Nothing to dye for

I’m assuming here that the questioner is very young and likely more familiar with the vernacular than with that which it describes:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is it normal that the rug doesn t match the drapes?

To clarify:

(I grew pubes since a few months ago already and while I have long light blond hair, they are rather brown … Is there something wrong?)

The answer I might have wanted to give, fortunately, has already been served up:

No. Your drapes are exposed to sunlight and fade. The rug isn’t.

I suppose this could be tested experimentally, but local laws might be an obstacle.

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Yet this is a match?

Online dating, it’s always seemed to me, is problematic by definition; it’s the equivalent of buying a used car without a test drive, and you don’t have anything resembling a warranty. So I’m not too surprised by this question:

Recently talking to a guy on [OKCupid] and asked him out for a beer after a rough day. He replied “only if you’re buying”. Are women giving into this douchebag attitude and reinforcing this kind of behavior? Wtf?

A reasonable attempt to answer:

Have guys gotten more douchey? I don’t know. I think fuckwits like the ones in all of these stories have always been there. Negging isn’t exactly new, nor is concern trolling women about their attractiveness. The reality is that a lot of men feel completely comfortable expressing their unsolicited opinions about our looks or body. Many men are still under the impression that we exist solely for their gaze. As such, they believe they have free reign when it comes to offering suggestions about how we could become more attractive. Because, see, that’s our main purpose on this earth. I think we’re hearing more about this sort of behavior now because of social media.

All of that said, I think a lot of men on dating sites are tired of being used for free stuff. You asked this guy for a drink, which means you should have expected to pay. While completely tactless, it sounds to me like the guy was trying to make his expectations clear. Additionally, I think it’s safe to assume this guy wasn’t terribly interested in you, which brings me to the dating leagues issue we often discuss here. If this guy was genuine in his interest for you, he wouldn’t have said that. He would have met up with you and offered to pay.

Apparent conclusion: loser, but not necessarily typical loser.

Test drive concluded. Return vehicle and keys, and never speak of this experience again.

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Strange search-engine queries (491)

Just some of what’s been happening on the search-string front recently. (And there’s always something happening on the search-string front, as several years of this feature should have told you by now.)

who important lives on triple xxx road in okla:  Are we not all, in our own ways, important?

keb-c piss and love:  Sounds like a hardware issue to me.

last time i pulled my dick out in public:  You could have heard the giggling from Seattle to Sarasota.

six states down 44 to go:  “What is something never said by Fritz Mondale?”

in a paragraph of seven to ten sentences:  You will probably have put the reader to sleep by the fifth or sixth.

mira vista clothing optional resort tucson gate code:  And are they expecting you?

there was an old man in a tree:  Whose age was a hundred and three; along came a girl, he started to whirl, and while hitting the ground he said “Gee!”

if bribes cost $1:  An awful lot of politicians are gouging us.

mr. thatcher was admitted for a scheduled vasectomy. a vasectomy is the excision of the:  joy of sitting on the sofa watching sports for 48 hours straight.

according to research on the so-called 10-year rule:  Given the unsavory results of testing the five-second rule, I’m pretty sure you don’t want to go as far as ten years.

the doctors woman can’t recognize family; child caged in class like an animal? controversial eye color procedure? botched breast enhancements:  Press NEXT to continue with this week’s Cable Health News.

suppository fanfiction:  Probably written by some asshole.

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Stepping out

Caroline Cossey is a fairly normal Southern housewife with a trace of England in her voice; she’s sixty, she’s tall (6′), and since she lives in Kennesaw, Georgia, she owns a gun. But once in a while someone stumbles across the memory hole, and in this month’s Playboy there’s a repeat of a 1991 pictorial of Cossey under her nom de model Tula, and a new interview with the woman once known as Barry Cossey.

Tula in styleMinor anatomical detail: Cossey was born in 1954 with a variation on Klinefelter’s syndrome; instead of XX or XY, she was XXXY. She transitioned in her late teens, had The Surgery at twenty-one, and began a not-so-low-key modeling career, perhaps peaking with her appearance as an extra in For Your Eyes Only, which led to her first appearance in Playboy, in her capacity as one of several anonymous Bond girls. Things might have leveled off there, except that one of the more odious British tabloids, the News of the World, put her on the front page with the headline “James Bond Girl Was a Boy.”

Playboy asked her: “Has the growing acceptance of LGBT people made life easier?” She replied:

“I don’t know if I’ll ever stop feeling like a second-class citizen. It’s embedded and instilled from birth. You grow up, you don’t fit in, you don’t belong, you’re bullied. That doesn’t go away in five minutes. I don’t think it ever goes away. When I look back at it all, what I went through was tragic. But how do you deal with pain? You shrug it off. That’s the British way of doing it, at least.”

Would she do another James Bond film, if asked?

“I would never say no to something that’s tastefully done, but I’m not expecting to grace any covers anytime soon.”

Her 1991 pictorial was tastefully done, but, if you don’t mind my saying so, surgical techniques may have improved since then.

