Category Archives: Rant

The Joke’s On Me

April 1st is my second-favorite “holiday”, and my third-favorite day of the year. I’ve been playing silly tricks on people for nigh on 40 years. They’re always juvenile and transparent. I like the “victim” to laugh along with me.

This year, I sent out an April Fools email, hoping people would “get” it, and catch me in the prank. Sadly, less than 4% of my friends clicked the link, and even fewer got the joke, which ended up with me backpedaling about 100 times.

Worst April Fools Day joke, ever.

Here’s the over-the-top, pompous, self-promotional email I sent:

You know how much I love public speaking, but probably didn’t realize I’m also a singer-songwriter. I’ve been keeping this hush-hush for several months now, but the documents were finalized today, and I now have a record deal to release my first single.

So, in addition to being a web developer, online marketing specialist, social media consultant, founder of BW4W, and professional public speaker, I can finally add “Singer” to my list of accomplishments.

I’d like to share this special day with you by giving you a sneak peak to listen to my first single: “Do you know what day it is?” – http://bit.ly/eMn5Ua

Anyone who’s been on the internet for any length of time would know what they’d get when they click the link. But not my trusting friends. Not the people who believe in me. The people I totally betrayed with a simple joke that they didn’t get.

I’m such a jerk.

So then, to all the people who sent congratulations without clicking the link, and all the others who responded to tell me the link went to the wrong video, and not mine, I sent another email:

LOL! Happy April 1st. You’ve been Rickrolled. 🙂

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickrolling

Nobody; not a single person replied with “Ha ha, you got me.” Obviously, I’m the most hated person in my social circle right now.

Wait just a minute… I’m not a jerk.

How big is the rock all these people have been living under ??? That Rick Astley video has over 31 MILLION views. I’m not the only one doing a bit of rickrolling. Are my friends the only people on earth who have never been rickrolled? For crying out loud, even the Mets and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were rickrolled. If this meme has gone on so long that things as All-American as Parades and Baseball have been rickrolled, how have these people never heard of it?

I am boggled. Absolutely boggled.

Of course, husband (Mr. Voice of Reason) said not to do the Rickroll. Naturally, I didn’t listen to him, which means he has a whole wad of “I told you so’s” he’s waiting to drop on me.

Fine.

I was making fun of Google for giving away the punch line too early in this years’ April Fools joke, and as it turns out, mine didn’t even have a punch line.

To my friends, and family, feel free to borrow my pick and shovel to get yourself out from under that rock, so you can join the rest of the world. Don’t say I never gave you anything. Besides chicken pox.

Dear Solicitor

Over the past 8 years, I have posted a variety of “No Solicitors” and “No Soliciting” signs on my front door. Husband and I work odd hours, and work from home, so the interruptions happen at the worst of times. The signs haven’t been very successful in stopping people from knocking or ringing the bell, so I’ve now created a handout to give to each of these people when they ignore the sign and disturb my peace and quiet. Feel free to print a copies of this and hand them out to the people who disturb the tranquility of your domicile.

DISCLAIMER: I just showed this letter to husband. He said that a crumpled piece of paper on our lawn would be the least of our worries.  Mr. “Voice of Reason” (aka: Killjoy) said it could potentially piss off a solicitor enough for them to key our car or do something else equally evil. Further evidence as to why I don’t want solicitors on my property. All that repressed anger from everyone shutting the door in their face has to come out somewhere. So, another great idea hits the trash bin. Just like my plans for renting out the dog to dig up gardens in the spring. She digs up our backyard for free. It’s about time she earns her keep.

So, on his advice, I’m not handing out the letter. If you decide to do so, you’re on your own. (Download PDF copy)

Thank you so much for disturbing me while I was doing something more interesting and important than answering my door to find you standing there, ignoring my “No Solicitors” sign. I’m guessing you either don’t know what “Soliciting” means, or think the word doesn’t apply to you. It does.

People who solicit, or engage in soliciting, are Solicitors. That’s you.

Soliciting:

To seek orders for trade, as for a business, or to ask for or offer something in exchange for something else, as in conducting surveys, witnessing, etc. If you do this, you are a Solicitor. Please take another look at the sign on the door.

Examples:

1.   You want to ask me some questions about my roof/siding/windows/paint job/gutters/address lettering/lawn, etc. You’re asking these questions with the motive of selling me roof/siding/windows/paint job/gutters/address lettering/lawn care, etc. You are Soliciting!

2.   You want to talk to me about my soul/heaven/hell/the afterlife/living well/being a world citizen, etc. You’re doing so because you want to sell me on your religion/church/synagogue/spiritual path/holy writings, etc.  This is Soliciting!

