Meanwhile in a parallel universe

At their 2011 Palm Beach auction in April, Barrett-Jackson sold a 1974 Ford Bronco for $33,000.

Dave Kinney noted in the July Automobile:

Early Broncos have become very collectible. Their straightforward looks and easy usability combine to make them cool across generations.

“Now you tell me,” snorts McGehee.

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Eno.ugh already

David Friedman proposes a new top-level domain:

How about a TLD for websites that can only be parody, complainy, or snarky? If you want to know about Lady Gaga’s next album, you can go to, but if you’re really sick of her and want a community of like-minded haters, you can visit ladygaga.ugh and get it out of your system.

And if your first thought is “What’s to stop Gaga from registering it herself?” he’s thought of that too.

Me, I’d settle for a .tax domain to mirror damned near everything dot-gov.

(Via this Nancy Friedman tweet, and no, I don’t know.)

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Das Weingeld

Daily Pundit commenter “martinra,” on the question of what to do with an overexposed Weiner:

If I thought that there was a snowball’s chance in hell of a decent person succeeding the pervert in NY-9, then I’d push for him to resign. Unfortunately, this is the district that also brought us Chuckie “Cheese” Schumer, and Geraldine Ferraro, RIP. No Democrat in that district has won less than 65% of the vote in decades, and no non-Democrat has carried it since 1921. It’s a pure NYC Dem machine district, and like all such, in the event of its vacancy, it will be grabbed by the sleaziest, most ruthless apparatchik looking to claw his or her way up from a colocated state or city position. Only the name on the stationery would change. That being so, I’d rather leave Mr. Show ‘Em The (Damaged) Goods in place, as a figuratively emasculated laughingstock. IMO he’s worth more to the GOP as a pervert punchingbag than he is as a scalp over Breitbart’s mantel.

A note on Ferraro, who never struck me as much of an apparatchik: her major primary opponent in 1978 was Thomas J. Manton, a genuine NYC machine candidate, and when she decided to sign on with Fritz Mondale, the machine decided it was Manton’s turn. After the 1990 Census, Manton eased on over to NY-7 without so much as breaking a sweat.

(Title inspired by this Wagnerian effort by Robert Stacy McCain.)

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You are not expected to know this, either

However, this little site now has a big IPv6 address:


If it doesn’t work for you today on World IPv6 Day, it may not have propagated to your nearest IPv6-enabled DNS server just yet.

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Today’s shopping tip

Retail expert Steve Sailer explains the, or at least a, difference between Target and Costco:

Target might carry 100 different varieties of shampoo, while Costco carries about three. Thus, Target has lots of pretty girls shopping there, people to whom choosing the perfect shampoo is an important gambit in the mating game, worth expending scarce mental energy upon.

Costco, in contrast, has very few pretty girls among its customers. Most shoppers look like they have kids and are shopping for 3 to 5 people, and thus they aren’t willing to finetune their purchases to meet individual idiosyncrasies: just give us something cheap and respectable.

We don’t have a Costco nearby — I suspect the establishment of the very first Sam’s Club, out on SE 29th Street, may have discouraged them — but I get better results scoping out the babes at higher-end grocers than I do at Tar-ZHAY.

On the other hand, Costco and Target aren’t polar opposites either:

The opposite of the Costco shopping experience is car shopping. Dealers work very hard to make to make buying a car a stressful experience that preys upon your class insecurities. Their ultimate goal is to make you want to impress the salesman by overpaying for the car.

And doesn’t everyone want to impress a guy in a plaid jacket? No? Surely the dealership can find some freshly-shampooed young woman at a Target store somewhere and teach her to sell cars.

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Have a Shetty day

Today Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty turns 36, and you don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use that title.

Shilpa Shetty

You’re looking at a still from her 2006 film Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar [Trapped in a Marriage]. It was, by all accounts, a fairly non-controversial film for a distinctly controversial actress.

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Panic on the streets of Anytown

As I might have mentioned before, I don’t spend valuable driving time wondering about gas mileage; after gathering five years of data on this car, I know how much I’m supposed to be getting, and I’m pretty much always getting it. (Revised EPA is 17 city/25 highway; original sticker was 20/28; I average 21/28.)

Besides, I don’t want to be this guy:

My gas mileage reader goes down every time I step on brakes. If I am in park for a while it goes all they way down to 0. Does this mean there is something wrong with my car or that my gas is burning too fast???

Do the math, Binky. If you’re not moving, you’re traveling zero miles, and zero miles divided by any amount of fuel is 0 mpg.

If you’re going to obsess over fuel consumption, you have basically two choices:

  • Buy a farging Prius already. It will get better mileage than anything else you’ve ever owned before, including your dad’s ancient moped.
  • Take the bus and STFU.

