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This is going to be short for me. I have a game to get to in Oklahoma City.

Sorry, sore subject.

Tough week for anyone who expected something other than backstabbing, deceit and avarice — now with an added layer of vindictive-spite frosting — from the National Basketball Association.

It had to be even tougher for Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, who has so much money he stopped counting in 1998 — but still can’t seem to close the deal on the toy he wants most.

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We feel you, dog. Waking up Thursday and realizing you still didn’t have an NBA franchise must’ve been like … well, the rest of us booting up every morning and realizing we still don’t have a “Start” button.

Sorry, another sore subject.

Moving right along:

Speaking of Avarice: Just in terms of pure human interest, it will be fascinating to see what becomes of those civic-minded Maloof brothers now that they’ve unloaded the Sacramento Kings.

OK: No it won’t.

Pretty Amazing: The Mariners taking that recent series from the Yankees. Now let’s see if they can beat somebody good.

Robo-Spud Alert: Potato engineers at J.R. Simplot, of Boise, are resurrecting ideas for biotech potatoes that won’t develop those unsightly black bruises. This is what we get for letting them get away with that hideous blue football field.

It’s a Rhetorical Question, Right?:
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Sudden Tan, wants to know who’s going to jail over the IRS tea-party scandal. Surely he got the memo about jail being for Americans who have a couple minor drug offenses, not those who bring down the nation’s financial system, slaughter tens of thousands of innocents during accidental wars, or snoop through the drawers of tea partyers.

Am I Blue? Yes; Yes I Am: The new Windows update, code-named “Windows Blue,” will be called Windows 8.1 and offered free to millions of mystified Windows 8 customers, the company has announced. In a twist that surely must have been designed by a relative of David Stern, the update reportedly will be “easy” to get from the two places current Windows customers venture only by horrific accident — the “Start screen” or the Windows app store.

Rejected Microsoft Code Names for “Windows Blue:” Windows Bloop. Windows Meh. Win-D’ohs 8. Windows WTF.

Good “Work” If You Can Get It:
Initiative huckster Tim Eyman $112,000 in many fools’ money last year to push dubious ballot measures. Question: Now that the core of his political creed — a mandatory two-thirds legislative majority for tax increases — has been ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, does he get to file for unemployment benefits?

Important Motor-Vehicle Announcement: A new state law allows motorists to provide proof of insurance to a police officer from a smartphone — you know, that thing you were just using when you rear-ended the car in front of you.

And Finally: An ad hoc group mulling what to do with a notable, rotting 110-year-old historic totem pole in Tacoma has recommended it simply be taken down and left lying outside to slowly rejoin the earth by decaying in the elements. Good idea, with clear precedents nearby in the Tacoma Dome and the Kalakala.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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