Spam updates

Oct 22, 2005 | | 0 comments |

On October 26th last year, I blogged about the sum total of spam I'd had to date. I felt a little update would be amusing.
According to the spam, I now own 521 Rolex replicas, 88 Luis Vuitton handbags, $122.1bn in Nigerian cash and have a 4.4mile long penis. I also have 608 mortgages totalling some $180,302,200, 22,400 years supply of Viagra, a stash of porn tall enough to reach mars, and 73 hours of video of "Busty young amateurs". On top of that I'm lucky enough to own part of 201 timeshares, have been on a staggering 47,205 blind dates, and have a humidor stuffed to the rafters with over 65,000 Cuban cigars.
Those are updates from last year. New for the previous 12 months, I apparently now have had 244 holidays with free airline tickets, dated 801 "fuckbuddies" in my local area and received hot stock advice on 529 different companies. I own enough Prozac, Valium, Cialis and Viagra to start a drug dealership. I have been specially selected in 356 online promotions to receive 812 laptops, 444 PDAs, 1,844 iPods, 29 Plasma TVs, 69 cars, 62 holidays and a year's supply of M&Ms. I've also become best friends with the wives of many people slain by dictatorships all over the world, and have laundered a staggering $8.6bn in rebel cash through my bank accounts. (The late Yasser Arafat's wife was so impressed that she personally emailed me over 500 times).
And finally, I've been pre-approved for another 344 mortgages and 651 credit cards.

Man I'm so well connected.

It's called "Reap what you sow".

Oct 21, 2005 | | 0 comments |

Ford are busy learning an important lesson : reap what you sow.
You see the production of their new mid-range Fusion family sedan has had to be halted because one of their suppliers is having difficulty supplying parts. Collins & Aikman Corp. provides instrument panels, door panels and trunk systems for the Fusion. The problem is that they are in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. How did they get there? Because Ford lowballed them on parts supply costs.
Otherwise known as Karma, or Yin and Yang.
Trying to find an image on the Ford Fusion website is a chore. It's suffering one of the worst attacks of Mystery Meat navigation in the history of the internet. But I slogged on to see what all the fuss was about.

Looks promising....


Nice lines....


Stylish, even?....


Holy shiat! I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. After the fantastic-looking 2005 Mustang, Ford apparently fired that designer and had the Fusion scribbled out by one of their talentless, blind monkeys. Would you just look at those chunky wrap-over headlights! The nose of a car is one of its defining points. The nose of this car just screams "ugly". It's amazing how one design problem can destroy the entire look of a car. Think back to the bug-eyes round headlights on the Subaru Impreza a couple of years back. Awesome car, but the look of it was destroyed by some godawful headlights.

The cellphone disease.

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Someone asked me today for my cellphone number. I replied "Well I've got one but its never turned on unless we're using it to call out."
The response was "oh, why?" but the tone of voice was as if to say "I'm sorry to hear you've got cancer".
I don't get it. It's becoming a social stigma. If you don't have a cellphone, people treat you like you're somehow diseased, as if there's something hideously wrong with you.
Here's a newsflash : from my perspective, if you can't live without your cellphone and simply must speak on it everywhere you can, then you are the one with the disease - there's something wrong with you, not me. Apart from the fact that you're irradiating your brain at close quarters every time you use it, I'd like to know how you can't live without a piece of technology which until 10 years ago really wasn't available to the public.

End of days my arse.

Oct 20, 2005 | | 1 comments |

Okay this has got to stop. When a big organisation like MSNBC starts reporting on the End Of Days, (see here) you know something is wrong.
It seems that a rash of disasters in the last year (earthquakes, tsunamis etc) have got religious groups devoted to watching for the End Times whipped up into an absolute frenzy. These people look at every news event through a biblical lens, which magnifies the smallest detail out of all proportion.
The most commonly cited biblical passage describing the beginning of the end has now turned up on MSNBC. "nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes," and "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring."

