Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Defense of the Home Frontier
*From my 2005 archives, with a little updating; with a current anti-Second Amendment AG and anti-Second Amendment congressional allies like a Black Panther-turned congressman from Illinois, probably not a bad one to repost*
"Go ahead...make my day".
One of my favorite movie lines of all time, from an actor who had the on and off screen presence to carry it off with a style of blunt brevity and a look: Clint Eastwood.
I have no doubt that, faced with the proper circumstances, my using the line would draw sarcastic laughter. More on that in a mo'.
The subject of home defense came up recently on a local radio talkshow, when the on-airs were discussing a home invasion in Boulder, CO, that went badly for the invader. Armed with a knife, he forced himself past the screaming wife into the home; whereupon she seized a bat, and began 'Barry Bonding' with the invader. Her husband, responding to the ruckus, pitched in with a vengeance.
Bottomline: they beat the invader to death. Mourners please omit flowers, and a high five for the defenders, from about everyone but the ACLU.
At any rate, the show hosts asked callers to relate what they think they would have done, if thus confronted like the victims-turned-defenders. The variety of answers was predictable, from "the same" to "I would have run away". More than one caller opined that, in essence, "it's hard to say, until or unless you're confronted, just how you'll react".
I reckon that's true of most of us.
Putting myself in such shoes -- it'd have to be his, 'cuz hers would most likely kill my feet -- the scenario wouldn't have played out the way it did. Firstly, I wouldn't have opened the door to someone pounding on it, claiming to be "county police".
We don't have those h'yar.
Secondly, I do have a security peephole to see who it is.
Thirdly -- and only relevant if "they" decide they're coming in, welcome or not -- I have something else.
Raised around firearms, I have a passing familiarity with handguns, rifles and shotguns. I've hunted in my time, generally small game. I was a police reserve officer. In former corporate job, I did property and corporate security, up to and including executive protection. I've been through formal combat handgun training.
In short, I can hit what I aim at. Even accounting for the unfortunate turkey episode in my youth (see, at my expense, a blog entry in '07 or '08, TurkeyDuck) .
In the early 90s, I got rid of my firearms. All of them. Not because I had some liberal conversion to "gun= immoral"; I just didn't feel the need to have one, and was undergoing other issues at the time.
Earlier this year, that changed. I decided it wasn't such a bad idea. Not that I had sudden qualms about being unarmed in a world that occasionally goes bonkers for no earthly reason; but it didn't hurt to think about.
In Colorado, home invaders well know that there's a law that's been on the books since, oh, say about 1976 or so: the "Make My Day" Law. Homeowners, confronted with an invader inside their humble abodes, can use deadly physical force to defend themselves and their families, if they feel the threat justifies it. The law -- criticized by opponents as an 'open season' for the trigger-happy -- has been applied a number of times since then. In only one or two cases that I recall has the applier of the law not been upheld (by chasing and shooting the invader in the yard or beyond).
In short, contrary to what the anti-gunners claimed would happen, when the "Make My Day" Law was passed, Colorado, in no way shape or form, became Dodge City.
So, what would YOU do, if your home was penetrated by a person of dubious intent and unwelcome presence?
My answer is simple, should I be home to be thus confronted: the weapon I have will dictate the terms. The invader can retreat, follow instructions, or push the issue. That will determine whether my local police will be responding to take a break-in report, make an arrest....or summon the coroner.
It wouldn't make my day, as I am not, by nature, a violence-prone person; but bad guys may be assured that despite the inclinations of the current AG and lesser congressional lights of dubious intent, I will make your forced entry very, VERY inhospitable.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Snakes On A Trail
Monday, August 17, 2009
A Reptile Dysfunction
Friday, August 14, 2009
Grocery Store Romance and Pimento Loaf
From the website archives, widda bit of updating herein...
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Crabs and Credibility
Monday, August 10, 2009
He REALLY No Like This Joke
He shoulda thought about that before engaging me in email scambat.
