Consider this a reminder

From Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, via Fillyjonk:

There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.

To avoid the first danger, one should plant a garden, preferably where there is no grocer to confuse the issue.

To avoid the second, he should lay a split of good oak on the andirons, preferably where there is no furnace, and let it warm his shins while a February blizzard tosses the trees outside. If one has cut, split, hauled, and piled his own good oak, and let his mind work the while, he will remember much about where the heat comes from, and with a wealth of detail denied to those who spend the week end in town astride a radiator.

We’re about as far from a February blizzard as we can get, but it never hurts to think upon the things we take for granted. To further quote Mr Leopold:

Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.

Yep.

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Write in this guy

It’s hard to argue with a platform like this:

Man with a plan

Still, it’s a long, uphill slog he faces.

(Via Laura Ledford.)

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Down on the farm team

This might have been the least surprising announcement in all of baseball this week:

The Oklahoma City Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers announced today they have extended their Player Development Contract for two years. The extension keeps the OKC Dodgers as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate through the 2018 season.

“Our partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers has been better than we ever imagined,” said OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes. “We have had an incredible string of success both on and off the field, and we’re looking forward to continuing it through the 2018 season.”

The affiliation began in September 2014, when Oklahoma City’s Triple-A franchise was sold to Mandalay Baseball, LLC — a partnership that includes ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

There’s a lot to be said for ownership stability. Jeffrey Loria, current owner of the Miami Marlins, owned the former Oklahoma City 89ers from 1988 to 1992, and while he didn’t try anything weird during those years, once Loria got to the majors he became something of a pest:

Loria is considered a “meddlesome” owner. In April 2013, Loria reportedly had Ricky Nolasco and José Fernández switch the games of a doubleheader in which they were scheduled to pitch, violating clubhouse protocol. In July 2013, hitting coach Tino Martinez, who had been handpicked by Loria, resigned following allegations that he verbally and physically assaulted players, including Chris Valaika. When the organization considered promoting Valaika to the majors in August when Plácido Polanco was placed on the disabled list, Loria vetoed the transaction, and the team promoted Gil Velazquez instead.

The Blue Crew, however, apparently don’t play that way, and thank heaven (or Vin Scully) for that.

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Unwanted advances

Every time I think I’m the least-successful guy on the planet, dating-wise, I hear tell of someone like this:

Walt The Pituitary-Enhanced Uber-Creep: You’re a very attractive woman.

me: Uh … thanks. Your total is $6.69.

WTPEUC: I mean it. *to the waiting line* Ain’t she the best thing you’ve seen all day?

me: Stop that. $6.69.

WTPEUC: You need a man like me telling you that ever day, you hear me?

me: I don’t want to be told anything, I just want $6.69.

WTPEUC: I bet you go out with a whole lot of men, doan you?

me: I’m married. Very very married. Unavailable. Is this cash or debit?

WTPEUC: Food stamp, ‘course.

me: Yeah. Okay.

WTPEUC: I’m coming back. You wait and see. I cain’t see that face only once.

me: Holy shit.

Next Guy In Line: What the hell?

me: Commerce is a dangerous world.

And to prove she was right, he did come back. Sheesh.

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You call this heat?

This is probably less impressive than it sounds:

New research from British Gas has shown that one in ten people are cutting their energy costs by opting to go naked while at home.

Instead of using fans to cool off in the summer heat, ten per cent happily strip off — a move which is helping them to save up to £780 a year.

This is a shade over $1,000 a year, which is nothing to sneeze at; but I assure you, here on the Roasted Prairie, nobody’s turning off the air conditioning, whether or not they’re dressed.

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You want this, you’re on your own

Insurance companies are balking at the high prices of some drugs, so this should surprise no one:

CVS Health, the giant pharmacy benefits manager, moved Tuesday to counteract the financial impact of high-cost medications by excluding a number of drugs used to treat patients with cancer, diabetes and hepatitis C.

“We expect to remove 35 products from our standard formulary” — a list of covered products — “including 10 hyperinflationary drugs,” said CVS Health, which provides prescription benefit management services to several thousand health plans.

In some cases, higher-cost drugs are being replaced with lower-cost options, the company said.

I looked at the list [pdf], and there’s nothing particularly surprising there. They will no longer pay for brand-name Nexium, for instance, but will pay for generic esomeprazole. And one drug I’ve used before, Dymista (azelastine), previously scrubbed from the formulary, has been reinstated.

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A more moderate buzz

I’m not entirely sure why this exists, yet plainly it exists, or at least has existed:

Diet Jolt Cola

Twice the caffeine, half the sugar?

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Let’s call it an off-flavor

And then we should probably leave it at that:

Ass Sandwiches

(From Bad Menu via Miss Cellania.)

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Bar none, or few anyway

Picture, if you will, a deep-fried Mars bar:

Which again, I wouldn’t want to eat because fried and my gut would pay the price and I don’t think it’s worth it to me, but the author made an interesting comment: that deep fried Mars bars are seen as the ultimate in low-class food by many, but, he said, put a well-prepared one on a fancy plate with a fancy name (and fancy price) and people would rave about how the flaky crust and the melting chocolate and caramel and fondant (I think a British Mars bar is what we call a Milky Way?) and how it was a gourmet treat.

