Google, I Owe You an Apology

[I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. Actually, I’m not, but for the sake of satire…]

Looks like I had it all wrong. Turns out, Google hates censorship…in Europe, at least.

But China? Nooooo…still cool in China. Hey, even Bill Gates agrees.

Is there anything more beautiful than two archrivals like Microsoft and Google coming together to defend a cause as noble as Communist information suppression? Up with people!

Hat tip: Vodkapundit

Enron...Game On

The Enron trials have begun (the two that matter, anyways).

Here are my predictions:

Jeff Skilling gets the three nails and a cross treatment.

Ken Lay walks.

Why? Because "Kenny Boy" gets birthday wishes like these:

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Don't be shocked when this Handsome Devil's name comes up:

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The Smoking Gun has a link to the Enron Code of Ethics, which is Exhibit 1 at trial. Every time I read it, it just gets funnier.

More Required Reading on the Subject: The Smartest Guys In the Room. Stop what you're doing and read this book NOW...


If Lindsay Lohan Starves, The Terrorists Have Won

For the Love of God...Feed Lindsay.

Red Light District

Most days, Faithful Readers, I wake up with two goals in mind. They are:

A). Resume drinking

- and –

B). Take over the world

Having achieved the former for the day, I shall now focus on the latter. And that’s where you come in, Unquestioning Disciples.

You see, I was dismayed this morning to find my subscription to The Economist had lapsed for non-payment (Like I’d pay for such tripe). With the call of nature beckoning me to my Porcelain Throne, and lacking suitable reading material, I did the only thing a man of my stature could do in such a situation:

I whined.

“There’s nothing to read in the bathroom!” I cried indignantly to no one in particular and the gods of all creation in general.

Upon hearing of my plight, Starry Eyed and Adoring Wife proceeded to abandon the task of dressing and preparing breakfast for three toddlers while simultaneously getting herself ready for work and focus on that most important of issues…MY HAPPINESS.

And yes, it’s all caps.

Actually, she just yelled, “Read the damn newspaper. I’m busy!” But in my fantasy; however…

Having always considered The Dallas Morning News more along the lines of quasi-socialist, liberal propaganda birdcage liner than a newspaper, I nevertheless relented in the face of overwhelming urgency. Besides, I was pretty sure I could find another use for it in there…

And there it was. A story about more Texas cities installing cameras at intersections to ticket red light runners. In case you’re wondering where The Man might be watching you in Big D, here’s the graphic they included in their so-called ‘newspaper’:

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Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for law and order and civil obedience and yadda yadda whatever. I’m sure that such deterrents probably will save lives at dangerous intersections. I’m sure they probably ultimately serve the public good. Like I said, I’m all for it…

…as long as…

…as long as it…

…as long as it does…

…as long as it DOES NOT AFFECT ME.

Because lookit, kiddos, Daddy runs lots and lots of red lights throughout the course of the day. And the vast majority of the time, its work related. I follow people for a living, do you dig it? If necessary, I follow them through red lights. All PI’s do it, allright? And if everyone does it, it must be okay.

Just like that time I jumped off that cliff.

So, understand me, local law enforcement and constalbury officials, for I am not a difficult man. Take all the pictures you like. Mail your little tickets every driver in the greater D/FW Metroplex if it makes you feel better. BUT LEAVE ME ALONE...I’M WORKING...Okay?

Should you fail to heed my warning, rest assured my minions will rise up against you. They are docile creatures, but can be incited to madness when under the influence of my Kool-Aid.

I’m not paying fifty tickets a month. Do you understand me? No…tickets…


The Devil's In The Details

Okay, last post on the Google thing, then I’ll set them free to continue transferring all monies outside their bank account into it.

Here are some screenshots I took today from Chairman Google’s site. Note that these screenshots are not caches. As of 1/27/06, this content was still available directly on Google's main pages.
If you go to the Google Help Center and type in the word “censor”, you get a header that reads:

“What Can I Do If a Site in Your Search Results Ripped Me Off?”

