Measure for measure

On one level, I absolutely adore this:

Then again, my sight-reading is already questionable without the presence of, um, distractions.

(Via pianist Wayne McEvilly, who wouldn’t have such problems. I think.)

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There’s an ad in the current Bulletin of the American Association for Nude Recreation which speaks to rather a lot of us:

Tired of NE Winters And Florida Summers?

Settle in half way in NC’s new clothing-optional community.

Not that the Carolinas have had a benign winter or anything. I followed the proffered URL and found this:

Harbour Estates is a clothing optional community located approximately 30 minutes from North Myrtle Beach just over the border from South Carolina and about 1 hour east of I-95. It is at the same location that the former Coventry NC was. There are 15 lots on 30 acres with a pool and pool house as the common area. Property tax on 1 acre in 2012 was $56.10/year. Developer plans to put homes on empty lots and sell as “turnkey” in the future. Buyers agree to join a Homeowners Association that will maintain the road and all other common areas.

The smallest lot remaining is 0.69 acre, the largest 2.51 acres. At least no one is likely to be hemmed in — except maybe by the HOA. And of course the property tax will go up once you slap a house on the land.

The folks running this operation, judging by the phone number and some stray HTML indications, are in Vermont, so I trust they know New England winters like the back of their possibly ungloved hands.


Strange search-engine queries (474)

If you’re new here, and there is at least a measurable possibility that you are, here’s the deal: we look for search strings inside the URLs that brought people to this site, and we hope they’re amusing enough to snark about, otherwise we’ve wasted the entire morning so far. (We may have wasted it anyway, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

reapair cast transmission plate on pump mazda tribute:  Um, no. You buy the new and improved plate from Ford, which has only been out for, oh, sixteen years or so.

driven gear housing for 5 speed transmission for 90 ford probe:  Another Ford part (maybe, since Mazda was building stick shifts for Ford in that era), even older.

beauty product:  Probably not a Ford part. [Note: The URL contains the string “start=3200,” which means this guy was digging way deep.]

34th and vine los angeles:  They don’t actually intersect, which should tell you something about that love potion you seek.

chuck berry drummer at disneyland for my ding a ling:  Very difficult to tell. Chuck, sensibly, will play with anyone so long as he gets paid.

Download Dizzy Lizzy compilation trance 2002:  Someone getting dizzy from trance? Unpossible.

wb loss lerders:  I’m at a loss trying to figure out how one lerds.

jenny boylan pantyhose:  Gentlemen prefer Hanes — but if you were truly a gentleman, you wouldn’t be asking about the lady’s personal stuff.

sherily fenn sex scenes:  That’s “Sherilyn.” Or “Miss Fenn” to you, bucko.

is motown studio/museum owned by satanist?  There used to be a devil with a blue dress on, hanging around Detroit, but I don’t think she was all that interested in real estate.

rhino seal big daddy:  The seal of approval, no doubt.

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Quote of the week

Ana Marie Cox, founding editor of Wonkette, presently writing about US politics for the Guardian, on coming out as Christian in an atmosphere that seems hostile to it:

Conservatives might pounce on my closeted Christianity as evidence of a liberal media aversion to God. After all, my day job is all about expressing my opinions and beliefs — some of them unpopular. In my private life, and very cautiously on social media, the people close to me can see evidence of my affiliation. Tweeting out prayers and quotes from Scripture still feels subversive. But until now, I have avoided publicly aligning myself with one of the most popular beliefs in the world.

My hesitancy to flaunt my faith has nothing to do with fear of judgment by non-believers. My mother was an angry, agnostic ex-Baptist; my father is a casual atheist. (I asked him once why he didn’t believe in God, and he replied easily, “Because He doesn’t exist.”)

I am not smart enough to argue with those that cling to disbelief. Centuries of philosophers have made better arguments than I could, and I am comfortable with just pointing in their direction if an acquaintance insists, “If there is a God, then why [insert atrocity]?” For me, belief didn’t come after I had the answer to that question. Belief came when I stopped needing the answer.

As for said “liberal media,” they will happily acknowledge something greater than themselves. Unfortunately, they think it’s government.

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Somewhat easy at Staples

After two losses on this road trip, the Thunder were keen to salvage something from the experience. The Lakers, you may be certain, weren’t in any mood to let them; while Los Angeles had won only 16 games this year, they were on a three-game winning streak, and OKC came in missing three starters: Steven Adams and his hand, Kevin Durant and his foot, Russell Westbrook and his face. Not to worry: in the absence of superstars, some of the role players shone, and the Lakers never led. A Serge Ibaka block (his third) at the horn closed the door, 108-101.

