Monday Matinee

The world of pop culture has been dealt a triple blow over the last few days. The back to back to back deaths of three cultural icons has been a 1, 2, 3 punch KO that has left us all reeling. First the king of pop - Michael Jackson. Then the king of infomercials - Billy Mays. And finally the king of nice - Jeff Goldblum.

Wait... what's that? The news reports from New Zealand are incorrect? The multiple reliable sources we call Twitter were wrong? Never mind folks, Jeff Goldblum is still alive. Last time I ever believe something I find on the internet.

"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
- Mark Twain

"The news of my impending death came at a really bad time for me."
- Steve Taylor

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying."
- Woody Allen


Is it irony, or hypocrisy?

A coworker sent me the following e-mail this past week. Actually, she didn't send it to just me, but to our whole department.

Advice From Snopes

By now, I suspect everyone is familiar with www.snopes.com and/orwww.truthorfiction.com for determining whether information received via email is just that: true/false or fact/fiction. Both are excellent sites. Below is their advice for us.

Advice from Snopes.com

1) Any time you see an E-Mail that says forward this on to '10' of your friends, sign this petition, or you'll get bad luck, good luck, or whatever,it almost always has an E-Mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and E-Mails of those folks you forward toThe host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' E-Mails addresses to use in SPAM E-Mails, or sell to other spammers.

2) Al most all E-Mails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. These
types of emails can come in many forms. All any of this type of E-Mail is, is a way to get names and ' cookie' tracking information for marketers and spammers - - to validate active E-Mail accounts for their own profitable purposes.

You can do your friends and family members a GREAT favor by sending this information to them; you will be providing a service to your friends, and will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam E-Mails in the future!

If you have been sending out (FORWARDING) the above kinds of E-Mail, now you know why you get so much SPAM!

Do yourself a favor and STOP adding your name(s) to those types of listings regardless how inviting they might sound!

You may think you are supporting a GREAT cause, but you are NOT in the long run. Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later! Plus, we are helping the spammers get rich! Let's don't make it easy for them!

Al so: E-Mail petitions are NOT acceptable to Congress or any other organization. To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature and full address of the person signing the petition.

First of all, I must mention that it isn't bad advice... but there are a couple of flaws in logic.

Flaw #1: While the e-mail was titled "advice from Snopes" and included a link to Snopes, I have not been able to locate this advice on Snopes. That leads me to believe that the original writer of this e-mail was fabricating the information about trackers and cookies. The multiple grammatical errors in spacing and erroneous capitalizations also leads me to believe the source to be less than honest. (PS, Snopes is a phenomenal website and if someone sends you "facts" that sound too good to be true, it probably is - and Snopes can help you figure out if it really is too good to be true. Before you forward the free Ericsson laptop offer to your friends, check Snopes... there's no such thing as a free Ericsson laptop.)

Flaw #2: An apparent lack of understanding how internet cookies work. Cookies are used by websites - not e-mails. (Click here for a better understanding of cookies) The author also shows a complete lack of understanding of e-mail attachments, spam, and internet marketing. Either the person that wrote the e-mail is an idiot or assumes lower his/her audience possesses a lower IQ.

Flaw #3: I find a bit of irony (possibly hypocrisy) in an e-mail urges you to forward this ONE e-mail while instructing you not to forward e-mails to your friends and family. Really? "Hey, when an e-mail tells you to forward a message to 10 friends - don't do it. Now forward this to everyone you know." I love logic.

When you receive an e-mail that asks you to forward it to all of your friends, should you do it? No. Not usually. Unless it's really funny. Just think before you clink send. Don't avoid forwarding e-mails out of some false paranoid idea that you're going to start getting dozens of spam e-mails. There's one good reason not to forward junk mail: it will annoy your friends.


Wacko Jacko's Ultimix playlist

I've stated my thoughts on Michael Jackson on two previous occasions. However, the debate of freak vs. genius is not an appropriate eulogy for any man. Rather, I'll post my ultimate MJ playlist.

Part 1: Groove
1. ABC (Jackson 5)
2. The Way You Make Me Feel
3. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
4. Remember the Time
5. I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
6. You Can't Win
7. Billie Jean
8. Smooth Criminal (Alien Ant Farm's version)
9. They Don't Care About Us
10. Black or White with LTB
11. 2000 Watts
12. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
13. Scream with Janet Jackson
14. Beat It
15. Somebody's Watching Me (by Rockwell with Michael Jackson)
16. Thriller

Part 2: Chill
1. Man In the Mirror
2. Will You Be There
3. Butterflies
4. Rock With You
5. You Rock My World
6. The Girl is Mine with Paul McCartney
7. I Can't Help It
8. Ain't No Sunshine (originally by Bill Withers)
9. I'll Be There (Jackson 5)
10. One More Chance
11. Billie Jean (Chris Cornell's version)

