Saturday, February 26, 2011

Does That Come With Derivery?

As has been my experience in the realm of email scammers, those allegedly writing from the Far East, tend to be better writers, and more adept at figuring out when they're having their chains yanked by someone not buying their 'rice bowl'.
But not always-san.
Via one of the online job-hunting sites I'm currently using for interests more gainful (aka, pay bills), I received the following email:
Dear friend,
I am Mr. Liu Wang, an official with the International bank of Taipei, Taiwan. I have a very sensitive and confidential brief for you from the International Bank of Taipei, Taiwan. I aske for your partnership in re-profiling funds. I will give you the details but in summary: the funds are coming via Bank of Taipei in Taiwan (they apparently love everything in triplicate there). This is a legitimate transaction (aka, no, it ain't) and you will be paid 30% of your management fee. If you are interested, please write back and send me your confidential phone and fax numbers, and I will give details and instructions. Please keep this confidential, we can't afford to have any political problems (where do you think we are, Wisconsin?). Finally, please note that it must be concluded within two weeks. Please write back promptly via this confidential email address for more information.
Well, it WAS confidential ;-)
Usually, any kind of a smart-ass reply to one of these, tends to end it. So here was my reply to Mr. Liu Wang of the triplicated Bank of Taipei, Taiwan, and his sensitive, confidential offer:
pupu w/moo goo gai pan. *yum-san*
And I included the secondary phone number to my personal favorite chinese restaurant (my bad). But I digress.
A day later, I discovered I was dealing with one of the lesser intelligent alleged Asian scammers:
Dear Intending Partner,
Thank you much for your mail....and he goes on to tell me about how a client of his bank -- yes, the triplicated International Bank of Taipei, Taiwan -- took on a fund from a Muhannad Al-Hakim, an Iraqi crude oil merchant. A fund amounting to $1.5 BILLION Taiwanese New Dollars, which in USD amounts to $44.5 Million. Apparently, ol Muhannad 'bought it' during the war, getting blowd up along with his house, creosoted toilet and oil well, in 2004. Naturally, Muhannad had no next of kin. And equally naturally, within a very short time, if no one claims the money, it goes to the government of Taiwan. Finders keepers-san.
SO...I am expected -- because I am well reputed in the Chambers of Commerce, Taipei, Taiwan, which is a tofu-load of news to me -- to be an honest and trustworthy partner to Mr. Liu Wang, and stand in as Muhannad's long-lost next of kin. And for doing so, I git is 30% of 44.5 Million USD.
Of course, it's all perfectly legal and 100% risk-free. All that's missing is the '*' for the undisclosed Disclaimer, that sez a kimshi load of udderwise.
All I need to do to take the next step-san, is provide my full name, address, and occupation.
So I reply thus:
crispy duck egg foo yung w/egg rolls
Whoever's receiving these replies, it becomes apparent, is NOT reading them well, if at all:
Dear Intending Partner,
Is there something here you not understand? Please provide the information needed for next step forward. And pleased to remember that this is sensitive and confidential. Time is not on our side, so please to provide necessary information at once.
Grabbing my handy chinese delivery menu, I craft a suitable reply:
Sesame chicken w/vegetables egg drop soup mongolian pork ... *yum-san* I pay cash, you sabi?
Two things become clear: whoever it is is NOT grasping my replies, and I'm not going to get the order I just placed, delivered:
Dear Intended Partner,
I still wait impatiently for your bona fides. Please not to waste more time. This transaction is sensitive, confidential, and must be act upon now. Please provide informations at once. to make my order-san clear:
Kung pao chicken w/pyi par crispy tofu fried crab cheese wontons and fortune cookie famiry pack. I pay cash. *yum-san* You deriver to (and I gave them the address I use in a Colorado mountain town, where no one lives). I tip derivery driver. Hokay-san? Probrems, you make phone ring at number I give you, hokay-san?
FINALLY, I get an email that tells me (a) someone FINALLY read what I writ and (B) it's about over:
Dear Intended Partner,
What manner of game is this you play? This is serious business. If you not wish to participate, no more stop writing and waste my time.
Ooops...a grammatical *gaffe*, and one I am all too eager to indulge:
No more stop writing-san? Hokay-dokay, plick, I no stop writing-san. You ask me waste your time, I rike waste your time. Besides, you screw pooch by not deriver one order I prace with you. Your restaurant suck filthy turtle eggs! Oh, an' I send copy of your originar emair to Internationar Bank of Taipei, Taiwan, for verify your boner findees, hokay?
Unress you make derivery of pupu pratter w/side order combination fried rice, we no more do tickee washee, yes-san?
Amusingly, I got one more email repry from "Liu Wang"...but it was blank ;-)
Guess I ain't gettin' my pupu. At least not from him. But his email addy is getting the next week's worth of spam emails from my one account. Nyuk nyuk-san.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yep...they're there, too