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[See? I told you so. Now check this response]

‘We're always sorry to hear when a site misrepresents its products or treats individuals unethically.’

[Really? How about an entire country?]

‘As you may know, Google is a reflection of the web.’

[Mirror, mirror, on the wall…]

‘Although we aggregate and organize content published on the web, we don't control the content itself.’

[We leave that dirty work to our newest ‘associates’]

‘It's our policy not to police content.’

[Policies subject to change without warning]


[Let’s not bring Superscript Dan into this mess]

‘…we hope that by including as much information as possible in our results, you'll be able to easily find warnings about rogue sites.’

[Did they say rogue ‘sites’ or ‘states’ ?]

‘For more information about our Terms of Service, please visit…’

[Yeah, let’s do that…]

Google’s Terms of Service

[It just gets better, kids]

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[Oh, where to begin...]

‘Welcome! '

[Happy, Productive Proletariat Worker!]

'By using Google's search engine or other Google services ("Google Services"), you agree to be bound…’

[and possibly gagged]

‘…by the following terms and conditions (the "Terms of Service").’

[In Google’s defense, they never expected anyone to actually read this tripe]

‘The sites displayed as search results or linked to by Google Services are developed by people over whom Google exercises no control.’

[There are, however, others willing to step up to that plate…]

‘The search results that appear from Google's indices are indexed by Google's automated machinery and computers, and Google cannot and does not screen the sites before including them in the indices from which such automated search results are gathered.’

[For the right amount of Yuan; however…]

‘A search using Google Services may produce search results and links to sites that some people find objectionable, inappropriate, or offensive.’

[We can fix that, no sweat]

‘We cannot guarantee that a Google search will not locate unintended or objectionable content…’

[But vee do have vays of making deem talk]

‘…and assume no responsibility…’

[And the understatement of the year award goes to…]

'…for the content of any site included in any search results or otherwise linked to by the Google Services.’

[Seriously, I wish I had made all that up]

But wait…keep scrolling…

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Requests for Removal of Links or Cached Materials

‘Google occasionally receives requests from people to remove links from its indices.’

[Ha! Nuff said…]

You'd better get hopping if you want screenshot evidence of the Google That Was (Don't Be Evil Ver 1.0). I don't think they'll repeat the "I forgot to wipe my cache" fiasco when those pages go into the black hole.

Google apologists…Flame On!

Cache Is King

Ahhhhh, Google. You tried to wipe out all evidence of your crime, didn’t you? Seriously, you guys need to watch more CSI or something. Rookie, rookie, ROOKIE error!

You should know that removing the page you used to have regarding your no censorship policy in the Google Help Center wouldn’t fool the Gaggle of Google Cache Hunters out there.

Props to The Forest for the Trees for digging up the evidence of their old censorship policy. Using the Google cache, of course. There’s probably a funnier story out there somewhere, but damned if I could find it.

More alternate Google logos here. Don’t cry for them, Argentina.

Cell Me Down The River

Yep, Faithful Readers and Spellbound Kool-Aid Drinkers, I KNEW it was just a matter of time before this can of worms broke open.

Suddenly, your friendly neighborhood congressional representative is very concerned that your cell phone records are for sale on the internet. Considering they’ve been for sale online since….ohhhh….1989 or so, I applaud the catlike speed and grace with which they’ve pounced on the issue.

If not for the courage of that fearless crew, the Minnow would surely be lost.

Now, let me go on record as saying I don’t provide cell phone data to my clients. I tend to be the questioning sort, probably as a result of my past life with the Spanish Inquisition.

“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

Why? There’s just too much gray area involved, even with a legal and legitimate purpose like tracking down deadbeat parents (You’ll note I didn’t say deadbeat dads. Waaay to many useless deadbeat moms out there to play favorites with that euphemism).

