Abe speaks out

There was some minor flapdoodle last week over the President’s alleged editing of the Gettysburg Address. It never occurred to the doodleflappers to go to the source — Abraham Lincoln’s blog:

I am taking the train to Gettysburg tomorrow and am planning to give a brief speech at this remarkable and sad place. For the many who cannot be physically present, here is a preview for you, My Loyal Readers and Fellow Citizens.

There follows at least one version of the Address.

As always, don’t read the comments. As Lincoln himself said: “The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.”

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Someday he’ll be Sunday afternoon

Speculation mounts that singer Jon Bon Jovi might want to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills:

The Bills will go to the market when owner Ralph Wilson [now 95] passes, and, while many league sources believe the Rogers Communications group in Toronto, who already work closely with the Wilson family to stage games annually in Toronto, is the prime suitor for the franchise, sources said Bon Jovi has spent considerable time in the area getting to know politicians and power brokers and even added a date there late in a recent tour to allow for more time to allocate to the matter.

Bon Jovi has been very proactive in meeting NFL owners and general managers, and is seeking their input on all sort of issues related to football. In the past he has nearly become a minority owner of a team, most notably the Falcons. However, sources said Bon Jovi is aiming to be the principal owner — it remains to be seen if he has the type of immense capital necessary to meet that threshold of ownership — and has aligned himself with several powerbrokers in his effort to turn his dream into reality.

What will this cost him? At the very least, a guitarist:

According to several sources in the music industry, Bon Jovi’s dismissal of longtime guitarist Richie Sambora is likely even related to his pursuit of a franchise, as Sambora was the highest-paid member of his band and the next most prominent member, and by using session musicians or unknowns, he is then able to keep his costs down. Bon Jovi is a shrewd businessman who has kept much of his operation in-house and has long been the central figure in making deals for the band.

Why would Jon Bon Jovi do this? Presumably, because he can.

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I have never been here before

And it’s far too late to turn back now.

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Strange search-engine queries (408)

This weekly feature is produced by sorting through tons and tons of raw materials, looking for something that can be refined, and then enhancing it through careful utilization of snarkistry. We keep hoping the world can be persuaded to pay us to do this — or to pay us not to do this. We’re not finicky.

“how it’s hanging”:  I suspect it has something to do with being suspended at the top.

ROBELLO KOMBI MADE IN C:  Actually, it was E-flat, but somehow it sounded too shrill. I blame CAPS LOCK.

have anyone been using quickfade tattoo removing gel:  Just the invisible girl over there. At least, I think she’s over there.

invisible manga porno:  Not at all sponsored by Quickfade Tattoo Removing Gel.

he’s not what i thought he was:  Yeah, but you voted for him just the same.

ford telstar v6 automatic gearbox whining sound:  It might not be the transmission at all, but the owner of the Ford in question, once presented with the bill for the rebuild.

did stephanie zimbalist ever get hurt doing her own stunts:  A mild case of heartbreak, perhaps.

jayne mansfield’s head on car:  We don’t sell hood ornaments here. Try Pep Boys.

verjin refloration:  Are you sure you know what you’re asking? Try Pep Boys.

The stoplight had just changed and a 20000 kg. Cadillac had entered the intersection north at 3.0 m/s when it was struck by a 1000kg eastbound Volkswagen:  Whereupon the VW driver was shot to death by the Secret Service, since the only 20-ton Cadillac in operation was the Presidential limousine, as outfitted by Pep Boys.

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Easy listening

Even with Scott Brooks experimenting with 10- and even 11-man rotations, there’s been some question about how to find enough minutes for all five guards. For tonight, anyway, there was a simple answer: give Russell Westbrook the night off. Hey, it’s just the Jazz, right? And even with Trey Burke back, the rebuilding Jazz are going to need some Tinkertoys or something: they fell behind by as much as 37 in the third quarter as the Thunder cruised to what may be their easiest win this season, 95-73.