At the conclusion of an especially amusing and rather email-heavy scambait (about 115 messages between the scammers and me, total, and an upcoming blog column), I did an impromptu "awards email" to all of those scammers I'd dealt with through the month of June, including hisself:
Welcome all, to another email from the producers of Scam or No Scam, where we lowlight bit players from the world of Nigerian (and other) 419 online scammers who tried -- albeit pithily -- to pull off their chosen ploy on U. R. Phulovit, aka, the 419-Busting Texas Tornado (I have to laugh).
June 2007 consolation prizes -- a mention righ' chere, and on two scambaiting websites -- go to:
Johan Otto, Dupe Extrordinaire
Bannister Scott Nicholson/James/Chambers et al, International Scam Firm
Nelly Watch (you made to look foolish)
Dennis Brown, Esq and corpse-in-waiting (BTW, Dennis, is that re-written scam letter I did for you making you rich?)
Kelley Ko (I'm still waiting for you to "get me for this")
June's WINNER OF THE STUPIDEST MUGU ON THE INTERNET SCAM FRONT IS A REPEAT WINNER/WHINER FROM MAY:
Congratulations to all of you players, and please play Scam or No Scam again! No limit to entries! Coming soon to an Internet cafe in Lagos...Johannesburg...and all sorts of fly-infested mud huts spread all over that neck of the woods!
A rain of grateful 'thank you's...didn't follow. But one rather testy, ungrateful response did result. FROM THE WINNER/WHINER of June's award, no less:
From: Bruno Weka
Subject: Bitch Ass
(warning: I'm going to type this just as it was sent to me; my apologies to the easily-offended)
you have ben making fool of youself all along you gay...looling for asshole to slot in you miserble 2inches dick. for your informaton, you americans are mugus guide by sheer greed. And we have been ripping you off.there is nothing you or anybody cando about it.go to hell for all I care!!!bitch.
LOL...guess he thinks he told me, eh?
Though the lad of dubious antecedence and outcome-based education still can't spell for squat, I do have to concede him a point in his diatribe. So I decided a dignified response that concedes a point in the argument is in order:
LOL...I got a kick out of your most recent effort to make yourself feel better. Venting is good. A great emotional release. I'm sure you feel much better now. You'd make a great outcome-base-(ill)educated, progressive voter here.
Now, I don't blame you for venting. I haven't given your email much rest since you rather ineptly and ill-advisedly tried to sucker me with your fourth-rate scam. I take it you're not enjoying how I'm using your name and email address with every one of your fellow scammers who cross my path here. Well, know that I have posted all of our exchanges so that anyone on the WORLD WIDE WEB can read about how incredibly stupid and ham-handed you are.
With that said, I can at the same time understand your lashing out, using the language of an uneducated, angry child. I agree that it really sucks when you're beat at a game you're rather lousy at in the first place. But if you hope to make anything useful of yourself, you might at least learn some basic spelling. You give your game away in a number of ways; fixing your spelling would at least not make you look so simplistically idiotic.
I do have to acknowledge a point you made, Bruno: you and some of your lowlife chums have duped some Americans with your scams, as well as some Europeans. In a society like ours, there are kind-hearted, easily-trusting souls who believe in the inherent goodness in all; they are like sheep, and can fall easy prey to scum-sucking outhouse pit trash like you. And there are some greedy folks hereabouts as well, who let greed override better common sense. I don't have much sympathy for the latter, to be sure.
But for the former, scambaiters like me step in and take up your time and waste your efforts. We also, slowly and gradually, help to educate the ill-informed about what you are and why you'll ultimately return to the outhouse sludge pit you crawled from.
But you have missed the essential truth in your childish diatribe, Bruno: I AM doing something about you. So are my many and growing number of cohorts. Some of them even more successfully than me. And what's most important in that essential truth, Bruno...there's nothing YOU CAN DO ABOUT US MAKING MUGUS OF YOU, and posting it for the WHOLE WORLD TO READ ABOUT AND LAUGH AT YOU OVER!
And, my Third World buffoon, you haven't duped this here American. And you never will. I've whipped and humiliated more than 400 of your kind over the years. I have made mugus of you and your kind in public and online. I find it incredibly easy to do. The smartest of you on your best day haven't conned me on my worst.
Thus, Bruno, your pinnacle is behind you, and your downward spiral is assured. So amuse me with your angry, emotional pin-pricks as you choose. As I told you now twice, you started this with me; I will finish it, on my terms and in my own good time.