I haven't had to job-hunt since early '96. Then, it was phone calls, shoe leather, fill out apps, interviews, and a positive, negative, or no response, until something was found.
In 2011, I've found a few differences. A lot of it is being set up online now. Companies that post your resume, allegedly read it, and allegedly funnel job opportunities related to your resume to you.
Not. But that's for another time.
I hooked up with three online services, and provided them with my resume (all three of which will remain nameless for now). One has been like a *chirping cricket* at night since I signed up. Another sends me a weekly update of absolutely nothing relevant to my resume.
The third, to their credit, has funneled to me -- besides job possibility bundles -- emails directly from prospective employers. Again, most of which have no relation to what my resume entails.
But the most recent two email responses from this last web site were echos of my past, both recent and going back a decade. Lemme share with you one of them:
From: *********
Dear (my name),
Our Organization is know as a payment processor with services designed for international small business (a small *toing*).
Our Company have found your resume in (the job hunting website) review it and sure that you to be a perfect candidat for the position which we propose (the *TOING* is growing in resonance). Our Organization are currently looking for a few qualified person for a vacant position "Check Assist Manager" (the *TOING* just approached a sonic 'boom').
The general work of this job is to collect payments [ACH transfers and bank cheques] from our clients in USA. Every payment will be accompanied with detail directions. If you haven't checking account our manager will help you to open a new account (the resulting *TOING* would cause an avalanche in unstable snowpack).
Average salery is $650-850$ per week. General requirements:
- available 6-10 hour per week;
- not less than 21 years
- computer skills [MS Word] personal e-mail address (and just what the F did you contact me on, moron?)
- ability to work home
- US citzenship
- honestly, responsibility and promptness in operation you may combine work with your main job (*biting tongue*)
If interested please get back to us soonest (the final *TOING* probably weakened the structural integrity of my abode).
Yep: online job soivices -- like eBay, Craigslist, et al -- are rife with scammers.
I forwarded this and the other suspect email to the web service involved, and got back a rather lame "our investigation recognizes this to be an email scam" reply. Duh...y'suppose? They recommended I forward it onto other sites, for follow-up, which was done.
They also recommended that I not reply to it.
Heh...they don' know me vewy well, do they? Thus advised, I did:
Yo, ho...wazzzup? Lay da facts on me jack, an' let's make widda negotiables. You needs a cog fer da machine; ah needs scratch. Lezz make widda rat killin' and come to da deal, hokay?
A reply may or may not be pending.
Life in the 21st Century. Little did I know that almost 11 years of playful scambaiting, was preparing me for a future endeavor: job-hunting.
UPDATE: my reply DID get a reply...from the original email user, who denied having sent the email, advising me that her account had apparently been 'hacked', and that I should not respond to the email and should warn others not to as well.
I've never been a fan of, anyway. Lots of scammers are, though.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Law 'un Ordah

