RIP: Unknown Search Terms

What a week, huh? Kray up here in tha DC, y’all, what with the government shutdown and all the crazy effects of that — veterans storming World War II memorials, DC metro saying it will run fewer train cars, and, worst of all, no panda cam at the National Zoo. Then there was that whole crazy car chase/shooting business yesterday.

How can you be so cruel, Congress?
How can you be so cruel, Congress?

All of that (plus the end of “Breaking Bad” — sooooo good; and total work insanity), has distracted us from a true travesty: the end of unknown search terms.

You see, one of the greatest and most amusing features of WordPress was a feature that rounded up terms used in search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing, that somehow led people to your blog. For example, someone found my blog recently by searching for “grand theft auto widow.”

Anyway, this list of search terms brought me a ton of pleasure and laughs. Whenever I found a particularly weird search term, I would post it on Facebook or Twitter as a Totally Random Search Term that Brought Someone to thePoelog, also known as TRSTBS for short. And I would speculate exactly what kind of person would have been searching for that term. Here’s an example from September 11: Totally random search term that brought someone to thePoeLog “rat on a treadmill videos.” Welcome, Pied Piper in training.

Sadly, the search term feature is being relocated to a nice family farm out in the country, never to be heard from again. Here’s what WordPress says:

In September 2013 Google started to rapidly expand the number of searches that it encrypts, which results in a higher proportion of “Unknown search terms” in your stats.  According to some sources, this expansion will eventually result in encryption of all Google searches.  This is being done for privacy reasons by Google when someone searches at Google.com, before a visitor arrives at your WordPress.com site.  Therefore we don’t have any way to unhide the search terms.  We recognize this means a loss of stats information for you and we will look for other ways to show you how users arrived at your site.

Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/google-encrypting-all-searches-nj
Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/google-encrypting-all-searches-nj

Damn you Google! And Edward Snowden! And NSA, who really, when you think about it, started this whole nonsense to begin with. Listen, I got nothing to hide. If NSA wants to look at pictures of my chubby cat and whatever deliciousness XFE has made us for dinner, knock yourselves out. I live my life loud and proud.

However, other people do not really feel the same way I do and like their privacy to remain intact. But now, NSA, you’ve gone and made everyone all wild-eyed and outraged and who pays the price? Cultural observers such as myself who get a snicker out of people finding my blog while searching for “Kate Middleton porno.” (Can’t you just imagine their disappointment?)

kate compares

So far, however, I do have a list of the last month’s search terms that I’ve copied and saved. So, I thought we’d have a little Irish wake here, pour some wine (one for me and one for my fallen homies) and do a little Q&A using a small sampling of those last Totally Random Search Terms that Brought Someone to thePoeLog.

What to pack for doomsday — This is a very good question. Also, quite philosophical. On the one hand, does it really matter? After all, it’s doomsday. But, maybe our erstwhile searcher is an optimist and expects to survive and carry on the human species, perhaps with the assistance of one mighty fine Matthew McConaughey, for example. In that case, you might want to pack something lingerie, a nice sturdy box of wine, a sleeping bag, and a gun. The gun, mind you, isn’t to use on Matthew. It’s to protect Matthew from other the clutches of other lady survivors.

matthewut

How to get in touch with duck dynasty — Well, shouldn’t be too hard. West Monroe is a pretty small place. Population is only 13,000. I think if you hung around the Circle K long enough, you’re bound to run into one of those long-bearded fellas. Or, you could probably start going to their church. Or just stop by Duck Commander headquarters. They say on their website that, “We would be HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY for you to come by and say “HEY”.  You can even pay them to hang out with you, according to the website: for information on booking the Duckmen please visit WME Speakers at ducks@wmeentertainment.com

Is hilary from love it or list it pregnant — I haven’t been watching it lately (we’ve got three episodes hanging out on the DVR), so I don’t really know. But (and no offense here), she seems a bit old to be starting a family. I would guess the answer to this question would probably be no. Now Desta on the other hand, I believe she’s fairly recently married, so that would make sense. And if Hilary is pregnant, congratulations and good luck.

