The mister and I were huddled around the outdoor fireplace last night, listening to music and watching the Weather Channel without the sound on. The Weather Burgundies were framed by “Winter Storm Falco” graphics, and we saw occasional references to “Tor:Con” and “Storm:Con.”
When did this become a thing, this naming of snow storms and branded corporate storm metrics? Is the Weather Channel just making this shit up?
Back in aught-four, we had the most active hurricane season in ages. We were all glued to the various weather sites, and we kept a laptop on a radar loop and memorized the various tropical update times for the local channels and the Weather Channel.
My guess is The Weather Channel sold a helluva lot of ads for lumber and generators that year. And in the ensuing years, powered by climate change, more crazy weather happened, including Super Storm Sandy in the east, the fires out west and the tornadoes in the middle.
While we were focused on the tragic loss of life and property, some marketing guru saw the endless cha-ching potential, so here we are. With Falco.
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
Glad you got time to watch the weather channel, dudebra. Us poor people gotta work for a living.
@Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:
the ones that have jobs, anyway. unemployed, and still don’t watch TWC. plenty of time to look out of the window.
Is the Weather Channel just making this shit up?
Tis all marketing bullshit.
[‘I don’t watch it because I can go over to the NWS, or the Weather Channel’s online property Weather Underground which they actually haven’t screwed up too much, or if I want the best one glance overview of the technical stuff, I got to spaghetti models.’]
I still haven’t figured out how I feel about naming winter storms. Unfortunately, I can’t come up with reasons not to support it without sounding like an old coot. We didn’t need to name storms back in ’78. Our storms were better and gimmick free.
If you think Winter Storm Falco is going to be devestating, just wait until people are digging out from Winter Storm Bananarama
I live north of everywhere, and the teevee stations up here have named major winter storms for years now, although they’re less poetic with the names. I think last year we had Aaron, Bob, and Crystal. (I’m not making this up.)
When they start naming nice days, get back to me.
@Suffern ACE: Because it’s dumb? Naming hurricanes is kinda stupid too, but at least it has tradition behind it.
In response, I post this: The Riddle. Wrapping another sale to go out today and digitizing my old collection. Sadly, this tape did not survive my lurve well. My top songs are all wibblywobbly.
As an advert person, we are never ashamed to brand shit. Including actual shit. If there was a buck in it, some ad genius would sell it as a branding opportunity to some gullible company and lord knows, some gullible people would buy Extra Improved Shit™, a subsidiary of Viacom©. It’s the oddest thing.
@Suffern ACE: I hate it.
/get off my lawn
Fun fact: That was John’s original name for this blog.
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
I’m keeping my eye on Hurricane Christie and Bridgegate. Things are getting pretty nasty out there right now and there’s a good chance Hurricane Christie’s presidential aspirations will be downgraded to a depression.
FWIW, I believe the stated rationalization for naming winter storms is that it gets more people to pay attention and make proper preparations in advance (which is a fancier way of saying that the purpose is to scare people)
Has anyone read Peggy Noonan’s new blog post over at the WSJ? The one called Incompetence.
I can’t decide if I want what she’s drinking or whether I should never try what she’s drinking. Used to be she was a sandwich short of a picnic. Now it seems she’s missing several.
Since this is an open thread, I’ll ask for a few opinions on prepaid phone service and phones.
I dropped Virgin Mobile after 3 years because as I upgraded devices (Samsung Intercept to a Galaxy S2), Sprint’s shitty local network buildout finally pissed me off to the point of switching.
I chose AT&T as my first vict..er..network and bought a Windows Phone 8 Nokia 520 on sale for $59, complete with an extra cover and 8GB memory card.
It worked fine, but the lack of apps (Quicken) and certain features (lack of text reflow and inability to break the carrier lock on tethering) had me looking at an alternative.
Aio Wireless (an AT&T wholly owned subsidiary) had a deal going where they’d give you a free smartphone for signing up.
The problem is that the ZTE Prelude they send you isn’t even worth the sum of its parts.
Trying to do anything, including opening the dialer, was enough to send me screaming to the nearest Apple Store if I had the scratch for an iPhone.