So how hard is it to buy cell records online? Take a look at the Google ads in my links section. If yours are loading like mine, you can access at least 10 different providers with one click.

And, you know what? Those are the mostly LEGITIMATE ones. You wouldn’t believe the e-mail I get as a licensed PI from brokers who can get any kind of information you can imagine. I could probably get the results of your last colonoscopy if I wanted to throw enough money at it, Gentle Reader.

By the way…I don’t.

So, here’s what will happen. Laws will be passed and the domestic sites will be shut down temporarily while they move their servers offshore and commence business again. Your records will still be for sale, but with a premium on the price for the minor inconvenience of having to circumvent the law to retrieve them.

So sleep tight, America. Secure in the knowledge that you are powerless to prevent anything from happening anywhere, anytime. Or, as the brilliant Dennis Miller says:

“F*** it, who wants pie?”


Google Isn’t Schizophrenic…And Neither is Google

On one hand, Google refuses to divulge search information to the US government.

Good for Google.

On the other hand, Google spinelessly acquiesces to the Chinese government by agreeing to censor “politically sensitive terms” on its Google China site. Oh yeah, no blogging capabilities or Gmail for the Chinese either. That’s how dissidents are born.

Bad Google. Bad, bad Google. There’s just no stench like the stench of hypocrisy.

I love co-founder Sergey Brin’s rationale on the topic:

“I didn't think I would come to this conclusion — but eventually I came to the conclusion that more information is better, even if it is not as full as we would like to see”

If you squint just right at that quote, you can juuuuuust manage to read between the lines. Just let your eyes go slightly out of focus, like one of those 3-D pictures with the Statue of Liberty in it.

“I didn't think I would come to this conclusion — but eventually I came to the conclusion that I WANT CHINA’S MONEY, AND I WILL CRUSH ALL WHO STAND BETWEEN ME AND THEIR MONEY. BWAAAAA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAAA!”

Michelle Malkin has pics of some alternate Google logos. Have a good laugh.

What Tangled Webs

Okay, I think I’ve strung you along long enough, Faithful Readers and Captivated Disciples.

I won’t lie, it’s been fun toying with your heats and minds, laughing maniacally as you gazed up at me from that pit in the floor I threw you into. Ignoring your tortured pleas for mercy and demanding that it rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again.

Fine, playtime’s over. I’m going to tell you, hands down, the best way to get an address from a telephone number, listed or not.

Yeah, I know I’ve hinted in a few posts and thrown you the collective bone or two. But this time, you get the bonus package, baby.

I’m going to tell you the one place that has every address associated with every phone number in the known universe. And no, it’s not:

The Police




None of em’. Are you ready?

It’s Domino’s Pizza.

Yep, the one place in the free world that absolutely knows where you live is Dominos.

Why? Because you told them.

And if you know how to ask, they, in turn, will tell anyone.

Here’s the drill:

So you have a phone number you can’t get any info on, eh? You’ve tried on line reversal sites, you’ve Googled, and zippo.

Okay, we go back to Fone Finder. Plug in the area code and first three digits and we get the city it originates from. With any luck, it’s not NYC, NY or Los Angeles, CA. If so, may the God of your fathers be with you.

Assuming it’s not, we take the city information and go to the Dominos store locator page. Plug the city and state in there and we get the stores in that service area.

Now the fun begins.

Start calling the stores with your Caller ID blocked (*67 then the number). When Joey Zitface answers at the Bugtussle, OK location, he’ll be dumbfounded that their Caller ID database didn’t generate a number and address for him. Tell him this is for delivery, and he’ll ask the magic question:

“Can I have your phone number?”

Yes, Joey…yes you may…

Give him the suspect number and Joey will dutifully ask if you live at 123 Pretext Lane like the good little lemming he is.