When is gold rush coming back on discovery channel — The Hoffman Knucklehead Crue are back on Discovery Channel on October 25. According to this blog: “In season four of GOLD RUSH, Todd Hoffman puts his life on the line, and asks his crew to do the same, braving malaria, poisonous snakes and quicksand to set up a mining operation in a patch of hostile jungle deep in Guyana, South America.” We saw a few preview episodes on Discovery a few months back, and it looks like plenty of bad decisions ahead.

Can you get brain eating amoebas feom bath water — I believe that should be “from” and my guess is yes. Brain eating amoebas are everywhere and we should all be afraid of them. Best to just take showers whilst holding your breath. But you might want to have a chair in the shower. If you pass out from holding your breath, amoeba-carrying water will definitely get up your nose and eat your brain.

Death and danger are everywhere. A pink floatie will not save you.
Death and danger are everywhere. A pink floatie will not save you.

When men reading shades of grey — I’m not familiar with the book “Shades of Grey,” so I’m guessing you mean “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  Also, this query seems to be missing some very important connecting words here, which changes the possible answers a bit. If you are asking “When do you find men reading fifty shades of grey,” then the answer is most likely when they think they won’t be caught, so maybe when they’re in the tub enjoying a nice bubble bath? If your question is, “what to do when men [are?] reading fifty shades of grey,” my advice is to avert your eyes and calmly and slowly walk away without drawing attention to the awkward situation. The obvious caveat here is that no man should be reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Even Matthew McConaughey.

I feel nervous about an upcoming trip — Totally understandable. Travel can be exciting but scary. After all, a lot of things can happen — the plane might crash, your luggage might get lost, the car rental place might be closed, the hotel might have lost your reservation, the roads might be blocked by protesting fishermen, you might eat bad salami and be violently ill for 10 days in one of the world’s great gourmet regions. Or, you might get a brain eating amoeba from taking a bath while reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

That would be a highway closed by protesting fishermen on our trip to Peru.
That would be a highway closed by protesting fishermen on our trip to Peru.

But, it’s all worth it because travel provides you with an opportunity to brag about all the great places you’ve been and all the great things you’ve seen on your very own blog. See? Don’t you feel better already?

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ThePoeLog 2012 Christmas Gift Guide (You’re Welcome)

Christmas is coming, or so the Robertson’s on Duck Dynasty have told me (we just watched the Christmas special this past weekend). When it comes to Christmas, I personally believe everybody over 25 years of age should just buy their own crap. But, if you are looking for some great gift ideas, these all do the job pretty admirably.

Duck Dynasty Willie Robertson Chia Pet – From History Channel. $29.95. To make the DD fan in your house Happy, Happy, Happy. Provided they ain’t some Yuppy Boys and Girls.

chia willie

Real Housewives of Atlanta Kim’s Cushion Cut CZ Engagement Ring – From Bravo TV. $124.95. That’s pretty pricey for a fake ring, but you’ve got to understand: this ring was “inspired” by Kim’s engagement ring! And we all know that “The Ring Don’t Mean a Thing” (unless there’s an opportunity to make some cash on it. Then, it means $124.95.) I was hoping to find Kim’s wig line, but the website for that just takes you to the company blog. Since the line was announced in 2009, I guess you could say, “She’ll Be Tardy with the Wig Line.”

Kim's ring

Honey Boo Boo Ring – If you aren’t really feeling Kim’s ring, but are still on the lookout for some jewelry, head on over to Etsy, which brings its own brand of crazy to the Reality TV gift parade. Here, we have a ring featuring the likeness of our favorite pageant tyrant, Honey Boo Boo. Very creepy. Please note, the other items in this seller’s shop includes a ring featuring Lana Del Ray and the ladies of HBO’s Girls.

