Strange search-engine queries (561)

While ghosts and goblins and such ready themselves for the evening, I’m ready this morning with yet another set of search strings, because that’s just how I roll.

I want to webcam chat with naked grownups:  Good luck with that. Probably fewer than 80 percent of grownups on webcam are naked.

naked wood nymphs:  Usually don’t have webcams.

last minute august 2014:  And then suddenly it was September.

two hours from now:  It quit being September quite a while back, actually.

terrell’s science class volunteers at the pet shelter each week and assists with keeping the puppy cages clean. combining academic work with a community project is an example of:  Cultural indoctrination.

there is nothing trendy or hip about fenway. it is npr in an mtv world:  In which case, Wrigley Field is TV Land.

dampnation:  The shortest possible way back from drought.

in this clip, we see 13-month-old felana trying to climb up the wrong end of a slide repeatedly. if she succeeds in this and similar endeavors, this will help her to:  Discover new ways to fall flat on her butt.

specto fork error check log:  I’m sure this wasn’t covered in Linux class.

what does 666 really mean yahoo answers:  It’s 37 times 18. Do I get two points?

fatty arbuckle bacon number:  Three, which doesn’t sound like a whole lot of Bacon.

closest albertsons grocery store to me:  And where the hell are you, anyway?  I don’t think you can get a new Vista install anymore.

crossdresser fingering:  Just watch where you put your thumb.

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Lakers not frozen over

Nobody expected the Lakers to be as terrible as they were last year — 17-65 — and on the evidence presented this evening, they’re not; they may not be a playoff team, but they won’t be eliminated in February either, and the Thunder had a heck of a time trying to maintain a lead over the Purple Kids. Oklahoma City was up 12 at halftime; L.A. swept half of that away in the third quarter, and refused to go away in the fourth. It wasn’t until the last five minutes that the Thunder started to pull away; inside the two-minute mark, they were up 17, having scored 13 unanswered points, and Russell Westbrook was given the rest of the night off. The reserves mopped up nicely, and OKC ran up the score to 113-96 to claim a third straight victory.

Westbrook, you may be sure, earned his rest: he knocked down 33 points, reeled in 12 rebounds and served up 16 dimes. This is his second triple-double in three games. Steven Adams posted a double-double — 14 points, 12 boards — and Enes Kanter led the reserves with 16. Master of the plus/minus, though, was Victor Oladipo, who racked up a +24 while scoring 20.

The Lakers were led by Julius Randle, who impressed early and collected 20 points on efficient 7-10 shooting, and by D’Angelo Russell, who took twice as many shots but still ended up with 20. Things were going well enough for L.A. early on that Metta World Peace managed to log a few minutes; he missed two shots but did pick up a steal.

Of the California teams, the Lakers are arguably the easiest. Unfortunately for the Thunder, the other two are coming up, and on the Coast at that: the Clippers on Wednesday, followed by the Warriors on Thursday. That Golden State game will feature, if that’s the word, the first matchup between the Thunder and OKC expat Kevin Durant. Anybody’s guess how that goes; I’m guessing that Steph Curry ends up doing most of the heavy lifting.

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The right day for it

A man with the quintessentially American name “Daniel Boone” managed to get this lovely little number up to #15 in Billboard in 1972:

If the chap in the video didn’t look quintessentially American, well, he’s British. Peter Lee Stirling (born Peter Green in Birmingham in 1942, and no, not the Peter Green in Fleetwood Mac) played in several bands early on, but enjoyed little success until he signed with Larry Page’s Penny Farthing label, assumed the “Daniel Boone” name, and cut a maudlin ballad called “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast,” which clambered into the UK Top Twenty. (In the States, it was killed by a Wayne Newton cover.)

Next out was “Beautiful Sunday,” written by Boone with labelmate Rod McQueen. It just missed the Top Twenty in the UK, but made decent bank in the US — and even more so in Germany, where it reached #1. The hits petered out shortly thereafter, but “Beautiful Sunday” endured; the Russian band Chizh & Co. covered it to interesting effect in 1996.

Oh, and one more thing. Remember when iTunes would go hunt down album artwork for you? This is what it fetched for “Beautiful Sunday”:

Somebody's artwork for Beautiful Sunday by David Boone

David Boone?

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Macro version of micropayments

I don’t object to Web sites charging for access — it’s better than having them throwing you dubious ads from a dozen different sources every single time you visit — but there are few of them I visit often enough to justify paying the full rate. Is this the solution?

Everybody wants you to subscribe. I wouldn’t mind subscribing, but once you subscribe to one it’s much easier to justify subscribing to another, and then another and pretty soon you’re shelling out 50 or 100 bucks a month, and I ain’t gonna do that, so I don’t subscribe to anything. I wouldn’t mind paying $10 a month in order to get access to everything. I mean, if I have a subscription to one place, like the WSJ, I would spend all my time there. If I had two subscriptions my time would be split between the two, so I would be accessing each one only half as much. Likewise if I had ten subscriptions. The ISP should collect $10 a month from you and then dole it out to the websites on the basis of how many times you visit that site.

