It costs money to leave the light on

I think I knew this, but I’m always happy to have corroboration:

Motel 6: The “6” in the name stood for six dollars, the original room rate of this motel chain, founded in Santa Barbara, California, in 1962. In today’s dollars, that translates to $49; the Motel 6 closest to me currently charges $86 per night.

Eighty-six American dollars per night? Dear Lord, what must they be charging down the street at the Super 8?

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Please don’t think ill of us

Imagine what sort of crapmobile this clod might drive:

My girl friend and I are planning on a road trip across ‘Merika – Las Vegas next year.

We’re planning on taking a trip down to long beach [ca] to have a look around.

Thing is, GFs car is a decade old beat up Kia and was wondering if we should park up around a corner then walk down to the beach.

I’m just concerned that my GFs car [being what it is] might lower the tone of the area, people might think we are hobo’s or something what with everyone driving around long beach in their Ferraris, Bentley’s and Wrangler jeeps ?

I was going to suggest he rent a car from 1-800-POSEUR, but a long-time resident had the better argument:

All those people with the high dollar cars live in Newport Beach. Downtown LB is mostly black folks, gays, Cambodians, and, of course, a wide selection of homeless bums and thieves. No one will give your old car a second look, except maybe the police if the registration isn’t current.

Which is not so different from what I remember on my one visit to Long Beach.

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Strange search-engine queries (629)

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future, or so Steve says, but I keep turning to the recent past, in the hopes I’ll find something at least marginally amusing for this Monday-morning series.

naked toreador:  Not a swell idea. Have you seen these bulls lately?

does fn4a-el transmission has a high speed and high gear shifting rate:  You’re driving a Mazda Protegé, fercrissake. If you’re expecting that, you must be high.

word with rami malek robot want:  Um, you better give the robot what it wants.

maria lost her job because the economy is shrinking. this is an example of:  News, if the GOP is in power.

popeyes chicken oklahoma city:  Just raised their prices about 5 percent, to go with the 0.25% sales-tax increase.

radioactive tender:  Now costs 35 cents more at Popeyes.

costume supercenter party pup pull string pinata home:  That’s a big damn pup, if he can pull a piñata string.

speidel weed wiper:  Holy glyphosate, Batman, what happened to those weeds?

logan, a blind man in his early twenties, was recently hired as a dj at a local radio station in miami. he was given permission by his manager to bring his guide dog to work. in this instance, logan’s employer makes:  Damn sure the dog doesn’t crap on the console.

nudewithfriends:  Presumably very good friends.

newsok oklahoma’s most trusted source:  Possibly, if you can figure out the page layout.

otters and otter-hunting:  You otter be ashamed of yourself.

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How times have changed

Joy of Tech update to classic tech cartoon

We never knew we had it so good.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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Sixty-fifth seed

In 2001, the NCAA introduced the play-in game to the Men’s Division I basketball tournament, in which two also-rans would compete for the 64th and last seed, 16th in whatever regional. Though there were now 65 teams involved, there was never an officially designated 65th seed, which is kind of a shame, since “65th seed” packs even more of a rhetorical wallop than “fifth wheel,” my accustomed location in the dating game.

And it’s not like it would hurt the NCAA tournament, which now involves 68 teams.


The lid gets hammered down

Tumblr’s explicit-content rule, as revised last summer:

I marked my blog as explicit. What happens now?

Now you can be sure that only suitable audiences are seeing your content. Blogs that are marked explicit are kept out of search results for people in Safe Mode. Anyone viewing your blog on the web will have to be logged in (with safe mode off) to see it.

Not sure enough, apparently. Beginning too soon, Safe Mode will be the default:

Tumblr sent an email to all users over 18 years of age who hadn’t already turned safe mode on, reminding them that the feature exists. The message doesn’t explicitly state that the setting is turning on by default; only that Tumblr wants to “make sure everyone has the chance to try it out.”

This is, of course, disingenuous as hell.

The site’s been a “complete loss” for adult content creators, Bacchus said, ever since Tumblr made it so that blogs flagged as NSFW were no longer indexed by search engines or Tumblr search anymore. “All this [Safe Mode update] does is make adult content even less visible INSIDE the walled garden that adult Tumblr has already become … Tumblr is dead media as far as I’m concerned, from an adult-industry perspective.”

Robert Stacy McCain, chronicler of the Tumblrinas, must be notified at once.


Gayageum band

Zither, except not so zithery:

The gayageum or kayagum is a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument, with 12 strings, though some more recent variants have 21 or other number of strings. It is probably the best known traditional Korean musical instrument. It is related to other Asian instruments, including the Chinese guzheng, the Japanese koto, the Mongolian yatga, and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. When played, the sound varies between traditional Eurasian stringed instruments and the Appalachian banjo.

