Mar 09

Messing With Spammers

As mentioned yesterday, I discovered a potential for pure comic gold upon receiving an unsolicited come-on at a dating site I’m still (unfortunately) signed up with. Time to have some fun. My response was simple enough. I thanked “her” for the message and asked “her” what her favorite places in Boise were.

Here was the reply:

Hey there, you sent me an email a lil bit ago and I have to say… mmmmmmmm, sounds very tempting!

I’m currently single and ready for some fun. I’m not really looking for any commitment, if we hit it off great, but really I just need someone to satify (sic) me, it’s been too long. So, you ready to hook up? I’m open to most anything safe and sane!

When my girlfriends found out I was posting online, they showed me this other website that is way better, and there is not nearly as many fake people on it. I still use my old profile, but I like for guys to come check me out here: (web site redacted) I’m gr8tits2play on there. This site is great, you can search for me so there is no messing around. Plus I have a couple friends on here to (sic), and we like to have fun together every once in a while 🙂

Anyway, signup there, and contact me through that profile so I know you are serious. I know it’s asking a little, but it helps sift out all the fakies and wierdos (sic) and makes me feel better. The type of men that will go the extra mile are the men I want anyway, and I like to think I’m worth it!!

Hit me up!… Soon!

beavis

“gr8tits2play” heh heh heh m heh heh heh m (ad infinitum)
Image credit: Evan P. Cordes

Now this is an old trick often seen on Craigslist: promise prurient adventures and get some poor sap to visit your web site. Doing so is the electronic equivalent of swan diving into a cesspool of anthrax and syphilis. Viruses, trojans, malware, the lot. So, um, yeah. That’s not happening.

The next step is to determine exactly where the e-mail came from. WHOIS and IP lookups after this first e-mail proved inconclusive, so I responded the new e-mail with my POP address to get a better read on the IP, only to get this:

“mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded”

Doh. Well, let’s try the first e-mail again. I replied with this:

Anyway, before I start clickety-clicking on strange links let me tell you a bit about myself. I enjoy Aquaman comics in the original Linear A, 16th Century Danish Dadaist cinema, Tabasco-spiked bologna, and Zoroastrian polka. In my free time I mentor recovering Christian coprophiliacs and provide vocational training for chicken sexers.

I’m particularly interested to know if you have current information on the whereabouts of Subhas Chandra Bose, Engelbert Humperdinck (either one), or Erik Estrada’s teeth.

This elicited … the exact same response. Word for word. Nothing left to do but report their silly asses to their ISP now. I was hoping for so much more too. Like the time I totally caught these idiots e-mailing me from Vietnam:

vietnamsnark

“Tạm biệt đồng chí” roughly translates to “goodbye comrade.”

If you know what you’re doing, it’s so easy to call bullshit on these people. How desperate must one be to actually fall for this?

By the way, I love the opportunity to use (sic).

Mar 05

The Muse is a Bitch

Much like yesterday, there are days when shit bloody nothing happens here at the Command Center. I can only watch the Pyramid Brothers lick their asses for so long. Yet I have a commitment to write every day. That’s a big reason why I do this. I’m finally feeling better after a long illness, and I’ll be damned if inactivity is going to pull me down again.

So I can relate to the guys who create, or rather created, Homestar Runner.

homestar

You know, this guy.

The Brothers Chaps, who envisioned the aforementioned character, were incredibly productive for a very long time. Check out the Strong Bad e-mails for verification. They were working with Adobe Flash and and such happy horseshit too. You know, words AND images. They did it every week for years. I just steal images from Wikipedia and write snarky comments about them.

Od_jeane-kirkpatrick-official-portrait_1-255x301

… is nobody’s baby.
If you get the reference, especially if you’re a single female, I love you.

Anyway, the point is after about eight years or so the entire Homestar Runner site stopped providing new content. Just freakin’ stopped. The last update there was well over two years ago. I don’t mean to denigrate them in the slightest. They had a hell of a run few of us will ever duplicate. Shit, I haven’t even made it a month here and I’m already feeling that heat.

Hell, History Wednesday is tomorrow. I know what I want to write about, but I don’t even have a draft yet.

Back in the dark ages of Milli Vanilli I was a cross country runner. It was said during practice that after a few runs your quality would drop off sharply, only to progressively get better as time progressed. That was with continued practice, of course. I happen to believe that’s true. My experience with writing strongly suggests the same rules apply.

I hope the Brothers Chaps aren’t done. I hope I have plenty left in the tank myself. I can only get away with bullshit like this for so long ….