3.   You have a simple survey you’d like me complete about politics/religion/hate crimes/drugs/war/taxes, etc. You’re conducting the survey because you want to influence my opinions about politics/religion/crime in general /drugs/war/taxes, etc. That’s a Solicitation!

I hope you have found this enlightening, and that you will take this home, or back to the office, to share with your friends/spouse/family/children/boss/co-workers/pastor/life partner, etc. so all of you will reach the level of enlightenment that is achieved by not bothering people who have “No Soliciting” signs.

Please do not crumple this and throw it on my lawn, or I’ll have to explain “Littering” and “Vandalism.”

On behalf of everyone with a “No Solicitors” sign, I thank you for reading, and look forward to having you pass by my home in the future.

Die, Spammer, Die

With the white hot fury of a thousand suns, I hate spammers with every fiber of my being.

I do everything I can to keep spam out of my inbox. I have anti-spam resources on my server. I regularly blacklist domains that are used to send spam. I keep my private email account private. Because not everyone who has my email address can be trusted to treat it as respectfully as I do theirs, my email address ends up on spammer lists when they  “Send to all my contacts” the latest chain mail, or put my email address in the TO: field to set out a cat picture to everyone they’ve spoken to in their entire life, or they add my contact information to an online database because they get Points.

Normally, I just quietly blacklist the latest offender, but when I got the following email from Maria Bartell at NetProspex, it made me a more than a little crazy.
spam

They want to send me emails to introduce me to special offers, industry events, or invite me to participate in customer surveys, but, “before we begin sending you emails,” they say, “I want to be certain that our emails are welcome. If you do not want to receive these types of emails in the future, click here:”

In other words, they’re going to send spam, and claim I opted in, because I didn’t opt-out. Gaaaahhhhh.

I’ve added them to my blacklist, so I won’t hear any more from them. However, I have a little message for them:

I shouldn’t have to opt-out of your spam. You should request people to opt-in. Of course, you’d do that, if you weren’t a spammer.

But, as a spammer, you don’t care what I think. Or what any of us really want.

A slow, lingering death that starts with searing pain like a hot poker in your most private parts and radiates to the ends of your toenails, as your hair falls out in fiery patches, taking with it your rotting  flesh bit by mouldering bit, until there’s nothing left but your maggot-ridden remains as you lie in a gutter, praying for the final exit as buzzards peck at your skull, and rats tear away at any damp bits left inside of you, is too good an end for spammers like you.

Should I receive another email from you, I will take it as a personal challenge to call upon all the dark forces of the earth and beyond to make your life on earth more dreadful than Hell itself.

Die, spammer, die.

Update 03/01/11: It appears I’m not alone in my hatred of spammers. Since writing this post, I’ve discovered many other blog posts on this same theme. Here are three. Enjoy.

http://onemansblog.com/2009/05/01/i-still-hate-spammers-die-spammers-die/ – Explains why spam is such an expensive problem

http://www.soft.tahionic.com/download-die_spammer_die/anti-spam.html – Love their anti-spam tool!

http://highscalability.com/scaling-spam-eradication-using-purposeful-games-die-spammer-die

Spam is big business, and it costs all of us more money in hosting fees, management fees, and even internet connection fees because of the extreme load spam places on all servers. Spammers are the lowest of the low. They steal from us all.

Sayonara, Sheridan

Like a couple of little old ladies helping each other across an icy parking lot, our tired old Saturn, and our sparkly new Volkswagen, are both having some problems with mobility. The Saturn, bless her dear engine block, is falling to pieces. We’ve replaced just about every part on her but the engine, which I understand from our friendly neighborhood mechanic is the only solid thing about a Saturn. The latest thing on its way out is the transmission, which will cost more to replace than the car is worth, if we could find a transmission to put in there. Now another relic of the automotive industry, her future, probably sooner than later, is the scrap heap.

cow copWhile driving home from the dealership after entrusting the VW to their Service Department to replace a throttle body that, thank the dieties is under warranty, and engaging in no criminal or reckless activities whatsoever, (as if the Saturn had it in her) we were pulled over by a police officer in the itty bitty city of Sheridan. Apparently, at the tail end of the final block of a school zone, while driving downhill away from the school, husband crept over the speed limit. No one was even remotely in danger. Kids were all, or should have been, still in class. There was no other traffic on the road. The cop showed no mercy.

If you’re not familiar with Sheridan, Colorado, it’s a mere 2.2 square miles of property shoehorned in between Denver, Englewood, and Littleton. The average annual income of its residents is minimally $20,000 below the neighborhoods that surround it, and home values are 40% lower than the state median. With so little money in the city, they’ve gone to great efforts to get as much money as possible from the people who travel through it.

To pad their straining coffers (someone has to pay for the cop car), they flexed their muscles and ran a bunch of small businesses off a piece of land on their border in order to allow a developer to build a whole slew of retail establishments and restaurants on what was a former landfill. (EPA be damned!)

