character sets are hard

I get an RSS feed of the craigslist personals, two categories. This is a fine use of technology to help me find future stalking victims.

A lot of the posts on craigslist personals are from prostitutes or something close to it, and those posts get yanked. And there are also the usual Internet weirdos who will use anything as a message board, including one guy who keeps posting about how he doesn’t like fat girls, and people who get trolled by him and post things back at him. And all of these posts come out as individual personal ads too, and then get yanked.

About a week ago, I started seeing dollar amounts in a lot of postings. They’d say things like “Viet girl in irvine looking for LTR – $28”. I wondered what the hell? Were they all prostitutes? And if so, why so cheap? Had Mr. Troll managed to break in somehow and insert prices on all the women to make some more trouble?

I finally clicked through on one today and “Work too much? No time to find a nice lady? (OC) $24” turned out to be “Work too much? No time to find a nice lady? (OC) – 24”. For some reason the feed is prepending a dollar sign to all the ages of the personals posters.

So, yeah, that’s the story of how bad character sets in RSS feeds ruined my dream of cheap sex in Orange County.

So, Timmy. Do you like movies about… bloviators?

  1. The Condoleeza Hairdo Alert System has been activated. Please make a note of it.
  2. You may not have to constrict your anus 100 times in a row. Try improving your brain function with a cellphone ringtone! Ah, the Mysterious East.
  3. North Korean dictator/space alien Kim Kong Il remembers all the nation’s phone numbers, according to his press agency. Then again, there’s maybe 8 phones in the country. It could be a trick question.
  4. Here’s a weekly collection of misleading blurbs that may explain why a huge steaming pile of dog poop gets some good reviews.
  5. Extra multilink bonanza roundup: The captive audiences media industry is growing like crazy. Asshole companies who trap you in elevators or at the gas station are doing great. The next frontier is TV covering the floor too: FLASMA!
  6. To cheer you up from all that, here’s an unusual cat.

You’re welcome.

Where your mutual fund money is going (WSJ)

Short version: whores, private jets, and rented dwarves. P. Diddy is running your 401(k).

A Wall Street Affair: This Bachelor Party Gets Lots of Attention Probe Centers on Payments For Fidelity Star’s Bash; Private Jet to South Beach

July 18, 2005

Even by Wall Street’s over-the-top standards, the March 2003 bachelor party for Thomas Bruderman, a onetime star trader for Fidelity Investments, was an event to remember.

The festivities began with a trip by private jet from Boston to a small airport outside New York City. There, the revelers picked up some Wall Street traders and at least two women who investigators suspect may have been paid for their attendance, say people familiar with the matter. The partygoers — including the groom-to-be, who was getting ready to marry the daughter of former Tyco International Ltd. boss L. Dennis Kozlowski — then continued to trendy South Beach in Miami. The fun included a stay at the ritzy Delano Hotel for some, a yacht cruise and entertainment by at least one dwarf hired for the occasion.

“Some people are just into lavish dwarf entertainment,” says the 4-foot-2 Danny Black, a part-owner in, an outfit that rents dwarfs for parties starting at $149 an hour. Mr. Black says he spent part of the weekend on the yacht and worked as a waiter on the Friday night at a high-end Miami eatery alongside what he called “regular size” people. “A good time was had by all,” he said, declining to provide further details.

Now I say I say hold I say hold I say HOLD ON HERE.