Some hosing going on

Pretty much every issue of Car and Driver — and I’ve seen them all since 1978 — contains at least one bit of prose that simply screams “They’re trying to get nasty letters, aren’t they?” In September 2015, it’s this denunciation of a Fiat by Jared Gall:

The 500X will change nobody’s perception of Italian build quality. Many of the plastic interior surfaces feel hard and hollow, and while the gray door-panel pleather feels natural, it’s not the natural leather that it feels like. More like cold, dead skin before it’s turned into leather — and not necessarily cow skin. Maybe dolphin. Or fat Uncle Carl. It puts the lotion squarely in the basket.

I expect several lambs to be speaking up in the December issue.

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No major changes at the Vatican

At least, not to that extent:

I think we can safely say that yes, he is.

That other question has also been resolved.

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And there you are, retouching yourself

As the selfie becomes further and further detached from reality, we’re going to see more stuff like this:

Do you ever feel like you need a little more designer shoe action in your life? If the answer is yes then Christian Louboutin’s new app could be for you.

Louboutinize is a free photo editing app that lets users add a dash of luxury to their pictures via three different filters. “Rouge” will wash images in a layer of deep red, the label’s signature sole hue, while “Crystallize” allows users to see their images as though through a diamond, inspired by the label’s nail lacquer bottle design. Finally, “Legs” gives snappers the chance to upload a fun pair of legs to their pictures, choosing between a can-can girl, a football player and three other limb options.

I wonder if “fun pair of legs” is ultimately as unfun as “fun size candy bars.”

A more serious app might be able to apply that deep red layer just to the pertinent part of your shoes, crystallize your accessories, and give you legs like [insert appropriate name here], but something like that would cost some serious money, whereas this one is being given away for free.

Addendum: Those initial “fun” legs apparently include the stems of Dita Von Teese. Suddenly this looks, um, more serious.

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Shipped plywood

We keep hearing that the music industry is in trouble, but it takes something like this to show you just how much:

The soundtrack for Disney Channel’s Descendants, directed by High School Musical mastermind Kenny Ortega, debuted in the Number One spot thanks to 42,000 total copies. If 42,000 units sounds like a small amount for a Number One album to sell, that’s because it is: Descendants, which only sold 30,000 copies in pure album sales — the additional 12,000 came from a la carte purchases and streams — became the lowest-selling Number One album in charts history, underselling Amos Lee’s LP Mission Bell, which sold 40,000 copies on its way to Number One in 2011.

“How about a song?” Okay:

I picked this one because it was written by the reliable Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, who also concocted the Wonders’ wondrous “That Thing You Do!”

Still, this probably hits the hardest:

Thirty-six years after Led Zeppelin’s In Through the Out Door topped the Billboard 200, the band’s eighth studio album was back in the Top 10 this week as the LP’s new reissue reentered the charts at Number Nine. In Through the Out Door sold an additional 24,000 total units in its return to the Billboard 200, where it spent seven weeks at Number One in 1979, Billboard reports.

Not even Adam Schlesinger is gonna compete with Zeppelin, even second-rank Zeppelin like “Fool in the Rain.”

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Nor is it a dry heat

This apparently was the display for the Sunday-evening forecast. Hindsight being closer to 20/20, I think we can safely say that at least one of those numbers was way the hell off:

Weather screen from KFOR

(Snagged from Facebook, of course.)

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Spamming with faint praise

This badly tossed word salad showed up in the comment receptacle Sunday bearing a highly dubious Berkeley URL:

What i don’t understood is if truth be told how you’re no longer really much more neatly-favored than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You know thus significantly with regards to this topic, produced me in my view imagine it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women aren’t interested unless it is one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. All the time maintain it up!

Neatly favored as I am, I wish I could claim to be stuffing excellently, but maintaining it up is harder than it used to be.

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Presumably a Solo operation

That “really bad feeling” might be a case of the Kessel runs.

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Déjà chew

Did you ever wonder just what mysterious stuff is inside your half of a Kit Kat bar? It’s not exactly chocolate; it’s vaguely crunchy, which eliminates contenders like nougat; and it’s described nowhere in the advertising. And there’s a perfectly good, if perhaps off-putting, reason for that:

You see, not every chocolate bar is created perfectly. When they roll off the production line, Quality Assurance technicians remove the Kit Kats that have too many exterior air bubbles, or off-centre wafers, or any other imperfections right down to those that simply aren’t shiny enough. As far as the manufacturers are concerned, consumers don’t want imperfect chocolate bars.

But rather than being thrown away, those second-class bats are recycled back into the production process. After being ground up into a fine paste, they form the filling you find between the Kit Kat’s wafers. In many ways, it’s a stroke of genius — no edible Kit Kat is wasted!

Um, okay. But knowing this is a long way from answering these questions:

For example, how old is the oldest part of a Kit Kat? If all Kit Kats contain the remains of imperfect Kit Kats, and not all Kit Kats are perfect, then every Kit Kat that gets recycled contains the remains of older Kit Kats, which contained older Kit Kats, which contained older Kit Kats … so how far back does that actually go?!

Chicken and egg are still squabbling over this one.

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Paparazzo 101

One of the first things they teach you at Pesky Photographer School, I suspect, is candid shots taken at a time when the subject is actually busy doing something. This explains why we see Kylie Jenner — and happy 18th to you, K — fueling up in deepest, darkest Studio City:

Kylie Jenner fuels up her Mercedes-Benz G63

Wait a minute. What the heck is that she’s driving?

Kylie Jenner fuels up her Mercedes-Benz G63

Because, of course, one needs something like a Geländewagen to negotiate the tough terrain of the San Fernando Valley.

