Hellcat up in Harlem

Okay, not necessarily in Harlem, but this chap in New York City has a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, and with it he has stories to tell:

Here in NYC, the label “SRT” is unaffordable by most, but when you have it, people ogle your car and ask questions about it. Regularly, I am followed by other drivers in “lesser” performance cars — who will pull up to me and give me a thumbs up. Regularly, people will fight with others in traffic to get into a position where they can be side-by-side with me so they can roll their window down and ask me to “rev it”. And the police love me. When they see me pass by, they’ll often follow me — waiting for me to do something wrong — so they can pull me over. A Black guy in a ruby red car with three times the engine power of the majority of cars on the road must be up to no good — right? A short burnout resulted in me being swarmed by NYPD plain-clothes (White males) who were busy taking in the measurements of my tires and the details on my spoilers and heat extractors while I calmly kept my hands on the wheel waiting for commands to follow. “Is this thing like a Nascar?” asked one officer. “Yes sir” I replied: “seven-hundred-and-seven horses.” They all took a gasp with a “holy shit”…

Speeding while black! And apparently you don’t have to be speeding at all.

Oh, and there’s at least one other downside:

My Dodge Charger Hellcat’s 6.2-Liter Supercharged HEMI average less than 9.8 MPG.

My car gets twice the mileage, but then it has less than one-third the horsepower.

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Keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead

From Chris Walton’s interim report on the Chevrolet Camaro in Motor Trend’s long-term test fleet:

[W]e wonder if other 2016 Camaro owners have been treated to a reflection of the passenger’s seat when peering at the sizable color touchscreen. We love the proximity, its quick responses, the crisp graphics, and Apple CarPlay, but we wish we could somehow alter the angle of the screen or change its reflectivity. Front-seat passengers wearing miniskirts be warned.

Me, I just wonder where all these front-seat passengers wearing miniskirts might be.

(Title courtesy of Paul Evans.)

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And the Diamonds

How Marina Diamandis became “Marina and the Diamonds”:

“I created the name ‘Marina and the Diamonds’ [in 2005] and I never envisaged a character, pop project, band or solo artist. I saw a simple group made up of many people who had the same hearts. A space for people with similar ideals who could not fit in to life’s pre-made mold. I was terribly awkward for a long time! I really craved to be part of one thing because I never felt too connected to anybody and now I feel I have that all around me.”

Appropriate, I guess, for a singer/songwriter with a strong DIY ethos.

Marina and the Diamonds in pink

Marina and the Diamonds on the Froot tour

Marina and the Diamonds spinning about

Thirty-one this week, Marina has recorded three albums, the most recent 2015’s Froot. I first noticed her in “Oh No!,” back in 2010.

Hard not to notice under those conditions, know what I mean?

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Expected item

Apparently this happens to everyone at the self-checkout counter:

I get ALMOST DONE when the machine says that I didn’t bag the item — or maybe it said there was something in the bag that didn’t belong, I don’t recall. The point here is that I had been doing everything properly, with everything that ought to have been in the bag actually in the bag, and nothing in the bag that shouldn’t have been in it.

So the machine doesn’t like my arrangement, fine. I take the item out and put it back in to make it happy. It still doesn’t like it. Okay, fine, I will take out ALL THE ITEMS, cancel the entire transaction, and do it all again but slower because apparently this machine is special needs.

I try to cancel out, and the machine basically throws a fit by saying that it requires an associate to void the transaction. In other words, now am I not only going to have to deal with a human, I get the added pleasure of looking like either an idiot who doesn’t know how to self-checkout, or some shady bitch who’s trying to scam the Mart of Walls.

At this point, I just threw my hands up and walked the fuck away. Yes, I abandoned all my items; there weren’t that many and an associate was going to come over anyway, and frankly I was tired of the whole thing. All I wanted was to buy my crap and leave, and instead I was dealing with technology which couldn’t understand that I had indeed properly scanned and bagged my crap.

I think it’s a safe bet she’s not the only woman who’s done the same.

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When your appliances know too much

Eventually, everything in the doggone house will be electrified and given additional functionality, whether you want it or not:

Although I admit I do sort of like that non-television television set.

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I swear

Probably, so do you. And if you’re in the United Kingdom, Her Majesty’s Government has actually quantified your swearing:

Every swear word in the English language has been ranked in order of offensiveness.

The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, interviewed more than 200 people across the UK on how offensive they find a vast array of rude and offensive words and insults.