Mar 04

A Tale of Two Wesleys

In 2002 when I lived in Las Vegas I had a chance to see Wesley Willis. At the time I figured, meh, I could see him later. Well, I was mistaken. Willis died suddenly at age 40 in August 2003.

If you’re not familiar with Wesley Willis, you should be. He was a Chicago-based proprietor of awesome. Willis was responsible for some of the most inspired stream of consciousness observations of all time. He imparted them with the help of a cheesy keyboard too. He wasn’t a musician as much as he was a modern-day Muse. Sheer freakin’ genius.

NSFW, but still bloody brilliant.

By coincidence my first name is Wesley too. I’ve just gone by my middle name, Lane, my whole life.

Wesley Willis was schizophrenic. That was common knowledge among his fanbase. Indeed, some have accused his handlers of exploiting him as a result.

You know what? I call bullshit. I just happen to be severely bipolar. Nevertheless, I’m a published author, a former candidate for Congress and – if I may be so bold – a damn good writer in spite of it all. Indeed, perhaps BECAUSE of it all. I’m also a member of Mensa (albeit one who hasn’t paid dues recently). I use this blog to express my stream of consciousness in much the same way Willis did with his music. SB in many ways is my therapy.

529px-Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_106

Being a bit off seems to be a prerequisite for good art.

By the way, as much as I respect Willis I don’t like being called Wesley myself. Please call me Lane, or at least something else. It’s all much appreciated.

Rock over Boise. Rock on Chicago. Franz, the good bread!™

Feb 16

That Miku Thing on YouTube

I’m in the 2T this weekend with my daughter. One of our favorite bonding activities is watching YouTube videos together. She’s into things like Annoying Orange, Kids React and, um … Fred.

fred

Seriously, they gave this guy a TV show. Twice.
Image credit: Scott Bedard

But the most perplexing YouTube icon we’ve come across is Hatsune Miku. Now this requires some explanation. Through software developed by a Japanese company, Miku is a programmable anime character who can sing and dance to anything you want. I think that’s how it works, anyway. Creating videos of a fictional Japanese singer is not high on my to-do list.

At the risk of sounding cliché, Miku is big in Japan.


Really, REALLY big.

As one can imagine, this is a perfect formula for creating YouTube videos for people who can’t get dates. There are well over 2 MILLION of ’em, in all their glory. Unsurprisingly most follow J-pop or anime themes, but others dare to be different.

Example: my daughter HATES Justin Bieber. Fortunately Miku has a video for that.


This sums up her feelings on the matter pretty well.

Another example: if you know me well, you know that one of my favorite bands of all time is Rush. If you know Rush well, you know that they’re about as far away from J-pop as one can get. Yeah, I think you know where I’m going with this one ….


Absolutely dumbfounding.

CRACKED.com update: Unfortunately both of my submissions were sent back to the pile. I’m not too concerned about it, though. I have plenty of other submission ideas, and content that doesn’t make the cut may just wind up here.

Feb 15

Friday Crap Roundup

When I’m not writing or herding cats, I spent a lot of time on Facebook. There I and a few of my nearly 700 friends often come across the strange, the stupid and the hilarious, in addition to long-debunked rumors and trite, misspelled memes.

lucy

I try to ignore these.

I wouldn’t dream of keeping this stuff to myself, thus the Friday Crap Roundup.

I’ll also respond to comments in this section, assuming I ever get any worth responding to. If you want to contribute or something, leave a comment or friend me on Facebook.

Right, now that the introductions are out of the way let’s move on to the snark.

Motel 6 Never Looked So Good

As fate would have it, the very first FCR item is literally about crap. For the better part of this week over 4,000 people have been stranded without restroom facilities as slowly they make their way to the promised land of Mobile, Alabama. But NASCAR isn’t in Talladega, which is what usually causes this phenomenon.

Nope, this time the culprit is the Carnival Triumph, operated by the same cruise ship company that used to be one of the primary causes of Kathie Lee Gifford exposure on American television. On Sunday morning a fire broke out in the engine room, knocking out propulsion and seriously damaging the sanitation facilities, among other things. For the next few days passengers and crew alike had to endure “urine and feces (streaming) in the halls and down walls.”

Carnival_Triumph_Half_Moon_Cay

But at least they didn’t have to endure the Black Eyed Peas.
Image credit: Scott L.

This not the first fall-down-go-boom incident involving Carnival Corporation ships in the recent past. In January 2012 the Costa Concordia ran aground off the Italian coast due to captain operator error. The result was 32 deaths and the complete loss of a $570 million ship.

