Low-speed spam

Not all scammers send you email:

Saturday I got a hand addressed/hand stamped envelope at home telling me I won 2 airline tickets. The letterhead was clearly photocopied (it was a major airline) and I was instructed to call an 877 number. A quick Google search failed to find the owner of the phone number. The letter came from Arizona. I am seriously thinking about taking it to the Post Office for mail fraud.

Or maybe not so seriously:

No one can seem to stop those sons of slug farts from calling me ten times a day regarding lower interest rates on my credit cards, so I doubt these amateur frauds will get much attention. Besides, when it takes eight days to send a letter 73 miles*, I suspect the Postal Inspectors will get to this in about 2018.

* Yes, I could walk the distance faster than the US Post Office can send it via truck.

Let’s see if “sons of slug farts” can get any traction as a Newfangled Pejorative.

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On our own

When I posted the nifty video “Epic Wub Time: Musicians of Ponyville,” I said:

The amazing thing is that this little bit of goofiness was made entirely outside Official Channels — and yet it’s arguably good enough to be in the show.

At that time, I had no idea that the Great and Powerful Hasbro might ever consent to the production of a full-length episode by fans.

And yet:

Color me flabbergasted.

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Dried cell

Back in the fall of ought-seven, I related a tale of woe that began with the failure of the backup battery in the Surlywood security system. I ended up with two batteries, one purchased locally at Batteries Plus, one dispatched from the monitoring service’s secret headquarters, and Tatyana asked, reasonably enough: “So your back-up back-up will have to wait for 6 years to be installed? What is its shelf-life?”

Answer: five years, three months, based upon the events of the past weekend.

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As the World turns

Michael Bates contemplates the future of the deLortonized Tulsa World:

The Tulsa World announced [yesterday] that BH Media Group, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, will buy the newspaper from the Lorton family, with the sale expected to close in March.

A sale to Berkshire Hathaway is good news for the employees of the World, at least those involved directly in producing content. It has long been Warren Buffett’s policy to let an acquired company’s management continue to run things without interference from Omaha… As part of a multi-newspaper group, the World may also be able to cut costs by taking advantage of central purchasing and central administration, perhaps to include IT support and web development. So the news may not be so good for the administrative and support staff at the paper.

I think we can assume that Mr Bates approves the sale: not once did he refer to the paper as the “Whirled.”

Still, it’s rather disconcerting that the two largest papers in the state all of a sudden have out-of-state ownership. (In late 2011, Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz acquired the Oklahoman.)

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Not too damned good

Bad Catholic lists several reasons why so-called “Christian music” ought to be put out of its misery. This is just one of them:

Isn’t all singing about Jesus inherently valuable?

No. Love covers a multitude of sins, but a cliched refrain of his Most Holy Name will not cover the fact that your melody, chord progression, and overworked synth track are recycled versions of Nickelback’s last single.

Oh, it gets harsher:

If the reality of Christianity is that which is expressed in the majority of “Christian” songs — and that which K-Love takes as their guiding principle — than I would much prefer to be an atheist. K-Love plays “positive” music. (Don’t get me started on the “cutting-edge.”) Every Christian radio station in existence gives the bizarre assurance before every song they play that they are in fact “positive”, “encouraging”, or “family friendly”. (It seems they could replace it all with “We are about to give you a song that sounds like a blanket on top of a kitten.”)

I know exactly what he’s talking about, so here’s a kitten with a blanket on top:

kitten under blanket

Determining the exact sound of the song is left as an exercise for the student.

(Via this Jeff Quinton tweet.)

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Or so she says

“The power of hosiery,” wrote Donna Karan in this book, “can’t be underestimated.”

Whatever you say, Donna.

Donna Karan hosiery ad

This is, incidentally, why you walk around the car to open the door for your passenger.

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Normal behavior

Someone asked this last Thursday:

Yahoo! Answers screenshot When burning songs from itunes, if there are too many for one CD will it tell you to put in another CD?

I was wondering about this myself, so I assembled a playlist to burn, about 12 minutes too long for a CD. And a dialog box popped up right then, telling me that this would require multiple CDs. I edited the playlist and burned away.

On the off-chance that I might use this CD for something, I had clicked both the CD Text and Sound Check options. What I did not anticipate is that iTunes would assume that I wanted Sound Check applied to all 7000-odd tracks, and would duly sit in the background counting decibels.