And there's nothing YOU can do about it. Unless you wanna come meet me? Puh-leease!
And I drove that point home by rewriting his angry email to me, and using it with four new potential scammers. One of which wrote back to me, thanking me for "showing her this hateful person she doesn't know, but will warn her friends about".
Of course, when I do this, I always give them Bruno's email address; but I don't give him theirs.
Thus, Bruno's not done getting angry. Perhaps I'll get him angry enough to pop a vein or a syntax. And he proves it, as this response suggests:
Lissen asshole, STOP NOW AND LEAVE ME BE! YOU HAVE NO IDEE WHO YOU MESS WITH!!!!
Dang, I have "no idee" who I mess with? Well, let's get an idee:
You're right...I only know you by the name you give, and your piss-poor spelling. But you did offer to come visit me when you come to Texas. So, come git some! I'll have coffee and a can of whup ass waiting, as well as your certificate of award! Introduce me to who I mess with! C'mawn, dude, lay a big baaaaaaaaaad introduction on my ass, Bruno! Bring it on!
A couple of days go by, and finally, my last peep from bad ol' Brunoid:
LEAVE ME ALONE DAM YOU!!!!
And I was finally forced to leave him alone...after sending him a couple weeks worth of Mwhahahahaha...I always come back! emails, his email address finally quit working.
I might also add that the Houston area code phone number Bruno gave me to contact his banker buddy on, John Word, was not left out of the equation: I gave it to the next couple dozen scammers that contacted me, instructing them that the best time to call me on it was between 1-5a US Central time. I even called the number once myself, using my Chinese engrish accent, and got a very grumpy-sounding person with a strange accent on the phone, before he hung up on me (it was about 3:20a his time, but I assure him that "it dayright where I make carr from"). About the same time that Bruno's email addy went phfffft, so did that telephone number suddenly go disconnected.
Bad Skunk....Bruno REALLY no like this joke.
*2009 note: Bruno never did "come git some".*
Saturday, August 8, 2009
He No Like This Joke
Thursday, August 6, 2009
A Good Question
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Night of the Crow
*Tick...tick...tick* goes the dull, rythmic beat of my cheap, no-frills clock on the wall behind me. The clock is pretty much like me...rather plain and austere. Not the kind of clock I would have had much to do with almost 20 years ago.
In my younger business travelling days, I had a thing for silly, novelty items. At one time, I had that stupid, battery-operated talking "trophy" bass. A decoy-looking duck telephone that quacked when it rang. An Addam's Family coin bank. And, of course, a remote-controlled fart machine.
Friends and acquaintances considered me mildly insufferable.
Returning from one business trip, I found something in one of those travel magazines that I decided I simply had to have: a battery-operated travel alarm clock. This was no ordinary travel alarm clock: it was special. It had the annoying 'beep' alarm, as most travel alarm clocks do. But it had another setting, too. One that, instead of 'beep'ing, crowed. Like a rooster.
An old Iowa farm boy, I simply had to have it. At first opportunity, I ordered it. Upon it's delivery, I wasted no time in a test of it's authenticity. After all, an old Iowa farm boy would know a credible crow when I heard it.
The alarm cock -- as it became known -- met and surpassed my silliest expectations.
Two weeks or so later, I had to make a trip to northern Indiana, via Chicago. With my alarm cock ensconced safely inside my briefcase, I settled into my business class seat and found that I had had a seating stroke of luck: for a change, instead of being seated next to a 400 lb Sumo, I was joined by a very charming, personable business woman. We exchanged pre-flight pleasantries, and I forgot about my reading material for the flight ahead.
Not long after we reached cruising altitude, I heard something. A muffled sound. A sound that kept repeating, over and over. A sound that my seatmate also heard, as well as persons all around. The sound was emanating from my briefcase. The subsequent conversation, as I recall it, went something akin to this:
Her: Your briefcase is...crowing.
Her: Why is your briefcase...crowing?
Me: Uh..well, it's on account of this (and I retrieve and open the case)..
Of course, with the case open, now all of business class was being treated to my crowing alarm cock. Which I quickly silenced, but too late for more immediate prospects:
Me: It's a...travel alarm clock.