I’m pretty sure ISPs won’t like the idea, but hey, they have the information: they have to have it to figure how close you are to your monthly data cap.

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How cool is this?

An unusually warm October — the temperature has yet to drop below 40° F (4° C) — has encouraged the late-season roses to go flat-out while they still can:

Roses on the 29th of October

There are several other budding clusters elsewhere on this bush: it’s not exactly Spring finery, but it’s not bad.

(Other sizes at Flickr.)

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Rather low interest

My bank, I am told, continually seeks “ways to enhance our products and services to meet your financial needs and provide you an improved banking experience.” This sort of statement is usually shorthand for “We’re about to jack up fees,” and that’s what it proves to be here:

On December 7, 2016, your account(s) will be converted to a new Personal Savings account. Your ability to earn a competitive interest rate won’t be impacted by the change, and no immediate action is required on your part.

The major change: a $5 monthly service fee.

Now do the math. The current interest rate I’m being paid is, um, 0.03 percent. Last month I earned a whole four cents on this account. Five bucks will eat that up rather quickly.

In practice, I will not be affected by this fee: a $10 transfer from checking per month, or an average balance of $250, will get the fee waived. In the six years this account has been open, the balance has never been as low as $250. So this is apparently aimed at the folks who keep ten bucks in savings just to say they have a savings account. I’m told there are some such.

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Going to Kathmandu

Hey, it worked for Bob Seger, didn’t it?

This is Sitashma Chand, born on Halloween in 1983, who speaks several languages, played basketball in college (she’s 5’8″, I am told), and won the title of Miss Nepal for 2007:

Sitashma Chand on the pier

Sitashma Chand on the couch

Sitashma Chand with her husband

The chap in the last photo is Benjamin Zachary Price: he and Sitashma were wed in 2013.

The sponsor of Miss Nepal 2007 was Dabur Vatika, a brand of toiletries, which of course sought to maximize its exposure:

One of Sitashma’s languages is English, which she uses on her Twitter account, most recently here:

The last we’ve heard from her, regrettably.

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Not to be chewed

The annual Termite Inspection came yesterday, as it has every October since 2003. Usually I follow the inspector around the premises, but that wasn’t happening. And it’s probably just as well, since anything I’m likely to say is going to be a variation on the theme of “Sorry about the mess.”

They’ve changed one protocol since last time: instead of a paper receipt, they email you a PDF. As always, they asked whether this is the correct billing address; as always, I wrote out a check rather than wait for the bill. But this chap seemed surprised at my, um, “low account number,” giving me the impression that a lot of their customers move on after a few years, while I’ve been here for thirteen.

Me, I’m thinking warranty: if I keep this up, and some year they actually find the hungry little bastards on the premises, the contract says that they will remediate at no additional cost. Over the years I’ve forked over a little more than a grand, which is trivial next to the average Kill The Damn Bugs bill.

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Overly Chromed

Our very own sysadmin circulated this warning late yesterday:

We have discovered today that a recent update to Chrome has caused it to have problems with the data it pushes through a print stream. It isn’t consistent, a reprint of the same screen report produced different results almost every time. If chosen to save as a PDF instead of written to a printer it would save the PDF correctly. The PDF would print without issue as long as you told the reader to print the page full size instead of fit to page. Be cautious if using Chrome for printed reports. If you notice any unusual blanks within the document you can save the document as a PDF and print it that way instead. Or try another browser. We have not verified but have no reason to suspect that the issue is across multiple browsers at this time.

This is, as the poet once said, a Known Issue. I have not encountered it personally, but then I hate Chrome. (How much do I hate Chrome? I print reports out of Lotus Notes, fercrissake.)

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Issue forced

I have occasionally grumbled at how CVS has handled the legacy of Target Pharmacy, but not enough to get me to change drug stores, and certainly not loudly enough to draw anyone’s attention.

Or maybe it was. Received in the mail:

Beginning January 1, 2017, CVS Pharmacy #16007 will no longer be a part of your pharmacy network. This includes all CVS-owned pharmacies and CVS pharmacies in Target stores.

Why would CFI Care (not its real initials) do this? They’ve hired something called Prime Therapeutics to run their pharmacy-benefit operation, and it turns out that they own a piece of Prime. And there’s already bad blood:

Prime Therapeutics is suing CVS Health Corp. after the drugstore chain claimed generic drug payment changes will cost it more than $100 million annually.

CVS is seeking about $19 million outside of court from Eagan [Minnesota]-based Prime, claiming the pharmacy-benefits manager violated terms of a 2007 agreement plus federal and state laws, according to a lawsuit filed [in December 2015]. Prime disputes those claims and is asking a Minnesota federal judge to rule that it did nothing wrong and doesn’t owe CVS money.

I do not comprehend, however, how it was that the eight prescriptions filled yesterday at that specific CVS location, official copays totaling $103, were turned over to me for a mere $45. Surely they’re not bidding for my non-network business.