Honey Boo Boo Ring

Red Neck Slip and Slide – From Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on TLC. They’re not actually selling one, which is a missed opportunity in my opinion. However, one only needs to procure a tarp, baby oil and/or dish soap, and a hose for an afternoon of summer fun and rashes.

Cuffs by Lynne – From Lynne Curtin Designs. Prices vary. Remember Lynne on Real Housewives of Orange County? She was one of our favorites, primarily because of her side business, a line of really awful cuffs that basically involved hot gluing rhinestoned fleur de lis’ onto plastic cuffs bought at the nearest Michael’s and selling them for around $169. That girl was a hoot. We miss her craziness.

cuffs by lynne

Moonshiners Haute Hillbilly Wine Glass – Large – From Discovery Channel. $14.95. While this is a fine and fancy drinking vessel, it doesn’t come with a high faulutin’ price tag. And it’s got a lid, so you can protect your drink from dust and flies while you’re hiding out in the woods making your white lightening. You’re obviously gonna want a large.

moonshiner glass

Swamp People Choot ‘Em Candle – From History Channel. $19.95. I cannot improve upon the product description: “Their motto is no guts, no gators, but with guts comes a whole lot of stench. The Swamp People Choot ‘Em Candle. The Candle is named “pond scum”, but luckily the bayou tinted candle smells of bamboo, teak, and Spanish moss.”

Swamp people candle

Bear Grylls Ultimate Fixed Blade Knife – From BearGryllsStore.com. On sale for $62. Man Vs. Wild is no longer on the air, but Bear Grylls still needs to pay his mortgage. And skin random animals found out in the plains, hence this line of knives.

I hadn’t really thought much about ol’ Bear since his show ended, but I recently received his Survival Extreme catalog at our house. No idea how or why, but….. It. Is. Priceless. It’s got jackets and GPSs and coffee mugs and all sorts of survival gear, modeled by Grylls himself. The women’s wear is particularly hilarious. There’s a women’s section including a woman on page 30 wearing a dress. A dress. In a survival catalog. Whatever. Don’t worry about Bear though, he’s getting a new show on NBC.

Do NOT take fashion advice from this guy. Please.
Do NOT take fashion advice from this guy. Please.

 

Cape Crown Rhinestone Tiara – From Rhinestones.com. $177. 25. This one is a bit pricey (almost as much as a Cuff by Lynne), but it’s actually a multi-use item. You could wear it, obviously, while hanging out with the Honey Boo Boo clan, or any of the Real Housewives. You could wear it to a Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Tiara

But you could also wear it with my newest obsession, Lilly from Shah’s of Sunset. She’s a Persian princess and seems like she appreciates a good tiara. And she’s an attorney! And she founded her own line of fake eyelashes! And a swimwear line! Kate Middleton, move over.

Lilly

Reality TV Lover Degree – From Amazon. $13.99. They call it a novelty item, but I fail to see the novelty in spending hundreds of hours watching really awful and entertaining programming.

Reality Time: Getting in Touch with My Redneck Roots via Duck Dynasty

It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re watching the Talladega Sprint Cup. We don’t usually watch NASCAR, but it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and we’ve done just about everything else we needed to do this weekend, so it seems like a suitable pastime at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon.

I’m only watching it because they have a Ricky Bobby car (no. 51). You do know about Talladega Nights, right? One of the greatest movies ever made? Actually, anything with Will Ferrell is the greatest thing ever made. I could watch that doofus in anything and pee myself laughing.

But in today’s race, someone apparently has lost his sponsorship and has painted the Ricky Bobby cougar on his hood. And his tail says “ I Wanna Go Fast.”  I’m loving it. AND he’s currently in second place. So I’m yelling and cheering him on.  *UPDATE: Dangit, my boy just crashed at 4:43. I’m quite despondent. But he’s not going to go out quietly, no sir. He’s now driving the wrong way down pit row, in true Ricky Bobby spirit. I swear if he jumps out and starts yelling he’s on fire, I’m going to fall off this couch.