For six and a half hours.

It didn’t matter that I’d never checked the Sound Check box in Preferences; it didn’t matter that I shut down iTunes, let it back up its library — a tedious process in itself — and restarted it. Apple, by gum, wanted all those volume levels normalized, and it was going to happen. (It even survived a system power-off and reboot.) I realize that Apple always knows what’s best for you, and has no qualms about telling you so, but geez.

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Fugliness afoot

My attention is drawn, generally, to really gorgeous shoes, and sometimes to shoes that are less than gorgeous. In fact, I admit that from time to time I’ve served up stories about shoes that were perhaps lacking in beauty altogether, though I don’t make a habit of it.

Through the Ides of March, Shoewawa is taking your votes for which of the 18 monstrosities they have on display is in fact the ugliest. I will not try to influence your choice in any way, except to note that they’re all several orders of magnitude worse than horrible plug-ugly.

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Strange search-engine queries (369)

It’s Monday morning, and the mood elevator is stuck between floors, so I might as well sift through the logs and see if there’s anything worth shouting out, or at.

sexe and porn olod women ower 80 years old chineses peoples:  Say what? You’re in Canada, FFS. Speak English. Or French.

milf moms train boy toy sons’exstreme incest kirsten archives forum:  This almost made sense up to “kirsten,” who doesn’t want her name connected up with anything so vile as, oh, archive forums.

hairy bearded guy on golden state warriors team in 2008:  Weirdly, the nba.com roster doesn’t list them by hirsuteness.

Hi, we’re a really shitty band called Chicken Abortion, from the terribly boring town of Germfask, Michigan. Our interests include: drugs, music:  And, of course, terseness.

new itunes won’t let me add wma:  Neither would the old iTunes. You’ll have to convert your favorite Chicken Abortion tracks before importing them.

rip van wintel:  Introduced hibernation mode on Windows-based laptops in the 1990s.

helen mirren knickers:  Did you check under the bed?

I was not going to post this but I feel compelled. These folks came into Turner Family 7-Elevens in Howell and stole the jar that we were collecting money for a child with Downs Syndrome who needs surgery. They drove a:  Hard bargain?

how to find out the name of male model in mercedes benz fragrance ad:  Was it this guy?

which tire has tracktion on a 97 mazda 626:  If it’s only the one tire, you’re going to be doing more donuts than Krispy Kreme.

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Bum steers

Who are you, and what have you done with the Chicago Bulls? Admittedly, this is not generally a high-scoring team, but thirty-six at halftime? Fifty-four after three? Da Bulls were shooting less than 20 percent in the first quarter, and finally got somewhere near 30 in the waning moments, as the Thunder coasted to an easy 102-72 win.

Yeah, yeah, we know: Derrick Rose. But he’s been out quite a while, and the Bulls had been doing pretty well in his absence: nine games over .500, a couple of ticks behind the streaking Pacers. Look at this instead: Joakim Noah, eight points. Richard Hamilton, five points. Carlos Boozer, two points. Luol Deng and Nate Robinson carried the offensive weight with 13 points each? How is that possible? Chicago did play some decent defense — ten steals, five blocks — but when Taj Gibson departed with a sprain, I suspect he was glad to be gone.

The big news for OKC, I suppose, was Jeremy Lamb’s career-high 9 points. The starters did what starters are supposed to do — both Kevin Durant (19 points, 16 rebounds) and Serge Ibaka (17/10) had double-doubles, Thabo Sefolosha (11) and Russell Westbrook (23) provided punch more or less on call, and Kendrick Perkins didn’t score a point but hauled in eight boards. Ronnie Brewer was apparently at shootaround this morning, but his paperwork wasn’t complete or something; he’ll presumably show up Wednesday against the Large-Billed Sea Birds.

Perhaps Scott Brooks is now happy with the OKC defense. Or maybe not: he could point to the Bulls’ 71-69 loss to Boston a week and a half ago, followed by an 86-67 pasting by Miami last Thursday, and would then demand, “How did you let these guys score 72?” The man is never pleased.

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Silence speaks a thousand words

And maybe a whole lot more, if it turns out that you weren’t listening in the first place.

