Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just A Russian Chick Magnet

No wonder my pet rock, Seymour, has more friends on Facebook than me. He's a regular chick magnet.
His wind chime spouse, Windy, is NOT amused.
While cavorting with Mayden and Pixie in North Carolina, Seymour was receiving the following email, with attached and displayed photos:
Hi! Have good day! The computer in service of acquaintances found to me some profiles of people which coincide with my inquiry. I preliminary studied them and has decided to send you, and only you, to the first the message because your structure seems to me more interesting and good rounding (I am NOT making this sh** up; she really wrote that). I hope, that you have time to send me some messages that we could it is better to find out each other. I shall tell a little about myself: my age of 25 years old, my name is Olga. I was not married and I live in an apartment of my parents. Some years, after the ending of training I work in the house with children, I am engaged in their education and training, I prepare them to the first campaign in school. To me to like productive leisure (that got a *TOING* out of Seymour, until he realized it wasn't reproductive leisure that she was referring to...we think) periodically go in for sports for maintenance of a body (and she looks pretty well maintained). I like to travel and be in different place, but my work does not allow me to do it frequently. I have many friends, we sometimes together spend time, play billard and tennis, we have other entertainment (maybe we were wrong, she DOES like reproductive leisure?). I send you picture that you knew my person.

Also I want to ask you to send me some picture of you (this may prove a problem early on). Please ask things interesting you about me and inform me some. The information on you: what you love an entertainment? What your character? What you love qualities in woman? Whether You had the wife (this one will cause some problems, too) ? I shall answer on your question and to inform you it is more about itself in following email (yeah, what she said..). I shall be wait for your massages (Seymour about blew rock boogers out what passes for his nose on that one). Mine address is (her email addy). Your friend Olga.

Windy is already pissed off at Seymour, but he still wants to correspond with this one. Despite the fact that the actual email was addressed, not to Seymour, but to "Jerome": Jerome "Curly" Howard, aka Curly of The Three Stooges, whom I had play a number of Russian email scammers from this very addy.
I also pointed out to Seymour that this is clearly a scam: I have photos of this very same young lady in my well-stocked Russian scamstress photo archive. As Niki Shastapova. Vena Mintcheva. And Poly Ilanova.
Seymour is not dissuaded; he's still hung up on that *massage* typo (and I know it was a typo).
Soooooooo, Seymour dictates me an eager but restrained reply, meant to further communication with Olga (while Windy hangs in the corner, seething). Meantime, I try to play a bit of a peacemaker between the squabbling newlyweds, and test Olga (or her handlers) grasp of English, with this loosely-interpreted adaptation of Seymour's intended reply:
My dearest, sweetest, most perfectedly sculpted Olga,
From the moment I laid eyes on your email and photos, I am hard. No, really. It's how I'm built. But you already knew that, referring to my profile as well-rounding. Not grammatically correct, but it's more geologically accurate than you know. And I digress. I take digression for granite, as you'll soon learn.
Hi and greetings, my lovely steppes flower! I am Seymour, and I am Absolut in my eagerness to get to know you and your bodily maintenance. It is obvious that your maintenance crew is first-rate, I must say. Yowza baby. And do I mean that in all syntax and dialects, including Cyrillic.
Your email simply rocked my world, Olga. I want to know simply ALL there is to know about you. And ask you if you have any bikini pictures? I adore forms like yours in bikinis. It's what I dream of, not having a speedo shape myself.
Write me back with some stunning bikini photos -- or of you wearing less, if you wish -- and I'll tell you simply all there is to know about me, my life, my loves, and my sincere wish to get to know you in the most horizontal hubba hubba ways imaginable, speaking from a productive leisure sense, of course. You simply look so procreative in your pose, y'know?
Awaiting your adoring reply,
Seymour was initally oblivious as to what I wrote versus what he asked me to write, and remained so, until Olga replied, that is:
Seymore, what kind talk is this for me you say? Bikini photo? Please to explain to me all that what is writed by you to me. I am not understanded here.
Attached to her reply, was what I wrote her (and you read above), and not the hokum that Seymour dictated.
Seymour was furious; Windy was laughing her chimes off.
So Seymour insisted I draft a conciliatory reply, so he could further develop the relationship. After writing down his rather tepid, mushy apology, I took some creative liberties widdit:
Built-like-a-brick-Kremlin Olga,
I am terribly, sincerely sorry that you were not complimented by my previous prose. I meant no insultski, or to infer that you were anything less than a lady of the evening that goes for $25-50 bucks down on East Colfax. I just thought that if you had any bikini photos of you, I'd enjoy them. If you have any naked photos of you, I'd enjoy them more. Yes, I am a male geologic pig. But honesty is, after all, the best policy, is it not, my sweet little Slavic slut?
And to show you my obvious sincerity and integrity, I am enclosing my photo for your thorough and female arousal enjoyment. I know I'm buff; makes your mouth water and loins moist, I know.
Waiting your nudity for my pleasure,
Seymour who wants to see more ;-)
And yes, I included a photo of Seymour at the beach in NC (for purposes of security, I cropped Windy out of the version I forwarded to Olga).
It's been a few days now, and not another word from Olga. Seymour is not talking to me, though he's happy to be enroute to visit another good blogging friend in Virginia. But as I sealed him in the box before delivering him to the UPS Store, Seymour had one parting editorial comment for me:
I don't think it was gas from Thanksgiving dinner. I don't think....

