Strange search-engine queries (625)

Jeebus, we’re five-eighths of the way to a thousand of these? That’s kind of scary. Fortunately, people keep looking for weird stuff, so I probably don’t have to worry about running out of material.

mazda 626 2000 modle is showing hold what could wrong:  I’m guessing you couldn’t get out of your driveway to get to your ESL lessons.

are mazda 626 ge gf automatic transmission interchangable:  Not unless you want to spend a ton of money on ancillary equipment revisions.

dentures in oklahoma city:  Not at all hard to find, unless you’re hoping to be able to afford them.

just two days:  No, you can’t get your dentures that fast.

wnbr london photos:  There exists almost no human activity conducted without clothing that won’t draw people asking for photos.

morgan fairchild nude fake:  Whether those photos are real or not.

gordon grams grave groove:  Grossly great.

hunter s thompson net worth:  Wouldn’t be anything without Raoul Duke.

dumpster rental money:  Did you look in the trash can?

playboys women of walmart:  Probably easier to look at than generalized “people of Walmart.”

combustion 2008:  If it’s still going after ten years, that’s got to be one hell of a fire.

larpers:  Now find some larpees.

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Pursuing the wily ratings point

Brian J. has been subjected to an unusually large number of radio format changes lately:

So 106 “The River” in Springfield, the local “Jack” station, or whatever they call the variety format that plays a couple dozen hits from the 80s, a couple dozen hits from the 90s, and six or ten songs from after the turn of the century, has shifted its playlist to include Led Zeppelin and AC/DC.

The industry term for Jackalikes is “Variety Hits”; I note that Radio-Locator now lists KRVI as “Adult Hits.” (Weirdly, our local VH station, once branded as “Bob,” is now branded as “Alice.” Make of that what you will.)

So 104 “The Cave,” a classic hits (what we used to call Album Oriented Rock back in the day) determined it needed to compete with that format by playing MØAR POWER BALLADS.

The rock station that played new hard rock and metal, Q102, decided what it needed was alternative music from the 1990s. Friends, most of the rock music from the 1990s sucked. Sorry, but you know it’s true. Grunge corrupted everything it touched, and emogoth really loud is not rock.

I note for no good reason that of all the decades since my birth, the 1990s rank as the least represented on my workbox iTunes install.

US 97, which touts its long-standing rock heritage and pedigree dating all the way back to the Clinton administration, has added some newer songs but has also added more 90s rock and power ballads.

I note, again for no good reason, that of those four stations, only one — KXUS, “US 97,” is actually licensed to Springfield. KKLH, “104.7 The Cave,” is out of Marshfield; KRVI, “106.7 The River,” comes from Mount Vernon. Perhaps the oddest, though, is KQRA, “Q102.1,” which is licensed to Brookline, Missouri, a village that exists now only as a post office; it’s been merged into Republic.

And The Cave and Q102 are owned by the same group operator out of Madison, Wisconsin, which owns two other stations in town, neither of which are licensed to Springfield. I’ve been griping about this sort of thing for nigh unto twenty years.

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Steadfast and firm

Supp-hose, a brand of support hosiery, used variations on this same picture for several years:

1960s Supp-hose ad

Let us now praise Alfred P. Slaner, creator of Supp-hose. After Julius Kayser & Co. and the Chester H. Roth Company merged in 1958 to form, yes, Kayser-Roth, Slaner, a nephew of Roth’s and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, was the first president of the merged firm, and he saw an opportunity. Compression stockings from your local medical supply house, he knew — his father had had to wear some after surgery — were not pretty and not inexpensive. Slaner reasoned that women would respond to a less obviously therapeutic product at the $5 price point, and given enough advertising, the company stood to earn a mint. They were no substitute for prescription-quality stockings, of course, but the ads claimed only “gentle support.”

Slaner enjoys one other distinction: he made Richard Nixon’s “enemies list,” expanded version, revealed by John Dean in 1973.


