How to deal with the dealer

Cammy Corrigan tells the story of a friend of hers in the UK:

His mother bought a brand new Honda Civic and in the final month before the 3 year warranty ran out, the alternator gave up. The mother wasn’t angry that such a failing had happened, she just wanted it fixed. But the dealership had other ideas. They weren’t convinced that it was the alternator and they couldn’t look at it until next month. The mother told her son (my friend) this story and the son though it was a bit of a coincidence that the dealership couldn’t look at the car until next month, which happened to be the month that the car came out of warranty. The son bypassed the dealership and wrote a very strongly worded letter to Honda UK (It could have been “extremely worded”. In the first draft, he threatened to run over their testes with a steam roller). Strangely, a week later, the mother received a phone from the dealership saying that they could look at her car, fix whatever needed to be fixed and throw in a free service.

As Ms Corrigan says, “a story with a happy ending.” And all it took was a simple threat to the twig and berries.

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The booze that dare not speak its name

Says so right there on the vodka bottle:

35% Alc. by Vol. (70 Proof)

The numbers may change, but the abbreviations seldom do. Are we too squeamish to spell out “alcohol”? And why do we shorten “volume”? So “alcohol” won’t stand out by being the only word abbreviated?

Note: If I understand things correctly, and there’s always a chance that I won’t, the term “table wine” implies alcoholic content of 7 to 14 percent, the latter figure selected because the Federal excise tax goes up at the 14-percent threshold, though some wine labels give the actual percentage instead.

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Strange search-engine queries (233)

More scrapings from the server logs. We are not, however, planning to tag each of these items with the Body Mass Index of the person who created it; we figure it’s none of your farging business.

transmission failure after service:  But would you have felt better if you’d let it fail and then had it serviced?

How can i start puberty:  Don’t rush it. Hormones will drive you crazy, and frankly, shaving sucks.

chubby gross angels:  It’s those damn cherubim. So anxious to start puberty, they were.

How did GM acquire Cadillac?  Same way most of us do: used.

people who aren’t what they say:  On the Internet? Surely you jest.

cheap magnetic vortex wormhole generator for sale:  It is a measure of how far we’ve come, that the most disturbing word here is “cheap.”

people who puff themselves:  A major source of inflation.

george steinbrenner illuminati:  This explains Billy Martin as well as anything else.

what kind of pantyhose diane chambers wear cheers:  I think we can safely assume that (1) it was pricey and (2) Sam didn’t care about that.

montgomery ward catalog penis:  I think you had to go to Sears for those.

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Spice slightly less old

The überstudly Isaiah Mustafa has done wonders for Old Spice, so much so that even Hitler wants to get into the act. And you know deep in your heart — look into your heart, now back to the screen — that subsequent riffs on this same theme will almost certainly have to suck.

Fortunately, we have that word “almost” to allow for the possibility of a good riff on this theme:

(Via Fritinancy.)

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You got to pick them up just to say hello

Apparently Napoleon had a sister, or something like that:

It’s long been recognised that small men have a greater need to make their mark than tall men but, says psychologist David Lewis, director of research at Mindlab International, height has just as profound an effect on a woman’s character.

“The relationship between a woman’s height and her character is often overlooked and is perhaps more interesting than the more commonly cited ‘Napoleon complex’,” he says. “In evolutionary terms, small women are as favoured as tall men: females between 4ft 9in and 5ft 1in and men who are 6ft 1in or more are the most likely to marry and have children. But the downside of this is that men — and society in general — will often infantilise petite women, underestimating their intelligence, their strength and their ability to perform even the simplest task. Men, it has to be said, do like to be looked up to by their women.”

You can almost see him patting her on the head and saying “There, there.”

Actually, I suspect that the infantilization process is also visited upon women who aren’t short: it’s that whole Weaker Sex thing again, and man will not give it up easily, even after he gets his ass kicked by a girl.

[Lewis] believes that this infantilising of small women can breed a sense of resentment and rebellion that makes them more ambitious and more flamboyant than average-sized females. “It’s likely that being small could result in a woman developing a Tinker Bell complex. Certainly it explains why we have so many famous examples of tiny women who are larger than life,” says Lewis.

If I were resentful, rebellious, and 5’7″, I think I’d be more so, at least as regards those two R words, after being told that my shorter sisters got their own pop-psychology syndrome and I didn’t get squat.

