Archive for November 2016

Tweeting up a storm

I promised myself I wouldn’t get bogged down on Twitter during the election returns.

As I probably should have expected, I failed miserably:

Your Tweets earned 7,374 impressions over the last 24 hours

Although this doesn’t compare with the 22nd of October, during which I picked up 19,738 impressions with a lot less controversy.

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An unrecycled sentiment

I admit to not getting this at first:

Infiniti is famous, of course, for inscrutable advertising. Go back a couple of decades:

Then again, Brubeck speaks to us all. I had to get an explanation of that tree thing from Matt Polsky:

Eager to cash in on the warm fuzziness of the seasonal aesthetic, Infiniti has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 35,000 new trees on behalf of drivers, and came up with a corresponding television commercial and digital campaign.

Oh. Okay.

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Meanwhile in the Wiregrass

You may remember this from last month:

Relating to Henry County, proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that a person who is not over the age of 72 at the time of qualifying or appointment may be elected or appointed to the office of Judge of Probate of Henry County.

The Amendment passed with about 60 percent of the vote, meaning if Judge David Money wants to run for another term in 2018, he can.

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Speed demon

The days of Really Great Writing in car mags have probably long since expired, but every now and then someone — I’m looking at you, Jack Baruth — comes up with a true zinger. This one is from Aaron Robinson in the December Car and Driver:

Mario Fasanetto goes shrieking through the forests of the Eifel Mountains in a Lamborghini Aventador SV, a car that seemingly came about when Clark Kent and the devil had a baby. The Lambo’s body is slashed with cuts and gouged with holes and tattooed with black blades that order the wind to either go through it or go around it. The four pipes under the rear origami “bumper” gushes flame — flame! — a good six inches when the whip comes down on the 6.5-liter, 8500-rpm V-12. This is the car that appears when you call for an Uber in Mordor.

That last line just tickles the heck out of me.

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Darn Canadians

The Raptors, be they great or be they terrible, always find a way to get under the Thunder’s aggregate skin, and they did so tonight despite not scoring in the first six minutes of the game. Down 27-20 after twelve minutes, they knocked out 42 points in the second quarter to go up seven at the half, and Toronto didn’t even try to look back: OKC pulled to within four late in the fourth, but the Raptors finished off the Thunder with relative ease, 112-102.

Kyle Lowry was much peskier than usual — 19 points, 13 assists — but the big problem was trying to DeTer DeMar DeRozan, 37 points on 22 shots despite missing both his attempts at 3-pointers. Superior shooting did most of the damage: the Raptors, once they got going, hit 52 percent from the floor, about 10 points better than the Thunder could manage. It might have helped if Russell Westbrook could have banged out a few more; as it stands, he did collect 36 points, but it took him 26 shots to do it. Steven Adams, who apparently didn’t mess up his hand last time out, reeled in 14 points and 12 boards; notably, he hit all eight of his free throws, something that never would have happened, say, a season ago.

And Toronto did all this without Jonas Valanciunas, a game-time decision, out with a knee contusion. You might want to credit backup center Lucas Nogueira, who made all five of his shots in 29 minutes and claimed a +31 for the night, even better than DeRozan. The Raptors, now 5-2, have seven road games in the next nine, but if they keep up the pressure the way they did tonight, they won’t have a thing in the world to worry about.

Meanwhile, the Thunder waits anxiously for the Clippers, who will be here Friday night with revenge, or something, on their minds.

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Investing a little green

The outgoing First Lady wants her vegetable garden to be preserved:

The first lady has already taken steps to preserve her fruitful green space, purchasing a stone plaque for it with the inscription, “WHITE HOUSE KITCHEN GARDEN established in 2009 by First Lady Michelle Obama with the hope of growing a healthier nation for our children.”

But she’s not stopping there — wielding the power she has over the president to ensure the Kitchen Garden is a permanent part of the White House.

“She is pressing him to pass an executive order to maintain the garden after they leave the White House,” a source told The Post.

Surely there must be some way to do this that doesn’t involve executive orders, especially with The Donald supposedly looking for executive orders to undo. Heck, I wouldn’t mind if President Trump ordered this himself; whatever the motivations of FLOTUS, this garden qualifies as some sort of historical display, and I see no good reason to tear it down.

