the whole idea of a Crock-Pot to avoid constantly fiddling with dinner?

If ever there was a sign that the “Internet of Things” is finally here, it’s the internet connected Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker launched at CES in Las Vegas this week.

Costing $99 (£66) when it launches in the US in the coming weeks, the internet-connected slow cooker uses Belkin’s WeMo connected tech to connect to the internet and then be controlled via your phone when you are out of the house.

Once it’s connected to the internet, you have full control over the cooker via the WeMo app, be that in your home or anywhere in the world for that matter.

I dunno. Goes against my grain, I guess.

Goes against Bill Quick’s grain, too, but for a different reason:

Great. Now the NSA will be monitoring what you’re having for dinner tonight.

They’ll probably just hand it off to HHS, so Sebelius can see if you’re eating an Approved Diet.

But yeah, that’s enough to kill the deal right there.

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Jazz handle it

This can’t be the same Utah Jazz who lost 25 of their first 36 games, can it? But here they are, up 30-28 after 12 minutes, 59-47 at the half, 90-74 going into the fourth after leading by as many as 24 — and then Something Happened. Were there gloves, the gloves would have been off. Both sides were out of fouls within three minutes. Just after the halfway point, Oklahoma City pulled to within eight; they would close to within five before a pair of Gordon Hayward treys put it permanently out of reach. Final: Utah 112, OKC 101.

In fact, Hayward managed to make a 48-point Kevin Durant performance look insignificant: the Jazz swingman rolled up a career-high 37 points, including 17 in a row, on a mere 16 shots and 13 free throws. What’s more, he gathered 11 rebounds and served up seven assists. And five other Jazzmen scored in double figures; the only player who didn’t make at least half his shots — the Jazz were over 50 percent all night and finished at 59 — was rookie point guard Trey Burke, and he still collected 10 points and six rebounds while delivering six dimes.

Admittedly, the Jazz didn’t have to get past Serge Ibaka, who was sidelined with flu-like symptoms. Perry Jones III, who got the start at power forward, is, to be charitable, green: in the 15 minutes he played, he got three rebounds and three fouls, and missed his only shot. And missing shots was something OKC did a lot of: the Thunder took 25 more shots than the Jazz, yet hit five fewer. That’s 39 percent, folks, and if that looks bad, look beyond the arc: six of 34. Miss Beveridge’s School for the Deranged can hit six of 34. If you’re keeping score, Durant’s 48 came on 14-34 shooting, Reggie Jackson was 6-14 for 20, and nobody else broke even ten.

Meanwhile in Denver, the Nuggets were thrashing the Celtics, 129-98. Guess who’s going to Denver Thursday night? Prayers may be in order.

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Degrees of inaccuracy

Lynn could perhaps be a little happier with the weather, or at least with the predictions thereof:

You know what bugs me most about modern weather forecasting? Not that it’s wrong sometimes but that it is, most of the time, too accurate. Yesterday they said that this morning’s low would be 0°F. It was exactly 0°F when I got up at 6:30 this morning. It is now -2°F. So they were off by 2. So far.

Then again, at 6:30 it was still an hour before sunrise. (At Wiley Post Airport, the nearest NWS reporting station to me, the low on Monday was 3°, which happened around a quarter to eight. Sunrise was 7:40.)

I don’t follow NWS Tulsa very closely, but NWS Norman has a habit of recalculating the predicted high for the day right before noon — and often as not, they were right the first time. Then again, clouds and winds don’t respond to our entreaties, or theirs.

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It’s a mature market

I am on record as saying that the Big Blog Boom began on 12 September 2001, for reasons which should be evident. Instapundit was about a month old at the time, though there were some hardy souls out there long before. Much has changed since then, and Julie R. Neidlinger, one of those hardy souls, has taken notice:

The biggest explosion of blogs, however, wasn’t moms or food. It was the blogs that talked about blogging and how you should blog to make money with your blog. These bloggers built their “platforms” by telling people how to build platforms. They built their blog by telling people how to blog. They sold ebooks and training on blogging on their blogs and it became a kind of self-feeding ponzi scheme. An entire industry of bloggers making money off of other bloggers telling them how to make money blogging.

Now I’m the last person in the world to object to turning a buck from this enterprise, especially since I never have. And I don’t think it’s gotten down to Ponzi level just yet: there’s always room for a new voice if it’s saying something people want to hear. But I admit it’s amusing to sit in #blogchat Sunday evenings (9/8 Central) just to watch the questions flow. And Mack Collier, who moderates the chat, is definitely on the side of the angels — it would never, ever occur to him to crowd out us nonprofit types — but hey, he’s got to make a living too.

Still, Julie says:

Blogging, to me, is still (and always will be) what it used to be. I have begrudgingly added the things I’m told I need to add in order to get an audience, but each day I wonder if I really want to start down this spiral or if I was happier blogging as I used to, typos and all, as if it were a public draft of my thoughts.

