Strange search-engine queries (337)

This was actually compiled several months from now, but published retroactively. (Hey, if it works for Willard, it can work or me, n’est-ce pas?)

what does a fake gaylord texan reservation confirmation letter look like:  If it’s a good fake, exactly like a real one.

Fan Bingbing has a cool surname:  Yep. (In case you weren’t up on your Chinese names, it’s “Fan.”)

sophomore male pattern baldness high school:  Well, male pattern baldness is connected to testosterone levels, and high-school sophomores are just dripping with hormones.

what is the number to 1800 criminal:  I think we can file this under “unclear on the concept.”

fellatio contest:  I’d hate to have to keep score.

added r134a to my 1998 ford taurus and now my car keeps sputtering and dying:  Next time, don’t add it to the intake manifold. Sheesh.

mazda transmission jerk 626:  The same kind of guy who doesn’t know where to put the R134A.

why are hacked zooey deschanel pictures blacked out:  Because there is a God.

have warner bros never made a profit:  Not if they owe you a percentage of the profits, they haven’t.

is my gas gage less accurate when it’s hot:  No more so than when it’s cold, or when it’s somewhere in between.

sissy codpiece:  How so? Does it swish or something?

is a gmc terrain manly enough:  What’s the matter, honey? Sissy codpiece not working out for you?

modified scrotum:  “Modified” is the new “pierced.” (Ow.)

Ladies, if you saw a guy wearing a red bra under a white t-shirt, what would you say/do?  Assume a modified scrotum, and run like hell.

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Write about now

Wherein the phrase “Write what you know” is written about, and I discover how little I know, compared to how much I write. Or something like that.

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A disorder for our times

Actually, when you think about it, it’s not really a disorder at all, but a self-defense mechanism, and who doesn’t need a few more of those? LeeAnn discloses the existence of “Disaffective Apathy Disorder”:

Q: [D]oes it interfere much?
A: Yep, sometimes, but I don’t really care.

As the phrase goes: indifferent strokes for indifferent folks.

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I know the feeling

Sign calling out a burglar

A story from my own life in the CrappiFlats™, twelve years ago:

It was a pretty efficient kick, given the size of the deadbolt; the jamb was nicely splintered. The perp’s efficiency, however, stopped there; not only did he overlook the camera hanging right beside the door, he didn’t get much of anything other than frustration. I calculate my losses at $3.25, from a dish of quarters I was saving up for laundry, and about five minutes’ time to tidy up. The onsite staff will take care of the repairs. Still, this is a frightening sort of thing to contemplate just the same — suppose this dirtball had been interested in something other than ready cash?

(Sign found at WIN!)

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So Linconsiderate

The Houston Rockets have tendered an offer to New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, a restricted free agent, which means that the Knicks have three days from receipt of the offer sheet to match the deal, or Lin packs up for Texas.

This is all pretty straightforward, except for one minor detail:

The Rockets have tried to deliver the offer sheet to the Knicks since Friday afternoon, but they had eluded their efforts, holding up the start of the three-day clock to match the offer or let Lin go to the Rockets, according to a person familiar with the process.

The Rockets had called and asked where they could deliver the offer sheet but were told that information would not be shared. By Friday evening, a courier called the hotel room of a Knicks official but did not get an answer. Roughly 30 minutes later, a front desk clerk reached him but was told the Knicks were not taking deliveries and that he would not come to the front desk to pick up a package.

Eventually, the Rockets gave up on trying to reach the Knicks in Las Vegas — it’s Summer League time, after all — and FedExed a copy to the Knicks office in New York, where presumably someone will receive it Monday morning.

This tells me that the Knicks are willing to let Lin go, inasmuch as they’ve just picked up Raymond Felton in a sign-and-trade with Portland, and Felton won’t cost anywhere near as much as the $25 million over three years the Rockets are willing to pay Lin.

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Stragglers R Us

The worst-selling car in the US for the first six months of 2012, as it was for the same period in 2011, is the Suzuki Forenza/Reno, though sales are holding steady: one in ’11, one in ’12.

I have to wonder how many of these rebadged Daewoo Lacettis are still unsold, inasmuch as GM Korea (formerly GM Daewoo) quit building them in 2008 after a six-year run, and Suzuki didn’t get a version of the new Lacetti Premiere, otherwise known as the, um, Chevrolet Cruze. (Oddly enough, the previous Chevy Cruze, not sold in the States, was built by Suzuki for the Japanese domestic market.)

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A series of short pants

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of an entry pass to Comic-Con, must be dressed in a manner that would not seem at all appropriate on C-Span.

Women? A bit more variable, though I’m not quite sure what to make of Emmy Rossum, seen here on TV Guide’s yacht out in the harbor:

Emmy Rossum at Comic-Con 2012

This is not something Fiona Gallagher (Rossum’s character on the US version of Shameless) would wear, so I assume she’s trying to make some sort of point; if I didn’t know better — and it’s very likely that I don’t — I’d swear that this was a one-piece suit, so to speak.

Addendum: From this angle, the shorts don’t seem so short:

Emmy Rossum at Comic-Con 2012

(Previous Emmy Rossum coverage here.)

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Rice on the menu?