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Also meanwhile in the Wiregrass

An organization is born:

The Good Vibe Tribe began from a conversation between Mayor Mike Schmitz and Melody Hicks at a non-profit event one evening in June, 2016. The Mayor was discussing all of the negativity we hear every day on local, state and national levels, and he then began sharing unbelievable stories about so many individuals in our town that do kind and generous things without the expectation of recognition or reward. He asked, “Why can’t we hear more stories about these kind of people? The ones that give every day. The ones that often go unnoticed.” While the Good Vibe Tribe was born from the Mayor’s desire to recognize the compassion of so many of our residents, the Tribe will hopefully evolve into a community-wide effort to transform the City of Dothan through one random act of kindness at a time.

The Tribe is currently passing along this poster:

Poster by Good Vibe Tribe, Dothan, Alabama

Doesn’t seem all that difficult.

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Burn it to the ground

My younger offspring (old enough to be President himself) analyzes the events of the week:

All of this presidential stuff reminds me of Nickelback.

If you ask people if they enjoy Nickelback they will unabashedly tell you no they do not. They might even go so far as to say they hate them. But Nickelback has sold 50 million albums.

Someone is lying here. Either we are buying these albums and supporting the band or Chad Kroeger figured out a way to buy 50 million of his own albums with the proceeds of selling his albums to himself.

So, did you vote for Trump? Nope, nuh uh, sure didn’t, no way José, no ma’am, I would never vote for that monster! But he got the popular vote and the electoral vote. And surprisingly, he got more female representation than Hillary did. America means progress …

Someone is lying here.

Actually, HRC wound up with about 100k more popular votes than Trump, which of course counts for nothing in the grand scheme of things.

As I noted earlier, I did not vote for Trump/Pence; for that matter, you will find that I own no Nickelback recordings, though I did score a few tracks from Kroeger’s ex-wife.

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The aftermath

Yeah, I know, all the TV coverage dealt with who’s winning. Me, I wanted to know who’s losing, and I don’t mind telling you why.

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A bit of the ultra-violets

I’ve long characterized my neck of the woods as neither fully red nor blue, but somewhere in between. This year’s precinct numbers suggest it’s getting slightly bluer:

President: Hillary Clinton (D) 687, Donald Trump (R) 519, Gary Johnson (L) 137.

Senate: James Lankford (R) 624, Mike Workman (D) 559, Robert Murphy (L) 69; independents 102.

Congress: Al McAffrey (D) 658, Steve Russell (R) 586, Zachary Knight (L) 97.

HD87: Collin Walke (D) 715, Bruce Lee Smith (R) 506, Elle Collins (L) 117.

Only one state question garnered 1000 Yes votes: 780, the simplification of drug penalties.

Previous red/blue balances: 2012; 2010.

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After a hot morning mess

Nineteen seventy-three. I’m wearing khakis because while I thought I looked better in fatigues, which isn’t saying much, the crusty warrant officer (then again, aren’t all warrant officers crusty?) who ran our shop insisted, and I wasn’t one to bend rules — at least, not his rules. Our little subcommand had lots of duty stations worldwide, some of them desirable, some of them less so. There was one post, though, that nobody ever seemed to want, and given the fact that transfer orders for enlisted personnel had to get past my desk, rather a lot of individuals who outranked me — I was a lowly Specialist Four at the time — seemed willing to do me favors to get them out of that assignment if at all possible. I never promised anything, and I never tried to collect on any of those markers, but sure enough, disposition forms materialized, signed by the correct officers, changing their destinations to some preferred location.

This could not possibly last forever, and of course it didn’t. Eventually they decided to fill one particular billet with me. It was a short tour — 12 months — and it came with a stripe. I shrugged. “I’m twenty years old,” I said, “and I’ve never been east of Boston or west of Amarillo. Maybe I should quit bitching.”

And so I was packed off to the Middle East, which was quieter than it is today and much quieter than some Southeast Asian locations at the time. It was, first and foremost, a duty station, so duty came first; but I did manage to spend some free time wandering about this crazed place without working up too much of a sweat. (Really. Typical middle-of-summer high temperature: 80° F. What was I worried about?) Of course, things can and do happen without notice, and as the phrase goes, everyone’s secondary MOS is Eleven Bravo.

That post has long since been closed, its need for it having largely evaporated and its host country having grown restive, even surly, over the years. Still, a lot of us passed through its gates over the years, and some of us are still around, even though we’re no longer wearing fatigues. Or khakis.