However, the Aio sim does work in the GoPhone and even enables tethering despite Aio’s flat prohibition against it.
Normally I’d be happy, but in WP8 the carrier can disable certain features at any time and I don’t want to be at the laundromat on my Nexus 7 and suddenly have no internet because Aio caught on and locked me out.
I’ve decided to purchase an unlocked Moto G, but I have currently valid SIM’s from both Aio and AT&T GoPhone.
Which to keep?
Aio is $5 a month cheaper ($55) and caps data to 2G rates after 2GB, but has a much slower ping and speeds are capped at 4 and 8 for 3G and LTE.
Plus their whole customer service experience feels very much like a work in progress.
GoPhone is $60 a month and has a hard data cap, but speeds aren’t capped and the CS experience is top notch.
Keeping the number is not a concern as I use Google Voice to forward calls to whatever phone I’m using.
Is it an autobiography?
There are a lot of pundits I don’t like or don’t respect.
Noonan, however, goes beyond that. Her writing is seriously disturbing.
ETA: Like Norma Desmond disturbing.
Scooped me. That’s what I think of when I think Motherfuckin’ Falco and Shit, yo.
The rest of the song is (on first listening) tear-inducingly hilarious.
I wonder if she’s butthurt by her status as 2013’s #8 hack.
And no, I’ve never read a single word by that woman that was intelligent or carefully considered enough for me to actively seek out. I just periodically have to suffer through the “you won’t believe what this fucking moron just said” stories about her.
@Glocksman: I only use these kinds of phones if I’m on a secret mission for the government or committing a heist.
@Betty Cracker: “Obama’s Hurricane 2005-8-3” (2005 August, third hurricane – though I don’t know exactly how many hurricanes there were that month, so I’m just making up the last one) doesn’t have nearly as good a ring to it.
That ice storm we had a couple of weeks ago here in the metroplex had a name that they weren’t allowed to repeat on television, so maybe it’s better that the weather channel comes up with a decent one first.
It’s easy to become more of a weather nerd with all the gadgets at our disposal. That and you want to know when you might get clobbered. During my short tenure in Baton Rouge, they had a local tv channel dedicated to live radar and I loved it. Happy to avoid a late-afternoon torrential if I could.
And then there’s the group that enjoys seeing Cantore tying himself to a light pole in hurricane -reality tv!
@kindness: The “I have fever dreams that the 0bungler nukes Paris instead of Pyongyang and I’ve never worried about that with other admins” is priceless.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
TWC has said that naming the storms make them easier to hashtag consistantly.
These are not necessarily incompatible notions. It might be one of those “you know you shouldn’t but can’t help yourself” situations, where it would be really fun to try something that would mess you up that badly, but the long-term consequences wouldn’t be worth it.
Maybe they should go for a twofer and sell the naming rights. “Winter storm Michelin Tires is expected to drop up to nine inches on the tri-state area tonight”.
@Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:
At least you have time to comment on the Internet. Just another example of your unexamined privilege, dudebro.
You can’t eat Internet comments.
@slippytoad: Rare to see someone else admit to listening to the Bloodhound Gang on a progressive blog. They are pretty much the definition of Dudebro Rock. But sadly their juvenille lyrics often make me chuckle and their songs have a decent beat. That particular song reminds me of an updated version of Grade 9 by the Barenaked Ladies
Especially considering which administration actually invaded the wrong country after 9/11.
Why wouldn’t we nuke Paris? It’s full of French persons.
@Rosalita: I first saw Cantore when I was stationed in VA. He was reporting on one of the Hurricanes that we were worrying about hitting Norfolk. He pointed to two guys trying to surf in the hurricane waves, and said something to the effect of “If they want to try to ride them, it’s up to them” (I know his sounded better). From then on, we call him the Weather Dude.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Troy McClure Dr. Zaius
Somebody had to do it.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
I came back from shopping to find this link waiting for me on my work IM:
“Ouch,” says Mitt — indifferently, in monotone
@burnspbesq: Let’s nuke Arsenal instead. After all…it’s an Arsenal! Victimless crime.
Since this is an open thread, does anyone have opinions about web hosting companies, good or bad? I’m looking to build a website, mainly for online resume purposes. I doubt I’ll need e-commerce anytime soon, so I’m looking mainly for reliability and decent customer service.