There are, of course, only two actual point guards on the Thunder roster, so if you’re a wiseguy, you’re going to ask “So who’s gonna run the offense when D. J. Augustin sits? Jeremy freaking Lamb?” Yes, Jeremy freaking Lamb: while Augustin played 41 minutes and turned in a great line — 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists — Lamb in 16 minutes, some of them alongside Augustin, shot 5-8 for 14 points and generally did much better than “Please don’t mess up.” Both Ibaka and the returned Enes Kanter collected double-doubles, Serge with 18 points/14 boards and Enes with 16 points/15 boards. Nick Collison also landed in double figures with 12 points. Despite all this offense, the Thunder were seriously outshot by the Lakers: both teams had 40 makes, but it took OKC seven more shots to get them. And weirdly, the Thunder put up a whopping 32 treys, 11 of which fell.

Only nine Lakers played, all of them scored, and six of them hit double figures, led by Jeremy Lin with a game-high 20; Jordan Hill, also off the bench, knocked down 14, including his first trey since, well, ever, and also reeled in 12 rebounds. Wayne Ellingson and Jordan Clarkson led the starters with 12 each. And it was kind of nice to see Carlos Boozer again, even past his prime.

So 1-2 on the road trip. We’ve had worse. And the schedule gets marginally easier for the next few: Philadelphia at home (Wednesday), up to Chicago the next night, and then back home for four, starting with the Raptors on Sunday.


This being Derpy Day

I’m not entirely sure how the first of March became Derpy Day, though Know Your Meme says it was this way:

March 1st has become known as the “Derpy Day” due to a group started on Facebook. It can be celebrated by:

  • Eating muffins
  • Wearing gray
  • Making derpy eyes in mirrors and photos
  • Delivering letter by hand

Or any combination thereof:

Derpy Hooves Logistics by SukiStar

(The original by SukiStar on deviant Art.)


Training heels?

Elle UK has put up a slideshow of what they deemed the best catwalk shoes on display during Milan’s Fashion Week. Some were awful, some were really awful, and then there was this curious specimen from Moschino:

Moschino shoe from fall/winter 2015 collection

At one level, it seems sorta cute, though I can understand this reaction: “YUK!! A GAZILLION X YUK!!”

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The hard place is over there

Taking care of a WordPress operation is a two-pronged affair, inasmuch as the files are stored in two wholly separate locations: the Web server itself contains the WP core files and the design elements, while the actual posts are kept in a database elsewhere.

I download all the graphics and such to my home box before posting, so I already have copies of them in case of Dire Emergency. I hardly ever see the database, though, so a plugin copies it out on a regular basis, gzips the copy, and emails it to me.

Or anyway, it used to email it to me. The database is now so large that the gzipped copy is up to 20 megabytes, just at the point where the mail server balks: “Too big, pal.” For now, I’m fetching it via SFTP, but I’m thinking I ought to be considering other options.

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The more you know

I’m not saying I’m the expert on Too Much Information, but I’m the expert on Too Much Information. Maybe.

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As slowly the doctor wakes

Someone had to try it, of course:

Call me in the morning.

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Ten years of virals

Almost two hundred clips of viral(ish) videos are squoze down into this 200-second (or so) testimonial to the weirdly compelling nature of YouTube, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year:

I haven’t decided whether I’m impressed or depressed by the number of scenes I recognized.

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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Pave and repave

Anyone who’s ever seen a Western knows that horses’ hooves make this clippity-clop sound, a phenomenon that’s not at all confined to the West:

The bustling streets of Philadelphia circa the 1830s were a noisy place. Chief among the cacophony was the sound of horse’s hooves loudly clopping across the cobblestones, and a solution had to be devised. Thus the local businessmen teamed up with the city government and together they came up with the idea of paving the streets with sound-absorbing wooden blocks instead of resonating cobbles.

A flash of brilliance! But the scheme wasn’t perfect, and this was its number-one disadvantage:

The blocks quickly began to soak up every bit of liquid that fell on them from rain to copious amounts of horse urine. In addition to expanding and warping into a bumpy mess, the roads became unbearably smelly (especially in the summer) as the pee-soaked blocks rotted and crumbled.

Only one wooden-blocked block remains in Philly: the 200 block of South Camac Street, and the new blocks have been treated to give them some liquid resistance.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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By the bewbs of the sorceress

The high temperature yesterday here in the Quarter-Mile-High City was a feeble 23 degrees Fahrenheit, the lowest such “high” ever recorded for this date. “Colder than a witch’s tit,” as the phrase goes. Inevitable question: how, exactly, did we ascertain the temperature inside that poor woman’s brassiere?