They have something to prove? What, exactly? A couple of decades ago, I briefly dated a woman four foot nine, and while she presumably qualified as “feisty,” a word never applied to anyone over six feet tall except in the National Basketball Association, she didn’t seem particularly disturbed by her height, though I did learn rather quickly to lay off the dwarf jokes already.

And it may even be true that short women are not taken seriously in some circles, though I suspect that average and tall women might not be really taken seriously there either.

Kathy Shaidle, who writes at Five Feet of Fury, dismisses the article as a “puff piece,” and I believe she’s being overly generous. And the not-exactly-towering Andrea Harris notes:

I’ve been short all my life, but I can’t recall anyone ever treating me like an infant. Maybe it’s because once I grew out of my baby fat “adorable” phase I was as thin and straight as a pencil — I notice that tiny women who are treated like dolls have retained certain “cute” features that I did not — and also maybe because I always had my nose in a book.

I was never adorable, but I was never a girl either. (Not biologically, anyway.)

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Activity in the bullpen

I’d file this under “Why didn’t I think of that?” even though, well, I couldn’t even imagine it:

Jason Phillips spotted a woman at Safeco Field last May and knew he had to make a choice: Be bold or be ignored. As the Mariners bullpen catcher, Phillips is used to anonymity, used to spending half the year tucked away in a box with pitchers. It’s a thankless job that he does well and without complaint. But this time, he needed to stand out or risk eternal regret.

He shared a few stares with the woman, who was entertaining business clients. Then he made a promise to the fellas in the ‘pen.

“If we go extra innings, I’m gonna make a move,” Phillips said. “If we go to extra innings, that’s gotta be a sign.”

I suspect he was met with snickers, or worse.

Then came the top of the tenth, and Phillips was good as his word:

Phillips grabbed a baseball, scribbled his number on it, got the woman’s attention and tossed it to her. And for the rest of the game, he was left to wonder how she’d respond. He couldn’t wait to return to the clubhouse and check his messages. Naturally, the game would drag for 15 excruciating innings.

But by then, she had sent him a text message: “My name is Molly. Nice to meet you.”

They got married this summer — in that same bullpen.

(Via GirlHacker.)

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Besides, Avogadro wasn’t picking up

For math help...

(Title explained here. Via Epic Win FTW, which seems a little redundant and/or superfluous when you think about it.)

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More songs in the key of me

These tunes mean a lot to me for reasons you might not have anticipated.

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382

After drizzle last week, it appears CoTVing in the fog has been decreed by Andrew Ian Dodge for the 382nd Carnival of the Vanities.

And if you’re in Britain and need an automotive fog light, you’ll likely take a type 382 bulb. (We call it the 1156 here in the States for some inscrutable reason.) Try one with LEDs instead of the usual incandescent bulb.

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We got your fluid dynamics right here

First, a sort of definition:

The Kaye Effect is a property of complex liquids which was first described by the British engineer Alan Kaye in 1963.

While pouring one viscous mixture of an organic liquid onto a surface, the surface suddenly spouted an upcoming jet of liquid which merged with the downgoing one.

You probably have some suitable liquid on hand, in fact.

But you’re not likely to see anything quite like this.

(Via Bareheaded in Biloxi.)

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All together now: “How hot is it?”

The National Weather Service has been showing us numbers like this today:

NWS screencap

If you look closely at that glowing gasbag in the orange sky, you might see something that looks vaguely like a cloud formation above it. Nope. After diligent research, Fillyjonk has discovered the Secret Message contained therein.

I admit, though, that given its resemblance to the Eye of Sauron, I was expecting, you know, something in Elvish.

(Previous “How hot is it?” japery here.)

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Truth in littering

“Do appliances know that they can make your life miserable if they shoot craps on a Sunday?” asked Nicole.

Fortunately, it’s possible in some instances for the punishment to fit the crime. Consider this broken stove, exiled from its former home:

Open Range

Even now, Suzette is backing up the truck.

(Via HackedIRL.com.)

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Hey, can we get these too?

Sounds like one of Mayor Quimby’s ideas:

Springfield spent $700,000 out of its capital improvement budget to put up signs with helpful arrows to Downtown, the Battlefield Retail District, Bass Pro Shops, and so on.

Granted, I can understand why you might need a sign to indicate downtown, since there are few buildings over four stories tall in Springfield and a visitor might not realize that this cluster of short buildings is downtown. But does it really need signs indicating the Battlefield Retail district? You’re on Battlefield Road and there are shops. I suppose if there are tourists who cannot figure that out, we do need to point them to the right places to part them from their money. And Bass Pro Shops? If you’re someone who’s going to Bass Pro Shops, you’re someone who knows where it is.

