Archive for Dyssynergy

So it’s come to this

Admittedly, the camera work is of a high order:

Amusement is where you find it.

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Coyote fugly

“Crime pays,” says the caption, “but botany doesn’t.”

Hint: not a burrito.

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Hard Luck, your lordship

Andrew Luck has chosen to hang up his cleats, and ostensible Indianapolis football fans have been somewhere on the curve between incredulous and irate. Which is fine with the Friar:

I don’t blame Luck one bit. His boss is Colts owner Jim Irsay. This is the man who sniffed down his nose at the idea of radio flamethrower Rush Limbaugh buying an NFL team because of Limbaugh’s lack of character while also being a man who donated money to John “She’s Having My Baby” Edwards and Harry “Lying Dingy Gray Smear” Reid, buying his girlfriend at least one house with the team’s money and developing a fine substance abuse habit that culminated in a 2014 arrest for DUI and possession. If I suddenly realized that I was sacrificing my ability to stand upright in my ’50s and pick up my grandchildren for a guy like this I’d quit too.

So there.

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Meanwhile in north Texas

This 82-degree sleeping crap has come to the attention of Peter Grant, and he doesn’t like it any better than I do:

Standard domestic central air-conditioning units don’t cope well with such temperatures. We’ll start the day with ours set to 72 degrees, but by late afternoon it’ll be ten degrees hotter than that, and stay at the higher level right through till bedtime. The only way we can cool the house further is to run a window A/C unit in our master bedroom, which pours cooler air out of its door into the main air intake to the master A/C unit. That, in turn, means the main A/C receives cooler-than-ambient air, which it can cool even further before spreading it to the rest of the house. By running the two in combination, we can get the house down to the mid-seventies by bedtime … and that’s the only thing that makes it bearable to try to sleep.

Mine does a little bit better, but not much: it’s been 78 or 79 in the afternoon.

I can only doff my hat in real respect to the original settlers here, who had to deal with such temperatures without even electricity, let alone air-conditioning. I know they built their homes to be as cool as possible in summer, but even so, I simply can’t imagine going through an entire summer of such heat without any escape. As for working outside during it, in the fields or on cattle drives, the thought just boggles my mind!

It’s funny to hear the National Weather Service read off the specs for a heat advisory, which includes “Stay in an air-conditioned room.”

If I ever have the opportunity to build a home to my own specifications, it’s going to be over-climate-controlled for its size, so that no matter what the outside temperature, hot or cold, it’ll hold the internal temperature I want. If Energy Star doesn’t like that, well, that’s just too bad!

It’s possible, I am told, to have too big a unit.

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One can only hope

Although I’m not getting those hopes up just yet:

A group of attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., joined executives from 12 phone companies Thursday to announce a sweeping effort to combat the scourge of illegal robocalls dialing up millions of U.S. customers every year.

The set of anti-robocall principles and practices, unveiled at a press conference in D.C., would require the phone companies to take steps towards preventing the spam calls and work in tandem with law enforcement to take down illegal robocalling operations.

“Illegal robocalls harass and harm people all across this country,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) said during the conference. “By adopting these technological solutions and improving their cooperation with law enforcement, these phone companies are going to better serve their customers.”

Still waiting for the boiler-room operators to be hanged on streaming video, since I have a feeling it’s going to take something like that to make a dent in the problem.

(Via Andrew Malcolm.)

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Meanwhile amid the Arctic waste

The Brickmuppet gives Greenland perhaps more thought than did POTUS:

The world’s largest island (which, while big, is not NEARLY as big as a Mercator projection often makes it look) is a net (albeit slight) economic drain on Denmark, which doesn’t have the resources to develop it or realistically defend it and it’s small population of ~56,000 has been steadily dwindling for some time. This is mainly due to them being eaten by polar bears and Ithaqua.

This is actually the third time the U.S. has tried to buy Greenland, once in 1867 and once in 1946. As of now, Denmark has looked at the cost/benefit of owning Greenland and once again said “No!”

China will, no doubt, be undeterred from their more subtle efforts towards the same end.

Then again, sticking it to the Chinese is manifestly right in Donald Trump’s wheelhouse.

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I almost did

I probably should have expected this:

Special offer from Capital One and Taylor Swift

Merch, it makes the music world go ’round.

If I thought they’d actually upgrade me to the card line she’s promoting — but never mind, let’s not go there.

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Climate controlling

The climate con goes on, and with it, the inevitable trolling.

Addendum:

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Whatever floats your boat

Now this question, I must concede, is above my pay grade:

Me and my girlfriend are going on a float trip tomorrow. I’m a big guy. 6’4 300+ lbs. She’s only 5’4 150. I’ve never been floating before, would I be too heavy for a canoe? will it tilt back? will we sink?? whats the average weight limit? someone let me know, i’m worried this won’t work.