And haven’t I seen those shoes before? Let’s see:

Kylie Jenner in Stuart Weitzman Nudist shoes

Yep. This is Stuart Weitzman’s “Nudist” sandal in black. As shoes worn by this clan tend toward the ridiculously ornate, I’m sort of happy to see something simple — and, at under $400, not overly pricey, except perhaps by the pound — on the youngest of the crew.

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Irate, you rate

Lead story in the Oklahoman today begins with this anecdote:

When a passing motorist yelled “Road rage sucks” at Oklahoma City police Sgt. Matthew Downing during a January 2014 traffic stop, Downing chased the man down in a convenience store, wrestled him to the ground and arrested him.

A supervisor who soon arrived disagreed with Downing’s use of force and subsequent arrest and released the man.

Police Chief Bill Citty directed the department’s Office of Professional Standards to conduct a criminal investigation into the incident.

In February, Downing pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery and was sentenced to 90 days’ probation. That same day, he resigned from the department, where leaders say he was still under administrative investigation for the incident. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said Downing’s guilty plea and resignation were part of his plea agreement, which is typical in criminal cases involving police officers.

Not that I at all object to keeping the police on a fairly tight leash — those rogue cops obsessed with their authority (“Trigger-happy policing,” said Marvin Gaye back in the day) need to be pulled back — but I have to wonder: is it the position of the City, or of the OCPD, that road rage does not suck?

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Land of perversity

A report that Tesla is losing about $4000 on each car it sells drew a dismissive comment to the effect that “people aren’t that stupid,” which prompted this eloquent response:

“Its just a car and people aren’t that stupid.”

THIS IS MURICA!!!

We put 30″ rims on a Chevy Snailblazer.

Our favorite topping for a burger is another burger.

We can’t name even 10 of the people running the country.

I resent your implication that this country is intelligent.

Valerie Jarrett is running the country. Next!

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In search of a deal

Having recently escaped the chains of utter penury, which left most of my workwear too close to threadbare for comfort, I wandered into a DXL store Saturday to pick up a couple of T-shirts. The pricing is astute: one of them will run you a stiff $30, but if you buy at least two, the tab for each drops to $19.99. I wound up buying five, and as it happens, this was the Sales Tax Holiday weekend, so the entire tab came to a not-especially-stiff $99.95.

Now you might wonder how anyone could pay $20 for a T-shirt and not flinch. Believe me, when the alternative is $30, $20 looks pretty good. And the best deal currently being offered in my size by the leading catalog vendor catering to such is $24 in quantities of five. (That size, you should know, is 4XL; it used to be 4XLT, but I no longer need the extra two inches of length to pull down over my newly shrunken gut, six inches smaller than it used to be.)

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Noise disabatement

This nimrod showed up yesterday exhibiting both a lack of taste and a lack of patience:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: five variations on I have a Dodge Ram 1500 2wd regular cab. What can I do to it to make it sound good and loud

If he comes back next week asking for stereo advice, well, God help him. Because I won’t.

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Strange search-engine queries (497)

Comes Monday, and comes once more this weekly feature of the wackiest search strings that got this site up in people’s browsers. We do this because (1) it’s weirdly popular and (2) it’s less effort than actually writing something.

sanrio lawsuits etsy:  Because Hello Kitty belongs to the world — except, of course, for you and your little online store.

explained the deviation from the life cycle model for an 40 year old married male,self employed with:  An active Tinder account and a suspicious spouse.

teen in thongs with cameltoe non nude:  Technically, if she’s wearing that much, she’d have to be “non nude,” doncha think?

knee appalling tan:  You know, you probably shouldn’t have had that stuff sprayed on while you were seated.

how to make viagra at home for men:  You’ll need a can of spray starch and a pair of forceps.

find a company that will deliver a storage unit to my door orinda ca:  Having a storage unit by the door probably violates a town ordinance.

rebecca black high school:  Who would have thought they’d ever name a high school after Rebecca Black?

is oklahoma on a fault line:  Naw. All these earthquakes are caused by guys in $500 cars with $1500 stereos.

jersey barrier mover:  Gonna take more than your feeble F-250 duallie, bucko.

would like to swing on a star:  Here’s a jar. Don’t come back until you’ve crammed it full of moonbeams.

jose had a small bag of marshmallows. the bag contained 5 pink:  Which for no apparent reason he ate last.

the endochronic properties of resublimated thiotimoline:  We already got to that next week.

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A vast waistline

“Who in the heck writes whole paragraphs and posts about highways?” asks Joe. “It’s a road.” Well, yeah. But before he said that, he said this:

Windshield time is not conducive to a positive outlook on life. I-70 in particular seems to wear me down and over the decades I have found this true of the roadway no matter what part of the country it traverses, perhaps because it is mostly a straight slash across the center of the nation. The highway seems to be a weird dividing line for weather; above gets snow, below does not or below sees rain, above the road none. It also seems to be an almost modern Mason-Dixon Line dividing cultures and dialects. I know this to be somewhat true in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. I am not sure if the pattern holds sway in other parts of the country. It is also quite likely the whole idea is a figment of my imagination. Anyway, from Harrisburg to Kansas City and beyond the road is boring unattractive and dull. How US 40, which covers pretty much the same exact ground can be so much more interesting is beyond me. Of course the old National Road will take you twice as long to get you where you are going.

I have the opposite view of windshield time, though this is probably because I don’t get enough of it — at least, not in a good way. (Being stuck behind dawdling members of the Anti-Destination League in the middle of the afternoon commute is not a good way.) Still, US 40 is to be preferred over I-70 at least as far west as Topeka, after which the two roads merge for most of the rest of Kansas. I admit to having less experience with the eastern stretch, which ends up in Atlantic City.

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The long, hot sideshow

How could this Presidential campaign possibly be any worse? Just try to imagine how dull it would be without Donald Trump.

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