@Roger Moore: Or that Nooners was part of the admin that sent troops to Grenada to use tourist maps.
@burnspbesq: Mon dieu!
I’m a little miffed that Falco doesn’t get a hurricane. Why is he so criminally underrated?
@BGinCHI: Well, if they call themselves Arsenal, they should hardly be helpless victims, unable to defend themselves. I bet they have cannons.
Betty Cracker @ Top:
A) About a year or two ago. Maybe three.
B) Yes, the Wx Channel is just making shit up. None of those storm names come from the NWS.
On the other hand, I’m not sure it’s an entirely bad idea, The Weather Channel is going overboard with it — just naming any old snowstorm like it’s a cataclysmic event — but it might be a good idea for the NWS to follow-up with naming criteria for particularly strong blizzards, say with tropical storm and hurricane force winds that drop more than a foot of snow over a range greater than a few thousand square miles. Or something like that.
I’ve never quite understood why such storms don”t get names.
@BGinCHI: “It’s a victimless crime. Like punching someone in the dark.” Nelson Muntz
@Suffern ACE: Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil have cannons, the rest not so much.
The Weather Channel is owned by NBC Universal which is now owned 100% by Comcast, as in Comcast Sucks.
Thus, you get “Wake Up with Al” Roker and Weather Channel stand-ups in every NBC Nightly News broadcast. They are just part of the mega corporation that now runs our lives. When the National Weather Service gets privatized, and run by Goldman Sachs, you’ll be able to get hurricane and tornado warnings for a nominal fee. If you don’t get the warning on time, you can contact the customer service boys at Comcast.
@MattR: Let’s all listen to Bloodhound Gang’s “The Bad Touch.” We’ll still all be progressives, but much more relaxed because we’ve been laughing for all the right reasons.
Heh. I’m relatively new to using “dudebro” as a class so was unaware that BHG were considered dudebro, but they are nonetheless musicians and I happen to like the cut of their jib — “The Great White Dope” is an example of something I think attacks an issue with the right amount of acerbic scorn.
I completely lost it the first time Pac Man came on in Mope. I’d not heard anything quite so irreverent in a long time.
I wonder if the storm gods get extra pissed that we’re presuming to name their creations, or aren’t calling them by their given names. I would get pissed off if people started refering to me as Suffern Mace, or Super Commenter Beatrice. But then these are storm gods and there is probably some rule against revealing their real names to non-believers.
Since football crept into this thread, I must declare that I hate myself so much for being a Spurs supporter. With the intensity of just one sun. Blow the whole thing up!
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
@kc: Don’t be a brogressive dbag, yo. Even poor folks can say their piece.
@Suffern ACE: I can’t got too nonplussed about naming winter storms, since several TV stations up here in the frozen hinterlands have been doing that very thing for as long as I’ve been here (20+ years).
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Watched the whole trailer earlier today.
He and his clan really are an entirely different species.
@ranchandsyrup: Man, did we spank you on Sunday or what? I have to tell you, Spurs are the new Fulham. And that ain’t good.
Was watching Donnie Darko last night and noticed for the first time that the double feature that donnie and his girlfriend go to (and Donnie sneaks out of to light Patrick Swayze’s house full o’ child porn on fire) was Evil Dead and the Passion of the Christ. I couldn’t stop laughing and I kept waking up our daughters.
I suggest either movie to pair with Mitt! as a double feature.
I just got the Omaha Steaks that I won in John’s frat fundraiser!
@BGinCHI: I think we talked after the 6-0 Man City drubbing, not the 5-0 ‘Pool drubbing. Once I saw the ball-girl troll Suarez in the handshake line, I knew it wasn’t going to go well.
I don’t think they should have sacked AVB.
That Fulham dig was cruel, but spot on.
@slippytoad: IMO, they are kinda like South Park. Can be humorous, sometimes with serious social commentary snuck in. But also vulgar, juvenille and crude, often for the shock value and to annoy the establishment as much as anything else. (And I would imagine their primary audience was white frat boy types)
Furminator owners, I have a question: when you brush your kitty with it, how does it compare to a regular fine-toothed comb as far as fur-tugging goes?