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Duck & A 'Revised' Thanksgiving

*From the holiday archives*

*Something new, then an archived and seasonal favorite*

I've heard of hysterical revisionism in school, but this one was too good not to 'build on': a great-grandmother that frequents my place of employment simply had to tell me about her discussion with her 5 year old great- granddaughter.

She had asked her great-granddaughter if she was ready for Thanksgiving, and the answer she got was curious: "uhm, no, grandma".

"Why not?"

"Because, grandma, Thanksgiving is a sad time!"

Surprised at that, great-grandma queried further:

"Why is Thanksgiving a sad time, hon?"

"Because, grandma...the Pilgrims borrow a ship to leave England because they wanted a new place to take over. And when they got to Plymouth Rock, they spread their diseases to the Indians -- the people who were already here -- and all the Indians died!"

No matter what great grandma said in correction, this little five year old refused to believe that there was a feast of Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and the Indians, before "all the Indians died!".

Great-grandma shook her head, and asked me how does one overcome that kind of thing being taught in school?


If idiot political correctness teachers can make it up as they politically indoctrinate, so can ol' Skunk, in an politically incorrect mode:

The Pilgrims -- persecuted in England for wearing funny-looking clothes -- decided to find a place where they could practice fashion in freedom. So they leased a boat from Mayflower Moving & Storage, and set sail on a "Journey of Discovery", not knowing that they would be in copyright violation almost two hundred years later (with Lewis & Clark, who discovered that the Louisiana Purchase was kinda bigger than that). And when they arrived at Plymouth Rock, they discovered a land that was wild, untamed, and didn't have public restrooms, pubs, traffic circles or a Super 8 lodging already built. This distressed them, having called ahead for reservations, or so they thought they had. Obviously, the travel agent screwed them. But, they found reason to be happy with their place of arrival, because the local inhabitants -- Native Americans that didn't know that that's what they were, and wouldn't until someone dreamt up the term "political correctness" -- already had freedom of fashion, and dressed even funnier than the Pilgrims had been accused of. The Native Americans -- amused by the fluffy white shirts and high-water pants, giving the "pale faces" the look of the dude on the Quaker Oats box -- took pity on them, and taught them how to grow turkey and shoot maize, and thence a great feast of thanksgiving came to be. During which, the Pilgrims taught the Native Americans a new sport called "plates and sticks widda ball", which the Native Americans found really weird, but fun. And THEN, half the Pilgrims died from a pre-Ted Kennedy progressive health care plan that really sucked, as well as half of the Native Americans, who thought the sport was fun but the health care plan from the fat pale face really sucked. So what was left of the Pilgrims planted, sewed, and procreated because there was no late-night TV to otherwise distract them, and they gradually prospered until some idiot came up with the idea of "share the wealth" communism. Meantime, what was left of the Native Americans, thinking "screw the pale face notion of progressive taxation with and without representation", moved to Cleveland, and their descendants formed a baseball team. And thus was born the tradition of Thanksgiving in one culture, and a really disappointed Cleveland fan base each October thereafter.

Great grandma didn't know any better, so she laughed, and said I should blog this story.

So this is really her fault...and now:

*A seasonal and personal favorite from my website archives*

Family holiday anecdotes come in many forms: funny. Touching. Memorable. Annoying. And then there are anecdotes that didn't happen during family holidays, but should have.

Thus I present to you the following holiday, non-holiday anecdote. This is a true story, one I have shared with readers since the family likes to remind me of it at least once a year.

In early 1970, my family lived in rural Iowa, along a highway that was travelled by flatbed semis bearing loads of live poultry, likely enroute for KFC or Butterball conversion. On one day when Fate's smile was especially obtuse, a young turkey somehow escaped the confines of the cage upon a passing flatbed, and jumped into the roadside ditch, not 50 feet from where my younger brother was skulking about, dreaming of doing something spectacular on an otherwise dull spring day. With the dream springing conveniently into his midst, he decided this escapee needed succor, so he rounded up the bird and presented it to Ma as an exile seeking political sanctuary from culinary persecution.

He really didn't present it to her that way, but it sounds good to the politically correct in the audience. What follows -- to the politically correct -- won't, but no one cares.

My brother fancied he'd caught himself a pet: we did live on a farm, after all. My folks fancied another notion, involving fattening up the culinary refugee for a Thanksgiving reckoning, months from then (so much for succor). The rest of us just considered the bird as one more chore (feeding, watering, etc). At any rate, the turkey rated his/her own pen, under the shade of an orchard apple tree at the NW corner of the yard.