(Reposted from 2014.)

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No smack to the gob

On the 2016 Consumer Reports Buying Guide Issue:

Last year they claimed to have “1,999+” product ratings. This year, “2,000+.” I promise to be properly gobsmacked if the hitherto-unimagined 2017 edition contains “2,001+” of them.

“Hitherto-unimagined” references an old prediction of mine to the effect that the Buying Guide would be Web-only after 2015. Said prediction was, um, wrong.

Still “2,000+” rated products, and still 224 pages. The magazine’s new Colored Dots, however, don’t work so well in black and white.

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Quote of the week

Smitty, never exactly in the Trump camp, reports on what he thought he saw:

Possibly I’m over-reading all this, but I think that a lot of the Trumpology in circulation is still mis-underestimating something. Part of my early disdain for Trump was rooted in the fact that, when the Tea Party uprising occurred in 2009/10, he was not marching with the Tea Party. It seemed a crass appropriation of sincere patriotism to have this Yankee with a Tribble on his head demand my support.

Looking over the 2015/16 sequence of events, one wonders if he had not been, rather, taking notes. Plotting. Biding his time. Seeing Romney’s high-mindedness amount to a fart in a thunderstorm in 2012. Possibly even having a verbal agreement with Clinton to throw the match though Bill denies it. Whatever.

As time pulls these details into focus, and heals the wounds, it seems clear that Tribble-head’s whole loose-cannon thing is substantially disinformatzya. This Administration promises not to be boring.

And if you need drama for now, just watch the opposition, which will probably stop crying some time in mid-January. Maybe.

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Instant heels

Or instant flats, if that’s what you need — or somewhere in between. Yes, really:

Meet German shoe retailer Mime et Moi! Back in April, the brand started a Kickstarter campaign to create one shoe that has five different heel heights! (We will give you a second to bask in that awesomeness.) High heels really do complete certain outfits! So say goodbye to painful feet, and HELLO to blissful fashion. The heel options range from stilettos to flats. With a quick snap on/off option so you will be able to change your look in 1,2,3!

Mime et Moi shoe with switchable heels

The Kickstarter raised nearly €20,000 from European Union countries; I don’t know if they’ve started retail sales in the States yet. Price is probably on the far side of $200, though you’re sort of getting five pairs, right?

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Shearers, maybe

The Clippers, going into this game, had the best record (7-1) in the NBA, and the first quarter might have made you wonder why: they were down eight. But they followed that 16-point frame with a 34-pointer, and things were 50-50 at the half; by the end of the third, the Clips were up eight. Inside the six-minute mark, the Thunder were trying to hack DeAndre Jordan; Jordan made the first of six, but no more, and the strategy eventually unraveled when Blake Griffin tried to disassemble Victor Oladipo and collected a trey while Oladipo was crumpling in a heap. (One could argue that VO was shrinking away anyway; he was 4-7 in the first quarter, and then up to this point 1-10.) Doc Rivers decided he would not be cowed by the anti-Jordan efforts; neither would Jordan, who promptly made five more free throws (out of six). Finally Billy Donovan gave up on hacking Jordan, and almost magically, Oladipo squeezed out five consecutive points. Karma? You decide. A Russell Westbrook trey brought the Thunder into a tie, but five Clipper points in 45 seconds put L. A. up 109-104; Westbrook responded with a shot plus two freebies to make it 109-108. Unfortunately, the last foul was inflicted on Jamal Crawford, who never misses a free throw; somehow Crawford missed one, but the Thunder had no response, and the Clippers, beaten by the Thunder by two points in L. A., wound up beating the Thunder by two points (110-108) in OKC.

If things sound awfully close, try on this statistic: both teams had four of five starters in double figures. Both teams shot an indifferent mid-40s. And both teams had two players with double-doubles: for the Clippers, Jordan (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Chris Paul (17 points, 10 assists); for the Thunder, Westbrook (28 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists) and Enes Kanter (13 points, 11 rebounds). And both teams put up 27 three-point shots; L. A. got ten, OKC got 16, which latter ties a franchise record.

Next Thunderation: the end of the homestand, with the Magic coming to town Sunday, after which the Thunder hit the road for Detroit.