Disclosure: My dad did once have a moped. It was a sad little two-wheeler, but it went faster than I could pedal, therefore I was envious. I got over it.

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The source of Printer Hatred

Lileks has been there, and perhaps so have you:

Bought a new printer tonight, because I needed ink. I’ve been down this road before, and yes, I know, the printers you buy have just sixteen atoms of ink, and you have to buy expensive cartridges right away. But: the old printer — by which I mean something purchased a year ago — became senile and confused, and did not recognize the Genuine Epson Cartridge I put in to replace an old one. (It goes without saying that the machine refused to print a simple letter because it was out of MAGENTA. The only time anyone who’s not in printing ever thinks of magenta is when the magenta is out, and you can’t print a greyscale document. Then you wonder exactly how you used all the magenta in the first place.) I could either assume that the ink was old — meaning, a code in the cartridge said “he bought this a year ago. Dude obviously doesn’t use enough ink. Screw him” and reported that it was defective, or the chip was defective, or the machine’s ability to detect a new cartridge was defective.

As Meat Loaf (inevitably quoting Jim Steinman) would wail: “IT’S DEFECTIVE!”

I had a lot of fun this spring with this cute little color laser at the office. I expected, given that this is largely a work machine, that the black would give out first; I had not expected that the yellow would be right behind. (Cyan and magenta? Meh.) I did discover, though, that ignoring roughly forty percent of the precautions on the Cartridge Replacement Guide, a four-language sheet large enough to wrap all but a handful of Christmas presents, replete with drawings inspired by the caves at Lascaux, was the wisest, or anyway least painful, course of action.

I saw a line of Kodak printers, which I’ve been eyeing for some time. Why? Cheap ink. That’s why. That’s all.

That’s enough. I have one of those. Combo pack, black and color cartridges — $30. Consumption rate seems rather high, but everyone’s consumption rate seems rather high these days, and I tend to run ink supplies down to the Coughing Up Dust level.

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Tributaries of denial

A Facebook friend in eastern Kansas sent up a snapshot of the gauge panel in his car, which was showing a temperature reading of 111° F. I responded thusly:

My car won’t volunteer a temperature unless you request it; I figured I didn’t want to know.

This is in fact true: the short-of-weapons-grade HVAC system Nissan crammed into the dash has only enough LEDs to display the temperature setting and the fan distribution. You want the outside temp, you have to push the AMB(ient) button on the side.

And it occurred to me later that this is not the first thing I didn’t want to know. Nissan provides the usual six-digit odo (no tenths) and two trip meters, labeled A and B. I am meticulous about logging fillups on the B meter — and then I keep the display set to A, so I don’t spend time wondering if I’m getting lousier gas mileage than usual. (Before you ask: unless I’m on a road trip, A measures the distance since the last oil change.)

While we’re on the subject: OG&E, having bestowed upon me a Smart Meter, sends me a link for an energy-use update once a week. I usually don’t look at any of them until approximately five days before the scheduled meter reading, lest I become despondent.

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Climbing out of the hole

Dave Schuler comes up with his idea of Seven Things That Should Be Done to improve the state of the economy, of which this is the fifth:

Conclude some of the free trade deals we’ve already negotiated.

While we’re at it maybe nudge them in the direction of real, honest free trade rather than the pretend free trade agreements we usually end up with. You can write a free trade agreement on the back of a business card. When the agreement runs to hundreds or thousands of pages you can be pretty sure it isn’t about free trade.

Nope. It’s going to be about people trying to game the system. Now admittedly, so long as you have a system, there will be people trying to game it. But geez, guys, the whole US Constitution is less than five thousand words. You don’t need a thousand pages to regulate bananas, and if you do, you’re either incompetent and/or dishonest. Period.

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The hazards of style

Let me say up front that I do like this three-inch-tall Isaac Mizrahi sandal, given the mundane designation “520,” a number which falls short of its actual list price:

520 by Isaac Mizrahi

But what I really wanted you to see was this description by galligator at ShoeBlog:

While I am generally too terrified to actually wear this particular type of non-ankle-strapped sandal — as it would likely result in my lying on the couch with an icepack over a painfully twisted ankle — I absolutely love seeing them on folks who do not have my own personal (and less-than-graceful) tendency of walking into known-location, fixed-objects such as end tables and desks.

That, I’m sure many of you can appreciate.

More pictures and descriptions at this link.

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I assume this isn’t CNG

Comments off

A banner day indeed

You remember the Incredible Hulk. Largish guy, a bit on the green side, given to SMASH! things when provoked. Marvel sold a bazillion comics with his darker-than-chartreuse self on the cover.