This was, as I recall, in late February/early March. Now advance to April or early May, same year. My father was a sheriff's deputy for the local county, and had recently acquired what was and is known as a "back up gun": a .22 magnum semi-auto pistol. On one Sunday, he decided to take the gun out and test fire it. Being 13 at the time, I tagged along, hoping to get the chance to cross the Rubicon, and fire my first non-BB gun firearm, under the trained guidance of Pop.

Using our trash burning barrel as a backstop, he attached a silhouette target to it, stepped back about 30 feet, and placed a few accurate holes in the target. Taking it all in with the image of John Wayne in mind, I was more than ready for when it would be my turn. My turn came with a brief lecture on firearm safety and handling, followed by my being allowed to hold the firearm directed toward the target, with the safety on. After giving me all the directions on target acquisition, pointing, aiming, breathing, etc., he took the safety off, handed me the firearm, and closed my pre-firing inauguration with the totally absurd-sounding admonition, "now don't shoot the turkey".

"Dad!" was my semi-indignant response: the turkey was in a pen, 15 yards further on and to the right of my intended target. I was almost insulted. I carefully sighted in, closed one eye, and squeezed the trigger.


Instantly, the turkey started flopping about it's pen, mortally wounded.

Pop -- straight-faced -- quietly removed the gun from my hand. The subsequent autopsy, conducted by Ma under the guise of prepping dinner, revealed the turkey died from one bullet hitting it dead-center through the middle of the neck at the base of the head. In those days, I couldn't have made that shot with a scoped rifle. It's no better today, but I digress.

In retropect, I know I committed at least two beginning shooter's faux pas: I failed to anticipate the recoil of the pistol, and I jerked the trigger. To pull the shot that far to the right, well, I couldn't explain it then, though I suspect a sudden tornadic gust of wind was involved. I just know that at turkey dinner that night while the folks and other siblings snickered at me, my one brother sat there, glaring at me. Far as he was concerned, I'd murdered his pet.

Since I was older and bigger, glaring is all he got to do.

I get to relive that episode at subsequent Thanksgiving dinners down the years ("Yo, Big/Lil' Bro, did you shoot this one too?"). But it's allowed me to conclude one critical and overlooked element that significantly contributed to the premature demise of that particular fowl so many years ago. My late brother wouldn't buy it, nor do my other siblings, but it's my story and I'll stick to it to my dying day.

The turkey forgot to duck.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Random Amok

I have no idea what's gonna be writ h'yar.
So hang onto your syntax, since mine ain't wearin' a seat belt.
1. Regarding all the current hoopla about the TSA and 'Rape (or) GropeGate', since I haven't flown anywhere since May '01, and have no plans to venture anywhere that my four-wheeled steed can't git me to, I say only this: if I could be assured that my scanner opt-out would result in getting groped by Shania Twain, Sarah Palin, or Jenna Lee of Fox News...hell, I'd book a flight to Newark. Nothing says I have to board the plane...
2. Bad as things have been in Broncoland this season, it could be worse: we could have Brett Favre throwing his junk here, instead of at a Jet's sideliner, or for the Vikings.
3. No matta how bad any of the teams I follow are doing, it's friggin' football: I'd watch the nuns of St. Dipstick play the Girl Scouts of Troop Fuggedaboudit, long as there's hits and trash talk.
4. Despite how bad things are in Califorlornia, too many of the voters there supported digging the hole deeper and deeper. Then, turned around and rejected legalizing marijuana, right when getting high was the only illusional relief they're gonna find. The legals are going to be fleeing to Arizona soon.
5. Seymour's been hit on by a Russian bride scammer, "Olga". She's blonde, cute...and her picture's crossed my scambaiting radar screens before, under different names. Olga wrote to Seymour, but called him "Jerome". Obviously, the Russkies haven't gotten the word out about how Jerome "Curly" Howard was responding to Russian scammers from beyond the grave. Maybe a pet rockski will do better? I doubt it.
6. Painful rectal itch sucks. Glad I don't have it.
7. Seymour's had a good year: came back from Ohio. Went to Texas. Got married. Got mentioned in the acknowledgments of a book sequel. Went to North Carolina. Got in trouble with his spouse. Is going to spend Thanksgiving in Loveland, and then is off to Virginia. Seymour ain't scared of the TSA. He goes UPS Ground. TSA, neener.
8. It's snowing in the mountains. It isn't snowing here. Mountains is that way, yetis.
9. I don't give a damn who hit Annie in the fanny with a flounder. I don't know the flounder.
10. A door knob is smarter than Joy Behar.
11. Thank you, US Military, both active and retired. Never 'nuff said on that.
12. Dear Comcast: I'll be cancelling my cable in February. No cable when there's no football. It's against my religious billing cycle.
12a. Painful nose hair boogers suck. Glad I don't have any.
13. Save the whales: prohibit them from migrating through a forest during logging operations.
14. O'Reilly, when you ask a question, SHUT UP and let 'em answer it, m'kay? When they start being evasive, THEN pin their ears back.
15. Olbermann, just freakin' SHUT UP. You're a moron. Providing more proof is unnecessary redundance.
16. I won a free trip in a raffle, to hunt with Dick Cheney. I'm not using it.
16a. Painful in-grown ear hair sucks. Glad I don't have any.
17. 2011 will be the Year That Followed 2010.
17a. I'm not buying a 2011 calendar; my 2010 one worked just fine.
18. I took a quiz on Facebook that said I would die in 2013. Fine. I won't have to pay taxes that year. Phffffft.
19. My pet rock brags he's got more friends on Facebook than I do. That's true; and in the past two weeks, he's lost more than I have. To quote a reader, *snerx*.
20. I left a bunch of chocolate at work. It's locked up. Mwhahahahahaha.
21. It is said that with age comes wisdom. My wisdom was surgically removed -- all four teeth -- in '83. The rest makes sense since then.
22. My smoke detectors need new batteries; too much speed dialing the Culinary Crisis Center this year. After years of neglecting the core problem, I'll look into fixing it this year, with longer-lasting batteries.
23. To family and friends who've whupped cancer this year: you rock.
24. A coworker walked up to me on 11/20/10 and thanked me for saving his life one year ago. All I did was ask a few questions and make a phone call. Others did the hard and important parts.
25. My 19" color Panasonic TV still works. When converted to human from electronics years, it's celebrating it's 100th birthday. Hope it doesn't fall and break a hip changing channels.
26. I could have a few more, but I started getting lame at #1.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Star Bleck?