I’ve been poking around for the source of the witch connection. Sadly, I have to report there isn’t much of one. Aside from the “witch marks” that were supposedly assumed to be (how’s that for vague?) cold and numb, searched for during the days of Matthew Hopkins, what’s so cold about a witch’s tit, really? Jonathon Green in the Chambers Slang Dictionary (2008) dates “colder than a witch’s tit” (also “titty”) to the 1930s. Related phrases in that same entry, about “weather, very cold,” are “colder than a nun’s snatch” (1950s) and “colder than a welldigger’s butt” (the same). Those last two are cited as US in origin. (I wonder what US speakers have against nuns that UK speakers don’t?)

Regarding that “witch’s tit/teat” phrase, Bruce Kahl explains that it’s ultimately “just a vivid metaphor, like ‘hotter than the hinges of hell’.” He does explain the process of hunting for witch marks, though. The problem with trying to connect cold weather to witches’ tits is that, well, there’s no real connection to be found.

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair; hover through the fog and filthy air,” intoned the Weird Sisters in the Scottish play. No direct reference to temperature; but it sure as hell doesn’t sound warm.

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Days of antiquity

Definite +1 to this declaration:

I know this isn’t an official definition but I have a strong feeling that anything made in my lifetime cannot be an antique and anything made since I have been an adult cannot be vintage and that last is a bit of an emotional compromise because I really feel that anything made since I was about 10 cannot be vintage.

I’m willing to extend “vintage” up to my 16th birthday, but no farther.

What prompted this, you ask?

A couple of days ago I joined an antique sewing machines group on Facebook. (Oooo, big surprise, right?) It appears that some members were recently up in arms because someone had posted a picture of a sewing machine from the 1980s. The 1980s? Really? Well, you can bet that if I had been there I would have been in the group wielding torches and pitchforks.

Contemporary torches and pitchforks, I’ll wager.

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Meanwhile, on the trail

The Portland Trail Blazers have been on top of the Northwest Division for most of the season, a position that guarantees a seed no lower than fourth. The eighth-place Thunder had lost twice to the Blazers already this season, and drawing the Blazers on the second night of a back-to-back hardly qualifies as fun. Still, it’s not like anyone promised the Thunder, you should pardon the expression, a rose garden, and after trailing much of the first quarter, OKC opened up in the second and took a 12-point lead at halftime. The Blazers knocked off one of those points in the third quarter, the rest of them in the first seven and a half minutes of the fourth. Inside the two-minute mark, collars got hot under; one minute later, it was tied at 110-all. LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down one of two free throws with 44 seconds left; 33 seconds later, the Thunder plotted a final play; Russell Westbrook bounced it a little too hard, Aaron Afflalo nailed two more free throws, and the Blazers were up three. All Westbrook had to do was hit three free throws to tie it up; he missed the first, and Damien Lillard finished the Thunder off with two freebies of his own to make it 115-112 at the horn.

Lillard and Aldridge, between them, got more than half the Blazers’ scoring, with 29 points each; Aldridge also pulled down 16 rebounds. The only other scorer in double figures was newly-acquired sixth man Arron Afflalo, who had 18 of the 32 bench points. Still, the Blazers shot well enough, 44 percent from the floor, 10-26 on treys, and 27-31 from the stripe.

The Thunder, meanwhile, were shooting better, though not for distance (48 percent, 4-14 on treys), but didn’t get to the line quite so much, and while they outrebounded the Blazers, it was only by four (47-43). Russell Westbrook got yet another triple-double, his third in three games: 40 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists. With Enas Kanter sidelined with a thigh contusion, points from the middle had to come from Nick Collison (six) or Mitch McGary (a career-high 20 with nine rebounds). The Thunder bench contributed 46 points from just four guys: McGary, Anthony Morrow (13), Dion Waiters (7) and D. J. Augustin (6). Serge Ibaka was good-but-not-great, collecting 14 points and six boards.

Which leaves a Sunday-evening clash with the Lakers as the one chance of getting a win out of this road trip. And the Lakers are wildly inconsistent: despite dwelling near the West cellar most of this season, they roused themselves tonight to beat a respectable bunch of Milwaukee Bucks. Me, I just hope the weather lets up enough to let the Thunder come home this week.


The Vulcan passes to a higher sphere

The last tweet of Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015), aka Mr Spock:

The last cluster of letters, of course, means “Live Long and Prosper.” And thank you, Jenny Boylan, for remembering these lines:

You just know that was the kind of man he was.

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