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Where it all goes (’16)

The property-tax bill has arrived, and it’s marginally higher than last year, owing to a marginally higher assessed value. As always, the County Treasurer duly sends out a breakdown of what is paid to whom, and I reproduce it here for future reference (last year’s numbers in [brackets]:)

  • City of Oklahoma City: $120.39 [$124.57]
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools: $482.54 [$476.19]
  • Metro Tech Center: $125.29 [$123.21]
  • Oklahoma County general: $96.57 [$94.03]
  • Countywide school levy: $33.65 [$33.02]
  • City/County Health Department: $21.05 [$20.66]
  • Metropolitan Library System: $42.27 [$41.47]
  • Total: $922.07 [$913.14]

This year’s millage is 113.43, down from last year’s 114.50. (Record millage: 117.58, 2011.) I’m not complaining.

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Valley of the jolly

Once an icon, everywhere an icon:

Tickles the Niblets, it does.

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Demi, or not Demi?

According to some sources, Demi Moore’s first name is actually Demetria; Demi demurs. “Moore,” at least, is easy to explain: she was married to musician Freddy Moore from 1980 to 1985, though apparently she adopted his surname before they were actually wed. In 1980, she was all of eighteen years old — Freddy was 30 — and she had left high school to pursue showbiz interests.

The usual sequence followed: model, then actress. For a bit over a decade, she was a legitimate superstar; she may have faded (slightly) into the shadows, but not so much that she can’t find work.

Demi Moore for Versace

Demi Moore in late 2012

Demi Moore from the future

Much is made of her film career, and perhaps even more of her latter-day high-profile celebrity husbands. I’d like to dial back for a moment to the days of Freddy Moore. Demi apparently co-wrote three songs with Moore, and she appears in the music video for one of them: “It’s Not a Rumor,” recorded in 1980 by Freddy’s band The Nu-Kats.

Perfectly reasonable power pop, if you ask me. Rhino Records, then a Los Angeles indie label, put out a five-track 10-inch Nu-Kats LP called Plastic Facts, including both “It’s Not a Rumor” and “I Was a Teenage Shoplifter.”

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We got your playlist right here, pal

Were I not actually here and able to tune in 101.7, I’d almost believe this:

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Local Christian radio station 101.7 WSLT “Salt & Light Radio” announced Friday a new programming direction wherein its radio hosts would be instructed to select from a list of nine different songs, up from the usual eight — which was already double the industry standard.

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to add Chris Tomlin’s ‘Good, Good Father’ to the rotation. We know we’ll get some push-back here, but we believe God loves diversity and creativity,” a spokesman for the station said in a statement Friday.

“Of course, we’ll still be playing the other eight songs over and over and over again — we just really wanted to push the boundaries by adding one more to the rotation,” he noted. “But the staples like ‘The God I Know,’ ‘Holy Spirit,’ ‘Oceans,’ and that song where the girl says she’s going to get her worship on aren’t going anywhere.”

Actually, that last song is not bad at all:

And with a nine-song rotation, you probably won’t hear it more than once an hour.

That said, there’s no available space at 101.7 in this market, what with a big Class C FM at 101.9.

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Saturday spottings (it Hast to be)

It began with a message from Jennifer Hast:

Alright, this is stupid. Let’s get together in real life. It should have happened already by now.

What are you doing this Saturday evening?

Well, yeah, I suppose it should have. I mean, we’re here in the same (almost) town, and we’ve traded imprecations for some time.

And so:

No, not that. Don’t be rude. Jennifer and hubby Michael and the resident teenager and an old friend descended on Fassler Hall in Midtown, to find this here old guy in a walker. Once I got my head around the fact that several of my medications prohibit things like beer, we spent about four hours getting to know one another and swapping improbable stories that nonetheless were totally true. Brewskis were ingested (not by the teenager or by me), and several pictures were taken. (The Hasts have matching Nikons, because reasons.) The food was highly non-nourishing and therefore delicious; I had their version of a Chicago dog (pickle, sport pepper, tomato, onion, yellow mustard, neon relish, celery salt), which was great fun, not especially neat, and reasonably priced. The atmosphere, of course, was boisterous, but hey, it’s Saturday night.

A splendid time was had by all, and we will have to Do This Again someday.

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No accounting for these people

The story begins here:

As she tells it on FB:

Got a letter in the mail from ACS student loan processing. It seems my loan was dumped out of a special program that lowered my interest rate because “two payments were returned for insufficient funds.” They then warned that they were contacting the credit reporting agencies because I am such a deadbeat.