*Author's note: this was originally run in '06, and thanks to a comparable subject post by a fellow blogger, I'm dredging it up with some 2010 updates. None of which changes the conclusion I reached then, and hold today. More on that herein*

Memories. Sometimes, they come back.

In a Stephen King anthology, there was a short story entitled Sometimes They Come Back. In that case, it was and wasn't a good thing for the fictional lead character of the tale. In my case, trust me: it isn't good. Memories that came back in the early morning hours. Memories that have a paper and audio trail.

When I first wrote this piece, I blamed MissCellania. For the 2010 update, I blame Shrinky.

Well okay, not really in either case. But in '06, the former's most recent Star Trek post -- when read at about 2:20am on Thursday morning -- reminded me of a long time ago, in a very rudimentary basement studio far far away*, and the thrice-conducted exercise in "too much time on their hands they could've been constructive with, but chose not to be" that would/will never be allowed to see the light of entertainment day.
Had it been otherwise, we would have been the William Hungs of our generation. And one of those within a millennium of recorded history is more than enough.

As for 2010, visit Shrinky's blog on her current post (11/14/10), and the rest is easily figgered out.

These photos (among a few others) are of the long-defunct Sickbay Productions, UnInc. recording studio, set up in the basement of one of my then coworker's rented home. Done up in a distinctly sci-fi motif, and using the latest (sort of) in patchwork equipment bought from Radio Shack or begged, borrowed and purchased from gar(b)age sales (back in the late 70s, mind you), my partner in audio crime set up a recording studio.

Whilst he undertook the technical end, I undertook the writing end: three scripts, all with parody as the objective and science fiction as the theme. At the time -- 1979-1982 -- there was no shortage of examples to parody: Star Trek. Battlestar Galactica. Star Wars. We hit all three. It was a time before the "three strikes and out" rule.

Too bad, but only if anyone ever gets their hands on the scripts or, worse, the audios**. More on that in a mo'.

Once a script was done, he and I would undertake to collect and arrange the sound effects, music, etc. All lifted from sources, as much as thrice-removed from the original versions. What we couldn't find, we made up. Badly.

Then, after working a night shift at our primary livelihood (which those of us involved all did at the time), we would gather in the basement studio and spend the better part of a day swilling coffee, noshing on cheap donuts, and recording our parody. We had no editors, save for us. We had no producers, save for us. We had no director, save for us. We were five or six idio..dedicated, committed*** folks, doing the voices for up to 15 parts.


We created three audio tapes, plus one outtakes/blooper tape. The total hours spent, per recording, we once estimated at about 60-80 man hours, from start to finish. And if you were to ask "why?", my answer would vary from then to now:

Then: "because it's fun".

Today: "I musta drank a fifth before I pled the Fifth..."

These "things" -- the scripts and audio recordings -- have remained hidden away in my paper archives for the better part of 28-31 years. As I drug them out, triggered by the latest 2006 and 2010 posts on memories, I was quick to remember, in a brief re-read of one of them, why they remain buried in my archives: they suck. Worse than Survivor. Worse than a cosmic black hole. Worse than Keith Olbermann.

Yeah, they're THAT BAD. Truly.