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Dinner without Drac

“Cool Ghoul” John Zacherle died Thursday at the age of 98:

Wearing ghoulish garb, Zacherle hosted horror movies on Philadelphia and New York television beginning in 1957. He likewise hosted the fondly recalled Newark-based dance show “Disc-O-Teen” in the late ’60s, and was a WNEW-FM disc jockey. From 1990 until 2015, Zacherle met fans old and new at the Chiller Theatre convention held in various New Jersey towns, chiefly Secaucus and Parsippany.

I refuse to believe that his death on 10/27 had anything to do with his having been a DJ on WNEW-FM, which historically was at 102.7.

Away from Jersey, Zacherle was probably best known for “Dinner with Drac,” ghastly limericks fit into a rock-and-roll background, a #6 pop hit in 1958:

Zacherle’s niece Bonnie, you may want to know, was the original designer of the My Little Pony line. Call it Generation 1.

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Earl Watson has taught the Phoenix Suns one thing: don’t ever slack off. After the first quarter, in which the Suns and their three-guard set simply outworked the Thunder to the tune of 40-25, Oklahoma City began getting the occasional stop, and Phoenix led by only four at the half. Still, they kept working it; the Thunder didn’t get any kind of lead until a one-pointer with 4:45 left. One ongoing problem was T. J. Warren, who knocked down a career-high 30 points. Russell Westbrook had taken 40 shots in 48 minutes; everyone assumed he’d take the last shot with 1.1 seconds left in regulation. He didn’t, but the Suns were not fooled, and overtime ensued, with Westbrook noticeably fatigued. But In Russ We Trust: Westbrook sneaked one past a curious Suns lineup with no actual shot blockers, and the Thunder went up 111-110 with seven seconds left. Andre Roberson swatted away a Devin Booker shot, and with 3.5 left, Westbrook delivered two foul shots. A Phoenix buzzer-beater did not land, and it was OKC 113, PHX 110.

And let’s face it, we needed Westbrook to be heroic. (51 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists: by any definition, that’s heroic.) Victor Oladipo came up with 21 points, but no one else managed double figures, and the bench in aggregate scored a whopping 15 points, four less than Suns sixth man Brandon Knight all by his lonesome. It wasn’t a good night for three-point shots for either side: Thunder and Suns made five each, but it took OKC 21 tries — and Phoenix 28. For that matter, it wasn’t a good night for free throws either; many were taken, and lots were missed. (Suns 21-32, Thunder 28-38.) Still, the number that jumps out at me is +21: Kyle Singler in 33 minutes, despite 2-6 shooting for four points.

And there’s that don’t-give-up air about Phoenix that tells me they’re not destined to be a doormat this year. Three of their five starters finished with five fouls, but at no time did it look like any of them would actually foul out. Earl Watson, a wily guard — for a while, a wily Thunder guard — in his playing days, has plenty of wisdom to share.

The not-as-horrible-as-they-were-last-year Lakers (how could they be?) will be in town Sunday. I have to figure that the combination of Nick Young and Luol Deng has to be at least slightly daunting.

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Do the Titan Up

Somebody may have been Kraken wise:

(Via Shipwreck, logically.)

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High suds

These guys followed me on Twitter, perhaps thinking I might throw them a link. And you know, I just might:

This will be happening the 10th of December at the Cox Center. Down at the bottom of this page you’ll find a list of brewers to be represented.

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Pocket-sized opera

Peter Reynolds, who died earlier this month, is credited with having written the World’s Shortest Opera:

This particular performance, as it happens, runs slightly long:

At three minutes and 34 seconds, it is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s shortest opera. “The librettist, Simon Rees, came up with the idea of an opera whose duration should match the boiling of an egg,” says Reynolds. “So we created a domestic scenario of a couple having an argument over breakfast. It starts with the sand-timer being turned, and ends with the egg coming out of the saucepan.”

You may wonder how a three-minute item qualifies as an opera rather than, say, a song, but Reynolds had all the requirements covered. “The intention was to create a piece which bore the same relationship to opera as a miniature does to a full-length portrait,” he says. “It included all the component parts of an opera — overture, introductory chorus, arias and recitative — though in highly condensed form.” It had its premiere in Cardiff city centre on March 27 1993, conducted by Carlo Rizzi, in the presence of two invigilators from the Guinness Book of Records and a bewildered crowd of shoppers.

The second shortest opera, should you care, is The Deliverance of Theseus, Op. 99, by Darius Milhaud (1928), which plodded along for seven and a half minutes, just slightly longer than “MacArthur Park.”

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Mix and match and mix some more

Not so long ago, I showed you a Simplicity Pattern advertisement from 1974 which proposed nine different skirts that could be worn with the same top.

The next step was obvious. One pair of jeans, ten tops:

Simplicity advertisement from 1974

I tracked down the next issue of the magazine where I found these; there was apparently no third entry in the series. Too bad.

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