Well, given that that loan payment was $100, I was curious as to how that happened, because I don’t think I’ve been that broke since I actually *was in law school.* So I look online — all on-time payments; I hadn’t had a late payment since *2014.*

Until October of 2016.

It turns out, at that time, my loan had a mere $.15 left on it. But ACS can’t process a check for less than $1.00. So every time they tried to process my payment of $.15, the computer registered a problem and the payment got declined.

So, for two months, I was a deadbeat ACS client. Over $.15. And they were going to put my account in default and tank my credit.

Now, it turns out, they still can’t take payments of less than $1.00. So I have to *overpay* on a student loan that is almost completely paid off by $.86, so that the payment will be $1.01.

I told them they should put it toward a new computer.

Or to hire someone with half (0.4 to 0.6, anyway) a brain.

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Leave it blank

An Oklahoman editorial from yesterday:

Trump’s victory in Oklahoma was among the most lopsided in all 50 states. Yet he achieved that domination while attracting fewer Oklahoma voters than [George W.] Bush or McCain. Perhaps Trump did draw new voters out of the woodwork in Oklahoma. But if so, it seems he may have also prompted some traditional GOP voters to sit this election out.

The #NeverTrump hashtag bunch perhaps saw that it had no place to go; independent Evan McMullin wasn’t on the ballot and couldn’t be put there. (We have no provision for write-ins.)

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Not a clean getaway

Florida has its own Fark tag. We don’t. But it looks like we’re working on it:

A Connerville man got caught taking a bath in someone else’s home [Thursday] evening, after running from police while in handcuffs.

Shortly after 5 p.m., 35-year-old Justin Pollock was pulled over for speeding on State Highway 99 in Connerville.

An Oklahoma highway patrolman found marijuana, put him in handcuffs, and put him in the front of the trooper’s car. But while the trooper was searching Pollock’s van, Pollock maneuvered the cuffs to the front and got out, before running to his van and driving off.

He abandoned his car in some trees of a close by parking lot, and was found in a home around 6.

Charges, of course, were filed:

He has been charged with felony drug possession, felony evading arrest, escape and burglary.

At least he didn’t stink at the time.

(With thanks to Fillyjonk.)

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Mostly, it’s fast

Really, really fast:

Laser physicists in Munich have developed a method to record the change of states of electrons in atoms when they are struck by light. Those changes happen incredibly fast, in a period of time called, wonderfully, a “zeptosecond.”

The specific study was done on helium atoms, which have two electrons. When a light with enough energy strikes a helium atom, the energy is absorbed in one of two ways — either all of it by one of them, or half-and-half. Either way, one electron is ejected from the atom, and the new process, described in the story, can see that happen because of its “zeptosecond” shutter speed. The actual duration of a zeptosecond, if you are curious, is a trillionth of a billionth of a second — slightly less than the attention span of the modern media.

The time between the light turning green and the jerk behind you leaning on his horn is somewhat longer than a zeptosecond, though it doesn’t seem much longer.

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Stronger spells

The Orlando Magic had won exactly once on the road this season. It would have been, however, a mistake to assume that they couldn’t do it again. Certainly the Thunder didn’t put up enough defense; the Magic jumped out to a 27-13 first-quarter lead, and OKC wouldn’t tie it up again until very late in the third. After that, things remained knotted: just inside the three-minute mark, the score was 107-107; inside the 30-second mark, 117-117. Ex-Thunderman Serge Ibaka finished it off: his 30th and 31st points, those latter representing a career high, rattled down with 0.4 second left. The Thunder couldn’t get off a last shot, and Orlando claimed a 119-117 win.

You might expect, with 236 points scored, that there was shooting, and there was: 53 percent for Orlando, 51 for Oklahoma City. The Magic were a bit more effective with the long ball: 11 of 24 versus 7 of 25. (Seven of those Orlando treys fell in the fourth quarter.) And while both teams hit 16 free throws, the Magic only put up 20; the Thunder tried 26.

