Program notes

I have never quite figured out the scheme by which the local classical-music station schedules individual works, though they seem to do more baroque stuff during morning drive. This is not, of course, universal:

I wonder: could a person’s musical preferences be set by the state of their mind? As in, people like me who are inclined to be jangled and anxious, we dislike loud, atonal, and variable-tempo or too-fast music? And maybe people who tend to be more the thrill-seeking type prefer fast music? I don’t know. But I do know there are some pieces of music that do me a discomfort and I have groaned audibly when Sirius XM comes on in my car and it’s one of the clashier Stravinsky pieces or even Schoenberg and it also seems to me that one of the hosts on there tends to play them during afternoon drive-time and I am like WHYYY do you play anxious music at a time when a lot of your listeners are likely to be anxious?

Well, let’s see. This is today’s schedule on KUCO-FM, 4:30 to 6 pm:

  • Sullivan: Cello Concerto in D
  • Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen
  • Weiss: Lute Suite No. 13 in D
  • Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in E, K. 20
  • Lindpaintner: Sinfonia Concertante in B-Flat for Wind Quintet & Orchestra
  • DeYoung: Babe

Yes, that’s Dennis DeYoung, with a Styx song rearranged for string orchestra. It will definitely sneak up on you:

Future classics, no?

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Contrast and compare

When Nikki Haley turned in her resignation as Ambassador to the United Nations, the wire services made a point of sending pertinent photos, most of which looked something like this:

Fprmer Ambassador Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump

Haley almost always looks like that: a wide grin suggesting a sunny disposition, and killer gams. The Donald has scowled before, but seldom like this: to borrow a Robin Williams phrase, he looks like someone is holding a small turd under his nose.

As to the “real” reason Haley is departing, I suspect Linda Fox has it right:

She’s wrapping up her Washington life, in preparation for establishing her SC residence again, and firming up her political relationships in the state. Why?

Because, after the election, an SC Senator is going to vacate his seat, allowing the governor to replace [Lindsey] Graham with Haley.

I’m guessing that Trump has plans for Graham, in his administration. And, for the first time in a long time, he will have someone in that slot that will have his back.

She’s not specifying which slot, though one can well imagine.

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Hurry up with that kidney

Someone actually worth saving is on the queue:

Years ago, when I selected Organ Donor as the default on my driver’s license, my father told me not to do it. He said there would come a time, when the rich and influential would kill people just to take their organs.

I agreed to think about it, but, secretly, I laughed about his paranoia. How ridiculous! No one would ever do that.

No one? Here are three who would:

Canadians Ian Ball and Robert Sibbald from Western University, along with Robert Truog from Harvard, recently published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine calling for organ donation from euthanasia victims.

They went so far as suggesting pulling the organs from the still-alive “donor” such that removing the organs would cause the donor’s euthanasia itself. The fresher the better. The transplant surgeons thus become both the one who sustains life for one, and the dealer of death for the other. All it takes, according to the authors, is a few simple tweaks to legislation.

The only proper response to this, I contend, is “You first.”

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No more Mr. Rice Guy

And how long did it take to count all those grains, do you think?

Do not eat my lunch I have 7 shrimp and 4,377 rice

Oh, surely longer than that.

(From Bits and Pieces via Miss Cellania.)

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And now here’s Jim Donovan

The Cleveland Browns Radio Network includes a couple dozen signals in Ohio, one in Pennsylvania, one in West Virginia — and one in Norman, Oklahoma:

Norman’s KREF (SportsTalk 99.3 FM and 1400 AM) announced Friday it will broadcast all Cleveland Browns games for the remainder of the season, giving Oklahoma fans the opportunity to follow former Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The radio station will also broadcast pregame and postgame coverage, as well as Browns coach Hue Jackson’s weekly show on Monday nights.

Which is not unheard of for KREF, which picked up Rams games (from, um, St. Louis) while Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford was A Thing. But Bradford was lost for a season with an ACL tear after a particularly vicious sack, and the Rams dealt him to Philadelphia.

If you’re keeping score, Bradford was done in during an exhibition game against, um, the Cleveland Browns.


Even older, and thanks for asking

Actually, this is just a pretext to run this picture:

And live from her very own Southern California back yard:

Maybe I shouldn’t be a cowboy?

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The bird is a lie

A similar, um, flyer has appeared in Florida as well:

Warning that birds aren't real

Says here that “in 2001, the last real bird died — in a closed ceremony on an island off the coast of Virginia.”

Start thinking “countermeasures”:

The real technological breakthrough, I suspect, is making them weigh as much as a duck.

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I only need a little bit of fraud

And for a short time, too: Is it illegal to have a liability coverage and have an accident and switch then wait to claim it so full coverage will pay for it?

As the phrase goes, we are not making this up:

I have liability and I need my car fixed it won’t fix I really cannot afford to fix it or to get full coverage but I need my car fixed so could I?

On the upside, your transportation costs will be negligible while you’re in jail.

Another plaintive wail from the same person led someone to do some tracking:

You’re a full time university student, your parents don’t help you financially, and you work at a part-time job. You own a 2014 Nissan Altima and last night a tree fell on your car and hit one side of your trunk.

A ’14 Altima? Somehow it’s paid for? Nobody gets to finance a car without full coverage.