Her: *with a look that'd changed from "you're really funny" to "you're really weird"*...oh.
For the balance of the flight, I was glad I'd brought reading material.
I figured it was a fluke, and after landing in O'Hare, I got my rental car, baggage, and was off to South Bend, Indiana, with nary a further peep from my alarm cock.
After dinner and settling in to my room in the Ramada Inn, I set up the alarm cock to provide me with a 4:30am wake-up crow, and dispensed with my usual wake-up call from the hotel desk. I figured one fluke was just that. Thus, I drifted off to visions of my lost travelling companion, dancing on my lap...
cockadoodle dooo....cockadoodle dooo...
Shot me out of bed like I'd been tasered on the soles of my feet. A quick glance at the bedside clock told me it was only 2am, not 4:30...
cockadoodle dooo...cockadoodle dooo...
Flailing around in the dark to reach and muzzle my over-eager alarm cock, I took about everything not nailed down off the night stand: phone, lamp, bedside clock, water glass, complimentary mints, Gideon Bible...and the General Quarters-like alarm cock.
cockadoodle dooo...cockadoodle dooo...
Trying to find the light to turn on, I managed to trip over the lamp -- or something -- kicking the phone against the wall and expressing to no one in particular a series of colorfully metaphoric expletives over a jammed toe...
cockadoodle dooo...cockadoodle dooo....
By now it was obvious that I had missed an ominous warning and opportunity on the plane, when the damned alarm cock screwed me over with my seatmate, I should have left the obviously demonic device in the closet restroom, or given it to a screaming four year old in coach. But it was too late now: betrayed and injured in the dark, and probably having awakened half the friggin' floor in the opening melee, I was on a new mission: to find and kill that friggin' demon alarm.
cockadoodle dooo...cockadoodle dooo...
Finally on hands and knees, I managed to turn on the floored lamp, and traced that darn fool piece of subversive vegan apparatus to where it'd taken refuge under the bed, while someone was knocking with annoyance on my wall, and someone else was knocking on my door, and the Rooster from Hell continued it's call for my personal destruction. I grabbed the alarm cock and hit the 'silence' button with force that should have been sufficient to silence a screaming cat.
cockadoodle dooo...cockadoodle dooo...
The knocking on my door became more insistent, along with a voice demanding to know "what is going on in there?"
Me: *in the calmest voice I could muster from a state of near-maniacal rage*..uh, just a minute...
cockadoodle dooo...cockado *CRUNCH*
After all that time of business travel, I'd finally found a use for that complimentary Gideon Bible: beating into silent submission, the heathenesque Alarm Cock from Hell.
Thankfully, it didn't take much explaining to my rather annoyed neighbor and hotel person as to what had happened: I am sure that my disheveled self with crazed eyes, and holding the shattered remains of a demonic alarm cock, didn't lead them to want to know more.
Upon hearing the story later -- and knowing me as they did -- my coworkers were very gracious and humored me by not telling the story to others in my presence. They did it behind my back, which had me having to answer for a couple of months the question from folks I barely knew, "uh, what happened to your alarm cock?".
And that is why, today, I have this dull, plain-Jane ticking clock on my wall. My love of novelty toys is long-since cured. Besides, I no longer have a Gideon Bible handy, in case I have to beat the heathen snarf out of any future possessed clocks.
Now, I just use a hammer.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
A "Royal Garden" Party
Got invited to a garden party,
to spend some time with some new friends,
and a chance to spend two weeks abroad,
and getting had again...
There I was, just getting over laughing my butt off about how Facebook had decided to make me "engaged", when I got the most curious email from a "foundation" about a "conference". A two week-long conference. In London, UK.
And I was invited? *Snort*...what was this, a conference of bloomin' idiots?
Well, not quite...but it sought some. To be scammed. And I was being invited. Well, not quite invited: I had to apply to be accepted to be invited.
That made it even better.
Of course, there was a chance -- a sub-atomic particle of chance -- that this was an authentic email, simply misdirected to someone of no import whatsoever. I satirically note that mistakes happen. Besides, it was the most *professionally-written* email I'd seen from anyone remotely scammish in the last few minutes.