My cat may look like Steve, but she hates, hates, hates being brushed (bad experiences from being a matted shelter kitty by the people we got her from). I can get a bit of combing in if she is catatonic in her heated bed, but not much more than that. The hairball gacking is getting out of hand. I’d be willing to attempt furmination if it isn’t too much of a yankfest if it would help the hairballs, and also I don’t want to spend the big bucks on one if she’s going to go insane when I try to use it on her. Any commentary would be appreciated.
Just remember, you can’t spell “Arsenal” without “Arse”.
I enjoyed that 2 minutes 19 seconds, just to be reminded of how thankful to God I am that he lost and we don’t have to look at him or listen to him any more.
An alternative look at Obama’s 5th year
12/18/13 10:15 AM—Updated 12/18/13 02:13 PM
By Steve Benen
When books are written on Barack Obama’s presidency, it’s unlikely that his fifth year will be celebrated as the pinnacle of his tenure. On the contrary, it’s a year White House officials almost certainly consider a disappointment.
But I’m not sure it’s been quite as disastrous as advertised.
For much of the Beltway, that the year was an abject disaster is a foregone conclusion. “Little seems to have gone right for the White House in 2013,” Politico noted this morning in a piece asking which administration had the worst fifth year. Obama had the “worst year in Washington,” the Washington Post concluded last week. 2013 “has been a pretty terrible year” for the president, BuzzFeed argued.
This has been “Obama’s year from hell,” The New Republic said. When Beltway pundits aren’t comparing Obama’s 2013 to George W. Bush’s 5th year, they’re comparing it Richard Nixon’s 5th year.
Even the most enthusiastic Obama supporter would probably balk at heralding 2013 as a success, but the premise of these analyses seems a little excessive. Consider:
A storm god getting extra pissed is kind of like teabaggers getting extra pissed. They may say they’re extra pissed, but nobody on the outside can tell because they’re always pissed about something.
@raven: Nom nom nom!
Yeah, we’re taking another fucking on this bipartisan budget deal.
Jesus, I need to get my eyes checked. I read that as “I just got the Obama Steaks” and was instantly a-wondering whether you were texting on your Obama Phone from your Cadillac?
@rikyrah: Yea. I’ve come to the conclusion that even those that are on ‘our’ side in the Beltway Press are fracking idiots.
@Trollhattan: Holy Shit! Where do I get my Obama Cadillac?
@ranchandsyrup: It wasn’t really a dig. They honestly have the same style and effectiveness of a Fulham side. They look good but they don’t win.
I always get this Falco mixed up with Tav Falco of PantherBurns fame………Yea, I’m a Memphian :-P
@Roger Moore: I say that every weekend. Because it’s true.
A query to the resentful footballers above:
Which team currently tops the English Premier League?
(at least until Saturday; Monday at the latest)
(and no need to nuke Arsensal; Walcott’s back playing; they’re more than capable of destroying themselves.)
Don’t despair quite yet. Spurs have too deep and talented a squad. A new, more confident manager will sort things out after the upcoming transfer period. In my view, AVB was in over his head in the EPL (at such an early age in his managerial career).
If your cat doesn’t like a regular brush, I doubt she’ll like the furminator. The furminator isn’t much worse than a regular comb or brush, but I think it must be at least a bit more uncomfortable, since my cat will tolerate a soft brush but not a furminator. If you’re mostly worried about hairballs, you can try some of the other standard treatments. I’ve had a little luck with hairball formula food and much better luck with laxative-type hairball treatments like Petromalt. My cat also loves cat grass, which I think helps him pass some of his hairballs. If you don’t want to pay for fancy store-bought grass, you can grow it from grain you get from the bulk bin in the supermarket.
@rikyrah: An accurate book about the Obama years would chronicle the seismic, pants-soiling sh*t fit a good chunk of America decided to throw upon the election of the nation’s first black president, and the depths to which said chunk would sink to prevent the country as a whole from functioning SOLELY in order to deny the him authority of the office.
That, and the pitiful response of our courtesan FerengiMedia complex, faithfully servicing their masters.