Part 3: Twist
1. The Girl is Mine with Will.I.Am.
2. You Rock My World - Trackmasters Remix with Jay-Z
3. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' with Akon
4. 2 Bad - Refugee Camp Mix with Wyclef Jean & The Refugee Allstars
5. Smooth Criminal - Telemitry Remix
6. Rock With You - White Label Remix
7. Dirty Diana - Dexplicit Remix
8. Thriller - Villains TooTight Pants Remix
9. Bad Ghostbuster (Bad mashed up with the Ghostbusters Theme)
10. SaySayism Allstar Jam (mash up by DJ Lobsterdust featuring samples from a dozen artists including MJ)
11. Smells Like Billie Jean (Billie Jean mashed up with Smells Like Teen Spirit)
12. Illiterate City (ABC mashed up with Paradise City)



Oh, the things that children say

We have kids about that age. You know, the age were they turn into parrots. The age where parents need to watch what they say. If we speak as normal consenting adults, our kids might utter words that would embarrass us in a public setting.

For example, a friend of ours drives one of those oversized kid carriers - those vehicles that are too big to be a van but too small to be a bus. We saw her behemoth parked outside of a local business and Bekah stated, "Look, there's our friend's shaggin' wagon." To which Christian responded (with the hearty joyfulness that only a four year old could provide), "ITZA SHAGGIN WAGGIN!!!"

Sometimes, when kids say the darnedest things, we know that we the parents are to blame. Certain phrases are learned in the home. Other phrases are of unknown origin. Like Christian's statement about breakfast earlier this week. As we pulled into McDonalds on the way out of town on Tuesday, Christian asked, "Where are we going?" Bekah answered, "McDonalds." - "We're going to McDonalds," Christian replied, "that means the crack is up." I still have no idea what that statement means.

Then there are terms that are intentionally taught. Like how we taught Christian to say "I'm thuggin'" when he was younger. This past week, my sister-in-law and her husband introduced a new word to Christian and Zu's vocabulary: badonkadonk. Yup, I'm happy about that one.


Monday Matinee

It's an old song (and by old I mean not new), but I feel this way on days like today. Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well by Mike Doughty



Oops. I haven't posted anything for a while. Blog traffic is suffering. I've been a little too distracted by Bejeweled Blitz on facebook. The game is strangely addicting. Besides, there's 17 hours left in the current tournament and I've got to beat my brother's score... and Sam's.

Speaking of facebook: I'm often puzzled by the adds on facebook. Today, I saw an ad for what I assume is a web developer. The title read "Do you have a bad church website?" I'm not sure what they're asking. Do I have a website for a bad church? Or do I have a bad website for a church? I possess neither, but have seen both.

Speaking of odd things: I saw an abandoned Shopko shopping cart in a peculiar location while walking to work recently... the gravel lot across the street from Ironwood Athletic Club. Granted, a gravel lot isn't an unusual place to abandon a stolen shopping cart... but the distance. Roughly 1/2 mile, 5 - 10 minutes walking distance, and crossing Highway 95. If you're going to steal a shopping cart, and make the effort to push that stolen cart across a busy highway - past the hospital... why ditch it in the middle of a commercial complex? Why not go the distance? At least they could have had a little fun - taken a left on Lakewood Dr and ridden the cart down the hill and into Riverstone.

Speaking of things I've seen while walking to work: There is a gloriously obese woman driving a Smart Car who commutes along Ironwood between 5:00 and 5:30 in the morning. Every time she passes me, I can't help but think of Chris Farley's "fat guy in a little coat" song from Tommy Boy. I know it's mean, but I can't help myself. Yet I really want a Smart Fourtwo. On a side note, I saw her in the Jack-in-the-Box drive through this morning. Would that be a cause & effect fallacy if I make a correlation?

One final thought for the day: A coworker had been completely unaware of the torrential downpour that swept through town this morning. When he finally noticed the precipitation outside he asked, "What is this coming down outside?" I answered, "I'm not sure, but it's liquid. And it rhymes with pain."

Anyways... I'm off to play Bejeweled Blitz. See you after I beat my brother!


111 Words or Less*

The Holden Family Reunions were always a raucous affair – filled with homebrewed spirits, grilled meats of dubious origin, and cousins no one knew existed. There were two ways to get an invite to these soirées: be a member of the Holden family, or be ridiculously good looking. Please do not ask why admission was granted to the aesthetically pleasing; it is a story you probably do not want to hear. (However, I will say there are a few Holdens that are looking forward to dating outside the gene pool.) All that remained after the congenitally disadvantaged revelers departed were skeletal embers of the fading bonfires and endless ribbons of silly string.

* This is my first attempt at writing a short story in one hundred eleven words or less. If ya'll like it - I might try more. Let me know what you think.



Why do people precede their farewells with the "mmmm" syllable?

They don't say goodbye, or even bye. It's mmm-bye. Please tell me I am not the only one who notices this. (Other pet peeve... "buh-bye)