No doubt to the great relief of all (pun possibly intended), the Triumph is now in port. Fortunately unlike the Costa Concordia incident there do not appear to be any deaths or serious injuries. While sincere best wishes are sent to all passengers and crew involved, my 12-year-old self can’t help but find this amusing.

beavis

Pictured: My 12-year-old self.
Image credit: Evan P. Cordes

New this fall on ABC, The Turd Boat! Love (and other things) are in the air. Follow the wacky misadventures of the fun-loving crew as they get themselves into all sorts of messes, both in the literal and figurative sense. Scheduled guest stars this season include Fred Durst, Lindsay Lohan, Rush Limbaugh, Honey Boo Boo and Nickelback! Also, don’t miss Raw Sewage Island immediately following.

Uh huh huh huh m huh huh huh m (ad infinitum).

Of Pot and Pepsi

My friend out Texas way, Michael Fortner, often posts some very interesting items. According to one of his latest posts, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is set to significantly loosen the city’s drug enforcement laws. Specifically, he plans to make possession of small amounts of marijuana about as serious an offense as a parking ticket.

While I’ve tried marijuana in the past, it’s been quite some time since I last inhaled. I never got into it and I doubt I ever will. Even so, I support its legalization. Bloomberg’s decision is a good one.

I have enough vices as it is.

Still, I can’t help but notice this is the same guy who wants to ban large sodas in his fair city. I’m not in favor of banning things in general, so needless to say I find all this rather confusing. It’s not like pot high in riboflavin or anything.

Track of the Week

The Carnival Triumph incident has had this song in my head for days:

Praise the Lard!

Feb 10

Myrtle and the Moose Factory

More stupid DNS tricks today. As noted yesterday I achieved the desired outcome with respect to the web site. However, I also momentarily lost the ability to receive e-mail. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I’m no longer receiving Craigslist-inspired spam from the Russian mob, it does cramp my style a bit. So until further notice please e-mail me at boisealbatross at hotmail dot com.

UPDATE: The DNS beast is slayed. Lane at lanestartin dot org is back online. Rejoice.

Albatross!

On the subject of Craigslist, yesterday I decided to jettison my various dating site profiles. It’s not that I haven’t been successful in the past year or so; on a strictly prurient level I’ve been VERY successful. It’s because I’m sick of it all. Of course, the fact my recent posts referenced nontraditional date site topics such as the French Republican Calendar, Subhas Chandra Bose, technological singularity, the Air Bud series and the Guano Islands Act of 1856, should have probably alerted me to that earlier. So gone are my Craigslist ads, my profiles on OKCupid, POF and Match.com and any further mention of Hamburglar of Arimathea. I feel better now. Robble, robble.

Somewhat coincidentally last night I went on a date, my first since early December. Myrtle (not her real name) and I have been dating off and on for the last two years or so. As it usually does, everything went fine. Nothing terribly remarkable to report about it.

I choose not to use Myrtle’s real name for two reasons. One, she’s a nice kid and I don’t want to embarrass her in this cesspool of snark. Two, she unfortunately has a stalker ex-boyfriend who I’ll refer to here as Moose Factory Boy™ (neither his real name nor his point of origin). Well aware of my dating history, a couple months ago Moose Factory Boy™ took the unusual step of friending me on Facebook. I accepted, because what the hell, right?

Based on my admittedly limited observations, it wasn’t long before I came to the healthy conclusion that Moose Factory Boy™ is what both sociologists and paleontologists refer to as “fucking creepy.” How creepy? Consider this Facebook conversation I had with him:

MFB: Lane, when is the last time you got tested for AID/HIV?
Me: September I believe. It was quite recently.
MFB: Why did you get tested?
Me: Due diligence. I’ve been quite active in recent months.
MFB: Can I get a copy of those test results?
Me: Why would want those? Sounds like you’re a tad … obsessed.

Now while I don’t necessarily release personal medical records into the public domain, I’m also pretty upfront about such things. I suppose I could have sent them, but he’d probably want a stool sample too. The logistics of that aren’t worth the effort.

trashcan

You’d be surprised how hard it is to find these things anymore.

Moose Factory Boy™ hasn’t surfaced recently, but you never know when he’ll strike again. Fortunately he’s not local or even close to it, so the chances of him turning up in person are slim. Of course this is much more of a concern for Myrtle than it is for me, but all the same I’m still keeping a lookout. So yeah, while I don’t want to ignore the Muse, I don’t want to make this situation any weirder than it already is by using real names. I honestly don’t know what happens from here. Maybe this time it’ll work out. If not, oh well. I’m a fatalist like that.

Oh yeah, for the record Myrtle and I didn’t watch any of the Air Bud movies last night.