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Either way, a hell of a lot

Whether milestone or millstone depends on one’s perspective, I suppose. Because I can, here is the complete text — minus links, of course — of the 25,000th spam caught by Akismet since installation in mid-September 2008:

Wearing advice: apricot form for choose lens face lighter color, a thin metal frames or frameless oakley glasses to abate the face of the weight of the above, to avoid was wide on half of the face more expansion feeling. And for a little thick frame round face, lens color slants cold, color deep glasses, have face visual effect, rich, delicate its leg, can design more emphasis on the integral design of the glasses, the center of the visual sense to attract the sunglasses and face collocation overall effect, let people ignore the shortage of the face.
Articles from foakley sunglasses online store. with the basic styles that have manufactured the Bayswater so well-known then you know you have some thing in your wardrobe that will in no way go out of style or fashion.
and they also about including:

, all the burberry product are top qualtiy and free shipping.Some critics are now questioning whether the donations were genuine charitable donations or an attempt to capitalize on the misfortune of the miners. Because the miners were at risk for permanent damage to their retinas, eye protection was a necessity, not a fashion statement. And because Oakley sunglasses are scientifically engineered — in this case with Plutonite lenses that filter UV rays to protect the eyes of high-performance individuals — the donation made perfect sense.

This came from 222.92.141.155; I’m pretty sure I don’t need to hear from that IP ever again.

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Mail order, so to speak

Having failed to sell enough in services and tchotchkes to make a hole in their deficit, the Postal Service is now entering the clothing business:

The Postal Service inked a licensing agreement with Cleveland-based Wahconah Group, Inc. to produce the new line, which will include jackets, headgear, footwear and clothing that allows integration of modern technology devices such as iPods, according to agency spokesman Roy Betts.

“This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” agency licensing manager Steven Mills said in a statement. “The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ — also known as wearable electronics.”

Fausta is not impressed with this scheme:

They’ll be more successful if they had a “dark of night” line of lingerie and sex toys… or maybe if they marketed some dog repellent.

Were it up to me, I’d suggest teaming up with PepsiCo to produce a Postal Service energy drink. They could call it “Postage Dew.”

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It made him feel small

You can only take so much of this:

“Sexually, do you feel so inadequate that the inability to satisfy your partner leaves you demoralised and depressed at how little you have to offer?

“Your lack of confidence and low self esteem is making you unattractive to others. Any partner you have is simply turned off by your small size and the chances of attracting anyone else are zero — you’re just too scared to reveal what little you have. It’s a vicious circle.”

And it wasn’t email, either. It was actual snail mail, or whatever it’s called in the UK, and the fellow struck back:

[H]e began receiving the Life Healthcare four page mailing on his doorstep on a monthly basis so he complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA noted the man had not requested the mailing… the personal nature of the suggestions — especially when coupled with the more general graphic and sexually explicit sexual references — were likely to cause serious offence and breached the Code.

Then again, what fun is there in sexual references that are not sexually explicit?

The ASA banned the ad and said the company must suppress the complainant’s personal data.

Perhaps it was Mr S of Bromsgrove, a Freemason and prospective Tory MP.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Platform amended

The downside of driving a so-called luxoboat is the fact that ownership of same is presumed to mean that you can afford parts and service even dearer than the usual; as a result, I have become acutely sensitive to the slightest changes in vehicle behavior.

Maybe. Out of the driveway to run yesterday’s errands, and damn, these brakes are grabby. Something left on the rotor from this week’s (sort of) snowstorm? Greater warpage than I’d thought? I changed my modulation technique — basically, I backed off on the pedal pressure — and the grabbiness went away. Okay, what’s different between yesterday and the day before?

The answer is “shoes,” but not brake shoes. Friday night I had noticed that the insole in one of my favorite pair of walkers — the very one I was going to wear Saturday — was looking rather thin, and I’d snapped in an aftermarket replacement I’d bought some months back but hadn’t yet installed. The new insole is about three sixteenths of an inch thicker than the old one. Did this result in three sixteenths of an inch deeper pedal application, and therefore more abrupt braking? It would so seem.

I wound up the trip marveling that women seem to have no problems like this no matter what shoes they wear. Presumably they get used to it.

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It was a thousand years ago today

And the research, as it must, goes on:

Before you ask: no, they did not evolve from Monkees.

(Thanks to HCShannon for that last quip.)

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