The consensus seems to be that they won’t overload the vessel, but:

Can you stand up from a sitting on the ground position without overbalancing while the ground is wobbling beneath you?

Getting safely in and out of a canoe without capsizing it should be your first concern. Some large people are agile, others are not.

I fall easily into the “not” category.

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Wrong criteria

My daughter sent this along, just to remind me that she’s always thinking things through:

Diagram of aircraft damage to Allied planes in WWII

(Her source.)

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No respect for Junior

If you listen closely, you can hear the faint sound: “Ka-CHING!” And suddenly you realize that it was a hell of a lot louder than you think it was:

A house linked to the most celebrated name in architecture is facing the wrecking ball.

Birdwing, a large modernist house built in 1965 in Minnetonka, is targeted for teardown; its parklike 12-acre estate, Birdsong, will be carved into lots for 13 single-family luxury homes.

The distinctive house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. Not the Frank Lloyd Wright of Prairie School fame, but his son, also an architect.

The younger Wright, known as Lloyd Wright, was a well regarded architect in his own right, particularly in California, according to Bobak Ha’Eri, member of Docomomo MN, a modernist preservation nonprofit.

“Lloyd Wright is considered a modern master,” said Ha’Eri. The architect designed the Wayfarers Chapel and a band shell at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as numerous houses in Los Angeles and three houses in the Twin Cities — two in Edina (one of which is still standing), in addition to Birdwing.

Birdwing covers 5578 square feet, with five bedrooms, three baths, and two half-baths. God only knows what the eventual McMansions will look like, but odds are they won’t be the slightest bit distinctive.

Birdwing by Lloyd Wright, 1965

Especially if they’re going to crowd thirteen of them onto a twelve-acre parcel.

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Tiny buttholes

You can look at the toy, but not at all of the toy:

Not shown: the little star shaped … um … anus … that has been embroidered on the backside of the cat. (I have noticed many of the Japanese toy animals add that as a feature. Then again, maybe Americans are unusual in their prudishness about such things as someone told me that butt jokes were much more common in German culture than they are in American, and there is even a good-luck figure holding a gold coin between his butt cheeks, supposedly the wish is that you would be so rich you have money literally out the wazoo.)

And as long as we’re taking readings on the Sphincter Scale, here is “Anus of Uranus,” an early single by Canadian band Klaatu:

I have no idea why this didn’t get more airplay in the States.

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Also not part of the plan

“We only expected this many students,” someone must have said:

Around 330 fifth graders previously scheduled to attend Taft Middle School at NW 23rd Street and May Avenue will attend classes in the previously-closed Linwood Elementary at NW 16th and I-44.

It will be called “Taft 5th Grade Center” for the 2019-2020 school year.

Taft Principal Cody Stull will continue to be the principal responsible for the fifth graders with Taft Assistant Principal Amy Daughtery being the daily site leader for the center.

In other news, schools now have “daily site leaders.”

Nor is this the only abrupt change of plans:

Andrew Johnson and Horace Mann buildings will each become “Early Childhood partner program & OKCPS Pre-K Overflow” for neighboring schools that survived the “Pathway to Greatness” consolidation.

Putnam Heights Elementary, closed under P2G, has been reopened to accommodate moving the SeeWorth Alternative School after SeeWorth, Inc. suddenly yanked back permission to use the former campus at 12600 N. Kelley with only weeks to go before the start of school.

SeeWorth, for most of its existence, was a pretty good argument against charter schools: its performance was bottom-level at best, which explains why its campus was vacant.

(Via Christine Woodall.)

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Third time’s the charm

Once upon a time, there was a woman who took the name Jasmine Tridevil, and she claimed that through the miracle of cosmetic surgery, she had gained a third breast. (In the interest of aesthetics, all three were in a row, rather than, for example, two up and one down.) Eventually she was Snopesed into oblivion, and that would seem to have been the end of that.

Except that (1) the spotlight continued to call, and (2) why the hell not? So she’s decided to make the hoax into reality:

The more I thought about it, the sillier it sounded. And yet I kept asking myself: “What would be so horrible if she did have an, um, expanded rack?”

So what-the-hell mode kicked in. I figure I’ve gotten four posts from this poor girl and her obsession already; the least I can do is to be supportive.

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Hit ’em where they live

I’m not entirely sure how or why, but given my particular interests, whatever algorithm governs the advertising at Fark does by far the best job of catching my eye. This one showed up Thursday night:

Political ad for Tulsi Gabbard

At some point, I remember saying something to the effect that were I judging primarily on appearance, I’d have to cast my primary ballot for either Harris or Gabbard. Not that I’m that shallow.