The sound quality is atrocious; at times, the sound effects overwhelm the speaking parts. At other times, we should have been so lucky. Our script reading was about as convincing as being told by a politician that raising our taxes to provide everyone with a socialized porcupine enema is in our collective best interest. The scripts themselves...ewwww. The shortest was 26 typed pages; the longest, 37. What I thought was funny 28-31 years ago, is beyond embarrassing today. For instance, this following exchange between Capt. Quirk and Mr. Snott:

Quirk: Bridge to Engineering...

Snott: Engineerin'...Snott here...

Quirk: Mr. Snott, stand by your warped drive from some possible high speed maneuvers...

Snott: They work much better when ah'm at the controls, Captain...

Quirk: *sigh* You know what I mean, Snotty...

Snott: Aye sir, bu' ah can't be sure the engines will perform as they shoold sir...

Quirk: Again? What this time?

Snott: Well sir, runnin' at warped seven from the XR-1B system ta here critically drained the dysentery crystals, an' rechargin' the matter-don'tmatter pods ain't workin' as it shoold to...we could rupture the nuclear intake reactor valve on the number four coupling junction of the cross cable shunt inversion control circuit, iffen we put it into warped drive too quickly, sir...

Quirk: in all my years of command, it's a wonder we're not dead...

Spark: Logically speaking, that is indeed a wonder, Captain...

Quirk: Mr. Spark, don't you have something...ANYTHING somewhere to be analyzing?

Without waiting for Mr. Spark's answer, 'Nuff said.

Three scripts abominate the screen play history: Star Bleck and the episode entitled Oops; Battlestar Gassitacktica and The Gadoofay Incident; and, of course, Scarred Wars. And three audio tapes, plus the aforementioned blooper tape (the latter of which, in 2010, cannot be found...'prolly 'cuz of the philosophy that "careful what you look might find it", so I ain't).

Thankfully, I don't have the Return of the Mushroom Men script I co-wrote in high school; my then-English teacher has that, and Gawd alone knows why she wanted it. Perhaps to hide it, and conceal the fact she ever knew or attempted to teach me, but I digress.

All of which should go where a few men have gone since the original Star Trek series aired, and Ralph Kramden threatened to send Alice: bang zooom to the moon. 'Cept the Moon ain't far enough away (some schlep Chinese or Russian might find the crap in the next decade). Nor could I, in 2006, afford to pay for the space on the rocket that's sending the original Mr. Scott's ashes into orbit this summer, so they can deservedly burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

Thus, the tapes and scripts will return to my buried archives, wherein I will include a note: upon my demise these "things" are to be cremated with me.

It's bad enough I've admitted to their existence.

Aye, laddie.

* well, only a few miles SE of here...

** actually, when the last casette player has gone the way of cave etchings, we'll be safe from any potential leak of those casettes...

*** or should have been...

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Friday, November 12, 2010

He Knows If You've Been Bad...

I just knowd I'd saved this card for more than 20 years, for a reason.
As some of you may know, I let my pet rock, Seymour, take on a scammer that sent an offer to his email address. Vic(toria) Seaman, an alleged Darfur refugee, whose assasinated Pa had, afore he wuz kilt, put away $6.5 million USD for Vic(toria) in a Swiss bank for her. BUT -- don't you just hate the "BUT" when it crops into something that sounds too good to be true -- it was set up so that Vic(toria) Seaman couldn't access the cash without first enlisting the help of a foreigner "of good repute".
And that was where Seymour came in, of quartz...*ducking boos and throwd geodes*.
Granite *ducking agin*, Seymour's kinda new at this kinda thing. And they threw a full ensemble at him: Vic(toria) Seaman, refugee; Rev. John Leeds, Darfur refugee camp manager; Ms. Patty Cakes (really), Swiss banker; Dumu Iroko, bannister-at-law, Senegal; and later, Carmi Bebo, bannister-at-law, Senegal. But with a wee bit of my help now and then, Seymour managed to confuse the snarf out of Vic(toria) Seaman; get cursed by Rev. Leeds; piss off Ms Cakes; and get Iroko fired, resulting in Carmi Bebo being retained as legal counsel.
The emails are long and tortured, and Seymour's in enough trouble with his wind chime spouse, Windy, who doesn't know how scambaits work, and saw that Vic(toria) was referring to Seymour as her "future huband". More on that anuddah time.
At any rate, I'm not transcribing the whole scambait herein, especially since it's still ongoing; it'd take too long and be too tedious, between the moments of pure mirth. BUT -- do you sense a theme here? -- I did want to let you know, as well as Seymour, who's gonna get blamed for it, what I dun.
Since the second bannister gave me an address...and I had this Xmas card that I've held onto for over 20 years...well...*TOING*...even if the address given ain't legit...well...I printed a copy of it, and overseas airmailed it to Bebo. On behalf of all of them.
Yeah, I know: odds are, none of them will ever see it. Yeah, I know: I just wasted a few bucks (less than $4) to do that. Yeah, I know: it ain't Xmas time quite yet.
BUT -- you hadda know that was coming -- I just couldn't resist.
And best of all? They'll all think it came from Seymour.
"Did NOT!"
BUT they won't know that. Granite *ducking agin*, Santa will; BUT if anyone rates as 'bad' in his book....well....y'know. They'd all be wise to cover their chimneys, iffen they got 'em, a month and a half from now.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembered This Day