A quarry with houses in it

That’s how Doc Searls describes the ruins at Montecito, California, one ZIP code away from where he lives:

What we see is a town revised by nature in full disregard for what was there before — and in full obedience to the pattern of alluvial deposition on the flanks of all fresh mountains that erode down almost as fast as they go up.

This same pattern accounts for much of California, including all of the South Coast and the Los Angeles basin.

To see what I mean, hover your mind above Atlanta and look north at the southern Appalachians. Then dial history back five million years. What you see won’t look much different. Do the same above Los Angeles or San Francisco and nothing will be the same, or even close.

Five million years is about 1/1000th of Earth’s history. If that history were compressed to a day, California showed up in less than the last forty seconds. In that short time California has formed and re-formed constantly, and is among the most provisional landscapes in the world. All of it is coming up, sliding down, spreading out and rearranging itself, and will continue doing so through all the future that’s worth bothering to foresee. Debris flows are among its most casual methods.

Just in case you thought the only Dreadful Hazard out there was the San Andreas fault. Not even close. To this day I quake a bit at the memory of standing next to a two-story plate-glass window at a shopping mall southwest of South Central when the ground started to shake. I hadn’t run that fast since I was in Basic Combat Training sixteen years before. And then it dawned on me that nobody else was fleeing with such vigor. Farging tourist, I said to myself, even though I had my shiny new California driver’s license within easy reach.


Highway 101 — one of just two major freeways between Southern and Northern California, is closed indefinitely, because it is now itself a stream bed, and re-landscaping the area around it, to get water going where it should, will take some time. So will fixing the road, and perhaps bridges as well.

Meanwhile getting in and out of Santa Barbara from east of Montecito by car requires a detour akin to driving from Manhattan to Queens by way of Vermont.

We will, of course, rebuild, because that’s what we always do. And the next one will come, because that’s what the next one always does.


From the Rodford Files

Jim Rodford was a founding member of Argent, the band formed by keyboardist Rod Argent, a cousin of Jim’s, after the Zombies went the way of all dead flesh. After Argent broke up, Rodford joined the Kinks; he played bass for the band until its dissolution in 1996. And in 2004, Rodford and son Steve became part of the resurrected Zombies, beside original vocalist Colin Blunstone and, yes, Rod Argent on keyboards.

There’s a third Rodford son, Russ, and the three of them appear in this 2016 video as, yes, the Rodford Files. And neatly enough, they’re playing a Kinks song:

Jim Rodford died Saturday; he was seventy-six.


Florida Man on Groundhog Day

Or so it seems from the headline:

“They say we’re young and we don’t know, won’t find out until we grow.”

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Lest we miss one single voter

The state came up with a decent idea a few years back: tag agents would ask each license customer “Are you registered to vote?” Upon receipt of a negative response, they would then offer to register the customer on the spot.

That deal wasn’t quite good enough for Rep. Mickey Dollens (D-OKC), who hopes to turn it into a negative-option scheme: we will register you unless you tell us not to.

Pertinent passage:

F. The Secretary of the State Election Board shall develop a system by which the Department of Public Safety and motor license agents shall provide to the Secretary electronic records containing the legal name, age, residence, citizenship information and the electronic signature of each person who is a qualified elector or will be a qualified elector within the next two (2) years.

G. Upon receiving the electronic record for and electronic signature of a qualified elector or a person who will become a qualified elector within the next two (2) years, the Secretary shall provide the information to the county election board of the county in which the person may be registered or preregistered as a qualified elector. The Secretary or county election board shall notify each person of the process to:

    1. Decline being registered as a qualified elector; or

    2. Adopt a political party affiliation.

H. If a person notified under subsection G of this section does not decline to be registered as an elector within twenty-one (21) calendar days after the Secretary of State or county clerk issues the notification, the person’s electronic record and electronic signature submitted under subsection F of this section shall constitute a completed registration card for the person for purposes of this section. The person shall be registered to vote if the county election board determines that the person is a qualified elector and the person is not already registered to vote.