It got started on faceBook. The ideer, that is.
One of my friends made a comment about zombies; I responded about "wiring a shotgun inside my door to defend against intrusions of the zombie kind". A friend of the friend suggested that my ideer was a bad one, citing legal precedent. The first friend suggested that it'd be hard to prosecute for killing the undead.
*TOING* It went downhill from there.
One of the few shows on TV that I actually like is Law & Order (TOS). Asst DA Jack McCoy always managed to have a babe as his assistant; Angie Harmon could prosecute me, anytime. But I digress.
So...what if a zombie from NYC got loose in Ozark country...for the sake of argument, northern Arkansas. An' the zombie tried a breakage and entree therebouts. Here's how such an episode might look*:
*TWANG TWANG...looky h' th' crimnal justice systum, there is too equally impotant but diffrunt sets a folks: the poo-lice, what figgers out who-hit-John, an' them districk lawyer folk, what prosecutes the doofus. This h'yar's one of them thar stories...TWANG TWANG*
(preliminary scenes: a really dead dead zombie layin' outside of an abandoned moonshiner's cabin outside of Possum Crotch, and scattergun lists to..uh..yours truly, who is tracked to my apt in Green Mountain, and extradited to Possum Crotch to stand trial for killing a daid the bail hearing)
Baliff: Case number...uh...
Judge: Ah'm waitin', Billy-Bob...
Baliff: Ah cain' count that high...anyhoo, it's the folks vs this danged yankee, zombie slaughter in the first degree...
Judge: Wa'chall's plea h'yar?
Me: Not guilty by reason of it's a zombie...
Judge: We git that. Bale?
DaisyMae: Yore Honor, we'all reckon four bales wood git 'er dun...
Judge: Ooooh weeee, Daisy Mae, them's sum hawt short shorts...
DaisyMae: *giggles*, wahl, thank ye, Uncle Judge...
Me: Uh, wai....
Judge: Bales is set at fore...yankee, that's hay, not *gavel BONK*
Fast forward through the pre-trial negotiations, to the trial, and testimony of the local coroner:
McCoy: Doctor, what was the cause of death of the victim?
Doc: wahl, ah reckon bein' daid wuz..
McCoy: now looky h'yar...
Doc: ain't y'all nevah seed one o' them thar teen B slasher movies? Teen gits cawht an' kilt by a zombie, an' becomes a zombie, wich begits more's a cypherin' kinda thang..
McCoy: But how did this h'yar zombie git to gettin' kilt agin?
Doc: Wahl, it ain't really kilt, lessen' we keep it's fool haid apart frum it's carcass..
McCoy: Objection!
Judge: Y'all objectin' to yer own question h'yar?
McCoy: Dagnabbit, ah reckon ah am...
Judge: Objection overruled h'yar...y'all may resume askin' 'bout yer objection..
McCoy: So what yer sayin''s only daid long as y'all keep th' haid separated frum da carcass?
Doc: Yep, tha's what ah'm sayin' h'yar..
McCoy: No further questions...
Me: Move to dismiss the charges h'yar..
Judge: *gavel BONK*..objection!
Me: Overruled.
Judge: Huh?
Me: Judge, ah hears the catfish a callin' from down on the river...
Judge: So ah kin go fishin' now?
Me: Absolutely, yer Honor...
Judge: the court finds the danged yankee dismissed...
McCoy: Horsefeathers! Ah'm gonna git the ACLU to file an appeal...
*Fifty squirrel guns is cocked and leveled at the DA by judge, jury, spectators*
McCoy: ah withdraws mah appeal h'yar...
Obviously, I'm having an off-writing day. More obviously, y'all ain't gonna see this episode on L&O (TOS), or in any Ozark spin-off, ah reckon...unless DaisyMae (played most admirably by Angie Harmon) comes to court in her short shorts...

* a rumor's about that this episode may be why Dick Wolf ended the series...

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Of Corpse It Is

All it took was for me to receive a very stupid scam email.
The rest was easy.
Here's the stupid scam email, in its stupid entirety:
From: Magret Savimbi (
EMS/Speedpost Corporate HQ
8, Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, PMB 022, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Re: Delivery Of Package STC ATM card:
This is to infarm you that one Mr. John and lawyer stormed my office this afternoon via comprehensive email with coyp of DEAD CERTIFICATE and CHANGE THE OWNERSHEP attach, therebye notify us that you are dead and that before you death, you appointed both them as your Next-of-Ken to your approve sum of $5.5 million uploaded on your ATM card presently under our custody and demanded that ATM card should be release to them ready to pay for deliver cost. BUT when the note is submit to my desk of Release Ordor to these mens, i noticed some discrapendy as there is no evidence of you dead or authorised by you of release of ATM card. i am then issue an order of STOP on the shipment of you ATM card whether delivery charge pay or not pending your commentary on if you are dead and you okay this. Please get back to me immediately to consent to agree to what they report or not. Failure of you to advise if you dead within 48 hours will mean we will accept the men's claim and will give ATM card to Mr. Mr. John and attorney.
Await you reply soonest,
Mrs. Magret Savimbi, International Shipping Manger
The *TOING* that resonated from my reading the first sentence, caused all the dogs within two blocks to start barking. My apologies to any day sleepers out there.
I checked, and found that one of my earlier-used scambaiting personas -- the very dead Jerome 'Curly' Howard, of The Three Stooges fame -- didn't have any appointments booked, and woo-woo-woould be happy to dig up a suitable reply:
Mrs. Savimbi:
Thanks for waking me up. More on that in a mo'.
To bidness: yes, I okayed these individuals to take effective charge of all of my accounts, real or imagined, in my will. Mr. Mr. John is, in full, Mr. Mr. John Excrement; his attorney is the esteemed Bannister Hosni Mubarak, current PC and former tyrant president of Egypt. I would like you to know that I did not order them to storm your office via email -- I cannot imagine how they pulled that off, but you know how technology is advancing these days -- but the gist of their claim is jurisprudently ad hoc conundrum. In other words, it's perfectly chicanerous and I am in accord with that. Granted, I am dead -- have been for 57 years -- but before their tribe shrank my head and ate my liver and other parts, I did sign over to them fiduciary authorization to access my accounts that survived me. It surprises me that it took them this long. Guess they didn't know what money was. Hope they're still not confusing it with toilet paper. You guys only made the transition from using tree bark a couple years ago, I know.
Besides, I have no practical use for a physical realm ATM card. My bank -- First Astral Savings & Loan -- cannot negotiate the astral bridge interdimensionally, to acccess funds from a physical realm ATM card. It so blows goats, but hey, physics is what it is, wherever physics is. Which is everywhere.
But I do thank you so much for waking my slumbering ass up, and making me dig myself out at this hour, to respond to your pithy request. But I'm not mad, of corpse; pay no attention to the African Death Mask I attached to this email, cursing your family for the next several generations, for disturbing the dead with such a stupid email (I attached a photo of said item, just for snorts and guffaws).
Drop me a line again, and a 6' tarantula will eat your vagina.
Sweet dreams,
Curly Howard
4334 Whittier Blvd (the actual address of the cemetery where he's buried)
Los Angeles CA 90023
Later that same day, I get this reply from whomever is pretending to be Mrs. Savimbi:
that not funny. you speak ill of dead is not funny. you are bad person.
Yes, I am:
Hey, you writ me foist, wise goil. And that 6' tarantula, coming to eat your vagina, will be joined by a colony of army ants. Hope you have enough left to go around. Booga booga, nyuk nyuk.
Danged if that didn't end the interruptions to Curly's eternal slumber...until the next stupid email scam letter ;-)

