Bronco exhaust

Everybody’s seen the classic cuss jar. The Denver Broncos were alleged to have a fart jar:

Miller explained later:

Turns out Miller was pulling our finger chain, but I have to figure that this is probably more of an issue than anyone is letting on, inasmuch as if anyone smelt it, it may be safely assumed that someone dealt it.

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Welcome to the Show

You gotta love something like this:

Rookie third baseman Joey Gallo had an incredible Major League debut with three hits, including his first Major League home run, and four RBIs to lift the Rangers to a 15-2 win over the White Sox on Tuesday night.

Gallo’s home run came in the third inning with one on and one out. He crushed a first-pitch fastball off of White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija into the upper deck in the right-field porch that was projected by Statcast™ to land 445 feet away from home plate. It left the bat at 108 mph.

Just arrived from the Rangers’ Triple-A outpost in Round Rock? Apparently not:

Catcher Carlos Corporán said: “We lost one of the best players and we bring that guy from Double-A and perform the way he did was freaking awesome.”

The Frisco RoughRiders, then. (Thank you, Carlos, for your eloquence.)

Gallo is 21 and has hit lots of long balls in his day: in 2013 he won the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, swatting forty for the Class A Hickory (North Carolina) Crawdads. And one of the great things about this game is that you can totally unironically have a team called the Crawdads.

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Tastiest prize of them all

Indiana’s Hoosier Lottery — who else would have a Hoosier Lottery? — is circulating scratch-off cards that smell like bacon. That’s been done before, but this hasn’t:

[U]nlike previous bacon-themed lotteries designed to tempt your olfactory system, this one actually includes the savory meat in the list of prizes, with a 20-year supply of bacon at stake for players.

Along with rewarding whiff of meat on the $2 cards that went on sale [Tuesday], there are the usual cash prizes to tempt players, with instant prizes of up to $10,000 and five chances to win 20 years of bacon.

Some of us could go through twenty years’ worth faster than others, I suspect. And just how much is twenty years’ worth, anyway?

[T]he prize will be paid out in 20 installments of bacon (worth approximately $250 each) to allow for easy refrigeration, according to the official rules [pdf].

Odds of bringing home this bacon: 1 in 1,284,200.

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This is almost me

Hmmm. What have we here? “What Each Myers-Briggs Type Does On Vacation.” Let’s see:

INTJ: Selects the optimal hotel, dining and entertainment options by methodically narrowing down a list of possible selections prior to the trip.

This is true of me only to a certain extent. I do look up as much as I can in advance, but not that far in advance: while the route is plotted beforehand, local stops on the World Tours, historically, have been planned on a two-day-ahead basis at most. And of the four letters in the MBTI, the J is the most problematic for me; I could almost pass for an INTP, which does the following:

INTP: Embarks on a solitary road trip with no fixed destination.

I reckon there’s just enough difference between those two scenarios to accommodate me and my two and a half bags.

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And we’re Dun

Junk fax, in case you hadn’t noticed, was made illegal in 1991; senders of this sort of crap were of course mortified, and duly invoked their First Amendment rights to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” presumably with, um, sweeteners. In 2006, the new rules were set forth:

In April 2006, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented changes to the fax advertising rules of the TCPA. The new rules: (1) codify an established business relationship (EBR) exemption to the prohibition on sending unsolicited fax advertisements; (2) define EBR as used in the context of unsolicited fax advertisements; (3) require the sender of fax advertisements to provide specified notice and contact information on the fax that allows recipients to “opt-out” of any future transmissions from the sender; and (4) specify the circumstances under which a request to “opt-out” complies with the Act.

Over the intervening years, I have had received basically three flavors of junk fax: travel-agency crap, life-insurance crap, and business-loan crap. The example on exhibit today is of the third flavor:

Your high Dun & Bradstreet business score of 81 has pre-approved your business for a Line of Credit up to $250K. Because of your high business score, we can offer your business a Working Capital Loan, or Equipment Financing for either new or used equipment.

Well, no. D&B has two scores, the Commercial Credit Score, which ranges from 101 to 670, so I’m assuming this is not the one they meant. The other is called Paydex, which is concerned solely with whether you pay your bills on time. It runs 1 to 100, and somewhere around 70 is considered a passing grade.

This thing was “signed” by “Steve Rogers,” described as a “funding specialist” in “Chicago.” There follows an Unsubscribe number, but I’d just as soon not provide any further evidence that my fax number works.

