Down the hall at the Department of Duh

Unfortunately, this chap is in a hurry to get on the road: If I get pulled over without having my license yet, and I get a ticket, do I have to pay it if I get my license?

In some jurisdictions, that ticket may actually delay issuance of a license, in which case this clod is destined for the Group W bench.

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Department of Duh

I dialed over to Amazon to grumble about a shipment which is now two weeks late, and this advice was proffered:

If it hasn’t arrived by the end of the day, most late packages are delivered shortly after the estimated delivery date.

Tautological statement is tautological.

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We still need her

Heck, I’d even feed her; Rene Russo is sixty-four today, which means that any day now, she’s going to start looking fifty or so. A model in her late teens, she backed away from modeling in her early thirties and signed up for acting lessons; her first feature film was Major League in 1989.

Rene Russo in her younger days

Rene Russo stretches out a bit

Rene Russo at the Independent Spirit Awards, 2015

After a flop or three, she avoided the camera for six years or so before resurfacing; in 2014, she resurfaced in Nightcrawler, written and directed by her husband Dan Gilroy, which got her plenty of acclaim. She also went public with her bipolar disorder:

The chap at her side is her Nightcrawler costar Jake Gyllenhaal.


Progress by inches

Fortunately for me, we have had a total of 0.1 inch of snow this winter. (I’m not really in shape to deal with more than that, and I don’t happen to have a four-year-old girl handy.)

About three seconds into the song, I muttered: “That ain’t 2Pac.” And it ain’t.

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Seems like it ought to work

Everyone has a solution to the problem of school shootings. Not everyone, however, is Francis W. Porretto:

School shootings, the most swiftly politicized events in contemporary American life, all take place … at schools. Places where the young are gathered, more or less against their will, and compelled to remain for several hours, five days per week, lacking all recourse for concealment or defense. Let’s leave aside for the moment that most schools are “gun-free zones.” Let’s focus instead on the vulnerability of minors concentrated in an easily identified locale. What comes to mind at once? What’s the easiest and most straightforward way to prevent a school shooting from happening, ever again?

That’s right: Ban schools. Eliminate these concentration camps for helpless victims. Imagine the improvement in the morale of our youth at being freed from compulsory vulnerability to any maniac with a gun! Imagine the savings to parents at not having to buy school supplies! And imagine the savings to taxpayers at not having to pay for these juvenile day prisons! Do it for the children!

I’ve heard worse ideas, and so have you, and that’s just this past week.

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Maroon 2

The next time you start worrying about how the Chinese are leaving us all behind, just remember that they aren’t all brilliant:

(Via @Smatt.)

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And a pinked crustacean

Walmart makes a lot of noise about “rollbacks,” prices that used to be higher. This is apparently not a rollback:

Lobster tail at Walmart for slightly under fourteen dollars

Roll side, maybe?

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Admirably tooled

There exists something called LMMS, and this is its core functionality:

  • Compose music on Windows, Linux and macOS
  • Sequence, compose, mix and automate songs in one simple interface
  • Note playback via MIDI or typing keyboard
  • Consolidate instrument tracks using Beat+Bassline Editor
  • Fine tune patterns, notes, chords and melodies using Piano Roll Editor
  • Full user-defined track-based automation and computer-controlled automation sources
  • Import of MIDI files and Hydrogen project files

I understood about half of that, maybe. And it doesn’t do a thing for the visuals if you’re uploading it to YouTube or some such place. Still, someone with actual talent — not me — can make wondrous noises with it.

I found this one last night:

This chap might be a third my age; most of the 40 or so tracks I’ve acquired from him qualify as good “production music,” the sort of stuff you find in your better movie trailers before the actual musical score is completed. “Denouement” here is totally different, and totally, well, wondrous.

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There is only Zuul

Now suppose Zuul likes cheese:

I mean, who’s gonna tell him he doesn’t?

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I don’t want this car anymore

So, says this feeb, I’m getting rid of it in the least-efficient way possible:

I took my 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee in because it wasn’t starting turning on anymore so I took it to them they did a diagnostic on it and they quoted me $600 for the starter and $800 for the fuse box so about $1,500 in repairs I’m not going to pay that because first of all they started throwing Parts at the card I didn’t even fix the problem so days go on, they asked me today what I wanted to do either make payments on the repair cost or just give them the car and I said I’ll give you the car because the repairs cost more than the car is worth and who knows what else is wrong with the car when they turn it back on so everybody on Facebook think I got scammed I don’t look at it that way I look at it as they spent their money to buy the starter and I refuse the pay so that kind of were in the air with the whole thing so if I let them appraise my truck which they end up saying no give me $500 for it which they said they’re going to keep the $500 to satisfy the maintenance cost really it was a catch-22 they bought the starter and pay me $500 to give back to the parts department so they really did not win anything the paid off Jeep is out of my name now the Jeep is now in their name my headache is there new headache would you say I got scammed for a car and a few hundred dollars worth of parts

In this neck of the woods, the cheapest ’04 Grand Cherokee to be had is offered for $3499; others are closer to $5000. So yeah, by the standards (or complete lack thereof) of people who are motivated largely by pique, or by the opinions of randos on Facebook, he did really well.

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But they’re classics!

At least, that’s what we’re told:

Let me get it out of the way. I may well be an uncouth, uncultured, redneck from a backwater, flyover state. Guilty, guilty, maybe, and yes. Despite these serious cultural deficiencies I am not necessarily uneducated. My Alma Mater is consistently ranked fairly high in the various rankings published every year of colleges and universities. In addition, I have always read — a lot. If you take the various lists of 100 books you should read, I have read most of them, including War and Peace.