Here in the Somewhat Bigger Town, we confined ourselves to pointing to downtown stuff. I’m surprised there’s no pointer to Bass Pro Shops, inasmuch as they got a nice little subsidy to locate in Lower Bricktown, but then again, anyone likely to be going there already knows the way.

Did Springfield get this idea from us? Probably not, but this seems inarguable:

[T]he wayfinding signs are just a pretty way to spend money and to bow to peer pressure of other cities that have wasted money putting these things up. I can’t be the only one to notice that candidates for office often stress that they’ve lived in an area all their lives and know the solutions the region needs, and then they go on a junket — I mean fact-finding mission or conference trip — to some fabulous location and come back with a bunch of imported ways to spend money to make this city look like that city.

We have no shortage of would-be hipster urbanists who want this town to look exactly like [fill in name of municipal role model] — only completely different. Whatever the hell that means. And I admit to my own occasional bedazzlement with cool urban stuff: I think it’s really neat that we’re going to weave a streetcar line into the central-city fabric, even though I suspect that for the same $130 million or so we could buy something like a ’99 Ford Taurus for each and every person who currently rides the bus, and then get out of the transit business entirely. Then again, where are they going to park? Bass Pro Shops?

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I’m not dead yet

And this email isn’t going to make me want to go on the cart, either:

My name is Dr. Michael Grant from International Monetary Fund (IMF) Outstanding Remittance, London. I’m directed to contact you by the establishment to urgently confirm from you if actually you know one Mr. Paul Franklin who claim to be your business associate/partner here in London, UK.

The said Mr. Paul Franklin is claiming to us that you are dead and he will like to change all the Information that we have on you as the bona fide beneficiary. Below is the new banking information were he wish to have this funds transferred to:

Bank of America
Address: 6901 Northwest Expressway
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73132
Phone: 405-773-1683 Fax: 405-722-6005
ABA: 103000017 (all other)
ABA: 026009593 (International)
ACCT. #:003042656833
ACCT Name: FMS Investments Inc.
Signatory: Floyd M. Shealy

This development is coming now that the institution want to offset all your outstanding payments to all our legal foreign beneficiaries’ around the world in which your payment file was affected.

As you may know, the total amount in your favor is a total sum of $3.5 million U.S Dollars. We need to confirm from you if it’s really true that you are dead and If we did not hear from you it automatically means that you are actually dead and the information passed to us by Mr. Paul Franklin is correct.

At least somebody did some homework: there is indeed a B of A branch at 6901 Northwest Distressway, east of Rockwell, and that’s the correct phone number. And I’m pretty sure that’s the right routing code.

On the other hand, I tend to believe that if I had a business partner, he’d have had me killed by now.

Other than a mailto, there’s no link, questionable or otherwise, in the text; the alleged Dr. Grant wishes to be reached by email or telephone only. As for Floyd M. Shealy, a name I’ve never used — I did, for a while, style myself “Sharon Sheeley,” after the late songwriter, for purposes of online fiction — I’m guessing he’s probably not dead either.

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Lacking in bore

You’re looking at Celine, the Shoe Girl, and while I will, of course, mention the shoes — goofy little demi-bootlets from Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. operation — what I really wanted you to see was the dress:

Betsey Johnson dress with a lot of guns on it

I heart this cobalt blue, especially with the black overlay, and what’s that pattern anyway? Right: handguns, with occasional rounds (which likely don’t fit) floating by. Betsey Johnson actually produced this dress, along with a similar “Gun Show Sweater”, and it’s just too bad they’re out of stock. As it happens, Celine actually designs shoes for Betsey Johnson, so she might have scored this dress for a tad less than the $268 list. Her own comment:

I love the gun print. Girly and badass at the same time. So Betsey.

What I really want to imagine, though, is the effect of this sweet little dress on your friendly neighborhood hoplophobe.

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Anthem of the sons

My own family tree has roots in some fairly disparate places — Syria, Mexico, and the not-necessarily-British Isles — so I’m not at all fazed by this Smitty hypothetical:

As Americans continue to reproduce across traditional ethnic lines, will we cross a ‘Heinz 57 Horizon’, after which the DNA is all so muddled as to render Affirmative Action as intelligible as a Grateful Dead cut (not that there is anything wrong with muddling or the GD).

Hey, at least we got rid of the one-drop rule, and not legislatively either.

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