With Derrick Favors back in the middle, Enes Kanter went back to the bench, where he piled up a tied-for-team-high ten points. (Is that your Telltale Statistic? Good as any, I suspect.) Rudy Gobert, rookie center, also gathered ten. It didn’t help that the Jazz were only 4-18 from outside; worse, they missed 16 of 29 foul shots. With the reserves in, Utah looked almost respectable, winning the fourth quarter 30-20, but starting the quarter down 32, the conclusion was pretty much foregone.

Kevin Durant, like the other starters not needed in that final frame, finished with 19; Serge Ibaka put together a double-double (17 points, 11 boards, a stirring +31); Reggie Jackson, starting at the point, served up seven assists on the way to a 10-point night, but Jeremy Lamb actually ran the floor through most of the fourth quarter, and he rolled up 15 points. Even Perry Jones collected double figures, and how often do you see that?

The schedule, of course, won’t stay this way: the Spurs are coming Wednesday. Westbrook, you may be sure, will be back.

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No sneakers involved

This dates to about 1953, and Phil Knight, then fifteen years old, wouldn’t be making athletic shoes for another decade or so:

Advertisement for Nike hosiery 1953

I didn’t find where the Cunninghams of Kilmarnock wound up, though apparently the burgh was celebrated for both textiles and heavy industrial production — and for Johnnie Walker, which was bottled there until 2012.

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Now this takes brains

What sport-utility vehicle do you want to be driving during the Zombie Apocalypse? Hyundai hopes it’s their Walking Dead Special Edition Tucson:

This Tucson features an Ash Black exterior with a subtle red accent graphics package and Special Edition exterior and interior badges. Roof rack cross rails provide additional room for hauling necessary survival gear while mudguards and custom floor and cargo mats help keep the vehicle clean. The vehicle will be offered only in AWD to assist drivers when off-roading away from the undead. Within the Tucson’s black leather interior, passengers will find a custom Zombie Survival Kit — a Walking Dead 72-hour survivalist’s backpack, a necessary item for any zombie “prepper” — and a Walking Dead Tucson Quick Reference Guide, to help utilize all the features in the Special Edition vehicle. In addition, for true enthusiasts of The Walking Dead, this Tucson will offer vehicle decals for the four factions featured in the series: Hilltop, Kingdom, Saviors, and Survivors, so owners can proudly display where their allegiances lie.

The only way they could make this better is to offer, you should pardon the expression, a lifetime warranty.

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Draft resistance

Green Canary is hoping for something resembling heat — preferably from the actual sun, which doesn’t cost so much:

I’ve been keeping my thermostat at 68, which isn’t my preferred indoor temperature during the cold winter months. During the cold winter months, I prefer the balmy warmth of the upper 70s. But since I am still getting to know my house, I didn’t want to press her too hard right out the gate. Also, I was afraid of a ginormous electric bill that would break my tough gal exterior and turn me into a quivering mess of unset Jell-o.

Month one’s electric bill was a lovely $13.05.

Month two’s electric bill was a hideous $178.97.

Explanations were not hard to find:

My house is not large, so there is absolutely no reason why my electric bill should be so high. Except that my not-large house is also not-efficient, what with the 33 year-old wood windows with the cracked seals, the uninsulated basement walls, and the odd draft coming from the doorknob on my back door. All of those very logical heat-sucking factors aside, there is also the much bigger problem that I have barely scratched the surface of: I think the problem is the heat pump itself.

The nice thing about hardware problems, in general, is that they can be addressed by writing a check. Then again, I know something less than squat about heat pumps; I can just about comprehend my gas furnace (expected gas bill for December: $95), and I’ll have been here ten years come Tuesday.

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From the “Yeah, right” files

This strikes me as eminently guffaw-worthy:

Questionable Twitter pitch

I mean, yeah, I can do a face in the crowd, but so can everyone else; there’s no reason to play on my vanity.

This is a screenshot rather than an embed because frankly, I expect this account to be deleted before the weekend’s up, if only because there are at least 42 accounts using that same ID avatar, though Twitter is not inclined to delete artificially created accounts unless they’ve actually done something against the rules — like spamming people.