On this day, and on every day, remember this: without them, there wouldn't be us.
Thank you, US Military, veterans and those now serving. God bless you, and God bless America.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

She Ain't Heavy...She's My Scammer

I had heard about a scam tactic where a friend or acquaintance's email account had been hijacked/hacked into, and the scammer used it to try to bilk money out of that person's friends/family.
Until recently, I hadn't personally received such an email. Now, in a short time, I've seen it twice.
The second time, I decided to play (knowing that the person purportedly writing, was NOT on vacation in Scotland at the time).
While the scammer identified him/herself as an acquaintance, my character never identified himself to the scammer. So much the better.
Here was the scammer's opening gambit:
Subject: Horrible Situation!!!
How are you doing? Hope you slept well last nite ? I'm writing this with tears in my eyes, my family and I came down here to Scotland, United Kingdom for a short vacation unfortunately we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed all cash, CC and cell were stolen off from us, luckily for us we still have our passports with us. We've been to the United State Embassy and the Police here in Wales but they're not helping issues at all but we're having problems settling the hotel bill and the hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the bills. I'm freaked out at the moment...I need you to help me out.
There were an obvious number of obvious 'flags' in this email; but the easiest one was how the scammer signed it. My friend has NEVER, with me, gone by that name.
So after letting my friend know that I was gonna have some fun, it began:
Mercy sakes, C! This is sphincter-wrenching dreadful! What can I do?
I'm so glad you replied back, we have nothing left on us right now and we are lucky to have our Life and passport with us it would have been worst if they had made away with our passports.Well i need a quick favor from you,I was wondering if you can lend me $2,250 so that we can sort the hotel bills and get a cab to the can have it wired to my name via Western Union I'll have to show my passport as ID to pick it up here,you have my word and i can make it up to you, I promise to pay you back as soon as i get back home. Here's my info (which was again the formal name that my friend never uses, and some address in Edinburgh Scotland). As soon as it has been done, kindly get back to me with the MTCN confirmation number.i owe you a Lot.
Wow, C, you are lucky that it wasn't worst than that! After all our years and experiences together, you had to know you could count on me, and if anyone knows how good you are at making things up, it's me. I think I have the amount you need available. Soon as I get off work, I'll go right to the bank and wire it at once! We can discuss my honorarium when you get home.
Thank you, thank you I knew i could count on you!!! Waiting for wiring informations.
The wait was overnight, and when I checked the next morning, I had this:
Still waiting? Please to hurry! the hotel manager is get impatent.
Dang, C! I completely forgot after work last night! Work was so arduous. I'll go right now, on my way to work! You only need $250, right?
I count on you! No, no i tell you we need $2,250! Wire it via western union just as i told you. hurry please!
$2,250??? Whoa, C! I thought it was only $250. Let me see what I can do here. Get back to you after work.
i still waiting? what is the MTCN please?
There isn't a MTCN yet. I'll get the $250 to you this afternoon, I promise.
i need $2,250! i tell you this? what is the MTCN?
Finally, after a day of exchanges (I wasn't at work, and enjoyed putting 30-45 minutes between emails), I sent this:
Okay, the money is sent. Safe trip home to you, C!
i need the MTCN to get the money? you need to tell me!
Again, I waited overnight before sending a bright and early response:
C, I sent you the money right to where you said. Oh, I didn't send it Western Union; I sent it FedEx Overnight, to the address. You'll have it tomorrow.
An hour and a half later, that drew this spirited response:
you dumass! dont you listen to instruction? send me money Western Union! you are dumass!
It was now time to see how much longer the scammer would entertain their illusion of scamming money from yours truly:
Well hell, C, you shoulda knowd that; we were married for five years, until you had the affair with the neighbor's Great Dane, and you left me to live in a kennel and cook Gaines Burgers for litters. I kept trying to tell you that the movie Deep Throat was just fantasy porn, and not a true-life story. And I'm the dumb ass? You should be happy I didn't write to the authorities over there about your lacking of a flea collar, and your failure to get your distemper shot. So quit whining like a mangy cur and take what you get with aplomb. I'll buy you a box of Milk Bones when you get back. Sheesh...will you EVER grow up?
Guess I shouldn't have been so 'rolled up newspaper' in my approach; communications came to a yapping halt. The scammer wouldn't "speak" to me anymore ;-)

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Post Electorials

By and large -- save for Alaska and Washington state -- it's over.

Y'all know who won and who lost.

We hope it wasn't the American voter and taxpayer. Time will tell.

But three overlooked things of some degree* of significance took place yesterday, and deserve to be noted:

- the candidate of the The Rent's Too Damned High Party, running for governor in New York State, didn't win. But he's got a website. And a music CD. And he might run for mayor of NYC.