Apart from Ibaka, the big Magic scorers were the two starting guards: Elfrid Payton with 23, Evan Fournier with 21. (Victor Oladipo, who used to collect such numbers when he played for Orlando, knocked down 12 for OKC.) Russell Westbrook came up with yet another triple-double (41-12-16), with four other players in double figures, led by Enes Kanter with 16. Whatever it was, it wasn’t quite enough: tonight, Orlando was hungrier, and with everyone playing big minutes, things might get complicated tomorrow night in Detroit, where the Pistons are 5-5 but undefeated at home.

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Strange search-engine queries (563)

Just what you needed: another Monday morning, and another traipse through recent search strings. (Not what you needed? Sorry about that.)

Made in Japan Mazda 626 auto transmission:  Some were, some weren’t. And those that were turned out to be no better than those that weren’t.

trent automobiles was expecting a large shipment of metal the previous week. but three weeks later, the shipment still hadn’t arrived. a lot of time was lost and the expenses shot up. this will result in a lack of:  Students actually trying to do their own damn homework.

nishiyama onsen keiunkan price:  If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

web toys for your procrastination pleasure:  Isn’t that, like, all of them?

grainy porn:  Obviously you need better Web toys.

fourhourworkweek/tmi:  If you have one of these, believe me, I don’t want to know about it.

indigenous peoples of north america torrent:  Well, you know, there are a lot of them.

drawing conclusions about every woman who leases a car in a particular zip code from a representative sample of 250 women in that zip code who lease a car is called:  Setting yourself up for disappointment when they inexplicably refuse to follow your marketing plan.

two hours from now:  It will be a little past eight and you still won’t be awake.

superheroine trapped:  Oh, she’ll escape. She’s got to be there for the sequel, after all.

diet trim slack companion shapewear:  For those scared off by Spanx.

edm drop vocals hooks screams and shouts:   I think there’s a little more to it than that.

fm receiver 7 little words:  You gave up AM radio for this?

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This will be the day that I die

Well, not me, probably not today. (That said, you should probably consider me at least marginally suicidal for the duration.) But I’m wondering if there’s an accepted protocol for one’s Last Post Ever — or if it’s better just to let things grind to a halt. I’ve been on both sides of the issue at various times; now I’m just confused.

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Hank Wilson’s gone

Something you may not have known: Leon Russell played piano on Bobby Pickett’s original “Monster Mash.”

In fact, before he built his reputation as a slightly off-center singer and bandleader, Leon Russell played on lots of big hits and even co-wrote a few (for instance, this one, which informed much of my adolescence.) You won’t see Leon here, but you will hear his piano:

Perhaps his biggest success as a solo artist was the 1972 album Carney, which featured the single “Tight Rope”:

The B-side of “Tight Rope” was the lovely “This Masquerade,” covered to great extent by George Benson a few years later:

Still, the highlight of Carney was “If the Shoe Fits,” a kindly but still snarky blast at the rock and roll fandom of the age.

Leon Russell kept on making music, if not always making the charts; perhaps his most dramatic return was The Union, a 2010 joint venture with Elton John. Russell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, introduced by John, who’d always been a fan:

When Mr. Russell’s Greatest Hits album came on one day during the trip, I started to cry, it moved me so much. His music takes me back to the most wonderful time in my life, and it makes me so angry that he’s been forgotten.

Let me assure Sir Elton that Leon Russell has never been forgotten, especially here in his native Oklahoma. (Long associated with Tulsa, he was actually born in Lawton in 1942.)

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Welcome to New Canada

This would simplify matters for all those people who swore they’d move to Canada if Donald Trump were elected:

Adjusted borders

(Via Jeff Faria, who warns: “Of course, all those folks will have to undergo Canadianization training, which is a long, complex process involving maple syrup.” Pass the poutine.)

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Piston our Post Toasties

After being edged by the Magic at home, the Thunder had the delightful prospect of flying up to Detroit. And the Pistons were understrength: Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson (!) were missing in action. Didn’t matter: Detroit opened up a 59-47 lead at the half — a trey intended to beat the buzzer didn’t — and led by as many as 19 before Oklahoma City started to gain a few. It didn’t last long, and there were some questions about the officiating:

Yeah, like Draymond was ever inadvertent. De nada. The Pistons won this 104-88, not because they got calls, not because they had such fabulous defense, and not because of Caldwell-Pope’s prodigious level of Kentaviousness, but because the Thunder couldn’t shoot to save their lives. We’re talking 33 of 88 for 37.5 percent. Three-pointers? Five of 27, just under 19 percent. The Pistons merely had to be Not Horrible to win this one, and they’re still undefeated at the Palace this season.