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Don’t make a fuss

Quinn Cummings, that girl who was in that movie — you remember, right? — might be happier if maybe you didn’t remember:

My partner, Daniel, insists that I am — and I quote — an “antisocial freak.” I counter that with “no, I’m a contented introvert,” leading him to suggest that’s precisely how an antisocial freak would describe herself. Either way, it is safe to say I’m the sort of person who would consider being loudly noticed by a stranger in public a thing best avoided, like exposure to SARS or a Jimmy Buffett concert. And yet, when you’ve been in the public eye, no matter how briefly, no matter how long ago, you will be noticed from time to time for the rest of your life. After three decades, you’d think I’d be better at this former child actor thing, but I’m not.

There is, of course, no cure:

Modern American culture assumes extroversion is the default setting for human interaction. It looks at us as an undifferentiated mass of life forms, longing for the next new moment in the spotlight, the next boisterous barbeque, or the next holiday party crammed to the rafters. Some of us are indeed like that. But many of us, probably from within days of conception, are hardwired to warm up slowly, need fewer people, and be easily overwhelmed.

Yea, verily. I never really wanted my fifteen minutes of fame, and stretching it over a twenty-year period doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Yet here I sit, pounding away at the keyboard for the umpteen-thousandth time. What makes it work, I think, is that I don’t actually have to knock on doors and hand out copies of whatever it is I’m typing.

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Getting all Zippity

I am one of several bazillion Wikipedia editors, though I have made only a few edits, mostly to the pages on Oklahoma City, The Oklahoman, and Megan McArdle. In fact, pages that cite something I’ve written as a source far outnumber pages to which I’ve actually contributed any text.

That said, I was peeking into some [hide]-type zones, and found this on the OKC page:

Wikipedia list of ZIP codes for Oklahoma City

This is mostly correct. There once was a 73161 code, but it was eventually merged into 73141. However, 74013 doesn’t exist anywhere in the 405; it is, in fact, a boxes-only ZIP for Broken Arrow. Someone, and by this I mean “someone other than myself,” mucked this up.

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From the producers of Security Theater

We begin with the oft-butchered Ben Franklin quote: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Liberty, at least, is something that exists, or at least that can exist. Safety? Not so much. Said P. J. O’Rourke:

[S]afety has no place anywhere. Everything that’s fun in life is dangerous. Horse races, for instance, are very dangerous. But attempt to design a safe horse and the result is a cow (an appalling animal to watch at the trotters.) And everything that isn’t fun is dangerous too. It is impossible to be alive and safe.

At the political level, they trot out the word “security.” Also a non-starter:

The entire notion of “security” is a phantasm, a shiny bit of colored glass used to lure us away from that which is possible and attainable, and toward that which is not, has never been, and never can be. This is true at any level of organization, from individuals to nation-states. Indeed, the Earth itself is irremediably insecure, as earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, meteorites, near-encounters with asteroids, and the occasional solar flare should demonstrate to anyone’s satisfaction.

There is risk in everything. There are defenses against some sorts of risks, but no defense is “secure” in any sense that holds water. Human life is an ongoing game of rock / paper / scissors.

You have to figure — or at least I have to figure — that if all perils could be prevented, the death rate here at the top of the food chain, and for that matter at all points below, would be something other than 100 percent. Don’t hold your breath.

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Shifting alliances

Ezra Dyer reports on the 120th Anniversary of Car and Driver (July 2075):

What I didn’t see coming were the changes on the business side. When LamborJeepie merged with Yama-Tesla, we got the best of each company’s expertise: tractors, sports cars, energy drinks, Wranglers (the jeans), bazookas, pet food. I think they also produce Two and a Half Mole Men. Point is, you can’t just be a car company these days. Synergize, Diversify, Qualificate. The global economy goes nonstop, 23/7, and has ever since that mass Hellcat burnout altered the earth’s orbit and messed up the calendar.

Heck, even a mere three Hellcats can liquefy vast quantities of rubber in no time at all.

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Unjust dessert

At some point in the late 1960s, some humor publication — not one of the major ones — proposed some truly horrid-sounding ice-cream flavors, including Tomato Fudge, Banana Oregano, Coconut Garlic, and perennial favorite Pickle Brickle. I managed to persuade my peers, indolent students all, that we ought to try to make some of these. (Summary: No, we should not have tried to make any of these.)

I managed not to think about that for forty-odd years, until this happened:

And you know what’s coming next, right?

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp Gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4-1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • Strawberry topping (or other fruit)

The instructions are fairly simple. And now you know how well I take direction.