Come on people - settle down. Remember that first and foremost, the Bible is a story - a work of fiction - a collection of fables and yarns which have been translated and translated over and over again for the last 2,000 years. Or should that be mis-translated and mis-translated? The meaning of the original stories was probably lost in the first translation. I'll give you an example, relevant only in the last 30 years or so:
"Are you cool?"
In the 50s and 60s, that would have meant "are you cold or chilly?". Skip ahead and now, whilst it can still mean that, it more likely means "are you hip, are you with it?"

Now apply that simple example to the Bible.

The real problem is that enough religious fanatics believe this crap then it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

20¢

Oct 19, 2005 | | 0 comments |

Makes me laugh. Amex have billed me for 20¢. Seriously. It cost them 37¢ to mail the bill to me, and it had 4 sheets of paper and a flyer in it, so it actually probably cost them closer to 80¢ to bill me for 20¢....

Of Tubbers and Wilma

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We spoke with Terri last night - still no sign of Tubbers. I think we all know he's gone now. She used a turn of phrase which was fairly upsetting - she said she was worried that someone might have hit him with their car, stopped, gone back and seen it was a cat and then "just thrown him away". That's horrible to think someone might have treated their pet as simply trash :(

Meanwhile Wilma picked up overnight from a cat2 to a cat5 hurricane with the lowest pressure ever recorded - 884mb. It has developed a "pinhole eye" which apparently is an eye which is really small compared to the "normal" hurricane. Like a figure skater pulling her arms in whilst spinning, a tight pinhole eye in a hurricane means very high rotational wind speed. They reckon 175mph already.

The worrying thing is it's not even got to the warm water in the gulf of mexico yet, and the high winds from the southwest are almost certainly going to turn this one towards Tampa. If it's cat 5 now, and stays over warm water for the next three days, Wilma could make Katrina look like a walk in the park. Once again I have to ask : why would you live in Florida ?

Cheney out, Rice in?

Oct 18, 2005 | | 0 comments |

You sometimes you think things are bad, but couldn't possibly get any worse? Rumour has it that Dick Cheney is about to step down and be replaced with (wait for it) Vice President Condosleeza Rice.
I'm sorry.
I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

That raises the very grim spectre of Rice running for President in 2008. Which could make for an extremely interesting presidential race, especially if the other candidate is Hillary Clinton.....

This cement brought to you by PC Laptops?

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I know I live in the country where advertisers believe that carpet-bombing the public with commercials works (note to advertisers : it doesn't), but this morning I saw something new which actually took me by surprise. A cement truck with a pair of adverts on the mixing barrel. As the barrel rotated, so the adverts came into view. (These were for a local laptop company). It's all very well, but the barrel is circular which means that as the ads rotated to the other side, they were upside down.
It was all a bit bizarre.

Splish splash.

Oct 17, 2005 | | 0 comments |

Almost everything in our house seems to have been put in with future modification and remodelling in mind. And everything seems to be built to standard. The guy who built the house knew what he was doing. Which is why it was a surprise to me that he didn't put cutoff valves on the downstairs bathroom sink. So I dutifully got a mini pipe cutter, and after discovering the pipes were non-standard half-inch outer diameter copper, managed to get some compression fittings and set to work. Well the first compression fitting worked fine, but the valve I tried to screw on to it leaked like a sieve. So one lash-up later, we had water on in the house overnight until I could get to my favourite plumbing supply shop this morning. There I got two different compression fittings and two new valves. The first one again went on fine, the valve went on, no leaks. Sweet. The second one leaked and leaked and leaked. Down the wall, into the electrical socket, which then started buzzing. So I kicked off the power and got down under a dripping plumbing fixture to put in a new electrical outlet. After all this, I finally figured out it was time to call a plumber tomorrow morning. Bugger the compression fittings - let someone else sweat-join the copper pipe for me instead. I wrapped the leaky valve in toilet paper, put a bucket under it and turned the power back on.
For some reason I then went into the laundry room to look for something and noticed four cutoff valves in the cupboard under the sink there. Excuse the French, but fuck me if two of them weren't for the stupid bloody sink in the second bathroom. Sure enough, there was the standard (but old) FIP pipe, with valves, leading to half-inch supply pipes which poke through the wall and into the second bathroom. So I turned them both off and voila - problem solved. So now I can take the old sink off, take the old pipes out and do a proper job with flexible copper tubing and sweated-on fittings.
Sheesh.
Still - at least my faith is restored in the original house-builder. There were cutoff valves, just in the other room, and the plumbing was standard.
Go figure.