Or maybe he won’t. Apparently, there are still two to three people on God’s green earth who have never ordered from their neighborhood Dominos. Or maybe their town doesn’t have a Dominos (I know…I know). Fine, hit any internet yellow pages and find every pizza joint in town. Call them up with the same spiel and eventually you will get a hit.

Or, maybe not. But trust me, you will.

You people don’t deserve me…

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

But ‘Brokeback Mountain’ cured all that.

This site is in my links on the right there, but I use it so much I thought I’d showcase it. Fone Finder will let you input a number and tell you where it originates geographically. But, far more importantly, it will tell you under the “Telco Type” heading if it is a cell phone or a landline.

For PI’s, this is important to know because if the number we have is a cell phone, we can’t assume that the person is home just because they answer the phone. Because cell phones are…you know…portable.

As far as what application it has in your lives…beats me. But you wanted to know about private eye related crap, right?

Link to Genius

Sites like the following are why God and Al Gore created the internet:



Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Some people are wealth magnets, some people are drama magnets, some people are chick magnets.

I, Faithful Readers and Captivated Disciples…am a nut magnet.


Sine the inception of this blog, I keep getting e-mails from Ty in New Jersey. Ty writes in all caps, which should always be your first clue, greenhorn investigators. His e-mails vary slightly, but always follow this consistent theme:


Having ignored the first sixty three thousand two hundred and forty seven of his e-mails along those lines, I decided one day to toss Ty a bone. I sent him this response:


Try starting here:


Hugs & Kisses,

J. Undercover

PS: They’re WATCHING!!!”

Feeling empowered by the smarmy sounds of my own jackassery, I proceeded to celebrate with the adding of Jack Daniels to Coke, oblivious to the fact that yonder tower bells did nigh yet toll noon.

And then the barrage started…


‘What messages, Ty? The blog? I can’t, its part of my court mandated therapy program.’




‘Yeah, Ty. I tried Tide with bleach but they just won’t come out.’


‘I dunno, Ty. You seem to be handling it pretty well.’

And so on and so forth, ad infinitum.

The point is, I’m sorry, Ty. You win, and I’m sorry. You want the messages to stop? They’ll stop. Henceforth, I shall discontinue living…or at least blogging.

Any posts you see here from this day on, while they may bear the name Johnny Undercover, will not be from me. From this day forth I entrust the care and maintenance of this site to my faithful disciple, Squire John. The mantle of the pseudonym Johnny Undercover, and all the awesome powers and responsibilities therein, I entrust to him.

As for me, I shall retire to my château in an undisclosed location. One can never be too careful about revealing one’s specific whereabouts with a fan base like mine, can we Ty? Suffice it to say my remaining days will be spent as a man of leisure and luxury, both impervious and oblivious to all that surrounds me.

But, Ty? Just one last request…



Letters...I Get Your Letters

One of the biggest complaints I get from you, my gentle readers and spellbound disciples is:


But all that is a matter for the courts to decide…

The second biggest complaint I get usually revolves around these lines:

“Okay. You talk about being a PI. You whine and complain about being a PI. But you never actually tell us how to DO the things PI’s do.” This is usually followed by a string of expletives and suggestions that I do things to myself I know full well are impossible.

Well, not impossible. Nothing is impossible. Possibility is never the problem. It’s probability that rears up and bites you in the ass.

Man, I’m easily distracted. Hey, look at that shiny thing over there!

What the hell were we talking about? Oh yeah, your whiny e-mails.

Well, gentle reader, there’s a good reason I don’t disclose many tricks of the trade. For starters, being a PI is a lot like being a magician. If everybody knew how we did what we do, no one would pay to see the show. And Daddy’s got bills, Shorties.

Secondly, I don’t want to suggest that I don’t trust you…but…uhhh…well, hell…I don’t trust you. For all I know, you want to track down your ex-wife living in Paducah, Kentucky and show her what you think of all those so-called ‘restraining orders’.

But, for the sake of shizzles and giggles, here’s a little trick I use often for reversing phone numbers.