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Ask Skunk -- Valentineski Datebot

I can tell it's Valentine's Day. My email runneth over.
With spam, sex and alleged cyberdating bots.
One account in particular is proving amusingly persistent, but never with the same name or pitch; just the same link that I won't click on, ending in The spammer/scammer(s) didn't reply to my previous response (though it might have been on accounta cuz I suggested she lacked a vagina); instead, I've received several new responses from allegedly different persons of questionable gendercedence.
The sending email address is always, but it's never the same alleged chick.
I suppose that fingers could be included in the good lickin', but I digress.
So I have decided to adopt the role of sexual email advisor to this person(s), until they give up or can do a bookski on my responses.
Here's one of the longer ones that I received from this email, on the eve of Valentine's Day; you be the judge:
Title: A Big Girl Looking To Romance
I am Steffanie, im a 23 year old single mother who is in school full time and work part time. Im 5'9" a little thick with brown hair to the middle of my butt and dark brown eye. I move back to Northern Virgina last year so that I could get a little support with my daughter. I look for a guy between the 24-50. i dont really have a type of guy but i look for guys with genuine personalities *TOING*. I want someone that can crank joke and play video with me, but i want also the guy to want to wander around a mall and talk to kill time *TOING*. i want guy that stable on his feet, i dont care where you live but i appreciate you be all together emotional *TOING*.
Skunk asked, Skunk answered:
Dear Steffanie: okay, you answered one key question, in so far as can be proved via email: you have a vagina. It worked at least once. But you have wasted your time with this email. You want, it is obvious in reading your request, a schizophrenic. I'm not, and neither am I. Not to mention, I am past your requested expiration date. *BUZZZZZZZZZZZZER* But thanks for writing. At least YOU had a working vagina at one time.
Prior to her, I got this from 'Merideth':
i relly want a man that has a very creative side in the bedroom and a high sex drive for some kindy hot action of sex. i dont care where you live but i want you to be nice and well manner and know how to treat me the lady.
Dear Merideth: I have four sides: front, back, left and right. Which one is kindy -- your words -- I am not sure. But in order for us to find out, you must have a working vagina. If you are an Ivan instead of a Merideth, we ain't gonna find this out. Get back to me on which you is or which you ain't.
She didn't, unless she responded as 'Steffanie'. But prior to Merideth, I got this from 'Clare':
i know what u want and i got what u need. u write me and i tell u how u get what i got.
Dear Clare: I don't need your silicon nose implant. You need to have original stock parts, no factory add-ons. I'm sorry, but your friend Steffanie said you also had lyposuction from your stomach, transferred to your thighs, so you could try out for a Taco Bell commercial. As the bell. Clare, the Superbowl is over, and there's no call for new and funny ads until next February. Get back to me then.
And previous to 'Clare', I got this tart email from 'Myrtis':
so you think u hot? well i am the one to judge how hot u is. can u impress me? write me more to say so and we see.
Dear Praying Myrtis, personally, I'm hot as an asteroid in deep space. I could get hotter if I enter your atmosphere. See what I just did there? I'll bet not. At any rate, why would I be interested in providing hotness to someone named after an insect? You'd fry and get all dried out and deformed at my approach. I think you need to go back to chasing walking sticks in the grass. Just sayin'.
Yeah, you're right: I got me no date for Valentine's Day. But and will keep trying. They might actually get serious at some point.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hands, Cheeks...And Timing

*Another of the 'Now I Can' series from a former work place*

When you work in a place where there are regular shifts that don't rotate, you generally tend to work with the same persons. In my surveillance days, I worked just about every schedule the room had. But I must say, the most workplace 'fun' I had was during the time I worked afternoons and evenings with the duo of 'Wanda' and 'Robert'.

