Shut up and eat your cranberry sauce

If the current trend continues, Black Friday will be starting on Wednesday, which is why we have buttons like this:

No shopping on Thanksgiving

Shannon is not impressed:

[W]hat, only people in retail deserve a holiday, to spend time with their families?

What about that guy at 7-11, who makes sure you have coffee and gasoline to get to your big ol’ family gathering?

What about the pilot and flight attendants who make sure your family gets there on their flight? Or the people at the rent-a-car place when your family gets off the plane at 7am on Thanksgiving morning?

I was in the hotel business for many years, and guess what? Without us working on holidays, away from OUR families, YOUR family wouldn’t have anyplace to stay when they come to gather ’round the turkey at your house. They wouldn’t have wakeup calls or complimentary coffee in the lobby before they get to your house. Or anyplace to get a toothbrush because Aunt Gertrude forgot to pack hers.

I’m not going shopping until Saturday, not so much out of guilt, but because I have no desire to endure what will likely be indistinguishable from a dress rehearsal for the Zombie Apocalypse. But maybe that’s just me.

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Brand X to soar

Good enough, says Bill Quick, is, well, good enough:

The computer industry (and I include in this makers of smartphones, tablets, and traditional computers in whatever form factor) is currently agonizing over the commodification of the personal computer. By this I mean that while geeks and fanbois drool over esoteric pixel counts and multi-core processors, normal buyers (which means 95%-plus of them) just want something that works for them at the lowest price they can find consistent with a reasonable level of quality.

How many of those normal buyers, I wonder, swore by [brand name] right up until the moment when their [brand name] machine turned into a paperweight?

Disclosure: The last time I owned a computer with a brand name on it was 1991, when I retired my Commodore 128. My current machine, slightly ahead of the curve when I bought it in 2006 — dual-core! — is now slightly behind.

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Points of failure

You think you’re having problems with that damned government health-care site? You should see what I have to put up with.

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Everything’s jake on the lake

Welcome to Carlton Landing, Oklahoma, population 56:

[Monday] the Board of County Commissioners of Pittsburg County presented Grant Humphreys, Town Founder of Carlton Landing, with an Order of Incorporation to officially create the Town of Carlton Landing. This follows the October 8th public vote where the residents of Carlton Landing voted to become a new municipality.

The new lakefront community was designed by Andres Duany of Duany Plater-Zyberk, the Miami based urban design firm responsible for destination communities such as Seaside and Rosemary Beach, Florida. The property includes 1,650 acres of rolling wooded landscape surrounded by miles of undeveloped natural shoreline on Lake Eufaula, the largest lake in Oklahoma and the 10th largest manmade lake in the country. With direct highway access, Carlton Landing is located in convenient proximity to the Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Dallas/Ft. Worth metro areas.

This is some definition of “proximity” I must have missed, since it’s 90 miles from Tulsa and even farther from OKC and DFW.

Still, the place has its by-the-book charms:

In many ways, Carlton Landing is unlike any other community in this part of the country. As a master planned community, Carlton Landing offers a walkable mixed-use urban environment on Lake Eufaula. Designed according to the tenets of “New Urbanism”, Carlton Landing is a walkable community designed at a human scale with a mixture of home types, sizes and price points all located within a short walk from the Town Center, where residents and guests can enjoy goods, services, dining and entertainment. “For the past 70 years, we’ve seen an urban development model that isolates people and fails to respect the environment,” says Humphreys. Carlton Landing sets a new standard for sustainable community development which shows how a new town can bring people back together while conserving our environment and proving to be financially sustainable.”

I have learned, however, not to argue with Grant Humphreys; if anyone can make this work, he can.

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Slow scorch

By the time they got to Phoenix, they were bricking: Scott Brooks had ordered a rest for Kevin Durant, Derek Fisher and Nick Collison, and you don’t want to see the box score. The Suns weren’t exactly dominant, though they did lead for the entire game, but the Thunder were somewhere between inert and terrible, falling behind by 21 in the fourth quarter before mounting something that during the regular season wouldn’t be considered a comeback. There were a few bright spots — with Kendrick Perkins actually starting, Steven Adams had fewer minutes but still looked pretty efficient, and Jeremy Lamb didn’t seem tired after 40 minutes — but still, losing 88-76 to the Goran Dragić-less Suns is pretty dire.

Oh, and if you’re looking to tell Phoenix’ Morris twins apart, Marcus is the one who didn’t earn a flagrant two by bouncing off Serge Ibaka’s face. (Markieff did.) The return of Channing Frye was successful (12 points, nine rebounds), and while the Suns shot an indifferent 38 percent, scarcely poorer than the Thunder, they did own the boards (50-41) and weren’t entirely embarrassing from beyond the arc (6 of 26 versus, um, 2 of 19).

Still: hey, it’s preseason. (To quote Darnell Mayberry: “Preseason Suns 66, Preseason Thunder 57 after three.”) Now Reggie Jackson did have a game-high 18 points, though his three-point shot is still mostly theoretical. And what’s this? 14-24 from the free-throw line? How is this a thing?