Here, Luna Lee, at the 21-string (I think) gayageum, performs a classic folk song from the faraway land of Tejas:

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No magic wands here

It takes about three minutes on social media, maximum, to find people who are deathly afraid of firearms. Unfortunately, it also takes about the same amount of time to find people to whom the weapon is a talisman. I suspect this bothers Tam even more than it bothers me:

Your open-carried gun is not an empowerment tool, it’s just a gun. It doesn’t tell everyone you are strong and determined, it just tells them you have a gun. It’s not a deterrent, it’s just a gun. People get to decide if they feel deterred or not.

It’s like a torque wrench: it has a limited range of uses, but sometimes nothing else will do. Remember poor Irving, the 142nd fastest gun in the West:

Well, finally Irving got three slugs in the belly
It was right outside the Frontier Deli
He was sittin’ there twirlin’ his gun around
And butterfingers Irving gunned himself down

Damned fool thought it was an empowerment tool or something.

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Down the hall at the Department of Duh

Unfortunately, this chap is in a hurry to get on the road: If I get pulled over without having my license yet, and I get a ticket, do I have to pay it if I get my license?

In some jurisdictions, that ticket may actually delay issuance of a license, in which case this clod is destined for the Group W bench.

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Department of Duh

I dialed over to Amazon to grumble about a shipment which is now two weeks late, and this advice was proffered:

If it hasn’t arrived by the end of the day, most late packages are delivered shortly after the estimated delivery date.

Tautological statement is tautological.

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We still need her

Heck, I’d even feed her; Rene Russo is sixty-four today, which means that any day now, she’s going to start looking fifty or so. A model in her late teens, she backed away from modeling in her early thirties and signed up for acting lessons; her first feature film was Major League in 1989.

Rene Russo in her younger days

Rene Russo stretches out a bit

Rene Russo at the Independent Spirit Awards, 2015

After a flop or three, she avoided the camera for six years or so before resurfacing; in 2014, she resurfaced in Nightcrawler, written and directed by her husband Dan Gilroy, which got her plenty of acclaim. She also went public with her bipolar disorder:

The chap at her side is her Nightcrawler costar Jake Gyllenhaal.


Progress by inches

Fortunately for me, we have had a total of 0.1 inch of snow this winter. (I’m not really in shape to deal with more than that, and I don’t happen to have a four-year-old girl handy.)

About three seconds into the song, I muttered: “That ain’t 2Pac.” And it ain’t.


Seems like it ought to work

Everyone has a solution to the problem of school shootings. Not everyone, however, is Francis W. Porretto:

School shootings, the most swiftly politicized events in contemporary American life, all take place … at schools. Places where the young are gathered, more or less against their will, and compelled to remain for several hours, five days per week, lacking all recourse for concealment or defense. Let’s leave aside for the moment that most schools are “gun-free zones.” Let’s focus instead on the vulnerability of minors concentrated in an easily identified locale. What comes to mind at once? What’s the easiest and most straightforward way to prevent a school shooting from happening, ever again?

That’s right: Ban schools. Eliminate these concentration camps for helpless victims. Imagine the improvement in the morale of our youth at being freed from compulsory vulnerability to any maniac with a gun! Imagine the savings to parents at not having to buy school supplies! And imagine the savings to taxpayers at not having to pay for these juvenile day prisons! Do it for the children!

I’ve heard worse ideas, and so have you, and that’s just this past week.

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Maroon 2

The next time you start worrying about how the Chinese are leaving us all behind, just remember that they aren’t all brilliant:

(Via @Smatt.)

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And a pinked crustacean

Walmart makes a lot of noise about “rollbacks,” prices that used to be higher. This is apparently not a rollback:

Lobster tail at Walmart for slightly under fourteen dollars

Roll side, maybe?

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Admirably tooled

There exists something called LMMS, and this is its core functionality:

  • Compose music on Windows, Linux and macOS
  • Sequence, compose, mix and automate songs in one simple interface
  • Note playback via MIDI or typing keyboard
  • Consolidate instrument tracks using Beat+Bassline Editor
  • Fine tune patterns, notes, chords and melodies using Piano Roll Editor
  • Full user-defined track-based automation and computer-controlled automation sources
  • Import of MIDI files and Hydrogen project files

I understood about half of that, maybe. And it doesn’t do a thing for the visuals if you’re uploading it to YouTube or some such place. Still, someone with actual talent — not me — can make wondrous noises with it.

I found this one last night:

This chap might be a third my age; most of the 40 or so tracks I’ve acquired from him qualify as good “production music,” the sort of stuff you find in your better movie trailers before the actual musical score is completed. “Denouement” here is totally different, and totally, well, wondrous.