It’s actually got me thinking about some other rednecks I am currently loving – the folks on “Duck Dynasty.”

This is an amazing show on A&E. A&E used to stand for Arts and Entertainment television. In its early days, A&E was kinda like a cable version of PBS. It had documentaries on the arts and shows like “Sherlock Holmes,” “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” and “Biography.”

But these days, they’re catering quite a bit to the lowest common denominators and showing some mighty fine reality programming.  “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” “Billy the Exterminator,”  “Lady Hoggers,” “Hoarders,” and my personal favorite, “Storage Wars” (original and Texas editions.)

But “Duck Dynasty” might be A&E’s greatest triumph. The show follows the Robertson clan, a family from West Monroe, Louisiana. Now, I’m a bit familiar with that neck of the woods – I have an aunt who lives in the tiny little town of Bernice, which is nearby. I even spent a summer there in high school. In true white-trash fashion, I was dropped off by my mom’s truck driver boyfriend at the beginning of summer, and picked up in the same fashion at the end of it.

I spent the summer running wild with my boy cousins and their extended family on their dad’s side, riding ATV’s, pestering wild animals (mostly frogs and crocodiles) in the dense woods surrounding their property, and fishing in their lake. In the evenings, I would help my poor beleaguered aunt out by shucking purple hull peas and helping fry hush puppies. It was a really good summer.

Anyway, “Duck Dynasty” follows the shenanigans of Willie, the CEO of Duck Commander, a multi-million company that makes duck calls and duck decoys; his brother Jase, who works for the company, as well as his other brother Jep, who you see a lot less of. But the real characters are Willie’s father and the Duck Commander founder, Phil and his brother, Si.

They all look like ZZ Top, and they have unbelievably hot wives. The older generation is plumb crazy. Si is a former Vietnam Vet who I’m pretty sure still thinks he’s in the midst of the war.  Phil has tons of folksy wisdom to dole out, most of it regarding how to deal with womenfolk.

The whole family kills beavers, frogs, ducks, bees, just about anything that might attract their attention. They have a lot of anger towards the animal kingdom, but especially beavers. Pretty much every episode ends on a preachy note, with the family gathered around a dinner table for a big family dinner and a voice over of Willie telling us what we were supposed to learn out of the episode. It’s the one thing I don’t like about the show.

Actually, the other thing I’m not too fond of is that some of the show is definitely faked and revolves around some sitcom-like situations. For example, Willie buys a winery, but knows nothing about wine. Hijinks ensue. Phil’s wife Kay wants to open a restaurant, so a local restaurant let’s her set up shop for one night. Hilarious mayhem results. It’s a bit forced sometimes.

But back to that folksy wisdom. One of my favorite things about the show is some of the quotes these guys throw out. Here are a few of my recent favorites.

First it’s pretty tires, then it’s pretty guns…next thing you know, you’re shaving your beard and wearing capri pants. – Si

I believe what Si is saying here is that you have to be very careful not to be sissified. It’s true. You must maintain your manliness at all times. Si and company are quite, quite worried about sissification, especially among the grandkids.

She may be an ugly woman but she if cooks squirrel and dumplings, that’s the woman you go after – Phil

This was Phil’s recommendations to his grandsons on how to find and pick a suitable wife. He is quite concerned that his grandsons might marry one of them “city girls.”

“When you don’t know what you’re doing it’s best to do it quickly” – Jase

Ah, yes. Fake it till you make it. And fake it fast.

“Mainly I use the grandkids, when it comes to crawfishing, as a labor pool” – Phil

Yep, been there, done that. I’ve been free labor.

“What Willie needs to do…if he wants to be more productive…is fire all of us” – Jase

Similarly, you definitely get what you pay for.

Ducks are a lot like women…they don’t like mud on their butts. – Phil

Well, that’s just a fact.