So on the off chance this were so, I gave them the benefit of the doubt: I filled out the application as Eric Cartman, age 8, and sent it back.
Before I get to any reply I might have received, here's the seminal gist of the inaugural email from the Apex Foundation:
Hello delegate, This is an all for participation in an international conference of Ngo's holding from 10th of August till the 23rd of August 2009 in London, United Kingdom. where as many as 250 participans from across the world including health practitioners, professionals in relevant fields, lawyers, psychologists, women and youth development groups, government officials, donor agencies and participating Ngo's will mee to discuss issues pertaining to the welfare of the needy and also to meet others like yourself; to learn, teach, inspire and being inspired. This event will be exploring the potential of a practical approach that will unleash and nurture the human capacity to create, collaborate and change positively the world at large.
* Note to White House press secretary....one of your aides is moonlighting* But I digress.
It goes on to address the objectives of the meeting, in part "to provide a medium where participating individuals, groups and Ngo's will convene to aaddress and discuss ways of improving key humanitarian issues and topics with much emphasis on human rights, gender equality, peace and security, social and economic development, youth and children, health education, ethics and value and environmental protection. Participating Ngo's have direct access to grants by international donor agencies".
And it titillates the email recipient further by noting "the opening lecture will be held by Dr. Mrs. Artemisia Franco who is the president of the center for human rights research and development, Maputo-Mozambique. The program will include:
- thought-provoking plenary
- in depth breakout and dinner sessions for strategy development
- capacity and skills-building sessions; and
- debates to stimulate discussions
It added further enticements, like that the Foundation would pay for the airfare and visa/travel paper costs for each delegate, leaving only the lodging fees to be paid by each delegate. *Possible TOING* And it concluded with an application to become a delegate. Which, as noted above, I filled out as Eric Cartman, noted savant and animated cartoon character, emeritus cussalottus.
The response from the Apex Foundation's managing director, Kelvin Hook (two days later), was both concise and convinced me to work into the text h'yar a parodied slaughtering of Garden Party by the late Ricky Nelson (scattered throughout the text):
Hello delegate Eric Cartman,
After a meeting of the executive committee for delegate selection to the Apex conference in London UK, we have unanimously voted to accept your application and welcome you to the Apex conference! We congratulate you on your noted background and skills you bring to the conference (these guys are killing me h'yar).
To confirm your attendance at the conference, you are directed to at once contact via email the Royal Garden Hotel, London UK at (an email address that ended in the same @6zap.com), and upon receipt of reservtions, forward a copy of them to us for confirmation.
When I got to the garden party,
I already...knew their game,
they didn't recognize that..
for them a f***ing shame.
Before sending off an email as directed, I went online to find both the Apex Foundation and Royal Garden Hotel; both apparently exist. So I sent the real ones emails inquiring as to the authenticity of the conference (to Apex) and booking of said conference at the hotel (to the Royal Garden Hotel). Both of which I noted had differing email addresses than those of Kelvin Hook and the Royal Garden Hotel I was dealing with.
Neither of the authentic entities responded to my inquiry to authenticate anything, which is not unusual with the number of scams running rampant out there. Had either bothered to respond, they might have just denied any knowledge of what I was inquiring about, and suggested I "delete" the inauthentic emails, anyway. Killjoys.
I was free to play it my way ;-)
After a couple days to await any comment from the 'real' entities -- and getting none -- I fired off a request for reservations to the 'faux' RGH, requesting a "king room with a view, single occupancy, with a working dunny".
What I got back was a formal, and again reasonably well-written email from the 'faux' RGH (using the authentic physical address), with a price list of rooms, from a 'single' at 98 UKPS (UK Pound Sterling) per day, up to the 'Executive Double' at 153 UKPS per day.
I decided to let Eric live a little, and requested reservations in the top-drawer category, the 'Executive Double'. Later that day, I received an email that confirmed my reservation for August 10-23, in the 'Executive Double', single occupany, for a total cost of 2,142 UKPS.
Payable in advance via Western Union....*TOING CONFIRMED* What was better, it was payable to the General Manager of the Royal Garden Hotel, Graham Bamford. But NOT at the listed address for the hotel (on Kensington High Street).