To the meat of the matter: Catch-22 is drivel; unreadable schmaltz. So is From Here to Eternity. In fact, many of the so-called classics are crap, Moby Dick first and foremost. Joyce, Cervantes, and Milton all are impossible to read. Hawthorne I can manage, but why would I want to? Bunyan, blah. I will take bawdy Moll Flanders over The Vicar of Wakefield any day.

I’ll defend the Vicar should it become necessary. Still:

I wonder how many people who tout Proust as a genius ever tried to read his work? How many finished it? That, my friends, is the point of this post. Do not let anyone tell you what to like or what is good.

I’ve known people who started À la recherche du temps perdu; I’m not sure if I know anyone who finished it.

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Sit still, Starving Eagle

Not a Native name; this eagle was literally starving:

There’s a lot to be said for showing up at the right time.

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Lest we hurl

It’s been 46 years since I went through this, and apparently it’s not going to be happening anymore:

The needs of the Army and the quality of the recruits it is acquiring have changed, so the Army is adapting. One of the many changes coming to Army Basic Training (BCT) is the removal of grenade qualification from basic training, which could happen as early as this summer. The Army says this training takes too long and the time could be used for more needed training.

Commanders have complained about receiving undisciplined and “sloppy” appearing soldiers to their units after BCT. So the Army has decided to dedicate more time for recruits to become physically fit and develop discipline by spending more time on drill and ceremony, inspections, and learning military history.

Discipline is a good thing. But:

“What we have found is it is taking far, far too much time. It’s taking three to four times as much time … just to qualify folks on the hand grenade course than we had designated so what is happening is it is taking away from other aspects of training,” Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, commanding general of the U.S. Army Center of Initial Military Training, told defense reporters on Friday. “We are finding that there are a large number of trainees that come in that quite frankly just physically don’t have the capacity to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters.”

That’s scary. I mean, I was an unreasonable facsimile of the Pillsbury Doughboy when I started BCT, but I was pretty handy with the M69, the just-for-training version of the standard M67 grenade; to my amazement, they gave me an Expert badge to wear. I admit, I never came close to Expert with a rifle, though I did pass the qualification spec.

(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

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Augusta wind

“As Maine goes,” said political pundits once upon a time, “so goes the nation.” I’m not so sure this scheme will make it as far as New Hampshire:

The Maine Department of Transportation wants to add an annual registration fee for hybrids and electric vehicles. $150 for hybrids, and $250 for electric models. The DOT is looking to impose the fee because it says drivers of the more energy efficient vehicles aren’t paying their fair share toward road maintenance.

“The owners of these types of vehicles are paying far less in the gas tax than other vehicle owners and they are using the highway system just like any others,” MDOT Manager of Legislated Services Megan Russo told the Portland Press-Herald. “There has got to be a way to try and capture revenue from those drivers who are using our road system.”

Perhaps weirdly, the hybrid and EV owners will be punching above their weight: At $250 per year, an EV would pay about the same in fees as the driver of a vehicle that gets just 18 miles per gallon over 15,000 miles.

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But it is what you said

Another YouTube loser on Y!A asks, ever so futilely: How to download the videos from a suspended channel?

Why was it suspended, you ask?

My channel got suspended completely unfairly.

Yeah, that’s what they all say.

I posted 3 videos. The first one was “top 5 most racist countries in Europe.” It was just a list of 5 countries. The second one was “most hated countries in Europe. Again i list. The third one was “British people are delusional.” I just provided clips and some statistics for reference.

The 3 videos were well sources, i did not use any swear words or even lies. The comments were full of British people threatening me and calling me to remove the videos.

How dare they threaten me! I have well sources!

About a month after the last video, i got an email from Google saying my channel was suspended for “racial abuse.” It became clear to me that these British nationalists have mass flagged my videos.

How do i get my videos back? I tried appealing, but i don’t know if i did it wrong or what, Google said my appeal was rejected. How can it be rejected? I am not violating any rules, and there are literally channels dedicated to talking trash and abusing certain groups of people, my 3 videos were neither abuse nor “racist.”

Google thinks you were violating the rules. And they own the place.

This happened about year and a half ago.

Old news, Bunkie. Old news.

And what kind of moron doesn’t retain the original copies of his own videos? I suspect we are being bullshot by this self-professed innocent.

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Lacking in rim protection

For the fair-weather Thunder fan, the time to change the channel was at halftime, after OKC rode a 39-point second quarter to a twenty-point lead, 73-53. After that, the Grizzlies proved nearly unstoppable; with five minutes left, they were down only one. The Thunder pushed back to an eight-point lead, but the Griz were back to within one literally in the last minute. Carmelo Anthony hoisted a trey at 0:25 to stretch the lead to four; Russell Westbrook, who assisted on that trey, jumped about 12 feet above the court to spoil the next Memphis possession. Andrew Harrison fouled out near the very end, sending Westbrook to the charity stripe; Harrison, the Griz’ leading scorer — 10-16 for 28 points, a career high — grumbled a bit about that sixth foul and was hit with his second technical. (Apparently Harrison was subsequently escorted out of the building.) Westbrook duly hit the tech, and that was it: OKC 121, Memphis 114, 3-0 for the season.

Westbrook did rather a lot tonight, climbing back into the rarefied heights of Triple-Double Land, with a 23-13-15 line. Paul George, as usual, did the heaviest lifting on the scoreboard with 28; that Melo trey gave him 19. The Thunder bench, quiet against Cleveland, scrounged up 40 points. Tyreke Evans came second to Harrison with 23. Chandler Parsons was back in limited action, five points in 12 minutes, and I got the distinct impression he was glad to have ’em. Memphis led 50-36 in points in the paint; during that third quarter, in which the Griz outscored OKC 31-19, it seemed like they were just marching in unison to the basket.

And that’s the first half of the season, if you figure 59 is half of 82. All-Star folderol comes next.