When fecal material was hitting the ventilation, we were a well-oiled machine, and each generally knew what the other was going to do, which made for well-organized chaos. But it was always chaos that we never came out on the butt end of.

Well, except for once...literally.

When things were in that 'calm before the chaos' mode, it wasn't unusual for idle chatter to fill the time between radio traffic and telephone calls. Any subject was up for improvisational discussion. It frequently didn't have to be something necessarily work-related.

But some of the best moments were sparked by things on the work front.

For a period of time, the female cocktail waitresses at work wore rather revealing chaps as a part of their uniform. Some, as can be imagined, wore them better than others. Some wore them MUCH BETTER than others. And over the years, the casino ran the gamut of examples, from the 10 out of 10 rated *jaw droppers*, to the *OMG..WTF was the recruiter smokin' when they hired this one..BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZER*.

In the good ol' days, we had our share of *jaw droppers*.

One evening, when the level of paperwork havoc was pleasingly light, 'Wanda' suddenly ventured off into a discussion about how hard it was to identify some cross-dressers, in the wake of talking about a story on the news the previous evening, about how a Denver cabbie was duped by a man, dressed like a woman, and claiming to be a niece of the greek Onassis family. While I made snide comments about "junk bulge and five o'clock shadow tip-offs", 'Robert' didn't contribute much initially, as he continued to casually scan the casino floor. Then, he suddenly acted all excited, and directed our collective attention to the cocktail server station at the upstairs bar, and one very statuesque, 6' tall cocktail waitress in particular:

Robert: "Look at those hands".
Me: "Whaddabout 'em?"
Wanda: "Huh?"
Robert: "Look at them (as he zooms in on her hands)!"
Me: "Yeah, so?"
Robert: "Those are MAN hands!"
Wanda: "Oh, nuh-uh!"

As 'Robert' continues to insist that this cocktail waitress has "man hands", both he and I note that this line of thinking is starting to tweak 'Wanda' a bit. So while I'm not necessarily buying his obvious gambit, I'm start to act like I'm beginning to see what 'Robert' is seeing:

Wanda: "There is NO WAY that ****** is a man! Get real!"
Robert: "Oh come ON, 'Wanda'! LOOK AT THOSE HANDS! Those are GORILLA HANDS! Man hands, no doubt!"
Me: *as serious as I can fake* "Well, y'know, I never really thought that, but now that you mention it..."
Wanda: "Oh for crying out loud you two.."
Robert: "Well, YOU'RE the one who says how hard it is to tell cross-dressers...I'm tellin' ya, look at those hands.."
Me: "Hmmm, I dunno, 'Wanda'...I'm thinkin' that 'Robert' stumbled onto something h'yar.."
Robert: "Yep! ****** is a man, and those hands prove it..."

After a couple more minutes of this, 'Wanda' gets totally exasperated, and as the waitress is walking away from the bar with a tray full of drinks, 'Wanda' takes the same zoom-capable camera away from 'Robert', and zooms it in on....her butt (from we guy's point of view, nicely enhanced by the chaps):


*Telephone rings before either 'Robert' or I can respond...I answer it*

Me: "Surveillance, (my name)"
Duty Security Shift Supervisor: "Quit zooming in on ******'s butt!"

(Note: the Security/Surveillance manager had a surveillance monitor and full-access key board in his office in those days, and the duty security shift supervisors had access to it; this supervisor liked to 'check up on Surveillance' from time to time, to see what we were doing, and the conservation continues)

Me: "Isn't me, boss..."
DSSS: "Well, then tell 'Robert' to knock it off..."
Me: "Isn't him either..." (Note: neither 'Robert' or 'Wanda' know what the call is in reference to, yet)
DSSS: "Who else is up there???"
Me: *handing the phone to Wanda* "Here, it's for you..."
Wanda: "This is 'Wanda'...."