Or maybe I am that shallow, and Fark damn well knows it.

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As if

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Canny valley

This is 2019, y’all:

Said a noted British naturist:

Oh my god! Boobs are ALMOST visible! What is the world coming to? Is it the end of life as we know it? Will babies refuse to feed from these threatening milk containers? Will men feel inadequate for not being able to match the shape & size? There is maybe one hope — #GrowUp

The link from the original tweet has gone 404, but it’s hard not to believe the worst out of EasyJet:

Great Britain-based value airline EasyJet is under heavy criticism after the carrier stranded more than 130 passengers on an island in the English Channel for three days.

The flight, scheduled to leave Jersey Island near the French coastline on Tuesday, kept passengers in the airport until late Thursday. The airline called it a technical issue with the plane, but the problem was exacerbated [when] EasyJet could not immediately find a replacement aircraft to come and rescue the passengers.

Compared to that, merely booting a woman for insufficient clothing is trivial.

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Not the best time to fail

I was sick Tuesday, so I blew off my grocery run until Wednesday. I arrived at the store a couple minutes before five; at 6:20, no progress having been made, I left. (They sent the usual Ready text about 6:25, but I was long gone.) And in an effort to save the car’s engine in this heat, I’d shut it down; after 80 minutes of 102° heat, by the time I got back home, I’d relapsed.

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The rent is too damn political

For God knows how many years, it’s been government policy to encourage home ownership; Your Humble Narrator himself with his indifferent 647 credit score got a boost from a state program way back in 2003. This is not, however, a wholly enlightened policy:

For people trying to rise in their economic status, there are a lot of things wrong with home ownership. The most important is that it limits geographic flexibility. Home owners have much higher costs to pick up and move, making it harder and less likely to exploit opportunities for better work and/or lower living costs in other parts of the country. And as someone who just had an $8000 air conditioning unit fail in 110 degree heat, I can testify that home ownership also involves more risk of large unexpected expenses than does renting. All things considered, in a free market, there are a lot of reasons home ownership might be a bad idea for folks trying to rise in income.

The complicating factor, as usual, is it is not a free market. Public policy has tipped the scales such that home ownership has become probably the most important of all middle class savings vehicles. Part of this is a human behavioral issue — people contribute to homes every month because the bank makes damn sure that they do so (sort of like having a really tough personal trainer). No other savings vehicle has such strong incentives not to cheat on monthly contributions. But even so homes would still not be such a great investment vehicle. In a 30 year mortgage, the percentage of your monthly payment in the early years that goes to equity is trivial. There is really no reason that a home should be anything more than a depreciating asset, like a car or a boat.

That said, dozens of people show up on question boards to ask “What new car can I buy which is guaranteed to appreciate?” And they resent being told that you lose 15 percent as you drive it off the lot.

And admittedly, my current credit score is in the 800s. Making sixteen years’ worth of payments on time probably helped.

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In lieu of actual panic

Neil deGrasse Tyson ran the numbers in an effort to calm the citizenry, and was assailed for so doing. Into the breach steps Tamara:

I’d like the world to be one where anybody intent on shooting up a Wally World will change their mind based on the sure knowledge that they’ll get plugged in the back by a pink Kel-Tec wielded by Mrs. McGillicuddy, but this world is not yet that world, and likely never will be.

Most people don’t get carry permits, and even those who do mostly don’t carry their guns. The odds of a mass shooting are already like a lightning bolt or meteor strike. The odds of a mass shooting happening within 25 yards of a truly skilled shooter with a USPSA GM ticket or FAST coin are “meteor strike in your back yard that goes through the hoop of the basketball goal in your driveway and gets nothing but net” rare.

The sensible thing to do, it would seem, would be to train civilians to the “truly skilled” level. I don’t see this happening either.

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Rot from the top down

The National Rifle Association and its long-time ad agency came to a parting of the ways not so long ago. But there’s one more separation that needs to take place:

The leaders at the NRA and I’m talking about YOU, the board of directors, as well as the hired help, have spent years — decades — setting up a system which gives key people massive financial rewards. In my view, it’s at least malfeasance, and it might even be corruption.

Whether he directed it, was part of it, or just didn’t see what was happening, this all metastasized under the watch of Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. The buck stops there.

It has greatly jeopardized what most members believe should be the NRA’s core mission — protecting the Second Amendment and our gun rights. In fact, it looks as though the leadership has subverted the core mission into just making themselves rich.

In the world of corporate leadership, when the CEO has failed at this level it’s time for a new leader.