And the rent is still too damned high.

- The City of San Freakcisco -- with all the things a city in the state of Califorlornia, COULD find to be worried about -- has launched a strike on, of all things...McDonalds. As decreed by the city council, McDonald 'Happy Meals' will no longer be able to include a toy. We're saved.

- The City and County of Denver had, among its most pressing issues to vote upon, a ballot initiative to approve, or not, the creation of a commission to plan how to meet and greet a genuine alien contact. Not from across the border....but from across the cosmos.

It lost. Despite the liberal/progressive inclinations of the voter base of the City and County of Denver, a campaign ad against the initiative -- a reprise of the Martians in Mars Attacks!, hosing the Congress -- apparently had its effect. A high ho hearty 'rack ack ack RACK ACK', and space aliens will have to go elsewhere to apply for Social Security and food stamps.

I'm sure there was more elsewhere, worthy of commenting on. But I've got butt-hurt scammers I've been neglecting, to get back to.

* To someone, somewhere, who's pissed that Califorlornia said 'no' to legalized pot. Since the state's there fiscally, that loss really hurts...

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote, Dammit!

Pardon the bit of rambling herein, and the fact that I probably shoulda posted this a day sooner.
This isn't the usual 'fun with scammers' stuff. Just a tad of commentary. Like it or not, it's what I think and what I see, and I stand by every last syllable of it.
Election Day, 2010. I don't know if it's the most important election in my lifetime, though it certainly is the most important in this young century. The first election I could vote in was 1976, and that was a pretty significant milestone. And I haven't missed a major election since, so I reckon I've made my voice heard on a few significant moments in electoral history.
True, I haven't always been happy with the results. But that wasn't as important in the larger scheme of things, as was the fact that I exercised my God-given, Founding Fathers-designed, and defended by our men and women of the US Military, right to vote. That was what was truly important. That was a right that's been paid for, time and again, by the blood of the guarantors of our freedoms to continue to be the greatest nation on Earth. And just as we have right along, we owe it to them -- currently on the firing line in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as elsewhere -- to make wise, judicious, educated use of the rights they're paying a price to defend for us to have.
Too many folks take that right -- and that sacrifice -- for granted. At times in the past, including me. Too many don't do their homework before making their choices; they let partisan ideology be their guide.
Others bitch and moan a good deal about what's going on, but when it comes to vote....they don't bother. "Doesn't matter" or "won't make any difference" is frequently their excuse to pass on national, regional, state and local decision-making, decisions that effect their lives, the economy, their national defense, their health and welfare.
And that of their kids, and future generations.
For those so-minded, they get EXACTLY what they deserve, especially when they're unhappy with the result.
Today's Congress -- sporting one of the lowest approval ratings in modern history -- sucks. And yes, it's the fault of every last member on the Hill, whose forgotten the oath they took when they were first elected, and ever since.
But it's the greater fault of the voters, who have allowed this Congress to become one of the worst in our history. WE have the power; and too many of us DON'T EXERCISE IT. Hence, how we wind up with just what we deserve: a crap salad, on wry.
Pun intended.
Those of you who've read this blog the past five years, know where I stand, politically. Agree or not, you should at least agree that we, the voters, are responsible for making our elected leaders accountable for their actions, and holding their feet to the fire. Too many of us allow them off the hook, and "vote for the devil we know", rather than a voice of change. Too many of us let a partisan, no-longer objective media, try to shape our opinions, rather than demand truth in journalism, as well as in politics.
Currently, the Tea Party is trying. But, like any political movement, it is not united. Nor is it always right. But at least in 2010, they have flexed their electoral muscle, leaving party and media elites on both sides, flummoxed.
At any rate, and just as in years past, I have exercised my right to vote. A right I owe to God, the Founding Fathers, and the US Military who -- rightly or wrongly sent forth to the far frontiers by a civilian government that doesn't always know what the hell it's doing -- have paid for me to have the right I owe it to them to exercise.
So do each one of you.
But don't just go and pull a lever for an (R), a (D), or some other party affilation. Take some time, do some research, ask some questions, and START HOLDING ELECTED OFFICIALS AND MEDIA PUNDITS RESPONSIBLE. There is no excuse to sustain a crooked politician, term after term, because you're afraid a new person will be worse. There was a time in this country that honesty, ethics, and integrity meant something. When our elected leaders are allowed to abandon theirs, when our media pundits can sell theirs....why should we expect upcoming generations to have something they're not being taught by their mentors?
Words mean things. Actions speak louder than words. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Honesty, ethics, integrity. Credibility. Responsibility. Accountability. Love of God and Country.
Time we got back to that.
In parting, I hear the pundits suggesting the Republicans and some Tea Party candidates stand to turn Washington back from the direction it took in January, 2007. Speaking just for me, I will be watching how they do. I will hold them as responsible in '12, as I am holding my elected officials here in '10.
If the rest of you will do the same -- to paraphrase a Who song -- we needn't be fooled again.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