(Current number of post tags: 11,290.)

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In the Not Lozenges aisle

Just in case, y’know:

If there are testimonials to the effectiveness of this product used in such a manner, I’d love to hear them, or at least I would if I were the editor of Penthouse.

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We can dig it

There exists a strong possibility that you’ve done an impression of Telma Hopkins at least once.

Okay, you’re shaking your head. How does a background singer best known for being part of Tony Orlando and Dawn, later turned actress, fit into your repertoire? Repeat after me: “Shut yo’ mouth.” If this in any way sounds like you’re replying to Isaac Hayes intoning “You say this cat Shaft is a bad muthah,” you’ve just done an impression of Telma Hopkins, whose voice is out front on that line in Hayes’ original Theme from Shaft.

Before working with Hayes, Hopkins was based in Detroit, where she sang for Berry Gordy at Motown and for crosstown rival Eddie Wingate. After Orlando hit with “Candida” with two studio singers, management figured out that he’d need a touring group, and hired Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson.

This little orange number comes from the days of Half & Half, a successful (for UPN, anyway) comedy that didn’t get picked up when The CW was created:

Telma Hopkins at the 15th Annual Night of 100 Stars

And this is just a classic reaction shot:

Telma Hopkins on TV Land

And Telma’s still busy, with continuing gigs on Are We There Yet? (TBS), Lab Rats (Disney XD), and Partners (FX). In the latter, she plays Martin Lawrence’s mom. In real life, they’re 16 years apart. (Lawrence turned 50 this spring.)

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Common jerks

In the standard version of the Tragedy of the Commons, there are more takers than givers, and eventually the system breaks down. If this sounds like a bunch of jerks to you, the Z Man can show you more of them:

Blogs and news stories invite comments. Jerks come along and fill the comments with work at home scams and penis pill ads. That means we have to have spam filters and police the comments sections. A good chunk of the code in a WordPress site is to fend off jerks trying to mess up a blog for no other reason than they are an asshole.

Anyway, the jerks are ruining the interwebs in a different way and that’s with ads. There are some sites I don’t bother to visit because they are so bogged down with popups, scripts and the worst thing of all, auto-playing videos. The guy who came up with that idea should be burned at the stake. There’s nothing worse than having some nonsense come blaring through your PC speakers as you feverishly look for the source.

Hence: ad blockers and such. (I’ve recently had to dispose of a script I had found useful for many years because it had mutated into a tool of the jerks.)

I don’t block every ad, of course. For example: I block nothing on Equestria Daily, since (1) I really, really need the content and (2) Sethisto has gone after rogue advertisers with jerk in their genome. But there are plenty of sites pushing on my last nerve.

I don’t solicit Breitbart because it is infested with ads created by the nation’s dickhead community. Loads of viruses are spread through embedded ads as well. If a site has no choice but to go the jerk route with their ads, then they should go out of business. The world has plenty of jerks. We’re full.

Between that and clickbait — well, I’ve been to a Turkish bazaar, and it’s run with a hell of a lot more respect for its customers.

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U can’t watch this

‘Cause I said so:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Hacking your own home tv show?

Since this makes no sense by itself, the follow-up:

I want to learn to hack my home tv satellite and tv so that people cannot watch certain show or program and will change the show or program based on the data that I input

There are, I suspect, exactly two possibilities here:

  • Guy’s never heard of parental controls;
  • Guy’s heard of parental controls, but the Younger Folk know more about them than he does.

The question of whether this would be a violation of the agreement with the satellite company is left as an exercise for the student.

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Does whatever a shampoo does

Because if it doesn’t, it’s just a sham, right?

The genuine article is at hand:

Shampooing shampoo by L'Occitane

You think maybe they have conditioning conditioner too?

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Winning blind

The switch to StatCounter has required me to adjust to new statistics in new forms, and this is one of those forms:

StatCounter screenshot

That #1 in the oval means that for this particular search, I was #1 in Google; however, Google now encrypts its search strings, so #1 on what? SiteMeter would have given me the Google URL, but no clues otherwise.

Fortunately, StatCounter imports actual Google Webmaster Tools search data, albeit a week and a half behind, so eventually I will know what the search string was. (Then again, Google’s own display is half a week behind; as of Sunday night they were still serving up stuff from the 28th of May.)

The article in question had to do with the proposed .eq domain for Equestria, for which the proponents had announced they would be seeking OpenNIC approval. I don’t know whatever happened to that scheme, and the exit link has apparently been wiped; nopony I know would have done such a thing.

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