Panic and Pride and ignoring the circus

The circus elephants dance backstage. They’re fond of dance-pop.

Other than that, I’ve been trying to ignore the circus at the USAC this week as much as possible. It’s not that hard: if the spots work – I can go hide. So I do.

Let me now debunk the legend I heard today that bra sizes originated in the army. in the 1930’s, Maidenform was the first company to actually make bras in different sizes (small, medium and full) but Warner Brothers Brassiers (no relation to the movie conglomerate) devised the alphabetical size categories that have become industry standards.

See how the internet improves our lives?

Yes. Its true. Had the Suns held on the Shawn Marion, letting him walk at the expiration of his contract, they would have saved more money than the humiliating Shaq “trade” (neither of the players they received from Cleveland are expected to be on the roster next season). These are the wages of Panic and Pride.

We’re not even to the all-star break, and you can write off the D-backs. Hows this for historically perverse: “Can’t wait for Cardinals season, so that we can see our team win once in a while…”

For the writers: Book Marketing 101

And lost in all the Micheal Jackson Is Still Dead nonsense – the state of Arizona is either going to pass the most regressive budget in my lifetime or shut down completely by July 1st. Flat tax. Elimination of the property tax that provides the bulk of the money for the most poorly funded state education system in the nation. I am understating how bad this is. More on this later.

Now you know.

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Dangerous When Smiling [2/17/09]

Terry Porter marched out of the US Airways Center well before any other NBA luminaries, and looking grim – even for him. The reason became apparent within the hour. The Suns had fired him as Head Coach.

GM Steve Kerr covered his mistake by making the move with a few days still left on the trade deadline, and timing it so it had no chance of leading Sportscenter. (A-Rod unwittingly helped this considerably).

We hope that Kerr finally grasps that you adapt the system to the players – not the other way around, particularly at the NBA level, where they are (theoretically) no longer learning how to play.

I suspect this culminated a player-organized coup.

The deal – and this is purely my speculation would be this:

“Look, Steve, (many of the Suns have played with or against Steve Kerr. He is hardly a wizened wizard.) this guy is killing us. We’re never going to be the Pistons. We gotta play the way we play, but every time we try, he puts on the brakes. So you got three choices: Either we keep losing, in which case [Suns owner] Sarver’s going to fire all of us, We openly defy him on court, which we [Hill, Nash and probably O’Neal] can’t bring ourselves to do, Or you fire the guy.

“But, if you get a guy on the bench who will let us run, we guarantee we’ll get far enough into the playoffs to save your job…”

The Alvin Gentry era Suns beat the LA Clippers by 40 points. Now, the Clippers contributed a lot, since the only defense they mounted was Zack Randolph’s punching a player, but it still seemed like better days had returned. The Suns were smiling.

They have always been at their most dangerous when they’re smiling.

Other things I learned at the NBA All-Star Game:

Construction tradesmen and stagehands use different logic about how heavy things should go up and down, and these differences are not always reconcilable.

Do not mention that a followspot “flickers” over a headset during a camera rehearsal. This will panic and then stampede the vidiots. Make them notice it.

The catwalks at USAC are held up by the same all-thread and magical thinking that holds up much of the structures above our heads. However, due to turnover in engineering firms and rennovations, no one could give a real number to how much weight they would hold. That’s a problem since the NBA planned to put transformers up there. We spent much of the pre-rig re-enforcing the catwalks.

Even spaced out over 10 days 112 hours is a lot of time served. Last night I dreamt about sleeping.

Over the weekend, satellites collided in space, adding 600 pieces to the 18,000 that they track in orbit. But I don’t worry about that any more than I worry about the USAC catwalks – even when the shake beneath my feet.

I just smile.

Now you know.

Alien Tumbleweeds [2/8/09]

Well -of course- the House Republicans voted against the Obama stimulus plan. All the moderate republicans were defeated by conservative democrats. The militants, whose constituents would pretty much demand they oppose such things, are the only ones left. Knowing that, the House democrats piled on a lot of earmarks, most of which will be stripped in the Senate. Which the House GOP still won’t vote for, because they have nothing to gain by it. And the Dem’s don’t care, because they have a comfortable majority without them.

By bipartisan, Obama really means three votes from Republican Senators.

This may be the last post for a week – I’m going into the NBA All-star Game – which is an 85 hour week for me. IF i can smuggle in my laptop and IF I finagle working internet (neither a guarantee at the USAC), I might update this week. If not, it’s work-drink-sleep until the 17th.

Meanwhile:

Homes made out of dirt.

A long, but compelling entreaty on e-books. Most of the links are worth clicking as well.

And, it turns out the tumbleweed is not native to the SW deserts. Its actually an accidental import from Russia. [via Cactus Camping, my blog-mates from Trekalong.]

Now you know.

September 12, 2008

My wife had a much better 9/11post.

So, I’m proofing the galleys for my book (did mention I have a book coming out? I do.) when a co-worker started explaining proof-reading codes to me. Now, I’m not the proof-reader. The author’s job here is to just make certain the words and facts line up as he/she understands them. In this case, I’m correcting some things in the text, but I’m mostly looking for map errors. Stop yawning, I’ll get to my point…

My friend insisted that the numeric code 30 meant the manuscript was finished. That 33 meant give it back to the author for more revision, and that 86 meant reject the manuscript entirely. She then insisted that this was the origin of the term “86’d”.

Of course I looked it up.

30 is definitely proof code for done – print it. I couldn’t find any reference to 33.

86 definitely came from somewhere else. Proofreaders may have used it, just like everybody else, but they didn’t invent it.

Two prominent theories about where the term came from.

1) It refers to section 86 of the Uniform Code of Mlitary Justice, which deals with desertion and AWOL. Possible, but the term seems to imply an involuntary expulsion from something, where AWOL is presumably voluntary on the part of the soldier.

2) It refers to the street adress of a NYC speakeasy (and accounts differ as to the details), and this was what they yelled when the cops were about to barge in.

I’m not sure I buy either origin story. We may come back to this.

Meanwhile, here’s a good source for common proof-reader’s symbols: http://webster.commnet.edu/writing/symbols.htm

The bony plates on the back of the Stegosaurus (a Jurassic era herbivore) had great blood vessels inside them, and may have turned bright red during stress (such as being attacked) as the plates filled with blood. A warning perhaps to Allosaurs, who still remain, in my mind, as the coolest of the predatory dinosaurs.

I know this because I’ve been babysitting Walking with Dinosaurs at the US Airway Center in Phoenix. They feature life-size animatronic dinosaurs walking around beneath a truly fantastic light show. The tickets are outrageous ($35+ in Phoenix) but worth it anyway. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to Jurassic Park.