It can’t come a moment too soon.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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I think she’s got us there

What’s more, the sumbitch had a manifesto, which counts as prima facie evidence that he had more free time than he knew what to do with. Sounds like a bored tween to me.

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Paranoia strikes deeper

On the Sick Puppy scale, this guy — anonymous, of course — is at least an Irish Wolfhound: My information (name, picture of myself, and address) have been discovered, am I in danger?

I’m just waiting for the fool to look up his own name on Google and discover 65,000 results. Five will get you ten he hurls himself from a third-story window.

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It’s not a Brazilian

Sometimes I understand why I got some particular ad on Fark, a place where I run no ad-blocker, leaving myself at the mercy of whichever advertising broker happens to come up. Banner ads appear across the top; sidebar ads run down the right. This one showed up on the sidebar Friday night:

Advertisement for Manscaped

There’s a lot to be said for having the right tool for the job, and don’t even ask why I would even have an opinion on the subject.

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Demo mode

I have to admit, though, it’s convincing as hell:

Woman no longer reading How to Sleep Well

Let’s see melatonin do that.

(From Bits and Pieces via Miss Cellania.)

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Not from Buzzfeed

By general acclamation, the wasp is the asshole of insects. Still, they can be put to good use:

My office was invaded by a wasp this past week; coincidentally, the department lost one person this past week.

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Why so Siri-ous?

Even a brand-name flip phone — Samsung made mine — sooner or later gives up the ghost. It didn’t last as long as my old Nokia candy bar, but those things are borderline indestructible.

So okay, I’ve owned a Nokia and a Samsung. Which way do I go? Perhaps surprisingly, this way:

Woot sold me this damn thing

“S&D” in Wootesian means “Scratch and Dents.” And there are a couple of spots where the gold has started to go, suggesting the previous owner was as clumsy as I am regarding plugging stuff in. The screen, however, is just fine.

I am told the next iPhone goes all the way to eleven, so I figure I’d be comfortable at six and a half, once I learn the ins and outs of iOS Whatever The Hell Number It Is. (It’s apparently 11.2 or something like that.) There are two T-Mobile stores within a mile and a half of me, one in the mall and one freestanding; I opted for the latter, and was fortunate enough to deal with a young lady who looked sort of like Viola Davis, if Viola Davis ever played in the WNBA. If Tmo sends me a survey, and it’s almost certain they well, she gets top honors all the way down the column.

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You’ll pay for the privilege

There are a couple of nitwits on Quora who seem to think it would be possible for mighty Toyota to produce a Lamborghini lookalike for a price they can afford. Somehow, I haven’t yet asked them if they’ve paid off their PT Cruisers yet.

But if you gotta have luxury, you gotta pay for luxury:

I can deal with a $3 can of Coca-Cola, perhaps, but on what planet is a “charging station” a snack?

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Let’s not kill them all just yet

Dick the Butcher, to Jack Cade: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

Everyone knows this bit is from Shakespeare, though few know exactly where in Shakespeare. (For the record: Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2.) And there will be times when Dick is just plain wrong:

I recently have acquired a new found respect for lawyers. The firm we engaged to do some remodeling sent me a contract to review and sign. It took me a week to gather the gumption to tackle reading it and even then it was horribly painful. It wasn’t even very long or very complicated. Short and straight forward, but it was just agony to have to wade through it. Lawyers have to deal with this shit every day. Yes, I know, it’s all their own doing, but this is world we live in, and you know that every one of those awkward phrases has been hammered out through some bitterly contested lawsuit and/or criminal trial. Thank god I don’t have to deal with this kind of shit very often.

It’s a nasty job, but somebody has to do it.

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Take your dodder to work

And for God’s sake, leave it there, don’t bring it back home:

This little vine is a vampire plant.

It cannot produce chlorophyll on its own, so it’s wrapping itself around the petunias and sucking their chlorophyll. The petunias don’t actually become dodder, but the little fangs it puts into the petunias can grow into whole new plants if you tear it off the flowers. To handle an infestation, you’re supposed to pull it all up and prune below the place where the chlorophyll-suckers are, but with flowers, that means pulling the whole plant.

If you’re thinking “Well, I don’t have petunias,” think again:

Dodder is parasitic on a very wide variety of plants, including a number of agricultural and horticultural crop species, such as alfalfa, lespedeza, flax, clover, potatoes, chrysanthemum, dahlia, helenium, trumpet vine, ivy and petunias, and more.

This is the sort of plant which, had you read about it in a science-fiction novel, you’d dismiss as the author’s sick fantasy. The fact that it exists corroborates Brian J.’s theory: “There’s Always Something Worse In Nature.”

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