Followed by about 20 seconds or so of 'Wanda' alternating between attempts to explain why she had zoomed a camera in on ******'s butt, and the DSSS taking full advantage of a 'gotcha moment' he'd use for all it was worth, for future tweaking.

*Wanda hangs up phone in obvious annoyance*

Wanda: *glaring*.."I cannot BELIEVE THIS...are you two HAPPY NOW?"
Robert & Me, grinning/laughing: "Uh...yeah".
Robert: "Oh, Wanda?"
Wanda: *in a threatening tone*.."What..."
Robert: "That was definitely a woman's butt..."
Wanda: *still annoyed*.."Robert..."
Robert: "..with man-like hands.."

I *duck* as an empty styofoam coffee cup goes sailing over my head, and *bonks* off of 'Robert'.
In time, 'Wanda' found the whole episode funny, too. 'Robert' and I managed to survive finding it thus from the outset...

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

America's Funniest (Unseen) Videos

At one time, my former Surveillance room had a compilation tape. Granted, we produced no shortage of compilation tapes for official use. But not this one. This one had nothing to do with high profile cases. Nor of accumulated gaming criminals or cheats. Not even of training aids.
No, this compilation tape was our room's official 'blooper' tape. If it was something we reviewed, and it was funny to us -- funny being rather subjective -- it was added to the 'blooper' tape.
The tape got sizeable, with the best of casino 'blooper' moments we in Surveillance had observed for found during a review. It wasn't unusual for local authorities to stop by on a "walk-thru", and ask to see the video, or show it to their colleagues.
On it, were moments to remember. Employee and guest falls that were downright comical. A guest sneaking up behind and 'goosing' a slot tech on the casino floor. A security supervisor, talking to an intoxicated guest, who tried to 'goose' him three times during the chat. An employee, in the middle of the gaming floor, picking his nose and wiping it on a slot chair. A cocktail waitress, losing her balance and her drink tray in spectacular fashion. Two drunk females, making out with each other in the lounge, with mouths full of food. A security officer watching the drop team, falling asleep on his feet and falling backward when he did so. Women exposing their chests for the band, or a bus group. And some unexplained occurrences, all attributed to "Abner", the casino ghost (for another time).
Of course, the video had it's favorite moments, as rated by room observers, supervisors, and some of the outside agencies who had the opportunity to see the 'unacknowledged' video. For instance:
- we got a call to do a review on where the contents of a strap of $50 bills had gone. The observer assigned wasn't told the whole story. So he cued it up ... and snickered ... *rewind*... guffawed ...*rewind*... LOL ... at this point, my curiosity was aroused. He cued it up again ... ROFL ...*rewind*... now the casino shift manager has arrived ... LOAO ...*rewind*. In short, the cashier put the strap of $50s in a bill counter. What it should have done was run the bills through, and verify the strap was proper in quantity. INSTEAD...when the cashier hit the button, the entire strap of $5,000 in $50s went up in the cashier's face, and all over the carousel. And yes, all of the $50s were accounted for.
- a main cage cashier fell in the cage. As SOP, Surveillance did a review for the incident report that Security had to fill out. The cashier herself was insistent that she was fine, and no report was needed. She was overruled by her supervisor. I got the review. What it showed: the cage consisted of five windows with a narrow aisle to walk thru between the cashiers and the wall where the jetsorts (for coin) were. This particular cashier was working in Window 4 at the time. She apparently decided she needed to adjust her shoe. Instead of bending over to do it, she picked up her left foot, raised it, and crossed it across her right leg, balancing on her right foot. And promptly lost that balance to the left, hopping madly on one foot trying to regain that lost balance...past Window 3...past Window 2..accelerating...past Window 1 and *KE_RASH* into the office at the end. I can only imagine how it looked to guests in the other windows at the time...
- the security supervisor called up to request a review, one he sounded rather dubious about. Seems he'd been told that an elderly woman got her head 'caught' in one of the passenger elevator doors on the second floor. The woman herself was not hurt, just embarrassed. What with the safety features of the elevators, he didn't believe her story. So I was in the process of cueing it up, just as the supervisor arrived. A rather dry-humored, laconic sort, he wasn't one to display emotion to any great degree. He almost never laughed. So I began the playback: the short, elderly woman, stooped in stature, had pushed the button for the elevator. The car to her right opened. She shuffled toward it, stooped forward. But not fast enough: the very outer doors of the elevator shut before she could enter. On both sides of her forward-leaning head. And for several seconds, there she appeared, stuck and not moving, making no effort to back away from the doors. Until a bypasser ran up and separated the doors (her head hadn't made contact with the inner doors with all the safety features). I have never seen that supervisor laugh harder or longer. The rest of us were no better off.
- when I first went to Surveillance, the arcade for minors (attached to the deli) was a sizeable affair, with about 25 arcade games in it. Of course, we had a camera to monitor the goings on therein. Our camera -- a moveable, pan-tilt-zoom one -- was parked broadside to an authentic penny arcade horse. The horse was, in the words of America, a "horse with no name". Until one night. We observed a couple and their daughter -- IDed by Security as having just turned 21 -- go into the arcade. Therein, while daughter mounted the horse, Mom put in a penny. And for the next 25-30 seconds, a display was put on for three male Surveillance observers that was nothing short of pure sexual fantasy (she did everything on the back of that horse but strip). From that night forward, the we named the horse 'Lucky'. Two observers needed cigarettes afterward.
- another carousel cashier was moving bags of slot tokens (600 to a bag, and about 33 pounds each), when she dropped one on her foot. The ten second long, one-legged dance she did, was worthy of the Three Stooges.
- what came to us as a reported fall by a patron, turned out to have been a patron who -- after some extended care, courtesy of her friendly (if unattentive) casino pharmacist -- tried to get up from her slot chair, tangled her leg with one of the chair, and fell sideways...taking two unbraced persons to her left with her. It looked just like falling dominos.
- and one fall on the escalator, where a rather obese woman lost her balance and literally 'rolled' backward, taking two people behind her down with her.
Sadly, that 'blooper' tape was not allowed to survive. Not that it could ever have seen the light of day beyond the Surveillance room...but I sure do miss the famous "Lucky" sequence ;-)