A Tale Of Two Choices

*From the '08 archives as I try to catch up wid some things, and find they run faster than I do*
It was the best of choices, it was the worst of choices. -- Chucky Dickens
A friend of mine related to me that a former coworker of hers was once introduced to the downside of choices: married for over a year at that time, his wife was badgering him for a new house AND a baby, at a time when a new house was becoming a a chancey thing (at the early start of the sub-prime bubble).
Choices. Even with the scenario presented, he still has a choice. In the adult world, choices are SOP. Whatever your wont, choices must be reckoned with. Even with the best of procrastinators, they must be made.
For example, I have over the years, had the choice a few times of bachelorhood versus married life. That I am still a bachelor is largely by my choice, with one big (and for me, disappointing) exception. And that was her choice, previously discussed (Feb '08, The One That Got Away).
Anyway, in my personal opinion, somewhere in history, bachelors got a bad rap and are terribly underrated for their intelligence. Of course, I'll admit that bachelordom is a long way from perfect, since my kitchen isn't self-cleaning (or self-cooking), and all the studies I read tell me that I'll live 5-15 years less as a bachelor, than as a married guy.
I find myself wondering about the validity of that, after the opening anecdote, but I digress.
Married life is not just a choice: it's a life-long series of them, one that might start as simply a night in the backseat of a Dodge with a six pack and no protection before thinking with blood flow to the wrong head, or after months or years of careful deliberation over lots of movies and cheeseburgers. Either way, you knew that once the "I do"s were done, there were a plethora of things that went into traditional marriage, including (but not limited to) a house, kids, pets, a mortgage or two, braces, Play Stations, college, cars, future weddings, future alimony, future child support, etc.
Many of these choices are mutually agreed to without a lawyer, unlike our poor chap at the beginning of this missive.
At any rate, were I personally faced with the choice -- not quite as unilateral as the one aforementioned -- of starting out with a house OR a baby, I would use a system that was taught to me long ago, on choice pros and cons, that would (hopefully) lead me to an informed, logically arrived-at answer. For better or worse -- you be the judge -- here's what I came up with:
First of all, having a child is relatively easy. Much easier than high school biology class inferred, it seems. I can't tell you how many times I've been part of a conversation that went something like this:
Married person w/kids: Do you have kids?
Me: No.
Married person w/kids: Do you want mine?
Try getting a home loan that easily. And that's only the beginning:
-- a house purchase, after weeks/months of paperwork, etc., is consummated with a closing that can be scheduled (generally) to the convenience of the buyer. After approximately 9 months, a baby arrives when he/she is good and ready, convenience be damned.
-- You know (generally) what the house will cost you over 30 years; you can only guesstimate what a child will cost, and whether that cost goes well beyond their 18th, 21st, 22nd, 30th (or more) birthday...
-- A house never requires a feeding at 2am; then again, a baby, even with suspect plumbing, won't be near as catastrophic as a sprung water line in the upstairs bathroom.
-- You won't have to scrape down and repaint the kids every few years; then again, your house won't outgrow it's current fad fashions in months, requiring a full wardrobe replacement.
-- Your house won't get colic, nor will your kids get squirrels in the attic (maybe in other ways, but that's for later).
-- You'll never get a note or phonecall from the principal to come discuss something your house did in school; nor will you get to celebrate an A-filled report card with it.
-- You don't have to sweat teaching your house to drive; nor can you foist off errands you don't want to do yourself, on it.
-- Expanding your kids is another choice and can be fun (especially for the guy); from conception to paying the final bill, expanding your house can be worse than the movie The Money Pit.
-- You can work with your house to control energy costs; getting your kids to understand the concept of "on-off" won't be so easy.
-- Pest control is pretty straightforward for a house; it's much harder if you have a teenage daughter...
-- While your home acquires equity -- assuming the economy is good and your choice of neighborhood was as well -- you'll never get to enjoy watching your house learn to ride a bike, hit a homerun at Little League, win a spelling bee, or ever get glitzed up for prom.
-- You can read to your kids, or you can read to your house; your house won't ask any of those endless "but WHY?" questions, but who'll want to hear about you reading to a house that doesn't ask any parent-tickling "but WHY?" questions...
-- A house can never grace you with grandkids that you can spoil and send back to your kids (aka, grandparental revenge).
-- And lastly, you can love your house; but you really can't hug it. Not if you don't want your neighbors talking...
Choices. If you're living your life to the fullest, you're making them, and accepting all the pros, cons and personal responsibility and accountability that goes with the making of choices in an adult world. In a free society, that's as it should be.
As for the poor dude that got this dissertation started, I have no idea how his particular scenario turned out, as my friend no longer works where he does. Speaking therefore for me and my choices, well...bachelordom has had both pluses and minuses. Leading the minuses are my alleged lost years in longevity and that I won't be watching my pet rock get a diploma.

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