I’m guessing all the new sales tax revenues aren’t up to snuff, what with all the wonderful incentives they extended to the developer, new businesses, and all, so the police still have to do their part by panhandling issuing as many ridiculous tickets as possible.

Hence, the $200 surprise delivered through the window today, with an accompanying 4 points on husband’s license. The officer explained the ticket would be reduced to 2 points, if paid by a certain date.

Aren’t police supposed to be concerned with public safety? Shouldn’t fines be levied against people who put others at risk? The ticket issued today had nothing to do with public safety, or risky behavior. It has to do with money. Why else would points be reduced for quick payment? If the few miles over the limit was indeed as big a deal as the fine suggests, why on earth are points negotiable?

Thanks to their over-zealous fundraising, Sheridan has seen the last of me. In addition to the $200 donation to the Donut Fund (trust me, she’s had more than her share, thankyouverymuch – what? of course I’m being bitchy; can you blame me?), our insurance rates will likely increase. Every dollar I may have spent in one of the stores, restaurants, bars, or the new movie theater in their city, will be spent elsewhere. It will be no inconvenience in the least to avoid the half-dozen streets that go through Sheridan, and spend my money (and sales-tax dollars) in any of the other suburbs of Denver.

Some of the many Denver Metro cities where I will spend money:

  • sheridanLittleton
  • Lakewood
  • Arvada
  • Westminster
  • Englewood
  • Broomfield
  • Wheat Ridge
  • Aurora
  • Centennial
  • Edgewater
  • Highlands Ranch
  • Lone Tree
  • Thornton
  • Westminster
  • Denver (if I have to. I hate them for completely different reasons)

The one city that’s not getting another red cent:

  • Sheridan

Sayonara, Sheridan. Hope you enjoyed seeing my tail lights on my way out of your city. You’ll never see them again.

We’re all organic

I have had it “up to here” with the organic movement. Okay, so maybe some chemicals are bad. I don’t like smearing bug spray on my skin, and don’t want to eat it. But the organic fanatics are out of control. I saw an ad the other day for Bottled Organic Water. Please, someone, lock up that marketing consultant before it’s too late.

If every farm in the world switched to organic farming, we will not have enough food to go around. Some people are already starving; that number will increase because organic farms produce less produce per acre than conventional chemical-loving farms.

Ohh, but “organic farming combats global warming,” you say. Hogwash. Or rather, cow manure. We’ve been hearing for years how cow farts are blowing holes in the ozone. What do organic farmers use? Cow manure. So, how can using more cow poop, thereby increasing the amount of methane released into the air, combat global warming? That is, IF global warming is real? So not siding with Al Gore on this one. The same Al Gore who flies all over the place in his personal jet, spewing all kinds of pollutants into the air to get us to stop polluting. The hypocrisy is painful, Al.

Stop telling me to eat like our early ancestors did. Aren’t these the same ancestors who died before they hit 30? Oh, but you say, they didn’t have modern medicine.

The “modern medicine” that kooks like Jenny McCarthy preaches against? Yes, Jenny, I do believe in immunizing children. Just filling them chock-full of vitamins and organic produce isn’t enough to keep polio (or any other dread disease) at bay. My cousin Normie caught polio when he was two – shortly before the polio vaccine came out. Trust me, he would have preferred the shot to the high fever, extreme muscle and abdominal pain, and a lifetime of wearing braces. He missed out on the simple joys of tiptoeing up behind a loved one, running through the park with his dog, and breaking out into a joyful dance. I hate to think that your children, and the children of other kooks like you might end up the same way, or worse.

veggiesBack to the Organics. Do they taste better? Not really. A side-by-side blind taste test was done by a local tv show about a year ago. People were told one piece of fruit was organic, and the other was not. Overall, they said that the one that tasted the best was probably the organic. When told which one was organic, they nearly always said that tasted better. And, when they were lied to and told that the non-organic fruit was organic, they said that one tasted better. Which means that people are buying into the hype, not the reality.

Plants don’t know which fertilizer is natural and which is man-made, because if the nutrients are the same, the plants absorb them the same. And, here’s something interesting: The standards for being labeled organic are pretty broad, so consumers don’t know exactly what it means when a farm is certified organic, and certification doesn’t really mean anything. And, here’s another shocker for you: Studies have shown there are no real health benefits of choosing organic food over typical food

When you get right down to it, the origin of everything we eat, wear, and use is the earth. Whether it is manipulated in “organic” or “conventional” ways, it all comes from the same place. And it will all end up in the same place when we’re finished with it. You may call me a cynic, a lunatic, out of touch, or a danger to the environment, but I’ll stick with the conventionally produced food that has sustained me all these years. And, I’ll drink my water straight from the tap. It will do me just fine.