Unfortunately, the incessant Michael Baying of motion pictures has led us, or at least Sonic Charmer, to a quandary:

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “duh. A guy transforms into a giant green monster due to ‘gamma radiation’, and you call it implausible? It’s a comic book concept. Duh!” And, other things involving me being an idiot. But hold your horses. Can you answer me something:

Why/how do the guy’s teeth get bigger?

This wasn’t something you thought about at all in the comics, or very much in the Ang Lee Hulk film. But bring it into a “reboot” that’s all about the FX, and the brain refuses to go along with the handwaving in the screenplay:

Far as I can tell from the video-game-quality CGI, the Hulk’s size is proportionally bigger than Edward Norton/Eric Bana’s size in basically all respects. It’s not just that his muscles got bigger in the sense of having taken super-steroids or something. He gets way taller — sometimes, it seems, way way taller. Let’s say the factor is 2.3x. (Who the hell can say … one major annoyance of both movies is a seeming inability to keep the scale consistent.) This means that all his bones got longer: 2.3x longer femur, 2.3x longer tibia, etc.

Which means about a factor of twelve, volumetrically speaking. And somehow this seems less plausible for dentition:

The teeth appear to be the right size for his (suddenly way oversized) head. There’s only one thing this can mean: As part of the Hulk transformation, all your teeth get bigger: they get longer and they get wider. Then when things die down, all the teeth shrink again.

Seriously? Why? Why would the teeth do that? And how?

Hey, if I knew that I could end gingivitis in our lifetime: a few well-placed gamma rays, and bingo!

At least he’s not sending pictures of his Mega-Junk to the girls. And if that concept wasn’t gross enough, try this one from several years back:

A few eons ago, Sheri S. Tepper wrote of Mavin Manyshaped, one of a clan of shapeshifters, who, once her powers develop, flees from the family compound, lest she be abused like the other women in the clan. Mavin takes her younger brother with her; to speed the process along, she assumes the shape of a horse.

So far, this is a fairly routine fantasy concept, but Tepper is never routine. If you think about it — obviously she did — the Mavin/horse is going to have to eat, and eat a lot, during a long journey like this, and once she returns to human form, well, what’s going to happen to all that bulk she was carrying as an equine?

And we were worrying about teeth.

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Paging Luornu Durgo

Once upon a time in the DC Universe, there was a young lady who had taken the name Triplicate Girl because she could be in three places at once, a capability I know I’d have found handy from time to time. The Legion of Super-Heroes was certainly happy to have her.

Then one of Brainiac 5’s nastier schemes killed her at one of those three places, after which, logically, she could be in only two places at once. She was accordingly renamed Duo Damsel, and continued her work with the Legion, until one day she showed up on a bus tour:

Sarah Palin and a lookalike, I think

(Purloined from a Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest. None of the 100 or so entries I read went down this particular path, which surprises me not at all.)

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For research purposes only

Then again, he’d pretty much have to say that, wouldn’t he?

[H]ow can one get in contact with an expert who can roll back the odometer on a 2010 or 2011 Nissan Pathfinder (digital odometer) and not get caught when the lease is up? Is there an instrument / procedure that one can use in order to change the display on the digital odometer such that the odometer reflects less than 39,000 miles when the vehicle’s lease has expired?

Please discuss this procedure or if you feel more comfortable, send me a private note describing this procedure and how to find a local expert who would be capable and willing to do this for a fee and it’s critical that this modification NOT be recognizable to the parties involved when returning the leased vehicle.

Thank you, in advance, for providing me with such helpful educational material that IN NO WAY would be used for illegal purposes nor fraud of any sort.

I need to boil this down to a metalaw, or at least a metacorollary, to supplement the existing wisdom: “When the first thing they tell you is ‘We are a legitimate business,’ run like hell.”

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Snap, crackle and flop

“Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal,” says Rebecca Black at 7 am, but increasingly, ready-to-eat cereal is taking a back seat to other breakfast choices:

Sales of ready-to-eat cereals fell 2.55% in the 52 weeks ending April 17 to $6.41 billion, according to data from Symphony/IRI which covers retail outlets such as supermarkets. Sales of cheap, private label cereals dropped 7.2% to $637.5 million during that same time frame. Sales and units shipped have been lackluster since at least 2007, predating the global recession and the recent rise in grain prices.

The alternatives have more portability and less sugar:

Cereal is under assault from many quarters. Government officials want to further restrict the use of carton characters such as Toucan Sam to sell sugary cereals because of concerns about soaring rates of childhood obesity. Companies have been reducing the amount of sugar in their products. They are also selling them in other ways such as breakfast bars, sales of which are soaring.

Of the six cereals performing the worst on the sales charts, five are from Kellogg’s, led (or trailed) by Special K, down nearly 16 percent since 2007. Also suffering: Rice Krispies, to the extent that the product is now viewed as a component of a snack food rather than as an actual breakfast cereal.

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