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This is not even slightly civil

And it should not be encouraged under any circumstances:

Wouldn’t matter if it was a Payless $19.99 special.

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Hanging that name

I’ve eaten at Ruby Tuesday exactly once. So maybe it’s all my fault:

Then again, I thought they were better than Applebee’s.

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Beyond mere inflation

This might even be beyond hyperinflation:

Venezuelan consumer prices rose 488,865 percent in the 12 months ending in September, a member of the opposition-run congress reported on Monday, as the OPEC nation’s hyperinflation continues to accelerate amid a broader economic collapse.

Daily inflation is now 4 percent, according to opposition legislator Angel Alvarado, with monthly inflation rising to 233 percent in September from 223 percent in August.

Not sure how you get four hundred thousand percent out of that, but it’s not like the government has a clue what to do about it:

In an effort to stabilize prices, President Nicolas Maduro in August cut five zeros off the ailing bolivar currency, boosted the minimum wage by 3,000 percent, and pegged salaries to an elusive state-backed cryptocurrency.

A mere ten years ago, the first three zeros were lopped off the bolívar, something Caracas hadn’t seen fit to do since 1879.

“The only thing planned economies never run out of,” says Stephen Green, “is zeros.”


Minus Plus

It’s as good a time as any to call it a day:

Google plans to shutter its Google+ social network for consumers, citing its limited adoption with users. The tech giant announced the decision at the same time that it disclosed that the privacy of up to a half-million Google+ accounts could have been affected by a “bug.”

The company says it discovered and patched the issue in March but decided not to disclose it immediately. It said it had no evidence that any third-party developer was aware of the bug or had misused profile data.

Still, timing is everything:

“They were worried about the repercussions of coming forward with this information,” [Wall Street] Journal reporter Douglas MacMillan told NPR. “Earlier this year, right at the time they discovered this, the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data breach had just happened, there’s a lot of regulator scrutiny of Facebook and tech companies and how they’re handling data, and internally, they were worried about being pulled into this conversation in a bigger way.”

This is not the first social network Google has killed, either; Orkut, a service developed by a Google employee in his spare time, was put out of its misery in 2014.

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That touch of green

It’s a clever balancing act, but it’s still an act:

The Texas plant producing General Motors’ body-on-frame SUVs is clean and green, even if the vehicles it builds are anything but Prius-like.

In August, the 43 turbines of Southern Power’s 148 MW Cactus Flats Wind Facility became operational in Concho County, Texas. GM, along with General Mills (the tastier GM) both have contracts to purchase power from the facility — in GM’s case, some 50 MW of it per year. That means it can now claim its Arlington, Texas assembly plant is 100 percent powered by renewable energy. The Environmental Protection Agency just placed GM at No. 76 on its list of the country’s largest green power users.

The General is pledged to go full-renewable by 2050, and this is a substantial start — but it’s still sort of amusing that they start with the plant where they build Suburbans and Yukons XL.

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And that was the name of that game

The Bucks figure to be tough this year, especially since their B-team stymied the Thunder almost all night, and presumably much to the dismay of both coaches, the game wound up going into overtime. It was, no surprise, the fastest overtime you might ever see. And when the preseason ground to a halt, OKC had salted this one away, 119-115.

Mamorize this name: Deonte Burton. A two-way signing by the Thunder who played last year in Korea, Burton got 11 of his 16 points in that five-minute overtime. And pay attention to Hamidou Diallo, tonight’s shooting guard, what with Andre Roberson still unhealed and Terrance Ferguson still de-concussing, who knocked down 19 points, second only to the mighty Paul George.

One week away: a trip to Oakland to visit the defending champions. And that’s the beginning of the real season, folks.


Still not dead yet

So where is Elio Motors this week? Still hanging in there somehow, but there’s been a small change in plans:

Early Elio prototypes carried a transplanted three-cylinder engine sourced from the illustrious Geo Metro, with the fledgling automaker claiming it had a 900cc triple of 55 horsepower in its sights. Well, plans change. The company, which hopes to start production in Louisiana next year, says it has secured a deal with an existing automaker for the car’s powerplant.

In a media release displaying a clear lack of knowledge of commas, the automaker claims it entered into a memorandum of understanding with a “Fortune 500 OEM” for the little mill. This arrangement, Elio says, will save the company piles of cash that would otherwise go towards R&D. Suffice it to say money is still tight at Elio.

The OEM in question is not identified, but one possibility is the 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost inline-three engine, which needs some new homes now that Ford is trying to avoid selling actual cars in the States.

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Class of 59

Annika Sörenstam is actually 48 today. And retired. She decided on the life of a professional golfer in 1992, and two years later joined the LPGA tour; by the time she put down her wedge in 2008, she’d won 72 LPGA events, including ten majors, and had pocketed over $20 million in prize money.

As slinky as Annika Sörenstam gets

Annika Sörenstam sets a record

Annika Sörenstam addresses the ball

That score card she’s holding in the center photo is unlike any other in the history of the LPGA: it’s the standard form, all right, but she’s shot 13 under par (par was 72) for the round. A fifty-nine. No one had done it before in the LPGA; no one has done it since.

How fierce was the competition that weekend? For the tournament, she shot 65-59-69-68=261 — and won by only two strokes.

And oh, yes, she did play in a men’s tournament in 2003, but just missed the second-round cut. You can’t have everything.