An earlier scammer -- using the "you have an ATM card with millions in the account" ploy -- had sent me (aka Eric) a photocopy of the ATM card, faux account number and all, so I thought it worthy of a try to use that to "reserve and hold" my reservations. It would have been a coup de chicken to dupe one scammer with another scammer's photoshop handiwork.
Alas, Mr. Bamford was insistent that the RGH's policy was "cash in advance via Western Union". Probably the only hotel in the world that has such a requirement, and of all the hotel gin joints et cetra that I could have been duped by, I hadda be duped by this one-of-a-kind. Dang.
So I made up my Western Union receipt to send Bamford, and made up an impressively bad reservation confirmation email from Bamford, to send to Kelvin Hook, showing my good faith in obtaining the hotel reservation.
Within a day of sending each their respective receipts, the game began to go south a tad, first with Bamford and the RGH, whose quality of email writing took one of those predictable nose dives as Eric led them off-script:
Mr. Cartman, what is the nature of this pleese? i get from western union that they cant authorise pay on receept that is unreadable. send to me MTCN and amount send soonest if reservaton to get hold.
From Captain Hook, I got...confusion:
delegate Eric Cartman,
I am receept of your confirmed, but i am not clear what is why this is provable from hotel to confirm. please to resend and ak the hotel to dupicate for me.
I love script deviations...it makes for such amusing emails. And such similarity in the email styles, too.
To Bamford and his RGH, I sent back Graham, dude, yer breakin' my balls hyah...I've always found that a scanned copy of the Western Union receipt was good enough for average folks to take to Western Union and cash. I guess you ain't average, dude. So here's the information that was on the receipt, which I'll print in upsized font for you (and I did, using the largest font size my email would support, to send him a bogus MTCN number). Take that and shove it under the nose of your illiterate Western Union clerk.
To Hook, I sent dude, what is this babble you write to me? You asked for confirmation of my reservations from the Royal Garden Hotel....I sent you my reservations for confirmation from the Royal Garden Hotel. This is what you required. This is what I did. I mean, what the f*** more do you need, a seeing-eye dildo to read it?
From Hook, I get back a snarky reply: cartman this not autentic confirm for hotel i contact hotel and they clam you send them bad wire transper numbers i am most angered to you with wast of my value time. unlest you repare matter soonest your delegate sttus will be revoke.
A day afterward, I get this from Bamford: you faud!!! western union say this numbers no good for money and they insult me for this of you!!! i know you not reel you stupid person!!!
My...er...Eric's smartass reply to Bamford goes without further deteriorating comment; but Eric does make one effort to save and extend the game with Hooky:
Kelvin, dude...you would revoke my status as a delegate to possibly the most mundane conference London has never seen? That is so lame, dude. You made me a delegate. You said I had a noted background and skills to bring to the conference. How can you yank my invitation now? Think of the fame your conference will lose, not having ME at your conference! I would bring genuine animation to the proceedings, and draw a lot of interest thereto. See what I just did there? Dude, ya gotta keep me on the delegate list. I'm waaay more kewl than that stupid beeyotch you had scheduled to start the conference. I can speak to a wide range of subjects, from why dolphins are soooo stupid, to how rainbows crawl up your leg and bite the inside of your ass, and what it feels like to have an alien probe implanted in your butt, causing you flaming gas. And how about the time I got the best of Bin Laden, using Loony Toons tactics, eh? And made Sally Struthers give up her warehouse full of stuff for poor kids? Dude, I got 14 seasons of achievements way more kewl than some bimbo from some backwater country that doesn't know sand paper from toilet paper! Ya gotta keep me on as a delegate, dude. Your conference will flop like a carp on hot asphalt if you drop me, you butt licker! I'll bet Kyle put you up to this, right? I'll bet you ARE Kyle, aren't you? I'm coming over there and kick you right squah in the balls, Kyle!
That was apparently much too much for ol' Hook to comprehend, as my last communique from him was you stupid person stop now all emale.
So I sent him and Bamford a three page MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I mean, shouldn't we end this all laughing and jovial?
Apparently, they didn't think so.
At the end of the garden party,
they were mad enough to spit,
angry and all offended,
I didn't give a sh** ;-)