No time to worry, though. It’s off to, um, Wichita, for a Wednesday-night game against the Chicago Bulls, who haven’t been on the wrong side of a box score yet this, um, preseason.

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Yet another one of these

Who is this dillhole who dares to give me advice?

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO? First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword … wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at [link redacted for obvious reasons].

Go pester whoever’s pretending to fix healthcare.gov, you sorry sack of SEO. In the meantime, rest assured that I have achieved far higher status on the Web by delivering something resembling content than you’ll ever get by any means.

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Funny if he gets traced

I mean, I don’t think I’d admit to such a thing even under a pseudonym:

Yahoo Answers screenshot - What's the best way to dodge child support?

He continues, rather haphazardly:

The kid isn’t born yet but I don’t want to raise one nor ever have a family. I know it can be done, I jave heard of people who left the country or moved across the usa. What is the best way? No stupid answers about how I need tk man up or take responsibility blah blah blah. I’m not taking care of some kid and that’s final.

Weirdly, I have a back-burner pony story about just such a colt. (Working title: Guilt-Edged.)

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This year’s war-crimes accessory

I have no idea where Joseph Kony is — somewhere in central Africa, I’m guessing — but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t expecting a fashion shout-out:

Holds two gas masks in contrasting colors.

(Via Tanisha Taitt’s Facebook page.)

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Deneuve, of some people

It’s Catherine Deneuve’s 70th birthday today, for which we flash back briefly to her younger days, when Yves Saint Laurent assumed responsibility for, um, dressing her. Here she’s actually sitting in the YSL showroom in Paris:

Catherine Deneuve in the YSL showroom, portrait by Giancarlo Botti

Very much a Sixties icon. In her own sixties — well, here’s the photo Vanity Fair ran with her Proust Questionnaire in January 2006:

Catherine Deneuve for Vanity Fair

Nobody ever looked bored quite as excitingly as Catherine Deneuve.

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Somewhere a driver has earned a place in hell

WTF are people thinking?

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Smithers, inundate them

In response to an actual Freedom of Information Act request, the Federal Communications Commission has released a boxful of complaints received from (presumably) former viewers of The Simpsons during the past three years.

This one, I suspect, might be somewhere near the median:

My complaint is an over all view of how the use of bad language, and nudity, have just been allowed to creep in. There are so many shows that allow this, it is hard to define them all. My question is what is wrong with the FCC? Do you allow your children to watch this kind of show? It is on at all times, and is spreading such an allowance message that there is no standard of decency anymore. Please pay more close attention to these low character type of shows. The damage is being done, and America will pay the consequences. I am 62 yrs. old, and know there doesn’t have to be such lanquage as this to have a good show. I really can’t believe how you have allowed the standards you are to supposed to uphold, fall so drastically. Thanks for listening.

Now is this why no one’s watching television anymore? I have my doubts.

Despite its lack of Simpsons-specific content, this one must be quoted for sheer amusement value:

a commercial for shick razor blades came on during the simpsons.in it the show a young girl in her underwear with her legs propped open so there is a crotch shot done on a female in her barley covered vagina WHICH IS VERY LEWD,DISGUSTING AND PORNOGRAPHIC!the camera focused on her barely covered vaginal area for a while and that part of the shick commercial had nothing to do with razors and will not sell any more razors for schick. we are tired of all the female nudity allowed on t.v. all of the time when female nudity is publically aired on tv it is never a mistake because you never see any male nudity on tv!IF THE MALE PENIS AND MALE NUDITY AND THE MALE PENIAL AREA CAN NEVER BE SHOWN ON NON-CABLE TV THEN WOMEN’S VAGINAS&WOMEN NUDITY& WOMEN VAGINAL AREAS SHOULD NEVER BE AIRED ON NON-CABLE TV AT ANY TIME AT ALL NEVER NO MATTER HOW MANY BRIBES THE FCC IS TAKING IN ORDER TO ALLOW FEMALE NUDITY,FEMALE CROTCH SHOTS AND FEMALE VAGINAL AREAS TO BE AIRED ON NON-CABLE TV!

You’d think beer commercials would be the proper venue for a “barley covered vagina.” Maybe.

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The “Nielsens Better Climb” network

Daniel Greenfield, noting that the Peacock finished seventh in prime time last season, asks: “Is NBC going to be the first network to die?”

First question: How much have you watched the DuMont network lately? Unless you have a very distended concept of “lately,” the answer is no, since you’ve seen nothing on DuMont since 1956. Fifty years later, UPN and the WB were put to death, and the corpses were sewn together to produce the CW. Many early cable networks have long since expired, or have been reanimated as something else entirely.

Still, Greenfield is very likely right about this:

Attempts to get Nielsen to turn Twitter mentions into ratings are pathetic and advertisers won’t fall for it.

“But Breaking Bad!” you say. Um, no. Actual viewers outnumbered tweets by eight to one. The season finale of Pretty Little Liars had more tweetage and the series wasn’t even ending.

Networks are scrambling over demographic percentage points. They’re celebrating ratings wins that would have once gone to infomercials.