I. A county election board shall not send a ballot to, or add to an elector registration list, a person who meets eligibility requirements until at least twenty-one (21) calendar days after the Secretary or county election board provided notification to the person as described in subsection G of this section.

I’m not so sure I like this plan. Negative-option schemes bring back memories of Columbia House and remembering (or, more often, not remembering) to decline the current month’s selection.

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Welcome to Cleveland

The blowout warnings came out early: Kevin Love took sick three minutes in, and the Thunder had a startling 43-24 lead after the first quarter. Things that can’t last, though, won’t last, and while Love never came back, the Cavaliers, aided by the officials if you believe radio guy Matt Pinto, started to crawl out of the hole, starting the second quarter with a quick 10-0 run. But by halftime, the Cavs had shaved only three points off that lead, and in the second half the Thunder methodically tore down the house that LeBron built. Four minutes into the final frame, OKC was up 122-99, and they weren’t done yet; if Cleveland had planned a celebration of King James’ 30,000th career point — he needed only 25 — they’ll have to make it up some other day. Oklahoma City, which hadn’t won in the Erie City in years, danced away with a 148-124 win.

LeBron, it was speculated, seemed a bit listless, and his departure early in the fourth quarter may have reflected that mood. I don’t know. It seemed to me that he was playing pretty hard until it became obvious he was going to fall short of 25. (He finished with 18 on a reasonable 8-17, but wound up -33 in the eyes of the plus-minus gods.) Isaiah Thomas, fast and slippery, led the Cavs with 24. Meanwhile, four of five Thunder starters broke 20: 36 for Paul George, 29 for Carmelo Anthony, 25 (and 11 rebounds) for the 12-13 Steven Adams, and 23 (and 20 assists) for Russell Westbrook. (The fifth, Andre Roberson, knocked down eight, though it might have been nice if he’d made a free throw. Still, it’s good to have him back.)

Lots of Eastern Conference foes on the calendar: against the Nets and the Wizards at home next week, then off to Detroit, back home against the 76ers, and then off to see the Wizards again. It’s going to be, um, interesting.

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It’s a Kotak moment

Karishma Kotak was born in London, and in the UK she’s known as a TV presenter and model. In India, she’s known as a model and actress. This career path suggests a certain degree of, um, visual appeal:

Karishma Kotak definitely has a reflection

Karishma Kotak, television presenter

Karishma Kotak in something resembling a gazebo

Her most recent film was 2016’s Freaky Ali, which, so help me, is a Hindi remake of Happy Gilmore. Billed tenth, Kotak didn’t make the trailer. So for our video, we go back to her days as a model, on behalf of Titan, a luxury-goods house owned by Tata Group, which also owns Jaguar and Land-Rover:

Since you asked, she’s thirty-five.

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Caracalypse now

Stefano Pozzebon reports from Caracas for CNN Money that getting a dollar in Venezuela is a long, arduous task [warning: autostart video]:

It was noon. I had been looking for cash for more than two hours. I returned to the first bank I tried.

I waited another hour in line before reaching the teller with my checkbook in hand. I noticed how everyone in line was still calm and silent, as if general resignation had forced these people to simply accept the situation.

At 1:23 p.m., I finally presented my check and got the hard-earned cash: 10,000 bolívars, or 6 cents.

Yarmira de Motos, the teller, informed me that the bank manager establishes every morning how much each customer can withdraw based on how much money is delivered by the Venezuelan Central Bank.

For this reason, some banks may allow 5,000-, 10,000- or even 30,000-bolívar withdrawals depending on the day. It’s a total gamble.

With my 10,000 bolívars in hand four hours later, I met a friend for a coffee. My cappuccino cost 35,000 bolívars.

Probably fifty thousand by now.

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The latest thing in jump-starting

Hyundai Canada has come up with a plan to rescue owners of their Ioniq electric hatchback who drove just a little too far:

With its first electric model now plying the country’s roadways, the automaker figured the best way to help stranded Ioniq Electric drivers was with other Ioniq Electrics.