Call 1-888-735-2872. This is the number to a company called Visit Florida. The good folks at Visit Florida have apparently spent a lot of money buying residential data information in an effort to get you to…well… visit Florida. Anyways, when the sexy computerized voice answers, press one for English. A not so sexy voice will then come on and ask you to enter you phone number to verify they have your address in their system. Assuming the number you enter is in their system, they will then read back the numerical portion of your address (but not the entire address). I’ve found that their database frequently includes unlisted numbers, but not always. And cells are a no go.

To which you reply, “What the hell good is this trick?”

Well, angry reader, let’s say you find a suspicious phone number on your hubby’s cell bill. Not that you’d ever snoop like that, but hypothetically. You don’t recognize it, and when you ask directory assistance to reverse if for info, they say the number is non published.

So you do the old Visit Florida trick and get a street number of 239.

Hey wait, doesn’t your former friend Stacy live at 239 Sleazy Lane? You haven’t talked to her since that Christmas party when she got drunk and kept hitting on your husband. THAT BITCH!!!

See how that works?

PS: While you’re out tooling around the web in lieu of gainful employment, check out my buddy Hector’s band’s website. They gig around in the Austin, TX music scene and have a cool Texas Music sound. Plus, they’re called Sigmund Fraud, which gets extra points for cool namage.


Rookie Errors

Man, faithful readers…Daddy really pooched one up royally yesterday. Really waded off into the stinky end of the bull pasture this time, if you know what I mean.

You do know what I mean, right? Good.

I mean, I haven’t screwed up this bad since that time I made the mistake of thinking that state appointed shrink was my friend. We were having such a nice conversation full of witty banter and open dialogue. Then we get in front of the judge and she starts throwing around terms like “paranoid schizophrenic” and “imminent threat to society”…


Where was I? Oh yeah…yesterday.

By now you’re probably asking yourself, “What could Johnny, whom we believe to have been born without sin and perfect in all his ways, have done that was so bad? Is the end now here? Is the Apocalypse upon us? Are there seals breaking and vials being poured out in the heavens? Doth the pale horse now rideth across yonder bleak sky?”

Jeez, calm down Drama Queens.

Okay, here it is…I screwed up the date and time shot on my camcorder.

You don’t get it, do you?

You see, when PI’s are out stalki…Oops! Careful with the wording there. Daddy had those records expunged.

You see, when PI’s are out conducting lawful surveillance, the evidence that we collect generally is in the form of video. After all, the camera is hard to argue with. Especially when the prosecuting attorney shows the jury the widescreen glory of you “borrowing” a few hundred dollars from the cash register while your manager is at lunch. You were gonna pay it back, right?

But…and this is a big huge badonkadonk but…it’s important that the investigator have accurate information contained within his evidence. You know, like the CORRECT DAY AND TIME. Otherwise, defense attorneys tend to ask you tough questions that lead off with, “If you’re too stupid to even set the day and time right on your camera…”

What happened was, I had to change the nicad battery in the camera. The nicad is the little marvel that keeps the date and time accurate even when the master battery is unplugged or being charged. But even the nicad must be changed on occasion.

And for future reference, greenhorn investigators, it is very…very…very…extremely…exceptionally…tremendously…very important that you reset the date and time after changing it. Otherwise, you wind up with video evidence that appears to have been collected on January 1, 1900. And any evidence collected that appears to violate the laws of quantum physics is, for all practical and legal intents, useless.

Having said all that, it’s happened before and it will happen again. For, I…gentle readers…am not that smart.


Playin’ Hookey

Well, faithful readers, yet again I have lived to tell the tale. When I woke up this morning, I was relieved to learn that my innards had begun to solidify (you’ll be thrilled to learn, no doubt). In fact, I felt sooooooo good, I did the only thing a sane person would do in that situation.

I called in sick to work…

No spying, no lying today. Nope, Daddy’s staying home with his progeny. And what have we accomplished today?

