Sep 30

The Abysmal Quality of Spam

Even after several months SB continues to get hits on the posts “Messing With Spammers” and “Messing With Spammers, Part Deux.” Seems the gr8tits2play racket is alive and well.

titmouse

What’s really scary is that Gr8tits2play.org got more ad clicks than SB this month.

I’d write more about dating scams, but I haven’t been trolling Craigslist recently.

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Jun 24

Messing With Spammers, Part Deux

Y’all have one track minds. Nearly four months later, “Messing With Spammers” is still SB’s most-read post, and “gr8tits2play” is still its top search term. In the case of the latter, second place isn’t even close. This in spite of my ongoing efforts to provide high quality content, or something.

220px-Strom_Thurmond

“Strom Thurmond takes a dump” remains my favorite search term to date.

Well, fine. I know how to take a hint.

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Apr 02

Bits and Pieces

Despite it being absolutely gorgeous outside, I spent the better part of the day filling out hospital forms related to my head injury a couple months ago. Since there’s nothing even remotely amusing about that (like I could remember it anyway), I didn’t have a lot of time to think about what the hell I was going to write today.

But I got to turn on the A/C for the first time this year.

Despite that, I have a couple stories possibly developing for your reading enjoyment. I guess it’s time for one of those potpourri posts. You know, a little of everything but not a lot of anything. That makes sense, right? Good. Let’s get started.

Return of the Moose

For a while I genuinely thought I was done writing about him, but a couple days ago none other than Moose Factory Boy™ showed up in my Facebook mail. His message? “I’m sure that you will be receiving a text/call very soon.” Um, OK. I assume he’s talking about Myrtle, but with him you can never be entirely sure.

smokesignal

Could be something like this.

As of this writing I haven’t heard from Myrtle, or anyone else for that matter. Whether or not she gets back in contact is anyone’s guess. If she does, great. If not, oh well. Dating hasn’t been a real high priority lately.

What’s the 419?

Speaking of dating, I’ve had an ad in the Boise Craigslist personals for a couple weeks now. Now before you accuse me of contradicting my previous statement, bear in mind this ad mentions Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Bandido Nation, Svalbard, Aotearoa and Erik Estrada‘s teeth, among other things. Not exactly Cassanova-type material.

To their credit Craigslist recently reformulated their policies, implementing an anonymous reply function. This has cut down on the spammers and the scammers significantly. A few still get through, including our friend “Tracy Miller.”

“Tracy” contacted me and assured me “she” was real and wanted to meet. My reply was, “And I’m real. Did you find Erik Estrada’s teeth?”

TV Guide Estrada

Yeah, I’m milking that for all it’s worth.
Image credit: trainman74

The reply mentioned nothing about Estrada, but Tracy did tell me about how she was a fashion school student living with a friend and her grandmother. She talked about her friend getting married and how she wants to get married herself. She talked about her love for God and how much of a good Christian she was. There was a bunch of other drivel I didn’t bother reading.

Most importantly, she responded outside the Craigslist system, which allowed me to track the originating IP:

nigeriaIP

Peek-a-boo!

Of course, being the magnanimous guy I am, I replied:

Hey Tracy:

No kidding? I’m into religion too! For the past eight months I’ve served as a dark deacon with the First Boise Church of Satan, Reformed (Nunavut Synod). Just this past weekend we sacrificed some goats during a sunset ceremony up at Table Rock to culminate our annual “Cinco de Chivos” festival. We used to sacrifice children, but we were sued by the Most Antient Order of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli for trademark infringement. And, well, long story short we don’t do that anymore.

I’m not photogenic either. Especially not after my recurring bouts with leprosy. But I don’t let it get me down. Even though I only have eight fingers now, I can still type at 60 words per minute!

By the way, since you’re a fashion student and all, I’m guessing you know quite a bit about fabric. Do you know how to get goat blood stains out of linen?

Writing that was a hell of a lot more fun than filling out hospital forms. I tell you what ….

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).

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.