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By wrath blinded

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on — what’s the term this week? Oh, yeah, “marriage equality” — one guy got totally bent out of shape and complained to his local NBC affiliate:

Don complains to KARK

Logo for KARK-TV Little RockThe “colors of gays”?

NBC has been, um, proud as a peacock since 1956, when the bird (called by NBC insiders “the bird”) was introduced with the express intention of helping then-parent RCA sell color TV sets. The current version dates to 1986; KARK-TV Little Rock has been an NBC affiliate ever since signing on in 1954.

I have to believe that station staffers, finding this silliness on their Facebook page, guffawed for several minutes, and then one of them quit laughing and posted a completely deadpan, perfectly accurate response:

KARK responds

Don, we assume, has been unable to find a butter knife to fall upon.

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The final word on ACA

I mean, it’s not going anywhere, and the chances that an upcoming Republican administration will toss it are next to nil. (There are times when I think the chances of an upcoming Republican administration are next to nil; few snatch defeat from the jaws of victory more assiduously than today’s GOP.) That said, here’s a quick postmortem from Dave Schuler:

The good news in the Court’s decision is obvious: millions of people won’t lose their subsidies. The bad news is less obvious. One bit of bad news is that the Court has again taken it on itself to reward the Pelosi-Reid Congress for slovenly work. Don’t be surprised if at some point SCOTUS is forced to throw the Congress a brushback pitch. It can’t allow itself to become Congress’s whipping boy.

From my point of view the worst piece of news in the decision is that the lesson the Congress will learn from this is to minimize its paper trail.

Yep. Future bills will magically appear with no indication whatsoever of their origin.

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A whole Heep of names

There is a very long Wikipedia page which lists various characters in the works of Charles Dickens. It turns out that he had plenty more to come:

Understandably, thinking of names for these characters was quite a task, and so Dickens kept lists to be considered for future use.

George Muzzle and Thomas Fatherly sound particularly Dickensian.

On the distaff side, you’ll find Matilda Rainbird, Birdie Nash, and two names I wish I’d thought of when I was projecting a female persona back in the Bronze Age: Miriam Denial and Verity Mawkyard. (There really needs to be a Verity Mawkyard blog.)

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Memo to the National Football League

Those late-morning pregame shows may be in for some minor audience adjustments:

Ordinarily, I’m a big believer in individual privacy and I don’t like the idea of extensive and intrusive surveillance. But a program called Churchix uses facial recognition software to see who did and didn’t show up at service last Sunday, and I must confess I am intrigued.

This wasn’t, you should know, the intended application for this particular code. Says the head of the company developing the package [warning: autostart video]:

“We didn’t have any intention to get into the church market, but orders started piling up. In a really short period time, we got emails and phone calls from about 10 churches and they all asked us for the same thing, and now we’ve had even more requests.”

Because, you know, nothing enhances one’s reverence like induced paranoia.

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Alsou Ralifovna Abramova, thirty-two today, is a Russian singer who is mostly, though not entirely, unknown in the States. This wallpaper with her image dates to about 2004:

Alsou wallpaperized

She made the cover of the Russian edition of InStyle in 2010:

Alsou on the cover of InStyle

Born in Tatarstan, she and her family moved to Siberia when she was a year old. She showed musical promise early, and released her first album in 1999. “Winter Dream” was the first of three singles.

The next year, she turned up at Eurovision with an English-language song called “Solo”:

“Solo” won second place for Russia.

Perhaps her most elusive recording is a duet with Jon Bon Jovi on a 2003 remake of “Livin’ On A Prayer”, which was released to Russian radio with the This Left Feels Right album; for some reason, the Russian CD release contained the same version we got in the States, with Olivia d’Abo instead of Aisou.

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Didn’t help his alibi

We will apparently never, ever run out of Really Stupid Criminals:

Yuba City police responded to Umpqua Bank on Colusa Highway just after 9 a.m. Monday when they received notification a robbery had just occurred.

Bank employees said the robber handed the teller a note which read, in part, “Give me $10,000 dollars or I will kill you”. The note was signed John Chapman.

The man then fled the area, and employees were able to positively identify the suspect as John Chapman.

The only way this could be worse would be if Chapman had posted some reference to the robbery on his Facebook page.

(Via Nothing To Do With Arbroath.)

Addendum: None of the eight John Chapmans I checked on Facebook matched up to this guy.

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Dispatch from Department 72°

You know what I think of thermostats: there is the classic Honeywell Eyeball, and then there is all that other crap.

But hey, nobody has to believe me. Will Truman decided to try something new:

Honeywell made the high-tech thermostat we have in our house. It has wifi, can be programmed on a computer to dates and times. It’s pretty neat.

When you get that high-tech, though, you have to worry about things like software and firmware upgrades. It has sent me three emails informing me that I need to upgrade the software. And in none of those emails has it explained to me how. A quick surfing of the control panel has come up with nothing.

In other news, our power has gone out three times in the last 24 hours.

Life is too short to spend reprogramming stuff.