There was, of course, another Russell Westbrook double-double — 33 points, 15 rebounds, eight dimes — but nobody else in Thunder blue could manage even a dozen. For Detroit, Aron Baynes, playing the role of Andre Drummond, collected 20 points and eight boards; Tobias Harris led the Pistons with 22.

Good news: The Thunder come home next. Not so good news: first game is with the 6-4 Rockets, who have done better this year on the road than they have in Houston. (This assumes, as was correct at this writing, that the Rockets are stomping the 76ers.)

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Worse than a wash

First, the good news:

The McRib is back at McDonald’s but only at select locations. Fortunately, you won’t only be left to call or drive around in search of it this time around as the company has put out an official free McRib locator smartphone app.

Now, the bad news:

Unfortunately for Android users, currently it’s only available for iOS off of the iTunes store. You can find it here.

The universe continues to find ways to screw me over.

(Via HelloGiggles.)

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Yuge data

Yeah, sure it is:

Reince Priebus is running around saying it was the GOP data operations that got the Trump vote out on Tuesday. He was on the radio claiming that his team “knew what people ate for lunch, when they went to work and how they voted in the past” so they could target these voters and get them to the polls. He made it sound like they had studied all of us since birth so they could maximize their vote.

This is nonsense. Trump had none of this stuff in the primary and he poleaxed everyone in his way. His “ground game” was to go on TV and radio and be interesting. Then he went on Twitter to give reporters something to ask him. In the general, he preferred the old fashioned whistle stop tour. Instead of a train, he flew around on his plane and did stadium shows near airports. His campaign was lean and mean, avoiding the trap of hiring an army of experts. Trump was outspent something close to 5-to-1 when including outside groups.

I think Reince is trying to psych out the Democrats, who have been crunching numbers for a heck of a long time. And I think they will not be deceived.

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A laugh a minute

I woke up several times before the alarm, and finally dragged myself to the bathroom about five minutes early. I completed the sink-based ablutions with the usual amount of difficulty — a rather sharp departure from vertical — and made for the shower. In my current state of disrepair, I have adopted a procedure: grab one of the two bars retrofitted to the toilet, swing one leg over, grab the windowsill and swing the other leg over.

Not today. I got halfway up and came down hard on the side of the tub. Okay, fine: both those bars are within reach, I’ll just pull myself up. Also not today. I could get a decently firm grip on those bars, but I could not lift myself to standing position, no matter how much I pulled. Finally, with one last tug, I sank to the floor, to the accompaniment of the dreaded Spew Noise that told me I’d just broken the toilet.

Naked and wet, I crawled the entire length of the hallway, about 25 feet, to get to my cell phone, and summoned 911. The EMTs couldn’t haul me up to vertical for more than fractions of a second, and finally I was shipped off to the emergency room, muttering things about “So this is my last ride” and other Darryl Downer quotes.

ER found only one thing that could have caused this: excess fluid buildup in the legs. So they shot me up with 40 mg of Lasix, waited while I passed a couple of gallons of fluid in a mere two and a half hours, and then sent me home. I could stand, though not especially well.

Extra Special Downside: There is more fluid to pass, and, of course, the toilet is broken. The usual plumber has been called.

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Dammit, Lilakoi Moon

Lilakoi Moon, should you wonder, is the legal name, since 1995, of the actress more commonly known as Lisa Bonet, and perhaps best remembered as Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show:

Lisa Bonet in the director's chair

Lisa Bonet and her legendary wave

Lisa Bonet on a dark night

She continues to act, billed as Lisa Bonet; she was a recurring character in Season 4 of Ray Donovan on Showtime and appeared in SundanceTV’s The Red Road alongside second husband Jason Momoa, anent which:

First hubby was Lenny Kravitz, with whom she eloped in 1988; she and Kravitz have one daughter, Zoë Isabella Kravitz. Lilakoi and Momoa have two children: Lola Iolani Momoa and Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa.

I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that she’ll be forty-nine tomorrow.

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One more stop before the graveyard

All the swelling for the last year or two was drained away during five hours in the ER.

And most of it is back in the seven hours since I went home.

No point in questioning it anymore. I’m going to die, and rather quickly.