People were asked their opinion on 150 words in total. These included general swear words, words linked to race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, body parts and health conditions, religious insults and sexual references, as well as certain hand gestures.

They were asked to rate words as mild, medium, strong or strongest.

Bloody crap. Sod off. (Mild, mild, and mild.)

(With thanks to Lynn S., who doesn’t talk like this. Much.)

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Quote of the week

Severian says it’s a learning process:

You know, this election has taught me a lot. For instance, I believe that women are just people, no better or worse than anyone else. That makes me a “sexist.”

I believe that people should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. That makes me a “racist.”

I believe that governments exist to protect their citizens against foreigners. That makes me a “fascist.”

I believe that my fellow citizens have the right to want what they want, and like what they like, whether or not it’s “good for them,” as defined by idiots who racked up $100,000 in student loan debt getting a Gender Studies degree. That makes me a “populist.”

I believe that people are unique individuals, not interchangeable widgets or cells on a spreadsheet. That makes me … I don’t even know what anymore, but it sure isn’t a “conservative,” the definition of which now appears to be “trying to beggar myself and my children so that GOP donors can have cheap Mexican labor on their fourth yacht.”

The political culture values labels far more than it values performance, ideas, or for that matter voters.

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Strange search-engine queries (558)

About this, I submit, there can be no debate: a lot of people are looking for a lot of weird things on the World Wide Web. It is the function of this long-running Monday-morning feature to single some of them out.

nylon stockings on sarah palin legs more:  Well, I certainly approve.

it’s me:  You sure about that?

crap diem:  Give us this day our daily fecal matter.

what’s the phone number:  Probably something like 1-800-4-CRAP.

bikini wax to beaver lovin:  There’s a lot to be said for keeping your options open.

skintrovert:  Yeah, right. Now put some pants on.

take me to sonic:  You buying?

navigate me to the closest mcdonald’s:  You buying?

while listening to a sociology lecture, you mentally rearrange the ideas being presented, summarize the information, and repeat key points you want to remember. you are considered:  Potentially unemployable.

roger and adair are in an intercultural marriage. they have both agreed to give up certain aspects of their culture, but now adair is starting to resent giving up some of the things she grew up with:  Worse, the sociology student across the street is accusing both of them of cultural appropriation.

accursed crawling cape:  I keep telling you: No capes!

redneck nazgul:  And you thought Trump had no organization.

sherman oaks young chang dealer:  I won’t ask what he deals in.

unbaked lies:  These days, they’re more likely to be half-baked.

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A letter from the newspaper

From today’s email, slightly after noon:

Today, Sunday, October 9th, our team experienced delays in delivering your newspaper. You may be aware that as of Monday our production and manufacturing of the newspaper is now being completed in Tulsa.

Last night we experienced some unusual system and equipment issues that delayed the newspaper from arriving in the OKC Metro area. Let me assure you, this was not an individual carrier issue. As a result of the issues experienced today, our call volume has been unusually high and many of our subscribers have experienced issues in getting through to us via our call center.

Late delivery of your newspaper is never acceptable. We are subscribers, too and it is important to us that a quality product is consistently received in a timely manner. While we are doing everything in our power to ensure that your delivery is not affected, this is change and change can be difficult. We sincerely apologize for the disruption that this late delivery may have caused you and your family. We ask that you would extend us your patience as we work through this transitional process.

We appreciate you being a loyal subscriber, and thank you for being a part of The Oklahoman family.

Please know that we are working diligently to ensure that this transition is completed as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Sincerely,

Eric Wynn
VP of Circulation
The Oklahoman Media Company

A few notes:

  • When I became relatively incapacitated, I gave up the hard-copy version of the paper in favor of a purely digital subscription. As of last week, they’re now sending me a notification when the Print Replica version is available.
  • Since the Tulsa World is now doing production for both papers, I have to wonder if any World subscribers had similar issues today.
  • Is it my imagination, or did the price of the dead-tree version just go up?

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Ex-ex libris

Richard Mize, Real Estate Editor of The Oklahoman, explained in the Saturday print edition why he’s not a candidate for one of those tiny houses, and the operative word is “books”:

People say I should start with my books. Crazy people. I just laugh. They can’t be serious. If they are, they’re leisure readers, not consumers of books like me. I mean, when I’m reading seriously you can hear me. I’m serious.