I haven’t added much over the years. I used to get almost 800 people a day through these digital doors; now I get 300, but 700 take my RSS feed. And it still tickles me a bit to know that a thousand people a day are wanting to know what I have to say about something.

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A slightly bigger horseshoe

Oklahoma City had 4,151 people in 1890, and was divided into four wards. (The popular histories say 10,000 showed up for the Land Run, but that was in the spring of ’89 — and between then and the 1890 Census was a little something called “winter.”)

The four wards remained intact until 1966, at which time the city went to an eight-ward system, mostly because it had been annexing land left and right. The city is actually slightly smaller now in terms of area, but the population has nearly doubled in the 48 years since then, and way back in 2006 Ward 4 Councilman Pete White was saying he’d like to see a 10-ward system.

It’s now 2014, Pete White is still representing Ward 4, and City Council will hold an unusual Wednesday meeting to take up the idea of adding two wards. If Council doesn’t act, White says he’s ready to start an initiative petition to get it on the municipal ballot.

Tulsa, with two-thirds the population, has a nine-ward system. When I brought this up in ’06, Tulsa political blogger Michael Bates said:

At the last census, Tulsa had about 43,000 people per council district, which is still too big in my opinion. A district for representation at the city level ought be no bigger than a district for representation at the state level.

The state has 3.8 million people and 101 House districts; to match up with this scheme, we’d need sixteen wards, which strikes me as an unwieldy number.

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My car says it’s cold

Yesterday Jalopnik asked people to send in pictures of the temperature readouts from their cars. By the time I saw it, though, it was already about five degrees warmer than the single-digit low I’d seen that morning, and besides, I figured no one in the Frozen North would be at all impressed with anything above zero.

That said, I do know how far down the little ambient-temperature gizmo goes, and it’s on the cusp between -3° and -4°: at that point, it switches constantly from one reading to the other until it warms up to a nice balmy -2°. They also sold this model in Canada, so I assume there’s some internal toggle to set it to Celsius.

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Up from under

The Satanic Temple, which has applied to place a monument of His Devilish Majesty at the Oklahoma State Capitol, has released the design for the proposed statuary:

Proposed statue of Satan

The Capitol Preservation Commission, which receives such applications, has declared a moratorium on such things until a lawsuit over the extant Ten Commandments monument is resolved.

Meanwhile, the Temple, through Indiegogo, hopes to raise $20,000 to cover the costs; at this writing, they’re a little over halfway there.

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We are none of us immune

Saturday in rural central Ohio:

A two-vehicle accident on Saturday resulted in multiple injuries, with one patient transported to by Med Flight.

Witnesses at the scene report that a 2009 White Ford Lincoln was traveling west bound near 5708 State Route 229 when it lost control on a curve about 12:18 p.m. The vehicle traveled left of center and was struck broadside by a Maroon Hyundai Sonata.

Three occupants of the Lincoln were transported to local hospitals, one was transported via Med flight. An unknown number of occupants of the Hyundai were also transported.

I like that: a “Ford Lincoln.” Jack Baruth might have been amused by it, but it was his Ford Lincoln Town Car that went off the road, so he has more immediate concerns.

I heard about it from TTAC writer Caroline Ellis on Twitter; TTAC posted a story yesterday, incorporating a statement from Baruth from his Facebook page:

This is Rumor Control. Involved in 40mph offset today on rural road. Wasn’t speeding, the other car wasn’t speeding, we just hit some ice. My son’s fine. My partner is in the proverbial dire straits. I had spleen surgery and I’ve broken the stuff I broke in 1988 — minus the neck.

We do, of course, wish him and his — and the occupants of the Hyundai — the fastest possible recovery.

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Won’t you be my killjoy?

EPA, evidently desperate for something to do, issues a Valentine’s Day ukase:

The Environmental Protection Agency is offering Americans “Tips for February Fun,” encouraging them to think outside the flower box on Valentine’s Day.

On one of the busiest days of the year for florists, the EPA says Americans should consider buying long-lasting silk flowers, potted plants, or live bushes, shrubs, or trees that can be planted in the spring.

And instead of visiting the card shop, consider sending electronic valentines — or recycled cards, the EPA suggests.

You’ll notice that the word “Valentine,” being the name of an actual saint fercrissake, doesn’t make it into EPA’s title.

This doesn’t affect me directly — I go into semi-seclusion in mid-February for reasons I shouldn’t have to explain — but it should not be necessary for a governmental agency, especially a governmental agency which specializes in being a pain in the neck, to issue instructions for every occasion.

(Via And So It Goes in Shreveport.)

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Make him put a ring on it

This may not be a new scheme, exactly, but it’s not something I was expecting in the 21st century either:

The wondrous part, of course, is the standard Craigslist “Avoid fraud, deal locally” footnote.

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Because Castro

The new “opening” of the Cuban automotive market, you should not be surprised to hear, is not much of an opening at all:

Previously, Cubans were first required to request permission from the monopoly, in order to then try to purchase a vehicle from the monopoly.