Condoleeza Rice in England 2008For some inexplicable reason, Drudge was pushing this notion for a few days: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Not gonna happen, though:

I’d like to believe it, but I don’t. While Condi is a strong, powerful, intelligent woman who projects confidence and has rarely been tripped up by reporters, the wounds of the Bush administration are still too fresh. If Obama’s campaign is intent on claiming that eight years of Bush left the country in such a shambles they need eight years of Mom Jeans to repair it, why campaign on bringing the Bush years back? And while social issues are unlikely to be a major priority this election (unless the Obama campaign needs a carefully-timed distraction), social conservatives are still influential enough to throw an effective temper tantrum over Rice’s moderately pro-choice views, and that’s a fight Mitt Romney can’t afford to engage in with his history.

Although she does have one distinct quality going for her:

[S]he’s not a boring old white dude, and the GOP could certainly use less boring old white dudes. Boring old white dudes are so 2004, although, while Joe Biden and Dick Cheney are both boring old white dudes, one would definitely be an excellent drinking buddy (especially if you got him wasted in a particularly ethnic neighborhood) and the other could shoot your face off.

Dr Rice is one year younger than I am. I wonder if I qualify for “boring old white dude” yet. This particular professional panderer certainly does.

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A writer’s tool

Given my own unfortunate condition of late — a story is trying to sneak its way out of me despite my best and/or worst efforts — I can appreciate instruction on how to write a bestseller, especially when the first step is “Find a hammer.”

Then again, the models for this instruction are Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. Make of that what you will. And I’d throw in a link to Stephenie Meyer’s Web site except for the fact that it’s ridden with malware. Surely karma isn’t that insidious.

(Via Jennifer’s daily obsessions.)

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Quote of the week

There is a small, but not small enough, group of unindividuals — if that isn’t a word, it oughta be — who make a habit of asking things like “Do you really need this [allegedly frightening object]?” The correct answer, from Tam:

If we got rid of everything I found dangerous or scary, there wouldn’t be a stepladder or a clown left from sea to shining sea, and if we can’t legislate fear and danger out of life just to make me happy, then we can’t do it for you, either.

Disclosure: I own a stepladder.

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Get your lerts right here

Morgan Freeberg, on a popular email subject line:

I don’t want to see any e-mails with a subject line of

“ACCOUNT ALERT: Payment received”

“Account alert” is for something like “We think some scumbag out in Russia has stolen your identity and has charged half a billion dollars to your card” or “The FBI has contacted us about your account and informed us it is a matter of national security.”

Fortunately for my blood pressure, I generally get nothing like this: the only operation that ever sends me email to acknowledge a payment is Agent Premium News, and their message is low-key. T-Mobile and American Express send me canned text messages (and I opted in for Amex). Anything else of this sort is spam or worse, and will be dealt with accordingly.

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Future games

Not a whole lot going on in Rebecca Black-land, but she did manage some studio time this week, and the weekly Ask Rebecca segment was more crazed than usual, which I consider a Good Thing. Someone asked if she’d practiced signing her name a lot before she became famous. (Yes, but “who didn’t do that?”) She admitted to having a desire to do comedy, that an action film would be out of her “comfort zone” but would still be awesome, and she’s surfed once and will never, ever try that again.

Oh, and her set at Wildwood has apparently grown to six songs, which means at least two new ones, one of which will be the New Single (title and details not yet available), to be released more or less concurrently.

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It’s such a nice little word

But “like” doesn’t mean a thing in this crazy, mixed-up online world:

A BBC investigation suggests companies are wasting large sums of money on adverts to gain “likes” from Facebook members who have no real interest in their products.

It also appears many account holders who click on the links have lied about their personal details. A security expert has said some of the profiles appeared to be “fakes” run by computer programs to spread spam.

Gee, ya think?

In fact:

Earlier this year Facebook revealed that about 5-6% of its 901 million users might be fake — representing up to 54 million profiles.

Graham Cluley of the security firm Sophos said this was a major problem. “Spammers and malware authors can mass-produce false Facebook profiles to help them spread dangerous links and spam, and trick people into befriending them,” he said.

I will, of course, continue to believe in Twilight Sparkle.

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Beyond Brylcreem

Nancy Friedman reports on Crack, a “habit-forming hair fix”:

Its branding is thorough … [it's] “curiously addictive” and provides “instant gratification.”

And, she says, it lives up to its billing. What’s more, its promotional material (including this video) is a lot less grating than, say, Bed Head’s.

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Living up to its billing

It’s Friday the thirteenth. Someone kill me now.

I started the day with the discovery that my muffler ($700) is toast. I had two days’ worth of backlog to clear at work. I got within spitting distance of caught up, and then all the current stuff was changed. 2500 pages of reports to trash.

There is simply nothing good about this day. Had I a dagger, I’d be falling on it right now. Let the heirs buy the frigging muffler.

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Beater heaven

Which state cuts the most slack to owners of older motor vehicles? Steven Lang makes the case for Georgia:

In Georgia you can skip emissions if a vehicle is 25 years or older. A 1987 Acura Legend or Toyota Celica GT-S can have a nice and toasty oxygen sensor and the government couldn’t care less.

What’s that? You lost your title? Well, if that vehicle is 1985 or older, you don’t need one of those either.

Don’t want to pay ad valorem tax? Starting with vehicles purchased after March 1, 2013, our state will be implementing a one time title tax of 6.5%. After that the ad valorem remains zero until the politicians say otherwise.

So do you pay for anything for a truly old beater? There is a $20 fee for your annual tag decal. Or a $35 fee if you want an antique plate.

This “title tax” apparently replaces the sales tax, which is a ton of money on most cars anyway.

In Oklahoma, there is no sales tax on cars, but there is an excise tax of 3.25 percent, which must be paid at initial registration. For the moment, there is no emissions testing, though this happy circumstance can’t last forever. However, you darn well better have a title.

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