The service, which starts in the EV-heavy Montreal area this spring, sees Ioniqs come to the aid of overly optimistic drivers sidelined by their car’s modest 124-mile range. The savior Ioniq drains 7 kWh of juice from its own battery to the recipient car, resurrecting it with about 25 miles of range — enough to make it home or to a public charging station.

The hookup lasts about 20 minutes. A trunk-mounted converter and two Level 3 charging cables allow the donor car to reverse the normal flow of electrons — out from the car’s charge port to the convertor, and then on to the dead vehicle.

Hyundai will be offering this service gratis for five years after the purchase of a new Ioniq.

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January does nothing for me

There’s nothing like the dead of winter to make you feel like you’ve already died. And this January, not even two-thirds over, has been more onerous than usual.



Beck’s 127th album, Colors, came out in October; I heard some of the tracks, but I didn’t go hunting down the videos. Then YouTube decided I needed to see this one, which was apparently done for the title song and bore the legend “Slime Visualizer.” And hey, how long has it been since I got a chance to visualize slime?

Okay, it’s really his thirteenth album, not counting compilations or remixes or EPs or Song Reader, which came out as a book fercrissake. Still, this man has produced a mountain of work, and it’s time I recognized more of it.

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The French humbly return

This I did not expect:

At Wednesday’s Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Peugeot SA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said the French automaker is picking the brains of former Opel engineers to develop vehicles for re-entry into U.S. market.

[Note to self: Rebrand as “Carlos,” try for a high automotive job. It’s worked for Tavares; it worked for Carlos Ghosn at Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi.]

Of course, those former Opel engineers now work for Peugeot, which acquired what used to be GM’s European operations last year.

TTAC’s Matthew Guy says, and I am forced to agree, that no article about Peugeot is complete without this video:

Must have been after Columbo’s seemingly indestructible 403.

Clearly the man kept a body shop on retainer.


Someone is wrong on Facebook

This happens about a thousand times a moment, and as Roger notes, it’s scarcely worth the bother to engage the wrongster:

Someone writes a piece on the platform that you know for sure is 100% wrong. You comment on the page perhaps with a link to collaborating evidence. He — it’s more often a he — says you’re stupid, and probably don’t even love your country.

You warily try one more time, but it is met with a buzz saw of further resistance. So you walk away. You WALK AWAY. Well, that’s what I do because it just isn’t worth the effort.

You learned this in Econ 101, of course:

I’ve discovered that the law of diminishing returns applies to lots of situations. It sure beats having a Twitter war over insignificant stuff.

Yea, verily.

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The right to be an asshat

It’s evidently more limited than some people think:

Three months ago PB & Jeff got to what they thought was the end of their Pikmin 2 playthrough because they had gotten enough money to pay off the debt. They posted a comment on the video saying that they knew that that wasn’t the true ending of the game but that because they were getting sick of playing it and it wasn’t getting as many views as the other games that they played that they weren’t going to play anymore. That video got a lot of comments telling them to continue playing it. As the days went by less and less people told them to continue playing it. Myself, however, has been posting “Finish Pikmin 2!” on every video they upload since they quit playing. I up the amount of comments I leave every video. The first video I posted it once, the second video twice, the third three times, etc. By this week I had gotten to the point of posting it around 90 times each video. Even though people were telling me to stop and Jeff himself told me that they were completely done with Pikmin 2 I kept at it because I refused to let them not truly finish the story. Earlier this week my account got shut down so I automatically created another one to continue spamming. That got shut down so I created another. Same story. Again and again I kept creating accounts to spam their comments. Now whenever I create an account it is instantly shut down within a minute. Why?

There is reason to doubt that this person exists; there is no reason to doubt that the world would be a better place if he didn’t.

That said:

Look, jagoff, you’re messing with YouTube. That means you’re messing with Google. And Google has all kinds of ways to make you wish you were dead. (We do not know for certain if they can actually kill you, but do you want to take that chance?)

And be grateful it’s not 150 years ago. Either PB or Jeff could perforate your unworthy carcass with lead, and the law would gravely assent: “You were right, he needed killing.”

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