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Stop Dating Drop

Cyberdating is all the rage. I hear about it on TV and radio. I see it advertised on faceBook. And of course, it comes to me in email.
And over the years, I've seen where scammers have jumped on the bandwagon. You readers have seen where I've taken some of those scammers, via my blog.
Scammers via edating are so passe now, I can be reading the morning cyberdump, come across one that is obvious cyberbullshevik, have a mouth full of coffee, and not involuntarily spew it.
My 'involuntary reflexes' are working up a lawsuit agin me for neglect, but I digress.
This morning's offering was via the same email account that handles all of my faceBook comments. It came with the (supposed to be) eye-catching title, stop lookin im the ONEEEE and came to me from CONCEPTION (
Sooo ya. Too early to sleep, but I dont know what else to do besides watch it's Always Sunny In Philadelphia right now.
I'm not a bitch I promise. I just have prefarances...
I like white guys around my age...
Umm random facts abot me:
-Favorite movie is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
-Love Fallout 3 and New Vegas
-Love anything with apocalypse theme and/or zombies (must like Bill Mahar)
-I've been told I'm have an "eye" for photography
-I have two kitties they live at my dads
-I'm short well just over 5 ft
-Love to cook and bake
-Favorite color is purple
-Love metal and rock music & CONCERTS haha
-I dont like stinkbugs, country music, jerks, peas, and sucky horror movies
You can ask me the questions you want at:
Okay, I see all kinds of possibilities h'yar. But it's all a deal-killer on one point: she don' like stinkbugs. And her link ends in 'ru', meaning Russia *AHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGA*.
But....I simply couldn't hit *delete* like I did with the invitation email to sue someone if the recipient was the victim of a badly-done penile or breast implant.
So I responded thus:
It is apparent that you have much less to offer than a similar offer from Finland did; she at least had a vagina. However, it is incumbent that this be clarified afore we proceed: are you a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple pecker eater? This is very important for progress to progress. See what I just did there?
While I await clarification that I don' expect to receive, y'all can help my involuntary reflex's legal fund by sending donations to
My apologies to someone, if that link actually takes you somewhere viable.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