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Two generations of smartass

I learned a long time ago that both my children carry my Wiseguy gene, and it’s almost a certainty that they passed it on to their kids.

Last night, my son did one of those Foursquare checkins at a place called The Scene, prompting the following exchange:

Becky Carson: This ain’t a scene. It’s an arms race?

Russell Hill: Lots of good bands tonight. You should come out.

Charles G. Hill: Am I supposed to be concerned that my daughter is making gratuitous Fall Out Boy references?

Becky Carson: More importantly, where is the concern for the father that knows a Fall Out Boy reference.

Russell Hill: Well, this is concerning.

(The reference, slightly expurgated.)

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Beating a dead llama

AOL has officially killed Winamp. However, an unlikely interloper is apparently trying to keep it from going on the cart:

Techcrunch has learned that AOL is [in] talks with Microsoft to sell Winamp, along with Shoutcast, a media streaming service also developed by Nullsoft. We have also learned that AOL has been planning to announce the closure of Shoutcast next week.

From what we understand, the deal is not yet finalized, with AOL and Microsoft still working out the price. It could also be very wishful thinking from those intent on trying to save both services.

Microsoft, so far, has declined to comment.

(Via Fark.)

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Curious statistic

I cleared away seventeen examples of comment spam yesterday, and sixteen of them were using bogus Gmail addresses.

Does this mean anything?

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She’s not good, she’s just written that way

If I’ve learned anything in the incredibly long, yet pitifully short, period between Then and Now, it is this: Francis W. Porretto does not toss out throwaway lines for the purpose of being, well, thrown away.

Consider this item, tucked into the midst of a post called “Marginalia”:

Do other fiction writers dream about having an affair with a female protagonist? And when it happens, do they admit it to their wives?

My credentials as a fiction writer are the slenderest possible, but here’s my call:

  1. Yes, definitely.
  2. If the wives are paying attention, they already suspect it.

Substitute gender references as needed.

And remember: that and $5.99 will get you a combo meal at participating locations only, for a limited time, local taxes not included.

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Ever so slight

Weather in these parts was generally terrible yesterday, and I fled the office an hour and a half early to beat (some of) the desperation traffic. I didn’t realize how terrible it was, though, until I pulled up the Mesonet last night:

Mesonet screen shot - wintry mix

When an 80-percent probability seems “slight,” you have definitely had a bad day.

Oh, and it’s supposed to snow tomorrow.

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No better than a number-two choice

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood — like there’s a chance of that these days — annually selects the worst toy of the year for the probably-not-coveted TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award. Most of these, as expected, are fairly humdrum examples of ordinary capitalist exploitation, the sort of thing that probably pays your salary, directly or indirectly.

iPotty by CTA DigitalBut one of them strikes me as remarkably horrible, even by the relaxed 21st-century standards for horribleness:

iPotty by CTA Digital
Price: $34.99
Recommended Age: 18 months+
Would your little one rather lie around in a poopy diaper than miss a second of his favorite show? Than you need the CTA Digital 2-in-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad. No more struggles to get little Bobby or Susie to use the potty — with all the mesmerizing apps and videos, they’ll want to stay on there all day! Start them learning early that there’s a screen for every occasion.

The target audience here, suggests Consumerist, is “parents who have no problem not only putting a $600 piece of electronics in a toddler’s hands, but who have no issue putting that device and the toddler together on a $35 piece of plastic intended for the collection of human waste.”

Then again, the youngsters probably learned it by watching you.

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This feeling of fakin’ it

It is said that you will be perceived as much more desirable if you are perceived as taken. I’ve never noticed any such thing, but then it’s been rather a long time — about half a lifetime — since I’ve been taken. And I don’t really see myself as a customer for this particular service:

A new app to change your relationship status. “Invisible girlfriend” will call you, leave you voicemails and even give you gifts. All for a price. Just $9.99 per month for “talking” and $49.99 for “almost engaged” status.

How much to leave me the hell alone?

Manti Te’o, call your service. Or this one.

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