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Poisoned especially for you

Google, which by now knows enough about you to tell you where you left your car keys, is about to do a number on you musically:

Beginning on Monday, streaming music service Google Play Music will relaunch with an unparalleled scare-the-pants-off-you artificial intelligence function that can deliver playlists based on your location, what you are doing — or what mood you are in.

Thanks to its hold on your e-mail, calendars, maps, traffic app and even the motion sensor on your phone, Google can deliver music to get you ready to work out at the gym, ease into a vacation and even pick you up if you’ve been complaining about being blue.

“Google understands the kind of place you’re at, so home means something different from the gym, a bar, a park or an airport,” Elias Roman, product manager at Google Play Music, told The [New York] Post.

I’m not entirely sure what I think about that. The Los Angeles indie band Ships Have Sailed, however, is entirely sure.

(Title swiped from King Crimson.)

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Effing the ineffable

I picked up a charity compilation a few years back which contained several songs in their “Clean Versions.” Seemed legit: someone willing to put up ten bucks for a Good Cause might not be so willing to hear Bad Words. And besides, it’s not like you can’t hear that stuff everywhere:

[O]veruse has robbed many of our current words of their shock value and power. When every other word is the four-syllable combo that implies the subject is Oedipus in full-on Jocasta-shipping mode, then a user loses the ability to use it to truly insult someone.

This works because it was used only once in 92 minutes, thereby making it unexpected:

(You might not want to crank the volume up at your workplace.)

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I think your service to us is at its end now

Tom Neyman, the Master from Manos: The Hands of Fate, has died while the sequel was in production:

Jackey Neyman Jones, who played Debbie in the original film, launched a Kickstarter campaign in February 2016 to make a sequel to Manos, entitled Manos Returns. The Kickstarter sought to raise $24,000 for the production of the film. If successful, the film will include Neyman Jones, replaying her role as Debbie, and her father Tom Neyman, replaying the role of the Master. Jones and director Tonjia Atomic anticipate shooting the film in western Oregon as to have the film ready to show on November 15, 2016, the 50th anniversary of Manos’s original release. According to Neyman Jones, they are not planning on trying to recreate Manos though are trying to create a “tongue-in-cheek” film that takes place in the Manos storyline; Neyman Jones compared their anticipated product to be both funny and scary, along the lines of Cabin in the Woods or Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Their Kickstarter goal of $24,000 was reached on February 24, 2016. Tom Neyman, however, died on November 14, 2016, so it is uncertain if the sequel is to be made.

The Kickstarter raised over $31,000 from 420 backers (myself included). Neyman would have been 80 years old next week. I’m guessing that he’s only in a handful of scenes, and that they’ve already shot them.

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This might seem somewhat cruel

But hey, it went viral, so it’s okay:

(Via @EdnasDoor.)

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One always fears the Houston Rockets, simply because just about every one of them can score on you: seven Rockets scored in double figures, and two just missed with 9 points each. (Team high was Ryan Anderson with, um, 14.) Still, the Thunder can keep up with their scoring, though it’s never going to be evenly distributed. And after a late-fourth-quarter rally, OKC cranked up the defense, and held the Rockets to 10 points through most of the frame; with 6.9 seconds left, the Thunder led Houston 103-100, and in the next 1.4 seconds Russell Westbrook put up a Russell Westbrook-quality dunk, posterizing Clint Capela in the process, to make it a five-point game. The Rockets came back with a trey, but that was all they would get: OKC 105, Houston 103. Would Patrick Beverley have made a difference had he been able to play? Maybe, maybe not.

One might argue that the Rockets expended too much effort on three-pointers, and, well, they put up 40 of them, knocking down 14. (The Thunder was a bit better, at 12-25.) Only two OKC players finished in double figures, and you can probably guess: Westbrook, of course, logging 30-9-6, and Victor Oladipo, with 29 points and 10 rebounds. (Possibly of interest: Oladipo was 12-18 from the floor, Westbrook 9-20.) Andre Roberson collected only four points, but he did a splendid job of keeping James Harden down to 13.

The 7-5 Thunder now gets a couple of visitors from the East: the fumbling Brooklyn Nets on Friday, and the inconsistent Indiana Pacers on Sunday. There follows a West Coast trip, to see the Lakers, the Kings and the Nuggets before coming home to the Detroit Pistons, who have already beaten the Thunder once. This could get interesting, even delightful; or it could all go to pieces.

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