Exploding tyres in Nascar is fine, apparently.

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This is interesting. Kevin Harvick called on NASCAR to halt Saturday night's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway after a rash of exploding tyres. A smooth, sleek surface at the raceway was the result of the track developers using a grinding process on the asphalt twice as a temporary fix until it could be repaved. It resulted in speeds that proved too fast for the tires Goodyear provided. The race was interrupted by a record-breaking 15 cautions, 12 of which were for exploding tyres.
The drivers were pissed off. The TV crews were pissed off. The teams were pissed off, and the spectators were pissed off. Yet they all accepted it for what it was.
Think back then to the F1 race at Indy this year, where for exactly those reasons, the Michelin teams retired before the race. Rather than risk exploding tyres, they opted not to race. Yet there, the spectators whinged and moaned and got their money back.
So from this we can deduct that's okay for NASCAR to have exploding tyres and stop a race, but it's not okay for the same to happen in Formula 1. If that's the case, Bernie Ecclestone shouldn't bother bringing F1 to America next year. Clearly it's not welcome so there's no point in wasting the money.

I also believe all those whining American asshats who complained about Formula One cars not liking to hit a huge slope into those corners at 150mph, owe us F1 fans an apology. Seems that when you get a NASCAR to the same speed in the same conditions, the same thing happens. So blow it out your exhaust you left-handed "racing" idiots.

Anyone remember how SARS was going to kill us all ?

Oct 16, 2005 | | 1 comments |

I'm not all that worried about bird flu. There's no evidence that it is going to spread to humans. So who or what is pushing everyone's panic buttons this time? One guess.
There's always a crisis. Anyone remember when SARS was going to sweep the planet and kill millions?
The conspiracy theorist in me says that people have become complacent about SARS. They're educated, the hospitals and doctors know what to look for, and any further outbreaks can be contained with some effort. So clearly the public isn't worried about that any more, but a calm populous isn't easy to control. And controlling the public through fear is what B*sh is all about. Ah yes. B*sh. One word : "Bioshield". Look it up.
Project Bioshield is a $5.6 billion program B*sh signed into law in July 2004 that would strip U.S. citizens of any recourse in the event that the feds decide on certain health-care remedies. These include the mandatory application of unproven vaccines to counter real or perceived health threats worldwide.
Read that again, between the lines. Project Bioshield means that the government in America can whip up some strain of virus - say a flu - perhaps a variant of avian flu - and then use it to innoculate the populous by force. For which the populous has no comeback.
The current hysteria over Avian flu is actually resulting in its manufacture in military laboratories in the U.S and elsewhere. Why? H5N1 Avian Flu, currently causing the slaughter of thousands of wild birds, has shown no propensity to "mutate" and jump to humans. That mutation is also highly unlikely right now.
No - what's going to happen is B*sh and co. are going to get the public of the Western world into such a state of blind panic that the powers-that-be will respond to public concerns by first creating and then making available a vaccine for which there is as yet no disease. To put it another way, since a vaccine is a weak form of what it is intended to combat, government labs will be the ones who introduce the human-strain H5N1 virus into the real world. And that is what Project Bioshield is all about.

Think about it. To make the human vaccine specific for the H5N1 mutant virus, you've got to start with the human virus. That's how vaccines work. But human strain H5N1 doesn't exist naturally - it's not made the jump, and as far as science is concerned, can't. So perhaps a military biomedical pharmaceutical lab somewhere is working on that. To produce the human strain pathogen, the avian flu virus must be cultured for lengthy periods of time in human cell cultures, then injected into monkeys and ultimately humans to see if these experimental subjects get the flu.
"Lengthy periods of time" in the biochem world could constitute a couple of years. Google H5N1 - when did it last see the light of day? 2003. Two years ago. Coincidence?

Ultimately, everything nowadays revolves around money. Whoever the first biochem company is who perfect the humain strain H5N1 virus, and thus its vaccine, will be the ones to benefit financially when a panic-stricken populous all demand vaccination for a disease that doesn't exist.