FUCK. THEM. ALL.
@BGinCHI: When one wrongly and believes that Spurs are a top 4 club, it stings. I’m holding you accountable for my improper expectations, as is the fashion of our times.
@handsmile: Thx for talking me off the ledge. Was about to go kick a cockerel. EURO League or bust!
I’m a Furminator owner, but I’m also a short-haired cat owner, so I can’t really answer your question, but I see that nobody else has. I thought the Furminator was amazing the first day I had it, because it pulled all sorts of undercoat out of my fat cat Louis. But my normal-size cat Sasha has never really liked it much, and even Louis prefers a more conventional fine-toothed comb. The Furminator seems to be a little too intense for them. But again, they are shorthairs, so I don’t really know what to tell you. John Cole seems to swear by it.
Well said. I think history is not going to be kind to the media in particular.
@gogol’s wife: I use the Furminator on my pups but not my cats. Don’t really have a hairball problem with either of them.
@StringOnAStick: I have a furmiantor for my dog and I think tthe first part of Roger Moore’s comment pretty much has it right
Our late great kitty Boris was part Russian Blue and had super-thick fur. He didn’t like regular brushes, but he loved the Kong Zoom Groom because the rubber “fingers” could really get down into his undercoat.
A good yarn that becomes a great one at graf 5.
@Betty Cracker: Of course I ordered the chicken combo since I don’t eat beef and pork but I shall not look a gift horse. . .
Lawn. Kidz. Offz.
@gogol’s wife: They are made for short haired dogs. You should not use much pressure and they work great.
Cool! I didn’t know the prize went to a BJ commenter!
P.S. I can be at your place on one hour’s notice.
You callin’ Raven a strapping young buck?
@SiubhanDuinne: There was more than one winner here.
And they don’t seem to realize that every other news outlet is ignoring it completely. And it’s not just winter storms. Every system larger than a drizzle now gets a name.
@SiubhanDuinne: I checked the email and they just listed the names of the winners so I don’t know if they were BJ folks or not.
Soon, multinational corporations will be branding and trademarking famines and droughts. “This famine brought to you by Monsanto, a world leader in genetically altered sterile seed technology!”
“Drought Elizabeth is now in its 13th month. `Elizabeth’ is a trademark of the Exxon corporation, and its wholly owned subsidiary Massiveshaft Fracking LLC.”
No matter what I see or read about Mitt, I’ll never be able to figure, at least figure out more, just why the hell he wanted to run for President. The latest tale seems to be ‘The Reluctant Candidate’
Confess I left the dot-connecting to others, but yes, YES I AM.
Now I want the strapping buck (young?) to invite me over as guest griller, since he doesn’t eat beef and such.
@mclaren: I thinkd DFW was there first. The Year of the Depends Undergarment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_jest
I gave them a chunk of cash and never got an email, so I assume I didn’t win anything (although I had asked that my winnings, if such were to occur, go to a local food bank).
FWIW, I rarely eat red meat, but I could make an exception for grilled Omaha steaks, especially in such a good cause.
Do dogs even get hairballs? I suppose they must, just never thought of it before.
That would be a Cruel Summer.
Let them eat ramps.
J R in WV
I’m nearly speechless!! What a priceless piece of steaming shit she has for a brain…
Every time I think they can’t sink any lower, there they go again! [to quite the deranged and senile gipper]
Peggy will be the new word meaning deranged. Is she old enough for senile dementia? Certainly acts it.
J R in WV
Wow, the trailer is good. The first 10 or 15 seconds puts him right in there as loser. And not happy about it.
Thank FSM he lost and we won. !!!
Channel 3 in Hartford, CT started naming winter storms, back when you had to walk to the TV and turn a knob.
This year’s first batch are Ashford, Bethany, Chester, Derby, Easton, Franklin, Guilford, and Hampton. (Those are CT town names, for those from away.)
@ThresherK: (PS: They started this in 1971, back when they were WTIC-TV.)
Thanks everyone on the furminator reviews; I think she’d hate it, which is what I suspected. Now if I could just get her to eat the various hairball treatments or cat grass – it’s like she’s determined to be a bigtime ‘ball gacker….