Not because I read aloud, but because I argue with books — as I’m scribbling in the margins, taking issue with this point or that one, underlining parts I like and writing uncharitable remarks over parts I don’t, and running to get other books by other authors and scholars to bolster my own points.

I don’t read books. I consume them. Not even fiction gets a break. You either get that or you don’t. And there’s no way what I do with books can be done with digital “books.” They say there are comparable ways to read digital books. I hear them. That’s like saying watching football on TV is the same as being at a game.

So, books are out as candidates for possessions I could do without in order to fit my life into a tiny house. I literally own enough books to fill a tiny house.

Until they figure out a way to get my bed, my recliner, the couch, stove, side-by-side, a couple of TVs, my desk and the ratty Route 66-themed futon in the Room of Man in the cloud, I’ll be staying in my regular old not-that-tiny house, thanks.

I figure, if you think you can fit your life into the cloud, I’m going to assume you’re Rainbow Dash. (Hint: you very likely aren’t.)

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I, microfinancier

Were I to make a list of all the things I imagined doing in a lifetime, helping to build a toilet in the Philippines would probably be somewhere near the bottom. And yet it’s happening just the same.

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Far from downtown

Cover art, Petula Clark From Now On 2016Next month, Petula Clark will be 84 years old. Now forget that number. She’s touring the UK to support a new album, which might be her sixtieth; I lost count a long time ago.

And From Now On, I have to admit, is a title that somewhat reminds me of the corporate-finance term “forward-looking information”; looking backward is not on the agenda. The lead single, “Sacrifice My Heart,” is pure British synthpop, almost Tears for Fears-y, and if maybe they’ve tweaked her voice a little bit here and there, you might not care.

The program on offer is mostly Clark originals, with several shrewdly chosen covers: a minimalist “Blackbird” that McCartney surely approves, a quavery but sincere “While You See a Chance” (yes, the Steve Winwood song), and a version of “Fever” that I think owes just as much to the McCoys’ 1965 garage-rock version as it does to Peggy Lee’s drum-and-bass opus. The title song speaks strongly to me: everything that happened before you and me, well, that doesn’t count. (Looking backward is not on the agenda.) And fond as I am of Pet’s French recordings, I was delighted to hear “Pour être aimée de toi,” a song she’s sung in concert in recent years, her own melody with words by Charles Aznavour, spare and unadorned and intimate in the way of the French. The closer, “Happiness,” is Petula on piano, one verse in English, one in French. “That sweet and fleeting feeling / We all need to know / Is waiting here inside us.” If only … but never mind. We’ll save that for her next collection.

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Ambiguity to die for

Or maybe to live for, when you get right down to it:

Okay, it’s not Turrets Syndrome, but it’s funny.

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A narrow-ish niche

The general reaction to “toe cleavage” in these parts has suggested a link, which I’ve had sitting around the browser for a while but haven’t used much.

Behold (or don’t): The Toe Cleavage Blog, which is a “blog dedicated to the overlooked and unappreciated partial exposure of the female foot known as toe cleavage.”

Since some of you will consider this too horrible to behold, I’m claiming credit for anti-clickbait. (And if curiosity is killing you, well, you can click on this.)

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Very well then, we contradict ourselves

Dave Schuler looks at the major parties and diagnoses cognitive dissonance:

In the Republicans’ case for the last three decades they’ve been preaching small government while doing almost nothing to reduce the size and reach of government. The resolution of their conflict seems to be the quasi-religious but empirically unfounded belief that tax cuts always pay for themselves.

On the upside, the GOP is ever so slightly less likely to utter the perverse phrase “revenue-neutral.”

The Democrats for their part struggle to be the party of the little guy while deriving most of their strength from the very biggest guys. Their resolution appears to be the equally dubious belief that if you just pay the top quintile of income earners enough it will solve the problems of the poor.

Especially if you’re pretending to raise taxes on said top quintile.

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It’s a Miss Fortune at the door

LeeAnn can hear you knocking, but you can’t come in:

1. I finally got all the insurance foofahrah done regarding the happy joy joy funtime that was having some dickwad try to drive to Taco Bell through the back of my car.

2. But I can’t even put the money in the bank yet because I am TERRIFIED of the very check it’s written on because I am CERTAIN as death and taxes that something “bad” will happen once I have a reasonable amount of money “available”. So the checks are in a coffee can buried in the back yard until I figure Bad Luck’s attention is elsewhere and I can risk it.

I should probably warn you that the entire article runs out to number 9.

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