Now, they can just try to purchase a vehicle from the monopoly without first requesting permission from the monopoly.

Oh, and there are additional charges involved: a 20-percent tariff (imports, you know), plus 10 percent tax, plus 8 percent surcharge. The result is a price list that looks like this:

Oh, and those prices are quoted in convertible Cuban pesos, which are officially worth US$1. So the Peugeot 4008, a small (think Honda CR-V) front-drive SUV, will cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

This is such a pathetic scheme, with such amazing potential for government graft, that I can’t believe some lunatic American legislator hasn’t already proposed something similar to inflict on the States.

(Via Fausta’s blog.)

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Strange search-engine queries (414)

Even colder than legendary Lambeau Field is the box where they store the system logs. Time to put on some serious gloves for once, and poke around for something to laugh at.

Troubleshoot Mazda 626 1989 transmission:  Son, the way we do things around here is simple: something gives you trouble, you shoot it.

convective exchange of cerebrospinal fluid with interstitial fluid:  Nice idea, but are the two fluids roughly compatible?

cd4e fill overflow:  Try 10 quarts of cerebrospinal fluid.

Wisdom:  Here? Surely you jest.

osu orange hummer h2 in stillwater oklahoma:  You were expecting maybe K-State Royal Purple?

www.whaddem  Ah just don’ unnerstand whaddem porno sites is all about.

Результаты включают ссылки по запросу:  Yeah, that’s easy for you to say.

warr acres cop busted:  You know, it’s hard to see what town you’re in along that stretch of Route 66.

ed ames tennis:  His cup runneth over with sweat.

what is the origin of the term dirtbag:  Like a douchebag, but grittier.

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And back to Boston with you

Thunder vs. Celtics. Titanic defensive struggle, yes? Um, no: it was 66-56 at the half, and OKC opened up a 21-point lead over Boston in the third. Beantown closed to within 14, but the Thunder opened the fourth with a 9-3 run, and that was pretty much the end of the story: Oklahoma City 119, Boston 96, a verdict that was never really in doubt.

The Celtics admittedly weren’t at full strength, with Rajon Rondo out with knee issues and Courtney Lee about to be dealt to Memphis, but hey: no Westbrook. And Boston did bring as close to an A-game as possible, with Avery Bradley and OKC expat Jeff Green each dropping in 19. Jordan Crawford added 17 more, and Kris Humphries paced the reserves with 14. The Celts were decent from the 3-point arc (11-23), not so much from the 1-point line (15-24).

A couple of career highs on the Thunder side: Jeremy Lamb (13 points) recorded six assists, and Reggie Jackson, for the first time, knocked down 27 points. With all this going on, Kevin Durant could take it relatively easy: 21 points in 27 minutes, and he watched the fourth quarter from the bench, as did Kendrick Perkins, who scored 12 against his old team. (We will pause for a moment to savor the spectacle of Perk in double figures.) Maybe the secret ingredient, though, was actually hanging on to the ball: OKC recorded only nine turnovers all night. There have been games when — but never mind, let’s not go there.

Next: out West to meet the Jazz (Tuesday) and the Nuggets (Thursday), followed by a visit Saturday from the Bucks. After that, things get hairy.

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Spam upon spam

Now here’s something that’s probably happened before, but which I hadn’t noticed: comment spam directed at a post about comment spam.

And it’s almost amusing:

I drop a comment when I appreciate a post on a site or if I have something to contribute to the discussion.

It is triggered by the fire displayed in the article I browsed. And after this post I was actually moved enough to post a thought :) I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be just me or do a few of the comments come across like they are coming from brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing on additional social sites, I’d like to follow you.

Would you make a list all of your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Truly brain-dead folks have their comments shunted off to Akismet — as this one was.

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Look busy, Sam’s coming

Back in 2007, I noted:

They’re clearing off the lot on the northwest corner of 39th and May, which means that there will probably never be another Dodge dealership at that location.

Which there won’t; but it took six years to find out what will be there. Sam’s Club, assuming city approval, will occupy the lot, minus the actual corner, which contains a Circle K.

This means, of course, that the property owners gave up their idea for a strip mall on the premises, but you have to figure that Sam’s will draw a whole lot of traffic just by dint of being Sam’s.

The lot extends to 42nd; Luther Dulaney Park lies to the north and west. Area residents, at least on the east side of May, have long been calling for a traffic light at 43rd. This may be their best chance to get it.

Upside: That godawful “Cash For Gold” sign on the west side of May is good as gone.

Downside: The actual “Cash For Gold” place, in the Dakota Financial building along 39th just past this development, isn’t going anywhere.

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Presumably in the nuts

Now this is just sad:

Wife stabs husband with squirrel

On the other hand, I can relate: if I caught my spouse with a squirrel, I’m not sure I wouldn’t get all stabby.

(Via this l3ahpar tweet. Here’s the UPI wire story.)

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