I’d hate to have to explain the American Mars bar to a space invader:

The worldwide Mars bar differs from that sold in the US. The American version was discontinued in 2002 and was replaced with the slightly different Snickers Almond featuring nougat, almonds, and a milk chocolate coating. Unlike the American Mars bar, however, Snickers Almond also contains caramel. The US version of the Mars bar was relaunched in January 2010 and is initially being sold on an exclusive basis through Walmart stores. The European version of the Mars bar is also sold in some United States grocery stores. It was once again discontinued at the end of 2011.

The British and Canadian Mars bars are very similar to the United States Milky Way bar, which Mars, Inc. produced (not to be confused with the European version of Milky Way, which is similar to the United States’ 3 Musketeers).

The only Mars bar I truly understand, I think, is sold in the States as “Milky Way Midnight Dark,” which when I was a kid was called “Forever Yours.”

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Before any jimmies were rustled

When I lived in Corpus Christi, circa 1960, there were two supermarkets nearby: a Handy Andy and a Jitney Jungle. No sign of Andy lately, but Jitney Jungle made it to Wikipedia, and with it, an explanation of the name:

The naming process began during a Sunday dinner at the home of Judge V. J. Stricker, a close friend of the [founding] families. The “Jitney” in the title was a popular name for the cut-rate five-cent taxis of that day, many of which were operated by returning veterans. It would be jitneys that would carry many of the cash customers to the store and back. Jitney was also a slang term for a nickel. That fitted in with the “nickel on a quarter” that the customer would save by patronizing the self-service store. Also, a popular expression of that time had to do with “jingling your jitneys in your pockets.” Thus, Judge Stricker ventured the name Jitney-Jingle. There is a legend that “Jingle” got to be “Jungle” by virtue of a printer’s error in the first advertisement. Rather it was a play on words by Mr. Will McCarty. Every Jitney would be a jungle of bargains that could save the customer a “jitney” on a quarter.”

I have no idea what’s in that space on South Staples Street today.

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Not sure where this is going

But you’re sure to be singing when you get there:

Welcome to Twangville

(This is all over Pinterest, but never with any explanation or source.)

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Something less than Grand

Colonel Bunny on recent GOP initiatives, or the lack thereof:

With the mere election of GWB it seemed like the pendulum swung slight back in the direction of Republican “sense” but with Bush’s mad dash to the Islamic Center of Washington on the day after 9/11 to slobber over the resident Muslims, his “religion of peace” foolishness, and his hand-holding and kissy-face with Saudi royalty, whose hackles did not rise? What?!

Since then it’s been perpetual war, Republican fiscal idiocy, Keynesian/monetary lunacy, and servile Republicans stretching to the horizon. It’s a period that might in future histories be known as The Long American Demolition Derby, Mud Wrestling, and Foreigner-Worshiping Extravaganza. Immigration spiraled up into the clouds; Islam became as hard to understand as quantum mechanics; Muslims and ultra-leftists were inserted into federal agencies with abandon; rule by decree became the new normal; inexplicable, unconstitutional, and fatuous foreign military adventures multiplied; and Republicans cowered under their desks, immobilized by a Harry Reid raised eyebrow.

Anyone who still thought we might still be living in something remotely like a Jimmy Stewart/Bob Hope kind of normality finally had to hang it up.

Which is easily enough explained by self-preservation on the part of those GOP hacks: they’re just fine with going along to get along, so long as they don’t jeopardize their own personal perks.

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Dildo, dildo duck

At the very least, this is disconcerting:

A Mandurah woman’s post this week on a popular Perth Facebook page has drawn widespread interest — and no shortage of hilarity — after she thought she’d spotted a “black duck” on a grassed area near a lake.

On closer inspection it turned out to be a large sex toy.

In her defense, there did seem to be ducks in the general vicinity, though none of them were made of black plastic.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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The bad guys score again

This time they went for your iPhone:

This isn’t a new phenomenon, exactly, but it’s an exasperating one.

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Space program

It’s cumbersome, but it creates a parking space that did not exist before:

(Seen on reddit.)

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One of these lanes is just like the other

We could probably call this “Pergiel’s Law of Traffic Equalization”:

I have noticed a couple of things while driving on Highway 26 during rush hour. The left hand lane (the “fast” lane) attracts those who will leap ahead at the slightest opportunity and then jam on their brakes when they run into a clog. People in the next to fast lane maintain a more even pace that is much calmer and does not deliver as much wear and tear to the car. Both lanes travel at about the same rate. If two cars start evenly in the two lanes, one will soon pull ahead for a moment, but then will run into a jam and the car in the slower lane will overtake them. Then the jam will evaporate and the fast lane will take off and the car in the left lane will once again retake the lead, momentarily. By the time they get to the end neither one will be more than a few seconds ahead of the other.

There is, of course, a potential Unequalizer:

[J]ams generally seem to be caused by exit ramps filling up. Even if they aren’t full, people start slowing down before they get to them, which causes people behind them to slow down. So it isn’t that the freeway doesn’t have the capacity, it’s the exit ramps that can’t handle [the] traffic that is using them.

Interstate 35 northbound beyond downtown Oklahoma City could be the poster child for either of these descriptions.

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