VCR Games

VCR??? Technological heresy these days. But not when I began in Surveillance, back in the last century.
As for a remote...a remote would not be expected to possess one scintilla the desruptive power of a Martian blaster, as pictured h'yar.
*BUZZZZZER* All it takes is the proper venue. More on that in a 'mo.
When I was first introduced to the Surveillance Room of my former establishment -- back in the summer of '96 -- it was not, to my view, an inviting place. Small. Dark. Uncomfortably warm. Full of VCRs, tapes, switchers, quads, et al. The first suggestion that I should consider a transfer there was a decided "phfffft".
Then toward the end of '96, the room underwent a renovation. The next time I saw it....*TOING* future was before me.
And in April, 1997, I became an observer. In the words of a co-worker, I became one "who didn't play well with others", meaning the rest of the casino. Such was the view of my new department, by every other department in the place.
But I didn't worry about that. I had lots to learn in my new environment. A room full of monitors, with about 107 VCRs, and the supporting equipment. As for the brains of the system -- a computer-controlled matrix, fed by a Sargasso Sea of video cables -- I was about as computer illiterate as one coming to such a system could be. I knew "on-off", and little else.
But I learned. In time, I would go from a fledgling observer-in-training, to a cable-pulling, camera-installing, VCR-cleaning, component-replacing, trouble-shooting tech of sorts. I would find out how easy it was to affect a single component, feet or even yards away, by contact with a supporting component. I would spend hours trying to track a wiring problem down in that danged Sargasso Sea of wiring behind the rack. I would learn that using pull strings to install new wiring was soooooo phfffffffft, and that a telescoping 30' pull rod was vastly superior.
I would learn many other things as well, for another time.
At any rate, on the VCRs....about every 2 years, about 1/2 of the room's VCRs would be replaced. That number would gradually grow to number about 181 VCRs, before the advent of a digital system in '09. Meantime, after running 24/7 for 2 years, it was reckoned to be time to replace about 1/2 of the units. As new VCRs were installed, the old ones were cleaned, boxed up, and sold at a discount to whomever wanted one.
I have one that I got in '99; it still works today.
At any rate, each VCR came with its own remote. Now, until about 2003 or so, VCR brands and models were kept as compatible and uniform as possible, so as to minimize problems and recording quality. But -- and as in any organization with a purchasing department that isn't always interested in performance vs cost -- we started getting differing brands of VCRs, with different remotes.
Pretty soon, we had two different brands of VCR on the observer stations, and as many as three differing brands operating in the racks, with others in the dubbing stations. Each requiring a different remote to set their functions. Some of which could be affected by another remote.
So it wasn't unusual to, in a time of five things going at once with only two observers to cover, grab a wrong remote that didn't work what you needed it to...but it was sending an infrared signal someplace else in the room, to make your life miserable in other ways, once you discovered the error.
It was a real annoyance, when I took a bank of VCRs out of service to clean them, and had to re-set their record speeds when re-installing them. One little misfire with the remote, and I re-set the speeds on nearby VCRs. All were required to run on SLP (Standard Long Play, 8 hours); one wrong *zap* and you'd have this one running at SP (Standard Play, 2.5 hours) or EP (Extended Play, about 4-5 hours).
You'd figure it out when several VCRs stopped running at the same time, well short of a scheduled tape change cycle.
But the variety of remotes found another "unintended consequence" as well: it became a source of practical jokes.
One particular brand of VCR had an annoying display that would appear in the lower left corner of the screen, which had to be removed via remote, whenever the machine was intentionally or accidentally shut off and restarted. The slightest misfire with the remote, and while you removed the display from one VCR, you activated it in a half-dozen others. It took time and patience to fix the problem.
One day, my coworker of the moment -- an ex-NYC Italian named Vinnie, and had the accent to go widdit -- went forth to try to fix a bank of 5 VCRs that had experienced a 'ghost' power bump, and all had the annoying display on their respective monitors. As he began to work to remove the displays, I grabbed a second remote....and reactivated the display behind him.
He thought he'd finished...only to find that instead of having fixed 5 units, he now had a dozen with the display up. With even more deliberate care, he went to work...and I went to covert sabotage.
His dozen to fix now left him with 20 bearing the annoying display. His Italian ire was up. He went back, waxing Queens colorfully metaphoric, to fix the I 'zapped' along behind him, and made it 30 more to fix.
He about needed therapy by this time. Fortunately (for me), he never saw my deviltry at work.
Another time, while I was sitting at a side desk where our report computer was located, another observer was watching a dealer at work on a blackjack table, while idly chatting with another observer. With a remote for his observer VCR at hand, I just couldn't resist...his VCR stopped. Rewound. Began to play. Stopped. Began recording. Stopped. Rewound. His idle chatter became a confused silence, followed by a "WTF???" that he never thought to answer by glancing to his right at yours truly. I carefully put the remote back, and he was none the wiser.
Or so I thought, until two weeks later. Engaged in a tracking project, my VCR suddenly stopped. Started to rewind. Stopped. Started rewinding again. And kept rewinding, which wouldn't respond to my furious pushing of the buttons on the device.
Guess who was sitting to my right, wearing an ear-to-ear "gotcha" grin?
When I left Surveillance to assume a new departmental post in the summer of '06, there were a total of 181 VCRs in the room, making up four different manufacturers, and requiring six different remotes for all. And in keeping with a well-established and honored tradition, the 'Remote Wars' continued, right to the last week before the Digital Age took over.
Ah, the days gone by...*click*...*rewind*...yb enog syad eht ,hA...*click*...dang. Got me again.

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