We’ve watched cartoons. Lot’s of ‘em.

All frickin’ day.

Now, I’ve always been of the theory that any day in which you gain knowledge is a day worth living. And you know what? I’ve gained knowledge today. For today, I discovered Cartoon Network's Boomerang.

Does your cable or satellite provider have Boomerang? If not, call them up and demand it. If necessary, threaten them with physical violence until they provide it. Tell the cops I said it was okay when they kick your front door in.

Cause you got-ta' got-ta' haaaaave you some Boomerang.

What is Boomerang? It’s nothing but old school cartoons all day long. By old school, I mean Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Popeye, Scooby Doo, Speed Buggy (HAH! You had forgotten about Speed Buggy, hadn't you?)…you name it.

Now, I’m not a hater when it comes to new cartoons. I love the little guy who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea (Absorbent and Porous and Yellow is He) as much as the next emotionally underdeveloped male in his early thirties (and if you don’t know whose theme song that is…you DEFINITELY don’t have kids).

But there’s just no substitute for the classics.

For example, today I seized the opportunity to explain Reichenbach's Common Cause Principle to my toddler age children by utilizing the example of Popeye the Sailor Man.

Simply put, Reichenbach's Common Cause Principle states that a correlation between events A and B indicates either that A causes B, or that B causes A, or that A and B have a common cause.

This of course is evidenced by the fact that Popeye:

A). Is strong to the finich (effect)

- Because –

B). He eats his spinich (cause)

Furthermore, as Popeye appears to become strong to the finich each and every time he eats his spinach, we can rule out any possibility of anomalous causality.

Now, what I couldn’t explain is what would cause him to pick a fight with a man 2-3 times his size over what is arguably the ugliest woman to ever walk the face of the earth (no offense, Olive Oil).

But Daddy can’t know everything, can he?


We Who Are About to Die Salute You

Man, I feel like crap.

No, I take that back. I’ve felt like crap in the past, and it felt much better than this. I’d have to characterize my current feeling as some sort of genetically altered and superior strain of Mutant Supercrap…squared.

You see, faithful readers and captivated disciples, when I got back home from Hurricane Tour ’05, all of my kids had the stomach flu.

Did I ever tell you I have three kids?

Well, I do. All with the stomach flu.

But they’re feeling better now, thank goodness. Apparently because they all three passed their particular cases of Malaysian Nuclear Hyperflu on to Daddy through some sort of Vulcan Virus-Meld process.

But what can you do?

I’ll tell you what you can do…You can Yakkity Yak Don’t Talk Back.

And you can do plenty of it.

This morning’s session of Kneeling at the Porcelain Confessional produced results that looked suspiciously like pizza, which wouldn’t bother me so much if I hadn’t had chicken for dinner.

But here I am, as always…sitting on surveillance…sweating out a fever with a temperature somewhere between nuclear fission and the fourth level of hell…praying to the God of my father and his fathers before him for death or 2 PM, whichever comes sooner.

Hail Caesar.

2005 Really Blew

Well, well faithful readers. Did you think Daddy abandoned you?

Well….I did. But I did it for the greatest, noblest, purest reason of all…


I’ve been on the road working as a hurricane adjuster since…ohh…the dawn of time, it seems like. You may have heard that there was some minor hurricane activity along the US Gulf Coast recently. Or, maybe you didn’t. Your paper probably buried it behind the tragic news of the Nick and Jessica breakup.

Anywho, I’ve been in the thick of the disaster since then. Because, as Almighty God is my witness…Wherever there is tragedy…Wherever there is suffering…Wherever my fellow man is in need…I’ll be there.

Finding a way to profit.

And yes, I’ve seen no small amount of craziness to report to you, my devoted and faithful disciples of the Church of Nosiness. Check back soon for some road warrior stories. Your hypnotically enigmatic cult leader commands you.

Right now, I must reunite with the love of my life…


My Ecosystem Details