Network television is dead. Cable is a hive of repetitive lowest common denominator programming. Younger viewers have abandoned both.

I’m not by any definition a “younger viewer,” but I’ve pared my viewing down to exactly two programs, and I’m willing to bet I’m not the only person to do so.

The title here was actually spoken by announcer Gary Owens to introduce an episode of NBC’s Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, back in happier TV times; for about a year Owens came up with backronyms for NBC, including the immortal “Never Been Censored.”

Say goodnight, Dick.

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Press Hwæt to continue

Which is more difficult to read: Beowulf, in Old English, or a Google EULA, in whatever the hell they write EULAs these days?

Scientists have found that the internet giant’s user agreement is more difficult to understand than the saga, which features the lines “Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings/Leader beloved, and long he ruled.”

Well, of course. There were no lawyers in the days of Beowulf.

Researchers used a browser plug-in called Literatin to compare the agreements with more established works — looking specifically at word and sentence length.

However, they failed to consider the cultural understanding required to interpret the texts.

And this, I’m afraid, indicts our entire culture. Quoting Ewa Lugar, a researcher at the University of Nottingham:

Fifty Shades of Grey is the ideal level,” she told The Times. “In terms of readability, it uses very simple language and a very simple sentence structure.”

O, boned are we.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Strange search-engine queries (403)

Inasmuch as the local feed is about three times busier than usual this week, perhaps now is the time to explain this particular feature, which acknowledges the fact that around a third of its traffic comes from random Googlers and Bingers and such — and then looks to see why they were here in the first place.

what it’s the hol d on mazda:  The D, the whole D, and nothing but the D?

Joules mug best price:  Have you seen James Prescott Joule? I wouldn’t give you a nickel for his mug.

jailbait nude twerk:  Going for the trifecta of trouble, are you?

crank/meth. whores experiencing nymphomania & non-stop masturbation: This is the guy from “jailbait nude twerk,” two years later.

www.Gigger Bites and Megger Bites:  And if you’re really lucky, Chigger Bites.

car auto gear brain box cable pulled off:  Well, push it back on. Geez.

40plus busty women:  Careful. Those babes will pull the cable right off your brain box.

monaural hearing stereo:  Unless you’re deaf in one ear — or have a single ear in the middle of your face, which is less likely.

2014 Infiniti Q50 putrid odor inside?  It’s the air of smugness. 3-series Bimmers have had it for years.

Making a poster abont yourself “Learn me Better”:  It’s to be hoped that you know yourself before you start doing a poster.

warehouse operative job descriptions at fiskars:  It’s like working in a warehouse anywhere else, except that when the bell goes off, you Finnish.

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You’ve heard catchier tunes

This is a rebuilding year for Utah, or so we’re told, and with a mostly-new lineup, the Jazzmen may have a tough time of things once the season starts on the 30th. It’s bad enough that Trey Burke, the rookie originally slotted for the starting point-guard slot, is on the bench with a finger injury; the able but inconsistent John Lucas III started tonight, and while Lucas’ ball movement was good (five assists), his scoring was less so (three points on 1-7 shooting). This is not, I am sure, why Scott Brooks started Andre Robberson at the three and Steven Adams in the middle. However, the Thunder led by nine, 23-14, after the first period, and Kevin Durant, shooting guard du jour who wasn’t having a wonderful night anyway (five points), wasn’t needed for the second half, though the Jazz mounted a decent 11-3 run towards the end before falling 88-82 to the Thunder.

One area where the Jazz shone was the Gordon Hayward-Andre Robberson matchup. Hayward basically pwned Robberson all night, where “all night” means “through 24 minutes,” after which Robberson retired with six fouls. Hayward finished with a team-high 18 points. Then again, Andris Biedrins, backing up Enes Kanter in the middle, fouled out in twelve minutes. And this is going to be a rough year for the Jazz if they keep missing free throws at this rate: of 32 tries, only 18 fell.

Neither side shot over 40 percent. The Thunder did well on the boards (49-39), led by Adams with 12. Reggie Jackson led the team with 18 points, with Serge Ibaka right behind at 17. (Serge blocked four shots, which seems almost ordinary for him.) What we’ve learned from this, we’ll have to put to use in ten days, when the Thunder open their season at Utah. For now, though — hey, it’s preseason.

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Synaptic dump

No wonder I feel out of sorts now and then:

The conservation of sleep across all animal species suggests that sleep serves a vital function. We here report that sleep has a critical function in ensuring metabolic homeostasis. Using real-time assessments of tetramethylammonium diffusion and two-photon imaging in live mice, we show that natural sleep or anesthesia are associated with a 60% increase in the interstitial space, resulting in a striking increase in convective exchange of cerebrospinal fluid with interstitial fluid. In turn, convective fluxes of interstitial fluid increased the rate of β-amyloid clearance during sleep. Thus, the restorative function of sleep may be a consequence of the enhanced removal of potentially neurotoxic waste products that accumulate in the awake central nervous system.

I need hardly point out that I read this between one and two in the morning.

(DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224. Via this Joseph Hertzlinger tweet.)

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