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Quote of the week

Sheila O’Malley reviews Ex Machina, and comments therein:

There is a deep and very human empathy at work in Ex Machina, startling and strange considering the scientific and spare environment of that house, its chilliness, its intimidating perfection. I don’t need all films to be kind and empathetic towards women. I honestly don’t. I loved Wolf of Wall Street, and was so frustrated with the “It’s misogynistic” commentary. For God’s sake, of COURSE it was, because those guys in the film were misogynistic ass-clowns. What do you want? One of those douche-bags to suddenly spout a regretful monologue, “Oh my God, I am a misogynistic asshole and I am so sorry!” Or to have Scorsese somehow point an arrow at all of them, telegraphing, “This is bad behavior.” Have you seen a Martin Scorsese film before? So what you are saying is, you would have liked Wolf of Wall Street better if it had been a bad film but showed the “enlightened” viewpoint? Get outta here with your bullshit. Showing something is not necessarily endorsement. I want to put that on a billboard.

And while we’re at it, here’s a bit from her review of The Wolf of Wall Street:

People yearn to iron out complexity because it is personally triggering for them to witness said complexity. But complexity like this should be triggering. It’s not there to make you feel comfortable, to re-affirm your own prejudices and beliefs, it is not there to provide solace for you in darker moments. Some art acts that way. I cherish a lot of it. But it is not a requirement that ALL art work that way.

Well, at least not yet it isn’t.

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A bug in the system

And not just any bug, either. It was a fricking wasp:

A Florida wasp provided the latest challenge to Allegiant Air in a difficult month for the airline, crawling into an aircraft sensor Thursday and forcing a flight departing St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to make an unscheduled landing.

Allegiant spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler said Flight 894 with 159 passengers took off at 7:30 a.m. headed to Niagara Falls, N.Y., but diverted to Orlando Sanford International Airport not long after takeoff because of problems with the sensor.

A retired pilot from some other airline speculated as to what Allegiant meant by “sensor”:

Former U.S. Airways pilot John Cox, who lives in St. Petersburg, said from the airline’s description it appears the wasp was in a pitot tube, which is as narrow as a pencil, on the nose of the aircraft. The plane, a McDonnell Douglas model, has three such tubes measuring airspeed.

Cox said the pilot of Flight 894 may have noticed one of three gauges showed a different airspeed than the other two during the flight, indicating a problem.

“It’s not an uncommon occurrence,” Cox said. The wasps “find a spot on the inside of the tube that they like and they will start building a nest and it impedes the airflow into the tube.”

Passengers will be given a $50 voucher toward future travel on Allegiant.

(Via Consumerist.)

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This high, but no higher

There are high heels, and there are really high heels. The obvious question: how high is too high?

In our search for the answer on how to achieve comfort without giving up our lift, we tapped the brain of Dr. Emily Splichal, podiatrist and human movement specialist, and posed the question: What is the heel height we should be shopping for?

“You shouldn’t walk in heels higher than three inches,” she says. “Anything over the three-inch mark changes the biomechanics of how you walk—your strides are shortened, you can’t walk as fast, your body weight shifts to the ball of the foot, which throws off your center of gravity and stresses the knees and lower back.”

Of course, if you’re not walking — never mind, that was silly. So flats for everyone, then? Nope:

Also harmful is a too-flat shoe, she cautions, especially if someone’s foot is naturally flat (little to no arch versus a high arch): “A little heel, like a one-inch heel, puts the foot into a more stable position.”

The takeaway here is to shop for shoes with heels that range between one inch and three in height. “Avoid heels that are both too flat or too high,” she advises. “Avoid the extremes.”

I suspect there might be just a little bit of leeway at either edge of this continuum, depending on one’s individual tootsies. And there is a small but consistent market for shoes with negative heels.

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How much is that in bits?

Sonic Rainboom at AFK TavernA Seattle drinkery called the AFK Tavern features an utterly fanciful, if perhaps a trifle pricey, libation called the Sonic Rainboom:

Flying against some Wonderbolts, or simply celebrating a friend’s big day? This colorful dropshot ought to help!

“Colorful,” from the looks of things, doesn’t even begin to describe this particular drink. On the off-chance that you’re wondering what the buck goes into this quasi-Equestrian delight:

Um, thanks, M. A. Larson! (Yet another excuse to go to Seattle some day, preferably in a rented car that doesn’t have Oklahoma plates.)

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Mercatoring to a niche market

Oh, look, it’s time for a new shower curtain:

It’s a map curtain. A map of the world. (And eeep, I might have to get a liner, there’s a lot of blank clear curtain there. No, not so that no one can see me, but so that it’s not such a clear sight into my tub when the curtain is pulled, because the tub is often the LAST thing I get around to cleaning.) (And I observe: it seems wrong you would have to CLEAN the place you go to WASH, but there you are)

Imagine how it might be if we had to dry-clean ourselves. (Some of those fluids are, um, nasty.)

Come to think of it, I’m at the point where I need a new liner. The curtain itself is okay, if flimsy. And the liner, I suspect, is probably not going to have a disclaimer like this:

“This curtain is intended for decorative purposes only and does not conform exactly to Global Map Accuracy Standards.”

This should serve as a warning to anyone planning to sail around the world using a shower curtain for navigation.

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